Wednesday, May 2, 2018

A Day at the Zoo

Yesterday, my friend/next-door-neighbor and I took the children to the zoo. (My friend's daughter is 10 months younger than Lorelei, and a constant playmate at our house.) The zoo is in Fresno, about 30 miles north of Lemoore, but easy to access and not an overwhelming experience (a huge plus for me!). However, I realized I'm REALLY out of practice at packing up everyone and heading out for adventures that last several hours/all day. And the zoo has a new water play area, so in addition to the usual I had to pack bathing suits, extra clothes, extra shoes, and towels.

I have no idea why I'm whining about this.

Also, I just want to say that my children are wired to begin STARVING the instant we arrive somewhere/anywhere. No matter that they ate two breakfasts and a banana right before leaving the house; they are STARVING. So within 12 minutes of arriving at the zoo they wolfed down the three sandwiches I packed and inhaled the goldfish crackers I thought would last us all day. My children are ridiculous.

Despite their tapeworms, we had fun. The water play area was great, but it was in the 60s while we were there, so the kids were a little chilly and ready to move on after about an hour. Here's Ruthie pointing at/tattling on Lorelei, because Lorelei got part of Ruthie's leg wet:

The orangutans were a huge hit:

The kids had to climb/sit on ALL the statues.

I silently referred to the statues as "stumbling blocks," because the children fought and argued and whined over which portion of the statue they were going to sit/stand/perch every single time.

Case in point:
Ruthie is really ticked she wasn't up top for the picture, and Ford is pointing his finger at her and saying, "No!" Sydney and Lorelei have perfected the art of ignoring and just kept smiling at the camera, and our neighbor seems to be thanking her lucky star she doesn't have a 2-year old sister.

Happy Wednesday, friends!

Monday, April 30, 2018

Up and running!

Good Monday morning!

I was FINALLY able to run this weekend! I started mentally preparing for a Saturday run last Thursday; my rib (still not quite fully healed, even today) had been feeling a little better every day, and I felt like -- hoped -- I could do it.

In preparation for running Saturday AND for the marathon (or the half marathon), I researched run/walk methods for long-distance running. I found this article by Jeff Galloway (and then my marathon-running neighbor ALSO suggested his advice after I found the article, so I knew I was in good hands), and decided to give it a try. I bought a GPS watch back in November at the Navy Exchange for a really good price, and finally opened it and set it up last week. I programmed it with intervals of running for three minutes, then walking for one minute (the watch beeps and vibrates when it's time to switch between running and walking).

***Side note: Am I the only person with this problem? Countless times I've bought something that requires me to wade into unknown territory outside of my technological comfort zone, and then wait days/weeks/MONTHS (not years, thankfully) to finally open it up and figure it out. It's never as daunting as I expect. But, yes, technology scares me.***

Anyway, with my run/walk plan in place and my watch set up for 3:1 intervals, I took some ibuprofen and set out, having ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA how it would go. According to my marathon training plan I needed to run 12 miles. According to my half-marathon training plan I needed to run 6. I wasn't sure I'd even be able to finish a single mile.

But I was fine (and able to complete 12 miles)! I could feel my rib (but it didn't hurt), and after six miles I had completely forgotten that it was even an issue. I LOVED the run/walk strategy. I am a task-oriented person, and the constant switching back and forth between running and walking felt like putting checkmarks in a box.

My legs are still sore from Saturday, but I'm going to run the full marathon. I'd felt pretty discouraged the last few weeks, but had I not gotten sick/hurt, I wouldn't have even considered a run/walk strategy for the race.

Sorry for not posting pictures of the kids -- I haven't taken any! I'll take some this week!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Already Thursday?

Somehow it's already Thursday night, and now I have to mentally prepare for dentist appointments tomorrow afternoon for the three oldest. There is just NO simple way to take more than one child to the dentist.

When I got home from Annapolis last week, Sydney and Lorelei immediately asked me if they could switch bedrooms. As in, Sydney gets her own room and Lorelei and Ford share. Chet said they cooked up this idea at the beginning of the weekend, and hadn't let it go yet. I felt like it could work, but told them I needed to think about it.

Fast forward to the very next morning (Tuesday the 17th), and as soon as I finished dropping Ford and Ruthie off at the Child Development Center to spend a couple of hours, Sydney and Lorelei were begging to switch rooms "and would do all the work themselves."

Well. I took them up on that. I made them a list of what they needed to do, and they did it. I got involved in the afternoon, but by dinnertime we were done with the project.

So far so good, and I told them they weren't allowed to switch again for six months so don't even ask.

Anyway, this means Ford now uses one of the white Ikea desks, and he has been enjoying it. As I said on Instagram, when I took this picture he was VERY RELUCTANTLY letting Ruthie (barely) look over his shoulder while he looked at books. (He and Ruthie are arch nemeses at this point in time.)

On Monday we spent most of the morning outside. We used to do this a lot at the beginning of the school year, but have gotten out of the habit. The kids still play outside of course, just mostly in the afternoons, and I don't usually join them (that's the back of our house in the picture, so the playground is CLOSE). Recently Sydney discovered my old iPhone, which can pretty much just take pictures and has a car racing app to play, and is the reason the three of them look so cozy on that bench. (Soon after I confiscated the phone and they were back to normal as far as insisting on personal space.)

Whew. Is anyone else tired? I'm finding it hard to write sentences that make sense. I hope your week has been a good one -- on to Friday!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Monday, Monday

Good Monday morning!

Let's see, last time I posted was two Wednesdays ago, about Ford. As far as his skin, he's being treated for a common virus in children called Molluscum contagiosum. Many children get it and it's a non-event because it's so mild. But in some cases it itches and starts to spread, which is what happened to Ford. The topical steroid his doctor prescribed him has worked wonders, but I need to take him in for a follow-up appointment this week to see what, if anything, is next for him.

