Friday, June 30, 2006

How come no one told me...

that having kids sucks the life out of you? How come no one told me that they would be sick A.L.L. T.H.E. T.I.M.E.????? I would have thought that since Nora was born prematurely that she would have been the one with the health issues out of the three of them. Nope. Its Ryann. She is sick all the time.

Lets recap:
December 2005 - bronchiolitus & ear infection
March 2006 - pneumonia & ear infection
May 2006 - some kind of combo of bronchitus & pneumonia - whatever - it involved breathing treatments & ear infection
June 2006 - Strep throat

Aghhh! She felt warm last night so I took her temperature - 101.7. This afternoon it was 103 after I had given her tylenol. I put on my make up (because when you go to visit Dr. Hottie, you need make up on, duh) and brought her to see Dr. Beautiful this afternoon. Her ears were fine - I was expecting another ear infection. He looked in her mouth and told the nurse, "Don't go away. Stay right here." That sounded real good. So he did a throat culture and it turned out positive for strep. She is a miserable soul right now. You know how it is when you have a high fever - achy, can't get comfortable, etc. I feel so bad for her and Nora keeps saying, "I'm sorry that Ryann is sick" in the sweetest, most caring voice ever. As much as they fight, she really does love her sis and feels bad that she's so sick.

In addition, Dr. Beautiful noted again that Ryann's tonsils are unusually large. He asked me if she is a heavy breather or has problems sleeping. I had never noticed that Ryann is a heavy breather until Dave started talking about her Darth Vader breathing. She does sound like that and I mentioned it to Dr. Beautiful. He asked if she has problems sleeping - like sleep apnea problems, which she doesn't. She is a mouth breather and is really loud, but I haven't ever heard her gasp for breath. He said to just pay attention to it because she very obviously has an obstruction back there. He also made it sound like eventually she will need to have her tonsils and adenoids removed (the adenoids are probably large as well).

Finally, I have to mention that I think there is a certain pediatrician that reads this blog and now I am extra paranoid about how I describe the girls' symptoms and the conversations I have with the doctor - is he going to correct me and tell me that there is no way the doctor could have told me what I thought he told me? Is he going to think to himself that I'm just another one of those dumb moms that get overly worried about every little thing (maybe not in this particular instance, but in general). Or will he kindly give me additional advice on the things that ail my kids (um, hint)? Its very intimidating to have a pediatrician read your blog when you're discussing your children's developmental milestones.

And to you Dr. Bierma... I've never met you, but if you have mothers coming in with their children in the middle of the afternoon and their hair and makeup are done, you can safely assume that you are Dr. Beautiful in their world;)

It promises to be a fun holiday weekend in our corner of the world.

6 week offensive - Week 1 Day 4

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Workout: Swallow Cliff. 6 round trips up and down the stairs. Brought the dog with me. He made the same 6 trips, we ran 1/4 mile back to the car. Got home and he insisted on going running with Dave almost immediately after we got home. Evidently, Swallow Cliff is not a big workout for Woof.

Water: Only 56 oz

WW Points: 19

Bed: 10:15 (watched So You Think You Can Dance on Tivo. It was the Live results show and the tivo cut off right before they announce which boy would be leaving this week. I have been frantically trying to find out since then, but I still don't know if it was Ben or Jamyz. I'm a loser by the way).

Eating after 9pm: I think I was finishing my ice cream sandwich a couple of minutes after 9, but I didn't start eating anything new after 9.

Good Day again overall. I feel much more motivated with other areas of my life right now - all connected. I'm happy to be back on track with all of this:)

Thursday, June 29, 2006

I'm a nutcase

Lets discuss potty training. I know all of you non-moms really want to read this... too bad. It ruined my day yesterday and I'm going to vent:)

Ryann has been showing signs of being ready for PT for quite a while. Every book I read says to look out for certain indications that your child is ready: regularity (cannot bring myself to tell you what is regular), indicating she needs to go or have her diaper changed, ability to obey simple directions, desire to be like the big kids etc. etc. I'm sure there are some that I've forgotten, but the point is that Ryann has showed all of the above signs and I thought she was ready and it would take one day of intensive PT and she'd pick it up very quickly (I'm really not into the gradual PT). Even though she's only 2 I figured we should give it a shot - she's brilliant, you know, so it won't take long.

I think she did well - as long as I was glued to her side. We started out right away in the morning with underpants on and being confined to the kitchen (wood floor). I tried making her drink a lot of fluids, but she wasn't very interested at first. I explained to her that she would get 2 m&m's if she went potty on the potty and we began our play date. By noon I was so tired - I had gone up and down the stairs so many times (to get to the bathroom) that I felt like I had done another set of Swallow Cliff stairs. Mentally I was exhausted - I could not turn away from her or she would pee on the floor, every time she said she needed to go we would tromp up to the bathroom, I'd put her on the toilet and she would ask me 5 times, "What is this?" To which I would reply, "It is a toilet paper holder." And no - she wasn't asking about different things every time, it was ALWAYS the toilet paper holder. She would also tell me over and over, "I need that" and point to the toilet paper and I would tell her she could have some after she went potty. She went on the potty several times, but in the end I think we are going to take a break and try again another day. I found that she needs undivided attention and I really can't have the other girls around to do this (which is why I chose yesterday - Nora was on a field trip all day). I also think my expectations were way too high - I'm admitting that right now.

