Sunday, October 26, 2008


So, Nathan's surgery is this Thursday, and still have no idea what time he's scheduled for, how much the deposit is, and which one he is actually having! I think I will be making some phone calls tomorrow...

Mark and I feel kind of bad. Nathan will miss Halloween, and we won't get to see William in his cute dragon costume, or watch Oren go door to door. I guess Steph and Jeff will drag William along if they do a trunk or treat, and Amanda was going to haul Oren to our ward's party. Fun for everyone! (ha ha...) But we may as well get it over with, waiting isn't going to make it any easier.

I finally got to go on a date with my sweetie this weekend! Amanda watched the boys, and we went out to a local vintage diner, and drove down to Nampa to go to the "Haunted World". We forked out extra to get fast track tickets so we wouldn't have to wait in line. We were glad we did when we actually saw how long the line was to go through the scary forest walk. The Haunted World is over 20 acres of forest and corn field and scary thrills and phsyco ward motel gone wrong. Strobe lights and dark narrow tunnels where you can't see a thing. All that good stuff. What's funny is that Mark jumped more than I did! I usually am so freaked out by the end that I am screaming and can't hardly move. This time it was more "eh..." Even the chainsaw guy at the end, which seriously makes me freeze in absolute terror - childhood haunted house trauma - didn't faze me! Of course, you could hear him coming and he was running for us instead of jumping out from behind something, so...

We were talking about it afterwards, and I think the problem was that we were between 2 groups that were fairly close together. The people in front of us were screaming like crazy and then when we got there the guys were resetting for the people behind us. Just bad timing. The people behind us were freaking out all the time too! Drat...

Plus, the first one I went through with Mark was a haunted wood. We held hands a little but hadn't been dating very long. The second one we had only been married a couple months and I was newly pregnant. The difference this time was that I had 7 years of security and trust with Mark. I knew he would keep me safe. He walked slightly in front of me and held my hand or made me hold the back of his coat if it was too tight of a tunnel. So what did I have to be scared of? Mark was there! My knight in shining armor, just without the horse. Although we did drive his nice car instead of my huge mini van... ;-)

Coming in at 1 am made for a difficult time waking up for church this morning though. And I should be in bed, passed out, but I felt like chatting with everyone. However, sitting here typing has made me even more tired, I will catch up on everyone's blogs in the morning and leave nice comments for everyone. OK? Thanks, and lots of loves!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Is it bedtime yet?

I got some chicken on sale Tuesday when in town. I meant to divide it into bags and freeze it, but I didn't get to it right away. So I decided to can it instead!

It's pretty easy. You can partially cook it, stuff it in the jars and pour hot broth over it. Or you can pack it in raw, without any broth. Either way, process in a pressure canner for forever, and then enjoy looking at chicken in glass jars just waiting to be used!

Problem is, I didn't get to start until around 7:00! My friend Amanda wants to make some pajama pants for her girls for Christmas, but doesn't feel very confident at sewing. We are basically trading babysitting hours for sewing hours. I am quite a bit faster than her, and was able to whip out 3 pairs of pants today. That's with tracing patterns, cutting fabric, taking Nathan to school, holding her baby while Amanda went visiting teaching so that the baby would go back to sleep, getting Nathan from school, making and eating lunch. Whew! So I didn't get started on the chicken until dinnertime.

To can it safely, you pack the food into hot jars. Place them in the canner so they don't touch. Get the water in the canner boiling and seal the lid. You have to keep it at a high boil until it reaches a certain amount of pressure, in my case, 12 pounds. Once you hit that, you have to keep it there for a certain amount of time. For pint jars of chicken, it's 75 minutes. After processing you turn off the heat and let the canner sit until the lock pops back down and you can open the canner. Carefully take out the jars, with the liquid inside still boiling because it got that hot inside the canner, and place on towels.

