Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Words this Wednesday

Greetings my peeps!

What I'm smelling:  banana bread in the oven.  I think it has about 15 minutes left until it is done.  I searched for yet another recipe.  I'm sure the MYP will devour it no matter the tweaking of ingredients.

What I'm seeing:
no, she didn't die
What I've done:  I woke up at 5:45 this morning to drive daughter #1 to "hour 0" class.  She needed ot make up a gym class because of an absence in September.  I had no idea there was an actual class schedule at 6:10 each morning.  And gym class no less!  It is a daily drive for some parents each morning.  And yes, it was dark as night.  ((yawn))

What I'm hearing:  Lots of beeping.   Another home is being built next door and today is the day they are putting in the septic system.

What I'm doing:  Well blogging of course.  And I also am getting used to a new computer.  We went to the 'other side' and purchased our first iMac.  It came via UPS yesterday.  The driver drove up just as Lisi and I were returning from our walk.  So she hopped into the truck and sat right in front of the treat jar that "Dave" has on the truck.  This is the same guy that stops and throws out treats on our front yard when he goes by.  He also has paused in front of the house if he sees me inside and frantically waves.  Anyway I digressed!  We have our first iMac.  I pulled it out of the box, plugged it in and voila!  It works flawlessly.  My angst of transferring pictures from my iPhone to the computer are gone.  My struggles with a nasty virus are gone.  I had to set up absolutely nothing.  The speakers are built right in.  The printer was found wirelessly.  The wi-fi was discovered immediately.  As one person told me, 'once you go Mac, you'll never go back'.  So far I've drunk the Kool-aid.

What I'm looking forward to:  Our family is going to go on a one-day adventure on Saturday.  A mini-vacation if you will.  It involves a train and a large city and hopefully a Chicago dog or a slice of deep dish pizza.

What I'm avoiding:  Housework.  The house needs a good once-over with a dust rag and vacuum.  Two large loads of laundry need to be folded.  The garage has too many leaves that blew into it.  The mudroom needs to be organized and slicked up to prepare for the onslaught of winter gear.

What I've enjoyed this morning:  "Kindness is the sunshine in which virtue grows".

Monday, October 27, 2014

Monday Musings

And now, back to regular programming...  Thank you for your unsolicited and very kind words regarding the last post.  Life is funny in that we move on and yet sometimes pause and linger all at the same time.

I just found a Starbucks gift card from last year's birthday!  I reckon a Pumpkin Spice Latte might be on the horizon.

I'm dizzy.  Don't say you knew that already.  Heh.  I woke up in the night and the room was spinning.  I got up this morning and the room was still circling around me.  I managed to pack three lunches, feed the dog and the cat, unload the dishwasher, feed breakfast to the masses and now I might go lay down and shut my eyes soon.

We already had our trick or treating.  Only the 'baby' went this year with two friends.  I'm not sure she got enough candy.
can you say cavities?
what?  no tuna flavor?
This girl spent the weekend with us while son #1 spent the weekend with her family.  After this girl was born, we went to the hospital to see her.  As I held the cute little baby, I told her mama the possibility of a baby coming to us in six months though I didn't want to hope too much based on our history.  Here they are today!  

'ussie' found on my camera
Speaking of "ussies" or whatever you call them.  I was pulled in for pictures the past couple days.  One I was ready for.  One I was in bed for. 

And then there is this:

I've had that book since they first came out in 1987.  My thoughtful parents purchased the nicest goatskin version since they thought it would be nice for me to have one that lasts a long time.  Well, 27 years later, it is still supple and soft and loved.  And it went missing.  I searched high and low and in between.  I dreamt about where it could have been misplaced.  I checked recycle bins and crevices behind walls.  And then four days later, I got a call!  It had accidentally gone home in a friend's bag.  Oh me oh my!  I got to thinking about it.  It is "just" a book.  But if I probably had to pick out the five most precious things I own, this would be one of them.  I love to sing.  I love our hymns.  I love that the page where #60 is is ripped because one of our babies grabbed it too quickly.  I love the slight coffee stain near the index in the back that happened twenty years ago.  I've held it singing at many, many funerals.  I love that the hymns are marked on the page of the number when the MYP made their choice.  Yes, you never know the true value of something until it is gone.  I'm just so very thankful I get a second chance to value it all over again.  

