Monday, July 21, 2008

Cleaning, Cleaning

Have you ever looked forward to days of cleaning? Funny thing is, sometimes I do. At least it gives me a sense of accomplishment of the work involved. We have been very busy the last month or so and the house has gotten a little out of hand. So, we just stayed home today and worked in the kids rooms. This weekend, Ed was so kind to help with the idea I had to put up bunk beds in Sam's room. Little did he know what he was getting himself into. I had envisioned that the project would take a couple of hours or so, but we finally finished it before bedtime on Sunday night. I had bought two bed frames from a garage sale and decided to put them together to make bunks. However, one minor detail was that we only had one frame for the bed. I didn't think it would be too difficult to build another, and it wasn't, but as you know, nothing is ever as easy as it appears. All things done, it did turn out just the way I pictured it.

Today I have worked on picking up and cleaning the rest of Sam's room. Next up, Grace. This girl is a packrat already at age 5. She had stashes of all the happy meal toys she's ever received. Funny thing is, that I have always thought I did a pretty good job at throwing these things away often, since they really don't play with any of them. I had to take pictures of their clean rooms, because, frankly, they hardly ever look this way!

This is all that I have managed to do today (well not exactly), besides breakfast, lunch, diaper changes, shower, dressing, etc.

Speaking of cleaning out, isn't it wonderful when you find something you have lost or didn't even know you had? I was trying to label and organize all of our little tapes from the camcorder. I had to watch all of them to see what was on each one. I came across yet another tape and put it in and found footage from January 2007 of me holding Noah in the NICU. I don't even recall anyone taping this, but by some miracle, we have it. It felt so great to find such a surprise (kind of like putting on a jacket/coat at the beginning of the fall/winter season and finding a $10 bill or something). Someday, when I learn to post that kind of video on here, I will share it with you. One thing that makes me so sad is that so many of you did not even get to meet Noah while he was here. Some of you did not make it to the NICU, so the video is so good for everyone to see what life was life while we were there. For those of you who don't know about this part of our lives, I will have to spend a little unterrupted time and blog about our story sometime. For now, enjoy the rest of the afternoon :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Can you spare a square?

Once again, we reach to the floor for our squares of toilet paper. This has become a recurring theme in our house lately. But isn't the culprit cute? I don't even bother to roll it all back up anymore.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Just My Opinion

Last May, our family participated in the March of Dimes March for Babies walk in Kansas City. I think we did really well as a team at raising a lot of funds to go toward preventing premature births. I do however, have a complaint about most all organizations like this one. Lately, I have been receiving all sorts of things from the organization thanking us for our participation and the donations we helped raise. I certainly don't mind the letter of thanks, but I wish it would stop there. As you can see by the plaque that is pictured, I was considered a top walker in the area. The letter said that only 1% of the walkers raise over $2000. We have also received a "prize" for raising a certain level of money.

More than anything else, I want everyone to know that I would never participate in a walk for any of the "prizes" or the recognition. I only want to help raise awareness/donations to help prevent other family from going through what we have. I only walk so that others don't have to live in the NICU, putting their normal lives out of whack, go on one heck of an emotional roller coaster ride, or even bury their child. I hate that these organizations, all of them do this, must send these items to all the participants. I wish they would just keep the money spent on such prizes, plaques, gift cards, etc. and put it toward helping others. And really, am I really going to hang such a plaque in my house anyway??

I am so glad to be helping such an organization, and knowing that a good portion of the money raised does go for the things I deem important, but I do not need any of the other "stuff". Maybe I don't understand this concept because I worked in the public school system, where we had to scrape our coins together just to get adequate supplies for the kids. I know that many business people are familiar with this "wine and dine" philosophy, but I have a hard time with it when there are so many other useful ways we could spend the money.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

So, my sister gave me a new cookbook way back when, "The Sneaky Chef" it is called. I was so inspired to get my family eating healthy at the time, I went out and got the latest Cuisinart food chopper and began puree-ing everything in sight. That is where the party stopped! I have now had a freezer full of little baggies of purple, orange, and white puree for quite some time. Today, I decided to have a "good mom" day and put the purees to work. My chefs were anxiously awaiting our treats for the day -- PB & J muffins and Brainy Brownies. The first recipe included pureed carrots and sweet potatoes and the latter has spinach and blueberries in it! With much "help", we got both recipes accomplished and the kids did just as the book described. They ate up the muffins and begged for about half the pan of brownies! I had to try this for myself, and I must say that they weren't too bad. A lot of work, but I am going to try to freeze some of the muffins in order to pull them out for a quick lunch.

Nate even enjoyed the brownies as well! With a little Soy milk, of course.

Next on our agenda, sack lunches. In an effort to actually teach our kids about kindness, poverty, hunger, and just helping those who need it, we have been making sack lunches given to the homeless by our church. The kids decorate the sacks with stickers (today was Easter stickers!), then fill them with the suggested items. It has been a really good experience for all of us and Grace is always full of questions. "Maybe I could put some money in the sack for the people", is the recurring request she has when preparing the lunches. It is honestly the sweetest and kindest thing she says.

While I was being "good mom" today, most other things get left untouched. This is probably my biggest struggle right now, balancing the mom/housekeeper/wife/friend/daughter/sister roles that I try to keep up daily. So, this is what some of the other places in the house looked like when I went to bed tonight and will probably stay this way until we have company or something!

Yes, the green bucket sitting in the dining room is the "poopy underwear" soaking bucket! It never seems to make it out to the garage, because we need it too often!

Does anyone else's kitchen counters look like this??

Nate Walking

Here is the video I have been trying to get for a couple of days now. Finally, I have it! He was looking so darn cute today and the floor was halfway picked up, so it especially made for some good footage!

Here is a better picture of how cute he was today. Sorry the video is so dark, I guess I really need to work on the lighting in the house!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Fun in the Sun

It has been a really busy month! Grace and Sam have been taking swimming lessons at our neighborhood pool every day for the last 3 weeks, so that is where we have been spending a lot of time. At first, they didn't have goggles, but when they saw the other kids with them, they had to have them. Funny thing is, that they think they can do anything with the goggles. I have tried to tell them otherwise, but these little things have given them confidence to do anything! I call Sam "flyboy", because he resembles a fly with them on! Grace was even learning to dive into the deep end of the pool toward the end of the lessons. I can't believe what a difference it has made. They have made some new friends in the neighborhood as a result, which can come in handy. Sam isn't afraid of anything - the last day of lessons, the teacher told him to go over and play in the shallow end. While the teacher was not looking, Sam just jumped right into the 9 foot deep water and didn't come to the surface. The teacher had seen him do it from halfway across the pool and she went under very quickly to retrieve him. She said that he was just sitting at the bottom, eyes wide open and looking around! He was so proud of himself. I am glad that it didn't scare him like it did me!

We spent the weekend of the fourth in St. Louis. Here are some pictures of the kids from that trip. The summer is flying by and I can't believe it is almost time to start thinking about school.
Nate has been doing well and the ENT said to pay him another visit in August. We are hoping that whatever is in his ear will just go away with time, as the doctor couldn't really tell anything from the CAT scan. Big news is that he is now walking! He has been working on it for about a month now and he is finally getting it! I wouldn't say that this is his main method of transportation, but he is really practicing all the time. I will try to post a video of him walking, it is very cute.

For those of you who actually read this, thanks for being patient with me. I really want to be able to post more often, but time really slips past me. I have a friend who also has a blog and has the same issues with infrequent posts. I have challenged her to post before I can, so maybe it will light a fire under each of us! Hang in there with me.