It was nice, though, to have some real quality time with my little Sweets. We colored (which I got too involved in and missed her telling me she had to go to the potty), we did puzzles, we chatted, we had snacks, we just hung out together one on one for a whole day. Its been a while since we did that - 7 1/2 months in fact. I can remember feeling like I was going to miss out on my Ryann-time right before I had Georgia. I was actually hoping that the baby would stay in for a little longer (I was, I swear) so that I could spend more time with Ryann without being distracted by the new baby. Turns out I was right.

I'm happy that she's getting bigger and older because bigger and older in our family translates to going on errands with mom by yourself or doing something with daddy by yourself. Up until recently it was just too big of a pain to bring her with us on those kinds of things (it was that way with Nora, too when she was that age), so she would have to stay home while Nora came. She's a fun little kid with a really fun personality. She lights up my day with her monkey-ness and her goofiness. We ended the day with a bath and she poured water on Georgia's head and made me smile. She got excited about putting lotion on and sat on my lap while we watched Good Eats. Those are the important things. Her husband can potty train her.

6 week offensive - Week 1 Day 3

Wednesday -

Up at 6:15am to do couch to 5k run. Ran/walked a total of 1.75miles in 25:00.

Physical Therapy exercises - 30:00

WW points - I think around 15 and I think this is the reason why I'm not losing weight - need to get better at eating all of my points each day.

Water - at least 64 oz

Bed - 10:15 (watched America's Got Talent again. Uh, people in NewYork have just a little bit more talent than the people in LA, but lets not get too excited - they really aren't very talented).

Was very sore in the morning - my calves were burning when I got out of bed and took a few steps. Running felt good, although I figured out that I did the couch to 5k thing wrong on Monday, so I had to run an extra 5 minutes (Ugh!).

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

6 week offensive - Week 1 Day 2

Day 2 of The Plan:

Woke up at 5am and went to Swallow Cliff to climb the stairs. (Swallow Cliff is a forest preserve in Palos Park that has a 4 chute toboggan slide. To get to the top one needs to climb 120 uneven stone stairs.) I climbed the stairs 6 times and had a new respect for the shape I was in 3 years ago (I used to run the stairs 10 times, taking them 2 at a time).

Went to Physical Therapy in the evening and had a second workout. My Physical Therapist kicks my arse. I was sweating and huffing for an hour. She's having me do core stregnthening exercises - lots of lunges and ab work.

WW points - 20

Water - 80oz

Bed - 9:45 (watched America's Got Talent on tivo. Its quite apparent that America does not have talent and neither do David Hasselhoff or Brandy).

I think thats it - good day. I was so sore by the time I got to PT, I told Kristina that I would not do any running on the treadmill for her. My legs were toast from the stairs. I'm feeling really good about this!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Round one to Nora

Spent some time outside this afternoon with the girls. Got some funny pictures during a not so funny fight between Nora and Ryann. Ryann had been driving the car to work for most of the time that we were outside and Nora wanted a turn. Nora, since she is such a smarty pants, lured Ryann out of the car and then quickly got in and shut the door. A death match ensued - here are the photos:

Now go back and look at those pictures again - carefully. Note Ryann and the agony she is in. Then note Nora... Hysterical!!! I got the camera out so I could take some pictures of them fighting because the last time they fought over this car Nora pushed Ryann until the car was rolling over top of Ryann, but Ryann still wouldn't let go of Nora. It was so funny. This time I think the fight would have escalated to that point, however, Nora caught site of the camera and while Ryann was pushing and crying and screaming, Nora just sat there and no matter where I stood she turned in my direction with her photo smile and dodged Ryann's body and said "Cheese!" until I took the picture. Ryann had no clue what was going on - she just wanted back into the car at no cost. They crack me up. I would love to know what the neighbors think of the screaming girls down the road;)


Tomorrow I am going to try to potty train Ryann. Nora has a summer camp field trip and will be gone until 2:15 so we will start with Ryann bare-bottomed first thing in the morning and confined to the kitchen for the day. She is so ready - she is taking her diaper off all the time, telling us when she needs to be changed, sitting on the potty (with clothes on), and always wants to wear Nora's underpants. She's been ready for a while but I wanted her to be able to say "Potty" first, then after she started talking I wanted to wait until after we got back from Lake Geneva so my mother-in-law wouldn't have to deal with a newly trained child with possible accidents all weekend. So we are beginning tomorrow. If I'm lucky, she'll be trained by the time Nora gets picked up. This is how we did it with Nora and it only took a day, so hopefully we'll be fortunate to have the same thing with Ryann - although she has such a mind of her own and will probably enjoy the feeling of pee running down her leg, so we'll see how it goes:)

6 week offensive - Week 1 Day 1

Yesterday was day 1 of The Plan.

