Thursday, March 22, 2007

Mama called the doctor and the doctor said…

C.B. is small for his age. When he was a year old his height and weight were less than the 5th percentile. Our pediatrician didn’t say she was worried about him, but she did say, “If this were my child, here is what I would do.” I have to admit I felt more comfortable when she put it that way. She ran a few tests on him (I specifically remember growth hormone levels and his kidney functions being tested), and all tests came back negative. She then sent him to an endocrinologist at Cardinal Glennon for further evaluation. I was prepared for some invasive tests and the possibility of having to inject my baby with hormones for the next ten or fifteen years. However, the doctor simply weighed him, measured him, and gave him a thorough evaluation. He explained that according to the height and weight charts, C.B.’s growth is on a definite, though gradual, incline. He doesn’t even consider running further tests unless the growth chart shows a decline or even a straight line. He said C.B. is probably just a “late bloomer”. He asked to see him again in six months, and then in another six months and another. Each time C.B. was still on a slow upward path on that growth chart, always around the third percentile. Last year after we saw the doctor we were told said he wouldn’t need to be seen again for a year. I took that to be good news.

Well it’s been a year, so C.B. and I took a trip to Cardinal Glennon this morning to visit his endocrinologist. He was again weighed and measured (twice) and thoroughly examined. His weight and height were again at the third percentile and on the same gradual incline as before. The doctor mentioned the possibility of doing a bone age test which he suggested would likely prove the “late bloomer” theory. However, he decided to wait until next year to do that because C.B. is still too young to make an accurate assessment of his future growth. And because there are no mental delays in C.B.’s development, there isn’t any reason for concern.

I realize that the third percentile sounds really low, especially to those of you who have heard your doctor use the term “off the charts” for your chubby youngster. But today I read that “Most kids whose heights are between the 3rd percentile and the 97th percentile and who are growing at a steady rate are considered to have normal growth.” (kidshealth.org) That made me feel even more comfortable about that third percentile. And more important than how tall he is, C.B. is a happy, healthy and bright little boy who is loved by all of our wonderful family and friends.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Bath Night

My children love bath time. I should say the three youngest love bath time. Miss M can’t stand bath time. She takes showers now, and they aren’t nearly as much fun as baths. We usually let Banana go into the tub before the boys. She has gotten to where she will sit and play with the toys and even pour a cup of water over her head. (She’s usually sorry afterwards, but she does it anyway.) She cries when we take her out and struggles to get back in. After she gets out and dried off, she usually goes back into the bathroom while the boys are having their bath. She used to lean over and dip her hand in the water. Then she graduated to throwing things into the tub. First the hand towel we keep on the sink went in. Then the candle we keep on the side of the tub. One day she went and got the alarm clock off of the nightstand and tossed that in. Guess what went in next?

SHE DID!! The boys were surprised when she dove in, but not nearly as surprised as Banana herself was. She was not hurt, but she was spitting and sputtering up a storm. As luck would have it she was fully clothed – soaked to the bone, shoes and all. We wound up just putting her in with the boys after that, which is all she really wanted in the first place.

Click here for more bath time fun. Don’t worry…it’s clean (pun intended!)

Monday, March 19, 2007

My latest cakes...for Debbie

My sister-in-law told me recently that she came to the blog looking for pictures of my new cakes. I hope she's not too disappointed, but there are only a few that I have gotten a decent picture of. But here they are for Debbie, and anyone else who is interested.

This cake was made for a friend of mine that loves lemon cake. Well, I couldn’t make her just a plain old lemon cake. So I made her the lemon version of the Strawberry Dream Cake. I wish I would have gotten a picture of the inside of this cake. It had four layers of cake with a layer of strawberry filling in between each layer. My friend said it was the best cake she had ever tasted.

This cake was for a little girl on her first birthday. It was just for her and, as you can see…

she really enjoyed it!

This cake was made for a Harry Potter fan’s eleventh birthday. It’s the crest of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (with chocolate cake underneath.)

Hopefully I will get more orders soon and then I will have more cakes to post!

