Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

13 Cute Pictures of Chris in his costume, and it's not even officially Halloween!

1. Chris shows off his costume in the kitchen.

2. I am Mit-tey Mouse!

3. Mickey does the "Hot Dog Dance" in the mirror.

4. Let me see those ears.

5. The Happy Family waits for the Zoo boo train.

6. Daddy and Mickey watch the animals.

7. Bryn, Shay, and Chris do a little posing at the zoo boo.

8. Something strikes Chris hysterical.

9. Ready for the Class Halloween Party.

10. Going for a scary walk.

11. What do you see?

12. Listen to your teacher.

13. Chris and Cousin Kaylee.

1 Word


1. Where is your cell phone? Charging

2. Your significant other? Eric

3. Your hair? Ponytail

4. Your mother? Smart

5. Your father? Silly

6. Your favorite thing? Home

7. Your dream last night? Unremembered

8. Your favorite drink? Chai

9. Your dream/goal? Ever-changing

10. The room you're in? Basement

11. Your fear? Insects

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Home

13. Where were you last night? Bed

14. What you're not? Brilliant

15. Muffins? Lemon Poppy Seed

16. One of your wish list items? Healthy Baby

17. Where you grew up? Indy

18. The last thing you did? Drove

19. What are you wearing? Jeans

20. Your TV? Off

21. Your pet? Sleeping

22. Your computer? Working!

23. Your life? Good

24. Your mood? Happy

25. Missing someone? Chris?

26. Your car? Functioning

27. Something you're not wearing? Shoes

28. Favorite store? CVS

29. Your summer? Fast

30. Your favorite color? Teal

31. When is the last time you laughed? Earlier

32. Last time you cried? Yesterday

FOUR PLACES I GO OVER AND OVER: CVS, Kroger, Preschool, Church
FOUR OF MY FAVORITE FOODS: Chocolate, Bread, Pasta, today...Gatorade!
FOUR PLACES I WOULD RATHER BE RIGHT NOW: DisneyWorld, Vacation, Beach, Healthy

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

A little Pre-Halloween Cuteness

A Happy Family

Chris and his girlfriends: Bryn and Shaylee

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Nieces Gone Wild

The girls came to visit us while we were working the Messiah Lutheran Pumpkin Patch, a fundraiser for the high school youth. They were positively precious picking pumpkins!



Playing growly monsters with Chris behind a tree.

Chris, baby second cousin Lily, and his cousins Alexis and Kaylee riding a luggage rack around the hotel lobby in Marion after Great-Grandma's funeral. You never saw so much cuteness, and heard such squeals of joy!

This evening, Chris got to visit Aunt Lisa and cousin Annie. Chris got to give her a few Halloween goodies, including a stuffed spider, which she just adored.

Chris, Aunt Lisa, and cousin Annie

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Mommy Diaries, ch.2

So, I finished Chapter 2 of The Mommy Diaries, reading short stories on Growth. I am really looking forward to hearing what you all have to say on these subjects as well.

1. When was the last time you tried something new? I was looking forward to our MOPS meeting couple days ago, I have never done self defense, and we were going to be having a demo by a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. That would've been new. Eric made stuffed acorn squash last weekend, which I'd never had before. It was squash baked and stuffed with meat stuffing: hamburger celery onions, and of course, cheese. It was not too bad. Eric bought me this decaf chai tea, Numi Ruby Chai. I made a pot of it on Wednesday last week.I was intrigued the box read, "Entice fresh water to a boil and pour over a bag of Ruby Chai. Steep 4-6 minutes. Sip and revel in this herbal's warm and spicy rendezvous. This teasan is strong enough to handle milk, yet mild enough to be served alone." I've not had any luck "enticing" water to a boil, but I was intrigued enough to try it straight up, usually I drink my chai half and half with milk and then a packet of splenda. Well, it was so good that I drank the whole pot straight up, by myself. AND then Chris got in on the action the next day when I made another pot, he actually drank a few ounces of tea himself.

