Off

December 28, 2010 by Rieshy
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I am on "vacation" this week.  No school.  No real schedule.  Flexible bedtimes.

It's a mom's vacation; it includes a lot of cooking and dirty dishes, relaxed rules on movie viewing, a sick hubby, a croupy baby, and a low energy 4 yo*.  It does not include a cruise or warm weather.

I'm in my yoga pants doing important/strenuous things like building new play lists in itunes and reviewing foreign language curriculum while I devise homeschooling schedules that I know full well are too ambitious for an actual human to accomplish. 

It's a phantom sort of week- in a good way.  A week for rest and play and imagination and love.

Unfortunately the week will fly by if I'm not careful to look and see. 

I need to see and take note of things like:
  • my 3 yo, with his runny nose, kissing my neck. 
  • My 4 yo aiming the laser pointer of his toy gun at one of our Christmas ornaments pretending to blow it to smithereens.  
  • My 9 yo riding his new scooter in circles around my 18 who is refinishing an Adorandak lawn chair.  
  • My 11 year old drawing with new art supplies.
  • My 14 yo sitting with her feet up at the den computer highlighting something in her Bible.  
  • My 16 yo writing a book list on parchment with an old fashioned quill pen while listening to The Black Keys.
  • My husband who is being the most amazingly non-whiny, non-needy, snuffly sort of sick person. 

If I remember to look, what I will see is my whole family in various pursuits without the tyranny of the clock. Nothing especially recordable or momentous.  Just us, "off." 

I'll need these memories to get through the January-February grind.




*In our experience Christmas can be a bit too exciting for a child with a FOD, even in the absence of an acute illness.  Christmas morning left our 4 year old "burning" through his blood sugars for several days.  Blessedly, staying home while relaxing, and taking in extra hourly carbohydrates meshed well with the family's week off.


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Unexplainable Utterances

December 24, 2010 by Rieshy
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This has made me giggle to myself all week:

We live near a Boy's Home that has a large swimming pool.  We have occasionally been invited by house parents to take our kids there to swim for special events.  The swimming pool is great- except that it has an extremely rough finish on the bottom.  It can be hard on tender toddler feet. 

We haven't been there in almost 5 months, yet this week out of the blue, my 4 year old loudly announced, loudly pleaded, "Mom, please don't take me back to the Boy's Home, it makes my toes bleed."

I mean, really, can a 4 year old possibly say anything else that would garner as much instant public pity and misunderstanding?



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Personality and Genetics

December 20, 2010 by Rieshy
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My 14 year old was wandering around looking at everyone's ears last week.  She was filling in a chart about attached and free earlobes.  Freshman biology genetic chart. 

I have a more important question; do you pull back the shower curtain (SS) to check for a boogie-man in order to feel safe?  Or, do you keep the shower curtain spread from wall to wall (ss), thus forming a shower curtain force-field that is boogie-man-proof?

It's quite amusing watching our children with opposing personalities/genetics share a bathroom.  Definitely more amusing than earlobe charts.

In the middle of the night, in the dark,  my 4 year old will yank open the shower curtain before using the potty.  Me?  Not in a million years, in the dark, would I breach the magical boogie man force field. 

Filling in the chart Ss.


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In Case of Snow Storms

December 17, 2010 by Rieshy
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I'm down to one napper.  Just one.  Everyone else now reads during that loveliest hour of the day, the hour after lunch, that bright spot of quietness.  I probably only have another year, at most, of my last napper napping.  It will be the end of an era, after 7 children and almost 2 full decades of having nappers in the house. By the way, Husbands don't figure into napping stats.

I'm not trying to get ahead of myself on  Feel Good Friday.  Instead of celebrating the future end of napping- I'm celebrating the last super-early-riser.  My napper gets up anywhere between 4 and 6 each morning.  He quickly runs through the house and climbs into my side of the bed.  He always whispers amazingly loudly, "I get into bed with you now to sleep."  

He has to tell me that because I might not notice him fluffing the covers 20 times and stealing my pillow?

When he drops his nap, he'll start sleeping a bit later.  I'll stay warmer in the morning.  I'll get more sleep.  But I won't get to wake up laughing as I did this morning-  I couldn't figure out why my side was sore, or what was jabbing into my spine until I reached down and realized that my Little man had taken the time to pull on heavy snow boots Before getting into bed with me.

You know, just in case...


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Suburbanite Antics... In Lights

December 16, 2010 by Rieshy
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... Or Proof That Humor Can Survive Even In The Land Of Neighborhood Committees.

If you live across the street from this each Christmas...


Evidently this becomes irresistible...

 I didn't expect to laugh out loud on my way home from errand running.  
Life is good.


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Doing Slow

December 12, 2010 by Rieshy
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As I was "Power Dressing*" the Littles for church this morning I realized that Jack wasn't quite right.  I never thought I'd appreciate drool or annoyingly pitched crying.  But when his energy reserves are low it's a kind of early warning signal to S L O W D O W N.

Very Useful. 

Sooo... this morning he and I stayed home from church to rest and relax.  I nixed the movie watching ideas he had, so what to do?

I got caught up on laundry, got bread kneaded and rising for lunch, picked up the house.  Jack played with a police station garage on his bed.  Then he tried once again to convince me that he would feel better faster if he watched a movie.

And then, Jack taught me about photo both.  Yes.  My 4 year old showed me how to use photo both. 

I saw a series of photos and movies various children had made.  I was in the background of many.  Hmmm.  Note to self- that's what that beeping noise that sounds like a truck backing up is.  Must be more aware in the future. 

Perhaps some day I'll even be photographed while wearing makeup. 

Some day.

So, some people have Snow Days, we have Slow Days.  Even without movies they can be precious.



*Power Dressing:  Swooping through the house splashing coffee while dressed in a bathrobe after waking up late.  As you swoop you yank older teens by the ankles to wake them, while throwing cereal boxes and bowls on the table and commanding everyone to-  Eat and Get Dressed, Now!!!! 

Of course the definition would be incomplete without adding that during Power Dressing someone has always lost either a shoe or a sock or has outgrown their pants.  Crying generally ensues while you self-flagellate for not laying everyone's clothes out the evening before. 

Supressed Excitement

December 10, 2010 by Rieshy
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Finally.  Finally.

My 11 yo daughter watched my last weaving project without saying much.  However, she watched me weave with more attention than usual, she asked a few questions.  She praised my finished project and fingered it with a far-off look in her eyes. 

I could barely contain myself, but I did.  Enticing a possible weaver is like trying to tame a stray dog.  No direct eye contact.  Maintain an illusion of disinterest.  Put out food.

I pulled out some gorgeous hand-spun blue yarn.  This daughter is a sucker for blue.

