Thursday, May 28, 2009

Good-bye civilization...

I am getting ready to log off the computer so Mike can pack it. I will be cut off from the real world (OK, maybe not the real world, but my world) until *gasp* MONDAY!! Thank god I still have my phone although it has been acting up and not letting me see posts on Facebook. That problem needs to be fixed immediately as far as I'm concerned!

So long, farewell, Auf wiedersehen, good night. I hate to go and leave this pretty sight. So long, farewell, Auf wiedersehen, adieu. Adieu, adieu, to yieu and yieu and yieu.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I'm waving my white flag...

I don't really have time to be posting a blog but I needed a few minutes of sanity so I am. I think Mike is a few behind in reading these so by the time he reads this we should be already moved and he won't know that I was blogging instead of packing. Oh, knowing him, he already knows!

I have a headache today that is sinus related. I so want to put an ice bag on my nose but I don't have time for that. The humidity here is high and the rain is coming and going so my sinuses are in a state of havoc. They just plain hurt. Ibuprofen here I come...

I am so excited to be moving but this is reminding me how much I hate to do it. And, it's only 2 or 3 miles. Mike has been laying down the law on the packing. Everything came in a tote or box and we still have all of them so it should all fit back in the same containers. I have had a hard time convincing him that we have more stuff than when we arrived. I broke down today and snuck to the U-Haul store and purchased some boxes. Of course he will notice but I figure once the stuff is in them he won't be able to do anything about it. Good theory? If my head wasn't hurting so much I'd try to further explain this to him but forget it. I love my hubby but we are polar opposites on how we do things like packing. As he says there is the Hall way and then there is the right way, the Shook way. How can we battle this one out? My head hurts so my white flag is out! I surrender!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Michael #3....??

I owe a very belated Happy Birthday to the love of my life, Michael. His birthday was last Thursday and tends to get a little overlooked since Molly's is the day before. I had also already given Mike his gift about a month ago. He wanted an IPod shuffle after he realized that his IPod Classic was to heavy to use working out. I have enjoyed the shuffle as much as he has so it might be considered a gift for both of us! The weird thing about Mike's birthday is that he is a twin so you think I would remember to send his brother a card but over the last few years I seem to forget. I think it's because I concentrate so much on Molly's birthday and my Mom's is a few days before that so by the 21st I'm done. This year we had to go buy his brother's card so we could drive right to the post office to mail it! And, YES!, it's written on my calendar. Just one of those oversights or something. I had someone suggest to me that they buy all the cards that they need for the month at the beginning, address them, write the date on the upper right hand corner and then when it was time to mail they just stick the stamp over the date. I'm going to plead insanity for the month of May because our 2 families have a ton of May birthday's...8 that I can count.

What are your suggestions for keeping up on the mailing of birthday cards?

Back to the original topic of this post...I hope you had a wonderful birthday, Michael. You bring joy to my life and the lives of your children. They radiate so much love around you. You are the best thing in our lives! I love you...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Molly #4...

I can't believe as I type this that my Molly is 4 years old today. Mike and I both were saying last night that it feels like just yesterday that we drove to the hospital for her to be born. It isn't a very exciting birth story. When you have a scheduled c-section the drama is limited. We didn't know the sex of the baby so that added a piece of anticipation to the birth. I was suppose to be at the hospital by 9 but I kept getting calls all morning pushing back my arrival time. They finally told me to get there at 2. Of course, we were a few minutes late!! They didn't waste any time and our beautiful girl arrived at 3:27. It was wonderful and overwhelming all in the same breath. Molly has been a blessing ever since. She has shown an amazing amount of fire for such a little person. She has opinions on what will happen, she can be very stubborn, she is a little sponge and learning something every day but she is also very loving and a wonderful cuddler. These last few months have allowed me some special time to spend alone with Molly. The alone time hasn't been guilt free. I feel bad that I haven't had the same time for Cameron and Amanda. The time I have had with her has been the longest alone time that I've had with any of my children since Molly was born. It has also been the scariest time I have had as a Mother and her pure will to be tough has held me together on some really hard days. I could be a puddle of tears on the inside but she always kept me strong for her by never being scared and being an awesome patient. She is a great girl!
Happy Birthday to my Molly! I love you, J! Always.

Monday, May 18, 2009

An update on Molly...