Lets review the daily goals:
*Drink 8 glasses (64oz) of water
*Eat 18-20 WW points
*No eating after 9pm
*In bed by 10:30pm
*Up at 5:30/6am

Day 1 -
Did the couch potato run (W1D1). It was good. Felt good to be running again. Total distance: 1.45 miles. Total time: 20 minutes.
Physical Therapy exercises.
Drank 8 glasses of water (Amanda, I lied yesterday when I said I had had 2 glasses by 4pm - the glasses I drank were 16oz each - only got up once during the night)
Looked at the clock at 8:46pm and thought, "Crap, need to go get my ice cream sandwich." Next time I looked at the clock I thought, "Oh, I can give in this one time - its the first night after all. I need to gradually build to this one." I didn't eat the ice cream sandwich (yea me!). After thinking all of that, I added up my WW points and realized I didn't have enough for the ice cream anyway.
Points: 20.5
Was in bed by 9:45. Dave and I watched 3 hours of So You Think You Can Dance on Tivo and were done by 11:15. Yes, its a bad show, but the White Sox had the night off and there was NOTHING on. Stupid summer reruns.
Was up at 5am this morning.

So all in all W1D1 was very good. I was sore this morning, but I expected it - and its a good sore, you know?

Monday, June 26, 2006

6 week offensive

Dave and I have decided to go on a 6 week offensive. We are going to hit it hard for 6 weeks in terms of diet and exercise. We have both had a really hard time getting back into shape after Georgia was born and both have some weight to lose. So we have decided to challenge ourselves for 6 weeks - we can do it for 6 weeks, right? And then alter the workouts after that.

Dave's plan is to run 6 days/week instead of running 3 days and lifting weights for 3 days. I don't know what his plan is re: diet.

Here is my 6 week offensive plan:

Couch to 5k running plan - 3 days per week
Physical Therapy exercises on running days
Body For Life weight training - 3 days per week or perhaps climbing stairs at Swallow Cliff 3 days / week (haven't decided yet)
Drink 8 glasses of water each day
Eat 18-20 weight watchers points per day
No eating after 9pm
In bed at 10:30pm
Up at 5:30/6:00am

Ultimate goal weight: 120lbs
Need to lose: Somewhere between 20-25 pounds

I will let you know how it goes. I would post my weight, however, I don't know what my accurate weight is right now after our weekend away and the excessive cheating I did over the weekend:)

Week 1 Day 1 - June 26, 2006
*Couch potato run, workout 1 week 1 - ran/walked a total of 1.45 miles in 20 minutes.
*physical therapy exercises - basically exercises using a fitness ball and fitness bands and a lot of different lunges to strengthen my core muscles in the hopes of strengthening that "girdle" that holds the spinal disks in.
*so far (4pm) 2 glasses of water (uh oh)

I guess I'll have to post today's info tomorrow. Just so you know - I don't really think that you are interested in any of this info, it is more for myself and a way to keep myself accountable to "someone" other than myself. However, if you feel a need to comment or encourage, or join in (anyone?) please do!!

I also want to get my bible verse memorization going again. I need to pick out a verse for this week and get working on it. Some of you may think that I'm taking on a lot all at once, but this is how it works best for me - I tend to be better disciplined in all areas if I'm disciplined in all areas (does that make sense?). How about you? Are you better at trying to become disciplined in one area and not stressing about other areas in your life or are you like me - need to do all of it at once?

Another summer regional.

For the short version of this post, please scroll to the very bottom...

Every summer Edward Jones hosts a summer regional meeting for each region in the company. Dave happens to belong to the #1 region in the company - region 101 (thats just a little bragging... another little item to brag about: In region 101 there are 101 competitors to Edward Jones. The competitor with the most assets is JP Morgan/Chase bank with $2.? Billion dollars. Region 101 has a total of $3.? Billion in assets. Good job region 101!!. I did a little cheer at the awards banquet, but we won't get into that.)

H-anyways... last year we went to the regional, which was held downtown and came home very disconcerted. The location was really nice. The company was very generous as usual, but we felt really out of place and unwelcomed. We both came home kind of upset that no one made an effort to make us feel accepted or comfortable - all of these guys have done what Dave was doing and we felt like perhaps it would create a bond which would translate into people taking us under their wings, encouraging us and just making an effort. That didn't happen. To top it all off, the spouses were especially non-friendly and were really into their manicures and bath and body works stuff. I felt very out of place with the spouses.

