Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend

It was a three day weekend and I had the kiddos - which was fantastic! It was like a mini-vacation and I will tell you that I really enjoyed three full days without a long list of "have to get done" things staring at me. I just got to be with the kids and have fun with them.

Friday we kicked off our weekend by watching Gnomeo and Juliet before my friend Cande and her daughters came over for dinner and a wild and crazy playdate. I would have gotten pictures but really? No one stood still (or said a single word in another below a full on scream) for more than a second, except at dinner when I think they were stationary for five whole minutes. At one point Cande and I were sitting next to each other at the breakfast counter and we seriously could not hear each other. But....the kids had a blast together so what's a little short term hearing loss? :)

The next day was Saturday and I was itching to do something fun with the kids that got us out of the house. I finally settled on taking them to Big Al's, a bowling alley with a really great arcade. If you know anything about Kelton and Kaylen, you know it wasn't bowling they were after. :) I loaded their game cards with some money and set them free in the arcade while I sat nearby with a good book. I'm grateful they are old enough that I don't need to follow them around the whole time. They stay together, work together, pool their tickets and then share them when it's time to trade in tickets for prizes. It's great! I love how they run over to me to excitedly tell me that Kaylen hit the jackpot and the game spit out 1000 tickets. Being their mom is great!

After spending a couple hours out and about and having fun, we headed home and just kicked back and relaxed. Stephanie was here by then so the four of us watched TV together and just hung out.

Sunday was a big, big day. Stephanie left us to return back to her home office to get some more work done and the kids talked me into taking them to the Dollar Tree. After we went on our "shopping spree", we headed out to Stephanie's to spend the day in the country. Make no mistake about it - there is big fun to be found in the country.

Kelton was itching to try to drive the riding lawn mower so Stephanie pulled herself away from her work and gave him a lesson on driving the mower. Went over all the safety rules and then....Kelton was off! He was having such a great time - singing loudly as he drove around the property (the mower deck was up and disengaged so he was just driving it around, not mowing). I followed on his heels for a good long while and then, when I felt he was ready, I dropped back and then just stood in the field and watched him driving back and forth. One of those moments I will never forget.

While Kelton was driving around, Kaylen was earning money by pulling weeds for Stephanie. For some reason, it is Kaylen's preferred activity when we are out there and I have to say, she might be on to something. She earned a decent amount of dollars pulling bucket after bucket after bucket of weeds. Soon, she was wanting to drive the mower as well. The problem there is she is too short to reach all the pedals so Stephanie left her work again and came out to drive around with Kaylen for a while. Those were two very happy kids!

We left Stephanie to do more work and headed home for our evening and left Stephanie behond to work some more. The kids settled in to play a computer game together and I just vegged for a while. 9:00pm came soon enough and off to bed we all went.

Yesterday the kids had arts and crafts morning. Boxes were found and cut into robot outfits, cups were magically transformed into plant people and other things were created. The kitchen area was a big happy mess!

After lunch we headed back over to Stephanie's for more country fun. Kelton took a tour around in the mower again but I guess he had had his fill the day before because he was done within five minutes. I took Kaylen around the field and then went and parked it in the garage. We had a scavenger hunt, more weed pulling, coloring, snacks, the kids and a neighborhood dog went on an adventure together and then we just hung out and had kicked back fun. A while later, some friends of Stephanie's who had borrowed her excavator brought it back. The kids begged for a ride in it so one of the guys happily obliged. They both did great driving it with direction and had a great time!

I took them back home for dinner and baths (and I mowed the front lawn which I could finally do since the sun had been out and the grass was dry. I had mowed the back on Friday before the rain came back full force). The kids and I settled in to watch a Disney movie and then, at 8, it was off to bed for them. None of us wanted to weekend to be over but over it was.

Stephanie arrived around 10 and we spent a little time together before heading to bed ourselves. The alarm went off way too early and before I knew it, Stephanie was heading off to work and the kids were heading off to school. By 8:09am the house was silent. A strange feeling after such a crazy fun weekend. I got myself ready and started in on my To Do list.

Only two and a half weeks left of the school year. Amazing.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tripping Down Memory Lane

I'm having a surreal moment.

VHS tapes.

No, it's true. VHS tapes.

I know you thought those were a thing in the past and for what it is worth, I did as well however tonight I heard Kaylen rustling around in the hall closet and then a little voice comes up behind me and says "Mom? Can I watch this in your room?"

She hands me a Barney Goes to the Zoo VHS tape.


It doesn't seem that long ago that VHS tapes were a regular part of my life. Most of the kids shows that I had were on tapes (carry-overs for Kelton and most I had gotten as hand-me-downs from neighbors or at garage sales) but as time went on through Kaylen's younger years, we moved into the land of DVD's (nope - I'm not cool enough to have a Blu Ray player. Those are reserved for people with, you know, disposable income. Hee hee.)

Anyhoo.......yes, VHS tapes. I have some. They are in a basket in the coat closet. We don't have many because I purged most of them the last go around since no one was watching them anymore but I held on to a handful of the ones that bring me happy memories. I even *gasp* have a VCR....in my bedroom...you know, so that no one would really ever guess I still have an archaic piece of technology.

Barney. What a throwback for me. Kaylen used to be addicted to Barney. As in - his voice could be heard in the house almost all day long, day in and day out. I know a lot of people don't enjoy the purple guy but honestly? Both my kids loved him in their younger years and therefore, I have a very fond place in my heart for him. And I always will. Scoff away. I'm tough, I can take it. :)

I was thinking, just the other day, how much the kids have evolved in their TV viewing. It's no longer Blue's Clues, The Wiggles, Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, Angelina, Backyardigan, etc. and you know what? I miss it. I miss the innocence of it all. I miss them being so young.

