Friday, March 30, 2007

Flooded Friday

Last Friday was a crazy day. It has taken three days of distance from it to even want to try to post this here.

It started out so typical ..
Rhett had a "Daddy day" at school and was so excited to be back after missing most of the week with Strep throat. Kolby had Girls Scouts and a lock-in at a friends church. Ella Kate had a little fever and was still teething. I had a newsletter deadline and a list of errands to run from being stuck at home with sick kids or sick me all week. Rob had a morning meeting, a half day of work and a dodge ball tournament at Baylor that night. Oh and the cable guy was coming to upgrade our service some time between 8 am and 12. Typical. Busy. Friday. Oh and it was raining. And grey. And almost chilly.

If I want to finish this post this week I will have to abbreviate the rest of the days events.
Kolby and Rob get off with much Drama. What is it with girls and their hair?
Get Rhett up.
Clothes issues.
Phone rings. Rob's car has died. Won't start. Won't go.
Are you out of gas? (Broken gauge,can't ever tell.,waiting on part.)
No. Just filled up. Come get me. Five miles away.
Get baby up, get Rhett ready to go with Papa.
Pull clothes on .
Rhett leaves. I'm getting baby to go....
Phone rings.
Rob is on way home with cousin Robby who happened to pull up behind him.
Feed baby. Spits up entire bottle. Fussy, FEVERISH and sleepy.
Rob home.
Call garage (that we are all too familiar with) to tow car.
Can Rob make 9AM meeting?
Too late.
Call office.
Cable guy is here.
Practically takes Entertainment center apart.
Glad Rob is here to help him.
Scrap plans to run errands.
Raining + Rob takes van to Daddy Day.
Work on newsletter. Computer freezes. Puts Xs on all graphics! UUUGGGHHH!
EK very cranky, has some fever. Eats.
Spits most up.
Sits in my lap and falls asleep.
Rob and Rhett home.
Garage calls. Paid to have car towed. It's just out of gas.
OUT OF GAS!!!!!!!!!!!
Someone syphoned our tank???
EK up. More tylenol. Still fever.
Drop Rob and Rhett to get car and race to get Kolby at school.
Pick up line takes 30 minutes.
I think EK is asleep again because no noise. ( I can't see her)
Kolby gets in. Is EK asleep?
NO. Eyes glazed and very lethargic.
Get home. Rob and Rhett there.
New cable remote broken.
Take babies temperature.
104. Rectally.
Can't be right.
Shake shake shake.
4:10 PM on a Friday and a baby with 104.1!!!
Call doctor.
We're coming in.
20 minutes till closing.
Send big kids to across street to my parents.
Rob and I hop in van with baby.
I drive...I'm faster.
On cell phone with Mom on why kids are at her house.
Can you take Kolby to Girls Scouts by 4:30?
Three miles from home.
Tornado sirens go off.
Call Mom.
No Girls Scouts.
Kolby crying.
They are going to the closet with radio and flash lights.
Me driving on. People driving crazy in rain and sirens.
Doctor calls cell phone. Says tornado on ground ...Where are we?
Five minutes out.
Drive faster.
Pull into doctor's.
Run in .
All nurses watching TV.
Weather showing tornado on a path to our house.
Doc waiting for us. Takes us right back.
Does rapid strep test, but throat looks good.
Ears clear.
Nose clear.
Nothing looks abnormal.
Fever high.
Eyes red.
Baby screaming.
Looks pathetic.
Negative strep.
Fever virus, with touch of stomach bug.
All this for a virus!!!
We stay at doctors and wait for things to clear up at home so we don't drive into a tornado.
20 minutes later.
All is clear at home. Tornado blows over with out touching down near our house.
Mom mentions flooding but, we head out. Rob drives.
High water. Turn around to find different route.
Raining very hard. Water rising.
What is that smell?
Van completely over heated. Stalls.
Won't budge.
Where are we?
Not a good place to get stuck.
Water rising.
Car starts, reverses 100 feet away from water .
Car dies.
Cools off. Starts. Goes 100 feet. No power steering. Battery dieing. Car dies.
Repeat this process numerous times for the thirty minutes it takes to track six blocks back to doctors office parking lot.
Why? Because I feel it is safer than the surrounding neighborhood.
Rob turning red.
Rain stops.
Now what?
Belt about four feet long hanging down from van engine and visible to passers by ...
who stop to tell us...
We know.
Call for the second tow truck of the day.
Sick baby.
Husband frustrated beyond words.
Streets flooded all around.
Wait. wait. wait.
Call Robby to come get us in truck.
Again, second time today.
Rob can't even talk.
How much will this cost?
Pray. pray. pray.
Man walks out of doctors office.
Worked on car for 35 years.
Care if he takes a look?
Takes a certain tool to reattach belt.
Tries tire iron, steel pipe and everything else we can find.
Robby arrives.
Man decided to try bare hands, even though that has never worked. In 35 years.
Because it takes a special belt-attaching tool.
It works.
Belt in place.
Van starts like nothing ever happened.
But miracles do happen.
Our God sent mechanic will not take anything but
baby wipes to clean his hands and arms
and our deep and unending gratitude.
Call off tow truck.
Almost 6:45 PM.
If they hurry
Rob and Robby
Can still make dodge ball tournament at Baylor.
Rob had clothes in Van.
Kolby calls that she is going to be late for lock in.
The world does not appreciate our miracle and trauma.
Dazed, I do.
I drive home as Rob leaves with Robby
To take out his aggressions on unsuspecting college kids.
Rob will throw extra hard tonight. Good release.
I get Kolby from Mom's & leave Ella Kate.
Rush home to pack bag and get all her stuff together.
We are twenty minutes late.
Pull out of drive.
Cell phone rings. Lock-in canceled due to weather.
Kolby heart broken. BUT can she spend the night with friend?
Kolby to friend. Go get baby.
Rhett is spending the night with my parents.
Walk home past flood debree laying in the street.
EK's fever breaks.
Sweet baby falls asleep on my shoulder.
I am alone.
At home.
SG prays and has a good happy cry.
Angels watching over us today.
So many bullets missed.
So many tragedies avoided.
My heart feels flooded.
Lost in thought when Rob calls.
They won. Second year in a row.
On his way home.
Another day is done.
God is so good.

