Friday, December 29, 2006

To Be(lieve) or not to Be(lieve)...That is the Question.

A couple of nights after Christmas, the dreaded question came. We were going through our nightly routine...brushing teeth; going potty; washing hands; getting the last sips of water for the evening; saying prayers; singing lullabies; kisses and snuggles; saying i love you's; and so forth. I walked out of the boy's room to go tuck Aiden into her bed, and Chad stayed behind for the last few "needs" that the boys had before they were content to fall asleep. That's when the question came. As Chad was walking out of the room, Colton said, "Dad?" Chad said, "What?" And Colton said, "Is Santa real?" I can't believe it. I am so sad. Some of the magic fanished with those words. Now, I understand that the real "magic" of Christmas is the Christ child and what He has done for us, but I loved the excitement of Santa Claus and what he represented for me and my brother as children. I loved looking up the chimney when we were young. I love leaving the milk and cookies on the fireplace hearth...feeling content that we had done our part so that Santa would not get hungry during his long night's trip. I loved the anticipation on Christmas Eve...knowing he was coming, and the not being able to fall asleep that night because we were so excited. I still love it. I love that I feel the same feeling when I see the wonder in my children. Chad replied with, "We will talk in the morning." Now usually, this answer would never suffice for Colton. But this night it did. Chad told me to have an answer prepared for him in the morning...and I did. Colton has not brought it up again though, and neither have we. I am hoping that the magic will captivate him a little longer...that he decided that he wasn't quite ready to let it go. We shall see. On the flip side...Chase decided that this year was the year that he and Santa become good friends. He could not stop singing about him, talking about him, wanting to go see him all season. This was the first year that he was not scared to sit on his lap. Chase had been practicing his request for days before the big trip to the mall. "Hi Santa. I want a Secret I.D. Batman and Bruce Wayne." I never thought to warn him that Santa would not present him with his toy that night at the mall. That took some explaining after I pulled Chase from his lap. Well, tonight, Chase couldn't go to sleep. So we let him get in our bed. Chad was in the living room watching TV, and I was in our bathroom getting ready for bed. The door was closed most of the way, and I heard Chase pick up the phone by our bed and start dialing. I walked out of the bathroom and over to him, bent down and said, "What are you doing Chase?" To that, Chase replied, "I'm calling Santa." I love the innocence. Of course Santa is at home, in the North Pole, sitting by the fireplace, in a rocking chair, by the phone, waiting to answer a phone call from his new buddy, Chase.

Friday, December 22, 2006

May Your Days be Merry and Bright

Colton-51/2; Chase-4; Aiden-191/2 months & Chad didn't get the "wear red" memo

Tis the season to be in love


Santa with Dimples

Miss Claus

"I love my new haircut"

Visions of Sugarplums...

"Hello. Honey mad this poncho and my mommy wore it when she was little."

"I think Santa will like it...don't you?"

"It is a rare moment when all three of us will stand together and still for a picture."

Merry Christmas from Texas!!

Monday, December 18, 2006

my name is mindy clarkson, but you can call me charlie

this year's tv show of choice is A Charlie Brown Christmas. i think we've watched it 18 times at least. chase wakes up in the morning asking for it and goes to bed asking for it. he can repeat most of it, as can colton and they simultaneously laugh at all the same parts. they really love it when lucy asks shroeder (sp?) to play "jingle know...deck them halls and all that stuff." we own the video, however we get so excited when it comes on tv that we dvr it and act as if we have never seen it before...making cookies or popcorn and sitting on the floor together for the duration. i have decided this year that i can really relate to some of the characters in this flick...specifically charlie brown and lucy...on 2 accounts. for those of you who know me will easily see what i mean.


LUCY: "May I help you?"

CHARLIE BROWN: "I feel depressed. I know I should be happy, but I'm not."

LUCY: "The mere fact that you realize you need help indicates that you are not too far gone. I think we better pinpoint your fears. If we can find out what you're afraid of, we can label it. Are you afraid of responsibility? If you are, then you have hightengeophobia."

CHARLIE BROWN: "I don't think that's quite it."

LUCY: "How about cats? If you're afraid of cats, you have anoraphasia."

CHARLIE BROWN: "Well...sort of, but I'm not sure."

LUCY: "Are you afraid of staircases? If you are then you have climbacaphobia. Maybe you have phalaciphobia. This is the fear of the ocean. Or, chepharobia; this is the fear of crossing bridges. Or, maybe you have pantephobia. Do YOU think you have pantephobia?"

CHARLIE BROWN: "What is pantephobia?"

LUCY: "The fear of everything."

CHARLIE BROWN: "THAT"S IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"



well, that is how i feel that i relate to A Charlie Brown Christmas. let's see, we have 6 more days until Christmas...i bet we'll watch it about 16 more times. i'll try to keep track and keep you posted. there is redeeming value in this show. we've learned some good lessons this year from linus. he does make sure everyone knows what Christmas is all about. and like linus, i do think chase has decided to make his blue "blankie" into a sportcoat.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Most Important Night

