Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I'll Fly Away

I've had emotional days. Maybe the tremendous stress, maybe that return of my big fat circle (period). Maybe emotional bubbles rising to the top. I'm a big ol' shaken up Coke bottle. I'm working through it. I can see sunshine through it all, so it's all good.

I found a new song today (or rediscovered an old one). It brings tears and joy to my heart. All at the same time. (It's down below on my playlist, at number 84, if you want to share in my tear-fest.) I think it's the memories pulled up by hearing it-memories of childhood hearing it at church, memories of my mom singing it in the car, the memory of it at my grandmother's funeral last year on my birthday. Just thinking about the sweet angels who've left our company much too soon. Hallelujah that they are rejoicing and singing at the feet of Jesus.
: ) We'll be there one day.

I've joined the ranks of a few million others as I bought an iPhone last week. It was the usual learning curve: first, you aren't sure you even like it, then figure out how to use it, and it grows on you..finally, you are downloading applications like there's no tomorrow. "There's an app for that!" is their slogan, and they are not joking. You can't even just "shop", you have to know what you are looking for to find one. I found some that are for making grocery lists, and they remember the order you check off things, and order them by store, so they'll be in the right order next time you shop there. I found one to use to look up carb counts for foods (but found out Ches had already bought it!), games for the kids to play-even practice drawing letters, a flashlight, level, famous quotes, books that are stored on your phone, just amazing things. I'm still learning, but at least I can make and receive calls. It's a start.

I also added service back to my old phone. I am keeping it to share our minutes and send with the kids when they are away from us. I haven't told them it's theirs, but it's available. When Mary Claire is away from us, it really scares me, and I need her to be able to contact me as soon as possible. I want her to have confidence alone, and know I'm only a phone call away. She's done extremely well, but you never know. I can't let my guard down. And I've learned I can't do it all and be everywhere at once.

I didn't listen to a sweet friend who told me their mistake after they miscarried. I was _______ (insert polite word for stupid). I am taking dinner to a family that just had a baby last week. I've worked on it all morning, and I know they need help (a baby does zap your energy, and it's their third), and so many people prepared meals for me, and I absolutely loved not having to worry about dinner on those days. So I put my name on the list. I just wonder if it was not a good idea. I'm digitizing the baby's name to monogram a blanket and cloth diaper for a gift. I just can't go make it. Maybe I'm just tired or lazy. I'll do it.

I had started an art piece (part acrylic, part collage-scrapbook-y looking) for the Silent Auction this weekend, but I don't know if I'll finish it either. (What's with me?) I wasn't happy with it so far, so I just took a break. I might finish it, but I have to add more. I think I was partly making it for me-big J (for Jones), and scripture to fit around the J (with the J for Jesus), and I thought I'd auction off a custom one for the winner, but then I thought I'd just auction this one, and make me another one...or I'd be sure I win the auction, and the church would get the money. See? I'm even confused writing about it! I am just in slow motion.

We are going to get our flu shots/flu mist this evening (it's our plan). We've called all over looking for the flumist, and found it at our kids' pediatric office. We'll make Ethan an appointment, and we'll get it too while we're there. Clay and Mary Claire are scheduled to get it at school on November 9th, but I don't know if it'll be soon enough, and I'm willing to pay for them to get the flumist this year. It has all three of the flu strains, and the vaccine only has the one they expect to be the worst for his year. It's also good for a year rather than 3 months. I want to get it when I'm not pregnant since I'm, number one, fearful of needles, and number two, have fears of anything coming into my body if I'm pregnant. I still won't give up the toxoplasmosis thing. I'm trying to let it go, really.

Today, hug your sweeties, then let them fly away : )

Sunday, September 27, 2009

So Thankful-even for sticky rice

I have to tell you my heart is renewed (broken then mended by the hands of God). I read yesterday about a mom that a friend knows, Katie (check out her blog if you are prepared to cry your heart out and get on your knees in prayer for her). I have read back in time on her blog, and feel so blessed to just be where I'm at right at this moment. Her daughter, who lived for two precious days on earth (and thankfully, Eternity with God) paid the price for my repentent and thankful heart (as she says). Oh to know that your child accomplished God's purpose for them in only two days. God is still reaping from her tiny, precious life. This was recent (in August), not long before I miscarried, so I guess I can also draw parallels.

I can't imagine carrying a baby to term, having a room prepared (and a closet full of pink clothes-as I did with Ethan and had to return/exchange them), and not coming home with a sweet-smelling new baby. I didn't have the time to do that, and I am actually almost thankful-I don't know if I could have handled it as gracefully (and I do mean Full of Grace) as she has. God has given us each gifts, and mine may not include fortitude.

We have decided to try one more time. If it doesn't go well, I'm not sure we'll have any more babies of our own. It is a hard thing to go through, and it's almost a lonely road. The kids are still praying daily for a healthy baby girl (I promise-I don't bring it up at all!). They request to pray for "her" every morning! If only we could be more like little children. So full of faith. We do pray for her, and it breaks my heart every morning. Only God knows what He has planned for those that love Him. (1 Corinthians 2:9)

We did have our full day yesterday (games, Brownie Day, date night) and kids' PRE, church, and batting practice today. We are all so tired. It seems like we can't wait for Friday to get here, then by Sunday we are ready to return to the easier schedule of school. It has to slow down as some point, doesn't it? We did get to sit outside for a little while before dinner (and took some sweet pictures of Ethan chasing leaves!) and Ches swam with the kids after dinner while I cleaned up all our sweet and sour chicken and sticky rice! We've switched to brown rice, but it still sticks to the table, the kids' clothes, and the floor-so gross. And I thought the worst was grated cheese all over the floor. (followed closely by Rice Krispies since they dry and BOND with the floor!). And as I cleaned all the ick, I was thanking God for kids to dirty my house, and kids to clean up after-really. Sometimes we all just need a reality check.

