Sunday, January 31, 2010

Arkansas Children's Hospital

As our two year old runs wild through the house, Ep and I sat captivated by a segment on Dateline NBC tonight. If you missed it, you can find it here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032600/

Within the first few minutes of the show, tears filled my eyes. Its funny what you think your mind has forgotten and the sounds that can bring it all back. As I heard the monitors beeping, I momentarily was filled with thoughts of 2+ years ago when our world was surrounded by beeping monitors. As we watched the show, I couldn't help but think about what a true miracle was performed on Kale while he was a patient there.

As Kale bounces from the couch to the floor and down the hall and back again, I can't help but be filled with a gratitude that is beyond words. Its a gratitude to God for giving Kale's doctors and nurses the ability to save his life. Its a gratitude to those same doctors and nurses for giving themselves to such a grueling profession and in turn for knowing how to take care of Kale. Its a gratitude for all the support staff and services that helped us through that journey. As is the case for many families, not once through that journey did anyone pressure us about how we were going to pay for the medical costs. Then, when the time was right, they figured out which financial programs would best serve Kale with his current/future medical needs. In the end, it was with their help that we secured coverage for Kale that would end up covering every single medical expense that he had incurred from birth and is still covered by that for all his current medical expenses.

Right now, I am working on my annual effort to raise money for Arkansas Children's Hospital (ACH). There is a link to my effort in the top right corner of this blog. I am asking for your help. Please help me raise some money to help children and families at ACH--because any money going into the efforts of that hospital will have a lasting impact of the children who are or who will be patients there. Please...if only a few dollars...please donate!!!! Please pass this along to any of your family and friends who might like to donate a little bit as well.

I can't count the number of families that I personally know who have had children as patients at ACH. My own brother was a patient there once. If you have family/friends in Arkansas, then you probably know someone who has been or will be a patient at ACH...or one of their close friends/family will be. Its an AMAZING hospital that provides care not only for the children, but for the entire family as well. Please, I beg you, GIVE!

If you want to read more about Kale's journey at ACH....go here and look at the posts on 11/5/07: www.caringbridge.org/visit/prayforkale

Kale's Alphabet

Kale sings his current version of the alphabet.
Don't worry about learning his version because it will change again tomorrow! video

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ice, Snow, Both, Neither?

Ickety, Ickety, Oooh.

The next 36 hours in Arkansas are slated to be sketchy in terms of weather. We are currently under a winter storm warning. Meanwhile, it hasn't even started raining yet.

However, over the next 36 hours we are supposed to get rain/freezing rain/sleet/snow and depending on which weather person you ask...we are going to get all, some, or none of that.

So, we will see....and if you don't hear from me until sometime next week...you will know we got the ice! (YUCK!)

August 7, 2010

August 7, 2010 is the expected due date for my brother to become a father. I am so excited for him and so excited that it is finally public knowledge.

Back in mid-December, my brother called me late one night to talk. I knew it had to be serious...and it was. I had to make him repeat it when he told me he was going to be a dad. Then a nearly two hour conversation followed. There was lots of emotions, thoughts, fears, and excitement shared between the two of us. Then the big question: how to tell our parents. Because he isn't married, we both worried that they might not initially take the news with a joyful response. We both knew that joy would eventually prevail. For six weeks, he kept it a secret from them. We decided he should probably wait until after the first doctor appointment before telling them.

The first doctor visit was on this past Tuesday. His girlfriend is 12.5 weeks pregnant. His first chance to tell my mom was last night, after she arrived home from spending time at our house. She said that she was scared becuase she thought he was going to tell her that he had some horrible disease or medical condition or had lost his job. So, she was somewhat relieved that it was just "I am going to be a dad." When I talked to her last night, she sounded very happy.

Then, they found out that my dad was going to be passing through that evening. He drives a truck so his schedule is a little wacky. They decided to meet him for a late dinner and spring the news. Happy birthday to him! Yes, on my dads 66th birthday, he found out that he is going to be a grandpa again. His response: laughing and happy.

I can't tell you the joy that is flowing through our family right now. We are excited for Chris and for the absolute madness that his headed his way in the form of his child.

CONGRATULATIONS CHRIS AND AMY!!!! We can't wait for August 2010!!!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Kashi

Between some samples and coupons that made some Kashi products cheap to purchase, our household has been introduced to Kashi. I think their stuff is yummy, healthy, and affordable (especially after coupons!). Kale thinks so as well. In fact, I keep a cup of dry cereal in the truck with us for him to snack on as we make our morning drive.

