14 December 2005

moment of ambience

I am sitting still for a few minutes. I mean really sitting in peace. Little B is at school, Miss C is napping, the phone is off the hook (my cell is on, but only in case someone is having an emergency). My lights are off with only a string of them across my fireplace glowing, and I have 13 candles lit. No music, but I may put something quiet on in a bit. Hard to say. I am savoring the quiet, the lack of questions, the calm of a teething baby, not being asked to play a game or fix a snack, not feeling hungry enough to prepare my own lunch yet. Just sitting. Sometimes dwelling thoughfully on my Heavenly Father, sometimes allowing dust to settle around my thoughts rather than contemplate anything at all.

I did this a few days ago, too. That day, I refused to even use my computer...and I will put it down shortly once more.

Life has been too fast-paced recently, and I have been in need of some quiet. I have recently been too introspective, overly self-critical and mired in the whirlwind the holildays bring. I survived both office parties quite successfully, in spite of wearing pantyhose to one (a rare concession, and I came really close to taking them off halfway through...only the super cold night convinced me I'd regret it). I have also been dealing with issues I prefer to leave on the shelf usually, and of course they came landsliding all at once. What other way is there, right?

And so, I will return again, I have not gotten lost in the real world just yet, but for now, I must go absorb the quiet that is left in my day, savoring the ambience that temporarily surrounds me.

30 November 2005

blue tooth and lists

I have been sans cell phone since summer when I killed both my phone and my husband's. At times, annoying, other times, no big deal. However, with two kids and running errands and all that, it is nice to have one. We kept putting it off because my parents offered to add one on to their plan, thus saving money and giving me free talk time with a friend who uses the same company. Sounds good, right? Except that every attempt to get said phone failed for any number of reasons. And, it was attempted at least close to half a dozen times. It was always some oddball glitch, nothing more. Waiting for something to process, talking to someone who was incompetent, you name it.

On Monday my dad was in town (he's been doing work a few hours away and staying on site, so we've had to bide our time), and at last he walked into a store and got it all squared away. All I asked for was a flip phone (I despise locking and unlocking the keypad, and inadvertently call people if I don't).

What I got: a nicer flip phone than I'd even imagined, with blue tooth capability. I am just coming to know what this is myself--essentially, it can "go wireless". My father sweetened the package with one of those funky headpieces--yep, the wireless one. I'm still figuring it out, but he insisted it was safer since I have two kids and am driving and all that. Okay. If you insist, I won't complain.

One of my favorite features, however, is the voice recorder. I am a list-a-h0lic (my husband can now predict when I "need" to make a list while we're talking!). And, now I can create voice lists! I can just record the things I need and write them down later, all at once. This way I'm not searching for my list to add to it (I'm only mentally organized). It's just a little button on the side that works when the phone is open.

I love it. A virtual list maker!

rain on my parade

Something about Thanksgiving Day and parades. It's simply not the same without the sound of announcers and music 'floating' by in the background. I grew up on a steady diet of this (every year, we were at my grandparents and it was always on) and something is missing without it.

Back in June, we cancelled our cable. It was wasted on us since we barely have time to watch anything, and when we found time, there was nothing good on. Little B watched one or two kid's channels sometimes, and that was it. So, we got Netflix to appease the occasional need to watch stuff and never worry about late fees (we are notorious for accruing them!). We never even hooked up the antenna again because, well, we have not watched regular TV in that long.

So, on the morning of my parades, my husband went out in the nippy air to hook it up for me. And found it was cut. The cable guy who hooked us up to cable several years earlier had just cut it to make room for his wires. Thanks a bunch. Can we say personal property???

While I was in the shower, my husband found a random spanish channel that had it on (where that and a couple other channels came from, we will never, ever know). Little B watched the parade in spanish for all of five minutes (and I missed it entirely, of course), but the commercials were apparently not too family friendly, so off it went. The parade wouldn't have been the same anyhow, not knowing how heavy the floats were and such.

Rather than procrastinate again (as we'd obviously done with the antenna...ahem), we called the cable company and filed our complaint and last night they came out to fix the cable they'd cut. A few days too late, mister. But, it's ready for the next round of parades, at least!

28 November 2005

four turkeys and a sleepy mom

Yes, we have officially had four Thanksgiving meals now. It is my favorite holiday, but even for me that's a bit much--besides, turkey is not my favorite food! Give me a ham any day.

The first weekend in November, we had an impromptu Thanksgiving with my mom and brother--he wasn't going to be here for the real thing, so even though my dad was out of town, we did it up right and had a lovely time. My mom asked us each to share something we were thankful for. Honestly, we got distracted (her fault as she allowed us time to think about it during the meal!) and she was the only one who shared her thoughts. However, I did give it thought over the next week or two and decided (among other things) I am thankful for my daughter's arm healing so well and that my children love each other.

A week ago Sunday, we had a big all-out feast with my husband's mother's family (his mother is deceased, but we really enjoy her family). Little B had to miss this because he'd been really sick. That was a bummer as he loves playing with his cousins and that happens pretty rarely.

Tuesday, in spite of still feeling sick, his fever was gone so we went to Little B's pre-school's Thanksgiving Feast. It's catered by his favorite place, but he was feeling so miserable still that he fell asleep in the midst of it all. The craziest thing was that the entire class was coughing up a lung. It was almost funny if they hadn't felt so awful! The teacher asked who threw up that weekend and (including herself), there were a total of 12 hands. Only 16 kids were there that day (out of 18)!

Which brings me to yesterday. The large meal was at my home (I had a lovely ham, by the way, and almost skipped the turkey, but I must say I did a fabulous job with it once I decided to cook one!) which I prepared with the help of my mother and a crying baby girl. I spent most of my weekend wondering if I needed to take her to urgent care--bear in mind, Miss C is a very content little girl and rarely fusses in the true sense of the word, so I immediately worry if she's crying much. I second guessed myself almost hourly about how sick she was--mornings she seems fine, evenings are not so good, nights are awful.

Back to the meal. I suppose this was our most official Thanksgiving of them all. My parents, father in law, sister in law and her husband were the main "guests". It was a concession to have them all at once, but I don't want to go there right now. It was survivable, the food was yummy, even if say so myself, and best of all a dear friend from Seattle, Tami, was in town for the evening (always too short of a visit, but better than none at all!).

Miss C had a thankful moment on this day--her first tooth finally broke through! Of course the next three look like they are not far behind. However, I decided this morning that enough was enough and her fussy--make that BAD--nights were certainly not improving (in spite of happy mornings with the snotty nose). I took her to our pediatrician and, as I was beginning to suspect, she has an ear infection. Poor baby. Maybe I'll get more sleep in the coming nights...I'm starting to feel like a zombie and even noticed it while driving home (that red light seemed like a lovely nap spot...for me, that's tired.

(For the record, yes, I was careful driving home--not in danger of falling asleep which would be alarming to me. I know my limits and was recognizing the end of it! However, I am refraining from going back out until I'm a bit more clear-headed, even for Miss C's antibiotic...now, I need to go read to my son and pray my daughter sleeps longer. We'll see...)

23 November 2005

take two

So, my husband calls me last night on his way home from the office and quite excitedly says, “Well, I must have finally ‘arrived’—I got invited to the secret Engineer’s Christmas Party!” The what? He'd never heard of this party, but has seen invitations floating about before, not knowing what they were. It is held at the owner’s home (which we frequent anyway since he is family, but that’s beside the point), and apparently is the client party (his aunt filled him in when he called to RSVP). A few years back when the formal party became employee-only, this was the way they still invited clients to mingle. This year, he was 'finally' invited because he now deals directly with the clients more than he used to.

And, while it is a little more casual—good golly miss molly—I now have to figure out TWO party friendly outfits. Just go ahead and shoot me.

20 November 2005

little black dress or something...

Every year my husband's company throws a nice Christmas party for their employees. And, I do mean nice. In the eight years we've been attending, the parties have evolved and become quite a classy event (except for the perpetual drinkers who tend to throw a bit of the atmosphere on occasion, but that's a small detail, really).

The first year the party was held in the office with buffet-style meals and included clients and had presents for a few children who were invited. The next two years, the party was adults only, then there was a children's Breakfast with Santa for all the kids of the employees and clients. And yes, there were pictures and gifts for each child. Pretty amazing production--we were even able to take a friend's little boy one year since we were sans-child at that point in time. A few clients began to abuse the priveledge of these invites, and eventually they stopped all of that. The next few years the parties, for employees only, were held at a nice hotel ballroom (there were even discounted rooms available for those unable or unwilling to drive home). Each year there was some type of white elephant gift exchange, door prizes, charicatures, awards, etc.

For the last two years they have been held at a local upscale members-only club. We're talking sit down dinners, food of impeccable taste, nicer awards, and professional pictures. And, thank goodness, they have finally delivered us from that awful white elephant game (it was fast becoming an alcohol exchange).

This year's party is less than two weeks away--Friday, December 2. And, once again, I have my annual dilemma: what to wear.

A few nights ago, I tried on everything remotely appropriate left in my closet. There is nothing that will work. Nothing. I even tried on a few things from past years, figuring no one would remember them anyway. My body has changed a LOT over the past eight years, is all I can say. Some of those outfits have long since been sent on their way, but I still have too many dressy things that do not fit anymore (I have hope for some of them).

So, I am once again on the hunt for that elusive outfit. I loathe hose. Really, truly. I didn't even wear them at my own wedding. I was thinking a long skirt/dress or pants would be a lovely way to avoid hose (again). I also want a reasonable budget since I only might wear the outfit for some other occasion--and I want to be thinner next year anyway!

Oh, did I mention that I grow tired of trying on clothes REALLY fast? Yeah. The next week and a half in crowded stores with two kids should be loads of fun.

18 November 2005

week of progress

My sweet girl has come so very far. Her left arm gains strength on a daily basis. (For those who may not know what I’m talking about, you can read my daughter's story and baby miracles to fill in a few of the gaps.)

