Monday, June 29, 2009

Wowza... What a Weekend!!

It was a soccer tournament weekend. Pepe has played in one other tournament before with his recreation team (which was in November). Friday night the boys were nervous. They've had three practices together and Pepe had surgery in there as well. Be the second half of the first game, they started clicking... they lost, but were motivated. They played Saturday morning and lost bad. They still had their chins up. Saturday night... they won! It was awesome. So... we came back Sunday morning to play again. It was a tie, so they moved on to a shoot-out. They won the shoot-out 3-2! Which put them in the finals... they lost in the finals 2-3 to the team that beat them really bad (who flew up from Arizona) the day before. They held their own. The boys took 2nd place in their age bracket in the silver division in the tournament. It was very exciting. Pepe was exhausted. He sat for the first 10 minutes of the Friday night game and played every second of all of the rest of the games. I am so proud of how hard he worked!

Friday, June 26, 2009

A quiet morning

I've been done teaching for a couple of weeks now, and I haven't been able to get into my normal summer routine. So, what a girl to do, but do something about it!

I sat outside on my back patio with my favorite red mug and my dog Jeep. We listened to the sounds, I trimmed the dead flowers out of my hanging baskets, watered and just enjoyed and reflected.

I'm 34 now... wow...

I know I'm not old, by any means, however, 34....

I remember my mom and dad turning 34...

I married my husband when he was 34...

Ten years ago, I celebrated 24 in Kauai... good thing we're headed to Maui in two weeks...

I'm going to enjoy 34...

For next year I'll be... 35...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

It's My Birthday :: A few thoughts...


Outside my window... Jeep is barking at the morning walkers, the sun is trying to find it's way out and the birds are pecking worms out of my grass.

I am thinking... about my list... does it ever end? Flowers to trim, dogs to pick-up after, homework to do, laundry to put away, sewing projects (that I never get to)....

I am thankful for... my life: my husband, my three awesome kids (that keep me on my toes)

I am wearing... my soccer coaching shirt from last year (bright, obnoxious yellow)

I am creating... memories

I am going... to Maui in a few weeks.

I am reading... The Daily Five (yep, a book for class)

I am hoping... that I'm am giving my kids the experiences, nurturing and tools they need in life to thrive and love and live.

I am hearing... the gurgling of the fish tank (add to list: add water to fish tank) and iCarly.

Around the house... LAUNDRY... eek... maybe I just need to get rid of half of the clothes... would that work?

One of my favorite things... spending time with each of my kids individually. They are so unique and loving... we are together as a whole a lot, so I cherish the quiet moments with each of them to connect.

A few plans for the rest of the week ... soccer, soccer, soccer (practice and tournament) and I would love to squeeze in a date night with my husband... someday dear, someday :)

** I saw this on Meredith's blog and loved it... I've borrowed to to try and capture some thoughts on my birthday.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A River Runs Through It :: Catch Up

Oregon Free Fishing Weekend::

We love this weekend. We head to Camp Sherman and spend Friday night around the campfire. We rise early Saturday morning and head to the fish hatchery where the kids take turns fishing. Then it's off to Sisters for shopping and the bakery with the kids. An afternoon of playing, magazine reading (for the ladies while the boys golf) makes for a great afternoon.

Sunday morning after everyone is loaded up, we take our walk to the Head of the Metolious where the river, literally, bubbles out of the ground. Usually, we feed the chipmunks, but we didn't see many... maybe it had something to do with our huge group and three dogs! We did see a family of ducks... it is an awesome, yet very fast, weekend.

Phinneous tried to hold his fish... but it was a no-go :)

The River... just a short distance from the head of the river... amazing.

Baby Girl bought a bag of marbles...

Pepe bought a bow and arrow... which later broke in half :(

The head of the Metolius...

Family of ducks...

As soon as we got back from our weekend it was time for Baby Girl to graduate from preschool. She has been at the preschool for three years as a student, but 6 years total. Pepe started at this preschool when she was a mere 10 days old. She loves this school and I am stunned that she is finally headed off to kindergarten! Yeah, Baby Girl ...

Pepe... the punch server... his favorite job.

Phinneous finished his baseball season with tropy night, sub sandwiches and a game of kick-ball against the adults... he had a great time!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Bike First!

