The musings of ME:
SAH mother of 3 kids, spouse of a doctor-in-residency, caretaker and teacher of random children.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


As I am contemplating my blessings this evening- and there are many, maybe that's why I am still up at 11:56pm- I can't help but be especially grateful for my friends.

Thank you for letting me vent and not saying, "I told you so," or "You should..." Just letting me get it out.

Thank you for bringing something to my house when it was my turn to host scrapbook night because you know I am too exhausted to make much, even though I never bring anything to yours.

Thank you for continuing to invite me places even when most of the time I can't or won't go because I have too much going on or I'm too tired. I really enjoy the few times I CAN go.

Thank you for smiling in the back of the room as I give my talk in Enrichment and making me feel more comfortable and less self-conscious.

Thank you for letting me bring up stupid, weird things from my past that I don't know why I am still hung up on and not judging me.

Thank you for asking if you can watch my son so I can have a little me-time or not making me guilty for committing to a new hobby I really want to be a part of and then coming once and bailing out.

Thank you for calling me while you are out and asking if you can go ahead and pick something up you know I need to buy so I don't have to leave my house.

Thanks for just asking how I am doing, and letting me tell you honestly and for being encouraging and telling me how strong I am (which gives me strength) instead of thinking I am such a negative person.

Thank you for allowing me to check out books for my Pre-K under your name when the library will only allow me to check out 5 hardback books and all the picture boosk are hardback.

Thank you for making me feel comfortable being myself when I am around you and telling me I look so cute pregnant when I feel like a fat pig.

Just thank you for being there. You don't know how much each of these simple things have made my life a little easier. I hope I can be as good a friend to you as you are to me.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


AAAAHHHHHHH! Guess what I just did?

I just woke up from a 2 hour+ nap. Yup, sure did. At 12:30. On a weekday! and it feels SOOOO good!

Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD closed school today, so that means half my kids stayed home with their big brothers and sisters, and half are still sick.

Every single one of my kids stayed home today.

Remember when you are little and your parents said, "Don't cry or I'll give you something to cry about." Well, that is how I felt yesterday. Lately I heve just been complaining about how tired I have been and how I am at my max, and then yesterday happened (See Laughter Is the Best Medicine). I felt like that was the lesson I was meant to learn. That it could get much worse and I needed to just keep my mouth shut and grin and bear it.

Kerrsh! Roger! Lesson learned. Got it.

But today. The forces of the universe have given me a break!! I have done absolutely nothing but get up, get dressed, feed Jackson and take a nap. It is so awesome! Later, I plan to actually be productive, maybe prep the nursery for painting, do some lesson plans, run a block up the street to Wal-Mart (IF the roads are better), but right now, I am just being lazy, because let's face it, after yesterday, if anyone deserves this day, it's ME! ;)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Just Cute

What a smile!

Jackson loves to "color on the paper" (a new talent)

"I gotta clap, clap, clap my crazies out!"

Dancing to cuz Addie's Christmas present: a Hannah Montana guitar!

When it comes to reading, Jackson is a multi-tasker. This is favorite book!

My little fireman! He loves to put on hats and masks and play dress up with the kids.

This was a big aawwww moment. We put him down for a nap on the bottom bunk of cuz Addie's bunk bed and my sister Meg's Christmas puppy ("Ricky Bobby") decided to join him.

Laughter is the Best Medicine

It is 1:15. Here are the events of the Blake household today so far. (yeesh) I'm scared to think what could come next...

Ben gets a flat tire on the way to school this morning. Apparently the tire had a piece of metal stuck in it. This wouldn't be so bad except that the roads in our area are icy. Many school districts are closed. Not mine (note the bitterness), but many. Unfortunately his school wasn't closed either.

