Sunday, December 21, 2008

2 Years Post-Diagnosis

Last year at this time, Dirty Jobs was non-verbal for the most part. He knew Santa says HoHoHo, and probably a couple of other things. I referred to him as being non-verbal in a post from last December.

Two years ago, he was diagnosed with 'Suspected Autism.'

Today, he told me a some things:
"I wan a movie. No Thomas."
"Git up Dad."
"Tickle, tickle, tickle."
"Hi Grandma."
"I wan a cheeseburger."
"I go to church."
"Bye, Ma."
"I get on"
"My turn"
"Water, please"
"Santa, Santa - ho, ho, ho"
"Help"
"Go to Target. Toys!"

And more.

So, if you have prayed for our boy, in any way, ever...THANK YOU. We are watching a Miraculous Gift being unwrapped before our very eyes!

Lord, we know you have BLESSED us with such a gift in our sweet son. Thank you for your hand on his life, your mercy on ours, and your answer being yes! We know you have given us great teachers, therapists, nurses, physicians, habilitation and respite workers. But we also thank you because we know You have done an amazing work in our little boys life. You've rocked our world, completely blown us away! We know this journey has only just begun...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Early morning randomness...

Just a quick update from our trip since apparently this baby doesn't want me to get any more sleep no matter what town I lay my head in...

We have traveled to a place that actually experiences winter. Up until last night, it was cold, but not unbearable. Last night, the wind kicked up, and I have never felt cold like that before! This warm-blooded girl was cracking the natives up... But, it is fun for my girl to see what snow is. She doesn't get to enjoy it much, being that she hates wearing a heavy coat.

She is, however, enjoying spending this time with her cousins! From the moment we landed at the airport, she has been asking for her cousins. And every moment we are not with them, she is asking about them. They are so precious together!

All the girls went to a nail salon last night so the bride and wedding party could get their nails done. I let the Cutie get her nails painted and it was quite possibly the most precious thing I have ever seen! She sat in the chair like she was so big. Sat so still and has loved showing them off to everyone. Her cousin, the flower girl, had hers painted as well. She sat the rest of the night with her fingers straight out so the polish wouldn't smudge. I wouldn't be surprised if we peeked in on her sleeping to find her little fingers straight out above the covers. Absolutely adorable!

Today officially kicks off the wedding stuff. It has been such a blessing to watch this family roll with each new twist and turn in the plans. Life has been crazy around here! This family has been though many ups and downs in the past few months. It is precious to see them all come together and uphold the things that really matter! In the few short days since I have been here, I have seen them appreciate the small things. Something that is easy to lose sight of when wedding plans are underway. What a precious day it will be!

Yesterday, I also got to spend some time with my newest neice. She's actually my great-neice, and I like to say it because it confuses people :) She is a tiny pink bundle of beautiful! It was so fun to get to spend a few minutes enjoying her. And her mama: She is beautiful. It's hard being a new mom and she has handled it all with such grace amidst such hectic circumstances. So proud of her.

And because I know the Racer is wondering, Jenn and I did get a belly shot yesterday. We will post it soon...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Racer's Christmas Tour

Welcome. Come in to my kitchen. Where Santa is standing on the cupboards, safe from curious hands. One Santa didn't make it. My curious almost 4 year old climbed up and broke a Santa. Curious Almost 4 Year Old's Artwork. And his dictated sentence!


The Great Christmas Tree Debacle of '08. Seriously. That's my tree, laying down on a table.
My newest favorite nativity. From KENYA. I triple heart it. It is in the master bedroom (hopefully) safe and sound. I sometimes refer to it as the Precious. My friends brought it back to me from their African missions trip in Oct/Nov. My family also collects nativities, so this was the PERFECT thing for them to bring me!!!




Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Tour of Homes

Well, I think I am going to make the cut off... Or I will post this a day late. Either way.

Welcome to our home:

This is our christmas tree. Let me give a shout out to the pre-lit trees all over the world. I absolutely love decorated christmas trees! But, I really dislike putting lights on. So, the pre-lit tree was a must have.

A funny story about our tree. My husband was quizzing me on the story behind each of our ornaments the other night. The only two he referred to as "hideous" were ornaments that I had made. Alrighty, then. Point taken.

Here is our mantle. This is most exciting, because this is the first year we have ever had an actual mantle and I am not hanging our stockings off a bookshelf somewhere in the house.


Major Hunk and I have been collecting nativity scenes since we got married. This was the one we bought our first christmas together. Aaaww...


And this is actually the first nativity scene we ever bought as a married couple.
In June.
In Alaska.
We love it so.

I have so many more things that I would love to show you, but the Cutie has really been cranking it up in the whining and tantrums department. Between that and fighting off the plauge, I need to keep it brief.
You're welcome.

Thanks for stopping by. Go by Boomama's and check out the oh-so-many other homes in the tour.

Merry Christmas, bloggy friends.

The Cutie gets it from her Mama

Cpt Mom rocks the pregnant look. She is already showing, and it's about ADORABLE. I just absolutely love it! So without further ado, and with no permission from her, I present Prego Cpt Mom showing off the apron she won at a Cookie Exchange we went to. And yes, I am absolutely jealous of the belly AND the apron.

In case no one has told you, you are beautiful.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

What I've Been Doing

  • Last Friday, the kids and I headed to Grandma Poppa's house. Dirty Job had requested it several times a day for a week or so, and I was happy to finally be going. Saturday I headed out to my b/f from high school's wedding shower while the kids journeyed to the land of Mouse and fun. I met up with them later and we had a grand time. Dirty Job loves Thunder Mountain and it is a blast to ride with him. My most favorite moment of the evening was when they were converting Sleeping Beauty's castle to the icicle wonderland. We happened to be walking by, and stopped to watch. And then IT SNOWED. And the look on What Not To Wear's face...priceless. I know in the grand scheme of things that is not a big deal, but her innocence and awe ~ I don't think I'll ever forget it! The biggest downer of the evening was overhearing a gentleman (I use that term loosely) say that many people now get wheelchairs for someone in their party so they don' t have to wait in the longer lines. My feelings on that, well, I'll save for another post.
  • My girl crouped out while in Cali, and was home the first couple days of the week. She camped out in our bedroom and was such a trooper. She just has the lingering cough now, which the nurse practitioner said could stay around for awhile. I'm glad she's feeling better though, because sick during the holiday season is NO FUN.
  • I am adjusting my expectation for Christmas. Hubs and I agreed that we would get a REAL TREE this year, as this is a big deal to me. You can't replicate that smell, people. Now we are 2 weeks away from Christmas, we won't be here for Christmas, and we don't have a live tree. I'll be moving our artificial tree to where the real tree would have gone and the kids and I shall decorate it asap. There's always next year!
  • I've been avoiding the air, water, people at church. As you can see in Cpt's previous post, there seems to be something going around...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Baby Fever

There is a bad case of it going around in our church. In the past 2 months, 6 couples have found out they are pregnant. Understand, we belong to a small church. Six couples is a substantial percentage of the young couples in our church. But, we do things in waves here. Six weddings last year and six babies next year (so far). Baby goodness is abounding!

So, if you don't want to have a baby next year...you may want to steer clear.

I'm just sayin...


On a related note, I had another ultrasound yesterday. It is such a special time for me to see my little one. I have felt a little unattached throughout this pregnancy thus far. I don't know if it's because I have the distractions of a toddler this time. Maybe it's the amount of stress I have had throughout. It may be some underlying fear and emotions from Baby Blues unexpected departure. In all honestly, it's probably a little bit of all of that. But, whatever the reason, I have felt a little disconnected to what's going on inside of me. But, the ultrasounds have been a really special time for me with this little one. It's a time that I feel connected with him/her. We also got a really special surprise. We were able to get an educated guess on the baby's gender. Now, it's still a little early to know for sure, but the dr thought he could tell. And on that note, I have to tell you that my husband doesn't want us to get our sights set on one over the other being that it is so early and unsure. He wants to be cautious and wait until my ultrasound next month to really begin any planning. So, in order to honor my husband, I am not going to announce what the dr shared with us yesterday in regards to the possible gender.

