Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Thursday Thirteen

I totally forgot to do a TT last week, so I'm doing it a day early this week.

With the new year coming up, as usual I am spending some time thinking about the changes I want to make to have a better year. Last year I started out doing awesome and following my plans, but then I totally scrapped my goals towards the middle when things started going south in my life. It took the PE to make me realize how important it is to me to remember these goals and to keep working towards them. I will need my friends and family to help keep me in check and remind me of my goals and to encourage me to stick to them. So here we go!

1. I will do my best to accept myself the way I am - not just how I look, but who I am as a person. I will try to love myself a little bit more and take time for me without feeling guilty. Along with this, I will try to stop caring so much about what others might think of me. I always worry that people don't like me or only like me out of pity. That's silly since I'm obviously a pretty cool chick.

2. I will make sure to let my loved ones know how much I love them and appreciate all they are and do and what they mean to me in my life.

3. I will eat a better diet and focus on drinking less of the bad things (pop and alcohol) and drinking more of the good things (water and is good, right? hehe).

4. I will work hard towards my goal weight and will go to the gym at least three times a week and one the days I don't go to the gym I will do some sort of exercise at home whether it be doing a workout video or even just taking a walk or playing outside with the kids. I just gotta get up and around!

5. I will blog and write more. Writing is such a great way for me to work through my feelings and is a way for me to express myself in ways I can't do in person or by just talking. I write so many blog entries that I never publish because by the time I am done writing them I feel better and realize that if I publish it, it'll only make the negativity in my life last longer.

6. I will spend one on one time with each of my children doing something special at least once a week. That can include going on a special trip, playing a game, or even just bringing one of the kids with me on errands. It's important to have that time with them and to get to know them and learn what they like and don't like. They are only little once and are growing so fast - I don't want to miss it.

7. I will work a lot harder at my relationship with Chris. Right now it seems like we focus so much on the kids that we aren't taking enough time for our marriage. We NEED date nights and time together without kids.

8. I will do fun projects and games with the kids as much as possible. It keeps them busy doing something good and helps us spend time together.

9. I will have professional pictures done of our family at some point this year. We never have and I only have about 4 pictures of all of us together total since Sam was born.

10. I will do my best to keep the house clean and organized. I would like to have it decorated a bit better but I will need help from friends and family for this because I am completely stupid when it comes to making my house look good!

11. Less screen time, more people/kid/friends/outside time! More time spent honing my talents, interests, and skills (like music, crochet, and photography).

12. I will spend less money!!!!!! I SWEAR. And this may sound selfish, but I will spend less money on the kids and more on myself. I honestly never buy anything for myself which is why I don't have clothing that fits or looks nice on me, why I'm still wearing nursing bras even though I'm not breastfeeding anymore, and why I only own about two pairs of shoes. My self esteem needs a boost big time, so having clothes that look nice on me and a variety of things to wear will help with the physical aspect. Learning to love myself more (see number one) will help with the other aspects. I shouldn't rely on others to tell me they love me to be able to love myself. Though it's nice to hear nice things about me too, haha!

13. I will relax. I will take time to just be.

Monday, December 17, 2012

50 Reasons Why I Love Timmy

1. He made me a mommy.
2. He is so clever and smart and eager to learn.
3. He speaks above and beyond most four year olds.
4. His love for anything on wheels has not changed since he was just a few months old.
5. He loves his Rhino Pillow so much.
6. He is incredibly sensitive.
7. His fear of flamingos is actually pretty cute.
8. He picked up on his letters and spelling so quickly!
9. Some of the things that come out of his mouth make me laugh more than a professional comedian's jokes.
10. He is so clumsy yet athletic at the same time.
11. He never gives up. If there is something he wants to do, he tries until he gets it.
12. He uses adult phrases in every day conversation.
13. He is so snuggly when he wants to be.
14. He is devoted to his mommy even though he is a daddy's boy.
15. His grandparents mean more to him than anything else.
16. He loves dogs and cats and has a really soft spot for them.
17. His eyes are the crispest, brightest blue.
18. He has the cutest little nose.
19. His leprechaun ear.
20. He has always has a huge interest in reading and loves to sit and look at books with people.
21. He is so social and has so many friends. He loves each and every one of them so much, and their parents, and is so loyal to them.
22. He adores his neighbors and has formed a "friendship" with them.
23. He loves to be outdoors and has since he was just a few weeks old.
24. The way he says "Lightming McQueen"
25. He loves school and is always eager to go. He loves his teachers and has learned so much from them.
26. He adores his brother and sister and is protective of them.
27. He thinks about things a lot of other kids don't necessarily take the time to think about. He loves to know how things work and how things are made.
28. He already has crushes on the little girls in his class.
29. He loves to go to church and to his Preschool Pier class and remembers the stories he hears.
30. He makes up songs all the time and loves to sing.
31. He loves the water and is learning to swim and is getting very brave in the water after a couple years of being terrified of it.
32. He is so enthusiastic about the things he loves. He wants everyone to love what he does.
33. He learned how to ride his bike with no training wheels after practicing really hard and never giving up.
34. How he "break dances"
35. He still sucks his fingers.
36. He gives random hugs that always brighten my day.
37. He loves to get dirty when he's playing outside but can't stand being dirty inside.
38. When his dad is out of town he sleeps in my bed so that I won't be lonely.
39. He tries so hard to keep up with his older cousins.
40. All he wants for Christmas is Light Up Lightning McQueen Shoes.
41. He knows what everyone drives and can identify many different kinds of cards.
42. He is a major backseat driver and neurotic about seat belts.
43. When he sits next to me he wraps his hand around my arm.
44. He has the cutest little freckles on his face.
45. His hair is always sticking up and messy.
46. He loves to get mail, even if it's just junk mail I give him.
47. He loves to wear hats and wears one most of the time.
48. He is so good at doing puzzles and can do 100 piece puzzles on his own.
49. The way he laughs and grins at every silly little thing.
50. The way he makes up jokes he thinks are funny even though they make no sense whatsoever.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Normal to be Not Normal

It hasn't even been two weeks since my diagnosis of PE, but I've had almost no real information on how recovery really will be, so I assumed I'd be back to normal by now. I pushed myself this week thinking there was something wrong with me for feeling like I wasn't okay yet. I've been having several panic attacks a day now and am feeling anxious most of the time. My heart beats so hard and so fast most of the time that I'm surprised other people can't hear it. I am winded by walking up or down a flight of stairs. My back pain is off the charts most of the time but I figure that's because I'm a wuss. I pretend it's all okay and tell everyone I'm doing great because I don't want to be a complainer or an attention seeker. I want to be normal. I want to get back into life again and enjoy my kids and be out and about doing normal activities. Right now even grocery shopping sounds fun.

