August 3, 2011

I Haven't....

had a migraine in a while.  Okay... I had a minor one yesterday, but I blame that one on mother nature.  Other than that, I've had maybe one in the past month.  And that's way better than two or three every week!  My neurologist started me on Topamax a couple months ago and, so far, it seems to be doing the trick!  Yeah!  It also has some other weird side effects.  I'm not very hungry, my hands and feet tingle sometimes and I'm losing weight...but my headaches are gone...gone!

July 22, 2011

2 Years Ago

Two years ago, I started this blog.  So many things have happened in those two years.  Jonas and I celebrated our 9th anniversary.  Jack was born.  Hayley started school.  Ryan started preschool.

This blog is part about the kids and our family life.  Also part opinion about whatever is going in the world.  It's become a way for me to vent when needed.  It's a blog about being a mom, wife, friend and a woman.  It's a blog to share my photography.  It's a blog about finding myself.   

In the last two years, this rainy place has really begun to feel like home.  I've found my place here and made some really fantastic friends.  I feel like I belong here.  A few years ago I wouldn't have believed it, it just took a little time.  Like most things.  But now, it's home. 

July 17, 2011

Peanut Sauce

Maybe it's just coincidence, but maybe my peanut sauce was just the little nudge he needed.  That "he" is Kellan.  He was six days past due in his momma's belly, my friend Mikaela.  (Nine days by another due date that she was given.)

We had invited them over for dinner, pending whether or not Kellan had decided make his debut.  I knew Mikaela liked peanut sauce and planned for that.  My Thai neighbor showed me how to make it, so easy!  I marinated some chicken for skewers.  Jonas grilled it and some corn.  I also made jasmine rice and egg rolls.  And of course, some peanut sauce with just enough red curry for a kick.  They brought a yummy chocolate mousse cake for dessert.

It's funny, later that night they were timing contractions.  They headed home a little while later, I think we were all a little hopeful.

Kellan arrived the next morning.

Yes, he was over due.  Maybe my peanut sauce was that little push he needed.  I think he was finally ready to meet the three fantastic people eagerly waiting to meet him.  Either way, congratulations Erik, Mikaela and Kylah!  He's beautiful!  And thank you for letting us coming to meet him at the hospital, we were all very honored. 

The girls meeting Baby Kellan at the hospital.
Baby Kellan - Shared with permission

July 15, 2011


Have you heard about this?

Yes, children under the age of six being banned from a restaurant.  Some people agree with this bold move.  And there are some that protest and call it unfair.  But you know, I say...


I said it.  Clue one.  There's no kid's menu.  Clue Two.  Fine Dining.  Can you really blame the owner?  It's on a golf course.   

I have three children, all currently six or under.  We are also a family that enjoys to dine out on occasion.  However, my husband and I have worked hard on teaching our kids how to behave when we go out to eat.  It's paid off.  There's the volume rule, manners, etc.  We bring things to keep them busy.  And if there's any chance of dessert after our meal, they knows their chances of that improve with good behavior.  And then there's Jack.  Yes, it's still a little difficult to control his mood and such.  If it gets to the end of our meal and he's had enough, one of us will simply take him to the car.  No one else in the restaurant should have to listen to my crying child.  Right?!!

Here's the flip side.  It's date night!  Jonas and I get to go out without our kids.  We've hired a babysitter.  I get dressed up.  We've decided to go out and have dinner at a place that does not have a kid's menu.  A place that we can share a bottle of wine.  A place that will probably not involve coupons.  Yes, we will probably go out and talk about our kids.  Because our kids are awesome!  We had to make a reservation weeks ago!  The last thing I want to see or hear is another person's crying or whining child! 

Sorry.  I'm being honest.  We're not going out and spending $$$ on dinner and another $$ on a babysitter to listen to another person's kid scream.  This actually happened one night when we went out.  It was at The Melting Pot.   There was a couple there with their two small loud children.  I was worried about their kid getting burned, thanks people.  I don't expect the restaurant to turn these people away, but I do expect the parents to make better judgements.  If you can't get out without your children, then you should dine somewhere that's appropriate.  Like Red Robin!
I don't like to be judgemental, but I believe that people should be more aware.  People just don't seem to care or they're selfish.  Same thing?  It makes me happy that when we go out to eat that my kids are well behaved.  Most of the time.  Jonas and I always pick places with kid's menus because that's an appropriate place for families.  And there are places that are simply not appropriate for small kids and parent's need to respect that.   

