Thursday, December 03, 2009

Welcome to My Whirlwind

Do you ever have so many things going on at one time that you're not sure which way is up? But you don't want to complain because you know many people dealing with FAR more significant problems?

Yeah, me too.

That's why I have this blog. I can whiiiinnnnneeee all I want :).

We spent most of this last summer working on our house to make it irresistible to potential buyers.

When we bought this house, we made some classic first-timer mistakes. Namely, we didn't bother checking on their future plans for our street. Turns out, they planned to make it a "major collector". That's a nice way of saying "we're going to turn your street into a subdivision freeway".

So we figured we needed an irresistible house to overcome the obvious flaw we can do nothing about.

Everyone loved the house, hated the street (duh, that's why WE wanted to move!).

Finally a single guy (perfect for this location) saw the house and loved it. He made an offer the Monday before Thanksgiving and we close December 23!

Yay, yay, yay!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, crap................

We don't have anywhere to live.

There was very, very, very little on the market that had what we were looking for: a little land, extra garage (if possible), desolate street, etc...

Long story short, we made an offer last night on a house and it was accepted. We close on 12/30 and will have to stay with my parents for a week or so (Merry Christmas mom and dad!).

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mom, we aren't ALLOWED to kiss in school

How is it that I suddenly find myself having conversations about girlfriends with my nine year old???

Sure, I was in kindergarten when I had my first boyfriend. His name was Scott (yes, I remember his last name too) and he liked my belt with sparkles in it. I chased him. He chased me. He broke my heart. I flipped over on the bar and got over it.

Young love.

But MY nine year old being aware that there are girls?

So not ready for that.

MotH and I were teasing AM last night about whether or not he thought any girls at school were pretty. Suddenly, he has an opinion!

Yikes.

Thankfully, Pokemon, Star Wars and Encyclopedia Brown still get top billing..........but I think I saw a brief glimpse into my future. And that future isn't NEARLY as far away as I want it to be!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

It's ALIIIIIIIIIIIIVE

I would promise that this is the (re) start of regular blogging, but I'll be honest with you.

I'm a fickle person. Plus, it turns out that ENTIRE MONTHS go by without me realizing it. If I don't post again until next May it isn't because I'm lazy, it's because I'm unaware of the passage of time.

For example: NR turned ONE yesterday. ONE!!! How is it possible that twelve months have gone by since I had my epidural?!

I MEAN THE BABY. Since I had the baby.

And since you asked, I'm back to pre-pregnancy weight. Oooohhh, ahhhhh......I love the magic of the internet. Particularly when I don't have a webcam to expose my stretching of the truth for what it really is...........a blatant, fat-faced lie.

Since I've been an absentee blogger for a good number of months, I've had time to amass a list of observations. Here are a couple:

What happened to AM? No, seriously. What happened? Was it Invasion of the Body Snatchers? Alien abduction? Why was he incapable of rolling his eyes at 8 years 364 days, then embracing that as his sole means of expression the day he turned 9?

And the looks! I know I NEVER looked at my mother that way.

*ahem* (I wonder if my mom still reads this).

What about NR? What's he up to these days? Oh, JUST MAKING ME CRAZY. I swear. How many arms/hands come standard on a baby these days? I don't recall paying for any upgrades (just your standard PPO package), yet I seem to have received a baby with at least four arms/hands.

There are times when I swear that my entire day consists of me moving him from one contraption to another to keep him out of things.

And why does he eat my furniture? My poor ottoman looks like it's been attacked by rabid Chihuahuas. He now has eight teeth and I'll be honest with you..... I'm not sure he was ready for the responsibility. Is it legal to put tobassco on things to keep him from chewing on them (vinegar didn't work. He likes pickles too much.).

Let's see. What other critically important news should I share?

I AM HAVING A TOTAL HAIR CRISIS.

I get my hairs did about every three months. Highlights, lowlights. Love 'em.

All of a sudden, I am sprouting grays faster than I can afford to make a trip for camoflauging. They are, of course, ALL around my face.

I'm completely distraught. Distressed is an understatement. I don't know what to do! Do I use a semi-perm color to buy me time between salon visits? Embrace my natural side and let it do what God intends.

Okay, that is SO not going to happen.

MotH laughs and thinks it's funny. Of course his solution is to ignore it (let's see how he feels when people ask him why he's hangin' with his mother!) or to have me color it myself. Nevermind the fact that the last time I did that, he said "I don't think that's a color found in nature".

This is going to get too long. I need to pace myself. No need for months of silence in one post.

Until next time. Whenever that is...........

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Meme

So Mrs. Nurse Boy "tagged" me on a meme. The instructions say I'm supposed to tag eight more people.

How terribly pathetic is it that the only bloggers I know were already tagged by her? Yeah, that's what I thought.

I will answer your meme, Mrs. Nurse Boy, but I cannot follow your instructions. I guess this means it's time to broaden my bloggisphere.

1. What are your current obsessions? I don't really know. There are some issues I'm obsessed with. Like "what happened to my entire spring/summer non-maternity wardrobe?".

Seriously. Where is it?! I packed it up last spring to make room for maternity clothes and it's gone. Vanished. No t-shirts. No capris. Nothing.

How does that happen? Is someone messing with me? Am I on Candid Camera? Is the entire country laughing at my expense when I look under my bed for the twentieth time because I KNOW that is where I put the Space Bag?

2. Which item from your wardrobe do you wear most often? Underpants. I was going to say "bra and underpants", but I usually chuck the bra when I get home to let the girls breath. Perhaps they'll re-inflate if I do that often enough?

3. What's for dinner? Tonight I had a sleeping baby on me until 6:30 p.m., so it was Morning Star "chicken" patties. They are surprisingly yummy. I sliced mine up and had a salad and the guys had sandwiches. And green beans.