2. Are there parts of your pre-children life you left by the wayside when you became a mom? How could you incorporate any of them into your life now in a way that enriches your growth? I didn't realize how much I missed participating in a regular bible study. Most of the ones available are in the evenings, and that is just not my (or Christopher's) best time. The one Eric has us in on Monday nights right now, is really interesting, we're taking apart the Apostle's Creed, but I'm always so tired before, during and after. I was blessed to serve on a Via de Cristo, women's retreat weekend this spring, and a couple of the ladies on that trip decided we'd start trying to meet during their lunchbreaks downtown. We did well, at first, meeting weekly through the spring, but summer threw us off our schedule and we ended up going bi-monthly. Now fall is in full swing, and everyone's schedule has changed, we are finding it hard to meet again. I enjoyed meeting during lunch, having a group that I could take Chris along with, and that he could be entertained by eating, or seeing people pass by, while we sat and had lunch and a bible study. It worked well, but we haven't met in over a month, and I miss it. I'm not sure what step to take now.

3. Is there an area in your life where you feel pulled to make a change? What would that look like, and what practical steps can you take right now to begin to make it happen? See above. I miss having our regular weekly bible studies. Motivated by this question, this morning at church, I approached one of my groupies and asked what's up? However, after some meeting time discussion, I see the problem begins with me. I need to be more flexible, maybe more willing to sacrifice my own personal naptime or evenings. As for what it would look like, I'm afraid to be more of an emotional monster than I already am now. But I can look into the possiblities, and talk to the others in the group.

4. Is there a mistake in your past which you've been covered in guilt over? How could you begin to let it go in order to move on and become the woman God's created you to be? Ummm, yes. Of course there was the time when I lied and told my father my sister ate the reese's peanut butter cups. She kept denying it, and since she had the history of being a notorious lier, he believed me. The more she denied it, the harder and longer her spanking. By the time I could take it no longer, and I confessed, my Dad's arm was tired, and I didn't get nearly the spanking I deserved. Then again, I had been crying my eyes out as I heard her cries. I've apologized, multiple times, but it's still a very sore moment for both of us. I'd love to be able to let that go.
In another more serious story, something else has been lying heavy on my heart lately. A member of my family hurt me emotionally many times when I was younger. The last time I saw this person, they were starting in on Christopher. I had no tolerance for that, and vowed they would never see us again. I've been trying to work on forgiving this person, but I find it difficult since I still have no desire to see this person again. I Really don't want to. But I don't think I've exactly moved on, since a. my family likes to guilt trip me about it, and b. the situation still bothers me and lies heavy in my heart. Chris is oblivious because he's so surrounded by people that love him, that he doesn't notice that someone isn't around who doesn't. I kind of like keeping it that way. On the other hand, shouldn't I offer the opportunity to love him, us? Chris is such a gift, it just boggles my mind that a person in his family wouldn't want to take every opportunity to spend time with him and love him, no matter how far away they live. But this person has demonstrated no change, nor the desire to change, and I really am disinclined to "drive into the Lion's den." I asked Pastor about it, and the only bit of advice I really came away with was, "You can't control where the birds fly, but you can stop them from making a nest in your hair." That was funny, because it seems I'll get bird poo in my hair regardless. But perhaps it might be best to re-establish contact, that may lead to a better ability for me to forgive, but perhaps, not so extensively as to allow us to get shat on. Pastor mentioned in a different sermon a while ago, that we're taking for granted, almost thumbing our nose in the direction of God's gift of Forgiveness to us, if we can't in turn forgive others. I sent an email, that was my Step 1.

5. Think about the growth you've already undergone in the midst of your mothering. Take some time to catalogue how it's made you the fuller, more amazing woman you are today. I didn't think it was possible for the heart to survive outside the human body, but it does. My heart is in my child. Since his birth, my heart has grown to encompass woman and children I don't even know. I pass someone in the grocery store having a little trouble with their toddler, and I leap in to give a hand, or grab a whiley one, tell a stray child not to run with that in their mouth. Or most especially cry and pray for a family of strangers when I hear their story, like that surgery prior to Christopher's last week that had run 3 hours over. That must've been extensive to run a whole 3 hours over, that's a lot of surgery on a child. I think of that family. Before Chris, I would've been inconvenienced, pissy even, by having to wait so long. But every time they came back to tell us we had longer to wait, though I felt bad Chris could still have nothing to drink, (and I did ask if we could just give him some juice) but I felt worse for them, I had to pray for that child, and that family. I still think of them, think of the teensy tiny NICU baby that was leaving the recovery area as we entered with the Mom crying behind it, wondering if that was the family, wondering if they'd had terrible news. I never would've had such sympathy and empathy before becoming a parent myself. And I find myself able to do things I never would've done before becoming a mother. Literally. Changing diapers, sure, and all the medical procedures we've done on Chris that I never thought I'd do again once I left the nursing industry. I do them eagerly, willingly, to make him healthy. I will try to find something to catch his puke. I will pull him closer or pat his head to comfort him when he's covered in it, instead of doing instinct and throwing him down and running to puke myself. Although today, we both lost it for the first time in a month, so we did a combination of the two. I actuallly enjoy making a fool of myself in order to get him to laugh. His laugh is the best music, best medicine, best sound ever in the world. But I just didn't know I'd love him so much.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Getting sick is NOT on the schedule

