Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Word full and less Wednesday

So, this is our Purple Coneflower, that we transplanted last fall, in effort to expand our garden. We thought it died, that it did not survive the transplantation process. However, while most folks Purple Coneflowers started blooming a while ago, this single flower just popped up this past week. If this flower can be totally dug up, mostly die, and still come back. How much more can we do!?!

It's Hope. Hope Against Adversity.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Under butts

I just had to vent about this. Last week, I was 20 minutes late to a playdate at the library, because I could not find my keys. I ended up grabbing the spare set of keys, rushing to the library, and meeting our friends in the parking lot. I lifted Chris out of his carseat as I was venting my frustrations to Amy, only to find that underneath Christopher's butt were my keys.
This week, I lost my keys again. Monday morning, I'm frantically trying to get the boy ready to go to Danville for his LEAF playgroup. Finally, I call Eric. He'd driven everywhere last weekend, he threw out places I'd already checked including all luggage, which had been put away from our trip to Peru. But I remember seeing my keys while we were in Peru, and not since. I became convinced I left them in Peru. I called our friends, but did not hear that they found my keys. I still carry my cards, license and keys on a handy dandy Butler ID keychain (though come to think of it, all my cards fell out of 1 side, so one side only holds a picture of Chris)and to lose it all, would be the equivalent of losing a purse with amount of work needed to get everything back. So, instead I lived in denial all week. We managed to do ok, didn't go to the zoo, we were at church everyday, up to our eyeballs in VBS, nor did I spend much money, I had a bit of petty cash. I must say I really appreciated the very nice librarians let me check out some things on my "good looks", ok, on my word, and recitation of certain vital statistics. I checked my bank, and no one was spending my money, so I knew they had to be somewhere. I just figured they were on my nightstand in Peru.
This morning, I got into the car to go to church. Eric drove, and as I sat down I felt an odd lump under my backside. Yup. You guessed it, my keys were under my own butt, in the passenger seat underneath the seat cover. I could've sworn I checked there....
Anyway, the next time I lose something, remind me to check under my butt.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday Fill Ins

1. I believe whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Perhaps I haven't done anything that would "kill", but my heart has been squelched enough that I've grown stronger.

2. If you're good at something, do it.

3. Why so glum? I am so happy for my sister and her healthy new baby, but part of me is glum.

4. Something is out there, it's
a wind chime. The scariest sound I ever heard was when we were out west and the wind chime started chiming and there was no wind. It was an earthquake.

5. If my life were a sitcom, it would be titled 2 animals, 1 1/2 men, and a crazy woman.

6. Sitting on my back porch I see the pond, our willow tree, Chris empty pool, and my cucumbers fighting a battle with the weeds.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to going to bed at a reasonable hour, like as soon as I'm done here, because we got little sleep last night, with all the excitement and prayers for Lisa and the new baby, tomorrow my plans include swim class for Christopher, and a home cooked meal, very few of those because we were at church with VBS all week, and Sunday, I want to take a big fat nap, but I'm also looking forward to church because Eric is going to be playing/singing Amazing Grace (My Chains are gone) for special music!

Christmas in July

Annabeth Irene West born July 25, 2008, 5 pounds, 15 ounces, 19 inches long.

Aunt Cathy and Annie

One million dollars...

The thinker, look how she's found her hands!

Ready for my closeup...and a good burping.

What a miracle she is, what a blessing, and how beautiful and amazing she is, even down to her toes.

The best Christmas present in July anyone could ever ask for.

Woo hoo!

My sister, Lisa and husband James welcomed Annabeth Irene West into the world at about 1:53 am this morning 7/25/08. I don't have too many birth details but that she was in the 7 pound range, and breach, and like Mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way. Lisa was able to do most of her laboring at home, and was at the midwifery for less than a half an hour before Annie came, which was just the way she wanted it. I am an Aunt (again!)!!!!! It's the first time on my side of the family, and we're all so excited!

Praise The Lord, for He is so Good!

