Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Taking Care of Myself While Family Has Flu

I sat down to write this and looked out the window at what I thought were leaves falling. I thought, "It is so windy out there." I was looking through a curtain. Then a looked closer and saw that the "leaves" were white! Snow!

Today was ds8's first day back to school after being sick. I asked his teacher to call me at noon if he hasn't perked up a bit. He still is as white as a ghost and his eyes look sick, but his fever is gone and he is on antibiotics, so he wanted to go to school. I think he's been pretty bored here. TV and Play Station get old after a while, even for an 8-yr old boy.

I realized this morning that I do not take care of myself very well when my kids are sick. I spend so much time taking care of them and taking them to the dr., going to get prescriptions, going to the grocery store to get more stuff, etc., that I neglect myself, and consequently, baby.
I have been staying up way too late because after the sickies go to bed I want to be ALONE or at least sit up and talk with dh in peace and quiet.
I have been drinking too much soda and caffeine. I haven't been balancing my checkbook everyday like I normally do. I have been forgetting to take my vitamins at night before bed. I have been shooting up "bullet prayers" instead of taking time to thoughtfully pray and study. And I have let the house get very messy during our bout with the flu. The house is the least of my concerns, but I do need to get it picked up because I get stressed when my house is in chaos.

I need to focus on taking my aspirin and vitamins, drinking lots of water, taking vitamin c, getting the basics done each day (meals, laundry, house maintenance), and getting more sleep. I think last night I slept maybe 3 hours. Baby Girl was up so many times. I kept thinking, "In a couple of months, I will be up all night with a new little one. I have GOT to get this one sleeping all night in her bed!" Actually, she normally sleeps all night in her bed. She occasionally gets in our bed sometime in the night. Ds4 is the one I need to get out of my bed and into his bed. He cried and cried last night because I wouldn't let him in our bed. But Baby Girl was in there already and it was getting crowded. She likes to sleep horizontally with her head in my back and her feet in dh's back. Not too comfortable. Tonight I hope to go to bed at 9:00. And I also hope to get a nap this afternoon.

Well, by the time I finished this post, the snow stopped. : ( It was pretty while it lasted.

Today ds6#1 is home from school, Baby Girl has a fever, and ds4 seems to be feeling puny again. he has cried all morning and I can't figure out what he's crying about. He won't tell me anything, he just cried. So he is back in bed.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Dr. Visit Today

Well, today is ds8's 7th day to be sick. He started complaining of ear pain last night, so I took him in to the dr. this morning. We switched to a much closer dr., by the way. 20 minutes away instead of an hour away. I like the new dr. a lot.

Anyway, she told me that yes, they all definitely have the flu. I refused the "booger test" as she called it. There's nothing she can do for the flu at this point anyway. BUT ds8's flu turned into an ear infection and sinus infection, so we got antibiotics for him. He has missed 4 daysof school so far, and will probably be out tomorrow again, but I don't care. There's no way I would send him to school feeling this bad.

Yesterday after school, ds6#2 started feeling bad. He went downhill FAST and within 30 minutes or so his fever was in the 104s and he was throwing up and lethargic. It was bad. I was worried about him because of his asthma. But this morning he got up, got dressed, ate breakfast, and went to school. The boy LOVES school and he said he felt fine. He didn't have a fever, so I let him go. I called and checked on him and his teacher said he is doing great. The other twin is home today with flu though.

Last night everyone focused their prayers on ds6#2 since he has asthma and the flu can be scary for asthmatics. Tonight I think we'll focus our prayers on all 6 kids and mom and dad. :)
Then by tomorrow morning all will be well in our household once again.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Symptoms of the Flu

Here are the symptoms of the flu to look for in your kids (in this order):
2. Headache
3. Fever
4. Stomach pain
5. Exhaustion
6. Body pain (everything hurts, even their scalp)
7. Red eyes (looks similar to pink eye, but it's not)
8. (new symptom) sore throat

Ds8 came down with these symptoms Wednesday, starting with #1 and by Friday working his way down to #7. Today he is feeling a little bit better. He has been out of bed all day, but he still has a low-grade fever, a headache, and he is CRANKY.

