Monday, December 31, 2007

To Resolve or Not to Resolve

With a new year a few hours away, I have been wrestling with whether to make any resolutions. And while they may be cliche and while I may have missed meeting my goals previously, I think I will plunge forward and make a few anyway. So without further delay, here are my 2008 resolutions:

  1. Exercise a minimum of 3 times/week (this can be at the gym, at home, outside, wherever, whatever, just try to make it a habit).
  2. Eat healthier (more veggies, whole grains, fruit, fish; less red meat, junk, unhealthy stuff).
  3. Continue with my PhD, even though I know it is going to be a challenge, keep positive and remember that if God brought me to it, God will see me through it.
  4. Lose a minimum of 30 pounds (hopefully more).
  5. Pay off a minimum of $24,000.00 in debt this year (hopefully much more).
  6. Revisit these goals on a monthly basis to see how I am doing, as close to the first day of each month as possible, provided we are not traveling.
  7. Get a pedicure at least every 2 months, sounds pampering, I know, but that is going to be my self treat and my feet are SO UGLY right now given that they have been neglected so much! This will be my treat resolution.

Wish me luck!

CC

Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Sick Shenzy

So the pinching of the wonderful Christmas actually hurt! Shenzy has had a cough and intermittent fever since last Monday, but not too bad. The fever got progressively worse as did the time between when she was feeling her feisty self, so I took her to the pediatrician on Friday. Diagnosis = she has a cold, bring her in on Monday if she still isn't feeling good. Okay, fine.

Saturday, she went down hill ever more and by 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning, I was throwing on some sweats, her coat, and heading for the emergency room. I try not to be dramatic about illnesses, but I personally know 2 moms whose young children have subsequently died from what seemed to be common illnesses, so that is admittedly in the back of my mind.

Well, given that we are "new" to our area, I had not been to either emergency room closest to ours, but decided on the one closer to the big town and it is also only about 2 years old, so it is a nice new facility. Whatever. We ended up waiting for almost 20 minutes for intake, despite the fact that we were the ONLY PEOPLE in there, and that was only because I went back up to the registration desk, with my 35 pound bundle of HOT baby girl, and "queried" why we were still waiting. We were seen within 2 minutes then.

She had a temperature of 103 in the ER, still very puny and lethargic, we were able to get a urine sample (for that alone I believe I should get mother of the year), and finally we were given a doctor, about my age, who said "I am not impressed" no less than 4 times - which was his idiot approach to bedside manner that was supposed to mean, this isn't this bad. Arrogant jackass. He initially stated that he would do a chest X-Ray, but that was just a precaution as he was certain she did not have pneumonia. Well, guess what, she has pneumonia. AND, possibly a urinary tract infection, which if she does (they are growing cultures) we will then have to consult with a urologist for possible structural issues with her urinary tract. Seems odd to me, but we will know more on Monday.

The nurse (or aide or whatever he was) then brought me her first dose of antibiotic at the ER so we could get her started on treatment and when queried about how much to give her of the remaining bottle before I fill her prescription, said "I think 8 ccs". I just stared at him as only a mother who has slept 0 hours in that night and not a full night's sleep in the past week could and said, for your sake, you had better do a quick calculation and make sure the medicine you just administered to my 3-year-old was the correct dosage and what exactly it is that I am supposed to give her at home. I literally saw the words law suit stamped on his reddening face as he apologized and did the calculation, showing me the numbers.

Then, as a final guffaw, Shenzy developed a shooting bloody nose, as in she was eating a Popsicle and all of a sudden the purple Popsicle was RED, in 1 second, it was scary. I got it under control, but it was all over her and her clothes, so I told her to sit still and went down to the nurses desk to inform them, and the doc and aide came tagging along behind me, to which the doc said "I am not impressed" again and when I gave him the I might hurt you, seriously, I might, look, he said, that is a good thing. He then asked what I wanted him to do??!!! I just looked at him and said "apparently nothing", and he flubbed around getting me some wet clothes to clean her up with, but what a MORON.

We have had an up and down day since arriving home at about 6:00 a.m., D had to preach at 3 services this morning, so I was home alone with all 3. Shenzy is good for a while, and then when that fever decides to spike, she is a miserable little thing all over again. We are doing our best to manage the fever and hopefully the antibiotic will help very soon, but good grief, I am exhausted and feel helpless.

This adventure has taught me that I will NOT go back to that ER unless someone has a severed limb and it is the closest place, that I am glad that I have good health insurance and it does not even pass my mind whether I can afford to go to the ER with my sick child, that I am glad I am outspoken and educated in the medical and pharmaceutical fields, as I can see how easily it would to be intimidated, pushed under the rug, unattended, etc. in that situation.

May Shenzy be healthy and back to herself SOON!

CC

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Best Christmas Ever

I am still in "pinch me" mode as I have just experienced a truly great Christmas. This Christmas with the kids was by far the best ever. They were truly appreciative of their gifts, they loved them, played with them, said thank you when appropriate (without being prompted), and then shared, played and DID NOT FIGHT with each other. The fighting has resumed a bit today, but not much. They are loving staying at home, relaxing, never taking off their pajamas, and having D and I full time just hanging out. Seriously, this is how every Christmas should be. This shows me that we need to just hang out at home more often than we do.

I snuck out of the house for lunch with a friend yesterday, but other than that, we have not left the "nest". D has to go to the dentist and to work for a bit today, but hopefully we will be snuggled back down to do not much again today. I have homework to do - still have 100% in my classes - let's hope that can continue! It is definitely much harder than I was anticipating, but I am already learning a lot.

Ahhh, so very relaxing!

CC

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Good Good Day

Have you ever noticed how the mood of others' influences you? I am aware of it, but not too much on a normal basis. My dear hubbie tried something on his unsuspecting family yesterday and it was rather amazing, so I will share.

Tuesday mornings for the last several years, D has fixed breakfast (sometimes cereal, sometimes steak and eggs - one never knows) for his senior high youth group. You might think, what kid in his/her right mind is going to get up and go eat breakfast at the church - before school? I would guess 0. Well, D has some sort of cool aura about him and the kids LOVE HIM. They come, at 6 in the morning, to meet and fellowship. He has taken them through some unique things over the years, with one of the coolest being the practicing of ancient prayer practices. He tries to make them aware of the larger world and to be more compassionate and understanding of others in this big orb we all inhabit. Yes, the reasons I love him are many.

Anyway, getting sidetracked, so yesterday, he came back home after breakfast and started telling the kids and yours truly that it was a "good, good day". How do you not respond positively to such a pleasant statement and the positively charged environment that surrounds it? He even managed to make Shenzy (of the morning Sybil personality) smile and become more pleasant. It was downright amazing the effect that his very positive attitude and mantra of it is a "good, good day" had on my the rest of the day. It worked on the kids too.

So, I wish to you all to have a good, good day. If you embrace it, you will!

CC

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Back to School - Do I Have Time?

So I have officially begun my PhD work. The degree is far removed from my previous education and daily work (BA - biology and MS - clinical psychology), so I am a bit intimidated as this degree will be in Public Policy with a focus on Nonprofit management and NGOs. While I am very excited, it has also already a bit overwhelming. One problem is that my paid employment has been OVERLY busy as of late and I have been working ridiculous hours to try to achieve something in like 1/4th the normal time. I get the fun projects:). Anyway, back to the degree, it is an online program (http://www.waldenu.edu/) and it is going to be challenging. I had some concerns about it being an online degree, would it be rigorous enough, would it be respected by others? Well, Week 1 has conquered several of my doubts.

