Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I've got joy, joy, joy, deep down in my heart.  I am full. :-D I just had to share.

There haven't been any cutie pictures of the kids lately mainly because Kristiana cannot remain still enough to capture her.   Modern cameras are pretty good at capturing kids on the go, but not even modern technology can account for her lightening speed.  I am sure there is going to be some sort of pay off for her energy and intelligence--someday.

In good news, Kristiana stopped vomitting.  I switched her from cheap "sensitive" formula to expensive stuff and that helped.  They're supposed to be the same, but obviously they are not.  She has a really sensitive tummy and a strong gag reflex.  She is sleeping normally again. Praise be to God!  I was starting to get neurotic about it.

Alex is so cute these days (K-dawg is too).  He is able to tell us all about his day and it is just precious.  He named his stuffed monkey that he sleeps with at naptime, "Oo-aa-aa."  So cute!  TMI, but he also decided to start peeing standing up.  It's too cute--such a little man.  He also has started saying, "No, let me do it."  How mature?!

I am just focusing on being wife and mother right now and I have a lot of joy, joy, joy.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Gong Show With a Side of Delicious

Wow. In the span of 48 hours, life has been a roller coaster.  I personally experience a wide spectrum of emotions.

Friday I “felt” as though the world was crushing in on me.  I probably would have been better left alone that day.  Right from the start this was horrible day.  Kristiana had been throwing up all week.  She doesn’t seem sick other than some congestion and sporadic puking.  I have suspected food allergies, such as lactose intolerance, expect we don’t believe she has had any lactose all week.  So I am stumped—not to mention the laundry that she has generated.  I have been puked on more times than I can count this month.  It is clear something is not right.

All night long Kristiana had woken up with an apparent tummy ache.  Then she woke up at 6:30 a.m. with the worst smelling diarrhea.  But, still her demeanor was been normal.  So I sent her to daycare and went off to work.

I skipped breakfast and was running on coffee and adrenaline.  I was scooting along fine at work, but by lunch I was starting feeling emotional. I had little sleep and nothing in my tummy and well let’s be honest my hormones were not on my side either.  I could see the walls crumbling—my baby’s sick, my stomach is empty, my hormones are on overdrive, I spent my lunch hour crying and all week long my husband and I have been trying to decide if we should dive into the biggest financial decision of our lives and buy a house (which that does not seem to be working out)—and now it was time for my yearly performance evaluation!

100_1797I went home depressed.  My husband does not respond well to my sadness.  He gets really depressed and angry about it.  I ate through my sorrows.  I ate some leftover pasta and that seemed to comfort me.  We had a friend coming for dinner and we were going to do a little French cooking.  I made poached tilapia and steamed broccoli with a parisienne white wine sauce.  All of this kind of forced us to move away from our mood.  I was in a peaceful place while cooking.  By the time we sat down for dinner, it was late and I was exhausted, so was our guest.  It was a short and quiet dinner party. 

Around 9:30 p.m. I took a bath (after Kristiana puked on me, it’s a nightly thing now) and read My Life in France by Julia Child.  I received the book for Christmas. Every time I read it, I say I am going to France.  She definitely brought her time in France to life in this book.  After my bath, I settled into bed for the night.

Saturday was a day of joy.  The children were content (despite more puking).  The chores came easily.  The world seemed clear.  Hopefully the clarity and calm will continue.

100_1801 Sunday we enjoyed perfect Eggs Benedict.  You may be wondering why my eggs are so round.  Julia said that a good substitute for a poached egg is a six-minute soft boiled egg.  Since I still have yet to properly poach an egg, I was relieved to find this substitute.  It WAS the perfect substitute, and I could easily become addicted to soft boiled eggs. 

All this makes me feel a lot like Julie Powell from Julie & Julia.  Renee feeling frustrated, knowing I am so much more, reading about the life of Julia Child, learning to cook French and redeemed by amazing food.  There is something redeeming about the artistry in life.

Now let a sleepy afternoon commence.  Pray for me in my craziness. I need to relinquish all to my Creator.  Pray for Haiti (so much more important).

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Spiral

thespiral Sunday, I was at the park pushing my daughter on the swing when a blonde, muscle-bound Adonis, pushing his son asked me if I had seen the Cowboys game. I smirked, and apologetically replied, “No.”
“Oh, you’ve been here?”
“Um yeah, we have been out and about today.” Not true, but admitting you willingly missed a Cowboys game, let alone the playoffs, is just a faux pas you don’t admit in these parts. Yeah, he was missing the game too, but it appeared he was on a date, so I guess that’s his excuse.
I am not much of a football fan. I barely understand the rules, which as I understand it, I am not the only one even amongst football fans. This is all quite ironic seeing as how I work for 11,000 football coaches with the national professional association (not including the real name of my work on purpose).
Last week I was at our annual national convention doing my part in a stellar production. It was a lot of running around, making sure things were where they were supposed to be, giving directions, orchestrating, making scowls at the computer, one little innovation (ha, why didn’t we think of that on earlier) and a little bit of “shake and howdy” with college football coaches most could only dream to meet. I don’t need to name drop. That just seems immature to me. In general, football coaches are just nice folks with an uncommon career.
Oh okay, personally, of all the coaches I have met at convention, Mack Brown has always nice to me. He always stops and takes a moment to say hello to me, shake my hand and ask me how I am. ;-) He does that for everyone and it's nice. He make people feel good and ain't bad at coaching either. He gave the best speech at my first convention in 2006. He talked all about his failings and how he learned success from them.
This year, was strange for me. I felt really lonely. It was my first time away from the kids, aside from one night away from Alexander once. I felt out of sorts. I felt happy and sad, extroverted and introverted. The hotel was hot and had bad karma (no sure what that mean, but I felt something strange). After it was over everyone reported that they could not sleep, as did I. I was an unexpected leader and had a drama queen moment. It was not my most shining moment. Let’s just say that some people at my work don’t have the best people skills and I didn’t take kindly to it.
In short, I just did not feel like myself. Pieces of my identity were missing—my husband, my kids, my church, my routine. It was too noisy to hear my soul, or my God. It was boisterous and ceaseless. I do not remember the last time I felt like this, or if I have ever felt like this. By the end I felt myself spiraling away. If I were a football, my experience could be summed as thus: there were some great passes and there some not so great passes; there were some in the wrong direction and some were a perfect spiral floating effortlessly from QB to receiver. But at least I can say, I did not fumble and I didn't pull a Romo (how's that for a football reference?).
Orlando was a nice place to visit. It's spread out, easy to navigate, and very entertaining. I spent and extra day there and went the Morse Museum where they have the largest collection of Tiffany's art outside of Tiffany's studios. It was a quite an experience. The craftsmanship and artistry definitely lit my heart afire.
I spent my extra day in Orlando with my former co-worker Sandi. She just retired and lives there. Work will not be the same without her. She is a pioneer in our association, and now she is the only female honorary life member. We all know that she has been the real brains of the operation. But, the torch has been passed and I am confident those who have taken it on will hold the torch high and bright. Sandi, I think, is a kindred spirit of mine. We are a lot alike. It was fun to see Orlando through her eyes.
It's taken a few days to get back into the swing of things. However, I am trying to see things in my life—faith, family, work—with new vision. How strange it is that a week away from home has given me a realignment. Let's see where this pass takes me.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tot Talk: Little Reminders

