Names have been changed to protect the innocent...and my husband...and me...but not the dog. His name is Dexter.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Book of the Week! The Happiest Mom by Meagan Francis

This week's book of the week (month?) is a quick little read that I randomly picked up at the library a while back.  Actually most of my books of the week I randomly pick up at the library.  Random books are like suddenly finding a treasure.  I love it.

Anyway, for this week it's a parenting book, but I use that term loosely.  It's not about the "best" way to be a parent, potty train or beat up other parents at children's sporting events.  It's 10 secrets to enjoying motherhood that are actually enjoyable to read because 1-it's short so you won't fall asleep while reading it and 2-the tips are amusing and true. 
Overall, I would say I'm pretty happy on the mommy front, but I was curious about this book.  I also picked up another "happy mom" book that I just haven't really gotten into it because it's long and kind of boring.  A long, boring book is not the path to happiness. 

The thing I liked most about this book is that the suggestion were reasonable and actually beneficial.  It's not about competing with other mom's and doing everything the "right" way (that doesn't exist), it's just filled with suggestions to find your own happy. 

The one chapter I was a bit doubtful on was about finding your tribe.  Being the hermit I am, a fair portion of my tribe either lives in my computer or in my texts on my phone.  Socialization with other adults doesn't really happen every day for me, although I enjoy it when I do.  As long as it's not too much.  **See hermit reference above. 

The book suggests that you should have at least one friend for each of the following categories and ideally two friends for each category.  It was done in a magazine quiz form, like the quizzes in each of the chapters.  Perhaps this is because it was published by Parenting Magazine. 

So, here are the questions that you should have at least one friend leap in to mind.  Plus I think it has to be a different friend for each one.  Pressure! 

1. If something major happened, whom could you confide in?
2. Is there someone you can ask to watch your kids last minute?
3. Is there someone on your speed dial whom you can call for minor problems?
4. You're stir crazy and have to get out of the house.  Who will race you to the nearest Starbucks?
5. When your child takes her first steps, who (after Dad) is next on your list for a phone call?
6. If you need an opinion about whether it's time to hit the gym more often, who'll make you do a 360 and then give you her honest opinion?

Honestly, I don't have someone for each of those categories.  I think maybe two of the six.  If I'm feeling confident.  And certainly not two for each one!  Which leaves us with two options.  Either I'm a total loser with no friends OR this list may just be slightly unattainable for the average hermit.  And, frankly, I don't know if my confidence level could really handle doing the twirl for a friend so that she can tell me to get to the gym asap before my butt requires it's own zip code.  Maybe next year.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I Really Am The Best Sister Ever

For any of you who happen to read Formerly Phread, you know that she is having an awesome giveaway on her blog.  She is giving away a new Wilsonart counter top.  A Wilsonart Counter Top, people!!!  When I read about this I debated....should I enter?  I really love Wilsonart counter tops.  They're beautiful and durable.  When I was in school I toured a local cabinetry shop that sells Wilsonart and they gave us each a cutting board to use at home.  I am still using that cutting board over 10 years later.  It's been through a lot, but it's still just lovely. 
And as much as I'd love a Wilsonart counter top, the reality is I just replaced my counter top two years ago when we remodeled the kitchen.  And I kind of like it.  A lot.  So I tucked that little tidbit in the back of my brain and carried on with life.

Then my sister called today with big news.  Actually first she called about an apple pie filling recipe.  Then she called about a question about making apple butter.  She also called later about the name of the paint I had recommended.  But during the second conversation she shared the big news.  They've just put money down on their dream home and they are beyond excited.

She talked about what they love about the house and what they want to change.  After the paint, the next thing they want to change is the kitchen counter top.  Because it is rather unattractive.

So of course I had to tell her about the super amazing giveaway from Formerly Phread that just happens to be a Wilsonart Counter Top!!!  It's meant to be!  The stars are aligning and hopefully they align for her to win this giveaway.  Or for me to win it so that I can give it to her to use.

That would officially make me the best sister ever.  Also....she would owe me big time.

Keep your fingers crossed!!! 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tip Tuesday-Fennel Oil

My sweet little Babs is my projectile vomiter.  I have no one to blame but myself.  It was programmed into her DNA and comes directly from me.  My all time record is approximately six feet, past a full size vanity, a walled in ventilation shaft and a toilet, finally landing in the tub.  I'm still apologizing to my mom for that particular incident.  

