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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Let's Get To The Bottom of The Issue

Things are going well on many fronts in my life at the moment. The babies are good. I've settled down into my stay at home mom routine. Finances are ticking along. Pretty much everything is as it should be with one glaring exception.

My relationship with my husband is completely falling apart. And I don't know how to stop the bleeding at this point. I can't tell you what is wrong. Neither of us can put our finger on one event or one moment or one conversation that is the root of the issue. It's just very frustrating. I would go into more details, but it would only be from my perspective which obviously one sided. But, if we happen to cross your mind, please say a prayer for us. I am not going anywhere. This is where I belong. I'm supposed to be married to this man and I'm supposed to be mother to these two boys and this is my life and I love it. I'm in the long run on this and I'm sure we will get something figured out.

In the meantime, I'm doing what I can to make things right again. The third baby issue was settled months ago from my perspective, but it keeps upsetting my husband. So, I spent all day yesterday cleaning out the storage room under the stairs and made a heap of baby furniture, Boppys, Bumbos, baby swings, changing tables, and the baby girl decor we had been given before we knew Elliott was a boy. I asked him to put everything on Craigslist for me. The only thing I haven't been able to part with yet is a fleece sleepbag covered in pink elephants. I'm sure I'll be able to let that go too before too long. And I only teared up for a few seconds. If this is what it will take to show him that the baby issue is settled, I'm okay with letting go of these material things.

We'll see what happens from here.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Birthday Reminder

I celebrated my birthday a few weeks, but due to being sick, we have been holed up in our little yellow house riding out a very persistent round of roseola. As a result, birthday gifts and cards have been trickling in from friends and church family Sunday by Sunday.

It always means so much when someone goes out of the way to encourage you or let you know you're appreciated. I received a card this birthday that has ended up being an encouraging, but also very sobering reminder that someone is always watching and observing the decisions I make and the actions I take.

This is what the card said:
"Dear Laura - Happy birthday! I am so very thankful for you. As a mother of daughters, your example of how to be a Godly wife and mother, is such, that I encourage them to learn from you. May you continue to increase in love for the brethren. Blessings! Love - KR."

Needless to say, that was a total "Wow..." moment in my life. I needed that encouragement and reminder because not only do I have two beautiful sons who are with me every day, watching how I treat them and how I interact with their dad and developing their own definition of how marriage and parenthood and relationships are supposed to work...but I also have other people's children watching me to see how things are supposed to work in marriage, parenthood, and relationships.

I have the note displayed on my bulletin board in the kitchen where I can see it and read it every single day and be reminded to watch my actions, watch my words, and be mindful of how many people are watching. And not watching for the purpose of being able to say "HA! We KNEW you were a bad parent!" or waiting for me to make a mistake. Not at all. They are watching me because I have done things or said things in the past that were encouraging to them.

And, boy, I am THANKFUL for that! That is a HUGE encouragement to ME. Good incentive to keep enduring.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Acknowledgement

The holidays always bring me out of my day to day routine and thrust me into happenings in the community. I love it for the most part because I get to catch up with people I haven't seen in awhile.

Tonight was a good example. I haven't officially worked since Sept 2010, but my former employer still treats me like family and I got a special invitation to the women's Christmas gift exchange. I loved being able to see everyone and visit without having to disrupt their workday like I usually do whenever I want to see them. Some things have changed a lot. And some things never change. I found myself able to just thoroughly enjoy the evening. It's something that has changed for me since I had time to step away from the career side of myself and embrace the domestic / mom / wife side of myself.

I think being a mother has made me a nicer person in short.

And, in thinking about what has changed so much for me it boils down to this simple thing...I find myself wanting to acknowledge others. Wanting to make the effort to say hello and invest a few minutes in conversation. And, sometimes, realizing that there is opportunity to encourage by going a step further than a hello. It's very enjoyable to find these moments.

I also realized that sometimes, the most hurtful thing I can do someone else is to simply not acknowledge them or their presence. Examples would be glancing over during my grocery shopping and then pretending like I didn't see someone so I don't have to stop what I'm doing and say hi. Or, not stopping my conversation to say hello to someone when they walk up to me. Not smiling when I make eye contact with someone. It's almost worse than being snappy or pointed in some ways because at least the other person exists when they do enough to get under your skin. Being able to completely block someone out can be the most hurtful thing ever.

So, I'm working on it. Going beyond polite or having to do something into really wanting to do something that says "HEY! I'm glad to see you. I hope you're having a great day. Maybe there's something I can do to help if you're not having a great day."

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Isn't It Ironic...

I have been scanning HUNDREDS of negatives this week and stumbled upon an envelope of camp pictures circa 1999. So many memories and so many people I never see at this stage of life.

I had my heart set on one person in particular so he makes many appearances on my computer screen these days. Normally, I just keep skipping along, but today, at the same time the pictures were popping up on my screen, Pandora threw this song into the mix and when I closed my eyes, I was back at camp laying on my back on the basketball court watching the stars. And that person was laying next to me singing this song to me.

I now know that this particular relationship meant the world to me at the time...and it was just one giant ego boost to that particular person and that I never meant anything special to him at all.

But dang it, that song has a way of taking me back even if it's just for a few minutes.


