Tuesday, December 11, 2012
This morning I was laying in bed and had a random-half-awake-dream-thought.
"What will I do if our glucometer breaks?! Surely we brought an extra with us when we moved"
Then I thought, "nah... not going to worry about that" and all too quickly, I was back to sleep.
(We have a great meter. It's the Animas One Touch Ping. The meter checks her blood sugar and communicates with her pump to give her insulin. It does calculations, it gives delayed doses if I tell it to, and it basically saves me from having to do any major math equations.)
7:30am Blood Sugar Check.....
I put in a strip. Nothing. New strip. Nothing. Try turning on the meter. Nothing!
I looked at Bug and said, "hmmm. Your meter isn't working."
To which she replied, "WHAT?! BUT MOM! I HAVE DIABETES!!!!!"
I had to laugh, which made her laugh. I told her she could go ahead and eat breakfast and I would figure something out.
I can not believe I wasn't spastic or panicky as I walked to the hall bathroom closet where our diabetes supplies are so neatly stacked and organized in color coded drawers. I didn't know if we had an extra. But, if we did have one, I knew where it would be.
There it was. Bottom blue drawer with the cotton balls and owners manuals: one extra meter. Not our brand with the fancy remote that talks to her pump, but it would check her blood sugar..... a slightly major part of my day every 3 hours.
When we were in the hospital they handed out meters like perfume samples at Macy's, and we kept them; ALL. When we lived in our old house they were all kept together in the same bag "for an emergency". Then when we moved, I gave one to each grandmother to keep at their houses "for an emergency", and then I put the rest in our storage unit for the year. All but one apparently.
Don't you love it when you are accidentally smart; almost like it was a subconscious move. I made a million lists (that I still have, by the way, for reference for the next move in 6 months), and nowhere on any list does it say "extra glucometer".
Thankfully, I had her blood sugar checked by 7:40 and was on the phone with Animas Support at 7:56am. By 8:25am Lisa had a new meter on it's way to arrive by Wednesday at lunch time. Although the "pushy desperate mother of a child with a chronic illness who depends on modern technology to survive on an hourly basis" came out a tiny bit during our conversation. *keep in mind I had not had my morning tea yet*
Lisa: OK, well, since you said you have an extra, we'll get a new one sent out in about 4-5 business days. OK?
Me: No! No, Lisa. That's not OK. It's not a One Touch PING! It makes me incredibly nervous (now) to have one meter in the house AND we are leaving town in two days AND it shouldn't have broken in the first place! I know it's not your fault, but I HAVE to have that meter by tomorrow if not sooner!
Lisa: *much more controlled than I* OK, Let me check on that........ pause....... It will be there tomorrow by lunch.
I basically fell all over myself and told her that she made my day and was amazing and very helpful and so on and so on. Hopefully that was a recorded conversation so Lisa's co-workers can learn how to deal with a crazy mother at 8 o'clock in the morning without calling her names or hanging up. I probably got some sort of star next to my name in the file *not flexible, panicky about supply shortage*
I know I'm not alone. Most mothers of kids with Type 1 find peace when looking at a stocked supply drawer/closet. Then the mother bear instinct is awakened when the survival supply is threatened.
The take home point: My daughter wears her robot-like pancreas in a little pocket stitched to a strap that goes around her tummy. We literally plug her in after baths and swimming. We depend on technology and fancy gadgets; and today one of them just gave up!
Another slap in the face moment: I love all our gadgets but I hate depending on them. We have GOT to find a cure for this dumb thing.
This little girl and her mommy agree with me! She's about Bug's age and her video made us both so happy.... always nice to know you aren't the only spunky little girl with a stinky condition.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Bug is celebration obsessed.
New snack foods... doesn't take much.
Lately we have begun Advent, so we are on Christmas Story hyperdrive.
As I type she is walking around with a baby doll tucked under her Snow White dress, acting out every Christmas song that comes on Pandora, and pretending to be "Mary, the mother of Jesus."
She has been telling me about a party they will be having at Sunday School, the week before Christmas.
There has been a lot of hype surrounding the event; announcements in the church program, reminders to the kids every Sunday.... they were not going to get this celebration past her. Apparently there was going to be a "real live baby dressed up as Baby Jesus" and it was going to be Baby Jesus' birthday party. Three of her favorite things: babies, dress up, and birthdays.
Imagine the surprise when I told her that we were not going to be in town for Baby Jesus' birthday party:
ME: Well, we won't be in town then. We are going to be visiting our family and meeting our new baby cousin that weekend.
Bug: (*instant tears*) WHAT?! NOOOOOOO! There was going to be a REAL BABY there dressed as Baby Jesus! MOM!!!!!
ME: (*really trying not to laugh*) But we are going to be with all your aunts and uncles and the new babies and your grandparents?! Won't that be fun?
Bug: NO! There won't be a baby dressed as Baby Jesus! UGHHHHHHH.
ME: Can we just pretend that our new baby cousin is Baby Jesus?
Bug: (*eyes wide, tears to a halt, gears turning*) Well..... Ok. We can pretend she is Baby Jesus, her mommy and daddy will be Mary and Joseph, Daddy, and Aunt Mimi and Uncle Ben are Wise Men......
She went on describing the scene, and how she is going to decorate, and what she is going to wear. The whole time all I can do is picture my husband's family dressed up; including pets, awaiting their instructions on their Nativity roles, given with much authority from the 4 year old wearing angel wings and barking orders. Not daring to break for a sip of coffee for fear of the tiny finger wag and eye roll
All that to say: Family, you have been warned. We are all in this together. I will try my best to derail the entertainment express, but come bearing patience and a sense of humor.... just in case I'm unsuccessful.
