Friday, August 27, 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010

25...give or take

i have mastitis.....AGAIN. on the off chance that any of you reading this are male...i would encourage you to just let this one go by. this is nothing you really care to know about. trust me.

i had never heard of mastitis until shortly after my oldest little man was born. these are the things people don't tell you. i got it for the first time when i was nursing colt. he was, like, 3 weeks old. then i got it approximately 4 more times. then the same thing happened with chase, and aiden. so, by the time i weaned aiden, i had gone through this dangerous, staff infection of the clogged milk duct more times then i could count. i think i had it 7 or 8 times with aiden. one would think that after nursing 3 babies, my body would know what to do the fourth time around. no such luck. i am now dealing with my 8th case of mastitis with puddin pie, and this one is a whopper. i found out during aiden's reign that i had an overactive letdown reflex. this should not be surprising...what, with my flair for overacting in general. but for real??? even my milk ducts are hyper? evidently so. which would explain the fact that i could probably feed 4 children simultaneously and still have milk left over. when the kids were itty bitties, we would have milk everywhere! soaking through clothes, leaking down my shirt, spraying all over the place, gagging the baby, and jamming the freezer door. all this is great at all...except it leads to the dreaded clog, that inevitably gets infected. i usually wake up in the night or in the morning and feel like someone is stabbing me in the............well..............."duct" and a high fever shortly follows. then you feel like you have the flu. it's pretty great.

if my calculations are correct, this is around my 25th case of mastitis...give or take. now, my doctor doesn't even make me come in. they are on a first name basis with me and my................"ducts".

Monday, August 23, 2010 was her turn

colton (9), chase (7) and aiden (5)
first day of school

the sweet pea on her first day of kindergarten


everything about her exhibits a calm spirit and quiet patience. she has become accustomed to waiting her turn. she has always had two others who have gone before she quietly stands in the background, or sits on the bleachers watching. it's not that she doesn't talk. she always has something to idea that must be shared, a question to ask, something she wants to do or talk about, or an encouraging word to give. but her spirit is sweet and calm and sure...and she doesn't mind waiting. today it was her turn. and she was ready. this day snuck up on me in a way...but not her. she was born ready. we both knew it was coming, and i was busy expending my energy trying to make things perfect for her, while she quietly waited. she had an appropriate mix of emotion. she expressed a little excitement...a few questions...and the "i will miss you too's"...that were mainly for my benefit. but what struck me most, was her peaceful calm that was going against everything that i was used to feeling myself. there were no tears. there were no fears. there was no anxiety. and this...i had to respect about my daughter.

when i walked in her room this morning and woke her with a whisper, it took her a minute to remember. i said, "it's time to wake up, my little kindergartner." she smiled and whispered back, "i'm so excited." she was sure what she wanted to wear. she was sure how she wanted her hair. she was sure as she walked out of our house...the only place she has truly known...and into a whole new experience. and she was sure that she was ready and that she would be ok. this was someone i could learn something from. she was slowly becoming my example. quietly...patiently...i let her.


she did take my hand as we walked toward her classroom...and for that, i was grateful. i needed that little hand to remain in mine for as long as it possibly could. i started feeling them creep up inside.....the missing her; the sadness; the not wanting to let go; and the tears. i let her lead me. she calmed my heart, and my tears didn't surface. and she lead my way down the hall. she said, "it's the second door." i said, "ok." we were there...too quickly. five years too quickly. but we were there, none the less. and it was time to let go. we let go of each other's hands.

she has been right by my side for 5 years now, and it feels like my right arm is missing when she is not there. after we got home, i sat with annslee. i think she wondered where they were. she didn't see her sister bouncing and playing. she wasn't there to sit in the floor and play with her like every other morning. there were no cartoons on the t.v. she didn't hear her ask for another bowl of cereal, or another cup of juice. she didn't hear her questions or ideas or requests to play. it was silent. we both looked around, and the only sound she heard were my deep breaths as the tears started to make their way out from where they had been hiding. when i put her down for her nap, i passed aiden's room. the light was still on, so i went in. i looked around at all the places she would normally be, sat down on her bed, and let them come. i had done my job. she was ready. and i had held it together for her even though i wasn't. i was alone. and i cried.

i know that she will be home soon, and that she will quietly wait her turn to tell me all about her day. and i will hug her and tell her how much i missed her. and right i eye the puzzles and books, the little pretend kitchen where she has served me countless pretend meals, and the tiny tea set...just waiting for a little girl's imagination and a party...i smile through my tears and think about my sleeping baby girl in the next room. there is more to come.

the maiden and "her boys"
she doesn't have to watch them go this time.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

do you have time for a story?

