Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lauren's Knot

This is the bump that is causing us all so much concern. No word from the radiology department. Hopefully soon.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


There's really not a better word to describe how I feel right now. I'm all tied up in knots, from my head, to my back. Even my legs are aching. I'm so on edge about everything and I'm sure it's driving Tim crazy. I had to hide out in our room last night just to cry it out and get over it. I felt so bad dropping everything in Tim's lap (dinner, playing with the kids, bedtimes) but I think I would have made things even harder. It seems like they all just wanted to make me feel better. Brenden added me to his prayers without being asked. ("And help my mommy feel better. Amen.") Lauren came in right before bed, helped me fold clothes, sang to me, and then grabbed my neck and wouldn't let go when she knew it was bedtime. Thank goodness for all of them.

My stress list (because getting it out always makes me feel better):

1. Lauren. Her blood work came back perfectly normal, which is good and bad. Good, because that means that she doesn't have some crazy infection. Bad, because that means it's probably something worse that will require a more invasive treatment. Like a cyst that will need draining, or worse. I don't even want to think about what may be coming. The waiting is eating me alive. My fears are too much to put into words, so all I can do is push them down, hold her close, and pray that the doctor will figure it out soon.

2. Our car. It is just one big mess. The front left wheel bearing is loose. Both the front and rear differential are leaking or making horrendous noises. The transfer case is borked. Total estimate? $4,400. I'm...still in shock. I seriously thought I might get sick. It has been to 3 different places so far and now we have to get it looked at a 4th time to see if it could be related to the wheel falling off way back in 2008. Best case scenario: Insurance decides it will be covered, it gets fixed and then we sell it. Worst case scenario: It's not covered and we sell it and get Tim a much cheaper car to drive back and forth to work. Either way, that car is gone.

3. Rick. I haven't mentioned much about Rick, which I feel awful about, because I've been so wrapped up in my head worrying about everything. He ended up back at the emergency room on Saturday because he started running a fever. He's been doing chemo and taking it rather well, but this round just really knocked him for a loop. He's been in ICU since that day and they are now moving him to the Oncology floor. He ended up testing positive for strep, which is not surprising with his immune system being so compromised, but it still sucks. Hopefully he'll be home before we make it out there on Saturday, but either way we'll be taking it easy on him. Any good thoughts and prayers would be appreciated.

Thank you to everyone who has reached out to say they are thinking of us. Thank you to Tim and the kids for helping me smile.

It's hard to stay sad looking at this face! :)

Monday, August 29, 2011


Today has been rough on my nerves and my anxiety. The car is something that I'm not even giving a second thought because I just don't have the energy. Instead, I'm worried about Lauren.

A few weeks ago I noticed a knot on her neck, almost like an Adam's apple. I didn't think much of it. She's been cranky and fighting sleep for awhile but I figured it was all part of teething. Then, on Friday, I realized that the knot looked bigger. It was much bigger than a pebble, a lot closer to golf ball sized than I originally thought. (Or it grew, I'm not sure.) It was constantly running through my mind all weekend and I was anxious to get her into her doctor today.

(The waiting room experience today was a mess. I think the appointment time was WAY too close to nap time. Neither kid would calm down and Lauren kept flinging herself on the floor while Brenden pouted at everyone. Ridiculous.)

Upon first examining it, her doctor didn't seem so concerned. When I finally leaned Lauren's head back and the knot became more prominent, she told me that it was good that I brought her in. She sent us downstairs to get x-rays and some blood drawn.

I'm not sure what planet my children come from, but I'm sure it's one of opposites. Where most kids are hesitant, my kids are fearless. It's rare for one of them to dislike someone. And where most kids are okay in the waiting room and then throw fits anytime a doctor gets near them, my kids are the crazy ones that won't sit still until they are having their temperature taken or have their ears examined.

I should have known, since they are from the land of whatever-you-think-we'll-do-we're-going-to-do-the-opposite, that Lauren would have no problem having her x-rays done. She wasn't bothered by the tiny lead apron she had to wear, she stood still, let us position her and even got mad when we were through. Camera hog, anyone? Next, we headed over to have her blood drawn. I expected a huge fight with tears and a runny nose and the worst scream you could ever imagine. Yes, she cried. Yes, there were tears and snot and screaming. It just wasn't nearly as loud or as long as I expected. As soon as they were done she calmed down, said thank you, and calmly walked out the door.

