Are We There Yet?

Ok when you travel in a church van, filled with your people, their pillows, blankets, backpacks, luggage, games, bags of groceries, and 2 Market thermals filled with 7 frozen dinners, 9 people, 3 car seats, and an extra-large bag of books.  You can kind of get claustrophobic, cabin fever, or van fever?  At any rate, you are all up in each others space, most of the time you are physically touching each other.  I’ll let you think about that…  Mom {s}he’s touching me times 6 people {the driver, front seat passenger, and baby, who can’t talk did not complain about being touched.} the kids did not actually say those words, but my people had a legitimate complaint.  O and I strategically pack the van so people have leg room.  We play our own game of van jenga and get as much as possible tucked under, put away and stacked as possible.  It was great until I sent out 4 bags the morning we departed, the boys (R and J stuck everything on the floor right in front of where I sit, by the time I went out to the van we were all loaded up I had to sit cross-legged until I could shuffle things around I had exactly enough space for 1 leg to be down, I just kept switching legs.  But everyone else had leg room.  I insist on it.

So it is a tight squeeze even though it is a 12 passenger van.

We also have a driver who is destination driven.  Vacation does not start until you arrive at your location.  I actually look forward to traffic it gives us an opportunity to get off the interstate.  I married a man who does not stop unless the van is out of gas. Ok he is a little better, now.  He will stop for bathroom breaks but only if I tell him to… If someone calls out that they have to go, he keeps driving.  I wish I was kidding.  {If he denies it I have a family who will back me up}  When we were dating we drove from our college 20 hours to my house, only stopping for gas, I assumed once we were married that we would enjoy the ride.  Nope.  I was wrong.  We do not enjoy the ride.  A few years ago, there was a traffic jam, we exited the interstate found a town with the same name as one of our kids, and a historic house with the same name as another one of our kids.  The shocker is, Keith was willing to stop.  I should rephrase that.  Keith stopped when I yelled out STOP, he even turned around and parked the van so we could go take a picture.  Like I said though, it was a shock, a once in a lifetime opportunity.  After all, he is the man with a cracked rib who drove 10 hours straight before he admitted he was in pain and I could drive.  As far as my kids know there is NOTHING to see in any states except the interstate.  Well, interstate AND the Chick-Fil-A’s that where we stop to eat, other times we go in play while I order and eat in the van.  Yes travel is not a fun time, no enjoy the ride, but more hang on for the ride.  When we made the 20 hour trip up to basketball camp for 4 weeks we would actually pack our meals, stop at the rest area closest to meal time then let the kids play for a few minutes, run and jump, play a little Simon says, and toss the ball around.  After fully stretching their legs and bodies, we would climb back into the van and eat while Keith continued on driven to the final destination.  While I do appreciate that he is willing to drive all the time, I wish we could stop more frequently.

No one asks are we there yet.  Because we know we are ‘there’ when he stops and we still have a tank full of gas.

I have made travel bags for years for the kids.  This last year I actually did not make a travel bag, bad choice.  I will be making one for our next trip!  It gives the kids something new to play with, read or munch on when they choose.  It helps break up the ride.  I did have a mid-point gift for them which kept them busy.

Here are some of our travel pictures, hang on for the ride.IMG_1522C trying to find a Sam’s club for lunch and food shopping.IMG_1534The man-child works for Rocket Fizz, he bought 6 different pops for him to share with his dad on the ride.  It did look a little sketchy all those bottles in the console, but I promise it was all pop. BTW they were NOT a fan of the Candied Bacon Cream Soda.IMG_1532Feet in my face… and in my hair… and on my head… and in my neck…  she had no idea how annoying it was, but she was busy reading a book so I let it slide.IMG_1537“Mom STOP”
They were watching Frozen, which was fun for us to listen to the little girls sing along while we could not hear any of the actual movie.  I knew exactly where they were in though because I have watched it so many times.IMG_1539Twizzler glassesIMG_1543Twizzler sleep mask or blind fold or mustache???IMG_1544PS slept 20 minutes on that 12 hour drive.  That was the only time I got her to sleep.  Took a lot of forehead rubbing and singing and the heart beat sound machine.  Even then it was short-lived.  Do you realize how not fun a baby is when she only sleeps 20 minutes in 12 hours?  Not fun.  But at least she did not scream the entire 12 hours.  I know she looks smothered but things were positioned so she could reach them to entertain herself and like I said I was right next to her.IMG_1549They were watching a movie, and yes our van is so cold they all need blankets.  I get car sick and an easy way to combat it is to keep COLD air blasting on my face.  Which is why PS was covered up in that last picture.IMG_1545Our fearless driver, stretching, which he could not do not he ride home.  Poor guy.

