Monday, June 30, 2008


I know that you must excel in areas that I do not. You are smart. You're thin and healthy and your house looks nice. Right? So help me out here, sister.

1. How do you stay active? Do you have some sort of exercise routine?

2. What is your house-cleaning schedule like? Do you just clean things as they need it or do you follow a daily/weekly routine?

It's a new week, hooray!

I am so glad to be starting a new week! You know all about the Canaan drama that lasted days on end last week. He still has hives. I called the doctor's office to have them call in a RAST test and do you know that they want to see him first? This is silly, isn't it? I mean, if I were asking them to call in an Epi-Pen Jr. then yeah, I can see them wanting some proof that we actually need it. But they have to see him and gather our $40 co-pay before they will request a test that will tell us whether he did actually react to the peanut flour? Gosh. So we'll see them tomorrow and hopefully find out exactly what's going on.

Caris came down with the VBS Flu on Saturday night. It came on pretty suddenly, lasted all night long and she was much better by Sunday midday. She still laid around a lot on Sunday, and she slept from 8:30 last night until 11:45 today (woah!) but she feels well and is just tired, probably both from being sick so much and from being awake most of the night on Saturday night.

Everyone else is healthy and I'm praying that they don't get sick!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Happy Canaan Notes

Just so you don't think I'm completely screwing up my baby over the last few days, here are a few things he's up to at almost 17 months old (WAH!):
He points out his body parts: eyes, ears, hair, nose, mouth, tummy, feet, toes, tongue, teeth, hands etc.
Today I opened up the dishwasher and he got out the dishwashing detergent bottle and pretended to squirt it in where it goes
Size 2T, 6-7 shoes, Large cloth diapers
Weighs 28 pounds
Opens doors (oh my)
Gets up & down stairs fine
Says lots of new words - most recent are dog, kitty (eeeeee!), hot, dirt
Loves playing in water and is quite a daredevil in the pool

Moan, groan, boo.

As if Canaan weren't having a hard enough time already, his yesterday stunk too.

Before I tell you what happened, I have to tell you that my friend Lynette is most vigilant about Caris' peanut allergy. Her home is completely safe for Caris - so much so that she literally locks her peanut butter inside a cabinet so that no one will accidentally get it out when Caris is around, and she's even been known to bleach her counters after making pb&j for her own kids, even when we're not around. She gets how dangerous this peanut allergy really is.

So Canaan was hanging out with us in the music center since he hates the nursery and also because a bad stomach bug was making its rounds through the VBS kids and I didn't want him in there exposed to that. Lynette busted out a granola bar and read that it may contain traces of peanuts, and I told her it was still ok to give Canaan a piece. I have given him things a couple times that may have been exposed to nuts or whatever and he's been fine, though I haven't given him flat-out peanut stuff before. A few minutes after he ate a tiny piece, his face started to look red and splotchy. I started to feel a little bit of fear brewing - what if he's allergic to nuts too? What if he's coming down with this awful flu? Lynette read the granola bar package again and said, "Oh Emily, it has peanut flour." So now she's feeling bad about this, and it completely was NOT her fault. I gave her the go-ahead on it.

When we got home I gave him some Benadryl and put him down for a nap. The rash looked about the same when he got up, so I started to think it might be a virus. I gave him another dose before our evening VBS program. By the time the program was over, the rash not only looked the same on his face, it had spread to his arms and the back of his neck. When we got home I called the nurse line through our insurance, and the nurse asked me a million bajillion questions and finally determined that it was probably an allergic reaction and we better call our doctor for a treatment plan. I did, and he told us to go immediately to an urgent care or emergency room. I found an urgent care still open (we made it less than 10 minutes before they closed, bless their hearts) and the doctor there looked him over. He said, "It's an allergic reaction." I told him what he'd eaten and he said yes, to just keep an eye on him, keep giving him Benadryl every 6 hours, that it will take 2-3 days for the allergen to leave his system and that if he develops difficulty breathing we need to call 911 or head to the emergency room.

So anyway, when we got home I went right to bed and took him with me - who could put their child in a crib in the next room over when he might start to wheeze at any moment and need emergency care? I thought I wouldn't sleep one little bit, I was so worried about my baby. I did finally go to sleep though, and guess what I woke up to at 1 am? THUMP. My baby fell out of the bed. The very high bed. Onto the hardwood floor.

He cried, of course, but stopped quickly once we laid back down and nursed. He fell asleep within minutes. I, however, laid there freaking out. Completely freaking out. My heart was going crazy, I was having trouble breathing, my chest was tight - oh my gosh. I remembered what my counselor told me last year when I was having so many panic attacks and started deep breathing and letting my body relax. I was able to calm down and go back to sleep, this time with my arm *around* the baby, but man. I don't know. This week was awesome but it was a lot of work, and coupled with these things that keep on happening to Canaan, it was just all too much.

Canaan still has the rash today. I don't WANT to be dealing with this again. I don't WANT my child to have to be careful and worried and singled out due to his allergy. Alif, on the other hand, took it in stride. "We're already aware of how to handle this. We're already a peanut-free home." He's a good voice of reason, but I'm still bummed. I will ask the doctor on Monday to call in a RAST test to determine whether it really was the peanut flour that caused this.

If you feel like praying for my son, I would really appreciate it!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

It's not Canaan's evening

I was so proud of Canaan today! Despite my willingness to subject him to :::gasp::: the nursery at VBS today, he's been a well-adjusted boy. He did not last in the nursery, mind you. They walked him around the church campus and he was fine, but any approaching the actual nursery room was not going to happen, so he ended up with me in the music center, which was fine. I like dancing with my boy. Also he said "dirt" for the first time at church, and over and over at that. Some men were digging up a big hole and he pointed at it and said, "dirt" several times. I hope it doesn't replace his usual reaction to dirt too quickly, though, because it's pretty cute when he goes, "pbbbt" any time something's dirty or yucky.

So about this evening. He was in the kitchen with me while I made dinner. My kids hang out with me in the kitchen a lot and no one's ever gotten hurt. Canaan pulled a chair over to where I was standing at the stove, and in my worst-mom-of-the-year oblivion, I didn't even pay any heed. He pulls chairs around the house all the time and so I guess it just didn't compute in my worn-out mind that he was pulling his chair up to the stove, which was on. And to further your sullied view of me as a mother, he actually said, "hot" plain and clear. Just before he stuck his hand right into the fire. Oh, I know, it is sickeningly sad. I am not being sarcastic. I could have cried. I put his hand into running cold water immediately and oh, he cried. Thank God I still nurse him. He nursed and was fine. Geez, when I get burned like that it hurts for hours! I gave him some Advil right after, just in case it was still hurting, and he acted like I was torturing him by giving him medicine.

At that point Alif returned from taking Graham to baseball practice, and so he took Canaan outside to distract him from my horribleness. Next thing I know, the crazy dog knocked down the baby, and the baby cried.

Pretty soon Alif & Canaan came inside, and Canaan got happy playing the piano. Until he slammed down the key-cover (I have no idea what it's actually called, sorry) right onto his pudgy little fingers. More crying. More nursing.

Let's hope tomorrow is better!!

Get Thee to Target

I forced Alif to go with me to Target the other day to get a few breakfast items as well as some definitely peanut-free ice cream for Caris & her fellow allergic-to-peanuts friend Grace to have at VBS the next day. Our church is a peanut-free environment but the VBS snack committee wasn't absolutely sure about the ice cream so we wanted to play it safe.
So the family and I stumbled upon an end cap at Target that is a dream come true for a cereal-lover like myself. 5 boxes of cereal for $11! That is a pretty good deal right there.
But wait! There's more! If you decide you want to buy 5 boxes of cereal for $11, you take them all to the checkout and the friendly Target employee will smile and say,
"Here's a $5 gift card!" Really! So actually, you get 5 boxes of cereal for $6!
And then the next time you go in, I'm imagining that you can use your $5 gift card on the cereal and pay only $6 for another 5 boxes AND get another gift card. Yeah babuy.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


For the third year in a row, I am working in the music center at my church's VBS. It's basically three hours straight of light aerobics. Which would be great if I didn't weigh 485 pounds. Actually, I guess it is great because I weigh 845 pounds. Or 1,845. Whatever. I am not fit and trim is what I'm saying. If I volunteered at every church in town to work in their VBS music center, I guess I would probably get very svelte by the end of summer.

