Life as Lou

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Kindness

  • December 7, 2011 3:47 am

I’m exhausted. That about sums it up.  Whew.

Really Useful

  • December 5, 2011 3:27 pm

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I am working on Christmas Christmas Christmas at my house! Lots of cozy tunes, sneaky surprises, festive wrapping and some obsessive/compulsive re-decorating of the tree once the kids were at school and couldn’t have their feelings hurt by it. There. I said it. I am that person. It made me crazy for over a week and I finally couldn’t take it any longer and it looks much more balanced now. With this kind of attitude, you would think I would have a perpetually pristine home, but I most definitely do not. Mine is a selective perfectionism; a soul saving blindness occurs when I look at things like peanut butter hand prints on the walls and muddy puppy paw prints. Those I can push back a day or two- the Christmas tree? My plasticine edifice of outdoorsy wonderment and beauty? Now THAT’S gotta glow, folks.

In other words, I can only keep up this facade for approximately 6 weeks and then I crack and go back to normal. But it is a lovely six weeks. ‘Most wonderful time of the year’ and all that jazz.

Last night we had some friend’s daughters sleep over to help make their schedule a little more fluid on a particularly crazy day. I gave them the boys’ bunk beds for the night. The girls were delightful and I want to keep them both. My children, on the other hand, have almost no memory of the last time KIDS slept over at our house and so they went positively berserk. I am pretty sure that Gabe lost his mind completely, because for the first time ever he was throwing a fit because he WANTED to sleep in his bed. Typically, he throws a tantrum when we want him to use his bed and not ours (I just call this every. single. night.).

Apparently all I need to do is put a fun teenage girl in his bed and it is the place to be. The funny thing was, he didn’t throw his fit on the premise of the fun big sister figure being withheld from him. Nope, he opted to freak out because he had to leave all of his Cars bedding and the Cars poster by his bed. “Queen! Queen!” He moaned and screamed in a desperate attempt to convince me to let him go back to his Lightning McQueen themed bed. It was hilarious. I mean I bought this particular kids furniture hoping this would be the result, but in this context it was cracking me up and I was unable to be compassionate becaue I was laughing so hard at his deflection of the actual issue. Maybe if I hired this gal to sleep over I could get Gabe into a better bedtime routine. Might be worth a shot.

Tomorrow is yet another busy day. They are dog-piling on me lately, but that’s ok. My house isn’t perfect, my to do list is growing faster than it is getting checked off, but I have had my time filled with opportunities to be of useful service the past few days and I love that. I kind of giggle because my kids have all loved Thomas the Tank Engine- and the main theme of those stories is that all the engines want the title of “Really Useful Engine”. I’d like to be Really Useful, especially to my family, my friends and to God. Useful people are grateful, happy people. Busy people are just busy. Perspective and opportunity are such blessings.

Brusha Brusha Brusha

  • December 4, 2011 4:02 pm

We were asked if we would like to participate in a special oral hygiene experiment for three weeks with our kids where we focused on brushing, flossing and rinsing twice each day.   Our usual habits aren’t horrendous, but we could definitely use improvement, so we agreed.  We have tried really hard to get our kids to practice good dental care.  Chris and I don’t have an issue with it- frankly, I feel gross if I don’t brush twice a day, so my teeth get their fair share of attention.  So does Chris’ mouth.  The kids, on the other hand, have a completely different story.

I am confident that they could go a week without using a toothbrush and not even notice until their mother passed out from horror at the unsightly sight of their icky smiles.  They need constant motivation to brush and brush well.  We have the same conversation every, single morning.

“Did you brush your teeth?”

“Yes.”

“Really?”

“Yes.”

“With toothpaste”.

“Yes.”

“Really?”

Sheepish smile.  “No.”

“Go BRUSH!  With toothpaste! Do a good job!”

And then they do.

I’m just glad I’m past the stage of having it be a huge fight.  Jonas hated brushing so much when he was little I had to hold him down and pry his mouth open to clean his teeth.  Trying to adequately take care of him felt like child abuse they way he carried on over it, and thanks to total non-compliance, he has had the most cavities out of the three.

