Saturday, March 31, 2007

A very busy Saturday!!

Well, today was a very busy one.
Tim had to go to work, which was NOT something we had expected and we were bummed because we were hoping for a nice family weekend.
So after breakfast and household duties, the boys and I packed into the van for a trip to Bel Air. They had allowance to burn and I needed to drop our signed tax forms off with the tax guy.

Then we went to Lowes. I wanted to get a few gardening tools, some soil and Azalea food.
We found the paving stones that I want to use in the front yard. It will look so nice when it's done, I hope!
Then we came home for lunch and a break. I really needed to plan school for the week, but instead I called Judy and she said to come on up and check out what she had to give away.
Boy! She has so much!
We got a bunch of birdfeeders. I am going to hang most of them from the tree in the back.
I got a strawberry pot, the kind that you plant the berries in down the sides. That will be neat. Several hangers for feeders or plants. Some interesting "yard art" which I will have to take pictures of, and lots of cool watering ideas, a few trellises and some tools. I am so excited about getting going on the front. I am going to see if the old mower will run tomorrow. It needs it already. Then I will feed the lawn and finish the weeding ind de-mossing in the boxes in back.
Oh, Judy also gave me some little pots to start seeds in. We can get them going in the house and then just pop them in the ground when it's a little warmer.
Tim bought the mulch for the beds so I can spread that tomorrow.
It will be a busy Spring but I can't wait to see how much we get done. John has some birdfeeding ideas and he is really enjoying our planning. I will let the boys help me plant the seeds this week and we will also have to read up on the different kinds of birdseed to get to feed different types of birds. Judy had fun showing the boys the mealy worms that she feeds the Bluebirds. I think she is going to miss her Bluebirds the most!
Tomorrow is Palm Sunday already. Only one week until Easter.
Little Paul will be 5 on Tuesday!! We are going to get him a new bike, and he wants a CD player for his room.
Boy, how time flies!
I'm going to go do that planning now!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Spring has us thinking...

Well, now that we are finished with our Space unit for Science, the question is: What will we do for the rest of the school year?
We sat down and talked about it and we decided that we are going to revamp the yard to make it more hospitable to birds and butterflies and then we can watch them for the summer and into next year.
We have a lot of work to do.
A friend is moving and is sorting through all her stuff and she has given us some wonderful gardening books. There is lots of information on butterfly gardens, birds and wonderful ways to enjoy them.
We also watched a video on the subject of birds and John took great notes.
We then went to Home Depot and picked out several packets of seeds and some Azaleas to put around the birdfeeder.
We looked at lots of other things and made notes on what we will eventually need as the season wears on.
Today we went outside and took "before" pictures of the areas that we want to improve.
First:

The plan is to tear out the grass in front of the sidewalk and put in flagstones, shrubs around the feeder/feeders, a birdbath and other birdfriendly enticements. The grass isn't in great shape in the area anyway, and it will be nice to have a place to sit and watch whoever shows up! Judy, the friend who is moving, has a whole bunch of things that she wants to give us. Saturday will be a trip to her house.



Next:

Some steps down the hill to improve the footing.













In the backyard we have an old Mamosa tree. In the summer it is covered with blossoms that attact butterflies and it also has a certain type of worm that the birds just love. We want to put up lots of feeders and nesting boxes. We had been planning to cut it down, but there are just too many possibilities...















My beds need lots of work! but we will fill them with compost and freshen the soil and then we are going to plant flowers that will encourage Butterflies and Hummingbirds. We are also going to put hummingbird feeders up in the kitchen window.








I am hoping that the boys will learn a lot about planting, different kinds of plants. Birds, and what they need as far as food, shelter and nesting.
I really hope they will enjoy it too! We really do like watching the birds around the house. The Cardinals are always here. Bluejays, doves, chickadees, and my favorite, the Catbird.

I'll be posting pictures as we progress. Hopefully within the next couple of weeks the place will start looking quite different!

A new home in the family!

Laura and Andrew have received word that they are about to be the proud owners of a home in Cumberland MD.
To see pictures and read about their journey look here!
Very exciting stuff.
We'll know where they will be all the time now!
I'll post a new post about our Science project for Spring later.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A wonderful reminder...

