Around Here: Week 43

Me & Grandpa Jerry
My sister & me circa 2004???

Love this crazy kid... so glad he's alright

Not taking... one single day for granted.  After Logan's seizure on Tuesday, our regular, everyday things feel so significant and blessed.

Loving... the boys' school pictures.  Wyatt's is probably my favorite just because he still has all his baby teeth and I adore baby teeth.  But Logan and Jack's are fantastic, too.  I mean, those dimples!

Reading... Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.  Loving all her instructions on how to be a writer.

Making... a craft for Wyatt's class to do during their Halloween party next week. It's taking forever, but they're gonna be so cute!

Thinking... about starting to write letters to myself.  The voices in my head are negative jerks that focus only on my failures.  I'd like to take the power back by noticing (and writing about) all I'm doing right.

Watching... Blue Bloods.  Josh and I have been watching it for the whole year and it's our favorite.

Feeling grateful... for MOPS.  As Logan headed back to school yesterday I was feeling all kinds of anxiety.  Spending my morning surrounded by those ladies helped me not obsess.  In the afternoon I did end up getting a call from the office that he was complaining of headache, so I picked him up early.  He admitted later he had fallen running at recess and hit his head again. sigh. So I spoke with his doctor and we agreed that until his follow up appointment next week he needs to stay in for recess and not participate in PE.  Basically we need to protect Logan from himself. Hopefully from here forward he will be more careful and give his poor head a chance to heal.

Looking back... at pictures my grandma brought me when she and grandpa came to visit last weekend.  They are 81 & 84 and traveled over 6 hours to get to us.  I am so grateful they came.  We ate out Friday night and Josh made us all pizza Saturday night.  It was just really nice to show them our house and our neighborhood.  Wyatt even walked my grandma to his school and showed her his classroom. And Josh and the twins set off the volcano we made two weeks ago.  It was really fun to visit and hang out.

Loving... this quote by Ann Voskamp.
"Fear can be what we feel- but brave is what we do."




I told you the story of Logan's seizure from Logan's point of view, but I'd like to take a minute to tell you how things went down for Logan's other half, Jack.

Apparently Jack knew someone was down on the floor, because he could see traffic being diverted in the cafeteria, but he didn't know who it was until he got down from his bench and peered under the tables from his class to the last class in third grade, Logan's class. (They are seated pretty far from one another.)  He knew immediately that it was Logan and he asked his friend to go ask her mom (who is a staff assistant at their school) what was going on. His friend ran back and told him that Logan was down, and choking on his chips.

Jack saw him on the ground, shaking all around and shortly after that he saw (still from a distance as he was at his table) the police show up.  He saw the police officer checking Logan to see if he was breathing and taking other vital signs.  Some kids told Jack they were giving Logan CPR and others thought Logan was dead or paralyzed from falling off his seat at the table.

The principal, who has twins himself, at that point connected with Jack, for which I'm so grateful, and asked Jack if he wanted to come closer.  Jack told him no.  Tonight at bedtime he told me, "I just didn't want to go up there mom.  With all those grown ups.  Do you know what I mean?" I assured him that I totally understood.  That while some kids might have wanted to see what was going on because they'd never seen that before, for him to go see it, was really hard and really scary.  Instead Jack opted to go to this classroom.  His teacher was still finishing her lunch when he arrived, but the door was unlocked so he went straight to his desk, where he sat sobbing (& coloring) until she arrived.

She said she walked into the room and saw Jack alone at his desk.  When she asked what was the matter, he melted into her, crying even harder, and she had no idea what was going on. Slowly she began to piece together what had happened.  She knew a third grader had collapsed, but wasn't sure who.  Then when Jack was able to talk, he told her Logan had been on the ground, not responding and that he didn't like what all the other students were saying.

I just keep feeling terrible for not being there. I mean, how could I have been there? But still... I hate the thought of Jack witnessing something so scary by himself.  Thank goodness his teacher is absolutely amazing and Jack knew her classroom would be a refuge for him. She is my saving grace.  And the principal.  He checked in a second time with Jack at recess later to be sure he wanted to stay with his class and not come wait for me in the office.  Again, Jack chose to stay with his class, keeping his day as normal as possible.