Wow, by Day 3 I had to decide on one of my major research topics. By DAY 3! It had to be something related to democratic governance, a problem I would like to investigate and propose a solution to. I decided to pick the issue of multiple departments of government being involved with international adoption and how problematic this can be. I know of a great piece of legislation that was proposed called ICARE, primarily written by a friend who has recently started a new organization that I would urge you all to join,
EACH. McLane is very motivated and has not only the knowledge, but the experience and passion to make this work.

Anyway, with the degree, paid employment, Tabitha work, kids activities, their homework and all the Christmas-related activities - this month is going to see me sleeping a LOT LESS. I know that I can do it though, so I am trying to remember to do it all with a good attitude and to not take my fatigue out on my family. Top this off with a sinus infection and I am just beat and ready for a long winter's nap.

Despite all of the above, I am looking very forward to all the Christmas-related activities for the kids. It is so fun to see the holidays through their eyes, they truly sparkle with excitement.

Life is THIS GOOD,
CC

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Good People

Yes, I would love to raise kids who are successful, healthy, full of all that life can offer...but more than anything, I want them to be good people. So how do we define a good person? To me, a good person is one who considers the feelings of others, who strives to make a difference in the lives of others, and who does all of this because it makes them feel good, makes them feel closer to God, makes them feel whole. Teaching this can only be done so much through talking, D and I must live like this so they can see this behavior, and while we are FAR from perfect, we do our best.

I like to have "dates" with each child by themselves, I enjoy spending the one-on-one time with each of them and they enjoy this special time with me too. All of the kids went with me to the Breakfast with Santa and Santa Shop activities that my dear hubbie helps put on at our church, so the morning was a bit hectic and full - talk of what to tell Santa they wanted for Christmas and lots of fun. Well, that afternoon, Meesta and I left the ladies with daddy and we went on a date. We ate at Cracker Barrel and I saw the nicest older gentleman who was eating by himself and just cheerful and relaxed. If I was not on a date with my little guy and wanted to focus my attention on him, I might have asked him to join us, but who knows, caution is always important these days...unfortunately.

So, as we receive our bill, I asked the waitress to please provide me with his bill too and to tell him Merry Christmas when it was time for him to receive his. This little tradition is something my hubby and I started on Valentine's Day several years ago. We decided that we didn't need anything from each other on the "commercial" day of love, rather we decided to share the love. We went to our small diner for supper and secretly arranged to pay for the meal of two ladies who were widows and dining together. These gestures are certainly not out of pity - these ladies could have bought and sold us in a minute, it was out of love, to share a nice surprise and gesture. Those widows went crazy trying to find out who had paid their bill, but we had sworn our waitress to secrecy. Since then, it is something we do from time to time and D has since taught his youth group this and they love to do it on Mission Trips when they all eat out.

So Saturday, as we left, I explained to Meesta what we had done on our way out. And while I am not sure he completely understood, I could see the wheels turning and could tell he liked the idea.

I hope that we do raise good people. Now, don't get me wrong, I hope they are financially successful, happily married and parents to amazing little grandkids - but more than anything, I hope they are good people.

Wish us luck!

CC

Monday, November 26, 2007

How do you know?

So a question has been popping into my mind more and more lately, and I just can't come to a settled conclusion. What, you ask, would puzzle CC to such an extent? It is simple, is our family complete?

It is such an overwhelming question and there are days that I say yes, and moooostly mean it, but most of the time I say no and do meet it. I believe we have another son, somewhere, out there, you know, somewhere. It would be adoption as our babies don't arrive the traditional way, but the work and time and funds that are involved are all-consuming and I just don't know if I have it in me to do it again. The adoption of the twins was very very difficult and I truly likely have a bit of adoption PTSD because of it all. Shenzy's was less traumatic, but still all-consuming.

When I ponder whether our family is complete or not, I typically come to the conclusion that it is not, but that our son (should there be one...somewhere) will find us. What does that mean - well I am not sure exactly. I just have the feeling that somehow we will be notified about a child that needs a family. That has been my gut instinct as I have prayed about this over the last year or so.

Tonight, I received an email from a friend informing me of a situation about a boy that might not be able to stay in his home and I could not help but wonder if this was him. I do not have that gut instinct that it is absolutely him, but I wondered. Time will tell of course, and perhaps our next (and final) child will "adopt" us when he is older, a friend of one of our kids or something, maybe that is what my gut is telling me.

With our 3 here plus our 2 girls in Cambodia, you would think I would not have these thoughts, but we have a lot of love and the resources to care for another child (sans the college tuition thing...) and I wonder if we are done? How do you know?

CC

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thankful

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, it isn't about presents, just family and good food. For the past 3 years we have had "nontraditional" Turkey Days, last year we rented a cool log cabin in the woods and spent our time playing games, hiking, and enjoying the hot tub in the dark; the year before that we were in Florida as well as the year before that.

This year D and I made a traditional meal and had our moms come over to eat with us. It was nice and relaxing, and the kids enjoyed time with their grandmas. I have always been thankful for the relationship our parents have had, easy-going and non-threatening with each other.

We then went up to my Aunt P's house, where my other aunt, uncle and cousins were as well and we played Apples to Apples and Outburst, both fun - but very loud games with the number of us and our spouses, etc. It was nice to be with Aunt P though as this was her first year without my uncle who passed away in February to cancer. I am thankful that she is continuing onward and trying to find joy when and where she can, despite her tremendous loss.

I am so thankful that we have healthy happy children, including our girls in Cambodia. They have been in contact with us and they have hopes and dreams for the future that hopefully we can help them fulfill. We continue to be concerned over our Doodlebug's epilepsy, but must remain positive and thankful that she is here and we can get her the best treatment available for it. Meesta and Shenzy remain their delightful selves as well, full of fun and life.

I am constantly giving thanks for my husband and our relationship. While we have been through some serious transitions this year with school, moving, selling house, him being gone so much, etc - we have come through it stronger than ever and more committed to our dreams and goals. I am blessed beyond belief.

I am thankful for a warm and safe house, enough food to eat, transportation, my faith, my family and my friends.

I AM THANKFUL.

Life is This Good...
CC

Sunday, November 04, 2007

SOLD



After many prayers and some concessions to a very rich and much older man...our beautiful home has sold. This is a very good thing, but also sad. We loved that house, it was a dream come true for 2 kids who grew up fairly poor. I had envisioned seeing our kids float down the stairs in their finery for their first dance...their prom...graduation...weddings. That house was where we brought our Shenzy home to and where Doodle and Meesta started kindergarten. They all climbed the trees, they hunted for Easter eggs, they built snowmen, they rode bikes, swam in the pool - and they LOVED that house too. We are all a bit sad.

BUT, we are now MUCH less in debt than we were Friday morning, we are on a very clear path to D becoming a Navy chaplain and our family traveling the world. We can focus our energies on the kids and their activities, our educational goals, our jobs, our health, and continuing to reduce our debt AND our garage full of STUFF that ended up here (not to mention the storage unit that is also almost full).

