Tuesday, June 30, 2009

surgery date is moved up

Makenzie was supposed to have oral surgery at the end of July, but now she's having it tomorrow afternoon. (I wrote all about it a couple weeks ago.) This is SUCH a relief since Jason is going to be out of town on the originally scheduled date. He's off work Wednesday through Sunday this week, which will be just perfect for keeping the boys away from Makenzie while she recuperates. Makenzie and I are both pretty nervous; but this surgery has to be done, so we know we just have to deal with it.

I took a couple pictures of the boys Sunday. Seth looked SO adorable in his little church shirt!

Seth likes to pick up leaves and touch them against the palm of his hand. He gets VERY upset if anyone tries to take it away.

I don't often buy matching clothes for the boys, but Luke and I went shopping last week and found this shirt on clearance sale. Joel didn't mind being twins with his little brother (which really surprised me), so I had to get a picture, of course.

Luke has started drawing occasionally. This is what he drew today -- a VERY good picture of his new Ninja Turtle monster truck. I was quite impressed.

We watched a movie while we ate dinner tonight, and one of the characters said something that I can really relate to. She said that when she grew up and had kids, she would never let them out of her sight even for a second because you never know if that will be the last second that you get to be with them. I'm not quite that obsessive -- I do let them go to school and some other places without me. But the concept is true, although I hate to think along morbid lines -- I don't know if this will be the last second I have with them, so I need to remember to value every second that I get to be with these four precious people.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Makenzie's "clean toes"

Tonight I needed to remove Makenzie's nail polish. As I was working on her toenail polish, she was laid back, relaxing, and said, "This is like being in a lounge -- all laid back while someone cleans my toes." :-) Where did she get this idea? Oh yeah -- from the hundreds of times we've gone to spas and gotten pedicures! HA!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

short videos

Yesterday was sunny for most of the day, so I took a couple short videos of Luke and Joel outside (click on their names to see each video).

Saturday, June 27, 2009

movie and book

I wrote a while back about the book Nanny Diaries, and now I've seen the movie. The movie has quite a few differences, but those differences make the story a little "easier." The book was so very disturbing because of the lack of parental time and affection that the children received. The movie has the same idea, but in a more abridged way since it had to fit into a two-hours-or-less time frame. Also, the movie has a happy ending while the book absolutely does not. I'm so glad I saw the movie!

Today I finished the book Look Me in the Eye by John Elder Robison, a memoir of his life. The author didn't know that he had Asperger's syndrome (a form of autism) until he was almost forty, I think. He lived at least half of his life thinking that he was just weird, rejected, unable to be "normal." He dropped out of high school because he was failing every class, not due to a lack of intelligence, though. He was brilliant and went on to be an electronic engineer, then a car mechanic who specialized in the super-expensive European cars that no one else could figure out how to fix, and now an author. Reading about this man's life has reminded me that every single person has his own story. We're each unique, we're each imperfect, and we're each important and special in our own ways. Most people don't think or reason or do things the way I do, but that doesn't make me weird and it doesn't make other people weird, either. It just means we're all different. When I look at someone who seems strange to me, I really must remember that I don't know that person's past or present situation, so I'm in no position to make any assumptions about him or her except that -- just like myself -- he or she could use a prayer for God's strength.

Friday, June 26, 2009

we took a little drive

We drove up the road that goes to Arctic Valley this evening. Jason had taken the kids up there with the outdoor camp this week, but they wanted to go at a time when they could get out and appreciate the view. They also wanted Luke, Seth, and me to be able to see it, too. Not too far after starting up the mountain, the pavement ends and the washboard gravel road begins. Seth LOVED it! (Click on that sentence to see a short, loud video of how MUCH he enjoyed it.)

Look how tiny Luke is compared to the great outdoors.

Luke officially got tired of being with just Seth and me today. By this afternoon, he was standing at the front window, watching for Joel and Makenzie to get home, a couple tears in his eyes. I played games, watched movies, ate Happy Meals, let him eat candy almost anytime he asked, bought him a new Ninja Turtle monster truck, played bashminton (like badminton, except no rules and no score -- at least that's the six-year-old/tired-out mommy version) outside -- but after five whole days without his big brother and sister, Luke really missed them!

