Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Crazy hats

It was chilly this morning so they all bundled up for the walk to school. Everyone admires Simon's hat that his Aunt Susan gave him for Christmas last year. He looks like a Yeti in it!

Monday, November 26, 2007

A day in the life

6:45 am- Up for a quick shower before the kids get ready for school. Relax in the nice hot water. Shave for the first time in days.

7:20 am- Make breakfasts, make lunches, sign reading logs, and remind them mommy will be in the library after school.

8:15 am- Take the kids to school in the car because it's raining.

8:45 am- Get Seth ready for the day. Breakfast (he slept in), dressed, etc. Send off a few emails. Make sure Net flicks movies go back.

9:20 am- Hurry, we're late for Gymboree!

10:35 am- Head to Costco for a long, long list of items. Trying to keep Seth happy while shopping cost me an extra $10 for an Elmo Christmas book he found and loved. I tell ya, the kid is obsessed!

11:55 am- Got some pizza and a berry smoothie for lunch. Seth didn't eat much because he also had sampled things throughout the store and sucked down a whole organic chocolate milk. I don't think that "organic" really makes it any better. It's still chocolate milk that freakishly doesn't have to be refrigerated but the kids like it.

12:50 pm- Take sleeping toddler upstairs for his afternoon nap. Unload the car forever! So much stuff! Put things away. Load and run the dishwasher from breakfast... yup, I am a slacker. Check email again. Pay some bills online. Call gymnastic place for Hannah and set up today for her to try it out. Load up bag with snacks for the "I'm Hungry" kids.

2:15 pm- Wake Seth up so I can go help the PTO at school. The Holiday Shopping is next week and we have to count inventory. I offered to help. Sucker is stamped on my forehead.

3:45 pm- Leave school to get Simon home, changed, and back out the door in time for Tae Kwon Do at 4:20. Grab tons of snacks again and make sure Hannah has entertainment for the duration of Simon's class.

5:15 pm- Realize I only have one hour to make dinner and eat before Hannah gets to go try out a gymnastics place for the first time. Dan got ingredients out and I cut. We had a yummy Red Bean and Quinoa Chili... obviously, the previous "I'm hungry" children just became the whinny "I don't like that " kids. Grr. I made some grilled cheese to go with it.

6:20 pm- Race out the door with just Hannah for gymnastics. She had a good time and wants to go back. What about the violin you say? Yeah, she just isn't into it and forcing her is sooo not working for us. She'll pick her way through the rest of the year and that's that. I am done. Once we found out Simon's scoliosis was worse I wanted to up him to twice a week at TWD and I felt like Hannah was getting the short end of the stick.

7:35 pm- Walk in the door and take Seth upstairs for a bath while Dan gets the big kids to take their showers downstairs. Started on Book Club book while he played in the tub.

8:10 pm- Argued with Simon about how many snacks he can have. He didn't like dinner, hadn't eaten much and was starving. I am of the "so starve" school of thought. He wanted a banana after Dan already let him have a cup of instant breakfast. Seth saw the banana and went into hysterics trying to get said "last" banana. I made Simon share. I am a terrible mom. Simon was after all starving because no on feeds him ever!!!!

8:30 pm- Read 3 books to Seth while Hannah read to herself and Dan and Simon worked on The Hobbit some more.

8:35 pm- Force Seth to let me brush his teeth. Why can't they understand that teeth should not be fuzzy?

8:45 pm- Tuck everyone in. Songs, hugs, and I love you. Ah, the sound of quiet... now for me time.

9:10 pm- Blog for a while.

9:30 pm- Watch mindless TV for a while.

11:30 pm- Gonna go get ready for bed now.

It was a long day. Most of my days aren't quite that packed full. Good thing we did laundry yesterday!

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Aside from the mishap first thing in the morning our Thanksgiving turned out quite nice. The food was scrumptious if I do say so myself. I was happy that the turkey came out alright because it was my first time making one in a roasting pan. For years now Dan and I have used one of those turkey bags and cheap aluminum trays. I called my mom a couple of times for pointers to make sure I was doing it right. Good thing I have a mommy to call on, even at 31!

Oh, and may I say the table was well adorned with the napkins and place mats that I made.

We've spent the rest of the weekend resting. At least I tried. I didn't even get out of my pj's yesterday. God that was nice. Also, I am not a big Black Friday shopper so staying at home wasn't a hardship for me. I watched Transformers yesterday and it's actually pretty entertaining. Better than I thought it'd be.

Today I went out into the world again. I took Seth to the doctors to get his ears looked at. He has a decent cold right now and he's pointed at his ear a few times in the last few days. No big crying fits, no fever.... just a hunch. He has the beginning of an ear infection. We'll keep an eye on it over the next few days. We have a hard enough time trying to get this kid to talk. I don't want him to have any ear problems that could delay him. Although, we don't really think he is behind, just stubborn. He'll probably go from grunting to full sentences.