What about you?  Are you an ‘Enjoy the ride?’  or a ‘Hang on for the ride’ vacation driver?
Does someone constantly ask you ‘Are we there yet?’

Go hug your kids and tell someone how important they are!


Frog Soup

We had 2 big adventures that could have been so much worse while we were vacationing this year.  On Sunday was the MUD IS SLIPPERY event, with a cracked rib but no internal injuries, and on Monday was the Frog Soup incident.

We have been coming to this cabin or set of cabins almost every summer since E was 18 months, she learned to crawl, at 18 months, and go up the stairs while we were there.  {she had some serious physical developmental delays}, we have captured tad poles, before C became terrified of Frogs, we have eaten more than our fair share of marshmallows while at this camp, we have dubbed a water fall in the town nearby as “wet bottom falls” and driven down a mountain with a wet skirt hanging out the window drying.  We have made so many memories at this camp.  Another favorite thing about this camp is the paddle boats in the little pond, this year we were again next to the pond.  We could hear the kids on the pontoon paddle boat squeaking around the pond, and later in the week glide quietly on the added boat, it is nice to sit on the porch swings and watch the kids laugh and paddle and have fun with out our help.

{Warning picture overload}

IMG_1558O told A that the pond was Frog Soup.
Years ago the kids would catch tad poles and by weeks end we would have cups filled with dirty lake water and tad poles lined up on our porch.
The sound of frogs is quite loud at times, they are huge and noisy. IMG_1561The long wait for their turn on the boat.IMG_1591Life vests are required by both Mom and the camp.IMG_1588The morning before little A enjoyed Frog Soup.
{They are on their way to their grandparents for breakfast.}

I do not feel I am an over-cautious mom, I look the other way and let my kids do things I feel are not too risky, but I insist that the littles ride the boat with someone older, and I insist on life vests.

After lunch, little A was asking to ride the paddle boat, I gave R the option of cleaning up lunch stuffs or taking the kids out on the boat.  He chose the boat.  Little A was thrilled.  J and E went along to have a turn on the boat.  R dutifully took little A all around the pond, pointing at frogs and listening to her talk.  When he was finished he headed towards the dock, E was vested up and waiting, little A had scooted to the edge of her seat to watch the process, the left pontoon crashed into the dock sending little A off the boat and under water.  R jumped up and pulled her out, I heard him yell, then I head little A yell.   From the inside of our cabin, O also heard the yelling.  I jumped up in time to see him pulling her out of the water and back onto the boat.  O took off running down to rescue her while I grabbed my camera and a towel.
IMG_1604O, R and J came running back to our cabin with little A in O’s arms.
{held out from her body since little A was soaking wet}IMG_1605She was wet from tip to tail, and burping pond water all the while.
She was a pitiful sad little wet girl.
Nothing a hot shower, dry clothes and chocolate milk could not fix.
It could have been worse, it could have been tragic, thankfully it was just smelly pond clothes and another dirty towel.

With in hours they were back at the boat, and by Tuesday another boat was added to the water.IMG_1622J and R trying out the new boat.IMG_1623The girls waiting for their turn on the new boat.  IMG_1629No more accidental fall ins.IMG_1631E climbing aboard.IMG_1633Little A and O climbing aboard.IMG_1641Paddling over to say hello.IMG_1642Notice that E has little A’s hand, she wanted to be sure that little A did not fall in again.IMG_1650And of course J had to try different stunts while on the paddle boat.IMG_1626By Friday Keith was able to stand outside and watch them play.

Here is little A’s version on the Frog Soup incident.

“R took me paddle boating
and I was on the edge of my seat
I was wearing my life jacket
we were going to the edge of the dock and I felled into the frog soup
then I went under water
{laughing now}
and I closed my mouth
then R saved my life
{Me-how did R save your life?}
when I was going under water he saved my life
he is tricky
he pulled me out
he put me on the bottom of the boat
then O runned down and she got me and her clothes wet
{Me-how did the frog soup taste?}
yucky, disgust-o
mom feel my head I am not sick.”

There you go straight from a 4 year old’s mouth.

What about you, ever taste frog soup?
Go hug your kids and tell someone why you love them.


Mud is Slippery

We took our week vacation in NC this summer.  We really only had time for 1 week of vacation (we will use the 2nd week of his vacation on our trip up to drop C at that university in KY that is taking my son away from us *sigh*)

As I was saying we took our vacation in the mountains of NC.  We love this trip, some of us love it more than others, but we look forward to the cooler weather of the mountains, the freedom of the mountain and the family time we have together.  We stay at our friends place, there is no TV, you have to walk a few cabins over to connect to the laptop to the cable to get online.  Primitive by todays standards.  We have electricity and running water and HOT water, so I am good.

