Monday, February 28, 2011


After a fantastic weekend, the book fair at school is underway and it's going to be a busy, crazy week. In many ways, it's a good thing because I like to be busy and I enjoy being around other grown ups and having grown up conversations and making tons of jokes. The excitement in the school is palpable - the book fair seems to make everyone happy. All those crisp, new books....YUMMY! :)

I'm tired tonight - a good tired but tired. I hit the floor running at 5:45 and I'm just now slowing down. I still have things that need to be accomplished before my head hits the pillow and then my alarm is set for 5:30 tomorrow morning. Bring on the coffee!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Danskos ROCK!

I love Dansko shoes. Over the years I have owned three pairs and I would love to own more. They are costly but they are worth every penny. They hold up so well and for me, I need shoes that I can just slip on and off because there are days when there is no way I can make my back bend so I can tie a pair of shoes.

Last year I used a gift card that was sent to me for my birthday (Thank you, Stella!) to buy a pair of black Danskos. After a short while they developed a "squeak" when I walked. At first it was funny but then it passed funny and went right to annoying. Everyone at the school knew when I am coming because you can hear me before you could see me. An honest to a fault child even asked why my shoes made that awful noise. Hmmmmm. Well...after spending $124 plus tax on them, I was going to wear them no matter what. Plus they are my only pair of non-dress shoes that slipped on.

Fast forward to yesterday when Cande and I went to a mall together. I saw a display of Danskos in a window of The Walking Store. While Cande went to load up on Godiva chocolate for her PMS week (Hahahahaha. Sorry Cande. I had to.) I went into the shoe store to check out what their prices were on the shoes. Not that I even dreamed I would be able to get a new pair. Mostly just lusting after a new pair.

I asked the sales guy what they ran price wise and he started to tell me all about how great they are. He looked at my feet and said "OH! I see you are already a convert." I said I was and that I bought these shoes about a year ago and I loved them but listen... I walked for a few steps so he could hear the squeak.

He said "What size are those?" I took them off and said "36." He disappeared and I thought "Oh great. He is going to try to talk me into buying something." He came out and plopped down a new black pair in front of me and said "Try these on." I did. "Walk in them." He said. I did. "How do those feel?" "Good," I said. "they don't squeak."

"They are yours." He picked up my old shoes and put them on the counter.

WHAT?!? I said. Why?

He told me that Dansko had started to make their own bases and while in the learning process, they ended up having defective bases that would, shortly after being initially worn, would begin to squeak as the base rubbed against some other part. Dansko stands behind their product so they will replace any shoe that has a problem. Any problem. For the life of the shoe.

Holy hell! I got a brand new pair of shoes for FREE! I am hard on my shoes so you have no idea what a big deal this is to me. It's awesome and I felt like I had won the lottery or a free Branson vacation. I practically skipped out of the store and I bounced up next to Cande in the Godiva store and said "LOOK! New shoes!" and proceeded to tell her all about it.

New shoes. I got new shoes. For free.

Dansko? You have a customer for life. (Not that you didn't already but you sealed the deal yesterday.) And guy at The Walking Store? You made my month! Thank you!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Once a Princess.....

I saw this tshirt at the Disney store today and I want it! Too bad it only comes in little kid sizes.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


What a morning it's been. I got the kids to school a bit early (Yep - Kelton went back to school today! He was so excited that he was up at 5am. It felt a little like Christmas morning around here with his excitement about going back to school. He missed a lot this last week so he will be staying after a couple days next week to catch up.) so that I could run around getting PTO stuff done and then it was back home to get to work on taxes, etc.

It took me a little more than three hours to get taxes completed and filed, bills paid and laundry folded and put away. PHEW. I'm so glad to have the taxes done - it's always such a relief to close the files and put everything away.

I have one and a half more hours before I need to get back to the school to get ready for tonight's meeting and pick up the kids.

I'm not sure if Dakota is coming over tonight or not. She is still not feeling well and even took a trip to the doctor today. I'm hoping she is up for it because taking the kids to the PTO meeting is always interesting though I will do what needs to be done. ThHat's my job. :)

I'm really looking forward to Friday night. It's been a long couple weeks.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Responsible Child

I don't want to jinx it and I don't want to seem like I'm bragging but.....

...this whole "teaching them to be more responsible" thing paid off today in a big, unexpected way.

First off, Kelton is feeling better but since he hasn't been fever free for 24 hours, he was still home from school today. When it was time to go pick up Kaylen, I left Kelton here (it's about 12-15 minutes and, in my parental opinion, he is old enough to handle that long). When I got back, he was unloading the dryer. He looked at me and said "The kitchen floor is wet, be careful."

My almost 9 year old son swept and mopped the kitchen floor, unloaded the dryer, folded AND put away laundry.


I am so darn proud of him! Way to go, Kelton!!!

The Book Fair is Coming!

I have to say - I rocked the display case! And yes, those are all books from my kids extensive book collection. Let's just say I love books and I have made sure the kids have been surrounded with them their entire lives.

Anyhoo.....the school book fair is quickly approaching. It starts February 28th and I will freely admit I am no where near ready. Both Ingrid and I are suffering massive PTO burn out and are having a hard time getting motivated. Truth is, we have a PTO meeting tomorrow and I have yet to even think about an agenda.

