Sunday, August 31, 2008

30 Days of Nothing Revisited

I promised to talk about this and I'm really out of time. It begins tomorrow!

What is the 30 Days of Nothing? Owlhaven explains it really well in her blog (click on the the 30 Days button to go there and follow along)

Basically, we won't be spending money on anything except essentials for the whole month of September. We'll also be reading through the book Material World as a family and doing some special projects to help us understand how priveleged we are to live in America. I post about those after we've completed them (I hate to promise an activity and then it doesn't work out...story of my life!)

So, some topics to explore during this month (some ideas I've stolen from Owlhaven!): Consumerism
Impulse Shopping
Wants vs. Needs

and I'm sure I'll think of more.

Check out this blog for another perspective on this project.

Friday, August 29, 2008

A Happy Anniversary

As I mentioned the other day, Monday was the one year anniversary of Sunshine's homecoming into our family. We didn't get much chance to celebrate because of Pepper's tonsils. And some of you might recall that it's also a sad anniversary since my dad died right before we got back to the U.S.

But today I wanted to share a few pictures with you of my amazing boy:


His first photo

Isn't he ADORABLE????

Our very first glimpse of him. Hi, Mom!

What a ham!

My all-time favorite picture of him. Thanks, Paddy for taking this while you were in India!

Meeting Sunshine

My very first look at him in person.

Sad boy

Bonding with Mommy

Home in the U.S.A

My Boy Today

None of us can remember our life before he joined our family. When I think of the days and hours and months that we agonized over whether to add to our family again, I can't believe we were ever unsure this would be a blessing.

We love you, Sunshine!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Princess Petulant

The whole sick thing is wearing thin for Pepper. Last night at 11:30 she wouldn't wake up to take her medicine. It doesn't help that it tastes bad.

I petted her. I shook her. I stroked her head. I called her name. She flopped over on her side. I touched her lips with the syringe full of medicine. She slapped it away. I petted her some more. I said, "Please take your medicine." She covered her ears. I tried to put it up to her mouth again. She covered her mouth.

Finally, she bumped the cup and spilled it in the bed. Then I got mad, she got resigned. She sat up and took the medicine. Then she flopped herself back in the bed.

Pepper is a great flopper.

We both slept through the 3:30 dosing and she slept until 7:30 this morning. She was pretty sore and crabby. I made her eat some yogurt before I let her have the meds, as her tummy has been hurting (thankfully, she's not a barfer. That would be Daisy) She crabbed her way through a tube of GoGurt and ate two miniscule bites of cream of wheat.

She hasn't had any appetite today and everything I suggest sounds bad to her. She finally settled on spaghettios and ate two bowls.

I think she's bored.

Poor Princess Petulant.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Further Adventures of Princess No-Tonsil

Pepper slept from 5 to 6:30 last night and woke up pretty sore. She snuggled with us and ate frozen applesauce while she waited for her 4 hours to be up so she could have more Tylenol. She got the Coedine in honor of it being bedtime.

We went to bed about 9 and I set the timer for 11:30. I had to wake her up to give her the next dose and we both fell right back to sleep.

At 3:30, she got up to use the bathroom, didn't want the yucky Coedine (but took it anyway) and ate a popsicle. At 4:30 she had to go potty (thanks to the whole glass of water she had an hour earlier) and her tummy hurt. I decided it was time for Mr. GT to take a shift, so he came down and fed her Blue Moon ice cream while I went upstairs to sleep with Sunshine (who had been displaced to Daisy's bed, who had been displaced to Pepper's bed).

Grandma and Grandpa (whom I forgot to mention had graciously come down to babysit yesterday while we were at the hospital (and thanks for doing all our laundry, Grandma!!!!!!)) had to leave at 7 this morning, so everyone was up and at 'em very early to say goodbye.

Grandma and Grandpa left, Mr. GT went to work. Pepper ate a bowl of Cream of Wheat and said she felt pretty good. We invited LayleyHey! over from next door to keep her company, and they are quietly playing on the couch.

Her appetite is good which the nurse, who called this morning, said is a great sign. She's moved on to noodles with parmesan and butter and is now emptying a little cup of Blue Moon.

Auntie, she LOVED the back of your card, "Pecked out just for you." She giggled and giggled over that and made everyone read it. It was very punny!

Thank you, everyone who has helped us out these few days. Grandma & Grandpa who babysat, did laundry, weeded the whole garden; Nonny, the popsicle-shopper & cake rescuer; Auntie, who sent card and gift; and everyone who prayed for her.

