Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Nervous

As you may or may not know, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in June of 2002. After a masectomy and chemo, she has been in remission for over 5 years and is now considered "cured". In May of 2006 my grandmother (my mom's mom) was also diagnosed with breast cancer in both breasts. She had a double masectomy and radiation, and has been cancer free since. After my Grandma Rose's diagnosis, the women on my mom's side of the family started to get nervous. My mom has 4 sisters, so there was a lot of women to get nervous. My sister Sarah and I got especially nervous, as we are in a direct line of women with cancer, and our chances of getting it ourselves doubled. Everyone wondered if maybe we had a genetic link going in our family.

We found out this week that my grandma qualifies to have the genetic test performed for free under a new study, saving her over $3,000. If she tests positive, than her female relatives can receive the test for only $300. She gets tested this week.

My prayers are for the obvious, that it was just a random coincidence that they both got the disease, although my gut tells me it wasn't. I have decided I will get the test if my grandma and mother test positive for the gene.

I am terrified. Deep down I guess I don't really want to know. I know I need to know though so that I can make smart decisions about how I live my life, and try to do all the things I can to prevent it. It's still a hell of a thing to have hanging over your head. Some women get preventative masectomies when they know they carry the gene. I can't fathom that.

This is one time I am glad that I just have sons. At least I don't have to worry about my children.

Prayers are welcome!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Depression

Not mine-exactly. The country's depression.

Is anyone else getting really nervous about the economy? Everything they are saying on the news is making my stomach hurt. It can't be long before it starts to affect us right? The little people? Jeff and I have worked so hard to keep finances on track, and it just makes me sick to think about what might happen. Especially as it seems no one in charge can make a decision as to how to handle it. I hope somebody does something.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Apples, Apples, Everywhere!

The boys and I went to the apple orchard yesterday morning with my Mom. It was a beautiful day for it! The sun was shining, bright blue sky, and the perfect temps.

Charlie and Sam, who love anything that is mechanical and resembles a vehicle, were absolutely entranced by the chance to ride on a tractor. The tractor pulled us up into the grove of trees, where we were dropped off with bags to use for picking. Evan, who relishes his annual trip to the orchard, was an awesome apple picker. It was Charlie and Sam's first trip though, so we had to give them some training. Charlie picked up on things right away, and did a great job filling his bag to the top. Sammy was typical Sammy, and was way more interested in eating than working. He wanted to grab every apple off the ground at first, but once I finally broke him of that bad habit, he started picking apples off the tree and taking a bite out of each one before he put them in the bag. I finally gave up, cleaned off an apple for him, and he just wandered around near us eating away.

The orchard had a huge playground, and we let them run around there, while we paid. We got some cider and some jam too, and some of the MOST delicious homemade cherry cola to drink on the way home. It was a wonderful way to spend a fall day.

In the afternoon, Evan and I used our apple machine to core and skin 20 quart bags of apples, which are now in my deep freeze, waiting to be made into yummy treats. I love that he is at an age where he is an enthusiastic helper! I also made two huge batches of apple sauce, one with cinnamon, one without.

Now that I have homemade ketchup, applesauce, spaghetti sauce, pickles, and canned apples and tomatoes put up, I feel like I am ready for winter. Bring on the blizzard!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Blame Game

Before I tell you this story, I need to remind you of Sammy's constant companion, Lammy. Lammy is a stuffed lamb my parents brought back from Ireland, and it was love at first sight when Sam saw him. He hasn't put Lammy down since. He rides in the car with us, has his own chair at the dinner table, and goes wherever Sam does.

Yesterday at daycare, Charlie invented a new game for himself. He gathered all of the toy food available in the toddler classroom and began to throw it behind a cupboard in the room by standing on a chair. Being the good big brother he is, he recruited Sammy to help him in this dastardly deed. My mom was changing a diaper on her side of the room (she is the infant teacher) and noticed that they were being naughty. She called Charlie over, and began talking to him sternly about throwing toys. Charlie regarded her seriously, and then told his first lie. "I didn't do it. Sammy did!" My mom told him the obvious, "Charlie, I saw you do it! You are the one who threw the food!" He lied again and said, "I DIDN't do it! Sammy did!"

