Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Juggling Chicken Santa

I can't decide which one I resemble more this week....
A juggler, with a ton of balls in the air
A Chicken, with it's head cut off (of course)
Or Santa...Making a list and checking it twice.
Maybe I'm all three. Whichever I resemble, one thing is for sure....
I'm exhausted.

I'm a list maker. I even write things on it that I have ALREADY done, just so I can cross them off.
My to-do list runs through my mind continually. But lately my "list" is overwhelming. I don't want to add anything to it. I just want things OFF of it! I know it's just a few more weeks of craziness, but sometimes I wonder if it really WILL end.
There is something written on each day of my calendar for the next three weeks straight. Here's a small glimpse into why I may not be blogging much in the next few weeks:

Tomorrow is Reagan's birthday party for her friends. We are having it at Pump it Up this year just to make things easier. I didn't want to worry about cleaning the whole house and finding activities for 20 six-year-olds to do.
Friday, we are celebrating her birthday IN the classroom with cupcakes.
Friday night is Family Night at her school. Saturday is her ACTUAL birthday. She wants to go to Round Table and have cake and ice cream at our house that night with family.
Hopefully Friday and Saturday we are having a few guys come and tear the tile out of the new house. Then, Brian gets to "grind" the concrete subfloor to make it nice and smooth for carpet and hardwood.
Sunday, it's back to the house to work on painting and cleaning.
Next week, Reagan has TWO field trips. SERIOUSLY? Both of which I have volunteered to chaperone. Tuesday is SeaWorld and Thursday is the Zoo. Or is it the other way around? I'm not sure. Thank goodness I write these things down.
Some time during next week, we need to have the carpet installed. And Brian is going to start the hardwood floors. And the baseboards.
The following Monday is ANOTHER field trip for the kids to meet their pen pals.
Then, Wednesday is the class party where the class video will be shown. Who's making the video you ask? That would be ME. Of course. That afternoon is "kindergarten promotion" and the following day is the last day of school.
Friday the 12th is Reagan's six year visit and her hearing re-check.
We move the 13th.
Somewhere in there I have to pack....everything.
All of this on top of the normal day-to-day activities of chasing an active baby, cleaning up, making meals, laundry, etc. etc. etc.
Have I mentioned I'm exhausted? :)
Thank the Lord for my mom and her help with the girls. Even so, I'm hoping this "season" passes soon.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

SOS-My Baby is all Growed Up!

Shout Out Saturday this week is for my "baby" girl....Reagan Jane.

"Don't blink. It goes by in a flash"

That's what a lady told me at my baby shower for Reagan. I thought she was nuts. Especially during those LONG nights when Reagan had REALLY bad reflux. Those nights didn't go by in a flash. Or teething. She even went through a phase where she threw tantrums (yes, my sweet little girl). But thank the Lord those were short lived.

But somewhere in there, I blinked.

It went by in a flash.

She's almost 6 (in one week!).

She is done with kindergarten in two more weeks.

She changed SO much in the past year.

Can you see it too?

This was her professional 5 year old portraits taken last year:

This is her graduation portrait we just received yesterday:

Her hair is longer. Straighter. She has grown 4 inches in the last year. She will probably be taller than me by the time she is in 2nd grade. More importantly, she is growing into her own little personality. She has a tender spirit. Often, after school, I hear about how someone got their feelings hurt by another student. She usually says, "But I gave her a hug and told her I was still her friend." She has become my little helper with her sisters too.

Yesterday, I overheard a conversation that brought tears to my eyes and then made me laugh out loud.
Here it is, recreated for you:

Reagan: Skylar, did you have a good day at home?

Skylar: Yes, but I missed you Reagan. I don't like it when you go to school sometimes.

Reagan: (putting her arm over her sister) I know. I missed you too. I think of you at school during lunch.

Skylar: And during recess?

Reagan: No, mostly just lunch because you like to eat! (HA!) But when we are in school together, we will get to be together all the time. And the weekend is coming up so we can do something special together, ok? (I can hear myself saying this to them!)

