Sunday, June 29, 2008

And the next contagious virus is...

Okay. Enough already. I guess this is what happens when you have mulitple children going multiple places...getting sick.

This week it started with Ethan. He had a low grade temp all week with a slight cough and congestion. I thought it might be strep but after looking over the symptoms, having a cough was NOT a symptom. It did make for a very quiet week with him laid up in bed watching movies.

A few days later Ashton came down with the same low grade fever and slight cough. It was Saturday night and I figured we would have to wait it out until Monday morning before I could take them to the doc for a strep test. But that night when I went to brush his teeth, he started to scream. I took a look in his mouth and noticed the most horrific tongue sores! This led me to only one conclusion: HFMD (Hand, Foot Mouth Disease). Back when the kids were younger and attending nursery, etc, we had experienced this lovely virus. But I have to be honest, I have only seen a mild form manifest itself with my kids. Mostly a low grade fever and loss of appetite.

The symptoms are a low grade fever and loss of appetite but also sores in the mouth, hands and feet. Rashes on the body can occur as well as a sore throat are common. My poor sweet Ashton was bombarded with everything. He has huge sores on both his tongue and the inside of his cheeks. When he was crying, I noticed them by his throat as well. He has a rash too.

This is a virus, therefore, it is not treated with anti-biotics and must run its course. Hopefully he will be feeling better tomorrow, because today he is miserable.

What is up with these viruses? Maybe we should just stay inside for the summer!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

And She Went Out Like This...

So after my group ride a few weeks ago, I noticed all bikers were sporting matchy matchy outfits. Even the guys had shirts, shorts, helmets, shoes and bike all of which was coordinating. I can understand women getting everything just right, but guys?! C'mon. So I made an important call to one who would know for sure what was up, my brother, Matt. He informed me that indeed bikers matched everything, everything.

This worried me. I had nothing except shoes and one pair of padded (yes padded) biking shorts. And they didn't even match each other. I didn't even have the ever important shirt with three secret stash pockets on the lower back. What was I to do?!

Matt came to the rescue. Before I knew it, there was a package on my doorstep. Inside was a helmet, shorts, shirts, glasses, gloves and other essentials. I must admit I was a bit nervous putting on the red shorts with the matching top (seen in picture). After coming downstairs, Garth asked if I was going out like that. So as timid as I still am with the biking community, I changed into a more subtle black short. Since many of the items he sent have a red/black theme, I guess when it is my time to purchase a bike, I will be looking for those colors.

I must give a shout out to my wonderful neighbors, Brian and Suzi, who have let me borrow their daughters bike (thanks Whitney too!) until I can afford my own.

So cool or not...I went out like this today. And I had a great ride!

I Want to Take a Nap

Ethan has had the flu all week. One night we gave him a half of a Tylenol PM to help him sleep. He thought it was great to "magically" with no effort fall to sleep.

It is 9:30 am. I am in the office on the computer. He just came into the room with a bottle of Tylenol PM and said, "Mom, I want to take a nap." I told him we didn't take these pills whenever we wanted to go to sleep...just on special occasions of need. He left disappointed and said, "Ah man, I have never taken a nap before and wanted to try it."

He didn't like my idea to just go lay down and see if he would just fall asleep.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Having a Ball

Calvin loves money. He loves to earn it. Count it. Organize it. Put it into savings. He loves to find something he wants to buy and figure out how much he needs to earn to buy it. I saw the other day the cutest list he had made regarding a paintball gun. He had three prices of paintball guns. The first was the highest price. He wrote underneath the price, "Gun I will most likely never get." The second said, "Gun I hope to get." The third and cheapest, "Gun I could buy tomorrow but would like to save and get better one."

He is constanty asking us if we need help with something so he can earn money. Well this week he found a great way to make some cash. Calvin and two of his friends have started selling golf balls. We live on a private golf course. His friend's house is located at a prime location on that course for selling balls. Yesterday they sold $60 dollars worth and he came home with $15. His face was sunburned, he was exausted, and yet he was so excited about going out the next day.

