Saturday, March 16, 2019

Ice Possum, and Other Excitement

On a very cold day last week, we spied this little possum skating around our frozen pool.  Talk about weird.  For a while we were amused, and then we were worried, but he or she succeeded in climbing out of the pool and onto the concrete, so we assumed it was all right.

Unfortunately, that was not the case. The sad creature moved more slowly, then fell over, and died ignominiously.  Poor thing. Something was apparently wrong with it because it wasn't stuck in the pool.  Possums are usually nocturnal so the fact that it was out and about during the day was a bad sign.

Kevin and I didn't write out any kind of agreement when we were married about who does what in our household, but thankfully for me, he agreed (without argument) that I don't deal with dead animals.  Dead animals freak me out. So he and Isaac went out and dealt with the dead possum on the pool before the weather warmed and the water in the pool melted. Better to have a frozen possum than a nasty soaked possum.

I spent the week sick with The Virus.  Not the flu, thankfully, but quite annoying.  I am still a little sick and very tired of it, but it isn't smallpox. It isn't smallpox.  I try to encourage myself when I am disgruntled with illness that in the grand scheme of things, a couple of weeks with periodic headaches, and body aches, and sore throat, and fatigue, are not a big deal.

And they aren't.

Kevin nobly took Lydia to a hand specialist and Sarah to a foot specialist this week.  Lydia has a weird finger due to a break when she was 6 -- a break which didn't heal correctly because her foolish parents didn't NOTICE IT WAS BROKEN.  (What can I say, she was a super tough kid!)

Lydia had two surgeries on the offending digit a couple of years ago; the finger is now straight, but there is serious arthritis and it doesn't bend at one of the joints now.  The hand specialist this week said further surgery wouldn't help.

Sarah was born with an odd toe on her left foot.  It is now bent over in a strange way. But the foot specialist also said surgery wasn't a good idea because right now she is fully functional and surgery might make it worse.

All right then, no surgery. That's a fine thing!

Rose cold.

Rose with cute sock hat that my mother made. For a few days, she wore this non stop. Then it got warm and she put it away.

Rose and Sarah and Angela hanging out.

Sarah and her magnets. I bought more of these building magnets and while I was sick, the three litttles played with them a lot.  When all is well, they are creative and happy. When they are struggling, they fight like small cats and dogs over who has the pleasure of having particular shapes and colors.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

New Haircut

This is a big deal for me. I got my hair cut!  And bleached.  Bleached a little, anyway.



The back

I really like it. The bleaching is subtle but it gives some nice highlights to my hair.

I'm super cheap and so it was a big step to pay to have my hair done like this. The lady who did it is a dear friend and very good at what she does. She's also recently finished getting a master's degree in history and is a mom of a toddler, so it was great fun to talk through being someone who is "intellectual" but also feels called to focus on mother hood and family.  We had a great time.

And I love my hair.

Oh, I'm also finally sick with The Illness :-(.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Giant Tent

The little ones are cute.

They made a big tent, and then they got inside.  Sarah, whose reading is improving, read Daniel and Rose "The Runaway Bunny". Delightful.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

A Cacophony of Coughing Plus a Natural Biohazard

So yeah, we're sick with a cold.  Ergh.  Now that in itself is annoying but not a big deal, but poor Joseph developed walking pneumonia and a sinus infection as well.  So he is a pretty sick young man. I finally took him to the doctor yesterday (I know, I should have gone earlier -- though to be fair, he had his first really bad day the day before yesterday) and now he is on gigantic antibiotics which he has to work hard to get down his raw throat.  And he has a powerful gag reflex,  poor kid.

Weather continues to be cold.  I know we are on the cusp of spring but you wouldn't know it except that the days are noticeably longer.

We had an adventure two nights ago.  I was in bed at around 11 p.m., just drifting off to sleep, when my not so powerful sense of smell detected a new and unpleasant aroma.


I was like, huh???

Kevin came up a while later and I pried my eyes open to ask, "Do I smell skunk?"

