Wednesday, January 27, 2010

WW - New... and hopefully unbreakable!

(c) 2010 Ms. Huis Herself at

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Now I way me down to sweep....

(c) 2010 Ms. Huis Herself at

I started this blog way back long ago (when we lived in Ireland) for many reasons, including keeping the grandparents up to date/supplied with pictures, connecting with our friends back in MN, and recording babyhood/childhood moments since I'm no good at babybooking/scrapbooking.

One of the many ways that a blog is better than a scrapbook is that I can post video. Here's one I'm putting up so I can always remember just how dang cute Penguin is when saying her bedtime prayers with me. She had curled up on the couch back a few weeks ago at the beginning of January & pretended to be going to bed, so I grabbed the chance to get her prayers on video.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Update on Sick Penguin

(c) 2010 Ms. Huis Herself at

Penguin's doing much better. While she continued to be feverish into late yesterday, her temps were hovering just under 100F most of the time, which is a lot less worrying than 103F! Since it wasn't strep after all & her temp was still super high on Friday night, we went in to doctor on Saturday & they checked her out again. Other than fever, the doctor said she could have been in for a well visit - no redness in her throat or ears and lungs sounded crystal clear. She thought it be might be roseola, so now that her fever's down, I'm keeping an eye out for the rash that may be following.

Also, I'm totally looking forward to maybe getting to, you know, sleep though the night again without having to go comfort and/or medicate poor sick Penguin. *yawn*

Friday, January 15, 2010

A long, probably tedious, post about parenting a sick child

(c) 2010 Ms. Huis Herself at

When I was a teen, there was one radio station back home that, like many radio stations, played some semi-dumb or semi-annoying signature songs. One of which was played pretty much every morning and went something like this* (the tune is one of those bugel-y ones, maybe reveille?)

Oh, how I hate to get up in the mor-ning!
Oh, how I'd like to remain in bed!
...blah, blah, blah, something I don't remember...
I hate to get up,
I hate to get up,
I hate to get up in the mor-ning!

and continues on similarly, ending with:
Someday I'm going to murder the bugler,
Someday they're going to find him dead.
And then I'll get that other pup,
The guy who wakes the bugler up,
And spend, the rest of my life in bed.

I bring this up, because it's been running through my mind the last couple of mornings. Penguin has come down with something. Something that is killing our nights. What, I don't exactly know, even after visiting the doctor yesterday, which is something I don't just run and do for any little sniffle.

Not last night, but the night before, Mr. Kluges had put the girls to bed as usual on Wednesday night, since it's my belly dance class/troupe night. I was just about to head to bed myself close to 11, when she was up and sobbing. And burning up. Gave her children's tylenol ASAP, along with the water she was begging for. Mr. Kluges said she'd been up about 45 min earlier, shortly before I got home, asking for water (which she has in a sippy cup in her bed every night anyway), but he hadn't noticed if she'd been feverish.

That was the start of a very long night. I know all you other folks who've had to care for a sick little one know just the kind I mean. Where she wants you to cuddle with her, so you squeeze onto the twin bed alongside her feverish little self, and lie awake, listening to her breathing, pondering if she'd shown ANY signs the day before (I swear she didn't! She was right as rain!), wondering what it could be, imagining the worse (because, of course, that's what your mind does in the middle of the night), and trying to at least doze a little. Worrying when she wakes up and complains about not feeling good, and saying it's her chest when you ask what hurts the most, mentally counting how often you can give her medicine, and then imagining a whole new host of potential diagnoses based on the chest discomfort.

And then she wakes, or fusses, or shifts position, and you're back awake again, mentally inventorying the supply of children's medicine in the house, pondering trying to take her temp again, considering how it's going to impact the next day, figuring out what would be the optimal time of the morning to call the families of the two girls I watch after school, etc. Then she wants to sleep with you in your bed, not hers, so you move over to the queen-size, where you again squeeze onto the itty-bitty sliver that's left after hubby and child have staked their claims. (Eventually I kicked out Mr. Kluges to go sleep in the guest room after waking up with my arm fallen asleep for the 3rd time.) And you repeat the attempted dozing, half-awake worrying, and repeated "how hot is she now hand on the brow" test.

