Monday, December 31, 2012

Temporary Name: One-Armed Mama

I am discovering that there are many things that i can figure out how to do with only one hand.

Cook? Yep. Made bacon and eggs for breakfast. Cracked all the eggs left handed. No shells!

Shower? Yep. Even shaved (spottily) and conditioned my hair.

Personal hygeine? Can put toothpaste on my toothbrush by laying the tube hanging over the edge of the counter and squishing it with my elbow.  Bathroom needs? Got it covered, thank goodness!!

Getting dressed? The bra stumped me for a while but now I place it around my waist, get it fastened then spin it marooned and up and over. One boob is in my armpit and the other in the center of my chest, but they are harnessed!

Opening jars and bottles of medication.....pretty hard. I can get my prescription open with one hand, but I need help with twisting other things open. Chris loosened all the jelly lids for me and left them loose. Sweet man!

What I cannot do: tie my shoes, chop veggies, smack small booties (kidding) and do pushups.
Unfortunately I can do laundry, housekeeping, grocery shopping and other mundane chores. I really, really hoped I would be unable to do those things. Maybe if I break my other hand too????

The boys are all pitching in to help out. Well, most of them. Ahren tends to sit like a lump and demand people wait on him. He is trying, though. He attempted to, open his own can of soda but got it partially open, had it tip over and spin out of his hands, roll off the table and hit the floor spinning and shooting soda everywhere. Nice try but No. He is now allowed to get himself a glass of water. Period. LOL!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

From the haze of my brain

  I have told you how well Seth has done this year but he still has some major triggers. Add the stress of the holidays with the disruption of the much- needed schedule and my surgery and you get a little boy who gets squirrelly. He ended up in the principals office at school and lost privelages at home. I was able to talk him through his emotions and he settled down at school.

  The night before Christmas eve we drove 2.5 hours to ride The Polar Express train. All 5 kids were wearing matching pajamas and looked so cute. The train ride was awesome. They read the book, played the songs from the movie and served hot cocoa and cookies. Ahren spilled his cocoa on himself and Kaytee and Ashley grabbed napkins and cleaned him up. (when another child gets attention the RAD kid gets triggered) After the train ride we picked up food and hit the road for home. Two and a half hours later we pulled into our driveway and unloaded. Seth would not get out of the van. I finally had to reach in and pull him out. He was covered in ketchup. His shirt was soaked in it, his lap was gooey and he even had it on his back. There was much more ketchup than one packets worth and the spots were wet, not partially dried like they would have been if he spilled when he ate hours before. I didn't say a word, just led him to the laundry room where I stripped him down and wiped him off. I did the same with Ahrens Jammie's since his were chocolatey.  I got them into clean pajamas and tucked them into bed and kissed them goodnight.  Then I drenched the Jammie's in stain remover and loaded up the washer. 

  This week Seth has alternated between moping and whining and bursts of wild out of control behavior. He has lost or broken half of his gifts prompting me to send Santa a letter asking him to not bring presents next year unless Seth can learn to care for his belongings. I showed him the letter and he just shrugged. He didn't care or pretended he didn't care. 

  Yesterday we had a couple of boys over for a play date. They played well together for most of the day and then mid- afternoon I heard the boys all saying things like 'gross, that is disgusting, don't ever say that again'. Uh-oh. I intervened and asked what was going on. They all agreed that Seth had said something really bad, but they were too embarrassed to tell me. Finally Levi whispered it to me and I briefly saw the world spin around me. Seth had said something of a very graphic sexual nature. I immediately removed him to my room and left him in timeout on my bed. I then talked to the other kids and apologized to them and assured them Seth was going to be severely punished. They all went back to playing and I left Seth on my bed. I told him that as soon as his Dad got back from the store he was going to get his punishment. I hadn't thought what it would be but I know the anticipation of it would be making a huge impact. Chris got home a little later and what do you know? Seth was sound asleep . Amazing...... Well not really. He uses that tactic to avoid unpleasant things. We let him 'sleep' for a couple of hours and then he received his punishment. Grounded, no playing with friends and the loss of his major Christmas gift to play with while he is grounded. 

  We still have a week of vacation to go so this story is not over. Hopefully it will end with a whimper and not a bang.....

Thursday, December 27, 2012

And so it is

I had surgery yesterday to repair my hand. Tacked the ligament back down and wired the bones together. I cannot use it at all and am very sore. I get my first cast next week and will be in one for 3 months. So here are some recent photos of my crazy gang.


