Monday, June 29, 2015

More Summer Stuff

We successfully completed another year of Vacation Bible School. The children had a really great time. Anna really enjoyed making her giraffe in craft time. The highlight of the week is the program on Friday night when each class sings the song they learned. Josiah stood up with his class, sang and did all the motions. I was proud of him! I knew he was nervous. There were 4 children in Aliza's class and her class sang a song that included a round. The other two girls were one group and Aliza and the lone boy were in the other group for the round. The boy didn't sing. Aliza did--beautifully. The whole church could hear her and she had a beautiful smile on her face the whole time. I was proud of her!
Trying out a recipe found on Pinterest that turned out very well!
We had a letterbox success! There was a letterbox close to Mom's house so we introduced her to letterboxing. I have a habit of not following the directions exactly how they are written which usually leads to taking quite a bit of time to find the box (and drives Jeremy crazy). Mom didn't let me give up this time and we found it.
I have a select few opportunities to get 10% off of our schoolbooks each year--that's the only reason that they were delivered to our porch today. Even though summer is only half over it's still exciting to open up all those boxes and see our books. Anna even got a book this year. I'm going to do K4 with her.
In case you are wondering about the huge number of boxes--one has Anna's DVDs, another has Aliza's hard drive, another has Josiah's hard drive, one had a single Science textbook (weird), there is lots of paper because they only provide answer keys, not teacher books and they do all the handout printing now instead of the parents, and of course--what you would expect--3 boxes of worktexts, books and textbooks.
It's still a little overwhelming to see that huge box of paper for me to organize! It's fun to look through and then I'm happy to pack it all away until August. Of course I have no where to store it out of sight--so it's in our room where I will look at it multiple times a day. Keep's me honest, my feet on the ground and my head out of the clouds!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Few Moments

I had a very special moment today when Aliza was in swimming lesson and put her head under the water. She had a bad swimming lesson experience a few years ago and I know it was a huge confidence booster for her to succeed in the water.

Aliza also conquered her fear of fire and roasted a marshmallow! Lucky for me she only wanted one bite and Anna ended up not wanting hers so I ended up with three s'mores!
My girls and Grandma Karen's makeup. It's a little girl dream.
We were reminiscing about weddings and Karen mentioned her dress. Since she has 3 boys she's never had a girl to put on her wedding dress. It was a fun spontaneous moment. Karen made her dress and it fit me pretty much perfectly! =)

Catching up on some Pioneer Woman cooking shows.

Jeremy, Van, Joel, Josiah and Anna went to the driving range. It was HOT and Anna was determined to wear long sleeves and leggings. She survived, but came home with very pink cheeks.
It's Bible School week. Our nights are late and our morning have been slow. Isaiah has been getting some extra alone time with Daddy while the others are away in the evening. It's good, but I'm glad it's only for a week.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

An Absurd Amount of Pictures

I meant to post earlier in the week, but it didn't happen so you get the week's pictures all at one time!
I've been babysitting my nieces more frequently and here all 6 children are playing together!
The interactions between these two just makes me smile.
Watermelon, the backyard pool and sand!

We tried to find a local letterbox and it was missing. It was fun walking around the university campus anyway.
Picking blueberries was easy work. The bushes were full of ripe berries. I'm afraid we ate more than we usually do this time. It was after we looked for the letterbox and right at lunch time. We were hungry!

Renee loves to hold and play with Isaiah.
Josiah inspired Grandad to put his afternoon plans on hold and go fishing. They caught 12 and Josiah and Anna had a great time. Josiah had put his tackle box in the car that morning hoping that maybe he would get to go fishing.
Mr. Mister has at least doubled his speed this week. He also goes from crawling to sitting now. AND he is taking long naps again.
Dear me. I was going to be the Mom that strictly limited screen time. I married a Heslop--I'll blame my failure on that. lol.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Enjoying Every Moment

This little guy grew up a lot this week!
  • I can feel a top tooth.
  • He crawled on his knees.
  • He was super friendly at our Bible study fellowship. He went to anyone and was happy even when he couldn't see me.
  • He found the pots, pans and plastic containers in the cabinets.
  • We heard a da-da-da.
  • To get my attention he crawls over to me, looks up at me with sparkly eyes, kicks his legs wildly and laughs a deep belly laugh when I look at him. It's pretty much the cutest thing ever.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Once you have 4... might as well have 6!