But the truth is, I'm not doing well. Not at all. I am freaked out over every little pain I feel. I am scared that it's another clot or that the clot I have isn't dissolving and it's going to move out of my lungs and into my heart or my brain or somewhere it shouldn't be. I realize this is silly - I'm on blood thinners now and it would take a lot for the clot to move elsewhere at this point - but it still crosses my mind.

I am exhausted. I'm not just talking like, "Oh, it was a long day, I'm ready for bed" exhausted, but full blown I just did 500 crunches, ran a marathon, and am pregnant with quadruplets and it's the first trimester kind of exhausted. EXHAUSTED. From doing what you ask? Nothing. I don't have the energy to do ANYTHING.  I could lay down at any given minute of the day and fall asleep and sleep through til the next day, get up for an hour, and do it again. Yet I continued to push myself this week. I even toyed with the idea of going to the gym (thankfully that didn't work out because there was no electricity at the gym on the day we were going to go).

Don't even get me started on survivor's guilt. You have no idea how I feel right now. Depression, many "it should've been me" thoughts. What's worse is that I also wonder how many people think, "It should've been you." Two women, same week, same diagnosis - one lives, one dies. I know that someone out there has to be thinking it.

My kids haven't had a nice meal in two weeks. Chris is so busy with work and it's not something he can easily take off time from right now. I'm exhausted (did I mention that?) so between the two of us, our kids might get half of a real meal twice a week. Right now the kids eat crackers and yogurt for lunch. It's terrible. I'm just not into doing anything. Those rare moments when I finally have any energy to do something are spent doing laundry or the dishes.

No matter how much I talk about this, I feel like I just can't justify feeling this way. My PE was pretty mild compared to most. So why am I feeling like this? I should be grateful I'm as healthy as I am. Instead of bitching and moaning that I feel like crap, I should be out and about and enjoying life now that I've been really given a second chance to live it.

So I did some googling. I know, Google is not my friend. But I wanted to read real accounts of recovery from PEs from people who have experienced this first hand. I found this absolutely amazing site and here is a great list that describes different issues with recovery and some ways to cope with them:

And guess what - the list that the author made - made me realize that all these feelings ARE normal. It's OKAY for me to feel this way. I was trying so hard to get back to normal and I guess I need to accept that fact that right now, this IS normal. I don't know when I'll be able to have energy to do anything or be able to take a walk and not get short of breath or even be able to go a day without feeling like someone is taking a sledgehammer to my back and chest, but at least for now that's normal.

So if you see me and you ask how I'm doing, I'm going to tell you that I'm doing great and I feel great. It won't be the truth, but at least you'll know I'm lying now. And then maybe you can just say a prayer for me or give me a hug or maybe offer to help with the kids or bring the kids something to eat. Or not, it's okay. I get by. I guess this is my feeble attempt to ask for help.

Thursday Thirteen

Thursday Thirteen: 13 Current Favorite TV Shows

1. Modern Family
2. American Horror Story
3. The League
4. Parenthood
5. 30 Rock
6. Alf (Yes, I watch the old reruns)
7. The Aquabats Super Show
8. Yo! Gabba Gabba (Don't hate on my Yo gabba)
9. Big Rich Texas
10. Dance Moms
11. The Daily Show
12. Bitchin' Kitchen
13. Twisted Whiskers (Tinyhead kills me)

Three Months Til Five

5th birthday is only three months away, so I was asking him how he wanted to celebrate his birthday. He said he wants cupcakes with chocolate frosting. Easy enough. I asked him who he wanted to invite to his party.

"Peter and Andrew and Joel and Karson and Kayla and Lily and Jude."

"Anyone else? Anyone from school?"

"Ryan and Parker."

"Anyone else?"

"Lucas and Max and Krishtian and Andon."

"Any girls?"

"Paige V."

"Any other girls?"

"Just Paige V. She's my only girl."

Seriously, my kids are already into boyfriends and girlfriends. Nat has such a crush on Parker and apparently Timmy's latest crush is Paige V. I am so in trouble when these kids are teens.

Now to plan a party - his first party where we will invite friends. My house is definitely not big enough for friends and family, so it's either two parties or we need to find a place to have a party where the kids will be entertained - and it won't be expensive. In March. When it's typically too cold for a park party. Any suggestions, local friends?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A Pulmonary Embolism Story

I've been meaning to write up what happened over the last week and just haven't had a really good chance to sit down and start. This could get kinda long, so bear with me.

A few weeks ago, the week before Thanksgiving, I ended up getting really sick with some form of nasty flu virus. I was at the doctor three different times in four days and no one could seem to figure out what was going on with me, but I knew there was something they weren't figuring out. I wasn't able to breathe -period. My chest hurt, I couldn't stop coughing, and I was coughing up gunk on a regular basis. I had a fever that hovered around 101-102 for several days and was pretty much laid out on my back for almost a week.

Eventually, I did seem to get over the flu part of everything, but the cough never went away. I was feeling pretty good otherwise, so when my friend, Lindsey, invited me to join her at the gym one Wednesday morning a couple weeks ago, I was excited to get back into a gym. We did cardio for 30 minutes and then she showed me how to use a bunch of the weight machines...and we discovered my abnormally short forearms...

That evening I was starting to get a pain in my back, but I assumed it was from working out that morning. The following morning, a Thursday, I woke up in a lot of pain and hardly able to get a good breath. I had to ignore it and move on with my day because it was the morning that Natalie's class would be telling the kids about Mrs. B. I was having a really rough morning and by that night was in so much pain that when Chris came home from work, I laid down for awhile before he left for basketball. I got up and put the kids to bed and went back to bed myself - except that it was impossible for me to find a position in which to get comfortable and I was still having an incredibly hard time getting a deep breath. All I could do was shallow breath and try to relax my body. Finally, I texted Chris and asked him to bring up some Ibuprofen when he got home because I couldn't even move to go get some meds myself.

