|You Are an Espresso|
At your best, you are: straight shooting, ambitious, and energetic
At your worst, you are: anxious and high strung
You drink coffee when: anytime you're not sleeping
Your caffeine addiction level: HIGH!
While cleaning up after dinner last night Steve decided to look through our CD collection. He put in an old Whiteheart CD which got the ball rolling.......
Now those of you that were into Christian music in the late 80’s/early 90’s would recognize that music group. Who out there listened to Alter Boys? LSU? Before there was Chris Tomlin and Casting Crowns there was Petra Praise.
In that moment Steve and I were brought back to when we were young and energetic. We started moving and singing. Matt laughed while Mark just stared at the family God gave him.
“What is up with Mom and Dad?????”
Next thing you know I am grooving with that Molly Ringwald kick-dance from the Breakfast Club. Do you know which one I mean? When she’s on the library's balcony and the group is gettin’ down. I mean I was goin’ to town!!!
Steve is punching his hands in the air like he’s at a rock concert and Matt is there with him jumping and shaking his head. Matt is a performer through and through. He's making up dance moves and making a statement.
Again, Mark is sitting in his high chair now laughing at us goofs.
“Oh my, this is my family! Get me down! I wanna join in!”
In comes Mark. He does this bounce with his legs and puts his hands in the air. Too cute! He tries so hard to imitate his big brother and Daddy.
For the next 30 minutes we put in song after song. It was the best time cleaning up after dinner we've had!
So, what does your family do to lose your adultness? That gives back your youth? That makes wonderful family memories? Remember.....we won’t at you just with you!
Those infamous words Arnold would say to his brother. It is like saying, “Wait, what’s going on here?” “Are you serious?” “WHY?”
After Mark’s second round of HFM Disease I notice his diapers were changing. I do not mean to be too specific, but those of you with kids should be used to conversations about children’s diapers and describing poop. Isn’t it funny how that becomes a dinner table conversation?
“Did the little one poop?” “How often?” “Did you chart it?” **HA HA**
So back to Mark, his diapers changed. The pale yellow diarrhea-like look reminded me of Matthew’s diapers during his symptoms of celiac disease. It’s an image forever burned in my brain. Something in me wondered if celiac could be a possibility, but I wrote that off thinking it was just a bug and to wait it out.
Well, a few days turned into over a week. The diapers are the same. Mark looks as if he is losing weight. Something just isn’t right. I trust my gut feeling! We were told from the get go that the chances of Mark developing celiac disease is 30% since it is a genetic disorder.
I got on the phone to my pediatrician and they ordered a celiac screening for this morning. They took care of it completely and do not want to waste my time. I love my pediatrician’s office!!! After that I will call our celiac specialist at University of Chicago and see what the next step is. Usually if the blood test comes back positive they order an intestinal biopsy to prove celiac (reveals damage to the small intestine). Considering Matthew suffers from the same disease I would hope for a diet trial run and a second screening to prove it. This is a conversation that is plaguing our home right now: to biopsy or not. I want to do the right thing, but to undergo another biopsy is stressful for child and mother, not to mention more time waiting for accurate test results when all I want to do is remove gluten from Mark’s diet.
The feelings I had 4 years ago strike again. I just want my boy better!!!
So I will have Mark’s blood tested, make the call to U of C, and keep everyone posted. Please pray for answers and that all goes quickly. That our house remains sane. Our minds remain on the Lord. He will see us through again!
“...This is what the LORD says: Do not be afraid! Don't be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God's.” 2 Chronicles 20:15
"...For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances." Philippians 4:11
Fall is around the corner and Jules over at Everyday Mommy is in the swing of things with Everyday Pumpkins (Tomatoes).
Now that Matt catches his bus around 7:25am, my days are starting early. I have to get on my knees and bow down to my coffee maker!! I use to be a Chamba Chai gal through and through, but the 99.8% caffeine free on the can does not work for me in the early morning.
And I cannot forget to mention my coffee maker’s companion: THE CARAFE
I make a 7-cup pot, dump it in the carafe, and it stays hot the whole morning. AH – a constant boost! Yes, I am one of those picky coffee drinkers that do not like the "burnt taste" the maker's warmer gives off.
On that note, let me grab my second cup.......and third........and forth........
If you could write a novel about any subject, what would it be?
It would seem I am all about writing.......think again! This blog is more like a journal than a place where I pour out my writing talents. A specific novel doesn't come to mind, but I will dig into my thoughts and answer the question above.
