Monday, June 30, 2008

Emma's Example...

Having five kids has made me somewhat of a doctor avoider. I've been told one too many times, "It's just a virus." So we tend to wing it through all the colds, flus, rashes, fevers, and stomach bugs and save the doctor's visits for well-child check-ups, vaccinations, and the most egregious symptoms...the fever lasting 5 days (just a virus), the rash on a belly that's been there for a month (just a virus that takes 1-2 YEARS to go away)'s always a virus!

So last Thursday Emma woke up with her face completely swollen and red. Her eyes were mere slits and her face was quite itchy.

We were completely perplexed as to what could have possibly caused this type of reaction. I thought of our laundry soap, shampoo, soap, foods, etc, to come up with anything that we might have changed recently. The only new thing at all I could come up with were her glasses...but who's ever heard of being allergic to glasses?

So, I guess it was the fact that her eyes were practically swollen shut that got me to throw off my mantra of home treatments and call the doctor within the first minute of it opening.

I don't know quite what I expected taking her in, but it turns out that once again I had overlooked the obvious.

It's poison ivy.

I've never had poison ivy in my entire life and this is the third time Emma has had it in the last month! Apparently, like her Daddy, who has had a systemic reaction to it before, she's grown sensitized to it, so it doesn't take much exposure for her to react anymore.

This is Emma 24 hours after treatment had begun--the only remnants of her previous state was the very minor swelling and a rash all over her lower right cheek and chin (which is apparently where she had contact with the poison ivy).

With the swelling and the involvement of her eyes, the doctor did prescribe an oral steroid. Which, thankfully has been a wonder drug for sweet Emma who had taken to hiding her face when there were other people around--just to avoid the staring and pointing (sad, but true). In other words, I am glad I took her into the doctor, even if it was a decidedly unglamorous diagnosis once again.

Through this whole ordeal, I was so impressed that she remained remarkably cheerful and optimistic. In fact as soon as the doctor said, "Poison ivy", she grinned from ear to ear...for that meant that her new glasses were definitely not the culprit!

On the way home I grew more and more amazed at her positive attitude as in her puffy, itchy misery she devised the following list...How I am like my Daddy (by Emma)....

1. We both have brown eyes
2. We both have ticklish feet
3. We're the only ones to wear glasses in the family
4. We're both third children
5. We both get itchy backs a lot
6. We both like to read books
7. And we both get poison ivy too much!

And a child shall lead them.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Fashion at its best!

It took me a while, but after five kids I came to realize that all children will one day shun Mom's clothing choices for them and develop their own fashion statement....for better or worse. With my first couple of children this proved to be a painful process for me to endure.

After all, I like choosing their me, it's one of the fun perks of being a Mom!

So when Spencer came of this age and developed a strong aversion to shirts with collars, and khaki, and denim...I was just beside myself. All those cute clothes we'd purchased were just going to waste. And what kind of Mom lets their son wear ONLY athletic clothes every day of the year?

I am embarrassed to admit that we had some pretty hardy power struggles over this issue, culminating in a disastrous kindergarten picture day where I pretty much forced him against his will to wear a cute collared shirt just for pictures. It seemed so reasonable at the time. It was a brand new shirt he'd never worn and it was only for picture day. It's for posterity. That's not so bad.

Then the pictures came back and I just couldn't over how sad he looked. It was then I realized that it just wasn't worth crushing his new-found independence just so he could look "cute". Heck, he already was cute. He didn't need a certain type of clothes to prove that.

So when each child hits that phase, I hold my breath, close my eyes, and let them choose away...and hope that they'll outgrow it fast!

Even when Adam refused to wear shorts all last summer. No problem. We just passed those brand new shorts on to someone else and marveled at how stoic he was wearing jeans when it was 95° outside.

Now here is my fifth child, fully entrenched in making her own fashion statement....

And I can proudly say that I barely flinch when Ellie wears her princess dress every day for weeks on end...with me having to steal it while she's asleep to wash it.

And I don't even bat an eyelash at the ever lovely stripes, plaid, and Santa hat look.