Disinterest, "Well, I have another project I want to start, but if you wanted to weave a scarf with this yarn it would be really soft.  But you can't tie-up my loom for long."

Happy Dance time.  Yesterday I helped her warp the loom and she got her scarf started.  She's doing a simple twill pattern.  Only 5 ends to the inch.  So far she's the natural I knew she would be.  Her edges are instinctively tidy and straight. 

It won't take her long to finish.

Will this turn into something she loves and pursues?  No idea. 

The Happy Dance is because I'm getting to share something I love, with a daughter I love.  I'm getting to see my daughter learn something out of the common way, something that could become a skill that enriches her life. 

At the very least the warping alone made her practice a bunch of math facts.

No down sides to weaving on the Girl Next Door's Feel Good Friday!


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Random Contrariness

December 8, 2010 by Rieshy
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Our college aged- commuting son is mostly a figment of my imagination. Especially during this ramp-up time leading to finals.   He leaves the house before most of the family is up and returns most days after most of the family is asleep.

I miss him.

He has a month off after finals.  He takes up a lot of space.  He eats a lot.  He has a lot of energy.  He makes his little brothers wind-up like crazed remote-control cars.  

I'll miss missing him.




I love Winter.  It's been cold for 2 weeks.  I'm ready for Spring.



Christmas.

Sigh.  Excluding the Grinch I'm feel like the only one alive that does not really enjoy the Christmas season.  Mostly I keep my mouth shut.

Mostly,  I just hope to live through to January without squashing everyone else's joy.



My husband told me to write up a list of things that I need accomplished around the house and yard and give it to our oldest son during his break.  Hmmmm.... my husband is brilliant.  The little brothers (a.k.a. crazed remote control cars) adore helping Big Brother. 

I'll miss missing missing my son?


Random contrariness- all a sign of how this world is not the destination.  Which, of course, is why Christmas is so precious.


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Endurance Tests and Torture

December 7, 2010 by Rieshy
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Did anyone else grow up in the household of a seamstress?  If so do you remember the torture of being dragged to the fabric store?

The smell of dust and sizing.

The unutterable boredom of being forced to sit still at a slanted table, "keeping my hands to myself and Not Running Around."  Ugghhh.

The snarling women at the cutting counter.

The bejillions of years the process of picking out patterns and fabric entailed.  The odd fact that everyone in the store flipping through the Vogue pattern books was generally poorly dressed.

Of course, like mother like daughter;  I carried on the fine tradition of Textile-Torture.

It's good for kids.  It builds character.  My children have many memories.

Though, I added a twist- yarn stores....

Insert evil laughter.

Never will you find a venue that appreciates even a well-behaved child less.  Never will you find a place more able to make time warp into negative progression.  Never will you find a place more likely to be inhabited by at least one very angry and snarky woman.

Okay, I admit it.  I'm too afraid of snarky women myself to spend much time in yarn stores, and I've never taken more than one of my children at a time into one, so, instead I troll the internet looking for that perfect sweater pattern.

Talk about time going into negative progression.

Someone save me, save my children... any cardigans ideas for 6 stitches to the inch?


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Posted in Labels: | 4 Comments »

When It Doesn't Feel Like Friday

December 3, 2010 by Rieshy
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This was a week of multiple Mondays.  Luckily I think my family still loves me... mostly.
I'm baking cookies as I type, that should help with some love.

So to Feel Good this Friday with the Girl Nextstore I'll relate some sage and enriching advice from my youngest son.  Bear in mind that he is the youngest of 4 brothers, all of whom live to wrestle.  It's much like mothering a litter of puppies.  Except boys eat a bit tidier.  A bit.

The scene:  6:00 a.m. snuggling with my 3 year old.  He's wearing jammies and weight-lifting gloves.

"Momma, I'm wearing a glob."

"Why yes, you are," though I don't pretend to understand why.

"Momma, I can punch with it.  I can punch with my other fist too."
 Obligatory nod from me.

"Momma, I can punch with this foot and with this other foot."  More mother nods.

"I can punch with this knee, and this knee.  I can punch with this elbow and this elbow."  He points to each elbow in turn, both of which are so cute and round that I want to kiss them.  It's hard to imagine them as the lethal martial arts weapons that he is obviously assuming them to be.

"We can punch, but," and here my son's voice changes to a deeper and more commanding tone, "We May Not Throw Things In The House!"

So right he is,  Friday Feel Good in the form of Wisdom from an experienced three year old.

If you choose to eschew wisdom but perhaps prefer to collect music with which to torture your spouse:  My husband discovered this wonderful song and has been playing it whenever the family least expects it.  Now you can too...


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Possibly Ignorant Opinion On Chronic Illness

December 2, 2010 by Rieshy
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Parenting A Chronically Ill Child
 I was recently chatting with a knitting buddy at a school function about mothering, identity and chronically ill children.  Nothing like some good wool and the click of knitting needles to start a deep conversation...  

Our conversation prompted me to think back on the stages of thought, or more acurately- the stages of Grief I experienced when one of my children was first diagnosed with a Fatty Acid Oxidation Disorder.  
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Grief, in Bullet Points:
  • Total Shock and the inability to coherently process the words spoken by your child's doctors.
  • Internet Hibernation-  The time period where instead of sleeping you spend all available time on the computer looking up everything you can find about your child's illness and every permutation there-of.  
  • Percolation- This is the time period where you sit up at night thinking about all the horrible worst-case scenarios you have discovered on the internet.
  • Theology- All the why's and where's and prayers to God.  This is where you find out where your faith really lies and what you really believe. 
  • Denial- You decide that it might all just go away.  The doctors might be mistaken, or perhaps the situation has all been "blown out of proportion."
  • Oozing- This is the time period when all you can think about is your child and their illness.  You seem to ooze grief and concern even when you least expect it.   The grocery store cashier's casual remark about the cuteness of you child may cause you to fight both tears and the urge to over-share.
  • Integration- This is the time period where you have to figure out what your child's illness means in terms of not only their life but also family life, food preparation, work, school, your marriage, your free time.
  • Mastery- This is when you have become proficient with all the new-to-you medical terms, treatments and concerns caused by your child's illness.  Life starts to become routine again.
  • The New Normal- This is when you stop thinking of your child as chronically ill and start thinking of them as your child.  Your life becomes "yours" again.  Your child's illness is an aspect of their life and your life and your family's life, but not the definition.
  • The Kicker- The unique thing about emotionally dealing a child's illness is the uneven course of many chronic illnesses.  Just when things are going smoothly a sudden medical crisis can "kick" you, as the parent, right back to the beginning of the grief process.
Obviously every parent is different.  I "oozed" and "Internet Hibernated" more than my husband.  Of all the stages "The Kicker" is the one that is most personally difficult for me.   It's hard to maintain equilibrium when you are unexpectedly back in the hospital with your child, again.

