Wednesday, March 27, 2013

In Our World We Don't Love Colds

Remember the 17 important things I had to tell you?
They got trumped by a very sick little girl.
Emily and I called in sick to work today, she was that miserable.
80% of our day was spent with Emily cuddled on my lap - 100% of our day included Disney Junior.
If you missed an episode of Jake and the Neverland Pirates or Doc McStuffins, let me know; I can fill you in.

I'm thinking Em's illness has something to do with the fact that she licks everything.

She thought she was in heaven in the freezer section at Target.
She wanted out of the cart more than I've ever seen, and when I let her down she made a beeline to the glass where she immediately started to lick it.

And the next picture isn't so much Emily licking as kissing.
It's her routine.
She goes in the playroom and before she does anything else she kisses every single character on the wall.
Today she even gave some love to the blue handle you can see poking up behind her head.

I've tried telling her about germs but she doesn't listen.

"Mom, you're boring.  Can we please talk about Minnie Mouse?"
That's what she says to me with her face.

Last night Em woke up every single hour, and tonight looks like it will be more of the same.
Poor little girl.

* * *

On Sunday we were all together for dinner, and the kids were playing school.
They designated Grandpa as the principal and any time the teacher thought someone needed discipline she sent them to Grandpa.

One time Principal Grandpa sent Josh outside to collect 17 rocks as his punishment.
(Josh LOVES all this rock related and was in heaven.)

When sweet Kate, who just turned 8, appeared before the principal he asked what her offense was.
"I stood up," Kate replied.

"Kate, I want you to go and write 'I will not stand up' twenty times and then come back."

Grandpa laughed for a long time when Kate came back with her hand written punishment:

 Emily is stirring so I'll end this for now and go and check on my girl.

Have a great Thursday World!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sleepy Girls

If I'm awake I might as well write something - it seems as good a plan as any.
Emily has had a sad night.
Her little tummy is not her friend, and Emily and I have both had to change our pajamas as a result.
She's currently occupying my space, trying to fall asleep.

This girl of ours is somewhat of a celebrity.
I took her to Target this weekend and we were stopped twice by people who recognized her before they saw me.
They both said, "Emily!" and then said hi to me.
It makes me smile to know the number of people there are who care for my daughter.

Just a few days ago my sister Becca and I ran to the store for some supplies for work.
It was somewhere in the middle of the hand soap isle that Becca said to me, "I pray for Emily.  I pray that she'll live a long life because I don't know what I'd do without her."
Emily and her Aunt Becca have a special bond.

I had seventeen things I wanted to tell you but I'm tired and my eyes are heavy.
I'll try to remember all seventeen things for tomorrow, because I'm sure every last thing is important.

Thank you for loving my little girl.
It's easy to do isn't it?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


I have a scar on my leg from when I took a pretty nasty fall at work while I was pregnant with Emily.

I have a scar on my knee from when I tripped while jump roping in the first grade.  My teacher scooped me up from the ground and carried me to the nurse's office, where they took care of me.

I have a scar on my finger from when I cut myself with a razor blade.

I have a long scar on my foot from when I had surgery several years ago.

I have a scar from a hernia repair.

I have a scar from having a c-section.

I can look at each of the scars I have and remember exactly what happened, and I'm grateful that the wounds have healed.

I'm beginning to wonder if my most painful scars - the scars that no one can see - will ever stop hurting.

I was in the grocery store last week and ran into a woman I haven't seen since Emily was born.
She's one of our long time customers, and I've been to her home a couple of times to help her with plant problems.

She asked about my baby, and I showed her a picture of my not so baby little girl.
She asked, "Is she better now?"
I told her that she was doing really well right now, but that we would most likely find out in June when she would need her next open heart surgery.

The woman had a shocked look on her face and said, "Oh!  She'll need another surgery??"
I couldn't get through telling her that Emily would likely need more than one surgery without crying.
And then it was all I could do to get through the check out line and out to my car without completely losing it.

