24 May 2006

Just Call Me Laura Ingalls

Well, I've done it--I jinxed myself. I wrote earlier that I wasn't Laura Ingalls, that I couldn't stay home for days on end and remain sane. That was Sunday.

Monday, I took Addison back to the pediatrician for a check-up. Here's what the conversation went like:

Dr.: Addison hasn't really gained enough weight.
Me: Okay, but she's at five pounds now. That's a milestone, right?
Dr.: Addison is tongue-tied and needs it clipped, so she can nurse more easily.
Me: Ouch. Another doctor. Another doctor appointment.
Dr.: Addison can't be out in public, including church, all shopping centers, and basically anywhere with air conditoning or central heat, for a minimum of three months. She simply cannot be around germs of any kind.
Me: Sob, sob, sniff, sniff, that means I can't go anywhere, either, right?
Dr.: Right.

So I've officially become Laura Ingalls. I will be essentially house-bound, excluding brief excursions after my husband comes home from work (i.e. library, post office, Wal-Mart), and occasional nights out with girlfriends. Actually, a stay-at-home mom with three kids 4 and under is house-bound in many ways. I mean, who drags multiple children to the mall or the zoo or even Target and still feels good about that decision hours later, when the kids (and mom) are hot and cranky, the car is trashed with fast food wrappers, and all the money is spent??

But I digress. My point in writing this is because I need help. I need great, practical ideas of what on earth my children and I can do to stay sane. Now, there are some things to keep in mind:

1. I live in Texas. Hot, blazing, shadeless Texas. In the summer it can literally be 105 degrees. I have a small backyard, large enough to play in, but not large enough to install a swimming pool (like that was even a practical suggestion!) And we have no trees in the backyard. The only shade is found under the trampoline.

2. My car has a DVD player. So if you have a great idea of how I can travel somewhere fun without actually getting out in the aforementioned heat, or the aforementioned air conditioning, then I do have entertainment for the kids on the way.

3. Grayson is precious. But clingy. And lately, a tad whiny. (Okay, so "tad" would be a complete understatement.) So if you have a fabulous idea of how I can get him to stop whining, that would be worth 20 great ideas for entertainment.

All right, I'm counting on you to help me out! Ideas, please?? And if you want to throw out a little sympathy, I'm planning an incredible pity party for myself. No guests, of course, since they might have germs . . .


  1. I guess Benadryl is not really the best idea you might get, but if you don't get any others....it worked for me in a pinch.

  2. How about this: Come to my house. The air is barely on thanks to our last utility bill, we have fabulous shade trees so the kids can go outside and swing or play in the itty bitty pool, I'll feed you and hold which ever baby will have me so you can tend to the other. Yes, you have to make a haul with three kids, but it might just "do ya" for the next week or so. Then we'll come see you and I can watch the kids and YOU can get out for a while.

    Or, I can just do the latter suggestion in the first place.Ya know, whatever floats your boat.

  3. Laura (opps I mean Sarah) can you get a little plastic pool that the boys could use. A big umbrella to put up (the kind used over a patio table) that you and Addison could sit under? Also, they have little pop up tents that can be used on beaches for babies to stay out of the sun.
    Just some ideas.

  4. THose umbrellas are on sale at Gardenridge for $25--just saw the commercial.

  5. Don't ask me how I found your blog, because I have no idea!
    But I will be praying for you and your baby here in Seattle. She is very precious. Don't forget we serve a God of miracles! :)

    Your Sister in Christ,

  6. I'm not an outdoors kinda person, so I never have suggestions there! HOT & VERY HUMID HERE!!

    Here's a practical, not necessarily fun idea for you. The price of a cute hairbow is insane! The itty-bitty one that I found that will work for Isabelle's "barely there" hair was FIVE DOLLARS! I know it's only $5, but come on, when you need a few for different outfits & such, it becomes an investment! ha :) So, I've ordered an instructional video & plan to learn to make my very own!(I'm not "crafty" enough just to sit down & create something out of my head). With all of your time at home, you could get a jump start & when little Addison gets enough hair, you will be set!! You'll be like the next "Martha Stewart"...OR...YOU COULD JUST GET STARTED ON THAT BOOK I'M VERY READY TO READ!!

  7. Lacey, thank you for making me laugh--I needed it today. And I already have visions of all the fabulous bows I could make for Addison's hair. (Although, she actually has enough hair for a bow, but her head is too small. I'm going to have to work on that. Maybe a magnifying glass and very skinny ribbon?) And as for the book, I feel like I'm getting lots of writing ideas from the past two weeks . . .

  8. Bev, when you say benadryl, are you referring to the way you and I used it when the kids needed to "settle down" a little bit? Hmmm?

    Sarah, don't even think about not leaving that house all summer. Take every single chance you get to get out with your girlfriends. And when you have no choice, I'd say start and finish some projects. Maybe a new cross stitch or scrapbooking? Anything to break the monotony of the day. Any way you look at it, it's not the best situation but so worth it. And the very thought of that baby having her little tongue clipped is almost more than I can bear to think about.

    And by the way, the bathtub makes a good substitute kiddie pool where your kids won't get burnt to a crisp. But it's not fun unless you let them know they can splash and make a big mess. Put them in their swim trunks and they'll never know the difference.
    Aunt Barb

  9. Swimming pool idea--check. Already ordered from Toys R Us. Benadryl--umm, not that desperate yet. Projects--plenty on the list, and when we don't have to go to a doctor quite so often, I think I'll have time. Maybe I'll just whip out some beautifully crocheted barbeque grill covers for everyone for Christmas??

