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August 1st, 2014

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I have had enough and I want to run away.

Aaron's mental health has gotten somewhat better. But, we're getting him treatment through the VA. Let me tell you that none of the media reports is exaggerating the crap that goes on there. Not even a little bit. Aaron's had a therapist for 2 months. He even had appointments schedules for those two months. Do you know how many actual appointments they've upheld? Two. Two in the two months. Which drives me batty because that therapist had him pegged! Knew exactly what issues Aaron needed to work on and was working on them!

He's been going to some AA meetings, which started off as something good, quickly devolved to incredibly scary, and has gotten better again. In an attempt to make sure that he was finding a good meeting, he tried several. He got into one that was basically like a cult. They told him that the only way he'd achieve sobriety was to also go off of his meds. And he was going to stop them cold turkey! You know... the meds that require once a month blood work to make sure they aren't damaging his organs!? I was livid. Thankfully, I was able to talk him down from that group and he's since found one that makes a lot more sense and isn't going to hold his meds against him. I'm trying to get him to talk more to the guys at church, too.

Rose had Girl Scout camp. It was mostly a day camp, but there was also an overnight stay Thursday night. I knew she was going to struggle some, but we talked A LOT about remembering to listen to the adults and if something isn't going her way to try to turn it into something good. Her Daisies Scout leader was also her camp leader. I had suspected that Rose had struggled a day or two because she didn't want to talk about it, but I let it go. Then, I get a message on FB from the troop leader telling me how incredibly awful Rose had been and that she even had to go to the head counselor twice..... I was floored.... Don't get me wrong. I know Rose is a handful. Oh Lord, how I know! She's strong willed and a very black and white thinker. I know we struggle with the fact that Rose has a very sophisticated vocabulary, but remembering that she's still 6. So, I know other people don't always know how to handle that either. But... I can't imagine her being *that* bad.

So, the next morning, Aaron talks to Rose. He does get her to admit that she was making fun of a little girl for being fat. :( But, that one of the reasons that she was sent to the counselor was because a daddy long leg scared her and she set off a bunch of the other girls due to her dramatic reaction. She didn't mean to do anything wrong (she was recently stung by a yellow jacket for the first time and is now scared of anything that may be poisonous. Her leader apparently had told her daddy long legs are poisonous. :/). And then we also found out that the leader had told Rose that she was sick and tired of her. O_O And that she had to sit out of a lot of not only the camp, but of the meetings as well (I would drop Rose and leave in an effort to give her more time without me). I was flabbergasted. And at the same time, completely not shocked.

We're in the process of transferring Rose to a different troop because she does want to continue. But, then I'm also trying to figure out where in the world I've gone wrong with her. I'm trying to tell myself that it's not really me, but I can't shake the feeling that it is. When school starts again, I'm going to be talking with the school counselor and possibly having her evaluated by the speech therapist for social skills.

Josiah has decided that fighting sleep is fun. Which makes for exhausted parents, especially since Aaron is still on second shift.

Sallie Mae took their payment early, so nothing I wanted to be able to do this week could happen.

And now in the course of a week, our car has broken down twice. First time was just a radiator hose, but we were across town when it happened. Thankfully, Aaron was able to fix it. Second time, we were home, but Aaron can't isolate the problem here. So, now we get to spend at least $75 getting it diagnosed. Yea!

And I still haven't gotten to do the grocery shopping this week.....

I want to be glad that July is over, but August isn't looking promising at the moment.

May 29th, 2014

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Rose is all done with kindergarten! I'm so proud of all the hard work she's done. She's reading chapter books on her own now. She can add and subtract two digit numbers (though we haven't done "carries" and "borrowing" yet). And her powers of observation are still astounding.

We're still dealing with an attitude problem, but I think we've figured out that part of it was due to lack of sleep. She's been staying up late reading in her room. I know when I'm tired I can't cope well and we suspect that's what it happening here, too. So, we've been talking A LOT about getting plenty of rest at night.

Josiah still lives up to his nickname of Stormaggedon. However, he is doing better about listening. He still gets that evil smile from time to time that says he's going to do whatever anyway. He's great with his colors. Sometimes knows his letters and numbers. And he adores music. Josiah is without a doubt my music lover. He's also our bread addict. :P

Aaron's doing better now that he's on meds, but there's still a lot of issues that he needs therapy for. Sadly, it seems like the right hand of the VA has no idea what the left hand is doing and they have no idea that there are feet connected somewhere. They schedule appointments for him and don't tell him or he'll have to reschedule them because they're in the middle of the work day. He's been told so many different things. They were incredibly eager to get him on meds, but the therapy doesn't seem to be as big of a priority. :/ He's healed well from the crash, thankfully. The cracked rib was either slight or merely bruised.

My meds are getting sorted, I hope. I'm going to be on a consistent dosage of progesterone all the time. My hair is soooo soft now. I still can't believe it. My energy level is higher, so that's nice. I'm trying to get back into exercising, so hopefully that will help too.

The Strawberry Festival is coming up in 2 weeks or so. Normally, I'm really excited about it. But, this year, I'm ambivalent at best. Nobody is here anymore to go. If Josiah were older and more trustworthy, I'd consider us still just going on our own. It's just not worth it... and that makes me sad...

I have a friend that tried to commit suicide a couple of weeks ago. She and her husband had been living in different states for awhile and had already been struggling before that. She wanted him to show her that he loved her, so she took pills and cut. Thank God she woke up the next morning. She wound up being involuntarily committed. And then she was released and her husband whisked her away. I hate that she was hurting so badly, but I hate even more that it doesn't appear she's going to get enough help. All I can do is pray for her. Which I know is the best, but I'm a doer........