Monday, November 19, 2012
I'm in a dark hallway with my forehead pressed against a crack in the door so I can get the best possible view of the animal. I'm praying and pleading with God to bring the beast to rest. I'm watching so quietly and so intently, I almost forget to breathe. When I do finally take a breath it is inaudible for fear that the animal will sense my presence and lash out with rage in need of immediate attention. Two and a half hours pass and finally, the creature is asleep and I can sit brainless for a few minutes.... Until it is time to wake the wild one for an afternoon snack.
Not a nightmare. This is a glimpse into the last week of afternoons I've spent training Peanut "in the ways she should go" at nap time. She still desperately needs a nap; otherwise I would not be so vigilant about my nap time control. She is literally jumping or running or chasing at every waking minute of her day. She will break for Diego and some times PBS; although even her TV watching is done while she jumps and sings along. My happy little ball of energy has been begging me for over a month now to "Please please sleep in big-gul-bed Mommy?!" Her big girl bed has been set up in her room in our rent house, since we moved to town in June. I mostly set it up because I was hopeful we would have family visitors and we would need an extra bed. I never dreamed I would let my two year old, 13 hour sleeper (with a 3 hour daily nap) move from her cage, to the wild open spaces of her giant bedroom; left to her own devices.
Call it a moment of weakness or curiosity... I call it Divine Intervention. I let her do it. I let her sleep in her big girl bed; for a nap. Sleep is really not an adequate term for what was going on in that room. I explained the rules; the same rules that worked with Bug when she was two and moving to a big girl bed.
1) Stay in bed
2) If you get out of bed 2 times you will get a spanking
3) If you get out of bed 3 times you will get a spanking and have to move back to the baby bed
Lord help me. After 4 spankings, 2 baby bed moves, and one extremely desperate attempt to sing her to sleep; I gave up! The first trial of big girl bed sleeping was an absolute bust! Not only did I not stick to what I said about her moving to the baby bed, I let her "get up" early!
Peanut: 1 Mom: 0
Day two went slightly better. Only 3 spankings and she actually went to sleep after 90 minutes. I was left with a lovely 90 minute break and an indention on my forehead from pressing my face against the door frame, watching her get in and out of bed, uncover, recover, sing songs, talk to her loveys...... and so on.
Day three left me in tears. The good kind. We went through our 1 book, 4 song routine. I tucked her in with all 4 of her favorite loveys, reminded her to stay in bed, and stood there for 30 seconds with my eyes closed praying for sanity, wisdom, peace, and REST. I went to my post to observe.
Not 15 seconds after the door shut, were the covers thrown of and she was sitting at the edge of her bed. She assumed her "get out of bed routine". She inched her hiney closer and closer to the edge, her little toes reaching for the floor. She stopped for a few seconds to look around and she put her finger to her lips and said "shhhhhh. twiet." I was too furious to see any humor there. She set her feet down and stood up, so proud that she made it out of bed, again!
I opened the door and put on my best angry Mommy face. We had a chat about staying in bed and acting like a big girl and I told her that she would get a spanking the next time. She said, "yes Mommy. I love you Mommy." and I returned to my post. Again, 15 seconds into her solitude she was up and at the edge of the bed. I stood there praying "PLEASE Holy Spirit come and give her self control! I do not want to spank that child again!" She sat there for about 2 minutes shushing herself and staring at the floor.
Suddenly, she sat straight up, turned around and climbed under the covers. I watched in disbelief as she fell asleep after 10 minutes of laying down. I was so thankful and exhausted after three days of standing at the door and watching her be defiant that I cried; but only for a minute because I realized I had time to shower AND eat lunch!
I know what you are thinking. "Why is she making such a big deal out of nap time and getting in and out of bed?!" First I will tell you, I am sane because there is nap time, and I worked very hard to get to our beloved 3 hour nap schedule. Also, I didn't have to do this with my first. Bug had one spanking one time for getting out of bed too many times and that was it. Even now, at 4 she is in her room on her bed playing with dolls; simply because it's rest time and she knows she has to be on her bed. Peanut is different. Truer words have never been spoken: Give an inch and she will take a mile. Already at 2 years old, I can see that my parenting must be consistent and constant; backed by prayer and wise counsel. She will leave me weary and wild eyed, but she will also leave me laughing and with a sweet squeeze around my neck as she says, "you a silly billy Mommy. I love you Mommy."
Now we are a week in and she has been sleeping in her big girl bed through the night for an average of 13 hours a night. Nap times are still touch and go. Today was good. No spankings and asleep after 15 minutes.
Stay tuned. I'm sure her school years will be a serious page turner.
Thursday, November 8, 2012
As can be deduced by my lack of blogging I have been preoccupied. Said preoccupation can be blamed on any number of things.... however, I mostly blame Pinterest.
It has been a month since I blogged last. I was reviewing my posts and realized it has been a bit heavy around here lately. "I'm too busy" "I didn't like the new doctor" Woe is poor lil ol me!
I was going to share about my most recent battle with the stomach bug....
-both girls got sick
-2 hour plane flight in the midst of it all
-so much laundry and sanitizing
-blood sugar and Ketone dramas
-extremely helpful parents
That just about sums it up and saves us all from the details that I am so desperately trying to forget.
Instead, I bring you drama of a different flavor. My 4 year old, Bug, is a walking after school special. She is constantly pretending something and verbalizes everything. I've mentioned before that she's like a modern day Shirley Temple, but with straighter hair. She can be quoted as saying, "Gosh, Mom! I really am glad you fixed me meatloaf and brussel sprouts for dinner tonight. It's too bad my sister won't eat hers!" Seriously. If only she would wink, and pause for a dramatic close up!
She does have her moments of grouchiness and defiance; which she will of course inform you of, "I'm grouchy because I didn't get what I want." OR "Look at me. I'm not doing what you told me to do, Mom." But those moments are rare. She reminds me to check her blood sugar, asks if she can go take a nap, and has stood next to me while we watch Peanut throw a fit and said, "It's ok, Mom. She'll quit eventually if we just ignore her." At this point I'm starting to think she could babysit her sister and run into the grocery store for me to get bananas. I would never! But don't think I haven't thought about it.