Tonight was the most important night in Colton's life. At dinner, we explained to Colton, Chase and Aiden that we were going to have a birthday party for Jesus on Christmas Eve. I was telling them that we were going to make a birthday cake for Jesus...(I'm fairly certain they will decide on a superman birthday cake)...and that instead of bringing wrapped toys for Jesus as his gift, that we are going to answer a question for his birthday present instead. The question is, "What are you willing to give Jesus this year?" Colton, who was wearing the batman costume...mask and all...thought for a minute and said, "I know what a good thing to give him would be...we could give him our hearts." At that, I melted. I told him that he had a very good idea and we talked further about what it meant to give Jesus our hearts. We told him that Chad and I had already given Jesus our hearts but that we were praying that he, Chase and Aiden would too. He asked several questions and also made several statements that let Chad and I know that he knew more about it than we thought. He talked about God being Jesus' father and that he knew that God was his father too. He said that he had two fathers. We talked about how it is even more important to follow his Heavenly father than it is for him to follow his dad. Then I saw him begin to cry. I saw his chin quiver and he wiped his eyes through the batman eye holes. He said that he was scared to go in the water and go under the water backwards. I got up and went over to hug him and explained that he did not have to go in the water in order to give Jesus his heart. I could feel the relief in him. He lifted his mask and his body relaxed as he wiped his eyes. About 5 minutes had gone by and the subject had been changed...(by Chase, I think)...and Colton said, "I have a secret that I will tell you and Dad on Christmas. Or I can tell you now." I asked him if he wanted to tell us now or wait until Christmas and he said, "It's your choice." I said, "Tell us now." He said that he would whisper it in my ear. I leaned over the table and he whispered the most beautiful words..."I want to do that tonight. I want to give Jesus my heart." We prayed together and tonight Colton gave his heart to Jesus for his birthday. I don't think Jesus would have wanted anything more.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Just the Goings On

well, i don't really have any great stories or funny antecdotes today. i just thought it was time to blog again and thought i would let everyone in on the goings on at the clarkson home. i just took chase to school and then came home to put aiden down for her nap. some days, when i take chase to school at noon, colton's class is out on the playground for recess. the door that i drop chase off at is right next to the playground, so he gets very excited on the days that we drive up and see colton's class out there. he always wants to jump out and run to say hi to colton. usually colton and some of his friends come over to the gate to say hi to us, but today he pulled this "run by the gate and pretend not to see us" act. now, this is fine with me because i understand his need to be silly and and act grown up...and most of the time he is really sweet and gives chase hugs through the gate, but poor chase did not understand why his big brother could not see him. there he was, clenching the gate while standing on his tippy toes to see over it yelling, " i am...colton...i'm over here." then chase looked up at me with question in his eyes and my heart broke for him. i just grabbed his hand and said, "look at colton being so silly. he is pretending he does not see us." we told his friends, who did see us, bye and walked back to chase's door. finally, colton yelled from the gate "hi" to chase. so all is well with the brothers again. tomorrow is "polar express day" at the school and all the kids get to wear pajamas to school and they are watching the polar express. chase and colton are very excited to wear their pj's to school. they have matching ones that i happen to find on sale. i was just going to have them wear their christmas pajamas from last year, but colton's didn't fit him anymore. so then i was going to have chase wear colton's old ones, and i went to get colton some for this year. they did not have any at gap or the children's place that i liked, so i reluctantly went in to gymboree, where i usually don't buy anything because it is too expensive. i saw 2 pair of plaid pj's...the big boy kind with the button down top and matching pants...hanging on the clearance rack. why they had christmas pj's on the clearance rack, i don't know. my thought was, there is no way one of these will be a size 6. i looked at the first pair and it was a 4 (chase's size). then i looked at the second pair and it was a 6! yea! so i grabbed the 6 and went to the register, and they rang up even cheaper than they were marked...only $16. so, i figured that this was an obvious sign that i was supposed to by the 4 for chase as well. so i did. and boy are these boys cute in their christmas, plaid, big boy, polar express pajamas. the only problem is that they are a tad big in the waist. after i finish this, i am going to break out the needle and thread and try to sew a little tuck in the waist so they will be a perfect fit for school tomorrow. maybe aiden and i will wear our pajamas all day tomorrow too. i vote that chad wear his pajamas to his all day meeting tomorrow in celebration of polar express day at bauerschlag elememtary. who's with me?

Thursday, November 30, 2006


The kids had some special things to say to their daddy on his birthday today. Here is how the question went, "What would you like to say to Daddy on his birthday?" Their answers are as follows...
Colton: "Happy Birthday. Tomorrow will be December! I wish that you would feel good and I wish that you would have a good time and I wish that you would feel very special. I love you. Love family."

Chase: "'s Thursday. Happy Birthday Chase. Give me a hug."

"Aiden...what are you doing?"

Aiden: "Just a second Mom. I am calling my Daddy to wish him a happy birthday."

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

ashes, ashes, they all fall DOWWNNN!

well, the past 4 weeks or so has been very enlightening for me. i have learned quite a bit about myself, my strengths, my weeknesses, and then those little aspects about yourself that you don't even want to admit are there. expectations and perfectionism gets me every time. it is always better to admit. only then can you make any changes...or should i say, only then does God have any room to make changes in you. even though there are always people who have it easier and better than us, and there are people who have it a lot harder than us...there are still times that we just don't handle life with grace and ease. the past month has been that way for me. i spent a lot of time and energy on things that don't really matter in the long cleaning, organizing, trying to make things perfect for company, typing up very detailed menus and such. do you think my kids care about any of that? NO. all they care about is that i am spending quality time with them. even the things that i had to do that was very much for them did not seem to be what they were craving from me...such as the 8-10 doctor's appointments, christmas shopping, cleaning their rooms, doing their laundry, bathing, feeding, making pilgrim hats for all the kids in colton's class, organizing the thanksgiving feast for colton's class, going to the school to have thanksgiving lunch with colton in the lunch room, etc. etc. etc. needless to say, i got a little overwhelmed. i needed to be getting the house ready and grocery shopping and getting all the christmas presents ready for chad's family to come in, yet wild horses couldn't keep me away from the yummy thanksgiving meal from the caffeteria at bauerschlag elementary school. there was a moment last week...friday to be exact...when i realized that all the balls that i had been attempting to juggle had just come crashing down on me and were bouncing all over my kitchen floor. i had agreed to make the pilgim hats for colton's class despite knowing that i did not have the time for it. (i am the room mom, and everyone knows that the room mom can't say no to things like pilgrim hat design.) anyways, they were to be delivered with colton on friday morning for the kids to do a pilgrim project and guess were i found them friday at 11:30 when i went to feed chase and aiden lunch? sitting on the bar in my kitchen...very definitely NOT at the school where they were supposed to have been. the kids were getting out for thanksgiving that day, and i quickly realized that there would be no way to make them work when they came back to school after the thankgiving holiday...i mean santa in a pilgrim hat just doesn't work. so, that was my moment. that was when the balls fell. that was when i realized that my brain capasity was full and that what was happening was that every new piece of information was kicking out something stored in there. i had received a new demand, and sending the hats had been kicked out. it was sort of freeing actually. with chase and aiden standing at my feet, waiting for their lunch, i just put my face in my hands and let the balls fall. i had taken on too much. it just wasn't gonna to happen. i took the hats at noon when i took chase to school and only 1 kid wore one at the feast. i had to hold my tongue when i walked in colton's class. i wanted to scream...EVERYONE IN HERE IS GOING TO WEAR A PILGRIM HAT AND LOVE IT!!!! but that's o.k. colton, along with everyone else wanted to be an indian. oh well. chad's family is getting here today, and guess what? the house is not decorated for christmas like it was supposed to be, food is not prepared yet, the kids are running wild, chad just got home from new york, the phone is ringing, i have to go to target, i am still in my pj's at 12:26...oh great, i just looked at the clock and realize lunch time has come and poor kids, and i am spending time blogging instead of all those needed things because i knew i needed a break. and i'm smiling...happy...and at peace because at least the balls are on the floor and not over my head anymore.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


