3.16.2011

hump day nuggets: thumbs up

hump day nuggets: little bits of the season in photos and words about the last week


Yesterday, I was driving home from Margot's second doctor's appointment having just booked her third holding back tears over the army of medical bills mercilessly marching their way to our mailbox. I have felt frustrated with referrals that lead to referrals that lead to referrals, hours in waiting rooms to see someone for five minutes who doesn't have anything to say other than keep it splinted and go see soandso. 

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Margot and I were in the car heading west toward the mountains and I was feeling sorry for myself, worried. I rarely fret about money. I usually believe it always works out and here I was in this anxious and agitated tailspin. Why? I wondered, wishing to snap out of my funk. And then Margot started singing Doe, a Deer and I noticed the calm river that gracefully arced toward the Bitterroot within its banks and I thought of Japan. I sucked myself out of my egocentric tunnel and into the big picture. It's nice to see the big picture. Big picture I am thankful for health, family, friends, pets, a home, opportunity for medical attention. Big picture my energy is better spent elsewhere. Payment plans will happen (big deal, boring).

Ray, a Drop of Golden Sun.

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nuggets.

:: Margot skied the rope tow top to bottom without help and without hesitation.

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Holy cow did I swell with pride. She looked like this the whole time. So did I.

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pre-thumb war, obviously


And little Rhubarb just rallies on her papa's back.

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Apres-ski pizza.

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My amazingly handsome, wonderfully kind, swooningly strong husband.

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:: Nearly-spring in Missoula is pink skies, snowy mountains, beeswax hills, plum shadows.

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:: That cake pictured in Monday's post?

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We have decided it is the best chocolate cake recipe we have ever found. And, coming from my husband who carries exquisitely astute cocoa taste buds, that's saying something.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake from Smitten Kitchen

:: And the Catfish Stew we made was killer.

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Holy Trinity of Creole cooking: onion, celery and green pepper.

:: My cousin and her girls are here for a few days. It is wonderfully chaotic.

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:: The view from my bedroom:

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:: Margot, the chicken whisperer.

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:: My favorite time of day right now is when the girls wake up from their naps and we head out into the relative warmth and lounge, scoot, bike, walk. It's just perfect and satisfying.

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:: The Thumb. It is fractured and because it is near a growth plate we are seeing an orthopedist this afternoon who will decide if the splint will do or if bug needs a cast.

She walks around holding it up in a perpetual thumbs up position. She really does teach me everything I need to know.

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It doesn't bother her a bit. She effortlessly switched to eating with her left hand and is very careful with her right. Humans, when given the opportunity, are such wonderfully instinctive and adaptive creatures.

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Also, we have been dousing her hand with a powerful arsenal of essential oils (Frankincense, lavender, PanAway, Valor) and the swelling, bruising and pain have diminished rapidly. Even the docs are impressed. I am such a believer in these oils.

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Anyone who makes eye contact with Margot gets the story and it is told the exact same way every time. "Andy Cline closed the door and it went BAM! on my thumb. Andy Cline is my father."

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The above photo reminded me of this photo from just over a year ago:

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:: Margot and Ruby are 23 months apart. That space is in a vice grip, condensing and becoming less significant all the time. They are synchronistic partners except when they are trying to torture each other.

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:: It's true. Spring is coming.

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:: So, about that Big Picture. From today through March 23, 20% of all sales from my shop will be donated to Global Giving's Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund.

happy hump day out there

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:: :: ::

all photos taken with a Canon Digital SLR from Vanns.com

50 comments:

Mama Marchand said...

LOVE the photos! And I love your girls' sense of fashion. :)

Louise said...

My kids are 22 month apart and just a couple of months behind yours. Its fun to see on your blog whats just around the corner.
I also find myself concerned with money a lot and then I think of all the sadness going on in the world. We are happy and peaceful in our little bubble.

Shauna said...

love the daddy photos this week. it's awesome to be able to love a husband like that, isn't it?! i'd love a resource to learn more about the ways you use oils. much appreciated - thanks!

Jaim said...

The big picture...it's amazing what it can do for your perspective. My girls are 26 months apart and when I had the second I thought I was crazy but now with a 21/2 and a 41/2 life seems like I couldn't have planned it better.

Margot is a lovely product of her surroundings...you and Andy have clearly done an outstanding job! I just wish I could come over and get some motherly advice. Nice job momma...

dig this chick said...

Shauna, Mama Loves Oils is a wonderful resource: http://mamalovesoils.com/.

