December 12, 2010
So my poor sludgy gallbladder decided to take matters into her own hands. On black Friday I started to have a few pains and that night I became extremely sick. It started at my sister's house. The best part of this was she lives about 30 minutes from my house and she had no water. After an extremely rough night Clint took me to the ER. After quite a few pain meds, anti-nausea meds, a few liters of IV fluids and an incredibly long time on the stretcher we were sent home with orders to call "my favorite surgeon on Monday".
I called the surgeon that I saw 5 years ago. The receptionist politely said my file was "inactive". At work we decided this probably meant "non-compliant". Shortly after scheduling his nurse called to say that prior to seeing the doctor I should have a HIDA scan. Last time I saw him first then never had the scan. He was probably concerned that if too much time passed I would get pregnant or another life event would happen and I would again become "inactive". I had the scan and although my gallbladder does work she does not work very well. I was not surprised by these results and could have saved my insurance and myself a couple thousand dollar test by simply going to McDonald's and then they could watch me vomit, hold my stomach and moan in pain.
After failing my test I saw the surgeon for about 2 minutes and then scheduled the eviction. The surgery is a quick outpatient laproscopic procedure. I will have a few small incisions that are essentially super glued together. One of these incisions is in my belly button. I encouraged him to do a little reconstruction on my belly button. I had it pierced 4 pregnancies ago (need I say more?). I don't think he went for it....but a girl can only hope!
Wed will be the last day I am home to a cranky, ill mannered gallbladder with poor work ethic. My liver will do just fine on her own! I get 2 weeks off from work during this time I will get to stay home and relax and take it easy (minus the 4 kids all home for Christmas break). I have lots of family and friends that are pitching in and so it will be a breeze!
I am actually looking forward to feeling better. I am not looking forward to what may come out of my mouth while starting to go under. I can hear it now "You would not believe what this Pediatric nurse said...".
November 12, 2010
Some of the things that have happened so far this fall:
Mason - seems to be having a hard time when I work. He is fine at daycare or with his daddy, but when I come home he has serious breakdowns. It is usually worse my first day home and gradually gets better until I have to go back to work. He has become very fond of kisses. He loves to say "scuse you" whenever he or anyone else does anything that he things needs it (even if it is just a belly gurgling). He loves babies. He is very upset about potty training, some days are worse than others with this (he is the only one that thinks he should work on potty training). He gets upset if he pees in his diaper or if he can't pee in the toilet or if he pees on the floor. He tries to be a big help. If something spills on the floor he tries to wipe it up with whatever he can find (spills do include when he pees on the floor and anything includes my clean shirt that was folded and waiting to be put away and yes this was one incidence). He loves music. He sings when we listen to kids bop -Beattles or the Black Keys in the car. He loves my protein drinks and hides them in his changing table. He also loves to walk around with his hands in his pant pockets. He loves for things to be in place. He is also very particular and if he wants Mama to hand him something and Daddy hands it to him (or vice-versa) he throws a fit and no longer wants it. He likes to show you what he wants and will grab your hand to bring you in there. He has been having a hard time with allergies and we have started him on zyrtec. He doesn't like watery eyes or a boogery nose and will say "eyes, eyes, eyes, eyes" until you wipe his eyes. I can't believe he is almost 20 months old (he is my 4th kiddo I don't count in months anymore so I just had to figure this out).
Little Ethan is still the Hulk. He is a great big brother and is very patient with Mason. He is doing well in preschool and has made some good friends. There is a boy from last year that goes to a different school and a boy at day care that he calls "my best buddies". When he gets hurt he screams it is almost impossible to differentiate from serious injuries (when he fell on the corner of his UNO moo barn and had blood pouring from his forehead or if he just fell and got his hands dirty). He is one of the best sungglers ever! Ethan has always given the appearance of being a tough guy (when he was younger and he would get mad at you he would say "I'm gonna hit you, it will hurt") he is very sensitive to being reprimanded. He has an amazing imagination and is a gifted story teller. He got to go on his first hunt a few weeks ago and can't wait to go again. I treasure our time home together and I am truly dreading how sad I will be when he goes to kindergarten next year!
Mr Jacob is such a sweet guy! Everyday at recess he asks the aids if there is anything that he can do to help them. There is a new boy in his class and his teacher put him next to Jacob. Jacob has been very sweet to him even sharing his supplies when he doesn't have what he needs. Jacob also got to go on his first hunt and also loved it. Jacob loves to make people laugh and has a good sense of humor. He is learning that sometimes although it may be funny, making fun of someone can be hurtful (I remember learning this same lesson since I am a funny girl). He has also recently realized that Ethan is almost as tall as he is and at times struggles with this. We went to parent-teacher conferences last night and Jacob is doing wonderfully in school. He is a super speller almost always getting 9/8 on his tests and his bonus words are very hard! Some of them are: November, October, Autumn, Halloween. He is testing well into the 2nd grade for math and reading. He also has a love for music and desperately wants a drum set! He loves to walk around listening to his ipod. He played football this year and was quite the blocker (sometimes blocking his own team), he also scored an extra point! It was great to see the determination on his face when he played! Lots of the girls like Jacob one day when Noah told him that a girl in Jacob's class thought Jake was cute Jacob replied "A lot of girls think I'm cute".
