Thursday, March 25, 2010

Spring "Break"

One question, who said Spring Break is a break? I know moms who love when their kids are home from school. They say things like, “We just have so much fun doing nothing” or, “It is just nice to not have to get up early” or one of my recent fav’s, “we are just going to lie around and swim and just hang out as a family.” Now doesn’t that sound like fun? Well, yes, they all sound fun, but none of those are my life. No school means, frantically trying to come up with things to do with kids while still needing to work. This spring break is especially crazy because work is very busy (woo hoo!) and Timothy is very busy (not woo hoo). Here is an excerpt from an email this morning to my business partner, Liz, “Sure thing chicken wing. I am a little silly right now. Maybe it is the shots of rum each time Timothy pulls out a book.” If only it were true… Well, I would probably not want it to be true for two reasons. 1. Rum is gross and 2. Passing out drunk would mean that I would wake up to sirens, screaming or (best case scenario) my house completely destroyed. Oh well, it sounded like a good idea at the time.

Back to spring break. To say that this week has been a break would be a blatant lie. I am tired, so tired. Tuesday at 8pm I had to stop working because I was getting ditzy, I mean, dizzy. I literally walked to get a file and lost my balance. Whew, good times. Oh, and this week I decided or I guess Sadie decided that she no longer needs a morning nap. Why does that matter, you ask? Well, it basically means that Sadie is a basket case mid-morning and then late evening. She is really perfecting the art of pitching a fit, complete with flailing arms, hitting and throwing herself onto the floor (I thought this was a 2-year old thing to do- why wasn’t I warned?). We did get to go to the coast the other day and it really was fun. Timothy and Sadie each consumed large amounts of sand, but I have long gotten over germs. I am so thankful that my friend Karen and her son came along, she and I each took a “little” and went with it. Sadie was obsessed with getting in the water and Timothy with getting into everything. They each had a blast and Karen and I got a work out. I have not figured out why she even wants to hang out with me. She has a nice calm life with one cute little boy and well, you know what my life is like. Good thing spring break is just one week- shoot!!!!- Timothy has a two-week break. Oh, why me?!

Okay, I am done for the day. Instead of shots though, I am going to treat myself to a nice, sugary treat. Hopefully the sugar will help me forget about my friends enjoying their relaxing spring breaks- I better make an extra pan of brownies tonight.

I love the Oregon coast- beautiful, the water is too cold to swim in and you get to wear a jacket most of the time. Perfect for the pigment challenged!

Sadie is in her 3rd pair of pants for the day.

They just have to have a stick- why is that?
This is Madeline standing by a group with a bonfire- I told her she could not join the group of strangers, so she just stood by looking pitiful.

Timothy, sitting, how wonderful!

Well, not anymore.
So, is this what people mean by children relaxing?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Sadie is talking now. She can say a lot of words like, Mama, Papa, ball, all done, more, that, go up, socks, and shoes. I think there are more, but my brain can only hold so much. Sadie’s new favorite word is, “no.” I am not capitalizing it at this point, because she says it so sweetly. It is actually pretty cute (not to worry, this will only be for a little while- just let me enjoy it!). She now follows Timothy around to keep him in line- when he is pulling out books like a man possessed she walks up and tells him, “no-o.” Pretty soon we are going to have her babysitting (well, she actually sat on him the other day to get him to stop pulling out books- does that count?). When Madeline was little “no” was actually her first word in English. In fact, she learned it within a day (interesting…I think it was a sign of things to come). The funny thing was that “yes” took about a year for her to master. She kept the Russian, “da” for a while and then morphed it into, “dap” (a mixture of da and yep) before she finally bended to our crazy English ways. Those were the days….

