Friday, July 29, 2011

Not My Job to Entertain

My kids keep coming to me and telling me they are bored. I admit we haven't been doing our usual school work each day.  After a trip to Grandma's we always take a few days to get back into a rhythm. My kids have been sleeping in late and going to bed late so we just don't get our usual start to the day.

Wednesday morning I insisted my kids get up so we could go to the YMCA for my step class. About 5 minutes into class, still in the warm up phase of the class, I suddenly felt like my calf muscle popped. I went and walked a bit but was it was really hurting to walk. I left the class and went to talk to one of the trainers. He told me that I shouldn't walk it but that I needed to get off of it and ice it. I limped my way to pick up the kids and went home to sit in a chair with an ice pack to rest my calf upon.  It is now friday and I can walk more or less without pain but if I tweak or twist my leg at all it hurts. So I have been sitting around quite a bit even though my kids want to "do something".

I made the mistake and took my kids to the library yesterday. I limped after Molly for an hour while my kids played on the computer and then limped after her for another hour while they did the activity for the Summer Reading Club. I was really worn out after that one outing. That and one trip to the store have been about all we have done this whole week. My kids keep telling me they are bored and are always asking me for things to do. I remind them they it isn't my job to entertain them. They then think they have to play the Wii because there isn't anything else to do. I admit I have relented to video Game playing since I just don't have the energy to fight at the moment but I do try to keep them only to their hour a day.

They really can't complain too much. They have audio books to listen to and I have played endless games of Cities and Knights of Catan. The Cities and Knight expansion has sat in the closet unplayed for a number of years. It was a mistake to introduce this expansion for an already well liked game. We have had to play and play it because they want to master the new rules of play. I think the regular old Settlers of Catan game is going to be rather boring after this.  There won't be any barbarians attacking and no knights to feed. My kids are already asking when we can get the Seafarers of Catan expansion. They want to build ships and sail to other islands as well. We will have to see about that. 

They are also asking for more expansions to the Carcassonne game as well. I guess we have played these games so much lately they are almost boring because it is the same things over and over again. I guess it is time to get rid of some of the old games and get some new ones. My kids are ready for more challenging games.

The kids have spent some time outdoors too. They have rode scooters and shot hoops in the driveway. But they really had fun once I let them turn on a sprinkler and run through it.

Molly enjoyed the mud puddles created the most.
But spent some time sitting in a chair she took out onto the lawn in the spray of the sprinklers.
I really hope my leg starts to feel better soon. According to internet searches it looks like it could take some time depending on how severe the strain. I guess I won't be doing any step classes for awhile. Maybe I need to look into when the YMCA swimming pool is open for us to swim. My kids are showing signs of cabin fever.  That is something we could do, stay cool, and that wouldn't hurt my leg. Although I spend all my swimming time keeping Molly from drowning...  she has no fear of jumping off the side and wants me to let go of her......maybe that isn't a good idea.

I guess my kids are just going to have to be bored. I am just not able to come up with stuff to keep them busy all day long. Actually I am sure there are some toilets to scrub and dishes that need washing. They have been helping out a lot around the house but each time they ask me to entertain them I will have to come up with a chore that needs doing. That will stop the constant nagging for things to do.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Swimming at the Lake

We headed up to Grandma's house for the weekend. We haven't had a lot of time up there this summer and my kids were looking forward to some time with cousins and of course doing a lot of swimming.

For Pioneer Day my parent's ward (the ward I grew up in) has a big picnic at the lake. My kids were thrilled that we would be there to go to the Lake for some swimming. It was such a perfectly beautiful day. Warm without being hot and sky was so blue. It was lovely.

 The kids still made a little mud fort on the beach.

 Did a little rock climbing and jumping.

 The picnic spot is on a far spot away from the "beach" area designated for swimming but the kids had a great time in the water among the parked boats and kayak.
 Once the cousins arrived and eveyone had eaten a bit they headed back out to the water.

 Molly spent some time in the water but ended up having more fun playing the stumps like drums and getting into other mischief on the shore. The water was really cold!
 It didn't stop the kids from having the best time out in the water.
Henry particularly loved that someone brought up a large package of water balloons for a fun balloon fight.

After everything was packed up and we were ready to head down the hill the kids all decided they needed to head back to grandma's house for a swim in the pool.

It was in the 90's this weekend so temperatures were just right for all this water play. 

Officially Two

I can't believe my baby is now two. Time sure flies!

