Monday, November 30, 2009

Ears and planes and stuff

I finally had my long awaited ENT apt today. I found out I have pretty significant hearing loss in my right ear (considered moderate). This is really not a surprise to me. The good news is that some or maybe a lot of the hearing loss is reversible if we can get fluid out of my ears and keep it out. So for the next 3 weeks I have to blow up a balloon with my nose, hold the air in the balloon and swallow (otovent). I have to do this 3 times a day. It opens up my Eustachian tubes and will hopefully allow the fluid to drain out of my ears. It hurts though :(. The negative pressure makes my ears pop like crazy and it is not a good feeling. I hope I can get used to it to do it for the next 3 weeks. Sadly this is an OTC thing so my insurance didn't cover it. It was not an expense that I needed but I had to get it in order to ultimately figure out what is going on with my ears. I had a tympanogram done along with my hearing test and, as I already knew, I def have fluid behind my eardrum in my right ear. Normal tympanogram is a bell curve and mine is a flat line which means my ear drum doesn't move... at all. This is because there is fluid pushing against it. No matter what has been done in the past, the fluid comes back so while I hope this helps and gets me to a point where we can tell what my actual hearing is (unhindered by the fluid), I know it is no long term solution. The idea is to get a good, factual, non fluid filled hearing test and to try and figure out how to control my allergies (thinking allergy shots since nothing else has worked) and ear infections so that I no longer get fluid behind my ears. The tinnitus and other odd sensations I have in my ears are put on hold until we hopefully, at the very least, partially correct my hearing and get my allergies under control. Not sure if that makes sense but... that is the plan anyway.

In other news, we sent Daddy off to Germany for 2 weeks today. It was sad. I miss him already. SM misses him already too. I don't think the baby has noticed his absence yet though. He is gone through the 14 of December. He will be hanging out in the beautiful city of Heidelberg and doing research at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics (its up in the forest and overlooks the city... he is a lucky boy). Anyway... he is working in Astroparticle Physics there... doing fancy research. He will be boarding his plane in about 40 min or so for the 9 hour flight across the ocean. I hope he does well with the time change. He is going to be dragging for a couple of days probably but they do have a couple of days before the real work begins. Anyway, 2 weeks alone with the boys is kind of scary for me. I have done many weeks with just the big kid and a week with both but this seems extra hard. I pray I am pleasantly surprised by how it goes. If you want to get together with us... let me know. I think the main thing I will need to do is keep Super Muscles busy busy so he is well behaved and sleeps well every night.

My Aunt is having her baby... RIGHT NOW. Well shes in labor at the hospital. Maybe she isn't pushing the baby out just yet... Can't wait to meet him or her (yes its a surprise :))

Friday, November 27, 2009

Crazy shopping adventure.

I will admit that sometimes my life seems kind of like a circus. I have lots of random things happen to me and my family gets into some strange things and I have a scary past but this is really one of the more bizarre things that has happened to me in a long while.

Last night at about 10:30, my friend and her family picked me up to go to Tuscola to hit Tanger Outlet. We were going to go to this midnight madness sale and get gifts before we hit the crazy Chambana stores at 4. We got into the car and discussed which way we were going to go to get there and we decided on going down Windsor to Neil and through Savoy. I don't think that is at all the quickest route but there was mention of this way having no traffic so we thought it would take the same amount of time. Little did we know that as we were driving down Dunlap we would smell smoke.

J's sister, E, said "I think I smell smoke! It smells like a house fire!" We all look back and see the smoke and see a small orange glow coming up from trees in a neighborhood. We all decide we can't just drive by! So we go find the fire and when we get to it... sure enough it was a house.

