Saturday, September 29, 2012

Fair Time

We attended the fair twice this year, so there are lots of pictures.

First up- Ryan's FFA display:
 The kids (and Ryan of course) loved looking at the bee and honey display in the Ag building.

 We made our annual stop at the dairy booth and got giant ice cream cones.

Then we let the kids played in the kids barn.  They look forward to this part too.
 At the end of our Saturday visit, Ryan walked the stroller out to the minivan, and I took the girls in the tractor trolley through the parking lot.  I hadn't done a good job paying attention to where Ryan had parked us, and the tractor trolley went kinda far in another direction to drop off some of the other passengers.  Eventually the kids and I disembarked, but we were lost.  I had a couple of tired kids, and another one or two who weren't staying close to me with all of the cars around.  I pulled out my cell phone (which had a red battery flashing at me...) and prayed that it would last long enough to talk to Ryan.  Ryan picked up and I asked where he was.  He tried to explain and then said he saw us.  "Where??" I asked.

 "Look towards [insert name of our home town here, which is 40 minutes and a couple of rolling hills away]."

"Huh?"  I spun around, and not in the right direction from the sound of Ryan's voice.  But then I saw him too.  He was standing on the roof of our minivan, waving.

Later, I explained that my female brain does not work the same as his does.  I work with landmarks, and rights and lefts.  North, south, east and west may work with his Google Earth brain, but not mine.

Thursday afternoon we went back to the fair, to see what we didn't before.

 The firefighters had a fun display this year.  The girls got to practice crawling through a "smoky" house.  Annie and Maddie weren't so sure about it.
We got Elephant Ears this time around.  Ryan took all 4 girls with him, while I stayed with the stroller.  For whatever reason, even though Ryan asked and paid for two, they gave him three.  We were grateful.  And stoked. :)

Tomorrow is the last day of the fair, which means Ryan gets to take his FFA and go take down the display on Monday.  Another late evening.....

Friday, September 28, 2012

A Day From You-Know-Where

I find parenting, on occasion, to be terrifying.  I have the responsibility of four little people, who are dependent on me for just about everything.  Today was one of those terrifying days.

This morning when Elizabeth woke up, she complained that her back was hurting.  She also had a fever.  No school for her.

When I told Emma that she would be going to school without her sister, the waterworks started up.  I'm glad the girls are close and support each other, but good grief.  This new school thing has been very hard on Emma, and she was not liking having to go without her security blanket.  So, I let her stay home too.

Elizabeth and I spent an hour coloring- a very quiet activity.  And then she just sat on the couch.  About 11 am I started noticing that her breathing was very labored.  She was wheezing, and her breath was coming fast and shallow.

I was worried.  So I called the doctor's office, and got an appointment.  And counted down the minutes until it was time to go, while I gathered supplies for the impending doctor's visit.  Emma was told she needed to go to school.

When I arrived at the doctor's office, I was led into the exam room pretty quickly.  The nurse took Elizabeth's temperature and oxygen reading, and I felt good about my decision to bring her to the doctor.  Her oxygen level was fluctuating quite a bit, but it was in the decidedly low range, averaging about 92%.  The nurse said she would go get the PA, and she did.  A minute later, Nick came almost running in.  (That's when you know it is serious.)  He looked at her, said she looked stable enough, but her numbers were really bad.  Like almost call an ambulance bad.  So they got her a nebulizer and we hoped for improvement so she wouldn't have to be admitted to the hospital.

And we waited.  Annie and Maddie did pretty well, all things considered.  We were in that room for almost two hours.  I comforted Elizabeth, asked questions, and juggled/played with/ran interference with the twins.  We had another PA come in, they consulted with a doctor, they listened to her heart and lungs.  They decided it was either asthma or pneumonia, but with the weekend coming, they decided to treat both.  We were given a list of her new medications and when to take them, a nebulizer to take home, and lots of instruction papers.  Poor Elizabeth was too tired to move.  Her oxygen levels were still not great, but rather than admit her to the hospital, I was given very specific instructions for the weekend.  I looked at Elizabeth, my loot to take home and a couple of tired and grumpy 3 year olds.  Good heavens, how was I going to get them all to the car?  The nurse offered to wheel Elizabeth out in a wheel chair, and I was glad to accept.

Ryan brought home the prescriptions; all four of them.  He said he was glad we have health insurance.  Otherwise it would have run us upwards of $450.

