Sunday, April 29, 2012

Marriage is a verb not a noun

I have heard of two separate couples recently that seem to be teetering on the edge of divorce.  For one of them it will be her second.  It has lead me to really ponder what has changed with the nation.  When I was growing up all of my friends had two parents.  Even now, the majority of my childhood friends' parents are still together.  What is so different with their vows than with the current vows?
From my perspective the world has taken a drastic shift in the last few years towards instant gratification and self centered-ness.  The news is full of people outraged about how their needs aren't being met, even if it is detrimental to the rest of the world.  The media promotes "buy it now" and "be the first to have it".  With a touch of a button we can have a movie instantly on our tv.  We can watch any show we want at any time.  24 hour stores mean we don't have to plan ahead for anything, we can just run out whenever to get what we need.
Has this effected marriage too?  I know there are times when I get caught up in what I need and lose sight of my commitment to serve my family.  Times I would rather play Slingo than have a conversation with my husband or play with my kids.  Horrible truth but a truth nonetheless.  Have people given up on putting others first or on delaying what they need or want for the good of the "big picture"?  With all the sexual material on TV are people so sure the grass is greener on the other side?
I am not suggesting that people stay in a bad marriage.  If there is abuse or chronic infidelity or incessant fighting then yes it is probably better for the parties involved to be separate.  But what if the fighting is just a bunch of petty nonsense?  What if it is just one of those rough patches and some hard work and spouse-centeredness would get you through it?  Heaven knows we have had some ugly patches.  There were some nights where I thought about it.  But as I prayed images of us dating and in the early years of our marriage came into my head.  I needed to make some changes too.  And things got better.
I don't know the whole story of my friends at this crux.  Only they know their whole history.  Only they know their hearts and their side of the story.  I just pray that they look at the other side of the story and look at themselves through their spouse's eyes before they make that final decision.  Marriage is not for the weak...I pray that they are strong.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Things that suck...part one

There are lots of things in life that are totally awesome-sauce.  There are many times I am amazed by my blessings.  Today is not one of them.

I take daily medication for depression.  Have since my twenties.  Probably needed it in my teens.  My body evidently reabsorbs the seratonin way faster than it should.  Seratonin is the stuff in our brain that makes us feel balanced and happy.

I have been through several different selective seratonin reuptake inhibitors (or SSRIs) with varied results.  The one I am on right now has probably been one of the best as far as stabilizing my moods, helping with my anxiety attacks and generally keeping me from crying about everything.  That said it also can cause a bunch of side effects like constipation, nausea, and drowsiness.  (it also may cause loss of weight...but that never seems to be the side effect I get...sigh).  For the most part I deal with the constipation through diet, I know that about four hours after I take it I will be struck with a large wave of nausea but after about ten minutes it will pass and I drink a lot of caffeine.

The sucky, less advertised side effect to this med is what happens if you miss it.  There are sometimes I will miss a day because I forget.  That generally just manifests in increased energy for the day.  There are some times when my schedule and the pharmacy's schedule make it impossible for me to pick it up for a couple days.  If I haven't planned ahead it means I get to go through withdrawal.  Today is one of those days.  I got so caught up in life I didn't take care of myself.  Now there are people coming over and I have brain shivers and I feel like the world is going on fast forward past me.  Luckily they are helping my husband with a project and I don't really have to entertain them but man I feel like shit.  Brain shivers are like the worst dizziness you have ever had plus occasionally the world just shifts.  I can't explain it well but let me tell you the first time it happened I looked it up online and was amazed to hear others discussing it.

It scares me to have to be on this med forever but I think to get off it I would have to commit to being home alone on bed rest until it passes.  And from what I've read that can take months.

Today I am dizzy, nauseous, tired and expecting company.  That is truly a thing that sucks!

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Great "No-Poo" FAIL

I am on this crunchy granola kick.  I am making my own swiffer wet jet solution.  I am making my own dishwasher solution.  A co-worker told me about going "no poo".  No that doesn't mean you intentionally constipate yourself.  It means that you go without shampoo.  The theory being that whatever you put anywhere on your skin, which is an organ, gets absorbed into your body.  Therefore, if you can't eat the chemicals in shampoo why on earth would you put them on your body to be absorbed through the skin.