It is the end of an era in some ways and the beginning of another...an adjustment and a new way of life.

CC

Monday, October 29, 2007

317

My cholesterol level is 317. You might think I am lying and am actually a 500-pound truckdriver who never exercises and only eats fast food. Mysteries of the internet...

Seriously, 317. I have just turned 34 years old, I have 3 children, no gall bladder, tonsils or adenoids, but otherwise really healthy. I am scared and have let barely a hint of cholesterol pass my lips since I discovered this fact a week ago. I am already on meds, hopefully just until I get it down to a reasonable level, I have kicked up my workout routines and am eating only what God has made, nothing processed.

It's all about the cholesterol reduction right now.

Other updates:
*We had a fantastic time in Friday Harbor, I could seriously live there.
*We are supposed to sell our house THIS FRIDAY...please, please let it happen
*We have to have everything OUT of our house this Friday...by 10:00 a.m. - YIKES.
*D is rocking school, but it takes every waking hour.
*I am swamped at work and preparing to start my PhD program on Dec. 3...I think I have lost my mind, but am very excited.
*The kids are so very excited about Halloween, they are so stinking cute and had a party on Saturday where they dressed up, so cute that I almost wanted to break my ban on posting their pics, but I will try to withhold.

Despite all of this, I am relieved that I live in a country where I have access to healthcare and medications and that I can afford this healthcare.

Life is still this good.
CC

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Pchum Ben Festival



Our two girls who still live in Cambodia, L and L, are always near and dear to our hearts. One commented to me recently about the upcoming Pchum Ben Festival in Cambodia and I had to stupidly admit that I had no idea what it was, so I turned to Prof. Google and thought I would enlighten my memory in the future and any readers who might be so inclined to want to know...

One of our girls said that people visit their families and travel far sometimes, but that unfortunately they could not visit theirs - meaning us, this makes my heart so heavy. But, there is nothing more we can do but provide for them in Cambodia the best we can and love and pray for them, which we do.

"In Cambodia, there are various religious festivals. Among those, Prachum Benda (”Ancestors’ Day”), more commonly known as Pchum Ben, is a big Cambodian religious festival, culminating in celebrations on the 15th day of the tenth month in the Khmer Calendar. It lasts for fifteen days. Pchum Ben is the fifteenth and final day of the ceremony and consists of a large gathering of laity for festivities at the local Buddhist temple. The days leading up to Pchum Ben are known as Kann Ben. In 2007, the holiday falls on the 11th of October in the Gregorian calendar.

Religiously, Cambodians believe that although most living creatures are reincarnated at death. However, due to bad karma, some souls are not reincarnated but rather remain trapped in the spirit world. Each year, for fifteen days, these souls are released from the spirit world to search for their living relatives, meditate and repent. So, the fifteen-day is time when Cambodians pay their respects to deceased relatives. Furthermore, it is an important opportunity for living relatives to meditate and pray to help reduce the bad karma of their ancestors, thus enabling the ancestors to become reincarnated and leave the torment and misery of the spirit world. People cook meals for monks, bring offerings to the temple and throw rice near the temple early in the morning, believing that their ancestors will receive it.


Terminology:
Prachum Benda (Pchum Ben): meaning “gathering together to make offerings”
Prachum (Pchum): meaning “gathering together”
Benda (Ben): mean “offering”
Kann meaning “hosting or holding”
Source:
Khmer Institute"

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

All Female Family Vacation...


Well, I have finally recovered from my trip to Florida with the women in my family, 1 mom, 2 aunts and 2 cousins made the trip. Exactly WHEN did this sound like a good idea????? Oh yes, one of the cousins is pregnant. Well, we did enjoy some beverages and if you can't tell, this little picture is of a monkey - a monkey that hangs on the side of your drinks, one of my aunts brought them along for the festivity and they became a joke about being the object of affection for the little geckos/lizards that were everywhere down there. Sick humor, yes, I am aware.

Let's just say, families feel free to be themselves, the good, the bad, and the ugly with each other. We had lots of laughs, but bad moods were evident and feelings were hurt at times, I guess that it just the way families are - or is it just mine?

At home now, D and Meesta have colds. The old house is hopefully going to be sold/close at the very end of October/beginning of November, seriously praying that it does.

D was officially commissioned into the United States Navy as an ensign on Friday, the first layer in the officer realm. The ceremony was short and sweet but very meaningful and truly signifies a new adventure for our family.

I have also been working on getting my application in for a PhD program and it is almost done...so I am about to embark on something I have always wanted to complete.

The kids are doing well though, I am running too much and 1st grade is still kicking our behinds, but we are making it.

Be back soon!

CC

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Tabitha USA

Heather, your question about our foundation "outs" me in a way, but in a good way I guess. I have always maintained somewhat of an anonymous stance on my blog, but I have never said anything I would be ashamed of or feel does not represent me, so I guess I am going to out my identity in a way.

Our 2 oldest children were born in Cambodia and we had a year-long struggle to bring them home through a rather politically tumultuous time regarding Cambodian adoptions. I was very outspoken about this situation and the year gave me time to fall in love with the country and realize my responsibility as an adoptive parent to not just take these children in need, but to open my eyes to ALL of those in need. I learned a lot during that year, and of course even more since then. I wanted to support an organization that was truly helping people to help themselves, not giving a hand out, rather a hand up. We found these qualities and a spitfire of a director through the Tabitha Foundation, a non-governmental organization (NGO).

Shortly after arriving back home from adopting our children, I emailed the director and asked her why there was not a Tabitha USA as there were organizations in Canada, Australia and the UK. Her reply will never be forgotten by me, "Because no one has ever asked." Well, that was the voice of God smacking me in the face and telling me to get off my duff and make a difference if I could.

I bought books, researched the internet and learned truly how to start a not-for-profit (as a dummy). I have a biology undergrad and a master's degree in clinical psychology - I have never in my life taken a business course! But, many stressful months after I began, we had our not-for-profit status and we were off and running. We became Tabitha USA at that point.

Since I am "out" now, I will talk more frequently and fervently about Tabitha USA as it is a passion of mine. It is all-consuming, exhausting and ever so rewarding all at the same time. We are in our 4th year of operations and have helped raise over $300,000.00 so far to help the people of Cambodia through housebuilding, well digging, tuition payments, cow purchases, bicycle purchases, seed purchases, and on and on. You can find a list of options through our website by clicking on the community development tab at the top.

I thought I would check on YouTube to see if I found anything and by golly I did. This video was made by some volunteers through Tabitha Australia so while the contact information at the end is not the same, it gives you an idea of how housebuilding trips go (and this is just one part of what our organization does). We have had the fortune of actively participating in 2 such builds and are planning our 3rd for next year. Suffice it to say, once you go and experience an adventure like this, you are forever changed for the better.

Thanks to Mark from Tabitha Australia for the video!

This one is cool too and a bit of an "ad" for a trip upcoming next year. It is pretty cool as well. As a global foundation, it is nice that we can use the talents and ideas of everyone to work towards the improvement of so many lives in Cambodia.

CC

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Happy 90th Grandma!!

90 years is what we celebrated tonight for my great-grandma. It is so hard to even imagine what she has lived through, experienced, rejoiced over and mourned over. I have known her all of my 33 years and honestly can't think of a nicer human on this earth.