Now, this afternoon I have noticed ds4 being abnormally testy and irritable. He just came to me and said his head hurts. Oh no!!! I immediately gave him Tylenol and put him in bed to lie down.

I have read that the typical flu lasts a week or two. I hope that is not the case around here. I hope this is a short-lived virus that gets out of our systems quickly.

***Monday Update***
Ds4 is very sick~ I can't get his shaking to stop. He is shaking so badly that it's shaking the bed. He is being calm and good natured about it all though. I have dd12, ds8, and ds4 sick today. Dd12 is going to school at noon. Her school had Grandparents' Day today so there was no real school till after lunch. I kept her home, thinking she would feel better after getting up and around. I was right.
In Family Fun Feb. 07 issue, there are some tips on keeping sick kids occupied. One idea that is neat to help them drink lots of water is to label a water bottle in 6 ounce increments. Then each time they drink 6 ounces, they get to draw a reward out of a hat. Our rewards are things like, "10 minutes of computer time" "a picnic lunch in bed" "Mommy reads one chapter from The Magician 's Nephew to you" "You get to pick out a DVD to watch", etc.
So far, they have been very excited about this. Ds4 is coming out of the bedroom right now to tell me he finished his water bottle!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Please pray for the Morris family

This family needs our prayers as they deal with their grief over losing their son/brother, 3-year old Joel.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Online Conference in March

I copied this information from

No long lines at the airport, no hours of travel on the road. No cramped hotel rooms or expensive meals out. All you need is a computer and a high-speed (256K+) Internet connection, and you can join a live conference online with streaming audio and visual presentations! Curl up at home with a cup of tea and listen as speakers deliver sessions on topics that touch us all:
Why full-time homemaking isn't about high heels and pearls.
Homemaking 101: Help! How did my grandmother know how to do all this stuff?
Training daughters to be competent and visionary keepers at home.
For busy moms of little ones: how to avoid growing weary in well-doing.
Why teenage rebellion isn't inevitable and how you can avoid it (panel discussion).
Q&A with speakers
Join us for the first, groundbreaking online conference on March 17, 2007, from 10am to 2pm C.S.T. We're thrilled that technology will now allow women from all over to hear vital messages without having to leave home and hearth to do so. Besides being able to listen to talks live and submit questions for the speakers, you'll have opportunities to chat with fellow attendees in real time for extended fellowship. All sessions will be recorded and available after the conference for free to registered conferees (they'll also be available for purchase afterwards at $12 per session to those who couldn't be a part of the live conference). Sessions can be tuned in from any high-speed connection. You can plug your earphones into your computer or turn up the volume on your speakers and listen while you work!
Consider making this a special mother-daughter event or using it as a one-day getaway for a time of refreshing and encouragement. Group discounts will be available to those who would like to gather together for this conference--including church groups, Bible studies, extended family and friends, etc. This is a neat way to do a very inexpensive local "retreat" without the hassles and high costs of travel! The average costs for an in-person conference can run upwards of $750 when travel, meals, hotel rooms, and such are figured in. Online conferencing is a bare fraction of that cost at $50 ($40 for early birds!) and doesn't require the wear and tear on vehicles and family members. ;-)
Early Bird Discount! The price for those who register prior to February 10 is $40. After that, the price will be $50. Space is limited at this first online event to 500 participants, so be sure to sign up soon! You may register online with a debit or credit card, or you can use the registration form and choose to mail a check (address provided during the sign-up process). To register, please click HERE. For information about group rates, please see the How It Works page. We look forward to "seeing" you online in March! "

I am very excited about this conference. The conference I usually attend is in February in Dallas. It is the WHolehearted Mother conference. I had planned to attend this year as I have done for the past 7 years, but our finances are very tight so I am going to "attend" this conference instead. And I won't even have to leave my house! I guess that can be looked at as a good thing and a bad thing all at the same time. Getting to leave for a weekend and spend time in a nice hotel BY MYSELF was always very fun and refreshing. We'll see how this online conference works out.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Johnson Holiday Picture

Modified Dream Plan

I have decided the first thing I am going to do to get me closer to the country life I want is plant a garden. I wanted to plant daffodil bulbs in the Fall, but I never felt like it was cool enough outside, then the holidays came and I forgot. Now I think it is too late. But it is not too late to plan a vegetable garden.

