Friday, February 27, 2009

Interview with a 4-year old

I saw this interview on a friend's blog and thought it was so funny that I had to try it with Sophie. I skipped a few questions because I thought they may have been a bit hard for her to answer. Some of these took a little prodding too. Her verbatim answers are in blue.

1. What is something mom always says to you? To be a good listener.

2. What makes mom happy? When I listen to you what you say.

3. What makes mom sad? Sometimes when I cry hard you say, "You're making me sad." (This stems from our stitches incident!)

4. How does your mom make you laugh? When you do silly things...silly faces.

5. How old is your mom? Ummmm....4?

6. How tall is your mom? Is it this big? (stretching out her index finger and thumb)

7. What is her favorite thing to do? I don't know.

8. What is your mom really good at? Doing hard things...hard games. Doing good things.

9. What does your mom do for a job? To clean up stuff and wash dishes and wash stuff.

10. What is your mom's favorite food? Vegetables.

11. What do you and your mom do together? Go out to have a special supper and a special lunch.

12. How are you and your mom the same? We have the same color hair. (???)

13. How are you and your mom different? I have different clothes.

14. How do you know your mom loves you? You say, "I still love you."

15. Where is your mom's favorite place to go? Exercise.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Grandma's 80th Birthday

My whole family travelled down south (a bit) to celebrate my Grandma's 80th birthday last weekend. My sisters and our families stayed with my Uncle Dwight and Aunt Carol in their gigantic house. Greg said it was better than a hotel! It's true. We had huge rooms to stay in, food a-plenty, a perfect little dog Rudy for the kids to chase around (sorry Rudy!), and Guitar Hero. What more could we ask for?

Cassie helping Sophie to get duded up for the party
Sophie and Aubrey coloring on placemats I made for the kids. There were at least 20 great-grandkids (out of roughly 50 people total), so the activity kept them from running around like hooligans...for about 5 minutes. Actually, Sophie literally did this all afternoon. She barely left her chair or looked up from the page. That's kind of how I respond to loud noise and chaos too.

Owen and my mom, Denna

Owen and Greg

Owen responded to all the chaos by hiding out in the hallway by the bathroom and watching from a safe distance.

He also really enjoyed the coloring sheet placemats. He also enjoyed coloring on himself.
Grandma Rosalie, the birthday girl, and my mom
My dad, Gordon, preparing to pray for lunch


Owen, Sophie and Aubrey. Aubrey's wearing a hat she made--another craft I brought along to keep the 20+ kids busy. That also occupied them for about 5 minutes.
This is the family picture of all who attended Grandma's party that day. It includes my Grandma, 5 of her sons and daughters, their spouses, the grandkids and spouses, and the great-grandkids. Four generations, and technically, there are even more of us. Two sons and their kids and grandkids were unable to attend. Amazing! Grandma said later that she's glad we didn't have an open-house. Can you imagine?!

About 2 minutes after I took this picture, right before we left, Owen was slumped forward and sleeping on my dad.
We spent the rest of our evening back at Dwight and Carol's house where I was coerced (finally!) into playing Guitar Hero for the first time. I made everyone leave the room, but they eventually all trickled back in to watch the spectacle of it all. I'm certain that I dragged Cassie down, but as I got the hang of it, I actually had fun with it.

Watching the slideshow of all the pictures we took at the party the day before.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Big Zoo

We went to the big zoo a while back with our buddy Aaron. I've been too busy to blog, so today I'm finally making the time to post some pictures of our fun day. Going to the zoo with a friend is WAY more fun than going with just your mom and little brother, by the way.
Little monkeys watching the monkeys
Owen just tagged along and did everything Sophie and Aaron did
Flamingos--one of my favorites at the zoo

How big is YOUR wingspan?

So sweet

So...ummm...not sweet
Dressing up in the discovery center

We have Legos at home, but this is what Owen chose to do anyway

By the end of the day, these were our favorite animal at the zoo...the Sea Otters. Those things are huge!

Monday, February 16, 2009


Breasts... boobs... "the girls"... whatever you want to call them... they need to be taken care of ladies!

On the day that I found out my mom had breast cancer, a church friend of mine was having a mastectomy for her breast cancer. My church friend, who is about 31, has a family history of breast cancer, so she had a mammogram done in the late Fall. Nothing showed up. A month or two later, she was doing a self-exam and actually felt a lump herself. Long story short, within about a week she was having a mastectomy and has now started chemotherapy.