When I became a mother I experienced all kinds of emotions. From the joy of loving someone more than myself to absolute fear of the unknown we can all admit that parenting is the hardest but most rewarding job.
Unfortunately with all the books out there explaining the correct ways to raise our children, I bombarded myself with different concepts. Reading one belief and then reading something else that countered the first idea left me confused.
Mind you, some areas I was strong about, but how do you prepare for endless nights of crying? Tantrums in the store? When giving a bottle isn’t working? Sickness plagues your home? You are tired and feel there is no rest near? Bedtime is complete chaos and you are looking for the exit sign?
So, my novel would be an honest approach to parenting:
- It is ok if you are un-showered for more than 3 days
- Your child will survive a night of crying and so will the parent!
- Spit up does come out of that designer shirt
- A ponytail is a fashion DO
- The minivan is a sportscar! I mean really.....a DVD player.....automatic doors.....come on!!
- Most people are up around 12am.....then 2am.....then 4am.....
- Coffee is a mom’s best friend!
- Watching your husband walk through the door is the best feeling ever.
- Your children’s hugs and kisses are priceless!
Today he started kindergarten. Five and a half years went by like a blink!
This morning he waited with his neighborhood buddies anticipating the school bus. I had to remind him the bus stop is not the place to play tag! He hopped on the "big Twinkie" without fear - in fact he got on so fast it was hard snapping a photo. He is growing up and there is no stopping it.
I went to pick him up and he had so much to say:
"I sat with Tommy and Ean from preschool last year! They are in my class!"
"They took all my school supplies. Was that right? Do I need them back? I’ll get them back tomorrow and bring them home."
"I get to see my friends every day!"
“We had recess for only, like, two minutes.”
"Mom, the bathroom's toilet is really little....I mean this little." (Shaping his hands like his holding an apple)
Now Matty turned into "just Matt, Mom". His Little Tykes scooter is now a two wheeler. He'll push me away when his “dudes” are around saying under his breath, "Mom, don't hug me."
But when the friends are gone and the day is done, he always asks me to tuck him in. To pray with him. To give him hugs and kisses before bed. When all is said and done, I am still his mommy. The one who makes the best pancakes. The one who attaches a note to his snack every day. The one who makes boo boos go away. The one he calls when he is hurt. I am here and proud to call Matt my son!
WAY TO GO!!
****This is the week**** Matthew starts kindergarten on Wednesday! We have been training him to wake up, make his bed, and get dressed so he’s prepared and ready on time.
This morning he has bus orientation (10am). The bus will pick the children up, dish out the rules, and drop them off. He woke me up around 6:30.......fully dressed......teeth brushed.....bed made.....ready for the day!!! I reminded him he is only riding the bus to learn the rules, etc. He replied, “I know, but look mom, I am all ready like you said.”
Ah – if every day works out like this! Let's hope..........
I love our neighborhood! From the local park to families sitting outside on folding chairs greeting one another, I know I have a support system here. If I have a leak and Steve is not home, I just run over to “Stan-the-man” and ask him to help out. I cherish our after dinner walks and stopping by Laura’s house to say “hi”.
“It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor.
Would you be mine? Could you be mine?”
To read the review CLICK HERE!!!
Before my son, Matthew, turned two he was battling symptoms of Celiac Disease. Along with horrible diarrhea he was cranky, in abdominal pain, and his joints were sore. It was two long months that I do not want to relive and choose to forget. I felt desperate, lonely, and tired, like no one could understand my situation. Every day was a battle and I cried every hour.......sometimes every minute.......of every day. It was a difficult situation. A horrible time in Matthew's life. Our family was struggling to hold it together emotionally.
But even in the midst of this desperate time there was opportunity!
During our frequent trips to our local city's children's hospital we had the opportunity to minister God's love to the nurses, doctors, and other patients. We witnessed other families going through worse circumstances and saw the fear on their faces as they were facing their own battles. We encouraged one another. We showed up to our appointments with positive attitudes. We displayed kindness to the staff as we waited endless hours for labs and interns. Quickly we learned that we could be a light even though our situation tried to create darkness:
- To reflect Christ.
- Show His love.
- Be an encourager.
- Throughout our trial wearing the name of Jesus!!!
"But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness." James 3:17
What circumstance is leaving you a bit overwhelmed? Feeling empty? Are you asking the Lord, "God, how can I be used in the middle of this?"
We have no excuse but to glorify Him in ALL circumstances. To be peacemakers bearing good fruit. Let us focus on that and not the situation that is leaving you empty and tired. God will take care of the rest!