Her temperatre had been 103.9 when I took it about 20 min after giving her the meds, so I called the nurse line and talked to a nurse. I'd been figuring on getting her in to see the doctor in the morning, especially if her temp didn't drop drastically during the night, but wanted a little reasurrance/ideas/advice. Called peds office in the morning, couldn't get in to see our regular doctor, but was able to schedule with a nurse practitioner at 9am, my first choice time, since we could go straight from dropping Pumpkin at school, and there was plenty of time in case things ran long or we had to do extra tests or x-rays or anything.

CNP took a look, said her throat was very red, had she been exposed to anybody who'd been sick, especially anybody with strep. She's exposed to a fair amount of people between nursery at church, family visiting, friends over for playdates, the germs Pumpkin brings home from school... Her throat was swabbed...but the 5 minute strep test came back negative. So CNP sent it off for the 24 test. (No results yet, as I type this at 9:30ish)

We did chest x-rays just to be sure there weren't any problems there, since she'd complained 3 or 4 times in the night about her chest hurting. (Which, awesomely, was actually right in the pediatrician building - no need to run off to a different location. I love our pediatrician tons, and now I also love her building. :) ) Nope, nothing.

So we're sent home with instructions to keep her comfortable, that we can alternate tylenol (acetaminophen) with ibuprofen as needed to keep her fever down, push the fluids, and let her rest. It's a little frustrating (in general, not with CNP & peds office) since she's So. Very. Obviously. NOT WELL, but I guess we can treat the symptoms even if we don't know the diagnosis.

Yesterday day was mixed. Sometimes, especially after a rest, meds, and food, she'd be fine. Then there would be the feverish sobbing breakdowns.

Last night was a scaled-down version of the first night, with a slightly lower fever (why does she spike at 11ish, is what I want to know. 103.1 last night), some actual time of her sleeping in her own bed while I got to sleep in my own bed, no need to push out Mr. Kluges, but also with a meltdown/refusal to take her medicine when she was awake and sobbing at 4am and temp just over 100. Back to sleep, eventually, after finally getting the meds into her, with a brief awakening at 6:30 or so when Pumpkin woke up with a bad dream.

And how's today going? Well, I don't exactly know yet. You see, she's still sleeping. At 9:30 am. I'm very fortunate in that the father of the girl I watch the most offered to bring Pumpkin to school this morning, and when Penguin was still asleep at 8:15, I took him up on the offer so I wouldn't have to wake her. And boy, and I glad I did!

So, off to check on her again, but as I do, I'm sure thinking that
I gotta get up,
I gotta get up,
I gotta get up in the mor-nings!

but I'm wishing a bit that I could
spend, the rest of my life in bed!

*Ok, a little Googling, and little Wikipedia-looking, and I've found out Irving Berlin wrote a musical called, This Is the Army, in which he himself sings that song, called "Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning."
The hardest blow of all
Is to hear the bugler call--
You gotta get up
You gotta get up
You gotta get up this morning

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

WW - Penguin's PomPom Bugs

(c) 2010 Ms. Huis Herself at

(Is it just me, or are these bugs just itching to get little word bubbles with clever dialogue? You think so, too? Yeah? Ok, hit it! *grin* Be funny enough & I'll put it in some little word bubbles & post your cleverness, you funny, smart reader(s), you!!)

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Brd, berd, bird is a word!

(c) 2010 Ms. Huis Herself at

I wanted to share this project with you all. Penguin and Pumpkin had gotten, respectively, a pom-pom bug making kit and a pom-pom bird making kit from the neighbors for Christmas. We finally put them together today. Good fun, but definitely required adult help! Pumpkin was so taken with her birds that she drew them a branch with nests, labeled with their names. Check it out.

(In case you're having trouble with the image, that's OeOL, GODFicH, BiUBrD, and crDLNL.)

Here's some more clues... the birds themselves.

(Kittenpie just posted recently about how her daughter is interested in spelling, too, and how English is NOT an easy language to learn (or teach) correct spellings! That's one of the reasons I posted this.)

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

WW - Not a baby anymore

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at


...and after

Monday, January 04, 2010

2010 Resolutions

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

I've been reflecting on my 2009 goals for a while now. I knew which ones went well... and which one didn't. And of course I've been trying to figure out what I'd like to make for 2010's resolutions. While there are a ton of areas where I could improve, I need to keep my focus more narrow... or I won't actually get anything done! :)

Last year I focused on two area: weight and organization/tidiness/cleanliness/decluttering. Ok, well, in my head that long slash-y one counts as one. :) I'm choosing the same two areas this year, but I'm going to hit the health/weight one a little harder!