I found a wonderful piece written by one of my favorite Mommies, Barbara Curtis.
Her blog, Mommy Life, is one I go to every day. It is on my side bar.
This is pretty long but so very true. I just want to post it so that I can read it and remind myself of the REAL gifts!
It is called Being a Mommy in a Me-First World:

Motherhood is not easy - I think we're all agreed on that. From the get-go it involves sacrificing your own needs for another. Marriage should do that too, but because marriage involves another adult, it's far less intense and we can get by with just giving in a little.

But that sweet little baby they hand you in the hospital is a bundle of needs with no ability to take into consideration things like your need for sleep. That's where I believe the first chance for changing our attitudes begins, but since we're inexperienced when we go into this motherhood thing (all our learning is on the job); we immediately set a goal of getting the baby's cycle to conform to our own.

Now there's really nothing wrong with that - to a point. But how we go about it - and our attitudes - really matter. I know when I was starting out as a mom it took a long time for me to let go of my sense of entitlement - as though I were somehow entitled to sleep through the night. It took me a long time to surrender to the fact that my life was no longer my own.

But the fact is, my life is not my own and has not been for 36 years. And while I may have spent years resisting the idea that the world did not revolve around me, but - that my world would now revolve around my family - those were not the best years of my motherhood. The best came when I surrendered and realized it wasn't about me at all. This was something I had learned from experience and fully embraced years before Rick Warren made it the first line of The Purpose-Driven Life: "It's not about you."

I find a lot of reassurance in those four little words. They soothe and calm me when I momentarily forget that it's not about me. See, when I forget it's not about me, I'm miserable and unhappy because life is full of reminders that it's not about me. And being a mommy has to be the ultimate challenge in surrendering to the reality that life is nowhere near being about me at all.

Being a mommy is humbling. You are confronted with your mistakes constantly. They haunt you: What if I had known then what I know now? What if I had done this differently? What if my children never realize how much I loved them? And what if no one ever knows how hard things sometimes were?

You have the most challenging task in the universe, and yet the most unaffirmed. No pay raises, bonuses, performance reviews, trophies, medals, or even stickers for doing things well. Growing up in a society that routinely rewards success, it can be hard to make the transition to motherhood. It can be lonely. It can feel like no one cares.

But there is someone who cares - our Heavenly Father. And I don’t mean that as a platitude or in a you’re-not-supposed-to-feel-this-way-so-pull-yourself-together-and-get-over-it kind of way. I mean it in a real way. Because in motherhood sometimes God is absolutely the only thing you have to hold on to.

It involves surrender. Dying to self. Not too popular in this Have It Your Way! age. Nothing we’ve really been trained to do. And something we’ve been taught to resist. How often have you gotten advice like “You have to have time for yourself” or “Be good to yourself” “Think about your needs”?

Gosh, I just don’t know where to find that in the Bible. And though non-believers scoff at using the Bible for advice (I know because I was an unbeliever for 38 years), I have found that following the wisdom there gave my life a turn for the better. I tell my kids it’s like our Owners Manual.

Everything about motherhood is really just the opposite, nudging us to put others ahead of ourselves, and to sacrifice our needs to theirs. Is it really so bad? Not if you know that you choose it willingly. So the key to finding the joy in motherhood is in making that choice.

In Chariots of Fire Eric Liddell, the 1924 Olympic champion, was able to bring his best to each moment of the race because he ran to please the Lord: “When I run, I feel His pleasure.”

Well, that’s how mothering can be. When we are surrendered and thinking more of others than ourselves, we are at our best. We feel God’s pleasure.

Perhaps the most important thing we can grab hold of and hang on to is that motherhood isn't just about us molding our kids to be all we want them to be. It's also about allowing God to mold us into the mothers he wants us to be. So how we go about doing things - and especially our attitudes - is more important than we could have imagined before we found ourselves in the midst of sleepless nights, droopy diapers and markers on our walls.

As for the lack of affirmation – your motherhood is between you and God. When you think about it, the opportunity to raise children is an incredible privilege. I can’t think of another job where you would have the opportunity to sacrifice so much – thereby becoming more conformed to the image of Christ. I picture Mary breaking her alabaster jar to anoint her Savior, and I want my life to be broken like that alabaster jar, so that my days spill out like precious oil.

