Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

My little goblins are dressed up and ready to go Trick or Treating. First time ever that I won't be going out with them. :(

I'm sure they will have a great time!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

An Interesting Few Days

Kaylen arrived home from school Tuesday happy and excited. She had faced her fears and ridden the bus alone - without Kelton - for the first time. (Kelton had stayed after school for a Science Olympiad training session.) I met Kaylen at the end of the road and walked with her back down to the house. She chatted my ear off the entire way. She couldnt' wait until the next time Kelton stayed late at school because she had SO much fun without him. It was all girls on the back of the bus. Blah blah blah. So, so happy she was.

Fast forward an hour. I'm getting ready to go get Kelton and asked if she wanted to go or stay home with Stephanie. "Stay home." came a small, weak response. "I'm cold." The house was chilly so I put a big fluffy blanket on her, kissed her and went on my way. By the time I got back, 20 minutes later, she was completely under a blanket playing on the iPad. I couldn't even tell she was there, except the lump moved when I called her name.

A half hour later, she came to me complaining of being cold. She looked sad. Not the bubbly girl I had chatted with on the way down the road not even 90 minutes earlier. Hmmmmmmm. Mommy alarm bells started going off. Was she getting sick? I changed her into a fleece sweatshirt and had her put on her shoes. Dakota was minutes away from arriving to take them for her Tuesday visit. Kaylen was getting grumpier by the second. I needed to take her temperature but just then, Dakota arrived.

I alerted her to Kaylen's status and said "I think she might be getting sick. I was going to take her temperature but I haven't had time." Kaylen, of course, said "NO I'M NOT!" Off the three of them went.

Two hours later, right before they were to return, I get a text that says Kaylen has a fever of 100 degrees. *sigh* Chalk one up for Mommy intuition. They arrive home and Kaylen melts when I tell her she won't be able to go to school the next day. I back off and tell her we will decide in the morning. It will probably be ok. Hey - a mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do when a sick child is losing it. I knew good and well that if she really was running a fever, she wouldn't be going to school. I let her believe what she needed to though.

Dakota left and I went about getting Kaylen settled in and changed into pajamas. I took her temperature which came back as 99. She was a whiney, clingy mess. She said she needed to do her reading homework. I told her she didn't have to, which resulted in more tears. Then she looked at me and said "I don't wanna read. I just wanna go to bed." I tucked her in and she fell to sleep immediately.

"Yep." I thought to myself, "Here we go."

I heard her get up at midnight to go to the bathroom. I got up and tucked her back in. I heard her get up at 4am to go to the bathroom. She quietly came into my room and said "Mom. I'm not going to school today. I just threw up a little bit." I asked if she was ok, she said she was and then went back to bed. Stephanie and I stayed awake and talked for a while. I didn't go back to sleep. I got up and got ready, Kelton woke up and got ready. Kaylen slept on.

Around 7, she woke up and came into the living room and asked why I hadn't woken her up. "Because," I said, "You need to sleep." She crawled on the couch and huddled in the corner. I went to put a blanket on her and she said "I'm hot!" I took the blanket off, got the thermometer and lo and behold - her temperature was over 101. I got her comfy, took Kelton to school and then came back. She hadn't moved an inch.

And that's how the rest of the day played out. She didn't talk much, she didn't want to watch TV, or play on the iPad, or eat, or talk. Stephanie and I got some Otter Pops and water down her but mostly, she just layed on the couch. Poor girl. :( I kept Tylenol and Motrin onboard all day and yet every time I took her temperature, it was still over 101. I broke the news about no school the next day. She didn't care.

It was early release so Kelton was home by 1:30. He tried to interact with her but she wouldn't engage. At 2:30, with Mortin still onboard, I took her temperature. 102.5. Well now - this was going in the wrong direction!

