Day Fifty-three – The List

August 4, 2008 at 11:33 pm (daily life)

A wise, thinking person might have approached a Must-Do list like mine by tackling the biggest, hardest job first, to make sure that it got done within the time constraints.  Me?  Well, I’m applying the attention defecit method here.  A  little of this, a little of that, a little more of that, and we’ll see where we end up.  I got some small tasks accomplished today.  Unfortunately, or fortunately those led to other small tasks that also needed doing  but weren’t  on the list.  Isn’t that always the way it is with cleaning, though?  I have to say, though, getting these things done felt pretty good.  Uncommonly, good, actually.  I was actually giggling to myself as I  opened and closed my bathroom drawer.  There was nothing to make it “stick” anymore!  Hee hee!  What a feeling!  It’s kind of annoying that these things each  took only a small amount of time.  Why did I let them go so long?  Why don’t I just do things when  they need to be done instead of letting it get so bad that I  don’t even want to tackle it?  Well, in anycase, I managed to cross off a few things.

And, it’s not like I could have jumped right into the painting job, anyway.  My bedroom contains several large objects, like a bed.  And a dresser.  I can’t  move them, which makes prepping to paint kind of difficult.  So, the plan is to start tomorrow night, after I make Daddy move stuff around.

Tomorrow , or part of it anyway, will  be spent at the  State Fair to see my parents receive a certificate honoring them for maintaining a 150 year  old farm.  My dad has been farming it by himself for nearly 50  of those years, so it’s a big deal to him.  He’s retired from dairy farming, officially, but still maintains the land, and rents the buildings to other farmers.  It will be fun to celebrate the honor with him, and then enjoy a bit of the fair. 

So, the list may remain stagnant for a day.  But it sure was nice to get a start!

 

copy (at Office Max) teacher resources for new  units at school and assemble copied pages into page protecters/binders

clean out/organize downstairs hall closet

Clean out/organize spare room closet upstairs and create system for craft supplies

clean out under all bathroom sinks This also led to the cleaning out of drawers, purging of expired medicines, old make-up and 12 empty contact lens cases; and the cleaning out of one linen closet (One more to go, and it’s a dooozy)

Reorganize basement storage shelves

Prep bedroom for painting (clear out room, tape, etc) Started!

paint bedroom

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Day Fifty-two – Mother’s Helper

August 4, 2008 at 2:18 pm (daily life)

Day fifty-two.  *sigh*  Ten days to go.  It  seems impossible, even though it happens every year and I should be well prepared for the inevitable end of summer, by now.

It’s been a great summer, make no mistake.  I have enjoyed (nearly) every minute of being with my girls.  And, I feel pretty good about the way the summer went.  We were active and busy and the girls got to do a lot of really, really good stuff.

But, what about MOm? Remember that list I made back on Day Four?  The list of things that needed to be done this summer?  Well, I am sad to say that it is largely untouched.  I did keep up with my daily cleaning schedule, pretty well, and I got some things like carpet cleaning and pantry origanization done. But, there are a LOT of things that should have happened this summer that didn’t.

Somethings just can’t be accomplished with a two and a half year old around, and are too big to be done during her nap.  Like painting the bedroom, for example.  Or organizing a closet that is full of things she’s going to want to get into, derailing the organizing process.

So, for a few days,  I’ve called in some help.  My neice, who is soon to be a freshman in high school is visiting.  The idea is, she will keep the girls busy while I tackle some big jobs.  We did this last year, too, with mixed results, but the girls were younger then, and so was my niece.  We’ll see what kind of result we get this year.

For anyone who wants to keep score (and for me…so  I actually get something done!) here’s the list of things to be done before Thursday (yikes!)

 

copy (at Office Max) teacher resources for new  units at school and assemble copied pages into page protecters/binders

clean out/organize downstairs hall closet

Clean out/organize spare room closet upstairs and create system for craft supplies

clean out under all bathroom sinks

Reorganize basement storage shelves

Prep bedroom for painting (clear out room, tape, etc)

paint bedroom

 

HELP!  Looking at it like that it seems there’s no way it will all get done.  But, oh, wouldn’t it feel good to leave for our mini-vacation on Friday with most it the items crossed off?  Wish me luck!

