Saturday, June 6, 2015

A promise and a possibility

Reading: What haven't I been reading lately?? I'm wrapping up Instructing a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp. It's not quite as good as Shepherding a Child's Heart, but I'm still finding it super helpful. I'm also all over Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart by J.D. Greear. A friend recommended it to me and when the Kindle version became available for $.99 I decided to check it out. I think he makes some really valid arguments, but since I haven't read it in its entirety yet (I started in the middle and now I'm at the beginning--I'm a mess!), I can't form an overall opinion. And finally, for kicks, I'm reading Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay. It is not bad. But I'm reminded yet again that I am, and always will be, a historical fiction kinda girl.

Listening to: Hillsong United "Empires" came out last week. Need I say more?

Watching: No TV for me this week, but I'm really into "watching" sermons online whilst preparing dinner. It also helps with drowning out the kids so I can focus on cooking. Just kidding! Our old church in Virginia Beach has done some great teaching on the Holy Spirit during these weeks leading up to Pentecost and it has been a great learning (and confirming) experience for me! Gosh, I miss that place...

It has rained this entire week. I mean, it's June right? Friends (that don't live around here) have been posting end-of-school-year photos these past few days. Meanwhile, my kids are all huddling under blankets while wearing jeans and sweatshirts. Apparently, summer has stood us up. We're all standing around the table, wondering how much longer we should wait for her before we just go ahead and dig in.

Well, I'm calling it, let's dig in. Even though Jack still has two more weeks of school left, Jude's preschool ended last week. We did the whole "graduation" thing and there were moms and teachers crying everywhere. Meanwhile, I'm trying to chase my nearly-2-year old around the refreshments tables, remind my 3-year-old to use her inside voice, and get a call through to Jack's doctor for the 100th time that day ... so perhaps I wasn't fully present that morning.

Of course, my child would be next to the bright shining star in the three-piece suit.

At least Daddy was home to do his hair that morning!

I did manage to capture some videos and pictures of this auspicious event. Jude's been singing the "I am Promise" song for months now (he's since moved on to humming the Star Wars tune all day, every day), but anyway, anyone else remember this old ditty? I keep getting flashbacks of sitting on the little wooden chairs in my grandparents' church basement, reading the words off a posterboard that someone held up at the front of the room. Good times, good times.

In this portion of the ceremony, each child held up a letter to spell out "preschool graduation" and described something about their year that started with that letter. Jude had his line down pat weeks ago: "I is for insects, we caught lots!"

And here's our rising Kindergartener! As each child crossed the stage, the emcee announced what they wanted to be when they grew up. Apparently, Jude wants to be an "instructor." Can't say I've heard him mention this one before, but something tells me his idea of "instructor" has a lot more to do with Lego "instructions" than the actual act of "instructing." Only time will tell!

And although I'm not one to cry at preschool graduations, this is the second year that they've played this song in the background and gosh, I'm a sucker for singing children. I also like to pretend that song is the reason I don't bother with cleaning fingerprints off my walls. That and perhaps I never notice them unless there are people over at my house ... I digress.

So yes, unfortunately, I spent the entire morning before the graduation ceremony out in the parking lot, trying to get a good cell phone signal to make it through to ANYONE helpful at the pediatrician's office. It appeared like a lost cause.

Jack woke up the day after our Memorial Day beach trip saying his mouth hurt. I just assumed he had some canker sores--the result of indulging in too much junk at the beach. So I sent him off to school without a second thought. Later that day, just minutes after I had FINALLY gotten Joci down for her nap (and only after a long struggle!) the school nurse called to say Jack was complaining about a sore throat and she was concerned it might be Strep.

Dude, I don't mess with Strep. I've been there too many times myself and the last thing I need (the week of my brother's wedding, mind you!) is an entire family down with flaming red throats. So I called the pediatrician and got him in that afternoon. Meaning, I dragged one sick and three healthy kids into the doctors' office and tried to keep them all calm and collected while crammed in a 8x8 foot examination room.

It wasn't our regular pediatrician on duty. He did a rapid strep test which came back negative and said it was just a viral sore throat and that Jack should be fine to go to school the next day. So naturally, I sent him to school the next day! And naturally, the nurse called me back again right before lunch to inform me that Jack appeared much worse. And so I'm back at the school again, with ALL my children, wearing yoga pants and a dirty-hair ponytail, because I actually WAS about to do some exercise, feeling EVERY BIT of the stay-at-home-mom that I am. And the nurse told me, quite kindle actually, not to send Jack back to school again unless I could get a note from his doctor saying he was, indeed, not contagious.