Maggie was reasonable about the whole thing.  The youngest? Gabe has been an absolute pleasure.  Because I didn’t want him freaked out about dental care, the very first teething “toy” I gave him was a toothbrush.  He loved biting them, and we never had a single issue about brushing.  In fact, he asks to have his teeth brushed multiple times every day and actually likes toothpaste.  It’s a little weird, but he has great teeth!

Listerine sent us a care package to help motivate the kids and they gave us several bottles of mouthwashes (including ones with fun characters and alcohol free varieties) as well as Reach toothbrushes. The kids were very excited to get going, Gabe with Batman stuff, Maggie with barbie and Jonas with his Phineas and Ferb collection.  It was actually kind of funny because when the bigs arrived home from school and saw all of Gabe’s awesome hygiene paraphernalia, they were insanely jealous. You would have thought Christmas came early when I gave them their stuff.

So we are on our way, hopefully developing better habits with the kids!  Will update in a few weeks!

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Listerine and received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

Catching Up

  • December 3, 2011 3:28 pm

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I woke up yesterday with major goals of checking about fifty things off of my to do list, and BOY oh BOY was I off to a great start! Up, going, semi-tidy living areas, seminary perfectly prepped, and new candy in the prize bucket. I looked good, had cooperative hair, and my outfit was cute, snazzy new sweater and all. I had my children’s morning routines laid out with strategic precision and remembered to give a card that I had meaning to drop off for a few days to someone. I even had perfect recall on the three items I neglected to add to my list the night before and added them- nothing short of amazing folks, considering that my kids ate my brain and I basically have no short term memory left. Then I taught a fun, successful class (Fridays are fun day) and felt great about it.

That is. . .until the closing prayer was said and I stood up- and suddenly had the most overpowering urge to vomit. I barely got the kids on the bus and then spent almost the rest of the day living in my bathroom, running a high fever and barely succeeding at not passing out every time Gabe or the puppy needed me. The only thing I got accomplished yesterday was reading the entire book of Numbers out of the Bible, including commentary. There’s not much else to do when you can’t seem to peel yourself off of the bathroom floor.

Needless to say, I am now behind. I feel considerably better today, but still fairly weak. I did get most of my errands run today (the essentials, at least), a number of gifts wrapped, several work items were checked off the list and I can see my kitchen counters again. AND- the friendly, neighborhood hacker who helped me set up this new web-address sneaked in here and gave me that nifty little button down there- the one that lets you like me on Facebook. I feel so 2011- so very NOW. Not bad for someone who feels like she’s a day late and a dollar short in every other aspect. Ha!

An Advent Of Gifts! Want A Free Subscription To The Nook Kits?

  • December 2, 2011 12:20 am

The gals at the Nook (Design team and friends) decided to do a fun Christmas Count down, and give away a prize on a different blog each day.  This Advent Calendar should be a fun way to check out some talented paper crafters and celebrate the friendship and festivities at the Nook.  Everyone is invited to participate (the more the merrier, so jump right in).  At the Nook Blog you can get a list of blog addresses, so you don’t miss out on a single chance to win a prize and be inspired.  I’m excited to follow along and see all the great ideas- and it starts today, so hop on over!

The calendar of days filled up quite quickly, but no one took Christmas Day!  I decided that the best way to remedy that little problem would be to take it myself, and give away a HUGE prize!

So, one lucky participant will win a three month subscription to My Scrapbook Nook Kits (Jan-Mar), and a runner up will walk away with the beautiful December kit!

To get an entry into this contest just leave me a comment on this post any time between now and Christmas, and I will announce a winner on Christmas Day.

If you would like an extra bit at the apple to increase your odds on walking away with a free subscription, you can facebook or tweet (once per day for the next 25 days- so 25 opportunities to win) a link to this post, inviting others to participate.  You may also blog about it or mention it at any other site where it would be appropriate to share.  Just leave me an extra comment for each, and please include your link.

