Sunday, July 31, 2011

Summer Sickness

It's been an exhausting couple of days around here! I thought that we would skate through this summer without anyone getting sick but that's been anything but the case. Blek!

Brooke started running a fever early, early on Thursday morning. I didn't come back until late that evening, which was kind of weird. Her fever would get really high really quick (in the 104's!) but when she didn't have the fever, she acted completely fine- Normal amount of appetite and energy. Weird. I ended up taking her to the doctor where they gave her a broad spectrum antibiotic to treat a bladder infection because her urine had white blood cells and other bacteria in it. They sent the urine out for a culture and if it comes back fine after all we're supposing that a virus was causing the fever. Either way, the fever has been gone since we started the antibiotic. It could very well be a coincidence, though.

John came down with pink eye on Wednesday and then Bailey, of all people, caught it and started showing symptoms on Saturday. She actually had a fever and was having lots of diarrhea and other stomach issues. The doctor said that sometimes the bug that causes pink eye can cause other irritants in the body. She has been extra fussy when she's awake but also extra sleepy. She's had one bad night of being up crying off and on but other than that, she has continued to sleep through the night, despite not feeling great.

I'm praying that nobody else catches any of this! We've been shackled with somebody being sick since Wednesday and it's NOT fun! My eyes have been itching but I'm so allergic that it's not uncommon. If I wake up with pink eye I won't be happy!!! I must wash my hands every 2 seconds to avoid it at ALL costs.

Children are wonderful blessings but goodness gracious.. Isn't it the worst when they're sick? It's just awful. Let's hope that we finish the remaining weeks of summer without anymore sickness!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

5 Gallons of Change

In our laundry room sits a mostly empty 5-gallon water jug. As for the part that's not empty... It's filled with our loose change. We have big dreams for this water jug, let me tell ya! In a few years, it will be our funds to go to Disney World.

Once upon a time when John and I were dating, we saved all of our change. Little did we know that it would FULLY fund our honeymoon, which was a 5 day Cruise to Key West and Mexico. It was over $1200 to pay for our cruise and our airfare and we hardly felt the sting of paying for it because we just rolled up our change. So when John saw this empty water jug that we have now, he got the wonderful idea to use it to save for something our whole family could appreciate.

I think that this is a great lesson to our children! It not only shows them that things cost money... And in this case, A LOT of it, but it also shows them to wait patiently for something really big. Brooke is so precious because when we started throwing our change into this jug she also began to throw in her spare money. She did it with such joy and excitement but it somehow broke my heart. Then, when I thought about it, I realized what an awesome teaching tool this whole jug has turned into!

This jug to me stands for so much more in our lives right now. We could go to Disney World if we wanted to but it doesn't mean we should. We really try to live a minimalistic lifestyle and enjoy living on less now so our future has a brighter picture. The massive amounts of coupons that I clip, the older cars that we drive, the infrequent trips to restaurants... These are all things that kind of fall into our "5 gallon jug" lifestyle. We are learning so many lessons on the way!

Saturday, July 23, 2011


After I had Bailey I started to have some nasty stomach problems. My stomach gets very upset and I have issues if eat fatty foods or heavier meals. At first I thought that it was just because I was recovering from the surgery and all but it hasn't gone away. I also started using Weight Watchers to lose the baby weight and I figured that the new diet was what was bothering my stomach. I don't eat fatty, greasy foods very often anymore so when I do my stomach goes nuts.

I wasn't overly concerned about any of this until the weight started coming off faster than it had been. A few weeks ago I lost 4 pounds, where I had been losing weight steadily at like 1.5 pounds a week. The weight is still come off a little quicker and I had myself convinced that I had cancer or something was really wrong. I went to the doctor and she sent me for an ultrasound on my gall bladder. I was relieved that she thought there was something up with that and that she didn't think anything bigger was going on. As it turns out, there are some polyps on my gall bladder, which apparently can grow when the gall bladder doesn't properly operate. She said that she needs to do a dye test of my gall bladder to watch its actual functions to be 100 percent positive that that's the culprit. However... The test would leave me radioactive for 24 hours so I couldn't hold Bailey, or any of the girls, for that matter. This test would be impossible because of that.