Burn out aside, the book fair is coming and I need to get my act together. Ready or not, here we gooooooooooo!



The rain was pouring this morning but by the time I opened the blinds it was changing over to snow. SNOW?!?! Yes, you read that right. Snow. So awesome!

As the time slipped by, the flakes got bigger and bigger and it starting sticking. It won't stay - it should be 40 degrees in a few hours but it is beautiful and such a welcome surprise. Snow never fails to make me happy.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Captain's Log

Day Three

The illness has kept me locked inside these walls for 72 hours except for small treks to the building of knowledge and one trek to the medical ward. It is ridiculous how eagerly I await these outings. The smallest of the tribe is unrelenting in her "sixth year" sass and vigor. I keep waiting, hoping the evil serum will leave her though I am beginning to wonder if it isn't the serum and it is, instead, the new "her". I may have to perform an exorcism. I am sure something evil has taken up residence.

The bigger one is still overly warm but is starting to show signs of restlessness. He will act "normal" for about an hour and then drop like a fly for a few hours. While taking the smallest one for a medical checkup, I had the magic wizard look at the bigger one and was told he is suffering from influenza. The tides should turn in the next few days. I can only hope. This is a test of patience I fear I am beginning to lose.

That means I am still in lock down for another few days. With the way things are going, he will be fever free on the fortnight - just in time for the building of knowledge to be closed for an extended 4 day furlough.

Day Three

I have placed the bigger one and the little one into their lock down bunks. After nearly an hour of devil induced behavior I believed this was best for all. To be sure, it is best for me.

I shall now find a magic liquid to help erase the horrors I have witnessed today.

Allowing kids to fail.....

I love this blog and this post is one worthy of sharing. This, my friends, is the philosophy I have taken with the kids. It's hard but seeing them increase their personal responsibility level is worth it.

I didn't go this route, at first, for any other reason than pure exhaustion on my part of trying to juggle everyone's responsibilities as if they were my own. One day it dawned on me - it wasn't my grade that would suffer if Kelton refused to do his homework. So why fight with him over him? Who cares if Kaylen wears pajamas to school? At least she is there - and happy. If they can't put their clothes in the laundry, ok....they don't have their favorite clothes to wear the next time they want to because they aren't clean.

Taking this path with the kids has made my life easier and BONUS! is teaching them to take care of things themselves. After all, I can't do it all alone and still be happy. :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Good Valentines Day

I had a really nice Valentines Day. Kelton has been running a fever since Saturday evening so he was home from school today. After getting Kaylen off to her day of learning and partying, Kelton and I snuggled in together and hung out. (Oh - and there was a very sweet gift waiting on my porch when I got back from taking Kaylen to school. It made my day!!! Thank you!!!)

We were both very tired from our night of broken sleep. The kitten kept me awake until after 11:30 which is when Kelton came wandering into my room wanting to sleep in my bed. I got him settled and we slept for a few hours. He slept better than me since his snoring and sleep talking kept waking me. :) At 3:00, Kaylen wandered in so I scooted over and made room. 3:15 found Kelton getting up because he was miserable. I dosed him with Motrin and he went to watch TV for a while. I tried to sleep but it isn't as easy as you would think when you know you have a child awake in the middle of the night.

At 4 he came back in and asked if he could take a bath (my kids love to take baths when they don't feel well). I told him he could and then I went back to dozing as I kept one ear open for him. He finally got out and he returned to the living room to watch some TV before heading back to his own bed at 5:30. My alarm went off at 6:30 and our day started.

Anyway - hanging out and vegging in front of the TV was just what we needed. He was bugging me and bugging me about taking him to school for his party. To pacify him, I said if he had no fever at 10, and it stayed gone, I would take him for his party at 2. I knew there was very little chance of this happening. Sure enough, his temp shot back up as soon as the Motrin wore off. By then, he was feeling cruddy enough that he had stopped asking. :(

I left him here when I ran over to the school at lunch recess and back again and then we had a very quiet afternoon. I always know when he is really sick because he stays in a little quiet lump on the couch. It's so sad. :(

At 2:30 we both went over to the school to pick up Kelton's Valentine goody bag and wait for Kaylen. I went into the classroom and was greeted by a chorus of "Where is Kelton?!?!" I explained that he was in the car waiting for me but that he was very sick and would be out a couple days. I gathered his stash, said Happy Valentines Day to the kids (and received an onslaught of returned good wishes - I just love being known in the school!) and took it out to him. He excitedly opened everything and I was so happy to watch him. Soon I went over to Kaylen's room to pick her up and we headed home so the kids would lay out their stashes and oooh and aaaah over it all.

After that, Kelton was exhausted so he disappeared to the couch to rest. The afternoon and evening went by quietly but I did manage to get some food into the boy. They are in bed now and we are all hoping for a better night.

All in all, it was a really nice Valentines Day and I got to spend some really special time with my son, who I feel I rarely get to myself these days. I wish he felt better but it's kind of nice to have him with me, too.

I hope you all had a good day!

Happy Love Day!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

More (see below too)

"Be careful of your limits". I had to go back and reread the post about dating. Hahahahaha. Be careful of my limits?