So the process takes quite a while. The heat is off now, and I am just waiting for the lock to pop down. I want to take them out before I go to bed, for safety reasons. I very much could have gone to bed at 8:30, like Mark did, because last night was awful. William took a nap yesterday and so he stayed up for forever last night. A little past midnight he was finally tired enough to only cry for a couple minutes when I tried for the 4th time to put him down for bed. I wake up at 6:30 to get a shower in before I start the day with the kids, so it was a very short night. I was so scared when he passed out on the floor this afternoon and slept for nearly 3 hours, but we were able to get him down to sleep about 9:30. I would have jumped for joy, but I was too tired. *yawn*

Update on the cats- Mittens thinks Jade is her new mommy. Jade doesn't really care, so long as Mittens stays put for her grooming. In fact, Mittens was trying to nurse on Jade, and Jade was just like "Whatever... I'll just lick your head until you quit." Jade hasn't been nearly so clingy, jumping up on my lap anytime I sit down. I think she was bored and lonely, so I am very glad we got the new kitten. Of course, they play all night so they sleep all day. I don't see them much. But they eat out of the same food dish, and use the same litter box. I guess you could say that Jade really doesn't mind the newcomer? :-)

Tiny clarification

Living on the base, if anything goes wrong with our house, we call the housing maintenance people. They come out and fix it according to how bad it is. No working toilet is bad enough to warrant coming out within the hour. We don't get charged normally for having them come out and unclog a toilet. But we have been told more than once by them that if they get a certain number of calls to unclog a toilet because of children flushing something down it, which would indicate a lack of supervision, then we can be charged for the call out. We don't really know how many calls within a specific time period they will put up with, so we usually try it ourselves first. We'd rather not take the chance of hitting that limit.

Nicia, sorry to confuse you... :-) We do love living on base, because all the maintenance is taken care of for free.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Flushed Away!

There are times when I am so jealous of that mouse/rat?, and the toilet he gets flushed down. For one, the toilet is clean. For another, it actually flushes!

The boys's toilet was semi-plugged last night, so we were being careful. Then, I get up this morning to discover that mine is clogged too! AAAH! I only have 2 bathrooms, and now they are both out of order. We suffered through the slowness of the boys's to get everyone off to school. Then I located the drain snake and attempted plumbing.

How did it go?

Not so good. I figured there was a mega block in there, because that's what William has been trying to flush lately. What I didn't figure was the drain snake getting stuck on it, and not wanting to come back out! I pulled and twisted, but I didn't want it breaking and flying back to pop me in the face and poke my eye out of something, so I turned it over.

That involved getting my carpet cleaner and sucking all the water out of the bowl. Flush, do it again. Flush, do it again. Toilet tanks have a lot of water in them! I couldn't just plunge it down because the drain snake was in the way. I was on the phone with Steph at the time, I'm sure she is scared of Thomas and the toilet now. Don't worry, I haven't come across many kids as potty obsessed as mine are... I got the thing emptied and undid all the screws and laid it on it's side. I couldn't see the snake on the other side, so I gave up and called housing maintenance. We don't want them to charge us, so we only call if we cannot get the clog out. Not having a working toilet at all is an emergency so they came out relatively quickly.

By the way, when I told the guy on the phone that the snake was stuck, he laughed at me. When I popped into the living room and told Amanda, who was hanging out, she just about fell off the couch! I guess she found it hilarious! It kind of was. I mean, who does that?

I was right, there was a mega block in the boys's. There was a bar of soap in ours. I could have gotten that unclogged if the snake hadn't have been stuck in the other toilet! And I had him replace the lock on the boys's bathroom, since theirs was wearing out and getting stuck.

To top off our day, after grocery shopping, I went to put the groceries away. The light in the fridge was out and it didn't feel very cold in there. The thermostat we keep in there was up about 7 degrees from what we keep it at. Uh oh... I turned it all the way down to see if it would work, before I called it in. 1/2 hour later I checked and it was back down where it was supposed to be. Odd, but good! I am thinking the door just didn't seal all the way or something. So I didn't have to call that in today, thank heavens!

