Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bye bye 2008

Tomorrow begins the difficult task of trying to remember to write 2009 on our checks. And since we don't write many checks anymore compliments of the check card, that may take a while.

Anywho, Toby's back up and kicking. We ended up not having to unpack and repack the wound. Why the change in treatment? Several days post-op I took him back in to get the wound cared for by the ENT doc. It took four adults to hold him down. I looked at them and asked, "and I'm supposed to do this how many times a day???" He said, "just drip peroxide on the packing. It will wick into the wound. Do that 2-4 times a day." Thank you very much! A week later Daddy took him in to have it unpacked. With a brief talking to Toby lay on the table without so much as a nurse holding his hand. :) So, now we're down to changing the bandaid several times a day and dripping peroxide on the wound. He's on the upswing. And the final diagnosis? Atypical tuberculosis. Something about rugrats eating dust bunnies in old houses. I don't understand either.

As Jim recently noted, Avery is talking up a storm. Her favorite thing to do in the van is call, "Mama...Mama...MAMA" until I answer her and then she proceeds to give her dissertation on some sort of topic that only she understands.

Others have noted and we agree with them that Evan has softened a bit around the edges. Don't tell his friends, but he's spent hours playing house with Avery this break! She gives him a baby doll and a dolly stroller, takes one for herself and they stroll around our basement. Very sweet. He's great with the other brothers as well. Despite the fact that we have Toys R Us in our basement they've discovered the cast-aside costume box and have entertained themselves for much of Christmas break running around with bare chests and plastic weapons playing Indians.

Aidan is still Aidan. Being the middle child he is very content to do what the others are doing. He was so proud of himself for doing "tons" of preschool work one morning. He's so happy to just do what the others are doing!

And finally, we have a big announcement from the our family! No, put your jaw back up, we're not pregnant. We've finally joined the world of high speed internet! The only problem is that in switching over I've lost my bookmarks. So, if you know I read your blog, or you wish I would, could you please leave me a comment with a link to it so I can??? Yes, that includes you Leah, Em, Jen, Mel....

Thanks a bunch and have a great 2009!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Big day for a little guy

The Monday before Thanksgiving Toby woke up with a big swollen lump under his jaw. Figuring it was allergy related I gave him some ibuprofen and benedryl and started to wait it out. That Tuesday when he woke up it was bigger and had a purple tinge to it. Jim took him to the doctor where he got a shot of antibiotics, a blood draw and a prescription for some antibiotics. Ten days later, the thing is still not smaller, but that wasn't supposed to alarm us, after all, we were told that it could be a couple weeks before the swelling went down.

The swelling continued to not go down.

This past Friday Toby woke up wiht the big swollen lump under his jaw which also happened to be red, hot and hard. I took him in to the doctor where he got another blood draw, an appointment with ultrasound to look inside the lump and a referral to ENT (ear, nose and throat) to check it out.

So, Monday (just a couple days ago) he got the lump ultrasounded and had his appointment with ent which resulted in a treatment plan which involved an "incision and drain".

So, Tuesday (just yesterday) Toby went in for his first real surgery. I took him in at 8:00 and they did all the pre-op questions and forms. At 8:43 Grandpa showed up to make sure his Toby was going to be okay. At 8:44 they wheeled Toby off to the OR. Grandpa and I sat in the "holding tank" to wait for him to come back. Yes, everything turned out just fine. He came through the surgery with flying colors, came through the anesthesia with flying limbs (he was very delusional when he came out, shouting, kicking, screaming, pulling at the bandages, unconsolable, a shot of something in the iv and he settled down).

I took him home around 11:30. Once home he proceeded to eat seven mini-corn dogs and two hot ham and cheese sandwiches. I figured he would be fine! He went to bed last night at 5:30 and we saw or heard nothing out of him until 8:00 this morning!

So, now begins the fun. We leave the bandages as they are until Friday. Dr. ENT removes the bandages, cleans out the wound and re-packs it. Then my fun starts. Every day, several times a day, I (or someone appointed by me) will be unpacking the wound, scrubbing it out with peroxide and re-packing it.


So, how is your week going???

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Nutritional Education

This morning Toby stumbled into the kitchen.

"Morning Tobs! What do you want for breakfast?"

"Ice cream." (He'd seen the box of rock salt in the same area as the cereal is kept. Since it has a picture of ice cream on the side we assume he thought it was some sort of ice cream cereal or something. Hard to know what goes on in the three-year-old brain.)

"Okay, you can have ice cream for breakfast!"

I then got out the ice cream, bowl and spoon for him. He looked at me like I was from Mars. Jim looked at me like I was from Mars. I dished up some ice cream for Toby, handed him a banana and a glass of grape juice and told him to dig in.

Aidan came down.

"Mo-o-o-o-m!!! Toby's eating ice cream for breakfast!!!"

"I know. Do you want some?"

"Uh, well, sure!"

So, I dish up the same breakfast for Aidan.

Evan came down soon after.