If you remember we almost lost Grandma a couple of times over this last year and she has been through some rough times and has more to come, but tonight she was in great spirits and seemed with it cognitively. All of that in itself is a gift, but having such a beautiful light still shine on this earth is an even greater gift.

I never want grandma to suffer and when God is ready for her, I hope she is able to go peacefully, but I am reminded tonight of how special she is to me and how lucky I have been to be influenced by her.

Happy Birthday Grandma,
I love you, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.
(we say this every time we part, it is our thing)

CC

Sunday, September 09, 2007

0 Days Seizure Free

You know those signs that calculate how many days "accident free" for work sites or manufacturing facilities? Growing up in a town with many factories, these signs are still frequently highlighted outside factories like scoreboards. Well, I feel like I have one running in my head, but this one is for our Doodle and her number of days since her last seizure.

I have been getting cocky, even taking her to the pediatric neurologist less than 2 weeks ago and proudly announcing she had not had any seizure activity since our last appointment, as if I had somehow been the model parent and prevented any nasty seizures from entering our little girl's head...no overactive brain activity here, no way.

Well, last night ended our run and it always throws me for such a loop and sends me back to square one with wanting to protect her and hold her close all the time, watching her every move for the most minuscule of signs of seizure activity. We had all just gathered at the supper table for her favorite meal, spaghetti and meatballs with garlic bread. She had been fine all day, having soccer practice in the morning, playing outside, taking a bath, and then hanging out the rest of the afternoon. Nothing unusual or overly stressful. Well, she first complains about the garlic bread (not normal) and says she doesn't want any and that she is SO TIRED. Well, we just thought it was an attitude because we had the fresh garlic bread from the deli area instead of the frozen kind. Then she layed her head on the table and I told her to sit up...she said I am so tired...and then her eyes rolled back in her head and she begins to seize.

I hurried around the table to her and lifted her up, talking gently that she was okay and would be okay, told D to come and help me and then all of a sudden she unloaded (vomited) a great deal on me. everywhere. While gross, this seemed to bring her back around and we made it to the bathroom (and then the shower). She did get sick one more time within the next hour and then seemed to be back to normal. I did sleep out in the living room with her last night though just so I could keep a complete eye on her.

It scares the absolute &(%T out of me, every time. Cockiness gone, I am going to start looking online for a bracelet or necklace for her to wear that indicates she has epilepsy. Now that she is in 1st grade without Meesta in her class, she does dance class, gymnastics and soccer - if I am ever NOT RIGHT THERE, I don't want there to be any confusion about what is going on. I really didn't want to "label" her this way and we have done everything to keep her life as normal as possible, but given the suddenness of this last seizure, I feel I am actually doing her a disservice if I don't take that step.

On a slightly less serious note, after the initial seizure and vomiting episode, D was trying to keep the other 2 kids from being freaked out by the experience so he told them to "eat up". Please keep in mind I said that we were eating spaghetti...and the smell was less than appealing. I didn't have time to consider how hysterical this was until today...but poor kids, how COULD they eat with the smell and general grossness of it. I am sitting her still laughing about it.

Please keep Doodle in your prayers, it is no fun for her at all either.

CC

Friday, September 07, 2007

We Have Moved


I have been gone, but with very good reason...we have been moving, and not much unlike the covered wagon shown above, but a bit more primitively even...! My dear husband, who never wants to be a burden to anyone, decided that we could use this OPEN HOMEMADE GREEN WAGON made by an older guy in the church to move our possessions, BY OURSELVES ONLY.
We have moved almost everything now and have actually been sleeping at the new place for 2 weeks officially today and it is slowly starting to feel like home. It is just a completely different house, no cathedral ceilings, one level, 2 bathrooms, 3 bedrooms. We have condensed a great deal. This house does have GORGEOUS hardwood floors throughout the house though and is so incredibly closer to just about everything and is on a pleasant dead-end street (like our old house) that it is going to work and meet our needs.
As for our old house, we just accepted an offer on it today, but it is a contingent offer and could fall through so we hope that either someone else comes through with another offer and forces the other people to do something or that they get their house sold quickly and are able to close. Once we sell it - we will have NO MORTGAGE payment. It is beyond my imagination really. We should be able to become debt-free completely before we leave for the Navy, hopefully with a bit of cushion as well. That will be an amazing feeling.
The kids are doing great and adjusting well to school and are loving their activities and busyness - let's just pray that I can keep up. We found a cool walking area very close to our house and I joined a gym close by that I can go to FREE through my employer:).
All in all, everything seems to be going very well and I am happy.
Oh yes, not to forget, I spent today training our new employee for the NFP, that is such an amazing relief to me, I cannot explain it. It is going to be a great life-changing positive for me for sure.
All for now, just wanted to check in...
CC

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

In The Navy

Well, it is fitting that my 100th post should be addressing some very important news around the CC household. My dear hubbie, the man, my high school sweetheart, my best friend - he is officially in the process to become a Navy Chaplain. He is now in the Chaplain Core Candidate Program and our life is now forever changed. It is exciting and unnerving and so full of unknowns and uncertainty and yet so full possibilities. We shall see what the future holds!

Also, as things should never be boring, we are moving into our new house, bit by bit as there has already been painting going on and I have been getting necessities like a banshee. It is amazing how each house can be so different and require different things. What do I mean? Take for example shoe racks. At our current house, I have the over-the-door jobbies, well in the new house, it will be better to have the floor racks. Things are rarely simple or easy are they?

Meesta and Doodle are rockin' 1st grade and Shenzy starts preschool tomorrow and she is excited. So, once we survive the move, the only thing still up in the air is the selling of this house. I know it will happen when it happens and I need not be so stressed about it. I have been told before that Worry is a sign of a lack of faith in God....I will try not to worry!

Life is this good and so full of excitement!

CC

Thursday, August 16, 2007

1st Grade Overload

First grade X 2 = Overload!

Well, Doodle and Meesta survived their first day (1/2 day only) of 1st grade yesterday and now they have just left our house with D to embark on their first FULL DAY of 1st grade. They are so stinking adorable and yesterday was smooth sailing even though it was a new school and they are in different classrooms. A huge sigh of relief for me.

There is a lot to know for first grade, at least as a parent! Kindergarten was definitely not quite as full of need-to-know information. I can't wait until we get into the groove and all is a well-oiled machine.

One thing that will help for sure is that we will be moving sooner rather than later to be MUCH closer to the school and both of our work. The house closes on Friday and hopefully the painting, etc. will be done and we can start moving in within a week! Which leads me to my next panic - I HAVE NOT PACKED A THING! The good news is that there is no rush to move out of our house yet...the bad news is there is not rush to move out of our house, ya know, like someone wanting to move into it?! Oh well, God has led the way for all of this to happen so far, I know it will all work out, I just need to continue to try to let go a bit more.

Life is GREAT (perhaps I should look into self diagnosing...you know, my last post was about a good cry and now all is well...do you sense a bit of mood swings?!)

CC

Monday, August 13, 2007

A Good Cry

Today was just one of those days, one when the world feels to be against you, plotting to turn your every move into the next catastrophic disaster. It started with a bad morning when Meesta needed a lesson in hurting feelings and giving a darn, continued with a frustrating situation at work, finalized by the loss of 2 teeth by the Doodle (her first 2) that we MISSED because we were both at work. All of the above, compiled with my exhaustion by all of the other factors stressing me (hubby gone A LOT this summer, no exact move date, no bites on our house, work stress, NFP tax time, FATNESS) and I was a woman in need of a good cry.