I'm sure you all were just dying to read about our toilets today, sorry. But you can't help but laugh at how many times we go through this. At least once a month, usually 2-3 times! I think the guy that comes just sees the name Willford on the fix-it notice and winces at this point...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Nurse, Scalpel Please.

That's right, we're talking surgery! Dr. Beck's office scheduled Nathan for surgery on the 30th. Next Thursday! Next week!

I talked to the billing lady who was so nice last time and who deals with the tricare patients, about the whole money side of things. If we can't get a hold of the whole deposit amount, they will work with us. We can't get an estimate of how much it will be, because they don't know which surgery he will have first. Once they decide that, they will give us the estimate and we'll go from there.

So we have a surgery scheduled, we just don't know which one he is having! Too funny! Amanda is taking Oren, and Stephanie, wonderfully amazing sister that she is, agreed to take William. He will have a minimum 24 hour stay after the surgery. If he is too much pain and won't eat still, than we basically stay until he eats, from what I understand. Most kids go home within 3 days, so we'll see how he does. I'm hoping it's not that long of a stay! Poor little guy!

A whole lot of prayers, and even more faith. We have been truly blessed with this, that it is all coming together.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

An Afternoon Outing

The weather this afternoon was just gorgeous. Not cool, but not too warm. Perfect for some time at the park. I told the kids to get socks and shoes on, and they got so excited! Apparently "no shoes" means the tiny park by our house. "Socks and shoes" means we are going to the big park at the end of the street. "Socks and shoes and get in the car" is code for going to the huge park on the other side of base. Huge for the base anyway, it's actually quite small compared to some I've seen.

Of course I grabbed my camera, the sun was bright but not harsh or right over head. The kids had plenty of energy. And I was itching to snap some great pictures.

Playing in the gravel

Whee! Don't you love that hair?

These monkey bars are harder than they look!

"It's okay, Super Bear. I won't letyou fall."

Brothers having fun. I love to see them playing together.

I just loved the colors of the merry-go-round, and the bar's long shadows.

Where was William through all of this? He fell asleep on the way there. I laid him down on a reclined seat and left the door open. He didn't wake up until I put him back in his seat.

I am so jealous of this kid's eyelashes!

Mark volunteered to help with the Base's Haunted House this year. He was so syked about it, he loves Halloween and jumping out at people. He worked it this weekend, Friday and Saturday from 6 to 11. I saw him for all of 1 1/2 hours, not all at once, on Friday, until 11. And today, Saturday, I got a goodbye kiss this morning, and a whole 2 minutes while I dropped off his dinner and a change of clothes. He had weekend duty this week and actually had to go in to work at 7 this morning. He went straight from work to the haunted house. He called me at Walmart and asked if I could bring him something to eat and something to wear besides his uniform. He finally got home, and this is the longest I have seen him today.

So I am going to hop off and get in some husband time, since he will probably have to work tomorrow too. :-)

My 7 things, finally!

Alrighty-roo... wierd mood? Steph tagged me with this ages ago, and I am finally stealing a moment here at midnight to do it! Hurray for me! My poor house... I didn't touch it today.

7 things I plan to do before I die...
1. Learn how to take great photos without extensive editing
2. Watch my sons get off the plane after serving an honorable mission
3. Watch my sons get married in the temple
4. Finally grow my hair past my shoulders
5. Own a fixer-upper and actually fix it up
6. Take an auto mechanics class
7. Sew something beautiful

7 things I can do...
1. Decorate cakes
2. Talk to anyone. literally. Total strangers.
3. Feed a family of 5 on $25 a week if I have to
4. Talk on the phone and get dressed at the same time (long story...)
5. Sweet talk my husband into almost anything
6. Clean almost an entire house in 6 hours
7. Make my cat purr just by looking at her

7 things I cannot do...
1. Knit or crochet
2. Keep my eyes open when sneezing
3. Climb a mountain
4. Resist at least looking at the clearance racks
5. Stand to listen to heavy metal "music"
6. Listen to anyone with a southern accent without doing one myself
7. Help but laugh when William walks out his pants

7 Things that attract me to my spouse...
1. He's much taller than me
2. He thinks my cooking is fabulous
3. He has gorgeous blue eyes
4. He didn't and still doesn't care that I am not skinny
5. He gets more fun out of Halloween than the kids
6. He doesn't mind sappy movies, and holds my hand through the scary ones
7. He considers any time where we are together but there are no kids present as a date

7 Things I say most often...
1. Get off your brother
2. Get off the table
3. Don't flush that down the toilet
4. 1....2....3....
5. I love you the mostest
6. Can I have squishies? (hugs)
7. Are you my angel boy?