I called the school to let them know she wouldn't be in on Thursday and shared the rising temperature information. The secretary said "I think I should tell you that we have had several confirmed cases of strep in the 2nd grade. There are no cases reported in her class but there have been in a couple other classes." I thanked her for the information and hung up - as alarm bells start going off in my head at record speed. The kids have never had strep before - it wasn't even a blip on my radar!

I picked up the phone and called Kaiser. They got a message to her clinic and within 10 minutes, I had a return call. After talking over what had happened in the last 24 hours (and the fact Strep was in the school), they suggested bringing her in for a Rapid Strep Test. I bundled up my lump of a child and off we went.

She was a champ. Didn't whimper when it was time for the throat culture. The nurse told us stories of 12 year olds who had to be held down. One was there just that morning. Kaylen weakly smiled when the nurse told her how strong she was and how brave.

The results took hardly any time at all. The lab tech came out with a pink sheet of paper with the word POSITIVE stamped all over it. Off to the pharmacy we went.

 Because of Kaylen's severe allergy to Keflex, it took quite a while for the pharmacy to research the drugs. They have a standard go to list: First line of defense is Penicillin and the second drug of choice is....Keflex. Ok then. Penicillin, right? WRONG! Penicillin is, apparently, a third generation relation to Keflex. The pharmacist came over to talk with me. It was too close for her comfort and she wasn't inclined to fill it. There was another option: Clindamyacin. The catch? It tasted awful. The pharmacist warned that it was one of the most vial tasted medication out there. She needed liquid because the pill form was huge.

What could I do? We had to do it. The pharmacist told me to give her a popsicle to numb her taste buds, have her take the medicine and then follow up with the rest of the popsicle. I needed to get two doses down her before bedtime.

Thankfully, this is Kaylen. She doesn't like it, but she does it without a fuss. I was a nervous wreck. Two doses were all it took for Keflex to almost kill my daughter. I had to Epi Pen in sight all night. I put her to bed about 20 minutes after her second dose. She was only running a 99 degree temp and declined more Motrin. I checked on her a couple times and then at 10:30, I woke her up and had her show me her tongue and lips. She looked ok. No hives. She felt hot to the touch. I took her temperature, it was 103.9. I got Motrin down her and let her go back to sleep. I felt fairly confident that we were out of the woods for a reaction to the medication.

Stephanie checked on her a couple hours later. Still good. Thank God. I was up at 6, and checked on her. All was well and she was cool to the touch. She got up about 45 minutes later and said, in a happy voice, "I feel MUCH better!"

Without meds, her temp was 99.7. Yes, indeed - you ARE much better, Little One!

She is home again today and can return to school tomorrow (as long as her fever doesn't go back up). Kelton is crazy jealous over her being home again and tried like crazy to convince me he was sick. He wasn't - so he is at school. :)

I'm so happy to see her bright eyes again. And Strep? I'd be happy to never, ever see your face again!

Monday, October 15, 2012


I created these pages in the past two hours. Not bad, if I do say so myself. :) I would love to include photos of Andrew but he is incredibly difficult to get pictures of...I'm prety sure he believes the camera will steal his soul. :) I'm confident that, in time, I will get a few good shots of him. I really like the one of Kaylen and the one of Stephanie and me. The pumpkin one I'm lukewarm on. I may have to play with it again on another day. But still.....not bad. I said I wanted to get back into it and into it I got. :)

Rainy Monday

The rains arrived late yesterday evening and they have been steadily falling ever since.  We all slept with our windows open a little so we could enjoy the sounds.  The kids thought it was so cool and it dawned on me, as they went on and on about how great it was, I had never opened their bedroom windows on a rainy night at the other house.  I wonder why. 

Today was the first day of rain on a school day for this school year.  The tension was thick as Kaylen grappled with having to walk down the road in the rain after school.  I gave her an umbrella but she still isn't liking it.  I guess it IS a lot different than jumping off the bus and running up the driveway to the dry warmth of the house like she has done in years gone by.  That's for sure.

