Family Weekend

We had a busy but wonderful weekend full of all sorts of family celebrations, including birthday parties for 3 cousins and a baby blessing for the newest member of the Johnson clan, little Leora.  Both our Adelaide Leora and new little baby Leora Mae are named after Ben’s grandma.  New babies are the sweetest and Adelaide couldn’t get enough of Leora.

After Leora’s blessing on Sunday we went back to Grandma’s house for a luncheon.  She made William a very fancy ice cream cake out of all his favorite things (mint chocolate chip ice cream, whipped cream, fudge, brownies, and Oreos) and he was thrilled.  This boy of ours turns 9 on Wednesday and I can hardly believe it.  He has elected to have a friend party this weekend, his first one ever which is a big step for him.  I think it is going to be a lot of fun.

Saturday Adventuring

On Saturday we went adventuring.  After spending Valentine’s Day, a long weekend off work for Ben and then mid winter break for the kids cooped up in the house doing nothing more than surviving, we were all going a little crazy.  I needed fresh air, a change of scenery, and to forget that life has been a little bit too hard lately.

We chose to visit Carkeek Park in Seattle to see if we could find any tide pools.  We’d never been there before and the kids were beyond excited.

Right after we walked down to the beach, a train came passing by.  Oliver was especially impressed.  Ben held him up so he could get a better view.

The air was clean and the sun felt so good, but the wind made it bitingly cold.  It felt like two daggers stabbing into my ears and I had to steal Ben’s  jacket to wear over my own in order to survive.  The kids ignored the cold and immediately set to work looking to see what creatures they could find.

They found crabs, fish, a baby eel, a star fish, a clam and a what looked small shrimp.  I don’t think we’ve ever had such luck finding creatures before.

After awhile, I took the littlest two up to play on the playground and escape the wind.  They had all sorts of little things to explore including this giant slide that made it look like Oliver was getting spawned by a salmon.


After the park, we headed to downtown to get some lunch and explore Pike Place Market.  We don’t come down to Seattle very often because it isn’t the most family friendly place and keeping track of everyone nearly sends me over the edge, but in small doses it can be quite nice.  We visited all sorts of little shops and made some small purchases including a bunch of white tulips, meats from the German store and breads from the French bakery.  Our last stop was a quick visit to the gum wall which was something the kids really wanted to see.

We returned home feeling renewed and everyone’s spirits were lifted.  I would call that a very successful Saturday indeed.

A Knee Injury

On the Thursday of the week before last, Molly had a collision at her soccer practice that left her with a sore knee.  It was the first time she has ever had to sit out of part of a practice so I knew it was really bothering her.  I bought her a brace and she was careful to rest it the following day, but when she woke up on that Saturday she was determined to play in her game.  I told her I didn’t think she should play but she was convinced she would be okay since she was walking better on it.  3 minutes into the game she collapsed on the field.  I had to carry her off with the help of one of the other mothers.

Ben was out of town that weekend, and so two of the other dads in attendance carried Molly up the hill and all the way back to our car while I gathered up the rest of the kids.  My visit teacher met me at my house so that I could leave the little ones behind and just focus on getting Molly to the urgent care clinic.

Much to her embarrassment, I had to use a wheelchair to get her inside.  She was in so much pain and couldn’t straighten her knee.  I told her there was no way I was going to carry her inside.

The urgent care doctor took a brief look and diagnosed it as a sprain.  He put her in a brace and gave her some crutches with the instruction to follow up with an orthopedist if it didn’t get better in a week.  He thought it would likely feel better within a few days.

A few days came and went and she was still in a lot of pain and unable to put any weight on it.  It was also swelling, causing her foot to tingle.  That added to the fact that she heard a “pop” when she hurt it at her game, made us want to get a second opinion.  Luckily we have a friend at church who is a very good orthopedist and he evaluated her in his home and advised that we get an MRI done.

Last Friday Molly had her office visit with our orthopedist friend and an MRI and x-ray.  She still had quite a bit of swelling in her knee which wasn’t a good sign, but we had to wait until today to find out the extent of her injury.  It turns out that she has a grade 1 MCL Tear and bone contusion. No surgery is needed but it will likely be 3-5 weeks until she will be back in playing condition. Molly is super bummed about missing the last half of her season.  Poor girl!