Just a quick update on Molly and her visit to the urologist today. Molly's renal ultrasound showed everything looks really good. The ultrasound technician showed me the stents on each side. Kind of cool to see. Molly's labs are looking very good and normal, too. We had an indepth talk with Dr. R (our urologist) and he gave us a good run down on what he thought was the best way to proceed. We are going to try one more procedure that is less invasive before opting for a surgery that would require an incision. Our doctor is going to use a surgical balloon and inflate it in the ureters. He leaves it for 10 minutes and then he will deflate it. Hopefully it will break up the existing scar tissue and open up the ureter and prevent the back pressure Molly gets on her kidneys. 4-6 weeks later he will then remove the stents. Dr. R gives this a 50-50 chance of working. We think it's worth a shot. We are trying to avoid an "open" surgery at all costs. Molly has to start gaining some weight back to help herself heal. Dr. R feels that her weight is beginning to be an issue on her healing process. We go on Thursday to meet with a nutrionist. I'm curious to see what they suggest. I have started to try and get her to drink a PediaSure a day. Not the easiest thing but I'm not giving up! I am open to any suggestions on way's to fatten her up!

Friday, May 15, 2009

The dreaded word...

Amanda has been increasing her vocabulary by the hour here lately. It is hilarious to hear some of the words she hears throughout the day come out of her little mouth. It's so funny to hear her call for Cameron and Molly. She's yells, "Guys!" The other day she said to me, "I want a cookie." Clear as day. She can show you and say about 20 different body parts including your nose and check out the nostrils, too. But today I heard the one word I didn't want to hear. Surprisingly it wasn't one of the usual sailor words that Mommy uses. I was switching the laundry and Amanda was helping me. She saw a jump rope on top of the dryer (because that's where everyone keeps theirs, right??) and she was reaching for it. I told her no, that it was an outside toy. And she looked me square in the eyes and said, "Why?" Do I need to say anymore...??

Thursday, May 14, 2009

That's just God bowling...

We have had a lot of rain here lately. And when I say a lot, I mean a lot! Mike's co-workers tell him that this has been an exceptionally wet spring. The Illinois river has crested several times. Yesterday we had a whale of a storm. I have resorted to telling the kids that the thunder is God bowling and the rain is God crying. This explanation resulted in a whole bunch of questions. "Why is God sad?" "Is God at a bowling alley?" "What would make God stop crying?" "What color is God's bowling ball?" You catch my drift. So then it made me think am I teaching them incorrectly or am I doing them a favor by softening the explanation of what the weather is really doing? Do I just not feel like explaining thunder and lightning 500 times?? If you have one or 10 young kids you know how many questions there can be a day! Then I was thinking more (scary, I know) and it reminded me back to a discussion we had pre-kid with some family. I remember my sensible (or at least I thought he was!) brother-in-law sharing how upset he was when he realized his parents had lied to him about Santa. He was truly hurt. Now, I find this kind of ridiculous but I guess it's all in the perspective. I remember being a little disappointed that Santa wasn't "real" but thinking it was cool to get to be in on an adult secret and pretend with kids younger than myself. It's kind of like the ending to The Sixth Sense. I am still amazed to this day that more people didn't give away the ending. That has to be one of the biggest cliff hanger movies of all time. And no one ruined it for me and it was fun to not tell anyone so the big ending wasn't ruined for them. Wow! I've really gone full circle on this...I think I'm OK Cameron and Molly thinking that God is bowling and one day we will discuss the weather terms that they need to know or I will just introduce them to the Weather Channel. Because if you really think about God bowling it brings a smile to my face!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

BUN, fun, fun, fun...

Today we visited our nice Nephrologist in Peoria. He is a young guy who is really nice to talk with and great with kids. We did blood work last week for this visit and the results were great. The blood draw last week not so great. Two pokes for poor Molly. They tested Molly's BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen) and did a creatinine test (evaluates kidney function) and both came back in normal ranges. The moral is that the stents are doing what they need to do and everything is back on track - for now. In fact Molly's urine is concentrating so well now that there is no need to do any further testing for diabetes insipidus. Thank goodness! All in all it was a good day for good news! We visit our urologist on Monday so we are hopeful for more continued good news. We appreciate all the prayers and good thoughts sent our way during this experience. I have learned a lot from it and will come away being a true advocate for my children.

Monday, May 11, 2009


My kiddos have an absolute fabulous Daddy. While Mommy was away for a few hours he cleaned up toys and took the time to trim and paint Miss Molly's toes. Not too many Daddy's would do that. Thanks honey for taking two chores off my list of things to do! We have also included Amanda's new bling. Aren't they the cutest shoes?? We love them!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day...

I would first like to say Happy Mother's Day to all the mother's out there. Whether you are a mom to children, your pet, your co-workers, whomever you deserve a shout out!