A little side note which will put me into the "nerd" category, I'm sure: After reading all nine "Little House on the Prairie" books to my kids, we have started watching the tv show "Little House on the Prairie." Last night, we finished season one :-) I put season two on hold at the library today :-) I was VERY excited to also find out that there are even MORE "Little House" books. They're by a different author, but they tell the life stories of Laura's daughter, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother (I think). I'm not sure how factual these newer books are, but I'm sure they'll be interesting! Please remember while you're chuckling at my "nerdiness" that I DO live in Alaska -- we're stuck inside A LOT and look in all sorts of directions for easy entertainment. Also, it's hard to find interesting books that are appropriate for little kids -- these are great for our little "bedtime story" reading. Plus there's the nostalgia for me since I'm pretty sure I watched the original episodes of "Little House on the Prairie" when I was a little kid :-)

a couple Seth videos

I took a couple one-minute videos of Seth and put them on youtube if anyone would like to see them :-)

video #1

video #2

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Gavin came over to play :-)

Gavin came over for a couple hours tonight. My kids go CRAZY whenever they get near their little cousin -- WAY too many hugs and kisses and requests. The poor little guy is probably very hesitant to come near them, but he's just so cute they can't help themselves :-)

He might have put on this helmet to defend himself against Seth (who is NOT used to sharing much).

Little kids can play near each other (sometimes), but can't seem to do much together.

Like I said, Seth isn't used to sharing much.

Thinking about how to build the block tower:

Seth's turn to build, Gavin's turn to lend moral support:

silly cousins:


I forgot to write about the earthquake we had on Monday, I think it was. We had a five-point-something earthquake I'm not sure how far from Anchorage, but I didn't even feel it. A friend called me up, very excited (like shocked and almost upset excited), "Did you FEEL that earthquake?! OH MY!!!! Everything started shaking in my house!" And my reply was, "Nope, didn't feel a thing." Why did I not feel a five-point-something earthquake? Because I was on the couch trying to watch a movie (a.k.a. trying to take a nap) while my two little boys made constant earthquake-like activity all over me and the couch. I'm afraid the epicenter of the earthquake could've been in my own front yard and I still wouldn't have felt it -- but I wouldn't want to test that theory ever!

It's been a pretty fun week with just Luke, Seth, and me together at home, therapy, and errands. Today we went to Toys R Us and bought Luke a little kid golf putting set and croquet set (the croquet set is a replacement of the one he got on his birthday but broke before we ever got to play it). We played in our upstairs hallway -- a little cramped, but we had fun! He lost every game we played today because I just don't believe in letting someone win. I'm sure that doesn't sound very nice, but I always apologize for winning and tell the kids how GREAT they did and how proud I am of them if they lose with a good attitude (does that make it any better?). Joel and Makenzie have been going to outdoor camp at the school where Jason works (Jason and his friend are running the camp) and are gone from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tomorrow is the last day of the camp. It's been pretty peaceful all week -- maybe I should find another kind of camp for them to attend :-)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Happy Father's Day (plus other stuff)

I know this picture is really old -- 1997, I think -- but it seems to be the most recent picture I have of my dad and me together.
You know how you sometimes have lots of good memories of someone, but one or two just really stick out in your mind? That's how it is with me about my dad. I have tons of good memories of time he spent with me camping, playing cards and games, going to Six Flags, swimming, and the list goes on. But one of the best memories I have of my dad is about comfort (warning -- this isn't going to be exactly what you're expecting). One of the times I was sick (flu kind of sick), my dad held my hair back and held my forehead so that I could throw up more easily. That's one of the nicest things anyone's ever done for me, and I'll remember it forever. People tend to joke about how men in general leave all the "children tending" to the women. I'm sure this was true in our family usually, but this once Dad stepped outside of the "normal" male role of "leave that stuff to the mom" and really helped out in a way that could NOT have been pleasant for him. Again, I have to say that I have many other good (and less gross) memories of my dad. This is just the one that always comes to mind first.


Tonight at dinner, we were watching a couple episodes of "Little House on the Prairie." One scene showed Charles Ingalls making the town drunk hand over all his whiskey bottles so that he could sober up. When he had set them in a line on the kitchen table, Luke gave his opinion of the situation: "I bet they're going to play bowling with them." That kids just cracks me up!