Woo hoo!!!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wordless Wednesday aka The Drama of Motherhood

My Mom friends are having Drama, and I dedicate this one to them;
Lemur Mama nursing at the Zoo.

Please add what you think would be her comment.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Busy Bees

So, I haven't had much time to blog, because we ran away this weekend to join the circus, ok, to take Chris to see his first Circus, in Peru, IN, the home of the largest amateur show in the world. More to come later on that, but meanwhile, we returned to start our church's VBS. Eric and I are doing Opening and Closing sing-a-long show. It's kept us busy, busy and exhausted. But it's fun. Chris is LOVING it.
Anyway, tomorrow's story focuses on Shadrach, Meshach and Abendego from the book of Daniel. In honor of this, I post the following song, a friend mentioned this song, and we hunted it and found it this evening, and laughed so hard, we cried, literally and yes, we SO are going to be playing it tomorrow evening.

Laugh On!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday Fill Ins

1. If I could be a fly on the wall I would be intrigued to see the inside of the White House and what really goes on in the Oval Office; it would be cooler to do that back in time, during Lincoln's, Roosevelt's, or Kennedy's era.

2. Jealousy is
one of my many vices. Lately, I've been overcome with it, when it comes to people who have cooperative uteruses. It hurts my head to hear people say, oh we had to wait so long, we had to try for 3 whole months. Seriously? 4 years and some change for Chris, and we never did not try for number #2, but I guess we got Serious in November when I got my lupron shot.

3. When I see a shooting star my wish would be that all babies could be born healthy, that, or that Chris could get healthy and be the shining star I know he is.

4. I'd rather be cold than hot any day! I had to steal that from Suellen. My personal theory, is that when cold, you can always add more clothing, or curl up in bed with the heated mattress pad on full blast. But when you're hot, you can only take so much off....

5. Certain songs when I hear them make me wanna cry. I know, I have the reputation of "Cathy the crier." It wasn't just motherhood, I was a crier before, and music in particular just touches me deeply. Actually I just heard one on the way home from the zoo that made me tear up good, perhaps a turning point, it just reminded me once more who really is in control, and though I may be in a valley, I can always climb up:

Mountain of God, by Third Day
Thought that I was all alone
Broken and afraid
But You were there with me
Yes, You were there with me

And I didn't even know
That I had lost my way
But You were there with me
Yes, You were there with me

'Til You opened up my eyes
I never knew
That I couldn't ever make it
Without You

Even though the journey's long
And I know the road is hard
Well, the One who's gone before me
He will help me carry on
After all that I've been through
Now I realize the truth
That I must go through the valley
To stand upon the mountain of God

As I travel on the road
That You have led me down
You are here with me
Yes, You are here with me
I have need for nothing more
Oh, now that I have found
That You are here with me
Yes, You are here with me

I confess from time to time
I lose my way
But You are always there
To bring me back again

Sometimes I think of where it is I've come from
And the things I've left behind
But of all I've had, what I possessed
Nothing can quite compare
With what's in front of me
With what's in front of me

(After final Chorus)
I thought that I was all alone
Broken and afraid
But, You are here with me
Yes, You are here with me.

6. If time were in a bottle, I'd develop a large bottle collection. Then I'd go dipping into many of them, with a string to pull my way out.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to driving up to Peru, Indiana and visiting Jason, Denise, and Samantha (who has apparently been practicing "Hi Chris", tomorrow my plans include Seeing the Peru Circus Parade, and Chris's First Circus, and Sunday, I'd love a nap, but realistically impossible. We have too many other wonderful things planned: greeting at church, and My Mom and I are catching the Gem Show at the State Fairgrounds...."oooh, itsa sparklie!" Messiah's VBS starts also that night, Pirates who don't do anything, is the theme, and somehow Eric and I "volunteered" to lead the skits and songs for the openings and closings all week long. Woo hoo!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

I have such trouble picking 13 things from one category, so I'm just going to do 13 things I want to get off my chest, yes I know, such as it is.