The next morning I was still sore, but not like I was the day before so I figured the worst was over. That afternoon I went over to Lindsey's so we could work out (or in my case, flop around like a dead fish and nearly knock over her Christmas tree) and I actually was starting to feel better at that point. Chris and I even started a Wii tournament that night.

On Saturday morning, the 1st, I woke up around 4am completely unable to get a good breath, shallow or not. I was in so much pain that I wasn't able to find any position to be able to go back to sleep. At 5am, I took some Ibuprofen and settled down in the recliner because sitting was the only position I could find any form of relief. I texted my sister, Erika, and asked her what I should do. I describe my symptoms to her (painful breathing, unable to get a breath) and she said I needed to go to the ER - it sounded like a collapsed lung or a blood clot. I am a "wait it out" type of person, so I decided to take a hot shower and see if that would help. When I got out of the shower, I was still barely able to stand up and still couldn't breathe, so I told Chris I was going to the ER.

I made it to the ER around 5:30am and was brought back to a room immediately. I guess they take shortness of breath pretty seriously around there. The first thing they did was draw some blood and do a D Dimer test - which the nurse was telling me it was 95% accurate in detecting blood clots. They also had me pee in a cup and then I was sent back to my room to wait for awhile. They gave me some pain meds as well and they seemed to help take the edge off. I waited for about an hour and finally they came in to tell me that my D Dimer was negative, so no clot, but I had a lot of blood in my urine so they sent me for a CT scan of my kidneys to check for stones.

After waiting for awhile again, they came in to tell me that they didn't see any stones but they did see some fluid around my right lung and that I most likely had pneumonia. I was okay with that. Finally - some answers! The nurse was the one who told me that. The ER doctor came in a few minutes later and said that after she went over the scans she was concerned that there was a blood clot and that my lung was partially collapsed due to the pressure of the fluid around my lung. She wanted to know why a seemingly healthy person would have so much fluid around only the right lung.

I was sent for another CT scan, this time for my chest. They had to use contrast, so that was really uncomfortable because I already had to pee. For those of you that have never had to have a CT scan done using contrast, it is such a weird feeling - it seriously makes you feel like you are peeing and it makes your body HOT. I got back to my room and waited...again...I watched some Informercials and some Law and Order SVU and texted with friends - when I had service. They started me on an IV of fluid to help push the dye out of my system.

After awhile, the doctor came back in with bad news - the D Dimer was wrong. I was in that 5% that had a blood clot that wasn't detected. I had a pulmonary embolism in my right lung and I would need to start on blood thinners right away - and I wouldn't be going home for a few days. I started bawling. I had so many mixed feelings. The first thing I thought was, "My kids' teacher just died of this..." The doctor was awesome and she gave me a big hug and left me alone to make some phone calls. I called Chris first and he was able to get his parents to come be with the kids. I called Erika next and then left a message for Lindsey that ended in a pile of blubbering jibberish. Thankfully she never got the message...that would have been embarrassing...

I honestly don't remember if they explained the course of action with me before or after Chris arrived. He did arrive before I was moved to my room, I know that much. I don't even know what time I got to my room. After I was settled, Chris went home to get some rest. I made more phone calls to explain what happened - I know that I talked to my mom, who was disturbingly unaware of how serious this was, and I talked to my dad and Cherie, and eventually, after some crazy phone tag, talked to Lindsey.

That first night I went for an ultrasound of my legs to check for more clots. While I was there, my brother, Nick and his family came to see me but I missed them. I was so bummed but felt so loved at the same time. The ultrasound came back clear which was a huge relief. I didn't sleep very well that first night. I was on the Heparin drip and it made me have to pee all the time, not to mention that I was still in quite a bit of pain and couldn't get comfortable. Besides, every time I moved I set off the IV alarm because I bent the tube.

The next day they took me off the Heparin drip and taught me how to do the Lovenox injections. There was something sort of exciting about learning how to give yourself shots. At first it was kinda fun. It got old really quick, though. I think it was that afternoon that Beth came to see me. That made me so happy! I started the Warfarin (Coumadin) that night. I was hopped up on some pretty good drugs while I was in the hospital so I was pretty loopy most of the time. I cried when one of my nurses left and told her I loved her. When the next nurse came, I thanked her for being "ever so nice to me." I remember their names were Kara and Mary Ellen. I liked them. They were awesome.

Unfortunately, I was also really nauseous while I was there. I felt so sick to my stomach and nearly threw up several times, so I had to stay an extra day until they could get my nausea (and pain) under control. Finally, I got the okay to leave that Tuesday morning (the 4th). Lindsey came to see me (with Pax and Parker) before I left and brought me lottery tickets. I lost, but Parker won. Too bad for him, I have his ticket, bahaha. She also brought me some chocolate because Natalie told her that I wanted chocolate. I still have half the candy bar in my purse waiting for me when I am in need of chocolate again.

I had to do the Lovenox shots through Thursday afternoon. It's Sunday night now and I have a giant bruise the size of a baseball on my stomach. I've had several blood draws done to check my INR and have had my Coumadin adjusted. The pain is mostly gone, but mornings are still rough. I was coughing up blood for a few days and even had nose bleeds. Thankfully that is all done now. I just am really sore in the morning but by afternoon I'm doing much better.

Through all of this I have found out that I am surrounded by the  most amazing friends anyone could ever ask for. They've helped me with meals, rides, the kids, prayers, babysitting, hugs, comfort, encouragement, support, a listening ear, cheering up, and have gifted me with flowers and other treats. I am beyond blessed and cannot thank everyone enough.

I have no idea what the next few months is going to bring. I've had to make a lot of changes, but I know that in the long run it'll be so much better. There is a reason this has happened to me and while I've yet to figure out completely why, I know the first step was to learn that I am not alone and that I am loved.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Band-Aids Fix Everything

Ever since I got home from the hospital (will post the whole story eventually), the kids have been obsessed with things like shots and getting poked and blood and all that icky stuff. Today the kids insisted that their beloved Pillow Friends, Panda and Rhino, needed to be fixed.

Timmy's Rhino is actually in need of some doctoring. The last time we washed him two of his feet (paws? hooves?) ripped open a little bit. Timmy made me find him some special band-aids for Rhino and he very tenderly took care of his best buddy.