Charlie turned to Sam and started yelling, "SHAME on you Sammy! SHAME!"

Sammy, who was holding Lammy under his arm, got a very sad look on his face. He looked around, and discovered for perhaps the first time, that as the youngest, there is no one else to blame in the food chain. He looked at my mom, and told his first lie. "Lammy did it! Not Sammy! Lammy did it!"

Friday, September 26, 2008

One of the Many Joys of Having Sons

Yesterday afternoon Charlie came running up to me from the living room shouting "Mommy! Mommy! See what I found!" Preparing to be a good mother and celebrate his discovery, I turned to him, to see his face shining with pride. Charlie proudly dropped a live cricket into my lap.

I bet you heard me screaming. Words cannot express how much I detest bugs. I love worms, don't mind cleaning up poop or puke, but show me a bug and I dissolve into a puddle of disgust.

WHY do boys have to like bugs so much??!!

Poor Charlie. He just couldn't understand why I made him flush his discovery down the toilet.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

7 Random Things

I was tagged by Lizzie for this.

Here are 7 random things about me:

1. I cut 7 inches off my hair last night on a total whim, and only 2 people at work today have noticed. One of those people was not my mother (who works at the same school I do.)

2. In 5th grade I went to a Monkees concert. I still LOVE Mickey Dolenz.

3. My favorite candy is Starbursts. I just ate three at lunch.

4. My garage is filled with crickets. We killed two that made it into the house just this morning. I HATE bugs so I will be calling the exterminator.

5. I have already started making lists for Christmas shopping. Under 100 days until the BIG DAY! Did I mention I am anal?

6. I hate vampires. They scare the crap out of me. I read a book about vampires last spring and I am still having nightmares. Nightmares where I scream in my sleep. Poor Jeff!

7. I had my tonsils taken out when I was 6. I got to stay in the hospital overnight and eat ice cream! I really missed my sister while I was there, and remember wishing she could sleep with me in the hospital.

Copy me and post 7 random things on your blog then leave me a link in the comments so I can check out your post! Happy Random Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

More Stupidity

Sorry to post something like this two days in a row-but sometimes the stupidity around me just amazes me.

While I was running on the treadmill on the gym tonight, I was reading the fine print paragraph on the control panel in an effort to ignore how much time I had left in the torture chamber. I noticed it read, "Stop using immediately if shortness of breath occurs." Seriously? Show me the person who doesn't get short of breath while using a treadmill!

I guess I don't even have to bother getting on anymore. I wouldn't want to get short of breath WHILE EXERCISING!

Monday, September 22, 2008

What?!

Yesterday while reading O! magazine, I came across an advertisement reminding readers to recycle the magazine when finished reading. In the lower left hand corner there was paragraph of small print reminding readers that before recycling your magazine, you should remove all CDs and batteries.

What?!

I am obviously subscribing to the wrong magazines. None of mine require batteries, or give away CDs.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Whack!

As I mentioned yesterday, I was feeling disgusted with myself after trying on clothes. I was feeling fat, and disgusted that I have been dieting and working out steadily for almost 10 months now, but haven't lost nearly the weight I would like. The further along in the day I got, the more I obsessed I became, and the worse I felt.

On the way into the gym this morning, Evan turned to me and said, "You're so fit Mom!" Wow. What a great smack in the face. I may not be loosing weight right and left, but I am being a good example for my kids. Since we've joined the gym, they've witnessed me having a regular pattern of exercise.

Smack in the face number two came from Oprah as I was reading my O! magazine while on the eliptical machine. They had several stories on breast cancer this month, which reminded me several times that a great form of prevention (critical for me with my family history) is exercise and diet. So, despite not looking like a super model, my insides are healthier than when I started in January.

