Monday, December 28, 2009


The song “Desperado” came on the radio, as I was waiting in the drive-thru at McDonald’s today. Migc was with me. It took me back 16 years ago almost to the day.

One of my best friends in high school died in a car accident December 30, 1993. It was Christmas break but we, including Dalana, still had dance team practice. I got the call while getting ready for early morning practice. I still went to practice and we all sat and cried in complete disbelief. I remember so many of the details of the next few days, but one in particular always brings the whole time back in full strength. A dear friend, Adam, pulled up outside my house, which was only about a quarter of a mile from where she died and talked to a few of my friends and I. He had semi-dated Dalana right before the accident. He had been driving around for hours listening to “Desperado” with eyes about as red-stained and glassy as they come.

Today, as I sat in the drive-thru, I listened to that song and cried so hard, telling Migc about that sweet girl that died too soon 16 years ago. She was the bubbliest person I’ve ever met. She was sweet and spunky and silly and teeny-tiny.

I always told myself that as time went on, I wouldn’t cry about it anymore. I thought there would come a time when I wouldn’t think of her often and could think of her without crying. Sixteen years later, I still haven’t reached that moment. I cry when I pass the cemetery where her body lies. I cry when I drive out by where she died. I cry when I communicate with her mom or her sister. I cry when “Desperado” comes on the radio. Random things trigger my memory and I cry. Just as I sometimes think about what an old friend might be up to, I think of what she would have accomplished and who she would be had she lived. I wonder who she’d be married to, how many kids she’d have now and what she would be doing with her life. I’ve kept up with her sister and her mom, so that helps knowing how they have gone about their lives, but I still miss her.

Rest in Peace, sweetie! I still remember your little cute dance move!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Year In Review

This is my all-time favorite meme. I don’t know if it will capture my year through my blog, but it’s worth a shot.

Year-in-review Meme: Take the first sentence (or first few sentences that form a thought) from the first entry of each month and then post them here month by month. This will form your year-in-review.

January: Save Me
I am about to lose my mind. I have had absolutely not one minute of sleep tonight. It is 4am and my baby is upstairs screaming. I'm taking a 10 minute break.

February: Flood of Emotions
I've decided not to talk about Jodi's murder or trial or anything pertaining to her here purely because some of those that read this didn't experience those first days and weeks with me, and would probably be left with a lot of questions. I just had a flood of emotions and want to write right now though.

March: No title
I don't have anything exciting to write about. Life moves along as it does. How many times can I tell you how fun Jaden is? lol

April: To Be In My Mind
Yesterday afternoon, I'm driving down the back roads from Wichita to Ark City and my mind is wandering.

May: Complicated Relationships
Some things are complicated. Fear often adds to that complication.
I have a little brother.

June: It’s His Thing
Migc is definitely our baseball player.

July: How to Melt a Mama’s Heart
Migc wrote this in class at the end of the school year:

August: Lost in Limbo
It’s been almost a month since I’ve written. I can’t remember a time in my life when I could say that. I don’t know if that’s good or bad or indifferent.

September: No title

October: When the Saints go marching in, I want to be one of them
Yesterday, I stood in line at the grocery store and saw that Katherine Heigl adopted a special needs baby from Korea, and I had to choke back tears.

November: Blah, Blah, Blah
I got nothin’. We’re still working on the basement.

December: Causalities of War
You know what I think sucks? Let me first say that my husband said, “That’s just the way it is.”

Sunday, December 13, 2009

OK so, I am a Quack

Remember that last post where I talked about knowing my children from the womb, yeah, I’m a quack.

I learned last week at my appointment that I have low-lying placenta. I knew basically what that is but definitely not details of what that means right now. Remember all my “this child is so calm and I’m not feeling the baby move yet” comments? Yeah, that’s a very good sign of a low-lying placenta. If the placenta is low, it actually places itself as a barrier between the baby and I and movement is harder to feel. Also, not being able to find the heart beat on the 1st visit, yep, that’s another very common sign.

Now, don’t worry, it’s not previa and rarely does a low-lying placenta actually stay there, so no one is freaked out yet or anything, but it something to think about and certainly explains my experience thus far.

So, yeah, I’m not some great intuitive mother, they were just signs of a low-lying placenta and not actually happening.

As for the gender of this child, we call him/her girl, but we’ll see on the day of arrival. :)

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

From the Womb

Have you ever known your child from their behaviors in the womb? Maybe my children are just extra vocal from the womb or maybe I’m just extra intuitive or maybe everyone gets a feel for it…or maybe I’m just a quack. It has taken child #4 to be certain that I can determine a lot about the personality of my child based on behaviors in the womb.

Migc responded to me every time I beckoned him. I would poke; he would poke back. I would  eat ice cream; he would dance. He always, always, always responded to me. As a baby and even now as a school-aged boy, he responds to me. He stays close and senses and moves with me. I’ve always felt Migc and I had some great unspoken connection.

Kristen refused to respond to me. I’d poke; she would occasionally budge. I would eat; she didn’t care. Migc was active, but not compared to Kristen. Kristen was busy all the time. When I was pregnant with Kristen, I was always busy and rarely sat to just enjoy her. She made herself known though. She didn’t care what I was doing. She would move all day. Normally, babies will move when moms sit and sleep when moms are most active. Kristen didn’t care what I was doing. She kept her own schedule. She’s still the same way. She busts into conversations. She knocks things over when she enters a room, and what I think makes only an average amount of difference to her. She responds to me when she feels like it and marches to her own beat, not her mom’s. Oh, and I craved spicy when I was pregnant with her and since she started eating solid foods, she *loves* spicy.

