Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A Few Words of Caution

I just want to share a few words of caution with all of you. (If you have a weak stomach, you may want to pass on this one.)

1. If a child comes to you and says, "Those yellow things keep making my underwear wet," you really should investigate. If you don't, before you even know it, the small child and the floor will be covered in diarrhea.

2. If that same child comes to you and says he has a frog in his mouth, don't assume that he has a scratchy throat or that a glass of water will take care of it. Otherwise, you will be cleaning the vomit off of the child, the bed and the floor.

3. When your youngest child gets a stomach virus, within 24 hours someone...oh wait...probably you and your husband will get it.

4. If you and your husband get the stomach virus at the same time, there is no one to offer sympathy, hold a washcloth on your neck as you throw up or feed the children. (However, kids can survive on foods that don't smell such as cheerios, crackers, etc. for one day.)

Yes, we have been hit hard with the stomach crud at our house. It always happens when life is busy and at the worst time. The worst part about it is that this is the first time Brian and I have had something like this at the same time since we have had kids. The boys weren't real understanding of the fact that it was painful for us to get out of bed, let alone impossible to handle the smell of making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch. However, everyone survived and the boys were adequately fed "smelly" food today.

Now, we are left hoping that David does not get the virus and that it has left our house for good. Every time he gets a strange look on his face, I push him towards a garbage can and ask him if his stomach hurts. He just looks at me like I am crazy (nothing new there) and tells me he is fine. I guess only time will tell if he gets it.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Bi-Lingual Children

First, David's swallow study went well, and he has no physical problems in his throat that are causing eating problems. The speech pathologist was able to share some other possible reasons and suggestions for the problem, so we will be working on ways to evaluate those with an occupational therapist and explore some creative new methods for helping him to eat more foods.

On to a different subject...it seems my children are becoming bi-lingual. The influence of Dora the Explorer over the years and the newer show, Go Diego Go, has helped the boys pick up some Spanish phrases. For example, one day Nathan got stuck while he was doing something and started yelling, "Ayude me! Ayude me! Help me! Ayude Me!"

The boys also use the Spanish words arriba and abajo when we are driving and going up and down hills. As we drive up the hill, they yell "Arriba!" When we go down the hill, "Abajo!"

A couple of days ago, we were watching Go Diego Go, and David decided that it was necessary to translate for me. When Diego said, "Hola," David told me that it meant hello. He also translated the Spanish name of an animal, a color and one more thing I can't remember. At one point, the character Diego said a complete sentence in Spanish. David looked at me and said, "Oh, that poor little animal is hungry." Right after that on the show, Diego translated his own sentence and said, "This poor animal is hungry."

Needless to say, I was quite shocked and was quite proud that David was gaining such a command of the Spanish language. At least I was until I found out that David had already seen the show. (Little Cheater!) What a let down! No...not really. I am thankful that they have picked up some of the Spanish language and hope that I can do more to help them become bi-lingual. I would really like them to learn several different languages because I think it will help them in their lives. However, I don't think I am going to let them learn the same languages because I am afraid of how they would use it against me!

Sunday, July 09, 2006


This morning Nathan and I had a very interesting conversation. It all started because I asked him if he was excited to see his friends at church. Nathan is the only boy in a class full of girls at church and he loves all of his "girls". He has been known to not let Ellie, one of the little girls, leave class until he gives her a hug and a kiss. So, I was kind of surprised when he responded with a simple "No" to my question. He then continued with this.

Nathan: I am excited to see Daind-gels. (That's the closest spelling I can get to what he said.)

Me: Daind-gels?

Nathan: Yes, Aind-gels.

Me: Oh, do you mean ANGELS?

Nathan: Yes, Daind-gels...Aind-gels...Angels. (He finally got the pronunciation right.) I am going to see David's Angel.

Me: Oh, David's angel. Where is David's angel?

Nathan: (Pointed up in the air) David's angel lives in our house.

Me: Oh! That's good.

It kind of makes you think, doesn't it? This is especially touching to me today because David is having a swallow study tomorrow. In all honesty, I know that it isn't a big deal in terms of what others have gone through with their kids, but it is a big deal for us right now.

Ever since he was a baby, David has just had trouble eating and gagging on food. He would even gag if you didn't put the bottle in his mouth just right. He gagged on baby food and real food, good food and bad food, foods he liked and foods he didn't like and so on. He has had phases where he has done better and eaten well and phases where it seemed like we were starting from scratch. We hit a point this past Spring where it got bad again and he ended up losing 5 pounds in 3 months, which is a big deal when you are 5 years old. So, this test is being done to try and find out if there is something in his throat or swallowing that is causing the problem.

David and I have talked about the test a little and he knows that he is going to have some x-rays of his mouth done. The other day he was praying and he thanked God for the x-rays. It was pretty sweet. Yesterday, he asked me if Nathan could be with him because Nathan might be scared about the x-rays and it would be good if Nathan could see how brave he is.