I started walking as many nights each week as possible. I started out walking about a half-hour, then extended the walks to about forty-five minutes. Last week, I started doing my full hour and a half walks that I was doing last summer. I'm pretty sore, but it makes me feel good to know I'm burning calories and doing something to stay somewhere close to "in shape." Tonight, however, was a semi-failure (I guess I should say a half-success, but honestly I'm not really an optimist). My stupid middle-aged mommy bladder decided to give out on me after only about a quarter of my walk. I forced myself to try to do my regular route; but after doing half of the walk, I realized there was no way I was going to make the full walk. So I had to cut off a half-hour, and that just makes me MAD! It's been cloudy and rainy all day every day, but tonight is BEAUTIFUL. I really wanted to be outside for the whole walk time. By the time I got to the last couple blocks, I'm sure I looked like I was doing that fitness walking. Don't laugh -- you might be in the same kind of situation someday and you know the saying, "what goes around comes around." :-)

My mom recently told me that several of my relatives read this blog, and I just wanted to tell them (and everyone that reads it, really) THANK YOU for being interested in me and my family! Sometimes the "mommy business" creates a sense of being alone except for these little monsters -- I mean little angels that I'm with 24/7. It's nice to know that what I share here is actually read by someone other than myself. Thanks!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Joel did a half!

Today was the annual Mayor's Marathon. Jason ran the marathon and did very well. His "recovery time" is much better than the first time he ran this several years ago. Joel and Rich (Jason's dad) ran the half marathon -- THIRTEEN MILES!!! Joel has walked my little two-mile walk a couple times with me, but he's not really "into" running. He did an excellent job today just to finish! He did a great job of running and walking the first nine miles, but was really tired for the last four. He says he's not doing that race again, but I'm so proud of him for giving it a try!

We waited close to the finish line to see them come in.

And there they are!

I'm so impressed with both of them -- a grandfather and a little kid finishing a half marathon!!

They got a t-shirt and a medal for finishing the race.

Three generations of marathon-running Hofackers:

Friday, June 19, 2009

poor little Makenzie!!

Just a warning: the picture at the bottom of this post might be a little TMI. Don't feel obligated to continue here today.

Makenzie's bottom front gum has been receding for about a year at least now. At her last cleaning at the dentist, we got a referral to an orthodontist who referred us to a periodontist. We saw him this morning and got an explanation of the problem and the schedule of events.

If you stick your tongue up -- way up -- you'll feel a flappy-thing of skin. Same thing on the bottom part of the mouth, too. Most people's flappy thing connects from the lip to about a quarter of the gum or at most half. Makenzie's, however, grew between her teeth and connects behind the teeth. This is a problem, but I don't really remember why for the top teeth. It caused the receding gum for the bottom teeth, though. So at the end of July, Makenzie will be having out-patient oral surgery to remove that flappy thing growing between her top front teeth. Three weeks later, she'll have a skin graft and something else done to correct the problem on the bottom set of teeth. She'll take some valium before the appointment so that she's good and relaxed (I'm hoping to sneak some for myself since I almost threw up/passed out just watching him LOOK at her mouth and then discuss all this). He'll put a topical anesthetic on her gum so that he can give her a shot in the gum (more anesthetic). The first surgery will take about 45 minutes, and the second will take about an hour.

Neither Makenzie nor I am looking forward to this in any way, but it has to be done. If that gum recedes any further, the root of her tooth will be exposed -- NOT good! The only good parts of the recovery for Makenzie is that I promised her a new movie, she gets to stay in my bed for a few days, and the boys will be delegated to places where they will not have any contact whatsoever with her. Even if "no brothers" were the only perk, she'd almost be looking forward to it a little bit!

So I know this picture is not flattering to my little princess, but I wanted to see (and share) this situation:

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Luke found scissors

Yes, Luke is my "typical" child. Joel and Makenzie have their "typical" moments, but they're more often extraordinary. I never had to lock cabinets, drawers, or doors when they were small. I don't have any hair-raising stories about their toddler years. I cannot make those statements about my chunky monkey, though. Luke plays rough and gets into anything he feels like exploring and destroys almost everything he touches. Today, he decided to get the scissors out of the glove box of the van and cut his hair. This picture doesn't show the cut very well -- he didn't cut much. I think the "fear of Mom" got into him when he saw the hair fall onto the van floor.

