Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Papulosquamous Eruptions….what?

Well, if you've been following my blog for the last year you've surely heard about my dermatological problems. Last year, they at first thought it was scapies (thankfully it was not) but not before I spent a ton of money on dry cleaning, mattress covers, etc. Then it was determined that it was actually Pityriasis Rosea, at least Dr. Kincannon hoped it was Pityriasis Rosea. Within a few months all the bumps and skin discoloration went away and my skin completely re-pigmented, much to my relief!

Fast forward more then a year and I've begun another struggle with this "disease". I've been waiting for an appointment for more then three weeks and yesterday they finally called with a cancellation so I took it or else I'd still be waiting. When Dr. Kincannon first began to examine me, he immediately said, "You've got papulosquamous eruptions". Which is exactly what he said to me last time. He said it could be several different things including Psoriasis but he still believes it to be Pityriasis Rosea, though it doesn't usually recur, though mine obviously has.

So as of now, with my prescription medicine and the doctors order to "seek UV light therapy" (AKA-going to a tanning bed), I'm thankful to report that the rash seems to be responding and going down. I will finish out my month of tanning and if the rash remains then he will biopsy it and verify if it is in fact, Psoriasis, I sure hope not!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

New Normal...

Last week was quite the whirl wind with the start of school and all its new routines. It was a crazy week with early mornings, full afternoons with extra curricular activities and Adam having several long nights with work.

I was sad when Peyton and Lawson went to school all day every day but it has been nice to have some one on one time with my littles.

I enjoyed my first playdate with just Emerson and Ava Jane though it seemed quite strange to simply have two kiddos to keep up with. Having friends who are all in the same boat (with some in Elementary school and some young ones still at home) is such a blessing. It helps to have people to share fears and anxieties, funny stories and moments that are sure to be funny one day. So, Tuesday morning, thats what we did…we all commiserated the start of school while our little ones enjoyed playing with one another.

Wednesday was my youngest kiddos first day of school which brought with it our "new normal".

They were both excited to get to their new classrooms so it was hard to get a group picture of the two of them…and looking at the camera is really hard sometimes.

I enjoyed where my kids went to preschool last year, they were dearly loved and learned so much (both spiritually and academically) but the time frame was not all that good for me. So, I've switched Emerson and Ava Jane to a new school. I will miss running into my good friends and getting to eat lunch regularly together but I'm thankful that I know lots of mom's and the staff at their new school so that's comforting. I was thrilled that both my kids did great going into their classes, they walked right in with no tears or crying which was a huge relief for me. They have wonderful teachers and I know they're both in great hands! Ava Jane loves to eat, so snack time is surely her favorite, as you can see, she's eyeing her teacher who is bringing her goldfish over! And Emerson found a Finn McMissle and several monster trucks, so he was ecstatic with his class as well.

Our new routine has me feeling a little bit like a ping pong ball come 2:45 on Wednesday's and Thursday's because that's when the boys get home on the bus but the littles have to be picked up between 2:45 and 3pm. The first day it was fine, their bus arrived on time (at 2:40) but Thursday it didn't arrive until 2:55 so I ended up having to leave and go get Emerson and Ava Jane while my dear sweet neighbor waited for my boys and her kids. Thus began my "new normal". Our routine is quite intense, and overwhelming sometimes but when I consider the alternative, I find myself growing content within what I like to lovingly call my "organized chaos".

It's not just the routine that is overwhelming but also the many things that are completely out of my control. When I think about situations that the big boys could and/or will encounter at school, the conversations they may have out on the playground or in the bus or in the classroom for that matter, I get a little overwhelmed. I worry sometimes that Lawson's shoes will come untied because he has not yet mastered the "loop and swoop" ability and those sweet teachers can't possibly tie all those shoe strings. I worry about the friends or lack of friends for each of them. I worry about how my little ones will act in their preschool classes. Will they hit or be hit, talk back or not talk at all; will they participate in circle time and if so, what songs will they learn...I have no idea? It's all a bit overwhelming because I can't see and know all that happens at every moment of every day. But it does me no good to stay on the "I worry..." or "what if..." train of thought. I can't change anything by worrying. I recently found a verse that encouraged me to "pour out my heart in the presence of the Lord" and what a relief and peace that comes when I lay my cares and concerns at Jesus' feet. Lamentations 2:19 says "pour out your heart to the Lord…for the lives of your children." And pouring out my heart is what I've tried to do when I feel myself starting to worry about them. I'm thankful to have a Heavenly Father who cares for me (and my kids) even more then I care for myself and my kids..what a comfort there is in knowing He has a plan, He works all things together for good and He wants me to spend time pouring out my heart to Him and then trusting that He is in control.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Start of School

Today was a big day. I officially have two kids in school and only two kids at home with me. It seems crazy that Lawson is at the "big boy school" now!

