31 December 2008

doing a little - no, HUGE - happy dance

John just got notice that he PASSED his P.E. exam (Professional Engineer) -- the one he studied for months for, took long weekend classes for and spent 8 hours in another town (that's 3 hours away) testing for.

This, my friends, means that our new year starts with a Professional Engineer versus an Engineer in Training. The road has been long and at times wearying, but we are one ecstatic family! I do believe we need to find a way to celebrate tonight. THIS is worthy of a good night out!

16 December 2008

it's been "one of those" for a while. . .

*Checking everything I eat.

*Dealing with a teething baby (which makes it hard to know if he's waking up b/c of food or teeth...!).

*Battling the first real round of colds (like Dominoes, one gets sick, then another, then another, then. . .).

*Trying to boil water in my kettle, but instead scorching my small Teflon pan (which is toxic on high heat, of course) and the spatula carefully angled above it - the fumes were bad all day and we had to get out of the house while it aired; it was almost freezing outside, but our windows were all open! I planned to take a picture of the victims, but haven't had the chance. I need to stop waiting for pictures for my blog posting!

*Planning to possibly have my parents move in for a while - we're all praying for some significant things to happen so they won't have to, but at least we like each other (for now, right?).

*Running down the battery in my van right before I had to leave to get Little B from school.

*The endless cycle of dishes to wash and put away and clothes to wash and put away.

*Trying so hard to crank out of few crocheted gifts (in lieu of taking care of dishes or clothes, of course).

*Feeling ultra thankful that Little B has had a better-than-average season so far!! Not exactly a breeze, but definitely not the battle it is most years.

*Did I even tell anyone I got a haircut just before Thanksgiving?? I did. I haven't got a picture of that, either. But hopefully soon - it's a cute bob that's stacked in the back and I usually just wear it "as is" and let it flip all over the place, casual-like. I'm in love with it!

*Kicking myself for not yet posting the amazing, wonderful family pictures my brother arranged for his boss to take of our family (my brother took some of them, too...and I promise to put a few up here...I even wrote half that post already!)

*Fighting my laptop for workability - the Internet likes to cut out in the middle of making a comment or writing an email, and the computer itself freezes up on a very regular basis right now. Fun. We've had it right at a year, so the warranty is no doubt expired. I bet the problems began the day AFTER the warranty was up.

*I could go on. But I need to go buy dairy-free "just add water" pancake mix for my son's class. I'd rather take a nap, but I don't know how to accomplish that these days.

(My list was longer than I expected! Wow...I've been a busy lady!)

21 November 2008

meme

Because it's Friday.
And because I feel better now and I have WAY too much to do in my house to make it clean - I mean hospitable - before Thanksgiving and I have obviously got a procrastination problem since the baby is very content and so is the little girl (meaning I could actually clean something - ugh), I think I'll take a moment to do a meme. I found it at My Quiet Corner. If you decide to play along, please let me know!

The Rules: Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following questions.

* They have to be real places, names, things. nothing made up!
* You can’t use your name for the boy/girl name question.
* Tag at least 5 people to play along

1. What is your name? cjoy (my 1st name really does start with "C")
2. A 4 Letter Word: Cape
3. A Boys Name: Charlie
4. A Girls Name: Carissa
5. An Occupation: Civil Engineer
6. A Color: Cranberry
7. Something you wear: Coat
8. A Beverage: Coke
9. A Food: Chili
10. Something found in the bathroom: Can (of spray)
11. A place: Canada
12. A Reason for being late: Changing
13. Something you shout: Can-it!
14. As for the tagging. I dare you to take the challenge and play along. (I Cheated and Copied that off Donnetta!)

(So in the midst of this, my daughter needed glue, the baby screamed to eat, he was fed & is asleep in my arms, and then my daughter asked if we could paint our toes - a little girl-time I make for her...which is definitely more important than clean clothes or dishes or floors, don't you think?)

19 November 2008

lindsey joy designs

Like my new look? It feels like a good haircut! I am really excited about this - it's definitely a more personalized space for me and my thoughts.

Lindsey Joy Design did this beautiful work for me - you can find her by clicking this button.
(In the future, you'll also find the button down on my side bar.)

Thank you so much Lindsey!


Lindsey Joy Design

it's wednesday, pooh

Oh my, the middle of the week is here. I'm dragging today. I started to feel sick last night and think perhaps I have a light bug, but it's hard to say. Mostly a tummy ache, a little nausea, a little shaky, a little "flushing", a little better and it cycles. I'll feel better for a bit, then bad for a bit.

And I have so many things to do today. Several errands and an appointment that's a good distance from my home this afternoon. I want to go back to bed. Not that my little ones would let me anyway.

Last week I finally did have to cut out a slew of foods from my diet - that's probably not helping how I feel today since my easy-on-the-tummy foods are limited. Here's what had to go:

Dairy
Soy
Eggs
Wheat
Peanuts
Tree Nuts
Fish
Shell Fish
Beef
Chicken
Corn

That includes all corn syrups and flours, and soybean oil. I challenge you to pull a few favorites from your pantry and read the labels. It's hard to find good food to eat, and you're probably asking WHAT IS LEFT?
Mostly whole foods and far less packaged/processed stuff. I think I've done okay being balanced - turkey, a bit of ham, sun butter (from sunflower seeds), lots of veggies & beans, lots of oatmeal and rice and applesauce; a little spelt bread, but now I think that falls under wheat. That's the core of it. I forgot to get a calcium supplement, and always fail to take a regular vitamin, but I truly don't think that's what is wrong today. I am shedding weight faster than I could have fathomed, but that's probably lack of calories and extra carbs. I saw numbers I have not seen in over eight years on my scale this week. Crazy! My clothes are sagging and hanging and feel funny. I know, good problem, but I'm going below my ideal now; there is a magic number I feel healthier at, and that number is slipping away fast. Not to mention I'm really missing my cheese and my eggs and my bagels. I've even mostly cut out coffee since I use soy milk in it. That is so very sad.

On the bright side, Baby J is finally sleeping as much as a four hour stretch a lot of nights, three hours is easy to come by and even the two hour stretches are welcome. The closer to morning, the shorter the stretch, and he's almost always up well before my alarm (which is set for 6:45ish - the little booger!). He is generally more peaceful as well. Soon, I'll start adding things back to see what exactly bothers him, and I'll start with the things I believe are less likely to cause trouble.

Now, if my body would stop rebelling, allow me to get well and remember what deep sleep feels like, we'd be in business!

11 November 2008

what can i say?

Recently I went to Tuesday Morning, a cool store with great discounts. I found a fingerprint kit which I knew Little B would absolutely love with all of his detective play that he does (and I could swing $1.99). So, I got it as a special treat for him.

I was right - he loved it. We were all fingerprinted within the day, information to be kept “on file," complete with what type fingerprint we had. Very cool, I’ll admit.

Then, I saw the ink pad that came with the kit.
The label had three languages on it.
I did a double take. Twice.
And I have nothing else to say on the matter.





10 November 2008

the most wonderful time of the year

I love the fall. (I've told you that before, I know!)

This weekend was probably considered our "peak" weekend for changing leaves (we’re in the South; can’t help that timing thing). They were astounding. And I'm just talking about my own yard! While my little ones were lovin' the out of doors Saturday, I took a few pictures of the trees out there. I couldn’t begin to do them justice, and only got some of them. This is only part of the back yard - I didn't have a chance to get the ones from my front yard or the woods across the street (they take my breath away!).

I even took a picture of about a third of the fruit fallen from the apple tree – we could not begin to get the amount we wanted from it thanks to swarms of yellow jackets. The tree was so heavy with apples a big branch broke under the weight of it. We ate what we could, gave some away, and had to watch the rest fall and rot. So sad. They were delicious (the yellow jackets still think so). Better than the grocery store, that’s for sure! I had plans to make pie and apple crumble and freeze some of those desserts for later, but alas, it just didn’t happen.
















05 November 2008

facebook

So I caved and joined FaceBook. I’m addicted (as a friend said, “crackbook”), but equally annoyed by it.

All the little fun games and icons and silliness are driving me batty. Especially since I have discovered the random option (at least on ismiles). I did not see it nor did I click it intentionally. But it sent ismiles to several (10?) of my friends. Unknowingly. Some of whom I barely know like some (single) guy from back in college that I’m surprised even remembered who I was! Yeah, I was so not trying to send him a “cute smile”. You know?

Anyhow.
I’m also thinking I like the past where it is. I love being in touch with those I know now, but the people from High School - notosmuch. It’s disappointing when I realize what some of those people turned into, especially some of the ones I was so close to fifteen plus years ago (Ouch. That’s a long time!). I can see so much now, looking back. It’s kinda funky seeing the crowds redevelop like they were so long ago. Ah well. Some people never grow up, huh?

