Wednesday, January 31


Nick has said a couple of cute things lately that I don't want to forget...

Last night, he was sitting on the toilet & called me into the bathroom saying he was "all done". So, I went in & praised him for using the potty like a big boy & cleaned him up. He got very excited about his favorite part... flushing the toilet. So, he flushed & I started walking out of the bathroom. Then, I heard him say, "Bye-bye poo poo. I love you."

This morning, it started snowing & of course, the kids & I got so excited. We caught little bundles of snowflakes in our hands & on our tongues. And, we watched it fall for a while from inside our warm kitchen. Then, it slowed & eventually stopped snowing altogether. The kids were a bit disappointed, including Nicholas. He turned to me & said, "Oh man! Who turned the snow off?"

When he's not sick & feeling good (which has been rare lately), he is so cute & sweet! I love these times!

Sunday, January 28

Somewhere over the rainbow...

I saw the most beautiful double rainbow yesterday after a short rain shower. I was on the way home from Target & the entire way home, it looked as if I was driving straight into the rainbow. I don't think I've ever felt that close to one before. It was truly magnificent! I could see every layer & every color meshing into the next layer of color. I called Sammy & asked if he could see it from our house, but unfortunately, the clouds had moved over our area & he couldn't see it. I was so disappointed, because I really wanted him to take a picture of it. It was so close!

This past Christmas, my mother took this picture of a double rainbow you could see from her front porch. You can barely see the rainbow on the very top, but it's there. It's a great picture, but it just doesn't come close to what I saw yesterday.

Rainbows, of course, always remind me of God's promise & the beauty He creates in this world. And, they also remind me of Sydney. She LOVES to draw rainbows. She & my niece both color all their pictures "rainbow style". A picture of a rainbow Moses from Bible class is hanging in her bedroom. When they study a new letter of the alphabet at school, she always brings home her big, blocked letter colored in with every crayon color imaginable! So pretty!

And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth."
Genesis 9:12-16

Friday, January 26

Weekend Wrap-Up

I've learned two things this week...

Sydney gets a rash around her mouth whenever she has a fever. This happened at Christmas when she had an unexplained high fever in the middle of the night. We noticed a rash around her mouth the next day. And, I just noticed another rash today. She started running a fever last night & has had one all day long. Is this a normal side effect of a fever? The good thing is that we haven't had much opportunity to notice this before, because Sydney is rarely sick. She's got a strong immune system!

The other thing I've learned is that a dinosaur mask on Nick's nebulizer does not make the task any easier! Nick was a much better patient when he was only a year old! Now, he HATES keeping the mask on his nose & mouth. So, we just have to settle for getting it near his mouth. I am just praying it has the same effect.

Oh yeah, one more thing... I've also learned that Mom never has the luxury of getting sick! Sammy told me last night & again today that he was feeling a bit under the weather. Well, of course he is!

Thursday, January 25


On the way home from the gas station this afternoon, I was waiting at a red light next to a 4-door sedan with three young girls in it. These girls looked to be all around the age of 5 or younger. What irritated the heck out of me was that NOT A SINGLE ONE of these girls was buckled in a seatbelt! NOT A SINGLE ONE! And, to make it worse, they weren't even sitting! Two of the young girls were in the front seat. One was standing up with the back of her head against the front windshield. The other young girl in the front seat was sliding from the passenger side to the middle & back. And, the girl in the backseat was bouncing up & down on her knees. I couldn't believe this adult in the front seat was allowing this! (I'm assuming she was the mother of atleast one of the girls, but would a mother really allow that?!?!) I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt, thinking maybe they were just going to the corner store. But, when the light turned green, she turned onto 14th street, which is a very busy street in this area. And, she kept going for a good distance. (Oh yeah... I watched her in my rearview mirror!) It just made me so angry that someone would deliberately put their own or someone else's kids in harm's way. Not only could she have been in a wreck, but had the airbag inflated (it was a newer car with a standard airbag), then those 2 young girls in the front seat would have been seriously injured. The woman driving was just so irresponsible in every way! I am truly in shock that she allowed that behavior to occur.

Wednesday, January 24

Hump Day = Sick Day

Well, the germs continue to spread here in our household! No amount of anti-bacterial hand soap or Clorox wipes or Lysol spray was able to stop this nasty virus. It got all 3 kids.