i pose the question, because if you don't have time, i'd rather you not start. i need you to appreciate the details of my story, because only then can you appreciate the circumstances leading up to the telling of the story. and there is nothing that hurts my feelings more, than for someone to not appreciate a story...especially if it is my story.

i deserve a medal for this day, and as luck would have it...we got two. aiden and chase had their last gymnastics class where we got to video and take pictures of their "routines" and see how far they had come since the beginning of the summer...complete with a medal ceremony. then we went straight to get the older three haircuts, where chase explained to our hair dresser that he wanted his hair to look like "elvis". we had discussed this prior to arriving at the salon, and despite all the "negotiations"...he did, in fact, go in with an elvis hair plan. thankfully...after colt went with the short and spiky followed close behind. we dodged a "lot of weird looks on the first day of school" bullet with that spontaneous change of plan.

after we got home, aiden asked about 84 times when we were leaving for our "date". i have taken each kid to do something of their choice, by themselves...and it was her turn. we were going to see ramona and beezus and she was beyond excited. we had been talking about this for weeks.

a while back, i was told at the kindergarten registration that she was missing two immunizations. i made a mental note at that time. "ok...two it." so, of course, i waited until several weeks ago to make the appointment. (who wants to take their kid to get shots at the beginning of the summer when she doesn't neeeeeed them until the first day of school?) so, the first appointment they had was for today. not a problem...and in plenty of time for the first day of school on monday. i ended up calling them on tuesday to see if i could push the appointment back 30 minutes or so, by chance, because of a scheduling conflict. (i mean...we always have to wait about an hour anyways, right?) they informed me that we could, however they were now out of immunizations anyway, and that we could reschedule for next thursday, when they would have them in. they said that it shouldn't be a problem and that they could give me a note for the school, stating the shortage and that she did, indeed, have an appointment scheduled. i tried all that afternoon the get a hold of the school to make sure that this was ok and couldn't get anyone. so, today, i tried again and got the secretary. she said that i needed to talk to the nurse and transferred me. so, i left a message for her to call me back. when she did, i was upstairs and didn't get the call. when i called her back, i got her and explained the situation. she started telling me that she totally understood and that she was a mom too and that........silence. my stupid phone dropped the call. i had been trying to get in touch with this woman for 2 days and then my phone drops the call. while i am trying to get her back, she gets sent straight to my voicemail and leaves the message that she will give us a grace period and that i can just bring aiden's shot records to her on friday after she gets them. ok. great.

at this point, aiden had picked out this fancy dress, pink leggings, pink lacy socks and black mary janes to wear to the movie. she was waiting for me to put her hair in braids before we walked out the door. as i start to do her hair, my phone rings. it is the school number. weird. why would they be calling back? i answer and the nurse tells me that she had "changed her mind" and that "i should have made her appointment for the beginning of the summer and that i had had three months to do it." while all that is technically true...i had, in fact, made the appointment in time and is my right to make the appointment when i long as it is before the first day of school. she gave me phone numbers for clinics that i could try.

i get aiden's hair braided and on the way to the movie, i call the clinics. no answer. i call my doctor's office and they tell me to try the HEB rediclinic. so, i call chad and ask him to look up the number and to keep trying to find a place while i am in the movie with aiden. i take a deep breath...convincing myself that i will not let the possibility of aiden having her first day of kindergarten a week late affect my enjoyment of our special date. aiden takes my hand and skips as i walk to the ticket counter. " adult and one child for ramona and beezus please. (smile)" and then the weird, speaker sounding voice says, "yeah...we stopped showing that movie here. yesterday was the last day." i said, "what??? it just came out. why did you stop showing it?" the speaker girl replies, "don't know."

at this point, i had no other option but to call chad and completely over react by telling him that this is the worst day of my life. i also tell him that maybe God was helping us and that instead of sitting in the movie, we should go track down a place to get these immunizations. chad calls the rediclinic and i try the other clinics as i make my way toward home. chad calls back and tells me that HEB has them but that the wait is an hour and a half. and why, exactly would i expect anything less at this point? so, we hurry in and get in line. it is around this point that aiden realizes that what started out as her special movie date with mommy somehow ended up in no movie, no popcorn or coke, and her getting two shots.

she was the best dressed kid in the clinic though. poor darlin.

