Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Grocery Shopping fun

I normal do not enjoy my normal grocery shopping adventures. I do like to go shopping and look around a store like Walmart or Target just perusing at all the other things besides food, such as craft stuff, holiday stuff, toys, fabric, house decor, and all those sort of things. To just go grocery shopping, I find a little boring, although I do enjoy it when I am alone and don't have 5 kids with me on my trip.

Today, I didn't get to go alone, but I REALLY enjoyed going. Recently I had attended a class on couponing, by Amy.... I forget her last name, but she is the "Savvy Shopper" and works for the Daily Herald newspaper. (you can go to her website at www.SavvyShopperDeals.com ) She is a big coupon clipper and tells you how to do it to make it worth your time. My biggest complaint is that out of all the coupons, there are seldom any that I REALLY use, or there are only a small few for the products I typically do use. Her idea is that you use your coupons when and item is on sale, which then makes an even BIGGER savings. That seems like a good idea, which I had never really thought of before. I typically am always buying the store brand things to save a few dollars, which I know I do.

Today, I had gone out with my 2 little girls (may I add they mostly cried the whole time, Samantha was tired and I think had a dirty diaper the whole time since that is how she was when we got home, and Amber normally gets a sucker when we go out, so she cried for her sucker the whole time). I had coupons in hand, and I had spent probably an hour or more on Saturday sorting through the adds, and looking through my coupons and making a list and bundling things for those things I needed or wanted.

I bought many things that I normally wouldn't buy, because either I don't typically buy them or they are too expensive. My girls LOVE fruit snacks, but I typically will only buy them if they are $1 a box or a bigger box with the same type of value. I bought cookie dough, but I normally don't buy it because I just make my own cookies, but for $.45 or $.50 (depending on my coupons) a roll of cookie dough, how can I pass that up? I can't make cookies that cheap!

I paid $102 for my groceries, and between coupons and store sales, I saved $147. Sounds good right!? So I basically got about $250 worth of groceries for $100, but here is the AMAZING part. Albertson's was having a sale where if you bought 10 items of certain things (like fruit snacks, pillsbury biscuits or cookies, frosting, brownies, cookie mixes, cake mixes....) you would get a $10 coupon back to use the next time you shop at their store. Well, I got 7 (each $10) of those coupons back.

SO.... I got $250 worth of groceries for $100 plus a coupon for $70 to be used next time I shop. You could say I basically bought $250 of groceries for $30 ($100 minus $70). CRAZY huh!!

Most everything I got was on sale and I had a coupon for. This is what I got:
  • 10 boxes of Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks
  • 7 tubs of Betty Crocker Frosting
  • 1 Betty Crocker cookie mix pouch (which was on sale and then I found a coupon for it on a frosting tub)
  • 14 boxes of Betty Crocker Brownies
  • 11 Pillsbury Grand Biscuits (would have gotten more since I had more coupons for them, but the store ran out of them)
  • 7 Pillsbury crescent rolls
  • 5 Pillsbury cookie sheets (the ready to bake kind, or as Emily calls them, "break and bake")
  • 10 pillsbury cookie dough (in the roll)
  • 3 Pillsbury Toaster Strudels (not sure if my girls will like these, so I didn't get more than one box of each flavor they had)
  • 2 boxes of Macaroni Grill Dinner Kits (I have never tried these before, but for $1.50 a box after savings, I thought I would try them)
  • 4 Cambells "Soup in Hand" (the kind in the cup you can microwave I think)
  • 2 Albertson's brand chips (99 cents each, couldn't pass that up)
  • 4 Albertson's brand American Singles Cheese slices, 12 slices (these were 88 cents a piece, CRAZY!)
  • 1 Peanut M&M's big bag (Amber saw these and got them while we shopping, it kept her quite for a while, it was worth the $3.59)

There you have it! Yes I know, it isn't like you can really make a meal out of this or anything, but I figure it is good pantry stocking! Plus, I figure for $30 who wouldn't have bought it for $30. I probably throw that much away in a month spending it on soda and ice cream cones and gum for the girls alone. (Okay, the soda is for me, not the girls!)

This particular sale ends today... but I still have coupons!! I may just try to go to another store to find more of the items this store was out of to use my coupons, and I will use my $70 worth of coupons I got to buy it getting more $10 coupons printed out at the register.

Man did I score, or what!! Now you know why I said it was FUN! I think I took care of that $16 or $18 newspaper subscription for my monthly Sunday papers. (I get 5 by the way so I get 5 of each coupon, which is good if it is a good coupon!)

Now I need to go finish putting all my groceries away....

Monday, February 23, 2009

A yard with No grass, means all mud!

The snow is melting, and that means more water in our yard. Normally that wouldn't seem to be a problem or a concern of mine, but with no grass or any vegetation of any sort, means just a HUGE mud pit!

When the girls come home from school they should walk on side walks or the driveway, but instead once in a while we get one of them that seems to think it is a good idea to walk through the yard... or should I say the mud.

I saw Lauren out there today, stuck in the mud. In her attempts to get out of the mud, she fell in the mud and also one foot came out of her shoe, making one sock all muddy too. I was kind of laughing as I watched her struggle. I heard Emily telling Lauren, "just stay there I will get Mom!" Emily then came in and told me Lauren needed help because she was stuck and couldn't get out. Emily put on some of Lauren's boots, but of course they didn't fit her so she wasn't really any help in getting her out of the mud. I don't have boots, so I slipped on my sneakers and went to play hero.