Jaden was a trip from the beginning. I was feeling movement with Jaden at like 11 or 12 weeks and I never stopped feeling movement. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat. I had tons of very uncomfortable heartburn and gas and extra Restless Legs throughout the entire pregnancy. It was just all-around not enjoyable. Having previously enjoyed pregnancy, I thought at the time that it was because of my age, but learned after his birth that it was his personality. Jaden cried for 6 hours straight the first night he came home. He had all-day colic for 12 weeks. He didn’t sleep for the first 8 months. Once he started walking, he never sat down again. He isn’t bad. He is just very, very busy. He is a lot of work. When I was pregnant with him, I never wanted to leave the house. Now, he’s so much work out of the house, I never want to leave WITH him. :)

Now this one. Uncooperative, yet blissfully calm! It was around week 15 before I started feeling movement – the latest of them all. On the first appointment, no one could find the heartbeat so we had to do a sonogram. Now, at the 20-week appointment to find out if we’re having a boy or a girl, who knows? This baby doesn’t want to share! Maybe he/she hates us? I don’t know. I feel movement a few times a day but definitely not all day and not intrusive at all. I often forget that I’m pregnant because it’s been so easy. Yet, this child refuses to let us in on what in the heck is going on in there. We know that he/she is healthy and measuring exactly on, but it’s anybody’s guess if we’re having a boy or a girl, though for the record, the tech *thinks* it’s a girl. We’ll see if he/she keeps this personality trait as a baby, a toddler, a school-aged child and beyond.  I have a feeling if he/she does, I’m going to have a lot of future disappointments. I should probably just get used to it now and TRUST because I haven’t missed anything necessary, only things I’ve wanted to rest my mind. Baby, be who God created you to be, k? I love you!


20 weeks

Monday, December 7, 2009

Life More Abundantly

I’m feeling great! This pregnancy has been a breeze so far! Yeah, I hated the first 12 weeks and vowed to not do this again, but for the past 8 weeks, I don’t even feel pregnant. My belly is growing but I don’t feel huge. I do, however, feel very out of shape!

I feel movement regularly, but not all day all the time, which I pray is a sign of the calmness of this baby. Can I PLEASE have a calm child?

We find out in 2 days what we are having. I’ve officially had a girl and a boy dream, so it’s up for grabs. :) We’re all very excited!!!

We had our military Christmas party this last weekend and it was so much fun! Justin was in the Coffeyville location from the time we met and when I first met all of the girls there, they were excited to meet this girl that had landed Zimmie. The guys there love him. The girls make me feel so welcome. I miss him drilling with those guys. About six months ago, he switched to the Winfield armory to be closer to home. It’s been a tough transition for all of us. We don’t seem to fit in there as well as we did in Coffeyville. I know it would just take some time because though we know people there, military-wise, we are brand new to them. Justin had deployed with many of the Coffeyville guys, so we never had the adjustment period with them.

We found out this weekend that the Winfield armory is closing and he’ll be going back to Coffeyville and really, it wasn’t a huge disappointment for us! I enjoyed seeing the wives and hanging out with them so much! I wish we all lived closer. I feel so comfortable with those girls!

I’m  glad that the two groups will become one now too. *I* think that if/when they do deploy again, having them as one now, will help then. Instead of there being this division to overcome, they will already be a solid unit. They are ALL  a great group of guys and they’ll all do well together. They just maybe need that push to make it happen and I think this is the right push. So, I’m thankful (on this one) for governors that I don’t agree with. :)

Also, he had a review of his NCOER this weekend, wow! It was amazing! This amazing man of mine was formed in the womb for military leadership. He bleeds it. His review was out of this world good and I’m certain he has nothing but a promising future with the military. I’m so proud to be his wife!

Church is still amazing! We went yesterday for our third week and we love it!! It’s definitely the right place for us! I cannot believe how amazing it is. It’s everything we wanted, in one church. I am so blessed! Last week when we attended, I was greeted in the nursery section by the step-daughter of one my favorite people in the world. It was a lovely addition!

Anyway, I’ll leave you with a picture of some booties that I made for a friend’s baby.


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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Causalities of War

You know what I think sucks? Let me first say that my husband said, “That’s just the way it is.”

I think it sucks that Obama took 92 days to make his decision about Afghanistan, but those Marines only get 2 weeks notice before they leave. That’s an extra 3 months that they could have spent preparing themselves and their family for deployment.

Just one of those things that erks me today!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Random is How I Roll

Has it really been almost 2 weeks since I updated? I get all Posty McPosterton right around me doctor’s appointment, don’t I? Gosh! And, yes, Justin says my mind just runs and runs and runs. Occasionally, it all just comes right now. This, my friends, is merely a fraction. I backspace a lot, remembering there are lots of things that people just don’t care to read about.

Really, I think I’ve been waiting to get pictures on here of our newly completed basement that I’m sitting my butt in right now, but yeah, I’ll do that some day. :)

Anyway, the baby is officially kicking the crap out of me and has been all day today! Wow – he/she just doesn’t feel like sleeping today! Justin laid his head on my belly last week and was amazed to be able to hear the baby moving around in there. It was cool! I believe I’ve officially “popped”. There is no denying the belly now. Eighteen weeks and I’m round. I’ve also gained 9 pounds so far too. Hey, it’s my 4th! Back off, I can do that!

So, baby is good. Mommy is good. I’m enjoying this pregnancy much more than I did Jaden’s. I don’t know what it was, but I just did not enjoy that pregnancy, nor really that labor and delivery. I’m looking forward to this one though. I believe we’re going to get to birth at the Wesley BirthCare Center and I’m pretty stoked about that. I’m having a birth photographer and things are just going to be exactly the way that I want them! I look forward to meeting this baby. Seeing how the others have grown makes me long to know this one too. Two weeks from today, we find out if it’s a boy or a girl. As much as I want a boy, I’m skerred to have yet another Justin running around this house – I already have 3 and that is more than enough! Regardless of gender, this kid better act like me. :) lol

We found a church last week. I cannot begin to tell you how exciting this is for us. We’ve been so many places and been praying for so long. The search took about 5 months and was HARD! It’s Pleasantview Baptist and it’s a great fit, we think. I’ve been excited for this Sunday all week! It’s going by so slow! I feel like it’s a place where we can all really grow and that’s my heart’s biggest desire.

