Thursday, December 29, 2011

Post Christmas Update

We had a wonderful Christmas!! We stayed in on Christmas Eve and had a nice dinner and watched a Christmas movie. Christmas day was packed with three Christmas gatherings, church, tons of awesome food, and lots and lots and lots of presents. I'm always sad to see the Christmas season end though:-(

Since Christmas, we have had never ending, non-stop sickness in this house...

-Bailey started screaming on Christmas night and ended up being up almost all night long. I chalked it up to it just being a busy day.

-On Monday night, Bailey was still up screaming and Adrienne was up doing the same, while running a fever.

-I took both girls to the doctor on Tuesday to find that they both had double ear infections. Bailey has had 5 ear infections in 4 months and her doctor said her ears don't look good at all. He referred us to an ENT to prevent damage, hearing loss and constant ear infections. Poor baby.

-On Tuesday night Adrienne was still up screaming and Bailey was up several times. To add to it, Brooke was up throwing up. I didn't sleep at all. Awful, awful, awful.

-On Wednesday, Adrienne started running a fever and it continued into that night and Thursday.

-All three girls slept well last night... Until Bailey woke up screaming. She didn't stop screaming pretty much all day. I put her down for a nap and she woke up with a 104.9 degree fever. I put her in a tepid bath and her fever only went down to 104.7 and I was freaking out. I took her to the doctor where they did blood work. The doctor said that they would admit her if they showed her white blood count to be elevated. Everything checked out fine, though, so her doctor said it's probably just a virus. Her fever was already up to 104.6 by the time we got back home and I'm a nervous wreck, I'm just not comfortable with her fever being so high. She's been exhausted so she's sleeping soundly now but I can't help but feel anxious:-(

-On top of all of this, all three girls have had nasty colds and coughs.

It's amazing how such a wonderful Christmas can be followed up with such a horrible week. I'm ready for three healthy girls and for life to be back to normal. And most of all, I would really LOVE some sleep.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pierced Ears!

Brooke and Adrienne had been asking to get their ears pierced for a while so John and I decided to take them to have it done as part of their Christmas present. I really had no objections to their ears being pierced but whenever we would offer to take Brooke, she would chicken out at the last minute. I think the first time it came up was before her third birthday, so this has been going on for nearly two years!

On Monday, both girls were still interested in having it done so we headed to the mall. John and I planned on keeping the girls separate in case the first one to have it done freaked out. Even though John always does the blood and guts stuff (shots, blood work, IV's), I thought that I would be brave and be the one to actually take them to have it done. It kind of seemed like a mother-daughter type experience anyways so I sucked it up.

We let the girls pick out their earrings and it was so fun to watch them light up as they saw the different choices. After much debate, Adrienne decided on pink flowers and Brooke decided on silver princess crowns. They were both really cute choices and I really, really tried to let them have exactly what they wanted and not give any input. That's not exactly easy for this mama:-)

Brooke was the first one to go and my heart was pounding. She, on the other hand, was as cool as cucumber. She didn't even want to sit on my lap! The lady pierced her ears, one at a time, and my girl was completely and totally unmoved. It was like nothing even happened. I couldn't believe it... And neither could the lady!

Then, it was Adrienne's turn. I was really anxious for her, just as I had been with Brooke. I'm not sure how I lucked out twice but she, too, wasn't remotely bothered by her ears being pierced. She's a tough and brave girl so I assumed she would do great and she proved me right.

The lady who pierced their ears went on and on and about how well behaved and calm my girls were. It makes a mommy proud! This experience that I was so anxious about turned out to be no big deal at all. Their ears really look great and I can't believe how grown up my girls look!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

An Unexpected Blessing

It's been over 5 years since I've had a piano in my home. I inherited my childhood piano when I got married but because our first house was so small, I had to get rid of it when Brooke came along. Though we moved into a much bigger house eventually, buying a piano has never really been a priority for me.

I'm our church's pianist (and have been since I was 12) so I at least get the opportunity to play every week. We have really turned into a worship team or praise band and playing each Sunday is one of my favorite parts of the week. I also play an offeratory every week and I usually end up pulling something out of a book at the last second... Literally. Sometimes even while the ushers are praying over the offering. I even get crazy some weeks and play songs that I've never even played before. I guess when you don't have a piano or an avenue to practice you just hope for the best!