Meanwhile, my day went fairly smoothly. I had all my kids except 2. A. stayed home because she had chemo last week and so her immune system is very weak this week. Several of the kids have nasty colds, and catching one could put her in the hospital, so...she's at home. S.M. stayed home because she, too, was in the hospital last week for several days with a nasty respiratory infection - viral. She was isolated in a clean room and everything. None of the other kids got that thankfully. So I had 5 and Jackson.

I was supposed to have an appointment in Lake Worth this afternoon. I was going to take Jackson with me, and Mrs. Olivia was going to come sub for me, but at noon I decided to cancel because I didn't want to get out in this weather. Plus, Ben called and said he was going to get the tire fixed after school (how did he manage to wait that long?) and he didn't know how long that would take, so I had to reschedule my appt. Normally, I would take the Neon, but Sunday the Neon wouldn't start. It's a battery issue, but neither of us have had a chance to deal with it yet, so we are down to the Jeep and yes, the Jeep got a flat tire.

Moving on. Lunchtime. This is the craziest time of the day on ANY day. I am simultaeously trying to open food packages, cancel my appointment, cancel my sub, get Jackson to eat his lunch and not throw it on the floor, play games with the other kids to get them to eat as well (Games include who is going to be the lunch champion today and get to pick the naptime movie OR one-two-three take a bite all at the same time and see who gets done first. Neglecting a lunchtime game results in 1.5 hour lunches.), and K. starts coughing.

She is probably the kid who has the worst cold of all. She has been fighting it for about 3 weeks now. She has been to the dr. twice and the emergency room once. Her cough is dry and non-productive, yet you can hear the mucus clogging her up when she talks and breaths. So...she breaks out into a ten-minute coughing fit. She can't breathe, she is crying, she starts throwing up. I guide her to the bathroom, but don't follow her in because I need to get her a glass of water. (She has already had one, but drank it all. It didn't help.)

Her choice of receptacle? The bathroom sink. Gross. It is bad.

So now I am on the phone trying to call her mom - no answer, and her dad (who just started a new job this week) - no answer.

Than Z.'s mom picks him up (he is a half day kid). As kids often do, Z. stars getting silly and not sticking too close to our lunchtime rules. While she is also on the phone (she is a hospice nurse who sends nurses out via phone), Z. decides it would be a great idea to start a game of tag. SO now I have one kid in the bathroom puking, Jackson crying to get up and throwing his food on the floor, three kids chasing each other around the kiddie tables, and one blessed child sitting calmly and continuing to eat her lunch. I bark at all the kids to sit down and eat, go check on K., still not able to get a full breath, but doing better. Her dad calls me back - he will send Uncle to come get her, it's bad weather anyway...

Skip ahead to post-lunch process. Z. and his mom are gone, kids are a little calmer, K. no longer coughing, but not hungry after the puking. Kids all go potty (in the process Jackson gets in the bathroom and plays with K's puke, still in the sink - haven't gotten a chance to wash it down yet. GROSS!) wash their hands and J's THOROUGHLY), and get on their beds. We are watching a movie, waiting for K.'s uncle to come get her, so we can't turn the naptime CD on yet. It is close to an hour past time to be settled in for nap, but at least I got the kitchen all cleaned up and the kids on their beds.

K's uncle arrives, takes K. home, I turn on the naptime CD, change Jackson's diaper, get him in bed. AAH, naptime begins. (3 kids left out of the 5 I started with today.)

NOPE. A. suddenly needs to go potty again. Poop this time. Which makes S.B. (who is potty training - weakness is #2) instantly remember she needs to poop, too. They both go and wash hands and get back on beds. Now L. says his tummy hurts, and he needs to poop, too. Oh no, I say, not believing him. He was the last of the first rounds of pottiers, so I'm thinking they're all just being turkeys. I go finish cleaning up. I also start dinner - beans (and cornbread and a hamsteak). I'm taking dinner to my VT sister who is not in good health today.