There’s the good stuff, too; the people I’ve missed for years and suddenly I can find them and have a little mini-chat, catching up. Definitely fascinating. And not really a place to try to hide out!

So, I’m on there. I got my husband on there. Good, bad or indifferent.

04 November 2008

proud american

I voted today.
I voted with pride.

As I stood in the line for an hour and half on this gorgeous Tuesday morning (while my husband, who'd already voted, stayed home with the two little ones), I felt a deep sense of pride and camaraderie with my neighboring voters. It was not "who" we voted for, it was not the issues we felt strongly about - it was the sense of being an American who had the right, the freedom, and the privilege to vote for our next leader(s).

I confess that this is the first election I have truly dug deeper into the "little people" on the ballot. For over a week, I've had a sample ballot bookmarked for the purpose of doing research on the names that eluded me - various judges, commissioners, and such. Last night I had three miraculously sleeping children and my eyes burned with exhaustion after accidentally dozing myself, but I pried them open and felt like I was in college studying for a major exam. As I looked up each candidate's site and their stand on things, our Internet went out for a while (a recent issue that's getting frustrating). I confess I almost curled up and slept anyway. But, instead, I persevered, and the Internet service came back often enough to make my choices. Three hours later, I was able to sleep (the kind of sleep that comes with a mother of three kids, one who wasn't feeling well and one who is still struggling through the nights; okay, that wasn't really sleep. I attempted to sleep.)

Today, I had my sample ballot in my purse; I walked up, slid in the bright yellow card, and immediately punched in my selections. It went so fast that I backed up to look at all of the pages a second time, then perused the summary closely before casting my vote. It felt a bit too easy otherwise.

Then, I walked out, loving that little sticker that proclaimed I'd voted.

Whatever the outcome, I know I listened to my God. And I know He's a sovereign and just God. I believe He has a deeper purpose than meets the eye, so I am trusting him and praying that He will have His way in this election.

(And that, my friends, is as political as I'm ever likely to get on here.)

03 November 2008

more potty humor. . .

So we went out to eat the other night. It was one of those times when our errands had us out and kept us out later than we'd prefer.

Before our meal arrived everyone had to make our "potty & wash" stops - a prerequisite to eating in our family (well, typically). I went first. Alone. (Man, that was a treat all in itself!) No big deal. I took Miss C after that, then the boys went. Nothing exciting, nothing remotely potty-humor-ish about the evening n fact. Pretty impressive considering my 3 year old daughter is rapidly acquiring poopy silliness from my 7 year old son.

When we got home a good while later, I needed to run to the restroom again (I was trying to chug my fluids tonight). It was then that I discovered some toilet paper tucked into the back of my pants....I really hope my sweatshirt covered that all evening!

31 October 2008

on the lighter side

Yep, I’m still working through Baby J’s issues but today I wanted to post something a bit more humorous since Miss C cracks me up with the things she says. . . (sensitive readers, beware!)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

While getting on the potty last week, I noticed she has gotten tall enough to just scoot back onto it, versus climbing up like a monkey. I commented to her that she was getting so tall and growing so much (her pajama pants all look like Capri’s suddenly, too!).

She looked back, really proud and grinning. “I don’t fall in anymore!” (Something she’s said often of late, though I don't recall her ever falling in.) Then she proceeded to say, “But my bottom needs to get bigger.”

“It needs to get bigger?” I was a bit confused by this, but wanted her to go on.

“Yeah, big like yours.”

Nice. (For the record, I don’t have a big bottom by anyone’s standards, except hers perhaps.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Then, earlier this week, I was changing Baby J’s diaper and Miss C was quietly fascinated. I didn’t say anything, just waited. No comment.

The next day, I was changing him again only it was a dirty diaper and since I’ve taken him off solids for now, it was that breastfeeding seedy poop that can be rather smeary and messy.

Miss C was amused as I cleaned all the “tedious” areas. She giggled and said, “His bottom’s funny!”

I had to work to keep a straight face. “You mean this?” I pointed to the obvious, still not volunteering anything.

“Yeah! His bottom looks like a clown!”

(Anyone ever watch Baby Newton? Just think on it for a moment. And that’s all I have to say about that.)

28 October 2008

on sleep-deprivation

A few weeks back, I asked the doctor to prescribe Prevacid for Baby J's tummy troubles. I debated it long and hard since I tend to be conservative when it comes to meds, especially for my little ones.

It took a week or so, just like I'd been told, and then I began to notice that he no longer cried through the late afternoon. My hopes began to rise.

We saw the doctor for his 9 month check-up last Tuesday where we discussed the difference with Prevacid versus Zantac. We also talked about how he still wasn't sleeping very well at all. She doubled his dose.

That has been a week now. He still barely sleeps. He is still miserable. And this is the happiest baby I know, typically. His ears were totally clear last week; I doubt that's changed. But our nights are getting worse -- the closer to morning we get, the shorter his spurts of rest are. At some point, I end up holding him for extended periods of time while we both doze. If he takes a 45 minute nap, I need to be happy with it. A two hour stretch at night is amazing; a one hour stretch or less is becoming the norm. More and more, he wakes up crying within two to five minutes of being laid down. This is from a baby who, at two weeks old, preferred his bed to my arms for his sleep time. This is the one baby of my three who does not want to co-sleep in any fashion. He does prefer to fall asleep with someone holding him, but has never minded his bed, that's for sure. And my efforts to lay him in my bed during my groggy state of being at 4am are absolutely futile. (The cutting of tooth #8 did not solve the bad nights as I'd hoped.)

I'm not resting well, can you tell?
So now I have two choices:

1) Reglan, a highly debated drug for babies especially.
2) Remove all possible allergens from my diet since we definitely have a history of allergies in our family. I'm so tired I can barely cook a meal right now, much less eat it. I have been happy to just get something remotely tasty down. In fact, it's 2:30 and I'm about to go get B from school - and I have not had lunch thanks to a certain upset little one.

I have the means and ability to change my diet. That is my first choice. I just need to get my bearings and make a few purchases since our current allergy limitations are not so wide spread. Since we already do not have any peanuts or tree nuts, I will additionally drop eggs (boo hoo...I could eat them every single day and are my fast easy dinner idea!), all dairy (while I don't buy milk due to Miss C, I still love my cheese!) and shellfish (pretty rare anyway since we avoided it as a potential allergen for Miss C until recently). If necessary, I will further eliminate all soy and fish and then lastly, wheat. Wheat will be last because when I gave him solids Cream of Wheat was one of the few foods he tolerated better than the rest.

For his sake, I truly hope something gives soon. For my sake, something needs to give. These little people are the light of my life and I do not function well for them with so little sleep. Not well at all.

27 October 2008

mystic light

Nope. That's not some new thing I'm into. In fact, I'm all about catchy paint names, and that one is just kinda okay, so I obviously loved this color to pick it out for Miss C's room -- it's two shades lighter than "periwinkle bud" by Behr. I know you're dying to go to Home Depot and see it for yourself, now, aren't you? (It's on card 600-C. Go ahead, you know you can't help yourself.)

I cannot tell you how hard we've worked for the past two days. And I cannot tell you how much Baby J still has trouble at night, often wanting to be held upright the last couple of hours of my supposed sleep. I'm so wiped out I almost dozed off putting him down for his nap 15 minutes ago. Considering I pick up Little B in another half hour, that might have been a not good thing. At least since the alarm wasn't set. Maybe I'll take a 20 minute cat nap before heading out to get him...hhhmmm...sounds lovely.

On that note, I'll have to tell you about my room switcheroo and how it went later. But yes, we did get everything done that I'd planned on. So much so, I am in shock. Yet, there is still so much to do!

22 October 2008

big plans

Okay, maybe my title is a bit fluffed, but let me tell you what we have going on in the next three days. Whoa. Three days? I better be fast on here because now I'm freakin' out!

Tomorrow, I need to get my tail to a home improvement kind of place and make some fancy decisions on a paint color for Miss C's bedroom. Soft pink? Springy Green? Two colors? I'm all about changing things up, but my husband leans toward traditional, so I have to step lightly. Especially since we still believe we'll be trying to sell our home within a year's time, maybe two.

Friday, my dear husband has a major, and I do mean MAJOR professional exam to take that he has been for a studying for really hard since before that surgery he had. He won't get the results until Christmas. Last year's results weren't so merry, so I'm seriously praying that this year something gives a little and we're all a bit merrier, ya know?

Saturday.
Oh, sweet Saturday.
We will pull out that paint I need to choose and buy.
And we will begin pulling things out of both kid's rooms.
Including the loft that has to be taken apart, the installed planets on the ceiling, the two lanterns on the wall, the large hooks for holding gymnastics rings and even the mounted shelves. Sigh.