It felt a little like going through the motions this morning when I got up and going at 5:00am. To me, summer truly seems to have rushed to a close, I cannot even believe that its over. I took some time to pray for the boys, their teachers and for good friends for them then got myself dressed and put breakfast in the oven.

The boys woke fairly easily and started their morning routines. They were sweet and loving this morning, giving me kisses and hugs around the neck. We took our yearly pictures out on the porch then headed out the door. (How is it that I have a 2nd grader and a Kindergartener?! Mercy, time is flying!)

I was grateful that Adam came along with us for the first day of school this morning. Though Lawson went in like a big boy, I had a small misty moment that I didn't want him to see. As I stood facing the wall and wiping some tears that I couldn't hold back an on-looking father said, "it's gonna be OK Momma." I, of course, know this little fact, since this isn't my first rodeo, but I must say, it's still hard to drop your little one off and just walk away. This same little one who has been with me almost every moment of every day over the past five years. We've had millions of seconds, thousands of minutes and hundreds of moments together, but I'm still left feeling a longing for more...I guess that's a good thing!

All my kids are precious and I've been so thankful to have been able to spend the little years together with them. There have certainly been rough days, and for sure, days that I would NEVER want to repeat, but overall, I have loved (and continue to love) motherhood.

I do have to say that I'm looking forward to spending some one on one, quality time, with these two precious little people whom I must say are quickly becoming good friends. We had a good day today but were glad to get the big boys home this afternoon.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Lazy Lake Days

Every summer we have a Head/McLellan/Wistrand/Utter lake day (Here are the links to years past 2013, 2012, 2011). This year our group was a little smaller since several family members couldn't make it. We sure missed having everyone together. Even with our "smaller group" we still had a "redneck yacht club" going on though! And it's never a "real" lake trip unless there's some kind of boat drama or a run in with the Park Ranger. Thankfully on both accounts we were prepared with another battery and had all the "safety equipment" when the Ranger decided to take a look.





Emerson enjoyed playing silly with Poppy!

The boys had a great time jumping off the top and working on who could make the biggest splash.



The weather was more than perfect. It was sunny and warm all three days and the water was so refreshing. After our very mild summer with lots of rain, I was a bit concerned how cool it might be, but thankfully, it was wonderful!



There's so many fond memories from my own childhood years spent going to Lake Ouachita and Shangri-La each summer so it's really fun for me that my kids are starting to make their own memories there as well. Most of the time we just tubed, skied and swam around in a cove. It was nice to just really do nothing. There were a few harry moments, mostly with Ava Jane's lack of a good nap, but for the most part, it was really nice. It never ceases to amaze me how beautiful that lake is. It's truly just breath taking in the morning and evenings. It was fun to sit out at the picnic tables or on the pointe.



Throwing rocks and finding "gun sticks" is always a highlight for the boys. And here's Lawson "walking on the water".




Do you see my "shell rock", Mom? This little guy is pretty cute, he can push me to my limits on the pendulum of overwhelming love and overtaking frustration, he is teaching me and stretching me in ways that are both hard and so very good. It was pointed out to me this past week, what a vocabulary this little three year old has. He uses phrases like, "that was awesome", "I am quite sure" as well as words like "majestic, magnificent and sovereign" when describing who God is…pretty large words for such a little guy. Oh how I love my Emie.

And this little girl is precious and oh so sweet but she's developing an independent and some what sassy attitude. Here she might as well have been yelling "freedom" cause she was running around like a crazy lady!

But then there's moments like these that make me so happy and proud to be her mother, it truly is such a privilege!



Peyton conquered the wake this trip. He finally got up the nerve to go over the edge and he was thrilled! He skied all over that lake and never wanted to stop. We were so proud of him and excited to have another little skier in the family.