July 13, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Taken with my iPhone 4.

July 7, 2011


These last couple months have been been anything but normal.  Things were busy with school, baseball and life in general.  Things were good.  But like I've mentioned before, I had begun to notice that things were a little off with Hayley.  I chaulked it up to her allergies and moved up her yearly allergy appointment.  We forged ahead and looked to the fun things we had planned for the the end of the school year and the coming summer. 

Well, those "allergies" got worse and she began to run a fever.  And then there was that day she was positive for strep.  And then there was the pneumonia.  And the hospital. know the rest of the story...

I have to tell you.  I'm exhausted.  Emotionally.  Mentally.  Physically.  The thought of one of the other kids getting sick makes me anxious.  When Hayley tells me she doesn't feel well lately, my heart drops.  It's seems like her road to recovery is never ending at times.  I'm constantly worried.  Eh, worried is a bad place to be.         

Since that first doctor's visit when Hayley had strep; we've been back and forth to the pediatrician seven times in less than four weeks.  She's seen an asthma and allergy specialist once.  She's had four chest X-rays and scheduled to have another next week.  She's had her blood drawn three times.  She's had two IV's.  She's been allergy tested.  She's been on numerous medications.  She's been diagnosed with asthma.  I've watched my daughter be poked, I've watched her cry and I've watched her bleed.  I've watched her struggle to breathe.  I've held back my own tears to keep her from panicking even more. 

And now, I'm trying to figure out how to deal with this new part of Hayley's life.  It's completely managable, but it's new.  And honestly, the last thing I want/need is whitty banter and jokes.  It doesn't help, it's incredibly frustrating and hurtful. 

And you know, Hayley and I didn't get to finish all those fun things we had planned.  Ryan and Jack have missed out too!  And Jonas!  No end of the year school party!  I was on the party planning committee!  No special baseball party at the big kids field!  No last day of school!  We've missed lots of sunny days outside.  We need a vacation!  Everything was left so unfinished and summer just started without us.     

Thankfully, Hayley is doing a lot better.  She's still dealing with fatigue and the coughing, but that pneumonia kicked her butt.  We have a better understanding of what's going on and how to deal with everything.  We've just started the new treatments and we have to wait about a month to see how she's doing.  We'll go back to see the Asthma/Allergy Specialist for another evaluation and go from there. 

So, for now, we can get out more enjoy the Summer sun...when it comes out.  We live in Western Washington, the Sun is an elusive creature.

July 6, 2011

Another Diagnosis

Today we met up with the Allergy and Asthma Specialist for Hayley, this was a doctor we had seen a year before for Hayley's allergies.  We went over everything that has been going on recently with the pneumonia and the how she had been feeling leading up to that.  This appointment went really well because the doctor listened to everything I had to say and really shared my concerns about Hayley.  About her fatigue, moodiness, coughing and other changes.  He listened when I told him that her teacher had told me that she had also noticed changes in Hayley's demeanor.

It's been a difficult month and then some going back and forth to the doctor.  As a parent, I have to be the voice for my child.  I don't want to feel like a burden, but I want my daughter to get to best care and I want her to feel better.  I want her to feel like her old self.  I want her to feel like a kid.  I want her to have that typical kid energy without getting overly tired and cranky.  Because the six year old attiude gets old really quickly.  After going through Hayley's history this past year and her decline over the past few months, he decided there was a pretty good chance she had developed mild asthma.  After his diagnosis, it was time for the skin test for allergies.  Poor Hayley, was not thrilled. 

She began to cry, but I remained calm so she wouldn't panic.  She's been through so much the past few weeks, I've seen her poked more times than I would have liked, but I know it's been for the best.  I also know she's getting fed up with all of it.  Luckily, the nurse was quick and the test was done.  Hayley picked out a cotton candy sucker through her tears.  And still, only two allergies.  Cat and dog.  Yes, I know we have one of each.  And no, we have no plans or getting rid of either one of them.  The doctor didn't recommend it at this point.  So please, if you have an opinion about, keep it to yourself.  Hayley knows to wash her hands after she plays with the dog or cat.     