1. I've been having bad dreams lately. The last two nights, I've woken up a mess, remembering clear as day, and its taken me over an hour to get back to sleep. This is fairly unusual. Tuesday night, I dreamt that Chris and I were touristing in Malibu, CA and a new giant waterslide, shaped like a giant number 2. We went to the top, but they wanted me to send Chris down on his belly, head first. I disagreed, and wanted to hold him, but I couldn't find anywhere to put my cameras. I ended up putting Chris down to stuff them in a locker, and when I looked he was gone. I could hear him giggling, and it was coming through the PVC vent piping on the walls and ceiling, he was crawling through, giggling through twists and turns and the time I found a lifeguard willing to help, I couldn't hear him anymore. I was frantically calling, when I woke up and just listened to him snore for an hour.
2. I had another bad dream this morning where I was being chased in a swanky building of shops in Carmel by a scary man with dreadlocks, and I couldn't find my keys, and no one would help me, except Susanne Plachette. She said she'd help me, and I woke up.
3. Finally got a hold of a GI specialist, and took the first available appointment... September 24th! Eric says we'll either know what's going on by then, or we'll all be in the hospital with mental breakdowns, and they'll find out there then too, a plus perhaps?
4. Still haven't heard back about the antibody test for Celiac, I hate having to Stalk Riley.
5. I want a breast reduction. I've lost 40+ pounds, and instead of busting out of my bra, I just fit. No reduction, everyone else I know loses weight and loses cup size. So rude.
6. I want another baby. Bad.
7. I want to nurse said baby, it would be darn near impossible to nurse if we have #5 done.
8. A friend's daughter applied to adopt from Ethiopia, just got word she's getting triplets! Triplets! So, she's started pumping, and talking her sister (who is already nursing) into pumping extra for the babies too! I am so jealous, I can't stand it, maybe not triplets, but one or two would be great, awesome, fabulous even.
10. Chris lost 3 ounces in the last month. The good news is, he gained 1/2 inch in height. But still height with weight loss is still weight loss.
11. Chris puked yesterday, only 3 days after starting Zantac for reflux, and then this morning the medicine port of his g-tube popped open as I was getting him out of the stroller to put him in the car, and poured a couple ounces of watery mess all over my feet and the parking lot. Could've been worse I suppose, I could've been wearing nicer shoes, or could've still been in the doctor's office.
12. The G-tube and pump was supposed to "fix the baby". My baby is not fixed. In fact I'm still pretty sure there's more going on, and the only way to find that out is to play torture the baby with medical testing. I hate that.
13. I hate that none of the above is within my control.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

What do you think this lioness is thinking? Please leave a caption.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Koala Pictures

So, to focus on an intensely happy moment from this weekend, I wanted to post a couple of the really awesome pictures I got of the Koalas when we caught them awake at the zoo.

Stretch it little Koala!

Peeka Koala!

Sticking tongue out for eucalyptus-y goodness!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday Fill Ins

1. Oh, I can't wait until I have a "normal" healthy baby. This has many levels of meaning, for not only do I want my baby fixed, but I want God to bless us with another one too. Just thinking of this one made/makes me a little teary.

2. A gallon of milk is the first thing I see when I open my refrigerator. Though clutter may also suffice.

3. I never leave home without handy dandy Butler ID holder that holds all my "vital" cards and keys. It's falling apart thought, oh well, a good excuse to hit the BU gift shop.

4. If I were a condiment, I would be
savory honey grey poupon because I got a little sweet side and a little bit of bite. It's my new favorite condiment actually, although I'm also very partial to Grandma Pat's Sweet Pickles...which hopefully I'll be making here in a few weeks.

5. Drivers who talk with their hands is really high up on my list of pet peeves. Or people that take a cell phone call in the middle of a live conversation with me. It bugs me when someone will talk for like 5 minutes in front of me, or will take a long call in an inappropriate place like the hospital, and not discuss hospital things.

6. The last thing I thought of before I went to bed was how lucky I am that my husband cooks dinner for me, cleans up the puke, and he loves me so much, he'll get up out of bed to bring me my retainers so I don't have to, and in general how well he takes care of us. It's easy to fall asleep when thinking happy thoughts like the song says, "...and I'll fall asleep, counting my blessings."

