Bummer News

                 photo taken with my iphone in the outskirts of Monroe, NC-rainbow
                photo taken with my iphone in the outskirts of Monroe, NC-rainbow

We’re Moving!

Earlier this week I received a phone call from Sally (landlord), that for reasons I can’t mention here, will be putting the house (that we live in!) up for sale.  She doesn’t have a specific date but told us “…do what you have to do to prepare yourselves.”  She was nice enough to offer us the privilege of living here while it is on the market, but it’s a bit too risky to move a family of five on short notice if it were to sale.  

Sally is probably one of the sweetest of people and she worries over us like a mother would.  I assure her that we will be fine.  And we will. The news isn’t all bad!  Some definite pros will come out of this and I have no doubt that other great things will emerge from it.  I actually suggested last year that we move because of commuting burdens, but Bubba didn’t want the hassle and financial cost of it all.  That’s not to say there aren’t pitfalls as well though. 

Our biggest one being is that Bubba (if all goes well) will be graduating in December which more than likely means we’ll be moving somewhere for his new job in Jan.  So basically 2 moves in 9 months.  That’s rough, but by no means the worst thing in life, so we’re still counting our blessings. 

I’m also grateful she announced it when she did because I was juuusst about to drop a lump sum of money to pay off my car.  Luckily I didn’t and we now have more than enough money to cover the moving cost.        

Although this scenario wasn’t in our initial plans it doesn’t mean that it wasn’t meant to be.  We have faith that God has his plans for us paved and we need to be dutiful in following the road. All is good.

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19

Two Days

For two days now, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to put on the kids socks, shoes, coats, gloves, and hats.  Every couple of hours, they want to go outside again and I repeat the whole process for each one.  To keep it all dry, I am throwing everything into the dryer between each outing.  It’s one of the downfalls to getting snow in the south; it melts as quickly as it fell.  The kids know they have to soak it up while they can, hence the constant in and out.

Other than that, I am delighted to see the white stuff on the ground, even if it is mostly sleet.  It’s also nice to finally feel the cold air and actually have a chill in the house worthy of my old friend, (electric heater) to warm my cold toes.  This weather slows down my days too.  It has been nice. And hey! It’s even inspired me to start a new knitting project.  I’m stepping out of my beginners comfort zone on this one so we’ll see how it turns out. 

And thankfully (Praise God!) our electricity hasn’t been disrupted.  It goes on and off every few hours, but nothing permanent.

It Figures + Urban Sketch

  I've slowly been adding a few urban sketches to my journal and so far I really enjoy drawing them.  If you want to know more about what it is then you can check it out by doing a simple google search. :)  I was able to learn by doing this drawing that a white gel pen doesn't always make the best highlighter option.  I'll probably try gouache (spelling?) next time.
I’ve slowly been adding a few urban sketches to my journal and so far I really enjoy drawing them.  If you want to know more about what it is then you can check it out by doing a simple google search. 🙂  I was able to learn by doing this drawing that a white gel pen doesn’t always make the best highlighter option.  I’ll probably try gouache (spelling?) next time.

On July 16th, my morning started early.  I had a lot to do and needed to be out of the house with kids in tow by 8.  Being the morning hater that I am, I woke up especially early (6:15am) and do what most adults do to get themselves perky.  I made a bee line for the beloved coffee pot and with one eye barely open, I moved through the motions of prepping the machine.  When I tried to pour the coffee into the filter, nothing came out of my empty canister. 

{{Palm to forehead}}

Slight panic ensued and I told Bubba (who was already dressed and ready for the day) to quickly run to the store, but all he said is, “No such luck, toots.  Gotta be at school early to study.”

Desperation is a funny thing and an apparent adrenaline booster.  I wasted zero time throwing on my shoes, clothes, and brushing my teeth to drive to the our local grocery store.  Unfortunately for me, the doors to the store wouldn’t open and I was referred to a sign that says “comeback, we’re closed”.  

Awe, hell no.

At this point I wasn’t opposed to slurping spilled coffee off the floor, so I paced outside for fifteen minutes until they opened at 7.  Meh.

I knew my luck was changing though;  There was a bright red sale sticker below my favorite brand of coffee, Dunkin’ Donuts for 6.99! 

After rushing through checkout and back home, I was feeling quite happy and proud of myself that all had worked out…THAT IS until I noticed the bright green label on the bag of coffee that says DECAF

NOOOOOOOOooooooo!  The horror!   Why do they even make decaf!!?  Doesn’t it defeat the purpose behind having coffee? 

Needless to say, I didn’t have any coffee that morning.  And I wasted seven dollars.

It figures.

*And because this is a blog and people judge I figure I should note that my teenage son babysat the sleeping babes while I went to the store.