Jack told me that after he saw Logan shaking like that, he was shaking, too.  I told him that I think that's because him and his brother have such a special connection.

As Jack told me pieces of what happened yesterday, it was almost like he was in denial because the story came out in tiny bits over the course of the last 24 hours.  I think as the shock and worry is wearing off, he's better able to put it all together in his head.  Tonight he fell asleep much easier and I'm hoping I will too.



An Ambulance is on the Way

 Today I got the call every mother dreads.  

At 12:36 my phone rang. I was working on the craft I have planned for Wyatt's class pumpkin party next week and the phone said "Unknown".   I always answer the phone, though, during the day, just in case.

It was a staff member from the boys' school calling to tell me they had Logan, down, in the cafeteria. "We think he had a seizure," she said, "An ambulance is on the way."  She wasn't sure if he was coherent or responsive.

I flew down the hall, got Carly up from her nap, grabbed Logan's bubba (his favorite stuffed animal), along with my purse and the diaper bag and got Carly in her carseat.  That drive to the school was the longest three quarters of a mile I've ever traveled.  I arrived just after the ambulance and fast as I could, I got into the gym to see Logan.

He was a lump on the floor, unresponsive, but breathing.  Someone took the baby so I could get on my knees next to Logan.  His eyes slowly fluttered open, his pupils huge & black, and closed again a handful of times. Finally they opened and locked on my face. He gave half a smile. I asked him where he was, but he couldn't answer.  I asked what hurt and he clumsily touched his forehead.

Then he tried to get up on all fours, but his legs kept sliding out from under him.  The EMT's gently loaded him onto the stretcher and wheeled him out to the parking lot. The police officer who had arrived after the 911 call offered to drive my van to the hospital so I could ride with Logan in the ambulance.  I buckled Carly into one seat behind Logan and I sat by his side in another seat.  At that point he had begun talking, and the relief that washed over me was unlike any ever in my life.

He was able to tell me who his teacher was and that his head hurt. They put in an IV and checked his blood sugar.  Before we knew it, we had arrived at the hospital.  I had to go check him in while they wheeled him back.  Once I was done with the paperwork I met Logan in his room and Josh arrived. 

I had attempted to call him on the drive to the school, but it went to voicemail.  Thankfully our principal knows the superintendent at Josh's district and called him personally to make sure Josh got the message that one of the twins had had a seizure and was being ambulanced to the ER.

The boys' teachers both came out to the ambulance to check on me before we left and see how they could help.  Jack's teacher offered to keep him and Wyatt as long as necessary so Josh and I could both be with Logan.  The principal held the baby while I tended to Logan, and all the staff was doing, and had done, all they could to make a bad situation better.  The secretary I spoke with even stayed on the phone with me until I was leaving the house, reminding me kindly to breathe.

After his initial check up, Logan took a nap.  He had some idea of what had happened and was able to tell us that he'd had a headache just before lunch.  When he woke up from his nap, we were talking about the ambulance ride and he said he thought it was like a bus. "Speaking of buses," he said to me, "We got to practice bus evacuations today.  And when it was my turn, I forgot to duck and hit my head really hard."  My wheels started turning, asking Logan the questions necessary to try and piece together some type of timeline. 

So what I think happened is this: He did bus training, knocking his forehead on the shortened door frame.  Then he had reading group & a splitting headache. Then he went to wash up for lunch and felt dizzy upon standing and very shaky.  He made it to the cafeteria where he ate one thing from his lunch and was working on his chips when he had a grand mal seizure that they think lasted roughly four minutes.

I spoke with the ER doctor about this new development and she said that in many cases children with concussions can have seizures.  So for the foreseeable future, we have to watch Logan when he's swimming or in the bath tub, and he can't climb on anything higher than six feet, in case he has another seizure. We don't want him to suffer a secondary injury from a fall.  In terms of the concussion he may or may not have, we have to watch for worsening headache or vomiting. 