So, for now, the doctor wants to treat her agressively.  She was perscribed an inhaler to treat the asthma and a few medications for her allergies.  There are also a couple other measures incase of colds or activies.  Hopefully, this will get us headed a good direction and get our summer started.  It's been rough.  It's been stressful.  But we're getting through it it.  And soon Hayley will be back to her old self.  It's just taking a lot longer than we thought.  And we're a little impatient.       

Wordless Wednesday - Can You See the Plane?

Taken with my iPhone.

July 2, 2011

Cake Smash!!

Finally, here are some of the photos from Baby Jack's birthday party. We had a fun party at home with some friends. The kids had a blast playing in the yard with the dozens of bubbles I had purchased and the weather was perfect. And of course, Jack loved his cake.

July 1, 2011

Garage Sale Saga: Part 3

I thought I was dreaming, but the other day I looked out my window and...

the big ugly trailer was GONE...


I'm still a little wary.  I don't know if this is all really the end.  All of the crap is gone out of her driveway.  Even her garden in the front has been weeded and everything looks really nice.  The graffiti on her fence was scrubbed away.  It all looks normal.  Too normal. 

Again, I'm wary.  And thankful.  But mostly wary.

June 30, 2011

Long Road

Ah, recovery.  It's coming, but it's been taking its sweet, sweet time.  I took Hayley back to the doctor last week, her pediatrician was worried about her fever and that she was still wheezing.  She decided to started Hayley on another round of medication and to repeat the blood work and chest X-ray.  Luckily, the blood work came back improved, but her chest X-ray didn't show any improvement from her last one.  Yippee.

More rest, more breathing treatments.  And since Hayley didn't fight with any of that, I knew she wasn't feeling well.  Still.  We did manage to make it to an awesome Mad Science themed birthday party over the weekend, but Hayley pretty much crashed as soon as we got home.  And we were back at the doctor on Monday since she was still running a fever.  Her doctor wanted to wait a couple more days to repeat the chest X-ray.  If there was no improvement, she was going to be admitted to the hospital again.  Oy.

I handled my stress and anxiety with cleaning.  I figured if there was the possibility of heading back to the hospital, I could leave my house clean and have the laundry done.  A couple days passed and we headed back to the hospital for the X-ray and returned home to wait.  And waited...and waited.  I left a message with the nurse.  And waited some more.  And I cleaned some more.  Then I called again and shared my concern with the nurse.  Finally, the pediatrician called back!

She told me that the X-ray showed mild improvement.  Yeah!  Hayley still needs more rest, but should continue to improve.  She still has a few more days of her antibiotic and as long as she is coughing; we're continuing with her inhaler and breathing treatments.  She also has a follow-up X-ray in a week and a check-up with her doctor.  And another appointment with the allergy/asthma specialist too. 

My poor Hayley-bug has nearly spent the entire month of June sick.  We've been pretty much home-bound the entire time, we get out occasionally.  Honestly, Hayley doesn't even really have any interest in going any where right now.  She says she bored, but she doesn't want to go any where either.  Poor kid!  Hopefully she will kick this soon, so we can get out and start enjoying summer! 

June 25, 2011

Garage Sale Saga: Part 2

After my last post my neighbors and I decided that dealing with "J" personally was not longer going to work.  She made that loud and clear when she plastered the city's municipal code on my neighbors' cars during a rain storm.  We had just hoped that she had at least read them first.  The only thing left to do was to go to the city for help. 

I sent an email to the code enforcement officer and left him a message.  As did a couple of my other neighbors.  I received a message saying that he was going to look into the matter.  At that point, my neighbors and I weren't sure what to think.  Would "J" have another garage sale?  Would it get uglier?  Would she do the right thing?

I became a little worried when I drove by this morning and saw the garage opened and what looked to be preparations being done for another sale.  My heart pounded a little...would she really do this?  The truck was out there, signs were laid out and the forecast for tomorrow called for sun.  Oh no!