Little B and Miss C will be swapping rooms and Miss C's new one will be getting that face lift a paint job offers. Both of them will be getting some (hopefully) better toy-managing skills and organizing in their new rooms.

Little B struggles hard -- I mean hard -- in the winter seasons. The past two weeks we've seen it begin in small, subtle ways. I love the fall season, but maybe that is to balance out the difficult times that seem to come with it. My stress levels are already on the rise which means my reactions to everyone aren't so hot right now. I need to dig my heels in and pray my way through, I know. Only One can really help.

So, one of the things we have decided to do is make his room easier for him to organize. "Poor organization skills" is something he struggles with desperately. That would be of his room, his school desk, his emotions, his thoughts, his reactions, his behavior. Yes, it's his Sensory Processing Disorder, but he's come really far and for the first time I think we're past enough of the other things that I need to work specifically on showing him how to cope with this organizing thing. Which is laughable, really, since I am no expert and while I can arrange systems, I cannot keep them up as well as I'd like. Too many decisions involved. However, unlike Little B, I can at least figure out where to look for something!

Miss C's room is currently a very light blue, a bit larger and very airy feeling compared to his Dijon yellow, smaller room that feels dark and to me, depressing. It's a nice enough room, but our plans to paint it and such have never before materialized, and now I'm thinking it's just as well since moving him will provide more space for his big boy toys, remote controls, Lego-building, etc. And, it's just big enough to put his dresser in the closet and raise his loft to the highest setting (if he wants), therefore providing better floor space (I'm thinking reading corner for this book-lover child of mine). Plus, it's already a boy-friendly color (yes, pastel, but he needs light and bright and cheerful, so it's STAYING). Maybe I can find some cool posters to put up for him.

In my mind, this is going to be so much fun, so cool and so much better. In reality, I have three kids who will need attention and/or want to help.

Anyone want to come play?



ps...The big nasty bruise on my leg is now just colorful, not painful...and I can sleep on that side again! Whoohoo!!

10 October 2008

grand slam


Or, make that body slam.

Today, Miss C was playing in the bathroom sink with water. Not a big deal, really. I used to let Little B do that for hours (little did I know it was providing sensory diet for him which is why he had good days after doing that)--so, I figured she'd just have a bit of fun and get a little wet and that would be that and no big fat hairy deal.

Ha.

If only life were that simple, right?

She came out fairly wet, and I really didn't understand why the (grown-up sized) tee she slept in (yup, she was still in pj's) was wet at the bottom as well as all over the front. She told me she'd been washing her face. Actually, a moment later I realized she meant her fish...have no fear, it was a very tiny yellow plastic fish acquired at the fall festival last night. Okay, washing the fish because it was dirty, fine. Glad it was fun.

And the water play was promptly forgotten about as I readied myself to mop the kitchen floor. Which also required extensive sweeping, something we will not discuss. Argh. I had to nurse Baby J in the middle of his nap so he could rest more (thanks, reflux!), which was also the middle of my mopping session because he does not like to be left out of my sight, and quite often that also means out of my arms. Sweeping and mopping, begone.

I have no idea why I was going into the kid's bathroom, I really don't. But, I did go in there. And stepped into a massive puddle of water--I kid you not. It was standing water, and I cannot fathom how there was so much on the already slick tile. But there was.

And I body slammed into the ground. And I stinkin' hurt. I almost decided to just hang out there until someone really needed me.

My right forearm hit something or other (door jam?) and has what resembles a burn. It's wearing a bandage with Neosporin now.
The spot on my right arm where I got my flu shot yesterday was pressed into the floor.
My left leg was twisted under me and I felt like I just missed breaking something--it was funky with my foot at an angle and my toe red and scraped up.
I think I might have bumped my shoulder blade, but can't tell for sure.
My back is aching something fierce.
The best part was my right thigh. I swear if I'm not sporting a 6 inch purple streak by morning I'll be in utter shock.
Every spot that landed poorly on the floor was soaking wet.

When I got up from couch to take Baby J to his crib for a nap, I ached all over. Yeah, I'm getting too old for that body slammin' stuff. Forget Calgon -- Motrin, take me away!

But, she's awful cute, isn't she?? (She keeps requesting "bumps" for her hair!)

07 October 2008

how we celebrated

Several of you have asked what we did for our anniversary. So, I'll tell you.

Mr. J got home after 7pm from his class and brought Wendy's for the kids--don't say it, I know that was late for dinner. It does happen more than I want to admit because I far prefer eating with everyone here and that means waiting for daddy to get home. And yes, it was fast food, but that's not a staple, it's a treat. Consider it them celebrating for our anniversary. Nothing about the day was ideal, I assure you. It was long and tiring for both of us, but that's just what it is sometimes. We take it and move on.

So, we fed them, and called in one order of Manicotti from the tiny Italian place down the road, complete with garlic knots (heaven in dough) and -- cannolis for two for dessert. YUM.

We tag teamed while we ate, getting the little ones into bed, complete with stories and kisses. Then, for what time we had with three sleeping kids, we brewed up some decaf and savored our dessert while watching something on DVD. Maybe an old JAG episode. I really must admit I cannot remember.

And you know what? It was nice to just have a bit of quiet on the home front. I'm all about that. I didn't worry about the pile of dishes, the unfolded laundry or the toys on the floor. We chatted and loved being together. That's all that really mattered at the end of the day.


(He had his cannoli on another plate.)



What about the love letters, you ask?
Still "in progress". Really, it's been crazy around here.
BUT THEY WILL GET DONE.

02 October 2008

love letters

Saturday will be my 11th wedding anniversary.
I love that.

And I love the man I married so much more now than I did eleven years ago. I think every year longer is a year deeper and sweeter. I cannot fathom my life without my husband and hope to never find out what that would be like.

I would love nothing more than to go celebrate in style - so long as dressing up was not required. But, this year’s budget is tighter than we’ve ever seen and celebrating “big” just won’t happen. Anniversary money? Probably in the gas tank. Or the refridgerator.

Besides, I have no baby sitter (so we can’t use the movie gift card that we got last Christmas) and to top it off, this is my husband’s last weekend in a long class an hour from home – 9am to 6pm on Saturday, 8am to 3pm on Sunday. Something about that doesn’t ring true for a carefree weekend.

In light of all those things, we decided to get creative.
We’ll be writing love letters to one another for anniversary presents.

And HE suggested it. We should actually be very good at this since we spent a year prior to our wedding living 3,000 miles apart with TWO visits during that time (granted, we had actually known each other for a very long time). We spent enormous amounts of paper and postage on each other and I won’t even tell you what our last phone bill looked like, after we were officially engaged…the earlier ones were bad enough! Nope, we didn’t have email and cell phones were not a common commodity "back then".

And while we may squeeze in a chance to go out for dinner inexpensively as a family, there won’t be filet mignon, I can assure you (but it sounds good, doesn’t it?!). Instead, the odds are very high that we’ll go to Chinese or Mexican soon, order sodas with the meal (with jalapeƱo cheese dip if it’s Mexican!) and call it an anniversary dinner. Truthfully? That’s okay with both of us. We don’t mind sharing it with the kids, either. After all, they are part of our family and when we got married, we became family to each other.


But, since tight times are everywhere at the moment, I want to ask you:

~What would you do for very inexpensive dates and gifts, etc?

~Tell me what you’d do for $5 or less, and/or tell me what you’d do for $10 or less.

Please leave a comment with your ideas!


Among my favorite ideas are sharing a dessert and latte; going to a bookstore and perusing the clearance items to see if something fun strikes both people as an interesting purchase--a game, a book, or who knows what. Either one could be done with those two budget restrictions and are things I like! Of course, neither of these will happen since taking three kids along changes the dynamics drastcially!

the race

I need to finish my lunch before Baby J finishes his diaper.

Mercy.

26 September 2008

sweet baby j



I have to tell you that my sweet Baby J is as delicious as ever. I could gobble the grins right up. He loves me. I'm telling you that little man loves his mama. Smart kid, that one!


He's got tummy troubles, though. He has been a great sport trying to eat solids. They just seem to give us some really, really bad nights. No matter what the food (except Cheerios!). Not EVERYthing is supposed to be "gassy", but nobody told him that. His reflux-spitting decreased when he learned to sit up, but it didn't go away. Now it's just food colored in the evenings. Between upset tummies that wake him far too often for me to remember any more and the rounds of teething that follow a distinct 2-hour-wake-up pattern, it's been pretty bad around here recently.