Friday, December 21, 2012

Awwww geeez!!!

I saw the orthopedic surgeon today. I am scheduled for surgery the day after Christmas. He will go in and pin the tendon back down, wire the bones back together and then place long pins through all the bones in my wrist/ hand to hold them in place. I will be in a hard cast for about twelve weeks, then have a second surgery to remove the big pins. Man, I did this good. It is going to get very interesting to function without my right hand for months. (I am right handed)

 I am trying to be very positive. They can fix it. It will be OK. I will figure it out. But....... This is going to be so hard. So......hard.........

Thursday, December 20, 2012


  There is so much going on here that I have been too busy to update. I will try and hit all the high points, but no promises. My poor ol' brain is on overload right now.

  Seth began to fall apart a few weeks ago. The first week I saw that he had double color changes at school three days in a row. Pushing, disturbing others, throwing things, etc. Very unusual for him now. We talked about it and put a consequence in place. The next week he was on green the first two days and then his folder got 'lost'. I found it on Friday and saw that he had a major color change and that the teacher had said 'see note'. No note was ever found. The folder remained missing but his teacher e-mailed me regarding his behavior. He had ended the week in the principle's office! OMG! She was shocked that he was acting like this because to her it was so different than what she had seen so far this year. To me, it just meant he had been triggered and was reacting. I told her why he was acting out and she understood. Then I cuddled him at home and talked about why he was out of control. He acted like he was soooo happy I had called him on it! His whole demeanor changed immediately. All of the tension and anxiety melted out of  his body and  he was so happy. This is huge for him. He was experiencing all these feelings that he could not recognize, but the minute I pointed them out to him, he accepted it and was back to being grounded. Amazing. He has been so awesome ever since. Both at school and at home! The only thing I have noticed is that he seeks my attention and approval constantly. Hugs, words, touching me, whatever he needs to stay grounded. He seems so much happier!!! Good boy!!!!!

  Ahren overheard me saying the password to my IPad, and proceeded to spend over $400 in two hours on games. I had no idea. The bank voided the transactions and I got the money back, but you better believe I will be way more careful with my password and his use of my IPad!!!!

  I finished my first semester of graduate school with a perfect 4.00! I am loving it and learning so much. I also never knew I could handle this much at one time. School, family, work, etc. I even made all of my favorite holiday goodies to share with friends and neighbors. I enjoyed every minute of it!

  The one down side of this time is that I have injured my hand pretty badly. I tore a tendon in the back of my hand that holds all of the little bones together. I am finding out tomorrow whether I need surgery and how long I will need to be in a hard cast to allow it to heal. It is estimated at being MONTHS of in-mobility in my hand. Complete hard cast to my fingertips for four or more months. SUCKS!!!!

  Kaytee is on Dean's List again. Smart Girl!!!!

  I have no presents wrapped yet. Bad hand = no wrapping. Everything will go in bags. Holiday bags, lunch bags, garbage bags, grocery bags. It is going to be interesting.

Love y'all!!!!!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

How much is too much?

  Every year I swear I am going to cut way back on gifts and instead focus on building memories and character. Every year I end up thinking I am not providing the "magical" Christmas experience that is expected by our society. Why do I do this? Every year I disappoint myself. My kids? They don't seem to care about the gifts really. Once they open them, it's game over.

  This year is going to be different. I booked us on the Polar Express train on the night before Christmas Eve. It is a real train that looks just like the train in the Polar Express movie. All the kids wear pajamas and watch the movie on the ride. The train travels out into the country about 40 minutes during which they serve hot cocoa and cookies and perform the song and dance for it. Then you reach a magical North Pole that is all lit up and get to meet Santa. He will have a special gift for my kids. Then we travel back to the station watching the second half of the movie. The best part? Kaytee and Ashley will be with us and I got all 5 kids matching holiday pajamas to wear. We are all so excited for this!!

  We have gingerbread houses to build and decorate. Giant gingerbread men I will bake and we can decorate and eat. We will be adopting a needy family and shopping together for them. Plus for the very first time we went to a tree farm and cut our own live tree. (Levi cut it down!)

  I am going to decorate much less, only put up the truly special decorations. Nothing outside this year. Frankly, with school and work plus being a Mom and wife, something has to give. The outside decorations are for others to see. We live on a cul-de-sac with no traffic. No one sees our decorations except us, and then only as we drive up to the house.