Elizabeth was a blob for a long time.  She was given a really awful injection before leaving, and it did not make her feel better for a while.  But then she perked up.  All those meds were doing their job, and we started seeing one of the side effects- being hyper.  The poor girl couldn't even hold her hand still on command.

Elizabeth isn't wheezing anymore.  She even ate some dinner.  She gets to camp out on our bedroom floor tonight.  Here's hoping we don't have to do any treatments during the night, and we all get some good sleep.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Mom's "Free" Time

I love it.  When people find out all four kids are in school at some point during the week, they inevitably say, "Oh, so are you enjoying your free time?"

I don't know about you, but when I hear the words "free time" I envision feet up with book in hand, or perhaps time for crafting, or even watching a movie.

Today after all 4 were dropped off at their respective places of schooling, I hit the freeway.  I had some errands to do.  I drove a half hour and then ran into Michael's craft store because they were having a 40% off sale of their baskets, and I needed one.  While there, Ryan called and said he forgot something at the school, so could I possibly pick up two outside mercury thermometers and take them to him at the fairgrounds before going home?  It was 10 am, and I had to be back to pick up the twins at noon.

Sure.  No problem.

I drove to Costco and picked up several things there, and then went to Target.  Surely Target would have thermometers, and I was going there anyway.

No mercury thermometers.  Only digital ones.

Think, Danae.  I don't want to have to drive all the way out to Lowes; who else might have thermometers?


Ugh.  I drove all this way so as to NOT go to Walmart.  I strongly dislike Walmart.  At least our local store.

So I got back into the car and drove to Walmart.  I didn't have time to be wandering around the store forever, so I asked the greeter where thermometers might be.  He pointed me in the direction of the garden center, and I flagged down the first employee I saw in the general vicinity.  That guy pointed out another employee, who actually walked me to the thermometers.  Hallelujah!

 It was now 11:20.  I had a good half hour + of driving ahead of me, and I still needed to drop off the thermometers with Ryan.  (Hey, I thought the craft store, Costco, Target, and Walmart in about an hour and twenty minutes was pretty awesome.)

I was fast.  I made it back to pick up the kids being only 10 minutes late.  I felt like I deserved a pat on the back.  Of course, it wasn't quite the quiet shopping trip I had planned out in my head this morning.  But all for a good cause, right?

When Ryan got home at dinner time from setting up at the fair, he told me the fate of the thermometers.  After carefully removing them from the plastic cases (the fair theme this year is "Fair Fever") and gently putting them up on the FFA display board, one of Ryan's students lost her balance and took them both out on her way down.

All that effort, and they were only up for 5 minutes.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


We've struggled a little bit since the move with getting the kids to stay in their beds at bedtime.  Ryan and I have taken to bribery to get results.

It works sometimes.  Last night, not so much.

Today at lunch time the twins wanted their chocolate milkshake reward.  Unfortunately, they hadn't earned the chocolate milkshake.  (It's a homemade version- milk, cocoa powder, sugar and ice in the blender.)  Maddie was really sad and flopped down on the floor to pout.  Annie, on the other hand, grabbed me by the hand, and marched us up the stairs to her room.  She went and laid down, covered herself up with her blankets, and told me, "See?  I stay in my bed.  I can have a milkshake now."

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Conversations Around the House

Annie: Mom, fix my sword?

Me: Sure, sweetie.  Here you go.

Annie: Now I go fight people!

Me: Just don't hurt anyone.
(Just what exactly else is a sword good for?  I don't know.)

Maddie: Uh oh.  Somebody colored on the table.

Me: That was you.

Maddie: Nuh uh.  I Annie.

Annie: No, I Annie!  You Maddie!  I not do it!

Maddie: No, I Annie.

(I had Taylor Swift's new song, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" playing on the computer while I was doing dishes last night.  And then played it again.)

Ryan: Are you trying to tell me something??

Home Decorating Adventures

I love Pinterest.  I have used a bunch of the tips and tricks to be found floating around out there on the internet. One I used was to dab toothpaste on the back of a frame with two hooks (on the two hooks), so there would be a tell-tail sign of how far apart the two nails should go.  Worked beautifully.

The second was to cut out paper in the shape and size of the pictures you plan on hanging and tape them to the wall.  This gives you a chance to play around with the placement without leaving a bunch of holes in your wall.  The blog in question said to use butcher paper or something plain, but since I had newspaper on hand- that's what I used.  (The newspaper was still stuck to the wall when Ryan came home from work.  He looked at it and said how good it looked.  Since one side was higher than the other to see which I liked better, and it was hacked up newsprint and not family pictures, I looked at him funny.  Either he thinks we are an unattractive family and the newspaper looks better than our photos, or he thinks I'm crazy and is taking pity on my ineptitude in home decorating and complementing my "efforts.")
 Really attractive, right?
It did come together nicely.

