This sweet girl?

Who, me?
Who, me?

You wouldn’t think that this sweet little girl would scream through the whole night would you?  If you knew that she had an ear infection in both ears (one eardrum was perforated as it had ruptured in the night) you might have a different opinion.  Karissa and I were grateful to find out today that Audrey’s fever, pain, and restlessness had nothing to do with her kidneys.  However, anytime your baby is hurting it is hard on everyone, but especially mama.  I love how Karissa so lovingly nurtures all of our children especially when they are sick.  She has an amazing amount of grace, mercy, love, and energy for our children when they are hurting.  I am so grateful she is the mother of my babies!

God, gojis and grace

Given my very short couple of hours of sleep last night, truly the above are what have sustained me thus far today and I know will be what get us all to dinner/daddy time tonight.  And the fact that my sister is bringing us dinner tonight, that too.

Caleb is fairly frustrated with his lack of mobility. The novelty of the black cast has worn off. However, today was one of our most fun mornings in a really long time. Strange so, me with a screaming baby up most of the night quite tired and Kyler with a bad cold and Rylee with very sore six year old molars coming in and Caleb limping around getting used to his lame foot. I prayed this morning for grace today. I’m learning. Really slowly.

Instead of praying for things to go smoothly and perfectly, they never do anyway, I asked for the right responses. Responses that model love and patience instead of anger and frustration. In fact I think it went something like this….”I know my kids will misbehave and won’t do everything I ask them to, I am not responsible for their bad behavior-but I am responsible for my bad responses.” Today, an extra heap of grace was needed. I asked in the dark hours before the sun came up to somehow be an extension of God’s love despite my seemingly useless condition. I don’t understand how but I am so grateful that he listens and answers when I whisper quiet words or when I shout in desperation. He loved my children well today and I feel as though I had very little to do with it.

january-2009-119
Caleb and Rylee decorating "Gertie"
Rylee hanging her cheerio string for the birds
Rylee hanging her cheerio string for the birds

Caleb looking for a place for his bird string to hang
Caleb looking for a place for his bird string to hang
Rylee with the angel girls
Rylee with the angel girls

I’m not sure which is more funny to me, Caleb’s outfit-Lightening McQueen pajamas in midday, a silk train necktie, a Target bag wrapping his cast or Rylee taking her ‘girls for a walk’ around the culdesac-she sure loves taking care of people, even when they are 3 feet tall and plastic!

As for the goji berries, I am so without sleep that I am trying to take a good amount of vitamins and supplements to try and restore my body despite it all. They really are perky little things even if they taste kind of crummy!

First LIVE animal sighting

kitty

Alright, so it is official…write it down in the books – January 28th was the first day I saw a LIVE animal while checking out a crawl space or an attic.  Fortunately it was not as exciting as running into an otter would have been, but I was invading the space of several feral cats.  Now some of you might be thinking, a little kitty cat, that is nothing to be worried about, but this little kitty cat did not look like this: 

cat

In fact, it was a quite a bit more like this one:  I kept on thinking that if I turned my back on this guy, I might just get a set of teeth in my leg while I wasn’t watching.  As it turned out, we just stared at each other.  I quickly got my measurements and was on my way before things escalated too far.  

One live animal per month?  That is not too bad.  I have heard plenty of man vs. wild stories involving raccoons, squirrels, rats, mice, etc.  Fortunately, this cat, although he was not too happy I was crawling around in his territory, decided it was best just to watch me.

Kyler’s craftiness

So the hardest part of Caleb’s injury? Time spent helping him, rewrapping the foot, icing it, getting it set on a pillow (all of which I am happy to do)….but that means time for Kyler.

Time for Kyler to measure teaspoons of cod liver oil all over the kitchen floor then try to wipe it himself and smear oil all over the floor making it slippery and ripe for me to slide across it.

Time for Kyler to ‘paint’ rubber cement glue across the dog kennel and Maggie’s nose.

Time for him to find a steak knife and try to open a bag of chips.

The boy needs a beeper so I know where he is constantly. He can open kid-proof doors. He can move heavy chairs silently so as to reach things much, much higher than his mere 37″ frame. Really, I am never napping, never sitting down, never talking on my phone more than a very brief minute or two, never locked in the bathroom-the door is always open, never not on the watch. Just so I could sit and write this post real quick, he is confined to a kitchen chair with bunnie crackers. Food is the way to that kids heart. It really is.

Shaking my head. How will he make it to adulthood? And what in the world will he be when he grows up? And how in the world can I not squelch all that is innate in him and affirm the way he was divinely created as he seems to have a penchant for destruction curiosity?

