Archive for October 2010

Not On The Lips

October 28, 2010

Thinking about ones own mortality is a normal thing. But having to think of the mortality of your child… that is un-natural! My parents have talked about how even as we’ve become adults, they still worry about us kids. Until I became a parent, I never understood what it REALLY meant to love with ever fiber of my being. I had also never felt what it was like to feel utterly helpless and fearful as I have as a parent.

Sure, everyone knows being a parent is hard. It can also can heartbreaking. I saw my parents bury a child, and I knew that I never wanted to know what that was like myself. Even the mere thought of something bad happening to my kids makes me sick. When Emma had her potentially fatal illness a few years ago, it was difficult to say the least. I’ve had different scares with the other kids. In each of those instances, the knowledge that things were pretty much out of my hands pretty much, for lack of a better word, SUCKED!

Last week I got a taste of what that feels like, again. Emma had been sick for a couple of weeks. A cold, strep, and what I thought was another cold. It included ongoing fevers and another large pesky lymph node. Something felt wrong to me, and that uneasy feeling was something I’ve felt before. I called her doctor and described what had been going on. She ordered a battery of tests to rule out (or identify) possibly causes of her illness. One concern was that she was presenting with symptoms consistent with Lymphoma, which, if you don’t already know, is cancer. Waiting that day for the results was filled with worry and what-ifs. I would try to put it out of my find, but the thought was always there. A nagging idea about what I would do if I lost my child. Yuck… even typing it feels awful.

When the dr. called me with the test results, I was relieved to find out that it was NOT cancer. She does, however, have Mono. Not great, but so much better than the possible alternatives! She has to rest and take it easy for a month or so… no running, jumping, horseback riding lessons, etc. to protect her enlarged spleen, but she’s doing OK, and she will be OK. What a wonderful feeling and relief.

The whole thing made me think about the parents I know who are not so lucky. The parents who get the call that it is not something so benign. That their child won’t be OK. I’ve had friends who have lost children to illness or disease, and my heart breaks for them. It has made me appreciate the relative health of my children and family. I’m so thankful that this turned out to be such a minor thing, and hope that we continue to get the little dramas that require ibuprofen or a band-aid instead  :).

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Friends

October 26, 2010

Nothing can compare with or replace a great relationship between a husband and wife.

But I would argue that the same can be said about the bond that can be found between women.

I have had friends that I have known all of my life. Some friends who I at one point considered one of my “best”, I haven’t seen in years. Some I have known since birth or early childhood, and they are still a big part of my life. As an adult, I’ve been blessed to have been surrounded by friends who are nothing short of amazing. I’ve mentioned her before, but my bff and cousin happens to be one of those friends, and the “ringleader” who introduced me to a small group of women who have become such a great source of support for me. We don’t get together very often (except during volleyball season, when a get together once a week is guarenteed đŸ™‚ ), but when we do, it’s like we didn’t skip a beat. They are such a great group of women whose ability to make me laugh and have a wonderful time is greatly appreciated.

Since my marriage to Greg, I have been introduced to a number of new people. It’s strange how there are people you may know for years, and while you’re friends, that deep bond never really developes. But then there are those people who you instantly know you can trust and even if you don’t see them much, you know they are truly your friend. I’ve always loved the expression, “kindred spirits” (which I got from reading Anne of Green Gables), and that’s what I feel like I’ve found in a few of these new found friends. Last week I was able to get together with a few of them at a dinner as well as a Halloween party. Yahoo!

Whether they are once a week at a v-ball game, or fewer and farther between, I love the time that I am able to spend with the important women in my life, and I am lucky to call them friends. You know who you are… know I am grateful to you and I love you! Xoxo!

Thoughts In My Head

October 20, 2010

The simplest action or words can sometimes be the most revealing.

Life As I Know It

October 18, 2010

We’re back. We’re alive. And mostly in one piece. The trip to St. George went as expected… FUN! It was a smaller crowd than we’re used to, but so nice having it ever-so-slightly more quiet than the norm. It was a very low-key week/weekend filled with playing games (Killer Bunny is now the kids favorite), lots of swimming, lots of treats, getting spoiled by Grandma Gina and Papa Jimbo, and plain old, good fashioned quality family time.

For some weird reason, which I’m sure includes a sick sense of humor of my school district, the kids don’t have school today (Monday) either. I could definitely use a breather, BUT, no rest for the weary, right? We’ve got another 4 down with the not-so-fun cold I had last week that includes a nice fever, sore throat, and nasty sinus issues. On the upside, we’ve all gotten sick, which means there is no left to infect. Woo hoo!

