Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Testing, over.

For the first time in over a week, I'm able to breathe. A huge sigh of relief, rest, peace, its here. Suffice to say a whole lotta crazniess happened on Monday, and now that I know the results, I am okay putting it out there. So let me get to it, and then I'll resume my check in tonight or tomorrow at the latest. I've missed this release, but did not feel comfortable writing until now (if only because that makes everything feel more real)..

Last Monday was supposed to be a fun filled day, complete with seeing friends at a bounce house since it was a school holiday. However, we were delayed in going out because of the dense fog in the area, so we stayed put most the morning. R went out to clean out his work car, while the boys and I lounged around the house. Quickly and before I had time to register what had happened, R came in saying he got stabbed by a rig, and we needed to go to the dr. A rig? Haven't heard that term since my days at the homeless shelter. Turns out a parolee disposed of a used syringe underneath R's car seat, and when he went to empty out the space, the needle broke the skin. I did my best to not panic, but the main thing was "HIV, AIDS, HEP C" over and over, like a broken record. We quickly determined a trip to the ER was best, and loaded up the car w/ the kids so I could take him there. He didn't want to drive, partly out of panic, so off we went. We were there for three long hours, R did blood work and received a tetanus shot. The kids and I sat outside, played on the grass, went for walks. and I kept saying a silent prayer. We were told the results would take a few days, but the days dragged on. No matter where we went, or what we did with the kids, it was something that was trailing us. We kept quiet, not wanting to alarm family or friends, knowing that if something was going to happen, the world around us would change. Robert started an antiviral medication, which he has to take for the next month, which would work to prevent him getting HIV and the strains of hepatitis. We were able to find the results this week, praising G-d that the results to everything were negative. I felt a huge weight come off my shoulders, and now I can breathe-I feel like I've been holiding my breath in way too long. Going through an experience like this really drives home of not sweating the small stuff, and knowing what's really important. While we tried to stay away from the "what-if" conversation, we did talk about how dangerous his profession is, and how mine has the potential to be once I go back in the field. Our views has changed so much since having the boys, and for years we've walked this fine line between serving our community and taking care of our family, most of our beliefs going hand in hand. After this experience though. there's no question about it, our family is a priority, and raising these children to be respected, honest, and caring adults. It is just made tougher knowing there's low lifes out there, like the one who carelessly tossed his rig under R's car seat.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


E's fascinated by superheros, thanks to his older brothers talking about Batman and Superman, and all the good that they do. This is his own take on a superhero costume. He loves his pillowcase cape, he's been known to get it from the clean laundry ask for it to be attached to the nape of his neck. He'll then proceed to run around, saying "I flying, I flying" Love how his mind works.

Monday was a school holiday, and we ventured to V town to have a playdate with friends. I helped a friend out too, watching her crew so she could take care of an errand by herself. Later that evening, I had five more kids at our home, so another friend could get some over due me-time. It was noisy, but not overwhelming. The kids all had fun, and I made dinner for the crew. My friend came back grinning from ear to ear, so I knew her batteries had been recharged. Here's a pic of some of the crew from earlier in the morning watching Ice Age. Love the superheros keeping the boys company on the couch.

Tuesday the boys and I put together their Valentines for school. G's "assignment" was to make a box for all his cards. In his independant way, he decided how he wanted to decorate it, and I sat back and helped when needed. It was amusing when he brought it in later that week, to see how his homemade creation compared to some of his peers. His teacher remarked on how she could tell which child did it vs the parent, and how she was trying to do it as a fun child-parent activity and not just a quest for a "perfect" box. I told her how G is strong willed-and wouldn't let me decorate it, maybe that's a difference between him and his peers. I have told her though how he loves art, being creative, and how I as a parent, have moved on from wanting something "perfect" with G to wanting my child to enjoy themselves and to have fun. I felt it was a worthwhile project and told her that having "assignments" like that was okay, if only because its too easy to get caught up in the day to day stuff with the younger boys, and it makes me pen in quality time.

G played a big role in constructing his Valentines Day cards this year. I cut cardstock down in size, and let him decorate each square with crayons and markers. When it was done, we wrote his name on them, and attached a box of raisens to it. He loved it. Now I will say, G tried to do exactly as M did with his, (complete with punching holes and trying to add lollipops to some of his cards), and while it didn't stay put, he was proud of his attempt, and also passed them out too. He was a proud boy for all the work he put into it.

For M, I cut cardstock down in size, and M wrote out his name on each one. I then freehand drew a heart, and M cut it out (we folded the paper a lot, so we had many hearts to work with). M glued down the hearts however he wanted, so each card was unique. I then hole punched two holes into the card, and M attached a lollipop through it. It turned out really cute, and M was proud of his art work. I must say, this was one of a few art projects that held his attention, so I know it was a winner here.

On Wednesday, we had First Five's 0-5 camera crew come to the house and interview our family. They are doing a segment on birth order and personalities, and my friend suggested me for the piece. It was a lot of fun, but a lot of work too. The kids did not mind playing in front of the camera, but they didn't quite grasp the idea of capturing them doing one thing, and then quickly switching to another, especially when it came to playing with their toys. That was to be expected though, and I liked talking with the journalist who was in charge of the segment. The segment will air in mid-June, and I'll post a link once I receive it.

I have a ton of pictures to sort through from the Valentines Day party at M's school, so there will be a delay on posting them on here. However, this was as close to a picture of my three Valentines after the round of parties at preschool and school. Everyone was super wound up from sugar and fun, and it was totally expected that we all crashed at 8pm, missing most of the opening ceremony of the Olympics.

