Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Thank You Auntie Janet!!!

There's just nothing better than getting a Valentine's Day box after all the hoopla has died down and all the candy is gone. Auntie Janet's box got here yesterday but I made the kids wait until EVERYBODY got home from school to open it. Grayson only asked "What time is it?" every twenty minutes! There were Star Wars toys, candy, craft supplies, and designer tools for the budding clothing artiste! Perfect! Thank you Auntie Janet!!!

The Battle Royale.....

This is what it is like to have a boy....well... two boys actually. The sword and cloak fetish continues. The girls have now been assigned to be the "medics" when someone is injured and needs to be taken to the "hospital." So far, the only near casualties have been the bear and Monte. Stay tuned.....

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A contrast of our two girls.....

Emma used to be girly. I know she did. I think I can even remember some of that phase. Evidently, that is all it was. If I had to use a word to describe her now - hmm... there are several... but BOHEMIAN sort of covers it. Brave and adventurous would not be the first two to come to mind. However, she has embraced her latest hobby with fervor. We couldn't be more surprised... or proud. When she first mentioned rock climbing, we weren't sure where to steer her. Thankfully, someone suggested the rock walls at our local YMCA and Dick's sporting goods store. It is her - it really is.

Then there is Claire. I don't think this "princess thing" is going away anytime soon. The highlight of her week included a princess party at Chuck E Cheese with her school friends. They were all too cute. Riding the merry go round there was about Claire's speed.

Right now, they are about as polar opposites as you can get. Thank goodness. We don't know if we could take two of either of them!!!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Volunteering and Feeding Each Other

So, today, I was feeling a little bit run down as I had volunteered in the morning at church and in the afternoon at Emma's school. The kids were with me at church and a great friend kept them while I did my thing in first grade. I had a great time and I dearly love both endeavors. Still, I was feeling a bit, well, utilized.

Then, this was the first email I checked when I got home. Isn't it a blessing to be ABLE to feed other people. After all, sooooo many people have fed me.

A holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said.

"Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like."

The Lord led the holy man to two doors.

He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in. In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew, which smelled delicious and made the holy man's mouth water . The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful.

But because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths.

The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering.

The Lord said, "You have seen Hell."

They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one. There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man's mouth water. The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking. The holy man said, "I don't understand."

"It is simple," said the Lord.

"It requires but one skill. You see they have learned to feed each other, while the greedy think only of themselves

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

American Idol fever has struck!

We are, as a family, infected with AI fever!!!

It all started two seasons ago when Emma and Grayson could stay up late enough to watch a few minutes of the show (note - in Illinois, the show starts at a normal 7:00. Not so here in Hoosier-land where nothing is on prior to 8:00. Because 8:00 is BEDTIME at my house (I am a total bedtime routine sleep nazi), it is a special treat for them to stay up until 8:30 or 8:45 to catch a little bit of the show. All five of us pile in our bed with jammies on. Everyone votes on the singer - thumbs up or down. It has turned into a real tradition. Because it is up late two nights in a row, they aren't allowed to watch the results show. They only want to see the performances anyway.

As we get further along in the season - I'll let them pick and post their favorites. So far, Emma's picks are based on wardrobe (only) and Grayson's picks are based on looks. Claire loves everybody. Am I the only one who cares about talent????

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Claire is a trooper!

Emma has been a fan of the headband as a fashion accessory for a while. Unlike myself, who always found them somewhat painful to the back of the ear area. Claire, being the girly-girl that she is, borrowed one of Emma's today. She actually had to grab it away from Wrigley (who left it one the floor???). That is why he is looking a bit perturbed and standing sooo close to Claire.

Emma and Grayson both had school today. Claire and I started our marathon day with a 10:00 peds appt to recheck the ears. Still fluid in them. That's OK as I am more convinced that, with this evidence, the ENT we are meeting at 2:00 will schedule her for tubes. In other words, he will see things my way.

I was a bit concerned when I asked our pediatrician (who is now at least Dr. Galbreath status in our eyes) what the ENT was like. He said, "He was in my med school class." Hmmm. Note: He did not start off gushing about his bedside manner. "He's very competent."

My reply - "Spill it."

He did. Turns out the guy is just a bit "abrupt." I can take that. After all - Claire IS getting tubes. I just have to make this guy think it is his idea. Not much different than home....

Met the ENT. A little abrupt but great with Claire. I think the terminology I used and the information I had unnerved him a little. That made me smile - and sad. Don't all parents walk into an appt. having thoroughly researched the subject matter? Maybe not.

Verdict - tubes on March 12. My 37th birthday. Yeah!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Science Fair, Claire updates, and NIU

Emma entered the science fair this year for the first time and I don't know who learned more - her or I. Her topic was her own idea and every time I say it, it makes me giggle - "Which of my favorite foods float?" She loves her "outstanding ribbon" because it is red and she got it on Valentine's Day. That's really all she cares about. I hope it stays that way.