I loved this picture of my four boys. Adam was pretending that they were in the midst of a big storm and shaking their raft so hard to see who could stay on. The kids had a blast, they always love playing with their Daddy. I couldn't ask for a more loving, giving, caring or involved husband and father. I feel tremendously blessed as I sit here looking through pictures.


So that about wraps up our lazy lake days of 2014. I can't believe that summer is winding down and that school days are just around the corner, yuck!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Time At Home, At the Doctors Office & With Friends

Last week was another crazy week. It started with a visit to All For Kids. It seems we like to visit there every week here lately. Last week it was Ava Jane (with Scarlet Fever, Strep, Strep Impentigo and a Staph infection). This week it was Emerson with fever and a terrible sinus infection. Here's how we passed the time waiting for the doctor. Lawson had to go get his allergy shot so Adam and I divided and conquered then they joined us for part of our wait.

A few days later, the big boys went to Magic Springs with their grandparents so I just had the littles. It was strange but it gave me an idea of what this fall will feel like when both boys are in school. I do look forward to having more one on one time with these two sweeties but will miss the big boys while they're gone.

Thursday we met up with some friends at the zoo. It really was quite enjoyable since the weather was so mild. Ava Jane experienced the carousel for the first time and she thoroughly enjoyed it! And please take note of the red glove on Lawson's hand. He insisted on wearing it and sometimes you just don't ask questions or resist their requests. If its not life threatening or a must-do, its easier to just "go with it" so that's what I did and he rocked the glove all morning long!

We enjoyed just hanging out with friends (and the monkey's).

Getting to be outside in the pleasant weather was a real treat. We stopped to feed the fish. I must say they act like the NEVER get to eat.

Then Friday night we had some cousin time. The kids always love having Psalm and Pascha over and certainly enjoyed doing pizza and The Lego Movie.

The boys love climbing into the lockers in the church where I work out several times a week. I was changing into my swim suit so we could head to the pool while they kept themselves entertained with this monkey business.

And if all our visits to the different doctors offices over the past 2 weeks wasn't enough, we decided to throw in our six month dentist visit too. Everyone got in on the action this time. I must say Ava Jane did great on her first visit. They were impressed with her willingness to cooperate and I was too. She enjoyed watching Finding Nemo which played so wonderfully in the ceiling and served as a great distraction for her. All the boys had good reports too, we're still part of the no cavity club and that's always a good thing. I love Kitchen's Pediatric Dentistry, they make it super easy on a Mama who has several kiddos. The fact that they take them all back and get them done at the same time is A-MAZ-ING and so appreciated. We took up three chairs at once and were in and out of there in 45 minutes!

Tuesday, Mom and I enjoyed a girls day out. I got a sitter for several hours and we got to enjoy a relaxed shopping day. Walking up and down the charming streets of downtown Conway was a lot of fun. We found several cute antique stores, gift shops and places to eat. It was such a treat to just be together with no interruptions. Mom, lets please do it again soon!!

Wednesday, Ava Jane started running fever again randomly so we stayed home to play and chill out. We did lots of games, puzzles and read some library books. It was nice to be low key.

By the time Friday rolled around I definitely was ready to get out of the house so I decided to meet up with friends and let the kids enjoy the trampoline park since it was such a gloomy day. They had a lot of fun jumping and bouncing. Ava Jane was all over the place and I regularly found her milling around by the front door. I kept picking her up and bringing her back up to the play area but that girl was more interested in going up and down the stairs and running all over the main floor. She is becoming quite independent and is keeping me on my toes constantly.

To top off our morning we grabbed some lunch at Larry's Pizza with friends. I do have to say the volume coming out of table 20 was quite loud, we were definitely cheap entertainment for all the on lookers who were quietly enjoying their pizza. With just three of us Momma's we had eleven children (with one on the way)…we were certainly a three ring circus for sure. And there was that lovely moment when all the kids started chanting, "pepperoni pizza" over and over again to which I just stood up in the middle of a conversation and said "uh uh, we're not going to do that. Please stop chanting." Thankfully all of them brought it down a notch. Gotta love it when one Momma just puts her foot down and takes charge…amazingly they all listened…sorry ladies for taking over in that moment.

So that's a quick run down on what we've been up to. Hope you enjoyed your weekend, its been b-eau-ti-ful here! We have been at the lake and enjoying our last lazy days of summer!

Lake Day With Friends

Back in March, Adam and I began setting aside weekends on our calendar to go to the lake this summer with friends and family.  It felt a lit...