Back to the negatives! And a new station on Pandora, me thinks.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Towing The Line

Sweet Baby Elliott is fast approaching his 9 month birthday and what a crazy week it has been for him! The side roll / side plank combo has evolved into being able to sit up by himself and his snail pace scooting across the floor has turned into a speedy army crawl. He disappears from view in a matter of seconds and his most favorite place to go in the entire house is Jackson's room. I have found him several times happily sitting in the middle of Jack's floor surrounded by toys. And today, I peeked into his room at naptime and found him STANDING UP in his crib looking very pleased with himself. I think naptimes will prove a little difficult until the novelty of standing up has worn off.

In light of how big the boys are getting and taking my health and age into consideration, we need to make a decision about the possibility of Baby #3. Not in the sense of trying right away, but more along the lines of getting it on the schedule. It's something I have been thinking about and praying about for several months. I just feel like we are supposed to have one more baby and after being lost in my own thoughts about it, I finally reached out to Pete last week to check in and see where he is on the subject.

He was pretty supportive of the idea on a verbal front, but after watching him for the past week, something hasn't been right in his countenance or attitude. Lots of frustration, anger, bad language, easily provoked, etc... and last night, he got upset with me for stepping in when he and Jackson were doing their oil and water Custer's Last Stand. I probably should have stayed out of it and let them work it out, but I had a migraine, I had just gotten Elliott to sleep, and the yelling was getting really LOUD.

After I got Jack into bed, Pete said a few things that caused me to stop talking (which is a feat in and of itself) and this morning, I felt a stirring to just reach out again. I decided to send the following text: "Hey Babe. It's pretty obvious that you do not want anymore children. Rather than have it continue to be a point of contention or leverage during arguments, I just wanted to say that I am thankful for the two boys we do have and that I won't bring the subject up again." His two word response was "Thank you."

And now, I am sad. I know it was the right thing to do, but it still makes my eyes tear up when I think about how I won't ever feel our sweet little baby moving around inside of me or what it feels like to see my baby's sweet face for the first time. So many amazing experiences that I thought I would get to enjoy and relish one more time. And now, it looks like that isn't going to be the case.

 I am just asking the Lord to help me get over this and not be upset or resentful about this as the years go by.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Making Progress

I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in 2003. I had been tested for hypothyroidism a handful of times prior to being diagnosed beginning around sixteen years of age. My TSH levels have NEVER been outside of the "normal" range so it was certainly the Lord intervening on my behalf that led to that diagnosis because the doctor based it on my symptoms as opposed to my test results.

I started taking Synthroid shortly after diagnosis and my dosage has been adjusted 3 or 4 times over the past 9 years. I was off the medication for about 4 months when I lived in the UK because my GP / doctor wasn't comfortable refilling my prescription since he didn't diagnose me. He gave me a bottle of anti-depressants instead and told me to come back in six months to see if my numbers reflected my diagnosis. I knew the numbers wouldn't show anything so on my first visit home, I got my meds refilled in the states and never went back to the GP again. In that 4 month time period, my symptoms came flooding back and the worst day that I can remember involved having huge waves of nausea hitting me, heat flashes rolling up my body from my toes through the top of my head, being so dizzy I could barely stand up, followed by being completely disoriented while riding on the bus to get to work. I managed to stagger to the front of the bus but I couldn't stay upright and ended up slamming my cheekbone into one of the poles on the bus. The driver finally stopped and let me out and as soon as the cold air hit my face, I dropped to the sidewalk and stayed in a kneeling position while everyone got off the bus. I'm sure I looked like I had just had too much to drink the night before, but one woman stayed with me until the color came back into my cheeks. The bus stop was about 1/2 mile from my office so I still had to walk to work and ended up being about 20 minutes late which was VERY frowned upon. Thankfully, my manager could see it in my face that things were just not right.

Hypothyroidism for me has been a journey of ups and downs. The medication would work pretty well for a few years and then we would need to adjust. I have been on 150 mcg of Synthroid and I was VERY hesitant to go any higher in dosage because Synthroid (among other side effects) can cause bone density loss. I had begun to experience a lot of joint pain in my hands and feet...to the point that I couldn't hold a pen or use my sewing scissors or type on the computer without having to wear a brace. My feet were hurting to the point that they would ache at night when I was trying to sleep and sometimes, the pain would cause me to wake up in the middle of the night. I was taking 800 mcg of Ibuprofen each night to help me sleep. And, after diligently following Weight Watchers online for 8 weeks, I had actually gained a pound. I had swelling in my face, hands, feet, legs, and stomach to the point that I couldn't wear my wedding ring any longer. I was also experiencing migraine headaches several times a week.

I finally realized that all of these things were hypothyroidism symptoms! I shouldn't be experiencing ANY of these things, in my opinion, because I've been on my medication and have been diligent in watching what I eat and drink. I decided to do some research and after reading some great books and researching my medication options, I switched from Synthroid to Armour about 3 weeks ago.

In that three weeks, I have lost 7lbs. My face, hands, feet, legs, and stomach are no longer swollen. My joints have stopped hurting COMPLETELY. I haven't had a migraine in almost a week. I am sleeping at night. I don't have any fuzziness in my thinking. I am able to concentrate on what I'm doing. I just feel GOOD.