I also got some fabric for a new project into the wash today. Ah, I must have something to work on.

Caught Hannah reading.
Boy that was hard. She usually has a book glued to her or her head phones. Hannah, though try and she may, isn't the worlds best singer. Thankfully her daddy told her long ago that singing should be based on enthusiasm not actual talent. Really? Talent sure does help the ears.

Then back out to hit the store. I took Seth with me... should have left his grabby hands at home. I swear he was not listening and trying to grab everything he could reach off the shelves. Which is ok in the cereal aisle but not even close to ok in the condiments area!

After a yummy dinner of enchilada's (we couldn't do turkey for a third night!) I broke out the Kids Concoctions book and we picked something fun to make. Moon Muck, or as some of you may know it Moon Mud, was the winner. It consists of Corn starch and water. It's way messy, total gooey fun, and easy to clean up.

Then a quick snack before brushing teeth, reading stories, and bed time.

Today wasn't all sunshine though. We got a call this evening that Dan's grandma Dona passed away. She has been sick for quite a while battling a myriad of health issues. Please send good thoughts to Dan's family, especially his grandpa. I think grandpa Jack is going to need some loving support for a while.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


And so the day begins with a mad dash to the store... it must be Thanksgiving.

"One box of stuffing isn't enough." Next year I'll make my own!

"Where's the butter? Sh*^ I forgot the butter!"

"DAN! Can you go to the store for me?"

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Seeing as tomorrow is Thanksgiving I was thinking about the things that I am thankful for.

Mostly I am thankful for my wonderful family and great friends. My husband somehow still loves me even though I bitch and moan a lot. We have some terrific kids, even if they are trying their hardest to send me over the edge!

I have always been blessed with good friends. They come and go at the right time in our lives, some stay a long while, but they all mean the world to me.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. What are you thankful this year?

In parting, here is a picture I took of the kids today. If only Hannah wouldn't have scowled it would have been a great shot of my monkeys!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Birth!, tables, and randomness

I had the privilege of attending a birth on Thursday as a doula. OMG. Did I miss that. A womans body is such an amazing thing. It knows what to do if you'll just let it happen. The hospital we were at was very accommodating. You don't always get that. They did their standard monitoring when we arrived and then they took her off the monitor and left us alone. She didn't even get an IV. So cool. She labored through back pain without even asking for drugs that everyone knows are at the ready in a hospital. What a beautiful experience. Every time I see it I am awed at such true perfection.

A healthy baby boy was born.

It was a wonderful way to ground myself with all that is constantly happening around me. I don't just mean Simon's health but the continual chaos that is parenthood. I do have something that I am drawn to. Something I want to pursue. The biggest issue with me attending births is making sure the kids are cared for at all times. Dan can't just leave his job anytime. He is the bread winner after all. One of the moms I have befriended out here offered to watch my kids from time to time. Her son is in Simon's class. Hmmm... that makes things a bit more possible... hum.

Let's see, other things that have happened recently.

Our dining room table arrived while I was gone on Thursday. Hurray. The best part is Dan put it all together. Did some of you just say, "You let Dan put it together!?!" Mr. Un-mechanical did a great job. Only one chair is wrong. :)

Once we got the table flipped over we noticed one of the corners is dented. It looks like someone dropped it on the end. I called Ikea and they will replace it without a problem. I also got my book shelf and I assembled it yesterday (photo to come).

My bento box quilt is back and waiting for binding to be put on. This lady is fast!

We went to "movie night" at school last night. It really means, "put on a movie no one has seen and no one has a chance of hearing due to all the loud kids running around dumping popcorn on the floor." Amazingly Hannah and Simon had a great time! It makes me twitch. The PTO raises money and the kids get hyped up on sugar. Couldn't ask for more. Don't you wish you could have been there?

I am getting my hair done today. Of course, I had the appointment originally scheduled for Thursday evening. I like to temp fate that way. It is way past time to get my hair done though. My naturals are showing.

Totally random but have you ever seen stationary and wondered why it couldn't be a fabric pattern. All cool patterns should be on fabric too. Oh, I am dreaming again.

Enjoy your weekends.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


First of all thanks for all the well wishes and support. I was reading my last post and it looked a bit like I was implying that the syrinx was back, I didn't mean that at all. The syrinx, when last checked, was great. Gone almost. It is the scoliosis curve that has gotten worse.

So, I have spent the better part of my day jumping through insurance hoops. Gotta love health insurance. It turns out that out of network can suck big time. We are covered out of network 80%, up to $2500 yearly, and a $1000 deductible. Garbly goo, eh. In layman terms it means bend over. The brace itself costs $3300 (ouch I know) and after the assorted math we'd be paying roughly $1800 for Simon's new brace!