Just know that I really want to...

Although, I will tell you that when the Cutie told people that she is having both a brother and a sister...she was wrong.

No twins here.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Remembers for December

  • To teach my daughter about the real meaning of Christmas.
  • To enjoy time with family and friends even when my schedule gets hectic.
  • To thank my husband everyday for the things he does for our family.
  • To leave my financial burdens at the cross. Every.one.of.them.
  • Try not to be so cranky at my family. (Apparently some hormones are flooding my body...)
  • Pay attention to my body as I wait to feel this little one move inside me for the first time.
  • Keep Christ in the center of all my Christmas activities

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Dear My Deadliest Catch (Hubs)

9 years ago, I walked into a church on my father's arm and my heart set on you. You and I, we were livin on love. I vowed that your people would be my people, and your God would be my God.

We've stuck that covenant in a fiery furnace a time or seventy, and yet through the fires I've watched the impurities melt and your character emerge.

What a journey it's been, and I'm so glad I get to continue to walk this out with you.

You make me proud to be your wife everyday.

I love you. Beyond words.

A Place of My Own.

Last night in our bible study, the pastor touched on a topic that I have heard so many times. But, last night, it hit me in a whole different way.

John 14:2- In my Father's house, there are many rooms...I am going there to prepare a place for you.

He explained to us that in the original language, this word meant a place just for you. It can't be filled by any other. If you don't fill it, it will be left empty. I guess in the past I have always taken that verse to mean that He prepared a place for us. A place for all of us believers to go, meaning heaven in general.

It really got me thinking. I think our hearts are made in this image. I think there is a place in each parent's heart that has a place prepared for each of our children. And it is a place that no matter how many we love, it can not be filled by anyone but them. No other child can fill the other's place. No matter how many children we have. Our hearts just grow bigger allowing new spaces to be created for each child the Lord intends to be ours.

I love how the Lord uses our relationship as parent and child show us a little bit of Himself.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Reminders for December

  • Remember WHO we are celebrating, not how we do it.
  • Listen for the laughter of my children. Do things that will spark that laughter.
  • Cook and bake with What Not to Wear. As much as she wants to.
  • Therapy Dirty Jobs until he can't take anymore. So many fun memories can be had through the work.
  • Give. Give as much as I can, whether that be time, talent or treasure.
  • Pray- pray for my dear friends who are missing their sweet Baby Blues. I can't imagine trying to balance that kind of sorrow with the joy that comes from parenting Elf. Have we mentioned here on the blog that Dinoboy loves Christmas/Santa SOMETHING FIERCE!
  • Love my husband in word and deed.
  • Celebrate with many friends and family. I am so blessed to have so many people in my life.
  • Worship the One who was sent to save me. The act of God Most High sending His Son for me in the form of a baby? Blows me away. I am overwhelmed by that kind of love.
  • Do NOT be deceived by my ovaries. They are working overtime as they see all the baby cuteness and the round bellies showing evidence of the miracle of life.

Big Sister

We have been introducing Cpl Cutie to the idea since we first found out I was pregnant. In fact, two days after I found out, I picked up a shirt that says, "I'm the big sister." We thought that would be a fun way to tell our parents. (By the way, my parents totally did not get it. We had to spell it out for them.) I have also been talking to her a lot about the baby in mommy's tummy. She has come to the conclusion that since she is the big sister, there must be a little sister in there. She won't even consider the fact that it could be a little brother. We are working on breaking the possibility to her.

A little background on my girl:
She is our first.
She is the youngest of all the children she spends most of her time with. She has learned quickly that the little one will get pushed around if allowed. So, due to her quick learning and her first born tendencies, she has developed some bossy habits.
She loves to play with dolls and likes to dictate to me how the baby needs to be cared for. "She wants you, she wants me, she wants her baba, hold her like this" etc.
She loves to pretend play.
She is a big time mama's girl.

So, I am excited for her to become a big sister, because I know she will be great at it. Bossy, but great. I also think we will have some big transitions on our hands. We did a short dry run yesterday. We watched a cousin's 7 month old on an outing and I thought it would be interesting to see how she reacted to mama spending so much time with him in her presence. Well, she was such a champ! She didn't show any signs of jealousy. She wanted to help push him in the stroller, even let him use her stroller without much ado. She held his bottle and she got down on the floor with him to play. She could not understand why he couldn't walk and play with her though. All in all, I was so excited about how the day went. I know that this is just a small snapshot and it will be totally different when the baby lives in our house 24/7. But, I did feel like this was a positive sign.

On a related note, I have some concerns about how the transition will be for me as well. How will I handle a toddler and a newborn? Will it be a replay of "Cryfest 2005"? Today, I felt like I did well with both of them. I was exhausted when I was done, but other than that, I wasn't too ruffled by a toddler and a baby. I had a preschooler with us as well, so I went from one to three on this outing. Again, I know it will be totally different come June, butI still count it as a good sign.

Unfortunately, there is no way to tell whether we will have a Cryfest 2009. More to come on that this summer...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Get your tissues.

Dear Baby Blues,

Today marks the first day that you have officially lived in heaven longer than you were here on earth with us. I don't even have words. But, I don't want this day to go unmentioned.

I am going to have another baby. Your little cousin. I can't believe you won't get to meet him/her this side of heaven. That we won't get to see you play together. That I won't get to watch you join in the fun with Dinoboy and Cutie as they fall over themselves just to make the baby laugh.

I have so many thoughts rushing through my head, but I think I am going to share about the memories I have from your time here with us.

  • The time during a memorial service at church when you made a present in your diaper loud enough for the entire congregation to hear. The Racer and I are so mature, we busted up laughing. It's ok, I think Sister L would have thought it was funny too...

  • The pathetic, pouty face you would make if someone would approach you in your swing and dare not pick you up. It was hard to resist.

  • The times in church when I would hold you during worship. Your little body against me as I sang, always drew me closer into His presence.

  • The times when your mom and I would sit and make up nickname after nickname for you. Your beautiful name just had so many possibilities. Some stuck. Thankfully, some did not.

These are just a few of the memories I have of our time here together. Thank you for sharing your life with us. We are blessed because of it. I miss you.


I love you,
Aunt D.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

With Many Thanks:

Today officially kicks off the beginning of my Thanksgiving cooking. And I am so excited! I am have some new recipes that I am really excited about making. But, more than that, I love having people in our home. I love the food and the fun and most importantly, the love that goes into all of us being together. Now, don't get me wrong, there is always the potential for a healthy dose of social awkwardness (like in all areas of my life...), but I just love me some busy family time.

Some things I am thankful for this season, and always:

  • We have a family member coming tomorrow who has been unable to celebrate with us for about 4 years. We are so excited to have the whole family together this year!
  • The love of a God who pursues me even when I am too distracted to notice.
  • The love of a husband who loves me even more today than he did 6 years ago when he asked me to be his wife.
  • A little girl who wants to hug and kiss her baby and lifts my shirt to do so, often. She brings a smile to my face every day.
  • Family and friends who love me no matter how much I dork it up...
  • When my belly rubs up against something as I try to squeeze through a small space, reminding me of the life growing inside of me.
  • This recipe.
  • Our friend and roomate has come to join our family. We are so happy that she is here!
  • In three weeks, I will be in a cold state celebrating life and marriage and the birth of our Savior with family I haven't seen in over a year!
Happy Thanksgiving.
May it be a day filled with friends, family, food and fun.

And please join me as I pray for those who do not look forward to the holidays...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Oh Irony, you crack me up!

I was sitting at a stoplight this afternoon with the warm sun beating through the rolled down windows and getting a little sweaty in the 89 degrees. I was wondering why I had chosen to wear jeans today when it is still so warm in the afternoons.

All the while I was singing along to the radio..."It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas".

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Family

For all the mountains this life will have, I am grateful to have these people climbing with me.

Joy.