So, we all have been sniffling and snorting for weeks.
Last week, after attempting to run 15 miles on the 11th, and only making it halfway before hitting the wall, he was able to be "persuaded" to go see Dr. Cooper, our family doc. Dr. Cooper has a great sense of humor, a wonderful attribute given how Not Funny things tend to be around this house. So, he pulled his scope up to Eric, and told him to take a deep breath. Halfway through, he said, "Well that's not good." Eric snickered.
"No seriously." he said. "What do you do for a living?" Oh, computer programmer, ok, no metal shavings there, "Where do you work?" Oh, no asbestos in new buildings downtown. Hmmmm. Then he asked the real hum dinger, "Do you know anyone that has recently been diagnosed with Tuberculosis?"

Say what?

Apparently, Eric's lungs sounded like Ass. He suspected his sinus drainage (or a virus) got stuck behind a mucus plug and went bacterial infection. He put him on a Z-pack, and sent him home with explicit instructions, "If you don't feel better next week, then come back in, we'll get a chest x-ray and see what's really going on."
Like that wouldn't just scare me, let alone scare us all, as we've all 3 been sniffling and snorting, and coughing for weeks.
So, after Chris's surgery Friday, his little cough sounded worse. I think we may have Angered It. So, I told Eric I wanted to get Chris in to Dr. Cooper, and though Eric felt a bit better, he wasn't cured either, I told him he should go back in with Chris. Well, then he told ME, you should go in too.
So we did. All 3 of us. Piled into Dr. Cooper's office. The nurse-in-training was NOT comfortable with taking Assembly Line Vital Signs. But we got Dr. Cooper to ourselves for a nice long bit, to tell him all that was wrong with each one of us. To Eric he said, "you ran 13 miles on Saturday, ahhh, you're fine." But to justify it, he said, the antibiotic is still in your system until Wednesday but here's a script in case you are not fabulous. To me, he looked and said, I wouldn't do anything with you. Then to Chris, he said, I'll put him on Amoxicillin. I suspect his went bacterial in his sinuses because there is a rainbow of colors draining down the back of his throat. Fabulous.
And so all was great. Except that Chris and I still sound terrible. This morning, I woke up in the wee small hours feeling like Ass. I couldn't breathe, and every direction I turned, the shift in snot in my lungs would set off my coughing, or the snot in my stomach made me Quease. It was not cool. Not sleeping is Not Groovy.
We played a bit with the Julius Family, meeting for lunch downtown after I expressed a serious SOUP craving, at Au Bon Pain. It was good, it eased my discomfort, enough that we felt crazy enough to take a walk and ride the monorail. However, that exhausted us all, and when Chris and I came home, he was unconscious, but I could not sleep. Again. I could not breathe. I was wheezing. Actually wheezing. My husband is the asthmatic, not me. I have no patience for it. I put a call in to Dr. Cooper. Enough of this dilly-dally, I want drugs. I Cannot Be Sick. It's enough we had to cancel 4 things in order to be gone for a day and a half, and we may miss Butler Homecoming, for the funeral. I want to go to this funeral. I'm not going to be sick for the funeral. Getting sick is NOT on my schedule. The doctor called me in a z-pack, and Eric was sweet and picked it up for me. Now it's off to take my Bennie's (benedryl) and go to bed. By gum, I will sleep tonight!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sad and stories

Eric's Grandma, Maxine Willman, passed away in the wee small hours this morning. We're all glad she's in a better place, and we know it for sure, and that she's in no more pain and all that; but she was a really neat woman, and she will be sorely missed. The funeral is going to be Friday, and ironically, I'm looking forward to seeing Eric's family, who are all wonderful, and it will be neat to celebrate her Faith and her life.

