Monday, December 28, 2009

A bit of silly

Just realized...

That in one week my classes start up. I did have a moment of panic and the thought of "CAN I handle this NOW? With everything going on?" But after that, and seeing that I have until the 10th to drop the classes and get a full refund, I was ok..Ok because I discovered I have options. I also realized that I can handle this and it will be a lovely distraction from everything else.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Christmas was....interesting.

Our family celebration happened on Christmas Eve morning. We had a wonderful time watching the kids opening gifts, and as an added bonus the sunrise was breathtaking.
(photo taken out of my kitchen window)
After presents and breakfast I had to take the dogs to the kennel. Right when we walked into the kennel lobby (it was really a Pet Hotel) Blue, my 9 yo yellow Lab peed all over the floor.

My sister called and told me mom was being sent to the ER because at her appointment that morning for her weekly blood draws she started having a hard time breathing. We left and headed up to Cleveland, my husband dropped me off at the hospital, and took the kids to my sister's house to celebrate Christmas.

When I got to the ER both of my sisters and my brother were there already, mom was on a CPAP machine. The Dr. said she has acute congestive heart failure...and she would be moved to the ICU. We all went with mom to the ICU and stayed with her for a bit till she was ok. She was very sad but wanted us to go and celebrate. Leaving her while she was telling us to go but with tears in her eyes was heartwrenchingly difficult. The Dr had said if she wasnt improving they would have to intubate her, and she was really scared about that.

My sister and I got to our other sister's house around 9:30, all the kids were happy, and all the husbands (besides mine) were a bit tipsy.

My mom didnt need to be intubated and began doing well enough that she was released from ICU on Christmas and sent to the bone marrow transplant unit. This morning at 2am I got a text from my sister that she was just leaving the hospital and mom had had 2 seizures, which has never happened before. My other sister called me today to tell me that as well. She is undergoing many tests to find the cause, but Im not feeling too optimistic. Her legs are very swollen, her WBC is in the 80's..they jumped 20k since yesterday, she is confused, and very tired.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Gwen experimenting with her hair at the science museum.
My latest hair cut and color..
How we entertain ourselves in the winter...aside from dressing up the dog...we freeze Han Solo and a bounty hunter guy in ice.....

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I spent too much time running store to store today with 3 children. My patience has evaporated...but I managed to find this quote which I am committing to memory.

"Anyone can carry his burden, however hard, until nightfall. Anyone can do his work, however hard, for one day. Anyone can live sweetly, patiently, lovingly, purely, till the sun goes down. And this is all life really means. " ~Robert Louis Stevenson


My 9yo son needed a pair of boots. So, yesterday we hit the stores to hopefully find a pair for him. I quickly realized that none of the kids sized booths would fit him, so I measured his feet.

My 9yo is wearing a MENS size 8. Yes, MENS.

I was in absolute shock, I mean just yesterday wasn't this kid the 3 yo who drove me crazy? At his well child exam a month or so ago he measured at 5' and 105 lbs....the dr looked at the height weight chart and said "OOOOOK...he isn't anywhere ON here! But his height and weight are proportional" Im 5'9" and he comes up a bit past my shoulder.

When we got home I had him hold his foot up to mine, and sure enough his toes hit the base of my toes, and I wear a size 10. Really I shouldn't be surprised, Im tall, my husband is tall, and my younger brother is 6'10".

In other exciting news from yesterday, I discovered that roadkill pieces CAN indeed get thrown up from the highway, hit your windshield and get stuck on the wiper. I was stuck between finding it hysterical and feeling sick. The kids pushed me towards the latter as they described it in great detail, all the different parts of it, and what animal it must have been from. It seems to have gotten perma welded onto the wiper, so today Im going to try a high pressure car wash and hope that gets it off.

Also, yesterday I received one of the best gifts ever from my brother and his wife. They put together a calender full of family photos, many of which are new to me..even though they are old. It really made my day, and the kids loved seeing it as well.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


I think cabin fever is setting in early this year. In an effort to entertain myself, I enlisted the co-operation of Leia. Here is Leia starring as:

I accidentally ruined my beloved berry colored leopard print scarf by washing it...but it works well on her. Next I need to make a cape for her to wear, and teach her to carry a basket by it's handle.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Reasons why I'm crazy about my kids...

So often I read or hear things that moms write in a negative tone about their kids, and how hard it is to be a mom, etc, etc, etc.
Seriously, being a mom is not the easiest thing in the world, but why should it be? When we have children we are given charge and responsibility to raise future adults. There is only a short time in teach them things that are important, like compassion, persistence, getting along with others, and treating people well. At some point in the all too near future these small people will possibly be spouses, parents, productive adults, making some sort of impact on the world...good or bad.

