Thursday, April 29, 2010


Wow, 2 more posts in one day!  Making up for lost time?  just an update - things are much better here.  2 growups talked like grownups should.  Little people were angels while one of the grownups walked 3 miles:)  And 1 friend/neighbor was a blessing to walk/talk with!  Thank you Lord for your provision and grace. Praying your day is full of small blessings too!

A rocky start

Oh boy.  This morning got off to a rocky start.  Ryan had his worst night last night.  He was up at 12 and was inconsolable.  I finally got a burp our of him and then rocked him and he fell asleep.  Then he was up at 4 - another bottle only half drunk, but at least he fell asleep quickly.  Of course Will woke at 5 - not sure why, but luckily he heeded my warning, and didn't make any more noise:)  Mommy was already growling:)
I have been setting my alarm to go off 15 min. earlier than usual.  Trying to squeeze in some quiet time and get the morning started right.  Unfortunately, not one morning this week has it worked out.  Either the other kids were already awake, or as in this morning b/c I was so tired, I hit snooze.  Chewie decided that he HAD to go out though so I got up and attempted to let him out.  He must have been waiting longer than I thought because by the time I went to put him on the run, he couldn't hold it in and proceeded to pee!  And because he knew I was mad he ran away from me, leaving a trail of pee!!!!  UGH!! I was so NOT a nice person to that poor dog.  I even threw a book in his direction trying to make him stop running away from me.  Um, yeah mel, that would make a poor little dog stop running away from you -a book hurled in his direction!  I finally managed to corner him and literally threw him out the door.  To boot, Jack and Will witnessed the whole thing!  So, after asking the Lord's forgiveness, I asked for the kids' too.  Oh my.  All this on the heels of the ugliness that has settled in the house - please Lord let this be the day this cloud is lifted and Satan is shown the door!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The lion is lurking in the shadows

Satan is working hard in this house. He smells blood.  The blood of fresh wounds. Wounds caused by words and spiteful feelings that we seem to reserve only for those whom we love.  "I always," "You never" "I do everything" - all of those ugly feelings are rearing their nasty, divisive selves.  We all have our crosses on our backs and each of ours is heavier, has more splinters than anyone else's.  Get the picture?  Pray for us.  We need to lay down our selfishness, our individual desires and reach out to one another in love.  We need to boast in our weaknesses so that we can completely rely on Him.,

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Poor baby

Had to post these.  Poor kid has really been knocked down by this cold.  He is cutting teeth and I think, after the vomiting episode last week, his immunity was compromised and so he got this wicked cold.  We went to the Dr. on Fri just to rule out ear infection etc. but got the all-clear.  We've been giving him Benadryl too, but not wanting him to be drugged up all the time, only at night.  The first two pics are just precious - he's got snot crusted all over his face, is red from being attacked by tissues every 5 seconds, and had just gotten up from an almost 4 hour nap!!!!  The 3rd one totally cracks me up though.  I was trying to get a pic of the 2 of us and this is what we ended up with - please note the giant snot bubble coming out his right nostril:) 

I'm still standin'

Good gravy!  Yes we're still here - I thought that after Will's bout with the spring bug we were in the clear, but alas, that was not to be.  Ella-Kathryn came down with it on Sat.  Again we missed church, and a sweet celebration for Jack's dear sunday school teachers, but I got a butt ton of stuff done around the house:)  After being here for going 3+ years, we finally put up some blinds in EK's room!!!  I hemmed and hawed for all this time, just not sure if I wanted curtains etc, but am really digging the ease of darkening the room and the continuity it gives from the outside looking in. 

The kids always have to be part of the project:)
Ella-Kathryn got herself a new fishing pole.  The kids love to go fishing with their daddy, and when in FL, their Poppy.  She had an itty bitty Barbie one that was just too small for such a big girl.  She is thrilled to have this one and can't wait to catch a big one!  I am always so surprised by her - in that second pic she just looks so big! I can still see that baby girl in there, but she is changing so much!
As I continue to deal with allergies, I have forgone the Zyrtec in favor of downing 2 Benadryl at night.  Not the best course, but I can't spend that kind of dough every 14 days (yes even on generic).  The down side is that beyond the normal "I'm a mom of 4 and NEVER get enough sleep because someone always has some kind of issue and/or I can only read uninterrupted at night and find myself reading on towards midnight b/c I just can" issue of having a hard time being a morning person with many cups of coffee, I now have to add an extra cup to couteract the Benadryl hangover.  That my friends was a dang long sentence:)  So, yesterday after 3 cups of cafe, I had done morning chores, and was attemtping to get ready to pick up EK for her dentist appt.  Look people, I have a minimal "beauty" routine.  Concealer and a ton of it because one of the things I inherited from my dear Grandmom Shuster was her dark underye circles, the other being a penchant for stubborn men, however there is not a product that can conceal a willful man:) Anyhoo, I've got to spackle that crap on, then eyeliner, mascara, maybe some eyeshadow and blush.  That's it.  Nothing too challenging right?  Except that yesterday, I looked like either an addict in the throes of withdrawal, or a severely parkinson-ridden person.  My hands were shaking so bad from the coffee that I put the mascara wand squarely in my eye!  I did have my contact lens in, which probably spared my from a future as an asymetrical cyclops, but still. I mean, come on!  I just wanted to NOT look like death warmed over and that's what I get????  I removed the lens washed it off and then proceeded to unspackle that eye, only to have to recoat the concealer.  UGH.  I'm thinking those Amish/Mennonites have it right.  No makeup, comfy jumpers, and buns.  Does anyone have a buggy I can borrow?