Here is what I wrote:
"I am not in my early 20's. I am not child-free. I bring a lot of "baggage" to the table. I have all these things that need to be finessed into a relationship. It has to be right. It has to be something that feeds my soul and allows me to still be me. I need to be head over heels crazy for the person. It needs to be low drama because really? Who needs that?"

I indicate I am not living a life of a carefree single 20 something and have family obligations to my children.
A relationship has to be right.
It needs to feed my soul and allow me to still be me.
I need to be crazy for the person with a strong feeling of love, friendship and caring.
Low drama.

Ummm...which one in there should I get rid of?

Wow - shame on me for having such rigid and terrible limits. Hahahahahahahahaha.

Interesting Comment - It Gave Me a Good Laugh

I just received the following comment to my posting about dating and whatnot. First off, I don't know a Cindy in real life but apparently she thinks she knows me quite well. From what I can tell based on stats, she is from Castle Rock, Colorado. Since I've never been there nor know anyone there........well, it's hard to take this seriously.

Anyway...."Cindy" had to say the following:
"Be careful of your limits. Your life is FULL of drama and you don't want anyone just writing you off. I hate to say that but it is going to be hard to find anyone who will deal with the issues you have and how you are with the kids. Sorry... but it is true. "

Yes, my life is full of drama which I am working hard to eliminate the best I can. And that means sometimes relationships must end. It is for the best.

"It will be hard to find someone who will deal with" my "issues"? *I* am the only one who can "deal with" my issues. I would hope I could find someone who would be supportive of me in that area - the same as I would be for them as they dealt with their "issues" because let's be honest; we all have them.

How I am with the kids? Interesting. Yes, loving and supportive is a terrible thing to be. Being a good mother? Wow - what was I thinking? You're right - I should just find someone and ship them off to be cared for by others. Yes - I am protective and I see that as a good thing. Too many people aren't protective of their children and can see those kids in shows on TLC and History not to mention a few others that show prison shows and "kids gone wrong" shows. I know I am a good mother. So don't even bother trying to undermine me there.

I am amused that you think it will be hard to find someone to love me and want to be with me. That hasn't been an issue AT ALL. In the past year I have had that point proven well by more than one person. You really think I'm that hard up for people who want to spend time with me? Yeah - not so much. So really? Since I don't know you and you clearly don't know me in real life, it doesn't matter to me how "sorry" you are because you have no idea if it's true or not. None. But I think it's humorous that you think you know. I didn't realize you lived in my house, walked in my shoes or had any idea what really takes place in my life.

"It is true." Thanks for the laugh, it felt good to laugh at...I mean WITH you. No wait - I meant at you. Because you have no clue. But thanks for visiting just the same.

Food for Thought

If you can change your mind, you can change your life.
- William James

Optimism is a happiness magnet. If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you.
- Mary Lou Retton

Find people who love you unconditionally, surround yourself with them, and bring them the same level of intensity.
- Sean Stephenson

Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye.
- Helen Keller

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Dating and Whatnot

Oy. My life is complicated. More so than I want. I am trying hard to find inner peace or whatever you call it, but people seem so threatened by that. Why is it when you change things about yourself it sends people into a tailspin?

Let's talk dating, shall we? Isn't the purpose of dating to find out if the person you are seeing is the one for you? Isn't it to give it time to see how it all shakes out once the newness wears off and real life settles in? I get that dating is a foreign concept for most people - it seems like now everyone is doing the "meet - term it a relationship - and move in to live happily ever after" routine. Not just the lesbians either.....everyone. Just watch your Facebook relationship status updates, it's amazing and sad.

The U-Haul joke seems universal. And I am against it.

This flies in the face of what many think but here's the deal: I don't care what people think. If I settle down in a relationship it damn well better be a relationship that will stand the test of time. Maybe those of us who feel this way should initiate conference calls so can feel less alone. But then, maybe I'm alone in this - I don't know.

I am not in my early 20's. I am not child-free. I bring a lot of "baggage" to the table. I have all these things that need to be finessed into a relationship. It has to be right. It has to be something that feeds my soul and allows me to still be me. I need to be head over heels crazy for the person. It needs to be low drama because really? Who needs that?

So maybe, for me at this point in my life, I don't want a "relationship". Maybe, right now, I want to have fun and take life less seriously.

I used to have a notepad that said "Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly." I want to fly.

Taxes, Hearts and .......Who Knows.

As I mentioned previously, it's Valentine Weekend. And I'm not all that keen on it. (yes, I really did just use the word "keen". Deal with it.) I had planned to try to ignore it all (especially Monday) and work on taxes and job hunting (who knows, I might be first in line for a few prime banking jobs or something)but the more I think about it, the more I don't want to look back on "the day of love" and remember that I was working on taxes. That just feels worse than looking back and remembering I was alone.

So I will wait and do them, as usual, on Presidents Day Weekend. Why break with tradition?

Besides, I just don't want to this weekend.

The Rain is Falling

The rain is falling hard and fast right now. I love the sound of it and I am grateful to be listening to it from the safety and warmth of my home. It's nights like these that make me wish I had a hot tub that I could be in while the rain pours down on me.

Sure- there is a hot tub place to go to but it costs money and well, I sure couldn't go there at night when I have the kiddos. :) Just think how great it would be to open the slider, unlock the safety gate, remove the hot tub cover and climb into the hot water.

My brother has a hot tub and right now - I'm totally envious.

