Matthew Archives

Is this how my hair actually looks in real life?

Maggie(3): Mom, you’re up! I drew a picture of you!

She has the biggest smile and hands me a rolled up piece of paper.

Maggie: You’re pink!

I unrolled the piece of paper to see a very small person-like scribble drawn in pink marker and my first thought was, It is way too early to scrub marker off the walls.

My second thought was, this reminds me an awful lot of the portrait Matthew drew of me 10 years ago when he was 4.

I gave Maggie a hug and an enthusiastic thank you because I love it when she draws things for me.

And bonus, I didn’t find any new marker on the walls.

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What happened when I was forgetting to blog

I failed to write the last few days. I’m not sure why. Maybe it was that I woke up late or had appointments or my coffee isn’t strong enough. I don’t know but I’m going to try to wake up my brain and recap this last week.

Matthew got braces again.  This happened on Tuesday. His mouth hurt pretty bad for a couple of days but he seems to be feeling mostly better. He still has trouble chewing though.

Also happening on Tuesday was Florida completely flipping out. Kait texted that gas stations were running out of gas already and my friend posted a picture of an empty water isle and mostly empty canned section at Walmart because Floridians go cray-cray when a hurricane may or may not be possibly coming close to where we are. Hurricane hitting the keys? PENSACOLA MUST BE NEXT BUY ALL THE THINGS.

Wednesday we went to the library. Turns out we had a late book that I didn’t know we had and when we went to check out we couldn’t so we had to run home, find said book, then come back and return it to check out the books my littles had picked out. After that Matthew and I went to the grocery store for meat and eggs and then went back to the orthodontist to have a wire fixed.
Then we filled our gas tanks and made sure we had oil and wicks for the lamps and made a plan to either evacuation with pets, or ride out the storm here, depending on the severity of Irma’s strike to NW Florida. It doesn’t look like she’ll be visiting us at all now, but I’m glad we’re prepared just in case.
I’ll also add that if you have not stocked up on your water yet, Publix in Pace has a bunch. But they are just about out of sweet tea. Apparently southerners have their priorities.

Thursday Lanie woke up with her right eye stuck shut. Normally we just ride out eye goop but Lanie is different so I called her eye doc and he wanted to see her. We spent the afternoon at the ophthalmologist, then the pharmacist, then the other pharmacist, then at home, then at the pharmacist again. I feel like I could start a whole new blog just on going to the pharmacy.

Yesterday some friends came over and brought the one day a year pumpkin spice doughnuts from Krispy Kreme. She has three little girls who my little girls love and they had so much fun while she and I talked about foster care and doughnuts and…
Pretty much that is what we talked about the whole time.

Those doughnuts were good.
Then I took some of the kids to the book sale at the library. We found some good, cheap books to add to our shelves, the kids checked out some more books, and then we came home and I realized that my house is a disaster because I haven’t cleaned it at all this week.

I know there is stuff I missed in this recap. Probably important stuff but Lanie just woke up and she is coughing and I really need this lingering cold to just go away.

Also, my older boys’ alarm has been going off for 10 minutes now and neither is waking up to it. I wake up to the sound of somebody rolling over on the other side of the house so I’m not sure how they can sleep through that incessant beeping sound.

I guess I better go get them up.

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What happened while I had a weekend

I wrote this post this morning but I needed to add pictures but Lanie woke up cranky and with an incredibly stuffy nose and I wasn’t able to get the pictures uploaded.  Now it is almost 8 pm and I fixed Lanie’s nose and ran and went to a Labor Day pool party and came home and put Lanie down for a very late nap and made dinner and got the pictures uploaded and the moment you have all been waiting for has arrived. You’re welcome.


Today is Labor Day. and while Labor Day is just a day off for many people, for my kids it’s the highlight of the year or something because all the little ones came running up to me shouting Mom! Happy Labor Day! when I got up this morning. I have never heard anybody say happy labor day before so this was unusual.

We are going to a friend’s house to swim and maybe that has something to do with it.

Over the weekend we had many plans to work on the kitchen and finish the table and clean out the closet but none of that happened.  The kitchen has been put aside in favor of getting our table done so we can use it again because all these kids eating on the floor in the living room is no longer working for me.

The table is almost finished. I’ve been saying almost for about 2 weeks now but I think almost is finally actually here. Just a couple more coats of urethane and it should ready to use.

The kitchen will get there. It’s just not happening as fast as I had thought it would because every time we get back to it something else needs to be done.

And I completely ignored the closet in favor of…  I don’t know. I don’t remember what I did instead.  Maybe I was cooking or something.  I feel like I am always cooking.

After church Rabbit washed the cars yesterday and that was super awesome and then he took the kids to the ball field.