Caleb gets a break

caleb-foot

Yesterday afternoon, Caleb had a little incident in the kitchen where he hurt his foot.  Since neither Karissa or I saw the whole thing, this is what think transpired.  Caleb was standing on one of the kitchen chairs and was leaning back.  When the chair went out from under him, he came tumbling down.  As he fell, his foot went up and slammed the bottom of the kitchen table.  Luckily he did not hurt his head throughout this process.

Well, after he limped the rest of the day we figured we should take a trip to the E.R. to get some xrays taken of Caleb’s foot.  It is official – he has a small fracture on his right foot.  Apparently he is too small for crutches or a boot, so some ace bandage and rest for three-four weeks and he should be as good as new.  It should be an interesting month keeping Caleb off his foot.  We will be calling our Dr. tomorrow to see if there are any options that will help him keep his injury in mind.  If you think of him over the next few weeks, pray that he can choose to stay off his foot.  Most of you know Caleb and the idea of him not jumping, running, or dancing around for a month is not too plausible.  We will see how this goes.

By the way, the Dr. at the ER was the best I have ever experienced with kids in the ER.  Unfortunately we have actually had more experience in the ER than we would like.  This is Caleb’s third trip to the ER. She was great with Caleb…had him laughing the whole time.  All it took was for her to ask him if his “foot” (pointing to his hand) hurt when she was trying to see where the foot hurt.  Thanks Doc for taking extra care to make it a bit easier on Caleb!

-Chris

My favorite pasta salad

I had the pleasure of making this for a birthday party last night, this salad is so full of flavor.   The recipe is always requested so instead of emailing it, I thought I’d share it here.  It involves a fair bit of chopping but is so very worth while.  The base of the recipe is from Barefoot Contessa’s Family Style cookbook.  That is probably my very favorite cookbook of all time.  I’ve made a few changes and below is how I make it.  Enjoy!

10-12 oz dry pasta radiatore
Kosher salt
Olive oil
1 pound ripe cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 cup kalamata olives, pitted and diced
1 pound fresh mozzarella, medium diced
6 sun dried tomatoes, drained and chopped

For the dressing:
8 sun dried tomatoes, drained
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
9 Tablespoons good olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1 1/2 tsp capers, drained
3 teaspoons kosher salt
1 heaping teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves, julienned
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Directions:  Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water until al dente.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Allow to cool slightly.  Place the pasta in a bowl and add the tomatoes, olives, mozzarella and chopped sun dried tomatoes.
While cooking the pasta, make the dressing.  Combine the sun dried tomatoes, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, capers, salt and pepper in a food processor until almost smooth.
Pour dressing over pasta, sprinkle with basil and parmesan cheese; toss well.  If you want to make it early, it sits very well.  Just wait till serving to add the basil and parmesan.

Milking machine

cow

Heard at the dinner table tonight:

“Mom, do you ever wish you were a cow so you could be milked?  It would be so fun.  When I grow up I’m gonna be a cow.  Rylee, don’t you want to be a cow?”

Me thinking- well considering the hundreds (no joking) of hours I’ve spent with a pump already in my 6 years of mothering, I could safely say with a smile “No, I don’t think I want to do that.  It actually doesn’t sound fun at all to me.”

Quiet stares.  “Okay, well you could be a farmer.”

Perfect, sounds absolutely lovely to me.  I actually had the desire yesterday to go out my back door, yell with my kids as loud as we could, then come back inside.  I quickly realized it was early and we couldn’t do that.  Oh to have wide open spaces for yelling and running!

Unrelated, but a piece of advice:  When potty training the two year old, don’t choose reward candy that you enjoy.  Then you might eat them all yourself in the exasperated moments of accidents and be left without the necessary incentive when you need it.  Trader Joe’s miniature peanut butter cups.  They looked cute and tiny and perfect.  I don’t even like chocolate right?  They should have stayed at the store.

Goliath

An update on the garage door, after determining the danger of trying to fix it himself, Christopher (good man that he is) called the garage door repair people.  They said they’d send a couple guys to do it, given the very heavy weight of the old door.

Well, only one guy showed up,  but upon first glance he seemed to be as good as two men.  He would have had to duck to get in our doorway.  He was enormous.  He even had the face of a brute.  Honestly he was at least 6′ 8″.  His name was Brock.   And he called Christopher “Boss”.  Truly he was larger than life.

He single handedly lifted the broken garage door and did all the necessary repairs and a quick $250 later we were able to access our storage area and our full freezer.   Chicken Yakisoba was made with no troubles, thank goodness!