One of my favorite recent moments:
We were on the soccer field during a game and I kept having to ask her to quit playing in the net. Of course she informed me that the goal made a really great pirate ship and she was just playing pirates; I should have guessed.
We had just seen Mulan and Bug was so impressed that Mulan was so fast and tough, so I told her to just pretend to be Mulan on the soccer field and run fast and get the ball from the bad guys: The Green Dragons. Two minutes later she was running as fast as she could and she looked over at me and yelled across the field, "LOOK AT ME MOM! I'M PRETENDING TO BE MULAN! I'M SUPER FAST!" She was right, that is the fastest she has run, to date.
She says things in such a way that you want to believe her every time; even when you know it's not true or right. The past few months she will use a word we've never heard before and she will then turn to us and say, "that just means....." and give us the definition she has made up. So matter of fact.
Here is a running list I've been keeping of her "homemade definitions". I did my best on the spellings; they are mostly phonetic.
"Sploosh": To stop playing soccer when there are too many people trying to get the ball at one time
"Underrate": Beating someone, like winning the game, with your sound
"Fink-all": Getting in a fight
"Burkle": A collection of something
"Jimleff": Someone who ties an old jump rope to a dog leash and swings it like a lasso
"Scineray": A small part of a picture that you draw
"Bloulce": One B, two L's.... A little scary but also fun, like dressing up for Halloween
"Meaning Time": The time when you kiss during a wedding, right before you go eat.
And my all time favorite
"The Believe Fairy": I will become the Believe Fairy and go to see people while they are asleep and I will make them believe in Jesus.
The last one had good intentions and of course resulted in a 30 minute conversation about why we can't just make people believe in Jesus.
Her brain is constant and I am doing my best to keep up; fielding questions like "what does the word "almost" mean?" and "will I be able to open my eyes when I'm in Heaven?" I would say, "what will she think of next?" But quite honestly, I'm not sure I'm brave enough to ask!
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
How many hats can one person wear in a day?
I have been trying to stay afloat and keep up with the roles and commitments that continue to be added to my list. All of these things are good; most of them bring me joy.... (I could do with out breaking up fights between the two Princesses I spend my days with, and I could do without Diabetes completely) BUT through my busy days and wardrobe changes I can see that "it is good".
Lately I have had a difficult time finding a balance.
Like any other (good) parent I have gone in head first.
Ever since July 9, 2008; 6 days before Bug was born. I was sitting on the porch reading In Style when I realized, "I am clueless about babies!" Give me a pre schooler and I'm set, but a baby! A tiny, squirmy, pinkish, poopie baby?! I got up from my chair. I drove to Barnes and Noble. I bought 7 new books about babies, sleeping, eating, new mommy-ing, and sooooooo on. I have never studied so hard, and so continuously for any one thing in my life. Even, right now I'm reading 2 books at one time about parenting and I still get worked up at the doctor's office when one of them throws her body on the floor crying because she can't write on her medical records with permanent marker... in front of the pediatrician who is TAKING NOTES on my performance and efforts to regain control. Any guesses which of my lovelies that was?
When I became a parent a new chapter started. A very unpredictable, accessory filled chapter.
I keep my house clean, fridge stocked, and their little brains entertained and intrigued. I love them actively. I wear out the "I love you's", read them books, tuck them in, keep them clean, say our prayers, keep them full and keep them happy. They are kind and loving and well dressed and well mannered. They love Jesus; talking and hearing of Him OFTEN. I love my little people and they love me.
I'm teaching Bug pre K-4 at home. A classroom in my house. Full blown Circle Time, Sight Words, Math Table classroom. This phenomenon and commitment deserves it's own post. All I can say is... I have a new respect for homeschooling mothers. And I also should be prepping for tomorrow's lesson right now.....
I'm coaching Bug's soccer team. There are no small words to describe this. Find a 4 year old soccer game, go there and watch the coach. Another "own post" worthy topic.
On top of setting my sights on mother of the year; I am nurse Mom 24/7. I don't mean "runny noses, throw up, fever" kind of nurse. I mean, "pull your kid out of ballet class because you peek in the window and see her little lifeless grey face, desperate for a blood sugar check and some apple juice" kind of nurse.
Last night as my husband and I were going to bed I was recounting what a great day it had been: great weather, productive day, yummy dinner, family walk, etc....
My house of cards to be brought down by the blood sugar reading. Her sugar was low-ish; in need of a small snack, but not too big for fear of a 2 am high and inevitable bed wet/sheet change. My husband was thankful for the need for snack instead of a trip to the potty, but I bitterly said, "Well, I just want the numbers to be right!" I want to read a blood sugar of 130, and KNOW that it's going to stick around for 12 hours. But that doesn't happen.... yet. (I'm told this amazing thing happens as she gets older)
Needless to say, my nurse's hat is rumpled and smudged. I work hard in my parenting hats, but it seems that I keep needing to put the nurse's hat over all the others. Shouldn't it be the other way around?
It's like I have coach and teacher headbands, a parenting bandana, and then this big nurse's hat over all of it. It's not a regular nurse's hat, it's one of those hats you buy to stay warm, with the furry insides and the flaps that cover your ears. And the outside of it is water resistant and bright red so it will never wear out or go unnoticed. Not to mention how can a girl manage a good hair day under all the sweat and pressure from the over accessorizing?
The most annoying part: my frustration and diabetes centered angst gets in the way of my love and patience. It sucks up the energy; my energy. It shows up in anger; overreacting to spilled drinks or hair pulling. I guess I can say I've gotten very good in the department of asking my kids for forgiveness.
I'm thankful she is still clueless about the fact that kids eat donuts for breakfast on the weekends, and eat cupcakes on days other than birthdays, and that people actually eat gum balls; we just get them from the jar and throw them in the parking lot, run and smash them. I'm thankful her sister knows no different.