To be careful, we are keeping him home from school tomorrow, but from there, he will likely be back to his normal activity barring any climbing. With a single seizure, the protocol is to simply wait and see.  If there are more seizures, then you follow up with a neurologist and think about medication. But if this is a one time event, you just let time pass and pray it doesn't happen again.

Josh's cousin Januari brought us dinner and many people in the community have reached out to check on us.  We're so grateful.  Continued prayers for Logan's healing are welcome, as are prayers for Jack and other classmates who witnessed Logan's seizure.  A seizure is a very scary thing to witness (I've watched Josh suffer two seizures) and my heart goes out to Logan's friends (and brother) who were with him when it happened.  Tonight poor Jack was so exhausted after a long day worrying, but could not fall asleep.  He asked me to lay with him and as I snuggled in next to him on his pillow, he found my hand and grabbed it tight. He told me he didn't want to sleep cause he was worried Logan wasn't going to wake up in the morning. 

We prayed together and I assured him that if the doctor was worried we'd still be at the hospital.  And then I hugged him tight and thanked God for such a tender hearted brother.



9 months in // 9 months out

As of today, Carly has been out as long as she was in.  

39 weeks.  

273 days with this amazing pink blessing in my life.  In many ways I can hardly remember life before her.  She's become one of the gang.  Part of the fabric of my days, the same way the twins and then Wyatt did.  We all love her. She brings out a tenderness in her brothers I've never seen before, and they all want to make her smile or laugh.  When Josh gets home from work and sees her, his face just lights up.  She's the one we all want to be around.  
I'm so grateful for her.  

We all are.


Around Here: Week 42

Relaxing... with our two new cats. I keep calling them kittens cause they are only nine months old (my sister joked that I have triplets, cause they're the same age as Carly- ha!) and they're crazy rambunctious like kittens throughout the day.  But they also take their share of sweet naps, often together, and each day I'm falling more in love.  Hands down my favorite part of having cats though is watching Carly with them.  She squeals when she sees them, or cracks up laughing.  She's not crawling yet and Josh & I agree that those cats are going to be what gets her crawling.

Reading... My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman. My favorite quote so far: "This is a grandchild's ultimate privilege: knowing that someone is on your side, always, whatever the details.  Even when you are wrong. Especially then, in fact." I'm leading the next two book club books and this is the first one.  We would love to have you along! Find us on Facebook and let's get reading!

Loving... our evenings.  Homework, dinner, baths, and bedtime stories with Dad followed by silent reading in bed for the twins... it's the stuff my childhood dreams were made of, and I feel so blessed that this is my life.

Brushing... Carly's three little teeth with her own teeny tiny toothbrush.  Her first top tooth poked through last week, joining the bottom two, and I can't wait to see what she looks like when they both come in on top.

Letting... the boys jump in the rain this weekend.  The twins loved every second, whereas Wyatt got pretty cold pretty fast and was none too impressed.

Finishing... Wyatt's treatment for his lingering cough.  Antibiotics and some nebulizer treatments for the last week and a half, and he is back to 100%. I'm so relieved!

Looking forward... to a visit from my grandparents.  A big storm prevented their visit last weekend, so I'm excited it worked out for them to come see our new house this weekend.

Watching... Season 5 of Alaska: The Last Frontier. I downloaded the Discovery Go app and watch episodes as I accomplish chores around the house (mainly baking & laundry).  I missed the show so much last year, it makes me happy to be getting caught up as Season 6 is beginning.

Making... new friends as I continue doing things with the local MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) group.  This week we went to the pumpkin patch.  I am loving the connection to all kinds of moms.  What a blessing.

Tearing up... when I caught sight of Logan at morning recess (they have a free play time just before the bell rings for school) as he caught sight of Jack. He immediately left the football game he was involved in and ran, full fledge, toward his twin. When he reached him, they shoulder bumped and laughed together before running off to play together.  It made me grateful yet again that they have each other.


