Sunday, August 31, 2008

First Professional Haircut

Jamison has been bald for most of his wasn't until just recently that it has come in enough to accumulate and actually look like hair. Until it started coming in I just trimmed around his ears here and there. I taped what little I could in his baby book but not only was there not enough of it but it was too blonde to even see through the tape. It looked like I taped dust to his babybook.

So finally enough grew in to take him to Super Cuts and get pictorial proof that he had enough hair and an actual sample to put in the book. He wasn't miserable during the event but he definitely complained the whole time.

He looks so neat and trimmed that I'm tempted to cut his almost non-existent hair every month.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Past 5 Days

We wrapped up our VBS on Saturday and I wanted to share some pictures with you all but I've misplaced the CD of pictures. So here are some random pictures that I've taken in the past five days.

This is Uncle Jonathan giving Jamison a Dorito (sp?) at the VBS picnic on Saturday (hence the matching t-shirts). I hope this is Jamison's first Dorito but since he's with my mother for a number of hours during the work week it's probably not.

There was no hesitation on Jamison's part on tasting the Dorito.

This was the look he gave me when he realized that I was watching. I don't exactly approve of him begging others for food...
This would also be the last time I put him in this outfit. It was a little too short on him and it looked incredibly uncomfortable whenever he bent down to pick something up. (most likely some mystery object that he then put into his mouth despite my objections). Yesterday in the car he found a princess pencil (i know, I can't get enough of those princesses. Who doesn't love a FABULOUS princess pencil?) and before I knew it he had chewed off the eraser. I hope that he spit it out but experience has taught me that is probably not the case.

This picture was taken 4 hours later. Both were miserable after their naps. There was no reason for the emotional breakdowns so I just started taking their pictures out of complete desperation for peace. As soon as they realized what I was doing the crying stopped. They obviously didn't want this kind of behavior recorded for all to see but I deserve to release these pictures since their crying practically melted my brain.

Due to Tulip and Gatsby, we are continually using the roller to get pet hair off of our clothes. This past Sunday Lily helped Brian get the pet hair off his pants.

We have a crab apple tree in our side yard that has done nothing but produce leaves for 5 years. Last year we had all our trees trimmed and BAM - this spring there were blossoms and now there is fruit (inedible and weapons for squirrels). I love the muted deep purple of the crab apples and the coordinating green of the leaves. God has such a good eye for color.

Here's a picture of the whole tree with my hired help taking an unauthorized break from mowing the lawn. He's been begging for a riding lawnmower but explain to me why a riding lawnmower is necessary when it's only needed once a week for six months out of the year? That's just not practical. Plus, it's healthy exercise. So get to it!

Since Lily has walked she has loved climbing up into our bay window and playing. The neighbors loved it too and would stop us during our walks to ask if that was the little girl that was always wacking her hands against the window. I can only imagine what it looked like from the street. Something like a poor girl banging wildly on the window trying to attract attention so someone would come rescue her.
As she has gotten older she has turned it into a stage and has performed "Big Shows" for us. They usually make no sense whatsoever, always contain an unintelligible song, and definitely don't sound well rehearsed.
Now Jamison has taken after big sister and he's performing. His performance includes yelling and bouncing. Invigorating. That's the only adjective that is appropriate.

As soon as I get my hands on the VBS pictures I'll be posting those. Stay tuned.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I Wish You All Could Have Heard This Conversation

This all took place during one phone conversation. How we went from Maddie's surgery to Munchausen's is still unknown to me. Those two topics are not related whatsoever. I don't think anyone with Munchausen's can create multiple holes in their child's heart without leaving evidence.

(Discussing all the changes that have been made since Maddie's heart surgery has been re-scheduled for September 2)

Katie: "Ok, so I changed my flight down, I cancelled Brian and the kids, I re-scheduled our Orlando flights, changed the Orlando house rental dates (they actually remembered who I was since this has been the third change I've made), and made two different arrangements for the kids while I'm gone. OH - AND DROVE MY HUSBAND COMPLETELY INSANE."
Lila/Mom: "This is the most complicated surgery we've ever had. I feel like I'm under the knife."


Lila/Mom: "You have to be talented to have Munchausen syndrome"
Katie: "Oddly enough, I get what you're saying."
Lila/Mom: "Yeah, you gotta have some brains to think about how you're going to get all those sicknesses."

It's little tid bits like these that I'd like to remember for her funeral service. That and her eyebrow pencil - don't worry mom, I will make sure your eyebrows look perfect when you're in your coffin.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Almost a Week at the Lake

Last week I spent my 27th summer with my family at Sacandaga Lake. To be precise, I don't think we've gone for exactly 27 years because I think there were a few years that we vacationed elsewhere...but we've spent more weeks at this lake than anywhere else for vacation.

What began in 1984 as the Meeks family and the Knapp family (numbering 7 people) sharing a small two-family cabin has turned into a 21 person, 5 cabin vacation. Many of us having gotten married and had kids and we continue to all meet at the lake for vacation.