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Day Fifty-one – Preserving the Memories

August 4, 2008 at 12:40 am (daily life)

Since this  summer is all but a memory, I decided it was time to start the girls’ memory books.  I’ve  been meaning to print pictures and get going on them, well, all summer, but I realized that  if I  didn’t  start them  now, they were  not going  to happen.

We  bought small scrapbooks on a trip to Hobby Lobby in early July, I think, along with tons of scrapbook stickers and  some fun papers.  I’ve been snapping pics of every fun thing we’ve done.  So, all  I needed was  to  set aside some  time, print some pics and away we went.

Last year Isabelle and  started this tradition.  We simply glued  pictures  into a  little book, embellished  the page  with stickers, drawings, Isabelle’s own handwriting…whatever we needed to  tell the story of the  picture on that page.  She  pulled that book out so many times over the past year that I  knew I  needed to to it again this year.

I made a rule that Isabelle has to  draw or write something  for each   page.  And, like last year, we are typing her story on the computer and  glueing it in to  give the book a  “Professional” look. We’ve done two pages and  they are adorable.  She’s having fun with it, too.

Emily’s book is  a little less  fancy.  For  each picture, I am typing  up a sentence that she “dictates” to me.  We will  add stickers and  stuff, too, but I really want hers to be more like a “word book.”  Just simple and fun.

After a morning of working on their  books, I came downstairs to  find Emily with my camera – opened and ready to  go.  She had her  orange Care Bear and her blanket (Fringy) on the  couch.  When I asked her what she was doing she said, “Mom!  It’s  very important.  I’m trying to take a picture of my friends for my Membery book!”  And sure enough, the  last 7 or 8 pictures on the camera were of a care bear’s butt and head and of a polka-dotted fleece blanket.   How sweet is  that?

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Days Forty-nine and Fifty – The Great Outdoors

August 4, 2008 at 12:08 am (daily life)

Camping.  It’s been a love/hate relationship kind of thing for me for the last 15 or so years.  I never camped as a child.  Not in a tent anyway.  I did 4-H camp  and church camp where we slept in cabins and the day’s worth of activities was all planned out for us.  Oh, and choir camp, drama camp, forensics camp…yes, I was that geeky…but those were on college campuses.

So, as a young adult, with a group of friends who had camped their whole lives,  I had a lot of learning to do.  Most of the time I tolerated the two or three days pretty well.  Sometimes I hated most of it and wanted to go home, but more often, I loved it.  It all depended on my mood, the “social climate” (i.e. how well the group was getting along that particular trip) and the weather.  The weather was probably the most important factor.  There is, quite possibly, nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night, in a tent, in the middle of a puddle, with wet nylon stuck to your face because your tent had just collapsed under the weight of t he rain.  If there is something worse, it involves lightning and a screen tent.

I am pretty sure that my husband has the same ambivalent feelings about camping that I do.  Throw into the mix his asthma which renders him crabby and fairly useless in conditions like, say, high humidity, high pollen, dust and dirt, musty tents and he’s not generally a happy camper. In his defense, I’d imagine it is hard to be agreeable when you can’t breathe, can’t sleep and insist on drinking all the alcohol that you packed before the ice in the cooler melts.

So, we went from  being two adults who could “take it or leave it” but usually chose  “take it” because it was mostly fun, to being two parents who could leave it, and  be  fine.

But, there is the small matter that our friends (and to some extent family…but this isn’t the place for a discussion of that) camp. And, no matter how old and  “mature” I get, I still HATE to be left out of things.

And, Isabelle really, really REALLY wants to camp.  I probably could not have heard her ask one more time “When  are we going to sleep outside in a tent?”  or “When are we going to camp with the  (insert friends’ surname) family?” or “We have camping supplies in the garage, right?  There’s a big green box that says Camping supplies on it.  It probably has everything we need to go  camping, right? So when are we going to go?”

