Saturday, January 31, 2009

Twinkle, Twinkle, I'm a Star

I had a cello lesson. It was slightly traumatic. But I think I'm going to be okay.

First of all, the cello is not like the violin. All my smug inner thoughts that told me I was going to be a super-star at this cello thing were dashed when I realized that my experience in violin is not going to help he here. Just like all the other kids, I'm new and terrible and butchered Twinkle, Twinkle.

Second, my hands shook during the whole lesson. They even turned blue. Okay, bit of history here--my best friend recently got diagnosed with Raynaud's Syndrome. Her hands turn blue when she gets cold. She looks like a corpse, and it's creepy. The other day I was in my preaching class and saw that MY HANDS WERE BLUE. Very weird. Anyway, it's only happened a few times (not all the time like my weird gross friend), but it did happen during my lesson. I became very self-conscious and tried to hide it from the sweet gal who is teaching me cello. She didn't mention it if she noticed. My hands shook for about an hour after the lesson, but the blue tint went away by the time I was in the car.

Third, I was not good at it, but I survived. This was important. Here's my story--when the going gets tough, I quit. I have never stuck with anything that challenged me. So, I'm trying very hard to coach myself through this. This probably all sounds very silly, but if you have an anxiety disorder, you get it. It was terrifying. And I survived. I think I might even go back next week. I'm convinced that this makes me a superstar.

And I think I've broken my little finger. I can't tell you how because you'd be disappointed to learn that I was opening a box with a little to much vigor and pulled my finger so hard that I almost cried (but instead laughed for about 5 minutes because I'm cool like that). So, now I'm wondering how I'm going to play the cello with a broken finger?

And I'm already dreading the moment when my teacher mentions a recital. Seriously? A recital? At my age? I feel silly just thinking about it.

Thank goodness for Prozac. Yes, I weaned the baby, and thus have been reunited with my old pal Prozac. I've missed him so. Pass the little blue pill, please.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Did Ya Know?

25 Things You Might Not Know about Me

1.I don’t take out the trash. It’s going to get ugly while Mike’s out of town.
2.My toes go numb when I get cold. Sometimes they stick up in the air and I can’t make them lay down again.
3.My tummy is obscenely stretched out after 3 babies, and the skin hangs lower on the left side. I have thought about having a tummy tuck after my next baby.
4.I dance in the kitchen (using my counter as a barre) while I’m cooking supper.
5.I didn’t know I was afraid of mice until Saturday.
6.I did know that I was afraid of heights, germs, spiders, guns, and cancer.
7.I can’t figure out why anyone would move to a place where it snows 6 months out of the year. One day was enough for me.
8.I once came within inches of a 40-foot whale shark while swimming in Utila.
9.I will eat just about anything if it has cheese on it.
10.Except fish. I won’t eat that regardless of what you put on it.
11.I am good at math but terrible at balancing a checkbook.
12.I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.
13.I took Latin for 7 years and don’t remember any of it.
14.I only got in trouble twice in school. Once was in second grade for talking in the bathroom. The other time was when I was in high school. Becca and I got yelled at and separated for laughing when the landscaping teacher was labeling plants and said, “D. Monkey Grass, E. Fern, F. Yew.” (Did you catch it? F. Yew? It was hilarious. He disagreed.)
15.I realized the other day that I know the name of every Handy Manny tool, Bob the Builder truck, and Cars vehicle, but I can’t identify a single Disney princess. I think this officially makes me a boy mom.
16.I check my email about 5 times a day but only check my voicemail about every other day, usually because I can’t find my phone. So, email me, okay?
17.I used to teach at a rehab facility for children with behavioral problems. I had a hard time naming my children because I have negative associations with so many beautiful names.
18.I spend more money on pictures than I do on clothes. This is not an exaggeration.
19.According to statistics, I’ve changed 12,000 diapers.
20.I think this is why I only have time for a haircut about once a year.
21.When I do get a haircut, I always get suckered into buying all the products they use.
22.I can pretty much fix anything with a hot glue gun.
23.I don’t think camping is fun. Call me crazy, but I’d rather stay inside where I have a nice comfy bed and I control the temperature.
24.I don’t like my wrists touched. I can’t explain, really. It makes me aware of my pulse which makes me think of all the blood rushing through my veins which makes me want to pass out.
25.At one time in my life I could only sleep with my feet hanging out of the covers. Now I can only sleep if the blankets are tucked into the bottom of the bed so my feet are covered tightly. I don’t know why the change.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Day 2

Okay, first of all, thank you so much to everyone who read yesterday's post and then emailed or called to express their concern. I just reread it, and I realize now that it was a bit over-the-top dramatic. You know those days when reality comes crashing in on you and it seems too much to process? That was yesterday. Today was better.