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to a chiropractor appointment, and maybe some food from the grill, tomorrow my plans include more grill food and great company with old and new friends at the Super Duper Double Butler Band Girls Baby Shower, and Sunday, I want to not have to clean up any puke, or even see it, and maybe take a nap that's longer than 45 minutes!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

So, in honor of the "surprise dessert" that Eric made for me last night, that failed miserably, I'm going to list 13 foods I don't like. This may be too gross for some of my expectant friends to read. Normally, I consider myself pretty tolerant and open to trying new things, but even I draw the line.

1. Black Bean Brownies-this was the "low-carb and healthy" dessert that Eric made for me last night, the one that tasted absolutely terrible, I didn't spit it out, but it was pretty naZty. I'll let him try again, perhaps with sugar it will be better. He forgot the splenda.

2. Tongue-I've been kissed by cows, and it really weirds me out to taste something that could have tasted me. Oooo, gives me chills.

3. Liver-Do you know what a liver does for a living? It filters out the crap, not surprising that it then tastes like crap too. Eric has tried for YEARS to convince me that if it's smothered in bacon and onions, it's good. True for most things,

4. Braunschweiger-See Above, even the slightest hint of liver in the liverwurst, and it still tastes like gross to me. You can't hide that livery flavor no matter how much mustard, mayo, or lettuce you hide it in.

5. McDonald's Pickles-I used to work there, and occasionally did the dishes, and the giant multiple pound container of the pickles had such a pungent odor, that even to this day, if I taste or smell a bit of it, I can't eat it. I am content to pick them off my cheeseburger if they don't listen to me and put those pickles on it. Funny, though I love other people's pickles, just not McD's. But you know, if that's the one thing from there I won't eat after working there, I think it's a good sign.

6. Hazlenut-
They make the fuzz on my teeth curl. Even the smallest hint, smothered in chocolate, I can't stand it. I call it an allergy, but it's just such a weird reaction, I mean I can't even drink Frangelico!

7. Octopus sushi-I can honestly say, I've tried it and I don't like it.

8. Squid sushi-Deep fry it and I'm good to go, but raw it reminds me of octopus, and the consistency is 18 kinds of funky.

9. Eggs that have more green things than eggs-Eric loves cooking, and he's like a musician, composing as he goes, throwing in more herbs than eggs. Too busy for me.

10. Cooked canned spinach-see above, Eric once added more spinach than eggs to the eggs, and it did NOT work. Don't even try to give me just canned spinach as a side item. However, I don't mind a decent ratio of it in, say, lasagna, or quiche. But not more than the whatever it's being put into, does that make sense?

11. Fried Rice-Ever notice how fried rice looks the same going down as when coming up?

12. Pepperoni-I can't stand those puddles of fat. They ook me out Dobbing off my pizza? Eww. Sometimes I'll tolerate it when it's chopped up so fine a. I can barely taste it, and b. I can't pick all the pieces out. You won't see me having seconds of it though.

13. Popcorn-I probably get the most razzing for this, like it's un-american to not like popcorn. Dude, I worked in a corn mill! I don't get gaggy, but my life is just ok without it. It used to be so bad when I was pregnant, I had to hold my breath walking through theatre lobbies, and the smell of popcorn cooked in the microwave, if the bag wafted near me or my office made me have to make a mad dash to the bathroom. They had to be on popcorn restriction if I was in the office. Now, I've warmed up to kettle corn. Eric can eat regular next to me. Sometimes I'll have a bite, but not much. It's a rare day if I eat popcorn. Does that make me un-american?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Please apply a caption.

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Storms

OK, so that wasn't this morning's storm, it was last Friday's storm. But, very cool cloud formation, no? But, it got me thinking.

How much like these rumbly storms our lives have been lately.