Do I do it perfectly? No I don’t. But I am constantly trying to do better, constantly learning to depend more on God’s grace and forgiveness. If you are the kind of person who struggles with guilt or the paralysis that comes when you feel you’ve blown it, time to let that go. Acknowledge your faults and move on

Motherhood is a journey and we who are on it are all individuals. All of our journeys are different, but each of us stands poised to take our own next step, whatever that may be. It’s just important that we be willing to grow and to change – rather than trying to mold our motherhood to fit our own desires, it’s more challenging – and ultimately more satisfying to allow God to mold us into the kind of mothers He would want us to be.- Barbara Curtis


Sunday, March 25, 2007

Brother Odd...




In the moments between School, housework, and all the other things I am trying to accomplish, I have been reading a rather surprising book by Dean Koontz. I had read a few of his early works and they were just too weird and violent. So I was really surprised to read this review of one of his newest books in the NC Register. I decided, based on Tim Drake's opinion, which I trust, to pick it up at the library. It has been just wonderful. True to everything Mr Drake says in his review and more. You have to read every word because it is filled with wonderful imagery, quirky humor and creepy themes. The plot is a twisting, turning thriller, based around a monastary. I am very impressed with his respectful treatment of the Faith, with just a bit of gentle ribbing to keep it interesting. I am only in the middle but I am thoroughly enjoying it. Interesting contrast to Inferno, definitely nothing lighthearted there!
Read the excellent review, you might be intrigued as well!



Saturday, March 24, 2007

Goalsetting...

I have been thinking over the last few days about my goals for the boys' education overall.
What is the most important thing for them to take away from the years of schooling?
Of course, the most mportant thing is their knowlege of God and His relationship to them and the rest of the world.
I have just been thinking a lot about what makes us who we are and how we express that to ourselves and to others.
I think one of the most important things that we need to learn, if not the most important, is to know ourselves and then to be able to express that knowlege.
Reading Dante has really helped me see how important it is to have confidence in our ability to express the lights that we are given. What if that brilliant mind had been chained by the limits of illiteracy or discouragement?
To be able to take a thought, a light, a meditation, and then find the perfect way to express it so that it can be shared with others.
We are all created in the same Image. God made every person in HIS image.
We are not all the same, but we all share a common beginning.
I want to boys to know that they are created in the same image as Plato, Aristotle,
Yeats, Shelley, St Thomas More.
All the great thinkers were made in the Image of the God that now resides in their own souls.
The Holy Spirit is the same Spirit that inspired St Paul, St Thomas Aquinas, and our dear Holy Father John Paul II.
It is SO important that they have the tools and opportunity to give the world whatever He wants to bring to it through them. I can help them find the tools, I can teach them sentence structure, vocabulary and writing skills. The inclination and interest of course, will have to come from them. I just wonder how much of the imagination, creativity and originality of thought we lose if we don't have a fertile environment as children?
What will the world lose if we don't foster the joy of expressing of what God has planted in their hearts?
Kind of scary...

Friday, March 23, 2007

Tim's Home!!

Ah,
It is so good to be a family together again under one roof. The boys are absolutely wired and running around like wild men, but that's how it should be, right?
We didn't get out much this past week, for some reason no one invited us over (hehe).
Our days were metered out by school, meals, play outside and then Prayers and reading.
Pretty quiet, but that's the way the week was. So they are ready to burst!
Before he left Tim made a "game tent" and they had a game night under it in the basement.
















They just live for stuff like that. Tim is always willing to oblige and it's a good thing too because I just don't have the imagination for such things.
I will be glad to get back to normal in the coming week.