I have been thinking about how interesting it is that we learn the word no so easily. For me, that particular word has not been especially easy. I am sure I was just fine as a kid, but those days ended and I became a people pleaser. Suddenly the word “no” was very difficult. In school, this actually was a good thing (at least for my teachers), but it took me a while to figure out I could use that word to help myself. Yes has gotten me in bad relationships, doing way too many unnecessary things for others, and generally just doing things that I shouldn’t be doing. Thank God I have learned my lesson (for the most part), I am still a people pleaser (in recovery- thank you), but am learning that it is okay to say no. For my daughters- I hope that they learn the word “no” and hold onto that. Not in a rude way, but in a “take up for yourself” way. I want them to be strong women who know what they want and are not afraid to go and get it. I say this now not knowing what it will look like in the teenage years, but let’s let the naivety stay around as long as possible- it gives me hope.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Here is another section about the difficulty in keeping Timothy safe/my sanity intact. Keeping Timothy in bed is and has been for a long time insanely hard. We are on crib tent #5 at least. What is a crib tent, you ask? It is a canopy type thing that supposedly keeps children in their cribs and therefore prevents broken bones and the like. One day about two years ago Timothy suddenly decided to break free from the confines of the crib. This was after he more or less destroyed his first crib (hey, a kid likes to jump- right?). It just occurred to me how much he hates his bed. Interesting… Anyway, we had no idea what to do. While trying to figure this out we transitioned the crib into a toddler bed and he would just wander around his room for hours until falling asleep on the floor somewhere. So, we would go in and put

him back in his bed before we went to sleep. As much fun as that sounds, when I say wander what I really mean is take everything out of every crevice and this was before he could open doors, turn on lights and was not yet much of a climber (ahhh, those were the days). Well, while at a coffee shop one day that had a little playroom a mom told me about the blessed crib tent. It really was a life-saving find. We were so excited! Since then though Timothy has gone through (and by gone through I mean completely destroyed) 4 crib tents. He is quite a problem solver (sugarcoated term for someone who will do anything to get what he wants)! #5 is actually pretty new- less than a month old- and he has already managed to rip a good section out of it. Tonight when I put him in bed he escaped in less than two minutes. I was wondering why he eyed me so intently as I was leaving the room when, before I could even put Sadie in her pajamas, Timothy’s light came on. Keep in mind that Josh had to work late so I was putting 3 kids to bed by myself. After I decided against pitching a total hissy-fit complete with kicking and screaming, I went downstairs and got a bunch of zip ties. At this point, and I am sure not for long, the crib tent is tightly fastened to his bed with those plastic zip ties that can supposedly keep things in place quite well. I am sure Timothy can push through and work out how to escape- it is just a matter of time. I am now out of ideas though. I really cannot figure out what to do to keep him in his bed at night. I just don’t know what to do. I would love suggestions, so if you have any ideas please email me at Keep in mind that we are trying to find a job for Timothy- someone to test child-proofing or toy durability. I think if Timothy is unable to break something it is unbreakable. Please help me!!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Over it!

Today was a crazy day. Just one of those days where there is too much to do even without things happening like, the sitter being sick or a realtor misplacing a key for your client’s new home. Not knowing those things when I woke up this morning I was already "full" for the day. This seems to be my life though, especially for the last month or so. You already know about the whole surgery debacle- I felt like that was probably good for me at least for a month or so. Oh, but no, I went ahead and added a ruptured eardrum and a stomach virus (which everyone in our family shared- Sadie twice) to the mix. I mean, seriously! There have been some good things too, like business is getting busier which, for realtors, means you are actually selling houses and a friend of mine is making me cookies. Today though, it really hit me and I may or may not have said way way too many bad words. Not to worry, when I was around the kids I only said them in my head (at least that is my stance). This afternoon though on my third trip to the Target pharmacy for the week (I have no idea how many times this month) it became official- even the Pharmacists think I am pitiful. Just a note about my friends, the Target pharmacy team, they all know me too well. I very rarely have to use my or any of my kids names when I walk up to get a prescription. When I was there with a friend picking up her meds they went ahead and looked to make sure I didn’t have any waiting for pick-up. It totally weirded my friend out that they knew me so well and that more than one of the clerks said hello. How sweet it is when you are so well known by an entire team of pharmacists that they enquire about your children when they are not with you. This would not be a big deal in a small town like my hometown, Groves, TX, where you have lived there forever and know everyone. No, this is a huge city. I guess I also have a tendency to befriend everyone. Even when I am feeling like total bunk I just have to smile and say hello. When I told one of my friends that I went to Texas A&M where it is tradition to say “Howdy” to everyone you pass, she thought it was the strangest thing she had ever heard- I thought the whole tradition was wonderful! It is hard to be in a bad mood when you smile and talk to random strangers all the time. So, I guess I just need to start feeling better so that I can get on the road to recovery, one in which I do not have to be BFF’s with all the medical personnel in Portland.

