Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Joy in the Spin Cycle (of my head)

My boys bring me joy. They make me smile, sometimes very unexpectedly.

Around 3am this morning, my middle son politely tapped my shoulder.  I turned my head, not such a good idea.  He whispered- "Mommy can I get in bed with you?  I had a dream.  A very bad dream and you are the only one that can fix it."  Well, if I'm the only one who can fix it, I must.   My son snuggled next to me, wrapped my arm around his, and after some time, finally drifted back to snores.  I smiled.

Around 7pm tonight, my baby and I were playing Lego's.  He picked out what could be a siren, and placed it on the top of his garage.  We began discussing emergencies.  I asked him if he knew who to call in an emergency.  He tilted his head and very slowly said,
"9-1-1..... Star Country"
I smiled.


And this face, how can I not smile? 

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

The first guest at my birthday was my new friend Vertigo.  She was there as soon as I lifted my head, and like a faithful friend, stayed with me until I put it back on my pillow last night.  She was the reason I was off from work, but I was really hoping I might enjoy this birthday without the world spinning in my head. 

I made the best of it, staying in my PJ's until after noon, and using the "sit still time" to go through mounds of papers that had been taking up precious space in my desk.  May not look like a gift, but I think this task being done may be my best present.  This is all now in the trash.

With little ones at school, Rex and Shayne helped me enjoy a late lunch/early dinner- not sure which since it was around 3:30 pm- Yummy!

and, my favorite sister in the world, brought my favorite Christmas Birthday cupcakes to me oh, around 9:00 pm.  Perfect timing. 

And Nae, please forgive me for this picture- you look almost as dizzy as me, but I love you so, and wanted the www to know!

Frustrated that my head whirling was more than I could handle to post an blog before midnight, let's just pretend this was posted on my birthday :)

P.S.  Vertigo, thanks for making my 44th memorable, but you are not invited to any more of my birthdays!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Week One- We're Calling A Success!

First week of Kindergarten!

First week of First Grade!

Only 7 calls from the school. 
3 on Monday, 1 every day the rest of the week.  That number on my caller ID makes my heart sink.  But none of the calls were as discouraging as the one during Elijah's first week of Kindergarten last year, so we're still good.   Most of these calls were pro-active, positive and informational calls.  One, was actually to see what we needed.  Shocking.
Elijah's teacher keeps telling me that not all of her calls will be because something is wrong. She must hear it in my voice when I say hello.  Every time I answer the phone, I feel like a frightened child peeking around a corner.  I'm going, but a little scared of what I will find.   I explained to her, that had not been our experience to date, but I am anxious to create a new experience.  I would welcome 50/50.  We both agreed that it's good Elijah is in her class this year. 

At precisely 3:51 pm Friday afternoon, thinking I was in the clear my heart sank one more time seeing that phone number pop up.  The  Asst. Principal snuck one last call in before the weekend.  She was calling to let me know that Isaiah was a little too friendly with another little Kindergartner on the bus, Thursday afternoon.  It seems he likes her a little more than she likes him; and he wasn't observing her personal space bubble.  She assured me this was one of many, many calls to parents of Kindergartners she was making- asking for help in reinforcing the bus rules of "bottom to bottom back to back" and my call was actually one of the shortest with his being one of the least severe offenses. "It's really not a big deal" she said.  Works for me!  

Only 3 discussions with Day care teachers
As suspected, having both boys in the after-school (oh, did I say that for real) program proved a little to get used to for one of their teachers. 
  • Day 1- brothers fighting with each other
  • Day 2- brothers separated, Isaiah a little aggressive
  • Day 3- Isaiah cried from the time he got there, until I picked him up.  He needed a lot of TLC, might be overwhelmed with 47 kids all over the place. 
  • Day 4 & Day 5- no, "can I talk to you" upon signing them out- but we may have cheated since we picked one up early.  
And Mommy and Daddy learned a lot this week, like:

