Saturday, October 31, 2009

Our weather family...

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Halloween has never been a huge event at our house. My kids have NEVER particularly liked dressing up. Usually, they decide what they are going to be a day or two before year we put a white shirt over Owen's head and he was a ghost. He's also worn his soccer uniform 2 years in a row. They don't like superheros and Disney characters.
So, this year I decided to do something different. This year I had a, crazy.....idea to make their costumes. Fast forward two months, and we were a weather family. Fitting....because of Owen's obsession w/ catastrophic weather events.

Before you give me too much credit, let me point out that I did not think of these costumes myself. Some of them were printed in Parenting magazine. Some were from a friend's idea. Nor did I actually sew them. I did put thread in a needle and went through fabric a few times. But, mainly I used a LOT of fabric glue. I also don't plan on repeating this anytime soon. It took forever to get them done, and it cost a serious amount of money. With all that said, I'm glad I did it. The kids were super excited, and it was fun for our whole family to be a "team" in costumes.

So, without further delay, let me introduce our weather family.

I am partly cloudy w/ a chance of rain (I squirted people w/ water from the squirt bottle)
Eddie was raining cats and dogs (carrying an umbrella w/ webkin cats and dogs hanging from it)
Owen was a tornado
Emmett was a lightning bolt
Henry was a snowball.

Ahhh...what fun!

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Lightning and Tornado...

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make a great team :)

Owen - the TORNADO!

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Henry didn't do a whole lot of walking. It was past his bedtime and he definitely preferred being carried. We'd carry him up to the door and put him down and he'd stand w/ the boys and say, "twick or tweet" which really just sounded like, "tweet tweet". Then, he added, "I toot" which is "I'm cute." After the first 5 or so houses told him he was cute, he thought that he should just add that in for them, so they didn't have to bother :).

Oh, and oddly enough, EVERYONE thought he was a girl. Must be because he's so pretty. EVERYONE said "she" to in, "what kind of candy does she want?". We also heard, "what does your sister like." Hilarious! After awhile, Owen and Emmett got tired of telling each house that Henry was a boy, and they ignored it.

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Tornado - after the storm...minus the leaves.

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Could this snowball be any cuter??

Braggin 'bout my boys

I was excited about parent teacher conferences this year, mainly because this was Emmett's first year and while I knew he was doing well, I didn't really know what he was doing in class. I couldn't wait to hear more about him. Turns out he's doing awesome. His teacher said that he's like a little sponge and "soaks" up everything she tells him. She said that he's a good listener and that he always behaves as he's expected. He's in the top reading group and is in the top 2 or 3 of her students. And...(this part is my favorite!)...he participates!!! He answers questions when asked. He asks for help when needed. He looks her in the eyes when he speaks and he has oodles of self confidence. What a change he's had in the past year when his preschool teachers recommended we hold him back to give him another year to build his confidence. He's a new child. I know that it's sometimes hard for him...but he's trying so hard. I'm so, so proud of him. And, he's SO excited about learning. He was going to stay home one day last week (I can't remember why), and then ended up going, because he "didn't want to miss any learning." He's WAY into writing and copies the titles of different books onto blank pieces of paper and does work books ALL the time. I'm hoping he LOVES to read, too....since Owen hates it. I want one of my kids to love book stores as much as I do. :).

Owen is doing great, too. He reads on a 5th grade level and his math skills are way above grade level. I've mentioned how wonderful his teacher is, right? She talked a lot about how she differentiates between students when teaching and she told me all the great plans she had for Owen, so that he would never be bored. I heart her. Third grade is a big year, because this is the beginning of standardized testing. They are already practicing for the ELA in April. They took a practice test in September for it, and he got a perfect score (keep in mind - this is BEFORE they started practicing for it. The test isn't til April). He was the only student to do so. But, (and this is my favorite part) she also said what a wonderfully kind student he was and that he was a friend to absolutely everyone. She said that she often paired him w/ another student that might need some reading help, so he could do some peer teaching w/ them and she said that no matter who she pairs him with...he never rolls his eyes, he's nice to that person, and always happy about helping them. And while he is often argumentative and demanding at home, he is NEVER like that at school. Now if I could just channel some of that school behavior to our house.....
In the years that I've been going to parent teacher conferences (and this is the 4th year, not counting preschool), I've never taken Eddie along. Usually he comes home from work to stay w/ the kids, while I go. Next year, I'm bringing him along. It's so fun to hear someone talk so nicely about your kids. He should hear some of that, too. Especially since there are some days that they drive us bonkers. It's nice to be reminded about all of their strengths.

