Dean Family Blog

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Adventures in Naptime
Nap time around our house is really a misnomer since 3 of the 4 kids don't nap anymore. They are required to stay in their rooms and are SUPPOSED to be quiet. Some days that works better than others. All of the following have happened during this 'relaxing' period of our day in the past week:

-I have found Josiah sitting on top of Leeza yelling at her because she hit him. Yep, that's exactly how I taught them to handle glad to know they were listening.

-Josiah and Leeza decided that throwing their wooden blocks around the room to make a 'wooden tornado' would be an excellent quiet-time activity.

-Grace learned how to tiptoe so she could sneak into the kitchen and steal the broccoli I had cut up for dinner that night. She managed to get a half pound into her room before I realized what she was doing. Sort of backfired on her when she had to eat all the stolen broccoli for dinner.

But the best naptime adventure happened today when Grace took a tube of blue kids' toothpaste into her room and proceeded to squish it out onto the Twister game so she could slide around on it. I was so proud of her for staying quiet in her room for once, until I saw her smurf-like legs and toothpaste EVERYWHERE. She had apparently eaten part of it too so we learned, via Poison Control, that a 30 lb child can consume up to 14 teaspoons of toothpaste before it's toxic to them. Not something I planned to learn today.


A Little Older
I turned 33 yesterday and I learned a few things...

-The kids still need food, diapers, timeouts and play time despite my desire for 'birthday me-time.' When I can learn to accept this I'll be doing a little better.

-Hearing your kids actually sing the birthday song to you for the first year (instead of just smiling as Philip sings it) is cool.

-When you let your kids pick out your cake you end up with Funfetti and pink icing. They decorated it with plastic animals and chocolate chips, which sort of ends up looking like a herd of wild animals just pooped across your cake. No matter, it was good!

-A preschoolers' idea of a gift is to empty out the toy box and present you with each precious object. By the end of the day I had cars, tractors and a pile of Megablock 'gifts' by my computer.

-Ever the party planner, Josiah told me we were supposed to do something fun on my birthday. Translated into preschooler...'what fun things are you going to do for us today?' (We ended up at the splash pad).

-When your husband presents you with a stack of '15 minute massage' gift cards and forgets to put a disclaimers like 'cannot be used in succession' or 'cannot be duplicated' you know you've hit the jackpot! :)

-Our kids think we are hideously old. When they asked 'how many' I was this year I told them 103 and their only question was, "But Daddy's still older, right?"


It's Just Not The Same
A friend posted this recently and I loved it. Having a career out in the 'real world' is NOT easy, but there are a few challenges you get to avoid. Just thought I'd pass it along....
1.When you walked into work this morning and pleasantly greeted your co-worker Jim, was his first reaction to scream “NO! WANT JASON!" followed by an office supply being thrown at you?
2.Has a colleague ever climbed up on your lap while you were using your computer and slammed the keyboard with both fists until the up arrow no longer worked?
3.Do you have to lock yourself in the supply closet or bathroom on a regular basis in order to make phone calls?
4.Did you finish a complete thought at any time during the day?
5.When you went out to lunch with your fellow workers, did you have to pack a diaper/juice/extra outfit for them? Did you have to wipe their faces? Smile an apology and leave an extra tip for the waiter on their behalf?
6.When a co-worker needed you for something, did she sit at her desk with her head tilted back toward the ceiling and repeatedly scream “SEAN! SEEEEANNNN! SEAAAAAAN!” until you came to find him?
7.When you needed a specific colleague, did you search all over for him, only to finally find him giggling in the cabinet under the sink? Did you also find six pairs of your church shoes under there with him?
8.Have you had to come to an associate’s aid because she fell off her desk after trying to climb on top of it using a rolling chair?
9.When you reached for the report a co-worker was handing you, did he snatch them away at the last second and scream “MINE!” while shoving you backwards?
10.Does your colleague lift up her shirt and pick things out of her belly button every time she comes over to ask a question?
11.While you are using the restroom, do various co-workers come in the stall and ask you to settle a disagreement or open a packet of fruit snacks?
12.During a board meeting when everyone is present, do you notice a smell and then have to check all your colleagues’ pants to locate it? In fact, at ANY point in your day do you have to deal with another person's feces?