When Miss C began crawling, she usually balanced out a weak bicep by dragging her body around almost army crawl style, yet not. As she got the crawling concept down, her compensation came in the form of using her elbow only on the left side—kinda cute, really—she was in correct crawling posture otherwise. With each passing day, we knew she was getting stronger and got loads of enjoyment from seeing her use that left arm the way she should, then alternately drop down on her elbow, then back up and so forth (more so when she was tired). She definitely had a bit of style going on!

This week has been yet another milestone of progress for our daughter.

On Monday, Miss C began pulling herself up. Then…she stopped dropping to her elbow while crawling! It was a noticeable change over the course of three or four days. For us, this was huge. She also prefers to use her left hand for feeding herself (and accurately aimed a fork this morning, thank you very much)—as her therapist said, being a lefty would be the ultimate, since it would require fine-tuning her motor skills that are subtly lacking.

In the meantime, my son is working on teaching her to climb stairs. She’s proving to be quite a little learner--both knees have made it to the first step; time for those extra gates, I do believe.

11 November 2005

road rage

I have this pet peeve that drives me insane--people blocking an intersection. Obviously, they don't get it that they are the reason there is a traffic jam! If you cannot get through the light, stay behind the line. It's a law, it's simple, it's basic, and good golly miss molly, just DO it, please? And when I am following this simple curtesy, DON'T HONK AT ME.

Little B's private school is a wisp of a mile away -- something I will miss when we move. They go from "mother's morning out" to 6th grade. All preschool ages arrive and leave at the same time via three different doors, depending on the child's classroom location. Last year, my "door" to go to used a turn lane and an extra entrance to the parking lot--it was short and often overly full. THIS year, however, I SHARE an entrance with the littlest kids...the younger they are, the longer and slower the line. We line up next to them in the circular drive, and I must say OUR line is always incredibly short and fast--IF you can get to it.

This morning, I sat through the light twice since the moms in the long line do not know how to pull forward, which is all it would take to make room for more cars at the end. I'm not sure why the moms in these carpool lines are so incredibly dense--they leave a ton of space in front of their cars, not paying the least bit of attention. The wierd thing to me is that they are the ones stuck at the back at some point, right? You'd think they could remember it for a mere 10 minutes. But, no, apparently not.

When the turn arrow turned green the third time, the mom behind me honked! Sorry lady, I'm not doing it to annoy you (if I'd have turned into my lane, my car would have blocked the entire intersection and yes, I've seen some of these ladies get tickets for that very thing!).

I finally did a u-turn and went into the empty line, parked and walked my son up--there was only one car in his lane, as well. But getting there was the issue.

I was seething by the time I walked him up. The teachers getting them out cannot do a thing, but they could see how mad I was. The afternoons are just as bad and the teacher taking down carpool numbers doesn't say a word--in fact she stands in my way most of the time.

Oh, I cannot wait for next year--the elementary school lets out at a different time and there are so few cars in those lines. I've seen them while driving by...

10 November 2005

full caff today, please

My intent today was to drop off Little B, then nap when Miss C napped. She is napping now. I am not. Am I tired? Very...teething, red bottoms and little boy nightmares do not make for good nights (yes, plural).

I am stupid. I wanted that nap BAD. But, I was a little afraid she and I would oversleep...we have to leave in about 15 minutes, and an alarm sounded like such a lousy way to wake up. Oh well. Guess I'll be making coffee after all (which I only skipped in hopes of grabbing that nap).

02 November 2005

help wanted

I have some cloth diapers my daughter has outgrown and I want to sell them. I am nervous about selling on ebay (never done it, and don't know anyone well enough to consult with about doing it). Someone suggested craigslist, but I suppose I don't know how I feel about that, either (I don't really dig meeting up with strangers, you know?). Does anyone know anything about selling stuff online or could someone suggest another means of selling? Please???

01 November 2005


Last week I bought my daughter her first pair of shoes--for summer, bare feet and occasional booties or socks are sufficient in my book. I'd been debating back and forth on what to get: Stride Rite Crawlers, last year's style at the Stride Rite Outlet, Robeez, or Target's Circo brand of Robeez. I finally settled on Robeez, and went to Nordstrom to buy them--a store I usually only frequent for their elevator. I'd heard they were actually a buck or two cheaper (though I did not double check), and most important, they had a better selection. Wow, did they! I was actually wishing I could buy some boy's ones, too. =p I finally settled on the pink pair with kittens. Miss C is something of a kitten to us in a lot of ways, so that only seemed appropriate.

I was asked to fill out a card of information while paying; there was a place to list my purchases, current and future, so I figured why not? (And, I did enjoy looking around a tidy, posh department store...oh, I'd love to be a regular shopper in such a place.)

Today I got a thank you note from the sales lady. Talk about regal shopping. . .

26 October 2005

the quest

We spent this past weekend in the mountains I love so much. The leaves had not yet changed, but it was still crisp and cool and lovely and poetry ran through my mind the entire time. I had a relaxing time, to top it off (my parents were with us and helped with the childcare load). Lovely.

While there, my husband and I made an attempt get dessert within walking distance of where we were staying, but discovered it was by reservation only and we decided it was too much hassle for right then. This is the second failed attempt to "indulge" in less than a month. Now, we've mostly maintained our sugar free efforts, so to tantalize ourselves with the promise of a scrumptious dessert and have it fall through simply whets the appetite for the forbidden. And I have been craving chocolate in a big way for about a week (I was known to create my own with cocoa powder and honey last week--yes, I needed it!)

We rejoined my family (deciding to make reservations for brunch the next morning, which was delicious, by the way), and within about half an hour I became crabby...I was needing real chocolate and fast. I can only figure it's PMS but it was a big deal to me. So, we drove to the grocery store that would be closing in 30 minutes or so (the town shuts down around 10pm if not sooner, even on Saturday!). I searched for my tried and true chocolate and I swear they lacked the good stuff in every way! I need DARK chocolate (my only concession to milk chocolate would be almond m&m's which they did not have anyway).

There was no Dove dark--just the milk.

I looked for Special Dark with Almonds--they had no bag (or bar) of just that. There was a only a mixed bag of Hershey's Treasures--not worth the whole bag for a quarter of it to be dark (and Hershey's is only so-so anyway).

I considered just a Mouds candy bar, but there was only a Halloween-sized bag which was overkill (not for my usual preferences, but for Mounds, it was excessive).

At this point, I can honestly say I was getting close to tears. I know, I cannot believe I just admitted to that, but it's true. I'd have happily worked my way through most of a bag (of dark chocolate only) that night! I contemplated making brownies and while that might have worked, it would have been midnight before it was ready to eat, so I nixed that idea, too. The store was closing at this point and I was desparate to find something that would work.

So, I headed to the freezer and finally found some Godiva Dark Belgian Chocolate Ice Cream. I am amazed I didn't eat it with my fingers or at least buy a spoon. I managed to make it all the way back and ran for the silverware. When my husband got a spoon for a bite, I glared at him. Poor man--he'd helped in my desparate quest for real chocolate--I said, "At least let me finish the top layer, okay?"

I am not a person who can down a pint in one sitting, so I shared and there is still some left! The craving has only mildly abated, though, and I eat a little each day. (I'm breaking the no sugar rule until this is remedied.)

In fact, last night, I went to my favorite coffee shop and had a four layer piece of chocolate cake (that's a ton of cake for me).

I think I will be buying a bag of the good chocolate to get me through...

20 October 2005

dining disaster update

For those who have read my most recent blog, please allow me to fill you in on today's occurances in response to my "kind" email.

Before 10am this morning, I had two responses from various people at Golden Corral (I've already used their name on my site, so I'll carry through). At 11:30, I received a third. I was kind of impressed, since I'd only sent two emails out.

And, apparently, I have created a tiny uproar in that local joint. Fascinating coming from a woman who grows more wary of confrontation with each passing year (and I used to be GOOD at it!!). I responded to two of these emails, one which asked for my phone number so she could pass it along to an Area Director for that location.

Then the director called. I was asked to recap my experience (which I did, though I hate recapping when I know they've just read the email sitting in front of them!). This man apologized profusely. He stated more than once that this is not how they do business and that he was very embarassed. He told me he'd spent the day at that location and had handed out reprimands pertaining to this incident. Honestly, I liked him. He was nice, he was kind, he apologized multiple times, and was genuinely more than a little upset by how things had been handled. He asked if there is anything he could do. My answer: "No, I don't think so, and my liklihood of return is slim in spite of it being my son's favorite restaurant." (It is almost always Little B's first choice in dining locations, and, hey, it is fast to get hot food.)

All that said and done: I have some free meal coupons coming in the mail. I would not ask for them--my belief is that they needed to offer them on their own after that fiasco.

Will I use them? Eventually. I doubt it will be next week, and possibly not even next month. But, yes, eventually. Probably after I know better what Miss C is or is not allergic to. After all, it's long been a favorite Saturday morning breakfast spot (though for the sake of not eating out so much, we don't frequent it as often, and rather my two men make me breakfast on Saturdays. Gotta love it!)

Am I happy with the outcome? Yes. I believe I am. My point was made, the higher uppers quickly handled my complaint, and I was thanked for contacting them rather than simply walking away or badmouthing them. (Well, you guys are my friends, right? Not a newspaper. And, hey, who doesn't tell their friends about their experiences? Besides, I posted the outcome and good stuff along with the other. Okay, my conscience is clear.)

19 October 2005

yes, i actually sent this...moments ago

(A copy of this email has been sent to the Food & Beverage department as well as the specific Golden Corral Restaurant.)

This evening my family dined at our local Golden Corral--(location with-held). We have eaten there frequently in recent years and are generally pleased with what we find.
However, tonight I left unhappy and unlikely to return.
We believe my 8 month old baby had an allergic reaction your mashed potatoes (bear in mind, they are listed on your website as "made from scratch". . . .).

First of all, when it occurred, the only other things she'd eaten were broccoli and chicken. Our server was most helpful and offered to get the manager as I wanted to know any ingredients that might have been in the mashed to potatoes. Upon the return of the server--not the manager--we were told that the manager said there was "butter, milk, salt and pepper; maybe some kind of preservative." That was it. Needless to say, this was insufficient information considering my daughter had red welt-like hives around her mouth as well as a blister on her lip.