Lauren got one shoe out of the mud, she threw it across the yard to the more solid ground. I started in the yard to get Lauren as I was scolding them for going THROUGH the yard instead of around it and staying out of the mud. As I started to walk, I started to sink horribly bad, all I could do is keep moving to keep from sinking too far in. I ended up just running through the mud myself starting at the top of our yard and ending up on the sidewalk. Lauren was still stuck in the mud, minus one shoe but one really muddy sock.

I attempted to rescue Lauren again. As I did, I sank in the mud again, but not as bad since I found some bits of snow in the yard I could sort of stand on to keep from sinking. I grabbed Lauren's hand in an attempt to pull her out, and her foot came right out of her shoe. I told her to grab her shoe.

I told her to take her backpack off and hand it to me. I then flung it onto the steps. I advice her to grab her shoe that is stuck in the mud. She then grabs my hand and I pull her onto the little snow path that isn't as muddy and sinky as the yard without snow.

What a mess! She has mud everywhere. Her shoes are just a muddy mess and so are her socks, which look like mud shoes now.

Her backpack was even a muddy mess. You can see what a mess it all is, and how muddy her shoes where. These are church shoes by the way... I think they will need some good cleaning before she can wear them again, to church or school!

Lindsey was looking at her laughing, and then she pointed out that she was even muddy on the backside of her. Pretty funny!

I tried wiping my shoes off in the snow, but that wasn't very successful. I found myself with mud all over too, I even had it on the back of my pants when I ran through the yard it splashed or sloshed up on my pant legs! Ewww!

Lauren was to strip in the garage, and that is where I took off my muddy shoes too. I didn't put on socks, since I was trying to just slip on some shoes, not realizing what a mess it would be to get Lauren out of the mud. As I got inside I realized I was making mud tracks, which was from my pant bottoms and some how I had mud in my toes and under my toes... I stripped my pants too, and ended up washing my feet in the bathroom sink by the garage. Here is a nice look of our front yard. I think our back yard is even more muddy. You can see all the foot prints, mine going down and then the mud pit that Lauren was stuck in.

Lauren asked if she could take a bath. I told her that would be a good idea. Then Lindsey even though she didn't really get muddy, decided she would join in the tub too.

I hope the girls learn the lesson, and use the SIDEWALKS and paths that are here instead of taking a 8 step shortcut through the mud.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Craft it forward!

The first three people to respond to this post will get something made by me! My choice. For you. This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:

1- I make no guarantees that you will like what I make!
2- What I create will be just for you.
3- It'll be done this year.
4- You have no clue what it's going to be.
5- I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.

The catch is that you must repost this on your blog and offer the same to the first 3 people who do the same on your blog. The first 3 people to do so and leave a comment telling me they did win a FAB-U-LOUS homemade gift by me! Oh, and be sure to post a picture of what you win when you get it! And if you could include your address with your post, that would be most helpful!

Who's in?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Siamese Twins

I figure since I am already posting, I might as well do this one too. As I was looking through my camera, I realized I had these pictures on here (which made me crack up laughing again) and remembered that particular day....

It was one of those days that Lindsey and Lauren seemed to never be happy and nothing was ever fair. Lauren wanted to know why Lindsey got that, or Lindsey was upset because Lauren did this or I said this to Lauren and not her... it was just a real back biting night. The girls didn't get along and I was so tired of it. It seems like this goes on so much... and I don't always know really how to handle it or what seems to be effective.

This night they were fighting over one pair of jammies, they both wanted to wear them. I tried suggesting, "Lauren you wore those last night, so it is Lindsey's turn." That of course didn't work. There was more complaining and arguing. I then tired to do what I always try to do... if I am not too tired to remember about this idea.... I started joking around, but in a serious way like I normally joke. I say or do something that would seem like I would be serious for those who don't know me, but if you do know me, you totally know I am just kidding around.

I told Lindsey and Lauren that I guess they both just had to wear the jammies. If they couldn't make a choice, they would just both have to wear them to bed. I put them on both of them. Immediately the girls stopped fighting, and just started to laugh. I told them it was time to go down stairs for prayer. It was hilarious trying to see them walk joined together down the stairs! What a hoot!

Later as I helped the girls out of jammies, one of them said, "You can wear them tonight" and then next thing I knew the other one said, "No you can have them tonight." It was a nice ending to a rough beginning!
Everyone else was laughing at the siamese twins too, as the girls danced around and even just watching them try to walk was funny!

Valentine's Day

Finally, now that I am home and that I have a few minutes, I thought I would put our Valentine's Day events on here. I thought that Robert and I would go out and have a date, but then when Samantha got sick, that all went down hill.

We started off the day with heart shaped toast sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. The girls thought it was pretty clever.

I had planned on having heart pizza for lunch, but then I took Samantha to go get a "deep suction" so that put lunch off. I think Robert made them mac and cheese or soup or something. I then had all this pizza dough ready so I thought maybe we would do pizza for dinner and our real dinner would be used for Sunday dinner. (Which that didn't work either really since I was at the doctor's office again on Sunday evening.) Robert was gone getting something and I hurried and decorated to the table with the girl's help. Mostly they did it, I just told them which dishes I wanted them to use. I had gotten a dozen tulips on Friday for this purpose.
I made heart shaped pizza's and also my first attempt at fried mozzarella sticks, which turned out okay, they were kind of bland. I told Robert to get some Cherry 7up, or some sort of pink or red soda. He brought home root beer. He later realized the reason for my request on PINK or RED soda... he was laughing when he realized what that was all about.