May 6th, 2014

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Well, you know how I posted about my car? Well, last week on his way to one of his meetings, Aaron got hit by another driver. She made a left turn in front of him at an intersection and totaled our car. Aaron was mostly fine. When the airbag went off, it gave him a burn/scrape on his arm, knocked his glasses off his head and caused a scratch, and possibly cracked a rib. And of course, his seatbelt left bruising. The other driver is pregnant, so they sent her off in an ambulance.

I am so incredibly thankful that Aaron is OK. Seeing the pictures.... I know that they tend to look worse then they are thanks to all of the safety features. It's still very scary. But, it's also a huge stress to have our family car to be gone. Plus we have to replace the kids' car seats too.

Thankfully, we were able to get a new car (new to us :P). I'm concerned that it has transmission problems though. Aaron didn't drive it before buying it. I feel like it delays in shifting. The Check Engine Light came one with my first time driving it. Aaron had the code checked and it's the catalytic converter. But, I'm still worried about the transmission. :P

We've also been dealing with the insurances. Aaron was so shook up at the wreck and they took away the other driver so suddenly, they didn't exchange info. He did manage to get the woman's name from the officer, but that was it. Both Aaron and our adjuster had to do some fancy researching to finally get her phone number. They got ahold of her and she gave her info and mentioned that she had a lawyer. O_o Then, after Aaron gave his statement to her insurance company that adjuster said their stories didn't line up. O_O Come to find out, she was saying Aaron ran a red light. So, I'm guessing she was thinking she might wind up suing us. How nice...

We managed to get ahold of the police report which completely says it was her fault due to failure to yield. So, thankful for that!! So, her insurance called and said they accept full liability. Of course, our car was almost 20 years old, so we're not expecting a whole lot. Enough to pay back my parents for helping us get the new car, get our emergency savings back up, get the kids new carseats, and pay Aaron's medical bills is all we really expect. Anything over that would be bonus.

****
We have chickens now. It's pretty cool not having to buy eggs from the grocery. Sadly, they've turned out to be a bit more work than Aaron was expecting. Though, I think some of it is more in his head than reality. There are some issues going on that he can't tell is health -related or if one chicken is getting mean.

The chickens have certainly attracted some of the neighbor kids. We haven't had many of the neighborhood kids around in the 2 years that we've lived here. But, now we have a small handful that are coming around regularly. :P

****
I'm struggling with all of the changes going on: Aaron's mental health, my health, the car accident, friends moving away, the kids ever changing needs, moods, etc. There's just a lot going on. I think I'm actually handling it all A LOT better than I would have just a few years ago. But, I do feel like I'm in a funk. It's understandable. And I'm OK with it. This is normal for all of those changes. Just wish I could take some time out for me. I don't see that happening anytime soon. Guess I'll work on taking what I can get.

April 24th, 2014

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Thursdays tend to be my crazy day of the week. There's grocery shopping, school, and then Daisies with Rose. Plus all of the other normal stuff. But, today... I guess I thought I'd add to the craziness. I don't know....

I pay for my groceries with cash. Helps me stay in budget. So, I always stop at an ATM to get the cash. Today was normal in that way. I got my cash and pulled away. Went through most of my shopping (left some coupons at home, so I'll finish it later during Daisies) and got home. When I got home, I realized, I didn't have my debit card. Great...

I hurriedly called the bank, hoping that a Good Samaritan turned it in. They took a minute, came back, and said they had it. But, here's the thing: I did the same thing over a year ago. So, now I'm wondering if they have my current card or just happen to still have my old one. I was going to go back after nap time, but I was too paranoid.

We jump back in the car and rush back to the bank. I park right in front of the door. Get the kids out and head inside. Thankfully, they did indeed have my card! Hooray! And they gave the kids suckers which helped their moods. Yea! and then we go back out....

The car was not where I had left it..... it had rolled to the other side of the parking lot....

Our car is something like 20 years old. You can take the keys out of the ignition without having to put the car in park. I was so distracted that I didn't notice I hadn't put the car in park. I cannot say how thankful I am that there were no other cars near ours. I cringe to think that someone would've been driving through when the car rolled. I seriously still have a lump in the pit of my stomach thinking on the "what ifs". Trying not too, but the thoughts are there.

I'll probably end the day with a migraine, just for fun!

April 6th, 2014

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I just love it when I lay down to sleep & can't because my heart & mind immediately start racing! I was really hoping that would be one of the first things to go away. :P


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April 3rd, 2014

picture of the kids

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Silly LJapp. :/ Picture is in the comments.


March 28th, 2014

Needing to process...

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So, in light of all the stuff that Aaron's been going through, he finally went to see the counselor at our church. She suggested that he go see the psychiatrist at the VA. She said that he had been depressed since childhood and has probably never experienced true happiness and contentedness, just varying levels of depression (he was mentally and physically abused as a child, as well as neglected). He made it to the psychiatrist today. He's been diagnosed as bipolar (again).

It's not that big of a surprise. He's been diagnosed with it before, but at the time he was a very high functioning alcoholic (and the doctor didn't know about it). Aaron always assumed the alcoholism was his real problem instead of vice versa. Now it makes sense that the alcohol was to medicate the depression. So, Aaron is now on a mood stabilizer and has an anxiety med. He may eventually be put on anti-depressants as well.

I've found a new doctor. She's working with me more on my issues. She thinks it's a hormone problem since my thyroid test continue to be within "normal". So, now I'm on progesterone. I've been on it for a week now. I must admit that I really haven't seen any changes. I forgot to ask how long it would take to tell any difference. :/ I have to up my dosage tomorrow, so maybe that will be helpful. I have no idea. It hasn't made me sleepy as promised, but I feel like I'm sleeping better. So, maybe that's something.