I would spend several nights giving him various solids at dinner--avoiding anything complex or that included dairy, eggs or bananas (he's allergic to bananas!!--what is it with my allergic children?!). After 5 nights or so of difficulty, we'd take a solids hiatus and go to just mommy's "milks" as we call it. And his tummy would begin to settle down, nights would become more routine and the painful cries would ease. Then, I'd hesitantly try again and the cycle would start over once more.

Last week, I finally took him to the doctor because I started to worry when the king of all bad nights hit; he was up way more than usual and for a long stretch once. Each of these wake-ups was not play time for him, but a cry of hurt and even a difficulty nursing--our normal night routine includes just nursing if he wakes up and then he'll sack back out for a while again.

They could find nothing wrong. Even the ear he keeps grabbing is completely fine. It must be his tummy. So, they upped his Zantac dose and added Maalox to the evening routine that already included Zantac, gas drops, teething tablets...you name it (I even tried Tylenol the other night, but that just makes him feel good and playful). They even talked about Reglan, but I've head "controversy" that kept me from making that switch. I am thinking I need to research it a bit more, perhaps, since that is the only drug that can help the stomach empty properly which might be the issue. In the meantime, he responds well to the increased meds.

And, I personally decided to ease way back on the food for him. I fully believe he is nutritionally fine with breast milk until a year old, so I'm going to go much more slowly with this. After several days of no solids, I gave him rice cereal and pears for breakfast instead of trying dinner. It didn't go any better -- making for a bad day versus a bad night -- and I've decided that aside from Cheerios, solids are out for now. For some reason, they are not working for him yet. Perhaps I'll try again in a few weeks, but other than that, I'm out of ideas.

25 September 2008

gasoline

After taking Little B to school the other day, I needed to get gas. I was very low and so many stations have been completely out recently, so I stopped where the stream of cars seems to ebb and flow all day (and they're either the lowest price in town or the highest...no in between for these guys). I was so excited to see the price was still below $4 (a few weeks back, it dropped so low it actually reached $3.54!!). I stepped out of my van in to the chilly air and realized I was still in pj's. Oops.

I'm so glad I filled up that day, pj's and all.
I also think I'll keep topping it off throughout the week.
The closer you get to my husband's office, the more you see empty stations or stations that are now rationing gas anywhere from $10 to $30 maximums (and still running out, no doubt because they just come back in a bit). And I assure you at the current prices my van won't get half full on thirty bucks of gas. So am I creating a panic by filling up often and beginning to worry? Or am I being reasonable? And now my husband, who must fill up three times a week because of his long commute, needs to remember to get gas closer to home and make sure he doesn't get too low just in case.

As if there isn't enough other stuff to worry about. C'mon...we have plenty of oil right here in the USA...argh.


(**this post is not intended to invite contraversy, so please don't start any . . . thanks!**)

invigorating

I cannot believe how mild and beautiful the days have been recently. Probably, I can thank Ike for some of it. In our part of the country, the weather is typically warmer than this even in September/October. But we barely crack 80 degrees a few days of the week now and the crisp, cool, breezy sunshine is perfect. These are perfect weather days to me. Jeans almost every day (no socks and sneakers yet--I tried once but truly loathe them, so my sandals are full-functioning). I even wore a sweatshirt to take my son to school this morning since the sun is rising later and the chill was still sitting in the 50's.

These are the days that make me feel most invigorated. At last, I want to throw open doors and windows and sit on the patio with my daughter while she uses sidewalk chalk and "water paint" -- water and a paintbrush to paint on the driveway or patio. I'd read about this but always forgot to try it until last week. She likes that better than anything else, and so do I.

Aside from the gorgeous days, I've had asthma trouble this week, but it's getting better now. Maybe due to the extra door and window opening? Hard to say. The crud just settled right into my chest and got painful and tight in one day. I love my inhaler. It has taken me several years of not needing it before finally start understanding the value of it when I get congested. A new turn, to be sure. This was not a cold and in less than three days it's starting to diminish rapidly. Whew...!

Hopefully, some of this fresh vigor feeling will rub off onto the cleaning tasks I have ahead of me. Feeling bad this week has led to an extra pile-up beyond the usual dishes and clothes. (I got more done yesterday than I was really up for since we had an evening appointment with the roofing man, but the clean clothes are definitely not folded and put away yet, among other things.)

I hope you are all having a lovely week!

23 September 2008

the roof story i promised months ago

In mid-march, we had some tornadoes in the area that brought a great deal of hail while we waited in the stairwell. Hail, I'm fine with. Tornadoes, notsomuch.


Since late spring, FIVE roofs on our street have been replaced in a three-house radius of ours. That's a lot. But, what we believed should have been a simple, "Contact your insurance, we'll meet them and you'll get an estimate if they agree" became a really big fat hairy mess. That initial look-over took place the night my hubby had his ER visit. Yup, it's been a long wait.

The first (older) insurance adjuster came to my door and said we had a steep roof and he'd need a steep-roof team to check it out later, but he'd do a preliminary look. Greeaat. When he was done and the contractor had gone, the adjuster came back to my door and said we didn't have roof damage, he'd gone ahead and climbed up there himself, and here was a (paltry) check for the dings and dents in the vents and screens. Huh??

A few phone calls later my husband said the adjuster claimed the contractor told him we didn't have any damage. Yeah, that didn't make any sense at all. Especially since the contractor's version of the story was still that we had damage and hey -- that's how he'd get paid! Weird. I seriously wonder if the adjuster had poor hearing. No joke. That, and if he went up on a roof partway -- since he was unable to go all the way -- he might have missed seeing a lot of things up there called DAMAGE.

Next step: get a completely new contractor and have a completely new adjuster assigned to our case. Uncool, people. The first contractor was no longer allowed to get the job and he'd been NICE and COMPETENT to boot.

I saw an ad, I called a roofing company and I got an estimate. The guy agreed there was damage and (theoretically) sent an estimate to the insurance company. Then he had to come back because the insurance company said they never got it and the new contractor had "misplaced" some measurements.

And so it went, all summer long. My favorite way this would play out is when the two separate appointments for the new contractor and adjuster had to meet up would not happen because the contractor failed to show. ARGH. There was a third time they couldn't meet because it was raining.

Meanwhile, roofs all around us were being replaced, one after the other. And here we sat feeling our lives spin out of control (for reasons other than the roof; that was just icing on top) all summer long. My husband actually had a very long chit-chat with the general manager of the roofing company a week after his surgery. It was already a day of too much talking, so he paid dearly for it. Poor man.

Today, they finally met up at the same time and yes, we need a new roof. That is the best news we've had for months and months. No kidding. One extra reason it is great is that the week we moved in our back porch got a major leak that has only gotten worse for the past two years--it leaks down through the ceiling fan out there (I had to remove the glass light cover since it used to fill up with water, and yet the light bulb continued to work -- so weird).

Anyhow, that's my roof story and I'm stickin' to it. Who knows how long it will take to get the thing done from here, BUT it's finally approved and that, my friends is a major relief.

22 September 2008

credit

Anyone who knows me at all knows I love love love to read. Books are much better than a movie for they last longer, have much greater detail and can take you to another world so easily. I absorb books by osmosis, and while I'm a tad picky and have favorite authors and genres, I really do love to curl up and not be interrupted for hours on end (unless it's to replenish the snacks).

Not far from where we live, there is a new and used bookstore that recently expanded into a bigger, brand new location. We know the owners via mutual friends, which is how we discovered this gem of a bookshop to start with. And WOW. We've always gotten simply amazing deals. Discounts on new books and ordered books as well as great deals on used books. And, I can turn in used books for store credit.

Which is why I am so excited today.
It's been a long, long time since I did that, but Friday night I dropped off a large, heavy box as well as a paper bag full of books. Essentially, I get 30% of the list price as credit, and I can apply any store credit towards 50% of a used book purchase (hey, I'm no snob--bring on the used books, man!). And a used book is priced at no more than 60% of the list price (which means I pay half of that. "Read" my lips: 30% of the cost of a book!)

Today they called to tell me they'd entered my books into the system and my store credit balance is (drumroll please!)...over $207!

I still have more books to get rid of. I'm SO thinking this is the way to do it. Just think of the great reads ahead of me and my kids.

11 September 2008

returning to normal

So my husband is doing so much better--he started driving himself to work yesterday, and while he's 12 pounds lighter and tired in the evening, he's doing quite well. (Quick weight loss plan: surgery that prevents eating!)

I must confess that as much work as it was to have him just sitting in a chair needing pain killers around the clock, I liked seeing him so much! It's back to the grind, now, though. He worked this week on a theoretically limited basis, and I was truly a taxi cab for a day or two, but now -- well, his long class on Saturday AND Sunday will take up his weekends this month and his extended driving time to and from work will eat up the morning and evening once more. I'll be missing him until October is over, I'm afraid--once the class ends, he'll need every spare moment to study for the exam at the end of that month.