I had the opportunity to volunteer at Bike First on Saturday. This camp has been happening in Portland for 4-years and my good friend is a HUGE part of why it came to Portland. Check out the website for pictures and stories... it is very moving.

This unique approach has enabled thousands of children, with a myriad of disabilities, to become independent bicycle riders.

My Experience:
I felt guilty as I did not want to go to camp... I had a horrible, stressful week with Pepe and I was exhausted. Knowing I would never let Ann down or those awesome kids, I picked myself up and was out the door... "just do it" played over and over in my head.

As I walked in I realized I was scared and nervous. The only prior experience I have with bicycles is a) my own... which isn't always pretty and b) my three children and 2 out of the 3 pretty much taught themselves. I took a moment to survey the grounds and decided that I would just do as I was told.

In come the first campers... quick stretches, up on the bike and we are off. After 1, maybe 2 laps around the gym I am running to keep up with my camper. Soon, we are called over to change the roller (this is very exciting).

** There are a series of rollers (I believe there are 6 of them) that campers progress through. Each one is shaped to give get them to balance and get closer to riding on 2-wheels. After the last roller, the camper moves to a 2-wheel bike) **

We keep progressing throughout our time; which is a short 1 hour and 45 minutes (yep, that's all the time we have to get our campers up and riding... keep in mind that a typically developing child will progress in 45 minutes).

ELATION... pure elation for all of us as my camper took off on 2-wheels. The smiles, the confidence, the independence created was amazing. I worked with 4 campers (and a few others in quick bursts) throughout the day. I worked with many volunteers; from adults (some teachers, some professionals, some parents) to teenagers... awesome teenagers). I left for the day EXHAUSTED... I still hurt... my toes hurt, my ankles are "frozen" each time I sit and then try to walk. There were times that I was "done", but there was no-way I was letting any of the kids and parents down. Yes, a few jokes were made over the muscles that were cramping... but that is just my way of pushing through the pain. The love and admiration I was able to take away from the day will be with me for a lifetime... this was a "lifetime" experience and I am blessed to have had the opportunity to participate.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

It's here... surgery day

Edited to add... surgery went well. He slept a really long time in recovery and the nurses finally woke him up. He was instantly complaining when he came out and asked for pain meds... it didn't help that he sneezed three times; which hurts. We got home about 9:30 last night... it was a long day. He was up and ready to "assume the position" on the couch. We laid the futon down and made a cozy spot. He has his blanket, pillow, wii remote, tv remote and a bottle of water. He ate a huge breakfast and is being forced to rest today.

Pepe will have surgery this afternoon to repair his incarcerated inguinal hernia. He's nervous, but okay with the Popsicles and sprite for breakfast.

As a person, I always feel that I can get through anything. As a mom, I am often challenged in this area. I am feeling calm about today and I am grateful for all of my children and their health.

As I looked, last week around the Pediatric department, I realized that as scared and nervous as I was, my baby will be fixed and on his way... some of those children and parents are not that lucky.

So, as I experience my pangs of "nervous" I am at ease and praying for those around us.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Summer :: Finding our Groove

After much morning complaining...

  • I'm bored
  • This is so dumb
  • What can I do?
  • There is nothing to do
  • I want a turn on the computer
  • duh
  • etc, etc, etc,
I think we found a common ground. Out came the big building board (aka old bulletin board) and the forts began. The cars found their way out of the closet and the babies were perched along the couch.
We played, we worked (mad libs, reading and and then it was time to get out of the house. We had summer clothing errands to run, so a trip out for haircuts, the library, lunch at the Bamboo Hut and lastly... Kohl's... then home for real quiet time. Everyone relaxed for about an hour before heading out for soccer practice... even Jeep came along.

It was a good summer day... somewhere in there were popsicles, the hose and fighting... all in all I'll take more of these days.

Monday, June 15, 2009

1st Day of Summer

Actually, it was only 1/2 a day of summer. The kids were out of school at 11:30 today. I figured that I'd just let them do whatever they want today... big mistake! By 2:30 the roof was raising. By 6 we were out of control. After a brief moment of "losing it"... we got a grip. While eating dinner we tried two things. First, we brainstormed a list of things we want to do this summer. Second, we brainstormed a list of expectations.

