Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Quiet Fox

This, my friends, is known at many a preschool as the "Quiet Fox." I am pretty sure that this is what the teachers have the kids to as they walk down hallways during school to remind themselves to be very quiet.

At our house, it has taken the form of a whole new monster. While smiling in the first photo, the one underneath is the general expression that I get when Collin does the quiet fox, though the one below he is actually doing the sign for 'I Love You.' He did think he was doing the quiet fox but forgot to put his thumb in.
Collin does not use the quiet fox at home to remind himself of being quiet. He tries to use it as a weapon to get others to be quiet. Here are some examples of when Collin uses the quiet fox:
  • When he is singing a song and I try to sing along with him.
  • When he is watching a cartoon and I am talking too loud in the same room.
  • When I ask him to do something that he does not want to do.
I will say that he really dislikes it when I use the quiet fox on him.

The picture below is another one of Collin's made up signs.
We refer to it as "Silent Talk Block," but he will not speak what it is called, if he even has a name for it.
Yet another random sign that he has started using when he wants us to be quiet. Sometimes he will use this one when he is just tired of listening to whatever it is we are discussing. We will be having a conversation at dinner and *BAM* we are given the "talk block" with a cool glare.

Trying to create the power to silently hush others at age four. Huh. It is possible that I should be concerned. Hopefully just a peculiar phase. Imagine what we could all do with that power!

Collin Turns 4

My sweet boy turned four years old this past weekend! I can hardly believe how fast the time has gone. We celebrated at Chuck E. Cheese this year. It was a huge hit! A great end to a rather stinky Spring Break week. I love this boy. He and I are alot alike. We have the same moods. I get him. He is so sweet but extremely ornery. I am constantly reminded of how blessed we are that he is ours. God is good! Happy Birthday Collin! Mommy and daddy love you so much. And so does your big bruddeh!

Friday, March 25, 2011

An Unfortunate Incident...

Our Spring Break week started with a bang. A bang to the elbow that is. Monday of last week was quite rainy and incidentally there was nothing to do around the house. By about ten o'clock in the morning I had two little boys running completely wild and asking me every five minutes what we were going to do. So I decided that I would take them to one of those places with the big inflatable things to play on so that they could run off the energy and we could all stay sane.  After the boys had been playing for about 45 minutes or so, I was watching Ben slide down one of the big slides. When he got to the bottom, he stood up on the thin mat on the floor and randomly lost his footing. He came down straight on his elbow.  He tried to shake off the pain and came to the table where I was sitting. I looked at the arm and elbow, I was not sure it was terribly hurt. He was kind of whimpering, but no outright big crying. Within about ten minutes, it started to swell. So we headed to Texas' Children's ER where shortly thereafter it was announced that he had fractured his little elbow. He was such a trooper. He hardly cried. They x-rayed him before they had given him pain medicine. He held his breath and tried to be brave, finally screaming out when they raised the x-ray table too high for him to stand the pain. He is casted now for the next few weeks and acts like he does not have a broken arm. 


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Sad Goodbye to a Loyal Friend

