29 December 2006

young, you hear?

I am considered "pretty young to have a bunion". Did you hear that? Young. To. Have. A. Bunion. I say TOO young. Grumble gripe hiss growl snarl. I am stuck between pain and denial. NO bunion. Go away already.

(I prefer bare feet to my loose sneakers but I so wanted to wear my dressy boots to Broadway in NY -- waah! I'm afraid wearing them a couple times may have caused this nasty pain in my foot. . . .)

28 December 2006

times in our lives

Until a few years ago, my husband had no recollection of losing anyone close to him. My husband’s mother died of cancer before his 3rd birthday and all he has of her are stories, pictures and a precious scrapbook her family made him a few years ago.

His family is a tangled web; there is a distinct line between is father’s family and his mother’s family. Since his mother was not around, his father’s family was the core of his existence. They helped raise him and his sister. And they also fed him full – with stories of his mother’s family. Stories he later learned were not so accurate. Just two years ago, both of his grandparents on his father’s side died, a few months apart. That was the first taste of death to truly touch my husband’s heart.

When we got married, we ventured into new territory. That time in our lives not only marked the beginning of our life together, but also an unexpected opening into the family he scarcely knew. For nine years now, he has had the chance to love the grandparents he once believed did not care for him, and nurture a relationship with the aunt, uncle, and cousins he had once heard such scandalous things about; he has learned the truths behind the lies, unveiled so many disillusionments. There is to this day disapproval from his father et al. But no more can it dissuade him from these people he has learned to love so much. Instead, they took him as an adult and loved him, plain and simple; no conditions, no demands. In these nine years, I have grown to love them as well. His grandfather, Poppa, in particular has burrowed into my heart; mine died when I was 14.

Shortly before Thanksgiving, Poppa was diagnosed with lung cancer. He has beaten previous cancer and outlived more heart attacks than anyone would believe; in his typical way, he takes this latest news with style and grace, knowing he has had far more years than any doctor could have predicted. He still swears his heart will be the death of him; indeed, he had another heart attack Christmas Eve, but, still he lives.

Barely two weeks after his lung cancer was discovered his wife (Giddy) was diagnosed with cancer as well: the same cancer to take their daughter’s life; my mother-in-law. It is a rare type of stomach cancer.

There is a very real and painful possibility that neither of them will survive the year. In addition, all immediate family has been ordered to have tests run related to the stomach cancer. My husband's mother was in her mid-twenties when she died. His grandmother is in her seventies. The cancer is eerily the same in location and size. I must confess I am inwardly battling the possible outcome of my my husband's test. There are things that specifically concern me with him. Yesterday, he received his referral for the specialist and scheduled his consult; it makes my heart race.

16 December 2006

where i am, in summary

The week of Thanksgiving:
2 children sick with almost a week's worth of fever and misery

The week after Thanksgiving:
2 children worn out from being sick
1 child still feverish, flu and strep tests positive

This past week:
1 child with double ear infection, bad cough, wheezing, no school

1 child with fever (not the one sick all week)
1 mommy with no time for self-care found in urgent care clinic, sore throat and sinus infection (no fever, no strep...thank you Lord!)

Next two and a half weeks:
no school

Next month:
1 mommy turns 31
1 husband leaves country for almost 3 weeks

And after that:
1 mommy invited to New York with one of her oldest friends for a long weekend, no children

It cannot come soon enough.

ta ta for now...feverish child has crawled into my lap, even now still full of her usual mischief!

07 December 2006

pixie dust

Today marks a noticable first in my life.

I realize I am not alone--it happened to my husband this year (though I find it incredibly attractive on him), and it's long since happened to many of my friends. But for me, I had yet to decide how I would feel about "my first"--perhaps not unlike a young girl awaiting her first period...little does she know what she is truly waiting for. Now my wait is over. And I was quite honestly startled this morning to discover my first gray hair.

I have very, very dark hair. As a child, other kids mistakenly thought it to be black. And while it's not quite that dark, it is a definite deep brunette. Perhaps the years have lightened it just a fraction (particularly in summer), but the artificial highlights of several years ago have long since vanished, so I am certain of what I saw. And about five years earlier than I expected, I guess!

I didn't think it would be such a big deal; I've admired my husband's and been fascinated by my friends' and wondered about my own. My father was showing distinct gray by my age and my mother is noticably frosted on top (though she colored it for years, and still does on occasion); even my baby brother has begun to see gray on his own head (not heavily, yet, I guess, since I haven't seen it; then again, his hair is much lighter than my own). But this is right at the hairline in the midst of a cowlick--no holding back or hiding! And a very shiny gray she is, against my ever-dark locks I unabashedly take pride in (pride comes before the fall, no?). She is short still, growing in no doubt from one of the many handfuls of hair my daughter has innocently yanked from my scalp while seeking comfort from mommy's long tresses. Like my dad's headful of silver, this tiny lady is not wiry, but soft, one thing I am thankful for. Wait. No, I'm not. I have very fine hair that could stand a little body for once. Shoot. Ah well, maybe she'll grow gracefully on me.

I'm guessing that when people see this, my youthful look will be a thing of the past; no longer will anyone be surprised that I'm really 30 (31 next month, though, so I guess it's to be expected) or that I'm old enough to have two kids. But, I really hope it doesn't grow too fast...my husband's gray at his temples gets more noticable with each hair cut--a fact I am adoring. There's just nothing adorable about my random gray at the top of my forehead, you know? Unless I just say I'm being sprinkled with pixie dust.

Yeah, that I like. Pixie dust. Bring on neverland, baby!

30 November 2006

and man, I like to burn the midnight oil!

You Are Midnight

You are more than a little eccentric, and you're apt to keep very unusual habits.
Whether you're a nightowl, living in a commune, or taking a vow of silence - you like to experiment with your lifestyle.
Expressing your individuality is important to you, and you often lie awake in bed thinking about the world and your place in it.
You enjoy staying home, but that doesn't mean you're a hermit. You also appreciate quality time with family and close friends.

almost as good as my morning coffee

My bathroom has a "garden tub", I guess it's called--oval with jets. And, at first I thought that sounded great, and made a few efforts to enjoy the occasional nightly bath for unwinding and such. But, I just didn't get much out of it. I soaked in the warmth (which wasn't easy--I often added a kettle of boiling water since my bathroom is so very far from the water heater!), read my current book, bathed and got out chilled. Annoyed, I stopped doing this pretty quickly. I didn't feel "relaxed" or "refreshed" or anything good. It was a pain. I've never been a huge bath-taker, so I told my husband he could have the tub, I didn't care for it (and yes, he loves it--shhh!).

Secretly, I long for a claw-foot tub--I had the luxury one time and that, my friends, was wonderful. They are long enough to stretch out your legs, conformed enough to fit your back like the best of chairs, and deep enough so soak your body easily and entirely (and retain the heat!). Yes, that is a dream for "someday"!

However, I recently discovered a new love for my tub.


See, my shower rarely gets hot enough and the bathroom is just big enough to NOT trap the steam for added warmth. I never thought I'd miss my tiny bathroom of the old house, but . . . anyway. I like heat when I bathe, and it wasn't happening. Then one morning as the sun was spilling through my frosted window above the tub I was inspired to run as much hot water as I could (as in learning when to turn it off so as to maximize the heat and not worry about quantity quite as much). I climbed in. The bathroom was still cold, but the water was appropriately hot in comparison. I only spent a few minutes, but the heat soaked in and compensated for the chill above the water. When I got out, I felt . . . refreshed.

I was shocked. I thought it was a chance occurance and so tried it again another day. And again. And again. And each time I was enjoying my bath. The warm sun helped tremendously, but even if it's not awake yet, I like my morning bath. Short, but oh so warming. I can't take one every morning, but I can still get my coffee when I need it, so that's okay.

13 November 2006

rivers and life

This morning, much to our delight, my son and I reveled in Jack Frost's first real appearance. Something about the frosted glass covering the lawns and roofs of every home on the street feels fresh. I want to breathe it in, standing in the midst of that magic. Little B took a swipe of the grass and saw bits of white on his mitten. Here in the South, of course, it's a mild and pleasant 68* by late afternoon. But something about the early morning, when the mist freezes onto everything it touches...

And then there is the river. We live close to a large dam and I drive it at least once or twice a week. I was nervous at first, not being big into heights and bridges and such, but oh, I love it! (And, driving it and riding it are two different things, though I get a better view as a passenger...what a tossup--driver security or passenger view!) However, unlike my family who gazes out at the lake, I look longing over the river. One night, late, I was driving home from a close friend's house (she lives in the town on the other side of the dam) and it had rained a cold, hard rain that day. By the time I headed home, the rain had ceased, leaving an incredible fog over the river. I desparately wanted to stop and just gaze at it, but something about doing that at 11:30pm struck me as not the best idea...especially on a narrow dam. Today, I discovered a park that takes me to that lovely spot; I cannot wait to return. I do not yet have words for what the river is to me. It calls me the way the mountains do. I hear God's voice in its waters. That is something I need these days. This verse comes to me often when near the river:

Revelation 22:1
And he showed me a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding
out of the throne of God and of the Lamb in the middle of its street.

I have been quiet of late, here in my little blog-home. I have so much to say and yet the core of it really just doesn't need saying sometimes. So, I have spent time sitting, pondering and sorting within myself. We've been making big decisions in our family in recent weeks. The biggest of those is that I am officially job-hunting.

Moving was a huge stretch for us, and we knew that when we made the decision to come here. Our choice for a home would have cost us less, but in this town such a home would have been much older and most likely in a less secure-feeling neighborhood. As it was, almost nothing was to be found in that price range at all. Either up from there (we took the bottom of those offerings), or down from there (after a few quick drive-thrus, we had to eliminate them completely and move on). So, we are indeed in the house of our dreams a few years earlier than we would have probably planned. However, the most recent news from our old street includes probable gang activity and territory markings (some had started before we left, but it's increased even in the last few months) and one man about five homes down from ours said he had both of his cars broken into very recently. Living there, we had a very full one-car garage. And it was not full of a car, so both of ours sat in the driveway every night. I am grateful we no longer live in that area. The stretch of moving feels right and timely every time we consider it. We did not act rashly; we made hard decisions based on what was around us and mostly what our children's needs were.