Monday, April 19, 2010


In the days after the earthquake in Haiti, I remember listening to NPR (yes I do get my news, sometimes, from the leftist devil itself) and a geologist, or some other such earth-science person, commented that while it would not be physically detected, the math wizards who endeavor to understand such things, believed that the magnitude of the quake had actually altered our axis.  Minutely.  Minisculely.  Yet, there it was.  The earth was now moving ever so differently than it had mere moments before.  I totally got it.  Because I too have had my axis altered.  When death came for my mother, it was as if someone stuck a pin on my timeline.  To the left of the pin, mothered.  To the right of the pin, motherless.  Tilt.  It literally felt like I was walking cockeyed, or that I had entered a Magritte or Dali painting where the individual pieces make sense, but put together seem imcomprehensible.  The Magritte where the smartly suited man has on a bowler hat and his face is a green apple.  I felt as though when I looked in the mirror, yes of course there should be a green apple where my face was, afterall, my mom was gone.  Things that had once been illogical I could now nod my head in agreement with.  Grief is so intensely personal.  It never fully leaves you, rather, seems to linger in an ebb/flow pattern.  Sometimes your far enough up on shore that the waves hardly touch you. Others, you are wading in and the tide threatens to overcome you, the sorrow pulling you out to sea.  The tide of sadness comes in washing up memories, like shells, some whole and beautiful, others cracked or only pieces.  Eventually it turns, and goes back out, taking with it the sharpness and detail of remembrance.    Time softens these memories, removes the clarity of her voice, the image of her face, the touch of her hands.  This brings its own measure of grief, the sense of forgetting. Yet, my life is a testament to hers.  Not only my literal life, which would not be without her own, but the simple fact that there was a measure of time before the pin, and there is now a life beyond it.  Tilt.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The plague

Ok, so apparently I do not have the serious allergies that I thought  I did.  When all was said and done, we definitely had a virus of some sort working it's way throught the house.  Ryan started it, yes we'll blame the baby, but since his vomiting Tues. night, he's just had a couple of not so pretty diapers. No fever or anything else.  I felt horrible Wed. afternoon and on into Thurs, but by Thurs. night was feeling a bit better.  Again, no fever, just bad naseau, but never did throw up etc.  Thought we were out of the woods until Fri. morning Jeff got bit by the devil himself.  Poor man.  It was ugly here. So I did what any good wife would do. Made sure he was comfortable, as comfortable as one can be in between bouts of violent vomiting, and the I took Will and Ryan and hightailed it out to meet up with H and her kiddos!  Jeff did run fever later that day and really wasn't himself until this afternoon.  I don't think he should go to work, but since he was out Tues b/c of his back and says he feels better, he's going in.  The good news is that the chiropractor is helping his back but I don't think being hunched over hugging the porcelain god did much in the way of assisting his recovery:)
Will's dentist appt went better than expected?  I put a question mark there b/c I think my expectations were pretty low!  Ha!  We had to wait forever just to get into the "exam."  Then he wouldn't lie down for the hygenist.  He did let her brush and floss his teeth, but no water squirter nor sucky wand was to come near him!  It was all good though and they are so understanding of it all.  Because we had to wait a bit for the dentist to come in, we left the examination area and went to another waiting room for a bit. There, Jeff bribed Will with the promise of a cheeseburger for lunch if he would lay down.  It worked!  He still didn't like it very much but he did it:)  So we headed to steak n' shake for lunch! 
We had 2 birthday parties today.  One was just for EK and the other was for our sweet neighbor friend. I am trying to scan pics in from our Easter visit, but right now I've got a fussy baby to put to bed.  Sweet dreams all!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