I better call this a post.  And maybe I should get something really accomplished besides blogging once the world stops spinning around me.  Wait!  The world should keep spinning!  Just not the room.  

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

"As long as I'm living my baby you'll be"

I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
as long as I'm living,
my baby you'll be.

Most of you parents know those lines.  They are quoted from a Robert Munsch book titled "Love you Forever".  Mr. Munsch made up the words after he and his wife lost two babies at birth.  They have been going through my mind this morning.

Today she would be eighteen.  Our forever baby.  Amara Kay that will forever be three days old.  

She would be a senior in high school.  She would be making choices for post-high school life.  She would be driving.  She would probably have a job.  She would be the oldest child in our family.  She would have a wide circle of friends and family that would love her.  But she will forever be three days old. 

This morning, waves of sorrow rolled over me.  Deep sadness because she is not here.  I really do not know this tiny baby that was ours.  The only memories we made together were her precious movements within before birth and in a NICU with bright lights and machines that buzzed and beeped.  The most precious and devastating memory was spending the last two hours of her life in a small room - just our little baby, her daddy and me.  We took turns holding her until her last breath came.  Then they quietly said she was gone from our arms to our Father's.   Our baby.  Forever three days old.

As her mother, I wish I could have done so many things with her that mothers do.  In the busyness of life I sometimes wish I could have combed her hair.  I wish I could have watched her daddy read "Brown Bear" to her.  I wish I could have watched her sing at a school concert.  I wish I could have put a band-aid on her knee.  I wish I could have watched her grow up.  But we won't.  Because she is forever three days old.  

However, she changed me in ways she wouldn't have otherwise.  I have learned so much from our little baby.  I have learned to not fear death because someone I love has gone there before.  I have learned what being in a depth of need does to a person.  I have come to deeply appreciate friends and family that stood by us in our moments of grief and have hopefully learned to do the same.  I have learned to value life and the children we have been given.  And I've learned that it is alright to let sorrow wash over me because she will always be forever three days old.  

I share this not because I'm looking for sympathy.  Our little one is safely on the other side.  Our lives have been rich and wonderful.  The children that came to be in our family are gifts. And the daddy that she left behind has been a rock of stability to me.  We are richly blessed.

As long as I'm living, I'll always have a bittersweet feeling for October 22.  It is a perfect day to pause and reflect and then count our blessings one by one.  

Happy Birthday to our dear Amara.  It has been eighteen years since we last held you.  And as long as I'm living, my 3-day old baby you'll be.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Monday Musings

It's a bright sunshiney Monday morning.  That's a big deal here considering we have seen little of the sun for seemingly weeks on end. 

The colors have been lovely this year.  Yes that's Lisi out there in the distance looking for a squirrel to chase.

I've been "chatting" on-line with "Amit", "Saddam", and some other folks trying to rid a couple computers here with malware.  Shout out to Norton 360 chat people who are in massive rooms in the central part of India.  They helped immensely.  As much as Mr. Bojangles (aka Simba) thinks that he was an important part of the fix, let me tell you he was not.  He settled in while I spent more than an hour on-line chatting and watching some stranger across the globe moving the cursor around on the computer I was cleaning up.  
This weekend I took the girls to the local mall and heard some yelling coming from a nearby van.  As we walked past it I heard the mom hollering at "Leah" to get out of her car seat and come to the door. Then I noticed the bumper sticker - "Peace on earth begins at birth".  Ironic.

I found this really funny.   Especially #19.  Thanks to AB for sharing it.

Yesterday morning, daughter #1 came downstairs and looked at me and said, 'we're twins'.  Bah.  My baby is growing up.
Speaking of daughters.  Often when reading parenting advice we are told to nurture and encourage self esteem in our children.  I never was one to do that much.  I figure self-esteem is earned.  And obviously, someone around here doesn't need encouragement.  I found this on the fridge after the bus roared off.
Well I better get mobilized to do some mundane on this Monday.  It's hard to do when I have my lap full.  (I may or may not be still in my purple fuzzy bathrobe)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Words this Wednesday

I've been working a bit in the kitchen just now and have some things I'd like write.  For some reason, I feel better after posting.  It's like I can hit the reprogram button and move on with my day and life.