I cried the entire drive home.
I cried that night.
I cried the next night, and the next.
I cry randomly over the silliest things.
Sometimes it's just a tear or two, and sometimes it's buckets full.

How can a mommy bear the pain of knowing what pain her beautiful little girl has gone through, and will still go through?
I don't think my emotions are cut out for this.

The most common piece of advice I hear from those who are in the market of handing out advice is 'if you have another baby it will heal you.  Having another baby will take away the pain of what you've gone through with your first because your next baby will be normal.'

I wonder if it's really that simple.
Having twelve more babies wouldn't take away what our sweet girl has been through.

In spite of the scars, Emily's and mine, we are blessed.
We are in love with each other, and we have a man in our lives who is in love with both of us.
And that's what will get us through whatever is to come.

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Play Date With Her Favorite Man

Guess who went to the park for the first time in her life!
Daddy forgot her jacket, but she had fun anyway.
Elimy loves to be outside, which is good considering who her daddy is.

A Post About Shoes

It's 1:35 in the morning.
Would you like to know what Jason and I are doing? ... What we've been doing for the last hour?

Looking at shoes online.
It's safe to say we're nerds.

Jason has some perks with his job and one of them is getting deals on a lot of cool things.
After an hour of looking at every single shoe on the Keen website, we ordered each of us a pair of shoes, and we got 50% off our entire order.

Because I think they're possibly the cutest shoes on the planet I'll show you what we got Emily:

Feel free to come back to this page any time you need a dose of happiness.
Am I weird that shoes make me happy?

Okay, here I'll show you the shoes I got too:

Jason's probably going to want me to post a picture of his shoes too, but mens shoes do not instill happiness the way that girls shoes do.

(image source here)

Speaking of cute and happiness, I am in love with this outfit:

If you'd like a glimpse into our world Jason just told me, "Dear, you get ticked off easily."
I think it's a brave soul who says that to the woman he thinks gets ticked off easily don't you?

He probably said that because earlier tonight we were watching a show about a guy who was dying.
He was donating his organs and they had a small window of opportunity to harvest the organs.
The man's mother was with him when he died and she was hugging her son and crying inconsolably.
The doctor gently had to pry the woman off of her son so that his dying wish of saving other lives could be granted.

I had compassion for the woman while Jason called her selfish.
Naturally I came to the woman's defense, while Jason argued on behalf of the organs.
I told Jason it was a good thing it was just a TV show because in real life I would have been annoyed at his side of the conversation.

There's always something here at the Because Nice Matter home.

I can guarantee that sometime tomorrow my mom will read my blog and notice the time it was posted.
She will then say to me, "Why were you up so late?"
I will have no good answer.

I'll tell you what I'm most bitter about before I end this post.

It's March 18th, and I have three of the most painful mosquito bites I've ever had - all on my right hand.


What kind of crazy mosquito is out in March?

Here, a picture of one exhausted Emily: (It's a good thing I put her in her pajamas before we left Grandma's house!)

Have a good Monday!

PS.  Dolly, I have the name of the teepee lady but I don't know how to contact you.  Help!  

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Shots and an Anniversary

I have a medical bill that greets me every time I sit down at my desk.
It's been front and center, reminding me that I need to pay it.
I haven't though, because it's nearly $1300.00 and I've been hoping that if I waited long enough I would find gold, or a long lost wealthy relative who left me money...something.

When I saw the bill today I sighed and stuffed it under a stack of work bills, knowing that any day now I would be getting my second bill in the mail - one for a similar amount.

Emily qualifies for a shot that helps to prevent RSV.
She gets one a month, for five months.
$1300.00 is the amount that is due after our insurance pays the rest.
The total amount of each shot is over $5,000.00 - it should seem that $1300.00 is pocket change.

With the bill out of sight for a little while, I got to work doing other things.

Later this afternoon I noticed that I had a voicemail.
It was the manager of my pediatrician's billing department.
She was calling to make sure I knew about the programs that are in place to help those who qualify, pay for the Synagis shot.

What I didn't know was that program was plural.
We don't qualify for the only program I knew about.