The Nook is also running an exciting promotion right now with heavy discounts for gift subscriptions you may want to give to a loved one (or yourself!)  You can check those awesome deals out here.  It is the best deal we’ve offered all year, so if you plan on being crafty in 2012- I highly recommend checking out this sweet deal and making sure it gets on your wishlist!


Good luck to all those who enter!  And don’t forget to check out the rest of the Advent blogs and get entered to win those prizes!

 

 

Elementary, My Dear Watson!

  • November 30, 2011 3:13 pm

Meet Watson! This little guy is the newest addition to the Killian family. He is a liver and white English Springer Spaniel. I love Springers! I had one growing up (Lizzie, best dog ever) and loved her to pieces and she was amazing, so this little guy has some big paws to fill. He is three months old, and so we are in the thick of puppy training, convincing him that potty goes outside and chewing is limited to his toys and not my stuff, face or fingers.

So far, he is really pretty well behaved for a puppy. We kennel train, and he is pretty comfortable in his kennel- minimal whining during the day, and no whining at night. He is also very good about not soiling his kennel, so we are on the right track.

We had looked for a springer for quite some time when I came across his puppy picture online. It felt right so we went ahead and started arranging for him. The only challenging thing was that Watson was located six hours from us, near Sioux Falls, SD! We planned a long day trip for after Thanksgiving, and then Chris called and told me that he was being sent to Sioux Falls overnight to do Honor Guard services at a funeral. SCORE!

We were able to work it out for Watson to catch a ride home with the Honor Guard, so we got our little guy Wednesday night, right before Thanksgiving. It was a scramble to get everything we needed for a puppy in two days! His first day at home was eventful. I’m sure between the roasting bird and the extra people he was pretty excited. We had our good friends, the Davis family over for turkey and fun, so they got to know Watson and helped name him.

Now Watson gets to see their oldest daughter every morning at Seminary, so I am pretty sure he thinks she is a part of the family. Watson likes the kids, but he is very attached to me (probably because I fill the food dish, take him outside and spend the most time sitting here with him right by me). I’m sure as he gets older and more confident he will realize how much fun the kids are.

He has one really weird quirk. He barks to get his water dish refilled, and flings it around the room with his paws. I have got to get that on camera one of these days. It is annoying, but hilarious.

So that’s our puppy! I have to take him outside now, so best run!

I Love Everything About This Card

  • November 29, 2011 9:19 am

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Stuff:

Thank you to whoever it was who put empty milk containers back in my fridge the day before Thanksgiving. I intentionally didn’t buy any milk while at the commissary because I had two gallons. . .apparently. . .not. Ugh- back to the shop the day before a holiday, that was fun.

Funny:

Maggie rolled up in a blanket and told me she was a pupa. Her feet were sticking out because that’s what she was going to attach herself to the branch with. Uh-huh. Girlfriend is reading a lot of non-fiction lately. She says she loves REAL books. All books should be REAL. Why read the made up stuff when the real world is so full of wonder? I can see her point. I hope she never loses that sense of wonder and thirst for knowledge. It’s beautiful.

Puppy:

We got one! You will meet him soon!

Tired:

Was leading the music in seminary this morning- so brain dead I started singing the second verse of the hymn over again! Note to self: wake up BEFORE class starts. Yikes!

Changes:

Holy Hannah, yes. Many. Info coming soon.

Big & Bold Bontanicals & Bemused Pontifications On Life!

  • November 22, 2011 3:13 pm

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I love this big flower die. So many beautiful blooms to make with it- I have this thing about making sure my dies are versatile and this one just takes the cake.

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So how am I today?

1). I have a migraine. I woke up with it, and it is now four pm, so I guess this will be an all day frustration.

2). I spent about four hours today genuinely concerned (read: mentally freaking out) about the possibility of losing my job. Thankfully, despite being told it was highly likely- I am still employed and should stay that way.