I know there are other parents struggling with the fine line between love and good healthcare at home. I know that my vigilance in Bug's healthcare IS love. I know that I'm a good parent; I'm happy and I'm exhausted.... aren't those two of the good parenting symptoms?
I am still studying and making frantic trips to the bookstore... although now I go to Amazon, which is highly beneficial for the inevitable 3 am panic attack. When in doubt: first pray and consult your Bible... then go to Amazon.com.
My hats will change and my roles will evolve, but I will always do my best and love wholeheartedly.
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Maybe something like this has happened to you before:
You had a baby 6 weeks ago and you feel great. Your clothes fit better and your wedding band fits again, all signs point to "time to try on the skinny jeans". You go to put them on and suddenly you realize you gained weight in your knees because your pants refuse to pull any higher.
Bathing suit season is coming up and you have been really thinking good thoughts about working out and eating well. Despite the 25 desserts and/or fries you snuck and the 30 work outs you skipped, after all that positive thinking, you feel as though you have thought yourself thin! You hit the shops to find the perfect suit and after grabbing an adorable red suit with polka dots you head to the dressing rooms. The fluorescent lighting in the room is harsh and eye opening and you remember the food sneaks and the work out skips and you leave the store; vowing to fully commit to the latest juice cleanse craze.... at least for the next few days.
You are a clean freak. You are organized and "Cloroxed" in every corner of your life. Germs and bugs and bodily fluids give you an instant headache. You are using the magic eraser to clean crayon from the wall (left by the previous tenant.... my children only color on the walls with Color Wonder Markers, of course). You are enjoying the state of your germ free, organized existence; and then you see them. Bugs. They are tiny, they are brown and they are everywhere.
Insert your personal "I was in the dark!" moment.
Those three things may or may not have happened to me personally.
*Although I can tell you that the bugs and I have been at war for three weeks now. Between the baby roaches in the same drawers with my cookware, homeschooling, and breaking for Pintrest.... I've neglected the blog world.*
I'm sure, and hopeful, that you can relate.
Back on track.
I have had a few bright lights shone on a certain subject lately. The subject of trust. I have always said I trusted in God's will and plan for my life. But lately, I have been "in the dark". I thought I trusted in Gods plan in bringing us here and away from comfort. But once we moved away from our true comfort zone the fluorescent lights started to come on, and it wasn't pretty.
I wasn't trusting God.
I was.... well, I still am, over-planning. I plan for the highs, the lows, and the worst case scenarios. I have back up plans for vacation "in case we get sick" "in case we forget medicines" "in case we...... insert the worst possible thing" I've planned for it and mapped out my escape route. In a nutshell: I didn't trust that God would REALLY be there with a "back-up" (actual) plan, when the road went left instead of right.
My plans have been wrecked and re-routed so many times its a wonder I still try to make them. I have bought, renovated, and decorated at least 5 houses in the past year that now belong to another family. I had planned to move to my hometown for this year of nomadic life, but here I am VERY far from familiarity.
I planned to:
Be a mother to BOYS
Be a long distance runner
Marry a lawyer
Be settled in my grown up house by 30
Wake up at 6 am
Be really good at remembering birthdays
A mother to girls, a fair skinned freckled walker, married to a doctor, renting a house, fighting the alarm clock, and sending too many (but often funny) "oops I forgot your birthday" cards..... I'm where and who I was meant to be!
It might be the best thing for me. I am in a stage of life in which I CAN'T plan. I can't sign Bug up for Kindergarten when I wanted to, I can't be home for three VERY important-to-me baby showers. I'm missing birthdays and Birth Days, weddings, Supper Clubs, and Bible Studies. I can't even call Terminix Tammy on her cell to save me from the baby roaches or whatever they are! I CAN depend on the Lord to be faithful and to keep me in the dark until his plans are revealed and made perfect.
I am LEARNING to trust in our unplanned future and the hiccups and high fives we will encounter. I promise I will continue to remind myself of this as I stalk the MLS websites and decorate another person's house.
I'm thankful for the bugs, and the homesickness, and the longings for comfort because they keep the lights on and my eyes focused..... albeit, sometimes tearful.
Monday, July 30, 2012
*Let me start by saying: we were spoiled by our hospital before. Everyone knew us. We could park right outside the door.... for free. We had a personal and ongoing relationship with our Endocrinologist. We were spoiled.*
Have you ever been on the receiving end of someone intending to be helpful, resulting in them sounding condescending. In the sense that she is trying; truly and earnestly trying to be helpful and, I believe, means well on all fronts. However, she still manages to just totally annoy you and crush your positive attitude in a matter of minutes. This happened today.
Don't feel sorry for me... I just need an outlet
For starters we got there early... built-in time for me to get lost. Aside from the giant parking deck and limited parking spots, everyone else was very helpful and efficient. My husband met us in the lobby and helped me navigate through his new workplace. We only waited about 15 minutes after checking in, and then we were in a room, seeing the nurses, getting all the labs done, and then seeing the Nurse Practitioner soon after. Up until this point I was very impressed.
My husband was with me, dressed in his "I work here as a doctor" costume, so it seemed that everyone was confident in our abilities to care for Bug and make the "life and death" decisions that we have been called to make. About thirty minutes into our "chat" with the APN, things started to get ugly for the almost 2 year old in a room full of things "you can't touch!", so Dad stepped in and took Peanut to the hallway.
Then, the APN started to address me, instead of the man in the green scrubs. At this point, I realized.... "She has been talking to him the whole time! And she is seriously underestimating me..... I shouldn't have worn such giant earrings."
She started to quiz me:
APN: "When is a blood sugar considered low?"
Me: "80 or below"
N: "Good. Ok, now.... how do you check for keytones?" (talking really slow, with a lot of hand motions)
Me: .... lengthy but adequate answer (not worth re-typing)
N: "Ok... good job. Now, what do you do if she has high keytones?"