Last night it was steak, couscous and fresh green beans (I swear we don't always eat green beans......it just worked out that way the last couple of nights).

4. Last thing you bought? Dishwasher detergent, a 12-pack of Bounty, formula and chips for Field Day on Friday.

Oh, and a dark chocolate candy bar that was so bitter I couldn't eat it. Don't EVEN get me started on that. Dark chocolate is the only "treat" I'm allowing myself these days and the one I got tasted like chocolate crap. Yes, I said "CRAP". Sometimes "poop" just doesn't do the situation justice. This is one of those times.

5. What are you listening to? "Father of the Bride", for probably the one-gazillionth time. White noise (a.k.a. the alarm clock tuned to static) through the baby monitor

6. If you were a god/goddess who would you be? Goddess of Frustration. "Frustration" seems to be the story of my life lately.

7. Favorite vacation spots? I love both the beach and the mountains. My sis and I like to take long weekend trips to the beach (Florida). We spend our time with our toes buried in the sand, reading a good book and napping.

I grew up going to the mountains and there is something about them that is a balm to my soul.

Ironically, MotH and I are not ideal travel-mates. He feels like he has to be DOING something every second of every day and I go on vacation to NOT do something every second of every day.

8. Reading right now? Lying on Sundays by Susan Somethingorother.

9. Four words to describe yourself: Talkative (I heard that "amen" from the back row), sensitive, dependable, loyal

10. Guilty pleasure? The "Fugly" blog. HYSTERICAL! "Don't Eat That, Steve" blog (also hysterical). 80's "Hair" Metal.

11. Who or what makes you laugh until you’re weak? MotH and I have fun together and he makes me laugh. AM says the darndest things and I laugh at him a lot.

12. Favorite thing to do in the summer? Family trips. BBQ and eating on the deck.

13. Planning to travel to next? Our next family trip is our annual summer trip to Branson. We have a boat this year, so it should be super fun. Even considering I have to wear a bathing suit.

14. Best thing you ate or drank lately? Not that chocolate CRAP candy bar, I can tell you that!

The lettuce on my salad was very crispy. That's the best I can come up. Oh, and I had some yummy bean salad for lunch.

15. When did you last get tipsy? Eons ago.

16. Favorite ever film? I don't have one. I have some I watch over and over (Father of the Bride, Pretty Woman and recently 27 Dresses), but nothing that I can say "that's my favorite".


17. Care to share some wisdom? No, I don't like to share.

18. Least favorite thing about driving in the boondocks? Gravel roads that need to be graded. You can lose a liver on a gravel road that is past due on being graded! I don't like all the dust from gravel roads either.

19. Least favorite part of your day? Morning. I am SO not a morning person. I've said it before: I don't great the day with a smile. I get dragged into a new day kicking and screaming.

20. Why do you blog? My blog started as a way for me to chronicle our Chinese adoption. Since that became an endless waiting game, I started blogging about whatever strikes my fancy.

There you go. All you ever cared to know about "meme".

Monday, May 18, 2009

Field Trip Observations

Today marked the first day of the last week of school for AM. As is the custom in most schools, the entire last week will consist of field trips, movie watching, desk cleaning and other assortment of non-academic related good times.

I'm finally old enough that I ask "why do we bother with this week". When I was living the week (a long, long time ago. Back before Al Gore invented the internet......thanks Al!), the final week of school was like the appetizer for summer.

I do not have the same appreciation for this week, now that it means I have to buy MORE school lunch stuff when we've already maxed out the learning potential for the year.

Anywho, today was the field trip to the zoo, followed by a free-for-all-play-fest at the park across from the zoo.

While we were at the park (the zoo portion was relatively brief), I made some observations while the kids played. They are:

* it does not matter how many pieces of play equipment a park contains, young boys will still try to climb trees

* cities spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to provide active entertainment for kids by way of the park. Despite this, the item most played with, poked at, rolled around and tossed about was a used Sonic cup. I kid you not. I watched at least a handful of kids completely stop what they were doing to poke at this particular cup until there was little left of it.

* approximately nine kids can ride the rocking teeter-totter and even though it lists dramatically to one side, it still won't capsize.

* the same boys that pee on toilet seats and find flatulence top-rate comedy will cover their noses with their shirts and insist that we "hurry up" and get out of the smelly animal exhibits (zoo observation)

* squirrels in the park across from the Topeka zoo are rather bold. One walked so close to AM that I thought it was going to attack him. I do not know if squirrels attack, I only know that I believed it possible when this particular bushy-tailed tree rat was stalking my kid. (okay, this had nothing to do with the kids.........but seriously, this squirrel freaked me out!)

* for reasons unknown to me, kids will shriek at the top of their lungs when they go through the tunnel on the train in the park. Okay, I "get" that. They are kids and kids are prone to shrieking. What I do NOT get is WHY the "conductor" felt compelled to add to the noise volume by blowing the whistle.

* when faced with a choice, boys will jump on the retaining wall and run on it when racing a friend. Nope, can't run on the perfectly safe, even-leveled ground. They have to dash along a 12-inch wide section of shin-busting brick.

I'm certain I made more observations, but that's what I'm able to come up with right now. I need to go pack AM's lunch.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. Really!

I have the pleasure of knowing a couple of my blogging friends in "real" life (yes, I meant to put "real" in quotation marks. What is "real" life anyway? There, that should give you something to ponder for a minute or two.). Recently (as in today), one of them posted her "Random Musings" that was actually a list of questions.

Since the well of blogging ideas is running a little dry in the Land O' Imperfect (yes, I have my own land), I thought I'd copy her questions and answer them here!

How totally shameless am I?! It's awesome!

Here we go. For clarity, the original question will be purple.

***Do you ever wake up in the morning and decide that you HATE the color, cut, and style of your hair? Do you then spend countless hours searching for a picture of a new complementary 'do while ignoring your family and the house? Do you then discover that no hairdo is good enough, only to look up and discover that your family and home have been neglected for shallow reasons? No? That's just me? Huh.

