Thursday, December 1, 2016

A Festive Start to the Season

The way we had to rush supper and out of the house and then be detoured around a traffic accident, it looked like the evening was going to be a bust. We continued on, parked and walked down the parade route to meet Janell's family and Dad to pass out Christmas books to children waiting for the parade to start. We passed out 50 books in no time and found a place to chat and watch the parade. It turned out that all 6 children loved the parade, the air was cool but reasonably comfortable and there was no wind. So we stayed.
Renee took it upon herself to be Isaiah's buddy. She taught him to wave at every float and say "Merry Christmas." I was enthralled. His legs were kicking and he waved and waved.
Anna wasn't so sure about the lights and drums so she hung out in my arms for a while. She warmed up eventually. We were at the beginning of the parade route so the kids ended up with lots of candy too! This is definitely one of my best Pocomoke Parade memories.
Last month the children and I really enjoyed Thanksgiving picture books. I was anxiously waiting for the #readaloudrevival picture book list to be published. It was a long list and our library had a whole bunch of them so I just checked them out and put a bunch on hold. If you figure that we read at least 3 each night (Aliza, Josiah and Anna each pick one) the pile gets read very quickly!
Aliza is asking if we are doing Advent this year. I haven't quite decided.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Celebrating Anna

It was lots of fun to celebrate Anna last week! Anna decided she wanted to decorate her own cake with Frozen colors and plenty of sprinkles. She started out wanting snowflakes and I was pretty sure that meant it was a Daddy project. I saved cake decorating for the evening and totally threw Jeremy under the bus. But he is laid back and handles all the craziness with ease.

Anna wanted this toy guitar. She loves that thing and played with it all day.
The really funny thing about the cake was that Anna had no intention of eating it. Everyone wanted ice cream. No one wanted cake. Clearly, my children did not inherit my DNA in the cake eating area.
Anna chose a birthday outing instead of a birthday party. It was a girl cousin outing--plus Isaiah. They played at Coco's.

And then got their nails painted.
Each of them chose 2 colors. Anna's was pink with gold sparkles on top.
They ate pizza and played for a bit and then it was time to change our focus from birthday to Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Heslop Family Weekend

Every year we get one weekend with the whole Heslop family. This year we got to meet our newest niece, Florence. She's a sweetheart. I was ready to hold a baby!
Aliza very much enjoyed playing with her cousin, Evelyn. It didn't take long for Evelyn to sit down in Aliza's lap the first evening we were there.
On the agenda for the weekend was celebrating Van and Karen's 40th wedding anniversary. The daughter in laws decided on an adult dinner at a restaurant in Hagerstown. It is extremely rare for my children to stay with a babysitter that is not family so I put a lot of thought in to how the evening could be comfortable for them. The girl who has taken our family photos the last couple years was available so at least they knew the person who was coming to stay with them. They ended up having a great evening that they didn't want it to end. The adults had a lovely evening too. The food and conversation were very nice. Brandi made a pumpkin cheesecake for dessert that turned out perfectly--and it was her first ever attempt!
Brandi also made this family tree for our gift. We had both forgotten that Van is really into genealogy when we talked about the gift. It was perfect for him.

Evelyn (not quite 2 years old) was intrigued with the sound of crunchy leaves. She lives in Texas so the idea of leaves falling on the ground was new to her. I had the idea of teaching her how to jump in piles of leaves. We raked together some big piles and jumped in. She wasn't quite sure at first, but in the end, she had a good time.
And when you only see each other once a year, a family picture is always necessary. (I just realized I grabbed a picture without Van and Karen.)
Even though she looks like she could be Joel and Brandi's, Anna is our child! It's almost an old joke now. Anna rides with them whenever she can. Brandi lays with her at night when we sleep at their house. Personality wise she almost fits with them. She cries alligator tears and misses them for days after we leave. I'm so thankful that my children have special Aunts and Uncles that care for them and will be there for them when they need to talk to someone that is not Mom or Dad.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Happy 6th Birthday Anna!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Wasted Morning

The night before we were leaving for the weekend, Anna woke up at 1am crying. She continued to wake up every 30-45 minutes crying for the rest of the night. When I could get her to tell me what was wrong, she said her ear was hurting. By 4am I knew that I would be taking her to immediate care before we left town.