I'm excited about these changes, but I'm even more excited to see where I am 6 months down the road. Do I think Armour is a cure-all? No. But, for me, it is the missing piece needed to round out the good habits I have developed and the things I was already doing to make sure I had things under control healthwise. So, if I can keep up my end of the bargain, hopefully, my broken thyroid can meet me halfway and I can finally fit into my GAP jeans from my freshman year of college (which was the smallest I have ever been since going through puberty at age 11)...140 lbs is the smallest I have been since I was 11. Wow.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Smack In The Face

I hope that if you were to look at my life now, you would never guess that I kind of went off the rails during my college days. It's easy to gloss over that time in my life now because it's been a decade and so much has changed....but I'm watching someone I love with all my heart going through a similar derailment and last night, I laid it all on the table and shared everything that I believe the Lord has given me to share in terms of cautions, encouragement, and correction.

And now, we wait. And hope in the Lord because He is the ONLY one who can stop that train at this point. I certainly do not have a lot of hope in the person because the flesh is so weak in these times of temptation.

I love you, J. I hope you make the right decisions and don't allow your life to become swept away. You have too much to lose at this point.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Soccer Widow

Soccer Widow

I am working through something that is so trivial when I actually put it into words, but it is still making me annoyed / disappointed.

Pete played soccer during the spring season with a bunch of guys we know (mostly through church.) Sounds like fun on the surface, right? Well, it wasn't. Not for him and certainly not for me. I was in my last month of pregnancy when the season officially kicked off and Elliott was born at the very end of February. Newborn babies, a 1.5 year old, and soccer practice / soccer games just do not mix. I found myself completely alone in the house every Saturday (pretty much all day), every practice night (two - three per week), whenever the guys wanted to review the games on video, and/or whenever the guys wanted to go to dinner after the game. It probably wouldn't have been so bad if it had been limited to these (too many) activities, but then there was the soccer spillover, as I like to call it.

Saturdays just wore Pete out. He's in his thirties, not used to playing that intensely, and every little thing would provoke him so by the time he arrived home from the game, he would have to spend a few hours decompressing and ragging on the other players, the other team, the ref, the crowd, WHOMEVER got on his nerves that day. I am sure it annoyed me more than it should have due to the sleep deprivation, raging hormones, mastitis, and other baby related stuff, but let me just tell you that it was one of the most discouraging seasons of my married life.

On top of that, Pete started missing church on Sundays because he needed to sleep in to recover from Saturday. On the rare occasions that we made it out to my parents house for sunday dinner, he would either fall asleep in the recliner or go shut himself up in the music room. IF he talked to anyone for any length of time, it was to my two brothers who also played on the team which was like the saturday ragging session intensified. Again, DISCOURAGING.

So, by the end of the season, Pete was beginning to see that he left that soccer field angry and upset with people over the STUPIDEST things. He came home after the last game, sat down with me, and stated that he didn't think it was good for him to play and that he was not going to play in the fall season. I wholeheartedly approved and thanked him profusely and have reminded him of this position from time to time over the summer. Each time it came up, he was adament that he was NOT going to play.

And then, he committed to the team again. And THEN came home to tell me that he had committed. No discussion. No asking my opinion. Just "Yeah, sure guys! Sounds great!" I was not very happy about this...so, another discussion ensued. I shared everything I have shared here to which he said that he wanted to pray about it and he would let me know what he came up with at the end. So, he then told the team captain that it wasn't peaceable for him to play this season and THEN came home to tell me what had happened. I was so estatic that he had decided not to play.

But, then, he started talking about how much he was going to resent me if he didn't play. And he started talking about how it was his decision to make. And about how he just needed some time to himself every week. I have seriously had to fight back some major annoyance / wanting to choke someone during these conversations.

I pleaded with him to please not sign up again. I talked about my concerns. About the time it takes away from our family and our extended family. About how much it disrupts our ability to have people over to visit and to eat dinner on Fridays. About how much it influenced him not attending church each week.

And yet, he decided to do it. And every single time something comes up and I realize that I am either not going to be able to commit to doing it / helping with it / going to it / etc... OR I realize that I'm going to have to reach out to my family and beg for someone to help me keep up with the boys (when I feel like it's Pete's job to do), I get ANNOYED. Majorly annoyed.

So, you all pray for me, please. Otherwise, it's going to be a VERY long soccer season.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Clarity

....is that moment when you realize that you are going to HAVE to let go of something you have been holding onto in order to move forward with the things God is wanting to do for you, through you, and in you.

Monday, August 13, 2012

It's The Little Things

I just introduced Jackson to the joy that is a Peanut Butter and Marshmallow Creme sandwich (aka The Fluffernut) and he is DEVOURING it. Not just picking at it like he usually does with sandwiches, but decimating each morsel of bread, spread, and creme. In between bites, he runs over and says, "Mmmmm. Like this, Mommy. Goooooood."





My work here is done.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Wowza

After being a saleswoman for an entire week now, how in the world to people who do this for a living handle REJECTION so well?

Pete is the project manager for our local Chamber of Commerce Member Directory which goes to print in December. In the meantime, he / we need to reach out to 450+ members and see if they wish to purchase any ad space in the print directory and/or online. We have reached out to approximately 1/3 of the list in the past week which is good and we have made sales which is good. But, neither of us like "selling" things (fundraisers, sales, etc...) and we both have a hard time bouncing back from a "no" (especially the ugly no as opposed a nice, but firm no thank you)

I have had to go with Pete on most of the sales visits this week which means our babies have either been with my family or with their Auntie Janice. They are doing okay, but we are starting to see some stress / anxiety from Jackson - worrying about when we will be back and wanting to go with us. When we arrived home today, he was standing on his window seat, looking out the window for us. He has just wanted to be held and carried around and tonight he asked if I could sleep in his baby bed with him. So, tomorrow, we are not doing ANYTHING unless it involves the babies.