I tried to make my garden plan simple, because I am going to have a new baby in 3 months, but I got a little carried away. Those of you who know me are surprised by this, I'm sure.

I found a website that has a gardening calendar for Central Texas. The calendar says that in January I need to order seed catalogs, then decide what I want to plant and order those seeds. I ordered two catalogs this morning~Johnny's Seeds and Territorial Seeds. Those were recommended to me by Kim in Iowa.

This is what I am going to plant in my garden this year:
green bell peppers
big tomatoes
cherry tomatoes
green beans
herbs in kitchen (rosemary, basil)

My calendar says I can't plant my vegetables until April 14th. That sounds awfully far away. Sure sounds fun to be outside planting vegetables when I am 2 weeks away from my due date.

Well, we'll see if this actually happens. I hope I have the energy to go ahead with the plan. Right now I have energy to spare. I have been cooking and baking bread like crazy. My house smells SO good. I need to be cooking double and freezing half, but we seem to eat it all, no matter how much I cook! And dh loves to take supper leftovers to work for lunch.

Dh and I have agreed on what kind of little farm life we want. This is what we want to do:
We want enough chickens to provide eggs for our family, and a milk cow to provide milk for us and extra to make butter, ice cream, cheese, etc. We eventually want a horse or two, just for fun. We want some fruit trees and a big garden. We want to grow Christmas trees and pumpkins. Dh wants to sell the trees and pumpkins each year, but I am not that ambitious just yet. I just want them for our family and to give away to friends and neighbors.
Oh yes, I also want honey bees and beehives. Dh is not so sure about this one. Actually, he's sure he DOES NOT want this part of the dream life. I think I have told him about my dad having 50+ bee stings on his body after harvesting the honey each year. Me and my big mouth.

So, we figured out that we will need 20 acres or more to have this little farm. The catch is that I want our children to stay in the school district they are in, and it is hard to find that much land around here in this district. We have found lots and lots of land in other, less desirable school districts, but not in this one.

This is a far away dream. Right now we are just going to plan a garden. :)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Dream Life

Over the past several years, I have developed this strange desire to have lots of kids (working on that one), homeschool them (tried it for 6 years), and live in the country. Living in the country is still something I really want to do. We moved to a small town last summer and are living in town in a rental house.

The thing is, I don’t want to just LIVE in the country, I want this whole country experience. and are two blogs that are very inspiring, although very overwhelming at the same time.

See, I would love to have hens that lay eggs, so I can go out each morning and get fresh eggs. Ditto milk, although I don’t want to do the milking. I also want lots of fruit trees so we can just walk out to the field and pick juicy fruit in the summer. I would like to raise organic chickens (for us to eat/sell) and raise organic beef (for us to eat/sell). I would also love to have beehives so we can have fresh honey. We had beehives when I was a kid and I loved to chew on the honeycomb. I do remember my dad having over 50 bee stings after getting the honey out. The bees were not too happy about his interference. I want a garden, so I can have my own little harvest. Growing up, we had a large garden. In fact, one summer Mom got overly ambitious and made a HUGE garden. It got a bit out of control and was nicknamed “Vietnam” because it grew so big and unruly. We had a plum tree that was between our house and my grandparents’ house. I remember just walking over and picking a warm, ripe plum to eat. Yum!

I really want to grow Christmas trees on my little farm. I know. That one is a stretch. I’m wondering how well Christmas trees grow in central Texas.

AND, I dream of being Suzy Homemaker, complete with my homemade quilts, up-to-date scrapbooks, and numerous cross stitch projects I have completed hanging on our walls. The dream goes on to include nutrition. No artificial colors or flavors, no preservatives, limit sugar, everything (almost everything) made from scratch. Yes, I want to grind our wheat and bake our bread.

Here’s the catch: I am not a natural hard worker. See the dilemma? My dream life comes complete with HARD WORK and EXHAUSTION. And, now that my kids are in school, I am going to have to modify the dream a bit. I am happy that we homeschooled for a while and I am happy that they are now in school. They love school and so do I. But I still want all the other things mentioned above. I tend to strive for perfection, then fall off the wagon somewhere around the hard work stage.

