On Monday Kalena turned 7. Seven years old!

Seems impossible.

She is sweet and helpful and she loves her siblings very much. At least when she’s not fighting with them (WILL.) She loves arts and crafts and would make a giant mess with her art stuff every day if I’d let her. Her last day of first grade is tomorrow, and as much as she loves school she’s excited for summer. Her reading skills have improved immensely this year, and as a result she now happily reads to Daniel and Lydia on a regular basis. (She also reads to herself A LOT, but she’s always liked looking through books on her own, even before she could read them.) She is very opinionated. The girl knows what she likes! She’s a happy girl.


DIY disaster

Is that the name of a show on HGTV? Because it seems like a good one. Anyway! On to my point. Short version: Somebody did some DIY light replacement here and it ended poorly. Also, glad I’m married to someone handy.

Long version:

Yesterday I was eating lunch and feeding the kids when I heard a crash behind me in the kitchen. My first thought was that it sounded like a giant bowl of ice slid off the counter onto the floor, but at the same instant I realized that was impossible, since there was no giant bowl of ice on the counter. And when I turned around I saw that the whole light fixture had fallen from the ceiling, crashing to the floor and shattering into a bazillion pieces. Seriously, some of that glass looked like sand, it smashed so small. Nobody was in the kitchen when it happened, THANKFULLY

When he got home, Brian looked it at and realized a couple things: A) the place this fixture was is set up for a canister light. This fixture was NOT a canister light. B) The whole thing was being held up by 2 screws, which were screwed straight into the ceiling. No anchors. Nothing attaching it to the box. Just 2 screws into drywall.

Y’all. This thing might as well have been thumbtacked up there. I’m surprised it took this long to fall. Anyway, that meant today went from “relaxing Saturday” to “project we didn’t plan on doing, nor do we really have money for right now Saturday.” Brian replaced the canister light thing with the appropriate kind of light box, and even installed it properly, with a 2X4 anchoring it to the studs in the ceiling. What kind of fun is THAT, right? No more falling fixtures for these party poopers. And then put up the new fixture I bought. At Ikea because holy crap light fixtures are expensive. And then he checked the other light fixtures because WOW I would like to never repeat this.

How was your weekend?

My life, some bullet points

I don’t understand how life can be SO CRAZY, yet every time I sit down to blog my mind goes blank. How can I have so much going on and nothing to say? So tonight you’re just going to get some random stuff. About me. Because it’s my blog and I’ll talk about myself if I want to.

  • I’ve decided that this is the year I finally, FINALLY, read the Lord of the Rings books. They’ve been on my (endless & unwritten) “to read” list for, I dunno, probably close to 20 years. I’ve owned them for several years (I don’t even want to think about how long I’ve owned them without reading them. Makes me cringe.) but I just haven’t gotten around to it. But. THIS YEAR! It is happening! I read The Hobbit (which I know is a prequel and is the only one I actually HAVE read before) last week, so I will be starting another one soon.
  • But before I start my next book, I will be finishing Lydia’s stitchery. I finished Daniel’s (FINALLY) just before he turned 3, so his definitely took the longest. I didn’t even *buy* Lydia’s until she was almost 1, and I’m down to just outlining, so hers has taken the least amount of time to do BY FAR. It is quite motivating to see the big blank space on the wall where hers will go. The other 3 are framed and hung, and the arrangement is clearly missing a 4th stitchery. I did discover after Daniel’s was framed that it’s actually bigger than Kalena or Will’s (which I suppose accounts for some of the extra time) but because his is vertical and theirs are horizontal designs, the arrangement still looks really nice. At some point I’ll take a picture. But it makes me SUPER WORRIED that Lydia’s isn’t the same size as Daniel’s and it’ll screw everything up. Yes, I could just take it up there and compare, but if it’s the wrong size I’ll just want to quit forever, so I’m refusing to look until it’s finished and framed.
  • I’m joining weight watchers tomorrow. Again. I mean, I haven’t done it since Lydia was born, but I did it after each of the other kids. It works well for me, and I like it (as much as one can LIKE restricting food consumption to a reasonable amount.) I never commit to anything until I’m getting decent sleep again, because I am incapable of making healthy eating choices when I’m up all night.
  • Related to that last one: *whispers* Lydia is actually sleeping better these days. Don’t say anything.
  • My allergies are INSANE out here. I didn’t even develop seasonal allergies until I was a teenager, but they were never all that bad in Colorado. Here though? MAN. I would say they’re currently the worst they’ve ever been. I take Benadryl every night and Claritin every morning and I’m still sneezy. Skip either one and I can count on a sinus headache.
  • I’d like to get back into doing yoga, but I don’t know WHEN. There isn’t time in the morning unless I want to get up at 5, which A) no I don’t, and B) taking Benadryl in the evenings means I have to drag myself out of bed at 6:30. 5 is laughably early for me to get up willingly right now. But by the time the kids are in bed all I have the energy for is sitting on the couch. That leaves sometime during the day when I’m sure to be interrupted at least a dozen times by various children needing various things. No very conducive to any workout, but seems especially bad for any kind of relaxation/mediation during yoga.
  • I’ve decided 32 is the age at which I actually start taking care of my face. I should probably write a whole post about this, because I want recommendations, but I don’t even know exactly what I need recommendations FOR. So. (Super good at being a grown up, obviously.)


