Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sick days are healthy...really.

I haven't posted a blog in a while.  Not on purpose, it just hasn't happened.  Grandma was here this weekend and since she even has launched herself into the blogosphere:, she pointed out that I haven't published lately.  This is for you Grandma!
    Riggs has had fever since Saturday. The doctor says it's just a virus.  Poor guy.  He's so pitiful sometimes, but sometimes I have to say, "Please act sick son or I'm sending you to school tomorrow."

It has actually been good for me to be stuck in the house.  You may think I'm crazy, but it makes me take a break from the normal pick up/ clean up/ straighten up  routine and do something else like:
 Christmas Ornaments,

and napkin holders

and give our orange pumpkins an updated look

make a skirt or two

and just plain ole make a mess!

 Don't get discouraged next time your kiddos are sick...Make something!

Monday, May 2, 2011

April: When it rains it pours.

April has been a humdinger of a month.  I don't even know if "humdinger" is in the dictionary, but if it describes a busy, chaotic, never stopping, life, then its the perfect word.  First, there was AC's birthday.  We had a Strawberry Shortcake theme. And I made these yummy cupcakes with a recipe I have had my birthday cake made with since I was five.  I had to update its presentation some.
       It's a little blurry, and yes, it's in my fridge.  I haven't quite updated the homemade frosting where its a perfect spreadable/ stay put mixture for cupcakes.  I'm proud of my creation. That was AC's cupcake.
 The other cupcakes were little teacups because her favorite toy right now is her Strawberry Shortcake cafe.
FYI: candy canes melt at 70 degrees.  Who knew?!?
We partied anyway.

Then I went away for the weekend. I don't I have any pics of that.  It was a church women's retreat.  There was a hot tub on the porch of each condo, I had no children and the entire upstairs condo to myself.  Lot's of sharing and then some shopping.  There was a hail threat,  so I titled that weekend "Heaven and Hail".      
Then we had Easter in Louisiana.  I have a brave mother-in-law.  She had a big Easter weekend for all 12 grandchildren and a birthday party for AC and our cousin Audrey who both turn 6 about the same time.  All I can say is WOW!  She's the best!
Then AC graduated kindergarten and I made cupcakes again.

Little graduation hats.
AC did not like her real graduation hat.  It was slightly annoying.  She got a character award for gentleness. She is a sweet girl.  
  Riggs got a metal for the most improved student.  I don't really like that title.  It should be hardest working or something a little more encouraging than "you started the year off horrible, but finally got your act together at the end".  He doesn't remember what it was for though, so he tells everyone it was for his project and for doing a really good job in school.  I let him.
This is him with his project. It's on a missionary to Myanmar. Myanmar used to be Burma and is located East of India.  Riggs would love to tell you all about it.  He loves presentations.  He great at them.  I am amazed.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Flashback Friday!

I know you are wondering why I haven't been blogging. Well, I've been writing a lesson for our church's women's retreat and that has taken all of the creative juice I can squeeze out of my brain.  I have to squeeze a little harder though because Monday, April 11 is Anne-Claire's 6th birthday! WOW! She's such a blessing.  
Here are some pics of the last 6 years.  
  What a sweet little smile.  And yes, that's a bow.  I faithfully glued or double-stick taped it to her head. 
 This is AC as a one year old.  So dainty and delicate-looking, but she could rough and tumble it up with big brother.  Oh, and that bow? She was faithfully pulling them out by this point.
    This is AC at two.  Right after she potty-trained Riggs, she read him a book.  She is very smart, and I don't know what I would do without her.  

At three, she was painting masterpieces on cardboard in the backyard.  Look at those curly pigtails!
Somewhere between three and four she turned into a little girl.  What a pretty little girl she is!  She's watching Riggs graduate kindergarten--we all worked hard to make that happen.  
This is Anne-Claire at five.  She does love ice cream, so it's fitting that she has an ice cream dress.  In fact, she loves sugar.  She told me that sometimes when she's putting the dishes up she eats sugar out of the sugar bowl.  She also sometimes gets candy without asking.  These are her flaws, and I understand them. 
Monday she will be six.  We will have strawberry cake and a strawberry Shortcake theme.  That's what she loves, and I love every minute with my sweet girl!        