I also have two books I use a lot. The reference guide is listed on the Young Living site and is AWESOME. I also like Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child: http://astore.amazon.com/digthischick-20/detail/1577310950.

thisfriendlyvillage said...

Nice post and pictures. As someone who has lived through a few fractured, broken or thought-it-might-be-broken hand parts with my boys, I've been to my share of dr appointments with them. Seemed for awhile we had a personal relationship with the local hand surgeon and his assistant! Medical bills? Frightning...but I made myself feel better by realizing that five minutes in an exam room is worth years of their education and experience. Once I saw the x-rays and was given the whole bone, nerve, tendon, growth plate explanation...for the sake their grown-up hands, I figured it was money well spent. Hope this makes you feel better. And... I am definately trying that chocolate cake!

Kelley J. Robison said...

Nici: You, your strength, your photos, your words, your children, your life...inspire me more than you will ever know. Hang in there with the med. bills...it sounds like you are...it WILL all turn out fine...I know it!

Mills Family said...

Ohhh Love Daddy-Kiddo pics, Always melts my heart =) Where did Margot get that beautiful yellow and black tutu outfit, Toooo cute!!

frailgrasponthebigpicture said...

Ah, the big picture. So important and yet sometimes so hard to see.

On a side note, I am 26 and just started learning to ski this winter. Nothing crushes your self esteem more than watching 3 and 4 year olds whiz bravely by you on their little skis with no poles as you tentatively make your way down the mountain, throwing yourself into the snow every time you feel like you might be getting out of control. Damn (cute) kids.

Maggie May said...

'Andy Kline is my father' haha!!! I love this. And we are h ead over hills with medical bills. I'm a poet! And I know it.

clove's corner said...

The big picture is always humbling.

Also, LOVE Margot's wings.

And, I was hoping we'd see that chocolate cake recipe. Thanks.

Bikini By 30 said...

I needed that reminder very today as I fret over things that seem important in my tiny bubble, but really just aren't like baby name stealing, pensions (yep, I'm 30-lame), having to wait for babies. all of it seems so small when I consider that I still have an apartment to live in, food, clothes, health. So small indeed.

Melissa said...

Nici, you look so pretty and I love the way Rubes is playing with your hair in that last shot!

Big picture, oy, don't I know it. Way too much suffering going on and I feel guilty when I turn off the radio because I have the luxury of doing so . . .

I also love the way kids are so un-fazed by illness and injury. But all the same, poor Margot. Hope she doesn't need a cast.

Sending love!

And a ps: we get *so many* compliments on Lilit's sweet beanie! xo

MoonstruckinMontana said...

Your family has been in my thoughts often this week. What a traumatic event and so glad to see your smiling faces in the nuggets today. Thumbs up, Margot! You rock a splint like no other.

Xtine said...

loving the pics with that new awesome camera. Also I love the beaming pic of margot in the Dr office... she already knows the secret to a long happy life.

Minnesotagal said...

Oh, oh, ohhhh! What great nuggets today! I can't pick a favortie picture they're all so beautiful. The kids with Andy, the girls groovin' it, Ruby on her trike, the girls on the couch, Margot on the slopes and the beautiful little lady bug with a broken thumb... Reminds you that there's so, so much goodness even when there's badness. I feel for you on all the referrals. I'm a family doc and really hate it when I can't be the one stop shop for my patients - but a growth plate is nothing to mess with. You can sometimes work out dicounted care if you call the billing office and if there were really some apts that were good for nothing but a referral - a lot of times if the doc knows that finances are an issue they can discount the care. Worth asking in any case.
Love my essential oils! Just had an amazing response with lavender on a burn that turned white hot after catching on the oven door and after lavender 3x a day for three days no blister, no pain, no signs of a burn. I used to think it was wacky but man does it work!
What a great post - and thanks for the recipe - should have guesed it was Smitten Kitchen - love those recipes!

Ashley said...

It continually amazes me how a person I've never met inspires me in such a big way. You have been such a mentor to me as I figure out what kind of mama (and person) I want to be.

An Authentic Life said...

I so want a frilly skirt to wear with my cowgirl boots!
I'll start a new Montana trend - for grown-up cowgirls!

LOVE the photo of the little darling holding the chicken!

Britta said...

Beautiful post, as always.

My mom made me a doll like the one Ruby is clutching in the 23 months photo - the face looks identical, and the way the hair pops out from the hood! Still have it. I'm making my babe a doll at the moment, and it gives me such pride to be continuing a generational thing (although the new doll is a different pattern).

Kevin said...