Y’all. Will turned 5 in December. FIVE. He’s registered for kindergarten! His “readiness” is kind of hilariously unbalanced. For instance, he can count and knows some basic addition, but can’t write anything. Like, ANYTHING. No letters, no numbers, nothing. We’ve been working on it, but he totally doesn’t care, so he’s not particularly motivated to do it. He memorizes like crazy and can spout off facts about many various animals/reptiles/dinosaurs/fish. He knows these facts because he’s obsessed with documentaries. His first choice on Netflix is almost always a nature documentary. We’ve been watching BBC’s Blue Planet while I stitch this week. As a side effect of all the documentaries he has a nice vocabulary for a five year old. He generally picks things up quickly, so I’m not particularly worried about the not writing. (We will work on it over the summer though. I mean, COME ON.) His first choice of books is almost always non-fiction too. (Books for me to read to him, because definitely not reading yet either.) When Kalena brings home book order forms he always picks out several books on reptiles/sea creatures/bugs/dinosaurs that he’d like me to buy.

On non-learning topics, he still loves Legos. He’s recently fallen in love with all the Star Wars sets, but pretty much he wants ever set ever made. (I’ve bribed him with a Lego set to learn to write, but I’m not sure it’s immediate enough for him to focus on.) He hates changing clothes, and by that I mean he always just wants to continue to wear what he’s wearing. FOREVER. If he’s in pajamas he doesn’t want to get dressed. If he’s dressed he wants to sleep in his clothes. Mostly I just let him, and make sure he changes every day or so. I do predict this being a problem come kindergarten time. He still makes me laugh every day. The other day we had this conversation:

Will (humming): mom, do you know what I’m humming?

Me: No, what is it?

Will: I don’t know, I need you to tell me.

He also loves the babies, as evidenced by this terrible photo, which is apparently the most recent picture I have of Will that isn’t from Easter.



He continues to be adorable.

Lydia at a year

I should go get the paper from Lydia’s 1 year visit so I could tell you all her stats, but…not happening. She’s grown quite a bit, and isn’t on the bottom of the growth charts anymore, so that’s good. She also continues to follow our tradition of giant-headed children. The nurse measured and said, “Yep! Off the chart.” She isn’t walking yet, although she CAN. I’ve seen her take steps, but mostly she’d rather just get where she wants to go, so crawling it is. And cruising, of course. She also goes up the stairs with no trouble. I don’t know about down, because we always carry her. (Which also probably plays a part in why she isn’t walking.) She does a few¬†signs: milk, more, eat, please, and cracker. The last one makes me laugh, because it’s not a particularly easy or intuitive sign, but she LOVES crackers so when she realized that Daniel doing that sign got him crackers she jumped right on that bandwagon.

She’s in the happy screeching phase, so life is noisy. She definitely doesn’t like being in a dirty diaper (as opposed to Daniel, who cares not at all.) She’s a huge fan of Sesame Street and watches more than she should, I’m sure. Her binky and her bear are her favorite things, and she won’t sleep at all without them. Sleep. We’re still working on sleep. Naps are weird these days, because she’s transitioning? maybe? from 2 naps a day to 1. Totally depends on the day. She loves mealtimes, and will eat almost anything we give her. AND I can give her a whole plate of food and a spoon and she’ll eat it! I mean, she holds her spoon in her right hand and uses her left hand to eat, but WHATEVER. We still have to give Daniel one bite food at a time to keep him from throwing it on the floor.

She also continues to be cute.