I am so thankful for my little Evan, for Oprah, and for God taking the time to hit me over the head this morning with an important message. I am going to keep it up, even when I feel like I'm getting nowhere. Sometimes, the results are on the inside, or even in your family.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Dressing Room Hell

Please tell me this happens to you too, and that I am not crazy, or just a lot fatter than I thought.

I went shopping today to pick up some new duds for both Evan and I. We stopped at two different stores. I don't know where dressing room mirrors come from, but they all make me look at LEAST 20 pounds heavier than the mirrors we have at home. You would think that stores would want to buy mirrors that make you look thinner so that you want to buy more of their clothes. Instead, it's like being in a funhouse.

This is why I hate getting new clothes. Because I feel like a cow after shopping.

Tell me this is not just me! If you don't it means I need to loose WAY more weight than I thought!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Vision Therapy

I sat down with Evan's teachers on Thursday morning to talk about how the school year is going so far. They had lots of positive things to say which was wonderful. He has come so far since Kindergarten when we started this special education journey.

They did mention that he continues to have BIG troubles with handwriting, orienting himself to a page, complaining that words and lines "jump" when he reads, and with organization. All of which his teachers feel make him a good candidate for vision therapy. Evan also has had problems since he was 3 with a lazy eye, so this made sense to me. I didn't know that it could affect all of these areas at school, but after they talked about it with me, it seemed pretty clear that the problem is getting worse instead of better.

As a teacher, I have watched several students make incredible gains with vision therapy which involves once weekly therapy sessions to retrain the muscles in the eyes. This could take anywhere from 6 months to a year.

I called and made an appointment for his evaluation with the doctor they recommended. I asked for a little more info over the phone, and was stunned when they told me that insurance does not usually cover the treatment, and that the total cost is around $3000. Yes, three thousand dollars!!!

I am so torn. I want to do whatever we can to help Evan, and the poor kid has enough to deal with regarding his learning disability. He doesn't need his eyes making it any worse. But that's a LOT of moola. I haven't even told Jeff yet. I know he will keel over from the shock. What to do? It would be a major sacrifice financially for us, but how can we not help him? ARGH!

Benefit

If you are in the Omaha area on Saturday morning (September 20th), please consider going to a pancake breakfast benefit, to help Jonah Borngrebe. Jonah is the 3 year old son of one of my classmates from elementary school who was recently diagnosed with brain cancer. He is in need of many expensive treatments. You can read more about Jonah at:
www.caringbridge.org/visit/jonahborngrebe

The benefit is at St. Vincent de Paul church at 144th and Maple, from 8:30- 11:30 AM and includes pancakes with the pancake man, face painting, and other fun for the kids. I will be there with all three of mine in tow!

If you can't make it Saturday morning, I am sure prayers would be appreciated!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Zoo Escape

Last night around 12:00 AM a seal that had escaped from the zoo pushed open my bedroom door and woke me from a deep sleep by barking and crying.

Actually, it was Evan. But he did sound a great deal like a barking seal. I knew immediately that it was his semi annual bout with the croup. The croup has always been Evan's disease of choice, and if a croup germ is within a million mile radius of him, he will catch it.

With his asthma, it is always a roller coaster ride, and last night was a particularly scary one. He was grabbing his throat, which was making horrible squeaking sounds with every indrawn breath, and he was croaking "I can't breathe!"

I hit the ground running and had him sucking down albuterol from his nebulizer in under 5 minutes. Then we spent some quality time in the bathroom with hot water running for steam. I set up the steam humidifier in his room, and finally got him comfortable. I headed back to bed around 1:30, but was so keyed up from being worried about him, it was a lot later when I finally dozed off.