Today he had his backpack filled with high quality balls to sell and he was off to work at the crack of dawn.

You just gotta love this kid.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sommer Camp

Sommer is 12 and that can only mean one thing...Girl's Camp! I have such fond memories of girl's camp growing up. I must admit, I have been thinking about how easy these girls have it compared to the rough and tough camping that I did growing up in Alaska. Here it goes...the "when I was your age" speech...

When I was your age our camp required:

1. We had to put all of our week's belongings in a backpack...a real backpack. One that we were required to carry.

2. In this backpack, we had to carry all of our week's food, sleeping bag and TENT (which brings me to number 3).

3. We slept in a tent. There were plenty of special mother nature moments that gave our tent's challenges such as: A. Rain (hopefully we had put it up correctly...yes, we had to put it up) B. Heavy winds (hopefully we had put it up correctly).

4. We had to put all of our food in big bags every night and hang them away from our campsite and in trees to ward off any hungry bears.

5. We had to have a backpack weigh in to be sure we could actually carry our packs. We then had to hike to our campsites (uphill both ways).

6. No showers.

7. No bathrooms.

Sommer lugging her week's supply of gear.
Sommer's required the car.
Here is one car load of excited girls. Check out Sommer crammed in the third row with her other first year friends!

I can't wait until tomorrow night to hear all about her adventure. I am sure she is having a blast. She might be a bit hot and tomorrow it will be in the mid 90's with the ever so popular humidity.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Joys of Molluscum Contagiosa

What is that?! Never heard of it. But it doesn't sound like I want it. Actually, you have probably already had it. If you see some little bumps on you are your child, don't worry. They will go away on their own. It is a common virus related to the small pox. It stays with you for about 6 months and then disappears.

But if you decide to itch the little bumps, you can spread them...hence root word in the name: CONTAGIOUS! Now, those that know us (especially all of Tate's friends from the park this week), don't start freaking out. Doctors DO NOT keep children isolated with this virus. If the bumps are festering (which rarely happens) and you take a bath with an infected person or such, maybe you will be lucky enough to get it. But don't plan on it.

Most kids get it and it goes away. But Tate was unlucky. He got it (from Ethan...they bath 2 or 3 times a day together) and it spread everywhere. When it spreads, it makes it very difficult for the body to work its magic and get rid of it. So this week the dermatologist applied something to each one of his bumps on his torso. He had about 30 on his belly, arms and back. Poor Tate had to endure a wicked liquid that was placed on each bump. They then put a little round band-aid on each spot for one hour. This is when things got crazy...

Try peeling 30 very sticky band-aids off a 5 year old's tender body. The first one came off quickly but took a bunch of little hairs with it. This immediatetly freaked him out. I tried to get the second one started but had to use my blasted fingernail to even get it started. By then, Tate was having nothing to do with the band-aid removal. I tried having him soak in the tub, but he started screaming bloody murder that the sores were starting to hurt. I am now at hour number 2. I start worrying about the liquid the doctor put on would fry off too much skin. I call the nurse to find out a simpler way to get the band-aids off. She says, "You need to get those off immediately! You can't have that stuff on for too long. It is going to blister his don't want too big of sore!" So I start freaking out. I ask her why in the heck would they place 30 very sticky band-aids on already sensitive child skin. I try to figure out if it is the band-aid ripping off his skin or newly created sores that is the reason behind Tate's cries. She is no help and just tells me to get them off.

I take Tate out of the tub and start the process of torturing my own child. He braves through that lovely process. Once they are off I am shocked to see 30 or so blisters! And this is a good thing?! They quickly become very sensitive and painful. Poor boy. They are much better today as they have scabbed over. I am gearing up for this great news...he has to do this once a month for 6 months.

Chapter 2. So, he has a bunch on his legs too. Because he had so many, the doctor put us in charge of taking care of those from home. Every night, for the next few months, we put a cream on each bump. This cream is most expensive and it doesn't even smell like Cherry Blossoms. How much? Too much?! Way too much?! I won't even tell you because you won't believe me. Thank you so much dear Grandma Gair for taking this burden off our shoulders...if only it smelled like blasted cherry could borrow some.