I cried, a good one, and then felt much better. Now, I am sitting here on the computer, kids behaving, hubby playing the guitar and setting up his new computer (he REALLY needed an up-to-date laptop), and me having 2 seconds to blog and all is suddenly right with the world again.

Sometimes, a good cry is all you need!

Life is this good...

CC

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Food Poisoning, Purse Nabbing, TONS OF FUN

D and I took our trip to San Francisco and had the most wonderful time. I absolutely LOVED the city, so full of life -Despite the title! We stayed in the downtown, theatre district and it was perfect; our hotel was completely outdated and musty in an old-fashioned way. I had no idea when I booked it, but the price was right and since we were trying to bargain this, it was the best choice. For those who might be interested it was the Beresford Hotel. It was within walking distance of the ferry, Chinatown, and an overload of cool dining opportunities.

We hit the town in pretty much 2 1/2 days, from top to bottom. We walked miles and miles and ate some delicious food, had some good beer, wine, and the best time hanging out together.

The evening of our arrival, we went out and had some beer and socialization at an Irish bar - something we NEVER do at home, but it was fun to do out and about. Then we went to this outdoor, Italian-type area that one of the bartenders had recommended for supper. The food was okay, nothing really good and by the time we walked home, I was feeling kind of out of sorts, but just figured it was my exhaustion (about 3 hours of sleep the previous night and the 3-hour time difference). Not the case, within 15 minutes of being in the hotel room after dinner, I was in the bathroom and was rather ill for a good 15 minutes, and then as soon as I had gotten sick, I felt fine and slept the night through. Not the best, but at least it was quick!

The next morning we went on a winery tour of 4 wineries, they were all very distinct, but the bummer was that we both enjoy pinot noir the best and NONE of these 4 had this variety as part of their standard tastings. No worries, we still had a great time and the properties were beautiful. We met at the Ferry building for this and returned via a ferry on our return and I wish our town/state had something even remarkably close to this building. It had tons of cool shops/restaurants, including a creamery, yummy veggies, breads, wines, you pretty much name it and they had it! I could have camped out there for a long time.

We went to the Fisherman's Wharf and toured a submarine and WWII ship, did Pier 39 and amused ourselves with the antics of the sea lions at Pier 39. To get to the Wharf we did the world-renowned trolley car and that was a fun experience. We had to hang on and hang out the entire time, which was actually a good time as we went up and down the hills. The drivers are full of Attitude and the cars move when THEY decide to move them.

We rode the bus and found our way to see some of the cool homes, like the Painted Ladies. This was directly after we had witnessed the purse nabbing so I was still a bit on nerve by that whole experience, but it was still cool to see them, I had just lost a bit of my nerve. We were walking down this side area, but it was large and broad daylight and appeared to be a main thoroughfare when we see 3 suspicious-looking young men, then we stopped a local-looking lady and asked her where to go to see the Painted Ladies, she told us where and we were on our way. Not a minute later, we hear yelling and shouting and see one of the young men running our way with a purse. I backed away towards the wall and D starts to lunge his way as if to go after him and I yell his name - having no idea if this idiot had a gun or knife - and fearing the worst; fortunately, there were 2 other guys on this guy right away, they wrestled him down and almost had the purse, but the guy managed to get away from them...then they CHASED HIM and finally came back after a few minutes with the purse in hand. They were some seriously heroic - if not brave/stupid - young men and the lady got her purse back. BUT, it left me a bit "off" I guess. I am sure we could have been the ones had it not been that we had stopped and talked to that lady.

That evening we went to a great Thai restaurant (having already enjoyed a MARVELOUS Chinese meal in Chinatown the previous night) and then a night trolley ride to finish getting the kids gifts.

Overall, it was amazing and the diversity in sound, people, lifestyles was cool to absorb.

I would HIGHLY recommend a trip to San Francisco! I enjoyed the city and my husband immensely!

CC

Thursday, July 26, 2007

What is Too Much?

Given our upcoming move, we will be living MUCH closer to actual places of business, places that cater to children and activities and FUN.

So this evening, while Doodle was at dance class, I signed her and Shenzy up for dance class for the fall, then downstairs is gymnastics and I signed all 3 of them up, and I am also signing them all up for soccer this fall.

Is this too much? Am I going over the top now that we are actually near things they can do? Shenzy is just now old enough to do some things and she is more than ready to do activities. Doodle and Meesta have always done things, but typically just one activity at a time.

I have typically thought that too many activities for a little kid is overkill, and now look at me, signing them up for everything! The gymnastics and soccer are both fairly short term and gymnastics can be continued, so really the only long-term activity is the dance for the girls. I guess time will tell and every child is different...

All for now,
CC

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

At The Same Time


Tonight, while cooking the cherubs' gourmet supper (hot dogs, ramen noodles and cottage cheese), I hear Shenzy and Doodle arguing. Apparently, and this is where this post goes into the too much information category, Doodle was doing her #2 business on the downstairs potty and Shenzy decided she needed to do the same. Shenzy convinced me that she needed to do the same RIGHT NOW, so I turned the heat down on the gourmet meal and took Shenzy upstairs and down the hall into the kids' bathroom....yep, Meesta was doing HIS #2 business on that potty! So, Shenzy and I went into the parents' bathroom so she could join in the #2 festivity. All 3 at the same time, what is up with that?

Who knew that this activity was like yawning?! Now what are we going to do when we move and only have 2 pottys?

As I think of this, and this note is already about poop...funny story from today, at least to me... In my role, I help create documents and some text was given to me that had been approved by at least 2 physicians and a statistician for me to incorporate into a document. As I am reviewing the text that was given to me and circulated widely...it read ".... and shits upward..."! I burst out laughing and showed the physicians what they had "approved". It was supposed to say shifts upward. We all had a good laugh and well, it was appropriate to share with you today. Is that pathetic humor or what?

Life is This Good,

CC

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Adoption Musings

The journey of being a parent is challenging for anyone, because, well, because kids are challenging little people and there is no handbook.

It seems that the older my kids get the more additional challenges seem to be popping up because they are not biologically our children. Also, one of my best friends, "N", was adopted from Vietnam and some of the issues that she has endured sadden me, but also are a learning lesson for me in what NOT to do. So, while my day-to-day life with my kids does not in any way revolve around adoption, it seems to be creeping into our awareness in little ways daily.

Examples...hoping that I handled it right...

*Meesta, Doodle and I were getting Meesta's hair cut at a chain hair cutting place and then almost immediately after sitting down, the hair cutting person comments on his hair and says that his hair must be just like daddy's...none of us responded. After the haircut, I had the kids go sit down and I gently mentioned that his hair did NOT look like his dad's and that she might want to be careful with comments like that in her line of work (could be a domestic adoption situation where the child doesn't know they are adopted)...she responded defensively.

*This past weekend while at a different church, an older lady said, "oh, are these your adopted children", and while I know that she meant no harm, I could not bring myself to say "yes", instead I smiled and replied "these are our children".