On other fronts:
Baby J is a hair from crawling--he's got army-crawling down pat and scooching his little self into all kinds of trouble to boot! His reflux still causes issues, but in spite of it he's the happiest creature alive. And cute enough to gobble up!

Little B is having a great year in school so far. It has been *gasp* easy to get him up and out the door each morning (even though one day he mentioned wishing we could fast forward to summer). That has never, ever, ever been the case and I am delighted with the change. NOW to get him to fall asleep before 10:15pm....argh. I have him in bed before 9 each night, so I am just not sure what else to do. His mind simply won't "turn off"--he's planning strategies for the games he and his buddies play at recess! haha!

Then there's Miss C. The booger! She gets a sly look when she calls me "Mom" instead of "Mommy" or (a personal favorite) "Mama". Harumph. Who does she think she is?? Even Little B at 7 1/2 years old refuses to stoop to "Mom" yet! Bravo Little B.

But I won't ramble on--because I'm suspicious that many of you haven't been by in a while and I think I'll just direct your attention to your scroll bar on the right of your screen...you've missed some good posts recently--I did several in a row last week! Go read up and click to visit both Bluehose and our new crochet blog if you haven't already.

04 September 2008

click and laugh

I won't try to retell the hysterical story of a child crawling over seats in a huge van to unlock a door for his mom.

Instead, I'll let you read it yourself to see what is so...highly unusual...about how he managed this.

After you click over to Under the Laundry Pile, scroll down to the post entitled Car Seats. Life Savers, Most of the Time.

It's one of those stories you'll remember for years, and years...

bragging

So I've been talking about my new passion for crocheting for, what, about three months now, right? And it's still a passion, I assure you. I love it love it love it. Indeed, it's contagious, I find. I want to introduce you to a new crochet-buddy I have.


Little B.

Yes, my 7 year old son has developed a bit of crochet talent himself!


He spent several weeks trying to get past his foundation chain, but since he's a lefty, I think he was turning something around, and once I figured out that he was doing his single crochet somehwhat inside out (I won't even try to explain that), I corrected it and suddenly he was doing it. I was so proud. He did several little swatches of various sizes, usually a half dozen rows (with a varying number of stitches--hey, nobody's perfect!).


Then, I handed him a section I'd begun, about three or four rows with 11 stitches each. And he decided to make Baby J a security blanket. So, I showed him how to change colors when he was ready and he just kept going.

Now, I present to you his finished blankie (approximately 4"x6" in size):

03 September 2008

got me in stitches

Since I have talked incessently about my crochet stuff (and you might still hear more, like tomorrow, so watch carefully...you won't want to miss this special post), I decided to take (most of) it elsewhere.

For anyone who has any interest in crocheting, or knows someone who does, I'd like to introduce you to a new something-else-to-take-up-my-time: got me in stitches.

Bluehose and I, well, we love a good joint project and since we also both love this crochet thing, we decided to give a crochet blog a whirl. It's still a work in progress, but since I introduced her to you yesterday, and she already has our link up, I figured I'd best make it public! (Knitters are welcome, by the way).

My hope for this new blog is that there will be a decent handful of readers who join in as we find a new charity to crochet (or knit) for many months, a place to learn, ask questions, dig for answers, and share our work. I intend to put a flickr account of my finished work on this blog, and so does Bluehose...but, like I say, it's still under construction, so pardon the mess -- but do drop by!

02 September 2008

finding herself --

Kim. What do I say?
In a nutshell, she's my New York buddy. Need I say more about this wonderful friend?? (Give me a day or two and I actually will be saying more since we have something up our collaborative sleeves...)

Well, hereafter, we shall all know her has "bluehose" or "bluehose98" (let's see if anyone out there knows what that is...?) because after years of prodding and pleading and begging--someone else finally convinced to her put her world on a blog for all to read. Yay! I believe she has wonderful things to share amidst the random thoughts of her life--just like the rest of us. I have known her since High School and consider it an honor to still be such close friends this many years later. How does that song go?

Make new friends,
but keep the old,
one is silver
but the other gold...

I assure you, she is one of the golden friends in my life.

Let's give it up for bluehose {wild ceering in the audience}.

You will find her humble cyber-abode at Finding Myself in the Midst of It All. Please, go check it out and say hi!

(Yeah, all three or four of you who read this--just be a good neighbor, alrighty? Thank you then.)

Now go have yourself a lovely week...I'll be back, probably often over the course of the next few days. Keep a weather eye out. (Or however that expression goes!)

29 August 2008

end of a long story

Okay.
So a while back I told you about my husband's trip to the ER.
And I never followed up with that because each appointment required a new test, another appointment and more waiting.

Until yesterday.

Let me back up a tiny bit: he spent the summer seeing an Ear Nose and Throat doctor who has been fabulous. However, the insurance has tons of "hoops to jump through" as the doctor said, and that included two sleep studies to rule out sleep apnea. Sleep studies have to be scheduled, done, followed up on, and so it took weeks between both of them.

The official conclusion(s):
~As we knew from the CT Scan, a severe deviated septum that was blocking the nasal passage enough to drastically decrease the quality of sleep (no wonder the man has had chronic tiredness our whole marriage!).
~But also, a uvula that (thanks to excessive coughing with the many, many sinusitis episodes) was stretched out. As in, if I looked in his throat I could not see the end of it and what I could see was skinny-ish. If it touched the side of the throat--thanks to its elongated state--his throat spasmed shut. Fun times, I tell ya.

As we suspected, surgery would be the end result. And while they were inside his throat removing the uvula completely to prevent a recurrence of the over-stretching, they planned to take out his tonsils (just to keep from ever needing a similar surgery). Remember, the initial surgery was for a deviated septum. That makes three-surgeries-in-one.

And, after two months of waiting, he had this surgery yesterday.
Today, he is home. And in a lot, lot, lot of pain, the poor man.
He has his own basket of medications--we filled five prescriptions and got a whole list of recommended over the counter items as well. Not to mention Ensure, yogurt, broth, Gatorade and other similar foods.

I'm feeling so bad for him, but mostly I'm glad it's over. In a few weeks, he will breathe better than he ever has (via nose, that is), and the throat spasming is already a thing of the past. Thank you Lord!!

And, most of all--in spite of the pain and the long weekend with no school to decrease the quantity of children around while he is recovering--it's just good to have my husband home. One night in the hospital was enough to make me really miss him.

(ps...the roof story I promised back in June is still in the works and more annoying by the day...it will come--eventually, I hope; sigh.)

24 August 2008

A Comic Look at Breastfeeding

Some of you got this in an email, but I'm posting it here anyway. It's just too funny not to share!!

I found it at The Motherwear Blog.

Have a great day, everyone!

14 August 2008

the line

My heart crossed a line today.
A tough line.

But the peace that comes with that crossing is better than where I've been sitting. My spirit has been under construction and while the work is never complete, let's just say a new phase as begun.

The week before my husband's office typically gives raises, he was asked to transfer to one of their two, smaller remote locations. This office is over an hour from our home, but only has about five people. It came with significantly increased responsibility and he was the number one choice among managers to go and get it running smoothly. Quite a compliment.

The first question thrown at me by friends was, "Will you move to College Town?" "NO," came my emphatic answer, needing no thought--we moved where we are planning to stay forever, having hand-picked the school and town and whatnot.

A couple days later, 15 people had to be laid off, people this company hated to part with and most they would willingly hire back when things change -- their work is in civil engineering, which is suffering severely since NO ONE is building anything. Residential went dry a year ago, at which time my husband found himself doing commercial work. When the last of those deadlines were met a few weeks back, he said that suddenly there were lost-looking people milling around the office. Not good.

And on Friday of that week, there was an employee meeting in which they announced company-wide pay cuts (remember this should have been the week before raises showed up!) and requested that hours be kept to 40 unless specific need arose (unlike most places, this company pays hourly, something that has always been a blessing). In every way, that became a severe cut for us.

Ouch.

As in, we're reeling in the pain of it. Making plans for if it all goes down around us. (Changing jobs is not an option. There is no time for a second job. And if I got a job, well, a thousand reasons for that not working, one of which I nurse.)

And thus began a deep reworking in the recesses of my heart. That weekend, we looked at each other and said, "God wants us to to go to College Town, doesn't He?"

My being rebelled deep within. I moved so much as a kid that my heart was glued to this house for at least another 20 years. No kidding. The very thought of packing boxes makes me want to hurl. It didn't even matter that we are clear that the place we are to fellowship on Lord's Day is also in College Town--and we've known that for a while. I keep saying we'll just make the drive, but that's not realistic in the least, especially with three little people. I love the schools we carefully hand-picked for our kids to go to until they graduate. I love our house. I know we moved here with absolute peace that we were in the right place. But these are such outward things. And it was time to re-evaluate my priorities.