Daniel and doctors

I have no idea when I last updated about Daniel’s health stuff, but I’m gonna go ahead and assume it was a long time ago. So! Last summer (ish? Sometime?) Daniel’s endocrinologist asked if I’d be okay doing a trial off his thyroid medication. His numbers had been good, and she wanted to see how he’d do without it. I said sure and we stopped giving it to him. We had a follow up 6 weeks later and his numbers were still good! I was pretty surprised actually. He’d seemed very tired, and not particularly himself. But we continued with the trial and checked in a couple months later and hey! Still good! Also, he had adjusted by that point, so no more thyroid meds! We will still be seeing his endocrinologist, however, since he is not growing much. At all. I’m not particularly worried. People with Down syndrome tend to be small and his appetite is fine. He eats plenty. Anyway, check up on his growth in…some months? I actually got a message yesterday from Children’s saying they were calling to schedule an appointment Daniel had been referred for and I thought, “Hmmmm. I wonder if that’s the one with his endocrinologist, or with the ophthalmologist. Or maybe the ENT wants to see him again? Oh! Or maybe we’re supposed to go back to the Get Up and Grow Clinic.” So yeah. I should probably call back. Also I should probably write stuff down.

We also saw the ophthalmologist again. I only called because they recommend kids with Down syndrome get vision checks every year and hey! He turned three! So it had probably been a year. Anyway, he is still far sighted aaaaaand it’s getting worse. The doctor said she was willing to go either way at this point: either go ahead and write him a prescription for some glasses, or wait six months and see him again. However, she told us to watch his squinting and eye crossing (of which we had been noticing some) and to call and schedule sooner if it got worse. And, well, it’s gotten worse. Or maybe it’s not worse and I’m just noticing it more. Either way, I need to call, because he needs glasses. (Kari will be so thrilled. She’s wanted him to have glasses basically since he was born.) I’m super not looking forward to trying to get him to leave them on. He doesn’t want ANYONE to leave glasses on, and attempts to remove them at every opportunity. So that should be fun.

Also he’s still cute.




Y’all. I went on vacation. Like a real, actual vacation. And it was the first time since 2007 that I’ve been away from the kids and not pregnant. (With the exception of one overnight work trip where I had to pump. So totally doesn’t count.) Anyway, it was awesome.

The whole point of the trip was that my mom needed to pick up some things that her mother left for her. My mom’s sister had the boxes in California, but turns out we don’t drive out to California all that often. Like, ever. So this trip was planned specifically to drive out there and pick this stuff up. Obviously we also planned lots of visiting with family, and Disneyland, because no trip to southern California is complete without Disneyland. Anyway, since ROAD TRIP! was part of the whole deal, I flew from Kansas City to Denver, where my sisters picked me up (almost 2 hours late after some plane shenanigans in KC) and we continued in Kari’s awesome minivan. We drove to Grand Junction, had lunch and picked up my mom and then drove another 6 hours to St George Utah where we spent the night. That was Sunday, and we figured by staying the night on Sunday we’d miss all the Las Vegas back to California weekend traffic. Except, HA! That now lasts through Monday apparently. My cousins were not at all surprised that we hit traffic on Monday. We stopped in Barstow (I think?) for lunch, along with everybody else in the entire world. Seriously, a whole troop of boy scouts were in line at the same time.

So before I bore you to death (TOO LATE!) with details of the trip, how about some pictures?

Seriously you guys. I love Disneyland. And we do it all “wrong” but it’s my favorite. (Wrong meaning, no plans, no reservations anywhere, and we don’t watch any of the shows. Also I wore flip flops which most¬†people think is crazy.)



We met Tinkerbell because we didn’t know if Pixie Hollow was a ride or what. (New since the last time we were there.) Apparently it’s where you meet fairies. Also, let me stop here to say that the shirt I’m wearing there? SO comfortable. We went to Ross the day before Disneyland (what, you don’t drive across the country and go to the same stores you have in your hometown?) and I bought that and 2 pairs of cute shoes. ANYWAY. Us with Tinkerbell.



And I just had to include this because it’s the best picture of Kari ever in the history of the universe.




And no pictures of the family or friends we visited, because I didn’t ask.

I flew home from California instead of driving back, which was good, except it all fell apart at the end because APPARENTLY I left a dome light on in the civic when I parked it at the airport, so Brian had to bring all the kids and come get me anyway. And we couldn’t even get the car jump started, so we had to buy a new car battery and go back again the next day. With all the kids. SO FUN!



Easter. That was a thing that happened. We dyed eggs! Only the big kids, obviously. I’m not crazy enough to let Daniel near cups of dye. Yes, Kalena was dressed as wonder woman for the whole thing. Because, why not?


Pleased with the finished product.




And we did baskets. As usual, each of the kids got a book (or, in Daniel’s case a set of books- board books about Elmo, OBVIOUSLY.) and candy. For those of you who care, Kalena got “The Country Bunny and the Golden Shoes,” Will got “No Fighting, No Biting,” Daniel got the “Elmo’s World First Flap-Book Library,” and Lydia got “The Napping House” in board book form.