Or even the jeans under the dress fashion statement.

But today after donning a pair of bloomers on backwards as her bottoms of choice, I felt my old tendencies return and actually suggested that she may want to consider choosing another pair of shorts before going to the park.

Did she do it? Of course not.

Did I care? Maybe just a little...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Birthday Tribute to an Old Man...

In conjunction with the state of my I am late on the night of his birthday composing his birthday tribute, knowing that the majority of you will read it when his 37th birthday has already passed. I guess the old adage, "Better late than never" will have to apply here. Happy Birthday Glen!

Yeah, I know I should be careful throwing the term "old man" around, but I have to gloat somehow that Glen is older than me by exactly a year and ten months! :)

He was such a handsome fellow, even way back in the golden age of Donny and Marie!

For today's tribute, I've asked the kids to tell me the five coolest things about Glen. So without further ado, I'll let them speak for themselves!

Here are the coolest things about my Dad by Cami:
  • I love that he takes me on daddy-daughter dates.
  • My daddy does everything right. (you wouldn't ever hear them making that comment about their mom)
  • Daddy is an awesome trampoline jumper.
  • My daddy is really good at math, so I know he'll always know the answer. I guess that's why he's an accountant.
  • My daddy plays the piano really well and he'll even play a duet with me.

By Ellie:
  • He gives me piggy-back rides!
  • He buys us Slurpees.
  • Daddy listens to me sing and always claps.
  • He reads me stories and makes them much more exciting than mommy does!
  • Daddy plays with me when we go swimming and he even lets me splash him!

Here's what Emma had to say:

  • He is always nice to me, even when I'm grumpy.
  • I like it when he jumps on the trampoline with me, because he makes me go high in the sky.
  • I like it when he helps me with my piano, since I've already bypassed my mom's piano knowledge. (Sad, but true.)
  • My daddy is so smart and he can always help me with my homework!
  • My daddy tells the funniest jokes and is sometimes really goofy!

By Adam:
  • My dad's an awesome golfer. I love it when he takes me mini-golfing.
  • I like it when daddy takes me fishing.
  • Daddy takes us for ice cream and lets us get our own sundae.
  • My daddy likes to look at my caterpillars and insects with me.
  • He's the best rock-skipper in the world. One time he skipped it so many times we couldn't even count that fast.

By Spencer:
  • My dad plays golf really well. I think it's awesome how he takes me golfing with him most weekends now.
  • I love it when dad plays basketball with me. Once in a while I can even beat him.
  • He's a great person to play any sport or game with. He usually wins, but I'm getting better.
  • He's very supportive of me and my pursuits.
  • I love it when he jumps on the trampoline with us. My mom is a total wimp and won't let me bounce her, but daddy is WAY more fun.
  • He still lets us dog-pile him!

And from me:
  • He's not scared of snakes or bugs, so I can always count on him to take care of any wandering insects that may enter our home...

  • He knows when to be extraordinarily goofy...

  • ...and when to be gentle and sweet.

  • He's a righteous priesthood leader in our home (you Captain Moroni!)

  • And he's a great kisser!

What more can I say? Happy 37th Birthday Hunny! I love you!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Emma: Before and After

Emma with her old glasses (old being a relative term, since she's only had them about 10 months)...notice the tape on the right side holding them together.

Emma with her brand new stylin' glasses...complete with clip-on sunglasses.

Since I imagine most of you have never purchased bifocals before (Emma has eyes beyond her years), be prepared. They're EXPENSIVE!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Biding our time at the zoo!

On Wednesday, it was a beautiful day--sunny and 80°. So we decided it was the perfect day to go to the National Zoo to pass the time while we anxiously awaited Glen's return that evening!

My kids run to climb into the ZOO sign as soon as they spot it. We have a gazillion pictures that look an awful lot like this one...but, hey, who am I to mess with tradition?

The addition of our little birdie friends who have taken up residence in our bush, seemed to make the kids particularly fascinated with the exotic birds of the zoo. They peppered me with questions about their diets, habitats, and location in the world and constantly compared them to what they knew of our own little birds (thank goodness for those informational signs).

