Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Easy as pi. Pie. A fraction of a pie. Whatever.

On Sunday I tweeted this direct quote from Dale, speaking about math:
"I don't like hard stuff like addition or subtraction. I like fun stuff like geometry and fractions."

It is true that he whizzes through his multiplication exercises, while moaning and plodding through addition/subtraction (gasp! word problems! borrowing!).

On Tuesday he backed up his proclamation by unintentionally (and unknowingly) besting me at mental math.

I was doing something in the kitchen when Dale came along and asked me, "what is 3 1/5 divided by 2?

I began doing some mental calisthenics, and at the same time I had arrived at 1 6/10, he answered his own question. "It's 1 3/5!"

I was dumbfounded, really.  Not that what he figured up was that hard.  But we have only covered basic fractions.  Colored in pieces of the pie.  Stuff like that.  We have not talked about how to add, subtract, multiply or divide fractions.  I don't remember ever teaching how to reduce fractions, and I am certain he's never even heard the phrase "lowest common denominator."

I won't even begin to go into the way he came up with 3 1/5 in the first place.  Sometimes I really don't understand how that boy's brain works.  I just know he keeps mine spinning!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Life: bad and good, mixed and stirred

As is often the case, we had other plans for last Monday, when Greg and Alan ended up spending all day at the pediatrician's office and in the er.  Greg had the day off and there had been talk of a fishing trip or other fun stuff early in the day.

Our mid-way sonogram was scheduled for that afternoon.  Dale had been asking if he could come this time.  Both Brooklyn's and Tyler's had been scheduled early in the day while Greg was working, so my Mom (and sister, once) came with me for those.  But we had decided this time - why not? Let's bring the whole family!  The plan was to leave Tyler and Brooklyn with a sitter and the rest of us go in together to find out if we'd have a new baby brother or sister.

And then plans changed.  There lay Alan in the emergency room with an iv in his arm, awaiting transfer to Children's.  

It may have been a stubborn, forge-ahead approach, but Greg and I decided I should keep the appointment.  Even though problems with Alan are few and far between (thankfully!), they are a fact of our life.  

We went ahead with the plan to leave the littles with a sitter, and Dale and I went alone to the appointment.  

Dale loved seeing the baby move.  He was thrilled he could recognize those black and white blurs as a baby!  Little baby arms up next to a little baby head.  A little baby foot.

The tech was careful to avoid any nether-regions, because we had requested not to find out while we were there in the room.

Instead, per our request, she handed us the printed still shots of our new little one, folded to the inside so we couldn't see them.  She warned us that the very first one was the one we were most interested in.

Dale and I got to the van and called up Daddy and Alan.  Moments before they headed toward Children's, we each got on speakerphone (medical team witnesses and all).

Dale got the honors of being the very first to know.  

He unrolled our strip of baby pictures and without fanfare announced quite loudly to the rest of us, all at the same time....

"IT'S A BOY!!" :)

And now you know... the rest of the story. :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Alan's Home!

He was released from the hospital late yesterday.

It was been so much fun watching him and Dale catch each other up on what the other has missed over the last 4 days.  All three boys had a fun day playing together again.

Greg was able to go to work today and now we are settling in for the long weekend.

Thanks again for all your prayers and well-wishes.  We are thankful, and God is always good.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

In which we get medical and slightly technical

1. Thank you all for kind messages and prayers.  They are very encouraging and much appreciated!

2. Our nephew/cousin Logan is home from the hospital and doing much better. 

3. Alan:
The short version is this: Alan woke up Monday morning with a fever of 104.3.  We took him immediately to our pediatrician, where we found out his white blood count was over 24,000.  (Average/normal is 4,000 - 10,000).  From there he was moved to the local er to be treated while waiting on a transfer to our Children's hospital.  The fever responded very well on Monday to iv fluids and an antibiotic injection.

Greg and Alan spent Monday night at Children's.  That evening and much of the day Tuesday involved a lot of tests and a lot of visits from specialists.  

The bottom line seems to be fairly uncomplicated, as far as medical things go.  
 - Alan has had a cold/junky cough (we knew that).
 - He has pink eye.  We suspected that on Saturday / Sunday, and figured it would mean a dr. visit on Monday.  He got it from Tyler, who had a mild case and recovered on his own in just 2-3 days.  We don't know where Tyler got it.  It is viral, as opposed to bacterial, which means no meds to treat it, just let it run its course.

 - Alan has an infection in his ear canal.  More commonly known as: swimmer's ear.  No, we haven't been swimming.  Alan has had mounting issues with his ears in the last couple of months.  Since December, we have had an appointment scheduled with an Ear/Nose/Throat dr for the first week of June.  Things just came to a head (ha! Alan's head!) before we could get there.  We will be keeping that appointment, because...

 - Alan's tonsils are about as big as a kid's can get and will need to come out at some point.  Here again, this is something we were aware of, hence the ENT appointment next month.

