Thursday, February 28, 2008

The royal princess treatment

Megan took a great nap today. When I woke her up, I could tell her fevers have finally begun to break, she looked a little less peaked. So the princess spent the day on the couch with some crackers and water and watched Madeline. Here's a close-up and you can see her hair is all wet from being sweaty. When I went into her room, she had no blankets on her and her pillowcase was damp.

In the meantime, Joshua did a great job with his school work today. He can now read enough to do some of his worksheets without my help. This gives me a minute or two to change out a load of laundry, or fix up snacks.
Sadly, I didn't take Joshua to AWANA for race car night. He was a little disappointed, but he understood that Megan was sick.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

ER Visit

Poor Megan continued to have high fevers. Then she started crying because her belly hurt and she could barely stand up (I'm sure it was 50% drama, but whose taking chances?)

Unfortunately, the way it works now at the hospital is that when I call to talk to the ER for a triage question, I get transfered to Anchorage where I talk to an ER nurse there. That works great most of the time, but I really just wanted to ask our ER doc if he really thought Megan should be seen. So of course, the minute I mention high fevers and belly pain, the triage nurse tells me to report to the ER to rule out appendicitis.

So, Keith comes home from work and I take Megan to the ER, where she immeadiately perks up a bit. The ER nurse was beyond rude to us. And fortunately for me, I was not the only one that heard it, or I would have thought it was just me being sensitive since I haven't really had a full night's sleep in 4 days. Fortunately, the ER doc gently put her in her place and then introduced me as a great nurse. He assured that my concerns about Megan are very valid and that I had every reason to come in to get her checked out. He's not worried about her appendix, but did suggest we be a little more liberal with the medications to get her fevers under control and that perhaps she might have the flu and is aching all over but centralizing that discomfort to her belly.

So Megan woke up at 2am crying for Dr. Smith and was insistant that we call him to let him know her belly still hurt. I indulged her by talking into the lifeless cordless phone and giving her next dose of Motrin (she was due). I know when she is really hurting versus just being dramatic, and she was pretty much falling apart again.

Unfortunately, Joshua knows that tonight is race-car night at AWANA and he's upset that we might not be going. However, I think I'll call the girl next door and beg to see if she can babysit on a school night just this once!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Yuck...the sickies have set in.

Remember that last post that mentioned sipping some tea and finishing off my book....that never happened. Megan started crying at about 10:30pm that night because she coudn't find her Little Bunny Foo Foo that she likes to sleep with. So in I went with Foo Foo, and stayed in there with her for about 20 minutes.

By 12:30am she started crying again, and I realized she was burning up with a temperature of 103.2. So I gave her some Motrin and hung out with her for about another 30 minutes giving her a cool washcloth for her head.

By 3:30am she had vomitted all over her bed and climbed in with me.

By 4:30am she had vomitted all over my side of the bed. By now I was too tired to think like a rational person, so I just threw a towel over the mess, cleaned her up and rolled her over to the other side of the bed to sleep with me.

By 6:30am the boys were up and ready to start their day.

So much of my Sunday morning was spent cleaning up from the overnight mess. I finally got Megan settled into her own clean bed by about 2pm, when I got another call to tour the house. I almost told the family that I just couldn't do it. But since the house was really clean and Keith was here to corral the kids, I told the people to give me an hour and come on over. So I cleaned and vaccumed in all the rooms except Megan's and about 2 minutes before the family was due in, I carried Megan out to the couch with her pillow and fankies (her 2 favorite blankets), made her bed and vaccumed her room. I'm really getting good at this last minute stuff, since the doorbell rang just as I was putting the vaccum cleaner back into the closet.

We haven't officially accepted any offers yet, but it's looking pretty promising that we'll have great news to report soon.

On another note, I ordered my cap and gown for graduation today. There's only about 8 weeks until graduation, and that looks like it will be a pretty nice weekend-long affair.

I'm heading to bed in just a little bit, since Megan woke me up at 3:30am today vomitting in her bed again and had another high fever this afternoon. Keith went in and snuggled in her bed for a while and I went to the store for more Tylenol and Motrin. She made him stay in her bed and watch about 30 minutes of The Little Mermaid (thank goodness for the portable DVD player!). She was sounding pretty bossy before she went to bed, so I'm hoping she's on the road to recovery.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


The kids have had a busy day today. They had a babysitter this afternoon for a couple of hours while Keith and I went out to lunch together. The babysitter is a smart cookie and she had them up on their feet playing the Wii and playing hide and seek while we were gone. This tuckered Daniel out and he went right down for a nap for her.