For the record, I like Mrs. Nurse Boy's hair. It's only MY hair that I sometimes hate. Lately, I hate it A LOT. I hate the cut. I can't really tell you what happened since it used to be a good cut. I think it has something to do with four stylists in about 12-18 months (and there's a reason I keep switching).

The color is okay, but rather unremarkable. My highlights are a little too yellow.

Oh, and I find that if you Google "medium hair styles" and than look though Google images, you can find a lot of great ideas. Sadly, I'm too much of a chicken poop to try any. The devil you do know is better than the devil you don't know.......at least when it comes to hair.

***Do you ever feel like you are the ONLY one trying to keep the house clean and tidy? PLEASE don't tell me that is just me!

I believe this is a precursor to a "discussion" that goes something like this: Why do I even bother? I spend all of my time trying to make the house nice and someone turns right around and messes it up. Can't anyone else see this mess? Is there any particular reason why the dish didn't get rinsed off? Why are the shoes in the middle of the floor? ARE BOTH OF YOUR ARMS BROKEN?!

***Do you ever find yourself wishing that your oldest was back in diapers and potty training because, while you once thought that was the hardest part of parenting, you now know that it gets so much more difficult. (I NEVER thought I would feel that way and, for the record, I am exaggerating. But, I do miss the simplicity of those parenting days...)

I've finally reached a stage in parenting where I look back and think "man was I ever naive. Did I really think THAT was the 'hard' stage?". Unfortunately, I also realize that as hard as NOW can be, I know it will only get harder. Finally, just before I'm ready to tar and feather my offspring, he'll move out, fall in love, get married *sob* and start hanging out with his wife's parents. I will then sit in an empty nest and wonder what was so hard about that parenting gig anyway. Because the hardest part is when they are no longer there.

***Do you ever look into your children's eyes and find yourself amazed and proud of who they have become? Yet, still anxious to see who they will be?

Yes. I pray that the positive parts of his personality survive adolescence.

***Do you ever wake up in the morning and wish you could throw the alarm away and sleep for several more hours? (I think I feel that way every morning.)

Currently my alarm clock plays white noise so the baby will sleep. I don't know if it's really necessary, but I'm afraid to turn it off and find out.

My alarm is really MotH's cell phone, so throwing it would likely get me in a lot of trouble and cost me a significant amount of money.

But yes, I would l-o-v-e to just lay in bed for a couple more hours every morning. I rarely great a new day with a smile. I usually get pulled into a new day kicking and groaning.

***Do you ever wish you were the "Daddy," since daddys are welcomed home with a song and a dance and mommys field the "Can I have a snack?" and "When is dinner?" questions?

I try to tell myself "they know they can depend on me to care for them", but the reality is that dad is the good time guy and I'm the meal wagon. I've come to believe that high on the list of requirements for being a mom is "able to be taken for granted" (hopefully just by kids, not hubbys too).

***Do you ever find yourself wishing you had a "life" only to discover that your calendar is too full of soccer games, play dates, and birthday parties to have one?

Honestly, no. First, because AM isn't involved in any sports right now. Second, because we really don't have many "friends" that would invite us, or AM, to a birthday party. I wish I had a few more things on my calendar. I sound rather pathetic.

***Do you ever long for 10 minutes of nothing but pure silence and a Diet Coke? And, maybe, some dark chocolate?

YES! It's a sad, sad thing when I look forward to a trip to the grocery store because I can go by myself and think my own, uninterrupted, thoughts. Plus, the check-out lines have plenty of chocolate and I can eat it in my car, on the ride home (which sometimes isn't the a-to-b route, but more of an a-g-y-q-m-e-b route, if you catch my drift. Especially if there's a good song on the radio.), without someone trying to talk me out of it.

So there you go, Mrs. Nurse Boy. You asked, I answered. You may not have wanted my answers, but you gave me something to blog about. For that I say "thank you".

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Not Much to Report

I know it's been a while since I blogged and frankly, it's because I'm taking a Blogiday.

That would be a blog+holiday in case you're having trouble following along. You really should bring your A-game when you read my blog. I'm just sayin'.

Anyway, there just isn't much going on of interest in my life right now. I'm crazy busy at work and more than a little stressed out. By the time I get home (or get done working after the kids are in bed), the last thing I want to do is lay my hands on the keyboard one more time.

Plus, the tendonitis in my thumb and my ulnar nerve pain is bad right now. Yes, that was a shameless bid for sympathy.

So..........unless Imperfect Dad decides to take over the reigns (there's a better chance of pigs flying through frozen hell), I may be scarce for a while.

Until then.........

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

It's 8 O'clock Somewhere.

Did you know that there is an ideal time to work on a car/boat/4-wheeler?

It just so happens that the PERFECT start-time occurs ONLY between 7:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

If you miss that window, you'll have to help your wife get the kids to bed...........OOPS! Did I just type that out loud?

Not that I would ever do that. NO, no, no. It's very self-sacrificing of me to go to the garage at that time. It's not to avoid the screaming, red-faced baby that fights sleep until it finally grabs him in it's steely claws. It's DEFINITELY not to avoid the "get your pj's on. Get your pj's on. GET YOU PJ'S ON OR YOU WILL BE GOING TO BED WITH A SORE FANNY IF I HAVE TO SAY IT ONE MORE TIME"-routine with AM.

No, I'm working on the car/boat/4-wheeler for Imperfect Mom. That's right. Even if she doesn't RIDE said 4-wheeler, and isn't really sure it's such a great idea to plan our summer entertainment around an activity that requires a bathing suit, it's still for her. You know, if I'm happy she's happy.

Something like that. I'm really martyr-like in that way.

