Showing posts with label Life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Life. Show all posts

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Falling Short

This time of year, more than any other, the pressure is intense to get everything just right.  Pressure to be ready, pressure to go above and beyond, pressure to stop focusing on the wrong details, pressure to enjoy the season.

So many mixed messages.  "Are you ready?  Not much time left.  Hurry up!  Slow down.  More, bigger, better!  Simplify.  Shop till you drop.  Cherish family.  Enjoy the season!  Remember the meaning of it all."  All of the voices whispering.  "You're doing it wrong.  Get it together.  This is of utmost importance and you are blowing it."

Last week sickness hit the family.  Sickness.  Now.  Like I have time for this.  As if I don't have enough going on.  Sickness.

And when it finally passed, and I took a look around, I saw major setback.  I was already behind in my preparations.  My house wasn't quite clean enough to start getting out all the decorations.  I hadn't even pulled out the Advent stuff.  I was so behind.  Then add another week of just dragging ourselves through.  And do you know what happens to the house while I am waiting on two sick littles?  It gets wrecked.  Dishes piled up high and so much laundry.

I haven't even had time to address all the Christmas cards.  And I have already received two.  Two moms that have it more together than I do.

On St. Nicholas Day I forgot to put out their gifts until half way through the day.  I had to do the whole, sneak it out and try to pretend they have been there the whole time and no one noticed.

And here we are half way through Advent and we haven't even gotten out the Advent calendar.  Or the Jesse tree.  We haven't started making homemade ornaments for the Jesse tree like I promise every year we will do "next year."  Another year goes by and I still don't even own an Advent wreath.

And all the Pinterest moms are doing it so much better.

I remember my own childhood.  I remember doing the Jesse tree every year and lighting the candles on the Advent wreath.  I remember excitedly opening the doors on our Advent calendar.

I want my children to have those same memories.  To understand what Christmas is really about.

Mom had it together.  At least that's the way I remember it.  Funny thing is, I don't know for sure.  Did we always have all those things every year?  Did we ever get half way through Advent before we managed to dig it all out.  Maybe mom felt the same way I do and we were just too young to notice.  Maybe what really mattered was what we did and not what we didn't do.

Maybe other mothers have it less together than I think they do.  My friend, who sent the first card of the season.  Confided in me that half her cards went out without stamps.  Now she has to readdress and resend all those cards.  I'm ashamed to have felt a little relieved when she told me that.

I watch my kids get excited about their little pipe cleaner Advent wreaths.  And argue about who will get to put today's part of "The Story of Christmas" on the little tree.  And add a little bit of straw yarn to their wrapping paper tube manger to get it ready for the clothespin baby Jesus on Christmas.  In the back of my mind I see that box in the closet with all the other Advent items I haven't gotten out.  I don't even have the Nativity up!  Flashes of the Pinterest board, with all the other amazing ideas to take things above and beyond, fill my head.

Then I hear the Princess telling her brother, "Christmas is not about the presents.  It's about baby Jesus's birthday!"  I saw her eyes fill up with tears on the Sunday she was too sick to go to church because she didn't want to miss the second purple candle being lit.

I hear them make the connections.  Remembering a bible story, thinking to pray for someone, caring for each other and for "Mr. Cool."

Maybe I am doing something right?  Or maybe they are learning despite my shortcomings.

I think maybe there is a reason that now more than any other time of year we find ourselves falling short.

It's a pretty good reminder of what it's really all about.  Isn't it?

Because if we did have it all together.  If we were Pinterest perfect people.  We wouldn't even need Christmas.

Christ didn't come for the people who had their acts together.  He came for the struggling, for the weak, for the searching.

Even for the moms who are weeks behind on their blog, have a sink full of dishes, half a stack of Christmas cards to address, mount laundry ready to erupt, no Advent wreath, an undisplayed Nativity, and a mess in the corner where the Christmas tree is supposed to go.

Especially for those kinds of moms!

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Simple Thanksgiving

Usually we host Thanksgiving dinner at our house.  Since we bought this house we have hosted every year with the exception of the year Matthew died.

This year the plan was the same.  We would host as we normally did.  Then things started to get complicated.  We struggled to work out all the details and nothing felt right.

And honestly, I was exhausted.  Mentally exhausted.

As an introvert, there are times when I just feel a strong sense of mental fatigue.  All I want to do is cave myself in a dark hole somewhere and rest.  Burrow into my blankets and snuggle up with my thoughts.  And the calm.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Homeschooling - On a Good Day


Yesterday was not a good homeschooling day.

It was one of those days when tensions are high and meltdowns are inevitable and we reach our breaking point and have to pack it all up and walk away for the day.  It was one of the "Why are we even doing this?" kind of days.

And here we were in our third week of the year having a "this day was a disaster and therefore the whole year has been a complete failure" kind of days.

The Princess is eager to learn to read.  And she pushes herself.  But she also gets frustrated easily.  It doesn't come easily and naturally to her like it did for her brother.

Things will seem fine.  She will be sounding a word out one second.  And the next.

An emotional outburst.  Breaking down in tears.  "I can't do it!"  "It's too hard."

This is the point where we close the book and walk away.

I know she is learning.  That girl is determined.  Sometimes she just pushes herself too far.  I can't seem to convince her to just chill out.  (And she is only 5.  Oh the teen years should be fun!)

