Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dinosaur hoodies and owls..

AKA.  The Christmas gifts my kids know they are getting.  The downside to me crafting in the dining room is that my kids see what I am making.

These cute owls are filled with rice and are heat pads.   Tutorial from
 Dinosaur hoodies.  I followed this tutorial.  I bought sweatshirts at Walmart and some cheap felt.  With Selah's I added interfacing to the top four and I didn't on Ephraim's.  I had a lot harder time sewing the felt on E's and I think it was too much fabric for my machine and I gave up on having it look nice after taking out the stitches 3x on the hood.  He's 3.  He won't care.

Hopefully they will act surprised on Christmas morning

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

He gets it

Today I took my kids to Costco - not an unusual trip around here.  In addition to our normal shopping, I had Ephraim chose a toy for him and Selah to donate to kids in need.  He and I talked a lot about how there are kids without families, and sometimes there are kids with families that cannot afford to buy new toys for Christmas.  Ephraim asked a lot of questions about how and why that could happen.  We talked about how blessed we are that his Daddy has a good job that allows us to buy new toys and allows me to stay home to play with him and Selah.  He chose a really cool helicopter that makes noise and a neat baby set that came with a bed and horse for Selah.  (He at first tried to chose the really cool motorized miniature snowmobile and then we had to talk about budgets and how Mommy and Daddy can't afford that toy for him or anybody).

After Costco we drove to the fire station to drop off our toys.  Both kids did really well and Ephraim enjoyed putting the helicopter in the big bin.  As we were walking back to the car he said "But Mommy?  Kids need families."  Yes they do bud, yes they do.

Friday, December 02, 2011


From November 11

One of my closest friends from High Schoo - Julie (or as I call her - Jules)  got married on 11/11/11.  It was so much fun for me to be able to be there on her special day.  Jules - you were a beautiful bride and I wish you and Dennis great happiness!
me and the bride.  All of the guests were in black and white, which was a lot of fun to see - and I got to buy a new dress.
Forrest and I.
Jules and her dad walking in.  I love all the rosettes on her dress.
Julie and Dennis.  Congrats!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A new view

When I woke up this morning and went downstairs, I saw this outside of my kitchen window.

During the wind storm last night this branch decided to make a new home next to our deck.

Forrest and don't need to go looking for a Christmas tree this year.  This branch is over 10 feet tall and should do nicely.  

I should add that there is not a single branch of any size anywhere else on our property.  

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Sometimes I think she looks like a Fraggle.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Friday, October 14, 2011

9 stitches

From August 15th

August 15th started out as a normal Monday.  Forrest works from home on Mondays - which is a huge blessing.  The kids and I had been playing outside in the yard and came in for lunch.  I made macaroni and cheese, gave it to the kids and went downstairs to talk to Forrest.  (I was out of kid bowls, so both were served in small Pyrex bowls.)

While Forrest and I were talking we heard the sound of glass breaking (not the sound you want to hear) followed by crying.  We both raced upstairs and I immediately picked up Selah who was sitting in a pile of broken glass by her chair.  I was trying to comfort her when Forrest said "she's bleeding."  We took one look at her little hand and knew we needed to get in the car and go.  The cut was deep.  Forrest grabbed some paper towels for me, his keys and phone and Ephraim.  I tried my best to stop the bleeding with the paper towels and we got in the car.  We didn't even try to put Selah in her car seat.  She sat in the front with me.

We decided to go to the urgent care by us.  The closest ER is 20 minutes away - and while she needed to be seen immediately, we didn't think it was an emergency.  We walked into urgent care and the receptionist called a nurse to have Selah's hand bandaged.  I was covered in blood and looked a little scary so the nurse tried to clean me up as best she could.

After getting a bandage wrapped around her hand we sat in the waiting room for an hour.  The poor baby whimpered most of the time.  Ephraim talked about how he had an "owie" (his finger had been pricked by the glass) but Selah had a "big owie"

After we were taken back, things moved very smoothly.  The same doctor that had seen Ephraim in June saw Selah.  She was papoosed with two different sheets so that she couldn't move while they were trying to stitch her up.  It was a deep cut - she had cut into the muscle, but thankfully she had not injured any tendons or ligaments.  She had 3 internal stitches to put the muscle back together.  Before they got to the external stitches, she fell asleep.  The poor thing was exhausted and tired of fighting her papoose.  She then got 6 external stitches.