We hid eggs in the back yard but I got zero good pictures of the kids searching. I mean, I only took like 2 anyway, but they weren’t good. Also, for the first time ever, we lost an egg! It all started when we let the kids re-hide the eggs for each other. Seemed like a good idea to keep them occupied, until the egg was gone. Will had hidden them for Kalena and he swore up and down that he’d put it in a particular bush. Except I looked thoroughly and it wasn’t there. Of course, he also swore up and down that there were still TWO eggs missing and no. I counted. Clearly he was not the most reliable source of information. I looked around pretty carefully but no luck. So we gave it up for lost. Except THEN, a week later, Brian mowed the lawn for the first time and we found it! Will had, apparently, put it in a different bush, and it had fallen down into very tall grass on the side of the bush. Mowing cut the grass close enough that I could see the egg. (Thankfully it was off to the side enough that it didn’t get chopped into a hundred pieces by the mower.)

Soooo….that’s our exciting life. Had Easter, lost a hard boiled egg in the yard for a week.

Daniel’s IEP

So! Daniel started preschool! Did I mention this? At age 3, kids “graduate” early intervention and if they are still in need of services, they start getting them through the school district. Which means, PRESCHOOL! Daniel actually started a couple weeks before his birthday, to give the teachers time to observe him so we could set reasonable goals for his IEP.

Unrelated to the IEP meeting, Daniel LOOOOOVES school. Loves it. So much that I can’t get him dressed on non-school days, because getting dressed means GO TO SCHOOL! Or, at the very least, go somewhere in the car. He goes Monday through Thursday from 8 ish to noon ish. I think school hours are actually more like 8:45 to 11:15, but his bus picks him up about 8:15 and drops him off about 11:45. The bus! He rides the bus! He LOOOOVES the bus. His bus is just for the preschool kids, so it has carseats and comes right to our house. It’s pretty great. Anyway! Back on topic.

His IEP meeting happened just before his birthday, and although “First IEP Meeting” seems intimidating, it really was not much different from his IFSP meetings, which have been happening since he was 8 weeks old. (For those who don’t know, IEP stands for individualized education plan and IFSP stands for individualized family services plan.) Anyway, I met with his preschool teacher, our coordinator, and the therapists he’ll see at school. (Physical, occupational, and speech.) His main goals for PT are to work on jumping, running, and lifting his feet higher when he walks so he can step over things, and step up onto a stair, etc. He’s doing pretty well with his OT stuff, the big thing we want to work on is eating with utensils, but that’s much more about behavior than fine motor skills. His speech teacher wants him to be able to name more objects (we talked specifically about using more signs.) The goal is (I think) 8 signs during a 15 minute period. She said he can definitely do that during snack time, but doesn’t do many signs during the rest of class. She asked if any of his previous speech therapists had talked to me about using more naming signs instead of just “more” or “please” when he wants something. I told her we haven’t actually had any speech therapists who did signing and that all the ones he knows are signs I’ve taught him. She was pretty pleased with that, and said she’d send a list of other signs that would be good for him to learn.

And there you have it! I could be more detailed if I bothered to go find my notes from the meeting, but meh. It’s late. I was going to add a picture, but wordpress has other ideas. SORRY.


I guess not sleeping wasn’t enough?

Last Sunday (2 days after I got back from my trip) Lydia tried to blind Brian. Okay, maybe she didn’t do it ON PURPOSE, but I wouldn’t put it past her. Brian was holding her and turned to the side talking to Will when she threw her hands back getting ready to clap. Since he wasn’t really paying attention to her, he didn’t do any of the move/shut your eyes/twist your head things you normally do when you see your kid’s fingers coming at your face. So she caught him square in the eye with her thumb. It hurt (OBVIOUSLY) that night, but we rinsed it with eye wash from our first aid kit and made sure there wasn’t anything in it and figured it would be better in the morning. Except in the morning he couldn’t even open it. So, off to urgent care! The doctor there gave him some numbing drops so she could look in it and gave us an official diagnosis of, “BIG ol’ scratch!”

Unfortunately they don’t prescribe the numbing drops (ever, basically) so he just had to deal with the pain once they wore off. Turns out eye pain doesn’t really respond to regular painkillers. Just for extra good times. And it wasn’t just that it hurt to open that eye (he basically couldn’t because it caused both eyes to water so much) it hurt even if he moved it while it was closed. Which meant he pretty much just had to lay still with both eyes closed. FOR TWO DAYS. It was bad y’all. Even when he went back to work on Wednesday people commented on how awful it looked. THREE DAYS LATER. So yeah. That was fun.

In other Lydia news, Brian is trying to re-sleep train her and I am trying not to screw it up. Also, she’s taking steps! I have seen her stand unsupported before now, but I saw her take unassisted steps for the first time yesterday. So maybe one of these days she’ll start walking! Maybe not though. She seems pretty content to just be carried around all the time.