And just to add to that day's joy...

Moments before I take Tate to the dermatologist, I look at Calvin who has just woken up. His eyes are almost swollen shut. A red blotchy area has formed down his cheeks. He has more red blotches on his waist line. It itches. He looks horrible. I decide to take him along hoping that the doctor will take pity on his and take a look (this doctor is almost impossible to get into...I had made Tate's appt. 6 weeks prior).

The doctor does take pity on us and takes a look at an almost unrecognizable Calvin. Immediately he says, "Poison Ivy. That is a pretty nasty case." He wonders if Calvin has been in the woods recently. No. He asks if we have a dog that might have been around it. Yes. I do remember Garth mentioning he has seen some poisen ivy climbing up some of our trees in the backyard. Great. I am now wondering how many of us have been giving Joey the dog rub downs. Luckily, no one else got the poison ivy...except Garth...when he got home from work and started removing it.
Great weekend.

Baby Love

This is my baby. I was looking for him the other day. After searching the house I finally found him just hanging out on the driveway. He had his chair, he had his brother's DS. He was totally content. He is pretty much always content. What a perfect baby.
Later that day I had to run an errand. Sommer was left home to tend. When I got home he was once again, hanging out in the garage. I asked him where Sommer was. He said matter of factly, "She left." I knew she was home (probably just quietly reading or playing). I said, "Who is watching you?" He says, "I am baby sitting myself and doing just fine."
I can't believe my baby is almost four. I tell him everyday he can't get any bigger. He always shakes his head up and down to ease my distress. But I don't quite believe him. Today he once again was wearing high waters. He is baby love.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Ahhh! Good Friends!

I have been blessed with the best of friends throughout my life. I had the most wonderful friend growing up in Alaska (who ended up marrying a boy from Reston, Va and lives only 30 minutes from me), an amazing group of women at BYU who always made trials manageable and college life fun, companions from my mission in Denmark who taught me patience and long suffering while laughing so hard that the owners (of one of the upstairs rooms we rented in their home) at one point said, "We don't understand how you two can possiblly be so happy...all of the time...laughing like you do," super neighbor friends, and church friends (just like the the ladies I had lunch with today).

Let me tell you a little bit about my history with these amazing women I saw today. Before I do, I must tell you a few of our group are not pictured since they decided to move to all parts of the US in the past few years. I wish I had a scanner so I can show you one of our many pictures from years ago doing some of the things we always did: 1. Park/Hiking with our kids 2. Meeting up for a celebration of someone's birthday 3. Meeting for dinner at Macaroni Grill.

We have known each other for about 12 years. That means many of us had only one or two young kids, were pregnant, husbands were just starting their first jobs, renting small apartments hoping to one day own a home, loving garage sales, outlet shopping, swapping recipes, sharing parenting ideas, building one another up, making life fun when life didn't seem fun, helping each other, loving each other, wondering if we would ever get a break, lose weight, sleep through the night, get a get the idea.

Funny thing happens after 12 doesn't change much. How happy I am to know that these ladies are still the most amazing examples of righteous women! I sat there taking in idea after idea of how to be a better parent, love more, and survive the stresses the world gives.

Thank you good friends for being so good. All of you!

P.S. Heather K., I can speak for all of us when I say, WE WANT TO HAVE A GIRL'S WEEKEND (just give us a year or two to save up)! Good luck with your move to Oregon.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Garth Porter: Legal Consultant

We are so excited about Garth's new adventure. He has just been hired by Kroll Ontrack as a legal consultant. He will be working with law firms all around the area on electronic discovery problems. If you want more detail about exactly what that entails, you will have to ask him.

He plans on keeping current Porter Law clients (and of course new clients that have estate planning needs) as well as running the Compass Title Company on the side.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Being Stabbed

I now know what a post stabbing feels like. I am in pain. I suffer. I sleep (with meds). The doctor did not tell me I would be this uncomfortable after the surgery. I even asked him prior to going under, if Garth should get a note telling him I should be in bed for 3 days. He laughed at that. I was really only kidding but I actually have been in bed for 3 days! The only good news is the fact that I wasn't awake when the doctor stabbed me...