She should really be in Kindergarten this year but is doing First Grade work.  Because she just couldn't stand to see her brother doing work and not join in.  I finally had to buy her books to keep her from doing his work while we weren't looking.  And even getting it right sometimes.

But she can't see how far she has come or how well she is doing.  She wants to know all the things and know them right this very second.

Which is why she becomes inconsolable when she hits a wall.

Then to top it all off The Peanut was laughing at her the entire time.  He had finished his independent work and couldn't find anything else to occupy his time.

It went something like this.  Princess sounding out a word.  Peanut laughing.  Me snapping at Peanut to find something to clean or something and quit laughing at his sister and she is doing a great job and he did exactly the same thing at her age.  Princess losing her place.  Repeat.



Tuesday, September 16, 2014

How Does She Do It All?

Ever find yourself asking that question?

You look at another mom and she seems to have it all together.  She manages to do all the things and balances everything flawlessly.  She is perfect in every way.  So calm, cool, collected.

She is the perfect wife and mother.

She is the person who actually does the things she pins to Pinterest.  Heck, she is the one creating the things everyone else is pinning.

She is the mom who works full time from home while homeschooling her ten child prodigies.  Her genius children are also great athletes, always well behaved, polite, helpful and very popular.

She is the mom who sets the fashion trends and always looks fabulous in clothing she designed and sewed herself.  Some of the rest of us are still in pajamas and can't even find time to take a shower.  

Her impeccable house has been featured in magazines.  

She organizes events, does charity work, is in perfect shape and cooks her own delicious gourmet recipes using healthy ingredients she harvests straight from her own garden.

To top it all off she is even pretty too.  And you just can't dislike her because she is such a kind giving person.  All this and more.  She does it all effortlessly and is perfect in every way.

Don't we all feel like we know that mom?  We find ourselves asking, "how does she do it all?"

Ever been asked that question?

How do you do it all?

Believe it or not, I have.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Blood From a Stone - Another Slab Leak Post

I promise ya'll there is a reason I inundate you with my plumbing woes.  It's not exclusively to torture my one remaining reader.  (Because if I have to deal with it, why not bring you along for the ride?

One of the reasons I write these posts is because I want to document everything.  Just in case.

We might have reached just in case.

When I last wrote, we were looking at leak number 8.  I had a long talk with my husband and a few family members and was strongly advised to put my foot down and demand some other type of solution.  The plumbers have always been professional and seem to do good work so I have continued to trust them to keep their warranty. But seriously.  Eight holes being jack-hammered into my home is more than ENOUGH.

Do I sound angry?  I am.  I have reached the end of my rope.

The plumbers came out to locate leak number eight.  I had decided they could locate all they wanted but I wasn't going to allow another hole.  They always come out one day, do the leak locate and then schedule the repair for another day.  They weren't coming out until noon anyway so I knew they wouldn't do the work that day.  Which is why I told my husband to not worry about trying to be home.

They located the leak in the worst possible location.  My daughters room.

Right away they started bringing their equipment to dig it up.  I was thrown.  I was alone.  I was really missing having running water.

I decided to go ahead and allow them to fix this one.  AND THAT WOULD BE IT.  NO MORE HOLES.  If there was ever another leak (there will be) they would have to find another solution.

We frantically started shoving my daughter's things in a closet and doing our best to protect her stuff from all the mud since I didn't have adequate time to empty out the entire room.
The leak was under the patch from a previous repair.

When they dug it up the plumber doing the repair asked me if there had been another previous repair done in that same location.  I wasn't sure.  This is where documenting things on my blog comes in handy.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Five Rambley Favorites

My only excuse for the garbled bunch of nonsense you are about to read is that I am a bit tired.  Not sure what my excuse is every other day...

I have wanted to write a Five Favorites post for a long time now but never quite got around to it.  Because I am a procrastinator to the extreme.  I procrastinate doing things I WANT to do.  Pretty bad I know.  Love reading everyone else's Five Favorites and keep thinking, "That would be an easy post to write.  I can come up with 5 things I like."

Wait can Five Favorites be one of my Five Favorites?  Or would that be taking it a bit too far?

Ok, here we go.  Five random things that I love at this very moment.

1.  Mom's Night Out.  The movie.  Haven't seen it yet but I love the trailer and am determined that it is going to be as wonderful as it looks.
Plus, it was co-written, co-directed, produced by a homeschooler.  Awesomeness!!

AND Patricia Heaton is in it.  Love her!

2.  Patricia Heaton.  She is so funny and talented and beautiful and awesome.  And Catholic.  Totally cool.  She always picks the best roles.  I think she gets that it's possible to not have everything totally together but for things to still be good.  (I know that doesn't make total sense.  Not totally together here.)  Though I suspect in real life she has things at least somewhat totally together.  She is also in one of my all time favorite TV shows.  The Middle.

3.  The Middle.  Seriously people.  Do the writers of the show spy on us or what?  A show about a totally "disfunctional" family that are maybe more functional than they give themselves credit for.  Frankie is my favorite TV mom ever.  She is always so tired and frazzled and defeated and chaotic yet she just loves her family and wears herself out doing things for them, all while berating herself for not doing enough.  (I know that was a run on sentence so I threw a comma in there.  You're welcome.)   It's just so real.  When they had to hold the dishwasher shut with the broom handle while it was running to keep it closed.  Yes!  And when they finally got a new dishwasher but it wouldn't fit in the space.  Nice!  And when Mike gave that awesome speech about how the house hates them.  Truth!  And when someone turned on the oven and burned the quilt that was stored inside because no one ever cooks.  HA!!!  The toenails in the chip bag.  Dying!  It also happens to be one of the very few shows on TV that I can let my kids watch.