Natalie's Panda lost her tail a long time ago, so that, along with Panda's ears, needed to be fixed. Nothing is really wrong with Panda's ears, but Natalie insisted they were broken, so band-aids were the cure. 

I am really hoping this obsession with blood and all the icky stuff goes away soon. The other night Natalie told me she couldn't go to school the next day because she had blood in her throat. Timmy had to tell me all about how he fell down and was bleeding at a friend's house. I, for one, have had enough blood talk to last me a long time. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Thursday Thirteen

Thursday Thirteen: Things I have learned about Pulmonary Embolisms

Here is a great site that really explains what PEs are:

1. The pain is like no other pain I have felt. Any time I have pain of some sort I always say, "This is the worst pain I have ever been in." This time I meant it. And I have had three children, appendicitis, and gall bladder attacks.

2. I will learn to do things I never thought I'd ever have to do - for example, give myself injections in my stomach. Thankfully today is the last day that I will have to do that.

3. I will endure some really gross moments, like the first ten minutes every morning when I cough up blood.

4. I will have some sort of survivor's guilt in knowing that my kids' teacher passed away from this at the same time I survived it. It's not fair. It really isn't.

5. I will be poked more times in a few days than in the rest of my life put together. Between blood draws, IVs, and injections, I estimate that I have been poked about 30 times in the last five days.

6. I will quickly get over caring what people think about my home or how I am dressed. All that matters is that people care about me and come to see me and help me.

7. I will have to make some huge changes that will change the rest of my life. I will always be at higher risk for blood clots now so I have to take precautions. This means no more birth control pills, no smoking (not that I have really done that in the last five years anyway), no alcohol (this is my decision - if I need to be healthy, alcohol is not the way to go - besides, with the drugs I am on, alcohol is probably not a wise idea), and really taking care to eat healthy and stay away from junk.

8. I will become attached to certain nurses and cry when their shift ends. I will also profess my love for them.

9. I will spend a great amount of time staring at nothing in particular because I am so doped up that I can't do anything else. I will also say things several times or not at all because I am not sure if I am saying things out loud or not.

10. I will come to terms with the fact that I nearly died. I will figure out what is important in my life and what is not and the things that are not important are really, really not important.

11. I will make a point to let the people in my life know how much I care for them and how much I appreciate everything they do. There may not be another chance to tell them. So, just to warn you, I may be extra sentimental over the next while, but I suppose that's better than being extra b*tchy.

12. I will realize that I am never alone and that I am loved. I will have the most amazing friends and family anyone could ask for and they will rally around me and pray for me and feed me and love me and take care of me and my family. I have something better than a "best friend" - I have amazing friends - more than one. I have people that will put their lives on hold to make sure my life is taken care of. I have never felt this kind of encouragement, support, and love in my entire life. I only hope that if the situation were reversed that I could be even half as awesome as the people who are taking care of me.

13. I will be humbled. I will have to let go of control and let God take over. I am not an overly religious person but I do find great comfort in having faith and hope in something Greater.

Friday, November 30, 2012

A Talk of Babies and Marriage

Timmy: Mommy, when Natalie gets older is she going to have a baby come out her tummy like you did?

Me: Well, maybe after she meets a boy she loves and they get married.

Timmy: Who is Natalie going to marry?

Me: I don't know. Who are you going to marry, Nat?

Natalie: You!

Me: But you can't marry me because I'm your mommy and I'm married to Daddy.

Natalie: Then I'm gonna marry Sammy.

Me: But you can't marry Sammy or Timmy either because they are your brothers. You have to marry someone you aren't related to. Is there a boy you like?

Natalie: I love Parker. I'm going to marry Parker.

TOOOTALLY saw that one coming.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thursday Thirteen

Thursday Thirteen - Thirteen Current Very Random Thoughts

1. I am very excited to get a gym membership again. I have really missed working out. Went yesterday with my G-Funk and she worked me good, man. Back is killing me!

2. Number one sounds very kinky.

3. This morning was rough. I'm really thankful that Chris is going to go with Timmy tomorrow morning so I don't have to do it again.

4. Every time someone passes away I miss my angels in heaven even more. Today I'm finding myself thinking about Betsy and Amber a lot more - two young woman who were taken to Heaven way too soon. Miss them more and more all the time and wonder what their lives would be like.

5. I am so excited to get a Christmas Tree but at the same time I don't want one. I already have to chase kids out of rooms and off furniture, I am not looking forward to keeping little hands away from the tree.

6. I had two of the kids best buddies here yesterday. You'd think having five kids in the house would be crazy, but I enjoy it. K&P were really helpful yesterday (when they weren't stealing my lemonade!). K helped me put away dishes and P helped me hang up Christmas lights.

7. Sometimes I feel like I'm always the one helping others out - like taking my mom shopping and things like that - and then I feel like no one helps me out in return. I know this isn't true - and the biggest reason for this is because I don't ask for help. Why is it so easy to offer help for others but it's so hard to ask for help when I need it? I really need to get over my pride and ask for help when I need something.

8. I really wanna know how it's possible for Natalie to pee all over the floor in front of the toilet but still poop in the potty at the same time.

9. Scratch that...I don't wanna know.

10. I think that of all my insane pet peeves and annoyances, being ignored is my number one. The kids are pros at this (as are a few other people I know).

11. I love writing. I'm glad that I've started to get back into blogging again even if it's not trendy anymore. It's a great way to work through my feelings and thoughts especially since I am really bad at talking about things. I am definitely an "internalizer" when it comes to "getting in touch with my feelings." This way I can write and get it out and move on. I may not be the best writer (I am always ending my sentences with prepositions) but who cares? What I'm saying is much more important than how I'm saying it.

12. I've had this awesome blog theme for a year now - I think I need a blog revamp soon. Maybe Buddy can help me with it again :)

13. I love the number 13. My boys and I are 13s.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Saying Goodbye

Death is such a hard concept to understand for anyone, let alone a preschooler, so the fact that my kids have had to say goodbye to not just one but two people they were very close to this year is too much for this momma to take.

Back in the spring, Chris's Grandpa passed away. Great Grandpa Joe was nearly 90 and we loved him dearly. The kids spent a few times each month being able to see him during our regular Sunday dinners with the family. He was always so funny - all the kids were boys and were mostly referred to as "little shavers" "tykes" and things like that. When he passed away the kids hadn't ever had to deal with death before. They were with us every step of the way during the grieving process, visitation, and funeral. They asked a lot of great questions and were now aware that life doesn't go on forever, at least not here on Earth. 