Me: (taking note of how she was holding her sheet so I couldn't see her "answers" as she looked at me with that "wait for it.... I hope she says the right thing........" kind of a look) I answered appropriately and almost followed with...."I'm sorry Nancy, are you quizzing me?!"
I showed restraint.
This went on for about 10 more minutes. At the end of the pop quiz, which I of course passed, she handed me a huge book and said I would find some helpful information in there, like meal planning and how to keep my kid on a schedule so she doesn't snack all day. To which I replied, "Thank you, I really appreciate your time."
I really wanted to tell her.... "Honey, I got this. All day every day. Eat. Sleep. Pray. Check Blood Sugar. Repeat. Now give me our A1C and my next appointment date."
I'm thankful for Nancy and her thorough explanations and educating. And no, Nancy is not her real name. I know there are some parents who need and depend on the Nancy's.
However, she did nothing but stress me when she told me we should start seeing other specialists in the next year to check eyes, feet, etc.... which will bring Bug's doctor total up to 4.
And again when it was suggested we subject Peanut to needles and blood draws to see "what our chances are".
And another time when the idea was pressed that we let the Continuous Blood Glucose Monitor take over for the 2 am sugar check uncertanties.
At this point my husband, had returned to the room, and said, "we can do this. we don't mind getting up at 2am every night. This works for us." I interrupted him.... apologies.... and said, "We have too much going on right now. There is so much that is uncertain in our lives with the moving and the new job and this little sister, and the upcoming year with a different job and another move!.... this pump and system work for us.... we are not adding another machine right now." She could sense my mood as we entered the second hour of the appointment, and she decided that we could "wait 'till next time to talk with the Psychologist."
Maybe I should make a solo appointment for that bit next time.
3 hours had passed.... we were back to the car and navigating our way home (easier said than done these days).
My husband said not to worry about the quiz master and that I was doing a good job.
I AM doing a good job. I'm thankful, and up for the challenge!
I am also thankful for reminders that I hate diabetes and and I hate dealing with it.
Reminders that we need a cure.... no matter how comfortable and capable we are when it comes to doing life with a thorn in our side.
For another take on thankfulness..... check this out... from a fellow sugar savvy mama.
Friday, July 13, 2012
Bug is the QUEEN of negotiating and making bad ideas seem like great ideas.
Me: "It's time for bedtime snack and then off to bed"
Bug: "Well, Mom.... Here's the thing.... I was actually thinking..... maybe I should watch a little show while I have my snack because that will help me calm down and relax before I get into bed"
*All the while, she is using big hand motions, eyebrows, head nodding... the whole bit. Just think 'Shirley Temple with straighter hair' and you've got it*
And, you guessed it.... I LET HER DO IT! She's too good. Entirely too smart for me already in the department of negotiating.
However, I stick to my guns where it counts.
Our latest point of contention: "Don't talk to strangers."
My first born was truly made for outreach. We just moved to a town where we know no one, and it has yet to phase her. Every playground, every restaurant, every hospital staff picnic.... she literally walks up to kids and adults she has never met with open arms, gives a huge hug and says, "Hey! I'm .....! We should probably be friends." (*again with the hands and the head nodding and the eyebrows*)
This is entirely out of my comfort zone. I'm not introverted by any means, but it usually takes me at least 6 days of knowing someone to hug upon arrival.
All of this will eventually lead us to the subject of strangers.
A few weeks ago, we went to a beach; where again, we knew no one. My husband was walking down the beach with Peanut and I was sitting in a chair watching Bug play in the water about 15 yards away. I watched a lady with a baby walk up to where Bug was playing. Here is how the scene played out:
Bug: "Oh, hey! How are you guys? I like your baby!" (as she begins to pet the baby's leg)
Lady: "Oh hi. What's your name?"
Bug: "My name is ...... My sister's name is ...... We live in ..... We just moved from ...... My daddy is a Radiologist at the hospital and my dog's name is Hamilton. He's a really nice dog." (*I'm watching with my mouth wide open.... is she going to give her a key to our house next?!)
Lady: "Oh wow, that's exciting."
Bug: "Yeah, we are visiting here to the beach. I like it a lot." (*and at this point I start to make my way over to the three of them as I watch Bug start to hug this random lady, who by the way looks slightly uncomfortable and glad to see that this crazy kid has an adult along for the ride)
Granted, she was a 'mommy' and was holding a baby; but the fact remains: She was alone and we do not know her!
opened hotel doors to people she doesn't know
shared personal information with strangers
invaded countless personal spaces upon introduction
interrupted many meals in restaurants
gotten me and my husband into quite a few awkward situations with other adults by walking up to them and introducing us to them.... "Hi, I like your dress! (touching random lady's dress) This is my mother...."
We have been talking about strangers for months now. After the beach moment we revisited the issue immediately. After a lot of head nodding and "yes sir-ing", we seemed to reach an understanding. Then we asked, "So what should you do if you are not with Mom or Dad, and someone you don't know walks up to you, or speaks to you; should you speak to them?"
We held our breath.
Bug: "No.... (*sigh of relief from the parents).....
"BUT if they are nice and holding babies or puppies, or food or something, then it's probably OK because they are nice and won't hurt me or take me away"
Am I on "Candid Camera: After School Special Edition"?!
She is negotiating. She is trying to make strangers seem like a good idea!
I pulled out all the stops and went into detail about the whole issue of kidnapping......
Me: "sometimes strangers take you away from Mommy and Daddy"
Bug: "oh that might be fun! I would get to visit a new place!"
Me: "No! It would not be fun! They don't feed you. You don't take a bath. You don't get to play with friends or hug Mommy and Daddy. And sometimes they hurt you and don't give you band aids. And they definitely don't give you back to your families."
Seems harsh, but we were getting desperate. My husband jokingly suggested letting her watch the movie Ransom.... But we aren't quite that desperate yet.
