Thursday, October 29, 2009

Unconventional Remedy

**Edited to add we just heard from the surgeon's office. It is scheduled for November 12th. Sean will be on vacation from work that week so it's a huge answer to prayer!

Sometimes there isn't time to find the "best" solution to a problem. Sometimes there's just a solution. And sometimes you look back on pictures and laugh at what you did and find yourself thankful that nobody got hurt.

Joy can roll now, which is way faster than my other kids did this. You can't just lay her on the couch anymore for a quick highchair switcharoo (taking Charlie out and putting her in,) and there wasn't a device to put her in nearby so I just put her in the laundry basket on the couch. Nobody call CPS please. Great thanks.

I just got back from taking Ty to MDO and his class pictures were ready. Here's his picture.

The single best picture, (smile-wise) he's ever taken. A proud momma moment.

You should see the class picture. That poor photographer. Can you imagine trying to get 17 3 year-olds to look the same direction and smile? I'm going to get one of his whole class just because it's his first "school" picture. If it didn't violate all kinds of privacy and maybe laws I'd put it here so you could share in the moment with me.

A laughing moment, that is.

Charlie, Joy, and I have big plans to wait on a delivery of absolutely no significance and squeeze in some Elmo worship and naps. Y'all have a great Thursday!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My Pumpkins...minus the smallest one

Since Sean was sick last week and I'm not one to add drama when it's possible to avoid it, (ha) I waited until last night to ask him about the pictures he took at the Arboretum. He had already uploaded them-who knew?

Not me, of course. Otherwise I'd have already posted them. Does he not think this was important information for me to know?


Now remember this was the first full day of Nutrisystem. I was so hungry I could have easily eaten one of those pumpkins. And you can tell in this one I'm physically forcing Ty to sit beside me.
Here is our little picnic blanket (by little I mean I was the one who picked this blanket...does it look like two adults and two kids could all sit and eat on this?) Great choice Mary. And that is why Sean is usually in charge of packing the car.
This was my first lunch out of a box/paper cup in public! I'm getting used to people seeing me eat out of them now but that first week was interesting. To my credit I did remember utensils on this trip. That's not always the case. Some of the lunches on the plan just require boiling water so I took a thermos of boiling water with us and it worked! Our little soups were great and I took salads and fruit with us in the stroller. Viola! Lunch or something like it.
Oh love. Love them. Love that Charlie has started wrinkling her nose when she laughs.
Look how big her hands look! She has tiny little hands like her momma. They look almost normal in these pictures. Cool.
She kept saying ,"No okay," trying to hand the pumpkins back to me.
This is Ty's new shy face. When he tries to stop smiling it ends up looking like this and I think it's really cute. Of course I do, he's my kid. He also looks just like my brother in these pictures. Those of you who know Graham will agree!

It was a fun day and a great distraction since those first two days were spent dreaming of food. We've had a string of nasty days around here, (rain, cold, dreary,) looking at these pictures and remembering the weather that day makes me smile.

And we aren't hungry anymore! If we had a scale I'd tell you if we've lost any actual weight yet but I'll have to base it on clothes...and they are fitting better already. The jeans are a huge (non-stretchy) way to tell so what we lack in guacamole and chips we make up for in excitement that the plan is working. Stay tuned.

Want to hear some very sweet news? Go read this post and if you don't know about this family, take some time and read about them. You won't be sorry.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Thank you notes

Dear Nutrisystem,

Thank you for giving me the ability to dry my jeans again. I haven't felt free to dry my blue jeans in years because you know, they shrink a little when you dry them. I just pulled a pair out of the dryer and put them on and they fit. Like not-too-tight fit. It's a miracle.

Thank you for allowing me these six almonds as part of my morning snack. I also got to eat these beauties that were cooking on my stove a mere twenty minutes ago.
Cinnamon apples. They made the whole house smell good and I'm actually full after eating them. I feel a little like SouleMama making them this way but I'm sure she would take the peel off first with a special little gadget she has. I don't have one of those. Maybe since I'm making Joy's baby food I can ask for one for Christmas and people won't laugh at me for wanting it.

