Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tips From Tara...

Tip #1:
When lending out maternity and/or children's clothes to friends and family, I now know that it is imperative to relay in very specific terms that you are LENDING said clothes. Not GIVING said clothes. There was a slight misunderstanding in that department last time I lent out my maternity things and as a result, I'm now down to one pair of pants and one pair of sweat pants. The jeans? Black velvet pants? Favorite black maternity pants ever? All gone. Consigned or given away to someone else she didn't feel she could get them back from. (I still have many of my things, just not several items that I really liked.)


So, I'll be going shopping for maternity clothes this weekend. I need to psych myself up.

Tip #2:
Never, ever discuss a birthday party theme with a one Miss Georgia Reagan a good month and a half prior to her birthday. Not only will she change her mind as the wind blows, but she will also bring up the 143 different themes every time she sees and/or hears anything that reminds her of them.
(In case you're curious -- the current favorite is Mickey Mouse with Dora, Blue's Clues and Hello Kitty making a nice showing.)

Tip #3:
If you have no idea what to have for lunch, I highly suggest the following sandwich. I made it on a whim today and have been thinking about going to the store for more avocado ever since then so I can have another tomorrow!!
*Toast 2 slices of your favorite bread (I did a good multi-grain wheat.)
*Slice up some avocado, tomato, cucumber, red pepper, and grab a nice leaf of romaine
*When the bread's done toasting, spread on 1 wedge of light laughing cow garlic & herb cheese
*Pile on the veggies and give it a good smush
Heavenly!! (And hellooooo - veggie city, baby!!)

Tip #4:
If you own jumper cables, try putting them in your trunk. Hanging them on a peg in the garage, not so helpful unless your car conveniently dies in your garage. **Key element for Tip#4: If your husband happens to take them out for some reason, please have him alert you to this fact or replace them when he's done with his little project.**

Tip #5:
If you are ever in a situation with a girlfriend whose van needs a jump, remain calm. Simply call your husband and ask him to walk you through it. It is actually sort of fun when you succeed and don't end up blowing up both vans and all 5 precious children inside of them. Oh -- and word to the wise -- the little clampy things are supposed to shock a little bit, but try ever so hard not to let them touch.

You're welcome.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Blah Blah Blah...

In other words -- danger -- random thoughts ahead!

Okay, it's 3:09 a.m. This probably will lack direction and focus, so beware.

Thank you, bloggy friends -- your love, support and encouragment is so very appreciated. Jennifer, I especially appreciate your comments and have thought about them several times since I read what you wrote. I think you are a wise woman, and I wish you lived close enough to just sit with a hot cup o' something and listen to you tell me I'm actually *okay* and that this is all just normal and to cut myself a break now and then. You seem to be quite good at that!!
Blah blah blah reminds me of a funny Mitchellism from this week. He was peeved at Chris for something and decided that whining to me about it was a great idea. Not so much. I was fighting the urge to just sleep on the couch so I said "Mitchell, if you are unhappy with your Dad, then it's your job to tell him how you feel. Tell Daddy 'I don't like it when you blah, blah, blah because blah, blah, blah.' Then he'll know exactly why you're upset and he can explain why he did/said what he did. Whining to me isn't going to help much." I hear him stomp about 20 steps into the kitchen (there's a half-wall thing I can't see over) and say "Daddy, I don't like it when you blah, blah, blah because blah, blah, blah. Got it?!" Oh. My. Word. I am very surprised one of us (Chris and I) didn't pee our pants. Even Mitchell got the giggles over it. And guess what? No more peevy Mitchell. Too busy laughing at the blah, blah, blahs.
Georgia has been super interested in going on the potty this week. Mitchell was about as difficult a child to train as I imagine there is and I about drove myself insane in the process of the process, so I promised myself that she would drive this bus. And...she is. For a few weeks a couple of months ago, she wanted to sit on the little potty all the time. So we let her. And she'd sit. And get off. And sit. And get off. And it drove me crazy sort of - but it was really no big deal. No piddle. No nothing. Just lots of giggles from her thinking she was THE coolest big girl in all the land.

Fast forward to this week. For some reason, she is all about the potty seat that fits on the actual toilet. She'll sit on her little potty now and then but she is most interested in sitting on "Emo Wod." (Georgia speak = Elmo's World, a.k.a. - the Sesame Street potty seat.) So, tonight at the dinner table, my little rose petal was tooting very loudly and announced "I poop!" I just thought I'd throw out the offer to sit on the potty. It was met with a very enthusiastic, "Yeah!!!!" Upstairs we went. Lots of tooting, which in turn meant lots of Georgia giggles. One thing that helped get Mitchell started with the whole idea of pee-pee in the potty was what we call "Pee-pee water." It's basically an ounce or two of warm water poured on the bits to get that feeling started. I asked if she wanted some pee-pee water and she said yes. As I turned off the water I heard some tinkles. She went pee-pee in the potty!!! She's not even two!!! For a mom who didn't get to wrap up the whole potty training thing until her son was pushing four, this was HUGE news!! I started giggling and laughing and telling her how proud I was of was so fun. The boys both came running and it was this big, fun "Yay, Georgia" thing.

And then I about cried. Can she REALLY be this big? Can she REALLY be old enough to do stuff like this? *sigh* I guess so. She'll be two next month, and I think she is doing her best to snap me out of my denial about the whole thing.

On the up side -- the possibility of only having ONE in diapers has me motivated to help her follow her potty interest!
I went to coffee (well, I had a cider) with a friend today. She is one of my oldest and dearest friends. She is 5 weeks ahead of me in her pregnancy, and though this will be her 3rd child, this is her 1st pregnancy. (She and her husband have adopted two girls. They didn't think they were able to get pregnant, so like me, this is a surprise package.) We met at the bus stop when we were 15 and have been close friends (sister-like) ever since. In fact, the picture at the top of my blog was taken at a girls' weekend with her and another good friend and she has her arm around me in the little picture of me in the brown shirt up there.

Anyway -- did I mention I would probably ramble?? -- we met for coffee today. I left the house at 1:45 pm. I thought it would be an hour or so. Uhhh - YEAH. At 4:30 I said that I should probably go in about 15 minutes. At 4:54 my cell phone rang. Chris was wondering if I had decided to run off with her and wanted to know just how big my cup of coffee was. After I hung up with him, exactly 2 minutes later, her cell phone rang. Her hubby was making sure she was okay since he hadn't heard from her. We decided that the little ones had probably been up for longer than 30 minutes and were interfering with football viewing and had a good chuckle about that.

I think we were both reluctant to leave. It was like we stepped into a little bubble for a few hours. Our friendship has gone through several ups and downs and we actually almost lost it all one time, but in the end, we are always closer than we've ever been. Neither of us could remember the last time we did this -- with anyone. Just went and sat and talked. And talked. And laughed -- oh, man did we laugh. And compared weak bladders and growing tummies.

I get all teary when I think of the gift it is to share this journey with her. We were both so sad that when Georgia was born, she couldn't come to the hospital. I wanted her to be able to witness her birth because she hadn't been able to be in the room when either of her daughters were born, and well -- she is just one of those people that I know the experience would have meant the world to. Of ALL of the days -- she ended up having a severe migraine and couldn't get out of bed. It was so sad for both of us because we wanted it so much, but now - -here she is about to have her OWN birth experience. Amazing.

Oh, and her dad said the coolest thing when they announced their pregnancy. He said that he was so glad they were unsuccessful in getting pregnant for so many years because otherwise they wouldn't have Madeline and Mara. I get teary every time I think about that. God truly does work in ways that we can't possibly understand until it's in our rearview mirror sometimes.
Okay - I think that's it for now. I'm about to crawl back into bed and attempt to sleep again. Wish me luck. I promise, I'll be back in the bloggy saddle here soon. I miss reading everyone else's blogs and seeing what you're all up to.

I think I'm almost all the way out of my little hole. Thanks for lending me your shovels.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Okay, for starters... I have sort of gotten myself into a rut. Okay, not sort of. I just have.

I'm sick.
The kids are sick.
I'm tired.
I'm pregnant.
I just don't have time.

The above has been my mantra for the last oh -- three weeks or so. For everything under the sun.

Cleaning? Mantra.
Time in The Word? Mantra.
Exercise? Mantra.
Fun stuff with the kids? Mantra.

Okay - now I *will* cut myself a little bit of slack. I have been sick. The kids have been sick. I am most certainly pregnant. I don't know if I've EVER been this tired in all my life. True. All true.