To recap: it was the incredibly high fever and the high white count that landed Alan in the hospital. After evaluation we know those were most likely caused by the ear infection.  I think I will always laugh when I look back on this admission: my kid was hospitalized for pink eye and swimmer's ear!

In truth, however, my kid was hospitalized because he has a compromised immune system.  Infections are never a thing to be taken lightly with him, because we can never know for sure how well he will - or will not - be able to fight something off on his own.  Sometimes, a little thing can turn to a big thing way too fast.  

We are thankful for God's blessings and care.  We are thankful for cautious doctors that stay on top of things.  We are thankful for the simplicity of pink eye and swimmer's ear!  We are even thankful for the compromised immune system.  It protects the beautiful gift of life Alan was given on December 30, 2007.  As always, we are thankful for that gift, and the courageous family that gave it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

My little karate kid....

...isn't feeling so well.
My mom's blog has a bit more info on why mine is so quiet.

Thanks in advance for your prayers.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


... my brand new, incredibly sweet and handsome nephew...

The whole buffalo herd is excited about their new cousin and can't wait to meet him.
We tend to be pretty pro-baby around here, and all is right with the world now that Uncle Matt & Aunt Kristin have one too. :)

Welcome to the world, Logan!
We love you already!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Feeling Blue

Alternatively titled:
A Little Mother's Day Gift to Myself

I mentioned in my previous post that I was home with a feverish kid on Sunday.

For better or worse (worse, I'd say) I decided to do a load of laundry while my other peeps were at church.  "Do" laundry as in dry a load of laundry.  Our washing machine kicked the bucket about a week ago.  We've been washing at my parent's house and hauling things back home to dry.  

So, in my defense, my laundry routine is all messed up.  

Otherwise, I probably wouldn't be doing laundry on a Sunday morning.

Otherwise, I probably would check pockets before washing or drying a load of pants.

Oh yes, I did.  

I was a bit dismayed when the first pair I pulled out of the warm dryer (one of my maternity capris) had a spot.  Then I noticed it was more like .... a lot of spots.

As item after item came out of the dryer smeared with blue, I really started to panic. 

All in all, 14 pair of little boy shorts, pants, and mama capris, and 2 pair of Daddy's work socks looked like they've been tie-dyed.

Four or five of the darker denims came away unscathed. 

There was nothing left of what I'm guessing was once a blue crayon.
Any tips? (Other than the obvious check pockets.) I could use 'em!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

I hope you are each having a beautiful day celebrating with those you love.

My Mother's Day is shaping up to be quite unusual this year.  Normally, I would spend it sitting in church with my husband to my right, my own mother to my left, and my children spread out among us.

But today, my mother is a state away.

Today, I am home with the 3rd child this week to come down with a fever.

And you know what?  I am quite joyful about the whole thing.  There was a time in my life my expectations might have ruined the joy of the day.  I am gradually learning that it isn't about the gifts or the pampering.  Mother's Day is more beautiful when it is seen as a celebration of God's gift of children and the privilege of mothering them.  I read a well-written blog post on the same subject yesterday.  Lydia said it much better than I could!

Don't get me wrong, I love getting gifts.  And even though I haven't always been very good at it, I love to give my mother gifts.  (Even though to this day I still have to remind myself I will never find a gift to wrap that adequately expresses all my love and appreciation for her.)

And, as is often the case, there is more to the story of today.  I am glad Dale is off at church with his Daddy and no sibling distractions.  We are praying often that the day will come soon that he will trust Jesus as his savior.  

I am thankful for the extra time at home this morning to clean my kitchen and fold laundry, even on this Lord's day, the day of rest.

And that whole thing about my mother being a state away?  She's with my sister.  Mothering her, as she is due to become a mother any day.

Maybe even today?  What a celebration of a day for Mothers that would be!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Science before breakfast

Our dog tends to be heavy on the "faults and annoyances" side of the scales.  I try to remain hopeful that her overall dog quality will increase with time, seeing as how she really is just a puppy in a dog's body.  

For all her downfalls, she does have two redeeming traits:
1 - No matter what the boys do to her, she is accepting of their treatment and has never shown any sign of impatience with them.  Love that.
2 - She's a dog - she barks. But: she (usually) doesn't bark excessively, and is remarkably obedient to our command to "hush!"

Seeing as how she isn't usually a barker, I was especially annoyed when she kept it up outside my bedroom window before my alarm went off this morning.  Greg was already up and she even seemed to be ignoring his occasional, "Trisket! Hush!"

I finally rolled out of bed to look out the window and saw she was barking at the ground.  

So I did the bleary-eyed squint from our bedroom, through the living room where Greg was, through the laundry room for my shoes, and tromped out into the wet cloudy dawn to see what the mutt was barking at.

I went to the spot she had been interested in and found myself further annoyed to be staring at nothing but grass.  

Seriously, dog?  You woke me up barking at grass??

And thennnnn I saw it.