4.  Mitzi's new blog.  Coquades Galore  Just discovered it today and I am super excited.  She is already making me laugh.  Especially when I read her description of me in her Blog Roll.  (And her introduction to the Blog Roll.)  I had totally forgotten the escalator until she mentioned it.  So I guess it didn't scar me for life after all.  Though I am still convinced it is somehow my destiny to die on an escalator and if I just avoid them I might live forever.  Um.  Right.  Back to Mitzi.  We were friends in college and then roommates after college (she was an awesome roommate) until she decided to move far away JUST to get married to her love.  Whatever.  I guess I either need to get over it or she needs to come to her senses and relocate her family right back to Texas where everyone belongs.  Unless they are mean.  Then they can live somewhere else.  But Mitzi isn't mean so she needs to be in Texas.  Mitzi also inspired yesterdays blog post.  And when I say inspired, what I really mean is "gave me an excuse to ramble on about Doctor Who to a captive audience."  That's almost a direct quote from my husband.  He's right.  I tried to add Coquades Galore to my Blog Roll but it is being mean to me and refusing to work.  Mean Blog Roll should just move away to somewhere that isn't Texas.  Or work.  Work would be better.

5.  This cuteness.

I just wrote an entire post without including any pictures.  So.  Here.
In their pajamas at 2pm.  Playing video games on a school day.  (School work was finished first.)  Pouting Princess.  No idea what she is upset about other than she got up too early this morning.  This is what they were doing while I was writing this.  Mother of the year!

Linking up my (very rambley) post with Five Favorites at Moxie Wife.
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Friday, December 6, 2013

Saint Nicholas Day: The Gift of Giving

I have to really hand it to myself this year.  I finally have this whole Advent thing down.

Most years I am still trying to clean up the mess after Thanksgiving.  I have all these grand ideas of all the Advent traditions we should take part in.  It just never works out the way it appears in my head.

Last year I finally got somewhat prepared.  I finally printed out all those Jesse tree ornaments and cut them out AND laminated them.

I went out to the bookstores after Christmas and scored a couple of Advent books on clearance.
The Advent Storybook has a story to read each day leading up to Christmas.  Haven't started reading it yet but we will catch up on that.

The Story of Christmas book has little minibook ornaments that tell the Christmas story.

This year.  This is my year.

Check it out.

We have not just one, but TWO Advent wreaths.
An Advent calendar (thank you Target dollar spot.)
The Nativity scene is set up awaiting the arrival of the baby Jesus.  (The Jesus has actually been missing for years but I always put in a little bundle of cloth on Christmas and no one has noticed yet.  I really should get a new Nativity set!)
And in the whole spirit of Advent's theme of waiting.

The Christmas Tree is being slowly set up.
This progress has taken three days already.  We could probably drag it out until Christmas if I try hard enough.  A branch a day or something.

Once we get it up we can start putting the little book ornaments on it each day...
For now we just hang them on the lower branches.

Yup.  As you can see, I have it all together.

Oh, you wanted a picture of the Jesse tree?  Um, well it's still in a closet somewhere.  I'll get to that.

Waiting remember?

And my crowning achievement?!

The best St. Nicholas feast day celebration yet!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I Guess I'll Be Giving Up My Computer for Lent

The good news is that I made it to round two of the Messiest House on the Internet Contest over at MyLifeandKids so if you get a chance head over and vote for my "Lovely Living Room."

This is where I would include the fancy link and such but when I tried to restart my computer, (it was frozen) this happened.

This is where I would post the picture I took on my phone of the error I got but I can't figure out how to post pictures from my phone.

I am totally blogging from my phone.

I know there's an app for that but not for Windows phone.  Sigh.

Obviously, I freaked out and sent a panic text to my (mostest awesomest on the planet, don't know what I would do without him) brother who talked me down from the ledge and told me how to reboot my computer from the Windows disc.

It is currently "attempting repairs."  I'll keep you posted...
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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Don't Read This. It's Gross.

No, really.  You should stop reading now.

You can't go back and unread once you have read.

Seriously?  Why are you still here?

I warned you.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Last chance...

Ok, then.  If this is how you want it.

Here we go.

Once, I was a new mom.

Are you sure you still want to be here?


I was a new mom with a tiny little Peanut.

A sweet squirmy little guy.


He had colic.


Here is where it get's gross.

Had the worst diaper explosions known to man.

All the time.

Little did I know that my son had a milk allergy.  And if I had only known I might have been able to eliminate dairy from my diet and save us both a lot of grief.  But I had no clue the colic and the explosions were not normal.

Not gross enough for you.

Just wait.

Or don't, cause it's really super gross.

On one of these occasions, he was about a year old at the time, I took off his diaper and ran him straight to the bathtub.

Got him all cleaned up and dressed.

Put him down for a nap.

Came back to clean up the mess on the changing table.

No diaper.

Where could the diaper possibly have gone?!

Oh, there it was.  In the next room.  In pieces.  Scattered all over the floor.

Only, it wasn't ALL there.

That's right.  The dog ate it.