I have wanted a weighted 88 key, hammer actioned keyboard for a long time now. Our church made the switch years ago and I've never longed for a "real" piano ever again. They're super nice because they sound and feel like an actual piano but they're maintenance free so you don't have to worry about strings breaking or keeping them tuned. Each Sunday morning at worship practice I joke that I hope our church's piano breaks so they have to buy a new one and give the old one to me.

You would not believe my shock the other day when I pulled into my driveway from picking Brooke up from school and saw three large boxes on my front porch. When I read the writing on the one box and realized that it was the weighted keyboard I had always wanted, I didn't even know what to think. The other two boxes housed the piano stand and the pedals. Tears came to my house and my hands started shaking. It was like those Publisher's Clearing House commercials when the people find out they've just won all that money. I lugged it into the house, screaming baby and all, and just stared at the boxes. Knife in hand, I didn't even want to open it because I didn't think that it could possibly belong to me. I mean, pianos don't just randomly appear on front porches! I had no clue where this piano came from and nobody in my family confessed to getting it for me. When I opened the box, I saw the gift giver's name on the invoice. This person had wished to remain anonymous and didn't realize that the invoice would give the secret away. I would love to go on and on about this person on here but in respect of the original intentions, I won't. All I can say is WOW! I mean, there are just no appropriate words here.

It's only been a few days since the piano has been in my home but I'm already enjoying it so much. Every spare minute that I've gotten has gone towards bringing out an old piece that's sat in a box for nearly 5 years. I have loved playing through old classical music that I worked so hard to perfect years ago. Those songs were my blood, sweat and tears at one point!

Brooke is already asking me to teach her to play but as much as I love to play, I'm not sure that I could really teach it to anyone. I think we'll start small and do a few basic piano concepts but eventually, a real teacher would suit her much better. I tend to break all of rules with the piano and play whatever I think sounds good and I would like for my girls to be more disciplined about their piano techniques than I am.

There are not words to describe how blessed I feel to have been gifted this piano. It's honestly a dream come true and I am so thankful that I will be able to fill my home with music once again!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It Never Ends...

Since I last posted, my girls have been nothing but sick, sick, sick. Adrienne started throwing up on Sunday night. On Monday, Bailey got a nasty case of Pink eye that made her completely miserable and that came with sleepless nights. Then last night, Brooke was up throwing up, along with me. GRRR. I'm starting to get frustrated.

Bailey had been screaming and miserable but I thought it was because the Pink Eye virus supposedly makes you feel like garbage. I took her to the doctor today, though, and found out that she has one ear that's infected and the other ear has a ruptured ear drum. My POOR baby! I feel like the worst mother for assuming her constant crying was just because she felt yucky.. She was in lots and lots of pain:-( I could have had that fixed days ago for her earlier and I'm about to cry thinking of the horrible pain she must have been in. She's on a strong antibiotic, along with some drops, and already we've noticed a major improvement in her. It was so refreshing to see her smiling and playing happily tonight for a change!

I'm starting to wonder if my girls are going to play this sick game all winter. It's just ridiculous. We usually get hit hard in the cold months but this year it seems to be starting earlier. I'm pretty sure that has to do with Brooke going to school and bringing all the lovely germs back to us. My poor girl has already missed 8 days of school and each time that she has to stay home it breaks her heart. Today was her day for Show and Tell and it was so sad to tell her she wouldn't be able to go:-( I just don't get why my family gets hit so hard with viruses and bugs... We eat very healthy and my girls get lots of fruits, veggies, whole grains, etc.. They also get plenty of rest. I'm not sure what else I could do to help strengthen their immune systems! I would do just about anything.

I'm about to close my eyes for the night but I'm kind of preparing myself to not get much sleep. I think I would give my right arm for even mediocre rest tonight. That certainly beats being up every hour! Wish me luck...

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Hanging By A Thread

This has been a rough week. John and Adrienne got the stomach bug on Thursday. On Friday, Brooke got Pink Eye and Adrienne was running a fever. Then, today, Adrienne caught Brooke's Pink Eye and I suspect that Bailey has an ear infection. It's just been one thing after the other. Nobody has been sleeping great, to top it all off.

We've been couped up due to everyone being sick but there were some things I had to get from the grocery store today. I thought it would be nice to do something fun with the girls so I promised them we could go to McDonald's for a treat after we ran my errands. Once we got the the grocery store I realized that that was a mistake... Bailey screamed uncontrollably the entire time we were there, no matter what I did. It was a pure disaster. Adrienne was grumpy and difficult and that only added insult to injury. It was not easy lugging a screaming baby around while trying to check out and rush out of there. It was horrible.