Well, off to bed I go. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and it’s going to be a busy day, beginning with making Pumpkin Waffles. YUM!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

RLS & Boy or Girl

I have Restless Leg Syndrome. I’m lucky enough to have it not only when I’m pregnant but all of the time. It comes and goes. I don’t have it every day or even every week. I probably even can go a month without it bothering me. However, when I’m pregnant, it’s worse. I have it a lot more. With Jaden, I dreaded going to bed it was so bad. I would stay up until 2am just so I could go a few hours without laying in bed being tortured. It was miserable!

I have it this time as well, but I’m managing. I’ve noticed that if I miss my vitamin for 3 days, I definitely get it. It doesn’t seem to bother me as much if I keep up on my vitamins. Last night, I was reading up about it and it mentioned that people with RLS often have cold feet as well and that socks may help. Last night, I slept with socks and slept the best I’ve slept in a week! I have also been consistent with my vitamins for the last few days too.

I’m not sure if any of them are related, but I’m keeping them up!!

Also, in 4 weeks, on December 9th, we get to find out if it’s a boy or a girl. I’m still thinking boy but have this sinking feeling that all of this boy stuff that I already have is going to be a waste and I’m going to have to start all over with girl stuff. That is really the main reason that I want a boy. The seasons and sizes will all be right for a boy and I don’t want to have to start all over for a girl and figure out whether to keep or get rid of the boy stuff. In 4 more weeks, we’ll know though!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sigh of Relief

Mama is worn out! It has been a crazy busy day!

First of all, we’re almost done with the basement. I’d share pictures but it’s going so quickly now that I haven’t gotten any. Every spare moment since Saturday has been living and breathing getting Justin into that basement and it is paying off! It should be completely done by Friday, Lord willing!

Today is Veterans Day, which means emotional to me. I know I’m crazy but I do get emotional any time we talk about Veterans and patriotism and the like. I started the morning off in tears.

We had our baby check-up today. I’ve been worried for the last few weeks. I’m not sure if I’m feeling movement yet. Some times I think I am, but I’m just not sure. Last month, we got to see the baby’s heart beat, but we didn’t get a heart rate so in my mind, I’ve worried that the heart beat might be not strong enough and is the baby ok. Then I wasn’t feeling movement like I’m used to feeling by now, so I was worried as well. I was nervous for today and beyond ready.

The nurse immediately put a doppler to the belly and searched for a few minutes…the minutes seemed to drag on and on and on. I was anxious, nervous and scared. I couldn’t look at Justin. She kept looking, then I heard it. As soon as she hit it, I heard it and immediately let out my breath and started crying. I had to try to control the crying because she was having a hard time keeping on the baby to get a heart rate. I was so overwhelmed.

I have to say that out of 4 pregnancies, I’ve never cried when I heard the heart beat, but today, I couldn’t stop crying. Then the baby moved under her doppler and the heart rate was 154 – good and strong! It certainly was an answer to prayer! And, I measured big, which was another concern. I measured myself the other day and I was measuring small and that worried me further.

All is well!

Migc had his first pads on and stick in hand hockey practice today and he rocked it! That kid is so good at sports. I’m proud of him!

Now, Mama has been out of the house since 11am and is worn out and ready for bed! Night Night


16 weeks

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Blah Blah Blah

I got nothin’.

We’re still working on the basement. We got carpet today. We still need to sand one wall, paint all walls and put up trim. It does feel good to have carpet though. Hopefully in a week or two at most, I’ll be able to live in my house again and begin to put things in their proper place.

We went from moving, to moving everything back in, to garage sale, to basement out of commission. I’m so ready to have my whole house back and figure out where everything goes again and to get organized again…before I lose my mind!

We have our next doctor’s appointment on Wednesday. I’m extremely eager for this appointment, mainly because though I am well into my 15th week, I’m not so sure that I’m feeling movement. I’ve always felt it by now, so I’m trying not to worry myself. According to my measurements, I’m measuring small too, which has never happened before either. So…I’m eager for Wednesday.

All the kids are great. Nothing there. Justin is great. Nothing there. Life is grand. Nothing there.

See, I got nothin’.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pregnancy Thoughts

I’m not feeling very pregnant right now. The first trimester of nauseousness and extreme tiredness has eased greatly and now I feel back to normal, except fat. My clothes don’t fit, but I don’t look pregnant at all, I look like my belly is a fat roll, and it probably is if I were to be honest about it. Its just when there isn’t a baby squishing it all into one place, it isn’t quite as noticeable. :)

But no nauseousness, not as much tiredness, no real movement, no real emotional roller coasters, am I really pregnant? This is the s l o w moving part of pregnancy. The part where you feel silly about being pregnant because no one can tell and there is nothing exciting to talk about.

I know, give a few weeks and I’ll be asking for sleep between movements.

We’ve maintained from day one that we want another boy. Kristen is girl enough for this house. Last night, we were talking with the babysitter about what we’re having and all of that, so it got me to thinking. I asked Justin in bed this morning what he *thinks* we’re really having. He said that he wants a boy, but he keeps feeling like it’s a girl. After my faux pas with Jaden, I’m done guessing, but if I were to guess, I’d guess a boy purely based on ovulation and all of that, but even that leaves quite a bit of a guessing game.

I’d love not to find out. Justin won’t even consider it though. He wants to know. He’s terrible with surprises. So, come December, I suppose we’ll know, in the meantime, we’ll keep hoping it’s a boy. :)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Learning Lessons

*Whew* I’ve been busy! Monday, the kids didn’t have school. Tuesday, I babysat and had dentist appointments for all 3 kids. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, I subbed for a Kindergarten class. I survived! I really think that is a feat in and of itself.

I don’t know. You hear people say, “oh but Kindergarteners are so cute!” Really, I like what I do (in terms of subbing), I like this teacher and some how, they have found me capable and I think I do alright, but Kindergarten is not my age of choice. I mean, yeah, they might be cute if you could get them to be quiet for 15 minutes straight and do their work. :)

I’m exaggerating, but I will admit that even my own children were not my favorite at the Kindergarten age. They are a tough crowd!