Told you it was gross.  But it gets worse.

The dog ate the diaper.  The king of the disgusting diaper explosions.  Eaten by the dog.

Then he proceeded to...

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2012 in 12: What a year!

Started the year off with a cleanish house.  That didn't last long!
An Anatomy lesson.  (Seven months later we used the same book to explain Matthew's "broken" heart & told our children their brother might not be coming home.)
A visit from a Duck
Scarborough Fair
The kids went "camping"
A trip to the Zoo
Dada looks hot too!
The Princess and the Peanut had their birthday party.
We visited Grandad at work. (The carnival)
Despite my reservations, 12/25/2012 turned out to be the "best Christmas ever."  The Peanut nails his Dada in the face with a snowball while Mama stays warm inside.
Matthew sent us snow for Christmas!
2012 was a hard year but as I look back over these pictures I realize what a joyful year it was.

Linking up with Dwija for 2012 in 12.
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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

WIWS: The Reason I Never Wear Makeup

Picture taken while standing in "the hole" right next to the wax drip down the wall.
Dress: ebay $10
Cami: Avenue
Leggings: Avenue
Belt: Target?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Matthew Part III: Going Home

September 24th, Matthew was born.
September 25th, Matthew lived.
September 26th, Matthew went home.

Imagine the roller coaster of emotion we were on.  We had gone from finding out our son had Trisomy 13 and learning he wouldn't have much time with us, if any at all.  To hearing the positive news at our Care Conference that, for a baby with Trisomy 13, Matthew had relatively few life threatening issues and he had every chance of going home with us.  To going into labor a month early and not knowing if having him early would put him at higher risk.  To giving birth to a rolly polly, 6lb 3oz, rosy pink, healthy little guy.  Healthy except for the occasional failure to remember to breathe.

This is the part of the story that is hardest for me to share.  Not because it's sad.  It has it's sad moments.  But more than that it is precious.  It's the part of the story I treasure the most.  Because it's the story of our private moments with Matthew.  It's the part of the story that only we know.  And as hard as those moments were, they were also my favorite moments with him.  Because it was in those moments that I felt closest to him.  And in those moments I was surrounded by saints and angels.  Those were the moments when all the prayers, the hundreds if not thousands of people praying for our Matthew, those prayers surrounded us and held us.  They carried us through.

But if I really want to tell his story, I have to share these moments with you.  Because the story is not complete without them.  I want you to know my son as I knew him.  And without the chance to introduce him to you in person, this is the next best thing.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Matthew Part II: A Life Story

On Monday September 24th, Matthew Corbett was born.

I got to meet my sweet sweet boy.

 And he was beautiful!

Once I got back to the recovery room I was able to hold him.
And kiss him.  And get to know him.
 We started bringing family and friends into the room and everyone had a chance to hold him and love on him.  His brother and sister got the chance to meet him.
They adored him!

The Peanut helped to change his first diaper.

 And he got to hold Matthew's hand which is something he had told me he wanted to do.
Everyone of his visitors got to spend time with him and hold him and love him.  He was passed around and around.

Let me tell you about my little "Matt-man."  (Feel free to hum the Batman theme song whenever you say his nickname!)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Matthew Part I: A Birth Story

It's hard to know how to even begin to tell his story.  How do I begin to put into words what is in my heart?  It was really one of those, "you had to be there" times.  But I want to share his story.  Because part of being a mother is knowing your child is wonderful and perfect and wanting the entire world to know how wonderful and perfect he is too.  Before the details start to fade and blur.  I want to introduce you to my 36 hour miracle.  I want you to meet my precious Matthew.

I guess I will start at the beginning.

Friday September 21st was the Princess's 4th birthday.  We took her to Legoland.  Afterwards we took her to the toy store to spend some birthday money she had been given.  She proved her natural shopping abilities by scoring a few deals and walking out of the store with over $70 worth of toys for $30.  It was a happy day.

That weekend was a relaxing lazy weekend.  Not much productivity.  I wanted to write a couple of blog posts telling you about the day we sat our kids down and explained to them that their baby brother might not get the chance to come home.  I wanted to tell you about the name we had chosen for our son.  Matthew meaning Gift of God.  I wanted to tell you about the Care Conference we had just that week discussing all our plans for Matthew's birth.  How the doctors had all acted very positive about Matthew's chances for coming home with us.  I wanted to tell you about making preparations and writing a birth plan and packing a bag.  I wanted to publish the post I had written about two of my friends who have gone so above and beyond the call of friendship duty.  To whom I owe a life debt.  But my computer had gone from making a strange noise, to fan going out and overheating.

5 weeks until my due date.  4 weeks until my scheduled c-section.  Plenty of time.

Little did I know that there would be no more preparations.  No written birth plan.  A half packed bag.  And when all was said and done the list of people I owe a life debt to has increased significantly.

On Sunday September 23rd we went to church.  After Mass we walked around the church festival a bit.  Then we headed home.  I had a few contractions throughout the day.  Just tightening, no real pain.  All the same they had me a bit worried.  See, I never had Braxton Hicks contractions with my other pregnancies.  About a month ago I had contractions.  They were upper abdominal and clearly different than anything I had ever had before so I didn't worry about those.  These however seemed more like "normal" contractions.  So I did my best to relax and kind of hung out in bed all day drinking water and playing a lot of Spider Solitaire.

