Friday, March 30, 2012


Guess what?!

It's TWO days until my birthday!! 

I had to wait until Jack's birthday was officially over before I could start my own countdown. That left only 5 days in which to anticipate MY birthday.  Not as good as 31 days, but that's okay. I am working on being an adult about my birthday.

In honor of my birthday, I was given the best gift from a friend. She offered to watch Finn this morning so I could be ALL BY MYSELF.  I was giddy thinking of the possibilities: go on a walk, read a book, take a morning nap (what?!), just be home. But, as with life, plans changed. Instead of being all by myself, I have EVERYONE (including my lovely spouse) home today.


How did I go from complete alone time to surrounded by boys?  It started with a fever in Jack yesterday that kept him home from school, and because you have to be 24 hours fever free combined with him still sleeping at 9:00, home again today.  Then the car appointment that had my spouse working from home yesterday turned into an overnight event and meant that he might as well work from home again today. Seeing as how he was going to have to pick up the car sometime today anyway.

But the worst was Finn. I would have dropped him off anyway, brought Jack home, turned on a movie and pretended I was alone. But last night Finn broke out in little red spots.  And of course, I thought, CHICKEN POX! I even called my mom for a diagnosis.  Considering he had been exposed to shingles and chicken pox by way of Jack's school, I was sure that he had it. Then I googled chicken pox pictures. Whatever you do, don't do that! Unless you are like me and have some sort of serious obsession with gross skin lesion pictures. Seriously, one site even said: this page contains graphic and disturbing images. So of course I looked.

This morning, instead of heading into a nice bit of alone time, I found myself sitting at the doctor's with Finn. Good news, it is not chicken pox, not-as-good-of-news, she wasn't sure what it was.  But he shouldn't be contagious anymore.  She thinks.

Looking on the bright side, things can only get better, right?

Monday, March 26, 2012

On The Eve of Your Birthday

Dear Jack,

I just finished telling you the story of how you were born, giving you chin-kisses, and tucked you into bed. Tomorrow is your birthday and I am both happy and sad. I can not believe that tomorrow you will be seven years old.

I still remember 7 years ago waking up at 3AM with the first contraction. I knew within moments of waking up that this would be the day you were born. (How I wish I had been that sure with your brothers!) I tried to watch some episodes of Friends on DVD, but found that laughing while having a contraction was not much fun. Plus, I was lonely. I woke up your dad at about 5AM, not knowing he had only gone to bed moments before I woke up.  We sat together for awhile waiting, until an acceptable time to call Grammy.

Seven years ago, Easter was in March. The only time I can remember it ever being in March, and it was of course the day you were born. Instead of driving to Grammy's for Easter dinner, the whole family drove to our old house and set up shop.  I was sad to miss the ham and scalloped potatoes but so excited to know that you would be born on March 27th.

You see, March 27th was your due date, and I know most babies are not born on their due date but this was an important date to me. It was the same day that my Grandma's brother, Jack, had been born. I had hoped and prayed to have a baby boy born on this day.

I remember standing in the shower and having my one moment of panic. I didn't want to do this, I had changed my mind. The actual idea of giving birth and becoming a mom scared me. But it was quickly over and before I knew it we were in a labor and delivery room, waiting for you to be born.

The moment that your dad said, "It is a boy!" is still one of my very favorite memories. I wanted so much to name you Jack, and to have you be born on my great-uncle's birthday. It seemed as if I always knew you would be a boy, even though technically, you were a surprise!

My family filed into the room, including Grandma Mary & Grandpa Cliff, everyone taking a turn holding you, looking at your fingers and toes, and proclaiming you perfect. I just laid on the bed, smiling, unable to believe that I was actually a mom.

You made me a mom. I dreamed of you, wanted you, and hoped for you, for many many years. I loved teaching, and I loved being married to your father, but I always knew I wanted to be a mom.  To finally be holding you, talking to you, loving you, was truly a dream come true.

Now, you are seven years old. A tall, skinny, boy who loves to run, watch TV, snuggle with blankie, play outside, eat pancakes. You are the most sensitive of all my boys and also the quickest one to say, "Mom, I love you" or "Mom, you are the best". I love how much you love your younger brothers, even when they drive you crazy. And how, you love babies. I would happily give you the 10 siblings you ask for, if there was anyway I could do it and still be a good mom. You are an amazing dancer, sing better then I can, and share my mediocre feelings about dogs. You are truly one of a kind.