School is going so well. John is working through the last 1/4 of his Saxon 54 book and he is still getting A's on all of his tests.
I have a new idea for his spelling. We will still be using his Spelling 4 book, but instead of Alphabetization, which he does not like, I want to have him start looking up the roots of each word. He loves going through his Greek and Latin Roots cards and matching them up with words we commonly use, so this will be a new way for him to apply it.
Brendan is also doing very well in Math and hopefully he can finish his 2nd grade Math book sometime in the Fall. He'll be doing a lesson a week during the summer but that's actually a good thing. His reading is going really well. He reads "Calvin and Hobbes" in bed, and while I'm not crazy about Calvin and his rather beastly personality, I do love that he is reading at that level and he really undestands the humor.
We are studying the Iroquois right now for history and he keeps angling for a mohawk. I managed to convince him that he doesn't want to have his hair plucked out one by one, the way the young braves did.
Paul is reading quite fluently and he loves just hanging out and soaking up whatever the boys are learning.
We went to the library today and Paul got a bunch of the "Buster" books. No doubt he'll be reading them soon! They are still a ways beyond him but he sure loves them.
My rule at the library is: No movies unless they are educational. We have enough movies at home. So they usually pick out "Popular Mechanics for Kids". They must be TV shows that have been put on DVD. The boys have learned so much from them.
It's fascinating when we go to the library and I look at the books that the boys are picking out. No stories about frontier days or wild horses. Nope, lots of books about cars, motorcycles and BIG trucks! Paul likes books about people but not stories, he likes to read about real things people do.
John does love stories about cats. He has found a series about these clans of warrior cats. He has also read all of the Redwall books. He has to have something to read in bed. I love it. Reminds me of when I was a kid.
We watched the old musical version of "Oliver!" this afternoon. They hadn't seen it for a very long time, and so the rest of the afternoon they were running around singing "Food!" at the top of their lungs!
So we'll see what the weekend will bring. I'm sure there will be an "Allowance" trip to somewhere. They haven't been able to spend it so it's been accumulating. Nice for them to have a little something to look forward to at the end of the week.

Well, I'm going to try to get a little further in Dante before bedtime.
It's getting pretty ugly in the old Inferno. Ain't nobody happy!
But I guess that's the idea, eh?
I am really interested in the similarities between Dante's time and now.
It's really true that humanity is really pretty much saddled with the same old tendancies and temptations. We have the same issues with morality, or the lack thereof. We have the same oppression, intolerance, violence and all the other wickedness that has plagued us since time immemorial. The differences that I see are that we have developed a much more sophisticated rationalization of what all these things are and we think that we can explain them all away with Science and Psychology. Throw a study at it, that's the way to turn what used to be a vice or passion into something that comes under a much more civilized heading.
Well, the upside to where we are in history, as I see it, is that everyday there are more saints in heaven praying for the poor ignorant souls on this side. I was reminded the other day of our Holy Father Pope John Paul II, and his excitement about the "Springtime of Hope". The communion of saints is getting bigger all the time. So I have to believe that the winning team is becoming that much more formidable. I mean we KNOW that the Kingdom is coming and that the Truth will prevail, but isn't it nice to know that we are getting more HELP than ever before?
So, as it seems that Poor Dante was kind of discouraged by what he saw coming from society, but he just didn't have the positive spin on it.
Of course I haven't read "Purgatorio" or "Paradisio" yet.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Space...The final frontier.

Well, we finish our "Ten Terrific Weeks- Adventures in Space"!
Usborne has these great ten week programs that we have used this year for Science.
They have a couple of History programs too.
The program is broken down into days of the week, and has some wonderful activities and LOTS of internet links that go to some really great sites.
Brendan has really gotten into Space! He loves it! He remembers so much!
So part of the program was to make a model of each of the planets as we studied them.
and now we have the whole solar system!
Some of them we did with a clay core and soft clay over it, because we needed to put features on the inner planets, but the outer one's are mostly gas and so we were able to simply paint them.
Yes, that is a CD representing the rings of Saturn, John's idea.



Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Movie Review


I finally found a movie that I have been looking for for YEARS!
It is called "The Yarn Princess"
It was on TV when I first saw it and I loved it. I could never find it again. Laura gave me a gift- card to Barnes and Noble and I went looking and there it was
You know how you always wonder if you remember a movie being better than it actually was?
I didn't remember it being this good!
I even liked the lawyer for the ACLU!
A story that really validates large families and motherhood. It IS a tearjerker, I won't kid you.
Margaret is the kind of mother I am striving to be...

THIS is what we're learning?

So I am in the middle of giving John a spelling test.
I give him the word "Petunia" and he says "That sounds like a name for the second Continent."
I say "What was the first Continent? Patagonia?"
He says "No, that was Pangea."
Then Paul pops into the room and says "Patagonia means 'Men with big feet!' "
Which he learned somewhere while John was studying the Explorers and filed away in that sponge of his.
I learn something old everyday.
I LOVE HOMESCHOOLING!!!
We'll finish our planets today and I'll post pictures tonight!

