Saturday, September 22, 2012

Life in Bullet Points

Other than the sounds of Baby's babblings, it's quiet in my house.  The teenagers are up at FaithFest today, Little Miss is napping, and Sam and his dad went over to the neighbor's to do some work.  I'm trying to get everything checked off my to-do list, as well as write a monologue.  A year or more ago a friend at church approached me about writing a Christmas monologue for her to perform at this year's Christmas Eve service (that we won't even be attending).  I said sure and promptly forgot about it.  She reminded me at the beginning of summer and I kept it in the back of my mind.  She needs it by October, which is in, oh, one week, so I'm trying really, really hard to be creative today!  Actually, I have the story in my mind.  Ten days ago I had nothing and then I prayed for a story.  One has slowly developed since then.  But I write better when I have chunks of time and silence.  Unfortunately, both are in very short supply these days.

I think I may have to account for the last 3 weeks in bullet points.  It's just been crazy, which is why I haven't been blogging - not enough time.  Honestly, it's probably going to be January before I can really slow down again.

So, here's my quick, updating points:

* Life is getting sweeter with Little Miss.  I went out of town overnight and both she and Baby were all over me when I came back.  I asked Sam if he had a hug for me, but he said, "no" and walked away.  Sigh...But I got lots of loving from the girls.  The next week Little Miss was an angel and very, very cuddly.  This week I saw more of the familiar vinegar in her personality, but that may always be there.  It may just be who she is.  That's ok.  Not everyone is all sweetness and light!

* I went to Ladies Retreat a couple of weekends ago.  Our speaker was tremendous.  She is president of an organization that rescues women from human trafficking.  I honestly had no idea of the scope of the problem until listening to her.  Wow, oh, wow.  Her Bible teaching was wonderful too.  I'm still going through all my notes.

* Will played his first post-concussion game last night.  Every time he went down, I was muttering, "Watch the head, watch the head!"  He was fine.  In fact, all night long, I kept hearing the announcer say, "And helping with the tackle, #7 - Will Heywood!"  He said his upper arms are awfully sore today.  I can imagine. 

* David finished up a watercolor painting this week in his Art class that he gave to me.  On the back he wrote, "Thank you for always being their for me."  The grammarian inside of me is totally groaning.  He also added, "You are a great butterfly!" (his picture has a butterfly in it).  I'm really not sure what it means to be a "great butterfly" but I'm going to choose to take that in the vein in which it was offered and assume it means something really good, not, "I think you're a worm with wings."  I may frame his picture.

* Sara and family visited last week for an afternoon and evening.  They were anxious to meet the girls and I had not seen Baby Allison since her birth.  She's 6 months now and a chunk.  She's been crawling for a month and is already pulling herself up to stand.  I have never heard of a baby doing those things that early before.

* We had our visit with our licensing renewal person this week.  I feverishly cleaned and cleaned my house since she told me she'd be doing a walk-through.  She never went past my kitchen table after coming in the back door.  All that work!  Oh, well - it's not like we can't appreciate a clean house, too.  She'll be back again next month and I'm sure I will clean like a madwoman again.  If I don't, I know she'll definitely want to do the walk-through then!

* Will gets his senior pictures taken next Sat.  It was literally the only time we could make work between our schedule and that of the photographer, who is a college student.  It sure had better not be raining...

* Sam's 5th birthday is a month from today.  He is SO excited.  For months now he has been flipping the calendar to October and gazing longingly at day number 22.  This week he complained to me that his birthday was still so far away and he didn't think that was quite fair.

* Work on the basement is continuing to progress.  One wall is completely finished already.

*No word yet from the court.  One night this week I felt strongly as though I should pray about the judge's decision.  I almost woke Paul to suggest he do the same, but convinced myself not to because it was probably just my anxieties at play, more than anything.  But I prayed for quite some time.  I mentioned that to my friend who is waiting for the ok to make the girls' bio brother her forever son and she said that she had had the same feeling Wed. night and had been praying as well.  I found that exciting and would not be a bit surprised to learn that that was the night that the judge pondered our case.