Last but not least is our decade old Noah. We also had Noah's parent teacher conference last night. His teacher described each student with 3 words. Noah's were smart, polite and kind hearted. She reviewed his scores with us from his CRT tests and he scored almost perfect. He is often a "spelling-bee" which means he scored so well on the pre-test that he doesn't have any spelling homework for the week and he doesn't have to take the test on Friday. Noah is a great help at home and loves to help his Daddy make BBQ. He also loves everything hunting and fishing. He had a great football season! He scored 1-2 touchdowns each game, had a ton of yards, flags, interceptions and blocks for the season. It was great to watch him play. He is now playing basketball and has been having a great b-ball season.
The boys are growing so fast! We are truly blessed to have 4 incredible boys. It is wonderful watching the young men they are becoming!
I am pretty sure that exhaustion and hormones have nothing to do with this switch. I haven't been able to blog lately because Debbie makes it near impossible to think nice things. If I do think of something I am thankful for Debbie makes sure to attach something negative to ruin the whole thing. At work we have a white board and on this white board is an area that we write what we are thankful for. Usually I can think of a number of things to write. Sometimes they are profound and sometimes it was something funny that someone said and I am thankful that I will have that little gem to laugh about later (these are often courtesy of Mo...).
Today I am thankful to say that Debbie has gone on a much needed vacation and Patty is back. I got a couple good nights of sleep (even though one wasn't super great because Mason coughed so hard he threw up at 4am and decided it was time to stay awake, Patty doesn't mind). I also have great family and friends that are extra supportive when Debbie visits.
So now that Patty is back I will work on updating this blog more frequently!
October 5, 2010
He got a flash burn which is a burn caused by the UV light or essentially a sunburn to his eyes. He was only able to see red out of his right eye and his left eye was about 50% limited in his vision. Of course during all of this I was at work. Friends took him to quick care then to the eye doctor and home. Prognosis -flash burn, Treatment - no light for 48 hours, eye patch to right eye, Tylenol 3 for pain, rest. We made it through the weekend (that I was suppose to work) with help from great co-workers and supervisor that let me do some creative changes. Monday his vision was better and by Tuesday it was really good.
Tuesday after class he decided to go to the gym. I was excited that he was feeling better and decided once he got home I would take a nap. After picking up Jake from school I found Clint lying on the floor in the bathroom sweating, pale and vomiting. He had no depth perception and vision was once again severely limited in his right eye. We took him to the eye doctor who said his eye was fine and it was something behind his eye. So 2 days later we had an appointment with his primary doc. She was concerned that it could be optic neuritis which can be a symptom of MS and multiple other things but to diagnosis it you need an MRI. It is also important that if it is optic neuritis you have treatment immediately. To make sure that Clint had his MRI that day he needed to be admitted to the hospital.
I was able to get Clint on the pediatric floor where I knew the nurses, they have nice big rooms for our half dozen children to be able to visit and since my mom was visiting I would be able to stay with him (in case he got scared in the middle of the night). He had an overnight stay and we found out that his optic nerve was good, he had a small pineal cyst, and his sinuses are very bad.
Yay for the optic nerve! The pineal cyst is very small, lots of people have them and are not a big deal and we knew his sinuses sucked. So if nothing is wrong with his brain but he still can't see it must be his eye, right?
Yeah not so much. We went to another opthamologist who did 3 hours of testing and his eye is fine. He suggested we see a neurologist (we had during admission) so we were unsure what to do next. After talking with the primary docs nurse he had an appointment on Monday (eye doc stuff was on Friday). So just wait.
Saturday vision still a little blurry but he was feeling good. We went to Aurora's birthday party had dinner with some family and had a great time. We got home late Saturday night and he slept until almost 10 Sunday. He got up and had breakfast complained of a headache and slept until 3. When he got up at 3 I knew what the current issue was he had a sinus infection. Symptoms - headache, sinus pressure, tired, very crabby, sore throat. Yesterday he woke up and also had a GI bug. AWESOME!
I took him back to his scheduled appointment and he indeed had a severe sinus infection. Now that all the bad stuff has been eliminated from his eye issue it may be caused by atypical migraines or his chronic sinus issues. Treatment - antibiotics, saline wash for sinuses, steroid spray for sinuses, singulair for allergies, motrin for swelling, norco for pain and wait. If his vision is better after the current sinus infection is under control then great, if not then we will try migraine treatment.
So now we will just wait and SEE :)
September 27, 2010
I feel that I have pretty fair expectations of how much athletic ability to expect from each age group. I know that the younger guys get board and may be dancing around in the back field. I also know that they will have simple plays and they will be hesitant this year. Each year they seem to grow into their bodies a little more and it sure makes a difference! The last few years Noah has really figured out how to use his long legs when running. Tonight he scored his first touchdown of the season and the only touchdown of the game. He ran for a total of about 110 yards with 85 of those being for his touchdown. It is fun to watch!
That being said I felt like I was going to have a brain aneurysm on the sidelines. I cheer for all of the kids and have been known to clap for either team if they do well. I also am very thankful for the coaches/referees that volunteer, but if you don't know the rules what are you doing on the field?? Most of our game was spent in huddles. There is a time limit on the amount you can spend in a huddle. Also no one knew if they were suppose to change directions at each quarter or just halftime...hello?! Even I knew the answer to that one. One very nice parent did volunteer to referee and he said that he was unsure of the rules, so he had the rule book in his hand and read it as he went.