Monday, August 25, 2008

I'm Pepper and I Have No Tonsils


See that light strip down the middle of the back of her mouth? That's her uvula and it should be dangling free. Instead, her tonsils are touching it from both side. Ewww.

Today Pepper had her tonsils out.

She was up at 5:00 am, raring to go.

5:15 I'm starvin' already.

On the way in to the hospital she had this to say:

"I smell oreos. Now I smell mushrooms. I hate mushrooms. Ewww! A skunk. I hate the smell of skunk! Why does it fill up the car?" She wondered how they would keep her mouth open ("I was thinkin' about that yesterday.")

We talked about how today was the one-year anniversary of Sunshine's homecoming. "After I get my tonsils out, we'll have TWO things to celebrate! [on this day]"

We had to be at the hospital at 6 am. The doors of Outpatient Surgery were still locked! They whipped us into a room where we waited until 6:47 for the nurse (who was really nice!) to start doing vitals. Pepper watched a movie.

In rapid succession, we saw the Dr., the anesthetist, the nurse anesthetist, another nurse and another nurse. Her surgery was scheduled for 7:15, so they had a lot to fit in in less than 30 minutes!

We neglected to get a picture of me in my scrubs and fluffy hat. Bummer.

They wheeled her down to surgery in her bed and flopped her into the surgery bed. She chose root beer for her flavor and I was able to stay with her until she went to sleep. Afterward, she commented: After I took a big breath, I felt like I was melting away and slipping off the bed. I felt like a puddle. It felt like I was falling.

45 minutes later, Dr. P came to let us know all had gone well and that her adenoids had been blocking whatever passage they live in MORE even than her tonsils had! (reference above picture again for the visual)

A few minutes later we were able to go down to the recovery room while she was waking up. Her poor little teeth were chattering and her lips were trembling and she hated that. She kept asking when it would stop. They gave her another shot of morphine in her IV and Mr. GT was spooning popsicle slushie into her mouth. They had me crawl into bed with her to snuggle her. She was crying quite a bit because of her lips and they kept asking her not to cry so as not to hurt her throat.

Mr. GT sat down in the rocker behind him and suddenly there was a flurry of nurses right there. Turns out (I never noticed!) Mr. GT got all pale and light-headed and almost passed out. One nurse ran for apple juice and another for a bed and a third for a wet cloth. I took the slushie from him and they hustled him into a hospital bed with his head down. He didn't protest much, so he must've felt pretty bad! After lying there about 20 minutes, he pinked up and felt better. It got Pepper to stop crying while she watched the commotion!

Pepper finished her slushie in record time, Mr. GT was allowed to get up and Pepper was wheeled back to her room. She felt pretty punky for the first hour or so, but in the next 3 hours she managed to slip down 2 more popsicles (the LAST popsicles in the hospital! Go figure. It took over an hour to track them down.),an orange jello, a can of 7-Up, and a glass of water with ice. She loved having the ice pack on her neck. She got up to go potty 3 times.

With an hour to go, they took her IV out and sent all the docs down to sign us out, although we did have to stay almost the full 4 hours.

She wanted to ride out in a wheelchair because she still felt dizzy, so Princess No-Tonsil hopped into her chariot and away we went. When we got to the parking ramp, I picked her up to carry her to the car and she whispered to me, "I'm Pepper and I have no tonsils."

In the car, she announced, "I hate getting surgery. I hate going to sleep and I hate waking up. Especially waking up. My tongue was tingly and squooshy, like jelly."

She slept all the way home and now is safely ensconced on the couch and is beginning to open presents. She's beginning to feel done with the whole documentary thing:

Card and present from Auntie:

Presents from Grandma: It's wrapped in baby paper. "I had a baby," Pepper said. "Baby tonsils," we said!

The Tonsil Fairy came!!!!

Presents from Nonny:
It's Mary, the Mother of God!

Nurse Rose Bud is making her slushies and waiting on her. I'm sure after 2-3 days, the fun will wear off. But for today, she remains Princess No-Tonsil.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Coming Soon: 30 Days of Nothing

Comment About our Family Size

I was working tonight--I waitress-- and about 12 people were in for a birthday party. It wasn't my table, but towards the end of the night I noticed they had "Happy 50th" napkins on the table. An elderly lady was sitting at the end and everyone else was talking to someone else, so I stopped by and jokingly said, "It must be your happy 50th!" She looked surprised, then laughed and said I was sweet to think she was only 50. She was actually 85. We got to talking and I asked how many children she had.