*This week I have: 1) attempting to get the city's annual street report submitted (a very arduous and head-banging type of job) 2) night out with Melissa 3) first mammogram since surgery - not looking forward to this since that boob is still tender from last March's surgery  4) Homecoming parade and auction of senior jerseys (I'm hoping someone else will bid for Will's because I sure don't want to spend more than $20 on his jersey, but yet I don't want him to suffer the embarrassment of not having anyone want his jersey.  He said one senior's jersey went for more than $400 last year.  Yeah - not happening.  Besides, embarrassment is a character strengthener, right?) 5) Friday night's homecoming game 6) senior pics

I also need to put together a 1950s outfit for Ben for one of his Spirit days at school.  I thought about wrapping a cigarette package in a white t-shirt for him, but I'm guessing that in this day and age of zero tolerance for anything, the school might frown on that.  Maybe I can slick his curly hair back into a James Dean do, though, and roll up the cuffs on some jeans.  Wonder what guys wore for shoes back then?  Hopefully, blue Skechers tennies...

Oh, and one nice thing...allergy season is drawing to a close!  It's getting colder and colder these days.  One of these nights we're going to have a hard freeze and good-bye sneezing and waking up in the middle of the night to fumble for a little yellow pill so I can breathe and get back to sleep.  Actually, this year has probably been the best ever allergy-wise for both Ben and me.  That dr. we're seeing is really helping, I think.

I tried to buy the girls slips today since it's going to be chilly tomorrow.  I didn't want them freezing under their dresses.  I just checked at Walmart but they didn't have any.  So I bought them tights instead.  I got home and did some internet browsing.  When I was a kid I wore slips under every dress I owned.  As an adult, I only do it when I'm wearing something sheer or clingy.  But I'm thinking they would be helpful for warmth, too.  But it was hard to find them!  I finally found some on Amazon and ordered them. But it took some searching.  I guess maybe little girls don't wear them anymore like they did when I was little.

Ok, back to being creative.  I have a deadline!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Laboring, Injuring, Shopping, and Losing

It's Labor Day and I am...laboring.  I've got a to-do list a mile long.  Writing on my blog was at the top of my list!

It's fall.  I remember last year thinking if I survived fall, it would be a miracle.  I was so overwhelmed with all our normal fall activities, plus I had a bucket load of things to do in preparation for starting our PS-MAPP classes that Oct.  I'm thinking the same thing about this fall, even though we don't have classes to take.  We are needing to go through the renewal process for our license, though, so there will be a certain amount of work that needs to be done for that.

And in the fall is --football season!  Will has had two games so far and I have really enjoyed them.  He is playing the entire game and he is really good!  It was amazing to me at the first game when he trotted out onto the field and I realized that he's one of the "big" guys now!  All those other years he had teammates that were a good head or more taller than him and suddenly, Will is the one towering over his teammates.  I'm trying not to be sniffly about this being his last season.  Next year he'll be onto bigger and better things, but there's just something about that senior year...

Right now, though, Will is out of commission.  He ended up getting a concussion in the last play of Friday's game.  And we missed it - we are such bad parents!  They were losing pretty bad and were down to the last minute of the game.  There was no hope.  We had 5 kids we needed to get to bed so we went ahead and folded up our chairs and headed back to the van.  Unbeknownst to us, Will had just been tackled, stumbled over to the sidelines, and couldn't talk when he coaches asked him if he needed to sit down.  We got the phone call just as we pulled into our driveway.  I hurried back to the school and Will sat on a chair, glassy-eyed, dazed, and with absolutely no memory of being hit.  A couple of his coaches were there and explained to me the concussion policy (5 days of  being symptom-free, plus a doctor's written release).  The principal came up to me and put his arm on my shoulder - such a nice guy.  He strongly encouraged me to take Will to the ER, so I did.

I took him up to Blank because I am not real confident in Knoxville's ER.  Will just out of it the whole time.  We got into triage and the nurse was checking his vitals.  She took his blood pressure.  I saw her look at the screen, and then look again.  Then she quickly left the room and returned with a wheelchair.  She asked me to unhook Will from his cuff, sat him the chair, burst through the ER doors, and hollered, "I need a room, NOW!"  I didn't know what was going on as I trailed behind.  The next thing I know, a bunch of people are bustling around Will as they lay him down and getting an iv ready.  What had happened was that his blood pressure had plummeted and the nurse thought he was about to faint.  But then once they got him laying down the blood pressure came back up and they didn't have to put the iv in after all.  Whew!

Will definitely got a good concussion.  The dr. told me that this time of year, they refer to Friday nights in the ER as "Football Friday Nights" because of all the injured players they treat.  We didn't get home until almost 2am.  While I had been at the game, I was so tired from my busy day and my allergy pills and had been thinking that I couldn't wait to go to bed!  That plan obviously got delayed.