Camping with kids presents its  own share of problems, particularly to someone  who doesn’t LOVE it.  Camping with a kid with CF…well, there’s a lot to think about.  How will we do her treatments and tube feedings?  What if she picks up some bacteria in the lake?  How do we keep her out of the smoke from the  campfire?  What if it rains and we get soaked in the tent?  Even a slight cold  has the  potential to turn into pneumonia which  means hospital…Is it worth it? 

Yes.

I promised myself long ago that CF will not steal simple pleasures from us.  That, regardless of the risks (within reason) Emily will LIVE.  Experience everything she can.  If that means a family camping trip that her sister is begging for (and, in all honesty, Mom is starting to crave, too…) then so be it. 

So weI decided we’d give it a try.  We’d just go, I decided. We’d make the best of the noise of the feeding pump (Not to mention the possibility of the sticky sweet smell of the formula making us an all-night diner for raccoons, rabbits, deer and bears… We’d do a treatment the hour before we left and again as soon as we’d get back.  We’d do our best to keep her hands clean and keep her out of direct smoke from the campfire.  Whatever it took.  We’d just go.  We’d swim, eat s’mores, enjoy our friends, hike, tell ghost stories or play “I’m going camping…” 

And we went.  Albeit it was only for one night, and it was only 20 minutes from home, and, oh yeah, Daddy brought Emily home at night for her treatments and feeding and so they could both sleep in the comfort of air conditioning.  But, we did it, and it was fabulous.

Isabelle was so happy.  So excited to do something new.  Emily really really really wanted to stay and sleep in the tent, but she got over it, and she knows she gets to do it  next year. Both girls just loved the swimming.  We all loved dinner.  As a very wise young camper once said, “Everything tastes better outside.”

This little mini trip was all I needed to build some confidence that we can do a little longer trip next  year.  Emily will still only be three, so we’ll still stick close to  home in case we need to make a run for it in the middle of the night.  But, we’ll go.  and it’s nice to know we can.

"Hmmm.  This sleeping bag is pretty comfy!  I could sleep here tonight, I think."

"Hmmm. This sleeping bag is pretty comfy! I could sleep here tonight, I think."

"Oh, I am getting  soooo sleepy"

"Oh, I am getting soooo sleepy"

"I am so tired!  You better just let me sleep here tonight, mom!"

"I am so tired! You better just let me sleep here tonight, mom!"

Ahhh, this is the life!  Sitting  around the camp fire in my jammies and hoodie!  Thanks mom!

Ahhh, this is the life! Sitting around the camp fire in my jammies and hoodie! Thanks mom!

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Day Forty-eight (part 2) – Blue’s Clues Ooops

August 2, 2008 at 11:39 am (daily life)

This is what happens when your sister’s obsession with watching Blue’s Clues gets the better of your creative nature

A clue! A clue!

A clue! A clue!

 

The good news is that she used washable marker – intentionally, so  at least she was thinking about what she was doing.  It did come right  off with water and a paper towel.  And, it wouldn’t have mattered so much anyway, since this is just a junky old chair I pull out when we  need extra seating.

But the best part of the whole story is that when I grabbed my camera, a very chagrined Isabelle yelled, “No mom!  Don’t put it on your blog!”

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Day Forty-Eight (part 1)- Cheap Fun

August 2, 2008 at 11:26 am (daily life)

Here’s how to have a great day without spending a dime…

Build your own water park

Build your own water park

Get out your crayons and markers...

Get out your crayons and markers...

Invite friends  over for dessert

Invite friends over for dessert

 

OK, so somebody spent dimes somewhere for each  of these fun things.   The slip ‘n slide belongs to our neighbors, but it makes a great waterpark set up on the hill behind our house.  The Care Bear house was purchased at Target, on  clearance for $3.68 three year ago – before Emily was born, so that hardly counts as spending money.  This was the last of the three that  I bought – it’s been taking up room in the basement, so it was time to get it out and set it up!  And the dessert on the front step was the result of the ice cream truck driving through the sub-division just as we were all fininshing dinner.  The parents forked over $3 a  piece for the cool treats and the girls and their neighbor friends ran to our house to enjoy them together.  That ice cream truck driver is no dummy!