Monday, March 1, 2010

How I do it "all"

***WARNING- this is out of my comfort zone- sappiness and cheesiness reign- don’t expect to laugh too much- sorry- it must be the pain meds***

I have been thinking a lot about how tough life has been lately and really for the past 13 years or so. I get asked on a regular basis how I do it. I have even had two therapists tell me that they are pretty shocked I have not had a complete breakdown. I am not saying this to brag or get pity, but rather to give an answer. The only way I have made it is God. I don’t mean this in a sappy Christian way, but rather an everyday living kind of thing- this is the only way I can honestly keep going feeling optimistic and content that God knows the way and I don’t have too.

God has given me a super crazy ability to deal with stress. My everyday life with three kiddos, two of which are special needs, a husband in law school (just finished!!!), working to support the family and just normal stuff is pretty overwhelming. When family or friends spend more than a few hours with us, they comment that our family life is pretty intense or just flee in shock, glad that they get to go home and relax in a peaceful environment. I may be exaggerating a little about the fleeing part, but you get the idea. Things are hard without extras thrown in like surgery, trouble in school, etc. God has been so faithful though, somehow I wake up every morning excited about the day (for the most part), I am optimistic that things will get better and confident that God will carry me through. Even when some pretty tough stuff comes my way, I can only seem to dwell on the negative for less than a day. I have no idea why this is, but I am simply incapable of being down and out for long periods of time. Maybe it is my strange sense of humor, maybe I am just a glutton for punishment- I just can’t help myself- I have to make fun of it all. I guess I just hope people will laugh with me and then somehow see God in my story. I think the only reason for my super hero powers is God’s provision. He has given me more than I can possibly repay.

Josh- my sweet husband is beyond words. He is exactly who God designed for me. Through our messy life our relationship has grown stronger rather than growing apart. He loves me so much and continually strives to show me. He makes me laugh and smile everyday (it may not always be on purpose). I sometimes think that he loves me more than I could ever love him. This is not to say that I don’t love him, I just feel like he loves so unselfishly and completely- I don’t feel I am even capable to love in that way. He gives without expecting or even wanting anything in return. He is just super cool and I am super lucky.

Family- God has given me an amazing family, both biological and the family I married into. Our parents have been a source of provision, physically and emotionally. They both offer a different type of relationship, which really is

amazing. I am so blessed to have incredible siblings. My sister is my best friend. This has not always been the case (we did the whole sibling rivalry thing- who knows why), but she continually provides me with a listening ear sans judgment. I know I can call her (which I do multiple times a day) and we can talk about nothing or talk about the latest crisis (she has them too- I promise). My brother, Benny, is pretty cool himself. He is the person I can call when I need to laugh and step away from the present. I have a unique relationship with each of my siblings and Josh’s as well. It is pretty nice. We even have a great extended family who are always ready to pray and listen.

Friends- I cannot say enough about my spectacular friends. In each of our moves, God has given me the exact friends I needed. It is incredible how much they have been there for me, especially since we are not near family. They have been our family. I have learned so much from them. Even though I have not been able to stay in touch with them all, they have made a difference. Our Oregon friends are beyond amazing. This has been, by far, the toughest couple of years yet and they have stood beside me, comforted me, encouraged me and helped me in so many ways. Quite frankly, I am a pretty needy friend and they have been there without question. If I am ever able to repay them I will be surprised. They are just that incredible.

So, there you have it, this is what I am made of. This is how I live, this is it.

Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe.