Friday, August 29, 2008

The return part 2...

Rolled in like a storm with attitude.

Welcome home young lady, now go to your room!

Seriously though, we are glad to have you home, but drop the new fashion statement you adorn on your shoulder - you know that little bling that resembles a might large chip? I am the only one allowed in this house with one of those dandy little numbers!
And you wonder why you hear mutterings of "reprogramming after daddy visits"?

Love you baby!

A good pick?

Or stacking the deck?

I am not sure how I feel about John McCain choosing a dark horse female for his VP running mate.

It has nothing to do with the fact that my Governor wasn't chosen. I don't think he was the right choice anyway. The first few months he was in office he closed State Parks, Rest Area's and other public services to reduce the budget. Mind you most were re-opened within the first few years because it was met with such a horrible backlash.

Naming someone that hasn't been much on the radar makes me wonder. Was it done to even the proverbial playing field?

I have been so torn this election. I have always touted myself a Repub, but I have waivered most recently (ok, in the last 7 years) and no longer know where I stand.

But I am not seeing a lot of promise on either side...

Two nominee's who are limited in experience - whether themselves or their running mates.

I have said it before and will say it again... this election is looking more like a popularity contest than a Presidential race.

I add my name to the list of perplexed and undecided.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Another little bit of wonder

from a 5 year olds mouth:

J: Sounds like God is up there bowl'n...

Me: Who do you think is winning?

J: Well God of course!

Me: Really? Why of course?

J: Because this isn't no ordinary game of bowl'n mom...

Me: I did not know that!

J: If it were an ordinary game of bowl'n maybe someone else would win.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The return, part 1

Jadon comes home today and I cannot wait to get these mama arms around that little bugger and love on him for all I am worth! I have a Board Meeting this evening, so I made Jim promise to bring him to my office when they get back to town so I can lay a big ol'mommy smootch on him.

YAY my house is about to get chaotic again (and note, we did not clean at.all.while they were gone - I think the mess reminded us while they were not home they were still with us).

Mantha will be home on Friday, but immediately goes to a slumber party until Saturday morning. Then we will all pack it in, load up the hotel on wheels and go to our favorite vacation location!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The days I wish for the world to end

So I can be with you once again...

I just spent the afternoon with a friend, and we got to talking about you. About how most times friends dont get to know each others extended families - maybe their parents and siblings, but rarely their entire family. But because of you, many of my friends were blessed by your sweet memories, and by the knowledge of those you left behind. And they feel honored to have known you.

As do I.

I remember as a child I didn't respect your purpose. I didn't respect the person you were. It took us nearly 21 years to find out who each other was. We had good times before then, but the respect and friendship didn't come until much later. I thank God everyday that I had those last 10 years to make up for the first 20.

When we were talking about you today, something she said to me struck me. It will be 7 years since I said good bye to you that night. Its been nearly 7 years since you followed me with your eyes, trying to tell me you were tired and ready to go to Him. Its been nearly 7 years since I got the call only 2 hours after I left your side telling me that you woke up, took one last breath, and left us... for now.

And it was up to me to make those first phone calls. First to your loving husband Bruce, and to gram, who was having difficulty sleeping that night. She knew. As only a mother could know. When I called my brother I could hear in his voice the sadness of not spending your last night with you; how could he have known. And then I called my father. The man who loved you for more than 30 years, but didn't recognize it until it was too late.

Telling your "Tinkerbell" was the hardest thing for me to do. She had just turned 4 4 days earlier. We had birthday cake in your room, but you were out cold so we don't know if you knew we were there. If you knew that we met one of your "goals" on your list. She had no idea what it meant for someone to die. So we told her that we put your bed in a box for your body, but that your soul was in Heaven with Jesus. I don't think she really understood until several years later. But she will never forget you.

