March 31, 2010

Silver Lining

Sometimes, it seems like it just rains and rains and rains. Not just because we live in Washington, but also because every time I turn around something lousy happens. I think this has been going on for pretty much all of this decade. Yup, I used to not have problems (unless you count fighting with my sister about who wore whose jeans last and got a stain on them). Now they drench my soul.

But today, a cloud that has been looming over us for about two years has shone a bit of sunshine behind it. And by a bit, I mean a lot a bit. I've been excited and smiling all afternoon. I've been hoping and praying for this for a long time.

And what is so wonderful you ask? Two years ago we gutted a house. We poured money into it and made it look great. It sat on the market for 10 months as we watched home prices plummet. All that work. Ugh. We finally rented it out a year ago. To stop the bleeding. Our renters are buying another house and moving in a few weeks. Yesterday, my dad listed the home. We were hoping that someone will want to buy while the tax credit is still going on (deadline is the end of April). Praying that selling won't be painful this time. Dreading an extra house payment. Really wanting a golden buyer.

Today I picked up the sign to post on the house. Went to the grocery store. And got a phone call in the produce aisle. I didn't think it'd happen so soon. Someone is interested. Can they come by this afternoon? I arranged it with the tenant. The buyer loved it. Her mom lives nearby. She submitted her offer this evening.

What an amazing tender mercy of the Lord. Seriously. This doesn't happen like this. Did I mention that it was a full price offer? Yay! Ha! Take that lousy economy and housing market! I am really so pleased. Now all we have to do is close the deal. I am praying for NO hiccups. And that can happen, right?! Because really the Lord wants our lives to be a little simpler. A little more debt-free. And a lot more prepare us for the next time a raincloud comes our way. For now, we've got a sun break and silver lining. I am so grateful.

March 25, 2010

The Fuzzy Truth

I think SNL could have a really good time making a sketch out of this:

Especially considering the bill that was just rammed down our throats, which was full of bribes earmarks in exchange for votes and made behind closed doors. Sweet Nancy Pelosi could join in the fun with this one:

Ha ha ha. Really? Like are you for real? We aren't supposed to know what is in something before it becomes a law? Wow.

March 23, 2010

Potty Party

We're not potty training Jocelyn right now. It's just that sometimes I dump her diaper out in the toilet and have her sit on the seat and then we get up and flush and say, "Yay! Bye, bye Poopie!"

Here's Jett holding her hand (keeping her from falling off while I get the wet wipes). I am thinking that this summer Jocelyn will be diaper-free. Right now we're just testing out the sitting part for a minute or two each time. I have a bad taste in my mouth from Jett's training days...but this time Jocelyn is so young that I have NO expectations. I'll just encourage her natural fascination with the toilet. :o)
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March 17, 2010

Awkward Call

I called my allergy doctor this afternoon to make an appointment. I just had the feeling I should be following up with the shot that I just had as well as getting the 96 food allergy blood test results back. When I gave the receptionist my name, she said, "oh you missed your appointment this morning at 10:30am." What?! I had an appointment? Unbelievable. I don't even recall making it. I checked my calender. It was written on it and then crossed out....whoa. Awkward. I apologized and hope she doesn't charge me the $50 or $75 or whatever the fee is for missing an appointment. After all, I did fill one of those appointment gaps a couple of weeks ago with only 2 hours notice.

I did get some of my test results back. I missed writing some of them down because I couldn't write fast enough. That combined with huge here goes....I'm allergic to:

1. Basil
2. Green beans
3. Blueberries
4. Cashews
5 Chicken
6. Egg white
7. Wheat/gluten
8. Oregano
9. Black pepper
10. Sesame
11. Tomato
12. Yeast - 2 types

Chicken Alfredo
Uh, what are you kidding me? No wonder I have little bumps on the backs of my arms, eczema and maybe, just maybe, this is what is causing me to be so tired all the long chicken fettuccine, you contain ingredients from 1/3 of the list...which actually gives me extra motivation to suffer through my LDA diet days.

March 16, 2010

Blogger Conference

Are any of you going to the Casual Blogger Conference? I'm just wondering if I'm going to have to be brave and put on my big girl panties to go alone...