I love those tender moments. Five minutes later they were arguing over the last piece of dried apple, but it was great while it lasted.

I heard a great phrase the other day regarding the recession: "Hold your money tight, and your children tighter."
I know someday my little girl will be on her own, so I'm enjoying the time that I have to hold on to her. I'm enjoying the times that she wants to be with me. And wants to be with her sisters. I know, I know. She's ONLY six. But just yesterday she was ONLY six days, or six weeks, or six months old. Or so it seems.

Reagan six days before she arrived (a month early):

Reagan at Six Days old:

Reagan at Six Weeks old:

Reagan at Six Months old:

Reagan at Sixteen Months old:

For those with babies...Don't blink. It goes by in a flash.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

We are not moving to the Promised Land!

My house is a mess. But why clean it? I'm packing. Slowly. Ok, so I only have three boxes packed, but I KNOW that everything is going to end up in boxes anyway, so why clean it/put it away/organize it now?

I realized today that I keep saying "when we move...." (fill in the blank). When we move, Skylar will sleep better. When we move, Bailey will sleep better. When we move, Reagan will be easier to wake up for school. When we move, I will be organized. When we move, I will be able to decorate. When we move we will be able to finally connect with church folks. When we move, I will cook better meals. When we move, when we move, when we move.

It is not the promised land.

But I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm not the only one that does this. It may not be a move to a new city for everyone, but it might be "I will be organized after the kids are in school" or "I will get my body in shape after Christmas."

I'm learning to accept things as they are. Change the things I can, but stop waiting for "after."

My house is a mess. And I can pretty much guarantee that in six months, I will be saying the same thing....from the new house. But my kids are happy; our bellies are full; and we live each day with the Grace that God has given us to try again tomorrow.

Monday, May 18, 2009

SOS (the Monday edition)

Ok, so it's not Saturday. It's not even Sunday. So the "S" in SOS (Shout Out Saturday) is not quite applicable this week. But I always say "Better late than never." I have a good excuse too. I was hardly home this weekend. We've been working on the house all weekend. I hardly even saw the girls. That, in and of itself, was hard, because Skylar did indeed hit that days 5-7 "dip" that the doctors warned us about. She went back onto the codeine and stopped eating and drinking (and went back to the whining and crying from the pain). Thankfully, today is much better and it appears that our "dip" is over. Onward and upward people!

As for my Shout Outs...I have two this week. Two folks that have made a huge impact on my week. They are:

Truett Cathy

and Proctor and Gamble

I know....random.

Truett Cathy is the founder of Chick-fil-a. It just happens to be my FAVORITE fast food place. But, they also have this fantastic SWEET TEA that I love! I make my own sweet tea at home, but it just doesn't taste the same. Also, I make decaf iced tea at home. Chick-fil-a's tea is caffeinated. Needless to say, it kept me going this weekend. I only wish they were open on Sundays (although I completely respect their reason for closing).

Why Proctor and Gamble? Because they invented Pampers? Nah. Although I do appreciate that too. No, this week my P&G product of choice was Downy. Because it makes my clothes smell so nice? Nah. Although it does that too. This week, Downy saved my life. You see, our new house had a lot of wallpaper in it. I started with the downstairs bathroom and it came off SO easily. Then, Bailey's room. Again, probably took 15 minutes of spraying it with warm water and then just pulling it down. "This is EASY" (famous last words). Then, I started working on Reagan's room. It's just a border. How hard could it be? SIX hours still wasn't off. I tried spraying it with warm water. No luck. I tried putting stripper on it. No luck. The largest piece that I was peeling off was no larger than a nickel. And her room is 16x20. It's huge. I tried a razor blade. No luck. Just gouged the walls. I went to home depot and got another stripper. No luck. I scored it with a wallpaper scorer. Then sprayed it again with stripper. No luck. When I was at my WITS END with that darn paper, I googled ways to get rid of wallpaper. One random website said "hot water and downy fabric softener." So, yesterday, I loaded my squirt bottle with hot water and some Downy. I let it sit for five minutes and then VOILA! It started coming off!! Of course there is still a layer of glue left on the wall, but Goo Gone should take that off (famous last words). Who knew there were so many uses for fabric softener? And her room smells April Fresh! Of course AFTER using all the toxic chemicals and burning my hands (should have read the warning and worn gloves), it would be the NATURAL choice that worked the best. Of course.

