Saturday, March 31, 2012

Stormy Saturday

This morning, I woke up at 6:30, snuggled next to a certain blond haired little boy.  The thunder boomed loudly outside, shaking the house, and the rain began splattering against the pane. 

Son Number Two moved his head closer to my body.  He clung to his blue blanket and his monkey, Coco. 

I peered over at him and he said, "Coco is afraid, Mommy."

I told him, "Coco doesn't need to be afraid.  It's storming outside, not in here." 

His eyes shone with fear, and I wrapped my arms around him bringing him comfort.  He looked at me with his huge blue eyes, and smiled showing his rows of baby teeth.  If this moment could last forever, I thought.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thwarted Thursday

I was laying in bed last night, slight insomnia, i.e., not too bad.  I thought about my blog.  I didn't write my Wayback Wednesday post last night, because I was too tired AND I didn't feel like scanning photos.  I wanted to write about my trip to Macchu Picchu.  I guess I'll save it for another day.

Then I remembered I did not do my goal post this week!  CRAZY!!!  I think this may be one of the first times I've missed posting about it.  I've been off my game with writing this week.  Instead I'm watching the black cloud, which brought chaos and doom into our life last week, slowly roll on by and move out of lives. 

I have lost THIRTY pounds now. Last week, the stress was harming my eating habits.  This week too, I have been reluctant to eat.  I have put food in my mouth and made myself chew.  I had one day this week, Tuesday, where I felt like I could eat everything in sight.  I guess stress will do that to you! 

My soft goal is to lose 20 more pounds.  My hard goal is 30.  I don't know how I'd look at 30 pounds lost.  Everyone tells me I look damn good now!  I can see the loss most in my face.  I'm feeling much more happy with the way I look.  I also have muscle now too, which is incredible! 

Random tidbit for the day, but Mattel agreed to make a Bald and Beautiful barbie.  If you don't remember, here's the link to that previous post. I will buy one when they come out.  I want Darling Daughter to know that some people are bald.  I am a member of the Facebook community regarding this request for a bald barbie:  The woman leading the fight has a daughter who has lost her hair to cancer.

Baldness can be a common denominator among women.  On Friday, I was sitting in the waiting room while Hubby was having surgery.  I recognized a woman who works on my floor at the office.  I've never said "hi," to her before, but I immediately knew her face. 

I sat down next to her and she said, "I guess we're a member of the same club...breast cancer?"

I shook my head, "No, actually I have alopecia." 

We began talking, and we talked to entire eight hours we were there.  I went by her office yesterday (right next to mine), and she gave me her catalogs on wigs.  She brought a wig for me to try on too.  Her hair has begun growing back, as her cancer is in remission.  I loved the fact that our mutual baldness brought us together.  She is older than me, and she is someone I might not have spoken to otherwise.  We had a lot in common, sitting in the hospital waiting for our Hubby's, and speaking about hair loss, family, and life.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Cross One Off My List

This year, I've been trying to figure out what I want to do with my life.  I guess, one never stops searching for their greater purpose.  My greater purpose is not copying a bunch of papers and preparing board books and sitting in meetings.  The job works for now, but I want more.  I want to be able to go to my job and feel fulfilled and happy when I come home. 

Well, I had a short list of jobs I thought I might possibly like to do.  At the top of this list was of course WRITING, but everyone knows you can't make money writing. Here's the rest of the list: teaching, veterinary medicine, working for a non-profit, lactation consultant, and nursing. 

I'm really too old to go back to school for medicine, so "doctor" didn't come up on my list.  There's no way I would want to spend the next four to eight years in school again, especially with three little ones. 

Well, this week I decided nursing is not for me either.  I don't know why I have such a hard time taking care of other people.  I guess I'm just too selfish.  Hubby has been a GREAT patient, except when he won't listen to me.  Oh, so maybe, not such a great patient.  He has been good about asking me to bring him food and water and other kitchen-related items while I'm in the kitchen.  He won't sit still though.  I attribute this to the fact that he is a natural mover and shaker, and he's trying to quit smoking.  Both making sitting still rather tedious. 

Maybe I'd make a better nurse if I was only nursing people and not responsible for the kids, my job, and cleaning the house.  My house is going to hell in a hand basket.  I need to clean.  The upstairs looks like a tornado went through.  Number One's room is so messy.  He won't ever clean it.  I have about 47 loads of laundry to do.  I need to vacuum.  I need to sweep and mop.  So far, the kitchen has been cleaned every night since Hubby's accident, but not much else. 

Anyway, I'm crossing nursing off the list.  It is not my forte.  Teaching--who knows?  I've been to Elementary School a lot lately, and I know teaching elementary school is not for me.  I've often thought being a high school English teacher would be fun, but I don't know if I could deal with attitude from the kids. 

Lactation Consulting pretty much requires a nursing degree.  You have to have 1000 clinical hours before you can practice, and our market already has a lot of lactation consultants.  When Darling Daughter was born, the LC who came to see me told me only 20% of people leaving the hospital in our town actually nurse.  This percentage astounded me, knowing the benefits of breastfeeding.

Who knows about veterinary medicine.  I still have nightmares about the crazy cat I dipped once...

And non-profits don't pay much...
Still searching.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Gardens of Paradise

This evening the kids were stir crazy.  They needed to get out of the house.  Hubby needed some peace and quiet.  He needed to rest and heal.  I took the kids over to my parents' house.  They love going over there, running and playing, releasing their pent up energy.

My Mom and Dad's house is surrounded by flowers.  Spring has sprung here in the South, and it was a perfect day to snap some photos of the kids and some great scenery.  Mom and Dad were cleaning up the big limbs and working in the garden.  They grow a lot of their food since they're vegan.

Darling Daughter stayed with me, letting me snap photos of her with the flowers.  The boys ran off and played in the dog cages.  Son Number Two rode around in his "Lightning McQueen" car.  He was playing camera shy today, so I really only caught this photo of him:

You can see how tired he was, after having refused to nap.  He's trying to give it up, but his little body is not quite ready.

While the boys played a little bit, Big Mommy, Darling Daughter and I walked around snapping photos.  I'm not good at remembering the names of all the flowers, but they were beautiful, and I just have to share them.
This is a pink dogwood bloom

These are native azaleas

This is my favorite, but I don't remember what it's called.

Afterwards, we all sat in the bench in front of the house, playing with the kids and making them laugh.  The boys were loving the sunshine, but they were so tired and ready for bed.  Darling Daughter hammed it up some more for me!

And Son Number One and Son Number Two decided to let me snap one of them together:

What a fun, beautiful day!  I'm so glad I took my Zyrtec before I went over there!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Saturday Ramblings

This week has been so hard, but I'm not going into all the gory details.  Yesterday, Hubby had his surgery.  He has a long, recovery road before him.  He'll be in a cast, then rehab.  Our whole family dynamics will/are changing.  He usually cooks, but he won't be able to as much. 

