Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sweet Kids

My sweet kids went with Grammy to the JellyBelly factory.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Originally uploaded by amberthyme.
Like how did a giant tree get into your library? Take a look at the Stanislaus County Library "Dominion" blog to see the three minute video.

The tree is really cool! It totally changes the feeling of the room and to quote many patrons "it's magical".

After Brenna's recital we stopped by in our fancy clothes to take some pictures under the tree. And around the tree and just the tree. . . Um, can you tell I like the tree? I had StoryTime earlier that week and I performed all tree stories. It was sooooooooo fun!

other side

looks like the sun

Reading around the RyanTree

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Untangeling the lights!

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Hermione Moment

The kids have been enjoying trickster stories lately. Rowan's teacher read a different version of Brer Rabbit & the tar baby. He called it Fox, Rabbit, and the Gummy man. He had a blast acting it out at dinner time. I've been bringing home stories about the spider trickster, Anansi, from the library.  Therin was reading Anansi and the Moss Covered Rock this morning in the van on the way to school.  Midway through the story Brenna stopped him and said, "Therin you need to say Uh-nahn-SEE not uh-NANCY, Uh-naaahhhnnn-SEEEE."

Watch out!

For the Rowan shuffle . . .

OK so just keep your eyes peeled. I'm going to have to either blog from my phone or flickr. Trust me, Rowan is too cute to miss!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Future tatoo artist

Red sharpie on Brenna. At least it's only on her today. I'm going to give Purell a try for removing her tats.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Ah, summertime. 
Sitting on the front porch with good company watching the girls run around like crazy while slurping on a Sam Adams and shootin' the breeze. 
Languishing while waiting for Rock Band to load, "crap! who hit that button? we have to start over again!" Fingers flying (ok on Medium) through Dani California, Creep, and Detroit Rock City songs blurring together beautifully. Except when I warble Margaritiaville then hand the mic back to our lovely singer. 
Lovely piano tunes dulcetly drifting by.
Counting the fireflies that my littlest "bug whisperer" scoops up effortlessly. 
"What's that on my nose?"- "A Kiss!!" 
Finding out that I'm fond of fondue. 
Lounging with my Mom.
Watching my baby brother do his daddy duties: tickle babies, mix formula, apply sunscreen, wipe booties, and make it look easy.
Digging minnow traps by the river's edge. 
Teaching my boys how to play UNO. 
Sweet singing to BabyMax making me cry. Hey, you were crying too! 
Frogs and fun at Nanny & Papa's, "girls! stop picking those flowers!"  
Nineteen finger-pokes in one day to keep numbers marching a straight line in the logbook. Now if only I could get paid to be an artificial external pancreas.
Naptime! "I can hear every word you say. . . snore."
Three thunderstorms tamping the heat of the day into the earth. 
A fourth storm following us to California to strike just minutes after my father-in-law says "we don't have weather like that around here. ever."
Splashing at the pool. 
Twenty minute call to Animas when the pump screen goes blank. Dry everything off and have it work again - whew.
Swinging at the park. 
Uncle Dan or Junglegym? 
1 a.m. with the girls "just say sorry, hug, and go to sleep. please." 
Hanging in the kitchen, shouldn't I be helping more? Oh, look at that drawing! Thanks for the Spongebob Trev.
Fun with Penguins. More fun with Tongo. 
Watching YouTube over Trevor's shoulder. 
Jake stopping in with the ladies. 
Tessalita, Brennaboo, Ro, and Ther all crammed in the sandbox. 
Mom's day out without the kids! Target, icecream, and an outdoor biker bar. Ahhh.
Getting to hang out with my Virginia family. . . 

Originally uploaded by Xenophod.

and higher still

and higher still
Originally uploaded by amberthyme.
The kids had a blast at the company picnic. There was food and candy all over the place. With that great rock wall, a bouncy house, and so many things to do Brenna's numbers didn't bounce too high.

Therin and Rowan had a great time running around. Therin climbed the rock wall 7 times! Wow!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Where have all the pokers gone!?!?