We had planned on leaving that week to go down to my mom's for a week of vacation, but were strongly advised not to go.  River water has a ton of nasty stuff in it, and could easily cause her hand to get infected.
After we got home - Selah continued to use her hand as if nothing had happened.  She bent and used her thumb and hand as if it had never been injured.  She didn't seem to be bothered or really notice the bandage.
She would cry hysterically when we had to change the bandage twice a day - but we think that is because she was scared of her scary stitches.
Ephraim showing off his "owie"
Proving that falling off of her chair onto broken glass is not a deterrent for climbing up on the table.
The scary stitches.  I would have been afraid if I were 17 months old and had to see those too.  Her scar has healed up very nicely.  If you see Selah now and ask to see her owie - she will proudly show you her scar.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

33 things you may not know about me...

On my 33rd birthday - here are some things you might not know.

1. My favorite color is pink
2. I don't like coffee.
3. I drink tea.  Irish breakfast or English breakfast only.  With milk and sugar.  Earl grey is I absolutely have to.
4. I will wear jeans every day in the fall and winter, but I don't like jeans on my kids.
5. I am not a very good housekeeper.
6. My weakness is chocolate chips.  I eat them by the handful.
7. As a counselor I loved working with kids and their families, but never enjoyed working 1 on 1 with adults.
8. If I had my way - we would have 4 kids.  3 the conventional way and then adopt a special needs baby.
9. I was a three sport athlete all through high school and my freshman year in college. 2 sports after that.
10. I have no coordination when you put a racket in my hands.  (If you want to win - challenge me to tennis, raquetball or badminton.)
11. I am not really sure of my true hair color - but I think it is pretty close.
12. The majority of the rooms in my house are decorated in green.
13. I once slapped Ryan in the face - that is the only time I have ever hit somebody.
14. I do not like cauliflower.
15. Dairy makes me sneeze.
16. I don't really like pancakes - french toast is more my thing.
17. If garlic mashed potatoes are on the menu - I will often choose the entree with them, even if there is something else I would rather have.
18. I secretly enjoy reality tv - Keeping up with the Kardashians, Sister Wives and 19 kids and Counting are some of my favorites.
19.  I only wear make up a few times a year.  Forrest says that pretty girls don't need it.  :)
20.  When in doubt - I cook spaghetti or taco salad.
21. My sisters and my mom are some of my best friends
22. My vision is horrible and I can't see more than 4 feet in front of me without my glasses or contacts.
23. I often have to go up a size or 2 in dresses because my rib cage is so wide.  (someone once told me I was shaped like a margarita glass)
24. I would move  back to Wyoming in a heartbeat.
25.  My biggest regret in life is not dating Forrest sooner.
26.  My shoe size is size 10.  (I have very flat feet with no arch)
27.  I am missing a bone in each of my pinky toes.
28.  I do not like red wine - but like all kinds of whites.
29.  I am not a big fan of eggs (scrambled, fried, etc.)
30.  I enjoy cleaning bathrooms and toilets.
31.  My favorite movies are based on true sports stories (Secretariat, Miracle, The Rookie)
32.  I get a weird satisfaction from picking my children's noses.
33.  I have had one accident while driving forwards and 3 while backing up.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

In case you were wondering...

from mid July

This is what your bathroom mirror looks like after it has been sprayed with sunscreen.

My kids.. just trying to make sure everything is protected.
It only took 10 minutes to get off.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

A new fence

Back in the middle of June, the kids and I went to Wyoming for a week. While we were there - Forrest stayed home and built us a new fence with his dad.
The fence enclosed what used to be our side yard.  A large unused part of our yard.  It was too hard for me to play with the kids that close to the road.
After we got home, Forrest and his friend Paul removed the old fence so our backyard could be continuous.
I cannot tell you what a huge blessing this fence has been.  Our backyard now feels HUGE.  We play there all the time.
The kids and I spent a lot of time outside this summer and it has been so much fun.
Next year we have plans of putting in new grass, but even without new grass our new yard is fantastic.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Toxic Synovitis - it isn't as bad as it sounds

From June 4, 2011

A little backstory - Hannah and her girls had been up to visit for the week while Merrick was in California working.  On Thursday (the day they left) Ephraim complained that his knee was hurting.  Since he was running and jumping on it, I told him it was growing pains.  On Friday he didn't feel well and was running a fever of 101.  We spent the day watching tv.  (Don't you love when you have to text your friends that your kid is sick the day after they played with them?)

