Saturday, May 23, 2009


I guess? Things are going so slowly at this point. I'm not as overwhelmed as I had been, even with way more to do, but it just seems so slow. There really has been progress though. A couple of bags ready for Goodwill, and a huge bin of clothes to pass down to a friend. You can almost see the floor in the two kids' bedrooms (the other bedroom has a king sized mattress on the floor so its not as though you could see floor in there anyway). David worked on the sink in the hall bath, and it's not something he can fix, so we'll call the plumber on Monday. My shoulder is doing a lot better, there's a dull ache, but that is way better than my normal pain level. I have been able to use it again the last couple of days. I haven't scheduled my PT yet though. I tried to call, but the script is missing. I have to call the office 1st thing Monday to get it faxed to the PT office. We have two birthday parties this afternoon, and we have to take dinner to David's parents. MIL had surgery this week and she is recovering well. So, lots of little ramblings for a quick update.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hopeful yet slightly anxious anticipation

I've finally done it. I finally made a Dr app't about my shoulder. I gave up a few years ago and decided I'd just have to live my life in pain, and I'll just suck it up and deal with it. Only problem is that now instead of just shoulder pain, I'm having serious flare-ups. Actually, I think this is beyond a flare, that sounds like a temporary increase in pain. My flare ups are kind of like that. Limited movement and increased pain. Those I can deal with. The newer problems that seem to be increasing in both frequency and intensity are awful. My should spasms and many other muscles spasm with it until my ear is pressed to my shoulder (hard enough to cause bruising) and my arm is curled up against my chest, and I lose feeling in my fingers and it feels like the muscles back there are tearing apart. I am unable to move and unable to do anything about it. So far it has happened when David is around and he spends an hour or so working on the muscles to relax them just enough so that I can sleep it off. It doesn't fix the problem, but after an "attack" I am utterly exhausted and need to curl up and sleep. The recovery time varies as does the intensity of the attacks. They can be triggered by doing something, or I could just be sitting in the wrong position. Kind of hard to avoid that. It is really really painful, and I know I need to do something about it. I am very prayerful that the Dr will be able to figure out something that will help me because I have told a few people that I am at the point where I am willing to consider amputation as an option. I don't think it would help, but I feel like I could adjust to one arm easier than I could these attacks. I know that seems melodramatic and really kind of dismissive of amputees, and I can assure that is not at all how it is meant. It's just that I truly cannot continue to live this way. The problem is that I hate Dr's. Not the people, just going to see them, it makes me really nervous and I always have this feeling that they won't believe me. That they'll think I'm making it up to get meds. (In reality I'd way prefer not to have meds and still have some left from my last visit after my wreck in 03.) I know it's silly, but it's kind of like that wasp/bee phobia I had. My mind tells me it's silly, but my emotions still react.

So the app't is this afternoon and we're about to leave and I'm very anxious and very very hopeful. I'm really praying for some answers. I'll update later.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Showers of Blessings

Isn't it amazing how God works? The smallest details He has figured out long before we even realize what's going on. I thought of the title of this post before I even realized the irony of it. Definitely a God thing.

So we came home to find a colossal mess downstairs. I've been way overwhelmed, and wanting to sort through and purge a TON of stuff, but am so overwhelmed I had trouble getting started. Wow, God answers prayers in ways we would never have dreamed of. After the initial panic and feeling even more overwhelmed by all the work ahead of us, it has been amazing to see God's hand in the whole situation. He has provided all of our needs. (Not that it should be a surprise, but I think the ways have been a bit unexpected.)

Lets see: First, the insurance is not covering any of our expenses. Doesn't seem very positive, right? Well, we had been saving up and had put away some money to do a renovation to convert part of the garage into an office for David since he works from home. That money will cover what we need to fix this mess we have found. What a wonderful provision.