So, thank you Truett Cathy for putting sweet tea at your wonderful establishments. And thank you Proctor and Gamble for inventing Downy.

On to Skylar's room.....

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Turned a corner

Day four has officially been the best day since Skylar's surgery! Thanks for all the prayers! She still had a bit of a rough night, pain-wise, but this morning she woke up happy and TALKING! She hasn't said much in three days so it was great to hear her sweet little voice. I am told that her voice might sound a bit like Mickey Mouse for a while, but we have yet to hear any change.

She even ate four popsicles, a donut hole, nutter butters, teriyaki chicken with rice and veggies, and alphabet soup. Of course it was a few bites of each, but I am thrilled that she is eating solid food and not complaining. She even sat on her swing outside and sang a "popsicle" song this afternoon. Then, she started watering the plants and sang the "watering the plants" song. You see the pattern? :) She was doing so well this afternoon that I even gave her JUST Tylenol (no codeine) for her noon dose and she has done great (knocking on wood).

We were told to expect a "dip" somewhere around day 5 or 6, but we are praying that doesn't happen. We would love to have her just progress upward from here. For now we are enjoying our almost back to normal Skylar!

We are also praying for our dear friend Jaimie (you might remember the Amazing photos she took of our girls). Her little guy just had his tonsillectomy today, so her uphill climb is just beginning. Thankfully I am able to tell her that the BAD part is only a few days long. Hopefully less for him.

I'm off to make chocolate chip cookies (Skylar's request)!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Roller Coaster: There's no better way to describe the last few days for us. In the days leading up to Skylar's surgery I was a bit anxious but kept thinking 'she's a tough kid. She's going to breeze through this.' I was mistaken. She did GREAT right out of surgery (as evidenced by my 'Awesome' post), but day 2 and now day 3 have been a series of ups and downs. Day 2 was bad. Day 3 was worse.

We were sent home with the painkiller Tylenol with Codeine and instructions to give it to her every four hours (three if ABSOLUTELY necessary). They also said "if the pain isn't too bad, try regular tylenol since the codeine can be addictive." I already strive to do things naturally for our family. I don't like giving the kids medicine unless they seriously need it. I buy organic. We go to a farmer's market. I don't use bleach. So, I was already not thrilled about giving my 3 year old a narcotic that can be addictive. I tried a few times to substitute "just" tylenol but that failed miserably. Not only did it not take away the pain, but then I had to wait four hours to give her the good stuff. Argh! And that 3 hours if "ABSOLUTELY necessary" turned into an absolute necessity. In fact, even with the codeine, she is in pain about 2 hours after taking it, so she has to be uncomfortable for an entire hour before I can give her anything else. After she has it, she does GREAT.....for about an hour and a half. She goes from this:

To about ten minutes:

This is her new blanket and frog that she got at the hospital and they haven't left her side in three days...

We have also discovered that she needs to be medicated around the clock. The last two nights have been a challenge. She wakes up crying and uncomfortable so we give her more meds (but of course they take 15-20 minutes to work). It seems like after a few doses through the day, she has a few GREAT hours in the afternoon. Today I was even able to get her to eat a few french fries and a bit of chicken. The Dr said to let her have whatever she wanted, so I've been doing that. She does ask for food (all day long) but only takes one bite and then says "it hurts. I'm done." It goes against everything I do to let her eat just ice cream, popsicles, and drink gatorade. But, it's just a season. This too shall pass, right?