I learned a lot this week too. These poor, poor children go to school for an entire day, just like the big kids. They don’t get naps, they sometimes get afternoon snacks, but only sometimes. They get ONE 20 minute recess after lunch. They work, work, work all day long. There is not song time or play in the classroom time (really, why is there a play kitchen and entire play center pushed into the back corner that they don’t get to play with). It’s really no wonder to me that they have a hard time focusing on an hour of math from 3 to 4pm! Are you serious? They are so burned out. Shoot, I was burned out!

I also got to see the importance of every moment and every word you say making an impact. I had a student that I struggled with on Wednesday. Shoot, my previous times in the classroom where a big struggle with her. The Kindergarten classes have “grandparents” assigned to them that help out for the majority of the day. I remember when Kristen was in Kindergarten, we had problems with her grandma because she would make comments about Kristen’s weight and just say things that were harsh. Are they trained to do that? My helper was the same way. As soon as this little girl walked through the doorway on Thursday, my helper laid into her. She just said some very harsh things about the day before and what she knew she was going to be like today, etc. Do I need to tell you that that little girl, shriveled into her sister and in spite of my best efforts, she didn’t recoup for the rest of the day! She ended up spending the entire day in the office. Yes, she made poor choices but I felt terrible because I felt like she was set up. Friday morning, I met her at the door, hugged her, told her that I was happy to see her, didn’t mention the day before and directed her onto her work. Can I tell you that I had very, very little problems with that girl for the entire day?! She did every work that was handed to her and she did it entirely. I’ve never seen her do that. I complimented her, winked at her and overall showed my approval of her good behavior. *sigh* I felt like I made a difference in one little girl’s life for today. I’m thankful for that.

I’m also thankful that my assignment for Kindergarten is done. :) At least until she needs me again, but for now, I’m not going back on Monday.

Migc and Kristen got their report cards today. All As and Bs. I’m proud of them. Justin and I both struggle with being happy with Bs because we know they are capable of all As. Someone give me some pointers here! My mom never showed disapproval for Bs and I always strived for As. How do we get to where we’re happy with Bs or should we pressure for As? Kristen was all As, except for writing, Music & PE. Migc was 1/2 As, 1/2 Bs, which I’m pretty sure is better than last year. I remember almost all Bs from him last year. I am proud of them, but I certainly don’t feel like we showed them how proud we are tonight with all the “why do you have a B in _____???”

Well, I’m tired, it’s late. I should hit the sack. I feeling a lot better these days and my energy has returned. I’m still going to sleep earlier, but not always passing out as early as I was. Tomorrow is a full day though – hockey, birthday party and a movie with my Love!

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Tell me I’m lying, but Thursday night, I was watching Grey’s Anatomy and I felt the baby move. Justin says it isn’t possible, but I was laying on my back and I felt a bump on the inside of my lower torso. The only thing existing in that place is my uterus, so I’m certain that I felt the baby move!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

It’s My Birthday, It’s My Birthday

What a crazy day! In a good way, of course. :)

Our first prenatal appointment did not go excitement-free. The nurse came in and did her questions and all of that, then took out the doppler to check for baby’s heartbeat. She looked and looked and looked and looked some more. Seriously, she took a good 10 minutes at least searching every centimeter of that 12 week uterus. Nothing. We heard nothing except my ever-so-strong heartbeat through those extra large vessels surrounding my uterus. She said she’d have the doctor check.

He came in and did his thing (you know, his first appointment thing) and all was well and in place. He commented on the growing largely uterus that may contain more than one baby (NO!). He took the doppler and looked and looked and looked and looked some more. Still, all he heard were my large vessels pumping away.

He immediately took me in for an ultrasound. Yes, by now, I was fighting tears and praying fervently.

My doctor is a funny guy. He’s old school and doesn’t know his way around a sonogram machine all that well. He made sure to tell me that he’s made plenty of mistakes on them, so it’s an unofficial sonogram and he’s really just trying his luck at it. He turned it on and immediately there was baby! Next, we saw that little bitty teeny tiny heart beating away. He quickly printed a picture and turned the machine off. *Whew* Definitely made my day to not just get to hear the heartbeat but to actually get to see “him” as my doctor called him/her. :)


And, in spite of Justin telling everyone that we are having twins, there is definitely only one in there. :)

While we’re at it, let’s get these belly shots going. OK, I know, I’m only 12 weeks and I look huge, but just remember that this is baby #4 for me and in the month before I got pregnant, I put on 5 freaking pounds! Those pounds have officially pushed straight into my stomach area and aren’t actually baby at all. :( But here I am, 12 weeks – and isn’t Jaden just adorable. I did not encourage nor persuade him to even take part in this picture!

I Don’t Need Livejournal! :)

I know, I’m way behind on an actual update. I’ve started one a couples of times. In fact, I had a pretty good go at one last week, but occasionally this laptop will highlight large amounts of stuff if my hand runs across the pad and then I’ll accidently delete everything. Yes, that is what I did. I didn’t have it in me to start over either.

Yesterday, I was reading Jaden’s birth story from my livejournal and it made me miss livejournal a lot. I thought I’d be able to do this blog to fill in that gap, but I just can’t be quite as open with the wide world as I can be when I can lock things down. I kind of struggle with why that is. I didn’t normally write about bad things in my livejournal, though I did definitely use it for venting when need be. I don’t know. I’m going to make a good effort at it this time though. I’m going to try to keep up with this the way I did livejournal.

So here we go:

We got a new chair on Sunday. In July, we decided to redo our living room. We’re going 70s. We bought some really cool used furniture at a local DAV that is 100% 1970s. We got this amazing 70s style coffee table with a matching end table.



We bought paintings off craigslist.

040 039

Then the basement flooded and now the bathroom is falling apart. The living room remodel has been put on the back burner for a while, though we’re still excited about it!

Anyway, Justin’s dad came across this 70s green swivel chair.


We have a bright 70s orange one too that is a different style.


This green chair is the most amazing chair. Seriously, I never want to move out of it. Everyone fights over it in the house. It is so comfortable!! Last night, no one was in it and Migc was like, “FINALLY, I get to sit the chair!” :) It makes getting things done around the house even more difficult because I don’t want to move from the chair!