In her last days, there have been many great "Grandma Stories" being shared. And I have decided I want to write the ones I've heard down. Not so you guys will mourn her loss with us, but just because she was a really neat woman. I don't journal, I don't compose. I blog. It's my outlet, you know.

The first time I met Grandma Willman: Eric and I had only been dating a couple months, and he was already taking me to meet the Fam (the whole extended family!). I had been invited to Willman Family Christmas, traditionally held the Saturday before Christmas. Just walking into the room was like walking back in time. Grandma and Aunt Betty were bustling in the kitchen. I mean, seriously Bustling, much preparation was going on. There were kids laughing and running everywhere. Eric has 11 cousins. I had 1 cousin, 10 years younger, most of the time it was my Mom, sister and I, and my extended family was just completely different than any of this. Just mathmatically speaking, the difference in number of crazy children running wild, 14 total, Eric being the oldest.
I don't think they knew I was coming. But it didn't matter, I was literally welcomed with open arms, got lots of hugs, and when they were doing their gift exchange. Then Grandma broke out her gifts for the kids that year, she had made blanket/pillows (you know the ones that can convert from blanket to pillow?) for every grandchild. Every Grandchild! 14! She had to have started in January, I was amazed. I even got a present! That made my eyes water. She was the stereotypical image of a Grandma I always read about: a good cook, and just loved being surrounded by the noises of her family.

How Grandma and Grandpa met: It was WWII. Isn't that how most of our grandparents stories begin? Anyway, Grandpa was in the Air Force, doing Air Force things in Colorado. Grandma was from that area. Grandma's church, the local Lutheran church, was good deed doing. They would bring home "boys" for a weekend, or invite them over for dinner, a nice home cooked dinner with family, for these guys who were so far from home, especially over holidays, when they couldn't make it home. Well, Grandpa went over Grandma's house. They started writing...fell in love...married as soon as the war was over...happily ever after.

Dollie Beth's story: Dollie Beth is Eric's Dad's cousin. Grandpa was the youngest of a passle of children, and so he already had nieces and nephews before he ever got married. Dollie Beth was 12 when Grandpa brought "Aunt Max" home for the first time. Here she was, a great "City Girl". The Fam was thick in Marion and Gas City, small town, Indiana. She was raised in Denver, and had been working in New York City. (Grandma was a chemist while Grandpa was in the Air Force in Florida she was doing chemistry in New York, I think that's the story) Talk about your big city girls! When she appeared, she was just Dollie Beth's epitome of Fashion. Stylish, beautiful, fabulous, and there she was ankle bracelet. Dollie Beth had never seen one before, and it was cool. Cooler than cool. She SO wanted to be like Aunt Max, and have an ankle bracelet. She was 23 before she got her first ankle bracelet. She spent all that time pining and bugging her mother for an ankle bracelet.

Aunt Jill's story: Eric's aunt said, I never heard her say a mean word about anyone. That's true. Me neither. Same can't be said for me.

Dad's story: Grandma started out as a scientist. (Woo hoo!) I think her initial degree was in Biology or Chemistry. Once she hooked up with Grandpa, she became a stay at home mom and had 6 boys, 4 survived, a pair of premature twins didn't make it, but that's another story. So, once all 4 of the boys were in school, Grandma went back to school. She got her teaching credentials and taught Math at the High School. Willmans are good at math. Dad was telling a story about when Grandma took Child Psychology. The class was taught by an old spinster (his words not Grandma's), and one evening Grandma came home especially flustered. She was talking about all the things this woman was trying to teach, finally Grandma could take it no longer. She stood up, "I've raised 4 boys, and I just have to tell you. That just won't work." That cracked me up. She wouldn't even yell at her in a good yell, just pointing out the flaws in her logic.

Eric's story: This is one of my favorite stories about Eric and Ryan (younger brother #1) when they were young. When Karl (brother #2) was born, Grandma came down, in February, in the snow to watch the boys ages 11 and 9. Eric and Ryan were in the back seat of their car (in my mind it's a big 80's boat-mobile with a huge back seat, but I don't know if that's real) and were arguing and fighting. Grandma was trying to drive, in near blizzard conditions. She shhhh'd them a couple times, and they weren't listening. They kept fighting, playing Picky Slappy, being noisy annoying boys. Finally she turned around, and in near a yell as anyone in history has ever heard Grandma yell, told them "Be Quiet!!" Neither boy said a word the rest of the trip.