It's not easy to watch your child suffer. I kept saying, "I wasn't prepared for this." But I don't think anyone can really be prepared. Part of parenting is just learning as you go. I know that there will be a BIG payoff in the end. No, I don't mean eternity in heaven (even though THAT payoff WILL be big!!), but I mean a payoff in the not so distant future. Skylar should be sleeping better, eating better, breathing better, speaking better, hearing better, and reading all in the next two weeks. Ok, so I made up that last one, but you get the idea. I would compare it to discipline. No one likes to discipline a child, but you know that you are doing it for their own good; so they will have a better future (and make better decisions). This temporary pain means a better future for Skylar. And hopefully more sleep for mommy.
Tomorrow will be better. And I may even get a shower.

I just have to keep reminding myself....It could always be worse.

(In a totally unrelated tidbit: If you watch Biggest Loser, you may have heard my "start" song! I'm so thrilled!! Francesca Battistelli is one of my favorite new artists and I love this song of hers.)

Monday, May 11, 2009


So it's a little retro, but it just seems to sum up the last few days.

We closed on our house- Awesome!

How was my Mother's Day? Awesome.

What does it feel like to be the mother of such amazing little girls? Awesome.

The girls were playing with stickers yesterday and Bailey put one on my nose. Do you know what it said? That's right...Awesome.

Skylar had surgery to remove her tonsils and adenoids. How is she doing? Awesome.
Just look at this little face.

I will post some pictures of our house soon. For now, we are focusing on Skylar's recovery. Thanks for all the prayers. I know that tonsillectomies and adenoidectomies are "common" but putting my baby under general anesthesia, having her intubated, and cutting part of her throat open is not "common" for me. By and large our children have been VERY healthy. We are extremely blessed that we are not familiar with surgeries and tons of dr visits. I was a little anxious but definitely felt the peace of all the prayer being sent up for us. She came through with flying colors and even asked for french fries when she woke up. :) All the nurses commented on how beautiful her big blue eyes were (I know...they're awesome) and how well she did. She drank two glasses of gatorade, ate two popsicles and then promptly fell asleep in my lap (as did my hiney in what turned out to be the most uncomfortable chair!). But I enjoyed just letting her sleep in my lap. I watched The Little Mermaid (and finished her french fries). And the Dr. just called. From his cell phone. On his way home. He's awesome.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

SOS, part deux

Betcha thought I forgot! Technically it's still Saturday for one more hour here.

This morning I was contemplating who I would like to give a Shout Out to this week. There were a few that I could choose from.

First, I thought about giving a shout out to the folks that helped us finish our loan and actually CLOSE on our house yesterday! Let me tell you, it was no small feat. Short of asking for blood samples or our firstborn, the mortgage company had some amazingly ridiculous requests (no offense if you work for a mortgage company). But, our broker and the escrow officer pulled some late hours and focused solely on our file for a few days in order to speed us through the process. Woot Woot! We closed yesterday and have already begun tearing down wallpaper, picking paint, carpet, and reveling in the glory that comes with knowing a small piece of real estate is "ours" (in 30 years).

Second, I thought about giving a shout out (in the most sarcastic of ways) to a fellow mother in Reagan's classroom. This past week, my parents were in Cabo San Lucas on vacation so I had to take all three girls to Reagan's school in the morning. I have to walk her to her classroom and then I read a book with her before leaving. While reading, Bailey and Skylar play with the blocks or books. The other mothers love to see them (as well as the other kids) as I am one of the ONLY moms with a baby. If you know me, you know that I am fairly strong-willed; which means I'm rarely wrong. :) I don't like it when others question the way I do things. So, the following conversation bothered me in ways I can't begin to describe:

Other Mom: Wow, Bailey is walking?! How old is she now?

Me: 14 months. But she started walking at ten months.

Other Mom: 14 months? Don't you feed her? She's so tiny (hahahaha)!