Our server was wonderful--I wish I still had her name, but I was a little preoccupied, needless to say. She very willingly retrieved the box of mix that goes into the mashed potatoes and allowed me to copy the MANY ingredients in it.
Milk, butter, salt and pepper--that just doesn't cut it, folks. My baby was having an allergic reaction. And, at NO TIME during the entire situation did the manager bother to come by our table to see if everything was okay.

I'm completely unimpressed.

And yes, my daughter is fine--in case you wondered.

What do I think you should do about it? Make it clear to all of your managers that they should personally check on situations like this. What else? I'll leave that up to you. Good companies usually rise to a challenge.

18 October 2005

those lessons must have paid off

Oh, I have a very proud little girl this week. On Friday evening, she finally figured it out! She usually gets around on her elbows, but moves her legs, so I suppose she's crossed crawling and army crawling--but, hey, whatever works, right? Her final motivator: a lovely pile of papers mommy was sorting on the living room floor with a cordless phone for dessert. Yum. I kept moving the items few feet further from her and she'd just pick up and go after them. I don't think she appreciated the fact I denied her the anticipated paper and plastic meal; however, it was an exciting moment for the rest of us.

The funniest part is when she forgets that she's learned to do this. She'll momentarily get frustrated, flail her limbs out once more and scream. But, when she remembers that she can indeed crawl, watch out!

13 October 2005

crawling lessons

Late yesterday afternoon, Miss C was in the hallway making serious attempts to crawl (even succeeding at rocking on all fours occasionally) but ending up belly-flopping and tensing each limb until her body looked like a rocking mechanism with her head and arms up at one end, body down, and legs up at the back. Quite cute except for the ensuing yell of frustration.

Her other method starts by sitting, then leaning forward on both arms (she is getting better and better at bearing weight on her left arm--something we still thrill at seeing), and kicking one leg back, leaving the other folded beneath her body as leverage. She is able to get back to sitting from this position, which she feels obviously pleased about.

Little B watched her do a few of these things and thought she was starting to crawl. In fact, she is deceptive about that by squirming enough to have moved around a bit after a few minutes, so I explained to him that she was actually just trying to learn still.

At which point he decided to give his sister crawling lessons. I am always looking for gentle ways for them to play together, and this proved a great idea (until the end when he was getting wound up and rowdy, of course). We shut the gate at the top of the stairs and he proceeded to crawl back and forth in the hallway "showing" her what to do. And don't you know she valianty attempted to imitate him! I finally pulled out my camera (non-digital, of course. . .), and once I did the hamming-it-up began. Hilarious to say the least since Little B kept saying "Take it now" as he passed me (I was in a doorway) and Miss C was trying to find a way to reach me to grab the camera. Her crawling efforts were precious, but I had to strip her down as the sweater-outfit she had on meant she was moving her legs inside the clothes. She really worked hard and wore herself out!

And, as my son got sillier and faster (which meant I got more nervous), my daughter got happier and happier! She was giggling each time he passed and her little body would squirm in delight wishing she could keep up with him.

They are going to be two peas in a pod in no time.
Mutual adoration society for sure.

11 October 2005

winds of change

At last, autumn is tip-toeing into our world (albeit slowly here in the south), and I am luxuriating in the milder temperatures, varying cast of shadows around my neighborhood and the crispness of the air. I find it quite invigorating.

However, far more lurks beneath the surface in our lives—a multitude of changes.

The first thing happened while I was on vacation, though being out of town, I did not hear until the afternoon we arrived home.

Prior to getting married, I lived in Seattle for one year—a space of time in my life to become more independent as a person, yet also more dependent upon God. While there, I lived in a house shared by several Christian women (not always an ideal thing, having so much estrogen under one roof, but. . .). However, a few of them became dear to my heart. One friend in particular was Janel. She was indeed a free spirit and a deep-hearted person who helped me maintain my sanity during the lower spots of that year (I “knew” I’d be getting married, but we were 3,000 miles apart and neither of us had email at the time). I spent many a lovely evening with Janel, trouncing around town in “L.C.”, her “Little Car”—an old Honda hatchback. (I recall that later she was sad to have to replace that car when its day was done!)

Once I moved home to get married, Janel and I infrequently stayed in touch. We emailed some, chatted some, and about six years ago she came for a visit. That visit was one stop of many on a trip she’d longed to go on for years. She had traveled part of the US by train and then went to Romania for a few weeks, spending time at an orphanage there. I remember that her heart longed to bring home one baby in particular and that parting was difficult for her.

The day I returned home from our vacation last month, I learned that Janel had died. It has been one month today. She and two friends were on their way home from a concert at 1 a.m. when a freak rockslide occurred and crushed their vehicle, roughly an hour from Seattle. It was so sudden and so shocking that it has taken me some time to process all of it.

A few other housemates and I have reconnected through this tragedy, and I felt our bonds grow a little tighter. Life is so uncertain. I believe that God knows the number of days we have here on earth. While Janel was only 28, and had not yet fulfilled her dream of marrying and having a family, her life was indeed complete. The news of her death has not rocked the core of my world as others have done, but losing a peer is very sobering to me and I certainly feel a deep loss.

The second big change that is just beginning for us is the desire to move. We have lived in this house for over seven years, and it has served us well. However, the area we are in is slowly going downhill and we do not want our children around what we are seeing as they grow up. Every once in a while we have considered moving, but never felt the peace that it was the right time.

The house we currently live in is now 23 years old, a split-level (which I adamantly wanted when we were house hunting), and has a considerably large yard—something we wanted for our kids someday (though parts are really steep, which is bad with toddlers). Over time, we have decided we absolutely want a ranch style home the next time, and a much smaller yard, as for us, taking care of it only takes away from the time we want to spend as a family on the weekends. Interesting how our two most important things in a house have completely changed. Confession: I actually hate taking my kids outside. I know, bad, bad mommy. I despise bugs and sunburn and sunscreen and sweating while watching to make sure my kids are safe. Ugh.

So, about two weeks ago, we were talking about some things and it began to occur to us that we felt a sudden, unexpected peace that now is the time to move. How or when or where had not yet begun to sink in. Just, “It’s time.” Yes, God—we will follow. There is a lot we will miss about this house—the one mile I drive to Little B's school, a “Teddy Bear Picnic” mural my husband painted when we were expecting Little B, the close proximity of certain friends, and knowing that our immediate neighbors are great people (we won’t mention what we see going deeper into the neighborhood. . .)

After a day or so, we began to grow quite excited—we have things we desperately need to do to make it more sellable, and originally planned to put it on the market at the beginning of spring. One thing we were determined to do is drive the areas we were thinking of to make sure we found a neighborhood we love, a reasonable drive for my husband to and from work, and either a school we are comfortable with or an acceptable distance from the current one (Little B is in a very small private Christian school that is moderately priced and goes from preschool to 6th grade—they have also been adding a grade a year for a while). We assumed this would take us a few months, while we got our house ready to sell, and we’d have zeroed in on where we want to go, whether we'd build or buy used.

However, God’s timing is not our own, is it? We narrowed things way, way, WAY down. When His peace hits, it lands perfectly and contentedly within and all there is to say is, “Oh,” and “Wow,” and “Amen.” Right? Right.

By way of explanation, my husband is a civil engineer in residential construction. Basically, he designs and lays out neighborhoods (I will spare you the nitty-gritty). There is one client he has been doing a lot of work for, and occasionally meets with. Last week (yes, last week), during a meeting with said client, he asked oh so nonchalantly, “Do you have any ranch plans in such-and-such subdivision?” Why, yes, they did. Let me insert here that “someday” in the far off future, our dreams included building “the house of our dreams”—some day way off, right? No, not way off, according to God.

The architect gave my husband two full sets of plans for himself, and my dear husband comes home that night jabbering on and on about this—he had a strange light in his eye and I was hell-bent on taming it—“Honey, we can talk about this, but you are acting like it’s a done deal—remember, we agreed to take some TIME.” I like spontaneity, but preferably with smaller decsions, not the big ones.

I finally agreed to sit down and look at it. One of them fits every single thing we’d ever wanted in a house. Except maybe the fact the yards are incredibly tiny and the homes are squished next to each other (it’s a “conservation subdivision”, therefore if they do not touch some surrounding areas they can make us spitting distance from one another’s homes—literally, my friends). Of course, we did say we wanted less yard to take care of—we could do our yard work in, oh, say, 20 minutes flat each week. It started to hold a bit of appeal. There are great parks nearby, and some open land that could not be built on, so playing is not an issue, if truth be told. Our current, huge backyard stays too neglected to be of much use anyway. OH—and a mere one mile away live my husband's aunt and uncle who have a massive amount of play area that we are always welcome to use. So, I won’t need goats to keep my grass short after all. Yes, we could see ourselves living here for twenty years.

Okay, that peace we were starting to feel? It grew stronger after we went through a model of the same home in a different subdivision (“our" neighborhood isn’t being built yet—a few more weeks). It grew even stronger when we drove through the actual site of “ours”.


By Saturday afternoon, we knew this is where we were supposed to go. We kept waiting for the apprehension that would indicate a wrong choice, or panic that our house wouldn’t sell, but all we received was peace. God is in the details.

I feel I am entering a new season in my life. Where it will take me, I do not know. The transition makes me curious but I intend to ride on this peace we have and try to go with the flow.

07 October 2005


MommyMaki tagged me with this, so . . .

Three Random Facts About My Closet:

  • I have a VERY SMALL closet space. In fact, my husband and I each have less space than either one of our kids. (Instead, my drawers are stuffed full, as is a blue storage bin in the laundry room!!
  • It used to be a wire “rack” straight across my half and my husband’s (it has two tiny doors on each side, not even a full sliding door!). After his side collapsed under the weight of stacked clothes, he now has two levels and I still have one level (but a more practical height than before). We share the middle shelving—very little of that is clothes.
  • My shoes refuse to stay organized. They must have a mind of their own.