I'll take the kids grocery shopping tomorrow, his usual activity.  I'm not bothered by this change in our routine, as long as I can keep up my exercise regiment.  I realize I'll have to scale down a bit, because of timing, and Hubby really can't care for Darling Daughter at all, but I still have to go.  I literally HAVE to go for my sanity.  I have found this great outlet, and I'm not giving it up. 

I lost three more pounds this week.  I was amazed when I stepped on the scales this morning.  Sometimes, the weight doesn't come off and then in one day I'll be down two or three pounds.  I haven't been hungry lately, because of the overwhelming stressors in my life, so I know my lack of appetite has contributed to this week's weight loss. 

I pulled on a pair of pants I haven't worn since 2006 today.  I was amazed they fit me, and they're not even tight.  Progress, I'm telling you, progress!

Thursday, March 22, 2012


I'm listening to "Little Earthquakes" right now, and it seems appropriate to my life.  Tori Amos sings, Doesn't take much to rip us into pieces. My life, this week, has been a series of little earthquakes.  I'm honestly afraid to leave the house today.

The title of my life this week could be, "Things Fall Apart."  (Great book, by the way, by Chinua Achebe). Or maybe Hubby and I stuck somewhere in the book, "A Series of Unfortunate Events."  Apparently, my life could fit into any number of titles.

First, I hit a dog.  Then Hubby ruptures his tendon.  We have (had?) plans this weekend too.  I have plans Friday night with friends, and then Hubby and I were (are?) to attend a wedding downtown, and have a night out on the town.  Now, I will need to be his shoulder to lean on.  I am not good at being the shoulder.  I'm not a particularly good caretaker.  I could never be a nurse.  I don't know what is expected of me.  I'm trying though.

Last night, by the time I arrived home, Hubby had hopped around making himself dinner and was sitting on the couch exhibiting extremely little pain.  I offered to pour him a glass of water, get him anything he needed, and he refused.  Maybe I'm a bad caretaker because he's a bad patient.  He wants to constantly do for other people and himself, and he sometimes can't accept help.

I'm just waiting for the next shoe to fall.  We seem to be in a downward spiral.  I'm almost afraid to leave my house today.

Hubby slipped into bed last night.  Neither one of us could sleep.  I had a lot on my mind, and he was in major pain.  He whispered, "I swear, we have the worse luck.  I feel cursed or something."

I feel bad for him.  He was putting himself out there.  He is so introverted, and it takes a lot for him to take that step into friendship.  He had just found this group of soccer guys and was getting to know them, and WHAM!: he's injured for three months. 

I don't believe in luck though.  I believe some things happen for a reason.  I believe other things are spontaneous, just like a dog walking straight into the right tire of your car and slipping under...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Just Another Day

Yesterdy, my normal routine was in place.  I went to work. I left at 5:00, and I picked up the kids.  I came home, ate dinner, and Hubby and I took the kids for a walk around the pond in our neighborhood. 

On the way home, we were walking by a house with a family who always hangs outside in their driveway.  Their dog, a big Weinmaranar, came trotting up behind me and Darling Daughter.  Darling Daughter laughed as the big dog followed us.  The owner assured us the dog was friendly and wouldn't hurt us; only he might lick us to death. 

I went home, and threw on my clothes for Taekwondo.  Then I told Hubby goodbye, hopped in the van to leave, and I blared Mumford & Sons from my iPod. 

I was driving 25 miles per hour, and the Weinmaranar, the one we had seen not thirty minutes earlier, ran right out in front of my car.  I slammed on my brakes, but I heard the sickening sound of bone underneath my tire, and I was completely horrified.  I looked the the left, and there the family was: mother, daughter, teenage son, watching me hit their dog.

When the car stopped, I jumped out and I saw the dog bounce out from under the van and run towards their house.  He was still moving, a good sign, but I felt my heart drop to the pit of my stomach.

The teenage boy immediately came up to me and said, "It's not your fault.  He jumped right in front of your car.  There's nothing you could have done."

The mother of the family corralled the dog, and was able to get him to sit.  I stood, feeling helpless in their driveway.  The dog had road burn on his knees, but otherwise looked okay.  He was limping a little bit. 

As I stood there, the neighbor from across the street came running over to see if everyone is okay.  She glared at me, and she said, "That's why you shouldn't drive so fast on this road."

"I was only driving 25 mph," I said.

And the boy again, "It wasn't her fault.  He walked right in front of her car.  She stopped."

I gave them my phone number, and I left.  When I was back in the safety of my car I cried hard.  I thought, "What if that had been a child?"  "What if I had killed that dog right in front of his family?"

I cried all the way to Taekwondo and then I went into the dojang and worked off my anxiety. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Goal Update: March 20, 2012

I woke up super early this morning.  I lay in bed thinking of 5000 thoughts, as I always do when I have insomnia.

I thought of work yesterday, Taekwondo, friends, family, problems.  I thought of how Darling Daughter looked so cute in her little leotard and how proud I was of how she decided to stop clinging to me and stepped off onto the floor yesterday.  She found herself bouncing along on the trampoline, then she did the balance beam, and jumped off the mats.  Then all of a sudden, she was having a good time.  Just like that.  A snap of the fingers, and her mood changed.  I was more surprised than anyone else there, after she clung to my arms for the last four weeks!

My little princess in her new leotard!

I thought about good things and bad things.  I thought of problems I need to deal with.  I thought about how I signed up for Pinterest, but I don't really have time to search the net and pin things to an imaginary board.  I thought about how funny our world has become, obsessed with computer and technology.  I'm one of those people, so no judgement. 

Then I decided to wake up, step out of bed, have a cup of coffee and write. 

My weight loss and exercise goals are going splendidly.  I'm a little obsessed.  Ok, really I'm a lot obsessed.  I feel the need to go to Taekwondo at least five times a week.  I NEED to go.  I physically feel so much better when I have had my afternoon workout.  The exercise balances me out.  I enjoy the atmosphere too, usually, and the people who go so that makes it more worthwhile.  My weight stayed the same this week.  A few things happened.  I completely lost my appetite, and several days MyFitnessPal told me I wasn't eating enough calories.  Sometimes, I just don't have time to eat dinner.  I'll be at gymnastics with one of the kids, drop him/her off with Rob, and keep going.  I don't want to stuff a sandwich down my throat before working out for an hour, and afterwards it's usually 8:30 or 8:45, and who wants to eat that late?  Anyway, it's harder to lose weight when your body goes in starvation mood, so I started making a concerted effort to actually eat. 

