Thursday, April 28, 2011


This seems to be the topic of interest among our three year old these days.  Tonight she was having trouble getting comfortable in her princess pants.  She wanted "Boudreaux's Butt Paste."  So I put some on.  She gets into bed and says she's not comfortable.

R:  Mom, I need more butt paste.

M:  I already put some on.  You should be good.

R:  But Mom, I want some.

M:  I think you're good

R:  (very seriously)  Mom, come on.  My butt hurts a lot and I need some!

How do you argue with that?

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Money Pit

Yes, this house was meant to be ours.  And two years in, we have practically replaced everything except the walls.  Some things by choice, others by necessity.  Here are a few of the latest purchases within the last six months:

1.  Fence was falling over.  Fence was falling over.  Well, when Humpty Dumpty kept falling over, people came and put him back up again.  Which was what we did with a certain section of fence in particular.  Then we finally put up a "real" fence that worked - board on board, pre-stained, gorgeous.   Makes me smile every time I see it.

2.  100+ degree heat for weeks last summer.  Right at the end of it, our A/C for the upstairs went out.  The majority of the square feet is upstairs, as the master/bathroom/closet is all over the three-car garage.  Builder had put in the lowest grade A/C possible and small duct work.  Richard told us that they had a vent that was going four directions and that the A/C was unable to send air anywhere because it was left to go everywhere.  Anyway, we put in a new 5 ton a/c unit with new duct work, new blower, new everything.

3.  Middle of the cold winter, our downstairs heater blew the motor.  So another $500 later, the motor is fixed on that unit.

4.  Wind storm hit this spring.  So the wood broke off the fireplace chimney.  Malcolm came out and tore off the rest of the wood and put up fiberboard (or whatever it is).

5.   Wind storm hit again.  Tore off loads of our shingles on our roof.  Backyard looks like a black sand beach.  Ok, not that bad, but they are everywhere.  Yet to know whether we'll be repairing or replacing as it just happened in the last two nights.

6.  Stovetop wouldn't ever stop getting hot when turned on.  Dishwasher left nasty residue on dishes.  Microwave had a really annoying beep.  Actually, it didn't heat food hardly at all.  And the stove heated unevenly.  We replaced all of our appliances as well as the faucet.  Looks amazing.  Cooks even better.

Why am I writing these things down?  So I can remember that God provided.  That every time I got nervous about how we were going to pay for these things without taking on credit card debt or being unable to pay for things, I can look back and see that God made a way.  That He will always make a way.  That saving money instead of spending it frivolously always pays when things go wrong.  It's not much fun at times, but it eases the burden in the hard times.

Home Sweet Home

Jeremy and I have moved every two years since being married.  And we've moved within a four mile radius the last three times.

Two years ago (this coming weekend), we moved into our current home.  In January of 2009, we had been thinking of where we wanted to be in the future, what we could do to our home to make it work, and thinking of refinancing.  Then Jeremy asked me "What would you think if we moved?"  I said "Sure!"  So we took the leap of faith - and it was a leap of faith.  We met with our friend Jana, a home stager, and had her evaluate our home.  She gave us tips and we followed every single one of them (except removing a coat rack that was on the back wall.  We took the month of January in 2009 to get everything set.  We tore down wall units and put in new closet systems from the Container store.  We took out loads of office furniture and set up the third bedroom as a bedroom instead of an office.  We took tons of boxes, toys and furniture and stored them at my parents' home.  And it paid off.  We had two offers in 13 days.

We had our eyes on one particular home that was just south of where we were located.  We had seen it back in January while we were getting our home ready.  In fact, it had been on the market for 9 months.  Several low-ball offers, but nothing worked out.  Our realtor even said that she thought it would be gone by the time we sold.