So began my phone calls. Is someone in network that can do this? Yes, only one though and then it's 100% covered after the $500 deductible. Great, but not at all that easy. You see the doctor he goes to is in East Brunswick and yes, he is out of network but there are no pediatric orthopedic docs in network for us so we go to him. The people he uses/refered us to for the brace are in the same building and they have a long standing, 25 year, relationship with them so they know what to expect. Obviously I have the right to use whomever I want. So, to use these other people I'd have to get the prescription and xrays from the people we went to yesterday, do all the getting approval through insurance, new appointment for Simon to checked and fit again, and did I mention that they are in Hazlet. East Brunswick is about a half hour away in good traffic one way and Hazlet is about the same distance in a different direction....AHHHH!

After talking it through with Dan, even though the price difference is significant ($500 vs. $1800), we've decided to stick with who our doctor recommended. I don't want to take 10 steps backwards, get Simon fit for a brace again, or drive all over hell and back to save money. I feel most fortunate that we can say that. Our decisions for our children don't have to be based on what can we afford all the time. Although, at holiday time this much money could be used for lots of other things. I am sure Simon would get a good brace from the other people but I don't feel like it's right. I want to stay with what we know and move forward.

Why can't insurance companies just make life easy? We didn't have any issues with the surgery at all... oh wait, that was in network.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Brace yourself

Simon isn't totally in the clear after all. You remember that big weight that was lifted when they told us the syrinx had shrunk? Well, it's back. I took Simon in today to see his pediatric orthopedic surgeon to check on his scoliosis. Last time we were there in May the curve had gotten better so I didn't think much of today's visit as anything other than routine.

The curve has worsened. It went from 18 to 26. Why? I don't know at all. It should have gone the other way- syrinx shrinks, scoliosis improves. The doctor didn't even flinch as he began explaining to me how my son, who is just 6 years old, will have to start wearing a brace 20- 22 hours a day for years to come. He can take it off to bathe and get a bit of exercise but that's about it. I am so upset about this. I couldn't help but start to cry as the doctor told me all about this new change in Simon's life.

We were sent right on over to get him fit for his new brace. He is such a trooper. He put on a happy face and held still while they wrapped him in a cast. I asked Simon if it'd be ok if I took pictures of what was happening so I could share it with all of you.

They put a long tee shirt on him and put vaseline under his arms to keep the cast from sticking. He was trying to look manly because I told him he was wearing a dress. Aren't I a nice mom? Hey, I was trying to make the situation as light as I could. If you look in the background the xray film is of his curve.

Little brother was checking out the new outfit. Seth did a great job today.

Lots and lots of measurements were taken.

The markings will transfer to the inside of the cast.

They wrapped him in the casting material. I've never gotten a cast so it was neat to see how it's done. There is a yellow strip in the front to help cut him out when it dries.

They adjusted him slightly as the cast was drying so the brace will start to adjust his spine.

They cut him out of the cast and the t-shirts.

We'll go back on the 4th of December to pick it up and learn about using it. Apparently you have to get used to wearing it so he will start the first week sleeping in it and then the next week he'll start wearing it to school. I did call the neurosurgeon when I got home and left a message. They might have to run more tests to determine if there is any neurological things going on. Poor kid. By his 7th birthday he'll be wearing a brace full time.

On our way home I got him McDonald's for lunch. I had plenty of food at home that was much better for us but hey, how often do you find out things like this. I can indulge him a bit, right? The good news is now when his sister gets mad and hits him she'll hurt herself more that him. There's an upside to everything.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Oh, how they've grown

Taken in Feb 2006. I love this picture.

Taken July 2007. Ok, I love this one too!

I was looking at some of our family pictures today after I realized I hadn't even sent out their school pictures yet... better get on that. The kids change so quickly don't they?

Today is a nice lazy day. There are a few errands to run and a bit more work to be done on my sewing room but no need to rush. I like that.

I got a new book shelf from Ikea on Wednesday. It's so cute. I can't wait to get it next week and put it in. Maybe then I'll be ready to take a few pictures of the room. I also bought a new dining room table and chairs. The one we have now is literally on it's last leg. A few months ago a friend sat in one of the chairs and it cracked right under him. The chair leg split in half and he fell to the floor. Ah, oops. Sorry about that. I have repaired most of the chairs but they are very old, rickety, and have dry rot. You can only do so much. I am not sure what to do with the table, which is still in fairly good shape, because it is an antique according to Dan's dad. Maybe I should take a picture into an antique store and see what they say about it. I don't want to keep it, don't want to throw it away, what to do.