I am not sure why I left my profile photo in a black turtleneck throughout this beautiful spring/summer season. So in honor of summer, even though the days are few, I will share my tan and shades.
We have a repeat offender in this house!! Saturday while shopping at our local Super Wal-Mart (I know how much Terrible Speller loves spending endless hours there) I noticed Mark had red spots on his hands. Later I found a pin-point rash on his diaper area...........could it be...............YES!
HAND FOOT MOUTH DISEASE.........................AGAIN!!!
In June we battled this and now Mark is experiencing it all over again. Is my hand washing policy working? Is our home a breeding ground for every germ out there? Does Purell really work? Do we live in cow dung? Clorox take me away!!!
Steve asked, “Where did he get it?”
I replied, “Maybe from our neighborhood's park? Maybe at the town’s summer park camp Matt attended week after week while Mark played in their sand pit? Maybe from the park camp end-of-the-season festival we attend Friday? Maybe from our church’s nursery? Maybe from playing outside and putting everything in his mouth? Maybe after splashing in the toilet water one morning?” Need I go on??????
"Hello, officer, we have a repeat offender. Put it in jail without bond. LIFE SENTENCE!!!!"
What is up with Blogger lately? I tried over and over again to add a photo of my pantry to my last post. It will not let me! I give up. So I will post it here to show off my organization talents – or lack of! As usual my boys are in the middle of everything.
My usual blog hits: Apologies your way! I have been so busy this week and haven't visited much. Soon enough I will catch up!
Is there an item(s) in your home that your baby or toddler gravitates around? Do your toddlers love cleaning tools such as vacuums, brooms, Swiffers, etc? Matt fell in love with our vacuum when he started to crawl and Mark is hooked on my Swiffer tools. By the way, I love this device called The Carpet Flick – especially around the kitchen table as you can see here. It also picks up popcorn crumbs like a dream! I try to use these addictions to my advantage!
This week my boys and I attended a mom’s group luau at our neighborhood’s park. I enjoyed visiting while Matt played limbo and more. A great time - thanks, Laura!! Matthew is always playing "the ham" seen here sticking his tongue out. He reminds me of myself at that age - always the perfomer!! Ha, get it? "Ham"....pig in the photo? *DRUM SOUND* Seriously, I have a better sense of humor than that!
Thursday I registered Matthew for kindergarten. The first day of school is less than two weeks away. This summer went by too fast! I hope you have a wonderful weekend and enjoy these last days of summer (wiping a tear from my eye).
I am letting a big skeleton out of my closet. Those who have visited my home comment on how neat and clean it is, but I have a dirty little secret............
DON’T LOOK IN THE CLOSETS OR CABINETS!!! I am notorious for just throwing stuff on shelves or in drawers. It’s a vicious cycle!!!
Yesterday I finally organized my pantry (a job that needed to be tackled for some time). While deciding whether to keep the vinegar that has been there for years with only half an inch of vinegar in it to throwing out open crackers that went stale MONTHS ago, I researched a well stocked pantry. Here were my findings:
- White or brown rice and rice blends
- Biscuit baking mix
- Dry Mixes: Gravy, salad dressing
- Beans and Lentils: Canned or dry
- Bastes, Marinades, Sauces such as soy, worcestershire, teriyaki
- Tomato products: Diced, crushed, paste, sauce, salsa, dried
- Pasta Sauce
- Broth or stock: Beef, chicken, vegetable (Fat free, low sodium)
- Soup: Condensed, dry, ready-to-serve
- Canned meats: Tuna, chicken, Salmon
- Canned fruits: peaches, apple sauce, pears, pineapple, fruit salad, citrus, etc.
- Dried fruits: Cranberries, raisins, etc.
- Canned vegetables
- Dinner kits: We all have nights that a quick meal is necessary
- Pudding and gelatin mixes
- Canned or premixed cake frostings for quick dessert dress-ups
- Assorted crackers
- Olive oil (virgin or light if you don't like the strong taste)
- Peanut or canola oil for high heat frying
- Non-stick spray oils
- Regular white vinegar or wine vinegar for "every day" use
- Balsamic vinegar for salads, deglazing and vegetables
- Beverage like teas, cocoa, canned or dried fruit juice mixes, etc
- Snacks: popcorn, chips, pretzels for quick snacks or dipping
- Onions and potatoes must be stored separately to avoid sprouting potatoes and rotting onions. Never in the fridge
- Fresh garlic and ginger should be stored in an airy basket in a dark cool place. Never in the fridge
- Spices: Always buy a little at a time so you get the flavor
- Kosher salt
- Vanilla Extract
- Indian/Thai/Oriental Curry powders and/or premixed bottled pastes and sauces
- Baking soda/powder
Labels: Household Hints
It is no surprise that we need each other. To know there is someone to turn to when life is not going well. To share in triumphs and tribulations; praying for one another. Everybody needs somebody. Relationships are a human necessity.