This year the meeting was held at The Abbey Resort in Lake Geneva, WI. It was beautiful and very relaxing. We took Nora and Ryann with us last year, which was a disaster because I had to stay in the hotel room with them most of the weekend for naps and sleeping at night. This year we were fortunate enough to have Dave's parents fly in for the weekend to watch all three girls so we could go by ourselves. It was lovely... but I'll get to that. Back to the point - this year was totally different. It is almost as if none of these veterans or their spouses want to put any effort into forming a relationship with the new people until they know they're going to be around a while (by the second regional). We talked to so many of the IRs and some of their spouses (my opinion of most of the spouses has not changed much... but I don't think I'm going to get into that). We definitely felt a camradarie with these people - that bond we were looking for last year. I think what made last year so disconcerting was that we could see it existed, but we were kept at arms length and on the outside. We really enjoyed our time with almost everyone and they seemed as interested in talking to us as we were in talking to them.

The theme of the weekend was Making a Difference. We were asked to prepare a brief explanation of someone/something that has made a difference to us or how we have made a difference to someone/something. The spouses were also asked to bring a $15 item to symbolize that story. So at the introduction meeting on Thursday the IR's shared their stories with everyone (IRs and spouses). The spouses shared their stories and gifts at the spouses meeting on Friday morning. We were so encouraged and impressed with the number of people that shared about their faith and about Jesus Christ making a difference in their lives. This company culture is so different than any we've experienced or heard of - it is very family oriented, very encouraging and helpful, the IRs help each other in an effort to make the company and each other more successful - they don't compete with each other or steal each others clients, etc. (I'm sure there is a level of competition, but it really is very healthy, it is amazing). I cannot truly explain the feeling we get when we are there. There were probably close to 100 IRs and their spouses there and none of them smoked; most of them are healthy, I have't met any of them that are divorced, and they are all very family focused. EJ was ranked 16th out of 100 in the Forbes 100 best companies to work for - there is a reason. We have truly been blessed by Dave's new job and the new company he works for. God's hand is incredibly evident in our lives for the past 8 years.

And just so you know... the spouses gifts were a lot better this year. Last year we had to bring one of our favorite things ($15) and a lot of the women brought some kind of beauty product or bath and body works something or other... lip gloss, nail polish, lotions, etc. Basically made me want to puke. This year, however, there were Bibles given away, I received a devotional book, I gave gift certificates to Baskin Robbins. The gifts were a lot more meaningful -- but there was an incredible number of candles given away. Still a little too girly for me, but better than last year;)

Our weekend away from the kids -
The resort was beautiful. It is on a marina on Lake Geneva and our room looked right out onto the marina. We got there around 2:30 on Thursday (after getting quite lost) and Dave went right into a meeting. I invited a spouse and her two boys to my room because their room was not ready yet. I feel the need to announce right now that I CANNOT HAVE SONS!!! Her 5 year old jumped from one bed to the other for a half an hour! I did not mind the jumping - it didn't bother me because he wasn't my kid, but holy cow do boys have energy that girls do not have. I am just honest with myself in knowing that I just couldn't handle it;)

We had the introduction meeting at 4:00 in a tent on the grounds. It was air conditioned and I was so cold, but the meeting was nice. This meeting is the beginning of the Ra Ra Edward Jones weekend... It gets kind of sickening, but at the same time it is a great renewal for spouses and IRs. The IR's had to be in meetings from 8am-noon on Friday and Saturday and the spouses from 9:30-noon on Friday morning. On Friday afternoon we left to come back home to go to a wedding. While we were gone there were games/activities for the kids, a bean bag tournament for the adults and just general hanging out. We got back at 1:30am that night and had to be at breakfast by 7:15. After breakfast on Saturday morning I went back to the room and TOOK A 2 1/2 HOUR NAP. Hellooooo? I can't remember the last time I took a nap. It was lovely:) In the afternoon we went on a bus tour of Lake Geneva to see all of the mansions on the waterfront. It was so nice. Then back to the room - Dave took a nap and I was a peeping tom with a wedding that was going on right outside our room in the gazebo. Then we had an awards dinner and hung out at the cigar bar afterwards. Sunday morning we had a wonderful champagne brunch and came home when we felt like it. It was such a wonderful weekend. The weather was glorious (did I really just use that word?? ick.) We made friends. We hung out by ourselves. We took a nap. We ate some good food. And it was all FREE. Yea!!!

I don't know all of you who read this. I don't know how many people read this. I want to let you know, though, that if you or your spouse is in any way interested in being an investment advisor, please let us know. Edward Jones is an amazing, amazing company and we'd be happy to refer to you the right person to talk to. It is hard work, but from what we can see, it is definitely worth the effort.