  My most memorable Christmas memories are of me, my mother, my Aunt Judy and my Grandmother coming together for a day of cookie baking. We each had baked some cookies to share and brought lots of dough. All day we laughed and baked and hugged and shared. Those are my best memories of the holidays. That is what I want to create for my children. Even now when I think about it I get teary eyed. I live so far away, my grandmother has passed, and the tradition is gone. But I have my memories!

To Memories!!!! A lifetime of hugs and smiles.....

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


  There have been two very disturbing events in our neighborhood in the past few days. We live in a suburb of Houston in a subdivision of large lots (2-10 acres) with several lakes, a golf course and horse trails. The houses are big and the neighbors friendly. It's the quintessential Texas neighborhood.
  We have a lot of deer that live in our subdivision and everyone feeds them. They are practically tame and this time of year they are fat and happy. There are some huge bucks that are absolutely gorgeous animals. Huge antlers (horns? racks??) that spread out like giant trophies. Which brings me to disturbing event #1. Saturday night about 10:30 pm, the sound of rapid gunshots rang out by our next door neighbors house. It sounded like automatic pistol fire. A quick 8-10 shots. Then quickly several more volleys of 8-10 shots. Then silence.
  The next day our neighbor went out to get their newspaper and found blood splattered across her driveway. She followed the trail and it led up the street and into our yard. I went out to help her but we lost the trail in the grass. The blood drops were fairly large and close together, meaning something was losing a lot of blood. We didn't find a blood pool or a body, animal or human. We can only assume someone was trying to kill a deer and either it ran far enough away and died in the woods or they took it. This absolutely infuriates me! It also scares the living daylights out of me. Where did all those bullets go? What would have happened if they went through my front windows into my sleeping sons' bedrooms? What if they had hit the horses? I am so angry and yet there is nothing the police can do except do more patrolling in the neighborhood.
  The 2nd disturbing event happened Monday night. I was coming home late from work, it was dark, and the  that goes in front of our neighborhood is unlit, 5 lanes wide and 55 mph. Just as I was turning into the entrance a large truck pulled out. He didn't see the small car on my left and pulled directly in front of her. I watched in horror as they smashed together, ripping the back tire off the truck and spinning both vehicles all the way around. The small car had awesome airbags all the way around or it would have probably been a fatal wreck. The driver was injured but okay. She was covered in radiator fluid and we had to wedge her out  from behind the wheel because it had been shoved backwards. (Yes we moved her, since gas was also leaking out all over and the risk of fire/explosion was great) The pickup was full of teenagers who were shook up but not hurt (Thank God!) They had all been wearing their seatbelts. It reminded me of the night of Kaytee's wreck when she was 14. The sirens, the lights, the emergency workers. It still gets to me when I think about how close we came to losing her that night. I went on home, hugged my husband and poured a glass of wine.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

In the weeds

  You know how it feels, to be ahead of the game, to know that you have worked hard to be all caught up and are then able to savor a little free time? Yeah, that's where I thought I was. Then the Reality Fairy smacked me hard upside the head.

Graduate School: Three separate assignments this week. Two papers and a discussion post. And not fluff papers either. Papers involving advances in preclinical studies, compare and contrast different research areas of the NIH and how the Common Fund initiative is changing clinical research. I also have assignments next week. No holiday from school.

Work: I worked more hours this week than last. Long, hard days filled with very complex patients. I seem to have ended up with all the really challenging patients lately. Brain injured patients fill my Tuesdays and Thursdays. I love the challenge but am worn out by the end of the day. I also have to cover for more senior therapists this week, which means I will not have a day off until Thursday.

Kids: Levi spiked a fever Wednesday evening and has been battling it for four days. Tests for the Flu and Strep were negative, but the doctor said it is a flu-like virus. Just one that they can't treat. Nice. When the fever meds wear off he spikes up to 103F. His eyes are all swollen and he looks like he lost a prize fight. His fever is lower today, running about 100F but enough that he can't go to school again tomorrow. They have to be fever-free for 24 hours before returning to school. This morning Ahren told me his throat hurts and he had a headache. No fever (yet) so we will see.

Thanksgiving: There is a bird that weighs more than half as much as Seth thawing in my refrigerator (it was free), I bought frozen rolls, frozen pies and canned cranberry relish. Something had to give. Quality from-scratch foods lost out. I doubt my kids will even notice.