Three weeks ago Henry came down with Strep Throat.  I had the doctor test Addy and William but they were both clear.  Two weeks later, Adelaide wakes up with in tears with a sore throat and since we conveniently had her well-child checkup scheduled for that morning, I had the doctor swab her again and sure enough she had strep.  The doctor peeked at everyone else’s throat and the only one that was even questionable was Henry so he swabbed him too.  Henry’s test came back negative.  I filled Adelaide’s prescription and then threw out everyone’s toothbrushes and toothpaste and we hunkered down.

Then last night Henry began to complain of a sore throat again.  I was suspicious, but took him in this morning and sure enough he has Strep.  Again!  Plus an added ear infection.  For goodness sake.  I asked the doctor to humor me and swab Oliver since he’s been super sick lately with a case of the snots and ….. he has Strep.

Adelaide is still on antibiotics and William feels great, but guess what?  Molly complained about a sore throat this morning on her way out the door for school.  Nooooooooooooo!  While waiting for the two new prescriptions to fill I called and made an appointment with my own doctor so that I could get swabbed as well.  Better safe than sorry especially since Oliver has been using me as his personal tissue this last week and I don’t feel that great.

My doctor got me right in and I don’t have Strep.  Hooray!  However, I have Shingles.  What?  I’ve been forbidden from going out in public and had to wear a mask because of the current measles outbreak in Washington.  I’ve been vaccinated for measles and I haven’t been around anyone with measles, but once you get a weird rash they start freaking out.  As long as the Shingles meds do their job then measles can be ruled out.  Ugh.  I was so embarrassed walking around with that mask getting my bloodwork done.  Bloodwork you say?  Yes.  I also have a suspiciously enlarged lymph node by my collar bone so now I get to have an ultrasound once the prescription for the Shingles does it’s job.  Hopefully the lymph node is just mad because of the Shingles, but since I’ve been dealing with mysterious abdominal pain for the last several months that they haven’t been able to diagnose through a CT Scan, a Hida Scan, Ultrasounds, bloodwork, and an endoscopy, they are being careful.

At this point I’m thinking that we should just sell our house and give all our money to the doctor/insurance companies because whoa.

I cancelled the boy’s piano recital/adjudication that they have been preparing for since October, that was supposed to be held this afternoon and when Molly got home I looked in her throat and it was angry and red so the pediatrician called in a prescription for her as well.

Burn or boil all the things.  Never leave the house.  Antibiotics for everyone!  That is my new motto.

On a positive note, this may explain why life has been so difficult lately and why Oliver has been acting like the spawn of a dragon and why I literally wanted to run away to a small island population: 1 yesterday.

Inadvertent Potty Training

Against my best wishes, Oliver has started potty training himself.  I hate potty training.  There are a lot of areas of motherhood that make me feel like a big fat failure, but potty training runs right at the top of the list.  It is hard for me to keep my patience with cleaning up accidents and visiting one million public restrooms.

I decided to put off potty training Oliver until he at least turned 3, but he had other plans.  He started complaining that wearing a diaper hurt so I bought him pull-ups.  We bought him a potty chair for Christmas, but that was mostly because I knew at some point we would need it and I really had no other good ideas about what to get him.  He used it several times but never with any encouragement from me.  Then this weekend he refused to wear pants and used the toilet exclusively even though I tried to bribe him into a diaper repeatedly.  He stayed dry the whole weekend, even when we went to church.

He still needs a diaper at night, but I’m quite impressed with his progress so far, especially with my lack of support.  I’d be quite happy if he decided to stay in diapers for the next several months, but it looks like he has other plans.


Henry lost a tooth!  He noticed his very first loose tooth while we were in Spokane and he worked on it furiously ever since.  I gave it a few wiggles and was able to pull it out just a few minutes before his piano teacher arrived.  It may not have been the best timing because he was practically bouncing off the walls with excitement.

His adult tooth had already cut through behind it so I’m really glad his little tooth finally gave up and fell out.  I’m sure this is the start of many.  I hope the tooth fairy remembers to reward him tonight!


“Hoo-Hawks” — Oliver, translation: SeaHawks

“No-Hawks” — Oliver, translation: he’s done talking about the SeaHawks

“Ho Ho” — Oliver, translation: Costco


(Ben established a family tradition/quirk of calling our car the “fun bus” whenever we take trips to help encourage a good attitude and comradery while jammed in the car together.)

“I think Mom just set the fun bus on fire.” — Molly, after our quick trip to Spokane


“I think Toby needs doggy undies.” — Adelaide


“I want to be a cookist when I grow up.” — Adelaide, translation: chef + artist