The gist of the story is this:
Edward Jones - good.
Lake Geneva - pretty.
The Abbey Resort's beds - very comfy.
Women - girly.
Free - good.
Jana's blogging skills - improving in terms of hotlinks, so-so in terms of length and interest of topic.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Life is good. LIfe is really, really good

Need I say more?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Which is your favorite?


Then come back and tell me which is your favorite and how long you sat and watched:)

PS - am I the only idiot that cannot figure out how to name the link something else? I wanted it to say click here and when you clicked on here it takes you to the right place, but I have no clue how to do that. Anyone else know how to do it and want to teach me? I know Kim has done it before - help???

Friday, June 16, 2006


Silence - one of those things that you pray for, yet when it occurs you begin to worry.

Case in point: This afternoon I was picking up the kitchen after lunch. Nora had gone down to the family room to play, Ryann vacated the kitchen and wandered around the house, Georgia was hangin out in the exersaucer while I picked up. When I was done, I brought Georgia down to play by Nora, ran upstairs to quick look something up on the computer. My bedroom doors were closed (I never close my bedroom doors). This means that Ryann is in my bedroom doing something she knows she shouldn't be doing... if I close the doors, mom won't know I'm in here. I sit down at the computer (its in my bedroom). I hear the closet doors jiggling. Hmmm, Ryann is in the closet doing something she knows she shouldn't be doing, I think. Can't be anything too terrible, so I let her continue for a few minutes. Finally I'm done with what I'm doing and I go to find her and what did I find her doing??? She was in Dave's closet with my makeup case. All of my makeup was strewn across the floor and she was working on the chapstick - you know, cap off, chapstick in mouth, that kind of thing. I get her out of there, pick up my make up and take a look at the beauty - she has bandaids (Dora bandaids) all over her body and mascara all over her eye and her hair. I"m so proud of my little beauty queen - she got the mascara in the right spot! She's so good:)

Here are some pictures of when silence is a good thing:

I have found that one of the biggest perks of having children is being able to go in their rooms at night and look at them while they are sleeping. There is nothing more peaceful than a baby sleeping. Nothing is wrong with the world at that moment. Life takes a breath and I'm able to quietly thank God for the blessing of my girls.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Is it only Tuesday today?

Random ramblings:

Yesterday, walked into Georgia's room to wake her up from her nap and... crib sheet - same song, second verse. However, somehow I have become quite good at this sheet changing thing because I didn't have any problems. Too bad I've now jinxed myself and the next time I have to change a sheet I will rip my jeans while trying to maneuver around the crib.

Father's Day
I was going to take the girls to the Picture People to get a picture taken for Dave for Father's Day. I didn't take them. Here's the deal: I can get much better pictures of them than the portrait studios. The portraits never really look like them, you know? And here is the biggest factor in not going: Dave won't really care one way or the other.

So instead, I changed their clothes and tried to have a photo session of my own. I was able to get a couple of good shots (I took 60 pictures and only 2 of them have all three girls facing the camera, 1 of those 2 has them all smiling):

Here is the cutest picture of Georgia:

The cutest one of Ryann:

And the cutest one of Nora:

Nora is the most photogenic person I have ever seen. I cannot take a bad picture of her. Even when she is making a funny face, she looks absolutely beautiful in the picture. Ryann, on the other hand is not very photogenic. She is adorable in real life, but I have to take a million pictures of her to get one that looks good. I hope that doesn't cause issues between the two as they grow up.

Ryann's Speech Therapy
Ryann will officially be finished with Speech Therapy on Thursday. Her therapist will come here and do a final evaluation determining that she no longer is in need of therapy and will indicate where she is and what she should be doing next. I decided a couple of weeks ago that it really wasn't fair or right to continue having the therapist come when she really doesn't seem to need therapy anymore. I really like Sue and like to chat with her every week, but that isn't a good reason to have her come... Ryann is talking a LOT. I could not even attempt to list all of the words she says now. She just talks a lot. She is just beginning to make 3 word sentences, but mostly 2 words together. She still has trouble saying the long e sound and long i sound, but she is now attempting to say them both (two weeks ago she wouldn't even attempt to say a word with those sounds in them). She is quickly catching up to where she should be and I'm eager to see where she will land in her evaluation. I'm not certain that she wouldn't have gotten here on her own without the therapy, but it was good to give her a jumpstart on it all. Hopefully we'll be able to completely close the book on that chapter in her life.

Georgia - 7 months
Our baby is so big! Her best friend, Hannah (who was born 2 hours before her) is crawling already and Georgia is not showing any interest in moving around and I am just fine with that:) I am happy to have her stay a baby for a little while longer.