If you get stabbed in the lower stomach, kiss your core goodbye. I had no idea how important my ab muscles were to my ease of body movement. Sitting up in bed...complete pain. Rolling over...pain. Walking down the stairs...pain.

I am hoping tomorrow I will be out of bed. I have read two books (both 8oo pages each), watched an entire season of "Little People, Big World," 3 movies, too many episodes of "House Hunters" and many other useless shows.

Friday, June 13, 2008

My First Surgery

I am finally repaired. The doctor did not have to put in a mesh covering due to my fab ab muscles (I am not sure I agree)and the hernia being so small. He just stitched me up. Everything with the surgery went well. It was my first time having anesthesia and I wasn't so thrilled after I woke up. I lay there in the haziest of haziness as the nurse tried to communicate with me. She went to get Garth but had to tell him "false alarm" due to the difficulty of me coming "out of it." After finally getting me in a recovery chair, the haziness began to subside but then the nausea came with a vengeance.

I could tell all of the nurses wanted to go home for the day, but man did I feel horrible. After the anestheologist came in three different times to check on me, I was feeling a bit rushed. Upon seeing her out of her scrubs and into her every day clothes, I knew I had better buck up and feel better.

The car ride home was a doozey as I tried my darndest to not throw up. My neighbor saw us drive down the street to our house and she told me I looked pretty whipped. It took another 2 hours (it had already been 4 since the surgery) before I felt clear headed.

We were so grateful for the meals that our friends brought in...thanks Jean, Suzi and Dana!

I was in bed all day. Everytime I had to sit up or turn, the pain was unbearable. I guess it is a blessing so I will have no desire to do much and just get better. I have to stay away from anything reselmbling exercise for 2 weeks. I can't lift anything over 10 lbs (sweet, no laundry), and can't lift weights for 6 weeks. Maybe my heel will be pleased with me laying around and it will finallyheal.

For those that have had C-sections my heart goest out to you!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Riding with the B Team

Last night I went out for my first official group ride. I joined the Haymarket Bicycle Team who host a Wed night 26 mile ride. There is an A team and B team. The A team peeps are super competitors and ride fast and furious the entire time. I joined the B team of course hoping to just keep up with them.

I was educated quickly on all of the lingo from "car back (a car is coming up from behind)" to "car up (car approaching from ahead)." There were also very valuable hand signals such and a straight arm down with hand shaking meant gravel or lose surface. That one was my favorite due to my fear of not being able to see the road ahead of me with so many bikers in front.

My friends Bryan and Frank gave me "Drafting 101" help too. Although I understand the necessity of it, it still freaks me out to be positioned inches away from a rider's tire. One false move and I am road kill.

At the end of the ride, I was wasted. My neck and shoulders were killing me. My quads and butt were sore. And I was humbled after discovering quickly I was the weakest rider. But what I did come to realize was another sport is out there that can challenge me, excite me and might just make me an addict. Maybe after all the frustrations of not being able to run, a new found love emerges. It would not have happened if I wasn't forced off my feet.

Goals for the next ride: 1. Not be the slowest rider. 2. Beat one of the girls.

Gotta to have hernia surgery.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Miracle of the Bicycles

There were three people that needed bikes. The first one was a little guy who needed to move up from his super little bike with training wheels to a bigger bike. He so wanted to ride a two wheeler like his big brothers. But his parents were unable to buy a new bike. His mother loved to scour the neighborhood for trash treasures every now and then. Well one night, she thought she spotted something in the darkness. She was right. It was a bike. Not the newest of bikes. In fact, it was missing a pedal. But it was the perfect size for the little boy. It was a bit hard to pedal at first, but he took no time learning how to ride and was zipping up and down the street. The next week, his mother happened upon another bike. The gears were broken but it had two perfect pedals. Now the little boys bike was perfect. He had been blessed with the miracle of the bicycles.

