Sunday, November 30, 2008

The BUG......

WARNING.... This post is sorta graphic
There's nothing in the world more pitiful than sick kids. Friday night, Vivian came down with a stomach bug. at least 4 other people on the street also had it Friday night/early Saturday. I thought the rest of us were in the clear since no one in this house had shown any signs of a bug since Friday. I thought wrong. I dread the stomach bug! For one thing, I am the worst puker ( I say puke.. vomit sounds weird to me) on the planet. I strain so much that I end up with broken blood vessels all around my eyes and mouth.not a pretty site. So, when it starts passing around family members, I just sit and fear that I will be the next victim. When the kids get it, I of course swing into mommy mode - and even find myself being a cheerleader - "oh you are doing such a good job, thats it, get all the yuckies out, you will feel much better". I'm sure they appreciate it.
So far, I haven't gotten it. BUT - Tonight at 8:00pm. It struck Kerrigan. The first explosion that occurred without warning was in the kitchen while I was holding her. after shedding both of our clothing, she seemed pretty fine. the second explosion that occurred without warning, happened in the living room ALL over her BROTHER!!! (bad bad very very bad) - we now discovered that kyle has a very week stomach! - Yup you guessed it - Like a chain reaction, Kyle gagged and then puked all over the blanket on the couch. Now Gary had to swing into action too! - He ran for the kitchen to get a bowl for Kyle to use, while I dashed for the kitchen sink with the baby in hand, hoping to get most of it in the sink instead of on the Carpet. Poor Vivian had a huge melt down when she discovered that Kerrigan had done a fantastic job of puking directly on her favorite pocket book that had been left on the living room floor. Have any of you ever tried to chase after an 17 month old baby with a large plastic bowl hoping to anticipate her next explosion by watching her face for the slightest sign of another upchuck? Its pretty difficult - especially when you are laughing so hard you could pee your pants because you can't believe your son puked as a result of being puked upon, while washing off the pukey pocketbook to make that one stop crying.... whew... it was kind of like one of the comedy shows when they do that fast forward thing with the fast music. Turns out Kyle is fine for right now, he will probably be truly sick tomorrow, along with me because it is bound to happen. Kerrigan went to sleep, but wakes up about every 45 minutes to puke without success because there is nothing left to get out, and I am sitting here blogging about it. I pictured myself Blogging about how nice Thanksgiving was, and how well behaved the kids were at both family dinners. And that we had a great time at the VanDenburg family Christmas party on Saturday night, and... you know, so much has happened in the 4 days since my last post, but this just goes to show you - you can't wait 4 days to blog!!! a stomach bug might just sneak up on you and steal the Show.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Cranberry Orange Relish

A Gramma Sherwood Thanksgiving Tradition.

Once Made by Chopping the ingredients in a hand grinder, we have modified the time it takes to make by using an electric food processor instead.
This dish is one that Corin and I enjoyed helping prepare as children and so in keeping the tradition alive, we have passed on the honors to our children. So far none of them enjoy eating it, but maybe someday they will.

To Make:

2 bags whole Cranberries (washed)
3 large seedless Oranges
1 cup sugar
Empty the 2 bags of cranberries into food processor (a little at a time is best) and chop. Empty into large bowl. Cut one orange into slices and chop in food processor (skins and all). then peel the other 2 oranges and also chop. Combine everything into large bowl and add sugar to taste. start with one cup and go from there. Some well-liked variations are to add walnuts or to put in a jello mold with orange flavored Jello.


Corin also wrote about the Cranberry Orange relish on her blog - Check it out to get a little more background on the Family.

Everyone is Tanked

Let me tell you how I spent last Monday evening. - Elbow deep in fish CRAP!
We got a new fish tank for our enormous Oscar Fish (compliments of "Uncle" Eddie). It came complete with new stand and everything. This is also Fantastic for Lila, our Red Eared Slider, because this means she gets to move into Oscars old 30 gallon tank.Lots more room for her to swim. This is great since someone told Kyle that a turtle will grow bigger in a bigger environment. - Makes sense.

