Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It's my own fault I suppose...

For living in this ridiculous state.

I'm old enough by now to know that a forecast of up to 14" of snow isn't an unlikely event at the end of March in Minnesota. Pfft.

Monday, March 30, 2009

See Kai Run

Hop on over to this* blog and enter to win a pair of See Kai Run shoes!!

*For those that don't know you can move your cursor over the word "this" and click on it, taking you directly to the blog. :)


I always tend to post about Emeric when I'm feeling discouraged and never when it's the other way around so I thought I'd write about how I'm feeling now!

There are times when I start thinking about all the little things with him and feel really overwhelmed. And then there are times when other situations in life really put things into perspective. I think it's so easy to make a big deal out of something that may seem like a huge trial at the time but really is not.

When I look at Emeric's situation and think, "He's going to be so behind in school and get left out and kids are going to make fun of him and...." then I feel sad. But if I look at it and think in the realm of eternity than my perspective changes. Since this world is not our home I know that all of these struggles are temporary. When I look at the situations that other people find themselves in it too puts things into perspective. My friend Lesley, who lost her daughter is one that always comes to mind. There really isn't much that compares to that loss, if anything and it reminds me to be thankful and not to feel sorry for myself.

Stellan's situation keeps my worry, my fear, my anxiety in perspective.

Gracyn, Reese, Landon, and many others remind me to be thankful.

It's easy for me, and I'm sure others, to get caught up in my own struggles and feel like no one understands and then when I try to stop and really think about where Emeric is at, how good his health really is and that while his prognosis is not known it doesn't necessarily make it bad then my anxiety decreases.

Isaiah 40:28-31, " Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

2 Corinthians 4:17, "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all."

Friday, March 27, 2009

Flooding in ND...

Kylie was supposed to have her Awana Olympics tomorrow up in Fargo but needless to say they switched it to Park Rapids. They raised the projected crest of the river last night and it's already reached record levels.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Discipline vs. Punishment

It's very easy as parents to use these two terms interchangeably and to assume that disciplining our kids means punishing them.

From Dictionary.com:

To punish means:
to subject to pain, loss, confinement, death, etc., as a penalty for some offense, transgression, or fault, to inflict a penalty for, to handly severely or roughly.

Discipline means:
training to act in accordance with rules, activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training

Let's look at the definition of another word, manipulation: to adapt or change to suit one's purpose or advantage.

I'm not suggesting that punishment cannot be effective or appropriate in certain circumstances but as a primary source of discipline I believe punishment is manipulation. Essentially we are trying to adapt or change our children's behavior to suit a purpose, usually ours.

When my daughter is yelling at me because she is angry I can choose to do a few things. I could yell back at her and send her to her room, I could calmly send her to her room, or I could sit down and talk with her about being respectful, expressing her anger in a better way, etc. Yelling back is the instinctive thing to do because I'm irritated with her behavior and sending her to her room gets her out of my hair. But what does it teach her? Essentially that she is not allowed to be angry but I am. That I will not allow her to yell but I am free to.

If I choose to sit her down, find out why she's angry and talk calmly about respecting others she learns that I respect her feelings, she learns how to treat others and we can hopefully fix the issue of why she was angry in the first place.

It's very easy to tell our kids what NOT to do but discipline comes in teaching them what we DO expect. The goal of discipline is not to control our kids but to teach them to grow up into respectful, caring, confident adults. We want them to do the right thing because it feels right to them, not because they might get sent to their room, get a spanking or a time out, or lose a privilege.

Typically if my kids aren't listening, are being disrespectful, whining, etc. I can usually pin point it to two things. My own behavior and the time I've spent, or haven't with them. Children learn how to act from what they're taught. If I reprimand them for yelling or talking back I better make sure I haven't taught them to act that way by responding that way to them. And usually, that's the case. I always find my kids are much better behaved when I've really invested in the day. If I haven't then they're constantly seeking my attention in anyway possible and whining, yelling, fighting all get my attention.

Most people I know use either spankings or time outs as a form of punishment. I used to spank but stopped nearly 2 years ago because I realized it was nearly impossible for me not to spank in anger. I also didn't feel like it was teaching my kids anything. At least not anything I wanted to instill in them. I felt like for me, it was lazy parenting. It was the quickest thing to do and I didn't have to spend anytime thinking of a different solution to curb their behavior. Did it really teach them not to commit the offense again? Well, with as many times as they were spanked for the same things, obviously not. It did help in curbing the offense while I was around but was being secretive and sneaky what I really wanted them to learn from it? No.