I have been brainstorming and trying to come up with a plan to get me to this dream life. But I think having a hubby who grew up on a city block, with no animal experience, is going to limit the dream. Who is going to take care of the cows? The chickens? Oh, and I do want 2 horses, just for fun. I love horses. They smell so good. I'll let you know if/when I come up with a modified plan.

I hope everyone has enjoyed reading about my dream life. In 20 years, my kids will look back on this post and laugh. :)


It snowed here last night and this morning! Our children have not seen "real" snow (snow that accumulates) since Valentine's Day of 2004. Schools were closed today and Daddy is working from home. I have the boys' bedroom set up as the Activity Room with board games, coloring books, and crafts, and my bedroom set up with the TV and DVDs.

The snow has stopped and now we are getting freezing rain and sleet. It is not a fluffy, pretty snow like I hoped it would be, but at least it is something.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Pink Eye

Ds4 and Baby Girl have pink eye. We went to a pharmacy today in Dallas that sells naturopathic medicine and got colloidal silver. I have to put drops of it in their eyes 3 times per day for 3 days, or until their eyes get better. The pharmacist also gave me a nasal spray bottle to put the silver in. One squirt in each nostril 3x per day also. According to this pharmacist, usually pink eye is a viral infection that begins in the sinuses and spreads to the eyes.

Putting eye drops and nasal spray in a 4 year old boy's eyes and nose is not my idea of fun. It is AWFUL!! First I tried talking calmly and rationally to him about it. That didn't work. Then I tried bribing. That didn't work. Then I tried the stern approach. Nope, didn't work. Finally, I sat on his hands and pried his tightly shut little eyes open and put the drops in. I never made it to the nasal spray. I was exhausted afterward. When he finished freaking out about it he said, "That didn't hurt."

Baby Girl didn't know to be afraid of the drops, so she opened her little eyes and got the drops and them jumped off the bed to go play. She hugged ds4 and patted him while he screamed and cried about getting his drops. Ha! A toddler comforting her older brother is so sweet. She was truly concerned about him, worried look and all.

The last time our family had pink eye, ds4 was a newborn. We passed it around the whole family for 10 weeks. Yes, 10 weeks. I read that breastmilk is a natural antibiotic and that you can put drops of it in eyes to treat pink eye. I tried it with Gabriel (no one else would let me!) and he got better first. It worked! Everyone else used antibiotic drops from the doctor.

No breastmilk this time though, just colloidal silver.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Things to do before baby gets here

I will be 25 weeks tomorrow, and I have been thinking a lot about the things I want to accomplish before Sweet Pea gets here. Yes, Sweet Pea is the baby's blog name, because I can't change Baby Girl's name and what if this one is also a girl???? See the dilemma??? Sweet Pea will probably change to Baby Boy if this baby is a boy, but for now, Sweet Pea it is. Hhhmmm...I also like Little One. What do you think...Sweet Pea or Little One? I am open to suggestions here.

Anyhoo, I have started a list of things to do before Sweet Pea gets here. My neighbor will remember that a couple of months before Baby Girl arrived on the scene, I made QUITE a to do list for dh. Unfortunately, most of the items were completed after Baby Girl's arrival and I was the one who got them completed. So, this time I am making a list of things for me to do. That way I can control whether they get completed or not.

Here is the list, so far:

1. Arrange for help after baby is born- a friend to watch kids so I can sleep occasionally
2. Arrange for house cleaning in last weeks before baby and few weeks after baby
3. Cook and freeze lots of meals for month after baby is born
4. Find a local pediatrician for kids-Interview pediatricians
5. Decide what we’re doing about immunizations for this baby
6. Buy new infant car seat
7. Buy new toddler car seat for Baby Girl
8. Stock up on diapers (newborn, sz1, sz2)
9. Bottles (3 or 4)
10. Plan and stock an “emergency bag” for the car- snacks, water, extra clothes, extra diapers and wipes, toys, blanket, money, etc.
11. Make appointments for hair cut, highlight, wax, manicure, and pedicure for April
12. Plan “the event”- make a plan a, plan b, plan c, etc.
13. Pre register at the hospital
14. Create birth announcement list
15. Plan birth announcements- shop for them
16. Make an after-baby exercise plan
17. Buy birthing/exercise ball
18. Buy/choose 2 books to read after baby is born
19. Finish my birth plan-which I will publish on my blog, by the way. I know y’all want to read all the details of my birth plan, right? ;)
20. Agree with dh on a name for baby
21. Clean up and organize my desk

That's all I can think of at the moment. If I think of anything else, I'll add it.

