Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Our life has been temporarily taken over by cookie madness. Madi's a Girl Scout Daisy again this year, and cookie season is in full force.

Lord, grant us peace.

I swear they could make a movie about this subject. In fact, haven't they?  I is such an interesting phenomenon, this "cookie thing."

What fascinates me the most is the propensity for the moms to get so involved in the sales process. I mean, who's wearing that vest, anyway?  In fact, I've caught myself in the act more than a few times. I finally made a deal with another selling mom that we should call each other out if we start trying to take over for the girls. Thankfully, that's kept us in check (for the most part).

But I did make a ground rule last year that still is important to us that Madi, in some way, touches every sale. Whether through an email (her "intro" pitch took her 45 minutes to type), a personal phone call, or a personal delivery, Jimmy and I both feel very strongly that this is her job, not mine. She is the Girl Scout...not me.

Not saying that we won't support her, guide her, or coach her, but you won't find her cookies at an office or a location where or when she's not present. Not gonna happen. Only because we don't see any personal gain, experience or otherwise, for her, by doing that.

And please don't feel I'm judging if you see things each his own.

Last year, Madi set out with a goal of 100 boxes. Much to our surprise, she sold just over 400 boxes. This year, she decided--on her own--to jump her goal up to 600.  Ahem...excuse me...what did you just say, child???  I had to bite my tongue when she blurted out her new and improved goal with excitement.

At this point, she has just about hit the half-way mark. Will she make it to her goal?  Don't know. There is a lot of mayhem between now and February 15th in the form of school, gymnastics, and baton performances.

But I do have total faith in her abilities. She gains confidence each time she opens her mouth. And this girl?  She can sell some cookies for the military troops. I don't know how much she's raised so far, but man...I've only heard a handful of people say "no" to her request for a donation.


And speaking of sweet, I think I hear those thin mints calling me...again...

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sick days

They do have their advantages. I must say, the kids played together fabulously for the past three days.

Madi picked out their matching tee shirts that my dear friend Tabitha made them in preparation for Charlie's arrival into our family almost two years ago. Madi's says "Charlie's Big Sister" and Charlie's says "Madi's Little Brother." Thankfully, Tabi made them a bit big, and they still fit...but probably not for too much longer, so I was pleased to see them surface.

These two monkeys turned open spaces into campgrounds.

And they shared some computer time together, too. 
Madi loved showing Charlie that he can watch his favorite shows and print coloring pages.


Madi and Charlie stayed in their pj's for hours on end, they spent time coloring together,
they shared picnic lunches together in their pretend surroundings, and I've never seen more imaginative play come out of these two. They truly enjoyed each others company.
Much to my dismay, they both preferred to stay inside and play than get some fresh air outside. 

I think Madi was a little bummed out to return to school this morning, but our household desperately needs to get back to normal! Charlie and I will be taking a walk to the park for some of that fresh air and sunshine I've been craving!

Sunday, January 13, 2013


This was one crazy week...

We encountered a virus in the Murphy family. I usually take pride in my immune-boosting abilities,  but I have to admit that I'm finally feeling a little rundown myself. Miss Madi managed to avoid the symptoms all week, but woke this morning with a fever.

But Mr. Charlie...yikes...he threw us for a loop this week.  Charlie hasn't been sick much since he came home to us almost two years ago. I'd almost forgotten what it was like to care for a really sick child.  He was spiking high fevers, so we did the Ibuprofen/Tylenol alternating thing for several days. He slept in our bed for three nights just so we could keep a close eye on his fever, and the last two nights I've spent in his wonder I have these cooties, too!  

I took Charlie to the pediatrician on Wednesday morning and he was tested for the flu. The test ran negative, but apparently the test is only 60% accurate, so the docs wanted to treat with Tamiflu just in case, and a steroid to open his airways. When I went to fill the prescriptions, CVS was out of the Tamiflu, and they told me they'd order it. They never called, and Friday morning when I followed up, they still didn't have it, so I treated Charlie's symptoms best I could desperately trying to keep him hydrated and eating, which wasn't an easy task. Suffice it to say, he's not the best patient...