Then on Saturday, we had a BBQ.  Or, um, a grill out.  Whatever the heck it is called!  I drank A LOT, and I ate potato salad A LOT and cole slaw A LOT.  Oh, and I had one piece of key lime pie.  YUMMY!!!  One day won't kill you, but the next day I had a piece of chocolate mousse pie.  I then took that to my co-workers so they could indulge and make their thighs bigger, instead of me making mine bigger!!!

So anyway, after a weekend of eating and drinking A LOT, I jumped back on the wagon yesterday.  So all this to say, no weight loss this weekend.  I maintained.

As far as tennis goes, Hubby and I are still playing.  We played once last week on Tuesday.  When we were done I was pouring sweat.  I don't know how we're going to play as it gets hotter and hotter.  I will have to bring a lot of deodorant, and probably leave my hair off for an hour or so afterwards.  That's the nice thing about not having hair.  It can't get sweaty if you don't let it.  I'm really dreading the 120 degree summer heat we have coming to us.  Since it is almost 90 degrees in March, I know we must be in for it this summer!

Marriage is constantly on my list of goals.  I had some good and some not-so-good memories of Hubby's and my past this week.  We had our anniversary of meeting.  We mention it every year.  I guess getting past the hump of ten years was a huge accomplishment.  Marriage is so hard though.  Communication and trust are key players, and when they are missing it can make everything seem so much worse than it really is.  I read a little bit about companionate love this week.  I thought about companionate love in relationships versus romantic love, limerent love, infatuation and passion.  I tried to think about these concepts of love in my relationship with Hubby.  I keep telling myself it takes two people to tango, and when one is all in and the other isn't then it's not going to work.  I know this is vague, but I'm not willing to go into details on here.  So let's just leave it at the fact that I need to put myself more "in" to help fix the problems that have cropped up over the last eleven years.

Writing has become sort of natural to me.  I write every day now.  I sit down and work on my story for a few minutes each day.  Some days I make a ton of progress, but other days it is slow going.  I just go with the flow.  Some days I wonder where my characters are going, and what they are thinking.  It's interesting though, because it's almost like they begin to take on personalities of their own.  I know what they would and wouldn't do.  I know how they will treat each other, and how they will react to certain situations.  Character development is almost like familiarizing yourself with a newborn baby, and slowly watching this/her personality develop.  I love it, and it is a wonderful outlet for me.  I have not submitted anything yet, because I just don't think I'm ready.  I'm getting there though.

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Crafty Site for a Non-Crafty Person

I joined Pinterest today, thanks to the invitation of one of my friends.  I picked categories like: kids, food, home decor, art.  Pinterest automatically linked me to some followers.  Then it linked me to all my friends.  I don't know if they will automatically follow me, but maybe.  And, I just have to let you know that I will NEVER be posting cutesy little projects on there.  Craftiness has always been an enigma to me.

I always wondered how people could look at a piece of cloth and then turn it into something.  Just now, I looked and there was the cutest project ever for kids, a caterpillar made out of buttons.
Source: via Beth on Pinterest

I mean, come on, anyone can do this but I would never have thought of doing something like this.  It is so adorable, and for some reason when people post things like this it makes me insanely guilty. 

Art in my house is stored in a cabinet in the kitchen.  The cabinet has markers, crayons, Color Wonder, and painting.  The painting rarely is done because of the mess.  My kids will not be crafty, even though some part of my heart would love them to be!  I'd love to sit down on a Saturday or Sunday and make a little button caterpillar, or make something out of cloth.  This creativeness, very much like writing, allows the creator to turn nothing into something, like turning a blank page into a story. 

Craftiness must be a gene I just wasn't born with.  I'd rather throw the kids in the backyard and hit a ball with them, or watch the caterpillar life cycle, or sit on the couch and read a book with them.  I think; however, next weekend we may attempt a button caterpillar.  This thing is just too cute to pass up, and easy even for me!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Saint Patrick's Day Memory

Eleven years ago today, I met him.  My perception of reality, which may or may not be true, was that I had been visiting my sister in Massachusetts.  I came home.  A guy I worked with in the library called my cellphone (yes, I had just bought a little blue AT&T cellphone—it was horrid!), and he invited me to a kegger.

I had a lot on my mind.  I was done with Wish He Was My Boyfriend.  I was moving on with my life.  I needed a change. I thought going to a party with some people I didn’t know might be the way to achieve that change.

I asked my roommate Tiffany to accompany me, but she was tired or maybe she had other plans.  I called a few of my other friends, and they all declined.  I hemmed and hawed.  I didn’t want to be stuck in the house all night, thinking and analyzing my life.  I wanted to leave, to party, even if it meant going out by myself. 

I hopped in my car, the 2000 Toyota Camry, and drove the few blocks to the house where the party was being held.  I believe he lived on 42nd Street in one of the townhouse apartments.  Walking in, a long dark staircase led up the stairs to the party apartment.  I could hear the noise on the 2nd floor, drunken laughs and boys guffawing.  I built up the courage of one single girl going to a party where she only really knew one person, and was semi-acquainted with the other, and I walked up that long staircase, knocked on the door and was let in by unidentified boy.

There were only boys at the apartment, so you can imagine their thrill to see a girl show up.  Their entertainment had arrived.  They told me the keg was out back.  I could get a drink, and I immediately did to “chill” my nerves.  Some of the boys assured me that “Rob” (whoever that was) had left to pick up his friends, including a few other girls.  I made my way out to the back porch, (also known as Rob’s bedroom!) down some rickety white steps to the backyard and somebody helped me fill up my red Solo plastic cup with beer. 

When I walked back in, I found Sid my friend from the library had arrived.  We talked for a bit, and then I sat down on the loveseat in the main den, unsure of what to do with myself.  From there guy after guy came, sat down beside me and talked to me for a while before moving on.  It was like being in a speed dating round with alcohol. 

Before too long, a drunken boy came in with another guy and a girl!  Imagine my surprise.  He stumbled over to the loveseat and introduced himself to me as Rob.  He was obviously drunk.  He had brown fuzzy hair, and he smiled at me a lot.  We discussed writing and music.  He told me he really liked writing poetry.  It served as an outlet to him.  I also think this is where the nagging began, because I told him he shouldn’t drink and drive.  He never has since—or that I know of.  Soon, we needed another beer, so we walked out to the backyard and sat on the cinder block wall drinking from our Solo cups.  We looked up at the sky and stared at the stars together. 

When it was time to go, Rob walked me out.  He saw my car, and he said “Ooh—I’d like to drive that one day.”  I was still unsure of him.  I said, “Um, yeah, maybe.”  I think we kissed, and it was a drunk sloppy kiss.  We exchanged phone numbers, and I left.

