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

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine Flu Madness

This is crazy! You'd think it was the Bubonic Plague or something. I understand people have died and it is serious, and believe me, I did my share of handwashing and supervising kids' handwashing and sanitizing toys and wiping down furniture, but the panic level is insane! Fort Worth ISD closed until May 11, and Eagle Mountain-Saginaw (my school district) has a special Board Meeting scheduled tonight. I am sure they are meeting to decide whether or not they should close, too. The CDC has issued a worldwide "Imminent Pandemic" alert level. I guess that means it is serious, so maybe the panic is warranted...

Update: EMS-ISD did not close schools, and are not planning to close schools unless they get a confirmed case of swine flu. This information comes from a parent of one of my preschoolers who is an EMS-ISD high school teacher. However, I still have three parents who are opting to keep their kids home until further notice.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

More Pride in my Son...

Yesterday without being prompted, Jackson looked up at me from one of the chairs at the kiddie table and said matter-of-factly, "a red chair." He really was sitting in a red chair! We have been working on colors (sometimes as I am setting up the colorful folding chairs at the kiddie table in the morning), but he he has only repeated the color names I show him up to this point, and he has never been the instigator of color practice.

Then today as I was taking him upstairs for nap, he started counting, "1...2...3..." then he stopped, so I said, "4..." and then he said, "5..." and I said, "6..." and so on until we had tag team counted until 10! He has been wanting to participate in group time a lot more lately, so we have been doing a few things to help him learn, like counting by 1's to 10 (when my group can can count by 1's, 5's 10's and we are working on 2's to 100) and singing the ABC song. They like to see the smile on his face when he realizes we are doing something he can do with us.

I have always gotten so much satisfaction out of watching kids learn, but it is SOOOO much more satisfying when it is your own child. Awww man, I think I am in danger of becoming one of "those" moms!

Monday, April 20, 2009


I spent the entire weekend deep-cleaning my house, and last night I was feeling that everything was in order and I was ready for a long week. That is a rare and satisfying feeling.

Sunday evening around 10:30 I decided to run myself a bath and then go to bed. I started the bath then forgot that I had let Lady out, and needed to run downstairs to let her back in. Jackson was asleep, so if I called to Ben, I'd have to go most of the way down the stairs anyway, so I just went downstairs really quick and let her in. While I was down there I thought I'd grab the laundry out of the dryer and bring it upstairs. When I was in the laundry room/pantry, Ben asked me to get him some peanut butter and crackers to snack on while he was watching TV. He had hurt his knee in a volleyball game on Saturday and was resting it/icing it in the recliner. The PB crackers sounded good, so I sat down and had a few with him while I folded the laundry and watched part of the show with him. 30-45 minutes went by and I completely forgot about the bath I had started running upstairs.

I finally went back upstairs (not remembering the bath still) and began putting some towels away when I heard the sound of water running. Horror-stricken, I ran into the bathroom to find it entirely flooded. I hate carpet in the bathrooms, but it was part of the package deal when we bought our house - all of it was soaking wet and the lineoleum surrounding the tub was under at least an inch of water.

I unplugged the drain, and ran downstairs to admit what I had done and seek Ben's help. We assessed the damage, which was great, but not as bad as it could be. We had to rip up all the carpet, and put a fan in the bathroom for the night. I'm not sure yet if we'll have mold or if I have done damage to the ceiling in the laundry room downstairs. The water fortunately began to drain out through the vent and light fixture in the ceiling where we had waiting trashcans underneath to catch it, so I don't think it soaked in much. There are no wet marks on the ceiling in the laundry room yet anyway.

I guess how much damage I did to our home remains to be assessed by a professional. Meanwhile, my nice clean home is now covered with wet towels and ripped up carpet, and the newly vacuumed carpet is dumped in my freshly scrubbed garden tub along with the carpet pad, exposing the ugly brown flooring beneath. This is right up there in the top 10 stupidest things I have ever done!

To make matters worse, Ben had one of his almost-doctor friends (who has a background in orthopedics in the military) look at his knee, and it doesn't look good. He may have torn his ACL and he may have to have an MRI. He has an appointment with a campus doctor tomorrow to find out how bad he has hurt it. It is very swollen and he is still limping. It hurts him constantly. It looks as though this weekend we may have cost ourselves some major mulah!

UPDATE: Ben's ACL is not torn, but it does look as though he has torn some cartilage. He is supposed to alternate heat/cold and try to take it easy for a week and then check back with the doctor. He'll probably have some problems about 10-15 years from now and have to have surgery, but for now he should be okay after the knee heals.