It made total sense to me.  I plotted.  I researched.  I read that it takes about a week for your body to balance out its oils when you stop stripping them off with shampoo so you will have greasy hair for most of that time.  I thought...hey SPRING BREAK!  I wasn't going anywhere, didn't have any big plans, seemed perfect.

I don't wash my hair but every two to three days anyway because of all the dermatitis issues on my scalp and how dry my hair is naturally.  So I got my two squeezey bottles, my baking soda, apple cider vinegar, measuring cup, measuring spoons and headed to the bathroom.

Step one: Mix up solution of baking soda and water  and another solution of vinegar and water.  Giggle thinking about head becoming a elementary school volcano project.

Step two:  Get in the shower.  Scrub baking soda solution onto scalp.  Curse self for not using WARM water to make the solution as the icicles trickle down to butt crack.

Step three: let it sit to the count of one hundred twenty mississippi because the timer is missing.

Step four: Rinse.  Then rinse with vinegar solution.  Begin thinking about the volcano again.

Step five: Wait.  Think about when you are going to dye eggs.  Think that you should buy some eggs soon so they are easier to peel.

Step six: Get out, dry off.

It all went so well.  I couldn't wait to feel my soft, shiny hair.  That's what all the websites promised.
I couldn't get a comb through it.  I waited until it was dry.  I brushed it until my arm was sore.
I waited a day.  I went to Zumba.  I sweated like a pig (well pigs don't sweat but you know what I mean).  I showered and used just water to wash my hair like I had read.
My hair was so dry and straw like that my bangs got stuck in the "Something about Mary" position and I gave up and clipped them back.
I took my nasty hair and went online.  There I discovered yogurt rinse.  Perfect for people with dry hair and dry scalp.  I read lots of rave reviews.
I waited until the kids went to bed.  Looked in the fridge and found my container of OIKOS.  Rationalized that driving to the store to buy some cheap yogurt would cost as much in gas as just using the greek yogurt.  Plopped some in a bowl and headed to my bathtub.  I wet my hair, slathered on the yogurt and set the timer for 15 min.  Filled the tub with bath salts and hot water.  Dug out my sugar scrub and went to work on my feet.  THEN remembered that I had let the kids fill the big tub earlier to let them "swim" since it was rainy outside.  Noticed that I was out of hot water.

Timer goes off.  I awkwardly perch on the side of the tub and try to pour water over my head and get out all the yogurt.  Hair still feels stiff and crunchy.  Rinse and rinse and rinse with the arctic's best.  Wrap it in a towel and wait.  A bit later I try to get a comb through (and I mean my big fat toothed curls comb).  Pull a muscle in my arm.

Gave up and went to bed smelling of smoothies.  Wake up the next morning and realize I must not have gotten out all the yogurt because my hair is CRUNCHY.  Sigh.  Pull the nastiness into a pony tail and get on the treadmill for a while.  Then I put my sweaty self in the shower and spend lots of time rinsing and rinsing and rinsing.  Still no shampoo.

An hour later my head itches.  I never realized how often I run my fingers through my hair until I couldn't do it because they became stuck.  My hair feels straw matted with dried poop.  I gave in.  I got out the shampoo and the conditioner.  I can comb my sweet smelling curls again!
Maybe when I finish this bottle I will pop for the organic stuff.  Maybe I will try again this summer.  Maybe I will just become ill from all the least I will look good

Sunday, January 22, 2012

the waiting game

I am amazed by how much time in our lives are spent waiting.  And how the word waiting can have so many different feelings attached to it.

I enjoyed sitting at the table with my friends waiting for trivia night to start.  It was a time full of laughing and trash talking the competetion.  It went quickly.

I excitedly anticipated the day we left for our girls weekend.  I was full of plans and expectations.

When someone is visiting or we are hosting a party I am full of anxiety ridden waiting.  The time flies by filled with a seemingly endless to do list.

Then there is the stinky kind of waiting.   Sitting in the doctor's office waiting for the 30 min "wait time" after an allergy shot.  Sitting in the ER waiting for your son to be seen for a broken arm.  Waiting for lab results.  The kind of waiting that makes time stretch out in an unending strand.  Time that fills your tummy with knots and butterflies.