We arrived after a 12 hour trip, map quest and google maps promised it was a 9 hour trip.  I am here to say THEY LIE.  Seriously we have never been able to get there in less than 11 hours.  Most times it takes us 12 hours.  Which would make sense if you think that each stop takes at least 20 minutes, and of course we need to stop for groceries on our way up the mountain,  I did make and freeze meals, I also did the majority of the shopping at home, but I could not buy bread or milk or eggs and expect them to survive the 12 hour trip in a van with 9 people.  I don’t understand the 12 hour ride home, the trip to Sam’s and the grocery store have been eliminated we need the same amount of gas on the trip back home, I just don’t understand the time warp.  Where does it go?

SO As I was saying, we spent our week in NC.  One of the favorite things for the family to do is hike.  The bigger kids love to go off with Keith and my sister (she did not come this trip) and take off on a hiking adventure.  Last year they found a random beach in a river, this year the plan was to find the beach, then come back and we would go as a family the next day, picnic and play on the river beach.  Like I said, that was the plan.  I love the hikes, because I don’t go,  I stay back in the cool breeze, clean up the last meal and nap while they hike.  Vacation time is really the only time I let myself read for pleasure.  I have a problem with books.  I can’t put one down, I have to see it to the end.  This does not bode well for normal life, but on vacation it is a luxury.  The hikes are one of our favorite parts of this week we take in the mountains.

On Sunday afternoon Keith, C, O R and J ventured out for the first hike of the week.  They set out, the girls went to visit Keith’s parents who also were in their own tiny cabin.  I settled down with PS to read and nap.  After some time, the little girls came back from the grandparents cabin, they set about swinging on the porch swing and playing with their babies.

My phone rang, which is amazing since phone service is spotty at best.  I answered it, the ID said Keith was calling me.  My heart did a little dip, he has never called on a hike before.  There are bears in the trails.  I answered, it was actually C.  His conversation was broken up but the things I did understand were alarming.
C-Mom, Dad got hurt
Me-what happened?
garbled break up garbled break up
Me-I’m sorry I can’t understand you
C-hurt bad
C-cut up a t-shirt for wrap
C-sent the kids back
C-need help
C-dad is bad
Me-want me to go get help?

and that was the call.

My blood was running cold

I went and cut up a towel in long strips, fixed a small snack for the hikers on their return, then started a movie for the little girls.  Trying to remain calm, in the great unknown, and get ready for what ever injury Keith had sustained.

My phone rang again, the call was unknown to me but I answered.

Man on the phone-Jennifer (no one calls me that)
Man on the phone I have your children


My heart stopped for that second and I will not lie I was scared.

Me-ummm ok
Man on the phone-I have R and J with me


Me-ok, how can I help you?
Man on the phone-here is O do you want to talk to her?


O-ummm dad is hurt we are just calling you to tell you that dad is hurt
Me-do you need me to come get him?
O-yes, we left him with C and we are coming back to get you
Me-I love you, be safe, and hurry back

Then I went to get the owners.  I left the little girls watching that movie, and walked over to their cabin.  I started to explain what I knew when O and R and J came running onto the campus.  O was able to tell me more, and locate Keith and C.  The owners did not have a 4 wheeler or any way of going down the path so I would have to meet them at a starting point.  I sent R back to keep the kids for me while O and I set about to collect the injured Keith and C.  We found them on the next mountain ridge over.  Keith was not looking good but he was walking.