Yesterday I decided the toy room needed something.  I had a whole stack of pictures I wasn't sure where they should go, so I thought a "gallery" in the toy room might be nice.  However, 16 pictures seemed like a lot to trace, cut out templates, and tape to the wall before hanging up the actual pictures.  I thought I could "wing" it.  I set them out on the floor, grabbed the hammer and picture hooks and got to work.  This is the finished product:
Totally should have cut out the templates...  Or had someone helping me with spacing.  It needs some work...  But, I did finally use my Silhouette to cut out vinyl for the first time for my kids' artwork wall yesterday.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Christus

One of the fun things about moving is getting to put up pictures again.  It is a good opportunity to put in new photos into those collage frames, so that's exactly what I've been doing.

I printed up this family picture, and while I was putting it into the frame, Maddie was watching me.  I pointed out that we were all standing by Jesus, and wasn't that a good trip we went on?

Maddie got a concerned look on her face.  She looked at me, and said, "Oh no!  Jesus turned to stone!"

(Yes, sweetie.  That's what happens when you don't stand still for the camera.)

We had a lengthy discussion on statues, and heaven, and how no one can turn Jesus into stone.  Not even the White Witch or Medusa.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The New Toy Room

How do you get your kids to play with their toys?  

Ask them to clean up their toys.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Another thing a BBQ is good for

When we walked through our new house originally, we noticed the spiffy counter top stove.  Whoa, pretty awesome.  Unfortunately, we are not supposed to cook anything heavy on it, such as a big ol' canning pot.

Good thing Ryan is creative.

It's peach season.  We had to do something.  

Thursday, September 6, 2012

New Past Times

Annie and Maddie have discovered new and fun past times in the new house.  Dropping socks and clean laundry from one floor to the next must be pretty fun.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Poor Annie

Annie woke up this morning looking like this:
My poor girl!

I had a PA look at her about lunch time, but by then either time, or the Tylanol and Benedryl had improved the swelling.  We aren't out of the woods yet, but I'm hoping she can go to preschool tomorrow.  She would be awfully upset to miss it.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

First Day of School

Emma and Elizabeth started at their new school today.  Emma was really unsure of having to change schools, but she managed a smile for the camera anyway.
 We bought the kids new shoes last night, so they had to show them off for the camera.
 All 4 girls ready for school!
 I walked the kids to their classrooms.  Elizabeth's teacher had a surprise for everyone in the class in those white paper bags.  I'm sure I'll hear about it when the kids come home.
After I dropped the first two off at school, I dropped the twins off at their preschool co-op (not my month to help) and I came home to a very quiet house.  It was weird.  I did dishes, washed counters, swept and mopped the floors, dealt with a couple more boxes and then had our insurance agent over to take pictures, finish the forms for the new house, and that sort of thing.  Before I knew it, it was noon and my "free" time was over.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

A New Bed

We've been putting off buying a new bed for a long time.  Our mattress hadn't been comfortable in quite some time.  First, we were going to get a new mattress for our 10th anniversary.  Then we were going to wait until our tax return came back the following winter.  But, then our house went on the market and it seemed like the right thing to do to wait until we moved.

And we waited.

Finally, during that crummy week (about two weeks before our house finally sold), I guilt-ed Ryan into buying a mattress.  We checked out a couple of mattress stores, and looked at Costco but didn't find something to bring home.  That Saturday night we checked out an auction house.  I left with the kids midway through, and Ryan eventually came home with one of the mattresses we both tried out.  It was AMAZING.  

We bought a queen mattress.  This was an upgrade from the full mattress we got when we got married.  Unfortunately, we had no queen-sized sheets, and the mattress came home late Saturday night.  We made do with full-sized flat sheets until Monday when I was able to pick up a brand new set of sheets.  We still don't have a frame for the bed, however.  We feel like college students again. :)
Annie likes our new bed too.

The House

In case anyone was curious- here are pictures of our new place.

Living Room and Dining Room:  (The dining room is that open space with a nice chandelier on the left hanging from the ceiling.  At some point we might be cultivated enough to eat over a carpeted surface.  But for now, we'll eat in the kitchen.)
 The view from the living room window:
 The family room:  (And no, I haven't finished unpacking yet.)