This week Lainie stayed at our house overnight. Mantha got down your "dog" Lucky and told Lainie Lucky's story. How when we found out the Cancer was back, you were in a room with a lady who had this stuffed dog that looked so real, that everyone had to look twice. The lady heard the doctors talking to us about your fate; as she left the hospital, she laid Lucky at the foot of your bed with a big pink feather boa around its neck and told you that Lucky would take care of you. And for the next two months, Lucky never left your sight.

And now she resides in Tinkerbell's room.

In six weeks it will be 7 years. I know I will never forget you. I know that many days I still cry for you. I know that each year that passes brings me one year closer to you. But it doesn't make the pain easier.

These are the days I wish for the world to end. So I can be with you once again.

Shooting and explosions

And a ton of yelling and screaming.

I am not talking war. I am talking the noise coming out of my television at 1:30 this morning.

What is it with men and movies with shooting, and explosions and a ton of yelling and screaming? I like me some good sci fi movies, but I don't get the Rambo, Terminator, and this morning Die Hard movies.

What is it with men that if there isn't Homeland Security level red violence, the movie is considered a chick flick and not worthy of their 2 hours? And why is it when you relinquish the remote you go from watching something you both could enjoy, to something only he will enjoy?

Friday, August 22, 2008

And they're off...

And we are childless for 5 days. The first time in almost 6 years that we have had the house absent of children while we were in it. Of course there have been occasions when one or both of us were away for a few days sans kids, but never HOME without kids.

And its oddly lonely.

When my dad asked this morning before the funeral we were all attending, Jim and I both thought "wow, a few days alone, what will we do?". And we agreed that our kids and my niece would love to spend the time together with grandma and grandpa. They only see Lainie once or twice a year, usually for only a few hours at a time, yet they are all great companions whenever together.

So after the funeral we came back home, packed up our two, and sent all three kids (my brother and sister in law sent my niece with gma & gpa to our house) off to the great up north - a short (NOT) 5 hour drive away.

And I cried as I spied my baby waving good bye to me for the first time ever - leaving me alone for 5 days.

I am used to Mantha's departures. She makes them every other weekend. And in the summer she is gone the month of August. But other than hospital stays, conferences for work or Relay, and a few short vacations to Dayna's house, I haven't ever really left Jadon.

And then the rush of worries hit.

I was no longer in control of their safety. It was all in the hands of my dad and step mom. And I trust them absolutely whole heartedly. But to be that far away on that long of a drive, I don't trust the other people on the roadways.

I am trying to be the good mom and not be smothering, and waiting for their call that they arrived safely, but it doesn't change the fact that until I hear from them I will worry.

And that leaves Jim and I with the idea: what do we do now? We just decided that we will trek 20 miles further into the country then we already dwell for dinner tonite (one of those way off the beaten path, smaller than a shoe box, but people pack in like hogs to slaughter from all over Southern MN because the food is so good places). We have a neighborhood party tomorrow night, but all the time hither and yon is ours to do as we wish.

All this time and no idea what to do with ourselves.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I get my baby back, baby back, baby back...

I get my baby back, baby back, baby back!

So what if its a corny jingle... I can do what I want on my blog! And I only get her back for two days before she heads back to her dads. Of course she is coming home because we have a funeral to go to. But at least its something right?

I cannot believe that there is only one more week of summer vacation and then school starts!

I still have to get Jadon in for his prep appointment, and I have been stalling because he knows he is a getting pokes, and he of course remembers my promise last winter that he was done getting pokes.

I am the bigger child, I know it!

Jadon drew me a picture this weekend. Its a tall hotel.

"And it has a slide to get in and out of the hotel so when you are hungry you can slide out of the hotel into your car and drive to a restaurant to eat dinner and then you have to climb back up the slide to get back into the hotel so you can go to your hotel room and get on your swimming suit and go to the pool before it closes but you have to be careful if you ate too much at the restaurant so you dont get a stomach ache."

He said it just like that, no breaths, no punctuation, no second thoughts. I love when kids tell stories. It makes my heart all warm inside!