Then for desert, we had heart shaped chocolate chip cookies.

I also took some left over heart cookies for my primary class on Sunday. I told them I had a silly secret for them... then I told them I was falling in love with them, and so I made them some heart cookies. They thought it was pretty cute, and one little boy was really funny! He said, "I think I am going to throw up!" as he smiled and laughed and ate his cookie. I am really starting to really like them and see the kids as more then just a bunch of crazy wild hyper 5 year olds! They are growing on me really fast.
Robert's mom came to help while Samantha was in the hospital, so maybe while she is here Robert and I can take advantage and go on our Valentine date, or just any date really would be great! Less crowd this way I suppose too.

RSV Positive

What a week! Sunday I taught my little class alone while Robert stayed at home with Samantha. When I got home she seemed to be doing worse and seemed really lethargic, she slept all the time, and her breathing was very rapid. I counted between 68-72 breathes in a minute each time I checked her breathing, which is super high, and that is while she was sleeping. The doctor had said he didn't want her to go above 60.

I called the after hour clinic again... I got an appointment, we went in and they took her temperature, which was 103 point something... and she had 2 ear infections which dr. said was common with the virus. She (dr.) suggested that we admit her to the hospital, but since the dr. I saw was only a P.A. apparently she needed the approval of the main doctor. After another breathing treatment, the dr. and the PA came in to discuss the situation. Due to Samantha's oxygen levels being above 90, the dr. didn't feel like it was needed (even though she was wheezing and had rapid breathing, was sleeping all day and not eating) and she also stated that the hospital was near full anyway.

They asked if I would go over and do a chest x-ray to be sure it wasn't pneumonia and if it wasn't I was to just go home and check back with my normal dr. the next day.

X-rays where clear, which was good. We sat in the busy after hours office most all day and night, our appointment was at 1:40 and we got out of there at 6:30, and the whole time Samantha just slept. If she woke up, she went right back to sleep. We got a deep suction again and a rx for some antibiotic and went home. Lauren was with me the whole time, poor girl. She was SO bored.

The PA also got me a machine which would be used with the same kind of medicine for breathing treatments, but it blows the air out instead of having Samantha take breathes in. They use this machine at the doctors office. I thought it would be easier than trying to SMASH a mask on Sam's face while she breathed 6 times to take in the medicine.

Monday, the kids where out of school of course, I needed to take Samantha to get suctioned again since she was so stuffed up. I told Robert I didn't really know what to do since I didn't know what to do with the girls and all while I needed to take Sam to the doctor and the suction clinic. He said he would come home.

I got my appointment with my normal doctor, and he admitted Samantha to the hospital right away. It was hard but also kind of a relief to have everything watched more closely. They went ahead and did a test for RSV, and sure enough, she was positive.

Once we got to the hospital within about 2 hours, she was in need of oxygen. Poor baby. She was all hooked up to all these monitors it was hard for her to even be held with out getting all tangled up.

Shortly after we were there on Monday, Robert called and said Lindsey had bent her retainer all up, and now she couldn't eat. Not a big problem, she needed to just go back to the ortho, except for that I had the family car.

Luckily we got a hold of Margie H. (from our old neighborhood) and she came and sat with Samantha while I went to switch cars with Robert and get some clothes and what not for my unknown stay at the hospital. She was a total lifesaver!!

I kind of secretly was glad Robert had to take all the kids to the ortho appointment to fix Lindsey's bent up retainer and deal with that, although he didn't have Samantha, but at least he saw what my aapointments are like when I have to take the kids anywhere. I hope he appreciates me a little more now. I told him also that we were out of diapers. He got all bent out of shape about it, and I apologiezed for it, but at the same time I didn't think I was going to be gone. I am guessing he went to the store by himself, or at least went in by himself instead of taking all the kids in like I normally do. Again, I secretly hope he sees how FUN or not so fun to take the kids places when they are fighting and wanting everything and touching each other and everything else in the store.

Tuesday I thought they would just release us, but Dr. said as long as she was on oxygen, she would stay there. BUMMER! We stayed there Monday night, Tuesday night, Wednesday night, and finally on (today) Thursday they took her off oxygen and she did okay. They had tried it each day but then had to give it back to her. They released her right before dinner. It is nice to be home finally, and to be in the normal routine of things, sort of.

I was thinking how sad it was to be in the hospital and not be at home with the other kids. Although I was spending some great one on one time with Samantha. It reminded me of one of my friends, Adrian who had to be on bed rest and in the hospital while she was pregnant with placenta previa and how hard and sad that was for her to be away from her family. But then I thought, at least I was there with Samantha which made it seem better. My small 4 days seemed so small compared to her WEEKS in the hospital, and Robert stayed one evening while I went home with the kids for awhile. It sure makes you more grateful for the little things.

I am glad to be home, and although I would like to think of it as "chicken pox" where you get it once and then you don't normally get it again. The doctor said sometimes babies with RSV will end up back in the hospital again. I also took it that you can also get RSV again later, just like you can get the flu again too. I am keeping my fingers crossed, that everything will be okay and she will get healthy and that Amber won't get sick with it either.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Bronchiolitis 101

I followed up at the our normal doctors office, and then went back to the suction clinic today too. Samantha seems to be doing about the same. At the clinic they assess her when she gets there and then when they are done to keep track of what is going on. 0-3 being slight, 4-6 being moderate, 7-9 being severe. She has been a 5 when we go in and then a 3 when we leave.