By the way, Claire is recognizable again. Her swelling has gone down and with the help of Benadryl and frequent bathing in Aveeno, she hasn't itched too much. She has taken one (double) dose of the Z-pack the doc prescribed her and has fared pretty well. She has an ENT appt. next week. I am hoping the doc sees things my way =).

Throughout this pretty brief ordeal, Monte and I have been struck by just how painful it is to be powerless when your baby is hurting. You know what it feels like to know - with absolute certainty - that you would jump on a landmine for another person (or three). Scary stuff.

Speaking of scary stuff, I am a bit beside myself over this latest school shooting. Normally, these things seem to be "in other peoples' backyards" in a distant state. Not so this time. Monte attended grad school there and I was accepted to grad school there. I ended up somewhere else but both of us have been to that campus - many times. Sometimes together. We particulary like the beer nuggets at Sargeant Pepper's. Yen Ching is the best chinese food going. You know - it's a normal, safe, midwestern campus. I am thinking, for maybe the first time, that it really can happen anywhere. Praying for the families out there facing far worse things than allergic reactions and messy rooms....

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Here's hoping your Valentine's Day is everything you are hoping it will be - and better than Claire's....

My heartfelt apologies for not "blogging" more regularly since the Father Daughter Dance - I have gotten a few emails from you just waiting with baited breath to see what has gone on since then....

Update... I went to my annual Illinois Speech and Hearing Convention in Chicago Feb 7-10th with two friends. We make it as annually as we can for two reasons:

1. We have to (in order to stay licensed and all that good stuff).

2. For a few hours between sessions, we make a break for it and drive to Woodfield Mall for lunch at PF Changs or Cheesecake Factory and some serious shopping.

You wouldn't think being gone (with Monte and the kids home) would SERIOUSLY disrupt the schedule but oh. my. goodness. Since my return...

1. Science Fair project (Emma's maiden voyage) due.

2. Valentine's for all three classes due (accompanied by bribing Grayson to do fine motor work by writing addressing AND signing all his valentines).

3. Of course - I FORGOT I volunteerd to co-chair the V-day party for Grayson's class. At the last moment, work scheduled a mandatory inservice at exactly the same time as the party - conveniently located at the other end of town. Daddy to the rescue. He agreed (at great expense to me) to do the party - books, crafts and all. What a good man! Regrettably, no pics to post!

4. Claire has another ear infection that is not clearing up. Doctor upped her meds to Augmentin. BAD allergic reaction today (accompanied by rash and diarrhea) so I have spent my day transferring her from the tub to the potty chair. I have also arranged multiple pediatrician appts, ENT appts, and trips to the pharmacy. I have to be mindful of the time because I am due to volunteer in Emma's class today and finish up seeing my patients I didn't see Wednesday due to the mandatory inservice. Did I mention we have to have heart shaped pizza for dinner ( I have yet to order) and the Science Fair Open House tonight?

Good grief! Seriously, I am hopeful your day and night are romantic, fun, and rash free! Maybe next year...

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Father Daughter Dance

The Girl Scouts host a Father Daughter Dance each year. They do it right - decorations, snacks, party favors, photos, etc. Dressy attire and flowers are customary. I decided to treat Emma and I to a girly day - complete with shopping for a new dress (nothing like waiting until the last minute), a very cute "twisty" hair style that is very trendy, and lunch and a pretzel at the mall.

It was a long day and Emma was a trooper - especially because she had to spend three hours at work with me this morning because it was on the way to the mall. As for the dress, we each had our favorites - one at each end of the spectrum. Because I like my favorite so much better, I even offered (read - bribed) to through in a new Webkin if she chose my dress - completely on her own accord. She thought about it - then declined my offer - telling me, "You can always buy that dress for Claire."

She is her own girl with her own style. She had opinions on her hairdo - which I honored.

Looking at the pictures, I think it came out all right. Monte certainly had a big lump in his throat as they left....

Friday, February 1, 2008

Another Snow Day

The kids had a snow day today - we did get four inches of snow so I guess this one is more warranted than some others we have had. At this rate, Emma will be in school well into June. They had a great mixture of inside and outside activities. For Christmas, Emma got a great fashion design studio from Auntie Janet. It comes with fabric swatches, needles, a mannequin, and all sorts of accessories. She loves it and is getting quite good at assembling creations that are actually very creative. Her tastes and style runs toward "bohemian" and while it is not my style, it sure looks great on her (and Auntie Janet as well - no coincidence there).

When the neighbor came down, Grayson decided to show off by trying to climb a very small tree and the girls made snowpeople.