Thursday, April 21, 2011

March Madness....

Madness is not quite the term I'd use when I think of our March. I would think of words like: insanity, over busy, wild vacations, raging fevers, and hospital trips galore!

March started out like most any month. It ended with three of us having Pneumonia, trips to the doctors office, and exciting discoveries.

March also happens to be the birth month of a Mr. Theodor Geisel. School children far and wide celebrate this day with literary abandon. I'm not quite sure how this came to pass, but the day before, I was standing in FP's classroom talking with his teacher about it and before I knew it this sentence was a huge run on I was telling his teacher I would make every kid in the class a felt Cat in the Hat, hat.

It took all night to do, but I am one of those stubborn women who will not stop once she has committed to something and somewhere around 4 am (I think, it's all a blur now!) This was the end result.

The look on their faces when each kid saw them, was totally worth it!

Then there was Sheepies African Animal project at school. If you will remember FP's efforts for this project last year, you will know that simply writing the report would not even be close to good enough for Sheepie. So we found this fun little puppet kit at the Toy Factory, and Sheepie painted it to look like a Cheetah. He then wrote his report and was very proud to show it off at school.

March also included Spring Break 2011. This was the first year we have ever really gone some where with the kids for spring break and despite some crazy happenstance we had a great time. I will make an actual post about Seattle after this one, but some of the craziness of the month steamed from the week leading up to the trip.

There was a horrible virus going through the school in the week before spring break. Both FP and Sheepie ended up getting it, and FP was out of school for almost the whole week. It was so bad at one point there were over 10 kids and the teacher missing from the class. That's about half his class. Thankfully, they managed to get over it just fine. However, just as we were arriving in Seattle the littles got hit and got hit hard. The next day I too was down and out and we were all sporting fevers of at least 101, while medicated. It made for a very hard week, but thanks to the medicine (and mommy and daddy determined to have not wasted all the money we'd spent) we still managed to enjoy it. On the drive home, I called our doctors to set up appointments, and based on what I was telling them, that told us to head straight to the hospital as soon as we got back into town.

The littles ended up having double ear infections and Pneumonia. Whee! they were both put on antibiotics and rallied after just a few days. They told me however, it was just viral and there was nothing they could do for me. So I went home,and fast forward a week, I was worse and had some other serious symptoms, and regardless of drinking over 80 oz of water was not peeing (TMI, oh well!) So I went back to the ER in the wee hours of the morning where I spent hours being re hydrated, and was then told that I had Pneumonia and Bronchitis, and was finally given a Z-pack. That helped a great deal and now that we are into April, I am finally able to get out and start exercising again without dying.

This all played out right as Mr. C had to leave for SLC and I have to tell you that FP was AMAZING. He spend almost the entire spring break week (we went to Seattle Friday and came back Tuesday) taking care of the entire family. He made meals, changed diapers, brought me my own food, and drinks, picked up the best he could, and entertained his brothers all on his own. He was super human and took better care of our family than most teenagers could. He will be an amazing dad/husband someday!

Most of the concern over my being ill was because in addition to having to worry about myself, this little bean was sick too...

But, the bean got along just fine once I was treated, and the neat part of the hospital trip was that I got to see it for the first time! So that is how our insane, wild, zany march turned out to be pretty darn sweet!

More adventures to be had in...


Ah yes, the ritual trip to Tillamook. We wouldn't be the Mighty C's if we didn't do this all the time. We had gorgeous weather on this particular weather and drove all up and down the coast line. We decided to explore a bit when it comes to eating and found this amazing little cafe in, I think Pacific City, called Brewin' In the Wind. They had some of the BEST clam chowder ever. Stop by and check it out. In the same area was this neat beach made up of all these big rocks. We started out playing on them, and then noticed a cave in a large cliff in the distance. So off we went to explore and ended up taking the kids on a mini spelunking trip through the side of the cliff. It spit out right into the ocean during high tide, and what would be a super cute hidden little cove during low tide.

(in which you can see me breaking my back as I start to lift up FP to do a horizontal spin)

And then, about a week later, this is what our property looked like. Good figure!

(except not sideways, because in real life, that would just be weird!)

The boys and I also packed off one day for a trip up to OMSI. They had a rather fun exhibit about ancient Egypt that happened to be there right as Sheepie's class was finishing studying about Egypt. (FP's class had studied it earlier in the year, so they were both able to tell me a great deal about the things were were seeing, including a real mummy and her burial box!)

And that just about rounds out Feb. Here is a parting shot of the sweet little Valentines the Biggies made for their classes. Sheepie made robots and FP made Titanics.

In which we play catch up...

We certainly like to keep busy around our little country home here in Corvallis.

Even as I sit down to type I am realising, it is coming at a price; the upstairs will look like a bomb went off by the time I'm done. I can hear Goob screeching at someone, Boy yelling commandments about what everyone ought to be doing, and I am fairly certain I hear Sheepie marching around the house counting to five in French over and over again. You're guess is as good as mine!