Now see, would I have stopped at Be Quiet? Oh no. We were told that my father would pull over and "knock heads together". Those boys would've deserved their head knocked together, but all Grandma had to do was tell them to Be Quiet.

Friday, October 17, 2008

When it rains.... pours.
As if the events of today weren't enough. We are all home now with Chris, and though his recovery started out nicely, bed and bathtime were rough tonight. The happy drugs wore off and Chris screamed for a straight hour. It's hard to give a boy tylenol when he's screaming.
Anyway, for more details of the surgery, see his website,

We just got back from our adventures at the hospital. Our return from Riley was delayed for a couple reasons:
A. Christopher's surgery didn't start until nearly 2 p.m. because the surgery in front of his was more extensive than originally thought. I pray for that family. I've been there, and that stress is pretty awful. It's so much easier when things just go swimmingly.
B. Eric is running the mini-marathon tomorrow at Fort Benjamin Harrison. He's been fighting some sort of chest cold, he may have given it to us. He's been on anti-biotics for a week...we haven't. I don't know if he can/should make this run, but he wants to. I cheer and support him, because he's really getting good at this whole running thing for only being at it for a year. But I worry.
C. Eric's mom called and Eric's Grandma (E's Dad's mom) is Not doing well. It's bad. They have her in hospice, they moved her there this week, and already her lungs are filling with fluid, and she's unresponsive. Chris and I just went up to see her 2 weeks ago, she was looking pretty good in spite of just being in hospital the night before our visit. Apparently, she had a mini-stroke last week, and the doctors recommended blood thinners, which had caused internal bleeding a few weeks ago, and now her Congestive Heart failure and thick blood is making stroke problems, so since it became clear that there were too many things to fix they recommended hospice. They moved her Monday. Dad and his brothers are in Marion now, and they're saying the end is near.
I'm really saddened for the whole Willman clan, Grandma Willman is the matriarch, at 89, she's the oldest mom, though Grandpa is nearly 93. She's always been really just an awesome lady, and she loves Chris. When we saw her a couple weeks ago, Chris was taking Grandpa's cane and trying to wreak havoc in their tiny apartment. She just smiled, a knowing, boys-will-be-boys sort of smile. She ought to know, she had 4 boys. My sister and I used to use the following phrase about my cousin who was quite pampered by my own Grandma, "he could fart, and she would frame it." That may have been true in Chris's case. Chris made her smile every time he saw her, and she him. I literally could see improvements in her color when she'd see him.
But tonight, Chris can't make anyone smile. We briefly considered taking him to Marion, either tonight or tomorrow, but his discomfort once we got home, made it perfectly clear that Chris is staying home tomorrow, Stay Jammies. Very likely he's earned himself a nice All Pajama Day, with all the Veggie Tales and Disney Channel he wants.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Chris's not quite a surgery

We heard from Riley. Chris is to report for his procedure tomorrow morning at 8:30 am, for surgery at 10. He can have clear liquids up until 7 a.m., and NPO thereafter.
Please pray all goes well.

Monday, October 13, 2008

I saw the signs

We just got out early from our Monday evening Bible Study. I got a Sign today! I usually dread this class, because frankly by this hour I want to in my jammies and engrossed in evening TV in my own bed, not just getting around to putting Chris down. However, tonight was a good night.
You know how the last week, I've been sleeping crummy? WELL. I've started keeping my bible bedside, and when I wake up at 3 am, I do a little light reading. Not "study" just reading. Last week, I did some reasearch on the name Samuel. Eric likes it for a boy's name, I don't mind it, but he's really plugging. It's a really good story, how he got here. Really called to me, his Mom was "barren" went and prayed, and told God, if He blessed her with a son, she'd totally give his life to the Lord, and so he did. Dropped him off at the temple as soon as he was weaned, and he became this great prophet and stuff. Led right into the story of David, which is what I'm reading now. Lot of stuff happened with David. Anyway, another night last week, I woke up, wide awake and all I could think of was the Tuba Warrior Veggie Tales story where Pa Grape is telling Larry, you people amaze me, I've seen God, I know how awesome he is, but you, you believe without seeing. Made me think that was kind of cool. So I wanted to read that story. Well, I pulled up Daniel, and read the entire Daniel story. Didn't occur to me until the next day, that the Veggie Movie I was thinking of was Actually Gideon, Tuba Warrior. Totally read the wrong story.
Anyway, that brings me back to today. We're sitting in our Bible Study class, and we're talking about predictions in the OT about Jesus, wouldn't you know he pulls out some verses I actually recently read from Samuel AND Daniel. How's that for a sign. Very cool.