I don't want my ill child to be known as An Ill Child.  His name is Jack.  He likes monsters and cars.  Who knows what exciting things he'll accomplish?  So what if he has to accomplish things while keeping up with his treatment protocol?  

I don't want to be first and foremost defined as the mother of a chronically ill child. 
That would suck. 

So, cheers to the New Normal. 










11 Hour Drive

November 30, 2010 by Rieshy


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 It's an entire mongo-sized bucket of animal crackers, 6 bathroom stops, a package of Twizlers and 4 million pictures taken with my husband's phone... and 11 hours, of course.

I was not along for the ride.  My husband journeyed to and fro, solo.  Without whining.  He had fun.

I love him.

Now I just need to vacuum out the van.


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Birthdays and Beyond

November 25, 2010 by Rieshy
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I know that today I should have some sort of sentimental Thanksgiving post.  However I don't have a turkey in the oven for the first Thanksgiving in 23 years, so I'm not smelling the sentiment.

I am thankful though.  Thankful that my 18 yo son put the moral of the movie, "Beauty and The Beast" in a nutshell for me, "If your boyfriend is abusive and has anger management issues, don't worry, he'll magically get better." Maybe not a romantic nutshell, but a funny one.

5 of my kids are off visiting Grandma.  Yes, she is the best Grandmother in the world.  My two year old got to shoot a bee-bee gun today.  Does life get better than that?  Or actually, does life get better than having your two year old have the fun of shooting a gun without having to see it happen?  Starting to feel the Thanksgiving.

Oh, wait my two year old turned 3 today and my 8 year old turned 9 on Tuesday.  More Thanksgiving.

With my little ones away I set up my loom in the middle of the living room and warped it, all in one morning.  I got up and wove in the middle of the night for several hours and then slept in.  Can you hear the almost hysterical joyous giggle? Definite Thanksgiving, no turkey required.



My 16 yo bought me a huge Toblerone candy bar that we are all eating off of.  We had bacon, cream cheese and bagels for breakfast. The three of us left at home are practically rolling in fatty foods- all forbidden when the Littles, with their medical diet, are around.  Mmmmm, Toblerone.

I miss my younger kids though.

Speaking of my 2 birthday boys with their birthdays just two days apart.

Ben, just 6 at the time, spent some time pondering the eventuality of a shared birthday.  He came to me one morning to let me know that it would work fine to have the baby during his birthday party because,  
"Everyone can get here and then after we have the cake you can go in your bedroom and have the baby and then come out afterward with the baby for the opening of my birthday gifts."

Wasn't that sweet?  It actually sort of worked out that way.  Except there was no cake.

I think I'll go eat some more Toblerone.


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Answering The Hard Questions

November 18, 2010 by Rieshy
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My 4 year old, "I know Woody is a guy with his hand in a puppet.  But what is Woody made of?"

Um.  Thank you, Toy Story 3




We are going to see a local high school's production of Beauty and the Beast tonight.  I borrowed a copy of the Disney movie so my 4 yo would know the story.  Yes, I realize that was lazy.  I should have read the boys a translation from the French or at least the Norse version I have on my den shelf.  Alas, I choose to cook supper while the movie ran. 

My 2 year old's main dialog about the Beast, "He's mean.  He's mean.  He's mean. Hey, He's Nice Now."  My 4 year old wanted to know why the Beast was suddenly nice.

"Belle is a volatile human element that disables the Beast’s de-humanistic regard."

Explain that quickly and coherently to a 4 year old.  Maybe he became nice simply because he suddenly looked like Fabio.  -It was an early 90's movie after all.

A truly difficult question is: what exactly about Disney version of Beauty and the Beast drives my husband and older boys so absolutely crazy? So crazy that we all have to endure lectures about weary archtypes and poor reasoning skills? 

Maybe it's just because the Beast turns into Fabio.



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What Are The Chances?

November 17, 2010 by Rieshy
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First off, a rant.  Why do manufacturers of children's underwear put the picture of the action hero on the back?  Do they not understand that the child wants to see the hero?  Do the manufacturers not care that little boys everywhere run around wearing their underwear backwards, insisting it is in fact on right?  Do they realize that backwards-little-boy-underwear cannot, in any way, be comfortable or hygenic?

The end.


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Last week my 4 year old And my 2 year old had an ear infection in their right ears.  Both of them.

Last week my 4 year old And my 2 year old's right eardrum ruptured, within hours of each other, and within hours of seeing the doctor.  Both of them.

Last week my 4 year old was playing with my 2 year old, doing an illegal spinning move on our piano stool.  Both of them.

Scalp wounds bleed.  Profusely.

Last week, after a week of viral illness capped with ruptured eardrums and scalp wounds, my boys were able to recupperate at home.  No hospital, no D10, less drama.  Both of them.

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Our Thanksgiving plans are complicated and not set yet.  However it appears it may include me having 3 full consecutive nights of sleep.  3 nights in a row.  3 nights without gettting up to give nighttime meds. or feedings.  I'm rolling the meaning of consecutive about in my brain with cautious delight.



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For The Record

November 14, 2010 by Rieshy
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I bought a bushel of apples last Sunday and 8 gallons of milk.

My 11 yo decided to learn to bake pies.
She baked every other day.  We are enthusiastic about her new specialty.

The kids munched apples every few hours.

Over the course of the week I baked 5 loaves of bread and 60 rolls, cooked stews and soups. My 14 yo roasted chicken and veggies.  My 11 yo baked cinnamon rolls.  Then there were the pinto beans with Spanish rice. The sausage. The home made calzones. The pb&j sandwiches, the banana smoothies, veggies, a friend bearing pizzas, a youth group cook-out, cereal, yogurt...

It's Saturday night and the bushel basket is empty; my 8 yo just informed me that he is, "Starving."

I vacillated between responding with an incredulous guffaw or responding with thankful awe for our abundant larder..

For the record: I decided on guffaw and awe.





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Interpreting Motherhood

November 10, 2010 by Rieshy
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A Handy Short List Of Catch-phrases, Interpreted:

  • "Here Momma."- means that something disgusting and/or sticky is about to be handed to you, disgusting side up.
  • "We didn't mean to but..."- means that while you were out, rambunctious roughhousing or fighting occurred, and something sentimentally important to you was broken.
  • "Don't worry Mom, I'm O.K." - means that the car is NOT.
  • "Everyone in the class had a really hard time with the test."- means that your particular child got a frighteningly and unacceptably low grade on said test.
  • In the middle of the night if you hear, "Mom, I feel weird."- means that you need to fetch a bucket, pronto.
  • "I finished cleaning my room."- means "I desperately hope Mom is willing to accept a very loose interpretation of the idea of "a clean room."
  • "Don't worry Mom, it's not that bad." when spoken by a teen clutching a body part- means a trip to the E.R.