Tonight Kelton and I discussed the tornado in Joplin, MO. I'm not ready for that. I'm ready to curl up and watch Hi-5 and giggle at some other preschool show with him.

Before I know it I will be helping them look into colleges, search for their first apartments or *deep breath* raleigh wedding photographers (you know, if I lived in North Carolina, which I don't). Then it will be marriage and babies and maybe, if I am very lucky, I will have grandchildren who will curl up on my lap and watch preschool shows with me.

Umm...wow. How did I get there? Barney VHS tapes to grandchildren all in the space of a blog post. No no no. I must slow time down. I must keep them little for as long as possible.

So go ahead, little one, dig in the closet and find more things from our shared past 6 years and let's cuddle up and watch them together. And I will hold onto the VCR for as long as it holds up. The Blu Ray player can wait. My babies can't.

Monday, Monday

Monday has rolled around again. My kids, after spending the weekend with Dakota and Vicki, are back home and have already embarked on their weekly adventure: school. I can't believe the year is winding down. Where did it go? I remember school years lasting F.O.R.E.V.E.R. when I was a kid. This year has gone by in the blink of an eye. In just a few weeks time, my kindergartner will magically transform into a first grader and my third grader will poof into a fourth grader. A fourth grader? How? When? Why? Only two more years in elementary and then it's off to middle school. ACK! I just may cry thinking about it.

The kids and I went to a middle school play with my friend, Cande, and her two kids last week. Those kids are unbelievably grown up! Cande and I talked about how in one more year her oldest will be that age and in two years, Kelton will. Just shoot me now. The teen years are barreling down on my with the speed of a twister (and a sidenote that isn't really......the twister in Joplin, MO? Horrible! Heartbreaking! I have friends with friends and loved one there and I am sending out good wishes, love, and prayers to everyone.).

Soon, Kelton's days won't be filled with Cartoon Network, bike riding, Legos, pretend games of adventure or even drawing. Soon he will morph into a man-child who dreams of dirt biking, quad racing, and cars with polaris ranger power steering. It's all just a matter of time.

But for now, they are young and still look to me to solve all their problems, kiss their owies and hold them tight. And you know what? I'm loving every second of it.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Well now.....

...I don't know about you, but I'm still here. The rapture thing? I'm betting there are a bunch of people feeling *very* awkward today. Can you imagine trying to get your job back after you quit because the rapture was coming? Ummm...not sure you'd have a lot of credibility there, And trying to find a new job in this market?
"Why did you leave your last position?"

"I was 100% sure the end of the world was upon us and I was prepared to go to heaven."

"Umm.......ok. Well...we'll call you. Thanks for coming in."

But anyway...here we are. May 22nd and the sun is shining and the world is spinning and the has been no signs of people ascending into the heavens. So I am going to have to assume it's business as usual. :)

I will throw this out there though. No matter your convictions or beliefs, I'm willing to bet that every single one of us had a moment of "What if he is right? I know he isn't...it's just crazy talk....but what if...?" A moment or two of anxiety. I know I did. I'll even fess up to more than a passing anxious moment. No, I didn't freak out or stock up or not pay the bills or anything crazy. I just had thoughts of "I'm not ready for life to be done."

And I'm not. You know, which is good and all. :)

I have things to do, people to see, places to go, love to give and receive, children to watch grown into adulthood. I have a lot to get done in the years I have left. I want the worry of having to look into life insurance for seniors when I am old enough to worry about that. (Hey now...easy on those jokes. I won't be ready for AARP for another 9 years. It is age 55, right?)

I want a full rest of my life. I want to be happy. To watch trees shed their leaves in the fall and grow new ones in the spring (if that isn't a miracle in and of itself, I don't know what is. Think about it. A few weeks ago the trees were bare and sad looking and now? Now they are full and green and amazing. It's so cool!). But most importantly, I want to watch my children grow into self-assured and happy adults.

I have a lot on my To Do list. I had no time to deal with a rapture. :)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Carpet Cleaning Day!

Oh happy day! And no, it isn't because I believe the rapture will really take place though if it does, I just might be super pissed. You see, today I am getting my carpets cleaned!

You have no idea how happy this seemingly small event is to me. I am the caretaker of the dogs for now and Jordan just turned 14. I'm here to tell you, getting old when you are a dog is not a dignity filled event. He has lost most, if not all, of his hearing as well as his ability to hold his poop until safely in the yard. The other thing he has lost? His ability to walk to the slider and paw on it as he has done for years to let me know he needs outside. Now? Now he just walks to the slider and stands there. This works well if I am awake and paying attention to his every move. You know when it does not work well? In the wee hours of the morning when I am sleeping.

Ah but that's ok. This throw rug right here? That works just as well. But why stand in one place? Walk around a little. Take a tour of the house as you poop. And then? Then just go back to your bed like nothing happened. No worries. The stench will wake the dead so someone will clean it up.

Needless to say, my lack of sleep has moved to a new level because now I am alert all night to hear the sound of his collar which means he is on the move. I jump up and get him outside. Like I said, getting old isn't for the weak. Unless you are talking anal muscle control. *sigh*

Last week, just to crank up the fun I had recovery from surgery, Jordan seemed to have picked up a doggy virus. From where I'm not sure but he was silent puking and had diarrhea for D.A.Y.S. It was lovely. But finally the pepto caplets took control and that special hell ended. The stains, however, live on.

Resolve Spot Remover couldn't do it. It usually does a good job on the regular accidents but last week? Ummm...no. And hey - the carpet cleaner I have in the garage? For some reason it has decided to stop working. I believe that is the third cleaner I've had in the almost 9 years I've lived here that has said "Ahhhh...ummm....no thanks. This dirty of a house is not in my contract. I QUIT!" *sigh*

So I called the experts and they will be here this afternoon. Thank goodness!

After all is said and done, I will place aluminum foil under the casters of furniture and bask in the knowledge that my carpets are clean once again. At least for a while.