At one point during the game the other coach did something that was illegal and then said "oh yeah I was suppose to say we were going to punt". smile, smile.
Yes when it comes to games I am a rule follower. Rules are for a reason. They make things fair. If everyone follows the rules then you won/lost fairly. I warned Clint that he may have to be the parent referee at Sat's game. He better brush up on his flag football rules....I will be watching!
September 20, 2010
My typical day off (from my paid job) goes like this: wake up, start coffee, cook breakfast, get Mason from bed and changed (the bigger boys have an alarm clock), take a shower, take Noah and Jake to school, start a load of laundry, eat a little breakfast, find something to entertain Mason, do breakfast dishes, more laundry, check my online banking (and a few minutes on facebook), change Mason's diaper, get Ethan from school, feed Ethan and Mason lunch, try to eat at the same time unless Mason is REALLY fussy, change Mason, put him to bed, do laundry, pick up the living room, (today I painted the dining room during naptime), sweep, laundry, continuing to find something for Ethan to do during quiet time, get Mason up from nap, change his diaper, get Jake from school, snack time and homework for Jake, if the weather is bad pick up Noah, Noah's homework, cook dinner, dishes, football practice, home, bath for Mason, Ethan and Jake shower then Noah showers, quick snack teeth brushing, story, bed.
So during these days I forget about me, I fill sippy cups and make lots of chocolate milk, I wipe butts, sing silly songs and do silly dances for the boys. I just want to start remembering me. Just for a little bit. Obviously this is a little difficult with days off like above and a full time career. Today I started making a list. A list of things I would like to do at some point just for me. Not only am I making the list, but I am going to start crossing things off.
Here are a few things on my list:
- learn Spanish
- take a photography class
- learn to scuba dive
- swim with a dolphin
- go sky diving
- learn to play the piano
- read 50 books of the BBC list of 100 books
- learn to make a killer cupcake...from scratch
- take a cake decorating class - fondant and gum paste
I have many more things on my list and I will continue to add to it as I think of more. I am very excited. I love all of the roles I play, but once in awhile I am going to work on remembering me.
September 12, 2010
- ked shoes
- Flathead lake
- 5th wheels
- Cheese ball puffs
- circus peanuts (the candy)
- RC cola
- Talk shows
- Game Show Network
- Yard ornaments (particularly burros)
- Native American dolls
- crochet blankets
- romance novels
- 8-tracks (I always wondered about her fat tapes in the Pontiac)
- Sweet peas
- Bright, tacky t-shirts
- any holiday decoration that sings/dances
- Halloween cupcakes
- Big Christmas trees
- Turkey and mayo sandwiches
- long fingernails
- sitting on the couch with your legs tucked underneath
- swap meets
So many more things that I had to stop (I actually can barely see the screen because of the tears).
My Grandma was such a strong, unselfish woman. I have so many wonderful memories from the time I was very little. I spent much of my summer camping with them and countless nights at their house for sleepovers. I know that she is in a better place but I still miss her! I fell blessed that I am her oldest grandchild. I knew her as a child and I also knew her as an adult. She was able to meet and hold 2 of my boys. I wish she could have met the other 2 and all of the other great-grandchildren yet to come (from the other grandkids....we are done :) ).
Thanks to her I have learned to love unconditionally, to care for my family no matter what. I have also learned to do things for myself to make me happy. Grandma you are always in my heart and I miss you!
August 11, 2010
Ethan was glad because he then got to snuggle me all by himself. During the night I woke up to cover him back up and his head was in the pillowcase. Not sure what he was doing, but I'm glad I woke up!
This morning we left Iowa and went into South Dakota. I had cruise set at 75 and thought it was interesting that I was passing everyone. I usually go the speed limit or just a little over so I may pass a few people, but not EVERYONE. I was also passing bikers left and right going to Sturgis. I was definitely the winner....that is until I saw blue and red lights in my rear view mirror. The very nice police officer informed me that going down the hill I was doing 86 (holy heck) and that when he was behind me I was doing a steady 83. I was very shocked and said I am sure that I had my cruise set at 75. He then asked me to step out of the vehicle and come back to his police car. This must be standard practice because this it what they had Clint do when he got a speeding ticket it South Dakota. On the way back to his vehicle he made a comment about our tires and I told them we just got them right before our trip. He asked if they were larger (yes) and if we had the speedometer re-calibrated (no). I then found out that going up a tire size will put your speedometer off about 7 mph. So when he clocked me at 83 I really did have my cruise set to 75 and the reason that I was passing everyone was that I was really flying! He let me off with a warning! Yay!
We then finally made it Rapid City we decided to have an early dinner at a place that had pizza, arcade games and lazer tag. We ate dinner, played some games then my mom kept Mason entertained while the rest of us played lazer tag (I did offer for her to play). Noah and I were red and Jacob, Clint and Ethan were green (of course because Ethan is the Hulk). We were the only ones playing and we had SO much fun! Ethan and Jacob just followed me around and shot me. I couldn't get away from them. I'm not sure how but Noah and I did come out victorious! Yay Red!