Few minutes later, L. is crying on his bed. I go check on him. Tummy really hurts, he says. Okay, I say, exasperated. We make it to the lineleoum of the kitchen right outside the bathroom. BLAHHH! Peanut butter sandwich and Oreo puke everywhere. (sigh)

On the kitchen floor, all over the bathroom door, all over the baseboards, all over the bathroom rug. (double sigh) Guess I know what I'll be doing all of naptime.

Now I feel bad, should have believed him. So I get him cleaned up, he seems fine now, says his tummy is all better, let him go get on his bed. L. passes out immediately. Bonus! I think, L. fights naptime everyday!

I go clean the bathroom and the floor. wipe up, mop, disinfect, clean rest of the beathroom, clorox wipes all the doorknobs and the kiddie chairs, bag up his clothes, call his mom - no answer, his stepdad - no answer. At least we made it to the lineoleum, I think. At least he didn't puke on the carpet.

Stepdad calls me back about 20 min later - on his way. I hear L. stirring. Uh-oh, I think. Go into the playroom, he opens his eyes. Doesn't look good. I'm racing for hte trashcan. Lying on his back, he begins to throw up and it is a lot, and he begins to choke on it. He isn't turning over. I race to him, turn him over into the trashcan, walk him to the bathroom again.

Strip him down, wipe him down, change his clothes again. This time I have to clean up the carpet, his naptime bed, his blanket, his pillow. (sigh) Stepdad gets here.

And then there were 2.

A.'s mom always picks her up during naptime, so she'll be here soon. S.'s mom calls me a few minutes later. She picked up S's sis from school early, so she's on her way to get S., too. And I have run out of kids at 3:00. I close at 5:30.

All I can do is laugh that this all happened in one day!


I'm off early.
L. and K. can't return until at least 2:30 tomorrow due to the 24 hr puke-free rule, and A. probably won't be here either, so tomorrow will be an easy day.
My bathroom is super-sparkly clean, even the baseboards.
I have time to make sure dinner is ready to take to the VT sister.
This whole incident didn't happen when Mrs. Olivia was here. (I canceled my appt.)
Ben came home early.
At least Jackson slept through the night last night and no diarrhea from him today. His cold is getting better, too.
A. stayed home and so was not exposed to the germs floating around today.

I have cashed 2 brownies and 2 mini ice cream sandwiches since.
I have a lovely brown spot on the carpet I can't get out.
I have to deep clean the downstairs so none of the other kids get sick.
My house smells like burned plastic because I put some of the toys in the dishwasher and one fell onto the heating element at the bottom of the dishwasher.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

It's 70+ degrees in January!

Here's how we enjoyed the weather!

Enrichment Tonight

I was asked to speak in church enrichment tonight about how parents can make elementary school fun. It was hard for me because I don't have any kids that are school aged, and sometimes I can get a little too focused on my goals for the kids, and don't always do the fun activities. I don't always remember that these kids have lives outside of school, because by golly, they better have their homework and no excuses, lol. In the classroom, I always try to mix it up, and I try to always have a lighthearted yet encouraging attitude with my group, but making school fun wasn't always my objective as a 3rd grade TAKS teacher.

I decided to spin the topic a little and give tips on how parents can help their kids be more successful in school (thus helping kids enjoy school more). I think it went well. There was a lot of discussion which was great and helped me loosen up a little because I get so nervous when speaking to adults I can hardly stand and hold my notes. I probably got off on tangents and wasted some time and I ended up on point #7 or so when I had 10 points and a discussion group planned, but all in all, I feel like we had good conversation, I felt confident about what ideas I had to offer, and I'd like to think people left having learned some things from some of my experiences. If I have to speak about anything, I'm glad it was about something I feel comfortable with. My nightmare is having to teach Relief Society or something I feel completely unqualified to teach. (Note: I actually did get called to teach RS in a Denton ward once, and I cried every Sunday on the way home from church. It was a miserable experience. Thankfully, the Lord took pity on me and I was released in a month and sent to the Young Women's Presidency, haha.)