Another thing I found out is that bronchiolitis (although I have never heard of it or paid any attention to it) is the illness that RSV causes. It is the respitory problems associated with RSV. My doctor said it is treated the same no matter if RSV caused it or some other virus. Their is so much hype on RSV, it kind of makes me really nervous.... but things seem to be going okay.

Bronchiolitis.... not to be confused with Bronchitis.... some interesting facts about Bronchiolitis (taken from www.kidshealth.org)

Bronchiolitis is a common illness of the respiratory tract caused by an infection that affects the tiny airways, called the bronchioles, that lead to the lungs. As these airways become inflamed, they swell and fill with mucus, making breathing difficult.

Kids who have had bronchiolitis may be more likely to develop asthma later in life, but it's unclear whether the illness causes or triggers asthma, or whether children who eventually develop asthma were simply more prone to developing bronchiolitis as infants. Studies are being done to clarify the relationship between bronchiolitis and the later development of asthma.

Bronchiolitis is usually caused by a viral infection, most commonly respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). RSV infections are responsible for more than half of all cases of bronchiolitis and are most widespread in the winter and early spring. Other viruses associated with bronchiolitis include rhinovirus, influenza (flu), and human metapneumovirus.

Signs and Symptoms
The first symptoms of bronchiolitis are usually the same as those of a common cold:
-runny nose
-mild cough
-mild fever

These symptoms last a day or two and are followed by worsening of the cough and the appearance of wheezes (high-pitched whistling noises when exhaling).
Sometimes more severe respiratory difficulties gradually develop, marked by:
-rapid, shallow breathing
-a rapid heartbeat
-drawing in of the neck and chest with each breath, known as retractions
-flaring of the nostrils
-irritability, with difficulty sleeping and signs of fatigue or lethargy

According to the website, the incubation period can be a few days to a week, and the duration of it is somewhere around 12 days with the 2nd and 3rd day being the worst. We are on day 3, so we will see how it all goes from here. It doesn't seem like the inhaler they gave her is working or doing much. Not to mention, trying to get a 9 month old to breath through a little mask is horrible! I have to FORCE it on her face while I am what feels like sitting on her to keep her hands away and her head still while she takes 6 breathes. Then to give her a minute break and then do it all over again. HORRIBLE!!

Then last night sometime in the middle of the night, I was too tired to look to see what time it was. I heard Samantha crying and coughing and saw it was okay to give her another puff of medicine, I take the cylinder and shake it like I am suppose to before I give it to her. I feel for the little mask on the one end and it is gone.... I had shook it right off. I am scrambling in the dark to find it, and finally have to turn on the light... Poor Rob, I woke him up. I finally found it. I thought I might have to go back to Walgreen's or something.

I guess I won't be going anywhere soon, since I don't want to take Samantha out and get anyone else sick. I realized that it also means I am teaching my energetic 5 year olds tomorrow by myself again (since Robert will stay home from church with Samantha)... maybe I should just bring some candy to bribe them... that isn't a bad idea really!

I better get myself to bed, I am EXHAUSTED still!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Another Long Night...

It all started in the middle of the day yesterday (thursday), Samantha started to act really fussy. She was coughing a tiny bit, but I didn't think much about it. I put her down for her afternoon nap, and she woke up like 30 minutes later, coughing and crying. I tried to get her to go back to sleep. She fell asleep for about another 30 minutes until she woke up again.

The older kids hadn't done their valentines' yet, and Lauren was to make her own "box" for her desk since the teacher said it was just too hard for first graders to do at school. The table was a mess with all sorts of junk for making a used formula can look all cute and heartish.

Meanwhile, Samantha is awake and unhappy, mostly crying. I go back and forth to trying to make her happy and to settle disputes among the older girls and glue this and cut that. Then of course it was dinner prep time. Poor little Samantha, it seemed like she just cried the whole evening.

When we sat down for dinner, Rob held her while we ate. She was still really upset. She would cough and cough and didn't seem to stop. Sometimes she would go to cough and then act like she couldn't cough. She sometimes had a bit of a barking cough too.

She was not only coughing lots but you can actually see her breathing fast, her whole little body is bobbing as she takes a breath. Robert and I do the whole bedtime routine with the other girls, and Samantha is SO tired. I debated on just putting her to bed. She ends up falling asleep in my arms for a short time.

When she wakes up after about 5 to 10 minutes, she is coughing more, crying and wheezing more. I realize she is definitely getting worse, so I decide it is DR time.

Being new to this area, I have no idea what is near us, or where a provider is that our insurance will cover. I call the PPO provider number to find out after hour clinics around here. There is one right in this area (okay like 4 miles away) so I buckle little Samantha up and head that way.

I get there, their lights are just turning off and I notice on the door it says, they close at 8pm, which would be 46 minutes ago. I luckily had written down a number and address of the next closest place. I call that number (a time when I am glad Robert got me that cell phone) and they close at 9.

Of course it will take me a bit to get there, and I am not really even sure where it is. I pull up to the clinic at 9pm, and get Samantha out, to find out the door is LOCKED!

I am not sure what to do now, I don't really want to do the ER thing, yet I am concerned about her. I really feel confused because on one hand, I know she isn't acting right, but on the other hand, I am wondering if it is just a little cold and I am just being an over protective mom that brings her child in for every little sniffle. I call Rob for some advice or validation.

Rob reminds me that our Pediatrician has an after hours nurse, so I call her and find out that their clinic is open til 10. I figure I have time to get there.
Robert suggests for me to go if it will make me feel better. I decide to go to the pediatrician after hours office.