Imagine my complete and utter shock when I came home today and found that she had her drive-way junk packed up.  The big ugly trailer was still in her yard but hitched to a truck.  And the van that was once parked in the yard, was now in the driveway.  I think we all breathed a collective sigh of relief at that sight. 

Even though we are now waiting for the big ugly trailer and van to make a permanent departure...

Stay tuned...

June 23, 2011

Slow Recovery

Hayley was discharged from the hospital a almost a week ago and I would love to say that she is all better, but I can't.  Her recovery has been so slow.  Earlier in the week, she seemed well on her way there and that she would be back to her old self.  But then, three days ago I thought she felt a little warm.  I took her temperature and it was only a little elevated.  It's continued to climb all day, but never higher than 100 degrees. 

Even though it wasn't high, there's no reason she should be running a fever at this point.  We've done everything right, we've stayed at home and rested.  Lots of movies, coloring and fluids.  It's been torture being stuck at home on these beautiful sunny days.  I thought maybe the first day was a fluke and waited, but the next day she was running another fever.  She was also tired and stayed in her pajamas all day.  I left a message with her pediatrician's medical assistant since they were out for the day. 

When she called me this morning, Hayley was running another low-grade fever.  We decided to wait it out and see what happened.  I could hear and feel rattling in Hayley's chest throughout the day.  She wasn't feeling well and spent most of the day on the couch.  Her temperature fluctuated throughout the day, but climbed past 100 degrees after the her doctor's office closed.  Figures. 

Presently, her temperature is hanging out around there.  I know her breathing isn't right.  I'm keeping a close eye on her for now and calling first thing in the morning to schedule an appointment with her doctor.  This is getting so old.  I'm so tired and I just want my girl to feel better! 

Garage Sale Saga: Part 1

When we bought our home almost five years ago we loved the idea that it was on a culdesac.  It was only Hayley then and I had visions of her riding around and around on a little bike.  I loved the idea that there would be little traffic and that it would be quiet.  That was my dream.

That dream was crushed a couple years ago when a neighbor, who shall be called "J", decided to make a business out of having garage sales.  Now honestly, I have no problems with garage sales.  I'm not a garage sale person.  I've only had one and I hardly ever shop at garage sales.  Soon, I noticed that "J" was having a garage sale nearly every weekend.  Last summer, there was a period where "J" had a garage sale seven weekends in a row.   

I fumed.  I vented on Facebook and to my neighbors.  I was also recovering from child birth last summer.  However, I was become increasingly irritated with the fact that my kids couldn't play out front because of all the traffic.  Or when I couldn't even get out of my street because there were so many garage sale people blocking the street.  Note to garage sale shoppers: Be aware of where you are parking, other people live around that garage sale too.  Don't be rude!!  Anyways, one of my other neighbors contacted the city.  The garage sales ended for a few weeks, started again and then ended for the season.  There was nothing more to do.

About a month ago, I watched as a trailer brought loads of new things.  I dreaded what I knew was coming.  I knew I was not going to go through another summer like the last two again.  Important note: The town I reside in, residents are allowed two garage sales per year.  My neighbors and I shared our thoughts and feelings.  After four weekends of garage sales, we decided it was best to talk to her and share those thoughts and feelings.  We wanted "J" to hear from her neighbors. 

Well..."J" laughed off many of our concerns and made excuses.  When myself and one of my other neighbors brought up the fact that our kids can't kids their bikes out front; she said that normal people don't let their kids play in the street.  We bit our tongues.  That was hard.  She also stated that the city has no limits on garage sales and that the other neighbors didn't care.  "J" mostly met us with a gotta-go-what-I-gotta-do attitude.  And closed her door.

The next day we took a little poll from some of our neighbors and found that all of them shared the same concerns.  We also delivered a copy of the city's municipal code to "J"; well we taped it to her door because she wouldn't answer.  Funny, the next day those pages were found plastered to our cars after it rained.  Nice huh? 