In other news, we have our first doctors appointment today. I’m officially 12 weeks pregnant today! I’m a little nervous, probably because I read a blog yesterday that I shouldn’t have read. You know, one of those first baby, everything is great and exciting, until the sonogram and they learn things are bad but they won’t know for sure until birth, then the baby only lives 8 hours. Yeah, I don’t do well with stories like that. Today is my birthday, so I’m nervous that I’ve set myself up. Dumb, I know! All will be fine!

Oh and I haven’t had any coffee since I’ve been pregnant. This morning, I asked Justin to leave me a tiny bit so that I could add it to my hot chocolate. Yummy! Thankfully, I am starting to feel better! The nausea is subsiding greatly and I’m getting my energy back, though I still can’t be up to even 10pm. I’ve tried 3 nights in a row now and I just can’t do it. Oh well, Justin likes me going to bed with him finally.

OK, I think that’s it. I want to get a few more things done then chill for the rest of the day. Maybe even get a little knitting done. YAY!

Friday, October 2, 2009

When the Saints go marching in, I want to be one of them

Yesterday, I stood in line at the grocery store and saw that Katherine Heigl adopted a special needs baby from Korea, and I had to choke back tears. Maybe it’s being pregnant that brought the emotion on or maybe it’s just my desire to be that person. Not that I could do a true special needs child because I’m pretty certain that’s not a gift God bestowed on me, but adopting children from all over the earth is, I believe, a God-given desire.

Then last night, Justin told me that the lottery is up to $197 million. Now, we don’t play the lottery, but we do sometimes dream of what we would do with the money. I told him last night that I would build a great big house, hire a few nannies and adopt a child from every continent. He said he’d thought about me being able to do that.

I have such admiration for people that adopt from places like China. I know American children need adopted too. I know that, but even most American children that are in foster care are better cared for than little girls in China. Most American children in foster care have more food than many children born into AIDS ridden countries in Africa like Botswana. In some other places in this world, American foster children would be considered very well off.

I am an American, tried and true. I love America. I also have this deep love for other cultures and ways of life that I would love to incorporate that into our lives in a real and tangible way.

Then you have to wonder – why do I keep having children of my own if I have such a desire for these other children? That’s a good question. I suppose it’s both. I want my own as well. Now, I think this will be our last. Who knows for sure. We haven’t actively decided to do anything to keep from having more, but we’re starting to feel like it’s enough. I know that I don’t enjoy pregnancy the way I did ten years ago and thinking of raising 4 has become a bit overwhelming in my mind. We wanted this one desperately and we’re happy to have it, but we might be done.

Plus, adopting from other countries is no small financial feat. Frankly, we’re poor and even the thought of having the money to adopt a child from another country is staggering. I pray someday that God fulfills that desire in my heart. For now, I will continue to watch the news stands for Katherine Heigls and thank God that it isn’t just me he has given this desire to!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Friday, August 7, 2009

Lost in Limbo

It’s been almost a month since I’ve written. I can’t remember a time in my life when I could say that. I don’t know if that’s good or bad or indifferent. I know that I have a lot to say, but not necessarily things that should be said, so I say nothing…only in my head.

And those conversations in my head are endless.

They say that good and evil cannot dwell in the same place. What about joy and pain? It’s been a long month, probably more like a long couple of months. There has been good, real good. There has been pain, and you know what I’m talking about. Pure happiness and pure hurt. There has been calm and there has been drama. There has been all is right in my world and there has been all is wrong in my word. There is so much going on around me at all times, I barely know where to grab on and where to let go. Lately, letting go has been my mainstay. I just wish I knew better how to let go in my mind. Every day, I hear it in my head, “Let go, Mandy, let go.” I even say it out loud, “I’m letting go of it.” I don’t know how much of it I really let go of.

Am I speaking secretly? No, sorry, I’m not. Maybe I am hiding behind vague words of what those joys and those pains could be, but that’s because they are my battles. I could have written probably dozens of small posts about this that or the other, but I’d always be leaving something out. Something that is plaguing my soul.

I miss things. Not material things. I don’t even know how to explain it. I feel myself drawing in again to that place where few will reach, really where only Justin will reach and even he won’t be able to fix. I’ll keep everyone else at bay…how? Maybe with a smile or maybe with an unanswered call or even better by just stopping to reach out.

Oh yeah, that one is the kicker. At what point do you stop reaching out and how is that ever ok? I will do it, but it will torture my soul because that isn’t who I am. I just sat on the front porch telling myself to stay true to me, now I’m here telling you that I’m turning my back on parts of me. Reconcile that. I find myself reaching and reaching and reaching. God granted me this insane ability to just keep reaching, even long, long after I’ve said that I wouldn’t. I’ve also been shut down time and time again. Then I find myself still reaching again, and it hurts. I know that it hurts because I reach from my heart. I’m not very good at faking, so if I do it, it’s real. I struggle with that. I have for years and years in the same exact way. You’d think I would have learned by now to let it go. Please, God, help me to let it go.

Maybe all of these feelings, all of this limbo in my mind, comes from a pretty social July, in which August turns into solitude. Right now, I want to lock my door and turn off my phone. I want to put it all down and turn inward, all the way inward. I have so much to say, and I can’t say any of it – none. The moments aren’t right and they never will be. The feelings aren’t reciprocated and they never will be. So, Mandy, let go.

I guess I long for either closure or reconciliation. Wow, this post went somewhere. I started with tons of good and tons of weight on my shoulders and have turned it to two hands full of items that I long for either closure or reconciliation with. I wish the same for others that so easily effect me. Others live their lives with things left undone and, I assume, never take thought of them. I wish I were more like that. I wish I could say, oh well, that’s long gone and I don’t care one way or the other, but I can’t, and they haunt me. I long for the peace of closure or reconciliation.

Tell me the secret of moving on without either.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Dodge, Fireworks, Dog, Baseball, Tomato Plants & Bubble Baths [Photo Dump]

A few weeks ago, the five of us loaded up and got the hell out to Dodge, City that is, where Justin’s mom and stepdad are working right now. Other than the woes of traveling with a toddler, more specifically, Jaden, we had a great trip. Jaden particularly enjoyed dancing to the piano player down by Boot Hill. They had some cool actors there, but Jaden put on the best show!