And a few of my own....
13. Did you spend your entire day telling coworkers to get their pens, shoes, calculators and shirts out of their mouths?
14. When one coworker wants to communicate with another do they always tell you so you can pass the information along...even when they are sitting right beside each other?
15. Does every meeting start with, "Now we're going to use inside voices and not whine at each other. Who can talk like a big person today?"
16. Do you have an office mate who changes clothes 10 times before lunch, only to show up the 11th time completely nude, announcing "So I just peed on your desk."?
17. But then again, how often to you get to tell your coworkers that your plan for the day has totally tanked and you've decided everyone will go outside and play in the sprinkler instead? :)


Oh. My. Goodness.
In the past week we have had teething, 2 ear infections, strep, a fever virus, a shunt malfunction and we're still trying to figure out what Josiah has (the doc thinks maybe mono). It's been quite a week! We spent 3 days in the hospital with Leeza for shunt problems and got her home just in time to start shuttling kids out to the urgent care clinic all weekend. Despite the fact that we're all getting pretty tired, it is getting somewhat humorous. Or maybe we're just more tired than we realize.

I have caught myself getting whiny and wondering why all of this is hitting at the same time...and then I remember the kids on the peds floor that we played with. Leeza and I attended some of the special events they have planned for the kids who are there and it's hard not to be struck by what you're seeing. While making pizzas and playing Bingo they're laughing and picking on each other and acting so normal...but 4 of them were hooked to IVs full of chemo drugs, 5 were bald, 4 had to leave in the middle of group to get medications and at least one of the little girls at our table may not make it through the year. These are kids who know all the nursing staff and doctors by name because they spend more time in the hospital than out. They know how to take their own blood pressure, how to make those insane machines stop beeping, which nurses will let them run in the halls (and which won't), and when each new group of volunteers will show up with gift boxes for them. It's an eye opening experience each time we're there and it feels strange to realize we're one of the families that they're starting to recognize because we've been up there often enough this year. But so far we haven't been there for anything life threatening, which makes me pray for those who are and be filled with gratitude that we haven't found ourselves in that position.

So now we're all at home trying to adjust some attitudes...illness and hospital stays don't seem to bring out the best in our group. Chores and vegetables have returned along with warmer weather so hopefully we'll be outside some this week to burn off the extra energy and keep an eye out for the butterflies we released this weekend. Just as everyone started to feel better the caterpillars we'd been taking care of came out of their cocoons and we were able to let our 3 butterflies go. The kids stood in the yard yelling at them to come back and visit some time and they've been watching to see if they come back to eat from our flower beds.


I have to brag on my sweet hubby who, despite his incredible dislike of running, has taken it up to be healthier and so we can have a shared hobby. We ran the Flood Run together yesterday and had a great time! He did the 5K in 25 minutes...totally amazing for someone who's only been running 3 weeks! I ran the 7mile in a much less impressive time, but I didn't stop, which was my goal. In typical Philip-style he didn't just lace on some shoes and hit the road. Even on a run the boy is connected to the Internet and wires! He's been tracking his mileage and speeds (and making some great progress) and figuring out what earphones and gadgets work best to keep him interested and looking for gadgets that I'll tolerate to help me get better.

The kids had such a good time at our race in TX earlier this year that they've been asking to participate in one too. We have their race (and Philip's potential first 10K!) on the calendar in July. And we're working on our IL family to get a few running converts so we can run together over there in August. My overall goal for the year is a half marathon in either September or October. I think I might be able to pull it off if I can be really creative in finding time to train.