I wanted so badly to just skip out on my promise of McDonald's but I didn't want to disappoint the girls. So, like any glutton for punishment would do, I continued on. Bailey was only happy unless I was holding her and it was extremely difficult getting our food and drinks, along with everything else we needed. Not to mention, the line was exceedingly long. I finally got our food and sat down, got everyone's food out and boom... Like clock work, Adrienne had to go potty.  After a trip to the bathroom, we sat down again and I'll admit, the girls really enjoyed their chicken nuggets. However, Adrienne spilled her drink and Bailey fussed and grabbed for things, knocking the tray on the ground. I turned around to throw our things in the trash and in that 10 second time frame, Adrienne fall on the ground face first and some random stranger ran over and picked her up. I honestly felt like crying at that point. I have never felt so harried and overwhelmed as a mother like I did today.

This sweet old lady came over to me, put her arm around me and said, "Honey, I promise you, it's worth it. Hang in there during these years." She then had her husband throw out the rest of my trash, zipped the girls' coats and offered to help us out to the car. It was very, very sweet and encouraging to me.

I got in the car and I felt so moody, grumpy and irritable. I kind of set myself on auto-pilot and when the kids would talk to me it was all I could do to respond. I was beyond exhausted and frustrated by the challenges we had met. My goal for the day had been to have fun and spend meaningful time together but it somehow seemed like a total flop.

When we finally got home, I told myself that I would never take all three of them out by myself ever again. There's only one problem with that... That's almost impossible! I keep telling myself that these are just hard years, which they definitely are, and that I will survive the struggles and challenges. That line of thinking bothers me, though, because I don't want to merely survive  them, I want to actually enjoy and cherish them. I know that one day I will miss these days but on a day like today, I'm starting to wonder! I have a sign in my house that says, "Don't just count the days... Make the days count. " So here's my resolution to doing just that! It won't always be easy but I do not want to look back on my life with regret.

Monday, December 5, 2011

"It's YOUR Fault!"

Ah, you gotta love the two-year-old stage... You know, the stage where they have to anything and everything for themselves, by themselves. My stubborn little Adrienne insists on doing things her way and in her time, with absolutely no help from her mama. It requires a great deal of patience on my part and sometimes letting her walk out of the house with her underwear inside out or pants on backwards. It's not worth crushing her spirit, most of the time!

But... The one thing that I DO require for her is to put a Pull-Up on before bed each night! She still doesn't wake up dry in the morning and since she was potty trained so early I haven't really pushed it. I think it's developmental and that she'll get it eventually. So anyways, we gave her her pajamas and Pull-Up and told her to get ready for bed. We tucked her in and called it a night.

The next morning she came waddling down the stairs and I could tell her pajamas were wet. I figured she had just leaked out of the Pull-Up but she looked at me and said, "It's your fault!" I then felt her and realized that she had forgotten to put her Pull-Up on! I laughed hysterically and so did she. It was such a hilarious moment! After a quick bath before breakfast and some clean sheets, we were as good as new.

There is never a dull moment in this house! My girls keep me on my toes and they sure know how to make me laugh:-) Needless to say, we'll be monitoring Miss Adrienne's bedtime attire more carefully!

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Best Birthday Gift

Today is my birthday and my husband gave me the best gift he could have possibly given me... His time! He suprised me on Sunday night and told me that he didn't have to be back into work until 5 days from then, which is unfortunately tonight. During his glorious break, he gutted my laundry room and built me a beautiful new pantry. It turned out great and I feel so spoiled:-) Having him home was absolutely amazing and it was such a treat to have an unexpected break from the hustle and bustle of his job.

My birthday was very special today! John, the girls and I went to lunch with my parents at Olive Garden and then John took me to Target so I could do some of my coupon shopping. I got paid $15 to buy 23 bottles of shampoo/conditioner so that just about made my birthday! After the thrill of bargain shopping, we went home and had some down time before heading back out to my birthday party with my side of the family. John's birthday is a week from today so it was actually our joint party and my parents bought us a beautiful 32 inch flat screen TV for our bedroom. We are so spoiled!

My girls were awesome today, too, and before putting them to bed they were so happy and goofy together. I couldn't help but sit back and stare at them and feel like the most blessed woman on the planet. I have such a wonderful life!

I'm off to send my husband out the door for work. It's hard not to be sad but I'm so extremely thankful for the incredible week that we had!