Monday, June 30, 2008

Happy Anniversary to Me!

Okay, so for seven years I have succeeded in Operation Allow Your Husband to Live. Now, we are about to embark on our eighth year, and I have to be honest with you.... God has a sense of humor. When we, in our infinite wisdom as young people, choose a mate based on our own ideas of what we think we like, God chuckles and lets us tie our own hands. Then a couple of years into the marriage, He is still chuckling as the very things we loved about our spouse are now Absolute Deal Breakers. Okay, that is perhaps a bit harsh, but still, you have to see the irony.

So, pat yourself on the back if you have managed to get through even a few years of marriage. We are currently at the marital stage I'll call Roll Your Eyes and Shut Up, which seems to be full of small disagreements which we have both learned cannot be reasoned out, so someone eventually just rolls his eyes and the other has to shut up. Isn't this fun?? I think the next stage might be Throw The Good Dishes Until He Pays Attention, but at least we have graduated Your Wife is a Doormat and Your Husband is a Couch Potato. That stage sucked, frankly.

I will be strongly urging all of my children to seek a spouse only after they have established who they are as people.... It is really more difficult to grow up married - especially since you have no idea who your spouse will become when s/he is all grown up! (I cannot begin to count the numerous occasions in which I found myself in the shower - the only place I have any privacy - crying out to God: WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!?!?! NO DIVORCES???? 'Til death do us part is a hint, right???

So, anyway, since marriage is God's plan to grow us spiritually, I can with complete confidence state the following: If your marriage doesn't change you in ways you cannot begin to plan for, you are destined for an unpleasant confrontation at The Pearly Gates. God has a sense of humor. A twisted sense of humor, but a sense of humor nonetheless.

Happy Anniversary to ME!
Angie

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Thank God for Attachment Parenting!

Okay, so God probably doesn't whole-heartedly buy into the full version of attachment parenting when it causes families to neglect other areas of their lives, but in its pure form, attachment parenting is God's idea: to "train up a child in the way he should go" is, in essence, to respond to each child's individual needs. That is what we practice in our house, and have practiced with each of our three children.

I firmly believe that my dedication to attachment parenting is what led to my discovery of Dania's sleeping problems. Think about it.... If I were a "normal" mother, I would have put my child in her own crib in another room from the first day of her life. I would have probably let her "cry herself to sleep" when she had difficulty sleeping. I might even have let her scream in the middle of the night with the assurance that she would learn to put herself back to sleep. However, because she sleeps in my bedroom, and because I did not force my need for a complete night's sleep upon her, I discovered that my daughter might have sleep apnea.

The Vanderbilt Sleep Specialist called today with the results of the sleep study. Dania DOES have sleep apnea, though not a severe case, and she will need to see a pediatric E. N. T. to discuss a possible tonsillectomy. Then we will follow up with the sleep doctor depending on the outcome of the ENT.

My baby has breathing issues an average of 2.5 times per hour. She spends too much time in light sleep and not enough time in dream sleep. She gets small decreases in her oxygen levels each time she sleeps. None of this is good, but I am pleased that I was concerned enough to visit a doctor - even against my husband's advice. Mommy just knew something was off.

So, while Dania has some stuff still to go through before this is resolved, I can say that I am glad we aren't failing to discover this problem until much later in her life. I am very glad that God made me the parent that He did. He is completely in charge, even when we cannot begin to understand how. And knowing that His plan was in place even before Dania was conceived, I feel less exhausted than I should considering how long it has been since I slept straight through a night!

I wish you all pleasant dreams and a peaceful night.... Dania and I will be sleeping soundly soon enough!
Angie

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Middle Ages

I have begun to learn an unfortunate truth: The Middle Ages are not the period in time that our teachers stuffed our brains with, rather they are the years between becoming an adult and becoming empty-nesters. For those of you in your thirties and forties without children of your own, this will all be slightly above your ability to comprehend, but feel free to read it... Then go on about your business, but know that some people are dealing with The Middle Ages very differently than others.

In The Middle Ages, you have smallish children. Children who are still quite in need of your daily attention and care. Children who inevitably require feeding, clothing, bathing, disciplining, teaching, the occasional trip to the doctor, an ow-ey washed and bandaged, a hug to make it better, and many more surprises in life.

In The Middle Ages, you may also have aging parents or grandparents. In my family, we have a history of starting our families while we are quite young, so I grew up with all of my grandparents and a great-grandparent. We are now down to the aging grandparents on my side of the family, and we are really struggling through this time. When we lost my husband's mother to cancer, it was a terrible, painfully heart-wrenching time. But it was not an aging process. It was cancer. I cannot begin to imagine people who deal with aging parents while raising young children.