Dear Target,

Thank you for giving us a glimpse into the world of tights. I started with you, Target, because of the price tag on these tights. You can't beat $2.99 to add a little diva to your day. As I was wrangling Charlie to put them on her she looked down, smiled, and said, "Cute!" I think I gotta start watching what I say to her or she's gonna really turn into a diva. See her little denim skirt? I found that when she was about two weeks old at Old Navy for $4.99. I knew she'd wear it one day and sho'nuff the day has arrived.

Dear Lansinoh,

Thank you for your fabulous nursing pads. Even after weaning Joy I find them useful for when I need a coaster handy. I have them stashed all over my house and inevitably when I have a drink and need to put it down I just open the nearest drawer and there they are! I plowed through about 59 boxes of your nursing pads over the last three years and now I'll never buy a box again. It was a good run and I'm not kidding about using them for coasters. Not when people are coming over of course. I will surely be sad the day I run out.

Okay thank you and the end.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Say what

You mean to tell me we still don't know when my surgery is yet? What is wrong with those doctor people? Momma says we should hear soon but I'm getting impatient!

We had a fun weekend around here minus Daddy coming home from his trip early because he was sick. I got to see Nattie and Emmy in short spurts and momma said this next weekend is Halloween and I'm gonna be super cute in my Boots costume. I'm gonna be Boots and Charlie is gonna be Dora. Brother is gonna be Diego. We'll be one big happy family.

Sure hope you had a good weekend.

Peace out.


Saturday, October 24, 2009




Thursday, October 22, 2009

Virtual shopping trip

When the kids are all busy eating and I normally, (pre-diet,) would be too, I have started browsing the internet for cutesy girl things that I'll never really buy them. For some reason it's still fun to look and if I'm busy doing this then I won't think about what I would be eating if I hadn't committed to this diet. Today I thought I'd share what I found instead of just marking it in my brain and then going on about the day. Maybe one of you will get some of these things for the little girls in your life. Someone should buy this stuff!

Check out this little friend.

If you're not into bright cute colors, maybe this. If you're not into bright cute colors what is wrong with you?

I'll take a pair of these.

One can't have a bad day or a fit wearing pants that are that happy.

Maybe because I don't have blue eyes, I think my girls' eyes are so pretty when they wear something blue. Dear Santa, instead of PJ's that they actually need/use, will you get them each this dress please? It won't let me link to the blue one but you can see it if you click on the blue square. Yes Santa, the blue one. Thank you.

And they both need a pair of these. It is a true need, not just a "momma wants us to have matching camo squeaky shoes" kind of frivolous thing.

And for Christmas, this, even though I'm not at all for sweaters on babies because they're usually so dang hard to put on them. I can just now put them on Charlie without sweating. Look, it has a matching skirt. Around these parts we'd call that a tutu.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I'll take my avocado with a side of mexican food please

I know you're all pins and needles waiting to hear about the diet. I would be too. Diets are intriguing and the fools I mean people who sign up for them are worth studying a little bit. Count us as the fools who signed on and if what I've heard is true--that the first 48 hours are the hardest--then we're almost in the home stretch. I've heard those are the hardest because the majority of people are used to consuming more food than most diets allow and I'm here to tell you that is absolutely right.

The food itself is not bad at all. It is in fact tasty now. Of course, so are carrots at this point. Celery even. Just now for a "free" snack, I had almost a whole cucumber and three celery sticks. These are the days of filling up on free stuff until our stomachs shrink and we are making the most of it. I had half an avocado with my lunch and it was fantastic. Just salt and pepper on it and I felt like I was eating prime rib. It did make me long for some chips a little bit so I just ate another stick of celery and that totally satisfied me. I'm sure you know I'm kidding.

