About Me

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I like to think of myself as the 'crazy mom of four'. I'm 31 years old and I love my life, my kids, my husband and my God. "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Jim Eliot

Friday, December 25, 2009

Funny things kids say

Not quite a year ago I did one of those silly 'survey' things on Facebook. I rarely do them, but since this one was centered around my kids, I did it. Tonight I am sitting here, a little bored, but enjoying some peace and quiet (except for the music I'm listening to). I got Kris a new computer game he's been wanting and after making room on his computer for it and then spending 2 hours getting it installed he really wanted to play it. So I told him to go ahead-like another Christmas present from me to him. ;-) Anyway, so he is sitting over there playing and has been for almost an hour and quite seriously is probably still creating his character. He's funny to watch. He keeps making the strangest faces and I have to either stop watching him, or he'll have to keep stopping so he can answer my question "Why do you have that look on your face?" Ok, so back to the survery. I stumbled upon the survey tonight and it was just too funny and too cute not to share. At the time, the kids were 8, 7, 6, and 3. They had some interesting answers to the questions.

1.What is something mom always says to you?
Abbey (age 6) - "Clean your room"
Katherine (age 8) - "I love you."
Kaleb (age 7) - "You say lots of things"
Livvy (age 3) - "Stop crying" - very true!

2.What makes mommy happy?
Abbey - "Making a card" -huh?
Katherine - "When we're not mean to each other"
Kaleb - "Giraffes" - this is true
Livvy - "Laugh"

3.What makes mommy sad?
Abbey - "Punch her in the face" - nice
Katherine - "When we're mean to each other"
Kaleb - "When we're mean to each other"
Livvy - "When I cry" - surprisingly she is dead on!

4.How does your mommy make you laugh?
Abbey - "if her tickle me"
Katherine - "By making fun of Daddy" - sadly this is dead on!
Kaleb - "tickles me"
Livvy-she's just laughing now

5.What was your mommy like as a child?
Abbey - "like me"
Katherine - "I don't know"
Kaleb - "I don't know"
Livvy - "I tell you something to learn how to do" - this girl doesn't quite understand the concept but I thought her answer would be funny.

6.How old is your mommy?
Abbey - "I don't know - 199"
Katherine - "30"
Kaleb - "30"
Livvy - "5"

7.How tall is your mommy?
Abbey - "2 feet tall"
Katherine - "about 5 ft" - she's closer-I'm 5'5".
Kaleb - "5 ft" - I swear he didn't hear or read Katherine's answers first!
Livvy - she just reached her arm up high

8.What is her favorite thing to do?
Abbey - "sleep" - this is not true
Katherine - "Eat dessert" - yes...this is probably up at the top
Kaleb - "Play with us" - I wish!
Livvy - "Eat onions" - um...what?

9.What does your mommy do when you're not around?
Abbey - "play on her laptop" - this is anytime :-)
Katherine - "She spends time by herself."
Kaleb - "I don't know"
Livvy - "Look for me"

10.If your mommy becomes famous, what will it be for?
Abbey - "being a fashion star" -wow she's ambitious!
Katherine - "Cooking" - I knew she would say this. Good girl!
Kaleb - "A chef" - I love that my kids love my cooking!
Livvy - "Taking pictures at the playground." -probably because this is what I did this afternoon!

11.What is your mommy really good at?
Abbey -"going to sleep" - she's weird and I wish I was good at this!
Katherine - "Cooking" - again...I had this one pegged.
Kaleb - "Cooking" :-)
Livvy - "Laughing"

12.What is your mommy not very good at?
Abbey - "that is hard"
Katherine - "Drawing?"
Kaleb - "You're mostly good at everything" isn't he sweet? :-)
Livvy - "gana" ????

13.What does your mommy do for a job?
Abbey - "play on her computer" I WISH (though maybe SOMETIMES this is true!)
Katherine - "It's something with trucks." This is true.
Kaleb - "She works at Vanliner."
Livvy - "Play with toys" - remember she's 3

14.What is your mommy's favorite food?
Abbey - "Mammaw's pancakes" - while those are good...that's actually Abbey's favorite food!
Katherine - Bayou Bourbon Sauce - not the answer I expected but I do like that.
Kaleb - "I know it's not ice cream. Can you give me a hint" How do these kids not know how much I love chocolate?
Livvy - "Onions" - again with the onions--what the heck?