Charlie fell asleep quickly in his stroller after an early afternoon walk, and when he woke up at about 3 p.m., he was fit to be tied. Totally inconsolable. I'd never seen anything like it in his behavior...ever, and it made me completely terrified. Maybe my radar's a bit on the sensitive side, for obvious reasons, but his actions gave the word "tantrum" a new definition. He was kicking, crying, screaming and NOTHING seemed to calm him down. I called the pediatrician right away and they squeezed us in for an appointment. I couldn't even put pants on the poor kid because of his kicking, and he was still so inconsolable that I couldn't keep him in the office because I knew he was upsetting the other children. I received the workout of my life trying to keep him from squirming! All the while, Charlie was letting out a good amount of air, if you know what I mean. 

Thank the Good Lord, I got word that a few good Samaritans noticed his agony and offered up their spots for Charlie. He continued to cry nonstop until about five minutes before the doctor came into the room. In hindsight, I totally suspect that painful gas was the culprit, but at the time I didn't know what to think. After that episode, the doctor definitely wanted Charlie to have Tamiflu, so I made some phone calls to discover that ALL of the local CVS and Walgreen's pharmacies were out of it. We looked like a boiler room with yellow pages, scribbling phone numbers down and making call after call until we finally found the last dose in stock at a Target a few towns away. Craziness. So thank God, after our wild goose chase yesterday, Charlie is now on Tamiflu and seems to be improving slowly but surely.

There is nothing like a good health scare to make you extra appreciative for your blessings. And there is nothing that brings out the love and nurturing of a Mom more than caring for your sick kids, right? I couldn't be MORE thankful to have my Mom and Dad here with us. They been such troopers in our time of need. It's such a blessing just to have an extra set of hands around when you need them! The kids definitely want their "Bubba" when they aren't feeling well.  And so do I:)

On this special day in our Catholic faith, marking the Solemnity of the Baptism of Jesus and the last day of the Christmas season, it certainly gives our family renewed perspective and a strong reminder to be grateful for everything that we have. We are thankful for the baptismal waters of eternal life that give us HOPE.

And while I'm here battling a mere flu virus in my home, it seems so insignificant when I think of my dear heart Mama friends who sit next to their precious daughters in ICU as they fight for their lives. These amazing mothers would gladly take severe gas pains...or a flu...or just about anything, I'm sure, to get their babies hearts and bodies healed and safely back home. As you reflect, today, on the Holy sacrament of baptism, please pray for these sweet children. Pray for their families who exhibit such amazing grace, faith and strength during such a difficult time. Please pray for the surgeons who work with these precious babes, and pray for their comfortable and complete recoveries. And I know their parents would welcome any additional prayers that you happen to think of:)

Pray for Lily Rancourt and follow her blog here:  Once Upon a Prayer

Please pray for Ivy Sammons and follow her blog here:  Joy in All Things

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Cheap entertainment

During the holiday hustle and bustle, there was a day when I decided that the kids needed to do  something totally different and out of the ordinary. Something new and exciting to them. But it needed to be something inexpensive, as well.

My answer...a carwash

The old fashioned, mechanical kind that feels like you are on some kind of simulated ride at Disney.


Well...score for Madi, for Charlie--notsomuch.

And in typical theme park fashion, we waited in a line of three cars ahead of us. While the buildup of excitement was taking place inside those little brains, my type-A impatience left me thinking about all of the things that I *should be* doing. Sometimes, that's the break from routine that a Mama needs, too.  I was personally fascinated at how these drive-thru carwashes have evolved over the years. They now use brilliant multi-colored foam soap. Of course, Madi LOVED that part, since purple was in the mix.


Charlie started out okay with the whole thing, but he became more frightened as the experience went on. Madi was so incredibly sweet and loved the opportunity to comfort her little brother.  Overall, it was a great way to break up our errand-running day...but I'm not sure we'll be back there anytime soon. At least not with Char Char in the car!