As the day went on they became more frequent.  I tried to tell my husband not to worry.  This was totally normal.  Inwardly I was starting to panic a bit.

Bedtime and I tried to get some sleep.  But the contractions were becoming more frequent.  And more painful.  I would start to doze off only to be awakened by a contraction.  I started to time them.  They were coming every 15 minutes or so.  I decided to take a shower.  Maybe that would relax me and they would stop.  Me stressing about them was probably not helping matters any.

I took an hour long shower.  Only had one contraction the whole time.

Good.  Now maybe I can relax and sleep.  By morning time they will have stopped.

I went back to bed.  It was 3am.

20 min

12 min

8 min

10 min

I moved to the recliner.

6 min

1 min

6 min

14 min

9 min

At this point I was timing contractions by how many Hail Mary's I would say during one.

7 min (two and a half Hail Mary's long)

11 min (two Hail Mary's)

5 min (three Hail Mary's)

I was panicking.  It was too soon.  My son would have enough problems without being premature too.  I was only 35 weeks.  I just needed at least two more weeks for him to be full term.

I thought of Mary on that road to Bethlehem.  Was she afraid?  Was she in labor as they searched for a place to stay?  Did she fear having no place to give birth.  That her child would be endangered by exposure to the elements?

Was my son about to lose any tiny chance he had at even a few hours of life?

This was not the plan!!  God and I had a bit of a chat.

"I'm not the only one whose plans will be affected!  There are lots of people who have made plans to be here.  Days off work have been taken.  Hotels have been booked.  They want the chance to meet him.  This is not the plan!"

And God answered, "It's not YOUR plan."

These contractions were exactly the same as the contractions I had right before my water broke with the Princess.  Fluctuating between 5 and 10 minutes.  Same pain level.  I knew.  This was real labor.

At 7:30 am my husband woke up.  We decided to call the doctor and head to the hospital.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Breakdown

I realize I have not been the best at keeping up with the blog lately (or really ever.)  I blame my slow computer.  Five days now it has been trying to update Facebook (which is why all my Facebook followers have been missing out on all my witty banter and such) and it took almost two weeks to get this page open to write a new blog post then another two days to add links and a picture.  Yes, it's a bit slow at times.  It has also begun to make a strange noise from time to time...

So, last time I told you about my doctor's appointment of awesomeness.  It was so incredibly awesome that I felt a great weight lifted.

Which is why you might have been very surprised to see me the following morning, driving back home after dropping my husband off for work, having a bit of a mental breakdown.

Let's back up a couple of days.  The day before my amazing doctor's appointment of all amazing amazingness, two things happened.

First I was doing dishes.  (I know, I should really learn my lesson!)  And I made a huge watery mess on the floor.  My husband stepped in the puddle and commented on it.  I waved him off and told him I always made a mess doing dishes and it's just water so it will dry.  He brought in a towel and dried it up.  Then I stepped in the puddle that was leaking out of the towel.

Wait, what?

Yes, a giant puddle over and above the water that had now saturated a full size bath towel.  There is no way I made that much of a mess!  We pulled out the contents of under the sink cabinet.  They are currently still scattered across my kitchen counters and floor.  After some investigation we discovered that the garbage disposal is leaking.  Well you probably know by now how much we enjoy plumbing problems around here.  So we decided simply not to use that side of the sink.

During all this craziness the Princess came running in crying.  She was holding her mouth.  Correction, she was holding her tooth.

No one saw her injure herself and the best she can tell me is that it was the rocking chair.  What do you want to bet she wasn't just sitting properly in it?

Ya'll know how I love a good mouth injury!  (Yes, I spell it ya"ll and spell checker has no problem with it so it must be correct.)  So, I calmed her down and hubby washed her mouth out and got the bleeding to stop.  Yes, there is always blood isn't there?  We checked her tooth to see if the gum looked swollen or red and it looked ok.  But I was rather worried about it.  She has caps on her teeth (chalk teeth) and so we have to watch carefully because if she injures the tooth we might not be able to tell under the cap.  Yup, queen of mouth injuries and we have to take her into the dentist any time she injures a tooth.  This is amazingly only the second time in the year since she got the caps put on.  The first time was one week after she had the caps put on.

So, all that craziness happened and then the next day we pretty much put it all out of our minds because we had the doctor's appointment and at first we were all nervous and then we were all relieved and it was all emotional and stuff so I honestly didn't think about any of the other stuff all that day.

Then that night I remembered her tooth and took a look at it to see if there was any redness or swelling.  I didn't see any redness and maybe a tiny bit of swelling but it was hard to tell.  Still, it didn't look quite right...

It took me a minute and suddenly I realized one tooth looked lower than the other.  Now this might not be that big a deal except that I knew for a fact that the caps had been perfectly even.  I reached out and touched her tooth.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Getting With the Program

Last week we had our first appointment at the new hospital.  Special thanks to our emergency last minute babysitter who met us at the hospital after a midnight text from me.  Because I have the bestest friends in the whole wild world!

We met with a nurse and a doctor who explained the program we will be part of.

Um.  Amazing!

Let's just pretend they sat me down and hooked me up to a mind reading machine.  Then they custom designed a program around me.

That's pretty much how it felt.  I'm sure it's how it feels to every woman going through it.  Because that is really what it is.  Let's figure out exactly what kind of care and treatment a woman carrying a high risk baby would want and then provide exactly that!  What a novel concept!!