The kids are doing OK. Josiah's making leaps in the verbal department. It's getting easier to understand him. I love how he says "otay" though. I really don't want that to go away for a long while. I do wish he wasn't so picky about eating. We get food in him when we can. He loves bread and fruit. :P

Rose is doing OK too. School is going well. I do feel like a failure to her. It seems like anytime I leave her in the care of someone outside of our family, I'm getting reports about her attitude. :( I don't tolerate her attitude and we work on trying to say her opinion in nicer ways, but.... when she throws things in a fit... *sighs* I hate that for her. I hate to think that people think she's a bad kid.... and, to be truly honest, I hate to think that people think I'm a bad parent.... My knee jerk is to not take her places anymore (Daisies, MOPs), but I know that's not truly the answer. She won't learn how to deal with those situations if I don't put her in them. It's so frustrating that's she 6 going on 16. I really feel like in some ways I'm already dealing with a teenager. Her intellect is huge for her age. Which makes it hard to reconcile that her maturity isn't there yet. I'm trying to focus on our relationship, giving her positive attention, and really trying to have real conversations with her. Hopefully that'll get somewhere someday.

January 26th, 2014

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I dread nighttime anymore. The generalized anxiety gets worse at night (as do the heart palpitations). So, it takes me forever to get to sleep. But once I do, I don't stay asleep because I get achy or uncomfortable and wind up waking up every time I turn over. I've found a few things that seem to be easing my symptoms, but only the ones that happen during the day. I haven't found anything yet to help with the increased anxiety.

Adrianna, my sis-in-law, has dealt with thyroid problems. She thinks I'm cycling back and forth between hyper- and hypothyroidism. Considering my symptoms, she's probably right. Looking back, I think I've dealt with thyroid problems for many years, it's just the symptoms were so mild before I didn't really think of it. It would make sense that my thyroid might just be to the point of giving out. Hopefully, the supplements will be enough to right things.

January 14th, 2014

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Well, we had a classic ending for a Monday. Aaron, Josiah, and I had already come upstairs from the basement to start getting dinner ready. Rose followed us up a few minutes later. The problem was that she came up yelling in pain and crying. Apparently, she was running to come up stairs, slipped on her socked feet, and then fell on the tiled floor. She managed to split the underneath of her chin. Thank God Aaron was home so that I could leave Josiah. I took her to a MedCheck. On the ride there we talked about what it was going to be like and that she might have to have stitches. Plus, we promised her ice cream if she was brave (because we did not want to have a repeat of her last shots. The nurse still remembers that day vividly. *sighs*).

We got there and thankfully, it wasn't busy at all. We got right into a room where the nurse had turned on a TV to cartoons. I honestly think that helped the most. :P The doctor told me that we could go either the stitches route or the Dermabond route. I asked her what the wound needed. She seemed surprised that I would ask that. I'm not sure why. But, she suggested Dermabond. I felt comfortable with that route. Seemed like the easiest way to deal with it for a 5-year-old. So, that's what the doc did.

Rose did really well and got her ice cream. ;)

I've been dealing with health issues. I'm 90% positive that it's my thyroid. I've basically been sick since September. I looked up the symptoms because I knew that hyperthyroidism is common in my dad's family and it's common for the thyroid to act up following pregnancy. It looks like I almost have a textbook case. Sadly, thanks to the craptastic insurance we have, I'm trying to avoid going to the doc's at the moment (especially now that we have a MedCheck bill to pay). So, I'm trying to treat it through some diet changes. I've upped my vitamin B which seems to have helped the muscle fatigue a little bit. I've found a tea that's supposed to help level out hormones. I figure I'll try it for a week (if it ever gets here). If things don't improve, then I go get a test done and then I'll go see my doc. Until then, I get to have fun with muscle fatigue, anxiety, and depression! Woo-hoo!!

January 5th, 2014

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Things are going a bit better around here. Aaron and I have had some talks. Definitely told him I never want to see Drunk Aaron again. He agreed to that. He seems to feel really bad about the whole thing. He said he threw away the rest of the vodka. We talked about some of the things he said while drunk and he doesn't remember. He says he remembers laughing but that it wasn't at me. It was because he couldn't remember why I was angry. *sighs* I've forgiven him, but I'm certainly struggling still. Now it boils down mostly to trust.

Josiah was sick last night with a very high fever. Woke up around 2 AM and wanted to nurse like a newborn. And I had a migraine. :P So, it was a rough night.

The kids and I stayed home from church today. I didn't want to take them out in the snowy mess. I've missed out on so much church lately with illnesses, nursery duty, family trips, and the like. I hate it. Hopefully, we're done being ill for the winter. :P

Today's snow has been absolutely amazing. It's been beautiful to watch. I'm glad I didn't have to go out in it. That's one of the lovely things about being a SAHM. I don't have to contend with the weather typically. I am worried about tomorrow though. Still trying to figure out how to keep the pipes to our washer from freezing. we've never had to worry about it before, so I didn't think about it any earlier. It probably won't matter that much since it's in the basement. Maybe the furnace & the fact that it's underground will save it enough. I suppose only time will tell!

January 3rd, 2014

Last night we had one of the most painful arguments of our entire marriage and it was basically over nothing.

Aaron's youngest sister is getting married this summer. We had talked about possibly doing her cake, but there wasn't any real discussion about it. I assumed that he would want to do her cake, but I had also sort of assumed that she would wind up going with someone local (being a state away does make wedding cake doing interesting. We've done it but that was before kids.). So, last night Aaron calls up his sister and starts talking about doing her cake as if it had been completely decided.

I was completely lost! This is a pretty major decision now that we have kids. Cakes take A LOT of time and effort. It's difficult when it's just the two of us. It's near impossible with two kids running around! so, when he got off of the phone, I asked if we were going to discuss it. Aaron immediately completely shut down the conversation. Not only did he completely shut it down, he began attacking me verbally; making fun of me and laughing at me as I tried to explain myself.