I got back up at 5:45 to put in my call for a sub for my classroom, and tried to keep myself awake with Twitter, but accidentally fell back to sleep, and woke up at 8:30. Which gave the toddlers ample time to destroy their bedroom. Charlie had squirted lotion all over the changing table, the carpet, and Sammy's head. Sammy was spraying air freshener all over the diapers he had spread on the floor, along with every item previously located in the changing table drawers.

Somehow we made it to the doctor's office by 10:00 where croup was confirmed and steroids were prescribed. We headed to Walgreens where it took $37 of crap to entertain the toddlers and keep them in the cart. A price I was willing to pay after having to spend an hour in the waiting and exam rooms of the doctors office with Sammy.

I was totally jonesing for a nap, but because the universe was definitely laughing at my expense today, neither toddler took a nap. And instead redestroyed their room.

When Jeff came home from work tonight (late because he is going to take tomorrow off with Evan so he stayed to get some things done), he ruined what was left of my sanity by announcing that he will be going to Las Vegas the last week in October for work. He will be gone over parent teacher conferences, which means I need to arrange a sitter. AND OVER HALLOWEEN. I do NOT want to deal with this holiday on my own. God Bless America. Somebody get me a drink. And some tranquilizers.

I love it!

Seriously. I could just sit here and look at my new blog for forever and ever. I love the job that Christy from Ruby & Roja did. (Go check them out!)

I am so excited, that I want everyone to see it! Tell me what you think!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Frick and Frack

Jeff and I were just notified by our shitty mortgage company (note to the Internet COUNTRYWIDE sucks!) that a former employee stole our financial info, including mortgage number and social security numbers, and then sold it. They regretted to inform us that we will now go through hell trying to protect our credit report/score.

Did I mention Countrywide sucks?

We have had mega problems with this company before...payments we made credited to others accounts, repeatedly losing our home insurance info, etc.

Now we have to go through monitoring our credit reports, putting a fraud alert on our credit reports, and disputing credit accounts opened fraudulently.

Take this warning to heart, internet! DO NOT USE COUNTRYWIDE AS YOUR MORTGAGE COMPANY!!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Not as over it as I thought...

My wonderful, awesome, stupendous cousin Ryan and his wife Ashley found out on Friday that the baby they are expecting is a girl. I am so happy for them. They will be the best parents ever, and I can totally see Ryan with a "daddy's little girl".

I happily thought about their news for about half an hour. And then, I burst into tears. Not happy tears. Horrible, green with jealousy tears. And then it got worse, and I started sobbing. Poor Jeff! Right before we were supposed to leave to go on our first date in months, to celebrate his birthday, I loose it.

I crave a baby girl. I long for a daughter. I grieve for the daughter I will never have. I cry for that relationship I will never experience.

I love my boys. I am so thankful that I was able to have 3 healthy children. I know I am blessed. But, I guess I am not over not getting a girl. Maybe that makes me selfish. Maybe it makes me a whiner. But it's just the plain truth.

What's especially hard about the situation is that Jeff doesn't even begin to understand or empathize with what I feel. How could he? He has three sons. He doesn't want to talk about it, as he doesn't want more kids. A part of me knows we don't need anymore. But, the irrational, girly, Mommy, emotional part of me just knows a horrible emptiness that my boys, however much I love them, just can't fill.

I ache for the little girl I always dreamed of, who never came to be.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Finally

After months of nagging on my part, my husband has finally started a blog of his own. I am so excited, because now he has an outlet for his quirky outlook and observations on life besides me.

Visit his new blog and give him some encouragement, kay?

Jeff's Blog

Weekend of Birthdays!

Friday was Jeff's birthday...the big 32. We celebrated by going out to dinner at the Upstream sans kiddos, and then to a movie to see Righteous Kill. I've never like Al Pacino or Robert DeNiro, except of course in Meet the Parents. I don't like shoot 'em ups, but I enjoyed this movie! And I guess it was just nice in general to be out with Jeff. Alone. Without toddlers.

