Sunday, January 31, 2010

My Magic Blog?

Week before last, I posted about Teagan's lying problem.
Within a week, she got a loud and clear message at church about lying.
*** I've posted several times about my dining room,
wishing we could eat there as a family.
Friday, we did.
Yesterday I posted about not sleeping well...
Last night, both kids stayed in their beds until 6:00 this morning.
I gotta wonder what I should start working on next... hmmmmm... any ideas?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Ah, Sleep... My Faraway Companion...

Sleep seems to be a little fairy that no longer flits past our house.
Zach has taken to coming to our bed every night. Jeff and I are ok with co-sleeping. We co-slept with Teagan until she was almost 2 and then she got her big girl bed and was done with us. Zach never wanted anyone close to him when he was sleeping. Until now. He's a restless sleeper- he wants us close to him and will keep that connection by any limb-to-face contact possible. He also has to have his head on a pillow- preferably one of ours. Jeff and I often agree that we will start taking him back to his bed at night. The problem is that he manages to sneak into our room, into our bed... so you wake up with toes up your nose and have no idea how he got there in the first place.
Teagan has started coming to our bed about an hour before the alarm goes off. And then she and Zach are pushing and kicking each other in between Jeff and I.
Which all means that no one in our house is getting a good night's sleep. Which means there are a lot of early morning crankies.
Last night, my mom came through town. Spent the night and she's off to Chicago to visit family this morning.
We don't have a guest room so an overnight guest means interesting sleeping arrangements.
We ended up with Grandma and Teagan in Teagan's bed. Mommy and Zach in Zach's bed. And Daddy got our bedroom all to himself.
Worst sleep. Bad sleep. Awful sleep.
Zach was restless and kept THUNKING into the wall. He'd bang his head into it or flop his leg into it.
I was crammed into his twin bed with him scrunched between his restless self and the "don't fall out of bed" thingee on the outside of his mattress. Because I was in a scrunched up space, my hands and fingers kept falling asleep and I would wake up to roll over and would have Novacaine appendages.
My mom had trouble sleeping in Teagan's room and ended up getting up around 1:30 and going out to the living room. I then hear her in the kitchen... and then making space to lie down in the living room. She settles in.
And then Teagan starts her whimpery whiney thing. I wait for it to abate but... she's escalating. So I crawl over the "don't fall out of bed" thing and get Teagan and take her in to sleep with Daddy.
I slide back up into Zach's bed.
And the kids end up bounding out of bed by 6 a.m.
We went to bed at 10:30. We were up before 6 a.m. And people were awake lots of various times over the course of those hours.
I long for a solid night's sleep. Just one night. One night where we all go to bed at our bedtimes and then we all sleep all night long in our own beds and we all get up around 7 or so.... refreshed, well rested.
People keep telling me that when my kids are teenagers, I'll miss these early mornings and the times they need me overnight.
I look forward to the opportunity to miss out on these early mornings and sleepless nights. Really, really, really look forward to it.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Fragments: 1.29.10

It's Friday! Time for Fragments- all those random little pieces of the week that fill in the last day oh so nicely! Swing by and see Mrs4444 (she's been sick this week- send her get well wishes) and join in!!
BIG NEWS!! After a year of nagging, reminding, encouraging, and threatening... I have my dining room back! Jeff totally surprised me. I came home last night, went into the kitchen and there.... through the doorway... my dining room table, set with plates, a clean floor. There is still a lot of stuff in the area- and I'm ok with that. I just want us to be able to sit at the table and eat a meal together. And now we can!!
This week on my Zen... I've been watching Showtime's Weeds. It's definitely addicting and funny and I am enjoying it. I'm just a few episodes into the second season right now. I do totally LOVE the music and am already eyeballing the soundtracks. I'd love to watch United States of Tara, season 4 of Dexter, season 4 of Big Love, season 2 of True Blood (and season 3 comes this summer)...
And the hits just keep on comin'... Zach has pink eye. Jeff and I covered the day home with him yesterday. I took a vacation day to be home with him today. Can this boy please get healthy and stay healthy? He is, at least, happy and having fun!
I totally wrote a fan e-mail to a couple of missionaries yesterday. Ha! There's a first time for everything! I spent some time on the Livesay's Haiti blog- and what touched me so deeply was to go and read the birthday stories of each of their kids. Click over, scroll down until you find the pictures of the kids, click on the pictures to go to the stories and then tell me you didn't cry at least once!
Jeff has been in super-duper husband mode this week. He's been stepping up to help more often, he made dinner one night this week, he got the dining room done, he's been doing laundry and washing dishes. It might seem like he's "after something," but he really isn't (he gets plenty of "something" without touching a dish or laundry basket).
Has anyone done a Walk to Emmaus before? I'm considering doing it this April...
Weekend ahead... a pancake breakfast Saturday morning (fundraiser for our local food pantry), Sassy gets groomed (our groomer comes to our house- it's awesome), church... menu planning, grocery list, shopping.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Venting Compassion

I finally talked with Teagan about the earthquake. I hadn't known how to approach it with her. We've kept the kids sheltered from the news and such. But they are doing a mission thing for UMCOR health kits through Sunday School so I knew there was a chance she was going to hear about it somewhere. We sat down and talked about what "earthquake" means. And that the one in Haiti was a big one. And that the people of Haiti were already really, really poor and that the earthquake broke most of the homes and buildings. I did show her some pictures of rubble and broken houses- carefully screening and selecting which images she saw. We looked at a map to see where Haiti is located compared to Indiana, Ohio (where Grandma lives), and Florida (where Mimi and PopPop used to live and where she has friends go on vacation).
She asked if we could go to Haiti so we could help them. I told her that we can't go right now- but that maybe we can go when she is bigger. She smiled and hugged me.
She's not yet 5 and she's been venting compassion since she was 2 or 3 and started picking out toys to donate to Goodwill and started helping me pick out food to donate to the food pantry.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta wrote a blog entry last week about "venting compassion." Please take a moment to go and read it. And then reflect- do you vent compassion when faced with a crisis impacting others?
I saw a piece on today about the distribution of aid in Haiti. I can't begin to know what the problems are or how to fix them. But my heart breaks when I see these people fighting to get to a relief truck full of bags of rice and they are being forced back, sprayed with pepper spray, in an effort to keep the peace. It's been reported that many in Haiti are only getting to eat about once every three days. And that isn't a meal once every three days. That's some rice. Maybe some beans. A snack- 1 time every 3 days. Parents have to watch their children starving, dying from dehydration.
I've read stories of awful medical situations... stories that are heartbreaking and hard to read. But also stories that bring hope and are uplifting.
I don't have answers and won't pretend to know how to fix or help the people in Haiti or the helpers in Haiti. The only thing I can do is pick up items for health kits when I go to the store... and pray. I continue to make daily visits to the list of blogs in my sidebar and my goal is to leave a comment on each one each day to let them know that I am praying for them, that there is support and concern and hope and love from far away. It isn't much- but it is my own way of venting compassion. The news about Haiti is already fading. The reporters are leaving the ground, heading home. The stories aren't getting the same attention and you have to search a bit to stay informed. But the people of Haiti are still in crisis. It hasn't gone away, the crisis hasn't been stopped, the needs haven't been met.
I hope that we can all make a commitment to keeping Haiti- more importantly, the people of Haiti- in out hearts and minds. That we don't forget them or their situation. That while we can't physically fix the problem, we can be mindful of what is going on in our world.
And that there are countless ways to to vent compassion now, in the future, for Haiti, for others.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I'm Fat Because My Brain Is Overworked