We missed my sister and her family this year due to Maddie's possible heart surgery on Tuesday (she has a cold so it could be postponed), but we thought of her everyday. In fact, the first day we got there I went food shopping with my mother and pulled a Kristen by forgetting my wallet and leaving my mother to pay for the whole thing.

The weather last week was not the best. It thunderstormed everyday and when there were moments of sun we all ran out to swim and take pictures.

Lily and I discovered two brave ducks Sunday before church and fed them bread. She's still in her pajamas, but of course the ever-present tiara is on her head.

Due to the wacky weather I had the kids dressed in the weirdest clothes. I wanted them warm, but not hot and I also didn't want to change them into three different outfits everyday. So that explains why Lily is wearing that crazy ensemble.
We have to keep Jamie away from markers ever since he learned how to remove the tops and suck the ink out of the tip. Yeah, that was a gross discovery of mine a few months ago. Lily must have thought it was easier to color this picture while sitting on the table. She's still in her pajamas...again...hmmm...I didn't realize how often I take pictures with my kids still in their pj's.

Now this is just unexplainable. When the girl gets dressed for anything she doesn't cut any corners. Her goggles aren't on her nose because she didn't like that feeling. The towel is a mermaid tail towel (bought on sale from $35 to $17!!) and then she found a random fish floaty.

Making her approach to the beach where everyone is already in the water. While she was walking down she was singing Ariel's song in which Ariel is giving her voice to Ursula (why? I have no idea).

I wanted a picture of both of the kids but Jamison was not interested. He also was not happy about holding his sister's hand.

She called this swimming.

Another attempt at a sibling picture. No idea what she is doing (yet again). At this point I have put Jamison in his swim suit. Before, I thought it was too cold for him so I was just letting him play (eat) sand and rocks. But then he saw Lily in the water and just walked in. And kept walking in until the weight of the water caused him to just fall in face first. It was quite a shock to him and I was amazed at his lack of fear.

This kid doesn't really play with any toy that he can't destroy or eat. So this was a rare moment of him actually playing with a toy.

I put this picture in here mainly for the clouds. You can see the sun on the right and then the thunderclouds moving in on the left. This is almost how the entire week looked. One day the thunderstorms started on the opposite side of the lake and we watched it travel to us.

I don't know if you can see the sand around his mouth or not, but that's what he was basically doing the whole time. I gave up even trying to get it out of his mouth after awhile. What in the world would make him want to eat sand?!? It doesn't even taste good.

Lily and Daddy on the jet ski.

His head wound is healing and he's loving the sand.

Jamie and Daddy on the jet ski.

Brian and Jamison on the jet ski, Lily on her floaty with scary thunderstormy clouds in background.

I have given the kids baths together before but I've never thrown them in the shower together. Since we only had showers in the cabins, we had no choice and they loved it. Jamison loved it so much that a tremendous temper tantrum erupted when I took him out after 30 minutes.

The next night we actually kept them in there so long we ran out of hot water. Jamison still was mad that we took him out even though the water was frigid.

This took three adults and 10 minutes to get this shot. Nathan, Emerson, and Lily. Nathan is Jared and Michelle (Morris) Mostoller's son and Emerson is Bill and Tamar (Hemmerich) Knapp's son.

Then the boys started fighting and Lily started to princess pose...the usual.

Brian and I even got the chance to take a picture. I was on my way into work for a few hours so I'm a bit dressed up for the lake.

Despite the lack of sun that did not restrict the flow of sunblock. We applied that stuff to our melatonin deprived children. Neither us nor our children tan - we go from white to red and back to white.
Tamar had to put the death grip on Emerson in order to apply the block.
The Mostoller's made it a family event.

Lily LOVES sunblock...or anything that comes in lotion form. She put it in on Brian and the results of her application were evident that night. She missed a few random spots all over his back.

Lily was determined to sleep on the top bunk of the bunk bead. She had no worries about it until the thunder and rain started and I don't blame her - do you see how close the roof is to that bed?!?

We ended up going back home on Friday because my common cold took a turn for the worse and I has having problems. Brian did all of the packing for us and loaded all our things plus my mom's things into the car. As we were about to leave Tamar offered me her last dose of Nyquil and for reasons beyond all understanding I took it then - at 10 in the morning. The results were not pretty and I can't really remember the rest of the day. I just know that Brian took care of everything and everyone while I was semi-comatose.
Today I went to urgent care and was diagnosed with bronchitis. What a fantastic way to end our vacation! At least the kids had a good time.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Surrendering to Parental Cliches

Up until this week we have had a fairly calm job at parenthood. No major problems. No catestrophes.

And maybe because it was the week of 08-08-08 and all the stars were aligned, two typical parenting cliches happened:
an unplanned haircut and a trip to the ER. Both unrelated.

I was in Philadelphia on Tuesday on a sales call so Brian stayed home with the kids. Unfortunately, he also had a horrid stomach bug. He thought Lily was playing quietly by herself....but she was actually trying to keep her hair out of her face - by using her safety scissors. The results are below.

I'll admit - it could have been much worse. When I came home I had a serious talk with her about scissors and afterwards she claimed that she would "never scissor her hair again".