She is not doing a whole lot more than she was at 6 months, however, she is doing everything she was doing then a little bit better now.
*She sits up very well on her own for long periods of time which also means that she plays better on her own and doesn't need to be entertained so much.
*She enjoys going through the basket of toys that I set down next to her and exploring them all. She also really likes to be in the exersaucer.
*She LOVES to bounce and jump while she is in there and will often complain when she is in her high chair because she wants to go in the exersaucer.
*She eats well - 6-8oz bottle at breakfast, lunch and dinner and a little bit before bed (and I'm going to eliminate that soon). At lunch and dinner she also has 1/3 of a jar of stage 2 vegetables, 1/3 of a jar of stage 2 fruits and about 1/8 c. of cereal.
*She also eats cheerios, crackers and bread. I've tried bananas, but they are too slippery for her little fingers:)
*She sleeps very well: Bed at 8pm, up at 8am, nap from 10am-12:15, nap again from 2:30-5:15/5:30. She loves to play peek a boo and laughs real laughs when we play (not just giggles, these are true belly laughs).
*She is babbling like crazy with lots of vowel sounds and just started the ga ga's and ya ya's

We're having fun over here!!!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

On Second Thought...

Went to church this weekend - twice, because I'm that good of a christian and I'm sooo spiritual. Not the point. The point is this: the worship leader spoke of suffering and what it means and why it happens. We draw closer to God because of and during suffering. We glorify God through our suffering and because of our suffering.

I'm now thinking out loud, so please excuse me if I talk in circles, don't make sense or contradict myself. This is a topic that I really, really struggle with personally and I'm trying to get it out onto paper.

My life is good. I love my husband and he loves me. I have 3 healthy, wonderful children. My parents are healthy. My in-laws are healthy. Our sisters and their families are healthy and all is well. I have not lost close friends or family. I have not been personally affected by cancer. I am healthy. Our life is good. We are loved by many and we love many.

In short - I don't feel like I have suffered.

This is my uh-oh moment - I haven't struggled, therefore I'm not as close to God as I could be. I've witnessed others becoming closer to God through their health struggles, the death of children, siblings, parents. I haven't had any of that.

I would like to be closer to God. But I do not want to suffer to get there. I do not want to give up my husband or one of my children (or all of them). I want to be closer to God, but I don't want to go through the process of getting there. I don't want to find out what it is all about. I want to be able to say "Though the darkness closes in, Lord, still I will say: Blessed be the name of the Lord." However, I don't really want to find out what that means. I'm not ready or willing to be Abraham bringing my Isaac to the mountain to sacrifice before my God. They're mine and I love them and I want to be with them and I want life to be good for me and for them. I don't want my girls to struggle. The same thing goes for them - I want them to be close to God, but I don't want them to struggle to get there.

I have a friend who desires above all for her children to know Jesus regardless of what suffering it may bring. I can't bring myself to say that right now. I want to say it, but if I am honest with myself I have to admit that I can't say it because I won't mean it.

And one of my biggest fears is that somehow God will teach me what all of this means. One of my biggest fears is that I won't see my children grow up - somehow I won't. One will die an early death, or I will get a terminal illness - something will deter me from seeing my children grow up and living my life with Dave until we are old. Whatever that is will be the thing (or things) that will teach me that He "gives and takes away, but my heart will choose to say, Lord, blessed be your name."

Please don't judge me. Please don't condemn me. I'm trying to figure this all out. I'm trying to be who God wants me to be - and I know, right now at this very moment that I am NOT who he desires me to be. I am not being obedient and my heart aches because of it, however, this is a moment where I know what it means to be obedient (come before him and sincerely give my life and my children, my husband and our families to him) and I am being defiant.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Horror

Last night when I entered Georgia's room to wake her up from her afternoon nap (not the 2 hour morning nap, the 3 hour afternoon nap - just had to throw that in there;), I saw something that struck a terror in my heart. Something that turns every mother of a young child into a quivering ball of nerves and makes her heart race in fear. It is frightening, actually. Terrifying.

Georgia had spit up on her crib sheet.
Not the kind of spit up that you can quietly ignore and pretend is not there and allow to dry and no one will ever know that it exists. The kind of spit up that has a color to it, cannot be ignored and (here is the terrifying part) requires an immediate change of the sheet.

You KNOW what I'm talking about. If you're a little, ahem, older and don't know why this is so terrifying, let me just tell you that in order to change a crib sheet one is required to spend much time contemplating the best course of action, then when a decision is made the acrobats begin...

First, when faced with an immediate sheet change (or any crib sheet change for that matter) one must decided: Do I leave the crib bumper on and attempt to change the sheet with it in place OR do I take the time to untie all (22) ties that hold the bumper in place and retie them and refit the bumper once the sheet has been changed?

Once that decision has been made the next decision is: Do I leave the mattress in the crib or do I try to wrestle the entire mattress out (PAST the bumper if you opted to leave it on) and put the sheet on outside of the crib and try to replace the mattress?