After the conversation that I thought would give her nightmares, we went to a park. 20 minutes into our visit I look over and Bug is having a lovely conversation with an adult foreign woman who doesn't speak very good English. They are giggling and smiling and also about 30 yards away from me; just out of ear shot.
Suddenly, a light comes on and Bug shoots me a look.... eyes wide open, eyebrows up, mouth open.... she realized: she was talking to a stranger! A breakthrough!
And then the woman said something "funny" in broken Engilsh and the "ah-ha!" moment was gone.... the lovely conversation resumes. I call Bug over and (overreact) as I wonder if my next step will be hiring those people who kidnap you just for the thrill of it...? Have you heard of this? I saw a 60 Minutes about it one time.
After consulting a few of the wise Mommies in my life, I settled on "The Berenstain Bears: Don't Talk to Strangers" book.
It works! I had my doubts. After all the "heart to heart" moments we had on the subject, what more can these bears in overalls have to say?!
Needless to say, we have read it a lot and the point has been made and seemingly received.
Thankfully, her welcoming spirit, acceptance, and love for all mankind is still in tact and everyone we meet is still her new best friend. However, a new sense of caution has been instilled in her little brain, thanks to Mama and Papa Bear.
Now on to the next issue:
She just told me, as I was typing the post, that last night "I had a taste of Daddy's wine that he left on the counter. It tasted pretty good to me!"
"Berenstain Bears Don't Drink From the Funny Shaped Glasses?"
I doubt there is a book for that one
Thursday, July 5, 2012
We are here! At our next temporary location.
We arrived two weeks ago (after a dramatic move both in the air and on the road), safely here to our lovely little rent house. After three months of blog vacation.... with a few cheats to catch up on some friends' blogs.... I feel more like myself. At least, I feel more like the self I have always hoped to be. My focus has been shifted; less on self and approval (although still a daily struggle) more on my God, my family, and my legacy.
My kids have given me THE hardest time in EVERY realm possible (sleeping, respect, eating, obedience, etc) since we left our tiny house three months ago, but through our struggles with each other I have seen just how much we need each other. God made me a parent to these two crazy kids because I am called to raise them and guide them as he guides and gives me wisdom on the subject. I know there will be other callings in life, but today in this stage of life, it's all about our little family of four.
My husband always reminds me to not let other peoples plans and thoughts dictate how we run our family, and being here away from all our people, maybe, hopefully, it will be easier to get into that habit.
I hope this doesn't come across selfish or self righteous... (same thing?).... but the reality is; we lost our sense of family somewhere in the last year, and already after two weeks, it's back. I'm sad we had to move "two days driving distance" away for us to find it, but I'm thankful all in the same breath.
Glad to be back.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
As the days pass and the big move approaches, my brain seems to be stretched and my creativity cramped.
I have decided to take a leave of absence from the blog world.
Since leaving our humble home I have felt homesick; missing the comforts of my scheduled and predictable life, my couch, my organized hall closet, and my kids at the kitchen table.
I have felt thankful to be loved and cared for in a new home with more space and activity than I could dream of.
I have felt overwhelmed by my ever changing feelings on the subject of leaving the city we have made home for 5 years.
I have felt pushed and pulled by God to spend more time in "quiet"; no talking, no typing, no tears or questions. Only listening ears and an open mind.
I have felt led down different paths... not every path leading back to where we are now.
Until a later date when I am feeling smarter, settled, and saltier.
Thanks for reading.
"Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
Monday, March 19, 2012
We have officially sold our house! We closed the deal and removed a few keys from our key chains on Friday. I would be lying if I said I didn't cry about something every day for the two weeks leading up to the closing date.
Now that all is said and signed I'm feeling a bit like an expert on the issue of selling a small house inhabited by two kids under 4, a 60 pound animal, and two adults. We put our house on the market on a Monday. The first showing was two days later and our house was shown every day for the next two weeks; and most days it was shown twice in one day. We were home long enough to make a mess, sleep, eat, and clean up before the next showing. Through it all, amazingly enough, my house stayed clean and tidy. I have a few friends in our same position (selling a house while raising small messy people), and they have asked if I had any tips now that I'm on the other side of it.
Glad you asked.
1) Listen to your real estate agent.
Our agent told us to rearrange the furniture to make the room look bigger, take a few furniture items out, minimize the "kid" spread around the house, de-bulk the closets and cabinets, and take almost everything off the kitchen counters.
We got a storage unit and loaded it up with all things holiday decor, fine china, outgrown baby clothes and toys, and kitchen appliances I could live without for a few weeks. Suddenly our house started to feel bigger and slightly less like my space.
2) Clean up!
Every night before we went to bed I made sure things were put away: laundry, dishes, toys, clothes, shoes, etc; basically any and every thing that was usually left out at the end of a long day. The things you pass on your way to bed as you say, "I'll get that in the morning".
I learned the hard way that sometimes Pearl from the agency will call at 8:30 A.M. asking if someone can show your house in an hour. I calmly told her "of course! thanks a bunch, Pearl!" as I looked at my kitchen table covered with breakfast and crayons, and then the sink full of dishes from dinner the night before, and finally our dining table covered in unfolded laundry; all to the tune of loud little voices still dressed in pajamas and neediness.
An hour, and two episodes of whatever was on the Disney Channel at that moment, later my kids were dressed, my house was clean, my blinds up and lights on.... my brain totally fried.
I loaded the kids and the dog into the car and we disappeared for an hour.
The day of our first showing felt like a first date. Very clearly I remember standing in our door way, breathing fast and sweating (despite the below freezing temperatures that day) I looked into my house, shut my eyes tight and prayed out loud that someone would "love this house as much as we do and feel at home and at peace when they walk through this door". Ten days later, the person that had come that day (and two other times after that) made an offer on our house, and is now the proud owner.