The bathroom is still in a state of choas and probably will be for a while because Ben has absolutely no time to deal with this with his boards coming up in June. I have to contact our insurance company tomorrow and a contractor to come and inspect the damge and find out if we will have mold issues. That is what scares me most with a new baby and another small child in the house.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Wonderful, Wonderful Man

I'm feeling a sudden burst of gratitude for my husband today. Jackson and I are both sick with allergies that have moved into our chest, causing congestion, coughing and sore throats. Jackson has the worst of it, and keeps rubbing his perpetually snotty nose in his eyes (gross!!!!), but I digress....

I am feeling blessed today because just listen to what a wonderful man I married: Today he got home from school early. Did that mean he lounged around doing nothing? Nope!

He took Jackson to the doctor appt I had planned on taking him to (Mrs. Olivia closes for me on Fridays now.), and dropped off Jack's prescriptions on the way home. Then he made dinner for us (his awesome monster omelets), went and picked up the prescriptions and some over-the-counter meds for me, and gave Jackson a bath. Guess what I did during that time? Took a nap and watched TV. I'm feeling a little guilty, especially cause the house is a wreck, and Jackson is so whiny and sick and hard to handle right now, and here I am beached on the couch for 2 hours, but oh, it feels so good to sit back and be lazy for once! AND I know he has so much studying to do with boards coming up in June, and that all he WANTS to do is what I am doing - rest his brain in front of the tube, but he stepped up today and picked up my slack!

I just love that Ben just sees what I need and does it. I'm gonna have to step up my game if I want to be as good a wife as he is a husband! What a great man I get to be married to for ETERNITY!! ;)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I love Springtime units. They lend themselves to so much science education and the kids just love science! Science units are so much more hands-on than our other units.

This week we are learning about seeds. We discussed what seeds are, where we can find seeds, that we can eat some seeds, that seeds can be all different sizes and forms, how they grow, how they travel, what 3 things they need to grow, and the kids are working on a seed collection where they can win prizes for the largest seed, the smallest seed, the most unique seed, and the most seeds brought, due Friday.

We also started an experiment today where we planted seeds with water and soil, but varying degrees of sunlight. We made a prediction as to which seed will grow the most, and we will continue watching our seeds to see if we are correct. We also dissected lima beans to find the parts of a seed: seed coat, embryo, and food storage. Then we planted some flower seeds in mini-flower pots and are watering them every day. Hopefully, they will grow into beautiful flowers that we can give our mothers for Mothers' Day!

With this lovely weather we have been having and the excitement of the Spring units, we are just enjoying life here at the Blake household (although busy and tired, as usual)!

P.S. Today I am 33 weeks! If I get induced early, like I was with Jackson - 2 weeks, I only have 5 weeks left! But I am kinda hoping I don't get induced quite as early as I was with Jackson because BILC doesn't close until June 5, which means 2 weeks of paying Mrs. Olivia full-time pay...which I would LOVE, but not so good on the budget!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Toddler Funnies and Frustrations

I know I post things all the time about Jackson and the things he says and does, but ya know, he is my first, and I am just constantly amazed at how quickly he learns things. It seems like one day he is doing something new and I feel as though I couldn't be more proud of him, and the next day he completely tops it. It's a disgusting display of pride, but if you don't get that I'm like that by now, then read someone else's blog, lol. Besides, this is how I make time to journal. You're allowed to brag in your journal, right? ;)

So in the last few days here are some things he has done that I was impressed with:

-He has an old-school set of cube blocks with all the letters on all sides. He loves to dump them out of the cube container they fit perfectly in, then very meticulously put them back in nice and neat. In doing this, he found one with the letter O. He brought it to me out of the blue (I was watching TV like a bum on the couch) and said, "O, Mama." I looked down and was shocked! Where did he learn that? Yes, we do a letter every week, and yes, we have recently been focusing more on vowels, but he is in and out during group time, and I never thought he was paying any attention to our letter lessons! (Thinking he was a genius, I quizzed him on several other letters, but no, O is the only one he knows, lol.)

