Monday, July 26, 2010

Grinding to a Halt

It's been one week since my surgery, and life has definitely ground to a halt. Which has actually...been a good thing. I've had plenty of time to think, to clear out my mind, and to stand back and look at things in my life objectively. When I'm caught in the chaos of the everyday, I can't get a good hold on these types of thoughts. They are fleeting at best, and soon replaced by the repetition of my three year old's thoughts.

I want chocolate milk. Mommy can I have chocolate milk? Please. I like chocolate milk. Chocolate milk is good. What about white milk? Can I have white milk? Please. I really like chocolate milk. Can I get chocolate milk? I like chocolate nauseum.

Heaven forbid I say no, this conversation will continue into the rest of the night - and unfortunately for my sanity, I say no a lot.

I'm finally off pain medications, which is great because now I don't sleep all the time. Which, believe me - is awesome - but your body was not really meant to stay in bed all day. I'm definitely going to have a lot of working out to do when I'm ready.

The good news is this surgery has had other benefits. My appetite and like for foods has done a complete 180. I now can barely tolerate greasy or high fat foods - not really because of my missing gallbladder, but the first bite just tastes awful and usually has me feeling sick. I soon push the plate away in favor of more healthy options. So far I've lost 2 lbs, which is pretty crazy considering my activity level is - unless you call eating an activity.

I have been trying to get in a little exercise now that I'm doing better. My biggest accomplishments have been going for a walk with the boys (Mark pushing the buggy of course), going to church, and taking the boys to the park. Most of those went well. Last night's adventure to the park was more like a nightmare than an adventure - but that's life with littles for ya.

We headed out to the park after dinner. (Mistake #1 and #2: Too close to bedtime, eek. Too many mosquitoes out).

Corbin was loving climbing the rock wall and sliding down the "big" slide. Which is just what he needs and a wonderful physical therapy activity for him - especially the climbing. But we started to notice that Hayden and I were getting eaten alive by mosquitoes. Apparently, we must share the same yummy blood that the buggies like so well. For some reason, they ignore Corbin completely - it's really not fair.

Corbin was not happy about this at all. And honestly, I felt so bad for him because we have all been cooped up in the house for a week. I couldn't even let the boys go in the backyard because I just wasn't up to it last week. In an effort to make him happy, I got the idea for us all to go for shaved ice!! (Mistake #3: We should have just gone home)

We pile in the car and head off to get our treats. We have two bars left on the gas tank, which is plenty to go the 5 minute drive. (Mistake #4: We should have gassed up before we left)

When we get to the shaved ice place we get in the drive-thru line - which doesn't look two bad only 3-4 cars ahead of us. (Mistake #5: We should have never gotten in this line).

The interesting thing about this drive-thru lane is once you're in it, you're committed. There is a fence on one side and the building on the other and no room for indecision. If a car pulls in behind you, you are for sure getting shaved ice. Corbin decides that he is still extremely unhappy about our park departure, and definitely thinks our sitting in the drive-thru lane sucks, so he begins crying at the top of his lungs.

Those of you who know my youngest, he is a quiet child...until he is unhappy...then he is the loudest freakin thing shy of 30 lbs you've every heard. And of course, we're in the Yaris (think itty bitty car) where the sound is reverberating like crazy. At this point...I want to die.

Now add in Hayden, who is upset that Corbin is crying and he begins to add his voice to the mix. He is very concerned both that Corbin is crying and that the other cars ahead of us are getting his snow cone. His solution, which he tells us very clearly, is to push the cars out of the way and get our snow cones. A grand plan indeed if we were in a snowplow, but alas, we are not.

Then we look over and our two bars of gas are now one bar of gas. And it's blinking at us...really annoyingly...almost ominously. Like...check it out sucka you're gonna run out of gas in the snow cone drive-thru...kind of ominously.

So there we are, blinking trash-talking gas light, screaming 2 year old, indignant 3 year old with intense worry over alleged snow cone theft, and the two of us just trying not to lose our minds. It was actually even claustrophobic in that lane, you are literally inches away from the building on one side and fence on the other. I mean, we are totally trapped with these two crazy monkeys.

20 minutes later...

We approach the drive-thru window. By this time, Mark doesn't even want a snow cone - he just wants to safely arrive at the next gas station before he pulls his hair out. I, of course, feel like I earned this stupid snow cone and darned if I wasn't going to eat it. We get the kids smoothies, because - well it should be obvious really - smoothies have lids, and you don't give kids things without lids in the backseat. That's just asking for it. Although, really giving them anything in the backseat is asking for it.

So we make it through the drive-thru of hell, and rush to the nearest gas station - literally a minute a way. We make it...sigh of relief...and start handing out smoothies. Happy critters...for all of 2 minutes.

Half way through the gas up, Hayden announces, I have to go potty! I have to go potty! Uh, ew, gas station potty...ok fine.

So we head to the door (on the outside of the building...never a good sign) and it's locked. Okay, maybe we need a key. So we trek into the store, but no there's no key, it's just occupied. Head back to the bathroom. And it is smelly...if it's this smelly on the outside, I cannot even imagine what it's like inside. I have no idea what the guy in there is doing...but it's taking a long time.