Super Girl Cami/Panty Set

March 14, 2010

Elliott's Birthday

Elliott LOVED his teddy bear cake.
Thank you to those of you who brought Elliott his wonderful gifts. They were a huge hit. If I don't know who gave what and your thank you card is a little vague, I apologize. I made several attempts to get the kids to back up. They kept creeping up close again. At a certain point, I believe Elliott let them all open the last few presents at the same time. We only saw paper idea what came from what packaging.

Jocelyn loved the extra kids in the house...especially the "new" boots one of the girls left near the door.

And Grandma Coleen gave her a dress that we put her in today. It fits perfectly and I love the hat. Of course, she only kept it on for a photo.

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March 13, 2010

A Hand Washing Problem

Not long after I posted about my slightly elevated blood sugar levels, Graeden asked me to test his blood. I did. Normal fasting ranges are in the 70s, 80s and 90s. My elevated one was 107. Diabetes is officially diagnosed at 126. So, I poked my little 6 year old boy. He had a 313. Uh, yeah. I don't know a ton about diabetes, but I know that his score was too high. I poked him again 90 minutes later and he was down to 219. I tested him several times a day for the next few days. His highest level was a 461...even if the meter was 10% off that still left him with a score over 400.

Long story short: his pediatrician did a test. Normal. Told me to wait until Graeden showed more signs of being diabetic (urinating frequently and excessive thirst). Uh, no. I'm not okay with that. What about catching a pancreatic problem in the beginning before the organ totally dies? My cousin's sister-in-law got Graeden a next day appointment to see a pediatrician who practices with a pediatric endocrinologist (whose practice is closed to new patients). New pediatrician ran 8 other tests, 3 of which look for antibodies for insulin resistance. Some tests came back normal. Insulin levels were low. Referred us to pediatric endocrinologist. Advised to wash hands with soap and water before testing. Swabbing with alcohol before the poke isn't enough. Antibodies test came back negative.

After one month of good hand washing and great scores, I am satisfied that my little Graeden does NOT have diabetes. But he does have a great attitude. He's VERY aware of blood sugar levels. And he knows that I will go to great lengths to help him.

Interesting side affect: he has turned into a lovable, huggy sort of boy...the boy I was gifted with. Seriously, his attitude has improved tremendously over the past couple of weeks.

And me? I quit testing my blood a few weeks ago. I was going insane with the constant monitoring. But I'm ever curious. About an hour after dinner tonight (at Red Robin - plenty of carbs to boost my numbers), I washed my hands well and tested myself. Uh, an insanely low number appeared. So I tested again. And again. Still low. I ate 20 jelly bellys and tested an hour later. Low. Nice.

So, either the meter is off or I, like Graeden, had a hands washing problem.

March 5, 2010

Newly Realized Love

I have recently discovered that I like the literary genre of science fiction. I grew up thinking it revolved around outer space and big mother ships battling aliens. For me, that is so unrealistic and crazy that I could never get into it.

My perspective has changed now that I find it is more true to life and less spacey. I love to consider the twists of time and eternal laws that act in our lives. LOST is one of my favorite shows. I enjoy the time travel episodes, although sometimes I am unsure of when a character is.

Tymon and I just watched the new Star Trek movie last week. The twist with Spock time traveling was fun to consider. Two Spocks. One old and one young. I like to think that somewhere, somehow and somewhen there could be another me helping to prepare me for the rest of my life.

And what if children could really escape into a cupboard and go away for a time and live in a fantasy land? They would come back with grown up experiences and a maturity that wouldn't come from playing legos and watching cartoons. I mean really, how many kids have really led an army to battle? Well besides Mormon when he was 16, I think only Peter in Narnia. And yes, The Chronicles of Narnia is fantasy...but it's the time travel that relates it to my science fiction post.

Yesterday, I finished reading an intriguing novel that sucked me in from the moment I picked it up: The Time Traveler's Wife. I didn't understand how Henry was time traveling. Or why. Or anything about his chrono-impermanence, really. But I was compelled to find out.

