What I Loved About This Week

This post will be the first of many Saturday posts all about things I loved over the past week (imagine that ;)).

I love journaling about fun stuff my family does so I can preserve those memories forever. Plus, I love reading about how other families live their lives, so maybe you’ll enjoy hearing how we do things over here!

The Great Snow Dusting of 2016

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Last Friday, we got snow! I’m not a big fan of snow, but the kids absolutely love it so I guess I can deal with getting it once or twice a year for a day or so. We got just enough flurries to make a few snow balls and build a tiny snowman.

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I wasn’t kidding. It was tiny.

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It wasn’t much, but it was plenty for me. Ain’t it purdy?

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The next day, the snow was still here, so the kids couldn’t wait to get out in it and play again.

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Seriously. Trini couldn’t even wait until after breakfast to put on her snow gear. Hahaha!

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The highlight of my morning was watching them bust their rears on the trampoline, which was covered in hard slick snow that was more like ice than snow. It was hilarious.

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The only problem with the snow on day 2 was: it was no longer fluffy. Snowballs were no longer fluffy balls of fun, but daggers that could cut your eye. Poor Tristyn was done with the “snow” after that.

Foods I Really Shouldn’t Eat

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So if you wanna know more about what’s going on with my stomach or what the Low FODMAP Diet is, go here. In short, there are a bunch of foods that bother my stomach, and not just junk foods! I’m doing my best to stay away from as many of these foods as possible, but it’s pretty much impossible to cut them out completely. Apples are one of them. Not only do I love raw apples (especially with peanut butter, mmmmm), apple cider, apple cinnamon spiced tea (my favorite), but I loved cooked cinnamon apples, especially with waffles and pancakes! Cutting out apples has been hard. I decided to let myself have some on some pancakes this past weekend. I did pretty well not drinking any of my favorite herbal tea with apples in it all week long, but I finally caved and had to have a cup today.

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I also caved and had a burger for the first time in 3 months!  I even ate it on a bun made with wheat…with cheese!

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The fun didn’t stop there! I even let myself have 2 slices of pepperoni pizza and  a slice of chocolate and vanilla birthday cake at my nephew’s 6th birthday party! It’s safe to say: I overdid it on the cheats. Cheating on this diet isn’t quite like cheating on a regular diet. I don’t risk gaining a few pounds; I risk making my stomach angry with me. Luckily, I’ve been doing so good lately sticking to my diet most of the time that nothing really bad happened. If the worse thing that happens when I eat pizza, cake, a burger and apples is really bad gas and a bloated gut, I can handle that! I just know I can’t do it all the time or that bloat and gas will turn into burning, cramps and diarrhea.

Celebrating My Youngest Nephew’s 6th Birthday

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love that my sister lives 5 minutes away from me. It means we get to spend every birthday and holiday together. It means our kids get to go to school together, play sports together and have slumber parties together every other weekend. I have two sisters, and they are both my very best friends. My other sister lives 7 hours away and she’s a lot like me so we don’t talk near as much as we would like (we’re busy and we’re not phone people). It’s my greatest hope that someday, somehow, she’ll be 5 minutes down the road from me too. I miss her like crazy all the time. I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have at least one of them nearby. Anyway, for my youngest nephew’s 6th birthday, we went to Stars and Strikes. We had pizza, cake, bowled, played games and had a good ol’ time.

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They had a “party helper” that brought the pizza, cut the cake, and kept the party organized. She even made fun things out of balloons! I was seriously impressed with how much my sister got for the $300 she dropped on the party ($20/kid).

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We got to bowl for a while on 3 separate lanes…

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…and the kids all got a card with enough “points” to play for a while. A few of them racked up enough “tickets” to get prizes too. The whole party lasted almost 3 hours. We were exhausted by the time we left!