I look at Hayden and ask, "Can you hold it?" Because we are like 4 minutes from home. And sweetly he says yes. So then we head back to the car.

This is when I see a very concerned look on Mark's face. Oh no. What happened? Apparently, Corbin thought it would be fun to turn his smoothie upside down and watch it pour out...on himself...and the car seat. What the?

So smoothie gets taken away. Okay, that equals a very mad Corbin. Not only has he endured the torture of a 20 minute wait for a smoothie, but now it's been confiscated.

Insert tortured and really, really mad crying. I may have mentioned he's a loud crier before, but this was worse. He almost gagged himself he was crying so hard. Which would have really sucked, thank God the throw up noise was just a noise and not the reality - cause that would have really sucked.

Finally, 3 minutes into the drive, I try to return the smoothie, but by this point he's completely gone. He basically tells me in so many cries, to keep my darn smoothie you heartless wench, I'm wounded forever!"

Magically he recovers as soon as we remove him from the car seat in the driveway. Such is the life of a two year old. The world can collapse and then turn into puppies and rainbows in a matter of minutes.

Moral of the story - no bedtime smoothies!

Needless to say that little adventure wiped me out for the rest of the night and the next day. I actually got a migraine last night, my blood pressure was wacked, and I slept most of the day today.

Every time I try to ease back into my normal routine, I end up overdoing it and landing back in bed. I am realizing that although I no longer feel any major pain, I am not, in fact, recovered. And this recovery looks to be slow coming. So I'm going to keep at and not let myself get carried away being super mom - because I most certainly am not, at least not for the next few weeks.

In other news, I have become a night owl due to my strange sleeping habits. Well, become, is probably the wrong word - I really am a night owl, but just temporarily acting like a morning person until my children can make themselves breakfast and not pee on the floor in the morning while I sleep - which will be in like 10 years I'm assuming. ;)

Any kid disaster stories in your lives lately? We've all been there! And looking back they can be kind of funny - actually, they are hilarious, just not until the next day.

**This post is part of the Moms' 30-Minute Blog Challenge

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Unwrap the Gift

Tonight, I've been searching for that perfect picture. You know, the one that will inspire a great post or at least get me started on something.

No, I didn't find it.

But, I did spend a lot of time looking through pictures I hadn't seen in awhile. It reminded me that we've had some amazing years. Wonderful souls walking through our lives, beautiful moments, and times of complete perfection - although we didn't know it at the time.

I miss those moments. Every now and then my heart aches for them. I want to reach out and hug people from those photos. People I will never hug again this side of heaven for one reason or another. And yet, there's a little piece of joy in that ache. Joy that I even had the memory, joy in what once was - joy even in the pain of what is.

It reminds me that there is beauty and perfection in the present. There is joy in the suffering. When I look back, I won't always remember the hard, but the wonderful. Each day is a gift and I need to start unwrapping that gift.

Mark and I have enjoyed our "vacation" here at home. Unfortunately, we weren't able to head off for our week of "just us" because Mark is interviewing for jobs right now. But we were able to get a lot of time out of the house. We saw just about every movie at Alamo Drafthouse, and took lots of midnight walks - 2 things we love but don't get to do very often. It was nice. And we definitely need to make more time to spend alone this year. Date nights are important!! And worth it.

This month has been beyond stressful, but I'm just taking it one day at a time.

Corbin's physical therapy eval deserves it's own post. It kind of rattled me and hit me off guard. I'll just sum it up by saying he's getting more services included PT and additional OT. I'll write more on this later when I've gotten my bearings on this one.

My gallbladder gets removed Monday. Eek. This is good, but scary too. Not for the surgery - I don't really have the luxury of even worrying about that because I am scrabbling to make sure the kids are cared for and the family keeps functioning while I'm off my feet and Mark is interviewing.

The recovery is not too bad for the average person, but as a mom who regularly lifts 30-40 lbs of kid each day it's not going to be easy. If I had a desk job, I'd be back at it in a few days. Having kids climbing all over you and lifting them up and down is more along the lines of "heavy lifting" and that's out for at least a week. And driving is out as well until I get off the meds. I'm hoping I'm a fast healer and can get through this quickly.

It has really made me notice that I definitely live a much more active life that I admit sometimes, which is why I'm so exhausted at the end of each day! I am often trying to fit in way too much in each day, and I really need to rethink my priorities and trim back on some things once I'm feeling better.

Okay, that's it for now - not sure when I'll have time to blog again in the next week, but I'd love to hear from all of you, so I'll leave you with this:

Of course, one of the movies we saw was Eclipse, and yes I've read all the books. I don't think I'm all swoony over it, but I enjoyed them. One of the questions I kept thinking about after I finished the books was:

If I had an eternity to live, what would I do with all that time?

It's definitely an interesting question, that really got me thinking. Especially, since we do have eternity - although maybe not in these bodies, but I need to remember that this life is just part of a bigger picture in Christ and I need to stop living this life as if it ends - trying to fit in every pleasure and comfort in a race against the clock. There is no clock, there is only Him.

