Monday, September 26, 2011

How long until I really LEARN this one?

My biggest piece of advice I always give expectant and new moms is "trust your instincts", yet here I am almost 6 years into motherhood still unable to fully trust my own.

Yesterday I made a mistake (more than one to be sure, but one major one)- I let Chloe sit on a chair at the kitchen table. She is stubborn and wanted to color with Ava and Phin. They were seated on chairs and so she would have none of the high chair. She wanted to be like them. Instead of dealing with the tantrum, I gave in. Who knows why I do stupid things like that sometimes. Tiredness is an easy excuse, but it isn't a good one. A) I know better than to give in to temper tantrums. B) I know better than to let a one year old sit on a dining room chair.

As you would expect (since I'm blogging about it, anyway), Chloe fell off the chair. She landed on her arm/shoulder and side. I wasn't initially concerned. She's my third kid, we've had falls from higher heights or stairs, she falls frequently when trying to climb on things like her siblings and has never gotten hurt. I picked her up and she calmed down but after a lengthy cry. She seemed fine and then I grabbed her under her arm to switch her to my other hip- she screamed and her arm felt too light. I immediately sat down and began inspecting the arm. I could move it in all directions and it no longer felt light. I thought I had imagined it or something.

For the next few hours, we began to realize something was wrong. She's got a cold and is it a bit whiney. She'd be whining and one of us would go to pick her up and instead of calming as she'd normally do, she'd start screaming again. It became clear something was bothering her though we weren't sure what. Her ribs seemed fine. Arm seemed fine. The most pain was the picking up thing and I found her sensitive when I pushed on her collar bone. I began to suspect a broken clavicle or something else with the shoulder. After a call to the peds, we were on our way to the ER.

Thankfully, the ER was empty. We were seen immediately and I don't know exactly how to describe the doctor. He was sure she was fine. Raised her arm up and down (which I already told him she could do) and had me set her down to make her walk. I kept trying to talk and he was "nicely" kind of condescending. He told me how resilient kids are and how he knew I must be very frightened by a fall but kids really are much heftier than we think, etc. He didn't want to do an xray. I tried to push- he thought I was being paranoid. He send me home with a computer print out on fall precautions. A computer print out meant for older people who fall- use a walker if needed, don't get up quickly, if you are feeling dizzy sit until the dizziness clears, etc.

I left not knowing what to think. My gut was something wrong, but I immediately began questioning myself. We put Chloe to bed. I figured I'd see how she was this morning. I didn't have to wait until morning. She woke within an hour screaming. Both Marc and I felt completely overwhelmed and though it was a bit late, we called our friend Jeff who is a doctor. Because he love us, he came over to check her out. He validated my mother's instinct and said, "you need an xray even if they can't do much to help her, let's find out what's going on."

Because he works for a different health system than our insurance prefers. I went to my ped this morning. Though I felt completely insecure after talking to the nurse to get an appointment, I knew I needed to see a ped Chloe knew and who knew me, so I insisted on being fit into our regular ped's schedule. I felt like a total jerk insisting. I really did and I kept questioning myself. Am I wasting his time? Am I wasting money going again? Is she just grumpy from her cold? Then something would occur, like I went to take a drowsy Chloe from her car seat and where she'd normally just snuggle into me, she would commence the screaming and again I'd know in my gut something wasn't right.

Dr. Howard was not only kind, he was completely reassuring. He gave me a mama pep talk by saying things like, "Kim you know what your doing. Your instincts are good. I think you are right on this one." After assessment, he agreed something was definitely bothering her to a great extreme. We did an xray and it showed a separated shoulder. It is in place and probably got in place when I started moving it after feeling the "lightness" but there is a wider space in the joint then there should be and this, per the doctor, is VERY painful. It's good just to be validated and to know what's wrong. We are to give her motrin round the clock and call if it doesn't seem to help enough. Otherwise, it will be fine and the pain should subside within a few days.