Now, I have not ever been good at doing self exams. When my doctor asks me if I'm doing them, I mumble...yes...sometimes...when I think of it...bldbldlbldlbldl. She usually assures me that it's okay, I'm young, no family history, anything is better than nothing, etc. Well, "anything is better than nothing" isn't going to cut it anymore!

My church friend's diligence caught her cancer and she received treatment immediately. She's dealing with a mess of stuff right now, but think how much messier if she hadn't been doing self-exams. My mom's routine mammogram caught her cancer, as did her diligence in actually getting them done yearly as is recommended by doctors. She has had a lumpectomy and will be starting further treatment soon.

Am I being diligent? No. Are you being diligent? I hope so. But if not, maybe we can help each other out. Not with the actual exams, people...just in reminding each other to do them!!

Therefore, I am proposing that I will do my best to send out a reminder mid-month, each month, that it is breast self-exam day. My promise will be that I will not send out the reminder unless I have actually done my own exam, and I hope you will respond in kind by doing your own exam. Right then. While you're reading this blog. (Okay, those of you reading this at work/in public may have to wait a while) You only need one hand to move the mouse, you know. That way you won't forget. It only takes a minute anyway.

You can go here if you need some directions on how to do your exam correctly, or if you want to see some cartoon boobs you only wish you had.

Good luck, girls!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Strawberry Yogurt

Owen has been practicing his self-feeding skills lately. In fact, he will no longer eat the things he used to (mac & cheese, hotdogs, any noodles, etc.) unless given a utensil to scoop them with. Now I know that Greg and I have a reputation for avoiding messy hands at all costs (ie. eating everything with a fork!!), but I have purposely tried not to influence my kids in that way. They just come by it naturally, evidently!
Here is Owen eating yogurt--something that easily sticks to a spoon...unlike peas, which he tried last night.

He's getting so big!

Friday, February 6, 2009

It's only a flesh wound

We had a bit of excitement around here yesterday. It began with a crazy-long drive to a very northwestern suburb to get the kids' routine physicals done at a different clinic because ours is suffering water damage. While in the exam room, Sophie tripped and fell into the step at the base of the exam table and got cut between her two eyebrows. I knew immediately that a bandaid would not do the trick. I said a bad word (knee-jerk reaction to trauma, unfortunately), and Owen flipped out (not because of the bad word--Sophie's tears/crying upset him). Our doctor and nurse were instantly flurrying around taking care of us, but due to the location and depth of the cut, it was determined we should get it fixed at the children's hospital downtown.

Meanwhile, Sophie's draped across my lap doing the shuddering, post-sobbing breathing while Owen's wailing at my knees, naked, except for his diaper because we were in the middle of his exam. He got out of his shots, for now. Lucky him! Sophie was very brave and calmed down quickly and even happily ate a snack in the car on the crazy-long drive back to our house.

We stopped home to grab some supplies for Owen to be dropped off at Laura's house and for Sophie and I to be away from home for who knows how long. She only requested her blanket. While rushing about, I asked Sophie if we could take a picture to show Daddy what had happened. She said yes, and even posed, smiling. Go figure!

We dropped Owen off and headed downtown to the hospital, while I prayed the whole way...for various reasons. I hate to drive and especially park downtown, and I hadn't ever been to this hospital before. Plus, I knew that the worst was likely yet to come...

We got to the hospital/parking without incident and were able to walk right in and register. No waiting! Within moments, we were whisked away into an exam room with a lovely nurse/PA/Doctor (I don't even know what she was!) who explained everything to Sophie, relating it all to princess stuff. She was going to get some goo put on her face to make her owie go to sleep...she may even hear snoring...the woman was amazing! And Sophie was totally into it. We had to wait for the goo to numb her cut, so we had lunch while we waited.

After returning from lunch, we were onto phase 2 of the explanations...still related to princesses...but this time including "washing" and "blue Cinderella string to fix your owie." This is where the "worst was yet to come" happened.

When the time came to put Sophie on the table, she turned into a possessed version of herself and completely lost it. That finally did it for me too--I'd done so well until that point. They ended up having to strap her down, which was horrible to experience. She fought and cried/screamed so hard that she made herself sick and even burst little blood vessels in her upper-cheeks and eyelids. They look like tiny red freckles. That pretty much unhinged me. I tried to sing "Jesus Loves Me" with the help of the dear little student nurse who was also crying, as far as I could tell. I hope it wasn't her first day. Anyway, it was a pretty rough 10 minutes or so, though Sophie at least quieted down a bit after things got started.