So when I disappear into the garage between 7:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. 75% of the time, it's not because I don't enjoy the bedtime routine. It's for my wife.

Because I love her.

Signed - MotH

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Broken Spring

I hate to say this.

Really I do.

But sometimes you have to call a duck a duck.

Spring is a tease.

Hard freeze tomorrow night. It was near 70 today.

I guess I should be glad my toenail polish chose today to chip, since I won't be in sandals for several more days.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Sick Kids, Presentations and Insomnia - OH MY!

I'll address these issues in the order in which I listed them..........

Sick kids: So much for the adenoid removal. AM is sick AGAIN. Double ear infection and a sinus infection. He's obviously on the road to recovery, though, since I'm up (or, more accurately, out of bed) at 5-something in the morning giving him a breathing treatment.

Scary side note: the pharmacy mixed his antibiotic wrong and he ended up getting nearly a triple dose of it the first two times I gave it to him. I was NOT a happy mama bear.

Presentations: Two today. They will be my third and fourth of the week. I am the "administrator" of a new internet-based program our IT guy created and in charge of training. Usually the account reps handle it (this is the "basic" training), but these are our "big" accounts and they want me to do it.

The fact that these are some of our "big" accounts does not a calm heart make.

I'm confident that I can handle it, but still nervous. MotH keeps telling me "they are just people" and that's true.

If only I had something to wear that made me look professional and helped give me a little confidence boost.

Isn't that silly? I know clothes don't "make" the girl, but they sure do help.....ya know? It's hard to feel confident when you feel like a slump.

Yes, I had a baby. They don't know that. Whatever "magic" pregnancy weaved on my poor body has left me with this lump of dough stuck to my abdomen that would make the Dough Boy jealous (if anyone pokes it, I will not be held responsible for how I react. Nor will I giggle.).

Lump of dough = clothing that does not fit. I want a suit, but canNOT find a jacket that fastens without it making me look like a linebacker in the shoulder area and a stuffed sausage in the belly.

Sexxxxxxxay! (For the record, I don't want to be sexy........but I do not want to be a libido killer.)

Insomnia: this one is what brings me to my knees. I HAVE to have eight hours of sleep. Not seven. Not seven hours and forty-five minutes. Eight.

Insomnia means (duh) that I don't get eight. To be exact, I dozed for about two hours last night.

I have been on antibiotics for several weeks to try and get rid of a sinus infection and apparently this new one causes insomnia. I had a bottle of ambien left from the last anti that gave me insomnia, but I ran out. Night before last. So there was nothing for last night.

See the problem here? Sick kid (worry) + presentation and lack of confidence-boosting clothing (stress) + insomnia (insanity) = heck, I don't know but it's not pretty.

Thank heavens for albuterol, girdles and coffee.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Schedules

NR has a terribly inconvenient schedule.

I dare not complain TOO loudly, since he sleeps through the night, but the child is turning us into heathens!

Let me explain.

We go (or, more accurately, went) to the 9:30 a.m. service at church.

I'm am horrified to admit that we haven't been in over a month.

Some of our absenteeism is legit: MotH's grandmother passed and we had to help move her stuff out, sick kids, etc...

However, NR's schedule plays a big part in our missing church.

I seriously don't know how other people do it.

The problem is that NR gets up between 7-7:15'ish each morning. He eats. The longest he'll go between bottles is 2 1/2 hours, which means he's hungry about 15 minutes after service starts. I end up in the nursing mothers room feeding him until the sermon is over.

Staying in the sanctuary and feeding him is NOT an option. He is an incredibly LOUD baby when he's hungry (or when I pause to burp him).

Yes, there is a tv in there. No, you can't hear it and I'm quite awful at reading lips. Plus, I'm rather preoccupied with feeding a baby.

We could go to the 11:00 a.m. service, but he'd be hungry half-way through and we'd go through the same routine.

The church has a nursery, of course, but I'm not quite ready to put him in there yet. Have you seen some of the stuff that comes out of the babies in the church nursery?

The fact that they are there with their rainbow assortment of various bodily fluids is a topic for another day, but they are there.

So, I feel sort of stuck. I find myself thinking "what's the point?". I basically go so I can feed my kid in a small room upstairs. Heck, I can stay home and feed him. I'm not getting anything out of the message, because I'm not THERE for the message.

I haven't even seen our new sanctuary!

Oh, and one more minor issue. I really dislike going to the nursing mothers room. I've ended up in there three times and each time I'm the only bottle-feeding mother in there. I feel like a leper. I'm sure I'm imagining it, but it seems like they look down on me (I'm still rather sensitive about the whole breastfeeding issue).

I feel like an intruder. Maybe I should just stick him under my shirt and sneak him a bottle so I fit in better.

We are going to try and go to the 11am service tomorrow. Wish us luck.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Honey, I Think We're Breaking the Kid

Forgive how scatterbrained this post is. My brain is a direct reflection of how my weekend has gone. I'm sure there are those among you that can sympathize.

Here goes...........

When we bought out house 11 years ago, we intended to live here about five years.

I'm guessing you already see a problem.

There are two problems with where we live:

1 - the street in front of our house is quite busy (it wasn't when we moved in). So busy that it simply isn't safe for us to use the front yard.

2 - this is probably the biggest problem. There are NO kids living near us. At least none near AM's age.

When I was growing up, my parents used to shoo us outside as soon as it was warm enough for our eyelashes not to freeze. We rode bikes, roller skated, played in the sandbox, played kickball/baseball/whateverball, until the "streetlights came on".

I'm guessing I'm not alone in these childhood experiences.

Looking back, I know that this meant my mother could make dinner in peace. My father could relax after work. Both of them had hobbies and interests that didn't begin and end with their kids.

It meant I learned how to throw a ball, build a bike ramp, ride a skateboard and play a mean Princess Leia/Daisy Duke depending on our mood that day.