P.S. Thank you all so much for your kind words & encouragement from last week's Weekly Update.  My anxiety ebbs and flows (thankfully) and this week I'm feeling good.  I know that October is an historically hard month for me and I'm trying to give myself grace keeping that in mind.  


Family Pictures

I realize I never shared these pictures from the summer before last. We took them in August, just before Josh left for Alaska.  I was a few months pregnant with Carly, but didn't know yet what I was having. I love them so much.  One last "hurrah" as a Boy Mom. Although to be honest, now I can't wait until Carly is a little bigger to do more with the amazing Eryn Kesler.  :)



Around Here: Week 41

Twins are different: Exhibit A 

Feeling... more at home in our new hometown, but also looking forward to a trip "home" at the end of the month for my nephews' birthday party.  I can get around town without GPS (woot! woot!) and have a few friends I could call upon in an emergency. It feels great. Planning our trip home also feels great, knowing we'll get some much needed quality time with those we miss so much!

Petting... our new kitties!  I haven't captured a good shot of George yet as he mostly lives under beds. ;) But I'm hoping next week he'll have ventured out and warmed up to us.  Ramona, on the other hand, is uber friendly and playful.  The boys are all thrilled to have pets and I think once they settle in it will be really lovely for our family.

Preparing... to lead the next two book club books, My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman and Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver.  If you feel so inclined, please visit our The Inspired Readers' Book Club facebook page and join us! We'd love to have you!

Studying... the bible with bible study videos from Beth Moore.  I use this link to choose different studies and am feeling so inspired and comforted by her.

Laughing... alongside Carly as her brothers crack her up. I think I shared five videos of her laughing on Instagram & Facebook this week (#sorrynotsorry) she's just SO adorable!

Worrying... about Wyatt's cough. It's lasted about five weeks now and we went to the doctor this week, and he thinks Wyatt may have asthma. We're working on getting it under control with the nebulizer and some antibiotics in case it's not asthma.  I can't wait for him to feel 100% again.

Loving... Jack's newfound love of writing.  He's pumping out stories, working in the office at the desk like a grown up, and talking about being an author when he grows up.  It's melting this writer-mama's heart!

Attempting... to keep my anxiety at bay. It's manifesting these days (per usual) as health concerns and a rapid heart beat that makes me feel constantly afraid. I'm praying it's just cause #fourkids & stress and that with a little more sleep (and maybe some extra prayers) I'll be back to my old self.  My bigger worry is that it's a seasonal depression thing (with fall coming) coupled with the anniversary of my first miscarriage and that I'm going to spiral down a bit. Prayers & words of encouragement welcome.

Proud... of the twins and Wyatt adjusting so well to school.  They've been in school six(ish) weeks now and our routine feels totally normal.  I love their excitement for new friendships & learning.  I hope it lasts for always!

Struggling... to not compare Logan & Jack. Gosh, for identical twins, they sure are different.  Jack is a super organized student, whereas Logan struggles to stay organized.  Luckily they have found their niches in class and get along great with their teachers, so I have hope everything will turn out alright, even though going through Logan's binder makes me cringe.

Rearranging... the dining room to make it more functional.  I am loving the activity shelf we have in there and the new placement of Carly's high chair, which has it more out of the way than it was.  It's so nice to work in our house and make spaces more user friendly for our family.

Lounging... with an extra day off this weekend.  I think having today off was just what we all needed.  A day to breathe, to get caught up on things that sat undone all week, and to enjoy those new sweet kitties of ours.

Soaking up... all the advice our Mentor Moms gave at MOPS yesterday. Many of their ideas really rang true for me and I'm going to be implementing some changes per their advice.  Mostly the mentor moms encouraged me to look at this stage of my life differently, and it has me appreciating the little things, like Wyatt playing cars on his belly in the dining room.  Or Logan coming out of his bedroom in the mornings with his two favorite stuffed animals tucked under his arm.  Or Jack leaving "projects" (read: gallons of tape & markered cardboard) all over the house.  Too soon these days will be but a memory.  And I'll wish I was back here, with my four children gathered together under one roof.  So for now, I'm going to try & relish it.