I locked him out of our room. :( I cried myself to sleep. I have never felt so alone. :'(

Aaron came in and woke me up this morning. He apologized and then explained his behavior. He had been drunk. There was vodka out in the garage to make vanilla extract from and he had drank it while shoveling the drive. I have never met Drunk Aaron before. I don't like him. At all.

I'm not exactly sure where to go from here. I'm exhausted physically and emotionally. Part of me is glad that Drunk Aaron isn't the real Aaron, but then the other part of me is wondering if maybe it is? To some degree anyway? I guess there are maybe some resentments we need to talk about. I'm also struggling with making sure I don't resort to my codependent coping mechanisms. They won't be useful here. But, I feel so out of my realm. I'm floundering to determine the healthiest way to deal with all of this.

Right now he's resorting to trying to "buy me back" by giving me his Christmas cash to use as I want. I'm guessing he'll wait on me hand and foot when he gets home from work. Anything to pay penance for what he's done. That's not healthy either. I know I can't control his behavior, but I can choose to take part in it or not.

I'll be very, very lucky if I escape the day without a migraine. *sighs*

October 29th, 2013

I haz sad.....

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For the first time ever, Josiah has turned down nursing. :( He is teething and he's got a cold. So, I know he's absolutely miserable. But, he loves nursing before bed. I thought he would find it comforting! But, I offered and he flat out told me "no". :( I know that doesn't mean that part of our relationship is over. As a matter of fact, he's been waking up in the middle of night the last few night because of the cold/teething. I'm sure that means I'll be nursing him later tonight. It just makes me realize that the end is quite possibly coming.

Which is really funny. I was one of those that thought I would never nurse once the baby had teeth. Or I would never nurse past a year. And yet here I am. And enjoying it. Don't get me wrong. There are days when I want to scream "GIVE ME MY BODY BACK!". But, I'm sure that I would have those days anyway with a 19-month-old & a 5-year-old climbing all over me. I don't remember "jungle gym" being in the mothering job description. :P

It's so amazing how very different my nursing relationships has been with my children. I was so unprepared with Rose. I really just thought that nursing was as simple as putting the baby to the breast. I didn't know anything about growth spurts or nipple confusion or supply and demand. Our modern lifestyles of hiding away birth and breastfeeding make it also so foreign. I envy women of previous generations that were able to spend time together and to teach each other about all the things that come along with being the owner of a uterus. :P It's been so much easier with Josiah. I had a year's worth of experience already and I educated myself further about breastfeeding. Sometimes I feel bad that Rose & I didn't have that. :(

It's another one of those things that reminds me that this is the last time to do certain baby things. We won't be having anymore babies, so the end is near for that, ya know? So, I know I'm going to have to mourn that part. But, at the same time I'm always so excited to see the new things that my children do and see more of who they are going to become!

Motherhood is so incredibly amazing!

October 13th, 2013

Weekend of ups and downs

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This has been an absolutely crazy week and even more insane weekend.

It started Monday when I received a message from Aaron telling me that his grandfather had passed away. It wasn't a huge surprise. He had suffered from Alzheimer's for the past few years. It had gotten so bad that he had been moved from the assisted living home (and apart from his wife) to a nursing home with an Alzheimer's ward. Though, he didn't die from the Alzheimer's. He had fallen and broken his hip. The surgeon said he wouldn't make it through the surgery, so they just sort of let nature take its course. :(

So, the rest of the week was me scrambling to find child care, get Rose ahead in school because the funeral was on a school day (Friday), and make sure that Aaron and I had everything we needed to attend a funeral. Then, we found out that Aaron's brother was coming from North Carolina to make the funeral and he was spending the night Thursday night. So, I had to make sure the house was in order!

We had to leave the house Friday morning by 6 because we had to drive all the way up to Chicago and pick up Aaron's sister on the way there. We had a really great drive up. Conversation was awesome. We got to the church just in time to be able to change clothes and greet family. This was the second funeral mass I've ever attended, but this one was certainly far less awkward since I wasn't pretty much the only non-Catholic this time.

Following the mass, we went to an aunt's house for lunch. We got to socialize for a couple of hours and then we had to head to a Fort Sherman cemetery which is right off the lake. That took forever because the directions we were given actually made us turn around and go in the opposite direction! So, we were a half hour late. But, it turned out alright because Grandma Martin didn't make it till after us! Grandpa Martin received a burial with honors from the Navy for his lifelong service. They did family pictures and then we said good bye.

We began our trek towards home at 4:30 PM. You know... Chicago rush hour on a Friday. We sat in traffic for at least 2 hours. Two hours! By the time we got through it all, we were starving. We stopped to get dinner. We hit some traffic off and on on I65 thanks to some construction and then a minor accident. We got home around midnight. It was such a horribly long day. But, it was a rather pleasant day despite the circumstances.

Saturday was our nephew, Byron's, birthday. So, we wound up driving to Adrianna's house again. It was a super hero party, so J went in his Spiderman jammies and Rose was Ladybug Girl. It was fun! We left for home and at a little past the halfway point, the car started making a very loud sound. It sounded sort of like when you're driving on the concrete and then switch to asphalt only much, much louder. I experimented with speeding up and slowing down and the sound didn't change at all. I pointed out to Aaron that the car hadn't made that sound on that stretch of interstate last night. So, we got off the interstate. As I was braking, I could feel the car pull slightly to the right and then we could see smoke coming from the passenger side tire and we could smell rubber burning..... I got to a parking lot where Aaron determined that our strut had broken. :( :( Thankfully, my parents buy AAA for me. So, we called and then went to the McD's across the street to have dinner while we waited on the tow truck and my dad to come get us. We got it towed back to our house. Today was spent with Aaron finding parts, ordering them, and then taking off the old parts in preparation for the new ones when they arrive. I'm so thankful that the strut broke here and not in Chicago or Gary. I'm also thankful that it didn't fail catastrophically!