-I just bought the Taylor Swift CD because I love the Love Story song (I know its been out a while, but I never get to listen to the radio, so it's still new to me.) Anyway, I listened to it many, many times while he was in the car with me this weekend and when we went into Hobby Lobby on Saturday night, he was singing the chorus part, "It's a Love Story, baby, just sa-ay...Yes." over and over. You could understand what song he was singing by the melody, but the funny part was that he was mumbling all the words except the last line, so it ws coming out, "blah, blah...YETH!!!!" Then his song changed to a medley of "La la la la, Elmo's World/We're Your Best Friends, the Backyardigans/ABCDEFG-LMNOP." Of course, being Ben's child, he has no volume control, so the whole store was cracking up before they even saw the child who was singing. He is so funny! Truly, he doesn't watch as much TV as this little story might lead you to believe, he just LOVES music and really learns songs quickly. He loves to dance and sing - funny, so do we!

-Tonight Ben is undertaking the project of doing our taxes for the business, so I gave Jack a bath. (Now that I am getting bigger, Ben gives Jack a bath because it really, really hurts my back.) When I asked him if it was time for bath, he emphatically shook his head and said, "NO! NO want bathtime!!" I finally got him to go up the stairs by himself by promising him bubbles and moving the bubble bath bottle up the stairs a few stairs ahead of him at a time like a golden carrot dangling in front of him. After he got into the tub, he was fine and happy to be playing in the water, but he knows bathtime is the start of his bedtime routine, and he fights bedtime now.

-Yesterday and today the preschoolers have been searching for ladybugs in the backyard with their bug collection kits. (Purchased at CVS for $3 each, I think. Includes a wire mesh enclosed cage, and several utensils for picking up the bugs. Provides hours of science education, and lets kids play outside with something other than the play structure or traditional backyard toys. Note: All bugs are released before we we go back into the house.) Jackson is fascinated with the search for ladybugs. At first, when he saw a kid find one and let it crawl around on their arm, he was disgusted. ("ewwww, a bug! das yucky!") But then he got really into it and was frustrated that he couldn't find one himself. When he finally did get ahold of one, I'm sorry to say that it perished under his not-so-gentle grasp, but now he follows the kids around the backyard as they search, hollering, "Laaaadeeeebuhhh! Whay aw yeww?" as if the ladybugs will just hop out and show themsleves, lol

He is such a funny guy sometimes, although he also has his moments where I'm thinking teenage years with his temper will not be very fun. He is soooo grumpy when he wakes up from nap sometimes! It will take me 20-30 minutes to get him to calm down and let me put him down (ever been 8 mos pregnant holding a writhing, kicking toddler? not so fun on the back!!). Today, after he refused juice, Elmo, rocking in the recliner, a snack (all the while screaming and writhing for no apparent reason, miraculously not waking up any napping kids...yet), and was put in time out, and even got a little pop on the leg for kicking, I just decided he must not be ready to wake up yet, and I put him back in his bed. I turned down the monitor (not all the way) so he wouldn't wake any kids (L woke up when I was taking him back upstairs) and let him sit in there for about 20 minutes until he calmed down. At first he screamed and kicked in protest, but after about 15 minutes I could hear him playing happily with his naptime buddies and his blanket. He was a cheerful guy after that! Don't know what that was all about, but I'm glad he got himself under control, cuz nothing I was doing was working! (When he isn't in a particularly foul mood, a simple 1-2 min time out gets him to stop crying and "use his words" to tell us what he wants (or understand that he doesn't get what it is that he wans and move on), but today I tried everything, I couldn't even get him to stop crying and take a breath long enough to tell me what it was he was so upset about.)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Not My Proudest Mommy Day

Sara, my aunt and closest confidante, who knows me well and doesn't let me get away with being...well, too ME sometimes, came to stay with me while our husbands were hunting at Woody Woods again. She helped me with some of my nesting projects like shopping for chairs and plants and planters for the deck project and putting some finishing touches in the nursery, etc. It was nice to have her company and help today. She's so great with decorating and home stuff that I almost can't do anything without wanting to consult with her. She's so creative and she gets right in and helps with the hard stuff! I just love it when she comes; she's inspiring!

Anyway, as we worked on assembling Adirondack chairs for the deck, we let Jackson play in the playroom and watch Elmo and we left the back door open so he could come outside with us if he wanted to. Because of the preschool being so child-proofed, I don't worry much about him getting into anything, just climbing up on stuff. We could see him well through the back door and double windows that were open right in front of the deck where we were at. He's pretty independent and used to playing on his own a lot so he wasn't too upset that we were outside without him. From time to time he did come outside and play in the sandbox or kick a ball around, etc, but he'd get bored after a while and want to go back inside.