So far I'd recommend the program if you can do it. Cost-wise we will break even. We have used a cash budget for about two years now and so I know exactly how much I spend on groceries which helps. Since the kids don't eat what we eat, (we've tried and given in...I'm no parenting expert,) the food they eat is not expensive. Your basic mac-n-cheese, chicken nuggets, apples, etc...that's what they eat. To save on the produce that we eat on Nutrisystem, I have been going to Sprouts and barely spending anything at all. Where we might actually save money is that Sean eats out when he is on trips. Well he used to eat out every meal but now he will take the prepackaged food and just order a salad at restaurants. Bless his heart. At least I just eat my little half-cup serving of food in front of the children. He will be eating it with the guy he's flying with and that guy will likely be eating something really tasty. Pray for Sean and his resolve.

I'm kidding. We don't need prayer for that. He can be like a snapping turtle when he sets his mind to something. It's me who will need help in the accountability/will power department. Okay enough about our new found method of eating.

Yesterday we went to the Arboretum along with about 36,000 other people and took pictures of the kids. It was the busiest I've ever seen the place because it was a pretty day sandwiched in between gloomy rainy days around here. Just typing sandwiched made me hungry. Bless my heart. I could really go for a grilled cheese right now.

Here's a sneak peak at the Arboretum pictures.

By sneak peak I mean the pictures I took with my camera and the real ones that Sean took with his fancy camera will show up here sometime in the future. His will be light years ahead of mine quality-wise. But then, you already knew that.

Since we are total suckers for free babysitting we left Joy with Mimi so she could have a good morning nap. Even though it was just the big kids we were constantly pulling them off the pumpkins, (apparently that's frowned upon by the Arboretum volunteers, who knew,) and sanitizing their hands. I'm on the paranoid side of things since they haven't had their swine flu shots yet and with Charlie having her lung issues and then Joy having hers, I'm being more careful than usual. I know they'll probably all get it anyway but it won't be for lack of effort on my part.

When did I turn into a pessimist?


Go enjoy an avocado and even enjoy some chips while you're at it. Just don't tell me how good it tastes. Remember I'm not in the home stretch yet.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Nutrisystem kickoff party

The boxes have arrived. The pantry has been cleaned out. The time has come. Goodbye fajitas. Goodbye chips and queso. Goodbye "cancakes," as Charlie calls them.

Hello Nutrisystem.

This was my dinner. Cheese and spinach manicotti. Oh and a HUGE salad. Because salad is a free food and all.

Yeppers today was the day to start our new life where smaller pairs of pants motivate us to eat vegetables that I can't even spell and never knew where to buy before now. It was great. It wasn't even hard. We feel smaller already.

And it is day one.

Instead of dwelling on the package of chips we threw away today I got to focus on the package that came in the mail. It was addressed to me and Joy so naturally I opened it for us. Look what was inside.
A baby!

That was a joke if you're new here. This is my baby that I came by fair and square with months of morning sickness and dessert-free meals. And I love her. Look at her little legs chunking out since we started eating big-girl food!

She's sporting a new onesie that my sweet cousin Brooke sent her. See the little birdie? Isn't that the cutest? Ahem and even though I didn't ask for permission to advertise for her, she makes these. In case you missed the link, check out her blog. I don't think she sells them from her blog but shoot her a message if you want one!
And it doesn't get cuter than these, does it? There's one to show her support for Max, birds, and her Daddy. I can hardly wait to put the airplane one on her and take her somewhere. Cute cute cute.

Thanks Brooke! Consider this my thank-you note.

I'm kidding.

I'll write you a real one.

So without sharing our starting weight(s) with you, (I'd be fine to do it but Sean said, "Really, Mary, we're doing this because I'm ready to lose weight so let's not dwell on what we weigh now...") Whatever. Details.

I'll be sure to let you know how it's going along the way. If I don't mention it that just means I'm a little sad to say goodbye to all of the glorious food that I'm imagining you are eating. Enjoy.

Anyone tried Nutrisystem? Got any pointers for me?

