Sunday, April 23, 2017

My Pops...

Do you ever get going on the day to day movements of your life and feel like you are on auto-pilot? You make lunches, snacks, wash this, clean that. And it isn't anything I mind doing, but I do it with no thought. And to be honest, this is a welcomed state of being for now. I spent A LOT of time in the last year and a half, analyzing every step of my day. Plotting what needed to be done and why. I have really worked on not over thinking things, which often led to worrying about small stuff. But, I am not sure that I want to phase out completely either. I guess balance is the key. To be present, but without questioning my next chess move. Does that make sense? Either way, it is nice to sing along in the car again and do something without thinking deeply about how it will lead into my next point of action. Bless. My brain is exhausted.

I was having a day of cleaning (which thanks to the flea spotting last week, my house has never been so dang clean)! I have scrubbed every inch and I believe we are back in the saddle. You are welcome Doodles (insert my eyes cutting to the side and pinching my lips together). Point being, when I clean I turn on my "OK Google" dome and hit up Pandora. I have my ol' faithful stations of Willie Nelson, Justin Timberlake, Johnny Cash, and Dixie Chicks. On two different stations, the song "Just Breathe" came on (Redone by Willie Nelson from Pearl Jam), which is my pops dropping to say hello.

Listen Below:

My dad had a massive stroke three months after my first born daughter was with us. He was still in bed when my mom went to work and apparently when he tried to get up that morning he had his stroke. My mom didn't come home until that evening and he had laid there all day:( So, we missed a the chance to give him the shot that reverses the effects of a stroke. He spent years going to rehabs and living in places that focused on the recovery portion after an injury or stroke. I remember taking my tiny, new baby out to Melissa to PATE recovery center every Sunday to see him. Fast forward to almost seven years later and he passed away in a nursing home with my mom and myself as his cheerleaders to let him go in November of last year. My dad had lost a lot of his brain function and physical movement with the stroke, so recovering was really hard. He made some gains, but he was just as content watching TV and taking it easy. Mr. John was not a big adventure seeker. Give the man a beer and an episode of Gunsmoke and he was in Heaven.

I watched him decline SLOWLY and in and out of the hospital, as well as more surgeries than desired. He had fought the good fight for as long as he could. Man oh man. He was with a feeding tube, a urination tube through his belly button, as well as paralysis on his right side of his body, and limited speech at the end. So, I was actually happy he could leave that state of being behind when he passed away, but with that brought back memories of when he was well. My dad. My healthy, talking, walking Pops. So on this day of cleaning, not thinking about a thing and clear of thoughts, my dad snuck in to say hi with my favorite song that we played at his funeral. I was emotional about it because I was so happy to get the old pops in my mind and heart. It had been a long time that I have been able to talk to that guy because when I would visit him over the last 7 years, it was as a caretaker.  But now, I feel like I have my dad back and he was using my quiet as a way to reach out. So, i have listened to that song probably 15 times and will keep doing it as long as I still get a smile out of the deal. It's nice to see you again, dad.:) Let's do it again soon.

On a totally different note, I want to say how excited I was when I saw that seven hundred page views had met this blog. I am not sure if that is a blip on the World Wide Web or not, but hopefully one of those views helped someone, somewhere find strength about something. Like I have said before, that is what I can only do at this point. I now have a musical theme song when I go find the sunshine and it could not be a more perfect scene. I like it. I am on board!

Do you guys have a theme song? If so, I need to hear it. Loud and obnoxiously blasting on my Google player. I have a feeling my cleaning phase will stay on high alert until I can double assure myself that Doodles is home free. (Insert: cutting my eyes at the cat. I am still mad about it all.)

Until next time.


Monday, April 17, 2017

When Life Happens...

Hello on this rainy, post Easter Monday. I hope everyone had a calm and enjoyable weekend. I feel like this year Easter snuck up on me. No easter egg hunts, no pictures with cute little rabbits, no new spring outfits that make little people look adorable. I made my kids stuff their own eggs this year to throw out in the yard at their Granny's house. We stuff our eggs with coins because A) they can't melt and B) I figure a few bucks in coins help ease the hundreds of dollars in dentist bills six months down the road. Don't get me wrong, my kids love some sweets. E asked me the other day for Poptarts and Honeybuns for her birthday. What? So random. And the Easter Bunny brought Nutella stick things, Oreo dippers, and not to forget the old fashion Skittles and chocolate eggs. I mean, they are rolling in some sugar, so why not add about six bucks worth of change. We also hide the "Big Kahuna", which is a big gold egg with a five dollar bill. Let's be honest. I learned that they get my Libra instincts on fairness and this year they ALL had a labeled Big Kahuna, because how do I have time to listen to crying about a golden egg when I didn't even find time to take a picture in some bluebonnets? Priorities I suppose!?!