Ep had previously tried some kind of Kashi product and deemed it unacceptable. He just said he didn't prefer it and in turn, decided he didn't like anything. Then, this past Sunday morning arrived. Ep was driving my truck to the lake for a day of fishing. Of course, as he rearrange EVERYTHING in my truck (or so it seemed), he noticed the Kashi cereal. Fast forward to this morning, which is the first morning that Kale has made the commute with me this week. I immediately noticed that not only was the cereal nowhere to be found, but the toss out container for it was also missing. Hmmmm. There could only be one culprit. So I asked the culprit about it. The conversation went something like this:

Me: Hey, where did the cereal go that was in my truck?
Him: I ate it on the way to the lake the other morning.
Me: I thought you didn't like Kashi.
Him: I don't. That wasn't Kashi.
Me: Um, yes, it was.
Him: Oh. Well, maybe I do like some things by them then.
Me: (rolling eyes) Ok then.

So, it turns out that while only some members of Fletcherville prefer the Kashi snack (cereal) bars, all of crew here at Fletcherville enjoy the Honey Toasted Oats!

Things that make you go hmmmm...

Yesterday was full of interesting information and moments.

I started out my day by receiving good news from a friend (who asked me to not yet disclose this news to the world...sorry!).

Then I found out that I won $40 worth of free stuff from writeaway.com via being a friend of jasmere.com on facebook. That was extremely cool, especially since the person (my former college roommate) who referred me was the winner on Monday.

And THEN my phone started blowing up with texts from my dear friend David, who was checking in on me and also letting me know that he is applying for a job here in Little Rock. For those of you who don't know, David was my best friend in high school and our friendship has survived many dramatic moments in life, including him moving off to the bush of Tanzania, Africa for 2.5 years. He is still one of my very best friends and is still like a brother to me, so having him here in Little Rock would be great. Oh, did I mention that he is applying for work at the same place where I work? Yeah, super awesome!

I was worn out by lunch. However, the rest of my day included a very interesting conversation with my husband, dinner at Larry's Pizza (Kale: airy deeta) with my crew plus Mema, and then a conversation with my neighbor about our dog staying in their pen which is about 1/8 the size of our fenced yard--because he will stay in their pen but not in our fenced yard with an electrified (cattle grade) fence. We are trying to find the dog a new home...somewhere he can roam or with someone who will walk/play/love on him daily. He needs to be with a family where he is the "only child"....and we can't give that to him right now.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sinner's Confessional



Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Let's just start right off...

It was Not Me who said "Dear Lord" right in front of our two year old and then wanted to die of shame when he repeated it back to me. It was also Not Me who had to stifle a giggle at his pronunciation of it all.

It was Not Me who gave our two year old not one but two cookies this morning before 9am. It was Not Me who told my mom not to give them to him and then relented that he could have one and then caved and gave him two (one of each kind). Yep, totally Not Me!

It was Not Me who wanted to cause serious bodily pain to my husband last night for his totally botched effort at being a supporting husband (and father) right after our child had caused a mess in his bed. It was Not Me who threatened to kick his hind quarters (without using such a nice word for it) and its still Not Me who is still steaming over the whole thing.

It most definitely was Not Me who has enjoyed FOUR bowls of ice cream in the past four days.

It was Not Me who bought 35 containers of 20 count dishwasher detergent and 23 bottles of ketchup yesterday because it was such a good deal after coupons were used. (Note: my mom paid for it and some of it will be going to her house and some to my brother's apartment). It is not me who has enough dish detergent to last for at least 700 loads of dishes after yesterdays purchase was added to my previous stash.

It is for sure without a doubt Not Me who knows I have more moments to contribute to this madness but can't for the life of me remember what they are...

Friday, January 22, 2010

This is what you call sick?

Yesterday, even after we had visited the doctor's office, I made this comment: "If it weren't for his fever, he would be ready to go to school."

The same can be said today. I have a feeling that by tonight, we are all going to wish I would have tanked him on Motrin and sent him to school.

Let me recap the past 24 hours. I took him to the doctor. Ears looked fine, chest sounded ok. Doc said its something viral. Then added that with most kids, he would let it go...but this is Kale, so he wants him to take Tamiflu. Yes, that is the antiflu medicine. So, we got his medicine and went to lunch with daddy before heading home for a nap. We filled our bellies and then we slept while daddy went back to work. We summoned Mema for Kale duty on Friday.

After nap, Kale was his normal little playful self. I remember thinking there is no way he has the flu. Daddy came home and sent me to photography class. All was well and at bedtime, Kale didn't have a fever. By the time I got home, Mema was rolling in as well. Both of my fellas were in thier respective beds and snoring. We went in to check on our poor sick boy. As I felt him for fever, he woke up. I didn't worry about him waking up because he was hot and needed medicine anyway. He raised his head and saw Mema standing there. He flopped his head back down on the pillow and buried it there for about 30 seconds. Then, he raised his head back up and said: HI MEMA! That was at 9:45pm and he seriously didn't shut up until after 2:30am. I would like to blame that on some medicine, but that won't work because he hadn't been given anything for 6+ hours until I gave him the Motrin (which doesn't affect him that way).