Our household is facing an epidemic.  It's that time of the year.  Fruit fly season!  After the tomatoes are about done I always have some leftover guests that don't want to leave.  I "Googled" some fruit fly trap ideas last night and put three different versions out.  If you note on the picture below, the fruit flies are mocking me.  Maybe they know what I'm up to.  So I wildly clap above the glass and kill a couple of the 57 flying around the trap.

Speaking of the kitchen.  I made a purchase this week.  It was for one of these appliances.  It isn't that exact one, because I purchased mine at Costco.  I bought it to make my "Barf in a Blender" smoothies which I'm trying to have every day.  It saves getting out my big Bosch machine and adding the blender attachment and you get the drift.  An unknown attribute to me was the other attachment.  Voila!  It minces a bulb or two of garlic to perfection in seconds!  Considering I married into an Italian family that thinks garlic is essential to life, I'm well pleased.

Yes.  I decided a fire was necessary yesterday.  It sure takes the chill out of the air.
This morning I had a couple follow-up tests that my regular doctor requested.  It once again involved a mammogram.  "Anne" was the person that walked me through the experience once more and I liked her immediately.  Once again I had the scan.  Once again she returned saying the radiologist wanted ultrasound done.  Once again they looked and looked at a spot.  On the screen it looks like a lump.  Anne measured it this way and that.  She poked and prodded and I laid there with an amazing amount of terrified calm.  Once again she left me alone again for 15 minutes to speak with the radiologist, 

I was wishing that I could have worn deodorant.  I was wishing I wasn't sitting there.  I was wishing I didn't have lumps.  I was wishing I could go home and hug the cat and dog sleeping on their beds.   Thankfully she returned with the blessed news of it being a cyst.  She then took the time and showed me on the screen how it is different from malignancies in a few ways.  I once again walked down the hall with a feeling of guarded euphoria that will last for three months until my annual check once more.

Today is "Infant Loss Remembrance Day".  Next week it will be 18 years.  In no way can I compare losing our little 3-day preemie with losing a child or adult child.  That seems unconscionable.  However, this time of year always makes me pause.  It makes me think.  And yes, I sometimes still get sad wondering who she would have been.   But it makes me thankful for the One leading.  It makes me thankful for the life and family we have built since that day.  And it makes me realize that life is precious no matter how short it is. 

Well that's probably enough words for today...  I feel better for releasing them out of my mind and out my fingertips.  

Monday, October 13, 2014

Monday Musings

Well here we go again!
Are you looking for something good?  Well not sure where my fingers will take us today.

I just got back from my annual physical.  Every time it is time for my annual appointment I start feeling sick.  I start feeling every ache and pain.  I wonder if something is really wrong with me.  So I drove over there.  A young nurse named "Kacie" took my height, weight, bp, pulse and oxygen rate.  In case you were wondering, my BMI is 21,  My weight is up a pound from last year so I figure if I live another 40 years, I might be a big old lady.  I was then told to strip down and put on 'the gown' and the large napkin to make me feel a bit less vulnerable I guess.  Just moments after I got up on the butcher paper table in walks my doctor.  She makes small talk and asks if I have any issues to discuss.  I can hardly think of any but I did offer up a couple things for her to investigate (which leads to more doctor visits).  It's just always slightly strange to sit there in my altogether visiting along about my family and life with someone I see not more than once a year.  I may or may not have worn the lightest clothes I own so I didn't cringe when I stepped on the scale.

I have a $1.00 rebate to mail in.  Somehow it seems kinda silly considering postage stamps currently are 49 cents and I would need to drive the rebate check to the bank.  

Riding along in the car last night, one of the MYP said in passing, 'you know that's why I like going to other people's houses.  They have such good food.  Their pantries have lots of junk food to eat.  Not like ours which is full of gross healthy stuff.'  I told her maybe some day she'd thank me for being healthy.  She said, probably not.  I heard a collective groan when I got out my crock pot this morning.  I assured them it was only for making applesauce today.