Friday, August 15, 2008

To book club or not to book club

I love reading. I will stay up all hours, miss meals and devote days on end to a good book (in between momming and wifing of course). For instance, right now I am reading:

Only after I got more than half way through Judas did I discover it was #4 in the SIGMA Force series, so I am very excited to read:

I am a series reader and lover. Much like movies, or great running t.v. shows, I don't like a good thing to end. I have been hooked on the Iris Johnanson detective series with Eve Duncan as the main character since 2001:

Hands down the best series I have ever read is the Left Behind Series - the first 12 books:

Just recently LaHaye and Jenkins released the prequels as well as the supposed final book, Kingdom Come:

If you have not read this series, let me tell you, while they are about the Tribulations and God's battle with Satan, they are not so heavily weighted with religion that you feel you are reading Bible verse, but rather they are suspenseful - edge of your seat can't put them down, read most of them in less than a weekend kind of books.

So back to the point of this post. I have been invited to join two different book clubs here in my "little" town (I say little because many of you say you live in "small" towns, but your towns are 15,000 populations plus, and mine isn't even 5,000!) but I haven't committed to either.

My fear of commitment relates to how picky I am about my books. I don't like smut and love stories or self help books. I like technically challenging, thought provoking, action, drama, mysterious, read this clue to solve the puzzle who did it books. I like intrigue. I like historical reference (like Judas Strain is based on Marco Polo's adventures for Kublai Kahn - real or not, it sure is interesting).

But I also like to research whether or not I will like the book - because I don't rent books from the library, I don't buy them used, I pay full price and own all of the books that I read, and owning something I don't like is just not something I want to do (and trust me, I have purchased some real dogs!). Part of why I buy is so I can share my books with fellow readers.

So if I join one of these book clubs, I will be forced to read several books that I may or may not like - most likely books I wouldn't choose on my own.

But is that necessarily bad? Maybe it would give me the opportunity to read something I would really like that I would miss out on otherwise. But because my book list is at least a dozen long already, do I want to give them up for now? I cannot bring myself to read two books at once.

So again I beg the question... Do I jump in, or do I decline and continue to read what I like?

And what do you enjoy reading?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wouldn't it be nice if we all smiled at once?

If all the world put down their guns and their hard feelings, put away their anger and self loathing and smiled - just for one moment - all at the same time...

Wouldn't it be nice?

Wouldn't it be nice if just once when my husband was asked to do something he didn't want to do he would consider the person asking. Maybe they didn't want to ask. Maybe they knew he would get mad. Maybe they actually hated asking because they knew it wasn't fair. But still they had to because it was their job, and well, it was his too. So wouldn't it be nice if just once I didn't receive a phone call telling me how he "can't sit" because they "got him up his wazoo" again (insert your form of foul thoughts and language - I have to play it safe - my 10 year old might read my blog!).

In my nature of *trying* to find the positive in most things, I asked him if the next time they asked him to "go off the clock and onto percentage" (which means a huge cut in the pay for those days) for one run, that he do it without complaint. That he remember the motto I try to live by:

"One negative comment will last longer and spread faster than one positive comment"

Because this winter when justifiably he will have reason to complain for the lack of work, I will remind him that his negative attitude this summer is the reason for the theirs this winter.

And he still won't understand. Because he thinks I am wrong and that they have it out for him. And I "just don't understand how it is".

Oh but honey I do. Remember what I do for a living?

And you have the benny's, so please, don't lose the job!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

19 days, and Food and Emergency's

In 19 days Mantha will be coming home. We haven't talked to her this week at all. Jim, Jadon and I spent the weekend at a cabin with Jim's family, and Mantha is currently in Wisconsin Dels.

Next week she will be back in MN, and hopefully we will be able to catch up like crazy.

In 19 days she will be back here where she belongs.

And then starts a new era in our lives: Two kids in school. Jadon went to pre-school last year, but this year starts full day Kindergarten. Mantha will start 5th grade.

Its all so surreal.