I took six sweet kiddos to the beach this morning. I had no idea it was so windy and about 10 minutes after being on the beach, Lydia asked if we could go back to my house. I thought it was going to be a very long morning at that point, but after a few shivers everyone seemed to have a good time.
I had a safety net in the form of Meghan and several friends at the beach.
There was more sand play than water play today. Josiah was quite pleased with his big hole.
Isaiah fell asleep in my arms again and I kept counting 5 heads over and over and I got 6 little people back in the car and safely home--fed and bathed. (There was a bit of drama over seating on the way home which led to a rather loud trip home.) And then I let them watch as much Netflix as they wanted because I had done my work for the day! ha.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Isaiah--8 Months

Every time I feed Isaiah and he snuggles in, I feel a little sigh and think "he's still a baby." He's quite proficient with his arm crawl. I hear, "Moooom, come get Isaiah...He's getting my toys" much more frequently. Moving from a sitting position to a crawling position is going more smoothly. He's a sweetie!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Developing More Healthy Habits--Part Two

We left off in the first post with me being unsatisfied with the pediatric dentist and overwhelmed with the financial burden.

I continued to remain unsatisfied in my spirit. Something about that pediatric dentist was not sitting right with me. There was one more option in town. There is a government subsidized dental residency program that offers sliding scale fees. Besides my grandparents who are getting high level work done and who have been satisfied, I could not find anyone who would give me a solid recommendation on their pediatric program. In fact, I even called my family hygienist and practically begged her for a recommendation and she told me to stay with who I was with. I was so uneasy and not at peace that I decided to call TLC (the clinic). In my first conversation with the receptionist I told her that I have a shy child and I was very anxious so put us with the most patient dentist!

We had an appointment a few days later. The office was bright, clean and huge.We qualified for the sliding scale (more causes growth and brings relief). Anna and I sat in the waiting room only long enough to get comfortable and the dentist met with us right away. I told her up front our story to that point. I almost got teary when I reported that we were told our only option beyond laughing gas was to go to Annapolis for treatment. The dentist stopped me there she said, I want you to know that TLC can help you. We offer three levels of sedation. Laughing gas, a medium sedation in the office and, she explained, we also have hospital rights where we can do treatment under anesthesia. I also told her how guilty I felt about Anna's teeth. I told her that we haven't had juice in the house since April and what we generally eat. The dentist agreed that cutting sugar out of a diet isn't realistic and, in fact, she didn't even want to do that so she wouldn't tell her patients too. She really felt that juice is probably what is to blame.

Anna did everything she told me that she would do. She perched herself on the very edge of the chair (she said she would sit on the chair alone) and cooperated with opening her mouth.

The dentist then wanted to do x-rays. I got Anna to the point of sitting all the way in the chair, but as soon as they pulled out the lead apron that was it. Anna was crying and reaching for me. It just wasn't going to happen. Thankfully she hadn't eaten much that morning so we tried laughing gas to get the x-rays instead of having to go back for that. It didn't work. Laying back in the chair let alone having a thing blowing air in your nose wasn't going to happen. And you know what? I was ok with it. Anna's behavior was not a reflection on my parenting--she was scared and acting appropriately for a 4 year old. Some kids can be brave and tough, mine can't.

The dentist then talked to me about how the in office sedation works and then needed to see Anna's tonsils. Anna was still upset and wouldn't open her mouth. We chatted for a bit about TLC and I told her the community had mixed reviews. She was interested and I said one thing I kept hearing was that the dentists were students. She explained the residency program--everyone there is a licensed dentist and they are getting extra training. The dentist we were with is 5 weeks away from being a pediatric dentist. She graduates from the residency program July 1.

At this point she went to consult with the head of the pediatric department. While she was away, I talked to Anna and Anna agreed to open her mouth. On her own Anna also said she would try the "pink nose". Anna followed through on opening her mouth. She badly wanted to cooperate with the laughing gas, she laid sideways on the chair, but just couldn't relax enough to lay back.

So...we talked more about the in office sedation and then the head of the department looked at Anna's tonsils. Her tonsils were big enough that they needed pediatrician clearance for in office sedation. The dentist talked to me more about treatment at the hospital. That dentist spent almost an hour with Anna and I. She was really great. I wish I could continue working with her. I felt like Anna was in good hands and she took a lot of time to reassure me.

Today we went to visit our pediatrician. Anna's tonsils are enlarged. The risk is that the tissues could relax in such a way during sedation that they close off the airway. IF that were to happen the office is not staffed in such a way to handle that emergency. The pediatrician decided that the safest thing to do was treat Anna at the hospital where there is anesthesia back-up. I had decided before the appointment that I would go with whatever the doctor said without fussing. Part of me thinks it's outrageously crazy to be going to the hospital for general anesthesia for cavity fillings--in BABY TEETH!!! The other part of me knows it would be even crazier for something horrible to happen to my baby while she is getting fillings in the office. So we will be safe.

The things I'm thankful for---I'm so glad I found TLC. We get multiple dentists (2 residents and the head of the department) for the price of one. We stay in our home town for treatment which eases my anxiety tremendously. All of the work will be done at once--x-rays, all fillings and even a cleaning, I was told. The hospital will do a payment plan and we may even have time to get dental insurance.