  • Breaking up the morning routine for OT isn't probably the best thing for Isaiah, so we're moving him to the afternoon.  He'll still miss a little bit of school, so we'll still be dealing with the whole- this is more important so deal with it and here's his excuse- with the school, but we're up for the challenge.
  • It didn't matter that Isaiah didn't wear his "bear" tag, according the the fourth phone call on Tuesday morning, all the teachers and staff already knew who he was and where he was supposed to be.  hmmm.
  • Both of my boy's teachers seem anxious to balance rules with love.  Are familiar with redirection and positive reinforcement.  And, how weird that they both keep mentioning they want to make school fun.  Elijah's teacher is even being pro-active in getting the other teachers on-board with the items in their IEP plans.  And it must be effective, since he got a sticker in music!  This is big people, this is big!
  • How to fail at explaining to Isaiah why the "mean" cafeteria lady will only let you choose one entree for lunch.  And, you can't change your mind and put your hot dog back, realizing that the yogurt at the end of the line is, in the eyes of Rke Co. Schools, an entree.  (really?)
  • Elijah's new first grade friend is much better at teaching him to tie his shoes than we are.  Must have something to do with two bunny ears, and not just one. 
  • Big brother Shayne rocks at helping to get them on the bus when this mommy's head is spinning. 
The week went much better than I had anticipated, maybe it was lack of faith or experience, but considering it started with one parent in the ER and the other one spinning, we are calling it a success.

Now, let's wrap it up and get ready for another!
Good Nite, ya'll.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Move Over Little Debbie.

I just happened upon these at Kroger tonight.

Raspberry, Chocolate, Cheesecake, Brownie- could it be?

They have to be new.  I would have known about this.

I couldn't wait. 
And, upon opening the bag,  I was pleasantly surprised at the pretty detail on each bite size piece of heaven.  

and even happier, when it looked just like the picture on the bag. 
Finally truth in advertising.
(please note the light is red and my vehicle is stopped while I captured the special moment of truth)

I enjoyed a few, with my Diet Coke as I continued to drive home alone!
(No pressure to share) 

This is my new happy. 

With 12 bite size brownies in the bag- I figure I'm okay if I eat 4 at a time.

You Go Pillsbury! 

I promptly hid these in the refrigerator, not even telling Rex of my find.  

Teri, I was thinking of you with every bite.

Isaiah, you can have the Little Debbie's baby.  Mommas got a new happy!


Five Minute Friday- Older.


When I was little, I couldn't wait to get older.  When you're older, you get to pick out your own clothes, walk up the street to a friends house, and help clean the house. 

Then, I got a little older.  Those things weren't such a big deal. So I couldn't wait to get older. At this point, when you're older you get to shop for you're own clothes, drive up the street to a friends house, and make my your own choices. 

Then I got a little older.  Those things weren't such a big deal.  I couldn't wait to get older.  At this point, when you're older you get to fall in love, have children, and spend countless hours living life and nobody tells you what to do.
Then I got a little older, okay a lot older.

The biggest birthday I remember, was my 30th.  My husband gave me the best surprise party ever.  And he pulled it off.  I was surprised.  There were so many people there.  And they kept coming, including my baby brother and his family who drove several hundred miles to surprise me.  I was mom to one son at the time.  And his little head popping around through the crowds brought such joy.  My husband definitely rocked it on that one! 

Can I just confess that I do love birthday's.  I don't care if people know about it.  I enjoy the attention.  It's the only day a year that is all about me, and it's okay. 
Is that wrong?

Anyway, I remember being distressed about turning 30.  I cried all day.  I felt like I was caught between really being a grown-up, and still but not being where I had dreamed of being. 
Getting older, in addition to wrinkles and dizzy spells, brings wisdom.  I've figured out that at my age I can get away with having an opinion, occasionally passing gas in front of my husband, and not being so concerned with what strangers think about me.  I am mom to three boys and that same husband I adore.  But, I STILL have people telling me what to do.  Maybe at 50?
Monday's my birthday so older is on my mind.  I'll be 44 and I'm planning to enjoy the blessings of the day.  But, I'm no longer in a hurry to get older.