Thankfully, it wasn't.  We still looked all over nearby areas, but kept coming back to this home.  We even got up the nerve to walk up to the door and lay hands on the door to pray for God's blessing.  So 30 days later (a short sale that avoided foreclosure by the previous owner by a week, threats of them not signing, and loopholes to jump through with the bank and the previous owner... not to mention his gambling habit and him not being able to come up with the money for his side of things) - we were the new owners!

Our realtor told us that she knew that God must have wanted us to have this home - as it shouldn't have worked out and yet, it had.  We knew God had set this home aside for us.

One of those days

Started my day with two crying girls - one who didn't like the way her pants fit (too tight here, too loose there - and I'm talking about my three year old, not me) and another who just likes to scream and yell because she thinks it's funny (again - not me).

Then went to work where I opened car doors in windy weather for twenty minutes before heading straight to my room to prep, for all of five minutes, for my fifth graders to arrive.  Spent my day with 140+ students followed by 45 minutes with the yarn club kids and then had a talk with my boss.  Not a negative talk necessarily, but a talk nonetheless.

Picked up my girls and listened to them squeal and yell and cry again the car on the way home.  We then went to the playroom upstairs where they could get out the rest of their noise and energy.  Thank God for this room - not sure what I'd do without it.

When I came home, the first thing I noticed was our roof.  The roof is missing shingles.  Rain is continuing to come down.  Wind continued to howl.  So more shingles fell from the roof.  Just thankful that no rain actually entered inside the house.

Then I opened the mail to find a letter from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.  It states the following:

"In our ongoing efforts to ensure the highest level of security and prevent identity theft...."

Ahem.  Excuse me?  Efforts?  Where were those efforts when my information was potentially leaked?  Sorry -had to get that out.  It continues on...

"We want to make you aware of an exposure of personal information that may affect you... We sincerely regret that this incident occurred.  Thank you for your shared vigilance at a time when the potential for cyber crime remains a great threat."

So it appear that my information may have been linked - SS#, address, birthdate, full name, - you name it, it's out there.  Though it is probably easier to find this information on the web than I am really aware of.  Just a pain when it is the TWC, TRS and ERS leaking it for me.  Argh....  seriously not a great start to the week.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Riley is taking pictures of everything.  Thank God for digital!!  Would cost us a fortune if it was the old reel stuff.

She took one of me and said "Mom, you are so dramatic!" (I was simply smiling and holding Jules, but I love the thought that I'm dramatic)

Her next picture she said:  "Wow Mom.  You look awesome.  So beautiful!"

Please do go on, Riley....  You're making your Mommy's day!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Another Baby

No, we are not pregnant.  And no, we are not planning to have another baby as we are totally happy with the girls we've got.  However, that said, we were talking about if we had a baby boy at dinner the other night.  And then I asked Riley:

Me:  Hey Riley, what would you think if you had a baby brother?

Riley:  No.  I already have a baby sister.

Me:  Do you want a baby brother?

Riley:  Yes.  Then he could be friends with Jules!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Riley's Words

Riley (while riding in the car with Grandma and Grandpa):  Wow!  Da moon is beautiful!  It would look even better with lipstick and sparkles.

You're the best cooker, Dad!  (and I would agree with that)

Riley:  I have to go potty.  I can button your shirt, Mom, while I go.
Me:  Ok.  Can I brush your teeth at the same time?
Riley:  No!  That won't work.
Me:  Then how will you button my shirt?
Riley:  I'll just pause like this so I can do it (and she opens her mouth wide, holding her breath at the same time)

Riley: Gramma, I'm smarter than you.
Me: Really? Why?
Riley: Cuz I can speak English and Spanish.
Me: Wow. Can you speak some Spanish for me?
Riley: No. It's a surprise.

My butt crack is between my butt.  Like this (as she points to the outlet on the wall where there is a space between the two sockets)

You're the best Mom I never had!

Me:  Jules, I am so sorry that you are so sick.
Riley:  Oh Mom.  It's ok.  It's not your fault.  You didn't do it.

