Category Archives: Family

Here I Go Again…

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If you are like me, you read the heading to this post and started singing White Snake.  If you’re not like me, I feel sorry for you because your inner soundtrack is obviously missing something… TOTAL AWESOMENESS!!!  Every time I here that song, I have to break out the air drums and smile.  When I actually listen to the words I have to laugh a bit because the last time I was alone on my own was about 9 years ago. It lasted for like half a minute before I met my husband, got married and started on what is now a family of four, count them FOUR amazing kids.  Still, the song makes me want to surge forward and do all the things I love that get pushed to the side with the day to day of being a stay-at-home mom.

On that note, I will admit that I am attempting Kids Clothes Week Challenge (KCWC) put together by elsie marley.  The challenge is to spend an hour a day sewing kids clothes for 7 days!  I am already a little behind, but I do have some pieces I am working on including a cute circle skirt for my Pork Chop and some more pants for Moo.  It’s daunting but exciting because although I really love to sew and create, it’s often hard to find the time.

 

On top of that I’ve been back to bentos with the kids’ lunches.  This year I have three in school!  I had conferences with my kindergartner’s teacher and when she showed me that he was having trouble recognizing some of the letters in the alphabet, I suggested that I make flash cards at home.  “Even better,” she said “would be to make him letter bentos!  We love the lunches you send with him every day!”  I have to admit, I was a proud mamma at that moment.  I came home and told him that it was totally worth it to put together those lunches.  I was of course cursing that notion this morning when we were all running late and I was trying to be creative yet healthy…

It’s a busy life but today I wouldn’t trade it in for anything!

So what have you been up to lately?  I want to hear all about it!

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Green is good

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Green is good

I know it’s past St. Patrick’s Day, but to be honest, I don’t really care.  I have cute pictures of my kids and I intend on sharing them 🙂

I decorated the kids’ shirts this year.  I got all of the shirts on a clearance sale at Walmart for a dollar and I already had the supplies to decorate them at home… Super Score!!  Each child has a different shirt.  Sporty, Pork Chop and Bubba all had freezer stenciled shirts and Short Stack had an appliqued shirt.

For Pork Chop’s shirt I did a freezer stencil of the words “Lucky Girl” and then added some polka dots with a sponge brush.  After it was dry I added little hand painted hearts to the center of each polka dot.

I appliqued a shamrock onto Short Stack’s shirt and then painted some gold fabric paint over the top of it.  When she wore it, she had braids with bows tied in them from the same fabric.  This is her “new” smile…  She said she’s trying to look “dreamy”.

Sporty is getting to the age where he doesn’t really like all the bells and whistles on his clothes so I just did a simple freezer stencil of the phrase “Pinch Proof”.

Bubba had a freezer stencil shirt that said “IT’S YOUR LUCKY DAY” with the word “lucky” done in gold fabric paint.  He’s wearing a pair of seersucker pants I sewed  him last week (so proud of myself) from a tutorial I found on MADE.  It’s such a great tutorial and easy to follow!

One more picture and then I’m done… My husband asked me to sew him a kilt for St. Patrick’s day.  That’s just the kind of guy he is.  I have never sewn a kilt before, nor did I have a pattern for it.  I burned the heck out of my arm ironing pleats.  PLEATS PLEATS PLEATS!!  I am tired of pleats that is for sure!  Anyway, I think it turned out pretty awesome and I made sure not to remind him that kilts are Scottish and St. Patrick’s Day is Irish.  Why ruin his fun?

 

Pinterest Win

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I’ve mention Pinterest in a previous post and I’ll say it again, if you haven’t checked it out, you are totally missing out!!  I’ve recently added a “follow me on Pinterest” button on my sidebar, so please feel free to click it and check out my pins.

I’m proud to say that I’ve actually tried out some of the things I’ve found on Pinterest including this recent success:

Donuts from biscuits  These insanely easy to make donuts were insanely delicious!  Just get packaged biscuit dough (any kind but flaky)  I found a pack of four for less than $2.  Cut out a hole in the middle (don’t forget to save the little pieces for donut holes!), fry in veggie oil (watch them carefully because they brown quickly) then dip in butter and cinnamon sugar, sprinkle on powder sugar, or even make a glaze (I made some odd approximation of a maple glaze) and go to town!  I didn’t really like how they tasted the next day (a little like stale cake donuts) but oh my gosh my family devoured a TON of them the day we made them!

The Pork Chop

Bubba

Short Stack

Sporty

As you can see, everyone enjoyed the donuts!  A Pinterest Win if I do say so myself 🙂

 

Skinny Wallet

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Many families today are struggling with too much month at the end of the money and my family is no exception.  My husband and I have what I view as a very American mentality about spending:  “If I want it, I deserve it so I’ll get it and worry about it later”.  It’s frustrating because we never seem to have money for the things we really want, or the things we really need.