It was like we gave him a dose of speed. He was all over the place, talking nonstop, and talking loudly at that. I could hear him through 2 closed doors! Oh Mema, you are a dose of speed. After who knows how many videos, playing, talking, and singing....Mema brought him back to me at 2:30am. I took him to his room, we curled up with a bottle, and off to sleep he went.

At 4:45am, I woke up to find hot feet on me once again. Hello fever. So, he got a dose of Motrin and a dose of Delsym. It was a struggle to get him to take them. Somewhere, there was a conversation about Mema's car and Cracker Barrell. Then he wanted to go to mommydaddy bed. So, off we went. Daddy gave a big sigh and just bailed out of bed at 5am. Kale went back to sleep and we slept until 7am. It was at that point that he sat straight up in bed, asked for Mema and her car and Cracker Barrell. Later, Mema said there was no way that she was taking him anywhere because it was like he was on crackspeed. Very appropriate Mema...not one or the other but a combination of both. It fit!

So, while Mema and I tried to prop our eyelids open this morning, Kale ran circles around the dining room table. If this is the flu and if this is being sick....WOW!

I came to work and haven't heard from them since. Either Mema is sprinting to keep up with him or he hit the wall...and I know that both of them are in for a monster nap today. I just wish I could take it with them!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Ugh. Fever in the middle of the night. I woke up to VERY warm feet against my leg and immediately knew he had a fever. The thermometer confirmed 101. Yuck!

I gave him medicine and some bawby (strawberry) milk. As he handed the milk back to me, my polite boy said "tane too (thank you) momma". I told him he was welcome and followed that with an I love you. I was promptly shhhh'ed. And now he is snoring....


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Little bits of this and that

Just a few bits of this and that...for the record.

We spent last weekend at Camp and had a good time. It was great to get away and enjoy everything without the interruptions of tv, computer, etc. I also had the chance to take some great pics of Kale!

Kale and I had a bit of time to burn with nowhere to burn it on Monday evening, so we called the Leavell's and invaded thier house. Kale had a great time playing with the their boys. He told his daddy all about it later that night. He has asked every morning and night since: "go Robin's house?"

Monday night, we celebrated my birthday with a family meat at Outback. Ep surprised me with having them sing and bring ice cream to the table. Actually, he surprised both me and Kale. I really don't know who was more shocked. I had turned to fix something in Kale's bag and when I turned around there was a candle in my face and about 6 people who started singing. Kale was sitting at the end of the table and had no idea they were behind him...so the singing startled him a bit as well. After he put his eyeballs back in his head and made his embarrassed face, he just laid his head on the table. It was cute.

This morning, Kale scared me. He slept until 6:45 in his own bed. He came to our bed in the night, but I took him back to his bed and laid down with him. Usually, he finds his way back to our bed by 5am or so. He didn't this morning. When he did get up...holy crankiness. He didn't want to get dressed. Then he dumped an entire bowl of water on himself. He was happy to get out of the wet clothes but not happy to get dressed once again. Ugh. That boy! And I am sure that my mom is laughing and saying that nature's revenge on me is sweet about right now.

We hit traffic on the way to school/work. I took an alternate route. As soon as we veered off our main route, Kale piped up from the back seat: "No cool taday?" (No school today?). Whew...smart little guy!

Here are a few Kale-isms:

matato (potato or tomato)
ush up oose man (hush up Goose man)

cow milk (plain milk)
bawby milk (strawberry milk)
oh goodness (oh goodness)
sotion (lotion)
we get lots of variations of the alphabet, sometimes with numbers mixed in
everything is mine!

Friday, January 15, 2010

RAOK--Random Act of Kindness Challenge

RAOK=Random Act of Kindness

My mind in running so fast that the rest of me can't keep up. I am completely buzzing on some kind of natural high. It wasn't just one point of this morning that brought this high, it was a culmination of things that all came together in one moment. Before I go any further, you should know that my husband recently invented the RAOK game--one of us does a RAOK and then other then has 24 hours to complete a RAOK. Amazingly, I haven't yet had to seek out my opportunity to RAOK because they have literally landed in my lap. This morning was no exception.