Me: She eats constantly, but since she doesn't stop moving, I think she burns it all.
(not to mention the fact that ALL my children have been small for their age because THEIR MOTHER IS SMALL AS WELL!)

Other Mom: How much milk is she drinking?

Me: I'm still nursing.

Other Mom: OH! Well, my kids always had that healthy fat but it may have been the formula and then real milk.
(REAL milk? As opposed to the FAKE milk that my body produces? And HEALTHY fat? Are you saying my baby isn't HEALTHY?)
Other Mom: Is there really any health benefit to breastfeeding after a year? I heard it only has health benefits for the first six months.

Me: No, I'm pretty sure it continues to provide the necessary nutrition as long as they nurse, as well as the immune system support.

What frustrated me at that point was not having the true medical knowledge to give her. So, after I abruptly ended our conversation by walking away and grabbing my malnourished, overactive toddler, I went home and promptly started researching the health benefits beyond a year.
So, why would she deserve a shout out? Well, because I learned a ton about breastfeeding past the first year of life thanks to her insensitive and ignorant questions. Don't get me wrong; I'm not a 'nurse until they are four' kind of gal. But my baby is far from four. She doesn't even have molars yet. There are a number of organizations and researchers that recommend NOT introducing solids until a baby has their molars. So I'm not a total nutjob....yet. I also learned that even the American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends breastfeeding for a year at MINIMUM. AND, for each month over 12 that a child nurses, you diminish the occurrence of ear infections by approximately 10%. The La Leche League has some good info about nursing past a year too. You can read it too here
Plus, she's my last baby. And I like it. So there. :)

Sidenote: I am not saying that breastfeeding is the ONLY route that folks should take. I completely understand that it's a personal choice and some have a need for formula. I am not judging those folks or saying that their decision is a poor one. I am simply defending my OWN personal choice to breastfeed. :)

But, since you all probably won't be reading this until Sunday, I decided to go with my third option: Moms. That's right. No sarcasm. No research needed here. Just moms. All the moms I know, and all the moms I don't. We have the hardest job on the planet and most days we have folks that will tell us a hundred ways we are doing it wrong. But not on Mothers Day. Today is for us ladies. My Shout Out today is for you. For all the things you do without people knowing. For raising little people that will someday rule the world (or blow it up as it may be). For all the icky sticky messes, the tears, the tantrums, and the whining. For all the times we have been puked on, pooped on, peed on, and drooled on.
For my mom. The best example I could ever ask for. And the most amazing 'Yaya' to my precious blessings. For you girls...the moms in my life that make me laugh, remind me to enjoy each day because they grow so fast, and keep me sane when I reach the end of my rope. May your day be blessed and blissfully quiet. Or at least be filled with 'I Love You's and chaos that makes you smile.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Crazy 8's

I'm new to this blogging world, so I'm not sure what tagging is, but I'm a pretty smart girl and figure that it means I'M supposed to do this too.
I was 'tagged' by my dear IRL friend at Mommy Madness
So, here first tagging (sounds so illegal, doesn't it?)

In no particular order, here are my 8's...

8 Things I Look Forward To

1. Owning our own home again
2. Summer! (maybe a vacation)
3. Bailey to be done with teething
4. Fitting back into my skinny jeans
5. Hanging out with my girls
6. Date nights with my husband
7. My morning coffee
8. Dessert!

8 Things I Did Yesterday

1. Took Reagan to school
2. Filled out paperwork for new school
3. Went and picked out carpet samples at Home Depot
4. Took my sweets out for a date night since daddy was working late.
5. Cleaned up puke from a dog that got into the garbage! YUCK!
6. Packed lunches
7. Bathed some filthy kids!
8. Realized at 11pm that I had not showered :)

8 Things I Wish I Could Do

1. Sleep in!
2. speed read
3. eat without consequence
4. make money without taking time away from the kids
5. freeze time
6. protect my kids from hurt and mean people
7. stop taking things too personally
8. be content

8 "Grown Up" Shows I Watch

1. American Idol
2. Dancing With The Stars
3. Survivor
4. The Office
5. House Hunters
6. Biggest Loser
7. So you think you can dance
8. Amazing Race

8 Bloggers Tagged For The Task

1. Beana: No Cryin Mama

2. Peapod Four

3. CABean03: You are the Sunshine of My Life

4. Jaimie: The Wonder Years

5. Jennifer: The Middleton Family

6. Amy: One Day at a time

7. Nikki: The Williamsburg

8. Amy: Park City Girl

Have fun with it ladies!