So I'm in a rough spot.. The doctor says she has reason to believe that I'll need my gall bladder removed but they can't really be certain without doing the test that I can't have done. She said that they could send me to at Gastroentorologist and they could use a scope to go into the gall bladder but that sounds like an awful lot of work. She also said that while the symptoms I'm having are frustrating that they aren't life threatening or worrisome in and of them self. As of now, I think I'm just going to wait until Bailey's older and deal with the annoyance of the issues I'm having. It will only help me achieve my weight loss goals, right??

I'm also dealing with some nasty sinus and allergy issues, which is pretty much my life. The doctor thinks that I would benefit greatly from sinus surgery and am going to see another doctor about that in a few weeks. I'm excited about that appointment because I would LOVE to feel better but I'm a little anxious about the word "surgery."

I'm starting to feel like a lab rat or a head case... One or the other. Between the severe allergies and asthma, all the sinus issues, and now the gall bladder I might as well just apply for a new body! I'm only 25... Aren't I supposed to feel well???

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Year Ago

It's hard to believe that exactly a year ago from today I found out that I was pregnant with Bailey! I never really had the chance to write about how I found out that incredible news because I didn't want to announce my pregnancy until I was further along so today seems like a good day to tell the story.

It was the week of Vacation Bible School at our church and it was HOT. I remember that John and I had been talking a lot about whether or not we would have a third baby and we had pretty much decided that we would stop at two. Then, on the first day of Bible school we were swarmed with kids and that only added to our feelings of wanting to be done. Lol

I had been feeling a little run down that week but because I was doing all of the cooking for church I thought that that was the culprit. I had another really strange symptom, though... I was dropping EVERYTHING. When I'm pregnant I don't what it is but I always drop and spill things left and right. It was so bad that my friend, Lindsey, who was working with me even noticed how clumsy I was being. I took a Dollar Store pregnancy test that night and got a faint line but decided that it looked more like an evaporation line than a positive and I just brushed it off.

The next day we were at Bible School and I had finished cleaning up the kitchen and needed a few groceries. While John finished doing the games and the girls stayed in their classes I ran out to get those errands out of the way. As I walked by the pregnancy tests on the shelf, they were calling out to me. I couldn't help but buy one just to make sure that the previous test was accurately negative. I got back to church and there was still like an hour left to kill so I went back and forth to the car... One time leaving the pregnancy test in there, another time shoving it in my bag, and so on. I couldn't decide if I really wanted to pee on it at church.

Because I was completely certain that the test would be negative, I went ahead and peed on it in the church bathroom. BIG MISTAKE. It was a First Response pink dye test and when the bright pink line quickly appeared I just about had a heart attack. It was the most unexpected shock of my lifetime, to say the least. We certainly were NOT trying to have a baby!! I could hardly compose myself.

John was outside with the kids and I was shaking. I went out to hug him just to get some type of reassurance or comfort. He said, "Baby, what's wrong?" I said, "Oh nothing... We'll talk later." He got worried... "Jillian, did you lose your debit card again? What's wrong??" I then told him that it was MUCH MORE than that. Lol. And for lack of better words to say, I blurted out, "I'm pregnant." He just held me as I cried and a million kids ran all around the church yard while I melted in his arms.

It's a funny memory to look back on that time. It's not that I didn't think I could handle another baby or not already love the baby that was growing inside of me... I was just shocked. It was a lot to process and definitely a lot to think about. Now that it's all said and done, though, I can't imagine never knowing Bailey's beautiful face. Never having the experience of being pregnant with her. Never knowing the joy of her smile or the music of her laughter. I am so thankful that God added another little life to our family! I'm pretty positive that He won't be doing that again though! Lol

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"Terrible Two?"

I've always been one of those parents that hates the phrase "terrible twos." After all, if you say that something is going to be terrible, chances are, it will inevitably turn out that way. I've strayed away from that terminology for so long but I must say, right now I'm starting to see that that's why there is such a phase in a child's life called "terrible." Lol

My sweet Adrienne... Where do I begin with her? She was the baby that slept completely through the night at 2 weeks of age and never looked back. She was happy to do just about anything, never minded being put down anywhere, and kind of fell into whatever schedule we were on without ever skipping a beat. Now, though, things seem much different... She's TWO. Oh.My.Word. I never expected this type of strong will out of a child who was the absolute picture of perfection as a baby. I feel like everything we do lately has been an uphill battle- Getting her shoes on, getting dress, buckling her car seat, eating, or whatever else. She's also very ritualistic and likes to do things in a certain order and if something is slightly off, she FREAKS. Whenever she uses the potty SHE has to shut the light off and then shut the door. Heaven help you if you forget to let her do it or walk out of the bathroom without lifting her up to the light switch. On and on the list goes. These types of battles exhaust me to no end.