7 Favorite foods...
1. Anything chocolate and peanut butter
2. Anything chocolate and mint
3. Gooey, but crisp grilled cheese sandwhiches
4. Fresh baked bread and homemade jam
5. Garden fresh tomatoes
6. Perfectly grilled chicken
7. Pancakes with peanut butter, sugar and cream

I don't know who has or hasn't been tagged, so I guess if you want to do this, be my guest! :-)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Busy Bee

I think that I will take a moment to catch my breath. I think I need to take just one moment and do something totally not related to housecleaning, cooking, laundry, running errands, doctor's appointments, shouting at kids... Maybe something I find enjoyable... Blog maybe? Why not.

At this point I can't believe it is finally Friday. It hasn't been a bad week, or a fantastic week. Just a long week. I can't even remember half of what we did, it is all kind of a blur. I do know that I spent several hours cleaning Amanda's house because she was having a housing office emergency like I had a couple months ago. I know that yesterday I went to Boise and didn't spend any money, because Amanda owed me for the housework I did Wednesday, so she bought the stuff I needed at Costco. I know that I did grocery shopping at some point and got cans of corn and green beans for $0.33 a can. Everything else is sort of a busy blur.

Tuesday was odd. I got home from Nathan's therapy and ran him to the bus stop. Then I sat down and was asleep when Mark came home for lunch. I woke up before he left and did... I don't remember what... but I was asleep when he came home from work too. 2 naps, and I was still exhausted by 8:00! I was nearly falling asleep in the middle of visiting teaching that evening! It's a good thing I wasn't driving.

I haven't really followed my cooking schedule at all this week, or my cleaning hopes. Soccer is over next week, which is a good thing. I am going over my schedule in my head to see what things I can let go of so I am not so busy. I guess I don't need to make all our bread, Walmart has cheap enough stuff even if it doesn't taste nearly as good. I have been stressing over finding the time to make it. I guess the bathrooms don't need to be spotless, and the kitten loves pouncing in the piles on my bedroom floor. 2 more things I can let go of. (for now anyway, until I can find energy for them) Mom could always sense when I was younger, and even now, when I was taking on too much. I have a tendency to overdo it, and then I get stressed out way easily.

I know Amanda is paying me to clean her house, but maybe I don't have to do all the hours at once. She hasn't asked me to, I just get very OCD and all the little dirty things bother me. That would help me find time to tackle my own things. I want to keep cleaning, any money I can put towards Nathan's surgery is worth it. Maybe I can let go of late night TV watching and go to bed earlier. Maybe spend a few minutes cuddling with my sweetie after the kids go to bed, and talking. Being less tired would help, I'm sure. I should probably make sure I eat at regular times, my erratic eating is probably not doing me any good.

That's the plan. I can't do anything about the doctor's appointments, soccer's almost over, and the house has been messy for the last 7 years anyway so Mark is used to it. I can let go of or rearrange other things. But I need to take care of myself, huh. Then being so busy won't take so much out of me. And now I will crash for the next 20 minutes. Ah, life.

I promise...

I am alive, and I am still here. The kids are alive and still here. The cats are alive and playing together.

This is to reassure you that I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. Every time I think my life will slow down, it says "I don't think so!" I have to wake the kids up, but I promise to write a good long summary, and catch up on tags.