It was a three day weekend for the kiddos.  Friday was a teacher in-service day so the last three days at the house were full of noise, chaos, laughter, arguments, messes everywhere, etc.  Today, after they all were off for the day, I came back and cleaned the house.  It's serene, calm, clean.....quiet.  A nice change - even though I do miss the kids being home.  Still - there is an upside to them being at school.  It's quiet enough that I can hear myself think.  :)

This Friday is Book Fair set up.  It feels surreal to me.  I'm used to book fair being in early March so needless to say, the timeline is kind of messing with me.  Next week is conference week and book fair week.  I am working several mornings at the book fair and then the kids will be out of school for the day at 11:15am.  A whole new mindset.  I'm still not clear on the thoughts behind book fair during conference week but apparently it is because most of the business will come from parents after conferences.  As, as opposed to our last school, kids are encouraged to be in attendance for the conference.  Personally, I think that is odd since it seems to be that the adults will have a difficult time really discussing the child in question.  There are questions I want to ask that I don't want asked in front of them.  Ugh.  Again, it's different here.

Oh- and I don't yet know what day the kids conferences will be.  I'm hoping that info comes home today.

Time for another cup of coffee.....and time to enjoy the quiet.  :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012


I'm waaaaaaaaaay out of three years, give or take.....but I decided to see what I could do in the way of making a page.  I'm definitely rusty but it was fun to get back into the program and create. 

Here's to finding my of these days.  :)

It's Fall

It's fall....and not much says that more than the leaves, in all sorts of colors, falling from the trees.  Today, on the way home from the pumpkin patch (see below for pictures), we drove down a street and the leaves falling resembled falling snow.  Very pretty. 

Living in the country, I am surrounded by everygreen trees and not many leafy trees.  I love evergreens but this time of years has me wishing for leaves in the yard.  Though honestly?  I'm loving the thought of not having to rake.  :)  So - as with everything, you take the good with the not so good.

Anyway.......autumn is my favorite time of the year.  The colors, the scents, the cool, crisp air, and yes....even the rain.

I have all my fall decorations, as well as the halloween decorations, up in the house.  What I don't have, however, are special fall curtains. Until recently, I never even considered it.  Did you know you can find  burlap curtains for sale?  I know!  Me either. But there you have it.

I have only ever thought of burlap as something you use for sack races.  Bags that potatoes used to come in when I was a child.  I never thought of using it as fiber for use in your home.  But I think it's great!  I mean, why not, right? 

Fall. Such a great time of the year.  So many possibilities.  I love thinking of huddling down and doing inside things.  I'm even itching to download some digital scrap book kits and get back to scrapping. 

I better hurry though......Christmas is coming fast which means I only have a couple weeks to really enjoy the fall.

Pumpkin Patch 2012

Despite the threat of rain, we headed off to the pumpkin patch this morning for our annual visit. I love going to BiZi Farms, mainly because it is the place where I have taken Kelton and Kaylen for almost every year of their lives. As it turns out, it is also the place that Stephanie has taken Andrew in his younger years. Kinda nice to have a place like that where we can merge the memories of both groups into one.

Thankfully, the rains held off. We fed the animals in the petting area, we sampled fresh apple juice, got lost, and found, in the corn maze, shot pumpkins, picked out pumpkins, enjoyed hot apple cider and/or hot cocoa, played on the hay pyramid, and played in the corn bin. All in all, a very good time.

Friday, October 12, 2012

More Ramblings

What?  You thought I was done?  Silly you.  :) 

Guess what fun part happens when you put in a change of address at the post office?  You get to sign up for a bunch of mail order catalogs and other fun stuff.  It is a perk....well, if you are someone like me who likes to get catalogs in the mail.  :)

Today I received Pottery Barn.  So. Much. Fun.