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Technically it was homecoming weekend in my hometown so my brother and his little family were here. Technically I didn't attend any festivities for homecoming but I did introduce the kids to things I did when I was growing up.
At Nattie and Popeye's house, we went in wagons often because they live in the country. And I'm sure that we ate things like pretzels directly out of the bag like Ty is doing. Charlie was learning to say, "pumpkin," and showing us where it was. I didn't get a picture of mom's pumpkin patch but she has a pumpkin patch this year. There is only one pumpkin but it counts.
Growing up we lounged on chairs and looked out at the lake a lot. This totally suits Charlie's personality. This picture just sums her up. Relaxing, watching for birds and ducks, and making sure she always has a necklace on.
The main milestone we reached this weekend was the first boat ride. I thought my kids might be afraid of it but fear was nowhere to be found. Maybe a good healthy fear would have been nice, helpful even. Ty and Charlie both just loved it and my nephew Henry, who has already been on the boat before, showed them the ropes.
Look. Mom and Dad have gotten all the kids their own life jackets. Safety first. Notice none of the adults have one on :)
That's Henry right in front of me. He's hysterical. I wish I had gotten a video of him. Kids are so different so I'm always fascinated by the differences in my own but then to add another cousin and watch him talk and interact it's just so funny.
Aunt Emmy held onto Joy for most of the trip. She liked it too--the only problem as far as she was concerned was the wind. Still, she never fussed, just kind of turned away from it.
Ty, Emmy, Joy, Popeye, Graham, Henry, and Charlie. Mom took all of these pictures so of course she wasn't in them.
Ty was mesmerized by the water. He'd notice the ducks and birds but mostly he just studied the waves and talked about the water. I am so glad he wasn't afraid of the boat!
Joy ate her dinner on the water. Isn't that little mini life jacket hilarious?

Thank y'all so much for the support and encouragement after my last post. It's sinking in that this little one will have surgery soon and the details surrounding it are coming to mind.

Even though it is not ideal and something that we are of course not looking forward to, we have peace about it. God is so faithful to give us what we need.

And so are Nattie and Popeye.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Just got home from the surgeon's office and it's good and bad news. The good news is that he said he's never done a surgery like this that turned out poorly. The bad news is that he's adding her to his list of surgical patients sooner than later.

Sooner like next month sooner.

It's fine. We are fine. In a way the silver lining is that since we've met our deductible for this year the surgery won't be as incredibly expensive as it would be otherwise. The other good news is that he said she will not suffer some of the possible side effects of having weird uninvited guests in her chest because it will be gone after surgery.

Oh and big news: he thinks it might not even be CCAM, but another condition called Pulmonary Sequestration. It's basically the same treatment--He will use a scope to figure out exactly what it is and then if it's CCAM he will remove it with a small instrument and that'll be it. If it's the Pulmonary thing he will have to make an incision on her left side about an inch and a half long and remove it. He said either way it's major surgery but it's not anything he's worried about.

Whew. That makes me feel better.

Really it does.

You want your child's surgeon to be super confident, right? Even arrogant is fine with me!

I forgot to ask so many questions and when I talked to Sean (he was on a break in Atlanta which was awesome!) he of course thought of everything I meant to ask. The main question was the size of the mass. It's about 5 cm in diameter, which is much bigger than what we thought. Because I had to get his nurse to pull him out of another patients' room he sat for a few minutes and talked with me some more and then gave me copies of the reports in her file.

Trying to translate Chinese suddenly seems pretty easy compared to that.


We weren't sure where he will do the surgery but he told us today it will be at Medical City in Dallas and it should take 2-4 hours. Then recovery will be two days in the hospital and three more days at home before she feels "normal." All of this was good to find out and after meeting with him we feel better, more informed. Now we know what's coming and we can pray accordingly.

Gotta run but that's the update. We will set it up next week and get the ball rolling.
Thanks for praying!

CCAM Up Close and Personal...Again

During Joy's pregnancy, (Or was it my pregnancy with her??) I posted this picture to help y'all understand what I was talking about when I said something about the cysts/tumor in her left lung. I thought I'd show you again what her lung used to look like. I know it looks like mashed potatoes but in this picture, she was obviously still in the belly, (duh) facing down and her head is on the right side. You can see her spine across the top of the picture and then the outlined almost square thing is the tumor. The black dots within the square thing are separate cysts.