In other news...tomorrow is the 8th...the day we FINALLY get the key to our new home! I will post pictures soon. Just know that they will be the "before" shots :D

Monday, May 4, 2009

I can do it!

Skylar dressed herself today. That's not out of the ordinary. She dresses herself a lot of the time, but today it was especially comical. I put her clothes on her bed for her (I do that now since her dresser fell over on her!) and told her to get dressed and meet me downstairs. She did just that. Except when she came downstairs, her clothing was on completely backwards. I chuckled (all the while flashing back to the 90's and that terrible Kris Kross fad), and said "Skylar honey, your clothes are on backwards."
"No they're not" she said.

"Yes, they are. See, the tag sticking out the front?"

"oooooh, they ARE backwards! That's ok. I don't mind it like this."

So, she stayed like that. All day. When we got home from our errands and the park, she was taking her clothes off for bathtime and said, "Mommy, my tag has been scratching my neck all day!"

"Really?" (laden with sarcasm) "Maybe if you had listened to mommy and put your clothes on the correct way, your neck wouldn't be all scratched up."

"Next time I will listen."

I laughed (knowing well enough that we would have this discussion again...and again....and again).

Isn't that just how it is with our relationship with the Lord though? When I was in high school, I asked my youth pastor why God would want to save us. I didn't understand the WHY part. Why had he sent his son to die for us? Why did he want to give us grace so that we wouldn't have to spend an eternity in hell? His answer was "When you are a parent, you will understand." And I think I am starting to "get it." I would give anything to save my children from suffering. I want only the best for them.

The flip side of that is that we ARE God's children. And like my children, I try to do things myself (knowing well enough that His way is probably better). My conversation with God might look very similar to one I had today:

"Heather, your way is backwards."

"No it's not."

"Yes it is. See how you messed up before?"

"Oooh, yes I do. But it's ok. I like it my way."

And the Lord will say "Ok, do it your way" knowing well enough that He and I will have this discussion again...and again...and again.

Just one of the many examples is the closing of our new house. I wanted it to be finished two weeks ago, but because it has been drawn out, our interest rate actually went down. The Lord's timing IS perfect (even if I don't always "get it" in the midst of things).

Deuteronomy 32:4
He is the Rock, his works are perfect,
and all his ways are just.
A faithful God who does no wrong,
upright and just is he.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


I've noticed a trend on blogs where folks do a "theme" day. I'm not normally the bandwagon type, but I think it's a pretty cool idea. So, today is officially the first "Shout Out Saturday." Each week (if I remember), I will give a "Shout Out" to someone that has impacted my week.

This week, I would like to give a Shout Out to my wonderful husband. He works way too hard without much recognition and affirmation. In the words of Donna Summer, "He works hard for his money" (ok, so I took some creative license with that one, but you get the idea). Last week alone, he worked late two nights, and then worked all day on his day off. This week he worked straight through the week with an icky cold. Some folks would use it as an easy excuse to take a "day off" but not him. I know his work ethic is something our blessings will admire once they are older. I know I do.

So, here's to you honey. Thanks for working hard. You are a wonderful example to our girls (and anyone else paying attention) of how to work hard, earn respect, live with integrity, do what's right, and not ask for anything in return and without complaining.

Daddy with his Eagles fans

p.s...I reserve the right to use humor in future SOS posts. Not all SOS posts are created equal. Some will be serious. Some will not.


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