We’re more of a football family and have never really played much baseball so Rabbit spent some time giving pointers on how to pitch and bat.

The boys were all like, Woah, Dad, you’re really good! Did you play on a team when you were younger or something?

Rabbit puffed his chest out a bit and answered them.  Yeah, I played a bit of Little League back in the day.

We only have three gloves so while some played ball, the others went to climb around and swing at the playground.

If you ask Maggie what she’s doing she’ll always, always, always reply, not swinging high enough!

I wish I had been able to go but Lanie was sleeping. Also, cooking food without children asking me 100 questions about what I am doing and why I am doing it and will there be mushrooms in it againThe opportunity to cook alone was just was too enticing.

Today’s tip: My kids like cauliflower rice better than actual rice so I make fried rice with cauliflower instead of rice. Last night we had bacon friend cauliflower rice and today everybody has gas.  I don’t know what my tip here is but I’m just saying, if you feed your kids cauliflower rice watch out.

 

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I’m not quite sure about what to write about this morning.  I woke up a half hour early because a cat was staring at me but I am about 45 minutes late on my morning so far and I’m not sure how that happened. Maybe I accidentally made decaf or something.

Hahaha.
No.
That would never happen I was just kidding.

I don’t have anywhere I have to be today and I’m hoping that I can shake the frustrations of the last couple of days off by grocery shopping. I don’t know why I think going to the grocery store will help. It’s not like it’s ever been therapeutic for me.

I have more to say about the orthodontist because I have another kid that is ready for braces. This is in addition to the Wednesday morning debacle.  This is my Thursday afternoon story.
Ben is my 3rd kid to need braces and he’s been in pre-treatment for 2 years waiting for some teeth to come in and some growth spurt and he is now ready for his braces, which apparently must happen RIGHTNOW. But since we just shelled out a surprise $600 for Matthew’s metal on Wednesday, and we have a wedding coming up, I told them that I wanted to wait until after the holidays to get Ben’s treatment plan started. I was subtly accused of putting Ben on the backburner in favor of Matthew’s treatment. We really need to get Benjamin started very soon. I understand that you paid a down payment just yesterday for Matthew’s treatment but we really don’t want to see this guy put on the back burner.

Really?
I don’t know. Maybe I’m being too sensitive here but I really don’t think so. I would also like to add that the billing gal talked in very hushed tones about our not being able to afford it and mentioned that she wasn’t supposed to talk to Dr. Brooks about it but she would just for us even though I never implied that we needed help, I just said that we were going to wait. It was all very patronizing. And weird.

I normally really like the kids’ orthodontist. He was great with Kait’s wonky mouth and has been pretty good with Matthew’s up until recently. I’m going to call a different ortho today and get Ben in for a consult because I’m really irritated right now and why are all these little flies all over my house? We’ve completely cleaned out the pantry and all the cupboards and the boys’ rooms and where the heck are they coming from?

It’s been a hard week.

On a brighter note, literally and figuratively, our main bathroom has been changed from a brownish yellow color to a soft white (thanks, Matthew!) and scrubbed clean (thanks, Rabbit!), and has new knobs and it looks great.  We are going to refinish the cabinets eventually too but we have a gazillion other projects in line ahead of that one. Like the never ending kitchen redo.

And Lanie has turned a bit of a corner mentally and physically. At physical therapy yesterday she showed increased muscle strength and then in occupational therapy she was making an effort to interact and tried to mimic what her therapist was doing. It was the first time that it didn’t seem like Lanie was just in the room with the therapist, but actually participating with her. It is a really big step.

Here’s a blurry picture.

This is how Lanie reacted to me explaining my week.
This girl just gets me.

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You know how you start your day out early, in a good mood, after a decent night’s sleep, and then everything falls apart about 3 hours in when your kid’s orthodontists surprises you with a $600 down payment for a set of braces he has already had but needs again? Yeah that happened.

Here’s a rundown of my day. It’s a little ranty. I’m sorry.