Monday, March 19, 2007

St Joseph's Feast Day!

Today is a special day for our family and for all families!
We Celebrate the feast of St Joseph, the foster father of Jesus and the patron of families.
Since we have two members in our family that have him as a patron, Tim and Brendan,
I was hoping to do something different this year.
If we were all healthy I would have loved to have gone down to Little Italy to participate in a St Joseph's Altar
Hopefully next year that will be possible.
A neat thing did happen today though. I was talking to Suzanne last night and she was telling me of the Italian tradition of putting toasted bread crumbs on the food at dinner to represent the sawdust in the carpenter's shop. Well, I really haven't felt well and didn't have the energy to get a real traditional type dinner together, but Paula asked if she could bring us dinner. And when I opend up the casserole dish it was a dish topped with bread crumbs! I just love stuff like that.
And Paula is a real sweetie! She saved my boys from eggs!

Anyway, send up a prayer to St Joseph for your family today!
I just love this picture. He looks so enthralled with the Baby Jesus.

What Would You Say?

Suppose you work for a very large company that has holdings world wide. You are just an average employee, you do your job, you receive excellent benefits and have a good feeling about your job security.
So one day you and a co-worker are asked to meet with the OWNER of this huge company.
You don't know why he wants to speak with you, and you are both a bit concerned, but you go to the top floor of the building and are ushered into a very large office.
As soon as you are seated before the gentleman, you lose any nervousness that you had brought in with you. He is a soft-spoken, fatherly person and his gentle smile immediately puts you at ease.
Still, you are very curious about why you have been called before him.
He begins. "I'm sure you are wondering why I have called the two of you here this morning. I need some help on a very special project, and I have chosen the two of you to assist me. I will tell you the nature of the project, and give you a chance to decide if you are willing to proceed.
I am planning a project that has the potential to affect the lives of many people all over the world.
"This is a very sensitive and detailed project. It is so highly detailed that it can never be replicated in the future. It has an almost infinite capacity to develop and change to meet it's own needs and the needs of the people that it touches. However, your commitment and hard work will be key to it's success. It may become a force for the good of generations to come.
"I won't tell you that this is going to be an easy task. It is going to take a very long time to accomplish, and it will require your constant attention and involvement. We may not know if it is even going to meet our expectations for many years. There is always a chance that you will not be able to see it through, or that after years and years of hard work, it will fail.
"I assure you that I will be working closely with you at every juncture. I will provide all the necessary materials and support systems. You will receive the usual compensation for your effort, with a large bonus to be paid at the end of your part in the project. In addition you will be given a generous promotion, effective immediately. You will also have my great appreciation. There is no one else that can help me with this particular project. It could be that the lives and the good of many people depend on your answer."


"SO....What do you say?"



What would you say?





Sunday, March 18, 2007

A few pics from the shower...



I can't believe it's been a week since the shower! It feels like I've been asleep or something.
So I am finally posting the pictures and the fun that we had.
What a great group of ladies! It was just wonderful.







I could never have pulled it off without the help of my girls though.
Laura has a real knack for such things and just kept throwing ideas my way and making me feel like I had thought them up! Nina was my moral support.
The cake was a great idea. We had been planning to bake little heart ckes and decorate them, but with the time I was putting in on the quilts, it just seemed like we weren't going to have time.
We were at Weis and Laura said "Why don't we just order a cake?" And we did and it was wonderful and DONE!
I think everyone had a good time and Laura got a ton of pink! Lucy is really going to know that she is a girl. My only regret is that I don't have as many pictures as I would like.
Chika offered to take them and then I just forgot to give her the camera!
We have lots of video so maybe I can do something with that.

One of the Quilts for Baby Lucy!
I love the colors she picked!

Later on I am going to post a little more but for now John needs the computer because there is just nothing fun in his life!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Truck stops here...