Adrienne is also extremely, extremely moody. You never know if she's going to be grumpy and mean or goofy and smiling. Her mood changes so frequently and if she's in a good mood, you sure as heck try to keep it that way! The good news is that she's absolutely hilarious and genuinely nice when she's not in one of her awful moods. She makes the funniest comments and she's quite the character!

I was at my wits end the other day with her because it was one of those days where I had just had enough. After struggling with her at every turn she came up to me, put her hand on my back and said, "It's okay. Don't be afraid. The thunder won't hurt you." Haha. She wasn't even trying to be funny, though. She just saw I was upset and somehow knew that I comforted her with that phrase nights earlier and she thought it would do the same for me. Guess what? It worked!

So I guess that sometimes two CAN be terrible and in the midst of a crazy day it sometimes seems impossible to manage all that I have on my plate. However, in the lighthearted moments I can't help but think that two is wonderful and worth it a million times over.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Yesterday morning John came home from work and found some rather disturbing "artwork" on our sidewalks... There were witch symbols, written using Brooke's sidewalk chalk, and underneath them it said, "We won't die." That means that somebody not only came onto our front porch and got the chalk but then they also chose to write freaky and awful things on OUR property.

John researched some of the symbols that were written and one of them stood for "anarchy." Apparently it's part of some teenage movement these days that basically throws out laws and authorities and laughs at anyone trying to tell them what to do. Maybe I'm off base on this but I'm pretty sure that that feels like a personal attack on my husband, as he enforces the law.

Back in April of 2009 we had our trashcans burned in front of our house one night. That had me freaked out for a long time because that also felt like an attack on John, as we live in his jurisdiction. I had finally gotten over that and brushed it off as an isolated incident and now this!

I had a really hard time sleeping last night. I know that God watches over our house and protects us. I know that he's greater than any witchcraft or evil powers that be but it's still unsettling. To make matters worse, at 4 this morning my phone rang. Anytime I get a call in the middle of the night the first thing that goes to my mind is that John is hurt or something is wrong. It turned out to be Time Warner to let us know that our home security system detected motion in our living room. Our alarm was going off and I was too out of it to even hear it. Anyways, they were going to contact the police but I told them not to since I could obviously just call them myself. John came home quickly and it turned out to be that nobody was in the house but I'm still a little anxious about why in the universe that motion detector went off. It really makes you think....

John's working tonight and I must say, even with the home security system, I'm not at ease. Every noise has my heart in my throat and I HATE feeling like this. I know that a bunch of punk kids probably did that to our sidewalks but it's still horrifying to think of what's going on around this house while I sleep here ALONE!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sold Out!

Last weekend we had a yard sale at John's parents' house because they live on a main road and we thought that we would get lots of customers. We got plenty of customers but even after sitting out there for 2 days in a row, we didn't make as big of a dent in all of stuff that we had hoped to. Despite having lots left, we made $170!

We decided to do it all over again this weekend at our house just because we already had all of the stuff priced and throwing it out in another yard sale seemed more logical than putting it away. Boy were we right! Our yard sale opened up on Friday morning and within 5 minutes we made $150!!! Our brand new Pack and Play (that we bought for Bailey, only to have her hate it) and baby swing went first thing that morning and after that, we were satisfied. However, much to our surprise, we went on to more than double our earnings throughout the next 2 days! I'm excited about the money but I'm even more excited to have all of this space back in my house.

Even though we made lots of money over the last few weeks, it's safe to say that I don't want to have another yard sale for a very long time. Man alive, it was A LOT of work and exhausting, too. It will be at least another year before I'm even remotely ready to do it again!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Perfect Day

I love how God just gives you incredible, stress-free days mixed in the middle of all of the challenging ones while raising children. It seems to me like one wonderful day, like I had today, makes up for about 10 of the awful ones.