Anyway, whew! It's over!!

Monday, January 19, 2009


Thanks to everyone who read and commented. I'm feeling a little less stressed now. I always do after I have the weekend to relax a little. Jackson is doing much better. The doctor was right. We just needed to reboot his system with the liquid diet for 2 days and then we put him on the BRAT diet, and he is doing MUCH better. He still isn't back to sleeping all night, and now he has a cold, but that I can handle.

I actually do have a sub who comes in once a week for 5 hours to releive me so I can go to doctor's appointments or take Jackson to doctor's appointments. I've even used her so I could go take a nap, which is so silly to me that I would pay someone so I can sleep, but when it comes down to it, I NEED the sleep sometimes. She plays with the kids, makes copies for me and even cleans my house when she gets bored during naptime. She is WONDERFUL, but even with her help it is still hard to keep up with everything on a daily basis.

I feel a little guilty posting that blog because I neglected to mention how much she helps me and also how much Ben helps me, too. He cooks, cleans, gives me a break so I can go have some girl time, lets me sleep in, etc. all the time. I should give credit where credit is due, but I still get overwhelmed sometimes. I think it is partly due to being tired from pregnancy and partly an overreaction BECAUSE I am pregnant and partly just tired of dealing with a sick kid.

Am I bipolar or what? One day I'm so happy and feeling super-blessed and loving being a mom, the next I'm angry and frustrated and having a pity-party. Some days I have this "I can do everything all by myself. I don't need anyone's help" stupid, prideful attitude and the next day I'm crumbling and feeling sorry for myself. I guess I just need to be humbled occasionally.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Warning - A little more negativity

It seems like all I do lately is use my blog to vent about things that annoy me. I am very cranky and stressed right now and I have little to no adult interaction for most of the week including on Sundays as I teach the 5 & 6 year olds at church for 2 hours. Please understand, I use this blog as a sort of interactive journal. I'm sorry I'm not in a very uplifting mood these days, but if you read blogs to be uplifted, perhaps you shouldn't read mine for a while. If you read to find out how I'm doing, well, I'm fine and very happy and I know that I am very, very blessed, but even so, life isn't always cherries and roses, ya know? Plus, I vent here (and with Ben) so that I can be patient with the kids.

Most of you know that my life consists of running an in-home preschool from 7:15-5:30Monday through Friday. This doesn't just mean I am with kids all day. It also means my evenings and weekends are spent doing lesson plans and cutting out arts and crafts and advertising my business and dealing with parents and planning special events like 100 Day activities and Valentine's Parties. Its not like I have a room mom or an aide to do those things for me or a planning period to do it in. Yeah right, my planning period would be naptime from 1:00-3:00, but by the time I get the kitchen cleaned up from the disaster that is lunch and get care sheets typed up, that is usually about the time Jackson decides to wake up and then I get the oh-so-easy task of keeping him quiet for another hour so the other kids can sleep.

I have 4 4-year-olds including one child with special care needs due to neuroblastoma, a type of cancer that affects the nervous system.

I have 3 3-year-olds, including one who, until last week, was not potty trained.

Then I have my 16-month-old, Jackson.

I am also 20 weeks pregnant.

I love my job. I love the kids. I love my son. I am excited to be pregnant. I planned this pregnancy. I am not sorry for taking on any of these responsibilities, nor do I plan to shirk or delegate any of them, but they wear me out. I reach maximum exhaustion level by the end of the day and it is all I can do to to stay awake, much less get up, walk around and also get household obligations taken care of as well. After catching up over the weekend, I am usually balancing things quite well until Wednesday, when I really, really, start to get worn out. Because of all the things I am juggling, if any additional balls get thrown in, I pretty much lose it.