NPR reported this week on "Willpower and the 'Slacker' Brain From the website (but please go and take the 7 minutes to listen to the story- good stuff): In his book How We Decide, and in a recent Wall Street Journal article, Jonah writes about an experiment by Stanford University professor Baba Shiv, who collected several dozen undergraduates and divided them into two groups. In the WSJ article, Jonah writes: "One group was given a two-digit number to remember, while the second group was given a seven-digit number. Then they were told to walk down the hall, where they were presented with two different snack options: a slice of chocolate cake or a bowl of fruit salad." And then he writes: "Here's where the results get weird. The students with seven digits to remember were nearly twice as likely to choose the cake as students given two digits. The reason, according to Professor Shiv, is that those extra numbers took up valuable space in the brain — they were a "cognitive load" — making it that much harder to resist a decadent dessert. In other words, willpower is so weak, and the prefrontal cortex is so overtaxed, that all it takes is five extra bits of information before the brain starts to give in to temptation." It turns out, Jonah explains, that the part of our brain that is most reasonable, rational and do-the-right-thing is easily toppled by the pull of raw sensual appetite, the lure of sweet. Knowing something is the right thing to do takes work — brain work — and our brains aren't always up to that. The experiment, after all, tells us brains can't even hold more than seven numbers at a time. Add five extra digits, and good sense tiptoes out of your head, and in comes the cake. "This helps explain why, after a long day at the office, we're more likely to indulge in a pint of ice cream, or eat one too many slices of leftover pizza," Lehrer writes. ******** Take a moment to hop over to the WSJ article: Blame It On the Brain Willpower, like a bicep, can only exert itself so long before it gives out; it's an extremely limited mental resource. Some simple tricks can help. The first step is self-awareness: The only way to fix willpower flaws is to know about them. Only then can the right mental muscles get strengthened, making it easier to succeed at our annual ritual of self-improvement. The brain area largely responsible for willpower, the prefrontal cortex, is located just behind the forehead. While this bit of tissue has greatly expanded during human evolution, it probably hasn't expanded enough. That's because the prefrontal cortex has many other things to worry about besides New Year's resolutions. For instance, scientists have discovered that this chunk of cortex is also in charge of keeping us focused, handling short-term memory and solving abstract problems. Asking it to lose weight is often asking it to do one thing too many. In another experiment, Mr. Baumeister and his colleagues gave students an arduous attention task—they had to watch a boring video while ignoring words at the bottom of the screen—before asking them to drink a glass of lemonade. Half of the students got lemonade with real sugar, while the other half got a drink with Splenda. On a series of subsequent tests of self-control, the group given fake sugar performed consistently worse. The scientists argue that their lack of discipline was caused by a lack of energy, which hampered the performance of the prefrontal cortex. For instance, Prof. Mischel has found that four-year-old children who are better at resisting the allure of eating a marshmallow—they get a second marshmallow if they can wait for 20 minutes—are the ones who sing songs, play with their shoelaces or pretend the marshmallow is a cloud. In other words, they're able to temporarily clear the temptation out of consciousness. (Prof. Mischel has also shown that these "high delayers" go on to get higher SAT scores and have lower body-mass indexes as adults.) Because they know that willpower is weak, they excel at controlling the spotlight of attention: When faced with candy, they stare at the carrots. ******** I have to say... I take some comfort in this research, in these reports. My willpower is often lacking. I easily give in and have struggled with labeling myself an emotional eater- I've never felt that my weight gain is a result of eating to stuff emotions or soothe emotions. Yes, food and emotions are certainly interlaced very tightly for me- as for lots of people. But in periods of stress, I tend to turn away from food instead of toward it. And when I do turn to food for comfort, I do so very knowingly. But I'm a busy mommy. I have so many people I attend to, so many tasks I take on. I know my limits and I say "no" when I need to and I only do things that I want to do. But my job requires a lot of problem solving, putting out fires, follow up. I have things to do each day when I come in and I leave with a list of things to start back on the next day. But if my brain is truly on overload... it makes sense that my house isn't as clean or organized as I'd like. It makes sense that I struggle with making good food choices or choosing to be physically active. According to the article, distraction is the key. It isn't about the willpower to make the right choice or the willpower to not pick up the "bad" food... it's about finding a distraction- finding something else to focus on. I struggled at the gym today. Christy and I opted to do the offered group "boot camp" class. It's more of just a group class- lunges, squats, wall sits, cardio, core work. Just constant activity for 30 minutes and more challenging than just walking on the treadmill. I did better than I thought I would but was also surprisingly... ashamed... to be exercising with 3 very healthy people. We kept up with them. But I felt like I was certainly struggling by the end more than the others. Distraction at the gym? What can I do to distract myself when I'm struggling to keep going, to push harder, to do more? I had a great elliptical (that super duper version with the arm things and the up down back and forth motion for the legs) workout one day when I just plugged in my Zen and watched half of a Doctor Who episode for the entire workout. Distraction. Is it possible that I could distract myself from ice cream by staring at grapefruit? Can I distract myself from a second helping by getting online and checking some blogs? I've got a lot of thinking to do on this subject. Not too much, obviously, because I don't want to go into immediate muscle failure. ******** Progress Report: It's been 3 weeks since I posted my I'm Fat Susan post. The first week, I was in an awesome place. I was working out at the gym, I was on the Wii Fit Plus at home, I was making good eating choices. I was excited about getting back to "normal." Then that blood showed up in Zach's urine. I was derailed. The second week, I have no idea what I ate or how active I was. I know that it simply wasn't a priority. I'm clearing my head from all of that and working on getting back on track. I'm struggling, to be honest. But I'm going to try and stay distracted... Update on Zach: Urine and blood work came back "negative." Which means normal. Which means we go in for surgery / procedure / scope on Feb 9. They knock him out. They do a scope up through his penis and look for things to be growing wrong, too small, too big, abnormalities. They fix what they find. Outpatient procedure. Had a huge rant with the nurse who handled our test results... I had called Friday because I hadn't heard anything. She looked into it, called me back and left me a voice mail. "I have Zach's results. They came back negative. I'll put these on Dr's desk to review on Monday morning." That was IT. I don't even know what all they tested for or looked at. I didn't know exactly what negative meant- it's a result that has different meanings for different tests. I waited until Monday afternoon for more information. The thing with dealing with this very large specialty practice is that everything is compartmentalized. I had to leave a voicemail for the same nurse to get information on the test results. And when she called me back- she gave ME attitude because I didn't correctly understand her message! And the kicker? Our triage nurse to our old urologist- the one who is a mom at our daycare- also didn't know what we meant when we were told it was "negative." Several nurse friends have been unhappy with how that whole thing was handled. /rant ******** Just typing out those 2 updates is shedding some light on why my brain might be so overloaded. That's just 2 of the things that are priorities- or that I am trying to make priorities. I haven't even scratched the surface... disorganized and messy house, kindergarten for Teagan, finances and tight budget, when to move Zach to preschool, potty training, my aging doggie, Haiti, things at church, and don't forget the brain function required by my job! There is just a lot I'm passionate about, a lot that is important to me. I'm surprised I don't weigh a full ton!! And those are just a few current things requiring concentration these days... I've got plenty more... My poor little prefrontal cortex simply can't stand all the information I'm loading in.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