Well above and beyond that stretch, Little B has been in therapy weekly since before the move. I will skip the inconsitencies and annoyances here, but our insurance allots 20 visits per year; since our therapist is out of network, we spend 16 of those visits meeting our deductible. See where I'm going? They pay approximately FOUR visits per year. Those were back in September, and we're once more paying for every visit out of pocket. Therapists are not cheap. This puts us way beyond anything reasonable in our budget and the hole has gotten deeper and darker recently. It has made us uncomfortable, and while we firmly believe we have listened closely to the Lord in deciding which house to buy and what therapist to use, the stretching is a little too tight and thin these days. And so, the need for a job.

However, that comes conditionally. I will not put my daughter in daycare. If she was old enough to go to school, I would be willing to look at regular, day time positions and pay a baby sitter for the one or two hours each afternoon that overlapped with my getting home. But, that is not the case here. So, I am looking at the irregular jobs. Yesterday, I put in an application for a night shift as unit secretary at a nearby hospital. It would only be weekends, and the idea of it secretly thrills me a tiny bit. The other choice would have been days, but I prefer to be home to see my family, even if I do sleep part of it away. I realize that particular job may not pan out, but I am looking for other night/weekend jobs that would generate enough cash flow to make a difference. Anything safe and during those hours I have to consider right now. Of course, finding those places is the challenge!

The other thing on my mind lately is an exhaustion I have felt for several weeks now. Most nights I sleep so deeply I do not know when my children wake up at night--that can be frequent, especially for Little B some weeks (Sensory-related issues along with occasional nightmares). Since becoming a mom, an extra sense has awakened me at the slightest sound coming from my children, though my husband's alarm could go unnoticed. However, that is not the case any longer. I have also been falling asleep earlier and wanting to sleep longer than I normally would. And no, I am not pregnant, though I spent a few weeks almost positive that would be the surprise culprit. However the tiredness still tracks me down. Fortunately, my husband has pitched in graciously. Indeed, I didn't know I was sleeping through those hard nights until one day my husband looked worn out and he commented that Little B had called out three times. Oh my, I felt awful. I'd slept so blissfully that night! And try as I might, I am still not hearing much though it's not as severe as it was about a month ago.

To my knowledge there are no other "symptoms" except a very occasional bit of light-headedness. I've come to the conclusion that I am probably just a little anemic. To that end, we're eating more red meat right now, and I find myself looking at boxes for the increased iron. If I don't get to feeling better soon, I will see a doctor, but this is my first shot. Of course, a good dose of caffiene mid-afternoon and I'll be up all night long (if I get the night job, I'll be rewarding myself with a latte those two nights of the week!).

I guess that's where I am right now. I spend much of my days changing diapers and perusing job sites at the moment. I'd be fine working from home, but "real" at home work is not so realistic and I've pretty much given up hope of that. I just need to work around my family so I don't sacrifice them in meeting this need.

25 October 2006


Tami is a wonderful friend I have known for many years through Christian conferences and a desire to stay in touch. The past few years have brought us into a closer friendship which I truly cherish in spite of our busy lives and incredible distance. Recently, she moved to China with her husband. They will only be there temporarily, but for now it's much too far away and contact is sparser than ever.

**Tami, I know you are reading this, though I've got a feeling you were here just a little while ago and I've missed you for today. I don't have an email for you, which is fine (for now...or does the old one still work?). (I need to send you a care package; that means I need the information I asked for girl, especially a mailing address.) I want to hear details of your adventures in China and how Billy is doing. If you are simply short on time, then knowing you are reading my random blogness is good enough. I hope you are well and miss you much! (And if you want to blog about China, I'll help you get started...it would be fun to read!)**

24 October 2006

not coping

I am not coping well today. I can't even begin to tell you the reasons, but suffice it to say it's way past "one of those days". I almost never cry. My eyes are now burning and it's not even 10:30am. I want to curl into a ball and sleep my day away, begging for tomorrow to be better. And this, with one kid at school, the other being an angel. It's just that bad.

16 October 2006

jeans and a sweatshirt

It is deliciously Autumn right now. Today was wet and cool and the leaves are painting their faces with lovely shades of color. This weather invigorates me. I become inspired to think and ponder and write and clean and decide and do and live. I even long to be outside rather than inside (no other time of years instigates this feeling). I can wear my beloved jeans and a sweatshirt without getting too hot. Nights are crisp like a red apple and soon I'll be able to see the frost of my words in the air. I feel clean and alive on days like this.

15 October 2006

my little brother

My brother is a God-loving man. He has grown up with this a part of him. But sometime in the past year he delved his entire being deeper into the heart of God. He has sought to immerse himself with God’s Truth and be an expression of Him. My parents and I have watched him with a thrilled awe. My little brother has gone from a self-assured, confident man who deeply loved his God, his family and his friends to a man who is walking assuredly with the One who loves him most, pouring his entire self out for His purpose, and giving the core of his being on the alter for his Lord’s purpose. He longs to serve the Lord in a daily way. I can hear it in his voice, see it on his face.

His plans for the future are not different, his interests and hobbies have not changed. But his love for the Lord is deeper and stronger, his openness before us, his family, is laid bare and honest. In some ways he is finally “growing up”, and in other ways he seems to be at the beginning of a new journey. Something in his spirit is deeply refreshed, watered.

I have always loved my brother. (I may not have “liked” him very much during some stages of our lives, but that’s different.) And during the years when he was in college, he matured and our relationship followed suit. It was a natural progression of time, I suppose. But this. This is so much more than “he’s grown up”. There is a sweetness to this new season. Now, when he calls me, he really calls to share his heart, not the surface of what he is experiencing. I am able to do likewise for the first time.

And in this, something within myself and my spirit is also refreshed, watered, nurtured.

13 October 2006

God's mysterious ways?

My son has spent his morning changing from one costume to another (he woke up a firefighter, then was Spiderman and most recently was a doctor), and was directed to stop playing and please put the multitude of dirty clothes around the floor into the hamper.

Little B (hurrying from his room as if on a mission): There are these lights and they’re flashing. (his hands move rapidly)

Me: What about them?

Little B: I think they might be a message from God.

Me: Maybe it’s just the sunlight shining into your room (the blinds are closed and a bush is outside the room)

Little B: No, I think it’s a message.

Me: Really? What kind of message?

Little B: I don’t know. Come quick, I’ll show you. It might be gone already.

*I go, I look, I don’t see.*

Little B: It’s gone.

We are still intermittently discussing the lights. I’ve tried to explain why I think it’s the sun, and since I couldn’t convince him I’ve since asked if it was a message about cleaning his room since the lights were in there. No, not about that, but maybe we need to call a detective to help figure it out.

12 October 2006


Shot in the Arm
At last, my tetanus shot has gone from a raging, screaming ache deep in the upper arm to a small bruise that hurts a little when I rub it. I thought my arm might fall off the last two days. Sheesh. The cut that brought it on paled in comparison for a while. Now, the stab-wound has resumed it's rightful place as sore, painful when bumped (that place gets knocked around easily and frequently, I might add), and healing well. Thank you for your sympathies!

Shot in the Dark
I have been toying with the idea of making a few Mei Tai style baby slings and trying to sell or consign them at a local boutique. (I have not yet discussed this with any shops.)
Now, I'm still teaching myself to sew--a far cry from an expert, but I can make these pretty well and enjoy it; I've made a couple for myself and friends. I could also use the extra income if indeed it would generate a bit! There are a few kid's consignment shops in the area I considered speaking with as well.
I don't want a huge web-based business (I'm not that good or versatile for one thing); besides, the sheer number of baby-wearing sites has intensely multiplied in the past couple of years. It's insane! So, I thought "local" sounded more realistic, and controllable as well. I guess. Do you hear me second guessing my every move? Well, I deleted some of it, but I am. Argh.

09 October 2006

knife weaving--not a new craft idea

Oh, the stupid things we do. I mean, really.

Yesterday I was—no, I need to back up.

Saturday—nope, not far enough.

When we moved in there was a dirty, grimy plastic cabinet left on the back porch. I was excited. I looked forward to cleaning it up and making good use of it. I’m thinking bubbles for easy access and stuff like that. It just made sense to me. Now, when I say grimy, I mean it was really filthy and they left some trash and stuff inside—including on old steak knife, probably from grilling out.

Last weekend we were doing a lot of cleaning and arranging in the garage to make room for the second car (nope, we’re still not finished unpacking, but it’s getting there, slowly but surely). A lot of boxes went to the bonus room that day. Anyhow, while we were out there we let Little B earn a bit of money by cleaning said cabinet. Hose, sponges and brushes, soap. Fun, you know? He did have a blast. My husband just carried the thing around and away he scrubbed. At the time, I gave no thought to where he put the aforementioned stuff/trash from inside. My intent all along was to completely throw away the knife. I mean, it had a bit of rust on the edge and stuff, and heck, who knows what it was really used for.

Well, we’d never discussed that knife. It just didn’t hit high priority, you know? So, Saturday I had cooked dinner and grabbed a knife from my knife stash to cut up some meat and veggies for Miss C. It looked different, and I absently considered that my mom must have left it as she often does with things she finds and thinks I’ll like. I did notice it looked old, almost rusty, but wasn’t sure what to think of the spots further up the blade and decided to just try it out anyway.

