Monday, June 28, 2010

Things I learned while fishing with my kids...

Let me break it down for you....fishing with the kids.

I'll start off by explaining that I have no pictures to share from Friday. Not a one.

Why not?

Well, I was too busy trying to prevent the kids from falling into the lake and from poking one another's eyes out with their fishing poles, as they ran around attempting to gouge each other with the poles and screaming, in their best Shrek impression, "I'm gonna eat the jelly from your eyes!"

My stepdad graciously decided to come along with us because he's the more experienced fisher. Plus, he was under the assumption that it would be fun. It was definitely fun...among other things.

We got to the lake around 9:30 am. The weather was cool and cloudy...perfect fishing weather. At least, that's what I kept telling the kids as they shivered in their short-sleeve shirts and shorts.

By 10:00 am, we had found the perfect spot...comfy chairs set up, fishing poles in the water, snacks in hand...

By 10:10 am, it began....the yelling, the screaming, the whining...the drama of it all.

"Where's all the fish?" one anxious child asked.

"I'm bored. When are we gonna catch a fish?" another impatient child complained.

"Good thing I brought my DS...fishing sucks!" yet another frustrated child declared.

Grandpa shook his head and tried his best to explain to his energetic and restless grandchildren that fishing takes patience...and lots of it....as he grabbed a can of light beer from the cooler.

Apparently, you can have the patience of a saint when you have a 6-pack of beer on hand.

So here's what I learned in that entire 5 hours of fishing...

1) I haven't a clue what I'm doing when it comes to fishing.

Every single line I cast out got stuck in the rocks or the weeds in the water. At first, it was exciting...as I'd try to reel in the line and feel light tugs, I'd bellow, "Hey guys, I think I've got a fish!"

After the 3rd time, the kids just shrugged, rolled their eyes and said, "No, it's not a fish. You're probably stuck in the rocks again".

Little pessimists.

2) Grown men will not give up a good fishing spot for the sake of letting a poor, innocent child catch her first fish.

Even when that child hollers, in the direction of the 3 grown men, "Stop hogging all the fish!"

3) Kids can make friends any where, any time and any place.

There was a father there fishing with his daughter, who at some point lost interest and came over to hang out with my kids. After the girl left, Bella and I had the following conversation:

Me: She seemed like a nice girl. What was her name?
Bella: I dunno.
Me: How old was she?
Bella: I dunno.
Me: Where does she live?
Bella: I dunno.
Me: How could you play with her for most of the day, yet you don't know one thing about her?
Bella: I dunno.

4) 1000 pounds of fish = 100 measly fish

The rumor going around the lake was that at around 2:00 pm, a truck would be coming by to plant 1000 pounds of fish near the boat ramp. So that's where we fished, while waiting for the 1000 pounds of fish.

Grandpa and I kept reassuring the kids that it would be EASY to catch a fish...they'd be hungry and biting. In my best Bubba Gump impression, I rattled off the dozens of ways we could prepare our fish for lunch...."there's fried trout, grilled trout, BBQ'd trout..."

The kids stared at me as if I had suddenly sprouted an arm from my forehead.

"Why are you talking like that?!" they demanded. They must have left their senses of humor at home.

The truck finally arrived and dumped the fish into the lake. Only it wasn't quite 1000 pounds of fish, as rumored to be. More like 100 fish, total. And they weren't exactly large enough to even come near 1000 pounds.

Even the kids were confused by the incorrect math.

Cole said, "I thought you said 1000 pounds...that was only 10 fish. Or maybe 12. I know cuz I counted".

I was left scratching my head as I said to the Fish and Game guy, "That's it? That's all there was? Man, that was SO disappointing".

He just looked at me, all wide-eyed...as if I had just repeated exactly word for word what his high school girlfriend had said to him behind the bleachers that one night after the football game.

5) If I want my 2 toddlers to finally be completely potty trained, I need to invest in a couple porta-potties.

Seriously, they were obsessed with the smelly out-houses at the lake. Every single time they'd witness someone coming out of one, they'd look at each other, smile and exclaim "that's SO cool".

How silly of me to think that a sparkly, clean-smelling indoor bathroom would seem more enticing.

