Around Here: Week 34 {2018}

Purchasing... new porch furniture at 50% off last weekend.  I had been sitting in our one porch chair, dreaming of a small porch table (to hold my books & journal) and an additional chair when the kids and I ran to Rite Aid to pick up a prescription.  There, as we entered the store, we saw all their outdoor furniture was on sale.  It matched what we already had and I came home with both a chair and table for less than $25!  I have already enjoyed them so much and love sitting out there with Josh after we've put the kids to bed.

Enjoying... pizza & movie night with the kids last weekend while Josh was out of town.  Jack & Logan helped me make the pizza and we watched A Wrinkle In Time.  It was really good.  I love when we rent a movie that I enjoy watching with them!

Delighting... in Carly.  She is constantly trying to make us laugh (like with her new silly face pictured above) and with what she says, like "Boom! Roasted!"when the boys are teasing each other. She has discovered a hand-me-down hat that she wears constantly, adorably.  She is trying out potty training (all on her own) and is overjoyed at the m&m's she earns.  She's pooped on the potty twice, which is amazing to me because it took the twins six months to finally be comfortable pooping on the toilet!  When the boys go back to school I'll be jumping on the potty train wagon full time.  After she goes I tell her I'm so proud of her, and she says back that she's so proud of me. Ha!  She's grown so independent over the summer.  She gets out her own toys and snacks and washes her hands all by herself in the bathroom, on her VERY tip toes on the stool.  I am also loving her bedtime prayers.  They consist mostly of what she's thankful for, which varies from her people (Grandma, brothers...) to her bed or strawberries.  At the end she says, "In Jesus Name Amen", but all together like, "Injesusnameamen".  It's just my favorite.

Taking... a day trip to Wenatchee to see my sister and her kids.  The smoke from wildfires has kept the kids mostly stuck inside (especially Wyatt with his sensitive lungs) so my sister and I have gotten together each of the last two weeks.  The smoke has cleared off & on, and we've taken advantage on days that have had clear patches, but mostly at our house it's been a lot of indoor play.  So a change of scenery this week was lovely!  The kids played so well together and Roxanne and I got to talk and play with each other's daughters.

Going... to counseling again this month.  I slowed down to once a month for summer, but I think I'll pick back up to twice a month for fall.  Especially seeing as Logan's seizures have picked up and Wyatt's asthma is likely to gain momentum as well with him going back to the cess pool elementary school where he's likely to catch more colds. As my stress level increases, my need for more time to sort it all out with him also increases, so planning for that proactively is a smart move.
This week we talked about what's working for me and how to continue that.  I am working out nearly everyday, which helps my stress level a ton, but am also giving myself grace when I need to (like last week when Logan had his six minute seizure, I didn't work out, I just laid with him instead) and listening to what my body needs without judgment.  He gave me a really neat story that I might share next week about how sometimes it's our job to put certain worries into God's inbox and that's been helping me as I have worried about sending Logan back to school with his seizures and stressed about Wyatt's school year after how much of last school year he missed from illness-related-asthma.  Reminding myself to give it to God helps a lot. (...even if I have to give it to Him over and over cause I keep taking it back. ha!)

Playing... game after game of Hide & Seek.  The kids are all obsessed and I swear it's the only thing getting us through these last two weeks of summer.  All four kids can play, and they have come up with some awesome hiding places.  The longest winning streak is Logan, who went six games in a row without being found.  Added bonus of Hide & Seek is that Carly no longer counts out of order! Yesterday she counted to 8 by herself and didn't miss any numbers!

Making... slime twice with the kids.  All three boys got kits for their birthdays back in June and I (being a brilliant, and humble, mother- hehe!) held onto them knowing there'd be a time in summer when we would desperately need them.  We made it once with just our boys, and once with their friends when they came over.  I joked with Josh and my mom and sister that I would be waiting for my trophy in the mail.  I hate messes, and I hate making slime. So doing both made me pretty much feel like the best.mom.ever.  Luckily, the slime held their interest for a long time after we were done creating it, so it was totally worth the time invested on my part. Even Carly loved making it and playing with it in her high chair.

Laughing... as Jack continued reading by nightlight when I turned out the lights and he wanted to read to the end of the chapter. He's a kid after my own heart!