DUE TO POPULAR DEMAND......A PICTURE OF POOR McQUEEN (as chase likes to call the accord).

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

hum-drum...for a second

well, a few minutes ago i came up to check e-mail, and do the limited "computer things" that i do every day and i thought to myself, "it is about time to post another blog and interestingly enough, i don't have much to say." it has mainly been the same ole, hum-drum stuff that i have been talking to friends about for the last month it seems...(aside: i want to write a children's book and so i am always in search of a good title. it just occured to me that "hum-drum" might work in a title someway.)...back to life...back to reality...who remembers that song? random. anyhow, kid's ear infections, trying to finish organizing the house, painting rooms, cleaning, laundry, trying to get ready for chad's whole family to get here for thanksgiving, etc. etc. etc. so, i thought i would just not write anything until i had something interesting to write about. well, something that i thought was interesting anyway. and then who should if hearing from a little angel perched on his shoulder saying, "pssst...hey....mindy needs something interesting to write her now..." the telephone rings while i sit at the computer pondering the un-eventfulness, and i hear chad on the other end. the first thing he says is, "i have bad news." now, the thought that entered my mind first, and i don't know why... except for it was the last conversation that we had...was that he did not have the receipt for the vacuum cleaner that i wanted to return to target today. but no. very quickly he interupted that thought with the following words. "a tree fell on the car." i don't know the details other than he was at lunch, and several people...3 to be exact...called him to tell him the news. my maroon honda accord that i got for my highschool graduation from my parents was parked in the church parking lot, surrounded by huge oak (i think) trees. we are having an extremely windy day...although beautiful and a whole tree fell on top of the car. windows smashed and all. a little worse than a missing receipt, but not as bad as it could have been. i am very thiankful that no one was in the car. i am very thankful that it was not the van...the only way i have to get the kids around. i am very thankful that no one is hurt. i am very thankful that it was chad's voice on the phone instead of someone else calling to tell me of something happening to chad. does anyone know if we will get a new car out of this deal? one can only hope.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Ode To Colton Lloy

