Monday, April 30, 2012

We are entering the home stretch. He'll be home this week and I'm so glad. It's been a long three weeks. I am completely wiped out today so I'm planning to post all the pictures I have of the changes we've made tomorrow instead of today. That sentence makes very little sense.

Sorry. Too tired to change it.

Friday, April 27, 2012

I'm having Peanut Butter Fingers for snack. Don't judge.

What a wonderfully slow day. We've finished some school. We'll finish some more later. We've played inside and outside. We've done a little laundry. We've read a few books. I'm thinking about going to the nature center this afternoon for some great outdoor time. You can't beat this weather. How's your day going?

Peanut Butter Fingers

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


I am sitting here all my myself drinking some spark and enjoying the quiet. In a few minutes I need to wake the two older girls but it's just so nice and peaceful that I think I'm going to hold off a few minutes. Last night, as everyone was getting ready for bed, Nora threw up again. This time it was all over Claire's bed. I'm ok with any spot as long as it stays off the carpet. She never threw up again and basically slept through the night so I'm really thinking we just pushed the recovery a bit. Too much food too soon.

Today's plan is to finish digging up the garden. That garden is proving to be quite a task which I think will make the fruits of our labours taste all the more sweet. Except it won't be fruit, it will be vegetables. Except we did buy a couple of strawberry plants.

Except. Except. Except.

So as soon as the bug man comes to spray the house and today's schoolwork is finished, we'll be hitting the ground with our feet running. Except we won't be running, we'll be digging. And we'll be hitting it with shovels, spades and hoes, not our feet.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The plague is upon us.

Near the end of yesterday, we ran into Target to get some diapers and wet wipes and on the way out, we made a quick stop at the bathrooms to change a diaper and let everyone go to the bathroom. Nora, Eily and I finished first and were waiting by the family bathroom door for the other two girls. Nora found a nice, old man to wave and smile at, and all of the sudden, she was throwing up all over the floor. She kept gagging and gagging but at the same time waving and waving. We got everyone and everything cleaned up and loaded ourselves in the van. All the way home she kept throwing up bile. It was very pitiful. Once we got home, I cleaned her up, lined her crib with towels and put her down. She threw up a few times before finally going to sleep for good. I went to bed close to midnight, and at 1:00am I was back up with Claire. She was siting on the toilet when it hit so it went all over the cabinet, walls and floor. I cleaned her up, made her a pallet in my room and started in on the bathroom. Let me tell you, that stench....well, it was basically indescribable. So around 1:30 in the morning I was on my hands and knees scrubbing the bathroom walls and baseboards. Not to mention the puddle on the floor. Ooooh, that puddle. I had a hard time working my way through that one. Claire threw up about four more times but currently seems to be over it. Claire is our best patient. She is so calm and quite and in control when she is sick.
Nora woke up at eight this morning and was in her usual smiley, bouncy mood. Apparently the virus is a short one. And I am very, very thankful for that.

I am also thankful for caffeine.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The older girls named it Lydia. Eily named it Turnip.

Our butterfly finally emerged from its cocoon! To tell you the truth, Jason and I  had agreed on the side that it was probably dead. Shows you how much we know.

We brought it outside and carefully removed the stick.

How pretty!

We had fun playing with Turnip for a few minutes before we let him(?) go.

We all decided it would be neat to have a real butterfly bow.

When we tried to put it on Nora's head, it flew away. We were all a little sad. It kind of felt like we were saying goodbye to a member of the family.

And these two basically just watched from afar. Eily, because she was a little afraid at first. Nora, because she would eat him.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Before and After



Now I just need the grass to start growing.

And here is a snapshot of our "garden". I actually mow it every time I mow the yard but for some reason that grass just really loves to grow. (And yes, I can see that the yard needs mowing again. I'll get to it.) I really do want to get in there and rip all the grass out but I also want to do everything else on my list. We'll see. We'll see.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A few pictures I meant to post earlier

Our cocoon

The before picture of the brush pile I was cleaning when we had the thumb incident.

And this one is just for a good chortle.

Don't judge the Wendy's food. This was right after she had hurt her thumb and I let her choose her lunch.
And that's water in that cup, not soda.

And then there was today.