I can make a good mantra. I can get myself out of this "buried" condition. A month or two ago I was happier than I'd been in quite some time. I was eating fantastically. I was spending time in The Word each and every day and loving it. I was participating in two Bible studies regularly. I was working out several times a week.

Now -- not so much. For any of it. *sigh*

I do, honestly - feel buried. Under the blahs. Under life.

But I can get out. I know I can. And I will. So, no worries.

Okay - so speaking of buried. Here's that post I mentioned like a month ago that has been knocking around inside of my brain. Ironically, it's about things being buried, too.

Alot of our stuff is in storage right now. Obviously, not things that we use every day or on a somewhat regular basis. Most of the stuff are things that we want to use again in the new house (wherever that may be) -- train table, formal serving dishes, our overstuffed rocker recliner, etc.

Well, when we went to get our stuff out for the holidays (ALLLLL of our Christmas decorations were in there), I was struck by how buried it all was. How boxes and boxes of other "stuff" made getting to what we were actually looking for so very difficult. We had to wade through very tiny walkways, stand on desks, etc. to make sure that the box at the very bottom of the back pile was indeed Christmas stuff.

Then, once we got all of the things out that we needed, we had to put the rest of the boxes and items back in...only they didn't fit the same way. There were gaps and holes where the things we'd taken out had once been. Now some boxes stacked akwardly. Some furniture had to be rearranged again. Things like that.

It just struck me as we drove away how similar that is to my own heart and the "junk" I have stored in there. Sometimes in order to dig deep and get to the things that I really need to have and deal with right now, I have to unpack some other things that I didn't even know were jumbled up in there. I guess the thing that jumped out to me is that so many times, I have things buried in my heart and half the time, the things I have to deal with in order to find what I'm looking for I thought I'd dealt with long ago.

Here is where I'd usually elaborate, but it's taken me two attempts to get THIS much written down so I'll stop here. I'm 12 weeks along now and am off to the OB's office in a few hours for my 2nd appointment. I'll keep you posted.

A sincere thank you for all of the love and "where are you" check ups. I'm here. I'm tired. I'm fine.

I'm buried, but digging out.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Off to a rockin' start...


Last time I posted I told you how we were going on a 4 day mini-vaca as a family and were excited to be leaving the sickies behind as we rang in 2008 as a healthy, relaxed little group. didn't quite work out that way.

On Saturday we spent the day packing up our stuff (more of a "me" than a "we"), putting Christmas stuff away, shoveling walks (that was more of a "he" than a "we"), and finally loading all of our stuff and ourselves into the van. Seriously - you would have thought we were going for 4 weeks, not 4 days -- that thing was packed to the gills! We had already decided to just avoid the headache of taking the kids out to eat and instead brought enough food and drinks to last us the whole time. Also, the hot item of the week had been the new kitchen, fake food and tea sets that arrived at Christmas, so we decided to bring those along. (The kitchen barely comes up to my waist -- it's tiny. The fake food and tea sets are all in one 3-drawer rolling plastic bin, so it was easy traveling with those.) We also loaded up a bag full of trains and books. We were all set!

We planned on leaving around 1 but didn't get on the road until about 3. Not a big deal until we decided we needed to make two stops once we got into our little mountain town. By the time we got to the condo, checked in and got everything unloaded it was about 6. I think it was around this time that I told Chris I felt like I was getting sick. My throat was starting to hurt, I had a headache and I just felt a little "off". (Remember that Mitchell and I were both already on antibiotics for strep at this point.) I sort of shrugged it off though because I assumed it was just from having a busy day and not staying totally on top of drinking enough water, so I just started drinking a lot of it right then.

We had a fun night and made some pizzas for dinner. There was a great gas fireplace in the living room which really warmed the whole room -- and it was so cozy and relaxing. (The kids did a wonderful job of staying away from it, too!) The kids were so excited to be in the mountains and it was snowing off and on, which was beautiful to watch. Mitchell was already asking to go play outside in the snow, and we promised him that we would the next day.