There have still been a few times since then the girls have been spanked and mostly that's because it was so deeply ingrained in me it was hard to break the habit but I really do believe it was not something that was ever affective. The biggest thing I could see is that it created resentment. I know there are people that follow the "spare the rod, spoil the child" mentality but I believe that verse, which does not state it that way, is misused. I do not believe my children will be spoiled by choosing not to spank them. Let's remember that "rod" is also used in Psalm 23. That's another post though, right? :)

I am not perfect BY ANY MEANS. I yell too much, I'm short with them and sometimes it's easy to just say, "because I said so" but I am really striving to be a better parent and find more positive ways of dealing with them. I wrote on here a while back a quote from a book I read called, "How to Really Parent Your Child, Anticipating what a child needs instead of reacting to what a child does" by Ross Campbell and I remind myself of it frequently.

He says, "There is ultimately nothing strong or leaderlike about imposing authority on a child. Rather, it takes a great deal more self discipline and momentary wisdom to recognize the child's need and help him or her meet it."

I have to consciously remind myself of these things or I find myself slipping back into familiar ways. I can't say old ways because I still find myself using punishment frequently instead of exhausting other positive forms of discipline first. Something I read yesterday said to use I Corinthians 13 and the verses on love and replace the word "love" with "I". Makes a huge difference thinking of it that way. To really be able to say, I am patient, I am kind... in dealing with my kids.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Waiting for warmer weather!

It's supposed to be cold the rest of the week. Which is disappointing because when it was actually warm enough to go outside most of last week we were sick. The kids and I have been looking forward to getting out and going for a walk! In the summer we walk everyday and our neighbor(Jake's uncle) has all sorts of unique birds like a peacock, doves, birds that flip in the air, chickens, ducks, etc... He also has bunnies, pigs and a couple dogs. The kids love going over there and can't wait for summer to be here so they can see the "birds that flip in the air again". We're also really close to a public access and like to walk down there and go swimming.

There are things about living in the country that I don't like but in the summertime there are a lot of things I know I'd miss if we didn't. Privacy, having a bon fire in the backyard, fields and nearby ponds, bunnies, running through the woods to Grandma and Grandpa's house.

For now though it's supposed to be in the 20's for at least the next few days so I guess we'll continue to hole up inside. Thankfully we're all mostly well now and I don't have to feel like I'm breathing sick air.

On another note I also wanted to ask you to keep these families in your prayers:


Monday, March 23, 2009

I hate March.

Last March is when we were all deathly ill with Influenza. Emeric was sick for 8 days and finally today is better. Kylie was sick over the weekend but seems better and now I'm sick with a cold & not better.

No huge plans for the week. I bought some herbs and some other vegetables to start indoors so I'm going to get some potting soil and plant those. Emeric has an ECHO and EKG on Wednesday and will have to be sedated again for that so hopefully that all goes well. The girls start swimming lessons on Friday and Emeric's new stroller was ordered and should be here in the next week or two!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

5 lbs down...

Hopefully no more to go. Emeric lost another pound since yesterday. Thankfully though he started drinking a bit this afternoon. It still went right through him but he seems to be perking up so hopefully that will increase his fluid intake. He still will not eat.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

2 hour and 14 minute doctor visit

I ended up taking Emeric in today. He had to have some lab work done and the lady in the lab was new. We went in and sat down and she said, "Has he ever had blood drawn before?" and I just sort of smiled and said, "he's probably donated more blood at this lab than anyone else, yes". Then she proceeded to ask Emeric to squeeze her hand. I told her he didn't understand what she was asking and she just said, "oh". He did well and then he had to also have a strep test done. She said, "Open your mouth and stick out your tongue" and again I told her he probably would not understand what she was asking so she says, "Ok, well can you stick it out like this and say OHIO". Are you kidding me? Do you think if he can't understand you asking him to open his mouth that he's going to say OHIO?

The other tech who knows us well smiled and I smiled at her and said nothing. Nothing to say really, it was just comical to me.

Turns out Emeric was dehydrated which I knew but the doctor and I both agreed he seemed to be a bit better and we'd wait until tomorrow and if he was still sick he would need IV fluids. He did however lose 4 lbs since Sunday. He still has not had a bite of food since then although he has drank some Pediasure now which technically he can live off. He took a 5 hour nap today and went to bed mostly on time so hopefully it won't be too long of a night!

The doctor did hear a heart murmur today which she said could just be because he was sick but he's supposed to have an ECHO and EKG done anyway so they're going to bump them up to next Wednesday. He will have to be sedated again which will make this his 8th time. He's becoming a pro.

Monday, March 16, 2009


Shouldn't there be a hotline where parents can call when they don't know what to do for their kid?

Emeric is sick and I'm sitting here going back and forth on whether or not I should take him in. He's had hardly anything to drink all day, nothing to eat since yesterday and 1 semi-wet diaper all day. I guess there is a nurse hotline but they ALWAYS, WITHOUT FAIL tell you to bring them in. I don't know why there isn't just an automated system that says, "Good evening. You've reached the nurse phoneline. Please bring your child in. Goodbye."

He shows some signs of dehydration but I guess I keep assuming he'll start drinking soon enough and we can avoid a doctor visit.