So Luke got a hair buzz this afternoon -- which wasn't such a bad idea since he was getting pretty shaggy. We have a deal, though, that he messed up: haircuts all school year because it's required, then no haircuts all summer until the week before school starts again. Too bad for Luke he has an ocd-ish mom who can't handle a little one-inch section chopped off the top.

And now I'll answer the question that I'm sure all "good moms" are at least thinking: why in the world would a mother with small children keep scissors in the glove box? The answer is simple, but definitely not "good mother" material: because they're handy there. Sometimes I get stuff at Walmart that requires scissors to "get at" as soon as I get to the van. I'm not a "wait till we get home" kind of person, so I keep scissors in the van. Am I going to remove them? Nope. Luke has strict instructions to not touch the glove box and the next deviation from obedience of this mandate will result in much worse consequences than a haircut from Mom!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

another book in less than a week!

Last night I finished reading The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus -- VERY INTERESTING BOOK!!!!!! I'll start with the negative -- there's quite a lot of "language" and a couple "inappropriate relationship" scenes. Not as much as in the last book I read, though. The story is obviously about being a nanny. I had never really taken any time to actually analyze or even seriously ponder the lifestyle of extremely wealthy Americans. This book put it right in my face. Although it is a work of fiction, every story has some resemblance to reality; and that fact is quite disturbing to me about this book. The mother who hired the main character to be a part-time nanny (as in two or three days a week, no more than fifteen hours a week) did not have a career, but she spent absolutely no time with her four-year-old son. By the end of the book, the nanny was working an average of sixty hours per week and not always getting paid. The father was having an affair and working constantly, so he was never there. Needless to say, the child she cared for had some serious "issues," but she loved him almost as if he were her own child since she was pretty much raising him. The mother completely took her for granted and took advantage of her.

I would LOVE to be able to afford some help with my kids and household responsibilities, but just HELP. I would never want someone else raising my kids. When my children have nightmares, get owies, or get their feelings hurt, they cry for ME, not some babysitter! I think I've proven in these blogs that I will never win "mother of the year" or even fall into the category of "really good mother," but my kids know that I love them more than anything or anyone and that when they NEED, I'm the one to come to because I always have and always will fulfill their needs the best a human being possibly can. I was relating to the nanny all through the book, especially at the end when she was about ready to break down because of being overworked. She wanted to quit so badly and wanted to just scream over being taken for granted and being taken advantage of, but she didn't want to leave the little boy alone. Taking care of children is THE most stressful job, but anyone with the tiniest bit of self-less-ness could never quit this job because the little people NEED the stability of at least one person whose most important purpose in life is to take care of them.

On to a different topic now -- my three older children just created a library in our downstairs family room. Actually, Joel concocted the entire system, complete with library cards, rules, a book drop off, everything. Sometimes (like yesterday), these kids can seem like MONSTERS. But sometimes they are such creative, beautiful little geniuses :-)

Monday, June 15, 2009

seth's mystery solved

Seth has had a mystery rash since April, and today the mystery is finally SOLVED!!! Everyone say a prayer of blessing on Seth's allergist! Seth has an infection-caused form of psoriasis which should clear up in a couple weeks with the antibiotics and cream that the doctor prescribed. What a relief!

I'm the kind of mother whose first instinct at the tiniest symptom is to run to the doctor. But I'm also the kind of person who doesn't like to bother anyone and doesn't like to receive the "you're over-reacting here, dontcha think?" look. So that would explain why, although I wanted to take Seth right to the doctor when the first little blister-thingy appeared, I'm just now taking him (on his regularly-scheduled allergist appointment date) to be diagnosed. I tried all the remedies that have worked on other skin problems for us before and even changed his laundry detergent. Nothing worked because this rash isn't a reaction to any substance, but a result of being exposed to strep (probably). Anyway, Seth starts antibiotics and topical steroids tonight after his bath. I'm hoping this problem goes away and stays away!

smart mouth

Today at McDonald's, Luke was mimicking me when I was telling him to stop whatever it was he was doing wrong. We're on a "nickel system" for allowance and discipline: each child starts out with twenty nickels and loses one nickel every time I have to correct them. When we're away from home, I keep a running total of how many nickels to remove from the bags when we get back home.

Mom: "Luke, that's seven."
Luke (with mimic voice): "That's seven."
Mom: "And that's eight."
Luke (with mimic voice): "That's eight."
Mom: "LUKE! Do you want a spanking?"
Luke: "No, do you?"