Last year, the sensitivities of our tummies prompted me to ask my friend (I call her my Voodoo Guru) if there was anything she recommended for this particular issue.  This is the same friend who told me about peppermint oil for migraines (life changing!) so I know she knows what she's talking about.  And she recommended fennel oil. 

So I ordered that fennel oil and it was so effective that neither of my children got sick for over six month.  Now that is some seriously good results! 

In all seriousness, I wholly attribute our lack of illness to taking a probiotic everyday.  We were sick every single week for two and a half long months.  Once we started taking the probiotic we were blessedly healthy.  I highly recommend it. 

Back to the fennel oil.....I didn't end up needing it at all during last year's cold and flu season.  This past August (oddly) the girls got a little bug.  Mostly just a fever and feeling icky.  But then Lolly (again, oddly) was the unfortunate one to lose her lunch.  So I promptly gave her fennel oil and she felt much better.  Then I gave Babs some fennel oil in an attempt to prevent an unpleasant incident.  And it WORKED! 

Narcotics and I do not get along.  Honestly, my body doesn't appreciate about 90% of the prescriptions out there.  Anyway, as much as narcotics and I don't get along, shoulder surgery and no pain relief wasn't a great option either.  I had terrible nausea but the fennel oil actually helped.  I used it several times and although the relief was not instant, it was definite.  Plus, it tastes like black licorice so it's not exactly painful to use. 

Plus, fennel oil can also increase your milk supply if you're breast feeding.  I don't know this from personal experience but it did help a friend of mine.  Just don't take it for more than 10 days at a time.

To conclude.....fennel oil=good!  

Friday, September 21, 2012

A Quiet Moment

Life is crazy.  Life is busy.  I feel like most days we just go hurtling through our lives at warp speed, trying to get it all done.  The thing with this stupid surgery is that it has completely forced me to slow down.  I just can not keep up.  Part of it is because everything is just so blasted hard to do with one arm and part of it is my body just doesn't like having surgery and is difficult when it comes to recovery.  Perhaps I should stop having surgery, yes?

The problem with the warp speed life is that you just miss so much.  You miss the little moments.  The moments that seem unimportant but are really the moments making up the kaleidoscope of your children's lives.  Last week I got to soak in a quiet moment.  And because I can do very little, I was just sitting at the kitchen table, watching my family and able to take it all in.  

Lolly was sitting at the table next to me, playing a game on the iPad.  She's so funny to watch because she totally gets into it, laughing and talking to the game.  Babs was at the kitchen sink washing tomatoes and occasionally wrapping one tomato in her dishcloth and pretending it was a microphone.

CG was standing at the stove putting the blanched tomatoes into canning jars to put up for the winter.  It was his first time canning tomatoes (very big deal), but it wasn't what made this moment significant.  Generally speaking, I would be the one standing at the stove, canning tomatoes, oblivious to the perfect moment surrounding me.  On the surface, it would seem completely insignificant.  Just another day.

And it was.  Just another day.  Another perfect day.  Not because everything was perfect, but perfect because we were all there.  Together.  Doing the little things that make up a lifetime.      

It was simple.  And beautiful.  An ordinary moment that I hope I never forget. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

My 7 Year Old Cynic

It's that time of year again.  School fundraiser time.  We can all inwardly groan together.  It is a painful and expensive time unless you happen to work in an office where all of your colleagues would love to buy fancy wrapping paper (it's lovely, but expensive) and magazine subscriptions (I now save my renewals for the fundraiser).  Which I don't happen to work in.  So, I sell them to my only colleague.  CG.  And my parents are always good sports about buying some from each child to help them earn the prize of the year. 

And there always is a prize of the year!  The do an entire assembly to show all the kids just what they'll be missing out on if they don't participate in the fundraiser!  Not only are the prizes offered for the number of items sold, but also bigger prizes for large amounts of money coerced out of the loving adults around you.  Prizes like exploding toilets!!  I'm not sure what comes exploding out of those toilets, but I can tell you that I certainly don't want to find out. 

In years passed, Lolly has come home excitedly telling us of all the fun and wonderful prizes she is sure to win just by selling a few little things from the fundraiser catalog.  I would gently break it to her that she probably won't be getting an exploding toilet, but that we'll make sure her order is enough to get her a couple of ducks or penguins or whatever the prize of the year is.  (Which, by the way, with two children in school this is now quite a bit more expensive.)

