Thursday, January 27, 2011

Stir Crazy

You might have heard me mention that I hate winter and, clearly, it's started to affect my mind.  Because, out of sheer desperation, I am resorting to things like this:

Letting my child who cannot manage to get bread from his plate to his mouth without a mess play with shaving cream.  I threatened him within an inch of his life not to touch anything with those hands so I could snap a picture and then it took me 20 minutes to clean up.  Good times.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It's kind of a moot point at this stage of the game...considering the year is 1/12 over and I will probably be spending a good portion of this year in the haze of late pregnancy/new baby, but here it goes:  My 2011 Resolutions.  Duh duh duh duh duh. (that was supposed to be a dramatic drum roll, but it lost something in translation).

1.  Read more food labels.  Not for calories or fat or sodium, but for weird unknown ingredients.  Last year I made a valiant effort for more whole grains and water.  This is the 2011 equivalent.  Did you know they put MSG in lots of spice packets?  I'm sure you did, but I didn't and I don't want anyone here 
eating it or any other creepy chemicals where I can help it.

2.  Quit watching stupid TV.  I realized I'm filling valuable night time hours of quiet with the catty chatter of stupid people that I don't even care about.  Also, I kind of feel like my mind is turning to mush induced by days filled with feeding tubes, super-heros, and arguments about whether little people need coats or not--stupid TV is not helping the situation.  Maybe the news or a good book or a least a movie with a plot would help.

3.  Join a support group or a really good friend who understands what it's like to have a child like Lilah.  I even hate the words 'support group' just sounds cheesy and not really like something I'd be "into", but, come to think of it,  I'm not really "into" having a severely disabled child either, so I guess that argument is out.  This journey, I am learning, can be incredibly isolating and lonely and, while I don't really feel like reaching out, I do think it would be good for us.

4.  Quit making sarcastic comments about my bible study.  It's great and I've learned so much and I don't know why I have to be such a smart arse when grown women act like a simple bible study requires a procedure manual and an oath  people are different than me.  Besides, if I don't take it a little more seriously, I might get kicked out.  

Cheers to 2011!

5.  Read some news.  Any news, pertaining to anything in the world, besides that Scarlett and Ryan are getting a divorce or Nicole and Keith used a secret surrogate.  I have a secret fear that I might have to have dinner with someone important and have absolutely nothing intelligent to talk about other how to clean around a G-tube or program a sheep clock.

6.  Get organized.  This has been a resolution of mine since forever and it's probably not going anywhere anytime soon. I have a feeling it's going to get worse before it gets better, but I'm going down swinging.
Speaking of going down.....

#7.  To NOT lose my mind.  I think it will be a challenging year and I'm more than a little afraid of what the addition of screaming newborn will do to the sometimes 'near brink of disaster' state of affairs around here.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Careful What You Wish For

If I'd ever get around to posting my New Years Resolutions, you'd see one that looks something like this:

Enable my children to be more independent (Garrett, to the extent that is age-appropriate, and Lilah, as she is able)

My sweet little boy loves to be served.  His general motto in life seems to be, "there is no need to do for yourself what someone else will do for you".  Cleaning up after himself, hanging his coat, washing his hands, walking upstairs to get a toy....these are all things that can by done by his slave-girl (aka momma).  Obviously, I do my best to encourage him to do it himself, but I know I need to ramp up my efforts.  And here is why:  A few weeks ago, the little prince called me into the den (where he was watching tv) to set his empty juice cup on the table.  I had been feeding Lilah, so this 'emergency' call had required me to disconnect a feeding tube first.  I was not happy.  Change has been in the air since.  A crack down on all needless dependence, if you will.

First on my list to tackle were G's refusal to independently wash his hands after the potty (he is absolutely capable, btw) and his bellowing of my name in the wee hours of the morning, just to say he was ready to get up (I think he's old enough to come downstairs alone).  Both objectives are going well, but I am learning why I have been an enabler for so long----it is easier in the short run.  I, however, have my eye on the prize of making my life slightly less chaotic come new baby (hah! this makes me laugh to even say b/c I know no preparation in the world will make this true), and am going to persevere.....despite some bumps in the road.

The first 'bump' came last week, when Paul was out of town (of course).  I had Lilah in the bath and Garrett was 'washing his hands and then some' in the sink in her bathroom.  I'm not really sure what the 'and then some' involved.....but I do know that it resulted in her sink falling through the granite countertop. Note to self:  most adhesives are not made to withstand a 40 lb boy.

The second 'bump' came this morning, when an interaction between a mis-programmed sheep clock and a new Iron Man toy resulted in me rolling over at 6 am to this staring me in the face:

Which was awesome because I popped out of bed ready to greet the day and, two hours later, my heart rate has almost recovered.  And, like MLK, I have a dream....only mine is of uninterrupted sleep.:)  At this point, I'm thinking MLK's dream seems more realistic.

Friday, January 14, 2011

It's a....