On my way to drop Kale off at school, I was listening to the radio. Wouldn't you know, they were talking about RAOK's and the big magnitude of their impact even when the gesture is small. The next sentence is going to seem random, but bear with me. I had been wanting a McDonald's sausage biscuit all week. I had denied myself so far, but caved this morning after dropping Kale off. It doesn't help that there is a McDonald's one block from his school. As I pulled into the parking lot, the drive thru line was wrapped around the building so I spotted a parking spot and claimed it. Anyone who has ever visited this particular McDonald's can tell you, more than likely you are going to be approached for money or something despite the fact that a security gaurd works in the parking lot. I had barely taken two steps out of my truck when a car pulled up. I kept my distance while the man rolled down his window. The conversation went like this:

Him: "Ma'am, I know you must hear this alot, but my wife and I are from Lake Village and we are stranded. We slept in our car last night. A man beat on the window and broke it (yes, it was broken) and took my bag with my clothes and money from the backseat. I was wondering if you could buy us some food."

Me: "I sure can. What would you and your wife like?"

See, it is VERY common to get approached for money in various areas of our town. Rarely do those in need ask for food. They want money. So, his last comment caught me really off gaurd and I really didn't even think about my answer as it fell out of my mouth because I was so shocked to be asked for something that I could give without wondering all day if I had done the right thing. Yes, I know that sentence was long. Again, natural buzzing happening here...sorry!

I went inside and the whole time I wondered if they would still be outside when I went back out. As I stood in line to make their order and mine, I realized that this would get them by for now, but what about later. I added a gift card to the order as well. I figured that even if they traded it to someone for something...at least SOMEBODY would benefit and eat!

I delivered thier food and the gift card. I walked to my truck and as I looked back, they were digging into their food. And I also knew the RAOK wasn't done quite yet.

I called the radio station. The broadcasters on the show know me, thanks to Kale. I let them know who was calling and told them what happened...how it all just lined itself up...about the game that my husband and I play...and then I made the game bigger. I challenged all the listeners to find a RAOK, big or small, to complete in the next 24 hours. And then I knew I still wasn't done.


So, now I am issuing you a challenge. Complete a RAOK in the next 24 hours. It can be something grand or small or somewhere in between. I would love love love to know about your RAOK, so please come back here and post it as a comment.

Now that I have thrown the challenge at you, I will also give you a helpful hint that I also shared with my husband this morning as I reported my RAOK to him. You don't have to look for the opportunity to do a RAOK, you just have to have a willing and helpful heart when God brings the opportunity to you.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

There's a WHAT in the garage?

Last night, after we had all snuggled in to our beds, I decided to get up to take some medicine. I decided that bringing a bottle of water back to bed with me would be a good idea. We keep our bottled water in the enclosed garage, which was also Goose's (dog) temporary housing for the cold night. I turned on the light to the garage, opened the door, saw Goose laying on his pad, and looked up to see SOMETHING FLYING AT MY HEAD! I truly have no idea of the true sequence of events that followed, but I know they included me saying some choice words that included Lord Almighty, ducking, and shutting the door as I came back into the house. When I stopped by my cussing and myself, I found myself standing several feet from the door and felt like my eyes had just tried to escape my head.

For most late night events, I don't dare wake Ep because usually it will just leave me with a cranky husband who has no idea why "this" has to be handled right now in the middle of the night at 11pm. But, oh, for say what appeared to be a BAT flying at my head...he was going to be awake. I got sshhhh'd several times, not only when I woke him, but also as he stared bleary eyed out into the garage while I recounted the series of events. I worked hard to keep my voice down while trying to emphasize that I THINK THAT WAS A BAT THAT FLEW AT MY HEAD! AND HE IS IN OUR GARAGE! DO SOMETHING!!!

I already knew that my strapping 6'5 gorgeous husband who is the definition of calm in most emergencies is VERY afraid of mice. Last night, I found out that he isn't a fan of bats either. I can handle mice, but bats? I don't know. However, in our household of 2 adults, 1 child, and a dog....the options of who was going to handle this were dwindling. If anyone was going to DO SOMETHING, my options had dwindled to that someone being me. It was at this point that I reminded my husband that he is a chicken (with another four letter word behind it).

Note: most people would have taken Goose back out to his fenced yard prior to any further action. I didn't. Instead, the door to the garage/outside world was swung wide open and Goose was freely coming and going from the garage.

One adult in our house pretty much refused to go out into the garage and stood behind the closed door watching while his brave wife tried to figure out how to get the bat back outside where he belonged. It was from behind the door that he nearly peed his pants a few minutes later, not from fear but from laughing at me. We had figured out where the bat was...inside a cabinet. I grabbed a golf club and opened the cabinet door. Sure enough, there was the enormous bat perched upside down clinging to the inside of the cabinet door. I did what any logical adult would do. I told my husband to get our son's small nerf football and toss it to me. His effort to open door and toss me the football in a 1/100th of a second resulted in a string of words that I shouldn't say falling straight out of my mouth. The football went straight up and hit the roof of the garage, bounced down, and the dog grabbed it. I finally got the ball from him and threw it at the bat. The bat didn't catch it. In fact, the bat didn't move. The ball dropped right below the cabinet. Ah, Goose...get the ball! Yeah Goose! Somewhere along the way, I got frustrated with the ball effort and threw an empty plastic cup at the cabinet. I missed, but I did hit the door which Ep was standing behind and his reaction involved some jumping and ducking. I got a good laugh. Finally, I hit the cabinet close enough to make the bat leave his perch and fly across the garage. I hoped he would aim for the open door. He didn't. Instead, I watched in horror as he swooped down and went behind another cabinet on the other side of the garage.

