Thoughts In My Head

I admire anybody who is on bedrest for any reason, for any prolonged amount of time and remains sane to tell about it.  I tell you what, your mind becomes your worst enemy.  It constantly bounces around from one thought to the next.  One minute, you feel good and positive.  The next minute, you feel lonely and depressed.  It’s crazy.  I had to break out the giant sudoku book today just to distract my mind.  Maybe I will become a sudoku master.

The hardest part.  Sitting on the couch feeling like a lump and watching everybody living their “normal” life around you.  Also, you are forced to watch someone else run your home.  Basically, it’s like someone layed you off from your career but are requiring you to sit and watch while someone else does your thing but not quite in the same way.  The project that took you 10 years to build.  Yeah, someone else is working on it right in front of you.  It’s torture I tell you! 

Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely grateful for the help we have received.  We wouldn’t be able to survive without our friends and family.  The kids wouldn’t be fed, clothed or at school.  Our refrigerator would be empty and our house would be condemned by the city as a health hazard.  Even though it’s hard for me to let go, at least that stuff is being prevented by others generosity.

So, if you think that bedrest is a piece of cake, think otherwise. be grateful that you can move your legs and can sneeze or pass gas without fear of body organs ripping apart.  The things that are getting me through this are first of all, the thought that this too shall pass and we will be holding a healthy baby in a few months.  Second of all, the channel A&E.  That’s right, the Arts and Entertainment channel on tv. 

If you think your life is difficult, watch the shows on A&E.  There’s the show Intervention (one of my personal faves), 48 Hours, Dog the Bounty Hunter, The Cleaner, Cold Case Files and numerous other cop type/forensic shows.  I think these really appeal to me because at one point in my life, I wanted to be a cop/detective.  But really, there’s nothing like watching some drug addicts and unsolved murders to make you feel blessed.  There’s always something for everybody and it could always be worse.  After watching these shows, I am thankful to be at home safe in bed without suffering from a heroin addiction.  It’s better than therapy or pills and much cheaper. 

Now, as for the baby.  As far as I know, there has been no change since last week.  Except in my butt, I think that has gotten much larger and flatter since last week.  I can’t see inside my womb.  I wish they had sent me home with an ultrasound machine.  How fun would that be??  It would have provided hours of entertainment.  I still think I feel little taps down there if I sit very still for a while, especially at night.  Hopefully, no new news is good news.  I will know for sure in a couple days when I go for my next evaluation.  I’ll let you all know if anything more exciting turns up.  Right now, it’s ground hog day over here and I want to spare you all from the monotony of my life.


Today is a better day.  Activity in the nether regions has slowed down.  I am more rested and can think rationally.  I talked to my own ob/gyn and she was a little less reactive than the other doctor.  Which is good because I can always use a calming force.  My worries and anxieties can get a little out of control.  That’s never helpful.  For instance, I was considering not eating beans for a few days because I was worried that bad gas would disrupt my uterus.  After considering this for a while and performing a couple experimental gas passes, I decided that gas really didn’t effect the bleeding.  But I thought about it for a long time.  Anyway, my doctor didn’t paint a rosey picture of the situation but seemed pretty certain that we could make this successful if I stuck with the bedrest.  “Don’t panic!”, is what she kept telling me, “it can take a long time to heal.  Stick with it.”  So, I am hanging in there and trying to move around as little as possible.

During my bedrest since yesterday, I did have one momentous occasion.  I felt the baby move!!  It is really week 14 now and I guess that’s about right timing wise.  It wasn’t anything huge, but it was a consistent light bumping in there.  It made me happy and sad at the same time.

Another bonus that happened over the past couple days.  I have involuntarily gained a life coach.  We are using the term “life coach” loosely and in good humor.  It evolved after my post-ultrasound pep-talk I received from her yesterday.  She sounded like a football coach trying to motivate a “down and out” team.  I kept calling her “coach” and it evolved from there.  My life coach calls me daily and gives me great positive motivation.  Although yesterday, I did shed a couple tears during a conversation.  She told me that I can heal my body with positive thoughts.  I agree, but it’s hard to do. I have tried to distract my brain from anxious thoughts and not think about the what ifs.  Instead, I am trying to think in terms of “it will happen”.  Such as:  “My baby will be fine.  It will happen.” Or, “My hematoma will start to shrink.  It will happen.”

