Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

 A BIG THANK YOU to every person who has served, is serving, or will serve for our country!

We spent the morning on the patio.  Ben and I played "Can You Make Me Laugh" (he is such a coconut that I laugh almost every time!) and "The Drawing Game" (we draw on each others' backs and try to guess the picture,) and sang "Little Bunny Foo Foo" to Sadie.

Today, we are headed to a water park for some family time. Can't wait to ride those big slides and bask in the sun!

Yesterday afternoon, I enjoyed a visit from a new friend, Rachel.  I worked with Rachel in the LTAC unit at Good Shepherd.  Her son, Lleyton, has had a VERY ROUGH year.  Originally his diagnosis was hypotonia (like Sadie), but has expanded to include epilepsy, cerebellar atrophy, poor myelination, and more.  He is such a sweet angel.  We tried some new activities with him and fed him some new foods.  Sadie just kept trying to grab him! She was not the baby anymore! HA! His seizures and reflux are now controlled, and I feel sure things will only get better from here!  Please pray for John, Rachel, and Lleyton Johnson.  It is a struggle for their hearts, their marriage, and their finances.

In other news, Ben has been getting in Sadie's face (as usual), but she has been letting him know that she DOES NOT like this anymore.  Yesterday, she scratched him (the inside of his nose), and boy did she hit a bleeder!!  His nose was gushing with blood! I think he'll stay back from now on.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Friday, May 28, 2010

Happy Friday!

First, I would like to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my beautiful Grandma Margie!

I don't know her age, but I can tell you that this woman has not aged a day in the last 20 years!

 It makes me so hopeful!

Speaking of birthdays, Ben has the birthday that just keeps on givin'!

Today, we had a package on our front step from Uncle DJ and Aunt Melissa.  Boy was he happy!

Today was day 1 of our summer, and I think it went pretty well.

We started off the day with some art.

Then some math games on the computer.

Then a trip to the gym.

A mango smoothie.

And finally, a trip to the library.

This photo of Ben is totally staged.

This is what he was really doing.

Sadie was somewhat interested in the books.

Yes, that's a lobster in her hair.  Yes, I have a strange addiction to eclectic hair clips.

I am more than determined to not let Ben's brain/body turn to mush over the summer, which is why I have set up some guidelines (I'm only posting this to hold myself accountable):

1.  No Wii unless its the weekend.

2.  Only educational computer games and shows. One non-educational cartoon may be watched in the morning.

3.  Read, Read, Read:  I have ordered the books on his summer reading list and plan a trip to the library every week.  Today, we checked out four.

4.  Art/craft daily.

5.  One reading, one math worksheet per day if we are home.

6.  No choices regarding meals.  I have already enforced this for a few weeks now.  New foods are tried daily, and there have been no meltdowns thus far.

In all fairness, Ben's summer is packed with outings, so he won't be stuck with "home school" everyday.  And if I didn't give him these guidelines, he would watch inappropriate cartoons and play video games ALL DAY.  Ok, I'm done.

And what would the morning be without a near-death newt experience.  This morning I picked up their cage to clean it, and the top came loose.  Water, rocks, plants, and newts went everywhere.  Those guys are FAST, but I was able to rescue them before they fell to their death.   And I was just starting to establish their trust...  They are safe and sound now.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Daddy, aka The Therapist


Final Field Trip

I am proud to say I have made it to every single one of Ben's field trips this year.  I'm always assigned to a car full of crazy boys, and I haven't lost one yet!
Yesterday, we went to the splash pad in a neighboring town.  As soon as we pulled up, we saw two big yellow school buses pull in.  Chaos.  I have NEVER seen it this packed.  We made the best of it, though, alternating splash time with water balloon fights and kickball.  Well, I can't say I watched the kids during kickball.  I'm heat intolerant about this time of year.  My body needs to acclimate SLOWLY.  Our sweet room mom, Karla, was so wonderful to plan everything  (and watch the kids while they played kickball in this 100 degree weather).  I'm so glad we arrived early and were able to claim the pavilion, where the children ate pizza, dranks TONS of water, and had some periods of rest.  We were also able to keep a very close eye on anyone who tried to leave the fenced in area.

Ben's best bud, Robin, leaves for Scotland tomorrow.  He is moving away, and Ben is very sad.