So, Will spent the weekend popping Tylenol, sleeping, and watching football on the tv.  He's doing better but he says that it still feels like his brain and body are disconnected.  Paul mentioned to his mom last night that Will had gotten a concussion.  The next thing we knew his dad called and demanded that we pull Will from football.  Paul just ignored him, but laughed and told Will, "Your grandpa says you have to quit football!"  Give me a break...

That wasn't our only ER trip this weekend.  Early Sat. evening I was in the kitchen and Ben stumbled in from outdoors, dripping blood from his chin, and asking for a band-aid.  He had fallen and smashed his chin on the swimming pool pump.  I looked at his chin and realized he was going to need more than a band-aid.  So, off to the ER we went.  This time I did go to Knoxville.  I don't know if I should have, but it is closer and Ben wasn't in any danger of dying, so that's what I did.  I wasn't even sure if they would stitch him, but the wound did look kind of deep.  We were there a long time, too, because they were busy.  They're never busy!  But I guess a lot of people were out having fun on Labor Day weekend and got hurt.  As it turned out, they said they couldn't stitch Ben's chin because he had torn off a triangle section of skin in the middle and there was now nothing to stitch to.  If it had not been for that, they said they definitely would have given him a stitch or two.  So, two band-aids later, we were on our way home.  I could have done that at home!  Hopefully, that's the end of our hospital visits for awhile!

Paul started digging out the basement last Wed.  It's actually gone very well.  Poor guy - he struggled around Will's school schedule last week,only having him help in the mornings.  He was really counting on having Will's help over the weekend.  But then Will's noggin got knocked and that was the end of that.  But he's got it all dug out now, a beam stuck through so the house doesn't collapse, and is about to pour footings.  Next week he hopes to be laying blocks.  I'm trying to close my eyes to the mess.  I have no front porch anymore and half my deck has been dismantled.  I HATE remodeling/adding on with a passion.  A big passion.

I bought a new vacuum last week.  Our thousand dollar lifetime guarantee Tri-star died and we found out the lifetime guarantee wasn't all that much of a guarantee anyway.  I never cared for it anyway.  It was a canister vacuum and way too heavy.  So, upon recommendations from my Facebook friends, I bought a Shark Lift-Away.  I love this thing!  The suction is amazing, it only weighs 12 lbs, and it cost under $200!  The best thing, I think is, and I didn't realize this until after I bought it, is that I can use it in place of a broom.  It works just as well on hard surfaces as it does on carpet.

I went jean shopping Sat.  I had to take the girls, but they were amazingly well-behaved.  Shopping for blue jeans is about as much fun as shopping for bras - blech.  I don't like jeans that bunch up at the ankles because they are too long, I don't want to pay $100 for a pair of jeans, I wanted to find something that had interesting pockets to add visual width (I have a very flat butt), and they needed to suck in my tummy, sit near my waist (without giving me a muffin top), and not be skinny jeans!  That's not too much to ask, is it?  I have lost so much weight since spring that my jeans from last year won't fit anymore.  I had a really good Younkers coupon so I went there and I ended up buying there, even though I did check out Kohls and Penneys, too.  I found what I wanted right away, which was amazing.  But they were a little long.  So, after thinking long and hard, I decided to have them tailored (for an additional $40 - ugh).  I guess if I have two pairs of jeans that fit well and are everything I wanted then it will be worth it, considering that's all I wear from Oct. through April.  I just hope I don't lose any more weight, otherwise I may have to get them tailored around the waist, too!

Speaking of weight loss - I had a dream last night that my scale was broken.  I had not actually lost a pound but only thought I had because of the scale.  Awful!  Those of you that know me know my weight has gone up and down since Sam's birth.  It's actually annoying because it requires buying two sizes of clothing because ill-fitting clothing drives me nuts.  I suspect my loss this time comes from stopping my migraine medication and just the stress of this summer.  I am a bit shocked that I have lost 16 lbs, though, because I am not exercising and I am eating all the same junk I normally do.  I don't like how my bones stick out on my chest though - I think I look emaciated.  I do like the loss of weight around my middle and in my face though - nothing like having a double chin to ruin a good picture!  Now if I could just do something about my upper arms...

I'm off to Ladies Retreat this weekend.  It's been 3 years since I last went, so I am really looking forward to this trip.  Actually, I'd probably be happy to go sit in a damp, dark cell if it meant there was nobody calling me, "Mom" or asking for something for two whole days...