Last night, we had to pull out the nebulizer for poor Nicholas. We haven’t had to use it in a while & I am so thankful for that. However, he definitely needed it last night. He sounded just like a barking seal & couldn’t catch his breath. Of course, when he cried or coughed, it sounded terrible. But, even when he would draw in air for a breath, his throat made that awful gasping sound. I felt so bad for him. I can’t recall how many times in the past two days I’ve told both boys that I would gladly take their yucky coughs, just so they could get some relief. They’re taking some good prescription cough medicine, but it just doesn’t seem to work as fast as we’d all like it to!

On a happier note, Sydney & I were making banana bread this afternoon to get rid of some brown bananas that were sitting in our fruit bowl. When it came time to peel the bananas, Nicholas happened to walk in & ask for some juice. He saw me peeling that old banana & said, “Ewww… I no want it!” How sad that he thought I would give that to him!

Yesterday, at one point during the evening, the kids & I were all sitting on the sofa flipping through the channels on TV. I was looking for something to keep their attention long enough for me to fold some laundry. (Since we switched back to basic cable, finding something kid appropriate on TV has become quite a challenge!) So, we went through all the regular channels, but didn’t find anything interesting. Then, we started getting to some of the “oddball” stations. I quickly flipped through the religious channels, knowing that they would not want to watch a televangelist. But, Sydney asked me to go back to one that I had quickly dismissed. It happened to be a service from Joel Osteen’s church in Houston. She wanted to watch the lady on stage singing, “I Need Thee Every Hour”. So, they sat & watched her sing while I folded laundry. Then, they sat through one of Victoria Osteen’s sermons while I folded laundry. I am not an Osteen fan, but at the time I was so thankful for that channel that held all 3 of my kids’ attention so I could get some housework done. Gettin' some religion!

Yummm... I smell banana bread!

Sunday, January 21

Mom's Intuition

As a mother, I frequently walk a fine line between overreacting to my child's ailments & underreacting. For me, it all depends on the situation.

Yesterday, Samuel's nose started running. No biggie. However, before he went to bed, he started complaining that his head hurt with every sniffle. Sounded like a sinus infection to me, but I sent him on to bed with instructions to get a good night's rest. When he woke in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, he came to my side of the bed & said, "Mom, I feel hot." He's a bit of a hypochondriac & always insists that he's running a fever (kinda like his mom!), but it was true this time. I felt his forehead & instantly knew he was running a low-grade fever. When the twins were born, my friend, Sherry, explained to me how a fever actually helped the body fight against infections. She advised that if my child were running a low-grade fever, but still acted happy & fine, then I should let his/her body do the work it was trying to do. In other words, I shouldn't interfere with medication. I never knew that was a fever's purpose, so this was a new concept to me. Since that time, I have tried to go on my instinct, rather than a thermometer, when treating any of my kids' illnesses. I would say for the most part, I've been pretty good about judging whether or not an illness requires a visit to the doctor, over-the-counter medication, or just lots of love & rest. So, when it comes to the sniffles, a fever, a cough, etc., I'm pretty laid back. We'll get through it with some Vick's & TLC. Or, if I think it warrants antibiotics, I'll definitely make a visit to our wonderful pediatrician!

However, when there is blood involved, I almost always FREAK OUT! Or, if I see an injury occur, like a head-first fall onto the tile floor, I do not respond like a calm & collected mother. And, unfortunately, I'm afraid my hysteria probably rubs off on my children. A few years back, when Sydney & Samuel were around 3, Sydney shut a screen door, jamming Samuel's thumb in it. When she finally opened the door & he was able to remove his thumb, I saw something abnormally sticking up where it shouldn't be. My first thought was that he had severed part of his thumb & it was barely hanging on. And, of course, I flipped out! I was making an already bad situation even worse. Thankfully, we were at my mom's house & she finally turned to me & said, "Amberly, you have got to calm down because you are scaring him." Oh, yeah. She was so right. Our kids watch our every move & pay attention to exactly how we handle situations... whether it's a crisis or not. And, this was certainly no crisis. He lost his thumbnail, which was sticking straight up, perpendicular to his thumb. But, it was nothing a little antiseptic ointment & a Band-Aid couldn't fix. (See, I told you we use Band-Aids a lot!) Another time, when Samuel was much smaller, he pulled a small, marble top table over on top of his mouth. And, there was blood! Lots of blood! And, I flipped out! Thankfully, we had some good friends over at the house & the husband happened to be a physician's assistant. It was tough getting Samuel to let us look into his mouth, but when he finally did, he decided the cut wasn't threatening & that it would eventually heal fine without any intervention. And, it did. I've dealt with several more falls & knots & black eyes & scabs & bruises & black eyes & busted lips & cuts since Nick was born. Did I mention black eyes? I think I've gotten a little more relaxed when I encounter these types of injuries, but it takes a lot of self-control on my part to stay calm for my children's sakes.