Saturday was my dad's birthday...the big 56. An age which used to seem ancient until my parents got there. Now it doesn't seem that bad. I took the boys over to my parents where all of my aunts and uncles had gathered to watch the Nebraska game. The three boys loved running amok through the house, and the maze of grown up legs; racing in and out of the backyard, back through the house, past the kitchen table to grab a handful of goodies. A lot of handfuls. They all stuffed themselves on chips and dips. It's neat to see my kids and Sarah's kids be so close. A good time was had by all.

Today I am hoping to do a whole lot of nothing! I am really tired, so I plan to put my feet up and watch me some NFL. Go Packers!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Lucky Ducky Jeff

Jeff's good friend Paul asked Jeff earlier in the week if he would like to go the Iowa vs. Iowa State game on Saturday since Paul had tickets. Not one to pass up an Iowa game, Jeff said yes.

Today we found out what KIND of tickets Paul meant. Paul is a member of the Iowa legislature, and apparently these people get some perks. Jeff will be watching the game in the skybox, alongside Iowa Governor Chet Culver, with free lunch, snacks, and drinks. You cannot imagine how excited Jeff is.

Today is Jeff's birthday. I'd say he is going to celebrate 32 in style and with good company!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

9/11

Seven years ago today, I was still a single mom, dealing with my sick 2 year old. Evan had been up most of the night with a raging case of the honest to goodness flu, the respiratory kind that makes it so hard to breathe. It was making his asthma really act up, and I remember being afraid to go to sleep at more than a doze, terrified that he would just stop breathing all together. I had been awake for hours when I turned on the Today show in an effort to keep my eyes open. I vividly remember the breaking news report of the first plane crash into the Trade Center. They were broadcasting with a reporter live on the scene when the second plane hit. I remember having the stupid thought "What are the chances of that happening twice on the same day?" Unable to follow the thought that someone would do this on purpose, my brain not yet functioning in terrorism mode.

Struggling to push some breakfast into Evan, I heard out of the corner of my brain that another plane had hit the Pentagon. As a fairly new mother, my maternal instincts went into high gear at this point. Is there anything more helpless than feeling as though there might be a threat to your child, and not being able to do a darn thing about it?

We had to drive to the doctor's later in the morning, and I remember being so nervous. It was still too early to know what was going on, and the not knowing was horrible. The sound of silence in the sky is something I will never forget. So eerily strange to not hear airplanes overhead.

Later at the pharmacy, people were shell shocked. People were scurrying around trying to get home quickly, trying to lay in supplies in case something else happened.

Did we ever get that security back we had on September 10th, 2001? Aren't we still waiting for the next thing to happen? Aren't we still worried about the level of safety our kids will have when they inherit this country?

My prayers and thoughts today are with the families of the 9/11 victims. I hope it is getting easier for them to get through the day as time passes. I hope they know that we will not forget, and that they are still in our prayers.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Keeping a Promise

It occurred to me last night as I was sweating it out at the gym that this is the first year that I have ever TRULY kept a New Year's resolution. Every year I have vowed to get healthier, take care of myself, and get more organized. It's September, and I am still keeping that promise to myself. 9 months later!

I am proud. But also pretty surprised. How sad is it when you don't trust yourself to keep a promise to yourself?! Probably why I haven't been too successful with this in the past.

I am going to keep at it. I feel so much better this year, physically and emotionally!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

What do you think?

Do you like the title? (Donated by the awesome Sarah!)

So fitting for life at my house with three little guys and a husband.

I knew someone else would have a better idea than me.

Thanks Sarah. I owe you. Again.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Help Me Out

Hey all you creative lovely people out there...along with my blog redesign I have the chance to rename my blog. I have never been able to come up with one I like. Can you think of one? One that reflects my life as a mother of three boys?

Come on! I know you have great ideas!

I'd Better WIn the Lottery

Charlie, who let's remember is only TWO, just told me that "Char Char wants his own computer!" Crap. Materialism starts earlier and earlier nowadays.