My LC may also appreciate this little quote that was just randomly sent to my inbox today:

“If you keep your face to the sunshine.  You cannot see the shadow.”  –Helen Keller

And so, I look forward to the sunshine and am grateful for a good day.  Thanks to everyone for their kind wishes and thoughts!

My frustration level this morning is beyond compare.  I can hardly contain it.  As of a couple hours ago, I couldn’t.  I was in tears.  My body is frustrating me and I can’t seem to fix it.  There’s nothing I can do but sit and wait.

I started bleeding again last night.  Not just a little bit.  I had to change clothes.  I had to sit in the bathroom forever.  Just flushing my fears.  It was the bad color.  You may not know this, but there are good and bad colors to blood when you are pregnant.  This was bad.  Very bad.  Especially when you are 13 weeks and you are supposed to be healing up.

I debated.  I couldn’t sleep.  I waited 4 hours.  It continued.  “Why was this happening?  Why now?”  We were just getting optamistic.  We had finally told everyone that we were expecting this little peanut.  How hard would it be to pick up the phone and make the calls to say that it was done?

I finally got up and went to the ER.  Again.  I have a lengthy record there now.  It was 4am and I was exhausted.  I layed on the sterile hospital bed staring straight ahead as they put in another IV yet again.  I am getting used to this, I think. 

Thank goodness, the ER is slow.  I am the only one there at the moment.  I am rushed in for an ultrsound after they take all the required samples.  The ultrasound tech has a 4 month baby and had severe bleeding just like I do all through her 1st trimester.  She gives me hope.  We watch the baby bounce around.  Healthy and developed in all the right places.  Now only if my uterus can hold it there, safe and unharmed.

We look as the scan moves slightly to the side.  I can tell the hematoma is different.  It’s a different shape and it’s right there, big and ugly next to the babies sac.  The ultra sound tech says that can happen and may not mean something horrible.  We will have to wait for the results.

It only takes about 15 minutes for the doctor to return with the results.  The hematoma is larger.  It’s not good.  It’s not healing as it should.  They consult with the on-call ob/gyn from my doctors office.  I have met her before and trust her opinion.  She says to go home, and stay in bed.  There is a very great chance I could miscarry soon.  It’s large and it’s scary there inside my uterus. 

I manage to keep in most of my tears until I sign my discharge papers and go home.  I am so frustrated.  There is nothing I can do to fix it.  There was nothing I did to cause this.  It just happens.  I want to know “why” it has to happen like this?  I don’t think there is an answer and that is why I am so frustrated.  There is nothing to do but sit and wait.  A true test of patience.

So, I crawled into bed trying to catch up on sleep and hopefully to catch a ray of hope to get through today in a positive frame of mind.  Hopefully, time will heal this wound.

Go to fullsize image  I keep thinking about how strange families are.  We saw plenty of family over the past few weeks due to going to visitations or funerals.  It turned out to be a real eye opener for both Tomas and myself.  I decided to make a list of the top things that you should NOT do at a funeral or a visitation.  These are all real and were either observed by Tomas or myself.  This might even be a short list after everything we saw and heard.

1.  Do not wear cargo shorts, a logo tshirt and flip flops to a funeral service, especially if you are immediate family.  There is something a little disrespectful about that I think.  We saw at least 5 people do this.

2.  Do not deal drugs with your cousin 6 feet from the casket of your grandmother at the visitation.  I am surprised that Grandma didn’t roll over right then and there.  Let me tell you folks, it wasn’t the “light” brand of drugs either.

3.  Do not show up to the burial ridiculously late when you left the funeral service with the family.  Like, just as people are throwing dirt on the vault and dispersing to their cars.  It might have been okay if it hadn’t been for the big ta-doo made by themselves on arrival. 

4.  Do not show up drunk and stinking of alcohol at the burial (or funeral/visitation for that matter).  Of course, these were the same duo that showed up ridiculously late.

5.  When giving a long winded eulogy, do not relate protests against our democratic government and other very “questionable activities” (i.e. illegal activities) to the strength your deceased father had when working with the underground to provide Jews with food in WWII.  Something just doesn’t compute there.  No one could pick up the true correlation.

6.  Do not take dentures out of a deceased persons embalmed body right before the showing.  The mouth just looks a little strange after that.