Gary was off to work for the night, so it was mom and the kids left home to do the big switcharoo...Yikes. Draining the 30 gallon tank wasn't too difficult, and thanks to Kyle's "braveness", our pan - frying - sized fish made it safely to the holding bucket (not before splashing water all over kyle and the wall first). Unfortunately I could not get all the water out before moving it - it was just impossible. - So... here I was trying to carry a 30 gallon fish tank with about 5 gallons of water still in it, along with about 20 lbs of gross pebbles and poop, out the kitchen door and across the lawn to dump behind the apple tree.....In the snow....with Gary's Big slippers on.I'm pretty sure I hurt myself. I wished I had access to Jennifer's Guy that moves heavy things.
Once that part was over, it was all about filling the new fish tank with 45 gallons of water. Kyle and I had a great system going of alternating filling pitchers of water at the kitchen sink and shuffling them to the tank to empty. Finally we were fish ready. - Kyle was up to bat again- this time he made sure to close his mouth when the fish started splashing! phew... The fish part was over. Then I had to scrub the old tank to get rid of the fish germs and make it turtle ready. I hope Lila is tolerant to Vinegar - it was the only non chemical glass cleaner I could think of. We set up the tank in Kyle's room and introduced Lila to her new home. She took off swimming right away. Kyle and Viv think she loves it now. Next order of business was a shower.. For ME!! yuck!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Peas & Carrots

Our house had a special visitor today. Kyle's Favorite friend in the whole world came over for a play date this afternoon. It seemed like Christmas the night before - I couldn't get Kyle to go to sleep! - He kept asking " how many hours until Phenesha comes to play?" Phenesha is the name of Kyle's very special friend, and just as uncommon as her name, is the ability for two little people to find such common ground at 4 years old. Kyle and Phenesha met in Their preschool class two years ago. He talked about her non stop. turns out this little girl has an obsession with Dinosaurs and dragons! - Kyle doesn't even find little boys into this kind of stuff as much as she is.
Their relationship bloomed that year, and all summer long our families would meet at the local playground for our weekly play date. Phenesha's mom and I could not get over the similarities between them - they get along like peas & carrots. Turns out they both have March Birthdays, They both have two siblings, they both are crazy about animals, and Their favorite TV show was meerkat Manor. These two are a match made in heaven. I think they were supposed to meet about 16 years from now, because their couldn't be a more compatible woman for Kyle. Oh yeah, they have both asked each other to marry as well.
So... anyway, after a pretty long stretch of no play dates due to busy schedules - we finally found a 3 hour window. going to different grade schools, they only get to see each other if we schedule a play date. They hadn't missed a beat- She walked in the house with her handful of "presents" for kyle which are drawings and paintings she gives to him and he proudly displays them on his bedroom walls. They had a great time showing off their new pets - phenesha brought hers along to meet us. (miss piggy) and kyle was anxious to show her his pet turtle(Lila).
While watching a dragon Documentary on TV, They set up a bunch of dragon figurines, and dinosaur adventures.
then they went outside for a while, this picture shows Kyle offering to tie her sneakers for so they could go out.
hm mm, he really can tie shoes - he has been holding out on me! Outside, the plan was to build their own Dragon nest, of course. Then it was back inside for an Ice cream snack which Phenesha called "delightful"! The one thing I missed was phenesha singing opera, which is my fault because all I had to do was ask and she would have belted out a tune for me. They crack me up! I don't know if this is my future daughter-in-law, but they sure do seem like they are perfect for each other..... As She left the house we sent her with a jar of Honey harvested from our Family's honeybee Hive - we have only a few jars to give away as gifts, so we pick them carefully - Phenesha was an easy pick. Honey for his Honey.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Left Out