"Food and Emergencies"

Jadon just walked down the stairs with two $2 bills and said the following:

"Mom, if you and dad lose your wallets, or run out of checks, you can use this money for 'food and emergencies'". "This one is for food (holding up a $2 in one hand) and this one is for emergencies (holding the other $2 in the other hand)".

Truth be told, Jim and I have not discussed any of the medical bills in front of him - in fact he wasnt even here when we opened them.

I had to giggle, and hug on him before thanking him, and telling him he had nothing to worry about and should put his money back in his room. But it sure is nice to know he has our backs!

Pile it on...

Today I opened medical bills from the last 4 weeks of hospital stays, surgeries, an ambulance ride, 3 visits to the emergency room, and countless other appointments.

It appears that once again I have max'd out my co-pay for this year. To the tune of $5,000.

This wouldn't bother me so much, but last year between my physical therapy, trip to Mayo for my Fibro, and kidney stones in November I max'd that co-pay out too. Add to that Jadon's 9 day stint at Children's in Minneapolis - now max'ing out the family co-pay to the jig of $10,000.

All of last years medical expenses were payable this year.

Because my most recent kidney stuff happened just now, we are too far away to carry it over to next year, so in the 2008 calendar year, out of pocket, we will have paid $15,000 in medical bills.

The good news is, if the stone that I still have in my left kidney needs assistance coming out, I won't have to pay any more out of pocket. The bad news is, we were just starting to to see the light at the end of the tunnel called our finances, and now we are back behind the proverbial "8 ball".

We just can't seem to get caught up, let alone ahead.

But we are healthy. Well, we are getting there...

Friday, August 8, 2008

Art gallery for MckMama

Stellan, MckMama's unborn baby boy has been touching lives all over the world. There are literally hundreds of Stellan followers - praying for his heart to convert, and supporting MckMama while she is forced to spend weeks away from her three other little peanuts - who are all under 4!

Over the past week, people have been writing his name in the sand all over the world. Now we are all writing it in whatever we can, in support of Stellan, and in prayer and reflection for his healing.

Jadon saw this when I was reading and decided that we needed to make one too. So this is what he and I did this afternoon, "Stellan 'Ala Thomas the Tank Engine'":

MckMama is posting the art work on her webpage, and will eventually create a larger piece of art from all of the submissions. So if you want to show your support, have a little fun doing it, and add your name to the list of ever growing people praying for Stellan, go to her site and email her! She will love it!!!!!!

ADDED 8/12

My daycare with the help of her own kids, put together this wonderful Rescue Hero's "Stellan" for MckMama. I absolutely love it!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Confessions of a TV junky

I like tv. I like it. I like it a'lot.

Gimme reality. Gimme crime drama. Gimme a little Flippin Out, a lot of Big Brother, and Survivor and I am happy. Throw in Lost and 24 and you have me forever.

There are a lot of other "fill in's" that don't demand my full attention, but are on for the "noise".

Today as I was sitting here making a piece of jewelry while "listening" to the TV I wondered "why is it that the TV has to be on for me to chat on my laptop, or work on a project?". I mean, its not like I have to have the TV on to work at work... So why does it have to be on when I work at home? I would sit in the same seat, and do the same stuff, but why not listen to music instead?

It boils down to this... while I would love to be able to live TV free... toss them all out like my bloggy friend MckMama did - and I mean really, I wish I could seriously cut the cord, toss 'em out, call it quits, divorce myself from my addiction...


I am a junky!

How about you?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Rewarding or spirit breaking?

That is the question I ask myself today as I sit behind the desk of my thankless NFP job (I have two other NFP jobs that are done behind this desk, but the one that pays me is the one I am ready to run away from).

I love(d) my job with passion and feverence. Until probably last month. Now it is a thorn in my already painful side. It has become a battle ground of sorts.

  • There is the ever so recently frequent jabs from the Board Member who doesn't realize that while I do not get paid for a large portion of the hours I work because they insist that I keep something unncessary in my budget (something that most of my members don't want in my budget - but you know, they are just the people that matter!) that prevents this wonderous thing called a full time salary from happening - even though you expect me to put in full time hours.