Things I MAY or MAY NOT have done/said/thought

  • Kissed a pair of Asics Gel Kayanos and said "Hello, lover."
  • Yelled at snapfish for not letting me use 2 discounts at once.
  • Ordered some pasta and then got too full on the soup before it.
  • Yelled at my toilet for being broken...again. What up with all the yelling?
  • Clapped my hands when I found out more Black Friday ads had been released.
  • Listened to the kids' "Gma K" explain how my son gave her a black eye.
  • Drank too much iced tea which was obviously caffeinated which is obviously why I'm still up at 1:15am

Aside from all that RANDOM, I also made sure to give God a big SHOUT OUT for dealing with me on some issues yesterday so that my heart was in a better place today. I also got to pick up my picture disk from my wonderfully awesome, amazing, crafty friend that took our family pictures on Sunday. She is OBVIOUSLY way more efficient than me. Go, Pollyanna.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Send them some love...

I read about a fabulous project on BigMama's blog. One of her readers is sponsoring a campaign called "Dear Army Family". It is a project in which families send cards to military families of deployed soldiers at Ft Sill. I can tell you it is lonely spending the holidays away from your soldier. Even though we knew it was right where the Lord wanted us last year, it was lonely. And sad. And made me want to hide under the covers and wish the days away.

Soldiers make a HUGE sacrifice. But the sacrifice of their families so often goes unnoticed because there is no physical danger. A friend once said it best. She told me, "We are expected to continue living our lives each day. But, there is a huge hole in the middle of our lives that only we can see and feel."

So, please, go read this post and send a card to a family. You could really make their day.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

It's not about that.

So, once again, I find myself up in the middle of the night. Thoughts racing through my head. "Where is my purse?" "Why am I so thirsty?" "Why are all these difficult times happening to those that I love?" "God, can't you let these people who are going through trials, just have a break?" "Why is is just one after another after another?" "I'm hungry, where are those nuts I just bought?" I know, my mind, it's a scary and complicated place...

I pull up a blog in which the author offers to give back to her readers by praying for them. I read through the 89 comments. I have some definite prayer requests. But, as I continue to read, I realize something. The things I have been praying for are just that, "things". And, as I read, I ponder the fact that I feel far away from God in a lot of ways. The worst part is, I didn't even really know it. And then I realize...this "thing"...this situation...It is so much bigger than that. So much more important than knowing where our next paycheck will come from. It is about the fact that the God of the universe loves me enough to want more for me. Even when I am too short sighted to want more for myself.

As I began reading those comments, my prayer requests were that my husband would find a job. That we would once again have insurance. That this baby will continue to grow strong and healthy. That I could even begin to wrap my mind around bringing another life into my realm of crazy. But, as I finished reading, the Lord had spoken to my heart. This is really about faith. Those other things, they are just by-products of life, of being a human in this world. The real problem is that I have grown complacent. I have become numb to the healing touch of my God because of some hard lessons that life has thrown my way in the past few years. Life hurts sometimes, and I have become guarded. Guarded in hopes that each sting will hurt a little less than the last. (It didn't work.) But, by becoming guarded, all I have really protected myself from is feeling my Father's touch. From allowing His healing balm to be applied to my heart.

I have so many blessings in my life. I have a beautiful (and growing) family. I have people in my life who love me so big that it's incredible. I have a home, a car, plenty of food, and there is still money in the bank. I'm living the dream, really. It is what I always wanted for my life: to be a wife and mom and be surrounded by people that I love. Then, why do I still feel so dissatisfied? Because I have been going about it wrong. I have been trying to do and have all these things and calling on God when times get hard. He wants more than that for me. He wants more than that for you. I don't want God to have to rock my world in a way that devastates me before I learn to lean on Him for my every step. I want to live that way now, in this moment.

Lord, forgive me for my complacent attitude. Forgive my hardened heart and the fact that I have ignored you in many areas. Please, remind me to pray. There are so many needs that I forget to bring to you. Even though you know them anyway, help me to be obedient in my need to bring them. Change my heart. Help me to see my need for you in everything. And, please, help me to be a more joyful wife and mother. I no longer want to take my blessings for granted. And, Lord, please help me to lay it all at your feet. To stop beating myself up over the fact that I haven't prayed enough, haven't been in your word enough, haven't trusted enough or had enough faith. Help me to begin new today, right now. I love you and I want you to change my life. Amen.

Thank you God that you still change people even after you have given lots of chances. Thank you that you will still speak to me, even in the middle of the night at my computer. And thank you God that you love me even though you know I am headed off to bed with my mind whirling with new questions, "How did I get so lucky?" "How many almonds did I just consume?" and still, "Where is my purse?" But, mostly, I go to bed with a new found peace that my God, who loves me enough to wake me from my slumber, still reigns.

Yesterday, today and tomorrow.

He Is.




*When you have some time, head over to MckMama's blog and read about the miracle that is their story*

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Blogworthy Day

You know how I said I couldn't find anything to blog about?? Well, today happened and that quickly changed. The Racer and I took Dirty Job, the Cutie and Skater Tot to the drive thru car wash. I know, I am a barrel of fun. But, the kids wanted to go somewhere and my car desperately needed a wash. So we get there and I don't have any cash. The Racer saved the day with $6. The whole time all three kids are chanting, "Car Wash, Car Wash!" I pop the car in neutral and take my foot off the brake. We are rolling along. We continue to roll all the way through the car wash bay. The Racer and I are both yelling, "Why is it going through? Why isn't it stopping?" The kids are wondering what happens next. Well, we roll out the other side of the car wash and keep on going. Why am I still rolling?? Oh, I actually put it in drive, not neutral. Oops.

The laughing begins from us. The screams come from the back. They are very upset that we didn't do the car wash.

So, I try to high tail it back into the bay so I can get some of that $6. car wash actually on my car. As I am zooming around, another car pulls in front of me and proceeds to watch as our $6 washes the invisible car in the bay. He then puts his money in and is sitting there for a record amount of time. We are looking at the time realizing we have to pick up What Not to Wear from school in 15 minutes and we are still sitting there. And yes, the kids are still yelling in the back about the injustice of it all. Finally the guy in the car in front is waving me on. Um, I'm sorry. I can't actually pass you, this is a one lane car wash... The Racer finally talks some sense into me and says he may want me to come to his car. So, I get out and walk up to him. Long story short, his car is stuck and the conveyor belts are not pulling him through. All I could think was, put it in drive, you should sail right through... He wants me to go inside and alert them to his situation. So, I am backing out of the car wash, ever so carefully as to not hit my mirrors. BAM. I hit some mystery construction object that was on the ground. In addition to the kids screams about still not getting a car wash, now the Racer is laughing so hard she is crying. Maybe a little hyperventilating.

It was the kind of day that makes me laugh everytime I think about it.

I eventually drove the kids to another car wash and had only minimal difficulty. Dirty Job has long since fallen asleep, the Cutie was mesmerized, and Skater Tot was screaming his head off. When we got out, he couldn't stop talking about the soap and the water.

G-L-A-M-O-R-OUS. Sing it with me...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A try at the list...

Maybe I can get some of my random thoughts out of my head if I just throw out a list. Let's see:

  • I am very excited that the holidays are coming. The fall/winter holidays motivates me to want to be crafty and decorate my home. The Racer and I just bought some crafty items and I want to get started right away.
  • We also do bake days with our kiddos. Meaning we let them help us mix up the batter and after they try to lick the spoon and stick their fingers in 42 times, we banish them to go play and complete the baking ourselves. I love these days. They are good for my heart. Not good for my waistline...but good for my soul.
  • My daughter has discovered those red movie rental machines. What she hasn't grasped is that they don't always have the movies advertised available for immediate rental. Just because there is a picture of a doggie movie doesn't necessarily mean we can take it home and watch it today. She has figured out that there are boxes at other stores and thinks we should drive around to another one if this one doesn't have the movie of her choice. Well, that just changed the level of convenience, didn't it?
  • I rented a movie from the public library. I think they might be wishing they hadn't allowed me a library card right about now. I seriously can not remember to take that thing back!
  • I am 10 weeks pregnant. I just read this today: "Your baby's crown-to-rump length is now about 1 1/4 inches, and she weighs less than half an ounce." Ok, so can someone please explain to me why I easily look 4 months pregnant and have gained 5 pounds??