Overall, I have learned to trust my mother's intuition when it comes to my kids. I can read their signals like it's our very own secret language. I know when they're getting sick... I know when they're just tired... and I know when it's time to call my doctor & get something stronger than children's Dimetapp. Thank goodness for my wonderful pediatrician who trusts my instincts 100% & thank goodness for a mother's sixth sense!

Friday, January 19

Dallas Child Magazine

I originally started this post to talk about an article in this month's issue of Dallas Child magazine. It's entitled, "Mommy Bloggers". Apparently, there are lots & lots of blogging mommies on the Internet!

However, when I got on the Dallas Child website to find the article online, I ran across their own blog & started reading it. It's pretty interesting & is written by the editors of the magazine. Check it out...

No Secrets

Sometimes, I overestimate my kids! I think they can handle a secret like adults can. For instance, if one kid gets the last piece of candy or gum, I'll tell them not to tell their sibling. Which, of course, they immediately run to do! I guess the temptation is just too much. So, I should have known this morning what would happen when I shared a secret with Samuel.

Sydney got a very small scratch on her foot 2 days ago, which we just HAD to cover with a Band-Aid right away! (We go through Band-Aids in this house like crazy!) And, after each bath, she required a fresh bandage on her barely there scratch. Somehow, overnight, her current Band-Aid made its way partly off her foot. It was still hanging on by a corner. So, I quickly took it off & threw it in the trash. Which prompted a HUGE fit! "I NEED A NEW BAND-AID!" In an effort to stall, I told a little white lie, "I'm sorry, Sydney, but I can't find the Band-Aids right now." I knew sooner or later (I found out that it was actually later...), she would forget about her tiny injury & forget about wanting a new Band-Aid. So, after several more questions about where the Band-Aids might be hiding & several attempts to try to find them, she finally gave up & went on about her morning. When I realized she was over the issue, I whispered to Samuel, "Look at Sydney... she forgot about wanting a Band-Aid for her boo-boo." And, then it dawned on me what I had done. Not before I opened my mouth... but afterwards! So, I tried to fix it, "But, don't say anything to her about it. We want her to stay happy." Yeah right! He's a brother & apparently, his job is to torture his sister!

What was I thinking?!?!

Thursday, January 18

Mommy Dearest & Points

Last night during dinner, Sydney got up out of her chair to wander around the living room. I called her back to the table to finish her food. Her formal response caught me off-guard, "Coming Mother." I felt like Joan Crawford in Mommy Dearest.

If you are not a member of MyPoints, you definitely need to join! I've been a member for several years now & every few months or so, I redeem my points for a free gift card. It's absolutely free! All you do is click on the sponsor offers that are e-mailed to your inbox. You get 5 points for each offer you click on. If you decide to take advantage of an offer, (which I've done very few times in the years I've been a member), you will be rewarded additional points. Once you earn a certain amount of points, you can cash those in for gift cards to several different stores, online sites, restaurants, etc. It really is an awesome & free program! Another advantage is you can earn points when you shop online. For instance, when you order online at Barnes & Noble, you can go through the MyPoints program to earn 10 points for every dollar you spend. You get 2 points for every dollar you spend at Toys 'R Us. And, there are numerous other online sites that give you points for visiting and/or shopping their website. Try it out... it's a great deal!

Wednesday, January 17


I've been tagged by Rachel. The tag instructions...

1) Grab the book closest to you
2) Open to page 123, go down to the fourth sentence
3) Post the text of the following 3 sentences
4) Name the author and book title
5) Tag three people to do the same

The book closest to me was one I bought yesterday & haven't started yet:

"If nothing else, they could help us out financially, like Grandma Smith had done from time to time.
We'd love it in West Virginia, she told us. We'd live in the forest in the mountains with the squirrels and the chipmunks."

- The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls

I tag Jenny, Carolyn & Courtney. You're it!

Free Shopping

There's almost no better feeling than getting to shop for FREE!! Yesterday, while the kids were in school, Nicholas & I went to Firewheel Mall to spend some gift cards that I received for Christmas.

We stopped at Bath & Body Works to take advantage of their great sale going on right now. (When do they not have a sale going on?) For just a little over $15, I got 3 hand soaps & 3 small candles. I really love their hand soaps... especially the ones with moisturizers in them. As dry as my hands stay during the winter months, these soaps feel great after each wash. And, with 3 young kids, I wash my hands a LOT! The 3 small candles were half off, so I got them for a steal! And, they smell wonderful!