Chris, Nathan, Jordan, and Ben

Josephine, Emily, Maylea, Brinkley, and Alyssa

Loading up the water guns

We made it safely back to school, and then it started to POUR, so we ate our ice cream sundaes inside.  You would have thought those children had never tasted ice cream! Most had two sundaes!  Luckily, we were able to give them back to their parents just as the sugar started to hit their bloodstream.

Last night, I grilled bacon-wrapped filet and served it with peas/mushrooms and deviled eggs.  I made 1/2 dozen eggs and didn't get ONE.  Greg was a hungry boy!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Summer Is Officially Here

It started today for our family.  Therapy was cancelled.  Great morning at the gym.  Picked Ben up from his last day of school.  Went swimming for the 3rd time in 72 hours.  The temps are rising.  Ben is sleeping only in his undies; Sadie: a t-shirt and diaper.  Beach towels are drying on the patio.  Eating lots of snow cones and slushes. Summer vacation planning continues.  No more karate or piano for 3 months.  Teacher gifts dropped off.  Closing exercises at Ben's school on Thursday.  Curls are growing. Flowers are blooming. Newts are alive.  All is well.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

We Never Have A Lazy Weekend

Saturday morning, we started off with a 3 hour birthday party.  The location was great and full of activities for the boys.  Bounce house, arcade games, computers, and a separate "food room" with pizza, fruit, veggies, and cake.

I think we go to more birthday parties than anyone I know. Seriously.

Sadie is on day 5 of antibiotics and feeling much better!  I know Greg is half naked in these pictures, but he had been jogging both mornings.

We have gone swimming the past two days. Thank you friends for inviting us!!  I didn't get any pics of our friends' pool that we went to today, but we spent 3 hours there, and it was bliss.   I definitely have two water bugs, which is good, because it is HOT and I may not survive this summer without a pool at least 5 days a week.

This morning, Ben and I headed to Martha's Kitchen to volunteer. It's a "soup kitchen" where anyone can visit to get a hot meal and hang out for a while.  Ben came with me this time around, and I really had no idea how he would do, but he was GREAT.  He wrapped flatware and helped serve.  Dad came and picked him up after church (around 3 hours into it), but I think he actually could have made it the entire 5 hours.  We served chicken tortilla casserole, chips, sauce, salad, and banana pudding.

He looks angry, but he is actually trying very hard to concentrate on counting.

Serving was his favorite part. It's the entire team's favorite part!
Next time, he'll have to stick around for the clean-up (not so fun).

In other news, the newts are STRESSING ME OUT, and Greg thinks it's pretty funny since he never agreed to the purchase.  I've had a "I think Rex is dead" moment every day.  If you think newts can't have a personality, you're wrong.  This little gherkin spends most of his time playing dead or hiding from me (so I think he's escaped).  Cody is completely normal, eats well, doesn't hide, never "plays dead", etc. 

I can't believe this week is the last week of school!  Ben only has two days left!  Pray that I'll make it through the summer with these 4 children (2 humans and 2 newts) ! I'm getting nervous!

We've had some yummy food this week:  smoked pork loin/grilled corn on the cob; turkey sausage with sauerkraut; hamburger steaks with mushroom gravy and broccoli/cheese sauce; and last night, we went to Cheddars, where I had grilled fish tacos, Greg had sheperd's pie, and Ben had a grilled sandwich and baked potato.  Sadie eats a little of everyone's and last night she was ON. She was talking up a storm (although we don't know what she's saying) to the point where she was disturbing the tables around us.  Everyone was probably annoyed, but we just smile, take it all in, and encourage her to be even louder!

And finally, I am about to watch New Moon with Greg (who will be seeing it for the first time).  I'll probably fall asleep fifteen minutes into it (like Avatar last night).

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Our Family of Six

We have some new additions to the family.

Two fire-bellied newts. Rex and Cody (from Star Wars of course). Today is pet day at school, and in a moment of weakness I headed to the pet store yesterday afternoon. I told the salesperson to give me something cheap and hearty.  Everything was great until she went to get their food.  Bloodworms (aka mosquito larvae). GROSS.  At least they come in freeze-dried squares.  I actually asked the lady if they were alive.  "No ma'am.  No one can really survive the freeze drying process."  Right. Gotcha.  I had no idea just how hearty they really are.  They can live up to thirty years!  When I informed Ben, he replied "so they are going to live longer than you?".  Kids have no filters.  I just said "yes, sweetie". 