Next Saturday is Ches' big ride: the Tour de Cure for ADA. He rode another 100 miles on Friday to get ready. He tried to ride most of the route-it's harder this year with Hogeye and down towards Devil's Den included: many more hills! He's pushing tons of carb boosters out on the road, and stops in to get a big drink with ice halfway (I don't know if he'll take the time during the race?). Then when he gets home, he starts eating to recover the minimum 5000 calories he'd burned. I noticed he looked thinner, and he said he'd lost five pounds that day! He does NOT have it to lose! : P I had made some beef stew (since he craves meat and veggies when he gets home after all that sugar!), and he had two bowls, then he even drove to McDonald's to get a Big Mac (which we just don't do!) and a drink to add to his calories. Just Imagine. Eating all you want because you NEED the calories. Mind boggling.

Next weekend will be equally busy with our International Dinner and Silent Auction for our church building fund, the Tour, and Clay's games. I also told precious little Isabella she could come play (even if that means tagging along to our games!). She's a doll, and the kids just adore her. She can be our "borrowed-adopted" daughter while we wait to see what God has in store for us!

See? I'm even more thankful for my friends' precious children. Thank you, God, for teaching us even through pain. God meant it for good (Genesis 50:20).

Friday, September 25, 2009

Clean your desk, Clean your life!

I'm sleeping so soundly at night! I think it's all the busy in the day. And at night...
Ethan sleeps for about an hour in the day now, since he has the new bed. He's still so excited maybe? Then he doesn't go to sleep until after 10pm. This morning he woke up calling out, "Ma-mop! Ma-Mop! Where are you, Ma-mop?" and I just can't lay in bed. He's such a sweetie, and how long has it been since someone really wanted me? Precious is all I can say. I will sacrifice sleep for an angel. : )

We went out this morning. First, we washed and vacuumed the van. Oh, and how great that feels! To get rid of all that road grime from a week of rain! (I washed it last Saturday too, but it rained on the way home that afternoon!!) The absolute best car wash is Happy Bays on Sunset in Springdale! I get the $8 wash, and when I'm done, my wheels are so shiny, and my tires are somehow shiny and armor-all-y! Just a miracle! I love it. I have a frequent washer card, and I'm almost to my free wash! (Just imagine, $80 for a free wash...) And you get an alcohol-y type wipe, and while I'm being pulled through the long wash (in neutral), I wipe down my windows, dash, and the entire front of the car! Then I pull over to the *free* vacuum, and suck out all the week's garbage (crumbs, popcorn, Dorito pieces, straw wrappers, cup holder ick, etc.). I just love going! It makes me clean out the car, and it's the best! Then I want to come home and clean my house the same way!

I have been cleaning my desk all afternoon. I get so tired of it looking messy. I have piles everywhere (that must be my messy style), so they had to be retired. I reorganized all these little bins, cubbies, drawers, and boxes that I have. It feels all aired out (kind of like my van!).

You should clean your desk (or work space today):
1. Organize your pens (throw out the ones that don't work!), scissors, rulers, colored pencils (I keep a cup of these just to decorate stamped cards, but you can decorate your calendar! You do have one, don't you?)
2. Clean up your calendar: get all those little business cards with appointments and school notes with upcoming events and merge them to one calendar! (I do this with ALL calendars: sports practices, boy & girl scouts, gymnastics, games, parties, church events, kids' PRE schedule, hair/dentist/doctor appointments, library story times and events, and play dates. Don't keep all those individual schedules and cards-they'll drive you to drink! (and not Coke!) Ok, then: Throw All That Extra Paper Away! or recycle it.
3. Set up a file system for things that come your way. Bills/Budget, Store Sales/Coupons, Things to Process (or Things To Do), Upcoming Travel Info, Stuff to Scrapbook (although I'm up to boxes of stuff..), and you may need a file for birthday cards for upcoming birthdays (I can't possibly do that, but I'll explain why next).
Keep these on top of your desk or very handy, or you won't use them, and you'll go back to Pile Methodology.
4. I have three boxes (photo boxes) full of cards. Some are thank you's, some are blank (inside, and some are blank all over so I can fill them with print, flowers, punches, tags, brads, and eyelets..), some are for certain holidays, party invitations, etc. I have small (handmade) tabs/file dividers to divide the occasions for the cards. When an occasion arises, sometimes I have a card that fits. I buy them if I walk by and they catch my eye (but I don't really need them...yes, an addiction), because one day I'll want it, and I won't be able to find it again! (yes, it's happened!) So, if you have a Card Addiction, clean them up, and throw away those ugly Thank You's from the 90's and freebie cards from non-profits that you will never use. Get Real.
5. Only touch your mail once. Open it over a trash can. If it's not a bill, throw the whole thing away (or throw away the garbage inside, and keep the one page that you like/or don't). If it's a sale flyer that you might use, put it into your Sales file.
6. Have your tape/stapler/punches/new monogram embosser (just got it and LoVe it!) out and reachable (but not by your two-year-old).
7. Clean your computer screen, keyboard, mouse (if you have mice. If so, get a mouse trap), and the top of your desk. Drink rings are not okay.
8. Deal with all the bits of paper that aren't appointments. They just collect dust. Get a box for all your papery bits and notes, or trash them (or put them in an adorable little pink pail!)
9. Get yourself a little basket for odd shaped things that have made their way to your desk, but plan to put them away asap (camera, baby monitor, gift cards, pictures).
10. Keep a couple of sweet pictures out to remind you of what's important, and plan to get a small lamp-it makes it so comfy and reduces the screen glare!
11. Take out all the trash (you do have a trash can, right?) you've removed, and voila! You have a cleaner desk and more room to be creative and process life as it happens!
*Bonus: I have little labeled clothespins (make clear labels with a tiny font then cut out and stick to the clothespin-it looks like they are printed!), then I tie little bows on them out of scrap ribbon. They make you want to organize your paper stuff! I have one for receipts (that are getting ready to be used to return an item), one for stuff to do ASAP, and one for This Week. I also have a few just with bows to group things that are in-the-process. They are just so darn handy!