Friday, March 25, 2011

Our first camping trip alone...with 4 kids.

This is the prelude to our camping adventure.  Everyone is feeling really adventurous.  Last night Bethany said she couldn't wait to see lions, zebra's, giraffes and baby bears in the jungle.  Dez was asking if he could go with Ben to the store for a few last minute items.  When Ben said "yes" Dez quickly asked "Can I drive?"

It's the day of the trip...
We got in the van and headed out.  Not one mile down the road, Bethany screamed "I have to go potty!". Someone else screamed, "I'm thirsty!"  Anne-Claire was in tears.  I thought "Oh this is gonna be soo FUN!" :)  I remembered Gary Smalley calling camping "organized disasters", and I was beginning to think he was right. Everyone did calm down, until we were out of town and Ben says something vauge and about not being sure about which direction to go. Anne-Claire replies with a "Oh, I get it, you don't know where we are going". Maybe another reason to call it an organized disaster.  We did finally make it, though and we didn't get lost.  We pitched our tent.  I'm sure the expert campers around were laughing.  Ben and I felt the need to call all of the pop-up and fifth wheel campers snobs.  We ended up only staying one night, but it was long enough to learn a few lessons about camping with children.  Here's a few things you should remember if you are feeling adventurous:
1)Packing light is impossible, don't even try.  
2)Hunting for firewood is an actual activity.  Its like hunting for Easter eggs.  It takes hours and everyone can do it.    
3)  If your two year old does not like small spaces, he may not like the tent.  Especially if you are not in it.
4)  If the two year old is sometimes afraid of the dark, he will not like sleeping outside.
5)  Not all of your children will be outdoorsy.  Bethany kept saying she just needed a slushie and a Happy Meal. She was the first to go to bed and the last to wake up.  She did not sing the entire time.  She was dreaming of French fries. (5 minutes after leaving she burst out in song and it was about salvation!)
6)  Camping is a great break from vanity.  Personal hygiene is totally different, but I do not wear make up.  I pull out my "grungies" to wear for the duration of the trip and I do not care if the children's clothes do not match.  I am totally relaxed.
7)  Because I am outside, Cheetos can be consumed and I do not worry about Chesidue--my arch enemy in the mission of Motherhood. Riggs is showing off his Cheeto fingers in the picture above.  He is proud.
8)Each meal is an event.  It takes a while to start a fire or light up the grill.  It takes a while to cook it.  It takes creativity to keep your plate, napkin, and drink from blowing away. Everything will taste better because you are outside.
9)  The age gap is narrowed.  Riggs remembered to bring his light sabers.  He gave one to Dez and dubbed him as his "padawan".  I think he taught him everything he knows about being a Jedi while using the army of trees as his evil nemeses.
10) Having to walk to the bath house with two young girls makes every bathroom break a race.  Another event.
11)  Throwing rocks can also fill time and everyone loves it.
12) You will smell like a smoked turkey.
13)Flashlighting is a verb reserved for camping trips only.
14) Bonfires have the ability to make even the most active children stop and stare.
15) When your kids are laying in their beds at night, say a big "wooow" to the gazillions of stars in the night sky and then say "This is the best day of my life!", you know that it was worth it to persevere past the first mile.  After all, I have learned something new about my kids and that is worth camping again one day.
Dez taking a nap on the way there!

Chilin' around the fire!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Last but not least!