Here is a picture of a street a mile away from our house. It wasn't that bad here, but we can see where the water came up in the yard.

This picture was taken five blocks away from where our van first stalled at about that same time

Happy that this will be Good Friday! We will stay home from school/ work, dye eggs. make cookies, take pictures in the blue bonnets and be grateful. Happy Monday Everyone!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Did she say bye bye?

Last night I think Ella Kate may have uttered her first word, sorta. Rob and I both think she said bye bye. Eight months is a bit young for that, but she has been very verbal since birth. (Don't know where she gets that!) Rhett was off to bed for the fourth time and we were telling EK to wave bye bye. And she did, in the way that only she can then she said it. "Bahi, Bahi" with that little sing-say infliction that perfectly mimicked us.
"Did she just say bye bye?" I asked Rob.
As if she thought I was asking her, she said it again and with the biggest grin on her face waved her chunky little arm madly!
"I think she said it twice." WOW!

Ella Kate has had a great week of independence crawling all over the house. Her favorite break a away place to go is Rhett's room. She will work up a sweat huffing it down the hall as fast as her little hands and knees can scoot . Rhett and Kolby are amazed by her and keep exclaiming "Mom the baby crawled into the ..." We are all having to watch her closely though as she is a little hoover picking up the smallest particle in her path. I have had quite a few chuckles watching EK excitedly race to "beat" me around a corner, then looking back to make sure I am coming, squealing when she sees me, and taking off as fast as she can. She is so proud of herself. What a little mess!Is there anything cuter than the site of a diapered baby bottom scoot down the hall? I had forgotten how sweet a sound a swooshing diaper makes as the little bottom wearing it races on. I'm in love with this baby. Can you tell? :)

Speaking of diapered bottoms... EK had her first bad diaper rash yesterday. It came on quite suddenly. I thought I had unwrapped a package of hamburger meat when I changed her. It was awful! Dr K once told me with Rhett to use a hair dryer (on the lowest, or coolest setting) to dry out diaper rash in between changes. So I put EK on a towel on the floor of our bathroom, and attempted to do what the doc had prescribed.