In order to get in better shape (and get down to my goal weight & BMI of 24), I'm going to:
  • Exercise most nights of the week - right now that means practicing belly dance or doing the 30 Day Shred or one of the other exercise DVDs we've got. Since we bought a new tv, we now have the old one in the basement, in what will be the exercise room. Now, all we need is an elliptical (and/or treadmill) and that'll be another option. And it's nights because, based on previous experience, I will NEVER get up early enough to do it in the mornings. (But if I do, it would totally count.)
  • Do the Couch-to-5K Program...and run in a 5K race - totally stealing this one from All-Knowing Jen. I was impressed when she did it before, and inspired enough to give it a go this year. I'm going to wait until it's a bit nicer out before starting this, but there's a local 5K in July... can't sign up yet, but I will as soon as I can, so that I HAVE to keep it up. Also, if I get better about exercising regularly now, I'll be in better shape to start that, and exercising will hopefully be more routine/habit than it is now.
  • Reduce/avoid empty calories - we eat pretty healthy meals, well-balanced, not too fatty, rarely very pre-processed, and nearly never fast food. But oh, do the empty calories sneak up on me! So, once again, I'm going to try to reduce my munching after supper, avoid buying things like chips that I cannot leave alone once they're in the house, and keep an eye on soda/beer/wine empty calories (which means drink fewer good beers, 'cuz I'm not switching to something tasteless!).
In the organization/house-keeping/cleanliness/tidiness arena, which is more secondary for me this year, I'm going to:
  • Keep following the Flylady - Oh, how much easier my life has become since I've started her (free) program. I know I've gushed about her before here, numerous times, but I'm one who sometimes needs a little kick in the pants to get going... and her emails and routines really, really do help me. So, since I'm already enjoying a cleaner/tidier/(slightly) less cluttered house with her help, I'm keeping it up!
  • Spend 30 minutes per weekend on the attic room - I'd love to get this space more organized and actually usable. I see it as becoming an away space for me, where I can have a craft project (like, oh, maybe an unfinished mosaic...) set up so I can work on it without having to allow for all the set-up/take-down time. Plus, it's a really cool space with a great view out the front. I've done this the past two weekends, and a half hour is the perfect amount of time for me to work on it - long enough to actually get something done, but I'm about ready to be done with the mess/dust/temperature by the time the timer beeps. Also, thanks to Mr. Kluges for making this one in particular possible since it's definitely NOT something I can do with the kids underfoot!
  • Paint the small area behind the radiator in our room (in the summer) - not a big deal by any means, but it catches my eye more often than I'd like since right now it's white behind there. Not going to happen until the radiators aren't hot anymore and I can open the windows to let it air out. It'll probably take me less than a half hour in all, but hey, if I put it on this list, it should actually get done... and I could use a bit of a "gimme" here!
So, there we go. Here's hoping for progress with all 6 of 'em! And if you're doing any resolutions/goals, too, best of luck to you.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

2009 Resolutions in Review

(c) 2009 Ms. Huis Herself at

Ok, yes, I AM going to be doing resolutions again this year. I just find it helpful to reflect & review on last year's first.

So, here are the old ones... I had three big ones:
  • To finish getting down to my goal weight and BMI of 24.
  • To get better at tidying up and cleaning.
  • To get rid of 365 things this year.
I totally rocked the second two. Thanks to a few recommendations, I started trying out the Flylady system and it made a WORLD of difference. I love her routines, & permission for "good enough" instead of (unreachable) perfection, and 5 (or 10 or 15) minutes can really make a difference. Following her routines, missions, and challenges has helped me tremendously with the tidying up, the cleaning, and the decluttering. If you are making something like this a goal, by all means, check out her website. It's all free, even though I find the website a bit difficult to navigate, and even if you only pick up a few habits, they can really make a difference. I'm totally sticking with her this next year for sure!

And as for getting rid fo 365 things, I did that by the end of September! Hip, hip, hooray! I kind of stopped keeping track after that in my sidebar chart, but I'm still gradually setting things aside for charity and/or my nephew and/or tossing things. I think doing this has really helped me realize the world will not end if I don't keep something, and that mental adjustment will really help me keep (gradually) going.

...and let's just not talk about that first one. Not only did I not meet it, well, I gave myself more to work with in terms of my 2010 resolutions, you might say. :P

Now, time to finalize my goals for 2010!