My Girls Eagerness to “Help” Me Cook

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I’m a recovering perfectionist, so letting my kids “help” me with stuff around the house is not easy. Of course, I want them to learn how to be self-sufficient, and I know the only way they’ll learn how to take care of themselves is if I give them opportunities to practice, but I hate mess and I like to be efficient. I don’t want to take an hour cooking breakfast. I don’t want to have to pick out egg shells because my 4 year old crushed the egg in her hand instead of cracking it down the middle and gently pulling it apart. I don’t want to worry about burns and cuts and other various injuries from using kitchen utensils and machinery. I don’t want to hear the bickering of who gets to stir or lick the spoon. But I find myself growing patience as I need it (thanks God!). I try to find the joy in these moments rather than focus on all the things that make my life harder. I try to remember that by taking the time to teach them these skills now, I’ll actually save myself some work later when they’re able to do these things efficiently on their own without my help. I have way more patience with my 3 little ones because I’ve already gone through this phase with their older sister and brother. I know that they’ll only be little and messy for a short while. It may seem like forever now, but it’ll fly by, I know it.

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I really loved seeing Ty whip out her “phone” to take a “pic” of the food she was “cooking.” Like mother, like daughter.

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Tristyn helped cook the bacon and grits by pressing the buttons on the microwave, as well as cracking and scrambling the eggs before they went into the pan. Ty stirred the kale, and Trini stirred the scrambled eggs. They did a really good job helping! It didn’t actually take an hour, and I only had to pick out but one little piece of egg shell after Tristyn cracked the eggs. They are definitely getting better every time!

Getting to Spend More Time with my Sick Ones

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I hate when my babies are sick, but I do love getting to spend time with them. I’m just looking for the positive here. Tristyn was diagnosed with “eczema herpeticum” when she was a year old. At first, she just had really dry skin. Then she had a few fever blisters around her mouth. Then she had blisters all over her body. I didn’t know that they were the same blisters that she was getting around her mouth and that the eczema was causing it to spread so far. By the time I took her to the dermatologist (since I tried letting the pediatrician treat her first), her blisters had become infected sores.

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It was miserable. The dermatologist told me to start giving her bleach baths to help keep the germs on her skin to a minimum and gave me an ointment with a corticosteroid in it to keep the inflammation and swelling to a minimum when she had flare ups. The older she gets, the better her eczema gets and the less her herpes spreads. She still gets frequent outbreaks on her face (at least once a month), but the outbreaks on the rest of her body have greatly reduced (she only had a handful last year). Last November, she had six outbreaks. As soon as one would start to heal (which happens in about 3 days thanks to the oral antiviral meds we are able to keep at home, in addition to Lysine, an OTC ointment that helps with the pain and healing), a new outbreak would start. It’s not uncommon for her to run a fever or have swollen lymphnodes from the herpes, but after all those back to back outbreaks on top of chronic stomach pain and a lymphnode that had been swollen for 2 months, I insisted the doctor investigate further. She took several vials of blood (which was not fun) to run several tests. It turned out that my baby had mono! I didn’t know anything about mono at the time, but once I researched it a little, the symptoms explained a lot of what she had been experiencing. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do for mono unless you develop a complication, which can be pneumonia or a swollen spleen, which can be life threatening if it ruptures! Thankfully, she seems to be doing fine now, but she’s still having crazy outbreaks once or twice a week. She’s missed so much school from it that I got a letter threatening me with truancy charges if she continues to have unexcused absences! I don’t know why they haven’t been excusing her absences except that maybe they aren’t accepting my parent notes as excuses. I wrote her teacher and the principal an email reminding them that she has this chronic illness that we treat at home and if they need something from the doctor, they need to let me know! I’ll bring my sweet girl to school to be sent home before I expose her to extra germs at the doctor every time she has an outbreak. The teacher seemed understanding, but the principal didn’t even take the time to respond back to my email.