I am waiting right now.  My grandma is dying.  I got a text a little bit ago saying her blood pressure was dropping and her breathing was irregular.  It is just a matter of waiting.  I am too far away to wait and hold my mom's hand.  Too far away to say good bye.  All I can do is sit here crying on and off and wait for the phone to ring.  I can't focus on anything important.  I am actually not hungry for once.  There is nothing to do but let time stretch on, flip through meaningless pages on the internet, pray and wait.....

Saturday, January 21, 2012


My grandma is dying.  That sentence makes me both sad and relieved.  Relieved?  Many of you will stop reading right now thinking I am a bad person but let me explain.

I got an email from my mom saying that my Grandma has stopped being able to eat.  She is choking and aspirating on her food and my mom and her sister have made the decision to not allow any extreme measures to extend her life.  She is 91 years old and has senile dementia.

My real grandma, however, has been gone for years.  She has slipped away into the unknown recesses of her mind as this disease has eaten away at her.  The lady who was fastidious in her appearance (dress, hose, heels, lipstick, hair done) is now disheveled in weather inappropriate clothes.  The lady who could make a meal for 10 that left you wishing you could somehow cram another bite in can't manage to feed herself thickened ensure and the memory of her fried chicken is just that, a mouthwatering memory.  The lady who made and beautifully decorated all my childhood birthday cakes didn't know who her last birthday cake was for, she didn't know her age or that it was her birthday.

It makes me mad, this horrible disease that steals the essence of the person while leaving their body to whither and their family to mourn.  It frustrates me that my mother has had to continue to care for someone who doesn't remember holding her as a baby anymore and is becoming more like a baby herself.  With this disease you can't just mourn your loss and move on.  You have to be reminded of it over and over and over for years.  It creates new slaps in the face until you finally have to plan a funeral and mourn some more.  Its just not fair.

I miss my Grandma.  The one who had a garage sale with my mom every summer.  The one who made coffee cakes for Christmas and Easter (and would specially make one without raisins for my sister and I).  I miss the smell of her hairspray and perfume.  Her house dresses.  The Christmases at her house with the big old village under the tree and the Santa holding the coke bottle.  The cakes and cookies made from scratch. Playing scrabble with her and my mom on the lazy susan scrabble board.  The way she always asked if you would "enjoy an RC" rather than "do you want a pop?"...and she always had RC and 7UP.

But all those memories are safe in my heart.  I pray that the Lord will take Dolores peacefully as she sleeps.  That she might finally be free to remember what I do and so much more.  That she may join my Grandpa in Heaven and watch down and see my boys, her great grand babies, grow up in a way she can't right now.  I hope that this long journey ends for her and for my mother and that they both get the rest and happiness they deserve.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


I do a lot of things wrong.  I am not June Cleaver or Clare Huxtable.

But I must do something right too.

Today my oldest and I served at the church's annual pancake breakfast.  He has been asking forever when it was coming and today when it was done he asked when the chili dinner was so he could serve again.  I got several compliments from other adults about how enthusiastic he was.  He has the heart of a volunteer and loves to do for others.

Tonight he and I sat on the hearth with him and we made s'mores in the fireplace.  We compared notes on how to toast the perfect marshmallow.  It was a perfect moment and a memory I hope he carries with him.  I don't have too much more time to make memories like that with him.  He is halfway to twenty.  He is rapidly approaching the time where he won't snuggle with me in bed and beg me to read just one more chapter...where he won't come in all covered in snow, pink cheeked and ask for hot chocolate. When I have to let him go and hope that he forgets the times I made mistakes and remembers the time I helped him make memories.  I hope that I have given him roots and when the time comes I am ready to give him wings and watch him fly.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Getting old sucks (or My grand ER adventure) wasn't bad enough to injure my tailbone skiing and have to sit on one of those donut pillows.  Oh No.  I had to Zumba myself to the ER.

Let me back up.  Several months ago I started to do Zumba again after a several year break.  The class I had loved was discontinued and I couldn't find one on a time and day and in a location that worked for me.  So I stopped going.  Recently another teacher gave me a pass to try the one she goes to.  I loved it and after several weeks of going I finally committed to getting the multi-week punchcard.