I have read everyone's posts, but I haven't been able to post comments, since I was snatching a minute here and there yesterday in between bits and pieces of crazy. I'll try to go back and leave comments, but if I don't manage, I love you all anyway and don't be mad at me? *puppy dog eyes*

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Here Kitty, Kitty!

Everyone, I would like to introduce you to Mittens! Our brand new family member... Kind of a suprise addition, but a very cute, fluffy one.

Amanda came for dinner and wanted to show us some adorable kittens just posted on Craigslist, living in Mountain Home. One was an orange tabby, that our friend wanted, Amanda wanted one of the calicos - there were 2 - and I fell in love with the calico cuteness too. They drove down to look at them, and I called Mark to see what he thought. He agreed on the condition that I can't pester him for a puppy for a long time. I am still allowed to tease him about it though. Agreed!

I told Amanda I would love one of the calicos, so she brought home both and let me choose which one I wanted. The first one was bigger, and a lot more skittish. Mittens was one of the smallest and the lady said that her personality was a lot more outgoing and curious. Seeing how noisy and active our house is, I decided to go with the outgoing one, because the other sweetie was literally shaking in her furry little boots.

Jade was not a happy camper, but that's because there were 4 adults and 5 kids in the kitchen, loudly exclaiming over the 3 new kittens. Someone brought Jade in and plopped her by the new kitten, so we had an actual hissy fit from her. Mittens' safe room is currently in my bathroom, since I have the sink room and the room with the toilet. She is in the sink portion. We have food and water dishes set up, a kitten sized litter box from Jade, and a basket with a blanket for a bed. She cryed a little during the night, but not too bad.

This morning we started introducing the 2, Jade did a lot better without so much chaos. She even went into the kitten's room while we had Mittens out and sniffed around. That's a good sign. She has hissed a little this morning, and did some growling, but for the most part has just sat in her cat carrier, she feels safe there, and watches the new kitten.

When we got her, Oren asked if Mittens would be his kitten. Mark and I discussed it last night and agreed that would be an excellent idea. Having a pet to be responsible for is actually a really good thing for ADHD kids. Responsibility and routine. So he will be in charge of the litter box, and her food and water. I'll be reinforcing he duties, believe me. When we told him this morning that she was his, his whole face lit up!

I know it's a little crazy to add another animal, but the fish are gone, the hamster isn't a problem, and once they get used to each other the cats will keep each other company. It'll be good for Oren, and I won't be outnumbered! Plus, she was free, and I don't have to housebreak her! :-)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Our own little bit of excitement...

Boys can be so competitive! When William heard about Thomas getting to go to the ER and have x-rays, he got jealous. And decided to do one better. Let's just say, he's grounded now...

Yesterday seemed to be the perfect day for climbing. So he did. I found him on top of the bathroom counter, the top rack of the dishwasher, the piano, the piano, the top of the bathroom counter, the piano, and the floor by the bathroom counter.

That last one was probably after he was on the counter, but I don't know that for sure, I didn't see the fall.

Picture this - Loud thud. Mommy gets up and starts toward the bathroom, William starts screaming. Mommy finds William on the floor, on all fours trying to get up but seeming a little unable to. Almost disoriented. Mommy picks up William and holds him. He keeps arching his back which is normal for him when something hurts really bad, but it is not normal for his head to flop back while doing so. Mommy helps him back to her shoulder each time and decides to sit on the floor and snuggle him, it seems safer. Then she notices that he seems somewhat limp and keeps tipping to the left, overcorrecting to the right, swaying to the front. She stands him on his feet to test his balance. He tips to the left, overcorrects to the right, and in general looks like a drunken sailor. Daddy shuts off the lights and then turns them back on to check his eyes, which are fine. Mommy knows something isn't right, so they pack up William and she takes him to the ER, 2 minutes away.

Scary huh? Yeah. I get him there and sign him in. Not 2 minutes later he is throwing up his dinner all over the floor while they call for housekeeping. I was so glad I didn't have to clean that up! We get rushed back and given a bed, the nurses do triage on the way for vitals. He was upset and pale and still looking very drunk. He can't sit up straight, and walking was a joke. He didn't seem to be in any pain though, and there were no bumps on his head at all! Just a small, new bruise on his leg from the step stool, and a mark under his ear and following his jaw a bit.