In these few weeks, my husband has been given gas compensation (in addition to the pay and hour cut, he is now putting 2.5 times the gas into his car...not pretty!). That was sweet relief. He has become more relaxed than I've ever seen him; the office is smaller and the tension significantly less. Also in those weeks, we've been opening our hearts, working at willingness, praying, listening, considering. I began to realize that yes, this is probably where we're headed--though it hurt to even consider.

Yesterday, my husband spent the day at the main office, taking care of a client meeting, updating the management on how things are going, etc. At one point, they told him they were working to find someone to fill that spot since it was never their intent to burden him with a long commute. Unless he was willing to move. . .

His initial answer was "no", since we don't feel to go at this moment and we just hadn't known if this was even permanent--we had not known what kind of decisions to be making. Too, he won't say "yes" without checking with me first. But that was pivotal to me. I realized that if we/I maintained an unwillingness to follow the Lord to College Town, He would leave me be -- but I would lose an opportunity to follow Him and gain Him. And so, even if we deal with a long commute for another year (something tells me NO ONE is buying houses at the moment), then move, I realized we needed to let them know we are willing to move if necessary. We cannot shut a door the Lord was prodding us toward.

Today, I was chatting with a friend who had not heard about all of this, and when she said she was trying to sell her house, my instant response was, "I think we're going to move to College Town."

In that moment, my heart crossed the line.

I'm okay going. Emotional. But okay with it.

Tonight, my husband spoke with the owner (also a family member) to clarify our feelings on the matter--that he loves the office, wants to stay there and we have other reasons to consider moving there. His uncle said there is no one he'd rather have in that position, and it's a great place to live. And so it's officially a permanent relocation (whether or not we move, technically, since that would just be our personal choice).

When and how and so many details, I do not know.
This year, next year, I do not know.
If things will continue to change, I do not know.


But where my heart stands, I do know.

06 August 2008

nick

I’ve spoken of working at a dentist’s office so many years ago. I’ve also mentioned my good friend whom I met there. (This would be the same friend who watched my kids while I got that long-awaited filling.) Her name is Karen.

I want to tell you about Karen’s son, Nicholas.

Nicholas, or Nick, as I still call him, is a boy of 12 who holds a dear spot in my heart. He’s become a tall, lean young man with an endearing grin. When I met him, he was only two (with that same endearing grin); his mother was the office manager where I was a dental assistant. It is that time in his life I want to share with you.

I have some very specific memories of Nick at that age, one of which is him sitting on the floor playing with the treasure box of toys on a Friday morning—we did not see patients very often on Friday, but it was a catch-up morning for those of us in the office. He’d start out a little shy, but I loved playing with him, sitting with the treasure toys, making them spin or clap or whatever; I also remember telling him not to smile only to see him fight the grin that eventually covered his face. This small boy captured me. I rarely knew what to do with little kids back before I had my own, but Nick was different. He had my heart.

And then Nick got sick.
He had Leukemia. Nick’s world changed in an instant, as did the world of his parents and older brother. I have more memories of a tiny boy in a hospital bed, hooked up endlessly to tubes and drips. I went one visit with Karen and Nick when they were getting his regular spinal tap. Well in advance, a numbing cream was applied to his back and later he curled into a ball on his side as they did the procedure. What a brave little boy he had to be.

Today, he’s healthy and safe and still wins my heart.

This year, Karen is participating in a marathon on Thanksgiving morning to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society--one of the reasons Nick was able to beat those odds. You can click below to "meet" Nick and Karen and if you would like you can also make a donation to this very worthy cause, and help others beat cancer, too:

05 August 2008

school days

Tomorrow is the last day of summer for us.
Today we have open house.
Thursday is the first day of school.

I am sad. I have SO loved sleeping in…well, as much as one can sleep in with a baby who nurses in the night. Somehow it doesn’t balance out real well. But getting up early once more will surely be a hit where it hurts. Sigh.

I am sad because this has been the best summer with Little B ever. He has changed and matured and has fewer meltdowns and the stress on me is far, far less. We also made a decision this summer that drastically affected him: we explained why he has spent the past two and a half years in therapy. We’ve talked about what Sensory Processing Disorder means in his life and what therapy has done for him. Since he is an advanced reader, we checked a book out of the library called The Goodenoughs Get In Sync and he absorbed it in a few days’ time.

This book is about a family of five called the Goodenoughs and each family member (plus their dog) has various sensory processing issues. It talks in detail about what those issues are as well as how they cope and help themselves “get in sync”. I was only a bit into the first chapter when my son whisked it away and delved into it.

Then suddenly he began finding me to tell me bits of information about himself: “Hey mom, when I get a back rub right here [lower back, on either side of the spine], it feels so good!” “Can I have that really big ball to bounce on again? I love it!” (That would be my pilates ball that I never, ever (ahem) use but he used to abuse, so we stuck it in the attic…he did get it back and will roll on it while reading, playing Legos, etc, as well as just bouncing on it, but it still gets dangerous when he and Miss C find overly active games to play with it!). Little B has learned so, so much this summer. Now he understands why we want him to shower every single day (it still meets with resistance sometimes when there are more fun things to be doing), before he can do anything else, even eat breakfast: the sensory input gives him a much better start to his day. The list goes on, but suffice it to say he has really stepped it up. I am so proud of him. More proud than words can begin to express.

However, second grade was one of my most favorite grades ever, so I am also looking forward to seeing what this year holds for my little boy. We have been so blessed that his entire class is looping with the same teacher—so the only new thing will be the classroom and the school since our school system has one school that houses K-1, then another for 2-5 (second grade is moving up this year since there is so much growth -- it used to be K-2 and 3-5). At least he’ll be in the brand new part of the school.

I'm also excited because I’ve always loved the smell of school with its freshly sharpened pencils and new paper (except the inside of textbooks…anyone else notice those smell like puke??). Shopping for school supplies is one of those things I still love doing. Even before I had kids in school, I was addicted to the notebooks so cheap, the pencils and erasers, crayons, markers, pens and book-bags. . .

26 July 2008

i did it

Shortly before lunch on Thursday I took all three kids to a waiting room at an office where a friend of mine was just finishing an appointment. I've known her for a decade--indeed, we met working for the old location of this practice. She'd offered to watch my little people while I at long, long last got my first filling.

I found out about it the week I probably got pregnant with Baby J, so by the time my first appointment came around, the dentist preferred to wait until I was further along. I decided to wait until he was born after talking to another dentist friend--bear in mind, it was a small cavity to start with. So, when Baby J was almost a month old, I was scheduled to get it taken care of only to have the whole family get the flu. And so it got put off once more.

Way back over a year ago, he thought he could fill it without a shot. When I went in the past week, I was holding out hope that there would be no need to stick a long needle deep into my gums. I dreaded the very thought of being told, "You're going to feel pressure now." Ha. I'm the kind who needs to see the needle go in so I don't tense every muscle in my arm when I get blood drawn. You can't really see a shot going into your mouth. I was glad he still felt he could try to do it without.

I told him I felt nervous this time, unlike when I first tried to get the filling, and he only laughed. You've had childbirth, he said, practice your breathing. Then he raised the seat, whirred the little drill and asked if that sound bothered me. I considered it for a wisp of a moment. Nope. It was a familiar sound, one I always heard while working with him. And, having worked at his side, I knew without a doubt I trusted him.

He began, a small bit of drilling, asking if I was okay when he stopped. Yes. Then he asked if I wanted to look. Oh, yes. A sense of camaraderie arose as he dug for the large mirror and used his small one to reflect the tiny hole onto the glass for me to see. Cool. I used to love this. I'm thinking I miss this work.

I didn't see any more after that. I may have forgotten the names of some things, but in my mind's eye I watched his every move: I remembered what each instrument did, pictured the stuff he scraped out with the "shaking" tool and the little scraper (it's most fascinating to see what a cavity is made of, I tell you!), and recalled the steps of the filling. The worst was when he cleaned out the space with cold water just before priming it to fill. He'd gone far enough to make it really smart and I was thinking that if there had been much more to drill I might not have made it.

And in less time than it took to do a 12-year-old's cleaning down the hall, he was done. I felt like there should be more to it. But instead he winked and took me to the front (after which he had to take me to his office to show me a deer he pretended to have gotten although it was really one his father or father-in-law got back in the 70's...I can't remember now...he's crazy that way).

So, I did it. I officially have my first filling.
And I did it without the shot.
I feel so brave. Like a little girl who rode her bike for the first time.

But, I admit, I hope I don't have to ride that bike again.
One cavity was enough.
Really.

22 July 2008

honesty

There are changes in the wind for us.