***This is what happened***

They hiked a trail, but could not find the beach they were looking for, as they were heading back Keith went to take a small step off a ledge and set his foot in mud, as he put weight on the foot in the mud, it slipped out, he slid, and slammed his left ribs onto a tree stump, and then slid down landed in the mud and to quote O, “he sounded like ‘grape lady falls’ he kept saying ‘ow ow ow’ in that same sound.”  It took Keith a few minutes to get back up to the ledge where he sat for a few more minutes, trying to just breath, and not scare the kids.  C stepped up to take charge, when Keith was able to use his walking stick to stand up and manage a few steps, C sent the kids on ahead to get help {me} and stayed behind with Keith.  They began a slow and steady return to the parking lot while O, R and J came back, running when they thought they heard people.  {Usually on their hikes, they run into lots of people… not this time}  When they were close to the parking lot, O took off running again to see if she could find help, at that same time the boys found a family and called me.  When O saw them talking to a family she ran back to them.  Talked to me for a minute, after that phone call I went to try and get help.  O, R and J, then came back to the campus where we were staying.  I took PS back to our cabin where R took over with the kids while O directed me to the parking lot that Keith and C would eventually end up at the end of their hike.
Keith and C were waiting for us.  I watched as Keith stood bent over waiting, I could not see any injury.  C had Keith take off his shirt so the shirt would not rub against the 4 inch long 2 inch wide raw area on his side.  It was in his rib cage so I was not too worried about a spleen injury but my knowledge of anatomy is limited.  I could, however tell he was in fact really hurting.  He winced as I drove, or actually coasted down the mountain and back up as we went back ‘home’ I did not press the gas but every bump or jiggle had him cringing and gasping out in pain.
When we got back to the cabin I sent the kids down to the grandparents cabin so I could clean up the area and assess the injury.  He was in more pain than I have ever seen him, I had to help him stand to clean the wound, then determined that now was the best time to shower while the muscles were hot, and more relaxed.  I felt awful because I could see how he was suffering.  After I started his water I sent C down to the grandparents, with a snack and instructions to keep everyone down until I called them back.  I told Keith ‘don’t be a hero, do we need to go to urgent care now at 2pm in the daylight and get help?  I did not want to drive to the hospital in the dark.’  He declined treatment and the kids came back.  After a very painful evening and restless night I called the grandparents, I asked them to keep an eye on the kids while I took Keith to urgent care.  The trip down to the nearest town usually takes 45 minutes, this time it took 90 minutes.  I went super slow on the 6 miles off our mountain, and on the winding, mountain edge, single lane highway, God showed His favor, only 2 times on the way down and once on the way back home did I have to pull over to let cars pass me.  He kept the traffic away so I could drive with care to keep Keith comfortable.
Urgent care was wonderful, the doctor had x-rays taken right away, and determined that he cracked a rib.  Offered a stronger pain-killer and released him with instructions not to pick up anything, pull or push anything and not to LAUGH.  Which is quite difficult with our family.  He spent the rest of the week moaning Ow Stop, Stop.  We never realized how funny our kids were, little A had him begging to get away, she says some funny things.  C, O and R were like a comedy routine each evening while we played games.IMG_1657

This is where he spent the week, in the recliner, thankfully he had plenty of books to read!

IMG_1670The porch swings hurt too much to sit in. he could not relax and breathe the mountain air.

A week later and he is still in pain,struggling to shift in his seat, and get off the couch.  It will heal, we know, but it will take time.  My stubborn husband drove for 10 hours on the way home before finally admitting how much pain he was in, letting me drive the final 2 hours.  We are waiting now for the copy of the x-ray so our chiropractor can check it out, he is sore all over and is anxious for an adjustment!

 I need to give praise to my in laws, they never batted an eye or made a complaint when I sent the kids down to them, or when I asked them to keep an eye out for the kids while I took Keith to town, they were so helpful with the kids since Keith was trapped inside and I had a fussy baby and injured husband to care for!

What about you, ever crack a rib?  How long until you were feeling better?
Go hug your kids, time with loved ones is just too short.

A Day Late and A Dollar Short

Ok I feel like I am a day late and a dollar short most of the time…

Why this time?
Oh because I had 2 great blog ideas, even had one started about “why can’t I tell my girls they ARE pretty, as well as telling them they are smart and can do anything”, but this morning when I was checking up on current events via Facebook, I saw that some important or more famous than me {ok I think all bloggers are more famous than me…} blogged about it.  At least that is what the title implied.  I did not read it because I was on my phone.  Keith has graciously let me borrow his lap top since my computer died, but this week he resumed his doctorate classes {he took off from after PS’ birth until this week.  And he needed his lap top all week,} like I said, since I was on my phone I did not read the blog.  My observation with the “tell them they can do anything, but don’t focus on their beauty movement”  Is that we are all made in God’s image, we are all fearfully and wonderfully made, he knit us together in our mothers womb, how can that not be beautiful, how can anything God has created not be a thing of beauty?  For centuries beauty has been acknowledged.  Each culture views beauty differently, but we all see it.  So why can’t I compliment my daughter on both her beauty and her brains?  I am limiting them to being mindless women who stare at their reflections IF I am complimenting them on their beauty, women who cannot accomplish anything important because they only want to be beautiful?  How about we as mothers, {I’d include fathers but I don’t even think Keith reads this…} compliment them on their beauty, their abilities, their brains, and ideas?  Why should we let the media and society and the well-meaning friends on FB tell us we should only compliment them on things they accomplish?  Why are we letting them decide what we tell our girls.  Personally I like to be told I look nice, as much as I like to be complimented on a job well done, an idea that worked, a plan that was successful.  So while I am going to tell my girls they are smart, and they have good ideas, I will teach them to use power tools, and tell them they are beautiful.

What was the 2nd great idea???
I honestly can’t remember,  I wish I was joking, the idea came to me this morning while I was trying to convince PS to take a nap, but by the time she fell asleep all I could remember was that I ‘had’ a great idea.