This morning I was rocking out to Handel's Messiah on the car ride into work/daycare. I was also deep in thought about buying a house. We found a nice one and I think I was decorating it in my head. :-) I was thinking about the big step that buying a house is and wondering if we are ready for it. Most importantly, I was examining my place in the world, the cosmos, wondering if this is the new direction I am supposed to take. I was far, far away from my morning grind.

All of a sudden, like being awakened from a dream, I heard my son repeating what he had just said the moment before.

What you doing, Mommy?! You missed my school.”

Thank the heavens he is such an astute little three year old. I probably would have made it all the way to the free-way before I noticed, and it would have been a lot more difficult to turn around and go back had I done that. Instead, I was able to take a short detour back to the school. I thanked Alex over and over again for telling me. I asked him where his school was and he pointed the exact direction to go back.

It one of those astounding moments when you realize your kids are not just kids, they are as with it as any adult only lacking experience and emotional control.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Resolutions Update

1. I have used reusable grocery bags once out the two times I have been to the store.  But, the second time was a one bag, quicky trip (excuses, excuses).

2. I have read one hour once. I hope I can make this work. It's been busy week since making this resolution (more excuses).

3. I have gone for a jog once.  This should get better after my convention (What another excuse! You can see how this is bad for the soul). 

This resolution thing is going to be harder than I thought.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Uh Oh!!! It’s That Time of Year

Walking Dead - Andrew has the big bad flu! Andrew started out sick on Monday morning. I have had trouble getting him to slow down all week. He has been out and about and working all week. This morning it became apparent that he has the full blown flu. He took his temperature this morning and for the fourth day in a row it’s been a little over 100 degrees, and he’s been achy and he has had really bad chest congestion all week. He’s out of commission.

Midnight Bandit - Kristiana has had congestion all week too, but she has not had fevers. So I don’t think she has the flu. But, when she gets stuffy and congested and starts coughing, she pukes. She has a really strong gag reflex. I have been puked on four times in the night this week.

Kristiana has also been really obnoxious in the night. She wakes up throughout the night screaming to be held or fed or play. She’s so headstrong. She’s a woman who knows what she wants and demands it. Last night we kept her up until 9:00 pm and she slept through the night. I guess she doesn’t need as much sleep as Alex. She is good with about 10 hours of sleep, which is low for a kid her age. Alex is good with about 12-14 hours sleep, which a lot for a kid his age. But both are still within the normal range.

Little Trooper - Alex started the week with a double ear infection. He was prescribed antibiotics and he hasn’t complained about it since. I took him out for juice and doughnuts after he saw the doctor, because he didn’t want to go back to school. I figured that would soften the blow of having to go back to school. I am not a cruel mom; he did have Tylenol and was fine. He never had a fever either. He has been a lot more communicative about his wants, needs and perspectives this week. I like it! The next day after school he jumped in his car seat and said, “I had a good day at school.” But today, his teacher wasn’t there and he had a meltdown and it broke my heart. My mother’s intuition told me not to leave him, but I did anyway. I hope he is okay!

AWOL Mom - Tomorrow I head off to my yearly convention with my job. I will be gone a week. My business puts on the convention, so there is a lot of work to be done. It will be at the least twelve hour days. It can be pretty interesting, energizing and daunting at times. In the past, I have taken Alex and my mom with me, because Alex was still nursing. This will be my first convention in four years without a baby. This is also the first time I have been away from the kids. They are going to hate it. I will miss the whole family a lot. But, on the bright side, I will probably catch up on some sleep.

My mother-in-law has been enlisted to help Andrew with the kids since it will be the first week of classes for him. He is going to have to muscle through a day and half alone with the kids and the flu.

PRAYERS NEEDED! – Pray for Andrew that he gets well soon. Pray for the kids that they stay well and behave well for Andrew while I am gone. Pray for me and my travels. Pray that I don’t get sick! Pray for my mother-in-law and that her travels go smoothly. Pray for Aunt Amy and her family. She just had her double mastectomy—may she recover quickly and her family is granted fortitude, courage, and peace. And of course, always pray for the purification of our souls.