colton - kindergarten; age 5 1/2
in celebration of colton's 1st official school picture, i thought i would let him be the star of the blog today.
First Live Performance and a Standing Ovation (from mom)
colton had his official first live performance not long ago. i mentioned that he and i are taking guitar lessons on saturdays, and i guess he had learned enough to feel pretty secure in his ability. this past saturday morning, we were practicing before breakfast. he was supposed to have learned twinkle twinkle little star for that week, but his reading of the notes had progressed farther than we anticipated and he learned happy birthday as well. he played both twinkle twinkle and happy birthday all the way through for me without missing a note. now, granted, he took it very slow...looking at the sheet music very carefully before he strummed each note...but hit the right notes none-the-less. after he finished and i went wild with applause, it hit him that we were going to a birthday party that afternoon before his lesson. he said that he wanted to play happy birthday for his friend at the party. i said o.k. as long as it was alright with his mom and he was sure it would be. now, i was a little unsure if he was ready for this because he has always been very shy when it comes to ANYONE looking at him...never wanting to be on "stage" for any reason. however, if he was ready...i didn't want to stop him. so, long story short...after many of the guests at the party had left, and colton asking me several times if it was time to get his guitar out of the car, i timidly asked the mom if it was o.k. she was very gracious and said of course. so, we went to get the guitar and pulled a lawn chair up for colton to sit in. (the party was outside). colton got out his purple pick and everyone gathered around. well, you can imagine what happened next. it got quiet. that was enough to bring on the stage fright. i pointed to the notes, and he started to play. he got the first 3 notes correct, but then missed the 4th one...then proceeded to lose his place because he wanted to start over again and i kept going (to which he blamed me for the whole catastrophy). he kept playing...trying to get back on track for a couple of seconds...which seemed like hours for the two of us. finally, the nerves and silence got the best of him and he smiled humbly, shrugged and said, "that's all." everyone clapped and cheered and said that it was great, but he knew the truth...that what he had played perfectly just 2 hours prior, he failed to do when he thought it really mattered. he held it together while saying our good-byes, but as we walked down the driveway toward our van, with guitar in hand, he looked at the ground and said, "i messed up. i lost my place. i didn't even get to finish." we had one of our long, encouragement talks on the way to the lesson where i told him all the "mommy things" like...i was more proud of him for trying, and it was the first time and it is so normal to get nervous...and the story about the first time i sang silent night in church by myself and i got so nervous that my voice trembled and i looked down the whole time. (that did make him laugh and feel better). i have to say...even if he got stage fright, i give him a standing ovation for just getting on the stage. as soon as we got to the lesson, i whispered to the instructor, "have him play happy birthday first." sometimes we all need a little help getting back on the horse. i bet you can guess how he did...yep...didn't miss a note.
here or some of colton's funnies from over the years
mommy: "i can make free-throws."
colton: "i can make 5 throws." while holding up 5 fingers (age 2)
colton saw a cute little girl on tv who was an expert in history facts...after watching her he said, "i'm impressed about that girl." (age 3)
if colton wanted us to watch him, he would say, "all the people look at me." (age 3)
after his cousin sneezed colton said, "bless you my child." (age 3)
we were leaving iowa, and we were telling colton to give hugs and kisses bye and he said, "don't rush me." (age 3)
we were visiting iowa, and colton had trouble going to the bathroom. i gave him a child's laxative that gave him gas. he came to me and said, "a storm came out of my butt." (age 3)
colton was bothering chase and chad kept telling him to stop. chad finally took him upstairs and asked him why he didn't listen to daddy. colton said, "it just didn't make sense." (age 3)
i told colton to eat his carrots, to which he replied, "no, and you're making me crazy." (age 3)
chase had a pencil and a part to the computer. i told colton to get them from him. he was chasing him around the room trying to get them from him and finally he said, "chase, chase...please...cooperate!" (age 3)
chad flew home from atlanta and hugged colton. colton sniffed him and said, "dad, you smell like a goat." (age 3)
i asked colton one day, "when are you going to start listening?" he said, "Next Thursday." (age 3)
colton bit his tongue and it was bleeding everywhere. the next day i was trying to figure out whether i should take him to the dentist. i asked him if it hurt. he said, "yes". i asked him, "when does it hurt?" he said, "on tuesdays and thursdays." (age 3)
colton was playing catch with his grandpa rod. he caught the ball a few times and said, "i'm good." then he caught the ball a fiew more times and said, "i'm fantastic." (age 4)
i heard colton and chase bickering in the other room. colton ran in and said, "chase just hit me in the brain." (age 4)
i was in much need of a break and at dinner that night, chad said that i could go take a hot bath and that he would get the kids ready for bed. next, chad said to colton, "could you bathe chase and aiden and then feed aiden?" colton's eyes got really big and he said, "WHAT...i'm not even a mom...i don't even have milk in myself...i don't have those milk know those little bottles that sneak out." (age 5)
well, that concludes my ode to colton. thanks for taking interest in our lives. i can't believe he is getting so grown up. it seems like just yesterday that he was a tiny baby. he has a cough and i had to give him cough medicine late last night. i rocked him back to sleep...which i don't get to do that often. he is almost too big to fit in my lap. i loved every minute of it and that experience is what inspired this blog post. we are so proud of him. just this week, he won a character/citizenship award at school. we go tonight for him to receive his honor. all i know, is i'm the one that feels honored...honored to be his mom.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Beautiful Day...and it is

well, so many little time. here is one for today. i've decided there are music people and non-music people. i am definitely a music person and chad really is not. not that chad does not ever listen to or appreciate music at all, he just doesn't really seek it out or use it to alter his mood. for example, after i get out of the van, the next person who enters will hear whatever cd strikes my fancy that day blaring as a reminder of my last venture. after chad has driven the van, i always have to change it from the am sports channel when i get back in. that's what i person...non music person. now that we have that settled; my children take after their mom and love...i repeat...LOVE music. i must admit, i am proud of their taste as well. currently, both colton and chase request u2's beautiful day and elevation the minute we get in the car. and of course, i happily meet their request to "turn it up mommy". aiden usually dances and claps to whatever is on but seems to already have an appreciation for the magic that is u2. colton knows every word of elevation which may or may not be a catalyst for some of you questioning why my kids are singing to u2 instead of veggie tales or cedermont kids...but, it is what it is. while elevation is ringing through my blue minivan...which certainly does not scream u2 from the outside like it does from the inside, the boys can be seen jamming out, hands in the air, head keeping rhythm, and singing every word. aiden watches and claps her hands over her head, not to be left out of the experience. most of you know that colton has been musical from the womb, and hears instruments in a song that others don't even know exsist...such as a mandolin, etc. etc. so, the other day, while listening to none other than elevation, i explained the bridge in the song to colton. the next time we listened to the, not to let one get passed him...said, "let's go over the bridge mommy!" i said "o.k. it comes!" colton's response was, "Go Bono!" with rocker fist in the air. at dinner last night, chase...who has seemed to always have a heart for prayer and will melt you with some of his very honest and insightful words to God...prays, "God...thank you for beautiful day and elevation." i smile now and ponder the words quietly to myself...beautiful day...and it is.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

"it's broken mommy...need cast"