As we got closer to Sturgis the traffic became very bad at times completely stopped. We could see flames on the road ahead of us so we patiently waited. During our waiting we enjoyed people watching. There were some VERY interesting folks headed to sturgis! Many of them were all decked out for a night on the town. When we finally got to the accident we saw that a semi tuck was completely incinerated. We pray that the driver made it out safely! There is nothing left of the cab of his truck or the trailer. Very scary.
Since we are hundreds of miles behind where we planned to be today we tried to find a hotel as the afternoon went on. Due to Sturgis being in full swing we are driving to Sheridan. If hotels before Sheridan had any openings they were charging $500 a night (and it was a dive). We are still driving and have about 30 more miles to go but at least tomorrow we only have another 20 miles until we get into Montana!
August 10, 2010
This morning we were driving into St Joesph, Missouri and saw the signs for the Chief's training camp. We decided to try to see if we could see anything. Once we got to the University where they had training camp we found out they were taking a long lunch break due to the extreme heat. We then decided to find an Olive Garden for lunch. My mom has this handy GPS feature on her phone, it first finds where she is at (sometimes she needs help with this) and then she can pick where se wants directions too. This really has been a valuable too and I am convinced we may need GPS for in the Excursion We followed her directions and she said "make a U turn". When then drove a very long way and realized it was the wrong way and headed back the other direction. While driving (for a really long ways) up and down this road I was able to look at a lot of bilboards and stores we were passing. (This new knowledge becomes very valuable as the story unfolds). We then see where we made our u-turn and just a little ways up from that was the Olive Garden we searched so hard for.
We got right in and seated. Mason sat with me for a few minutes and we ordered drinks. He then decided to sit with Clint. He is a very determined boy and wanted to open his straw himself. Clint was leaning forward and Mason jabbed him right in the eye with the straw. Clint had immedate shooting pain in his eye, was barely able to open in and once I was able to see in it he had a very large streak of blood in it. He was adamant that he was okay so we ordered lunch and began eating. I was not loving the way his eye looked so I borrowed a phone book and searched for an eye doctor close by. I recognized an office by their whitty billboard that had a large pair of glasses on a person's face and said "do these glasses make my cheeks look big". I also recognized the address from our early tour of the city. I called and they were able to get us in but they wanted us there "right now".
We quickly paid our bill and loaded all of our hooligans in the Excursion and instructed them to be quite "cuz mama has to drive the beast". They were very good and I was able to get us there unharmed and even did a decent job of parking. My poor mom entertained the kids at random stores in the shopping complex while I filled out paperwork etc. When we finally got in we found out that Clint was very lucky because although it looked bad the cut was not in his central line of vision. He got a perscription for antibiotic drops and lubricating eye gel. The opthamalogist then gave me instructions on how to put in the drops and then our converstaion went like this:
Him: I'm writing this for bedtime and prn that means as needed. Now you get to play his nurse tonight.
Me: I am a nurse :)
Him: Yes you will get to play one (Very serious)
Me: No really I am a nurse.
Clint also recieved instructions on no driving for 24 hours.
Until today i have only driven the "new" Excursion one official time and a few times of pulling forward a tiny bit to get the camper hooked up/unhooked. What an adventure this was going to be! Yay for me! We were hoping to make it Mitchell SD, but we made it to the edge of Iowa. We didn't make it as many miles as we wanted, but I safely navigated us through lots of traffic and construction sites in our big beast of an Excursion. Yay!
August 9, 2010
I warned the kids that I would win and I did. I also won 206 tickets on a game. It was the one that the light goes around in the circle and you push the button when it is front of you trying to get it to stop on the jackpot circle. I usually get it to stop immediately to the left or right, but today I got it to stop right in front! Yay! I am hoping my winning streak will carry over for a few days so I bought a powerball ticket. (Hopefully the winning ticket!)
The rest of the day has consisted of a lot of driving. We left Tennessee, Kentucky and Illinois and will be stopping in a little bit in the middle of Missouri for the night. We should actually be there but...it was all fun and games until Ethan got glow stick juice in his eye.
I bought a ton of glow-sticks for the trip. They are fun to play with in the evening when we are trying to make it the last few (100) miles to our hotel. I have a ton of the small ones but I also bought a couple of really fun ones. These ones were really thick wands with bumble bee tops. Not only were they thicker but they are longer than the traditional sticks (containing more glow juice). Ethan was trying to bend his into a bracelet like he does with the small ones and it busted. He got glow stick juice in his eyes, on his face and on his arm. We were driving down the interstate in Missouri and there was quite a bit of traffic. My mom was sitting in the middle section and began squirting water on him. Clint swerved through traffic and stopped on the shoulder of the road. We got him out and I squirted 2 large bottles in his eyes. We got him back in the car and I called poison control even though the back of the box says they are non-toxic and will not do damage if you get them in the eye. It also says they are made in China. The man at poison control confirmed that they were toxic and that I needed to immediately rinse his eyes for 15 minutes with water. We were lucky to be right near an exit so I could rinse his eyes. I then had to pin him to the counter by laying on top of him and dumping water in his eyes while I pried them open and he was screaming and pulling at my shirt. 5 women came into use this bathroom during this time and just stared at me. 1 of them was very helpful and tried to calm him down and then offered her ex-emt skills. One man leaving the men's restroom commented on the child who was screaming and ruining the store for everyone. Thank goodness Clint didn't throttle him and just informed him that the screaming child was his poor son with glow-stick juice in the eye.