Monday, November 10, 2008

Writer's block

Pregnancy does weird things to this mama. It totally messes with my sleep patterns. I am so tired that sometimes I can't think straight. If I sit down in the afternoons, I will probably doze off. When I lay the Cutie down at night, I almost always fall asleep before she does. But, if you need me between 2 and 5 am, check at the computer. I seem to wake up each night during this time. I lay in bed and will myself back to sleep, but it won't come. By the time I have gone to the bathroom, gotten some water and had a snack, I am so wide awake I couldn't sleep if I tried.

It's rude I tell you.

So, each night, I think to myself, since I am wide awake, "why don't I write a post for my blog being that the quality of my posts have been scattered and boring at best?" And then I proceed to think about the fact that I can't actually think of anything that is blog-worthy to write about.

How do I get started? How do I work past all the rambling in my head and find a post that might actually mean something to me and maybe to someone else?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Me= Doesn't think before speaking

I say things at inappropriate times.

It's ridiculous.

Carry on.

The miracle that is life.

I had an ultrasound today. The intricacies of the human body never fail to amaze me. The fact that a sperm and an egg collide and my body knows what to do with it to create a human just floors me. I have a theory that anyone who doesn't believe in the power of God should study the development of the human in the womb. It is nothing short of awe-inspiring.

The baby measured 9 weeks 4 days today. Which, technically speaking means that the baby is 7 1/2 weeks developed. The baby that we saw today had an identifiable head, abdomen, arms, legs, knees and elbows. We could also see the ear and nose. And don't forget the beating heart. So, don't tell me that's just a mass of tissue in there. Nope, it's a baby.

Anyway, seeing that little person really was emotional for me. It started out when I got in the car to go down there. I couldn't stop crying. I even called my bff to warn her that I was so emotional and allow her the opportunity to jump ship. She said the sweetest thing, "Why would I jump ship on you? You have never jumped ship on me." I just want to be sensitive to where she is in her journey of loss and grief. Because, the fact of the matter is that the last ultrasound the two of us went to was for her Baby Blues. I was a little overcome by this. But, once I got myself together, it was a beautiful time. The 3d ultrasound was amazing, allowing us the opportunity to see that little one in a new kind of clarity. To see him/her wiggling about the screen caused the tears to return. And, more than anything, I think that this allowed me to feel a connection with this baby that I hadn't yet allowed myself to experience.

Thank you Lord for the miracle of life.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Voting Day

Voting day took on a whole new meaning in our home this year. We have always taken our right to vote seriously. But, after serving in a country where it's people were under a terrorist regime, Major Hunk has a newfound passion for our electoral process. As for me, I feel as though after the sacrifices that our family made to help ensure our freedom, I would be a fool to take this liberty for granted. And, even more so, I feel that because other families have made ultimate sacrifices for our freedoms, it would be a shame not to get out there and exercise our freedom to vote.

We could not go as a family, because I forgot to transfer my voter registration. Oops. So, I took the Cutie and trekked over to our previous polling place. I was so excited to share this experience with her. She was oh-so-excited to go and vote. (Even though she had no idea what that meant.) She got up there in the voting booth with me and "voted" on my scrap paper and she helped me feed my ballot into the machine. She also got a sticker. (Even though I could tell they were a little annoyed that I wanted one for her AND one for me.) She enjoyed voting so much that she asked if we could go vote again later in the day. I hope this experience helps her to shape her love for voting and the process that so many fight to protect even as we speak.

No matter how this election turns out, I will rest in the knowledge that our God has known the outcome long before these candidates ever dreamed of the presidency. Nothing surprises Him. Thank God for that.

**So, I just learned from my local news channel that it is illegal to take any pictures or photos of your ballot. And while I hadn't written on it yet, I am still inherently a rule follower, so I had to take down the picture of my Cutie "voting".** Ooops.

Rock the Vote

I am so grateful for the privilege to vote. It's hard for me to understand why people don't use this freedom. I guess it's just too easy to take things for granted.

I decided early this morning that I would take both kids to vote. It is THAT important to me. I want my boy and girl to know that we have a responsibility for our voices to be heard. In fact, I think it more important than who actually wins this election.

Most of all, on this day of uncertainty, I am grateful that there is One who already knows the outcome of the election. He will not be alarmed, and He promises me His peace. That's something I will vote yes for every time!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Thanks, Kids.

I have some fun kids. And I am so thankful for them. Without them, I would probably have some boring, unfulfilling office job. Nice things, but not nearly as much laughter. More sanity, but less celebration in the small stuff.

My big 6 year old - she's a hoot. She is always trying to use big words in her everyday discussions. It makes me laugh! I am thankful that she is a HORRIBLE liar. I am thankful that I get to be with her each day and that I am the one who gets to teach her so many things. She has such a sweet, tender heart. I love that about her. I am thankful that she wants to do better at things she struggles with (reading, jumping rope). She enjoys the everyday special moments. She loves her family and friends. She is quick to defend her brother. She says cute things like, "pretend I'm autism," when wanting to do his speech drills. I am most thankful that she loves the Lord and desires to serve Him.

My big little guy...I am thankful that he is part of our family. He has made each one of us better people. I am thankful that this past year has brought great successes for him. Dirty Job is now talking in phrases and sentences!!! He loves to be sneaky and laughs when deliberately disobeying...not good in the future, but I am so thankful for it right now. It is the cutest. I am thankful when it's time for bed and he says, " No, mommy's bed." I am thankful that he wants to hug people when they are sad. He loves music with his therapist, and love animals and cars. I love how he uses his imagination when playing. I am so thankful that he is growing and breaking the mold of what his diagnosis says he is.

These two are my heart and I am so privileged to be their mommy.

I am thankful. I am blessed.

"Blessing is bowing down to receive the expressions of divine favor that in the inner recesses of the human heart and mind make life worth the bother." Beth Moore

"I am frump girl"

Yesterday morning, I was getting ready for church, finding myself once again standing in my closet. If you know me, you know that I am not super stylish. In fact, thinking of me when you read that phrase may have caused you to giggle out loud. That's ok. I'm not offended.

But, pregnancy has brought with it a new level to my frumpiness. I'll spare you the details and just share that I walked out of my bedroom and declared to our roomie, "After church, I am buying a cute pair of maternity jeans that actually fit me." Now, I struggle because this may not be the wisest way to spend money right now when it's at a premium. And, I do happen to own a giant maternity wardrobe, more so than my regular wardrobe. But, most of said maternity clothes are a least one size too big, and it seems to have brought out some serious insecurities that I didn't even know that I had. Any idea what it does for your look when you add extra material to your newly bulging midsection? Not good.

So after church, we ate some mexican food. (Also, not good for my bulging midsection.) After mexican food, I was so tired. I almost forewent the shopping trip. But, Old Navy was right across the street so I persevered, with a little encouragement from the roomie. I picked up a few things, grabbed my whiny toddler, and headed to the fitting room. Let me just say that I let out an audible sigh when I slipped on those pants. I wasn't even phased that my half naked child kept opening the door to expose my half-naked, daily-changing pregnant self to the sweet, young employees. (Sorry for that, but hopefully the Lord can use it to encourage abstinence to teens in our area.) Those are some impressive pants, people.

I feel a little vain and maybe even a little selfish, but those jeans seriously turned my day around. Next, I am going to ask my hubby to take me out on a date so I can debut my well-fitting, cute new pants :)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

November?

I can't believe that November is already here. I think part of the problem is that we are STILL running our a/c around these parts. Hello, weather? Get on board and give us some FALL!

Because Thanksgiving is the middle child in the "Trio o' Holidays," and I am a middle child (shocking, I know...I don't have ANY middle child quirks) I'd like to take some time this month and really consider some things that I am thankful for. I hope to add here and there throughout the month.