6) Even though I was out in the middle of nowhere...tired, sunburned and thirsty...and even though we didn't catch ONE crummy little fish in the whole 5 hours we were there...I had the best time creating yet another wonderful memory with my kids.

As we drove back to my stepdad's house, the kids assured us that they did have a good time, though they were disappointed that they didn't catch any fish.

That's okay...we'll hit the trout farm when we're in Tahoe next month, like we did last year...where I know with 100% certainty they will all be able to catch a fish.

Hopefully the kids will bring their sense of humor this time. And I'll remember to pack myself a 6-pack of beer.

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Summer Garden Update….

We’re finally beginning to see the fruits of our labor, literally.

There is no better feeling than simply walking out the backdoor to the garden to pick lettuce for a salad or fresh zucchini to put on the grill with some hamburgers!

Our latest bloom in strawberries…

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We’ve got plenty of Early Girl, Cherry and Roma tomatoes but they STILL aren’t ripe!

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What’s left of the romaine…

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...and the mesclun lettuce mix…

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Yellow squash buds starting to sprout…

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Zucchini…I’ve heard the flowers are actually edible!

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Cucumbers…

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I’m super excited about the watermelon! We have little tiny flower buds forming, though they were too small to capture clearly on the camera.

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Green bean plants aplenty…

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The entire garden…

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Garrett, proudly displaying the broccoli that he started from seeds…

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Mommy’s future wine supply…

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Little-bitty tangerines in the making…

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The peach tree, which has yet to bloom any flowers but it’s still growing nicely…

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It’s been so much fun to grow a garden again this summer with the kids.

Even if you don’t have a large space or any space at all, try growing some veggies and/or fruit in containers! There is such a wonderful sense of satisfaction when you can grow your own food!

On a little side note, I managed to sneak away for an entire day with my sister yesterday!! 14 glorious hours spent getting massages at a day spa, shopping and eating in San Francisco and ending the day with finally getting to see Sex and The City 2!

It was SOOOO what I needed!

You see, I’m taking the kids fishing tomorrow...all 4 of them…at the lake…where 40,000 pounds of trout have just been planted. I’ve promised them we will not leave until each of them have caught a fish.

For the love of God, please pray they each catch a fish within the first hour.

Or I may need to beg Tim for another day off at the spa…

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Another day at the pediatricians…

Landon: Hi there, I’m Dr. Landon. Nice to meet you, son. What brings you in today?

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Cole: Well, I was at the park, running around, and I lost my balance and fell backwards...a stick punctured my hand.

Thank God it wasn’t my booger-picking, I mean, my writing hand.

My mom wanted me to come in and have you look at it because I woke her up last night at 4:00 am crying about how badly it hurt.

She can't afford to lose another night's sleep...although she'll tell you the reason is because she's concerned about my well-being.

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Landon: Well, I'm certainly glad to hear this hasn't affected your ability to pick your nose. That would be devastating.

Now, tell me...where was your mother when this unfortunate incident occurred?

Cole: Uh, let me think for a minute. More than likely, she was talking to another parent, moaning and groaning about how ungrateful me and my siblings are.

Landon: So she's not what you would call a helicopter parent then? She's the just-walk-it-off type of mother?

Cole: Yeah, pretty much. Unless there's blood or broken bones involved, she really doesn't want to be bothered. My hand was gushing blood so she had no choice but to get involved.

Landon: Okay, I'm gonna get my nurse in here because I don't do blood or gore. If poop or boogers are involved, then by all means, I'm your guy. But blood...gonna call the nurse, little buddy. Just hang tight...

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Landon: Yo, Nurse Hottie…finish updating your Facebook page and then get in here. I got a patient who needs his hand irrigated and then wrapped. We gotta do a culture, too.

Oh, and when you get a chance, can you call my mom and ask her to bring me some extra diapers?

I know I'm supposed to be potty training but you forgot to take me to the potty and I had a huge handful of cherries and I might have...well, I...uh...just ask her to bring me some clean diapers, k?

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Landon: Alright...Nurse Hottie should be in here in just a few minutes. Sorry about the smell....my bad. This potty training stuff is for the birds, know what I'm sayin.

