Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My Birthday Bed & Breakfast Experience

At around 6:45am, I was told to go back to bed by #2 and #3 (they didn’t have to ask me twice!). You see, today was my birthday and they were determined to make it special! I heard many things clanging around in the kitchen, some bossy instructions given, and then a few minutes later, the smoke detector going off. Just like when I cook! They were chips off the forty-year old block! Before I could leap out of bed, I was told "everything's okay" and the fan above the stove clicked on. Smoke alarm stopped. Smoke alarm started again. Again, that is a somewhat normal occurrence with me and I was reassured a second time that everything was okay. I hear a little more arguing and then my breakfast "tray" was delivered bedside. On it I had two very think pancakes spread with grape jelly (we must have been low on the strawberry jam), sliced apples and bananas, apple juice and coffee that was so strong I sprouted three chest hairs when I took a sip. But, the looks on their faces were priceless so I choked it down! 

Then, they left me alone to enjoy my breakfast in peace (which I shared with The Dog...I'm just not a big breakfast eater that early in the morning and I didn't want to hurt their feelings). I was just so delighted that they took the time to bless me this morning! They tried their hardest to make me a tasty breakfast without burning the house down in the process. Then, #1 gave me the sweetest, handwritten card at a little surprise shindig The Husband put together after dinner. What a wonderful family....

I am one incredibly blessed woman! Thank you, Lord!

Monday, March 29, 2010

FORTY Eight Hours (Gulp)

Three months ago turning forty didn't seem so bad, in fact, it seemed somewhat exciting. I made my little, unrealistic "to do" list for the year. I mean my thirties were far better than my twenties, so I was ready to take it to the next level....c'mon forty. Bring it. Show me what you got.

However, two days before this momentous occasion I'm not feeling so adventurous right now. I just feel so. Not. Thirty-something. As if my own body has prepared to cross this bridge to the middle-aged side, I have dark circles under my eyes that seem to shout to the world "I'm going to be forty and look, it ain't so pretty!". And, the most startling question remains...Am I now too old to wear flip-flops?

Don't get me wrong...I'm still smiling (despite worrying that all that smiling and laughing I do is wreaking havoc on my crow's feet and every other wrinkle on my face). I moisturize and color my hair a little more often than I used to. Bermuda shorts are as short and daring as I will go and I'm considering a one-piece bathing suit with an ankle length skirt sewn into it (something circa 1902, VINTAGE, baby). But, it's still me....busy little bee. I can still cartwheel through the backyard and somersault off the diving board (neither of which is graceful in the least bit, but I do not kill myself performing them and that's what really matters). I can get three different kids to three different activities within a thirty-mile radius all in the same night, find them all at some point, and bring them back home. And, of course, I'm still leaping those tall buildings in a single bound...or, something like that.

Forty...not quite over the hill, more like reaching the peak and enjoying the view for a season (I hope!)!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

An End in Sight?

My sweet #2 has completed what I think is the last "test" since July for her undiagnosed stomach pain. She has had tubes and tubes of blood drawn, gotten to know her pediatric gastroenterologist quite well, had her gall bladder scanned, drank barium, sat still for ultrasounds, and yesterday, was heavily sedated for an upper GI scope.

We have ruled out cancer, ulcers, hernias and a handful of terrible things. Her levels on all of her organs except her pancreas are normal (and, he thinks that was a fluke, they are checking them again). He took microscopic samples of the lining of her esophagus and stomach to check for allergies and a bunch of other medical things I have no idea what they are. He is leaning towards diagnosing a form of IBS that occurs in the stomach, rather than the intestines (so, technically that would be ISS??). Nevertheless, he said until he gets all the results back from the samples he took, it is too soon to tell.

The poor girl still feels weak and sick to her stomach, but that's it for the testing. I told her we have done pretty much all there is to do and she will feel better soon. The Husband and I have really been asking God for her to be healed and I know that is His desire, too.  It's difficult to see the people you love suffering; however, God understands suffering and will always use it some how for the good.  She was feeling really sick last night and afraid to go to sleep until I told her that God's word says that He sends ministering angels to us and that her room was filled with them! She smiled at that thought and was asleep within five minutes!