THANKFULS

I have an amazing husband who goes above and beyond to provide for our family so that I can stay home. And I mean it when I say above and beyond. He does less than desirable odd jobs, and he does it with a servants heart.

He loves our children well. He is always commenting on how great he thinks they are. My guy enjoys playing with them and makes an effort to be a part of their lives and their activities. He went to What Not To Wear's costume parade yesterday and made sure she saw him several times before he left, even though he was on a very tight schedule.

My guy is not too proud to admit when he is wrong. He wants to grow as a person and recognize his shortcomings. And he wants to lead other guys in that journey as well. I love that about him!

My man loves me "for better or worse." He leads gently, affirms often and puts up with my shenanigans. And he helps keep up the house.

I am so thankful that the Lord gave me him.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Yes and A No...Maybe

So, if you know me in actual life (and I'm pretty sure I've made mention of it on the blog), you know that for the past year or so, I have been on board to have a third child. Me. Not my Hubs. And in this family, having a child takes two yes' or an overrule by the Lord.

About 3 or 4 weeks ago, I really felt the Lord prompting me to lay down that desire. And few days after that, I had really let it go. I then proceeded to console myself with all things practical: we still have so much to focus on with Dirty Job, a third would stretch us even further time wise, financially, etc, I want to go back to school, and even really shallow things like our desire to take a 10 year anniversary cruise next year came to mind. And Cpt is pregnant, so I can snuggle and love on her baby.

So, last week, before the kids and I left for our visit to the grandparents, Hubs shared a lovely sentiment. It went something like this, "I think we should have a third." (That's the abbreviated version). And while my face couldn't stop smiling, my head about exploded with the bomb that was dropped.

I can't even begin to share everything going through my mind. His yes brings up so many questions. And my thoughts are a wee bit out of control about all of it. Where I used to feel ok about having some "control" over whether or not we were going to try to have another, my heart isn't sure how it feels about that philosophy since Baby Blues left us. So as I search God's Word for answers, and pray about our decision, I also ask Him for peace. I feel confident that I can receive the Lord's "yes" or "no," as long as I have Him.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Party at Grammy and Poppa's (Or how I ate my weight in Pineapple Whip)





Hello...White Rabbit...are you in there?





I am IN LOVE








The kids and I went to visit my parents this past (long) weekend. I picked up What Not To Wear from school about an hour early, and her teacher answered their door asking me if we were going to Disneyland. I told her I didn't think so, and gave my girl a look.


Apparently she and Grams have been in negotiations over a Disney visit, and by "negotiations" I mean my girl asked and her Grammy said of course. 1st grandchild typically gets what she asks for.


Long story short, we went to CA Adventure and Disneyland for 3 days straight. It was a total blast, but the trip was in NO WAY relaxing. We got to ride a ton of rides, and Dirty Job hit past the 42" mark this trip, so he got to add more adventure to his riding schedule!



More excitingly, my favorite sweets shop (the one next to Winnie the Pooh Ride) in Disneyland now carries CUPCAKES in small, medium, and large...SO FUN. SO YUM. Also, I had Dole's Pineapple Whip every day we were there. Complete deliciousness.



Even better than that (I didn't think it could GET better), I got to be with my nephew on his first Disney trip. I could just eat that boy up, I love him so. He had my ovaries flip flopping (which is NOT good - but that's another post), and I just miss him so much. He is a total cutie pie and such a joy to be with. I wanted to pack him UP.


Monday, October 27, 2008

We don't do Fall in these parts.

After today, this is very clear to me. I wish I had a picture of our adventure to the pumpkin patch. Bff and I took the freak show to the pumpkin patch today. It was one of those where you walk out into the field and pick your pumpkin. Slim pickens being that we waited until Oct 27. But, the kids didn't really care.

So I give them the big rule, "Only pick a pumpkin that you can carry, because we can't carry it for you." Dirty Jobs immediately picks up a large pumpkin and stumbles his way through the rest of the pumpkin patch. This worked out well for me, because it gave me an advantage in keeping up with him on the rough terrain. Dinoboy and What Not to Wear are in a contest as to who can find the more perfect pumpkin. Cutie mostly screamed at everyone because she couldn't keep up.
5 of the 6 of us were wearing flip flops with one wearing crocs. Two kids are in pajamas and the rest of us are in shorts. Clearly, we were wearing our best fall gear to tackle the pumpkin fields. But, have I mentioned that we live on the surface of the sun? And even on Oct 27, it is still shorts and flip flops weather.

Everyone found a pumpkin that they liked. In the meantime, Bff began itching from the field grass, Cutie lost her shoes in the shuffle and got little stickers in her feet and the biggest two were sure that we all knew that their pumpkins were the very best.

It was a super fun time in which many memories were made.

This is the good stuff.

Always on time

Yesterday, at church, I felt such refreshing to my spirit. During worship, I was reminded that our God is always right on time. Even when we doubt His timing, it is always perfect. In fact, I believe it is especially when we doubt, that He makes it clear that He is right on time.

I have been living in worry. Now, in the world's eyes, I have much to worry about. But, I have One who lives in me that transcends worry. And frankly, I haven't been acting like it. I have been carrying my worry around in my back pocket. I ignore it much of the time, but lately, as times get harder, I pull it out and look at it. I talk to it, I stare at it, I practically hug it's neck. Friends and family like to pull it out as well, and remind me of my situation.

But, this morning, I laid it at His feet. I was reminded of His promise to never leave me or forsake me. So, I left it there. And I felt a lightness that I haven't felt in a while.


Now, 17hours later, I am awakened in the middle of the night, and worry has again flooded my soul. I am throwing myself at His feet begging Him for that peace that transcends understanding. Because, honestly, I can't understand right now. I can't see a way. But, I know that is when the miracles come.

Friends, please pray with me that I can leave this worry there. That I will trust Him, more than I will see our circumstances. And, more than anything else, that this experience will remind me of God's sovereignty.

Right.on.time.

I will be clinging to these verses for a while:
Hebrews 13:5. Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

Phillipians 4:7. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pictures from the Zoowalk

These were the best zoowalkers out of the bunch. Minus one. One friend no longer wanted to feel as if the paparazzi were up in his space. Dirty Job had some supportive friends!

My hubs was so proud that our team name was printed on the shirt for raising over $1,000. Go team!!!



Quit messin'

This pregnancy thing is messing with my head. I know that every pregnancy is different, and I believe that, but apparently, somewhere in the dark crevices of my mind, I didn't. With Cutie, I felt good, could eat what I wanted and I carried her small up until the last few months (when I blew up like the Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man).

Well, enter baby #2... Trace amount of cheese has me nauseous all day. And my stomach, it is a temperamental thing. Even water makes me nauseous...sometimes. I ate a bagel for breakfast yesterday, fine. Today, not so much. Now, I am really trying not to complain, because this baby is a blessing and the nausea signals a strong pregnancy, but this is my blog, and at Crying Moms, we will cry if we want to :) Frankly, the stomach is an annoyance, but I can deal.

However, last night, my hubs was taking me out for a date night. (This is the part where it starts messing with me.) I am standing in our closet, tearing through each and every pair of pants I own. Major Hunk walks in as I am sliding (err, stuffing) myself into the last pair. He looks at me and says, "I love you, but that is not going to work. Can I get your maternity clothes from the garage?" I concede. But, I was seriously mad about it. Not at him, but at my body for rebelling at such an early point. I slipped on some cute maternity jeans, thanks to my friend, T and her three pregnancies. I really did feel better. Except that I am still holding onto a little animosity that I am wearing maternity pants only 2 weeks after finding out I am pregnant.

So go ahead and leave me comments telling me that it's completely normal, I am not some pregnant circus freak, and that it will level off at some point and I am not destined to weigh 742 pounds at the end of this...

Because, what are friends good for, if they won't lie to you when you need it.

Totally kidding.