I feel like I was so jumbled and dazed because my cat exposed to me that she had some fleas. I KNOW. Gross and please don't be afraid to come to my house again. I have fixed this tragic event of nastiness. I noticed this eight pound little INDOOR cat was awfully itchy over the last few days, but chalked it up to allergies. And I swear she was following me around the house. Scratching next to mommy, beside mommy, on the coffee table in front of mommy. Well, it may take some time, but mommy will finally turn a tiny little old lady cat over and see a moving flea. Next mommy will yell out, "OH MY WORD" and scream to Jeff that we have a sitch and to watch the kids. I call him from the car and literally feel like I am racing to the ER. I RUN into Walmart, dodging people and weaving in and out like a Ninja in the night. After I find the spray, brush, medicine, and shampoo, I continue to run to the register. The woman checking me out asked if we had a problem going on at our house. I just mumbled something about a friend in need and ran to my car and made it back home in all of nine minutes. It was not a pretty picture to see this cat getting bathed, sprayed, brushed, and flipped about three times over. She was so mad and eventually fell asleep after bath two because I rocked her in my lap with a big ol' towel around her to comfort this traumatized kitty.  Doodles is still mad at me. But, guess what Doodles, I am mad at you too. How does a cat go on the patio for one dinner while we eat outside and come back with a flea on you? You are grounded. No more patio exploring for you. I have her on the topical meds now and the nice man will be out this week to spray for bugs anyways. Let's take care of this madness. I am grossed out, but Jeff is hiding in the corner thinking all things on him are fleas. I caught this quickly, and haven't had one on me or the furniture, but you would think he is living in a bug cage. Drama is always lurking from somebody.

Needless to say. I blame my lack of Easter hustle on my cat. But, we ended up making it to church and I am volunteering in R's little, tiny eighteen month classroom and he is rocking it. He is playing with other kids and the teachers adore him. So, eventually I will try to leave him in there with just the teachers to work on my trust and his trust with other adults. Let's be clear that this goal is for me, but he has to learn as well. I have stuck him deep in my nook and I am trying to let the fresh air in and trying to trust again. I am really excited that we are two weeks in and I am so thrilled to be here because all I have come across are really good people. Such a beautiful reminder in a world that doesn't always show its' best side. I hope you are staying dry and let's all root for the sunshine because the rain has come and it is time to go. Did anyone else have drama over the holiday? Please make my Doodles story seem like a normal event!

Until next time.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Cue the Applause...

R had his eighteen month check up yesterday and it was so amazing. He has jumped from like 60% percentile in height to 97th percent. I knew he had been growing, but he has been stretching out. I thought he was going through a regression bit with his sleeping, but the poor kid was probably having growing pains. Sweet bug has stretched out. He is of course 100% in weight and head size. My gentle giant that loves to cuddle to boot. The pediatrician is the long standing doctor with all my kids. We have been with him for almost eight years now. So, when all of this mess came about with our little guy, he was in the mix. He first diagnosed him with hydrocephalus when I first took him in for his vomiting because his head literally swelled inches and inches. Oh, the stomach pains to reflect on that very first visit. Man, hold on tight because you are about to visit hell, Jenn. Let's just say I am good with not going back there too often.

I remember when he called me up at the hospital to check on R and I told him everything they have found with the x-rays, scans, and opthamology checks. His response was quiet and he said, " I will need to talk to someone to tell them that I have never suspected abuse." My heart dropped. And to this day, I still think he looks at me out of the corner of his eye to make sure things are safe for my kids. Jeff says I am paranoid, but we had a lot of people treat us as though we were guilty during our initial hospital stay, and I always thought he might wonder. I have shown him all the paperwork that has cleared Jeff and I, but I hate that I still feel under the microscope. He is very nice and thorough and has never done anything to show for these thoughts, but just a feeling. (*Me vs. My Mind)

Anyways, as we talked about all his screeners and accomplishments and he kept asking me if I had any concerns. I was in such a gleeful mood and I just kept shaking my head no. I didn't want to jinx it. And I am in this far enough to know that we might hit some road blocks, but for now we celebrate. In fact, to show how big time we are, we let the big kids pick a dinner location. Those two joyously shout out, "Subway" in unison. They were foaming at the mouth and so we  Bless those baby big kid hearts. They are in this journey just as much as Jeff and I are. Til this day, they include his recovery in their prayers and fountain wishes.