Jake started his job today. He said he mostly drove around all day learning the ropes. The girls are telling everyone that dads new job is to "give people gas" which I suppose is appropriate.

Spring is finally starting to make it's way to these parts and our driveway is both wet and muddy. It's 11:00pm though and 41 degrees which makes me hopeful that I can ship the kids outside for the day hopefully in less than a week! :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What a Day

Between Emeric and the dog I think I gained a few gray hairs today.

First, Emeric woke up from his nap and stopped being able to walk. Again. He had been crawling off and on since he got sick on Saturday but today he did not seem sick and had no fever. So when he started stumbling a lot and not able to sit up without propping I was worried. It came on really suddenly and he kept closing his eyes and moaning like something was hurting him. :( I emailed his neurologist who said to take him in to the ER. I decided since the clinic was open to take him there. And lo and behold he was fine when we got to the clinic. Go figure! They did nothing and really had no answers which is also typical. All they could say is, "It's probably due to his underlying disease". Sigh.

Thankfully he seems better now and I'm just hoping this does not start becoming a pattern. I got him ready for bed, gave him his meds and then....

Then my dog swallowed an entire bottle of Emeric's seizure medication. I had dropped the bottle on the floor and the dog started playing with it and I figured, "Eh, it's closed and it will keep the dog busy while I put Emeric to bed". So maybe 5 minutes later I come out and see the cap is off and the pills are completely gone. At least 15-20 of them or more. CRAP!

I start panicking figuring the dog is going to die(although at least she would likely not have seizures in the process :) ) and immediately got online to see what my friends thought I should do. I tell you, these girls never let me down! Someone suggested giving her a bit of hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting. So I did and it worked! Hooray! And YUCK!

I had put a call into the vet and he said that was the right thing to do and she should be fine. So, let's hope!!

Anyway, here's a video of Emeric we took from today. This was when he would not walk and since he's not walking you can't really tell that his gait is bad but you can see he doesn't want to put weight on his legs and he's more floppy than usual.
View this montage created at One True Media
My Montage 3/11/09

Saturday, March 7, 2009

News on the homefront...

1. Jake got a job!!! He starts a week from Monday. He'll be driving a fuel truck for a local propane company and it sounds like it's going to be a great job. The only problem is we're going to be taking quite a pay cut but we're hoping within a few years the stability will pay off. So, please keep us in your prayers b/c right now the numbers on paper don't exactly pan out well! :)

2. We got a puppy! She is a Bichon and we named her Lola. She's super cute and actually doing semi-promising as far as potty training goes!

3. Kylie and I went and talked to a public school teacher the other day because we're considering sending her to public school next year. We wanted to find out what they need to know going into 1st grade and it's A LOT! She said the standards for kindergarten are higher than any other grade! As much as I love the philosophy behind homeschooling I don't love doing it as much. It's a hard position for me because there are so many things about public school that I don't like; standardized learning, grouping kids together by age instead of academic ability, grading systems, behavior systems, etc...

However, we decided when we started homeschooling her we would try it for 1 year and see how it went. If we didn't like it we would put her in public school and try that. If it doesn't work out at least I know if homeschooling would be a better option. My hope is that they'll open up a charter school sometime soon here!

4. Emeric starts school in a couple weeks! The therapists want to transition him from home based therapy to center based therapy so he'll be in a class with 6 other boys and 1 girl, all of who have developmental delays. Emeric is the only one with other health concerns so they're working on a seizure protocol and said they might provide someone specifically to keep him from getting hurt, especially while in the gym. He'll go one day a week for 2 hours and then once he turns 3 it will be 2x a week for 2 hours. Hopefully it will be good for him.

Well, I think that takes care of anything blog worthy. Off to finish laundry.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Too much to think about Tuesday

Do you ever have days where there is so much on your mind that instead of being completely overwhelmed and thinking about it all it's so much it's easier to just not think about any of it?

Today has been one of those days. One of those days where you wonder if you've finally turned a corner in living under the cloud of anxiety or if your placid attitude is just another way of steering clear of reality. When there are so many unknowns that you can't even form a mental list of which one to try to know first. There are too many. When someone asks you how they can help, or why you're unhappy, or what's wrong or how you're feeling and you rack your brain for minutes trying to think of an answer and still end up saying, "I don't know". And you're honest, because you really don't know. Or maybe you know that the person doesn't have 2 or 3 hours to carve out of their day to listen to you and your problems. Because you know everyone has their own problems and you feel like you're only ever talking about yours.

It's been one of those days.

Complacent, distant, detached from my own thoughts.

One of those days where the weight of all this stuff literally makes your heart race. I picture a suitcase, so full that you don't dare open it for fear you'll never get it shut again. Or for fear that if you do open it you'll have to take care of all the stuff and actually put it away.

And for today I just don't have the time.

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