Good changes, bad changes, difficult changes, undetermined changes.


In the midst of these changes, I am trusting the Lord. I know that in the deepest, darkest times, He still walks with us, never leaving us. I am thankful that we are never without Him. I recognize that even if the lowest of the low should come, the most significant thing is what God is after within us---not the outward things. He longs to gain more of our hearts. There is nothing too big of a sacrifice to reach this end.

I have also recently been considering that the Lord is not my first love these days. I pray, I praise, I sing and I love Him. But my heart wants to hold onto some other "things" first--above what He might ask. Outward things. Perhaps the changes right now are a time to help me refocus on the One who needs to be my first Love. There is no other. There should be no other. Also, I too easily neglect time in His Word--something I am far too aware of needing to remedy. I need my heart to be open to changes that I am perhaps reluctant for. If He is my first love, then when the Lord wants something, my heart will be open, willing, and even wanting the same thing. Without a willing heart, the Lord is limited in how much He can operate in me and through me. It doesn't even mean He'd ask. I just need to be open.

When I know more, I might share some of the changes going on. But, at the moment, the changes keep changing--one thing happens, then a day or two later, there's another spin on it, and even that could be changing. It's a bit crazy, so we will see how it is when things comes to a rest...

15 July 2008

and win some baby carriers!

Here is another fun contest that is worth your time if you have little ones (or need gifts to give for little ones...what a great thing for new moms to receive!). Just think, if you really got five carriers, you could pick your favorites and give away the rest. Well, that's how I think anyway.

Win the Essential Babywearing Stash from Along for the Ride (one Beco Butterfly, one Hotsling baby pouch, one BabyHawk Mei Tai, one Zolowear Ring Sling, and one Gypsy Mama Wrap)

cloth diaper contest!

Most of you know I like me some cloth diapers...and I found a contest right up my alley! If you follow this link to Nature's Child, you will find yourself a chance to win as well. The prize is pretty, too...18 bumGenius diapers, a diaper sprayer, a dozen cloth wipes and a bottle of odor remover or an equivalent gift certificate.

Win a Bum Genius 3.0 Starter Kit from Nature's Child - Wholesome Goods for Mothers and Babies

it's monday when . . .


. . . you need coffee so desparately (because you were up every hour with a random array of the three little people in your house) that you forget to put the pot in place before hitting the start button. A few minutes later I thought to myself that the drip had never been so loud, nor taken so long to get started. I checked, and was horrified to see it pouring coffee straight onto the hot pad which of course spilled all over my counter. And it was a steady stream, not a drip! I put the pot under it, only to realize that pushed more off the pad. So I moved the pot back to the counter and turned the whole thing off. But a moment later noticed it was still pouring coffee, so put the pot back.
I'm telling you--I was really not awake yet. I couldn't figure out why there were grounds everywhere, either. As I drove where we had to go, I realized that since the pot was not in place, the water had backed up in the filter area, and it finally was so full it was overflowing inside the pot and through the spout--thus the grounds that were floating and the lack of "drip" as it came out.
You can see the soaked paper towels behind the coffee maker. Each item I picked up, especially the cofee maker, simply held a reservoir of more spilled coffee. I didn't actually have time to clean it all until I got home later on, and you can see I'd already wiped a good bit of the spill before I thought to take a picture for evidence.
Thankfully, I was only making half a pot of coffee, not a full one!

07 July 2008

happenings

We had a lovely 4th of July weekend...mostly puttering around the house doing things that were long overdue. My husband had the pleasure of sleeping WAY in (I'm talkin' 10:30am, people!) one day, and stayed in pajamas two days. He pulled out the gazillions of picture frames we've had IN BOXES for the two years we've lived here and began replacing old pics with new ones and hanging or finding new homes for them. There is still more to do, but he also took over dish duty (THAT, my friends, is the gift of all gifts for me) and helped me get rid of some of the junk piling up around the kitchen counters. I'm a happy woman, let me tell ya. There's more to do there as well, but hey, I'm all about progress, not perfection.

I finished crocheting a hat and booties for my sister-in-law's preemie baby girl (I forgot to take a picture, which bummed me out--hopefully she'll remember to email me one, which of course, I'll post whether you like it or not). It was a wonderfully laid back weekend, the likes of which we rarely see.

Baby J however, kept me from getting much sleep for the past week. He has been waking up way too often for my taste. But then again, (other than the typical gas and reflux pain) in four days' time he cut his first two teeth and the next (today) he began sitting up by himself for a few minutes at a time. He's so happy like that..."tummy time" was becoming the bane of his existence since he was ready to move on to bigger and better things. Indeed, he has been working on rocking on knees and elbows already, much to my alarmed dismay. Watch out world, here comes Baby J!

03 July 2008

new stages

For those of you who've been around for a while, you have heard me talk about my son's Sensory Processing Dysfunction. About two and a half years ago, he was diagnosed and put into occupational therapy which essentially is to teach skills for coping in his world--home, school, and with friends. Most recently, we've been focused on the social aspects since this has been a very big struggle. I will not even go into the many meltdowns, and other frustrations that arise when attempting to play with friends.

However. We have reached a milestone that says he is making huge strides in coping skills, both for Little B and for me (as well as my husband). I am feeling a little bit on shaky ground, a little bit uncertain, and a lot like my security blanket is about to be ripped from my hands.

Little B is being discharged from Occupation Therapy when school starts.

Yes, you read that right.
Discharged.

He is done.

No, he is not "cured" nor does he lack struggles and all that comes with SPD. However, individual therapy no longer has anything to offer him. Prime example: when a gooey, sticky, messy project is part of a therapy session, he no longer falls apart, screams or resists at all costs. He now finds ways to do the project without touching the goop if at all possible, minimizes the touching if it just can't be avoided (wiping his hands immediately), and does all of this without the complete tantrum that used to precede it. He may not be happy about it, but he's learned to cope.

Another example: When in the gym during an OT session, he can strategically design/plan and execute an obstacle course without missing important steps, being afraid of swinging backward, falling or having to start over (among other things). It's okay if those things happen--it is no longer the end of his world. For Little B, these things may still present challenges, but he is now facing them realistically. As I mentioned recently, he is now riding his bike without training wheels and he has learned to roller skate. Both of these things would have been insurmountable two years ago for a myriad of reasons.

Socially...well this is still the weakest spot. But individual therapy cannot help that. He has had a "peer"--a child close in age--to do therapy with this past year, but that was only for half his therapy time. This summer we have put him into two "therapy camps" that are just group therapy twice a week at the same therapist's office. The goal is to work on those social skills as well as hone any other needs that arise. Every kid in the group is at different levels, so it's a very good place to learn such things.

But when summer is over, we will not return to individual therapy. He will not have to check in late to school once a week on account of that therapy.

What lies ahead? That, my friends, is a good question. He still has needs that we must address some how, some way. Unfortunately, the "therapy" style groups that could help him are not to be found in our area--it would be over an hour's drive if we took him to one of those (ie, hiking social group for kids with mild sensory issues--excellent idea, but not so practical). So, we need to carefully select an activity that will provide an opportunity to work on social skills and working together.

The things we are considering include: gymnastics, group horse-back riding lessons, martial arts and cub scouts. There are so many factors to consider and we want to be wise in this choice. There is one that stands out to me right now, but I need to be prayerful and also check into the options a little more closely, gathering more specific information on each one. I certainly don't want to neglect this need, but instead encourage and support him in a new endeavor that will continue to help him.

What does this mean for me? It means my constant support and suggestion-giver (his therapist) will evaporate from our lives and we'll miss her desperately. I've already mentioned to Little B that he's probably not going to have therapy in the fall, and he said he hopes it's not forever. (Why? Because he's going to miss his therapist.) She told me it's very hard to discharge clients like us, and I must admit, that was nice to hear.

But, I have to say, I find that I'm seeing myself as a person who can really cope with the needs as they arise, someone who has grown stronger and understands the finite workings of SPD, more specifically the needs that my son has. We'll have "off days" just like always, but I think I'm ready to be discharged, too. I can do this.

27 June 2008

i'm sure i'm boring you to death...

But I just really wanted to boast about what I just made!

Yes, there is only one, and my son has claimed it for a stuffed animal (thus the already stretching cuff)...with a promise from me to make the match. The goal was to see if I could follow the pattern, and I did! I'll probably make some for a few new or expected babies in my life, once I find a better yarn for the softness factor.



new year's resolution

I know, I know. It's kinda like 6 months late to be discussing this, but I actually did make a new year's resolution way back then. Just one. And I picked one I could/should be able to carry through on.

I wanted to lose 20 pounds this year. And I did it!