This year it didn't happen.  Lolly climbed into the van, buckled up and began to tell us about her day.  An assembly is still noteworthy in second grade, but this one she mentioned in passing.  Our conversation went a little like this....

Lolly: We had an assembly today so we didn't get to go to the computer lab.
Me: What was your assembly about?
Lolly: It was about the school fundraiser.
Me: Was it fun?  (A little confused about her lack of usual enthusiasm)
Lolly: It was ok. They just talked about the fundraiser.  But I'm not going to do it this year.
Me: Why not?  (Now totally confused by this madness.)
Lolly: Well, last year they told us that if we sold things for the fundraiser we could earn little ducks that are dressed up like little things.  And I did and I turned it in but I never got my ducks.  They aren't actually going to give us those penguins, they just want our money.  
Me: Well, honey, I'm sure it will work out this year.  We'll order some stuff so you can get some penguins.
Lolly: No, I don't want to.  I'm not going to do it.  (Unusually adamant...)
Me: Okay....well, it's up to you.  Just think about it.

Now, at first I found this little conversation amusing.  Her rant about fundraiser scams had a remarkable similarity to her father's, but with more cynicism.  And I found it sad that she was so bitter and....I don't know.  It just sounded wrong coming out of her sweet little mouth.  She is just too young to have lost all faith in the PTA.  That shouldn't come until many years from now when she is helping out with the PTA at her children's school.   

 Sadly, her cynicism and lack of faith is not unjustified.  Last year, the fundraiser prize was little ducky key chains to be collected on an official fundraiser lanyard.  This was a big deal.  They were so cute!  And much more attainable than the exploding toilet.  The same exploding toilet that will never be allowed to cross the threshold of our front door.  Or back or side doors either.

We purchased the required items, along with my parents and I  believe my sister also bought a roll of wrapping paper as well (it was my favorite design of the year) and filled out the paperwork and ducky coupons.  We sent it all to school with Lolly and she excitedly anticipated her longed for reward.  And waited.  And waited some more.  The fundraiser ended.  The items were delivered, although I had to practically stalk the school in order to find out when the perishable cookie dough was going to be delivered since it didn't come in the first delivery.

But the ducks never came.

At our family Halloween party, my parents even provided adorable ducky prizes AND lanyards to be enjoyed by all of the kids.  Lolly enjoyed them immensely, while mentioning that she was supposed to get them at school but never did.

I knew she was  bummed out about not getting her fundraiser ducks but I really had no idea how deep her disappointment went.  It was really just so sad to hear her talk about it this year.  But!  New year, new school!  I eventually talked her into giving it one more chance (yes, I realize that it may seem crazy but I had to restore her faith in humanity) and this morning they turned in their fundraiser paperwork and penguin coupons.

 After school today, Lolly came skipping up to the car sporting her new lanyard with two penguins, AS PROMISED!  Babs, who is too young and inexperienced to have developed any cynicism, also was ecstatic to be the proud new owner of a lanyard and penguins.

Balance has been restored again and we have a renewed faith in the world.  And another reminder that when you promise children something you really should follow through.  Because some kids have a looooonnnnngggg memory.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Surgery Update

I have just three words for you, my friends.  Shoulder Surgery Sucks.  It really does.  Actually, I can't really think of any surgery that is fun.  So, I revise....Surgery Sucks. 

It could have been worse.  They didn't accidentally amputate my arm.  I had a couple of dreams that they amputated my arm.  It was disturbing.  So I still have two arms.  One of them just doesn't work as well right now.  I did end up having to have the tendon/muscle tightening surgery.  The surgeon shortened the tendons by 70%.  That's kind of a lot.  But they did this fabulous nerve block thing so that when I woke up from the anesthesia I wasn't in excruciating pain. It was awesome.  So, I really can't complain.  I have complained and I probably will continue to complain and possibly whine occasionally.  But the nerve block was awesome. 

Narcotics and I just don't get along.  But shoulder surgery with no pain medication at all isn't all that wonderful at all.  Now that it has been almost a week since surgery, I can happily say that I am having less pain and am using only ibuprofen so that alone helps me to feel much better. 