Monday, August 16, 2010

aiden's antics

she's witty. i'll give her that.

it's really interesting to see how the kids differ in their comedic stylings. humor. chase...innocent humor. aiden...witty. she's coming into her own these days. she used to sit back and graciously let "her boys" get the attention and the laughs, all the while learning and tweaking and forming her own style. she is one of those that doesn't waste a line. she doesn't use them lightly.

just the other night, at dinner...(where i'm convinced is where you will find some of the most entertainment from them)...chad was reading knock knock jokes out of a joke book. after going through a few too many as far as i was concerned, the kids started in with them too. i said, "ok...that's enough." aiden started to tell another one and chad looked at her and, not asking the question, but more ordering her, "why don't you eat." aiden...not missing a beat...replies, "why don't you eat who?" and then giggled her i-just-said-something-that-you-have-no-other-option-but-to-laugh-at-it giggle. soooo...we did.

tonight, she looked up to the sky, put her hand in the air as if worshiping, and prayed in her most serious tone, "please God...please let me be able to use the force." i said, "did you just pray to God to be able to use the force? like from star wars?" yep. that was pretty much what she was asking.

this was more funny, like, you will laugh later and not funny, haha. she came out of the bathroom, sat down at dinner, started eating and said..."mom...i have to tell you something that i don't want to tell you. my bracelet fell off in the toilet and i reached my hand in and got it. but i washed my hand and my bracelet." i just looked at her and crossed my fingers and said, "was there pee pee in the toilet?" she gave me a silent stare. yep. there pretty much was. i did re-wash her hands, and it's a good thing. when i went into the bathroom to clean the sink knobs, and...well...pretty much everything else that she could have touched...i realized there was no soap. sweet pete.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

a love (short)story

i never will blog about chad being out of town when he is actually out of town. he was in cuba the week before last for a little over a week. i was a little worried about this trip because of a menagerie of reasons, one of them being that i knew we would have no communication. i would have been hard-pressed to get in touch with him if my life depended on it...which is just a bit un-nerving being at home with 4 kids by myself. we made it though! and there was only 1 night out of all of them that i thought i could possibly "lose it" and that was due to an unfortunate lock-the-keys-in-the-car-stranding-us-away-from-home-for-several-hours incident.

i realized about half way into the trip that it wasn't just hard on me anymore. colton is not a naive kid and he finally voiced his concern about chad's safety in a place like cuba. he knew that he could get in trouble for training church planters over there and worried about things like him "being captured" and persecution and even him being killed for what he was doing. that was a very adult conversation that i wished had been had before chad left and made me realize that the knot in my stomach was also in colton's.
colton missed his dad. he said, "he's my best friend, mom. and i miss him a lot." there were several nights that i tucked him in and had to wipe his tears and whisper reassurances. i wanted to say, "he's my best friend too, and i miss him and need him more than you could ever imagine." but i didn't feel like he was capable of taking on my burden, concerns, and loneliness too. my weakness would have to be saved for another time. chase wanted dad too. he wanted him when he couldn't get the lego ship just right or when he knew he would normally be scratching his back during tuck in time. aiden wanted her prince. she wanted him around 5:00 when he normally comes in and rescues his maiden from whatever it is she needs rescuing from. she missed his bedtime prayers and scruffy beard cheeks. annslee knew he was gone. she knew that the manly smelling, dark bearded, tender faced calmness was not holding her when she woke in the night anymore. she knew that he wasn't the one who was gently dressing her after her bath each night. i believe a few of her cries where due to wanting him and not knowing where he was and if he was coming back for her. and me? i missed him for all of their reasons, as well as my own. i missed knowing he was coming home. i missed his voice. i missed his calming influence on my racing thoughts. i missed him when i had to feed the frogs live crickets. i missed his smell. i missed him when it was dinner and bath time. i missed his opinion. i missed his help. i couldn't wait to see him.
i thought i was getting used to his long trips away, but i suppose i'm not. you would have thought he had been gone for months. i don't know if it is the 4 being a baby thing, a hormone due to nursing thing, or what? but none-the-less, that's how it felt. we knew he was supposed to get in tuesday night and i woke up that day in preparation mode. i was going to get the house picked up so that he would come home to comfort. i was going to get myself ready for if he was picking me up for a date like he did 11 years ago. i headed to the store to get what i wanted to make for him for dinner and desert around 10 am. while i was there, i got the first text since he flew out from him that said he was getting ready to board his connecting flight in cancun and that he would call as soon as he landed in houston. i was super excited to be able to text him back and told him to save his appetite because i was at the store as we spoke getting stuff for a big meal. he replied with, "at target...folding in clothes purchases again? :)" we bantered back and forth and i told him that i was at kroger...being very sensible and only buying what was necessary...thank you very much. we were texting the whole time i was at the check out and i made a special point of telling the checker that i was sorry that i was texting while she was serving me, but that my husband had been in cuba for over a week and that i had not been able to communicate with him until just then. he said that he was signing off and that he would see me that night. i loaded my cart with my groceries and walked out of the store, stopped and was in the middle of texting him back to be careful and that i loved him when i heard a "hey." i looked up and there he was!!! he had caught an early flight, and had pulled up to the store and rolled down the window and was watching me text him back. i dropped my jaw and pushed my basket out of the way and ran to him. i even felt some of those butterflies that had been sleeping, wake up and start fluttering around in my stomach.
he followed me home and i walked in the backdoor and told the kids that i had brought them home a surprise from the grocery store. they closed their eyes...expecting popsicles, and when they opened them..........daddy was home.