Could it be that all the wrinkles come from all the joy and smiles of getting older!

I'm linking up to Lisa Jo, thegypsymama for five-minute-friday
Simple rules- write for 5 minutes, no editing, no second-guessing. It's not write, not wrong. And, it's a lot of fun.  Click on the link for some good, 5 minute reads.

Happy Friday ya'll!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What Was That Now, Neurotic Bladder? Vestibular Gall?

Sometimes, getting things a little mixed up is okay, Sometimes it isn't.

My Isaiah, who on the 2nd day of school was frantic, telling me lunch is tooooo long away.  Trying to figure out the reason for his melt-down, he insisted he did NOT get to eat breakfast at school, on his first ever day of Kindergarten.  

How could this be true? We had discussed this with his teacher on back to school night.  Low and behold, one of those phone calls from school personnel, confirmed that they "didn't know" and my baby went hungry until lunch.  Bad Mommy school!  Mix-up- Not Okay.

On the morning of his second day ever of Kindergarten, I promised him he would in fact get breakfast. He trusted me, and agreed to go on to school without one of the "sucker things" -his mixed-up word for Go-Gurts.  I was confident in this promise and when he got home, I asked him what he ate for breakfast.  He replied corn dogs.  Now, I didn't worry at that answer, because I had already received yet another call from school personnel regarding my Kindergartner. During this call, she told me that the no breakfast issue had been corrected and enjoyed telling me how cute she thought it was that he called the pancakes on a stick, corn dogs. 
Mix-up- not only okay, but really cute!

Some mix-ups are only okay, depending on the circumstances.  Like the East Coast Earthquake 8/23/11.  Oh yes, we felt it in our house.  At first, I thought the dizziness in my head was getting worse, and then I realized my entire house was in fact shaking.  When Rex and Shayne in different rooms also felt the shaking, we knew it was real.  It seems, many East Coasters got the safety instructions for an Earthquake mixed up, and instead of DROP, COVER and HOLD, many ran from buildings out into the open and chatted in the streets.  Had it been higher on the scale, this mix-up may have cost people their lives.

This leads me to my last mix-up for discussion today.  Medical Diagnosis.  It's been "special" experiencing sudden and repeated onset of illness with my husband.  We've been married 25 years you know, so it is only right that we share everything, including Dr. visits today.

I am thankful to get in to see my ENT today, who was able to diagnose the wickedness in my head.  Actually, two diagnosis.  Both, not so common in people my age.  And even less common common to have both at the same time.  But, all who know me, know that I don't like to do things the "common" way.  At least for now, as long as things clear up in a few weeks, the diagnosis today was at least enough to post-pone the nasty tests I was supposed to have on Monday.  Happy Birthday to me!
Rex, also got confirmed diagnosis of gall stones (and a border-line enlarged spleen) today. Not so sure about the spleen thing, have to check on that, but his gallbladder surgery is scheduled for September 8th. 
God does work in all things.  Sept 8th may not be too significant to many, but for us it's perfect timing.  My Dr. told me I'd probably have dizziness for another couple of weeks, before it's gone completely.  If the surgery had been scheduled before 9/8- I may not be able to be his nurse.  After him taking care of me through way too many surgeries and illness' to count, I really want to be there for him for his first ever surgery.  If the surgery was scheduled much later than  9/8, and I'd be in CA for training.  We think 9/8 is a perfect day for his surgery. 

A mix-up of a medical diagnosis is never okay.  That's why they right on you in Sharpie pens now before they operate.  They have gotten a few mixed up in the past. 

At least for us, as long as the Dr's don't get the diagnosis mixed up and Sharpie his neurotic bladder or my gall, we'll be back to normal by October 1st.

Now, what is normal again?