Seeing... Wyatt's pulmonologist while she was visiting our town, which meant no two hour drive to Spokane (wahoo!) and the chance to get him all set for the new school year.  We got him a new nebulizer (so now we have a back up!), a new peak flow meter (another back up!), emergency steroids in case he gets sick over the weekend (so we can avoid an unnecessary trip to the ER), and a prescription for 44mcg of Flovent, which is a preventative inhaled steroid that he will take 2 puffs of once a day starting now throughout the school year to give his lungs an extra boost.  The hope is that this extra boost will keep him from nosediving so dramatically when he does get sick.  Then when he is sick, we will switch him to 110mcg of Flovent 2 puffs, 2x a day for a week to get him through.  Unless he's REALLY sick, in which case he'll be on Budesonide in the nebulizer. Gosh it's a lot to keep straight!
In addition to all that, we ordered him a new breathing part of the nebulizer called a PARI Reusable Nebulizer. It delivers more of the medication to the lungs and makes sure less is breathed out.  It was recommended by our allergy doctor actually, back when Wyatt was allergy tested in June.  I am excited to have so many different tools in my arsenal to help fight the asthma that tends to overtake him when he's sick.

Bummed... about Logan's seizure this week.  He had a big one last week, and the one he had this week was very small in comparison, only maybe a minute long, but I was still hoping he wouldn't have any.
At bedtime one night this week Logan asked me why Jack doesn't have seizures and he does.  It took all my will power not to cry while I was answering him.  He wasn't being rude, just curious.  He genuinely wanted to know why he has this affliction while his identical twin brother skates by without it.  I told him about epigenetics and that once the egg split in utero their experiences started being different.  And that those differences can turn off and on different parts of their DNA.  He said he wants to ask his neurologist if she sees any other twins who have seizures whose twin doesn't have them, and he displayed a complete understanding of what I was saying because he responded with, "So Wyatt could be a twin, and his twin could potentially not have asthma." Bingo.
I often find myself trying to find reasons Logan has epilepsy.  I dropped him twice as a baby (true story) and wonder if that's why.  Once he fell off the changing table because I was distracted by Jack and the other time he fell off the rocking chair.  He got less breastmilk than Jack because they recommended he not be at the breast because it was so much work for his tiny body.  So he got a lot more formula. I also wonder if we had gotten him out sooner if he wouldn't have it.  His growth had slowed so dramatically toward the end, but the weekly ultrasounds weren't catching it.  They estimated him at nearly 6 pounds when in reality he was only 4 pounds at birth.  I wonder about what I ate, what he's been exposed to...  Maybe it's the Windex he sprayed in his own face at 18 months when he got under the sink that one time.
Then I come back around to the conclusion that it doesn't matter.  It is what it is.  He has it. And the who/what/when/where/why doesn't matter.  We're here now.  And we just have to keep marching forward, hard as it may be some days.

Accompanying... the twins to fifth grade orientation.  We found out who their teachers are as well as who their classmates are. (They're in separate classes again this year.  It's just what's best for them.  They need their own space, their own friends and to not be constantly compared to each other.  Plus it helps the staff with recognizing who is who.)  We also had a meeting this week for Logan's seizures with his teacher and the school nurse.  Until we get his seizures under control, he will have a buddy accompany him to the bathroom, around campus, and have someone designated in the classroom whom he will inform when he feels a seizure coming if he can't get to the teacher in time.  All in all, I feel a lot better about the school year starting for him.

Sympathizing... with Jack, who has no friends in his class this year.  Not only that, but he has a new teacher this year, after having the same teacher for the last two years (his only two years in public school).  He's got so many nerves, the poor kid!  I tried to console him with the fact that he'll really be able to focus on academics... but oddly that didn't comfort him a whole lot. Ha! #momperspective

Coordinating... my wall and phone calendars in preparation for the school year.  I am trying to be proactive about planning things and staying organized.  I made a lot of appointments in the last two weeks, so getting those calendars together was important!  I also dropped Wyatt's inhaler off at the school so things are all set there for him as well.  Even though I am sad about summer ending, there is something about the start of the school year that has me making lists and getting excited about new goals and getting organized around the house. I'm trying to go with it!

Receiving... roses from Josh for no reason on Thursday.  He got home from his first day of work (his school district starts before ours) with a dozen white roses for me because he'd been at the store shopping for supplies for his classroom and thought of me.  I think it was his way of saying thank you for taking care of the kids and preparing for the school year.  It's not as simple as it used to be with just buying clothes, shoes & school supplies.  Now I have to deal with both Logan & Wyatt's medical issues and it's a lot to bear.  I just love that he thinks of me. It's so heart warming & romantic.