Three Items I've Never Worn But Still Haven't Tossed:

  • A garage sale skirt that I thought would be similar to a favorite of mine. It wasn’t. (However, this has inspired me to put it in the donate pile today!)
  • A gorgeous white dressy-dress, long, simple, sleeveless. It fit SO perfectly (back before this last pregnancy, and while I wasn’t breastfeeding. . .) and was SO on sale at JCPenney (while shopping for a office Christmas party dress) that I HAD to get it. But, I’ve lacked the proper occasion ever since. I probably lack the body now, too.
  • A cream colored velvet-embossed sport-bra type thing-a-ma-bob I had NO idea what to do with. But, hey, it was less than $5 at Victoria’s Secret, and—irresistable. At least, I think it’s still around?
  • Bonus: brown suede skirt. Another JCPenney deal—they have rockin’ clearances! (But, WHAT do I wear it with and to where???)

Three Items I'll Never Get Rid Of, No Matter How Ugly They Get:

  • A plaid flannel hooded pull-over with a drawstring at the waist. I’ve had it for more than 15 years and still wear it at least once or twice every fall. I will probably mourn it when it decays one day.
  • Oversized navy college t-shirt from the Activities Board I was on. Great sleep shirt, even if the writing is almost faded. Sentiment and all that.
  • Long sleeve Camp Sunshine t-shirt from the days when my friend’s son was diagnosed with Leukemia. (He’s been fine for several years now.)

Three Items People Wouldn't Expect To Find In My Closet:

  • My baby quilt made by my grandma with my name and birthdate hand-embroidered.
  • Footie pajamas. My size from the women’s department at Target.
  • The modern Clue game that’s electronic. I LOVE Clue!

Three items that made me go, "Oh Lord, what was I thinking?":

  • I’ve been spending way too long (all day yesterday?) attempting to figure this one out. So, I will just say that if it’s in my closet, I’m still too stupid to know it, and if it’s gone, it’s forgotten. =p

Three things that I have a surprising number of:

  • Panty hose—and I loathe them, refusing to wear them except in dire circumstances.
  • Old, wrong-size bras. I spend way too much time pondering whether or not I will fit them someday again (after breastfeeding), if I should donate them, or if they just need to be chunked. Some are pretty good.
  • Shirts: Stretched out from breastfeeding, faded into nightshirt quality, wearable, recently wearable, too small but good condition, nursing tops, or I don’t know what to wear them with. Sheesh.

Three dominant colors in my wardrobe:

  • Blue
  • Black
  • Randomness (not always good for matching purposes!)

Three items that never fail to put me in a good mood whenever I wear them:

  • My new Gap cords (either pair). (The jeans have been a serious let-down.)
  • An Aussie T-shirt that has some blue water-color like flowers on the back with the words, “People who live in glass houses should grow flowers.”
  • Super soft pink striped pajama pants from Victoria’s Secret

Three people I will tag:

04 October 2005

to my love

I'm glad you're with me during the ups, the downs, the surprises, the routine.
You are my steadfast love, my true love, my best friend.
I can be sillier with you than any other person.
I am the most honest about myself with you.
You are an incredible daddy.
We have one of the the best marriages I've ever seen.
You listen to the still, quiet voice of God.
You listen me when I think something is important. Every time.
Kindness and patience with me: something I am still learning to do in return.
We compliment one another in so many small ways; you are my perfect match.
You are always willing to help around the house, even if I'm not overwhelmed.
You aren't perfect; you don't expect me to be perfect.

Thank you for marrying me eight wonderful years ago.

03 October 2005

sunburn in october!

Okay, I live in the south. It's not truly fall here and likely won't be for many weeks yet. The milder weather is only that--milder--it's still "hot" and apparently sunscreen is still necessary.

I made it the entire summer sans sunburn. Easily.
I even survived a whole week at Disney World in September (still summer temps, but no crowds) without a sunburn.

BUT. In OCTOBER. Oh yeah. Granted, it was the first day, but OCTOBER! Sigh.
We went to my parent's tiny town festival (I didn't know they came that small! I made my rounds in, say, fifteen minutes. So small, we went to the festival in the next town over for a bit more entertainment.)
Well, all said and done, we were out and about for a few hours midday, and I made myself a human sun shield for my sweet children's tender skin since we'd forgotten to bring sunscreen (the day started out cloudy and cool--I was easily persuaded in my longing for autumn, but it was a ruthless trick!).

And yes, I burned. At least it wasn't severe or I'd have been even more indignant. I think it will be totally gone by tomorrow (though I said that yesterday, too).

25 September 2005


I decided to strut my new pants today and tried on first the jeans. Huh. I'd forgotten this new thing called "stretchy" in jeans. Whatever. I kept pulling them up. On to the cords. Perfect. Stretchy, too, but not quite so much. THEY still felt incredible. The jeans, however, were bordering on annoying. So, I went back to exchange them for size 8. Hee hee. I daren't exchange the cords, but the smaller jeans fit like the larger cords, so I can pretend I wear a smaller size some days (must be the reason for stretch?). Either way, I noticed that it didn't take me a dozen pair of jeans over 2 weeks to find some that fit. Interesting. Maybe I have more to hold them up??? hahaha!

24 September 2005

new jeans

It has been a long, long time since I had a great fitting pair of jeans. In fact, the last pair that was like heaven was probably two sizes and 6+ years ago. I mean it--I cannot recall when. I do remember that they were Gap jeans I hated to part with (each time they wore out and I replaced them, I had the same struggle!) and they were size 6. Super long the way I love them; dragging on the floor, truth be told, til the cuffs were ragged and nasty. But, OH so comfy and broken in just right.

Well, over the years I've added the weight that doesn't drop right away from not one but two pregnancies. Yeah, pregnancy weight on top of pregnancy weight. I will insert here that my sugar-free tactics have improved the way my clothes fit (not an entire size, though, sad to say), and I have gotten in to pre-Miss C jeans again (not a perfect fit, but I can still breathe when they're zipped and snapped!). However, my ONE pair that was working managed to be so old (bought 'em used years ago) that they ripped above the knee when I leaned down a couple weeks ago. Nothing like old-fashioned a/c in the fall and winter, eh?

So, it was decided that I could definitely justify buying some jeans. (My now size ten body feels a wee bit remorseful over the fact that I daren't yet try the eights, however.) So, at the end of the evening (post bill-paying and figuring the current budget), we headed out to drop off vacation pictures for developing and make a FAST stop at the Gap. As long as it's been since I owned such great jeans, it's been equally longer since I paid much for jeans! Ouch. I'd forgotten how painful their pricetags could be. However, I was tired of so-so fitting jeans and my husband was determined that I'd have good ones this year.

I first had to figure out their styles and cuts and such as that. Yikes. So many options. Once that was deciphered I had to wade through the variety of striped-looking denim. What is UP with that? Sorry, but most of that material is not what I call blue-jeans. I want the regular kind, thank you very much.

I grabbed a pair of sale cords to try first, since the denim was temporarily causing insanity. They fit great. Wow. Felt incredible. My body thanked me instantly. My husband was pleased. So, on to the jeans. I finally found what I really wanted. Not on sale. Of course not! But, they fit. (Fifty dollars of fit.) Not to tight in any one place, still a ten, cut for my body, sturdy and no stinkin' stripes. (I sacrificed my love of "long" and settled for "regular" which are technically long enough.)

We bought both. I came home to get our kids ready for bed, but had to do so after putting on the new jeans. Oh yeah. They feel so good. Heaven on my body once more.

Sigh of bliss.

08 September 2005

here's to kayla

Little B started school this week, and in those four half-days, I was all set to beat my massive list of to-do's into submission. But, alas, life often gets in the way.

The night after the funeral, we were home and settled in. I had my pj's on, teeth brushed, and both kids asleep. I made a short-lived attempt to get online. But, the phone rang. It was a sweet, call, though--I was wanted in a labor and delivery room. . .some 20 minutes away (a longer drive during the day). Throwing on my clothes in a mad rush, I wondered what to do with my night-nursing daughter. After a moment's discussion with my husband (who had some work to finish before bed, then needed to be up and going at a decent hour), we called my mom to come to the rescue. Bless her, she handled the wake- up call of a nursing baby who refused a bottle like a champ. My husband was still up, but was able to go on to sleep before Miss C had any willingness.

I spent about four hours at the hospital with Jan, my sister-like cousin-in-law. She was a week overdue and anxious to get that little girl out. :D It felt good to help and to allay a few fears with a couple minor crisis situations. Jan had an internal moniter as the baby's heart rate had dropped some -- they discovered there was meconium in the bag of waters. I was willing to see it through, but realistically needed to be home and functional to take my little boy to school yesterday morning. So, I left around 2:30am.

Her phone call just after 7am announced the arrival of Kayla, 19 inches, 7 lbs 2 oz. (After my 11 pounder, she's a "featherweight" in my book.) Before I could make it back to the hospital that morning, yet another crisis had arision. Kayla has fluid and/or meconium in one lung, so she's spending her first several days of life in NICU. I was honored to be one of the four people on her 'guest list' to see and hold Kayla. What a precious baby!

Kayla has done remarkably well, is not in a life-threatening situation, and will hopefully be heading home by Sunday. Jan is a champ. Tired, strong, and experiencing motherhood's first taste with some extras--visits down the hall to see, change and feed her sweet girl. Mark (daddy) is simply ready for his baby to go home and be in his arms.

Me? Tired. Walked around like a zombie today (we were out running errands last night since I'd been at the hospital for so long on a mere three hours of sleep). My list? Beating me into submission.

06 September 2005

melting pot of days

The Homefront
Well, my little boy is off to Pre-K this morning! Wow. He's growing up so incredibly fast (He literally grew almost TWO inches this summer). Daddy was here to be a part of the big day, helping get Little B ready, making his breakfast, and driving him (Miss C and I rode along). We decided to try to make it a tradition--having Daddy here on the first day--it was kind of special! I suppose it had not occurred to me that a 4 year old would have a bundle of nerves on the first day, but that was definitely the case. He had a hard time sleeping, wasn't as hungry for his breakfast and couldn't sit still to save his life (even AFTER going potty. . .). But, he was thrilled at the same time. He'll be learning Spanish once a week. We talked about that and he was super excited...he was hoping that would start today! What a cutie pie.