So, clean your car, and clean your desk! I think I really breathe better afterwards! (you know, not that shallow, I-am-overwhelmed-have-too-much-to-do type breathing!) You have to start somewhere!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hard to Sleep with Excitement in your tummy!

What a sweet day. : ) I got kisses blown to me by Mary Claire this morning as she was turning her head-just precious, then Ethan hugged me tight at the post office and in story time. He's so sweet, and sometimes just wants to hold on to me or cuddle up in my lap and be wrapped up tight. He sat down on the floor in story time today, and tried to take his shoes and socks off. When I told him no, he played around during the Hokey Pokey, made his way to the opposite side of the room, and took them off! He was outside my "jurisdiction" and knew it. I just watched and enjoyed the cuteness. He was so proud of himself and danced around the room!

Then when we got ready to leave, he cried when we checked back in one of his library books. The lady was so nice, and said she'd go down and get it (downstairs where the book drop roller thingie leads to where the hobbits and magic mice live). He was crying, and we walked around to wait. They were opening up the front glass doors of the library since it was so amazingly beautiful today-and you could hear the roar of motorcycles on Dickson for BBB (Bikes, Blues, and BBQ). We walked around, then went for a snack at the little stand. He picked a banana (and I wanted to cover him with kisses), and I picked a nice dark, banana bread (I think it was a cross between banana and gingerbread maybe-a touch of cinnamon-very good!). He ate most of his banana before the nice librarian got his book and we rechecked it. It was a good visit (and we got to see Sandra and Nora too!).

My baby slept in his big boy bed for the first time last night. He was up late, and then up early (sounds funny..). He was so excited! Now, it's naptime and he is yelling, "Yay!" for himself, I guess? and playing with noisy things. I've already been back in there once, and he was back in bed by the time I got to the top of the stairs! At least he's smart. I don't know how this is going to go. The bigger kids just stayed in their beds the best I can remember. I know I have Mom-nesia, but I really think they did. Although, I also remember they might have been older? I always wait as long as possible to move them! : )

I've very hungry for meat. I miss beef stew. I haven't had any since last winter, and I'm thinking about it. I had the realization as I was on the bypass, but Ethan did not want to go to Wal-Mart to get a few groceries. If he doesn't want to go, I shall not take him. He'll make me pay. I'll go later. Alone.

He's quiet now, so maybe he's drifting off? Or he's on his way down? : )

I made my friend a wreath last night. I got the stuff while I was out then I just couldn't look at it in the floor. It is easier on the eyes to see it all put together looking pretty than a pile of fall leaves in my bedroom floor! I also finished the veternarian white coat (for Ellie Mae's Halloween costume!). I monogrammed it, but had so much trouble last week. I got my machine adjusted so the bobbin wasn't quite so loose, and now it's much better. I wish I'd taken a picture of the lab coat-it was adorable. I monogrammed the scrubs with her first name, equally adorable. Ches asked if I should do that (monogram in the DVM) since she hadn't earned it yet, and I had to tell him she's only 6!

I think he's really asleep! That didn't take too terribly long. I'm off to get me a nap too. My expectations for today are slowly dropping....

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Could you spell Paraphernalia without a spell checker? Correctly?

Whew. What a weekend! Need TMI? : ) We've had baseball, soccer, and the HOGS football!! There's been so much!

First was Clay's baseball game (in which he had a slide-into-home-plate run!) (which helps us get our money out of those sliding pants under his baseball pants that you can't even see!). Ethan successfully climbed the bleachers (!), whined to go play on the Park, desperately wanted popcorn, a drink, spilled my drink, wanted his *Clay*!, etc.

Then, we made it to Sam's, and they had Chester Cheetah outside, free Cheetos paraphernalia (which made it to our house..), a football throw, AmAziNg barbecue from Damon's BBQ (a vendor outside)-there was so much we couldn't made two meals out of all of all the ribs (FaLL of the bone-tender, seriously) and pulled, smoked pork. Then after an hour or so we made it inside the store to all the yummy samples (I just Love Food Day!), but I was too full to eat (note to self: game days are Food Days).

Last night, we did NOT make it to the great tailgating party that was at Pratt Barn, and was so cool! We are uncool (and have kids). We did, however watch the Razorbacks vs. Georgia Bulldogs (and were sad they didn't WiN!), at the same time as Minority Report and Sweet Home Alabama (yes, all at the same time!). We were up until MR went off at 12:12 last night (this morning!). We should totally not do that. We do it every night. I'm usually in bed by 11, then Ches moves his big eating party to our bed (yes, includes sandwiches, chips, cottage cheese, and ice cream in FRoNT of me!), and watches Jimmy Kimmel (and he DoeS make me laugh!), but last night we pulled the triple header, and we were so tired this morning!

I think part of it was Mary Claire. She was so low all evening. She was between 48-88 all evening. I was giving that girl free juice, sugar tablets, popsicles, and she was still staying low! We also turned down her pump's basal rate to 0% almost all evening. She was still dropping! I think I learned from it though. (Was there ANYthing good to come of it?) I think her basal is too high, even though her doctor thought it was too low in March. And I think her bolus ratio for food in the evening is too low. I think that might be why we have so many problems with irrational (unreasonable) blood sugars in the evenings (usually 9pm-12am). When her basal drops down at midnight to about .25 units an hour, I no longer have to worry about her. So, I'm still learning, five and a half years later. . .