Reading... very little.  I looked at my reading list for August and it has one book (ONE BOOK!) on it. Goodbye, Vitamin is the only book I have completed this month.  I got halfway through An American Marriage before it had to go back to the library.  I also got halfway through Ghosted before I got bored and shelved it.  I'm almost done with In Shock and am getting close to finishing No Cares About Crazy People on audio, so hopefully before the month is up I will have at least three finished books, but that is pathetic.
I am trying to figure out why that number is so low, and all I can figure is that Josh spent a lot of time out of town, so I was single parenting for a lot of it, plus we were on a family vacation for nine days, which did not allow for any reading time either.  I am hoping I can make up for those low numbers in September because if I keep this up, I will not make my yearly reading goal!


Meditating on:
{I love this.
I wish I knew who the artist was!}

All week I have been ruminating on this.

Particularly the lines:
"Her roundness where I would like flatness,
Her softness where I would like firmness,"

So I am trying really hard to love my body
Just. like. this.

 It's done so many amazing things for me,
(birthing four healthy children for one)
I owe it to myself to love it.
Without condition.  



Around Here: Week 33 {2018}

Reading... In Shock by Rana Awdish.  It's about a doctor who herself had a traumatic first birth and recovery (to say the least) and it changed how she viewed her patients from there forward.  It's a fascinating read.  I'm almost done.  I started The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand, which my mom gave me (a signed copy!!!) when I was there, and I can't wait to finish In Shock so I can dive fully into that one. I am also listening to No One Cares About Crazy People on audio.

Buying... a lovely stack of books from Powell's while we were in Portland.  My parents kept the kids so Josh could take me and we perused the shelves. I was so happy to get my hands on the first two books in the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series, and I have the third one on order.  I also got The Witches of New York by Ami Mckay simply because I love her book The Birth House so much.  And then I got These Granite Islands based on a recommendation from goodreads and Perfect Match by Jodi Picolt because it sounded so intriguing.

Celebrating... 14 days seizure free for Logan.  He hasn't gone two weeks without a seizure since early spring.  It was a lovely respite for my mama heart.

Enjoying... girls night with my friend Shana when she came over Thursday after my kids were in bed.  I love that girl and she just gets my heart.  She has all girls, a singleton, then twins, so we're like living opposite lives. It's so funny!  We ate cheesecake and stayed up way too late. My neighbor even texted me and asked if everything was okay cause the lights were on so late at night. Haha!

Suffering... with all the wildfire smoke.  Our air quality has been terrible here in Washington State and we've been having to keep Wyatt inside to keep his poor lungs healthy.  At first I was still letting him play outside a little bit, but his peak flow numbers were dropping like crazy even in the limited amount of time I was allowing, so we kept him in for two entire days and saw a huge improvement, so he's got to stay in until the air clears.  Sorry, buddy!

Growing... our garden like crazy!  We've got lots of cucumber and tomatoes!  The peppers seem to have died, and we harvested the corn, so they are done, and we're waiting for the sunflower to bloom and for the pumpkins to get going, but the cucs and tomatoes are going gangbusters!  And our sweet watermelons, too!  So cute!!!

Doing... load after load of laundry, grocery shopping, bill paying, phone-call making, mess-organizing and even washing and vacuuming my car.  I don't know what got into me, but I went with it and did all.the.chores this week.  It felt so nice!

Crying... for no reason at all Tuesday night at bedtime. I don't know if I was overtired or just emotional, or what, but it was ridiculous. Luckily my husband is used to my sensitivity and just hugged me while I wept. As we talked a little I realized that I had been kind of holding my breath about something going wrong with Logan or Wyatt because it has been so long since either of them has been sick.  Honestly, I was just so grateful to have had the break.  And the good, hard cry did help me sleep really good that night!

Loving... all the baseball that's been happening around here.  Josh took Logan to get a bigger left handed mitt since he outgrew his old one, and it's reignited a love for the game in all three boys.  They are out there everyday with Josh throwing and catching and pitching and hitting and it makes me smile so big.  They love it.  They all come back in telling me stories of amazing hits and awesome catches. It's so cute. One afternoon Josh wasn't here and I caught Wyatt sitting on the porch with his ball and glove, just wishing daddy was home to play ball. So sweet!

Opening... fun mail from my blog-friend Ashley! I won her giveaway from her "Five Favorites" post and it was such a sweet package to open.  There was a new-to-me book, adorable cup, reusable straws, fancy napkins and yummy strawberry-lemonade goat soap included.  And bless her heart (!) she also included Box Tops for my kids' school since she homeschools. She is officially my boys' favorite person now. hah!