When God Speaks... aka A Solution to Lying

First, let me say that I had NOTHING to do with this. Our pastor doesn't read my blog and wasn't aware of the situation that happened last week.
We have 2 services at church- early service is a much smaller service and far fewer children attend. This past Sunday, there were only 3 children in first service. This means that Pastor Rusty can get a bit more intimate with the kids during Small Talk (the children's sermon).
So Pastor Rusty is sitting on the steps with the kids. He's got Teagan on his right side and 2 other kids gathered in close on his left side.
He starts talking about things we keep and things we get rid of. He talks about how God is with us all the time and how God won't ever trash us.
Teagan is actually listening- I think because it was just 3 kids. Usually she just sits and stays quiet and repeats words when asked to but doesn't really seem to listen to what's being said. But this time, she was very attentive. She was making silly, exaggerated faces- but faces that were appropriate responses to what was being said. An extra large grin, a grimace, etc. She's really invested in what Pastor Rusty is talking about.
And he talks about God wanting us to trash things we don't need- and not just stuff but also choices we make.
God wants us to trash things like being mean to people...
He looks at the 2 kids on his left. He turns to his right, looks directly at Teagan and says...
And LYING and NOT telling the TRUTH all the time.
I couldn't have paid him to do it! I couldn't have come up with it so perfectly! Yay for direct messages from the Big Guy upstairs!!
Her eyes got BIG. She seemed to sit up and pay attention while shrinking back at the same time. She didn't look at me- which is good because I was having to cover my face to stop from cracking up!
During second service, there are maybe 70-80 kids up front. Rusty walks in front of them, moving back and forth. Less of that personal connection. So this time, when he said the words "Lying" and "Not Telling The Truth," he wasn't looking at her... so she did look at me. And she smiled.
We talked about it later. I was relaying the story to Jeff- just the facts, not the reenactment of Teagan's face or anything. And I was explaining what Rusty was saying to the kids- about throwing things like lying in the trash.
Teagan looks at me and says...
I already threw it in the trash!
I hope so, Teagan Ann. I really hope so.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Traveling Teddy

We had a special visitor this weekend. Traveling Teddy is a little stuffed bear that goes home with a different Yellow Room student each weekend. The parents and student take Teddy everywhere they go for the weekend and then journal about the events. Photos are encouraged.

In other words- blog it!

Here’s our entry- simulated here for your viewing pleasure:


1/23 – 1/24

We were so excited for Teddy’s visit! Teagan found a special place for Teddy to sleep- her dollhouse!


First, we gave Teddy a bath. We followed the instructions on the tag on his leg. It was fun to give Teddy a bath!


We played at home- doing puzzles and then we both put on headbands. It’s Pumpkinhead Teddy!



Daddy and Teagan took Teddy to Conner Prairie to play! He enjoyed the dollhouse, gardening, and he even milked a cow!




Teagan brought Teddy to her cousin Corbin’s basketball game. Our team won! Yay!


On Sunday, Teddy sang at church with Teagan’s Mommy. We also took Teddy to the grocery store and he loved seeing so much honey by the peanut butter!

We also watched the COLTS GAME! Can you tell who my new friends are?


Teagan Elmo Teddy Touchdown Monkey


2 pictures somehow got missed when I placed the print order- one of Teddy singing at church…


And Teddy at the grocery store…


That last picture should have tipped us off.

There are the… other pictures…

See, Friday night, we kept hearing strange noises. I woke up and swore I’d heard the fridge door open and close but… nothing. Jeff thought he heard something rustling around on the couch.

So we set up a motion detector camera and were shocked at what we found out about Traveling Teddy! I think he’s earned his name because he really gets around!! Fair warning- these images are NOT safe for children! Oh, the shame!

Teddy! A fight club? Really? Oh… Teddy…


And I am far too embarrassed to tell you about what I found on my laptop’s history… oh… Teddy…


And that fridge noise? He drank my wine! I don’t know what the legal age is for stuffed bears but I have to imagine this is NOT legal! Oh… Teddy…


And then… most horrifying… his wild night culminated into a brazen evening with a sweet honey… oh…. Teddy… For SHAME!


Fair warning to other parents who welcome Traveling Teddy into their home. Lock up your honey bears!! They aren’t safe with this party animal around!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Peeking Over From Karen's World?

I just found out that Karen has graced me with the honor of being her Blog of the Week!
A Peek at Karen's World
She said very nice things about me... I hope you enjoy your peek around Eternal Lizdom!
It's hard for me to write up introductory posts about myself- so if you have questions (whether you are a new reader or not)- please leave a comment and I will answer. Any question! Bring it!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Do You Know What Today Is???