The doctor came in and did his check, and decided to consult with a pediatrician in Boise. They decided to ambulance him to St. Luke's up there, and I went with him. Mark went home to let Amanda, who was watching the boys, what was going on and check if she could keep the boys. He got told that he was not to try asking anyone else! She was very adamant on that point! I was then told not to worry about the boys at all, they'd be in good hands. What a friend!

He was asleep while they put him in the carseat and strapped it to the stretcher. He slept the whole ride there, and stayed asleep until the did a rectal temp. I would have woken up too! He fell at 7:30 pm, and we got to St. Luke's about 9:30. Pretty quick response....! Mark got there about 10:30 after getting the kids all settled and a bag packed for the three of us. Amanda helped find clean stuff that would actually fit me. :-) I went through the shpiel of what happened several times. And he got all registered. Since he had been there before, that was pretty simple, but they couldn't find him in the computer at first. Then I realized that when he was here in the NICU they had him listed as Babyboy Willford. Sure enough, that's where he was! Too funny.

First they did a CT scan to check for bleeding of a fractured skull. 30 minutes later that came back just fine. I had asked if he could have a drink, and was told we had to wait until the results were in, because if anything showed up his stomach had to be empty for the surgery. Talk about a tiny freak fest! Then they wanted to x-ray his left leg to make sure it wasn't broken at all, leaving him leaning. He had shown any pain at all, but they wanted to cover their bases. The 4 shots they took came back just fine.

This was nearing midnight at this point, and when we checked him sitting up he was pretty much okay. But he was still tipping and stumbling to the left when walking. They were a little concerned about that, and told us we were going up to Peds for the night to be observed. They would possibly run a MRI or EEG ECG? I don't remember to make sure every thing was fine. 2:30 am found us in a room in Peds checking in with the nurse and registering him up there. He had a crib and quilts to sleep with. We had a single chair that pulled out into a bed. We tried to fit. It didn't work. Mark, being a gentleman and knowing that while he could sleep on the floor, I would be hurting to much in the morning, laid down there about 6:30. What an angel and a perfect gentleman! I think I love him a little... ;-)

The doctor came in at 8:30 to check on him. He walked fine, just a tiny limp on the left side, and he stumbled a little when he looked around and walked at the same time. We went back for the EEG ECG? He did great while they cleaned the spots on his head and stuck all the wires, and wrapped stuff around his head to keep them all on. He did wonderful the whole 20 minutes they read his brain waves, and checked his response to flashing and strobe lights.

The pediactric neurologist was out of town, so the tech read the test. It looked normal, so he said he felt comfortable sending us home, with instructions to bring him back to the base ER if we noticed anything odd again. No problem there! We finally got to wheel him down in a big wagon at noon and take him home. With a stop at Wendy's for lunch. He got a room service meal included in the room charge, standard, and we had breakfast from the cafeteria. Hospital food is not the most filling and substantial, but that boy tucked away a grown-up sized plate of scrambled eggs, sausage, half a banana, half a bunch of grapes, and some milk. Wow! Amanda was called in-route, since we would be home in time to grab Oren from school, he had early release today. I was told I had no choice but to go home, take a nice long nap, and she would bring both dinner and the boys over at dinner time. Have I mentioned yet how big of an ANGEL she is? The Lord truly blessed me with a good friend.

The doctors couldn't really give an answer to what was wrong, because all the tests came back normal. Mark and I think that when he fell, that mark by his ear, it induced a case of something like vertigo. There are three tubes above the inner ear that are filled with fluid and lined with little hairs - very small tubes. They point in different directions and help keep us oriented by way of tiny grains that float in the fluid and brush against the hairs. If a grain gets stuck somewhere, or something, that's what causes vertigo. Your balance is completely off, you get dizzy, because your body can't get oriented like normal. We think that when he hit, it was close to his ear and that threw the grains off on the left side, the side that had the mark. So his left side was off and he would over correct. They also suspect a slight concussion, which we suspected too.