After my husband came in, I mentioned that I didn’t know where that knife had come from and he told me it was from that old cabinet (he had run it through the dishwasher, but still!). I, uh, ahem, got a bit upset, and told him he could cut more food for Miss C since I didn’t want to feed her after using that particular knife on it. And I proceeded to set the knife back on the counter to be disposed of. I noticed then that it was actually broken anyway—the blade separating from the handle. I don’t know how I missed it before, but anyway, that’s not the point (no pun intended).

Yesterday afternoon, I stayed home with a severe migraine and let my husband take Little B to my parent’s for a fall festival in their town (I kept Miss C, but she did nap part of the time). After the intensity had subsided, I puttered around, not particularly cleaning but when I saw the knife, I immediately wanted to dispose of it, having forgotten the night before. I’m not even going to share all the stupid details of what I did, but suffice it to say I removed the blade from the handle since that was coming apart. Before putting into the folded up cardboard and taping it, I managed to stab my hand.

Just beneath the pointer finger, the palm side up, there is a lovely ½ inch cut, going across. An inch below that there is what appears to be a tiny cut, as though a blade nicked me; can we say, “exit wound”? I can. Oh, and below that you will see yet another, tinier spot, almost like needle prick; that would be a “would-be re-entry wound.” I was knife-weaving in my hand. Oh joy.

I will spare you the blood and gore if it, but suffice it to say I got it under control after a couple of minutes and wrapped way too much gauze and tape around the palm of my hand simply for pressure to prevent more bloodshed.

It was much later that night when the vague thoughts of “tetanus shot” really took ground in my mind. That knife had not been re-washed since using it for food and it did have what I would say is rust, though not really where it got me. I called my mommy to talk about it—I still need her! She said I needed to call someone and make sure there was not a time limit when needing one. Oh, and I was still trying to decide if I needed any stitches. Haha!

I called the nurse-on-call with my insurance and they said I had 48 hours to get the shot, the doctor could tell me if I needed stitches. Okay, night-night.

Today, I saw my doctor. I got the tetanus shot. I found out I would have gotten one, maybe two stitches yesterday if I’d seen someone. But you have to take care of that within 10 hours of the injury! Oh well. At least it’s healing. Though my arm is terribly sore from that shot. I dont' know when I last had a tetanus shot! And my wonderful husband stayed home to drive me since it’s my right hand and I drive a manual transmission. He even changed not one but two dirty diapers. I told you he was great.

04 October 2006

nine years

nine years of loving
nine years of you
nine years of us
nine years of learning
nine years of giving
nine years of sharing
nine years of busyness
nine years of growing
nine years of good
nine years of bad
nine years of ugly
nine years of happiness
nine years of trying
nine years of craziness
nine years of laughter
nine years of being
nine years of marriage
nine years of waking up and being glad I have another day with you

happy anniversary my love

23 September 2006

beating myself up

Some days I feel like a complete idiot. This morning is one of those times. I have no idea how I completely skipped an important detail, but I have the sense of letting my son down. He does not know I am at fault, though he might figure it out later. That remains to be seen. I just feel black and blue inside right now.

Little B is in soccer for the first time. He has never played sports before and seems to be enjoying himself in spite of the fact that he is one of two kids on the team who is new to this. All the other five year old prodigies have a clue what they are doing, and my poor son is working hard to figure it out--which also means battling the fact he is easily distracted by the running around and mass of confusion. Myself? I have begun to hate the way the schedule dictates my life. I already have his therapy one day a week, and this just adds two more structured times into my week that I have to find ways to entertain my one year old (the stroller makes her mad for that long and she wants to get ON the playing field with the boys, not watch from the sidelines...there is no place empty for her to run around in typically).

Today is picture day. I got notices and directions and the schedule I printed out said "start time, 8:20"; no end time was listed, which seemed odd. Please remember, we have not done this before. I assumed that meant you could get there as early as 8:20 or some other time throughout the day. Wrong. (There were directions on this same schedule, and we had it all printed out and easy to access with the soccer bag.)

I also received a specific email with a load of further information yesterday or the day before. I opened it but something must have distracted me. I recall reading the END of the email about concessions, but in no way had I read the beginning about pictures. This morning at some point, my husband asked me if they had a time for team pictures. Huh? Well, I had no idea. Duh. First time soccer mom who missed the important email. I told him I guessed not since I hadn't heard anything about it and relayed what I thought I knew. No big deal.

At 8:26, my cell phone rang from inside the diaper bag on a kitchen chair. I had just come from the bedroom or I'd never have heard it. It was the coach wondering if they should wait for us for the pictures or go ahead without Little B. At that moment, my husband was upstairs in the office, dialed in for work and Little B was up there visiting him. Both wearing pj's still. I had no answer for the coach, except to say I didn't realize. . . and we'd leave in just a moment. Little B has never gotten ready so fast in his entire life. Seriously. I heard him praying for help with hurrying and he was in that soccer uniform so fast my head spun (he had a little mommy help, but he worked hard to keep up).

In those few minutes, the coach called again to ask how long it would be, the photography place was pressing them to hurry up, and I still had no answer except that they were getting in the car. The last call came a couple minutes ago--they'd had to go ahead with the team picture, but Little B could still get his individual one taken.

When I called my husband to tell him, he was already parked. He missed it by minutes and a part of me wants to cry. I completely failed my son in this. I don't want him to be crushed. I am already crushed enough for both of us. On one hand, it would have been a picture of kids I didn't remember in the years to come, on the other hand, it is a team he is working with. I do get it. I just dropped the ball. I already feel a bit of a misfit at the practices and games, now I don't even want to show my face. Isn't there a hole with my name on it that I could crawl into until the season is over?

29 August 2006

girl time

Life has been so crazy here recently. Adjusting to the school schedule, starting the soccer season (okay, that was just last night, but you understand...)

And Ragweed is in bloom, therefore so are everyone's allergies. The "boys" seem to finally have it under control, and Miss C was teething simoultaneously with her congestion, but also seems to be bouncing back at last. Me? Oh, thanks for asking. Mine has settled into my chest and today I feel chilled and yet warm (oh yeah, wiped-out-exhausted-tired to boot). Not so good for a girl who is going on a trip on two days.

Yes, at long last I am going on a mini-vacation--I'm taking Miss C, so it doesn't count as a full one. I will be visiting my oldest, dearest friend for a lovely, long weekend of shopping. Feel those warm fuzzies? Oh yes, coffee, shopping, dining, pictures, shopping, and a bit more coffee and shopping. Those are the extent of our plans (with our toddler girls in tow, so it will truly be a GIRL trip). Ah, I forgot to mention the foot-pampering; we plan to scrub our feet and paint our toes as well. Luxury.

I met Bek in middle school. Our friendship stood the test of time and distance since I moved a mere three months after meeting her. We've written hundreds of letters (which morphed into emails over the years), sent many, many packages, and spent eons of time on the phone. Every few years, we'd have a chance to visit, and now we try to make that once a year. We have the same middle name, and now our daughters share one as well (their own, not ours). It happened to worked out that way, but it's just that much more fun. Our parents remained close friends, as well. Miss C and Melody are 6 weeks apart (no, this was not planned!), and so our trips will likely include them for years to come. I love the thought of a third generation of heart-friends, in spite of the distance. God blessed me the day I met this family, for sure.

And now, I must rest and pack. I bought an extra duffel bag for the trip home since shopping is a dominant activity this coming weekend. There is also a need to gather small, quiet toys for the almost two hour plan ride ahead...ah yes, we must endure trials in order to have that fun!

14 August 2006

the bus

My son has had a lifelong dream. I mean, really. Since he first played with a toy bus, and we'd point them out on the road in passing, he has been entranced, wanting to ride one. Badly. At a young two years old, tears would ensue, tantrums would be thrown, and a little heart would bust open every time a big yellow bus drove by. There was simply nothing his mommy could do to put him on it. "Someday," I'd say, with abundant apologies and wondering if I'd be able to fulfill that vague promise. At that time, we did not know what school we would have him attend, or if a bus would be an option at all.

Of course, the desire to ride a bus brought a desire to go to school. So, as a little enticement toward potty training, I told him he had to go in the big potty before he was allowed to go to school ("Teachers are too busy to change a diaper!"). It was a little motivator, but he was still a good three years old with mommy expecting baby #2 before he potty trained. And he held me to my promise: "Mommy, when do I go to school?" He wanted to go to school so bad he could TASTE it. And so we signed him up for 3 year old preschool at a church one mile from the house. He was so happy.

Then he discovered he would not be riding a big yellow bus to school. Ouch. Only half the dream was coming true, and the best part was the part being left out. My mother had the genius solution that held like glue for the year and half he went to that school. He rode the little white school bus (that parked in our driveway). Now, my son has a frightening sense of drama and loves to pretend--given there is someone to participate with, of course. Daily, he would kiss me good-bye at the door (and later, his baby sister as well), then trot off to "the bus" to greet his "bus-driver" (one of my many hats, I suppose). After Miss C was born, he would routinely ask the "bus-driver" if his sister could please ride along to drop him off.

When we registered Little B for school and he learned he could ride a bus each morning, you could see the fulfillment of a dream in his eyes. Last week, he wanted to ride on his first day, but I was adamant about taking him to his room. I'm glad, too, as he looked so little and lost and I got to hug him an extra time before he walked into that new world; also, the teacher was by the door to take his picture, so took it of us together.

But, Friday morning--oh, he was so ready to ride that bus at last. There was glee shining from his eyes as he climbed the steps. And since we live on a street with a cul-de-sac, I saw them drive back by the other way, and caught a glimpse of his sweet face through a window, leaning forward, hanging on for dear life as the bus jerked him around on his seat, trying to absorb every nuance of this experience his entire soul had longed for. I hope one day he writes, and that he will write of that experience with words a five year old cannot come up with so I can see it through his eyes at last.

Today, just as happily, he trounced off to the bus, eager to start his journey into his day. I pray each day holds that joy for him. I long for a delightful year and only the average number of "off days" any child would have. I hope he enjoys his journey through life, starting with each morning. . .

11 August 2006

"How was your first day?"