The kids spent the next few months talking about death and dying. The questions they would ask made them seem much older than their two and four year old selves. They weren't innocent anymore; they were now understanding things that a lot of adults have never even had to deal with yet. Natalie, especially, had grown an almost macabre obession with death. In Samuel's Childrens' Bible, she found the story about Jesus dying on the cross and asked us to read this to her every day, sometimes more than once. 

On this particular July afternoon, Natalie got very serious and asked me why Jesus was crying. I explained that he was sad because his friends betrayed him and he had to die on the cross to save us from our sins. She got really upset that her Baby Jesus died so I tried to explain that one day we would get to meet Him when we died. I guess this was the wrong thing to say because my precious two year old burst into tears and started sobbing, "But, I don't wanna die!" 

After awhile their obsessions passed and they were back to being happy preschoolers. Now three, Natalie was able to start going to preschool as well. She already knew the teachers from all of the mornings we'd pick Timmy up from school the year before. She was so excited to go and fell in love with the teachers and made a lot of new friends. She and Timmy are both doing great in school this year. 

Sadly, this afternoon we received the devastating news that their beloved teacher, Mrs. Blanksma, passed away this morning. I was in complete shock and had no idea how to react. At the time I not only had my two kids, but two of their friends were over as well who were also in their preschool classes and knew and loved Mrs. Blanksma. It wasn't my place to tell my friend's kids about their teacher passing, so we had to make a lot of fun this afternoon. We watched a movie, played the Wii, ate a yummy snack, and took a drive out to a covered bridge to play for awhile. 

This evening after I dropped their friends off, we sat down to tell Tim and Nat about their teacher. I explained that this morning Mrs. Blanksma went to Heaven. Timmy said, "You mean she died?" He was getting teary. Chris and I were both tearing up too - it's never easy to lose someone you love - especially someone who plays such an important role in your children's lives. I explained that her heart had gotten sick and stopped working but that she was now in Heaven with Great Grandpa and they were friends and weren't lonely. When I tried to explain to Natalie that Mrs. Blanksma wasn't going to be at preschool anymore, Timmy got upset and said, "But I want her to come back!" This is when I lost it. In fact, I'm almost crying again just typing this up. Natalie, of course being the little comic relief, said, "Can we have her hamster?"

The kids took it in, were quiet for a few minutes and then were on their way. I wish adults could be that resilient. I'm still reeling from the news. Mrs. Blanksma will be missed by everyone who was ever able to know her. She was an amazing woman, teacher, and friend. I will miss being able to send her a quick email just to find out how the kids were doing at school. She always had a lot of great advice for me, especially when struggling with what to do with certain behaviors the kids were displaying. She was always happy to chat about anything from Jimmy's Grill to the Grand Lady Riverboat to what the kids had for snack that day at school. She always made sure her students and their families were taken care of and I will miss seeing her every day and I know the kids will too. I am just so grateful that the other teachers at the school are just as wonderful and caring as Mrs. Blanksma was. I know that they will carry on the traditions and will always take the time to care about their students. 

Now, please, let my kids have a break from having to say goodbye to the people they love. They are three and four and need to be kids - not young adults learning life lessons. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thursday Thirteen

Time again for Thursday Thirteen. Maybe this time I'll actually remember number thirteen. It is Thanksgiving, no less, so I thought this week I would make my theme Thirteen People I am Thankful to have in my Life. If you are not on the list right now, it is not personal - these are just people that in the last few weeks/months have really shown me great care, help, understanding, friendship, love, etc.

1. Chris. Well, duh, of course. He's my husband and most recently has been awesome for taking care of me and the kids while we've been super sick. He took time off of work, worked at home, stayed up late, cleaned up puke, made random runs to the store, etc - all to keep us feeling better. Thank you.

2. Erika & Jodi. (See this is my way of fitting more than 13 people on my list) - My sisters - I love you. We've been through so much the last month - so crazy - and I feel like it's only brought us closer together. I can't imagine my life without you.

3. Timmy, Natty, Sammy (Like I said - fitting more than 13 people on my list) - My three babies - You can't read this and who knows if someday you ever will, but my drive me crazy - but in a good way. You wouldn't drive me crazy at all if you didn't mean anything to me. My life is so much better because you are in it. My heart is full. I see you - hold you - kiss you - and I can't believe you're mine.

4. Mom. Honestly...I didn't know if you'd be here right now for me to tell you how much you mean to me. I love you more than life itself. I get so angry at you and can't stand to have you near me, but I love you with every fiber of my being. You're my mom and nothing in my life would ever be the same if you weren't there for me to annoy.

5. Dad & Cherie - Thank you soooo much for being the solidity in my life. The two adults that were always there for me and molded and shaped me into the adult I am today. Yeah, I'm pretty awesome - and I have you two to thank for that. Thanks so much for helping us out with the kids - especially when I'm sick and you come out to spend time with them so that I can rest or go to the doctor. You have no idea how appreciative I am. Thank you for the influences you have had in my life because without them I'd be pretty loserly.

6. Beth - I really wish we were able to hang out more than we do. It's not every day you meet a friend that you threaten to "bash one's head with a phone" and sing them their own special song in front of EVERYONE all in the same breath. Thanks for still laughing with me about the former and smiling with me about our own little inside joke about the latter. I really miss you - miss seeing you - but am so glad to have you at my beckon call through facebook and text. Thanks for always being there even if we're not able to actually see each other more than twice a year...which by the way is LAME-O since you live like 8 minutes away.

7. Lindsey H - WOW who knew that after only a couple months of actually knowing each other you'd be all the way up to the list LMAO. But honestly, I don't think anyone has listened to me, helped me, been much as anyone has for me in the last few months. You were there when I needed someone the most last month and you know that my kids adore you "auntie" and your family - and that is just as important to me as anything. Thanks for everything - picking up kids, late night texts, play dates, etc. Now....if we could just have that L&L wine time!!!! Seriously - have we EVER HUNG OUT?

8. Dalon...My Dally dally ally ally alon. for reals. where would this list be if you weren't on it? You know why 2012 was the best? Because I got to see you IN PERSON for the first time in SEVEN YEARS!!! I miss you like crazy. Though you know we'd probably be at each others' throats if we saw each other every day. We're just too much alike to not be like that LOL!! I'm so thankful for you - and how much you care even from thousands of miles away. I miss and love you so much.