I’ve joked about it since my divorce, but it’s no joke: There is one upside (besides the obvious) to the dissolving of a marriage — free “babysitting” every other weekend! Dating your spouse is so important, but with 5 kids, it’s nearly impossible for us to find someone to watch them all. Not that people (namely our parents) haven’t or won’t, but I hate asking or imposing. I can’t even remember the last time we got a babysitter. We plan pretty much everything we do around the kids, which means that sometimes we end up saying “no” to things or missing out. But I think that Greg and I agree that we wouldn’t have it any other way. As it is with so many aspects of life, it’s all about juggling and balance.

Even though it’s been a long week with all the chillins’, the kids are sick, and WE’VE been sick, I’m glad that I have the opportunity (although I sometimes forget at 5 am) to be able to care for them when they are sick AND well. This weekend my dad talked about how much he misses having little kids around, and it helped refresh my perspective. I have no illusions (or delusions) that I will get through their childhood, or even the day, without frustrations, but hearing my parents talk about kids and their own experiences helps me to laugh rather than yell. I’m grateful that my children, and especially my step-children, know they can come to me when they don’t feel good and need help. I’m glad that they see me as someone they can trust and depend on. And if that means administering ibuprofen at 3 a.m. or being the referee for the 329 time, so be it.

I Just Coughed Up A Lung

October 12, 2010

Last week, around Wednesday, as I was dreaming about what might be a fun and relaxing child-free-get-a-little-break weekend, I realized that there are only 2 (occasionally 3) days a month that I don’t see all 5 of our kids (unless they go with the ex’s on vacation, which is rare). Meaning, when those two weekends per month come along when they go with the “others”, I fantasize about sleeping in past 7, going an hour without hearing any fighting, an “I’m hungry”, or cleaning up some mess, spending uninterrupted time with Mr. N, getting together with friends, etc. I love our time with our kids, but we get LOTS of time with our kids, and I do appreciate the alone time we get here and there. And this weekend was an extra long weekend because of the Columbus Day holiday, which means we got an extra BONUS night alone. If I were a school-girl, I’d totally would have been giddy with excitement.

By Friday night, it was clear that the weekend I had envisioned was going to be a no-go. Now that you understand why these weekends are important, you can now cry a tear for me when I tell you that all weekend I. WAS. SICK. In fact, I’m still sick. Poor Emma had a cold two weeks ago, which developed into strep last week, so I wasn’t completely shocked that one of us got sick, because we’re a family who likes to share. Unfortunately, it was shared with me. What a waste of a perfectly good weekend! I spent most of it in bed :(. I was especially looking forward to this past weekend because we are heading out-of-town tomorrow to spend the week and weekend in Southern Utah with my parents.

The weather will be beautiful (high 80’s are in the forecast), which means there will be tons of swimming, playing games, good eats and treats, and other things wonderful. Usually when we vacation with the grandparents, my siblings and their families go as well, which is fun for the kids because there are playmates galore. But it also means there are a lot of people, lots of kids, lots of noise, lots of mess, you get the point. I’m looking forward to having this be a slightly lower key trip. And I know my kids love getting Grandma and Papa all to themselves.

Yeah, this past weekend will NOT go down on my list of “BEST EVER”s, but I guess I should be grateful that I was able to get the rest I need to hopefully get over this stupid cold quickly. And I’m really looking forward to the next 5 days being poolside with book in tow, preferably without the cough. Yahoo!

 

Love At First Sight

October 7, 2010

Last week I spent the better part of two days transferring my old home movies from tape onto discs. Watching here and there while the tapes were being recorded was fun. And a little sad. It brought back a lot of memories of the “early” days, and while there are definitely benefits to having kids that are getting older, my heart ached a little when I saw my cute babies and remembered how much fun they could be. As difficult as those first 5 years of motherhood was (OK, it’s still hard, but in different ways), it was also a wonderful time in my life. I loved those kiddos the moment they came into this world… even before.

Part of the awesomeness of my kids getting older is being able to go out and do things with them without having to worry they’ll wander off, throw a fit, and test my patience as a mother and a human being. September was my date month with Emma. I had planned on taking her out the week before, but she got pretty sick, and our night out was bumped to this Tuesday.

We ended up going to Gardner Village for dinner and Halloween activities.

After dinner, we went headed over to Ride To A Witch. It was essentially a tractor ride to a little witch village. The witches were all wonderful and very funny, and our personal witch tour guide took an immediate liking to Emma. When the witch asked her name, Emma responded, “Ummm… Emma”. The witch called her “UM” the rest of the night. HA! She was really cute with all of the kids, but especially with Emma. After the witch thing, we did a little looking around at the stores, I bought a huge mint brownie that Emma thought was yummy but so big that she said it gave her a tummy ache and couldn’t finish.

 

Emma declared this to be her “best date night ever!”. I had a great time as well. Not only do I like to have a little alone time with each child, but it makes it even that much better when I see how appreciative they are and how much they look forward to it.