Here's the ball that is currently making things difficult: Jackson is sick. FOr about 3-4 weeks now, he has not been sleeping regularly, he has had horrible diarrhea, and his normally cheerful temperament is, off and on, not so cheerful. We took him to the doctor. The doctor said to put him on a liquid diet for 24 hours, if he has diarrhea, continue for another 24 hours. If not, start the B.R.A.T. diet. Well, yeah right, my 27 lb kid is an eater. Poor guy, all the other kids are eating yummy lunches and snacks in front of him and I'm like, "Here's your yummy chicken broth," and he throws it at me, like what the heck is this nasty juice? Well, that was a couple of days ago and he is still having diarrhea, so our next step is to take a stool sample in and see if he has a parasite.

To all of you who are full-time working mothers: Have you ever thought about what it would be like to take your sick, starving, and cranky toddler with you to work all day? Let me tell you - it's a little challenging, especially if you work with kids.

Normally, this works really well. Jack wakes up about 7:00, I'm finishing getting myself ready, I get him breakfast, get him ready for the day and Z. gets here. Z. is here alone for about 45 min while I do the dishes, process the laundry, etc. Then the kids start getting here at 8:00, we have 4-year-old small groups while the other kids are in free play. Then we have group time at 9:00. Jackson sits in his seat at the back of the group, then we all go have snack. We go outside, come back in and go to centers, then it is lunch and naptime. Jackson usually goes down for a nap about 30 minutes before the others, and they sleep from 1-3. At 3, we all get up, watch 20 min of Sesame Street (which Jackson loves) and eat snack. Then we go outside again, come back in and have small groups with the 3-year-olds and everyone starts going home. All day, Jackson just floats around playing independently or with the kids or he'll actaully sit down and participate. He is used to our schedule and it works very smoothly. Not hard whatsoever, but of course, it is tiring.

Well, try doing all that with a kid who feels horrible, who is hungry and wants to be held, is whining for juice or crackers or bites. Can I teach with a clingy child in my lap? No. Do I have the patience for this after several weeks of interrupted sleep? hahaha, nope Does it work when the kid's sleep schedule is completely off and he doesn't want to sleep at naptime, but at other times? uh-uh.

My general attitude in life is that we do what we have to do in life and we find a way to make it work, and find a way to be happy about it. There are ups and downs, rough and smooth patches, and I have certainly experienced much worse, but I find myself praying that this particular rough patch will hurry up and get finished. It has been almost a month!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Kid Quotes

"EEEW! Das ducky!" (eww, that's yucky!) -Jackson, 16 mos, after falling in the dirt outside and getting his hands dirty.
"Can you put this dress-up clo on me?" -S., barely 3 yrs, beginning to have an understanding of singular and plural.
"Is my hair small today, Mrs. Colleen?" -L., after having just got a much-needed haircut.
"I'm gonna eat all my magagrodie today." -S. again, not able to pronounce macaroni

hehe, just wanted to share some things that make me laugh regularly.

Friday, January 9, 2009

19 Weeks

This gag reflex is too wierd. I go through the day feeling fine and then something little happens like Jack spits up a little milk and I go to clean it up and I'm suddenly running for the bathroom. Last night, Ben was browning deer burger and I had to go upstairs to avoid vomiting.

I am also so easily annoyed. Sorry if my posts seem negative right now. I truly am really happy, but I find myself biting Ben's head off for the littlest things and having less patience with things the kids do that normally don't bother me. (sigh) I just seem to be permanently cranky. Who wants to be around someone like that? My poor family.

I am so done with my ribs spreading. My ribs ache all the time, which makes me sit in funny positions to try to avoid it, which makes my back hurt. Good thing my husband knows how to adjust me or I'd be miserable already.

...and I'm officially in maternity pants. My jeans still fit me everywhere else surprisingly, but they dig into my belly and I'm uncomfortable. I just want to wear a mumu all day, but I don't have any, and I doubt that would look too professional for me to teach in every day.