I saw a few things last night I enjoyed.  So here you go.

And finally:

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Post 1090

I just noticed that this will be post #1090.  That's a lot of nothingness.  I know fewer people are blogging all the time.  Some day, that'll be me. But for now, I will offer up some Wednesday Words.

I was just at the grocery store after a chiro appointment.  Why am I at the chiro?  Did I have an accident or something?  Well actually no.  My tailbone has been a bit 'off'' and I've needed some adjustments the past week.  Better to have my tailbone out of joint than my nose, eh?  Heh.  I digress... I was at the grocery store.  And I saw this:  I wanted to buy the Cheez-Its to see what "Pingles" were.
Speaking of food.  I've been trying to have smoothies for lunch lately.  It's kind of like reverting back to infancy and mixing up a bunch of stuff together and slurping it down.  Yesterday's ingredients consisted of:  carrot juice, spinach, frozen strawberries, 1/2 banana, one container Greek yogurt, a bit of ground flax, and a generous tablespoon of coconut oil.  Voila!  I called it 'Barf in a Blender' because that's what it looked like.  Oddly, it was quite tasty and I might go for a second one today.
Speaking of coconut oil, I've been reading lots of accolades about how wonderful it is for your skin and hair and tempering appetite, so I've been trying to get some into me each day.  This morning at the suggestion of Google, I put a tablespoon into my coffee.  It tasted ok.  But the coffee seemed predictably slightly oily and it really... well never mind.

Speaking of food.  Have you ever had green bananas that never ripened?  It has become an experiment in the fruit bowl here.  We are on 10-days and they are slightly showing signs of ripening, but I'm not very confident.

I winterized our camper yesterday.  It made me sad...

The Chairman and I took one of those silly tests last night, 'where should you live?'.  I got farmhouse.  He got skyscraper.  So far, we are still together.  Maybe a tall farmhouse?  Or chickens living in the city?

I was doing an extra-large pile of laundry last night from daughter #2.  I was throwing folded socks and skirts that hadn't been worn into the washing machine and thought, 'wait a minute!  These haven't even been worn!'.  Then I recalled throwing piles of clean clothes down the clothes chute to have my room cleaned in a hurry.  I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree...

There are certain things that go together.  Salt and pepper.  Bacon and eggs.  Apples and caramel.  Last night I discovered something that doesn't go together.  Fleece sheets and hot flashes.  I was about 1 degree away from grabbing a fire extinguisher.

This was on the bumper of a car at the grocery store.  I doubt it is the dog that bites, but the owner.  Most dogs I know really love most anyone despite their political preference.

Well we have some loved ones meeting at our home tonight and I would love to have it close to spotless if at all possible.  So I better grab my Norwex and see what I can do.

Happy mid-week!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Monday Musings

I type this to the din of cement trucks.  Lots of activity in the neighborhood today.  The neighbors across the street are getting a driveway poured.  A new foundation is also being poured for a new home the other direction.  However, it isn't stopping a good Monday morning nap.  I may be terribly biased, but I think they are so cute together.
I read a statistic yesterday.  Eighty-one percent of the people that read blogs trust the blog writers.  The bloggers can even be influential in purchases.  Sixty-one percent make purchases based on a bloggers recommendation.  This could be fun!

We were attempting to do our annual camping weekend and it ended up being just day-camping for us with family and an early exit due to frigid and wet conditions.  However, I found some pictures on my phone that someone took and some I took.

I've been thinking about teaching.  I am not a teacher but I love to teach.  Having the privilege to parent the MYP has given ample opportunities to teach.  When we returned from China with our developmentally delayed darling daughter (I like redundancy), we experienced the joy of teaching at euphoric levels.  She changed by day from learning to sit up to crawling around like a crab within weeks.  We taught the fundamentals of subtraction by playing a tape of Raffi singing 'Five Green and Speckled Frogs'.  We attempted to teach them how to be kind to each other.  But there is something that isn't easy and is sometimes painful to teach.  That is the quality of self-denial.  But maybe the best way to teach it is to live it.  I hope to learn how to do that better.