Does that help? Nod if you're with me.

I'll pretend you're nodding.

I'm showing this because today (appt. is at 2:30) I will meet with the surgeon to look at the CT scan results and see what her lung and the unwanted guests in it look like. I think based on what the nurse told me we're talking about a small guest/party of guests. At least one guest but she wouldn't tell me specifics. Do you wish I'd stop referring to the tumor as a guest?

Sitting in my BSF small group Wednesday morning--which is going really well by the way--I've learned a ton already and while waking up early enough to milk the cows (that we don't have,) and driving and feeding/changing everyone is a major pain I'm learning too much to stop. Anyway, while sitting in my group we talked about instances where we have tested God and asked Him to prove Himself. I told my group more about Joy and how the last year has given me opportunities to ask for people to pray for her and see God answer those prayers. The events surrounding Joy's birth have also given us chances to test Him and His healing ability.

I shared that because Joy is here and doing well, I have never questioned why He didn't take the tumor away completely. I'm not sure if I can give a good answer for why, (I've certainly questioned Him plenty of times about other things,) but from day one I knew that He wanted her here. It was a joke early on, "I guess God wanted us to have another baby because things don't add up..." and when we learned about her condition it was ever present in our minds. He wanted her here. We didn't know why exactly, though we loved her and still do, but having another baby when we did wasn't our idea. He wanted and wants her here so whatever that looks like is fine with us.

Not that I didn't complain or wonder why He allowed something like what she has into her little body. Not that I didn't wonder why He revealed it the same day Sean was getting Charlie admitted to the hospital with a mysterious blood infection and I couldn't be with them. My mom was with him which helped. Of course we wondered about those things. Why Sean wasn't in the room when I found out, (Emmy was with me so I wasn't by myself,) or why we came so close so many times to having the intrauterine surgery done many months ago only to find out the situation was just okay enough to wait. From week to week we thanked God for answering so many prayers that we could avoid the surgery.

He is no less faithful because there's something still in her lung than He would be had it been gone on the CT scan. He is more aware of our limitations and our true needs than we are and has provided what we needed at every step of this process. He has never turned away or pushed us out into the unknown by ourselves. He has a plan for this whole thing and we're doing what we know how to do to keep trusting Him. And I'm okay with all of that.

Maybe I feel this way because I know I have no choice. Maybe I realize it's in God's hands. Maybe a mixture. I just know in the midst of going in and talking with this man who could very well be putting weird instruments into my baby's body sometime soon I am not afraid of what he will say. And that HAS to be coming from the Lord.

If this post has a point at all, (still up in the air if it does have one,) it's that rather than set up tests for God to prove Himself to you and sit on the sidelines waiting, it's a whole lot easier to just trust Him and move forward. I've done both and the latter is much less time-consuming! Our kids really are from Him. They really are here to glorify Him. Just like we are. When I look at it like that, I stop trying to find "fairness" in what happens. It helps me and I thought if I talk about it it might help you too.

Okay the end. I'll update when I know anything!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

You'll never guess

You'll never guess why Charlie is so thirsty.

Even if I told you she's been jumping in a bounce house inside our house you might not believe me.

Well believe it. Thanks to their older cousins outgrowing this toy, we are proud owners of our very own bounce house.

Is that cool or what!

Just in time for Charlie's birthday party...that I promise to give her since she didn't get one last year. Drink up girl. You're gonna need your energy.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Wear your dancing shoes

Would you like to make Charlie's day? Put on her blue suede (velvet) shoes and let her be. You can turn a frown upside down faster than if you gave her candy. You can buy yourself a few minutes without teething-induced whining and give her something to focus on. The beauty of those shoes is undeniable. They originally cost quite a bit more than the $3.99 I paid for them at a consignment store. Baby Gap was certainly proud of their craftsmanship.

The shoes are pretty but what they stand for is beautiful. To my almost two year-old, they mean dancing freedom. They mean being dressed up like Mommy. They are her first pair of Princess shoes.