And I am so thankful to call you my son.

Love you,

Friday, March 23, 2012

Top Chef

Monday was a stay-home-sick kind of day. Finn and myself were both feeling under the weather, and Micah benefited because I was too sick *ahem* lazy to take him to preschool.  After watching excessive amounts of TV, we ventured into the playroom for some "playtime". Which means I lay on the couch and the boys amuse themselves. 

Today, they decided they were chefs. Complete with jackets, hats, and chef tools.  This is probably my favorite imagination play, because I totally know how to be a restaurant customer.  I'm not so good at bad guy/good guy games as I can't make the right shooting noise, or Star Wars because I'm not up to speed on all the alien names.

Hard Boiled Egg Appetizer

"UM, what?" Don't interrupt Finn when he is cooking

Calling me on the phone to let me know that he is
making a huge dinner and my favorite dessert.

I love my little pretend chefs. Hopefully someday this will translate into them making ME dinner. A girl can dream, can't she?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Good News, Bad News

In our house we do a lot of "Good News/Bad News" announcements.

For example:
"Boys, I have good news/bad news!"
"Bad news first!"
"Bad news it is bath night"
Groans can be heard from 2 of the 3 boys. "What's the good news?"
"I'm too tired, no baths tonight!"
Cheers are heard echoing through the house.

That one is not used as much anymore as bath night was pushed back to a once a week occurrence. Can't really skip bath night if it will be another 7 days until you have one. Boys do start to smell, you know.

We will also say:
"Good news/bad news about dinner!"
"What's the bad news?"
"I'm too tired to cook"
"What's the good news?"
"Pizza or chips and salsa?!"

That one is being used more and more. I would blame it on my job but I work a total of 5 hours, and that just seems pathetic.

But this week we received bad news and not-exactly good news. Jack's blood test came back. The Not-Really-Bad-News but Not-Good-News is that the HIV test came back negative. Which is what we expect, it is the one in 12 weeks that really counts.

The bad news, well, it turns out that even though you subject your baby to immunizations at almost every check up for the first year of life, some of those don't take. Jack was also tested for the HEP B antibodies to make sure that the vaccine worked. And of course, that came back, negative.  No antibodies.  Which means another set of 3 shots for Jack.

Ugh. When the nurse asked if I had any questions, my mind was a blank. I will still relieving the terror of the blood draw and now thinking I had to tell Jack he had to have 3 more shots, plus 1 more blood draw.

Once more we were at the doctors, blanket and goose in hand, asking frantically if there was any other options before the nurse jammed the needle into his arm.  It was over quickly, and our recovery time was better then usual, that is until I told him we had to go back.

Then all hell broke loose.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Lighter Side of ThingsThe

On a different note, last week we were able to enjoy our first family bike ride for the year.  All 6 of us, including Elsie, went on a short bike ride to the park in our neighborhood.  It was a nice afternoon for a ride, and the exercise was good for us. Or should I say for me. I wore jeans, as it was cold, and found it quite challenging to lift my leg over the bike. Apparently, my jeans are a smidge tight, and tight jeans are not the thing to wear on a bike ride.

The ride home was my favorite part because it is all down hill. Even with Micah's 'power-boosters' helping me out, I wasn't sure I was going to make it up the hill on the way there. It's embarrassing when Brandon, pulling at least 60 pounds, is lapping me as I struggle to climb the hill.

At least my bike is hotter then his.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Phone Call You Do Not Expect

My Friday was already crazy. Get two boys to school, volunteer in the library, quick coffee date with the hubby, pick up one boy from school, clean the house, eat lunch, pack, pick up the other boy, drive to my mom's, eat dinner, watch Beauty and The Beast musical, pack everyone up and return home. I had my day scheduled to the minute and everything was going along fine (minus the parking ticket) until I got a phone call.

Picture the scene:
I am sitting in the kitchen eating my lunch and reading a new book, Finn is in the living room watching TV, when my cell phone rings. I know by the ring tone that it isn't the either one of the 2 people I tend to talk to during the day so I ignored it. Then I heard the beep beep that signaled a voice mail. I finished eating, checked my phone, and thought, hmmm, I think that is Jack's school.

I quickly listen to the message that basically went like this:
Amy, this is Jack's school, can you please call us back?

I unfortunately, missed the phone message on our house phone that was a little longer and at least stated that Jack was okay. But my house phone was dead, so I listened to this message and entered a momentarily panic.

