Sunday, June 24, 2012

The middle of the muddle

The past few weeks have been the best of times and the worst of times. I've spent more time resting than I expected to. I am still finding that I can over do it very easily. And my boys test my limits every day. Little B has discovered the water in the door of the fridge- he has caused a not so small flood in the kitchen twice over the past 3  weeks. I moved the fridge both times in order to clean it up. Not too long after moving the fridge I understood why moving the fridge was not an appropriate thing for me to be doing. Poor B also doesn't understand why I can't carry him EVERYWHERE, he is sick and he just wants to be catered too, and it makes me sad that I can't give him love in the way he wants it- but REALLY kid, you weigh 32 pounds and you know how to walk! Isn't holding my hand while you walk enough?

Recently one of my sisters was given a car load of kids costumes, a few of them were much to small for her children- like these little pirate pants (see how they are all tattered on the bottom)- they go along with a black pirate vest which B did wear for a while, but he eventually decided that he was the shirtless type of pirate. On the day I took this picture I had done as much as I could and even though it wasn't a lot, I was tired. And when I am tired I do silly things, so I dressed my child as a pirate- who wouldn't?!?! Baby Pirates are the best for lifting your spirits. :) I'm lucky to have such a cute baby pirate at my beck and call. (I may have mentioned this day in a previous post, close to heaven I think) 

In between surgeries we were able to plant our garden. For the last few years our gardens have been less than bountiful. I decided that we needed to add something to the soil. We have never done anything more than add a little plant food, but I figured that we needed to add some fertilizer or something. Usually we try to get our garden in the week after Mother's day, but this year  we were a little busy that week. There was also a church activity that was all about Square Foot Gardening in the 3rd week of  May, so we waited. I figured I would learn something good about soil additives, and what I learned was that I wanted to try our own version of Square Foot Gardening. We don't have room for raised beds, but I felt the beds we did have were appropriately sized. Ken and I dug out 6 or more inches of the not so great soil in our beds and bought some specially mixed raised bed garden soil and several plants from the IFA and we got down to work.

Here's what we planted, two tomatoes in the hanging topsy turvey things. Butternut Squash, Yellow Squash and a Watermelon (wow, I need to go check what plants we got, I'm having a hard time remembering) I think an Acorn Squash too. We have Onions, an Anaheim pepper and a Bell pepper. 3 more tomato plants and a Fennel. Fennel makes me happy, it reminds me of San Diego where it grows WILD in the canyons. We got some square tomato cages, opened them up and placed them flat against the fence so that the climbing things could climb up them. So far the garden seems happy. Hopefully we will have a bountiful harvest, with lots of Salsa for Ken (and me, I must admit I like our salsa) and lots of squash for little B and me. Yuuuuuummmmm, Squaaaash.

So, for a week or more after the second surgery I suffered from a lack of sleep. For a while it seemed like I had my days and nights confused. I napped on and off all day and had a really hard time sleeping at night. I know I am amazingly lucky because Ken was there for me during this time (in fact after one particularly horrible night, when I just couldn't handle it the next day, Ken came home from work at Noon and took care of me, that man is a SAINT, just saying) and we had so many good friends and neighbors who were helping out with meals that we had plenty of food easily available for me to feed the kids when Ken had to go back to work. There was a Jello Salad that the boys LOVED (strawberry jello with fruit, cottage cheese and cool whip, I think) yes, I think the boys would tell you that those few days, while the jello salad lasted, were wonderful.

One thing I have been able to do quite easily is read with the boys. As part of our bedtime routine we read scripture stories and one or two books. The boys really like it and Ken and I do too. Ken took this picture because of the book I was reading, Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Ken doesn't often request books for the boys from the library, but he got this one, and its sequel. Some day we will own those books. 

So, the past few weeks have not been the best, I'm tired, I hurt, I'm bloated and at times I have wondered if there is something severely wrong with me. Luckily, the Internet can sometimes calm fears. (I know from experience that if you go online and enter your symptoms you are likely to discover that you have cancer, turns out just about any symptom you have could be a sign of cancer- who knew?) So, last week I had several days where I felt fine for an hour or two in the morning, then tired, then sore, then gassy and bloated. At this point I feel like I look about 4 months pregnant. By bedtime I was very sore, it hurt to move, to climb in to bed. The only thing I could compare that feeling too was being days away from delivering a very active baby, the feeling of being bruised inside. I wanted to know if this was normal so I googled. I google a lot. I asked the googleverse (I may have just created that by the way, the googlverse! Get it? Like Universe only with Google on the front! Ha, the things I come up with early in the morning when I can't sleep) so, anyway, I typed in "recovery after exploratory laparotomy" and I found that my symptoms were very normal and that I should expect them for a few more weeks......yay? Well, one of the things recommended was to continue to take it easy, apparently just because I feel good in the morning doesn't mean I should jump right in to my daily routine. Unfortunately my daily routine still has to be done. 