Side Note #2: I was recently given a smorgasboard bag of stuff. Inside the bag was some stuffed animals. None of which made any noise. I gave a few of them to Goose to keep him company (read: chew to death) in the garage. One of them was a monkey.

So, the bat flew across the garage and at the same moment Goose dropped the stuffed monkey at my feet. It was at this exact moment that the stuffed monkey suddenly started making loud EEEEEE EEEEEE EEEE screaches. That was also the point where I had my second heart attack of the night and Ep nearly peed his pants laughing at me. Truthfully, it took me a few minutes to determine that the noise came from the monkey and not the bat. Thankfully, I know how to laugh at myself and laughed along with Ep. I am still laughing about it. And I still think my husband is a chicken!

This story is long enough, so the end result is this. Ep kept begging me to give up. Kale woke up and Ep went to take care of him. I finally lost the bat somewhere behind the cabinet, despite the fact that the cabinet was fully exposed by this point and not touching the wall anywhere. I had a flashlight and could see all nooks/crannies...but alas, I have no idea wher ethe bat went. Either he vanished (doubtful), somehow crawled under the cabinet, or somehow found a place to crawl into the wall/foundation area of the garage. So, I went to bed.

This morning, we have no idea if the bat is still in the garage and are still completely clueless about how to catch a bat or get him outside. Oh the joys of being a homeowner and being a brave wife with a husband who is a chicken.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Underwear vs Panties

Oh yes, I know, such a wild title huh? I promise this is a tame post.

Kale has been "potty training" at school now for several months. As far as he is concerned, he has to stand in front of the potty with his pants down so that he can then FINALLY get to wash his hands. Please realize, washing hands for a two year old is just another way to say: PLAY IN WATER! At school, he refuses to sit on the toilet. So, he has his turn standing every 30-45 minutes throughout the day. For this, we are supposed to supply Pull-Ups (which by the way are more expensive than diapers). I have a hard time biting that bullet given that in the course of several months my child is YET to do anything in a potty.

So, its safe to say, at most, we are just flirting with the idea of potty training at our house. Kale has his own mini potty, which he thinks is great fun to sit on WHEN FULLY CLOTHED. Its even better to stand on when he gets to wash his hands. Have I mentioned that when anyone in our house visits the bathroom, Kale thinks it within good reason that he should get to play in the water, ahem...wash his hands? He is also eager to flush the toilet for you. He just wants no part of actually using or sitting on the toilet.

Yesterday, in a moment of either mental greatness or complete mental failure, I introduced Kale to the fact that he has underwear. Not only does he have underwear, but he has underwear featuring Cars, THOMAS, and all kinds of other very boyish things. Ah, it was love at first site.

I should note here: I am not inhibited around my child. He sees me in all manners of dress and has since birth. Thus, this is how he knows that mommy wears panties.

Back to love at first site. Oh, what great joy it was to sit and watch as his mommy pulled out themed underwear after underwear. Then, of course, he had to mimic the whole thing and show me the cars, trains, etc on each pair. We had a momemt (.0083 seconds) of conversation about how he has to use the potty to get to wear the underwear. Since he needed a diaper change, I decided that might be a good time to let him try on a pair and maybe find some pride in wearing big boy underwear. And oh my dear Lord, look the heck out when I told him I needed to take them back off of him so we could put on his diaper. When he realized he might lose the battle to keep them on, he literally ran from me. He stopped in his tracks when I mentioned that a spanking in underwear would hurt more than when he is wearing a diaper. Yeah, don't tell me that my kid doesn't understand EVERY FREAKING thing we say because I am not buying that bull for one moment! I am scared by how much he understands! So, we returned to his room and Underwear Removal Battle 2 began. Mommy won. Sort of. After I got his diaper on, the Thomas underwear went on over the diaper. But hey, at least I got the diaper on him before a mess was made. It was at this point that he decided to once again go through his big boy underwear collection. It was also at this point that he let me know that he understood exactly what he was holding: panties.

Ep might get me for this one. (Sorry babe!) Ep has always had a thing about boy's wearing underwear! In Ep's world, boys do not ever EVER ever wear panties. Not even when they are two....