I can totally understand now why my great aunt used to cover her carpeting and furniture in plastic covers. I totally get it.

***sidenote: my house isn't gross to the naked eye. It's only gross if you have to live with it all the time. I do actually pride myself on being a decent housekeeper. But I do long for the days when I don't have muddy paw prints, dog hair everywhere and poop in the house to deal with. Just saying. It's the stuff dreams are made of.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Grow Baby, Grow

Kaylen is my little gardener. She has a knack for growing flowers like you wouldn't believe. She started around age two and seriously? It's kind of freaky. :)

The first year she was obsessed with marigolds, thanks to an episode of Max and Ruby that she had seen. I went and bought her already blooming marigolds plus seeds so that she could plant her own. At the end of the summer the store bought flowers were about the same size as when we bought them. They were healthy enough but not spectacular....well, not when you compared them with the ones that Kaylen grew from seed.

She planted those little seeds, watered them daily, talked with them, had her picture taken with them and just out and out loved them with all her might. And those flowers responded! They were huge and beautiful and amazing. We had so many that we transplanted several bunches into pots and gave them as gifts. I have never in my life seen marigolds like those.

I saved the seeds from the wilted flowers and she planted them the next year. Again, amazing. And the year after that, too. The girl has a gift.

Today I went out and bought a few flowers and fresh soil for the pots I have out front. I did some of the work before Kaylen arrived home from school but I saved some for her. And then she planted tomato seeds and then.....yep, you guessed it. Marigolds. Using seeds from last years flowers, Kaylen and I planted the seeds in the new soil (I bought the soil with Miracle-Gro in it. It is kinda like human growth hormone but for plants.). I cannot wait for them to start sprouting!

I have enough soil to redo a couple of the planters in the backyard too and you can bet that my gardener girl and I will be planting even more marigolds! I will never, ever, ever be able to look at a marigold without thinking of Kaylen. It is definitely her flower!

Gushing Over My Kids......Yes, Again.

The fun around here continued all week with the kids playing outside, riding their bikes, their scooters, playing with their friends and just having a good ol' time like kids should have.

I am beyond thrilled that Kelton, my self proclaimed "inside kid", is asking (and at times begging) to go outside to play. He is getting fresh air and exercise, working on his social skills, his balance and coordination and, most importantly, laughing and having fun. Witnessing his personal growth in a one week time span has been incredible. I am so very proud of this amazing child, this human being that I created from scratch. I look at him sometimes and I just can't believe that such an incredible miracle came from me. And every day I am watching him grow and change and change and grow.

And Kaylen. My little speed demon. Afraid of nothing, tough as nails some times and gentle as a baby rabbit at others. While her metamorphosis this week hasn't been as gigantic as her brothers, when I look back over the past year I see a child who has gone from a shy, unsure preschooler with serious issues to a bold, beautiful and amazing (almost) first grader. I decided that I would break the news to the kids about not knowing who their teachers will be until they get ready to go back to school and do you know how my daughter reacted? "That's ok, Mom. I know they will give me a good teacher. I'm not scared anymore. It will be fine."

It will be fine.

I stood in a stunned, grateful silence as I let her words bounce around my head. I did that for her. I gave her the time, the patience, the understanding and the tools to go from the mess she was back in September to this self-assured child who is taking on the world. Those long days when I would sit in her classroom, and then moved to sitting in various areas of the school for hours and hours.....all the tears I cried as I watched my beautiful child struggle with demons that threatened to pull her under...all of it has paid off in spades. She has come out the other side strong and sure of herself. She has learned to make friends (evidenced this week with a new neighbor girl) and to not loose herself in the process (I could take lessons from her). She doesn't take guff from anyone. She no longer even needs her brother to sit with her on the bus or meet her at her classroom to walk her to the bus after school. She does it all on her own, thankyouverymuch.

With all the growing and changing these two are doing before my very eyes this year, I feel that in order to keep up with them, I need to lace up my running shoes. Has it always been like this? Have the changes made in a single year always been so dramatic? I know they have changed steadily over time but has it always been so dramatic? I suppose.....probably.....but I must have been so caught up in "just getting through" the every day that I never really stopped to see it.

I see it now. Oh how I see it now. These two individual people that are here because of me growing them from nothing to something are the most amazing things I have ever done in my life. They are the best gifts that could have been given to me and I am so blessed to have them.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bike Riding, Day 2

It was 6:15am and I had been laying there awake since 4am doing mental gymnastics on all the thoughts that I have bouncing around in my head when a little boy snuck up next to me and said "Can I go ride my bike?"

"Duuuuuude...." I said, "it's a bit early, don'tcha think?"

Nope - he didn't. We made the deal on how it would play out and he happily ran out to the garage and opened the door to get his bike out. I got up to get my coffee, open the front door (so I could hear him) and open the blinds so I could see him.

He rode up and down the street. At that time of the morning, cars are non-existent out there so he had the time of his life.

"Mom?" he asked, "can I ride around the block."

*blink* *gulp* *thinking hard* *blink*

"Ummm......" *stalling as best I could* "what are the rules?"

"Watch for cars, be careful, look up, watch for cars, stay on the sidewalk on the busy street......ummm...watch for cars...and oh yeah....HAVE FUN!" He smiled big because that last one is always a "rule" when we go somewhere.

(By busy street it's just the arterial. Not a real busy street but it's the only place there is a sidewalk as you walk around our block (which is really a little more than two city blocks).)

"Can I? Pleeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaase? I'll be careful."

*pleading little boy eyes*

*gulp* Here we go. Breathe. Remember how you were thinking that at his age you were riding all over the place, alone and with friends. No one even knew where you were. He's nine. NINE. He needs to spread his wings. He is nine. You have raised him well. Everyone says so.

