Saturday, February 26, 2011

Doing Alright For the Shape I'm In...

While driving in the car my husband asked me... "Are you happy where you are?" First, I gave a smart alec comment about being happy in the car.  After T rolled his eyes he expanded on his question... "Are you happy with how your life has turned out?"

I thought about how supportive my husband is.  I thought about the beautiful little being that we had made together and all the sunshine she has brought into our lives. I thought about our two dogs and their silly doggy personalities. I thought about our cozy little house and the nice things we have in it. I thought about my amazing family and quirky friends. I thought about my relationship with God. My immediate reaction to his question was, "Yes! Of course!"

And then I thought about my health and everything we have to do to accommodate it at times. Does anyone ever really think..."Hmmm.  In eight years I will have an auto immune disease that I will struggle with daily to make sure that it doesn't rule my life."? I don't think most kids and teenagers think about their health when asked what they see their futures looking like. They think about the people they will marry, the careers they will have, and the babies they may or may not have. Everyone just takes it for granted that everything will be "OK" with their health.  It's a humbling thought. There's a small lesson in that, to be learned, about not taking today for granted.

There are times when I admit to having mild pity parties about my health.  They usually occur on a particularly hard day.  Or when I have to not take part in one activity or another due to my energy levels. It can be startlingly easy for someone with a chronic illness to let it weigh them down and stay focused on the negative aspects. On this occasion, after having the conversation with my husband, another thought came to me. I may have to deal with all the negative things that come along with my auto immune disease, but that's not where it ends. I also get to live with the positive aspects of it! "Positive parts!", you say! Yes, positive.

I have connected with some fantastic people who are also dealing with similar health problems.  It has allowed me to be encouraging to someone else experiencing the same things, despite how I might feel at that point in time.  In it's own way it makes me feel better.

Having a chronic illness has shown me that I can actually be a strong person, even when I don't feel like it. I have learned, that when needed, I can push myself just a little further then I originally thought I could.  It's almost empowering at times.  Well, it is after I get past the bone crushing exhaustion that follows me pushing myself anyway! Ha! I have learned so much in the past four years since my diagnosis.

My health issues encouraged me to search out other people who have the same problems. I have found some amazing fellow bloggers out there. Some who I wait with bated breath until the next time they post a blog. (Obsessive? No. Just reassuring to know they are still puttering along like me.) It's a relief to read about other's journeys with their illnesses and known that I am not alone in my journey.

Reading the blogs made me feel as if I should be getting my daily story out in the blogosphere as well. To possibly encourage others in the same way I am encouraged. It's cathartic to write down my struggles and triumphs To know that people are right there with me, sympathetic in the downs and cheering for the ups, is so great!

The last would be about my daughter. I deal with a deep internal fight in myself on a daily basis about whether I am doing enough for her.  I know this is a fight that most moms have. But my health plays a much bigger part in this then "normal" moms. I am always wondering if my daughter is missing out on things because Mommy has to lay on the couch because she did too much.  I feel terrible on the days that L has to help me with things like opening doors and getting drinks. However, as one of my fellow awesome bloggers reminded me... In dealing with my health at such a young age my daughter is being taught about empathy.  She is learning to be more perceptive to people in a way that a "normal" child wouldn't. And she learning how to make choices in a responsible way. Weighing options and possibilities becomes very real in trying to decide whether she would rather have me expend my energy to take her to the park or to the zoo.

So in the words of a country singer, I've come to the realization that... "I'm doing alright for the shape I'm in!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Moments with L

