Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Here we are . . .

Let me first say, we are here, we are well, and we do in fact remember that this blog is in existence. That being said, many other things have taken precedence over typing at the computer over the last couple of months.
So.... here's our Readers' Digest condensed version.
Scout started walking. She is now practically running.
Nana turned 60.
Trace turned 8.
We went to Disney World.
Carter graduated preschool and is kindergarten-bound this fall.
I snuck away to the Keys with Nana and a very pregnant Aunt Paula.
Piper earned straight A's for her whole third-grade year.
Aunt Paula gave birth to Graden Hudson Subler a week after returning from Florida.
We're having another baby.

Snuck that last one in there, huh?
No, you do not need to adjust your monitor. You are reading that correctly. Before you dig deep into the archives, I am aware that roughly 16 months ago, I said I would have no more babies, the Johnson Baby Factory was closing its doors. Well, I'm here to say that that (obviously) has not proved to be true. And frankly, we couldn't be happier!
So this new little one should be making his/her appearance somewhere around Halloween. Boo!
Needless to say, birthdays, vacations, the end of the school year and pregnancy have been taking up just a bit of our time lately. After a few false starts though, we are settling into summer nicely. and are looking forward to sunshine, less of a schedule and some time "Up North" this summer.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Good bugs, bad bugs, bugs everywhere!!

So lets face it - if there's one thing you can count on as a mom, its that things rarely go according to plan. My life over the last month is proof of this - a comedy of errors of sorts. It started with a yoga class my sister-in-law taught on Fat Tuesday. I was so excited to go spend time with my sisters-in-law and nieces, all while getting some exercise to boot. I did it, I loved it, I signed up for the long haul. C'mon, a mom of five needs a shot at some zen. I unfortunately have not been back to said yoga class since then. To make a long story short, ear infections, my husband flying standby home from Vegas during March Madness, dislocated jaws, school projects, five kids all outgrowing their shoes at the same time, and a death in the family have all prevented me from finding my zen.
But please, read on . . . there's a rainbow in my story . . . zen can be found in many places . . .
My point is that with so many things out of your control as a mom, you want to be able to have a say in your kids health. They're going to get sick from time to time, but why not arm them as best you can?
I (along with my kiddos) was lucky enough to be able to sample some great products that the fine folks at Vidazorb provided. Can I just say, this has been a good thing for us!! When they contacted me about trying them out and telling people what I thought, I figured a probiotic is a probiotic is a probiotic (do not attempt to say that ten times fast.) My kids have fairly consistently taken some sort of chewable probiotic with their slew of other daily vitamins. As a dye-free, all natural family, my kids enjoy their vitamins like other kids might enjoy Skittles or M&M's. We know about the benefits of putting the "good bugs" in your belly to help fight off the "bad bugs." But what we found with the Vidazorb was much more than we expected. We thought we'd fight off a few colds or flus, resist more germs from the dreaded doorknob or shared preschool toy. We think these things may have happened, but so did much, much more . . .

My seven-year-old has always had a very sensitive stomach, complaining at nearly every meal that his tummy hurts or that the food was giving him "icky burps." He has seen a pediatric gastro doc since age two. He's been scoped and medicated. We've done two different proton-pump inhibitor drugs, and prescription histamine blockers. We've taken them and gone off them and watched his symptoms flare up again. I am not a fan of medication. Not. A. Fan!!! Enter Vidazorb. We had just visited the doc again, been prescribed another med, and discontinued use of the med after no improvement. Our package of Vidazorb came and I thought, what the heck, lets give it a try. He started taking one Vidazorb Belly Boost Probiotic supplement with breakfast, one right after school and one with dinner. The first thing we noticed was that he actually asked for them because he loves the wild berry flavor. After a few days we noticed he was not complaining of "icky burps," his term for reflux. He was actually eating what we served for dinner, and eating snacks other than cinnamon toast (his go-to food with an upset tummy.) We asked him how his stomach was feeling and he stopped, thought about it and said "Good," as if he were surprised! This is more than I could have asked for and enough to make me a loyal Vidazorb momma!! Watching your child not want to eat because they don't want their food come back up is awful! Having found something that is naturally helping him is so awesome!
So, this blog is my equivalent of "shouting it from the rooftops!"