Well, mostly.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Zoowalkin'

We woke up at the crack of dark this morning, for a very good reason. We did the Zoowalk, which is a fundraiser for the the Autism Research Institute and ASU. I am very, very excited to say that our team was able to raise over $1,300! GO TEAM!!!

This is our second year doing the walk. It's a very emotional event for me. I tear up watching groups pose for pictures. I also teared up while standing in the registration line to turn in our money and I shed a tear or two when I saw our team name printed on the Zoowalk shirt. All teams raising over $1,000 get printed on the shirt. My camera is broken, but some sweet friends who walked took some pictures. I will be posting some once I get them.

I'll share more later, but I just wanted to share my excitement and give a SHOUT OUT to all the people who gave, walked, prayed and celebrated not only my boy, but all kids with autism. Your support makes all the difference!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Have I mentioned?

My little girl is getting so big. My husband says I always say that. But really, look at the proof.
The bottle: so 2 years ago.
The crib: At least a year ago.
Onesies: a thing of the past.
And, in the past few months, she has completely given up diapers and even, her last holdout, the binky.

Those were the last "baby" things that she had. It makes me a little nostalgic. But, my baby, well, she's not a baby anymore. She got all my first parenting moments. She's the one who was there with me for my very first day of on-the-job-training. (Sorry about that Cutie.) Oh the tears, they seemed non-stop. And she cried too.

And I guess I need to try to stop calling her my baby, since that title will soon belong to another.

Yep, we're pregnant.

Shopping anyone?

I just pulled out Dirty Jobs winter wear. I had already passed some of it along when I had packed it up, so I had only saved what I thought may fit him this fall.

Silly, silly me.

There's not even a little chance that he'll be wearing anything in that box. Unless, of course, midriff shirts and capris are in style for the 3 year old boy circuit.

Maybe in Europe, but not a chance in this family.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

a random update

As you read in the previous post, I was out of town last week. So rather than an all too lengthy post, I thought I would give you a quick update instead.

You're welcome.

  • So many thanks to the Racer for offering to keep the Cutie for a whole week while we were away. Even more thanks for loving her while we were gone. Your family is precious and so generous to welcome her to be a part of it. And so many thanks for the encouragement in getting her off the binky. This has been a huge sigh of relief in our home!
  • This is one special girl I have. She pretty much potty trained herself and decided she was done with the binky. Apparently, lazy parenting can pay off if your child has the right personality :)
  • As for the above, I am totally kidding. I know that she just has one of those personalities where she won't even consider doing something until it is her own idea. I wonder where she gets that from...
  • The training we were at last week allows my husband and I to begin teaching a really wonderful curriculum to other couples at marriage retreats through our military branch. We were blessed to attend such retreat as participants, and are very excited to be given the opportunity to teach it to others.
  • My bff is really amazing. She has had to face life in ways that I hope no one else ever has to. Yet, she still has enough grace and love to share with the many around her. She is beautiful inside and out.
  • Just when I was starting to feel as though I have a handle on my two new, part-time commitments, I will begin working part time at our state fair this week. That along with some new developments should send me back into the state of overwhelmed. But, it's ok, because I may get some extra time with the bff this month.
  • As last, but possibly the most important, is a fashion update. In case you were needing an outfit to wear to your local fair this year, the Cutie has a suggestion:

In case you can't quite make out what you are seeing, she is wearing some really colorful tights, her pink croc-like shoes, her bathing suit (of course), and a hoodie for warmth.
It's quite possibly her most memorable ensemble to date. We were turning lots of heads.

I hope I left you with a smile.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The + One Factor

Cpt Mom is away. And I have her girl. I am having an absolute blast with her. She is sassy as all get out...and when I say sassy, I mean it in the cutest, most adorable way.

Cutie is all sorts of big. Tomorrow, we are having a too big for the binkie party. Cupcakes with pink sprinkles are on the menu. She threw one of her binkies in the trash today. I thought I'd have to fish it out of the garbage tonight. Nope. She was only sad for a short while this evening, never asking for her binkie, but rather for her mom. It was completely precious.

Having her here is so much fun. It is such a great reminder to cherish every moment with my children. They were once her age, and now...well, they are big.

As Cpt tackles the business world this week, I'll be tackling 3 kids. While she has to restock her wardrobe because of lost luggage, I get to throw on my gym clothes and play at the park. Don't get me wrong, not even a little...what Cpt is doing this week is VERY important. VERY valid. VERY needed. VERY MUCH of the Lord. I'm just lucky I get to fill in the gap with her Cutie and be reminded of how amazing my own two are as well. My heart is very, very full.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Do you prefer Fall or Autumn?

I don't know about you, but when I think Fall, I think of colorful leaves, pumpkins, long sleeved shirts, brisk air and hot drinks.

I just discovered that Fall officially began Sept 23. Umm, I don't remember exactly what I did on Sept 23, but I am certain that it didn't include any of those things. In fact, it is safe to say it included things like air-conditioning, shorts and large Sonic drinks over ice.

Yesterday I was at the Racer's house and I said, "It is not even hot outside, I am going to take the kids to the park." She said, "I know, I turned off the air conditioner." So, as you can see, we are finally getting a taste of this thing called Autumn.

Oh, in case you were wondering ... It was 93 degrees here yesterday.

Friday, October 3, 2008

In God I Trust.

In case you haven't heard, we are in some economic hardship these days. And, if you hadn't heard, please go ahead and crawl out of the cave you have been living in.

I was having a conversation with my husband recently about the possibility of a bailout plan. Now, I don't claim to actually know what all this means or entails. I have only heard a few analyst's opinions as to what this could mean for our economic future. One of them is we will suffer from inflation. The other is we could end up in a depression. As I thought about these two options, two thoughts entered my mind: 1. I am so glad my Gramma is not here to see this. 2. What would a depression in this country actually look like?

As for #1: My grandmother lived through the Great Depression. Once into more stable economic times, my gramma began stocking up on all things imaginable, just in case. She had a basement full of things. Freezers full of food. The only thing she didn't buy in bulk was toilet paper. One basement flood years before brought that life lesson. Of course, in my youth, I thought she was a little overboard. But, once she shared her stories, it was understood. It didn't matter how crazy people thought she was, my gramma was never going to be caught in a situation where she and her family didn't have food to eat. I think, if she were alive today, she would have much fear. I am thankful that she is with the Lord now. I wonder if He gets to hear her stories now?

As for #2: I have a difficult time trying to figure what people mean when they talk about a modern day depression. Do they mean like in the 1930's? When people struggled to survive. When some even died. Because if this is where our country is headed, I think we will have, well, approximately 3 billion people who are going to be surprised. We live in a country where many people live paycheck to paycheck. Even those who are struggling financially often have a car, home, cell phones and food. As a whole, we don't know how to grow our own food, do laundry by hand, or hunt and gather for our meals. So, based on the stories of my gramma, I wonder, "What would a depression in America in the 21st century look like?"

Now, don't get me wrong: I am hoping to never find out.

But, wherever our country is headed, I am going to trust the only One who can get us through it.

The Lord has provided greatly for our family. He is not swayed by the economy. I know He will continue to provide even when that means we have to make sacrifices. Thank you, Lord for your faithfulness.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A shopping we will go...

I took the Cutie and another little girly-girl with me to the grocery store this morning. It was going so well, I decided to tackle another store where I prefer the produce. You know the kind, an all-natural type place. Their produce is good and it's cheaper as well. Wednesday is double ad day, so they honor this week and last week's sales. Wednesdays are always crowded. And it is usually frequented by the over-60 crowd at 10am.

I have had many an experience at this store where I feel like the grandparently types are judging me as if their kids were nothing but perfect angels. There's not a lot of room between aisles and my girl tends to wander a little. She always stays close by, but tends to look at the ground when she walks. This causes her to walk in from of other's carts on a regular basis. It has warranted us many a dirty looks.