On Saturday morning (the 4th) the kids and I were relaxing in our bed before getting up for the day.  Ephraim said he had to go potty and got off of the bed.  He then told me "Mommy I can't walk."  I told him to crawl to the bathroom (I didn't really believe him).  He did.  I followed him to the bathroom where he couldn't get down off of the toilet.  Ephraim was unable to put any weight on his left leg.  At all.  He could stand on his right leg, but was unable to even put his toes down on the ground on his left leg.

He still had a low fever so I gave him some Motrin, put him in front of the tv and talked to Forrest about what we should do.  It was just weird.  Ephraim hadn't injured his leg, was complaining about his knee hurting, but could crawl if he absolutely needed to.  After talking on the phone with my sister Colleen (a nurse) we decided we should take him to urgent care to see what was going on.  Being the super concerned parents that we are - we decided to go to lunch at Costco first.  I am glad that we did - it would end up being the only food Ephraim got all day.

At urgent care we were actually seen pretty quickly.  Ephraim was running a fever again (101.2) so they decided to give him more Motrin (just a note - the amount they gave E was 7mL - which is more than the bottle tells you to give his age.  Check with your pediatrician about what the correct dose should be for your kiddo - they do it by weight).  After checking out Ephraim the Dr. decided to run some blood work to see if he was fighting an infection and started consulting with the ER at Mary Bridge (Children's hospital in Tacoma).  It was decided we should head to the ER.  We left urgent care (after both kids got popsicles) with no diagnosis and strict instructions to not let E eat or drink anything else.  There was a possibility that he could have an infection in his joint and have excess fluid.  If that was the case they would need to put him under general anesthesia to remove the excess fluid.
Forrest and I headed home to grab some stuff and then stopped by Arby's to get some food.  (it was about 4:30).  I also ran into Safeway to get diapers for Selah - I was all out at home - and picked up a coloring book, crayons and a magnet fishing game.  Both kids slept all the way to Tacoma which was good since neither had napped earlier and we didn't have any clue how long we would be there.  Urgent care said it could be a few hours or possibly overnight if they needed to remove excess fluid.  When we arrived at Mary Bridge ER to check in they already had a wrist band and paperwork printed out for Ephraim and we were immediately taken to triage.  After triage we sat in the waiting room for less than 5 minutes before being taken back to our room.  Ephraim and Forrest played on this neat computer for the 5 minutes.
Once we were taken to our room - everything slowed down like every other ER experience I have ever had.  Ephraim was given more Motrin to see if that allowed him to put weight on his leg.  It didn't.  Ephraim did not like the doctors and nurses asking him questions and having him try to stand on his leg that hurt.  He was glaring at them.  After getting in trouble for glaring - he became more cooperative.  They took Ephraim back for xrays which showed nothing.
The kids did great waiting in the room. Ephraim spent a lot of time fishing with daddy and Selah explored. Ephraim was then taken back to have an ultrasound of his hip.  This was the only aggravating thing about our entire day.  Everything was coming back negative. (Yay!)  They believed the synovial fluid in his joints was inflamed.  99 percent of the time it is the hip joint which is why they did the ultrasound on his hip.  I get it.  My son was complaining about his KNEE.  My son is 3 and isn't going to make up where it hurts.  They could have done an ultrasound of his knee and didn't.  It would have taken a few more minutes.  They diagnosed Ephraim with toxic synovitis (a horrible sounding way to say inflamed synovial fluid that causes one to not be able to bear weight) and sent us home with instructions to see our pediatrician on Monday. We were also instructed to continue dosing Motrin.  We finally left around 9:30pm, tired, but glad to be going home.

