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April 30, 2010

R.I.P. "Ollie" the Otter...

A sad thing happened the other day. E's most favorite stuffed animal, Ollie the Otter, died. Our neighbor's dog (who has serious aggressive tendencies towards anything of the "stuffed" variety...most likely due to his not being breast-fed, I'm sure) managed to decapitate poor Ollie while E looked on helplessly. I managed to salvage the body, but well, see for yourself (warning: graphic images are displayed).
Here is a "whole" Ollie with E when we first adopted him from the aquarium:

And here is what is left of him (I roughly artistically drew in where his head once was, since one is basically unrecognizable without a head):

Our wonderful neighbor, Barbara, felt really bad about the situation and gave Ollie the world's first Otter face transplant (buttons for eyes).  It looks bizarre though, so another trip to the aquarium for a new "Ollie" is most likely in order.

By the way, word to the wise, don't ever throw the head of a decapitated favorite stuffed animal in the trash right in front of your child, they kind of go ballistic and are probably scarred for life.  Woops.

April 25, 2010

"Mealtime Makeovers"

Tom and I have been just completed the 13-week "Financial Peace University" by Dave Ramsey (to clarify, Tom attended the classes and brought the info back to me, and I stayed home to watch the kids). Very enlightening and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to live a debt-free life and not be controlled by credit cards and banks (which never have, and never will, look out for your best interest).  I look forward to the day when we don't exist according to FICO. :)

Anyway, through these classes we found out about this amazing website called E-mealz: mealtime makeover.  Quoting from the website:

"Each meal plan is only $1.25 per week and represents many hours of recipe and menu planning, price shopping, and recipe testing. All of these plans are designed with your whole family in mind, even the specialty plans created for weight management... and now we also have plans for just two people!"

Awesome, right?  Basically, for a small fee ($5/month), meals, recipes, and grocery lists are compiled based on where you shop or even if you are on a special diet.  This is especially great for those who cannot get their act together to plan meals on their own (ie, moi).  Sale items for the week are also incorporated into the meal plans so saving money is a huge perk. 
Knowing how stressful life can get, I thought sharing this little nugget of info could help other harried mothers out there.

April 23, 2010

She said it best...

 *UPDATE:  I rejoined the land of Facebook, if only so that people are not thinking I "de-friended" them.  I will, however, keep my use of it to a bare minimum...

Since I am no longer facebooking, I find I have time to stalk blogs again. This is important to me because often I am quite simply inspired by what my sisters in Christ are ruminating on, even though I may not know them from Eve.  This lady recently talked about "Designer babies, designer God" where her honesty and forthrightness is refreshing, especially in these times of tolerance and political-correctness (and dare I say, selfishness?!).  Then, in light of yesterday's post, I found this on the (in)courage website, which made me weep.  I'm glad I am not alone.

April 22, 2010

Rainy Day Doldrums

It's been raining for 2 days straight now.  I am not a cloudy day person, I need my sun!  Plus, I've been in a bit of a slump lately.  I'm not sure why sometimes it seems nothing is going right and life is just plain hard.  I believe this is a valley, Biblically speaking.  C has been struggling at school again, just after having weeks of mostly great days.  It could be due to the approach of summer and the end of school since it seems all students seem to catch a form of "senior-itis", regardless of grade.  I just don't know and he really can't communicate what prompts him to act out, so we are at a loss here.  What makes it frustrating is the fact that he has already been held back a year and we just don't have that option going forward...he has to start kindergarten sometime!  This is where faith comes in, and I just need to trust God that all will work out in the end....which is hard to do when in a valley. *sigh*

I also am realizing just what "terrible two's" means.  That phrase does not do it justice.  It should be the "demonic two's"  or "psycho two's", seriously.  How a child can sit in one spot, having nothing change around her, and run the gamut of happy, sad, mad, and furious (in under a minute) confounds me.  All I can do is stare at her and wait for the next wave to hit.  I've quit trying to figure out how to appease her (perhaps this is how Tom feels with me from time to dum dum) and just pray that this goes as quickly as it came.

