Sunday, September 30, 2012

Project 52 {39}

My favorite thing about you:
You're active.

f/2.8 1/2500 ISO-100

Over the past few weeks, active would be an understatement.  You go to school, and even at half days just four days a week, or 2.5 hours three days a week, that keeps us pretty busy.  But now that you're in school... oh boy.  There's been Landsharks, an elementary school cross country program that practices three days a week and has meets on Sundays.  Today started the Kids Fall Series, another series of cross country races that both of you do.  Then there's Daisies every other Thursday.  This week we signed you up for cheer camp through the Air Force Academy (2 hours of practice, plus a trip to the football game for you to cheer at half time - yeah, twist our arms, that was a sacrifice).  

We're just busy and I'm finding it difficult to say no.  Partially because I want you to have all the experiences that I had in school.  But especially because you're having so much fun and you're keeping your body moving.  I know I've said it before (and honestly, I'm too tired to find the link), but keeping your body busy is the best way to keep it healthy.  We do our best to make smart decisions about what we use to fuel your body and you're starting to figure it out too (Both of you think Soda is a bad word).  But keep moving.  Do a little everyday and you'll stay healthy for your whole life.

Here's the other thing.  Soon we're going to get cold here.  I saw on the forecast that snow is coming a week from tomorrow (we're still supposed to have one day this week in the 80's, but that's Colorado for ya!).  We'll be forced indoors for the winter and our only outlet will be our (all too sparse) trips to the gym.  Let's get it in while the getting's good!  We live in a beautiful state and have beautiful weather - let's take advantage.  

We do our best to set a good example for you.  You've seen us run a few marathons, some half marathons, gone with us on (lots) of 5K's.  I spent the greater part of the summer at the pool swimming with you guys (or watching you swim).  You know that we go to the gym in part to let you play, but also so that I can exercise and make my body healthy.  Having a healthy body is something that's important to our family.  I look forward to seeing what sports you pick out as your favorites and hope that it's something your dad or I did as kids.  But if you don't and you pick a different path, different from ours, that's okay too - we'll still be right there cheering you on.  Even if you turn out to be mathletes.  Hey, an active brain is just as important as an active body.  

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Friday, September 21, 2012

And other happenings of the last week(+)

With the beginning of school, comes the beginning of activities, among happenings around here.  So many things I photographed this week and last that didn't make it to Project 52, but I still felt like they required a post of their own.  

First up, we FaceTimed with our BFF's a bit more than a week ago.  Seriously.  What did we do before technology like this?  Write letters?  But where was the instant gratification?  How did you know what their house looked like, what their backyard looked like, what the weather was right then?  How the kids sounded?  Begs the question, what are we living without right now?  It was great to see them.  The kids really missed each other (and so did the parents).  

We roasted marshmallows with turn-ey sticks and toes for props.  And OMG!  Look!  It's me!

We played with my phone in the great outdoors.  Mommy fail.  If he hadn't been completely and utterly bored waiting for his sister to race, this would have been totally unacceptable.  As it was, when she finally ran by he missed her, and she noticed he wasn't cheering.  So this weekend, he can just be bored to tears, let the whining commence.

Speaking of racing... We had our first Kindergarten Cross Country race.  Haley ran a half mile in 5:57!  For the record, that's faster than my marathon pace.  Our good friend, a first grader, won the half mile with a time of 3:31.  That's faster than my one mile pace.  By a lot.  

We took first day of school pictures in pajamas (Dad had to leave for work early).  And the smile was better than any other one I got that day with Kale.  

We jumped in puddles.  We finally got a day of rain, which left tiny puddles on the patio after school.  Puddles just right for putting on her (far too small on her feet) galoshes, grabbing her Tinker Bell umbrella, and jumping her heart out.  

School picture day came.  No uniforms were required, so long as the clothes were fancier than a normal uniform (so no jeans).  Something tells me I'm going to like this picture better than whatever was taken at school.

Aaaand... we did some more jumping.  My favorite is the bottom right.