However, if I did that my 16-month-old may check himself into a mental institution. He is not enjoying VBS one tiny bit. Yesterday he sat with me through the opening and started to get panicky when several adults went onstage in very fancy costumes. It was a time I was very glad he's still nursing because it got him through that scary moment. Then came the nursery and the loving, trustworthy ladies who are working in there this week. They did so well with his crying little self. He cried on and off, slept most of the time and was so glad to see me. All evening and this morning he was not himself at all. Caris came to say good morning to him and he shook his head. Grandma tried to hold him last night and he buried his head in my lap. When we got to church this morning he cried as soon as we stepped in the doors. Let's just say that nursery was not happening today so he hung out with me in the music center. I can only imagine how tomorrow will be. It's like separation anxiety boot camp this week.

It's neat to be in the music center and see each of my kids come through and how they act when they're with their friends and not each other. Caris is quiet and still and doesn't try any of the hand motions. Graham is silly in the back row and tries the motions and singing here & there, especially if they allow him to elbow or poke a neighbor. Malachi is always next to his friend Christian and they sing and participate with all the motions.

And now I think I need a nap before practicing tomorrow's songs.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

When IS Date Night?

I literally do not know when I last had a date with Alif. I know that we haven't had one since Canaan was born. Did we have one when I was pregnant with him? Hmm, not that I can remember. The last time I remember going on date night was when my friend Cyndi and I used to trade off babysitting once a month. That was a long, long time ago.

I do remember that the last time we went on a date I had such a nice time. We had fun conversation, saw a movie - or did we? Maybe we only went out to dinner. Oh my GOSH, maybe our last date was when we bought Caris a walking toy. She is five years old now! Holy cow. Ok anyway, we got home and I said that I loved date night and did he have fun? And do you know how he responded? "I don't really like date night."

I *know*. Me too.

Then when he saw the shocked and hurt expression on my face he said, "I really just like being at home with you. We can relax, let our hair down, watch TV and laugh together . . . I just don't really like going out."


There went date night.

But sometimes a girl's gotta have some romance! A nice dinner where she feels a little giggly and shy with this man to whom she's been married for t-e-n years. She wants to put on her heels and walk sexy and hold hands with her husband instead of her kids. She wants to carry a cute little clutch instead of a diaper bag. And she wants to ride in his big, manly truck instead of the family minivan. Even if that does add $150 to the cost of the date in gas alone.

If anyone sees my husband out and about, would you elbow him and tell him to ask me out on a date? I promise to kiss and not tell.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Waking up with Senor Sleepy

When Malachi was born I had a pack 'n' play set up and ready, and he slept there from day one. I would bring him into my bed and nurse him and then put him back in his pack 'n' play. I actually had the one end of the monitor in his bed and the other end on my nightstand, even though he was only sleeping right at the end of my bed. I just wanted to hear him breathing. He slept through the night at 6 weeks old and pretty much every night since.

Graham came along 20 months later and I employed the same method. To sleep in the pack 'n' play, in bed to nurse, back into own bed after. Sometimes I was so tired that I fell asleep nursing, but if I woke up I'd put him back into his own bed. He slept through at 11 weeks, which felt like an eternity compared to his sleepy big brother.

With Caris we used the same technique. Except this time we had a much bigger bed and I basically put her in her pack 'n' play to begin the night and once she woke up to nurse I'd just keep her in my bed the rest of the night. Sister started sleeping through the night at 4 weeks.

Baby Canaan came along and well, let's just say the pack 'n' play was ready but he didn't make nearly as much use of it as his bigger siblings did. I started out most nights with him in my bed and finished them that way for at least the first three months. He did start sleeping through the night at 6 weeks but not consistently like everyone else did.