And the answer, unfortunately, was yes.  A skunk sprayed on our front porch, so close to the front door that the smell was wafting through the house.


Kevin has official training on containing biohazardous gases (as a work requirement) so he taped up our front door to keep the noxious fumes outside. As Kevin said, no doubt a cat was the primary target and we are just collateral damage.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

February Marches On

I think we are all a little tired of winter.  We have had a cold week with a little ice, a little snow.  Nothing too dramatic. But neither are we desirous of going outside and playing. It is rather nasty.

Having said all that, there are ways that winter is pleasant because we are "stuck on the house" and I feel less pressure to get out and do exciting things. Because doing exciting things with the Horde is no easy thing :-).

I am feeling burned out so this week we are taking a little time off of school.  We will not be idle, as there are some projects that need dealt with -- specifically, I will focus on the children's clothing and shoe needs for the upcoming spring and summer.  It is always a mixture of hilarity and irritation to go through the children's drawers, because inevitably the children manage to mix up clothing so that my clothes appear in Daniel's drawer, and that kind of thing.  So we'll get all the clothes back where they belong, remove clothing that is too small or too big and put it away in the basement, and figure out what must be purchased.

I love our local Once Upon a Child.  What a blessing it is for the younger children. The older 4 are all adult sized now.

Joseph is almost as tall as I am, and almost certainly not finished growing. And Isaac. Isaac!  I still chuckle a bit as I peer up at my much taller son.

Kevin and I went on an exciting trip to Home Depot yesterday to look at counter top materials. We are going to replace the aging and imperfect counter top in our main bathroom. Naturally it is a weird size so we'll have to custom order it.  Oh well.

And now, a couple of pictures.

Rose continues to be adorable and, at times, loopy. And dramatic.  And strong willed.

Lydia got her hair bleached. This is step one and I don't have a picture of step two, after she dyed it blue. It looks great.  I have decided to go crazy and get my hair bleached as well.  I haven't ever done such a thing.  Well, age 49 is a fine time to start. I won't go all blondish, I am just getting streaks.

It'll be fun!

Sunday, February 10, 2019


Isaac has braces now!  He is our 4th child with orthodontia.  Our orthodontist is a very nice man, but I'm sure he had an avaricious gleam in his eye the day we first met him.

Not really, he's very nice.

Anyway, yep, orthodontia for Isaac. We have a genetic predilection for overbites.  We aren't as concerned with the cosmetic issues, but the overbite means that the kids in question might well have their teeth wear down prematurely and/or have jaw trouble.

A long, long time ago, Naomi was 7 years old and our dentist at the time recommended she see an orthodontist. We consulted with 2, including the practice we are using now.  This practice said no, wait. She doesn't have all her adult teeth in. Actually, at that point, she had NO adult teeth in. It made sense to wait.

The other orthodontist recommended immediate orthodontia.

We decided to wait.

A dental technician gave us kind of a hard time about it.  I pointed out it was expensive and we had 6 young children and she said we could pay in installments at most orthodontist offices.

Which is true.  We could have. But we didn't want to.  We had 6 kids at the time, now we have 9 children. We REALLY don't want to go into debt for orthodontia unless we felt it was a medical necessity, and it wasn't.  

We've saved up through the years and have been able to pay cash for all 4 kids, though in Isaac's case we delayed a year because we were saving up.

So all this is to say that while we obviously put a priority on getting our kids' teeth fixed, we also realize this is a "first world issue" to some degree.  We are blessed in many ways that we have access to good medical and dental care. We also need to be wise not to put ourselves into debt about something which is GOOD but not VITAL.  We would, of course, go into debt if a kid had an appendix out or some other problem that would kill the child if it wasn't addressed. Of course we would.  But for orthodontia, it made sense to wait.

Oh, as an added aside, it turns out Naomi is missing her wisdom teeth and 2 of her 12 year molars and none of that was obvious when she was 7 years old. It is very good we waited on treatment for her because her particular situation was complex and unexpected, and her current treatment takes into account her missing teeth.