JANUARY 23, 2010





Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Fragments: Jan 22

It's FRIDAY!! Wahoo!! Head over to Mrs4444's place to participate and visit the other Fragmented Folks! Click the button above to be whisked away to her magical land!
I am now a Regular Contributor for Today On The Interwebs. I discovered TOTI through Blogs of Note early in my blogging career. When a call for help went out, I threw in my hat and, after 2 test posts, have been asked to contribute regularly! Yahoo! So now I scour the internet for interesting tidbits, links, pics, jokes, fun stuff, silly stuff. Feel free to e-mail me ideas!
We attended an informational meeting at Teagan's school about Kindergarten as offered through Little Explorers. We have briefly looked at our public school option... and Little Explorers is a hands down winner for so many reasons. We were 95% certain we would keep Teagan at LEP- it's been our plan since we chose it. But I'm all for exploring all my options. So we looked at what our local district offers and attended this meeting at LEP. To be honest, there are 2 factors to choosing LEP for Teagan's first year of "real" school. 1. Our experience has been beyond our high expectations. 2. Teagan deserves to have Miss Sally as a teacher for this first foundational year of learning. Miss Sally is a treasure- a rare find, in fact. She's been teaching almost 34 years. She's been married for 37 years, has 5 kids, 7 grandkids. She's a genuinely happy, perky, passionate, kind, compassionate woman. She is so excited about teaching- and about learning. She is a huge part of why we chose LEP- she made a big impact on us when we visited the school a year ago. So while tuition will strain the budget for another year... I really think it will be worthwhile because I think Teagan will continue to thrive in the LEP environment.
I've been using my little Creative Zen player at work for the last 2 weeks. Here's something crazy... I am uber-productive when I have a series that I am working through. Right now, it's the new Doctor Who series. Previously, I've gotten caught up on seasons of Dexter, True Blood, Chuck. And during those weeks, I always get work done at a crazy pace. These past 2 weeks... I've cleaned my desk, my e-mail inbox is actually completely read and in motion (compared to having an average of 100-200 unread messages, I'm maintaining at 3-5 unread but that are only unread because I need to follow up or take further action), I've kept up with phone calls and voice mail, I've gotten reports done and orders done and projects updated. I haven't been this productive in a long time and it feels really good. The bad news? I'm almost done with the last season of Doctor Who and the next season doesn't start until the spring. I'll have to find something new to get loaded up!
Garret recently suggested that I need to do another silly, fun post. I've done a few goofy things here and there and he's right- it's been a while. So I'm open to suggestions! Got something you want me to try? Something for me to explore? Give me a topic and I'll find something fun for it!
I was successful in my task for last weekend- we took down the tree and put away indoor decorations! We started out with the kids helping but it was soon obvious that their help wasn't helping. Jeff called his dad and we got an afternoon without kids to get some stuff done around the house! Even better, my kids got an afternoon with Pop-pop and Aunt Lindsay and had a GREAT time!
Because my blog needs more pie... if someone would like to make me this beautiful Pioneer Woman pie... Mocha Silk Pie... I would be in heaven!! Coffee... Kahlua... Chocolate... Does it get any better??
I have been totally lacking on picture taking and sharing lately. Need to do better on that.
I've been visiting those Haiti blog links daily- and making sure to leave a supportive comment, letting them know I'm praying for them. I hope it lifts spirits.
I have a fun project in the works with a Kiwi blogger and an Aussie blogger... I'm eager for it to happen so I can share it with you guys!
Happy Friday- have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Where Is God?

On my Haiti post, Seth left a comment- "I am tired of God allowing so much pain to occur in our world....." I won't claim to have the answers. But those words... I could feel the hurt and confusion. I've been in life situations that involve deep hurts and I've questioned why bad things happen. Sometimes it is easy to point to a person and see that they are making evil choices, that they are led by Satan, that they don't follow God's path. Sometimes, we are left with questions that have no answers. And the earthquake in Haiti is certainly the type of disaster that leaves us wondering... how could this happen? Why did this happen? The very hard thing about being human is that we have free will. We have independence. We have the ability to make our own choices- and suffer the consequences and reap the rewards of those choices. Because we have free will, there will be people who don't always follow a good path and will hurt others, kill others, destroy lives and families. There are always going to be natural disasters. Earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis... devastating disasters. Hard to see the suffering, hard to accept that these awful things occur. I think Haiti is even harder to witness because there was already so much pain, suffering, poverty. I guess I could point to the government, the police, the corruption and say those are people misled by someone evil, somewhere. This brings me comfort but will leave more questions for others. I don't need to point to the evil. I don't need to know why. I accept that natural disasters happen, evil things happen, people get hurt, are hurt, are abused, are killed I don't need an answer to why. Because I have faith. I believe that God gives us independence, free will. I believe that God is with us- especially in the most difficult times. I guess I feel like God has to "allow" the bad things to happen because that's part of having free will. Our life on earth isn't about living a calm, content, peaceful, happy life. That would have been the Garden of Eden. Life is about making the best choices we can in whatever the circumstances. When terrible things happen, I don't question God's purpose or involvement or seek answers to unanswerable questions. Instead, I have faith that God was there when the earthquake hit. He carried his children home because it was their time to go. He protected some, he soothed and comforted others. He cried with us and for us. Instead of looking to God for answers or to place blame, I remember His entire purpose in our lives- and sometimes that includes death. No one likes to say this next part... but I also believe that there are good things that comes out of bad things. I wouldn't be who I am if I hadn't survived all that I did. We are formed by the events that happen around us and to us- good and bad. I won't say that God set up my life so that I would be abused by my cousin. But I will say that God gave me the tools and opportunities to do something positive and right with that life experience. Where is God? Closer than you can imagine. How can He allow this to happen? Because He "allows" everything to happen- good and bad. To me, God isn't controlling everything that happens. God is grace, hope, solace, love.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

URGENT: Indy Families Who Are Eligible To Adopt

If you live in the Indianapolis area... if you are feeling called to adopt a child from Haiti...
I don't know all the requirements- But there is a plane of orphans coming from Haiti to Indy and Safe Families is looking for homes for all of them. The response has been very good so far but they really want to find qualified families as permanent placements for these babies and children.
Please visit the Safe Families Haiti blog for more information!!!

My Lying Genious

Lying is developmentally normal. It's a creative exercise. And it is one of the most frustrating behaviors to deal with. Teagan lies. And I just found out that she's been consistently lying at school for about 2 weeks. Sometimes in normal small ways- making up a story in order to compete for attention. But it's gone further than that. She lies to get other kids in trouble. She lies just to make things happen. The big lie today was when she was asked to go and ask another teacher a simple question and report back with the answer- "How many kids are in your class?" She did that. But then took it a step further. "Oh, ok, 9. Um, you need to send half your kids to my class and we'll send half our kids to you." After no kids came back over... and confusion as to why all these kids came back with Teagan... the 2 teachers figured out that their trust had been totally played. It isn't so much the lying in response to confrontation or lying as a way of getting the attention she sees someone else getting. It's the lying about other kids and making up complete fabrications. Before I go any further... I have a confession to make. I used to be a liar. A big time liar. A lie about everything for no reason liar. So I can totally see that "self" in my daughter and it scares me. I lied to protect myself, to keep my actual self buried deep inside, to direct attention the way I wanted it. At the end of high school, when I got serious help through some intense therapy for all the issues stemming form the childhood abuse I survived, I came to my senses. No big epiphany. But I think I learned my biggest life lesson ever when I told my mom my biggest truth ever- that I had been abused by my cousin for several years- and she immediately believed me. I didn't deserve her trust because I had lied and lied and lied since I was about Teagan's age. I lied so much that I believed my lies sometimes. But that one huge Truth and my family, my mom and dad, believed me... trusted me... helped me... that taught me more about love and honesty and trust than any other lesson ever could. Back to Teagan and our school issue. School has a plan in place to manage the behavior there and will be communicating with me so we are all on the same page. But it rocked Teagan's socks when I brought up here little class switch story. I focused on her not being in trouble (one of her loops- "I don't wanna be in trouble"). But we needed to tell Daddy what had happened. I did so- very matter of factly, no tone to my voice. Just the facts, ma'am. And at certain points... Teagan's cries escalated and she'd proclaim "I don't wanna be in trouble!" My reply? A simple explanation- "Teagan, what you are feeling is guilt." And then I'd go back to the story. Bedtime... we talk some more. I talk pretty straight forward with her because she's in the right place for it. The loop is gone and she's open to it. So I tell her... That I think she's a very, very smart girl. And I think sometimes she has really great, smart, fun, creative ideas. And when your brain works as hard as hers does and is so full of ideas... she has to figure out what things are ideas, solutions, games and what things are made up stories- lies. And that when she takes her ideas and tries to tell them like they are real, she hurts herself the most. Yes, she hurts Mommy or Ms Lori or Ms Carly... but she hurts herself the most. Because, for example, Ms Carly really believes the things Teagan says and Ms Carly and her other teachers know that Teagan can be a great helper and be very responsible. But when Teagan tells lies, that means she can't be trusted anymore. And that means she can't have special jobs or responsibilities any more. And that means that her lie she told- and those brief moments of feeling good- end up with her hurting herself. Here is what I know absolutely for sure. I don't and won't question her about lies. At home, when she's caught in a lie, she doesn't get chances to come clean or whatever. She lies and we just call her on it. "Teagan, that's a lie. We don't tell lies in this family because trust is an important part of this family." That's it, end of story. I don't want explanations or stories or questions. Here's the behavior, here's why it isn't ok. I also think it's a clear way for her to not get the attention she is seeking when she lies. I won't lie to her about lies. I've read suggestions where you tell your child they have a light that comes on in their forehead when they lie... Um, why would you lie to teach your child not to lie? makes no sense and goes against everything I said in that statement above. We don't tell lies in this family because trust is an important part of this family. Please share your experience with kids and lying. I'll take any advice I can get on handling this one!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