All this background to say that all the grandparently types we met today were all so sweet to me and the girls. The Cutie was again wearing her bathing suit (inside out for a different look) and of course, carrying her purse. Many stopped to talk to the girls and a gentleman in a wheelchair asked them to come over by him so he could talk to them. As we made a mad dash with our cart for a potty trip, I was trying to juggle both girls and my purse and get the cart out of the way, etc. A sweet little gramma headed over and held the door open so I could assist one without dragging everything else in with us. She then told me about her own little girls who have now grown up and made her a gramma to 8.

It was such a sweet exchange. And a productive grocery trip.

A successful day, for sure!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Days in Which I Thought My World May ACTUALLY Fall Apart (or Part 4)


I walked out of our appointment for Dirty Job (who was then not quite 2) in a whole different place than when I walked in. It's bizarre how one sentence can turn your world upside down. I'm not sure how I drove after that. That's probably a good thing.




The reaction of those we shared with was, well, interesting. It varied from denial to I knew it to everything in between. Cpt Mom shared with me that Dirty Job was the same child he was December 18th. That was probably my most clung-to statement of that time period. I would stare at my sweet boy and will myself to remember that he was, in fact, our same little boy...the same fun-loving, sweet, playful guy.




One thing I almost immediately felt was guilt - and it was two-fold. First, I felt guilty for allowing Dirty Job to have the MMR shot. Questions flooded my mind - could I have CAUSED this? What kind of mother brings harm to her child? Woven within these personal accusations was an affirmation that the Lord sits on the throne, not me. Whatever part I did or did not have in all of this still was ultimately decided by God. As the story continues, I had to face these questions.




The second thing I felt guilty about was all the dreams I had for Dirty Job. As his mom, I had dreams of him playing football (side note: I was anti-my-boy-playing-football until I realized his hugeness) or baseball, going to all his games and cheering him on. I had dreams of him being a world changer, a defender of the defenseless, a protector of his older sister - and his own family. I had unconsciously assigned so many expectations to my little guy. And it felt horrible ~ who was I to dream things for him? Why did I think I had the authority to do such a thing? The very same day of Dirty Jobs diagnosis, we had a dinner date with some friends, a dinner date that we should have, you know, canceled. They were engaged, no kids, living on love. And we were just handed what felt like a death sentence. I expressed my remorse over my ridiculous dreams, and my husband's friend offered up words of compassion. He shared that he didn't think it was wrong to have dreams for our children. It's what parents do, because they love their children and want good things for them. It was such a moment of affirmation in the storm. I don't even know if at the time I really digested what he was saying, but it's a statement that has stuck with me over all this time.


We hosted Christmas with my family that year. The only year we've done it. A lot of that is a blur. Some of it I remember. My parents got Dirty Job a train table with the track and trains and 237 pieces. I remember staring at Dirty Job to see if he was playing appropriately with the train, or if he was just spinning the wheels and watching. He was playing with it appropriately and LOVING it. I remember looking for stimming - which in case you don't know what that is (I DIDN'T) is self-stimulating behavior ~ things such as hand flapping, head banging, clapping, waving your hand in front of your face, etc. The only thing our guy did was "dance a little jig" when he was excited. It didn't seem abnormal at all.


My parents thought the developmental pediatrician was a nutjob. My sister had already researched autism before the diagnosis (I was pretty pissed about that). My brother and sister in law made observations over the time they were here at Christmas, often saying he didn't demonstrate autistic behaviors outside of the lack of speech.


We didn't have Rainman on our hands. So how could he be autistic?

Christmas 2006 ~ 6 days after diagnosis.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The post in which we get all handy...

Well, the Racer came over to help me hang some oh-so-cute border in my kitchen. Well, in a moment of brilliance, I decided we should measure to be sure we had enough. Thank goodness we did, or my kitchen would be 10 feet short of completion. And that, my friends, would drive my very detail-oriented husband to the brink of insanity. (As if having me as a wife does have him teetering there anyway:) So, I ordered another package and decided we would have to tackle that another day.

But, instead of losing the opportunity of free labor, we pressed on and found a different project. I am a low-risk kind of girl, so this was a big step for me. We went to our local Lowe's. Yes, even after we said we would be happy to never step foot in there again...

Ok, you are probably wondering what this post is really supposed to be about. Sorry, I have a problem keeping on track. All this wandering to tell you that we tackled a project for BooMama's Before and After Challenge. We added some color to my many shades of brown living room. Yay!

I was really leery about taking such a bold step (remember, low risk girl): I was concerned that Major Hunk would hate it (he doesn't care for bold color) and the fact that somehow, in my 33 years, I have never actually rolled paint on a wall. I was nervous. But, the Racer, she was all kinds of confident. And she promised to help me paint it back to our safe tan color if we hated it.

So, here you have it...

Before:


After:

I am planning to paint that orangey mantle, a rich chocolate brown color. I just couldn't get it done before today.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

And I give you...

The Racer and I took Dirty Jobs and Cpl Cutie out for mexican food last week. Kids eat free, we had no choice. Anyway, while we were there, a nice man gave our kids each a sombrero. When I took this picture, my first thought was, "They look like honeymooners in Mexico."


Yes, that is her swimsuit she just happens to be wearing. Not because we went swimming, but just because she likes to wear it.

Progress

That would be me. On the right. Next to Ebo (from Contender...LOVED that show). Don't mind the fact that I was ridiculously happy. Ebo was my favorite that season.



Running the 1/2 marathon in January 2007. I use the term running loosely. This was 2 months before Cpt and I decided that we needed to get a grip.


Me on the right again. Next to my fitness hero and all around wonderful friend. Please note the chubberificness of my face.
Sometimes it's important to revisit the past. And remember that the journey is worth it. And that not just in eating...


















Wednesday, September 17, 2008

You Know You've Missed the Random

Because my brain is numb...a list.

  • Step BASICS would imply that the class is, you know, basic. Let me clarify. Step BASIC means This Step Class Will BASICALLY Kick Your Butt.

  • Speaking of butts, my (our) teacher of many classes at the gym (not step basics) has a butt that I covet. There. I said it. She's just the cutest, fittest, sweetest girl. And I have a sagging rump.

  • What Not To Wear (6) is reading. Like, really reading. I thought the struggle with reading would be the end of our relationship. I'm so thankful for excellent K and 1st grade reading teachers.

  • Dirty Job (3) says, "No school, stay house," nearly everyday he has preschool. Apparently, he doesn't like the fact that the expectations are higher now that he can talk.

  • I called Cpt Mom after church tonight and the Cutie (2) answered. I asked "Aren't you supposed to be sleeping," and she replied with roaring laughter. It was hysterical.

  • This post was so extremely encouraging to me.

  • Biggest Loser season premiered last night. I made brownies to celebrate.

  • Hubs and I have been shopping for a car. I DETEST car shopping in ways I never thought possible.

  • My friend had a baby. And that baby makes my ovaries ache. Or at least she did until her mom reminded me about feeling like a milk cow.

Alrighty, I'm off to bed.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

checkin' in

Well, it's been over a week, so I think I better check in for some accountability. Sorry to bore you all with my weight loss journey, but it's where I am at. I thought it was getting boring to write about, so I stopped. Consequently, I also stopped losing weight and doing the things I needed to do to get healthy. So, feel free to skip this post if it bores you.

These were my goals:

  • cut soda consumption down to one a day. umm, not so good here.
  • exercise at least 4 times. consistently 3 times per week.
  • take measurements so I can track inches lost as well as pounds. I did it.
Alright, so I made it halfway with my goals. Things I have done well:
  • Had four straight days of tracking my points and staying within my daily points.
  • Drank 4 to 8 glasses of water per day.
  • Have taken an assortment of aerobic classes and have loved some of them. I really get excited about going to the gym for some of these classes. (quite miraculous for me)
Things I still need to work on:
  • Continuing all of the above goals.
  • Cutting down on soda.
  • Getting to a weight watchers meeting every week.
Since I have been exploring different exercise styles over the past few weeks, I am wondering, "What else is out there?" What types of things do you like to do to get your exercise on? Leave me a comment.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

One Tuesday morning

September 11, 2001. A day that changed the face of our country and the lives of those living here. I remember feeling like I was in a daze for a week after. The safety and security I had always felt had been shaken. I was a first grade teacher at the time. I remember having to look into those innocent faces and try to explain to them that there is evil in the world. A fact that, until that point, most of them had never been confronted with before. I was stunned.