Valentines Day is Coming

I'm not a huge fan of Valentines Day to start with but this year it feels especially cruel. I think this is the first year in ummmm.......all of my adult life that I have been alone and single.

Dakota and I never made a huge deal out of the day. Usually a card and red sprinkles atop the whipped cream in our coffee. Then the kids came and we started a tradition of getting them a small box of candy and a stuffed animal (because, you know, a thousand stuffed animals crammed into this house just aren't enough).

We would always say "We show our love for each other all year long. We don't need just one day."

Now though? Right now I would give a lot to have someone special whisk me away for a romantic weekend. Soaking in whirlpool tubs as I drank champagne and was pampered sounds really nice.

I had an amazing Valentines Day last year. It was nearly as perfect as I could have dreamed. I guess the memories of that one will have to carry me through.

This Afternoon

The kids and I are going to be meeting up with Cande and her two girls in a little bit to go see "Gnomeo and Juliet" and I have to admit, I'm kind of excited. The movie looks really cute and the kids have been looking forward to opening weekend with great anticipation. I haven't taken them to a movie since Toy Story 3 this summer (Dakota loves movies more than I do so they usually see them with her.) so this ought to be fun (well you know, as long as steroid girl can keep herself together).

Before fun though comes work. Doesn't it always? I need to locate one of my usb drives and transfer some data. I have a load of laundry to fold and the kids beds to remake....and now, thanks to feeding them lunch, I also have dishes to do. :)

Maybe I can whip through my work while they are happily engaged with whatever show they are currently watching. The thing is, as soon as I disappear, their radar goes off and they follow me with the age old "Mom. Mom? MOM!!"

Maybe if I just sit her at the computer for a while longer, they will stay quiet? It's worth a try!


It was grocery shopping day today. With the kids.

Let that sink in for a minute.

With. The. Kids.

One who is strung out on steroids and the other who is trying to keep pace with the behavior of the other child.

Just. Shoot. Me.

A chore which would usually take me 45 minutes tops instead took almost two hours. I am not kidding. I wanted to cry. I wanted to scream. I wanted to stomp my feet. Now my "go to" on days like this is to pick up speed and just get it over with. The kids "go to"? Drag your feet, whine, pick up every blessed thing you see and beg for it. Whine and cry when your sister gets to use her birthday money to pick out a gift. Scream at the top of your lungs when your brother "accidentally" bumps the cart into you. Do everything wrong you could possibly think of that takes your mom to the edge of all things sane and then....just for fun....push her.

I would have sold my soul to be doing motorhome repair work with another grown up than shopping with my two lovely children.

Then there was unloading the car and helping to put things away. Sure, it would have been waaaaaay easier to do it by myself but that isn't sticking with my "teaching them to take more responsibility" theme. So, I took a deep breath and tried not to smack them when they started in with "Why do *I* hafta?!?!" "It's not MY house to take care of - it's YOURS!" "I'm not carrying that." "MOM! I think I brought the light bulb you just bought."

Is it too early to spike my coffee?

Where, you ask, are my two miracles right now? Happily eating chicken nuggets and watching TV. Hey - at least they are finally quiet. :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

One More Thing....

...and then I will let you get back to your life (as you can see, I've been very chatty today. Scroll down if you don't believe me.). Steroids....or specifically Prednisone, are/is EVIL. Kaylen was given the drug to take for four days to keep the internal inflammation down and WOW. One of the side effects is mood swings.


I can only equate her behavior to that of a 13 year old girl, strung out on hormones.


Between last night and right now I have found myself looking forward to filling out
bridal shower invitations because it will mean she will be someone elses problem blessing.

I am telling you...this is NOT my child. When I mentioned it was a good thing she could use the excuse of medication for her surly attitude, she glared and me and screamed "It's NOT the medicine! This is me being SIX!"

I will give her until the middle of next week to calm down and if she doesn't? can expect to find her on the front porch with a "Free" sign around her. :)

I'm kidding........sorta.

So Tired from the Week

It's been a long week. I think it's safe to say the three of us are exhausted. Monday Kaylen and I were sick (and Kelton played sick), Tuesday was back to our routines where I moved at the speed of light all day trying to get everything done (which must have been an internal drive knowing that time was not on my side this week). I paid bills, balanced the checkbook, picked up some groceries, took my car through emissions, got the new license plates and tabs for it...and I'm pretty sure there was other stuff in there that I have blocked from memory. All I know is I was on the move from morning until after Dakota arrived for her evening with the kids.

Wednesday brought an urgent appointment at the doctor for Kaylen to address a nasty infection on her finger and then.....well.....we all know how that day ended up.

Yesterday was Kaylen's birthday and I was still on adrenaline overload, and sleep deprivation, from the day before. I ran through the day frazzled and, seemingly, without direction. I did accomplish many things but the day is a blur.

Today I cleaned the house that had gotten completely out of control through the course of the crazy week, did some school-related stuff, applied for a couple jobs that I found, changed bedding, refilled dog food, and various other things. This evening Cande and her girls are coming over for dinner (Her treat. God love her!) and some play time (and grown up time!). Later, I will happily hit the mattress for some (hopefully) good sleep.

Tomorrow Cande, her girls, my two and I are going to see Gnomeo and Juliet. I'm looking forward to it - it looks so cute!