We have entered the Dinosaur Age... The kids are both really into dinosaurs and Teagan even had a week about dinosaurs at school. One of our favorite PBS shows is Dinosaur Train (even when it is so very scientifically wrong). Through all of this, Teagan has learned about carnivores and herbivores.
At dinner, while taking a bite of chicken, Teagan announced that "This is meat! We're carnivores!"
Jeff and I agreed and were excited about her expression of retained knowledge. We also went on to explain that humans eat both plants and animals so we are actually omnivores- we eat everything.
Teagan's response...
"Yeah! I'm one of those! I'm a dinosaur that eats everything except I don't like broccoli so I'm whatever dinosaur eats everything except broccoli."

Monday, January 18, 2010

In Recognition of MLK, Jr.

EDITED TO ADD: Just caught this on NPR... a newly discovered, previously not heard or transcripted speech from Dr. King! I hope the transcript is made available very soon.
There is no preaching I can do that will match the words of a man as great, as humble, as spiritual as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His words, his mission, his work has continued on but is still very hauntingly relevant to today. Instead, I would just like to encourage you to do some reading, some learning, some listening. Maybe your knowledge of MLK, Jr is just what you learned in school... maybe you wonder why there is a day dedicated to this man in the first place. He was a minister. Read his sermon "Paul's Open Letter to American Christians." From Nov, 1956 but surprisingly relelvant to the same arguments we have today. Through your scientific genius you have made of the world a neighborhood, but through your moral and spiritual genius you have failed to make of it a brotherhood. So America, I would urge you to keep your moral advances abreast with your scientific advances. You can work within the framework of democracy to bring about a better distribution of wealth. You can use your powerful economic resources to wipe poverty from the face of the earth. God never intended for one group of people to live in superfluous inordinate wealth, while others live in abject deadening poverty. God intends for all of his children to have the basic necessities of life, and he has left in this universe "enough and to spare" for that purpose. The tragedy is not so much that you have such a multiplicity of denominations, but that most of them are warring against each other with a claim to absolute truth. This narrow sectarianism is destroying the unity of the Body of Christ. You must come to see that God is neither a Baptist nor a Methodist; He is neither a Presbyterian nor a Episcopalian. God is bigger than all of our denominations. If you are to be true witnesses for Christ, you must come to see that America. Always be sure that you struggle with Christian methods and Christian weapons. Never succumb to the temptation of becoming bitter. As you press on for justice, be sure to move with dignity and discipline, using only the weapon of love. Let no man pull you so low as to hate him. Always avoid violence. If you succumb to the temptation of using violence in your struggle, unborn generations will be the recipients of a long and desolate night of bitterness, and your chief legacy to the future will be an endless reign of meaningless chaos.
Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963 Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech, December 10, 1964 I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits. I believe that what self-centered men have torn down, men other-centered can build up. I still believe that one day mankind will bow before the altars of God and be crowned triumphant over war and bloodshed, and nonviolent redemptive goodwill will proclaim the rule of the land.
His final speech... given the day before his assassination. I See The Promised Land. Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the promised land. And I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.

And just in case you've never listened to the entire speech, never read each word... take a few minutes to listen to I Have A Dream. And then stop and think about how the dream still applies today... how there is still inequality, disparity, pain and suffering... and think about what you can individually do to make the world a better place... even if just for one person... to be the positive changes you want to see in the world... to be a small ripple that just might build to a giant wave.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Loop

Could someone please explain to my daughter that waking up the entire family at 5:30 in the morning is really not such a good idea? Especially when she wakes us with her "loop statements." At bedtime, she has 2 or 3 standard phrases that she uses and repeats and never actually takes action on but thinks that she will get attention from. "I need to tell Daddy something." That's the first sign of trouble. As soon as she starts needing to tell Daddy something, we've entered The Loop. Getting back out is hard and almost always involves fighting and tears. "I don't want a spanking!" This one pops out of her mouth when there is no threat of punishment, no parent in the room, no actual physical threat of any sort to her. I do admit she has been spanked a few times but I'll also tell you that we are not a spanking family. It's a phrase she uses as part of The Loop. The first phrase is delivered with a small voice and a constant whine. The second with a big whine and louder voice. They don't always go together but are often part of the same conversation. No, not conversation. That would imply that we engage her. We try hard not to do so. After a bedtime meltdown and not falling asleep until 8 p.m., I was surprised when Teagan came into our room at 5:30 this morning. Zach had already come to our bed in the middle of the night, as is his habit. Teagan typically comes in around 4:30 and climbs into bed and sleeps with us. This morning, she climbs up to the foot of the bed and starts The Loop. "I need to tell Daddy something." The key to knowing you are in The Loop is that she will never actually have anything to tell Daddy. Ever. No matter how you respond, there is never an actual question or statement that follows. However, when you do try to contain the situation, phrase 2 pops out. "I don't want a spanking!" I had picked her up and was laying her next to me, on the outside part of the bed- where she normally climbs up and falls asleep on these mornings. And what I got was that phrase. The funny thing is, when she whines that urgent demand, it triggers an impulse to smack her. Good thing Jeff and I have impulse control. This morning, she managed to wake the entire family in about 60 seconds. So now we are tired and sleepy and cranky and having a hard time responding positively to the demands and needs and wants and complaints of our daughter. I'm slightly baffled and a little ticked off because she's normally pretty considerate in the morning- comes in, snuggles up, no problem. It's not like we've never talked about needing sleep. It's not like we've never talked about sleeping more and not waking moms and dads in the middle of the night. So if you see me today and seem a little zombie-like, no worries. It's just that my daughter woke up in The Loop.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