*While at a ballgame for Doodle earlier this summer, I walked over to say something to her and a bratty little teammate of hers hatefully said (as I was beginning to walk away), "who was that?". I should have given Doodle the chance to respond, but this girl truly is a brat, so I turned around and said "I am her mom" and then smiled at Doodle to reassure her. It crushed me (but hopefully she did not think much of it), but that little girl assumed I was not her mom because my skin was a different color. I guess that was something new for me for a kid to question who I was...this girl really is a brat though! (now who is defensive, right?)

These are just a few that immediately pop into my mind. The situation with Meesta did come back later that day. He is a deep thinker and usually processes things for a while. That evening, my friend N was at our house and was in their room helping them get ready for bedtime and Meesta looked at her and said "you have the same hair that I do", she didn't think much of it and said "yep, we are from the same area of the world". I think that was good for him, made it seem okay in a way.

I don't know, just deep thoughts for a Tuesday evening. My biggest hope is that I am doing things right and not messing their little minds up with respect to it all. I love them and consider them my biggest responsibility and challenge. I just pray that I guide them as God wants me to...

CC

P.S. The yard looks great and ALL the flyers on the house out front were gone when I got home...that is good!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Hating the Helplessness

So, yes, my dear internet world (anyone who dares still bother to check here...), my life continues to spiral, but not in a bad way, just a busy way.

So, D, the husband extraordinaire, is out of town...for 2 whole weeks. Let me equate this for you: 1 mom + 3 kids (+2 in Cambodia) + 1 demanding job + house on the market (read HOUSEWORK ALL OF THE TIME) + 1 not-for-profit organization = exhaustion! So, given the equation above, the final straw to tip me over the edge and make me realize that on some levels I am simply helpless was the yard needing mowed. Seriously?! The stinkin' yard has only been mowed like 5 times ALL SUMMER because it has rained so little, but now...now when I am playing single mom, it needs mowed. GRRRR! After running through all of the possible equations, including if I can figure out how to run the stupid thing and what to do with said 3 cherubs while mowing...I called someone to do it! When in doubt, call for help, even if they are going to charge you! Mowing service is scheduled for tomorrow:).

This mowing situation though has started me thinking down the line of our division of labor in this house. I feel like a rather competent woman, but there are some things that I simply don't know how to do. I am not mechanically inclined, at all. I also can't sew and don't iron very well. I can't hang pictures or judge the straightness of anything as I have horrible visual-spatial skills. D, he is good at the things above (minus the sewing), and we make such a good team, and I miss him so much! Down to 4 more sleeps until he comes home!

Nonetheless, I don't enjoy the feeling of being a helpless broad!

Until later...

CC

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Am Here...Mad at Blogger....Corn

Okay, just created a long post about everything that is going on...vacation, work, moving, and corn.

I am tired now and a bit ticked at the stupid blogger...therefore, I will try again soon.

CC

Sunday, June 17, 2007

ALONE on Father's Day

I am alone. ALONE. A state I will admit I was looking a bit forward to as the time for me to leave for my conference approached. But I have been here a little over 24 hours and I miss my family so fiercely that it surprises me. It's just a little trip, what is my problem? I am not sure, but I even got teary talking to them on the phone. This is NOT LIKE ME. I am a confident, self-secure, capable and competent woman. I am also a mom and it seems to be a part of every cell of my body. My body knows that the nutrients required by my body for functioning, D, Doodle, Meesta, and Shenzy (and L and L - but I have never not known them living in Cambodia, but my heart still misses them every day) are not being supplied, and it is going through withdrawal. I will buck up though and once the conference gets going, things will be better.

On to this locale, Atlanta. I took a walk this morning around 11ish and must confess, I was uncomfortable. There were cops on the corners of several of the corners and LOTS of folks walking around in non-stable states, at least to my trained eye. I walked about 10 blocks and then 10 blocks back and I was the ONLY woman walking alone. It was the middle of the day and yet, I trucked it back to the hotel, purse tightly under my arm. It is a shame and I am normally quite comfortable to be brave and traverse about, exploring whatever I can. But, I am not without common sense and I am very aware with a pretty good "sense" of safety, and I felt unsafe today without a doubt. Thank you God for walking with me.

I have spent the last 24 hours reading a book, will review it here very soon. It was good for the most part, a bit repetitive in parts and a little too drawn out for me, but still an enjoyable read.

I think that I might be a bit sad today because I stupidly flew down yesterday, not realizing when I made the reservations months ago that it was Father's Day today. D is home alone with the kids being the best dad in the world. His usual state. He is the most amazing dad I have ever known and he is everything I always wanted for my children. I did not have a dad, not even an "absent" one, I never knew him, he wanted nothing to do with me and my mom never forced him to. This aspect of my life no doubt helped determine my future mate, I knew I had to have someone who very much wanted children, someone with patience and an infinite capacity to love. D is this and so much more. What I have learned makes him an even better dad is his complete love for me. He hugs me, kisses me, talks to me, asks my opinion, touches me when he walks by and generally makes our house the happy home that it is - all showing our children a happy relationship, modeling what I hope for them in the future.

D - thank you for being the best husband and friend I could dream of; thank you for being the best father, you are beyond amazing. Seeing you still makes my heart flutter, even more so when you are holding our children, teaching them something, tucking them in, loving them unconditionally. Happy Father's Day D! You are my world.

I never dreamed that life could be This Good...but it is:)
CC

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Get Thee to DSW!

No, this is not a paid advertisement, but go, run, do not walk to DSW Shoe Warehouse. I just did a bit of retail therapy for my upcoming trip to Atlanta and went in - I came out 20 minutes, 4 pair of shoes, and $61.00 later. Wow.

I am presenting at a conference and am beginning to get nervous, hopefully it will go well. It is talking on what I do all the time for a living so it should not be a big deal, but still, it is the presenting in front of a bunch of strangers. I need to spend some time practicing it and then I will get comfortable.

More later - thanks D and Chris - I still read you all faithfully, glad you missed me!

CC

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Alive

Despite reports to the contrary, I am alive and well. I can't believe I have been away for almost a month. Things have been busier than normal, but D is done with school for the summer - THANK GOD (literally) and hopefully I can get caught up on everything and get back to my blogging therapy.

Personal updates: house is for sale (v. hard to keep house clean with 3 young children...we still don't know when other house will be available...where will we live?!), job is interesting, weight is same (I know, I owe the internet a fat girl picture!), summer travel is about to heat up (GO SKYBUS!), Doodle has 2 loose teeth (OH MY GOSH, it is freaking me out), softball and baseball are almost over (NOT A MOMENT TOO SOON), I need a pedicure in the worst way.

Okay, once I hit the necessity of a pedicure, I know my list is derailing quickly.

I will write more soon, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, just hope it is not that speeding train...

Life is this good,
CC

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

May I Have a Minute of Your Time?

No really - can I have a minute of yours because I NEED MORE TIME. More hours to my days, more minutes to my hours, more seconds to my minute - you get the point.

I miss blogging, I miss chilling, I miss lots of things. I am overwhelmed right now, but in a good way I guess. Lots going on with us, can't say it all right now.

One thing though is that we are very likely putting our house on the market. I do LOVE this house, but it is too far away from our daily activities and too far to have the kids involved in the activities I think they would most like. We will definitely be down-sizing though as this house of ours now, we could not afford it closer to the big city where I work. We might be getting some funds as D's role at the church is changing, so could mean some housing allowance, which would be v. nice, maybe even a parsonage...I am open to whatever. Now, we just need to finish all of our projects in order to get the house ready for sale and then pray that the house sells in a relatively short period of time.