In the end, yes I feel terrible for letting my kid sit on a chair but more than anything I wonder why I questioned myself. Why did I let some cocky doctor make me so unsure of myself? Why do I tell others to trust their gut and find myself questioning my own. You'd think I'd learn....I guess we're always a work in progress and some lessons take longer to sink in than others!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Silly Supper- Take One

Eventually I will get a moment to sit down and find a way to articulate all God has been doing within my heart of late. In a million ways, it seems, he is leading me to take steps to live more intentionally. As a mom, I often see an idea or think of one on my own, but find it is hard to get ideas from my head to our home. I am realizing that I equated creativity with being spontaneous and in reality it doesn't usually work that way. I need to put forth more planning and preparation to implement the ideas floating around in my head. I am taking small steps to actively do that.
Today I began implementing "Silly Supper" day. I love planning birthday parties; it is undoutedly one of my favorite aspects of motherhood. When meditating on this, I realized I can do similar things on a small scale in our every day lives to continue trying to make our home a place of celebration and memory making.

Today was Silly Supper #1- Ratatouille night!

My kids LOVE the movie, so tonight we had a themed dinner followed by a movie viewing.

First, I found an easy way to make the kids chef's hats here. (They are SUPER easy- as in took me less than an hour to make 5). I then printed pictures of Remi to place on the hats. (If you've not seen the movie, Remi the rat hides inside Linguini's (the man) hat. He pulls his hair as if it were marionette strings and thereby "cooks" through Lingiuni.)

We had to have wine and cheese...the "wine" being grape juice, of course, and well, Baby Bell is as gourmet as my kids get with cheese;)

My favorite chefs in the entire world!

Food took me a minute of brain storming. Ratatouille seems an obvious choice but a)I don't think my kids would eat it and b) it isn't the only food prominent in the movie. I decided on soup since that is the first food Remi made for Linguini and started the ball rolling on their cooking partnership. Then I had a light bulb moment of genius that I still giggle over. We would put linguine in our chicken soup instead of egg noodles and called our supper "Soup with Linguine". (Get it Linguine as in the noodle, but a nod to the way Remi and the man named Linguine made soup together....ah, I love it!)

This is me and Ava declaring, "Linguine" in a french accent!

Because I wanted the kids to help, but didn't trust them with sharp knives, we used the food processor.

My husband usually has no trouble cutting onions, but how hilarious is THIS! Apparently contacts are normally a kind of barrier. (His chef hat was a little small so this is his ridiculous way to keep it on.) He's lucky women aren't turned on by sight- ha ha!

Me and my chefs, adding water to our pot, cup by cup, alternating turns.

The "wine" was a big hit. No surprise-they love to do cheers and they love grape juice. Phin was adorable and so amazed that we were letting him drink from a glass cup....and my precious boy was very careful. NO ACCIDENTS!!!

Adding our veggies to our pot.

Tada! Soup with Linguine.

Silly Supper #1- an absolute success. My heart is filled with joy. My children went to bed with tummies full of food and faces shining with delight. My husband sits beside me and says, "well done." My cup runneth over.

Sidewalk Art

I have many strengths, art is not one of them. I am the mathmatical brained parent; Marc the artistic one. I crochet and knit- following distinct patterns. He thinks outside the box and can draw like the dickens.

It is on days like today that my children realize they've been a bit deprived this summer by his having to work during the day. It has finished raining so I sent them out with sidewalk chalk (it's THE BEST on wet pavement). When I go out with them, we practice letters and numbers. We may trace our bodies or hands. When Marc goes out, they can have anything they desire drawn before their eyes. They love it; I love the different perspectives they get from each of us.

Exhibit A- my MEAN stick figures;)
Exhibit B- Marc's Alien from Toy Story
Buzz Lightyear
Slinky Dog
The Master and his little protege
Ava's Toy story masterpiece- clearly there is no mistaking which parent she takes after when it comes to artistic skills
And then we have Phin- his artistic skills are yet to be discovered as yet doesn't sit long enough for us to decipher them;)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pulling myself up by the boot straps.