"Mmmm....Bacon! I love it like a banjo!" ....I'm not really sure how one loves a banjo!
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"Constipation constipation! No no no! Constipation constipation! La la la!"
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"I poop jelly beans!  Are you going to out that on Facebook?"             ... Apparently, I have a Facebook problem!
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 "Red is my favorite color...I really need some red!" 
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 While taking off  L's dress the button on her dress pulled her hair. The poor girl lost a little clump of hair to that button. She promptly licked the clump of hair and smacked it to her head. She was amazed when it didn't automatically stick. The look on her face was hysterical! Being the horrible mom that I am I jokingly told her that she had a bald spot now. She screamed, "Really?!?!?", slapped her hand to her head and ran away.
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 "Mommy, I have an imaginary husband now!  His first name is Married-To-The-Army.  His last name is Horse.  So his real name is Married-To-The-Army-Horse! That's a great name huh?"  .....She couldn't have picked something simple like Fred?!?
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We were dining out when L screams at the top of her lungs, "Wow! Daddy's got a big one!"  .... I'll leave this one be. *snicker*
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We took L to the theater to see Tangled. In the middle of the movie she curled up on my lap, kissed my cheek, and dreamily said, "Mommy I'm so happy right now!"
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"Mommy, I really think that you are mistaken!"... What four year old says that??? 
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L: Mommy I put my name first in the song because you always do!
Me: Put you first in the song?
L: No, put me first in everything, Mommy!
 
 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Trout Pout



My day started out innocently enough for us with a drop off at preschool.  L had lunch bunch time today so I got an extra two hours to myself. Which is always a nice thing in my book.  I didn't really have anything pressing to do so it was just free "me" time. OK, so honestly, I should have probably been cleaning and just had no interest in doing it!


Half way through the day I was reminded of something a friend had posted on Facebook.  Her husband had taken the car, drained the gas and not filled it up, leaving her with an alarming level of gas left at her disposal. What a pain that is right? I stood up to go do something briefly and all of a sudden realized that I was "out of gas".  I don't know how I used it all up because I woke up feeling pretty good. Apparently, I thought that I had more energy stored up then I actually did. It's rather unsettling to realize all of a sudden that there's very little gas left to use for the rest of the days activities! Especially when you are sitting comfortably one moment and the next suddenly on the edge of an energy crash. Fortunately, I was able to pick up L and do my one errand before crashing on the couch this afternoon.


I was hoping that once my husband got home things would calm down some, with his added help with L.  Um, yeah.... Ha! To give him credit, however, it was not really T's fault that things didn't calm down. His new TV arrived for our bedroom today. So, of course, he had to set it up as soon as he got home. For reasons unknown to us, L took an exception to replacing our old monstrous TV. "But Daddy, I LOVE that TV!", was yelled across the house several times. Which really gave me incite into how she will be about her boyfriends some day.  But that's a blog for another day. Anyway, she threw a screaming, raging, throw-down, snotty nosed, temper tantrum about us getting rid of the TV.  L cried, cajoled, attempted a bribe of legendary proportions, and cried some more. The whole time she was rocking the "trout pout" look seen in the headline picture. It was finally decided that our daughter was way too tired to go to bible club which would require her to stay up late.  And that decision set off another round of fits. All of this lasted through me making dinner, serving it, and then sitting down throughout the meal.


I am sure I won't be persecuted for saying that T and I could not, could NOT, wait for L's bedtime this evening. And we may have possibly started her bedtime routine a few minutes early.  Now we sit here waiting for our sanity to return to us.  And just in time I say, "Hello serenity, it's nice to see you again. I so missed you this evening!"

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Here Comes the Sun


The weather here has been fabulous the last few days!  Sunshiny beautiful and in the fifties. Oh, Mr. Sun, I have missed you so!!! I think I have a crush on you.  OK so maybe it's developed into a deep sole abiding, one-sided, love affair! I've been found out!

Obviously, we have tried to spend as much time as possible outside the last few days. Tuesday we spent some time at the park, albeit the playground was covered in snow. The sun made it wonderful though! Today we spent all afternoon at a playground with friends again.  It was fantastic and I will be so sad when the cold weather persists on coming back. Tomorrow is going to be in the low sixties. *sigh of bliss* So L and I will be going to the boat dock to feed all the hungry ducks that have been waiting so patiently for morsels of our bread. We've been stock piling all the stale unused bits of bread and crackers for a day like tomorrow.

This weather brings to mind the Beatles song Here Comes The Sun...