One bonus of kids getting older..

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Henry will now look at the TV for a few seconds, but the day that he was the sickest he watched a whole DORA episode! How nice is that? I LOVE rocking my guys when they are sick. but unfortunately there are times when us moms must dislodge our rumps from the chair. Henry is the youngest of three and this AM, I had to get my big boys ready for school.

So....add Dora, pacifier, and Henry's lovie - his dog, Moppett (that good family friends brought to Henry when he was in the hospital in April. Thanks, Chad and AJ!), and you have one semi - happy, temporarily still baby.

I doubt Henry will notice the TV again until the next time he's sick...although, it would be nice if he would watch it every once and a while, so I could cook dinner or clean or help the boys w/ their piano or homework....

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My handsome little man :)

Snowball's back side

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My little snowball

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Henry still had a fever of 103 last night, but since he wasn't technically contagious (per the doctor - since she thinks his fever is a reaction from the H1N1 vaccine), and this AM he only had a low grade temp. I dressed him up in his Halloween costume to go watch Owen and Emmett's Halloween parade at school. I didn't get great pictures of him (or Owen and Emmett).....that will be my mission for tomorrow before trick or treating. But, here's a quick peek at his "snowball" costume.

I'm not sure the photos do justice to how stinkin' cute he was is in his costume.

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Even though it's blurry...

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you get the idea, right? I snapped this photo a few days ago without the boys knowing. As soon as the camera flashed, they jumped up. But, this is how they were cuddled up watching TV. How cute is that?

You know what this means?

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Now, we have to carve the darn things. I HATE carving pumpkins...and now that we finally have them, the kids are dying to do it. I won't be able to avoid it much longer...look for pics in the next day or so :).

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On this day..

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both Emmett and Henry got their H1N1 vaccines. Emmett also got his seasonal flu vaccine. Henry's already had his. This was Monday, and I was HAPPY. I felt like getting their vaccines let me off the hook a litle bit. (Owen couldn't get his, because his asthma is still flared up). And, after we spent 2 hours in the doctor's office (we didn't leave our patient room), we went to get pumpkins! Finally! Just in the nick of time....

Fast forward to Wednesday morn when Henry woke up w/ a fever of 104 degrees. No coughing. No runny nose. But, he did puke twice. Could it be H1N1?

Today is Thursday and Henry still has a fever of 104. His pediatrician says that it is a reaction to the H1N1 vaccine. She said that they are seeing that in the young kids. BUMMER!

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Searching for the perfect pumpkin....

Saturday, October 24, 2009

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Driving cars...

Three of a kind...

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We have SO many leaves in our backyard. It's super pretty. For awhile anyway. Until I have to pay someone way too much money to rake them all or spend a full week (or two) doing it ourselves. UGH!

But, I do love watching the boys playing together in the backyard. O and Em always go back their and do their own thing. And, now Henry follows them around. They are so good and kind to their little tag along...picking him up when he falls. Kicking the ball w/ him. Pulling him in the wagon. Henry has NO idea how lucky he is....

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Why is this gorgeous picture blurry???

Concussion update and swine flu paranoia

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My boys are way into Legos these days. They have a Lego world set up in their room complete w/ a ledge displaying them. And, they can put them together lickety split.

