Wednesday, February 27, 2013

This and That

This month is almost over and it has been a busy one for us, so here's the catch-up post:
  • Randy had sinus surgery the beginning of the month.  I think it went pretty well.  He has been needing to do this for quite some time and he finally did it.  He did SO well with all the care he needed to do afterwards.  They had him cleaning his nose out with q-tips to keep scabs from forming and rinsing it out to get all the blood out.  I was grossed out by the stings of goop that he pulled out of his nose but he wasn't bothered.  Good thing he didn't need my help.  He's almost back to normal now.  He still has to flush his nose with antibiotics for another 2 weeks or so but the blood has stopped at least.
  • So I realized this week that I have this insane notion that after the kids go to bed I get another whole day's worth of time to get things done.   Eight loads of laundry?   I'll just do that after the kids go to bed.  Responding to e-mail?  I'll do it tonight.  Digging out my desk from the pile of paper clutter?  I can get to that tonight.  Doing lesson plans for Travis and Justin and entering their work in the computer?  No problem, I will do it tonight.  Returning phone calls, making grocery lists, working on Alaina's baby book, putting away all the art supplies and other things we used for school?  Well, you get the point.  I could fill another 6 hours every night with all the things on my list.  And somehow I have no energy when that last bedroom door closes and I can finally sit down.  I don't want to get up!  Anyone else with the same problem?
  • I went back to my foot doctor and my foot is finally healing!  It's more than 50% healed.  Now it's getting stiff and it hurts so I get to move it around and stretch it to it's limits.  If I can't get it to move and stop hurting, he wants to do a cortisone shot.  Not something I want to do, so I am working that toe the best I can. 
  • The doctor's appointment for my foot was kind of fun.  Alaina was in rare form, crawling around and flashing huge grins at everyone.  Then when I went to get x-rays the tech was kind of upset when he saw I didn't have anyone to watch the kids.  Travis did fine watching Alaina for the 5 minutes it took to get the x-rays and when I came out there were 2 nurses on the floor with them playing with Justin and Alaina.  Yeah, they were fine.  Then we got into the exam room and we started playing I Spy (our favorite waiting game).  The x-ray tech turned out to be our nurse and he came in kind of scowling still from our earlier encounter.  I was guessing Travis' clues in between his questions when all of a sudden, HE starts guessing!  We went back and forth guessing wrong until the doctor came in.  I gave up and Travis told us the answer.  (It was something we had already guessed.)  We went through the doctor's exam and then I had to put my sock and shoe back on.  I was holding Alaina and the nurse stuck out his arms to take Alaina and the doctor took my sock to put it back on!  Wow!  I sat back and let myself be pampered.  What a turn of events.  I think that nurse had a story to tell when he went home that night!
  • My sister found out she is having a girl this June!
  • My sister-in-law just found out she's pregnant, due in October!
  • We are doing a project at church called 21 Days and Burlap Bag to support a ministry in Nairobi, Kenya.  It's a really great way to help kids understand how truly blessed we are and to help those in real need.  Every day you put in so much money for all the things we have that street kids don't.  Like count the number of books, shoes, beds, boxes/cans, people in your family and put in so much money for each one.  So for one of the days we have to put in 75 cents for every time you have been to the doctor this year or for how many doctors your family sees.  That's quite a bit for our family!  After I thought it through I was struck to my core at how blessed we are to live in a place that Justin can get such awesome medical care.  I know all about the food and clothes and cars and our house, but the doctor's one was a big thing for me.
  • My mom is on a much-deserved vacation in Italy.  Travis is very jealous because for some reason he has decided that Venice is his favorite city.
  • This morning I had cereal for breakfast for the first time in a very long time.  Now I remember why I haven't eaten cereal in a while.  For the same reason I can not finish a cup of coffee while it's still warm.  I can reheat coffee.  You can't re-crisp cereal.  Yuck!
  • Travis lost his 8th tooth last week.  I hope he's done for a while.  We can't afford much more.
  • We went for Justin's thyroid blood draw this week.  I always sit in the chair and hold him but this time he decided he wanted to do it all by himself.  Sniff!  My boy is growing up!  He did AWESOME!  Both the nurses were very impressed.  He cried, but he stayed still and didn't fight.  It was really easy.  Good for another 4 months.
  • Justin has started biting his nails.  Big time.  Down to the quick.  He bleeds just about every day.  I cannot get him to stop.  I wonder what is bothering him that has caused him to pick up this habit.  I thought about sending him to therapy.  That made me bust out laughing!  Picture this:  Justin laying on a couch babbling to a therapist about what twisted things his parents are doing to him.  Hysterical!
  • The kids are all sick.  It started with allergies and now it's snotty and lots of coughing.  I think I have been covered in snot for a week now.  Alaina is a master shoulder-nose-wiper.  I am going to buy several snot-colored shirts so I don't look so terrible.  It takes about 7 and a half minutes each day to get messy.  Yuck!
  • We went to Justin's GI doctor.  We are still struggling with his digestion.  She just said to give him more of the medicine she has prescribed.  After all, it's just sugar!  The irony was not lost.  Most doctors warn about the effects of too much sugar, this one actually prescribes it!  So his teeth will rot out and he'll bounce off the ceiling, but by golly he'll poop like a champ.  We're trying to work it down but it's not very successful.  It's always a precarious combination and it changes daily.  Every day I learn another little piece of the puzzle.  So I am guessing by the time Justin is 35 I should have it down.
  • The kids all have eye infections so I get to put drops in 6 eyes three times a day.  The boys will drink anything I give them, they can swallow pills and they will let me spray stuff up their noses, but eye drops is something totally different.  My very least favorite thing to do to them.  Travis does well, as good as I can expect.  Alaina is tolerable.  And Justin is brutal.  For having no muscle tone anywhere in his body, he sure can squeeze those eyes up tighter than a drum.  It takes some prying to get those drops in.  Three days down, only four to go...
So that's our February.  We are planning to Rodeo this weekend too!  Yee Haw!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Museum Field Trip