With a contented sigh and a soft voice, he replied, "It was great." And my heart slowed and my breathing became regular once more.

10 August 2006

first day

Today, my baby boy left babyhood. He’s off to the great big world of Kindergarten. My heart has been pounding ferociously since kissing him goodbye at his classroom door. Not being a woman who cries easily, I blinked back the burning in my eyes and bit my lip when I walked away. (I didn’t see any other moms sobbing wildly into hankies or I might have lost it, however). Of course, the day is not over, so that burning may win yet.

My anxiety, however, goes deeper than just his first day in school. It’s bigger than his being a “big kid”, and wider than missing his sounds throughout the day. My heart races because I know he struggles with transition; he loathes touching gooey messes; he doesn’t cope when a room is too loud. Later, I’ll worry about his being bored by shapes and letters, for now I worry that he’ll get through the day without falling apart.

During Open House this week, I talked to the teacher and school nurse about his Sensory Processing Disorder. My heart was a bit lighter knowing they cared and would work at understanding—that they would be on his side. Throughout the day at home, we do something called the Wilbarger Protocol—basically a soft bristled surgical brush brushed on his skin combined with joint compressions to help stimulate the nerves and thereby triggering his body to respond a bit more positively to his surroundings. Truly, when he is falling apart sometimes, I realize I have forgotten to do his brushing. Once we take care of it, his whole being begins to relax. To my shame, I forgot in the newness of getting him out the door for school today. However, his therapist plans to teach the nurse how to do this procedure—he will not have to go all day without it during the stress of school.

The school nurse emailed me a little bit ago. What good it did my heart to know he was surviving his first day. She said he had been overwhelmed by how loud the class was, and had come to visit her where she gave him a back rub (my alternate suggestion since she does not yet know how to do brushing) and chatted a few minutes. It soothed him some and he went on back to class.

And so, my heart is hurting for him. How hard it is for a child—deer caught in headlights expression on their face—that first day of Kindergarten. How much harder that your environment is not going to be simple to adjust to. What must it feel like for a typical day to overwhelm your body in so many ways?

I know my heart will continue to beat a little faster until I hold my precious baby in my arms once more. For yes, he will always be my baby boy. That, no doubt, is when my eyes will leak a little more noticeably.

07 August 2006

99 things about me

(since 100 just seemed a bit more than I could find time for!)

So, without further ado, my list as promised (please also reference #34 & 35)...

1. I am a poet.
2. Sometimes the poetry in me is like a dead leaf crumpled beneath one’s foot.
3. This can happen by the year (probably busy with kids or something else in life!).
4. I love reading—preferably Christian romance or suspense. Not poetry so much.
5. I cannot hear a rhythm. In a room of 100 people clapping (or even a dozen people kick-boxing), I will be the one who gets off the beat and stumbles around to get back. (My husband is very musical; go figure.)
6. I believe mommy-hood was my calling.
7. Some days I forget that I believe I was supposed to be a mommy and I stress out over it.
8. I wanted to get married in my upper twenties.
9. I got married when I was 21.
10. I have never regretted it for a single moment.
11. I am now 30.
12. I love to play Clue!
13. Scrabble is my other favorite game.
14. I have recently become addicted to Sudoku.
15. I like playing Nancy Drew on the computer (but what I really want is the Hardy Boys—where ARE they??).
16. I enjoy puzzles.
17. I like having the face of the watch on the inside of my wrist, not the top.
18. I hate to wear shoes and remove them immediately upon arriving home.
19. Thus, I usually have a large collection of shoes by the front door (see below #71).
20. Sometimes, I slip my shoes off under the table at a restaurant (shhh—don’t tell!).
21. I have endometriosis.
22. I love hot showers.
23. I burn my tongue on my coffee more frequently than I care to admit.
24. I love coffee with cream, no sugar.
25. I also love plain lattes.
26. Mostly, I drink my coffee with unsweetened soymilk since that’s now what we have in the fridge (and I almost prefer it now).
27. Dark chocolate is an important part of my diet.
28. I have adult-onset asthma.
29. My favorite flower is the stargazer lily.
30. I have a younger brother.
31. I have lots and lots of extended relatives; almost all of them are out of state.
32. I prefer to drive a manual transmission.
33. I get migraines.
34. I procrastinate.
35. Badly.
36. I have pierced ears—one hole per ear.
37. My dad made me wait until I was 12 to get them pierced.
38. Now, I think I’ll do the same with my daughter, even though I did not understand at the time.
39. I have to wear gold earrings or my skin gets irritated.
40. I have an Associates degree from a private junior college.
41. I went to college in the mountains (around here, they’re “mountains”, some people say they’re just “foothills”).
42. Now, I love the mountains; they are a personal retreat for me.
43. Someday, I’ll take more classes just because I want to.
44. I am trying to teach myself how to sew.
45. In the process, I am falling in love with it.
46. The marshmallows in sweet cereal make my skin crawl when I chew them. {shudder}
47. I got glasses in the fourth grade.
48. I have worn contacts off and on over the years.
49. When wearing contacts, I now (sometimes) add reading glasses to them to help me keep my place on a page.
50. My reading glasses are dark purple and sassy.
51. I have hazel eyes.
52. They change by the weather and what I wear.
53. They look teal when I cry.
54. My hair is dark, dark brown.
55. It is very straight.
56. It falls below my shoulders.
57. I often wear it up in a clip, bun-style.
58. I’m trying to grow it out as long as it was when I graduated from High School (at least 6 inches below my shoulder).
59. I kill plants regularly.
60. I have a new desire to understand plants and develop a “greener” thumb (I wonder how long this will last!).
61. It has taken me seven months to get this far in the list (see above, #34 & #35). Oh, the shame. . .
62. But, I blame the house selling/not selling/buying/moving/etc. Yeah, that’s what it is.
63. I occasionally have to re-read the list to see if I’ve already said something.
64. I love popcorn.
65. I’ve simplified this love and now make my own on the stove with olive oil and salt—no more microwave stuff for me, thank you very much (though I used to love it)!
66. I love lists.
67. I have lists of lists.
68. I must get a gleam in my eye when I want to make a list since my husband (mid-conversation) often asks, “Do we need to make a list?” He’s got impeccable timing since that would be the next request out of my mouth!
69. I use a “Mom’s Plan-It” with a weekly calendar and tear-out list to give myself an organized look.
70. That does not actually mean I am organized.
71. I always have “piles” of things—clothes to fold, papers to go through, books I’ve read/want to read/need to put away, more papers, coupons, shoes (reference #19) and the list goes on.
72. I use cloth diapers on my daughter much of the time.
73. I do that because I like to, not because of the thousand other reasons people list.
74. I wore braces for 3 ½ years.
75. My teeth were already straight; it was for TMJ.
76. I still struggle with TMJ problems.
77. Breakfast for dinner is one of my favorite meals.
78. In High School I worked at a consignment shop.
79. It was the first in the area, which started quite a trend in following years.
80. I liked that job a lot.
81. I was a dental assistant before having children.
82. I also helped manage their front office short-term.
83. Management seems to be what I like best.
84. I hate to exercise.
85. It bores me to no end.
86. I need to exercise.
87. I’m working on ways to motivate myself.
88. I did kickboxing for a little while, but now it’s too far away.
89. I liked it enough I’m thinking about buying a video to do it at home.
90. However, I don’t think I’d do it alone (based on personal experience).
91. I am notorious for returning library books late.
92. I am responsible for packing some library books while moving.
93. I cannot figure out where I packed them, and therefore have renewed them twice now (and they are due again).
94. I have a terrible time making decisions (“But what if. . .”).
95. My heart can be very vulnerable.
96. But it loves fully, wholly and without question.
97. I am deeply in love with my husband.
98. I love the Lord Jesus even more.
99. I think this should have been easier since I love making lists.

04 August 2006


Since I was tired of the old template, and in honor of my new house, I've made a few changes here at "penny for my thoughts". So, welcome to my new online "home". Bear in mind, I am a woman, and entitled to change my mind should it need more redecorating or color! I've also added a new blog, with the intent of posting recipes and meal planning (truly just a self-motivator as this is not a strong point for me). I'm still toying with it--appearance, name and concept. It may turn into nothing, but feel free to stop by in the weeks ahead. In theory it will be geared toward healthier meals and treats, but what is life if not to live a little, right?

at last

It's official. We sold our old house today. I had a moment of doubt when, after signing all the papers, our attorney said, "Okay, we thought the wire would be here already for the loan, so hopefully it will come while I go finish up some copies." WHAT? It did finally make it, though. (I'm suspicious it was the FedEx guy who arrived, looking for someone to sign, while we all sat chatting.)

Who bought our house? Well, a second year college guy will be living there; his mother and her boyfriend (?) bought it for him with 20% cash down. And they had the gall to quibble over a cash settlement of $300 for repairs (we didn't want to pay any, they wanted more--claiming problems we had a very hard time believing; not to mention we had a new exterior paint job done as well as put a new roof on in recent months. Give me a BREAK!). Either way, our out-of-pocket was less than expected and it seems we will also get some cash back from escrow in a few weeks. That eases the way we scraped the bottom of the barrel for closing (it'd have been ever so much easier pre-double house payments!)

Okay, that's off my chest now, and the mortgage is off my back. Praise the Lord! :)

Think I'll go eat bake a few cookies now, to celebrate, of course!

01 August 2006

reunions and college years

Thank you, everyone; I did find something I was comfy and happy wearing. After two shopping trips. I feel this way about clothes: I loathe shopping for them. If I find something I really like, I buy two of it, usually different colors. (I have tons of shirts that have twins in another color.) The capris I found in white for the reunion are also in my possession in a light aqua color. The final touch: the black flip-flops with black beads on them! Capris were a common trend, so I really appreciate the tip. And, I borrowed my dad's digital camera; so pardon the blurriness, but this is the only shot we took of me (the kids were interrupting, need I say more?).