Why you should take a probiotic - and they're not just for kids:

  • They help your body absorb more nutrients
  • They support your body's immune system - fight off more bad "bugs"
  • Reports indicate they're an effective treatment for a number of allergies
  • There are studies showing that probiotics may play a significant role in helping the body manage its metabolism
Why Vidazorb??
  • No refrigeration required
  • All natural colors and flavors
  • Great tasting wild berry for kids and vanilla for you! (Though I have one stubborn 5 yo who much prefers my vanilla)
  • The Belly Boost for kids contain the best strains for kids - and have been extensively researched!
  • They provide what they claim - all the bacteria alive and viable in the bottle on the shelf for two years!
So, have I mentioned that we've become a Vidazorb family? Okay, now here's the good part . . . so can you!! Vidazorb will be kind enough to give a free, yes I said FREE bottle of their Belly Boost to the first 5 people to follow them on Twitter (@bellytweet), "tweet" them, saying you came from my blog and telling them why you'd like to try Vidazorb. If you're not on Twitter yet, do you need a better reason than this??

If you're not on Twitter, are opposed to Twitter, have no idea what Twitter is, or aren't one of the first five to follow and "tweet," don't worry!! You can still get a whopping 40% off of the entire Vidazorb line on their website through April 14th, using the code CCC40.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Bye Bye Baby

Yesterday, we celebrated a milsetone in our house - the first birthday of our baby, Scout. You'd think that because I have already done this four times, it would be easier. NOT SO . . . I am still not accustomed to the way a year passes so quickly.

Piper and I were having a discussion the other day about time passing. She wanted to know why when you were testing at school, waiting in the doctors office, or looking forward to an upcoming vacation, it seems soooooo slow. But on the other hand, weekends pass in the blink of an eye, vacations are lightning fast and birthday parties seem to last mere minutes.

We talked about perception, and the fact that time passes at an equal rate in all those situations. My logical adult brain knows that to be true, but I feel like Piper in saying, it sure doesn't seem that way!!

For instance - we planned a family trip for Disney World over Trace's and my birthdays. We planned this trip only about 5 weeks ago, but according to Carter, it's been 900 years. The boy's got something here!!

In the same way, it feels like I was just awaiting the arrival of Miss Scoutie (never mind that I felt pregnant with her for 900 years.)
I feel like I can close my eyes and smell her, yes we still use the oh-so-delicious pink J & J baby lotion, but this is a different smell. Its like new car - but SOOOOOOO much better. That newness that is so very fleeting, so amazing, that you are afraid to risk missing it by not holding that tightly wrapped baby burrito for every second of those first days.

Believe me, I don't particularly enjoy sleepness nights, post-partum weight, sibling rivalry or projectile vomiting. . . but I LOVE newborns. Sleepy smiles, froggy legs, tinier than tiny diapers, the way this little bundle fits perfectly into the crook of my arm and the curve of my hip, as if God perfectly matched us (which for the record, I believe HE DID!)

How that newborn transforms so quickly is always a miracle to me. Scout has become the funniest little roly-poly sweetheart!! She may go to bed with sore cheeks some nights from all the nibbling, kissing and smooshing she endures - and its not just me. She has captured the hearts of four kiddos and two parents, and we are all smitten with her! One look at her "scrunchy face" and her chubby little hand waving at you, and you're a goner!

Though the newborn days passed much too quickly, they have been replaced with days full of laughter and smiles brought on by the little character she has become! Now, talk to me six months from now and I'm sure I'll have something to say about the trials of toddlerhood. But for now...she is nothing but sweet!!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Soaring Spirits

We have all felt the warmth of the sunshine on our backs, warming our hair, lifting our spirits.