I went yesterday and was excited to be back on the wagon after several weeks off (the holidays, skiing...).  I worked my butt off and had a blast.  When I got home I noticed my back was a little titchy in the left shoulder area.  I ignored it, fed the family, got the kids bathed and in bed, and did all my paperwork for school.

When I got up this morning I had an "OH WOW" moment.  I got in the shower and it just got worse and worse.  By the time I got out of the shower it had taken my breath away and I staggered back to bed, dripping wet and told my husband I wasn't going to work.  Because it is harder to not be at work than actually go in and teach he knew it was serious.  By the time I described all my symptoms he was concerned I was having a heart attack.  A friend agreed to put the kids on the bus and he took me to the ER.

ERs are never anything less than a grand adventure.  I was quickly taken back and hooked up to a heart monitor.  If you have never been hooked to a heart monitor let me describe it to you.  A tech takes a sheet of stickers that would make any toddler envious and sticks them all over your heart area.  Then they take an octopus made of jumper cables and hook each sticker up to the machine.  Then they wrap a sticker around your finger which allows you to play ET with the glowing finger.  Meanwhile they ask you the same questions over and over (name, age, symptoms, pain on a scale of 1 to 10, social security number, insurance card, birthday, favorite ice cream flavor...).

I had the joy of then getting an ekg (which I must add my autocorrecting mac wants to change to keg...what would that do to the's your keg).  Where another toddler sized sheet of stickers is put all over your body, arms, legs, etc.  You are hooked up.  Then they rip them all off in a fashion that makes an eyebrow wax feel gentle.

They decided it wasn't my heart.  So I got some tasty milk of magnesia.

When that didn't change anything they gave me the mother of all shots.  I am not generally a pansy but holy crap.  I remember burning my head with my curling iron in the 80's.  It felt like that, but on my hip, in the back part.  It was a bit more than "it will sting a little".

Overall, I will be fine. I got a nice muscle relaxer and pain killer.  It is great as long as I can stay home alone and not care for anyone....we'll see how life in the real world goes since I am overrun with small people there :)  I evidently hurt myself dancing.  I think that deserves a special award.....

Sunday, January 8, 2012

It all started with washing feet

If you talk to my husband he will tell you I am becoming increasing neurotic about what the common population calls "being green".  I recycle paper, plastic, and whatever soup cans are made of.  I am reading labels and trying to make healthier choices.  I am planning a compost pile and a garden.

I am also getting grumpier about the loose way my family and my students use the word "need".
 "I need a new game for my DS.  I beat this one already."
"I need some new shirts.  I don't like my old ones"
"I need" this card...this toy...this THING.....

I hope that I am responding to some enlightenment from God.  I am guessing I am really responding to some enlightenment from the impulse buy section in the checkout of walmart.  It was there, around Thanksgiving, I found a product that made me realize what a lazy spoiled bunch of people we Americans are.  It was one of those "as seen on TV" products.  Something designed solely to prevent you from having to bend over and wash your own feet.

Let me repeat...a product so you don't have to BEND OVER AND WASH YOUR FEET.

It is all here in their ad....

Easy Feet is the revolutionary new product designed to give you an easy, soothing way to clean your feet without the hassle of bending over, the danger of slipping in the shower, and without the strain of having to bend and attend to your soles! The Easy Feet is perfect for feet of all ages. Adults and children alike can benefit from the comfort of cleaner and healthier feet.
( - if you want to see for yourself)

The hassle of bending over?  Really?  Maybe ...maybe when I was eight or nine months pregnant...but really by then I figured the soap was getting down there thanks to gravity.

What kind of world do we live in where not only did someone think that washing their feet was a hassle but someone else shared that thought AND a marketing department made an ad for it?  Then a blog turned me on to First World Problems( it spiraled from there.

We have really lost sight of the big picture.  We are destroying our planet with our obsession with things and our ignorance of what truly matters.  

So yes.  I am going granola.  I am looking for ways to show my kids the only things we truly need are love, God, food, shelter, and clothing (basic clothing) the rest is just icing on our cake!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

2012 - the year of less

SO here I am to confess my third and final resolution.  It occurs to me as I reflect on my resolutions that overall my theme is to decrease - decrease clutter and increase organization, decrease my waistline and increase health and my third resolution decrease the amount of chemicals in my household.