When we met with our pediatrician on Monday Ephraim could still not walk.  He no longer had a fever and had figured out that he could still play with all of his toys if he was on the floor and could crawl.  Our pediatrician agreed with the ER diagnosis of toxic synovitis, but said that Ephraim was the 1% of cases where the inflammation is in the knee.  Our pediatrician sees less than 1 case of toxic synovitis a year.  He told us that if Ephraim could still not walk by Wed then we needed to see a pediatric orthopedic surgeon since they would be more familiar with toxic synovitis.

Thankfully by late Monday afternoon - Ephraim was doing this funky bear crawl that had him partially putting weight on his leg.  By bedtime on Monday he was able to walk.  He complained about knee pain for another 3 days so we continued giving him Motrin, but after that he was fine.

Some interesting facts about toxic synovitis.  It is most common in boys 3-10 years old.  There is no known cause.  It usually lasts anywhere from 3-7 days.  There is a 20% chance that it could reoccur.  Motrin is believed to help and cut down the time frame.

Looking back - it was a strange couple of days.  At first it was a hassle to carry both of my kids everywhere, but we adjusted.  Ephraim also learned how to get around without walking and was less dependent on being carried.  We are so thankful that it was nothing serious and are grateful for the good medical care that we received.  Hopefully that is Ephraim's only trip to the ER this year.

Friday, September 16, 2011

18 months

Selah is 18 months old today.  I am pretty sure she thinks she is 3 though.  There is so much to say about this girl of ours.  Mostly she is crazy.  A lot of fun.  But nuts.  Our friend Merrick recently described Selah as "sprinting from mortal danger to mortal danger."  That pretty much sums her up.  She climbs EVERYTHING.  Her latest trick is to try to climb up the wall of the bath tub using the little bar.  I have given up trying to get her off of the table.  I draw the line at her moving chairs to climb on top of the counter though.  She does not seem to have any concern for her own personal safety - and I am waiting for her to break her arm.  It is a when, not an if.

She laughs all of the time and is full of smiles.  And screams.  The girl is loud almost all of the time and loves to make noise.  She has started screaming when things don't go her way.  Which is often.  And can fake cry with the best of them.  With big crocodile tears.  Thank goodness she can be distracted pretty easily.

Selah loves to play with Ephraim.  She loves to play cars and swords with him. When she holds a sword she says "Fight.  Fight."  One of her favorite toys is Mr. Potato Head.  She discovered babies while at Nana's house last week and carries one of her three around the house constantly.  She loves to be outside and likes to scare her mom with the tricks she tries on the slide.  At Ephraim's soccer practice she tries to be in the middle of what the big kids are doing and will imitate what the coach is teaching them on the sidelines as if to say "I can do this too."  She loves to have clips in her hair.  Selah has to be wearing shoes - she loves any and all shoes.  She also likes to carry things around in little purses and bags.

Selah is not a huge talker, but has quite a few words WHEN she wants to use them.  I have even heard her say phrases, but you can't get her to repeat anything.  Some of her words are:

wa-wa - water or Wallis
Eff-rum! - said just like she hears me yell it
Say-yah - Selah
mou - mouse (as in Mickey Mouse)
too - toodles (on the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse)
pu - push
dow - down
maa - milk
mo - more
shi - shine (used when she is singing This Little Light of Mine)
stop it - (said when the doctor was giving her stitches)
take it (when she was trying to feed Claire)
tickatickaticka - tickle
nigh-nigh - night night
wherdgo - where did she go?
buckabucka - buckle

Selah is super sweet.  When Ephraim is in time out - she sits next to him to keep him company.  She will give him kisses if she knows he is upset.  She loves to give hugs, high fives, and fist bumps.  She definitely keeps up on our toes, but we love it.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Oregon State Baseball

Back in May we were able to attend an Oregon State vs. University of Washington baseball game. I probably would have wanted to go regardless. Beavers plus baseball equals fun in my book. The super fun part was that the game was at Safeco Field. We went with several of Forrest's coworkers (fellow Beavs) and all of us were decked out in orange and black. (I actually don't own anything with Oregon State on it, so I wore Forrest's OSU baseball cap.)

Daddy and Selah at the game.