NC Transportation Museum

If you don’t want to read my rant of disappointment then please feel free to skip to the last paragraph!  Fair warning! 😀

Way back in December I purchased tickets from Living Social to visit a local transportation museum that included a train ride.  Since Scout’s obsession with trains is still going strong and the price was right: $24 for 5 people, I thought I couldn’t go wrong with this trip.  I mislead myself.  First, this place is in the boonies.  To get there, it took an hour and a half because you have to drive down every back road known to man.  The town itself is a rink-a-dink place with the dump site located just at the end of main street.  Secondly, they only allowed you to use the tickets right smack in the middle of January.  Not the worst scenario, but jeez, I should have read the fine print.  Then, on the only day Bubba was free before school started, we drove all the way out there to find it is closed.  Why?  Because their hours changed and we can only ride the train on Saturday.  So we triple checked the schedule, Bubba used a vacation day for work, and we made the long drive there for a second time.  Next up on my list of complaints was that the ride lasted a mere 15 minutes.  (Although you could technically ride 30 mins  by riding it back to the station.  Only if you wanted to skip the museum though.)  We had to walk the mile back to our car, while going through many closed, sectioned off, and uncompleted “museums”. 

This is getting ugly.  I need to switch gears before this post becomes a downer.  All that really matters is that the little kids loved the train ride and were thankful for the opportunity.  The kids equally enjoyed being able to chose a toy from their souvenir shop.  🙂  Our time wasn’t a total waste, but I don’t think we will ever go back.  Oh!  And another plus was being able to grab lunch at the local Cracker Barrel.  It was sooo good and it was pretty easy to eat vegetarian there.  (This was before going vegan.) 

The kids are easier to take out to restaurants now, making the lunch a pleasant experience.  No meltdowns! Woo hoo!

of late

The mornings start early here; weekend or not.  I’m always the first to wake.  I drag myself downstairs to enjoy a cup of Jo and eat before the chaos begins. 

During the weekdays, Bubba flies out the door swallowing the last of whatever breakfast he scarfed down with a coffee cup in hand.  Then the kids and I do schoolwork, cook, eat, clean, and try to keep ourselves semi-entertained during the minute’s in-between.  Most of the in-between moments are spent outside in the backyard in an effort to soak up the last of summer.  (88 degrees today! I’m trying to be positive but I’m ready for cool weather)  While the kids play, I strut to the garden to nurse my first fall plants and prepare the rest of the empty beds for winter.  It’s usually me pulling weeds, throwing spike balls over the fence, and hauling leaves to the compost.  Fun stuff.

I did break up the monotony last weekend with a trip to Aw Shucks Farm.  I felt I owed it to their childhood.  You see, despite living in desert heat, my grandparents managed to successfully grow apple, pecan, peach, and pear trees.  Many of my delightful childhood memories revolve around helping my grandparents pick the fruits from those trees and I always wanted my kiddos to have similar experiences.  So…I took them to this farm that boasted an array of kid activities with a fall theme.  However, it was not very fun.  Oh the kids had a blast, but it wasn’t to fun for me!  I’ll explain in a different post.

Let’s see; what else?  Bubba and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary last week! Go us!  I would normally write something mushy or try and give my two cents on what makes a marriage work, but I’ll spare you this year.  But for the record; married life is bliss. 😉  (totally not the most flattering photo of us, but this is all I had on hand at the moment)

After hearing much ado, I finally picked up this book from the library.  It’s called, We Were Liars.  Oh you’ve heard of it?!  Not surprising.  So far so good though, and that’s coming from Nathan and myself since we are taking turns reading. 

We’re stuck in a dinner rut (CHICKEN AGAIN!) and I’ve been wanting to try a different type of cuisine.  I was thinking about exploring a few easy French dishes.  Haven’t looked around yet, but I was thinking of checking out Rachel Khoo’s cookbook and probably stalking a few food blogs soon.  🙂

One last thing before I wrap this up.  Nathan and I enjoyed a movie night at the theater.  It was a nice treat for us to step away from the house for a while.  We watched, Left Behind.  I was excited to see the book series I enjoyed years and years ago come to life.  Nate wasn’t into it, but I quite enjoyed it.  It was also enjoyable because we were the only people in the theater!

Alright.  That’s a wrap, I think. 

I know, we’re mundane!

Don’t worry movie goers! We were only obnoxious for this photo. We didn’t keep our feet on the chairs. 😉 

Front Porch Haircut

Bringing back the chilly bowl, guys.  Just kidding!  Could you imagine if it did come back in style? 

Just wanted to take a minute and document Scout’s front porch hair cut.  One day he will want a professional to do it, but for now, he believes that he is the coolest kid because his daddy does it for him.  ((So sweet))  However, I don’t have a picture of the finished cut.  I know, I know, what was I thinking?  But the pictures on this post is pretty much what it looks like now.

Random Pianist at the Library

At the library, of all places, I heard very loud music playing once.  Piano; probably a Beethoven piece.  It was so loud that I almost asked the librarian while checking out my books, since when does the library play music?  Loud music at that.  But I was enjoying the sound really; It was beautiful to listen to.  Whenever I stepped out of the library doors and into the lobby, I realized the source of the music.  A gentlemen was properly sitting at the piano that the library has stuffed into a corner on the far back wall.  Barely noticeable unless someone is playing it. 