The adrenaline just started to flow. I dialed 911 and explained where we were but didn't know the street name since it was dark. E goes to knock on the door as I follow to try and figure out the address. People in the home open the door and when E tells them their house is on fire... I kid you not, the man said "No, its okay we have a fire in the fire place. All is well" E sends us back to look closer and I am yelling... "NO! The fire is on the roof they need to get OUT of the house (still on the phone with 911)". So E knocks again! The dispatcher is trying desperately to get the address even though he'd already sent trucks in our direction. So I run to the front and E had finally convinced them to step outside and look at the house. The flames, by this point, were much larger. And the adult residents (and guests) could not believe what they saw. They get everyone out. I am asking EVERYONE the address. Finally a girl who was maybe 10 and terrified fumbled out the address for me to give to the dispatcher. Im standing at the door and I see a guy STILL in the house. I am yelling from the door "Dude, your house is on FIRE! GET OUT!"... um, he was saving his PS3... no, no, I am not joking.

We instruct them on what to do and I hug some scared little girls and try to calm them down while I get them into the car (they were dressed for bed... no shoes, clothes that were not weather appropriate). I just kept saying "it's okay, you guys are safe and thats what is important. Calm down and get into the car so you can get warm".

We move the van and wait for the fire department to make sure they get there. Then... we left. Soaring on an adrenaline rush for the next several hours of shopping. We did score some awesome deals. There were some stellar prices on Melissa and Doug toys at Osh Gosh.

But, wow... any number of events could have happened to make us passing by that fire unlikely. We had originally planned to leave a bit later and we generally wouldn't go the way we went. I am so glad they are safe though. What a scary way to end Thanksgiving but I hope they can celebrate the fact that no one was hurt. I think one of us will drive past there in the next few days and see what ended up happening to the home and see how we can help. We tried going by when we got done in Tuscola but we just couldn't see anything. It was pitch black. The fire was out but it looked like the addition to the home was destroyed (at least the roof looked to be gone).

It does make you reevaluate your own issues though. Sometimes something happens that makes you think... "So what I had to get a new stove because I had an oven fire... my family is safe and my home is fine. The only inconvenience that REALLY caused me was some money." And, in the long run... money just isn't important. So thankful for the safety of my family and for the safety of their family today. And a bit shocked at what transpired last night.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Please take time today to be thankful for all the blessings in your life. I am sitting in my bedroom watching two of my biggest blessings play and laugh together. I am in love :)

We are spending the day with some friends doing a completely non-traditional Thanksgiving meal (please don't worry about me though I have plans for turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, rolls, etc tomorrow). We are going to have roast today though with our friends who have families very far away (like in other countries far) and I can't wait to spend time with them!

Also... going out for crazy girl shopping at about 11 tonight. Should be a fun time.

Spending time with family, friends and girlfriends today means I will have plenty of reminders of all I have to be thankful for.

Again, Happy Thanksgiving. Go love on your family and friends!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Operation Christmas Child

Super Muscles made his first Operation Christmas Child box this year! I think he had a lot of fun. We chose a boy who is going to be roughly SMs age (2-4 yrs old). This was Super Muscles decision but I think he really wanted to pick toys he would like for his friend. So we ended up with rescue vehicles and lots of CARS stationary inside the shoe box. I documented the process for all to see. This year we also did the online pay so we can track our box to see what country it goes to. In a few weeks when we learn of its destination we will pray specifically for our friend and his country. I plan to go online and help SM learn about the country the box has gone to and look up any recent major events. He is very excited to see where his shoe box gift goes!

Slobber Rocket had to check to make sure the box would pass inspection ;)

We have also been talking a lot about traveling since Daddy is going to Germany for 2 weeks. He leaves on Nov. 30 and won't return until Dec. 14. I know Super Muscles is at the age right now where this will greatly affect him and his behavior. Please keep us in your thoughts as I deal with the two boys by myself for 2 weeks. I am hoping to go visit some friends out of town those weeks though so that it kind of keeps his mind off of everything.

Oh and our new stove has joined the family today. I am really upset about having to spend the money on a new stove but I am glad to have a 5/10 yr warranty so hopefully if something like this happens again we won't run into the same problem.

Friday, November 20, 2009

My stove caught on fire

My stove caught on fire.
I put the fire out with a fire extinguisher.
Now my stove is ruined and I need a new one.
I am angry.

