May 9, 2012

State of the Union

My mother always said, "When it rains it pours."  And, after a drought for some time, it has been pouring here for days.  Of course, mother wasn't talking about the weather and likewise, in addition to the spring showers we have had one event after another to keep things hopping around here.

Friday, sweet Elisabeth came down with a fever and a headache.  Monday afternoon, she broke out with quite a rash, too.   A visit to the doctor on Tuesday revealed that it was nothing but a virus come to stay a while and make her feel lousy.
Saturday Emma's friend arrived to stay for a few days while her parents were traveling.  Which is really not a big deal, since she just blends right in with our kids.
For several weeks we have had plans with another friend for lunch on Sunday afternoon.  She brought Allen a huge basket of BBQ accessories.  And he grilled us a delicious meal.
Sunday night four more children arrived to stay for a few days while their folks are visiting a mission work in Panama. My kids are really enjoying this, as they consider it one huge slumber party.  They have had many adventures and some fun quiet times, like playing cards, too.
Five days later, Elisabeth still has a fever.  I let her watch a video as a way to keep her still when she really wants to run with the other kids.  It worked... except the other kids decided they wanted to watch a video, too.
Monday morning the little baby we are keeping woke up with a runny nose.  He is more than a little fussy and we were running out of ideas to get him to stop crying.  Who knew making coffee was the secret?  He loves the coffee maker and will sit on the counter and watch while the girls fix a cup.  Funny thing is, neither of his parents are coffee drinkers so I can't imagine where he found this fascination.
You might think having 13 kids in one house would be a problem, but it really isn't.  They just go along with what we are doing.  Here are the two KK's during morning Bible reading.
In school we are studying the life of Samuel for May.  After our first lesson I told the children we should be like Samuel and strive to be obedient to the Lord.  I suggested we practice for the day by being instantly obedient to our authority.  Then I followed up with a question, "How about if we do that today?"  Little Judah sent us all into fits of laughter when he firmly looked at me and shook his head, NO!  It was so incredibly hilarious.  Especially, because he is such an obedient child.  

Because our plate didn't feel full enough, we had our Theology final on the Doctrine of God and the Bible Monday night.  It was a difficult test and with sick Ellie, company and all Allen's travel the last two weeks, study time was extremely limited.  Brianna, Gracie and Emma took the older kids to the woods during nap time so I could have a few minutes to study.  My mother also used to say, "No good deed goes unpunished."  Which, Brianna found later when she broke out in hives.  Of course, the kids had a blast, just the same... until the explorers saw a big black snake.  That got them all back home in a hurry.  Not to worry, though.  They found other ways to have fun which involved swords and the train and lots of dress up clothes.
Brianna and Emma typically babysit on Monday night when we go to class.  On Tuesday morning, Brianna takes the same class.  However, we had a little hiccup come up since her ride was out of town.  Three other kids had previously scheduled appointments on Tuesday which meant neither Allen nor I could not take her to class.

Enter Emma and Gracie who did a splendid job babysitting the nine youngers while we all went for our exam.  I felt bad leaving them with sick and feverish Ellie and fussy Jaden but they pulled it off exceptionally well.  The kids tell me they would love to have this babysitting duo again.  Allen likes he paid them off with a midnight snack.  What can I say, our teenage girls do some serious eating.

The boys gave up their bedroom for the four siblings to use and have been camping on the big girls' floor.  They love to do this and can be found there many nights each week.  When we were going to bed Monday one of the girls asked if we had seen Sam.  He wasn't in their room where he had been tucked in hours before.  We have some sleep walkers so I was pretty sure I knew where we would find him.  Sure enough, he had gotten up (likely used the bathroom) and in his sleep crawled into his own bed.

This morning when I got up he was back in the girls' bedroom. We asked if he remembered getting into bed with Judah.  He didn't.  But he did tell us he woke up there in the middle of the night and went back to the girls room.  Don't they look snug?
As I mentioned, we had three previously scheduled appointments when we were asked to keep the children.  It took some figuring out of the logistics but we got it all worked out so that everyone could be where they needed to be when they needed to be there.  Or so we thought.  

Just as we were preparing to leave for the day, we realized our bird (who was laboring with an egg) was in trouble.  Allen called the nearest Avian vet (who is quite a ways down the road) and made an appointment for her.  We knew it was very serious and wanted to move quickly.  She was already too weak, though.  Chili died in my hand as I was moving her to the travel cage.

Everything stopped as we cried.  Chili was a gift for a wedding anniversary some years ago.  She has been a good companion to me and together she and I mourned when she lost her mate, Art, several years ago.  When we rescued Cocoa she tamed him and taught him how to fly.    

It wasn't enough that we were all crying. Gracie, who is really an extension of our family was broken up.  Karis and Kylie, fellow bird owners and animal lovers at heart were just as upset.  Here we all were anticipating a new friend and instead we lost our old friend.

But life goes on.  We still had all those appointments to keep.  We divided kids up and conquered... Haircuts for the boys...  Grocery shopping...  Carmella's ten month check up...  A visit to the doctor for a look at Elisabeth's rash and fever...  Kaitlin's dental appointment...  