Here Comes The Sun

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun,
and I say it's all right

Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
and I say it's all right

Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
and I say it's all right

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes...
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes...
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes...
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes...
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes...

Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been clear
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun,
and I say it's all right
It's all right

You can here the song here.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Awww....

Valentine's Day. It can inspire sighs of sweetness or sighs of aggravation. It usually causes my husband to cringe and run for the closet. It always has. I get it, most men don't like this day. It forces them to be romantic, schmoozy, or horror of all horrors.... to share their feelings when they don't feel comfortable doing so!

Duhn...duhn...duhn...

I won't go into what my Valentine's Day gifts to my husband usually are.  That's not really rated for this family friendly blog if you know what I mean. As far as my husband's gifts to me, he usually gets me something pretty nice. This year he got me a Penn State metal water bottle similar to the picture off to the right. Now, I know you're thinking, "Wow, how cheesy and unromantic is that?!" .  But wait!  It really is a romantic gift because of all the thought that he actually put into buying this gift.  I know, again you're probably thinking, "Gee how hard is it to walk past a water bottle and buy it at the store?".  I say to that, "OK! Sheesh, just listen!".  And, OK, I admit I was kind of wondering about this myself til T explained the gift to me.

Since I am so thirsty and left with a dry mouth so much I make water disappear faster then a two dollar Gucci purse might. I am always drinking water. My dilemma had been that I disliked using so many plastic water bottles.  Especially when I could just use a water purifier and pour it into a reusable water bottle. So I found and fell in love with a few bpa free metal water bottles. The only negative that I have found is that they have twist tops on them. That may not sound like such a problem to a "normal" person but it can be for me.  There are some days and nights that my hands are so swollen and arthritic feeling that I just can't possible open my water bottles to take a swig of water. In which case I have to rely on someone else to open them for me. My husband has noticed all of this and decided he wanted to give me a little bit of independence.  He found me a water bottle that allows me to get to my water with the little push of a button on the lid. It's so simple and easy that my daughter can even do it. Which means that even on my worst flare up days I will still be able to use my water bottle!

I cannot even begin to describe how thoughtful, sweet, and romantic this gift is to me! Silly I know.  But when a person finds their independence limited due to their health it's tends to be the little things that can make us the happiest. My guy is the best!!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Convo About Allergies.... With a Four Year Old


My Mom called to give us a report on her allergy appointment yesterday morning.  My daughter heard this conversation and became insanely curious about what allergies were. She heard us talking about a dust might allergy that both my Mom and I share. So, of course, L needed to know what that meant. I was hesitant to explain this to her because of her deathly fear of stink bugs that she has been dealing with as of late. But my husband and I have always tried to be as honest with our daughter as possible with explanations of things. Because, truly, things like dust mites are a fact of life after all. So I briefly told her about dust mites.

Apparently, I didn't do the greatest job of explaining myself.  As I was speaking a slow look of fear was beginning to bloom across my daughter's face. When I was done she screamed, "Buggies?!? Where?!? What do they look like? Show me where they are! Are they in all the dust? Can I keep away from them?".  As she is shouting this barrage of questions at me she was excitedly jumping up onto the couch. Her knees became tucked under her chin, with her arms wrapped tightly around her legs, and her toes were neatly tucked under a pillow. I didn't have the heart to tell her that dust mites can be found anywhere, including the couch that was "saving her" from the dreaded "buggies".  Once I was able to get in a word I expanded on my explanation, which fortunately enough for me, calmed L down.

She slowly let her toes creep out from the pillow and down to the floor.  When suddenly another question occurred to her. (This happened to be one of those moments when I was frustrated by how smart my little one could be!) She wanted to know what happens to people who have allergies. It's a legitimate question seeing as how she and I both have allergies. So I started by telling her that some people get big itchy hives. I should have known not to start my explanation there! L immediately wrapped her arms around her body and in a high panicked voice scream, "No! I don't want hives!".  I was truly saying all the wrong things at all the wrong times during this conversation. I quickly told her that she does not get hives when she has her allergy problems. Fortunately, for her she only has to deal with a runny nose and sneezing.  When she heard this she exclaimed, "Oh! I know that already!".  Then she flippantly left the room and the conversation behind.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Slowly Getting Better


I am slowly healing from the surgery that I had last week. I was "lucky enough" to have had two procedures done at one time. Yay me! (Yes, I am quite certain that the people in Washington state can hear my sarcasm at that statement.) Adding insult to injury I am now dealing with a severe UTI on top of healing. Yuck! So, I am now on an antibiotic and two different pain medications for two different pain "areas".