I wish I could say that I know that everyone is heartbroken over what has happened in Haiti.
I wish I could say that everyone wants to be able to fix it, help, ease the pain.
I wish I could say that everyone is willing to go to any lengths to assist, to aid, to help, to heal.
But I've found out over the past couple of days that not everyone actually feels that way. That's a hard pill to swallow.
Some think the Haitians somehow brought this on themselves.
Some think our tax dollars shouldn't be spent on aiding the country, the people.
I'm thankful that there are people who see beyond the politics. I am thankful that there are organizations who are aided by government dollars and by private donations who are stepping up. I am thankful that there are individuals who have economic resources that are donating far more generously than I can.
I plan to donate things- I have sacks of little girl's clothing in Teagan's closet. A time will come when donations are needed as lives start to rebuild. I have excess in my home that someone else is now without. I'm content with waiting until my donation can be most helpful.
I pray. Often.
I've added a short list of bloggers I found that are in Haiti. Primarily US citizens who have given their lives to work in Haiti through ministry groups. I encourage you to visit their blogs and read their stories and to share words of encouragement with them. I've also added information about donating to an organization that I know gives all of your donation directly to those in need (donations don't go to administrative costs)- UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief)- and that offers donation opportunities (non-financial).
What breaks my heart... when I think of Haiti, I think of orphanages already caring for children beyond their capacity... I think of poverty beyond anything I can imagine... I think of the slum villages built onto mountainsides... and when I think of the earthquake... and I see the pictures of crumbled orphanages, a children's hospital that is just a pile of rubble, the bodies layering the streets... and I hear about front end loaders and dump trucks being used to move bodies... and I think of the families who can't find loved ones, haven't heard from children, husbands, mothers...
Politics and Image suddenly don't seem so important, suddenly aren't part of the equation.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Fragments: TGIF Edition

It's Friday. These are Fragments. Mrs.4444 is our host- click the button to visit her. 'Nuff said. So, so, so glad to put this week behind us. Even if we don't have answers, we at least have the big hurdles cleared. 1. This doctor is taking it very seriously and will find us answers. The reccurence of the bleeding is an indicator of something being wrong. I was very prepared to fight to find answers so it was a weight off of me to have the doctor pick up the fight for me before it even started. 2. No tumors on the kidneys or bladder. Biggest fear. Ultrasound shows his insides are developing and growing and healthy. *** We had Teagan's first ever Parent Teacher Conference this week. The adorable thing was that Jeff was seriously nervous! We didn't hear anything shocking but we did love hearing about our girl in this school environment. In many ways, she's already learning at a Kindergarten level so there is no hesitation about her continuing on next year. She's a star student, a leader, a people pleaser, a helper. Everyone wants to be friends with Teagan. She's crazy smart. Biggest behavior issue, right now, is lying. But they love her- and who wouldn't?? *** Christy and I went through the car wash recently and were rather tickled by the sign below... especially the part about listening for it...
I have angels watching over me. I don't want to brag and I don't want to embarass my beneficiary... but there is a mom I know through a local moms' website and on Facebook and she reads my blog. The other day, she read my post about how I was carrying my stress in my back and shoulders. She sent me a message... she just happens to have a gift certificate that she isn't going to use... and she wants to send it to me... a gift certificate to a spa for a massage. Can you believe it?
Within a few hours of my daughter's weeping about death, my great-uncle Ed passed away. My mom wrote a letter to my kids about Uncle Ed and about his passing and it is one of the most beautiful things I've ever read. Just a small part of it:
God has a plan for our lives. We celebrate the good times such as when a couple gets married or the birth of a precious child. We are sad when someone dies. We will always have happy times and sad times. The joy caused by your mother and dad getting married and the birth of the two of you will help me deal with my sadness of losing Uncle Ed. Most of the time people are old when they die and have a lot of pain. I think they are happy to be with Jesus and not hurt. I think they know what goes on with us after they leave us. I will have lots of little conversations with my Uncle Ed in my head now. I won’t forget him, ever.
I love my mom.
I'm really hoping we aren't the only slackers who have yet to take down the Christmas tree or turn off the outside lights... I really have to get on that this weekend. Really, really.
My Doctor Who obsession continues. I love love love it!!! The best part is that I come home each day and Jeff and I talk about the episodes I watched and what we each thought of them. But the show is so well written and so creative- I just enjoy it. And since I'm watching 3-4 episodes every day, I have total Doctor Who Brain. My thoughts have a British accent. I keep thinking of the things I could solve if I had a sonic screwdriver.
I think that's it for today. If you aren't sure what all is going on with us right now- this post is a good place to start.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

No answers. Nothing urgent. No tumors. Testing urine and blood. If they come back clear we do scope/surgery Feb 9.

On Death and Dying

How do you talk to your children about death?

The only time we've had to really touch on the subject was when our dog, Ginger, died. It was unexpected. It was the middle of the night. We went to sleep and she was fine and when the kids woke up... she was gone. Her stomach flipped and I rushed her to the emergency vet and the most humane option we had was to put her to sleep.

Teagan quickly understood what we explained- Ginger's body stopped working. We wouldn't see her anymore.

Teagan understood it more than we realized. As the months went by, she would bring Ginger up from time to time. 2 years later, she still comments on Ginger when she sees a dog similar in appearance. About a year after Ginger's passing, Teagan burst into tears in the car and, when asked why she was sad, she said she missed Ginger.

For about 2 months or so now, Teagan has been asking about Mommy dying. "When are you going to die?" "I don't want you to die." "When you die, I will miss you forever."

I have no clue where it is coming from.

I kept my involvement with the Graddy family very separated from home and conversation over the summer. I talked about it one time- she and I dropped off a meal at their home and when Teagan asked why we were doing that, I told her that their Mommy had died and lots of other mommies were doing things to help them now. She asked no questions. Had no emotional response.

But for these last few months... tender moments... when she feels loved and cared for in a special way by me... that tenderness opens up that painful, dark place and she becomes worried, scared, concerned.

Wednesday night, it was the worst response yet.

She and I are laying on her bed, the only light coming from her nightlight. We are talking and enjoying each other's company. Tell me about your day, about dancing, about school, about work, about lunch. Then she turned to me, threw an arm around my neck and started in on the death talk.

I gave the same responses we always give. And I'm feeling like I'm not finding the right answers. I can't promise that we will never die. I can't make myself lie to her that deeply. My words tend to be, "Mommy isn't dying. I'm here and with you and happy. Let's be happy that we are together and enjoying each other right now! We don't need to be sad when Mommy isn't dying!" Or sometimes I try a more validating approach, "I would be very sad, too. But you would still have so many people who love you and who take care of you."

We talk a little about God and heaven- but I don't want there to be too much confusion on that subject. I don't want her to think that there is a physical place where dead people go and continue to live without their loved ones. We touch on the subject but I'm not ready to get that deeply metaphysical with her just yet.

But last night... she was expressing deep concern about what would happen to her and Zach if Mommy and Daddy died.