    My final due date was January 15th.  Let me start this one by saying that I took the pregnancy test for this baby right after Riggs 5th birthday party.  An exciting day, right?  I kind of had a few ideas that I might be pregnant before hand, but I was in denial for a few weeks because I still had an 11 month old.  I had weaned her a little earlier than she wanted to be because I could not get my energy back and I thought weaning her would help.  Well, since I ended up being pregnant, I pretty much just got my energy back about a month ago.  That was absolutely the hardest pregnancy I ever had.  Baby was always okay.  Mom, not so much.  I was just too tired.  I remember that all of my maternity clothes for that season were U-G-L-Y, but I was just too tired to care and too tired to go shopping. I did care about who my doctor was though.  We used Dr. Hannah again.  I was certain that the nurses at his hospital were much better than those at the other hospital.  I was right.
  I made it to January and I had Braxton-Hicks the entire month.  The week before my due date, Dr. Hannah, seeing that I was miserable, asked if I wanted to induce.  I told him I'd wait a few more days.  January 15th came and went and still no baby.  Having had all the excitement I could handle with #3, I felt slightly in control this time, so we scheduled the induction for January 19th.  We got to the hospital in the afternoon sometime, went up to the labor and delivery floor and there was this sweet nurse with an English accent.  She had been a midwife back in England.  I really liked her.  She told me what was going to happen, and she started my pitocin drip.  The contractions finally came pretty hard.  At one point baby's heartbeat kind of "flip-flopped" a little, which scared me because I had never experienced that before.  The nurse monitored it and felt comfortable enough to have the doctor break my water and then have my epidural.  I think they got it backwards.  The doc came in to break my water and Im pretty sure he used a Crocodile Dundee sort of knife.  I used my liberty to scream at that point.  Then when they called for the nurse-anethisist (sp?) I used it again.  I'm pretty sure I was the first person this girl had ever given an epidural to.  You know this when she comes in and starts to tell you to do things like sit with your legs criss-cross on the bed.  What?! This is not prenatal yoga and I haven't done that in months.  Not to mention,this baby is coming out and that very position wants to nullify any and all progress.  I did the best I could and as she was putting the needle in my back, I just screamed.  I screamed loud enough for Ben to hear me outside the room.  I ended up getting what they called an epidural, but it felt nothing like the ones I had with my first two.  Anyhow, when the doctor came in to check on me, Ben said that he wanted to be the one to catch the baby, it being our last and all.  At first the doctor thought he was joking.  It wasn't until he came back in to tell me to get ready for the pushing part that he realized Ben was serious.  He told Ben to suit up.  We got in the delivery position with Ben in the doctor's position and Dr. Hannah right behind him.  Ben did everything.  When Dez's head crowned, Ben guided it out of the birth canal and two pushes later he was holding our sweet baby boy #2

William Dezell Evans III, AKA "Dez" was born just 8 hours after they started the pitocin drip and weighed in at 8lbs 10oz.  Ben is sure that everything was perfect with that delivery--I would have preferred a little less drama, but thats what makes them all Unforgettable.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Part III of my un4gettable experiences