Hope they enjoy doing them, because my swine flu paranoia has reached an all time high, and I'm not letting them leave the house except for absolutely necessities. I'm frantic. Hysterical. And, way over the top concerned. My pediatrician keeps informing me that Henry can't get the swine flu...he wouldn't do well, she tells me. And, I'm all thanks I'm doing my best. His lungs still aren't clear after his episode w/ pneumonia last week and he's on high doses of prednisone. I KNOW he wouldn't do well if he gets the swine flu.
Owen and Emmett's asthma is not well controlled. I constantly have 3 nebulizers going in my house numerous times a day. NONE of the boys could handle getting sick right now. None of them are even vaccinated for the regular flu yet (because of their asthma and pneumonia) and even though my pedi has a swine flu vaccine for my boys w/ their name on it waiting for them, she won't innoculate them now for the same reason. O has 3 kids in his class out w/ the flu. Emmett has 1. And 3 out of the 11 kids on his soccer team are sick, and there is a new one each day.

Did I mention we are staying home? We were invited to a Halloween party tomorrow...not going. Lots of kids. Close proximity. Emmett missed his indoor soccer game this AM, because I had to work, and I didn't want Eddie to take Henry. No library class that Henry is signed up for. No gym. No grocery store or Target runs w/ the kids. I work in the church nursery tomorrow - my kids will stay home. No bus riding for the kids before or after school. In fact, I am SERIOUSLY considering keeping the kids home from school this week. All week. They have half days on Thursday and Friday anyway. And, they're both at the tip tops of their classes, so they won't fall behind. I just want to get them healthy enough to vaccinate them. Is that crazy?

I am so thankful for my dear friend, Toni, who reminded me last week of the serenity prayer. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. Courage to change the things I can. And, wisdom to know the difference.

I'm doing all I can to keep them healthy. I can't do more. Some things I can't change.

I hope the boys continue to love their Legos as we may be locked inside this week, playing LOTS w/ them.

Oh, and the concussion update. Owen went back to the doctor on Thursday. I told her I wouldn't bring him in (how many sick germs are in a doctor's office for goodness sake???). But, she said she'd schedule him smack dab in the middle of well child check ups, so I finally relented. Anyway, he's still having headaches everyday and he can't do any physical activities until he's symptom free for a week. So, it's going to be awhile....

Watching TV together...

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Henry likes to plop himself down next to the boys if they are lounging...watching TV...reading....or just hanging out. It's super cute.

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Don't you love how Henry's hand casually lays on Emmett's shoulder.....

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

More drama and head trauma

I worked 12 hour nights on both Saturday and Sunday, which left me w/ very little sleep and a horrible stomachache. When I woke Monday early afternoon and checked my phone, I noticed that I had missed calls from the school nurse and Eddie. I quickly called the school nurse back and she said that she had Owen in the office and Eddie was on his way to get him (by this point school had ended and she wouldn't put him on the bus). Turns out he collided w/ a friend at school and fell backwards and hit his head....hard. His teacher saw the whole thing and walkie talkied for the gym teacher, who is an athletic trainer and for the school nurse. They ran to the playground and said that he was dizzy and disoriented. They escorted him to the nurse's office where they said he complained of a horrible headache and nausea. They called for us, and to make a long story short, we ended up in Urgent Care. We got right in (head injuries get top priority, apparently), which was a huge blessing, since the Urgent Care was filled w/ fluish looking people. And to make a long story short, he has a concussion but no brain bleed. Thank God. I spent all night waking him up every 2 hours and kept him home from school today...just in case. He's not allowed to do any contact sports at least until Thursday, when we see the doctor again. That alone might kill him.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

3rd grade

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I don't think I've blogged about what a super fantastic year Owen is having in third grade. His teacher is absolutely magnificent and is challenging him in so many ways. She's energetic, fun, and acts like Owen is her favorite student (I have a hunch that all her students feel like they are her favorite - she's just that good). And she absolutely adores the purse that I carry - one that my mom made me - so she must be wonderful!!!
Anyway, third grade is different to begin with. I was warned numerous times that third grade is when things change. They are expected to read to learn and there is no more learning to read. It's the first time they have a real grading system. They are graded in a 1-4 system, 4 being the absolute top score. She said that a 3 is equivalent to an A, and a 4 is an A+. She explained that 4's are hard to get and a student has to go above and beyond to achieve that. After she told the parents this at curriculum night, I went home to tell Owen that he would have to work really hard to get a 4 and he was all...that's OK. I think 3's are fine. Stinker! Despite that, my little smarty pants has yet to come home w/ anything less then a 4 :).
This is the first year they've had "real" tests. This Friday was his first science test, and I tell you what...I wouldn't have passed. It wasn't all true and false or multipe choice. It was open ended questions. Like, explain photosynthesis. And, what are the different parts of a seed, etc. Owen got a 4. Didn't miss one.
He has geography homework every week and has his first book report due this month. He's reading the new Diary of A Wimpy Kid. His all time fave book series.
He has homework every night for the first time. And, while it still takes him only 5 minutes, I make him (and Emmett) sit at the kitchen table for a half hour every single day to do homework. When O is done w/ his assigned homework, he can chose a workbook from a crate I have full of different workbooks, or he can read.
He's having a great year. 3rd grade is the real deal. Full of lots of learning and he LOVES every second of it.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