I busted out laughing because I knew where we were going. I knew the verbal battle that would soon begin. I was oh so right. Ep heard him call them panties one time before hanging his head. I had to laugh again. I then promised that I had tried really hard to repeat the word underwear and never refer to them as panties. Yet, our child outsmarted us. More importantly, without even really trying, he found a way to jab at his daddy at the ripe age of two! So, the remainder of the day, when Kale referred to his panties....Ep was right behind him saying underwear and praising Kale big time when he repeated the word underwear. In all fairness, our son got an equal dose of stubborness from each side of his family. He put it to good use yesterday by refusing to budge on saying panties. I have no doubt in my mind that if I showed Kale a pair of his underwear right now, he would call them panties.

Nevermind the fact that yesterday, we let our two year old run around the house in a pair of diaper packed underwear. I don't know what it looks like for a teenage boy to "stuff his pants" but I am pretty sure I got a good visual on a miniature version of it yesterday.

And of course, like any good mom would, I took the opportunity to capture my little man exploring his new underwear stash....

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I remember

I was reading some blogs tonight and ran across this that was written by a mom who had a very sick child. It rang some bells for me. Unfortunately, her son's story did not turn out with his survival (so PLEASE pray for that family because this was written within the past week).

I was a little dizzy but shockingly alert and coherent.
I finished the discussion and then when the angels (doctors/nurses) were distracted with charts and monitors, I slipped quietly into the bathroom.
Then I started to lose it.
I'd had it.
I felt like I had NOTHING left.
I had a good hard cry.
Reminded God what was in my heart, squared my shoulders and headed out.
I decided to leave crazy in the bathroom.
Crazy doesn't do you ANY good in the PICU.
I left that bathroom full of peace.
It's shocking when peace and terror coexist.
It's disorienting
.

I remember. There are days I want to forget and days I don't ever want to forget those feelings. Just yesterday, I kissed his one scar from the entire event. I told him I loved that scar and I know I sound like a lunatic when I say that. I told him it reminds me of how so incredibly strong he was/is.

Through the trauma of it all, I don't even know if I cried. That experience in the ER was the closest to an out of body experience I have ever had and I hope its my last! I remember sitting in the waiting room trying to figure out lunch...all the while trying to absorb the reality that our son had just nearly died. Let's just call that the shocking impact of peace (God) and terror. I was at peace because I had just been shown that I had NO CONTROL and that God had COMPLETE CONTROL. Go through something like that and you are going to be one of two things: at peace or scared silly. I was at peace. The terror, well, I am not even going to try to find the right words for that. Let's just say, if you've been there then you know and if you have never been there then I hope you never know.

Crazy only came to visit me once (or maybe I should say that I only remember once...Ep and my mom might tell you otherwise). I was in the waiting room at ACH and Kale had just gone backwards with his progress. I felt like I was at the end of my rope and was having a hard time hanging on. I remember asking Ep when it would all just stop because it had been just one huge never ending looping upside down spinning keep your heart in your stomach roller coaster ride. Ep put his arms around me and just let me cry. Thats the only time I remember Crazy visiting.

Tonight, when I read that blog which I quoted, my heart just broke for that mom. Tears that rolled down my cheeks as I read the remainder of her blog. She will bury her child this week and I am completely heartbroken for her (and her family). Its an odd thing to find thankfulness in the midst of someone else's tragedy. Yet, I am thankful to her for writing the words that jumped off the page at me. I am thankful for our outcome. I am thankful to still be processing and finding ways to express what I (we) experienced. I kept so much of it in for so long. A bunch of it leaked out over the past couple of years, but there are still little streams of it that run strong inside me.

On a serious note...a two year old

Its late. Well, not really, but for our house--its late. Which is just one more supporting thing towards where I am going with this post. If I ever get there, anyway.

The other night, after putting Kale to bed and watching him sleep a few minutes, I crawled out of his bed. I always use my phone to add a little light to the room so I don't kill myself navigating out of his bed and towards the door. I used the light of my phone to shine on him and the thought hit me...how in the world did I suddenly become the mom of a 2 year old? Since then, the question has kind of hung with me. I have tossed it around a bit. Here is the result.

Let me pause here to say: I know that without any of Kale's drama, the time would have still flown and I might still be asking myself how I so suddenly became the mom of a 2 year old. I know that I will blink and he will be 4...9...14...16...and so on. I get that. What I am talking about is a little different.

Four years ago, I knew who I loved and wanted to marry (ok, I knew a long time before then). My point is...four years ago, I wasn't a wife and I wasn't a mother. I wanted to be both. Given a liberal definition, some would say I had already been both. But, by my definition, I had truly been neither. I had just been practicing. :)

I remember the shocking bigness of becoming a wife. By the time I truly had achieved the title, I had been called his wife so many times by strangers that I lost count (and it no longer shocked me) and even a few times by him (all which somehow shocked me). I guess the shocking bigness of it all was that I was finally LEGIT!

