Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Trials and Troubles

It has been a crazy couple of days.

I took Kiddo to his first ever school friend birthday party on Saturday afternoon.  I really didn't want to go. It was yet another one of those situations where my social awkwardness really gets in my way.  He wanted to go so badly though, and I really wanted him to go, both because I knew he would have fun and because I knew it would be good for him. But the thought of hanging out with a bunch of people I didn't know just didn't sound appealing at. all.

Thankfully though, the little girl who was having the party also has a brother who is in kindergarten too. They are Irish twins and are the same age for about 2 weeks each year.

{Is it offensive to use that term, "Irish twin"? I've never heard it used in a derogatory way, but all of my research on it suggests that it is a negative term. For the record, I don't mean it negatively; I'm just using it to point out that the kids were born less than a year apart. Hope I didn't offend anyone.}

I think it's really neat that even though they are about a year apart in age, their mom decided to start them in school at the same time. Anyway, they were having a joint party, and it just so happens that Kiddo's newest little friend (and consequently our neighbor - YAY!) is in the little boy's kinder class. So, I had someone to talk to at the party! Yay!

I love our neighbors - we have lived across the street from them for about 6 years now, and I have always enjoyed a polite wave and chit chat with the dad, but up until school started I had never even seen the mom. Turns out, she works nights so I guess I missed all of her coming and going from their house all these years.  I finally got to meet her though, and she, like her husband, is really great.  The even cooler thing is, they go to the same church that we do and they use the same pediatrician. It amazes me that we've lived so close and walked such parallel paths for so long and have never come in contact with each other. Now our boys are in kindergarten together and they are great friends. It is such a blessing to have them so close.

So the party was fun, but I was exhausted after.  The boys were too. Port had melt down after melt down that evening and finally getting them to bed that night was such a relief.  Sunday morning, my BFF happened to be in town and she blessed me so much by stopping by with coffee and some time to chat.  We got to hang out for a little while before the boys and I left for church. It was so awesome to see her.

I took the boys to church by myself.  Normally I would never even think to do that because I feel like church should be a family thing. But Kiddo really wanted to go so he could show off his new bible and also tell his teacher about praying the prayer.  In as much as I didn't want to take them there by myself, I knew it was important to reinforce Kiddo's decision and so I made myself go. I was so glad I did - of course it was a great blessing. I didn't get to hear all of the sermon because I had to leave the sanctuary several times to cough up a lung or to breathe.  But I did get to see a ton of baptisms and hear some great stories of salvation.  And of course the music was awesome as always.  Miraculously I was able to sing during the worship, even though I have not had a singing voice for weeks (and still don't).

Sunday night, in lieu of our regular Musing Mommies Starbucks meeting, I convinced Kim to come with me to the Apple store so I could get my phone fixed without having to drag the kids with me.  Thankfully she was able to get away, so we went out there first, and they fixed my beloved iPhone. It was so nice to have access to everything again - I am very thankful that I had the Musing Mommies Blackberry Torch to use in the interim, but I missed my baby. (props to Kim for getting us hooked up to the AT&T Share Brand Ambassador program - free phone for a year, yes please!) We had a dinner meeting at a local mexican food restaurant, and then Kim thankfully convinced me to go with her out to a local steakhouse to hear some live music by Drew Womack out on the patio.

Oh it was soooo wonderful!!! What an amazing end to a roller coaster week! I felt like I was back in Scottsdale working at the restaurant again. And I wanted to get up there and sing with him so badly!! It was torture and pleasure all at the same time.

And then Monday hit.

You know, some people believe that when a person accepts Christ, there will be a period of trials and weird or bad things that happen immediately after. And sure enough, we get a newly cleaned soul in our home and on Monday morning things started happening. haha! Our clothes dryer has been on the blink for a while now. It usually takes 2-3 cycles to get a load dry. And if you open the door in the middle of the cycle, the dryer does not stop anymore. But I deal with it. We obviously don't have the money for a new dryer right now. But on Monday, I put a load of clothes in the washer and started it up.  Everything went well until the cycle got to the end of the agitation phase.

You know, to the part where the murky, disgusting, dirty water is supposed to drain and the clothes are to be rinsed and spun? Well, the washer had other ideas and decided to just stop with the tub of dirty water.