Touch me I'm cold, unable to control
Touch me I'm golden and wild as the wind blows
And tumbling tumbling, don't go fascination
If just for tonight darling, let's get lost
If just for tonight darling, let's get lost

Let's Get Lost - Beck and Bat for Lashes lyrics

Thursday, July 8, 2010

7 Quick Takes

Or should I have named it 7 REALLY LONG takes...

1. Corbin turned two last month. It's hard to believe that he's already two, especially since he's still a baby in so many ways.

We did a small family party, nothing fancy. As each year goes by, I am learning what's important to us and what isn't. At this age Corbin wouldn't really understand a party, doesn't have "friends", and really has no idea what a birthday even is! So, instead of spending tons of money on a party that only I would remember, we opted for a more low key celebration.

The hit of the party were the 10 helium balloons I picked up at HEB. For the money, this seems to be the best investment in fun for a two year old. He had a blast carrying them around all day and wouldn't let them out of his sight! Best 8 bucks I ever spent.

Finally, my kids now eat birthday cake. We went through multiple birthdays where the cake went untouched. They don't get a lot of sweets, so cake is a bit over the top for them. But now that they are older they can appreciate the yumminess, haha.

It's very hard to make a special day for Corbin without Hayden getting right in the middle of it. I guess that's the curse of the second child. But I tried my best to keep the attention on Corbin for the day. He often gets "backseat" to Hayden and his antics. But we tried to give him his own special day.

2. Last week I took the kids to the Austin Children's Museum with the Monday Morning Mommies Playgroup. It has a wonderful section for smaller children that really was a blast for both of the boys. But, for a mom with two small kids, it was a bit overwhelming trying to keep track of them. They were a step away from having their pictures on a milk carton somewhere and I don't think I will try that again. It's just too hard to watch them and they never wanted to do the same thing at the same time. Add in a few tantrums and Hayden running away from me mad and I was at the end of my rope.

3. I finally was able to set up a physical therapy evaluation for Corbin through ECI. They are coming out next week and hopefully he'll qualify for services. He's still not walking and balancing like he should be and it's getting frustrating. He has at least 8-10 serious wipe outs a day and it's getting ridiculous. Add in a big brother who mows him down regularly and it's chaos. Luckily for us he has a hard head and I'm not the kind of parent that gets too anxious about that stuff.

4. Hayden's potty training is all over the place. With all the change in schedule lately he's gotten a bit off. Yesterday I decided to take the kids out for the day while our new windows were being installed. We headed to the water park, then I went through the Wendy's drive-thru for lunch. I figured that would be the easiest and Corbin had already passed out by this time. My plan was to feed them then do a nice, long drive to Marble Falls while they napped. As I'm getting Hayden's food out he informs me he has to go potty. All week he's been wetting his pullup and underwear and just doing horrible as far as using the potty goes. I had put him in a pullup so that we didn't have to deal with potty breaks during our day out. So I told him just to go in his pullup. He just kind of looks at me and then keeps eating. Five minutes later he gets antsy and is painfully holding it. He exclaims, "I have to go potty!!!!". Of all the times to use the potty, of course it would be now. So I get Corbin out of his seat - he's asleep and like a ragdoll in my arms, and grab Hayden. We head into the Wendy's bathroom. As he's pulling his pants off he starts to dribble!! I quickly scoop him up (with sleeping Corbin still in my arms) and throw him on the potty before he pees everywhere. I do NOT have extra clothes and we still have our drive to Marble Falls to do so I can't have him peeing on himself. After he finishes he flushes the toilet and it ROARS with water. Now Corbin is awake... We go back to the car and finish lunch. Hayden passes out 5 minutes into the drive, Corbin stays awake for another 45 minutes. Sheesh.

5. After over a year of pain, tons of tests, physical therapy and doctor visits I may finally get some relief!! For six months now, I've been suspecting that my gallbladder is the source of this pain, not my back, but my doctor wasn't convinced (even though I do have gallstones). Finally, she ordered a HIDA scan and sure enough, my gallbladder function is abnormal. So I have a consult with a surgeon next week to have that thing removed. I'm just hoping my completely debilitating pain episodes will cease. Not that I don't love being zoned out on pain meds and muscle relaxers - but I have a life to live people! And I can't really do that from my bed. I missed church this week and was unable to bring supplies for my teachers in CM because I was in the worst pain I've had so far on Sunday morning. Even my meds didn't touch it. Yuck.

6. We hadn't even had our windows in 24 hours and Hayden already destroyed one of them. Okay, maybe not destroyed, but he did dig out about 2 inches of caulking that hadn't dried yet around the window which now will have to be redone. Yeah. This is why we don't have nice things.

7. Hayden continues to mimic my every word and phrase. I get a lot of my own words thrown back at me. For instance, he alternates between calling me Dude, and Mark Babe. Hmmm...yeah I just can't help that one. Dude, it's a permanent part of my vocabulary.

If you're looking for some more quick takes, head over to Conversion Diary!