Happy Wednesday,

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Our Crazy Crazy World and the First's and Last It's Bringing These Days

Our lives are crazy, chaotic.  I know, so is yours. 

Since my last amusement posting, the vertigo has returned so I've been on and off the crazy rides in my head for a few days now.  The days ahead include some nasty tests (I know from experience) and several Dr. visits.  And, to align with our "never a dull moment" motto, the whirling has made what should have been solo highlights in our world, a little more challenging to enjoy.  Like,

Back to school night, and Kindergarten orientation last week.  We were pleased with our little guys teachers, and actually left a little hopeful this might be an okay year.  Even tho, we were once again reminded by the show of hands, that we are the oldest parents in Isaiah's Kindergarten class.  He's our last baby to start Kindergarten, but all of his classmates, are their own parents' first babies to start school. 

Me and Isaiah went back on Friday morning for Kindergarten orientation.  He got to go to his classroom and get a taste of what Kindergarten will be like, I got to sit and fill out mounds of paperwork.  Why do they need the same information on 40-11 different pieces of paper.  I'm thinking their is definitely innovation opportunities here.

He was a little anxious in the car, speaking not a word.  But oh, so cute carrying in all his supplies.

We viewed the OT/PT gym where he'll go for sensory breaks, and checked out the cafeteria.  Then, he conned me in to letting him have a "free" day.  This meant instead of daycare, he came home with me.  He was in fact very good, and content to play Lego's, watch movies and build tents while I worked.

We spent a lot of time over the weekend talking about new schedules, what the days will be like and cheer leading for a fun new year.  Finally, Monday morning.

First day of Kindergarten, and First Grade for my little ones.  Isaiah was up just a few minutes after 6:00 am and was thrilled when after asking daily for 5 days, finally got a Yes answer to "can I wear my new pants" He was dressed and ready by 6:17 a.m.  Elijah, a little less enthusiastic, but with Shayne's help we really did get out the door and to the bus stop on time.

Our neighbor, who is a police officer brought his kids to the bus stop in full uniform, which I think was a tremendous help in getting Isaiah on the bus without a fit.  After checking him out, completely and getting answers to where were his bullets, to the real gun- he promptly walked onto the bus.  It worked for me.  And, since my head was spinning, I didn't even cry. 

Elijah, Isaiah & Shayne

Christopher & Elijah

Isaiah, my baby still looks so small compared to that big bus!

Shayne walked me home, and then drove me to the ER, where Rex had been since around 3:00 AM.  The suspected gall bladder issues were confirmed, and he escaped with a surgical consult for tomorrow morning.

Pretty handsome to be in pain, don't you think?

Only 3 calls with school personnel on the first day, and while each time the number flashed on caller ID my heart skipped a beat, they were all okay.  The last call of the day, was an apology from Elijah's teacher for forgetting to send home a sticker book, part of his IEP plan.  I assured her it was okay, and in talking with her about his struggles in music class- shocking to us because he loves to sing, dance or all things musical, she told me hat he had in fact, ended his first day of First Grade by singing Amazing Grace, to the class. 

Between picking up Rex from the ER, and coming home to answer calls from Roanoke County, we made a quick trip to the Dr. for what I hoped would be immediate healing for my dizziness.  My Dr. and friend told me, just before the little "test" that I'd either love him, or hate him when I left.  I hate him, and he knows it.  (just kidding) But I did leave in worse shape than when I got there.  Unfortunately, this put Shayne and my sweet hubby Rex, dealing with his own pain, in charge of all things that required movement of anything more than my eyes and hands.     

As we love to do in our family, we definitely made some memories today. Is it okay if I confess that I think I am glad, it's our last first day of Kindergarten in the Allen family. 

Now, I've got to go, the school is calling.  No, I'm not kidding- Day 2= Call #4. 

Happy (spinning) Tuesday.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

There's an Amusement Park in My Head

You might have noticed I haven't been here for a while.  Not by choice.