Need vs. Want… it’s a concept I try to teach my kids, but that I’m not very successful at myself.  I’ve made a decision and starting today I’m going to put my wallet on a diet.  I’m going to choose to forgo the WANT for the NEED.  Big talk, I know.

One of the first steps is going to be in the area of groceries.  I don’t know about you but I am a habitual impulse shopper.  I try to write a list, but then I get to the store and fill my cart with all kinds of things that don’t belong there.  I love cool packaging (it’s a downfall, I know) and although I have nothing against buying generic, pretty packaging often finds its way into my cart.

I’ve been doing some research on feeding my family inexpensively and one area I’m going to try to cut down on is cereal bars/oatmeal bars.  My kids love having a granola bar or oatmeal bar as a snack and so I buy boxes of them.  I’ll be looking for a good recipe to replace the processed version (bonus benefit – healthy snacks!).  I’m also going to get out my sewing machine and sew up a couple of re-usable snack/sandwich bags and save on the cost of ziplock bags for the kids’ lunches.

Another way I’m going to start spending less is the entertainment part of our lives.  Friday Funday has become an automatic fast food meal and video.  Why can’t I start cooking with my kids and playing board games?

I’m excited about this, but scared too.  What will it mean to change these ingrained habits?  Can I do it?  Will I be able to bear the complaining from my kids (that’s assuming they complain, which who knows?  They could surprise me!).  Can I still give my family a full stomach with a skinny wallet?  I’m willing to give it a try!

OMG VUG

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It’s been a rough month here.  My little Pork Chop has been sick (you can read the backstory here).  To break it down, she had a urinary tract infection and the doctor ordered some more tests including some blood work, a sonogram of her kidneys and bladder and something called a VCUG where they basically pump her little bladder full of florescent liquid and watch and see if the pee is all going out like it’s supposed to, or migrating back up which is bad bad bad.

Her sonogram came back great and a second urine culture showed her UTI had cleared up.  I almost didn’t take her for that last test.  Almost.

Going to Children’s Hospital DC with all four kids in tow was not my idea of a fun afternoon, especially not when my bra strap snapped beyond all McGyvering and I was wandering the hospital bra-less (the metro ride was even more fun *insert dramatic sigh here*).  I watched them strap my baby girl to a board and looking at her there in her tiny peach hospital gown I almost lost it.  Just as I was about to cry, a nurse came in from checking on the other three kids and announced that Sportie and Short Stack had just finished vividly describing how they get the brains out of a soon-to-be mummy.  If that doesn’t bring a smile to your face you might not be human.

They finished the test and just as they were about to remove the catheter, one of the techs asked the doctor to “come back here and see this”.  No one told me what they were looking at, but they came back and announced they were going to do a few more pictures.  I told myself maybe she was too wiggly and the flouroscopy pictures were too blurry.  That’s what I kept telling myself the whole way home and the entire week after the test as I waited to hear the results.

Yesterday I saw my doctor who let me know that Pork Chop has something called VUG (Vesicoureteral reflux).  The openings where the ureters empty urine into the bladder should work like valves to keep urine from backing up into the ureters. Sometimes the valve doesn’t work properly and urine flows back into the kidneys. The urine may flow only a short way back into the ureters, or it may go all the way back to the kidneys, causing the ureters and kidneys to swell.  In Pork Chop’s case, her kidneys are okay right now.  VUG has 5 different stages and Pork Chop only has stage 2 which means the VUG may correct itself as she gets older.  Right now we are going with the accepted treatment protocol which means she is going to be on long term antibiotics and be tested again in a year.  We will see a specialist next month who may have other options because long term antibiotic treatment presents its own problems and issues.  Little Pork Chop also needs to be monitored for fevers which can indicate an infection.

It’s hard to see this all written out here.  Pork Chop is a happy little 6 month old, she rolls and giggles and her smile is infectious… and she’s sick.  And I can’t fix it.  I can’t fix it.

If you would like more information about VUG, please click here.

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we navigate this new road.

 

One Sick Pork Chop

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I just got back from the doctor’s office where they informed me that Pork Chop has a UTI (urinary tract infection) and that it is in part caused by E.coli getting all up in her business.  Now, if you are anything like me, the second you here E.coli, you freak out.  While it’s true that E.coli can be incredibly dangerous (especially in little munchkins), it’s also the most common cause of UTI’s.  The main issue now is to see whether Pork Chop’s kidneys and bladder are doing what they should, or if they are slacking off on the job causing the overabundance of E.coli.  It also could be that one of the other kids picked something up, didn’t wash their hands and passed the germy germs on to her little elf self.  I’m hoping for scenario number two because that doesn’t involve scary words like surgery.  In the meantime, they’ve got PC on some heavy meds and she’s scheduled for a sonogram of her downstairs bits later this week.  Prayers are definitely appreciated.