We're planning to keep our bib numbers and race results in a Race Scrapbook so we can remember the fun we're having together and so many years from now we'll have proof to show the kids that we really used to be able to run this far! :)


She's a New Number!
Grace turned a 'new number' last week...she can't remember what number it is most of the time, but we all know she turned 3. I've decided the 3rd birthday is my favorite. The kids are old enough to really anticipate it, but they don't connect it at all with gifts yet. It's all about having fun with your friends and eating a big cake. Grace decided she wanted a pink princess party this year. Since we don't watch many Disney movies I was curious to see what she thought princesses did. According to her they eat pink and purple cake with lots of frosting with their friends, have tu-tus and pinwheels, dance and sing and have a pinata. I managed to make a pink and purple castle cake (I'm definitely better at train cakes), made up pink and purple tu tus for our girls and 2 best friends (and a prince cape for Josiah) and the kids helped make the pinata. It's fun to watch a bunch of kids in tu tus and crowns with princess wands whack a pinata with everything they've got! We finished off the day at the DesMoines Zoo and had a blast. Grace wore her tu tu and carried her wand and was terribly excited when there were a couple zoo workers dressed up as princesses too. She also thought the lady in a sari was a princess...I'm hoping she took that as a compliment! After a very long drive home she got to sleep in her newly converted 'big kid' bed. So far she's done really well staying in her bed. She also got her first big kid bike. She loves it. She has no idea how to pedal so she just sits on it with her helmet on. Works for me.
Since before she was born Grace has had her own, very loud, very attention-getting personality. As she grows up it's fun to see who she is becoming. She's still tiny, but she's also the most likely of our gang to push her way to the front of any line and make sure everyone knows she's there! She has very little fear. She loves to play in the dirt and rocks, wear pink dresses, run around playing 'Gracinator' and insists on wearing either flip flops or cowboy boots. She makes the most hilarious faces when she's talking to you and has a voice that always gets attention. As she's often called by friends, she's our 'little baby doll with long hair'...and a loud personality!

A few Gracie stats:
  • Height:
  • Weight:27 lbs
  • Shoe size: 7
  • Favorite food: bananas, hot dogs, chicken 'nuts'
  • (nuggets), dessert, green beans
  • Favorite past times: ripping books, playing in the sprinkler, snuggling with Mama, being LOUD, dancing and mixing all the Play Doh colors together.
  • Favorite song: The Gracie song
  • (her name spelled out to the Barney song tune) and the Belly Button song from Veggie Tales
  • Favorite book: my old Bible and the kids thesaurus
  • Funny words: 'dish ring'
  • (air conditioning), 'person' (purse), 'piw-wohw' (pillow), 'prinsa' (princess), 'Let's squirrel!' (Let's twirl!)


A Fly On the Wall
If you were a fly on the wall in our house you might have heard some of these things said in the past month...

From Mama:
  • Corn does not go in your clothes.
  • No squeaking in the house.
  • Rocks do not eat with us.
  • Don't pick your nose with a shrimp.
  • Get the fork off your head.
  • Is that corn in your mouth still from lunch?
  • (found in her cheek after a 2hr nap)
  • Quit sitting on your head!

From Kids:
  • Why does Grace have corn in her sleeve?
  • Did you know Grace can spit corn?
  • How do our stomach and small intestine digest our food so our body can use it?
  • Does juice have fiber in it? If not, why would anyone ever want to drink it?
  • I found an easier way to clean out the toys in my's really fast and easy when I just throw them all on the floor.
  • Tell me a story about a princess and a pickle!
  • Please turn on the 'dish ring.'
  • (Found out later she meant the air conditioning)

And you would have learned a few lessons:
  • Taking 4 kids to a large public park on the first warm day in a month is NOT a good idea. You will get dirty looks from other parents when you insist your child in a walker has to learn how to get back up by herself when she falls or when another child runs away from you for the sole purpose of finding an adult and telling them "My mama left me and I'm scared!" Twerp.
  • Never assume that the potty chair you think is only being used as a step stool is in fact only being used for that purpose by all members of your family.


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