So you see, a day late and a dollar, or two short…

Here is a little lunch time conversation to make you smile.
I am not a short order cook, I make dinner with the best intentions but it is take it or leave it.  And by leave it I mean, get your own bowl of cereal and quit crying about dinner.  Anyway, lunch time is different, the kids have various ways of enjoying a peanut butter sandwich.  C likes 2 with honey not jelly to squish between his teeth, O takes 1 please with grape jelly cut in triangles, R does not care if I cut it but please creamy pb and jelly not honey.  J is a honey kid, creamy pb and he has no preference to the cut,  E always wants a whole sandwich pb ONLY but never manages to eat an entire one.  And little A prefers her PB sandwich witHout bread.  A small spoonful of pb and she is a happy girl.  {some times if she is really hungry she eats 2 spoonfuls, I get a clean spoon, don’t worry.  Not that she does when she decides to eat a whole jar of pb.}  Earlier this week I was going through the options, what fruit, what crunchy, and so on for lunch.  I started with little A.  She requested a pb sandwich {translation spoonful of pb} with some Cheerios.  I thought it odd, moved on to the next child and then set about making plates of food.  I brought little A’s plate to her she took one look there was a spoonful of pb, some chocolate covered raisins and a pile of Cheerios on her plate, she loudly told me “that is not what I want”  I laughed, looked up at C and said, you asked for Cheerios, she said “no I asked for the orange chips with my lunch” I said “no baby you asked for Cheerios”  C agreed with me and E said “no she wanted Doritos”  so, actually she ‘meant’ Doritos but asked for something entirely different.  I was confused since she has never enjoyed Cheerios even as a finger food baby.  Lest you think I have forgotten Keith, he likes 2 crunchy pb on toasted bread with gloppy jelly and big piles of pb oozing out of the toasted bread.  I could not cut it if I tried.

What about you?  How do you like your sandwich.  My sister says any sandwich made by someone for her tastes better than if she makes it herself.  I say she has an inner princess that wants to come out.

Go hug your kids, they need your love.

A Little Free Fun in July

Ahhh Summer

Summer time when days are long and hot.  And by hot, too hot for the kids to play outside HOT.  Which is okay since it has rained and rained and oh yeah rained.  We spent 4 days stuck inside all afternoon and evening, at one point I complained {ok I’m sure I complained more than once} and asked for suggestions.  My mom. I love her, suggested the Library.  Seriously, the LIBRARY???  we were bouncing off the walls, and she suggests going into a place that necessitates calm and quiet with 4 kids who were bouncing off the walls?  We did not go, I did not want to get kicked out.
Swimming must be done in the morning or evening, and in the evening the mosquitoes are swarming.  We spend all evening outside smacking and scratching.  So in order to avoid the heat, rain and mosquitos we had to look for some fun.

10478665_10202844503646445_837559294424137309_nWe had a package arrive.  It was wrapped in the ‘good stuff’ big popping bubble wrap.  It was so loud we just sat and watched, PS did not mind as long as her ears were covered.  {The package was a new bed frame side board, since the big boys were playing swords and ‘fell’ on the bed breaking it in half}IMG_1517Did you participate in Cow Day at Chick-fil-a?  We painted and pinned and even spray glued on cow spots.  {C ate earlier he had to work}  It was so crowded at the one we went too, so we just ate and left, no play time in the play place for us.IMG_1519Also free on 7-11 was the SLURPEE !  We went from a free dinner to free SLURPEES they were cold, refreshing and FREE.  I had banana/watermelon, I think I need another one soon.IMG_1520Guess what flavor she had???
IMG_1521Guess what flavor he had???

This was at the Krispy Kreme right before they told us they are out of donuts.  How can you have a donut day but not have any donuts???

The big boys and I took a day, J, E and A went to their grandmas for the day and PS went to her aunt’s house for a few hours.10526613_10204919333249335_592910117_nWARNING Do Not give the boys swords in their burgers and expect them to not break out in a sword fight at some point in the meal {sorry it is a cruddy shot I was laughing at them and the worker who totally ignored the small war in front of him.}  And we have found that swords lead to broken things in our house…

R has been collection Books A Million gift cards for the last 3 years.  He had accumulated $140 in gift cards.  After burgers, a sword fight, and dropping C off at work, we went to spend the gift cards.10543753_10204918365545143_2089944367_nAt one point I looked up to see THIS.10543783_10204918365625145_706775132_nA giant squirrel in BAMM.10555206_10204918365585144_349529839_nWhat does a squirrel read?
13 books later with some $ still left on the gift cards, we left to rescue my sister, PS was a disgruntled child.

What about you?  Did you go to get free chicken, free Slurpee or even a donut special?
Go hug your kids, summer is marching on and will be over before we know it.