extra, extra, read all about it...some of you are asking how chase is after the long, drawn out, middle of the night ramblings of 2 or 3 nights ago. i can't remember and don't have the energy to go back and check. but, after being at the doctor's office twice in 2 days, we now know that he has bronchiloitis...otherwise known as the dreaded RSV. those of you that are moms, and probably some of you that are not but are medically aware, know exactly what that is. it is a horrible respiratory virus that attacks and causes inflammation of the bronchiloes (the tiny tubes that connect the bronchials to the lungs). this virus is especially dangerous for tiny babies and young kids with asthma. after the night that i posted (an attempt to stay awake to monitor chase's breathing), his cough and asthma got worse quickly. he was not able to go more than an hour or so without experiencing some respiratory distress (nostrils flaring, intercostal spaces between ribs sinking in with every breath, grunting with every breath). i was on the phone several times with the after-hours nurse line in an attempt to avoid the er. this was especially bad the night before last. at the doctor on monday, they said that he could go trick or treating if he was not coughing and responding to the breathing treatment...which he was halloween afternoon. so we let him wear his batman costume and go to a couple of houses and he was totally fine. however, when we got back inside, he started having trouble again. that night i was up all night with him. he was getting breathing treatments every 2 hours (the maximum amount he could get) and at 12:00am, it did not work anymore. i was getting ready to take him to the er, and then he got better for a while. then it got bad again, followed by a breathing treatment, followed by it not working and me getting ready to take him again. i finally realized that he could sleep and breath better if he sat in my lap, leaned back in the recliner in the living room. so we did this from 3:00am on. i could not sleep anyway. i did not want to take my eyes off of him. we went on like this until i could get him to the office the next morning. needless to say, i watched everything i had recorded on the dvr that night. luckily, they figured out what the virus was that was causing it and know that it is a very difficult virus to treat...that is why it was not responding to treatment. but, now he has turned the corner. he is able to go 4-6 hours between treatments now, occationally only 3, and is feeling much better. chad did all the breathing treaments last night, because let's face it...i was 1 night of no sleep shy of completely dropping my basket. i am somewhat worried about aiden getting it too because our house is one, giant germ at this point. but, if i let myself go there, you will all be contacting me at the local loony-bin. cute thing about chase though...ever since he broke his arm, he says that anything that is wrong is "broken". when his nose is runny, he comes to me and says, "nose broken mommy." if he gets a scrape on his arm..."it's broken mommy...need cast." and this week, his chest is definately "broken and needs cast."

Monday, October 30, 2006

i'm tired...i think i need a nanny.

it is exactly 1:00am monday morning. the time that comes up at the bottom of the blog is wrong for some reason. anyways, i am up because chase is having either asthma or a viral cough. the whole family just got over a bad cold/bacterial throat infection, so it being another virus would surprise me. however, i'm not a doctor and i don't play one on tv either. when his asthma acts up, he coughs like this and he was outside a lot today. they tell me his asthma is very mild and that he should outgrow it, which i really hope is the case. well, i noticed him coughing before bed, so i gave him the recommended 2 puffs of the inhaler. he went to sleep and i started to...only to drift off and wake up to him coughing pretty bad. we still have a monitor for the boys as well as aiden. i came and got him and tried to assess the situation...are his nostrils flaring? are his ribs sinking in with every breath? is that little space between the collar bone sinking in? all signs of respiratory distress and an asthma attack. well, none of those things were happening, just the terrible, asthma sounding cough. so, what to do? think. think. think. i'm doing the squint in the light, trying to wake up myself thing and he is none too thrilled that i am waking him up either. i decide to try and give him regular cough syrup to see if that will help. have you ever had a battle in the kitchen in the middle of the night with a 4 year old over which medicine he will take? i have. about 2 hours ago. technically it was not the middle of the night then, but it is now, so give me a break. he refused to take the red cough medicine that neatly and easily dissolves on his tongue, which was his medicine of choice last week. tonight he wants to use the inhaler again. well, this is where the mommy detective in me comes into play. do i trust him and believe that he is feeling a tight, asthma chest, or make him take the run of the mill stuff that will not work anyway if it is stricktly asthma? i quickly decide to trust him, only it is too soon to give him another treatment. you have to wait 4 hours. so, now what? well, i have a liquid steroid that is to be used if the breathing treatment does not work, so i go for that. luckily, he complied. at this time, if you are wondering why he had a say in the first place about which medicine he took, now is not the time to question me. today i was wondering why i feel so tired all the time. that seems like a very silly inquirey (sp?) now. the steroid worked and he was very opinionated about going back to sleep in his and colton's room. i wanted to put him in bed with us to monitor him. well, back to bed he went and after his lullaby of choice, he was asleep. in about 6.5 was i. then, at 12:00am, i woke up to him coughing bad again. i looked at the clock, expecting to see 4:00am at least, but no. too soon to give a breathing treatment...too soon to give more medicine. now is when i call in the big guns. no, not chad...he is sleeping peacefully. i call the walgreens 24 pharmacy to talk with the pharmacist, who you would think i was on a first name basis with. he, so patiently, researches the meds and tells me what i already know...i can't do another treatment for 2 hours. he says to give robitussin dm...a plain cough syrup until i can do the treatment. i don't have robittusin dm. now is the time to wake up chad. he groggily rolls out of bed and puts his cute glasses on and shuffles out the door to the 24 hr kroger. he only asked one time if we really needed this. he gets back in about 15 minutes and i head upstairs to get chase. it is about 12:45 at this point. in the back of my mind i am thinking, chase is not going to take this. i know it tastes terrible. as soon as i get chase out of bed, still half asleep, he says, "mommy...cough medicine." i say, "we're gonna get you some cough medicine right now sweet baby." he takes it without a word, scrunches up his nose and sputters a little, but swallowed it all. "good job, chase. i'm proud of you." this time he wanted daddy...wanted to sleep in "daddy's bed". i wanted to rock him to keep him upright until the medicine took effect, but chase wanted daddy. for a split second my feelings were a little hurt...afterall, i was the one who had put this whole plan in motion. chad did go get the medicine though...i guess it's only fair. now i am just waiting to make sure the medicine works before i drift off asleep again, and there is nothing on tv. i was watching this candy castle compitition on the food network before chad got back with the cough syrup, and i totally forgot about that until now...i'm wondering who won. none the less, at this point it is better to be awake already than to be woken up after 10 minutes of sleep. my brain gets really confused when that happens multiple times a night. it is 1:33 now, and i have not heard any more coughing, so i think i will check on colton and aiden, and then head to bed. funny thing about colton...his shirt had a big hole in it at the chest the other day. i asked why. he said, "it was itching me, so i cut it." i said, "cut it with what?" he said, "scissors." naturally. we talked a while about not cutting our clothes with scissors, etc. etc. etc. then we talked about the appropriate action to take if our skin is itching. about an hour later, i catch him trying to glue his shirt (still on his body) back together with gum. i think i need a nanny.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

32...there...i said it.