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Luke cracks me up again!

Tonight in church, Luke started pinching the flabby part of my arm (not mean pinching, but whole-hand "squishing"). He looked up at me and whispered "CHUBby" :-) yeah, thanks a lot!

Seth got to be on stage tonight after the regular part of the service. Darryl showed a short video about Camp Barnabas, a special needs camp where he's taking some of his youth group to work this summer. He held Seth to emphasize the points that he has a real interest in special needs people and that the church should help fund the teens' trip to this camp because we have special needs people right here in our own church who might be going to the camp in years to come. Seth was ADORABLE, of course, although completely oblivious to the fact that he was on a stage in front of quite a lot of people -- he was awed by the bright lights.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Luke's even bigger than Joel

I've always thought that Joel was a pretty big kid. When he was three, he was bigger than most of the four-year-olds in the preschool at church. He's still bigger than most of the kids in his class, although they're starting to catch up. But Luke is even taller than Joel was at his age. Tonight I measured Luke on his polar-bear growth chart :-) and he is 1/4-inch taller and three pounds lighter than Joel was at age six. Makenzie's my tiny child. When she was six, Makenzie was four inches shorter and ten pounds lighter than Luke is now. Interesting to me, but probably waste of reading time to all of you :-)

The kids are watching a movie and eating popcorn downstairs right now :-) I accidentally burned the first bag of popcorn. The phone rang, so I went to answer it. But the caller hung up, and that messed up the phone or something because it wouldn't turn on or off. In the middle of that, I smelled something BAD. The popcorn burned so badly that it smells like something caught fire. YUCK! That bag is obviously going in the trash, and the kids and I ate the second bag which I nuked perfectly :-)

I started a new book today, so I might read that while they're watching the rest of the movie ("Little Rascals" looks cute, but I've already missed over a third of it.)

books and moose

Last night I finished reading The Rainaldi Quartet by Paul Adam. I'm pretty sure it was originally written in Italian and translated to sell in America. It was really a good book -- nothing spectacular or award-winning probably, but good. The story is a murder mystery, but that almost seemed secondary to learning about people and violins. The technical and educational information wasn't boring or tedious at all; the way Adam wrote it made it very interesting. I picked this book up at Value Village, and I'm glad I did; it was definitely worth the fifty cents I think I paid for it :-) (by the way, why is there no "cents" sign on the keyboard? there's a dollar sign, but no cent sign??????)

Yesterday morning, there was a mama and baby moose resting in our neighbors' yard:

So amazing to live in a place where wild animals feel comfortable hanging out in town. To be honest, that was a sarcastic sentence. The first ten years or so, I would've said that sincerely; but now I'm getting a little fed up with all the animals roaming around. I'm afraid to send the kids out without scouting the area for moose and stray dogs. I'm afraid to walk on my normal route because there might be moose on the trail. Everywhere I walk, I'm at least barked at if not sniffed by the million and one dogs in this city. I don't mind so much if they're on leashes or behind fences. I DO mind, though, when they're running around all over the place, interfering with my walk. And I'll try to be kind about my disgust for people who let their dogs do their business outside and don't clean it up so that people don't step in it!!!! Leashes, fences, and pooper-scoopers -- not all people are pet lovers, you know (sorry to be a little offensive there)!!!!!!!!!! Anyway -- back to the moose. The same moose that were taking a rest across the street later came to our yard to eat from our crabapple trees. So glad to do our part to feed the homeless and hungry (more sarcasm, in case you couldn't see it dripping there).

Monday, June 8, 2009

fighting and whining

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but I hate the sound of whining almost as much as I hate the sound of nails on a chalkboard or the sound and feel of styrofoam. My children, however, apparently love the sound and are determined to win first prize in the "see who can whine the loudest and longest" contest. The weather has been BEAUTIFUL, so I want to be outside and I want them to be outside enjoying the sun and fresh air. It's not so enjoyable, though, with constant fighting and whining! Tomorrow, I'm putting each of the three little pools in separate parts of the yard to at LEAST get rid of the "he splashed me" problem! I wish so much that these three wonderful little people would stop acting like monsters and start appreciating each other's company!!!!!!!! I know -- keep dreaming :-(

Saturday, June 6, 2009

"Firefly Lane"

I just finished reading Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah today. WOW! What a book!! If you're the kind of person who is offended by bad language and inappropriate "relationship" content, this is not the book for you. If you're the kind of person who gets into a book so seriously that your real life is threatened with devastation because of becoming overly emotional when you read, this is not the book for you. But if you're the kind of person who can look past all that and recognize a great story and life lesson, this IS the book for you!