Having made those two very important decisions, it is time to stretch and get into proper position. One must be very limber and very stretchy in order to properly change a crib sheet. This is not something one should attempt while out of shape, overly tired or under the influence of any type of altering medication. Full attention and focus is requred in all crib sheet changes. Okay, stretching completed and it starts:

Put the corner of the sheet on the corner of the mattress. Good. Stretch the next corner of the sheet onto the next corner of the mattress. Piece of cake. Go to other side of the crib... put corner of sheet on corner of mattress. Crap - the sheet on the original corner just pulled off. Okay, go back to original corner and replace sheet on mattress. Great, now the other corner pulled off. Go back to the third corner, try again. This continues on and on until there is a puddle of sweat on the floor and the dog is trying to lick it up. Now, after successfully stretching all corners of the sheet onto all corners of the mattress it is time to stick your fingers into places that were never meant to have fingers stuck - the area between the mattress and the spindles of the crib. By doing this, one is attempting to pull the sheet down to the bottom of the mattress to fully cover the depth of the mattress and make it look nice. ATTEMPT - keyword. An hour later, while wiping the sweat off of your forehead, you look at your screaming child (who is crying because you have ignored her for way too long while trying to make her bed clean) and pick her up, leave the room, shut the door and vow to only return when it is dark and you cannot see the sheet or the spit up if it exists.

At some point - or several points - during this entire process you curse yourself for choosing to leave the bumper on and leave the mattress in the crib.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Monday, June 5, 2006

My mother in law has been in town over the weekend. She graciously took the two older girls away from the house all day yesterday. What? One kid, you say? I had the entire afternoon to myself to not do anything because I wasn't supposed to. It was wonderful:)

I kind of felt like it was a taste of what life would be like when the girls are in school. I also realized that I am a lot busier than I think I am - having one child for a day left me with so much time I had no idea what to do with myself...

And as promised, here was my day of tv:

MIL and I sat outside drinking coffee for most of the morning while the girls fell in the new blow up pool, so I didn't see anything before noon.

12pm - All My Children: Jack, Reggie and Aiden yelling at Lily and Jonathan for the entire show. Lily standing up for her new husband. Creepy Dr. Madden kissing Erica's knocked out hand while telling her that they'll finally be together like they should have been all those years ago. Binks crawls into bed with Kendall and has a dream of them and their babies in the park being cute moms together. Begs her to wake up. Tad, Dixie, Di, JR & Jamie & Kiefer inform Josh that his dad is Dr. Evil and doesn't respect women and their pregnancy rights. Josh half-heartedly refuses to believe the horrors that they speak of. Suddenly Dixie disappears as Tad turns around to grab a piece of paper. Where is Dixie? She's begging Zach to help her rather than go to the hospital to be with his comatose wife.

1pm - One Life to Live. Only half-heartedly watched this while I played with Georgia on the floor (see - no lifting for me:) Have no idea what happened or what is going on on this show. Did see Dorian tell David that he could get his soul back if he did something for the police. If Nash is not on the screen I don't much care about this show.

2pm - General Hospital - Sonny is going mad. He is in the manic stage of his bipolar disorder but doesn't believe he's got a problem. Sam is pining for Jason. Elizabeth is begging Jason to give Sam a chance and doesn't believe him when he says he can control his love. Lulu robs Diego of the money that he stole from her dad (Luke). Coleman tells Luke that the men he hired to Rob Luke (at Luke's request) never showed up with the money (obviously because Diego is busy getting robbed by Lulu and didn't get to Coleman, Duh). The show ends with Emily watching Sonny come to the realization that he has a problem- while he is staring at a pick ax he was using to dig up the herb gard - NOT THE ROSE GARDEN, the HERB garden. He wanted an HERB garden, NOT A ROSE GARDEN.

3pm - Inside Edition. watched the coverage they had on the two girls who were in the accident - the one died, but the family thought she was in a coma, found out 5 weeks later that the girl they thought was their daughter was actually their daughters classmate and look-alike friend and that their daughter actually died. This is real life - NOT a soap. Accident happened in Indiana, memorial in Grand Rapids...

After that coverage I turned on the Tivo. Watched That 70s show and Ironed 2 of Dave's shirts while I watched the finale of Las Vegas.

Daytime TV is sooooo good (Please, please realize that that is DRIPPING with sarcasm). My house is a mess. My garden is in desperate need of weeding. I have piles of laundry to catch up with, but hey - doctor ordered me to watch tv, right?

I really like TV, but I've decided that when I'm given a prescription to watch tv (now and when I was on bedrest with Ryann), I really don't want to watch it - I only want to do what I shouldn't be doing. What's my deal?

Friday, June 02, 2006

Here I am:)

So do you think the snake scared me so much that I just parked myself in my bed and stayed off of the computer? Nope. Here is the story as to why I've been MIA on the blog this week:

Last Thursday while I was exercising I felt a shift in my lower spine and I could no longer stand up straight. I was in pain. I've had this happen before - if you recall, in March I visited a chiropractor for the same thing. This time it was worse.