4) Get a routine
Whatever works for you in the clean up ritual, make it a routine so you don't even have to think about it when Pearl calls. For me it was kitchen first, then bedrooms and bathrooms, and last pick up toys. I usually put the girls in the car and then went back in the house to do a quick run with the Swiffer mop equivalent and pick up the toys they got out as we were walking out the door.
5) Light a Candle
I lit a candle every night after dinner. Also as soon as Pearl would call and I began my clean up ritual, I would light a candle. After the 30 minutes of tidying up, the house smelled great.
I still can't believe our house is no longer ours. I am so thankful it all went so fast, but I can't escape my homesickness. My systematic mornings, organized cabinets, and overall familiarity. I told my husband, through tears, the other night that I just "wanted to get something out of the hall closet!" It sounds so bizarre and so simple, but I love my space and my comfort. While I now have a new lovely space and every comfort imaginable the newness of our uprooting will take some getting used to. I am finding it hard to settle and organize now in the month of March because in three short months the uprooting continues.... and a year from that date, again!
With the roots I have been laying, I hope there is a place out there with a big enough hole for me to fill, and I hope it shows it's face sooner rather than later.
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Since I posted last a number of things have gone on surrounding our little family.
We are weeks from moving out of our adorable house with the yellow door and white picket fence. It took all of 10 days (and three separate visits I might add) for someone else to decide that there was a shared love for this little dwelling. We haven't closed and handed over keys just yet, so I don't like to say that we have "sold" it.... but rather, we are in a very serious relationship: past the point of dating, bought the rings, but haven't quite said our vows and made the full commitment. We have, however, been given the go ahead from our realtor that it is safe to pack it up. (*Entire blog post dedicated to "how to sell your house and pack it up in one month while you have two small and busy children running everywhere" coming soon) All that to say, we are moving out and across town to a lovely "apartment" on the second level of my in-laws house. Our complex comes complete with lovely people that will babysit for free, a playground, and a swimming pool next door. Needless to say, I am ecstatic about our 3 month stint in between homes.
My children have cycled through a number of colds. This is not surprising but it has kept us home from church and bible study, and it has moved Kleenex and Lysol to the top of the grocery list. Boring, but for the sake of full disclosure, it's something I've "been up to" lately.
I celebrated my birthday as long as I possibly could. My parents came to town the weekend before my birthday and treated me to food, shopping, and the U-HAUL store which came at the perfect time, as I had been feeling anxious about leaving and moving away from familiarity. Then on my actual birthday, I went through our usual Wednesday motions, except for ballet class; it was raining, so I let Bug watch a movie and eat (*100 calorie/low carb) popcorn instead. My husband took me to get sushi for dinner, to a place we have kept sacred and safe from our food slinging, Wet One requiring crew. We ate entirely too much and came home to watch reality TV: American Idol to be specific.... very much a guilty pleasure of mine. The following weekend, I was treated to a night out with about 20 of my favorite people. Everyone was wearing sequins and my husband surprised us with a huge Escalade Limo situation that drove us all over town and provided an endless amount of opportunities for "songs from college sing-a-longs". It was truly the greatest birthday I've celebrated to date. A huge big 30 year old hug to everyone that made it all possible!
The Sunday after my birthday, one of my favorite people finally made it home. She was glamorous, loving, hilarious, hospitable, faithful, tough, smart, and comforting; all the while carrying the perfect handbag. She was so much more than just kind words, she was also my grandmother, and the matriarch or our family. If you remember, in December we were able to celebrate her on her 90th birthday. I am so very thankful for the time we were all able to have with her and that we will all be able to remember her in her fabulous silver suit and heels, surrounded by almost all of her great grandchildren as she blew out the candles on her birthday cake and toasted champagne.
As I flew home, still dressed in my go-to, albeit adorable, black dress for funerals, I realized that for the first time in a long time I felt braver somehow about entering the Kingdom of Heaven. I've never been afraid of dying, because I am confident in my final destination, but I've always thought about it as if I were a 5 year old going over to a new friend's house for a play date. Nervous to walk up to the door by myself and meet new people, but thankful that my mom would walk with me to ring the doorbell. It suddenly seems less intimidating to be greeted by Saint Peter at the gates of Heaven, because I know my Nanie will be right behind him with open arms, a huge smile, and a "welcome home, Honey!" followed by a little giggle and a big squeeze. I just hope they let her wear the same perfume, she always smelled so good.
She will be missed, but fondly remembered every day.
We are ready to take on March and the allergies that come with Spring, as we pack our lives into categorized boxes and prepare for a move and a time of uncertainty.
Friday, February 3, 2012
I function best when I have a schedule and can know what to expect. I wouldn't go so far as to say that I am "high control", but I do like to know the who, what, where, when, and hows in most situations. I find safety in sameness and I care very little if anyone finds that boring. I'm actually far from boring, and if you read this blog, you know this to be true. I'll save my character evaluation for a later date. Today, I tackle a bigger issue; the issue bringing me to tears almost every day without warning. It's such a small thing; in fact, one might say it's silly that it upsets me so.... but I digress.
There is hardly an area of my life in which things remain the same. I take that back. My dog; he still "does his business" outside, eats at night, barks at anything with feet, and sleeps on my floor. But other than that, nothing is safe anymore.
I've mentioned that we are moving. Our house has been on the market for almost two weeks and we have had so much activity and interest, which is great, an answered prayer even. However, I find that we are home just long enough to eat, sleep, and then clean up the mess we made in that short amount of time, before we have to leave for another stranger to come to our house. They will walk around our rooms and look at our pictures...... If you are getting the sense that I am not comfortable with unidentified people roaming my dwelling, you're right! Did they wash their hands when they came in? What did they touch? Did they look in our refrigerator, or dishwasher, or washer/dryer? Did they sit anywhere? It sounds crazy, I know, but I just love my space and home.... judge as you will. The random roamers are not really the issue. I just don't feel ready to move on yet. Basically, I keep picturing me in our empty house, sitting on the floor holding one final box and having a movie moment, while I play a montage of memories in my head; from buying our first house, to throwing really great parties, to bringing home a baby, bringing home diabetes, and then bringing home another baby, and ALL the good and bad that fell in between. Tears are inevitable.