First of all they are a referral center only.  They only provide care for women with babies who have some kind of high risk diagnosis.  Which means they are entirely equipped to handle care of high risk babies.  They also have actual experience with Trisomy 13 babies.

They are experienced and therefore know exactly how to react.  They know how to speak to us without saying the wrong things or avoiding the subject.  They are kind and compassionate but at the same time they are able to share information without watering down the facts.

At one point my husband asked what the doctor's experience was with the babies they had delivered who had Trisomy 13.  How long they had lived.  Because as he said, it's one thing to look at a bunch of statistics. It's another to talk to someone with actual experience.  The doctor immediately responded, "Oh, you really don't want to ask that question."  Then he stopped himself.  "Of course what I mean is, you do need to ask that question.  It's just not the answer you would want to hear."  He said that in his experience they usually make it anywhere from an hour or two to a few days.  It is pretty much unheard of for them to leave the hospital.

This is something we knew.  But again, it's one thing to see the statistics and another to talk to someone with actual experience.

But he went on to say that nothing is impossible and that is why they have to be prepared for anything.  (Thank you, this is what I have been saying.)  They have to be equipped to meet the baby's needs whatever they might be.  If that means going home, however statistically unlikely that might be, they are prepared for that.  He said they recently had a baby born with such a severe diagnosis, statistically he had almost a 0% chance of survival, even for a few minutes.  He said that baby went home.  As of our conversation, on day 20, that baby was still living.  The fact is that each baby has to be treated individually.  He went on to say they treat the babies the exact same way they would treat an adult.  (Wait, like real people?!)

Now wait just a minute.  You aren't getting excited yet are you?  Because there is so much more!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Different Kind of Miracle

"A miracle is something that seems impossible but happens anyway." MIB3

Weeks ago, when we were freshly reeling from the difficult news we had received about our baby, we sat in Mass and listened to the Gospel.  It was about miracles.  We listened to stories about how Jesus had healed a woman and brought a little girl back to life.  I'll be honest.  At that moment it kind of felt like a bit of a slap in the face.

I am sure I felt a bit like some of the people in the crowd might have felt.  Pressing around Jesus.  Looking for miracles. Then one woman who touches the hem of His garment is healed.  Her faith healed her.  It makes me wonder if any of the people in the crowd asked the question.  "What about my miracle?  Why her?  I have faith too.  I wouldn't be here if I didn't believe.  Why not me too?"

It was a question I found myself asking.  "Where is my miracle?"

Because in that moment all I wanted was a miracle.  Not just any miracle of course.  My very own custom made to order miracle.  I wanted to be able to ask God for exactly what I wanted exactly the way I wanted it.

My vision is very short sighted.  I can't see the whole picture and because of that it is sometimes easy to forget that there is something beyond my field of vision.

It's all too easy to call out that challenge to God.  God you are all powerful.  I know you can do this.  So why don't you?

Sound familiar?

It's pretty much the same challenge the first thief called out to Jesus on the cross.  "Are you not the Christ?  Save yourself and us!" Luke 23:39

Of course the second thief had one simple request.  "Jesus remember me when you come in your kingly power." Luke 23:42  And we all know what Jesus responded to him.  He said, "get down off the cross.  Your faith has healed you."  Right?


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Water Water Everywhere...

If you know me or have read my blog you probably are aware of our continuing struggle with the creatures I call the Pipe Gremlins.

In case you are not I'll give you a brief summary.

February 2010 we had our first slab leak.

October 2010, 2nd slab leak.  This is when we had the pipes coated with Ace DuraFlo to prevent future leaks.  This process came with a lifetime warranty.

November 2010, 3rd slab leak.  Covered under warranty.

October 2011, 4th slab leak.  Covered under warranty.

July 2012, 5th slab leak.  Coverage to be determined.

August 2012, it appears we have our 6th slab leak.  The epic battle continues.

And now I will inundate you with pictures of our latest round of pipe repair.

Our dear friend Jackhammer.

A Series of Somewhat Unfortunate Events

First I would like to apologize for the long break in my posts.  I realize I am not overly consistent in writing anyway but this recent break has been a bit excessive.

Ok.  How shall I begin?  

I guess I will start by telling you it was the day of The Dark Knight Rises premier.  My husband bought tickets and the plan was for him to take our nephew to the trilogy event to watch all three movies back to back.  I would join them at the midnight showing.  I knew I couldn't manage to sit through that many movies in an uncomfortable seat while this pregnant.  I have to pick my battles.  Sadly even for BatBale I couldn't put myself through that level of discomfort.  (Have I ever told you that Christian Bale is my favorite actor?  Has been since 1993 when he starred in the world's greatest movie ever.  Newsies.  What do you mean you don't think it's the greatest movie ever?  Clearly you haven't seen it enough.  Watch it again.  Watch it everyday for an entire year.  When you can recite the entire movie word for word by heart at night in bed, then you will appreciate it's true greatness.  What?!)

I spent the day cleaning the house because I have been preparing for the plumbers to come out and drill holes in the floor.  (I really have been doing way too much cleaning lately.  It isn't good for my mental health.)  My husband picked up my nephew and they headed to the movie.  I decided to take the kids to grab them a quick dinner before my sis-in-law came over to watch them.

We got in the car and I drove to the end of the block and stopped at the stop sign.