I have found that I am to the point where every other day is good.  Which means every other day is not good.  Today has been a not good day.  So I probably should not be blogging because it probably sounds more like whining.  It's blining. 

Although most of my good day/bad day rhythm comes from physical pain, but there is a tad bit of emotional instability thrown in there for good measure.  Today has been a bit more painful, but it has also become painfully clear just how hard this is going to be.  It's really hitting me.  Probably because I tried to do normal things today like shower and dress myself and be awake. 

But really, all whining aside, I really should get over myself.  At the end of five weeks when I get out of the sling (I think....I'm not really sure on that...) I will have two arms to use.  I'll be doing physical therapy and it will hurt and be hard, but I'll still have two arms.  Two arms that will eventually be in fabulous shape.  I would think at the very least that I will have some pretty awesome guns.  So I'll stop whining now. 

And because no blog post is complete without a picture, I have for you a picture of my rather tiny incisions.  There might even be a little side boob in there for some pizazz. 

P.S.- For some reason when I couldn't sleep in the middle of the night and I was still drugged, I decided it was a good idea to take pictures of CG sleeping.  Maybe someday I'll convince him to let me share them with you.  Not my best photography work, but fascinating nonetheless. 

Another P.S.- It's not really a great idea to leave a drugged me unsupervised with a smart phone and access to several different forms of social media.  Thankfully the pictures published were family friendly.  This time...

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday Favorite-Summer Parties

Last weekend we had an end of summer celebration and it was a BLAST!! 

We invited a few friends to meet us at a local park to enjoy the ending of the summer and the beginning of a new school year.  The kids ran around and played (and totally wore themselves out, thankyouverymuch) while the "grown ups" chatted and caught up on our busy lives. 

Then as the sun started going down, the real fun began.  This past summer, I was lucky enough to win enough Text Bands from Hallmark for a classroom or team.  Since we have two girls and not quite enough for two classes, we decided to have a big, old party instead and give out the Text Bands to our friends.
 The kids were thrilled with the Text Bands.  And from the texts I received after, the fun continued on even after the party was over.

This is one of those drink dispensers where you can put ice in a tube down the middle to keep your drinks cold.  Instead, CG put glow in the dark bracelets.  That is reason enough alone to have a party.
And this is Lolly with glow in the dark bracelets woven through her braids and looped on her ears as earrings.
Can't you tell?!

We had such a great time that we are seriously considering making it a tradition.  The Friday of the first week of school, party at our park.  Y'all are invited. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

How Am I Doing?

This pretty much sums me up right now.
Also?  One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish is the longest book EVER!  But that's okay because look at how cute my Babs is reading to me.  And every once in a while she would gently pat my cheek to make sure I was still listening. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Whiny Wednesday

Sometimes we celebrate Less Words Wednesdays.  Today we are negotiating Whiny Wednesday.  I will not be offended in the least if you stop reading now.  Really.  And you do have fair warning since this post is titled Whiny Wednesday.

Dudes.  I'm having surgery.  Again.  On Friday.  This Friday.  I'm less than thrilled.

When I went in to see the doctor in August, I had prepared myself for a surgery that would require me to be in a sling for about a week and do some physical therapy.  Not ideal, of course, but manageable.  The pain in my right shoulder has gotten so bad that I had to do something.  And that seemed doable.

Unfortunately, my medical expertise seems to have failed me.  The surgery I will most likely end up having will require the stitching together of damaged tendons and a sling for six weeks.  That seems a lot less manageable.  And kind of scary.

Hence, Whiny Wednesday.  Because sometimes when your big girl panties are twisting, the only thing left to do is whine.  And then carry on.

So I've been carrying on.  I've been making freezer meals and cleaning my house and preparing my girls for what is sure to be a challenging time.  And rearranging the front room.  Because that is what you do in times of rearrange furniture.  But I really like it.  Very different from any previous arrangements, but loving it.

And for those of you keeping track of my medical mishaps, my surgery last February was from breaking my nose while doing laundry.  This surgery is from an old high school injury.  I dislocated my shoulder while vacuuming.  Yes, you read that right.  Dislocated my shoulder vacuuming.  Clearly, if we learn nothing else from this year, we have learned that it is unsafe for me to housework.

I really should petition my insurance for a cleaning lady.  It would probably cost less.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Babs First Day of Kindergarten

My baby started kindergarten today. 

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