So I muddle along, doing the bare minimum, once again lucky I have Ken who picks up as much slack as he can. I've started to realize that it is not a sign of weakness to ask for help- and if there should ever be another kitchen flood I've promised myself that I will go find a neighbor to move my fridge, no matter how embarrassing I find the current state of my home. I even reached out recently, asking for help cleaning (the morning after moving the fridge after the last flood, I couldn't more without pain). It didn't work, people are really busy on Fridays I guess, but I was proud that I gave up my pride long enough to ask for help (pretty funny huh, proud of being less prideful). Oh well, someday this whole experience will be a memory. Hopefully I will have learned some good lessons and I will remember that I need to be kind to my body when it is healing. It seems to be a hard lesson for me to learn. I'm sure I am not the only one who has a hard time with this type of lesson. 

I feel like I must sound a little bit like Eeyore, and if so, Thanks for listening. I do want to express that yes, it has been hard, harder than I expected, but I've had so many moments when I've been blessed beyond measure that I really can't complain, too much. I hope you have a Happy Sunday! Let's make this next week a great one!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Father's day and More

Ken and I sing in our church choir, it is a somewhat well known fact that if you want to get people out to choir practice you should have treats. Well, since they were holding choir practice on Father's Day I offered to bring Cinnamon Rolls- hoping this would help people want to come to choir. I made a mistake when I was making them, I used a 3/4 cup instead of a 1 cup when I was putting the flour in- I didn't realize this until the next morning when I was making a second batch to prove to my self that I COULD make fabulous cinnamon rolls. The nicknamed the first batch Cinnamon Globs, I made them on Saturday night and let rise in the fridge overnight, the dough seemed a little sticky, but it accepted plenty of cinnamon sugar filling and it rolled with the usual amount of coaxing. Then I turned my back and it became a big flat mess....I cut it and it flattened even more. So I picked it up and tossed the clumps down onto the baking sheet and stuck them in the fridge. They ended up tasting quite good the next morning and no one at choir complained about eating Cinnamon Globs. As I said, I made a second batch on father's day morning, this time recognizing what I had done wrong, I was able to make my most perfect cinnamon rolls to date. :)
My day lilies bloomed just in time for Father's day :)
Little B had a 104 degree fever on Father's Day, so he and I stayed home from the first part of church and Ken and J went to church because J and all the other children were going to serenade their fathers. Here they are- dressed alike and everything, my two big boys!
B's fever lasted for 2 days and then he got a rash, it wasn't on his palms or the soles of his feet it was all over his legs, I took him to the doctor because it was an itchy rash and I just didn't know what it was. Hand Foot and Mouth! His poor little throat was so covered in rash that it was bleeding. His legs were also covered in rash, the doctor said he had only seen that kind of presentation of Hand, Foot and Mouth 5 of 6 times before. The next day B had the rash on his arms and ears. He enjoyed eating Popsicles.
lots and lots of Popsicles, B lost his appetite for about 4 days- Don't worry, he still weighs over 30 pounds, he survived his painful fast quite well. J didn't mind the Popsicles either.

J likes to help his Daddy water the Tomatoes. I got a couple Topsy Turvey Planters at a local store for $2.99 and we decided to try them out. We pretty much killed the tomatoes. The instructions say that you should give each plant 1 gallon of water right when you plant them, but it didn't say you needed to give them 1 gallon per day, so we just gave them a few cups of water...........they got brown and shriveled up and we decided they needed more water. One plant has started to grow again, nice green leaves. There is no hope for the second plant. We do have a nice garden this year, more on that in another post.
AND to top off the week of Father's day, We are dog sitting. This is Tilly, She loves me and tolerates the men in the house. Her people had a death in the family and had to leave quickly to be with their Sister/Aunt in Texas, so we have taken Tilly in. She doesn't smell, who knows, maybe we will get a dog. P.S. Ken didn't know we were dog sitting until he got home from work on Thursday Night. It was one of those "Don't Kill me.....but we have a dog for a few days" kind of moments. The good news is, he didn't kill me!

Preparing for the Future

J has been OBSESSED with the Sacrament for a while now. At church he used to get every hymn book he could find, put them in a line and call it his Sacrament Table, then when it was time for the Priesthood to bless and pass the Sacrament to the congregation, he would copy them, pretending to prepare it, bless it and then pass his imaginary bread and water to anyone who happened to be sitting near by. 

A few weeks ago he played Sacrament at home. pulling my piano bench into the kitchen, preparing cups of water and tearing a few pieces of bread into tiny little pieces.
Then he called his brother over to participate, covered it all up......
knelt down and blessed it.....(I hope B is this happy the first time he actually gets to pass the Sacrament at church, I just love the look of delight on his face)
Then he continued on, mimicking every detail he could remember.
So I try to remember, he may have his moments when he is loud and boisterous during church, BUT he is paying attention and he seems to know what the most important thing we do there is. I am grateful for these boys of mine. They are good boys.