But there he sat, pressing vigorously against the keys, a very angry and intense piece.  Every note played perfectly; at least to my own untrained ears.  How lucky–I felt–to witness such a random thing.  I haven’t heard a musician play publicly since my visit to New York City. 

Ever since that day, I’ve wondered if I would ever see this man playing again, and today I received my answer.  I could already hear him playing before I even reached the doors this time.  After handling some business within the library, I decided I would record a snippet of him on my cell phone without disturbing him.  Watch it below if you would like.  Fair warning though: it’s a terrible video and very shaky.  My picture on the front has nothing to do with the video, btw, I just figured it was better than a picture of my feet that it was using, haha! 

I wish I would have stuck around and listened.  Usually you have to pay to listen to such things these days. : )

My Son Has 8 Food Allergies and 4 Non-Food Allergies

Like most children with food allergies, you won’t find out they are allergic until they eat it.  Likewise, it was with us. (You can read that story here

Oddly enough, I always had this weird, motherly instinct, if you will, when he was born that he would be allergic to peanut butter.  What I didn’t realize is that he would be allergic to much more than just PB.  So after his Emergency Room visit and his initial blood test revealed he was allergic to Eggs, Milk, Peanuts, and Dogs, the doctor seemed adamant that he would outgrow his egg allergy by age 1.  That has not been the case for our story; so we have treaded carefully until he could have a full panel administered. 

I say “carefully” because at his age, he can’t tell me that he has a metallic taste in his mouth or that his throat is swelling shut.  Because he already seemed to be allergic to nuts, we avoided any sort of nut products until he was able to receive this test.  This included packaging that says this product “uses the same machines as those with nuts.” 

It really narrowed down what he could and couldn’t eat.  His diet became extremely simple.

There is A LOT to know about one food allergy let alone multiple food allergens. What does one do in an emergency? how does their diet work? how do you eat at a public restaurant?

With that in mind, I’ll be posting a lot of information that the doctor gave to us.  I do so just in case there are other parents out there who have friends or family members who want to be sensitive and aware.  This is especially good for our “real life” friends & family members, too.

 

First things first!

What did they test for?

As you can see from the pictures above, the specialist numbered Scout’s back etc, and then pricked a needle with different substance into his skin.  How his skin reacted is how the doctor analyzed Scout’s allergies.

The doctor tested for these common allergies:

Seeds, Nuts, Trees, Grass, Weeds, Inhalants, Foods, Shell Fish

The doctor also did another blood draw to see if he continued being allergic to eggs and milk.

Here are the results:

Sesame Seeds – EXTREMELY allergic. This means no sesame anything: oil or seeds, no sesame hamburger buns!

Brazil Nut – HIGHLY allergic.  Stay away from it.

Hazelnut – SLIGHTLY allergic.  No hazelnut spread.

Pistachio – SLIGHTLY allergic.  Don’t eat it and he’ll be fine. 

Black Walnut – EXTREMELY allergic.  He may NEVER EVER EVER touch or eat this nut.  He tested very high on the reaction test.

Peanut – EXTREMELY allergic.  Same rules as the walnut.  No peanut oil either!

Oak Trees – HIGHLY/EXTREME allergic.  He should just stay away from them if possible.

Egg Whites – SLIGHTLY/HIGHLY allergic.  He can have some baked goods that include eggs, however, he cannot eat egg by itself.

Milk – SLIGHTLY allergic.  Affects his skin mostly.

Dog hair – EXTREMELY allergic.  It affects his respiratory, will break out in hives, and swell.

Cat hair – EXTREMELY ++ allergic.  Cat hair is worse for him than dog hair.  Have to keep the cat outside! 

Dust Mite P – SLIGHTLY allergic.

Linking this post up with Casey.

 

 

Another time, I guess.

My version of what to do on a Wednesday and my husband’s version of what to do on a Wednesday are not the same.  You see, when I woke up this morning I thought to myself,  …what a perfect day to do nothing except read.  just bounce around from magazines to blogs, then books.  But my husband woke up and thought to himself, …what a great day to paint the walls in my house.  Now, obviously my idea is just an illusion.  There is no way that will ever happen anytime soon.  But still, I didn’t expect to find my husband and Nathan painting our dinning room and hallway after my hour at the gym. 

The house is an absolute wreck because of it all, and as I took in the view I wondered where in the world all the stuff came from!  That, of course, lead to me tossing this and dumping that.  It felt satisfying and as for the walls…we’re never going to get our deposit back.  Ha!

In all of the mess, I managed to make a couple of loaves of bread.  I kneaded the dough between school books and a stack of bills I wish I could poof away and books that I wish I were reading instead.  Another time, I guess.  I kept dinner as simple as a dinner can get, and doubles as one of our favorites: bread and gravy.

Alright.  It’s time for lights out.

Linking this post up Blythe!