Shortly thereafter Brian is lying on the couch trying to suppress his nauseous stomach. Lily comes in to say that Jamison is playing in the toilet (yuck, but it happens). Brian said, ok can you close the lid? Lily replies: "no, daddy, he is in the toilet." Brian got into the bathroom and there was Jamison - just sitting in the toilet splashing. So gross. But so typical Jamison.

The next day Brian and I are at work. I'm packing up to leave at 3:30-4:00 ish and my mom calls to ask if I'm on my way. I said I was just about out the door - why? Jamison fell on the patio. He's cut his forehead and it looks pretty deep.

At that last sentence I pretty much know I cannot go over there. I have a slight losing-consciousness problem around blood and especially bloody wounds. Just typing this makes me weak. Brian raced to my mother's house.

He calls me about 20 minutes later to say that he is taking Jamison to the ER to see if he needs stitches. Both Brian and my mother note that Jamison is still in a fantastic mood and only cried for a few minutes before attempting another daredevil scheme; but the cut is deep so they are concerned.

The whole time I am nauseous but all I want to do is be with Jamison. But I know I can't since I would either pass out or be too weak to even care for him. I felt incredibly useless.

So Lily and I went to church. Brian called to tell me that Jamison needed three stitches but they were going to try to glue the wound shut first and see if that stopped the bleeding. It did work and you can see the results below. They were taken the next morning after breakfast.

There is no up keep or maintenance with the glue so that's a bonus. Hopefully it will heal fast and the scar will move on up his forehead as his already huge head gets huge-er.

Brian noted that within the space of 24 hours we already had encountered the child-cutting-her-own-hair and a trip to the ER. It's the kind of experinces I don't want to go through but if I have to do it, at least we consolidated and got them both over and done with quickly.

Friday, August 8, 2008

No Other Place We'd Rather Be

As my sister posted about in her blog we spent a week teaching Bible classes at Camp Hunt.

We both love Camp Hunt and want our children to love Camp so we decided to pack up all four kids and spend a week back at the place we love.

When people asked us if we were having a good time Kristen said the exact phrase that expresses our week: "No, we are not having fun. 95% of our day is child management and the other 5% is teaching a Bible class....but there is no other place we'd rather be than at Camp right now."

Kristen had a few bad nights with the girls, I had one bad night with Jamison - a first since he was an infant. If you are not familiar with CH, you may not understand the difficulties of managing babies at this place. The kitchen, baths, and sleeping quarters are all in separate buildings. There was a lot of baby equipment moved around, a lot of carrying kids up and down hills, no air conditioning, etc...But even with all the challenges and lack of sleep - there was no other place we'd rather be!

The entrance to CH.
Looking up the hill from the soccer fields - building on left is Victory Center (a rec and arts n crafts building that I think looks like Noah's Ark and therefore should be called "The Ark", but no one has backed me up on that one) and the Mess Hall.
View from teaching shelters looking at The Ark and the frame of the soon-to-be-completed Dorothy Page Nursing Building.

This is my Bible class. I had 15 girls who mostly paid attention to what I was saying. Can't ask for more.

This is what Lily and Emma did for the majority of the time they were at camp - watched princess DVD's. The other half of the time they were making soup out of pine needles, leaves, grass, the kiddie pool.

There were some adventures that happened. The most memorable is that Jamison bit Maddie's shoulder. He only bites those he loves though, so it was a good thing - even though Maddie's expression says otherwise.

On Wednesday my mother came to visit. She decided that Lily needed to learn how to roll down the hill. This was something I did quite frequently as a younger camper. Although I vaguely recall doing it when I was older, but I would need Rachel Phillips to confirm this...and since I don't think she reads this blog we will never know.
So here is mom teaching Lily how to roll down the hill.
Mom in action

Lily caught on very quickly

Altogether now (pool in background)

I don't know if you can click on this picture and make it larger but it's a shot of my mother asking why she felt so dizzy. She was very confused HOW ROLLING DOWN A HUGE HILL COULD MAKE HER DIZZY. But then I started thinking, maybe this happens to her a lot and she just thought it was one of those moments. (Lily is still rolling)

Jamison sees what's going on and wants in on the action (campers playing soccer in background)

Mom and her two oldest grandchildren all rolling down the hill.

Lily is on a mission. I don't even remember what she had to say to me but it's a funny shot.

Jamison loves cell phones. We have given him some old ones and some Fisher Price ones but he could care less about them. He wants a phone that beeps and that dials random numbers long distance. My Uncle Loren had an old blackberry that still had a battery (but no service, obviously) and it was given to Jamie. It's one of his favorite toys at my parents house. Here he is excited that he got his hands on Grrrmam's phone.

Thursday morning during the teacher's meeting in the Lounge. All of our kiddie things were crowded into this lounge. It was not exactly organized and when my mother came up we asked her to bring a vacuum.
I'll finish her with just some random pictures I took of Jamison. He is such a photogenic kid and the lighting was working very nice on his still mostly bald head.
He loves to bend down like this and laugh at us. As if we're the ones that are sticking our rears in the air for everyone to swat at.