Hopefully we will have some answers, soon. So far the doctor mentioned that it could be a lymph node, a bony mass, or a tumor. The best case scenario would be a small infection (she doesn't have a fever, though) that would require some antibiotics. We're all praying that it's nothing more serious.

My brave girl with her x-ray sticker, her Thomas sticker that she chose for doing so well with the blood draw, and her poor bandaged elbow. 

Why I May Be Late

Last week we had to have tires replaced on the Expedition. This week the transfer case on the Explorer is jacked up. Both of these things are not nearly as frustrating as trying to get my kids out the door to go pick up Tim to take him to work.

THIS is why I am often late. (And why it takes me at least 20 minutes to leave the house. So yeah, this is going to be long.)

Me: Okay! Time to go pick up daddy!

Brenden: NOOOOO!!! I wanna watch Scooby Dooby DOOO!!!! *hugs television like I just told him we're throwing it away and moving into a tent in the back yard and not just leaving for 30 minutes*

Lauren: NOOOO!!! DOOOO!!! (because she repeats everything Brenden says)

Me: *sigh* Dude, it's not that big of a deal. You can finish watching it when we get back.

Brenden: NOOOO!!! You're so MEAN!!! It's not FAIR!!!

Me: *deep breath* That's 1....

Brenden: NOOOO!!!! I don't like yooooou!!!

Me: That's 2.... *walks around grabbing keys, diaper bag, shoes, sunglasses to hide the fact that I just woke up and am not bothering with looking decent.*

Lauren: Milk! MILK! I gotta go potty!

Me: Lauren you do not have to go potty and you just finished your milk. You're fine. *shuts off all the lights, locks back door*

Lauren: POTTY!!!

Brenden: WAAAHHHH!!!

Me: That's 3, Brenden. Take a break.

Brenden: *folds arms, pouts, sits in timeout while glaring at me*

Me: Lauren lets get you in the car. Oh my gosh you did have to go potty. *changes dirty diaper while dodging kicks at my face*

Lauren: Ewww! Yuck! Baby?

Me; No, you can't have your baby. You'll get it dirty.

Lauren: *pouts, throws shoes at me*

Brenden: I'm up! I'm not crying anymore!

Me: I didn't say you could get up, yet. Back in time out while I get Lauren in the car.

Brenden: *more pouting*

~~~I run out to the car and realize that Tim did leave Lauren's carseat but didn't have time to strap it down. I deposit Lauren back in the house and get it situated.~~~

Me: Alrighty! Brenden, you can get up now and no more whining. Where is your sister?

Brenden: In your room.

Lauren: Book! BOOK!

Me: You want to take a book? Okay, how about this one? *Lauren's shakes her head* This one?

Lauren: NO!

Me: Alright I'm just picking out two books and we're getting in the car.

Lauren: BOOOOOK!!!

Brenden: I don't like these shoes.

Me: Then put on different ones. Where is your other shoe, Lauren?

Lauren: SHOE! No.

Me: Fine, no shoes for Lauren. Brenden, I do not care if you have shoes on or not, we're getting in the car.

~~~ Eventually, we got into the car. Lauren is still yelling about having to go potty and Brenden is unhappy at the book I picked out for him. I'm just happy that it only took 15 minutes instead of 20.~~~

*end scene*

Friday, August 26, 2011

Brenden Batting

He just randomly decided it was time to try to hit the ball like a big kid.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Park It!

The other day Brenden told me he wanted to play soccer. After checking out all of our options, we decided to sign him up at the local YMCA. We're all very excited, especially since it has practices and real games. I'm curious to see how this goes. The last time he played soccer, he looked like this:

18 months old. Craziness!

We turned in our paperwork and were headed out the door when Brenden realized that we wouldn't be playing any soccer that day. Oh the wails! The crying! The "please, mommy, please!" I decided to surprise him with a trip to the park. He was more than happy.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Amazing Woman

I never post on the blog, but I thought I might to let you know something.