Today, was church, and the first day of PRE for the kids for the year! Mary Claire was most excited, since this is the year she'll make her first communion! She just can't wait! : ) Sweet girl. Clay was only nominally excited, as he's peaked for a while. He did have fun in class since he found fellow boys to horse around with. (I did note the preposition, but it works for me)

Then, we had the seating dilemma. We don't really have a pew staked out, per se. We just sit in the same general area every week, and our church can get full. So. We planned (well, Ches planned. I really don't care. Really.). He dropped me off (not at the door I requested), and I went to get the kids from their rooms (two different buildings, but I got to see old friends!). I was supposed to take them to church, get Ethan from Ches, and take him to the nursery, all the while Ches would save us seats. Well. When we (me and oldest kids) got in there, Ches was alone! Come to find out, Ethan pitched a big ol' fit about No Church!! Play! so he didn't even bother trying to explain that I was going to take him to play, he just took him. (Yes, I know, it's going to be rough when he transitions back into church with us, but it works today, and I'm all about making it today.) So, we had seats, even room next to us, so crisis averted. : )

Today, my kids made a Space Ship out of all the tubs I bought to clean out their closets! I'll post pictures if I can get my camera battery charged enough to upload the pix! They are having very loud fun (which is almost as good as sneaky, quiet fun) since people get to know how great it is!

Ches' Biggest Issues:
Travel (includes, but is not limited to: car traffic on busy/game/event days and Wal-Mart employee traffic to Bentonville around 8am and toward Fayetteville after 5:30pm; plane travel: making it to the airport, getting through security, getting to the gate, food at the airport, getting kids through the airport, getting internet at the airport, parking at the airport, getting a rental car at the airport, getting a big enough car at the rental location, finding our way around a new city, finding the hotel)
Food: having enough (must go to grocery store multiple times a week, must always have Breyer's neopolitan ice cream, fat free cottage cheese, Hiland fat free milk, Coke bottles (small, 12 oz), his Diet Dr. Pepper cans, Diet A&W Root Beer cans, Sugar Free popsicles in Fruit Flavors, Tropical Flavors, Sargento cheddar jack cheese sticks, Smucker's grape jelly in the upside down squeezy bottle, Reduced Fat peanut butter, crackers, bread or buns...) Missing these items involves a trip to the grocery store. Even at 10pm. Must go to grocery store immediately after landing in a new city, usually before the hotel. Takes snacks on every road trip (even on the way to church-10 minutes away, on the way to take Clay to a practice, or on the way to the grocery store), Takes food to the movies (even though he buys popcorn and Coke every time)
Ok, I should stop. It's getting longer! : O

We asked the kids what they really wanted for Christmas, as they are old enough to only get one nice present, and we're tired of traipsing all over town for every little adorable thing to come along (And they're rooms reflect it!). This year, we started earlier than usual (we're usually done by Halloween-it works well for planning, but not so much for budget since we miss all the sales). Clay has decided on a Nintendo (I think) DSi (and he wants Mario Bros. game with it-yes, he called it bros. rather than brothers!), and Mary Claire wants either at DSi since she can play games AND music with it, or a pink iPod nano (and if she gets the DSi, she wants the Barbie horse game). So, I told them that now we've discussed it, and shopped at Sam's, we shouldn't speak of it anymore. Well, Clay was *game shopping* today, and locked up Ches' computer!

Clay: But, Mommy, I was just...
Me: No Buts. No more speaking of it, or it won't be a surprise on Christmas morning!
Clay: Ok, but don't forget Mario Bros!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Making Fun is No Fun

Lucky You. You get to hear me vent. If you can't handle it, run now.

Last chance to turn back. Don't blame me later.

I've learned that not everyone in my church is really a Christian. Really. I know you probably already know that (maybe even about your church). We know that it's just a collection of sinners trying. They just try in a different way. I just hate it when it is a glaring obvious fact that I can't deny. And I have to admit that yes, they go to my church. Yes, I'm embarrassed to be in the same location as them at least once a week. Yes, they warm a pew, but no, they don't seem to learn anything by osmosis. I just hope they aren't out in the world proclaiming to be a Christian (which I know they do, as they are pride-filled). Ahh, I'm no better as I rant about them.

I hate it when someone thinks they are so good, and they make fun of someone else to make themselves look better. It's either the underdog in me, or my need to cheer the underdog. This person made fun of another parishioner (one of my friends from Bible Study) publicly. How could you find enjoyment in this? I called a good Christian friend for wise counsel, and I'm praying for the meanie (fellow sinner) now. She (Good friend) also reminded me to tell Satan to get away from me, as he was fueling my anger. The stupidity was wrong, I defended my friend, and it's enough. I'll just pray that the meanie becomes more like Jesus, and has the opportunity to meet Him one day.

I just can't imagine. The finding pleasure at making fun. I've never understood that. I do know, from psychology, that it means that person is insecure.

May you be secure enough that you never sink to that level. That you never need to hurt someone to make yourself feel stronger.

To the Meanie: That other person is doing the best she can, and struggles to be a better person in her sleep than you are awake! She constantly reflects to make herself more humble, and a better mother. You should consider it. Tone down that pride, and take a look at your own life.

Note to self: Keep praying for meanie. No one else may be praying for her.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Little One That Didn't Get Away

Ahh, the misconceptions. Literally. (wonder where that word came from..).

When you "mis-conceive", it is hard on everyone around you. They don't know what to think, then don't know what to say. So, sometimes they stay away, or avoid it all together. Sometimes, they plow into unknown territory, and ask anyway, because they care. I think it's sweeter to have a friend ask and mess up than not ask.

Ethan and I went to storytime at the library today, and he was so huggy! He didn't really want to sit with the kids up by the picture book, or sing up close. He wanted to stay close to me and be loved and hugged. Then we got some books and puzzles, and came home. This evening, after dinner, he really surprised me! We sang "If You're Happy and You Know It" in storytime this morning, and he started singing it and clapping! Then after we sang it with him all the way through, he started singing "The Wheels on the Bus"! I had to move his arms to the motions this morning, and he wouldn't sing, but at home, he would do it by himself! Two year olds can still surprise me!