Andrew Peterson - Dancing In The Minefields (Official...

November 9, 2010 by Rieshy
 

I'd never heard of this band before- but I love the imagery of the lyrics.  My husband and I married young, in fact our 23 rd wedding anniversary is coming up.  

I plan on dancing with Greg for a good many more decades.  I'm just hoping for a few less medical minefields. 


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Well rats, it looks like the link won't work directly- but you can click again and it will take you to the music video on U-Tube.

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Snippets

November 8, 2010 by Rieshy
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Since it is medically imperative that my 4 year old eat every two hours, he of course, has never been a huge fan of eating.  I've heard lots of excuses over the past few years for why he can't eat, some are strange, some are funny, all are aggravating.  Yesterday I heard a fairly original one.  He claimed he could not eat because, "My left eye hurts and it makes me not able to eat... unless I watch a movie first."

Parenting is all about a good poker face.

Speaking of my 4 year old, I had to laugh last night when I was tucking him into bed.  Hanging on the wall over his pillow is a colored in picture of William The Silent.  Last year it was crayon monsters adorning his wall.  This year it's 16th century Dutch leaders.  Next year??


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I'm sitting in the catbird seat today.  All my sick kiddos seem to be on the mend, take that, oh you dratted virus!  But even better, two dear friends have asked if I will "train" them to be able to take care of my chronically ill children in case my husband is out of town while I have to be in the hospital with one child.

Why Yes!  I will.

I'm feeling loved.  It's better than coffee.



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Patience, Now

November 5, 2010 by Rieshy
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My 2 year old has been running a low grade fever for a couple of days.  Anytime I put him down he's wandered behind me with his arms raised, casting a plaintive 3 foot shadow.  How many things can I not get done with my personal and beseeching 3 foot shadow?

I think I ought to blame Craig Evans for teaching about Patience recently. Thanks Craig.

I don't actually mind the shadow.  It's a sweet shadow that turns 3 years old this month.

Back to the fever.  My 2 yo's blood sugars have not been affected; he's so much stronger than my 4 year old.  An old fashioned cold- how utterly refreshing.  The prescription is cuddling, fluids and love: all things I have in spades.

It's such a joy to be able to care for my sick little one without I.V.'s and fear and waiting rooms.

The fact that my 2 year old constantly steals his 4 year old brother's cup, the fact that his cold/fever germs are everywhere is a fact that makes me think of patience.   When I was younger I always thought of patience as being the frame of mind with which we wait for something to happen.

Patience defined as a binding psychological empty space, a negative...

My 4 year old's body has never been able to handle a virus that causes an extended period of fever without requiring a hospital stay.  I don't know whether Jack will catch this cold.  If he does, I don't know whether his body will be able to handle it.  I've been learning that patience means not having to know.

Patience, in short, as the complete opposite of my earlier understanding.  Patience doesn't bind, it means living... now.  Living with freedom and joy.



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How I Learned Mortality

November 2, 2010 by Rieshy
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During middle school I received a speedometer as a gift for my 10 speed.  Yes, that was back when you proudly referred to your bike as, "my 10 speed," in order to differentiate yourself from the hoi polloi who were still riding around on bannana seated bikes with flags flying off the back post. 

I did what any self respecting, immortal, new owner of a speedometer would do.  I rode my bike at top speed to the top of the longest, steepest hill I knew of.  It happened to be the campus entrance to a graduate school.  The graduate school being at the bottom of the hill with the entry drive curving gently around into a parking lot.

That's when I learned that roads that gently curve at 15-20 mph actually come to a dead end when you are going + 55 mph.  To say that my life flashed before my eyes would be a lie.  The only thought in my mind after, "Wow, I just hit 50," was, "Stupid, stupid, stupid."

Thankfully my stop, which involved the destruction of some lawn, low growing bushes, and a fair amount of exposed skin was not-witnessed by any adult, and I was able to limp home.... bruised and non-lectured.

Of course I was not that quick on the uptake.  I had to test my mortality in a few more ways which included:
  • playing horse-back tag in a muddy and soggy pasture, bareback and without reigns- oh, in a pasture surrounded by an electric fence, a rather powerful electric fence as I found out.
  • running home in an electrical storm (mostly) avoiding the lightning.
  • Body surfing in the ocean during rip-tides without paying quite enough attention to the jetties.
I have to stop the list, I'm starting to have a belated panic attack and my children occasionally read my blog. 

The funny thing is that every one of these things happened when I was with the same friend.  I can't even blame her.  She was not a risk-junky.  I think all these stupid actions were my idea.

Wow, I was the friend I don't want hanging out with my children...

The advantage of all my stupid actions during middle school was that by high school I had learned a measure of caution.  I knew how much I valued the use of all my limbs. 

I'm thinking of these things because a handful of my children have still to progress through this process.  I shudder to think, I just hope they are all faster on the uptake than I was.


 

The Blogging Universe

October 30, 2010 by Rieshy
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I sit on a shore with waves of tears tickling my toes. Tears from far off lands. Because of the wonderful people I've "met" through blogging I'm aware of a much bigger world; right now that includes the world of hurt.

I ache for the family left behind by RivkA bat Yishaya at Coffee and Chemo.  She lost her fight with cancer this week.  I never knew her in real life, but I read her blog faithfully and I found so much encouragement from her words. 

In the past two weeks, two different families I followed through the blog-o-sphere, lost children to genetic disorders.  I don't even want to imagine their pain and loss- but it's impossible not to go there. When I look into my own little people's eyes I feel a bittersweet thankfulness for my blessings and a wish that everyone's child could be well.
 
A longing for Heaven...

I think of the people whose lives intersect with mine.  I think of all the prayers of thankfulness, all the prayers of despair... and am overwhelmed by the majesty of the Creator.

He hears.  He cares.
Posted in Labels: , | 2 Comments »

Caffiene-Free Ways To Wake Up Quickly

October 28, 2010 by Rieshy
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The last week I was lying in bed semi-conscious about 5:45 a.m. when the sudden sound of my garbage disposal turning on electrified every cell in my body.  I'm pretty sure my atoms reversed polarity and I briefly achieved hovercraft status. 

My 2 year old, looking innocent in his jammies, was sitting on the kitchen counter flipping the switch. 

Bless the builder who put the switch about a mile away from the sink.

My 2 year old. What can I say.  Every family seems to have one child, one child whose deed's are legendary and whose early antics become the fodder of Thanksgiving Dinner hilarity.

In the meantime? 

In the meantime,  I'm seriously considering installing a flexible force field to prevent early morning explorations.



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It's All New To Me

October 26, 2010 by Rieshy
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Sunday afternoon I had a "first".  I went to a baby shower for the grown daughter of my friend, Kathy.  Let me emphasize, the honored shower-ee was the grown daughter of a friend.