She is such a brave girl. This was her third IV she had to get since October, in addition to having four tubes of blood collected at a blood test. I could tell it was starting to get to her yesterday, but she held herself together and has been a blessing to the medical staff by cooperating (usually with a smile on her face).

I snapped a few pictures with my cell phone while we were there yesterday and I took the most hilarious video of her eating a popsicle all loopy. Sadly, I can't get the video to post on here.  It is really entertaining, but you'll just have to take my word for it!

She got her pick of the stuffed animals and happily added Max, the Portuguese water dog to her collection!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Common Sense? Not So Much.

Yes, yes, yes...I'm still up in arms about this healthcare bill. I seriously prayed last night that President Obama would have an epiphany and not sign the bill into law this morning. I thought maybe if he actually sat down and READ some of it instead of listening to greedy special interests telling him what he needs to do (or worse, Nancy Pelosi), then some common sense would have him saying no way, ain't gonna sign it. The majority of America does not want this healthcare bill to be passed....why? Why? Why? Talk about taxation without representation....geesh!

My obvious displeasure over this "historic" event (it's historic alright) caused a little shake up over on facebook. But, guess what? Everyone sing with me,...."it's my status and I'll post what I want to, post what I want to, post what I want to......". And, unlike some of the extremists out there, I'm not a name caller. It's funny though the same people who said horrible, hateful things about President Bush are the same people name-calling now because many of us have voiced our contempt of a terribly flawed piece of legislature being shoved down the American people's throats. I have two words for those people. Grow up.

I want to make it clear that I do support some of the measures in the bill. I believe that children need to have access to quality medical care, no matter who their parents are and without pre-existing conditions interfering. I also think that it would be great for small business owners to be grouped together so they have the buying power of large corporations when shopping for health insurance. My major problems with the bill are the price tag attached to it and the mandate that by 2014 every American must show proof of health insurance. That is unconstitutional. It's not like making me get car insurance in exchange for the privilege of driving a, I must get health insurance for the privilege of what? Living in America? Huh? Of course, I already have health insurance, so the only difference I'll really be seeing down the road is very, very long waiting periods to go see the doctor (if there are still any doctors left when this debacle is played out?). Well, at least there are vitamins and Motrin to hold us over between visits.....unless those are highly taxed now according to page 1027, clause d in the bill (just joking).  But, something has to pay for all this excess spending and it sure isn't going to be the proposed cuts to Medicare......

I have quite a few Democrat friends and we can usually spar somewhat playfully, but I encourage both sides not to take things too far by making it personal. We are all Americans. And, quite honestly, America doesn't need reform, it needs revival. Hurting hearts need a healing touch that healthcare bills can't give them.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

(Not So) Revolutionary Weight Loss Secrets - Part Two

To read "Part One" click here....

I picked a bad day to finish writing this post. Except for playing tag with the kids at the playground and the "L" and "T" of my breakfast BLT, I was not a very healthy person today. However, perhaps that will make me seem more real. And, perhaps, I gained back six of the sixteen pounds I lost and my results, unlike Nutri System, are typical.

Weekends are the two steps back for every step forward I seem to take. Busy, social, fun and lacking any of the normal weekday routine, I have a much harder time sticking to a healthy lifestyle. I will find a way to overcome this....I just haven't arrived, yet!

I can still share with you some tips that work well the other five days of the week. Specifically, I am referring to water and sleep. These are both very good ways to win the hunger battle. When I feel like I'm craving something unhealthy or in large quantities I grab a water bottle instead and chug. If all else fails and I feel like I must grab the chips or ice cream, I just go to bed. Yes, even if it is 8:40 pm, I go to bed. Ever since I went on the Daniel Fast earlier this year and cut out the caffeine (which I now only consume about half the amount I used to prior to the fast) I sleep more. I have very little problem laying in bed at night trying to fall asleep, in fact, my mind starts to nod off sometime around 6:30 pm. I find myself driving at night sometimes wondering which kid is where and how do I get to them....just kidding (98% of the time). This increased sleep allows me to arise and shine after only hitting my snooze button about four times when the alarm blares at 6:00 am.