I can't really afford to shop there but looking at everything, dreaming and scheming of how I might capture the feel of something for way less money makes me kinda happy.  Sure - I might not be able to get something like boston bedroom furniture but I can look at the way they set up a room and glean some ideas that I cam implement on my own in other ways.  I'm handy that way....making a home and all.

One of my favorite places to go, and not spend much money at all, is Big Lots.  I picked up a few knicky-knacky type things for under $30 and gave several areas a little pick me up.  Making the home I am building with Stephanie more "ours".  Always a good feeling.

I love making a house a home by adding cozy touches.  And I have to say, I think I have done, and continue to do, a really good job in the last six weeks of making this place a home.


Did you hear that?  Yeah - I think it was me screaming.  I just spent some time putting together a post and then we had a power flicker and I lost the connection and well.....lost my dang post.  Which is really just the icing on the cake for right now.

Maybe it really is time to contact a raleigh commercial real estate attorney and see what some options are.  :)

Ok ok - that would have made so much more sense if you could read the post I did prior to this one.  You know, the one that is gone into never never land.

*sigh*  It's just been one of those days.

One of those days when I give and do and do and give and it is never enough.  And I'm tired.  I tried to nap but that was a no go with the three kids.  Stephanie, however, can sleep through anything so she is still snoozing away.  I got up, made food, fed them, cleaned up a mess or two, folded laundry, broke up arguments, etc.

It's raining.  My plans for the weekend went up in smoke.  It sucks only having the kids every other weekend because it appears I just lost my chance to go to the pumpkin patch.  Sure, I could drag us all in the rain but then I have to endure the complaining and whining and honestly?  I'm not up for it.

It's been a week of whining and complaining....and standing firm with this kid or that kid.  Dealing with the massive headache that "other people" bring.  Dealing with an actual headache that I've had all freaking week long.

I'm cranky and crabby and tired and overwhelmed.

And tomorrow is the rain.

Just shoot me now.

More Guitar

Are you wondering how many posts I can have about guitars?  Especially when I don't actually play or have a deep love of them?  well wonder now more.  Apparently, the answer is: A LOT.

But what's not to love about the Ibanez Artcore guitar?  No, really.  What's not to love?

I mean SERIOUSLY?  It's red.  That's all I need to know.  :)

Red is an awesome color.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE the color red.  And it makes music.  So right there - it's all good.  :)

My friend, Stella, would probably love this guitar.  Her birthday is Sunday.  I would love to see the look on her face if I could present this to her to celebrate her years on the planet.  Unfortunately, this won't be waiting for her special day b ut I hope what I did send will make her *almost* as happy.

A red guitar.  Seriously cool. 

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Kelton James: 5th Grade, Age 10 sweet first born.  Such a great kid.  His curly hair and never ending smile lights up my days.  He is doing so well in school - reading at an almost 9th grade level and excelling at everything else.  Well, except spelling and penmanship.  The spelling is because of his speech issues (third year in speech and doing remarkably well) and penmanship because well......I have no reason.  :)  But it doesn't matter - I love him more than anything.

I look at this picture and seriously cannot believe it.  In my eyes, he is still about 15 months old, toddling all over the place.  But I guess there is no denying it - he is growing into a fine young man.  And I could not be more proud of him.  I love you, Kelton.  You truly are my miracle.

Andrew: 7th Grade, Age 12

Andrew is such a great kid.  Always ready with a joke and a smile.  Loves to play with the other two and to hear all of them laughing together is an amazing sound.  He tries to act tough but is a gentle, sweet kid at heart. 

Monday, October 01, 2012

Kaylen Lane: Second Grade, Age 7

My beautiful daughter.

Look at her hair!  I can't believe how long it has gotten over the past year.  Her hair aside, she is one of the two best things I have ever done in my entire life.  Sweet, caring, kind, loving, generous (to a fault), responsible, driven, imaginative, intelligent, funny, and oh so much more.  Oh how I love this child!

(Kelton's school pictures were taken a week after Kaylen's so hopefully I will be posting his school picture in the next few days.)