On Friday the 13th, I left the house really early and drove to Los Angeles to catch a nonstop flight to Baltimore. My dear friend Paige was getting baptized, and she asked me back in January if I could be there for the event (of course I could!). She goes to a small church in Annapolis, so she and I were able to come up with a date that worked for both of our families, and voila!

We live closest to the Fresno airport (about 50 minutes south of it), but other California airports offer so many more flight options (it's about a 3.5-hour drive from our house to LAX). Especially if you want to fly Southwest, which offers nonstop flights across the country, which is what I took. It was glorious to sit on a plane for 5 hours BY MYSELF with no one I had to talk to, or correct, or feed a snack. I finished two books over the course of the weekend.

Besides the baptism on Sunday, Paige and I were able to meet our friend Sarah (who we were stationed with in Mississippi) for lunch on Saturday, and do some kid-free shopping.

We went out to dinner Sunday night in downtown Annapolis with people from her church and had the loveliest time. I was back at the airport early Monday morning and walking through the door at home by 4:30 p.m.

Even though I had a lovely weekend away, I was STILL sick. I mentioned a couple of posts ago that the week after spring break I had a fever. The week following that (the week leading up to my trip), I became really congested and started coughing a lot (much like what Chet had been dealing with himself for 3-4 weeks). I thought I was feeling a little better towards the end of that week, but my sickness had a resurgence while I was out of town. I was the gross, coughing person on the airplane; I probably should have worn a mask.

I continued to cough at home Tuesday, the day after my trip ended, but really started to feel better by Wednesday. However, all the coughing caused me to bruise a rib on my right side, and since Thursday I've been gingerly walking around, having trouble drawing deep breaths without pain. It's starting to hurt less, but, for example, I just had a short coughing/sneezing fit and had to hunch over to the right in order to brace myself for the pain in my rib. Apparently I'm trapped in a 95-year old body.

All this sickness and pain means it's been THREE WEEKS since I've been able to go running. My marathon is in 13 days. So...yikes. It's difficult to be patient as I heal. But thankfully Ruthie can still run:
Like I said on Instagram, she's ready for a job in the big city (ANY big city) in her day dress and sneakers. And how on earth did Chet and I have a red-headed child with curly hair?!

Happy Monday, friends!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Goofball Ford

Ford is a gigantic goofball. Right now as we try to get his skin issue under control, he has to wear long sleeves ALL THE TIME, and especially to bed. I got behind on laundry, so he ended up wearing a church shirt to bed, which of course I tucked in because I knew it would make Chet roll his eyes.
See what I mean? That's not a real smile -- that's a goofball smile. Also, he was completely unfazed about wearing a tucked-in button-up shirt to bed. Thank goodness.

At gymnastics, Ford likes to sit really, REALLY far away from us and read his book.
He must sense that the estrogen level in the gym is even higher than at home.

Happy Wednesday, friends!

Monday, April 9, 2018

When Spring Break Breaks You

Apparently our spring break was so much fun it made us all sick. Ruthie's pink eye before Easter ended up being the LEAST of our problems this past week. Ford's skin after I took him to urgent care on Sunday afternoon continued to look red and angry and feel itchy, so he went to see his regular doctor Thursday and is now MUCH better.

I started running a fever Monday night. Y'all. Adult fevers are FOR THE BIRDS. Personally, my body is just too old and rickety to gracefully handle heating up past 98.6 degrees. I was still functioning on Tuesday (we all missed school though), but by Wednesday I couldn't even stand for more than a few minutes. Thankfully Thursday I started to rally, although I did too much and my temperature started to climb again in the afternoon. Slowly since then I've inched toward wellness, but it wasn't until Sunday I could actually catch up on housework.

Lorelei and Sydney both also ran fevers later in the week, Lorelei first, then Sydney. Chet's cough worsened over the week, but he was able to go back to the doctor today, so hopefully he'll finally start to get well.

All this sickness also means I haven't been able to run. I ran Monday morning, but not since then, and I'm going out of town this weekend (Friday - Monday), and wasn't planning on doing any running while I was gone. All that makes me a little nervous since the marathon is in less than a month now, but I have the option of dropping down to the half marathon the day before the race, which may be what has to happen.

Ok, friends. That was a little depressing (sorry about that!). Here were the kids Friday midday, getting into the car to go through the McDonald's drive thru (the ultimate health food chain). No one wore shoes (unless you count Ford's slippers), Ruthie was wearing a skirt from the dress-up bin, and Ford was in full Spider-Man get-up. Sydney was dressed for a Christening, and Lorelei looked like she was headed to basketball practice.

Happy Monday! I hope your weekend was a healthy one!

Sunday, April 1, 2018


Happy Easter! He is risen!

We're finishing up spring break today, and it's back to reality tomorrow. I didn't plan to take a full-blown break from our normal schedule, but that's what happened. It was a great week though, even though Ruthie ended up with pink eye on Thursday and Ford has some sort of skin issue for which I took him to urgent care this afternoon (they were SO happy to see us right before closing time on Easter Sunday, ha!).

Because of Ruthie's pink eye, I took Sydney, Lorelei and Ford to church Saturday evening, while Chet stayed home with Ruthie. He said they had fun though; they just hung out and coughed together (Chet's trying to get over a cold himself).

We didn't do anything extra special over spring break, except Sydney and Lorelei attended an art camp every morning, and I reorganized 80% of our entire house (seriously, it looked like moving day here for a while). Chet said, "You're on a mission, and you don't even know what it is."

Pretty much.

I hope y'all had a wonderful Easter!