It's been very much an up and down weekend. And on top of it all, most of my closest friends are making plans to move cross country, so I'm feeling very alone. I'm trying not to focus on all of this, but I feel like I need emotional support that I just can't get anymore. Or at least I feel like I can't. I don't know. It's probably more of exhaustion talking, because God knows we still haven't caught up on sleep yet.

Speaking of sleep... I should go do that. Good night, LJ!

October 2nd, 2013

What to say? What to say?

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We managed to lock ourselves out of the house Sunday as we were heading to church. It was a bit chilly and very rainy. Thankfully, we could hang out in the garage! See... as we head out anywhere as a family, usually one of us is taking Josiah out to put him in his carseat. Whoever does that will take the car keys out but leave the house key hanging on the hook (it's on a handy-dandy clip just for these occasions!). So, Aaron took Josiah out and I followed a few minutes later, grabbing the key from its hook. I locked the handle from the inside. I turned to lock the deadbolt and realized my terrible mistake. The key was not the house key. I am so thankful that Aaron has the patience of a saint. ;) He just went to work trying to find what he needed to pick the lock. After about an hour, he succeeded! Meanwhile, I attempted to keep the children entertained and dry. We now have a lovely sidewalk chalk mural in our garage. ;) And we have remedied the possibility of being locked out again.

School with Rose has been mostly going well. We're about to finish our 8th week. A lot of it is entirely too easy for her. Her teacher has been good about helping us find harder work for her and I work to challenge her some. I think we're finally starting to get into some stuff that is going to be more of a challenge, but its still going to be pretty easy. My struggle right now is getting her to slow down and take some of it more seriously. I am amazed at how much her handwriting has already improved. And I do think she's getting something out of the lessons because she's starting to comprehend concepts that we've barely discussed before. Rose's teacher is always amazed at her vocabulary. For instance, the teacher called last week and asked Rose what police officers do. Rose responded that "they put criminals in jail". The teacher then told me that all of her other students just called them "bad guys". I'm not surprised that she has a big vocabulary. We've just never really dumbed down the way we speak to her. I've never really seen a need. I mean... she's going to learn the meanings to sophisticated terms just as she would the simpler ones. Why not just start there?

Josiah's picking up more and more baby sign and is even trying to verbalize more. Sometimes when he talks, he sounds a little like he can't quite hear. But, his reaction to sounds and us talking to him seems to indicate that all is well. I suppose if it continues, I'll bring it up at his next doc appointment. He's also quite the climber. He can already climb up onto Rose's top bunk. He pushes chairs around to climb up them. He loves to make his sister squeal by pulling her hair. :P I think he's starting to grow out of his allergy. I can finally have dairy and it doesn't seem to affect him. We've given him some Greek yogurt and he's done alright with that too. The problem is that his condition is chronic. So, there's no telling if there's some kind of threshold for us to hit or if he's fine. *sighs* So frustrating!

Aaron is doing well. His job still seems to be in some sort of flux, but at least he's back on days. There was a company that was going to buy his school, but the owner turned down their offer. But, they're still taking on new students, so there's that.

Me? I have my good days and I have days where I understand why some animals eat their young. ;) I dunno... I feel like there's a lot of change going on around me and I'm just sitting here doing my thing. In some ways it's a huge blessing. I keep my world small and simple on purpose. But, in other ways, it's a curse. It's so small that even small changes can seem to be really huge.

Also, I have no idea what I did, but I jacked up my shoulder/back/neck something terrible. Aaron really rubbed it out for me last night, so today it still hurts. But, it's that sore hurt like it's trying to get better. I guess we'll see.

August 5th, 2013

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I have survived day one of our new schedule. Thanks to Aaron's school closing and then not closing, they've had a snafu in enrollment and instructor ratios. So, he was forced to switch to night classes for this module. So, for the next 5 weeks we have a completely different routine. And, Lord willing, it will only be for those 5 weeks.

The difference in the schedule is pretty big for me. You see, our children tend to wake up between 5 & 6 in the morning. I am not a morning person by any sense of the word and Aaron is. So, he tends to get up with the kids. Except now I have to. Bleh... so, to bed by 9 for me. It was actually kind of nice to have him home during the day today. He could take Rose to the library while I stayed home & Josiah took a nap. We'll be able to do more family outings and the like. Hopefully get a few more projects around the house completed.

There will be a further change in routine here on August 12. It will be Rose's first day of kindergarten! We were really hoping to get her into a private school near our home, but alas the funding fell through. So, instead we will be using an online public charter school. Rose will have a teacher online & various textbooks & I will be her learning coach. It's certainly going to be an experience for us all! But, I'm excited for Rose. She can already read. Her handwriting is getting better all the time & I don't even work with her much on that. She can count to 100 and knows a little bit about money. We do need to work some on measuring. She knows a bit of geography & we'll work on that too. So, I'm interested to see what her teacher will do for her! Though I'm certain I'll supplement whatever is given to her.

Josiah is growing in leaps & bounds. He still isn't talking much yet. Well, not English anyway. ;) Though he does sing an adorable rendition of "Oh Where Is My Hairbrush"! He also tries to sing the chicken version of the song "Forget You" from that recent Muppet movie. It's so cute! I need to get a video of both of those sometime! He seems to mainly communicate through signs & various grunts. He is a HUGE climber. I found him once on Rose's bed. You know.. the top bunk?? He'd climbed up there all on his own! Insane.

The various food issues seem to have lessened if not completely disappeared. I've had some baked goods with milk or cheese & they haven't given J a problem at all. I've also eaten green beans & there was no reaction. I want to get my hopes up that they really are gone, but his condition is chronic rather than acute. It's highly possible that his triggers could pop back up after awhile. It's so frustrating that all I can do is trial and error. I hate that something I eat could hurt him. I'm still nursing about 4 times a day, so I don't have to worry as much as I did when I was his sole source of nourishment. Though, I must say.. I had dairy yesterday and today and my stomach wasn't very happy about it. :P I need to get some yogurt or kefir.

