Finding calm in the chaos

Finding calm in the chaos

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Best Smile

My kids have the best grins.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mom K!

Happy birthday, Mom Kaufman!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

breaking my heart

I can't stop reading about it.

Because whenever I look at this baby, Photo credit here

I can't stop thinking about this baby.

I am so blessed to live in a place where my chubby-cheeked daughter will never know hunger. But, it breaks my heart to know Africa's plight. I can't imagine their mothers' heartbreak.

Here are ways to help.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Kaufman cousins

Teenie's been taking some evening classes and Steve's been farming, so we've had a third Kaufman kid at our house once a week for the last few weeks. It's this happy guy:

Sam & Andie LOVE Ben. (Andie even said Ben's name before she said Sam's name). And, we love hanging out with our happy nephew. After a few minutes of being shell-shocked with the chaos that is Casa Kaufman, he added his voice to the din and never looked back. It's heartwarming to have him get more familiar with his aunt and uncle and snuggle in for smooches and hugs at bedtime.

Ben and Andie are playing together more and Andie even shares her mama's lap with Ben...occasionally.

The best part is the Palouse Kaufmans think we are doing them a, not only do we get to spend the evening with Ben, they bring us Starbucks, too.


Why are they all shirtless? I had the brilliant idea of feeding them beets, which has the same stain-potential as grape juice. Being a relatively new beet-eater myself, I had no idea. Also, here are some words of wisdom for other new beet-eaters out there: don't freak out if you see red poop the day after eating beets. Ok...I'm done.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

confessions of a slacker mom: sprinkler toy

Now that I'm a part time stay-at-home mom, I'm loving my time with the kiddos. Loving it.

Except that post-nap crabby period. What in the world is it that makes that stretch from 2:30-5pm so unbearably long? Today, it was intensified by the fact that Sam is out-growing naps and I spent from 1:15-2:30p trying to coax him into sleeping.

Plus, we all have summer colds. Ick. There is nothing worse than a stuffy nose and being too hot...multiplied by three. I felt despair and panic...

...and then remembered my secret weapon: a new sprinkler toy.

I turned on the water full blast and we were all equally amazed and terrified at the crazy blasts of water shooting in all directions. Sam began giggling gleefully and then screamed, "Turn it off, Mom! Turn it OFF!"

Once the water was turned down, though, it was an amazing toy. We spent over an hour filling cups, jumping over the jets, washing bikes, and (unfortunately) drinking irrigation water. That dreaded post-nap period flew by.

Sam washing his bike; he's an industrious kid.

Andie, giving me the stink-eye, after I told her to stop drinking irrigation water...and then drinking it anyway.

The cogs, usual.

I sat in the shade and watched the fun (and blew my nose frequently). It was so chill. If only I had a pina colada...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

nice buzz, Cous...

We all got haircuts. I got a trim. Andie got some bangs. Sam, well...Sam got a buzz. He hopped into the chair and declared he needed "short hair like Daddy". Oh, my. It's short. He looks so much older. I had to stifle a little sniffle...where did my baby go?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Sandman Chronicles: Big Boy Bed

Sam is in a toddler bed.


I know, I know. All you readers are shaking your heads, thinking, "It's about time. Who keeps their 3 year old in a crib this long? Who keeps their 3 year old, who is the size of a 4 year old, in a crib this long?"

Well, we do...did. We'd been debating about putting him in a big-boy bed, but neither of us were eager to reliniquish the crib. There's just a certain luxury of dropping your child into a crib and knowing he is confined there until morning.We have an old-school drop rail crib and one night, the side just fell right off, so there you have it. The decision was made for us.

He's been doing well, only fallen out once.

But his parents are having a hard time adjusting to Sam's newly found freedom. It's quite a jolt to be cleaning the kitchen and catch a glimpse of a quiet (too quiet) 3 year old, sitting on the couch, hands folded under his chin, smiling creepily at you. Aaugh! How long has he been there?!? Where did he get that creepy smile? (I need to stop watching scary movies about possessed children).

My heart just can't take it. Sam, though, is just proud of himself: "Mom, I sneaked you!"

In other news, Andie is back to her bad-sleepin' ways. And now, I'm worried that her midnight cries (or exasperated, slightly put-out yells of "Mom! Mom!") represent something ominous, like a recurrent seizure.

Joe attempted to ease my mind the other night. "Don't worry, honey. If she's crying, you know she's not having a seizure. Right?"

Great. So, now I have to worry when she's quiet, too.

I may never sleep again. Sigh.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

stuff my kid says

Sam and I were swimming in the pool at my mom's gym. Sam's a little nervous about swimming by himself, despite wearing a life jacket, so I have to hang onto him and swim at the same time. We were both hanging on a pool noodle, pretending it was our "pirate ship", when I look back and find out that Sam's no longer kicking his legs.

Me: Hey! You're supposed to kick your legs, too. We're the boat motor. It doesn't go if we don't kick it.