Broken clothes washer. Joy.

We think it might be a relatively simple fix - it has a sensor that will stop the washer after the agitation portion if you accidentally leave the lid open.  And I guess that sensor went kaput and the washer thinks the lid is up.  So now it won't do anything past filling up and agitating. But it does require taking the thing apart, testing the sensor and replacing it. And of course, it is impossible to move with a tub full of water. I need to find out how to drain it and get the top off of it so we can test it. Taking the clothes out of it yesterday was so hard. Wet clothes are heavy.

Then Monday afternoon I was sitting in the car line to pick up Kiddo and when it was time to move the van wouldn't start. Actually, it started and then when I put it in gear it died.  It took about 10 tries to get it to run again (it would turn over fine but would die immediately after) and then I rolled a few feet and it died again. Another 4 or 5 tries later it finally kept running and it chugged all the way home. Of course, it was fine after that - not sure what the problem was. Either the fuel pump is about to go out on me or there was some trash in the gas line.  That is about all we can figure would have been wrong. It was so embarrassing though sitting in that line trying to get my car to start. Ugh.

Those two things themselves would have normally been enough to get me completely down in the dumps.  I am pretty upset about the washer/dryer situation because there is no way we could replace them and of course the van thing is frightening because we really don't have a good solution there either. If something happens to the van, we are just out of luck for a while.

But I made a conscious decision to keep praising my God on Monday; to not let those trials distract me from the glory that is my son's salvation.  It was a nice change from the wallowing, complaining road I usually take.

That's not to say I won't go down that road again - I know myself better than that. But I am trying to be stronger. And now the van seems to miraculously be running better. And the washer is still broken, but it doesn't really bother me too much.  And that is a good thing.

D :)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Amazing Love

Today is the coolest day.

No matter what happens, no matter how many issues I have, no matter the fact that I fried yet another iPhone and have no way to get to my messages, contacts or anything else I put on there, it doesn't matter that the van is about to explode any day now from the transmission and the brakes need replacing, it doesn't matter that I am still coughing and having sinus issues, and it doesn't matter that the day started with the filter folding over in the coffee maker and filled my fresh pot with is a GREAT day.

Today, my son, Kiddo, prayed for Christ to come into his heart.

I cannot even begin to express how much joy I have right now!

And I have to say it was one of the weirdest, most unexpected events that I have ever witnessed. 

Things were going how they normally do; I was at the computer and the boys were playing in the living room.  Kiddo was walking around, singing silly songs and kicking a toy car with his foot.  His silly song turned into a church song and he was singing it over and over again. I wasn't really paying attention until I happened to notice that he was making up words to the tune he was singing. At first they were just phrases about being good and kind and how God wants kids to be nice and have a clean heart. Then it turned into something about how he wanted a clean heart and how he didn't know how to be nice and kind and how he needed God to help him to not be mad and sad anymore. And the next thing I know, as he was still singing, he was pleading to God to help him to not be angry and to please give him a clean heart.

I looked up from my desk and watched him as he sang his thoughts over and over, still kicking around the car and his head hanging down. Then as I watched him, he dropped to his knees, clasped his hands together and burst into tears as he asked God to help him.

It was the most bizarre thing I think I have ever witnessed. It didn't seem real. He was so upset and he collapsed in a heap on the floor. I asked him if he was ok and he looked up at me with the saddest face. I called him over to me and cradled him in my lap.

I asked him what was wrong and what he was doing and he told me he didn't want to be angry and sad anymore and he wanted a clean heart. He didn't want a dirty heart and he wanted God to come in and give him a new one. I asked him over and over in many different ways just to make sure that he was telling me what I thought he was telling me and that he understood what it all meant. I didn't want to just assume he knew what he was talking about.

And if I am perfectly honest here, part of me was hoping this wasn't what I thought it was.

Not because I don't want my child to be saved; far from it. It is what I pray for every night. It was because, for one, Hubby is not in town this weekend and for two...

I didn't want to be the one to do this with him.