To finish up our rock unit, we planned a trip to the Museum of Natural Science.   They have a really wonderful rock and mineral display, which includes amazing jewelry.  When we arrived, we ran into one of the museum employees who we met during a previous visit to see the Civil War exhibit.  He showed us the original 13th amendment and a bullet from the Civil War.  He was passionate about Abraham Lincoln and made it fun for the kids.  So, he remembered us and wanted us to see the new dinosaur exhibit.  Of course the boys thought that sounded great so we followed our tour guide.  He even gave the boys each a shark tooth to remember our visit.
The exhibit has all the dinosaurs on low to medium platforms and the first thing we saw when we turned around was Justin scrambling up on the platform with the dinosaur!  The security guards weren't any more observant than we were!

Our new friend explained that we could figure out which dinosaurs are real fossils and which are casts (of real fossils housed in other museums).  If the metal frame is on the inside, it's cast, and if the frame is on the outside, it's fossil.  And the museum has several dinosaurs that are more than 80% real fossils.

There was a great part in the dinosaur area that fit our mission of the day: a petrified wood display.

And this gigantic ancient armadillo relative made me laugh!

Here is the woolly mammoth.  They set up these funny displays with the fossils.  Here a mammoth "pushed" a caveman off a cliff.  See him dangling/falling above my head?

We also visited a special exhibition of the Medici family collection, including lots of cameos.  By this time, Justin was tired.  The dinosaur were way more walking than I had planned and I didn't bring a strolled for Justin.  Poor guy was pooped!  So he sat and looked at the little video presentation.  He looked so cute sitting there!  He looked like he actually was involved in the display.  Um, he wasn't really...

We did make it to the gem area finally.  It was very dimly lit so it didn't make for good pictures.  We looked around and Justin sat on the floor in various states of "sprawl".  We moved Justin from place to place as we moved through the exhibit.  Fortunately it wasn't very crowded.  It was amazingly beautiful though.  Seeing the way the minerals form into such brilliant patterns and shapes was stunning.  I cannot help but praise God as the Master Designer and Creator of such beauty.
This is the lobby where they have a geode split open with amethysts inside.  You can see another one in the gift shop behind us.  Justin walked over to it to touch the inside and he hit the window and bounced off!  It was so funny!

Justin was very tired by this time, so he rested while Travis checked out the planet display and the sun dial.

It was a super fun family outing (Randy was the photographer, I realized I didn't get any shots with him actually IN the picture...)  Travis learned a lot about rocks and so did I.  I think that might be my favorite part of homeschooling: learning along with the kids.   There will be lots more of that in the years to come!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Lego Build

So a lego store went into the mall near our house.  Travis has just discovered his adoration of legos and he received several sets for Christmas.  His friend, Little TD, has been a lego fiend for a while and he told us about the free lego build that the store offers once a month.  He could never go because his sister has a class during the build, but lucky for all of us, we don't so we arranged to take him with us.  This event requires waiting so we went prepared: snacks and toys.  And the store was really friendly, coming by with magazines and calendars for the boys to peruse.  They passed out cards that guaranteed we would get a kit and we settled in to wait.  The boys did awesome!  I could not have been more pleased with their behavior and extreme patience.  These pictures are from last month (an igloo and penguins), but we went again this month.  This time we were in line with a really nice woman and her son (maybe 12 or so?)  The boys talked legos the whole time and had a great time.  After the kids finished the build the woman came and sought me out to say that she had such a good time waiting with us in line and she thought I made it look easy with all 4 kids, even though she knew it wasn't.  Almost made me cry!  Of course, then we all walked back out the parking lot and somehow Little TD managed to fall into the one mud puddle in the one esplanade in the entire parking lot.  Sigh.
Waiting in line. Some doing better than others...

Executing the build.  I thought they did really well!

The build is for kids starting at age 6 so Justin doesn't qualify.  I was worried he would be upset, but I need not have worried.  He was fine!

All done!  I thought the igloos turned out so cute!  I especially liked the penguins. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Eight Months

Alaina is eight months old and she has all sorts of new tricks.  It's kind of funny how we are noticing the progression of her skills based on what we have learned from Justin's therapy. She is not just eating cheerios, she is eating cheerios by picking them up using her pincher grasp.  She really enjoys her food for sure!  I haven't found anything that she doesn't like yet.  She is crawling and even starting to pull up.  She's got 4 teeth and I think she is working on a couple more.  She is still Mommy's girl to the extreme, frustrating Daddy to no end.  I also discovered that she does well going to other women at church, especially when they have chunky necklaces that can be chewed!  She is precious and gives the very best hugs!  I love this little girl!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Travis is 7!

Travis had another birthday and now my little boy is another year older.  He hardly seems little anymore but I can't bear the thought of him getting BIG!   But big he is getting so we had to do some celebrating...
Travis likes chocolate so when I pulled out the chocolate cream cheese his face lit up! 

He played soccer and had a lot of fun.

 Then we had a little get-together and we were able to play outside.  It's so wonderful to be in Texas in the winter! 

We made a chocolate chocolate chip cake with twinkie filling icing tinted blue, with chocolate sprinkles.  It turned out delicious!  Travis had a really great birthday and we love our bigger boy so much!