She certainly loves being the center of attention. We didn't hang up balloons or banners but we did bring out the red plate for Molly to use at breakfast and then again at dinner.
She got to have her favorite snack that afternoon.  Popcorn isn't on Sophie's liquid diet so we haven't had it in over 3 weeks and Molly was so excited when that big bowl of popcorn we put down on the floor for her to enjoy.
I was actually thinking of not getting Molly anything for her birthday. She is not in need of anything. We have too many toys already in our small house but I ended up breaking down and getting her some little dolls. Molly loves to play with dolls. I thought some little dolls that she could take with her would be nice so I looked around at some mini sized dolls and just didn't find anything that I liked so I looked on ebay for some American Girl mini dolls. I found a Molly doll and her friend Emily. They are missing a few of their accessories but are still in good shape and who can beat 2 American girl dolls for $10.00 including shipping. Molly was more than happy with these two cuties.
Since the plan is for her to take them with her I thought she needed a little bag or something to carry them and keep them in. So in about 5 min I cut a large square from some scrap material and created this little doll roll.
The dolls fit in the little pockets  as if they are going into a sleeping bag. Molly finds it so fun to put them in and out of the little pouches.
Grandma got her some Sing-a-ma-jigs. I think my older kids have had more fun with these little toys. I have them take them into the bedrooms to play since they make a lot of noise.
For desert we had some Hot Fudge Sundae cake. I thought this was best since it was something soft enough for Sophie to eat with us. Plus it tastes so good! Henry told me he wants this cake for him birthday too.
Grandma also provided us with a popper. Grandmas always seem to know what kind of toys will make the most noise and therefore become their favorites.
Over the weekend we went up to the other grandma's house and she made Molly a dress for her favorite doll. This is the doll this Grandma had given her last year for her birthday and the little nightgown was perfect for this little baby doll.

Molly had a great birthday. We never had an official party but we ate lots of cake and opened a number of presents.
The strawberry cake we served for dinner with the cousins was very tasty. I had mentioned a strawberry cake to the kids a few weeks ago since Molly's favorite book is still The Big Hungry Bear and the Red Ripe Strawberry.
I didn't hear any complaints about the cake and ice cream so everyone must have enjoyed it. Even Sophie had a piece. She mixed her cake and crushed up the strawberries into the ice cream to make a nice ice cream cake mush.

Here is Molly with the cousin closest to her age. (Sorry it is fuzzy. The picture is taken through the window screen.) They are about 7 months different in age. It looks like a lot more in this picture. I guess over the next few months my girl will grow up to be an even bigger girl like this cousin. 

My Goodness do this kids grow up quickly!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

2 and a Half Weeks Down, 5 and a Half to Go

I thought I would post an update on Sophie since I haven't in some time. She is more or less back to her normal self physically. She is running, jumping, swimming and even biking just as she did before. Her hip doesn't really bother her at all. She doesn't like anyone bumping it and still won't let me peal those tape strips off but as far as her hip goes she is fine. Before this surgery I often was told and read that the hip was what hurt the worst and I had the idea that she wouldn't be up walking around so well afterward but Sophie isn't the type of girl that will ever sit still for long. She needs to be doing things and doesn't take a rest for any reason (except when she is so engrossed in a book and hides in her room, curled up on her bed, to read undisturbed).

Her mouth seems to be doing well. Every once in awhile Sophie will show me a little knotted piece of string she finds in her mouth. I guess the sutures are falling out rather than just being absorbed. Tonight she even found little pieces of bone in her mouth.

We saw the surgeon at the end of last week and he took an x-ray of her face and he said the bone looks just as it should and that we need to get her to the orthodontist to be fitted for a new retainer to make sure her teeth don't shift any further. She has been without her retainer since the day of surgery. It will end up being a month since that day before we can be seen and the mold taken. I really hope things haven't shifted too much!

The hardest part of this whole post op experience has been the liquid/ soft foods diet. I have a really hard time finding things for Sophie to eat. She is tired of yogurt but eats it because there isn't anything else except apple sauce that she can just pull out of the fridge and eat.  I send most of our regular meals through the blender  and see if they are palatable in that form. Most of them taste very different as mush. One meal she does like is Pesto Pasta. I just buy the Costco pesto and serve it with broccoli and cauliflower and if I have it some chicken over some whole wheat pasta. My kids love it and luckily it tastes pretty much the same ground up.  So we have had that meal several times over the past two weeks and then the left overs have been used for lunch and dinner for Sophie for days afterward. I think she is getting tired of it as well.

We have tried mashed potatoes but they have never been one of the things Soph has really enjoyed. She ate them because there wasn't another choice.  She still wont eat scrambled eggs or even oatmeal. She is a rather picky eater anyway but cut out a lot of the things she normally eats and she has even less to fill her belly.

This is where things are really taking their toll. Sophie never really feels full. She eats because she is hungry but because the food is just ok or because she is only eating things because there isn't anything else, she isn't really eating enough. I haven't weighed her but I am sure she is loosing weight. But the worst thing is that she tends to get really cranky and has had a number of very big outbursts where she just looses control. I just know it is because she isn't getting enough in her tummy. I offer all sorts of food but she doesn't eat them. I am sure it is just something we are going to have to live with until the doctor says it is ok to use her teeth. 