It is a HUGE responsibility! And I have been just absolutely terrified that I would have to be the one to lead my kid(s) to the Lord, and I didn't want to screw it up! What would I say? Would I even know the right way to do it? How would I even know I was doing it correctly?

I thought about calling my father in law and having him talk to Kiddo, but I didn't want him to do this over the phone, and I didn't think putting him off would be a good idea either.

So, I took a deep breath, prayed for the right words and together Kiddo and I prayed.

He seemed relieved and happy about it all at first. I did call my father in law a few minutes later and had them talk about it a bit. Then while I was on the phone with him Kiddo started fussing again that he didn't feel any different and that he didn't think he could "do this". We talked some more and hopefully I got him to a place where he understands that it is not always an instant transformation, but now that he has given his life to God that he can trust in God's strength to help him through all his trials and troubles.

I took him to the christian book store to buy a real bible. He needed one anyway as he is now expected to start carrying on to his Sunday school class each week.

Holy moly I had no idea there were so many different bibles to choose from!  Of course, he chose a gaudy bright neon green one (his favorite color) with Bob and Larry on the front of it. But I figure, the more interesting it is and the more he likes it, the more likely he is to carry, use and read it. And no sooner did we get home that he started reading it. He loves it. I had his name stamped on the front and I think I will get him a nice carrying case for it for Christmas. I couldn't afford the case today (much less the bible, lol) so that will have to come later.

He's been like this all day!

Praise God!!! I praise Him for it all today. I praise Him for the messed up coffee and the broken iPhone and the falling apart car and especially for the salvation of my son.  There is no greater gift than God's grace and our salvation, and I know that because He is good and faithful that no matter what my troubles are, His hand is in everything and I can always count on Him to show us tremendous blessing in any situation.

Today is the BEST day!

D :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

You Learn

Since school started I have learned a few things.

1. The mom pony tail is a wonderful thing.
2. Yoga pants rock
3. I should never be allowed to drive before I have my coffee
4. Coffee, though always held in high regard, really is the elixir of life
5. God really knew what he was doing by giving me my kids - they wake pleasantly each morning and are alert enough that I don't have to drag them out of bed. I am too busy dragging myself out.
6. I have a "mom mode" that thankfully wakes me up enough to get the Kiddo ready for school without too much pain
7. Gas goes really fast when you have to drive 2 very short trips a day.

I have never, ever been a morning person. My mom told me once that I used to get her up bright and early at 5AM when I was little, but I refuse to believe it. I hate mornings. There is a certain golden hour, usually between 7 and 8AM where I get my best, most peaceful, fulfilling and restful sleep. In the past, if I had to get up before I get that golden hour, my body would physically hurt. Going to work or school, when I was doing those things, was always a miserable experience for me. It actually hurt my head and body to be up that early. The fog in my brain and the weight of my limbs made me useless before about 9AM.

But it amazes me how now that I have to get up so early for my kids, the physical pain isn't there. I go into some sort of automatic mode that wakes me up and gets me moving. After I drop Kiddo off at school though, some mornings we get home and the zombie mode kicks in. I sit and stare at the walls until I can get some coffee in my veins.

Now I know why my mom treasured her coffee so much.

I have to say though that even though I have only one child at home during the day, I feel like I have even less time than before.  I don't like having to leave the house twice a day - it seems to cut in the middle of everything I try to accomplish.  I feel like I can't start anything, and if I do I am rushing to finish before I have to leave.

Something else interesting - Kiddo is extremely social, and when Port is with him, he totally follows his brother in his adorable friendliness and chatter box ways.  However, when Kiddo is at school and I take Port somewhere, he is suddenly very shy and so frustratingly cranky! He sneers and screeches at other children like they are arch enemies. He hides behind my legs and refuses to talk to anyone; even people he has talked to on multiple occasions.  He gives strangers dirty looks. It. Is. Amazing.  He is like a totally different kid when he is in public without his brother.

I never knew my sweet, adorable, smiling, social baby was so shy and cranky when he doesn't have his big brother to lead.

Oh the things I am learning!

D :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What'd I Say

I should be doing about a million other things right now, so I think I will blog! lol! It's the perfect time, right?

Yes, procrastination is my middle name.