I put them on her and just watch her eyes light up. And I'm reminded that on the ho hum days of parenting I might just start wearing some nice shoes around the house to put an extra spring in my step. Join me in pulling out the "too nice for normal days" things and see if the day seems a little more exciting and by all means, dance a little.

Join Chatting at the Sky for Tuesdays Unwrapped. It's a chance to be reminded of the little things that turn into the big things when we stop to observe them more closely. That's my paraphrase...The author does a much better job!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I'm Mary but you can call me Marie

See this look of panic? This is what my face looked like from yesterday afternoon until late last night. Want to know why? I was really tired yesterday morning. I was slightly nauseous and a little dizzy. Like out of the blue, but not bad enough that I thought it was a virus. I know what you're thinking and it's exactly what I was thinking.

Many prayers were said last night asking God what in the world was going on, begging Him to give me a sign. And He did. Sean had a queasy moment himself at the same time and his was a little worse than mine. Thank You Jesus it confirmed that we either had A) a mild virus, B) the swine flu, or C) bad food. Since he felt the same way we ruled out D) baby #4. We ate the exact same thing for lunch in Denton--hand over your heart--a hickory burger from Denton Independent Hamburger Co.--we decided on C and I've breathed a little easier ever since.

Between the hours of 3 and 8 last night, however, I managed to look up "Possibility of pregnancy after tubal ligation," on every medical website. I found out that while rare, it does happen. I found out that it is especially possible when the tubal was done following a c-section. I learned that there's a woman out there who left a comment on one of the websites that had her third baby a year ago and had a tubal done at the same time who is now holding a three week-old baby. Pardon the run-on sentence but it was necessary to convey my level of panic.

On to different topics.

I know we're all breathing a little easier now.

Oh and I did this all in secret because a girl can't throw around information like, "Hey, I feel like I did with all three pregnancies..." A girl can't say things like that when everyone around her pretty much co-signed for the tubes to be tied.

My monkey has been hard at work coloring in her tutu. She makes phone calls in her tutu, colors, eats, and dances in her tutu. The tutu was a good investment. Almost as good as those Color Wonder markers that only make a mark on the special paper.

Thanks to Emmy coming over tonight, Sean and I just got home from our last dinner date for the time being. We're both starting NutriSystem this week and while going out to eat with our prepackaged meals and ordering water does sound fun I think we'll skip going to restaurants to make it easier. I have a goal to share the process with y'all so that if there's anyone else who is interested in the program we can be poster children.

To be clear no one asked us to be poster children I just offered us up for that. Marie Osmond is doing a fine job as spokeswoman, don't you think? She's lost 50 pounds! If I sign up for Dancing with the Stars then I'll be set. No one asked me to do that either. I'm just here, always available, just putting it out there.

I'd totally have time to do the poster child thing and the Dancing thing if I can get the other two kids potty trained. Until then, diapering takes up a lot of time. Oh and I started making Joy baby food. I know, I know, it might not last long but when I saw the price tag on all of the veggies I bought today and all the food it made, I couldn't argue. I made carrots, squash, pears, applesauce, and sweet potatoes for about 4 dollars. Comparing that to the boxes I have in the pantry it's no contest! And she liked everything I gave her today. Who knew??

If only I'd started this with Ty I'd have so many recipes by now. I guess the good news is that if I do become one of the .00001% of the female population who gets pregnant after a tubal I'll be an expert baby food chef. You know how I always try to look at the bright side.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Jaws will drop

Hearts will flutter. Grandmas will cry. Mommies will envy. Big brothers will beam with pride.