  • There is the grant I wrote that used up about 3,754 hours of unpaid time away from my family that consequentially WON AN AWARD for my community (thank you very much - now back off!) that carries a small cash bonus for which there is 1 group out of the 20 organizations I talked about that is insisting that they should get the money because they are the reason we won the award... Um, ok. I don't think that you single handedly made this community a wonderful place to live and breathe - what about the other 4,795 people who live here, and what about those other 19 organizations. Besides, your group just started, so tell me how you got us to where we are today? Just sayin.

  • There is the lack of benny's which is eating away at me because of my recent health issues, and because my husbands line of work rely's on the oil market - for which he was most recently about $ .25 (diesel prices) away from not having a job - hence no insurance.

There are so many things about all three jobs that I love, that reward me tenfold, and make me extremely proud of my accomplishments. But the one that pays me is wearing me down. And in the economy we are living in, I don't see a lot of stability in it any longer. I already have members saying they may have to drop out next year because of cost cutting.

So it is rewarding enough to stay? Or is it breaking my spirit and giving me reasons to finally say "uncle"? That is the question I ask myself today as I sit behind the desk of one of my thankless NFP jobs...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Was that the left you said?

Because I am almost certain that it is the right that is causing the problem right now.

RRRRRrrrrrrrrrttttttttttttttttttt. Stop the bus baby because I am really about to lose it.

I am hoping that I am wrong, but in the case I am not, I have placed a call to my Urologist's service to ask him to look again at the KUB he took last week and have him quadruple check.

I know the left kidney still hurts, I mean DUH, there is still a 8mm x 3mm stone. But I would nearly swear that what I am feeling on the right side is not Fibro pain. Its just too plain ol' deep to be fibro.

Lets face it, the damage has been done, and the fact that he keeps bringing up "if we keep messing with it, we could lose the kidney" when discussing the current status of lefty, makes me become an over protective mama to righty.

Another day in the life of chronic pain. You just never know if it is "normal" or not.

Monday, August 4, 2008

A new drug calls for new prayers

My pal J from over at My Charming Kids, is getting ready to embark on a new drug that will hopefully save her unborn baby's heart, but carries great risk for hers. Many of us have prayed hard for her, but in a time when they are entering yet another great unknown, I ask once again to think of them today and maybe say a prayer or two for this amazing mom and her baby boy Stellan!

Thank you!

PS: if you want to add her prayer button to your side bar, please visit here to get the code.

A fragment of my imagination

Its driving me crazy. I go from thinking maybe it will pass and I will be ok, to nearly biting through my lip as the pain intensifies. And yet I hold out because I dont want to start this circus act all over again. I mean really - who wants to subject themselves to the things I have subjected myself to the past 3 weeks.

On a lighter note, peanut butter toast for nearly two weeks made all of my work pants a little more comfortable as I strapped them on to rejoin the land of the working hard for their money.

And if the vegan diet goes as my doctors plans, soon enough I will trade this tent for something a little bit smaller.

Friday, August 1, 2008

I like pink

But this may taking it to the extreme.

I have to give props to the lady who drives this (of course when in the sun my camera will not capture the true color - we tried 4 or 5 times).

We looked up her business when we got back to the hotel. We are 99% sure this is who we saw get out of said spectical. I have decided that were we to move back to the Cities, she may just get our business, you know, because she is brave enough to drive a hot pink car! :)

On a sad note...

Today is the one year anniversary of the 35W bridge collapse. We don't live up here any longer, but I grew up in the cities, and travelled that section frequently throughout my life.

I was remembering that day as we arrived, and remembered the panic I felt when my friend Dayna called me from CA to ask if we were watching the news (which we were not). I called everyone I could think of, especially those who worked downtown to be sure they arrived home safely.

That same day, my step father Bruce had heart surgery at the hospital that most of the victims were being rushed to. We lost him a few months later.

We wish peace for those who fell victim, and for their families.