Port is really starting to talk a lot now; and more than just saying and repeating words he hears, he seems to be communicating more of his thoughts too. It's pretty cute because when he successfully communicates a thought, he gets the biggest, cheesiest grin on his face. It's like he's been waiting 2+ years to talk to us and now he is amazed when we finally understand him.

He is lying on the floor right now and playing with trains, singing. "Daddy, daddy, daddy, daddeeeeeeee! I need a burger, I need a burger, burger, burger, on the tracks, the tracks, the traahahahahacks. Oh where is my hairbrush? Oh where is my hairbrush, where-oh-where-oh-where-oh-where-oh-wheeeeeeere??? Is my hairbrush?"

Yeah, we watch a lot of Veggie Tales around here.

I really just wanted to write down some of his current word pronunciations before I forget them. They are so cute!
pack-pack = backpack
pan-pake = pancake
brish-brush = tooth brush, hair brush, paint brush

I probably shouldn't document how he says Percy... :)

I am still on the sickly side. I am coughing a lot - which is so weird because they aren't productive coughs, just a dry hack that hurts like heck. My voice comes and goes, but I can't sing at all. I cough more in the mornings and at night. I have an ear infection and I suspect a sinus infection as well. And for an added bonus, my influx in hormones this week has made me superman sensitive to certain smells and numb to others. I can't smell things that are sweet, nor can I smell rich, creamy or meat scents. I do, however, have a super sensitivity right now to metals, acidic smells and things like cat pee and ammonia (like from baby diapers). The last two can practically knock me out. I checked the mail earlier today and the scent of the mailbox on my hands just about drove me nuts. I washed my hands twice and am still catching whiffs of it from where I touched my face. It's like being pregnant without the fun baby at the end. boo.

Hopefully my immune system will wake from it's slumber and do something soon. I am tired of this.

I better go get something done. My list is getting longer.

D :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sick and Tired

So the second week of school was going fine until Port woke up on Wednesday morning with a bad fever.  He was a puny little guy all day Wednesday and Thursday as his temperature fluctuated up and down.  Thankfully it responded to medicine pretty well so I tried to keep him doped up.  When I let him go without meds, his fever would spike so fast that he'd get glassy eyed and lethargic.  As usual, he didn't want to fall asleep, so he would walk around like a zombie in circles around the house. He knew if he sat down for even a second he would fall asleep, so he refused to be still. His eyes would water so bad he would call out for me to wipe them.  His nose got pretty raw from all the snot he was producing too.

I was hoping he would be the only one to have to deal with it, but as these things go, it spread. Thursday night Kiddo didn't eat his broccoli at dinner. Yes, his BROCCOLI!!! That NEVER happens. He loves broccoli. I knew something was wrong so I checked his temperature and sure enough he was running hot. He had to miss school on Friday, even though he felt fine, because they have to be fever free for 24 hours before returning to class.  Friday was tough because even though he had a temp of around 102, he felt fine. He was totally stir crazy so after the rain clouds cleared out I took him and his brother to the splash park.

Before you all go a gaspin and stuff at me for taking my sick kids to the park... there was no one there.

Not a soul. We had the whole thing to ourselves. And the really sad part is, the baby of course wouldn't get near the water and it was too cold for kiddo to play in for more than a couple of minutes. So we walked over to the playscape and swings (again, totally a ghost town) and played there for about 45 minutes. I thought it was going to be a challenge getting the baby to leave, but when it was time to go he was more than willing. I couldn't figure out why until we stopped at Sonic for drinks. He drank about a 3rd of his beverage and promptly fell asleep.  His temperature had spiked again. By the time we got home he was soaked in sweat. I transferred him out of the car and on to the couch without even waking him up.

If you know anything about Port, he doesn't do the "car nap to home nap transfer". Never. I was totally shocked. He slept on the couch for a few hours.

The boys seemed to be working through the cold just fine over the weekend and I thought the rest of us were in the clear. Then Saturday night it hit me.  My temperature shot up and I was done.  It is amazing to me that the kids could even function because that cold knocked me on my rear.  The fever was awful.  It fluctuated so rapidly that I would be fine one minute and delusional the next. And my throat and neck hurt so bad! It was no wonder neither of them wanted to eat the first couple of days.