There were scads of kids and we played until we were as worn out as the knees on our jeans.

Unfortunately, AM is not having any of these experiences. If we want him to ride a bike, we have to pack he and the bike up, drive them to a park, and let him ride. If we want him to go outside and burn energy, we have to provide the entertainment. If he wants to play with a friend, we have to go get one and take him back home (or arrange for a "play date" at the park).

While I don't mind meeting at the park, or picking up a buddy for the day, I do mind that these are his ONLY opportunities to play with a friend.

Summer is quickly approaching and with it "I'm bored"-season. Sure, I can take him to the pool, but unless I intend to do something to entertain him every day I'm home, he'll end up inside watching tv. Or playing a video game.

I do NOT want another summer like this.

While I'm sure it's not PC for me to wish I could shove my kid outside, the truth is that he NEEDS to have many of the same experiences I had as a child. He needs to get dirty, learn how to do the monkey bars and skin his knees.

He needs buddies. Other boys he can rough around with. I NEED a way for him to burn energy. He needs to play.

The lack of kids in our neighborhood is effecting his development. For heaven's sake, the kid can't ride a bike without training wheels and it's completely due to the fact that there is NO place for him to ride and nobody for him to ride with.

So now our desire to move has gone from "eh, we'll do it someday" to "this needs to happen NOW".

We have friends that live in subdivisions FULL of kids and those kids have the childhood I had (or something similar). When their kids get home from school, they are outside playing with neighborhood pals.

When AM gets home from school, he sits. Yes, I go outside with him, but the reality is that I can't be outside shooting baskets, inside making dinner and inside with the baby all at the same time.

Plus, I'm mom. I'm not a guy buddy he can go get dirty with.

Is any of this making sense?

Moth wants to move someplace with land, but at this stage it's more important (he agrees) to get AM into a neighborhood where he can have a more active childhood. Eventually, NR will need a "boy" outlet too.

We need to make this happen. Fast.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Straight talk for evangelicals

I think this article is, for the most part, spot-on. Particularly this paragraph:

The evangelical investment in moral, social, and political issues has depleted our resources and exposed our weaknesses. Being against gay marriage and being rhetorically pro-life will not make up for the fact that massive majorities of Evangelicals can't articulate the Gospel with any coherence. We fell for the trap of believing in a cause more than a faith.

In short, I too think that in many cases, American "evangelicals" have allowed themselves to be so distracted by social issues that they fail to approach doctrine and the Gospel with equal zeal. Without that foundation........of knowing what we know and why we know it.......we are just a group of people with a lot of opinions.

I would say "enjoy reading this", but I don't think there is much to enjoy about it.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0310/p09s01-coop.html

***I'm adding a disclaimer: I may not agree with nor regularly read the Christian Science Monitor, but I firmly agree with many of the points made in this article.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Beauty is pain

I have a new hobby.

Typically I am a hobbier hobbiest (yes, I know that neither of those are real words). I like to try a lot of different hobbies, but rarely stick with one for more than a few months.

That sound you just heard was MotH yelling "YOU CAN SAY THAT AGAIN".

Humph.

However, I'm afraid this "hobby" is here to stay. In fact, it will likely require MORE effort as time goes on.

What is this new hobby, you ask? (ask....go ahead. I'll wait.)

Plucking strange, wiry hairs from places on my face that should NOT be growing strange, wiry hairs. (Now that I think about it, should ANY part of my face grow strange, wiry hair? I think not.)

What. Is up. WITH THAT?!

Can I get a few nods of sympathy from my fellow sisters?

Men have NO idea what we do. Sure, I could go "au naturel", but really......does anyone want that?

Do I REALLY want my boys complaining that mom gave them WHISKER BURN?!

Perish the thought.

Do you know the only thing WORSE than having to pluck these errant hairs?

Pinching the skin and wounding myself. Nothing quite announces to the world "Hey, I have the beginnings of a mustache" like a bloody little scab just high enough on the lip that you could never convince someone that you bit yourself.

It's almost as attractive as the tell-tale scab above my eye that announces to society that I pluck my eyebrows in a bid to avoid Bert-dome (of Bert and Ernie fame).

But do you know what REALLY chaps my hide?

My mother, when I rant about this, says "oh, I get one out of my mole and I just shave it off".

Thanks, mom. Clearly I get my sasquatch genes from dad's side.

But hey, pain for beauty doesn't stop there! Oh no, there is more.

Let's add to the list.....

*burning my neck/forehead/STOMACH! with a curling iron
*getting hair sucked into the back of the hair dryer (and enjoying the resulting charred hair smell)
*poking my eye with the mascara wand
*having to fish eyeshadow pieces off my eyeball
*shaving the bikini area (which is ironic, since my "area" hasn't seen the sunny side of a bikini in 15 years. Be grateful.)
*shaving, exfoliating and otherwise sanding the rough skin off of my feet for sandal season
*trying to blow dry my hair with a round brush. Trust me, that's not a mistake I'll make again. I thought I'd need the jaws of life to get that dang brush out of my hair. The only other time my hair tangled that fast was when my brother stuck one of those cars you pull back and it drives forward in my hair.

And that's just what I came up with in five minutes!

My sister was recently telling me about a lip plumping lip gloss she bought. I told her "you know, they put cayenne pepper in that to irritate your lips and make them swell". She said "I wondered what that was! I'm afraid to kiss the baby with it on because it MIGHT BURN HIS FACE like it does my lips.".

Yet has she stopped USING this lip irritant? No, because BEAUTY IS PAIN.

Is any of this SANE? We scoff at people that willingly inject themselves with toxins in a bid for a smooth forehead, yet don't we (okay, me) secretly think "I wonder if that works....." when we stare in the mirror?

I'm telling you, men have NO idea the type of maintenance that is required.