Elliott's first tooth has FINALLY broke through after two solid months of low grade temps and excessive drooling. It's the cutest little thing I have ever seen because he breaks into his huge gummy smile and now there is a teeny white bump poking up along the bottom gum. He seems to be pretty happy about the whole outcome. Hopefully, several more will follow in quick succession.

I went in for bloodwork today. I am feeling like I do when my thyroid is not cooperating. My face and hands have been swollen for the past week and I've gained about 6 lbs this week. Running a low grade temp, feeling extremely tired, and sick to my stomach most of the time. My lab results show a little dehydration, but my TSH and Free 4 levels were in the normal range and haven't moved too much from my last test in April so I will just stick with my current dosage and try to clean up my eating to counteract the unexplained weight gain. My nutritionist advised me to only eat fruit, veggies, and fish when things get out of whack, so I will have to make myself to do that over the next few weeks.

Sometimes, it seems that if it's not one thing...it's another. ;)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Patience, Patience!

Yesterday was a long day. I spent about 7 hours in the car by the time everything was said and done and we started the day around 5:30am. I have never been more excited for bedtime in recent memory than I was last night!

Elliott had other plans for the evening, however, and managed to wake himself up 3 times between 12am and 6am. I realized around 3:30am that my eyes were/are  hurting, my head was/is throbbing, my throat was/is aching, and my stomach was hurting from all the drainage that was/is pouring down my throat. Guess who is the latest succumber to this never ending virus that continues to make the rounds of our family and friends? This gal.

So, we stayed home from church this morning. In addition to me not feeling well, both boys have streaming noses and a low grade temp. And Pete is just worn out from watching the boys yesterday...writing that sentence made me giggle on the inside so I feel slightly more upbeat now. I'm going to finish cleaning the kitchen before the upswing goes away.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Wallyball

My body is trying to send me a message. I am too old and out of shape to be out on a wallyball court with a bunch of high school and college aged children. But, my brain tells me that if I will just push through another few weeks, I will be able to hold my own. What I mean by hold my own is hit the ball at least 75% of the time and not close my eyes while doing so. (Aim high, right?)

So, why is a thirty something year old out playing sports with people a decade younger you might be asking...interesting story. I will let you know the outcome in a few weeks.

In other news, Elliott and Jackson are both still under the weather and I am beginning to feel a little scratchiness in my throat as well, but Mom doesn't have time to be sick so we're just going to push through. I am scanning pictures of my baby brother while the boys nap. After they wake, we'll head out to my mom's house for a few hours. Then, back into town so I can meet up with one of my friends for dinner - she also happens to be my OB so it is going to be very nice to see her outside of me having a baby. Tomorrow, I am headed to Elk City for a funeral. One of my sweet friends lost her mother to lymphoma on Wednesday morning after a year long battle. Praying for their family and asking for the Lord to bring peace to their hearts.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Husband

Pete and I have been together for nine years now. He still manages to find ways to let me know how much he loves me. The latest gesture happened last night. He came home from church, took one look at my exhausted face, and informed me that he was going to take care of Elliott during the night so I could have one decent night of rest. Needless to say, I went to sleep as fast as I could and when I woke up at 8:15am, I felt like an almost new person.

I don't know very many men who are so willing to pitch in with all of the little day to day details that go into raising babies. I'm just very thankful to have a partner in this crazy journey who loves to cook, knows which laundry is okay for him to wash and which articles of clothing are best left for me to handle, doesn't mind changing diapers, and never complains about how many times I send him to the store because I forgot to get something on my list.

We don't have as much time for the two of us as we are accustomed to having which is requiring a conscious effort on both parts to make better use of the limited time we do have, but I think as long as we are remembering to make and look for the little gestures of love, we are going to be just fine.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Rounding the corner!

So pleased to report that Jack slept through from 7:30pm to 8am! He is much better this morning...as evidenced by the entire bottle of Comet he sprinkled all over the bathroom while I was in the shower! Oh well. I would rather have him feeling well and getting into little boy mischief as opposed to him not feeling well. He is sitting on his blanket at my feet playing with his meercat. We are watching the cycling at the Olympics at the moment and he turned around and said, "Guy. Bicycle. Going to May May's house." I do love how his mind processes things.

Elliott was only pretending to sleep through the night...well played, son. Well played. I fell for it hook, line, and sinker! Last night, he was back to his usual 1:45am, 4:30am, 6:30am. I am going to try a double feeding tonight before bed to see if I can get him full enough to skip the 1:45am. He will not eat cereal. We have tried and tried. He seems to dislike the texture.

My brother and his special friend are coming over for lunch today. I am excited, but I also want to be very mindful for what I say and do. Wanting to be an encouragement! Speaking of which, I had better get this laundry folded and put away. And I still need to go vacuum up the stray flecks of Comet.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Running on fumes

I am pretty sure I have had a grand total of 5.5 hours of sleep in the past 48 hours.