There is something special about a relationship between a loyal dog and his owner. I am not the type person that likes it when other people's animals crawl all over me or jump all over me.  I do, however, love my own dogs, even if they can cause mischief at times. There is something special about the selfless love a dog gives to his owner. They love as if they are forever grateful. They love as if they are forever protective and they live to please you and comfort you. Wow, what if we exhibited this type of selfless love to each other? Strange to say that a good dog is a good example of selfless love.
Tonight is our last evening to spend with our dog Max. We found out today that he has cancer in the bone of his shoulder. It is quite a rapid growing kind of cancer. He has been in quite a lot of unexplained pain over the past few months off and on. He is a large dog and almost 11 years old. So rather than have him undergo radiation and leg amputation, we have decided to put him down tomorrow morning.
I remember when we first got Max. We had only been married a few months, and lived in a small apartment. Someone had left a box of puppies behind a bush just outside of an animal hospital. So I guess he was a rescue dog. At the time, our five month old dog, Molly, had been in obedience school at the animal hospital because of her cantankerous behavior. A few weeks before we got Max, the animal hospital had advertised that they had puppies to give away. They were cute puppies, but I was in no way about to take one of them. Slowly, one by one, most all of the puppies had found homes...all except Max...who had been described as the aggressive one. The leader of the pack. We finished our obedience training for Molly and had decided on having her spayed. Earle was the one who took her to have her spayed that morning. He called me later and told me that there was one puppy left in that litter.  He told me that he wanted me to see the puppy when we picked Molly up. I had no desire. We got there after work that evening and they brought Molly out. I was hoping that Earle had forgotten about showing me the puppy. Of course he had not forgotten. He asked the lady to bring Max out. So out came this cute puppy. I wanted to say no. We lived in a small apartment with a dog that was wild(Molly). But something in me couldn't say no. I guess he knew I would not have been able to resist Max.  He just looked at me like, "please say yes, and I'll always be good to you." So I did. Even though I had been warned that others did not take him because he was aggressive. He was quite the mischief maker. When Max was a puppy I would walk into my bedroom and find pillows and comforters lying as flat as a sheet while the room was covered in white stuffing.  I would find large chunks of wood chewed out of window moldings and other things. He could undo a latch from the other side of a crate with ease, and get out of his crate while we were at work, only for us to come home and find the whole place bombed with defecation. We had to put a locked padlock on his crate as a puppy, and eventually he figured out how to get that open as well. On occasion I would walk into my closet and gasp at the smell of urine, where he had marked my entire bottom rack of clothes. Oh the fury!!
But even with all of that tom foolery, Max ended up being the most gentle, kind, and loyal dog. He never growled at us, ever, in anger or aggression. He would growl when he was tired..sort of a, "don't bug me" growl, but never mean. He lived to please and protect us, and I think especially me. When Earle would be out of town with work, he would jump up into Earle's spot in the bed. While I was pregnant with Collin, Max sort of became my shadow. Following me around to make sure that I was okay. He has ever since. Although he has caused messes and mischief, he was well worth taking. From the get go, Max let Molly take the lead, he let her eat first, always. He let her speak for both of them for a long time. I had to learn to listen to what he was trying to tell me because he had such a quiet, non intrusive way of communicating his needs. Once I sort of figured out how to listen to him, I think we made a special connection. He has been like a guardian to the soul. He has lived through many moves and transitions in the Brown home. Sweet Max, we will love and miss you, but we don't want you to suffer. Thank you for making your paw print on our hearts and being such a good example of loyal, and selfless love. You have blessed our lives with your gentle spirit.
Tonight Max had a rib eye steak for dinner, along with a granola bar, and his pain pills were covered in a fluffy cloud of whipped cream. I think he'll have a bacon-wrapped fillet mignon for breakfast before we go in the morning. I can't really think of any other way to honor him, but I think it will make him happy.
I'll be honest, the glowing green eyes kind of freaked me out, but I could not get a picture without it. They seemed extra glowing, and I could not edit them out.

Monday, March 7, 2011

About Lice and such...

This weekend I got to go spend the weekend with my cousin Jennie aka "The Lice Lady of Atlanta."
We had a good time and I got to follow her to a bunch of her lice client homes where I saw and helped de-lice many a child, teenager or mom.  I was not exactly expecting to do lice but apparently we are getting in to rampant lice season. When I arrived at the Atlanta airport and got in the car with Jennie, she said, "You are going to hate this cousin, but we have 3 lice clients to go to right now..."
I was like, "You've got to be kidding me!"
I have never had lice before (knock on wood). But I heard right before I left Katy on Thursday morning that there were some lice cases at my son's school last week. I am definitely going to be proactive in checking! Some things as a mom that you might not know about lice that you may find interesting or helpful:

*Most school nurses do not catch all of the lice cases. Especially the nits that are the eggs laid by the lice that attach to the hair.

*Lice only are transferred with head to head contact...which mean that elementary children and younger are at the biggest risk because they always talk or sit with their little heads touching.  If a bug gets on a pillow or chair and you sit there,  you can catch it. They can only live for about 24 to 48 hours off of a scalp which is the lice's food source.  Lice don't jump or run around your home.