9. Lindsey S - Who knew that a dog and JM would ever have brought you into my life? You always make me laugh and I know that you're always just a phone call away - I miss you and we really need to get together. Natty misses her Ky-yee!!! and I miss my Yindzee!!! :) hehe. Thanks for seriously always making me laugh...and giraffe legs...and ice cubes for my kids to be addicted to :D

10. Buddy Lesha....BUDDY LESHA...what can I say that you don't already know? For real! You know you are the best. I miss our daily chat times - and how you would know I was watching Boy meets World while chatting because it'd take me ten minutes to reply...we made (and still do make) the most awesome team ever. fo' realz. fo realz. mmmhmmmm i mean who makes better challenges than us!?!? thanks for listening to me and always being there when I freak out.

11. My Brothers/Sisters/InLaws in general - I love you all - thanks for just being you!!!

12. JM & GP Peeps - Again - I love you all - you've put up with so much crap from me LOL!! thanks for always listening, backign me up, setting me straight, etc. You are awesome!

13. Amy - I almost forgot you and I'm sorry!!! jeesh. Thanks for always being in my life for the last like what...13 years!? You are officially my "oldest" friend - and the one that shares something special with me....oh you thought I was gonna bring up village inn 2001? Hell no!!! It's gotta be ARBY'S when me, you and heather yelled WAZZUP to the people working there...OMG. yeah we did that. I heard Merry Christmas Darling on the radio yesterday and I thought of you. You're just that awesome. So thank you.

Of course I have so many other people who should be on my list, but here is the current list. Like I said, don't be offended...yadda yadda....blah blah blah.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thursday Thirteen

Here's my Thursday Thirteen for 11.15.12

Theme: 13 Random Things About Liza

1. I own my own pair of bowling shoes, a bowling ball, and a bowling bag. I average a whopping 50 every game I play but I love it. I love to go bowling so on the very first date I ever went on I chose to go bowling...little did I know that he was on a league and would score 265....good lord that was humiliating.

2. I am an incredibly loyal, compassionate and giving friend. I don't do it to be annoying - I just care a lot about people and only do what I would hope someone would do for me. I believe in Karma. What goes around comes around. But even then if Karma didn't exist, I'd still bend over backwards for the people I love.

3. I just beat Simon's Quest in 20 minutes. Sad.

4. I love Bluegrass music. Sue me. Seriously, it's just so happy.

5. I used to be a phenom when it came to gymnastics - I even had an audition set up in Chicago way back when to join a circus on the swing trapeze but due to typical Michigan weather I never made it. I'm glad that I missed it though because my life ended up being so much better here in Michigan.

6. Despite the mention of gymnastics above, I am an incredible klutz. I fall down and/or up the stairs constantly. I walk into walls and trip on nothing. I have mad injury skills. I have had two sets of stitches in my head alone.

7. Once upon a time I could speak relatively fluent Spanish. I can't speak it worth a darn now though I can understand a lot of it and I still dream in Spanish quite a bit.

8. I am scared of airplanes. I'm talking SCURRRED. Hate them.

9. Yeah, I'm a conspiracy theorist.

10. I am not a great employee - not because of my skills or my attitude - but because I walked out on a job, got fired from a job (though I took their butts to court and WON), and have been laid off on two jobs since that one - and then never returned to a job.'s a good thing I'm a SAHM.

11. I love to crochet. I like to do stuff for other people but I don't want to be paid for it because it takes the fun out of it.

12. I am addicted to Gymbo & you already knew this....

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thursday Thirteen

Hey it's Thursday! A looooong time ago someone used to run a blog game on Thursdays where you list Thirteen things - your choice of topic. I have no idea if that game is still going on anywhere, but I think I'll revive it for my own fun :)

Thursday Thirteen 11.8.12 - Thirteen Current Fave Songs

[one] Maybe - Alison Krauss
[two] Best of Luck - Nickel Creek
[three] The Rest Will Flow - Porcupine Tree
[four] Crazy As Me - Alison Krauss
[five] Drown With Me - Porcupine Tree
[six] Invincible - Muse
[seven] Starlight - Muse
[eight] Extraordinary Machine - Fiona Apple
[nine] In Two Minds - Riverside
[ten] Over My Shoulder - Mike & The Mechanics
[eleven] Velvet - A-Ha
[twelve] Undun - Guess Who
[thirteen] Reflections of My Life - The Marmalade

Now that I've listed some songs, let's talk about them.

Alison Krauss. Nothing better. In my top five bands/musicians/singers.
Nickel Creek. Saw them with Fiona Apple. AWESOME. And Fiona has my bday :)
Porcupine Tree. Aside from The Beatles, they are my fave band ever. TRWF is my Sammy song. Have seen them four times. AMAZING EVERY TIME. OMG First time I saw them I was literally under Steven Wilson's bare feet. Heaven. Until some douche tried to get all up in my business.
Muse. LOVE. Saw them a few years back. An absolutely amazing show.
Riverside. Awesome prog.
A-Ha. Not just a one hit wonder.
Mike & The Mechanics. Made a nice little quiet transition from the 80s to the 90s. Nice music.
The Marmalade. Well I did name my camera after them. And after Joanne. hehe.
Guess Who. This is one of two songs I actually like by them. Otherwise they grate.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Where Have I Been?

Wow...I totally slacked on updating this thing! Part of me wants to just delete the whole thing but then I figure I'd eventually miss having a blog so I might as well keep it around for when I need to write. Right now Facebook took away my posting abilities because some "friend" decided to report two of my pics of the kids in the tub. There was NOTHING showing on these pics and what sucks that they were mobile pics that I don't have on my phone anymore so I'll never have those pictures back. FB already took away my video uploading abilities. What a bunch of crap.

Timothy and Natalie are both in preschool this year, just on different days. They love it and have so many friends and are doing really well. Timmy is 4.5 and Nat turned 3 in September. Samuel is now 15.5 months old and is the sweetest little munchkin. The only time he's really not content is when food is involved. He could eat and eat! He is really snuggly and really smart and is saying a lot of words these days.

Chris and I are doing well! He's super busy with work and I'm busy with the kids and being at the school nearly every day. I love it though. It keeps me from being too bored.