3). Fantabulous news? I’m getting a puppy!!!!!! I have wanted an English Springer Spaniel for years, and the time is finally right. We found a darling little boy and he will join our family tomorrow! His name is still up in the air. Lots of good possibilities though, Digby, Finn, Winston, Oliver, Satchmo, Copernicus. . .I guess we will know by Thanksgiving what his name is!

4). I am currently thawing a twenty-five pound turkey. I LOVE thanksgiving! And we have great company coming, so all the better!

5). I am basically done with my Christmas shopping. One gift left.

6). I have Seminary off this week; most of my kids were going out of town, so we gave everyone a vacation.

7). I am surprisingly tired anyway. Staying up too late, I think. Also, hungry and craving junk food. I should be craving a diet- I’m getting chubby.

8). I have ignored almost everything on my to do list for three days now, which is really odd for me. Best get crackin’.

9). I am well aware that my blog just hasn’t happened lately. I don’t know what my deal is. I have stuff here- part of it was a technical issue, no internet connectivity, no blogging. But part is just my own total distraction.

10). I have been cleaning out closets and under beds. I am allergic to dust, so I have made myself sick. But the house looks better. It sure falls to pieces in a hurry! There is no way we can have a puppy and new Christmas toys with that much chaos going on though- it was overdue, the kid rooms especially. I restructured how I am handling putting clothes away, so perhaps that will help a bit?

Ok- that’s all ya get. My head is killing me!]]>

RSV Season Is Here!

  • November 21, 2011 2:51 pm

It is RSV awareness month, as is it the kick off to the RSV season. RSV stands for Respiratory Syncytial Virus. Although RSV typically presents with cold symptoms, it can be particularly damaging and deadly for preemies. You or I might be merely uncomfortable for a few days, whereas a preemie could easily develop life threatening complications. Their higher risk is why so much attention is given to this virus. Infants under the age of six months are particularly susceptible. In most places, RSV is most prevalent between fall and spring.

There are steps you can take to prevent this illness. Hand washing is critical, and probably the most sensible thing you can do. Avoiding crowds is also helpful. When you are out with your infant, have others wash their hands before touching her, or keep their distance. Washing her toys and bedding frequently is also helpful. Because RSV affects the immature respiratory system, keeping your child away from second hand smoke is critical in reducing susceptibility to RSV, as well as the common cold, pneumonia, croup, bronchitis and a number of other potentially dangerous respiratory diseases.

Two out of my three babies were preemies, and so RSV was something I had to think about when they were little. I hate to be cooped up at home, but found that using a baby carried that faced me prevented most people from getting too close. I have a friend who has a cute little sign on her baby’s carrier that reminds people to wash their hands first.

If your infant does become ill, you should watch for the following symptoms. (This is taken from the RSV website):

-Coughing or wheezing that does not stop
-Fast breathing or gasping for breath
-Spread-out nostrils and/or caved-in chest when trying to breathe
-A bluish color around the mouth or fingernails
-A fever. (In infants under 3 months of age, a fever greater than 100.4°F rectal is a cause for concern)

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of the symptoms above.

Respiratory illnesses in infants, and particularly in preemies can go from mild to deadly very quickly. When it doubt, seek treatment.

Here’s to a happy, healthy Thanksgiving and Christmas season!

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of MedImmune and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.”]]>

Want To Send Some Christmas Cheer?

  • November 17, 2011 1:50 pm

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I have 16 of these ready to go to new homes and make merry! I have had a few card requests lately, and although it has been a few years since I’ve done Christmas cards to sell, I was in the mood and I whipped these up. If you want something extra special to send to your favorite people- shoot me an e-mail at everydaylou (at) yahoo (dot) com. Each card is $5.50.

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While these are all the same over all design, they are each unique and have differently designed poinsettias, colorful and patterned brads and mats. I do not include envelopes. Shipping within the US and Canada is $1 for the first card and twenty-five cents for each additional card, or you may pick them up in person. Contact me for international shipping rates.

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Thanks for looking!

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