Then there is this restlessness bubbling up inside of me.  Over the years, whenever I've felt this way, I would make a dramatic change.  I would either move, quit my job, or cut my hair in some dramatic fashion.  But now, now I feel trapped.  I can't just up and move, I have a family it would impact.  Tom's business is here so leaving Colorado is not an option...ever.  We can't sell our house and buy a bigger one until we have finances better controlled and our house actually has some equity.  I have no job to quit and, even though I've been dusting off my resume, there are barely any kitchen design opportunities out there right now.  I could cut my hair, but I have yet (in the 6.5 years I've lived here) to find someone I trust to cut my hair that dramatically.  So, I'm trapped.  I want to search for another church, but Tom is pretty much dedicated to the one we attend and the kids seem to like it well enough.  I'm not happy there, but I'm only 25% of the vote.  I'm sure this is just part of the doldrums, but I am frustrated with attending churches where the senior pastor has just left.  I seem to somehow get stuck in the tractor beam of  those churches, as this is literally the fourth church in like 10 years where there is major upheaval.  Over it!

So, I am going to dedicate this summer to ME.  I am going to not focus on anything but getting my poo together and making some serious changes.  I quit facebook since it literally wastes too much time and frankly gets a bit annoying.  I am going to play & exercise outside more, finally get serious about dieting, and focus on how to be a Godly wife and mother.  Hopefully doing those few things will make it a productive summer and allow me to find pleasure and satisfaction in the things I cannot change.  We'll see.  I'll keep you posted. ;)

April 1, 2010

Tough week...

Not feeling super chipper so I'll just jump in to why it was a tough week.  We had a couple of doctor appointments for both the kids to pinpoint some developmental issues that we've noticed.  For C, it has been issues with his speech.  As I mentioned in our Christmas Letter, we had him evaluated last fall to see if he was suffering from any developmental delays.  The conclusion was that he needed speech therapy.  We recently took him to a new dentist who noticed that his new upper and lower teeth were not meeting correctly in the front, which leaves a big gap when his mouth is closed.  He recommended we see an orthodontist to possibly get started on remedying that.  We went to the orthodontist this past Tuesday and found that C has an "over-active" tongue that tends to protrude through the opening while speaking (ie, tongue thrust).  This is leading to a lisp and an inability to pronounce certain letter sounds properly.  It's almost like his tongue gets in the way of his speaking sometimes, if that makes any sense.  Since most kids have their speech patterns pretty much down by 7 years of age, we are under the gun to help C work on this.  The direction going forward is to get him some speech therapy this summer and in 6 months go back to the orthodontist to see how his teeth are coming in.  If there is still a large gap, C may need some sort of tongue suppressor to help keep his tongue in place and allow the teeth to develop properly.  We'll see.  For now I have exercises that he can do to help train his tongue to go to the roof of his mouth.  He loves this training as it uses Lifesavers candies. :)

For E, her developmental issues have to do with her lower extremities.  For some time now I've noticed that her toes point inward when she walks and she is a bit bow-legged.  This was not a major concern until I noticed that she runs rather stiffly and lacks the flexibility that her peers have at this age (21 months).  We took her to see an orthopedist at the Children's Hospital yesterday.  Sure enough, she is a bit bow-legged, but the doctor seemed to think that she would grow out of it.  She is pigeon-toed as well.  This might be a hereditary thing since Tom's side of the family has also had their fair share of feet that point inward.  Hopefully as she grows this will also become lesser of an issue.  The part that scares me the most has to do with her stiffness in walking and running.  After some observation, the doctor tested her for Babinski's Reflex, which she does have.  She could still grow out of it, but the doctor was not optimistic.  The thing that scares me the most is that it is a neurological disorder and not something that can be treated.  This caught be off-guard, mostly because nerve damage is just not something that ever crossed my mind.  And then, of course, my mind gravitates toward thinking I did something wrong either while she was developing or during her delivery via emergency c-section.  It's hard because everyone dreams of their kids being "normal" and not getting the deck stacked against them right out of the gate.  It's hard to know that E will always have an awkwardness to her stride and probably struggle in sports while other kids progress and get better.  That's not to say she won't find success, it's just that it might be painful for her to pursue anything athletic (except for swimming which, with her projected height, she might be totally awesome at!).  On the flip side, if she has half the intelligence of her Dad or Auntie Erin, she may snub her nose at sports altogether and be some kind of brainiac (Heaven help me).

All said and done, it is what it is.  Nobody is perfect, everyone has a flaw one way or another.  God has graced me with some amazing kids, and they truly are gifts.  In that way, they are perfect.

Have an awesome Easter, and take time to remember the sacrifice of Jesus and God's Amazing Grace to ALL of us.

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