Paul asked for his brothers in Christ to pray for him when he planned to visit Rome. He knew it would be a task at hand and needed support from his brothers in Christ.
“I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. Pray that I may be rescued from the unbelievers in Judea and that my service in Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints there, so that by God's will I may come to you with joy and together with you be refreshed.” Romans 15:30-32
And he went further to express the need for supporting one another when writing Ephesians Chapter 4:
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2
It is no wonder Jesus stresses the importance of unity throughout the bible. He knew we would need each other. We are called to uphold our brothers and sisters in Christ. Be understanding when they stumble. Be there to encourage. Help strengthen one another. Be disciples ourselves!
Is there someone you know struggling in their walk with Christ? Is there someone you know who is at the end of their rope and ready to give up? Send them a note. Let them know you are there to listen and help. Even when you can’t understand their situation, loving them is more important. Jesus would do the same!!!
My dear friend, Stephanie, tagged me again!!! She is not only a blogging friend, but our husbands are close (best men in our weddings) and we couldn't help but bond as well. On top of that we share the same sense humor!!!
Your favorite seasons in order:
Your favorite smells of each season:
- Summer: sunscreen, fresh cut grass, tropical scents
- Spring: blossomed trees, vinegar when coloring eggs, fresh air
- Fall: apple orchards, turkey roasting
- Winter: Christmas candles burning, the plastic smell from the Christmas decoration storage bins (you know what I am talking about???)
Your favorite foods of each season:
- Summer: GRILLED FOODS ALL THE WAY!!!
- Spring: Again....let's get the grill going!!!
- Fall: Thanksgiving meal
- Winter: Can our grill work in the garage???
What are your favorite colors for each season?
- Summer: Hot pink, bright greens, and orange
- Spring: Light pinks and blues
- Fall: Burgundy and red
- Winter: Red and black
Your favorite activities of each season:
- Summer: EVERYTHING! Swimming, playing outside, 4th of July, going to parks......on and on.......
- Spring: Easter morning!
- Fall: Pumpkin patch, visiting our local orchard
- Winter: Watching the kids play in the snow from the window! And how can you forget CHRISTMAS MORNING WITH THE KIDS!!!
Matthew has been avoiding the idea of taking his training wheels off. Seems like most of his neighbors are riding with two wheels, but he would reply that he would “ride with training wheels until he’s seven.” Where did he get that idea??? I pulled out his old starter bike and made that a two-wheeler. It sits lower and probably less scary for him. It sat in the garage for weeks..........
Yesterday Matt brought the bike out and decided to go for it. We were more than willing to go with the flow. Steve stood behind him and ***VUELA*** he mastered it right away and took off! We were so proud. He finally did it! HURRAY!!!!
Another milestone. Another accomplishment. Another reason for me to sit back and cherish every moment. Life really is a blink!
On that subject, Steve and I will be celebrating our 11th wedding anniversary Saturday, August 5th. We are celebrating our day meeting Steve’s family at Indiana Beach and spending the day as a family. I wouldn’t want it any other way!
***WOW*** Eleven years!! Seems like yesterday we were planning our wedding day. Seems like yesterday we moved into our first home. Seems like yesterday we welcomed Matthew into the world and then Mark. We have experienced low moments as well as exciting times of pure joy. It has been a wonderful journey and I anticipate what God has in store for our family.
Have a wonderful weekend!!!!!
It was Labor Day 2002 when my husband and I took a mini vacation and my parents watched Matthew. We returned and Matthew started having diarrhea. We chalked it up to an intestinal virus and moved on. Days turned into weeks and Matthew was still having episodes of diarrhea. Mind you, this isn’t just plain old diarrhea. This is the worst diapers you could imagine – worse than rotavirus!! We were changing him several times a day and sometimes in the middle of the night. His mood was altered and every day was a battle.
I was calling the doctor’s office time and time again. They would prescribe a non-dairy diet and after a week of no change I would call again. Yes, the overacting mother trying to figure out what is wrong with her son.
Call after call........
“Are you sticking with a non-dairy diet?”
“Just keep it up.”