I quickly called back and identified myself and that I was returning a call.

Thanks for calling back, let me find a private place to talk.

My heart is beating rapidly, as I think, why do you need privacy?

Jack, is okay, (big sigh of relief) but he found something at recess that is really disguising. And he chewed on it.

Okay, what could be really disgusting. I have to be honest my first thought was, dog poop.

"We have it here in the office, we aren't sure if you are going to need it, or if you want to call your doctor"

Why would you have dog poop in your office. That seemed weird. But, whatever. I was still unaware of how bad this conversation was going to go.

"We aren't sure how this happened, and we are really sorry, but Jack found a condom on the playground and was chewing it like gum."


But, he's okay, and we just thought you should know.

At this point, I am not really sure what to say or do. The dog has just stolen Finn's sandwich, Finn is screaming, and I'm thinking, wait, what?!

Also, we aren't sure if it was used or not. So, let us know if you need the condom, otherwise we will just throw it away.

After we hung up I called to leave a message for the triage nurse at my pediatrician's office. That phone call went something like this:

I'm calling because my son found something on the playground at school and chewed on it.
- pause Something?
It was a condom.
- Oh, oh, my, okay I will let her know.

That was how I ended up at the school office discussing condoms with my son's kindergarten teacher and student intern. I never thought I would investigate a condom so closely, as we all took turns trying to see if it looked used. And yes, it was cringe worthy.

Much later that night, we finally got word from our pediatrician that Jack would need a blood draw now, and one again in 12 weeks to check for HEP B and HIV. The chances are very slim, but just to be on the safe side, that was what was recommended by the CDC, Center for Public Health, and the HIV Hotline.  And yes, more then one person said, "I don't know what to do, I've never had that question before."

That was how Jack and I ended up at Children's Hospital, Saturday morning, waiting for a blood draw. And, it was as horrible as I imagined it would be.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Learning Curve

This weekend I learned a few new things:

1. When spray painting outside on a windy day do not wear your nice Citizens of Humanity jeans, especially if you plan to wear those jeans to a party that evening.  Even though the spray appears to be disappearing in the wind, in reality it is landing on your pants.

 Also using a flat piece of cardboard would work better then a crumpled piece of paper.  Just another painting tip for you.

2.  When the temperature hits 50 degrees, that is not just shorts and t-shirt weather around here, that is swimsuit weather.  Saturday afternoon found the boys running through the yard in just their swimsuits, trying to stay 'cool'.

3. There is a chance I may be a little too lenient in allowing my boys to express their, um, softer side.

How about you, what have you learned lately?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Countdown is On

Today is March 1st. That may not be an important date to you but it is my second favorite day of the year.  Second, of course to my birthday, which is my absolute most FAVORITE day of the entire year. And yes, that includes my sons' birthdays, and yes, that probably once again points out that I am a terrible mom.

If you know me, then you probably know what makes today so special. For the rest of you I will just tell you: IT IS ONE MONTH UNTIL MY BIRTHDAY. Today the countdown can begin!

I love the anticipation of something, almost more then the actual event. I can't decide if that is a positive or negative attribute to have. But, it is what it is. I remember sitting in my US History class in high school and doodling in my notebook: March 1st, with a  heart around it. Really, I did, it's slightly embarrassing but I just want to illustrate how much I love today.

Unfortunately, it is not just about me anymore.  This is where I would write this sappy but eloquent paragraph about how the birthdays of each of my sons means more to me then my own birthday. My firstborn has a birthday before mine, 5 days before mine to be exact.  My second born has a birthday 15 days after mine. March 1st has a whole new meaning. It isn't just the countdown to MY birthday it is the start of our 'birthday season' as we refer to it in our house.

Today I said to my oldest, "It's March 1st, one month until my birthday!"

To which he said, "No, it's the countdown to MY birthday! 26 more days!"

And then my middle son jumped in with, "My birthday is after yours mom, but Finn's is last!" (Sorry, Finn, you are the only son not born in the spring!

I'm not sure if I should be proud or alarmed that my boys are becoming as obsessed about their birthdays as I am.  Especially since their birthdays tend to draw the attention away from my birthday. I am still grieving a little about the poor planning I did.

Oh, well. Today is March 1st, the sun is shining, and the birthday countdown is on!

26 days until Jack turns 7.

30 days until I turn 36.

46 days until Micah turns 5.

Oh Happy Day!