Tuesday, March 27, 2012

who's scarlet and why does she have fever?

We got the funk at our house.
Yep, at this very moment, we've got FOUR kids taking antibiotics.

Turns out we've got strep here.
And turns out that in some cases, strep can turn into scarlet fever.
Who knew?

Poor Miles got the worst of it.
It started off with a tummy ache and within 12 hours was 104 fever, glassy eyes, something growing out of his head (his words), and all over achiness.

He was really sad when we drove past the school last Friday on the way home from the doctor and he saw all of his friends at the annual track and field day. 

I am pretty certain his dog family knew that things weren't right.  They haven't left his side much in the last week.  No matter how hot he got or how upset, they stayed right with him.

It took about 4 days for the fever to go - even in the morning and with the tylenol he never had relief.

I started really freaking out when his lips, face, hands and feet swelled up like balloons in the Macy's parade.  And then the rash came.  All over his body.  He looked like he had chicken skin.

Poor kid is still so tired.  The doctor said that he might miss this entire week of school - just trying to get his strength back.  Today makes the 6th day, and he still is barely off the couch.  His skin hasn't started peeling yet, but we hear that is the next step.

Wyatt, Ella and Jena all have regular strep.  They are all feeling so much better today.  As a matter of fact, we could barely keep Wyatt from bouncing off the walls at our beloved pediatricians office.

Four kids taking antibiotics.  Everything is more fun when there is a race involved.  :)  Thank goodness I have lifesavers left over from Christmas to give as prizes.  You would think I'd get some laundry done while at home with all of these kids.  Ha.

Over the last 6 sickly days, we have had some epic movie watching though.  Let's see...we've watched The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Muppet Movie (4 times), Monsters, Inc., The Incredibles, Flushed Away, Dumbo, 101 Dalmatians, Beauty and the Beast, Cars, Lady and the Tramp II, and Toy Story 3.

I use to feel kinda bad that the younger kids had not seen most of the older Disney movies that the olders grew up loving.  Guess I'm not feeling so bad about that anymore.

Fingers crossed - we'll send at least two of these kids to school tomorrow!

Monday, March 19, 2012

clean and green

morning view uno
i love clean babies with bed head
It seems a little bit strange how what is happening on the outside can truly make a difference with what is happening on my inside.

I am thankful for the sun.
I am thankful for the green.

And even though things are just as crazy and I have a lot going on in my head, heart and calendar, I feel like I can manage a bit better and not feel so blah because I know the trees are green, the flowers are blooming and it is beautiful outside.

I am so thankful for spring.

morning view dos
green trees make me so happy

Thursday, March 15, 2012


This year our spring break feels weird.
For the past four years, we have gone to spend spring break with Jeff's grandparents.
And we have had a fantastic times.
they ate at mcdonalds for breakfast weekly
we all enjoyed going along.
Jeff's grandparents died within a few months of each other in 2011.

We both miss them.
Our kids miss them.
Unlike most folks their age, Jeff's grandparents were hip and fun.

they always had a listening ear

Jeff enjoyed spending time with them and they had many great conversations about their genealogy, technology and current events.  When I asked Jeff what he enjoyed most about our visits, he says that he liked that they were excited to be included in our family fun.
everyone loved grandma b's cooking
I enjoyed being with them because you could feel their love for each other and their family without them ever even saying a word.  I appreciated how Grandma B spoke truthfully about her role as a wife, mother and grandmother - which isn't always the easiest thing to do.  I also got a big kick out of Grandma B.'s reality TV watching
watching the great-grandkids play
The kids enjoyed being with their great grandparents because they always had time to go to the beach, would take them to the military base and talk about days of war (and peace), and because they told them stories of their lives and all of their big adventures.
they sincerely enjoyed being together
The kids also talk about how Grandma B always had homemade cookies and Blue Bell ice cream in the freezer and she had a special pickle fork.
visiting the USS Alabama
The kids have fond memories of the many hours that both Grandma and Grandpa B would spend helping them finish a 1,000 piece puzzle before we headed home.
always sweet grandma kissed when going to sleep
There were never enough days when we went to see Grandma and Grandpa B.  The kids always begged to stay another day.  Even though they lived in a small 3 bedroom apartment, it never seemed too small for our large family and we made many memories there.
yearly visit to the National Naval Aviation Museum
We also enjoyed the annual visit to the Golden Corral, which was one of Grandma and Grandpa B's regular restaurants.

spring break 2011
grandma b in the hospital and our last visit to see them
We will go back to Pensacola.
We need to go for the kids.
And for us.

early morning good-bye picture
We will enjoy the beach, the military base and go to all of our normal Grandma and Grandpa B. spots.
But it will be sad.
And we will miss them.

early morning good-bye picture
And we will send out our own thoughts of love for two people that made a difference in the world and in our lives.

I am pretty certain that our kids are the luckiest on the planet because they got to have such a fantastic relationship with their great-grandparents.
And even though they are gone, they will certainly never be forgotten.
our last early morning good-bye
You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother. - Proverb

(i made that list based on what the kids told me. interesting that most all of those things had to do with g&gb giving the kids their time and undivided attention. we could all learn something here.)

Friday, March 9, 2012

About Leslie

We were sad to hear that Leslie Cochran died in the early morning hours yesterday.  We knew that he had been in the hospital.  We knew that he had been struggling.  We are glad he isn't in pain anymore.

And we sure will miss him.

For those of you that don't know, Leslie was a (mostly) homeless guy that could often be spotted on the streets of South Austin wearing a thong and some four inch heels.  Many years ago, he and his shopping cart could be found on Congress Avenue with large cardboard signs that were filled with his own personal manifesto spelling out his beef with the city on that particular day.  He was also known for his mayoral run - and shockingly, he receive something like 8% of the vote.

But for me, what stands out most about Leslie wasn't the bare buns, painted nails or leopard skin halter top.  It was his kindness.  Many times over the last 15 years, I had the privilege to speak with him. Every single time we saw him, he would give the kids the same advice - stay in school and never ever start smoking. 

But he gave the kids so much more than verbal advice.  He taught them that we are all humans no matter what we look like, where we live or what our life choices are.  He gave our kids a gift by allowing them to see past the outside appearance and look into another person's world.

I know a lot of people equate him with the Keep Austin Weird slogan.  And I agree, he was part of what made this city so unique.  But when I think about him today, I don't think of him as weird.  I think of him as another symbol of what makes this city so great.  Our community loved and accepted him just the same as the next guy.  People in our community didn't hesitate to give him a ride, a few bucks, and even a few minutes of their time for good conversation or a funny off color joke.  And what is so weird about that?  Is it weird that we were willing to expose our kids to someone who looked so different?  Is it weird that we didn't blink an eye when we passed his naked backside walking down South Lamar?

I am thankful that our kids are being brought up in a weird environment where compassion and acceptance comes first. I believe Leslie was instrumental in helping each of us to acknowledge that all humans need is love and kindness.  And if that is what people in other places call weird, then I say bring on the weirdness.

When our kids grow up and as adults are able to treat other humans that are different than them with diginity and respect, I will send up a prayer of thanks to Leslie.

Keep Heaven Weird, Leslie!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Zephyr Days

The weather has been amazing here the last few days.
Cold in the morning.
Bright and warm sunshine by afternoon.

I am so thankful that I can spend my time outside with the kids.
I love the warm.
I love our regular Zephyr visits.
And I love this city.

Thank you, spring.
I am so ready for summer!