So what if 13 of that came off when my baby was born in the first part of January? That's not the point, people. It was just a little boost in the right direction. I succeeded in losing the remaining 7 and am now at my "prepregnancy" weight. Uh, third baby prepregnancy, but I made it regardless of which pregnancy it was. (I'll be honest...I only gained 20 pounds with Baby J, yet I lost 20 pounds when each of my other two were born.)

My next goal will be to reach my REAL prepregnancy weight, roughly 8-10 pounds more. Even 5 would be nice, but I am someone who prefers not to bicker over 5 pounds with my body. I believe it is healthier to stay 5 pounds "up" than to go up and down like a seesaw with my weight. So, we'll see what happens.

25 June 2008

picture stories

Nothing like a popsicle on a hot day with your best buddy.




My most recent crochet thing...a cord for Miss C to turn her own light on and off. Her room is the hottest in the house by the end of the day and we like to keep the fan going constantly to battle it. Since the fan and light share a switch, we needed a way to giver her some independence in this little matter--without stopping the fan. (Hush...yes, it was really an excuse to practice daisies, corkscrews and pompoms...what of it?)



This inner tube toy has been a favorite of mine since Little B was learning to sit. However, Baby J has done something the other two have not--climbed over the sides. I'm guessing he missed the point of what it's for. Looks like he's tubin' down the river, no?



Ah yes, a picture of my new 'do. Not my best hair day, and this was taken at the end of a day which should tell you something. But, a picture none the less.























The Ultimate Paci-Holder.





Notice the lack of training wheels here? Go Little B!!!





A good shot of Little B that's not from the back...he's so silly these days it's hard to get a view of him that's not super goofy. My kids were feeding a turtle that wandered into the yard; Little B has a great love of turtles and my mother has housed a few of them on his behalf over the years.

21 June 2008

when my husband arrived home. . .

He ended up going to the emergency room. Here's why:

This story actually goes back to the fact that my husband gets/has chronic sinusitis. I may have talked about this a couple months ago, I don't recall. However, he has battled it more this year than ever before. As soon as it clears up, he's likely to get it again. His doctor told him to get a CT scan, but also gave him a refill on his antibiotic in case he needed it. He used that refill a couple weeks ago and as of a week ago was left with the aftermath of a cough, pretty typical.

As for the CT scan, he was attempting to get the order for it so he could have it done, but had a hard time getting a response from the doctor's office. On Monday, he came home from work saying his cough was so bad his throat would close up and he'd be forced to breathe through his nose.

Tuesday morning, he called the doctor. Since his regular physician wasn't in until today, they put him through to a nurse's voice mail, claiming they'd work on the CT order. The nurse never called back. Wednesday morning (remember, the day Little B was throwing up?), he called and left a second voice mail with the nurse. No one called back. Wednesday evening (when he arrived home from work--where the last post left off), after speaking to a roofing contractor about the top of our house, he tried to called the doctor's office once more right before they closed; he spent around 10 minutes on hold attempting to reach a live person to get a nurse for him--instead he left a third voice mail. In those 48 hours, his cough was consistently bad and the throat closing thing never did change.

So, after that last attempt to reach the doctor's office, I encouraged him to call our insurance company's on-call nurse. THEY answered the phone and told him to call 9-1-1 because their objective computer system indicated that his throat closing up could be a potential allergy and therefore life-threatening.

The battle began. He did not want to upset the kids (or himself, let's be honest) with an ambulance. I did not want to take 3 kids to the ER at bedtime. My husband ended up driving himself to the ER. Ha.

He went to the hospital nearest our home, one we'd never been to before. In roughly two hours, he was headed home. Who'da thunk it? I was amazed. He said there was no wait, they determined his throat was spasming because it was so swollen and he was coughing too hard. They wrote a prescription for a nose-spray steroid (he says he'll go work out now...hardy har har), AND. AND. My friends, they did the CT scan since he could never get the order from his doc's office (he has a great doctor, but the rest of the practice is pathetic). They did that because he'd given them his whole history and explained that he was supposed to get one but hadn't received the orders, blah blah blah. The results: a deviated septum.

Funny...Thursday morning, the nurse finally called him back. He simply told her he'd been to the ER, thank you. And hung up (he was chatting with his boss at the time, anyway, so she was becoming a terrible inconvenience).

Today, he saw that "good" doctor again for follow-up. There wasn't much that could be done except to tide him over for the week. But he needs to see an ENT right away. He's been told he'll likely be having surgery soon. I'm starting to think it can't be soon enough.

And that, my friends, is one more way our week has drug out longer than spaghetti. Sigh.

Up soon: the roof. That incorporated into the week as well and will continue to be a drama this summer, knowing us. (That little teaser is a way to make myself post more...I'm trying, really I am!)

20 June 2008

oh

So it is Friday. I really, truly believed it to be Thursday. Don't know why. Somehow in the summer the days start merging--in spite of the fact that Tuesday and Thursday have standing afternoon appointments in June and we'd clearly taken care of it the day before.

I will continue my story about my husband's arrival home. Just not now. I need to enjoy the pending weekend. Have a great one everyone!

is it friday yet???

So it's been a bit of a long week. Not bad, really. Just kinda packed in spite of staying home most of the time. Crazy is a good word for it. I believe I'll expound for a while:


THE WEEKEND

Father's Day was nice. My mom is of a school of thought that gives space to people...we're a close, close family, and I think allowing space is one reason why that is. Anyhow, she was all about just letting my hubby and I hang with our kids for Father's Day and then getting together another time (we're really good at celebrating things on the wrong day in our family). But, my husband loves--I mean LOVES--my family and really wanted them to come, so when I saw his crushed expression, I told him to call and talk to them. They came. (They LOVE him back...indeed, they swear they keep me because I married him...huh...) So w grilled out, chilled out and hung out. Just a nice visit on a lovely day. Until 10pm. Right before my parents (and brother) left, things got interesting.

To backtrack a little, this last paycheck was what I'd called really tight. And I'm doing the post-partum hair-shedding thing like crazy. My mind has been made up for over a month that a good short haircut would at limit the quantity of hair falling from my head. Friday was to be the big day since my husband had a day off. But, alas, the check didn't allow for it and my spirits were crushed...until it occurred to me that my mom cut my hair about, say, 20 years ago and it wasn't that awful. (Really, 8th grade was 20 years ago...ouch!) Besides, she's known to trim my dad's hair on desperate occasions and it never seems bad. So, I roped her in at 10pm. Outside. Under a spot light. Chin-length became barely-below-the-ear-lobes-length. But really, that wasn't the end of the world. Just less hair to shed; I'm pretty flexible.

I did trim it up some after a good hair washing and seeing what was slightly off. She handled the length, I did the fine-tune trimming. And on Tuesday someone said they liked it. I'd frankly been very nervous since it seemed a bit sharp on my features, but hey, I look like I'm 18 again, so it's kinda funny. I'll post a picture once I get them pictures transferred to my computer (I'm such a total slacker...).



MIDWEEK

Tuesday night, I managed to get to bed around 1am or a few minutes after. Oh, I guess that's really Wednesday way-early morning. Baby J woke me around 2:45am and again around 5am. We've had some long (actually, short seems a better decription!) nights recently, can you tell? However, the clincher came at 6am. Little B came running down the hall calling out, "I'm going to throw up I'm going to throw up!!!" I wanted to crawl back into bed and STAY there. I was in for a long day (definitely not seeing it as short!). I did doze while he hung around the commode as my husband got ready for work, overseeing any major needs that might arise.

But, before 7, I was facing reality and had Little B set up on the couch with a pot for puke. It seems every time he got up, he threw up. Not much each time (face it, puking is a TMI topic), and his tummy seemed mostly empty (thank goodness!) but still, I was dreading it. Somewhere in the last few years, I lost my ability to cope with vomit. I am such a chicken.

I decided this was a pj day and I didn't get dressed except to apply deodorant and make sure I had on presentable pj's since the little boy across the street was bringing over a coke to help settle Little B's tummy (we drink Dr. Pepper and that is not the same for an upset stomach). Thankfully, he felt better by afternoon and was running around and even had a huge dinner (he was starving since he'd only been allowed small amounts of food all day). By the time his energy picked up, I made HIM get dressed (something about the fact his pj's are underpants and an undershirt during warm weather...).

Miss C played in her (recently rearranged) room very quietly and happily most of the day. She'd wander out for some "tee" as she calls T.V. since sick days allow it to be on much more than usual. But then she'd vanish to her room and play some more. Me? I read almost an entire book around the puking, the dishes, one load of laundry and nursing a baby who was more content than usual. I wonder what it says that the day was so tame while Little B was sick? Hmm... Of course, by the end of the day, he was a busy boy since he felt well and I was busy with dinner prep, but still.

Then my husband came home. . .

(...to be continued...)