You know how when people get the flu they always say they feel like they've been hit by a truck?
Well this particular truck didn't just flatten me as it came around a corner, it was more like I was just lying there waiting while the inevitable happened. Like I was listening to the little alarm that beeps when a big truck backs up, and I was powerless to move out of the way. So it back over me and stayed parked there all day yesterday.
God is so good! Tim called from Albama and said that he had tried to get a flight out on Thursday night, but the weather was really bad and there weren't any. He had a call in to a doctor who was working on the same project and who was going out at 2:30 am. Tim was going to try to hitch a ride to the airport with him. His flight would be at 7:00 a.m. He was concerned though because the weather was looking really bad here and he was concerned that he wouldn't get home in time.
He got out just before they cancelled thousands of flights all up and down the east coast! We had a really nasty ice storm.
A MIRACLE!!
And by the time he got home at 10:00 a.m. , I was flat on my back firmly planted under the very large truck with "Influenza A" printed on the side. I went to bed and didn't get up for most of the rest of the day. When I did I was so dizzy and weak that I had to sit back down right away.
It's really not as bad as everyone predicts though.
I read on the internet to expect it to be around 5-7 days. Paul got it the worst of all and he only really had it for three days. I have had it for three at most but the worst of it was yesterday. Today I just feel wiped out.
John and Brendan have a touch, fevers and stuffiness but not the way Paul did.
We won't make it to Mass this weekend. We could probably all get there but with all the sneezing and coughing that we are doing, it would be really unChristian to spread this to the whole parish.
We just have to watch for nasty secondary infections. Other than that, I'd say we came out considerably better than the predictions of the docs and the internet. Good thing too, Tim has to leave again tomorrow morning. I am really praying he doesn't get sick!
Well, our health is certainly better that that of the dryer...
but I'll leave that for another post.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

It's the waiting...

Today we are kind of in a holding pattern.
Paul had a really miserable night. He cried off and on all night. When I would ask him what was wrong he would just say that he didn't feel well. He didn't have a very high fever and he had stopped throwing up, so I just sat with him and tried to make him feel better. He slept in and when he woke up started crying again. I decided that if he didn't stop by late morning I would take him back in to the doc. I think he just feels lousy. I got him up and dressed and now he is watching Looney Toons. I have put most of school on hold because John woke up with a 103 fever and Brendan is coughing and has a headache.
I feel kind of yucky but I think it may just be from the total lack of sleep! I am trying to get all the laundry and cleaning caught up so that if I do get sick, I don't have much to do. Of course the dryer is on the verge of dying completely and of course we have more laundry right now than ever.
Oh well, in the scheme of things I guess it's really not a big deal. Just have to be sure we have lots of 7-up and Tylenol in the house.
Paul ate a little last night, but I am really trying to keep it as much of a BRAT diet as possible because he is having stomach pain.

So the boys are going to have a great education this week! They all know what a normal temp is, how you get the flu, all about hydration, and treatment of common flu symptoms. Pretty good health class I'd say. Now if I get sick they'll have the chance to apply it!
I really hope Tim can fly home tonight. I am actually doing OK with the physical aspects of all of this but I really need the moral support and a good hug!

So, I guess if I don't post anything in the next couple of days, there will be a good reason.
I am not having a lot of luck with Dante these days but I'm hoping that I'm going to get to it this afternoon. I don't know, meditating on hell is just a little more than I'm up for right now.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Flushing money down the toilet...And other medical misadventures