It snowed this morning. It started as little delicate snowflakes drifting past our window at breakfast. By lunch it was coming down hard and stuck enough to pretty well cover our yard. It was so beautiful and relaxing to watch. The boys were so excited they were just beside themselves. During Aaron's nap I took them outside and showed them how to make a snowman and snow angels and snow balls to throw and catch snowflakes on our tongues. Alley (our lab) ran around like a puppy and chased snowflakes. The boys danced in the falling snow and giggled in the way that only preschoolers can. I took pictures. Go to my photo blog to see.

When we came in the boys were cold and lazy and curled up on the sofa with a warm rice sock and a fluffy blanket to watch cartoons. I took the opportunity to clean out the junk drawers in my kitchen. When I was finished I felt like I had accomplished something.

I went to dinner with some friends of ours that have become like family. It was a wonderful distraction for the boys and for me. I know it was a pity dinner--they went out with me because I was alone. But I took it anyway. It was fun. It's lovely to have people who go on pity dinners with me.

Jackson didn't cry himself to sleep tonight. We did have a rather deep discussion about Heaven and dying, but it wasn't sad. It was very matter-of-fact. He seemed a little bothered until I told him that we'll all be in Heaven together. Then he was happy. So, I have a real obligation to get there now since I've promised.

I'm still lonely for my husband, but I'm okay now. I remember when he went away last time it was the first day that was the hardest. We'll make it. But thanks for being there anyway. I feel very loved today.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Little Self-Pity

I'm feeling overwhelmed with life again.

Last week I took the baby to the pediatrician because he was really fussy. They confirmed that he had a double ear infection and also told me that he has Adenovirus. He went on antibiotics for the ear infection, and that gave him diarrhea for the next several days. The doctor said that if he gets another ear infection before March she'll refer him to an ENT for tubes. He's still tugging on his ears after 6 days of antibiotics. Not good.

Last night Jackson woke up around midnight crying. Mike went upstairs and found him in his room hysterical because he had thrown up. We cleaned it up and put him in the shower. I put him in bed with me and cuddled him until he fell asleep. He woke again at 4:30 to be sick again. I took his temperature. It was over 102.5 (I say over because the thermometer had still not beeped that it was done, but Jackson pulled it out of his mouth and said that he was done with it--I didn't fight him because I figured that we were giving him Tylenol no matter what the exact number was). He didn't get sick again, but he did run a fever until this afternoon. He didn't eat any dinner tonight and fell asleep about 7:00.

Prior to Jackson's waking up last night, Becca, Russell, Mike, and I were having game night. We were playing a nice game of Rook when my dog started going crazy. She was running around and acting like a maniac. Mike got up to see what the commotion was about, and he saw a tiny mouse run under my refrigerator. I have to be honest here--I knew there was a mouse in the garage. I saw him when I was putting away the Christmas decorations. I just didn't really care. It's cold outside, and I figured if he could get warm in my garage, what's the harm? But this crosses the line. My generosity has been taken advantage of. It is not okay with me for a mouse to be in my kitchen. I also have to defend myself and say that my house is clean. It's not just tidy, but it's safe to eat off my floors. I just don't want anyone reading this and picturing nastiness in my home. Anyway, Mike and Russell moved the refrigerator and the mouse ran out, but they didn't see where he went. The dog can't find him either. So, there's a mouse loose in my house--unless he moved back into the garage.

And this afternoon Mike left town. He hasn't had to travel much in the last couple of years, so this is new for us. He will be gone for the rest of the week. Then, in two weeks, he leaves for Chattanooga where he will spend the next 4 months. We're hoping to be able to work it out so he can come home some during the week and we can visit him when he can't get away, but it's still going to be a major change. Jackson cried himself to sleep tonight. I held him and rocked him and made soothing sounds, but it just didn't do the trick. He needs his daddy. This is going to be a challenge.

And so tonight I put my three precious children to bed, fixed myself some supper, and sat down to check my email. I couldn't sit still. Instead I found myself pacing the floors of my house trying to figure out how to make it feel right. I turned up the heat. I put on my favorite jammies and slippers and wrapped myself in a fuzzy blanket. I checked Facebook. I turned on the TV. I enjoyed the noise and turned on a CD in addition to the TV. I got mad at the noise and turned everything off. And now I sit here and type and wonder what to do next. I did this once before. Mike was gone for 7 weeks the last time he had to travel. I did it. I fed and bathed and dressed my two babies and managed to remember to put the trash out every week. But now they're sick. And sad. And it's cold. And there's a mouse. And I'm lonely already. And this sucks.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Where Did it Go?

