Saturday, August 28, 2010

Reasons To Be Thankful

Jacob has been fever free for almost 2 days now. He still has a bad cough but he often gets a bad cough whenever he gets a cold/flu. His energy is slowly coming back as well as his appetite.

As I laid in bed listening to him cough last night, I thought of all the reasons I should be grateful at that moment. Like any mom, it hurts my heart to see him sick and miserable. I would do anything to take away his pain and make him feel better.

Yet I am just watching him and comforting him for a day or two. I know I am lucky. Many parents have to watch their children suffer for months or even years without ever knowing if their child will become well again. I am blessed to only worry about how many hours and days he will be sick.

I get to debate if it is just a virus or if he should be seen by a doctor for a prescription. I don't have to worry about if his life saving medications need to be adjusted or if this minor illness will result in a long hospital stay. I am blessed.

I have wonderful family that helps when my children get sick as well as very good health insurance. I have access to some of the best doctors and specialists in the world. I'm not sitting in a remote village wondering if my child will survive the night and exactly what a doctor does. We see doctors regularly. Some parents never have the chance to see a doctor for their children or themselves.

So while I absolutely hate watching my children be sick, I am very grateful that it is only for a few days. I know I am blessed and lucky beyond words. I was born in this great country and am not forced to struggle daily to survive. I pray that my son makes a quick recovery but I also pray for those parents who have much more serious things to worry about. I will continue to pray for their healing, comfort and strength as our lives return to normal.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


I know the boys and I are lucky. We just don't get sick often. I use a lot of sick leave at work on medical appointments but very little on actual days missed due to illness. Jacob was sick last spring a couple times but other than that he has been healthy.

Until last night. I picked Jacob up from school and he immediately complained that he had very bad headache. I gave him some Tylenol and he felt better about an hour later stating he wasn't sick anymore. Then about 8:00 it hit. He developed a fever, headache, sore throat and cough. The fever remained high until about 5 this morning when I noticed he was beginning to feel slightly cooler. By 6:00 it was back to normal and has stayed within normal range since then. I called him at Grandma's around 10:30 this morning and it seems that he is fine now. He reports that he is not sick and feels fine.

Hopefully Jacob will continue to feel weel and the fever will not return. If he stays fever free for 24 hours, he can return to day care tomorrow. That is assuming he still feels fine.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Family Values

There are many areas of being a parent that is pretty much universal across all cultures. Most parents try to teach their children good morals and values. One of these values that is seen in varying degrees in many cultures and countries is the value of family. Someone once told me that friends will come and go but family is forever. I really do believe that is true. It is something I tell my boys often.

Jacob went through a short phase earlier this year where he would tell Jacob "You aren't my brother anymore!" any time he was angry at M. I would always respond that you can't choose your family and that family is forever. I also follow that up with only God gets to choose what family you belong to and he chose this one for all of us.

Jacob has now changed his statement to M when he is angry. He now puts his hands on his hips and states, "You're my brother but you're not my friend!" I guess I'm getting closer to teaching him the value of family.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Back To School Lists

I am curious what more experienced parents do with their school supply lists. I picked up a list for Jacob for kindergarten and found his list fairly reasonable. The only questionable items were dry erase markers and kleenex. All things that I can understand him helping to supply. Then I took a fourth grader shopping to get her some supplies. She needed brand name pencils at $4 for a dozen and she needs 6 dozen pencils. She also needed 2 reams of copy paper for the office, brand name scissors, clorox wipes and other items that seemed a little extreme. I don't mind buying pencils but why can't they be Staples brand at 10 cents a box on sale? Of course her family also pays a materials fee and we all pay taxes. I'm debating what to do when Jacob gets those ridiuculus requests. Should I treat it as a wishlist and just get what I really believe he needs or should I buy everything despite my strong desire to take a stand against ridiculus requests.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Why I Want To Win The Lottery

At bedtime Sunday night Jacob asked what we were doing the next day. I told him I was going to work and he was going to school. He replied, "But I haven't spent enough time with you! I'll miss you!" Me too buddy. I agree completely.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Busy But Great Weekend

This past weekend was very busy but a great time. Not exactly relaxing but stress relieving in that we had fun and just enjoyed life.

Saturday was the opening day for the new children's museum. Words cannot explain how wonderful this place is going to be for families. The museum had over 1500 visitors on Saturday and 500 attended the ribbon cuting. We were in that group of 500 people. One of the things I love about the museum is they offer low cost memberships and admissions to lower income families and families involved in certain programs such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters and foster care. Since we are involved in both programs we qualify for a membership for $8 a year. I know we will be attending a lot this year. The museum is a wonderful opportunity for the kids to be creative and learn about the world around them. Even the adults were having fun.