All was going well when I got a bit distracted and looked away for a minute. Suddenly I realized Ella Kate was spitting like she had something in her mouth. When I turned to see what it was, I realized the hairdryer was blowing some liquid in her face. Looking down I saw a little fountain gurgling up from between her folds and then being blown and splattered from her belly button to her nose! YUCK!!!! She had to have a bath instantly, which only made the diaper rash more damp. I opted for a towel this time! I got so tickled by it all and then she would laugh mimicking me, which made me laugh harder. But all is well that ends well. After using some miracle cream given to us by nurses at my grandmothers nursing home, I am happy to report that EK is all clear again! Gotta love Happy Hiney! (Seriously, that is what they call it!)

Have I over shared? Perhaps. Is getting pee blown in your babies face at all funny? I think I am now "one of those parents" who think that every little thing their baby does is the cutest thing ever. And I love every minute of it! Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

"Mom" my life

Check out this you tube video spoof called "Mom my Ride"
My van looks a lot like that without any help.

Lately I feel everything about me has been MOMed. I have a Mom car, Mom habits and hobbies, lots of Mom friends and even Mom jeans. I walk, talk , look, sound (and perhaps even smell) like a Mom. Not a bad thing. Just sometimes I feel much more mom-ish than others. Lately, I feel the mom-ness flowing through my veins and imagine it oozing out my pores, alerting anyone within ten miles that I AM A MOM!

Today I'm feeling particularly mom-ish because Rhett and Kolby are home with strep throat. Kolby started running fever in the night Sunday and I took her in yesterday afternoon. Rhett said his throat hurt so I took him in this morning. Our pediatrician has been gone for awhile and it's been a few months since we've seen her. I was really starting to miss her. But after two appointments in 18 hours, I feel we're all caught up! :)

This is Rhett's fifth case of strep in one year so we have earned an ENT referral to talk about yanking those tonsils. However, Kolby had her tonsils out at four, and she still has strep throat about once a year. But I guess once is better than five times... I had the doctor check Ella Kate's throat while we were there. Luckily her baby throat looks pink and healthy. I'm hoping it stays that way!

Rob took Rhett to the dentist yesterday while I took Kolby to the doctor. Three cavities, one needing a crown. THREE CAVITIES! I was really upset. How can he get three cavities in just 6 short months? We brush, we floss, we don't eat sugary things or drink sugary things with out brushing afterwards. We take the kids in EVERY six months for cleaning. We have had all of Rhett's sealable teeth sealed. He has cavities just below the sealants. Frustrating. So frustrating. Not to mention costly. Very. Costly. Yesterday was one of those frustrating days when I wonder how I'm doing as a Mom with my kids getting strep throat and cavities so often.

Then I came home and read an e-mail from a fellow Mom. This Mom has a little girl a month younger than Kolby and a little boy a month younger than Rhett. She is 32. She works at Kolby's school. I had e-mailed her earlier in the day to offer to help with her kids in the next few weeks. This Mom found out a week or so ago that she has cancer. It was out of the blue. No prior health concerns. No family history. Nothing. Then boom. Cancer. It is a rather fast growing kind, from what I have heard. She will undergo 6 weeks of chemo and radiation before having surgery, and surgery in this area is never without great discomfort. She has a long road ahead of her and she knows it. But she is very optimistic and is asking for prayers for healing and for her family. I have a feeling she has never ceased in praying since the moment she found out. I imagine she is more worried about how this could impact her kids than she is about herself. She is that kind of mom.

After reading her e-mail, strep throat and cavities just don't seem like much to deal with. All that is "mom-like" within me hurts for her and her family and pleads for her healing. Complete healing.

Being a mom is the greatest privilege. I want to be around to be a mom until my kids are old and grey. I'm very happy to be their mom.