Elliott started sleeping through the night two nights ago which is awesome. I have not yet enjoyed the benefits, however, because Jackson is not feeling well. Last night was the worst so far. I went to bed just before midnight and woke up to him crying at 1:30am. He fell asleep in my lap around 2:15am, snuck him back into his crib, fell back to sleep, and woke up to him crying at 3:15am. Got back up with him but he was already wise to me trying to get him to sleep so he would jerk himself awake every ten minutes or so. I lasted until 5am at which point I took him upstairs and put him in bed with Pete. Crashed out again and woke up to Elliott needing a bottle at 6:15am. Jack was back up by 7:30am so we all went ahead and got up to start the day.

I was supposed to go to a sales meeting with Pete at 10am, but given the previous night's circumstances and the fact that Jack is simply not himself due to being sick, I opted to stay home instead. My mom came over and offered to listen for the babies so I could take a nap. I managed to get about 45 minutes in before Elliott and Jack needed me. I really appreciate her coming over and helping out. It helped me get through the rest of my day.

I am hoping and praying that Jackson feels better tomorrow. He needs a good night's rest (and so do we!)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Heartbreaker

Jack woke up around 5:30am, screaming and holding the back of his neck. We gave him some ibuprofen, changed him into looser PJs, and tucked him up in bed with Momma. As long as I had my arm around him where some heat was applied to the spot that was hurting, he was able to doze off and rest for a bit. But, the slightest change in position would wake him up screaming.

Needless to say, we called our Dr / Grandpa this morning and Daddy took him in about 30 min ago to see what is going on. I am patiently waiting for a phone call. I hate it when my babies don't feel well.

UPDATE: Looks like an ear infection, swollen lymph nodes, and a crick in his neck. Poor baby. He is trying so hard to be cheerful, but it takes almost nothing to cause the tear gates to open. He just went down for a nap. Hopefully, the antibiotics will kick in and he can get some rest.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Deeper Understanding

Very thankful to report that Hivesgate 2012 is officially OVER! Booyah! I went to bed Wednesday night red, itchy, and miserable. Slept through the entire night and woke up 95% restored. It is amazing what the power of prayer can do. Many thanks to those in the body who were praying for my recovery. I appreciate your love and intercession on my behalf. These two little people are also thankful to have Mom back to normal.


This month, we have been making a conscious effort to have our friends and family over for lunches and dinners. It's been a lot of fun and also very encouraging. Last night was no exception. Shay and Linds have been married for a couple of years and we always enjoy spending time with them...however, we had never invited them over to eat dinner even though we have talked about how much fun it would be if they were to come over. Finally got it on the calendar and looked to Pinterest for dinner AND dessert suggestions. Pleased to report that BOTH choices went according to Pinterest promise. And, the conversation was funny at times, reflective at times, and uplifting all the time. Those are the best of evenings. Gave me a lot to think about today as I went about my chores and projects.

Then, at my parents house this evening, I ended up being able to share some of what we talked about byway of encouraging one of my siblings who is dealing with some things at the moment. And, in the process, my sister Megan shared some things with us that have left me very humbled because seeing how deeply affected she is about realizing how much we need the Lord in our lives strengthens my resolve and challenges me to go deeper into my pursuit of Him. Not lazily loping along after it or fitting it in when it's convenient, but full out sprinting in pursuit of understanding Him and what He is wanting to accomplish in His people. She shared the story of the blind man calling out for Jesus and how nothing was going to dissuade him or shame him away from what he was doing because he realized Jesus was EVERYTHING he needed. And how Jesus had compassion on him and healed him. And how she is asking the Lord to fill her with that same compassion and ability to love His people. That is what I need in my walk as well. More compassion. Less judging and less impatience. More love. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Hives Watch...Day 3

*sigh*

I think we have figured out what is causing the hives. You're going to love this....it's so ironic in a way. Apparently, it's the HEAT. If I lived someplace else, this would be easily remedied. But, no. I live in Oklahoma and we are riding a ten day heat wave projected to end on Friday, hopefully. At that point, we should drop from triple digits to around 90. Lucky for me! (I'm being a little sarcastic)

I am on a methylprednisolone pack (cortizone pack), but it doesn't seem to be doing much. I woke up this morning and it feels like my legs are on fire. I was using my laptop accordingly which caused my stomach and the tops of my legs to erupt in fresh patches of hives. And, today, I noticed that I have a patch spreading across my throat. Lovely. Just lovely.

So, needless to say, we are staying indoors for the time being. So much for my running. That has been tossed to the wayside until things calm down. And, so much for little things like sleeping under the covers or using my laptop for more than ten minutes at a time.

And before anyone asks, some cheese with this whine would be awesome. Thanks for asking. :)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

It's A Man's World



This weekend was the World's Largest Garage Sale in my hometown. The boys came along on Friday and sat in the car with my youngest brother while I scoped things out. Found some great deals on little boys clothing, picture frames, and vintage Little Golden Books.

Went back on Saturday with my sister, Anna. We found a pile of red bricks for my walkway redo project for $4! I also found a Thomas the Train pop up tent which Jackson LOVES. I'm sure he will be asking to sleep in it before too much longer.

On the way home from my parents' house after our post garage sale brunch, my legs started itching. It reminded me of when I had PUPPS immediately following the birth of both boys. Woke up this morning and both legs from top of the foot to the tops of my thighs were covered in raised white welts and the skin itself was a flaming red rash. Turns out I have had an allergic reaction to something and my body is breaking out in hives. It's spreading pretty quickly, but I now have a cortisone pack to try to stop it and I'm on 100 mg of benadryl every four hours. Hoping this passes quickly.