So I explained it. Aunt Christy would take care of her and Zach. Plus, there would still be so many other grown ups that love them and would care for them- Grandma, Grandpa, Mimi, Pop-pop, Pastor Jennifer, Miss Lori and her teachers, Miss Lisa and so on.
She went deeper still. "I don't want to not live in my house." "Aunt Christy doesn't know about my school and where to take Zach!"

So I explained the plan. Aunt Christy would move in to our house. Aunt Christy is often present for taking to school and for picking up from school. Aunt Christy is often there to pick up Zach from daycare and knows where Lisa lives and Lisa knows Aunt Christy. Aunt Christy would take Teagan and Zach to church every Sunday. Aunt Christy would have Grandma and Grandpa and Mimi and Pop-pop and everyone else coming to visit and continue to love her and Zach.

She wasn't convinced or calmed.

I offered to call Christy. No answer. So I called Grandma. As I explained to Teagan, Grandma is well informed on our intentions. And Grandma at least got the crying stopped with what she said to Teagan.

Jeff laid with her while she fell asleep.

But I'm feeling lost and confused and I don't know what to say or what to do. She does have the type of personality that I can easily see her carrying this below the surface, a stress point. I've felt that way so many times- love is so very close to fear and intense love brings fear into realms of reality that I was previously ignorant of...

Death is a part of living. I don't fear death. Yes, I get sad when people die- but it is sadness for those left behind, for the void that can't be filled. But my faith is very strong when it comes to death. I very much know that God is there, God mourns with us, and God carries us home. Even a horrible death ends in peace.

But how do you relay any of that to an almost 5-year-old without scaring and scarring her?

And what on earth do I do when she figures out that Aunt Christy's mortality is just as at risk as ours?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Just an FYI...
So many have been praying for us, for Zach, this week and I am so deeply moved.
I have been touched by the support and kind words and some very kind actions that have happened recently.
Zach's appointment is at 2:00 EST tomorrow (Thursday). I will post an update here on the blog as soon as I can- maybe even mobile from my phone.
I'm continuing to feel calm and confident about the situation and am hopeful that there will be an easy answer, an easy fix. No matter what- Jeff and I are ready to fight through it, head on.

Handling Stress

I thought I was really doing pretty well with stress this week. I had my cleansing time on Sunday and was really as at peace as I imagined I could be. I felt a sense of calm about all the things going on. Tonight, after a very hectic evening (busy schedule), I asked Jeff if he would mind rubbing my shoulders since I felt a bit of a headache coming on. Heavens. To. Betsy. The PAIN. I apparently took my emotional stress- like, all of it... every shred, every whisper, every hint... about Zach, about Teagan, about money, about work, about friends, about the universe- and slammed and stuffed it all into my shoulders, my neck, my back. Even after a very nice and relaxing massage from the Mister... I can now feel just how tense I am. Emotionally- I'm cool as a cucumber. Physically- My body wants to fire me. Anyone know a good, free masseuse?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Wii Fit Plus

One of my favorite Christmas gifts from Jeff was my Wii Fit Plus. I worked on the Wii Fit last year, as you may recall. But I worked at it for 2 months and enjoyed it immensely and then just... stopped. But now I'm back! I was scared to get back on that board... to know how much I'd gained back... to see how many days had passed... But it wasn't horribly scarring. 300 days. 12 pounds. I can manage that. The real joy? My kids love it. We've done exercise every night after dinner, before bedtime. The new games and aerobic exercises are really fun. Bike riding, skate boarding, rhythm kung fu, snowball fight, obstacle course. You can choose a Wii Routine that takes 3 exercises and runs them one after the other- or you can create your own routine. Either way, it eliminates the down time between each exercise. Jeff is also enjoying it- because he has a bunch of stuff he gets to laugh at me about! Me- falling off the board during a yoga pose. Me- flapping my arms like crazy as a bird. Me- losing my balance and flailing about to get back on course. Anyone else enjoying the Wii Fit Plus? I'd really like to get in better shape and in about 3 months, move up to EA Active. Update on Zach: While Monday morning phone calls involved scary words like "pediatric urologist" and "bladder scope," we are set to see a pediatric urologist on Thursday afternoon. Zach will first have an ultrasound and then we have a consult with the doctor. At that point, I assume we will have an idea of what's going on inside his little body and determine some next steps. Also, we got the lab results back on his rash- it's a staph infection which just means it's bacterial and we are treating it correctly (oral antibiotic and antibiotic cream). The rash is remarkably improved. Our doctor says that the blood in his urine is not due to the staph infection. Now we just go day to day until Thursday and see what happens next. I'm choosing not to worry. Worry does nothing for us- I've turned it over and am remarkably at peace and calm about all of it. I'll post Thursday evening about the doctor visit.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Lessons Learned

You know what I love?
I love when God slaps me with a big old lesson at the exact moment that I need it.
As soon as I walked into church Sunday morning, I felt fragile. I found immediate comfort in the faces of my music family- Jennifer, Ashli, Victoria, Kirsten, Lucy, Lori. We start our quick pre-service warm up / practice. And we get to the second song... and I can't even start to sing it. I turn off my mic and set it down and am just crying. Crying. Kirsten stops and hugs me, lets me hold on for as long as I need to. And I feel like I can't stop. I'm not hysterical. I'm just overwhelmed with this huge mass of worry, concern, love, warmth, and just... everything.
I cast all my care upon you
I lay all of my burdens
Down at Your feet
And anytime I don't know
What to do
I will cast all my cares upon you
It's not that there is some terrible tragedy going on right now. It's just this unknown... it's that I thought it was done... we had chalked it up to "one of those things" and been done with it. And now it's either back or there is some new problem. And hopefully we find some answers this week.
But then I was at church, with my church family, with God, with my worries and a slap me in the face reminder... no, clear instructions... to let it go. To turn it over. Not because I shouldn't take action, seek advice, take care. But because, as the sermon's message reminded me, what I have is today, now.
So an evening with family and then fun with friends... good food and a little wine... time with my church sisters and deep connections to God through music and communion and reminders through music and the sermon... and I'm feeling so much at peace this afternoon. So blessed, so content, so grateful.
I don't know what the week ahead will hold- doctor visits, phone calls, tests, who knows? But I know that I've got great support from my bloggy friends and readers, my family, my friends, my church family, my faith. What I have is now and today and my needs are met. My husband, my kids... we are here, we are together, we are having fun.
So I had this profound, grounding morning... and then come back to my computer to find this little old award from one of my new blog friends- Shell at Things I Can't Say.
And do you know what that little lemonade stand is all about? It's about having a great attitude and demonstrating gratitude. And that's what I'm going to have for this upcoming week- and all along the road ahead, no matter how unknown it is.
Blog awards always require sharing the love and I've been asked to share this with at least 10 other bloggers.
Special mention to Nancy and Ashli- real life friends who commented on my post about Zach's current goings on and the road ahead of us.
All those names up there? Those are the bloggers, friends, who took the time to read my concerns and offered prayers, support, hugs, encouragement. Only seems right and fair to give them an award that's about having a good attitude... about having gratitude.
While I did successfully collect 2 urine samples from Zach, I talked to our urologist's nurse- our friend. Because Zach is already on antibiotics, the samples would most likely come back with no information on the infection. So we are skipping the samples for the time being. But she has us at the top of the list and has already discussed us with the doctor- reminding him of seeing Zach at 8 months old, etc. I assume tomorrow will have some phone calls, questions to answer... and appointments to schedule. Maybe the samples will tell them what they need to know. Maybe more testing will need to be done. I just want answers and I pray that the problem is one that's easily remedied.
So if I'm in your heart, on your mind, on your prayer list... please keep us there for now. But I'm going to keep my focus on now, on today. I'm going to keep praying for the friends and family in my life that are facing hard times, harder times.
And I'm going to keep taking lemons and make some lemonade!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Brief Update