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Cole: Dr. Ladon, wanna see something super cool? Look how well I can balance this granola bar between my teeth...all while I'm laying on my back.

For my next trick, I'll perform the Heimlich manuever on myself...

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Cole: Or maybe not (cough, cough)


Landon: How many times have I told that freakin nurse to MOVE this darn head rest? This is like the 5th time today I've smacked my head into it.

I feel a good cry comin' on.

Where the heck is Nurse Hottie with my clean diaper?!

Oh good Lord, I need a nap.

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Landon: Oh, Nurse Hottie, I didn't hear you come in. You didn't see me crying, did you? I mean, it wasn't ME crying. It was my patient here.



Landon: Okay, Cole. Nurse Hottie here is going to do a quick culture on your hand and then she'll clean and wrap it for you.

Try to steer clear of the sticks next time you fall.

What is it with the people in your family...falling on foreign objects and concrete pavement?! You couldn't have landed on a bed of soft leaves, for crying outloud?


After receiving the results of the culture, it was determined that Cole's wound was indeed infected. He was ordered to take 10 days of antibiotics, as well as have a topical ointment applied to the area each day until it was well healed.

When it rains, it pours...what can I say?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Crazy toddlers, say what?!

Have you ever been in a foreign country and had difficulty getting anyone to understand what you're saying?

No?

Me neither.

But I do have two toddlers so I think that's the closest I qualify to being in another country with a language barrier.

Seriously...it's like being in a foreign country when I'm talking to Garrett and Landon. Usually, I have to ask them to slow down so I can really listen to what they're saying in order to respond correctly.

I learned that the hard way one day when I answered "yes" to something Landon had asked me. I had apparently agreed to let him go outside.... barefoot...in the rain....to play in the mud.

Obviously, since I'm home with them all day long, I've somewhat figured out how to translate but Tim...poor Tim...looks at me with a total WTF look on his face every time the kids open their mouths.

Let me demonstate some of the things they've said recently with my translation quickly to follow...

Wook at da bid donny, Dan.
Look at the big doggy, Dad (furthermore, I had to convince Tim I wasn't having an affair with a guy named, Dan)

Me want a rawbeddy meech-ba-bar.
I want a strawberry Nutrigrain bar.

Me need mere det-tup.
I need more ketchup.

Joo see da rain ovuh de-ah?
You see the train over there?

Me wite dat taw.
I like that car.

Joo wite Wite Da Kween too?
You like Lightning McQueen too?

Coh and Baya no eat da joga joo dave dem.
Cole and Bella didn't eat the yogurt you gave them.

Me want pena buddah jeddy denwit and appadauts fa wunch.
I want a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and applesauce for lunch.

We go in ya taw oh Danny taw?
Are we going in your car or Daddy's car? (Again with the whole Danny thing...)

Me not pawing dud.
I'm not feeling good.

Thankfully, "I love you" is universal.

When they say "Me wuvs joo", followed by a big hug and a kiss, that's pretty darn easy to translate.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Just a word to the wise…

You know, most of us learn our lessons the hard way. We believe we’re invincible…nothing bad is ever going to happen to us or those we love.

However, when we learn about something tragic happening to someone we know, our hearts go out to them and we say, “I can’t even imagine if that had happened to me or someone I love”.

That experience changes our perception…it taints our innocence.

We’re a little more careful for awhile…we watch our children more closely and cautiously.

But eventually, we all go back to believing that nothing bad can touch us.

That’s the state of mind Tim and I had been in for quite awhile.

Until last Saturday…

Tim took the kids to his parent’s house to watch the World Cup with his family, while I stayed behind to finish the laundry and get some housecleaning done.

Around 3:00 pm, Tim called, made a little bit of small talk and then finally said, “Look, Garrett fell when Mike was holding him so I’m here at the hospital just to make sure he’s okay…”

I don’t even need to describe in detail how I felt right at that moment. I’m sure you can imagine…the hair on the back of my neck stood up on end, my heart felt like it was in my throat…

“What?!” I cried out, trying not to sound too alarmed. “Is he okay? What happened?”

Before launching into exactly what happened, Tim repeated, “He’s okay. Really, he is. We just thought it would be a good idea to bring him to the hospital because his head hit the pavement pretty hard and I thought I heard a cracking sound.”