15.What makes you proud of your mommy?
Abbey - "your cooking"
Katherine - "when she says that she loves me"
Kaleb - "her kindness" :-)
Livvy - "Laugh"

16.If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
Abbey - "Princess Peach"
Katherine - "I don't know"
Kaleb - "Wanda on Timmy Turner"
Livvy - "Hanna Tanna" - though Hannah Montana is technically not a cartoon

17.What do you and your mommy do together?
Abbey - "sit together"
Katherine - "we watch movies together"
Kaleb - "Cook"
Livvy - "Play with crayons"

18.How are you and your mommy the same?
Abbey - "we both have brown hair"
Katherine - "we are both very emotional" -ahh...she's so right...I think this one was my favorite answer!
Kaleb - "we both like to cook"
Livvy - "we're white" - interesting...

19.How are you and your mommy different?
Abbey -"you are bigger and I am littler"
Katherine - "we have different middle names" - though she did almost have my middle name but we changed it to Grace after almost losing her before she was born.
Kaleb - "Mommy's a girl and I'm a boy"
Livvy - "lost" - no clue what she means

20.How do you know your mommy loves you?
Abbey - "because she's nice"
Katherine - "because she says she loves us and she acts like she loves us." - i liked this answer. :-)
Kaleb - "because she shows it" and then he said "no wait I don't know"
Livvy - "Hug"

21.What does your mommy like most about your daddy?
Abbey - "he sleeps with you" - wow....no comment!
Katherine - "he helps with the kids" - this is actually one of my favorite things about him
Kaleb - "Mostly everything" -kind of true :-)
Livvy - "Bone" - please don't read into this...it is not to be misconstrued--she is just making up random things

22.Where is your mommy's favorite place to go?
Abbey - "work?" - sometimes this is true!
Katherine - "Florida" - she said this because she knows I really want to go here.
Kaleb - "the zoo" - sure...
Livvy - "Go somewhere"

The 'material' side of Christmas

This is what the family got for Christmas this year from 'Santa'. He even brought us an extra Wii Motionplus Controller to go along with it. Everyone is now testing it out and enjoying Wakeboarding. So far that's all that we've checked out. And by we I mean everyone except Abbey and me. We have yet to test it out but I fully intend to check out anything that I can do while seated. Here is a picture of Kat wakeboarding. Not real exciting I know, but I like having pictures on my blog and since it's my blog, well, here it is! Who cares that you can't really see it!

Kaleb and Katherine have been dying to own a Nintendo DS. Truth be told, they really want Nintendo DSI's but they were just WAY to expensive. Even the used DS's were too expensive. At one point the kids talked about saving their birthday money to get one together but Kaleb basically spent all of his as soon as he got it. Katherine went much longer with saving her money than Kaleb, until she went shopping with me and found some clothes she wanted! So there was no way we could spend $80 on each kid to get them used Nintendo DS's. But we did want them to have something that they could take and enjoy on car rides so we did some research and found some reasonably priced MP3 players and got them each one of those. It has been so funny this morning to watch them walking around listening to songs from Switchfoot and Johnny Cash. Kris showed them how to charge them and add music to them and I am pleased that these were a great distraction from the DS's. As you can see, they were pretty happy. Kaleb actually started screaming (in delight) when he realized what it was.

Abbey is much easier to please, as is Livvy. And 'cheaper'. Abbey was thrilled with her new Polly Pocket and the case that accompanied it. This girl has forever loved Polly Pocket. Livvy also is still in love with Dora and so the dominoes made for the perfect gift. The Dollar Tree helped us finish off Christmas shopping for the kids and I hope that we still have some years left that we can get away with cheap Dollar Tree gifts!

Cookies for Santa

I was in the process of writing this last night but it didn't end up happening. When we got home from church though, the kids wanted to put cookies and milk out for Santa. Katherine of course has to write a note that tells where things are (just like she did one year for the Tooth Fairy), so here is the note she taped to the front door.