21 Years Down and Many More to Go

Happy 21 years
21 years
7670 days
That is a long time

I have been married longer than I was single.
I have been married more than half my life.
I have been married for a long time.

What does 21 years of marriage look like?
21 years of walking together
20 summer vacations
19 home remodel
18 years of parenting
17 musicals or play seasons attended and survived
16 somethings???
15 different somethings???
14 years of being outnumbered
13 summers of basketball camp
12 seats in our van
11 years of pool upkeep
10 well 1095 weeks of marriage
9 years as assistant principal
8 beach vacations
7 vehicles
6 overseas trips
5 new couches
4 surprise pregnancies
3 different addresses
2 broken bones
1 dog

I’m sorry
I love you
quiet moments
moments of chaos

That is what our 21 years look like…  I would not trade it for anyone else’s 21 years.

go hug your kids and look back on the good in your life.  Please tell someone how important they are, life is just too short.



Today is Brought to You By the Letter ‘B’


As in Big Job
As in Baby PS
As in giggles with Beda

Big Job
C needed a job this summer, college is not going to pay for itself {said in an annoying voice} although he did qualify and get a 50% scholarship, that still left money due.  In effort to avoid student loans, and become self-reliant, C went on a job hunt.  Ok, I lie, he did not go on a job hunt, he applied for a few places online, and nothing came back to him.  Then we heard about a few places, so he went.  Wouldn’t you know it 2 places offered him a job.  That was a hard decision for him to make, we let him think about it, he did come to each of us asking advice, and we offered some advice but would not tell him which job to go with.  Either job was really suited for him, he would have enjoyed either of them, I think.  But, one job just was a little more enticing.  I am actually glad he thought the choice out, knowing that this will help him as an adult not sell out for a job he does not enjoy just because the paycheck is higher.  He is working at Rocket Fizz.  He began working before they opened, so he spent days working with the owner, and manager stocking the shelves, washing windows, fixing minor computer problems, and sampling the defective products.IMG_1489The, new to our city, Pop {soda} and Candy Store.
Rocket Fizz
Do you have one near you?
IMG_1488Rocket Fizz

So IF you live in my town, stop in say hello to him {It freaks him out when my friends say hello, and he does not know who they are}
Check out the fun candies and try a buffalo wing pop, but don’t forget the ranch pop to go with it.  {I’m not sure that they have a celery pop to go along?}
He said they carry 64 different brands of root beer and they have a wall full of cream sodas.

Baby PS10417725_10202835257175289_592769523667207308_nGuess who is 6 months old
10lbs 12 ozs
rolling from tummy to back
2 bottom teeth
{we are trying out the amber teething necklace I’ll post a blog about that soon}
mamma’s girl
loves her pink ball, muslin swaddling blankets, books and her brother R
all her dark hair fell out and she is covered with blonde chicken fuzz

Beda10446483_10202844573968203_8704135474063574730_nGiggles with her Beda.

Enjoy your summer we are, the kids have been swimming at least once a day, their hair is becoming straw, so I will pull out the swimmers shampoo and give their hair a break before it starts to break.

Go hug your kids, and celebrate the 4th of July with a bang!



How Many Hours Does It Take To Fill A Prescription???

After our release from the Hospital, we went home, where else would we go?  The doctor prescribed some pretty heavy-duty antibiotics for PS, she called in a prescription to our Publix, we just needed to pick up at some time during the day.

10445444_10204691693878493_8478393076611321721_nWe came home
Happy Fathers Day
Keith took the kids out to dinner while I stayed home to disinfect the house, and wash up everything that went to the Hospital.  {Hospital Germs scare me}  Every hard surface at home was wet down with Clorox wipes.  After 2 loads of laundry and the whole house wipe down, I nursed PS, I was getting snoozy in the quiet house.  After she fell asleep I went on FB to chat with a friend, she told me to look something up, I opened Keith’s laptop and stretched out on the bed falling slap asleep before I could type in Google.
I slept for a few hours until Keith’s lawn mowing
{again Happy Fathers Day}
and the kids playing woke me up.  I took care of a few more things then went to pick up C from work.  We circled the outdoor mall for a little bit waiting for him, came home to chat with Keith while he was attaching stone bricks to the sides of the front porch
{again Happy Fathers Day}
before remembering that neither of us picked up PS’ medicine.
{We were told IF she did not take it she would likely end up back in the hospital almost immediately}

I hurried with J to Publix, which on Sundays close their pharmacy at 6pm.  It was 6:35.  I called the doctor’s office to talk to the after hours answering service, explained my problem and asked if they could just have the doctor call it in to a different Publix.  I went back inside to ask at the customer service what the phone number for a different Publix was.  Only I had to call the office after hours answering service again to tell her that All Publix grocery store pharmacies close at 6 on Sundays.