So, why it's a man's world? Because women must keep on going about their daily lives regardless of what is ailing them, lol. That's WHY.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Make new friends, but keep the old...

Those are silver, these are gold.

I graduated from high school a long time ago and I had three girls in my class whom I was and am still very close to in terms of friendship. We haven't been able to do very much together or see each other as often as we like, but today, they came over to my house to eat lunch. And, before we knew it, it was after five and everyone had to leave to go home to tend to husbands and babies.

But, it was good to see that when you are truly friends, you can pick up right where you left off and still be as close as you once were. I'm thankful for the gold. Always open to the silver, but I will do anything and everything for you once you're golden in my book.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

You Never Know What The Day Will Bring...

Today brought TWO teething, cranky babies. As in full blown crying meltdowns completely with runny noses, hiccups interspersed with sobbing, and requesting the impossible which led to more meltdowns. I just kept telling myself that this too shall pass. ANY DAY NOW that top tooth will break through for Elliott and Jack's two year molars will just appear. In the meantime, I am going to have to cast my coping / good idea nets a little further to come up with some new distractions and entertainments for Jack which should allow me to have more cuddle time with Elliott. I do love how affectionate they both are right now. It feels good to be needed.

Today also brought one of those "I have only ever seen this on COPS" moments. I noticed that Luke, the world's nosiest beagle, was standing at attention at the end of the backyard. Upon closer inspection through the kitchen french doors, I saw a man dressed in a pair of jeans, a blue t-shirt, and a navy blue vest. I watched him for a few minutes and couldn't place him as a neighbor and couldn't figure out why he would be standing at my fence. I grabbed my cell phone and opened the back door. He never noticed me, but I was able to get close enough to see the word, "POLICE," emblazoned on the back of the vest in huge yellow letters and then he turned away from me towards my neighbor's yard and I saw that he had a semi automatic rifle of some sort in his hands. The barrel was pointed at the ground, but his hand was in the trigger vicinity so needless to say, I hightailed it back inside and called the police dispatcher to make sure he was the real deal. Turns out, yes indeed he was AND they were raiding my neighbor's house. No shocker there. We live in a nice area for the most part, but like in most neighborhoods, there is always that ONE house that drags everyone else down in terms of its appearance and the activity that takes place around and within.

Today also brought some interesting news on the consulting front. About a year ago, I started my own consulting firm. Obviously, with two babies, it's been a very slow go on actually generating anything steady in terms of projects....but, hopefully all of that is going to change this fall. If everything goes to plan, I will be assisting in developing a new sales and marketing approach for a new business. I should be able to do everything from home and it will be nice to interact with others on a problem solving level. I DO like challenges.

Speaking of challenges, I am asking the Lord to help strengthen me to get through the rest of this teething situation! Off to bed now in the event that tomorrow is like today has been.

Monday, July 16, 2012

I am noticing...

I was either unaware or unwilling to admit how much of my life has been spent putting things off until tomorrow.

"Oh, I will start eating better....tomorrow. Or maybe Monday. It's always best to start something new on a Monday."
"I really should get to the gym. No point going today though. I need to work it into my schedule first."
"The backyard really needs some help. Of course, it would be silly to do anything about it right now because I don't have any extra funding to get it all done at one time."
"I need to get rid of my online profile. It's just a timewaster and a drama starter. As soon as I finish all of my Words with Friends games AND find someone to moderate my two communities, I'll delete it."

But, here is the truth, plain and simple...in the words of Prof. Harold Hill from the Music Man - "You pile up enough tomorrows, and you'll find you are left with nothing but a lot of empty yesterdays. I don't know about you, but I'd like to make today worth remembering.”

Yesterday, I deleted my Facebook account. I didn't spend any time dragging out my goodbyes. I didn't tell anyone I was going to do it. I briefly lamented how my Duncan, OK group is going to go downhill fast because no one else will be as OCD as I am about spam ads before realizing that the worst thing that could happen is people quit supporting the group. I swallowed my pride relating to defending my honor on Words With Friends. And, then. I pulled the plug.

It felt so good. Freeing - just like when I deleted my LiveJournal a few years ago.

I started running last week. I can't run very far or very long and by the time I round the last corner of my city block, I'm puffing away like a steam engine. But, it feels so good. And it gets the day started in a good place. I have time to get myself in order. To put my day in order. To pray about the things weighing on my mind. And it's just me. I'm not distracted by anyone else doing anything else. I'm just moving.

Today, I held my cranky, teething baby for most of the day. He needed me. I visited with my 22 month old about his toys and books and his little brother and how much I love him. And when Pete got home from work and from the grocery store, Jack and I went outside and power washed the jogging stroller so he can come with me sometimes. And, I started digging up the 16" red brick pavers to move around to the front of the house so I can get rid of the hideous white rock walkway that has been there since before we moved in. Nothing earth shattering.

But, it feels really, really good.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Friday, July 13, 2012

su·per·fi·cial

[soo-per-fish-uhl]
adjective
1. being at, on, or near the surface: a superficial wound.
2. of or pertaining to the surface: superficial measurement.
3. external or outward: a superficial resemblance.
4. concerned with or comprehending only what is on the surface or obvious: a superficial observer.
5. shallow; not profound or thorough: a superficial writer.