I spent Friday tearing the house apart preparing for company. I need to get a bedroom and bathroom cleaned for guests. I had a mountain of laundry and had a mountain of bedding and towels still in the laundry room. I worked yesterday until 2pm and when I got home I discovered that our social worker was at our house making a surprise visit. There were cleaning supplies all over the counters, breakfast dishes still on the table, brooms, mops, swiffers and assorted cleaning tools leaning against the back door, and piles of clean laundry folded but not put away. Ahren and Seth had been to a birthday party and all they had eaten for lunch was cake and ice cream. And someone had been collecting rocks and they were on my kitchen counter. Surprise! Just shoot me now!!!!!

Wednesday, November 07, 2012


  I have been absent for so long, and only minimally here before that. I lost the urge to blog and I just didn't know why. It came to me recently....everything is good. Not just good but great. I have always used this blog as my outlet, my mental health caretaker, my way to seek out advice and help from others.

So now, this is going to be a pretty boring, plain old family blog. Pics of dirty kids, complaints about the amount of laundry that is piled up in my house, and the occasional rant about the car rider lane at school.

And so, here is where we are all right now:

  Kaytee is a junior at Texas A&M, majoring in psych and on the Dean's List. She is also working 20 hours a week. She voted for the first time in this election (they cheered for her and gave her a sucker LOL!) She is a ball of nerves most days, just like her Mama. We live on stress.

  Ashley is a senior in high school. She goes to a special school in Dallas that is for students wanting to go i not medicine. She has already earned her CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) and is working on her EMT and Pharmacy Technician certificates. She is the first person in the school's history to be able to earn all three before graduation. She will graduate with just over one semesters worth of college credits.

  Levi is still a straight A, GT (Gifted and Talented) student but he is also becoming a total social butterfly. I swear I am his social secretary. It is not unusual for me to be handling three play date requests for him each weekend. He has a wicked sense of humor and impeccable timing. (He is so much like his Dad that is is scary!)

  Seth is a different child than the one we brought home almost three years ago. He is calm, happy, funny, bright and charming. He almost never gets in trouble, especially at school. Something clicked inside him in the past 8 months and it is a miracle. He is now securely attached, understands when I tease him, loves us with abandon and feels totally safe. I was not sure we would ever reach this point and I am not sure how we got here, but I thank the Lord every day for this miracle child. Oh, and he is growing like a weed! He is in size 7 pants now and just a hair shorter than Ahren. He has gone from a 2T to a 7 in less than 3 years. It must be all the bacon. LOL!

  Ahren is holding his own. He has gained some balance and core strength from therapeutic horse back riding. His fine motor skills are still poor but he tries hard. For the first time ever we went to a bowling party and he made it through an entire game! He has always quit and given his turns to someone else before. He is the happiest kid and very bright. He and Seth are both ahead of the expected math and reading levels in school. Only his handwriting scores below level and that is to be expected.

  Chris, my amazing spousal unit is happy, healthy and just as sweet as ever. He is a super trooper when it comes to helping around the house. Whenever needed, he cooks, he cleans, he does laundry and he cares for the boys. He helps with homework and stands guard over shower time. (God Bless him for that!) He makes me laugh and he loves me even when I am cranky and unloveable. He is either insane or the best hubby ever. Ladies, all of you who passed him by, you lose!

  Me? I am fat and happy. The fatness is a total pitfall of being happy. Oh well, I guess I can deal with it.... Besides working nearly full time, raising all these kids, taking care of the house and hubby, I am also in graduate school. Yep, insane, that is me. I am getting a graduate degree in Clinical Research Administration. I am loving school. I feel challenged and energetic and refreshed mentally. Oh, and I managed to get my certification as a Vision Therapist last month. Nine long papers including re-writes, a written test and oral interview after three years of experience. I passed!!!!! What does that mean? I get a title, a raise and new business cards! And a huge sense of satisfaction. I did it!!!!!!

  Life is great here. A bit chaotic, full of laughter and pranks, not a quiet moment until the dead of night,  and just about the best thing I could have ever hoped for.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Levi turns 9

Chris surprised Levi one Saturday with a trip to the motorcycle shop to buy a new helmet for his birthday. Since this requires careful fitting on his actual HEAD,  the gift wasn't that much of a surprise once they got there.