So I really did intend to post pictures. However the last couple of days have not been pretty, so I haven't gotten to it.
Tuesday morning at 1:30, the flu caught Paul.
He woke up with a terrible fever and body aches. At first I was more worried about pneumonia because he had said earlier the his chest hurt when he coughed and his armpit hurt. I was really worried and probably would have taken him to the hospital that very night but Tim is out of town and there was no one to watch the other two.
So I dosed him with Motrin and Tylenol and took him to bed with me and we passed a very fitful night.
Yesterday morning he seemed much better and had no fever and said his chest no longer hurt. I was suspicious though because he had no appetite. Awhile later he said "uh-oh, it hurts again!" Then he just went downhill and the fever came back like gang-busters.
Tylenol wasn't even touching it and Motrin was making him sick! So I took him to the doc at 3:45 and he was tested and sure enough has a rip-roaring case of Influenza A! Nice to have a letter to attach to tha
t.
So the good Doctor suggested that the other boys have a flu shot, which they were less than enthusiastic about but took very bravely. John looked up at the word "shot" and said "Paul needs a shot?" and I looked at him and said, "not Paul". It took a minute to sink in.
I am rather less than confidant that there was much point in the vaccines. They have already been exposed and the theory is that if they have the vaccine their bodies will start arming themselves with antibodies and the course of the flu will be shortened. That's the theory. Of course the disclaimer is that the vaccine doesn't take a effect for a couple of weeks and the incubation period for the flu is somewhat shorter. Oh well. I did ask pointedly about preservatives in the vaccine and was informed that it is preservative free.
So the next issue was how to make Paul feel better and recover quickly. Time was, we were told to take them home and give them plenty of fluids and Tylenol and make sure they got lots of rest. Well now we have a new weapon in the arsenal: TAMIFLU. It's like the best thing since the stinger missile, only more expensive.
So Doctor Ebreo says that I should go get this med and give it to Paul twice a day and it will shorten the course of the virus. In theory. Not a word about rest and fluids, but I assumed that he probably figured I already knew that.
So off we go, toting little sick Paul along to the pharmacy. Not much chance to rest there eh? We get there and the poor little guy is sitting in a chair crying "I can't take any more of this". It was so sad. Even the pharmacist felt awful for him but there was nothing to do for it because I couldn't very well ask anyone to watch him while I went.
So I got the Stinger Missile of meds and grabbed one of those nifty new Temporal Scan Thermometers, since he has had an awful fever and it seems so much easier to just press something to his forehead. I asked the pharmacist which one she recommended, the cheaper one or the more expensive, name brand. She said "Oh, get the cheaper one." The Tamiflu was 105.00 before insurance. Our cut was 35.00. the Thermometer was 35.00 as well and I also bought some pedialyte to help him stay hydrated. We used to use flat 7-up, about 75% cheaper, that.
So armed with the latest in Flu-fighting weaponry, we took our sick little puppy home. He did actually get sick outside the Pharmacy, and I just felt horrible for having to take him there at all.
I gave him some pedialyte. That stayed down and then he wanted a little bit of granola bar, so he had half of one and then I thought we'd better get started on the Tamiflu so I gave him the first dose since he had just had something to eat. It stayed down about half an hour, then it came up along with all that precious fluid and his Tylenol, which he needed. I didn't dare give him anymore so he just had to have Motrin, which doesn't work as well.
Oh yes, the nifty thermometer does NOT work. So Paul had to go all night with me sticking the old one under his tongue. Gee, just the way we used to.
He slept a bit better and I didn't give him much Tylenol because the OLD thermometer said 102.5 and that's probably a good temp to burn up all those bugs. Gee, God did think of a few ways to beat the local baddies didn't He? You'd think He knew more than Medical Science or something.
OK, being the good mother that I am, I thought that first thing this morning we'd better get back on track with the anti-viral: TAMIFLU.
Going to make him better today!
The sad thing is, last night when he took it, he kept telling me that he just knew he'd feel better in the morning.
So we give him something to buffer his stomach with. He didn't want anything to eat, but he ate anyway. He's such a little trooper.
Then I gave him the med and he went back to bed for awhile. Pretty soon he called me because his stomach hurt really bad. He was crying and saying he thought he was going to throw up. He was right. So that was 20% of the wonderdrug, down the toilet.
So, I put in a call to the doc, gave him some more pedialyte, told him to rest and asked Nina to go trade in my new gadget for a better one, and some 7-up.
The new gadget works like a charm, the 7-up works as well as the pedialyte, of course without the 'lytes, but heck, if you can't keep it down the electrolytes aren't doing you a bit of good.
he is just lying in bed saying that he is never going to feel better! Poor little guy. He is having the most tragic moment that he remembers.
So we will forge ahead into the week with 7-Up, rest and mommy-time. I think he's going to be surprised. He IS going to feel better. Probably about the time I start to wonder if I'M ever going to feel better!

Watch for updates. I'll post what the doc says about the wonderdrug and whether anyone else succumbs to this nasty critter.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Where have I been?

