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Monday, November 24, 2008

It could be worse

Well, the germs seem to have finally run their course through my little family. In the end, we all came down with something at some point in the last two weeks except for Brian. He stayed healthy until he went camping with the scouts at which point he managed to mess up his right shoulder. He's been in a tremendous amount of pain for just over a week and he can't hardly use that arm at all.
Not a big deal for me, normally.
I mean, sure, I felt bad for him, but as long as the kids and I were getting better I could deal with his temporary handicap. Until...
The dishwasher stopped working, the van sprang a leak in the radiator, and the heating element in the oven fizzled out. Oh, and the cable TV stopped working this morning. And let's not forget that Christmas is coming.
I have to admit that I was feeling pretty sorry for myself Sunday morning. Between being sick for two weeks and having things breaking down right and left, I was pretty sure I had reached my limit. No more, I silently prayed, please no more!
One of the speakers in Sacrament Meeting read a children's story about a mouse who had a very bad day. He tripped and fell, stumbled into a hole and was stung by nettles. What he didn't see was the cat, the bird, and the snake that would have eaten him if it weren't for his misfortunes.
It could be worse. The kids are healthy, Brian's shoulder is getting better, we have hot running water that we can wash the dishes by hand with, the van got me home before breaking down and the microwave is still working. Heck, we even have a grill and a stove if we can't get the oven fixed quickly. Not to mention the extra exercise the kids and I will get from walking home from school instead of driving.
As it turns out, when I cultivate gratitude and look for the positives, my limit vanishes.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Chloe's sleepover

I wanted to thank everyone for your kind comments on my last Chloe blog. It helps so much to read your supportive and loving words. It's also tremendously helpful to hear that others are going through or have gone through the same thing. Thank you!

Chloe had her first slumber party Friday night. I probably should have canceled it for various reasons but she was really looking forward to it so I just couldn't say no.

Here's the kicker: Brian went camping with the scouts Friday night so it was me and six kids ages 9 and under.

So I just need to brag a little bit. I fed everybody dinner, we made pillows and cookies and everybody was in bed asleep by 11pm. The really great part is that everyone got along and had fun and I didn't lose my temper once.

I am so proud of me!

Sick again

Well, Kai and Graeme flip-flopped last week. Graeme had stomach issues and Kai's got a fever. It's hard when any of the kids get sick, but it's much worse with Kai because he's still a little guy.
I was fighting back tears as I put him in bed last night because he was so sick. His temperature was 104 (even though we alternated Tylenol and Motrin every three hours all day), he wasn't eating or drinking, he was really shaky and I had to carry him everywhere. Also, he slept most of the afternoon and evening but he still went right to sleep when I put him to bed. It was so scary! Honestly, I don't know how parents dealt with illness before modern medicine!

On the plus side, he actually slept until 8:30 this morning, drank juice and water and ate breakfast. His temperature is still 103 so he and I are home from church today, but he's definitely improving.

Yesterday as he was resting on the couch I would look into his feverish eyes and ask him how he was doing. The response was always "great". That is so Kai. He is definitely my happy angel baby.

After he got up this morning I fell to my knees and thanked my loving Heavenly Father for helping him through the night. I love my kids so much! Raising them is a nonstop challenge. I feel so terribly inadequate whenever a crisis arises but I can't stop thanking the Lord that these three precious spirits are mine!

Monday, November 10, 2008

My Chloe

Just when I'm starting to feel optimistic about my own insanity, Chloe's issues rear up and threaten to swallow me whole.
It's so hard to remember that she's only 9 years old. When Chloe is grouchy, a cloud descends over the whole house. When she's frustrated, there is an ominous rumble of thunder in the air and when she loses control and is overcome by her anger, lightning strikes and there is nothing left of our home but a pile of rubble.
Can you tell I'm feeling a little overwhelmed by her right now?
I love her with my whole being. My heart breaks to see her having to deal with all of this. I know how it feels to be drowning in your own emotions. I know how it feels to be convinced that the whole world hates you. I know how it feels to be so out of control that sitting still makes you dizzy.
I also know how wonderful it feels to finally reach solid ground, to finally accept love from others and to finally, finally, finally no longer be at the mercy of my emotions all the time. But how do I help her through this? She won't outgrow it, I never did, although I did have to grow up before I learned how to deal with it.
Oh, my Chloe!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Down with germs!

We've had some interesting illness at our house this week. Tuesday Kai threw up all day. He didn't get the whole "into the bucket not all over the couch" concept until the third time he barfed. Sigh. I am grateful that he eventually did get that particular concept, however. The funny thing was that in between episodes of projectile vomiting he was just fine. Really! He wanted to jump and play and have treats. I of course put the kaibosh on all of that. He seems to be much better now although he's still not eating much and he's acting really tired. He's actually napping right now!

On to Graeme. When I was helping in his class (also on Tuesday) he felt really warm to me but he also was acting just fine and I kind of had my hands full with Kai so I didn't think much about it until evening. I decided to take his temperature just to see and it turned out to be 104.5. Again, sigh. He's been on Tylenol and Motrin and home on the couch ever since. The odd thing is that he doesn't have any other symptoms and you'd never even know he was sick except for the whole temperature thing. Strange. I sure hope he's better by tomorrow because we signed him up for basketball and that starts tomorrow.

Chloe has the beginning of a stuffy nose but so far her temperature's normal. Keep your fingers crossed, we sure are. Brian and I are just exhausted of course. I tell ya, if I had known about this whole sick kids business I'm not sure how eagerly I would have signed on for this motherhood deal. I REALLY hate cleaning up vomit!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I survived Halloween!!!

Halloween was a heck of a lot of fun but I seriously didn't think I was going to make it. In the week leading up to this mother of all kid holidays, I helped sew for a musical production of "Little Women" (sorry, I don't have any pictures), I made a costume for an 11 year old girl (her mother actually paid me!)

and I made dinosaur costumes for my own kids.

Graeme the Triceratops
Kai the Carnatorous
Chloe the Parasaurolophus
This in addition to being in charge of Graeme's classroom Halloween party.

Halloween itself was worth all the effort, though. The party was a great success, the kids had a wonderful time trick or treating and I had lots of trick or treaters come to the door. I was very impressed with how polite they were (almost all of the kids said "thank you" with little or no prompting from their parents). No one destroyed our decorations or pumpkins and I didn't have any snotty teenagers dressed in sweats instead of a costume. All in all it was a fun day.
I'm awfully glad it's over, though.