I sat in a chair in their beautiful front yard, clutching my plate of snacks, looking around.  I realized that I, complete with my reading glasses perched as a headband in my hair, was an, "older woman".

Wow.  When did that happen?

Wow.  I wish I felt wise.

Wow.  How cool.

Wow, I'm still daily engaged in the latest sippy-cup technologies shifts as I still have a 2 year old to raise.  I never expected to be older with a toddler.


My friend's daughter is going to be an excellent mom.  I've rarely met a woman who enjoys life more or is so exceedingly thankful and happy.  Her baby will be surrounded by smiles.


I have no deep insights about aging.  Even though I've been doing it for a while, I only just noticed.  It's all new territory.  I'm just along for the ride... So far, excluding gravity's pernicious work, it's pretty exciting.

------------

I do have enough wisdom to know that when I finally need to throw showers for my own children, I'll be calling my friend Kathy and asking her to help me with ideas.


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You Might Be A Redneck If...

October 22, 2010 by Rieshy
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Last spring my parents-in-law took our children camping and touring around Texas.  They visited the Salt Museum, because well, let's face it, a salt museum is just odd enough to be really interesting.  One of the boys bought a chunk of salt the size of my fist as a souvenir.

Doesn't every boy needs a fist-sized-piece-of-salt sitting on top of their bookshelf gathering dust?

Yesterday afternoon my 16 year old daughter was in the backyard watching the boys play while reading Little Dorrit.  Dickens doesn't make for good babysitting.  It was my 14 year old who, glancing out the window, brought to my attention that someone had taken the souvenir chunk of salt outside, and, well-

and a group of neighborhood little boys and my little boys were all sitting in a circle, in the grass, taking turns licking the salt!

This of course leads to my Friday Feel Good- You might be a Redneck if you have a salt-lick in the backyard for your children.



Layers Upon Layers

October 21, 2010 by Rieshy
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My 8 year old is pretty fabulous... and hilarious.  He's one of those favored few whose eyes sparkle with enthusiasm while he talks.  The sparkle sucks an audience in.  You can't help but enjoy his stories, his energy is contagious.

Luckily he can also laugh at himself.  Last night he pulled off his socks only to discover an earlier set of  socks underneath.

The innermost layer were soaking wet because he had showered in them before putting the new socks on top.

For added irony, he just happened to make his layered sock discovery late last night in the living room while his big brother was sharing the details of a college lecture about measuring I.Q.

I love going to bed with a laugh on my lips!



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Toys That Stand The Test of Time

October 19, 2010 by Rieshy
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Or: What Goes Around Comes Around

About 14 years ago I found a Brio Mech table complete with 4 building sets for ridiculously low price at a consignment sale.  I think I may have growled at other women to keep them at bay until I had successfully taken possession of the set. 

My oldest 3 played with the set for a few years. When it started gathering dust from lack of use I gave it away to a younger family.  Then I forgot about it.

A week ago my I had lunch with the friend I had given the table to.  Her kids had outgrown the Brio and it had been stored for several years in her garage, forgotten until she decided to do a fall purge.  

She gave the table and sets back.  Christmas in October!  My little boys are in love with it. 

It got me to thinking about the toys that have stood the test of time at our home.  It's a pretty short list, and doesn't include anything with batteries:

Legos
Wooden train set
Lincoln Logs
Dolls
wooden blocks
Bionicles
Art supplies
Action figures- from unmatched sets
Dress up clothes

That's it.  Everything else has pretty much been Good Will fodder.  

Now, If only I could figure out how to store everything in other people's garages....

Long Screeching Sound

October 17, 2010 by Rieshy
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My brain is screeching lately.  I'm pondering much whilst I go about my daily activities.  The screeching is because, though I'm pondering much, gears are grinding and I'm not actually mentally progressing.

Definitely a case of quantity not being equal to quality.

Luckily, I can mentally screech and still make a mean peach cobbler.

I noticed an interesting detail the other morning.  Quälen in German means to torment or torture.

Matthew 6:34 in English says, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

However my version of the Bible in German for Mathew 6:34 says "Quält euch nicht mit Gedanken an morgen..."  I'm sure the intent is to convey the meaning worry but somehow replacing the word worry with torment or torture seems so, apropos.  At least to me- the Grand Champion Worrier.

Ahhh, did I mention that flu season is just around the corner? The season for flu, stomach viruses, ear-infections, strep throat.... all amazingly dangerous to a child with a FOD.  My more affected child has been so healthy, so happy, growing so strong.  He's not been in the hospital since April 30th.

So why do I go there, to a murky future that doesn't exist yet, when I have bills to pay, kids to love on and things to do... Now?  Not to mention frozen peaches to make more cobbler with.

Quälen indeed.


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Nose To The Wheel

October 11, 2010 by Rieshy
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Fall Break... Already Over?

Back to school in my home today.  Since I am the teacher this requires that I be excited and energetic and disciplined.

Sometimes I am.  Sometimes I fake it.  Sometimes I fail miserably

My 4 year old wants to learn to read, write, and fly rockets.  Mostly, he just wants to be included with his siblings.  I'm giving him age appropriate lessons.  This requres that I be both discerning and creative.

Sometimes I am.  Sometimes I fake it.

Back to school in my home today.  Since I am both the teacher and the Mom this requires that I practice love and fellowship.

Sometimes...

Sometimes I go to I Corinthians 13:4-7. It refreshes and inspires both the mother and the teacher.
 
"Love is patient; love is kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends." 
 
 
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In Case of Cinammon Rolls: Step Off The Pedestool

October 6, 2010 by Rieshy
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Between commuting to college and working, our oldest son is rarely home while the Littles are awake.  They miss him desperately.  He is their hero and personal jungle gym, who unlike their father, never makes them go to bed or eat broccoli.

When the Littles  see our oldest it generally involves an explosion of climbing/wrestling/leaping/tossing.  As my 16 daughter put it, "Ring-Around-The-Rosie, mosh-pit style." 


It also involves just lolling about on his person.


Their hero. 

Except....  This morning I made cinnamon rolls in honor of Fall Break.  Everyone's first question was, "Is Luke still home?"  At first I thought- how sweet, they are looking out for their big brother.

I only had a few seconds to bask in filial love. When I replied sadly, "No, he's at school," several sets of little fists pumped the air and the 8 year old shouted, "Great!  Luke eats a lot of cinnamon rolls when he's home."

Sorry dear oldest son, your hero status is limited to within certain parameters.