What Levi didn't know is that there was a specific reason he needed a new helmet, in addition to his head growing. (By the way, he is already into an adult sized helmet. Our little Jimmy Neutron head!)

Chris had him come out to the barn with the new helmet (like we could have gotten him to take it off) and sent him on a treasure hunt.

He looked and looked, but the treasure was well hidden.

Then he realized that a large tarp was draped over something.....a blue shiny wheeled something!

A new 4-wheeler!!!!

He was very happy and excited (and a wee bit nervous since this was a gas-powered machine)

Daddy showed him how to operate the clutch, gas and brakes.  Levi decided that riding in 1st gear at first would be a smart move since this one is so much bigger and more powerful than his old 4-wheeler.

 He quickly got the hang of it and started zipping around our land. Back behind the pond, past the trees, 
all over the place. 

 Too bad it was so beastly hot, but still, he had a blast!

Daddy snuck in a turn to test out the clutch and shifting. Seems it needs some adjustments but that's no problem for our own Mr. Fix-it.

Saturday, June 30, 2012


  There has been a lot going on here that I have not written about. Sometimes, some things are just too painful to share with the big wide world until after I can process them accordingly. Ashley has a thyroid disease that was diagnosed at the age of 8 years old. It is hereditary and requires that she get supplemental thyroid hormone every day. Unfortunately, as she moved around and switched doctors, they failed to increase the amount of hormone as she grew. The result was that her thyroid gland became enlarged and nodular and she had symptoms of low thyroid hormone like hair loss, lethargy, dry skin, apathy, and depression. We finally found a doctor at Texas Children's in Dallas (Hey Dr. Lopez!) that understood and began to treat her in the right way. That meant slowly increasing the amount of supplemental hormone until she felt great but did not have too much in her system.
  In the meantime, they decided to biopsy her thyroid to get a closer look at the thyroid tissue. On the first biopsy it came back as 'multi-nuclear neoplasia' but inconclusive. This is BAD. Very scary. We had to wait several months before we could biopsy again. All the time we worried about CANCER, thinking about her aunt (my sister) who had thyroid cancer.
  Just a week ago she went in for the re-test. The doctor took a very close look at her thyroid with ultrasound. Good news! The nodules are gone and the only odd area is a heterogenous area due to long term inflammation from her condition. This is the best news ever. They will keep a close eye on her. Ultrasounds several times a year and a lot of follow up.

We are so relieved. So happy. So thankful!!!!!!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Life here...

While we were getting ready for church one Sunday, as I went to help Seth on with his shoes and socks, this is what I found.....

Filthy feet! 
He had snuck out of the house and run around in the yard bare-footed. 
Oh man.....

The boys made a special shirt for Daddy for Father's Day

Chris helping me make decorations for Levi's Birthday party
I love this man soooo much!

 Passive-Aggressive RAD behavior.

Look Mommy, I can dress myself! I am so big. Aren't you proud of me?

But he had pulled all of the clothes off the racks and walked on them, making a huge mess. 

Proud? Not so much.....

Thursday, June 07, 2012

The answer

Levi's knees!  He was holding the camera in his lap and accidentally shot a picture. I had no idea he was so hairy!!

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Guessing Game

Today I took a few minutes to download the most recent photos off of my camera. When looking at them I discovered this picture. 
And had to scratch my head. 
And try not to get mad.
And figure it out.
Do you know what it is? 

I was able to figure out WHO took the picture and then find out WHAT this is a picture of. I will tell you all later, after you scratch your heads and try not to get mad......and it is NOT what I (or you) thought it was at first glance.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Down for the count

Since Friday night I have been up many, many times a night. Ahren is sick, really sick. And so am I. Oh wait. I am the Mom, I am not supposed to be sick! Ok, well, then. I am just not totally functioning.

Ahren: Double severe ear infection, sinus infection, asthma issues and high fevers. I spent over an hour last night, after giving him both Tylenol and Advil, wiping him down with cool wet cloths just to keep his fever under 102F. He slept on the couch and me on the floor next to it. No, wait, I didn't actually sleep as much as I twisted and turned and listened to him breathe.

On Saturday night I was up from midnight until 6:30 am. That's when Chris took over and I got to sleep a couple more hours. When I say up, I mean never closing my eyes. He can stop breathing in an instant, totally silent. I watched him breathe. And struggle. And cry. And beg for relief from the pain. Oh my breaking heart!!!!