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Tristyn wasn’t the only one who stayed home sick this week. Taylor woke up feeling ill on Monday. She had been complaining about her throat being sore since Friday, and since she had an endoscopy scheduled for Wednesday, I decided I better make sure she didn’t have something that could prevent her from getting her procedure. Her pediatrician said she didn’t have strep and assumed whatever was making her feel under the weather was a virus. I mentioned that some of our other family members had contracted mono and she offered to test her. She said as long as she wasn’t running a fever, she would be fine to go ahead with the endoscopy. The endoscopy was scheduled after I took her to the gastroenterologist to try and figure out why Taylor has been suffering with chronic stomach pain for the past 2 years. He seemed to think she just needs to eat more fruits and veggies, even though I assured him she eats plenty, but he was concerned by the fact that she feels like certain foods have a hard time going down. I was concerned that she has something wrong with her gallbladder since she’s been complaining of chest pains that sound a lot like the ones I’ve gotten, which sound a lot like the ones my aunt said she used to get before she had her gallbladder removed. Of course, the doctor believes that Taylor is too young to have any issues with her gallbladder, which immediately made me question his judgment. It’s not like there aren’t any cases of kids with gallbladder issues. To say that she doesn’t have the right symptoms would be one thing, but to say she’s not the right age is complete crap. Regardless of what I think, I let him do the endoscopy just to make sure. He said everything looked normal, and I just got the call confirming that the 3 biopsies he took were normal as well. He believes her issues may be from acid reflux, so he gave her a prescription for Prilosec and recommended some changes to her diet. It was not a fun morning since we had to wake up at 4:30am to get to the endoscopy center by 6:30am. Taylor was tired and hungry by the time they took her back and I was stressed since she was getting anesthesia for the first time. Thankfully, the entire process only took an hour and a half and were on our way by 8am.

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Of course, the first thing any of us wanted to do was eat. We found the nearest Chick-fil-A and grubbed out. It was my first time eating breakfast out in a long time so I wasn’t sure what I could eat there. I ended up getting eggs and bacon and a water, which cost less than $2! I’ve never eaten that cheap before (at least not at CFA)!

Seeing My Babies Learn

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This week, the little girls celebrated their 100th day in school this year. They got to count yummy treats and do other fun activities. I was so proud to see that Tristyn wrote 100 words! She has come such a long way in such a short amount of time! I love that her teacher this year has worked so closely with her to get her where she “needs” to be (according to the school’s standards, not mine). I’m slightly jealous that some of the other schools in our area have the kids dress up like they are 100 years old, but I totally forgot to dress Tristyn and Trini like dalmatians for the 101st day of school so I’m not sure we would have done it anyway, LOL! Yeah, I got a lot of flack for that slip. Apparently, they were the only ones who didn’t dress up. Face palm.

Eating Lunch with Tristyn at School

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I love my babies, all 5 of them. I love spending time with them. I’m just not that big on spending time with them at school. Now, I’m not saying you’re a bad parent if you like to be involved at your kids’ school, I’m just saying my kids need that time away from me. My kids still love for me to visit them at school, and I guess I used to get excited to see them when their daddy would bring them to see me at work on occasion, so I still make time to go to their parties and eat lunch with them once a month or so. If their lunch times were closer together, I’d just eat lunch with all 3 of them on the same day, but there’s an hour between when Tristyn’s lunch ends and Taylor’s begins. I’ve been trying to work it out where I can go read to Trini’s class during that time, but it hasn’t worked out yet. This Friday, I ate lunch with Tristyn. I usually get my nephew Chase to join us, but I kinda forgot (whoops!). I still got to give him a squeeze before we left. Since we were running low on portable lunch foods, I stopped at Publix after I went to the gym and picked up some sushi and pineapple for me and a Lunchable for Ty. Yes, I ate all of that sushi myself! It was deeelish!

A Fun Friday Night with Friends

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Friday night, we went to the girls’ school Talent Show. I could have cared less about going (y’all know I’d much rather stay home than do just about anything, lol), but the girls wanted to see their friends perform. Thankfully, it was much better organized this year so we weren’t there til 9:30pm like last year. Taylor had a friend spend the night, so she came with us. There were a few really good performances! When we got home, we popped some popcorn, made a pallet, and watched Goosebumps. I really enjoyed it, buuuuttttSPOILER ALERT…I did not like the fact that they had the kid fall in love with some imaginary girl. I mean, he didn’t know she wasn’t real when he started liking her, but then her “dad” brings her back so they can be together??? He’ll grow up and she’ll be 16 forever! What kind of adult would promote that kind of relationship for a kid?! It must just be the realist in me…or the mother. It really bothered me! Then I reminded myself that it’s just a movie. Who cares what kind of relationships those imaginary people have?

All in all, I loved this week. I managed to make it to 6 classes at the gym. I watched Taylor for most of her gymnastics class (we had to leave 40 minutes into class due to a threenager meltdown). We had a successful cheer practice. I made some yummy dinners. Taylor had a successful procedure with positive results. There will always be things I don’t love about our weeks, but I don’t think I’ve ever had a week where the negatives outweighed the things I loved.

What did you love about your week? 

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