Orchestra Concert

Marley began the violin this year in school.  It has been so fun.  I love listening to him learn his songs.  It is amazing how he has just picked it up.

He had his first concert and it was so much fun.  We got to hear the 5th grade band, 5th grade orchestra, 6th grade band and 6th grade orchestra.  The concert closed with some songs from the choir.  All of the kids did so well.  I was particularly impressed with the orchestra.  The 5th grade were great and the 6th grade were truly excellent.  I really hope Marley sticks with it and continues to improve.  I think he really has some talent.

Violinist

New House, New Christmas Decor

I love that I have a new house to decorate this year.

New nooks. New crannies.

My favorite new decoration so far is this garland I bought to hang along the opening in the main room of our house.

New Decor

It is slices of birch tree branches that spell out Christmas.  The branches mimic the art installation, seen here, I did for Matt’s birthday.

Tree Rings

It just totally fits this house.

Another Advent Calendar

This is my newest advent addition.

Newest Advent Addition

In the past we have bought the lego advent calendars.  These were fun, but you got one little lego a day.  The fights would ensue on some days and on others no one even put them together.  That was a lot of money towards not a lot of fun.  I needed another calendar I could fill myself with space for 4 little gifts.

In my search I saw a calendar that had clothes pins attached to a decorated 2 x 4.  It was definitely something I could do.  As I searched around my house for a piece of leftover lumber, I remembered this ironing board.  Clothes pins… ironing board… that TOTALLY works.

I had brought this ironing board from my dad’s house.  I think it was one my parents had bought at one of the auctions we used to go to.  I think it was in my laundry room as a kid.  I think my mom bought it for it’s antiqueness.  I think my dad held onto it for it’s intended use.  I’m not sure of any of this.  I only know that it was at my dad’s house and he had been using it for ironing at some point since it had a cover on it.  When I brought it home Matt thought I was insane.  What in the world were we going to do with an old wood ironing board?!?

My brain was in shabby chic mode.  That and I can always use ironing boards to block my knitting.  It wasn’t until I took the cover off the board when beginning this project that I realized how beautiful this thing was.  I did NOTHING to the actual ironing board to antique it.  All that patina is the ironing board in its natural form.

All I had to do to create this calendar was hot glue the clothes pins, paint the red numbers and paint the “Days ’til Christmas”.  I was going to make the bags, but I found a good deal on etsy and so I paid to have them done for me.  I love it so much.  I hope it is one of those things my boys will remember as they get older.  I know opening their advent gifts is a favorite part of every day, so that’s a start.

If There Was Any Question

Pricks and Pokes

Perry is due to see his nephrologist this week.  That has been (thankfully) an uneventful appointment in the recent past.  However, it is a stressor of grand magnitude.  Namely because he has to have a blood draw before the appointment.  This time we had hematology and endocrinology labs, as well, so it was going to be a longer time with that needle in his arm.

I’m always a mess leading up to these days.  Some days I’m just grumpy and don’t make the connection.  This time I definitely had been telling Matt for days that I was DREADING today.  I have to be extra “on” the entire morning, so there is not any indication that there is stressful event approaching.  It is extra hard because I am a mess inside.  I have to push that down and put on a smile.  A song and dance to keep him smiling.  All culminating with seeing his little face crumple into a furrow as the tears well in his eyes.

But usually I get through.  I just do it.  I know I have to.  I have on my happy face with Perry, with the registrars, with the nurses…

This morning started no different.  We had a bit more waiting because I forgot one of the orders at home and we had to wait to have it faxed.  But I didn’t mind the wait.  I just didn’t want little man to have to get poked a second time.  Besides it was my fault, I had the orders and had neglected to remember them on my way out the door.   But the extra wait time led to Perry’s boredom.  This resulted in throwing papers into the air.  That resulted in me telling him “no”.  Just like every preschooler, striving for independence, that is the last word he likes to hear.  Anyone who has met Perry knows how he lets you know he doesn’t like something… he screams.  This was no different.  The behavior doesn’t change just because we are in a hospital.  It doesn’t matter that there are a bunch of people there who are also stressed because a trip to the hospital (besides birth) is never for a joyful occurrence.  It means nothing that most of the people are probably not feeling their best and so their frustration tolerance is low.  He screams regardless of where we are, what time it is, who we are with, or whether it is appropriate or not.