Just as I see my opening to hurdle myself out into a break in traffic, and my foot touches the gas pedal, the Peanut cries out.

"Aaahh, there's a bug!!!"

I manage to control my startled reaction and move my foot quickly back to the brake pedal rather than ramming down on the gas.

I had seen a mosquito flying around a second ago so I figured that is what he was seeing.


"Right there!" "Your arm."

Oh, so it was probably biting me and that is why he is overreacting.

I turn my head and prepare to brush it off my arm.

"On my arm?"

"No, next to your arm."

I glance down.


I choke down the pure panic as I attempt to roll down all the windows.  Maybe it will just fly out?

I can't take my eyes off the thing as my hand frantically pounds on the down buttons.  My window is the only one that goes down.


In the back of my mind it dawns on me that all the other ones are locked because the kids were playing with the windows the other day.

I can't quite make my mind work enough to figure out what to do about that and I can not take my eyes off the wasp that is about to attack my entire family and what if my kids are allergic and should I just try to smash it with my hand and kill it but what if I don't smash it well enough or I miss and make it mad and it attacks my kids and what if my kids are allergic?!?!?!?!

This is the point that the Yellow Jacket decides to crawl off the console and ONTO MY SEAT-BELT BUCKLE.

Great.  Now the option of totally panicking and running out into the street leaving my kids in the car with a wasp is gone.  Because how would I get my seat-belt off?!

While I am in complete and utter panic the kids are in the back asking questions.  "Is it an owie bug?"  "YES!"  "Is it a biting bug?"  "No, It's a STINGING BUG!"

And then a moment of clarity.  Thankfully our car stays about as messy as our house.  So, right next to me, in the cupholder, was a cup.  An empty cup.  With a straw and a lid.

I picked up the cup.  Unfortunately I couldn't quite squeeze the cup into the space to catch the wasp.

I took the lid off and angled the straw along the wasps path.  I held my breath as it crawled onto the straw.

Now what?

I could try to sling the wasp out the open window but what if it didn't go?  I could drop the lid and straw out the window but that would be littering.

So, I simply put the straw with the wasp into the cup and fastened the lid down good.


The wasp was not a happy camper.

So, I did what any other rational person would do after escaping from a near death experience.

I drove to Taco Bell.  Went through the drive through.  Ordered tacos.  Drove home.  Took the kids and food into the house.  Went back out to the car.  Took out the buzzing cup.  And set it on the side of the driveway.

Then I went inside, fed my kids, and started to get the kids into their pajamas and ready for bed.

The adrenaline from the wasp incident was wearing off and I was starting to get sleepy.  I figured I would put the kids to bed and sneak in a quick nap before going to the movie.

They put on their pajamas and started to brush their teeth.  Peanut was brushing his teeth and I was brushing the Princesses hair.  I don't remember exactly why but I ran out into the other room for a second.  Maybe to let the dog in?  Or I thought I heard my phone ring?

As I am standing in the next room I hear a cry from the Peanut.


I run to the bathroom to see what happened.

"I was brushing my teeth and I went like this and it hurted."  He makes a gesture of ramming his toothbrush really hard towards the back of his mouth.

Perhaps I should also tell you that in the previous two days, the Princess had somehow managed to accidentally drop two of her brother's toothbrushes on the floor.  Why was she holding them?  The world may never know.

We had run out of backup kids toothbrushes and so I had to give him a temporary backup adult toothbrush to use until we could buy him a new one.

I looked into his mouth as best I could in the bathroom light.  I didn't see anything so I told him he was finished brushing and to put away his toothbrush.

A few seconds later he let out a pained groan.


He held his hand to the side of his mouth.

This couldn't be good.

Ok, let's get another look.

Not thinking rationally, I didn't do the obvious and get a flashlight to look in his mouth.  Instead I had him angle his mouth up towards the light and open wide.

Then I saw it.


There was a HOLE in the back of his mouth.

That's right folks.  He had jammed the toothbrush into and THROUGH the back of his freaken mouth!!!!

Not even kidding.

Remember how well I deal with mouth injuries?

The Peanut is remaining rather calm.  No crying.  Doesn't seem to be in constant pain.  I try not to panic and freak him out.

So, I run around in a bit of a circle and grab my phone.  I frantically call my sister-in-law.  No answer.

I frantically call my husband.  No answer.  Remember he is at the movie.

I call my sister-in-law again.  No answer.

My husband calls back.

I start to pour out the whole story in absolute panic.

"I might have to take the Peanut to the ER."

Hearing the panic in my voice as I explain what happened he freaks out and starts asking questions.

"What do you mean a hole?"

"I mean a HOLE.  A huge gaping HOLE through the back of his mouth!!!"


"Straight back."

"In the cheek?"

"No.  Straight back.  In the hinge part."

"In his throat?"

"No.  The hinge part.  Like between where your two wisdom teeth would be."

"So, the cheek."

"Not sideways into the cheek."

"Right but cheek tissue."


"What do you mean by hole?"

"I mean there is a big freaking hole in the back of his mouth!"

"How big?"

"The size of the end of a toothbrush."

"Is it bleeding?"

"Not exactly.  It is bloody looking but no blood seeping out that I can see."

"Are you sure it's really a hole?"

Bad pic I took in an attempt to show hubby what I was talking about.  The hole is above his tongue on the left (his right) and looks like a black ring with pink tissue in the middle.  Imagine it being blood red rather than black.
At this point I turn around and see the Peanut standing behind me.  Tears are streaming down his face.