Today the two of us stayed home. We didn't do much, but we didn't sleep. He wouldn't sleep so I didn't sleep. i tried to rest but frankly I really have no idea what I did all day. Shoot, the house isn't clean, no laundry done, i don't watch soap operas. I have no idea where today went.

I am hoping some sleep tonight might cure me. If not....I might just become a Zombie.....

Monday, May 28, 2012

I am the expert!

Warning: heavy use of sarcasm in the be warned!

Well, as I see it, having been dealing with children with issues for more than 17 years I have become an expert. I know everything I have learned in 17 years, although I am subject to forgetting key things at times. I have earned all of my lessons pretty much the hard way. Trial and error, heavy on the error. I've even been to college, which unfortunately only taught me how to deal with egghead neurotic types and not so much my kids. I pat myself on the back when I have sudden moments of brilliant inspiration. OK. MOMENT of inspiration, but it was a good one! And I never, ever give up........more than three times a day.

See? Definitely expert material. So as my own resident expert, I give you the following new diagnoses that I have discovered:

NMD - stands for noise modulation deficiency. Characterized by the ability to scream in your face 'I love you' at a decibel level guaranteed to cause permanent hearing damage, followed by answering important questions in a voice so quiet that intergalactic sonar could not detect it.

RAM - Random Acts of Madness - I have talked about this before. The chewing through the cable to the WII nunchuk, cutting a hole in a shirt just because there were scissors, leaping off the top of the headboard to grab the shelf attached to the wall, ripping it out of the drywall and crashing to the floor, peeing off the top of the slide in a wide arching pattern which included his brothers head, etc etc.

OCOB - Obsessive Compulsive Obnoxious Behavior - constant nose picking leading to daily bloody noses, chewing on the neck of the shirt, shredding food like a little feral animal, constantly holding and rubbing his private area to the point he made the skin irritated (Dude, it isn't going anywhere! let it go!!!) and twisting and stretching his shirt with his arms. All of these are unconscious behaviors and incredibly hard to break and pretty much socially unacceptable.

CNP - Constant Noise Production - the inability to stop making noise for more than 2 seconds at a time. If a child runs out of things to talk about, he will begin to count with numbers, recite the alphabet or name off everything he sees around him. This is especially likely in a closed environment like a vehicle.

ULS - Unique Language Skills - the ability to SAY things without making any sense whatsoever. I think many politicians actually have this. An example would be, "Lily was the school for beaver monday klink." This is usually followed by the expectation of an answer. When a suitable answer is not forthcoming, the child will repeat the sentence louder and louder, with great indignity and frustration.

CMS - Conflicting memory Skills - this is characterized by the child who suddenly cannot remember how to drink from a glass, put on socks, or not jump on the furniture, but can seemingly remember the one time 9 months ago you mentioned that you thought having a picnic is lots of fun and wants to know if you are going TODAY, cuz you said so.

SSSH - Super-Sonic Selective hearing - This is the child who cannot hear you yell at him 15 times to put his shoes on, but if you attempt to whisper one teeny-tiny thing in another room to your husband suddenly springs up asking all sorts of questions about what you said.

And last but not least -

KLS - Klingon Love Syndrome - this child just LOVES you so much they have to squish your face for big sloppy kisses, hug you hard and at the most inconvenient times, practically knock you over rushing to greet you and hug you, and has to sit on top of you or climb you while you try and eat, potty, or put on makeup. This child is always one step behind you and often trips you and gets in the way while trying to work around the house. This is the child who gets stepped on and knocked over constantly, but it never slows them down. They are little Love Sponge Weebles.

Now, if you seriously want expert advice or information, please seek a true professional. Not a nut case like me!!!!

Fun pictures

This is how Levi sleeps every night. Buried in a bed of boxers. 
Sorry about the big slimy finger print in the center of the lens. I didn't realize someone had boogered it until I downloaded the pics.

I am fierce! I am dangerous! I am Crawfish Crusader!!!
Well, not so fierce that little boys didn't carry them around.
These were 'rescues' from a crawfish boil we went to recently. They eventually were set free in our pond.
Gee, they figured out a new talent. I am so proud. Now I have to worry about footprints to clean off the doorways in additions to handprints. Sweet......
I have the feeling that this is the mastermind behind this new talent.
Not quite tall enough to really master this. Thank goodness!!! I have to scrape this kids off the ceiling often enough as it is.