I get to their office (at 10 pm), and she is wheezing, and what they call retracting (it is where when they breathe you can see their skin go in under their ribs which shows sighs of distress in their breathing). She is still coughing.

The nurse comes in and checks her oxygen level, pulse, and her respiratory rate (how many breathes she takes in a minute)... her respiratory is high but everything else checks out. She also had a tiny bit of a temperature too.

The doctor came in and questioned me about what was going on. Because of the barking cough and because the symptoms came on so fast, he thought it was croup until he listened to her breath. He said she has viral bronchiolitis. She is having barely any air flow on her left side. He gave her a breathing treatment, a RX for an inhaler with the same type of medicine in it to give to her at home. They re-check her stats after the breathing treatment to see if it has improved.

He also recommended me to take her to the Utah Valley Hospital (can't remember their official name) for their "suction clinic." I didn't even know they had such a thing. I guess they do it lots for RSV patience. I took her in, they put saline solution in her nose to loosen things up, then put a small tube down her nose and suck everything out. Poor thing. I can take her at anytime back if she needs it.

She was still wheezing after that whole process. Her respiratory rate was still kind of high. She was all worked up since I had to hold her down while they did the sucking. They thought that could be part of the high rate.

We leave their, I go get the RX for the inhaler. We drive home, get home at a little after 1 am. I am exhausted. I change Samantha's diaper, put her to bed. I find Lauren in my bed, I take her back to her own bed. I lay there still thinking about the whole nights events. I fall asleep.

Lauren comes in my room to sleep with us again, at about 3 am, I fall back asleep, and then hear Samantha coughing and crying. I check on her, and then decide to give her some medicine. She is NOT happy. I settle her back down and crawl back in bed a little after 5 am (with Samantha). I am exhausted! Lindsey and Amber come in to my room 25 minutes after my we were suppose to get up, alarm is still going off, which I totally slept through. OOPS, girls only have like 25 minutes to get ready for school and eat breakfast.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

House stuff... Rrrr

I am so loving our new house. The space, and the openness of the kitchen, dinning room, and family room. I love being able to be getting meals ready and still be involved in what the kids are doing or what they are watching and what not. Our kitchen is gigantic in comparison to our old kitchen. I have so many cupboards that are only half full and shelves that are left empty. I have a cupboard that I have just piled junk into since it is not in use for any "kitchen" stuff really. I plan on making that our art supplies for the kids to have all their stuff in. What I call their "homework helpers" being the scissors, glue, crayons, pencils, markers, glitter, paper, foam pieces, stickers, pom poms..... all those sort of things I let the girls use.

It seems like there are all those "little" things that keep going wrong here. We had our problem with the hot water, then the ice on our stucco (which I don't think I blogged about), the leak in our closet ceiling, the gutters that needed to be replaced. It just seems like it is all these little things that keep coming up.

We had some gutter guys come out because our gutter around our balcony wasn't draining and with all the cold weather we were having, it was all iced up and then creating ice running down the side of our house, which then got behind our stucco making it bubble and look horrible (which now needs to be repaired). Above this icy spot the water wasn't getting into the drain for the gutter either so we thought the gutter guy could fix that. The gutter guy looked at it and the gutter around the balcony. He could fix the balcony gutter so that it would drain the right way and he could put a bigger opening at the top where there was such a icy problem, but he said it was a roof problem and their wasn't enough flashing or not good enough flashing there. He also recommended some heat tape so that the ice wouldn't build up like that. He fixed what he could, then we called the roofer. He comes out and looks at it, yes he can fix it. We also have a leak in the ceiling in our closet. He looks at that and says, yes he can fix that too. It seemed to be another flashing problem with our exhaust pipe for our furnace and hot water heater.

The roofer does his job, he also recommends heat tape for the roof on the north side where we are having all the icy problems with the stucco bulging and what not. We tell him to go ahead and install the heat tape. I am so glad to have it all done.

Since we had the leak in our closet, we had a big plastic tub (the kind you use for storage that have lids) under the hole Robert made in our ceiling. That night after the roofer leaves, I notice a "drip-drip" I look, and sure enough we still have a leak.

Robert climbs back into the attic and sees it is a condensation problem, or so he thinks with the furnace. We call our furnace guy. He comes out and looks at it and says, it is a roof problem, the flashing must be bad. He told me the snow must be melting and dripping down. I would like to scream! I told him we already had him "FIX" the problem and it didn't work. Not to mention it drips when our roof is dry and there is NO SNOW out there. The furnace guy goes back into our attic and sees that maybe it is a condensation problem after pulling some pipes apart and found all that water in there. Supposedly our furnace is not suppose to build up condensation, so it is not working correctly. He services our furnace. Hopefully it is all taken care of now. The furnace guy said it may be just a "bad design" of how that pipe comes out. If it continues, they may need to redo that pipe. JOY! We have a bowl up in the attic now to collect water. I hope whatever he did fixed it. I really don't want to pay for anymore repairs!

Not to mention we got this nice "Warranty" on our house when we bought it. We were under the impression it would cover if we got a leak or if the stucco had a problem or if we had issues with the hot water heater or plumbing. It turns out it only is good for the "mechanical parts" of appliances of our house pretty much. I think it does cover plumbing too. (Hopefully we won't have any problem with that!) Each time we have a problem I call, "no we don't cover that." Then I call and tell them about our hot water heater, "Since you already did it, we can't reimburse you for that, you should have called us first. We would have covered that." We do have a microwave above the stove that the handle is broken on it. The warranty covers that, but like Robert said, we have to pay $50 and they will probably come out and just replace some $5 part and call it good. It seems like our $400+ warranty is not really worth it since we have paid OVER that several times in repairs to things that we THOUGHT would have been covered. I feel like we got ripped off!