Welcome to the world Joshua Andrew Ball. You were born a week ago and are already a keeper. Not that you weren't as soon as you arrived but now that we have all seen you, you are a keeper.
And he's thinking about the day when he will go toe to toe with his big brother.
Isn't he beautiful? In a manly/hunky/masculine way.
There's big brother David sitting with him...and if I had taken these pictures I'd give you a little more background to what was going on but I swiped them off Jennie's website. Yikes. I hope that's legal.
Yes hearts are fluttering and big brothers are beaming and jaws are dropping that Jennie made it to Bible study today, looking fabulous. Our hats are off to you, Jennie!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Flying by the seat(s) of our pants

I learned a great thing recently--if your kid has curly hair and you can keep the shampoo out of their eyes, (quite a feat) using regular shampoo will make things 100 % better in the frizz/knots department. I tried it last night and today Charlie's hair looked so much better! You know I've been having issues with using the Bed Head curling lotion/leave in conditioner my mother-in-law gave me for her hair. You didn't know that? Well maybe I didn't write about it because I'm ashamed I was using it for her. I don't even use Bed Head stuff for my own hair and I'm 30 years old. There's something wrong with spending more to fix your two year-old's hair than your own! I decided either I'm gonna start using it too or I'm gonna figure out a way to wean her hair from it. Here's the problem: it works like magic. It's hair-transforming. It takes a knotted mess and turns it into what I'm sure Rapunzel's hair looked like when she was two.

On that note, didn't you like the video of my girl? She's a hoot.

So I'm experimenting with different shampoos trying to take over the expensive stuff for myself to free Charlie from her devotion to expensive hair products. It's about principle and if my hair benefits from the nicer product so be it. I'm just saying we shouldn't let it go to waste.

I don't have much news really, just abiding by our schedule that I strangely missed last week during the potty training. I used to hate schedules what's wrong with me that suddenly I find myself needing one? Is it just because the days can get pretty long without one? I'm not talking about a rigid plan, just going somewhere with the intent to purchase/eat/get something. Getting out of the house is often my only plan. If that means taking Ty to school then coming home then there it is: a master plan. It gives me something to do. Something to aim for. Do I sound like a planner all of a sudden? Does this always happen once you have children? Anyone? Like for example I used to get irritated when Sean would ask me, "What's your plan for today?" I always felt like he was asking me to do an algebra problem or something. A plan? What's that? Did I have one? Was I supposed to be somewhere? What happened to flying by the seat of your pants?

him: "What's your plan for today?"
me: "What?"
him: "What are you planning for today, you know, what's on your agenda?"
me: "What do you mean? It's just plans really."
him: "You don't have a plan?"
me: "Nope."
him: "How can you not have a plan?"
me: "Security!!" (pronounced SeKerrity)

Have y'all seen that YouTube video? If you don't know what I'm talking about just move on. If you do, is that not hilarious? Yes, yes, it is.


I used to get irritated. I'd tell him about it too. "Stop asking me that! I feel like I have to produce some interesting answer and I don't have one!" He would insist that he was simply asking because he always has a plan. The man always had a plan. Like flying by the seat of your pants never happened to him.

Until I happened to him.

He had some plans there for awhile when Ty was a baby and with each passing month he let them go. I'm so proud I corrupted him.

Like all things in life, bringing one child, no matter the age, into the equation = plans are out the window for the most part. Things get a little less planned and a little more interesting. Not always easier but you bet your life it'll never be boring. In my head I'll plan out what I think the day will be like and then imagine the worst case scenario. I'm not a pessimist really it's just that if you face your fears, (a diaper blowout, forgetting wipes, getting thrown up on while out without a backup outfit for yourself, everybody screaming at once in the car, etc,) then anything short of all of that seems like small potatoes. You want to know my secret for parenting? There it is, friends, feel free to write it down. Assume the worst and you'll always be pleasantly surprised.

Oh I kid.

The great thing about what I'm saying is that I can honestly tell you that I have experienced every one of those fears and we're all still here. We're dare-I-say-it thriving in the midst of it. Things come at us from different directions and we all throw tantrums. Mine are probably the worst out of all of us. But we have a gracious God who gives us what we need. If we ask for more patience, He might give us opportunities to wait so our patience will increase. If we ask for clarity He might close a door right in front of us to make it easy for us to choose our path. If we ask for grace He is already offering it before we finish our sentence. And He loves us.

The way I love Ty even though he pulled multiple hairs out of my head tonight while using my head as a stabilizer while I pulled his pajama bottoms up. The way I love Charlie even when she refuses to eat the apple I spent 7 minutes cutting up for her after she asked for "Appew, Appew." The way I love Joy even when she reverts back to her "I don't like the car so I'll just scream the whole way from Mimi's house to home" days.