I accidentally got into Pinterest after seeing several friends post on FB.  I got an invite, joined, and have become addicted.  I knew the inter web was huge but WOW so many recipes and crafts that I have been missing!  And funnies.  And clothing combos.  And house decorating ideas.  And....well you get the point. It has re-ignited my love of crafting and scared my husband into thinking I am turning crunchy granola.

Now,  I already make my own swiffer wet jet solution and until we moved and I needed cleaning stuff for a crowd I had made my own windex (when I use it up, I will be making my own again).  But did you know you can make your own HE washing machine soap, dishwasher soap, gel candles, bathroom cleaner, hand soap....  Well you get the picture.

Both of my kids currently have an ADHD diagnosis.  The oldest responds well to medication.  The youngest didn't respond and we are experimenting with behavior modification systems to find a way to support him.  It leads me to wonder if something in our environment has caused that.  Is something in my environment exacerbating my own medical issues?  What can I do to "go green" and decrease my footprint.

So we are trying to use less of things we can't pronounce.  Use less electricity.  Use less gas (now that they are both old enough to ride bikes at a reasonable pace!)

What do you do to help be more green and less....umm...non green?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I need to move it move it...'s tomorrow (ok not really, it is many tomorrows later but I got busy cramming a lot of break activities into the end of break).

Resolution number one could be summed up as, "don't put it down, put it away"
Resolution number two is to get moving.  It is so cliche.  I know.  I really do need to keep moving.  I have gotten so sucked into tv and the internet it is ridiculous.  I am setting a small goal right now.  I will exercise at least 30 min for 3 days a week.  This will be tricky with this stupid bruised tailbone but it is so unseasonably warm right now the only thing keeping me from going for a walk is me.

I want to look good in my swimsuit this summer.  I don't expect to look like a super model.  I am a middle class mom of two boys.  I am short.  I don't come from naturally thin stock.  I would like to jiggle less and maybe not have to get the longer of the two skirt options....

I want to keep up with my boys.  I don't expect to run around playing weird pokemon related games but being able to play soccer or ride bikes with them seems reasonable.  Not getting winded walking to the park or pedaling to the library seems like it should be achievable.

I am petrified of losing my mind.  Exercise is supposed to keep your brain healthy and ward off Alzheimers/dementia.  If I balance my tetris playing with moving I should be golden.

I am 50 pounds over my "healthy weight".  My BMI is in the 'obese" category.  My knees are clicky.  My back is sore.  Sitting is not helping.

So there.  I have outed myself.  Now I have to follow through :)  I have one more resolution to talk about "tomorrow".  Then on to the sit com of my life :)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

It's the new year baby!

I am doing my annual new year's nesting.  I was deprived of it last year because of the mad dash of packing and moving.  After a year in this house things are messy and making me nuts.  I have so far straightened/reorganized my pantry, fridge, most drawers in the kitchen, the coat closet, utility closet, both my bedroom closets, and both boys' dressers.  I have three bags of garbage and two bags of stuff to donate.  Ironically I am procrastinating the biggest project of all...the toy room.  It will have to be done tomorrow.  My husband goes back to work tomorrow.

All the cleaning has lead me to ponder several things.

First, how do I acquire so much stuff??  I mean seriously, I generally don't shop except to buy food or to buy clothes to cover the body that has grown because I bought food.  Where did all this crud come from?

Second,  how much stuff do you have to have to be considered a hoarder?  I am third generation junk collector (and Mom, if you are reading this you have to admit that you are a collector of stuff....I have been in your basement...haha).   To add to that, I teach, so I am never sure if I am going to need that for a prize box toy, lesson activity, literacy center, math manipulative, etc.  I am sure that normal people do not save paint sample chips "just in case".

Third, am I passing on good habits to my kids?  My son actually had six toilet paper tubes in his bedroom.  I didn't know until today.  He said he was saving them to "make some kind of contraption later."  My other son actually had six junk drawers.  He had crammed all his clothes into the smaller dresser so he could use an entire dresser for his junk.  We took a whole trash bag out of there.  Whoa!

This is my first new year's resolution.  I will keep putting things back where they belong.  I will donate or pitch when I bring something new in.  In short, I will decrease clutter and increase organization.  I have a sneaking suspicion that having a less chaotic house will help me with my other resolutions...which I will blog about tomorrow.