The following year I was engaged to a soldier and we were discussing wedding dates. We were also discussing death benefits and wills, just in case. We knew that it was looking like our country may go to war, which meant a potential deployment in our future. I was proud.

The following year we married. We bumped our wedding date up 3 months due to the fact that Major Hunk's unit had been activated. We got married on 5 days notice with our families blessings. One month later I sat on the couch with my new husband and watched the "shock and awe" attack that began this war on terror. I sat there trying to let the reality sink in. My husband of one month could leave for war on 24 hours notice. I could become a widow at age 27.
The reality was that his unit was deactivated by the end of that year and it became a waiting game. I was scared.

As the next few years passed, we went on with our lives. Living in such a way that denied, once again, that evil exists in our world. I was always waiting, watching for the signs that would tell us it was time for him to go. The soldier in him wanted to go. The husband in him didn't want to leave me. The patriot in me wanted him to go and serve our country, to use the training he had acquired over the past 13 years. The wife in me wanted to hide my head and not answer the phone, ever again. I was conflicted.

It wasn't until 2005 that we began hearing that he would be deployed within the year. I did the mature thing and didn't tell anyone. Because isn't it proven fact that if you don't talk about something, then it won't happen? Well, that theory was blown out of the water. When he got his orders, I was about 7 months pregnant with our daughter. We had to tell our family. I made it through Christmas and Cpl Cutie's birth. My post-partum period was out of control. I was in denial.

2006 and 2007 were consumed by deployment training and in-theater service. My life changed in ways I never imagined. But, I hope one thing will stick with me from this time: I hope I never again take our country's freedom for granted. My husband looked evil in the face. He saw things that I didn't even know existed. And I am certain that he saw things that he will never discuss with me. In 2008, he returned home to me safely. I was relieved.

So, seven years later, I have more gratitude for our country and the freedoms that it stands for. I love my family deeper than I knew I could. And I have such a deep rooted respect for the military families who serve our country selflessly. And to those who have lost a loved one in this fight for freedom: I have a gratitude that I can't even express for the sacrifice. It was not in vain. I am grateful.

September 11th : You changed my life. I will always remember.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Oh two and three-quarters...

...you are so fickle. This age is turning out to be a little challenging for this mama. My girl is well-tuned into my annoyances and seems to be jumping all over them. She is still the tender-hearted, fun loving little girl who makes me laugh. But, now she is discovering a little something called free will. She has discovered that she can assert herself by yelling and hitting. And the whining, oh the whining. It is driving me crazy. It seems to reach epic proportions some days.

Thankfully, I know that this is just a stage and that it will pass. In a book I have been reading, they say, "It is your job to enforce the boundaries, it is the child's job to test them." So, I just keep reminding myself: She is just doing her job.

And most importantly, she is still the same little girl who rocks my world. She is the one who made me a mama. She is the one who officially changed my career path. And she is the one who my God has entrusted me with. So, when the frustrations come, I try to focus on the fact that in 3 minutes, we could be playing happily again. When the tantrum passes, she will most likely curl up in my lap for some cuddles. Oh, two and three-quarters...you are so fickle.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Did somebody say birthday??

To celebrate my birthday this year, my husband gave me a most unselfish gift. He sent me and a few friends to a resort for a little weekend getaway. He rented the hotel room and then we were able to plan whatever we wanted to do from there. It was a blast.

Friday evening, we packed up the Bff's car, picked up the Racer and were on our way. We found some grown up tunes...the children's cds were banished. That's right, we were giddy with freedom! We checked into the hotel room and change our clothes. Then it was off to dinner. We settled in for a dinner of no high chairs where we ate this salad:
It really didn't have a fighting chance.

We drove around looking for some delicious dessert worthy of birthday celebration. We decided on a place that the Racer had previously eaten some most delicious chocolateness. We got there and they no longer carried her dessert. The other desserts we ordered were mediocre at best. This caused the Racer to announce, "Carraba's, you are DEAD to me," as we drove out of the parking lot. I have no idea where WNTW gets her flair for the drama.

Saturday began with a shower. A shower in which no one tried to peek in or leave the bathroom door open allowing all the steam to escape. The luxuries were endless, I tell you. My sister in law met us and we headed out for massages. All of us but the Bff. She has an aversion to the touching. I had a most interesting massage where the masseuse instructed me to blow the excess air "out my feet". I was unable to do so. But, all the while I was thinking of that Thai Crunch Salad. I know, I have a problem. So, we headed back to CPK for some more delicious salad. After much grown up conversation in which no one screamed, bucked or refused to sit in their seat, we decided to head to a mall and walk around free from all the afore mentioned fun. Then it was off to Sprinkles for some cupcake heaven. I didn't even get a picture of those. If you are familiar with my love of Sprinkles, you will know be pleased to know that they did not disappoint.

This is where we hit an impasse. High on cupcakes and frosting we could not formulate a plan for the evening. After stumbling around the city for a while, we finally decided on some karaoke.
The Racer and I were sent in to assess the situation. One listen to the white guys rapping and we gave it the all clear. After much deliberation, we finally decided on a song that all four of us knew. About 2 hours in, two other girls sang our song and we had to make a new choice. Oh, the injustice. We decided on Pat Benetar's Hit Me With Your Best Shot. Here is a sweet picture, complete with air guitar.
As you can tell, it was a blast.

In all this fun, I almost forgot to mention that I got my haircut as a gift from my sister in law. When he first cut those bangs, I thought, "What have I done???" But, I love it and so did everyone else. At least that's what they tell me...


Many thanks to Major Hunk for a very special birthday celebration. He is clearly the man for me. He loves me with a passion and takes amazing care of our family. He speaks my love languages loud and clear and I love him so. Thanks for the fun birthday memories.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Captain Mom IS a Superhero

It's someone's birthday here on the blog. And here are the reasons I heart her.

  1. She lets me talk about Big as if I know her.
  2. She's an expert on random communication.
  3. She's and excellent listener. Even when I interrupt 17 times.
  4. She values the importance of Sonic happy hour as much as I do.
  5. She loves her family fiercely.
  6. She knows that a good jean CAN make the world a better place.
  7. She is extremely witty.
  8. She will go see a 10pm movie with me on a Tuesday and not think twice about it.
  9. She can season a popcorn bag with the perfect mix of nacho cheddar and white cheddar. That is no easy feat, my friends.
  10. She understands that the popcorn at one theatre is better than the popcorn at another theatre.
  11. She always takes something from the sermon...and applies it.
  12. She makes beautiful babies.
  13. She let me call her no less than 17,000 times after Dirty Job was diagnosed with autism. And she was on vacation with her husband who was about to leave for war.
  14. She understands the need to dialogue through The Biggest Loser.
  15. She also understands the need for dessert during the same show.
  16. She has cable.
  17. She doesn't care when my house looks like a tornado blew through.
  18. She loves people more than presentation.
  19. She got her child to potty train herself. She needs to write that book!
  20. She hates politics as much as I do, but still lets me talk it out.
  21. She knows that some days should be ETB days.
  22. I never feel judged by her. Even on my worst days.
  23. She understands social awkwardness.
  24. She balances truth and grace.
  25. She's pretty.
  26. She knows that shoes make all the difference in an outfit.
  27. She agrees with me that Coach purses are ridiculous. I know, throw things at us now.
  28. She's always up for a spontaneous road trip.
  29. She goes to Cardio Sculpt on her birthday.
  30. She encourages me to be a better mom and wife.
  31. She has a heart for people with special needs. And has passed that heart along to her daughter. What a legacy.
  32. She understands that everyone has T-rex days. And g.l.a.m.o.r.ous days.
  33. She is transparent.

Join in the birthday wishes for my friend!!!