Then after we got home this morning, we sat on the driveway for a while, reading and playing. Then, he took off his shoes in the grass (and it did look really terrific for toes!), and ran around (and ran off!). I found him in the garage and told him it was time to go inside to eat lunch. He took off, and ran FAR! I came out of the garage, and he was half way across the street (and our driveway is long!). I walked (since I didn't want him to run away) towards him, and he stopped. Then when I got within 10 feet, he took off again, and ran all the way to our neighbor's fence-a really long way from our house! Stinker. I got his hand and walked him home. Then I had a talk with him. I told him that he scared me, and he could not run away again (and he said, "Okay"). Then, tonight at dinner, he told Ches he scared Ma-Mopp today! I'm so surprised at his memory. It's really growing (or lengthening?). We retold the story, and Ches talked to him too. He just doesn't realize. Then Ches told him there were snakes in the high grass (the empty lot next to us), and he's scared of snakes. He plays into Ethan's fears (like bees and snakes).

What a day. We also made it to the post office to mail another team shirt, and to Mary Claire's school to take her library books, lest she not get to check new ones out! Come to find out, they didn't get to check out because of the book fair, so it's a good thing I got a few extra at the library today! She read them, then ran up to Clay's room to get a Magic Tree House book. Clay has already read them, but I guess she wants to make her way through them now!

When we took Clay and a friend to baseball practice, Mary Claire asked me if she could play baseball! I didn't even know she wanted to play! Last year, she said no, but now she's changed her mind. She also wants to play basketball and soccer! : ) I'll sign her up for what I can, but we are packing our days! She had said she wanted to try out for Children's Choir, but we just can't do it all. She's going to learn what it has taken me years to figure out. I just can't do it all (and if I do, nothing is done well).

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Seven with New Earrings

Some days are just so darn fun! It was the usual busy, and we worked super hard at Girl Scouts (16 girls!), and then!! We went to get Mary Claire's ears pierced! Oh, what a day. I was so excited! : ) It seems like a rite of passage.

She got in the van after school today all happy and started telling me all about Claire Sorg getting earrings after the Walk on Saturday! She was excited and talking fast (I don't know where on Earth she learned that!), and asked if she could get hers pierced too! Of course, I immediately said, "Yes!" We had to run home, grab a snack, and get to Girl Scouts. I called Claire's mom, to see where she'd gone for the fabulous piercing. Mary Claire was trying to explain where it was, but she kept telling me to to Promenade and go straight! Like that just explained it all! After gs, she had not forgotten. She wanted to go right away. I called Ches to get a phone number for the Claire's location, and to see if there'd be two girls working. I'd heard lots of advice about having them done at the same time! The girl who answered was soo sweet, and said she'd wait for us. We ran into the house, grabbed some food (and our camera!) and made it there pretty quickly.

They wasted no time, got her into the chair, gave her a bear to cuddle, and started preparing. She chose some adorable pink rhinestone flowers with tiny diamonds in the middle (just like Claire's!). Both girls got ready to "poke" her ears with the friendly-looking, tiny white "guns" (my words, of course). When we were counting to three, Mary Claire stiffened, and started shaking, so it took a few minutes. The girl on the right went ahead and did it, and Mary Claire didn't even know it! The girl looked at me, and I just shook my head no. The girl on the left went ahead, and Mary Claire kind of flinched, but that was it. She was so proud of herself for doing it, she couldn't stop smiling! : ) She kept telling me it really didn't hurt! She was darling. Then she wanted to know if she could have a surprise. She doesn't change. Like the new flower earrings in her ears weren't enough.

The girl showed us how to clean them, and we proceeded to shop. We found a ton of new earrings (which she can't wear for at least 6 weeks), and a little butterfly-thingie that hangs on the wall and holds her new earring collection (from tiny animals, hearts, pearls, rhinestones, rhinestone hoops, and beautiful tiny crosses). So fun!

She's been on cloud nine ever since, and can barely sleep! She even went upstairs to pick out what she wanted to wear tomorrow, to match her earrings! She chose her pink Walk shirt from this year, and then we had a one hour hunt for the bow to match. That bow has given me more trouble than almost all bows combined! Ahhhh!

But, we found it, and she's safely in bed. Happy, and asleep. The perfect place to be, especially when you are seven with new earrings. : )

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

How could I save time...

I swear sometimes if I thought it'd save time, I'd quit breathing! It gets sooo hectic.

I made it to Bible Study (by the Lord's grace), and was glad I did. I didn't share much (since there's so much, and surely other people have "Stuff" going on?), but it was still good. I'm still freshly hurt to have the big desire to talk about it. We'll get there. I was thrilled to see new women, my sweet bunko friend, Anna, and even Virawan!! I was so surprised to see her, and didn't think she was coming this fall. I hope God has touched her heart. She is precious, a real child of God (but maybe doesn't know it yet). She makes me laugh! She said she was late because she stayed up late reading Genesis all the way through-she didn't finish till 2:30am! She said it was such a soap opera! : ) That girl is funny! It's the truth, but they didn't have Moses, the Ten Commandments, or God's son, Jesus, to instruct them. That's why God wiped them out with the flood though, was because of their massive sins. They were wife-swapping, and that's the only polite thing I can say. I'm just glad she's joining us to learn about all the great women!

Afterward, I started running errands, and only made it to Collier's Drug (and they didn't fill one prescription, and tried to get a refill from the wrong endocrinologist, and can fill it, but not give it to me till they see the PaPeR prescription I have, even though I faxed it), the sewing machine store (where I had to give up my baby for repair after hours of stress over a loose bobbin thread in my embroidery machine), and to the JDRF office (to turn in more funds I've received-a GrEaT problem!!). And then. I got the call, again, that Mary Claire was too high to eat. I don't know what's happening with her. She was 255 at 9:30am, was given .5 units of insulin, then was 306 at 11:30. (Expletive!?) How is that possible? Only with a bad site. But she couldn't eat, so I had to hurry back from Fayetteville to get her.