Then I took the kids for a walk to the end of the street and back. No matter what the weather looks like, we try to get outside even if it's just for a few minutes. The fresh air does us all good.

We came back inside and played Hi-Ho Cherry-O and a Noah's Ark card game that's similar to Go-Fish, but without the competitive edge. I keep one pair of animals and I pass out the other pair of animals, then we all take turns matching them up - it's a cooperation game that even Daniel can understand.

Then Megan and Joshua played Hullaballoo while I made dinner. Hullaballo is a great game that keeps them moving between these mulicolored different shaped floor pads.
They follow the directions from the guy in a box on the DVD, he tells them to hop on one foot, or crawl to a circle, or tiptoe to an animal that lives on the farm. Here they are doing a funky monkey dance while standing on red cranium pads.
Megan has really gotten into the game. It is really great to watch fine tune her balance and hopping skills.

Daniel was not so interested in playing Hullaballo. He was feeling rather sleepy and wanted to wait patiently at the table for dinner.

After dinner was bathtime. Then we attempted a movie, Mary Poppins, but the meltdowns began over who was sitting beside who, and "someone's blanket is touching mine". So we then opted for a couple of good-night songs and off to bed they went.
It's 9pm and the house is quiet, I'm about to make some rasberry tea and finish off reading a book.

The worksheets from last week

Joshua matched up the picture problems with the correct number sentence.

Practicing the letter A. He's really been working on the size of his letters. Sometimes his lower case letters end up being the same size as his upper case letters. Even though he can write all of his letters, we continue to reinforce the size of the letters.

Here is an example of his geography sheets. We use his Atlas to answer questions about different states. As you can see, he drew a cactus on the bottom of the page.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

School progress

Joshua is doing fabulous at his school work. I had pages of his work to upload, but the blogger isn't agreeing with me anymore tonight.

After we read his morning devotion, Joshua has been practicing finding the verse in his Bible. It coincides well with where he is at with is AWANA work. His AWANA workbook has him learning to recite the books of the Bible, and he can recognize quite a bit of them by site. So together we find the book, then he finds the chapter and verse and reads the verse to me (with some help when he needs it).

We are only on reading lesson 83, and somehow I had it in my plans that he would be finished with the book by March 1st, and it's looking like we are a tiny bit behind! But he is reading very well with very little help by me.

Math is focusing on subtraction sentences. Like if there were eight apples and a giraffe eats three, how many apples are left.

Reading Comprehension was fun this week. We read books that focused on the alphabet, and we read an Aesop's fable - The Lion and the Mouse.

Phonics discussed the short a sound, and Joshua was able to read a short story book all by himself, Nat at Bat.

Geography focused on Arizona, and we enjoyed pictures of the Grand Canyon, and the Colorado River. It was fun to talk about cactus and the difference between living in rainy Kodiak vs. dry Arizona.

History continued our study of presidents. We learned all about Honest Abe Lincoln, and made a replica of his one-windowed log cabin that it is said that he lived in.

We are reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as the read-aloud book this month. Joshua is really enjoying it.

Peaceful Playing

The kids played peacefully together for a little while today. They were racing cars on Daniel's car carpet. Joshua is so super-excited about AWANA next Wednesday, it's the Grand Prix night and he will get a chance to race one of his hotwheels on a track down the middle of the church. I'll be sure to have a camera with me that night. Megan sat on the sidelines and cheered the boys on while they raced.
It was so sweet this morning. Joshua was already dressed and I was helping Daniel get some clothes out of the closet, and Daniel said, "no, I wear blue shirt, like Josh".

The boys raced their cars complete with sound effects, and they had a blast!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Lunch Out the Ladies

Today was my friend, Maria's, going away luncheon at The Old Powerhouse. Keith had to bring me some paperwork that he had picked up at the Coast Guard legal office in regard to selling the house, so we arranged for him to hangout and watch the kids. I got dressed in real clothes - not the usual mommy-uniform which usually consists of a sweatshirt and sneakers. It was fun to wear a shirt that I had actually ironed, and to be trendy for a while.

Predicting that we might be a loud and rowdy group, the hostess sat us in the back room. Because we were the only people there, we stood at the windows and chatted and took in the wildlife. There were about 12 of us.
This huge eagle was just sitting there looking in the window. He was watching the people in the front room eating their food.
There were a group of sea lions playing around and this little guy was on his way to join them.

And then the Tusty went by and we all sighed and remembered that this would be our last lunch together with Maria at the Powerhouse. We all laughed and had a good time and talked about our adventures that led us to Kodiak.

