Thursday, January 31, 2013

On the Mend!

Luke and I are on the mend.  We both contracted influenza.

My older two kiddos got flu shots this season, but I waited too long and was unable to find a toddler (dose) vaccination for Luke. As a First Responder, Chris typically gets his vaccination through the City.  I'm sort of on my own in finding one, and unless I'm pregnant I typically skip it.  Guess I've learned my lesson!

So far, the older two have remained healthy.

Luke and I started on Tamiflu last night.  In a little over 24-hours we are both experiencing relief...Luke more so than me as I probably started the medication too late.  (It is recommended to start Tamiflu within 24-48 hours of the onset of fever.)  Although I am struggling with a deep, choking cough, my non-stop headache and body aches are gone and a full day of bed rest has done me good.

Can you believe tomorrow is February 1st???!!!  I gotta say that I'm really looking forward to the changing of the calender.  January was extremely rough, health-wise, for our family.  Here's to the Month of Love and some fun, creative, crafty posts!!

HUGS and a huge thank you to all of you for your thoughts and prayers,

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Broken Record...

Oh, Ladies...

 ...I don't even know where to start.

 How about with Friday, January 18th?

After a exhausting day running around with Luke while the older two were in school, the kids and I met up with my husband at a local restaurant for dinner.  While walking to our table, our 2-year old literally begins throwing up everywhere.  In a panic, and to prevent the restaurant patrons from being totally grossed out, I begin catching vomit in my hands.  We've all been that mom, right?!!!  Needless to say, dinner out was cancelled.  A kind busboy did bring me a "to go box" to politely dispose of Luke's stomach contents.

Saturday was a quiet day nursing Luke back to health.  Daddy stayed at home with him while Mary and I accompanied Benjamin to the dreaded "Chuck E. Cheese's" for a birthday party.  Ugh.  Already in paranoid-mode from early bouts in the season with stomach flu, I was extremely cautious with Ben...doling out hand sanitizer and requiring multiple handwashings in the Women's Restroom under my supervision.  Cue the ABC song while handwashing!

Sunday, January 20th, Chris was back on duty and I made an executive decision that although we could use the blessings and graces of Mass, it probably wasn't in the best interest of Luke...or the parishioners of Holy attend.  And a good thing too.  Around 9:30 AM, Mary runs screaming into the family room that Luke just vomited grape juice all over the hallway.  Yes, on carpet.  No, it wasn't white...grape juice.  It was was ugly...and it was everywhere.  I wanted to cry.

Monday was Martin Luther King day and the kids were off from school.  Mary had a birthday party to attend at the local roller rink.  I hated for her to miss it, but I just couldn't justify dragging Luke and Ben out to yet another germy location.  I arranged for another mother to watch her.  I felt terrible.  Mary's not the best roller skater (we just don't do it enough).  She fell. Hard.  She cried.  She's NOT a crier.  And mama wasn't even there.  *sigh*  Less than 12 hours later, I was there.  Holding her head up as she heaved over the toilet at 3 in the morning.  No school on Tuesday...for Mary.

Tuesday afternoon, exactly 12 hours later, my girlfriend Kim is bringing Ben home from school.  Kim always walks my kiddos to the door at carpool dropoff and as we are standing in the doorway she mentions that Ben told her in the car that his stomach "hurt all day at school." 


Literally, Benjamin starts throwing up all over the mud room and kitchen hardwood floors. 

Ladies, my home looked like something out of a Roman vomitorium (which is actually a misnomer of the word!).  Needless to say, when Ben starting throwing up, I quickly called my husband at the fire department and asked him to find a way to come home. 

Good thing, too, because just a few hours later, I was sick.  One can only clean up vomit so many times and not catch illness themselves!  Chris came down with the ickies too missing yet another day at the Fire Department.

And lest you think that we took this past weekend to recuperate and get well...don't hold your breath.

Sunday afternoon, January 27th, I came down with headache, chills, and fever.  My throat and chest ache.  Yup, I think I actually have influenza or the "flu" that has making news headlines.  I'm pretty sure it was norovirus that we had last week.

I haven't been to the doctor for an actual diagnosis, but as of tonight, I still have a low-grade fever and tight cough. 

Regardless though, we've still been able to accomplish a few things here and there...I managed to get all the bulletin boards finished for Catholic Schools Week and Luke Alexander turns 2 1/2 years old, TODAY!  He's getting to be such a big boy!

And although I really did not get to enjoy the 75 degree weather in Kansas City yesterday, I welcomed today's rain and am praying for a snow day for the kids tomorrow!  Thursday morning's predicted high...4 degrees!  Wow.

Anyone up for a quick prayer to Our Lady of the Snows?  ;)  (One of my most favorite childhood memories is a trip from St. Louis, where we took both grandmas, visiting from Detroit, to the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows! So peaceful and beautiful.)