on the photo below, so you can see Owen's super sweet smile :).

A brief synopsis of the week's events...

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Sorry for the delay in posts. Life has completely overwhelmed me the last few weeks. So much going on....

I've had sick kids every week since school has started. And for those of you counting, that's 5 weeks in a row. It rotates between the kids. And, it's not all week. But, it's persistent. And, it sucks. And, we haven't even done the H1N1 thing...yet...
Henry has pneumonia. Confirmed by chest x ray on Thursday morn. He seems to be slowly improving. But, it's bacterial - localized to his left lower lobe - and contagious. Owen's coughing now, and I suspect it'll be pneumonia in another day or two. Emmett's asthma has been flared up for the past 2 weeks, and so, for numerous times during the day we have 3 nebulizers going in tandem. Awesome.
Henry's surgery is in two weeks, but we have to have a repeat chest x ray three days before to make sure his pneumonia has cleared.

I'm working more than usual. Lots more than usual. Like 36 hours last week and 28 this week. Not fun...but then again, money is nice. And, Christmas is coming up (not to mention O and Henry's birthdays).

I've also decided to make the kid's (and me and Eddie's) costumes this year. Not sure what I was thinking.....but stay tuned, if I actually get them done - it'll be super fun.

Plus, I hate fall. I hate winter. And, knowing cold and snow are right around the corner puts me in a serious funk.

I'll try to keep up w/ my posts a little more this week. But, no guarantees. :)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Soccer Clinic

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Last night my boys went to a (FREE!) soccer clinic hosted by non other than Abby Wambach. For those of you not current in the soccer world, Abby Wambach is a super star. She is one of the best offensive players in the country and currently plays in the women's professional league for the Washington Freedom. She's also played for the US women's soccer team in the Olympics. The kids were placed in age groups and did some drills while Abby walked around and helped out here and there. Emmett even scored a goal on her (see the video below)! Then, she did a presentation to the kids talking about healthy eating and living, etc. It was awesome!

Emmett scores on Abby Wambach

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Soccer superstar #2!

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Wow! Emmett has had a great soccer season this fall. He's really come into his own this fall. He gets numerous goals a game (he had 9 one game!!!) and really looks like he (finally!) knows what he's doing. And, he's enjoying it. What a difference a year makes :).

Have I mentioned that Amy was here last week?

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My dear, dear friend Amy spent last week w/ us AND I didn't take near enough pictures to show you how much fun we had. Truth is...we didn't do anything overly exciting: shopping, hanging w/ the kids, apple picking, and trying out lots of new recipes w/ our apples. We went out to dinner and took the boys to see Cloudy w/ a Chance of Meatballs. We didn't do anything extraordinary. It didn't matter. We had the most fabulous time together. We always do. We did nothing, but had a great time doing it. Isn't that the sign of a truly wonderful friendship? We don't get to spend nearly enough time together AND we spent our 5 1/2 days together chatting non-stop. This is the fourth September in a row Amy has come to visit us. I hope her visits never stop!

Friday, October 2, 2009

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Picking apples.

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Henry looking for an apple..just his size.

The perfect apple!

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Amy and her (so called) perfect apple!

Step by step...

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My boys STILL adore their baby brother. They are NEVER mean to me and read him books over and over and over again...every time he asks. They play w/ him. They hold him. They absolutely adore him. He is one super lucky little guy. And, I'm one super lucky mommy.