At least this year for Thanksgiving we can easily fit everyone around our dining room table. That will be quite nice.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

New York City!!!!

I finally got to really go into the city thanks to Misty and her kind Husband Lee, who bought our tickets. It was so incredible.

We drove to the train station (my first train to the city) in Matawan and it took us to Penn Station.

I have to say I was way overwhelmed when we got off the train. I didn't know where we needed to go, there were signs everywhere, and people! Lots and lots of people. Seriously, I don't think I've ever experienced being around that many people at once without attending a rock concert. (I sound like I'm from Hicksville.)

We figured out which subway train to hop on that would take us to W 45th St close to Broadway.

We only had to go one stop but the subway was packed (I took the picture on the way back). I was in New York. Misty realized we were close to Times Square. EEEEEEEE. I've never been there either!!!! She asked a police officer and he said it was a block away. We walked by our theater where we were seeing Avenue Q and headed on over to Times Square.

It was so amazing. I don't have the right words to describe it. The area is huge and there are flashing billboard ads one on top of the other. It was so cool to see.

We got a fast bite to eat at Juniors before the show. It was weird to be in a restaurant that had an old diner feel to it but it was really larger than most diners are. My Fish and Chips were very yummy though.

The play (obviously my first Broadway play ever) was hysterical. We heard songs such as, "It sucks to be you", "It's O.K. to be gay", and "The internet is for porn." Who would have thought that puppets could be so adult and yet so funny. We laughed a lot especially at the muppet sex. Sesame Street will never be the same...

We got back to the train station and heard our train was boarding. Somewhere in the mass mix of entrances we found our track, double checked that it was ours and got straight on the train. We had intended to grab a cup of coffee for the long ride back (it takes about an hour on the train and another 25 minutes to drive) but alas it was better to get on the train quickly.

I had such a great time. Thanks Misty, for many of my firsts.

Monday, November 05, 2007

The heat is on!

Ah, sweet hot air now blows out of the vents once again. Hurray for service techs who fix stuff I don't understand. Some sort of short happened with some wires in the furnace. All I know is it's fixed. I will try not to gripe too much about the total ruining of my day that went on in order to wait and wait and wait for heat. It was worth waiting for. My nose and hands were so very cold. Those things should only be cold when you're outside, not in. Cold toddler hands make cuddling up a bit shocking!

The big kids weren't to thrilled when I picked them up from school and they found out they had to accompany me to Costco. Hey, I would have gone this morning after Gymboree but some short people wanted a bit of heat in the house too.

Princeton and no heat

What a beautiful little town and campus.

My mom now lives about 10 minutes away from Princeton so we went up there to look around yesterday. We had lunch at Panera's and boy was it busy. My old waitressing skills came in handy when our food was ready. :) After walking around a bit we got some Chai Tea at Starbucks and went across the street to explore Princeton's campus. Mom and I both love the detailed architectural work on the old buildings. It was neat to see a few memorials about town that celebrated the 250th anniversary of the school! Being from Denver and all, there isn't anything that old standing. There is so much history out here.

I am sure none of my kids will aim as high as Princeton but maybe they'll remember seeing the big beautiful campus and they'll aspire to go to a good college. Hannah said she HAS to go to college to be a doctor. I don't know of any other kid that has known what they want to be from 2 years old. She asked Santa for a stethoscope that year.

After walking around for a while we headed over to a Battlefield. No playground, just a huge open grassy field an old historic home. The kids ran and ran.... we walked. The house was originally built in 1772! I am amazed that it is still standing.

What about the "no heat" part?

Yea, our furnace isn't working. Why? I don't know. I woke up on Sunday and thought it was to cold in the house. When I checked the thermostat it was set at 68. Ok. Then I looked at the thermometer and it said 60.... oh, shit. Not good. I fiddled with the thermometer, checked the fuses, made sure the burner or oil switch wasn't off... still nothing.

I called the oil company we use this morning and they are sending someone out. Please, oh please, let it be something minor. A new furnace would cost an arm and a leg. I hope they come out and laugh at me because we made this happen and they kick the heat on.

Seth and I are wearing sweaters right now and I'm still cold. I think it's about 57 in the house now. Brrrr.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Paint progress

Even though we have been thoroughly busy this last week with all the Halloween stuff, we have made some progress on the painting. There were 4 colors in here lime, green, yellow, and gold. Yuck, yuck, and more yuck. We got primer on everything. The inside of the big closest is done. I finally got the trim, which is white, done. Well, at least I think it's done. Getting the green covered proved to be a big pain in the a$$!

I'll get all the accent white taped off and we can apply the final touches tomorrow. YEA!!!! My computer desk is sitting in the middle of the room right now and I pull the plastic tarp up to use the computer. It will be better once we are all done. What a mess right now.