*deep breath in.......* "Ok." I will be standing right here when you get back. You have 5 minutes."

He flashed that amazing smile at me and raced off.

He came back all smiles and full of pride. "I only fell twice!"

That's my boy. Back up he stood, dusted himself off and got back on the bike. The same bike he swore upside down and backwards he would *never* ride again just last fall. I have taught him well. Stand back up and get back to it.

He spent the rest of the morning, until the bus arrived, riding his bike up and down the street pretending to be a middle schooler on his way to school.

A little kid no more.

***side note about Kaylen: She has decided that she is not ready "just yet" to be without her training wheels. I put them back on for her and she will, as she put it, learn her bike street safety first and take her wheels off later. Sounds like a fair deal to me. See? I am even doing a good job with her. She knows herself and knows what she feels ready for and not. She isn't ready right now and that is just fine with me. :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Training Wheels are Off!

And I mean that literally!

This afternoon I was privileged enough to witness another milestone in my children's lives: the removal of their training wheels. Both kids on the same day. It was a once in a lifetime moment as I took the handy dandy tool, loosened and then removed the lug nuts that held the wheels in place. In just seconds, the training wheels, that had held them both steady and stable for years, were off. I stood there for a quick second and took it in; my babies were about to take off on their own. For better or for worse we stood on the edge of new found freedom.

I helped Kelton onto his bike, steadied him, held on for a few seconds as he got his balance and then....I let go. Off he went! He has developed really good balance lately because last year? Last year I would have told you that he would be 12 before those training wheels came off....that is, if he would ever agree to ride his bike again. But he has become good friends with his scooter and because of it, has gained the ability to steady himself. He rode down the block, got off, turned around, got back on and worked hard to get himself going again. It took a couple times but he figured it out pretty well.

Kaylen was next. Last year she was so close to wanting them off but then backed out, preferring the safety of four wheels to the uncertainty of two. I steadied her but she quickly leaned sideways over and over again. Finally, after falling a few times, she succeeded!

Both my kids - riding two wheelers for the first time. It was a milestone doubled in joy.

Dakota arrived a bit later to spend a few hours with kids but was a bit wound up from her day to really appreciate the excitement at the moment. Later, when the three of them had time to settle in, she was able to fully enjoy the experience and the kids were able to get another bit of practice in on their new skills.

Today was a moment in time I will never, ever forget and one that I am so grateful to have had with my babies.

My kids......two wheeler riding dynamos!

Screen Door

The kids and I are enjoying a sunny, warm afternoon in the back yard. They are collecting bugs (and grossing me out) while I answer emails, look at a few job boards (not sure I'm clear headed enough to fill out apps but I'm bookmarking for, hopefully, tomorrow) and try to figure out how I am going to pull off field day as the only PTO member who will be there.

Irked is putting it mildly. I am *this* close to leaving the board because I am suffering extreme burn out and I'm tired of events coming closer only to hear "Sorry - I can't make it." from others. It's been a long year of feeling alone in the day to day running of the PTO. And hopefully soon, I'll have a job and then what? I cannot fit everything in...nor do I want to even try.

Anyway...as I am doing all of the above, I notice a little cat who was in the house who is suddenly in the back yard. Oops. He has managed to find his way through the hole that another cat has spent years making in the screen door. Crud. I was hoping he wouldn't notice.

I search google for screen door repair kits and I found one that seems reasonable. Now I just have to figure out how to work it in the budget and hope I don't need fancy tools like say....a hydraulic crimping tool. Ok yeah sure - that's a bit extreme but I have never successfully changed out a screen door screen. Something tells me it won't be as effortless as I hope.

But I have to do something. Screen doors are important around here and I am the only adult.

It's always something.

Extremely Tired

I hardly slept last night which surprises me because I was so tired earlier in the evening. But come time for lights out and I was wide awake. I watched more TV thinking it would tire me out as it usually does. Nope. I talked with Stephanie and said good night to her. No, still not tired. I shut off the lights in the hopes that if I faked it, it would sneak up on me. Nope.

I posted on Facebook and soon I had a text from a friend who also couldn't sleep. We text'd for 15 minutes and then said good night.

I tossed and turned and tossed and turned. My pain level was manageable so what was the deal?

I was up with the dogs at 4:30 and then I went back to bed and finally drifted off for a while. Then Kelton woke up and settled into my room to play on my laptop. I talked a little with him and then went and got my coffee. Well....at first. Then I decided to make their lunches and get things underway for the day. Then I had my coffee and shower.

I sent the kids off to school and got ready to go to physical therapy. I put in my time there and then groggily drove home. My eyes unable to focus clearly.

I crawled under the covers and thought I would drift off but nope. My brain started twirling full-tilt. I learned that the school district cut 180 teaching positions and I wonder how this will affect my children. I learned through Kaylen's teacher that class assignments won't be made until a week or so before school starts in the fall because no one knows who will be there and what grades they will be teacher. Kaylen's teacher is concerned how this will affect Kaylen. So am I. Pre-planning is paramount for a child like Kaylen. I will do what I always do, get her through. She has grown by leaps and bounds this year so hopefully she is ready for an unknown such as this. I will find the right time to tell both kids of the new developments. Today is not that day though.

Then my thoughts drifted to PTO things......emails waiting to be dealt with.....the crime of e pickpocketing....TV shows I have recorded I could be watching instead of laying with my eyes closed driving myself crazy.

I feel like a child who is too tired to sleep. This is the first time since giving birth to the children that I have had surgery and the first time since my back fusion when I have been under general anesthesia. Is this an expected outcome from that? I don't know because my back surgery was all consuming and my pain was off the chart. I slept constantly. Fell asleep at a moments notice. This is different.

Not to mention I have the fear of the unknown going on still.