We are a sports-loving family, so we were all having fun watching football together - especially since Mitchell insisted on bringing his new Broncos outfit and helmet with him. He loves to pretend he's in the game and "helping the team" - it makes us laugh to see him running around in his own little football game. Such a goof! The only problem that we found was that the large, rectangular window above the couch was REALLY drafty...super drafty. That weekend was filled with high wind and very cold temperatures so we had to improvise with some extra pillows and sheets to block the draft. We never got it completely sealed off but it was much better after our little alteration. The kids also had fun "making dinner" and just playing together in the living room.

We got everyone settled into bed that first night -- Georgia didn't really even fight sleeping in her pack n' play, which was fantastic! There was a little cut-out closet with no doors right inside of our bedroom that made the perfect, cozy little spot for her. Mitchell ended up just sleeping with us. We have a queen sized bed at home, so this HUGE king bed had more than enough room for all of us. Chris and I were both exhausted, so we all went to bed at the same time.

The next morning (Sunday) when I woke up - I knew I was about to get hammered. (I should mention here that we had some "people" over for dinner on Friday night and it turns out that one of them had been sick in bed with a bad cough/cold and the chills *read: fever* all day, yet didn't tell us this and still came to dinner at our house so I was hoping against hope that this wouldn't happen. I'm trying VERY hard not to be bitter or angry about this, as I'm sure you can understand.) I felt absolutely HORRIBLE and feverish. I also was starting to cough and every time that I did it felt like my entire throat and chest were literally on fire. (You know how it feels when you run in really cold weather? That burning?) Mitchell was also starting to cough a bit, which worried me as I was sure he'd soon be feeling like I was. We got everyone fed and sort of got our stuff a bit more settled in the kitchen and living room. It really is so very beautiful up there -- and the kids, like us, were amazed by the view out of our window. We all sat taking it in for awhile, watching for birds and squirrels and other wildlife. There were some gorgeous bluejays that kept flying in and out of the trees right off of our deck.

Mitchell was begging all morning to go outside, so we decided that since the wind hadn't kicked up too much yet, that it would be as good a time as any. (Good thing - the 20 minutes we were outside was it for the WHOLE weekend!!) I really can't believe that I'm putting this picture in here -- you can see how great I felt. Oh, and for the record, I didn't even BRING my makeup bag with me on the trip so just know that. (And BethAnne, my friend, I don't even want to HEAR about another horrible hair/no makeup day from you -- I've clearly trumped you but good in the looking glorious department.) Anyway - it was pretty cold out there (but then again, I had a fever) so we didn't stay long but the kids had so much fun just tromping around in the snow outside of our complex. They cleared the whole picnic table off -- I think that's what took the most time -- and Mitchell made a few great snow angels. Oh, and sweet Miss G did her usual face plant in the snow thing, of course. Then we headed back inside for more football and some hot chocolate and snacks.

I'll give you the nutshell version of the rest of the weekend:

*By about 2pm that day, Mitchell and I both were feeling awful. He and I both kept our fevers until Tuesday morning. His got up to 104 but was usually around 102 and mine was around 101 most of the time. Tylenol and motrin (just for him) helped, but only temporarily. *Georgia joined in on the fun for most of Monday by throwing up once and having a low grade fever, but other than that seemed to be feeling like herself most of the time. *Chris ended up escaping the sick bug -- but I wonder if that's because he was already on Tamiflu from his little episode the week before. *We watched a lot of football and cartoons and I was thankful that there was a Law & Order Marathon on tv all night long since I didn't do much sleeping. *Chris ran to the grocery store 3 times for more medicine, drinks, etc. which was the only money we spent, so at least that was a good thing *He got in the private hot tub on our deck exactly one time but was in sheer heaven while he was soaking *I was actually awake at midnight on New Year's -- of course that's because Mitchell's fever wouldn't go down and I was worried sick while he slept on me. *There were super high winds and it was freezing!! all weekend long, so even if we'd wanted to go outside, we couldn't have.


Here we are, back at home a week later. (And it's the middle of the night as I'm still not sleeping very good, thanks to this monster cough.) I'm still sick, though much better. Mitchell is the same way. Georgia drank out of his cup a few days ago and today came down with a 101.6 degree fever and a cough. *ding,ding* Round 2 anyone??


It's manageable. It stinks like crazy and I truly have not been this sick in years, but it's manageable. And temporary. And as Chris and I kept repeating to each other all last weekend while we were least we're together.

I'll be back more often once we kick this thing for good. Hope everyone else's year is off to a better start!