Hopefully, this will help us stay on track. By no means do I expect this to be perfect, however, I do expect it to give us some guidelines.

My personal list is extensive. I'm still in graduate school for the summer and have tons of homework to complete, but its also very important for me to get caught up around the house and work on all of those 'summer projects'.

I made a couple of goals for myself...

First, to tackle a job completely before moving on. This is very difficult for me... I've learned that I can get bored easily. So, I am really trying to stay focused and make progress.

Second, to keep sorting and purging daily... we have suddenly acquired a lot of stuff. I actually think that usually, in a normal year, I purge often, but with my full schedule I haven't made time to do it. So, bit-by-bit, I'm sorting clothes, bagging up toys and gifting/giving items away. I figure if I just keep at it, I will be finished in no time.

Today my task to stay focused on was paperwork! My goodness, my recycle bin is almost full and it was just dumped on Friday. It was an embarrassing project. To stay on task I first sorted through the piles and recycled anything that could be recycled. Then I went through the stacks and made piles:
  • keep (kid papers, etc),
  • file,
  • bills to be paid,
  • action items.
It made my job much easier. I made it through the stack on the table, the stack in the box, and the stack in the laundry room. Yeah me! Sadly, I still have to tackle the bar. Like I said, it was pretty bad.

*I also found a drawer for my coupons. I keep them in the circulars... it's easier for me to look through them this way. I keep coupons I get from various places or off of containers on the top.

I'm not sure why this photo loaded sideways...

And... the fun part of the day was picking strawberries from our garden (and the neighbors... they are out of town and told us to not let the berries go to waste).

and... homemade chocolate chip cookies... yum!

Looking forward to day 2!

Adventures in Parenting

18 hours in two ERs... that is how my summer began.

Pepe has an inguinal hernia (google it).

The second ER doctor manually moved it back into place. Very painful for Pepe and very painful for mom and dad to watch. He was incredible. And, he had so many meds in him that he doesn't remember the pain.

We scheduled surgery for Thursday... they need to repair it correctly. Something they strongly discourage in an emergency situation. Better to control it and then go in.

Within 24 hours after surgery the hernia had moved right back into place. So, I've been trying to keep him calm all weekend. The next ER doctor said... no pain, then leave it alone until Thursday. I'm calling the surgeon's office this morning.

It was quite an ordeal for everyone... your thoughts and prayers are very appreciated. Once the surgery is done, he will be ready to roll. We just need to get to Thursday.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

smiling ;)

It's been a little tense around here...

really... I've been a basket case. But, my project is complete. The final draft as been submitted via email and the final hard copy will be dropped off this morning. I can't begin to tell you how good it feels. This one was a doozy. Life is busy, school ending, three kids, dishwasher blitzed and there was a moment that I didn't think I'd finish.

But, I did.

Now, on to the next class that apparently started last week... this time the classes have overlapped so, I'm already behind. It's okay though... because I can do it and I'm smiling!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Pure Elation

This photo was taken right after his first s.o.l.i.d. hit of the season!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Almost there...

UPDATE: So as you have read, the week is a little much... I was worried how to get through it and then the dishwasher died... exploded... call it what you will. The fact is I now have NO dishwasher and had to come home to help hubby tear it out, clean up water, start the fan and wash all of the dishes by hand. NOT HAPPY! Then, when I finally sit down and check my school assignments I get this message: I'm so sorry to tell you this but you answered the wrong questions. WHAT?!??! I stayed up until 2am to answer the wrong questions. Tears, I tell you... it brought tears. I finally handed the laptop to hubby and asked him to follow the 'link' and find the assignment... guess what... he couldn't find it either. So, emails have been sent... we'll see what happens. What a week and it's only Monday!

Just around the bend... I can do it... I can do it...

This is the last full week of school... well, kind-of. The details would bore you and exhaust you... this is the week that I must forge ahead and just get to the end.

It's one of those bitter-sweet weeks... when it's over, it will be over, but getting there is half the battle.

On a fun positive note, baby girl decided to ride her bike with two wheels on Friday night. She helped me take off the training wheels and she was off. She spent the entire weekend riding in the cul-de-sac... it was, again, bitter sweet. Another great milestone!