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Day Forty Seven – Images From a Tuesday

August 2, 2008 at 8:44 am (daily life)

Waiting  until  it's time to leave for Dance Class.

Waiting until it's time to leave for Dance Class.

I want to go to dance class, too.
I want to go to dance class, too.
I just loved the way all the dance bags looked hanging outside the studio.
I just loved the way all the dance bags looked hanging outside the studio.
My pretty girls
My pretty girls

The last picture was so funny.  Emily wanted bubbles in her bath, then she decided to practice her back float from swim class.  To her, that’s really just laying on her back and putting her ears in the water.  It made  for such a funny image.  And, since I almost always have my camera handy these days, I caught it!  Kind of accentuates just how big her eyes are.

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Day Forty-Six – Last Zoo Class

August 2, 2008 at 12:01 am (daily life)

I’m sad  to say that our zoo classes are over  for the  summer.  The  girls have both enjoyed them.  It’s been a nice chance to spend time  with Emily doing things we never get to do, just the  two of us.  I have  loved watching  her interact in  these sessions, too.  Today, she had the routine down pat, and  FINALLY participated in the Hello Song.  She’s such a goof.  She just will  not do  anything  until she  is  good and  ready!

Em and I  learned about frogs today, and Isabelle had  Kangaroo class.   They were both very “hoppy” to  tell each other  what they learned.  Emily has been funny about that lately.  She’ll say, “I’m going to tell Isabelle ____________”  or “I’m going to find Daddy and tell him _______________.”  It’s just cute.

 

As much fun as the  classes are for the girls, both of them will tell you (just  ask!) that the   best part of zoo class is what we do after class.  I had really hoped we’d  be able to make a day of it at the zoo, but with  Em not feeling  well, I didn’t want t o  push it.  So, we spent just a bit of time on  the playground, treated ourselves to ice cream (well, a funnel cake for me, and ice cream for  the girls) and then headed home.  The  girls were great!  Em fell asleep on the way home, which was  fine  with me!  She stayed asleep until about twenty minutes before  it  was time to go to the  pediatrician to check on that croupy cough.

Emily’s lungs checked out clear, she had no fever.  The pediatrician feels that my “diagnosis” of croup was the right one, and that the increased daytime cough we are still hearing is probably the result of “twitchy” air-ways, maybe brought on by humidity, air conditioning, or both.  Isn’t THAT a kicker?  She suggested increasing Em’s abuterol, which I had already done.  So, since Em’s acting fine and seems to feel pretty good, it’s life as usual.  Thank goodness.  I’ll keep a close eye on things, of course, but for now,  I’m just glad her lungs were clear.

 

"Hi mom!  Watch me!"

"Hi mom! Watch me!"

 

Goin' up...

Goin' up...

Coming down together!
Coming down together!

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Day Forty -five (part 3) – Waaaaay Behind and Worries

July 28, 2008 at 2:00 am (daily life)

OK.  When you scroll down you will see several empty posts.  I have obviously fallen  behind in my posting but I wanted to  keep the Day by day format going.  So, I’m  ‘reserving’ space for myself to write about each day as I have time.  It should be with  in the next day or so,  so, please keep checking in!

Now,  more importantly.   Emily is sick.  Any of my fellow CF moms who are reading  this know the magnitude of those three words.  THere’s  been a cough brewing for  a few days.  Yesterday it became clear that she was getting  something fairly serious.  Then, at 2:00 am, she woke up with the  seal-bark cough.  You moms know  the one.  I am fairly confident that this is just croup, except, with CF, nothing is ever “just” anything.  There is no such thing as “just” a sore throat, “just” a fever, “just a cough.”  Everything COULD be the start of something really big and  bad.