Now, I didn’t bother trying to hide the fear that had gripped every bone in my body.

“You heard a cracking sound?! Oh My God, are you absolutely SURE he’s okay?” I practically screamed into the phone.

“Yes,” he said. “He wasn’t bleeding, he didn’t lose consciousness but I did start getting nervous on the ride over because Garrett was really sleepy and I couldn’t get him to stay awake”.

“You keep telling me he’s fine yet everything you’re saying is making me more concerned,” I explained.

Just then, I could hear someone talking to Tim and he asked me to hold on.

Finally, when Tim got back on the phone, he said, “They want to do a scan on him just to be sure he’s okay. Let me call you back.”

I spent that entire time pacing the house, praying that Garrett was really going to be fine.

Tim called shortly thereafter with the news….Garrett had a linear skull fracture from the top of his head extending down to his left ear, with a slightly depressed fracture on the top of his head.

Apparently, Mike, Tim’s older brother, had been lifting Garrett up onto his shoulders (and he’s a tall guy, at least 6’1”).

Garrett accidentally kicked Mike’s sunglasses so, instinctively, Mike reached up with one hand to catch the glasses and it was right then that Garrett lost his balance….

…and fell backwards off of Mike’s shoulders, hitting his head directly on the concrete below.

In my head, I was screaming, “How many times have I told you how dangerous that is?!” but I refrained, knowing that Tim already felt horrible about what had happened.

Tim explained that the doctor wanted to keep Garrett overnight, simply as a cautionary measure.

Then he said, “Oh but they want to transfer him to another hospital where they have a pediatric neurosurgeon on site in case his condition suddenly worsens and he needs surgery.”

My voice shaking, I said, “It sounds more serious than you’re letting on.”

He asked, “Would it help if you could talk to him?” and he put Garrett on the phone, who cried upon hearing my voice.

We ended the phone call by deciding that I would pack some overnight things and head to the hospital where they would be transferred, while Tim’s parents kept the other kids at their home.

When I arrived at the hospital, this was what I saw…

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My poor little baby in a hospital crib, completely miserable.

When his eyes reached me, he broke down into tears…crying, “Mommy, mommy…I want YOU…”

They had put a neck brace on him because right before transporting him they decided to do an X-ray and it was determined that he might have fractured one of the vertebrae in his neck, as well.

He wasn’t allowed to move so all I could do was lean over to give him hugs and kisses, while assuring him that he was going to be fine.

The first night was extremely rough for the little guy. He was uncomfortable and couldn’t find a good position to rest in. He would doze off and then suddenly wake up screaming, desperately attempting to pry the neck brace away from himself.

It didn’t help that the night nurse had to keep checking on him every hour to look at his pupils and take his blood pressure…a necessary evil, I suppose.

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The next day, the neurologist and his team came over to check on him, promptly removing the dreaded neck brace because there ended up being no damage to any of the vertebrae in his neck.

The doctor strongly recommended having Garrett stay another night at the hospital because of where the fracture ended above his left ear. While they explained their concern in medical terms, from what I could gather, there are a series of fragile bones located in that area that could possibly cause a puncture in the membrane encasing the brain if any of them were to be jarred again.

There was no evidence at that point of any fluid leaking from his ears or his nose but they felt more comfortable keeping a close eye on him, much to my relief.

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The next day, he was much more comfortable without the neck brace. Once he woke up, he was in a cheery mood, flirting with all the nurses and singing Disney songs loudly.

On Monday, he was finally given the green light to leave but with strict orders…no swimming or climbing activities for at least 6-8 weeks. The doctor said, “Basically, nothing that would require his feet to leave solid ground.”

Had I mentioned yet that taking all 4 kids to the pool was going to be my saving grace this summer? While I was thankful that Garrett was going to be fine, my heart sank upon hearing this.

He put on his Buzz Lightyear costume and said goodbye to the nurses and doctors…

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…and buzzed right out of the PICU.

So, word to the wise…don’t carry your kids on your shoulders or let anyone else carry your kids in that manner.