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Trying Something New

October 2, 2010 by Rieshy
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I've not been linking up to many carnivals or memes lately because my brain has barely been keeping up with real life,  much less bloglife.  However, very, very early this morning- after I was awoken by the sound of my two year old climbing on top of the kitchen counters trying to reach a "hidden" stash of lollypops, I stumbled across The Saturday Evening Post Blog Carnival  and really enjoyed reading the links.  I decided to give it a go by adding my "Normal" to the carnival.

Grab a cup of coffee and click around the world... while I move the lollypops. 

Sleep Doesn't Live Here Anymore

October 1, 2010 by Rieshy
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Sleep moved away, the heartless baggage.
Her cousin, Catnap, came to stay.

Catnap makes great coffee, but I miss Sleep.

Sleep was a soothing housemate, with slippered, quiet feet
Catnap is a cranky guest.  She slams about and is easily startled.

I miss Sleep,
but at least Catnap makes great coffee.
Posted in Labels: , | 2 Comments »

Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

September 30, 2010 by Rieshy
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So here's an odd thing to be thankful for, at least publicly; I'm seeing less and less of my older children.

It's not the reclamation of square footage provided by their absence that gives my happy feelings.  Well, perhaps that does count a bit.

What makes me happy is that they are out doing and learning and becoming. Becoming the people that God created them to be. 


It's even better when they eat before they come home.  More for us.


----------------------------------

 Piercing my heart with gladness, an illustration:

I was out walking, and holding hands with both my 2 and 4 year old the other day.  My 4 year old said, "Mom, this is great."  I responded in the affirmative and then my son added, "Do you know what would make this the greatest thing ever?"

"No Sweetie, what?"

With glowing eyes he answered, "If everyone in the whole family were with us and we were all holding hands, all the way across the street."





Marie est à la piscine ...

September 29, 2010 by Rieshy
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I always had excellent French language teachers in school.  The title of this post is from the first French dialogue I ever had to memorize.  Poor, wayward Marie, she always ran off to go swimming....

In high school I remember my father riding the subway to and from school with me so that he could help me with my French 1 homework; we were reading a history of the Napoleanic era, in French.  I remember one high school French teacher with especially nubby fingers.  The teacher would raise them in the air and wiggle them as the class conjugated verbs outloud.  The entire class would sit transfixed in awed concentration as his stubby little fingers flexed and straightened.

Not so with my German language teachers.  My main memory of German class is... um, nothing.  Though I do remember one teacher who spent the entire year sitting on top of some tables chatting with the cool kids about concerts while I and the rest of the uncool kids did Algebra homework.

Of course, my Dad choose Austria and not France for one of his Sabbaticals.  I was suddenly submerged in the German language without a stitch of grammar.  I had a headache for months straight and came out of the experience heroically still without a stitch of grammar but with a lot of vocabulary, an approximation of an Austrian accent, and some lifelong friends.

This summer I decided I would try to teach myself German grammar.  It's only been 30 years since I could completely mangle German with my Austrian friends.  Easy?

Right.

However, I've been having the time of my life.  I chose a heady, academic tome with which to learn: Bis(s) Zum Morgengrauen.  Which is simply the book, Twilight, translated into German.  It took me about 3 chapters before I realized the joke inherent in the title- bis being a preposition and biss meaning to bite...

Since almost nothing happens in Twilight, Bella spends a lot of time doing laundry and cooking dinner- which, regrettably enough,  is quite useful vocabulary for me.  I also now know about a million different ways to express teen-aged angst and being, rendered breathless by beauty.  The general silliness makes grammar study much more diverting. 

Recently, I discovered some German language movies to watch and some internet sources for German language news. Added to those sources we've been listening to Pimsleur cds in the van and I've been reading from my German language Bible.  I've been waking up with German words on my tongue.  Very cool. 

To what end?  No idea.  However, it has raised some interesting theological questions from my 4 year old. He asked me last night, "What language does God speak?"

Normal?

September 24, 2010 by Rieshy
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Normal is such a touchy word for parents.  All parents.  But especially for parents of children with "issues." 

The dystopian novel, 1984, made a big impression on me in high school.  Especially the concept of doublespeak. So (probably stepping on toes now- but hear me out) when I hear a parent of a child with a g-tube or a child that is in a wheel-chair, or a child with the same condition as my 4 year old defensively call their child normal or differently-abled I immediately think they are just playing games with language. 

Call it what you like, but the norm is for people to be able to walk, chew their food, go hours between meals. 

Webster defines normal :
2
a : according with, constituting, or not deviating from a norm, rule, or principle
b : conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern
3
: occurring naturally <normal immunity>


It's not normal to need medication because your body is missing an enzyme.  It's not normal for a four year old to have to drink cornstarch before bed and then be fed again in the middle of the night.  It is most definitely not normal to have seizures caused by severe hypoglycemia just because you slept a bit too long.

So, to the random adult who asked not me, but my 4 year old, "What is wrong with you?", when my 4 year old's medic-alert bracelet was in view.  "Shame on you!  Mind your own business and learn some social skills."

However, is something wrong with my 4 year old?  Yes, his medical condition is not normal.  Not by any stretch of the imagination.  In fact it is extremely rare.

So is my son normal?  No. Yes. It depends.

Does he think he is normal?  Yes. 

Will he always think he is normal?  I don't know- I bet he'll have to decide that on his own. 

The only thing I know with absolute surety is that even though I have to give him his meds. watch his energy levels, feed him constantly, I also have to treat him like a regular boy who is going to grow up to be a man. 

In one way he is completely and absolutely normal.  He, like everyone else on the planet, was created for one purpose- God's.

"For who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has become His counselor?" 
"Or who has first given to Him and it shall be repaid to him?"
For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.


-Romans 11:34-36

To The Parents Of...

September 23, 2010 by Rieshy
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Evidently my husband is also my parent. 

I was so excited to be invited to spend the summer touring England, Ireland, and Wales with other high school students "my" age...


I was especially excited about the chance to Develop new skills through activites designed to stretch me.  

I have to admit that as I read this letter, part of my body whisked away to some wind-swept heath where I wandered, without a care in the world, holding a composition notebook and sketching different varieties of native heathers.

No mortgage, no 2 a.m. feedings, no drama but that of my own making.  

Then someone grabbed my arm asking, "What's for lunch?"  

Swoosh, I landed back in reality faster than any jet can travel.
Then someone noticed the letter I was holding and I suddenly had a crowd of children laughing with me.  

Sometimes landings are a good thing...







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The Bad, The Good, The Unbelievably Good

September 22, 2010 by Rieshy
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The Bad:
I picked up some knitting that I haven't worked on all Summer.  Granted it is black sock weight yarn on size 1 needles, but I dropped a stitch and couldn't see the individual stitches well enough to pick the stitch back up.  In June I could see the stitches.  Unbelievable. 