My final suggestion is to weigh yourself like the woman in the picture. Haha! I stole this picture from Beautiful Grace! Really, my remaining tip is to sneak in the exercise. When I can't make it to the gym, I can play tag at the park, jump on the trampoline, or park my car further away in shopping plazas. Even #3 said to me today, "Hey Mom, let's just walk over to that other store, it's good for us!” Plus, enjoying the physical activity with my family or being outdoors puts me in a better mood!

Obviously, as I mentioned above, I have not arrived at my goal, yet. I may have suffered a bit of a setback this weekend with all the junk I put in me, but I really am not discouraged. I will be back at the gym tomorrow and I'll pack a big salad for lunch. If I want it bad enough, I will make it happen. It is really just simple math when it comes down to it. I have to burn more than I am taking in. No secret, no easy way and no one can do it for me! However, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

Friday, March 19, 2010

(Not So) Revolutionary Weight Loss Secrets

I'm about to let you in on my weight loss secrets. For just three easy installments of $49.99, I will share with you the secrets of how I have lost 16 pounds since January and if you act now, I'll throw in a free set of Ginsu knives. Well, not really...nothing I'm about to share is that revolutionary.

I decided this year (like every year of my life since the age of 14) that I was going to lose weight. Since I'm turning forty, I thought that would motivate me to lose forty pounds and I sure as heck don't want to be having to lose fifty pounds at fifty or sixty pounds at get the idea. And, everyone likes to remind you of your metabolism slowing down when you hit forty. So far, I think that already happened to me when I turned 39! Like I mentioned, I've lost at least 16 pounds (it may even be 17 or 18 this week, I didn't weigh myself, yet) and if I don't eat anything else this year except from noon to 2pm on Sundays, I may lose the other 23-24 pounds!

Here are the basics:

I'm eating about half the amount of food I'm used to. Half a sandwich, half a bagel, half a box of Girl Scout cookies, you get it. Portion size was a huge obstacle for me and I have slowed down eating. When we go out I automatically cut all my food in half and pack it in a to-go box. I also threaten my kids if I eat more than one piece of bread from the bread basket they will be grounded, so I expect them to dive across the table and pry it out of my hands. This really works! I'm just kidding, but it's not such a bad idea....

I exercise even when I don't feel like it and think I don't have time to do it. This has been a big boost. I have learned to tell my body to shut up when it complains about going to the gym. Then, I crank the iPod and make sure I play music that is motivating. My favorites are Toby Mac and the soundtrack of Another Cinderella Story (during the one live song I always pretend the audience applause is for me and then I run faster). I also like KJ52 and an occasional Miley Cyrus song. And, Double Dutch Bus is another good one. When I feel like I'm going to slow down or lower the incline, I try to find someone on TV that is a professional athlete...I then pump myself up by reminding myself I'm in 1/25th of the physical shape they are and I need to narrow that gap. That usually helps push me to keep going! It was especially motivating during the Olympics!

To be continued since it is time to get kids off to school.....

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I'll Show You March Madness!!

Just come over and look at my calendar! Madness I tell you, pure madness!! I seriously should not even be blogging now (I gave up my shower today to do it...just kidding! I'm waiting for the dryer to beep and the microwave to finish defrosting ground beef for meatloaf...I'm always the little multi-tasker!).

With the premier of our gorgeous weather has come the chaos. Chaos in the form of planning multiple PTO events, play practices, soccer, softball, volleyball, doctor and dentist appointments, birthdays (mine and #1's, whose party is tomorrow night. My 40th birthday has been pushed back to 2011 since there does not seem to be time this year to celebrate), and the countless other things that come up on a day by day basis, like the lovely present the stupid dog left me this morning on the living room floor. She told me the leprechauns did it, but this pile was nearly as big as a leprechaun so I wasn't buying it. It did have a greenish tint to it though.....

As if to mock me, timers are beeping left and right!  My time is up!  Children will be ready to be picked up and I would love to have time to Swiffer my bedroom floor that somewhere, under all the dog hair, has lovely Pergo-like laminate. You all can relate, right?  Rock on fellow domestic divas...keep saving the world one load of laundry at a time!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

They Are Not So Scary After All


We adults were all teens at some point, so why is it that we soon forget the angst associated with the adolescent years?  Sadly, I've spent my fair share lecturing my own teenager until her eyes glaze over and she tunes me out.  I used to assume most of them were walking bundles of hormones and raw emotions waiting to spill out all over me, or worse, that they just stare blankly at me when I would try to connect with them.