Quigs saved my life though... and watched my kids while Mr. Wonderful and I did a chemical clean up in our home. She also let me use her shopvac so the chemical clean up was easier than it could have been. She is the best.

I wish money would fall from the sky.

We lost our volleyball game.

I am going to bed and hopefully I will wake up in a better mood tomorrow... though, my house still stinks so it might take a few days to regain my "good moodness". Please bare with me if I am a total crab for a few days.

The. End.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A sister and what she's taught me

I feel like I always apologize for not writing enough. I have these great plans to write 3-4 times a week and I need to. It helps me focus, gets things off my chest, and it is a non-kid related outlet for me.

The biggest news I have lately is that I spoke with my half-sister on Saturday. It has taken me a while to talk about it though. I enjoyed the conversation and hearing her sweet voice. It was so strange to talk to a girl who is related to me but who I have never met. My sister but all I have is this one hour conversation and a hand full of emails. I have no clue what is going to become of this. I am scared to pursue it and be disappointed and scared to pursue it and actually gain a sister. Both terrify me. We both have so much baggage and I worry that we will, indeed, be complicating one another's lives more than helping.

The conversation confirmed in me that I want to adopt children. D's adoptive parents provided her with a life her parents never could have given her and a life that I did not have the chance to have (not that it is a bad thing but a reflection on our conversation). Her mom and dad adopted her, my half brother and their other sister who were all born addicted to drugs. They also adopted 3 other children and have 3 children. She has a big ole family! Knowing how she became adopted and what her parents must have gone through, they are some very selfless people. And if we could provide a safe family for children that wouldn't otherwise have that... that would be a dream come true for me. I feel more and more pulled to adoption everyday. I feel less and less sad about not having anymore biological children everyday.

I also learned that my feelings about my father are not limited to just me. I always felt alone because I was the only girl in our family. Yes, my brothers felt similar things but a guys relationship with their dad and a girls is quite different so how we internalized what had happened to us has been very different and I have spent a lot of time feeling alone about it. Talking to D showed me that I am not alone in how I feel. She feels the same way and even verbalizes it similarly.

I have a nephew who she put up for adoption. I am proud of her for this. It is SO hard on her and she misses him everyday but I think she did what was absolutely the best for him. And I am confident he will be trying to find her in about 17 years to learn the complete picture of his story. My siblings and I have all been curious and gone back and tried to find information about our family and origin. It is so natural to want to know what happened and if there is more to the story. It is so natural to want to be bonded to your siblings even if you didn't grow up with them. Her son's birthday is right in between my sons and nephews birthdays. Just a couple of days before Jrs. So I have added a February birthday to the mix of celebrations. I will always be praying for this little guy and that he grows into a good man. I am also praying that he meets his mom one day because she loves him very much and did what she thought was best for him.

I have learned that people who are abused often go through a time of really blaming themselves. I have done it, she has done it, many of my friends that I have made recently have done it. There is nothing to blame on yourself when you are a victim of abuse or abandonment. Nothing any of us did makes us deserve these things. It has nothing to do with us. Grab that truth and hold it tight. You didn't do anything to deserve abuse or neglect or abandonment. It seems like once I finally got a real handle on that, I healed a lot. The wounds are still there but they are scabbing over and scarring up and this truth is a big part of that.

I do really look forward to talking to her more. Hopefully it will be less awkward next time that it was on Saturday. We both felt a bit guarded and strange about it all. There is a reason things are happening this way, I know there is.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Not alone

You are not alone. I just wanted to tell you that.

I have been learning lately that no matter what I have experienced. I am not alone. And I mean this apart from my beliefs.

I have met so many people lately who have had similar childhoods to mine. Or who have been struggling or struggled with very small children (FTT). Or who have suffered from and are fighting through PTSD. And I am gaining strength and a voice through them.

So... don't feel alone. And if you do, find someone to share your burdens with. You might be surprised where you find a bond with someone and how that bond can help you heal.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I hate war, like really... hate it.