It seems Mother's Day has become all about the gift. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about the gift. Big, shiny, sparkly, bring it on. Truth be told I asked for some sessions with a personal trainer so I don't think she's going to be as sparkly as I would like. I remember Dale and I making one of those coupon gifts for my Mom one year. I can't remember what the coupons were for but if I could make requests here's what I would like...

- A day of not fighting over our baby sister touching Luke Skywalker or Han Solo. Let's try and work it out (which they usually do) without too many tears. (This means you, Molly!)

- A day at Wal-Mart where we just stroll along, people don't look at me with pity (you know that look!) and where we don't touch all the glass jars and squish the bread.

- A day where we pick up our toys before starting in on the next disaster. There is little that annoys me more than one mess on top of another.

- A day where the clothes mysteriously fold themselves and get put away in the snap of a finger. Remember the scene in Mary Poppins where the children's room is put back together in like 30 seconds? That's exactly what I want.

- A day of pottying all alone. Yes, I do mean me. I can't go to the bathroom alone for 2 seconds without one of the cherubs coming in and giving me the 5th degree on what I'm doing. Mommy, are you pooping? Mommy, why are you reading? Mommy, what are you doing?

What coupons would you want in your book?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A favorite meal...

I am all about the crock pot. I love that thing and think it has to be a top 5 genius invention in this world. Right next to penicillin, the atomic bomb, duct tape...the crock pot! I use mine at least 2 times a week and if I could do all cooking in it I would rock. One of my favorite things to do is a chicken salsa that Mike and I just love. We had it last night and I thought it was worth sharing. I call it Scoop Chicken.

2 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I sometimes use tenderloins because they cook faster)

1 1/2 - 2 cups of your favorite salsa (I love the black bean and corn variety - Meijer has a great one)

Cook in your crock pot for 3 or 4 hours. I often put the chicken in the crock pot still frozen and it cooks great.

I usually shred the chicken with forks after it's been cooking for a while.

Prior to eating prepare a cup of jasmine (or your favorite) rice.

Line the bottom of a cereal bowl with baked Tostitos Scoops.
Add rice over the scoops. Spoon the chicken and salsa over the rice. Top with shredded mild cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream. You could add jalapenos, black beans, black olives, anything you like.

We love the crunch of the Scoops with the chicken, salsa and rice. It is a total comfort food for us!

I love new recipes so please share any good ones you may have!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Not Me!

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I am trying my first carnival post that will go into drawing on MckMama's blog. If you haven't read her blog before this is one to read!

I would never, ever allow my days short of 23 month old to still take a bottle to bed for her nap and night night. Why that would be only enabling her to continue a habit we should have kicked almost 11 months ago. The bottle that she isn't suppose to ever have that would make a clink sound as it hits the floor. The bottles that she knows where they are kept and can go get one herself. The bottles that she can easily hold with one hand as her other arm is in a cast. (Remember the attached picture?)

No, not me!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

What is swimming upstream?

When picking the title for my blog I immediately thought of the name Mike and I have called our life recently. Swimming upstream. That title wasn't available and after many attempts for other names I found Swimming upstream in life. Because, after all, that's what we are often doing. Case in point, today. Molly is still visiting the potty quite often. And every time she needs to go in there her little sister needs to go to. Mike just wants to tell Amanda no but I have let her try and we go through the whole process. We set the potty seat out, take our pants off, take our diaper off and sit. And then we sit some more. And we sit longer and no pee comes out. We look in the hole and can't believe it's dry. Amanda looks at us in disbelief that it is empty. We sit again and it's still dry. This whole charade goes on for 10 - 15 minutes. Then we put a diaper back on and go back to life. It's OK as long as we aren't trying to rush out the door. If we don't let her try Amanda is reduced to a puddle of tears with a temper tantrum erupting. I realize that we are suppose to be supportive of her trying but, come on. It's too early, it's too soon, I have doubts that it's time to be potty training. I guess that is the feeling of swimming upstream. When you try and keep life simple and yet it's still harder than it's suppose to be. It's like toys. I have been trying very hard to keep things picked up and to teach the kids the importance of picking up. It can feel like an uphill battle. It can feel fruitless because after all the work of getting everything picked up within an hour it's a mess again. In the blink of an eye. If I didn't care so much I'd just wait until they went to bed and do it myself. but I feel I need to go against the grain - swim upstream - and try and teach a lesson. I hope these life lessons eventually pay off. Feel free to give me reassurance that they will - I could use some!

Friday, May 1, 2009

One Word


Ok, that's better.