I remember arriving home at the house on Albemarle.  Tiffany was there.  She asked how the party was.  I told her I met someone, and she asked if I thought I’d date him.  My reply was, “I don’t know.  He’s nice.”  

The next day I had to work at the library.  I really didn’t expect to hear from Rob for three days, as boys seem to have this requisite amount of time to wait so they don’t seem too eager.  In the afternoon, around 3:00 PM I received a phone call from Rob. He asked if I wanted to come over and watch the Simpsons. I declined because of working.  I remember telling Tiffany I couldn’t believe he had called so soon.  I didn’t know what to do with a boy who wanted to be with me after playing on and off games with Wish He Was My Boyfriend for two years and not letting anyone else serious into my life.

Tiffany said, “What’s the harm in hanging out with him?”  They were all pleased I’d be letting go of my obsession with Wish He Was My Boyfriend.

And so I thought, what’s the harm?  That evening I went to work and about an hour into my shift Rob showed up at the library with toys for me: a rubber ball and bubbles. 

He said, “I brought you some toys.”

“Um thanks.”  Yes, Lauren was not so good at this relationship crap, even though I’d been in a few serious relationships beforehand.

From then on, I pretty much saw Rob every day.  I didn’t really ever decide to see him. He was just there, and he grew on me.  I was happy to be with someone who really wanted to be with me and who showed me that he did.  I was happy to meet his friends and to feel joy in my heart when he walked in the room.  I remember telling Tiffany about Rob’s eyes, and how they were green with specks.  I remember thinking I liked him a lot, but still holding back.  I wasn’t quite over Wish He Was My Boyfriend.  I *maybe* told Rob this, but I’m not sure he heard me.  He was head over heels in love with me, and we all know what that feels like.  Then a part of me decided the relationship worked, and I was so glad to have someone to journey out of college with, to help me discover what I wanted to do with my life, to laugh at my jokes, to make me smile after a long day at a job I didn’t necessarily like or want.  We were there for each other.

It’s been exactly eleven years since the Saint Patrick’s Day, and life has taken off.  Rob and I have been through a lot of tough times together.  We have survived our marriage thus far, not necessarily enjoyed it all, but we’ve supported each other through the tough times, even with arguments, silent days, passive aggressive behavior, withdrawing completely from one another and finally reaching out and trying to find each other again.  Searching for our twenty-one year old selves in each other’s hearts to see what brought us together in the first place: love and companionship.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Floss Makes Everything Better

Yesterday I had an overwhelming day.  The morning was fine.  I did my normal routine and went to work.  Had a meeting all morning until almost 11, then ate lunch, then worked hard and I stopped PROCRASTINATING.  I fielded about ten replies on Teacher Treat Day for Number One’s school.  I dealt with people who told me they could watch a class so the teachers could partake, and then telling me last minute they couldn’t.  I gave up caring somewhere in the middle of it all.  I want the teachers to enjoy their day, but I don’t really need any more emails or phone calls regarding excuses in someone else’s life.  I get it.  I’m super busy.  I work full time; I have three kids, their activities, my activities, and a house to clean.  I’m the epitome of busy.  If I can offer my time, then so can you.  And if you can’t, or think there is a remote possibility you won’t be able to make it, then don’t commit in the first place.

Okay, I know I’m going to show up today and people are going to be spilling out of the woodwork to help at school.  This is the other problem with our modern society.  No one knows how to RSVP!  I don’t get it.  You have a phone, which means you most likely have email capability at your finger tips; just tell me you’re going to be there!  The other problem I think with this particular situation is that there are too many cooks in the kitchen so to speak.  Too many people have asked to be responded too, so no one really knows who is coming. I will step off my ranting podium now…

At 2, I had a dentist appointment.  I have dreaded going to the dentist ever since 2001 when I had the root canal from hell.  Seriously, it was probably one of the most horrible experiences in my life.  It was much worse than giving birth.  But, yesterday my experience was okay.  You see, flossing DOES work.  The dentist didn’t just make it up!  After having SIX in between the teeth cavities I finally decided to listen to my hygienist and my dentist and give flossing another try.  Well, my teeth did not hurt AT ALL when I left the dentist yesterday and I had no cavities.  Floss; it’s good for you!

Not procrastinating can be so liberating, and I had a great day at work actually completing work.  When I left, the run around began.  My Mom dropped Darling Daughter off at gymnastics with me.  She was watching the boys, because Hubby had soccer last night.  The boys cried, because they couldn’t stay with me.  They are a mess at gymnastics, and Number Two busted his lip there, so it was a blessing my Mom could keep them. 

Darling Daughter and I attempted baby gym, aka “scream fest 2012!”  She definitely does not have asthma.  She threw herself down on the floor in a crying temper tantrum when her gymnastics’ instructor looked at her, and I have no idea why because this man seriously is God’s gift to women!  All the Moms look at him adoringly, but he’s getting married next week so he’ll be off the market!  I think I got more exercise than Darling Daughter, doing the stretches and bouncing through the tubes, all while holding her on my hip.  It’s a shame that Hubby’s soccer class conflicts with Babygym, because she does so much better when she’s with him.  She is way less clingy to him.

Then I dropped Darling Daughter off at my Mom’s, kissed the boys, waved “hi” and went to kisado.  By the time I arrived there, all the stress had built up from the day.  A Mom called about Teacher Treat Day and seriously would not get off the phone with me, just talking and talking.  I was doing stretches in the dojang, with the phone on my ear.  I finally said, “Listen, I’m about to take a workout class, I have to go.”  Then I ranted to my poor TKD friends about how I HATE Teacher Treat Day, and I realized last night that I have to stop overextending myself.  The stress is not worth it.  After kisado, I felt better but it was 8:20 and I had not eaten.

I made myself two eggs, and then I baked black bottom cupcakes for Teacher Treat Day.  I finally sat down around 9:15 PM.  Sitting in the chair felt good.  The day was productive, even if it was stressful, and I believe I dealt with the stress better than I have before.  Poor Hubby did have to run out to buy cupcake holders at 9 PM though, because we had the wrong size. 

This post has become as long as my day seemed yesterday, and so I’m drawing it to an end.  Today will be much less challenging, and I’m excited the weekend is coming soon so I can have some much needed relaxation.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

One Light Shines Brighter

I read an article in Parents magazine yesterday called "Sibling in the Spotlight," and I could not help but think of our family.  Since day one, Number One has always been a different child.  He is special, unique, and challenging and because of this he receives a lot of attention in our family. 

He was born in Maryland in a birthing center.  I went to the office, was checked and sent home because I was only two centimeters dialated.  On the way home, a thirty minute drive on I-270, my contractions changed.  By the time I made it upstairs to my room, I could not lay down.  I went to the bathroom and my water broke.  I told Hubby I needed to push.  He called the midwife who lazily said on the phone, "Come on back, but I'm sure she's only 4 centimeters dilated." 