Greg wasn't really happy with the purchase, but I'm sure they'll grow on him.  I had strict orders not to buy a dog, cat, spider, snake, rabbit, anything in the rat family, etc.  Pretty limiting, right?  Did my best.

I'm off to buy them a bigger tank today. Hearty? Yes. Cheap? No.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Yesterday, Greg continued a BIG project.  He is building a new playhouse for Windridge Equestrian Center.  It is a lot of work, but he enjoys it. My garage has been completely taken over.  He is using many of his Grandpa Bremer's tools, and it just makes him happy.  I don't think there is a week that goes by that he doesn't mention a memory about his grandparents.  They were so influential in his life.  I wish I could have met them.  Sadie sleeps with Grandma Bremer's blanket every night.  Last night, it was the only thing that finally soothed her.

While Greg worked, Sadie and I headed to Tyler for therapy.  Again, speech went well, but OT did not.  Sadie is just really throwing some tantrums right now.  I'm hoping she will find some happiness soon. Mommy is tired.  Bubbles make her happy!

Mr. Ben finished his Flat Stanley project yesterday afternoon.  Stanley went to the rainforest of Brazil.  Ben researched some facts about the rainforest, wrote a short report about Stanley's travels, and dresssed him appropriately.  Ben attempted to type his report (this was not part of the directions, but I thought it would make for a nice presentation).  After it took him 5 minutes to type a capital F, the mission was aborted.  I'm not on medication and had no wine in the fridge, so he just wrote his report by hand.  Stanley has bloody scars on his face and a machete in his hand.  Who am I to interfere with his creativity?  Not to mention, any time I try to give him "suggestions" about a project, he looks me straight in the eye and says, "the teacher said we can do anything we want".  By the way, he is wearing Bakugan pajamas as part of Crazy Week at school.  I don't normally dress him this way.

Today, we traveled to Windridge to ride, and Sadie continued to scream.  I left the room to run out to my car, and she just lost it.  And she's not a clingy child.  Once the horse was moving, she was ok, but I knew it was time to take her to the doctor.  She's been screaming for 3 days, and last night she was up until 2 pm. She finally went down after a short movie, some more milk, and her favorite blanket.   They found a mild right ear infection and decided to go ahead and treat it.  I think the doc could see the desperation in my eyes.  So, we have one dose of Omnicef down the hatch.  I'm really hoping for a better night.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Yesterday was SUPER PRODUCTIVE.  I started out the morning with therapy for Sadie, then made it to the gym to clear my head for an hour.  After getting Sadie down for nap, I ran errands: grocery store, fabric store, and pharmacy (you know those "mommy doesn't want another baby" pills are a necessity).  I had a $2 off coupon for anything in the store (other than prescriptions), so I picked up some yogurt bites for Sadie. When I arrived at the counter, the coupon had magically disappeared from my purse.  I combed the store inch by inch. Sadie must have thrown it out of the cart.  I know those people thought I was crazy and sooo cheap. And they are right.  I put those yogurt bites right back on the shelf and purchased that necessity.
When I arrived home, I registered Ben for Lego camp and swim lessons.  This seriously took an hour, which is ridiculous.  The swim people couldn't register me over the phone, yet their registration site has some serious kinks.  After 3 calls, I finally have him registered.  Two weeks of swim for $80.  Not bad!  Lego camp is very expensive, however.  He's been waiting for 2 years, so I made the splurge. He better love it or at least pretend like he does.
Then onto the best part!  Planning the rest of our summer vacation.  The first part has been planned for a while.
Disney!  We are staying at the Polynesian and I am getting VERY EXCITED!!! My sis is really helping me out with the planning.  That girl knows Disney!

The second part of the vacation is the beach.  We had a beach house booked in Destin, but started to panic about the oil spill and cancelled our reservation.  I have been searching for 2 weeks trying to find a new destination on the Atlantic Coast.  Everything was either booked or you had to agree to a 7 day stay (we only need 3 days). Let me rephrase that. We can only afford to go for 3 days after that Disney trip.  Finally, yesterday was my day.  I found a condo in a beautiful location that was affordable and just happened to be open only for the 3 days I needed.  It was fate!  I booked it immediately!

We are going to Cinnamon Beach

So now I can rest easy...and try to not spend ANY money between now and then!

P.S.  I am soooo thankful to my hardworking husband for allowing this vacation to be possible.  He has been working overtime to make this happen.  Love you sweetie!!