It is hard to be up for several hours in the middle of  the night with a sick kid.  But, CF really does add layers that make it a horrendous experience every. single. time. 

It  took us a while to get the coughing under control and to  get  cleaned  up.  Emily coughed up a TON of  mucus, and, unfortunatley, a lot of her overnight feeding came with  it.  We were  both coated – sticky and  smelly.  Worst of all, her favorite blanket was covered, too.  Watching  her cough was heart breaking.  Each spasm of coughing wracked her entire body.  This little girl who has looked SO healthy to me lately, so  robust and “normal” suddenly looked frail and thin.  I had my hand on her back to keep her steady as the  seal barks exploded from her chest.  I realized I  could  feel every bump in her spine.  Why didn’ t  I notice  that in the swimming pool a few days earlier?  What is it about the  middle of the night that brings  out every fear, and twists reality so you see it in its brightest light?

Daddy and I  tried to coax her back into her bedroom  to snuggle on the rocking chair after her improptu bath.   But, Emily insisted on going downstairs to watch television.  OK, fine.  THat’s why Noggin is on all night, now, right?  Actually, we ended  up with Sprout.  Daddy realized that  there  were 2 straight hours of Barney on.  Neither of  us thought that Emily would  stay awake to  watch it all!

As  I  lay on the living room floor wavering  between super-alert-and- listening -from -a- cough and, well , asleep, I had time  to think.  And worry.  Even though I pretty much knew that we were  looking at croup, I still spent time  formulating my “hospital” plan.  Where  would Isabelle go if Emily had to  go  in?  What would  we do  about Monday’s zoo class?  Who would  I  need to call, what would  I pack?

I kicked myself for all the times I’ve said lately that Emily is  having a great summer, health wise.   How dare  I tempt fate that  way?

Finally, Em fell asleep and we  made our way back to our beds.  In the morning  I called the pulmonologist at Children’s  hospital, and an oral steroid was persribed.  She’s acting as if she feels  great, and  there is only a cough every so  often.   I think she’s over  the worst of it,  but, stil I worry. 

Soon those  empty spaces below will  be full.  I promise.

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Day Forty-five (part 2) – County Fair

July 28, 2008 at 12:10 am (daily life)

Growing up,  the county fair was a HUGE part of my summer.  From age 9 on, the fair meant exhibiting projects that I had worked hard on, then getting to play at the fair for a week. As a teenager, I worked at the  fair, sometimes spending an entire day on the fair grounds.  Even as a  young adult, I maintained my fair connections.  So, it’s hard for me to resist when the fair that’s held just a few miles from home sets up each summer.

I had hoped that we’d make a family day of it, but with Em and  Daddy not feeling  well, Isabelle and I set out  on  our own.  Ten minutes in, I realized what a good move that was.

OK, so my memories of the County Fair are apparently romanticized just a bit.  I don’t remember there being SO many smokers and just generallly scary people at the fair.  I never  really looked at how filthy and dust EVERYTHING is at the fair grounds.  And,  I  certainly never thought about how appealing the big kid rides would be to a two year old who going to ride them over mom’s  dead body.

Being on our own gae Isabelle and I a chance to do what ever SHE wanted to do.  She doesn’t get to do that all too often.  We ask her quite often to “compromise” with her siser.  And, frankly, it was just easy having one kid along.

I loved the one  on one  time.  We had a really good time.  And, I  learned a valuable lesson: I’m not as good at the twirly rides as I used to be.

Here are some pics.

This was taken while we were spinning around in a teacup.  Sorry, I can’t figure out  how to rotate the  picture.  Anyone?

In the Ferris Wheel car, ready to go.  She’s been talking about riding the Ferris Wheel again for a whole year!  I was surprised how nervous  I got when the  car stopped.  I was fine when we were moving, but when we stopped at the  top I could hardly keep from grabbing her to  keep her from falling.

The view  from the  top

.

I love this picture.

And, what’s a visit to the fair without a strawberry sundae the size of your head??

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