And climbing on statues always seems to be an important part of any trip to the zoo. Although Spence could do without the picture taking part of the deal; the rest of the kids are eager to pose for the camera atop their lofty statuesque perches.

Now, I've got my own zoo going on here at my house today with 10 kids (a regular occurrence in the summertime) I will keep this short and be off to my second job as zoo keeper!

Asian Surprises

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Daddy's home! (and other nonsense)

After ten long days Glen is home now!!!!!!!!!!!!!
After grilling him about when they'd receive their surprises, the kids were excited to belatedly present him with his traditional Father's Day card--a giant candy bar note.

The kids have been doing it for him for so many years now, that in an attempt to not be repetitive it's tended to get more and more nonsensical every year!

So here you are for your reading [laughing] pleasure:

Dear Daddy,
Happy WHATCHAMACALLIT Day. It's a good thing you're not allergic to SWEDISH FISH too, or else you might become CHUNKY and that would give us some real SNICKERS! The whole MILKY WAY ORBITs around your KISSABLE BUTTERFINGERs. We can't wait for PAYDAY so we can buy some ICE CUBES for the TURTLES.
Love your,

And that would be the end of my daily's been a fun challenge, but I'm done. I'll be back soon!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Not yet Ellie!

Caution: If references to (or pictures of) female items of clothing make you blush, then you may want to close this window quickly...or not!

I have three sisters and when we were growing up my Mom set the precedent for us sisters that we could talk only in code terms about girl stuff, so as not to embarrass my four brothers and Dad.

So when my own girls and me were shopping at the mall the other day, Ellie became fascinated with the bras and just couldn't resist trying one on.

She was quite proud of herself as she figured out how to get it on herself and showed it off for anyone who would take notice.

(I'm sure my Mom has fainted with mortification right about now at the appalling behavior of her daughter condoning such behavior and even documenting for the world to see)...sorry Mom.

Then she asked me what it was called.

Almost without thinking I replied, "Oh Ellie, that's an 'arb'. "

So here's to Mom, my sisters, and daughters...better put away your "arb", since "grandma's coming to visit".

I hope you're not blushing too much now.

Monday, June 16, 2008

This is for the birds...

So I decided that daily blogging is for the birds...and certainly not anywhere near as rewarding now that I know that ever since Glen arrived in Shanghai a few days ago that he's not been able to see the blog at all. :( But a goal is a goal, hence I go forward blogging until he returns....although a short one is all I can manage today.

An update from "A Bad Hack Job" posted on Saturday--our obnoxious looking bush has 3 new fuzzy, hungry little residents (and 2 more to come)!

Sorry if I sound a tad bitter, I may be a bit worn out today after we spent several hours of our first day of summer break without electricity.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

We miss you Glen!

(Sorry if the ongoing music is annoying. I tried to change it so it didn't play automatically, but then it wouldn't play at all. )

My kids are so confused this year...why I was away from home on Mother's Day and now Glen is away on Father's Day. After reassuring them that it was not their breakfasts in bed we were avoiding, I gave some thought to the matter and decided that it is not something I'd like to make a tradition. It was really sad not having Glen there as the Primary kids sang, "My Daddy is my favorite pal..." and although I've missed him immensely the entire time he's been away, the feelings are even more acute today.

We miss you Hunny and want you to know that this Father's Day has been so lonely without the Daddy around!

Happy Father's Day to Glen and also to Grandpa Steve & Grandpa're the best!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Bad Hack Job

I'm not quite sure how my more prolific friends (like Denise) keep up with new, interesting posts every day week in and week out, as here I am after only a couple of days of it and I'm definitely stretching for material !

My mom is distracted taking care of my cousins, so I (Cami) am now taking over the post

Here is a picture of the azalea bush in front of our house, it was completely overgrown so my mom trimmed it (three year old Christmas lights and all).

But she had barely started chopping when she discovered this birds nest, with five eggs in it. So if you come to our house and you were wondering why our bush looks so odd with the sides neatly trimmed and a big overgrown patch at the top (to shelter the nest), you'll know the reason why.