When we see a wishing well fountain (i.e. Northpark Mall or the Arberetum), I give them each two pennies. They make a wish for themselves and one for another person. E and N always make a wish that their baby brother's head keeps getting better and he doesn't have to have anymore surgeries. They saw it first hand and don't really know much about it, but they saw him in a hospital bed hooked up to a lot of noisy machines followed by a few rounds of stitches after brain surgery. Enough to know that he wasn't okay for a while and stamp that image in their brains. I am not sure I appreciated their journey through all this as much as I should have. So... of course they need to take part in the healing portion of this journey. Tonight, we shall eat Subway for dinner to celebrate.

What do wish for when you wish for yourself and for someone else? Such a beautiful concept before tossing that shiny penny into the water. I will forever love hearing those big kids care for this baby brother because they are in the long haul together as a team. And he will be there for them as well. I just know it:)

Until next time, enjoy the sunshine😘

Friday, April 7, 2017


After a few days of not blogging, I start to get the itch. I guess one would say that I am hooked. I haven't had the nerve to put this out on social media yet, so for now I will continue to just let this be our little secret. There is something to be said about the simplicity of a small group. Ahhh. Simplicity. That is my new catch phrase and it makes my insides happy. Let's be honest. I have been wound tighter than a yo-yo over this last year. Having moments of sheer heart pounding anxiety, that sends me in overdrive. I hate that state of being, but it isn't something you just change over night. So, I have been focusing on bringing it down a notch in my thinking. Once I feel myself start to get all busy and panic like, I focus on a simple something. My new rug ( I couldn't stand the blood stains from the fireplace debacle any longer), my healthy kids running around, a cold Coke ( I know, I know, it's my guilty pleasure), my vacation photos hung on the wall. Something small, yet beautiful. It works for me. Praise the Lord. It has taken me a long time to find some ways to take care of myself that work naturally. I have tried so many that are forced. And this mom of three does not have time for an extra something to do. Am I right out there? You know about half of you just nodded and said, "Mmmhmmm" in unison.

I can tell you what is not simple is my upcoming seasons for my children that include soccer, baseball, and dance. I was smoking crack when I decided it was a good idea to take it up a notch. My middle son is five and he is just blossoming at sports. So, I think my excitement bounced off his excitement and well...registrations were signed and submitted like a crazy person. So, our Saturdays are packed. But, I couldn't be more thrilled to see where this takes him and watch as he learns to be on a team and try his best. You know, all those feel good pregame speeches you heard for twenty plus years. I mean, the kid practices being fast at running at any given moment. How can you not go all in for that kind of sweet effort?!

This is a pretty light hearted entry and man does that feel good. Keeping it simple will hopefully run deep as we start to clean out the house and organize as we start to think about moving!!! THINK about being the word of the day here. But, I am painting baseboards for the just in case side of the coin! Exciting to say the least.

Meet you in the sunshine.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Practice Makes You Better...

I woke up with a few little goals in mind when it comes to my bubbly and excited little one. I feel like I need to let him explore more than I have in the past. A lot of our daily adventures are walking for me and riding for him. So, I loaded R up and we went halfway across America to The Shops of Willowbend Mall. They have this awesome little play area with padded flooring and a pretty little climbing fun area (for the itty bitties). As we pulled up and I am talking up that we are going to PLAY, he just lit up! "Play, Play", he says. Ok. Let's go. So, my goal was to let him play. This includes tripping, stumbling, climbing, and running without me two steps behind him. Now, I get he is 18 months and all, but people, I have been his shadow. After the great fireplace fall, I have had a hard time letting him explore like he should be doing at this age. And with that comes the life of a toddler.

So, we start and he is doing well and then as he sees all the other kids leaping and climbing, he falls into line. At the beginning of our hour play session, I am pretty close with him. We practiced going up this little slide area around twenty times and by the end, big man had it on his own. I still stood there because I am cray, but I wasn't helping! At times he would hold out his hand and I would just encourage him to go for it. By the end, he was all sorts of all over the place. I sat down like I did with my other two kids and let him play. I was on the edge of the seat because I could predict him bonking his head a few times, but I refrained. He got up and came and told me about it and then went back out to play. I was pretty darn proud of us. It's the little things, right?

I was walking pretty tall on my goal and decided that I couldn't pass up this cute pair of sandals, which I really did need for my sad little summer shoe collection. I decided to make a sign to wear around my neck that states:




Then I can wear the new shoes and the sign together so Jeff will know that I am only making this family better for the small price of Billabong sandals. What can I say, I am a cheap self improvement bribe recipient! I am cracking myself up over here!:) Do you have any goals that you bribe yourself to achieve? I need backup here, people!

Meet you in the sunshine.