Me (in the red) and Maria. I'm squatting down between her chair and the highchair that Emma (her little girl) is in. I had to crop the picture so that you all wouldn't see the amazing deserts we were eating.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Just an ordinary Thursday

Sorry, no pictures today - I'm really bad about forgetting to charge the batteries to the camera, and there is nothing worse than a digital camera with dead batteries in it!

The kids and I got up this morning and made some cranberry-orange muffins. Then after a series of phone calls inquiring about the house, we were out the door headed to story time at the library. Bummer that the story time lady did not have a craft ready for the kids this time. Usually it is a story then a craft. So the kids were a bit bummed out. We raided the DVD rental area and found the complete 2nd season of the Muppet Show. The kids really love the Muppet Show in all of it's musical silliness, so we checked it out. I ran into a good friend that I hadn't seen in a few weeks, and I was positively giddy to sit there and whisper like a couple of school girls in the children's section of the library for about 20 minutes while our kids (5 between the two of us) played puzzles and dominos.

Keith worked cleaning up in the garage today for a couple of hours. He managed to pull together about 5 garbage bags full of trash.

It's been a non-stop day today, complete with a mad-dash housecleaning after someone called to see if they could pop in to take a look at the house. Daniel ran into the livingroom to tell me he had pooped in his diaper just as I started to see the family's car pulling into the driveway. I now think I could possibly hold the world's record for the fastest diaper change and disposal. Then I lit a good-smelling candle as Daniel went giggling in the other direction. The little stinker!

The Artwork

Now that the artwork has dried - I thought I'd snap a few pictures to share. Joshua was attempting to mimick Picasso with his use of blues, then he decided to switch to Pollock style painting with lines and droplets. He told me he signed his painting so that it would be worth something someday.
Megan really enjoyed using all the different colors in her paint pallet. If you look closely, you'll see she's been practicing making M's.

This was Daniel's caterpillar, until he spilled some paint water on it, and really turned it into a water-color painting!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Wrapping up our art unit on painting

Our little budding artists spend the evening painting while I made dinner. After Daniel actually figured out that there was color on the end of his paintbrush, he was all about painting. He made a row of green dots and called it a caterpillar.

Joshua was making lines and spots painting Jackson Pollock style for a while. Then he decided to try his hand at a still-life painting. He put Megan's paintbrush and paint tray beside him and studied it for a while, then painted a picture of the paint tray and paint brush.

And as usual, Megan bossed everyone around. She's really in a "mother hen" phase right now. She spent most of the time micromanaging Daniel to keep his paint brush over the table, and not to drink his paint water.

School days in our PJs

We've got some catching up to do, after taking some down to to care for the various viruses that ran through our house. In total, we took a combination of 9 days off of school in the past 3 weeks. Which makes for serious inconsistency and difficulty staying in our groove. Joshua was so absorbed in working on a floor puzzle, that he didn't even notice me standing in the same room.
Daniel likes to get involved in the school day. He picks a pen from the pencil holder and practices drawing pictures during Megan's school time.

Megan is working her way through a Horizon's preschool workbook. While I really don't think 3 year olds need any type of formal paper-and-pencil type preschool, since they learn so much from the world around them, she was begging to do schoolwork with Joshua and this seemed like a good compromise. Yesterday she cut out animals that live in the land, air and sea and glued them in their respective places.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Overheard at our house today

Joshua to Megan as she is attempting to pry the lid off of a rubbermaid container that houses a bunch of little animals: "You can do it, Megan, righty-tighty, lefty-loosy".

Megan to me as I'm cleaning up after breakfast on my hands and knees retrieving rolled away blueberries: "Mom, you look just like Cinderella, but before she gets beautifuller".

Daniel announced at I took his shirt off to help him put his pajamas on: "Look!! I'm a mermaid!".

This is a terrible photo of Joshua's artwork. In my defense, it's a gray paper with light blue colored pencil drawings on it. I asked Joshua to draw a picture of where he'd like to go next week, and he chose Subway. On the left hand side, is Miss Debbie making sandwiches, in the middle is the soda fountain and on the right is a table and chair set. Above the table and chair set is a "soda". The kids think anytime they have water with ice and a straw that it's soda.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

If you like pina coladas....