So Lord, if you're reading, please heal my friend. And thank you so much for the blessings you give me when you "Mom" my life!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Crawler

Ella Kate started crawling about 24 hours ago. In that time she has taught me (or at least reminded me of) a few things...

1. The only thing harder on carpet than a baby who spits-up a lot, is a baby who crawls and spits-up a lot.
2. There is a big difference in being "kid proof" and "baby proof." "Baby proof" is much more extensive.
3. I need to vaccum more.
4. An open door is an invitation to trouble.
5. There is no point in trying to fold clothes in the living room floor anymore.
6. No matter how disgusting, shoes look like teething toys to a baby.
7. The magazine basket has to find a new home.
8. All trash cans should have lids.
9. Ant traps can not be left under the corner of the kitchen cabinets anymore.
10. The Exersaucer is a very good thing!

I tried for an hour to get a good video of our newly mobile baby, but this was as good as it got! It's about 3 minutes long but she does eventually crawl, as well as show off her baby crunches.

Here is another video attempt that is a bit shorter.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Computer Quandry

We need a new computer. Ours is almost eight years old, a dinosaur by computer standards, but we have made it work. In addition to being promoted at work and taking on a more managerial position, Rob is in graduate school and needs a computer for research, for papers and to run Excel. I am on the computer a lot. Besides blogging, I store and edit all our families photographs, print a newsletter for the PTA, and hope to do more with wed site design in the future. I have lots of files in ms word that I want to transfer. The kids are getting to the gaming stage so I would like the new computer to be better able to do some of that. SO...What brand, model do you guys suggest? Anyone just Love or really not love their computer? Any one with service issues? I want to hear from you!

Monday, March 19, 2007

To crawl or not to crawl

To Crawl Or Not To Crawl...
By Ellla Kate

OK. Since you keep cheering for me to crawl and you have the camera out, I'll give it a shot.

Hands down. elbows straight...

Knees bent, rear up...

Just kidding! I really don't want to crawl today.

This morning started like every mornig for the past week or so, Ella Kate hinting that she might crawl and then promptly deciding that she prefers to roll. Yesterday in the nursery at church she crawled about six inches and then went to rolling again. She did the same thing for my Dad yesterday afternoon. So in a matter of days, or maybe even hours, and my baby girl will be mobile!
I've got to run go childproof the house and vaccum!
Hope you are having a great Monday!

PS I have a little miracle to share this Monday morning!
THIS baby came home last week and I actually got to see him in person yesterday at church! If you have followed any of his story, you know what a miracle that is! God has truly blessed baby David and blessed me by getting to watch his journey home via this web site! I just love stories like this! Happy Monday!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

With Three Kids

(revised with pictures 3/16)
The kids, my mom and I are currently in Dallas with my sister. She is working and we are playing. Last night I braved the DART rail with Mom, three kids, and a stroller to dart on down to the Dallas Auto show.The kids and Mom wanted to see Sari at work. So we did. (Out of duty to my former profession, I must clarify that I never, ever suggest taking a child to an Auto Show unless the tickets are free and you plan to leave less than an hour after arriving, as was our case last night.)

It was an adventure. I think DART is great, but probably better during the day. Rhett and Kolby saw things they have never seen before and had to learn not to stare! But we did it, and lived to tell! :)

This morning we ate breakfast in the Plaza of the Americas and went Ice Skating. Next we plan to go to the Aquarium and then maybe swing by a mall before heading home. This is our one big spring break outing. Truthfully, I find that going anywhere with three kids is bit of a challenge. Just packing for one night away took as long as it would take me to pack for just me for three weeks.

When I was a teen we used to make joke by adding "in bed" to the end of songs or sentences. Now it seems the joke is on me as life has added "with three kids" to all my endings. AND just like "in bed", those three little words change everything. For example:
I went to the grocery store with three kids.
We stayed in a four star hotel with three kids.
I got my haricut with three kids.
We ate at a great little Chinese place with three kids.
You get the picture. AND I AM NOT COMPLAINING! Being here in the hotel and going to the show makes me very aware how much my life has changed since my own auto show days. Changed for the better, changed in the exact way I wanted it to, but changed none the less. I guess I'm still adjusting to life with three kids. I think my Mom and sister are gaining a new respect for me. :)

The kids are doing pretty well and having a great time. Ella Kate is a good hotel baby! Rhett and Kolby are so enamored with this hotel. From the ice machine to the little shampoos, they are in awe of it all. I love how each detail thrills them. I hope they always love hotels as much as they do now.

