June 27, 2009

Two Weeks and Counting

Moving Day is in two weeks! July 11th. It is really happening. There are so many mixed emotions that come with this:
Overwhelmed (if that's an emotion).
Guilt--because I am the one that wanted to move so I got the ball rolling and now I am uprooting my 5 children and husband.

Mostly I feel excited. I am looking forward to being with my parents and sharing my children with them. Excited to be part of my siblings' day to day lives and their families. Excited to be going "home" again, though I know you really never can go home again. It has been 20 years since I left home. Wow.

But right now I feel overwhelmed. So much to do! It would be one thing if I could pack and get things ready to move if that is the only thing to do, but I still have to be a MOM too. That is where it gets tricky. Going to baseball games, getting kids to practice, guitar lessons, speech class, remembering to get summer reading done (kids--my reading would be heaven!), referring arguments, tending sick kids (two this past week), laundry, cooking, cleaning, getting kids to do their jobs, etc. etc.

Moving would be a lot easier if I could take time off from being a mom!

Lots to do, so what am I doing on the computer!!!

June 26, 2009

That Old Camper

We have a wonderful new toy at our house. It is great because it means my house has been staying cleaner and the little kids are entertaining themselves and not fighting quite as much.

What is this miracle toy?

A very old tent camper trailer. It is amazing.

I set it up last weekend while I was home with Andy while the rest of the family went camping in a tent. I was trying to make it better for him since he didn't get to go because he was sick. (I think I get extra "mommy points" for that). Since then, it has been a great playhouse. We set up the small TV and VCR in there and if they aren't watching movies they are having dates or parties or whatever else they do. Yes, they are eating otterpops and other snacks in there and so the trailer is getting sticky. And the toys are starting to pile up in there, as well as blankets and pillows, but I don't care.

They are happy. They are safe. They are not bothering me. (not that my darling children are ever a bother. . . )


June 18, 2009

Almost Peace and Quiet

Three days. Two nights. In my house ALONE. Sounds too good to be true.

And it was. While my family was planning to go camping in Bryce Canyon with Grandma and Grandpa and some cousins, I planned to stay home--alone. Because someone has to work our business. I love camping with my family, but the alternative of staying home with the house to myself (and hopefully not having to really do too much work) almost sounded like heaven. So I agreed to send my husband camping with the children--all of them. Wow. I was impressed that he wanted to take all of them, not just the older ones. I was counting the hours until Thursday morning.

But Wednesday morning, Andy started throwing up. He seemed fine in the afternoon so I still had hope. And I had the hand sanitizer out for everyone else and made sure we were all putting it on a lot. Then shortly after Andy went to bed, he was up back in the bathroom leaning over the toilet. And again at 1:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m.

He had to stay home with me. He wasn't too happy about it as you can imagine. And it made it stressful as I tried to help Scott get packed up to leave, Andy hanging on me crying and wanting lots of hugs and sympathy because he didn't get to go. And me not having patience for that.

And I wasn't too happy about it either. It was my three days for napping and sewing and reading and packing up some boxes without interruption. And sleeping at night without kids wondering into my bedroom or crying for a lost binky.

Well instead of doing any of the above, I worked on the computer completing 3 filings, or jobs, while trying to be a nice mom to a sad little boy who didn't feel well (which wasn't easy); made some brownies (only half a pan since most everyone else isn't here to help me eat them); took Andy to see Night at the Museum 2 (because he was feeling better); set up the tent trailer with him and ate dinner in it (a late dinner on account of the movie) and read books until we came in for bed. And then, I got to read! And blog.

Not the day I had planned but it turned out pretty well anyway. And hopefully I made some good memories for Andy even though he couldn't go camping. And will make some more in the next two days.

I admit it will be more comforting to not have to sleep in the house alone. Andy will keep me good company in my room--and, since he is starting out there, he won't be waking me up in the night!
(if you are wondering why Scott didn't take the tent trailer it's because it's old and the electrical doesn't work--like brake lights and taillights--and who knows how good the tires are. And he just didn't want to drive it all the way to Bryce).