While I sat in the van in the parking lot, frustrated, tired and worried, I called Keith to tell him what was happening.

J~So, Publix closes their pharmacy at 6 on Sundays.
K~What are you going to do?
Me~I’ve called the doctor to see if she can call it in someplace else
Me~any ideas
K~I was thinking fried chicken
Me~ click

So, J and I went back into Publix to get fried chicken
{again Happy Fathers Day}
and Velveeta shells and cheese.  As I was at the deli counter the dr called back.
I left J at the deli counter to get our sliced turkey and went to stand at the door where I could hear her.  As she is talking to me I realize J has followed me out…
I told her my problem, she laughed it off and asked where else I could go.  Walgreens, there is one about 6 blocks from my house.  She hung up on me to call it in.

J and I left Publix with Keith’s Fathers Day fried chicken, pulled into Walgreens and went inside.  I made my way to the back corner with J in tow, only to see the big metal gate closed and the sign on the gate instructing us to go to another one.


I left and called the doctor’s office to talk again to the after hours answering service to again get a hold of our doctor.  If you are keeping count this is call # 3 to the after hours service.

Now I was home, I left the bags of food on the table and went to my room to wait for the doctor to call.  I told her that the Walgreens near me the pharmacy was closed, and I was so sorry but could she call it into the Walgreens by the hospital whose pharmacy was open 24 hours.  {Smart planning on their part}  Sure enough she could.  But right before I hung up Keith said it had to be filled at Publix{something with our insurance}  Thankfully I did not have to call back to the after hours people, 4 times is too much in one night.

As I was telling the doctor it had to be Publix, I remembered that our hospital actually has a Publix pharmacy inside.  She hung up with the promise to call that Publix, and we laughed together at all the pharmacy calls I would be getting on Monday.

O decided to go along with me.  We went back to the hospital this time to collect PS’ medicine.  At the pharmacy I had to explain the issues I was having.  He had to go in and change a few things since the Pharmacy I normally go to had already filled the order, and now I was trying to pick up the same order.  After 30 minutes they called us up to the counter.  Gave me the prescription, and took my money, I had to pay in full since the other pharmacy had, in addition to filling my order, also charged my insurance.

We drove home from the hospital to find Keith pacing around the house with a half fussy, half asleep baby.  I opened the packaging to give her the medicine and noticed it was not shaken because I could see the powder in the “suspension liquid”.  when I shook it I noticed that the whole thing was powder that they had forgotten to add the distilled water to it.  I called them back, this time I know I spoke nicely but I was so tired, worried and frustrated.  The pharmacist on the phone asked if I was close to the hospital.  My answer “it does not really matter how close I am, we still need the medicine.”

So back we drove to get the water added to the powder to finish making our baby better.

In all it took 3 hours to get a prescription.

What about you?  Ever have one of those days when nothing goes as planned, a simple task takes 3 hours to complete, and you feel like you lost no matter what you accomplished.

Go hug your kids and tell someone you love them, it will make you feel better.

More Time in the Hospital

On a recent Sunday after church PS had a little fever, R was the first to notice.  “Mom PS has a little fever, she is warm”  Me…”she was sleeping in her basket, so she was cozy and warm, it is nothing.” O took her from me and said “she is warm.”   When we got home from church R again commented “Mom PS is still warm.”  My answer, “she was just in her car seat it is hot out even with the air running, she is fine.”  He laid her on my bed and I began making lunches.  Keith was at a meeting.  PS became too fussy for me to continue, O obediently took over making lunch, I picked up PS, who was indeed “warm”  I took her temp with my, new to this baby, thermometer, which lights up green and the temp for good, yellow and the actual temp for getting warm, and red with the temp for bad.  She was nice and yellow.  I think it was 100.1, so I called the doctors after hours number to find out how much Tylenol per weight I could give her.  I posted a comment on Facebook, some of my friends suggested teeth…  seriously?  She is 5 months, adjusted age is 4 months.  Too early for teeth.  I assumed it was just a cold from a party the day before.
With the Tylenol her fever never went away, it never dropped into green, she became more lethargic and miserable.
By Tuesday baby PS was miserable.  IMG_0043M IS ER ABLE
We were not sleeping just snoozing hot and needy in my arms.  I took her to the doctor because her temperature was going high and I was getting concerned.  (we were averaging 102 with meds)  He checked her out and said she had an ear infection in both ears.  We were sent home with instructions to call back if the fever continues, gets higher, or she has a sudden change.  I picked up her medicine, and went home.  After about 20 hours we saw a slight improvement, but by hour 24 she was worse than before.  I sat up all night holding her and was positive she was not breathing enough.  On Thursday morning out of sheer exhaustion I laid her on the couch and made lunches for the kids going to music camp.  I asked Keith to check and see if she was breathing.  It was not looking good.  At 8:01 exactly I called the doctor’s office.  I wanted a nurse to call me and I needed to see her doctor.  The receptionist was exceptional.  She gave me the first appointment she could, with the nurse practitioner, I did not care I took it.  She got my information for the nurse to call me back.  After 2 minutes she called me again, instructed me to call 911 if the baby stopped breathing and was changing my appointment from the nurse practitioner to a doctor.  I gladly switched and took it.  About 5 minutes later I was talking to the nurse, we hung up and the receptionist called me again, my doctor had an opening did I want to see him instead of the one I did not know.  YES.  I must interject I LOVE my kids doctor, the office staff is great, the nurses are kind and helpful and the doctor is worth seeing for 18 plus years now.  {Today I learned how old he is and realized that he might retire before PS is out of the pediatrician age}