So it was back home again where Jack still complained about his throat hurting but did not appear any less likely to attack his siblings or chase the dog around the yard. I called the doctor, this time reaching my pediatrician's nurse, who helpfully explained everything and told me to go ahead and keep him home until the full results of the Strep test came back, hopefully within 48 hours.

So Thursday is Day #3, and I've got all the kids home giving me a taste of what it's going to be like this summer. I called late that afternoon and was told the doctor would call me back with test results. He didn't. Thus, I found myself calling and re-calling all the following morning. Because unbeknownst to me, the office has a staff meeting until 9:30 on Fridays and can't answer the phone (really?!?). I finally talked to someone who said the test results were NOT back yet. (Hello, it's been more than 48 hours at this point, and we're leaving the state in about 2 hours!!)

It was about this point that Jon pointed out a massive rash that started on Jack's foot and was crawling up his leg. So I decided on a different approach, called the doctor's office again, got put on hold and transferred all over again, and finally asked to bring him in for a mysterious rash (regardless of test results.) Thankfully, they put me in touch with our regular pediatrician's nurse (again, whom I love) and she informed that actually, yes, Jack's test results did come back positive for Strep A and, LAST NIGHT, the other doctor had "put it into the system" (I like that line, I'm going to try and use that in my mothering some day) last night and had already ordered the prescription. Oh, really?!? And whoooooo was going to tell me this? (I confess, I can get snarky when I'm stressed, and at this point I was stressed!)

Long story short, we rushed the kids through the refreshments at preschool graduation, picked up some Chick-Fil-A for lunch (because in addition to getting snarky, I also like to eat poorly when stressed), and came home to finish packing for Pennsylvania and pick up Jack's prescription. Poor thing, he actually started on his antibiotics just minutes before we left for the big wedding and was a trooper the whole weekend!

But I'm going to skip over all those festivities because Uncle Micah and Aunt Carrie's wedding deserves a blog post all to itself! Moving on ...

College friends: me, Elaine, Beck, and Andi + 2
Because our family likes to do things all big and busy, we decided to tack on a trip to eastern Pennsylvania for my college roommate's babies shower. Yes, babies. There's two in there. I'm so positively giddy for her and these big changes coming her way! It was also some much appreciated "girl time" while Jon took the kids to hang out with another friend's husband and kids. And then we all met up together afterwards for more food and playtime because, well, that's how we roll.

And then it was the long drive back to Maryland with a bunch of worn out kids and back at it again on Monday. Like I said, Jack is down to the last two weeks of school. He practically missed all of the previous week and, I'll just go ahead and say it, I'm kinda over Kindergarten at this point. Jon went to his parent-teacher conference (I was supposed to be there too, but our babysitter stood us up!) and at this point, forget finishing strong, I just want to finish. So why oh why are there a million things happening in these final few weeks of school?

Thankfully, he missed the "vocabulary parade" due to being sick. We're still tracking with the sight word memorization, although it's a struggle. Field day was rescheduled because of all this rain. And then there was the poetry reading. Poetry reading?!? I had to memorize a poem when I was in second grade--Shel Silverstein's "Eyeball in the Gumball Machine." I think it was a total of 4 lines. In fact, I'll share it with you now. Because there's no shame in my game. Don't cough, you might miss it.

And now I'm sure you're all wondering how I ever got into the Communication Studies field...

Anyway, Jack wasn't crazy about any the "suggested" poems his teacher provided. So we decided to find our own. And I'm glad, because in his class of 15, 5 kids did the poem "If School Were More Like Baseball." He was already giving me a hard time about this whole thing, so I knew we had to find something that would really interest him. And well I think we all know what that would be. So here is Jack presenting "The Lego Poem" to his class this past week. I think it's safe to say he gets his mad public presentation skills from his mother. (You may need to crank the volume, or wear highly sensitive headphones because, you know, Jack is such a quiet kid...)

He really did do a great job--and had one of the longest poems in his class. Much, much longer than the one I memorized two years ahead in school! And it's moments like this when I start to think maybe Kindergarten isn't that bad. And then I bring him home from school early (after he's indulged in 3 cookies and 2 cups of lemonade) and I get another reminder of "what it's going to be like with 4 kids home this summer, and I start to question if I can do this--really do this.

Fortunately for me, summer has not arrived yet. But she is coming. As Jude would sing there is a promise and a possibility. We may have gotten a head start without her, but she'll catch up soon. And my plan is to be good and ready!

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