His eyes are red but no longer painful. I am no longer blurry or "fuzzy looking". The poison control man called back and said the redness should be better in about 1 hour and if it isn't I should find an ER. Hopefully tomorrow I will only be blogging about the rest of Missouri, Iowa and getting into South Dakota and I don't have to write about the ER!
August 8, 2010
Friday we got a rental car. I LOVED that car. I will now be counting down the years until a few of these kids move out so I can downsize. We drove to Okefenokee Swamp and took a swamp boat ride. There were lots of gators and some snakes. I thought my mom was going to jump ship when the tour guide said "it's a hot day. Snakes like to go up in the trees to sun themselves so if a snake falls off the tree and into the boat don't hog it to yourself, pass him around so everyone can enjoy him". After that she kept making weird noises. It was incredibly hot in the swamp. After the boat tour we went to the snake and gator nature show. We were the only people in there so we all got to touch the snakes (except for my mom) and Noah, Jake, and Ethan all got a little gator sit on their neck/shoulder and Jenny and I got a little gator necklace. Our ticket also included at 45 minute train ride but we decided to head to the beach to cool off.
We drove to Jacksonville beach and stayed at the same hotel that we stayed at before. It was great to be right on the beach. It was fun to boogie board, look for sea shells and just have a relaxing time on the beach. On Saturday Noah, Clint and Jude went on a chartered fishing excursion. They went out about 10 miles and fished. Clint caught 14, Jude 13, Noah 3. Noah would have had 4 and it would have been by far the biggest catch of the day. It was a huge amber jack fish. Clint had to hold the rod for him and he did everything he could to reel it in, but the hook straightened out and he came off. Big bummer. Noah was very excited when they got home. Later telling me "we all thought it was well worth the money".
Today I took Jenny and Jude to the airport then got back and took a little nap before we hit the road. We dropped off the rental car even thought Ethan really wanted to keep the "limo" as he called it. It was a white Chevy Impala not quite the limo he kept calling it. We are now officially out of Georgia and in Tennessee and on our way home.
The big bummer about today was I looked at our bank account and $1,106.85 was taken out for some swimsuit website. That is a lot of swimsuits. It is going to take 3-5 business days for the money to be credited back to our account. Big bummer!
August 3, 2010
Ethan and Grandma enjoying the waves. Ethan liked to go out really deep. He kept saying "only a little bit further". The water would be too your chest and you had to told him up. He loved the waves crashing into him.
Jacob didn't like going as far out, but he loved the boogie board. He was really good!
Poor Papa and Grandma are going to be exhausted when we leave!
Noah also loved going on the boogie board. I enjoyed going out with him "to the third wave" as he called it. Then he would nod and say "yeah this one is ours". It was a lot of fun. The last day at the beach he made friends. He will tell you he had 2 friends (a boy and girl-13 year old twins). They were small for their age, just a little shorter than Noah (9 1/2). I would say he only had 1 friend. 90% of the time he was only playing with the little girl -Shelby. Her brother was off doing other things. He really wanted to go up to their room (uh....no). He had a really good day with them but he got VERY sunburned. The poor boy has never been sunburned so he made sure to really burn himself. We diligently applied sunblock, but I was a bad mama and I didn't have him wear a shirt. His little brothers all wore their swim shirt, but like I said he never burns. I feel terrible!
We were sure that Mason would love the beach. We thought he would tot along the beach, pick up seashells and think the waves were fun. This was not the case at the beginning. It took him awhile to warm up to the idea of the beach but he finally would sit in someone's lap and play in the water.
We had some great meals as well. We went to Joe's Crab Shack, a Japanese Steak House, and a nice Seafood Restaurant on the water.
July 30, 2010
We had a great day at the zoo. It was a 102 degrees and we felt every last one of them.
Some of my favorite animals:
A new family picture. I always have a baby on my hip in these. The last one we took was at the Aquarium 2 years ago and Ethan was on my hip. If we take another one in 2 years I may have to stand all by myself.
This picture belongs to a previous post. I just wanted everyone to get a good look at the window ac unit cruising through Kentucky:
We had a great day. I took well over 400 pictures at the zoo. I have only taken a total of 501 on my camera this trip (I did take a few on our smaller camera but I won't count those in my total). Good thing most of our days will be hanging out my camera is itching to be used! Right now are a few hours out Savannah. Tomorrow we will drive down the coast to Jacksonville were the only agenda item is hanging out on the beach (and taking pictures of course)!
July 29, 2010
While we were in Kentucky this morning there was a very redneck vehicle. It was an older Chevy Blazer that had a window unit air conditioner (for a house) sticking out the back window. I took a picture and I will post it later.
Today we got up and headed out. Our final destination is Atlanta. We are going a few hundred miles out of our way to have BBQ in Alabama - Big Bob Gibson's BBQ to be exact. Clint has his cookbook and has made a few of his sauces and has since changed them (improved them). This restaurant has won tons of awards and is often on Food Network and other BBQ challenges. We drove to Decatur Alabama to try it for ourselves. It was good but I think that Clint's is better. I could spend a great deal of time writing about the bark on the brisket (or lack of), the temperature at which the meat was probably cooked to etc. all of these are topics we discussed during our lunch. It was good. I'm glad we went. We had a good lunch, got a few t-shirts and I am again convinced that Clint's BBQ is defiantly a marketable business.