I've been helping with our youth group for two and a half years and there were some weeks I asked God why I kept coming back.  I don't have the WOW factor that draws them to me like some of the other younger adults that serve or the people that have been there for years and years.  I'm someone's mom.  And, then it clicked.  I'm a MOM.  I can be safe and encouraging to them.  I can be their cheerleader and I can also pray for them when they have been hurt or made bad decisions.  I can walk in a way that says don't fall away from the things God has called you to do...don't be distracted and disapointed by people and circumstances.  So, that is why I have kept going back to serve and I am so glad I did!  I have grown very fond of these teens and my fellow youth staff workers.  We are like a family, facing the triumphs and difficulties together and going after God with a renewed hope day by day.

I would encourage you today not to write off teenagers as disrespectful and disconnected.  Instead, open up a world of opportunity for them and be an encouraging "spiritual" parent!

** this was a non-paid advertisement trying to promote new youth workers (a.k.a Spiritual Moms & Dads) within our church family under my own provocation without being asked to do so by the church staff, pastors, mailman, or the guy who delivers water jugs to the water coolers.  No teens were harmed in the writing of this post.  Void where prohibited in Nebraska.  Possible side effects may include hilarious laughter and tears in your eyes when they make you proud.

Friday, March 12, 2010

More American Idol Rambling

Anyone watch American Idol last night? You know....the show where you aren't really the most talented singer, but you get to be in the Top 12 because you're cute? Yeah...that show.

I really can't complain too much since my three favorites made it in (Crystal, Lee and Andrew in that order). But, with Lily being sent home over Katie last night...that just goes to show you who is texting in their votes.

Girls with David Archuleta and Justin Bieber posters hanging up in their rooms.

And, that worries me that my top three may be going soon despite the amazing talent and diversity they have brought to this show. do I say this....they are are "old"? American Idol is like counting in dog years, so if you are over the age of 21 you better start singing songs that younger people know and love. All I have to do is watch my own kids watch AI. They love Aaron (age 16), and admit Katie doesn't sing as good as the others, but they still like her and #1 insists that Tim will stick around longer than Andrew because "girls like him, he's got pretty eyes". Singing....psshhh. Overrated!

Thus, the drama has sucked me in for my first season ever and it is quite extraordinary how far they have all come in such a short amount of time!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Growwwllll!! Please bare with me as I am having some layout issues....hopefully, my computer will not self destruct as I try to iron out the wrinkles!!

Please stop back in a bit when I have something to write about other than the large handfuls of hair I have been pulling out most of today regarding this issue. Then, when I'm up and running I'll be sure to post pictures of my bald head.

I really should learn how to use a computer as well as my ten-year old one of these days....

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

You Know She's My Daughter....

I am often told that #1 and I look so much alike, but the funny thing is that we act even more alike (it must be that first born, bossy, drama queen gene that we share). But, another topic of conversation is some of the embarrassing stuff that happens to both of us. I have her permission to post the following story that happened yesterday (and, I only hope I can do it justice because listening to her tell it in person, half shrieking out a re-enactment was hilarious).

She announced to half of her Latin class she had to pee so her teacher let her go to the bathroom (I wonder if they still call them lavatories like when we were in school??). She used the "lavatory facilities" and discovered her stall had no toilet paper. Since it was the middle of class she figured no one is going to be in the bathroom, so she was safe to pull her pants only halfway up (to avoid dripping??) and pulled her sweatshirt down and started to waddle out of the stall to go into the one next door. Except when she was between stalls a "little sixth grade BOY" had just walked into the bathroom. She literally shrieked at him "GET OUT!!!!" and his face turned bright red and he ran out the door (probably never to be seen again, I'm quite certain he must have changed schools in the last 24 hours). She said she felt so bad for screaming at him and scaring him, but she totally re-acted without thinking. I'm sort of okay with her scaring him so he never accidentally or purposely walks into a ladies bathroom again. She may have done him a favor!

Then, I picked up her and some friends after school so they could decorate t-shirts at our house for an upcoming field trip. She had a great idea to write their names on them. So, they did and they looked great. Only she spelled her own name wrong.

Is it possible to have given birth to my twin?