And while I am complaining (which it seems like I am doing way too much of lately) I must admit having a yard without grass makes for a MUDDY DISASTER when the snow is melting or when things aren't so frozen. I would think we built our house on a river bottom by the amount of mud that is out there. The girls like to come around back when they come home from school to come in the back door. I told them they are not allowed in the yard back there, it is a total MUD pit. I will be happy when things are warmer to start putting grass in. I don't care about much more than that right now. Just something to help with the mud--- hopefully!

Live and learn I guess! I still like our house! I wish all my old neighbors and friends where around this house.... I sure miss them all, and feel really alone out here.... sigh!

Getting Amber to sleep

Why is it such a process to get such a small one to sleep. Tonight was a normal night of getting Amber to sleep. This is typical of all nights. I dread it because it seems to take so Lllllloooooonnnnngggggg! Especially if Robert and I are planning on watching a movie or something after the kids go to bed.

My bigger girls go to bed about 7:30 - 8 or they are suppose to. They don't always stay in bed. Then I start with reading books to Amber alittle after 8 unless she is really tired then we start earlier. Sometimes Samantha is still awake, so I am holding her too while reading to Amber.

Last night I was doing this and then put Samantha to bed and told Amber she could have one more book. (The famous "last one" she always asks for.) I come back downstairs, she has a sweet book "Someday" that we got for Christmas that I just love.... I read this book,

Me: Ok, it is time for bed.
Amber: NO! Last one? (as she starts leaning over the arm of the couch to grab another book out of the book box)
Me: Amber this was our last book.
Amber: No, that was the wrong book. This is the right last book. (holding up a new book)
Me: Ok, but this is REALLY the last one.

I read her ONE more book, then I take her to tell daddy good-night. Then she of course wants something else.

Amber: Last time drink?
Me: Okay. (I fill up her red cup she has been using all day with water.)
Amber: No, I want a blue cup now.
Me: No, you can use this red cup now. Tomorrow you can have a blue cup.
Amber: Okay. (She takes a big drink and is holding her cup)
Me: Are you done? (reaching for her cup)
Amber: (looking around with a funny yet serious face, like she is looking for something) Not quite
Me: (laughing) Not quite? (what 2 year old says, "not quite?")
Amber: I am done now. (handing me her cup)

I take her cup, we head up stairs to put her to bed. I turn on her music which she HAS to have or she will continue to ask for it until I turn it on. Then of course she wants a song.

Amber: Sing Angel by (this would be Angel Lullybye from My Turn On Earth play)
Me: (starting to sing) You came from a land.....
Amber: (interupting me) sing it with Grandma and Grandpa (which basically means she wants me to put them in the song somewhere)
Me: (changing the words to add something about Grandma and Grandpa)
Amber: (interupting again) No, sing little stream
Me: Give said the little stream... (singing the song)
Amber: No BIG stream
Me: Okay, (I change the words to big instead of little and finish the song)
Amber: No do this (as she is clappng her hands together)
Me: (trying to do whatever she is doing and still singing)
Amber: sing Hush don't say a work (this is what she calls Hush Little Baby)
Me: (starting to sing) Hush little baby don't say a word, Mama's gonna buy you a mocking bird....
Amber: with grandma and grandpa
Me: Okay (then I change the words instead of Mama's gonna buy you... to Grandma's gonna buy... and Grandpa's gonna buy... switching back in forth between the two. I finish the song.)
Amber: Last time drink?
Me: (getting her the green cup in her room, it is easier to just do it instead of arguing) Okay but this is the last one.
Amber: Sing last time song
Me: What do you want me to sing?
Amber: Wise man. No, follow me. No, twinkle star.
Me: Twinkle, Twinkle, little star (singing)
Amber: No, ABC
Me: A B C D E F G (singing the alphebet)

I finish singing tell her all my good nights, I love you, sleep tights and all that sort of stuff.... and start to walk out of the room.

Amber: Mommy, Sing 5 little monkeys with Grandma and Grandpa
Me: (knowing this is always the LAST song she requests, I decide to go ahead and sing it.) 5 little Grandma's jumping on the bed, one fell off and bonked her head, Grandpa called the dr. and the dr. said.... (she likes to sing with Grandma jumping on the bed and Grandpa calling the dr. and then switch it to Grandpa jumping and Grandma calling... back and forth til the song is done.)
Amber: I love you mommy, good night, sleep tight.
Me: I love you too sweet pie, you sleep tight and I will see you in the morning.
Amber: Ok
Me: I love you!

At last, I am done!! It is now like 9 and the process is over. And yet I realize then what a push over I am and why Amber keeps asking for more and more, because I always (or most the time) do what she wants me to do. But after those sweet "I love you Mommy, sleep tight" it all seems worth the singing and drink getting.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Cookie Disaster

A few weeks ago we had some friends come over for lunch. They brought some super yummy cookies. Then she posted the recipe on her blog so I thought I would try them out. They are maraschino cherry cookies with frosting. They are so great, they are soft and flavorful...mmmm they are great! I normally just make chocolate chip cookies, but they are different and so good.

They call for a jar of maraschino cherries, so I bought a jar and an extra one for making the cookies later. We had the cookies, they were gone in about a 24hr period.