Here's hoping for a great weekend!

New Phone

I have a new phone. Well...I also have a new provider but it's the phone that I'm excited about (though for various reasons I am very happy to have a new provider as well).

I love it! It's an HTC EVO Shift 4G. And yes, it has a slide out qwerty which we all know I have to have because I am too inept to manage a virtual keyboard.

I looked at many phones before settling on this one (though really, it was easy. I liked it the minute I saw it but I wanted to check out a couple Samsung phones as well just to be sure). It definitely has everything I need - and then some. I'm familiar with Droids so at least I have that going for me. The transition to this phone hasn't been nearly as frustrating as the times I changed up to fancier phones from plain jane versions.

I did get a case for it but seriously? Is it just me? Why do they have to make the cases so thick. It adds so much bulk. I love the sleek look of a case-less phone but with the kidlets, it's important to have it safe in a case.

Isn't it pretty? :)

True Colors

We've all heard the phrase before; "Your true colors are showing." This phrase is clearly used as a weapon, to make you doubt yourself or question what you have done. At it's core, it is designed to make you feel like crap.

I was on the receiving end of this phrase this afternoon and, as I mulled it over I thought "Is showing your true colors really a bad thing?" I don't think it is. Being who you really are is what we should be working to achieve. Being who you are and true to yourself is a good thing. Saying "I don't need that in my life." and walking away is being honest about what you know about yourself and what you want for yourself. You don't stay in it because someone else will be upset...or hurt...or angry.

Maybe what it is more accurately is that person is seeing clearly, for the first time, who you are instead of who they wanted you to be. What you "did" effectively ripped the rose colored glasses from their eyes so they can FINALLY see you for who you are. That isn't bad. That is a relief.

We all have jobs to do in life. And I'm not talking about the ones that provide a paycheck either. My self-assigned job is to learn how to be honest to who I am and what I need (and don't need) in my life. I do not need to surround myself with people that don't fed my soul in some way.

So I'm making changes. And as they saying goes, you just might be one of those changes.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sending Out Her 5th Year with a Bang!

There is no doubt about it - Kaylen does everything in a BIG way and sending out her fifth year was no different.

Yesterday morning I had taken her to the doctor for a bad infection on her finger that I couldn't get under control with soaking and antibiotic cream. The doctor prescribed Keflex and I gave her the first dose at 10:00am and then took her back to school. I alerted her teacher and the front desk that she was taking an antibiotic and the possible reactions to look for and then I went home. I picked her up at 12:30 (Wednesdays are early release days)and noticed a couple little zit like bumps on her chin and cheek. I casually posted on Facebook, wondering if she was having a mild reaction. 2:00 came and I gave her the second dose and she worked on craft projects and at 3, we ran over to Target. While there, I had a gut feeling I should pick up some benedryl just to have on hand. I used to have a bottle but tossed it when it expired and never got another bottle. The kids each picked out a candy bar and we were on our way. We live 4 minutes from Target. By the time I was almost home, Kaylen complained that her candy hurt her tongue. I told her I would check her tongue when we got home. I pulled into the garage and after she got out of the car, I had her stick out her tongue.

She tongue was bright red, swollen and had hives all over it.

CRAP. This is what I was told would happen if she had an anaphylatic reaction.

I raced into the house and tore open the benedryl box and gave her a dose while I started dialing Kaiser. I was connected with the emergency on-call nurse who advised I take her to the ER and that if, on the way, she started having trouble breathing, call 911. *GULP*

I ushered the kids out the door and into the car as I called Dakota and told her we were on our way to the hospital. It was 4:00. I reached the ER at 4:08 and they tagged Kaylen and raced us back and into a pediatric room. Her voice was starting to get really hoarse. We changed her in to hospital wear and I was settling her in. Kelton was a big help and did what I asked him - which was awesome! I asked Kaylen how she was feeling. She said "Not good. I only have a little hole in my throat to breathe through." CRAP CRAP CRAP. I went out and got a nurse who came in and checked all her stats (she had been hooked up to a monitor) and then went to find a doctor. The doc came in and checked her over and ordered an IV and three different drugs.

Dakota arrived as they were getting ready to start the IV.

They got the drugs into Kaylen and she was a trooper! Not a peep. Not a whimper. She told us later she didn't even feel the IV go in.

The IV benedryl made her very sleepy (she was already sleepy from the stuff I gave her at home and then they doubled that dose through the IV) so we sent Dakota and Kelton off to see Grandpa, who was admitted to the hospital just a bit earlier. (When we walked through the ER doors, we ran into Dakota's mom. That was surreal!) After that they hit the gift shop for a present for Kaylen and then they had dinner in the cafeteria.

Kaylen, meanwhile, listened to a couple books I found to read to her and then she drifted off to sleep. The doc had checked her and said to settle in, we'd be there a while. At 6:45 we shook her awake she he could check her again. She was soooo out of it! We kept her awake for a few minutes so she could tell us how her throat felt. She said "Much better." The doc looked in and said "I agree with you! It is MUCH better!" PHEW!!!

He said he would start working on her prescriptions to go home and we could take her home. From here on, she should continue to improve and then he went on to explain how if she starts to get worse again, we are to call 911 and have her brought in immediately.

Yikes. Ok.