And a computer of all things! How does my two year old know what to do with it?

In other news...I am getting a blog redesign by Ruby & Roja! I can't wait. Christy is starting to work on my design this week. I am so excited to see what she comes up with.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Best Thing About Football...

is that it provides a wonderful opportunity on chilly fall afternoons to snuggle with your husband on the couch, while your kids take naps and do homework.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

We Climbed a Mountain

and it is called getting Charlie to cooperate long enough to get a family picture taken. It was not painless, and it involved much bribing and cajoling and crying, but we managed to get a few adorable shots. Just wait till you get your Christmas cards!

My favorite was a shot of just the boys, which features Evan and Sammy giving great smiles, and Charlie with a HUGE scowl on his face. Not the "perfect" family photo, but one I will cherish for many years. I know I will look back on it and remember exactly how Charlie was when he was 2.

I am so proud of Sammy. That kid will go anywhere, do anything you want him too, and do it with a smile. Please God, don't let him grow out of this good natured attitude.

I was completely impressed with The Picture People (which Christi recommended, and as always she was completely right). They were so good with the kids, totally patient. The prices were reasonable, and we got our pictures the same day. We will be coming back!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Twittering

Sigh. I am addicted to yet another form of social networking. And it's all Christi's fault.

I have been hearing about Twitter on the various blogs I read regularly for quite awhile now. Curious, I asked my techno freaks (and I say that with intense love) Adam and Asten what the heck a Tweet was. Basically, it's like having Facebook, but with just the status updates.

Yesterday, I got an email from Christi asking me to join Twitter. I think Christi is the coolest person I know and her children are beautiful, so I usually do whatever she tells me. So I joined Twitter.

It took about half an hour to get Twitter in my bloodstream. I love it. Now I just have to convince all my family and friends to join too. All day long at school today I was twitching to Tweet and catch up on my Twitter. If only there was a way to attach myself to the laptop.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

90210

I couldn't resist. I had to watch it last night. I even stayed home from the gym and exercised at home so that I could watch. I tried to resist but the pull of Brenda and Kelly was too much to resist.

The highpoints? Seeing Nat. The Peach Pit. Kelly and even Brenda.

The lowpoints? Brandon and Kelly have a kid? What?! What happened to the way the series left Kelly and Dylan together? Unfortunately, the rest of the show was also the lowpoint. I could have cared less about the rest of the new characters.

I think I will feel better about not coming back next week.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Old Friends

It seems that within the last couple of weeks there has been an explosion of people on Facebook that I knew and was friends with in elementary school and high school.

Most of them I lost contact with ages ago. I still think about many of them, especially when I am out and about near my parents house, and I drive past their parent's houses.

It's so neat to see how their lives have turned out, and see pictures of their kids.

Although it is a little strange, after years of not hearing from or about people, to know what is happening in their lives through status updates. A strange way to be back together.

What did people do before all this social networking?

Monday, September 01, 2008

Accomplished

Okay. So I know I said I would take a break today, but forgive me if I don't. I got so much done this weekend, I have to tell. And then you'll be proud of me too, right?

I think if we had three days every weekend, I could be Super Woman. Here's what I did over the last three days:

1. Got a lot of the fall clothing shopping done for the toddlers.
2. Canned a lot of spaghetti sauce.
3. Completely cleaned out the toy room, threw away two full bags, cleaned and packed up the baby toys. Organized the toy room, complete with toy labels on every container that I made myself by taking pictures of each type of toy that went in a container. Clean up the last two days has gone SO much better!
4. Took all three boys to the park.
5. Went to the gym twice.
6. Did 13 loads of laundry, including folding and putting away.
7. Changed all the sheets in the house.
8. Got Charlie ready to be Star of the Month.
9. Did a lot of homework.

Do you think if I campaigned for a four day school week anyone would listen?

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