My Heart is at Home

I attended the Hearts at Home National Conference over the weekend, and it was just what I needed. Six moms took to the road in a Honda minivan on Friday afternoon, heading off to what we affectionately refer to as “Mommy School”. We had a nice dinner Friday evening and then hung out in our jammies and talked until midnight (pretty late for a “school” night.) Mommy Communication: 101 and Keep the Siblings, Lose the Rivalry were among the classes I took at school on Saturday. The majority of the workshops I attended were filled with practical information and tips for making the profession of motherhood a little less challenging. Some were just fun ideas to incorporate into our routine to increase and improve our family time together. Some were actual steps to follow in order to “train” my kids to play together with less conflict. But the primary idea that every speaker of the day stated over and over again was about God. I am paraphrasing here, but I like the way one speaker in particular put it. She said to remember that we are not perfect mothers, and we are not expected to be perfect mothers, but that we have a perfect God to count on to be our partner in parenting.

The abundance of useful information is both exciting and overwhelming at the same time. I want to do it all, yet there are way too many helpful hints and ideas to touch on everything at once. I am excited to teach Big D to say: “C.B. when you take my things without asking it makes me feel angry”, rather than snatching the item out of his brother’s hand and shouting “That’s mine!” I am interested in using my newly learned methods of listening and responding to my children, and also in trying hard to model behavior that I would actually want them to imitate. However, these are things that don’t always come naturally for me and will take lots and lots of practice.

But out of all of those practical ideas, the one about remembering God as my partner in parenting is probably the most important. You wouldn’t think it sounds too difficult to incorporate into my daily like either. And yet even this simple idea is something that does not come naturally for me. I am very used to being in control, especially when it comes to things that affect my children. I feel so helpless when I am forced to allow another person to take over the driver’s seat temporarily. Even when I leave my kids in the care of their father, I feel like I have to get things all set up for them so that things will happen exactly as if I were there with them. I thought it would be easier for me to be less controlling when it came to God because he’s, well…God! But it’s not easy, it’s not natural, and just like the other things I want to work on, it will take practice.

Besides all of the workshops, the great parenting ideas, and the inspirational talks, I was also blessed to be with 5 wonderful moms during the 30-hour journey. It was not only loads of fun being with them and talking and talking and talking, it just made the overall experience more complete. I love that I had those women to talk about the things we learned that day. I love that I had those women to share the emotions that are inevitably stirred up when more than 3,000 mothers are all in one auditorium. (There’s a reason they give you Kleenex in your welcome packet!) I love that I have those women for my allies, my supporters, and my friends. I’m already looking forward to next year, ladies!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

What is going on around here?

A lot is going on around here actually. This week has been busy; slightly busier than usual even. On Monday I got to go and have lunch with my mom while the boys were at their numbers class and Banana napped at home with Grampa (thank you, Dad!) That night we went to our other Grandma and Grandpa’s house to have dinner with Uncle Dan. It’s his last week home before he heads back to his military life and deployment to Iraq. After dinner the boys and I attended a “Sports Night” sponsored by the Early Childhood program in our school district. Another typically busy Monday.

Tuesday was laundry day. And, boy, did I do it. Laundry, that is. Lots of it. So much that when Big D was finished stuffing all of his clean clothes into his drawer, he had to beat it closed afterwards. I’m thinking it might be time to get the boys a bigger dresser. Last night was my monthly Sunday School Teachers “Meeting”. I put the word meeting in quotation marks because it’s really just an excuse for the teachers to get together on a social basis every now and then. Some people play Bunco – we hang out at the neighborhood bar and grill. Yes…we really are Sunday School teachers.

Today is Wednesday (for some reason I have to keep reminding myself of this fact). I went with Big D’s class to a field trip this morning, I will attend Miss M’s Brownie meeting this afternoon, and the Christian rock band I sing with will be performing at a church youth group event this evening. I plan to be home by 9:00 to watch LOST and fall promptly into bed.

Tomorrow isn’t looking any less busy. I will help a group of moms from school create baskets for an auction at our school’s annual picnic in the morning. I will be decorating a Harry Potter birthday cake in the afternoon, and I will be delivering said cake that evening. In between all of that I will have to get C.B. to school, pick up Miss M and C.B. from school, and get Miss M to choir practice. To top it all off, Dad has a meeting for softball coaches as soon as I return from my cake run. And I almost forgot…my car is in at the dealer for service so I will be driving my sister-in-law’s minivan all day (thanks, Terri!)