She gave me the phone number of an office I didn't know about and as soon as I finished listening to the message I called the number.

Not five minutes later I had a credit card number that I could use to pay for the Synagis shots.

"What's the catch?" I asked the lady I was speaking to.

"Am I going to have to pay this back at some point?"

I don't ever have to pay it back.
There is no catch.

Things like this don't happen to me.

I called the pediatrician's office and when all was said and done, I had paid for two of Emily's Synagis shots, and had $30 left over on the card.

I called my mom and told her about it and said, "It's true!  God really does look out for me!"

I'll be honest, I've had some days lately where I've wondered if I had been forgotten about.

Emily has an appointment in the morning for her third Synagis shot.
I'll get another bill, but at least this time we're close to reaching Em's out of pocket maximum.

* * * * *

Jason and I were married three years ago today.
There are hundreds of reasons I'm grateful we met, but the one at the top of my list is that Jason and I get to be parents to our sweet girl...expensive shots and all.

The Lessons That Matter

When I was a little girl my dad would take me to work with him.
The highlight of the day would be when he let me sweep the floors to earn two quarters to buy a soda from the machine.

Many many years later, I can't pick up a push broom without hearing my dad's instructions on the best way to sweep.

(Short pushes rather than one long push ... the long push kicks up too much dust and leaves a trail of dirt behind.)

On Saturday I spent five hours working outside at the nursery, cleaning up the remains of winter.
I swept, I cleaned up trash, I used a leaf blower for the first time in my life and fell in love ... all with the 'help' of my nieces and nephew.

I couldn't help but smile as I heard myself tell Allie, "Don't push the broom with long pushes..."

After filling up a trailer with things for the garbage and the compost pile, we all piled on to the 6-wheeler and went for a ride around the nursery.

I let the three oldest kids take a turn driving.
Nick nearly drove us into a tree.
Allie nearly drove us into a ditch.
Kate nearly drove into me (I was standing to the side of the 6-wheeler while it idled and Kate pushed the gas button.)
And poor Ruthie just wanted to get off and walk because of the trauma of it all.

Allie spent the rest of the day telling anyone who would listen that she nearly drove us into the ditch.
She could not stop laughing about it.

Owning a family business makes you equal parts crazy and grateful - on Saturday I was just grateful.
It's hard to believe that we now have our own kids learning the ropes.

As I was leaving on Saturday afternoon I stopped in the store to say goodbye to my dad.
He's ridiculously busy and is rarely at the nursery, but Saturday he spent his free time helping out.

"See you tomorrow Dad," I said.

"Did you clean up your piles of dirt?" my dad asked.

"Of course I cleaned up the piles of dirt.  What?  Did you forget that you're the man who raised me?"

He smiled as he said, "Just checking."

Thursday, March 7, 2013

A Post In Which I Talk A Lot

I almost died from a migraine last night.
It was not pretty.
The migraine carried over into today, and I now have enough caffeine in my body to keep me awake until Saturday.

This post will likely reflect that caffeine.

Somewhere in the middle of my delirium last night I came up with a brilliant plan.
I could barely talk without feeling like I was going to lose my insides, but I mumbled to Jason, 
"In June when they sedate Emily to do her echocardiogram, I'm going to ask them to have a pediatric dentist there to clean her teeth at the same time.
I might go so far as to ask him to count her teeth so that we know how many she really has."

Take that Little Miss who won't open her mouth!

Actually, the other day I was eating a peanut butter sandwich and she let me put it to her lips.
She didn't open her mouth but she didn't turn her head away either.
Baby steps.

I've been busy the last little while.

I got rid of my boring bowls and got bright cheery ones:

I'm looking for cheery plates next.

I decorated for Easter:

I snuck away for a night out with one of my best friends.
We got pedicures, did some shopping, and went to dinner.
I found a new children's clothing store and fell in love.
Their spring line is full of elephants.

(I'm now grounded from going back to that store.)
((At least for a little while.))

Emily and I went to visit some neighbors tonight and Em had a long conversation with their dog.