I had my 4 week check-up on Tuesday, and again, eerything looks great. My weight is good, the baby's heart beat is very strong and fast, and he kicks me all the time - even Ben has felt it several times. I have a sono on the 20th. I guess we'll see if it is for sure a boy. I hope so since I got the Pirates Cove bedding I ordered this week.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


I wish I had a picture of grouptime today. We sang "Shake Your Sillies Out." The whole group got so into it, and Jackson was shaking and clapping and trying to jump, too. It was hilarious. Then I taught them the Primary song, "Once There Was a Snowman." They were so cute when they were melting and again, Jackson was melting to the ground, too. He tries to sing the song and it comes out, "nomah, nomah, nomah" (snowman, snowman, snowman) and then, "mah, mah, mah" (small, small, small). I was singing it to him on the way to the teacher store on Saturday and then all through the store he was singing those parts to himself. He can actually carry a tune, too. He is so funny sometimes.

Yesterday afternoon he was randomly hugging the kids from behind. You can tell he is hugging because he wraps his arms around you and then says, "Mmm-mmm." I wanted to see if he knew all the kids' names, so I told him, "Go give L. a hug." He would look around, find L. and then go give him a hug. He wasn't satisfied until every kid had been hugged! He is very big on hugs and kisses these days. Thankfully he only kisses Ben and me. We'd be passing around all kinds of germs if he was kissing the kids because he refuses to kiss you anywhere but on the mouth.

One of his favorite activities is bringing things to me. I don't know how he decides what I "need", but inevitably it is a whole group of things. If I don't say thank you each time, he will say it for me. Yesterday he brought me all of our Nintendo games, then this morning he brought me about 6 plastic bears from the playroom. He gets this look on his face like, "Look mom, I'm such a good helper, huh?"

I love being a mom. He makes me smile every day. I can't wait to see what kind of personality baby boy Blake #2 will have. He is quite a kicker these days, so I bet he is just as active, if not more, as Jackson. Does life get any better than being a mom and wife (even when your husband annoys you with his video game selective hearing)?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Why, oh, why?

(sigh) Ben's birthday is on January 7th, and I decided to get him an XBox 360. I gave it to him early because school starts back up for him on Jan 5th and then he won't have as much time to play it.

I know what you're thinking, but #1 - I bought it used at Game Stop and #2 - I should know better, right?

Yes, I should, but I knew how excited he'd be to get a new system. He has had a used regular XBox for the past 4 years. So I made the sacrifice.

His favorite game is some WWII game where he gets to kill bad guys, so I'm currently working on lesson plans with the soothing sounds of death and destruction in teh background. (sigh) Plus, here's the way it goes when I say something.

C: Are you getting hungry?
B: cricket, cricket, death & destruction noises
C: I made some taco soup when you were hunting, so I think I'm going to have leftovers. I know you don't like taco soup. Want me to make you something else?
B: cricket, cricket, death & destruction noises
C thinks: Forget it, he'll eat when he's hungry.
B, a few minutes later: Did you say something to me?
C: Yes, I asked you if you were hungry.
B snorts: ...and you offered me taco soup?
C, annoyed: no, I said I'm having taco soup, would you like me to make something else for you, because I know you hate it.
B: cricket, cricket, death & destruction

C inwardly repeats: I love this man. I love this man. I love this man.

I shouldn't be complaining because yes, I know, I bought it for him, and I know he's into the game and on his break, and he really works hard so he deserves this right? But COME ON, is it so hard to answer a stinkin' question!

Who hears me on this one?

Friday, January 2, 2009

And the Winner is...

Pirates Cove from Lone Star Baby & Kids. This is exactly what I have been looking for. Now I don't have to make anything. I only have to do some painting and decorating. We are going to paint a wall that looks like an ocean with an island in the background with a treasure chest sitting on the island under a palm tree. I wish you could see how detailed the bedding is. It is so cute! I'll post pictures when we get to the painting part, but I don't hink it will be until Spring Break when I have more time off.