Oh, and next time you see me and I have a scab above my lip, I jabbed myself with a chopstick.

Really.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Dropping in to say "hi"

I'm crazy busy with a project at work and by the time I am home (or by the time I stop working for the day), I don't want to be anywhere near a computer.

Hopefully things will settle down soon!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Derailed

I had a post forming in my mind and I was suddenly derailed. I was going to make an Ode to MotH post (borrowing from the two fantastic posts made by Mr. and Mrs. Nurse Boy) and suddenly feel a very strong need to share something else.

The irony is that I can't think of a single person that reads this blog that doesn't already know this story, or a version of it. Yet I still feel compelled to make this post, so here goes.

I was raised in a Christian home. My parents saw to it that we regularly attended church and many of my fondest childhood memories involve church camps and retreats.

I had many "bursts" of spirituality. I would get emotional during songs and was moved during special church services. I considered myself a Christian.

MotH had a similar upbringing and I knew enough about God's wishes to know I needed to marry someone with a similar faith.

Unfortunately, neither of us were living our faith by that time. We married and then didn't step foot in another church for several years. We both drifted far from God.

Fast forward to the year 2000 when I found out I was pregnant. Actually, fast forward to July 10, 2000. That is the day my water broke on AM's twin when I was only 20 weeks pregnant.

We were told by many doctors that the chances of either baby surviving were extremely low. I was given a "goal" of 24 weeks (the point of viability) and parked in a hospital room.

On the morning of August 1, I woke up and got ready for breakfast. A new perinatologist (high-risk ob) came in and did an exam. I knew something was wrong since they hadn't done an exam since I was admitted (risk of infection). I was soon to find out that I had partially delivered our daughter.

She lived only a short while and died in the arms of a nurse.

AM arrived that afternoon. I was exactly 23 weeks pregnant. I now know that the reason they didn't deliver him via c-section was that they felt he had virtually no chance of survival and didn't want me to go through major surgery. We were told that the best we could hope for was a sign from him that he was a fighter.

He came out and actually cried. Such a small, delicate sound. Nothing like the loud, gusty wails of a newborn. He sounded more like a mouse.

He was rushed to the NICU and I was taken to the OR (I began to bleed badly). When I woke up in recovery, I expected to be told that he was dead. I was shocked to hear that he was still fighting in the NICU.

Over the next couple of days we got a crash course in extreme prematurity. I will never forget when the neonatologist came in my room and told me that AM's blood sugars were very high and that was nearly always an indication of a significant brain bleed (brain bleeds are the cause of many disabilities associated with prematurity).

We needed to make a decision. They could keep trying to save him, but the chances of him being "normal" (if he survived) were less than 10%. We would likely have a severly handicapped child (we were told he would likely be blind, deaf and brain damaged). Or we could choose to stop treatment and let him die peacefully.

I pray that none of you reading this is ever forced to make a decision like that.

My heart cried out to save my baby and that was, thankfully, the decision we made. Looking back, it's obvious to me that God was working on our hearts. At the time, I didn't see it. I just knew I wanted them to save my son.

That afternoon the doctor returned to my room and, in amazement, explained that AM did NOT have a brain bleed and that he had never seen that before (when blood sugars shot up).

After everyone left that day, I ended up on my knees crying out to the God I had virtually ignored for years. It was suddenly so clear to me that AM would survive ONLY by His will. Every medical evidence pointed to him dying or being severely disabled. We were given virtually NO hope that there would be any other kind of outcome. I was finally driven to the point where I had to hand it over to God.

The next part of my story may cause some of you to doubt my sanity. Some may pass off what I'm about to say as the fanciful imagination of a mother. I will only say that I know what I experienced and I know what happened.

I walked in to the NICU shortly after giving my son to God. As I approached AM's bed, I SAW the hands of God cradling my infant son and felt an overwhelming voice whisper to me "he will be okay, trust me". Flying in the face of everything medical science was telling us, my God told me AM would not only survive, but that he would be "okay".

Perhaps what God gave me this image to help me understand that He was there, I do not know. I DO know that AM was being held in the hands of an Almighty God that heard the cries of a desperate mother.

Over the next weeks and months, there were moments when we were told AM might not make it. I remember one evening I was visiting AM and he suddenly had a "spell" (blood O2 levels went way down and heart rate slowed dramatically). I stepped back as a team of medical personnel rushed to his bedside and proceeded to resuscitate my son (chest compressions and "bagging" him to force his lungs to open back up).

As I stood there with tears streaming down my face, that small voice whispered again to my soul "I promised he would be okay, trust me".

On November 22, 2000, we brought AM home. He is now a healthy, happy, "normal" eight year old.

He is exactly what God promised me he would be.

The story doesn't end there. Two years ago, I was in bed and suddenly felt the need to pray that God would remove from me the fear I had of getting pregnant again. As I laid there, I was suddenly overwhelmed by the peace of God. My fear was removed.

This time, the voice of my heavenly father told me that if I ever got pregnant again, things would be fine.

As most of you know, I delivered a healthy, full-term son on November 9, 2008. In fact, had he been delivered on his due date, he would have been born on the same day AM came home from the hospital.

As I stated at the beginning of this post, this was not the topic I had planned. I'm not sure why I feel compelled to write this, I only know that I had to.

I also feel that I have to address something people have skirted around but rarely asked. Why did God save my son but not my daughter?

I don't know the answer to that. However, I DO know this. She is with Him and our separation is only temporary. THAT gives me a peace that passes understanding. In His incredible love and mercy, He cares for her now and someday I will see her again. Our separation is only temporary. Isn't that amazing?

There are no goodbyes for those that find their rest in Christ.

I know that many of you read this because the majority of my posts are meant to be funny (I'll let you decide whether or not they are). However, if there is even ONE person that reads this that is unsure of their relationship with God, I will say this.