We got home at 1:00 and went straight to bed, until about 4:30. William woke up fine, and I have been relaxing and typing since. But since Amanda is on her way with kids, stuff, and food I should hop off and make sure we have dishes for them and us. William is just fine, as his blessing promised he would be if the damage wasn't permanent - which it isn't. I am so thankful for the mother instincts the Lord gave all mothers. I am thankful for the wonderful friends who are there when I need them. I am thankful for the priesthood and a husband that is able to bless us. And I am thankful for a Heavenly Father who knows us so well, and who looked after our son last night.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A nice little visit

Grandma Danes had to come down to base today to pick up meds, and Mom tagged along with her. They usually do that, keeps Grandma company on the drive, and Mom can stock up at the commissary. It was really nice to get to sit and chat for a bit. Oren and Nathan were both at school, and William had just woken up from his nap, so the house was really quiet. Very nice and relaxed!

I have very much gotten used to having a nice quiet afternoon, without worrying about what the boys are into, is the toilet flooded, did Oren run out and play with his friends without asking... I didn't think I would enjoy it this much, but I have come to need it during the week! I wish I could say that I use this time to clean, but I don't. There are books that need read, recipes to browse, and the occasional but not very often nap. It is kind of "me" time, a recharge for the evening. It seems so much easier to cope with the evening, tired kids, tired husband, dinner cleanup... when I get to take a time out during the day.

My house was a level 10 disaster zone this morning, when my friend Amanda called. She knew Mom and Grandma were coming down today, so she asked if I needed help. I try to keep things picked up, but lately it seems like I can never catch up. She came and swept the dining room, and vacummed the living room while I threw some actual clothes on instead of PJ's (she took the kids to school today) and did something with my hair. I was able to clear some of the clutter off of shelves that has been bugging me, since some of the major stuff was taken care of. Having her come and help was awesome, I didn't stress like I usually do. I know they were coming to see me, not the house, but I hate having company and a messy house at the same time. I can't focus on them when I can see the stuff in the carpet. I know they can see the mess too, and I end up worrying what they think! Now it looks nice!

Assuming another friend of mine is able to get all the groceries, we are doing Greece on Saturday! All kinds of yummy dishes, and another world tour post. I have missed doing those special meals, but time and money have been tight, and it was one of the first things to go. I know when I am overdoing it. I am going to shoot for once a month, becuase I don't want to give it up all together, it's a blast! But guests are going to have to help chip in or bring ingredients, because I can't feed them all on our grocery budget. Ouch... Luckily, they have volunteered to help out, so I won't feel too bad asking them for it.

Does anyone know of any totally awesome frugal sites? Frugal meals, frugal decor, frugal just-about-everything? I am on the hunt, so let me know! :-)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

How did that happen?

I just realized that I have not posted in a week! What?!?!? I didn't think we were quite that busy the last several days...

Nathan had his videoflouroscopy yesterday. That was the special scope Dr. Beck wanted. It was really neat to watch! They had him sniff some white stuff, which he didn't exactly love, and took a moving x-ray picture of his head. Three different views: front, side, and up from the bottom.

The results? Definitely a muscle alignment issue, the valve doesn't move, and it looks like a partial cleft of the palate bone. Which is odd because his ultrasound at 16 weeks showed it to be just fine. Although, Nathan did have his face pressed up against the placenta, so the view wasn't that great. Maybe that's why it looked alright. She says Nathan will need both surgeries, but Dr. Beck will make the final decision. I didn't know that you could do both at once, but I don't know if the doctor would be willing to do that.

We went to see the eye doctor last week. I don't think the Peds clinic should even do an eye screening, they obviously don't know what they are talking about! He is nearly a perfect 20/20, great depth perception, everything checks out great. Good grief, how many doctor's visits does this child need to have in one month?