My husband stumbled across my blog this morning. I hadn't told him I started one yet- because I wasn't ready to. But, now the cat is out of the bag - and I am in the doghouse!. He sat down to Read the 3 posts I had published, and I awaited his usual aloof reaction to my creative outlets. But....when he exited the Computer room, - He looked disappointed. Apparently it was upsetting to him that I failed to mention even his name. - yeah yeah I had mentioned I was married, and that "WE" were raising a nice boy and two girls - but not a mention of my lovely Husband's name (Gary). I tried to tell him that the blog is just in the beginning stages. It takes a few...or many posts to get your whole story across - AND that I was just about to get to the hubby parts - you know where all the patting on the back comes in... - He didn't buy it - He feels left out. I admit, I should have given a little background on the husband before now - it makes sense chronologically... there was him before there were kids. - anyway, so hear is my better-late-than-never, should-have-included-you-already-, post about my husband - Gary.
I feel like he's been around forever. We met as teenagers and started dating when we were 14 and 15. Went through 2 proms together, umpteen other school dances, graduations, colleges.... you get the picture - we dated for 8 1/2 years before we got married. We were high school sweethearts! this past summer we celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary. This coming February will mark 17 years of US.
A few years ago, I was a stay-at-home-mom contributing to our finances by Running a daycare out of our home - it contributed only a little to our finances but a lot to my accumulation of gray hairs. It was far from fun(I am not referring to Lindsey or Reagan). Gary, oblivious to my daily headache, used to say things like " I wish I had your commute - from the bedroom to the couch". I think that was his attempt at cheering me up - ha ha (SLAP!) - anyway, 3 children later and my desire for adult conversation, lead me to go to work. Kyle had just started Kindergarten, Vivian was almost 3, and Kerrigan was only 4 1/2 Months old.I was worried at first about how they would get on without me home, But we had to try it. I was off to work, Gary was working installing Fireplaces, and the kids were off to daycare. Daycare.... yup - that's where our money was going now. A few months of that and Gary found another job - one that he could work nights and weekends. Now Gary works three 12 hour shifts, and we only need daycare 2 days a week while he sleeps. Good news for our wallets - bad news for any family weekend plans. This also means that Gary is Mr Mom Wednesday thru Friday! Great! I'm glad he gets this parenting time. The old saying " Daddy's little Girl" certainly reins true for our two girls. They adore him - and he adores them. yup. he "commutes from the bedroom to the couch" for the first half of the day, then prepares lunch, puts kerrigan down for her nap, and he and Vivian do some light cleaning.(I emphasize the light - but also appreciate it at the same time) - whatever else goes on, I am not aware of - I do know that when I get home from work at 5:30 - 95% of the time, dinner is on the table and the kids have had a relaxing day at home instead of being shuffled around twice a day. They enjoy their DADDY DAYS.(pat pat pat on your back) - luv ya Hun!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Raising a "nice" boy?

I grew up in a family with a Mom and dad, and one sister. I didn't know what it is like to grow up with an annoying, pestering BROTHER.
There are many times I sit and think about what a cute little family we have - one boy, two girls. Vivian(3) is so happy-go-lucky...Can play alone or with others,always eager to help with chores, a real girlie girl. Kyle (6) is such an interesting boy - loves science, could spout off any number of amazing animal facts, loves to cuddle, very high energy.
Kerrigan (17 mo.) is the stubborn one ( if you offer her cookies, you better let her reach in the bag to get her own) but even that is cute as a button at this age. She thinks she is just as big as the rest, and very rarely is she not carrying around her baby doll.
Sound like perfect kids right? right.....oooooo..., except for when they are awake - and all in the same room - and expected to get ready for whatever we are doing for the day, or riding in the car, or eating at the table, or brushing their teeth, or getting ready for bed or..... ( I am exaggerating a bit, but not too much.) Sometimes,- and I hate to pick on Kyle, (especially since he reminds me every day how hard it is to be a big brother), but, everything goes pretty smooth until Kyle enters. He knows the girl's buttons and he knows how to push them!
After refereeing a few rounds and counting down a few time outs, I can't help but wonder -how kyle will develop as a man? ( don't look at me like I am worrying about this way too early!) Will he be this obnoxious with girls forever? will the experience of living with two sisters be more of a foundation for a sensitive husband ? I don't know how it will all pan out, but I do try to instill all of the qualities that I think will make him into a nice young man.
With all of that said - I would like to tell you Kyle's story about school today:
Kyle: mom I had library today and Alivia cried.
Mom: awww what was she crying about?
Kyle: The teacher read us a book called " Olivia the Pig" and everyone in the
class laughed at her.
Mom: uh oh, that wasn't very nice was it?
Kyle: nope! mom, I didn't laugh at her, I felt bad. But guess what? - I found a piece of jewelry on the floor next to the book shelf and gave it to her to cheer her up.
Mom: That was nice of you - did she stop crying?
Kyle: yup, and she even smiled:)