Thankfully Monday was a holiday so we all had a chance to rest a little and get stronger.  Kiddo was still running a very slight fever (like 99-100) on Monday, but he has always run hot so I let him go back to school on Tuesday. He seemed fine until Tuesday night when he started complaining that his ear hurt. Sure enough, he had an ear infection.  Poor guy - he gets sooooo whiny when something hurts. Nothing we did made him feel better and he whined and whined and whined.  I was about at the end of my rope. Thankfully Hubby suggested we let him sleep on a heating pad and that seemed to do the trick.

When I tried to take it out of his room last night (now that his ears are all better) he pitched a royal fit.

This week of school was much better. We are getting into a better routine now. Port still cries at drop-off every morning though. Hopefully that will stop soon.

And in other BIG BIG news, because we are totally crazy, we decided to switch Port over to his big boy bed last Saturday.

Yeah...we have fabulous timing!

But he actually has done incredibly well! He was very upset when we took his crib out of the room.  And that first night, at bed time, he refused to even go in the room and instead wondered around the house looking for his bed.  When I finally convinced him to get in the new bed, he settled in and both boys, due to the sickness I presume, were out within minutes.

Haha, maybe we do have good timing after all!

The next morning Port woke us all up by knocking on his bedroom door (loudly).  We put a childproof lock thing on the door knob and showed Kiddo how to use it so that he could get out if he needed to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.  One night, Kiddo got up and I guess forgot to shut the door all the way when he came back in the room.  Port woke up just before my alarm went off that morning, and when I finally got up and made it to their room he was gone.  Kiddo said he ran out. I went into the living room and found Port sitting cross legged on the floor.  He apparently had run in there (I escaped!) and in the pitch black darkness didn't know what to do so he sat down.  His head was hanging; he was asleep. He was so disoriented when I picked him up.

Then he asked me for some mini wheats. I guess he was ok. ;-)

He seems to like his bed quite a lot, and both boys have played in it on several occasions. So, I guess the transition has been pretty smooth. Thank goodness.  We really needed something to go right!

D :)

Sunday, September 05, 2010

School Days

I am so sorry for the hiatus. Things have been crazy here since school started, but hopefully I can get back to blogging on a more regular schedule.  Once we all get well again. More about that later...

So school started a couple of weeks ago. I have been a crazy, crazy woman ever since (don't you dare say that's nothing new!).  It has been a challenge getting up early enough to get there on time, but we've done pretty well so far.

The first day, Kiddo wore some of his new birthday clothes and was so excited to carry, uh, nothing, in his new backpack.

He was so excited though, and I was just trying to keep it together.

We made it too the school and parked and I walked both boys in. We stopped at the entrance for a couple more photos and then went in.  (yeah, aren't the faces great?!? *eye roll*)

Port and I walked Kiddo down to his classroom (all the way across the school - not sure why they do kinder drop off on the opposite end of the school from their classrooms, but whatever).  He ran in and found his seat and was ready to get started. I barely got a picture and a hug and kiss goodbye before he started ignoring me completely.

I checked with the teacher just to make sure she knew about Kiddo's allergy and, sadly, she didn't. This really surprised me because when I enrolled him in March the school was informed.  One would think that important information like that would be one of the first things a teacher learns about her students.  We briefly discussed the lunch situation, and she assured me that Kiddo would be placed away from the kids who had brought peanut butter. She also told me that information for Kiddo's classmate's parents would go home in the daily folder.

Unfortunately, Port loved Kiddo's classroom just as much as Kiddo, and parked his little tush right next to his brother in the next chair at the table.  He was soooo not happy when I made him get up and leave. We got out the classroom door and the fit began. Port kicked and screamed and fought me all the way through the school and out the doors.

I didn't have time to get emotional thanks to the embarrassing screaming maniac I was carrying over my shoulder through the building.

We got out the side doors and I remembered that I needed to drop off some benadryl at the nurse's office. DOH! So I got Port calmed down and we went back in. He was fine when he thought we were going back to the classroom. When we walked in to the nurse's office he started up again with the fit. I dropped off the benadryl and headed out again, this time through the front doors (they were closer). One of the school staff joked with me that they were supposed to cry going in, not coming out, and I laughed a courtesy laugh and towed the screaming banshee out to the van.  I had to force him into his car seat; where he proceeded to scream bloody murder and claw and kick at the air all the way home.