7.  Do not show up to a visitation 15 minutes early because you were going to leave on vacation that night.  Okay that’s not so bad in itself, until this person found the grieving children in the bathroom and wished them their condolences and then immediately left.  Perhaps you should wait until they have their pants adjusted before you attempt to console and run.

8.  Don’t miss your parents funeral/visitation because you don’t like dead people.  I think there would be some serious guilt afterwards.

9.  When speaking at a funeral, be sure to use a kleenex.  Don’t wipe/blow your nose onto your hand and then wipe it on your pants.  Trying to snort loudly to keep all the snot in also doesn’t sound well when you are hooked up to a microphone.  Take a moment, and use a tissue, everybody sheds tears at funerals and understands.  People will be able to hear what you are saying and will not be distracted by the snot streaks on your pants.

10.  Get permission from the funeral home director BEFORE lighting strongly scented incense and performing chants near the body.  There may be some “rules” that need to be followed due to ventilation and indoor air pollution/allergies.

Okay, so originally I said that I was going to take just a few days to get some things taken care of and then be back on the writing track.  Well, one thing led to another and then it was coming up to Labor Day weekend and the start of school.  I set a deadline for myself to get back on track with things starting Labor Day weekend.  Yesterday, we began to get our house and lives back into some resemblance of order.

You see, when I wrote this post, we had multiple things happening all at once in our family.  My grandfather passed away that morning.  I had been dealing with some health issues that led me to a trip to the hospital ER a couple days before.  It’s in the reproductive area and is nothing life threatening but it involved lots of blood loss and some pain.  I will spare you the rest of the details.  It’s not so pretty.  A couple hours after my mother called early in the morning to let me know about my grandfather, my ob/gyn called and said that the next step to healing was strict bedrest.  Yes, we are talking strict.  I was only supposed to get up to use the restroom and get drinks or food if necessary. 

The combination of those 2 things in a matter of hours sent me into a tailspin of frustration.  I wasn’t supposed to ride in a car, it was too much sitting and jostling.  How was I going to be there for my mother and sister at the visitation and funeral?  I ended up missing the visitation and only attending the funeral.  I didn’t even go to the “luncheon” afterwards.  Everyone understood, but I wanted to be there with my sister and mom because there were many interesting things occurring amongst the extended family in the wake of my grandfathers passing. 

Things like, people fighting over material items before the body was even cold (my grandmother had passed away 2 years ago almost to the day, so she wasn’t there to fend them off in her fiesty ways).  Or one particular relative going to the funeral home and requesting to remove the dentures from my poor grandfathers mouth because they had bad teeth and wanted to use his.  I know….absurd and gross.  The poor funeral directors unsewed the mouth and did so in the evening hours in order to meet the “families wishes”.    My mother apologized to the funeral directors who dealt with many of the families oddities in stride.  Although, they did say, it was the strangest request they had ever had.

After the funeral took place, I was still on bedrest.  Thanks to the support of friends and family, the first week went alright.  Tomas stayed home from work on personal and bereavement time.  The poor guy looked totally frazzled after about 4 days.  He had to sort coupons and go grocery shopping after I dictated the list.  He brought kids to playdates and to the park.  He cooked many meals and delivered things to me in bed with no complaining.  Truly a saint, but who are we kidding, he was out of his element and he was trying to work from home as much as possible since he had some big projects underway.  He had to go back to work the next week and emotionally, he couldn’t wait.  I don’t blame him it was a lot.

Well, Tomas went to work on Monday.  I went and was kindly allowed to sit at a friends house for the day while she watched the kids play with hers.  It was a great solution.  The kids had fun and I actually got to look at something beyond the walls of my house.  That day went fine and things were looking up.

Tuesday, however, we received a call that Tomas’s grandfather had passed away.  He had been ill for quite sometime.  He was given 6 months to live about 2 years ago.  In a way, we were thankful that his suffering was over.  He had even said “I wish my body would just die.  I am so ready.”  That allowed great comfort to us, that he was ready and his death came softly.  He just stopped while he was sleeping, and ironically that morning many of his children were visiting at the time.  Even so, we felt the loss as we prepared for this next funeral and visitation. 