Today started out calm enough. We all woke up and just sort of lazily enjoyed each other's company for about thirty minutes without bustling about to eat breakfast or get dressed. Nora was being very cute and was enjoying entertaining everyone. Eventually, Jason got the last few items packed in the van and hugged and kissed everyone goodbye and started on his trip. Nora was ready to go down for her morning nap by that time so I put her down and decided that I would put a movie on for the girls and go rest for the first half of her nap and then shower and get ready for the day during the second half of her nap. I settled in, so excited to close my eyes but before too many minutes had passed, the phone rang. It was Jason calling to tell me that the van wasn't working correctly and he didn't know what he was going to do because he had appointments in Joplin this afternoon. I called car rental places, family and friends, and eventually pieced together a plan that seemed to be fairly sensible. While Jason was finding a mechanic's shop near Farmington, I was frantically dressing children, dressing myself, packing the diaper bag, waking the baby and loading everyone in the car. I quickly drove to our friend, Bethany's house to drop off the girls. Jason had taken out all the seats but the front two so that he would have room to haul all his paintings, so once I switched vehicles with him, I wouldn't be able to buckle any children until I went to Magazine and put the seats back in again. So I had to drop the girls there before I could go on to Farmington. Mom was at home in Booneville, waiting on the roofers to finish so that she could go to Fort Smith and get the girls from Bethany. Eily had an orthopedic appointment for her thumb at 2:30pm and I wasn't sure I would be back by then. Oh, and I forgot to say that on the way to Bethany's house, Claire started feeling very nauseous so we had to quarantine her because Bethany was having a play date and there were little babies and children all over the place.

Jason finished at the mechanic's and unfortunately they couldn't figure out what was the problem, so he drove on over to Leah's house. I finally met him there and we disassembled the Explorer as much as we could so that he could fit all his paintings in the back. Once I got to Leah's, I realized that I hadn't left the girls' car seats for Mom to put in her car so I called Bethany to see if we could temporarily use her car seats. She said her husband had used their vehicle that was carrying the car seats but she did have one old one in her garage. So Mom ended up having to just pick Eily up and take her to her appointment and leave the other three girls with Bethany. I hustled back to meet them at the doctor's office and put our car seats in Mom's car, and then she went back to Bethany's house to get the rest of my children while I stayed with Eily. Then, she had to come back to the doctor's office to put Eily in her car and transfer Elaina to my van. Then we had to run to Walmart and Verizon and finally, mom was able to go home to start cooking supper and Elaina and I went to Magazine. I dropped Elaina off at Rachel's house (she and Eli are best buds) and I ran over to Jason's studio and unloaded what was left in the van that couldn't fit in the Explorer and then put the seats back in the van.
 Back to Rachel's to get Elaina.
Back to Mom's to eat a quick supper.
Mom had gotten sidetracked with Nora duties and had burned the supper.
Think of a Plan B.
Made a different supper.
Ate supper.
Cleaned up supper dishes.
Cleaned up play room.
Cleaned up den.
Left Booneville.
Came home.
Cleaned up poopy diaper.
Tucked in 4 adorably stinky and dirty children.
Made one tall glass of ice water.

Wrote one post.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Info and Pictures

 A new week is here. Yay! Jason is home for a very short while before he starts his long traveling stint. None of us are looking forward to it. Claire found out yesterday that he was leaving again (he just got home late Sunday night) and she immediately started sobbing. It was so sad.

Eily's finger looked and smelled awful yesterday when I took the bandage off (there will be a picture of it at the bottom of the post) but I got some advice from our friend who is a GP and it looks so much better this morning. She's a little uncomfortable having it unwrapped but I assured her it's for the best.

Here are some pictures from my phone. I have completed one of the tasks on my list. One of the bigger tasks, actually. Later this week I want to tackle the items that involve paint.

1. Dinner at Shane's Restaurant

2. Dinner Date

3.Elaina's self portrait

4. I love Arkansas

5. Eily's schoolwork

6. We spelled her name

7. Happy First Birthday, Nora!!

8. I don't want to say cheese!

9. Loving on Daddy

10. Ouch!

Happy Monday!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Let me tell you about today...