This will be enough aMusing for today.  I might have to catch up with you in a few days when I have more time and there could be promise of more aMusement.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Trip to Titletown

If you know me, you know that I don't get highly excitable.  I am not one of those that squeal when they sit in a new car.  I don't jump up and down over the prospect of money.  I don't go crazy when we are leaving for a fun trip.  That's not me.  But this week, I was excited!  A date to Titletown!  With the Chairman!

The Chairman calls and informs me a few days ago that he has free tickets to a Packer game.  If you are from WI, this is a big deal.  A real big deal.  To get season tickets, you need to apply for them today and possibly your grandchildren might get a couple of seats long after you are pushing up daisies.  So someone the Chairman knows has season tickets and offered up free seats and parking. This may have been the only time in my life that I'll get into that stadium.

We arrive and filter in with a sea of green and gold and few speckles of brilliant purple.  Since I relocated to dairyland from Minnesnowta (spelling intended), it was a win-win for me!  But once I settled into section 129, row 57, and seat 27 I realized I'm a Packer fan.  How could I not be?  I was surrounded by delirious nut-cases.  I saw everything from extra-large body painted men to women sporting cheesehead bras under their rain jacket.  Green and gold hair and men wearing full football gear in the stands.  Crazy I say! It wasn't the frozen tundra this time.  Maybe more like the 'soakin' tundra as it rained a few times as we sat there.

The fans were actually very pleasant.  This guy directly in front of me was just a hoot.  He looked like a football player.  He had the latest iphone and all authentic NFL apparel.  He high-fived me with (too much) gusto at every touchdown (go check the score and you'll know why my hand was stinging).
One lady who visited with me in the extra-long lines for the bathroom chastised me for not tail-gating and making a whole day of the experience.  

Here's how you sit in there.  Yes, it's cozy. 

We stayed until the last Packer ran back into the tunnel just below where we were sitting.  We walked out of the stadium with hoarse throats and rabid fans.  Got into the car and drove with 78,054 other people for home.  Traffic was terrible for the first hour but no one seemed rattled.  We arrived home by 1:45 and the alarm sounding at 5:45 didn't sound pretty today.

So it was a date!  It was an experience! It was a win-win-win!  

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Words this Wednesday

Just some words.

Today I was thankful for Google.  Why you ask?  Because they own the platform to the blogspot that I get to use each week?  That the Google car is fascinating?  That their web-searches are so useful?  No.  Today I'm thankful for an alarming e-mail I received telling me that someone in Malaysia knew my password and was logging into my accounts.  They warned to change my password(s) immediately which I did.  Who knows what mayhem may have come out of Malaysia.

Today I had to smile.  I was at a car dealership (Chevy this time!) waiting for the oil change to be completed in a crowded waiting room.  A stooped-over elderly man came over to me.  He smiles at me and says for everyone to hear, 'you have a very nice outfit!  Can I say that to you?  I don't want you to think I'm fresh or anything.'  No, you cute little older man.  I don't think of you being 'fresh'.  I haven't heard that term since forever.  And yes, you did make me smile.

Today I heard the MYP complain.  You see they have such a negative connotation over 'crock pot meals'.  They walk in from school and I have some beef simmering in the pot.  I also am serving mashed potatoes out of the garden, sweet corn I froze with my own hands, and a spinach salad.  Yes, they are complaining today.  But some day!  Some day they will be wondering what to make themselves for supper and wish it came out of a crock pot.  Or not.

Today I am excited!  You see the Chairman called yesterday.  He said he has two free tickets to go see a Packer game tomorrow night!  I have always kinda-sorta wanted to go.  I have wanted more and more lately to have alone-time with the Chairman.  And!  The home team is playing my former home team.  No matter the team that wins, I'll feel happy.  It's a win-win-win!

Today I read this.  I found it interesting about stay-at-home moms.  I'm ashamed I often feel like I need to justify being 'just home'.  The Chairman is 145% supportive.  The MYP are supportive.  My friends and family are supportive.  Yet deep inside I feel as if I should do more.  And I do.  It just happens to be that it is at home.

Well enough words from me today.  Thanks for the chat!