Sam: Oh. Okay, Mom. (starts kicking).

Me: Sam, don't bend your knees so much. You have to point your toes. Look at Mom's legs.

Sam kicks again, like he's peddling a bike.

Me: Straight legs. Straight legs. Why are you bending your knees?

Sam: That's how God made them.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Saturday, July 09, 2011

the pea gravel pile

One of Sam and Andie's favorite things about the farm is the pea gravel pile. Sam likes to dig in it...Andie likes to eat it. It was dwindling in size for awhile, but after we moved back to L-town for good, Papa restocked the pile and it has been a favorite play place since.

Ben thought he'd give it a try on Father's Day.

Sam thought Ben might like the feel of pea gravel between his toes. He dumped gravel over Ben's feet again and again, saying, "Feel it, Ben?"

Turns out Ben doesn't like gravel on his legs any more than he likes grass on his legs.

Lucky for me, that meant that once I put the camera down, I got to hold Ben on my lap.

Friday, July 08, 2011

stuff my kid says

I bought Sam this camo outfit as a souvineer from Vegas.

Me: I have a present for you, Sam!

Sam (excited, as always, about any sort of present): What is it? What is it?

Me: Here. (handing him the outfit).

Sam: It's...CAMOFLAGUE!!!

Me: Yep. Do you like it?

Sam: What the letters say, Mom?

Me: It says, "I may be small, but I'm the boss."

Sam: (thinks it over for awhile). But,'re the boss.

Smart kid.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

still not a fan of the Fourth

If you've been a reader for at least a year, you already know that the Fourth of July is far from my favorite holiday. This year, I tried to have a better attitude. We joined the Palouse Kaufmans at Pioneer Park for an old-fashioned Fourth of July celebration, including a kiddie parade, a fountain to play in, and tons of crafts and games (like a dunk tank and 3-legged races). It was a grand old time. We even made ice cream in a zip-lock bag.

Around 1pm, Andie was fussy and ready for her long-overdue nap. She crawled into my lap and went to sleep. She started to feel feverish, so I tracked down Joe for a second opinion. He thought she had a fever, too, so we rounded up Sam to head home.

We put Sam's wet clothes on Andie's carseat to cool things down a bit and strapped them both in. Andie looked ready to fall asleep and I was looking forward to a little nap at home myself.

About ten minutes from our house, I looked back and Andie was having a seizure.

After eight years of being a nurse, I've seen seizures and I know what I am supposed to do. Protect the seizing person. Protect the airway. Yada yada yada.

However, it's one thing when you're the nurse. It's a completely different thing when you're the mother. Add in a concerned 3 year old brother who kept saying, "What's wrong with Andie? I want out of my carseat, too!" over and over again...let's just say my sanity was hanging by a thread. Thank goodness for Joe and his calm, deliberate personality.

He turned around and drove us quickly to the hospital. About halfway there, Andie stopped breathing and I took her out of her carseat to open her airway. Forunately, just opening her airway pinked her up right away.

We spent the next few hours at the ER, where Andie was diagnosed with a febrile seizure. We saw her pediatrician the next day, who was very reassuring about the whole thing. Her temperature was only 101.4, but he thought that the seizure was caused by a rapid increase in her temperature, precipitated by being a hot car. Unfortunately, this means she could very well have another seizure again and we should treat every fever she has with tylenol or motrin, even if the fever isn't very high.

So, THIS Fourth of July has been my least favorite Fourth so far. There's nothing like having your baby have a seizure to really dampen that holiday spirit.

shoe girl

Andie, like her mama, is a shoe girl. She is obsessed with them and loves to try on any and all shoes. If there are any extra shoes lying around, she immediately picks them up and takes them to their owner, chanting, "Shoes, shoes, shoes" all the while.

She spotted a wayward pair of sandals at Grandma's house (nevermind that they were her sandals).

She jumped off her chair and ran to put them on the nearest available feet...Grandma's!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

what happens in Vegas (part three)

After attending an engaging lecture on hepatitis C, LeAnne and I returned to the hotel to find Lauren taking a nap. It looked so amazing, I climbed into bed next to her and took a blissful nap myself.

We woke up later and got ready to go out. I'd been texting Lauren all week, whining about how frumpy my clothes were, so she brought a dress (SHORT dress!) and earrings for me to borrow. LeAnne, always the fashionista, brought an amazing black dress and let me borrow some heels. (Lauren vetoed the sensible pumps I'd brought for the conference with dismissive flick of her hand instantly).

And we were ready for a night on the town.

Our first stop was the blackjack tables at Harrah's. I'd played blackjack with my dad as a little girl, gambling with matches, but hadn't played for a long time, so I watched LeAnne and Lauren play. Lauren won some and lost some, but LeAnne just kept winning. A drink or two later, I was pretty sure I could handle this game.