We have ended up eating a lot of soup for dinner and then the left overs become her lunch for the next day.  I have been trying a lot of different soups as a result and we have found a few new ones that we will be making again in the future.

Last night we had a Pumpkin Black Bean soup (I wish I remembered where I found it so I could point you in the right direction for the recipe. I printed it out months ago so can't remember) which my husband really enjoyed. It has curry in it so has a bit of the Indian food smell and taste. It was great with tortillas dipped in it.  Sophie of course had it blended up and it went down alright but the boys really fought it and Molly wouldn't try it at all. But it was a first try so we will have to give it another go another time.


I also make a lot of smoothies sometimes with the kale or spinach and sometimes with just fruit. It depends on what I am serving it with. If the dinner already has a lot of greens than I just do fruit.  But I throw spinach in just about all my smoothies and even sometimes the ice cream I make in my blender. I LOVE our Blendtec. I don't know how I would do this liquid diet without it.

Last night's smoothie was particularly good. Henry didn't even complain too much about it. And it was loaded with kale and spinach. I think it was the Pomegranate juice and the frozen mango and papayas that I used that the kids really enjoyed. I am getting better and better at really good tasting green smoothies.

So right now we are just hanging in there with the food situation but everything else is going really well.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Bag

One of my friends at church asked me today "Does he ever go anywhere without his bag?". She has made that comment a few times over the past year and a half. She finds is so interesting that this little boy is almost always wearing his little shoulder bag. Ian has always loved gadgets and he likes to have them close at hand and is often prepared for all kinds of things because of his stash of things he keeps in this bag.

When Ian turned 6 he wanted an Indiana Jones Birthday party. I wanted to hand out something that was Indiana Jones like but that was something the kids would be able to use for awhile. I didn't want to hand out stuff they would just throw away. So I made 16 of these little khaki colored bags. I lined them with different scraps that I had in my stash but the outsides of all the bags were the same tan colored canvas material. I didn't follow any pattern. I just used a piece of paper as my size guide and cut out as many bags as I could make with the fabric that I had. With 14 kids coming to the party and three of my own that expected to have bags too, I was sewing for quite some time.

At the party these bags were used to hold all the prizes they won during the games and of course all the candy that they grabbed after the pinata was smashed.

It seemed to be a big hit. The kids all liked their bags and every once in awhile I see one come to church or to the park with one of the kids that attended. That makes me very happy.

 Ian's bag goes on hikes with us. He will collect rocks and pine cones and sometimes even feathers but most often it is sticks that seems to find and keep in his bag.
This bag has been everywhere with this boy. It goes on every vacation. It went to Mexico on the cruise ship with him.
He wears it to the library for Summer reading activities.
He wears it at home while playing with toys.

It held the map while we explored the zoo.

I don't know exactly what he keeps inside it. He has been keeping the Harry Potter book he has been reading in it the last little while just so he can pull it out when in the car or out and about.  I also know there is a plastic soap dish inside that holds a bunch of different pieces of string. These strings come in handy when you want to make a bow and arrow while at the park. And an old Altoids can was in there. It holds a few legos.  I only know this because every once in awhile the bag has to go through the wash and I finally get to see what is inside.

Here it is again at Grandma's house while the boys had a sword fight while walking the fence.

I bought him an adventure vest last year. I thought all those pockets would come in handy. He wore that vest a lot. But I think he grew out of it pretty quickly. Good thing the bag doesn't seem to ever be to small. Sometimes he would leave his bag behind and just wear the vest.

But sometimes he had both the vest and the bag.
Oh... I guess the bag didn't make it to Yellowstone, but Sophie brought hers!

Henry wears his quite a bit when he can find it. He doesn't keep track of his bag quite as well as Ian does his.

 Even Molly gets into the act. But hers is just for dress up at the moment.

I original bag that I made him over a year ago started to look a little shabby and the corners were worn and a bit torn so we went to the fabric store and found a remnant of some even sturdier canvas and picked up a green strap for it and I made a new bag. Exactly like the old one but this time I added his Junior Ranger Patch that he earned when we visited Yellow stone. He had been asking to have it sewn on for some time but since his bag was falling apart I didn't want to put it on that bag. The new bag looks really good with the patch and the sturdier fabric.
It didn't hinder him playing the Kinex while we were in Hawaii. He was jumping around with it
It even went to church with us in Hawaii.
This boy is rarely without his bag. It certainly comes in useful!

Even if it wasn't useful it certainly looks good. It is the perfect little adventure bag for this boy.