On Saturday, we ventured into F town to run errands, and then I took M to a classmate's birthday party in town. It was a lot of fun, complete with a bounce house in front of the house, and cake and ice cream. The weather was beautiful, sun shining, kids laughing and playing. It reminded me of the birthday parties I went to as a child. I had a nice time too, socializing with the moms of M's friends. We spent the rest of the afternoon outside, soaking up the sunshine. It has been great getting a taste of spring weather-it was a great way to end a fun week.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

reminders to appreciate the small things

This week has been a buzz of playdates, helping out friends, taping for a tv show, and the all important holiday Valentines Day, of which I'll write of tomorrow, or Sat, but not tonight. Most nights I've been up, working on projects, trying to keep up on the household chores, just so I can keep going full force during the day. I've come so close to hitting that point of being overwhelmed, but thankfully, have stopped short. Nothing has changed though-not R going to school, the kids testing my patience of being alone during the long days/nights, seeing how crazy and hard school fundraisers can be to pull off, yet my attitude has shifted.

I read posts from friends far and close about their lives, meet with them for coffee, alongside the curb at drop off and pick up time, talk with them over the phone, email, chat, all sorts of ways. I talk with my MIL, my husband's aunt, my dad and siblings. It never fails how any problem I seem to be facing seems so insginificant in comparison to someone else. It really drives home the fortunate state of our family, how the world works in mysterious ways. It hits me when M and G ask questions, and more, about the questions they will ask one day. I don't know I will have an answer then. Like with anything else, I'm just going to see how stories unravel, the places we travel, and the people we meet along the way.

Monday, February 8, 2010


Unexpected blessings and suprises is how I can best summarize last week. We went to a birthday party for some friends, and it was relaxing and joyful. The adults mingled while the kids ran around the backyard, pinatas were hit, and the verses of Happy Birthday were sung. The kids had fun, and it was an overall success.

Sunday I went grocery shopping with one of my neighborhood friends. She's a big couponer like I am, and going together for groceries, made an ordinary chore a lot more fun. We swapped recipes, talked about what are kids will and won't eat, and how we want to give back to others while supporting ourselves. We have made a plan to do this more often, seeing as we had a lot of fun doing it.

The week was filled with playdates and helping out in M's class. I gained a new appreciation for all that teachers go through when I worked alone w/ the student teacher while M's teacher was away for a funeral. It reminded me of how I was in my Master's internship-the level of skill, the responsibility, knowing how to connect concepts with practice, it was a lot. I was partly glad it wasn't me-if only because I don't think I'm cut out for a full time teaching job, but I appreciated all the effort that went into getting the work done. Seeing how well the kids were doing with the lessons too-it was awesome.

We lounged around in V town on Saturday while R studied at the college. I took the boys downtown, and we window shopped and found decorations for our Valentines Day cards. I also found some scrapbooking materials at a fabric store that was having an amazing clearance sale. What made the day the best-it was a day w/o using the single stroller. E walked the entire time, mellow child that he is, stayed close to me, and his brothers held his hands while I paid for our purchases. It was exhausting at times, but seeing how well behaved he was out of the stroller, how independant he's becoming, I know its only a matter of time before we're done with the stroller for good.

Yesterday was all about football. Had football food, wine, beer, chips, it was all delicious and fattening, and freeing-because we weren't racing off to somewhere or out and about. It was a ton of fun-and seeing all my boys running around after a touchdown was made-definitely a wonderful sight. M asked what is on after football now-seems he grew quite attached to watching it. I told him racing season will start, as basketball games. Given that we've been playing the sports after watching them, we may have a basketball court in our future once the playgrounds near by dry out. I hope to catch some local races too, but we'll be watching from the bleachers-not out on the track just yet ;)

Thursday, February 4, 2010


How the week flew by. R's back in school, it was a full week this time, and nighttime with three active boys is so different when he's home. I thought it would take a long time to readjust to flying solo on school nights, but now I have a good friend who we're rotating homes with on one of those nights, switching off meals and playtime, with mom time included too. Its been a blessing, I love it, the boys love it, and coming home and hoping into bed, they really burn off some extra energy on those nights, making bedtime easier. At the same time, I am already looking forward to the warmer weather, if only so I can prep our garden while the boys play (and exert) that after dinner energy (and us moms can enjoy the outdoors too).

I thought I took more pictures this week, but between the driving back and forth to bring R to school, playdates at the park, having R have back pain (which is better now), and helping out at M's school, this week flew by. I don't know how we managed to eat at home, or keep the laundry and dishes under control. It was a lot going on, and seemed like we were barely home (maybe that's why the house wasn't trashed, but doesn't necessarily explain still how we kept up w/ the dishes and laundry). I will remember to keep the camera with me more often, leaving it by the computer does not help with the desire to take pictures :)

An update: we did keep our January goal of donating to the food bank. E was my helper this time, I think he would have cleared out our pantry if I left him with empty bags to fill. It felt good to keep that goal its one I hope doesn't lose momentum by April, or the summer.

G with E, on a rare morning home. I love how E adores G, they play differently when its just the two of them, and M's not home from school.

the boys cuddle up before I read them a story.

M's been wanting to take a self portrait of us, so this was our attempt w/ him "helping" hold the camera.

The last three are a series of pictures I snapped while E was bagging the donations. He was having a good time, stacking and sorting, filling the bags for us to bring to the food bank. And on a side note, its pictures like this-him enjoying the simple act of stacking cans, that make me smile at the carefree nature of a two year old, and cherish how fleeting this time really is.