Hubby drove 90 mph on the highway.  My comments to him were, "Slow down!" and "Speed Up!" and "If I'm only 2 cms then boy am I going to need an epidural!"  Not an hour and half after leaving, had I arrived back, fully dilated and Number One was in the birth canal.  I pushed for thirty minutes, and he was born.  The midwife on duty, yes the same one who said there was no way I was 10 cms, called him the "baby in a hurry," and he's been that way ever since.

He never slept as a baby, unless he was in my arms.  He had no ability to self soothe.  I speant many days in those first weeks, nursing him and putting him to sleep, but as soon as he would realize he was in a crib or bassinet by himself his little eyes would open up and the screaming would begin.  I sent him to daycare, because I had to go back to work and he starved himself.  He would not take the bottle.  He'd wait until I came home, and he would nurse all night long.  I ended up quitting my job so I could stay home with him.  I didn't want my baby to starve.

At five and half months, he sat up.  At six months he started crawling.  Honestly, I thought this was normal.  A normal time to reach a milestone, but boy could he crawl. He'd move fast.  He'd go everywhere, zooming around the room.  He had no need to walk, because he could crawl anywhere.  His vocabulary began building, and by ten months old he would say, "All Done," whenever I placed food in front of him.  Thus began his anorexic toddler years.  I have no idea how he survived, considering the amount of food he actually consumed.

By sixteen months old, Number One could talk in FULL PARAGRAPHS.  He was bright.  It was obvious.  He was the light in  my life.  We would read, "Moo, Baa, La, La, La" by Sandra Boynton and I would say "The Cow Says..." and he'd chime in, "Moooooooooooooooooo."  He would spend hours in his room, pulling books of his bookshelves to look through.

He has always craved a lot of attention.  He has always been a perfectionist.  Then at 3.5 years old, his brother was born.  When I was pregnant with Number Two, I did not feel attached to the pregnancy the way I had with Number One.  When he was born, he was so cute and fuzzy headed.  He had this sheen of blonde hair, and I loved him so much.  I just always felt something was wrong with Number Two though.  He NEVER cried.  He took a bottle, a pacifier, and guess what? The first night home he slept for six hours straight.  He nursed easily, self-soothed, and thus became easily overlooked.

As both grew, it became evident Number One was more different than we'd like.  He began having behavioral problems.  He is in constant motion, and the world does not understand children who can't stop moving.  We began seeking a diagnosis for him, spending more and more of our time and attention on a child who already sought it out.   Number Two became lost in the shuffle somewhere.

Number Two took forever to do everything.  He didn't sit until he was nearly ten months old, adding to my fears that something was wrong.  Crawled at eleven months old and then finally walked at 16 months old.  His speech didn't develop until he was nearly 2.5 years old.  After having a child who was so precocious, my fears were played on, and as my mom said I kept thinking something was wrong with a child who was just laid back.  He was only different from his brother, but I didn't realize that at the time.  I kept comparing and comparing, something that we humans have a tendency to do.

Then Darling Daughter came along with the "oohs and ahhs," which girls receive when they follow two big brothers, and this displaced Number Two a little bit more.  Between his brother receiving attention (albeit mostly negative) for behavior and his sister receiving attention for being the cute girl, he became constantly disregarded.

I struggle every day with trying to make him feel special. He is such a sweet, mindful child on most days.  He has an elfish grin and the blondest hair in the world.  He smiles at me and says, "Mommy, you're my best friend," and it melts my heart but it makes me feel a little guilty too since he is the oft overlooked middle child. 

I need to focus on making him feel more important.  I need to give him a place in our family. I need to listen when he calls out for me, hug him a little harder, and let him know he is so special and important to me for all that he is, and not all that he isn't.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Goal Update March 13, 2012

I seriously cannot believe it is the middle of March already!  I haven't done my taxes.  Yay, something FUN to do this weekend!  This past week was emotionally draining for me, for one reason or another that I'm not going to go into right now.  I was busy, my allergies cropped up, PTA took over my life, and to top it all off the taekwondo studio was closed for tournament. 

I hate living in Alabama during allergy season.  Our cars, and everything else that resides outside, is covered in a film of pollen.  When the weather guy says the pollen count is high, it makes me want to say "No shit, Sherlock," anyone who has a nose or lungs can tell!  Living in D.C. and then Maryland was so much better for my allergies.  I was dreaming about living there last night. I miss parts of it, and we have only stopped by Hagerstown once since we left.  I haven't even been back to D.C. in over five years.  I told Hubby when the kids are older I want to take them to D.C. and revisit some of our old favorite places.

I just realized I am supposed to be writing a goal post, and as usual I have taken a long winded diversion.  Someone stop me!

This week, I wanted to lose one pound.  Well guess what?  I fell off my plateau and I lost FIVE pounds.  I have lost 27 pounds total.  I'm so proud of myself.  I would like to lose between 23 and 33 more pounds, depending on how I look and feel once I reach the first of those numbers.  What did I do differently this week?  I played tennis in the middle of the day.  I played outside with the kids in the afternoons.  I did a whole lot less sitting during the day, even on the weekend.  More importantly, I think I changed it up just enough for my body to be confused and drop the weight.  Plus, I tried a supplement, and who knows if it helped or not but maybe it gave me a bit of a boost.

I had a baby shower this weekend, and I was pleasantly surprised when my friend posted this photo of me and my bestie:

I think we look fantastic!  This was a wonderful visual affirmation of my weight loss.  I can really see 
the progress I have made. 

As far as writing, I'm afraid I fell off the wagon this week.  I had so much going on in my personal life, and I did not focus on it the way I should have.  I'm jumping back on this week.  I had thoughts of my story and my characters lingering in limbo last night, and I don't like them being there.  Today, I will write for at least a few minutes.  I will make an effort. I WILL NOT PROCRASTINATE this week!

I still have not beaten Hubby at tennis, but there's always today and Thursday.  We're trying to play twice a week now.  Last week, I got a blister because our rackets need to be re-wrapped.  Maybe it was a cop out, but I ended the game because of it.  My forehand has major issues, and I need to work on it the most.  I also have trouble hitting the ball while I'm running.  Hubby says I'm rushing it, and I know it's true.  I find thinking positive while playing tennis and psyching myself up helps me play better.  My whole tennis game I tell myself things like, "You can do this, Lauren!  Follow through!  Hit the ball over the net.  Beat Hubby!"  Especially that last phrase.  I repeat it about a hundred times to myself!  If you were a bug in my head you'd laugh!  I realized this works pretty darn well back in eleventh grade when my tennis partner was beating me, because I was acting negatively. I started creating positive think-talk in my head, and I came back and beat her.