My energy level and spirits are remaining high despite all of this craziness. Do you want to know why??? It’s because I am taking the weekend off, and I am really looking forward to it. This weekend is the Hearts at Home National Conference. I will be leaving Friday afternoon for Normal, IL and not returning home until late Saturday night. This will be my fourth year attending the conference. Five other moms (three sisters-in-law and two friends) are going as well. I am looking forward to visiting with the other ladies, to being grown-ups with each other for about 30 straight hours, and to learning more about my chosen profession – motherhood. I always come back from the conference with renewed energy and motivation, all of which is just about gone by the time the next conference rolls around. I’m ready for this weekend. I need this weekend.

Hope you have the weekend you need too.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Happy Birthday, Big Guy!

C.B. turned FOUR today, which seems hard for me to believe. My Terrible Three with Middle Child Syndrome is now four. And he says he feels four. And for the most part he's even acting like he's four. Somewhere in the last few months, C.B. has had a change in attitude. Even his teacher has remarked to me about it. It's been good. Really good.

C.B. had the privilege of getting to celebrate his birthday with five cousins, one aunt and one uncle on his actual birthday. The big family party was today, and was fun for all – kids and grown-ups alike. Click here for the highlights.

We lost about 3/4 of the pictures we had from 2006, so I had didn’t have as many to choose from when trying to put together a "year in pictures" for C.B. He’s not camera shy and he’s also pretty cute, so it wasn’t hard to come up with some good ones for his Fourth Year.


Happy Birthday, Big Guy!!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Something to Blog About

It’s been over two weeks since I’ve written anything. I’d like to say that I’ve been extremely busy and that I have tons of things to write about now. Sadly, that isn’t the case. Not that I haven’t been busy, but the things keeping me busy haven’t necessarily been blog-worthy. I have on several occasions these past two weeks sat down to post something on the blog, then thinking better of it for lack of content. However, it could be that two weeks worth of mediocrity might add up to one decent post. Let’s see…

The flu came for a visit. It came and went, and then came again. The first time it affected Miss M and me. The very next week it affected C.B., Banana and me. Dad and Big D stayed relatively healthy. We were actually quite fortunate, since none of us really had the severity of symptoms other families were experiencing. Miss M and C.B. each missed one day of school, and Banana’s diapers were the worst of her illness. Her disposition was fine. For the most part, I just felt tired and on the verge of really getting sick. Out of the two week time span, I feel like I lost about 4 days just from feeling lousy. I definitely had some catching up to do after that.

The house market seems to be picking up. We had 6 showings last month. There were 2 on one gloomy, rainy Saturday when we thought nobody in their right minds would be out looking at houses. Then the next weekend…nothing. In fact, it’s been almost two weeks since anyone has called. I am slowly losing the motivation to keep things continually spic-n-span. Maybe this weekend will be good for house hunters. However, then I’ll have to clean. Hmmmm. Sounds like a conflict of interests.

My cake business is taking off. Word of mouth has gotten me a couple of orders from folks I’ve never met before. You know, a friend of a friend type of thing. There has actually been kind of a rush here lately. Last weekend I had two orders plus a cake I made for my brother’s birthday. This weekend is C.B.’s birthday (along with several other family members we celebrate with) plus I have two orders for Saturday and another for next weekend. It hasn’t been too bad though. I just bake when I get the time and put the cakes in the freezer until I am ready to decorate them. I enjoy doing it, and the kids enjoy perks like licking beaters and getting cupcakes made from leftover batter.

My youngest brother-in-law, Dan, is home for a two-week visit. He joined the Army in August and this is his first trip home since then. The kids are all so excited to see Uncle Dan, and he is just as happy to see them. He is also enjoying two weeks with no schedules, no formations, and no getting up at the crack of dawn. The family plans for these two weeks revolve around Dan, which is OK with us. We want him to have a great time while he’s here. Shortly after he leaves home he will be shipped to Iraq. We’ll be praying for you, Dan!

So it’s not the most exciting blog entry and I don’t have any pictures, but at least I have written something. I will try to get back into the swing of things and update more often. Have a wonderful weekend. Don’t forget to SPRING FORWARD. Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday in March 11!