My mom has always loved watching storms, I have always been more of a candidate for the basement. My house has a basement because I refused to live anywhere there wasn't one. I thought my mother was a nut for going outside when a storm came in. But as I age, I don't mind watching them come in, THEN running for the basement. I can even see the beauty of them now. Anyway, all the storms and flooding and all the drama that has been coming with them, here and everywhere, well, it has really got me thinking... Sometimes storms are awful, but sometimes watching them come in is cool. But there's symbolism here too. Sometimes, it's really awful, it's hide in the basement and pray, awful. Sometimes in our lives, we feel helpless, we want and need to just hide and pray. Praying. And if and when we're praying, I realize, we're not alone, even at the worst time, we're not alone. Other times, some good looking clouds or a dash of hail, the storm starts out really scary, but ends up fine. We end up ok. We've been having a lot of those days lately, enough to give me a good scare, but ending up ok. Other times, it's cool, just a bit of rain. Sometimes, the weather is great, sunny, happy. We cherish those days.
But we can't have the joy without the pain. So, Jesus, bring the rain.

Bring the Rain by MercyMe

I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I’ve gone through

The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You

Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It’s never really ever crossed my mind

To turn my back on you oh Lord
My only shelter from the storms
But instead I draw closer through these times

So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory

And I know There’ll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that’s what it takes to praise You
Jesus Bring the Rain

I am Yours regardless of
The dark clouds that may loom above
Because You are much greater than my pain

You who made a way for me
By suffering Your destiny
So tell me what’s a little rain

Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty

We've been finding a lot of comfort in the KLOVE radio station lately. Even Chris is getting into it. We pulled in today listening to David Crowder bands, O Praise Him. There's a section where he La La La's for a while, and from the peanut gallery, aka back seat, I hear La La La. Not necessarily all Chris's la las were in the same tune as the song, but some successfully were. I'll take La Las where I can get them.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Friday Fill Ins

While I'm at it....

1. Holidays in the summer are not long enough. I wish this 3 day weekend were a 3 week weekend. I need a summer vacation!

2. Bratwurst, hot dogs, steaks, chicken,kabobs, pineapple are my favorite things to grill. Please realize that when I say my favorite things to grill, what is really meant here is my favorite things to eat that are grilled.

3. My thoughts are jumbled.

4. Camping, escaping, "eat, drink, and be merry"-ing is what I'm most looking forward to this weekend!

5. My favorite book so far this summer is Mark. We had a real good Bible Study discussion this week over chapter 5 of the book of Mark. I got a lot out of it this week, seeing that God is sending me to Go in Peace, Go Home, and Be Not Afraid, because that's what Jesus was telling those people that he was helping. There's that woman that was healed from her affliction just by touching Jesus coat, how strong was her faith. I have faith, I just have a frustrated heart. It was comforting.
Though, I did finally picked up the Curse of the Hope Diamond again this past week, and once Napoleon started making trouble in Europe, the book has gotten a lot better.

6. Waking up to a happy smiling Sweetboy who wants to give a great big hug and sit on the couch while Daddy makes breakfast and snuggle until my arms are numb and I HAVE to get up is the best way to begin a day.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to a party at Dan and Nancy's where Chris can make new friends as we bond with ones we haven't seen in a couple whiles, tomorrow my plans include Camping-Woo Hoo! and a Bonfire with the Julius clan, and Sunday, I want to take a big fat nap, then get a big fat hug from my niece as we celebrate Alexis turning 7!