I will not be winning a Mommy of the Year award today. Probably not tomorrow either, if I'm being honest.
I had a full schedule planned for this day. I had to finish school for the week. I wanted to load up the brush in that back corner and take it to the recycling place. I had to clean a friend's house. I had to go to Magazine and get the U-Haul. I had to take it to Rachel's house and load her yard sale items. I had to go to grandma's house and load my yard sale items that were in the back of Grandpa's truck. I had to feed and manage four kiddos.
So that was The Plan, but we all know nothing ever goes according to The Plan. We woke up late at 8:30 and hurried up and finished our morning chores and breakfast. Mom showed up at the end of breakfast. She came in Grandpa's truck so that I could load the brush and then she was going to watch the girls while I cleaned Sarah's house. We figured I'd be back around 2 and then she could head home. I filled up the back of the truck with the first load of branches and mulch, all while trying to help Mom with Nora and keeping Elaina focused on her schoolwork. I hopped in the driver's seat to take the load down the street and Elaina ran up asking if she could ride along. I said yes and she got in but she couldn't get her door closed. As I was leaning across her to grab the handle to shut it, I heard Eily's voice from the back area of the truck asking if she could go along, too. I told her no because I didn't have a car seat and then I shut the door hard and fast because there was a branch hanging down in the way that I had pushed up and I had to shut it before it came back down again. As soon as the door shut, I heard Eily start screaming. My stomach sank because I knew exactly what I had done. I jumped out and ran around the truck and sure enough, she was standing there holding her thumb and bawling. I tool one look at the cut and knew it was pretty bad. Deep. Very, very deep. I grabbed her up and ran inside to the sink to wash off the blood, wrapped a paper towel around it and quickly grabbed my purse and she and I headed to Fort Smith. The cut was right where the inside crease of her knuckle is and I knew that it would have to be held together somehow to heal. They ended up gluing it together and wrapping it with gauze. They also took an x-ray and apparently I broke her bone in the top portion of her thumb. HORRIBLE MOTHER. Mostly likely, it will heal on its own, but since there is very small chance that I might have split the bone all the way across, we have to follow up with the Orthopedic next week. If that is what happened, it could stunt the growth of her thumb but it is very rare so I'm not too concerned about that. Although I have to admit that Eily does seem to have rare medical circumstances happen to her a lot. We finally make it back home around 1pm and Mom and I fed the girls and talked about a new schedule. We decided that I should just stay the night at her house since Jason is out of town anyways, so we packed the girls and then went outside and spent another thirty minutes to an hour bagging up the rest of the mulch and branches. Then I took all that to the recycling place. Finally, we loaded up my yard sale boxes in the back of the truck and headed to Booneville. We stopped at Grandma and Grandpa's house to drop off the truck and pick up Mom's car and so that Elaina and Claire could have their piano lessons. Mom, Eily and Nora went next door to Mom's house and I headed off to clean. I finally finished cleaning after about three hours and then I headed back to Mom's. Dad had the older three girls entertained with old cartoons like Yogi Bear so Mom, Nora and I went to Magazine to get the U-Haul from Jason's studio. We had to unload it first and then we hitched it up and went to Rachel's house and loaded up her sale items. On the way home, (it was about 8pm by this time,) we had to stop at the grocery store so that I could get food to eat tomorrow at the yard sale and so that Mom could get groceries for her lunch on Sunday. Not that it matters, but CV's had a great price on their corned beef. I picked up avocados, grapes, bananas, applesauce, crackers and peanut butter, granola bites and milk. Just thought you should know that. We finally made it back to Mom's house and I got the girls bedded down for the night. Dad and I hopped back in the car, went next door and loaded my yard sale items in the U-Haul and finally, finally, we came back home. For good.

Until tomorrow, that is.

A HUGE thank you to my parents who are always willing to help. I can't imagine what this day would have been like if you hadn't been there.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Remember back when you could actually walk outside barefoot in the summer? Those were good times.

The girls and I were watching various Disney princess songs on YouTube. We were watching "Once Upon a Dream" from Sleeping Beauty and it came to the part where Aurora takes her shoes off and dances around. Claire said, "How can she go that far and not get stickers in her feet?"

Sunday, April 08, 2012

This one turned out rather long.