The kids were blown away by the view of downtown Dallas from our room last night. (Actually I was to!) We are high enough to make cars look small and have a great veiw of the skyline.

Even though this is a short trip, it has been packed with fun. In a few more hours we will head back home. I cherish times when we can get away and live outside our normal routine. lt is so fun with three kids!
Hope you are having a great Spring Break!

In the "rainbow light" made by one of the giant prisms in the Plaza of the Americas. They are my pot of gold!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Spring Break & A Good Day

This is our first day of Spring Break and the kids and I are being SOOOO lazy!

It was a good idea to have Spring Break the week after the time change. I don't know if it was on purpose, but it sure is going to make the day light savings time transition easier on us! Not sure what all we will do this week, but does it really matter as long as we get to sleep late?! :)

Thank you for all the support after my very bad day last Friday. Sometimes we just have those days. It is nice to have people there to pray for us and remind us that a bad day is just that, a bad day. If you didn't read the comments over the weekend let me assure you I was feeling much better by Saturday. In fact Saturday was a good day, a very good day.

About two years ago I shared with blog world that we had recently learned that Kolby had a reading disorder, probably dyslexia. Since then she has spent 9 weeks of the last two summers in a morning reading camp at Baylor. I have also pulled Kolby out of school twice a week for two hours of tutoring and language therapy at Baylor for the last year and a half. She ended tutoring at Baylor this past semester because I felt she needed to just have a normal school week in light of the TAKS and TAKS preparations taking place in school. And really we just needed a break.

Well, Kolby took the thirds grade reading TAKS a few weeks ago with out any dyslexia accommodations. I strongly felt she needed to just take the regular TAKS like everyone else, which was sort of a gamble. In Texas you must pass this test to go on to fourth grade. It is all reading... basic understanding, applying knowledge of literary elements, analyzing strategies and critical thinking. I was nervous for her, but felt she would at least pass. At least that is what we were praying for! The test came and went and Kolby felt good about it.

Just last week Kolby found out at school that she did indeed pass. Based on the very limited information her teacher was given, we thought Kolby did pretty well on the test. We were so proud and happy. Then Saturday we got a letter in the mail that told us exactly what Kolby's score was.

I in no way want to brag, but Kolby did extremely well. So well in fact that tears streaked down my cheeks as I read the report. Two years ago I never thought I would read a report like that. Never! I felt like one of those parents in the Sylvan commercials and half expected to hear the Sylvan music play as I shouted for Rob and Kolby to come see the great news! WOW! What a blessing! My little girl really is going to be OK!!!

Kolby will always have to work hard, maybe harder than most, but she can achieve great things. This test score brought that home in a way that nothing else has. Can I ever say thank you enough to God for sending us to Baylor? And for giving Kolby incredible teachers and tutors both at Baylor and in school? Can I ever thank those teachers enough? How do I even begin to tell them what their influence has meant to Kolby and to us? And how much it will mean for years to come? There are no words.
So you could say Saturday was a good day, a very good day!

And that is the wonderful crazy thing about this life. One day can be so bad that you can't breath for the weight of your heart being crushed, and the next day can be so good that your heart and spirit soar to heights words can not capture! Usually my life is more even keeled, not so low and so high so suddenly. But I feel God was speaking to me in the valley and on the summit. I am grateful now for both. God is like that you know, present and good during the good and bad. I feel very blessed. And, I know if I could ask each of you, you would say the same. What an Awesome God we serve!

Happy Spring Break!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Even on a bad day

Today was a hard day.
Something I had
looked forward to,
thought about,
and hoped for
fell through.
It was very
I was hurt.
My friend was
also hurt.
It was not fair.
I feel betrayed
and very
under appreciated.
Just yesterday
I felt
about this thing.
I am down
and discouraged
about this thing
that will not be.
I don't
what I did
or didn't do
to deserve
to have this thing
fall through.
These feelings
don't come often.
It was a
very hard day.
Then I came home
to this....