I signed up for a dessert for enrichment night. I wasn't really sure what I would bring when I signed up. Then they called and reminded me (which I am so glad they did, I forgot about it). I then thought about those cookies and remembered I had that extra jar of cherries, so I had everything already.

I started the cookies, then realized I had a dr. appointment for Samantha, and I needed to leave in about 20 minutes, so I really didn't have time to put the cookies in the oven and wait for them to all bake. I decided to stop mixing them, (I had the butter-I substituted instead of the shortning it called for- and then the sugar and vanila all mixed up.) I decided to finish later.

I went about my day and about the time the girls got home from school, I started them again. As I was adding the flour I realized I didn't have enough flour. I looked around for some stored flour somewhere... none to be found. The little girls were both sleeping, and I didn't want to wake them up to go to the store to get flour, and I didn't really want to wait for Robert to get home from work either, since I still needed to make frosting and we had parent teacher conferences starting at 5:45. I decided to rely on my neighbors.

I called one neighbor, and BINGO! I got flour. I told him I only needed 2 cups, since I already added 1 cup. Then when I got home and looked at the recipe (it called for 3 1/2 cups) I got all mixed up or something. Emily was helping me and so I was explaining to her I already put in one cup, and was talking it through with her, and we were using a 1/2 cup so somewhere along the line, we shorted the cookies 1 cup I think. I thought they seemed kind of soft, but I couldn't remember, since I had only made them once.

The cookies baked and got all runny.... I was so upset, these were suppose to be for RS, and now look at them. I was trying to think what went wrong. Then I remembered I used butter instead of shortening, but I have done that tons of times without this end result in runny cookies. I looked at the recipe again and was thinking about what I added in the morning, and then after school, and then after we borrowed flour.... then I figured it out.

These are how runny they turned out, although they seemed runnier in person.

I took the cookies off the pan, and put them on cooling racks. There's no way I can take these to RS!!
With all that, my cookies still didn't turn out great, they were better, and I only have 20 cookies now. I started with 24 that were good after I added more flour, but then when I was frosting them, a few fell apart and one broke when I took it out of the bowl that I stored them in last night. BUMMER! The girls keep eyeing them, and I keep having to watch Amber. All I need is for Amber to stick her finger in them, as she seems to do in all treats like that.

This is what they are SUPPOSE to look like. Before frosting of course.
I always thought I was pretty good at baking, or good enough to offer to bring something anyway! Now I am second guessing my work! And of course, here it is at a new place... uggg! Maybe I will take the bag of Mother's animal cookies (the pink and white ones with sprinkles) that I have stored away in my basement....
Here are the end results of the cookies, once they got frosted. Yummy -or so I hope!

Amber with Hives

When Amber was about 8 months old, she woke up one morning and had a few red marks on her. I didn't think much about it, looked at them and they didn't look like anything bad and there were just like 3. As the day went on, she kept getting more and more red marks. I got on the computer and searched around and then called her Dr. It was hives. There was nothing she ate or anything we changed, I racked my brain on what she may have eaten or got on. We had a babysitter the night before so I was asking the girls if they went anywhere or if they fed Amber non-baby food. I was just puzzled. The dr. said that sometimes hives come after a virus of some sort, and she had the stomach flu a few days before.

This is Amber at 8 months with hives. (notice her funny belly button)

On Monday the girls didn't have school, so they had a "picnic" with snacks and what not. I was busy putting a dresser together... Amber was crying so I got her and she told me that Lauren hurt her. As I looked, Amber had a white spot on her cheek and then as I got to looking she had some on her hand and wrist, and arm.. the more I looked the more I found some. I then figured she was having an outbreak of hives again. Today (after 3 days of hives) she is much better, still has a few spots but nothing like she did any of the other days. She didn't seem to itch too bad, so that was good. I tried giving her Benadryl but she would spit it out. I then started giving it to her in hidden forms, I gave it to her in applesauce and chocolate milk and that worked okay. It is hard to make a 2 yr old eat or drink something if she doesn't want to, so we were sometimes just out of luck.
I was taking Samantha to the Dr. yesterday for some girl problems, and while I was there I of course had Amber and we were able to also talk about Amber's hives while I was there too. I got a bonus that time without having to pay another co-pay! Nice! I don't know that I would have brought Amber in just for hives though. He did say if she still had them after a week, to bring her back. The Dr. also said if they don't seem to itch, there is no real reason to give her the Benadryl, he said it doesn't seem to keep them from braking out, but it helps more with the itch of it. Amber didn't seem to itch them. Although the first day it was funny, we asked her if she itched and she said no... as she was wiggling her pants around and itching her legs. That was about the only day I noticed her even sort of itching.

Amber on Monday with hives....

It seemed like they were worst on her face, poor baby!

She had them the first day on her arms and legs and face...

This was yesterday, she had them pretty much everywhere!

I thought this was a funny comparison Amber and Samantha, both are about 8 months in these pictures.... Look at how bald Samantha is... she is my baldest baby! I do hope she gets hair soon.