She insisted I not change her site, so we ran home, and she got some carrots, turkey, and more water to drink, and we gave her another bolus. We ran to Wal-Mart to get Clay's supplies for GT tomorrow, then to get Ethan. I checked her again in Rogers, but she was still 263. I gave her another correction, but told her if she didn't come down, she'd have to have a new site, it just wasn't healthy for her body. She cried, and wanted to eat. The other side effect of being high (besides all the thirst and peeing) is the irritability. So when we got home, and she was still 250, I changed her site. She started eating, and I put Ethan down for a nap. She's in my room, thankful to be eating. I hope that's all it was. Sometimes when she's beginning to come down with something, she runs high for a couple days. We'll see as the day goes on (And she has a new site/new insulin). Say a prayer for her! : )

Now I have to figure out how I'm going to get that prescription for her meter strips! I asked about delivery, but they make the Springdale deliveries at 1pm, and we weren't going to be home. Ches is coming home from Fayetteville (and driving), but he can't get them until they get the paper prescription. We also are busy tonight-Bunko, and Clay has a boy scout den meeting and there's an awards "assembly" tonight for him to receive the belt loops he earned at camp this summer. Ches is planning to take Ethan and Mary Claire along, even though I've offered to get a babysitter for them. He feels brave after seeing a family friend last week at the pack meeting with two other kids with them! He says if Paul can do it, he'll at least try. Kudos to him. He loves his kids, and that's something! : )

The nurse called yesterday afternoon to tell me my test came back negative. As if I was confused. It was weird. I had hoped all the negativity was over, but not yet. Today in the mail, I got this large package of maternity info from my insurance company, and a pregnancy calendar (kind of a nice one, if you know anyone who needs one..). I should be thankful that the good news spreads so quickly, but the not-so-good is slower. They said a questionnaire would be coming in the next couple of days, which means there's more to come.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Anger and Respect

The doctor's appointment.
Well, I went. It was okay. I didn't have to donate more blood for testing (Yay!), just some urine for a test. We had a talk, and I was fine. Some of it was medical-related, some was not-so-much, for which I was thankful. (Whew, almost ended that with a preposition!)

Clay is mad/angry/upset/sad with me today. I had to be at the doctor's office at 8:!5, so I took them to school not long before 8:00 this morning. First, I quizzed him on where his homework sheet was, and it was nowhere to be found. He was upset that he'd miss all of his recess tomorrow for not having it (so I wrote out a note to the teacher explaining we may have lost it, but he read every night). Then he got mad that we were later than usual and he wouldn't have time to finish his morning work (and therefore would have to do it at recess today!). I'm wondering...what about the kid who eat breakfast at school? What about the kids who get there at 7:55 every day? What about the kids who ride a bus and have no control over what time they get there? Do they miss recess every day? I told him to just do it quickly when recess started and he'd still have some time to play, but he insisted that it took a long time!

I shall stop here, since I have opinions (like that kids NEED to run around to get out all their energy at recess, and are there better "punishments"?). My kid is good, sweet, and super smart (I know, I'm biased). He read a book last week, took his AR (Accelerated Reader) test, and made 100%, and made 11 points! He's already met his AR goal for the nine weeks. He loves to read, and I just don't want him to have poor grades. We have respect for the teacher and her homework sheets, we just can't keep up with them till the following Monday!! We must have issues.

I sucked up my anger/pride?/issues and went back to the girl scout store. I had to buy the Try-It book for Mary Claire since she has a *habitat* due on Wednesday! I've been putting off a return trip (for previously aired reasons). I took cash, but they still required a name and troop number, which is how the woman actually recognized me. She apologized, and we had some very small talk. I told her it wasn't the first time that killed me, but the second time. It was okay, and she thanked me for not writing them off completely. Don't think I didn't think about it. I totally weighed my options, and really had to decide what was best. It was super hard, but I think girl scouting is good for her.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Need Popcorn?

I've got a few minutes to write. We just got an email that Clay's coach "traditionally" has batting practice (for the kids who need to work on it) on Sunday afternoons at 4pm (it's 3:55). Ches just got finished riding, so he went to take a shower, and I guess he'll take him. That bumps us up to three practices a week for just baseball! He goes again tomorrow night, but I'll have to drop him off, as Ches is teaching! I can't keep two kids there while he practices!

*Update: Just as they were pulling into the parking lot, the coach and his son were loading up to leave!! Ches and Clay got out, practiced a while, and another dad/son showed up, sans coach. Is this tradition too?*

It's much later now, as I truly only had a few minutes! I had to make dinner materialize out of not much, clean up, and then clean again as the kids went out to swim. They brought all their wet towels and wet feet through the house! Ches has been heating the pool almost every day. I usually stay in and clean up from dinner and the destroyed hearth room every day. By the time I'm done, they come back, and I'm back on clean up/bath duty! They do stay clean and have fun with daddy. Maybe I'll swim more with them next year. There's just not time right now. I'd have to abandon a lot, and then do it later. I hope the kids learn to clean up after themselves better!

Tomorrow is already looming in front of me. I've packed the kids' lunches, and I have to go by the Girl Scout office (don't worry-I'm planning to take cash) to get the brownie book, register Clay for basketball, make my doctor appointment (which I see now is at 8:15), and Clay has baseball practice (already told you..), maybe lunch with a friend, wash the kids' sheets, catch up on laundry, etc. I don't know how women work. Maybe if they have a maid. Or no kids. Or are really effective, and don't play on Facebook. Heehee

I also have to work on my Bible Study! It is supposed to take a week, and I've only spent about 20 minutes on it. I better get busy! : ) I have some St. Raphael's International Dinner and Auction tickets to sell, if you want to come join us (we're really fun!). They are $25, and go to our building committee! The ticket price includes dinner (about 5 choices), and the silent and live auction. Oh, and drinks.