It's cold here and it's supposed to get icy tonight. I like it when we can all stay home and be warm and cozy while the weather goes crazy outside. I am very thankful for a warm house, warm clothes, a warm bed, and a heater that works well. God is good to me.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Our Week

This week has been an intersting one. There is never a dull moment around here. Saturday I was checked into the hospital with kidney stones. My mom came down to help us Sunday evening and dh left on a business trip Monday morning. I came home from the hospital Tuesday afternoon.

The kidney stone/stones have not passed and they are making themselves known constantly. I am taking Tylenol with codeine and phenergan for nausea. I am supposed to stay lying around as much as I can, but I can be up if I feel like it. Yesterday I was up quite a bit, but today I pretty much slept all day.

The kids are thrilled that my mom is here and she is enjoying getting to spend time with them in their normal setting. When we are at her house for holidays and visits there are usually 13 kids there and things are chaotic. So it is good for her to get to spend time with them here. She has enjoyed taking them to school, playing with the little ones during the day, picking the kids up from school, listening to them read to her, helping with homework, etc. She has also gotten all of the laundry done, cleaned the house, bought us 2 new dressers, cooked all the meals, and basically taken care of our every need. It has been wonderful, despite the pain I am in.

I will see my midwives and OB next week sometime and they will then figure out how to handle this situation, if the stones have not passed by then.

Dh will be home tomorrow night and for that I am thankful. We all miss him!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

2006 At a Glance

January 2006~ We decided it was time to move to a bigger house. We found a house about 30 minutes north of us, made an offer, offer was accepted, then we found out there were major foundation problems and we withdrew our offer. We began looking for a different house.

February~ We found a newer, much larger house that was closer to home (15 minutes from our house, 15 minutes closer to our church). We moved into that house on Feb. 15th in sleet and ice! We found out the day we moved in that our closing was tangled up in a financial mess of the home owners'. We agreed to lease the house from owners and went ahead and moved in.

March~ This was a pretty calm month. We unpacked boxes, homeschooled, played, and spent time together.

April~ Ditto March. Add Easter celebration with 100 degree weather.

May~Birthday season began!!! ds8 had a big medieval knight party. It was a blast!

June~Birthday season continued. ds6a and ds6b had an outer space party, complete with NASA bounce house. Baby Girl had a small family party complete with a pink castle cake. dd12 had a pool party at a friend's neighborhood pool house. We also saw the movie Cars, which is my kids' favorite movie now.
We found out we were not going to be able to close on our house, after all. We made plans to move AGAIN.

July~ We moved to a small town an hour away from our friends and church!

August~ ds4 had a birthday this month! Cars was the theme of his party.

September~ 4 oldest children started school! Mommy found out she didn't have the flu after all; a new baby is due in late April!! We spent September dealing with Mommy's debilitating morning sickness, spending lots of money eating out, and just surviving. Daddy's birthday was this month.

October~We spent this month adjusting to school routines and pregnancy. We participated in Halloween for the first time in 6 years. We all had fun and have great memories of this time.
The kids and Daddy spent a weekend in Oklahoma with Grandma and Grandpa, while Mom came down to help Mommy organize, decorate, and clean the house.

November~Mommy finally started feeling better this month. Daddy spent 2 weeks travelling for business. We had several sick kiddos, including Baby Girl, who spent a weekend going back and forth to the hospital. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving in Oklahoma with family.

December~Christmas parties, Christmas plays, a church musical, shopping, wrapping, travelling. That pretty much sums up December! Oh, Daddy travelled 2 weeks out of this month and Mommy turned 30 this month!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007