I have the most amazing woman, wife, and mother to my children that any man can have.  I have been working a lot lately and she handles all the stuff at home.  From soothing screaming kids to planning for Brenden's birthday party to cleaning the house, she does it all. I love you Amanda.

Love, Tim

Wordless Wednesday

A daughter is the happy memories of the past, the joyful moments of the present, and the hope and promise of the future. 
~Author Unknown

Monday, August 22, 2011

Happy 44th Anniversary Mom and Dad!

Yesterday was my parents' 44th wedding anniversary. Just like Tim and I, they were married twice, although their locations were much more "exotic". The first was in Tijuana and I'm pretty sure there was a chicken in attendance. The 2nd was in a small chapel in Santa Barbara, which was beautiful. And they, just like us, celebrate their 1st wedding on August 21st, and not the 2nd, which was September 5th.

Our gift to them this year? We cleaned out and reorganized their shed. We swept out the large snake skin and Tim managed to squeal like a girl when a HUGE brown spider jumped on him. I just wish I had video of his crazy dance. (To be fair, I'm sure anyone would have done the same thing.) We also moved a bunch of things to my grandma's house and mowed the jungle that was supposed to be her yard.

We also got them a card that Brenden signed all by himself:

And a cake, which I'm pretty sure would have looked about the same if Brenden had signed it, too. (Seriously, we loved it.) :)

Happy anniversary mom and dad!

Saturday, August 20, 2011


I seem to be doing a lot of "Brenden-ism" posts. This kid gives me a lot of things that I want to remember!

The past Monday our Bunco group decided to have a small swimming party. At the last minute I realized that the kids and Tim were invited so we hurriedly packed and headed over to play. At the beginning of the summer, Brenden was really nervous about jumping into the lake or a pool, even with his life jacket on. During his 4 weeks of swimming lessons, I noticed he had become more and more confident. I didn't really just how confident until he started doggy paddling across the pool with just Tim's hand under his belly.

Then he went and surprised me again. In our haste, we forgot his life jacket. One of the other kids let him borrow one and once he got to jumping, he couldn't stop. Suddenly, he wanted to jump into the deeper part, sans life jacket. I wasn't sure what to think, but I figured I would just stand there and see what happened. With barely any hesitation, he jumped, went all the way under, and then bobbed back up.

So very proud of our little fish!


I've heard many excuses from him about why he can't sleep. He's scared. He needs to use the bathroom. His head hurts. He's thirsty. He can't find that one toy that we haven't seen in years and is probably long gone but he neeeeds it.

During one of his longer efforts, he decided to try a different tactic. He started out with the old stand by, "I'm scared! I want my mommy!" I always ask what he's scared of, explain why he doesn't have to worry about it because it's scared of little boys, or Riley is there to protect him, or it's not real. As I began to leave, he begged for a hug.

Brenden: My arms need to hug you. I have to hold you for awhile.

Me: I love your hugs.

Brenden: Me, too. Hugging my mommy is my job.

I hope he never quits.

Friday, August 19, 2011

My Better Half

Happy Anniversary! I love you!

 I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where, 
I love you simply, without problems or pride: 
I love you in this way because I don't know any other way of loving
but this, in which there is no I or you, 
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, 
so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.

~Pablo Neruda

Happy Anniversary, Tim!!! (This is your $5 gift)

Hey honey...this is your crazy, $5.00 gift. I think it's awesome. :)

Listen closely. You may remember a few things. I love you!

If you can't see the video, click here.

(I think he did a great job! We were on a very limited budget, hence the $5.00 price tag. He does have a tip page, which I plan on contributing to. If you'd like to contribute to this awesome guy, here's the link!)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hey...Future Me. About that Low Carb thing.

Dear Future Me,

This low carb diet thing? It really works. Does it stink? Yes. Have you annoyed everyone with it? I'm sure. (I'm sorry everyone!) You've had great days, bad days, and days when you wanted to just give up and go back to eating anything you can get your hands on. This is a note to remind you why that's a bad idea.