I am thankful that Nathan reminded me today that David has someone watching out for him. He has a God that will send comfort and strength to help him through this even though it may not be very fun. I have a feeling that "daind-gel" will be watching over all of us tomorrow!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Oh the Things You Can Do With a Water Hose

The boys are so glad to be home and have been living it up by playing outside. They have had water fights, watered all the plants, hosed down the swingset and anything else you can do with water. At one point, they even made a water slide out of the slide on the swing set. I made the slide a little more fun for them by adding some dishwashing soap to it. (Who needs to buy a slip and slide?!)

However, I was once again reminded that boys will be boys. Nathan discovered that if he pushed the hose against his swimming trunks the water would squirt in just the right way to make it look like he was taking a leak. Needless to say, the boys spent about 30 minutes taking turns doing this while I kept trying to find ways to distract them from this not so polite choice of fun. I knew if I made a really big deal about it, they would do it EVERY time they went outside. So, instead I just kept saying things like "Boys, don't you want to slide down the slide again?" and "That tree really needs to be watered. Why don't you guys water it for me?" It didn't work, and eventually I told them to stop which resulted in hysterical laughing and silly comments by the boys.

And this is my life living with all boys! OH MY!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

We're Home!

No, we have not fallen off the face of the earth! We have spent most of the last month on the road with limited internet access and little time to blog.

The boys and I started our travels heading to Nebraska to spend time with my family while Brian took a group from our youth group to Wilderness Trek in Colorado. The boys had fun spending time with Grandma Sandy and playing with their cousins, and I had fun getting to know my nephews and niece a little better and getting to be with my mom. I love where we are at right now, but it is hard being away from my family and only getting to see them twice a year. It was neat for the boys to get to play with their cousins and hang out at the farm where I spent every summer of my life while I was growing up.

Another highlight of our trip to Nebraska was going to see the movie Cars. David sat mesmerized through the whole movie. Nathan liked it pretty well too, although it was a tad bit long for him. At one point during the movie, one of the characters said, "Oh my gosh" to which Nathan yelled "He said a bad word!" Of course, the theater was quiet when he said it so everyone heard it.

After a week in Nebraska, my mom, the boys and I headed back to Arkansas so that we could be with Brian for Father's Day. The boys made those coffee mugs with the paper inserts for Brian and also gave him some golf balls. While we were shopping for a present for Brian, the boys and I were talking about what he would really like to have. As we passed down the aisle with the vacuum cleaners, David said, "Daddy likes to vacuum. We should get him a vacuum cleaner." Nathan chimed in with "A blue vacuum cleaner." David then said, "Yeah, a blue vacuum cleaner because Daddy's favorite color is blue." It took a few minutes to talk them down from the idea of getting him a vacuum cleaner, but they eventually decided that he would like to golf more than he would like to vacuum.

We spent less than a week at home with most of the time spent getting ready to leave for a mission trip to South Williamsport, Pennsylvania. We went to Pennsylvania to do a Vacation Bible School for the church there. The people in South Williamsport were great and we had a lot of fun with the kids at VBS. Besides that, Pennsylvania is a beautiful state. We spent many of our free afternoons driving around taking pictures of covered bridges and old barns and looking at all the areas that had been flooded while we were there. (No, it doesn't take much to amuse people from Arkansas and Nebraska!)

After our week there, Brian, the boys, my mom and I took a short side trip before coming home. We headed to Lancaster County in Pennsylvania and spent a couple of days in Amish Country. We rode on the train in Strasburg, took a buggy ride to see Amish farms, and took the boys to an amusement park called Dutch Wonderland. We also shopped at outlet stores and spent too much money!

We finished off our Pennsylvania sight seeing by stopping at the Flight 93 Memorial. What a neat place to remember some very heroic people. Before we got there, we explained to the boys about what the people on Flight 93 did and the sacrifices they made. It was pretty tough for a 3 year old and 5 year old to understand, but I think that at least David understood part of it. They were both pretty quiet and respectful while we were there. At one point, Nathan asked where the people on the plane that crashed were. I told them that they had died, and in a very sad voice, he said, "But I want them here." I love the way that kids have a knack for voicing the way everyone feels.

After that stop, we started our long trip home. In an unfortunate incident, our travel size DVD player stopped working, which made a long trip home even longer for the boys. They did pretty good without it, but Nathan kept getting a little loud and David would yell, "Nathan stop being so loud. You are cracking me out!"

Our trips were great and getting the chance to spend time with my mom was good for my soul and sanity. Even with both of those good things, I must admit that it sure is nice to be home though. My mom left for home today, and I think she is also ready to be back in her own home and sleep in her own bed.

So, that is what we have been doing for most of the last month. I have missed sharing stories on my blog and will try to share some of the funnier moments in more detail over the next few days.