The Middle Ages are fraught with tension as parenting collides with respectful attention to the aging. Does anyone really handle these years well? Is there any one way to deal with them? All we can do is persevere, knowing that there are no absolutes, but rather that we are dealing with people. People with emotions, needs, desires, memories. People who deserve to be honored, both the young in their ambitious trek to fulfill the ultimate goal of adulthood and the aging in their inevitable walk toward something infinitely more peaceful that what they leave behind.

I ask only that God grant me the peace and wisdom He promises to all of us if we but ask. I will need wisdom in my actions and choices from this point forward, and in balancing the two seemingly opposing worlds of mother and child. I will require the peace for what is to come. For no matter how many times the platitudes are spoken when someone passes, knowing my dear loved-one is in a better place does not ease my pain in the missing of them here on Earth.

May God be with us in our Middle Ages.
Angie

Friday, June 13, 2008

Flash! Boom! Rain, Rain!

I taught Dania a new phrase to calm her when it storms: "First it goes FLASH! Then it goes BOOM! Then it goes RAIN, RAIN!" (of course, this is said with Happy Enthusiasm!!)It helps tremendously, and she is too cute when she does the sounds herself. Ever since we were first introduced to the Panic-Stricken Puddin' that appears during a storm, we have learned that she becomes quite frantic when the thunder and lightning get really bad. The Mommy Sweater becomes a Mommy Necklace, specifically a CHOKER! We even have to sleep this way sometimes. Since we live in Middle Tennessee, I foresee many of these days and nights in our future. Today was one of those days. Tonight might be one of those nights.

By the way, there is absolutely nothing like a charcoal grill. GOD BLESS THE PERSON WHO INVENTED A WEBER!!! Tonight, we got a little smarter. Once we had the coals going, we grilled a bunch of stuff for later in the week. (we got this idea by combining my neighbor's multi-day grilling request and my cooking-for-the-week plan) Our dinner was perfect and the chicken for later was Yummy!!! Thanks, Hubby!!

Okay, so enough pleasantries. My mom is having her back surgery on Monday, so thoughts and prayers to her. Also, I just found out about a past church friend who is having a lumpectomy for precancerous cells in her breast in July. Please pray for healing and recovery and God's will for them. I know she is probably scared even though it sound like they caught everything really early. We'll pray for wisdom for the doctors and peace for Susan and her family.

Thanks for stopping by!
See ya soon,
Angie

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Busy, Busy... Bizzy?

When I was a nanny to these adorable twin preschoolers in Florida, I was tickled every time one of them got dizzy. She would always say, "bizzy" instead of "dizzy." It was so cute!! Well, around here we have been really busy... and I have been bizzy as well.

Monday, I had a very bad morning that culminated with a trip to the doctor. The doctor diagnosed me with an inner ear issue. It was making me incredibly dizzy, nauseous, and lightheaded, plus it was affecting my vision at random moments. He seemed to think it would take a few days of bed rest to get over it. Lucky for me, though, things calmed down later that day, but if I am not careful, I get woozy again. It has been a strange couple of days.... While it is nice to have the excuse to lay around and relax, it is also difficult to get the regular chores done that way. Every time I try, I get lightheaded and have to sit back down.

We did have our garage sale, and we are finally free of all that stuff in the garage and in the house. It is really nice to be rid of the clutter, and a bonus to have that money to put away for the boys' college education.

I found out that my mom will be having her back surgery on Monday. Please pray for her. We want wisdom for the surgeon, peace for Mom and Dad, and a rapid recovery. I really wish I could be there to help out, but I have come to the conclusion that dragging my three kids up there would not be real conducive to Mom resting. :-)

Oh, and I have discovered the joy of... SCRAPBOOKING!! I always knew if I ever tried scrapbooking that I would be completely hooked, and I was right! I love it!! Right now, I am going to work on one album that will probably take me several months. We will see how I feel about my new hobby once I get a completed project. (and we'll see if my hubby lets me live to scrapbook another day!)

Well, that is all for now. I need to grab a snack and lie down for a bit. Walmart really took it out of me today.

TTFN,
Angie

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Summertime... Right?

The kids are having a really difficult time understanding that it isn't officially summer yet. It is pool weather, we are sweltering in the sun, we are getting sunburns, school is out, but... it isn't summer. I think I am just going to lie next time Quin asks... "yes! It is finally summer! Isn't that great?!?!"