Behave yourself, pray for my appointment, and limit your facebook time. : ) Doctor's orders.
Oh, and one more thing. Clay has popcorn to sell for boy scouts. He has to sell $250 dollars worth. : ) Want some popcorn?? : ) You can give it away for a gift if you have bad teeth! heehee No reason is worthy!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Take a Breath!

Finally, a moment to breathe, and not think about the Walk (although I still am...).

We had a great walk today! We had friends old and new show up, and we had a lot of fun. I'll post some pictures either in a slideshow down below or to the right. : ) I never am totally ready, and was feeling so behind this week, but it pulled together, and went fine. I didn't get the shirts printed till Thursday (and didn't get them till 5pm!). That always throws me off. I may have to look for a new place next year. I have a good hint that Logoworks could be good. I'll check into it early next year! I might do a school walk in the spring, and print two sets: one for the school kids, and one set for our walk in the fall. Do you have a good theme for us? I'm already planning, and I can't wait to plan another walk shirt! I think if I had a good general theme, they'd run with it. They always seek advice, and do really great things with it. I have to say, I got compliments on our event, planning, and organization. I can say I had nothing to do with it! : ) I'm learning to cut down on things, so this was another area...
Anyway, it was fun, tons to do for the kids, and as always, plenty of food, so Kudos! : )

AND, I got to catch up with some friends I haven't seen in a long time, and that was the best! Thanks for coming out to support Mary Claire you guys! : ) It means the world to her!

I go back to the doctor on Monday, so I'm not excited. I have no idea what this appointment is really for, so I'm nervous. Blood work, again? I'm fine, so I just don't know what to expect. It's been two weeks now, so time does continue, and things do move along. I hope I can just tell him I'm fine. Ches says I can't refuse bloodwork, but it should SO be optional!

Gosh, it's been so long, I feel like so much has happened in a week! Ethan got started in Mother's Day Out (first day was Tuesday), and he loved it! He wouldn't even say bye to me. I missed Bible Study since I wanted to take him the first day, and it started before he did. I think that Ches will take him in the future, and then drive to work. We'll get it worked out. Ches is trying to train for the Tour de Cure (100 miles), and ride every day plus get in a four hour ride every Friday-Yeah, I just tell him good luck with that. At least I can say I know someone who can do it . : )

Mary Claire was so high last Wednesday that I had to go get her at school since she couldn't eat. Her blood sugar just stayed over 240 for too long. I'm sure she had ketones by then. I got her, brought her down, then she ate with me while we were at Susan's hanging out. She ended up going with me to drop an extra shirt to print at the shirt shop, then to Rogers to pick up Ethan, then I took her back to school. It turned out to be fun for her, so she didn't mind. She absolutely loved going into the building to get Ethan! She actually used to go there, so she likes to go back.

We also have had Bank Day to turn in funds for our team for the walk, and I didn't get to tell Deb about the baby. She told Ches congratulations the week before when he went by to drop off money. He didn't have the words or heart (or time) to tell her, so he told me to tell her. How exactly do you bring that up? I haven't said anything to her. She'll figure it out.

Thursday and Friday were catch-up-and-get-ready days! That's about the time I got hyper and had to start planning. I'm so tired after my lack of sleep, but it's my own fault. I can't wait to get back into the routine, and back to my "normal" busy. Routine can be very therapeutic. For me.

We didn't go to church as a family last week, so I miss it. We also found out that our priest is being transferred to Fayetteville, and I didn't take it so well. He does such a great job of bringing our parish together, and I just don't know how someone else can do it as well. He's also sweet, and we'll miss him and his exuberance. What more can I say? Loss on all sides this month. I'll just bask in what we do have, and be thankful.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Shopping, Dams, and Caves

Maybe all the yucky stuff is behind me? Bad-ness travels in threes, so maybe it's over?

I got back from Branson last night. We shopped till we dropped, and we were tired! We stopped before dark, and that is not normal! We usually shop till 9pm, then eat dinner after all the stores are closed! But by Sunday, our third day, we were done.

When I met Angie there on Friday, we went into Gymboree first to see our friends Dina and Sara. Dina was there, in the back room, and not so happy. She's got a lot going on like the rest of us, but we got to cheer her up. I gave her a monogrammed cup since she liked mine the last time we were there, and she wanted one. We got to talk for a little while, and Sara called. Dina told her we had a surprise for her, and she came in. She had her baby and Dina's daughter, Ellie Mae. We talked and shopped, and then Angie and I shopped till the stores closed. At 9, we went to Olive Garden, had a wonderful dinner and got to catch up, then when we were leaving, we saw Dina and Sara and the kids again! : )

Saturday, more shopping, late meals, and we swung by to take Dina to lunch with us at Panera (and she gave us all the short cuts and back roads to help us make it faster)! She's so sweet, and sometimes we all need to reach out to others. We got to eat outside, and it was perfect. We also met Jordan, Sara's husband (who'd checked us out earlier!), who ran into Panera for lunch. He's the manager at Banana Republic at the same outlet mall as Dina and Sara. Such a small world! : )

Sunday went just as fast, and we forgot to tell Dina and Sara bye, but I'll email them. I'm monogramming Ellie Mae's Halloween costume and mailing it. She' going to be a vet, and she got a doctor's costume with a white jacket and greenish scrubs. She'll be so cute!