I knew that it was in our plan to purposely try to become a family of three sooner versus later. After a little bit of fun, a quiet then all too dramatic pregnancy, and the roller coaster entry--we had our little boy. And bammo, I became a mom. I guess all that practicing was a good thing, because I didn't have long to adjust before testing out my mom-stincts (mom insticts).

In all the drama that unfolded around our son, the day to day living got somewhat lost. Its a blur. I can't and don't care to put my finger on that moment in time when I went from living in a constant state of "anxious and worried mom" to just living the normal "I will always have a little bit of worry for him" type of mom life. I can tell you this, it wasn't before he was 18 months old.

Now, if you have ever been around a child between the ages of 18 months and who knows hold old...then you know that they never stop. In fact, when Kale stops...we worry because it usually means he is getting sick. So, there are some days that I feel like I went from baby in my belly to running toddler in a nanosecond. I know that there were fun times in between because I have a some memories, photos, and videos to prove it.

There are times when we will see a small baby and Ep will ask if Kale was ever that small. I always look at him like he is crazy when he ask this because usually the baby in question is several months old and weighs in the double digits. Then I remind him that yes, Kale was that small once (like when he was several months older than said child) and A WHOLE HECK OF A LOT SMALLER when he was born. So, I don't think I am the only one in this house who wonders how we so quickly became the parents of a two year old.

Yet, this is our reality. He is two years old. And we are his parents. He is ours. He is sooooo ours! He says things like sotion (lotion) and matata head (potato head) and strings entire sentences together that leave us wondering what the heck he just said and shaking our heads and laughing because we know we are in for it when all his words are coherent and understandable. He wakes us up on Saturday morning to the tune of "Kale pee Mommy Daddy bed". He asks his daddy to PLAY THOMAS! every 30 minutes. He tells us he wants a hair cut. He delays going to sleep by going through a roll call of everyone he knows. When he sees a picture, he often knows where it was taken (mommy car, uncle brian house, Papaw tractee).

There are many days that its easy to *almost* forget that Kale's heart could go crazy at any moment (thank you WPW) or that we keep an epi-pen with us at all times (thank you egg allergy). Its become a lot easier to get lost in the day to day routines and everyday living.

I know I am not the first parent nor the last parent to say this. Wow, where did the time go...it sure flies...how did he get this big. I am just saying...when you hold your breath for the first 18 months then it apparently flies even faster. And when one day you wake up (or rather, nearly fall asleep with) a two year old...it can be stunning.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Matata Head

No, not Ma ta ta head.

Ma TAY ta Head.

As in Potato Head.

While prepping the garage for the dog, I found a container of Potato Heads of all sizes with all kinds of arms, lips, and noses. Oh the fun. Tonight, we declared it Potato Head clean up, as the Potato Head family had scattered themselves and their various body parts all over the house over the past two nights. And somewhere between then and bath time (now)....Matata Head became Kale's way of saying Potato Head.

I love him the mostest!

I snapped this pic of Kale over the Christmas holiday. His Aunt Wendi was holding letting him sit at the sink and play in the running water, which happens to be one of his favorite things to do! Can you tell he was happy about it?
Everytime I look at this pic, I just want to hug him for all the joy he brings to us!

Maybe he learned a lesson?

He, in this case, is in reference to Kale AND Goose.

Last night, I went to bed wondering if maybe both of them had learned a lesson. First, we made our weekly Tuesday night trek around the corner to Larry's pizza. We had a conversation (ok, we talked and just hoped he listened) with Kale about going to EAT FIRST and then he could "drive car" later. He is completely consumed with driving the car game in the Larry's Pizza game room. So much so, that last week he threw himself on the floor when I told him that we couldn't immediately go to the game room and would be sitting down to eat first. So, in an attempt to avoid the ENTIRE restaurant looking at us and our screaming, flailing in the floor child...we had a talk. Maybe it worked? Really, in the world of raising a two year old, we don't really know. However, we did walk in and find a table and Kale didn't end up arching his back, flailing in the floor, and screaming CAAAAARRRRRRR! He only lasted about five minutes at the table before the incessant "Kale drive CAR?" began. We managed to squeeze maybe one half a piece of pizza in him by saying "eat this and then you can go drive the car". Yes, we bribed him. Then we still made him wait until one of us was full enough to go stand with him.