Repeating... "This Moment" to myself over and over as a way of staying in the NOW.  Truly, we really only have "this moment" and that's it.  Reminding myself of that throughout the day is helping me say "yes" to my kids (Yes to putting coins in the fun machine at the library; Yes to trying a new park; Yes to playing a game); "yes" to myself (Yes to pulling over and taking a picture of the sunset; Yes to a bubblebath; Yes to taking extra time to sing lullabies to Carly at bedtime); and "yes" to experiences (Yes to trying snorkeling at the river with my kids; Yes to the big slide at the pool before summer ends; Yes to trying new foods).  It also helps me not feel overwhelmed/scared about the future.  "This moment" is the only one I have to survive.  That's pretty manageable.

Witnessing... yet another of Logan's seizures as he broke his seizure-free streak Friday morning.  Jack came into my room just after 8:00am to tell me Logan was having a seizure in their room.  I followed Jack into their room and found Logan kneeling on the floor, having a seizure.  I helped him sit on the edge of the bed and he continued seizing for another five minutes.  It was his longest seizure to date, and was absolutely terrifying to witness.  Not because of his body- his body was actually quite still- but because of how vacant he was from his body.  During the seizure he just continually looked to the right, nodded his head up and down, looked as if he were chewing something and was breathing heavily, almost panting.  Over and over, the cycle continued.  I kept asking if it was done, if he could answer me, and he couldn't.  Finally, at just shy of the six minute mark, it stopped and he rubbed his head and laid back, closing his eyes, talking some gibberish and sighing.
There is no need to call 911 or take him to the doctor unless his seizure is longer than 15 minutes.  So we just kept an eye on him here at the house.  He tried to take a nap, but soon he got an intolerable headache.  It got so bad, in fact, that he vomited.  I felt so bad for him.
Of course now my concern is what to do about school.  A six minute seizure is serious. It's scary.  I don't know if he needs an aid with him full time, I don't know if we should inform all the fifth graders that he has epilepsy and what the symptoms look like so that if he's having one they can inform an adult (an idea that he HATES and says he will never agree to)... So far, he has always had an aura and been able to tell someone when he has a seizure coming on. But his embarrassment has kept him (in the past) from telling anyone at school that a seizure is coming. He has just sat at his desk and waited for it to pass.  That was fine when his seizures lasted thirty seconds.  That's not fine when they are nearing the ten minute mark.  He HAS to tell someone, and I'm just not sure I can trust that he will.  He's ten.  His pride and embarrassment factor are pretty high currently.
I will be talking to the nurse (who's amazing) Monday afternoon.  I am sure she will have some advice. In the meantime, Logan and I are talking over different ideas and I am praying for clarity on what the right thing is.  The best part is that he has his neurology appointment the first week of September. So we just have to get something temporary set up at school for the first week, then we can pick the neurologists' brain about any further questions we have.

Catching... up with my sister when she came to visit with her crew Friday afternoon.  We've both been stuck inside with our kiddos most of the week due to poor air quality from the wildfires, so we were more than happy to throw them together for a few hours and have the chance to hang out.  The kids were overjoyed to be together, playing Legos and watching movies, and Roxanne and I never run out of things to talk about.  We went through all of Carly's clothes, which was super fun, and sorted through the size 3 stuff that has been handed down to her (thanks Raeann, JoAnne & Jolene!) in preparation for fall.  It helped get me excited for fall the same way shopping for books did. (Cold weather doesn't have to be sad... Imagine Carly in a sweater dress, and me on the couch with a good book!)

Feeling... proud of my boys.  When one brother expressed feeling upset about the thought of going to sleep alone while the other two stayed up for "special night" with mom, the two who were going to stay up asked if the other brother could join them so they could all be together and he wouldn't have to go to bed in their room alone.  When I said yes, they all gave each other (and me) a giant family hug and tears stung my eyes. Sometimes, it feels really nice to know you must be doing something right.



Around Here: Week 32 {2018}

Reading... An American Marriage and In Shock.  An American Marriage is slow, but good; and In Shock is so good. I am totally interested and inspired by this doctor's true story of what happened to her during her first pregnancy.   I finished Goodbye, Vitamin, which was really good, but too short (!) this week as well.