"Oh buddy!  Are you ok???!?"

He shakes his head no.

"Is your mouth hurting?!"

He shakes his head no.

"Oh, am I freaking you out because I am panicking?"

He shakes his head yes.

"You said there was BLOOD."  He dissolves into tears.

"Oh, no honey.  It's not really bleeding.  It's ok.  Calm down.  Mommy just thought you were hurting and so I was freaking out.  But it doesn't hurt right?"  He shakes his head no.  "See you are fine.  I'll calm down now.  Don't worry."

My husband on the phone.

"Call my sister."

"I did.  She isn't answering."

"Ok, try again.  I'll call you right back."

I hang up with him and try to call her again.  No answer.

I decide to try her house phone.

Only I can't find the number.  I know I have it on my phone.  Don't I?

Later I found it.  I can only attribute my lack of ability to find it then to the panic.  Which must also be why it never occurred to me to call from the house phone which also has her home phone stored in it.

Hubby calls back.

"She still isn't answering."

"Ok, I'll try calling her.  Just get ready to come get me and we will take him to the hospital.  No, we won't all fit in the car.  Just take him to the hospital and I will have her come get me."

He hangs up and calls her house phone.

He calls back.  "Ok, she is on her way to watch the Princess.  Give him a popsicle to help numb his mouth in case it starts hurting."

"I don't think we have any popsicles."

"Ok, call her and ask her to bring one."

Just then she knocks on the door. (She lives a block away.)

I open the door.

"What's wrong with the Princess?"

"No, it's the Peanut."

I tell her the story taking care not to freak out the Peanut any more.

We use the flashlight to look in the back of his mouth.

"Wow.  That's a hole alright."

She remains calm.

"Unfortunately with a mouth injury the hospital can't really do anything.  They can't stitch it."

"I know.  I just don't know what to do and I feel terrible just doing nothing!"

"Well, he isn't in any pain.  Maybe some kind of antibiotic for the germs..."

I remember we have some antibiotic mouthwash from the dentist.

"Oh, I can have him rinse his mouth out with that mouthwash."

My husband on the phone again. "Give him a popsicle first.  It might burn."

I go in the kitchen and manage to find one popsicle.  I also give him a dose of children's Advil just in case it starts to get sore.  I give him the popsicle.  He happily eats it.  Then he rinses his mouth out.  No problem.  No pain.  All is well.  I'm still shaking.

Hubby, calmed by his sister's rational response, returns to watch the remainder of The Dark Knight.

I collapse into a chair and my sis-in-law and I chat with the Peanut for a bit to make sure he is really all well. The kids head off to bed and we sit and talk for a bit.

Hubby calls back to let me know they are on the last intermission and I decide to go ahead and go to the movie (feeling somewhat terrible motherish) because clearly leaving my kids in my sis-in-law's capable hands is the perfectly sensible thing to do.  After all she is much better in a crisis!

After two adrenaline rushes in one day I wonder if there is any way I will be able to stay awake for a midnight movie.  Amazingly I managed to get a third rush (slightly less powerful than the previous two) when the movie started and stayed awake to enjoy it.

Of course the next morning I awoke to read about the tragedy others endured that night and it certainly put my day into perspective.

Can I just say.  Christian Bale is awesome.  Thank you.  The end.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Letting Him Go (to VBS)

Today is the first day of Vacation Bible School for the Peanut.

This morning I got up early, got breakfast tacos, fed the Peanut and got him ready for his first day of VBS.

He picked out his clothes.  I asked him if he wanted to wear his Star Wars t-shirt and he looked at me like I had two heads.  "I'm going to church!"  "Oh.  Well you can wear a t-shirt to VBS or you can wear a church shirt.  Whichever you want."  "Church shirt."

He got dressed.  He excitedly chattered away.  As he was eating his taco he would get contemplative.  "Mom?"  I fought back the urge to hurry him along.  He was taking his sweet time eating and I didn't want him to be late for his first day!  But I knew he would have important questions and I wanted him to feel comfortable and prepared.  "What is it buddy?"  "Remember that episode of Sponge Bob..."  "EAT YOUR FOOD!!!!  WE HAVE TO HURRY!!!!"

I was supposed to drop him off between 8:30 and 8:45.  Obviously being his first day I planned on getting there right at 8:30.

At 8:30 on the dot we left the house.

I was understandably a bit frazzled as I buckled the kids in and got on the road.  No worries though the church is only about five minutes away.

I was starting to feel anxious.  Peanut was pretty quiet during the car ride.  For some reason no urgent questions about Sponge Bob came up.

I gave him the lecture about being good and listening to his teachers.  Told him how much fun he would have and that I would be back to pick him up before he knew it.

Right before we walked in the door I snapped a picture.  I really wanted one of him standing in front of some sort of VBS background but there were a ton of parents dropping off their kids and for whatever reason I was the only crazy mother stopping to take pictures.

What?  I needed it for the blog!
Can you see how nervous he was getting?!

We went inside and registered.

I took him in to his age group and they gave him a t-shirt and a name tag.  He was really excited about the name tag having his name on it.

I told him we would be leaving and to have fun.  We would be back to pick him up before he knew it.  He sat down to color and I turned, took a deep breath, and started walking away.

He came running after us.