And that's where things are now.  Since things have gotten a little ugly, we're no longer dealing with her personally.  We never wanted it to get ugly.  Sadly, "J" doesn't really seem to care about how everyone else around her feels.  We tried to be nice about it and offer alternatives.  We're now dealing with the city's code enforcement.  Stay tuned...

June 16, 2011

Another Night Away

Today, Hayley is doing much better when it comes to her fever.  It's gone and hopefully it will remain that way.  She still has that lovely hacking cough, there's still wheezing in her lungs, and her O2 stats aren't as high as they would like them to be, but we're working on that.  She was given this fun little contraption that she's breathing deeply into every hour and she's been given a breathing treatment.  Her mood goes from super happy to super tired.  And she's perfectly content staying in her bed, so I know she's still not feeling her best. 

Earlier, Jonas, Ryan and Jack came to visit.  It's hard being away from each other and Ryan was immediately in my lap.  Once Jack woke up from his nap, he heard me and cried for me to come and get him.  After a little quality time with everyone I took a chance to run home for a shower; which Hayley was not happy about.  She cried and clung to me.  After reassuring her I would be back before her movie ended, she let me go. 

I was back before her movie ended.  The pediatrician came to see Hayley again and reported that her lungs looked better, but they still wanted to keep her another night.  As long as she keep improving, she can go home tomorrow.   I'm hoping/praying for no more fever spikes.   Soon after the pediatrician left, Jonas decided to take Ryan and Jack home.  More tears.  Ryan even told Jonas that she wanted me and Hayley to come home too.  Uh, again, this is so hard.  It's just a waiting game and no one is enjoying this time away from one another. 

And Hayley is missing her class party tonight.  And she missed junk-food bingo in class.  And she will be missing her last day of school tomorrow.  This has truly been a crummy week for all.  I just remind myself that the most important thing is that she is getting better and this was what was best.  It's just extremely poor timing.

June 15, 2011

Can't be Kept Down

And by that, I mean Hayley's fever.  Hayley hadn't been feeling her best for a while, but I blamed her allergies.  My allergies were awful as well, so I figured that's what it must have been.  But still, she just wasn't herself.  She would run erratic fevers.  She complained of headaches and a sore throat.  And then she would be fine.  It was just weird. 

Friday came and I knew she didn't feel well at all.  I kept her home from school and decided to run her to the doctor to run a strep test.  It was positive.  Antibiotics were started.  We had a busy weekend ahead, BBQ's and birthday parties galore.  She was pumped, but still not her cheery self.  And that fever kept popping back up.

Monday came and Hayley went to school.  It's her last week and she didn't want to miss anything.  The afternoon she was running a 103.1 temperature.  I called the doctor and they decided to wait another 24 hours and give the medications a chance.  That night she began to cough.  Tuesday came, it was the last field trip of the year and she wasn't about it miss it.  A good friend was her chaperon that day and promised to keep an eye on her.  When I picked her up that afternoon, she looked miserable.  I called her doctor and didn't even stop at home.

Her pediatrician was worried about a few things.  She was showing signs of pneumonia.  Her fever was 103.3.  She was also showing signs of a rare disease, Kawasaki.  While the doctor was waiting on the strep test, I looked that up on my phone.  Scary.  Those are the times when I need a less smart phone.  The strep test was negative.  The pediatrician wanted to run some more tests.  Then we were off to the hospital for a chest x-ray and blood draw.  Did I mention I also had Ryan and Jack in tow?  And my Hayley, she's a rock star.  She didn't move a muscle during her blood draw!  We headed home to wait for the results. 

The doctor called while we were en route and informed Jonas that she was positive for pneumonia, but they were still waiting for the blood tests.  I called when we returned home and learned there were a few abnormalities in her blood and the doctor was waiting to hear from the infectious disease doctor at Seattle Children's.  Yeesh.  And more waiting.  Finally, the doctor from Children's decided it was best to wait since she wasn't exhibiting any other symptoms of the disease.  Okay, I guess.

This morning, Hayley still had a fever.  I called the nurse to make an appointment for Thursday, as instructed, and the nurse said if she gets worse to call right away.  She seemed worse, she had no energy and her cough for horrible.  She only got out of bed to use the restroom.  That afternoon, her fever spiked.  I immediately called the doctor and was packing up the kids.  My awesome friends, THANK YOU, took Ryan and Jack for me.  The pediatrician decided it was best to admit Hayley to the hospital since she was not responding to antibiotics.  Five and half days of antibiotics!! 