And somehow
my hard, bad day
just doesn't seem
so important.
That thing
that I was
so worked up about..
Who needs it!!!
Truth be told,
I am better off.
My friend is better off.
My family is better off.
God has other plans for me.
And I have this great life,
with good friends
who encourage me,
a great husband
who loves me,
sweet kids
who bless me,
and a precious baby girl
whose laughter
melts my heart!
Even on bad days.
I am so blessed.
God continues to bless me.
He loves me.
He comforts me.
He gives me strength.
Even on bad days.
He is there.
How can I let
this thing,
get me down?
That thing...
It doesn't hold a candle
to what truly matters.
Thank you God
for reminding me of that!

This video is guaranteed to make you smile.
Even on a bad day.

Monday, March 05, 2007

A little housecleaning...

Been needing to add some updates to the blog for my family. Pardon the dust as I wrap up some things!

Here is video from Rhett's school program last week...

Here is a video from the party that cracks me up...

In addition to Kolby's slumber party, Rhett's team, Blue Force, had their first game Saturday AM.

I was blurry eyed and 20 minutes late, but I made it! It was really fun. Rhett and Justin each scored 4 goals and had a blast! Go Blue Force!

On Sunday, Rob, Rhett & Kolby worked what I think is the last cookie booth for us this year. I'm not sure exactly how many boxes of cookies we have sold, but I think it is close to 600! That's a whole lot of cookies! :)

And lastly, EKG is 8 months old today. EIGHT MONTHS!!!! I can't believe it, let alone talk about it! She is such a happy sweet baby who is growing so fast! Long days, Short years!

Now I'm off to do some real house cleaning! This week is quite busy so I might not check in for a while. Happy Monday blog family!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Pictures of Success

A good time was had by all. It was very, very loud most of the time but other than the shrill volume, the girls were great. We didn't get much sleep but we had a lot of fun.

Rob showed the girls how to make balloon animals. They made some very interesting species!

The pictures below are from our glow in the dark dance session that was followed by glow in the dark hide and go seek.

We also had three crafts and played musical pillows and cell phone. It was a great group of girls! We had a blast!

Will write more later as I am off to bed!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Something "wicked" this way comes

Tonight is the slumber party. Kolby is so excited. The house is almost clean and decorated appropriately. The pizza, cake, movies, crafts and games are all lined up. (Thanks to all of you for the great ideas! ) Just 1000 or so things to do before the girls arrive tonight! Last night we hung the disco ball in the living room (worth every cent of the $20 dollars I paid for it 5 years ago) and started streamers in the kitchen. Even Ella Kate seemed to be excited.

Just before bedtime I overheard Kolby telling her brother about the party. She was telling him about the crafts (Rhett does NOT dig crafts) the games, karaoke and all the food. (which he does dig) Sweet Rhett said he hoped Kolby would save him a piece of cake since he has other sleep-over plans. As Kolby walked off, Rhett flashed her a thumbs up and with a I'm-too-cool-for-school grin said "Have a wicked party K-dog."They both burst out laughing. I had to bite my tongue not to laugh and blow my I'm-not-listening-I'm-just-in-here-hanging-clothes cover. That Rhett is a hoot!

So think of me and my "wicked" self hanging out with 10 nine years olds tonight! Yes 10. Who ever heard of having 100% invitee attendance? But "K-dog" invited some very sweet girls and there isn't a trouble maker in the bunch. Just giggly, cool, sweet sugar fed girls. I don't think any of them will raise a ruckus... I however really have the urge to go wrap a house! Do you think the neighbors would mind? :)

I am excited! It's a joy to watch these girls interact. These are fun, special times. My little girl's first slumber party! AND while I'm taking care of those 1000 things to do today as a treat to me, (and so I don't embarrass my daughter) I'm going to get myself a spiffy new pair of PJs ! It's all good...or is it wicked? :)

Happy Friday!