My oldest daughter joined our son in the ranks of licensed drivers.  Her insurance is TWICE that of our son.  Why? Because for some mysterious reason ($$$) State Farm will not allow me to put her as mainly driving our oldest car because our son is already listed as its primary driver.  You can't have two teens listed on the same car?!?  She has to be listed on my car ($$$) the one with more insurance.  It makes me mad; our oldest car is the one she drives the most.

The Good:
So what if I can't see black stitches?  I can go pick up some reading glasses at the drug store and then amuse myself by pretending to be my mom.  She had the most amazing ability to freeze me and my siblings in our tracks with one look over the top of her glasses.  If Mom snapped her fingers at the same time.... watch out!  I wish I could just go visit my sisters and try my abilities on them.  The fear of glasses and snapping fingers is deeply ingrained in all of us.  It would be a hoot to make them jump.

And The...
Back to my oldest daughter and her insurance rates.  Our oldest son has always been required to pay for his own insurance.  My daughter can't afford to.  So instead she's been given the job of planning the weekly menu and doing the weekly grocery shopping. Oh, and best of all, cleaning the fridge before doing the big shopping trip.   It "pays" for her portion of the insurance.

Just imagine me doing a jig on top of my dining room table.  Not only have I not had to shop for the last month but I don't have to meal plan!!! Wahooo!  Not to mention that in the month since she's been doing the groceries I've saved an average of $25 a week. 

From their sense of humor to their mad grocery shopping skills, teenagers can be Unbelievably Good to have about.

Cosmic Questions Answered

September 20, 2010 by Rieshy
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Why, oh why, are my 2 year old and 4 year old playing so quietly and so cooperatively?  Why, oh why, have they not come to drag me from my bed?


Ah, I see. 
Early morning Operation Mentos Liberation.


Yes,  it is Monday.  Best begun with a boatload of sugar and dye.  Too bad they didn't leave me any.

Keystone Cops Take a Family Portrait

September 16, 2010 by Rieshy
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If you've ever wondered what's it's like trying to get a photo with 7 children, just press play.  

video

We took these a year and a half ago, too bad I never managed to send the photos out...


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Postponed On Account of Bling

September 14, 2010 by Rieshy
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I've found something I cannot do while blogging.

Sewing.  Specifically hand-stitching sort of sewing.  Irish Dance- hand-stitching sort of sewing. 

Great fun, no sarcasm intended.  My daughters do not do Irish dance but a lovely friend of mine does.  I'd happily claim her as a daughter, but alas, her mother is stingy.

This lovely young lady is going to a competition this weekend.  As in 5 days from now.  I'm sewing feverishly alongside her mother to prevent her from having to dance naked. 

Did you know that you can get sore from sewing feverishly?  I choose not to think about how out-of-shape a person has to be in order to get sore from embroidering.  La, la, lala la...  -that's me not thinking about it.

At any rate, by this weekend not only will I be back to blogging, but a wonderful girl will be dancing in a glorious dress that was designed and sewed by her mother- and I will have had the privilege of being able to help with the bling factor.

A Child's Vision

September 7, 2010 by Rieshy
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My vase.  Through the eyes of my 4 year old.


A reminder of how fantastical everyday life really is, if you take the time to look.


tuesdays unwrapped at cats

September 7th Daybook

by Rieshy
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As part of The Simple Woman's Daybook:


FOR TODAY
Outside my window...
My windows are open this morning.  Autumn is on the breeze.

I am thinking... That I am too tired for the beginning of the day.

I am thankful for... My teenage daughters went wading in a neighborhood creek on Saturday-  along with water moccasins.  We've never seen snakes at this creek before.  I'm so thankful that the girls were paying attention and got out ahead of the snakes.

From the learning rooms... so many subjects, so little time.

From the kitchen... I'm roasting some butternut squash to use as a soup base.

I am creating...
I've been too busy studying ahead in my children's school subjects to do any artwork or crafts.

I am going... to the park today.

I am reading... Bis(s) Zum Morgengrauen
, and Crazy Love.

I am hoping... that the flu season this year is gentle and doesn't pay my home a visit.

I am hearing...
a daughter doodling on her guitar, a son laughing about something he is reading, and suspicious silence from the youngest set of children.  I need to stop typing and take a moment to investigate...

Around the house...
I have so many things half-done.  I'm starting to feel the urge to sort and purge belongings and projects before winter.  I need to start on fall-yard-work as well.

One of my favorite things...
anything that blooms.  Right now I'm blessed to have Kerria, Crepe Myrtal, Smoke bush, Zinnia, Moon Flowers, Nasturtium, Sunflowers, Morningglories, Sedum, Roses, Geraniums, Althea, Cannas, Daisies, Coreopsis, and Pumpkins blooming.  However, they all have that slightly tired, sparse and parched look of August.  Some rain and some cooler days is all it will take to make everything pop again for the last hurrah before winter.



Posted in Labels: | 2 Comments »

Super Powers

September 6, 2010 by Rieshy
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Proof my 2 year old has superpowers.

This bowl is in the center of the room where my entire family spent the morning. 


Evidently my 2 year old can phase in and out of the visible spectrum... at least when he's snacky.

Anyone want an apple?


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Pondering The Grooves

September 3, 2010 by Rieshy
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Does anyone remember the following poem from their childhood?

Now I lay me down to sleep, 
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.  
If I should die before I wake, 
I pray the Lord my soul to take.

This verse definitely doesn't dovetail with current sensibilities.  Try to imagine it hanging on a nursery wall next to a bookshelf holding attachment parenting books. 

Sunday evening my 4 year old fell asleep next to me in church.  I got to hear the entire sermon.  It was wonderful!  Until I realized my 4 year old wasn't peacefully sleeping but, in fact, couldn't wake up because his blood sugars had plummeted. 

Crowds of people swirling around my pew.  Chatting, visiting.  There I sit trying to force a lollipop in my 4 year old's mouth while simultaneously trying to get the lid off his emergency glucose gel.  A good friend sat to help me.

"Jack can you hear me?" 

Some of my older children swirl by.  They know what's going on.  How many times have they seen this?  Too many.  
"Is Jack going to have to go to the hospital?  Can we go play dodgeball with everyone else?"

Routine.  Grooves.

How does a heart cope with that?  How do my children's hearts cope?

I'm beginning to see that the routine, the groove of my son's illness, cuts each time- with each crisis.  I've developed calluses.  I don't feel it as deeply each time.  
But the damage is the same.  Routine pain is merely pain-deferred. 

How do you cope?  How do you continue to love a child when their illness constantly leaps upon you without warning and attempts to rip your heart out?

I don't know- but I do know that the callouses of the routine help.  They absorb the shock, help me to cope, they give me time.  Later? Later I can stay up too late and sit on the sofa with my husband.  Later I can go to God and cry, "Why?" 

I suspect that the grooves only really damage a heart if they are ignored.  

So, I'm pondering those grooves.