today is my birthday. i love birthdays. when i was little, i would get soooo excited as the month of october would roll around and each day i would be filled with a little more anticipation. as far as i am concerned...and i have always thought this...october 24th is the best day for a birthday. i would always get to have halloween birthday parties; it is well into fall (my favorite season); the weather is getting cooler (if we are lucky); it is an even number (everyone in my family was born on an even number); and the anticipation of the holidays is upon us...a perfect time to celebrate ME!! last year, u2 was actually in houston for a concert at this time and chad surprised me with great seats for my birthday. that was one of the greatest times ever!! anyhow, i am turning 32 at about 5:30 pm. there, i said it. i say it this way because i am still holding on tight to 31. i had it all planned out. this was going to be the year that i strategically lost a year. i figured that this would be the year that no one would notice. it is not a big milestone, like 30 or 21 and who really remembers what year i was born? (except maybe my mom and dad...and i was prepared to let them in on my plan and felt they would play along.) so, it was all planned out...i am turning 31. and it was working perfectly. chad actually played right into the palm of my hand by asking, "how old are you going to be again?" i replied...very convincingly, i might add..."31". he totally believed me too, until he went and ask his mom how old his sister was (he knows that she is only several months older than me) and she told him 32. oh well. turns out, it would not have worked anyways. my brother, totally unaware of the plan, decided that this would be the year that he would make me a shirt that says "the tres-dos" on the front, and "seventy four" (the year i was born) down the sleeve. now if that didn't blow my cover, what would? how funny AND ironic is that? as if God was saying thru him, "there's no hiding it and no reason to." kevin (my brother who lives in alaska) and i have kind of started this tradition where we make each other t-shirts for our birthdays...because, let's face can not have too many cool t-shirts. last year, i sent him one that said "say uncle" on the front with a number 3 under that... you know...because he has 3 niece and nephews. and then he sent me one that said "say aunt" with a huge 00 under that because he obviously does not have children, (although he forgot that i had 2 nieces that i adore who live in iowa)...but i understood and appreciated the sentiment. and that brings us to today. i was getting chase in his carseat to take him to school and found the tightly taped box in the back seat of the van that was addressed to "SISTER". chad must have got it out of the mailbox and forgotten to give it to me. anyhow, i was so excited to open it. just as excited as i was to open a present when i was little. i was tearing into it in the parking lot at the school, waiting for chase's teacher to come out to get the kids because i am an instant gratification kind of girl with absolutley no patience when it comes to these things...

side note: chad just called me to see if i had checked the blog today and i had not. so i just went and saw the sweet post he made and all the responses. how meaningful and thoughtful. thanks baby!! now you all understand his title! :)

...and it was a starbucks alaska mug (i am collecting the starbucks city/state mugs from the places that are important to me for one reason or another. i have houston, austin, atlanta, and now alaska so far) and that t-shirt. my first birthday present to un-open this year. i love it. i will wear it proud...and i'll wear 32 proud too.

Look who's 32, uh, I mean 31

Kindergarten (circa 1979)

Happy Birthday! We love you very much. Thanks for being a terrific wife and an outstanding mom. We hope this is a very special day for you. Please forgive Aiden for hijacking your blog.

We love you!

Chad, Colton, Chase & Aiden

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

i'm coming (un)clean

well, i decided this morning that i am what you call a closet un-organized person. on the surface, everything looks neat and tidy, clean and organized. the rooms that anyone ever sees are usually spotless, freshly cleaned and smelling like "moonlit path"...the room deoderizer spray that santa put in my stocking last year or vanilla...the candle that burns when i know someone will be coming over OR when i am just in a particularly "vanilla" mood. however, two days ago, i had this impulsive desire to organize every room in the house. if any of you start to feel this impulse, take it from me...IGNORE IT! this style of organizational living is how i am most comfortable for sure, and after surveying the damage, otherwise known as the closets, i could not believe i had let things get so out of control. the guest-room closet was literally the picture of opening the door and having everything fall down on top of you. it was the go-to closet when we did not know where to put something. i actually found my old highschool and TCU dance team uniforms and pom poms deep in the back of the space. when i walked into that closet, i felt a little like lucy from the chronicles of narnia when she got lost in the wardrobe. anyhow, i digress...i am 2 days into this project and about $60 down from purchasing so many rubbermaid containers, but the guest-room closet looks great. i have completed the coat closet and the master bath as well. and there is absolutely NOTHING under our bed for the first time in our entire marriage. i have started aiden's closet and all her clothes that she has outgrown are going into sage green rubbermaids and i have to go to target to get blue ones for the boys clothes. (the mis-matched, ugly, gray ones that they are currently in just won't do now...their closet has to measure up to the guest-room's). i can use the gray ones in the garage, which is chad's project. he's thrilled. i'm in too deep to turn back now. so, the point is, i'm coming clean. out of the closet. literally. my house may have looked clean...but deep inside the closet, where no one ever sees, was a mess. i feel like my house was starting to mirror my spiritual life. or my spiritual life was starting to mirror my house. i'm not sure which came first. lately, i have felt un-organized personally and spiritually, yet on the surface things looked neat and tidy. how have both my house and my spiritual life gotten this way? well, i think it is a mixture of being either pregnant or nursing for the past 6 1/2 years (give a girl a break) mixed in with some procrastination and laziness. but, i'm fed up with an un-organized life...both physically and mentally. so, in an attempt to achieve real authenticity...i'm coming (un)clean.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

where troubles melt like lemon drops...

double click on the triangle at the bottom left-hand corner to see a video of chase's birthday weekend in san antonio.