As for Goose, either I managed to finally put up everything that might have intrested him into mess making round 2 or he learned his lesson. Maybe a little of both? Either way, he came into the garage and curled up on his pillow and zonked out. Apparently there wasn't a need to party last night and sleeping was a better option for him. I checked on him around midnight and there wasn't a mess, so I didn't crate him. Lucky him! As Kale and I went out to truck this morning, Goose very reluctantly got up off his mat and came outside with us. He knew what awaited him...a cold day outside. Oh well, maybe that will help him remember to behave when he gets to come back into the garage tonight!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Casualties of the dog

Last night, in a humane effort towards our dog Goose, we let the dog sleep inside the enclosed garage. I went through the entire garage looking for anything food related (or that would smell like food, even if it wasn't food) and thought I had found everything--a box of Cheerios.

Goose was excited to come inside and it all started out nicely enough. In fact, after an initial round of sniff the place down, he laid down by the door and conked out. We went to bed.

Apparently that is when the party began. By morning, the following casualties were found strewn all over the garage floor:
  • 4 cans of organic tea, 1 opened and the other 3 salvageable.
  • The remains of either a mini Oreos or Chips Ahoy travel container--all that was left was the white package and the lid. No cookies or wrapper to be found.
  • A completely empty bag of cough drops, missing one side of the bag.
  • Countless papers and some shipping size envelopes
  • 2 sweaters that had been in the "donate" pile--don't know if he tried to wear them or not.
  • Various other piece of plastic and paper remains that were too small to identify
  • A partially opened box for an automatic air freshner (maybe he was trying to hide the scent of his sins?)
  • 5 travel baby wipes packages, 3 of which were opened (maybe he tried to clean up the mess?)

Needless to say, I was NOT HAPPY with the mess. However, I did say a thankful prayer that after ingesting or trying to ingest all of that....there was not any OTHER type of dog messes to be found. However, I am pretty sure that his stomach was giving him fits because he pretty much bolted out the door and the entire garage smelled like a herd of teenage boys had been there about an hour after eating loads of pepperoni pizza.

He may get a stark reminder of what is like to be CRATED tonight, because it will once again be too cold for him to stay outside.

PS...ANYONE NEED A DOG????

Monday, January 4, 2010

Seriously, it was NOT ME!


Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Well, lets just get right to the point...

It was Not Me who stayed in her pajamas all day yesterday, including when I made a quick trip around the corner to the local store to buy some extra papers.

It was Not Me who went sans bra for that above mentioned endeavor either!

It was Not Me who ventured out in the cold to buy several extra papers because I am addicted to using/trading coupons and there were some GREAT coupons in the paper!

It was Not Me who did a happy dance in the bed this morning that would make any school age kid proud after I realized that work was cancelled today because of snow.

It also was Not Me who went outside on the deck for a few minutes this morning in only my pajamas while also toting along my 2 year old in only his pajamas, just so we could holler (nice stuff) at the neighbor girls about the snow. However, it was me that giggled with my son when the flakes were hitting us gently on the face.

It was Not Me who forgot to give our son one of his Christmas presents and finally realized the mistake this morning. It was me who promptly gave him the gift and helped him learn all the ways to make it work.

It was Not Me who wanted to kick my husband out of the house when he got a little stir crazy over the weekend.

It really was Not Me who cleaned the bathroom over the weekend using a cleaner that demands using a vented fan (which we don't have) or opening a window while it was less than 38 degrees outside.

Thus, it also was Not Me who turned our bathroom and bedroom into a freezer. (at least it was clean!)

And, um, errr, it also was Not Me who forgot to pick up the one item my husband requested from the store. It also was Not Me who knew I should have gone to get that item as soon as he called to request it because I knew I would forget to walk across the store for it later.

It is snowing! (sort of)

It is snowing here. In case you don't know, this doesn't happen in Arkansas very often. When it does snow here, we never know if we will get the good wet accumulating make a snowman type of snow or if we will get the its pretty to watch fall but doesn't accumulate or make a snowball at all snow. For the past 12 hours or so, we have been getting the latter. Some areas north of us got the other kind. They are throwing snowballs and making snowmen. We are just watching it fall wishing we could make snowballs and snowmen. I can't complain though. The place where I work has a liberal policy about inclement weather. When the school district closes, we are closed. So, today, when the local school districs chose to not take a chance of buses, kids, and parents sliding into school....I got a snow day as well. I call these types of snow days a bonus day. We can't go out and enjoy the snow, but we do get to stay home and enjoy an unexpected day to relax, play, and cross things off the "to do" list. Oh, and I get paid like I am sitting at my desk at work....BONUS! (Yes, I know this is a true blessing and I am grateful for it!)

My dear husband (who had to go to work) asked what Kale and I would do today. So far we have opened/played with a Christmas gift (Little People Construction) that I forgot to give Kale, ate raisin toast with "budder", and I made a list of tasks to get completed today.