The kids will be home soon (early release Wednesday). Maybe once they are home I will feel more "on kilter". Or....I'll be even more tired within an hour or so. :)

The weather is beautiful. Stephanie just text'd and ask if she could stop by on her way home from work (it's early release day for her son, too). My kiddos will be home soon. Here's hoping for a good afternoon.

And sleep tonight.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Kelton's Music Show

Tonight was a big night around our house. It was Kelton's music show at school and he has been working hard learning the songs for the past 8 weeks. There was no way I was going to miss his big night even though it would be my first outing since my surgery last week.

I took it easy all day - even falling asleep twice throughout the day. Once for an hour and then this afternoon I crashed hard for two hours. Both times were "accidental naps" which usually means my body really needed to shut down for a while.

I did manage to run and unload the dishwasher and also did two loads of laundry but that was the sum total of my "activities" for the day. Stephanie dropped by for a few minutes (which was waaaay too short!) this afternoon and brought by a couple needed grocery items (chocolate milk for Kaylen and Pepto Bismol for the puking dog).

When the kids arrived home, I took care of them and then settled on the couch to wait for Dakota to arrive to take over. Once she did, we all had dinner and then when grandma arrived, we headed over to the school. Please note: for the first day since surgery, I was pain pill free all day so I could be alert for the music show.

As it turned out, I should have taken pre workout supplements before leaving for the school. The parking lot was packed full so we ended up parking on a side street and walking over. Ummm........OUCH! Yeah...I was hurting. Sitting on the hard metal chairs? Not all that fun either. BUT...I was alert for my son's big event. That made it all worth it.

Kelton was so happy and so proud and I will admit that I had a big ol' happy tear slide out of my eye and down my check. My children make me so happy and I am so blessed to have them in my life. It's moments like tonight that make everything worth it. Everything.

After the show we went to McDonalds for our usual "celebration snack". The kids got the new frozen strawberry lemonade and french fries (usually it's milkshakes and french fies but they shook it up a bit tonight). We came home, said goodbye to grandma and I retreated to my room while Dakota spent time with the kids and got them settled for bed.

It was a nice evening but let me tell you, I was happy to have pain meds waiting for me at the end of it.

Kelton playing the trombone during one of the songs. (No, not really but it looked really cool!)
Isn't he amazingly handsome? :)


Ok. I'm tired. As in "my eyes don't want to stay open for another moment" tired. Ugh. I don't like feeling this tired at 9:30 in the morning. I'm not a person who loves to take naps. I will, of course, but I don't love it because I feel like life is passing me by while I sleep.

I think I would rather be reading lipofuze reviews and writing a report on them rather than sleeping.

Everyone says to take it easy. Go slow. Rest. Logically, I know all that to be true but it's just not in my nature to be a slug. I have all these "To Do" swirling in my mind but my body? My body says "Umm yeah. Guess again."

Tonight is Kelton's music show at school tonight and I definitely want to be rested up for that. No way, no how am I missing that!

Growing Up So Quickly

The kids are growing up so quickly. Kelton has his first pair of Vans and Kaylen pined away, and then got, her first pair or Twinkle Toe Sketchers. Kelton is all about looking "tough" these days and has started mimicking the look of some of the "tough kids" at school. I am doing what I can to encourage this within the realm of not looking like a thug. :)

Where has the time gone? Seems like not that long ago I was looking at baby keepsake kits to memorialize their tiny hand prints or feet prints. And now? Now they are straining against my desire to keep them little for their desire to be big kids.

Like it or not, they are growing up. But oh how I love the people they are growing up to be!


I am 5 days post-op and I have to tell you, today is the first day have felt the smallest glimmer of being who I was six or seven days ago. Who knew a day surgery would take so much out of a person?

After checking in Thursday morning, I was informed that my surgery was moved up an hour so things moved quickly. Everyone was in and out of my room and my head was spinning just a bit. The anesthesiologist came in and she decided that a general was the route we should take instead of Versed (a lighter sleep) because of my allergies.


We all know general is harder to come back from. That wasn't in my game plan but then - what was? Was the car accident and the flare up that followed? Was the bad pap or the failed office biopsy? Nope. Clearly my game plan is a joke in the bigger scheme of things.

I wrapped my head around it quickly and off we went. Stephanie and I were complimented on how easy going we were and how much fun it was to have us as their first surgery family for the day. I can go one of two way in these types of situations; I can find the humor and roll with it or I can withdraw and stay in my shell. The staff were amazing and it was easy for my humor to come to play. I'm glad, too. It made it all the easier for all of us.

Next thing I knew, I was waking up in recovery. Sure, there were no fruit baskets Sharis Berries waiting for me but there was a shot of the good drugs to help bring the pain down. Maybe the fruit basket would follow. :)

I was moved back to my room where Stephanie was brought back in to hang out until my pain level was in the "acceptable" range of 0-2 and after I had eaten crackers, drank water and gone to the bathroom.

The doctor talked with Stephanie in the waiting room and told her what took place and she came into my recovery room and talked with me. She started it with "I doubt you will remember I was here so I've already talked with Stephanie and....."

They did the D&C and also removed a large polyp which she feels may be the reason for the hyperplasia cells on my pap. She sent everything to pathology but she feels confident that not that it's out, everything should be fine. If not, a hysterectomy will take care of it. One step at a time...and we will know for sure at my post-op.

Meanwhile, I am to take it easy and get back to life as my energy level and pain allows. The pain for the first three days was intense but yesterday I managed to get through the day with one pain pill and today? So far I haven't taken anything.

I like being more clear headed even if I am exhausted beyond all reason.

Stephanie stayed from Wednesday night to yesterday but then needed to get back to her life. The kids and I did fine on our own last night but I did go to bed at the same time they did and we all slept until 7am this morning. I got up, showered, dressed and go them out the door for school. I had a couple things I wanted to get done today but about 15 minutes after the bus left, I was drawn back to my bed.