Friday, October 06, 2006

as important as oprah

i saw this preview for an oprah show and as well as i could tell...she was answering questions that viewers had for her. "what is in your purse?", was one of the questions that the viewers of oprah had. now is it just me, or are there more important questions to be asked? or, is this a very good question, because after all, you can tell a lot about a girl by what is in her purse. i decided that people were interested in this for the same reason shows like laguna beach and newly weds: nick and jessica are or were hit tv shows. we all have a touch of curiosity...most of us do anyway. maybe chad doesn't. he can't believe i am actually excited about the umpteenth season of the bachelor. "but baby...this one's in rome!!" close your eyes tight and you may actually see him rolling his. well anyhow, today i've been wondering if anyone would actually ever ask me what was in my purse. am i as important as oprah or the high schoolers from laguna beach, california? i decided i was. we all are. luckily we have a God that watches our lives as much as we watch others...and not only watches, but is wrapped up in them as much as i am wrapped up in the bachelor. my prayer today is that i would be as much wrapped up in him. so, in celebration of us all being as important as is a list of what is in my purse:

rustic brown leather wallet
3 half empty bottles of antibacterial hand gel (can you dig it?)
1 package of monster's inc. snacks
2 hair clippys (1 brown and 1 black)
5 sharpies (one can never have too many sharpy markers)
1 bottle of advil
a glue stick (just in case!!)
travel wipes
a medicine measurer and dispenser
2 double a batteries (????)
appointment reminder for NASA bone and joint (for chase's follow up)
antibiotic ointment
2 car seat clips (in case i have to install aiden and chase's car seat in someone else's car for whatever reason...i have never actually had to do this.)
children's tylenol meltaways
infant tylenol concentrated drops
infant motrin with dispenser (in case the tylenol doesn't work)
lansinoh (i have no idea why that is in there...we are getting into the inside pocket region)
blue pen
black pen
a bunch of gift cards that are half used with like $1.28 left on them
and my favorite tangerine lip gloss

well, there you have it. if i ever get discovered and am a big star, in the eyes of people other than God that is, you can tell everyone you know what is in my purse.

Monday, October 02, 2006

"San Antonio or Bust!"

On the river walk in beautiful San Antonio

chase's birthday weekend in san antonio was a success!! we had so much fun. the quote for the trip was "san antonio or bust!!" of the many highlights of this trip, the two that stand out the most for me were 1.) chase thinking that the indoor pool at the hotel was seaworld (we came upon it and he said, "look mom...seaworld. where are the dolphins?" and 2.) chase and i feeding and petting the dolphins at dolphin cove. seaworld was amazing for everyone. chase made his peace with shamu right away. we all enjoyed the sea lion show, shamu's show, the baluga whales and dolphin show, the best playground we've ever been on, dolphin cove, the water ski show (i've decided that this will be my next career move...seaworld waterskier), and watching aiden dance in the pavillion at the dance party that was starting as the sun went down on chase's fourth birthday at seaworld. on sunday, we went to the riverwalk and ate lunch at the rainforest cafe. then we saw the alamo. i think i have a renewed passion for my texas herritage and chad is feeling a bit more like a true texan as well. REMEMBER THE ALAMO!! the whole weekend was a blast for everyone. my goal is to make a slide show set to music with all the pictures and video clips for chase to have. if i get that accomplished...i will post it so y'all can see it. it will take some serious dedication. chase is worth it.
the next visa commercial:
tickets to seaworld...$140
stay in a shamu approved hotel...$160
kids meals that come in plastic shamu whales...$10...

all three kids mesmorized...PRICELESS.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

spitballs and losing control

here's how you know you've lost control:

as aiden and i picked up colton and chase from school yesterday, i notice in the mirror that colton is holding his left ear and his eyes are really bloodshot. when we got home, he basically collapsed on the couch while i was getting aiden and chase in from the car. i felt of him and he was burning up...the thermometer agreed and displayed 102.5. i gave him motrin and he was asleep. while i was dealing with this and seeing our san antonio, seaworld, superman birthday extravaganza going up in antibiotic-filled smoke, i hear chase scream from the other room. as i round the corner i can't help but do a double take. am i seeing this right? there's chase running toward me while holding his enire cast up in the air in his right hand. is it just me, or is the whole purpose of the cast to stay on. how could a three year old get the thing off. this is not just a temporary cast people, this is the full on tightly fitting, fiberglass cast that we are dealing with. i was just noticing the night before how tight it seemed around his thumb and fingers, wishing that they had made it a little looser so that it could at least air out a little. (imagine the activity level, sweat, bacteria and dirt of a little boy all contained in a dark, moist place. needless to say, the smell of the exposed arm was not pleasant.) all-the-while...aiden is carrying a bottle of ranch dressing around the house and i have absolutely no idea how and when she got it. in case you're wondering...this is the moment you realize that you are no longer in control. i used to live in it's just a place i occationally visit.

quick funny story...the other night, we had an early dinner so that we could all go outside and enjoy the cooler weather. we were playing baseball in the backyard. colton was the pitcher, chad was the outfielder, chase was the run around the yard (field) kicking a soccer ball while feeling a part of the game guy, aiden was all-time cheerleader while swinging on the swingset, and i was the batter. i had already hit a few and been chased around the yard by the boys trying to get me out, and pelted a couple of times by chad while rounding 3rd (which i was beginning to get tired of, by the way) when colton gave me a special treat. i'm all prepared to knock it out of the park when colton, while peaking out at me over his black baseball glove(something he's picked up watching andy pettitte) winds up for a great pitch. i make a mental note that this one's going to be good. then he pitches like he's never pitched before. he drills it right at my head and i happen to quickly catch it before it hits me. as i do, i feel that the ball is wet...i mean REALLY wet. i say, "uhhh, why is it wet?" and colton says, "that's what you call my spit ball."