Another related provision is that we had to tear out all of the existing floors and walls down there. In so doing, we open up the entire space so that we can rearrance the layout into something that will work even better for us. The previous layout was very awkward but not something we had ever thought about being able to change. This way we retain the garage space but will be able to move the laundry area a bit to give us a tad more space and then we can expand the bathroom a bit to make it more convenient, and we can use part of the space to create an office for David inside the basement. This way we don't have this huge awkwardly laid out master bedroom and then outside in the far part of the garage an office space. We keep the 2 car garage and still get all the things we needed, and in a much better arrangement.

The expense: Well, I know I already mentioned that we had some savings for renovations, but this involves major demolition and reconstruction that was not in the plan. Like replacing the carpet that we put in last fall? We have a friend that we had lost touch with a year or more ago. David knew he knew some people in the restoration business, so he called him to get some references. Guess what that friend is doing now? He came out and used his fancy equipment to take measurements and tell us exactly what needed to go, and then loaned us the equipment to dry it out. He told us exactly how to do it, and how they clean it up. Wow. Talk about Providential Planning? Something that could have cost us $100's to $1000's of dollars we're getting at no cost except manual labor. I am still in total awe of this one.

The added plus in there? You know how I was so overwhelmed and thinking we needed to go through stuff and purge? I really don't have a lot of choice in the matter now. It's so amazing, I just can't comprehend the plan.

We still have a long way to go, and we're sleeping on a mattress on the floor of the Littles room, but we haven't lost anything of value, and God has shown us a bit of His plan for us and it's so much more than we expected. We are truly so amazingly blessed. Showers of blessings indeed.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Talk about your worst nightmare coming true. So I'm falling apart and my house is seriously worse than it has ever been in my entire life, so bad that you truly can't believe it. Yeah, that's when it floods and I have a gazillion people in and out of the house. That sounds great. I have tons of offers to help, but there's really not a lot anyone can do, I've just got to wade through the mess and try to figure things out. In the meantime, the recovery guy has to come and poke around, and the A/C guy should be here already, and David's cousin is here helping him rearrange the furniture. How absolutely humiliating. We can't even more things out of the way b/c everything is piled up everywhere. I am mostly running in circles simply moving piles from one place to another. I cannot ever let it get like this again. I simply can't.

It never rains but it pours

Really? I post a blog about how unbelievably overwhelmed I am, then go on a really quick cross country trip with my family tagging along on a business trip with David. We got home yesterday afternoon (Mother's Day, ironically enough) to be met with a gagging odor emanating from our garage and basement. Apparently the insane amount of rain along with flash floods in our area caused some water problems in our basement and garage. Some actually sounds a bit weak in this case. It's not a flood in the terms that you would think of a flood, but it seems that almost everything in our basement @ floor-ish level has been affected. It's called hydrostatic pressure. There's not really anything we can do about it, and since we're not in a flood zone, there's not flood insurance and so insurance is happy to inform us that we're on our own. This is going to be a huge undertaking. The (new) carpeting will have to be completely torn out, as well as the walls. God has provided, even in this. We had been saving some money for a small renovation to enclose part of the garage into an office space for David since he works from home. We'll use this to help replace the walls and flooring. In the meantime, everything in the garage has to be sorted and a very lot of it tossed. We are going to have to condense all of our living space into the 1200 sf upstairs area. I've been "in the process" of decluttering because we simply have too much stuff, guess this will really motivate me, huh?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Being real

It's days like this I feel like such a failure as a Mother. I don't know why people seem to think I'm this great mother. I really am not. In fact, I think I'm far lower on the scale. I don't cook for them, I am horrible at cleaning for them, I'm not even good at playing with them. Lately I feel like all I do is chase them around and yell at them.

Sadly, that's pretty close to the truth these days, not nearly enough exaggeration in there to make me feel better. David has been out of town so I've been flying solo. Add to that the fact that he gets in late tonight and we are leaving for a trip out of town for a week tomorrow morning. Recipe for disaster. I tell the kids to do something. I go to another kid to tell them to do something and by the time I get back to the first kid I find out that she didn't do anything I asked her to do. Seriously, it has been absolutely ridiculous how horribly disobedient they have been this week. They haven't behaved even remotely like themselves.