There is ONE God and He loves you like crazy. Christ died for YOU. Even though there are millions upon millions of people on this planet, He cares for YOUR concerns as intimately as a father cares for his beloved children. YOU are His child and He wants a relationship with you. If you don't have one with Him, ask Him to show you the way.

He loves YOU.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Life as Mii

So I finally created a Mii last night on the Wii.

All in all, it was okay. She doesn't quite have my hair, but she's close enough.

Then I fired up Wii Fit for the first time.

Things rapidly went downhill from there.

First MotH did his body "test". It told him he's overweight (for the record I disagree) and 47. He was less-than-pleased and I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Because if it said he's overweight, I knew it would only be worse for me.

It was worse. So very much worse.

Not only is it a blow to the ego to watch an electronic gadget declare me "obese", but must they also make an animated version of my huge self?

She danced. She ran. She sagged in defeat (stupid balance exercises).

She looked like Humpty Dumpty pre-fall.

Correction. I look like Humpty Dumpty pre-fall.

AM started asking "why is your Mii so fat, mom?". That was immediately followed by raucous laughter and yet another suggestion that I call Weight Watchers. He's a funny one, that boy of mine.

At least my Wii "age" is only 27.........a full 20 years YOUNGER than MotH's age of 47.

Of course that means that if our house catches fire, he's too old to drag my fat butt to safety.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Girlfriends

It is apparently an epidemic. Women yearning for close knit, meaningful female friendships.

I have become a Facebook addict and one of the "notes" currently making the rounds is "25 Random Things".

I've lost count of the number of women that have posted "I wish I had close girl friends I could spend time with/share with/etc...".

I used to think it was because I worked out of the home. That left me with little time to participate in mommy groups (MOPS and the like). I figured if only I stayed home, I would have those friendships.

However, many of the women who posted "I want a close friend"-like comments are stay-at-home moms, so I guess I was wrong.

We HAVE friends (lest you think we are trolls that nobody wants to spend time with) and MotH has buddies and he's happy with that. Yet I desire something deeper and more meaningful.

I think women just desire more intimate friendships.

Is it even reasonable to want a friendship like that? I remember my mom having close girlfriends when I was growing up. Is it the way we live our lives now?

I thought going to church would help and it certainly helped grow my circle of friends, but still that "close" friendship remains elusive (note: that is not WHY I started going to church, but I did think it would help to be around like-minded women).

I know I'm not alone in this and am curious what others think.

So here is my question: if so many of us are looking for the same thing, why aren't any of us finding it?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I hope Bob gets royalties........or at least a good tax break.

I'm probably the last person in America to connect these dots, but did Barrack Obama not STEAL his campaign slogan from a cartoon?

"Can we fix it? YES WE CAN!".

He totally ripped off Bob the Builder!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Cure for a Broken Funny Bone

So it turns out that there is a cure for a broken funny bone. Something guaranteed to make a mom snap out of a funk.

It's called the stomach flu.

Yep, nothing like buckets o' barf to take your mind of your troubles. Not my barf, mind you. AM's barf.

Solved another problem too. No homework today.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Broken Funny Bone

No, I'm not injured. Just be warned that this isn't a funny post.

My AM needs prayers. As those of you reading this know (and for the benefit of anyone, though I'm not sure who that would be, that doesn't know), AM has sensory issues with certain sounds. His main "triggers" are sudden, higher-pitched sounds that he can't control. In other words, if it's loud but he knows it's going to be loud (and when it will be loud), he's fine.

Unfortunately, babies and kids can just suddenly scream and he doesn't know when it will happen....and it causes him a LOT of anxiety. This is a result of being born waaaaay too early (born at 23 weeks weighing a staggering 1lb 2oz) and his little brain being barraged by more stimulus/sound then it was ready to cope with.

We knew that he would have a hard time when NR was born and took measures to try and help him cope.

He is doing better, though he still struggles quite a bit. I felt a tremendous amount of guilt for bringing this kind of anxiety into his life, but the reality is that he's got to learn how to cope. Not only at home, but in public as well.

Added to this is something most of you DON'T know. AM has really struggled in school. Since kindergarten, actually. He doesn't struggle with the actual subjects, but he has had very real problems staying on task. Initially we hoped it was a maturity thing that would work itself out. It hasn't worked itself out.

We were told, repeatedly, that he was at an extremely high risk for learning disabilities (including ADHD or ADD). In fact, it's one of the reasons we put him in private school. The public schools had his file "flagged" as high risk (he received speech and occupational therapy through the public schools from age 3-6). I wanted him to prove he DID have a problem, not have to try and prove he didn't (when they were already looking for problems).

This year was the "straw that broke the camels back", so to speak. AM is a pleaser and it really affects him when he disappoints someone, especially his parents or teacher. Therefore it was totally out-of-character for him to simply not care that he disappointed people when it came to school work. Completely out-of-character. Plus, it DID bother him.......it just didn't change anything.

He was officially diagnosed with ADD right after the start of the school year. I HATE even typing that, because there is so much "stigma" attached to it. It has been SO over-diagnosed that I have found people practically sneer at me when I mention he has it.

However, if I want people to pray for my son, I feel like they need to know what they are praying for. I'll just hope that people know me well enough to know I F-O-U-G-H-T this diagnosis for three years. It came to the point where I had to decide whether to keep denying there was a problem and let him fall behind, or swallow my hang-ups and get my child help. I chose the later and cried about it for two weeks.

Yes, before anyone asks, we decided to put him on medication (hence my two weeks of crying). It was one of the hardest things I've done as his parent, putting him on meds for something I knew would cause some people to think less of me as his mother. The reality is that he has something wrong with his brain. If he had diabetes or heart disease, I'd hardly expect him to just "get over it" and I can't expect him to get over this (though heaven knows we've tried).