Afterwards, we went to Barnes & Noble to spend a gift card I received there. Typically, I don't buy books because I can check them out for free at the public library. However, since moving to Wylie, I've discovered their library does not have as big a selection as the wonderful Richardson library does. So, I decided to buy a couple of books that I've been wanting to read & that I think will probably resell fairly well on Amazon. I'm excited to start on those!

When I got home yesterday & unloaded the car, it was so great knowing the bags I was carrying inside cost me absolutely NOTHING!!

Tuesday, January 16

Book Club Choice

Last night was our bi-monthly book club meeting at Rachel's house. She prepared a fabulous dinner & we had a wonderful discussion about our latest read, The Stolen Child. It was my turn to pick the next book & I had such a difficult time narrowing it down to just one. Here are some of the books I had to choose between:

* The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls

* Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

* The Color of Law by Mark Gimenez

* The Pursuit of Happyness by Chris Gardner and Quincy Troupe

* 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper with Cecil Murphey

* An Ordinary Man: An Autobiography by Paul Rusesabagina with Tom Zoellner

After reading over each book summary carefully & reading tons of reviews on, I finally came to a decision...

I hope that this book will be an interesting & insightful read for our group. I'm sure it will provide a great discussion when it comes time for us to meet again in a couple of months.

So, if the decision were yours, which book would you have chosen?

Monday, January 15

Monday Morning Musings

Well, I've been reminded several times that I have neglected my blog, so here is my attempt to get back on track...

Christmas was so much fun! But, I don't have any pictures ready to post, so I'll write more about that later.

They are starting a new Love & Logic course at our church this Tuesday. Sammy & I took this class about a year or so ago & really enjoyed it. Although we haven't been very consistent with the ideas they gave us, when we do remember to parent the "Love & Logic" way, it is usually met with favorable results. Just like the other day, when Sydney insisted on wearing her summer sandals to the mall. It was pretty chilly outside, and I tried to explain to her that her little feet would be cold & that I'd like her to pick out a pair of socks & tennis shoes to wear instead. We went back & forth for a while, until I finally told her that she could wear the sandals, but that she could not complain to me if her feet got cold. So, off we went to the mall... no complaints. Then, on the way home, all the kids wanted to stop at the park to play. It was still light outside, so why not? They were so excited & ran all the way from the parked car to the playground. Then, she stopped when she hit the gravel. She cleaned out the rocks that were wedged underneath her feet & climbed the stairs to the slide. After sliding down, she walked over to me & asked if she could take off her sandals altogether. I told her she could, so she removed her sandals & went back to playing. This lasted for a few minutes, then she came back over to where I was sitting & said that she would go ahead & wear her sandals. Those little pebbles were pretty cold on her bare feet! Then, as if my look of triumph gave me away, she looked at me & said, "My feet are not cold. I just want to put my shoes back on." So, for the next few minutes, she dealt with the situation in her own way & I didn't have to interfere at all. Which, is what the Love & Logic course teaches... it helps teach parents how to allow thier children to be responsible for thier actions. Ultimately, Sydney knew that because she insisted on wearing the sandals, she was responsible for her discomfort at the park. We didn't argue about it, she didn't whine one single time about it & I didn't rub her mistake in her face afterwards. ("See, I told you to wear socks & tennis shoes...") Most of Love & Logic is really common sense approaches to parenting, but when you have a mother (like me) who thinks her one & only job is to protect her children, this course helps you to realize there are other important aspects to parenting... such as allowing your kids make their own mistakes & grow up to become responsible adults. Before, I probably would have forced Sydney to wear the socks & tennis shoes, we would have argued for a long time, she would have cried, I would have felt bad for making her cry, our trip to the mall would have been a disaster, and we would have been upset at each other that day. But, I allowed her to make that simple mistake & she learned a simple lesson. I know it just gets harder as they get older & the mistakes become bigger issues, but I hope I can continue to mold them into responsible young adults by remembering what I learned in that Love & Logic course. I think I'll take a refresher course in a few years!

It is FREEZING outside! The icicles are hanging off our patio table & look so pretty! However, that means no outside play today... so, Nick's new tricycle has become an indoor toy. It's a good thing we have a dining room, but no dining room table yet. He's got a nice, big, tiled area to ride in circles, which is pretty much what he's been doing all morning long! As much as I long for a new dining room table to fit our entire family, it'll be sad to see his play area taken away. BUT, don't let that fool you, Sammy... I still want that table more!!