In one sentence, this book is about friends and family. There were so many parts of this story that I related to personally and many parts that touched some of my deepest fears and made me cry. Now if you're planning on reading this book, exit my blog because I'm going to tell the whole story in the following paragraph.

Kate and Tully met when they were fourteen. The book is named for the street they lived on. Kate grew up in an average home with a mom, dad, and brother with average problems and good times. Tully grew up with her grandparents because her mother left her there except for the little bit of time that she tried to live with Tully on Firefly Lane (at which time Kate and Tully became best friends). Kate and Tully were the kind of best friends that STAY best friends all through life, even when they went down different life paths. Kate got married and had three kids. Tully became a tv star. Kate had some pretty bad problems with her daughter, and Tully ended up making it worse and even betraying Kate on live tv. This ended their friendship for over a year until Kate found out she had cancer. The end of the book is a beautiful picture of true friendship and family bond. Tully and Kate's daughter, along with the rest of Kate's family, took care of Kate in the last year of her life, giving them all extraordinary memories and time to make each other KNOW and feel their love. Their relationships were all mended and strengthened, even though it was because Kate was about to die.

So now I kinda feel like an elementary student giving a little book report, but that's ok. This book was quite a reminder to love my friends and family NOW while I'm still alive and healthy because we are NOT promised tomorrow. That sounds very depressing; but not taking people, health, or time for granted is an incredibly important truth to remember!

Friday, June 5, 2009


Today is my mom's birthday!!!! I won't tell the world how old she is, but only because I didn't ask her first. My mom has always been the kind of person who doesn't care who knows how old she is (at least that's the impression I have -- now that I think of it, maybe she made comments like "it's just a number" when talking about MY age, not hers). Well, whether it's the whole truth or just my own impression, she passed it on to me -- another thing to thank her for! Some people get so "bent out of shape" when someone mentions AGE. Mom and I just DON'T! I make senior citizen jokes to mom all the time, and she just laughs (maybe partly because she doesn't quite qualify as a true senior citizen yet, but partly because she enjoys life regardless of what number or label might get attached to her). I didn't care one bit about turning 30, and I won't care at all about turning 40 in a little over three years. My mom is a GREAT role model for enjoying life at any age :-)

Today is also Mom & Dale's anniversary. I think they got married on her birthday because they knew "old age" was coming and they were less likely to forget the date this way :-) (sorry I don't have a better picture saved on my computer to put on here -- this one shows Mom and Dale's true character, though -- they had just gotten off an umpteen-hour flight from Illinois to Alaska, but would rather enjoy their grandchildren together than take a nap)


Thursday, June 4, 2009

my little runners

Tonight was the first summer track meet in Anchorage. Jason decided a while back that he was going to have the kids run in these summer races like he does each year. When I told the kids that today was race day, I got some HUGE whining. But when the time actually came, they were really excited and did a FANTASTIC job! Makenzie did the most running -- she warmed up with Jason by jogging two laps around the track, then ran one leg of the 4 x 100m relay (which means she ran 1/4 lap as fast as she could), and then ran the 800m (which is two laps around the track). I was pretty impressed! Joel was the instigator of the 4 x 100m relay. He saw that this would be one of the events tonight and said, "Dad, can we run that one?" Jason replied that you have to have a team of four to run that event. Joel almost shouted, "We HAVE four!" Jason hadn't considered running on a relay team with children, but he did it and they loved it! Seeing Luke running around that track reminded me of what the doctor told me during his explanation of our 20-week ultrasound of Luke. He said that Luke probably wouldn't be permanently handicapped, but that he'd probably never be an Olympic sprinter. Maybe tonight was the beginning of proving that theory wrong :-)

Joel cracked me up earlier today when I apologized to the kids for looking so awful today. I hadn't expected to be leaving the house today, so I put my hair up in a funny little clip-kind-of-pony-tail thing and didn't bother with make-up. I was hoping the kids weren't embarrassed to be seen with me looking like this when we decided to run some errands. Joel's comment about my appearance? "I like your hair today -- better than any other day! A little make-up would be good, but I LOVE your hair!"