Fretting about medical bills means only that you are an American. Not that you are ungrateful or egocentric.

Aunt Kiki said...

Glad to hear that Margo is doing well. Thanks for the idea about the essential oils. . . I'm going to forward that information on to my sister, Colleen, so that she has it ready for Lilly. Lil' is going to be heading into her second neck surgery here pretty soon. It's amazing how these little ones can so quickly adapt to a broken thumb, a fused vertebrae or a big purple goose egg on the forehead (Henry's got a huge smacker on his noggin right now). They can teach a lot about not sweating the small stuff, that's for dang sure. Kiddos have a knack for acknowledging and moving on (not sure why we can't do that as adults???).

Enjoy the beginning of spring in Montana. . . we're excited for the change her in eastern Washington as well.

Take care,
Kate and Henry

P.S. Hank and I are flying to Portland in April and my sis and I are going to make your fig bars. Thanks for the recipe!

Beth said...

We're Canadian and I can't even *imagine* having to worry about payment plans (??!!!!) to get a child's broken digit taken care of! Talk about piling stress onto an already stressful situation.

Twist my rubber arm - that cake looks too good to resist!

~ jessica said...

I'm so glad you're a big picture person. It really helps reign in that whole freaking out thing we can be so prone to. My husband is being laid off - fortunately, we had warning. We worry about money, too, but I am certain everything will be taken care of. I live with that conviction because I have seen it happen in my life before; I think you have, too, or you wouldn't remind yourself of it at times like this. :) Bless your little family. <3

TRB Holt said...

Oh these pix are superb! My fav is Andy with his girls at Snow Bowl....he adjusts so well from solo to trio!

Burb, you & Andy may have not hit a 9.0 on the Richter scale....but the last few weeks have been crazy for you all....proving we all experience our own tsunamis on different scales.
Margot ~ YOU are one tough, darling little cookie! You amaze me by your strength and smiles through your fate with the door! LOVE your new outfits! I Love You A Bushel & A Peck!
Ruby ~ I had a great dream about last night...I must be anticipating my visit to see you next week!....counting the days You Are My Sunshine!

Love to all!

xoxo, Mom/Gram

ps...
YES....HUGE thoughts of love and well wishes to Japan!

Lisa Gonzalez - Happy Mama said...

You and your girls are SO cute! and that cake looks amazing. I've got to try it!

jennymariee said...

I too was just astonished at how well my 2 year old adapted to a broken leg. She was such a trooper and could teach any grown-up a thing or two about how to handle life.

I think its awesome your girls ski with you.. and its adorable your hubby carries Ruby while on the slopes. Its amazing you can keep doing what you love and introduce it to the girls for them to love.

Melina said...

I just wrote a story a few weeks ago, about my own battle between door and finger. It's pretty funny, but I completely understand the frustration over the wait two hours to see a doctor for five minutes.

http://www.thewildercoast.com/2011/02/very-short-stories-witnesses-were.html

Otherwise, Margot will love that picture of her skiing with the big kermit the frog smile, when she's a senior and high school and just SCHOOLING it on the mountains! And the pizza eating Rhubarb was my fave cline family photo (well, sans mamma) I've ever seen....until I scrolled down and saw the two of andy and the girl on the couch.

Good for you for finding the essential oils that do the job of diminishing bruises!

Okay this is a long comment. Thanks for the sweet nuggets!

Melina

Christina, Steve, Clara and Elena said...

Oh, you have my best wishes that the appointment with the pediatrician goes quickly and uneventfully. It was a joy to meet you and Margot yesterday, but so sad for it to have happened due to that poor thumb (and Clara's ear infection, as it turns out). I hope we cross paths again, under better circumstances!

Monica said...

wow.. Margot sure is a trooper. Those oils must be magic. I will need to read up on them soon as my little one has just started walking on her own. I am absolutely amazed at Andy's pic with the girls on top of him! SUPER DAD!

Also, I am totally loving Rubs' dolly in the cute pic of her and Morgot on the couch. Where did you get it or did you make it? I can picture my girl snuggling it the way Ruby is in that picture. So cute!

6512 and growing said...

Thanks for sharing the perpetual thumbs up of your life!

And thanks for the magazines, they arrived yesterday and I may have read them all last night.

homeiswhatyoumakeit said...

Love the skiing photos. I was born and raised in Colorado. Started skiing at the age of 4. My little guy is 3-1/2 and I hope to get him up to Mt. Hood for the 1st time this weekend. I am so excited! Getting butterflies in my belly and tears in my eyes just typing about it! Hopefully my baby girl will follow in his footsteps...they are 26 months apart.
Love your blog!
I wish I lived in Montana!