I have a "modern" version of the bedtime prayer that a sister gave to me when my oldest was born.

Now I lay me down to sleep, 
I pray the Lord my soul to keep. 
Watch over me through all the night 
and wake me safe by morning's light.

Now that's a prayer that a parent of a child with FOD can definitely get behind. 


















Who Needs A Junglegym?

September 2, 2010 by Rieshy
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Waiting at the Pharmacy.


Excitement is not 


something they find...


It's something they create.


Throw in some dirt and the possibility of bodily harm and errand running is transformed.

Practice Runs

August 31, 2010 by Rieshy
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Trikes at Approximately 472 Miles Per Hour

Or: Why I Have So Much Gray Hair

Question: How do you prepare yourself to teach your teens to drive without experiencing a nervous collapse or requiring valium?

Answer: You spend years watching this....


And watching this...


And watching this... all without flinching.

O.k. I have to admit that at this point I did stop the games and rule that 2 year old feet cannot be on the handlebars.

Silly Mom.


Sniffle and Wahoo

August 30, 2010 by Rieshy
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Today, this little guy began his freshman year of college.  You should have seen those chubby little legs reaching the gas pedal as he drove off.




Do they truly appreciate the self-control required for a mother not to squeal and cry and otherwise totally emasculate them as they walk out the door?  

I doubt it.  Sniffle, sniffle, and Wahoo!!


A Pictorial Feel Good

August 27, 2010 by Rieshy
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Weeeeeeeeee.


Peek

-A Boo

Sunflower seeds anyone?
I wonder how many sunflowers are going to sprout under my deck next Spring?


This book...
It makes me happy because it makes my 16 year old daughter happy.  Anyone with a 16 year old daughter can understand the advantages of happy homework sessions.

I just found out there is an edition for Spanish students as well.  Perhaps next week my 14 year old daughter will be just as pleased.

All in all a great week! 


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Little Responsibilities

August 26, 2010 by Rieshy

After my oldest son mowed my lawn last night I heard Little Man exclaim with exasperation, "Who made this big mess?"
Untidy sidewalks and grass clippings must have preyed on his mind all night. 


This morning around 5:55 a.m. I heard an unauthorized opening of the front door. I went to investigate and this is what I saw.



 Little Man, hard at work.


Take charge personality at age 2.



Imagine how hard it was to explain that he could not, in fact, bring the grass clippings inside, through the living room and then on to the kitchen garbage.  
Mom is so frustratingly arbitrary.

FOD's N Fun

August 25, 2010 by Rieshy
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I've realized something that I've subconsciously noticed but never thought through.  For a mom like me, with two children with FOD's it was really interesting and exciting. 

Yesterday, for the first time, I took my 4 and 2 year olds to our library's story hour.   I scheduled the trip so that the boys had had a snack right before we left the house.

The Event: 
  •  My 4 year old in particular is loving it.  He sings and claps along in rapt attention.  They do the crafts.
  • Fun. Excitement.  My 4 year old writes his name on his craft.  By himself, while I am helping the 2 year old.  Evidently he's learned to print by osmosis.
  • Time passes.  I help my 8 and 11 year old children find some books.  I check the clock.  It's been two hours since the boy's snack.  Two hours of fun and excitement. 
  • We need to leave.  I've been monitoring the 4 year old.  Normally he can go as long as three hours without eating.
  • He's not falling apart.  However, he's also no longer reading or looking at things.  He wanders after me making his teeth snap together.  Loud clicking sounds. No one else notices.  
  • Suddenly I realize that he's using his mandibular joint to self-calm.
At home when his sugars drop he typically falls apart and/or starts arguing or fighting.  He has a weird high-pitched cry that everyone in the family both hates and instantly can recognize as a blood sugar "alarm."

But he's 4 now.  Public embarrassment is suddenly an issue for him, something he'd rather avoid.  He's trying not to fall apart in public.  He is "centering" himself with his jaw.

Isn't that remarkable?

It wasn't a crisis. We left and had a high-carb + protein snack and he was fine. Evidently story time is very exciting- and exciting, for a FOD'er like my son, means burning lots of energy.

This is the beauty of blogging, it helps me organize the puzzle-pieces of FOD's yet it is impossible to bore acquaintances (unless they are masochists or don't know about the back-button) with extraneous health info.  I can write and write... evidently, I process information through my fingertips.

Coping through typing. Coping through mandibular joint compression...

Time and Hope

August 23, 2010 by Rieshy
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Time is suddenly in short supply.  School has started again for my older children and my 4 year old is healthy.

School is an obvious time sucker, home schooling mom or not, but good health?

Healthy 4 year old's need to go to the park to run off extra energy.  Healthy 4 year old's need to be watched every moment and kept busy - especially if said 4 year old has a 2 year old brother with whom to plot mischief.

My 4 year old has never had such a long run of health and energy.  His last hospitalization was the end of April.  Coming on 4 months now of not just the absence of crisis but 4 months of glowing cheeks, growing body, almost normal energy levels. 

Wow.

I remember when he was younger, before his diagnosis, he would sit for hours playing with matchbox cars while I studied with my older children.  I could teach the whole morning with barely a peep.  He was the "easiest" 2 year old around- but only because he was slowly dying and we didn't know it.

Now.

Now, I am constantly being interrupted, my teaching schedule constantly challenged by restlessness.  My writing time ever shrinking.

I'm o.k. with this. I'm more than o.k. I'm in awe.  I'm ridiculously happy in that I-feel-compelled-to-do-a-silly-dance-and-embarrass-my-teens sort of way.  I'm in hope. Hope that this stage will last.

I love being annoyed that he's running around like a lunatic.  Not so much in love that he and the 2 year old took all the sheets, blankets, and pillows off all 4 of the boys beds... 

Hope is a delicious thing when you finally make peace with it.  Hope is not a prayerful demand. It's the antithesis of worry.

I've been afraid of hope.  Afraid of a broken heart.  But to learn to truly have hope that my son will be well enables me to smile and love and trust God- and to enjoy the today that I have.

Perhaps for people like me- people who don't like to be wrong- hope is especially difficult. It's ridiculously humbling.

We've been told that children like my 4 year old often have a stretch without crisis from age 4 or 5 until the growth spurt at puberty.  I thought that sounded wonderful- so hopeful.  My husband said, "Well I'm going to hope for no crises even during puberty."  Hope comes easier to him.

With time I'd like to be able to think that way too. 

With time.

Time is suddenly in short supply right now- because right now I have time with my son- with all my children.

Because of hope- I don't have to waste that time.

I do however have to go put the blankets back on all the beds.... grrr...

Psalm 71:5 "For You are my hope, O Lord God; You are my trust from my youth."

Matthew 6:34 "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."

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tuesdays unwrapped at cats