Oh I have so much power right now, I could say anything I wanted. Like Spencer is coocoo or my mom likes the cookie dough better than the cookies

never trim an overgrown bush before checking for birds nests or else it will look even worse. And never leave a blog post unattended and if you do make sure your daughter is not around!

Friday, June 13, 2008

No more pencils, no more books...

Yay! School is finally out! I'm not sure who is happier about this--the school kids, Ellie & Adam who finally have their playmates back, or me who will finally be done with the forty things a day on my calendar (after tomorrow anyway)!

I decided to celebrate with a scrapbook page showing one of our summertime staples--popsicles! We go through them quickly this time of year.

Quick note: I was requested to add an image of Emma's yearbook page, so Ellie's "signature" would be I've added it to the post below.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Another day down!

Just so I'm not creating any false expectations for my future blogging habits, I feel it is only fair to let all my blogging friends know that the reason for my recent rash of daily blogging is that I am attempting to make a new blog post every day that Glen is away from home. He's been missing out on the crazy events of our daily lives, so this is my small attempt to keep him connected from the other side of the world. In another week or so I will be returning to my every-other-day-or-so blogging routine. :)

Today we started the day at the elementary school to see "Madame President" get sworn into office. She's a good foot shorter than the previous president (seen at left), but I have no doubt she will fill the presidential shoes quite well!

Cami was glowing as she showed off her other awards: the Presidential Physical Fitness award and a Literacy award (both received by only a handful of other students).

Then it was off to Emma's end-of-year party where, much to Ellie's delight, we got to enjoy cheese pizza and juice boxes with Emma's first grade class. Here is Emma with her teacher, a fun, energetic 23-year-old fresh out of college.

Ellie and Adam have been in the school so much with me this year, that they seemed like part of the class sometimes. Both Ellie and Adam were asked by most of Emma's classmates to pose for pictures with them and also to sign their yearbooks. Adam's signature blended right in with the rest of the first graders, but I had to laugh as Ellie enthusiastically "signed" all those yearbooks with a giant E (with several more horizontal lines than necessary).

As per Kristina's request I've added an image of Emma's yearbook page including their signatures (circled in red).

So, now there's only two more crazy, insane days left...then hopefully we'll have a few days to relax and hang out at the pool before Daddy comes home! We miss you Glen!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Youngest Queen fan!

Recently Ellie has begun this charming little habit of quoting lines from her favorite books and of dramatically singing her favorite songs.

How it makes me smile when she quotes from one of our family favorite books, Bedhead! ...."One, she said. Two, she said. Three, she said. B-b-b-b-b0ing!" (out of context it's not very humorous, but this book actually makes my kids roll on the floor laughing every time.)

And I have to admit my motherly pride surges when her little snippets of songs are almost on-key! Yes! Another child who's inherited Glen's musical ability and not my own unfortunate tone deafness.

So yesterday I discovered that in addition to enjoying the more typical three-year-old fare of primary songs, You are My Sunshine, ABC's, and Twinkle Twinkle that she's also a fan of the musical group Queen.

How do I know this fact?

It would be that within a 24-hour period she could be heard enthusiastically belting out: "We are the champions, we are the champions, we are the champions of the WORLD!"

and then later on: "We will, we will ROCK you!"

Um, yeah. Now you know what kind of music we have on our I-Tunes.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Mission Accomplished....almost.

When Glen told me that he had a business trip to Asia starting on Sunday, I was somewhat relieved that through most of his trip the kids would still be in school. However my naive relief was very short-lived and quickly turned to panic, when I realized what herculean tasks I had before me this last week of school.

So last night I had a tall order...a pretty tall order even with both parents around...THREE CONCERTS in three DIFFERENT PLACES at exactly the SAME TIME.

I wasn't sure I could pull it off, but I was sure going to try!

So I arranged a ride for Cami to get to her orchestra concert, dropped Spencer off at the middle school for his band concert, then went back to the elementary school to watch Cami perform on her cello.

Cami played beautifully and thankfully her orchestra was performing second on the program, so we were out of there by to the piano recital for Emma and Cami.