I've not had the best day and I have to admit I've been moping around the house a bit. I woke up to Ava whimpering (loudly) in the middle of the night. I waited for her to make her way to our room; when she didn't I began to imagine all kinds of horrible things not the least of which was remembering an Oprah from years ago where a dad heard his teenage daughter whimpering in the middle of the night and upon investigation found a man in her room attacking her. That story ended with the father kickin' the man's booty and saving his sweet girl, but the mere thought of such a situation left me unable to stay in bed (even though Ava's whimpering had subsided). I wanted to wake up Marc, but I had enough of my whits about me to know most likely, it was nothing. Still, as I walked to Ava's room I prayed that God will allow mama bear to come out with a vengeance should I indeed find some person in Ava's room.

Ava was, of course, dreaming. She's a vivid dreamer and has been known to sleep walk (or sleep dance) a time or too. This time the poor thing murmured, "it still hurts" in her sleep. I covered her up and rubbed her back. She settled down.

I on the other hand had adrenaline still surging through my body. My mind wouldn't settle so I had to check the other kids and then lay awake having to pray after every little sound. I never fell back asleep. Never. I've been up since 3am and I am not too happy about it. I had big plans for a productive day but the quickly got waylaid at 9am when my Dove wrapper (YES, it was a 9am "breakout the chocolate" moment) declared, "Give yourself a relaxation break." It was all the encouragement this tired mama needed. I declared right back to the little foil wrapper, "Don't mind if I do" and I grabbed my kindle and sat next to Phin on the couch as he watched Sesame Street and Chloe napped. Ever since I've been kind of mopey 'round here- feelin' sorry for my tired self. It wasn't until a mom from school asked about my blog that I remembered I've had FAR worse days. I mean a little sleep deprivation is NOTHING!

I looked up this old post- roared with laughter that every detail is true and promptly set to work tidying my neglected kitchen.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Ta Da!

Ava lost her first tooth! We've been waiting for the moment for weeks and it came, as most things do, completely unexpectedly.
We were away for the weekend: Marc and I with adult friends and the kids with my parents. Phin has a nasty cold and yesterday was quite rainy. We had a long ride home from Chicago, but I won't bore you with those details. We got home a little before 6 and were unloading the car. Ava decided that was the moment to pull her tooth. She tried on her own first and then followed me around asking for help. I gave it a tug- she broken down in tears, so I suggested we take a break, finish unloading the car, and then focus on her tooth.
When it's your first loose tooth and it is dangling in your mouth, taking a break is apparently not an option. I soon heard SCREAMING from our bedroom; there she had found Marc dropping off suitcases and persuaded him to give it a tug. The screaming subsided to mild crying and soon I had a little girl in back in my kitchen with a hole in her mouth and a tooth in her hand. Wow! Can someone please pause time just a bit?!
She chose to NOT put her tooth under her pillow for the tooth fairy last night. She is keeping it for today so she could show it off at school. I just hope it manages to make it back home.
I asked around, by the way, do you know the tooth fairy leaves a DOLLAR now? I guess she keeps up with inflation. Back in my day- she just left a quarter!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Our Adventures with Hootie

Ava's class has a little mascot. Hootie the Owl. This year everyone will get a turn to bring Hootie home for two nights and write of their adventures with Hootie is Hootie's journal. Hootie and the journal will be auctioned off at next year's school auction.

Hootie came to our house this week. He didn't fit into my "weekly plan" that I so diligently organized on the weekend. No his visit threw a wrench in the works and reminded me, yet again, that plans of mothers must be held loosely. Hootie will only come once (from my understanding anyway) and he doesn't visit on weekends. We had yesterday afternoon and today to make Hootie's visit memorable- a tast very important to my VERY excited 5 year old. We will work on writing his adventures this evening, but as I just sent all our photos away to Walgreens, I thought I'd upload them here, as well. Enjoy our visit from Hootie. Captions of the photos are in Ava's words and will be exactly what she will record under each photo in Hootie's journal. The pictures that do not have Ava in them were taken by Ava for this project. She did very well;)

Ava and Hootie (I took this picture myself)

We had Pizza for lunch.

We played with Hootie in our Bean Table. He tried to eat some of the beans. It was funny.

Hootie met all my stuffed animals. He was very happy with them.

I showed Hootie all my earrings.

My mommy helped me and Hootie make him a Green Bay Packers sleeping bag.

Hootie LOVES his sleeping bag. It fits just right and is very soft.

Hootie really liked my Guy.