The girls were just so awesome today.. Compliant, happy, goofy, sweet. Bailey slept 14 hours last night, Adrienne slept til 9, and Brooke slept until 8. Maybe the amazing sleep was part of this equation to an awesome day? I don't know but whatever it was, it sure made for one of those days where motherhood seems all worth it. The highlights of my day were the stolen moments that I had with each of my girls individually to just dote on them, tickle them, and tell them how loved they are. Whenever I can get time with one of them all alone simply for the fact that I want to shower my love on them is precious time.

This afternoon we built a "tent" in the living room and after we made our "campfire" we read library books for at least half and hour. Bailey was sleeping in her bed so Adrienne got to rest on my lap while Brooke snuggled right up under my arm. We flipped through book after book and it was such a special way to spend our time together.

Man, I have my days where being a mommy seems like such an impossible task. I wonder how I have the strength for the daily challenges we face but today has left me rejuvenated and full of joy! I am so thankful for the three precious children that God has entrusted to me! I'm SO blessed.

Monday, July 11, 2011

"Free" Lemonade!

We had a huge family yard sale this past weekend and to help occupy Brooke's
time we let her have her own lemonade stand. We were originally going to put it out and charge 25 or 50 cents a glass but John's aunt had an even better idea- A tip jar! We put out a sign that said, "Free homemade lemonade! Tips are appreciated!" That girl made out like a bandit, too!

It was so funny because at first Brooke was timid and wouldn't call attention to her lemonade stand but after a few hours she would randomly go up to people and say, "Would you like some lemonade?" Some people would ask, "How much is it?" She would say, "It's free, but if you want to give me a tip you can!" She was so innocent about it, too, because regardless, she got to pour it out of her spout all by herself! She was so proud of herself and it was so much fun to watch her.

When it was all said and done, my girl walked away with almost 35 dollars over the course of 2 days. What a profitable business for a little girl!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Gone Are the Days of Blogging....

Man, I've neglected my blog so much lately. I love to write about our adventures but when you have three kids and beautiful summer weather it's hard to find the time and motivation.

Let's see... What's new? We thoroughly enjoyed celebrating the 4Th! John happened to have the ENTIRE holiday off which was a huge treat:-) We took the girls to the fireworks TWICE and despite the fact that everyone was exhausted after the second night, it was completely worth it. Adrienne was unenthused by them (which is totally her personality) and Brooke was amazed and couldn't get enough of them. Bailey slept peacefully through them on both nights so that was an added bonus. We also went to a parade and had a huge family barbecue/pool party at our house. Yes, we were very patriotic because we definitely went all out! Lol.

Bailey moved into her room last Saturday night and I cried like a baby! I wondered how the transition would go but she has started sleeping even longer stretches than she was in our room. Lately she's been sleeping from 9 at night til 8 the next morning. It's BLISS!! I'm not really sure why God gives me the babies that sleep but I'll take it without absolutely NO complaining!! She's also started to take a regular nap from me from 2 in the afternoon til about 4:30 or 5. This is very handy when it comes to getting dinner together!

Adrienne is doing quite well with the potty training. She'll go days on end without any accidents but then she'll have one day where she has many. She's in panties full time but I look forward to the day when she'll be on auto pilot when it comes to the potty and where I don't have to constantly ask her or worry about her needing to go! I'm pretty impressed with her, though, and all the hard work is paying off. She's EXTREMELY stubborn so sometimes getting her to go before we leave the house or simply because I think she needs to is a big battle. If I let her go on her own she's fine but heaven help me if I ask her. Fighting with her is draining! She's a two-year-old through and through!

I have nothing new to report about Miss Brooke but I feel bad not giving her her own paragraph like the other girls. I'm such a mom, right? She has been exceptionally nice to Adrienne lately and she treats both of her sisters like her daughters. Lol. I love it! She's such a cleaner, organizer, and helper and sometimes I have to tell that child to just be 4. Man alive! She acts like she's 30 sometimes but that's what makes her uniquely Brooke. She is so much like her mama that it's not even funny!

We're in the midst of a two day yard sale at John's parents' house and after 10ish hours our in the sun today I'm completely dead. We made $100 bucks though which is decent for what we sold! Brooke had a lemonade stand that was for tips only and made a whopping 12 bucks off it today. What a profitable business for her! Haha! Anyways, I better get my butt to bed to do it all over again tomorrow. It feels nice to get rid of clutter though so I'm certainly NOT complaining!