Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Happy Ninth Birthday!

Nine years ago, last night, I was hard at work at the Internal Revenue Service.  I started to feel some contractions coming on.  I went to the nurse's office and we timed them.  I was allowed to go home.  That would be the last time I would work there.

Upon my arrival home, I called my midwife.  She gave me some advice to see if they would lessen or go away.  I took the advice, which included a warm/hot bath.  I love hot baths, couldn't pass that up.  The contractions seemed to not be as bad.  So, I went to sleep.  I had contractions throughout the night, but I was able to get a decent night of sleep. 

First thing in the morning, I woke up and headed to her office.  I didn't even make an appointment.  I didn't want to waste any time.  When I got in to see her, it was determined that I would give birth in a matter of a couple of hours.  I had to go and get my husband from work and head directly to the hospital.  I also had to find someone to watch my 13 month-old son. 

I started calling people frantically.  There was no one that would answer my phone, except for my Visiting Teacher from church, Sister Pryzbyla.  She had a baby herself and she didn't know if she could make it.  As the nurse was getting ready to bring me down to the operating room to deliver my baby via C-section, Sister Pryzbyla walked through the door.  If she hadn't been able to make it, my husband was going to stay with my son while I gave birth.  She was such a Godsend.  It was wonderful to have my husband by my side. 

My beautiful baby girl was born at 12:07 pm.  She cried immediately at birth.  Hearing her cries made me cry.  My son hadn't cried at birth.  They brought her over the curtain so I could see her and then brought her out to be cleaned up and everything.  My husband asked me if he could go and I said yes.   He went and hung out with our baby girl.

The next time I saw her, she had a bow in her hair.  Well, she had a serious lack of hair, so it was more on her scalp, but it was there.  She looked amazing.  Her feet were turned inward.  The nurse was concerned that she had club feet.  When the doctor came and took a look, she said that her feet would be fine.  It must have just been the way she was positioned in the womb.  I was told to hold her feet flat whenever I could.  This became a regular event whenever I was holding her.  Her feet are perfect.

The first time her "big" brother saw her, he got the biggest smile.  You could tell there was a recognition.  He remembered her well from the pre-existence.  He was excited to see his little sister again.   They have been best friends ever since. 

Fast forward several years, she is an amazing girl.  She has a marvelous smile.  She is very outgoing.  She can make a friend wherever she goes.  She is a great leader.  She enjoys playing school with her siblings.  She is the teacher.  She makes certificates for them.  They do art class, reading, and other fun things.  She was in her first theater production last year.  She did great.  I would have passed out.  I do not enjoy being in front of a crowd.

I was blessed to have her join our family nine years ago today.  I believe you can love someone before you ever see them.  I have done it four times with my own children.  I have done it several more times with my nieces and nephews and younger siblings.

Happy Ninth Birthday to my Little Beauty!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Happy 110th Birthday Crayola Crayons and Chance to Win a Trip!

I remember many times, as a child, pulling out a big pack of Crayola Crayons and a coloring book, or a blank piece of paper, and passing time.  Crayola Crayons have been around a really long time.  They are almost as old as my Great-grandma would be, if she were still alive.  She lived to be 100 years-old.  She lived in three millenia.   She was born on July 31, 1899, and passed away on January 9, 2000.   It is funny to think that she was around when the first Crayola Crayon was introduced.  I was really close to her and the stories she would tell were amazing.  I didn't realize that she was older than Crayola, or I would have asked her about when she got her first Crayola Crayon.

With that being said, Crayola Crayon is celebrating their 110th Birthday.  Happy Birthday!
Here is some information I received from Crayola to share with you, my readers.  If you enter the sweepstakes, good luck!  Please let me know if you enter.  It would be really cool to have one of MY readers win!  :)

To celebrate their 110th birthday, the 8 original crayons are throwing a birthday bash at the new fun-omenal Crayola Experience, the world's only interactive Crayola family attraction. Right now, they're out on a colorful adventure to spread the news, and you're invited to join the fun!

 How can you join in on the fun? You can FOLLOW the crayons on their adventure, LEARN more about each color and enter to WIN a trip for 4 to celebrate their birthday and the Grand Opening of the all new Crayola Experience this coming May, 2013!

Visit the Crayola Facebook page and click "enter now" for your chance to be first in line when the Crayola Experience reopens.

The new Crayola Experience features four floors of new interactive exhibits and one-of-a-kind attractions that will bring the magic of color and your child's creativity to life! The winner will be among the first to experience the fun, along with a three- night, all-expenses paid stay. It's an experience your kids will never forget - and neither will you!