About ten minutes in, I'd lost the entire fifty bucks I'd earmarked for gambling. Bummer. But, I had a great time watching Lauren and LeAnne play. Eventually, Lauren (a mechanical engineer...this will become important later) stopped winning and we watched LeAnne win some more. Intermittently, we would check out the scantily-clad dancing girls by the blackjack tables.

Lauren: Wow! What a great job. Think about how many calories they burn every night. Hhmm.

Me: I'm pretty sure being a mechanical engineer is a better job. I'm just sayin'...

Their dancing inspired us to engage in some dancing of our own, so we walked down to Chateau, where conference attendees got free cover and a free drink (we snagged an extra coupon for Lauren). On our walk there, I no longer felt frumpy. In fact, we received some uninvited male attention. Turns out "I'm a 30 year old mother of two from Idaho" is a pretty effective response to "Hey, baby, what's your name?".

We had fun dancing, but the club was getting crowded as it got later and I was turning into a pumpkin, despite my nap. We trekked back to our hotel down the strip and I've never been so glad to crawl back into my bed. Two nights ending at TWO A.M. is too much for this frumpy mom.

The next morning, Lauren was off to San Diego, LeAnne was off to Pocatello, and I was on my way home to my family. A week is a long time to be away!

Monday, July 04, 2011

what happens in Vegas (part two)

My 20-something cousin Lauren drove over from San Diego after she got off work on Friday. She is young and is not awakened constantly through the night by a crying baby, so these late night drives are nothing to her. In fact, I told her to text me when she got to the hotel lobby, but fell asleep waiting for her text. Finally, she woke me up with a jarring phone call.

Me: Oh, sorry. I fell asleep.
Lauren: I thought so. (sigh). Come down and get me.

I sleepily rode downstairs in an elevator full of glitzed up girls (I myself was wearing zero make-up, flip-flops, and an old sweater and running shorts. Put another check in the frumpy column). Everyone was just starting to go out, but it was WAAY past my bedtime. It was, like, midnight or even later.

Lauren took one look at me and said, "Um, we're going out tonight, aren't we?"

I begged her to let me go to bed, telling her it would be just like when we were younger and all used to sleep in the same bed at my Lola's house. She relented and got ready for bed. All the while, we caught up on the latest goings on our lives (since Lauren lives ALL THE WAY in San Diego--it's like living on another planet--I don't get to see her as often as I'd like. I last saw her at Christmas!).

Eventually, I looked at the clock and realized it was WAAAY past my bedtime, like two A.M.!! But, Lauren was clueless. She just kept talking and talking and talking. I was starting to doze off in between sentences. Finally, I said, "Uh, Lauren, do you need an Ambien or something?"

Lauren: No. No! You don't have to drug me to get me shut up. Just tell me you want to go to sleep. Jeez!
Me: I want to go to sleep, Lauren.
Lauren: Oh, fine.

Finally, finally, I got to go to sleep. And, it's a good thing I rested well...because Lauren INSISTED on going out the following night.

Stay tuned.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

what happens in Vegas...(part one)

...goes on the blog.

Mom-friend, LeAnne, and I met up in Vegas to attend this conference. LeAnne works in correctional healthcare, providing women's care, and I work in GI and this conference fit both of our continuing education requirements for this year. So, we met up in Vegas...purely for business, of course.

I've never been to Vegas before. I expected all the glitz and pretense, but wow! I was surprised how old and frumpy I felt. By day, I felt like a classy, young NP in my sundress and sandals as I walked from class to class. By night, I felt like a frumpy mom in my sundress as young, incredibly thin women in incredibly short and incredibly tight dresses walked by us on the strip. Hhhmmph. It's enough to start giving you a body-image complex.

One of the best things about LeAnne is that she is all about enjoying time with YOU. She is up for whatever. Totally low-maintenance. She never once made me feel guilty about wanting to go to bed at 10pm every night. As a girl whose highest priority in life is sleep (and I certainly don't get enough of it these days!), I didn't want to spend every night out at the casinos.

So, aside from attending the conference, LeAnne and I just enjoyed our time together being mellow. We ate dinner out. We decided not to see a show, but went instead to a movie since it'd been a few years since I'd been to the movie theater (see what happens when you have young children?). We sat in bed together and watched movies on YouTube (this one was particularly hilarious). We walked the strip and window-shopped.

Of course, what's a conference in Vegas without a little sinning? We took advantage of our breaks in between classes to sample cocktails at various establishments on the strip. Don't worry, we didn't get too tipsy. we could afford it! A Bloody Mary for $12?? Everything was overpriced. Pho was $13. My tall soy chai was $4.95! A cheeseburger from McDonalds was $5! I'm not normally so frugal, but gosh, money goes so fast in this town...but, I digress.

It was a grand old time. I miss that girl and need to see her more often. The conference was good, too...I think we'll make this an annual tradition. After all, next year's conference is in Orlando!

Of course, all this laid-back hanging out changed when my 20-something cousin, Lauren, came into town. To be continued...