We have dusted off the scooters, bikes and rollerblades.

We've played baseball. We've learned that searching for a baseball in a snowdrift brings a new degree of difficulty to the game.

We've discovered that pails and shovels are great for building snowcastles too.

We have played outside until our cheeks are rosy, our noses are runny, and our legs are wobbly.

Life is good.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

My Funny Valentine

The other day I was brushing Finley's hair and she started the normal whimpering (before the comb actually even touched her hair.) She is in the process of growing her hair soooooo long (just like Caroline, who happens to be the 4-year-old president of the "BFF Club" at preschool. Seriously ????) But to avoid any confusion - she is only growing her back hair, not her front hair, which others may call bangs. We haven't quite reached her her shoulders yet. So anyhow, I started to tell her how you get more tangles when your hair is long, and I remember not liking when Nana combed my hair as a kid. She said, "Oh, Nana combed your hair because she was your mom?" Yes, I tell her. Then she said Papa must have given me lots of gum because he was my dad. I told her not so, he didn't give out a lot of gum when I was a kid. Then I leaned in and told her that he must give her lots of gum because he really loves her. "Oh Mom, don't worry, he really loves you too," she said. (Melt my heart!!!)
Back to the hair brushing, at which point she asks the regular daily question,
Finley: "Isn't I'm getting such wong (long) hair??"
Mom: "Yes Finley, you are."
Mom: "Did you know that when I was little, my hair was all the way down to here?" (I point to mid-back.)
Finley: "You mean down your back?"
Mom: "Yep"
Finley: "Ooooh, (pause) well, mine's still longer."

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Dear Mean Girl at the library,
I am sure you are really a nice little girl with a mom who would be mortified at your behavior had she put down her cell phone and/or latte long enough to hear your words. That being said... I don't like you. Not at all. Not. At. ALL!!!
As I sit here writing this I fear smoke may actually be coming out my ears, you have awakened the mama lion in me and you messed with my child. Grrrr!!! My sweet three year old child who loves people, tells every stranger in the grocery store her baby sister's name, that she loves tank tops and that we are going to Disney World this year. My Finley who may talk incessantly, but always has something nice to say. Tell me mean girl, what would have been the harm of just smiling politely at her and saying hi back? Instead you proceeded to tell her that you were not her friend, and that your friends who were with you, were not her friends either. And then, in case she was not clear on the situation, you listed all your friends not present who were also not her friends. And with a wave of your hand and the arrival of one of your many friends, you so kindly asked her to just "get away so I can visit with my friend." And I her mom, had to watch her sweet little face crumple and her perfect doe eyes instantly fill with tears as she asked to please go home and said "I don't ever want to come back here." I had to be the one to tell her that you were not being a nice person! Unfortunately, I couldn't come up with a good enough answer as to why you didn't want to be her friend. But whatever the reason, you're the one who lost out today!
So like I said you're just a kid, probably from a decent family, but today you have made me very MAD!! Is it too much to ask that my sweet little girl believes a bit longer that people are nice and all kids are friends?? You, mean library girl, are on my shit list today!! Nuff said.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Go with your gut