"Mom, you're giving them ice cream for breakfast?"

"Yup, do you want some?"

"Uh, no." He pours himself a bowl of cereal.

So, I gave half of the kids ice cream for breakfast. Avery slept in past the ice cream hour so she got oatmeal. Hopefully they'll remember the day that Mom gave them ice cream for breakfast. But just to make sure, maybe I should do it more often. Not on a regular basis of course, but a handful of times in the upcoming years. Just so they remember that I wasn't always intent on following the rules.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Does this count?

The other day this was our menu for lunch:

mashed potatoes and gravy (I did add some cauliflower to the mashed potatoes, extra veggies!)

Boring? Yes, but very kid friendly!

I'm running out of fresh ideas for lunches. What do your kids like? What do you remember having for lunch as a kid?

Christmas gifts

Last night I had a Hallmark card moment with Evan. He was in the shower, I went into the bathroom and noticed that there was no sign of a towel or anything that could be used as a towel (I don't think he'd use the purple fuzzy bathmat!). I asked him what he was planning to do and he very politely asked me if I would please get him a towel. I did of course and brought it in to him. With him still safely behind the shower curtain I got, "thanks, Mom. You do a lot of stuff around the house that you don't really have to do, you buy us lots of Christmas gifts. You don't have to do any of that, so, well, thanks. I appreciate it."

What a great Christmas gift!

I was also in email conversation with my mom earlier in the week. The long and short of the conversation resulted in my offering to make a donation to a charity in their names rather than buying them something they don't really need and would just end up cluttering their smallish apartment. I emailed her a list of possible charities that *I* would choose, she chose something different. Mom, tell us all why you chose the Hospice of *Your old hometown*!

We have recently "adopted" a child through Compassion International ( If I had someone ask me to pick a charity I'd make a special gift to our other "son" Adrian in Equador.

My question for discussion is this: If someone offered to donate to a charity in your name, what charity would you choose? Something political? Something that helps kids in Africa buy shoes? Something that helps kids next door buy shoes? A food shelf? A humane society? An elder care facility?

What would you do???

Thursday, December 04, 2008


Aside from hosting Works For Me Wednesday, Shannon also has a special guest blogger on Thursdays. In her "What I'd Like You To Know" series Shannon invites women who have had various experiences to share with the blogosphere how to help other women who are experiencing such things. She's invited women with multiples, infertility, women with large families and women with only one child to tell us the things that are helpful and the things that are hurtful to say when we encounter other women in that situation. Today she has asked Tara Mock to share about coping with post partum depression. You can read Tara's post here.

I am including the link to her discussion because I have experienced post partum depression. It was quietly lurking in the background after Evan and Aidan's births, but reared it's ugly head full force after Toby was born (and was a pretty difficult baby). While my ppd didn't look like this Tara's, it was evident to my friends and family that I needed some help in getting through it. And so, in a tear filled conversation with the nurse line at my OBs, I got started on the road to help.

I heard a talk at my MOPS group this fall that stated that women are more susceptible to bouts of depression at certain times of their lives. Those times include the onset of puberty, pre-menstrual, post partum, peri-menopausal, and menopause. So, basically from the time we're thirteen until the time we die! And here's the kicker, Christians are not exempt. Praying more, having more faith, spending more quiet time, that doesn't necessarily make a difference. Sometimes your brain needs some chemicals straightened out and sometimes that involves medication.

So, if you suspect you or someone you are close to could use some help getting through this valley, do them (and their family) a favor. Mention it to her. Offer to watch her kids so she can go to talk with her doctor. Make her dinner so she won't have to feed her family a frozen pizza, again. And most of all, pray for her, pray with her and encourage her that it will get better.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Taking Time to Make Time

Since the move I've not really been cooking much. I attribute part of that to my crummy oven which I'm hoping to replace before too long, but the other part is that with the unpacking and getting settled in and the last week and a half of kids and adults being sick, I have just not been doing much in the kitchen department.

One of the bonus features of this new house is it's chest freezer. Imagine the deep freeze that your grandma had in the basement. Now go back in time about fifty years and imagine that freezer. That's the monster I have in MY basement! Today I began to fill it. It currently contains:

11 batches of chili ready to go for our freezer meal swap next week
4 batches of the gravy for beef tips and gravy (waiting for the 1/8 a cow coming in a week or two)
2 batches of the guts for mini cheddar meatloaves (waiting for the 1/8 a cow coming in a week or two)
2 batches of anniversary chicken
2 batches of taco meat
5 cups of browned ground beef ready for spaghetti sauce or whatever
4 quarts and 2 pints of instant oatmeal mix (storing this in the freezer for lack of anywhere else to put that much oatmeal!)

I feel like I'm forgetting something, but who knows??? :) And that's what I did today. What did you do???

Tater Takes A Turn

Yup. Aidan's turn.

Thus far Evan is the only one not affected by whatever stomach virus we have had. Pray that he doesn't get it. He's a lousy patient! ;)

I'm buying stock in clorox wipes.