I am so glad that my mom came with us. Not only has she been an amazing help she is good for some comic relief. She was very excited today because she finally found out where she was. Even exclaiming "now I know where I'm at". She was messing with her phone and got the navigator loaded. She would say "We are right by the water" Clint and I could see we were right by the water. She lost her phone somewhere in the Excursion I'm concerned she may be lost soon as well. (As I'm reading this aloud she is hitting me on the head, she is laughing so hard and saying "it hurts" and "oww", and some "memememe", but don't worry Clint is helping her figure out where she is he is saying "now we are by trees".)
We just crossed into Georgia. We will be in Atlanta soon (I hope). Tonight we are staying with Clint's cousin Lisa and her family. Tomorrow we are all going to the Zoo. I'm sure it will be hot but a lot of fun!
July 28, 2010
We had a great day! It was so hot. We did a lot of the same rides multiple times. The log ride 3 times. Mason did great on the first, was good on the second until we went on the little drop and started sobbing so he did not go on the third. He also got a little scared on the scooby doo ride and so he snuggled me and I sang itsy bitsy spider (very quietly so that I didn't scare the other riders).
Since it was such a nice, warm, humid day we spent a great deal of time in the water park. My mom spent a lot of time with Mason on the lazy river. For the first little bit Noah joined her and Clint and I took Jake and Ethan on the "Big Kahuna" ride. The wait was 45 minutes, but they really wanted to go on a "big person" water ride and this was the only one they were tall enough to ride. 45 minutes of listening to the group ahead of us talk about skin tags and the group behind talk about prom dresses and "no he didn't" comments was a little much (as I'm typing the "no he didn't" I am trying to shake my neck like the girls behind me were doing and I think I just pulled something). You get in the raft and then you ride down a huge slide and it is very fast and some scary parts (it is rated moderate). I told the boys I might be scared and Ethan assured me that he would scream for me. I screamed and laughed, Clint smiled, we both reassured the two boys there would be ok. They had the most terrified looks on their faces. Once we got out they both smiled, laughed and said "let's do that again". Jake then also said his shoulder hurt because of how tight he was holding on.
We then traded Jake and Ethan for Noah. We told Noah he could do any waterslide ride he wanted since he was tall enough for all of them. He chose the super slide (we think this was the name). It is similar to the big slide at the fair that you sit on your bottom on the sack and go down, except it is MUCH bigger and you lay on your belly. You wait in line and get your mat (think thin blue camping foam with handles) from the person coming off the slide. Clint and Noah got one and then it was my turn to get one from the next rider. After one look at him I made Noah give me his so he could take the next one (it was from a weird looking guy with no shirt I didn't want his belly juices...ewww). We then waited for a short time (10ish) minutes to go down. When we got to the top this mom was trying to force her 5 or 6 year old son down. He was sobbing his name was Ethan (she kept screaming it). She then put the mat down at the top of the slide and tried putting him on it and pushing him down. He wouldn't grab the handles and finally the lifeguard stepped in and stood on the mat so this crazy lady couldn't push her kid down this water slide. I'm glad she did this because I was about 2 seconds away from stepping in. I'm not sure what I would have either - "excuse me ma'am I'm a pediatric nurse and I think that the potential psychological and or physical injuries you may be causing your child far outweigh the frustration you will have if you walked him down the stairs....or excuse me ma'am and then I would push her down the slide. I'm really glad that poor 16 year old lifeguard stepped in because I don't know which one I would have chosen.
We then left the water park to have funnel cake, go on a few more rides, and get a souvenir. Ethan was devastated to find out that The Hulk is not a part of the Justice League. He thinks that you should be able to find Hulk gear everywhere, and if they don't carry it he is devastated. He settled on a superman cape, Jake got a Joker cape, Noah got dog tags and Mason got a batman onesie. Out in the main stage area there was a group of kids that were the cast of some show at six flags. The boys were playing the drums on large metal garbage cans. Mason loved it! he loves the drums and garbage cans. He was in heaven! He was dancing and clapping and sad when it was over. Very cute!
We had a short drive to Mt Vernon Illinois after we were done. Mason was asleep before we were done fueling the Excursion up. Jake and Ethan were asleep shortly after. Right before they feel asleep Ethan was thrilled to see what was in his happy meal, I finally snagged a hulk toy from a McDonalds! Yay for Mama! (We have been looking for one all across the country). Noah looked at his atlas to watch where we were going. Right around dusk we saw a 1 antlered deer crossing the road. (Always exciting to see a deer, especially a crazy 1 antlered deer).
My family is all now asleep and I am just waiting for the 3rd load of laundry to finish drying. Gotta love vacation I don't have to do dishes, or vacuum, or mop but I always have my dear friend...laundry.
July 27, 2010
We had an extended break in Bass Pro then had lunch at Red Lobster. Once we got back on the road we called Clint's parents to find out where there were. They had told us the day before that they would also be headed to St Louis today. They were only a few minutes ahead of us and we met at a Wendys. The boys got to enjoy a frosty with Papa Jimmy for his birthday before they had to get back on the road.