Nearly two weeks ago, I went to bed all snuggled up next to my hubby. About an hour later, middle child joined us, to my right.  A bit later, baby child joined us, to my left.  Hubby waived the flag of surrender and headed to the couch.  All was normal.  Baby child continued to ask questions about every 10 minutes, and each time I lifted my head to look toward him and answer, I noticed the spinning.  Assuming I was just tired from the non-stop questions like, can I have a brownie, is it morning, are you sleeping and other sweet moments shared with this precious non sleeping child, I paid it little attention.  Until about 2 am when I was fully aware that Nothing was normal. 

By 5am I could no longer stand, hold my head up or move, without my husbands help, and by 7am the violent spinning was now causing vomiting.  We were at the ER by, oh, early where we spent the day.  So romantic!   CT Scans, IVs, blood work and lots of really good Valium and other med's but no improvements.  As I continued to grasp the bed for a false sense of stability, the Dr. offered to let me spend a few thousand dollars and sleep in their not-so-comfy beds for a day or more.  With three kids and a hubby and oh so much to do, I opted to go home thinking his "about a week" diagnosis was over-kill and I'd be back on my feet by tomorrow.  I had things to do, you know.  Promptly upon stumbling into my house, I headed straight for bed and, except for a couple of hours on Wednesday, and a few on Friday night, I stayed there flat on my back for the week. 

I know people came and went,  I vaguely remember children screaming a few times, and distinctly remember by baby son asking, "can we ask God to make mommy better?"  Life kept happening all around me, I just couldn't participate in, or control it
Basically, I lost a week of my life and have nothing to show for it.  Well, except a lot to do....

This, as you can imagine is making me a little insane. 
I, being a person of order who likes to control things, all things was once again reminded that things can change in an instant.  I was completely at the mercy of the amusement park wreaking havoc in my brain.

Things are improving, but have not yet "left as suddenly as it appears" in my case, and seems more like the case that could hang around for a while.  Frustrating, is the increased dizziness that comes after working on the computer for several hours.  Not only is this my job, but my passion and enjoyment.  I'm praying God will take the vertigo away soon. 

Until then, I will remember how blessed I am to have people in my life who, with a phone call dropped their plans and made adjustments in their "order" to help my family while this mommy and wife was completely useless. 

Glad to be back,

Friday, August 5, 2011

Five Minute Friday- Whole

I am not a lover of puzzles.  No matter how much effort I put into a puzzle, it seems like there is always a piece that can't be found.  I get so frustrated to get so close to having the whole puzzle done, and then I can't complete it, because a piece is always MIA.  I'm talking about the 10 piece Big Bird puzzle, don't even get me started on the 1000 piece puzzles.  No way!

My life is like a puzzle.  Let's call it the Hot Momma puzzle.  I have spent most of my life trying to complete the puzzle, to be whole.  There seems to always be a piece missing.  From the disappointments as a little girl to the ones yesterday, I stay frustrated in my efforts to find the missing pieces of my life.  Where is my center- where's the missing piece?

It's my heart.  When I give up owning my heart, give up my wants, desires, pride, control, disappointment, fears, anger and rebellions and even giving up my dreams for my children that reside in my heart and trade them for God's plan, He finishes the puzzle.   

God, is my completer.  When I give Him my heart, He gives it back to me, and all the pieces that make me who I am.  He gives me pieces like rambunctious boys, a joy for teaching and leading women in bible study, awesome friends, faithful family and the love of my life, Rex. 

Yes, my life puzzle is complete when I give all the pieces to God to work the puzzle.  I am God's, and in Him alone, I am whole. 

What a crazy wonderful life puzzle He is completing for me.

I'm linking up to Lisa Jo, thegypsymama for five-minute-friday
It's simple, we write because we love it.  And on Friday's, it's 5 minutes, no editing, no second-guessing.  Come on over for some great, 5 minute reads.