After a long weekend with my husband home, my stress levels are dropping and now that Little B will be in school 4 days a week, it will give me more 'down time'--at least whenever Miss C naps. haha!

Our weekend did have a low spot, however. My husband's great-grandmother, "Nanny", died Sunday afternoon. She would have been 98 next month. While we weren't super close to her, she was a wonderful lady and we loved her. She reminded me of my maternal grandmother (who was a year younger, but died a couple years ago). Nanny was adorable and precious. Indeed a proper southern lady in every sense of the word.

Last night was the viewing/visitation and today is the funeral--thus the real reason my husband is home this morning. It is sad for us, but not a hard grieving like when we've lost grandparents in the past. We'd been expecting Nanny to go for some time now. The last time we saw her was at a cousin's wedding a couple months ago. She was a sweet and beautiful as ever. Thankfully, someone took her picture with Miss C--the fifth and last great-great-grandchild Nanny saw (there are two more on the way).

We love you, Nanny. You will be missed.

02 September 2005


I am struggling so much right now.
I feel burned-out, overwhelmed, stressed, depressed and the list goes on. I am yelling with my frustration in ways I hate; I want to 'retire'--but, I'm a stay at home mom. Breaks rarely occur for me. I want and crave time alone. My poor husband actually has come home from work early once this week, and may do so again today, since I am struggling so badly with this.

We have been making plans for an upcoming vacation, but I hardly want to go anymore. Moms DO NOT get a vacation. My husband won't be at work, my kids will get to have a break from the norm....but me? I'll still change diapers, wake up at night, discipline and fix boo-boos. I'll still contend with Little B eating enough of his meal to earn a dessert, and breastfeed my daughter. I'll still be a 24 hour stay-with-kids mom...just not at home for a week. I swear, I wish I could send the three of them on vacation and take a week ALONE (or better yet, go on the vacation alone...). In my dreams. (And, I know I'd miss them.)

Don't get me wrong, I have good kids. I am just tired of deaf ears and strong wills. Both of which I used to be champions at. And still keep on reserve. I need to send my mom flowers, probably.

All this to say it's been a bad, bad week. I wish I was eating sugar. I deserve a nice, big chocolate dessert. Hmpht.

24 August 2005

smart ears

I have no idea if I blogged about this a few months ago or not. But, at his four year old check-up, Little B failed his hearing screening. A couple months later, we re-screened and he failed in both ears. Granted, in the midst of all these screenings, he'd had various colds and ear infections which we were told could easily contribute. He needed a solid four weeks between any cold-like problems and the next testing. With that, we were sent off to an ENT.

Said appointment was this morning. My father has some hearing loss that has been evident for many years (if only HE'D be seen!), and my husband and I each have/had at least one grandparent with hearing aids. So, I went very realistically to this doctor's office, truly ready for whatever he might say. We've had so much going on this year, it was just part of the melting pot at this point.

Our morning started slow. I was up late last night (getting stuff ready to drop off for a big consignment sale), and hit that snooze button a few times. Ahem. I had been able to print off the paperwork from their website, and had it filled out and in the diaper bag already, so we arrived just in time for that 9:30 am appointment. Or not. Can we say it was supposed to be at 9:00 am??? Oops. I've had various 9:30 appointments for a couple weeks and it was just stuck in the brain. A reminder call AND the correct time on my calendar and I still arrive late. They were very gracious, though, and saw us anyway (it takes up to EIGHT weeks to reschedule!).

This is a practice that specializes in children, and they were fabulous. My nervous little boy was soon at ease and a champ. He laid still while they puffed air on the eardrum, removed wax, and shined lights. So far, so good...now let's go across the hall to see the audiologist. There were special "ear plugs" for his ears, a thingy over his shoulder, obviously some sounds (Little B kept suddenly shouting out "phone!" or "train!") and wah-la-- measurements on the computer magically appeared. Move to another computer, do some of that again with chirping sounds this time, and more readouts. Then a soundproof room within that small room. The audiologist talked to him on a microphone and did some games and had him repeat words. Quite the process. I had no idea!

Now the kicker. The second computer he sat at, the one that chirped, gave a charted readout (I believe it was measuring the muscle strength of his eardrum). She told Little B his ears were "drawing a picture". Holy cow. He thought that was just too cool! He was so pleased with the picture his ears drew--he had some really smart ears! He never knew his ears could DRAW. Wow...

The audiologist was so kind. Little B got to take the printout of that "picture" when we left. We had to go back across the hall to see the ENT one more time, and while the poor man was trying to talk, all Little B could do was try to show him the picture his ears drew. It's truly two small graphs that are on the upper half of the page. That's it. But he is so stinkin' cute! We left and I swear he held out his picture for EVERY person in sight to see. I felt guilty trying to move him along while these people worked...they couldn't really even see that he wanted their attention as we went down the hall, but it was cracking me up inwardly. He was so proud.

And so was I for that matter. His ears were perfect. Very smart ears, indeed.

20 August 2005


I am a chocoholic. (Dark is best by far; I feel "better" when I eat chocolate!)
I have what I call a post-partum sweet tooth. It started with my first child. (As a kid, I didn't care for cake & ice cream at a birthday party; I didn't even like chocolate at one time!)
And I still don't need sugary things that often.

I do have a horrid thing called endometriosis ("endo") for which I've undergone two surgeries and one awful 6-month regime of drug-induced menopause (watch out ladies...that is the worst experience I've ever had, and we'll all get there one day; I just don't think I should have to go through it TWICE in a lifetime!).
I also suffer from migraines, which can be tied into the endo issues. Recently, my migraines (and endo pain) have been increasing.

My mother had migraines for many years. She never had endo (that we know of, and no reason to think she did). She has told me before that her doctor of long ago put her on a no-sugar, no-flour diet for a month and she actually got rid of them for many years (they recurred later, but I can also vouch that the sugar/flour intake did, too!). After two migraines last week mom and I talked about this approach some more. I decided on Sunday night to go for it. When I really decide something like that, I really do it.

As of Monday, I have been reading every label in the house for the words "sugar" and "(unbleached) flour". I've read up on sugar and even found a frightening article (see my sidebar for the link) about it being a poison in our body. My mom had said this same thing. It certainly rings true. So, the purging has begun.

My biggest focus is the sugar, but flour falls in line a close second. My goal: four weeks sugar-free. And, I don't believe in artificial sweeteners, either (even more refined than sugar, and plain nasty)! After that, an adjusted life-style that limits the refined sugars and flours. My family will be pulled along into this. With my kids, it won't be hard since I regulate their food anyway, whereas my husband is at work where my eyes are not. . .).

In a nutshell, while sugar is not essential for our daily consumption, it becomes a "poison" due to the refining. The less processed the sugar, the more okay it is (limited, of course) as it still retains minerals necessary for it's digestion in the body. The more refined the product (ie, "Pure" sugar), the more depleted it is and it takes from our body essential nutrients in order digest/process it. I am totally fine having naturally occurring sugars. I will even concede at times to evaporated sugar cane juice, etc, as it's not refined and super processed, though I'm still not what you'd call "indulging"; it's simply in some things I've found. If I eat out, I try to choose wisely and don't worry about it from there. While I'm not consuming it at the moment, I will certainly choose Sugar In The Raw, which is a Turbinado sugar and far less refined, over white sugar in the future. I've liked it better for a long time anyway. Makes me wonder what my body was saying?

So, not that you wanted a sugar lesson, but there it is anyway.
I have succeeded in 5 1/2 days so far. It's not easy, but I must say it's good this isn't about salt or I'd probably die (THAT would be my serious weakness. . . ). I have purchased special bread, bought freshly ground (organic) peanut butter and am unable to make some of my favorite meals, such as enchiladas, because they have sugar in the sauce (I'll defintely be eating enchiladas again in a month). Sigh. However, I am not starving, just adjusting. I've discovered that sugar is in virtually every item we eat. It just depends if it's fresh foods or processed foods as to what kind. Something else I've been slowly working toward is more organic food.

Yeah, for those of you who read my post on my horrid cooking, it's not fabulous, but sometimes I get it right (I did scorch the bacon this morning, only to realize it's cured in sugar, so my husband ate what wasn't too badly burned). =D I manage to prepare plenty of decent meals at home (but who says I have to love it?). I also have a grocery shopping friend now that gives me good tips (for another post another day).

My hope is that these changes will lead to healthier eating in our family (we aren't that bad, but improvement is always a good thing), and I'd love to see my migraines disappear and endo pain decrease. Time will tell. But even if they don't, I like these changes. For now, I will remember a quote that I saw recently: Health is a journey (I don't recall the rest, but that says enough).

18 August 2005



I was all set and ready to post about some stuff but at the moment I can barely recall what--I'll have to get back to that. I have just been stopped in my tracks by my precious son in the kitchen. I am on the sofa in the living room, barely out of sight of my 4 year old. He's been busy playing at the table with some bugs and green 'putty' for a while now. He often talks aloud while playing, and I tune in to check on him off and on. As of a moment ago, he was singing. Singing high praises to the Lord. He was singing praise and thanks and Truth. Just a jumble of things he knows and is thankful for. Good stuff. Stuff from songtapes we have, stuff about family, stuff about trusting the Lord. . .

It was sweet as honeysuckle and so refreshing to me. How much more so must the Lord be enjoying this.

12 August 2005

baby miracles

We took our daughter to the surgeon today for a follow-up visit regarding her brachial plexus injury. Earlier this week her physical therapist said there was nothing left for him to do for her. While the left arm is still showing a little weakness, everything else is in perfect order. Today, the surgeons and their physical therapist whole-heartedly agreed. She has healed. My beautiful, priceless little girl has had miracle upon miracle in my mind. God has been so faithful to hear the many, many prayers on her behalf, and He has graciously chosen to heal her.

Monday, I was thinking back to the day she was born, and how incredibly far she has come. Her small arm was limp and lifeless. Her fingers were able to grasp, and my mother says Miss C tightly grasped her finger within minutes after the birth (I wasn’t able to hold her right away, however, my mom got to be with her across the room. I’m so glad.). But, other than being slightly able to flex her wrist downward, there was no other movement, and she cried out in pain when it was moved around or bumped. Her collar bone was another point of pain. Today, I look at her and she grabs toys with both hands, reaches completely above her head for objects, and puts things to her mouth easily. No small feat for a small person with such an injury.