Friday, April 15, 2011

How to Procrastinate Instead of Going to Bed

Top Ten Ways to Avoid Going to Bed (As tested by Riley):

1 - Be decisive.  Just walk down the stairs and say "I made it a short one today" (when in reality, you never slept at all.)

2 - Claim you need another friend to sleep with.  After all, animals get lonely too.

3 - Try to go potty just one more time... And another... and another.  When you're working towards wearing panties to bed, your parents can't resist trying to help you go that 'one last time.'

4 - Tell Mom that your "nails are really long.  They really are.  I think."

5 - Tell Mom and Dad to leave because their breath stinks.  That way you have a reason to play with all your friends on your bed.  In fact, the friends can even be placed in a row so that they have each gotten married to one another.  And it creates a pattern "boy girl boy girl boy..."

6 - Make all sorts of noise slamming dresser drawers and appear at the top of the stairs sporting a brand new outfit.  Then ask if you can play since you're already dressed!

7 - Hide in your closet.  Giggle when Mom finds you and tell her you were playing hide and seek.

8 - Run into the guest bedroom and lay in that bed.  Or run into Mom/Dad's bedroom and fall asleep in there.  Makes for a fun game of "where is she?  I can't find her!"

9 - Go into Julia's room to give her a friend, wake her up, shut the door and cause Mom and Dad to do two bedtimes all over again.

10 - Tell Knock Knock jokes.  Like "knock knock (who's there)  lamp  (lamp who?)  fan!!  hahahahaha"  Then say "Wait!  Wait!  I have an even better one."  Mom and Dad will laugh so hard at the lack of a punchline, that it'll give you at least another ten minutes before having to go to sleep.


Another large medical term.  This one meaning:  Giant Hives.

As it turned out, Julia did not get better.  In fact, all through the night her hives kept multiplying and she became extremely itchy and had a fever of 101.  By morning (almost exactly 24 hours later), her eyelids were swollen so much that she couldn't keep them all the way open.  The hives had spread into her mouth. Her hands couldn't bend to pick things up because they were swollen so badly.  And her ears were completely red from hives as well.  Not to mention her little body covered in them.

So off to the ER again.  This time to Children's Hospital - at the recommendation of our pediatrician (whom I had called in the afternoon the day before as she wasn't getting better).

On the way to the ER, Julia kept saying over and over "Happy!  Haaaa-pppy!  Happy!"  I started questioning whether we really needed to go or not, but felt like she really needed to be seen - despite her happy temperament.  :)

As soon as we entered the waiting area, the nurses (all four of them) stopped what they were doing and just stared at her.  One of them finally said "So I'm assuming you're here for a rash?"  I laughed and sarcastically said "Yes, just a very small one."  Riley told us earlier in the day that Julia must have eaten an alien.  That definitely would explain her appearance to a 3 year old!

Paperwork was filled out, vitals taken and we were sent to a waiting room.

They claimed she'd probably take a popsicle (she didn't) and drink juice (she wouldn't).  I went over all we'd been through yesterday.  The doctor then tells me she was misdiagnosed.   Which would explain why the benadryl had no effect on her at all!

Erythema Multiforme and Angioedema (aka Giant Rash and Giant Hives) are very similar.  Except her skin was itchy and benadryl wasn't working - thus, it was really giant hives.  At this point, Julia was tired and irritable.  She was not saying "happy" over and over.  Poor girl just wanted her nap after being there for over an hour just waiting to figure out what was next.  Three medications and a shot of epinephrine were the plan of action.

I called my mom to tell her what they'd be doing and if she wanted to come up, I'd greatly appreciate it.  Was wonderful that her work is only five minutes from the hospital.  So she came and when she entered, got very teary seeing Julia and said "Oh, I think I'm going to cry."

Finally, the nurses came in with the tray of meds and the long needle.  Julia was crying and I was trying to hold her in my arms to make sure she would take all of it.  And got quite teary myself at how bad she was feeling.  Then I held her on my lap while they put the needle in her thigh.