Not spending much time on the laptop this weekend.
We enjoyed a quiet morning at home Saturday. I met a friend for breakfast- a much needed time of connection and catching up. Then just laid low with the family for a while.
Jeff's sister's kids (Jillian and Corbin) turned 9 and we headed to their house for cake and ice cream- had a great time.
Brian and Christy came over for dinner and a game night. Ended up playing the game jeff got me for Christmas- Quelf. Much laughter, crazy laughter, out of control laughter- and exactly what I needed. Good food and great wine didn't hurt, either!
Zach has passed a small amount of blood at each diaper change. The rash is significantly improved. He takes his antibiotic like a champ and doesn't mind the cream. He is eating, sleeping, playing, drinking, and charming like normal.
Today's challenge... getting a urine sample. I had hoped CVS had something we could collect in- something designed for this task. No luck. We'll try Target tomorrow but... then we are on our own. And first morning pee might be easiest to catch, I dunno. Wish us luck!

The Road Ahead

One day... life is fine. Then things can so easily start to crumble.
When Zach was a baby... around 8 months... he had several incidents of small amounts of blood passing through his urine. We went the doctor. He sent us to a urologist. They took a urine sample but it wasn't a good sample for testing. They did testing that involved the hospital and a catheter and so on.
And everything seemed to be fine. I thought it was related to Tylenol since it happened after he'd have doses of it repeatedly. It can be hard on kidneys, etc. So we stopped giving him Tylenol and stuck with Motrin or Ibuprofin only. And it went away.
Fast forward to now.
Dec 10, we went to the doctor for help fighting a rash that had developed a couple of weeks previous and that we had tried everything to treat- desitin, boudreaux's, triple paste, lotrimin, nystatin, neosporin. Nothing helped. The doctor gave us a scrip for a cream. Tried it- and it didn't get better, got worse and his urine began to smell funny. Called the doc within a couple of days of seeing him and told him of the developments. He put Zach on an antibiotic and a new cream. And the rash got better and was almost completely gone by New Year's Eve. Then, Monday, it came back.
It's a strange rash. It's on his pelvis and genitals. Last time, it stayed there. This time, it stayed there but then started spreading to his inner upper thighs and buttocks.
As you know, he had a puking thing Weds night. Started at 6:30 and his last bit was just after midnight. He then went on and kept fluids down, ate a few solids, slept and rested all day, ended the day with some chocolate milk and was back to normal after that.
We went to the doctor Thursday afternoon for the rash and got a second scrip for the same cream and a scrip for a new antibiotic.
Back to day care today.
Have I ever told you how much I love our daycare provider? When we first started looking for a daycare provider, we knew we wanted someone who did daycare in their home so that our kids would have a home environment. We wanted stability, routine. And we wanted our provider to be a family member to our kids- not just a babysitter. Lisa is all that and more.
Lisa called me at work Friday afternoon.
Blood in Zach's urine. Once in his diaper, once in the potty... and concerned she might have seen blood in his stool (also in the potty).
I got off the phone- a mess. I called Jeff and cried. I called Christy- I was a mess.
I got calmed down, I got our doctor's office on the phone. Talked to a nurse and gave her as much information as I could. Waited for a call back... the doctor wants us to go back to the urologist. He's fairly certain this is beyond a dermatology issue and that the rash is a symptom of what's going on inside.
Here's the miracle... our urologist's triage nurse is one of the moms at Lisa's.
I left her a voicemail at the urologist's office. Jeff and Lisa talked to her at pick up time...
We are going to find a way to get a urine sample from Zach on Sunday. We then call that mom and she has offered to come to our house and pick it up and take it to work Monday morning.
So we have a short term plan to get things started. And next week, I imagine we will have a couple of doctor visits, maybe some testing. And plenty of worry and an unhappy boy who won't like being poked and prodded and looked at.
And a very worried and stressed Mommy and Daddy. And a big sister who doesn't understand it all.
At this point... I ask only for prayers, please. Prayers for comfort, strength, answers, action...
Meanwhile, we plan to enjoy our weekend as best we can!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday Fragments: Land of the Living!

Hadn't intended this to be a Friday Fragments entry but... it ended up being one anyway!
Zach is doing remarkably well. He was physically sick for about 6 hours.
It was good to be home with him yesterday for his recovery.
I discovered that my husband has an amazing ability- he can clean up puke with no hesitation or gagging. I get to do poop and blood- he gets to do puke.
Zach also has a weird diaper rash that we've been fighting since before 12/10. Made our 2nd trip to the doctor for it yesterday and are on our 3rd round of prescribed treatment. Doc took a swab of the rash to send to the lab to see what the culture tells us. Hopefully we get that result back today. He's on a second round of antibiotics (new drug this time) and we continue on with the cream.
Trying to get caught up at work- I had a nice organized pile of "to do" things for Thursday but now have to rush through that pile and get caught up from the new things that came up in my absence yesterday.
And someone stole my earbuds! They were on my desk when I left on Weds. They are GONE today. Isn't that gross? So I'll buy a new pair at lunch today because it's driving me NUTS to not tune in to music or have a little Doctor Who on my Zen... and I'll be locking my valuables in my desk every day from now on. Sad, sad.
Speaking of Doctor Who... Jeff's got me hooked on the "new" series. I watched the Xmas and New Year's episodes and loved it. So I'm starting from the start and am on Ep 10 of the first season. We watched the end of "The Empty Child" at home yesterday and Zach was hooked (no, we don't normally let our kids watch stuff like that- but he was zoned and half asleep anyway)... so much so that once we turned it off and got ready to go see our doctor, he was all excited, thinking we were going to see Doctor Who! It was very funny!
Back to your regularly scheduled programming... I'm hoping I can get caught up tonight on blogs- but my resolution, that I just confessed to, may have taken a hit due to illness!
Wow- I didn't mention Teagan at all! Eek! We worked really hard to provide her attention and one on one time and responsibility while Zach was sick. She had a hard time when he was the total focus Weds evening- in the midst of his puking. But she eventually figured it out and ended up being a helper. Lots of good stuff going on with that girl lately in terms of behavior. Still having some meltdowns and whining and all that... but I know that I'm handling it better and Jeff's handling it better and that's the important part!
Happy Friday!