I have spent a lot of time in my life pondering war. I don't get it. I am unsure that I will ever get it. But war has shaped me in many ways. Both of my brothers have been to Iraq. My younger brother has seen things no 21 yr old should ever have to experience. And has done things no young man should ever have to do. I hate it for him. I hate seeing him struggle with his anger since coming home. I hate knowing that things that we don't even take a second thought to scare the hell out of him and put him on guard. I hate how his personality has changed so much. He has changed in just a couple of years more than anyone I have ever witnessed. I hate that things on the side of American highways can freak him out if he doesn't know what is under them. He hates it, I hate it. War sucks. Fighting people, killing people, dodging bullets and bombs.... it sucks.

Please pray for my brother. He is fighting some big demons right now. I am so proud of him for knowing he needs help and seeking help. Pray for his wife to be patient with him and supportive. I know its hard for her. Seeing the man he was and the man he can sometimes be now... I am sure it is so scary sometimes. I love this guy so much. I really do look up to him and value him immensely.

Lord restore his mental health so that he can function again and enjoy things again. Begin healing the wounds he carries around with him. I am not going to pretend he will forget what has happened but please bring that guy he was back to his family. We miss the funny parts of him. I don't even recognize this serious person he is now sometimes. We miss our class clown who has and gives the biggest, safest hugs ever.

This is why we honor veterans and this is why we need to focus on them constantly and not just on one day of the year. They make huge sacrifices for our country. They are brave and strong and confident on the battlefield but they come home broken. I have not met a soldier yet who hasn't come home broken. They need our support and love.

Monday, November 9, 2009


I have been a bit busy tending to a very bored and cranky 3.5 yr old over the past few days. Thursday night before I put him to bed I noticed that he had some spots on his hiney. I took a picture (poor kid) and showed many of my friends and diagnosed him with Chicken pox. Next morning, diagnosis was confirmed by the spreading of said bumps down his thighs a bit. Called wonderful Nurse Jenn (Dr was out of town) and she gave me instructions to keep him home until he is all scabbed over. Boo! He aslo had some respiratory gunkiness and congestion. He was vaccinated in 07 so this has been extremely mild chicken pox. BUT we have to keep him home until all his sores crust over. All this to say I have been spending a ton of time entertaining this little person who hates being stuck home. Anyway, we are on the road to recovery. Hoping that by wed all sores will be scabbed over so we can GO somewhere and play! The baby is a bit snotty and congested as well but seems to have, so far, skipped the chicken pox.

In a few hrs, after nap time, I plan to take the boys outside for some fall pictures and playing in the leaves. Hope to share some pictures later on and get back into the swing of blogging. I feel a bit... neglected when I don't give myself time to write... even if it is about the mundane and boring.

Pray for Stellan! He is in surgery RIGHT now. Little babe needs lots of love and prayers right now. He is very ill.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Approaching God

I am in two studies right now on the book Crazy Love. I really like this book, what can I say. We just started the study at church yesterday and we get to see the videos meant for the group study that are not part of the online videos you can see if you do an independent study of the book.

So in the video yesterday Francis Chan talked about taking time out before you pray to visualize and approach God. How the first time he did this when reading Revelation 4. And when I go back and read this passage I get the sense that John was seriously stretching to formulate into words what he had experienced being in God's presence. And what would you say if you were in Gods presence? What would be the first words you would say? As we discussed this last night it is so hard to come up with something to say to the Creator of the Universe. To the Great Physician, the Alpha and Omega, the King of Kings. What is there even to say? And I said it last night I can only think of Thank you. Thank you for loving me, I am not worthy. Thank you for transforming my heart. Thank you for challenging the way I look at the world. Thank you for healing my heart and continuing to heal my heart. Give me desire to pursue you. Give me the same passion for others that Jesus had.

And I go back to how do you even approach someone clothed in Glory, Majesty and Splendor? It seems so unreal to me that God cared about his creation in such a way that he gave us a way to communicate with him and approach him. And that doesn't even touch the Sacrifice of Jesus. It is hard to even figure out what to say when you think about this. Perfect, pure, holy Jesus takes on wickedness/sin and receives punishment for all of humanity in order for us to be joint-heirs with him in heaven. It makes no sense. It IS love. And what do you say to that? What is your response to that?