I think it is important to enjoy the time we have with them, enjoy them for being THEM...not what we think they should be or how they" should be" to reflect well on us...or what they can achieve. Just enjoy that spark that makes each child a unique human being.

Here are some things that have happened in the past weekthat made me laugh, or just plain realize how incredible these little people are.

My kids woke up before me and decided to make breakfast for me. They made toasted Ezekiel bread with apple butter, a small bowl of applesauce and brought a glass of pomegranate kefir to me while I was still in bed.

Mad Libs
THe boys have discovered the joy of Mad Libs. My 9 yo asked me to do one with him, so I did. I asked him to name a body part. He replied "Villi" I said "Huh? Villi? What is that?" He stared at me as if he couldn't believe I said that, looked at his 7yo rolled his eyes and said "MOM! Villi are part of the digestive tract, they are in the intestines"

My 7yo was working on his own Mad Lip and said "Celebrity? What is a celebrity?" I told him someone who is famous. He said "AHA!!! John Cleese!!!" My heart melted.

Yesterday I bought a copy of Food INC. for Mr. C and I to watch. Addison saw it and asked if they could watch it, and I told him I would decide after I see it. We have been discussing the need to change our diet back to the way we used to eat...healthy. This year has been so stressful and our diet has incorporated far too much processed food and fast food. With my family having such a strong proclivity towards cancer, I realize none of us should be eating this way, so we are cleaning it all up.
I watched and decided it was fine for them to watch. Add was very taken with it and horrified that corporations can treat people like they do. It really bothered him that A) the animals are kept in not so nice conditions and B)how dangerous working in a meat packing plant is, along with the treatment of the workers by the company. He loved Joel Salatin though...he is a bit of a hero in our household. :-)
Today we had to go grocery shopping and as a part of this move to change our food habits, the kids get to help me make the weekly menu. Then they get to help me shop for the food (which makes shopping take FOREVER!) and then we will all cook together. I know in the long run this will be good, but it does test my patience a bit.
Anyway, Add and Eli were reading every label of every food. Eli loves monterey jack cheese and was beyond happy when he found a block of it that was also from grassfed cows on a farm in Ohio. The boys talked about how they wanted to support farmers closer to us that take care of their animals and we need to be extra choosey about our food. Gwen mostly asked passing peole where the olives were.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Today is the 11th anniversary of my father's death....and this year it has hit me harder than it has for several years. I think it is because my mother is declining so quickly.
The kids and I marked the day by having apple pie for dessert because it was my dad's favorite.

This evening I went outside to stand up the small Christmas trees on our porch because they blew over. Leia..the dog, went out with me as she usually does, but this time made a beeline for the road. My house is set back a good distance from the road...and there was no reason for her to do this...but she did it anyway. People go by at about 55mph, and quite often large trucks and farm machines go down our road. Sure enough, Leia got hit by a car. She rolled a few times, jumped up and ran as fast as she could back to me...and thankfully, she seems to be ok. It was horrible, and she was shaking for about an hour was I. Im sure tomorrow she will be pretty sore.

Today...was not my most favorite days in recent memories.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

These.....are my offspring....

I was trying to get a photo that is worthy to give to their grandparents as a Christmas present. Obviously...this probably won't fly, but I think I will frame it for our house. :-)
Between bad wind gusts and 3 kids who couldnt do the same thing at the same time, I got one photo is has potential...though Im going to give it another go on Friday when it will be sunny without 40mph winds...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

How we handle science

It is one of those subjects that will cause people to question how well it can be done in a home environment. Recently I read this blog entry by Susan Wise Bauer on the subject of science, labs and school.

For my kids right now science is all about exploring, playing and getting to know the natural world. We do plenty of nature walks, and discuss how the landscape changes each season, what animals are around, those kinds of things. When the mood strikes us we do play with chemistry kits and do experiments. My 7yo told me the other day that many of the things we use in the kitchen can be very useful in making mixtures that cause reactions.

Children have a natural curiosity about how the world works, why things are the way they are, and they want to learn. A textbook and worksheets isn't necessarily going to foster that and might even kill it to a degree.

As we go alone certain things catch their attention and they want to devote more time to learning. Geology caught their attention one day when they dug up an unusual rock in the yard. They checked out some rock and mineral field guides from the library and spent a couple weeks outside gathering rocks and working hard to identify them. While doing their investigations they learned the different ways to identify rocks, rock classification.

Lately for the younger two the interest has been birds. They found an encyclopedia about birds in North America and spent many hours outdoors identifying birds in our yard, and taking a count of each type.

My 9yo has rediscovered an interest in paleontology and checked out a recently written book about dinosaurs. Within that book he is learning about mass extinctions, math concepts, geology and gaining some familiarity with Latin.

I really love seeing how much the kids learn through their own studies and simply by following the course their curiosity takes them.