When I think of how much worse things could’ve been…if he had landed on a different area of his head or neck or had sustained brain damage…it still makes me shudder.

We are SO so so very lucky that he’s alive and well.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Gone fishing…

Hey everyone,

Our mom’s been kind of occupied…you see, school ended last week and we’ve been holding her hostage keeping her super busy.

So here’s the haps….

We started the week off by participating in a fishing derby. Mommy begged Grandpa, Uncle Andy and Uncle Andy’s friend, Jonathan, to come with us since she’s terrified of fish.

Whatever….

While we were learning how to cast our fishing lines and not pass out from complete boredom, she was practically fishing crawdads out of the water with her bare hands.

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We didn’t end up catching any fish, which was a total bummer.

Grandpa said it was a good lesson in patience. We told him that there was a better lesson to be learned by him opening his wallet and buying us lunch afterwards.

On another day, our mom filled up a bucket of water and we “painted” the house…

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We’ve also been playing in the water…

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…as well as taking daily swimming lessons with Miss Chrissie. She makes us put our faces in the water, which makes us cry to the point where our bodies can no longer produce a healthy amount of mucus.

And, friends, that is a serious crime. Kids should always be able to unload buckets of snot from their nose any ole’ time they please.

The veggie garden is doing well, even though we trampled through it with our scooters.

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Besides all the outdoorsy stuff, we’ve been going to the free movies and having playdates with friends.

At the end of each day, we’ve been completely wiped out…while Mommy sits at the kitchen table, staring at the wall and drinking a whole lot of “grape juice”.

She promised our Auntie that she’d help her write an article for a magazine…it’s due next week. Auntie came over last night to see how the article is coming along…I don’t think they got much done though because all we heard was a bunch of clinking glasses and laughter.

We found an empty bottle of “grape juice” on the kitchen counter in the morning.

Oh, and the baby birds came back for another visit…we have to be very careful where we stand, obviously.

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Needless to say, our mom may not be visiting other blogs the rest of the week or writing her own posts, for that matter.

If it helps, she’s having serious blogging withdrawals…running around constantly, camera in hand, with the hopes of capturing something blog-worthy and gazing lovingly from afar at her laptop as she makes meals for us.

But don’t worry…she’ll be back soon. And we’re sure she’ll have lots of fun stories to share because, after all, she has US for blog fodder.

So don’t go running off too far…or we may have to hop on a plane and come live with you for a few days (and some of us still poop in our pants…just sayin)

Sincerely,

The kids (aka “the spawn”)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Pictures of “yours truly”, for a change…

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Kimberly at Terra Del Sole hosts Mia Monday…and this week, the theme is to post 5 pictures of ourselves.

I ended up including 6 because each of these has special meaning to me!

This first picture isn’t the most flattering but it makes my heart melt a thousand times over every single time I see it.

After feeding Bella, I fell asleep while burping her. Tim took this picture because he thought we both looked so peaceful (for the next 2 hours anyway…)

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This next one was right after Cole got his very first haircut. He had been crying and the only thing that soothed him was a kiss from Mommy.

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This is one of my favorite pictures of Tim and I in Hawaii, while we were in the midst of our 1st IVF cycle.

I love the background of this picture, though for the life of me, I can’t remember where in Oahu it was taken.

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I totally remember EXACTLY when this next picture was taken.

It was one of those breezy summer days and Garrett and Landon had been crying most of the day. I was close to a breakdown myself so I gathered up the kids and took everyone out front, where I sat on the lawn with the babies and watched Cole and Bella pull each other in the wagon.

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This next picture says it ALL.

One of my absolute favorite things to do as a new mom was to hold my babies and just stare at them. I hadn’t even realized how happy (and tired) I looked until I saw this picture shortly after Tim took it.

It’s one of my favorites, for obvious reasons.

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This is my sister and I at my wedding back in 2002, where she was my matron of honor.

Funny thing, though…the only other picture I have of just my sister and I together as adults is at her wedding, when I was her maid of honor.

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If you’re not already a follower of Kimberly’s blog, Terra Del Sole, please take a minute and check her out!

She has a fabulous art collection and often posts pictures of some of her beautiful finds. And she also shares some of her special homemade Italian recipes!

I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr



 
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