Due to my abiding nervousness at social functions (and the history below didn't help), there was a mixture of anxiety bubbling in my chest and a deep pleasure at seeing my beloved mountains. I saw some friends I'd hoped would be there (one couple I'd "introduced" on campus, with their new baby). Most were of the casual acquaintance type, but it was still far better than I'd expected. I find reunions a bit disappointing in that so many people do not come, however, and I am left wondering about specific friends (and I am horrendous for initiating contact!).

And now, a piece of my heart on a platter, exposed to the world for what it's worth.

My college years were full of insecurities, changes and growth (whose aren't, right?). The choices I made, or didn't make, as it turned out, colored my experience more than some, I believe. I was in a very small, two-year private college. Which was jam-packed with Greek life. I am not a sorority girl, not even close. I don't think I knew just how fully it consumed my campus until my little group of friends all rushed after the first term. There was one exception besides myself, and it was so painful for her that she joined the following term ("When in Rome. . ." and "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" and all that, I guess). All-consuming is a kind term for what Greek life was for those girls. Please do not get me wrong. I did not think it was "evil", I simply had no place for it in my life. Perhaps I shared the thoughts too easily, perhaps I didn't share them correctly. Either way, I no longer had my crowd of friends, and even the few I had been closest to had no time and the friendships waned quickly.

I worked hard at licking my wounds and finding people who had time in their lives for the non-Greek. Eventually, I began to find a groove once more and settled in a little less sure of myself than before, but did settle. During the Spring term, I was hanging on the edge of a new group of girls who decided they wanted an alternative to the sorority and set about creating their own thing. It was lacking Greek recognition by charter, but essentially the same in principal. Once more, I was left in the dust, unwilling to compromise my feelings on the matter. Through the summer, my heart was battered over this issue of not being a sorority girl. It truly, truly wasn't for me. I had applied for the position of Resident Assistant, and was accepted. My first year I'd had three different rooms, and three different roommates. At last, I was able to carve a small place for me, and other than the first term (we were on the quarter system back then), I had my own room, my privacy and solitude to hide in.

I returned to college depressed. The year unfolded as trying, yet oddly healing. One "previous" friend and I were R.A.'s on neighboring floors, and we worked on our friendship that year. In some ways, the end result was deeper than before, and in other ways, it was so very different and not as deep as I thought it could have been. Regardless, we were at peace, having fought the storm. There were other issues I worked to heal that year--I fought myself and found a way to be more involved, albeit a small way (once in my shell, it is very, very hard for me to emerge). I also fell in love twice, marrying the right one a year after I graduated.

In hindsight, I wish I had been more open-minded in my reactions and had a better understanding of life around me. I was right to stand behind my beliefs and I am stronger for being firm in my morals (not easily accepted by many people during those years!). But, in a small corner of my heart, I feel cheated, in that I feel I sacrificed friendships along the way; some days I wish I could re-live my college years and do a few things differently, less stoic than the first time. As I said, those years were years of growth for me. I like to think I am much more open and more balanced now. While I get a good case of blues at times (I am a woman!), my depression has never truly returned, and I do still enjoy going up to my mountains. Each year, it is a tiny bit easier to see the people from so long ago. And I secretly hope they forget whatever image they had of me, so I can relive a new experience with those who also love it enough to return.

that old house

Well, we did not close today like we'd hoped. Apparently, the loan officer working on the buyer's loan was not returning calls because. . .he got FIRED. And no one had taken over his clients yet. So, the buyers are moving on to the second place that prequalified them. They have ONE week to close (per standard contracts), or we are renegotiating. They've been proving to be quite a pain to deal with, claiming a lot of damage on our siding, all the way around (versus the FOUR boards with SOME issues), etc. Our agent called their bluff and they backed down, but are still being quite nit-picky (wanting a letter proving the roof was "professionally done" since hearing my dad -- a contractor -- did the work; we don't want issues in a year, so we're not providing one. It's BRAND NEW, for crying out loud!!). Anyhow, we're going way out of pocket on closing costs and it's quite painful, so we're not going to sit around and argue. You want it, you buy and find a way to make it work, or we pull the contract. End of discussion. We need time to find a seller if these guys are not going to pull through. For the moment, we are set to close next Monday at 4pm.

24 July 2006


I attended a 2 year private college. I posted on this a little last summer, here. This coming weekend is my 10 year reunion. Truth be told, in the midst of our moving and craziness (I’m blaming a lot of things on the move still), I forgot all about it. Until, of course, I made plane reservations to visit my close friend, Bekah. That’s when I remembered and looked up the dates—the same, of course. And, I have been looking forward to this reunion for several years now. I was almost in tears. Then I began my mental wonderings: I wondered if I was supposed to go, if I would make it even if I wasn’t scheduled to fly out, and if we’d be able to find a place to stay on such short notice. My hubby and I talked it over, and he said that if the flight-change fees were reasonable, move the trip out a bit and arrange for the reunion. He is so good to me.

For a couple days, I checked the fees and contemplated a new date for my trip. During those days, I realized that my poor husband would be suffering if I left him high and dry so fast after moving in—there is still a good bit we’re working on with unpacking and such—sigh. So, I will be making my first girls-trip (only Miss C will go along with me!) for Labor Day weekend. And, I am excited!

I began arranging for my reunion trip, paying for the dinner and lookinig into accommodations (which fill up fast since there is a huge annual fair at the same time). It’s only about a two hour drive, and staying one night up there is sufficient. My dad has a man he does a lot of work for who owns a luxury condo at the resort where my reunion will be held. He arranged for us to stay there for that one night. Free.

Now, I am faced with the age-old question of what to wear. I loathe this decision. And, of course, I want to look good.

The reunion starts at 6pm, likely not overly formal; it is a “gourmet buffet”, but children are included. Everyone will be outside a few hours prior at other homecoming functions. I’m guessing a little black dress would be overkill. But, shorts might be a bit too casual. Flattering jeans and a black linen top? A dress? I want something that can be dressed up or down. And, did I mention I loathe this decision?!?!?!

If anyone has any suggestions, I would gladly take them. And, yes, it’s this Saturday.

22 July 2006


(Beware, boring details may be ahead.)

We have had five—FIVE—offers to date.
We have been on the market for just shy of 6 months.
Almost consistently, we are the second choice (“if the first one doesn’t work out, we’ll be back”). Ha. Even their agents aren’t so sure about why we’re the 2nd choice rather than the 1st.
Now, I am almost afraid to believe in the offers we get.

1. The second week on the market (mid-February), we had an offer that was asking us to drop way down in price and they were unwilling to bend or meet in the middle. They were also very slow about making the offer and responding to our counter offer. As in, they took three and four days rather than the allotted 24-48 hours. It was believed they would have been the same way if we’d accepted—that they would not have made it to the closing table.

2. Many months later, we finally got a second offer—the last day in May, to be exact. It was a full price offer and they wanted to close fast—you heard a bit of it in previous posts. We moved; they folded. We now own two houses and things are getting stretched really, really thin.

3. There was a verbal offer the day after we accepted the above one. Obviously, it was not something we could consider since we’d already verbally committed to that one. But, I still say it counts, and they were disappointed. I am, too, in hindsight.

4. This past Monday, we got an offer that was several thousand less than our asking price, MINUS closing costs, MINUS a carpet allowance*. The bottom line on that offer: we would go down in a hole by $14,000! We countered offering partial closing costs. They came back again with a slightly less offensive offer (only minus $9,000 this time, for us). We countered the same as before. I mean, come on, COMPROMISE. If they’d have come closer, we’d have tried to worked it out. They said they’d be back if they couldn’t find something else. You know, we could have paid for a YEAR or more on that house before we could afford their first offer! Cripes.

5. Yesterday, we got a lovely, reasonable offer—within a thousand or so of our asking price, but they wanted full closing costs. Since we’ve been stretching ourselves with two house payments, it’s not quite so easy to come by at the moment, however we took it (we’re also spending untold hours keeping up the yard and interior which is valuable time when you have two little kids). We’ll scrape it up any way we can and get that house off our back. As an incentive, they are pre-qualified (offer #2 was having trouble with this which meant we didn’t even get to keep their earnest money! ARGH.), and can close in 10 days (deliberate choice on their part to encourage us to accept their offer). Hallelujah! That’s enough to not counter, take it and RUN.

*No one commented on the carpet until our furniture was moved out, then everyone noticed wrinkles and spots, so last night my hubby and parents stretched it and shampooed the living room--until after 1am. I stayed home with the two kiddos who’d have been in the way and bored. Truthfully, other than the need to be stretched, it was comparable to the carpet in our "new" house, so we just got hit by whiney people.

In the meantime, I’m working to trust and praying that it goes through. You must admit, the track record isn’t so hot. (I'm usually afraid to post or tell people about news of any sort, because it seems that the second it leaves my mouth, it changes. However, I give up. I will just expect it to change and hope it doesn't. If I were superstitious, which I'm very much not, I'd say I jinx things!)

21 July 2006


I admit it. I loved pigs in High School. As in, I collected pig items, not that I loved boys who were pigs. Pigs were my “thing”. (I even dreamed of owning a pet pig, but now when my son asks the same thing, I cringe!)

Now, as the years have waned, I find myself adoring them a little less than in my formative years. For the most part, I prefer that people not remember how much I liked them, lest they try to impart a pig-gift on me. You know, enough is enough and all that.

Well, I have this wonderful, dearest of heart-friends, Kim, who traveled out of the country on various occasions and brought back fabulous pig figures, earrings, etc, over the years for me. She had a “thing” for cows, so we kinda stuck, I guess. Anyhow, Kim understood the pig affair better than anyone else. To this day, I pack the pigs she gave me with extra care and stop to gaze at each one, or grin, as I pass. They have flair of their own, for sure.