Marriage should be on the goal list every week, because a marriage is always a work in progress.  Romantic comedies give Americans (and I guess other cultures too) an allusion of love that isn't real.  They make one feel that if your marriage or relationship is not all encompassing and overwhelmingly passionate then there is something wrong.  I was noting the other day that most romantic comedies end at the beginning of the relationship.  Few delve into the day-to-day aspects of living with someone who sometimes drives you a little bit crazy and sometimes fulfills your every need without you having to even ask.  Hubby and I are working on issues in our marriage, which have been lacking for a needlessly long time.  We've been spending more time with each other and with the kids TOGETHER in the afternoons.  I DO feel like this will help us, but it will take time. Marriage is work and a struggle.  How many of your friends do you keep over a lifetime?  You meet people when you need them in your life, and they move on.  This is not so with a husband.  You stick by each other through thick and thin (and there is a lot of thin!), through changing personalities, through crappy jobs, through difficult children, and this simple act shows care and love.  Continue to work on my marriage, I will.

One added goal this week: Complete our taxes.  Yay, fun!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Thinking vs. Analyzing (or Plugged In)

Plugged In

Hubby and I always joke around and say I have a thinking problem.  This thinking problem contributes to my depression.  Well, the other day he sent me this article on texting. 

The article was interesting and informative.  Guess what? This article made me think.  This article actually made me think about my thinking problem.  From reading this article, I realized that I have an analyzing problem, not really a true thinking problem.  If I was just thinking and creating new ideas, this would enhance my creativity and most likely improve my happiness.  But, no, I’m thinking about and analyzing the past, the present and the future—thus making myself unhappy.  I’m doing this, because I rarely have any idle time or time to myself.  I fill up my brain with television, books, texting, Words with Friends, and I fill up my time with kids, friends, exercise, eating, and working.  I rarely have idle time to stop and think.   

According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, think literally means “to form or to have in the mind.” Analyze means, “to study or determine the nature and relationship of the parts of, by analysis.”  When I’m with my friends I’m always analyzing situations, politics, religion, you name it.  When I’m with my kids and my husband I’m reacting to circumstances, analyzing what is said and done, and acting or reacting from that analysis. 

Writing allows me to analyze certain paths in my life I took, or explore a situation in which I wasn’t happy with the outcome.  I do think when I’m writing, creative thoughts, but my ideas almost always are oriented in some aspect from my past or present that I’m trying to work through.  Thus, writing for me is a release, a way to completely analyze a situation and come to terms with the outcome or possible outcome. 

The only time I truly think is when I lie in bed at night, waiting for sleep to take over my brain.  I have sudden interesting thoughts about blog writing, I create new ideas in my head, and I don’t usually analyze the ideas to bits and pieces.  I love this idle alone time at night, although sometimes it does hinder my sleep. 

Our world has been taken over by technology in the last ten years.  Heck, in 2000 I had just bought my first cell phone, and now everyone has one.  Everyone has a computer and an ipad.  We find more and more ways to connect to each other without really connecting.  We our isolating ourselves, but feeling more connected in certain ways.  By texting, we can be in touch easily without the necessity to pick up the phone and hear another person’s voice.  This, however, doesn’t normally allow us to express sarcasm or have a deep conversation with another person.  And with the advent of texting, face to face communication has faltered.  Have you ever had a friend who you can text with easily but not talk to face to face?  I believe this is because of the lack of “thinking” involved in texting. 

I, like everyone else, see the value in texting but I also see the downside of using it as your main mode of conversation.  I see the downside in that it limits people’s downtime, affects creative output, productivity, and even draws people away from family time. 

I think it’s important to have some down time when you’re unplugged from the computer and the cell phone.  Set a limit by saying, “I’ll turn off my phone for this one hour period every day,” in order to have idle time or to spend time with my family.  Think, don’t analyze everything!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Superpacked Saturday

Today was a super busy day.  We had a birthday party in the morning, a baby shower in the afternoon, and a spend-the-night guest for Son #1 this afternoon.  I enjoy busy days, but they wear me out.  The weather was beautiful, no cloud in the sky, and buds are blooming everywhere outside in the WARM (70 degree) March sun.  We had no winter, and spring has roared in alighting my allergies, making me sneeze, wheeze, and cough uncontrollably.

We went to a birthday party at Build A Bear today for my friend's daughter.  Son #1 was having a particularly trying day.  He was in his crazy frame of mind, was not listening, and I had to "get onto him" about a dozen different times before the party.
Very Shining-esque.  Also, this photo reminds me that the kid NEVER brushes his teeth.  I must remind him again this week.  I don't want to even think about the number of dental bills we're going to have to pay for in his near future. 

Son # 2 and Darling Daughter were both in wonderful moods.  Darling Daughter smiled for me, as she played blocks prior to the party:
Once at Build a Bear, Darling Daughter reverted to her normal, clingy self though.  She cried when anyone tried to touch her or looked in her direction.  She clung to Hubby or me for the majority of the party, but she did absolutely LOVE her new bunny, Pastel.

Son #2 perhaps had the best day today.  He had a fantastic time at Build A Bear.  He was so excited they had a green bear.  Green is his favorite color, and he wants everything to be green.  Thank goodness for St. Patrick's Day!  We named his bear Patch.

I enjoyed hanging with my friends.  Hubby took this photo of me, and I was surprised by how thin I look.  I still have a long way to go, but I fell off my plateau this week and ended up losing FIVE pounds in one week.  I attribute it to the six days of exercise I'm doing, plus changing it up by adding tennis at least once a week, sometimes twice.  My body now seems content to lose weight.

I tried to go to bed early tonight.  I was exhausted by 7:30, and I crawled into bed and tried to fall asleep.  Hubby kindly agreed to make sure Son #1 and his friend eventually went to bed.  I lay there for a few moments, then I started coughing up a lung.  I ended up waking up to have some water and couldn't fall back to sleep.  I'm tired of insomia (no pun intended).

Someone on an alopecia website I'm a member of posted they wondered if having no nose hair from alopecia universalis made you more prone to contracting pneumonia and bronchitis.  I have to say, it's an interesting question.  Since I lost ALL of my body hair (because, yes, now I am universalis), I have been sick more often.  I had "almost pneumonia" in November, then strep, and now I have bronchitis again.  My natural filtering system is gone, so more junk is traveling to my lungs.  Plus, I have asthma so it could be both factors together just fighting against me.  Who knows?  Interesting to think about.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Why does the moon shine?

Last night, after gymnastics, Son #1 and I were talking on our ride back home in the car.  He insisted he is a werewolf, and because there was a full moon he was going to "change" into one.  I was tired, and did not play into his little fantasy (or hear him howling to the moon in the car), so instead he began asking me questions.  Son #1 is a questioner.  He comes by this honestly.