I am sick of it. Offically over it. This phony level of "knowing" someone or having them believe that they "know" me because we happen to be acquaintances through a social media platform. Having the stress of "Do I friend, do I unfriend, if I unfriend what social problems will I cause, would I have dinner with this person in real life, why do I care so much about the feelings of someone who has no idea who I really am?" coupled with the awkward in person exchanges that stem from someone knowing what is going on in your life without you having ever spoken to them in person is leading me down a path of wanting some downtime.

The problem is this....I am not willing or ready to completely cut myself off from said platforms. They do serve a very useful purpose for some specific needs that my family has at this time. However, there is no way to go halfway in these situations. You either have to remain open or you have to completely stop because parking it in the middle (even if for a short time) results in your inbox flooding with concerned inquiries or phone calls from people you barely speak to asking in that nosy way "Is everything okay?"

So, here I sit...fully acknowledging the superficiality of the entire thing....and still unable to cut the cord.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

21 Days To Make A Habit

And, I'm 3 days in.

I realized over the last several months that I am the worst procrastinator when it comes to making myself do things that I am a) not good at or b) that require long term commitment. Unfortunately for me, losing the 60+ pounds I have packed on since hitting puberty (yes, it really has been that long) requires me coming to terms with BOTH of these issues.

I saw this picture on Pinterest and it made me laugh but smacked me in the face at the same time because I realized that I have exactly the same mentality.  Gym Avoidance

So, rather than plan out a perfect week with allotted times to do certain things, I realized that the only way I can change is one day at a time. It involves getting out of bed early and doing as much as I can before the babies are awake because it's the only time of day that Pete and I are both home at the moment. It means walking / jogging / running even though I can feel my butt cheeks jiggling around like a plate full of Jello and be painfully aware how out of shape I really am at this point. It means holding myself accountable for what I am eating. It means accepting the fact that my body requires different food at this stage in life. It means going to be earlier than usual. And, it means doing that every single day from this point forward. Otherwise, the change is never going to occur.

So, 3 days in is huge for me because it means for the past three days, I have rolled out of bed before 7am. I have jogged around my huge city block 3 days in a row. I have eaten better. I have had more water to drink. I have remembered to take my thyroid medication. I have gone to bed before 11pm.

It feels good.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Projects and Cranky Babies

What a week! And we're only halfway through!

My sweet, sweet husband volunteered himself to tear down and reconstruct a fence at my aunt's house along with patching some sheetrock, fixing a leak in the roof, patching the ceiling, and finding out what is causing the wall behind her washer to mold. She lives about 1.5 hours north of us so needless to say, he has been VERY busy and gone quite a bit this week.

In the meantime, Elliott has decided that 4 months is the perfect age to start the teething process. Poor baby. It is taking SO much longer for the first tooth to break through that it did for Jackson. Elliott is such a happy baby in most circumstances, but he just looks miserable at the moment. He has zero interest in chewing on anything cold and the baby Orajel does not seem to help at all either. He prefers his chubby little fingers and sitting in my lap over anything else. The only silver lining for him is that he's so tired from lack of napping during the day that he is sleeping REALLY well at night.

Jackson has been a trooper. He is used to me being able to read "The Very Cranky Bear" (or Kinky Bear, as he likes to call him) whenever the mood strikes him, but Elliott has had other plans. Jack just takes it in stride and finds something to entertain himself until Elliott nods off for a 10 min power nap. Then, he runs over with as many books as he can carry and we read them on rotation until Elliott needs me again. Other favorites at the moment include "Corduroy Goes To The Doctor," "Corduroy's Day," "Ten Little Puppies," and "How Do Dinosaurs Clean Their Room?" I have all of those memorized, but he's not fooled at all. Even if he is holding the book and I'm saying the words, it's not going to work. He MUST be seated in my lap and able to turn the pages at the appropriate time. I am thinking / hoping we have about worn "Ten Little Puppies" out at this point. We get to "7 little puppies skiing in the snow..." and he will close the book and say, "THE END! NIGHT PUPPIES, NIGHT NIGHT!" which works for me! It has to be his idea, however. I tried skipping from 8 to 3 and he totally caught on to what I was doing.

I have concluded that the only way I can keep my energy going is to stay as active as possible from the time I wake up until it's time for bed. Today this consisted of making breakfast, cleaning the kitchen, reorganizing the pantry, doing 3 loads of laundry, cleaning the living room, cleaning Jackson's room, cleaning our bedroom, sprucing up the guest bathroom, sewing 3 throw pillows for Jackson's room, attaching the ribbons to 10 panels of fabric, attaching ribbons to a scarf, sewing 16 triangles for a pinterest project, making a meatloaf for dinner, and cutting up 4 pairs of Pete's jeans into 6x6 squares for my next project. Oh, and taking care of the boys, OF COURSE. I also tried something I had saved to one of my pinterest boards which was cleaning all of the fruit in my fridge with a vinager and water soak. The berries did great, but the apples were left with this powdery looking white substance that WILL NOT come off. I must have missed a step somewhere.

I have no idea what we're doing tomorrow. I think I feel like taking a nap at some point.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Progress

I am very pleased to report that in the space of two nap sessions today (boys napping, not Momma), I managed to piece together a quilt for Jackson AND a car seat blanket / quilt that is going to get gifted to someone at some point. I'm now waiting for the washer to finish so I can dry the car seat blanket and see if the ends have fringed like they are supposed to!