Kaylen started whining that she wanted to go home. I can't blame her - she felt awful and was incredibly drugged. I sent Dakota a text to let her know the status and they started their way back to us. Just as they came in, the nurse was bringing in the discharge papers. It was 7:10pm. Seriously? That a looooong three hours that flew by. I know that doesn't make sense but that's how it felt. How could it have been three hours but holy crap - all the stress of what could have happened was intense.

Dakota took the kids home while I took the scripts to a pharmacy....or five. The first one didn't have all the medication. The second one didn't take her insurance (Kaiser is primary and the state is secondary). The third was closed. The fourth had two of the meds and then they sent me back to pharmacy #1. It took me an hour, and many miles, to get them filled. I was so thankful I hadn't had to lug the kiddos with me. Poor Kaylen would have been a mess and Kelton would have spun completely out of control.

I came home and Dakota was reading stories and settling them in for bed. Because Kaylen had napped in the ER, she wasn't ready for sleep so I let her get up and cuddle with me on the couch. We said goodbye to Dakota and watched the end of The Great Fairy Rescue and then she told me she was ready to sleep.

I put her in my bed and crawled in next to her. It was 10pm and we were both exhausted. I couldn't sleep but she drifted off easily. When I finally did sleep, I had horrible dreams. I'd wake often and check on her. It was a long night.

This morning we woke up to Kelton saying "Happy Birthday, Kaylen!" Yes, it's true. Today is Kaylen's SIXTH birthday! She opened her gift from me and then I gave her the once over. She proclaimed she was feeling "great!" and I can confirm that her bumps on her face are gone and her tongue is back to its regular color and size. A few hives remain but she says "It's much more smooth than yesterday."

*breathing a HUGE sigh of relief*

Dakota and I talked and we opted to not give her the new antibiotic (we were instructed to know how to use the Epi Pen on her before we gave it to her...or any new drug from now on) and go back to soaking and creams. This morning even her finger looks better so I will keep a close eye on it and hopefully we can skip the antibiotic route.

She is on steroids for 4 days to keep the internal swelling down and she will forever more need an Epi Pen on hand and we need to tell everyone that she has a life-threatening allergy to cephalosporin antibiotics. I have to tell you, I have not been as terrified for the life of one of my children as I was last night except for that fateful day when Kaylen first stopped breathing. And while this was especially terrifying, at least she was able to answer my questions and participate in her care. At 11 months, that didn't happen so I was left guessing about what was happening and how she felt.

Dakota has a unique skill of being able to not go to the bad place of all the bad things that could have happened. I asked last night, away from the kids, how she could be so calm and she said "It's over now. She is fine." I am unable to do that. I replay it over and over and see all the places it could have gone terribly, horribly wrong. I think "Today could have been very different. Instead of celebrating her birthday, we could be planning her funeral." Yes - we are very, very lucky (I had a friend, when we were 17, who died from an anaplyatic reaction to medication.) and blessed. We definitely had someone watching over us. Picking up the liquid benedryl saved us big. Otherwise, we probably would have been calling 911. It gave us enough time to get to the hospital before things got scary and it helped keep her airway open enough for her to breathe.

Yesterday will be a day I will never, ever, ever forget every detail of. Just like the day when she was 11 months old.

But today? Today is a GREAT day and today, at 12:10pm, my amazing baby girl turns six years old. Happy Birthday, Kaylen! What do you say about having an uneventful year? :) I love you!!!!!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011


You all have to check out this website. It's called Damn You Auto Correct and it seriously has me busting a gut.

Feels good to laugh this hard. LOVE the one from Amber.


Perfect Timing

This arrived in my email box this morning and the time could not have been more perfect. I decided a couple months ago that I was tired of dealing with stress and problems that really aren't mine to deal with. Trust me - I have enough of my own. I'm tired of walking on eggshells around people to make sure their needs are met above and beyond everything else - and at a price to me. Sure, my kids come to play in this but surprisingly enough, some adults I know also are in this category.

I'm working with my kids on taking responsibility for many more things than they ever have been before (and I will tell you, this is not going smoothly with Kelton but I am sticking to my guns. I believe his line the other night was "I used to have such a good life. Why are you making it sooooooo hard now?" Yes child - picking up your OWN clothes and putting them in the laundry without being reminded Every. Single. Day. and closing your dresser drawers and making your own bed is just sucking all the ease out of your life. It must be sooooooo hard. Just wait until I pull out the learning to make some of his own snacks and loading his dishes into the dishwasher and from there....CHORES. I can hear the drama already.).

But be that as it may....I'm also exhausted trying to make sure certain grown adults in my life feel ok about...well.....everything. Listen closely: I have all I can handle with my own stuff. I need you to buck up and be ok that I am not going to be the one to make you feel better. Spend time with you and have fun? Sure. Coddle you with responses you expect and crave? No. I will be honest with you about how I feel and when I don't want to do or say something, I am not going to. I would expect no less from you.

Didn't I make this clear in my resolutions for the year? I'm pretty sure I did. It's all about getting to know who *I* am. That takes time and energy and honestly, I'd rather spend my energy that way instead of making sure you are ok. But anyway....this article from the Love and Logic Newsletter is perfect.

Are You Worn-Out and Stressed?