Our conversation went like this:

"Mommy, when the moon is full why does it shine?"

Mommy really didn't remember.  I searched in the back of my head and the answer I came up with (WRONG) was this, "The sun is behind it. It makes it shine."

"But Mommy if the sun was behind it we would still see it and it would be daytime."

"Ok, no.  The sun's not behind it, but the sun reflects off of the moon and makes it shine." (This is actually accurate, I believe).

He argued for a few more minutes.  He will make a wonderful lawyer some day, because arguing with him is so frustrating you just end up giving up!

I finally sighed and said, "Ughh...I don't know all the answers!"

In his chipper voice he declares, "That's alright because only one PERSON knows all the answers and that's GOD!"

I smiled and pushed, "Really, God knows all the answers?"

"Yes, but what does God look like Mommy?"

"I don't know," I said. "Maybe he looks like the moon.  Maybe he looks like an old man with a beard.  Maybe he's just a spirit you feel."

"How did God die?" he asked.

So then I told him God was never alive.  I told him he was an entity, and I told him people believe he created the world. We discussed Jesus being born and dying for our sins.  I told him some people believe Jesus is the son of God.  I told him it was up to him to decide what he wanted to believe. 

I peered back into the mirror and his little face was so confused.  He was pondering something. 

And then I receive this back, "I don't get it.  Where did WE come from?  How did humans get here?  It doesn't make sense." 

Existential questions from a seven year old.  Boy, we're going to be in trouble in a few more years.  Hubby pointed out later this would have been a great time for me to talk about evolution.  I could have explained humans evolving from the smallest microplasm.  Instead, I went on to explain about Adam and Eve, because we were already on the topic of God.  I told Son #1 it was a story from the bible, trying to explain HOW humans were created.  I told him it was just a story.  He'd have to make up his mind whether it was true or not.

Then he says, "If a baby was put here first, who took care of it, and where did it come from?  How did it come to be here?" 

Yes, the age old question, "What came first, the chicken or the egg?"

And I said, "Who knows.  That's why some people think the story of Adam and Eve makes sense because two grown people were put on the earth by God."

Son #1, twirled one of his curls, looked at me and said, "I guess it's just a great mystery and we'll never know!"

I told Hubby the story when we arrived home, and he laughed.  He then told me this little gem of a story about Son # 2.

The other day Son #1 and Son #2 were discussing where they want to live when they grow up.

Son #1, no doubt, came up with some far away place like Paris, France.

Son #2 chimes in and says, "I want to live in Alabama!"

Son #1 says, "But Son #2, you already LIVE in Alabama!"

Son #2 says, "I want to be a Street Walker!"

Great aspiration Son #2! 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


I was going to sit down and type out a Wayback Wednesday post. I had the topic all picked out. I had even jotted down a few memories. I had asked Hubby about it, jogging my memory of our past together. Then I didn't feel inspired. I didn't feel like writing it today. I wanted to write something else, but no words would come. I sat staring at the screen wondering when this became my life. Wondering when everything started changing.

I wondered if change is good? Does thinking and analyzing just make situations worse? I've dealt with so much crap this year. I lost all my hair. I woke up one morning with the realization that no amount of pretending would make it come back. My hair was gone. I was completely bald. I realized this was just one of those things I'd have to deal with. I went with the flow. I went with my Mom to have a wig made, and when I tried it on I wanted to cry. I HATED the way it looked on me.  I did not look like ME. It made me wonder if I FELT like me. I think it must have been post-traumatic stress. I went from having a head full of hair with small spots to having no hair at all. Losing my hair seemed like such a trivial thing to be upset about. I mean, people all over the world were dying of diseases and starving to death, and I'm acting all upset because my hair fell out! These are conflicting emotions I still feel today.

Losing my hair also inspired me to make something more of myself. I began looking at the aspects of my life where changes needed to be made. I realized I needed to lose weight and exercise. I wanted to become healthy for my kids. I wanted to become healthier for me. I started building up my confidence in my appearance again. I began going places bald, and I felt pretty darn good about the way I looked (still do). I realized real friends and people don't judge you on your appearance, despite how much it may seem so.

I also found myself again, buried under all the baggage, bad words, and garbage I (or we) had put in the way. I don't want this to change. I like who I have become this year. I love writing. I like taking taekwondo. I love the friendships I have forged. I feel genuinely happy with MYSELF, but there are parts of my life which make me want to SCREAM! They make me want to ask, "Where do I go from here? Where do WE go from here?" There is no easy answer.

It’s just a setback…

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Goal Update: March 6, 2012

I woke up before my alarm this morning.  I lay in bed for a few minutes listening to Hubby, Son # 1 and Son # 2 breath. The bed was full of the men in my life.  Son # 2 made progress this week, sleeping in his bed, and then reverted back to sleeping in ours again. I wonder if there will ever be a day when it will be just Hubby and me in bed?

I didn't really think about my goals this morning.  I thought about how I had a restless night of sleep, and how I'm overbooked for the day.  I thought about writing, exercising, losing weight, and friends.  My mind wandered in a thousand different directions, as it does when I have too much time on my hands.  Finally, I decided to step out of bed to a hot cup of coffee.  Ritz, my cat, was scratching on the door and needed to be let into the garage. The rest of the house is quiet now and hopefully will remain this way for at least thirty minutes.

My goals were semi-achieved this week.  I'm not sure I lost a pound.  I stepped on the scales last night (I usually weigh in the morning), and the scales seemed lower but I need to verify this morning.  I've been annoyed, because the scales are no longer my friend.  Miranda Grace and Hubby tell me I need to chill.  I'm eating right, and I'm exercising and the scales will eventually move down.  When I look at myself in the mirror, I can tell I'm still losing but I like the tangible, the visual affirmation.  We'll see how it goes this week. I'm not discouraged, because I can tell I'm making real progress.  As far as exercising, I'm a lot stronger.  I did 35 leg throws like they were nothing the other day. 

Writing: I wrote every day this week. I worked hard on my novel at the beginning of the week, and I drifted off at the end when things became crazy and chaotic as my life always does.  Still, every single day I managed to blog or to work on my writing.  Now, I need to search for some freelance jobs, or find a way to get published.  Yes, easier said than done.  I want something concrete in my life.  I want to be able to show the world what I can do.  Creating as a writer has value as long as someone can enjoy what you've created.  I do believe that's true. 

Spending more time with Hubby: This week was hard.  We did not spend much time together.  My marriage is lacking in this department.  I had a girl's night out, and rushed around all weekend.  We made time in the middle of the week for a tennis date (see next goal), and that was a lot of fun.  On Fridays, we have our marriage conference each week and this usually turns into a conversation lasting two hours or so.  We have fun talking and laughing during this time, but I'm consciously aware we need to be spending more time together during the week.  Everything always seems to get in the way.