And here I am.

Step by step. That's all I can do right now. Tomorrow I head back to PT for the accident injuries though at this point, I'd be hard pressed to tell which which pain is from which incident. My whole body hurts with a few areas way more sore than others.

But it won't always be like this and soon enough, I will be back to the daily grind of my life.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Frantic To Do List

The hours are counting down and for some reason I have this frantic need to accomplish a great deal in a short amount of time. Luckily, I have a ton of nervous energy to keep me going. Maybe it's the need to keep my brain thinking about other things. Maybe it's just because I am a tightly wound individual. (Ok the lot of you - keep your opinions to yourself. I know what you think. :) )

Today I have taken care of all the PTO things I can and have had to toss the rest into the air for everyone else to catch. There is a meeting tomorrow afternoon so you know there is a ton of stuff going through my head. Thankfully, I have a good group of people who are catching things and running with them. See, the year is winding down and there are so many different balls to juggle right now: yearbooks, cook book fundraiser, teacher reimbursements, deposits that need to go to the bank, field day, end of year party, etc. But for today, I have nothing more PTO related to deal with.

I then raced to the grocery store to stock the house with food for the kids and comfort food for me. I got everything home and put away and then I decided that there was no time like the present to wash everyone bedding and remake beds. And oh right - for some reason the need to change the batteries in the smoke detectors became urgent. Don't ask because I have no idea why.

I'm fighting the urge to put together lunches for the kids for tomorrow and Friday but seriously? I am absolutely sure that Dakota (on Thursday) and Stephanie (on Friday) will be able to handle it perfectly fine.

Type A, much? Why yes. Yes I am.

After getting beds under control and replacing the batteries on the smoke detectors, it was off for an hour of physical therapy. I have to tell you - I was a HUGE skeptic about PT as my two previous experiences with it were less than stellar but I have to say, I'm impressed. After three sessions (an hour each), I have almost full mobility in my neck back and my pain level has significantly decreased. They have been using ultrasound, electrical stimulus, massage and laser on my neck and I have gone from barely being able to turn to the right to being able to go the full normal range - and without a huge amount of pain. Who knew?!?! I'm actually looking forward to going back next week. Hopefully we can start working on my lower back.

After PT, I raced home and began working on the book order for the kindergarten teacher. As I was getting close to finishing, the kids arrived home (half day on Wednesdays) so I took care of them and returned to completing the Scholastic order.

Now they are out riding their bikes and I am keeping an eye and an ear on them while my mind whirls thinking about other things I need to get done before tomorrow.

Tomorrow? You can take your time getting here, thanks. :)

Monday, May 09, 2011

This Week

This week is a tough one emotionally. To kick it off, there was Mother's Day which I handled in stride until evening. The kids were with Dakota for the weekend so that was hard but the hardest part was remembering years gone by. When I lived near my family, and the older generations were alive, we all got together on Mother's Day to exchange cards. I had my first Mother's Day with my family.

The years that followed, Dakota and I would host a brunch. Her mom and step-dad would come and her sisters would drop in as time allowed. It was nice. But then - things changed and last year it was just the kids and me. This year, it was just Stephanie and I. We both missed our kiddos.

Tomorrow is my dad's birthday. If I remember correctly, he is turning 73. I sent him a card but passed on finding cigars on sale to send as a gift. :)

The day after that marks the 4th anniversary of my mom's passing. The day after that is my surgery. And Friday? Who knows what fun that will bring. Hopefully there will be plenty of sleep in my day.

I'm feeling a bit frazzled. I have a lot to do and now I have physical therapy appointments to work around everything. I went today and then they want to see me tomorrow and Wednesday and then next week Wed, Thurs, and Fri. Hopefully I will be up to going next Wednesday though if I'm not, all I can to do is call and let them know.

For now though, the kids are in bed and I'm ready to take a muscle relaxer and head into dreamland. It would be great to get some good rest though when the house full of pets that I have, I'm not holding my breath.

Good night ya'll.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Too Much Paper

I was creating a file earlier today of all the papers relating to the car accident and I have to say, it's a lot. Perhaps I need a fancy document management software package to keep track of everything. The claim numbers, the insurance information from the person who hit me, the receipts for the medication I had to buy out of pocket, etc. It seems to go on and on and on.

For such a simple fender bender, it sure has morphed into more. The neurologist warned that getting jarred too hard would set off problems. I guess he knew what he was talking about. I wonder how it would have played had I not seen her coming at me. If I hadn't tensed up. If I hadn't been turned at a slight angle.

A million thoughts...including why was I right there then? A few minutes earlier or later would have avoided the whole thing.

The blink of an eye. A single heart beat. Everything changes. Again.

So, How Am I?

Well...let's say I'm not stellar right now. Physically, at least. Mentally and emotionally I am completely stellar. Ok - well, maybe not "stellar" since the physical interplays with those other two, but I'm still pretty good. It's the pain that has a grip on me right now.

I have to say, as much as I didn't want to believe this "flare up" would go full blown, it has and I am miserable. I've only had two other intense episodes like this: the first one was the one that sent me to the Emergency Room twice. And once was last year right about this time. Though honestly, I don't remember last year's episode being this bad. Maybe it's like labor where you just don't remember the intensity of the pain.

I have muscle relaxers which make me feel loopy. This morning I took one after I got the kids off to school and I swear to you; in less than 20 minutes I could barely stand being inside myself. And I know for sure I couldn't have said the words dlp lcd projectors let alone tell you when it is. (Truth be told, even without the medication I probably couldn't have told you.)

I just wanted to sleep. And I couldn't really do that because the muscle spasms in my back are firing right and left. It's so frustrating. If you have every been pregnant, imagine having the baby kicking you in the back over and over and over. It's kinda like that.