Canaan's 16 months old now and he goes to sleep in his own crib, in his own room each night around 8. Sometime in the night he usually ends up in bed with us. He'll go a week or so sleeping all night in his bed sometimes, but for the most part he gets lonely for us and cries for us at some point. Last night he joined us at 2:00 am on the dot. I really don't mind this. I guess we're either more relaxed, more attached or just plain lazier.

I have to say though, that waking up with the baby is precious. I almost always wake up for the day before he does, so I get to admire his squishy face, his sweet, still legs (the moment he's awake that changes!), his bedhead. I marvel at how I wake up with about 6" of space - no exaggeration - to sleep in because of the way a 27-pound baby scrunches me all the way to the edge. 9 times out of 10 he's flat against me, but the other time he's completely horizontal across the bed, with his head on Daddy and his feet in my face.

Once he wakes up it's nursing time, and usually a sibling or two hear that we're awake and come upstairs to join us.

We open the blinds by pulling them way up, and we look outside and say, "Good morning, world!" Then he's ready to take off for the day!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I'm a guest poster!

I won a blog makeover some time ago, as you might recall, and Real Life is the awesome blogger who sponsored the giveaway! She does amazing blog design and I'm thrilled with how mine turned out. ANYway, she's out of town this week and I'm featured today as her guest blogger! Would you mind checking it out? Thank you, friends!

Monday, June 16, 2008

My run-in with the zean.

A couple summers ago I tried a self-tanning lotion. It worked, and I had a golden (not orange or splotchy) tan all summer long, without all the harmful rays or the heat or the actual TIME it would take to get a real tan. I didn't do it last year, probably because I had a newborn and was too busy admiring his brown skin to work on my own fakey-brown.

Remember this ridiculous picture of my insanely white legs? Yeah, it was time to do something about this. I went to Target and got some tanning spray. Man, it was hard to decide what to get. Has the self-tanning industry really changed so much in just a couple short years? Pretty much there were two choices: lotions that tan gradually or sprays. I didn't want to use a lotion that would tan me so gradually that maybe by next summer I might not blind everyone. The spray seemed a little risky, though. Would I be able to get it on nice and even?

I went ahead and gave it a go on Saturday night. Sprayed it right on, just like the directions said to. I held off on my arms and face and just did my legs. It dried within 5 minutes as promised, and I looked forward to seeing my bronzed legs first thing in the morning, since it takes 2-4 hours to activate.

I went to sleep thinking of my friend Kim telling me about her cousin's awful self-tanning experience, wherein she was covered in splotches and hives and was very, very orange. I was sure nothing of the sort would happen to me.

When I woke up on Sunday there were no hives and I was not orange. I was, in fact, brown and white STRIPED. And my ankles were brown and white splotched. What could I do but laugh? Two weeks of looking like this? Thank God for pants, even if it is supposed to be over 100 almost all week.

We went swimming on Sunday for about an hour. At the end of the swim, I was no longer part of the zebra-tan community. The tan washed off. In one one-hour swim.

Good stuff, that tanning spray.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Summer TV

Pardon my randomness. Also, the Homegrown Life family will think we are truly off our rockers since unlike us, they are cutting back on their TV viewing.

Alif does not enjoy reality TV. Can you believe that? He would rather watch a stupid (by my standards, not his) movie than watch reality TV. I think the heat must be getting to him though because he watched TWO reality shows with me last week.

The first one was Last Comic Standing. Ok, I don't know if this really even counts because he very much enjoys to guffaw at stand-up. He really gets to goin' and makes me nag him with my "shh!". And then we love to make fun of each other's choices too. Like, he loved that crazy flapping-hands guy and I didn't. Dude. I couldn't even see his FACE half the time, he moves around so much. And I laughed out loud at Mary something-or-other when she said in her obnoxious baby voice that she wasn't sure how but she was pretty sure she was in the middle of a drug deal when someone asked her about product in her hair. Oh man, I just laughed out loud again thinking about it. Funny stuff.

Then in a clear lower-than-low episode of passive television viewing, we watched the celebrity carnival show. Woah. That show has taken reality tv a little too far. I cannot believe any celebrity agreed to be on that show. It's that ridiculous. And I LOVE reality tv. TV. Whatever. When Christopher Knight came out (I can't believe that's his name - what the heck? That's not at all familiar. I guess I really only know him as Peter from the Brady Bunch.) Alif goes, "Peter? Is that you? ::pause:: Really?" MAN, I laughed so hard. I told him HE should go on Last Comic Standing.