The blanket for Jackson is my first official attempt at quilting so I plan on finishing the quilting part by hand. Thank goodness I have my next disc of Judge John Deed in from Netflix so I have something to do while I'm watching TV.

Tomorrow, I plan to tackle a huge stack of baby gifts I am working on.

And, then I have to take the sewing machine back to my mother.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Time On My Hands (This has been sitting in Drafts since July 2011....oooops!)

Thanks to J being a very happy, cooperative baby yesterday, I did every single thing on my to do list which means that I am currently lounging in bed in my PJs, catching up on my online reading material, and listening to J giggle and laugh at something in his crib.



I have the entire day to do whatever sounds like fun. Since free days so rarely happen, I'm trying to compile a mental list of what J and I could do today. So far, it's looking pretty good. My only disappointment is that P had to work today. If all three of us were home, the day would be perfect because J loves having his dadddy home during the day...and I like it pretty well myself.



I had a really good conversation with an old friend yesterday. The kind of conversation that brings about clarity and revelation and resolution to some things that have been following me around for years. I know that getting older is a struggle for many people, but I am thankful for the aging / maturing process because it has made it easier to communicate and it has made it easier to wade through emotions that cloud issues and distort memories. Being older also has curbed a lot of my impulses. The ability to make myself stop and wait and really consider my actions PRIOR to taking them is also something I'm thankful for everyday. When I was younger, I would react in a split second to any kind of conflict or struggle and usually end up swinging to the opposite of what I thought I should do. It caused so many problems, strained so many relationships, and burned so many unnecessary bridges. It also allowed too many negative things to have acccess to my life. I wish I had taken the time to stop, detatch from my feelings (which can be quite deceptive), and truly evaluate what was going on, both within myself and around me. I can promise you that my life would look completely different.



And, that's not me detracting from the life that I have now. I love my son, my husband, my parents, my siblings, and my life in Oklahoma. I just wish I didn't have so many things that need to be addressed and dealt with in my heart and mind because of decisions I chose to make along the way. I probably sound like a broken record at this point, but, it's what weighs most heavily for whatever reason. I'm just thankful for the opportunity to work through it and hopefully, lay it to rest once and for all.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Paris 2005 - Part 8

Oh dear. Have no idea where June is getting away to! Apologizing for the slight pause on my memory lane trip. Back to Paris 2005....

Sacre Coeur! Wandering the neighborhood around Sacre Coeur was fascinating for a people watcher like myself. The buildings become much closer together and the "prettiness" around the Eiffel Tower fades away into the reality of people living their lives and going about their business. There were several little cafes and bakeries and most of the tourist shops were located in this neighborhood as well.











Very romantic city...in case you were wondering.

The only thing I did NOT like about Sacre Coeur were the French Algerians who lined the steps leading up to Sacre Coeur because it takes FOREVER to negotiate your way through the throngs of people trying to sell you things without getting caught up in the sales pitch or feeling like you are being pressed into the middle of a mob on slow days. I personally having found being willing to start saying the word, "Policier" in gradual volume increases does the trick of parting the crowd. You must be prepared to make a fool of yourself, however, because sometimes, it takes a while for an actual policeman to make his way over to you. And while we are on the subject of French policemen, can I just say that I find their uniforms the most dashing out of any policemen I have encountered on my world travels to date. Sadly, I was not able to think of a way to snap any pictures without making myself seem like a silly American. You'll just have to take my word for it. ;)

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Paris 2005 - Part 7

As previously mentioned, I love traveling with my husband because he manages to find so many great spaces and places "off the beaten (tourist) path." One such place was a beautiful park on the outskirts of the city. We caught the metro to the end of the line and then walked about 10 min and almost out of nowhere, this beautiful green space around a lake emerges from the concrete and houses.






Saturday, May 26, 2012

Paris 2005 - Part 6

Ah, the Louvre. I have been a total of three times now and have barely scratched the surface of what there is to see. The next time we go back, we want to block off the entire day and just wander from room to room, spending as much time as we want having a look. AND, while it was cool to see the Mona Lisa, it was not the most buzzworthy painting in the place, IMO.








Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Paris 2005 - Part 5

Prior to this trip, I had never heard of La Defense. I had noticed it on our previous trip to Paris from the top of Arch De Triumphe, but it didn't register long enough for me to want to find out what it was. Thankfully for me, I have a husband who likes to explore and this ended up being one of my favorite outings in Paris. Aside from the naked children at the public pool...the American in me was VERY uncomfortable with the whole idea!











Monday, May 21, 2012

Paris 2005 - Part 4

When it comes to hotels in Europe, it's pretty hit or miss, regardless of what the reviews may say. I ended up going WAY overboard on pictures of our hotel room during this trip because in the previous trip to Paris, we ended up staying at a hotel that had rave reviews, but was seriously lacking. I was SO excited to see that everything was clean, comfortable, and PRIVATE. I think this is the most beautiful hotel I have stayed in during all of my visits to date. The angel was a good sign!

 There were little bottles of shampoo! Oh, the things we take for granted as American travelers.
 Tub (not just a shower, but an actual tub)
 This bed was HUGE. I think it was about 6.5 feet long (at least) and wide enough for a baby elephant to have a snooze.


 Pete relaxing.


 Hair dryer. I always feel like a poodle at a pet salon when I'm using one of these.
 Posing.
 Hotel lobby
 Mural
 Posing. Pete Style.
Oh yes. Be jealous of the awesome Pete Style Posing.