I find myself wondering if it’s something I’m doing wrong.  My other kids were NEVER sick and so far we’ve had to deal with severe jaundice, RSV and now this.  I know it’s not really me and that my little bug just needs some extra attention, but it’s hard to not blame myself.

I’ll keep you updated as I know more, but in the meantime, keep this little piggy in your thoughts and prayers.

Pork Chop with a side of Lame Sauce

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So it’s been a year since I wrote anything on this blog which makes me a bit of a lame sauce mom.  An entire year has passed and now I am sitting here at the computer, trying to think over the shrieking and screaming (Bubba is watching Jurassic Park).  Last time I wrote we were the Handful Family (as in, you can count all the members of our family on one hand).  Now we are definitely more than a handful!  What I didn’t know as I wrote my last post (a year ago) was that I was currently cooking up another kid.  Not just any kid either.  I was cooking up the Pork Chop (as we so affectionately call her).  In December, Pork Chop (or P.C. for short) made her grand entrance into the world.  If I would have been blogging through the pregnancy, I could have shared all kinds of funny and awful stories about my pregnancy which was nothing short of horrific…  I also could have blogged about our brilliant decision to buy a house and move in to said house just a few short weeks before the Pork Chop came into this world…  There are many moments I have not recorded for you to enjoy.  But that’s okay!  Thanks to my cousin Jenna, I discovered some new blogs to read that not only make me laugh hard enough to pee (which, let’s be honest, after giving birth three times is not that hard to do), but also inspired me to get back in to blogging.  Jenna has a Handful Family herself, so she truly understands the need to have a few moments of laughter.  One of these blogs, Rants From Mommyland has finally given me what I’ve been looking for… suitably foul sounding words to replace the curse words that I’m so desperately trying to quit using (yes, yes I know… potty mouth is bad.  Especially when you watch Little Fockers and your 6 year old daughter asks what the movie is called and you tell her and she says “Little F**kers?”).  Check out the Mommyland Desk Reference here for a list of amazing words you too can integrate into your daily freak outs.

Also, I am going back to all my other posts and editing out the actual names of my children, because I don’t want all you weirdos out there knowing my kids’ names.  If you know me, then it should be pretty easy to figure out who is who, but let me just break it down for you:

Pork Chop:  Newest edition to the fam.  Rocks thunder-thighs and is known for spontaneously vomiting her recently ingested liquid lunch all over whatever I am wearing (at which point I strategically switch her to the other shoulder so I can have matching vomit stains).

Bubba:  My three and a half year old.  Also known as Monkey, Hubba Bubba and Crazy Pants.  His charming new habit is to point to everything using only his middle finger.  Recent accomplishment:  burning a frog to death in our leaf pile.  And he knew EXACTLY what he was doing because he announced to us “I want him to be dead”.  Nice.

Short Stack (aka Princess or Bluebird):  My oldest daughter who is 6 going on 23.  She has been known to cry hysterically when her father or I make fun of Justin Beiber (“Is his name Justin Beaver?  Justin Sneezer?”  MOOOOOOOOM!!  STOP PLEASE!!!!!!!!!  That is NOT NIIIIIIICE!”)  Most mornings for Short Stack involve her asking for the one thousandth time if she can just wear just a little bit, just a teeny bit, just some makeup to school puh-LEEEZ!  It’s a pleasant surprise to see her at all since her room is a toxic waste dump and I am continually amazed at how she manages to dig her way out every day.

Sportie:  My oldest son, the sport-head.  He’s having some serious life issues right now and can’t decide whether he wants to play professional football, become a drummer, be a police officer or possibly join the military.  Life is tough when you’re about to hit double didgets!  Sportie spends most of his afternoons kicking his football as high as possible while narrowly avoiding nailing Short Stack and Bubba in the head with it thus bringing on the Wrath Of Mom (which usually results in the loss of said football for an undisclosed amount of time).

So that’s the fam!

Well, here’s hoping that it’s not another year until I post again… but, this is me we’re talking about, so let’s try and be realistic here!  I will leave you with a link to the charming song “Did You See (Where the Cat Threw Up, Cuz the Cat Threw Up Again)? by Baron von Rumblebuss.  We don’t have a cat, but if we did I imagine it would be the kind that would throw up all over the place.