T has been a trooper while this has been going on.  He's been Mommy and Daddy to our daughter and done an amazing job with it. (Though, I think he was, secretly, just a little happy to go back to work today!) Helping T out has been a collection of family and friends. They have been supplying us with dinners so T had one less thing to worry about.  We've had one amazing meal after another show up in the arms of one of my cheerily smiling friends. (As well as friends taking L to playdates and a zillion and one well wishes.) And as if bringing meals wasn't enough, they have all been bringing uber yummy desserts or McDonald's sweet teas.  Which, for those who don't know, are my secret weakness. Well... OK... not so secret weakness. Yes, hello my name is Kristen and I am a sweat tea addict!

I have been so humbled by all of the care my family and friends have shown by taking care of us. It's made me wonder what makes me worth it???

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Brief Hiatus

I will be gone from the blogosphere for a few days. My surgery is tomorrow afternoon. I am not sure how long it will be before I am up to blogging again. Until then I leave you with one of my favorite blogs I've written....

Captain Underware

So my daughter is going through a phase.  I know this, but it doesn't comfort me when I imagine her running around in her panties in ten years screaming, "Underwear!" She sure does keep things interesting around our house!

We played out in the rain this morning. Or rather, she played in the rain, I read under our huge deck umbrella. She spent two hours  decorating our deck with chalk and watching the rain wash it off. 

Thank goodness for those two hours!  She was... literally....lit-er-a-lly.... bouncing off the walls in our living room this morning.  At one point she was blowing one of these party blowers, to the left, at me while asking if she was annoying.  Every time she blew out it hit me right smack in the ear.  When I asked her to please stop, she graciously complied before promptly blowing it right before my eyes.  At that point I decided I NEEDED out of the house and it NEEDED to be a case of instant gratification! Otherwise I was picturing myself tying her up to her train tracks and playing Evil Knievel with her match box cars! Well...it would have made for some fun pictures anyway!

While outside I was entertained with my daughter's very own rain dance.  It wasn't any ordinary rain dance, just in case you were wondering.  I was told it was a magical rain dance. This was said to me in a voice filled with all the awe that a four year old can muster.  Then she proceeded to do a jaunty little wiggle around my chair while chanting "rain" and making animals growls.  She was half bent over, her hands were curled into claws, and her little hiney shook behind her.

Anyway, all this brings me back to underwear.  I took off "L's" wet clothes once we got inside. She wrapped herself in a towel and ran for the living room.  One would normally assume that their child would most likely be furiously drying themselves off while watching their shows.  In my daughter's case you would be...WRONG! So so wrong. I momentarily forgot "L's" unholy love of being naked.  How silly of me!! I came back into the living room to find my daughter hopping across our couch cushions.  The towel was forgotten on the floor, the dogs were curiously watching and smartly staying out of her way. (Which I was fervently wishing I could do at that moment.) She was making some kind of crowing noise, like Peter Pan, and screaming, "UNDERWEAR!!!" at the top of her lungs.  I am still wondering what has happened in the last few months to give my daughter such a crazy love of being naked and the word "underwear"?!? At least I don't feel so alone in this, curiously enough, I know of at least one other friend who is similarly confused by their daughter's fascination with this.

And now that I've left you with the hilarious mental images that are sure to follow.....I will be MIA for a few days while spending some time with family! Here's hoping I am not too drained and not hurting too bad. But who's wishing.  If you happen to see my fairy godmother lurking in any corners send her my way, please! Til' next time..."UNDERWEAR!!!"