It's amazing how much productivity I feel and how much energy I have when the house is cleaned as opposed to when it is in complete disarray.  We have had a few weeks of non-stop appointments, obligations and activities, and, as is usually the case, you could tell it in the way the house looked. We've established a pretty good routine that keeps the house picked up and looking good. We wake up and the girls have to be dressed with hair brushed, room picked up and bed made. They do this while I cook breakfast and the rule is that if you are dawdling and breakfast is ready before you are, you don't get breakfast. I keep an eye and ear open and I make sure I time it out where they all eat every morning. But if there ever is a morning where I have an obstinate or particularly dawdling child, I won't hesitate to carry out the "threat." It's usually about 9:30 by then, so I get Nora ready for her morning nap, they brush their teeth and then we start school. It a nice, smooth routine that, for this moment in our lives, works rather well. Since we have been so busy, the routine has barely stayed alive. We've picked up the rooms we could, when we could and I've basically kept the kitchen clean. And, to add to the chaos, I've been in the middle of switching out the clothing from winter to summer. This (and the reverse in the fall) is the most dreaded "mommy chore" I ever face. I would willing potty train over swapping clothes. I don't know why it seems so hard for me but it is.  I think it's because I like organization and about halfway through it all, when there is the pile for The Store, the pile for the trash can, the pile for a yard sale, the four piles for winter and the four piles for summer, I just want to curl up and hide away for a year. Also, I have to have all the laundry finished so that I am sure that all the clothing that is supposed to be boxed up has been found and there isn't a little shirt or pair of legging hiding under the bedspread in the hamper. (Have I mentioned Claire wets the bed? A lot?) Since we have been busy another downside has been the almost complete stop of clean laundry.  So, to add to the normal horribleness of it all, I have piles and piles of sorted (hey! at least I did that!) dirty laundry. On Saturday, I was greatly looking forward to attending our annual church meeting but Eily had an ear infection that was causing her to feel pretty crummy and run a fever so I stayed home with her and Nora and Jason went with the older two girls to church. I was pretty bummed at first but then I realized I had a wonderful gift in the unplanned free time. Not only that, but Nora was really tired and was probably going to take a nice long nap and since Eily was feeling bad, she only wanted to lie in my bed, rest and watch movies.  I had a great opportunity to actually accomplish something. So I rolled up my sleeves, and dove in. For the first time in a week, you can sit on the large couch without having a pile of clothing fall over on you. I still have a lot of laundry to wash and of course the winter clothes in that laundry will need to be sorted but that will be easy to do since the tubs are right here in the living room. I'll just do each load as it is ready.  Also, I have been collecting things all winter for a yard sale and when I decided to just go ahead and set the date and I found out that the Big To Do on 22 is this weekend. Perfect! So far I have 12 very large boxes ready to go and I should have about two more before it is all said and done.

Jason is going to be traveling a lot (stay away bad guys. I have a gun and I know how to use it!! They didn't call me Fanny Oakley for nothing.)(Fanny was Annie's lesser know but equally awesome sister.) (Not really. She was a character they made up for me in a play I was in when I was in the seventh grade.)(But yes really about the part where I said I know how to shoot.) so I have made a list of things I want to accomplish while he's gone.

  • Clean out the pile of leaves and brush in the southwest corner of the backyard.
  • Clean out the gutters. 
  • Power wash the front gutters (Josh, I'll need your help with this one.)
  • Plant flowers in the front flower beds
  • Weed-eat EVERYTHING!!!
  • Maybe till the garden space? I'm not totally sure on this one.
  • Schedule an open house.
  • Get a new toilet paper holder in the main bathroom.
  • Paint the upper tile in the main bathroom
  • Paint over the wax that Elaina blew all over the living room wall this evening. 
That's all I can remember right now. I wanted to clean out the barn too but I mentioned that one to him and he said he wanted to be here to help. I'm down with that.

On a different note, Eily and I found a very strange looking caterpillar right by the front door and we put him in our caterpillar home. We've had this home for two years and now we are finally getting to use it. We found it Saturday while the others were at church and already it has started building its cocoon. We are all really excited. Jason and I have never watched this process either and I think we are checking on it more than the girls. I'll try to remember to take a picture of it and post it tomorrow. That's about all right now.  Maybe tomorrow I'll tell you about how I am going to get get all of next year's school curriculum for free.