Poor Mason has a problem with constipation and today it the day he finally has to go. It has been rough. The prunes, juice etc obviously isn't working so next stop I'm going to walgreens to get some Miralax.
We are now in Missouri this is the last state for the day. Tomorrow we go to Six Flags. Yay I love roller coasters!
July 26, 2010
We have since left Montana, Traveled though Wyoming and are trying to get across South Dakota. South Dakota has a lot of road construction so it is taking a little longer then planned. The crazy thing is that there seems to be a lot of orange cones and slower speed zones but rarely have we actually seen any construction occurring. Clint did get to visit with a very nice police officer in one of these areas. There was a sign that the left lane was going to close then a 55 speed limit sign. (Previously 75). Clint slowed and was right above 60 (right on the other side of the sign) and got pulled over. We owe the great state of S. Dakota $85. I'm sure they will use it to buy more orange cones. There are a few miles of interstate that all of the lanes are open and I'm sure they would like to make some sort of fun diversion......
Anyway fun things we did : Wall Drug. Always something fun to see there. We drove almost 700 miles. It will be one of our longer days (thank goodness it is over). Mason was very good and is turning into a decent traveler. The other boys spent the entire day watching movies, playing the ds and even took a nap. Clint and I played the "I'm going on a trip and I'm going to bring..." game. I started with an acorn and he decided to bring a bra (maybe to hold the acorns? no sure).
It was a long, but good day!
Since Mason kinda took a nap when we got into our hotel room he didn't love the idea of sleeping. Day 1 is done!
July 20, 2010
Saturday my mom is coming over to help with last minute things. She is crazy enough to be excited about coming along with us. Sunday when I get off of work we are going to drive to Billings, MT and spend the night. Then Monday we will cross South Dakota. Most days we will go about 600 miles.
When we took this trip 2 years ago I took notes each day of what we did and everyone told me what they loved about the day. It is still sitting in a notebook waiting for me to compile it into some sort of scrapbook. This year I am hoping to blog as we go. If not everyday then hopefully every other day.
A few of the many things I am looking forward to: making wonderful memories, taking TONS of pictures (I'm guessing I will take close to 1,000. Clint thinks it will be closer to 1,500), going to Six Flags in St Louis, the zoo in Atlanta (the boys are already excited to see the monkey exhibit I told them Nana lives there. Clint thinks she lives in the warthog exhibit). I am excited to see family, play at the beach, the unplanned stops to "check something out". Going a few hundred miles out of our way to sample some yummy BBQ. Yay!
A few things I am not looking forward to: scary bathrooms in gas stations, scary bathrooms at rest stops, scary bathrooms at restaurants. Jacob and Mason getting car sick (at least Jake will warn us, Mason will sometimes cry then puke, sometimes just puke...a lot). Not being able to read in the car because I get car sick (I think about this often while we are driving I would LOVE to be able to read!). Listening to Mason cry he HATES being restrained in the car seat and I am a crazy woman when it comes to being buckled in the car.
The excited part of me definitely out weighs the bad listed above. I am thankful that I have boys who can stand and pee and don't have to touch a dirty toilet seat. I have lots of Dramamine and the safe dose memorized for my kids by how much they weigh (in kilograms). I am covering the car seat with towels and the seats with sheets, lots of walmart bags will be packed for potential puke. For Mason's severe hatred of car seats we will stop...a lot.
Keep checking back for updates of our trip! We are almost there!
June 28, 2010
So today the boys and I were there to deliver her cupcakes and it was so cute. They played with her in her room for a long while (almost 3 hours). Taking turns pushing her in the cozy coupe (she is perfectly capable of pushing herself but they wanted to push her). They waited while she got her IV (worried about how much it was going to hurt her). It was so sweet. On the way out Noah said "are we ever going to see her again?" Jacob replied "I sure hope so".
On the way back to the car they fought and whined but I didn't even care. I am so thrilled with the sweet boys that I am lucky to call mine.
June 27, 2010
Clint - finished up his second semester of college. Although it was difficult he has balanced school with 4 boys when I've been working. In May he went with my dad and my sister's husbands to Nevada. He got to see where I grew up and enjoy some fun central Nevada activities. He took Noah to a fishing tournament and then went on a weekend fishing trip with Jude. He then tore his hamstring, MCL, PCL, and meniscus playing softball. Big bummer. There went his good knee. He is in a lot of pain and has to wear an immobilizer and is on crutches....thank goodness no surgery (we hope)!
I am sad to say that Noah is now a big 4th grader. He got to go camping with the big boys for the fishing tournament (heaven only knows what they taught him) and he caught 6 fish. One was a 3lb 14 oz sturgeon that was big enough to win him a bike. He wanted to put the trampoline up so badly that one evening he did it almost entirely by himself while I was cooking dinner. He also is to big to think my stupid jokes are funny anymore and I have to bribe him to let me take his picture.
Sweet little Jacob is now in the 1st grade. He is such a sweet boy that on all of his Kindergarten papers he would write "I Love my teacher" or "I love Mrs. Petrini forever". Very sweet. He is looking forward to school in the fall. He has been wanting to get a "log on his head" so today he got his first mohawk. He told me "now I just need some cool shades". He is the avid reader. It is so sweet to hear him read his books he starts giggling during the funny parts and then he explains it, just in case you aren't sure what just happened.