A few weeks ago we lost every lancing device in the house. As you can see that is quite a feat to accomplish. I'm not too worried about misplacing any of them because we have backup meters & pokers at each major location that Brenna spends time visiting: Grammy & Graumpa's, preschool, & the Grandparents' VerHulst. I'll add notes to the flickr version of this picture later but you should know that the white BD poker is Brenna's favorite.

The newest "poker" in this batch is the Walgreens generic lancing device. It is difficult to put together and take apart to change out the lancette but I got it because it was the only thing available. Walgreens doesn't carry any other lancing devices anymore. The helpful advice I got from the folks in the pharmacy when I asked if there were any others available, "Call the number on the back of your meter. If they want you to test they'll send you a new one." I don't believe I will be shopping at Walgreens again. The Kaiser pharmacy doesn't have them on hand to purchase so I took a look at Rite Aid, Longs Drugs, and CVS. All of them carry the same crappy poker that Walgreens has only with their own logo and a couple of the locations also carry the $30 MultiClix. I don't want to shell out 30 bucks everytime a poker gets lost and I certainly don't want to spend that much for a backup at each location. Since it is a backup to our many other backups , hopefully, we won't have to use the Walgreens device very often.  So what has happened to all of the rest of the lancing devices that used to line the pharmacy shelves? I find it very, very strange that there are only these two lancing devices in retail stores. 

I would love, love, love to get the Pelikan Sun digital lancing device but right now I can't justify a $200 poker that isn't covered by insurance. Especially when we keep losing the pokers. Amy over at Diabetes Mine has a couple of good articles that she has written that make me want to justify that purchase. Until then, we'll have to keep an eye on the ones we've got. 

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Not Meter Blood

Not Meter Blood
Originally uploaded by amberthyme.
We have this wonderful volcanic rock in front of our house that the kids just love to climb and play on. While climbing down Brenna started to wail piteously. Camera around my neck kicking back on the front porch (a fine view of less than 5 feet away) I didn't see her do anything that would make her cry so i tucked her meter under my arm, scooped her up, and whisked her away to the bathroom.

When she calmed down enough to show me her owie. I whipped out her meter and popped in a strip.
"Look Brenna, free blood! We don't have to poke."
She sniffled some more and took back her hand.
"No mommy, this is NOT meter blood".

Ah, well. I tried. After we cleaned up her hand we had to check her BG anyway.

Proof is in the pudding

Originally uploaded by amberthyme.
Or in the cake.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


As I stood in my kitchen at midnight licking blue icing from my fingertips I looked down at my most recent creation and thought,

"I should have had somebody else do this. Why am I decorating a cake the night before Mother's Day?"

My mind raced through the litany of my faults:
Bad at organizing
Didn't plan ahead
Should have done this last weekend when I had more time & was off
Need more patience
Should have done this Wednesday after work
Suck at parties
Lousy at housework

Over and over and over and over. Same stuff different words. I know negative thoughts breed faster than rabbits and are harder to get rid of so I try to inject a few "positives" into the cycle:
Everything will be OK
Calm down

See, I did think ahead in March and started to try and plan for Rowan's birthday but I kept figuring that this week is too busy so I'll do something about it next week. Rowan's birthday was on May 7th, Wednesday. I made him his favorite breakfast, Daddy & Brenna brought cupcakes to his class, and Grammy and Grandpa had a cake and a great spaghetti dinner that night. Rowan wanted to invite his classmates but you can't just invite a few in Kindergarten and I can't afford to take 25 kids to Funworks and I don't think that I am patient (or insane) enough to keep track of all of them in our pool. I explained that cupcakes at school was for his school friends and the party on Sunday was for family. So anyhow if I had just sat down to plan this earlier I wouldn't be planning a birthday party at 2:00 on Mother's Day. I feel like I'm treading water in everyday life so add a special occasion or holiday that I have to plan for and I sink to the bottom until the event is over and done. Maybe someday I'll get better at this. Maybe I won't. I try and keep positive.

