Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Take your mark . . .

Caroline joined the swim team at our neighborhood pool this summer.  We weren't sure how well it would go because although last summer she made great strides in her swimming ability, she never felt comfortable keeping her head underwater while she swam.  But true to Caroline's nature, she embraced the challenge with gusto and did fantastic.  She swam without fear most of time and worked her tail off every time.  
At the end of the swim season Caroline won the award for being the hardest working girl on the entire swim team.  At 5 (and the only five year old on the team), she was recognized by her coaches for her effort.  I can't really put to words how proud I am of her for how well she did this summer, and especially for winning that award.  I would truly rather her recognized for working hard no matter the circumstance than winning a blue ribbon each time she went out.  

I really learn a lot from my girls, and Caroline teaches me daily to be present in the moment, to love fully,  and to take on every task in front of me with all that I have to give.  

 streching while she waits

 practicing her form

And it's time

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Summer of Odd and Varied Maladies

So far this summer we've dealt with two health issues that, at least in my world, go in the ''weird" box.  For starters, Charlotte came down with hand, foot, and mouth disease a few weeks ago.  This may be a relatively common childhood virus, but it is definitely torturous and . . . well, weird.  The sores in her mouth were apparently excruciating.  She wouldn't eat or drink for three days and basically cried when she wasn't sleeping.  And when she wasn't sleeping, she just wanted to be held.  And holding a feverish, crying two-and-a-half year old is also kind of torturous.  Don't get me wrong, I didn't mind it one bit, I want to offer my girls whatever comfort I can when they're sick, and I know she was in severe pain, but there was nothing I could do to make it better.

Thankfully she woke up on the fourth day of the plague and asked for water, or more accurately, said, "Me thirsty, me need waler."  Those were the five most beautiful words I'd heard in a long time.  After spending days trying to get her to take in some nutrition in some form, having her ask for water was huge.  We were incredibly blessed that neither Caroline nor Camille came down with it after Charlotte recovered.

Next in line for the Beck girls was Caroline's profusely bleeding ear.  Her left ear had been "yucky" for several days (and I'll just leave it at that) and actually bled a little bit once of twice in there.  But then on a Friday she woke up with a pool of blood in her ear and dried blood caked to the side of her face.  To say the least it was slightly disconcerting.  After I cleaned her up she said it didn't hurt, so I decided that she might have some kind of bad infection as it didn't continue to bleed for the next several hours.  Then it happened again the next morning, and again the next, and the next.  So off to the doctor we went to get Dr. K's diagnosis (and for the record Dr. Mom had diagnosed a ruptured ear drum.  Genius, I know.).  She concurred with my ruptured ear drum diagnosis, but I think she said, "perforated" in place of ruptured.  In any event, she put Caroline on an oral antibiotic and antibiotic droops and wanted to see her back the next week.

We dutifully returned the next week expecting to hear that it was all better because we hadn't seen any more drainage in days.  It, however, was not to be, and she sent us off to the ENT with instructions to try to be seen that same day.  So we somehow got in that afternoon and Dr. S looked in the ear and said, "Well, it looks like a perforated ear drum, but it's actually her tube that has had a membrane grow over it and now it's trying to get out."  Good news and bad news!  The good news was that Caroline wasn't going to have to have a graft surgery on her ear drum, the bad news was that it likely still required surgery.  As I sit here today though, we've seen Dr. S again and she's hopeful that with continued use of the drops the tube might be able to push it's way out.  So, I would appreciate all prayers aimed in that direction!

And on to my sweet Camille.  She has bronchitis right now, but other than that, she's been the picture of health.  At least as far as this family is concerned.  She does seem to suffer from some slight allergies, which is so odd because Caroline and Charlotte have had allergy troubles off and on too, but neither Jeff nor I had allergies as kids.  In any event, Camille's issues are pretty under control with a little Claritin each morning.  It's so hard to fathom that she's inching closer to one year by the day.  Soon enough I'll be frantically planning her party at the very last minute.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Beach Vacation 2011

Our summer started out on a wonderful note: one playing the tune of crashing waves, sand crunching underfoot, and a fantastic gulf breeze.  My mom rode with us down I-10 to Navarre Beach where we met my brother Drew, his wife Amelia, their son Asher, and my brother Neal met us later in the week.  Looking back, almost two months removed, the highlights for me are laughing with my family, eating great food, playing in the sand and the waves, and enjoying my girls making memories that I pray stick with them.

I'm happy that we all kind of take on the same rhythm when we get to the beach.  Our days start early because there are four children age five and under in the condo, so there's usually a nice morning full of two rounds of coffee, breakfast, and then a morning crew beach run.  We set up the tents and take out the beach toys and try to get a couple of hours in the sand before noon-lunch-nap-rest time hits.  This year mom usually stayed in with Camille because she needed her morning nap and when I came up to fix lunch and put the other girls to rest, she had her chance to head down.  The afternoon brought something different each day because I was juggling Camille (who needed another nap before dinnertime) with Charlotte (who took some extended mid-day naps due to the copious amount of fun she was having out on the beach), and Caroline who almost never actually napped.  We did all make it back down to the beach at some point in the afternoon before it was time start planning who was cooking and what we were eating.  And I'll have you know that all of the beach conferencing on food and recipes did the trick, because we ate very well while we were there without ever going out to eat.  

If I had to choose one word for the vacation, it would be joyous.  I love spending time at the beach.  I love being with my immediate family out of the hustle of daily life of work, school, and daycare.  I love being with my mom, brothers, sister-in-law, and nephew.  I love seeing all of my people together, having fun, living, and laughing.  It was truly a gift.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saturdays are for dress up

Especially overcast Saturdays when Mama needs to clean the house and Papa has a self-inflicted honey-do list to power through.  

These pictures are a highlight of about fifteen or twenty costume changes that we've been though this morning.  More to come, I'm sure.  

Friday, July 22, 2011

Redheads representin'

Apparently we (redheads) are harder to knock out with anesthesia than non-redheads.  If my experience with my last epidural is any indication, I don't want any more anesthesia than anyone else.  Ever.  Ever, ever again.

Interesting though.  And I'll keep note of this in case anesthesia is unavoidable in my future.  I don't want to be conscious of any of what goes on during surgery. 

Eleven Months

Well, almost eleven months.  Tomorrow she'll officially be one month away from turning one and I am in awe.  While it feels like time has slipped through my mama- fingers as I look at these pictures, she's been busy wrapping me around her own chubby baby- fingers.   

Thursday, July 21, 2011


How exactly do you come back from an unintended two month hiatus from writing and showing pictures of our life?

I'm not sure that I'll be able to catch everyone up on our summer in a respectable way.  Since I've last spent time typing out some semblance of a recollection of the story of our lives, we've had a wonderful summer vacation to the beach, lots of swimming at the pool, first swim meets, odd illnesses and maladies, visits with family, drama, dance, and Vacation Bible School, all mixed in with the usual menu of smiles, laughs, and tears (oh, and of course a little work thrown in so that Wells Fargo will stay happy).  Pictures and stories to come . . .