In other news, my son is adorable. Today we went on a picnic at Butler with his friend Emily (and Mom Kathleen). Not that Chris being adorable is anything new, but today they were in rare form. We were picnicing at the Holcomb Gardens, simply gorgeous, and the kids kept running off to pick flowers. More like behead them. Anyway, while we were there, Emily calls out.
"I see Jesus." We smile in surprise, and are quiet,
"You do?"
"Yes." And she points to the statue of Persephone, it's a water fountain in the middle of the gardens. We explained to her that that was Not Jesus, (this took an odd bit of convincing) it was Persephone.
"Not Jesus." No honey, not Jesus. "What's her name?"
"I like that name."
10 minutes later, we had moved on to other subjects and my son spontaneously pipes up, "Not Jesus!"

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Feeling Fritzy

First the computer and email are on the fritz, and then I just now went to put up a post on Chris's website and it's misbehaving too. I hate being so dependent on technology. I hate that I get twitchy without it. I was going to write this on his site, but I'll put it here instead. Y'all read both.

However, the reason that I was writing was a big prayer request for Chris.

Dr. West, Chris's surgeon, called today. She'd been talking to Chris's GI who told her that when she did Chris's rectal exam there was a lot of tightness and she couldn't get her finger in very far. They think maybe that's why he's got chronic diarrhea, because he's constantly squeezing out a tube of toothpaste.
Technical term: stricture.
She called to give us two choices: A. We can bring him into the clinic, torture him real good with some serious rectal dilation (That's where they push the rod up his bum)She said, "I'd make him hate me." And then send him home, or B. Go in for an Outpatient Surgical Procedure where they knock him out, and do the serious dilations in the O.R. instead and then send us home with no "sleepover" She said "I don't want to make him hate me." Me neither, because he really likes Dr. West, actually requested to go see her. We opted for the procedure. The perks being he wouldn't hate anybody,(ok maybe us for depriving him of breakfast) and he wouldn't remember it, and perhaps then maybe he won't develop some complex down the road (I've been beginning to worry about that). She says the procedure will be quick so they can most likely use the gas mask instead of traching him (putting a breathing tube in his throat) which will make his wake up recovery easier and he won't have that sore throat, or terribly pitiful squawky cry. Dr. W. says they often drug them for procedures as they get older so they don't remember it. Sounds good to me.

So we booked it for next Friday, the 17th. The one day this month we didn't have ANYTHING on the calendar. I had actually just asked Eric this morning if he wanted to play hooky, call in mentally unstable, and run away to Brown County for a picnic next Friday. He hadn't said no, but now he's taking the day off anyway. I think Brown County would've been a lot more fun.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Add a caption.

I just had to post this one, it's officially Fall in my yard. We've got 1 red leaf!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Mommy Diaries, ch.1

So, my MOPS group is reading this book, it's not like a book review or anything, it just comes free with our membership, and it's set up kind of like a Chicken Soup book, which in my case, means I'm actually making progress because I have to go to the bathroom every half an hour when I'm awake, and every 2 hours as I sleep. It's actually a good book called The Mommy Diaries.
Anyway, I just finished the first unit on Indentity, and on top of these neat stories are a few questions, to get me thinking so to speak. As I answered them, on the pot, I thought, I should write these down. Not only that, but I'm curious to see what my friends' answers would be.
So, I'm starting this as one of those read and blog contagious type pass-it-on things. If you would be so kind, as to read, and then post your answers too.

From The Mommy Diaries: Owning your own adventure

1. What surprised you most about yourself once you became a mother? I couldn't believe how my mind changed. Suddenly, I could function on an unbelievably low amount of sleep, the likes of which I hadn't seen since my early college days. I was also surprised at how things I used to know flew right out of my head. But I could tell you Chris's doctor's names, all his specialists, next appointments, most recent weights, surgery details, medication details etc. I can rattle off his medical history like nobody's business. Can't remember anything about the reproducing DNA, but by gum, I can tell you everything Chris has eaten in the last 48 hours.