And now, I sit writing this in a chair besides Hayley's bed.  She's doing alright, her fever spiked again.  She did amazingly well when they started her IV, unfortunately she bumped it and bruised it.  The nurse had to place a new IV in her other arm.  She did well again, but there were lots of tears since she was in pain.  It's been an exhausting couple of days and I just want her to get better.  She's miserable being sick and sad to miss her last days at school and her big class party.  She's a little excited to be at the hospital, she's loving the attention, but I know she misses her Daddy, Ryan and Jack.  Now, she's sleeping.  Finally.  It's just sad all around.  And I'm tired.  And sad.   

June 9, 2011

At a Year...

...Baby Jack is walking.  He's talking, a little bit.  He waves sometimes.  He loves to clap.  And at his check-up...

He weighed: 20lbs - 20th percentile

And was: 30.25 inches - 50th percentile

My babies are small, no doubt about it.  Hayley was barely over twenty pounds at a year and Ryan wasn't even close.  But he's happy and healthy.  And that's all the matters. 

June 8, 2011

Cupcake for Jack

Since yesterday was Jack's actual birthday, I picked up some cupcakes for after dinner.  He loved it!  Now he's got a little practice before his little mini cake I ordered for his birthday party this weekend!

June 7, 2011

One Year Ago

One year ago, I was holding my brand new baby boy.  He was an hour old and I was in awe of him.  After everything I went through during his pregnancy, it was all forgotten.  He was there and he was perfect.  My little guy with a head full of dark hair.  He looked like his sisters.  After the ups and downs of my pregnancy and the uncertainty of knowing if we'd ever make it to term; the smoothness of the events that morning before my c-section was a welcome and calming change. 

And now, that little baby boy is a year old.  He's walking, talking a little bit and has a few teeth.  He still has a head full of dark hair, that needs to be cut...again.  Huge brown eyes and long eyes lashes that make me jealous.  While he adores his big sisters most of the time, he lets them know when he is annoyed. 

He's a daddy's boy.  Although his first word was "Mama."  As soon as Jonas walks through the door in the evening, Jack cries until his Daddy comes for him.  Not too long ago, Jack was playing in the playpen and Jonas walked over to the neighbors.  I tried not to laugh as Jack watched his Daddy through the window and screamed for him.  He was not a happy boy. 
I've been dreading this day for a little while now.  I knew it was coming.  I have a hard time not crying when I look at him today.  He's my last baby and this last year went by so quickly.  But, I also love watching him grow and wonder how he will be another year from now.  It's hard.  It's bittersweet.  It's life. 

One year ago...
 Happy Birthday Baby Jack.  Mommy loves you so.

June 6, 2011


Lately, Ryan has really been into writing letters.  She can write her name.  She likes to ask you to spell things for out for her and she writes them on paper or her magna-doodle.  Today, she asked me how to spell "flower."  I spelt it out one letter at a time and this is what she had to show me a short time later.  I was impressed.  I may be biased, but it's cute!

Not Ready

Tomorrow, my little man, Baby Jack will turn one!  This last year has gone by so quickly.  It's been fun, amazing, turbulent and memorable.  He's talking and he's even walking.  He adores his sisters and gets annoyed with them as well.  He's a Daddy's boy most of the time, but there are times when he just wants his momma. 

I'm having a hard time with this milestone.  I'm not ready.  He's my last baby.  Again, my last baby.  Even though not all things 'baby' are magical, I've enjoyed every moment.  And now, that babiness is coming to an end.  I get all choked up just thinking about it. 

He's an amazing little boy and he is so loved.  Oh Baby Jack, Happy Birthday from Mommy.  I love you so.

June 1, 2011

Hayley's Book

A couple of days ago, Hayley brought home some of the writing that she had been working on at school.  As soon as I began to go through it, I had to laugh.  And question my daughter about her choice of topic.  This is only something that siblings write about.  I guess. 

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