Fall Book Club Picks

After our awesome summer book list, it's time to curl up with some fall books! 
Join The Inspired Readers on Facebook & read along with us!  
We'd love to have you!


Looking Inward

I have been feeling really overwhelmed and sad lately.  Everywhere I look is bad news and heartache.  We recently had fraudulent charges in our bank account, which lead me to discover our bank has been doing some bad business elsewhere.  And other than switching banks, there's nothing I can do to stop it.  We watched some of the presidential debate and read a lot (too much) on Facebook following it.  And other than voting and saying a prayer, there's nothing I can do to change it.  Everything around me feels big and outside my control.  What good can I do? What impact can I have?

At an appointment today I saw a little boy, maybe four years old, being pushed along by his mother who was yelling at him through his tears that he couldn't visit the doctor because they didn't have their insurance card.  He was upset, she was upset, yet they weren't able to turn to one another in their frustration.  I wanted to swoop in and tell them it would be okay.  I wanted to find the insurance card, hug the mama, who it seemed was upset about more than just the missed appointment, and console the boy whose tears ran desperately down his powerless cheeks.

The feeling reminded me of a day back in August when I witnessed something similar.  I was sitting in a sterile waiting room, patiently counting the minutes until my turn, when I saw a little girl, maybe 8, burst into hysterical tears, screaming, "Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!" obviously elated to see her father, unexpectedly, in this place.  Within seconds it was clear that she was not going to be allowed to visit or stay with her dad, and she was pulled, agonizingly, away from him by her mother.

I sat on the fake leather chairs, letting the tears slip from my eyes, hot & slick, with no shame. I had, in those moments, witnessed a heart breaking into a hundred pieces, and it deserved my rawest emotions.  Again, I felt pulled to do something, but found nothing fitting or helpful to do.

I was talking to Josh about these feelings last night and he said, "Babe, I think you gotta look more inward."  I knew exactly what he meant. We could all walk around witnessing the "bigger than us" problems in the world and end our days feeling useless and frustrated.  Or we can choose to look at what we can do to make things better around us.

This quote by Mother Theresa sprang immediately to mind when Josh said I needed to look inward.  I may not be able to take on corporate banking or the presidential candidates, but I can love my kids better.  I can be more patient, offer a kind word and make my home a refuge for them.  I can make my marriage a priority alongside family dinners and bedtime stories.  They may seem small things, but if I raise my kids up right, maybe, just maybe, they'll grow up and take on some of these battles I'm not equipped to face.



100 small things-- September check in

My friends Ashley & Tabitha have long been doing 100 small things lists for each school year.  I finally decided to join them this year. I think the timing is perfect as I will have more time on my hands than ever with my three big boys all attending public school this year.

Here is my second month check in.
I am astonished at how many I crossed off the list!
(September's accomplishments are crossed off in red)

1. Plant a succulent
2. Make a dirt pit for the kids
3. Clean the windows inside & out
4. Read Brave New World
5. Read Lord of the Flies
6. Blog Weekly Update
7. Register to vote
8. Get WA state license
9. Make pumpkin muffins
10. Make a cobbler
11. Get a vanity for me (I changed my mind!)
12. Buy a desk for the boys (I changed my mind!)
13. Blog twins: separate classrooms
14. Finish reading One and the Same
15. Jamberry my nails
16. Meal plan weekly
17. Buy wool balls for dryer
18. Choose one "grooming" day/week
19. Haircuts every 6 weeks all year 1/4
20. Small group get together
21. Order Home Field. Read it
22. Read When Breath Becomes Air
23. Read What Was Mine
24. Read Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids
25.. Read Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings
26. Read Bird by Bird (working on this one!)
27. Read Boys Should be Boys

