"What lies behind us, and what lies before us are small matters
compared to what lies within us."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Techniques of the Day

Problem: Getting children to eat my weird looking meatloaf.

Method #123:  Tell them there is a surprise inside! By the time they discover that the surprise is a carrot, they will already be stuffed with a nutritious meal!

Problem: children never want to leave the pool and make mommy crazy by swimming to the middle where she can't grab them.
(no, Francesca didn't actually go in the water, but she wanted to look cool sitting there)

 Solution #567:  Bring one less towel than you need and tell the children the last one out of the pool doesn't get a towel! Works every time.

Problem: Great is discouraged from her stay in the hospital.

Technique #94: Drag the loud children to see "Great", which cheers her up immensely, even if it does traumatize the littlest one, who thought we were there for her. (Great is doing much, much better now!)

Problem: Need to Divert attention away from the fact that I haven't washed my hair in days and my shirt has yogurt all over it.

Resolution #2:  Tell Catherine she can dress herself and then do not wash off her poison ivy medicine.

Problem: Bored child in spica cast.

Solution: Give her a spray bottle with water in it. Hours of fun!

Only 120 hours until the spica cast comes off (not that I am counting).

Please share your techniques for battling difficult issues! 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Bits and Pieces

We've had a really interesting weekend. Little Catherine somehow acquired poison ivy. All over her body. 

She was pretty brave about the bumps, but for some reason the Calamine lotion totally freaked her out.

Carol celebrated a birthday! This was not one of my creative cakes, but it did have lots of blue sprinkles on it, so that counts for something. 

My friend Jen sent the three little girls some cute bathing suits. Catherine insists on wearing them 24 hours a day and changing suits every hour. I don't even need to buy her clothes! Catherine says "thank you Aunt Jen!"
She did allow Francesca to try this one on. (This suit is much too big for Catherine, but it fits Francesca, who is 18 months younger. Guess who is the picky eater in our family?)

We fostered a sweet dog named Harold. He was quite the cuddler. 

One good thing about Victoria's casts is I think she has finally really bonded with us. I guess she hasn't really had a choice. It's not like she can get away. If I set her down, she follows me with her eyes and if she thinks I am leaving the room, she protests with a loud "MAAAAAAAAA".

She also has a new word! "Uh-oh"  Very exciting!!!! Though I am not a fan of annoying, battery operated toys, I will do anything to help Victoria learn to talk. So, I got her two new toys that I think are helping. The loud, shrieking voice changer. 

The parrot that repeats everything, twice. Victoria really likes to bite his beak. 

 Our biggest project this weekend was moving the girls. We gave them the master bedroom, since there are way more of them than there are of us! We had to take out the carpet years ago because the previous owners smoked, so I told the kids they could paint the floor any color they wanted. Of course, they chose bubblegum pink!

The walls are bright yellow, so it is a very colorful room, though I am not sure how sleep-conducive it is!

Francesca's dressing changes have been horrendous. I dread doing it because it causes her so much pain. Here she is on Tylenol with Codeine. Poor baby! Several of the areas are healing, but some are still very raw.  Salt water on a wound really burns!  She isn't sleeping much either, no matter what I give her. 

I have lost three pounds on my new diet. I call it the "the children always want whatever is on my plate so I have decided to eat oatmeal for dinner because no one likes it" diet. 

We saw a rainbow outside today, which I think means good things are coming! 

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Several people have asked about my homeschooling philosophy, so I will try to post about that soon. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask! 

Friday, May 25, 2012


Unfortunately, I am not talking about the Stove Top Stuffing kind of dressing. Today was the day we took off Francesca's casts. We didn't really have a choice, since she stuck her cast in the dog's water bowl.

We tried a different technique this time. Instead of unrolling the casts, we cut them off. Francesca was not impressed with either method. 

Thank goodness Carol was there to help. I was getting a little squeamish. I kind of had to blur my eyes so I couldn't see everything that well.