Daniel and I are getting over a nice little illness that we shared together. He gets really cuddly and that's how I know he doesn't feel very good. On my cleaning out the freezer kick, I came across some non-alcoholic pina colada mix, so I blended it up and he was in heaven. I was thrilled that the grumpiness stopped long enough for him to suck down a glassful of pina colada. This blue sweater he's wearing has a funny story behind it. He wore it to church a few Wednesdays ago, and Mrs. W in the nursery commented that he looked like Elmo. So Daniel calls this sweatshirt his Elmo. He was whining this morning asking for his Elmo and Keith had no idea what Daniel was so upset about. I think Daniel is confusing Elmo and Cookie Monster, but truthfully, he really hasn't seen enough Sesame Street to know the difference.

I came in the front door with a bunch of groceries today only to find that the walkway was blocked by these "guys". It's funny how transfer season works here. Last year a family was leaving Kodiak and offered us their lego guys. Having a couple of lego freaks in the house we could not turn down such a fantastic offer. These lego guys are bionicles, so they are robots of some sort. Joshua uses them to create little armies of men that protect the house. And now that it's our turn to get ready to leave, we've been moving so much stuff out of our house. I mailed 10 books yesterday from my PaperbackSwap account. And I mailed out 3 eBay packages. And a friend came by to pick up some baby toys we don't have use for anymore. I am really enjoying clearing away stuff. The sun was shining yesterday and I was delighted to run outside and clean all the windows I could reach! Then today it snowed again.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

It's been a whirl-wind of a week. The four other people that live in my house were absolutely thrilled that I had no voice yesterday evening and into this morning. This is the second cold I've had in a matter of a few weeks, I'm sure I've picked up something from the kids.

The power was out island-wide this morning. When the power would come on and off again (it flickered a couple of times) our smoke detectors would sound off. Funny thing is that Joshua was standing a time-out the first time the smoke detector went off, and he knew he was in serious hot water, so he didn't move from the time-out spot. So we had a long talk about what to do when we hear the smoke detector go off. Fortunately for us, we had plenty of practice with the alarms sounding 3 other times this morning.
Then Keith took the boys out in to the garage and had them come in bearing flowers and candy. I got the red roses and Megan got the pink ones. Daniel sang Happy Birthday to Mommy and it was so sweet I couldn't interrupt him.
Then Daniel decided I needed a physical because I've been coughing and just feeling yucky. He actually gives a good physical. He checked my ears and my lungs and my temperature.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A mini-tour of our home

Since my intent is to actually print and bind this blog into a book to make up for my lack of putting photos into actual albums, I thought I would be a little self-indulgent and put some pictures of our home on here, so that years from now we can remember our first house we ever bought. I will say that the whole house-buying experience is a little daunting at first, but now that we've been through it - the benefits far outweigh all of our home-buying fears. So if you have no desire to see pictures of our house or read ramblings of the things I love about our house, then check back tomorrow for some kid pictures!
So, here it is...our 1549 square foot 3 bedroom/2bath home. We bought our house from a really nice young couple that had only lived in it for about a year. They made alot of great decisions when having the home built - from the lightfixtures to the placement of the master bedroom walk-in closet. I'm so glad that the previous owners had such great communication with the builders.
We've loved entertaining in our backyard. The raised planters have been awesome. The one closest to the swingset has rhubarb growing in it. The rhurbarb is a hearty plant and keeps coming back. The other planter had some strawberries planted in it, but I did not do a very good job protecting the budding berries from the birds. Behind the fence are blue-berry bushes. On the left hand side of our house, behind the oil container are two salmonberry bushes. Yummy. I love teaching the kids about growing our own food. I intend to have a garden at our next house.
Outside of the fence is the lily pond. In the summertime it is beautiful and we have quite a few ducks. Keith worked really hard building up a rock walkway between the fence and the pond's edge so that the kids could go back there (supervised, of course) to feed the ducks, and skip rocks. In the wintertime, we run around on the ice. One of our neighbors often plows a bit of the pond right after the snow falls, and that spot is good for ice skating.

I love our large windows in the living room. I have great memories of resting on the couch when Daniel was a newborn and looking out at the stars through the high arched window.

I love our kitchen. I will be the first to admit that I would have never thought I'd like BLACK appliances, since I am more of a neutral-colored girl, and the black just seemed so modern to me. But I love them! They clean up so easily! I know now that if I ever have a flat-top stove again, it will have to be black. A few swipes with the special cleaner and it still looks new.

This is our first home to have a pantry. And not just one, but two pantries. We uses the larger one for food storage, and the smaller one beside the fridge to keep our pots/pans and small appliances in. I can't think of what we did before we had a pantry.