Next, it was time to set out the cookies and milk. Good thing I had baked cookies earlier that day because I had actually forgotten about this! Now let me just explain a couple of things here, in case you think the tiny cup and kettle were intended for a tiny Santa or an elf. Katherine of course wrote another note, I guess to make sure Santa knew that THOSE cookies were hers!! Abbey decided to write a note just to tell Santa that she loved him. Abbey came into the kitchen and told me that she wanted to leave chocolate tea for Santa. I was just like 'uh ok'. It was only when I walked into the dining room and saw her little tea kettle and tea cup that I realized she had put these out so that she could leave her chocolate tea for Santa.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

So, I have this issue with Christmas sweaters. Really, any sweaters that are...well...a little too much. My dear mother use to always buy me sweaters that some people really love. For whatever reason, I have never been able to wear Christmas sweaters. Or sweater vests with things embroidered on them, or anything that isn't usually somewhat plain. I'm a simple girl. Less is more. That kind of thing when it comes to clothes. And for many years my mom would always buy me some sort of sweater/shirt for Christmas that was Christmas themed. Maybe that's my biggest hangup-theme sweaters. There's no natural reason for it really. It's just the way I am. A few weeks ago, my friend Jennifer and I were discussing Christmas sweaters and sweater vests. We were agreeing that neither one of us owned something gaudy like what we've seen others wear, and were thankful for that. We even went so far as to call them 'mom' sweaters. Sorry mom! It wasn't meant offensive or anything...just things that we have seen our mothers wear. And then, in walks Jennifer's mom. Wearing what we had moments before been discussing. It was a very funny moment.

Sunday at church Cindy was wearing a red Christmas knit-type vest with Christmas trees, presents, the works embroidered on it. I forgive Cindy (as well as any teacher or mother or grandmother) a lot when it comes to these types of things. They're supposed to wear those-it's almost expected. And I don't have a real problem with these types of things, except for wearing them myself. It's just not my thing, not my style. Well anyway, so Cindy is wearing this and it is something I consider 'loud' so of course I noticed it. But I didn't say anything.

And then, tonight at church, I noticed that Dean was wearing a familiar red vest and what appeared to be some sort of necklace. He was up in front of the church with the choir and I thought 'that's odd' and 'is that the same vest Cindy wore on Sunday?' Come to find out, yes, it was. It was cause for amusement for sure!

I can't remember if it was on the way to church or the way back but I was talking to Kris about how I hoped I don't turn into one of those people who at some point in life decides that it is okay for ME to wear that type of thing. Other people can wear it all they want. But at some point, am I going to WANT to wear the loud, crazy sweater vests??? I'm scared for that day to arrive.

What made this whole thing even more amusing is what happened after we got home. We have a tradition of opening one present on Christmas Eve. We each get to choose whichever present we want that is under the tree. Though this year Kaleb was not going to let me choose. Prior to today he has told me on several different occasions that I should open my gift from him first because it was something I could use. Something I would really 'need'. I was thinking maybe he got me a scarf or gloves or something. They had the store at school and we gave the kids some money so I was thinking 'one of those could be cheap enough I guess'. When I opened it up, I found it hard not to show both horror and amusement on my face. While it was NOT a sweater vest with crazy loud Christmas things on it, it was a Christmas sweatshirt. See the picture below. What made it even funnier is that he said 'It looked like something Mammaw would wear and so I wanted to get it for you.' He was telling me how I could wear it to stay warm. I promised him that I would wear it tomorrow. Maybe it's things like your kids getting you a gift that you wouldn't choose for yourself and having to smile and nod and wear it anyway because of the time and effort AND THOUGHT that they put into picking it out for you.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Listening? What's that?

Children and men...they don't listen. But today my 'issue' is with an actual small child and not a man. Olivia got this stamp for Christmas at school today. I kept telling her 'No you can't use that right now.' I'm pretty sure I told her about 4 times. She kept telling me that she wanted to and I kept telling her 'not right now'. You'd think it would click with her; that it would sink in, that she'd figure it out. So why, just a moment later do I look over and see her with the stamp up against her forehead? It was yet another moment where your kid is doing something they really shouldn't be doing but it is being done in such a way that it is very cute, and very funny at the same time.