Kids are keeping us hopping with softball and baseball. I already want to harm about 1/2 the parents and kids, not good. We need them to be in civilized and single sports, let's say bull riding or yoga:) Why does it all have to be about WINNING all the time? They are barely 6 years old, just let them have fun and learn the basics. Way too much emphasis on winning.

Diet - holding steady right now, I was 184.6 this morning, should be in the 170s by now, but I am not preparing my food in advance well enough, leading to poor choices. I will get there.

Oh yes, one of my trips, the condo fell through and I had to scramble around today (using minutes not availabe - see I above - I really need more!) and I finally found another option, costing me about $500 more, but it is 2 rooms so that might be better anyway. Just another ISSUE to deal with.

In family news, kids are great, hubbie is awesome - so proud of him, has a 3.55 GPA after 1st year of seminary - while holding down a job, 3 kids, evil wife and taking 4 and 5 classes, respectively. My hat is off to him, he makes me want to be a better person. I can't think of a better thing after being together for almost 20 years, I still admire him, respect him, love him intensely, and still find him irresistably gorgeous. Enough said:).

More soon.

CC

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Cheap Tickets = Let's Go!


I LOVE to travel, I mean I really do. I like the fascination of learning about other people, other places, other lifestyles, other OPTIONS. I was born and raised in the state that I still live in and I guess I have the itch to see more and do more. Having been to SE Asia 6 times now, one would think I might have gotten a bit of that out of my system, but it has just increased my appetite for travel.
Well, a friend of D's at seminary gave us a good tip that there is a new airline opening up, Skybus, and that they would be a no-frills, cheaper option (this friend's husband is to be one of their pilots). One of the places they will be flying out of is about 3 hours from us and for the PRICES, they are not to be beat. So, I was on the computer the MINUTE they started selling tickets. Pretty much every spare moment this summer and even one this fall will be spent GOING SOMEWHERE!!!!!
We are going to the following:
*Ft. Lauderdale (with our 3 kids plus babysitter and her husband and 2 kids; $600 for 9 roundtrip tickets plus taxes)
*San Francisco (3 nights - never been to the "city" before, only inside the airport; $82.00 roundtrip for 2 adults)
*Ft. Lauderdale (with all the girls in my family, my aunt who just lost her husband wanted a trip; $120.00 just paying for one roundtrip on this one)
*San Juan Islands (airport is between Seattle and Vancouver and about 2 hours from San Juan Island - I have always wanted to go there!; $82.00 roundtrip for 2 adults)
[Sidenote, I will also be traveling to Atlanta for work in June - work is paying for that!]
CC, I thought you were trying to get out of debt you ask. True, yes, true enough. But, these are the cheapest possible trips, they really are. We are not spending that much for some serious vacation time. Our 2 trips alone are very short and I do feel bad about not taking the kids everywhere, but we are firm believers that we need to take care of our marriage and friendship and everything else will fall into place and that has worked up to this point. We see each other very little these days with our busy schedules and his seminary on top of all that, but we are still happy and our marriage is healthy, but we are very aware that we need to keep on top of it or it will slide. The kids will stay with our babysitter as she truly loves them and they adore her and her whole family.
So, the debt reduction will slow a bit, but the FUN and ADVENTURE are truly priceless.
Go check out skybus - and NO, this is not a paid advertisement!
CC
P.S. I am glad I started WW when I did, I have now officially lost 10 pounds with WW...but ate too much at a Cinco de Mayo Party last night!

Friday, April 27, 2007

A Virtual Hug

Blogs are so cool. I am beyond addicted and have my favorites that while I may not check them everyday, there is something about them that keeps me coming back for more. I have my friend G to thank for this addiction - she introduced me a few years ago while we were on the same team at work and I have been a gonner since then...thanks G!

I love how this blog will then have links to other blogs they like and so on and so forth and before you know it you are reading about a backpacker saving the world in Nepal. Too cool, really, it is a whole new world. Sometimes you read inspiring happy things and sometimes emotional, touching posts.

I check out Tertia at her blog So Close, she went through infertility and then had b/g twins (much younger than our Doodle and Meesta) and now has written a book, she is a witty and sassy chic from South Africa and since one of my very best friends originates from S.A., I am always drawn to her charming self. She talks about everything and is an open book about a lot of things that I am sure help others who are experiencing infertility. She even does some great "charity drives" to help others out, capitalizing on her big readership. Well, she posted a few weeks ago about a woman, another mom of b/g twins who she had been alerted to who was about to lose her husband from cancer.

Meet Snickollet. Now, I have never met Snickollet, never chatted with her on email, but through her blog, I feel a personal sense of loss for her kids (who are not yet 1) and for her since her dear GH died. She is suffering a loss that would be like drowning for me, yet it continues and never really ends. Cancer took her husband, Much Too Soon. Her story has helped me to stop and think about the time and attention D and I pay to each other. Because of our busyness it is really hard to take time for each other, but Snick's story helps me put it all into perspective. Time is short, enjoy it to the fullest while you can. We are never promised tomorrow.

I have wished Snickollet well and have prayed for her and the babies. I cannot fathom doing the twins thing on my own, it was hard enough doing it with D and I. Snick seems like a strong and extremely capable woman who is holding her own amazingly well. I am sure a few virtual hugs could do her some good though.

CC

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Wishing Flower


As we were riding home in the van today, Meesta points out a field of "wishing flowers". Having not heard of this kind of flower, I look in the direction he is pointing and see it is a field of dandelions, both the yellow variety and the puffy white almost gone dandelions.
Wishing Flowers. How cool.
I will now forever think of these as the wishing flower. Thanks Meesta for making me see things in a better way, a more beautiful way, a completely pure way. All 3 of my cherubs have so much to teach me about living life in a better and less rushed way. I PRAY that I take the time more often to hear these lessons and stop to blow a wishing flower.

Things have been REALLY busy lately, more so than usual...finals time for D and both the Doodle and Meesta are playing softball and baseball, respectively. This has led me to even less time at home and feeling less in control of my house and organization. BUT, the kids are having a ball and Shenzy walks around all of the time positively exclaiming "SOFTBALL" in an almost clear manner. So, I am sucking it up and spending a lot of time chasing Shenzy around the ball diamonds, fun.

I pledge to learn more from my kids, they have so many important lessons to teach me! Life is THIS GOOD, praying not to find it so challenging...

CC


Saturday, April 21, 2007

A Tale of 2 Opposites: Mickey D's and Flouride

This story is funny now...and kind of funny when it happened, but that is because I was not THERE when it happened.

I have a hard time getting to the point of a story, but I need to give you a bit of background to get to the point. Last fall, Doodle and Meesta had a dentist appointment at the pediatric dentist they have been seeing for a few years now. I thought the appt. was at 2:30 - apparently it was at 2. My sitter, K, met me there with the kids and took off. I go in with all 3 kids, exactly at 2:30 and it was tough to get there and get that accomplished, it is not always easy for me to get out of work. Well, the receptionist folks took one look at me and said "your appointment was at 2 - we tried to call you...". This did not settle well with me and I asked where they had called me...because I had not heard from them via cell phone or work phone. They rattled off my home number. This was the end of my exhausted rope and I told them that like themselves, I worked during the day and why bother asking me for those numbers if they were not going to utilize them. They could not get us in that day. Well, that soured me off and I held a grudge...but I began to feel guilty and so hubbie scheduled an appointment at the dentist and my sitter (nanny, not sure what to call her - my angel!) informed me that I did not need to come, she had it all under control. Well, this made my working mom guilt go into overdrive, but she convinced me that it was fine. Okay.

