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Showing posts from March, 2009

My Littlest Man: The Sequel

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Thursday morning we awoke at 3:45 a.m.-ish to get ready for Sawyer's surgery. When I went to get him from his crib (4:45-ish), he became wide awake. He stayed awake for the entire hour's drive to the hospital in Baltimore. He didn't know where we were going. Or where we were. Or what we were doing there. But he knew he was ready to go home as soon as we got there. About ten minutes before the surgery, he put his coat on over his hospital gown and announced he wanted to go home. We calmed him down, and he fell asleep in my arms. Literally just minutes before I walked him into the operating room. It was so much easier to have him already asleep when they placed the gas mask on his face. And then I left the room. That's the story of Sawyer's surgery. Every thing went that well. Down to the very last detail. The surgery that was expected to last an hour and 15 minutes, lasted less than 45 minutes. (Within 45 minutes of leaving him in the operating room, both the sur

My Littlest Man

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Tomorrow my littlest man has to have surgery. It all started about last summer when I noticed some enlarged lymph nodes on his neck. (My father has non-Hodgkin lymphoma , so I am extremely paranoid cautious about this stuff.) I brought it to the attention of our doctor, but she said he had fluid in his ears and maybe it was just because he was getting sick and put him on antibiotics. But they were still there. Then I took him back in for something and mentioned it again. She looked in his ears and saw fluid in his ears again, so she put him back on antibiotics. But they were still there. Joe and I watched them for a few months, and when it was time for his well checkup, I informed her that they were still there and hadn't changed. I think it was at that time she noticed some in his groin, too. Anyway, she sent us to an Ear, Nose & Throat specialist. For some strange reason, the morning of Sawyer's first appointment, he awoke with these two large, walnut-sized glands

We Did It!

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On Saturday morning, we ran the 5K. There were six of us in our group. While I had fun with the girls, I did not enjoy the run. Call me a wimp, or whatever you'd like, but I don't like extremes. Extreme cold? Blech. Extreme heat and humidity? I'll stay as close to the air conditioning as possible. I prefer the 60-80 degree days with no humidity. (Which are few are far between in Maryland.) Saturday morning is was cold. I mean cold . I can now say, from experience, that 28 degrees is too cold to run. It's best to just stay at home in your warm toasty bed. Okay, I thought. It's cold, but it's not that cold. (I was in complete and utter denial.) And then the race began. While there was a paved path along the route, most of the run was "cross country." Or, in other words: grass . Like in high school. Except, this wasn't the maintained, groomed fields of the school system. It was the uneven, "potholes," stuff-in-the-way kind of run. Like

Butterick 5119 - Finished

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So I made a Miss Chris shirt for Spenser on Saturday. It was pretty simple, but the elastic casing for the sleeves made me want to say something bad. But I didn't. In my usual Lera way, I made it a teensy bit too big. I need to make the elastic in the neck shorter so it stays on her shoulders better. And it seems very wide. And short. At the same time. I think I might lengthen the next one I make (and do the sleeves differently, too). I used some multi-colored polka dot fabric. (I think it's Alexander Henry Pop Dots.) I've had it in my stash for a couple of years. I thought the fabric would be very versatile with all the different color dots. Now I'm thinking it looks like a clown's shirt. What do you think ... cute? or clownish? * * * Have a great weekend. I have my first 5K tomorrow morning! Yikes!

Not Because I Wanted To ...

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Yesterday I broke in our clothesline for the upcoming season. But not because I wanted to. On Monday night I discovered a load of wet laundry in our dryer. I thought, "I can't believe I forgot to turn the dryer on." The laundry was a little stinky by then, so I took out that wet laundry, stuck the laundry from the washing machine into the dryer and re-washed the first load. I made sure I turned on the dryer before I left and went to bed ... And it was still wet the next morning. There I was with two loads of wet laundry, and no dryer. Thankfully yesterday was a nice day and I was able to use our clothesline, but quickly ran out of room. Luckily my MIL lives a few miles away, so I took the rest to her house. We were going to try to repair it, but we bought it right after we were married when we bought our first home. It's almost 14 years old. And it has other problems that I've just lived with for several years. Appliance shopping is not one of my favorites,