Disclosure:  Crayola provided me with the information that is posted about the Crayola Experience and their giveaway!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Fertilizer Plant

The news has been a bit overwhelming lately.  My children have seen the Boston Marathon Bombing, the explosion of the Fertilizer Plant, the search for and capture of the Boston Marathon suspect.  I have tried to explain things to them at a level I think they can understand.

I learned yesterday that I was far off on the explanation of the Fertilizer Plant.  My ten year-old son, as my husband, both sons, and my toddler were pulling into a Wal-Mart parking lot, asked me what kind of plant is a "Fertilizer Plant."  I told him that it is just a fertilizer plant.  That was the kind of plant it was.  He asked how a plant could cause such a big explosion.  I told him that it was because fertilizer is flammable.

He then asked me something, to the effect of, why would someone grow a FERTILIZER plant if it is so flammable.  I quickly answered, before thinking, that they had the fertilizer plant so people could grow things and have fertilizer.  I then realized what he had been imagining.  He thought that someone put a plant in the ground that grew fertilizer.  He further thought that this plant exploded after catching fire and caused all the damage.  He couldn't understand why anyone would ever have such a plant.

My husband and I then explained to him that this "plant" was another name for a factory.  It was place where they made/stored fertilizer, which is very flammable.  It soon made sense to him.  I never thought that he would be imagining an actual tree or other kind of plant.  I wondered how many other people had this vision in their head.

So, tonight at dinner, I asked my 8, soon-to-be 9, year-old daughter, what kind of plant she thinks a fertilizer plant is.  She was the only child that wasn't with us yesterday, so I just wondered if she knew.  She told me it must be something really hot, maybe a jalapeno plant.  We then explained to her the same concept that it was a building, where someone works, that is called a plant.  This made much more sense to her, as well.

I just wonder how many times, we as adults, assume that children understand that there are some words that have double meanings.  I was glad that my son finally asked us about what kind of plant it was.  He had been somewhat (considerably) concerned about the plants that could do so much damage and kill so many people.  We were at Wal-Mart to buy seeds to start our garden.  I just wonder if he was trying to make sure we weren't going to buy one of the "fertilizer plants."

I am in no way trying to make light of the explosion that killed and injured so many people,  I am just trying to say that children might not understand everything they are hearing about these days.  I realized I need to be a bit more thorough in my discussion with them.  I was thankful that he felt like he could ask more questions and get answers.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

"Let Go" and "Get Up"

My toddler has started to use sentences.  She may have been using sentences for a long time, but I can finally understand two of her sentences.  They are "Let go!" and "Get up!"  She makes a lot of very interesting sounds, which I am sure she thinks I can understand, but I just can't.

Last night I understood her perfectly when her five year-old brother had one of her legs pinned down with his leg.  She yelled at him, "Let go!"  I could understand it, so I told my son to let her go.  This morning, my ten year-old accidentally sat on her leg.  She once again proclaimed, "Let go!"  He laughed and asked me if I heard what she just said.  I said yes.  It was very clear.  When my daughter came in, he grabbed my toddler by the arm and told my eight year-old daughter to listen.  When my toddler yelled, "Let go!" The kids got a good laugh out of it.

She also knows exactly what she wants.  If she can't get it, for example, it is in the refrigerator, she will come over to me and say "Get up!"  I will take her by the hand and she will lead me to where she wants to go.  She enjoys being able to bring me places she wants to go in the house.  She likes that she can let me know what she wants.  It is nice that she is getting to an age where she can communicate some of her wants to me.  

It is fun seeing how all of the children interact with each other.  The children will all sit together and watch a show.  They will play roll the ball.  They range in age from 1 1/2 to 10 years-old, but they all enjoy playing together.  They will watch shows together.  My toddler's favorite show seems to be "Spongebob Squarepants."  She has watched it since birth because that is a favorite of all the children.  

After the events at the Boston Marathon yesterday, I pondered, once again, how fragile life is.  A young child, age 8, was murdered as explosions went off.  His sister became an amputee and his mother suffered a brain injury.  This all happened as they waited for the father/husband to cross the finish line.  Many months, if not years, went into this man's training.  Many hours, much dedication!  I know the excitement the children were feeling as they waited for their daddy to cross the finish line.  I know the pride the mother was feeling as she waited for her husband to cross the finish line.  Everything changed in a second.  It just isn't right!

I am a runner.  I am not a fast runner, but I am a runner.  I have finished two marathons.  My children, at the end of my second marathon, were waiting for me about 20 yards from the finish line.  My husband and mother were there too.  They were holding signs, cheering me on.  As I crossed the finish line, they were there.  They were giving me hugs and telling me how proud they were of me.