Today, I received a package from Kim. It has been a long, long time since she’s given me a pig, but I once more beheld a fabulous pig in my hands as a housewarming gift. It’s a skinny piggy-face, carved with squinty eyes and great flopped ears that are almost straight out. Behind his eyes is a very deep “wrinkle”—he holds my glasses! He gets my tickle bone and brought bubbles of laughter; I must say he’s fantastic. Once again, she understood the love accurately. And, my new bathroom has enough counter space for him to have his very own spot!!

Thanks a million, my dear!

15 July 2006

all before ten

So, my husband had already gone to the old house (the contract fell through and we're back at square one with twice the expense as before) to work on mowing, weed-eating and simoultaneously smelled gas in the house--an agent who saw it last week had as well, but we dismissed it since we'd disconnected our service (in actuality they left it on for a bit as a curtesty to the new owner, only ther IS no new owner). Then there was trouble with the mower and he had to borrow one from a neighbor. Now, he's having trouble with knowing how to use that one. I believe our plan was that he'd be almost finished by now. . .Later, we're supposed to buy flowers to replace the very dead ones that are still hanging around. In theory, a simple plan. In reality, not so simple, as usual.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch (I have not told my husband any of this yet. . .he has enough to deal with before he gets home):
Little B, finally dressed for the day, comes to me with an odd look on his face, "Mommy, you need to see come something. It's in the hallway." Okay, I haven't eaten, am feeding Miss C a banana, and doing a dozen other little things, but in a hallway, it couldn't be too big of a deal or take long to look at, right? Wrong. Drip. Drip. Drip. More than half a dozen gray spots on the ceiling and the dripping is coming from the light fixture. I rush upstairs to check. There is a full bathroom upstairs above the hallway. We love the fact it's there, but um, the water is supposed to stay in the toilet. But, it seems the seal is old and not working anymore. Great. I rush down for rag towels, back up to soak what I see and turn off the water. (I found someone's old p*nties wedged behind the toilet which cracked me up!) Little B joins me, dramatically proclaiming it's his first time with real panic. Huh. He doesn't know anything yet. And little did he know he'd be feeling more "real" panic only moments later.

I was on the phone discussing the toilet with my mom when I asked Little B to go back down and watch his sister. Within a minute or two, I went back down to the persistent sound of Miss C crying and Little B talking. Rounding a corner, I find that she has climbed on top of the table and my little hero was holding her there so she wouldn't fall off. Bless his heart. The moment I took her, he burst into tears, first saying she'd pulled his hair, but eventually I realized he was just -- panicked. Poor baby.

After I consoled them both and changed a smearing diaper, I looked at the clock and thought, "It's not even ten?"

Then, at long last, Little B and I had our breakfast.

10 July 2006

water and toes and such things

I love my new house. Love. It. As in, we want to stay here for the next 20 or so years. At least. It is essentially the house of our dreams and I could not ask for more. Well, except better water pressure maybe. But even the easily clogged toilet is something I am learning my way around--apparently it's a "common problem" in this town. Huh. That's just wrong, my friends. I did solve the issue with the shower being too cold (unlike my friend Slush who has "instant hot water"--harumph!) , too little pressure, and too little water coming out--a new shower head that beat any I've ever had. I guess the old one had a water-saver, but no thanks, give me a good shower, please. My first two showers left me chilled on half my body (the stream of water was that narrow--and I'm not big by anyone's standards!), but now, I can shower in comfort.

Our days are spent unpacking and trying to decide on homes for various things--I have so many cabinets now that I even unpacked my grandmother's china (I'm not a china cabinet kinda girl, so it's just on a top shelf and I'll use it sometimes, too). Of course, I have no pantry now, so some cabinets are delegated for that type use, as well. Our kids love this place as much as we do, and it's so QUIET--we're in a tiny neighborhood of two streets, close to a cul-de-sac, and we never, ever hear traffic. We heard every car going down the old street--and we were at the front of a deep subdivision with only one entrance. This is like a taste of heaven to me.

We're also in the process of gathering the many papers needed to register Little B for kindergarten--am I really ready for this?? I cannot believe my little boy is reaching this threshold in life. Amazing. as for locating things like a birth certificate in the myriad of boxes still to unpack. . .well, we're just going to get a new one, what can I say? Sheesh.

We are still "borrowing" the 'net for the next couple days, so it's been terribly iffy--it works some days, but not others, and often is selective throughout the day as to whether it's available, too. Oh well, life could be worse, but I'm looking forward to consistency again!

In the meantime, I'm pampering a broken toe. The pinky toe, no less. I managed to be fully responsible for leaving a toy partly sticking out of the play room in the center of the hall way between all the bedrooms, and I smashed my toe into it while going to get Miss C at 4am Saturday morning. I kept thinking it'd be okay in a minute, and once I got settled into my bed again, I gently probed it. My friends, the pain that seared through that tiny toe shocked me! My dear husband brought me ice which honestly didn't help it at all. It took some time to go back to sleep, and when I got up in the morning, it throbbed. I called my friend who works for a podiatrist and explained that lifting the foot hurt so bad I was dragging it in the shower and could barely stand to move it around. Let me tell you, tape and motrin have been my best friends for days now. (Speaking of motrin. . .I think I need to find some in a minute.) I also got a little lecture on getting an x-ray if it stayed that painful (it didn't), and also if it was not improving within 2 weeks (that remains to be seen, but I'm hopeful). I guess if toe breaks in the wrong place or wrong way, it can require surgery! Yikes. No thanks! However, it is a lovely, deep shade of red and purple right now. I'd swear it was marker if I didn't know better.

Back to unpacking, I guess...

26 June 2006

first nights and first fights

Oh my, I'm on borrowed internet time--we're using unsecured wireless access from somebody in the neighborhood, I guess. Since it's working at the moment, and I've read my email and checked the bank account, I thought I'd post, albeit breifly.

We are slowly but surely settling into the new house. It is so lovely, it's hard to tell you in words how much it feels like home. It "fits". Even Little B has transitioned perfectly (well, with a bit of extra rowdiness thanks to the excitement and changes in our days, but it's not nearly what I expected!). Miss C appears to be (finally) cutting some molars and she's been uncertain about the changes, so the extra clinginess has severely hampered my ability to do as much as I'd planned. That and the lack of baby sitter availability (everyone I would call is basically out of town; go figure).

We closed on Friday and came by to hang out and stake our claim, I guess. Saturday, we began moving with a few hitches, but it only equalled to delaying extra trips with the trailer (pretty major, but not the end of the world). Saturday night, we had beds here, most of the essentials, and a plan to finally spend the night in our new house. Except, the air conditioner was all screwy after having the door open all day with 94 degree weather. Ho hum. Our house was 83*, we were grungy and gross and the water heater had not been turned on (the gas, yes, the pilot light, no). It was 10:30pm and the beds were still not ready for sleep, so we scrounged up a small suitcase, as many clean clothes as were readily available, and hit the road for our local Hampton Inn (a personal favorite).

Sunday, we had no one to help us with the remaining things at the house (though today we did, so we took yesterday s l o w). Shortly before dinner, Little B and Miss C were playing and he was a bit, um, demanding. They have a play kitchen with a grill "out back" (thanks to my generous parents), and he was adamant that it was " hot". So, when Miss C tried to touch it, he grabbed her arm and held her off, to whic she screamed and hollered and finally made her point. . .by biting his thumb. Honestly, I saw it coming, but he deserved it so I let it happen. Natural consequences, what can I say? He will learn the hard way that she won't be pushed around! (Yes, we did deal appropriately with the whole thing after the fact.) He's been a little more wary of her today, I noticed--at one point, I heard him back off, verbally noting that he didn't want her to bite him! (Chuckling to myself in memory.)

So, today was spent with two trips to the "old" house and back, and truth be told, there is still a bit of stuff left to deal with. I have no one available to help with the kids to get it all done, so tomorrow morning I'll go over and do what I can while my husband is here with the little ones. I'm letting him have quality time, what can I say?? (I wonder how long I can stay gone. . .) And it has to be completely cleared and clean by Friday.

Eventually, I am assured, things will return to normal.

23 June 2006

one down, one to go

Today, we are the proud owners of not one, but two homes. Yes, two.

This afternoon we purchased the house we have had a contingency on for so long; it was the last possible day for us to do so. They had other plans if we did not buy, and we'd have been out. The Lord had taken us to the very last minute twice with that house, and still He encouraged us to persue it. When the closing was not working out on the selling of our home just yet, we found our peace came when we still continued with the purchase of the new home. Only the Lord knows why, but we were obedient, and He has given us the desire of our heart in that home. He also threw in a couple surprises with a (very slightly but very unexpected) lower payment and a refund of almost half our earnest money (not a huge amount, but it will cover a few things).

The selling of the other one is still in progress, hopefully with the same buyer, but if not, we will simply re-list and wait. If the Lord brought us to this point, He surely will arrange the details around it. I am at peace. And, we will just wait on the Lord.

Now, to finish the endless task of packing our stuff. . .

20 June 2006

s l o w progress

Well, that makes two closing dates cancelled. I have not heard when the next attempt will be, and every single party involved is frustrated. It's the sole fault of the lender involved in the purchase of our current house. No one else can be blamed, and everyone is riding them hard. They are based in New York which makes it even more fun to deal with. Trust me, they do NOT want to hear a piece of my mind, and I have half a mind to call and share it anyway!

In the meantime, my house is roughly half-packed, or maybe more. I have so much to do with two kids and a lasting migraine. . .

Please, anyone who will, pray for this to all conclude more smoothly than it has gone so far. We need it to be over, friends. Really need it.

12 June 2006

rite of passage

Oh my, oh my!
Here we are in the midst of crazy packing and a sick little girl, trying to decide how to decorate Little B's new room (Miss C's will be fine for now, ours is settled). He and I were looking at books and drawing inside a box (modeling the new bedroom—castle theme!), when he looks at me and says, “My tooth still hurts from yesterday.” Uh, I never heard anything about him hurting his tooth. It seems that when he was with his daddy getting a haircut, he tried to open a sports water bottle with his teeth (the kind that pulls straight out. I got a little worried, and checked on it. Turns out, my little boy has his first loose tooth!