As soon as the stitching was done, we unstrapped Sophie and she was instantly her quiet, sweet little self, though a bit strung out. She sat on my lap, watching her "Sleeping Beauty" DVD we'd brought along while she ate a popsicle the nurse gave her. And I bawled all through the "exit instructions." The paperwork lady looked at me kindly and said parents often take it worse than the kids. She had obviously been nowhere near our room about 5 minutes before that.

Though the actual 10 minutes of cleaning/stitching were horrific, the rest of the experience went so much better than it could have, and I am thanking the Lord for that. We were in a clinic full of medical people when the actual accident happened. We could not have gotten better or more immediate care than that. My friend Laura was home and able to take Owen for the afternoon--she lives 1 mile from my house. I don't know what I would have done without her! The children's hospital we went to is in our health insurance network--Greg checked while I was driving. The driving/parking was a piece of cake. We were seen immediately--no waiting! And even the registration lady was wonderful. (I heart Children's Hospital) No shots to numb the area (one of my dreads as we approached)--the magic goo was indeed magical. While we had to wait for the goo to work, we were able to get some lunch, a scheduling thing I'd had no idea would work out. The medical person who did the stitches was trained by a plastic surgeon (she told me). And until Sophie completely flipped out, she had been very brave and calm and uncomplaining. And I really have to say that I don't believe any of that "stuff" was an accident. The Lord was going ahead of our needs and preparing everything for us.

Here is the "after" picture that I took this morning.

I haven't really noticed any bruising or swelling. Just 6 little blue stitches.

And Sophie has carried on with her life as though yesterday never occurred. Another thing to thank the Lord for.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Shake What Your Mama Gave Ya

"I don't think you're ready for this body's too booty-licious for you, babe." - Destiny's Child

[One of my (secretly) favorite songs]

Monday, February 2, 2009

More Birthday Pictures

Sophie asked for a Strawberry Shortcake party months ago and continued to hold to that theme, so that's what we went with... even though she is in love with My Little Ponies...and even though we do not own one single piece of SS paraphernalia, nor have we seen any. Her one and only request was to have SS plates, and we were thankfully able to make that happen.

I made heart-shaped red velvet cupcakes and decorated them like strawberries.

The girls decorated their own treat bags with foam flower stickers. The mullet wig was a bit hit at this party.

The girls also got to make wooden-bead bracelets. They were over those in about 30 seconds and packed their pieces up in baggies to take home. Lesson learned.

Most of the girls ended up in dress-up outfits, including dresses out of Sophie's regular closet to accommodate the number of girls requesting to dress up.

Waiting in line to wash hands before lunch. Everyone got along quite well. Most of these girls know each other from church.

For lunch, I served little pizzas (made from rolled up crescent rolls with sauce inside), ham & cheese tortilla rollups (these were not a big hit--another lesson learned), strawberries with strawberry yogurt to dip them in, pink marshmallows, strawberry applesauce cups, strawberry fruit-rollups, and pink lemonade. I think the marshmallows may have been the favorite food. And the (very's winter here!) strawberries.
After opening each girl's present, Sophie posed with the gift-giver for a picture. I'll include each one here as many of their moms read this blog. We'll be sending these pictures as soon as I can get some stamps.
Sophie calls her "Church Lily." We did not know she existed until this year, and now Sophie is obsessed with her.
Noelle, another new friend we only discovered this year.

Cora, a buddy since time began.
Meg, another "since time began" friend. Meg's birthday is coming up in a few weeks.

Lydia, our neighborhood, we-do-everything-together friend.
Selma, another "since time....I think you're getting the idea. Most of these church girls' births were all within days/weeks of each other. Selma's party is this weekend.
Ella, another....yep, you guessed it. Her party's in a few weeks too.
Maya. Her birthday comes a little later (but not much), and we've been friends with her forever too.
Emma, a new friend. Her family is just back from the mission field, where Emma has always been. She had never heard of Strawberry Shortcake before this party.
Watching the present-opening action from the safety of the couch. Selma's holding her little brother while her mom helps out. We were so thankful for Sarah who stayed and ended up helping a ton. Thanks, Sarah!And finally, enjoying the cupcakes at the end of the party...on the much requested Strawberry Shortcake plates.
Greg was videoing the whole "Happy Birthday to you..." stuff, and in my haste to keep the cupcakes and lemonade coming, I forgot to take a picture of the blowing out of the birthday candle. Oh well, if you're up for an 11-minute video, maybe I'll post that someday.