I guess the biggest thing that is going on in my life right now has to do with my mom - as usual. She has once again overdosed (she did this in May as well) in hopes of committing suicide. This time we are not letting her go back to living alone but getting her into an AFC home is not going to be easy especially if she decides to fight us. I'll be taking Abbey back to live with us (this will make the kids excited to have a cat again) which is probably going to be the hardest thing for Mom to deal with.

I sure hope to get back into the habit of writing in here again. I could always use a place to vent.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Bug Lover

Natalie is a very interesting, funny little girl. She is the perfect mix of girly-girl and tomboy. She wears a tutu every day and loves to sing, dance, and perform for anyone who will pay attention. She loves to have pretty dresses on and to have her hair done up with a big bow. Painted toenails and fingernails are a must with her.

Then she goes outside and the girly-ness ends. She loves to dig in the dirt, roll in the grass, and play ball with her dad and brother. Today she found a new love as well - bugs. Timmy found an ant on the front steps and said it was like ant on WordWorld. Natalie ran over to see her new friend. As soon as she saw him she picked him up in her hand and hugged her hands to her chest with a grin. "I love my ant! He is my new pet!" And off she ran with her new friend. I knew the ant would be dead within seconds and was hoping to avoid any meltdowns when her pet perished. Sure enough, ant was dead. Surprisingly, Natalie was unaffected by this. She set off to find a new friend and it didn't take her long to find a new pet.

This is Mr. Beetle. He was wiggling and trying to get free as soon as she picked him up, but she was not going to let him go. 

Showing me her new pet. 

Checking him out. His little antennae were waving around in despair. 

Hugging Mr. Beetle to death...literally. 

So another precious pet perished. So she found another ant...

Monday, February 13, 2012

50 Reasons Why I Love Husband

An early Valentine's Day Present.

1. He actually married me.
2. His scar is sexy.
3. His pure blue eyes.
4. His long, dark eyelashes.
5. His full lips and the way he kisses with them.
6. His smile is so sly and sweet at the same time.
7. The way he doesn't know colors.
8. He is so, so, so patient with me and my faults.
9. How he gets so mad at sports but not much else.
10. He is supportive to anything I want to try and do with my life.
11. He's so handsome and we make such cute kids together.
12. He handles life's surprises in stride.
13. He loves and accepts my family.
14. He speaks his mind in a way that I am not able to.
15. He can also speak his opinion without being judgmental towards others.
16. He loves to read and reads "real" books and not garbage.
17. He makes up silly games to play with the kids.
18. He makes up fun nicknames for the kids, me, and even the pets.
19. He will watch some of my crazy TV shows with me, even though he teases me the entire time.
20. He is starting to take after his dad by making corny jokes with strangers.
21. He takes an active interest in my pregnancies and doesn't mind talking with me about being pregnant.
22. He actually cares about what we name our children.
23. He is athletic and excelled at every sport he ever played.
24. I married the homecoming king.
25. He thinks out and does special things for me when I least expect it.
26. He makes the most delicious food I have ever eaten.
27. He is a grill least to me!
28. If I have something on my mind he listens to me.
29. He does so much around the house - more than most husbands I hear about.
30. He smells good...and showers daily.
31. He is a lovely snuggler.
32. He remembers most of what I tell him which is awesome considering I am wordy most of the time.
33. He has fuzzy feet. And ears.
34. Whenever possible, he allows me to have time to myself when I need it.
35. When it comes to decisions about my body (i.e. breastfeeding) he lets me make those decisions without judgment.
36. He gets up really early in the morning with the kids and let's me sleep in especially after a long night with the baby.
37. He puts Timmy and Natalie to bed every night after reading books and singing songs with them.
38. He will play outside in the cold, brisk Michigan winters and during the hot and humid summer months even if it involves dragging kids around in sleds or wagons.
39. He is not afraid to say "I love you" to me and the kids.
40. He thinks I'm funny and somewhat smart.
41. When he picks out clothes for Natalie and picks out a shirt that says something about Daddy.
42. His drawings that he makes with the kids are fantastic.
43. He works long hours to support our family so that I can stay home with the kids.
44. He realizes that when I complain about the kids that it doesn't mean I don't like doing being home with them.
45. He doesn't make fun of me and the kids for naming inanimate objects and actually joins in the naming of certain objects like our vehicles.
46. He doesn't get ticked when he comes home from work and the house is trashed.
47. He tries to replicate my favorite meals from restaurants.
48. He has introduced me to a whole new world of music and TV that I didn't think I'd ever really be into like Phish and 24 (back in the day).
49. He has the kids make cards for people on special days.
50. He is an overall smart, sexy, handsome, sweet, funny, genuine guy that I love with my whole heart. Not just half of it.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

FAIL! And Updates :)

Yep. I totally failed at blogging more frequently. OOPS. Oh well!

So what's new around here?


With Sammy: He will be seven months old on Monday! He is learning to sit, can roll from back to front, and gets on his hands and knees and rocks. It won't be long and he will be a mobile baby! Well, he is now but only in reverse.

He had his first (and my first) choking experience a couple weeks ago. I had to do the baby heimlich. Scary! Thankfully he was just fine and even laughed afterwards.

He loves to eat! His favorites are squash and pears. The only food I've come across that he really shows any dislike for is peas. He is the first of my babies to like the baby food meats LOL!

He had surgery recently to correct his Hypospadias. He did great and is all better now!

He is currently 17.5lbs and 28" long! Big boy! He just got his first big boy car seat as well - he has moved up to a MyRide!

With Natalie: Miss Noodles is as funny and feisty as ever. She loves to yell at us and constantly tells us to "stop it!" Though usually it's irrelevant to anything going on at the time. She also likes to say things are "scary" and she does it in this sad little tone.

She has starting showing an interest in the potty and has even had a few days where she's worn underwear! She still has accidents but has also started going pee in "Timmy's potty" as well. Such a big girl!

She counts all the time now and with help can count to twenty. She also knows her abc*s and can recognize probably half of the letters now. She loves to sing and dance and does both all day long. Her love right now is being a ballerina and will rip off her clothes and wear only a tutu and her ballet shoes for most of the day and will spin and spin saying that she is a ballerina. We've started calling her "Natalina Ballerina" after her favorite show and she answers to it.