And to further random-ize this post: one time my bil said that Alif & I must not watch much TV. I think this followed the announcement of our pregnancy with our fourth child. The conversation went to how marital congress is a great way to pass the time when there's nothing on TV, and somehow I ended up saying, "There was nothing on TV last night." So later Alif's all, "why did you tell everyone that we . . ." you know. And I'm like, "Who cares? And I didn't mean that anyway. I just meant that yeah, there's not that much great on TV these days."

Still laughing about Alif's "Peter" line.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

I guess it's ok

My daughter is five. Five may sound teensy if your kids are all grown up but five to me, when my oldest is ten, sounds very, very grown up. My baby girl is no longer a baby but a darling little girl. She is sweet and lately, sometimes sassy. She is surrounded by boys but loves being a girl. She does pink and lipstick and nail polish and dollies but she can hit a mean baseball too, and when she yells? Watch out, mister. She loves the Lord and can't imagine that anyone else doesn't. She lives in near-constant misery due to her severe eczema and rarely complains. She is denied treats that others are having because they might have nuts, and she accepts that stoically. She tells me that she loves me several times a day - some variation of, "Mommy? I love you one hundred bazillion thousand hundred. I love you so much." She loves for me to tell her "puffy-puff" stories, based on this fictional character who is a miniature creature with a big puff of hair as its head. She has beautiful hair. She talks nonstop. Happy Birthday to my always-my-baby girl.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Lady Lunch

I remember when Lady Lunch got started. It was about seven years ago, and I was a young Mommy with two small boys. My Mom invited me to choose a lunch spot for my Birthday, just for she and I, and I chose a darling little sandwich & salad shop downtown. Its residence is actually an old house and it's all decorated cottage-style. We sat down in the back room, surrounded by beauty and roses and pink and a beautiful garden view and I felt more like a lady than I had in such a long time. Don't get me wrong, I loved spending my days playing with Legos and trucks and dirt, but using crystal and pretty tablecloths and sipping rose tea was pretty appealing too.

Then our waiter came. Not our waitress, but our waiter. Mom & I shared a laugh about how dare a MAN intrude on our "lady lunch"! And then another - there was some man taking pictures right outside the window. What was he taking pictures of? I don't know, but we were not in the mood to lay eyes on any man that day. The refreshing feeling of being ladies - just ladies - was so appealing, it's stuck. Every year we have a lady lunch for my Birthday. I look forward to it all year.

This year Mom suggested a lady lunch for Caris' 5th Birthday. What a fabulous idea! Caris, 5 years old! She really is turning into a little lady!

How awkward does my little darling look in this picture? Do you think she was slightly embarrassed that we were making her pose over and over in the beautiful garden? We all have to be initiated into lady lunch and my sweetie is no exception.

Looking a little bit happier posing with Grandma . . .

And let's not even talk about how I look twice my natural size and half my natural color in this picture. Just focus on the cutest little 5-year-old and the amazing garden.

Caris' first lady lunch was a huge success! We enjoyed great food, a sweet waiter-not-waitress-but-that's-ok, two delightfully huge desserts to share (did not even come close to finishing them) and good conversation. Welcome to lady lunch, my darling!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Random picture update

Malachi loves his baby brother so much! I think the feeling is mutual. See how long Malachi's hair is getting? He's letting it get shaggy. I wish it would just get already. Not enjoying the in-between stage.

Webkinz make the whole household happy. Well, except Alif. He thinks they're a waste of time ::gasp::.
"Whattup Mama? Ahhh yeah, I'm just kickin' back, playin' me some Nintendogs. I like me some Boxer right here."
"See Mommy? I can close this and they hide . . . "
"Peek-a-boo! HI DOGS!" (Ok, he actually just says, "dawwww!")
"I LOVE YOU DOGS!! Here, have some kisses! See you again tomorrow, ok?"

Walking up & down a ramp during Malachi's baseball practice.