Project 52 {38}

My favorite thing about you:
Is that you're back in school.

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Lets play "State The Obvious".  The reasons I'm loving that you're back in school are three fold:
1) Last week.  I'm happy you're anywhere but the hospital.  
2) You love school.
3) I need you gone to miss you.  

Yes.  Finally. Three weeks into September and both kids in school.  For this I'm thankful.  Ugh.  What a terrible mom, right?  But seriously... Aside from the 50% discount on responsibility, I appreciate the one on one time I get with each kid.  For about two minutes this fall, I thought I was going to get some time to myself three days a week (I had a mid-morning date with my garden tub - or more realistically, time to clean said garden tub), but that didn't happen when Haley got PM kindergarten.  So, if I can't have undivided time with myself, I'm thankful to have it with one kid at a time. 

This summer we spent a lot of time the three of us, which was great.  But we get sick of one another and need a break.  Yup, I said it, I get sick of my kids (and truthfully, they get sick of me too).  School is just the remedy to keep me from the crazy house - or a job outside the home.  I can't miss their presence around the house if they're not gone.  Why would you want to miss your kids?  Anyone asking this question isn't a stay-at-home-mom.  Because I can't use the ladies room between the hours of 6am and 7pm without the door being flung wide open, for starters.  For finishers, it's the three of us for most of the day (even with school), and I'm left out.  With just one, they're forced to come to me for entertainment and they entertain the crap out of me.  I get to know them better as individuals.  We work on school skills that need extra attention.  We hang out, run errands that are easier with one (so everything), and wonder what the missing one is up to.  

And once we're the three of us again, they have a million questions for the other - they hate not knowing what the other one has been up to/what they missed out on.  I love those conversations; I turn the radio off and just listen, because I'm in the same boat.  

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Project 52 {37}

My favorite thing about you:
You're healthy

Taken with my iPhone 3GS, edited with Tilt Shift Generator (the best camera is the one that's with you)

Originally, I had planned to do Kale's first day of school as this week's project 52.  Do you know that saying "You plan, God laughs"?  I could write a book about how many times I've had to learn this lesson.  There were other plans for us this week, Saturday night Kale got sick.  We thought he'd OD'd on chocolate at a picnic, but, sadly, that wasn't the case.  

By Monday at about 2:00 am, I wasn't able to keep anything in him, not liquids or meds to control his fever, so it was off to the ER.  He was so severely dehydrated that they went right to an IV with fluids and something to control his vomiting (see pic 1).  We were just about to be discharged and when he stood up, more vomiting.  Something wasn't right.  So it was off to an ultrasound and a blood draw.  The ultrasound showed a cranky appendix.  The hospital close to our house doesn't operate on anyone under 5 so we were ambulanced (see pic 2) to the Children's Hospital downtown.  We saw the surgeon who determined that we likely didn't need to take out the appendix and he mentioned that the blood draw showed strange banded white blood cells (WBCs).  Off to the CT scan which confirmed the appendix was fine, but that his gall bladder was also cranky.  

We spent Monday night at the hospital (see pic 3 wherein they gave him some cool accessories for his hospital gown).  He was given some antibiotics, and more serious fluids.  By Tuesday morning he was more himself but the most recent blood draw showed no improvement in the WBCs.  Let me digress a moment and say that Google is a nasty bitch, Google "fever+vomiting+high WBCs" and scary stuff comes up.  There was some brief, however memorable conversations about leukemia.  If you're a mother, that's never something you want to hear in conversation regarding your child.  I've never felt like passing out over a conversation before. That evening the GI doc came by and felt fairly certain that he got a nasty intestinal bacterial infection.  Holy great big PHEW Batman!  But that still meant another night in the hospital as we cultured, tested, poked and prodded and a 50/50 chance at a 3rd night hanging out there.  