*Lice cannot be killed by washing your hair. They can hold their breath for up to 8 hours. So baby pools can be a breeding ground for lice.

*Some doctor prescribed treatments can kill the bugs themselves, but nothing can kill the nits. They have to all be combed out of the hair. If you miss one, you will not be rid of the lice. Most of the prescribed treatments have pesticides in them that can harm small children if they are allergic, and can really irritate the scalp.

*Human lice cannot be caught by animals or animal lice by humans.

*There are three types of lice: Head lice, Body lice, and Pubic Lice. Head lice only live on the head. You cannot transfer it to other parts of the body.

*Lice like clean hair and scalps the MOST! All of the houses we went to were very nice and very clean. We are talking $500,000+ homes in the suburbs of Atlanta.

*Using hairspray and hair mousse and other hair products does help to keep a barrier from the lice getting to your head. They also hate the smell of mint, there is a product on my cousin's website that you can use. Mousse your kids up and hairspray them rubbing the mousse on the scalp before school.

*During the spring and summer it is a good idea for everyone to do lice maintenance even if you don't have it. Especially after camps, parties, and times when your kids have been with other kids. Slumber parties are not the best idea during this time.  We went to one house where the little girl had it, then we checked the very clean teenage girl, and of course she had it too. She had a friend spend the night with her who was watching her be treated....the friend choose not to be checked, they had slept in the same bed. ICK!

* You can do maintenance by helping your child in the bathtub or shower. Just condition up their hair and run a lice comb through it for about 5 minutes around the crown, part, neck and hairline. Don't rinse out the comb but use a white paper towel to wipe the comb gunk off. Looking and folding after each wipe to see if you see any nits. They are tiny dark brown ovals. You can order the special comb off of my cousin's website. If you do find nits, you can also order the foam product from the website to treat them. If your child has it, it is worth paying someone to come to your home to treat you. If you live in Houston, and have the comb and foam on hand, I can show you how to comb through the hair.

* I am going to order the comb today and I got some foam that I brought back just in case. Her comb works much better than the ones you might get at Walgreens or CVS. It is a professional patented lice comb. It makes a big difference.

*Lice has been declared a national epidemic. Almost second to the common cold in children. There is something called the Super Lice that is a strain that is very hard to kill with prescribed treatments. They have become immune.

One thing I found funny while doing lice calls was that we would be elbow deep in the lice foam, combing lice out of sections of hair, and the mom of the house would then ask us if we would like a snack or a drink. We would politely say, "No thank you." But gross, who would want to eat something when your hands were entrenched in lice ridden hair. I'm sure I would offer the same thing though.

I will tell all of my friends that you all should order these three things to have on hand just in case, especially if you have elementary aged or younger aged children:
These products are all natural with no pesticides and completely safe for young children. They have an enzyme in them that decinagrates the exoskeleton of the lice bug and loosens the nit glue so that the nits can be combed out. It is a fragrance free product.

The foam is good for up to a year and if you don't have to use it, you can give it to a friend. The comb will last forever. You can e-mail Jennie or me if you need to de-lice and I can help explain to you how to comb.
Hope you don't have to de-lice your home but if you do call a professional and  Happy Licing!:)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

When I'm

Discussion I overheard in the car tonight went as follows....

Ben:  When you're in kindergarten, I'm gonna be in first grade, no, I'll be in second grade.

Collin: Hey Ben...

Ben: And when you're in 3rd grade I'm gonna be in 5th Grade...

Collin: You know what Ben...

Ben: And when you're in 5th grade I'm gonna be in 7th Grade

Collin: Ben..

Ben: ..and when I'm in 6th grade you're gonna be in, um, you're gonna be in 4th grade.

Collin:  Hey Ben...

Ben: Yes, Collin.

Collin: Hey Ben when I'm yowr age, you know what?

Ben: What?

Collin: When I'm yowr age, I'm gonna love you. I'm just gonna love you.

Ben with a brimming over smile giggles: He loves me.

I looked back to see them holding hands across their car seats and smiling at each other.