Awww, readers....

Reba, you are so faithful to me. I read but rarely comment on your blog. I am a BAD bloggy friend! Just know I do love you and think you are amazing!!!!!

Cut the bottoms out of the pockets? BRILLIANT!!!! I was going to sew them all shut, but this is easier. of course whoever gets our hand-me-downs is going to wonder.....

I snorted out loud at the 'tampon nun-chucks' comment. What an inventive little boy! I bet the teacher could hardly keep a straight face. I know I would have had to leave the room and laugh out loud in the hallway!

This weekend has been kept on the low down here. The only special event was a party for a little boy yesterday. Levi and Seth went, and Ahren got to stay home with a fever, cough and boogery (is that a word?) nose. He sneezed at one point and it was so bad I had to change his shirt. YUCK!

I am finally starting to feel like blogging again. Sometimes I just get so deep into the day-by-day here that I feel like I am unable to reach the surface and find the sunlight.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Well, we waited to see what would happen to our little deviant, and nothing happened. I was not sure if I was happy or mad. So on Friday, during the kindergarten program, I sought out the school counselor and asked her about it. She was shocked there had been no consequences and agreed with me that they had to happen or Seth would never understand this was wrong. We went straight to the school 'enforcer', I'm not sure what her title is, but she is in charge of the consequences. We talked and we all agreed that something had to happen for him to learn from this. So on Tuesday, the first day back at school, he will be sent to 'In School Suspension' where he gets to do school work all day long and not socialize with his peers. He works alone, eats alone, plays alone. Plus, the rest of the school has their end-of-the-year awards assembly which he will miss.

I feel good and bad. Good for me to make sure he learned a lesson. Bad for this Mama Bear that she is not protecting her cub. Overall, this is good. Just hard for me.

Oh, and little man does not have have a backpack anymore or pants with pockets. This is to ensure he cannot carry anything to school or home from school he shouldn't. Hahahahahahah

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Big Knife Update

I think I have finally calmed down. Mostly. Here is how the crime went down.....

Thursday morning, while getting everything ready in the morning, Seth somehow managed to climb up the kitchen cupboards, and get the knife off a rack that is higher than my head. He then climbed down and hid the knife in his backpack. All of this without detection by me or his brothers, who are known as the 'tattle squad'. Once he got to school, they have to wait in the gym for the first bell. This is when he pulled out the knife to show off to his friends. Ahren happened to be there and promptly told. He told the other kids in the class, he told the bigger kids, he told the girls, he told the janitor and then he told the teacher. That would be hilarious, but.....well, yeah. Pretty hilarious.

The gym teacher took away the knife and Seth didn't seem upset or sad. She asked him if he knew it was wrong and he said he did, but no sign of emotion. (Boy does that scream RAD or what?) The gym teacher contacted Seth's kindergarten teacher but then had to go to another school for the day, which meant she had to wait until the next day to call me. Now we know why I didn't hear from them right away. Budget cuts...

The gym teacher called me on Friday and we had a wonderful talk. She did not know any of Seth's 'issues' and so she was treating this like any small boy trying to show off and did something dumb. She asked me how we wanted to handle it. For a moment I wondered if we could just hush it up and hide it. But then the rational part of my brain kicked in and I KNEW we had to give him serious consequences. I told her to turn the knife over to the school police and we would handle the consequences that would result. She thanked me for being such a level headed parent and doing the right thing. All I could think of was how horrible it would be to be trying to handle something like this when he is 17 years old and has been bailed out by mommy all his life.

We will find out on Monday what the punishment is. I am worried but confident. The whole 'zero-tolerance policy' thing has me concerned, but i know the staff at our school is smart, level-headed, and empathetic.

Now, I have a few ideas about how to handle the school punishment the best way for Seth to actually LEARN something from this. If they try and scare him, he will just shut down and not hear anything or learn anything. For years his only emotions that he felt and understood were fear and anger. He would fall back onto old habits and it would be a huge failure. We have worked so hard in the last year to teach him emotions, how to understand his and others and how to deal with them. If they show him how sad they are, how disappointed they are, they have a chance of hitting him in a soft spot and making an impact.

How is Seth doing? He is scared and anxious. it is sinking in that this is a big deal. He has been stuck to me like glue all weekend. He is shredding his food and picking his nose, both signs of high anxiety levels. I have been hugging him and telling him that although I cannot fix this, that I will be there with him and we will face this together. He is responding to that and instead of pushing me away, he is leaning on me and being vulnerable.