And a stop at Chick-fil-A to cheer everyone up.  Which worked like a charm.  Except for Jaden.  We didn't really think about the fact that his Uncle Sam worked there.  When he saw him walk in and not come pick him up the baby became quite agitated and started screaming at the top of his lungs in the middle of the dining room.  Oops.  Everyone else was quite happy, as you can see.
Allen felt we needed to go to the pet store and bring home a new friend.  Elisabeth was almost beside herself with grief and  we remembered how Chili had pined away, refusing even to eat, when she lost her mate.  We hope that introducing a new bird right away will make the loss easier on both Cocoa and Ellie.  

I am sure we were quite a sight parading into the pet store with 13 children all trying to agree on just one bird.  If that wasn't enough we had to go to a second pet store because the first only had green parakeets and everyone insisted the new lady be a blue one.  

The kids not only liked choosing a bird, they visited all the other animals.  I liked hearing how the girls helped their father choose a bird for Mommy and hid Twitter in Daddy's office until Christmas.  They told me if I ever need to hide a bird, I can take it there, because Mommy never goes to Daddy's office.

So, we had a successful field trip that served as an excellent diversion to bring everyone's spirits back up.  Although, because it poured down rain the entire day, I also have a bird in my freezer awaiting burial services.

And here is the yet un-named newest Wachter.  Ellie wants to call her Chili.  We are questioning whether it is right to call her by the same name.  For the time being she is in quarantine in the little girls' room.  (Birds can carry sickness that can be passed to other birds and require 30 days of quarantine when being introduced to each other.)  Elisabeth is so sensitive it is adorable.  She asked me why Cocoa was sad and I told her he was missing his wife.  She ran up to his cage and said, "Don't be sad!  I have a new Mama (that means wife) for you and she is Chili."  Then she came back and told me he was happy now.

The kids spent the afternoon putting together a skit of our Bible lesson from the morning.  We talked about when the Israelites carried the Ark into battle and it was captured by the Phillistines.  I can't wait to see how it turns out.  They will be performing for us today at lunchtime.  I understand Karis is the director, because they thought she had the air of authority.  Kylie is in charge of costuming.  At one point Kaitlin came through draped in a plaid flannel sheet and told me she was an ox.  Later, Gracie came through dressed in Renaissance garb and told me she was the rest of the yoke.

In the meantime, Samuel is doing all in his power to indoctrinate Judah.  This is how they came to supper.
After a dinner of comfort food, spaghetti and meatballs with lots of garlic bread with root beer floats for dessert we played hang man until bed time.  When you have so many beginning readers, you have to think out of the box when it comes to guessing the words they have spelled out.
I think, despite all the blips, it turned out to be a successful day.  As I kissed the kids goodnight, I asked if they needed anything.  Kylie let out a huge sigh and said, "I just need a good night's sleep."

I must talk about this little guy a bit.  Jaden is a hand full!

He likes his pacifier and wakes up in the middle of the night calling Dada until we get up and give it to him.  Elisabeth is quite taken by the whole binky bit because we have never used pacifiers for our kids and she wants to know why it is in his mouth.  We told her it was like Carmella sucking her thumb.  When he started crying later and someone stuck it in his mouth we were all reminded of how my step mother called a pacifier a plug.  Works like a charm!

FYI... a tight fitting onesie might be a good idea when he goes to bed since we discovered he likes to remove his diaper.

This fellow also likes to wash the floor.  Which is good because we have lots of dirty floors to keep him occupied for the duration.  

He is scared to death of Carmella, which I think is hilarious because he is at least twice her size.  He could seriously crush her if he set his mind to it.  Winnie thinks he is incredibly fascinating.  She laughs every time she sees him, which I think kind of taunts him.  If his grandfather Louis knew that his little look alike was intimidated by such a little bitty girl, he would probably roll over in his grave ten times, or something like that.

I have heard how much this little one eats and was quite wondering if I would have enough food to sustain him.  However, since he arrived Sunday evening I have not been able to get more than a bite in him at a time.  He wouldn't even take his bottle.  Of course, he has had a runny nose and low grade fever since Monday morning, which was likely contributing to situation.  When he wouldn't even eat french fries we were getting quite distressed.  Well, Tuesday he started eating a snack before dinner.  He ate the whole time we cooked.  He ate all through dinner.  He ate all through the dessert and hang man game.  Wow!  That was more like what we expected.  This morning he ate four muffins and a banana at breakfast.  Way, to go, fellow!  He even out ate Gracie and Emma Rose.

Today his temperature is back to normal and his runny nose seems to be cleared up, so I think we can safely assume he is back to his own self.

Brianna's hives seemed to be a thing of the past.  Even Elisabeth, while still feverish and covered in spots, ate a nice hearty breakfast for the first time since Friday.

However, you win some and then you lose some.  Carmella woke with a fever and in an unusually fowl mood.  Undoubtedly, the result of shots yesterday morning.  Fortunately, for us, she just wants to go to bed and sleep, which if you are in a bad mood around here, is the best place to be for all concerned.

In other news, Gracie and Mr. B's are packed and ready to return to their quiet world.  They will be sadly missed.

And for the time being, that is the long and the short of it for Wachter World plus five.  Stay tuned for the final episode.

1 comment :

  1. What a full house! Sounds busy but so much fun :) Hope everyone is on the mend and feeling better.