28. Read The Rocks
29. Read Flight Behavior
30. Read The Shack
31. Read Brain Rules
32. Read Tuesdays with Morrie
33. Read Snow Falling on Cedars
34. Find a doctor
35. Find a pediatrician
36. Find a pediatric dentist
37. Find a chiropractor
38. Follow up with an OB
39. Learn to coupon
40. Meditate everyday for a week
41. Wash kitchen cabinets
42. Read Believing God
43. Read Mindsight
44. Read Don't Let Me Go
45. Read Deception Point
46. Read Iron & Silk
47. Purchase & read Winter Storms
48. Find a dentist for us
49. Read Dave Ramsey's book
50. Find an eye doctor
51. Choose a pharmacy
52. Find a way to display my rock collection
53. Paint the whole house interior 3/5

54. 3 playdates with new friends 2/3
55. Find a Hanford documentary
56. Go over insurance with new insurance lady
57. Workout everyday for a month
58. Walk the boys to/from school
59. Have Paul & Lynn over for dinner
60. Plant a lilac bush
61. Find a used BBQ
62. Sort Holiday decor into totes
63. Don't eat out for 1 month
64. Arrange "Tucker Family" sleepover
65. Establish family move night
66. Establish date night
67. Read Kon Mari. Clean house accordingly.
68. Read aloud chapter books
69. Make 3 pinterest dinners
70. Plant pansies
71. Make carrot cake from scratch
72. Decorate for Christmas
73. Make a book for Pansy/Jerry's birthdays
74. Write a poem about motherhood
75. Write a poem about twins
76. Write a poem about Logan
77. Write a poem about Jack
78. Write a poem about Wyatt
79. Write a poem about Carly
80. Take a pajama walk after dinner

81. Meal plan monthly
82. Collect Box Tops for school
83. Save toilet paper rolls/paper towel rolls
84. Attend MOPS group
85. Try 3 new parks with the boys 1/3
86. Read old journals
87. Share bits of old journals on social media
88. Decorate master bedroom
89. Deep clean master suite
90. Put contact paper in laundry room
91. Spider bomb the house
92. Establish Quiet Time activities
93. Organize kids craft supplies
94. Make blog calendar (monthly) 3/12
95. Have a trampoline sleepover with boys
96. Volunteer in boys' classrooms
97. Buy outdoor chairs
98. Read old writing (from jr. high/high school)
99. Make m&m cookies
100. Make a cake from scratch

Reading through my list, I was surprised at how much I accomplished in September.  I gave all the guys a haircut (even Josh) saving us at least $80.  I followed up with an OB to check my IUD and was relieved when all is well.  We painted, I had playdates and I met with our new insurance lady to make sure our coverage is all set.  We planted lilacs I received as a gift from my Aunt Barbara and my parents brought up for us when they visited.  I am beyond excited for our yard to have lilacs. They are my favorite plant (always have been) and I can't wait to bring the first bunch into the house!  We also planted pansies in the yard, and were surprise-gifted a BBQ from my parents.  The boys are so excited to fire it up and have some hot dogs & burgers later this week.

We've been collecting Box Tops, and Jack's class won pizza with the principal this month! Lucky kid! We've also been collecting toilet paper rolls and organizing our crafts now that the office/laundry room is set up.  I joined our local MOPS and have attended a few meetings.  I love the ladies there and how inspired I feel as I leave each time.  I spent some time working on our master, decorating our room and deep cleaning the bathroom.  

I'm still not in a consistent blogging groove, but I am trying to blog more often, even if they are short & sweet, and if nothing else, I am making sure that I do my weekly update (Around Here) post every Friday.  

Now on to October's small things!



The Tuckers Visit The Cunningham Ranch

My sister's family came to visit the last weekend in August, and it was so much fun! The boys were overjoyed to be reunited and had such a great time playing outside in the back yard and on the trampoline and swimming together at the water park.  The grown ups had fun watching Rugged Justice after the kids were in bed, and sipping coffee while the kids played outside each morning. My sister and I enjoyed trading babies and my boys LOVED on their sweet little baby cousin. All in all, it was a great trip and left me feeling grateful, yet again, that we're within driving distance of family!!!