We arrived for our appointment, the nurse getting us in our room took one look at PS, took her temperature which was over 103 and said “the doctor will be right in.”  He was in fact RIGHT in.  He took a look, and a listen, handed me our papers and said “there is a room waiting for her at the hospital.  You need to go now.”  I asked if I could stop off at home and get some clothes, he gave me 5 minutes.  I went from 1 end of town to the other with a stop at home in less than 30 minutes.  {I knew at this point things were bad}

When we arrived at the peds floor, there was a nurse waiting for us.  She took us to our room, and promptly put a face mask on.  After only a few minutes they were putting an IV into PS, she never fussed or cried and did not actually whimper, but looked at me with eyes slit open.  {This is when I knew it was really bad}.  They took some blood and another swab from her nose and took us back to our room.  I held her and answered questions while they began plugging her into machines and putting heart and breathing patches on her.  She was hooked up to the pulse-ox machine,I was reminded of the beeps in the NICU.

IMG_1455Soon all the workers came into our room in masks.  Everyone who came into our room was suited up in hazmat suits, with full-out coverings, from foot to top of their heads, the food service and other hospital service people would not even come into our room.

It was a rough couple of nights and days in the hospital.

IMG_1460The meds and IV fluids made her puff up.  She went from having the tabs on her diaper overlap to having over an inch between the tabs.  IMG_0048Our view was the helipad which the kids found exciting.IMG_1451I did a whole lot of sitting in that rocking chair while I was there.  I will say I was thankful that it was more comfortable than the rocking chair in the NICU but again the arm rests were too high and my arms frequently fell asleep.IMG_1469Some of the kids came daily to visit.IMG_1470On Friday they ate dinner and we watched a movie in PS’s room, until visiting hours ended, then Keith took them home to finish the movie.IMG_1474The kids held on her and kissed on her during their visits.  IMG_1475They were really worried about her.IMG_1483We only had 1 official visitor, the sweet daughter of a good friend.  She is a hospital transporter, she moves patients from room to testing to the OR to room.  She is a sweet girl and if you ever need to have a transport be nice, they hear so much from your drug induced state…

IMG_0065PS was diagnosed with RSV and bacterial pneumonia and 2 ear infections.  She was a very sick little baby.

She managed to stay off oxygen but only by 1 number.  She had her heart rate drop down a few times, but it was determined that she was actually “bearing down” before coughing which was causing the dips in her heart rate.   I spent a full night standing up comforting her, and then was able to nap a few times the next 2 nights.IMG_1484By Saturday she was starting to feel better which is great because Keith and I had plans to meet a new teacher and family.  My sister came to watch her and wore a mask.  {She had to take it off after a while because it kept steaming up her glasses.  She was careful not to catch PS’s germs since she is on baby watch of her own.  We are just waiting for her BM to go into labor, and she did not want to be sick for her baby’s arrival.
{This was 2 weeks ago, baby girl is still not here and Ellen did not ever get sick}IMG_1472We had a lot of bonding during our stay.  Just the 2 of us for most of the time.IMG_1478By the time we were ready to check out PS was looking and feeling so much better.  Those piles of cords were in such a tangle no matter how I held her it was a spaghetti noodle mess.IMG_1485She noticed TV for the first time while in the hospital and was cracking me up laying like a big kid watching a zebra cartoon.10445444_10204691693878493_8478393076611321721_nHappy Fathers Day!
She was released on Fathers Day.  Needless to say all my clever plans were a bust,  We came home to sleep while Keith took most of the kids out for lunch.

Our experience with RSV was scary.  We are so thankful she never needed oxygen, and that the heavy antibiotics they gave her in her IV helped as fast as they did.  She had her 2 week check up and is completely healthy.  Which is wonderful.  I am so thankful for all the friends who were praying for her.

Go hug your kids, we were reminded of exactly how fragile life is.

P.S.  If you are counting we are now on 27 days of hospital this year.