Here is how she wound up, just moments after I told her she could NOT use her stamps. The pictures are horrible because my camera wasn't charged and so I was using Kris' cell phone. Oh and I don't know how to rotate the picture from his phone so one of them is sideways. The first two pictures are both of her arms. To make it even cuter, she proudly proclaimed (not worried at all that she was doing something she wasn't supposed to) "I'm ready for Christmas!"

A Reading Experiment

A few months ago, I read The Memory Keeper's Daughter and really enjoyed it. Two days ago I finished a book called The Concubine's Daughter, which was also very good-disturbing but intriguing and well-written. Last night I made another trip to the library. It was time for a new book. I was not planning to stay on the 'daughter' theme. I didn't even realize I HAD a 'daughter' theme until I settled on a book called The Abortionist's Daughter. So far the writing isn't bad and the story is interesting. Then I started thinking that maybe I'll stay on this theme for a while. So when I finish my current book I am going to find someone else's daughter and read about that too. We'll see how it turns out.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Falling apart at the seams

The results of the MRI are in and I have since seen the orthopedic surgeon. I have a meniscus tear on my right knee. Surgery is scheduled to repair the tear on December 28th. Merry Christmas! Between my problems and my mother-in-law's health concerns, I don't even think if you combine us we make one complete, healthy person! Because I have had a blood clot, I have to be given Lovenox injections for 5 days after the surgery to prevent a blood clot. I had to have these shots during all of my pregnancies and hated them. There were days I would lay there for 10-15 minutes and could still feel the medicine burning as it spread and was absorbed. But 5 days instead of 9 months is much more manageable.

I am thrilled with the show The Sing Off. I'm sad that it will end on Monday, when it seems like it just began this past week. Oh wait, it did. :-) Four epsiodes is just mean. Especially when you have groups like Nota and The Beelzebubs. Both amazing performing groups as well as talented musicians. Too many people don't appreciate the pure talent the accompanies acapella singing. The Sing Off is available here http://www.hulu.com/the-sing-off.

My kids have been saying some cute/funny things lately and I've been putting them on Facebook as my status but thought I should 'jot' them down here. It's primarily been Abbey and Livvy because they are still at that stage where they don't always pronounce words correctly. Here are some of my latest favorites:

Livvy while watching the Jackie Chan cartoons: "We're watching Jackie Channel."

Me: "Abbey you need pants on underneath that because it's cold.
Abbey: "Can I pleeease wear capri suns?"
Me: "I guess."
Livvy: "Mommy, it's not the 'pri suns we drink. It's the ones we wear. You'll see."

Katherine while watching The Biggest Loser with me: "I would punch Jillian in the face!"

Livvy talking about her Polly Pocket who apparently lies: "Yeah, she's Satan's daughter."

Livvy holding the DVD trying to convince me that she loves Lord of the Rings and wants to watch it (interesting reasoning as you will see): "W-I-D-E-S-C-R-E-E-N. See! Lord of the Rings!"

Abbey this morning while eating a Clementine: "Mommy, this one is so cute I'm going to save her for last. I didn't get time to name her, so I will name her in my belly. Her name is Orangie."

Thursday, December 17, 2009

More time to write

While I should be using all this time that I am not in the office working, it is much easier said than done. I think I put in about 5 hours today. My knee has been bothering me a lot today-at first, when I first had my encounter with the bleachers, it only hurt when I tried to move it. Yesterday was a better day and I was able to get up and do a little bit more, though I still tried to take it easy. Today though, even elevated it just aches. Standing becomes problematic because I can't really put my full weight on that leg or even half my weight for long before it starts hurting. And when I try to keep the weight off of it completely while standing, my left leg begins hurting. I may be exploring the crutches option tomorrow evening when we go to our work Christmas party at Dave & Buster's simply so that I can be up and move a little bit without putting an uneven amount of weight on either leg. That is to be determined.