Another change worth mentioning is that with February 1, comes the beginning of my birth month. I have said before that because my actual birthday falls in the middle of the month, I like to stretch it out through out the entire month. This birth month, I will be 30. THIRTY. Honesty 2012: I have grey hair, wrinkles, and every time I add a new pilates "move" to my routine or another block to my route, I suffer for about a week. However, I can honestly say that I prefer my brain, maturity, and confidence level at this age much more than that of me at 25 so I'll take the good with the "bad". (I actually happen to like my gray hair... it's super shiny and thick, so when I decide to quit coloring it, I'll call Dove and audition for the "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" type campaign they will be running).
A few others:
-Bug is determined to do everything "BYMYSEEEEEEEEELLLFFFFF!" which adds about 10 minutes to every action.
-Peanut has learned to almost run... just fast enough to get away from me when she's holding my tea cup full of hot tea, as it spills and sloshes..... which is annoying because of 3 reasons: I'm afraid she will burn herself, I have to make another cup of tea, and now there is a new mess to clean before the next potential buyer comes to visit. You're wondering how she got a hold of it....
-Peanut has also learned to climb on the dining table in a split second, so nothing is safe there anymore
-My husband has begun studying for Radiology Boards, which means there is a bit of added stress to his day, AND he takes the laptop to work almost daily.... woe is me, I know.
-My hair is now 10 inches shorter
-The weather is totally unpredictable
-I didn't get to sign Bug up for K4 at her pre school next Fall
-My friends are pregnant (which means while we are gone, there will be new people created that I will have to wait to know later, instead of upon arrival)
-My family members are moving and starting new jobs and overall.... going further away from a comfortable driving distance.
I'll be the first to admit that it's all selfish. I know it is. If we get to move back to our little town after our gig in North Carolina, I'm afraid it will all be changed....different: new homes, new kids, new schools, new jobs, new spouses, new friends, new restaurants and shops, and so on. I know we won't be left behind or forgotten because we are too pushy for that. But I would be lying if I said that I don't often think, "What if they all figure out that they don't miss us?! And they get along just fine when we are away?" Which I know is not possible..... who else would remind you to clean the public high chair, wash your hands before you fix my dinner, or to not be afraid to wear heels or sequins during the day time?
I've already told our supper club that they are not allowed to replace us, so that area is covered. All the rest of you, consider this your warning..... don't go changing on me too much! And if you must go on living your lives, just make sure I'm aware of it so I can start dealing as soon as possible.
Have a great weekend!
*disclaimer: In no way is this a ploy to get you all to tell me that you'll miss us.... although, it is allowed.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
A cup of blueberries
A cup of sweet peas
7 pieces of deli turkey
2 slices of cheese
A cup of milk
2 pieces of whole wheat bread
1/4 cup of yogurt
And still she asks for "MOHHH!"
After all of that food, consumed in a 15 minute time span, Peanut begs for more food! Our table is in our kitchen which makes meal time slightly easier when Peanut is at the table. Here is how dinner service "went down" this evening:
Peanut is yelling (her only volume these days.... happy or sad; it's always at volume: shout), stomping her feet at the gate between the kitchen and the rest of the house. "EAAAAAT! EAAAAT!" I look at my watch and, she is right..... 10 minutes 'till dinner service number one. I wash her hands and head straight for the booster seat, grabbing the blueberries from the fridge as I pass. The sight of the blueberries induces clapping and leg kicking.... more shouting.
As soon as I dump out (what I think should take her 10 minutes to eat) about a cup of berries, she grabs two giant handfuls and shoves both of them into her mouth simultaneously. Then as I turn around, rushing to fix the peas.... she is shouting: "MOHHH!!" Tray cleared, mouth full, eyes piercing through me; knowing there are more berries in the fridge and I am withholding. I truly spin in circles grabbing food from the counter, all but throwing it at her in hopes it lands within her reach instead of in the dog's mouth. The dog is a totally different issue: whether he is licking her tray directly, licking her spoon (that she then puts back into her own mouth), or being fed by the diner.... he is never far and always interested.
Keep in mind that as soon as Peanut is seated, Bug notices that dinner has begun and she races to wash her hands and gives her input regarding the menu. So, as I am trying to keep a clear head with the shouting, and the spinning, and the serving; I am also checking blood sugar and counting the amount of carbohydrates I am serving my oldest child. Once the sugar is checked and the food is served, I head back to the counter and continue. Thankfully, Bug is a peaceful eater and often only speaks to ask "Why is she shouting?!" or to tell me "Mom, she is definitely going to have to have a bath after this. Just look at her face!" She is right.
Almost every night, the post dinner routine for Peanut is a strip down, pre-bath wipe down, and we head straight to the bath tub..... all the while I am laughing and asking her how in the world she got yogurt in her ear and smooshed blueberry on her back.
I know what you are thinking: "why don't you just get her food ready ahead of time and have it ready for her to eat before she gets fussy?!" I say to you, "No matter how early I prep; the hunger beast always wins." I invite you to dinner with a toddler, and after that you may speak freely
This is a phase. I know this because at one time, my peaceful eater was a shouter, food thrower, dog feeder, and 6 o'clock stress inducer. So, just for now, I will continue to go to the grocery store 3 times a week to keep us in fruit and breath through the labor of love that is feeding my 25 pound 16 month old.
Monday, January 9, 2012
I started at "Birth" as Chapter 1, and worked up from there. This stage of life falls at number 14.
1. A member of a group of people who have no fixed home and move according to the seasons from place to place in search of food, water, and grazing land.
2. A person with no fixed residence who roams about; a wander.