OK, well enough randomness for now! Good night everyone!

July 2nd, 2013

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Frog
Rose gets to earn an after-dinner treat every day. We try to limit her treats and this is one way that she gets to have one. However, dinner tonight was pancakes with chocolate chips. We usually count the chips as her treat. Tonight though, somehow that didn't quite sink in and Rose wound up trying to do a little power trip over the whole thing. We were having a calm discussion about the whole thing & Aaron was about to give her a compromise, when Rose decided that yelling and demanding was the way to solve this little ordeal.

So, Aaron told her that the compromise had gone out the window. And then promptly placed her in time out. I think at that point it was slowly starting to sink in that Daddy was serious about this issue, but she wasn't quite done pushing the boundaries.

She asked Aaron to go outside, find the compromise, and then bring it back. O_o

I am so glad I was in the other room during this conversation. I about died.

She then told Aaron that he didn't need to go out, that she'd found the compromise under her chair.

All I can say is that it's a good thing that she's cute and funny.

June 17th, 2013

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Frog
Friday Aaron came news home with some disturbing. His boss received an e-mail from corporate to fire all of the recruiters and that they are not to start any new students. :(

They're not completely sure what's going on. There could be several different things going on; some benign and some malignant. It could mean that corporate is filing for bankruptcy or that they are planning on closing this school (though that would be silly because they are the eighth most profitable school in the corporation). There is also a rumor about an investment company that might be thinking about buying the corporation & corporate is trying to make the books look really good. Or next week they'll receive a new e-mail telling them to hire all of the recruiters back!

The good news is that is the school is closing, they can't close for at least another year, possibly two. They have a contract with the students to provide an education & are required by the Department of Education to honor that contract. And Aaron said that then all of the equipment and airplanes would have to be disassembled and moved which would take even more time. So, we're now in budget lockdown mode so that we can build up our savings.

I'm just nervous because the last time things started going wonky our car died. We don't need this & having to buy a new car. Bleh...

April 3rd, 2013

Easter morning, we were loading up the car to go to church. I needed to go back inside to get a jacket. While I was inside, Aaron went to back the car out of the garage (it's a detached garage) and Rose got worried that Daddy was going to leave Mommy at home! So, being the sarcastic person Aaron is, he told her that I was going to walk to church and it would all be fine. She's five now, so she can pretty much tell when Aaron thinks he's funny. So, she quickly figured out that I was indeed going to ride with them to church. I got back in the car and Aaron told me that Rose wanted to leave me there. Rose quickly and loudly protested! She made it clear that it was all Daddy. Ha!

So, fast forward to later that day. We were at my parents' house for lunch. We were again loading up the care to leave. This time Aaron had to run back in the house to get Josiah's sippy cup. Rose gets an evil grin and says, "Let's pretend to leave Daddy!" I couldn't resist. So, we drove a little way down the street. We watched for him to come back out. We laughed as he looked around for us. We drove up right as he was about to go back inside. ;) He was so proud of his little girl!

December 22nd, 2012

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Frog
I must admit, we've had quite the interesting time here at our new house. Last August we were making the cheesecake for Katrina's wedding. Aaron ad it baking in the oven when I started to smell smoke. We turn on the light in the oven and sure enough! Some of the cheesecake had spilled over the pan and onto the heat element! We managed to sprinkled some baking soda on it and all was good!

Today, we decided to try something I'd found on pinterest. I wanted to make planter from a glass bottle. So, I thought we'd try the nail polish remover & a lighter trick. We got the yarn together, soaked it in nail polish remover, and then Aaron set it alight! It kind of fizzled out pretty quickly as I didn't have a whole lot of remover left. So, Aaron goes and gets his container of pure acetone. Instead of taking the yarn back off and soaking it again, he just splashed the bottle, our sink, and our dishes with acetone. Then he lit it. O_O I am so thankful this experiment was done in our sink!! We got the water on and managed to put it all out.

And from now on, all experiments with fire will be done outside.

And I do believe I have now put out more fires than my firefighter brother. ;)

November 21st, 2012

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Frog
Holding a baby while trying to step over a dog and through a baby gate all at the same time doesn't work out so well for one's foot. Ouch...

November 16th, 2012

Baby J

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Frog
Oh man! That little boy is really growing. On one hand it's hard to believe he's already eight months old. On the other hand, it's unbelievable that he's only eight months! Little Man has been crawling for a couple of months now. He's been pulling himself up and walking around the coffee table for about that long, too. I put him behind one of those push walker things today to see what he would do. He got a big grin and just went awalkin' behind it! I don't know that he's going to be walking on his own for awhile, but wow!

We took J to get a skin test done for his possible soy/dairy allergy. He doesn't have an actual allergy. Instead, just for fun, he has a little known syndrome called Food Protein Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome. Basically any food protein can possibly irritate his colon. There's no test to determine what those foods will be. So it's basically trial and error! Yea! So far we've found that he gets triggered by dairy, soy, green beans, and spinach. We had tried to start solids at 6 months, but after he was triggered by the green beans, we decided to back off. In about a month, we'll try again. This time, though, we'll start with some lamb bone broth. I just gotta find a good supplier of grass-fed lamb bones.

I'm just so glad that he's obviously improved and is so much healthier! He's so funny! ;)

I do seriously miss pizza though.

November 2nd, 2012

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Frog


xqqq

October 9th, 2012

Cake and Perfection

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Butterfly cake
Aaron and I have made wedding cakes for about 5-6 years now. It's something that we've enjoyed doing as a couple and since it's mostly been close friends, we've enjoyed being able to give part of ourselves to their special day.