If the explosions had happened at the marathon I ran, my three children (at the time), my husband and my mother could have been injured or dead.  That was my thought as I watched, repeatedly, the coverage from yesterday.  When I saw how close it was to the finish line, I knew there would be injured children.  Children are always at the finish line waiting for their parent(s) to cross the finish line.  My children were my biggest supporters!  I spent hours a week running.  They would spend that time with their grandparents, if my husband was at work, or they would spend it with my husband.  They never complained about the time I spent away.  They knew it was good for my health, both physically and mentally.

My heart breaks for the runners, their families, and all the spectators.  My heart breaks for Boston. Let us remember the fragility of life.  Let us love each other accordingly.  There is no reason for this to ever happen.  

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Thank Goodness for Strawberries Among Other Things

Strawberries, they are red, juicy fruit that taste really good.  They have also seemed to be a lifesaver for my toddler.  She is still recuperating from a one-and-a-half week illness.  She has started eating again.  She is a really big fan of the strawberry.  She has eaten at least a pound of them in the last day.  It is wonderful to see her delighting in food again, even if it is just a limited assortment.  She says "strawberry" in her own special way.  

There were a few days that I didn't know if she was ever going to eat again.  I was literally afraid that she was going to die.  I still nurse her, sorry if that is TMI, but I do.  She is eighteen months old.  I nursed my son who is now five, until a week before he turned two.  I think that the fact that she would nurse, and she nursed a lot, might have helped her keep up enough strength to play with her siblings in the evening.  

I expressed my fears of her dying to my husband.  He just thought I was being ridiculous.  She was obviously not on the brink of death, he would tell me, through my tears.  This is my husband, I firmly believe that his body must produce really strong anti-anxiety hormones, or whatever they would be.  He doesn't let things bother him.  I then called my mom, who was understanding.  I started with small talk and then I couldn't hold back anymore.  I told her how scared I was, through sobs, since my daughter hadn't eaten anything of substance in a couple of days.  I asked her if she had ever been scared.  She told me of course she had been.  She spoke of my youngest brother's chicken pox.  He had them really bad, I remember because I was 10, he was almost 1.  She made me feel better.  It is nice to know that I am not as irrational as I thought I might have been.

I then spoke and cried to my little sister.  She told me that if she had anything life-threatening, the blood work that had been done would have eluded to it.  That helped me out more.  My daughter, the next morning, woke up and wanted to eat.  She ate a couple of Teddy Grahams.  She then had some Gogurt.  She had some strawberries and some mashed potatoes that day.  She had some cereal too.  I was happy that she started to eat again.  She isn't completely back to normal yet.  She hasn't thrown up since Sunday, but she still has some stomach ailments.

Today, April 11, I started chatting with my husband 12 years ago.  It was a Wednesday.  It was a good day.  I am thankful to have him in my life.  I am blessed to have him as my eternal companion and the father to my four wonderful children.  23 years ago today I got my driver's license.  April 11 has been a good day for me.  I will hope it continues that way :)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Sickness...UGH

I have had someone sick in the house, almost daily, for over two-and-a-half weeks.  It isn't a fun sickness, not that any of them are, but it seems to spread like wildfire. 

My ten year-old woke up puking in middle of the night, first.  He felt better by about midday.  My husband was sick for about a week.  My brother, who came from Washington to visit, and my sister, got sick on Monday.  We blamed sushi they ate the night before.

By Tuesday, my toddler had started throwing up.  She had started to eat better on Saturday, so I was excited.  The puking was a huge setback as far as that goes.  By Thursday, I was throwing up.  On Friday, my toddler threw up again, and then again today.  My stomach felt like I was being stabbed repeatedly.  It was almost an unbearable pain. 

Today when my toddler threw up, it followed a bite of a fish stick.  She kind of acted like she was gagging or choking, and then came the puke.  I am wondering if she might have obtained a fish allergy.  I am going to have to watch that.

She was diagnosed with a sensory issue, where she doesn't want to swallow certain foods.  I am trying to figure out how to work my way through that.  It is quite disheartening to have made some progress with the eating, and then have her get sick.  She hasn't wanted to eat much since then but I keep trying.  I worry about her a lot.   I wish that she could talk

So far, my two middle children have avoided the illness.  I am hoping they can continue that.  Knowing the pain that it causes, I wouldn't wish it on anyone, especially them.

I just wanted to get caught up as to why I haven't been writing.