It's not scheduled yet. TLC only has a hospital day every few months since the demand is low. I have no idea what time frame I'm looking at. In the meantime, I'll keep perspective--it's only cavity fillings. Anna is going to be just fine. I'm pretty sure I will survive too!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Family Dinner Book Club--May

 Josiah is looking forward to reading about more adventures of The Littles. I'm not sure that Aliza ever got over the tails on the Littles, however she did have plenty to say during our dinner discussion questions.

We set a place for the Littles at our table. I made mini spaghetti (broken into small pieces) and meatballs, mini pepper pizzas (made from mini sweet peppers, spaghetti sauce and mozzarella cheese), mixed vegetables, mini fruit kabobs and mini chocolate chip cookies.
Super easy. Super fun.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Joy Dare::May

2393. Grandpa and Grandma here for dance recital
2394. Aliza so enjoying her performance
2395. Just watching Aliza be "that much more grown up" than last year
2396. Little sister and cousins enjoying the show
2397. Tutti Frutti with our big girl after recital
2398. Supper on the deck
2399. Melty chocolate ice cream
2400. My in-laws gracious about my lack of food planning for the weekend
2401. The moment during supper when I realized there was complete silence
2402. Unexpected company for the evening
2403. Our private beach in full operation
2404. First beach morning of the season
2405. In the quiet stillness of the morning listening to birds chirping
2406. Working a plan with Aliza
2407. A friend had an extra scrapbook to give me!
2408. My Mom and ice cream
2409. Figuring Isaiah out
2410. Fresh air and golf for Jeremy--much needed
2411. Cousins playing without stopping
2412. Jeremy home earlier than I expected
2413. Meeting new people, making a few bucks
2414. Jeremy allowing me to laugh about the kid messes he had to deal with while I was away
2415. Ordering Aliza pictures for scrapbooking
2416. Breakfast in bed and homemade cards
2417. These words:
2418. Grilled chicken kabobs and Samoa sheet cake
2419. All kinds of wet grassy debris brought into my kitchen by happy children
2420. Honoring my Mom with an informal meal and just being together
2421. Some talk time with Renee
2422. This smart on woke up with sparkly eyes at 10pm and got some quality time with Mommy and Daddy
2423. Found on my phone:
2424. Old fashioned phone talks
2425. The hard of regrouping after I lose patience
2426. Gracious hygienists to deal with my reluctant child
2427. An afternoon at Mom's house
2428. Love notes ("Josiah loves Mom more")
2429. Friends who know me well enough that I can vent
2430. Provision
2431. Josiah totally into the reading unit
2432. Going at our pace
2433. Laughing with Jeremy over what we were each thinking and not saying while we let Isaiah cry it out before dawn this morning
2434. Visiting and scrapbooking with some of the ladies dearest to me
2435. Remembering the first moments with Isaiah
2436. Doing Gramma's dishes
2437. Smiley baby splashing in the tub
2438. Catching up on some things I wanted to do
2439. Planning out the week and realizing it's doable
2440. Crazy enthusiastic scrapbook time with my girls
2441. Humility, insecurity and vulnerability create room for growth
2442. Dinner with my sisters
2443. Children that can't wait for me to come home
2444. Friends to talk to
2445. Putting Bible study discussion from last week in to practice
2446. Philippians 4:13 My God will supply all your needs...
2447. Picking our first berries of the season
2448. The older children making Isaiah giggle
2449. Creating a lego space for Josiah that he's been waiting for
2450. Totally unexpected gift that the school year ended today
2451. Spring rain
2452. Perspective
2453. Celebrating accomplishments
2454. Hopeful peace
2455. Grandma and Grandpa had zero traffic backups today
2456. Green leaves and bright blue sky
2457. Planting
2458. A perfect new yard sale chair
2459. All 4 children napped in the car so there was extra time to dance and sing Frozen songs tonight
2460. Sharing Mennonite heritage with my mother-in-law
2461. Anna thrilled with some new to her stickers--"Thank you Mom. You're the best Mom ever!"
2462. Three really great strawberry pickers
2463. Back on the same wavelength with Jeremy
2464. Absorbing the summer pace
2465. First day of summer vacation:
2466. Aliza crazy excited about a book series and Josiah determined to check out a chapter book
2467. Sitting with my Gramma in the hospital
2468. Living in the country where the children can play in water, sand and mud
2469. A dentist who was kind and patient
2470. Talks with my moms
2471. An only positive school review
2472. Caught Josiah reading for fun--twice!
2473. Another lovely beach morning
2474. Surprise gifts
2475. Aliza wanting to tell me all about everything
2476. Missing Daddy this evening
2477. Those moments when Anna is still little
2478. Totally a God thing
2479. Giggling over Isaiah watching everyone eat and his mouth chewing away
2480. Just the 6 of us together at home
2481. Klove fan awards live streaming
2482. Peeking out the upstairs window to see Aliza singing away in her imaginative world