Revelation Song is a song written to express what coming into God's presence must have been like for John (yet another humans attempt at explaining it but it IS beautiful). It has been racing through my head for weeks and the more I am challenged to really think about what all this means in my life, the more this song grips me. The more this song reflects my heart.

"Jesus your name is Power, Breath and Living Water.
Such a marvelous mystery"

I think that is where I am at today.

Monday, November 2, 2009

It's November and I am feeling thankful

I had started out writing a different post but it was going nowhere fast. Sometimes that happens to me. Quite often actually. Yea, I know I talk a lot but writing can be difficult for me.

We have this one day a year when we gather all of our thoughts and tell our friends and family how much they mean to us. Or maybe we don't even do that. We might just tolerate them for the day to have a giant meal together. Whatever the case may be, we only set aside one day to be thankful for what we have in life. And I don't want to do that because I am keenly aware most days of my life that I have been amazingly blessed. So there is an order to this but past God and my family, order ceases to be important. I am going to start this list but I am anticipating it running for a few posts because I get very long winded about things that are important to me. So today I think I will tackle the most importants in my life and continue on tonight or tomorrow or something.

1) I am thankful to God, the creator of the universe and everything good in my life. So very thankful for coming to see myself with a value that is centered in how I am seen by Him. Thankful for a relationship and Salvation and the chance to share my beliefs with others. Thankful for an example of a perfect father when I have never known such a thing in my own childhood. Glad and enjoying feeling loved for who I am and challenged to become a better woman. Wanting to become more and more transformed by Gods unending love. Words are hard to even come by to adequately explain the deepness this thankfulness runs. It is just so hard to even think of what to say that doesn't sound trite or small. And I think that is just how it is. Too big and too amazing to explain or summarize or fit into a small paragraph or even several books. I am trusting you know the deepness of my thankfulness though.

2) I thank God every single day of my life for my husband. He is a good man with a kind spirit. Soft spoken and often times... silent. But he is strong and decisive. Optimistic and genuine. He puts us all first all the time. He takes a back seat to meeting the needs of our children and my own needs and rarely ever whispers a complaint. He is hardworking and has an incredible amount of integrity. He gives the best hugs ever :) He loves his kids like nothing I have ever witnessed before with my own eyes. He is focused on his goals and I never doubt his abilities to accomplish them. He is my best friend and generally knows what I will think or how I will react before I even figure it out for myself. I love him dearly and he compliments my personality beautifully. He is an example of how God has worked in my life and I am so greatful that he stuck with me through all the things in my life I had to work out. And he loves God! and strives to show others' that love.

3) Sweet Super Muscles... this boy is brilliant and kind. He is learning to use humor in his every day conversations and finds himself extremely funny. And that makes me laugh... a lot. He doesn't make friends too easily but he is a devoted and sweet friend. He tries very hard to be a good big brother. Sometimes he fails at doing the right things or making good decisions (esp when it comes to his brother) but he nearly always wants to make it right. He is sensitive in many aspects. Sensitive to noise, sensitive to feelings, sensitive to his surroundings and it makes him beautiful. Difficult to understand sometimes but so much of what makes him unique comes from how sensitive he is. I learn so much from my sweet 3 year old every single day. Patience, genuine kindness, playfulness.... he teaches me so much. Being a parent has forever changed my priorities and its all been for the better and it started with the first time I held Super Muscles in my arms.

4) Slobber Rocket. A whole lot of boy in a tiny little package. He is such a happy little boy. So willful and strong. He learns to get what he wants when he wants and has wasted no time in learning how to move. He is incredibly snuggly and is a really great nurser (love this about him because he is very likely my last nursling). He is such a little miracle. He teaches me daily that health and life are precious. I learned from his birth that nothing is a given and that my children and family and other people I love dearly are not always going to be here so I have to love the heck out of them while they are here and can know how I feel. Watching him and his brother grow up next to one another is a complete joy and we are so blessed to have this little person in our lives.