I have kept pretty busy with trying to keep caught up with housework, planning menus, not spending money... that's harder than you'd think. It comes down to shopping or Nathan's surgery, and my son wins. It's become sort of a game: let's see how much of our paycheck we can have left over after 2 weeks! Rule #1 is to avoid Walmart. Rule #2 is to plan the week's menu for all 3 meals using mostly ingredients that I already have and keep stocked in the house, buying only fresh fruits/veggies, eggs/dairy, and a little meat if on sale. Rule #3 is to make as much as possible from scratch, because it is more filling and you eat less of it. So far, I am winning!

My friend Amanda has been paying me to clean her house, help with her animals, and throw stuff away. We figured about $20 a week, because that's what she can afford, and every little bit helps. I don't mind cleaning the animals, I just don't want to handle the snakes. I love throwing stuff away, and it doesn't take me long to clean since she is holding her daughter and not trying to make me do it her way. It works great, her house is clean and she doesn't stress about it, and I can put a little more money towards the surgery deposit!

I'll try to remember to post a little more often. Between posting, catching up on reading and commenting, it kind of takes my whole morning if I'm not careful...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Bits and Pieces

Happy news! We got the approval for that special scope Dr. Beck wants! So there won't be a problem going to the appointment we scheduled before everything was cleared, just so he could get in sooner if possible.

Not so happy news. William ate my left contact Saturday. I am out of contacts. I now have to wear my glasses, which are super cute, but I prefer contacts. I have to turn my head, I can't just move my eyes for things to stay in focus. But I just can't justify the $40 for new contacts when we have to come up with surgery deposits. So, glasses it is.

I have taken so many pictures, but haven't found the time to edit and post them. I have several recipes that haven't made it onto my page yet. There is laundry that is folded and still in leaning, towering piles on my folding counter. My floor got swept several times today, and still looked like I haven't touched it for weeks as soon as dinner was over.

We took the boys' bunk bed apart. William discovered that he could climb up to the top bunk. When he did it 3 times before we even left to take Oren to school I decided that it was coming down that morning. What a pill! He still likes climbing on Oren's bed and jumping, but now it is much safer, and much closer to the ground!

More happy news. I have been trying to work on food storage lately. Everytime I go to the store, I pick up a few storage items: powdered milk, canned fruit, sugar, tuna... All that stuff. Stuff we actually use, because if you don't already cook with it you'll never get it rotated and it will all go bad! I took an inventory today to see where we were at, and several things I have my 6 months worth, which is awesome! I have 3 months of about half the list. Still working on all the flour and sugar and whatnot, but making progress! It's very encouraging to see how far we have actually gotten on that project. I am keeping an eye out at the base wood pile for pieces I can use to make shelves. And sliding things for putting food under the bed to have easier access to it. Just pull the box out and grab the thing, then push it back under!

Oren did a lot better at soccer this week. We couldn't keep him off the ground last week, but a friend loaned us some cleats and better shin guards that aren't so bulky. He isn't tripping and sliding near as much, and has made some pretty good stops and kicks. We are very proud of him for trying a new sport that he didn't know anything about, and working hard at it!

Not so happy news. We did a sports physical for Nathan to do Smart Start soccer so he wouldn't feel left out. They do a small vision screening. You know, tell them the picture up close and far away with both eyes. According to them his vision is about 50/20 or 20/50, whichever is the nearsighted one. Of course, that's on their not very sophisticated screening, so they recommended that he see the optometrist. Which we should have him do anyway, because I needed glasses badly by the end of 1st grade - beginning of 2nd. I put on my first pair and told Mom, "I can see the leaves on the trees!" Pretty bad. Better safe than sorry, right? Don't worry, we don't have to pay for the exam. But if they say he needs glasses, that's completely out of pocket. Crossing our fingers on that one! I am not going to worry about that at the moment though. We are just taking one thing and one day at a time.

So those are some of the bits and pieces of the last week. Sometime, I'll get those pictures posted. Sometime, I'll get to those recipes. Sometime, I may even put the clothes away... :-)