Those headaches? They suck. And they last for DAYS. Isn't it nice to realize your head doesn't want to explode after years of a constant, nagging pain? Doesn't it feel nice to WANT to go outside, to WANT to go to a restaurant? A big piece of chocolate cake or those few days of stuffing yourself with pizza are just not worth it

How about the fact that you have energy? Yes, real energy. Which means cleaning the kitchen isn't that big of a deal. Vacuuming the floor doesn't seem so daunting. Oh yeah, and those two kids don't seem so overwhelming.

Don't forget that clothing fits again. And even if it doesn't yet, it will someday. It's not a constant struggle to find something to wear that doesn't make you want to cry or hide in the closet. You don't feel like your husband will be embarrassed to be seen with you. (He never did, but it felt that way.)

Isn't it nice to feel healthy? Like you're doing something good for your body? It's not just for you, either. It's for everyone in your house. You're all eating better, more vegetables, more fruit. It feels nice to know you're doing the right thing.

Also, this:


And that was in just a few months. It's not about being skinny. It's about feeling healthy. You've been skinny before, but you never felt this good.

Keep at it.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wordless Wednesday



"Friends are the most important ingredient in this recipe of life." 

Sunday, August 14, 2011


After an epic trip to the store that had me offering him to anyone that would take him, and then a nice long nap, Brenden managed to make us laugh a few times. Thank goodness, because sometimes parenting feels like I'm just banging my head against a wall.


We had a little bit of time before we had to leave to go to the restaurant for Meredith's birthday, so we headed outside to enjoy the beautiful weather. Brenden was standing in front of me, staring down at the concrete of the porch, and said, "Look mommy, a 2." It took me a little while to realize that he was pointing at a water mark that did indeed look like a 2.

I grabbed a stick that was sitting next to me that resembled a letter, held it up, and asked him what he thought it looked like. His response:

"It looks like a stick."

I'm going to call that a Brenden Burn. (He did tell me that it looked like an "r" eventually.)


We mentioned that we needed to go inside to get ready, and Brenden started whining about wanting it to be his birthday. To help him get past that moment, we asked him what he wanted on his cake in a few weeks.

"A boo bee" is what we both heard, which we took to mean a "boobie". We were...shocked. We kept asking him to explain what that was, exactly and suddenly, a light bulb went on over Tim's head.

"Oh! A blue B!" Yeah...that's a lot different.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Have you seen the website To put it mildly, I am obsessed. Every day I find something new that I am desperate to try or that I think might make my life easier. (Or save us money...whoo hoo!) There are ideas for the kids' new rooms, cleaning hints, recipes, crafts, work outs, inspirational name it, it's on there. I've been so happy with everything that I've tried that I had to share.

This is really simple and inexpensive. The only thing I had to buy was the paper towels. Plus, they work great!

This is actually from my friend Heather's blog, but it's too good not to put on here. I added OxyClean and used Ivory soap, used a big food processor with a shredding attachment, and made a double batch. It is AWESOME. It's removed stains that I thought for sure would ruin a few shirts. Again, simple, cheap and easy.

Tim and I have both been looking for something that's quick and easy to eat for breakfast that doesn't come frozen from the store. (Or for me, from a cereal box. Doesn't work on the low carb diet.) I was really happy with how these turned out on the first try and I plan on making them again when I have a wider variety of veggies to use. Yes, there are some in there, but yellow peppers and onions don't show up well. :)

Using Ammonia to Clean Drip Pans

No, the one on the right is not brand new, but it looks like it!

I cannot find the link for this anywhere, but believe me I'm going to be using this from now on. I'm sure it would also work great on cookie sheets and pans with baked on stains. You just put whatever you'd like to clean in a plastic bag, pour a little bit of ammonia in the bag (the fumes are what do the work, not the liquid itself), seal the bag and leave it alone for at least 12 hours. I grabbed a Magic Eraser to get the really tough bits off and was more than happy with the results.

There are a few other things I've tried that I don't have pictures of. This felt flower for Lauren's hair and an embroidery hoop plus a pillow case that we're using as a laundry basket in Lauren's room.

I'm super excited to see what else I can use this awesome website for!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Happy Birthday, Connie!

Happy birthday to one of the kids' three awesome grandmas, and a fantastic mother-in-law! (Not many people can say that) :)

Hope it's wonderful!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...