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Here's the story

Simply put.... never mind it would be impossible to simplify thoughts on life. I just want to explain the story behind the name of my blog.
My grandfather passed away from cancer March 8Th 2005. My life at that time was full. - I had accomplished some things - finished college, got married, bought a house (one that my grandparents had built and lived in for nearly 40 years), and became a mother of two beautiful children... all before I turned 30. I was extremely thankful that Grampa hodie was here to see all of those things. My son, kyle was about to turn 3 and my daughter, vivian, was almost 2 months old when he died. I was glad grampa had gotten a chance to hold them, whisper to them all of his usuals, and leave his mark on their lives too. I was thankful that I didn't miss sharing any of those experiences with him.
During the families grieving process, we contacted a psychic medium. YES I do believe in this process. When you find a good is an experience like no other. - To get the validation that our loved ones who have crossed over still have the ability to "visit" is uplifting and healing. So we orchestrated a "psychic party" within months of his passing and heard many individual messages from him - some seemed small, some more terrific than others - no matter what, it made me a firm believer.The second time I had a reading from the same Medium, My life would forever be changed....
In the hopes of hearing from good ol' gramp, he didn't disappoint. Psychic Jennie told me that I was pregnant that night with my 3rd child! You would think that someone would know if they were pregnant... you would think! I doubted her for quite a while throughout the reading, but she didn't let it go. Thoughts running through my head (but never said out loud) were OMG my house is too small, and, OMG Vivian isn't even 2 yet! - I was beginning to freak out a bit. Then she brought up my grandfather. She said "Hod is here, and he wants me to tell you that there is always ROOM in your HEART for one more". That did it. That is all I needed to hear. a feeling came over me that everything was going to be fine. She went on to tell me that I was always supposed to have 3 children- It was in my plan. Apparently, in my "past Life" I had 2 children and died while giving birth to the 3rd one. Without taking off on the theory of reincarnation and having to do things over again until you get them right, lets just say that I am trying to get it right in "My present life". So this is my life and it is filled with a fantastic family.Kyle is now 6 1/2, Vivian is almost 4 and the the baby, Kerrigan is 1 1/2. It's chaotic,busy,exciting, emotional and young - boy am I glad the psychic didn't tell me I was supposed to have 5 kids.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

OK - Here I go

I have enjoyed the blogging world from a safe distance by obsessively checking My sister's blog 2 or 3...ok sometimes 10 times a day to see if she has posted anything new. I am addicted to checking it. I love it. She asked me one time when I was going to start my own blog, I don't think I answered that question. The truth is, I was afraid I would agonize over everything I was going to write about. Would it be interesting enough, funny enough, spelled correctly (ha ha). And I was right, It took me about 1 1/2 hours to decide on a name for my blog. I was also worried about having time to do it - Yup here I am at 12:05 am typing away, because as a mother of three children under the age of 7, well, lets just say "It's not all about ME"!
Well, here I am - a new blogger. I should call myself Midnight blogMom! sounds too scary. In the near future, I will try to explain the reason for the "My Present Life" title, and I look forward to sharing some of my favorite Photographs.