We made a very grand and rude entrance into the piano recital about 5 minutes after it started in a very packed house. Emma had worked so hard on her songs, "Ode to Joy" and "Brahm's Lullaby", and didn't even need her sheet music. Cami performed, "Tarantella" which she also knew well and played it super warp speed! Then at 7:45 we made a very grand and even ruder exit....and we were off to the band concert at the middle school where Spencer was performing last. Things were looking good!

Unfortunately this is where our well-laid plan went asunder. We had a little melt-down leaving the piano recital--and who could blame them? I was rushing them around like a crazed taxi-driver and they were missing out on the fun parts of the evening...friends AND refreshments!

So we almost saw Spencer perform--missed him by less than a minute, but missed it completely nonetheless.

I hope that was the worst of it and now all I have left is two end-of-year picnics, field day, teacher gifts, two award ceremonies, and a sick child! I think I'll be just as excited about school being over as the kids this year!

We miss you Glen!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Girls' day out!

While Glen, Adam, and Spencer were baking in 99° weather at a fathers & sons camp-out at Virginia Beach...I made an executive decision that us girls needed to have a little fun too.

So we threw out all chores for the day and played...and then I came home and played some more with my Photoshop Elements! (Notice how Ellie can't take her eyes off the cheesecake long enough to even glance at the camera.) °Ü°

This page was made with elements and papers from a Shabby Princess kit called Island Chic.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Freeze frame!

The older I get, the faster the milestones keep on coming in our family! Lost teeth, graduations, "big" birthdays, awards, riding bikes, potty training, reading know what I mean. The kind of thing that's good and you're excited that it's happened, but at the same time just a tad bit sad and nostalgic as you realize that THAT child will never have that moment again. That they're growing up way too fast...[sniff]!

So, my sweet little Adam is graduated from preschool and off to all-day kindergarten in a few months and it might as well have been high school graduation for how emotional it made me! I keep telling my kids to stop growing so fast and freeze frame for a while, yet every time I turn around they're taller and smarter and my hair is grayer!

Oh well...I guess I wouldn't have it any other way (except maybe for the gray hair part).

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Be careful what you wish for...

So it seems like ages since I've blogged. After the last post I kept trying to think of something worthy of blogging about...silently lamenting that although my life is in super-speed, there wasn't that much going on that anyone else would be interested in reading about.

Then yesterday afternoon I decided that I just HAD to blog about I sat down to do a post about Adam (which you will see sometime in the next day or two), when a huge storm blew in quite quickly and powerfully. Because of the large trees blanketing our neighborhood and the above-ground power lines--our power is very quick to go out with any sure enough, within one minute of the storm beginning our power was out!

Thunderstorms aren't uncommon here, but this storm definitely had a different "feel" to it, so just to be on the safe side I took Ellie and Adam to the basement and called my sister to check the weather for me. Not surprisingly she informed me that it was indeed a severe thunderstorm and in fact that there was also a tornado warning...but no worries it was several miles away.

Unbeknownst to me, while Ellie, Adam, and I calmly played car and dollhouse in the basement to pass the time, Spencer was hunkered down in an interior hallway of his school because of an actual tornado touchdown nearby--not several miles away at all! In all of my years of tornado drills after having grown up in Minnesota and NEVER having had to use it...I was so shocked to find out that poor Spencer actually had to experience it. In retrospect, I'm really glad my sister didn't know about or mention this particular tornado...because I'm pretty sure I would not have been anywhere near as calm had I known how nearby it was--especially to one of my children!

Today life is back to normal. The kids are at school, our lights are back on, our internet is working, and our air conditioning has finally sucked all of the humidity back out of our house, I have no excuses for not doing laundry or cooking dinner tonight or picking up all of the branches and sticks from our yard. Chores, schmores! Blogging is way more fun than all that! :)

In the future, I think I'll forgo the interesting/exciting events and be ever so grateful for my busy, sometimes mundane life with a houseful of chores to do, five little sweeties who keep me running, and a totally amazing husband who supports me in my craziness!

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