I have failed miserably. I have lost my temper more times than I can count. I hate to lose my temper. My Mom was an awesome Mom, so involved and played with us and did the coolest things for us, but that was her big pitfall as well. I have inherited her temper. I am aware of it, but that doesn't seem to help me corral it. I have had at least three sobbing breakdowns this week in front of my kids. I don't ever want to be this out of control and I'm not sure why I am. I've spent a lot of time in prayer this week as well. I know that God is there, but I feel so alone.

I guess everyone thinks I've got it all together and I don't need help, but I do. I feel like I am drowning and I will never catch up. I'm lonely too. I don't' have anyone I spend time with. I couldn't even if I wanted to because I don't have time, and they sure can't come in the house with it like this. I wish I had a Mom to turn to. I don't even feel like I have a family right now. David's family all works and are very busy people so we don't get to do much with them. My family doesn't remember I even exist unless David and I drive the halfdozen down the 12 hours to see them.

I'm clearly hormon and emotional lately and feel like this has to be rock bottom. Every time I feel like this has to be it though, I fall again. Please pray for me. I know God can get me through this and I'll come out the other side stronger, but in the meantime, I hurt. Physically and emotionally. This is me. Allowing vulnerability. Take note-it very seldom happens. Maybe that's God's plan in this, do help me learn to be more open and share my struggles. i don't know, but I know that God has blessed me with this family and he chose me, as undeserving and ill equipped as I am to have them, and I will try to lean on Him to become the Mother he would have me be.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Plans for moving forward

I am horrible at running a household. I've never even been able to keep my room clean when it was just me. Add in the halfdozen, a husband, a +, and the multiple distractions and you still can't begin to imagine the disaster that is our home. I want our home to be a haven. I want to be able to have people over. I want to teach my children to do things differently than me. I'm doing this with baby steps. I am very easily overwhelmed and if I tried to throw out all the old habits and routines I would be paralyzed and unable to implement any new plans. Right now my plan is to deal with laundry.

My Mom did the laundry once a week. Every Monday we sorted our dirty clothes in the hallway and she would wash them. If you didn't sort them, you didn't get your clothes washed. She did the clothes all day then in the evening we would all gather in the living room and fold and sort the clothes together then put our own clothes away. That's the "right" way to do it in my head. I can't do it. Not only can I not physically handle that much carrying of laundry in one day, I don't have that much time. I don't know how she did it. I struggled with this for a very long time. I was finally able to convince myself that it was ok if I did things differently. Things improved a bit.

I still had to sort the clothes by color the way my Mom did, and I was still chronically behind. I had no real way to figure out which clothes should be washed which day. Then a friend mentioned a "revolutionary" method that had helped her master the laundry battle. Each person has their own basket and when the basket is full, you wash that basket of clothes. No sorting AND, a huge plus, all the clothes are can be sorted and put away quickly since they all belong to the same room. This has also helped our laundry issues a bit.

The major problem with this system for us is that I'm the only one who actually washes my clothes when my basket is full. The halfdozen each have a basket in their room. It's their responsibility to bring the basket out with them in the morning if the basket is full. Even when I ask them @ breakfast, it seems their baskets don't fill up (probably in large part due to the fact that every item of clothing that they own is on the floor).

One final small (actually huge towering about to crash on my head pile) problem is that I simply can't keep up with the linen laundry. The halfdozen are constantly spilling things. Kids do that. No problem. The problem is that they feel the need to constantly toss a clean bath towel on the spill (only when told that they have to stop what they are doing and clean up said spill) and walk away. We also go through 5 bath towels each time the children bathe because there is simply nowhere to hang up the towels so they get tossed in the laundry. We also use tablecloths in an effort to save our table. They manage to spill and make huge messes with every meal.