Because we know that those cakes are part of that very special day, we want them to be as close to perfection as we can possibly make it. However, there is almost always some sort of imperfection; the cake doesn't bake perfectly, the icing isn't quite smooth, an air bubble is in the icing bag which makes the piping rough, the fondant needs a repair, the color doesn't come out quite as expected, so on and so on. It can hardly be helped.

But, we have tricks up our sleeves that we can use to correct the imperfections. And use them well, we do. However, there is a point where we can correct too much. We either over-correct to the point that we create a new problem or the correction actually draws the eye straight to the imperfection. The cake hardly looks perfect anymore, but rather an exquisite mess. There is a point when we have to tell each other to walk away.

There is also the understanding that we are too close to the cake and its imperfections. We can see them far too clearly because we are closer to the cake than most anyone else will be. From across the room, most people will not be able to tell if the cake isn't quite level, or if some of the piping isn't quite where it should be. And if we correct too many of the perfections, from across the room the cake will look fake.

Our lives are the same way. We're too close. We see all of the imperfections in a way that is usually too obvious to ignore. We know our mistakes. We know our motivations for our action (or inaction). So, a lot of us try to fix them.

We have tricks up our sleeves that will cover up the imperfections. We don't want others to see that we're not perfect. But, the more we try to cover up the imperfections, they get worse. They become more glaringly obvious. Everyone can see them. Or we start to look fake. Either way everyone can see the cracks, the imperfections. Trying to control and fix every detail can nearly drive us mad!

It is only when we finally walk away from the imperfections; stop looking at them. It's when we "let go and let God" that we can distance ourselves and see what we truly are. We are beings that are "fearfully and wonderful made". We are loved. We are a gift. We're no longer hung up on what we think we're supposed to be, but rather we are allowed to be what we are in this moment. We are then perfect.

September 4th, 2012

Birthday and baby

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Frog
Another year come and gone! What a busy year it's been for me. New baby... new house... But, I had a lovely birthday, despite the new problem in our lives.

Josiah's been diagnosed with a dairy allergy. Thankfully, I've been a member of the breastfeeding community here on lj, so I knew the symptoms and what it meant for me. But, we went to the doctor just to confirm our suspicions (I'm not sure how much good that did, since we saw a resident who was younger than us, looked in J's same ear twice, and I had to explain how bfing actually works to him!). So, I had to give up dairy, soy, and beef just before my birthday! Yea! Going that far might be overkill, but I want to get all of that out of our systems so that I know for sure what his triggers are.

It hasn't been as much of a pain in the rear as I thought it was going to be, so far. I think I did accidentally get ahold of something possibly twice over the weekend. I don't think I'm going to go out to eat much for awhile. There's just too many things to look out for and it's hard to rely on other people understanding what I need to not eat.

Aaron did manage to find a way to make me dairy-free and soy-free chocolate cake. And my SIL made me an angel food cake. Yea! I also know how to make ice cream from bananas. I must say that the one thing I miss the most so far is cheese. :( I have no been able to find a cheese substitute that doesn't have soy yet. But, I haven't been to the health food store yet either. And I bet it costs an arm and a leg! Almond milk is yummy! We did find a margarine that's made from palm oil that's pretty good. I've now made some bread that I can eat. So, yea!

August 10th, 2012

Rose gets to have an after dinner treat if she keeps her panties clean & dry (we're still having some naptime trouble), takes her nap, & eats all of her dinner. Her candy is kept in a bucket in the cabinet. We get her the bucket & then she chooses one treat. This usually works really well.

She has taken to explicitly asking for the *whole* bucket of candy. As if we've every done anything else. So, we'll tease her and tell her that we're going to get her just one piece. She doesn't always find that funny...

One night, Aaron decided he was going to push it a step further. Rose asked for her candy bucket. Aaron gave her one jelly bean. Just set it in front of her. She looked at it for a second and then picked it up and threw it across the room!! "I WANT THE WHOLE BUCKET!!!"

Oh. My. Goodness. You would've thought the world had ended! Aaron went to take care of Josiah while I calmed her down. Normally, this tantrum would've gotten at least a time out, but I figured that this was provoked. Once Rose was calmed down, I explained to her that Daddy was just trying to make a funny joke and of course, she could have her whole candy bucket. She did have to apologize for throwing the candy though.. She was good with that. But, she did declare that "Daddy's jokes are not funny."

I knew she was calm, so I teased her and said that I was only going to get her one piece of candy instead of that whole bucket. She started to get upset again, but I stopped her and reminded her that I was joking. She grinned and declared my jokes to be funny! ;)

Cue to yesterday. I found an article online about a woman who had a spider stuck in her ear for something like 5 days! O_o I completely had the heebee-jeebees. I told Aaron about it. He said that it could've been longer than that because it might've hatched in there!! O_O He was then informed that he wasn't helping. He asked if this was what Rose meant when she said his jokes weren't funny.

I must say yes... yes, that's exactly what she meant. :P

August 6th, 2012

Yet another busy weekend!

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Frog
I don't think I had a weekend this week. :P

It was mrbubba's wedding! YEA!! :D

Rose was the flower girl and Aaron made the wedding cake (cheesecake!). I corralled Rose and did miscellaneous errands that needed to be ran between the bridal parties and the like. And Josiah.. umm.. he ate and slept.

I admit that I scared that we would have a repeat of the Christmas play 2011. I thought for sure that in the middle of the ceremony Rose would yell out, "I NEED TO GO POTTY!" or some other variant. But, I must say that she did a phenomenal job. Apparently, on the way in (for the second time. While the party was lining up, she forgot and went on ahead in of everybody. I had to run and grab her!) she was appropriately shy. The nut. That girl is not shy. But, anyway, she went down the aisle and straight to her father. During the ceremony, she was quiet and sat fairly still. Then she went back up the aisle nicely during the recessional. I was so impressed! And proud.