Yeah, that's the kind of love He has for us. Only multiply it by a million.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Monday, October 5, 2009

I'd say my kids are doing okay considering they have me as their mother

Oh what a week we had around here! (Last week that is.) I was a little out of it and resorted to posting pictures instead of engaging in conversation for the most part. You probably enjoyed it! Nattie spent the week with us potty training and to keep the update on that short and sweet: Ty is doing really well, an accident every now and then, but he has gone to school and church and been accident-free at both so I'm celebrating: He's well on the path to being potty trained!

Charlie is doing great! And she has a diaper on her bottom at all times.

We punted. Trust me, you would have too. She's back to her happy-go-lucky self and so relieved to be done with her momma singing Happy Birthday 23 times while she sat on the potty and produced nothing. Did I say she's relieved? We are ALL relieved. She's young and has a long life of diapers ahead of her at least until we give it another go.

When? I have no idea. Watching Ty and his comprehension level vs. watching her and her no-comprende level I'd say it'll be a few months at least.

Want to see some pictures? No not of that. Of the week's activities.

This is what Sean did last week. He was in the attic to change the air filters and we heard a loud noise and well, you know the rest. I'm just glad it wasn't me who did it and of course I'm glad he didn't get very hurt. Sore and bruised, yes. Hospital visit needed? No.
This was the view from the 33rd floor of the W hotel, where we went on our in-town, (technically we are in a suburb so it counts as out-of-town,) vacation. It was a perfect getaway because it was within a short driving distance, mom kept the kids at our house, Emmy made a special guest appearance, AND by the time anybody missed anybody we were back home.
The view from our room. Lots and lots of flat land out there and for us natives it still makes for a fantastic view.
The hotel is connected to Victory Plaza, where the American Airlines center is and where Channel 8 films. This was an unexpected highlight of the getaway for both of us because we got to watch them film the 6 o'clock news through the windows and see how the whole process works. Who knew that would interest either one of us?? That's an example of something you do on a trip after you've been married a while vs. honeymooning at an exotic place. Sean took some great pictures of the weather rolling in and sent them in to the station. I'm hoping they'll snatch him up as a staff photographer and he'll have a job where he can be home every night :)
We walked to the Spaghetti Warehouse to eat and got to sit in the trolley. Do you have childhood memories of going somewhere and it was enormous then once you go as an adult you're saddened by how "normal" it is? The trolley was a hot place to be growing up and this particular night we were the only two people sitting in it! I was still proud and felt a little bit like a celebrity.
This is the pool deck at the hotel. It is a beautiful view! Of course my pictures don't do it justice. Try not to act so surprised.
We swam for a while before the storm hit. It was a little bit cold but hey, we were child-free and we just had to swim. The pool was nice and toasty.
See what the girls (and boy,) did while we were away? Bonded. Became best friends. Laughed. Ate. You know, the usual.
This was last Sunday at Molly's shower. Molly is a lifelong family friend who is having her first baby, a boy, in a month or so. Joy got to meet some of the people who have prayed for her since she was a peanut. She was most interested in Emmy though.
Little one takes a good picture, doesn't she? Joy and her Daddy are a good team. He has a little laugh routine with each of the kids and they are all different. With Ty he acts like he's gonna "get him," or tickles him. With Charlie he says her favorite quote from Little Einsteins, 'I Cannot Believe it!" With Joy he just talks in a really high pitched voice and smiles and it works every time. She's pretty low-maintenance now, constantly entertained by the other two when she's awake and she sleeps quite a bit during the day so there's not much time for complaining.
We finally got the appointment set to meet with the surgeon to talk about her CT scan results. It's a good sign that he wasn't in a hurry to get us in but it was getting frustrating so I'm relieved we have it set. I'll go on the 16th to have him explain exactly what is there and talk about options. As far as we know the only options are to have surgery or wait longer to have surgery. We're all hoping for the latter so that she can keep growing.

Sounds like nap time is over...