Today in the waiting room, we saw several other babies with the same injury. Two in particular are 4 months old—and at different stages of progress. One had traveled from another state to see this doctor. It brought back so many memories of the questions, the wondering. I could vividly recall being so pleased when she was raising her arm to her head, about eye level. I remember waiting, hoping, praying that she would begin using her deltoid, achieve shoulder flexion, wrist flexion, spread her fingers (thumb especially). How much I appreciate the ability of movement these days. For me and for her.

Our regular therapist and the doctors today all agreed that she does not need further therapy unless a problem arises. Wow. My heart stops when I really think on this. They encouraged us to do Occupational Therapy EVALUATIONS each year, but doubt she will really need the therapy. The team of surgeons would also like to see her in roughly a year or year and a half, also on an evaluation type basis. But, that can be at our discretion considering how well she is doing. Again, wow.

Truthfully, she will never be “100%”. But, hey, I’ll take 95 or 98 or whatever we are at. We all agree she shows weakness in weight-bearing (and we’re not yet crawling . . . so we’ll have to watch her on that), and her bicep is scoring 6+ out of 7 (it was a close call) because she wants to compensate just a fraction when lifting something straight up to her mouth. The only other thing they noticed was her left elbow doesn’t go completely straight, but it’s not a concern, obviously. It’s hardly noticeable, and she had to check it several times, comparing it to the right to see if she was seeing it correctly.

When the surgeons came to talk to us, they were a bit in awe, I think. They were so pleased with how far she had come. One thing they said was that if she was going to truly be 100%, it would have happened by the time she was 3 months—thus, this 6 month follow-up. But to have made it so far since that mark, appeared incredible to them. You could see the genuine pleasure on their face, the delight when she “showed off” by using it in front of them to grab something. While I was holding her in a way that kept her right arm down beside me, one of the surgeons double checked the chart and said, “I keep thinking, ‘Are we really checking for the left arm?’ But, we are! This is great!”

It is great. Her life is a miracle, her healing is a miracle. Baby-size miracles are still miracles. And I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my chest. I could weep with thanksgiving. And still may.

10 August 2005

little bit of lovin'

Little B: When will I be old enough to get married?

Me: When you are grown up. Do you have someone to marry?

Little B: No

Me: Why do you want to get married?

Little B: Kissing. I like kissing you all the time. But I forget sometimes. And hugging. I like hugging Miss C.

Me: You don't have to be married to hug and kiss. Just be my little boy and Miss C's big brother.

09 August 2005

Strike two

My cell phone died. Actually, mine died two weeks ago when I dropped it yet again in the driveway. At that time, my husband got a phone from work, so I switched my number to his phone while we talked about new plans for me. Last night I killed that one, too.

See, I’d set it on top of the car while putting Miss C into her seat. My back hurt, so I asked my husband to buckle her in, so I got into the front and waited to head out to dinner. Everyone settled, we headed out to dinner. A half mile or so from home we hear, “clunkthumpabump” and my husband asks, “What’s going on back there, buddy?” thinking Little B dropped something. In slow motion it registers with my mind that – wait – it was the CELL PHONE. Sigh.

I must confess that we were seen perusing the main road near our house at dusk last night like idiots in hope of finding it. First, me. My husband did a quick u-turn and pulled into a subdivision to wait while I rapidly darted up a few blocks stepping dangerously close to the curb, straining to see the median, speculatively glancing in the nearby grass. Then he offered to try after moving the car to a turn lane up the main road. Add what I was just doing to the fact he took his cell phone to call mine hoping to hear it ring while looking. Yeah. Pretty funny. He alternately ran and walked, and his return to the car was a neat little jog in the overgrown median.

We never found the phone. I theorize it went down a catch basin. Which, being a civil engineer my husband promptly begins to tell me that they usually have standing water so it would be ruined most likely. . . I interrupt and say, “Honey, we wouldn’t really check out the catch basin anyway, right?” “Oh, yeah. Good point.” He really forgets practical points like that when thinking work-related. At least he loves his job.

The down side is that I doubt I’ll be able to keep my old cell number now that it’s been canceled. That’s the only reason we still had the account active. The up side is that in a couple weeks I’m going to add on to my parent’s family plan. My brother is on it, too, and will be getting a new phone (well, that’s the PLAN, we’ll see what happens) when he gets back in the country in about two weeks. At which time I will get to take over his very nice camera phone rather than buy a new one. (That small lapse in phone availability is why our old plan was still active. It HAD been worth the extra month’s pay for half the service.) Of course, with my recent record, I might need to get the cheapest of them all and keep them lined up for when I throw them around.

05 August 2005

we survived...barely

My husband said the chili was fine--a bit like meatloaf, but fine-- so we sat down to eat. We like Frito's with our chili, and shredded cheese on top. Let's just say I had as much of those as I did chili. Meatloaf would have worked, chili would have worked. Not chili-loaf. It was barely passable. And, I'll be hungry again before bed. Guaranteed. haha!

about that chili...

Let me preface by saying that cooking has never, I repeat, never, been my strong point. No, I don't habitually burn meals (just on occasion), but neither do I manage to pull off decent meals every single night of the week. I require serious pre-planning. And, too often still lack some necessary ingredient.

Like tonight.

I had ground beef that needed to be cooked. It's time was running out. I really didn't pre-plan for this, just realized I wasn't in the mood for burgers. So, I suggested, hours ago, to my husband that we have either chili or spaghetti. We opted for the chili. Which required a stop on the way home for hubby at the grocery store for kidney beans and chili sauce...

Wait. "Chili Sauce?"

Yeah. That's what I told him. Now, when I'm at the store I know what I need even if I have the NAME of it slightly off. I believe "meatless chili" may have been a bit better for hubby to understand. I did say can, though, and that (I think) it's Hunt's I usually buy.

What came home with him were two cans of kidney beans, just fine and dandy. And a BOTTLE of Heinz Chili Sauce. I scrutinized it for a moment and decided it might be similar enough, so --plop-- into the meat it went. Not even close to enough. Maybe a third of what I needed. Pause. Sniff...

Lovely. Glorified ketchup.

You can see how often we've gotten said Chili Sauce...never. I added both complete cans of beans, all juice included, hoping to hide the burger and fries dressing. Didn't work. My "chili" smells like ketchup and looks like watery beef and beans. Ugh.

So, I'll let my husband taste it since he is the one who didn't step out to verify the ingredients by calling me (the cell wasn't working inside the store--he did try calling once). If it's that bad, well, someone will think of something for dinner. I hope.

04 August 2005

still summer??

I am very ready for autumn. It is by far my favorite time of year with changing leaves, sweatshirts and jeans, nippy evenings, and fireplaces (well, rarely where I live, but, in theory...). I love it all. Oh, and my anniverary. I chose fall for our wedding because I love it so much. We won't discuss the fact that the week of my wedding it rained for 6 days straight, it was warm but gorgeous on the big day, then it was roasting on our honeymoon...we took flannels and looked like fools. Oh well.

This summer heat is oppressive and makes me feel suffocated. Literally. My asthma acts up worse than any other time in the year. I despise sweating and feeling like my head is in a fishbowl (super high humidity). The electric bill is unbearable. The bugs are atrocious. The car is always too hot when we get in. Miss C's dresses are pretty, so I guess there is one plus.

Anyhow, my house was nice and chilly the past few mornings, thanks to cutting my air down like I prefer overnight, and I put a sweatshirt on. Oh yeah. The comfort and coziness. It just made me long for the next couple months to skim on by and get straight to autumn. I think I was supposed to live farther north...sigh.

01 August 2005

the quandary of my heart

This past weekend was Homecoming at my college. We used this as an excuse to spend a weekend away from home, though we got away Saturday morning rather than Friday night as planned, thanks to a deadline my husband had. It was good to get away for a night, even if it was shorter than intended. Homecoming was simply an excuse. Truth be told, we spent a total of maybe 3 hours at the school, long enough to see who was there, visit briefly and buy a couple shirts...then headed back to the cabin we were staying at.

Said cabins are time-wise about halfway between home and school...not too far from either place. Just a get-away, and in my beloved mountains. Some relatives have a membership in a rather old resort and offer us access to them anytime we would like. (Indeed, those same relatives gave us eight nights there for our honeymoon many years ago!) Not for lack of trying, but this is the first time we've been back. It was relaxing, somewhat rustic and very simple. All we have to bring is food and personal items, which is good. We did decide we'd be back more often, though. We need more weekends away. Hopefully we'll to go up this fall for about three nights...that's when the leaves are changing and while it's a touristy area, it's truly gorgeous.

Going to the college is a quandary to my heart, though.
The mountains pull me to them...I feel God's presence there, I feel alive and at peace there. But my college years were difficult and at times painful. Don't get me wrong, there were good times, too. They are growing years for everyone, me included. But returning brings old insecurities to the surface and I battle with them from the moment the car turns in. Short visits are best. They are always worth it to see a few people I love...this weekend, I saw one friend in particular I had not seen in four years. I also gave her this blog address, which I keep telling myself was a good idea. haha! As I said, old insecurities. (If you are reading this, Shana, forgive me for second-guessing myself. And thank you for being a sweet friend). Odd, how the minute I drive off again, I return to the person I know. And yet, there is something within me that simply loves returning to my alma mater...I believe time is healing, too. Perhaps slow, but healing.

28 July 2005

in great hopes

One week during my daughter's therapy, there was another mom in the same large room with twin girls...only one of whom was receiving therapy. She was nice and has a little boy as well (younger than my son). We talked a bit as we left, and I reall liked her. Anyhow, I cannot recall her name, nor did I have the courage to ask if she'd like to get together...but, I just hoped that one day I'd run into her again.