But, Katrina was gorgeous. Her veil was beautiful as was her dress. I didn't get to see Kamy's face when she came in, but I know he was amazed. He had to've been. ;) The ceremony was great. At the first reception, there were cupcakes and cheesecake. I must say that we have *never* had a wedding cake get completely eaten before! That was insane! Umm.. there was also popcorn and of course, coffee! Rose had completely lost it by that point. She was overtired. Thankfully, my parents took her home.

AND IT RAINED! Marvelous rain!!

The second reception was dinner. It was pretty good. We had fun at our table and there was dancing! Yea! Aaron, Josiah, and I did a threesome. ;)

Sunday was a little less crazy. There was church, lunch, then Aaron went to a movie, and then we came home. We put the kids to bed and then watched a little Mad Men.

Today was spent running to the bank and trying to catch up on laundry. I need to grate more soap to make more detergent to do more laundry.

The fun times never end!

July 30th, 2012

What a weekend!

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Frog
This past weekend was a crazy whirlwind! Most of it was good though. ;)

Friday, after Aaron got off work, we went to Adrianna and Anthony's house for dinner. They have 3 kids, so it's a little crazy when we all get together, but they have a fun backyard. The kids were able to play out there while we adults got to have some conversation time.


They currently have guardianship of one of our nieces. Taylor's parents were young when they had their kids and very, very immature. Plus they both have alcohol and drug problems. When they broke up a few months ago, they had enough sense to know that they couldn't care for their girls. Leigh, the girls' mother, has since been in 4 relationships (in 3 months time); one of them she was engaged to and moved to Texas. She's also recently done a stint in a psychiatric ward. She posts on fb all the time about how she wants her girls back, but doesn't seem to be moving in any direction towards that goal. The thing is that the only thing she has to do to get them back is file paperwork with the courts here. But, that requires money and effort. We're so scared she's going to get her act together in the worst time possible. Taylor is positively thriving here and her sister is doing very well with the woman she is with.

Saturday, we went to my grandmother's house. I haven't been there much. It always saddens me how different the farm is from when I was a kid. Things are falling down. It's been 20 years since they moved there though, so I shouldn't be surprised. I just had such fond memories of playing there. But, Rose had fun running around. She got to see a bunny and Aaron caught a grasshopper for her to pet.

Then my parents took Rose for the night. So, Aaron, Josiah, and I went home. While Josiah was sleeping, Aaron got his bike fixed and put together the bike trailer that Adrianna and Anthony gave us! Once J woke up, we took a bike ride to Starbucks! I don't feel so bad about going there if I ride a bike. ;) J seemed to have enjoyed the trip. Then we went back home, had dinner, and watched a movie. It was quite nice!

Sunday, I had to drop Aaron off at church and then go pick up Rose from my parents. Then, we returned to church for Sunday School. I've been taking J into my Sunday School class because there's no child care during that time. That's worked OK up till now because he would just fall asleep in the sling. But this time, J was very talkative. In the middle of the lesson, we were asked to leave. :( I completely understand. It wasn't fair to everyone else. The problem is that with no child care, I just won't be able to attend Sunday School. And most of the time, people don't show up to work in the nursery during service. So, it's almost as though I should just stay home. :( My SS teacher was so upset that she had to ask me to leave though. And she saw how upset I was. She's working to find a solution. But, until then I'm stuck. :(

Rose had a birthday party Sunday afternoon. It was at a Gymboree. That was fun. She had a really good time. But, it was our trip home that was insane. We live near the racetrack. There was a race yesterday. And apparently when that happens, the authorities feel they must close the four exits closest to our house. And give warning once it's too late to get off at the exit before the four closed. And of course, Rose had to pee. So, we had to drive WAY passed our house to get off the interstate and find a bathroom for her. Then, we had to drive south again to get back home. We waited in traffic for 20 minutes with a screaming baby till we could finally get moving. But, with traffic as bad as it was, we had to pull over at the Eagle Creek Airport to feed J. I was so thankful that they let us the pilot's lounge! I would've hated to have to feed him in the car with no shade! We finally got home, but it took us two hours. Bleh.. we may never go anywhere on a race day again!!

And now it's 9:30 morning and I'm still in my jammies. ;) I need the downtime. But, the laundry and kitchen need attention. Bleh...

July 13th, 2012

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Zoe-brain missing
Aaron works with a guy that has a very lucrative business playing Santa. He was just fired today. According to Aaron, he refused to enforce school/student procedures and had a really foul mouth.

I find that so ironic for someone who plays Santa....

July 1st, 2012

My daughter....

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Interesting
The other day, Rose runs up to me and says, "Hey Mom! You wanna play Smiley Butts?" Uhhh... I have no idea what that is... so I ask. She bends over and touches the floor and says, "It's when you bend over and your butt smiles!!" Oh. my. word. I have no idea where she gets these things! I asked her if someone taught her the game (looking at my brother) and she said she made it up all by herself.

Then, today we're wandering around Nature's Pharm when Rose begins to pretend to feed me slime. At first I pretended that it was yucky and then I decided to pretend it was delicious! So, then that turned the game into her trying to turn me into a snail! (BTW, she's currently a flying unicorn with magic powers) So, I told her that I didn't like her magic if it was going to turn me into a snail. Rose decided that she needed to "make" a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to turn me back into a human.

Never a dull moment! ;)

June 7th, 2012

What in the world?!

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Zoe-brain missing
I just found Rose sitting outside, absolutely despondent. It took me a minute to finally get her to tell me that she was upset because her imaginary friends were telling her that she couldn't play with another one of her imaginary friends. O_o I have never been more thankful that she was facing away from me at the time because it took some serious control to not just laugh.

I had to take minute to get myself back under control and tried to find out what was going on. Come to find out one of her friends hadn't taken their nap. We sent her inside to sleep in Rose's bed. And now everything's fine!

What in the world?! :D

I love that kid.
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