Last-Minute Gifting

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On Friday night, Taylor was invited to a birthday party. Well, he received a verbal invite earlier in the week with the promise of a written invite later in the week. When I asked Taylor for the details, he didn't know. So, not knowing the day or time, I kind of pushed it to the back of my mind and waited for the invitation. Then a phone call came with another verbal invite and an apology for not giving Taylor the written invite. The call came on Thursday evening. The party was for Friday evening. I had just been in town on Thursday for preschool and errands and did not plan to return again until Tuesday (before the broken-finger incident , which made me return to town both Friday and Monday). I tried to think of some clever way of giving this boy money. A boy who was turning thirteen on Friday the 13th. Then it hit me: I took a piece of cardstock and folded it in half. I made a pocket out of some scrapbook paper and used double-sided tape along both sides and the bottom. I

Shamrock Legs

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She's all ready for St. Patrick's Day. She's got her new green dress, her green vintage coat , and her new Shamrock Legs . No snakes are going to get her today! Thank you for the well-wishes yesterday . She's a trooper. She went to see the specialist yesterday and they removed the splint and just taped the two fingers together. He said that fingers tend to stiffen up when splinted, but when taped between the joint, they have better mobility. She's giddy to the point of giggling over this. So much better than having to wrap and re-wrap her hand in gauze several times a day. She'll go back in two weeks for another x-ray. She picked out green Jell-O yesterday, so we'll make that today. (I also picked up pistachio pudding, but I'm not quite sure the children will be brave enough to try it.) And, I guess tonight is our annual "green eggs and ham" dinner. What green do you have going on today?

Not the Friday Night I Was Expecting

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Friday nights are another family night for us. (In addition to Monday nights.) We almost always have pizza for dinner and we always watch a movie and gorge ourselves on popcorn and other yummy snacks. This past Friday (the 13th, no less) was a little different. Taylor had a birthday party to attend and Carter's best buddy was spending the night. It was just after dinner. We were literally minutes away from watching our movie and the boys were tidying up the family room. I heard Spenser cry, but all of the four younger ones had cried at some point that evening (two of them over the computer and Play Station). I blew it off, thinking it was "just another one crying again." Man, the guilt. The guilt!! When we finally found out what was wrong with Spenser (honestly only a few seconds after her cry), I freaked out. Sawyer (our little door police, who loves to close doors) , shut the bathroom door on her fingers. Her fingers were stuck in the hinge -part of the door. Afte

I Might Sew

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For a few months now, Amandajean and I have talked about making the Habitual kimono and the "Miss Chris" shirt . Although I've cut out both patterns, I haven't selected fabric. (Why is that the hardest part lately?) And so they sit. But today I declare "I might sew!" I might sew as in, maybe tomorrow I might sew. Not today. Today Spenser has an appointment with the pediatric cardiologist, just like all my boys have in the past. There was a heart murmur detected at her last well checkup and we need to have her checked out. We are blessed that we have an excellent pediatric cardiologist. He is a Hopkins doctor who travels around Maryland. In essence, he comes to us instead of us going to him in Baltimore. One Friday a month he visits my little part of Maryland. After today, he will have checked all six of them. I'm hoping it's nothing, but a few of the boys have a history with problems . Do you have any Works-in-Progress for this weekend? (I

My Newest Obsession

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I have a new obsession. Running. If I'm not reading about running. I'm thinking about running. If I'm not thinking about running, I'm dreaming about running. If I'm not dreaming about running, I'm usually running. Or looking for some new running gear. Or anything running related. I think it started about last week. When I had the best run ever. (Prior to that, I had taken a few days off because I was too sick to run.) Anyway, my best run ever was just the best run. Ever. I had runner's high after that. I never had that before. And, boy, did I feel great all day long. Seriously. A three-mile run in the morning left me feeling great. My body, mind, and spirit were on such a high all day. (I won't even ruin the mood by telling you about the ultra-crappy six-mile run I had on Saturday night because that's a downer. And I'm trying my hardest to tell myself it was a fluke.) Anyway, from reading about running I learned of a new-to-me thing:

Scenes From a Family Walk

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We had the most beautiful, gorgeous, spring-like weather this weekend. Temperatures were in the upper 60's and low 70's. Saturday was bright and sunny. Sunday was a little overcast, but nice nonetheless. We have a geocache hiding in our small town and we got word that it needed maintenance. We decided to take a family walk and make the necessary repairs. There was lots of tree climbing before we left. (And lots of fighting over who was going to climb which tree ...) And there was lots of love, too. Spenser is holding Carter's hand. Sawyer is holding Taylor's. One of my most favorite sounds of all: honking geese. (It plays a close second to the sound of my newborn's first cry.) A creek by the walking path. I better never catch my kids playing in this creek. There are cows upstream and, well ... yuck. And sometime this weekend Mason's face collided with Jackson's head during a game of dodge ball. Ouch! (Come to think of it, there was a lot of cryin

Thrifty Goodness

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The day that my grandmother died, Jack was home sick from school. Spenser had preschool, so after dropping her off, I had my usual errands to run. I had planned on visiting Mom-Mom, but Jack had a fever so that was out. I thought about going to my mother's (who was at the hospital with Mom-Mom), but I didn't want Jack to spread his germs all over her empty house. With all errands completed, and with time on my hands, we headed to the thrift store. Someone bought the little Pyrex mugs I had been eying up a few days earlier. But that is okay. I have enough of those, for now. (It makes me wonder who has my Pyrex taste around here. The matching Corelle mugs were still there. Very interesting...) Anyway, I found the above in the linen department. Three are sheets (check out the Smurfs!) and the brown on the left is one of two custom-made drapes. It has a fun print on it that would make a cute skirt or dress. The white sheet on the right might be a repeat. I think I have on

More Grocery Totes

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After making my last set of grocery totes , I soon realized that I might not have enough for larger trips to the store. I really tried to keep my spending and buying limited to four bags, but with a large family, it meant I had to make more return trips to the store. Which meant I usually picked up something (or many somethings) extra, that I really didn't need. "If I had more bags," I thought, "I wouldn't have to come to the store as often." Even though I'm in town twice a week to take Spenser to preschool and almost never go into town just for the sake of going to the store (unless it's payday and a weekend is ahead, then I make the exception). Anyway, I needed more bags and they are easy enough and cheap enough. I bought the canvas bags right at Walmart (I think three for $6 or so) and even the Heat 'N Bond came from Walmart. And we don't have a fancy Walmart. And we don't have a craft department anymore. And I seemed to have misp

Everyday Totes

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When my laptop died, back in October, my friend Kat volunteered her husband to look at the laptop. Even though it was deemed broken and not worth the money for a new motherboard, Bob was still able to extract all the data (that I, ahem , did not backup) from the hard drive. And when I asked how much I owed them, they replied, "nothing." See. That's the kind of people I know. Lucky me, I know. So, me being me, I persisted that we would pay them something. And they, being them, still refused. So Kat and I struck up a deal that I would sew her something. Many months later I sewed up a tote using red and blue. Her favorite colors. She picked the one with the red gingham lining. And I kept the one with the blue. I still think I got the better end of the deal.

Back to a Routine

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I am trying to establish a routine again, since everything has been crazy and amuck lately. I'll give you a few highlights and low lights since my last post. Lots of spider killing. Dinner dropped off by a friend. Snow day. Yesterday. Two-hour delayed opening. Today. Fevers. (One boy had a fever for six days.) Breathing treatments. Coughing. As I was coughing up a lung one morning in the dining room, I heard, "Mom!!! Spenser is pooping on the kitchen floor!!" Seems she had a bit of loose bowels at breakfast. Or lunch. Or snack time. Whatever meal it was. Every day has blended together. Body aches. Two cakes decorated for the Blue and the Gold. Eagle scout ceremony for a friend. Losing five pounds being sick last week. Becoming "Medicine Dispenser Extraordinaire." Running my first eight-miler, before getting sick. Two Flat Stanleys that flew to California, and then took a road trip back to the east coast. Having an appetite again. Getting my strength back aft