Visiting... a new park with Carly and the boys (that we drove to) and she calls it the "car-park" since we drove to it instead of walking.  She loved the sand box and swing that were there, and the boys had a lot of fun, too.  I'm hoping to visit a few more new parks before summer ends after seeing how much fun they had.

Eating... homemade pizza with Uncle Samuel, Grandma Carol & Papa Carl Saturday night.  It was such a fun night, watching Diary of a Wimpy Kid with the kids, chowing down on pizza & ice cream.  Josh makes the best pizza and we kind of can't wait for his parents and brother to move here for good!

Sorting... through all the kids' clothes for fall- whew! What a chore!  But it made shopping for school clothes so much easier later this week.  So I'm glad I did it!  (Even if making the twins try on everything in their closet made me want to stab my eyes out with a spork!)

Road tripping... to Vancouver to see family one last time before school starts.

Surprising... my little brother for his 29th birthday.  His girlfriend and my mom threw the sweetest party with all his old friends.  It was super fun.  I just adore his girlfriend (as do my kiddos!) and it was fun to celebrate him. I hope when my boys grow up, they have someone who loves them as much as Bri loves Dallas.

Celebrating... our 15 year anniversary by leaving all the kids with my parents overnight.  We went to Long Beach and spent the night in the sweetest cottage, enjoying every kid-free moment.  We talked, uninterrupted, for the whole drive there, and I never once had to climb in the backseat to break up a fight. Hah!  It was the first time I had left Carly with anyone other than Josh overnight, and I was a little nervous about how she and my mom would sleep, but my mom said she did great!  Josh and I got pizza and a Redbox, enjoying the evening in our cottage, and the next day, when we got back to Vancouver, we saw The Equalizer 2 and went out to dinner at Red Lobster (my favorite!) before heading back to the kids.  It was so, so lovely to get away and celebrate each other.  I am so thankful for Josh and our marriage.  He is my rock and my very best friend.

Getting... a haircut that has me feeling fresh & flirty after letting it go way too long without one.  My hair is always bad for the first few years after a baby, and I am definitely in that space right now.  It's growing back in, but is still pretty thin.  This new cut has it feeling much better!

Buying... fun lotions, sprays & body washes at Bath & Body Works at the mall while shopping for school clothes with my mom and the boys.  Josh's mom took Carly so mom and I could focus on the boys while shopping (which was so awesome!) and we managed to get everything they need for the school year.  Shoes, socks, pants & shirts. Done and done. Phew!  I am so grateful for my mom and dad's help.

Loving... the twins eating Panda Express at the mall with chopsticks!  They're so brave- not just for trying chopsticks- but for trying anything.  Nothing intimidates them.  I wish I could be brave like them.

Sleeping... with Carly between Josh and I while staying at my parent's house. She won't sleep in the playpen there (she just cries pitifully when we put her in there, and I can't stand it) so we let her sleep with us, which is 20% really sweet and 80% really uncomfortable.  You moms who co-sleep with your babies have my total bow-down respect.  I don't know how you do it!  The whole time we are there, I am counting down the nights until I am going to get home and have my bed to myself again!  We joke that she likes us to sleep like the letter H.  Josh and I are the poles of the H and she is the middle.  Her feet are in my back and her head is in Josh's back. It's impossible!

Hanging... with my sweet friend Brittany and her crew Friday morning.  Together we have six boys and it was so fun to have them all together.  She is the sweetest mama, with the best heart.  She is totally real, down to earth and completely inspiring to me.  I love you, B!

Crying... about parenting when things got hard one night this week.  The kids are testing out lying and it's hard to not take it personal, like I'm a failure as a parent when they look me in the eyes and lie.  Josh assured me that it's not personal, it's a phase, and that we just have to let them know it's not acceptable.  I cried a little more, for good measure (unbeknownst to said naughty child) and then tried to let it go.  Gosh, parenting is not for the weak of heart!

Swimming... at the Washougal River, where I grew up swimming.  I absolutely love swimming there myself, and I love taking my kids there even more than that.  It was, hands down, my favorite part of our vacation.  All four of our kids loved it there.  The twins swam and snorkled and rode the rapids.  Wyatt jumped off the rocks and caught crawdads.  Carly swam and played and loved every minute of it.  My heart was so happy there.

Visiting... my grandparents for the day in Rockaway Beach.  It was so nice to see them.  We went out to lunch, did a little shopping at Flamingo Jim's, did a puzzle with Grandma and got ice cream.  Our visits never feel long enough, but I am so grateful we live close enough to visit once in a while.