Migc enjoyed the Sarsaparilla.


Kristen enjoyed watching Nana kiss Grandpa.


Before the kids left for Chicago, we fired off fireworks. We decided that will be our tradition, since they don’t get to do it in Chicago. Migc was loving it!


Kristen was scared and would stay about 2 1/2 feet away and bend over to light her fireworks. She eventually lightened up (no pun intended) a little and had fun too, but she prefers the non-explosives.


Jaden just wanted to get out there and stomp on all of them, which we eventually let him do, when they cooled down.


Justin was busy being HOTT through it all. :)


And because I just finished this and realized there aren’t any pictures of me. Happy 4th of July!


Josie is doing much better than she was when we first got her. She has no more bald spots. All of the bald spots now have new hair. The black skin is decreasing. She’s fattening up (dang, she eats a lot!), and her energy level is returning. Jaden looooooves his puppy dog. When he first wakes up, she is the first that he asks for. She’s so good with him too.


And, yes, Jaden is naked here. :)

I have to share this picture with you purely to show off my good looking son. I had to send him pictures of his baseball trophy since he wasn’t here for the awards ceremony.


And, our tomato plants are blooming! This is our first attempt at gardening. I started them off as seeds and we transplanted them Memorial Day. They have grown so much! We are so proud of them and go check on them at least 3 times a day. They have lots and lots of blooms and it looks like we might be getting a few tomatoes! I’m not sure, that one may have stunted growth, but it looks like the start of something to me!!! I’m so excited!




Lastly, Jaden had his first bubble bath last night and did not enjoy it at all! He wouldn’t touch the bubbles and after a few minutes, cried to get out. BTW, no, my bath tub isn’t dirty. It’s a very old tub and those are some crazy stains that no amount of scrubbing will remove.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

How to Melt Your Mama

Migc wrote this in class at the end of the school year:

My mom is important to me. She be’s nice to me she is good at cooking. She is a mother to me. She help’s me win sombody stas the night cleing (cleaning). I help my mom play with my baby brother. Win it is Monday we eat mecsucen (Mexican) food. It is fun! Haging out with my mom. She reemines me to do things.



Thursday, June 25, 2009

Josie’s Home!

Remember this dog? Then do you remember that we had to get rid of her in December?

Jaden had been sick off and on pretty much since birth. The doctor determined that he must be allergic to dogs, and we made the heartbreaking decision to get rid of her.

Justin had gotten her just before we got married from a co-worker, who had kept her in a garage. She was beat up pretty bad, bleeding from sores and skittish, but Justin fell in love with her. While the kids and I were in Chicago, she kept him company and got him through, and she also drove him so crazy that he almost got rid of her several times then. After we got here, she was amazing! She was a good dog, yet drove me crazy at the same time. Between her hair and her bad breath, I often merely put up with her. The kids adored her! They got so very attached to her.

But in December, we put her on craigslist and the first of like 8 people to call came by to meet her and we fell in love with the girl and the girl fell in love with Josie. We all sat in the living room and cried our eyes out before Justin took her to her new home.

Not a week has gone by when we don’t talk about her. Even last night, we had steak and Justin said, “Josie would have eaten well tonight.” We still missed her, though we were getting better and thinking we were ready to move on. In fact, Jaden had been around my mother-in-law’s dog last weekend, who has hair and dander similar to Josie’s, and he was fine. He’s not allergic. So, we sat at the dinner table last night and talked about getting another dog. We were ready.

I spent all night last night and a lot of time today looking for a dog online. I wanted one and Justin wanted one and the kids wanted one. We were ready to move on. Early this afternoon, I sent Justin a text asking him if he wanted to go check out a shelter or two after work.

So, after work, we went to the humane society and started looking around. We came to a room that didn’t have a dog in it but there was a sign that said “Josie”. Justin commented on it and I looked closer and saw that it was a Golden Retriever that was 3 years old. No way! That cannot be coincidence.

We asked a woman that told us a little about the dog and we knew from the description that it had to be her. They were using her as a tester dog. She is so good with other animals, they were using her to tell if dogs were good with other dogs. They brought her back and as soon as came around the corner, I knew it was her. She went straight to the kids and jumped on them and came and put her snout between mine and Justin’s legs (no smelling, in the thigh area). We ALL started crying! It was so crazy!!!! They took us to a holding room with her. I’m not sure why. All I know is that we all went crazy loving on her and crying and astonished and amazed and so very, very happy!

We got rid of her 6 months ago. In that time, she has been through at least 2 other families, as the people that brought her there had only had her 2 weeks and had had pups about 8 weeks ago. She is skinny, super skinny, her skin is black under her hair and her hair is falling out badly! She definitely could have been treated better. She had only been at the humane society for 5 days.

We’ve spent the night enjoying having our family member back. It’s been so emotional and just amazing! We took her to the vet as soon as we adopted her and got her hooked up, then went to Wal-Mart and bought her all the necessities. I just keep looking at her. I cannot believe she is here. I never thought I would ever be so emotionally attached to an animal, but it is sure good to have Josie home!!! And what a crazy way to get her back!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Why Are You Here?

My all-time favorite scripture is Acts 17: 24-27. It says:

God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

These scriptures contain such a wealth of information and give me such a good look at who God is, but there is one part that has always meant the most to me and I’ve always held close, and I’ve thought about it a lot lately. It’s this part: and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him (one translation says grope for him), and find him, though he be not far from every one of us.

When I lived in Chicago, in Uptown, God gave me this scripture and it was one of those eye-opening revelations that just never leaves you. Uptown was not like anything most of the people that read this blog could ever really imagine without experiencing it in person. It was the most densely populated 2-square miles in the country and the most ethnically diverse 2-square miles in the country. There were a lot of people from a lot of different places packed like sardines into this neighborhood. I longed to see the glory of God flow through those streets!