Samantha is growing other than her hair... she weighed 19 lbs 3 oz yesterday with her clothes on at the Dr. She has her official 9 month appointment later this month.
It was kind of interesting, with the hives, Amber would go to bed with hives, wake up with none or very few hives and then as the day would go on, she would get more and more till they were covering her all over the place. When they first start they are a white mark with redness around the white area, or that is how Amber's has been. After a while the white mark goes away and it is all red. I just hope she doesn't keep developing hives, she won't like to go to school with hives when she is older.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Feeling guilty

I am feeling abit guilty... yesterday our building was being dedicated at 2:30 pm and I decided to take my nap during that time instead. Robert was sick and didn't go to church, and I was still a little sick but it was easier to go to church feeling a little sick then to try to find someone to teach our class. I am still getting over it, mostly just the cough left and it is worse right when I get up and when I go to bed, so during class I didn't think it would be a problem. About 2 pm I got both Samantha and Amber to take a nap and the older girls where watching a movie. I kept thinking that if I didn't take a nap then, I wouldn't be able to take a nap because by the time I got back, the girls would be awake or almost awake. Not to mention, going by MYSELF, sitting by MYSELF, wasn't really appealing to me. (I am such a whiner!!) After the time passed I was really bummed and thought I should have gone and thought it would have been cool to go.

After feeling guilty about yesterday, then today Linsdey and I really butted heads. She is so.... I don't know how to describe it. She really gets in your face, and she yells, and says really mean things like "I don't even like you" and "you don't care about me" and "all you care about is them" and "you are the meanest mom" and "I wish I were never born" kind of things. She doesn't let things go! She keeps repeating herself over and over again. I didn't go grocery shopping on Friday like I normally do because I didn't feel good and Amber was tired. I didn't want to bother with it. I thought I would go on Sat. but that didn't happen either. Now that we are out of milk, cheese, butter, and have nothing for dinner or lunches for the kids tomorrow, I thought I would go today. The kids are out of school today. When we were getting ready to go to the store then the kids were just fighting with each other. I decided I wasn't going to go to the store with 5 girls, 3 of which were fighting, one that was too tired to stay strapped in and one that was sitting in the back of my shopping cart in her car seat taking up grocery room anyway. I thought, forget it! I am not going!! Lindsey kept yelling at me, and telling me all those mean things, as we went to return a movie that was due back yesterday. I tried to be nice, that didn't work, I tried reasoning with her, that didn't work. I was really thinking of just stopping the car and walking home, but I knew that wasn't fair to the others in the car, nor would it really be fair to Lindsey either. She is such a hard one. Lindsey really pushes and fights. She is constantly saying mean things like "you don't love me" and I know she is just saying them. It does make me feel guilty though, it makes me think about the days events... what have I done today to show her I love her? She even today told me, "You don't even like anything I ever got for you! You use the things that Emily and Lauren got for you but not me!!" For Christmas she got me this dog made out of iron (from Walmart) that had bath stuff in it. I put the dog next to my tub and I always tease the girls about it being my bath guard dog, to keep the cat out of my bath (the cat tries to get a drink out of the bath). Emily was trying to tell remind Lindsey of it, but Lindsey wouldn't accept it. Lindsey just kept asking, "Can we please go to the store?" I kept answering her telling her why I wasn't going to. Then two seconds later she was asking again... It makes me think maybe she has some sort of learning disability, does she really not get it? Not to mention that yesterday, Robert and I both at different times called Lindsey's name while she was about 6 feet away, and she claimed to not hear when we got on her for not responding after we addressed her like 5 times. Parent teacher conferences are Wed. for us, so I will talk to her teacher and see if she does that at school too. After the whole afternoon of Lindsey fighting, I feel guilty of not being a better mom. I always feel like I am not doing enough, as I am sure all moms feel. It makes me feel worse though when an angry child tells you that you aren't doing a good enough job, especially when she says things that I often feel so tender about anyway. After we got home Lindsey stomped off to her room. I told her to go to my room, and I just talked to her and held her for a while. I think she felt better, but I didn't really feel any better about my feelings of failure.

Re-arranging bedrooms

When we first moved in I thought it would be best to put Lindsey and Lauren in the same room, since they share the same clothes, shoes, and all that stuff. They go to school the same time, they go to bed the same time, I just thought it would work good. At our other house, we separated them because they didn't' go to bed really good. They either fought or they played all night. They had two rooms that they both switched back and forth each night, and both rooms where a disaster, one with clothes and the other with toys.

I put Amber and Samantha together, anticipating them being in the same size of clothes and them not having to get up for school right now. Samantha was in my room at our other house so this was a new arrangement. I thought I could keep all the "baby" stuff in there since they are both in cribs and both wear the same size of diapers and all that stuff.

Lauren and Lindsey have been struggling to go to sleep at night, they seem to do as they did before, fight or play all night. Robert suggested to separate them, and I told him no, they needed to just work it out and learn to deal with it. Then I started to notice there was a problem with the "baby room." Amber would go for her afternoon nap before Samantha would, and so when I would put Samantha down, it would wake up Amber. When I would put Amber down and Samantha was still sleeping, Amber would wake up Samantha. I started putting Samantha down for a nap in my bed or in Emily's, although I knew that wasn't a good idea since Samantha crawls now, although she normally just wakes up and sucks her thumb. I didn't want to continue her sleeping on our bed without sides.

I finally broke down and we changed rooms, Lindsey is now the room mate of Amber and Lauren is rooming with Samantha. We got a new dresser for Lauren and a mirror too for her room. I want to separate the girl's clothes too so they have "their own" clothes instead of just community clothes as it has been before. I am hoping this will help the girls be more responsible for their own rooms, since the little ones don't mess up the rooms. Lauren is really good about cleaning her room, and Lindsey seems to be not so good. Lauren on the other hand is the one that takes EVERYTHING out of the dresser to find what she is looking for.

Time will tell how this will work out. After all, it only took me an hour an a half to move around two beds and two cribs and 2 dressers. Although it took me most of the day in small spurts to put together the new dresser since I kept getting interrupted.