My Little Olympian

J has started his sports career. I remember asking Ken once about what sports he thought our children should play. Soccer......was the one sport he didn't want them to play- if I remember correctly he had played it and didn't enjoy it. Well, we have enough 4 & 5 year old kids in our neighborhood that a soccer league was formed, it cost a whopping $8 (maybe less) and so we signed J up. 

This is basically what it looks like when J plays soccer. There is a lot of standing around.
There are 5 or 6 kids on each team, here's a few from J's team, I think they are the cutest of all the teams, and cuteness is what counts, right?

J's next big foray into the world of sports was his very first "Kid Race". Since I started running races J has asked to run a "kid race". He would tell me how he was going to run so fast and he would beat everybody. Well on Halloween I signed up for the Utah Valley Half Marathon and they offered a free Kids 1K, so I signed J up. As you may know, stuff happened to me between the time I signed up for that Half Marathon and when it actually occurred on June 9th. In fact the first thing- my sprained ankle- happened just hours after I registered. In January I discovered how painful runners knee can be and then I was blessed with the experience of having 3 Surgeries in 7 weeks! I am one lucky gal, so I deferred my registration to 2013- it would have cost $10 to defer J's race and since it was free I figured we would let him run it.

So we went down to Provo, lost J in the crowd for a few minutes (apparently he felt the call of nature and hightailed it to a row of Porta-potties) Talk about heart attack......
We slowly made our way to the start of the 1k, I must admit, I felt jealousy, seeing all of those runners who had finished a Half or Full Marathon, oh how I wished I had run with them.

J found a Giant Panda, .......
Gave his running partner an encouraging hug,.......
did some stretches,......
and some more stretches.......
and then waited, directly under the start sign.
A 1K is about 2/3rds of a mile. Ken and J ran it together, holding hands for most of the race. Ken said that about half way through J stopped and asked if Ken would carry him. Nope, they walked a little, then ran the rest of the race. I cried a little when my boys crossed the finish line.
And here he is, my little Champion! He had told us that he was going to pass everybody, he discovered that lots of people run really really fast, but like his mom, he trudged on and FINISHED!
B was pretty happy with his reward for being the best cheering section a kid race has ever seen!
And that is the story of My Little Olympian! I'm pretty sure I will cry every time he finishes a race, no matter what kind of race it may be. I love that boy.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Best Place in the World

I've been pondering how amazing my neighborhood and church congregation are. On Thursday I had surgery and ended up staying in the hospital for a day and a half. My children were loved and cared for on Thursday. In fact one of our neighbors showed up at our house at 5 AM so we wouldn't have to wake the boys up. We thought we might be home around Noon, 2 PM at the latest, but things are never as easy they could be, and the  surgeons ended up needing to preform a Laparotomy. Happily, they were successful, but since they had to cut me wide open and  move stuff around a bit, they decided that it would be best to have me stay over night. I think it was late afternoon when Ken headed home to get the boys, feed them and then bring them back to visit me.

I missed my boys. I had hoped that they had been good at their respective sitters houses, I hoped that they knew how much I love them. I really didn't need to worry. You see, I live in an amazing place. It's a very young place, town homes and single family homes and apartments full of young families. When I knew that I would be having this surgery I got on Facebook and asked on our church group board there if anyone was willing to help watch the boys- I found people to help. Then when I found out that my surgery had been rescheduled I realized that one of the people who had offered to help would no longer be able to, and so I got back on there and begged once more. It wasn't long before I knew who would be watching my boys, and they were willing even though it turned out to be an amazingly early morning for one of them. I also had neighbors offer to bring dinner to my family, and I knew that on Thursday when Ken returned home with the boys there would be a warm meal ready for them to eat. I knew that sometime between 5 and 6 on Friday and Saturday another warm meal would be delivered. I didn't expect that we would continue to have meals delivered on Sunday. In fact on Sunday we had a warm meal delivered for dinner- a homemade ready to heat and eat meal delivered for us to eat on Monday AND a box full of frozen meals (5 or more- it was a big box) delivered. I've known for a while that we have amazing neighbors but I hadn't realized they were Angels. I don't really feel deserving of it all, but I've had several people tell me that sometimes the biggest blessing comes to those who serve and sacrifice for others. I hope all those people who have served and prayed for and taken care of our family are blessed beyond measure.
Between Ken, and my family and our neighbors I am still being very well cared for- today is day 7 post surgery and I am still struggling a bit. I still hurt and I have no energy and yet I have trouble sleeping. I feel like a little baby who has their days and nights mixed up- Eventually, eventually I will be all better. I hope I never forget that I live in the best place in the world, and I hope someday I can help others feel the same way.