Me? I just want to cry.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

*%%$&$@#^ Dog Gone It!!!

  I want to say some very, very bad words, but I promised myself a long time ago to clean up my language so that little ears and mouths did not follow suit. I am regretting that promise today!

  Today, my 6 year old son took a knife to school. Not just any knife. Heck no, it couldn't have been a PlayDoh knife or a butter knife. It had to be a big pocket knife of the pop-out scary bladed variety. The gym teacher caught him showing it to other kids and took it away.

  They have not contacted me yet. Luckily I have two brothers to tattle on him so I have a head's up on this. I am worried about the 'zero-tolerance' policy.  What happens to a 6 year old who brings a weapon to school? I am a mess. Alternative school? Suspension? Court????

  How did he get this knife? He saw where his Daddy kept it, figured out how to arrange furniture to climb that high, and planned a time when he could accomplish this feat without being seen. In short, this was pre-meditated. By a child with poor impulse control and anger management issues. I think I might hyperventilate.

Poop I can handle.
Pee I can handle.
Lying I can handle.
So many things I can handle.
But this?


Mother's Day 2012

Where do you go on Mother's Day when you want to have fun with the family and not fight big crowds?

Space Center Houston!

We rode the trams and went on the tours.
Who knew the rockets were so huge? Even this picture doesn't do them justice.
Earth to Levi, can you hear me???
There is a really awful joke here, but I am resisting, resisting, resisting.......
We ate lunch.
We watched shows and demonstrations and learned so much.
The weather was awesome that day.
I got to hold my honey's hand and sneak a few kisses.
Mission Control where all space missions are now run from. There is another room in this same building that controls the International Space Station.
Seth worked really hard all day to NOT have fun. Ahren was trying to imitate him for the camera.....
but he couldn't keep a straight face. Seth failed at his endeavor and had a good time in spite of himself.
Real rockets. Wow!
This one below is taller than the Statue of Liberty. It is really hard to see the enormity of these in a picture.
You know when the boosters separate from the rocket after the fuel is spent? Well this is what it looks like. On TV it seems so small....LOL!

It was an awesome day, exactly what I was hoping for. No crowds, lots of fun, and good family time.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Bad A$$ Barbie

Kaytee's nickname was Barbie in high school. I think you can see why. But now she has a new nickname...

Meet Bad A$$ Barbie!

I always worry about my girls and their ability to defend themselves and keep themselves safe. To that end, Kaytee and I have taken self-defense classes together, and she has been taking a Body Combat class for over a year. She is long and lean but very strong.

Recently, she was at the pool with a bunch of friends and one of the guys in the group was complaining about this other girl that would not leave him alone. This other girl liked him and would not take No for an answer. He is a good friend of Kaytee's but nothing more. When Kaytee and her two girlfriends got up to leave, the guy stood up, gave her a hug and a peck on the cheek to say goodbye. As the girls walked out of the pool, this other girl came up behind them and punched Kaytee from behind, a true sucker punch.

And then Kaytee did what she has trained to do. Without thinking, she whirled around, lowered her center of gravity and put her weight into one punch aimed at disabling her attacker. She didn't know who it was, but she hit the girl square in the face and then ran away. (Our martial arts master has taught us to disable the attacker and get away, not to fight.) Kaytee ran to her friends apartment crying. She was terrified and terribly upset. She had no idea in the heat of the moment who had attacked her. After a little while, another freind came to tell her that it was this other jealous girl who was the attacker. There were many witnesses at the pool who saw the whole thing.

The next day Kaytee learned that the girl had to get stitches and that she was postin a bunch of garbage about Kaytee. Kaytee ignored it. Then the following Friday night Kaytee was at a graduation celebration and that girl and her friends were there. Kaytee was a little nervous, worried that the girl would attack her again. Instead, a guy came up to Kaytee and begged her not to beat that girl up, please don't start anything. Kaytee laughed out loud because she would NEVER do that! Apparently the girl talked a lot of trash but was actually scared.

Things are fine now. Kaytee earned her new nickname and the other girl has calmed down. Me? I am proud of my daughter for being able to defend herself but also for doing the right thing. Master Foster would be proud of her too!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

My home is full of laughter

Never a dull moment, never a boring day.
We love it.

From Levi:
chicken tastes good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!