But as I was saying, we are busy little people here. We like adventures, going places, and just generally spending our time together. I hope it is something we will always enjoy doing. So, in true 'let's play catch up' form, I thought I'd share some of the things we have been up to over the last little while.

January brought a landmark for the Goob; the dreaded first hair cut!

He apparently liked making foil hats, while Mommy's cooking more than his new hair.

We also managed to get out and do some fun hiking in once Mr. C's ankle was getting stronger. We still have to take it slow, but it's better than being stuck indoors.

Goob and Mr. C did come with us; Mr. C had a business call, so we went ahead without him and he and the Goob caught up with us about 15 minutes into the hike.

Toward the end of January, Sheepie had another special friend come to visit us from school. Madeline has been a huge hit around our house and Sheepie and she spent the day cooking French foods together, before making her a new school outfit. (he fell in love with her so much, he ended up getting his own, slightly larger Madeline doll from the Toy Factory).

The wonderful Mr. C and I also went to his company's annual holiday ball. This year they decided to hold it during the New Year's season for whatever reason, but we had a nice time.

Our last big adventure of January was the family room. It was one of the spaces that never got painted before we moved in. It was slowly driving me crazy to sit in the white white, boring, unfinished room. So in the middle of the night's I decided it was time to get it done.

Yes, this is what a crazy woman, who has probably smelt too many paint fumes looks like at 2 am.

In the end the middle of the night crazys were worth it!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Full Circle

This story starts in the most interesting of places. You see, it was because of a story much like this that my blog first came to be. Two and a half years ago, I said goodbye to my husband one early morning, and watched as he left his family for over two months for work. I blogged about life as a single parent, in part, as a way to deal with such a life changing time in our family. A young mother with two young children and a baby in arms, wondering how she would stay a float while her husband traveled the exotic lands of India.

It seems interesting then, that in the beginning of our new story, we have come full circle; back to where we began.I find myself once more watching my husband leave his family for work, off to travel (the not so exotic) lands of Utah. Perhaps not so young this time, but never the less, a mother with four young children and a baby on the way, wondering how she will stay afloat while she tends her children for the next six months.

Two and a half weeks ago Benjamin was originally going to travel to Utah for a reunion of people who served with him during his mission, as well as a technology conference. His work, upon hearing of this event decided he would be the perfect manager to send out to Salt Lake City, to over see the setting up of their new offices out there. Initially, they wanted him to go for one month. The idea was sudden, but after many business trips, a month was certainly something that could be done. Then the phone call came.

"How would you feel about living in Utah for six months?" I heard my husband ask me over the phone.

The idea smacked of adventure for all of us, most especially the children. A new place to explore, a new set of friends to make, and many amazing places to visit. And six months was finite and gave us a foreseeable return to our country home and haven. I asked him when we would have to leave.

"Two weeks," he stated.

This is when, as a mother, the myriad of realities flash through the mind. Leaving in two weeks from the conversation meant, leaving in the middle of the school year. Leaving friends without the natural break of summer holidays, or proper preparation. It meant renting out the home we'd only just purchased ten months before. And then, come the end, having to once more take children from a school year (this time in the new school) and shuttling them back across the mountains and plopping them back down into the 'new' old routine. There were also the questions of what about birthday parties, karate lessons, pets that would have to be re homed. The reality of it all only took moments to sink it. Six months just could not happen.

And, so the late night discussions happened that night as we lay tucked into our bed; about the stresses of such a long trip, about how the kids would handle it, and about how everyone would miss everyone terribly, but that in the end we would all do wonderfully well, and that really six months wasn't quite so very long at all. And then, the decision made, we drifted off to sleep.

Two and a half weeks ago, in the wee hours of the morning, I watched once more, my husband head out the door. How thankful I am to live in a time where my kids can kiss their dad good night over a web cam, and telephone calls during the day are common place. I am grateful for our amazing friends and family who know exactly when I am in need of love and lifting up, even before I quite know it. I'm so happy for deliciously hot summer days that will be here quickly, when we can all pile in the car and drive the insanely long drive to Utah to visit Daddy again. Mostly, I am thankful to know that no matter where we wander in this world, we are family; and six months does nothing to change that.

As I think of the many in this world who have had to endure these struggles without such rich blessings, I marvel at their daily strength. I think of pioneer women, who would watch as their husbands left to serve missions for our early church, not knowing if they would ever see them again. I think of spouses who through heartbreaking circumstances, lose their partner and must continue on each day for their children all while trying to make sense of their own grief. And I think of the countless men and women around the world whose partner serve our country in the armed forces. Often going years with frequent separation; the infrequent communication, the missed moments of family life, and the constant uncertainty of safety.I think of this, and I marvel.

It is then that I realise that October is not so very far off after all.