I start physical therapy on Monday and on Thursday I go in for my surgery. I tell you - life is overwhelming me a bit right now. So much going on and all I want to do it sleep through this episode and wake up when my pain level is back to its usual level.

The only good thing about the past 24 hours? I had a quart of Mocha Almond Fudge ice cream in the freezer that Stephanie brought over to me (Thanks, Stephanie!!!). And you know what? I ate the whole dang thing today. Oh yes I did.

They did, after all, recommend icing my injury and since my neck and entire back hurts, I decided the best route of cold would be from the inside out. At least, that's what I'm telling myself to ease my guilt over devouring the whole thing. :)

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Insurance and Pain

So.....I have been spending quality time with insurance companies the past few days. I have to say, it's going very well but it is still a lot of time as I talk with both my company and the other company.

The claims adjuster came out yesterday to look at my car. It isn't bad but it needs a bit of repair. The other company is picking up the tab plus a rental care for me.

As luck would have it (my luck, that is), I need a bit of tweeking as well. My sore areas seemed to have gone viral in the past 24 hours so it was off to the doctor I went. I hate to go to the doctor and feel guilty but last night the pain in my mid-back was intense (it's the hub of the syrinx) and wasn't being helped by Mortin and my arms kept falling asleep no matter what position they were in. Not good. Symptoms that are hallmark of my syrinx.

The diagnosis? The jolt, small though it may have been, seems to have triggered a flare up of my symptoms of the syringomyelia. Yeah. I kinda figured that out last night - well, probably Satuday if I were to be really honest with you. Damn.

I am being referred to physical therapy but they are needing to do research into my condition to know best how to treat the pain and muscle knots and nerve stuff. I was also given a shot of an anti-inflammatory (which really helped) as well as a few days of muscle relaxers.

I'm glad it's all covered by the insurance and I don't have to do anything that requires complex thinking like I would need to use to figure out Medicare part D plans. My head is definitely NOT in the game right now.

With my upcoming surgery, this is seriously one of the last things I wanted to have to deal with. But deal with it all I must. At least the insurance companies are making it easy for me. But still - I have guilt that I even needed to go to the doctor. I can't tell you for sure that I wouldn't have had a flare up if it weren't for the accident. I can't tell you that I would have. Did I have this kind of pain before Friday? No. Ergo: probably caused by the jolt. That's all anyone can really guess. And yet - I feel bad for being in pain. *sigh*

Just another ball to add to my very busy juggling act. *sigh*

T minus 8 Days....

...and counting.

My surgery is quickly approaching and I am finding it harder and harder to keep thoughts from surfacing in my head. Words swirl around. Words like "hyperplasia", "biopsy", "D&C", "pain"...and I can't help but slide into the dark side at times. I want it over....and I want it all to be fine.

In the meantime.....maybe you should all do a little shopping in the online flower shop and see if there isn't a little "get well" surprise you could send. Presents always help. :)

Kidding. I'm kidding people.

Or am I? Hee hee. :)

Back off girls......she is pretty clear that Sam is hers!

My daughter is in love. Or so she thinks. :) Sam has been her boyfriend choice all school year and it matters not that his family moved away around Thanksgiving. She still talks about him and dreams of getting married to him. I'm surprised she isn't out looking at Antigua jewelry yet. :)

The good part in this is because she already has a boyfriend (do you have any idea how hard it was to type that sentence?) she scoffs when the girls at school ask why she doesn't find someone else. "Because!" she says all indignant, "I already HAVE Sam!"

As far as future son-in-laws go, Sam is an awesome candidate. I hope she always has such good taste.

Monday, May 02, 2011

The Weekend - part one

If you live in my area, then you are all too aware that we had a taste of summer this weekend. And if you live in my body, you know that the sunscreen should have been brought out of the cabinet. Ouch!

Let's just say that when you are a pasty white girl like me, sunscreen and shade are a must on sunny days. But, if you are a Pacific Northwesterner, then you know that when the sun shines, you don't waste a single second. You get out there and try to get the moss growing on you to dry up and flake off.

I kid you not. The moss on everything is thick and bouncy from our overly wet winter and a warm, sunny day was greatly appreciated.

Saturday was a nice day so we all were outside for a while in the morning and again in the late afternoon. The middle of the day found Stephanie, her mom, the kids and I sitting in a theater watching Hoodwinked Too. A very fun movie, in case you are wondering. Neither Kaylen nor I were looking forward to it but we both ended up enjoying it.

That evening, we hung out in the front yard and had a great time. The kids rolled down the lawn and giggled ridiculously hard and then Kelton remembered something that kids had done to us last year. One kid stands on one side of the street and another kid is directly across. They pretend they are holding a rope and tugging it across the road. Drivers, not knowing if they are going to run into something, slow down as they pass. The kids would bust up laughing...and so would the drivers and passengers. The kids received thumbs up and laughter from every person who fell prey to their prank. They were in seventh heaven and the moms laughed and laughed.

I love the simple fun with kids. I'm searching for ways to have more simple fun like rolling down hills and tossing shoes into trees only to toss more shoes up to free the stuck ones. Who says you need fancy things like english horse tack or the like to have a good time? More and more I am finding it is just the simple play the way I used to play as a child which brings the kids the most joy.

It was a great day and we all fell into bed happy and tired.

Backing It Up

So....in an effort to distract myself from the news I thought I would write some blog postings that focus on my own reality. So...let's back up to Friday. Oh Friday...it was a day that was chalked full of things to get done and be done and while I was out and about something not so great happened: I was rear ended.

I was working my way through a construction zone and they moved everyone from three lanes down to two. It was chaos and no one was moving at that fast of a pace. Thankfully. I was in the inside lane and stopped when I looked up in time to see a car getting closer and closer and closer.

Crud. This car was not going to stop in time.