That was today. She came into the consignment shop I was in, near where we both go for therapy. I still do not know her name, though I do know two of her kid's names, and I did discover approximately where she lives (a bit further than I'd hoped, but her husband works in this vicinity), and that she's a believer. She's easy to chat with and we talked lightly while we shopped. (Her daughter will be finished with therapy soon...so, she won't be nearby so often, but I know her joy in such news!) I also found out that she's planning to try having a kid's consignment sale at her home in October. She told me where I could find the information later on, and invited me to include some clothes if I'd like! I think I will take her up on it. I mostly would like to make friends with her, and this would be a nice opportunity to get to know her a bit better.

So, we shall see. In the meantime, I have great hopes for what may come in time. Our girls are a month apart. I'd like to have nice playmates for my daughter--that is an area we suffer in for my son these days. (It makes for a long, boring summer for him)

22 July 2005

the joy of excess

I have serious over-supply issues with breastfeeding. This theoretically eases up by 3 months. Not. My daughter is nearly 6 months old and I can still hose down a fire some days. Now, in all honestly, I try not to complain about this because I have friends with the opposite problem, and I truly feel for them…and I’d far rather have too much than too little. So, I see it as a blessing and move on. I pump when I just need a few hours of relief from the never-ending inflation of the boobs, and have learned to cope the rest of the time.

Today, though, I’d like to file an official complaint.

With oversupply, it is absolutely a given that leaking occurs. Usually, a lot of leaking. In my case, it’s incredibly frequent . . . when too full, when letting down, when nursing the other side, or sometimes just for the heck of it, I guess. Yup. Every single day. But, woman cannot live by nursing pads alone, my friend. I simply need a break at times.

During said ‘breaks’, or at times when I think I’ll be safe, or hey, even go braless (this takes bravery, and is exclusive to home life during breastfeeding). A hazard of this is leaking onto my shirts. It most often happens while I’m nursing on ‘the other side’ and am sans-nursing pad/burp cloth (she rarely spits up, so I easily forget, whereas my son was a serious spitter).

Breast milk stains. How could I have forgotten??? It took a very, very long time to de-stain some of my sleeping shirts after breastfeeding my son years ago (repeated washing eventually get it out . . . eventually” is the key word). Other shirts were given up on. Now? Well, now I have some new shirts I recently bought and lo and behold . . . the other day I noticed that horrible grease-like stain running all down the front of one in particular. I can’t actually recall when it happened. Probably a series of times added together.

So, the stain remover is in action this week. It will take more than one round to get them right (yeah, others had small spots, usually where I was unable to stem the flow in time), but at least they’re looking a bit more wearable now.

21 July 2005

justice is served

We’ve had this horrid, horrid mosquito flying around the house for the last few days. It was taunting us at mealtime, seen upstairs as well as down, and doing bodily harm to various family members. Many, many times we smacked that thing and *poof* it had vanished. Into thin air. It would reappear a few minutes later, hovering in the darkening corners of the house at dusk, remaining evasive and cruel.

Today, it made a fatal mistake. It appeared in the bright, sunshiny confines of my daughter’s room while I was changing her diaper. (A rare treat these days, that sunshine!) On my second attempt, Malicious Mosquito finally met his demise. I looked at it, slightly shocked, then spent a moment pondering my triumph and the joy my husbaned would feel (he spent most of one breakfast fighting with it), then used a baby wipe to clean my hand.

I unfolded said baby wipe. Reopened dirty diaper. . .

R. I. P.
(Rest In Poop)

20 July 2005

the other man

I hate doing dishes. REALLY hate it. My husband has recently made valiant efforts to take over that horrid chore (he is a fabulous man…). To encourage this, I am trying to have the dishes ready to unload by the time he gets home…he tries to empty them sometime between then and bedtime. The cycle starts over each morning. It works great. Until the weekends. Haha!

In addition, during the past several months I have begun tackling the 'stuff' in my home. The messes are slowly being tidied, things that once were homeless are gradually finding a home, the local charities have benefited greatly from us, and I am beginning to enjoy the feel of my home once more. In all honesty, this began to take effect when I got someone to come clean my house every other week. In order for them to clean, I have to tidy. Too, my daughter had no room to call her own until the past couple months...it has finally nearing completion (bear in mind, if 'she' had been a 'he', we considered having 'the boys' share a room...the spare was our backup for a girl. And said spare was not habitable at the time of her birth...I'd been too uncomfy and worn out during my pregnancy. ha!).

This craziness that we are trying to correct stems from the fact that we learned years ago to ‘let things go’ while my husband was in school and working full time for a lot of years. It was definitely survival mode. Now, things feel out of control to us but are slowly being righted once more. We have to relearn to tackle projects in a timely manner.

So, since healing from the birth and ensuing illnesses that attacked our family, I have found a new drive to make my home more livable and lovable once more. It has come a long, long way (though it still has a good ways to go as well)). For instance, today I cleaned my fridge out. I mean CLEANED that sucker. I know I’ve done it before, but cannot begin to remember when that was. I also reorganized where everything goes, including the shelves. I seriously doubt anything but the door is the same (actually, that will be a project of its own, probably due to how long the rest took).
The other day while at Target buying dishwasher detergent, I was perusing the aisle for other items of interest and someone caught my eye…

Enter: the other man.

I fell in love that night. He showed me how to clean the crayon off the wall (it was an accidental mark, though I always expected to find it on the walls intentionally), how to remove scuff marks from the floors and doors, helped clean the white banister and stuff stuck in a pot. In fact, he did a great service in assisting my fridge project today…my husband even likes him he’s so great. His name. . . Mr. Clean.

He has this fabulous eraser that wipes the walls clean and makes my home look incredible. Little bit by little bit. We had to buy more to keep working things we didn’t eve KNOW needed to be cleaned (it’s addictive). This ‘man’ has so much to offer. I think I’ll plan a date with him on a regular basis.

14 July 2005

on life, on death

Today I heard that the daughter of a friend-of-a-friend died. The little girl was a mere five years of age . . . a wisp of life just beginning. And yet, as with any life, her days were numbered, and that was indeed her full life. It was sudden. And it is nearly impossible for my human heart to grasp. My own little boy is four, so close to her five years. I ache deeply whenever I look at him today; knowing that each day is a gift, a treasure, a blessing, a wonder. I need to remember that. I want to cherish both of my children daily, savor each kiss and hug and smile. It is sobering to know that each day could indeed be the last. For any of us.

This time reminds me of when my son was a month old. A very dear friend had been pregnant along with me, due only a month later, and her son was born far too early. He survived until his due date, three and a half months. Holding my own son at a month old was heart wrenching during that time. My friend’s son had never even come home from NICU. And my own daughter's entry into this world was precarious to say the least.

How precious, how fragile, life truly is.

06 July 2005

the cycle of generations

I believe I have entered a new stage in life. It feels slightly odd and has me mildly contemplative this week.

Over the years my friends (and I) would have grandparents die. Though painful, it was acceptable. This week, however, a friend lost his mother. He is not much older than my husband and I, and we are pretty close to him, his wife and kids. I knew his mother, albeit not well.

A new generation has moved into place.

I have seen this coming, and felt it intimately over the past few years as my parents lost several friends, people I held dear. But, somehow, to have my peer lose a parent has put a new perspective on it. My own parents are now nearing 60...and suddenly they are showing their age in ways I would not have fathomed. I find they need a bit more caring for than in years past, which I am willing to give...but as my mother pointed out, it is much harder to become the needy parent than to be the giving child. She has now played both roles. And I am stepping into new shoes, that of the giver.

28 June 2005

blessings abound

I took Miss C to her therapy yesterday. At our last visit, Jeff was so pleased with her progress that he was comfortable waiting a month to see her again...which was thrilling for us, of course.

When we arrived, as usual, I shared with him about the progress we've seen this past month...she is now rolling over (going front to back, on top of the left arm, but whichever way did not matter), she also grabs her toes with both hands, sometimes using her left exclusively (I worked with her on this...and watched for it specifically). And, the big one, was on Sunday...while laying between her side and back (nursing, which I did not expound on to Jeff), she repeatedly raised her left hand to scratch to top of her head (in light of this accomplishment, I had to see the many scratch marks as a hidden blessing). Raising her arm all the way is a huge, huge step. It's one of the biggest things they watch for.

Needless to say, all of this was good news...within the first twenty minutes as we chatted and he worked with my sweet baby girl, I noticed he spent far less time on each 'exercise' than usual. Suddenly, the conversation took a turn. He began speaking like our hour was up...there was essentially nothing that needed work! Indeed, he said she could not be picked out of a crowd for having a brachial plexus injury...it's more than just 'age appropriate' now, I guess. She's really, really healing...so why am I surprised at God's abundance? We were on our way out the door in half the usual time. Jeff will still see her a little more this year, but he's spreading it out over the stages of learning to sit and crawl.

Miss C will still have a 6 month follow up with the surgeons and specialists, and we will see Jeff just before that, then if things are still going well, it may be the end of the year before we go back! I can still feel a bit of weakness in her arm, but it continues to gain strength weekly. Too, her mornings are sometimes a bit slower until she gets it 'warmed up'...but even that is less apparent as time goes by.

My heart is so in awe and full of praise to my God...I know our daughter could just as easily have needed surgery. But, He chose to continue her healing. His blessings abound.

23 June 2005


Tonight, I laid my head upon Miss C's chest and listened to her heartbeat. A sound I had not heard since she was still in my womb. It was just as breathtaking as it was a year ago with the doppler. Perhaps even more so, hearing the tiny organ pumping so diligently. Incredible. She has felt very real to me all along. But at that moment, she was so alive and vital. So amazing and fragile and strong, all wrapped up in one. Emotion choked me.

This tiny person is changing so fast I cannot keep up with her. There is an absolute baby-ness that will melt away without warning. I know—my son’s baby-ness disappeared when I wasn’t looking and I’m with him ALL the time! So where, oh where does it go? Already she has lost that newborn effect...and I do not know when it happened.

I intend to savor it while I can. She has a special sweet scent and silky-soft skin. Uncompromised delight adorns her face. Her voice still sounds so small and unfiltered. That little body which tries so very hard to squirm and learn how to move the way she wants it to. Itty bitty hands grasping, pulling and reaching. Her eyes are bright and alert, fascinated in the world around her. The newness of her life has not worn off…yet.