After weeks of this I finally requested.....no.....demanded to be seen. Yes, throughout this whole ordeal we were never seen just dealing with phone conversations over and over again. Our doctor gave us a referral to Chicago’s Childrens Memorial Hospital with an I’m-sure-they-won’t-find-anything-wrong attitude. I knew Matthew was not right, but my thoughts would contradict:
“Golly, what if I am overreacting? What if this isn’t as serious as I am making it out to be?”
Until we were seen in Chicago, Matthew got progressively worse. He was losing a substantial amount of weight. You could see his collarbone and more!!! His belly was sticking out like a malnourished child and I grieved over his health daily. I had a sense of what parents go through when dealing with a sick child. It’s tortures the family and soul.
After seeing the gastroenterologist at Children’s, we were told to have Matthew’s antibody count screened, allergy tested, and then see what came of that.
His antibody levels were through the roof!!! His body was fighting something, but what? His allergen tests came back negative down the board. What next?
An intestinal biopsy. Ugh, what a hard day that was! I choose to forget that day.
Those results came back positive for CELIAC DISEASE – a lifelong autoimmune disorder that affects the digestive system of the small intestine. When Matthew consumes gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley, his body responds by attacking the small intestine and inhibiting the absorption of nutrients into the body.
Finally...an answer!!! However, it was not accepted with joy. Knowing our son will never eat regular cake with his friends or enjoy restaurant pizza parties forced us to experience a new kind of grief. We left angry and hopeless.
The next day we started Matthew on a gluten free diet. Talk about trial and error!! It took many different products and baked goods to find out what worked with Matthew’s taste buds. Each day got easier and before we knew it, Matthew was gaining weight and acting like any other kid would – bowels and all!!! (sorry) We learned the gluten free diet isn’t as bad as we thought. We felt teaching Matthew to be responsible for his diet was important and to this day he is very good at knowing what not to eat. Takes a load off Steve and I!!!
The Lord helped tremendously. What would I do without the love and guidance of Jesus? There were days when I was down looking at all the foods Matthew could not have, but I look at how healthy Matthew is and I am more thankful that a simple diet change is all it took. He wasn’t battling cancer, paralysis, or a heart defect. He just cannot eat gluten. What’s the big deal??? I haven’t complained since!
Matthew has been gluten free for over five years now. He enjoys many pizza parties with his own pizza provided by me. He attends many birthday parties eating a gluten free cupcake I keep in the freezer. I never make him feel different and I am grateful his friends’ parents do the same. He is involved in normal kids things. Why was I so worried?
Symptoms of celiac disease:
- Recurring abdominal bloating and pain
- Chronic diarrhea/constipation
- Weight loss
- Pale, foul-smelling stool
- Iron-deficiency anemia that does not respond to iron therapy
- Failure to thrive or short stature
- Pain in the joints
- Tingling numbness in the legs
- Pale sores inside the mouth
- A skin rash called dermatitis herpetiformis (DH)
- Tooth discoloration or loss of enamel
- Unexplained infertility, recurrent miscarriage
- Osteopenia (mild) or osteoporosis (more serious bone density problem)
Since then we have changed Matthew’s pediatrician and thank God for that since his present doctors will screen Mark every year. It is good to know my doctor is on top of things and on MY side. Is there anything better?
Lesson: Be a proactive parent! Listen to your instincts! If you sense something is wrong, go with your gut no matter what!
"There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, 'All right, then, have it your way.'" C.S. Lewis
- To relinquish possession or control
- To give up in favor of another
- To give over or resign (oneself) to something
I remember when I first gave my life over to Jesus. Desperation gripped me and my life was falling apart. The only one I could turn to was Jesus to save my soul and give me new life. He drenched me with His love and made me new by cleansing my spirit. Sin no longer had a hold over my life. It was a day of great rejoicing! I felt like I could conquer anything that came my way.
I had to count the cost!!! Since making Jesus Lord I’ve had to learn time and time again to surrender control over my life and give it to God. It is easy to assume life after accepting Christ will be a bed of roses. I can testify learning many lessons in the past 15 years of being a Christian. Battling sickness, loneliness, heartbreak, fear, and rejection are just a few areas that needed God’s hand to heal. Some were a consequence of living in this fallen world; others were a direct result of my own selfish ambitions and expecting God to conform to my way. Even Jesus surrendered before His death saying:
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." Luke 22:42
No matter what you need to give up: lust, greed, pride, envy, status, grief, loss, money, divorce, anger, parenting dilemmas, depression.........
Surrender it. Give it to God. Leave it at the cross. Let go and let Him take the wheel before life spirals out of control. He loves you! He has great plans for you! Go along for the ride of your life...........