There was another boy. His bike had been broken for a year. He was desperate at times for a bike, so desperate in fact, he could be seen on his older sister's PINK bike every so often. One of the most wonderful neighbors had a bike sitting in the driveway. Perfect size for a larger boy. Perfect condition. Perfect color. The neighbor was planning on giving it away. They gave it to the boy. He too now had a bike and was part of the miracle.

There was the mom. She was unable to run. She had a brother and sister-n-law who were avid cyclists. She had friends who rode road bikes. She heard from them how great riding was. They loved to ride together on fast, effective, fun rides. The mother didn't have a bike for those conditions. She wished she could join in the fun. A most fab neighbor friend offered to loan his daughter's road bike to her so she could ride when she wanted to. She tried it for the first time and loves it! She feels blessed and knows it was a miracle.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


It is hot in Virginia this weekend. Too hot. Add humidity to heat and guess what you have...a sauna of course. So if you want a free sauna, come to Virginia. You can stay with us.

The only time I enjoy this kind of heat is after I have been freezing in an air conditioned building. I walk outside into the "sauna" and I feel wonderful...for approx. 30 seconds. I am then too hot again.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Cheap Fun

One neighbor with a little brown water in their sink and all of a sudden you have some major fun! So call your local water authority today...they will come and flush out the hydrants and the kids will have "the bestest day ever (quote from Ethan)." The kids played in the street for over an hour while two hydrants were flushing their systems. I was tempted to get a bar of soap while they played...

Calvin hanging on for dear life as the water blasts out.
Ethan body surfing.
Ashton getting his feet wet.
All the kids enjoying the fun...Ash and Cal on right.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Hernia Friend

I have had a little Hernia friend the past year. She would come and go every so often, making more frequent visits after my long Saturday runs. I knew I wouldn't be able to train if I had surgery on my friend, so I put it off. Well, next week, we shall bid a fond farewell to Hernia. We hope Hernia had a nice stay and will find happiness where it belongs. I asked the doctor if I should stay in bed for at least 3 or 4 days after surgery, maybe avoiding tasks such as dishes, picking up clutter, making meals...he laughed. Thanks a lot Hernia Friend. The least you could have done was to give me an excuse to stay in bed and do nothing...

Now I hope Broken Foot Friend will go away too. He isn't cooperating and insists on remaining fractured. Good for nothing tiny little crack!

Storms and Stories

Yesterday we had a beautiful start to our day. The sun was shining and the air was warm. Ashton and Tate were having a splendid time playing in the backyard on the swingset. I went upstairs for a moment to fold some laundry and turned on the tv. Tornado Warning! I went outside to see ominious clouds circling overhead and what was a totally bright day was now dark and spooky. I ushered the kids inside just as the power went out. It began to pour and the wind was whipping the trees to and fro. We headed for the dark did it get so dark so quickly?

It was 3 in the afternoon and I could barely see anything. I rummaged for a couple of flashlights and found two small ones (time to re-organize our 72 hours kits). The boys were a bit freaked out so I eased them by giving them each a light stick and a snack (food does wonders). We made a little flashlight campfire and ate Chex Mix. I wondered how my other three kids were faring at their various schools, Cal and Ethan and elementary school and Sommer at Middle.

As the lightning crashed around us I showed the boys how to count until they heard the thunder. We could tell how far away it was (mile per second...or so) with each flash of light/thunder boom. I told them about the times I played on our swing set as a little girl in Wyoming, having to run inside after my mom telling us a storm was approaching. I told them about the day lightning hit my car while traveling 70 mph on a highway and it caused everything in the car to shut down (including the power steering). I told them they were in the car that day.

The storm passed with no harm done to us. The stories continued and we moved ourselves to the main level of our home (a bit more light). The power remained out so we continued our stories (and snacking on chex mix). We waited for Sommer's bus to arrive (it was 45 min late). She finally came home with her tales of having to hide under her desk. The boys arrived home 30 minutes later, full of excitement from the day.

We had more storms later that day but nothing that threatened us. But when I put the little boys to bed they asked about the storms and if by chance they woke up scared at night, they could sleep with me...and I would tell them a story.