Sunday we attended a church festival with some friends. It was a lot of fun but two things really impressed me. The first was when a total stranger walked up and offered me two free passes that included meals. He stated he had extra tickets his family couldn't use and thought I would like them. He was right. Money is tight right now and even that little bit of money will help.

The second thing that really impressed me was when we were helping to take a tent down at the end of the day. Not only did Jacob want to help but he did a great job. He moved folding chairs, took down poles and was a huge help. I couldn't believe how big he is getting. He is no longer a little boy and is becoming a responsible young man.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Vacation Bible School

I will admit that 2 years old is a tough age for me to parent. I assume it is a tough age to be also. M is now three and there are days that he proves what many parents believe. That 3 is a difficult age and in some ways more difficult than 2. Yet in some ways, it is more enjoyable.

M is finally old enough to start to participate in some organized activities. Up to now, he has always been the odd man out as we watched Jacob. M idolizes his older brother and hates to be told he is different than him. He insists that he has brown curly hair like Jacob (his is a sandy brown and straight). He wants to have a career where he can work with Jacob and is sure they will always live together. While this is very sweet, it also brings challenges when M isn't able to do the things Jacob does.

This year things are starting to change and vacation bible school was the first exciting organized activity that M was able to participate in with Jacob. M did great considering he is a young 3 and has some challenges. He loved the art projects and singing the songs. He would have actually spent the entire two hours singing if the teachers would have allowed it. We drove by the church last night and M immediately began yelling "There's bible school!" He was so proud of himself for attending and had such a great time.

I am hoping to get M and Jacob into swimming lessons near the same time this fall. I still need to register them and see if we can get into a class that fits our schedule. I hope to register them in the next week or two.

This is the age when I remember suddenly really enjoying Jacob's company. When he was suddenly able to fully participate in activities and have conversations with me. Sure we still have hard days, but M is finally entering this stage as well. It should be a fun year.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Science of Misquitos

M was complaining in the car that he was just bitten by a misquito. Probably the same one that bit me moments earlier. Here is the conversation I heard in the back of the van.

M: Ouch! These misquitos keep biting me! Ouch!
Jacob: No M. It's the girl misquitos that are biting you. Boy misquitos don't bite.
M: They're still biting me!
Jacob: It's only the girls.

I know I was much older than 4 1/2 before I understood that girl misquitos were the ones that bite.

All Stars

I was honored and shocked yesterday. I received an email stating I was chosen to play in my church softball all-star game. Each team got to choose two women and two men to play. I really didn't expect to be chosen and have never been chosen for anything like this before. I am very excited and ready to play. The game is next Monday night. Women play at 6:30 and men play at 7:30. I plan to stay for both games and cheer my friends and teammates on. It should be a fun evening.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Yes We Did Go

M, Jacob and I and two friends went to Circus World Museum and a nearby state park yesterday. I had the day off work so we loaded up the van for a full day of fun. We started at Circus World Museum. Unfortuntately, we were a little late getting up there and missed most of the shows the kids really like but we did see the big top show and had time to walk around and look at the train cars and general store.

The show was definitely better than last years and the kids really enjoyed every minute of it. M was a little concerned when the trapeze artist was on the rope. He was concerned that she wasn't being safe and stated, "She's going to fall!" He was also concerned that her mom was going to be angry. My favorite part of the show was when the baboon came out to perform. I can honestly say I have never seen a baboon perform before.

After we were finished at Circus World, we headed over to Devil's Lake State Park. The park was very full but we lucked out and found a parking place near the front of the lot. That was important since I was the person in charge of hauling our large cooler plus our swim stuff to the table. Devil's Lake is one of my favorite places to take the kids swimming. The water is clear and there is just enough sand to be fun but also plenty of grassy area for a picnic and to relax in. The kids had a great time swimming and playing in the sand. It was hard to leave but after a couple hours I was concerned about getting home in time to make dinner and get ready for today.

We stopped and took the Merrimac ferry home. The ferry is one that you can drive your car on and it takes you across the river. There is an ice cream stand near the ferry dock that I always enjoy stopping at if I have time. The kids think it is wonderful to be able to eat ice cream in the car. I don't have a lot of rules about eating in the car but rarely let them eat anything as messy as ice cream! Jacob started talking about the ice cream before we even left the parking lot at Devil's Lake.

After we got home, M asked me three times where we had gone. I kept telling him Circus World and Devil's Lake. He would repeat Circus World a few more times and then go off to play. This morning we made our usual mad dash to get ready to go and into the car. The day care is about 10 blocks from our house. M asked 2 more times the name of the place with the circus. I told him again and asked him if he was having trouble remembering. He stated he wasn't he just wanted to tell Ms. Callie and his friend Ruby all about it.