Thankfully, my Dad was able to stay with the other children on short notice. I took Anna to immediate care and the Doctor told us the pain was from some dry wax that was pushing on a membrane inside her ear. He washed her ear out and told us to use some drops and come back the following week so that he could clean the rest of the wax out of her ear.

I used the drops all weekend and gave Anna Motrin at night. The next 2 nights she still had times that she was uncomfortable, but after that, has been fine.

When we got home I had an internal battle over whether I was going to follow though with this follow up "appointment." The Doctor told me that he would be at the immediate care center on Monday and Tuesday. I decided that it would be best to be responsible and make sure everything was taken care of for Anna. I did not want to lose another night's sleep! Tuesday morning Anna was very unhappy that we had to go to the doctor again. She fussed and carried on. I told her that it was my responsibility as her Mother to make sure that she was healthy--so we were going. She settled down. Given some other things that were happening during the week, I did not have a babysitter and took all 4 children with me into immediate care.

The herd of us walked in. I may have seen some panic in the eyes of the receptionist. I told her we were there for a follow up and we signed in. She seemed a bit skeptical when I said follow up. We sat down and immediately another lady in the waiting room asked me if I homeschool. I told her yes. She then told me that she homeschooled her 6 children and for the next half hour told me her views on all manner of things in relation to homeschool and teenage children. After 30 minutes she was called back--the first person to be called back since we had walked in.

After another 30 minutes no one else had been called back. There was still another person who had arrived before us and my children were getting squirrely. Appropriately so. Isaiah was at the window *loudly* exclaiming over every bird and bug her saw in the flower garden. And banging on the window. When he started jumping off his seat and sprawling on the floor for fun my blood pressure started in increase. The other 3 were appropriately quiet, but understandably, getting impatient. I finally decided this was getting a bit ridiculous and asked the receptionist if she would wait with 4 children in tow. She said no. I explained why I was there. She said, "well if she isn't having any pain I wouldn't worry about it." I again explained that the doctor had instructed me to come back on this day for a follow up because of reasons I explained. She offered to go talk to the doctor which I watched her do. She came back and told me, "He said that if she isn't having any discomfort he doesn't need to see her." I was annoyed--really annoyed.

I walked my children out to the came with as much grace as I could muster. Here I had told Anna in no uncertain terms that she had to cooperate and it turned out that she didn't see the doctor. We were all out of sorts when we got home--I sent the kids outside to play and I made s'more mix (1 box of Golden Grahams cereal, 1 bag of marshmallows, and 1 bag of chocolate chips). It's quite addicting and I ate plenty!

I don't like the feeling of completely wasted time and effort. It bugged me all day. Aliza tried to help me feel better. She said that I was a gift to the lady who needed to talk. Hopefully I was. That would redeem the time a bit.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Changing My Perspective

At first glance this looks like a "Daddy is on his phone. Son wants Daddy's attention" moment. Thankfully, I took a second glance and took a moment to listen. There was animated, back and forth conversation happening about a game that they both enjoy. In that moment I knew again that I had to change my expectations, modernize my perspective. Because nowadays Dads and sons can work together to build imaginary lands and conquer other worlds while working together to build a strategy and share resources. Son asks Dad how that game is made and maybe he can make a game some day. Dad and Son are talking and have a solid relationship and have something they enjoy doing together and I can't really ask for anything more than that.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

A Fun Day for Everyone

Josiah has had his first deep sea fishing trip. That is pure joy on my Father's face.
The overnight wind shifted the departure time from 6:30am to 8:30am which was just fine with my boys. Josiah woke up a bit apprehensive when it was still dark outside, but he quickly caught the excitement.
We didn't get the motion sickness medicine in him early enough, but he didn't let an early bout ruin his Daddy got more medicine in him and then Josiah was good to go. Josiah told me how every time they put the hook in the water they would almost immediately be reeling in a fish--sometimes two at a time! 
Meanwhile, my girls joined Janell's family to watch a play of Beauty and the Beast. I opted to stay home so Isaiah could nap. I actually took a way longer nap than I meant to, but that's ok. Janell sent me me pictures and I texted back saying, "Roses?" She said, "I walked past them and said no and Jeff went behind me and said yes." Each of the girls had a rose and they were absolutely thrilled with them. Best Uncle of the Day!

Aliza and Anna both thoroughly enjoyed the play. I heard all about it and they wished that they could see it again.

We all met at my parent's house to see the catch the men brought home and eat some supper together. It was a big day for everyone--except me!