Monday, August 09, 2010


my skin care regimen has been upgraded from washing my face with whatever is available...commonly, these:
to this:
to hopefully avoid any more of these:

actually, this picture was taken after i had been using my new "stuff" for about a month. i really wish i had a before picture. one of the selling points for the product is a picture of cindy (we are on a first name basis now) at 28, when she started using the product and then a picture of her now (at 43). both are untouched and little to no makeup. her skin looks better now and there is really no aging signs. i do realize that this could be good genes, but i do believe that if you take care of stays in better shape. the skin is an organ...just like the heart. and there were a lot of other example people that were not super models.

let me back up. i was truckin along just fine...focused on having babies and taking care of everyone, except myself, and then i turned 35 and all of a sudden the laugh lines, and crows feet decide to settle in for a nice long stay. i had been thinking for a while now that i should really take better care of my skin and that the baby soap and dial were probably not really going to cut it for the long hall. and low and behold...i saw an infomercial. it said that i could look like cindy crawford!! could be my hormones, my insecurity about the new crow's feet, or just plain stupidity...but i fell for it hook, line, and sinker. i recorded it, made chad watch it with me, and then promised that if i didn't look like cindy crawford in 1 month...i would cancel and get my money back. *wink* i checked my porch every day waiting for the miracle to arrive and when it finally did, i wasted no time in starting the program. (it even has a cream for the decollete. i had never even heard the word decollete before!! but let me tell you...i need help in the decollete area!!) i can honestly say that i hoped my new skin care regimen didn't make one bit of difference because then i could go back to my whateverisclosetothesinkwhenistarttowashmyface plan. BUT, it has honestly made a huge difference in my skin. not that i don't have ANY crow's feet, but my skin is clearer, tighter, and brighter...and i feel good about it. and i'm working on feeling good about 35.

Thursday, August 05, 2010


buzz is hangin' on. literally.

buzz and woody

i have never liked reptiles or amphibians. ever. i remember as a little girl, i was riding my bike home from swim team practice one morning with my friend, and two boys (one of which i had an innocent crush on) chased us down and threw a lizard at us. and wouldn't you know that the thing attached itself to my sleeve and i screamed and hollered and started flailing all over the place trying to get it off. it's a wonder i didn't fall off my bike and seriously hurt myself because of that dumb lizard and even dumber boys. all that is beside the point.

my sweet chase loves frogs. they have been his very favorite since he could talk. favorite color green...favorite animal frog. it's just always been that way. he specifically likes the red eyed tree frog. a few years back, santa did the best he could and brought chase 2 Australian tree frogs for christmas. santa didn't fully understand that the frogs would need a diet of live crickets, weekly tank cleaning, water spritzing twice daily to simulate the rain forest and serious temperature control. all of this is worth it for sweet chase of course. santa left a note that chad was going to have to be in charge of the cleaning of the tank and anything involving live crickets. chase and i could handle the spritzing. of can't be tap water. we wouldn't want the frogs drinking plain tap water. even though it is good enough for us humans!! isn't that just like pet stores and their pamphlets?? uh...i mean santa?? making you feel like you need to treat the animal better than your own flesh and blood?? anyhow...the whole point is, one of the frogs is in trouble. they started out close to the same size...but now, one of them (buzz) is still tiny and one of them (woody) is obese. the tiny one (buzz) is obviously sick. he is brown and not moving hardly at all, won't eat...even when the cricket is right in front of it, and is generally not acting like a frog should act. this all happened about 7 months ago as well, and we rushed the tank into the warm laundry room and all gathered in the tiny room for a chase lead prayer service. and wouldn't you know...God performed a miracle and that little frog bounced back from near death just like chase prayed! well...this time it happened while chad was in cuba this past week and i am seriously worried. everyone has gone into high alert mode and i even called my brother over to assess the situation. yesterday, i went and got buzz a new tank, and his own water dish. they said to separate the two frogs because the obese one is probably stressing out the little one and eating all the crickets. so we have done that and moved buzz downstairs to keep a closer eye on him. i called chase in to pray for him. this time he nonchalantly prayed for buzz to "have a good day." i didn't have the heart to tell him that that ship had already sailed. i have found myself praying for another miraculous healing for this little frog many times throughout the day. i've never liked frogs. but i love chase. and chase loves frogs. so i think that me feeling so much for this little frog can be blamed on some sort of algebra equation. you know? if a + b = c, then................well...i end up loving frogs too.