2.Did you find that people looked at you differently than before you were a mother? Yes! When I was trying for Chris, it felt like I was banging on a door trying to get into the club. The best part is that now I am a card carrying member of this new club. And it's a great club. Strangers on the street will stop, and we can get into story really is a I never knew existed. Before Chris, I'd get asked if I had kids, my response was, no I have a dog. I never realized how DIFFERENT that answer was to having kids, I just thought it was someone to love, so it'd be similar, but it's not. It's more. I feel genuine joy and sorrow for complete strangers, those mom's out there when I see them, or they see me, and I've seen them give me those looks too. It feels good to get that knowing smile from a cohort in the grocery store line when your son is in a full body meltdown. I much appreciate that much more than the glares, which do happen, not often, the kind looks happen more.

3.How do you feel you have changed since motherhood? How do you feel you are the same? I still am human, make plenty of mistakes, just like before. When I was working, sometimes I couldn't stand my job, I could've quit, and did eventually. But this is a job I can't quit. I could quit. But that's how I'm different, the old me would've run at the stress, but now I just couldn't. It's the best and worst job I've ever had. It's such a challenge, one I wouldn't have taken on before, but now I live for this challenge. It's better than ANY job I had on the outside. On the days, or just moments when it's good, instantaneously, a smile or a hug can outshine all screaming. And it's those times that make it all worthwhile.

4. Are there parts of yourself you feel you've lost and you deeply desire to regain? Yes. My mind. I site for an example, I have a burning desire for more children. I'm signing up for this duty, again. Prayed...Praying for it. I must be insane. Though I'd like to regain use of my mind, perhaps down the road, I kind of like forgetting the misery, and love this joy, I am very excited about Baby #2, perhaps, I don't want my mind back.

How do you define your Identity? By your kids? Spouse? Career? I used to define by my career, or Christian, but now I've chosen to be MOM, and yeah, I kind of do define myself as that. There's a lot more to me than that, sure, but to stereotype me on the street, I proudly wear the badge of MOM. I fought hard for it, I continue to fight for it. It gave me great joy at church this summer when someone referred to me as Chris's Mom. This may lead to a complex, or burnout, later down the road, but for now it's a label I wear happily.

6. Can you believe that you were created with amazing potential and with gifts that only you can bring to the table? If not, what's holding you back from embracing this truth? This one got me thinking. Of course, I believe that God created me special. But what got me thinking, was what gifts do I bring to the table? How am I especially suited to be Chris's mom? (You guys can answer this one too!) My familiarity with medicine, my hospital experience, it has made me more comfortable to be there for Chris with all his health drama. I have humor and I can laugh, and that makes life SO much easier, and enjoyable. God has given me a strength I didn't know I had. I don't flip out (ok, maybe a little) when we get one more bit of bad news, we plug on, we do what has to be done. Together we are strong. God has made me strong, stronger than I knew I was. Somehow, our story inspires others. I can share our story, show others how much God has done for us. I don't even know what all gifts I have that Chris will learn from yet, since he's still so young, but know it's all from God. His whole life is.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Sport Utility Vehicle

OK, this is my new favorite song. Yes, I've been listening to WAY too many Veggie Tales. But I love them!
However, the only youtube video that had this song was with CSI, and though I'm not a fan of CSI, so close your eyes, imagine veggies and listen, this song is awesome!

Friday Fill Ins

1. October goes. One of my favorite songs is Barry Manilow's "When October Goes." Used to make me cry (not that it takes much), reminds me of leaving friends which makes me cry more. Yes, I'm a huge Manilow fan.

2. Stinging insects near me or my baby scare me! I used to swat in mild annoyance when bees and things would come around, but now that I have Chris, I freak out. I scream like a little girl and run away.

3. Leaves are falling all around, it's bittersweet. Only God can make death beautiful. And He does, year after year. On one hand, I love fall, because the colors are so breathtakingly beautiful, but on the other, it's the beginning of season of plant death, and cold, and death, which is also lovely but kind of sad too.

