Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Sometimes I think "Enduring to the End" should just mean making it through bedtime with everyone alive.

Sometimes I firmly believe that four kids versus one parent at bedtime is a completely unfair ratio. 

Sometimes it's really hard to bite your lip and be an adult when the three year old yells "I don't like you right now, Mommy!"

Sometimes I skip brushing said three year old's teeth for all the above reasons.

Sometimes you read four verses of scriptures and say a hurried prayer while the baby screams his guts out, then feel guilty for hours later for not staying patient and kind during the bedtime routine.

Sometimes I think Diet Coke and chocolate chip cookies should be considered medicine. 

Sometimes I wonder if I ever won't be tired and cranky.
And then sometimes, we take a walk on a perfect spring evening.
And throw rocks in the irrigation ditch, listening to the little boys laugh hysterically.
And sometimes I catch little moments like this, and realize that I must be doing something right in the midst of all the chaos. And I'm grateful.

Friday, April 20, 2012


Yesterday, I looked around my house, surveyed my four children, and couldn't for the life of me figure out what was missing. It took me a minute to realize what I was hearing: nothing. It was completely quiet, a rarity in my house.

Abby was reading an abridged version of "Don Quixote." And despite the fact that I took a picture of her curled up on the couch doing just that, it seems to have been sucked into the great void of cyberspace. So you'll have to trust me on that one.
 Max had swiped one of my shirts and was wearing it with the sleeve over his head. He would then proceed to jump off the couch and yell "Super Max to the rescue!"
 Ashlynn was diagramming sentences.
And Ian had a bucket on his head.

So the house was blessedly, peacefully quiet. For about 3.2 seconds, at which time Ian tripped on something because there was a bucket on his head and he couldn't see where he was going, Max started screaming because he was done wearing a shirt on his neck, and the girls started whining for lunch. 

But I enjoyed those few seconds...

Monday, April 9, 2012

I'm a bad mom

It's okay. I'm starting to accept it and run with it. After all, if you keep the expectations low, then you don't disappoint anyone, right?

For example, I didn't love Max enough this morning to brush his hair. (And I let him stand on the table while I was taking a picture of his bad hair day so that I could post it on my blog for everyone to see.)
Then there's Ian's hair post-nap, which is giving Max a run for his money in the crazy hair day competition.
And then tonight, after dinner, we sent them all outside with an ice cream cone so they wouldn't bug Dad while he was doing the dishes. I didn't even notice that Max was wearing no pants until a neighbor came by with her matching outfit, and her perfectly styled hair, and her child that was still clean despite the fact that it was 6:30 at night.

"Um, is Max in his....underwear?" she asked, incredulous.

"Yup." I answered. "He took them off upstairs and hid them, and refused to go get them," I lamely explained, "and I didn't have it in me to fight him."

She nodded at me, pretending to understand how I could be so neglectful, and hurried home to her own house of order, probably promising herself that she would never let her son out in public wearing merely a t-shirt and a pair of black underoos. Just then, Ian fell off the chair he was climbing on and broke his ice cream cone. While he started screaming his trademark ear-piercing shriek, he wasn't hurt. The true reason for the tears was that I took his shattered ice cream cone and threw it in the trash. Didn't keep him from trying to pick the little pieces up off the sidewalk while my back was turned.

(And is it bad that I regret not having a camera out to take a picture of Max in his cute little black briefs while Ian attempted to eat ice cream off the sidewalk way more than I regret letting him play outside in his underwear?)

All is not lost. I did manage to get my kids dressed up in cute new fancy Easter clothes. Then we took pictures of them with Tom's iPhone. Because we're awesome like that.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Signs of Spring

 A warm Spring evening.
 A walk. (Love the one flip-flop look!)
 An ice cream cone.
 Not having to share the ice cream.
 A baseball bat.
Ice cream and the baseball bat. What could be better?

Monday, April 2, 2012

2 Years Post-op

Friday passed without much fanfare, but it marked a milestone: 2 years post-op for Max's second surgery for metopic craniosynostosis.

Max's first 18 months were difficult ones. It felt like one medical problem, one specialist, one hospitalization or surgery after another. Craniosynostosis was such an ugly word that took up so much of our time, energy and emotion.

But to look at Max now, you would never in a million years guess what he's been through.

I might be a bit biased, but isn't he adorable? We are so proud of him. He is such a smart, charming, funny little boy, who is meeting all his milestones and has grown out of all his initial feeding problems and other health struggles.

I am so grateful that the majority of the cranio ugliness is behind us. We are supposed to follow up yearly with our cranio facial surgeon, but for various reasons we find ourselves right now without health insurance (for some strange reason, it's really hard to find a company willing to insure a 3 year old who has had 4 surgeries and 4 hospitalizations,) so we'll wait on the follow up visit for now.

For the most part, we're pretty satisfied with the results of the surgeries. The top of his head is ridiculously lumpy and bumpy, but he has so much fabulous hair that no one would ever notice. There are still a few things that concern me- he seems to have some indentations above his eyebrows that are getting more pronounced, and there's some weird ridges on the edges of his forehead. But let's be realistic: I'm probably the only one who would notice them in a million years anyway.

I'd be lying if I said the journey we took with him wasn't the hardest thing we've ever done as parents. I'm also very grateful to say that craniosynostosis occupies very little of my time and energy these days. And that's just the way I like it, thank you very much.
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