She still loves Gabba. She also loves Bob the Builder. She adores her brothers "Baby Sammy Salmon" and "Hiffy" more than anything. She's been quite the daddy's girl lately too.

With Timmy: Timmy is still our silly almost FOUR! year old. He has days where he is nonstop naughty and days where he is so good and helpful. Some days I see a light at the end of the tunnel that the worst is over with his terrible toddler years and then other days all I wait for is the kids to be in bed and to sit with a glass of wine and unwind. He is so sensitive and emotional - I love that about him. He cares deeply for everyone and is so observant to so many things. He has a phenomenal photographic memory and while driving around town can recall where things are or were - things like where certain ArtPrize entries were located, like Steam Pig and the car that had all sorts of junk plastered all over it. The kids always ask about Steam Pig so I told them he moved to Arizona. Heaven forbid we ever actually go to Arizona and I have to explain why we can't go visit that blasted pig.

Timmy's love is Bob the Builder. He loves to go out and dig. I think it's because Timmy loves Bob so much that Natalie does too. She wants to do everything her brother does. In turn though, Timmy loves to do anything Natalie loves as well so lately he has taken to stripping down to his underwear and being a ballerina as well. They are inseparable best friends.

He is doing really well in preschool. He seems to be that kid who is friends with everyone including the teachers. His best friends still remain Lucas and Ryan. He constantly talks about them and recently drew pictures for them at home and made me mail them to his friends. He also talks a lot about Charlie A and Paige C. Recently he has mentioned Spencer and Sam as well.

He had a regression recently with using the potty but a trip to the doctor last week including a finger poke to check his blood glucose helped him get back on the right track. He went five days in a row with no accidents! This is huge considering there were some days when it would be one accident after the other. He really doesn't want to go back and have his finger poked again.

Timmy has learned how to write his name! T-i-M. Though sometimes it's upside, backwards, or mixed up - but he can do it!

With Wriley: She smells like crap and scares the kids. She annoys me but I still love her.

With Me & Chris: We got a new van! We will be getting rid of McCoy soon. We now have a 2003 Olds Silhouette. Power doors, heated leather seats, DVD/TV set up, and to me the most exciting thing is that it has sliders on BOTH sides, not just on the passenger side. We're moving up in the world! This is the most exciting thing I have to share about us, haha.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Puke & Packing Peanuts

My husband was in two Fantasy Football leagues this season, as he is every season for the last several years. This year he won one of the leagues and in this league, the winner receives a giant trophy.

Said trophy arrived in the mail today. It arrived in a big box. Coincidentally (or not?), this week in Timmy's preschool it was Box Week - they created things with boxes, hid in boxes, played in boxes, decorated boxes, etc. Well, Chris opened his trophy and inside was a delightful assortment of long pieces of paper, bubble wrap, and packing peanuts. The box was also the perfect size for not only a three-year old to fit inside, but also for a two-year old. Both Timmy and Natalie climbed in. It was fun for them, playing in the packing peanuts. They threw some up in the air, popped the bubbles on the bubble wrap, crinkled the paper, and enjoyed the fun that only toddlers can. (Except for maybe the bubble wrap - Chris and I both enjoyed that a little too much.) I was focusing on their fun and not on the mess they were making. Most of the contents did remain in the box, so Chris said, "I'll clean it up."

Today is Thursday, so Chris needed to go upstairs and change for basketball. I stayed downstairs with the kids and was rocking with Samuel. Samuel felt that during this time it would be appropriate to regurgitate his previous meal all over me. I was clearly not thinking when I went upstairs to change my clothes and get the puke off of me. Chris said, "I fear what they're doing down there," as we listened to the laughter and shrieks of delight coming from down below.

"I've learned to not fear it and just accept it," I told him.

I am pretty sure Chris regretted saying, "I'll clean it up."

BTW - Packing Peanuts are incredibly static-y. I mean, so much that when you put them in the trash they fly out the top and stick to the wall. This being said, Chris and I ate ham out of a bag for dinner and the kids had a fruit bar, an orange, and a banana.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Resolution Update

Well, we're four days into the new year and I'm doing pretty well! I even read a book! Granted it was 53 pages, but it was a book no less. And it had me bawling. I got it free on my phone and holy cow...tears. The Glass Case was basically about a young mother of three dealing with the loss of her own mother during a scary moment in her life.

I also started back up on MyFitnessPal (add me - mommy2tns - if you have an account!) and am getting a lot of encouragement from my fellow July PR mommies.

Sam is getting two teeth! He also was able to push his chest off the floor today. This is big since he's never really been into tummy time.

That's about it :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

First Blog of 2012! Resolutions...

I am posting my official resolutions for 2012 here on my blog so that I can be held accountable for them.

[one] I am starting the year off at 165 lbs. By the end of the year I will be down to at least 135 and be maintaining a healthy weight.

[two] For Lent this year I will be giving up all pop and alcohol.

[three] My 366 project will be a picture of Sammy for every day of the year. This is my third year doing a yearly project so I know I can stick with this. Two years ago it was a random pic each day for a year. Last year I did a pic of each kid for every day of the year. I would do the same this year but Tim and Nat were so sick of the camera that I don't want them to hate having their picture taken so I'll only do it with Sammers this year.

[four] I will blog at least once a week.

[five] I will keep a handwritten journal so that I can remember all of the important moments of 2012 like the kids' milestones and funny quotes.

[six] Back up all of the pictures I have on my old computer, Chris's work computer, and Cherie's old computer. Delete them from hard drives so that there is more memory available.

[seven] Read a book every month. I love to read but never stick with a book that I start. My book for January is She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb. I have actually read this before back in about 2005 and started rereading it again last month, but I didn't get very far. I will finish it by the end of the month! I am taking recommendations from everyone for books you think I'd enjoy. Books I enjoy - auto/biographies, mysteries (but not heavy ones and things with too many story lines. I won't even touch a book if it's thick like Clancy books LOL), and family-oriented novels. Books I do NOT like or won't read: Potter, Twilight, Romance fluff crap, and anything that will leave me crying for weeks because it involved the deaths of twenty-three children.

[eight] I will play with my children more doing things they want to do. I will get on the floor and pretend to be a "Dino-Rex" if I have to. (Dino-Rex is what Natalie calls dinosaurs) I will play outside with them even if it's freezing cold or a thousands degrees outside.