I was recently included in a group message by a grade school friend who is about to have her first child. She was looking for suggestions on a pediatrician from all her "mom friends" out there in cyberspace.
As I sat there reading the other responses from the other women who either LOVED their pediatrician or were just lukewarm about them, I thought of what I could contribute. I like our doctor. That's about it. He is knowledgeable, he is friendly and listens to my concerns, he has a sense of humor and the kids like him and the nurses there. That being said, I think the wait time is waaaaaay too long when I have made an appointment in advance - would he wait for me in that fun little room if I was running late??? Of course not! I have heard other doctors accuse him of giving out antibiotics like candy and having too many patients to handle. The jury is still out on that one. You may be wondering why in the world I'd entrust my five most precious blessings to someone who I don't fully trust. . . .
The answer to that is that there is no one out there (besides Tim) that I fully trust when it comes to my babies! It is a scary business being a parent - I've heard it likened to your heart walking outside your body, and I'd say that is pretty darn accurate. Suddenly, you love someone so fiercely, and and at the same time spend every waking (and sleeping) moment terrified that they will be hurt by something or someone - or worse yet, hurt by you! God forbid I make the wrong decision in terms of what I think is best for them. Am I being strict enough or too strict? Letting them be kids, or not teaching enough responsibility? Giving them enough activity or overscheduling?
I realized as I read this email today, that as moms, the most powerful tool we have is our gut. My mom used to say that she never really worried about me getting into too much trouble as a kid because I had such a good conscience. That same little voice inside from when I was a kid, is what guides me today. Its that feeling in your stomach that something's just not right. Its how I know when my 9 year old is trying to pull a fast one on me, or when my 3 year old's ickiness has gone past just a regular cold. Its how I know that a certain child needs a little one-on-one mom time or that 2nd grader saying they don't feel good is worried about something at school.
I don't claim to know better than a doctor, but I do believe that my gut feeling rarely leads me astray. I will never put my full trust in a doctor, teacher or anyone when in comes to my child, and that is the advice I would give to any new mom. Do what feels right and what works best for your family. Be an informed mom, do your research, don't be afraid to ask questions. When you don't feel comfortable with the answers you get, ask different questions or different people. After all, you are your child's advocate!! They need to know that you are on their team. That's not to say that things will always turn out perfectly - its a rare night that I go to bed feeling satisfied with everything that happened that day. But like they say, hindsight is 20/20, and hopefully we learn from our mistakes. My mom says nobody ever tells you all the guilt that comes along with being a mom. So true- I like to think that plays a part in keeping me determined to do right by my kids. There's an instruction manual for every petty little thing ever invented, except children. So in the meantime, I'm gonna keep going with my gut!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

New Year, New Decade

Daddy and Scout on Christmas Eve

Uncle Ryan building LEGOS with the boys

Scout is always so amused by Ollie

Piper modeling her pink bday extensions with Auntie De and Dom

Scoutie's 1st Xmas

Can't believe my baby is 9!

Piper carrying Scout down on Xmas morning

Finley's standard Apres-PreK wear

Here we are in 2010, not only a new year, but a new decade. It got me thinking about all that has happened over the last 10 years.
Here's my breakdown
I have been pregnant for 45 out of the 120 months of the decade.
We have used somewhere in the ballpark of 21,600 disposable diapers costing roughly $4,320.
(Based on 5 diapers a day costing 20 cents per diaper) (And yes, I do know about what this does to our landfills and in a moment of eco-weakness made a very unfortunate journey into cloth-diapering which I'd rather not speak of...)
We have lived in 3 different homes.
We have painted 32 rooms.
We have been through an SUV, two minivans and now a Suburban.
We have had 33 well-baby checkups.
I've played for countless hours with Barbies, LEGOS, and Little People.
The tooth fairy has visited our house 11 times.
We have made 4 ER visits with kids.
I had my tonsils taken out (after a winter with a combined total of roughly 24 cases of strep in the family...good times!)

I'd list all the things we've been lucky enough to avoid, but there's not enough wood to knock on here . . .

I've had people email me to make sure I haven't dropped off the face of the earth in light of my blogging absence. I'm here, though I'd much rather be somewhere tropical, given our string of really yucky weather. But in the meantime, I am taking advantage of my cabin fever and organizing like a madwoman. Maybe if I do it now, I'll be so organized that I will be able to spend every waking moment outdoor once it gets nice! Wishful thinking I'm sure, especially since cleaning the house with kids around is like shoveling while its still snowing.

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