But what about that cake? Why not just buy one decorated or ask my Mom to make one?

Because it's my oasis.

When I'm decorating the cake I am in the moment.
It's like a meditation.
Squeeze, lift, move, squeeze, lift, move
I have to stop cleaning the house for a little while and futzing about with stuff I should be doing more often
Mix, scoop, squeeze

Short and simple, I like to do it and it calms me.
I think of my own birthday cakes and how happy I was to see
A Cinderella pumpkin cake with little mice
Barbie in a cake dress
Looking at my birthday cakes made for me by my Mommy I felt special.
They were just perfect and the parties were always fun.

I want to make Rowan feel special.
He always looks at me and tells me I'm beautiful, no matter how rumpled I am.
He always tells me I smell like a rose, even if I've been gardening and smell more like dirt & sweat.
Everyday he tells me he loves me.
In the moment of decorating his cake I think of how much I love him and how special he is.

As I look down with blue tipped fingers at the cake I feel stupid for trying.
If I were more organized, more patient I'd have done this last weekend with all of his classmates and those little gift baggies. Instead I'm hoping that it's good enough.
Hoping that I'm good enough for such a sweet, kind, little boy.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Hanging out

Hanging out
Originally uploaded by amberthyme.
We have this cool lava rock in our front yard and every once in a while the kids just climb up, sit down, and hang out.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Monday, March 17, 2008

Random thought . . .


I think that My Little Ponies have contributed to the popularity and frequency of little tattoos. Playing with those tiny tattooed ponies planted the subliminal suggestion that body art is good. And fun!

Before MLP tats on guys were a rebel thing and biker chicks got them all over.
After MLP I see cute tats all the time.

Before MLP tats were naked ladies on the forearms of sailors.
After MLP little heart, flowers, moons, stars, are found on ladies but only if you see them naked.

I would write more but my future tattoo artist is drawing on herself again.

Friday, January 11, 2008

New Chair

How do you like Bren
s new chair? Always warm, cozy extremely portable and available in a variety of colors the Grandpa can be found anywhere grandkids congregate! Order yours today.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

These Shoes

I normally wear flatter-than-pancake shoes. Today, I helped MC with StoryTime and didn,t fall over - even during
Jumping & Counting by Jim Gill!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Ninja Dan

masked attacker
Originally uploaded by treeee.
Tree took some amazing photos of my bigger baby brother and his family when baby Max was being born. This one cracks me up.


This is something they didn't warn me about. My darling daughter will be forever more prone to developing abscesses. Back in October she got one on the back of her leg. It was just a small pimple looking thing in the morning which she scratched and by afternoon it was an angry red and about the size of a quarter. We thought it was a bug bite. We went to emergency with all the coughing, puking people. They lanced it & sent us home to go take antibiotics. She is normally my best medicine taker -- she refused. I used every trick -from memory, books, and google to try and get it in her. I thought I was successful but the abscess got worse. To make a long story short she had to be admitted to the hospital with IV drugs PLUS the original antibiotic that I couldn't get into her. Each nurse added something new to my bag of tricks but it would only last for a short time before we had to try something else. It was a staph infection but the average run of the mill sort not the killer scary one that hit the news at about the same time. Trust your local librarian. I went to work morning after she was discharded from the hospital and was griping about it to my coworkers (librarians all) and I discovered (rediscovered?) Bribery! So we got a sticker chart and after all her medicine was taken for the day she got a pony. My Little Pony that is. She kept seeing them on the TV at the hospital and she likes to play with the herd that lives at preschool so I was set. It worked!

Yesterday, we noticed another one on her bottom. It's small and, so far, she hasn't complained about any pain but she was limping like Quasimodo and saying "I'm O.K., Mommy, I'm O.K." with the last one so I can't be sure. When she sits still for 2 minutes (eating, playing with forementioned bribe, etc.) I slip a warm compress under her. Nice warm baths. Neosporin. God, I hope this works. I don't want to do this again.

And this goes there . . .