Dear Casey,

Do you ever find yourself completely exhausted and stressed with all of the problems that bombard you on a daily basis? I've recently found myself feeling crushed under the weight of the many burdens whirling around me. Why? Simply because I've forgotten how much fuel is required to run a helicopter on a daily basis.

Yes! I tend to be a helicopter parent, a helicopter boss, a helicopter spouse, etc. It's nobody's fault except mine. Deep within me is the burning desire to make sure that no one I know suffers from any sort of unhappiness, disappointment or disgust.

Listening to our audio, Helicopters, Drill Sergeants and Consultants, I was reminded that trying to rescue our kids from all of life's challenges burns us out and creates kids who don't believe that they have what it takes to be successful in life. I also realized that this very same principle applies to rescuing our spouses, friends, etc. It doesn't take long for us to run out of fuel and crash to the ground.

The single most powerful tool for combating this tendency is to memorize the following:

Oh, no. That's got to feel ___________.

What do you think you are going to do?

The next time someone else’s problem comes your way, experiment with saying these words with sincere empathy. Simply fill in the blank with whatever emotion you're guessing the person is feeling. Then give suggestions while allowing the person to own and solve his or her problem.

To make sure that your helicopter stays grounded, listen to Helicopters, Drill Sergeants and Consultants. This product is now available as an MP3 download—no waiting, no shipping fees!

Thanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.

Dr. Charles Fay

Tuesday, February 08, 2011


Like most people, I have a stats counter on my blog and every now and then, I visit it to see where you all come from. I am blown away. You are visiting from all over the world! Sometimes I think it would be fun to post the info it lists and have that person step forward and introduce themselves to me.

I think one of the ones I am the most intrigued by is my almost daily visitor from Penguin Putnam from New York.

I have figured out a lot of you.....Renton (Boeing), Omaha, Winnipeg, etc. but what about Belgium? I'm just so intrigued by the hundreds of you who come by each day.

I'm not asking you to "out yourself" but if you want to, I'd love to know. :)

Kaylen's 6th Birthday Party with Dakota's Family

Saturday Dakota's family all gathered to celebrate Kaylen's upcoming 6th birthday. She had a great time and felt like a princess!

She got to choose the special balloon for her party and since she is so close to Valentines Day, it's hard to find birthday balloons. Fear not though - she made do. :)

Sibling love! :)
Kaylen and me.

Kaylen and Dakota.
And because it's what our family does, there are always "silly face" photos.

The party is set up and waiting for guests.
The cake she choose....which doesn't go at all with the theme she picked kids are unique, that's for sure. :)
Her theme was kitty cat.
Kelton, Bailey and Alise with Uncle Richard.
The cousins....well...expect for 3 year old Jeremy, who wanted no part of photos. :)

Some of the guests.

Cake time!

After the party.
And within an hour, our girl was down for the count. Poor thing spent the rest of the weekend sicker than sick. Is it wrong that I was sorta happy that it was Dakota's weekend so all the barfing happened at her house? :) Sorry, Dakota.
Happy 6th Birthday Party, Princess Kaylen!

Busy Bee

It's been a busy day over here at the OK-Corral. Both kids were home sick yesterday (Kaylen was very sick from Saturday night until mid-afternoon yesterday but Kelton just wanted to be home so managed to get himself sent home yesterday)and I wasn't feeling all that hot myself.) so nothing was accomplished. Today, I have made up for it in a big way though I still have the checkbook to balance and bills to pay.

I got the kids to school and then I worked on PTO things for about 90 minutes (and in that time I created the Book Fair display case and got the letters to go home to parents out to teachers.

From there, I ran over to the grocery store and picked up some things and then off to the post office I went. I came home and put things away and did some work on the never-ending job hunt.

I was off to the school in time to meet Kaylen for 10 minutes and then it was off to run my car of 15 miles to get it ready for an emissions test. I have to say I was pretty nervous about passing since I have a known small oil leak that will cost me $2500 to repair (so not happening at this point). I went over to the emissions place and lo and behold - a miracle! My car passed. YES!!! It won't need to pass another one for two years.

From there, I went down to the next driveway and renewed my tabs....well... apparently my number came up and I also had to get new plates. I would say something like "But after 6 years I JUST learned my old plate numbers" but that would be a big fat lie. I still don't know my old plate numbers. And now I have new ones anyway. Not like I will memorize the new ones either. :) My head is already too full of random numbers and letters and passwords. :)

Then it was home again where I did a bunch of on-line reasearch for various things. The biggest was the Washington State Booster Seat laws. Kelton is almost 9 years old but is only 4'6". The law clearly states the requirements are 8 years OR 4'9" which is hard for me to understand. 4'9" is the height when car seatbelts fit properly so why do we not care that our 8, 9, 10, etc year old kids are not safe? I'm so confused. Is it because an 8 year old or 9 year old is embarrassed to be in a backless booster? Tough $#&^%.....better embarrassed than decapitated by an ill-fitting seltbelt. I'm such a mean mom! :)

I talked with Dakota and we agreed that Kelton will stay in his booster. I know he isn't happy but you know, as Dakota once told me when she wouldn't allow us to have a crib bumper because studies show they increase the risk or SIDS, a dead baby (or in this case, child) is no fun at all. So in his booster he will stay.