20 June 2005

battle of the cubes

Our refrigerator is located on an inside wall...on the other side resides the living room. There is no water line to the fridge, therefore we have no ice maker, much less filtered, chilled water at the touch of a button (we have to work for our cold filtered water: have filter on tap, fill container, place in fridge, pour when needed). It would be a long, difficult process to run a water line under the flooring to get that longed for icemaker. So, we work for our ice cubes, too...using aforementioned filtered water, fill ice cube trays, carefully place trays in freezer, wait hours and hours for ice cubes to freeze, somehow coerce the ice from their frozen nests and begin again. Or not.

See, we're not perfect with keeping up our dishes. Far from it. They often fill the sink mighty near capacity if not beyond. (Shame on me...but then, my husband has attempted to make that his chore...it helps sometimes, but the pile still grows.) This makes filling ice trays nearly impossible. And I have a thing about leaving them on the counter -- don't ask why. So, as I empty the ice tray, I turn, glance over my shoulder at a full sink and promptly replace the now empty tray into the freezer...sometimes I move it away from the full ones so as not to be accused of 'tricking' other family members. And then there are the times when I'm just in a hurry (crying baby, demanding little boy, a need to pee or the phone ringing...all at once). In these moments, I look over my shoulder at the not-so-full sink and say to myself,
"Nah...it can wait."

So, if you want a cold glass of water, well, just hope someone filled the water container the last time it was emptied...

09 June 2005

midnight rambling

Life goes by so incredibly fast. I am astounded that Miss C is now four months old. When did she stop being my little helpless newborn? Today she proudly found her toes. Oh, she looked so delighted every time her tiny hand wrapped around them. She is also fond of shopping...typical girl that she is! When at the store, she usually is beyond content to sit quietly, watching everything go by. I'm sure that contentment will soon change to "Mommy, can I get that?" as I hear from my son at least 20 times in one trip. haha!

This year has been a year of delights, trials, joy and tears. I feel like a wuss complaining once more of our many illnesses. In truth, since before Miss C was born, we've had two or three 'well' weeks, none of which were really consecutive. When I was so busy in early May, I should have shut up and been happy to be healthy. Instead we spiraled into yet another round of sickness. Miss C actually got chicken pox from my shingles. She also managed a ruptured ear drum without running a fever or indicating she was in any pain for more than five minutes one evening. We discovered the ear infection while sitting in the rash room ('in case' my shingles were still active, which we doubted) at the pediatician's office waiting for Little B's ear to be checked from his last infection. I was checking to see if her ear wax needed a good digging...it always balls up into a hard wad of dried up wax that I work hard to remove. I noticed it was wet and stinky. So, we had our pediatrician check her out. We were all surprised to find the infection. Yup, a too-easy little girl (I didn't know such a thing was possible!). I will have to watch her very close for signs of illness from here on out.

We had a few days of peace while everyone felt healthy...and I told someone that I was simply waiting for the next bomb to drop. Then, yesterday, my husband comes home from work and comments that he's had a rash on his arm all day. Why did I feel any surprise. We're still not actually sure what it is (and it looks exactly the same after 24 hours), but are watching it for potential poison ivy...shingles aren't supposed to be contagious except as chicken pox which he's had, yet it reminds me so acutely of my shingles (sans the pain which would be severe).

It's somewhat overhwelming to my tired mind tonight. We'll see what happens in the next few days.

In the meantime, I am happy that Miss C's therapy has continued to go extremely well. She is completely age appropriate with her arm and at this point, only those of us who know to watch for it can see any difference between left and right. She is so very much my miracle baby. Mom and I were talking about it today. I feel both my kids are miracles in their own way, and with Miss C, it's having watched the Lord battle for my baby's life. It was seconds from draining away at her birth, but His hand was on her. Some days these thoughts linger on the edge of my mind and today was one of those. Tears fought for freedom as I'd watch her and know that she is a double blessing. God certainly has a plan for this big-eyed little girl.

In spite of so many illnesses this year, I can truly say that I have much to be thankful for and am deeply blessed. My heart is full and overflowing.

12 May 2005


Shingles. The roof on my house is in need of repair rather badly. And, it keeps getting put off in lieu of other necessities in life. One of these days, it will come caving in and we'll be sorry. I am the one who keeps convincing my husband that it can and will wait a few more months. Someday, no doubt, he will say, "I told you so..."

Shingles. The roof on my body is in need of repair rather badly as well. I have shingles! I call it "chicken pox reheated". Haha! It is painful and itchy and of course it happens to be across my chest and therefore interferes with breastfeeding. In fact, my 3 month old daughter is now officially exposed to chicken pox thanks to the shingles. High stress and low immune systems both contribute to an outbreak--I definitely qualify for both of those! (I don't qualify for the "over 60" trait, however). I am now having to nurse exclusively on the 'other' side while covering the shingles to attempt to prevent further contact with my baby girl. I have to pump the painful side to keep my milk supply going in the meantime.

If only I could give my shingles to my house, we'd both be set.

10 May 2005

good news, sad news

Well, the surgeons who saw Miss C on Friday were very pleased with her progress. We are elated to know that at this time they do not see ever having to do nerve reconstruction on our daughter. She still has a ways to go, but is definitely progressing. They did tack on a disclaimer that they'd be 'very surprised if we have to do surgery on her'...anything can happen, I suppose. But, they looked happy for us. They also mentioned that down the road she could end up needing another type of surgery should she be lacking in function (muscle modification, I believe). However, we were told that is a long way off and right now there's no way to know if it will even be necessary, so we won't worry about for now.

I suppose I feel a mild letdown that my daughter is not fully 'fixed' or 'cured' right at three months. I want her to be 100%, and to be honest, developmentally at 3 months of age a baby cannot do some of the things that they'd watch for. Figures. I think a small part of me felt that they'd say, "She's better now, go on home." Instead, we will spend years with therapy to make sure that as she grows she does not lose function and continues to grow and refine her motor skills correctly. My mind already knew all of this because I'd discussed it with her therapist, Jeff. My heart, however, wanted to hear differently.

Of course, we are thankful that things are so mild in her case. I have read of some sad stories and praise God He has shown abundant mercy on our family. I still rest in the assurance that He maintains control. I surely do not need to be the one in control!

On another note, my son experienced his first loss this weekend. Right after Miss C was born, one of my parents' dogs had to be put to sleep. Since Little B rarely sees the dogs these days (he was actually allergic to this one because of her long hair), we waited until our lives had settled a bit to break the news to him. Well, we were headed to my mom's for Mother's Day, so needless to say, it was time to tell him.

This was a long-haired Chihuahua who was quite old and in recent years was showing signs of illness. As it turns out, she had a brain tumor. (We spared the details for my son...he just knows she was sick and died at the Vet's.)

My son's heart was broken. Death is hard to grasp at any age, and at four it's somewhat evasive. We found a picture of him with her that he love to carry around, and he can occasionally be found sitting contemplatively prior to some question like, "Where is she? But, where in the ground? Where in the hole? Why?" He actually tries really hard to understand, and overall is fine. But, when his sadness hits, I ache for his little hurting heart and hold him and tell him that my doggie died, too, and I know it hurts. That it's okay to cry and miss her. I'm trying to let him grieve at his own pace. At the same time, I am so grateful that it was just a dog. I'm glad his first experience with death was not a close family member. And I pray that such an experience waits many more years.

04 May 2005

forced hiatus

Oh, how incredibly busy my life has been.

We are still struggling with various illnesses and sick visits to the doctor on top of well checkups for both kids, different specialists, and many, many chiropractic visits (to help the continuing ear problems for Little B). Tomorrow, he will be getting an eye exam as he failed the basic one at his 4 year old check-up, and Friday will be the big reevaluation for Miss C. Of course, her regular therapy each Monday still continues.

Then, of course, are the multitude of errands I've been trying to tackle...emissions tests, the tag office (tomorrow is the deadline!), getting my car repaired from it's fender bender, the pharmacy, the health food store, not to mention regular grocery runs and such--you get the idea, right?

The icing on the cake includes the many end-of-year school things (Muffins with Mom, Donuts with Dad, Field Day, Spring Program...I begin to wonder who's in school...Little B or Mommy; I swear I'm there as often as he is!).

Given all that and more, I rarely have time to sit down and breathe...somehow, I find time to nurse and change my daughter and fix my son's lunch (in my t-shirt as I rush him along in getting ready for school while remembering I am not yet dressed myself). I actually scheduled a lunch with a friend so my multifarious appointments would not always be in the way. I am scheduling AROUND that lunch, thank you very much, and please, Little B, do not be home sick from school that day! (There are only about 3 weeks left as it is...God, help me when summer break starts...)

So, today, after a crazy morning during which I did fit in a latte (on-the-go) for myself (yup, I drank it in the bathroom while getting ready for my shower), I got Miss C's pictures taken, picked up Little B right on time, came home for a brief 'lunch' for my daughter, only to head back out to the chiropractor and realize at 3:00 that I'd only eaten sunflower seeds and crackers for lunch. So, I went by Checkers so I could feed my famished stomach. The teenager handing me my food asked, "Is your car overheating? I think I smell something..." Holy Cow. I still needed to go to the tag office...

I pull up, pop the hood and get out to open it. I don't have to open it, though, to figure out what's wrong...there is oil pooling on the upper edge of the hood. Not good. I know what's wrong. I drove home, called my husband, and opened the hood all the way. Yup. That oil change we just got a week or so ago...they didn't put the cap back on. My engine and inside of the hood are covered in oil. Ick. At least the oil had not completely emptied and the engine's not cracked.

My husband every so kindly made the phone calls to the dealership who did the oil change (I HATE calls, especially of that nature). They have since towed my car, will 'take care of it' and return it by tomorrow morning in time for the 10am opthamologist appointment.

So, for a few small hours, I am being forced to take a break from my crazy days that never, ever end. I'd have preferred it happen AFTER the tag office and birthday shopping however, as those errands are mandatory by tomorrow. The morning is already full enough. Oh yeah. And Little B doesn't have school tomorrow.

I'm thinking dinner out and a chocolate dessert. I deserve it.