Our next due date was June 28.  Ben and I jokingly talked about taking the third child "plunge".  We knew three was going to be a bit tricky.  Ben likes to say that you've gone from man to man coverage to zone coverage.  Never in a million years did we think that it was going to be quite so dramatic.  The entire pregnancy was characterized by waves of nausea.  By waves,  I mean enormous, gigantic tidal waves of horrible, just got off the Tower of Terror right after eating a Frito pie sort of nausea.  Then it would dissipate as though nothing had ever happened--*poof*, gone! In an instant the world would be back on it's proper axis.  From day one I should have known it was a girl.  I learned from my other deliveries that my pattern for  l&d was increasing time in labor, so I wisely decided to study up on the Bradley method of delivery.  They use a lot of visualization and relaxation techniques that I had Ben practice with me.  I'm glad we did.  Bethany decided that she was uber excited about entering the world and could no longer wait another minute--she was going to enter the world 6 days early.   One Friday afternoon around 4:00pm, I called Ben at work and said I was having contractions.  They were pretty light, so he should just finish up his work day, come home, and we would just see how the evening progressed.  At 8:00pm we called one of our neighbors/ church friends to come stay with the kids and Ben and I focused on when we should get to the hospital, knowing that it could still be a while.  At 10:00pm we started that direction.  At 10:30 I entered into the triage section of the hospital where they examined me, monitored me and then sent me home, saying that my cervix hadn't moved and I wasn't in labor.  On the way out the door and in tears,  I told Ben that this was crazy, because I knew I was in labor and that it was just taking me forever to progress the same way it always has.  We went home, though, and Ben laid down on the couch and fell asleep.  10 minutes later, I woke him up, saying he had to time my contractions.  Bless his sleepy soul. He sat there for 2 hours timing contractions, calling the nurse at the hospital, who said that I wasn't in labor in spite of the fact that they were 5 min. apart.  He then ran bathwater in our Jacuzzi tub where we sat in there for two hours timing contractions from 5 min. to three min. apart.  At 4 am we went back to the hospital where they stuck me back in triage, back on the monitor, checked me and said I had only progressed a little and they would check me again in an hour.  Apparently they were busy, or I was not a priority, because they kept sending in a very soothing, albeit slightly condescending nurse that had had 9 children. She basically said I was over reacting to Braxton-Hicks.  I still just want to line all of them up and just stick my tongue out at them because the following events tell me that they don't have a "listen to the woman in labor" class in nursing school.  At 7:00 am, during shift change, I looked at Ben and told him to get someone in there to check me or I was going to have this baby without my epidural and I didn't want to do that.  He then, went out in the hallway, in the middle of the nurses meeting, and the only nurse that listened to him was a nurse named Brandy--I'm sure she's an angel.  She ran in the room, did the exam, said I was at a 7 and asked when the last time someone checked me was.  Well that was 4am.  So, I had to get my huge belly, off of the triage bed, into a wheelchair, and onto a l&d bed.  After I was in the l&d bed, Brandy ordered the epidural.  When I saw the anesthesiologist, I felt a relief like I wasn't going to have to do all of this the hard way.  However, as soon as I laid on my side, my water broke and my baby's head crowned.  I told the doctor and nurse, the nurse checked me, and the anesthesiologist said "I'm sorry Mrs. Evans there's nothing I can do for you."  He backed up against the wall, probably fearing I was going to throw something.  Brandy turned the bed into a baby launcher and I told her in a coach-like voice that she had two or three pushes before she was going to have to catch a baby.  She was listening.  Every doctor that walked by in those few minutes was in my room while all the other nurses were looking for my doctor.  I pushed once, my doctor ran in put on his gloves, I pushed again, and the doctor turned around and caught her.  16 hours after the first contraction.  All natural, not quite like I had planned.  It was a beautiful and dramatic ending to a beautiful and dramatic beginning.  
                        This is 8lb. 3 oz Bethany on her 1st day in the world--June 23 2007.
 This was Bethany on her third birthday right before she sobbed during "Happy Birthday" because she didn't want to be three.  I have two words: Tidal. Wave.

Our next due date was April 4th 2005.  We had just moved to Northwest Arkansas, and I was very interested this time about how my baby was delivered--no episiotomies or suction cups.  As natural as possible, except for the epidural.  I wanted one of those.  I asked around and chose Dr. Todd Hannah.  He was a great doctor.  He was informative and believed in doing things as natural as possible.  So he didn't mind when I asked him on April 4th if we could wait. So we waited and waited, my parents came up and we waited some more.  We waited and waited and waited and waited and FINALLY, on Sunday April 10th I started having some really light contractions.  We waited for several hours and then after lunch I decided that I should go to the hospital.  I got there and they put me in my room, and my nurse, gave me something in my IV that made me drunk.  I don't remember much except that she was probably the best nurse ever! I was still worried about my epidural because of some things I had heard and read (ignorance is bliss, knowledge is scary).  The anesthesiologist actually stayed in the room while the epidural took effect.  It was wonderful.  Then the delivery was wonderful again--2 pushes and Anne-Claire was here. Just 14 hours after my first contraction and all was as natural as I wanted it.  No cutting, tearing, etc. to overcome.  A wonderful and peaceful delivery for a very beautiful 8 lb. 6oz princess.  
She's still such a sweet and dainty little person.