  10. My friend EK told me about this water slide you can buy at Walmart that is good for HOURS of entertainment...get that for the kids and a big Gardenridge umbrella for you and Addison, and you'll be good to go. I don't know about you, but some time in the car does me a world of good, and if you have a DVD player, you'll be set. But you know what I bet? I bet all your sweet friends will help you fill up your time...I bet you have more babysitters and girls' lunches than you can count....

  11. You have my sympathy. And continued prayers for Addison.

    No brainstorms here about keeping sane - I'm too far gone for that.

    I do, however, have a suggestion for your whiny one. When either of my girls got whiny, I'd scoop her up, cradle her in my arms, and hum the same note of her whine while rocking her gently. I found it as comforting as she did.

  12. Oh poor Addison and her tongue! As if that child doesn't have enough surgeries planned for her! And it sounds like Grayson is just adjusting to the new family dynamics. It'll pass quicker than you think!

    You're right, the fact that you have three kids and JUST had the third will make it a bit easier the live in the little house on the prairie. Sometimes the thought of leaving the house with all those kids, just makes me want to go back to bed! ;-) Boomama's right, I bet your girlfriends will make those nights out a bit more often than occasional.

    Prayers and ((Hugs))!

  13. Sarah, Your friends are right. Get out of the house if only for an hour, without any of the children. Other times, take only Caiden or Grayson, not both of them, so each has you all to himself. I hit on this idea when my six were little. Didn't matter where we went. They wanted to be alone with me.
    Something else I did, I promise it works. Let them enjoy popsicles or some kind of ice ceam in the bathtub before their bath. They will love it, and the cleanup is easy. Just rinse sons and tub at the same time.
    Something else you can do without doing anything is let Pace take one of the boys for a short drive for a Macburger, or Dairy Queen, or whatever. Don't worry about whether it's healthy stuff. The kid will survive. Your sanity and male boding is more important. You cannot be all things to everybody at the same time ALL the time. You must come up for air once in a while, and it's allright to let someone help. If you can afford it, get someone to do the heavy house cleaning every month or so. You have more than enough to do. When things seem almost too much, know that God knows, and that I'm praying often for you. Love, GrandMa Judith.

  14. Hi Sarah! I come by way of your grandmother's blog. When my baby was born he got RSV at three weeks old and was hospitalized for 10 day. We too were not allowed out of the house for 3 months. I sometime think it was the idea of not going out that made me feel trapped. But when I look back. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would have been. It just take a bit of planning to make sure everyone gets his/her break. I found a website childcareland.com. This is a website it for teacher and daycare providers, but it is filled with TONS of games and ideas. One of her pages has about 40 pages of different indoor and outdoor activities. For children 18mos-5yrs old. Funny story, one day I had to go out. I ran out of pampers. It was in the middle of winter, but not that cold. I wrapped my oldest son in a hat, scarf and mittens and did the same with me. I covered both our faces with scarfs to avoid anything airborne. I put the baby in the carseat/stroller and covered it with a blanket. We walked around walmart with all of this stuff on. Just to buy pampers. We got plenty of looks and stares. But you do what you have to do.

  15. Sarah - a friend yesterday told me about workingmom.com - website featured on Dobson - dont know about ideas but how to run house and youre going to need all the help you can get. xoxoxo

  16. I'm one of those that's not sure how I found your blog but so enjoyed reading about your sweet family. I am the mother of 4 boys ages 4 and under, and our 2nd son has special needs. So, I can understand a little of what you have been going through with your precious little girl and continuing to manage a house full of young ones. On tough days, I constantly remind myself that God only gives us what we can handle, with His help of course. It seems like many of your friends and family have already told you, but be sure to take time for yourself by yourself. That is very hard for me to do, but that is often where I get my 2nd wind. Other times when we all need a break in the day, I load them all up and we go for a drive in that oversized, gas guzzler SUV that you mentioned. To me, that is worth every $2.69/gallon gas at this point in our life.

  17. Sarah- a few big blankets, some pillows, your kitchen table and the kitchen chairs....forts! Forts are fun and my nephews love them! They can entertain children for hours. :)

  18. I love all these ideas! I'm feeling hopeful just reading them. Popsicles in the tub, dates with Daddy, websites with loads of ideas, forts, car rides--all of these are so helpful. Thanks to all of you, and I'll be putting these ideas to work!! :) Now this is why I love blogging . . .

  19. Netflix!!! It's time to catch up with all the tv series and movies you've always wanted to see but never got around to. :)

    And definitely sneak out for little alone and girlfriend moments whenever you can.

  20. look what great comments you got; esp loved texas gal - that website looks great for anyone else who looked here. Great job from blogfriends!

  21. Hope its not too late to register a comment, but my preemie triplets were quarantines for the first 9 months of their life. We went for lots of walks at the park because they were in their stroller and no ne could touch them--nor would they touch anything. You can plan these for early morning and late afternoon. If you are worried abut overzealous stranger toucing her those stroller mosquito nets also work to keep strangers hands off! Also, lots o Purell for your other little ones.
    And I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for you to get out and stay sane. Prayers for physically healthy children and a mentally healthy mommy!

  22. Sorry for the crazy typos. I was in a hurry and did not re-read before publishing. Oops!

  23. Water - inside. I used to drag our kid-height coffee table onto the kitchen floor, cover it with a plastic table cloth and then put a couple of bowls of water on it, with measuring spoons, muffin tins, funnels, cups, turkey baster, etc. Sure, it's a little messy, but it kept our son busy and happy for a looooong time!


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