Ethan loves the camera. He got a very nice camera from his Papa Jimmy, Grandma Dawn and Grandma Jean for his birthday. He loves taking pictures. He also loves being in pictures. When I have the camera out he poses and as soon as he hears the click he does a new pose. This will go on as long as you will let it. He is an amazing big brother. The things he will do for Mason (including eating a half eaten bite of food that Mason is trying to share). He will then say "thank you Mason".
Little Mason....where to begin. He stopped nursing a few months ago. It was bittersweet. I was glad to finally be done, but bummed that I will never nurse another baby. It really made if final that we are FINALLY done having children! Mason has a mouth full of pearly whites. Unfortunately he uses these often when he becomes frustrated. He becomes frustrated very frequently because he does not talk. He says Daddy, Mama, Sam, Cat, Jenny, Uh-oh, Outside, Down, Shoes, and this week he learned NO! He has these beautifully shaped eyebrows that he uses very well to express himself. Usually in anger with his brow squished together. This along with his love for the trash can bear a strong resemblance to Oscar the grouch. He has learned to open the sliding glass door and wants to come and go as he pleases. Mason is already very independent and fearless. He is going to keep us VERY busy!
I recently moved to a day shift at work. I LOVE it! I love that I get to know my patients and families. I also love that my shifts are busy. The times goes so quickly and then I get to spend the evenings home with my family. In May my sisters, the boys and I took my mom to Fairmont hot springs for mother's day weekend. It was a great time. Then in June my Grandma took my sisters and I to see my very cute aunt who is expecting her first little boy. I loved New York city and hope to go back in the fall!
For Father's day weekend we went camping. We got Clint a raft and we had a great time on the water. It was fun to go bike riding and fishing also. We have just a few weeks left before our big summer vacation. Road trip to Georgia here we come!
(Pictures to come later)
March 21, 2010
It was an awesome evening!
February 19, 2010
Today I helped in Jacob's class. I was in charge of listening to the kids read these little 8 page books. This one was titled The big, big van. One at a time the kids would walk back where I was sitting and sit down on my right side, write their name on the front page of the book and begin reading to me. They would track the words with either their finger on the pencil they were holding. I was very focused when the kiddos who were right handed were reading, but those lefties kept distracting me. While they were tracking the word I had a perfect view of the top of their left hand. They would say a word and look to me to make sure they were correct and I would catch myself. I had been staring at the beautiful veins in the top of their hands. Since I was on their left side I had a perfect view!
This fetish with beautiful veins carries over for my kids as well. On each of my boys I have the "perfect" vein if one was ever needed. I have no intention of actually starting an IV, but just in case I know which one we will go for first. Jacob's class was lucky to have me today. Had there been an emergency and those 6 little lefties needed an IV infusion in class I would have been there. I did restrain myself, I didn't whip out an alcohol swab and turnicate and touch their vein....but I REALLY wanted to!
I obviously picked the right profession!
February 3, 2010
When I got home from work the kids were amped up. Jacob can hardly contain himself because he know once this birthday is out of the way it is time for his day (Friday). We had a great dinner and then sat around and discussed why we loved daddy. Ethan's reasons "I like Daddy and I love him oh and I like to wrestle him". Jacob "I love to wrestle with Daddy" and Noah "I love that Daddy takes me hunting and fishing". It was very sweet. I talked about how I loved how much Clint loved the boys and me, how I loved his sense of humor, and I loved how strong and brave he is - how I always felt safe. This then led into the great debate around our house about my "noddle arms". The boys like to call me "captain noodle arms".
We then gave Clint his presents (Bass Pro gift certificates, a Georgia Bulldogs -shirt, hat and yard gnome and Noah's gift certificate to take him to Scheels to pick out some flys). It was a fun evening with lots of giggle from the kids (my favorite sound!).
With Clint's day officially over it is time to start thinking about Jacob's 6th birthday on Friday. He wants to go to Pizza on Friday and then he wants Clint to smoke ribs and chicken on Sunday. I love Birthdays!
January 11, 2010
Two summers ago Clint, My Aunt Cheryl, Noah, Jake, Ethan and I drove to Georgia. I loved the planning of where we would drive to, where we would stay, but I also loved the spontaneity of just stopping along the way. I think something is wrong with my brain and extremely painful experiences (hence the reason I kept having babies) since we've decided to once again drive to Georgia. This time my mom will be coming with us and we have also decided to bring Mason (or maybe Mason will be coming with us and we decided to bring my mom). I am actually super excited!
We are planning on going in July. Each day I think about how many miles we can go each day and what we can do. I make these calenders and plan what we could do each day and where we could stay....then I go to sleep. When I wake the next day I change my mind, maybe another hundred miles this day and then we could stay in this town.....or maybe we should go this way. The possibilities are endless.
January 3, 2010
Uncle Justin and Noah posing for a picture
Noah getting ready to jump over the snow jump....and Daddy! I was having a heart attack but comes to find out Noah had jumped over Uncle Justin, Papa Tim and the snow jump while I was in the Excursion with the baby.