Yeah. She ran smack into me. Traffic was still stopped so I tossed it into park and jumped out to ask if she would mind going to a side street and pulling over there to exchange information. I felt so bad for her! She looked at me with big, scared eyes and said "I am so sorry! I was trying to figure out what the lanes were doing and I didn't stop in time."

We went up to the next light and turned onto a quieter street. I grabbed my information while she grabbed hers. My adrenaline was going full tilt. I checked out the back of my car (it's an SUV so it sits higher than her car did) and I would be hard pressed to tell you I had been hit. I turned and looked at the front of her car.

Oh my gosh! Her bumper was destroyed and her hood sat at an odd angle. I felt horrible for her! We exchanged info and made sure we were both physical ok (though with that much adrenaline it would be hard to know for sure for a while). She asked if I knew where a body shop was and I pointed out the street where I knew there was one. I was very, very close to home so I just drove home not having a clue what I should do next.

When I got home, I called my insurance company and reported the claim. They would send someone out to assess the damage (which I told them was practically non-existent to the eye. A few scuff marks where she slid under). The claims rep asked if I had injuries. "I don't think so," I said "but I'm running on pure adrenaline right now."

She told me that if I developed problems that I didn't need to use NC Blue Cross Blue Shield or my own medical insurance. Just go to a medical facility and have them bill me and submit it through the auto claim.

As the hours ticked by and I settled down, I noticed some stiffness and pain in my upper back but nothing that seemed worthy of going to the doctor. As the days have gone by, it still isn't bad and mostly goes un-noticed. I'm not one to run to the doctor so I am opting to skip it. I'm pretty sure a tad bit more back pain would be hard to discern anyway and she wasn't going that fast. I've had bigger jolts from kids flying off the couch and landing on me. :)

Today the claims adjuster came out and photographed the "damage". He recommends having the bumper smoothed out and repainted. He will send me their information tomorrow. While I was waiting for my guy to arrive, the other insurance company called to talk with me. Looks like I will file through the other company to avoid paying my deductible but I have to tell you, I feel guilty. It's really not that bad. And it's *nothing* when compared to the other car.

Just another reason I don't ever want to have a regular car. Too close to the ground and I'm pretty sure the damage would have been worse and I probably would have gotten jarred much, much worse. So for me, with my crappy back, I'm thinking a higher riding vehicle is the way to go.

I'm just glad nothing worse happened to me....or to the other driver.


"When we lose the sadness part -- when all we do is happily scream "USA! USA! USA!” at news of yet more killing in a now unending back-and-forth war -- it’s a sign we may be inadvertently letting the monsters win."

I took this from a very well written posting from www.salon.com and I have to say, it sums up many of my thoughts on what is happening in the world right now. All the rejoicing and celebrating is just so wrong. It makes us no better - and damnit, I want to be better than dancing in the streets celebrating violence and death and murder.

The overwhelming age group I see celebrating? The 20-somethings. The people who were small children on that horrible September day. Do they even realize what they are doing? They have grown up seeing the street celebrations in other countries and maybe they think it's the right way to act....to behave. I just don't know.

I have really been struggling since I heard the news last night, and watched the coverage for the thirty minutes that I could take before my stress and anxiety levels shot through the roof. Today, the radio is full of the songs that were written right after 9/11. It all takes me right back in time and I feel no happiness or joy. Just anxiety and fear of what's to come. What's next?

These are the same "kick in the gut" feelings I had on 9/11 and in the months following that horrific day. Now what? Oh dear God...now what?

You all know as well as I do that this isn't the event to change it all. You should know, as I do, that there are plenty of others who had already taken, and will continue to take, the reigns on terror. Is this a step? Yes. Of course. A baby step. That's all there will ever be are baby steps in the war against terror. Teeny tiny baby steps.

So what now? What happens next?

I'm holding my breath and trying not to fall into the abyss of my own fear.

Google Away

What the heck is HGH? Apparently it's a supplement that assists in anti-aging. Clearly, I don't know anything about them so it's great that there are websites that provide reviews on things such as hgh.

I have to say, I'm a bit of an information hound so google is my friend. When I hear something that I need or want to know about, I google. When I want side my side comparisons? I google. A new word I'm not 100 sure about? I google.

I'm sure I'm not alone in this. If I were, I doubt smart phones would be equipped with search engines. :)

So when I hear about something like hgh, you can bet I'm going to search for it on my handy dandy hand held device. :)

Apple Bottoms

Maybe it's just me but I have never heard of apple bottoms. Have you? I clicked on it and it looks like it is clothing aimed at specific body types.

I guess that makes sense. I know of pear shape, apple shape, etc. I just didn't realize that clothing lines were marketed specifically at body shapes. Interesting.

I need a clothing line that is marketed at my body shape. Short with a tummy. Trust me....there are precious few options out there. :)

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Big News Night

The news is everywhere. Bin Laden has been killed. It is on every television station tonight and to be honest? Right about now I'm wishing there was something as mindless and non-chaos creating as an infomercial about ab cuts reviews.

The stress I have goes up with every minute that passes - and every click of the channel changer. The news is everywhere. My Facebook newsfeed is overflowing. Some people thrilled by the news others, like me, apprehensive. What does it mean? In the long run what does this mean?

He was not the ONLY one involved in the horror of 9-11. Having him dead isn't going to change the terror happening all over the world and has the very real possibility to increase terror activity for a while.

So what does this all mean?

I can't celebrate. I am relieved, of course, but I can't celebrate. First and foremost, celebrating the death of any human being going against my moral fiber. I will not celebrate his murder. Am I relieved he is gone and cannot further fuel terror from his seat of power? YES! But I am not blind enough to think that this is the end of anything.

I just hope and pray it doesn't fuel more terror on US soil. Or anywhere. But again, I am not blind enough to think my hope and prayer is enough to keep us all safe.

God bless us all. No one knows what this historic event will bring.