Today I wrote a check and, for the first time, wrote the year 2009 as the date. I really think 2008 was such a blur that I can't quite grasp beginning a new year. It got me thinking--where did 2008 go? And then I remembered...

I began potty training my Ei.

We had a baby.

The baby had jaundice--bad jaundice. The kind that makes the doctors tell you to immediately go to the hospital and put an IV in your baby's foot. The baby was hospitalized for 3 days. He still had jaundice. They pricked his tiny foot every day for so long I lost track of it. Then finally they decided that it wasn't going away and that meant it was just breastmilk jaundice--no big deal after all. Go home and forget that your baby is yellow.

The baby cried--a lot.

Ei rejected the idea of potty training.

The economy went sour. This is bad news for a husband in sales. He managed to hold on but was stressed out quite a bit.

We went to Disney World--with a 3 year old, 2 year old, and a 4 month old.

The baby finally stopped crying and became the sweetest little guy.

I started homeschooling my children (although it's best if you just say we "play school" when my husband's around mmmkay).

My 3 year old turned 4 and my 2 year old turned 3. We had parties at Pump it Up and celebrated becoming big boys.

Jackson started taking cello lessons.

Ei continued to reject potty training.

I started teaching Sunday School. Jackson was promoted out of the preschool Sunday School class and into "big boy" Sunday School. He rotates to my class once a month, and it's such a joy watching him grow in his love and knowledge of God and the Bible.

Ei developed stranger anxiety. I discovered this when he asked to go to cello lessons and then refused to talk to the teacher.

I had a birthday--my last birthday, to be precise. I turned 29. I choose not to turn 30.

Ei got sick--really sick. We went to the ER in the middle of the night (our first ER trip, actually) and wound up being admitted to Children's Hospital. He spent 2 nights there. He cried for Jackson. It broke my heart.

Then the rest of us got sick. We managed not to get hospitalized, but it made for a bumpy last few months of 2008.

Mike was offered a new job which will require that he work out of town 4 months every year. We pondered it and weighed our options and decided to go for it. The stress of making this transition smooth for my family added 15 gray hairs to my head.

I dyed my hair--a lot.

I finished Pastoral Care and Polity, which leaves me with only one semester remaining in the Presbytery's lay pastor program.

I gave up on potty training and called the PottyMD in a desperate plea for help. He said he can help me and my insurance will even pay for it. I heard a chorus of angels in the background.

The baby started crawling and got two teeth. Then he started standing up. I think this may lead to walking soon. There goes another gray hair.

Jackson performed in 2 cello recitals (one for a nursing home and one more formal Christmas recital). He did great and made me so proud.

Christmas came on schedule even though I was behind. Some of our decorations didn't go up this year, and we didn't make it to Gatlinburg as we had planned. The boys had a wonderful Christmas anyway and gave me a wake-up call that Christmas is about a lot more than bows that never made it on packages.

My family grew, not only in number but also in love. Ei is amazing with the baby--so patient and loving--and he adores his big brother. Jackson is so considerate of both of his brothers. He saves Ei bits of his cookie, even when Ei isn't around, and brings Aaron's pacifier or blanket or special toy when he's upset. Aaron thinks the big boys are the greatest toys and loves to crawl all over them and smother them with "kisses."

So, goodbye, 2008. Hello, 2009. I hope that we can go slower this year--less hospitals and hurrying and more laying on the playroom floor and giggling. I hope I'll be able to savor 2009.

Oh, and I'd also like a new baby too.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year, Fresh Start

I saw this bumper sticker yesterday that said, "More Wag. Less Bark." I tried to get a picture of it, but the light turned green before I could get my camera out, so you'll just have to take my word for it. Anyway, I liked it. I think I've been barking too much lately. I bark when my boys don't do their chores quickly enough. I bark when I there's too much noise in the house. And I wag way too little.

Today is the first day of a new decade. We all have a fresh start. So, my New Year's resolution: More Wag. Less Bark.

Also, my first baby lost his first tooth on this first day of the new decade. Put on the brakes. It's moving too fast.

Happy New Year, friends. May yours be filled with many blessings. And may you wag far more than you bark.