04 June 2006

when it rains

it pours
it can storm
and sometimes it does a bit of both
but there is always calm after the storm

Yes, friends, we officially have an offer, signed by both parties! It is wonderful and exciting and we are thrilled beyond our imagination for several reasons. We heard, Thursday that someone wanted to buy the house, full price, and we made a verbal agreement with them. They are located in New York and a relative found this house for them—they are buying it sight unseen! Oh yeah—and they want it fast—we close June 16!! Which is perfect since our contingency was about to end on June 11. God truly was bringing us to the line on it.

On Friday, someone else called with a verbal offer, but our agent told them about the first agreement we had and said we would give them a courtesy call the day the offer arrives. In turn, she used the second offer to “light a fire” under the first offer. Indeed, Friday night, a third party gave a good bit of interest as well, but were not as far along in the financing process to try to contend with the first two.

So, at LONG LAST the original offer arrived by fax last night around 9:30. We waited all day with baited breath for that call, but with it came some mildly alarming news. Someone made a full price cash offer on the house we are trying to buy! I really hate how it feels when my blood pressure rises! Again, the Lord brought us right to the line on it, and we had to remove the contingency completely and say we would buy the house within 14 days. Thankfully, our closing date is set for 13 days from yesterday (they are back to back closings). Whew! If it all falls through, we are only out our deposit which isn’t the end of the world in the grand scheme of things. On the bright side, we think the competing suggestion of another offer encouraged our buyer to not ask for any closing costs, which our flyer said we'd help pay. However, this pulling it to the very last second makes me feel a little like Peter—being asked to walk on water until it’s all closed and done.

God is truly in the finite details. I enjoy seeing His handiwork, though it’s been a real test on my patience over the past months. And, it will come to an end before long. Sooner, not later, by all appearances, something we are so grateful for. I dreaded waiting 30 or 40 days for a closing. Less than 2 weeks is right up our alley! Right now, the biggest dilemma is how to paint my new master bedroom since the wallpaper is an atrocious peachy-brown print (*shudder*). Big decisions fast! I’m afraid if we wait to paint it will be forever before we do it and, well, I won’t enjoy my bedroom (not a good thing). The other painting in the house will be easier to tackle later if we need to wait on it.

01 June 2006

another gasp!

uh-stutter-gasp-muffled mumble

-please stay tuned-

I will be back.
(I'm afraid to speak too soon!)

*hush, Slush =D --hopefully I'll say more tomorrow! I just couldn't contain myself today and, and, well. . .this was all I could bring myself to post just yet!


. . .holding my breath. . .

27 May 2006

shoplifters anonymous

Around Christmas, Little B saw a snow globe he wanted BAD. I let him hold it while he sat in the buggy and I shopped. Hey, any distraction is a good distraction, right? Just before checking out, I told him he could wind it up once more. Then I promptly forgot. The next time I saw it was in the parking lot on that blustery, busy afternoon, still being watched by his adoring eyes. The three of us made another trip back inside to return it to customer service.

Also, around this time, I told Little B he could buy a maze book (with those funky markers that reveal the lines on the page, you know?) at the bookstore. He got tired of carrying it around and put it in the outside pocket of my diaper bag, quite innocently (no shopping cart to set it in). I discovered this after everyone was buckled and a certain little girl was already cranky. It took us SIX weeks to get that back and paid for. I just couldn’t do it that day. But, I would never remove the cellophane on it until it was ours.

A few weeks ago, I was at the grocery store with both kids, again, Little B in the buggy (you might ask where I had room for the groceries). I was tucking things all around him, and when it came time to check out, he helped me put things up on the conveyer belt. Great kid. While the bag-man was helping me unload the bags at the car, I discovered a bread mix under Little B's leg. Oh, Sigh! At least there was someone to take it back in for me!

More recently, I was checking out at Target and the woman asked if I wanted to buy the item my daughter was playing with—oops. Fast entertainment, what can I say? And, I'd just finished paying.

And then, yesterday, at Old Navy, I let my daughter play with a shirt I wanted to buy while sitting in her stroller. All the way through the check-out line. And all the way down the sidewalk to the other end of the shopping center where I was parked. My husband met up with us after work about this time, and what can I say? I let HIM go back and pay for it.

I cannot even remember the number of times I have had to run back into the store for this very reason since having kids. How many times have things been stuck beneath a diaper bag or purse. Man, oh man. The saddest thing, however, is how often the employees are surprised that we return it! I'm fairly certain I'm not alone in this...embarassment.

And so goes the life of the unintentional shoplifter.

10 May 2006

agonizing weeks

The past few months have been long for our family. Very, very long. Sometimes painful, sometimes exhausting, but long, no matter how we look at it.

Tomorrow, our house will have been on the market for 90 days. One month after that, our contingency contract on the “new" house will end. We are working hard to trust God and know His timing is perfect. We believe we are supposed to try to sell, but the weeks are dragging by and our anxiety is compounded by the need to keep the house immaculate for showings. Not easy with a one and five year old in tow.

The first couple months, we had one offer that was terribly low. Many, many others made us their “second choice” should their first fall through. One major concern was the old roof—it was 23 years old, though not leaking. So, we finally increased our price and added a roof. I’ve been asked more than once if we did that because the old one was leaking! Argh! On the other hand, we don’t get quite as many showings in a week now, since we’ve moved into a new price bracket (not by much, but I guess that’s all it takes!). As was our experience before, we are still everyone’s second choice. There is never any negative feedback (thanks to the new roof) and everyone really likes it, but they choose another house every time. It’s disheartening to say the least.

In the midst of this daily stressor in our lives, Little B had what I will call a “disconcerting” or even “harrowing” experience with his therapist. I will save the details for those I am closest to, but it brought out every inch of my protectiveness for my little boy (and my husband's). Every week since that time has been filled with related issues: meeting with the therapist and her supervisor to share a piece of our mind (we did not “reach an understanding” as she had hoped); withdrawing him from therapy; calling around and interviewing another therapist. While trying to get our insurance to consider the new therapist as in-network, we discovered our policy doesn’t cover occupational therapy after all, so we’re on our own now. Not good as the visits are expensive. (And we’re not asking who pays for the previous five visits they said were covered!)

At the same time, I was finishing a letter of complaint regarding the “situation” which I sent to three places: my insurance, the president of the facility where Little B had been in therapy, and also the State Board of Occupational Therapy. Yeah, it was a big deal. I faxed a copy to my pediatrician for her records. You know things are ugly when a pediatrician supports the letter of complaint, agreeing she would have done the same thing in our shoes.

Since we’d been waiting on insurance decisions before beginning with the new therapist, they are now evaluating his records and the 12 pages of specific questions I had to answer; hopefully we will get things under way once more.

09 May 2006

the good life

“Mommy!” I peer out the sliding glass door to see what need my son has right then.

“I saw a pinecone fall out of that tree, so it’s a pinecone tree!” Slurp. Slurp. I nod, half-grinning.

With excitement and awe lacing his words I hear, “Fresh out of the tree!” His gaze goes back to perusing the backyard, his mouth goes back to his popsicle.

Ah, the joy of childhood.

18 April 2006

curious george

We have our very own Curious George in the house, aka--Miss C. Not only does she wear his expressions, love on him as her most favorite toy, and mimic his movements, Little Miss C climbs as my son never has, attempts to eat any lollipops she runs across, wears mischief on her face like ball point pen, insistently wants to investigate my purse and among other things, is probably responsible for the missing TV remote--I'm wagering a guess at last week's trash being it's final destination. Earlier today, the comode seat and lid came down a bit harder on her wrist than she intended, and mommy found her when the cries began. Nothing like getting caught, right?

A few hours later Little B went up to the bathroom and he starts hollering down at me about something--I usually make him come down to speak, so I was tuning him out. However, as I neared the steps to get something from the pantry, his words became more clear. "Mommy! Miss C put the baby wipes container in the potty!!" No wonder the lid of the comode came down so hard on her this time--she really had it open a good bit to fit that through. Little stinker.

30 March 2006


I hate to exercise. I really hate it. I am generally unmotivated (well, other than wanting to drop about 7 or 8 more pounds) and easily bored. My entire life, I have preferred to be indoors reading a good book. I’ve tried going to the gym and I loathe sunscreen and bugs and that go with being outside. The 8 or 9 pounds I lost shed while I was sans-sugar back in the fall. (Other than this past week or two, when I’ve indulged heavily in sugary foods, I still try to choose my sugars carefully—make a dessert WORTH having—but I am not strictly off of it now. And, no, it did not solve my migraines, either.)

Several weeks ago, my husband's cousin Jan (much like a sister to him) called me up and said she needed to lose her after-baby belly and I should join a kickboxing class with her. I hedged around, dreading the mere thought of it, and told her to get some information and I’d see. I was visiting my mom that day, and mentioned it. She promptly told me I should do it and held her ground. She had several arguments, and it began to sound remotely worthwhile to me. So, I told my husband, who immediately said, “We’ll work it out with the kids. You need this.” Did I feel pushed from three sides? But, that felt good for some reason.

The place Jan had called no longer offered kickboxing classes, but by this time, I was feeling motivated—a serious first for me! I did a bit of mild research on local classes, but it was not proving too useful.

Then, after Little B's therapy one day, he wanted to follow the painted lines on the sidewalk for kids to goof off with. It’s located in a shopping center where at one time the right side of it was exclusively for kid-related stores and facilities (some of them didn’t stick too well, so it’s not exclusive anymore!). One such place is a Tae Kwon Doe. And, hanging there by the front door is a large sign saying, “First Kickboxing Class Free.”