I got home last night before the kids went to bed, and we partied in the new clothes. Ethan got a new costume for Halloween (a monkey!) and ran around in it all night, until we persuaded him with something cooler (literally): some new dinosaur jammies. They were so cute running around in new shoes and jammies. : )

Today we went to Devil's Den near West Fork, Arkansas. Ches had left earlier to ride his bike down (and get in some long rides before the Tour de Cure), and we packed a lunch and headed south. We passed him on Highway 170, and he said he wanted to ride back up the road (yes, uphill), and then he'd ride back down and meet us near the playground. We went on, and I worried about him, it took forever! I gave him the keys, and told him to meet us at the dam. We walked halfway across, took some pictures, walked to the bottom side, and the kids saw tadpoles, fish, and threw rocks in the water. Mary Claire was feeling low, so we headed back up the hill towards the van to find Ches (and the van keys!) to check her. We met him near the van, and he took the boys back to the playground, got the meter (as Mary Claire could go NO farther). She was low, so we ate lunch. Amazingly, we ran into two families from church! It was great. The kids got to eat and play, then we headed towards the trails. Ethan had started losing it, so we knew we'd only have time for one cave. We chose the Devil's Den since it was only a half mile down the nearest trail. Ethan somehow got hurt near the entrance, and cried like crazy. I'm still not sure what happened, and I'm hoping he's okay. The kids and I went in only about 15 or 20 feet, as we forgot our flashlight. Ethan went into the opening, then wanted out. He wanted a light, and we just didn't have one! We hiked back up to the van, and went home. I had some snacks for them, but we stopped by McDonald's on the way home anyway. Some things can be made better with some french fries.

Now Ches and I are cooling off, catching up, and we're headed out tonight. We have a date! After all the chaos, we need some time. The kids go back to school tomorrow, and it's Ethan's first day of Mother's Day Out for this year! He can't wait! : ) And I guess I can't either! I have to get the rest of his supplies tonight and get him ready.

I have Bible Study tomorrow morning, but I don't know if I'll make it. I want to be there for his first day, so I'll probably miss it. And I haven't picked up my book or done my homework! And it's going to be rough. They are all so sweet, but they all either have babies or are pregnant, so it may take me some time.

We're also supposed to get our shirts printed tomorrow as long as we get the shirts in on time-some weren't ordered until Friday, so they have to be in by noon to print on tomorrow. Clay has his (boy scout) pack meeting tomorrow and Mary Claire has gymnastics. I'll have to hit the ground running!

I'm posting a few pictures of Devil's Den (yeah, bad name), and our past few days. They are just cuties. : )

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Negative Balance

A teensy update.

Biggest (Recent) Trauma Drama
On Tuesday, I went by the girl scout office/gift shop to purchase Mary Claire's new uniform (since she's a brownie now). The total for the vest, patches, etc. was $40.25. Well, by some odd mistake, the lady charged me $4025. I didn't really freak out (really). They worked on it for a while, and eventually told me they voided it. I left with some copies and signed things, and didn't really think about it again. Until yesterday.

I called to check my balance, and it was $17. I can only say that I don't think I've had that balance since I was in college. Or before. Of course, I freaked out, and immediately transferred $3000 in case anything else was to come through. Well. That was just the beginning of my exasperation. What ensued was lots of yelling and transferred phone calls to the Little Rock GS office. Longer story short, they did it AGAIN. So. Then since my savings is my overdraft protection for my checking account, all my savings transferred automatically. So, then I had $0. I really lost it then, and did lots more screaming. I was actually at a girl scout meeting with Mary Claire (and Clay was reading quietly) when I found out about the second time. I had to get the kids and leave. I thought I was going to explode.

When I got home, Ches took the kids out to swim (thank the good Lord in Heaven for the pool heater) since I had another good hour or two on the phone. Good bye, dinner and family time. They assured me that I'd receive $8050 worth of credit by morning. (trying to shorten the story..) I didn't. *Insert more anger, but I'm drained, and don't have lots more yelling in me, so just some crying* I was supposed to meet Susan at 9 this morning, so I tried to get ready (even though Ethan really wanted to play outside!). Life seems to go on even in the midst of chaos.

I had my hair appointment today. Yes, some sanity and tiny time for me. Ahh...a commercial break in the drama. Then, back to chaos. David, the finance man for GS, called *during* my appointment to check in and find out my balance. I called the bank, checked the balance, and called him back. It was up to $2900, so one of the $4025's had made it in. He told me to check in tomorrow (Friday) to let him know how it was going. I'm sure Taylor was relieved to know he'd get paid!! heehee : )

Just another crazy day in my life. Susan brought dinner to ease my crazy life-so sweet. The kids gobbled it up (including homemade chocolate chip cookies!) which I probably haven't made since Mary Claire was diagnosed! I have certainly slowed down in the bake shoppe department. Those cookies are definitely calling my name. . .

Tomorrow is my big 36th birthday. I guess I still look forward to an anniversary of the day I was born. Every year my world changes so much. I wonder where I'll be in a year. I'm just in the passenger seat, and I'm sure I'll find out soon enough.

The kids shopped and got gifts, and we ate cupcakes tonight with dinosaur rings (kinda girly, kinda boyish, the kids thought). They were wonderful, and my kids were so sweet and excited for me! Clay got me a card and recorded a little message. Mary Claire had made a card at school-you know, those are just the best, full of love! : )

Tomorrow I'm headed to Branson to shop (and maybe some relaxing?) with Angie for the weekend. It's an (bi)annual tradition, and I love it. It feels like I'm helping my family (by buying their winter clothes..or summer clothes!), yet it's for me (as I dearly love to shop!). Just perfect!

I'm praying for a coming year of blessings, whatever they may be, whatever God thinks I can handle. And after watching a great skit/video on youtube, I'm praying that God will chisel me into the masterpiece He created. I still have bits that need refining.

In the midst of crazy town, I forgot all about my Walk shirts. I had messages to turn in the final shirt (size) numbers. I totally forgot. I've emailed now, and I hope they don't push printing. I'll live if they do-I've been purified in the last week. The design is cute, I'll try to post a pix of the front. It's a vintage/tatoo kind of design. It's a heart with a crown and wings with Hero across the heart. : )

I really need some rest, so I should wrap up. I totally meant to type a tiny bit, but I always get carried away. Kinda like the way I talk! : )