So, here's my solution. I'll have to update you after we've attempted to implement it and let you know how it's working for us. Each child will continue to have their own basket. However, instead of waiting for the basket to become empty, they will have an assigned day that they must do their laundry. Also, to help with the linen problem, we will cover the table with shelf paper (it has a split down the middle where it folds outward to double in size and the spills and crumbs inevitably end up down there. Shelf paper is sticky enough to stay in place, and also water resistant enough and provides a barrier to help keep things from getting down there. With the shelf paper, I won't need to use 3 tablecloths a day. We will also be downsizing the number of bath towels we have. I will purchase one (possibly two) towel for each child in their color. We will keep a couple of our towels that are in better shape for David and I to use as well as for guest use. The halfdozen will each have a hook in their room that they can reach (with the possible exception of the littles, they need help anyway so David and I can help them hang their towels up) to hang up the towel(s) between uses. Then, it will be included with their laundry on their laundry day!

I know you're supposed to sort colors, and towels with laundry may be a bit rough, but, there's a possibility that this could help me finally conquer the laundry beast. (or at least maybe tame it enough to eat out of my hand?)

Thursday, April 30, 2009

It's the little things

Even the little moments mean so much, and I crave positive affirmation, it makes me feel more confident. Here are a couple of little moments:

Last night I made dinner. David is out of town and usually I resort to box meals or frozen dinners. I'm not sure what came over me, but I actually cooked last night. Like real food, not just Hamburger Helper, and even more...I did it without a recipe or really knowing what I was doing. I've never done it before, but I had a vague idea of how it was done. I made a "trio of nuggets". I even had to cut up the chicken myself. I've done that before, but I always had kitchen scissors. David seems to have a knack for throwing away kitchen scissors. (He cuts up the pizza and then leaves them in the pizza box that gets tossed.) We used them for everything growing up, so I don't have any real knife skills. So, I used a knife and cutting board, and cut the chicken into nuggets. I've made nuggets before (using the scissors) and Shake n Bake (mmmm) but this is the first time I breaded them from scratch. I laid out three different bowls and split the chicken into 3 piles. Nancy Cate came in and asked me if I was doing a science experiment. (She knows I don't cook, and all the different bowls with the different stuff in them was cracking her up. I probably looked a bit confused/overwhelmed as well.) LOL I put cornmeal in one bowl, grated Parmesan cheese in another, and soy sauce in the third. I also had a small bowl I cracked a couple of eggs and mixed them up in. I put one part of the chicken in the soy sauce and let it kind of marinate while I dipped the other two parts in the egg and then the coating. I don't know why I did egg, I didn't use an egg with the Shake n Bake but for some reason I had it in my head that you were supposed to use an egg for breading chicken. After I coated all the pieces I laid them on a crisping rack on a baking sheet and baked them. I also made some peas, but that's not exciting. Both b/c I hate veggies and b/c I just opened a can and warmed them up. The chicken was so yummy! I coudln't decide which one was my favorite. The halfdozen (minus Aria, of course) all loved it too! Nancy Cate kept hugging me and telling me how great I did. (Does that kid know me or what? Positive affirmations galore!) She also asked me to make some more for lunch the next day. No go on that since we won't be home for lunch today. Does this mean that maybe I'm finally growing up? Oh, and also, Nancy Cate also asked me to tell David when I talked to him that I had eaten my peas too. That's right, I ate peas. She didn't miss the fact that "ate" the peas like most people take a pill, but I did willingly ingest green veggies!

My other moment is that I finally figured out how to work the background on this blog. Took forever, but I did it totally by accident. I knew I could figure it out, I just don't like to try things unless I know I will be successful. It's the perfectionist in me.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

So techno-challenged

I usually think of myself as being fairly smart, but when it comes to technology I get quickly overwhelmed. I think I get a little of what the older generation feels when confronted by wireless internet when they grew up without even having a car. I know that I can figure it out, but with the constant distractions and interruptions by the little people in my house, it can take a while. Please be patient with me as I try to figure this out.