As we were all finished with the chairs and watering plants and picking up our mess, Jackson came outside and heard the neighbor's dog in their backyard and went over in the corner to talk to it. (Background info - He LOVES that dog! Everyday as I'm getting ready for school, he comes in my upstairs bathroom and looks out the window to see if he can find it. He says, "Daaaw-gee. Whay aw yooo? Come pay w'meeee!" It is so cute.)

Well, today we shattered his innocent, naive love of that dog. I looked up a moment too late and saw Jackson reaching to stick his fingers in the gap between the 2 fences and the dog promptly bit his little hand. It wasn't too bad, but it scared him and hurt his feelings more than anything. The dog's teeth scratched his pointer finger and barely broke the skin in the cuticle of his thumbnail.

I felt horrible! Not only did he get a proverbial slap in the face from the dog he loves so much, but I should have known better! Ben is always telling me to keep a close eye on him and not let him stick his fingers in that gap or the dog might bite him, and I usually don't even let him go over there, but of course, today, I was working on my own projects and not watching as carefully as I usually do.

I brought him inside and cleaned his hand with soap and water and put some Neosporin and a Bandaid on the scratches, then I went next door to ask the neighbors if their dog had had its shots since the bite did break the skin a little. She opened the door and before I could utter a word, the dog (a Shitzu maybe) ran out the front door and leapt up and bit ME! I uttered a not-nice word (and where did THAT come from!? Great first impression!), and said, "Well, that is actually why I came over here..." I explained what had happened, all the while she was saying, "I'm so sorry. Are you okay?" But in a way that didn't quite seem sincere - like she was sorry it happened, but it was my fault (which the Jackson biting was, but my biting I'm not taking blame for). I apologized for my not nice word and she assured me that her dog had had its shots (Later I called - like I was gonna go knock on that door again - and asked if I could have a copy, just to be sure - was that rude? I just want to make sure we are safe.)

My bite is 5 times worse than Jackson's. It broke the skin in 3 places on the sensitive upper part of my inner right thigh next to my groin area about 4 inches below my pregnant belly. I'm fine though, no need for stitches or anything. But I was annoyed that I got attacked, too. What does that say about the dog?

Anyway, for some reason, I was upset about Jackson's dog biting incident all night. I feel so bad. It was only 3 days ago that he found an ant bed in the backyard and was bitten all over his hand, back and legs. What kind of mother am I?!!? Sigh - I know these things happen and you can't be right next to them all the time, but I can't help feeling bad. And since I am pregnant, that means I have been stupidly crying about it all night! Gotta love those pregnancy hormones!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Everything Always Works Out

This is becoming my personal mantra. Lately life has been hard, but we're getting through it. I know we have many months of hard times ahead, too, but again, we'll get through it. Right now Ben is hunting AGAIN for 4 days this time and I was stressed when I overheard him on the phone booking the trip with his dad. What? 4 days? You can't leave me for 4 days! But I moved some things around, booked Mrs. Olivia (LOVE, LOVE , LOVE her!!!) a little more this week, and I was able to get things done that I needed to. Plus, we've had some sickies stay home from school this week, so when I have had them on my own, my days have been a little easier. Then today Jackson woke up before 6 (rough on me since I'm not sleeping well right now) and so I got less than 5 hours of sleep (thanks to restless legs), BUT that also means he was sleepy early, so I got to put him down at 9:00 and had an uninterrupted group time and reading groups! That also means he'll be awake during nap time, but he'll go down for another nap this afternoon! So see, I guess everything always works out. Oh yeah, and Z., my early bird, stayed home today so I had no kids until 8:10, so I was able to lay back down on the couch while Jackson ate breakfast and watched Elmo. Nice! I think Heavenly Father is definitely hearing my prayers right now, and He is finding ways to give me breaks here and there.

Back to Ben - it is hard when he leaves, but I am very supportive because he is past burnout stage! He is having a very hard time staying focused and getting though these last few months of school AND getting ready for his major, major board exams in June which determine which residency he'll be able to get into (and where we'll live a few years from now). Plus, his school just decided to extend classes by a week for his group (2nd years), which will cut into the time they have designated for Kaplan to come and get the 2nd years ready for the board exams, so they have decided to compensate by making the students go to school a full day for every Saturday and Sunday in May!! Poor Ben! He gets NO DAYS OFF IN MAY! Kind of inconvenient since we had sort of planned to have a baby that month!

Keep us in your prayers! We're stressed!