We also started taking him to neurofeedback sessions (which, of course, insurance doesn't cover.......why would they cover something that might make it cheaper for them in the long run?) in hopes that it will help him get back off the medication.

The brain bleed he had as a baby, combined with the over stimulus of his brain, obviously did more damage then we realized. I cannot tell you how badly that hurts my heart. He beat more odds then we could have EVER hoped he would beat. To have him not beat this one hurts me down deep in that part of the heart that aches fiercely for our kids when they struggle. Perhaps it's selfish of me to have wished he'd beat one more odd, when God has already brought him through so much, but the truth is that he had to struggle so hard just to LIVE that I wanted things to be smooth sailing for him.

I do take comfort in the fact that God is working in this situation and will use it for good. It's still hard to see your child struggle.

So why am I posting about this now? AM's teacher has noticed problems again in the classroom starting several weeks ago. Last night she sent me an email and said her biggest concern was that he'd lost his "spark".

I knew he was struggling to adjust to NR at home, but didn't think it was affecting him at school. He walked around here for a few weeks simply not being himself. He just acted sad. I knew it was due to trying to figure out the new order of things. How he "fit" in this new family dynamic. He was an only child for eight years and this has been an enormous change for him. He's so sensitive to peoples' feelings that he would NEVER tell us he was mad/sad at us, but it was obvious he was.

To find out that he's even sad at school makes my heart clench.

How are these things related? His teacher believes that his current troubles in school are related to NR's birth and I tend to agree with her. I don't know if he's bringing homework home because it forces me to sit with him at the table (even though we play family games at night if his homework is done, so he actually gets MORE positive attention without homework) or if he's just so preoccupied with the changes going on at home that he can't focus at school.

Complicating things is the fact that NR IS just a baby and AM is eight. That means I can't just leave NR to give AM undivided attention to try and work through this. Babies need to be changed, fed, etc... Plus, a HUGE component of all of this is NR's crying. Luckily he's a happy baby, but when he cries it is VERY loud and AM reacts strongly. I know that's part of the problem with him staying on task at home, but what is the solution? If I sit in the kitchen with NR, AM is anxious that's he's so close. If I leave NR in the living room, he's unattended and will just cry from there.

Thankfully, things have improved in that area. AM no longer runs to his room and hides when NR starts to fuss. He just plugs his ears or puts his ear muffs on. He is starting to be interested in his little brother (talking to him more, asking about his day, etc...) where before there was indifference and even resentment (though he never said anything, his body language and the fact that he avoided NR spoke volumes).

Over the past week, and especially this past weekend, he started acting like himself again. Perhaps we've seen the worst, but he is still having a hard time in school.

So please just pray that he figures out how to cope with everything that's going on. And thank you for reading this VERY long post :).

Monday, January 12, 2009

Not Easier the Second Time Around

Turns out it's not any easier to watch my second baby get his shots then it was to watch my first baby.

Is there any sound in this world that causes a mom's heart to constrict more then the sound of her baby's gut wrenching sobs? I think not.

I need chocolate.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Paging Sir Mix A Lot

There is a countdown in my head. At the end of this countdown, I will return to the office.

I fear I will return wearing a Hefty trash bag accessorized by a bungee cord belt.

Why? Because it fits (they go all the way up to 55 gallon). And black is slimming.

I have steadfastly refused to buy any clothes for my post-pregnancy body. I am the "before" on any given episode of What Not to Wear. Sweat pants? Check. Oversized (though not nearly as "over" as I'd like) sweatshirt? Check.

My theory is that I will be more motivated to lose the weight with my clothes waiting for me. Only they aren't so much "waiting for me" as they are "mocking" me.

I guess I'm grateful that my extra fluff is due to having a baby. People tend to give you a free pass when it comes to post-baby weight. That and they really aren't all that interested in how I look when I'm holding a perfectly adorable bundle of baby boy cuteness.

Now, some of you might say that this is the perfect time of year for me to be battling baby weight, right? After all, it's a New Year. Make a resolution! Time for a new beginning!

Resolutions suck. Plus, I think carrying around a resolution adds a couple of pounds, so I'm better off without one. Are you following my logic?

I've lost weight before and know "how" to do it. I have a game plan that works. I just don't wanna play right now.

To my way of thinking, I should go back to my pre-pregnancy weight simply by eating what I ate pre-pregnancy. Right? I mean it was good enough then, why not now (even if I wasn't all that happy with my weight then)?

Only it's not working. I'm afraid it's going to require something drastic. Painful even.

Something like........I can't believe I'm saying this.......exercise. My fingers trembled a little just typing it.

I was planning to start walking with NR once it started getting warmer outside. I'll be honest. I thought I'd be back to my normal weight and would just need a little toning. Or maybe lose some bonus weight.

Yeah, that's not happening. Unless it doesn't start getting warmer until, say, July. I might be closer to my original weight by then.

So, I have to figure something out. I know. My "motivation" practically leaps off the screen.

I need ideas. Fun'ish workouts. I wish I had a workout partner, but my sis moved just far enough away that it's too inconvenient for us to workout together. I've tried to convince MotH to get a Wii, so that I can then get a Wii Fit (hey, it's cheaper then a gym membership and my sis is using it to lose her baby weight), but he wants to wait until we have money....bleh bleh bleh.

OH! I forgot to add a BIG (no pun intended) component to my approaching-manic need to lose weight. We just bought a boat. Nothing fancy, but it will require that I wear a bathing suit this summer (it's also the reason we don't have money for a Wii. MotH is busy fiddling with the stupid thing. I hope he enjoys his new prop while his big ol' wife traumatizes everyone from the bow of the SS Imperfect.).

So, in the interest of not scaring small children (mine or those of a perfect stranger), random fishermen or sun perch, I really must make some changes.

Or maybe I'll just wear the Baby Bjorn all summer and hope NR distracts everyone from looking too closely at mom.