My previous marriage was never easy, not from the beginning, but when I would pray and ask God why, I’d get this scripture. He put me where I was, when I was, so that I would grope for Him, seek Him, and when I did, I would find Him. It worked. I spent more time on my face before God during those years than any time before or after. I groped for God, daily. I knew why I was there. Though He had a ministry for me there, with those people, He showed me in the scripture that He didn’t *need* me there. He needed me after Him.

With the pending changes in our lives currently and trying to figure out what is best in terms of selling this house or staying in it, I’ve determined that God knows the boundaries of my dwelling. He knows where He wants me. I struggle weighing the pros and the cons of being here or back in Ark City and cannot determine which is best because I don’t know what the future holds.

I do know that God has put me here for right now. Our house will be off the market in just a couple of weeks and we will make the final decision to stay here, if God doesn’t sell it first. I will know that God has done it for a purpose and it has nothing to do with my neighbors, the amount of entertainment Wichita offers, the schools, our families, or any other possible thing out there. It has to do with the fact that this is where God knows we will most seek Him because He wants to be found by us. I’m determined to do just that. Instead of longing for what is in Ark City, I will seek God.

Why do you live where you live? Is it convenience? Is it because of financial reasons? Is it family? Is it your neighbors? Is it culture? Does it have to do with population, income, education? Do you realize why God has you where you are? It’s not because your ministry is so important. This scripture starts out talking about how God created everything. He doesn’t need you where you are. You can be replaced. He wants you there though so that you will seek Him and find Him. So, I encourage you, with me, to determine to fulfill the ministry God has laid before you where you are and to seek Him wholeheartedly.

That is until He moves you and you start again. :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Pestilential Prison w/ a Life Long Lock

Do you know this…twister…I suppose is what you call it?

To sit in solemn silence in a dull, dark dock,
In a pestilential prison, with a life-long lock,
Awaiting the sensation of a short, sharp shock,
From a cheap and chippy chopper on a big black block!

In high school, Mrs. Young made us learn this. I cannot remember which class, as I’m certain I took every class she ever offered. Strangely, this twister comes to mind often, except I remember it being a *cold*, dark dock. She didn’t make us learn it as a twister. We learned it in order to better annunciate. It works and I can correctly annunciate every single letter in that twister.

Are you proud of me now? :)

Update on Jaden

At 11:30 last night, I went to check on him and he still had a fever of 102.8. I called the doctor and amazingly was connected right to her. She talked with me for 15 minutes troubleshooting and going over everything. She assured me that as the mother God had chosen for this child, if I felt at any time that I needed to take him to the hospital, to take him. If not, she’d see me at 7am this morning.

I went and got him up out of bed, gave him another round of Tylenol and put in him the bath. I imagine that’s just what he was wishing to do at midnight. He has done a great job of weaning this week, in spite of his sickness, but last night, I encouraged him to nurse…and often. I put him back to bed, expecting to get up at 4am to check again. (The doctor suggested I get a little sleep.) :)

Jaden woke up at 3am and though still slightly elevated, his temperature was better. I felt better and slept soundly until 6:15am when I got all the kids up and out the door.

His staph infection is better if not all the way gone. It was minor anyway. With it being on his penis, it just seemed catastrophic. However, in the big scheme of things, it was very small. The scalded skin is better too, though it will peel since it already began that.

The biggest concern for me was not just these symptoms but the fact that the fever became present and spiked so high every evening. Two days ago, his ears were fine. This morning, his inner ears are red. He has an ear infection, though minor right now. The doctor ordered a UA, a blood test and a strep test. Those were fun!

We will get the UA and blood test back later today. The strep, which she thinks is the culprit, will take a few days. In the meantime, she’s having us switch antibiotics. What he is currently on, has done the staph well but has not warded off the other sicknesses, though maybe just drawn them out more.

All of these things, in and of themselves, are not a big deal, but combining them gets scary. That's where we've been. Seeing the red ears was actually a relief, as we have a reason for a fever. The fever has been the big unknown scary thing.

So, we will see. Please keep him in your prayers.

Our doctor told me this morning that I’m a good mom and she wishes she could clone me. She has her eye on me. I can tell. She is really a phenomenal woman with a passionate heart for children and for Christ. She has 10 children – 3 are biological, the rest are adopted from foreign countries. She recently got back from vacation, in which she took the remaining 6 that are still at home. I can hear it in her voice and see it in the way she handles me, she’d love to make me one of her. We’ve never talked about adoption, parenting, Christ or anything else personal, so she doesn’t know that what she does is the cry of my heart, but some how, she sees it.

We spent more time than we should have talking today. She’s a very busy and sought after doctor. She’s a great mom too. I’ve heard her stories and she raises them right. She even said to me once that she has told them, when they complain about something, that she could send them back to where she brought them from if they think she’s too strict. I thought that was funny. She’s just that way. That’s real parenting to me. She teaches life lessons, not great American entitlement. We talked abortion, orphanages, Africa, war, and Obama today. I think I’d like to be closer to her. I held back tears several times while we were talking. She has a heart similar to mine.

ETA: UA and strep test came back normal. Not sure if that's good, but ok.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

It’s His Thing

Migc is definitely our baseball player.

We thought football was it. He blew us away in football with his skill, his speed and how much he loved it. We thought, “yep, this is going to pay for college.”

We’ve never asked Migc what sport he wanted to play. We’ve never even brought up the subject with him. No one has ever said that they wanted to see him playing a certain sport. He came home one day and asked to play football, so we put him in football. He came home one day and asked to be in baseball, so we put him in baseball.

At 8, this is his first year. Until now, he didn’t know how to properly hit a ball with a bat or even how to properly throw a ball (he was raised by a mom that didn’t love baseball…and in the city). We put him in an 8 and under machine pitch league. Migc and Justin came home from the first practice and Justin was dumbfounded at the kid’s natural ability.

He has an awesome coach and team that is pretty much all brand new. His coach is fun, but doesn’t let them get away with stuff. If they mess up because they aren’t paying attention, he’ll pull them, but he is also loud and a big joker and a whole lotta fun!