It was possibly the cutest thing I've seen her do - at least in the last two days.

The dog, who is in his home so as not to scare Elimy, would bark and then Em would talk back, over and over again.
I love this girl.

We found Elimy's happy place today:
I was looking for alphabet magnets and we got distracted.

And then tonight we got sucked into a boutique full of cutesy things and came away with this:

Mostly Em just loves crawling through the door and out the back of the teepee, but her favorite game on the iPad distracted her long enough to get this picture.

Is it obvious that my favorite color is purple?

Okay,  I have to pretend to sleep because Emily will wake up way too early and Jason is out of town which means I won't get to beg him to let me sleep just a little longer.
Plus, it's after 2 am and I'm starving.
If I stay awake any longer I'll meander down to the kitchen and eat something that will probably give me heartburn.

Oh the joy that is my life!

Honestly though, there is a lot of joy.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Shoes For Everyone

My 8 year old niece Gabi came into my office and said, "Noelle, my mom is going to kill me."

"Why?" I asked.

"I might have gotten a little bit of mud on my shoes," she said, "or maybe it's more than a little bit."

"Gabs, I don't think your mom is going to kill you because you got mud on your shoes.  You're a kid and that's what kids do," I told her.

"No, she's going to kill me," Gabi said.  "She already grounded me from wearing my Sunday shoes because I got mud on those too."

"Gabs let me see the shoes."

"Noelle, I'm warning you, they're bad."

"Let me see them," I said.

"Okay, but just remember, they're BAD."

Gabi left my office and returned a minute later with her shoes behind her back.

"Don't yell at me," she said.

"Gabi, I'm the aunt.  It's not my job to yell.  I'm just here to keep you from getting in big trouble."

Her shoes were COVERED in mud, from top to bottom, and it was really thick mud.

"Where did you go to find this mud?" I asked her.

"Well, Sami and I wanted to feed the fish, and by the time I realized how much mud was around the pond it was too late."

I looked at Sam and asked, "Are your shoes this bad?"

She nodded her head yes.

I called up to the office where I knew my sister was and asked, "Hypothetically, if Gabi got mud on her shoes would you get mad at her?" (Gabi was standing next to me chewing on her fingernails.)

My sister said, "Gabi doesn't take care of her things.  I wouldn't be mad but I would want her to think I was."

I hung up the phone and said to Gabi, "Come on.  Let's go clean your shoes."

And then I said to Sami, "You stay here and stay out of trouble!"

She just smiled.

Gabi wore my shoes out to the greenhouse where we have a big sink and she watched me clean her shoes.

By the time I was finished my shirt was covered in mud specks.

We walked back to my office and I cleaned Sami's shoes too.  They were soaking wet and Sami couldn't wear them after they were clean.

"Ladies, we're going to Walmart to get you mud shoes.  If I ever see you wearing any other shoes but your mud shoes to the nursery, you are dead meat."

I carried a shoeless Sami and by the time we were finished each girl had two pairs of shoes that they had picked out themselves, and they were thrilled.

Back at the nursery I opened Sami's door to carry her still shoeless self inside.  As I picked her up she said, "Noelle, it's like your my butler.  Oh, and I like your hair and you smell good."

In my book, if you're old enough to call your aunt the butler, you're old enough to walk, even if you are shoeless.

As it turns out I couldn't buy Gabi and Sami shoes without buying Erika shoes too, so Erika and Tyler (the youngest one in the family) and I made a second trip to Walmart, where Erika also picked out two pairs of shoes, and Tyler picked out Dora pajamas.

Except that I wouldn't let him buy them.

"Tyler, you can't have Dora pajamas.  Pick out different ones."  (If you were to ask my brother-in-law, Dora pajamas are right up there with me painting Tyler's toe nails because he wants to be like his sisters.)

"But I wike Dowa," he said.

He wanted Dora up until I showed him the Lightning McQueen pjs, and then all was right in his world.

And don't worry, the little miss didn't get left out.
She got new shoes too...not from Walmart, but from our friend Terry.
Emily's a fan.