out of commission

There is a thick yellow film coating everything.  Cars, driveways, deck railings, swings, you name it, it's covered.  And even though we have our windows closed and the a/c is on (which I hate btw since I love fresh air and hate waising $ on running the a/c) because I think this might be the allergy season that does me in.  I feel horrible.  Yesterday I hosted our monthly ladies morning with 2 dear friends from a bible study and their kiddos.  I was fine until we ended up outside to keep an eye on the little ones.  Side note:  kids love to be outside, but whenever you want them to stay outside, they keep coming back in!  So, we were outside with them and then I had the doors open to the house b/c one of my friends keeps a baby who was sleeping inside.  The end result was I inhaled and touched enough pollen to put me out of commission.  My head filled, but sinuses started to throb and by evening I had an upset stomach.  EK, Ryan and I ran errands after school and the whole time I thought I was going to hurl/need to curl up in the fetal position and just go to sleep right there in the store.  I hate this.  I despise feeling ill.  No workout yesterday and as of right now I can't even imagine doing jumping jacks nor sit-ups.  UGH!!!  
Ryan threw up 2 nights ago, but had been fine ever since, so I don't think it's related, but really, who knows.  Jeff's back is out, but the chiropractor is working on him and he feels better each day. Of course, spending all afternoon working in the garage yesterday I'm sure will speed up his recovery.  Right. Stubborn man. I know that's the pot calling the kettle black - have no idea where our precious children get that trait...
Will has his first dentist appt. today. Pray for us.  He's not quite so laid back as Jack and EK. I have an ominous feeling that there will be tears, yelling, and future therapy sessions which reveal that today was the defining moment for Will at which point he lost all trust in his parents. 
Ok, so another wave of naseau just past.  I'm going to change the truck otherwise known as Ryan, and attempt to get dressed.  Hope you all have a great day devoid of pollen, naseau, headaches and wrenched backs:)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

First meeting with Gran and Ryan!  He took to her so well - I was worried because he's just recently started to cry when he realizes someone other than me is holding him:)  This picture is funny though, his expression is like, yeah ok, I'm not thrilled but I'll sit here. Aunt LaLa was adored by all, but I only took this one picture with the digital!  When I get the hard copies in, I'll scan them in too.
We had a great visit with them, too short, but wonderful.  The weather held out for us, so we were able to take some walks and spend time outside.  The kids went to a movie and bowled, but mainly we just hung out, spending time with our sweet family.  We miss them terrible already!  Counting down the months til our beach rendezvous!
Ella-Kathryn has been talking about a loose tooth for months now, but I really didn't believe that it was ready to come out. Then this morning I looked over at her and her teeth looked funny. I asked her to show me her mouth and sure enough, the lower left tooth was super loose.  We went on to church and then after headed to the fancy new Neighborhood Wal-Mart over by the super fancy houses at Pinnacle Hills.  The dang thing looks like some Italian villa - wish I were kidding. They have a little cafĂ© area, so we grabbed a couple of muffins - i was trying to tide them over til we could get home for lunch. Anyway, we're sitting there and again I look at Ella-Kathryn and notice her mouth looks funny.  I ask her to show me her teeth, and this time the tooth was gone!  She had swallowed it while eating her muffin!!!!   Poor girl. She was a bit shocked, but not upset, thank goodness.  I asked her if she had noticed anything weird or different when she was eating and she told me, "I thought I was eating something hard, but that it was part of my muffin!"  Good grief:)  Jack was worried the Tooth Fairy wouldn't come, so he said he'd give her 25 cents.  Sweet boy.  Not to be outdone, Will said to Jack, "yeah, me too, give her some cents for me"  Our Tom Sawyer in the making - why give up your own money, when you can get someone else to give up theirs?  Here's the new EK.

As I was tucking her in tonight, she said, "look at me, don't I look cute?"  Yes my sweet girl, you do!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

no pics, just an update

Our fave Aunt LaLa and Gran are in town!  They arrived Sat and are here through Fri am, then back on to NJ.  We are so happy that they decided to spend their spring break with us.  So far, we've had a sleep over, gone to church, played at the park - I'm sure there's much more to come!
Easter was great - beautiful weather, great lunch with the in-laws. Poor Jeff had only slept an hour and a half on Sat evening, worked all night, worked the church in the am and then stayed up to have lunch with us.  What a trouper:)
Confession:  I have lapsed, majorily, in my 90 day reading plan.  It started with a night when I didn't feel great and went to bed early.  From there it kind of snowballed, and now I find myself about 10 days behind.  I am not stressing it, just bummed that it was going so well, and then, speedbump!  I'm back on track now and hope to be finished next month.  I'll keep you posted.
Celebration - I'm 5 lbs down:)  I worked out 6 days last week and hope to keep that schedule.  It works for me to do it 6 days and while it's certainly not easy with the kids, so far I've been able to do it.  I imagine someone looking in my window - sweaty, red-faced mom trying her best to keep up, sometimes cussing at the lady on the tv telling her to "keep going, if you want results you have to push", the mom shushing the baby in the exersaucer because he's already been in there for 15 min and his little butt hurts, yelling to the other room at the 2 year old to just wait a few more minutes that a poopy diaper never hurt anyone, every 5 minutes having to yell at one or both dogs to hush up/stop fighting/get out of my way:)  Oh well.  It's my crazy life and I love it!
Hope you had a blessed Easter and a great start to your week.