Migc scored in his first game. Tonight was his 5th game. It’s cool to sit along the sidelines and ignore the people watching, just to hear them talking amongst themselves about him. I listen closely to what people are saying. I don’t hear them talk about any other kid on the team, though there are other kids on the team that are good, but every single game, I hear parents and/or older siblings talking about how good Migc is. Tonight, one of the older siblings saw him coming up to bat and said, “Oh, this guy is good!” Sure thing, Migc hit it to the fence and brought 2 other kids home. He ultimately scored the winning point against *the* best team in the league. The team hadn’t been beat at all yet and they’ve been practicing since February.

He bats really well. He runs so fast it’s crazy!! He’s been begging us to get him a cup so he could be catcher. We were convinced that he wouldn’t get to be catcher because Coach always has him on 3rd or sometimes 1st. He did though. He let him try it and to our complete amazement, the kid is really good at being catcher! He can catch and he can throw. It’s his game!

I wish I could share a picture with you, but I spend the majority of the games pushing Jaden around and running after him. I learned from the first game that I cannot do that, watch the game and have a camera in my hand, so I don’t have a single picture.

Football was good. Baseball is paying for college!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Checking, Checking

I think I just discovered something magnificent. I shall see if this works. I’m using Windows Live Writer, which may very well be the answer to my complete distaste of blogger.

Let’s see how it holds up with a picture.


Oh my goodness! I think I might just love blogger now! Oh there is definitely more to come from me now! I can feel it!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Baby!

He was born with a lot of jet black hair and a big purple head.

By one month, he was a chunk. He still had that black hair and has *always* had that smile that makes a mama's heart melt, but those fat rolls only came by lots and lots of mama milk.

At 2 months, he was strong and had very, very healthy lungs. By this time, colic was an all day every day thing!

3 months, he grew and grew.

At 4 months, this long-face baby was still very, very difficult.

I believe his love of balls began at 5 months. Nothing like football season! His hair is definitely not jet black any more.

Due to a dreaded nursing strike, we began solids at 6 months.

Then, at 7 months, we learned that Jaden was Mr. Fussypants because he was allergic to our dog. We took the heartbreaking step of giving Josie away, and began the journey of getting Jaden well.

At 8 months, we were at our wits end trying to get this child to sleep. We had gone, by this time, 4 months without adequate sleep and we were worn out. Thanks to an amazing doctor, we mastered sleep...or came as close as we will probably ever be.

He was still rolly polly and Mr. Fussypants at 9 months. This child has been a difficult one! He sure is cute though!!!
There are balls everywhere, Jaden!!! Wow! Is he really 10 months already?
He still has that smile that melts a mama's heart at 11 months!
And...he loves to play outside, even with the worms!

But, today, my blond-haired, blue-eyed, busy, smiley, smart, crazy boy turned one! We celebrated with a hair cut, a lollipop and a pony ride!
I love you, baby!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Oh yeah, I've got it!

I just took Kristen to school a few minutes late and when I was leaving, a boy from Migc's class was walking in. He doesn't know me, but he is always super friendly and respectful to everyone. Justin has even commented on his friendliness.

He saw me and said, "Hello!" He looked away, then looked back at me and said, "You cute."

I laughed all of the way home. I think I was hit on by a second grader!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Catch All

Justin took the kids Mother's Day shopping - yes, all 3 of them. I thought I might read. He insisted that I do no work. I thought though that if I picked up a book, I'd get to read now, then who knows when I'd read again. I'm way behind on some knitting projects, so reading isn't even on my list right now. At this point, knitting is work, so I'm not doing that either. But, if you are Mandy, which I am, then laying on the couch with the laptop on your lap, Coldplay playing and writing is a fantastic way to relax. In fact, one my favorites, though I'm not sure how much actual writing I'll be doing here.

There is one thing I'm sure I won't get to because it requires some scanning of photos, which requires booting the computer downstairs up, which I don't really want to get into right now. Maybe though, if I get this caught up, I'll get to the other stuff later.
Deadly Spiders

Last year, a little later in the summer, I went out to the back shed, opened the door and saw a spider. Having spent my entire adult life in Chicago, I don't know much of anything about anything outdoors. Really. It's sad! The spider didn't look quite right to me and I was afraid to go in, so I went and got Justin and said, "hey, will you come look at this spider for me?" I'm so glad that I did because it was a black widow. A HUGE black widow at that!

We ended up calling The Brown Reclusinator. We found him in the Christian phone directory. Then it turned out a few months later that Kristen had his daughter in class and they've become really great friends. Anyway, he came out and sprayed and we've not seen any since. We had seen several of them too!
Then last week, Justin and I were doing yard work. Jaden was helping me pull weeds. I turned over a log and there was a big, huge, fat black widow. They are so scary looking! We called Mr. Reclusinator to ask him if he wanted to come pick up a live one. He'd expressed interest in having a live one before. He said, yes, but wouldn't be able to come by for a few days, could we keep it in a jar until then?
I do have some canning jars but had them all packed up and the only thing with a lid that we could find was a bottle that Jaden never really used. You should have seen Justin trying to get him in there. He was so freaked out! I wanted to take pictures of it but I had to be ready to rush him to the hospital if there was a mishap. It was scary!

Then we decided that we weren't crazy about having this deadly spider sitting around our house - no matter how locked up he was, so we called Mr. Reclusinator back and asked him if we could bring this thing to him. He said he'd catch us "on the next one". Ugh!
So, this scary, nasty looking thing, met it's fate.

Even killing it was freaky!

Jump Around

Justin is one of the neighborhood attractions. The neighborhood kids come over to ask if he can bounce them on the trampoline. From the look of these pictures, you can see why.

And, if you didn't know it already, Migc is a strange kid. He makes things and wears them. This is only a tip of the iceberg. While some of the neighborhood kids are playing, Migc is wearing a paper bag that he has cut up. He has no qualms about it either. He's just hanging out with his bag on his head.

Jaden was loving the action too!

And one more picture for good measure. How do you deny this??? I can't believe my baby boy will be 1 year old in 4 days! It's making me very sad!!!