Hootie thought the bathtub in my Barbie house was just his size.

When we went to Target, we brough Hootie. He road in the cart with Chloe.

I brought Hootie with me to Awana. I am in Sparks and I love it.

I brushed my teeth. Hootie did not. He does not have teeth.

Hootie slept with me at bedtime.

While I was in school, Phin took care of Hootie.

We went to feed the goats. I didn't let Hootie feed the goats himself, I did it. I did not want the goats to eat Hootie.

We took Hootie to Walmart and we got to look at the Fish.

Monday, September 12, 2011

I am a pretty good cook, obnoxious as that may be to state about oneself. My children, however, have zero appreciation for my culinary prowess. Ava is learning to expand her palate and she will graciously try whatever is placed on her plate. She is finding more and more foods she likes. Phineas, however, is a different story. Getting Phin to take one bite of any food he's decided he won't like is akin to torture....for us, not him. The kid would live off hotdogs, cheese sticks, and mac n cheese if we left him. He'll dip anything he likes in ketchup from french fries to strawberries. He has a picky palate, but it is a palate completely baffling to the rest of the human population.

Tonight I made chicken chili. It is one thing I guarantee you I am good at making. It's awesome. I've not met a person who has tried it and disliked it. Today, both kids were hesitant to try it. Ava did so without complaint, however, when instructed to do so and, of course, found it to be tasty, but a bit spicy. Phin would not eat one bean. We finally got him to "taste" it....which was a small nightmare. The kid wouldn't put it in his mouth, he barely licked the bean and acted as if he'd been severely poisoned. I wish we would have video taped it- we definitely could have had a YouTube sensation on our hands. Our deal was if he tasted it and still didn't like it he could have a sandwich. He was convinced he'd given it a fair taste. We conceded that he could have a sandwich.

so...instead of a healthy, home cooked meal, Phin chose to eat a Peanut Butter, Jelly, Bologna, and Cheese sandwich. Yes one sandwich. And yes, though, he wouldn't eat it one bean, he ate his entire sandwich.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Settling In

My parents came over the weekend to help us chip away at a few projects. We've lived here almost a year and a half and still have a couple things waiting to be completed. We rarely get to them unless one of our parents visit us. It's just the life stage we are in;)

My mom and I finally peeled off a golfing border from the kids bathroom. I have it decorated in monkeys and had almost forgotten that border didn't match. It was up near the ceiling and who looks up there? I was just so used to it's presence. Recently, a visitor made a comment and I realized we still hadn't pulled that puppy off. My mom and I got it off yesterday and WOW does the bathroom look better. Brighter and more fun....who knew how much those vintage golfers and dark colors on the border actually WERE doing to distract the "fun" effect I was striving for.

My mom and I also painted part of the basement. It's finished but was bland. We painted it blue, put up polka dots and I am waiting on a cute quote to arrive in the mail. We're having an egress window put in in the next couple week. We are hoping to make it brigher and more fun for the kids.

My dad and Marc started work on a MAJOR project;) We have a crawl space that is about 4 ft. high. We haven't shown it to the kids because it was dark and dingy and I didn't want them locking each other in there! My dad and Marc started work to make it into a secret hide out! They had to do some water sealing and them put in electricity. My dad will return this weekend to put up drywall and carpet it. Because it's entrance is four feet up into the wall, they then constructed a fort to gain entry. It will have cool stairs leading up to it and hopefully a slide coming down one side. Underneath them build a house for Chloe to easily access. I can't wait until it's finshed and I can post pictures. It surpasses my dreaming. The kids are going to LOVE it. It's SOOO cool, I'm thinking we need to have regular "come play" times here in the cold Sheboygan winter.;)

I can't tell you how good it feels to be crossing stuff off that list and making our house even more of a home. I want our kids to have beautiful memories here and I love the way Marc and My dad are working their booties off to help make that happen. Thanks GUYS!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Confession # 928374923874-

I have to get a bit better at getting three kids and myself up ready and out of the house in time to have Ava to school by 8:15. It is only the second day and this morning, we had to have McDonalds in the car on the way to school because I ran out of time to give Ava breakfast....and we arrived at school at 8:14...