I am hoping and praying that none of the other kids get sick while they are away. I told Scott about my concern with others getting sick but he didn't seem too worried.

June 15, 2009

Cameron's Port Wine Stain

I have mentioned before that my beautiful soon to be three-year old, with gorgeous eyes and long lashes, has a fairly large birthmark on his face. A port wine stain.

I don't know a whole lot about port wine stains (PWS) except for the info that dermatologists give us. Which really isn't much. His face is asymmetric, the side with the birthmark chubbier. This is common we are told. The MRI done when he was one concluded that it is superficial only--not deep into the tissue. Of course what tissue, I don't know, because obviously it is in the skin tissue, or does skin not have tissue? Anyway, there are no lesions on his brain either, which is good because facial PWS are often associated with Sturge-Weber syndrome. I don't know much about that either except that the PWS somehow involves the brain and can causes seizures.

He has a speech delay also. This is not associated with the PWS. Cameron looks like and has so many of the same characteristics as my 12 year-old Brennen, and Brennen was a late talker too. Thank goodness, though, Cameron is more laid back so his speech delay has been much easier to handle! The past six months with speech classes we have been focusing on getting him to use words. To "get" words, as they say. His comprehension score was way high, but expressive speech way low. He can understand but not speak. I still don't understand how he cannot "have" a word which he understands. Anyway, now he speaks sentences and such. We just don't understand much of what he is speaking. Now the focus is on articulation--pronouncing the sounds correctly.

Since we have started articulation, the speech therapist has noticed his tongue is asymmetrical (due to the PWS), which is part of the reason he is having a hard time making the right sounds. Also, he tends to hold his jaw to the right, which makes him look like his jaw is misaligned. But the doctor said his jaw is fine, it's just the muscles. And he doesn't open his mouth very much while talking. Having said all that, we are working on strengthening and making him more aware of those muscles on the left side of his face and tongue--oral motor exercises. We do fun things like drink out of curly straws, lick pudding off our plates, and chew licorice to exercise those muscles.

Because some of the articulation issues are from the PWS, I did a lot of research on the internet lately about PWS. I was so excited to find a website called birthmarks.com. It has other people's stories about their PWS (and other types of birthmarks) and an online support group. I don't know anyone personally with child with a port wine stain so this is great! And as we are planning to do laser surgery beginning when he is four years old, it is nice to be able to read and learn more about it through others' experiences. And also learn about what to expect as he grows older.

What my research made me most aware of however, is that we, or rather Cameron is truly blessed with the birthmark that he has. It is not around the eye, which can cause optical problems, it does not involve the deep tissues which can swell up and cause deformity, and he does not have Sturge-Weber Syndrome. And I also discovered that there are so many children born with other types of facial deformities that I didn't know existed. They have so many more challenges than Cameron will ever face. I know that it takes special spirits to deal with birth defects and these people have a special place in heaven. I have been humbled and grateful for the small challenge given to my son and me, instead of what could have been.

June 13, 2009

Rainy Garage Sale

We had a garage sale. A true garage sale because it really was in our garage. It was raining off and on all morning. But the people kept coming. They started at 7:30 and came steadily until about 11:00 and a few more after that. I had no idea so many people would come.

My boys made some money. And the girls in the neighborhood who joined us made some money. I really did not make that much money, but did get rid of some toys and other misc stuff including a toilet seat. It was a pretty fun family project actually. I did have to send Andy to a friend's house (thanks so much Tori!) Friday afternoon while I was getting things ready because he was so 'wild'--too much activity and stuff I guess--and I had to steer Janessa away from talking customers' ear off, and Cameron cried when someone bought a book he liked (it was from the girls' stuff) but other than that it went okay. Dustin and Scott were around and mostly helped with 'kid' control (my kids).

The drama came Friday afternoon while I was preparing the garage for the sale. Our realtor called around 3:00 and wanted to show our house that evening at 6:30.

"I know you are having a yard sale and they understand. No big deal." she said.

"Yeah, but that means I have to get ready for the yard sale AND clean my house!" I protested. She assured me that they would understand. It would be fine.