Anyways, blessings to all.  Thanks for your heartfelt prayers.  Might I ask that you continue to pray for us, specifically for health to return to our household and most importantly for Mary Catherine who makes her First Reconciliation on Friday morning? Thank you, dear friends!


Sunday, January 20, 2013


Hello sweet readers!   (And welcome to new following friends!)

I'm alive. Drowning. But alive.

Three kids. Three weeks. Three different versions of the stomach flu.

And yet, I've sort of enjoyed the "down time" if you will...

...the cancellation of after-school activities (even church-related) so that little ones who are sick do not have to endure car trips for siblings, and mama doesn't have to risk freshly cleaned car upholstery *ahem*.

We've even had the childrens' classmates cancelling parties because their own kiddos have come down with this.

Seems no one is immune. I'm just grateful it's stomach flu and not influenza of the respiratory variety!

In the meantime, I've been reading and pinning and having lots of time to think and pray, ponder, and play with my littles.

Will be back soon to share some delicious "warm-you-up-inside" soup recipes as well as show you some new-to-me furniture purchases that combine vintage with a touch of modern.

Happy Sunday!

Blessings, Valerie

"Not all of us can do great things.  But we can do small things with great love."
~Mother Teresa~


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Christmas In Colorado, Part 2

While I'm still trying to figure out how to share pictures that were taken on the iphone, I do have a few more photos to share from my DSLR that were taken while in Estes Park, Colorado.

I never tire of taking pictures of the mountains, but unfortunately (or fortunately!) it snowed the entire time we were in Colorado, except for the day of our arrival, making for some gray shots.

One fun thing we did with the kids was take them to one of the Rocky Mountain National Park Visitor Centers (specifically, Beaver Meadows) and we happened to arrive in time for "Story Time" with a Park Ranger..  All three kiddos listened to A Pika's Tail and Antlers Forever as well as learn about the natural vegetation of the parks, different animals that make their home in the mountains/park, and try on pioneer and Native American costumes. 

Afterwards, we made our way up to Hidden Valley.  Hidden Valley is a designated sledding area in Rocky Mountain National Park.  We had "snow much fun" on our rented sleds ($5 for 24 hours).  Well, Luke refused to be happy, but Mommy and Daddy used his sled!  LOL  (These are the pics that are on the iphone that I still need to get downloaded.)   We did enjoy some snacks in the Warming Hut while on a sledding break.  I loved getting these shots of rosy cheeks!

Tomorrow, I hope to post the last of our Colorado trip pictures...including sledding, snowshoeing, and family game night.

If you are an educator (public/parochial/private school teacher or homeschooler) you might be interested the two books I mentioned (Antlers Forever is a rhyming book...I love rhyming books!) to learn more about the animals and their habit of the Rocky Mountains.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

While I would love to say that we rang in 2013 in style...

...our 2-year old was asleep by 9:30...

...the mama was asleep by 10:30...

...and the 8-year old and 6-year old rang in the New Year with Daddy at 11:00 PM CST. 

Love that we can celebrate with New Yorkers and catch an hour extra of sleep here in the Midwest.  :)

Peace and Blessings to all of my family and friends...including those of you that I have met through the blogging world!  May God bless you abundantly in 2013 and may each of us experience his charity and grace this year.

Christmas in Colorado

I can hardly believe that we pulled it off!

A surprise Christmas trip with our littles to Colorado.

You would think...from the way we constantly vacation at the beach...that the mountains are half a continent...or country...away from Kansas instead of merely the width of one state!

Albeit, a big state.

But we did it.

With all of the slip-ups... (i.e. grandmas spilling the beans at Christmas gatherings) (love you MOM!)

...laundry/packing/luggage secretly being maneuvered around the house...

...we managed to surprise our children with a short stay in Estes Park, Colorado.  They had no idea!

Our view upon arriving in Estes Park, CO.

The Rocky Mountains surrounding Estes Park.

Family picture taken by nice stranger.  :)

After attending Christmas Eve Mass and then opening family presents, we managed to get our children to bed and asleep before beginning to pack the car.

The next morning, after opening Santa presents, we told our children that we were taking them sledding.  The only problem was that we needed to find some snow!  And so the driving began.

About six hours and two rest stops into the trip, our children began to question our motives and we let them in on our little secret!  Needless to say they were surprised and excited with their FIRST trip to the mountains!

Our days were spent staying up late...and sleeping in late...sledding and snowshoeing...drinking hot chocolate and enjoying family game nights.  A most wonderful time of the year!

More pictures to come of our time up in Rocky Mountain National Park!

"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings glad tidings,
Announcing peace, bearing good news, announcing salvation, and saying to Zion,
"Your God is King!" "
~Isaiah 52:7~

A beautiful way to end 2012 and usher in 2013!