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Candy Corn or Corny Candy?

colton and chase are at school and aiden is watching baby wordsworth so i thought i would blog instead of clean or do laundry...this is way more fun. after we dropped chase off at school, aiden and i went to michael's to look for cake pans for chase's birthday cake that i am going to make and take with us to san antonio. how am i going to do this, you may ask. well, trip to michael's was such a success...i not only found a wilton superman cake pan, but also a super cool tupperware cake carrier thingy that has a handle and everything. it also has a tray that you can carry cupcakes in. this lead me to decide to take superman cupcakes to chase's class on thursday instead of a cookie cake. the cookie cake would be $20 and we are leaving on friday for san antonio so the extras would go to waste. they had superman cupcake liners, the super S triangle symbol made of candy to go on the cupcakes and all the icing i needed. yea!! and i get to carry them up there in my cool new carrier. colton's teacher is very sweet and is going to let colton come to chase's class to have a cupcake with him. and i got superman plates, napkins and masks for each kid to have. this is total overcompensation on my part, i am aware, because of not having a birthday party.

i have purchased my first bag of candy corn. i wait for these all year. i try hard to wait until october 1st, but some years i just can't. this year was one of them. my very favorite are the pumpkin candy corns, but they did not have these at walmart. i was very torn because even though regular candy corn taste the same as the pumpkins, the pumpkins are still way better. i never get the indian corn with the brown bottom instead of yellow...beware and don't be fooled. they are imposters. i stood in the isle for a while holding the bag of regular candy corn and torn because i really wanted the i settle or do i wait for the best? due to the fact that aiden was 48 seconds from throwing a fit (she had started that whole back arching in the cart thing)and i still had to check out, i settled. i talked myself into the regular, thinking they would be a better size for the kids (smaller...less suger) and i knew they would constantly be beggin. well, i have always been too impatient and now i pay the price. when i do get the bag of just won't be the same. why is it called candy corn anyways? it's not shaped like corn...and trust me...after my 2 year stint in iowa, i know what corn looks like. this leads me to the question i asked myself it candy corn or just corny candy?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

A List of Firsts

Here are a list of some firsts in my life over the past week or so:

1st cold front: i wait patiently for this every year when approaching fall...i get the same feeling now that i did when i was little on the first day that you feel the cool fall breeze. it makes me happy.

1st guitar lesson: colton and i are taking guitar lessons together. my repertoire includes twinkle twinkle little star, mary had a little lamb, and happy birthday...which i will play for chase this coming weekend for his birthday.

1st bow: aiden got her very first bow for her hair yesterday. this is important in a girl's life!! it is small (but not small enough to choke on...SAFETY FIRST!!!) and pink and it looks so cute for about 2.5 seconds before she yanks it out and throws it across the room.

1st technical cold: aiden woke up with a substantial runny nose friday morning...her first real cold. she is handling it fever, etc. colton, about 30 minutes ago yelled from the other room..."mom, i have boogers running out of my nose." great. chase should come down with it just as we are loading the car for san antonio.

1st broken bone: chase has a buckle fracture of his radius and ulna at the wrist. he is the tough one of the bunch. i think he personally thanked every nurse, doctor, aide, or volunteer that we came in contact with. he has not complained or cried once about the cast up to his shoulder...however, it is putting a damper on the super-fit of the superman costume. the left sleeve is just not happening. his superman action figure has a cast made of masking tape. the two are off fighting crime as we speak.

1st trip to sea world: we are going to san antonio with my mom and dad this weekend for chase's birthday.

1st absence from kindergarten: colton missed friday because he had a low grade fever the night before. rules of the coming to school if fever within 24 hrs. this is probably the same cold aiden has.

1st time in my career as a mom to not do a birthday party for one of the kids. colton has had 5, chase 3, and aiden 1...that's 9 birthday parties, but this year it is seaworld instead for chaser. i'm a bit conflicted about this being that he keeps saying "no shamu" after we suprised him with the idea the other day. oh well, we forge ahead anyway.

1st time to be a room mom: i went to a room parents meeting on friday to learn my duties as colton' s class room mom. this is going to be way more than i thought...but should be fun. i'm working some booth at the fall festival...i didn't even know there was a fall festival.

1st time aiden said "hi"

1st time all three kids got in a fight: i had my back turned 1 second too long the other day...all i know is that it involved 1 superman, 1 rescue hero, aiden's baby doll, spiderman fruit snacks and every throw blanket and throw pillow we own. what??????????? i still don't know.

1st time i caught a gecko all by myself: one got in the other night and chad was at a meeting...did i mention that i HATE geckos...they really give me the willies. i mean they're see-thru. nothing is natural about that!! usually i stand on the table or couch while chad gets it...but tonight, mom came through. with all 3 kids watching...i caught him under a tupperware. then i panicked and got the neighbor to come finish the job...which involved letting it go with at least a 3 house buffer.

well, that's it. a list of firsts. i better go help chad downstairs with the kids. i just heard a loud bang followed by chad saying "ouch" and colton and chase laughing. that can't be good.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Rocket Science

aiden annee-grace -- 16 months

colton lloy -- 5 1/2

joshua "chase" -- almost 4

ALRIGHT...finally!! you would think that we were trying to launch the shuttle or something. uploading pictures...not easy. i called in chad for reinforcement and he did it for me. there was lots of clicking involved...kinda scary!! hopefully it will get easier.

c spot run

o.k. we are actually running with this whole blog thing and i am pretty excited about it. i must admit, my knowledge about computers, uploading, downloading and everything in between is limited to say the least, but this seems to be the thing to do...and the best way to let friends and family who live so far away (iowa and south carolina) into our lives a little bit better. i will say, i know why reality tv is so catchy...if we can get out of our own lives and into someone else's, even for a second, we do. well, some of us do anyway. it is kind-of nerve racking knowing that other people will be reading this and more importanly, realizing what a horrible speller i am. boy, if you are lacking stress in your life, try coming up with a blog name. you'd think your life depended on this decision. well, my goal is to get recent pictures of the sweeties (colton, chase and aiden annee-grace) on here so that you can all see them and go from there. first i need to figure out how to use the digital camera and then how to upload or download or whatever the correct term is for the magic that happens between a camera and a computer. i am very excited to start writing these blogs and i hope you are excited to read them. tune in...the clarksons are coming to you soon.