There were a ton of OSU fans there. Safeco had several food options available, but no alcohol. The kids ate french fries. I ate chocolate covered strawberries.
Ephraim (with his glove) and Matt. Ephraim kept wanting to catch a foul ball. We were sitting behind home plate and there were 2 opportunities, but Forrest decided to not sacrifice his body running over chairs to get them. Ephraim was a little bummed.
Do you see that little itty bitty section of purple? The Husky fans. We FAR outnumbered them. They did bring the school band though.
It was a blast to go to the game - even though we didn't get to stay for all of it because we had a party to go to. The Beavs won the game and we hope they get to play at Safeco Field next year too!

Friday, August 05, 2011

When Daddy's In Charge...

Over Father's Day Weekend, I saw a chance to take a shower in the morning (A very rare occurance in my life lately.) Forrest was watching tv, I placed Selah on top of him, closed both gates and told him "You are in charge."

I came down the stairs after my shower to find Forrest disciplining both of our children for this:

Covered in markers. Head to toe.
Apparently Selah got off of Forrest he fell asleep.
Into the bath they went. The water turned purple.
And just to show that I have lost any control in my house - This is how I find her often.
On top of the table. Happy as a clam.

Friday, July 15, 2011


We have been doing preschool at the Arnold house for the past few months. Before I share what curriculum we are using, let me say that the debate between homeschooling, private, and public school can get pretty heated - so I want to share where we are in our decision making process. I think every parent, and especially Christians - wrestles with finding the balance of insulating our kids from the stuff that is going on in the world but not isolating them. It is a tough decision and every family is going to have a a different answer that is right for them

Forrest and I have chosen not to put Ephraim in preschool, and I am teaching him from home. One of the main reasons is that I know I can teach him the basics - colors, ABC's, numbers, etc. - so I don't really want to pay someone else to do it. If we were going to send him to a preschool, the best Christian preschool in the area is expensive. I also like having him at home. We are involved in several activities during the week (MOPS, MOTS, Bible study and a Mom's group in my neighborhood) so he is getting socialization with his peers. We are also committed to homeschooling him through kindergarten. While we live in a good school district, the elementary school by our house is the worst performing school in the district. The only choice is all day kindergarten - and I can't see sending our then 5 year old to six hours of school. After that we will take it on a year by year basis. Most likely he will be attending the school by our house as any private school is really too far and not really in the budget.

I am using the Letter of the Week program found at Confessions of a Homeschooler. It is all free, and I just print it off of my computer. I did buy a laminator so I can laminate some puzzle pieces and the practice writing sheets. I supplement with stuff from Homeschool Creations and 1+1+1=1. Both of those sites have great Preschool packs with different themes (including How to train your Dragon - one of E's favorite movies). For Bible we are using My ABC Bible Verses and 1+1+1=1's Raising Rock Star printouts that go with the verses. Ephraim LOVES school. I usually have to cut him off and tell him that he is done, or he would try to do most of the week's activities in one day. We probably do more activities in a day than would be suggested, but he loves it, so I am going to go with it.

Ephraim loves these Dot-to-Dot markers. They are fabulous.
Using clothespins to put the correct amount of legs on the caterpillars.
Coloring goats the correct color.
I would call out a letter and he would hammer it.
Trying to keep Selah occupied and out of trouble has been a bit of a challenge. She wants to be a part of school - loves being at the table with us - but can't be trusted with markers and is often destroying Ephraim's stuff. I am most likely going to purchase some things from Timberdoodle's Toddler Curriculum to help keep her occupied, and they will only come out during school time.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Easter 2011

Uggg... I can't believe I haven't posted about Easter yet.

Dyeing eggs was quite the adventure. It was Ephraim's first time and he loved it.

Selah enjoyed munching on the eggs.
Forrest always does fun stuff with his eggs.
Selah getting in on the wax crayon action.
Easter morning. I had them stay upstairs with Forrest while I hid the eggs. (I always hunt for eggs in my underwear and backpack - don't you?)
Selah found the obvious ones.
Ephraim searching.
Can you find the egg?
After telling Ephraim that there was an egg on the monkey - he tried to grab an invisible egg.