  • Matthew’s mouth was somewhat complex to sort out and he’s had an expander, braces, a holding arch thing, a couple different kind of retainers that weren’t doing their job. With all the things he has needed to have done I think I was just confused about all those layers and when I took him in because the holding arch had broken and to ask for a better retainer they said, New molars! Looks like he’s ready for his phase 2! Braces again to straighten things out! We’ll need $600 to start this phase! Thanks!
    I took a couple of deep breaths and went about the rest of my day.
  • Lanie had two appointments together at the same place. They called a few hours before hand and asked if I could come in an hour early. I said sure. What I didn’t know was that they wanted me to come in an hour early for the first appointment, and then sit for an hour and a half and wait for the second one. Lanie became restless, I didn’t bring a stroller because I didn’t think I’d need one, and I couldn’t reschedule because it took 3 months to get this appointment. I became what you might call very put out.
  • They want to put tubes in Lanie’s ears. Recent studies have suggested that in most cases tubes are not really all that helpful. I’m going to do some research and see if we can reduce the fluid in her ears here at home before we resort to cutting into her eardrum.
  • She most definitely needs surgery to remove her adenoids and tonsils. This was not what I wanted to hear but Doc did say we could wait on the surgery for a few months and try two meds to try to shrink her oversized adenoids and tonsils. I said yes please.
  • Went to get her prescriptions. Turns out, Tricare won’t cover one of them or its generic. Great. We had to pay for that sucker. But that was okay because if we could keep her from needing surgery I was willing to try it but I was still not thrilled with another surprise payment in one day.
  • At home later I was reading through the pamphlet for Lanie’s meds. The expensive one, a nasal spray, says not to use if you have had cataracts or glaucoma. I’m not even kidding. If you want to know why this is an issue read here.

Now that I’ve done all the complaining. I should add that there were a great many positives that really did drown out the frustrations.

  • Rabbit has been on leave and has a nice salt and pepper beard that I find quite attractive.
  • Sam made me a crown with Rubies on it.
  • Deep fried peanuts. What will the south come up with next? Also, this is why I love the south. Also, DEEP FRIED PEANUTS, PEOPLE!
  • Ben kept me company at Lanie’s forever appointment yesterday and Lanie was incredibly cute.
  • My table looks fabulous. Rabbit had to sand it again because of a problem with the stain and we loved the look so much that we’re going with it. It’s so unique and really gorgeous.  I’ll get a picture and blog more about that later. but for now I’ve gotta go because I’m already an hour later than I like to be starting my day. We have therapy and more ortho and groceries and I need to run and Tropical Storm Harvey is still making the rounds.

It’s going to be another fun day.

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Today we are busy. We have three appointments because Matthew’s metal mouth spacer thing broke in half the other day so we’ll need to run in to the orthodontist and have that repaired this morning. His plastic retainer broke too and I don’t know why they just won’t give him a metal one.  This is the second time it has broken and it’s getting really irritating and I’m thinking of switching orthodontists because his teeth are moving back into their previous positions. He needs a real retainer.

I’ve been waiting for three months for Lanie’s otolaryngology appointment after her sleep study in May showed she has severe apnea. She also has an audiology appointment before the ENT appointment and it’s going to be a long afternoon at Nemours and Lanie is sure not to be happy about it.

And it’s raining.  We have tropical storm Harvey visiting us today and I’m not sure when we’ll get our run in. I may just have to go out there anyway and hope for the best.

There are other things I need to get done today too, like mop the floor and brush my hair.

I’ll be requesting a few more hours today.

But at least I got rid of my microwave yesterday and that feels really good because there is a new level of clearness on my counters. And Rabbit bought me a cast iron pan because I complained that I am tired of having to buy entire sets of new pans every other year after we’ve eaten all the non-stick materials that have come off into our food.

And my table is stained and looking fly. I am not sure if I used that slang correctly but it felt right so I am going with it.

Things are pretty good around here.

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Will wonders never cease. And other stuff.

I finally slept an entire night without anybody waking me up.  Maggie didn’t have an accident. Lanie didn’t wake up to eat. The cats didn’t meow to go outside. And my boys remembered to turn off their notification sounds on their phones before plugging them into the charging center in our room.

I did wake up this morning with a sore throat and the constant tickle of a potential cough because of the long stretch of laying down but I’ll take it because when I woke up this morning I felt awake.

Is this how sleep works for normal people?

It’s good timing, too.  We have our first homestudy to become foster parents on Thursday and I feel the sudden urge to clean all the things. It’s kind of like nesting but without the frequent nap breaks, cereal cravings, and the huge belly getting in the way.

Onto other things.

Matthew and Ben shared Cokes with each other yesterday. They were side-by-side in the grocery store’s drink cooler so they couldn’t resist.

They are holding each other’s sodas in case you’re suddenly confused about who is who.

And these…

They are the devil.
I found these salted caramel peanuts sitting on the shelf at the store looking all innocent. There are supposed to be 6 servings in this little can but apparently, my brain doesn’t understand servings because I ate almost the entire thing at one time.

I guess I’d better go. The kids are bored, the baby is sleeping, and there is much to do.

 

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Three times.

Three times in a row this boy has been the 100th customer at Chick-fil-A and won a bag of Chocolate Chunk Cookies.  I’ve never won anything by placing an order there. Even when it costs more than $60 because I forget that feeding 10 kids actually costs a lot of money.

Matthew has some sort of magical chicken ordering skills or something.  I need to start having him place all of our orders.