"Six," she replied. I said, "Oh, good for you! I have five." Here was her reply:

"Oh, you will be SO grateful! I wish I had had eight!"

Isn't that the sweetest comment? Most people, when they find out you have five children are all "Oh, my gosh, you have your hands full! Better you than me! I could never do that! I can hardly take care of the two I've got! or You must be crazy!"

And I've had that thought before. How wonderful it will be when they are all grown and married and we have Thanksgiving or Christmas and my house is filled to bursting! I don't want to downsize when they've all gone. I want to have room for them all to stay!

What a blessing this lady was to me today.

Here are my buttercups. I think Banana Boy didn't want to wear the shorts I'd picked out for him, so he was having a snit. The girls were very patient, at first, about posing.
Now everyone is trying to look pouty
BB gets madder
Not cooperating
The girls are running out of patience. The smiles are fake now.
Daisy closes her eyes
Now we've lost Sunshine all together.
Dad reaches in a hand to try and improve things
Everyone is on their own agenda now

And we gave up.

But, oh, I do love them!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


While at Family Camp, out in the middle of nowhere, we were walking to the cabin after the campfire. Where we live, 1 mile from a 4-lane highway, it's never really completely silent. At camp, one of us suddenly stopped and said, "Everybody, Shh! Listen to how quiet it is!"

Pepper: I wish those crickets would be quiet so I could hear it!

Pepper, unruffled after almost stepping on a snake at camp: "My foot was just hovering over it and then it slipped away into the grass."

Pepper reviewing The Boxcar Children Caboose Mystery: "I love this book. It's really exciting. Read the back. It made me excited." You have to understand that this was said in a dead serious tone, without excitement. Not sarcastic, nor in a monotone. Just deadpan. She's such a serious little muppet.

And my favorite: "I just love you so so so so so so so so so so so much, Mom. Kiss my lips."

I just love YOU so so so so so so so so so so so so much, Pepper!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

At Last! The Last Day of Vacation!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I woke up to find Banana Boy in my bed. “Mom,” he said sweetly. “You are better!”

“Better than what?” I had to ask.

“A coyote,” he answered, his voice full of love.

Uh, yay, me.

7:07 am Hazy, but sunny and pleasant. We’re all packed up and saying good bye to the cabin.

Our cabin. You, too, can stay here. Go to Koinania Cottage

Each morning the kids open their bag of presents from Nonny.

They’re begging the second they are in the car, but we’ve been making them wait.

The first day they had to wait for the first stop sign.

The second day they had to wait for the second stop sign.

The third day they had to wait until after we had the tire fixed.

Today they had to see a dead armadillo first.

It took a surprisingly long time, but the one we finally found was nice and fresh. There weren’t even any flies buzzing over it yet. Mr. GT whizzed past and by popular vote, we made him turn around so we could get a better look. The kids had never seen a real armadillo, after all!

Want to see it closer?

He (it WAS a boy) was pronounced “Cool!” Thus began a lot of silly armadilly talk.

Hi Ho I love you so.

A dead armadillo
A dead armadillo
We’re drivin’ over you – Banana Boy

Everybody wants a dead armadillo
Yours is a purse and mine is a pillow --Mom

Everybody wants a dead armadillo
Mine’s dipped in chocolate
Yours is dipped in broccoli crumbs --Da

Everybody’s seen a dead ‘dillo
Mine is slow…
…and so is yours. –Rose Bud

Rose Bud posing as a dead armadillo.

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We connect up with Hwy. 61 near St. Louis. Crabbiness is at a medium level, about what I’d expect for the long drive. Banana Boy is melting down in a major way, so somewhere (no idea where) we stop at a Starbucks for coffee for me and a change of seats. I moved next to Banana Boy, which calmed him down for a while. The other kids amused themselves with Adventures in Odyssey CDs and leftover slime from VBS. The girls each brought a vial of slime powder and used water from their water bottles to mix it into a delightfully slimey mess to play with.

Lunch was in the visitor center parking lot of Hannibal, MO. We’re down to bagels, peanut butter and Nutella, baby carrots and grapes. A perfect picnic. I was able to get connected and posted 3 days worth of blogs. Now that lunch is over, everyone seems to be in a better mood. Hopefully, it will be naptime soon.

Hey. That was all I wrote that day so long ago. So you'll have to imagine how the rest of the trip went. Facts you need to know:
Lunch in Hannibal, MO : 11:30 am
Drive into the driveway: 6:30 pm

I'll let you fill in the details!