She fell asleep on top of me as we lay on the bed.  My mom covered us with a white blanket and within 30 minutes, the hives had started to go away.  We were then sent home where she had more medicine to take for the next two weeks.  Doctor said it will take about a week for all the hives to be completely gone.

So today I'm home again watching her to make sure she is reacting fine to the medicine.  And trying to decide if I should take her in again today.  She won't eat.  Her tummy is in pain.  She hasn't had a wet diaper all day. And she's only sleeping an hour at a time.  So the watching and waiting continues...

Erythema Multiforme

I can now pronounce this large medical term and sound very scholarly.  Though really what I am is exhausted and worried.  Yes, I've prayed - tons the last few days for sure.  But when your child is sick, it is certainly normal to have a level of worry.

Julia has had a bad sinus infection for the last few weeks.  She was put on amoxycillin and seemed to be taking it fine until Tuesday afternoon.  After work, I changed her diaper and noticed a bad, red rash in her inner thighs near her diaper.  I figured it was just needing some cream.  Though I couldn't find any so I thought I'd just change her again very soon.

My parents came over and took Riley for a walk.  The longer they were gone, the further the rash spread.  It appeared to be hives all over - head to toe, literally.  Everyone told me not to worry.  I've had my share of hives and reactions to food allergies over the years, but this looked different to me.  I stopped giving her penicillin and began giving her benadryl.  Don't even want to think about what would have happened if she had kept on taking the meds.

Julia was up all night.  She couldn't sleep and so neither could we.  The next morning, the little, bumpy hives had turned into flattened round discs with bulls-eye targets all over her little body.  I called in to work and too her to the ER at a nearby hospital.  My dad was kind enough to go into work late so that he could come with me.

They looked horrible and by the time we got to the ER, they had already spread more.  The Doctor said she had Erythema Multiforme.  She had a horrible reaction to the medication and it resulted in a rash all over her body that would last for several weeks.  At least, this is what he said.  He told me that since it was the result of her virus, there was nothing he could do.  He prescribed benadryl every six hours and lots of liquids.  Then said to bring her in if it got worse in the next 24 hours.  So we watched and waited...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


So we all sin.  Not making excuses for the wrong things I have done in life.  Just stating a fact.  In reading the story of David tonight with Riley, I discovered a few new things about sin.

There is "a lot of sin" and "a little sin" and "goodness."  Here was our discussion:

Me (reading):  Now David wasn't perfect.  He made many bad choices and even murdered a man.  He had much sin, but God still loved him......   do you know what sin is, Riley?

Riley:  No!

Me:  It's when we do things that are not right.  When we make bad choices.  I sin sometimes and have to ask God for forgiveness.  Do you sin?

Riley:  No.  I don't sin.

Me:  Oh ok.  If you don't sin, then what do you do?

Riley:  I just have goodness inside of me.  No sin.

Me:  Oh I see.

Riley:  And I might have a little sin in me.  Like when I get time outs.

Me:  And I have sin in me too.

Riley:  A little sin?  Or a lot of sin?  I think you have sin in you.

Me:  A lot or a little?

Riley:  Just a little.  I think.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Nighttime Potty Training

Riley has decided that she is ready for big girl panties at night.  No more "princess pants" (as we call pull-ups for nighttime at our house) and no more water before bed.  Has been a great week so far until this morning.

Of course accidents happen.  And one week of dryness with one day of wetness is a great start!  I'm not upset at all that she wet the bed.  It happened at 4:30am and it is now 5:11am.  Just wondering what this means for the day that is to come.  I'm used to early wake up calls - 5:30am is not unheard of.  It's not welcome as I'm usually just getting into my REM sleep cycle (I'm not a very good sleeper.  Throw in a work night and I'm really not a good sleeper).

So good morning world!  Hello sunshine!  Oops - I mean hello darkness!  In about 3 hours, I'll be able to sing "Here comes the sun...."