We have been to Virginia and back!
What a week this has been!
We took our long-awaited trip to the Great Wolf Lodge, and the boys had so much fun! Wow! That is a really great place for three active boys. We have been all over the place and stayed in lots of hotels, but this one was really something!
It has a full-sized water park. The boys love to swim and are very comfortable in the water so I was really able to relax and enjoy all the fun they were having.
We had a bit of an issue upon check-in, but that was resloved when they upgraded us to a suite that would have otherwise been WAY out of our price range.
Laura had come with us and it was nice for everyone to have his/her own bed.
We also went to Jamestown/Yorktown for one day and took advantage of the wondeful homeschool programs.
I am still recovering and it's been a week!
We came home on Tuesday evening and it was a pretty easy drive. Between the computer setup in the car and the Dramamine (which IS actually necessary for our family), we had a very nice ride down and back.
I was supposed to teach our Co-op K-1 the next morning, but it was cancelled due to SNOW! I only have one more class to teach this year.
So then it was time to prepare for Lucy's baby shower.
I wanted to get the quilts at least started. Well, when I got going, I just couldn't stop! School was pretty much on hold because of the vacation so I wasn't trying to get too much done in that dept.
Well, the first one was a panel. It wasn't supposed to be that tough, but The satin binding proved to be a bit of a challenge!
Then I had the pieced one to try to finish. I went surprisingly smoothly. I love my sewing machine! I finished it yesterday morning, a couple of hours before the shower. I just have the hand stitching left on the binding. I am waiting for a picture of the frog quilt from Laura and then I will post them.
The Shower was wonderful. So many neat people and Laura and Andrew are now buried in Pink! We just had a great time. It was so neat to visit with friends that Laura and Andrew have made over the years. And family of course.
One of the activities was a video greeting to Lucy from each of the guests. Someday she will hear from some of the people who loved her before she was born!

So today it's back to school and life as usual. It was so nice having Laura around for the week. I think she is probably enjoying being home in her own little place again though.

I have been trying to keep up on Dante and the Inferno. It is such an interesting piece. I can't imagine the personality that you would have to have to imagine such a thing. I'll bet he had a hard time at parties. Just not the lighthearted type.
I'm amazed at the way he pegs the historical and Literary figures of his time.
There are people in this story that many people would never picture in hell.
Hmmm.
Quite a Lenten meditation.

Guess I'll be back later with some pictures. Have to put them in the 'puter.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Just a note about Crusher...

That new German Shepherd we got sure does put a damper on our entertaining!
Nobody wants to come near the house or the kids because he just has NO sense of humor!
We really had to apologize to the oil company because this is the busy season and now they are going to have to find a new deliveryman. Well, we're going to get Crusher some sensitivity training and maybe when his military training wears off a bit he'll simmer down.

Inexplicable...



I don't understand why some days are just so much easier than others. I mean somedays I just get up with the attitude that everything is right, just so good. Other days, in exactly the same circumstances, it seems like every element of the day is just harder.
Today is just a day when I feel like everything is just working right, in every aspect. Which is so funny because nothing in life has changed, still the same house, family, school, finances, apostolate, etc. Yesterday just seemed LONG and I felt like I was up against so much! Today, all the same jobs, issues, people and life in general, just feel totally positive. It's like today I LOVE the challenge, yesterday it seemed like an uphill hike! Funny. Maybe it's that hormone thing "they" say is going to catch up with me. It's not like I really do anything different, I just feel different about the things I do!
I love where God has put me, but maybe He is putting a little more adversity in my daily life for the good of my soul. There are days when I have to really offer up a lot of my grumblings, and not grumble. That is quite an exercise for a person who has to verbalize EVERYTHING!
Yesterday it seemed like the house was just driving me nuts! Everywhere I looked it seemed like there was a job that I hadn't gotten to and like there is so much I want to CHANGE about it!
Today, I have that warm, contented feeling of HOME. like the jobs are all still there, the house is in the same condition, but I am just so grateful that we have it. That we live the way we do! I have such a sense of well-being.
School-same kids, same subjects, same place in the books. Today they are cooperative, productive. Today I feel like I am an effective teacher and we are accomplishing what we set out to do. They are really becoming well educated!
Maybe it's the sunshine. Maybe it's that it's March and NOT February.

Tim says that when we get back from VA he should have the new room ready to paint.
We still have to decide wht to call that room. I call it the sitting room. The boys call it the War room! They say we will be playing lots of games there. The Family Room just doesn't quite fit, but maybe it will after there is more of a ""room" atmosphere and less of a "garage".

Oh, I had to post this little story.
Paul had all these guys up on the windowsill in the living room. I asked him to put his toys away and he said "shh...they don't know they are Playmobile guys. They think they are standing on a cliff!" They stood there for two days.