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

some days are just STUPID!

I'll just let you know right up front -- I have no pictures and this will mostly be a grouchy post.

First, though, something un-grouchy :-) Yesterday was Seth's OT appointment. He seldom cooperates anymore at his therapy appointments, and yesterday wasn't an exception to that new rule. Occupational therapy involves a lot of sitting still and concentrating on using little fingers or pudgy hands to complete a rather difficult task such as picking pennies up off the floor and putting them into the tiny slot of a piggy bank. WELL, my sweet Seth is just NOT a sit still kind of kid unless he's strapped into a chair and has no choice but to be still. And even then, he doesn't always do what he's supposed to do -- choosing, for instance, to throw the pennies across the room instead of putting them in their container. Yesterday, though, he topped the hilarious charts in his uncooperative activities. He climbed up onto the platform of a little slide, signed "sleep," and lay down. Then he popped up, signed "wake up," and started doing something that resembled a mixture of the chicken dance and the Axel Rose kick-your-feet-from-side-to-side dance. I wish so badly that I'd had my video camera for that one!!!!

Now on to the topic to which I alluded in the title of today's blog: some days are just STUPID! Today is one of those days! (Click on those green words, by the way, if you want to.) First of all, I had nothing easy to give the kids for breakfast (I know -- WAA!). I handled that one pretty well -- I made some super-delicious banana muffins (while the kids kept fighting, interrupting, and complaining about wanting to eat NOW). All I needed to do after breakfast was clean up the kitchen, start the laundry, brush Seth's and my teeth, make my bed, make a picnic lunch of pbj's and chips (sounds like quite a list, but it CAN all be done in a 1/2-hour). But TODAY, that list took over TWO HOURS! We finally pulled out of the driveway to head for a park at 11:30 a.m. Now here comes the super-stupid parts:

We pulled up to an elementary school playground. We started to get out of the van, but stopped when we saw a stray cat. We're all ok with pets that people introduce to us, reassuring us while holding them that their pets are very nice. Stray animals, however, make us quite nervous. Not only would this particular cat refuse to be scared off, it followed us all the way through the parking lot, around the school, and into the playground. Some girls at the playground started playing with it, so maybe it belonged to them (or maybe their mothers never warned them about playing with stray animals). Another family playing there had brought their dog (I'm sure you can predict the outcome of this part of my story). There was a fight, scary to some of us. We decided to pack up and leave (the killer mosquitoes were also a factor in this decision). We drove around to another school playground and a nearby park, but the kids were whining (one of the most annoying sounds in the world, by the way -- almost equal to nails on a chalkboard or styrofoam), so we just went home. One hour and my last gallon of gas WASTED!

But the day could still be salvaged, right? In our own back yard, we can have a picnic, no one has to watch Seth because I've pretty much "Seth-proofed" the back yard, we can play badminton or basketball, we can run through the sprinkler or fill up the baby pools or slide on the slip-n-slide. But today, no matter what activity the kids chose to do, they whined and argued. I just really wanted to sit back and relax and enjoy the sunny day -- maybe even eat my lunch, bake in the sun, and read. NO -- running here and there to break up fights, clean up messes (Seth likes to throw his food around these days, plus he has a runny nose), set up the slip-n-slide, get towels because the fighting ended the slip-n-slide session . . . Just when I thought everyone was finally situated and I could sit down, I noticed the odor floating in the air around my sweet Seth.

Another un-grouchy detail: I did finally get to eat my lunch and later lie down to bake and read two whole chapters while Joel read inside and the other three rested in the shade on my swing :-)

Now it's time to eat, but I haven't even started making dinner and don't have a clue what to make because it's too warm to turn the oven on and I don't feel like cooking anyway (that's a daily truth, not just a stupid-day complaint). Looks like it'll be grilled hot dogs (probably no buns, though) and mac-n-cheese. I'm hoping the minerals I make the kids drink every morning contain the nutrients that they should be getting in veggies because I think I've forgotten to feed them any vegetables now for about a week -- now that I've confessed that, though, surely I'll remember to nuke some frozen spinach or lima beans.

The Hofacker Family 2008