I went from "You are so stupid," to "You're alright, you know it?", to "Good girl!"

Now her find is sitting in my kitchen in a jar.
I can't figure out why she just didn't kill the thing and be done with it.

My favorite part turned out to be Dale, not even out of bed 5 minutes, grabbing our backyard nature book and flipping through to identify our snake.

One of these days we'll learn to listen to that dog when she barks!  For now, at least, I think we'll keep her.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Babies are beautiful!

With my sister expecting her firstborn any stinkin' day now, it's no surprise I have babies on the brain.
When I was searching through my picture files to show the boys something today, I took a little detour through Tyler's and Brooklyn's birth days.

This picture of a very new Brooklyn on her birth day is one of my favorites.  It's so classic and beautiful I just had to share. :)
Photo Credit
Stay tuned for pictures of another brand new baby....hopefully soon!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Here and there

Back in January I set a 2012 blogging goal.  An X number of posts in 2012 goal.  I'm not going to tell yet what that goal was.  Just in case I get hopelessly behind. :)

Which I just might be in danger of if I don't get on with some blogging!

Our calf has begun to settle in.  Not that he was restless before.  He's up and about more, and his skinny parts are filling out.  Slowly.  We're still looking forward to him getting a little more frisky and playful.  We have had fun leading him around as he eagerly sucks his twice a day bottle.
The boys are progressing with taekwondo.  They passed their first test recently and are now ready for the 2nd belt color. (Orange, for the curious.)
Testing was a fun experience for all of us.  I was nervous for them, but didn't dare let on.  Especially since they didn't seem to be one bit nervous!
Dale demonstrating for the judges his self-defense moves.
Showing the judges his white belt form.
In other news, I attempted to cut Brooklyn's bangs by myself recently.  Attempted is the wrong word, because oh, I cut them all right.  I just happened to get them crooked and then way too short.  Lesson learned: get help before cutting a baby's bangs.  They are beginning to grow out nicely though.  And even with gimpy bangs she's still as cute as ever. :)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Top Five Questions About Baby #5

Q1. Was it a surprise?  Variations: Were you trying?  Was it an accident?
A: Depending on who is asking and the spirit in which they ask, this is either simple curiosity or the Rudest Question Ever.  Either way, it's a bit personal, don'tcha think?  Even my doctor asked this question at my first prenatal visit.  He phrased it this way, "Was this God's plan, or your plan?"  The answer to that is, "both."  No, we were not surprised.  And that's all I have to say about that.

Q2.  Is this the last one?  Variations: Are you done now?  Will there be any more?
A: I don't know.  We take that one baby at a time (unless in the case of twins, of course). ;) To think too far into the future is overwhelming.  But we believe children are a blessing, and, even though we often fall short, it is our goal to take one day at a time.  One day at a time is never as overwhelming as years of the big wide unknown spread out ahead of us.

Q3. Are you getting a bigger house?
A: Nope.  At least, not that we are planning on.  For now we fit comfortably and cozily in this one.  We'd like to get rid of a lot of STUFF, and keep the house.  But I think we'd do that anyway, new baby or not.  And even if we did decide to move to a bigger house, it isn't quite that simple, now is it?  Not quite the same as going out for a new pair of shoes.
(Side note: a much more relevant question would be about a bigger vehicle.  But for now our soon-to-be family of 7 will all be buckled safely in our same ol' 7 passenger mini-van.)

Q4. What do the boys think?
A:  The boys are thrilled.  They ask question #2 sometimes, and to them I always answer "It could be. Or there could be more.  But this might be all."  To which they always respond with something along the lines of, "I hope it's not the last!!  I want lots of kids to live in this house!"  And by 'them' & 'they' I mean Dale & Alan.  They all three adore Brooklyn and love helping take care of her.  For this baby they are hoping for a sister for their little sister. 

Q5. You must have so much patience.
A: Ummm... no.  Child training goes a long way into helping manage any number of kids, but I am no supermom.  Far from it.  Unfortunately, I have plenty of faults.  Want to know (one of) my dirty little secret(s)?  Nothing unnerves me more or faster than a crying baby.  Really.  I can't. take. the crying.  Not the best scenario for any mama, much less one that's about to have 3 under 3.  This is where you plug in the Bible verses about "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Phil 4:13) and "when I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Corinthians 12:10), and abiding in Christ to allow the Spirit to bring forth fruits like gentleness and patience.  Those, along with lots and lots of prayer, will answer almost all our parenting faults and weaknesses.  But I'm not gonna preach it, because I'm still learning. I've got the concept much better than the execution. :)

Q: A Bonus, since #5 wasn't technically a question: Are you Catholic?
A: I laughed as soon as I was asked this, not because there is anything hilarious about Catholics or their family size, but because I have heard many moms-of-many bloggers say they have been asked this.  And there it was.  "Are you Catholic?"  I suppose I have now 'arrived' on the large family scene.
And no, we aren't Catholic (or Mormon). ;)