 The gauze was really stuck, so we popped her into the bath. Her skin was really raw. 

Victoria was really happy that it wasn't her turn yet!

Once we got the gauze off and she finally looked at her hands, she was amazed. She had such a look of wonder on her face.

I know I will never take my hands and feet for granted again!


I think they look pretty amazing! I can't wait to see her using them. She doesn't have the middle joint, so she will be a little bit limited, but knowing her, she will be snatching things off the table in no time.

Here's what her hands used to look like.

 Eventually, when she is much older, she will need a surgery to straighten her thumbs, but for now, she is done! You've come a long way baby!

She had to keep checking to make sure her toes were still there.

She bravely started walking right away.

 She just couldn't get over that she has fingers and toes!

Then, it was time for the dreaded dressing. We prepared ourselves for a screaming fest. I almost felt sick about thinking of how much pain she was in. We decided to bring out the big guns right away: chocolate chip cookies and ring pops. The other key was to sing the "ABC" song over and over. I am not looking forward to pushing the gauze down into the crevices of her fingers for five weeks, but she sure was a trooper so far. Much better than last time.

She was amazingly well. Such a sad little face. Hopefully she will be more comfortable and sleep well.  As for me, I am going to bed and taking a big bag of candy with me!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Rock and Roll

This little one has figured out how to have her own little party on the floor. She's not going to let a little thing like being stuck in casts stop her from having fun. 

Give a little push, and rock away. Right leg down, then roll around.

She really gets her left leg up high.

She cracks herself up doing this! I tell you, I sure feel like I shouldn't be complaining about anything with this little trooper around! Two more weeks of casts to go! 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Cloudy with a Sunny Side

A sad day. Another one of our cats had to be put to sleep. They are all getting infected with a terrible disease called Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP). There is no vaccine and it's 100% fatal. This time it was Anastasia's cat, Ferdinand. He was fine over the weekend. As soon as I saw him today, I knew it was time. I felt so sorry for the girls. The worst thing is never knowing which cat it will hit next. It really gives me the perspective of enjoying and loving them (and everyone) while we have the chance.

We'll miss you Ferdinand!

When we got home from the vet, we had a package at our front door! We were so cheered up! Thank you so much Valerie!!! 

These special chocolates are from a chocolate factory in Cleveland. They were so delicious and creamy. I may have eaten several of the bunnies today. Grief therapy. I was so happy to see Anastasia smile!

All of my favorites!

Thank you Valerie for bringing some joy to our day!

Really, Francesca! You think you are getting the whole bag?!  By the way, Francesca has found a way to get into mischief even with her casts on. I like to call it the "sweep and destroy" technique. One more week until we rip those casts off! 

Saturday, May 19, 2012


I can't imagine why people stare at us when we go out.

Today Francesca was walking down the sidewalk and suddenly there was a little duct tape boot laying on the ground. That's ok though because we were going to Wal-mart where we would be inconspicuous. Sort of.

You mean to tell me that most people don't walk around on their casts with duct tape on them?

Though lately, shopping at Wal-mart has kind of a different feeling than it used to. There is no browsing when I am carrying Victoria around the store.  I just get the milk and go!

I did find the time to buy this though.  I wouldn't want Francesca and Victoria to be the only colorful ones.

Alot of people ask if Francesca has been in an accident. They feel so sorry for her. Really though, she hasn't been too bothered by them this time. After all, she is a pro.

She is very adaptable! 

Poor Othello and his haircut. He looks like a pathetic poodle with his pom pom tail. Now I just need a bunch of pink plastic flamingos on my lawn to really impress the neighbors. Pink flamingos are probably not even allowed around here, sad.

Poor guy never even knew what hit him.

By the way, could 10 more people become my followers? Then I will have 300 followers! So cool! I know I will never be as hip as some of my friends who have 80,000 people reading their blog everyday, but 300 followers would be really exciting! You know, we really need some more excitement around here!