The main reason I started this post was to share a little story about Abbey. Abbey is in love with herself. I think I have shared before that she has explained that she loves herself as much as she loves God. And then she loves her Uncle Brandon the most after that! So funny. Well, now that she can read and is learning to write, she writes stories. And they are always along the same lines and vary only as she learns new words/people's names. Here is a story she brought me tonight. It was written on post-its and then stuck together, like a book.

It's called 'I love you Abbey'.

I love you Abbey. I do love you Abbey.
I like you Abbey. I do like you.
Do you love me? Do you like me? I love you. I like you.
Who love me? Who like me?
Who love you? Who like you?
My dad like me.
My dad love me.
My mom like me.
My mom love me.
My dad love you.
My dad like you.
My mom love you.
My mom like you.

That girl is just bubbling with love. Yet again, she has brought a smile to my face and made my day!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Laid Up

On Monday night, the kids had their school Christmas program. There were chairs set up in the gymnasium but when we got there (30 minutes early!) most of the front half of chairs were taken/being saved. So we decided that in order to actually SEE the kids, we'd sit in the bleachers. Perhaps that was my first mistake.

Halfway through the program I got down to take Olivia to the bathroom. I was stepping down and the first few steps were fine; however, that last step, unbeknown to me, was double the height of the first steps. I misjudged it and because I was expecting it to be the same height as the others, almost fell. In the process of balancing myself so that I didn't fall, all of my weight found itself resting on my right knee. It HURT!

When I got out of bed yesterday morning, I couldn't walk. I couldn't put any weight on my leg at all or even stretch it out during the night Monday night. Fortunately, having had a similar (but not so bad) experience with this same knee back in June, I had a knee brace. I put it on and was able to hobble around and make it in to work. But because of the pain and not being able to walk without the brace, I called my doctor and got in to see her yesterday.

She moved my leg around and pressed on my knee in many different places (some hurt pretty bad). Then she told me that she believed I had done something to my meniscus. I went for an MRI this morning and now I have to go see an othropedic surgeon on Friday morning. Hopefully it will heal on its own without the need for surgery.

It's one of those moments where I feel like we can't catch a break. I find myself frustrated because I have no PTO left this year and yet have to be off my leg again tomorrow and Friday (except to go see the surgeon) and am trying to work from my laptop on my couch with my leg elevated. It hasn't been easy and I haven't yet been able to put 8 hours in today. I have a feeling that my paycheck this week will not be very 'full'. Not the best thing right at Christmas time.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Proud, card-carrying members

We joined the YMCA. The St. Louis area has 21 YMCA's (I think that's the right number). We got a metro pass and we can go to any of the area YMCA's. We have a few favorites. Our favorite to go to so far with regards to the fitness center is down near the Galleria. The one in Maryland Heights is great for the kids. Their pool has a shallow play area. Even Olivia can walk around and play and still touch the bottom AND keep her head above water! They have so much fun there. This particular branch has a water slide and this whirlpool area that spins the kids around. This whirlpool has been the cause of much distress with Abigail.

The other night when we were there she was a little frightened of it. She was too scared to go in there without a noodle or floaties or life jacket. So she put a life jacket on and went over there and the lifeguard told her that she couldn't go in there with the life jacket on. This sent Abbey into tears. She kept crying and saying how she wanted to go in there and put the life jacket on so that she could be safe and then the lifeguard told her that it wasn't safe to be in there with those. She was not happy. Quite the opposite. It was one of those moments when your heart breaks for your child and yet you can't help but laugh because of how cute the kid looks explaining it to you. I had hoped that this would be the end of it. It was not.

Tonight we went back there and took the kids swimming. Abbey wanted to go in the whirlpool but ended up chickening out (I don't mean this in a negative way). Well, a little while later she had a noodle and was trying to swim away from the whirlpool thing. It sucked her right in and she let go of the noodle and I saw her gripping the side of the whirlpool area. The lifeguard jumped down as I was heading towards her. I grabbed her and took her over to the other side of the pool. She burst into tears again. I didn't realize at first she was trying to get away from the whirlpool. She told me that she was trying to get away from it and it pulled her in. She was so scared! Poor girl. She just kept crying and saying she was ready to go. Then she told me that she never wanted to come to that pool again.