Now it held my interest and I went in to ask about it. It’s five dollars a class, plus the cost of wraps and gloves; Tuesday and Thursday nights, and Saturday morning. While weekdays are harder for me to get to with timing, I’ve now gone about five or six times and—surprise—I love it! Jan goes, Angela is going sometimes, and another friend of mine has joined us as well. Having someone else who goes makes a huge difference to me. We vary by when we go and how often, but I like it!

And, I only feel about halfway stupid now that I know a bit about what I’m doing (well, trying to).

22 March 2006

new friends

When I was in third grade, we moved into a new school district. I had plenty of friends at church, but felt a need to make new friends near my home, and set about advertising. This was accomplished by placing a very large, green chalkboard (the kind too slick to hold chalk well) in my front yard, close to the garage with the straight-forward message:


Of course, it was full of bubble letters and what-not, and I believe had other specifications, and to be honest, I cringe in embarrassment now over that sign. No life-long friends were made, though I did meet a cute "older" boy from up the street (the recieving end of a crush at some point), Sean, and his two younger sisters, Jessica and Star. Jessica was a year younger than me, I think, and while they were a nice family, we never really spent much time together except on the bus. Meredith lived in the house behind our cul-de-sac (I was about half way up the street), and was in my class, but was quite the snob in my experience (though we had a close mutual friend, and made some efforts to be nice). Nearby streets had a few more classmates, but what I longed for was a friend right there, available often and ready to be real, not full of themselves. I was sorely disappointed in the long run. On the other hand, those were idyllic, happy years for me more often than not.

I do not make friends easily. I struggle with rejection and had a few too many kids poke fun when I was younger. I am secure in myself and my family, but I waver when it's time to step up to the plate and extend the hand of friendship. I no longer hang a sign announcing my heart's need, either in the yard or on my sleeve. Rather, I secretly hope someone else--normal and nice--will take a small step and initiate an opening into their lives. That done, I can be welcoming and flexible and open myself up.

Little B has been taking swimming lessons for four weeks. In his class are a little boy and a little girl. The first few classes, I chatted with the boy's mom during the lesson, and the girl's mom in the locker room (she has another, younger daughter as well). Both ladies were nice enough, and Little B loves being friends with anyone he can. He showered with the two little girls (ahem) after their lesson, rinsing the chlorine from their swim suits and then we'd scoot off the other end to change. Little B quickly became fast friends with the little girl, Kaleigh, and her younger sister, Mackenzie. The mom and I chatted a bit outside while we let the kids run around crazy-like in the unseasonably warm weather and I found myself comfortable with her.

I also followed her all the way home; well, within a few houses of it. By accident. It turns out that she lives down the street from us--literally. And so my son's begging for a playdate turned into a reality (taking that step for me was hard--really hard). We have had them over to play three times recently. I feel I've found a true friend; one who has time to be a friend. It almost makes me sad we're trying to sell our house.

For once in my life, I have found a friend on my street I am comfortable with. It hasn't been long, but I feel open and I trust my son with her kids; I don't worry about what he might learn from them or what I will hear later. And I definitely hope to stay in touch with her after we move.

And I didn't even have to advertise.

03 March 2006

moving forward

Our house has been for sale for three weeks now. We’ve shown it about a dozen times and had one offer that remained unreasonable even after we countered twice. So, we’re waiting and praying and hoping. And trying to keep it insanely clean behind two fast-fisted children who know how to empty toy bins and strew things behind them faster than lightning. This on top of the food dropped beneath the table at each meal and birdseed around Buttercup & Wesley’s cage makes for frenzied tidying and vacuuming when I get a lunch-time call asking “Can we show your house in fifteen minutes?” Uh, NO. Make it thirty or forty (what I’d like is one or two hours, but they’re always “in the neighborhood”). I can barely get it straightened before we shove out the door, and my poor kids are the brunt of my “hurry; we gotta go NOW; please stop; wait; DON’T empty that; etc., etc.” My secret is to stay in one part of the house, leaving less to tidy in a short notice (can we say bored kids?). And, this happens on an average of three times a week. Yeah, fun. I feel like life is on hold at the moment.

On the other hand, we put a contingency contract on the house of our (current) dreams. It’s a narrower yard, but the actual acreage is larger (I’m still working on that, since it looks smaller; my husband assures me the house is larger as well as set back from the street more, but the visual has me stumped). Other than the steep driveway which I swore I would not do again, and the lack of pantry or large laundry room (my current one has me spoiled), the house is fabulous. It’s large and roomy, has a bonus room and walk in attic (!), two car garage (we only have one at the moment) with a mud-room hallway (where the washer and dryer are also found), a huge master suite (sitting room, two closets, his and hers sinks), and the kitchen. Oh, gasp—the kitchen is large and has two L-shaped, deep counters with tons of cabinet space, a fancy-do faucet in which the sprayer is part of it (this makes me giddy!), deep sinks, some under-counter lighting. . . oh, I could go on and on. Every room is spacious and the kids each have two windows (now that I think about it, I'm going from a bay window to ONE window...hmmm). It even feels like home. I know I will be crushed if it falls through.

therapy mom

Yesterday was a long, long day. Little B had his first swimming lesson. He was so very excited to go, and I think he did pretty well, but he hated certain aspects and now says he won’t go back. Just great. First, he loathes—and I do mean loathes—getting his head wet, be it hair or face. It’s a tactile issue for him, which now makes perfect sense (we were encouraged to go ahead with the lessons to help work on this). He is not allowed to wear a mask, and we couldn’t find the goggles (not in the place I last saw them—shocking, no?). He also doesn’t like backwards motions, whether a swing or a back float, etc.—need I say more? I believe I will ask the instructor to try floating him forward first to help him adjust to the sensations.

Late afternoons on Thursdays are the big Therapy Appointment for his Sensory Processing. He is in group therapy (just two other boys), and it started yesterday as well. Once again, he was excited, and as we left he talked about looking forward to next Thursday. Thank goodness.

Also, I got two miracle tips: play-doh and Mozart. They use “thera-doh” each session, and have beads hidden inside (they find and re-hide said beads). It works their tactile senses, and so on. At home, it doubles as a way to keep his hands busy when we need his attention, and this morning it calmed him down considerably (hey, whatever works). The music is part of his music therapy, and Mozart specifically is organized which helps to calm him and organize his thoughts.

While Little B was in his group session, “the moms” sat in the waiting room comparing notes. It felt like a secret club, sitting there with moms and siblings of the therapy kids. I have the freedom to leave if I want (which honestly surprised me), and likely will on occasion, but it was mildly comforting to have the support of moms in your shoes and moms with kids of other problems. I felt like I’d joined a secret club. (Membership runs out in three or six months, depending on your child.)

10 February 2006

the consult

My dear, sweet boy. He is a child who wraps his engaging , dimpled grin around your heart and digs it into your soul, deep and true. He captivates you and enchants you with a magic spell all his own. The day he was born he melted me into a puddle of tears and I knew I had my calling. Motherhood.

That calling has been insanely difficult of recent days. His smile was no longer reaching his eyes and his defiance was getting stronger. Moodiness and anger defined his afternoons, frustration seeped from his sighs and he struggled with cooperating at school, which later carried over into our afternoons at home. Something was off kilter, but we could not put our finger on it. We were increasingly concerned.

In desperation, my husband and I scheduled a consult with our beloved pediatrician. I believe God gave us exactly the right doctor five years ago when we went on a hunt for who we could trust with our children’s care. We wanted someone we could ask our questions to and feel confident of their answers. This lady and the other two doctors in her practice, are personal, caring, warm, and open; they even fully support and encourage our interest in natural remedies and using a chiropractor. As with our daughter’s care a year ago, we once more felt the assurance of her wisdom and love for children.

Monday afternoon, as we began to essentially read from a list of “issues” our son was having that went beyond the behavioral aspect, she made notes and asked a few clarifying questions, and stopped us when we were two thirds through. We had listed such things as freaking out when glue got on his hands, not changing activities well, being oddly sensitive to various noises, and continuing with the moods and so on. “I know what’s wrong.”

He has Sensory Processing Disorder. She told us to get an occupational therapy evaluation (scheduled for this coming Wednesday) and see what they say. Her opinion is that we will find it “enlightening”. Already, the few websites I have glanced at told me she is right, and explained little things I’ve known about my son for years, but would never have connected with anything: he hates having his nails clipped, his legs hang down when you hold him (compared to a child who wraps them snugly around you for support), and his baths are lukewarm. Little things I would have called idiosyncrasies. They now hold an entirely new meaning in our world.

Each child with SPD has their own degree of it, their own sensitivities, their own issues. It runs deep and wide and each child has various aspects to deal with, such as speech delay, motor skills needing fine tuned and being bothered by tags in their clothing. (In recent weeks, I have noticed him stretching out the necks of his shirts, which had me confounded. Until now.)

The following paragraph gave me a bit of unsettling perspective on how my son might be feeling (found here):

Try this: Turn on the radio, but don't tune it. Leave it on static and fuzz. Turn it up. Ask someone to turn the lights on and off, at will. Strap yourself into a broken chair that is missing a leg and use a table that is off balance - you know the ones in restaurants that makes us all so mad. Now, put on some scratchy lace in place of a comfy T-shirt, put your pants on backwards and wear shoes one size too small. Pour a bowl of grated parmesan cheese, open a can of sardines and bring the cat box to the table. Now, snack on your least favorite food; the one you NEVER eat because it comes with a gag reflex. With all this in place, pick up a new book and learn something new! How can anyone claim that SI problems don't interfere with education??

As for the anger and some behavioral things—they go hand in hand with the Sensory Processing Disorder, and will improve when therapy begins to help his problems. If the above paragraph described even a fraction of what I thought was “normal”, I would be a regular funk, too. In fact, just understanding that there is more going on than what appeared to be undue defiance has made a huge difference to us and therefore in our son. For one, the sparkle is back in his eyes. That alone will make me forever grateful.