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Josh Sitton football camp take 2.

This past Saturday 4 of our boys were able to attend a free football camp at Catholic High in Pensacola for the second year in a row.  This is a camp where Josh Sitton (Green Bay Packer turned Chicago Bear and how does something like that even happen) comes and helps coach all the kids, giving them pointers, tips, and life encouragement. I don’t know the man personally but he seems like a really good guy who genuinely cares for these boys.

It was sponsored by the Blue Wahoos, our local baseball team because that makes so much sense.
(I couldn’t help the snark but really, we’re so thankful to the Wahoos for caring about their community and our kids!)

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The UWF football team gets involved too and each group of boys has a coach from the Argonauts working with them.

The quarterback was Matthew’s coach.

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Some of these kids were much older than the maximum age for the camp and that was disappointing but Matthew (far left standing up) held his own and did very well.

I don’t know much about Ben’s coach. Not sure what his position on the UWF team is.

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I’m sure when the season starts I’ll become more familiar with these specific players since my kids know them. Ben (Also far left standing up) had a great time and said he did much better than he did at last year’s camp.  He isn’t sure he wants to play football again though. He’s looking hard a tennis which would be so much better for me too because Ben had a bad hip sprain and a concussion (two different instances) last season and my heart can’t take it.

Sam had a great time too but he loves everything and could probably have fun having his teeth pulled. I’m not even kidding.

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He’s far left on the bottom row. I’m so proud of his spirit and love for life.

This was Jesse’s first football camp or football anything really.

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Jesse (left side with coach’s arm around him) was very confused about what was going on but had a smile plastered on his face the whole time.  He made quick friends with another kid and the spent their time rolling around on the ground and pretending to be dinosaurs.  I was 2 parts the mom trying to get his attention so I could tell him stop because there are no dinosaurs in football!, and 2 parts the mom trying to get a video or pictures of the what he was doing.  There were probably people talking about me and that’s too bad because I was completely unsuccessful at both getting his attention and collecting photographic evidence.

In the end, we went home with pictures of their time with Josh Sitton and the UWF football team, a belly full of pizza and Powerade, and pink cheeks because it was 65 degrees and I forgot for a minute that we were in Florida.

ProCamps puts these sports camps together all over the US. Professional athletes like Josh Sitton come out and work with our kids (often for free) and the children have so much fun. Make sure to look into it if you have kids who love sports.

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The library and back again. A large family tale.

We went to the library today.  We haven’t been in years, not that we haven’t tried.  For some reason the library tends to call to us to make a visit on days when it’s closed for unscheduled librarian meetings or book inventory or we forget our proof of residency requirements. Again.

Today, however, we hit the jackpot.

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Not only was the library open, but we were able to get library cards and check out books.

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And the place was almost empty because public school was in session and homeschooling definitely has its perks in times like this.

Lucy was so confused by how the library worked.  I think she was trying to look at as many books as possible before we left because she didn’t realize that when I said we could borrow any books she wanted to read, she thought I meant just while we were there.  I figured it out after her 7th or 8th book and told her that she could pick some to take home.  Her intensity immediately calmed, she picked out 4 books to take home, then started showing Lanie some board books.

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Lanie was particularly fond of one particular book and spent about 5 minutes completely enthralled with it.

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She used up every bit of her energy on the little starfish page, which is funny because that’s one of her nicknames.

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Then melted into a pile of exhaustion, nursed for a few minutes, and fell asleep, which was appropriate because today is National Public Sleeping Day and we were in a public library and she was sleeping. I should have gotten a picture.

Matthew found a book quickly, then Maggie snapped him up to read something to her.

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Sam and Jesse were all but silent the entire time. Seriously. I showed Jesse where the dinosaur books were and he was content to quietly look at all of them one by one and Sam sat and read one book, the first in a new series he’s now excited about, the entire time we were there.

Other than Maggie being noisy and wanting to check out every single book in the juvenile section and stacking them in great piles while I was distracted by reading a ridiculous book to Lucy about a kid who ordered a penguin from Santa Claus (I’m sorry Librarian and I hope we got them put away properly), we had no anomalies while we were out and about. Unless you count our Whataburger experience. We don’t eat out often but when we do they never get our order right so a gold star goes to Whataburger for getting it correct the first time today.

And we’ve been home for about 2 hours now and I think we’ve managed not to destroy any borrowed materials yet so that’s new.

Before I go, I would like to make a public statement that I am firmly against not being able to check out reference books because when a teenage boy who has already graduated high school wants a math textbook for fun, you let him have a math textbook. And Ben wanted the Guinness Book of World Records but no, it was for in-library use only. I call foul on that one. What a dumb rule.

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