On Friday I went to the immediate care center to have someone prescribe some muscle relaxers. The doctor also requested xrays, which showed nothing. She prescribed muscle relaxers and told me to take ibuprofin along with them. I did - neither of them made any difference in the amount of pain I was feeling OR in my ability to straighten my back. Terribly discouraging... In the past when I have "thrown my back out" (as I had referred to it) the pain gradually went away over the course of a week. I have done this periodically for the last 10 years - I can remember having this happen in my dorm room at Calvin, however, it doesn't happen often and I've only visited the doctor for it once (beside the trip to the chiroprator). All of this to say that the fact that the pain had not lessened by Monday was terribly discouraging and worrisome for me.

On Tuesday I called my primary care physician hoping to get an appointment that day. The ladies on the phone were extremely rude to me and absolutely would NOT get me in that day or the next for that matter. I told them (I talked to 2 ladies because I made 2 phone calls begging them to give me an appointment) that I had 3 small children at home and I was barely able to function and take care of them. I couldn't life them without being in terrible pain, I was walking like a hunch back, I couldn't really move without feeling pain and I NEEDED to see the doctor right away. OF COURSE the answer was "No, I'm sorry but we're double booked and we can't fit you in."

Let me take a minute to announce that I officially dislike 98% of all people in the administrative departments of the medical field. At some point in the hiring process I believe every one of them has attended a class on how to be the rudest person possible. I rarely speak to a polite or even somewhat helpful person in these positions. I also believe that they have to attend a class teaching them how to make the customer run in circles trying to get information or answers on any of their questions. It is just too coincidental that EVERY ONE OF THEM is as rude as they are - they MUST be taught these techniques.

H-anyways... Most of Tuesday was spent in tears because of my frustration with all of these women and because the pain was not going away or getting better and the medication was not working at all. The muscle relaxers simply gave me a bad case of cotton mouth - I couldn't eat crackers or anything dry because I did not have enough saliva to chew them and all the water in the world did not help that situation. I was a MESS on Tuesday. Later that evening a nurse from the doctor's office called and asked about my symptoms. SHE was very nice. She told me that Dr. H wanted me to get an MRI and see me on Friday.

Wednesday - I called to schedule the MRI. I requested an open MRI due to my claustrophia and panic attack issues. Right before I hung up the phone I said to the lady, "Just to be clear - my head will NOT be enclosed at all." No that was not correct. Nothing would be touching my face, but my head would be enclosed. She told me to imagine a giant hamburger bun and I would be the beef, but my head would be in there. Not a good answer for me. She also advised me to speak with one of the nurses there to discuss pain medication or sedation during the test. I did - but by this time I was having a panic attack about the panic attack I was anticipating I would have during the MRI. At this point you can safely call me Loony Tunes;) The nurse was kind of patronizing, but she did talk me off of the ledge and calmed me down. I scheduled the test for later that afternoon. She assured me that she would give me some valium and I wouldn't care two hoots about being enclosed in the giant hamburger bun.

Dave brought me to the MRI place that afternoon. By that point the pain was so bad I could not do anything to relieve it (up until then I could shift in my seat, change positions, etc). The pain was also running down the front of my legs. Bad. Bad. Bad. Got the valium. Changed into my paper pants and gown (attractive), got ready to be the beef. It wasn't so bad - and I must tell you that I didn't feel any different with the valium, so I think I did it on my own:)

Fast forward to today. Appointment with Dr. H. He came in, talked with me, lifted my leg until I was wimpering in pain and begging him to let go. He went out, looked at my MRI films and came back with this: "You have a bulging disk." Fantastic.

So he prescribed some steroid/anti-inflammatory course of medication along with some vicodin and told me to come in next week. HOWEVER, if the pain gets worse I need to come in sooner. AND I need to rest and baby myself for the week so it will get better quicker. Typically these things resolve themselves in 4-6 weeks, but because of my situation (mother of 3 small children) that probably won't happen because I won't be able to rest properly. So he gave me a course of steroids to speed it up, hoping that it will resolve in a week. If it is better in a week, then he will send me to physical therapy. If it is not better OR it gets worse during the week, he will send me to a neurosurgeon. He advised that I had better rest, baby myself and not do too much because I don't want to go to the neurosurgeon. I told him that I have a 2 year old and a 7 month old baby at home and I have to lift them throughout the day. He told me I needed to figure out how to deal with that situation so that I didn't have to do those things because I need to rest. He also told me that the most I should be doing over the weekend is changing the channel on the tv with the remote control.

So here we go... Do I need to remind anyone how well I did with bedrest when I was pregnant with Ryann and had gone into preterm labor? Wish me luck. Better yet, give me some ideas on how I'm supposed to be a mom and not lift my children.

If you want to see a picture of a herniated disk (not MY herniated disk) click:

Next week I will blog entirely about daytime television and all of the good shows I watch throughout the day. Check back daily because I'm suuure it will be really interesting;)

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