Like I said - it's been a busy day. Now I should download birthday party photos, make a set for Dakota and post a few for your viewing pleasure. I cannot believe Kaylen will be 6 on Thursday. Wild.

Hope your day is going well.
The quiet scares me
because it
screams the truth.


Friday, February 04, 2011

Kaylen Rocks!

So....ask me how Kaylen is doing at school these days. Go ahead. Ask me.

The answer is GREAT! I am so proud of her I am bursting at the seams today. Lately she has been taking the bus to and from school and I meet her at recess for about 10 minutes.

This morning Kelton woke up not feeling well and I immediately raced to "Uh oh. This is going to be interesting."

I chose to wait until after Kaylen and I had showered to break the news. At first her eyes welled up and I was quick to say "I will take you and pick you up and still come for recess." She pulled herself together, took a deep breath and said "Ok."

I held my breath. Ok? Really? Hmmmmmm. She has never been at school without Kelton. She tried once and lost it early on and I had to go pick her up.

I casually said "You better get dressed for school."

She skittered off to get dressed (and yes, she is wearing red for Women's Heart Health). She had her breakfast, packed her backpack and then said "Mom? I think I want you to drop me off in the drop off line, come to recess like always and then I will bring the bus home."

I was jumping up and down inside but I just said "Oh. Ok. That sounds good." and went about my business.

Oh. My. Gosh!!!

She has come so far from September. So, so, so far!!!! I am so proud of her. On top of that, she seems to be more like the little girl I have always known. She casually mentioned the other day that she doesn't have her brain bug anymore. She pulled her hair really hard and it popped out. :)

This is not to say she doesn't have her fair share (well...more than her fair share) of issues but she is working through all the things that popped up in September. This is huge!

Even her teacher today in emails back and forth agrees that she had made giant leaps just since December. Maybe it's because she is getting very near to turning six. I don't know. I don't care. I'm just so happy to see her having faith in herself again.

Go Kaylen! You rock!!!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Some Mornings

Some be honest.....suck. This was one of those mornings. Kaylen woke up with a chip on her shoulder which came out via an attitude that is hard to deal with when my brain isn't quite awake yet. That, of course, set of Kelton.

She dressed herself without complaint but wow. Can I just say this is her best outfit yet? I didn't take a photo because, as I said, the morning sucked.

I was still in the shower when the the mommy demands started. You know what I'm talking about; "MOM! I want...!" "MOM! I need....!" "MOM! Kelton/Kaylen is bugging me!" "NO I'M NOT! S/HE IS BUGGING ME!" I took a few deep breaths and started dealing with all the issues while I got dressed, made beds, started laundry, made breakfast and lunches, etc. Then.....they pushed and pushed even further and I blew. My blood pressure shot up and I couldn't think beyond "STOP! JUST STOP!"

Let's just say that by the time the bus arrived I was more than happy to kiss them goodbye and send them on into their day.

Now I need to calm myself back down and get my day back on track (well - as best I can. I have a lot of stress going on today in various other manners). It's amazing to me how mornings like this affect the entire day - not just for me but for the kids too. I'm pretty sure Kelton will be getting into trouble a lot today for messing around. Kaylen? I'm not sure how it will affect her. Time will tell.

The other day when she was stressed, she ended up in the health room twice for silly things. I guess I should just be happy she figured out a way to manage her stress without totally losing it. :)

Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Just breathe. It's just another day.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Rambling On About Nothing

I can't sleep. I was tired while I sat on the couch and watched TV but the second I turned out the light to sleep, my eyes popped wide open. What's up with that? Hardly seems fair, if you ask me. Not that anyone is asking.

I read a book today. I started to read it back in December (it was my self-assigned winter break reading) but I just couldn't get past the second chapter. It was good - I just couldn't focus and concentrate. This afternoon was early release for the kids so when they were doing their reading homework, I picked up the book and started reading.....and I couldn't put it down. I did, of course, to tend to various needs but I read and read and read and by 9:00 tonight, I had finished all 373 pages.

Do you have any idea when I last was able to focus and read a book from beginning to end? I'm going to take a wild guess and say at least 18 months. I have tried many times but I just couldn't get into anything. Focus was something I lacked as my thoughts jumped all over the place constantly. Honestly, I couldn't even handle reading magazines. I'd flip through them but reading them? Nope. Didn't happen. I recently tossed out 4 months worth of "O" and "Simple Living" because I couldn't stand having them on the table anymore and I knew I wasn't going to get to them.

So today was a huge accomplishment. But now? I guess maybe my head is making up for lost time because my thoughts are jumping and jumbled. All I really want to do is sleep. I guess I'll go give it a shot again.

Good night.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011


It's February. February for crying out loud. Where on earth did January go? I had big plans for January. I thought FOR SURE that it would be the month when the heavens smiled upon me and maybe they did but not in the ways I had imagined...some better, some no where near as good as I hoped.

February is a big month around here. Sure, sure; it's Valentines Day month. The month of love. But it's something MUCH bigger too. It's Kaylen's birthday month. In nine days my baby girl is going to be 6 years old. It's hard to fathom it's been 6 years from the day that she silently entered the world and gave us all a run for our money.

She hasn't stopped being full of surprises since. I love that little girl so much that my heart hurts sometimes. So this is her month. Her month to shine!

Happy Love Month, everyone!