Wednesday morning brought another rude awakening in the form of a 6am blood draw and more waiting, also a boy who was nearly back to normal (see pic 4, he learned that there was a mirror in his bed table).  By the time the pediatrician came in at 8:30, she brought the news that the WBCs had not only gone down, but were completely back to normal.  Not elevated.  Not banded.  Normal.  Like nothing ever happened normal.  We would be on our way home by lunch time.  What?!  Praise God!  We left with no medication, not even antibiotics, just a couple of follow-ups.

Kale was a great patient.  Such a brave trooper through it all - I don't think I would have been.  He took each prick, poke, prod, and test like a champ (he even fell asleep during each of the ultrasounds).  The Nintendo DS that we got to borrow helped, so did all the movies they lent us (seriously, every movie ever made was available), the playroom right outside our door with tons of toys and books, and the tricycle he rode miles on.  

Here's what I learned through this experience:  
  • Don't Google things when your kids are in the hospital.  
  • Prayer works wonders/creates miracles, so does modern medicine (I'm convinced they work together).  
  • Children's Hospitals are amazing at what they do - every time I'm asked to donate, you bet I will, I encourage you to as well. 
  • I may live miles from my actual family, but my military family is an amazing substitute. There are no words to describe the sacrifices they made to keep life normal for Haley through all of this, and to support me.  I owe them, and hope they all know I'd do it for them too.
  • I'm thankful that my kids are healthy, in fact, thankful doesn't even begin to cover how I feel.  I'm thankful that we only had to spend two nights there - there are many, many families who are not so fortunate as we were; I met them.
So here's what I'm going to do:
  • Hug them tightly, and make sure they know I love them.
  • Be more present with them.  I'm putting down the TV/computer/iPhone/iPad and interacting more/better with them - I didn't become a stay at home mom to spend time with the household technology.  
  • Saying a prayer each night for their health and being thankful when they're healthy.
Want to check out some other super great Project 52 eye candy?
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Friday, September 7, 2012

Project 52 {36}

My favorite thing about you is:
You sleep in my arms.

f/1.8 1/50 ISO-640

It seems, over the past couple of weeks the theme has been about how much they're growing up, each and every day moment.  But this week a few forces of nature combined to give me a very special moment with each of them.  They slept in my arms.  Last time this happened?  I couldn't tell you.  It's definitely been a while. Well, aside from those sleepy trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night.  It's as scarce as a blue moon these days (which we also got this week - perhaps I need to go buy a lottery ticket, rare things are abound).

Over Labor Day Weekend, we had our annual backyard camp out.  Tons of friends, no bedtimes, tents and glow sticks!  Seriously, is there anything better?  Kale went to bed around 11:00, and was up bright eyed and bushy tailed around 6:00.  Seven hours isn't even close to a full nights sleep for my kiddos, especially when a giant wind storm blows through around 3:00am (exactly the time Haley and I went inside) and almost upends the tent.  So they napped, and Kale pretty much could have just gone to bed, because when I woke him up at 4, he came downstairs and slept in my arms till about 5:00.  It was nirvana.  And Jeff made pizzas for us, so I didn't even have to get up and cook dinner.  Even better.  It was food that finally woke him.  

On Monday we got take out for dinner, and a half rack of spare ribs gave a nasty case of food poisoning to Haley and Jeff (See folks?!  This is why I don't eat meat on a bone!  That neurosis totally saved my life!).  Haley ended up with a five day weekend instead of just four, and when I finally sent her back to school on Wednesday, well, those two and a half hours really took it out of her.  She fell asleep on me on the couch, and while I reveled in that for a bit, decided to share her with Jeff (we had to eat, thus I needed to cook, and I wanted some photos). 

So the house is messy, dishes need done, toys need picked up and my carpet is slowly growing another dog worth of pile.  But I got to cuddle with my kids who are growing up.  That's the thing about this whole parenting deal:  You never know how long a season is going to last.  And as crappy as some of them are, and you're glad to seem them take their exit, some of them are so sweet that you hardly realize it when they're no more, and when you finally do, it's too late to get it back.  

Want to check out some other super great Project 52 eye candy?
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