It was a pretty long day. Port was not happy with Kiddo being gone. He brought me my shoes about 20 times, asking me if we could go to the school and get Kiddo.

When we picked up Kiddo, he was kind of pouty. He had so much fun at school that he didn't want to come home. He tried to talk me into taking him to school on the weekend too! He said he wanted to be somewhere that his little brother couldn't bother him.

The next morning, Kiddo wanted to walk to his classroom himself, but I wanted to make sure he knew where to go so I had him lead us. He of course, forgot how to get to his hallway, so we walked with him to the door, pointing out the "landmarks" along the way so he could remember. I didn't let Port go into the classroom this time because I wanted to avoid the melt down, but as soon as we turned to go it started anyway.  Unlike the day before when Port screamed Kiddo's name throughout the school, on the second day he screamed "BROTHER!!!! BROTHER!!!! COME BACK!!!"

It was pitiful.

The day at home was a bit better, and the boys were somewhat happy to see each other when they reunited that afternoon.

I was a concerned though, because there was still no allergy information sent home to the parents regarding Kiddo's peanut allergy and no one had come to talk to his class. I was promised by both the nurse and the teacher that information would go out asap. And I know that the first few days of class are hectic, but this is a pretty important bit of information that the parents need to know about.

But what really put me over the edge was when Kiddo informed me that it was one of his classmate's birthdays, and the mom had brought cupcakes for the class (apparently that is what we are all supposed to do now). Kiddo was given a cupcake to eat. I asked him if he asked anyone if it was safe for him to eat and he said he forgot. I asked him if the teacher assured him that she had checked the ingredients and he said no.

Of course, before school even started, I had a couple of conversations with Kiddo that he wasn't allowed to eat ANYTHING that I didn't send with him.  The fact that he forgot all of that and ate a cupcake without even asking if it was safe scared the crap out of me.

So that night I sent a very nice email to the teacher asking if there was anything I could do to help her get information to the parents, and let her know that Kiddo was not allowed to eat anything that I didn't send with him.  I cc'd the principal as well.

Wednesday morning Kiddo insisted on walking by himself, so I gave him a good lead and then followed behind him about 20 feet back.  Watching him navigate his way to the hall, with that huge backpack that was almost the same size as him; well that was what finally did me in. He looked so confident and big and independent - I lost it.  I started to cry as Port and I made a u-turn and headed out the building. I would have been a blubbering mess had I not run into an old friend and her daughter in the hallway. They saved me embarrassing myself on day 3.

By 8AM that morning I had an apologetic email response from the teacher, by 9 the principal had phoned me personally and by 9:30 so did the nurse. Suddenly they had a beautiful plan in place, a huge sign on the door of his classroom and information went home in the folder that afternoon. The nurse spoke to the class and the teacher tried to call me during her planning period. I missed her call because I was changing a diaper, but it was nice that she called.

Thursday was Kiddo's birthday so I walked to the classroom with him to deliver his birthday cupcakes. He barely said goodbye before bolting in the room to see his friends. He didn't want me to come up to have lunch with him, so we didn't get to see him until after school. He had a great day and was bouncing when he got in the car.  He chose Schlotsky's pizza for his birthday dinner, and Hubby and I were more than happy to oblige. (YUM!)

Friday I let him out of the van in the drop off line and he went into the school and to his classroom all by himself for the very first time. It was tough on both Port and I, to just let him go like that. Port cried and whimpered the whole way home.  At one point he cried out, "Kiddo, GET BACK HERE! You GET BACK HERE NOW!"

It was both sad and pretty cute.

Friday afternoon when we picked Kiddo up he was in a foul mood. He had gotten in trouble at school and had to write his name on the board for disrupting the class.

Apparently during their nap/rest time, Kiddo...uh...pooted.

A classmate laughed, which made him laugh, and then the whole class chimed in.

He was not happy about getting in trouble at all and his foul mood carried on throughout the day.

And thus ended the first week of school.

D :)

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