Happy Friday ya'll!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I Didn't Buy THAT.

I was trying to hurry.
So, when the two men in front of me began the argument with the Kroger cashier, I settled in for a wait, and decided not to gripe.  

The men, I assumed were homeless, based on what I saw, smelled and heard.
Both were obviously intoxicated.
One was purchasing $177.04 in groceries   snacks.  The card he presented for payment, apparently some sort of public assistance, had a balance of $.05 cents.  He was not happy.  That, was last month's balance, he retorted.
The other was a little OCD about one particular Kroger bag.  I assumed he had already paid for his groceries. He kept moving that bag from the belt, to the end of the rack and back again. 
As I was looking down down to arrange my groceries, I noticed his feet.  Shoes, beat up.  One black sock.  One sock less foot.  Legs covered in some sort of bites.  Clothes- smelly.  Hygiene- lacking.
The manager was called over to assist the very young cashier in dealing with the now very aggravated man, who insisted his card should now have $379 because it is in fact the first of the month.
I sighed.
The manager directed them to move over to the courtesy phone to check on the balance, gathered up their groceries and moved the cart to the side. 

The cashier rang me up and I proceeded to hurry home.  I needed to do a quick wipe down of the counters and pick up scattered underpants before our friends arrived for dinner.  Steaks.

About a block from my house, I began to wonder what I bought in a pink bottle, that was now sticking out of my bag.  Puzzled, I began to rummage through the grocery bag sitting on the seat next to me, and soon realized,  I didn't buy THAT.

I had that bag, the one he was OCD about. 
And no wonder. 
It wasn't his newly purchased groceries, but apparently his possessions. 

I was in a state of 'ewwww' as I wondered where this stuff might have been.  Upset it was in my car.  Worried about the germs.

And, what do I do now?  By now he would have left the store.  Where do you look for a homeless man to return his stuff? 

I was struggling with how to not be grossed out, while I was already feeling bad for him, and worried a bit.  Some of this stuff is expensive, and now he will have to find a way to replace it.  
He didn't have the refillable card, he was just accompanying the man who did. 

I tried to blow it off.  No big deal, right.  It wasn't my fault the manager put his bag in my cart.  What if he wasn't homeless, what if he was just dirty.  Most people with homes don't carry toilet paper in a Kroger bag, do they?

 I kept hearing Jesus say, as you've done to the least of these.  Conviction.  I thought about my own boys, who were homeless for part of their very early lives. 
What if the purple nail polish belonged to his own little girl.  

The what ifs began to run rampant through my mind.  I realized I have to at least try to get the stuff back to him. 

So, I'll call Kroger and tell them I have the "bag" of stuff, should he come back for it.  And if he does, instead of complaining, I'll invest a little bit of time to return it.  Because, while I didn't buy THAT, I walked out of Kroger with a bargain.
A bargain, because this yucky, germ filled bag reminded me once again of all I have to be thankful for.  Including, God protecting  my boys from this being their story.  

What do you think you would do?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Brought to You by the Letter "S"

 Our weekend in review, brought to you by the letter "S"

Smoke Alarms going off at 2:30 a.m.    Spare Tires to replace flats all day Saturday at home unSafe 4-wheeler on Small child's neck (no injuries Sustained)  Silly mommy in pool with clothes on  Sleep   "Saggin"  Strange dreams Sand filled Swimming pool Serious conversations with Shayne on our Sunday evening ride

 and how 'bout some Simple gratitude....

1000 Gifts #476 - 485

baby grass growing in my yard
catching up with the Holland's
celebrating family's golden anniversary
unpinning Grandma :) and the silly laughter we shared
first book from thoughts in my head to paper
delayed cuts to hubby's pay/hours
teaming up with my beloved to mow and weed eat the yard
spending all day at home, together
empathy for the homeless man whose stuff ended up in my car
my friend JJ and his ability to save thousands for his family by fixing their car

what 'ya thankful for?
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