What I really loved about the story was it's concept of time as a continuous circle - or eternal round like the scriptures suggest it is - rather than being confined to chronological order. Spoiler Alert! Even in death, Henry was still time he was appearing into the future from his past. Huh? How could Henry be "alive" but actually have died years prior? I ate this up. Loved it. Seconds, please! (Tangent Alert! What I HATED was how the author, Audrey Nifenegger, reduced Henry and Clare's relationship to something vulgar and common through her use of crude language. Men don't f* their wives. That's a verb used to describe one night stands where two people share zero commitment or love to each other, their feelings or emotional well-being. By using filthy language to describe Henry and Clare's sexual life, she made the relationship dirty. I hated being distracted by this when the story line was so thought provoking.)

What really pulls me in to these time travelling stories is that I don't understand how time works. Peter, the apostle, wrote: 
But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day (2 Peter 3:8).
It makes sense to me that when the Lord was creating the Earth that it took thousands of years rather than one week. Especially considering the intricacies of physical life and how our bodies, plants and animals work and reproduce themselves.  

The part about time that I don't really understand is how a thousand days for me can seem like a fleeting moment. One thousand days ago, I birthed a precious son. And now that he is gone, I wonder what time and space continuum he knows and understands. Could I go there? Are Near Death Experiences truly a glimpse into another realm, an afterlife? What if we could time travel there....

When I was a child, the seasons were long. It seemed as though summer lasted an entire year. Now, if I blink I miss them (except allergy season - I'm very aware of that). I wonder how it's possible that I am married and even have 5 children. Just yesterday I was dating and in college. I was travelling the world and working. The essence of me hasn't changed one bit. And yet, I am forever altered by those who come in and out of my life. 

This afternoon, Graeden asked me, "how can it be day time for us and night time for Jovana?" (We considered calling her after school but decided 1 am her time would be too late for a friendly chat.) Really, how can it be a different day for different people at the same time? My Evan came to me in a child's body but in reality he is a full grown spirit. Isn't that like time travelling of sorts? And when I get him back he'll be little again...but won't won't his spirit be decades more mature?

I like to ponder time and judging from how many modern stories are written about it, I know I'm not alone. I didn't even mention Heroes...Science fiction has pulled me into her grasp and won't let go. 

March 2, 2010

Life Less Ordinary

This morning, I discovered Jett's artwork in our formal living room. I wasn't as good natured as Sara when she found this today...maybe because her boy drew on the counter and that's easier to clean. Or maybe it's because this is the 3rd incident like this in the past 2 weeks. It took 45 minutes for Jett and I to erase the pencil (on three panels) and then use goo gone to get rid of the smear. What I do TOTALLY love is the high gloss on our wainscoting. Seriously, it's fabulous. If only the regular walls could be cleaned up so nicely.

I have just had my first of many allergy shots. I'm doing LDA therapy. They put a low dose of 300+ allergens with an enzyme catalyst in my arm to reprogram my immune system. The awesome thing about this therapy is that not only will it help my grass and dust allergy, but it will also get rid of my shell fish allergy. Not that I really care about shell fish, but truly, I'd like to not be so vulnerable at a party if I accidentally eat the crab dip and go into anaphylactic shock. If you have a peanut or other extremely risky allergy, you may also consider this allergy treatment. I got one shot that swelled like a mosquito bite and was itchy for an hour or so. Then the other arm got a much larger concentrated dose of grasses and pollens and it swelled up a bit bigger. It itched like crazy for a few hours and now the swelling/redness is way down and much better. It took so much will power not to itch! But I would so much rather have this than extremely itchy dig my eyes out weeks in the pollen season.

Part of this immunotherapy involves adhering to a strict diet for 3 days, the day before, day of and the day after the shot. I have a small list of foods that I can eat. Yesterday I ate sweet potatoes and tapioca. Today, I tried a couple of new recipes. Here are some potato chips we made. Graeden helped and really liked them...except not so much the sweet potato chips. Chips aren't "supposed" to be orange.

I think the best part of this diet is that I will be losing weight. Not purposefully of course. ha ha. It's just that I can only handle a limited amount of my approved food list. Lamb is on the approved list. I made some lamb cabbage rolls this evening for dinner. The boys liked them. Jocelyn gobbled hers down. Tymon thought they were okay. I could NOT stomach them. I've eaten lamb a couple of times in the past and didn't care for it then. I felt like hurling while I was cooking just from the smell (and no I am not pregnant).

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