Tennis: Hubby beat me, 6-2.  Honestly, I expected it.  We're playing again today and on Thursday.  I was mad when he beat me.  I cuss at myself when I'm losing at tennis.  I used to be so good, so after a seven year break, it ticks me off that I can barely hit a forehand (somehow my backhand survived, but because Hubby knows it he won't play to my backhand!).  Oh well, practice makes perfect (cliche!).

I know this post has been completely disjointed, and I've rambled on and on.  It's 5:43 AM, and I really didn't have much sleep.  That thinking problem--more on that later.

Goals this week are the same as last week's.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Too Many Toys

We had a week of rain and bad weather.  Our backyard was flooded with water, and the kids were restless.  On Saturday, Hubby and I had a full day.  He went to an Auburn basketball game with a friend, and I took the kids up to see Miranda Grace so they could all play with her son.

When we came back, minus one child (thanks for letting him spend the night!), the kids were exhausted and hungry.  While Hubby prepared dinner for the kids, I prepped for my girls night out.  I am in a BAD need of a pedicure, but nail painting would have to do for now.  I painted my nails, and then Son #2 wanted his nails painted and so did Darling Daughter.  Their little toes looked so cute with the pink paint.  Whose toes do you think these are?

If you said Son #2, you'd be right!

Son #2 was proud of his toes, but kept insisting the paint was red instead of the girly color pink.  He is my child who is most aware of gender differences, but still occasionally likes to dress up as a girl!

And speaking of dressing up.  The following day, after picking a tired Son #1 up from his friend's house, the littles were playing in the den.  Darling Daughter decided to dress up and play in a box.  It reminded me so much of the book, "Too Many Toys," by David Shannon.  If you have kids, this is a must buy to read to them.  Boxes often make the best toys:

Son #2 enjoyed the box too:

On Sunday, we decided to enjoy some of the sunshine.  The rain on Friday night had brought in a cold front, so our walk to the pond was rather windy.  My kids have a bad habit of NEVER wanting to wear coats.  Son #1 thinks button-down shirts substitute as coats.  The thermometer said 60 degrees on Sunday, but I swear with the wind it felt like 40!  The skies were crystal clear, and we enjoyed our walk, although it became evident on the way home that all three kids were exhausted and in need of a long nap.  Mommy and Daddy needed one too!

I tried to protect Darling Daughter's ears by letting her wear my hat.  She's still recovering from an ear infection.  She ended up looking like a little grandmother!

Son #1 was pooped and cold, and he found someone's curbside trash to sit on.

Afterwards, we all enjoyed a long nap before the craziness of the rest of the weekend continued.  There isn't enough time during the weekend.  I vote for a four day work week!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

On Fathers and Inspiration

Today is my Dad's birthday: Big Daddy, Dad, Daddy.  I have many memories of him from when I was younger.  My most cherished memories are always of sitting on his laps and reading poems and stories before bed. 

I'll never forget, when I was small and I used to sit on his lap and he would read, "O Captain! My Captain! our fearful trip is done." I loved Walt Whitman, and I love the way he explained to me that the story was about Abraham Lincoln's death. It seemed Walt Whitman and I shared an affinity for Abraham Lincoln, and my father read me his words with enthusiasm.  He encouraged literacy, logical thinking, and of course proper grammar.  I struggle with the grammar still. 

The other day, thinking of my Dad, I looked up the differences between "lay" and "lie" on Grammar Girl.  I have never been able to use those correctly in speech (and probably writing too).  I used to hate it, when talking to my Dad, he would stop me and say, "Lie or lay, Lauren?"  I'm sure I stomped off more than once because of this, and slammed a few doors too.  Today, I do this to my own children.  I'm sure they will grow to hate it too!

In those tough high school years, I always felt like he was too critical.  I didn't sense his encouragement.  I didn't see that he wanted the best for me, until I was much older.

Now, when I speak to him, I feel like I'm the only person who exist.  He has this way of making you feel your conversation is the most important thing, and I love how his eyes light up with a really good debate or intellectual conversation. He is a thinker, a writer, a doctor, a philosopher, and he has inspired me to be a better person in my life.  He has inspired me to reach for my dreams and not to look back. He encourages me to keep looking for my happiness, to reach it and never let go. He has always made me feel like I could do anything if I set my mind to it, even if I didn't always believe him.

I love you Dad. Happy Birthday!

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Way to Her Heart: Kid Updates

The way to Darling Daughter's heart:

is through an ipad!  My niece was finally able to convince Darling Daughter to sit with her by allowing her to look at and play with her ipad.  My niece has known Darling Daughter since the minute she was born, so you can see how people-phobic she really is!  I love this photo.  We are living in a technology-driven world, and from day one our kids will be exposed to and know and love computers, tablets, smartphones.

This week has been crazy busy, and will only continue to be so through the weekend.  Here is a photo blog to sum up my week.

Darling Daughter has been sick: an ear infection and conjunctivitis (again!).  I took her to the doctor yesterday.  She's on an antibiotic for her eye, for her ears, and ear drops for her ears.  She has decided that medicine does help, and willingly obliged while I dosed her up yesterday.  So, for most of our week, Darling Daughter has looked like this:

She continues to be the most clingy baby in the world.  My pediatrician assured me she will grow out of it, because according to him, "I was clingy like that.  I used to hide behind my parents.  Don't worry--I grew out of it around age 8!"  Seven more years of this just might make me go crazy! Thanks Dr. S.

Son #2 was having a fairly uneventful week.  A good friend sent me some new clothes for him, and he had fun digging through the box trying on every last Thomas shirt!  We had clothes strewn over our den for days.  Yesterday Hubby took him to gymnastics to watch Son #1, and Son #2 fell off the bleachers busting the inside of his lip.  I don't have a photo of it yet, but it looked bad.  In fact, I was out and when I saw it I called my dad in a panic just to make sure he didn't think he needed to go to the ER.  A traumatic event for him.  His favorite phrase is still, "You're my best friend Mommy (or Daddy, or Big Mommy)!"

Son #1 continues to grow up at an alarming pace.  I hardly recognize my little boy anymore.  He has calmed down so much this year, which we are pleased about, but seeing him make such leaps and bounds is bittersweet.  He had Read Across America week at school.  Tuesday was Silly Sock day, and he picked out these socks:

He is excelling at gymnastics, and I believe I will encourage him to stay enrolled as long as possible. He is such a monkey, and gymnastics allows him to use his upper body strength for something other than jumping and climbing all over our couches!  This week, he agreed to clean up for 15 minutes in order to play his DS after he finished his homework.  He didn't even complain.  This is progress!
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