So, the day of the dentist appointment, I tell K that I have my cell phone on me that day at all times in case they need to talk to me for some kind of release or whatever, and let's just say that turned out to be a wise decision. K picks up Meesta and Doodle from school and they along with K and Shenzy travel about 25 miles to the dentist. K calls me twice while they are there to ask me questions about X-rays and something else. Anyway, she calls me one last time to say that everything went well at the dentist, no cavities, but Doodle received a "B-" and Meesta a "C+" on brushing. [Even this rankled me, I worry so much about my drive to be very successful academically...even non-A's on teeth brushing stresses me. (All to pray for CC that she chills out when the kids start getting real grades. All have been good in Kindergarten so no need for stress yet.)] So, K tells me that she is taking the kids to lunch and meeting her hubby (my kids ADORE her husband), so I tell her thanks a million times and tell them to have a nice time.

The scene that ensued at Mickey D's could be none other than one designed for dramatic effect in a kid movie - one that encourages teenagers to either be abstinent or to use GOOD SUPER EFFECTIVE birth control. The next phone call from K outlined the following chain of events:
  • Arrive at Mickey D's, get food, sit down to eat
  • Doodle indicates that she needs to use the rest room
  • Meesta also wants to go, so K, Doodle and Meesta trek to restroom, leaving K's hubbie and Shenzy out in the eating area
  • While in the bathroom, K is getting Meesta arranged in the bathroom and Doodle is clinging to her leg...K finds this odd and is asking her what is going on and without warning, Doodle vomits profusely multiple times.
  • K, being of infinite patience, strong stomach, and immense love of my kids holds it together and gets Doodle into another stall and then TRIES TO CLEAN THINGS UP (God I love this woman)
  • Doodle seems to be okay and they are all reasonably cleaned up so they finally return to the eating area where K tells her hubbie that they need to hurry up because Doodle is not feeling well and briefly details him on the situation. Mind you - K's hubbie is not of the same strong stomach constitution.
  • Then it happens, without any warning, Meesta vomits all over the table, the food, the chair. (I swear this is a true story!!!) K's husband almost joins him. They attempt to get it cleaned up while trying to get the heck out of dodge. [Mind you, Meesta has only vomited 1 time since he has been our son and that was after surgery, so I honestly don't know if he knew what it felt like and maybe that was why the lack of warning, who knows.]
  • K calls me and relays all of these events so I head home, calling the school, the doctor's office and the dentist's office to see if there is some radical flu bug going around and what to do. It turns out that it was most likely that they had both swallowed the fluoride and that was the reason behind the profuse vomiting.

What would I do without K???? Who knows, but I am so thankful for her. I am so glad it was her and not me because I would have joined the kids and we would have had even more mess on our hands. Seriously, is that a tale of hysterical proportions. Can't you just see this in a Steve Martin movie - a Mr. Mom movie of sorts.

Word of advice to all, go HOME after dentist appointment and perhaps reconsider the need for the fluoride treatment anyway!

CC - who can laugh because I was not there and the kids were all right after their "event"

Monday, April 16, 2007

Adam and Eve


Since D is educating me while he is in seminary, I thought I would bring you along when I see/learn things of interest. This painting is by Marc Chagall and was created in 1912. Spend a little time with it, get to know it, and we can discuss at a later date. I looked at it and thought, huh?! D however, was much more philosophical and provided an interesting approach to interpreting this work.

Talk more about this in a few days...enjoy.

CC

Sunday, April 15, 2007

From Mama to Mommy


My Shenzy, the angel pictured above (as shown in the newly non-finished basement), well she creates great passion in me, both positive and unfortunately negative as well. She has a very tenacious personality, which I love about her when it works my way...but then there are the other 49.9% of times when she does exactly as she should not, when she smirks when corrected, and when she generally ignores what we say to her.

Well, today was a day where she pushed every button I had at church, generally acting rotten, yet charming everyone else because she is so stinking cute. Makes me seem/feel like a mean mom who is frustrated with this cute little angel...another example of not judging a book by its cover! The testing of parental patience and limits continued the rest of today and then this evening, after too many warnings, she was dismissed from the supper table for putting her feet on the table and generally acting un-table-manner-like. So, she is sent to sit in the living room and she can still see me in the dining room and she begins to say "MMAAAAAMMMMMAAAAA" and I ignore her fairly successfully until it happens.

She started yelling "MOOOOMMMMMMEEEEEEE", like a switch was turned on and she was a big girl now. The pang in my heart surprised me. While most fibers of my being want her to get all the way potty-trained and speaking full sentences and generally a bit more grown up, the pang in my head, my heart, and my gut all told me that on some level, I will miss this little girl stage.

As much as I don't really consider myself a "baby person", I have immensely enjoyed holding her at night whenever she cries and needs me, rocking her to sleep and feeling her soft baby hair on my face as I cuddle close to her, knowing she NEEDS me in so many ways - both physically and emotionally, and the weight of her sleeping body when I pick her up from her carseat while she is asleep. [Many of these things Doodle and Meesta would not let us do as they came home at 18 months and did not WANT these things from us...no rocking, never picked up while asleep, etc]

So, Shenzy, while I do want to stop changing your diaper, don't rush out and get your license or date boys or stop calling me Mama. You are it little lady, the youngest I believe we will ever have and my heart can't take you growing up TOO fast my sweet girl.

Life is THIS GOOD,
CC

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Racecar Supercar

My meesta has a beautiful imagination, he has been developing a vehicle over the past several years, it is called the Racecar Supercar and unlike lots of fleeting fascinations, this one has stuck. This car, which he wants to patent since his mommy explained what that means, is all-purpose, all-wonderful, all-powerful. I think it could even wipe for you if I suggested that to him...which I won't be doing.

So, let me take you for a journey on the Racecar Supercar...
  • It holds up to 10 people
  • It goes underwater and then becomes like a submarine with a telescope
  • It has seats that fold out into beds
  • Each person has their own tv that also allows for videogames
  • It has a kitchen
  • It has a bathroom
  • It can fly
  • It can tow my minivan
  • It can always find D and I, no matter where it is in the world, it can track us down
  • It sometimes will not allow kids under 3 inside (think Shenzy)
  • It goes SUPER FAST
  • It is orange and has racing stripes
  • It can drive ON the water
  • He and Doodle plan to live on it
  • It can squirt out slime for bad drivers around it
  • Meesta is the only one who can operate it
  • It can disappear

These are but a few of the qualities that the Racecar Supercar has developed over the last 2+ years. Meesta and I went on a "date" to get his haircut last week and the entire time, and I am not kidding, the entire way there (~20 minutes) and back (another ~20 minutes), he discussed this car. This is when I brought up the topic of patent and explained why he needed one, because everyone was going to want this thing once he gets the prototype done.

Long live the imagination of a child, it is inspiring and freeing.

I LOVE my kids.

CC