I had my big ultrasound this week and am happy to report a happy, healthy, very wiggly baby in there, who weighs a whopping 14 oz:).  I was getting a bit more anxious the closer we got to the ultrasound because even though I feel like this baby is healthy, obviously we are a bit more skittish than we were the other 2 times.  Just as a refresher, Lilah does have a genetic deletion syndrome....that is, her troubles are at the level of DNA and began at conception.  Through genetic testing and counseling right after we found out what she 'had', we found out that our DNA is perfect (actually, mine was perfect and Paul's was average.  kidding!), and Lilah's genetic disorder  was a spontaneous fluke 'accident'.  We also learned that our future children carried the exact same risk as the general population for any problems (i.e. no more risk than normal).

Every stage in pregnancy makes it more 'real', and this is definitely a big milestone.  There is definitely a baby in there, who is definitely coming sometime in early summer.  I am more than half way through the pregnancy, which is very hard to believe (except when I look in the mirror) and it seems to be moving more rapidly than the other two.  I already love this child, this next member of our family and can't wait to meet him/her.

We would appreciate any and all prayers for the health of this little one and for his or her continence.  May he/she be an 'easy', relaxed baby that sleeps well and allows me to care for the needs of Lilah (and the rest of us) as well.  I would be lying if I didn't say that I get a bit more nervous as the days go, as Lilah seems to be getting more difficult to care for daily, both physically and emotionally.

Oh, and we are not finding out gender;)

"Children are a gift from the Lord.  They are a reward from him."
--Psalm 127:3

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Please Visit Me in the Home

The "home" for crazy people.  Because that's where I'm headed.  On a bullet train.  BECAUSE I'VE BEEN STUCK INSIDE WITH THESE WHINY LITTLE PEOPLE FOR MONTHS.  I never liked winter to begin with, but it honestly never affected my life in the way it does now.  Before kids, it was life as usual, with a jacket.  Now, it's 4 months of unending hell.  (I'm feeling melodramatic today people)  It's too cold to go outside.  It's too germy to go anywhere else.  (As it is, in our virtual quarantine, Lilah was on antibiotics 30/31 days in December.)  Going anywhere, anytime, is like an Act of Congress and makes me want to take shots of Redbull and blast "We are the Champions" to get fired up in preparation for the 20 minute negotiation of hats, coats, and attitudes.

This winter has been especially gruesome, and it's only just begun.  I think that's why I'm will not quit snowing....the few activities we do have keep being cancelled for weather...we have already had way too many doctor visits...and it's barely the middle of January.  I wish I could stick my head in a hole until Spring.

It could be worse....remember that part in Little House on the Prairie: The Long Winter where the Ingalls ran out of coal for the fire and to twist together hay in tight knots to burn? Yes? No?! Well, at least I don't have to literally tunnel through the snow to feed the livestock.....excuse me while I go turn up the heat.  Clearly, from the LHontheP rant, I'm teetering on the edge of insanity.  Don't hold me accountable for anything I say until at least April.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Day (again)

I am all done with the snow. I don't really like the cold and I am getting bitter that my kids have not been to school in eons.  That's why I moved to the south.  The fact that I don't like winter.  Oh, and true love.
Anyway, it snowed again and I am so flappin tired of being in the house with the kids that I undertook the challenge of taking them out in the snow.  Apparently, people are still suffering from blocked arteries, so off to work Paul went, despite a Road Crisis!.

It went pretty well, although I will say that if I wasn't in my 'condition', I would have had a stiff drink before getting us all suited up--and after, too.  I'm proud that we made it out the door, so I wanted to share the pictures because it was no easy feat.  You know the issue we have around here with certain little people protesting appropriate clothes? Right.  Multiply that by 50 for snow gear.

 G thought he was so big with the bigger boys! Amazes me how he can be so hesitant about some things--but NOT sledding:) He never looked back.

So this was one of the times where I decide that I should give Lilah the 'experience' of something. The sledding part went ok, but I did not factor in the climb back up the hill with Her Chubbiness.

This is where I'm starting to think I've bitten off more than I can chew:)

Too late.  Off we go. 

It was 'one and done' for Lilah and Momma.  Garrett is still out there.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Game On

So, I'm right at the half way mark of this pregnancy.  Which means I'm starving every, oh, say 30 minutes and no food is exempt.  I eat plenty of health food, but when you eat around the clock, there are sooo many opportunities for everything else too. I said at the beginning of this pregnancy (like I have with the others) that I was really going to watch what I ate and not balloon up like Miss Piggy.  That's really frickin easy to say when you are barfing your guts out every morning and the thought of anything other than a plain waffle makes you want to hurl.  For me, when that phase passes, anything not nailed down is fair game and I forget all about what it's going to feel like to heave around 15 extra pounds for several months.  But, I'll deal with that later....seize the day.....for that matter, seize the cookie!.

You know that phase babies go through where they get so chubby you think that they are going to pop?? And it's so cute you just want to squeeze them and kiss their rolls.  Well, I'm just like that only totally different. Someone near and dear to my heart has a hefty head start on me in the game of porking up.  Check this out....this lady is an expert....and she's done it all without any Christmas cookies.  I am a mere ameteur.