4. My favorite horror movie is The Twilight Zone because of that scene where John Lithgow is on the plane, and only he can see the little goblin that's trying to destroy it. Come to think of it, that's not my favorite horror movie, I don't like horror movies, they keep me up at night, and give me the willies for years to come. Does Goonies count as a horror movie?

5. Good Laughs = good memories. The best memories come when something makes you laugh so hard you can't breathe.

6. It was a dark and stormy night when the carriage pulled up to front of the enormous mansion, and out stepped a faceless figure. The light from the doorway revealed the doctor who had come to deliver the baby. I remember seeing a movie like that. How come doctors don't make house calls anymore?

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to Game Night, tomorrow my plans include Serenade and visiting Eric's Grandma and Sunday, I want to hear about the Lord's works and take a nap! Eric is away on a Christian retreat, the Via de Cristo, this weekend, working hard and having a great time, and I'm working hard here. I'm a little jealous. Those weekends are so transforming and inspiring. I can't wait to hear what the Lord has done on this weekend from Eric on Sunday night.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

I had a friend come over today and she did me a huge favor. I casually commented that favor this would go on my ultimate list of things a Good Friend Does, which is a list I've been compiling in my head and been blessed to be on the receiving end a lot lately, and sometimes occasionally these are things I've done:

A Good Friend:

1. Will Clean up your cat's hairball for you.
Especially when you're pregnant, and such things make you gag to even think about, let alone touch. A more treasured gift when you didn't realize it had been there a while, and she had to "scrub." Ewww. This was today's gift. How loved am I?!

2. Will drug your cat for you. I was hospitalized shortly after we'd had surgery on Dusty while pregnant with Chris, and I was in a tizzy because I knew that no one (no sane person anyway) would take care of Dusty, giving him his daily antibiotic. He used to really fight oral medications, let's just say it was amazing how though he was front declawed, those claws ended up everywhere. I did have a friend Offer, and just the offer meant as much to me as if she'd actually done it.

3. Will take care of your crazy animals. Sometimes even a crazy friend will take your dog to their house. No one is crazy enough to move this cat, not even us, but they are sweet enough to come over and feed him, water him, and occasionally give him lots of loving, which is often more than we do.

4. Will buy you a drink. Be it alcoholic, Starbucks, or a milkshake, a good friend knows when you need a good drink.

5. Will Cook you dinner. I never realized how wonderful a gift this was until the weeks after Chris was born and after his surgeries. I have been SO blessed to have such a wonderful network during our time of need. A friend knows to bring you noodles and/or chocolate, Store bought, i.e. Noodles and Company, or homemade brownies, it's ALL GOOD. I've now hopped on the bandwagon in doing this for others, but how many times have we given a meal, and we've forgotten to make one for ourselves?

6. Will drive 2 hours each direction just to have lunch with you. I had a friend do this when we were visiting from when we lived out in California. It meant so much that she was a. willing to drive so far on her Christmas break, and b. actually was on the road longer than she got to see me.

7. Will drop everything and come running when you call. There are many instances where this can apply, a friend popping over after a particularly heinous day, or coming when you can't take your child anymore or like when I called my friend because my back had locked up and I was stuck on the floor with a toddler running wild, and my car ON in the driveway and she came running.

8. A friend will get you drugs. I'm not talking about illegally. Sometimes a friend will run to the pharmacy for you. But in case #7, said friend dug around my medicine cabinet, and gave me my magic pills so that by the time husband came home, the drugs were kicked in enough, I got myself off the floor using exercise ball and wall.

9. Will do your laundry.
Somehow your friend knows that you have a man-eating pile of laundry. Then she does it for you and returns it all happily folded, even folding children's pajamas which is something you may not even do, I don't!

10. Will clean your house. It's miraculous enough to have a friend do your vacuuming while you're incapacitated, but to have someone clean your bathrooms...That's Love.

11. Will battle the crowds and do Christmas shopping for you. When I was pregnant, suddenly I found myself on bedrest and not allowed to do any holiday shopping. Then I got the surprise that I was going to have the baby BEFORE CHRISTMAS (instead of January 7, as originally predicted, Chris was born the 21st). My friend picked up Christmas gifts for spouse and baby, and My First Christmas OutfitS. It was especially wonderful that she brought it to me at the hospital, and never once did she ask me for money.

12. Pray with you. Sometimes even (Dogs and Cats!) praying aloud.

13. Pray for you. Often that's all I need.