I love the lightfixture over the dining room table. Our dining room table formerly belonged to Beth and Zach. I find it kindof ironic because they have so much of our baby stuff, when I go over there I'm always thinking to myself, "hey, I remember that shirt or that toy!", I wonder if they feel the same way when they are at our house and see their table!
(Pardon the whiteboard and bulliten board - part of our homeschool stuff that I forgot to take down before taking house pictures - the people on HGTV would whip me with a wet noodle if they knew how bad I am at "staging" a house to sell, after all, we do have to live here while it's on the market!)

The view from our dining room window. I love, love, love opening this window and the kitchen window over the sink when I am cooking in the summertime. Ahhhh...the breeze is fantastic!

Our master bathroom is fabulous. I love the shower-for-two. I have to admit that I love my husband very much, but showertime is my time, so it's not very often that I'm open for visitors when I am in the shower. However, the bench in there was a lifesaver when I was pregnant and fresh from having a C-section. The shower-for-two has also been awesome with helping teach the kids how to shower because there is enough room for them to move around and not be scared.

Our jetted garden tub is one of my favorite parts of the house. Before we had kids, when Keith was stationed on a ship, Friday nights were my nights to take a nice warm bath and just relax away the stress of the week. Since we've moved into this house, I've been trying to get back into that routine - funny how I find it so hard to take time to relax now that I have kids, when I need to relax the most for my mental health! This tub was also amazing for back aches and Braxton-Hicks contractions and other discomforts of late pregnancy. Then after Daniel was born, nothing soothes a grumpy baby like a nice warm bath with mom. And nothing relaxes a tired mom of a newborn, like nursing a baby in a nice warm tub.

Mommy clothes conundrum

I had intended to meet some friends for coffee this morning, but a friend on the other side of town cancelled because she had gotten quite a bit of snow overnight. Hmm? We didn't see too much of that at our house, but still the forecast said to expect a bit more snow and wind. So with a dark sky and slushy roads, I took Daniel with me to Safeway for a few things. (Why does it seem like we are there every day?) As I was grabbing some milk and bagels I realized that I was standing there in athletic pants that are at least 5 years older than my oldest child. In fact, I think I swiped them from Keith when I was pregnant with Joshua. I had on a hooded sweatshirt, my hair in a ponytail and not a bit of make-up on. This attire is the Kodiak-norm.

Then it hit me....I've become frumpy. And sure enough, I was looking through some pictures tonight of our time in Kodiak and I can see that this illness is progressive. This move back to the East Coast can't come quick enough - I can't wait to trade my snow boots for some strappy sandals.

Cleaning out my closet in preparation for the move has moved me to fits of giggles. Keeping in mind that before we got pregnant with Joshua, we were living in Boston and going out all the time. So my pre-kids clothes are now a little too snug in all the wrong places, and definately a little too short for a minivan driving 32 year old mother of 3.

As much as I'd like to order some clothes that I actually fit into (I have clothes too big, and I have clothes too small, but nothing in the middle), I'm going to keep my frumpy look until I get to Florida, and then I'll have to drag Sandi out shopping.

The pictures are completely unrelated to my clothing conundrum. They were taked today during snacktime. Yes, Megan dresses like a princess everyday. I'm seriously considering not even buying her any more regular clothes.

The boys are so funny, Joshua picked them both out blueberry yogurt, but I was already cutting up apple slices, so it was a bit of a big snack for them.
This morning, Daniel was whacking everyone with the For Sale sign, so I propped it up high in the window. Keith is going to put it outside tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A big busy day

This morning started with the boys fighting in their rooms. Daniel has really started pushing Joshua's buttons. And Joshua hasn't been sleeping well because he's been coughing, so his feelings are hurt very easily. In an effort to decrease possible allergens for Josh, we began to search for a new home for Meow-meow. But when it came down to handing her off, we just couldn't do it. So we decided the next best thing would be to give her a shorter hair cut so that our brushing her would be more effective at loose hair removal. So Meow-meow went for a haircut today. Daniel claimed the pet carrier for himself today, putting all his little animals in there. I was in the kitchen making breakfast and I overheard Megan trying to talk Daniel in to climbing in there.

She looks like such a small cat now. I shampooed the carpet in the livingroom today. Somedays I feel like a broken record ("did you wipe, did you flush, did you wash your hands, leave your brother alone, don't drink my water - I'll get you your own"). Today was no different, but I kept having to remind the kids not to walk in the livingroom because the carpet is wet. Guess who didn't listen?

This is distress because his socks are all wet and cold from walking on the wet carpet.

This is Megan saying, "deary, would you like an apple?". She hasn't actually seen Snow White yet, but I've added it to our Netflix list. She learned all about the bad apples from the movie Enchanted.