It could be that Perry is dealing with something developmentally, like autism.  It could be that he is just dealing with being a little boy with hearing and vision loss.  Or it could be that he’s dealing with being 4.  But whatever the reason the last thing he or I need to hear in those cases when he screams is, “Glad that’s not my child,” said in the most judgmental and condescending tone.  But that’s what was said by someone in the hospital waiting area loud enough for me and the rest of the patients to hear.

I couldn’t help it.  I tried to keep my happy face on.  I tried to maintain that cheery attitude for Perry.  But the flood gates opened and I couldn’t stop the tears.  This person (and I have no clue who it was…) obviously has no idea how hard it is to live with a child that screams.  They don’t have a clue about what it is like to take your baby to the doctor at least once a week since practically birth.  There is no understanding about how much this little boy has been through in his 4 little years.  There’s, obviously, a lack for the ability to empathize for a parent in a hospital with a child.  No ability to think that either the child is the patient or the parent is and either way that is a difficult place to be.

Of course, before I could collect myself, the phlebotomist came to gather us.  She thought I was a new parent having never gone through this before, asking me as much.  I probably shocked her when I told her I had done this more times than I could count.  It lasted just 5 minutes.  I hugged my little guy with his crumpled furrowed brow as he bravely did what had to be done. But when we got to the car I sat and cried and cried.

I knew what I had to do.

We drove home singing songs.  We looked at a book.  He needed to unwind and so did I.  I let him watch Thomas.

I hit the gym to run.

If there was any question as to why I run, now you know.  These comments, those stares, all the appointments, countless surgeries, looks of pity, gasps of shock… They are hard on the soul.  On my soul and his soul, which is even harder on my soul.

Running releases my soul from these grips.  It frees that part of me again.  It allows me to just let it go.

Advent Obsessed

I love advent calendars.  It is just one of those things.  I think it is that I love gift giving.  Advent means I get to give my guys a little something almost the entire month of December.  Having 4 children makes advent calendars a bit tricky.  The average calendar doesn’t really hold 4 treats.  In response I have had to create my own.

My favorite is one I saw in a magazine and knew I could put my own spin on it.  I knitted all these mittens.  One for every day of advent.  My dear friend Kyla holds the match in her own calendar.  This year I found the perfect way to display these.  I bought this ladder to hang them on.  It is so perfect.

The Mittens of December

Oh Tannenbaum

Busy weekend already.

Free private screening of The Penguins of Madagascar compliments of Albertsons.

Find the perfect Christmas tree (which we did in a matter of minutes).

Found Her Right Away

Decorate perfect tree.

It’s Beginning to Feel Like Christmas

It Looks Like Christmas Too

Cheer on BSU Broncos to a Mountain West Conference win (fingers crossed).

Gobble Gobble Up All the Goodies

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  We enjoyed our own dinner with all our favorites and family traditions.  We had many traditional dishes: turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, dressing (with sausage, leeks, apples, and cranberries), and cranberry sauce.

Berry Wash

Cooking Crannies

There were some not so typical, but family traditions in our spread as well.  Matt’s mom would always have parsnips as a girl and continued that at her Thanksgiving celebration.  It is one Matt and I have taken into our traditions too.  My mom would always make homemade egg noodles.  It is quite the process, but Marley already expects them, so I can not disappoint.  For desserts we have the traditional apple and pumpkin pie.  We also make turkey cupcakes and my mom’s “Do-Dads” from the leftover pie crust.

Rolling in the Dough

Why Can’t Pie Crust Be a Super Food?

It was a wonderful first Thanksgiving here in Boise.  Our intimate family dinner, with all these favorites for lunch and off to the neighbors for dinner.  I loved trying all the different dishes people make in the celebration of thankfulness.  We had so much to be thankful for this year.
 
Thank you healthy babies.  
Thank you best friend.  
Thank you new additions.
Thank you old faithfuls. 
Thank you healthy legs.
Thank you strong heart. 
Thank you old friends.
Thank you new neighbors.
Thank you foothills.
Thank you Boise.