We have a neighbor with a daughter really close to Dania's age (Shiloh is a few weeks older is all), and they love to play together. Well, Shiloh's mother is showing me up in a big way this year! If I was a keep-up-with-the-Jones' kinda mom, I would be waaaaaaay behind. :-) A few weeks ago, I put some sand in an under-the-bed plastic storage box for the kids to play with. Shiloh got an awesome sand and water table that I drooled over for 2 years. Yesterday, I put water in a larger plastic storage box, which Dania climbed into and used as a pool. Shiloh's mom brought out a beautiful, colorful, inflatable, shaded toddler pool today. Hmmm.... I can't tell if it is third-child syndrome, or if I have just gotten creative in my old age, but it is sure making me laugh!!! :-)

Tonight, we single-handedly annihilated the mosquitoes in our neighbors' yard. They were landing on us like crazy, so I ran in and got the Avon Bug Guard, and while I was spraying it on myself and the kids, the blood-sucking buggers were aiming at untreated skin. By the time we were all sticky with bug repellent, the mosquitoes were nowhere to be seen. Go, Avon! We didn't see another mosquito.

Since I am soooooo not ready for the garage sale on Saturday, I am going to sign off now and price-tag some more stuff. Ya know, this should be a piece of cake. I am doing the right thing by decluttering, but darned if I can get it all organized enough to make Saturday morning easier. Time will tell, I suppose. (this is a lot of work for a few dollars, but we wouldn't do it if it weren't for those beautiful boys who need to go to college!)

Anyway, have a great rest of your week!
Angie

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Today at Vandy.... and Beyond!

So, Dania had her follow-up visit with the Endocrinologist at Vanderbilt today. She looks great!! They always wait for the results of the labs to refill her prescription since the results determine the dosages, but they are very confident that Dania will be weaned from the meds between 2 and 3 years of age! YAY!! Not that taking the little peach pill bothers anyone, but we are sooooo grateful that God has decided to answer our prayers for healing!!! THANK YOU, ALL OF YOU PRAYER WARRIORS!!!

Anyway, we had her blood drawn, which was a nightmare because of the other screaming children who completely stressed her out, but she was a trooper as usual. We then dashed over to the mall to reward the kids with some retail therapy, then home again to rest... well, for a little while. Then we went outside to play with water - that was fun. After which, the kids were blessed with the ICE CREAM TRUCK!!! The idiot Ice Cream Truck that drove through our neighborhood at 4:45pm. Yeah, so I get to choose: Meanest Mommy Ever? or Ruin Their Dinners For Sure? Hmmm, difficult choice. (yeah, we went with the meal-wrecking sweet treat) Dania even got a Popsicle.

Oh, and Dania has finally grown again!!! The doctor showed us that she had dropped down 2 growth curves, but she has since jumped up one. She is now up 1 pound and at least 1 inch. We are a little more relaxed about her size now. She is still small - just under the 25th percentile for both height and weight, but all the doc's say she is just small. Healthy, but little. (this must be how American moms who adopt Asian babies feel!)

Dania got a new pair of pretty white Stride Rite shoes today at the mall. She was steadily trying on the display shoes and trying to walk out of the store in them while I was trying to pick some out for her! She is such a shoe junky!! She showed them off like crazy to the neighbors tonight, to which they all oooohh-ed and ahhhh-ed like good little trained adults. (Yeah, she's a bit on the spoiled side on this block.)

I am going to try (yes, I make no promises) to take some summer photos next week. Since we are now only homeschooling, the burden of "school" pictures rests on my shoulders, and I would rather send out photos during the beautiful summer, then at Christmas, so that is my plan. Pray for me. Have you ever tried to photograph a monkey, hyper dog, and a melodramatic preteen rock-star? Well, that is about what it feels like when I try to take pictures of my lovely children. Two was basically manageable. Three is downright Vodka-inspiring!

Anyhoo.... that is all for tonight. Just wanted to say "hello" from Tennessee. We are having a massive garage sale this weekend, so you may not hear from me again... okay, at least not until after the sale. :-)

Have a blessed week,
Angie

Monday, June 2, 2008

Wow! It's June!!

Now that we are no longer schlepping up to preschool three days a week, we have so much more time!! I really anticipated this post-preschool time, but even I hadn't realized how much time it was sucking from my schedule! During the past week, I have spent that bonus time on the house... well, the time that wasn't taken up with the many treks outside we are taking now that all the kids are out of school. I have been getting caught up on the things around the house that have been waiting for months to get done. The next step is Quin's Room!! We have to plan it out first, but we will be painting it soon, then once the bedding is done, his room will be finished! I can't wait!!!

We will be having our garage sale this coming weekend, so that will get rid of half the mess in the garage, YAY! It is kind of a hassle to have a garage sale with three kids, but it has to happen.

Hubby got his Dad's Day gift early since we caved at Lowe's yesterday and picked up the Weber grill he has been wanting. No more propane!! We are grilling for dinner tonight, then off to the pool, where, by the way, the older children have finally mastered the doggy paddle and the underwater swim!! Praise the Lord!!!

Well, I am at a loss for what to write today, and Dania is sleeping, so I am going to go get ta' steppin' on somethin'.... probably the kitchen.... or the laundry.... which is always lying in wait.

Have a great day!
Angie