Thursday, July 3, 2008


I feel silly, I dislike Fridays now. I mean, it's like the end of the week should be happy, a couple of days with Eric and Chris, all together, I should be happy. But I'm not.
I'm frustrated. Today's Gastric Emptying test was a yicky one. They strapped him to a table and he clung to our hands for an hour. It was like an MRI, but not as noisy, well, with a soundtrack of Elmo. But I feel silly for wanting my results right now, silly for being overprotective, and worrying so much. What do you expect, a doctor to report everything the day before a holiday weekend? Actually, yes, that’s what I would like, but unrealistic, and it’s not like anything is going to change immediately. That’s one thing I hate about Fridays, for us, medical stuff always occurs on Fridays, and people want to go home, and not answer my questions, and not fix the baby, and life has moved on by the time they get back to me. I've been there, I was a working girl wanting to go home too, and you know what, come to think of it, I was always late on Fridays, trying to get lab results out to people.
Chris's test today came back normal, but not perfectly normal. I am frustrated by this. I hate normal. Normal results are hooey. All that means is that it wasn't what that test thought it might be. So now, that means there will have to be more tests. I know something is still not right. I carry this guilt over subjecting Chris to more testing. But I made the decision this spring after he wasn't gaining weight for a year he only gained 2 pounds, and the first test they did, Bam, Silent Aspirator. OK, maybe what frustrates me is that though now we have a diagnosis, it's not fixed, he's not fixed, and they're not fixing it. Nothing's really changed. Yeah, he gained 2 pounds as soon as they put the g-tube, but now his weight gain has stopped; it takes forever to feed him. He's fed up at sitting bored at the table. The things he actually does want to eat, we can't give him. G-tube was supposed to make it easier, and it's just not.
I've been experiencing creeping jealousy of people with healthy children, where the biggest question of the day or week this summer is beach or pool? I am getting a bit tired of being at the hospital or having therapy week after week. We try to schedule fun, but my mind is elsewhere and I am not sharing in the fun. One of Chris's therapists this week mentioned that at 2 1/2, some kids get "therapy burnout". I wonder if I may be getting Therapy Burnout. Or maybe I am just getting tired of not knowing what's the matter. Then again, it's after midnight, maybe I'm just tired.

Thursday Thirteen

Today is a big day, with a procedure at Riley, so distract us the Thursday Thirteen is a list of the possible careers Christopher could have, as he has been taking great joy in work.
1. Firefighter
2. Janitor
3. Chef
4. Baseball Player
5. Golf Pro
6. Hockey Player (he has yet to play hockey, he was iffy on skates but he's small, fast, and good with a stick)
7. Pianist
8. Flutist
9. Percussionist
10. Nurse
11. Doctor
12. Pastor
13. President (he is the best debator I know, he knows what he wants, and he can be very persuasive)

Though I heard somewhere, A toddler's work is play.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Seesa Bey-yee

What a crazy day. We had a crazy busy day, and didn't even make it home until 6.
First, we started off at Bob Evans for our Small Group meeting, at 8 a.m. on the south side. I don't think that Chris appreciated being awakened, but we were trying to Get together to Study.  It didn't work well.

Let's just say, he's cute, and it's handy I pack extra clothes for both of us. 

We needed them.  And changing boys out of grossness in the Bob Evans bathroom more than once.  Ugh. 
So that's why he's in one of my shirts.  It worked like a dress.  It's summertime, who cares. 

Then we swung by to see my sister on the way home.  It's kind of on the way..  She is 37 (million) weeks pregnant.   I must confess, I am a bit jealous, it's getting real.   She's not comfortable.  I'd hate to be that pregnant in the summer, but on the other hand, it might be worth it to have another wonderful baby.

Chris is excited about getting a new cousin.  He calls it Seesa Bey-yee, Lisa's baby.   
They are going to have so much fun together. <3

Seesa Bey-yee

What a crazy day. We had a crazy busy day, and didn't even make it home until 6.
First, we started off at Bob Evans for our Small Group meeting, at 8 a.m. on the south side. I don't think that Chris appreciated being awakened, but we were trying to Get together to Study .

It's handy I pack extra clothes for both of us. 

Then we swung by to see my sister on the way home.  It's kind of on the way..  She is 37 (million) weeks pregnant.   I must confess, I am a bit jealous, it's getting real.   She's not comfortable.  I'd hate to be that pregnant in the summer, but on the other hand, it might be worth it to have another wonderful baby.

Chris is excited about getting a new cousin.  He calls it Seesa Bey-yee, Lisa's baby.   They are going to have so much fun together. <3

Wordless Wednesday

My Poor Sister, Lisa, 37 weeks pregnant, in an un-air-conditioned apartment,ready to pop, and what do I do? Wake her up, bringing baby goodies, and demand to take her picture.

You tell me what she's saying.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Stand in the Rain

for em