My sweet niece, AnnaKate, who is about the cutest little thing I've ever seen.  And, someday, when she's tall and thin and super-model-esque like her mama, that picture is going to be even funnier.  If that's even possible.

Here is the princess at Christmas.

Excuse me...snacks are calling my name.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Things I Learned in 2010

Oh how I  wish I could cross these things off my list now, but that's just not how it works, huh?  Some of my lessons I've learned before and forgotten, some I learned in fresh ways, surely many I will they are.

1.  no one knows my life but me and God (and, to a large degree, my husband and my mom).  as much as we want someone to 'understand' us or our situation, I'm learning that never happens fully.

2.  because of this people make stupid comments that are not intended to be insensitive (see #1).  I am learning, really slowly, to quit letting this hurt my feeling or make me feel isolated.  I am also more aware (hopefully) of my own comments, because I realize this theory works both ways.

3.  the power of an adults-only trip far, far away is unbelievable.  the excitement, the rest, the Freedom, the laughs, and the hope that I can possibly do it again have been recharging and sustaining for an entire year.

4.  murphy's law is real and powerful and it goes something like this:  if I change the sheets, someone will wet their bed (or worse) That night....if there is a Dr's appt, made at an otherwise 'perfect' time, I will have to wake one or both children up from record-breaking naps....the things you are sure your children will love, they don't, and vice versa....if I cook dinner Paul will get stuck in a case and if I have no plan, he will come home at 5 starving....if I have my phone on vibrate and don't hear it, it will be the one time Lilah's school needs me.....I could go on, but you get my drift.

5.  drinking more water really does make me feel better.  so does coffee.  and ice cream, but in different ways.

6.  my brain is slowly failing me.  I must write things down, and double check, or I forget.  I'm getting nervous that my golden years will find me with a little notebook around my neck that reads: "my name is: Gina.   I live in: Knoxville"

7.  less really is more.  especially in terms of "to dos", commitments, obligations, etc.  I'm striving to do a few things well....I let you know when I figure out what those things are going to be:)

Sometime life is more about surviving than I'd like it to be.  But, even in surviving, we are stretching, growing, and changing...however hard it may be.  I always I could miraculously be transformed into a better person without the hard stuff--that's just not how it works though.  I'm nervously excited about 2011, knowing well that a new baby will bring a new set of joys and challenges....and praying for health and peace in this New Year.

Monday, January 3, 2011

I think it was Christmas

It just went so a blurry, speed tunnel sort of way.  But, Christmas was great, or so 'they' tell me.  I feel like I can hardly remember yesterday, much less a week ago.  I blame pregnancy (it's such an easy scapegoat), but am going to have to start coming up with better excuses soon.  So, if you get a note thanking you for the ZhuZhu pet and you actually got my child Legos, forgive me.  Likewise if you find me mumbling and lost anytime in the near future, point me home and don't tell anyone.

Anyway, back to my point.  What was my point? Oh yeah, Christmas.  See, I told you I was losing it:) I would recap, but I don't have much to share.  Although I do remember promising myself, in a sleep deprived stupor (from a 4 year old that I'm pretty sure never went back to sleep after his 1st of 284,000 questions of "is it time for presents yet?") that next year, I would have no expectations.  I'm not sure where in the timeline of Christmas morning that fell.... after we resorted to letting Lilah watch Backyardigans during the present opening because she could have cared less....before the firm 'discipline' Garrett received for being sassy and throwing a's hard to say.  But next year....I'm going to envision anger and dissension from my troops ahead of time , so as to be better prepared for the merriment.  :)

 took the kids to see my grandparents.  you know how you want your kids to be precious and adorable for relatives....especially those who they may never see again? right.  that did not happen here.
 a sweeter side of Ms Ya:) if she's in the right mood she will pose for the cute!
 the kids and I were very spoiled with lots of "granna" time this Christmas

 Christmas morning with Papa

 loving on her "granny"
G and his cousin, Elizabeth digging into even more presents.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy 2011!! How in the world is it 2011? How does time simultaneously seem to move both slow and fast in my mind? I have no idea...and no time to contemplate it, because it's time to get my Christmas decorations down, cook the beans, and get my ducks in a row for the new year.

Speaking of ducks in a are mine:)

I love the New Year...a fresh start, a clean slate, out with the old, in with the new, yada, yada, ya.  2010 was a good year for our family--full of highs (an adults only trip to St John, a new home) and lows (hospital trips, moving twice), but most of it was in the middle.  And strangely, sometimes the middle is hard.  There is something about the extremes that makes it easier in some unexplainable way.  Maybe it's the endorphins, or the emotions, the panic or just God's grace that carries us through during the highs and lows.  But the middle of life is where you just have to gut it out and keep trudging along.

And it seems like most of life will be lived in the middle and I think I'm 'in for' a harder middle ground than I expected in life.  I'm hoping that 2011 is full of many more highs than lows, but mostly that I grow in the ability to live the middle with energy, joy, peace, and pursuit.  Wishing you and yours the same.  Cheers to 2011!!