The Watzeks' said...

Reading your post made me also, sit back and realize to be grateful for what we have. Made me remember what Japan is going through every minute of every day. I couldn't imagine.

Your daughters are dolls. My two (a boy and a girl) are 19 1/2 months apart. I agree that when they aren't trying to torture each other, they are the best of friends. I love seeing them grow together.

Oh, and that chocolate cake.. looks heavenly. We will be making it in our near future :)

rebecca said...

,,,margot always makes me smile especially when she pairs her tutus with her cowboy boots,,,she is THE fashionista and the models on the paris runways have nothing on margot!,,, "Andy Cline closed the door and it went BAM! on my thumb. Andy Cline is my father.",,,i love a gal who tells it like it is, nets it out and gets on with her business,,,the photo of margot "the chicken whisper", i think this might be one of my favorite,,,
,,,i shall try making the chocolate cake very soon, we love all things chocolate,,,
,,,ruby is beautiful!,,,
,,,please try not to worry yourselves over the medical bills it will only rob you of the joys and goodness in the days,,,you will find a way as you always do,,,oh happy day!,,,

Courtney said...

All I can say is that when I woke up to RAIN in Bozeman this morning, I did a happy dance and declared spring to be imminent! Even if the rain transitioned into snow this afternoon, I declare it to be SPRING SNOW.

Carly said...

I love the two pictures of Andy with the girls on the couch, especially the current one with Ruby pulling on the curtains.
-Carly

Dana said...

as always love your pictures and stories! Thank you for sharing them

Malissa said...

Love your nuggets. Thanks for posting the chocolate cake recipe. Yum. Love the picture of your two girls together. They look like great friends. :)

Jessie said...

<3 I love your family. Seriously. You are the most inspiring person I've never met. ;)

Amanda said...

Just beautiful.

I love smitten kitchen. I will totally try this cake this weekend.

I'm sorry your little bug has a broken thumb, and I hope it gets better with the least amount of hurting and expense possible.

Chaotic Collins Clan said...

Love Smitten Kitchen. Did you see her new bread recipe with the honey butter? Yum!

Kelle said...

loving Andy's "fatha" shirt, your 30% donation, the big picture, Montana pink skies, April 18th. :o)

And vice grips. I so get it.

Colleen said...

I have such a crush on you and your family. You are all so cute, real, and constantly making me smile.

picturingtheordinary said...

Margot's description of what happened to her thumb made me laugh out loud! It's okay, my daughter told me a few days ago that "it's really hard to get babies to go to sleep and (I) just need to be a better mommy to Isaac."

Good luck with the medical bills. I've found that it really does just work out. I hope the thumb turns out okay and you get some answers soon. I know how all of that is, my son has been through a lot in the last year.

Baby By The Sea said...

What a toughie, little Ms. Margot. Hope the thumb heals just in time for it to turn green in your luscious garden.
Love the Andy-Sherpa picture & cousins romping.
It's so easy to lose sight of the big picture. Thanks for reminding me through your narrative to keep it all in perspective.
xoxo

Annie said...

Love the drop of golden sun photo.

Big Picture. Thank you for the reminder for all of us out here. It can be so easy to get wrapped up in our selves and our own lives for our own families. Yet stretching and reaching out to others is fulfilling and wondrous and makes our little pictures so much better!

FinnyKnits said...

That town of yours is so photogenic. Love the purpley photo :)

And I love that you guys get out with your kids on the mountain. Papa with two ski monkeys - awesome.

April said...

Beautiful photos and words as always. Love that grain elevator photo!

Happiness is... said...

The wings and the dorothy shoes make her outfit. Bling head to toe.

Thanks for sharing the information about the essential oils - I will have to take a look into using them for more than scrubbing salts, etc. Glad to hear that they are helping out Margot so very much.

And that chocolate cake…I'm all over that like a fly. THANK YOU from the bottom of my chocolate-coated heart.

xo,

Jennifer from Annapolis

P.S. May have a new beasty boy (dog) in the next week. So excited.

Jennifer said...

I love Margot's thumb story! That is just adorable! I bet she'd make a great actress!

Payment plans for medical bills is a good remedy. I just tell them how much I can pay, what our budget allows, and works out everytime.

That picture from this year and last yera, great contrast. So sweet! Frame them in a double frame.

:o)

sarah said...

I wanna be part of that dress-up dance party.

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