Scott was gone. I was sort of panicked. I had been doing yard sale stuff a lot of the week and it's summer vacation so kids are home. That doesn't make for a tidy house. Don't get me wrong. I was VERY HAPPY that someone is wanting to look at our house. This is only the third showing in 3 months. Yet, the timing couldn't be worse. But my big boys helped and we ran around like maniacs. Scott came home and pitched in. And I somehow managed to feed everyone dinner too. When Scott and I left at 6:00 for volunteering at the Tabernacle (another story), then Dustin finished up the kitchen and sweeping. We pulled it off, garage sale and all. (We actually put a lot of stuff into the garage that wasn't going to be in the sale!) And since the house was still clean in the morning, except maybe some unmade beds, we showed it to an interested party during the garage sale too! Two showings in two days!

Did I mention I am tired?

June 8, 2009

Mormon Ad

Here is something fun for you to watch.
(I tried to embedd it here but couldn't figure it out! One of these days I will be a pro. For now click HERE.)

I really like this because I have a 'princess' and many knights and a great husband who knows how to play with his boys.

June 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Brennnen

12 years old today!

I still have not forgiven him for being 8 days over due! He was suppose to be a May baby. I joke that he has had a mind of his own since before birth: "Nobody can tell me when to be born."

He is a great young man with lots of drive and determination and creativity.

Happy Birthday Brennen!

June 3, 2009

Last Day of School

Another school year over. Wow. No longer do I have a first grader, a sixth grader and a freshman. They are all older and smarter.
I had a good laugh at Brennen's signed year book. One entry said "I hope you don't get swine flu when you move to New Mexico."

Hard to believe that next school year I will only have one child home with me. I still remember well the days of three children home with me . . . and I did survive it.

House for Sale

I know of a GREAT house for sale in Brigham City. It is in a fabulous location--a quiet street just 3 houses down from a park. Great backyard with sand box, playhouse, and swingset, as well as a garden area, 2 peach trees, an apricot tree, apple tree, grapes, raspberries and a few strawberries. Six bedrooms, three bathrooms and THREE living areas--a living room and family room upstairs and a big family room downstairs.

Check out this link and call today for a showing!


June 1, 2009

Letting Go

I am mourning the loss of my therapist (or counselor--I never quite know what to call her). Not that she's gone, but I really am not going to see her again. Really. I have said that so many times before. But this time it is real. She isn't working this summer, and I am moving. I know she is due to have twins in July. I am very excited for her. I figured she would probably stop working in sometime in May, so last week when I called to make an appointment, I really wasn't surprised to learn that she wasn't working again until fall. But it was a hard fact to digest. I actually felt like crying. Because I really have to let go this time. Not like all the times before when I told myself that "this is the last appointment" and then went back.

I have only seen her four times in the last year, I think two months ago was the last time. I don't really need counseling anymore, but every once in a while I just want to talk to her. Talk things over. Sometimes about specific challenges and how to handle them, but sometimes just to "check in." It seems strange that I will never see her again. This person who helped me so much and showed me how to pull myself out of the hole of depression I was in. Who gave me encouragement and cheered me on as I progressed. Who helped me discover myself again. Who helped me learn to face my feelings instead of burying them. The person I finally opened up to and told thoughts and feelings to that no one else knew I had--sometimes that I didn't know I had. I learned so much from her--like about my thought patterns and how to change them, how to develop coping skills, how to be my own best friend, how to communicate better with my husband and others, how to be less passive, how to take care of myself and get my own needs met so I can take care of everyone else (this had to be pounded into my head over and over). It is just so hard to let go.

I called for an appointment last week because I just feel that lately I have been in a rut. I don't know if I need to adjust my medication or adjust me. I never know if the depression is getting me or if it's just me. I am not doing the things that I know I need to do to feel better. Simple things that just don't get done. The apathy that goes hand in hand with depression.

I need to use all that I learned in counseling and pull myself out of the rut -- put a book on my ipod; start journaling again; finish my quilt I started; open my scriptures; have fun with my kids while they are home this summer; exercise so I can keep up with my sister whom I challenged to run a 5K with me; do my work and take time to play. See, not so hard, really.