The next day, we received another phone call.  Tomas’s grandmother (on the other side of the family) had passed away as well.  His family was rocked with the deaths.  It was so much to handle in such a little amount of time.  His grandmother’s passing was especially difficult for him.  His father had died when he was only a few months old in a tragic accident at home.  Grandma V. was the only person besides his aunt who was directly related to his father.  It was tough to lose that familial link. 

I was still on bedrest and having issues that indicated activity was not a real option.  I once again missed Grandpa’s visitation and this time I missed the funeral.  During the early morning of the grandpa’s funeral, I started hemorraging.  I waited until the doctors office opened.  My mother quickly came to watch the kids so Tomas could attend the funeral and burial.  After conferring with the doctors on call, they decided I should once again to into the ER (exactly one week from the 1st time).  It was the easiest place to get all the blood tests, xrays, ultrasounds, liquids or whatever I would need at once place.  If I went to their office, I would have to go from one lab to the next.  I called Tomas on his cell just as the funeral started, tearfully telling him I was off driving myself to the ER.  I was SO SO frustrated.  You see, if I had no “issues” for so many days, I could go off bedrest.  Now, I was starting from scratch again.  Do you know how hard it is to be on strict bedrest with 3 little kids?  It’s close to impossible! Most of all, I was angry that I couldn’t be there in person when Tomas had to go to the funerals/visitations alone. 

The poor guy had too much to handle that day.  He was supposed to be at a funeral/burial for one grandparent and helping organize another funeral/visitation for his grandmother.  Then his wife is crying in the ER.  Our family took over, and sent him home from the funeral with their best wishes.  He arrived at the ER and between our 2 pathetic teary faces and sad stories, we ended up receiving some of the best medical care that I have ever encountered.  I think we scared them and they just didn’t want to have to refer us to the psych ward.  Anyway, I was sent home with a hopeful prognosis and was able to attend the visitation and funeral (sitting the whole time) for Tomas’s grandmother.  Tomas spoke at the funeral service and I had to be there for that.

After all that, Tomas returned back to work and I began to move around a little more confidently.  The kids needed to prepare for school.  This past weekend was great.  We started to get “back to normal”.  We did our school shopping and on this wonderfully gorgeous Labor day weekend, we actually started to put our house back in order.  It had become a ridiculous mess.  The long relaxing weekend was just what our family needed.

And so we begin again.  Zack is off to his first day at Kindergarten.  Anson begins preschool tomorrow.  Tomas is back at work and I will continue my vigil on the couch as much as possible until further notice from the docs.  Of course, what would “normal” be without blogging now and again?  Another perk to bedrest, endless hours to search the web for interesting goodies.  Be warned, I have a whole list of things to consider.  Some a little bit weird, some a little bit alarming, and some just a little gross.

Thanks for hanging in there with me during my “time off”.  I appreciate all the kind notes and emails from people I don’t even know “in real life”.  It was great to have that support!  I also want to say a huge thank you to all the friends and family members who sent us card, meals, visits, house keeping assistance, and flowers during those couple weeks.  It was a God-send!  Our employers have also proven to be some of the most compassionate “bosses”/friends ever.  It’s been amazing.  We are looking forward to planting the trees/shrubs that were sent to us from Tomas’s work for a memorial garden.  What a wonderful, long lasting gift that was for our family! I hope that we will be able to give back when times are tough for you all as well!

Go to fullsize imageOh goodness!  Let’s hope that’s not what happens to our kids!

Unfortunately, bullying at all age levels seems to either be getting either more and more prevalent or just more public.  I think that bullying has always been around but not to the degree of meanness that it has come to now.  When you see all the online videos of kids beating up another child because they said something that was “unaccepted”, it makes you a little nervous to send your child into that world when school starts.

I also recently just read the book “Nineteen Minutes” by Jodi Picoult.  A very interesting take on bullying.  You have the view point of the bully, the bullied, and those that allowed the bullying to occur.  With a surprising ending and many dramatic (traumatic?) events, this book makes you think a little differently about the different ways that bullying can occur and also how people deal with it in different ways.

When I think about bullying, I really don’t have too much experience on the receiving end until my adult life believe it or not.  It wasn’t until being in a competitive college program that I really noticed how cut throat people can be to try and gain power.  I continued to see this and once and a while experience an act of bullying.  People trying to secure their position in social circles at the expense of others.  As you age, you realize that people can be really selfish and I think that’s what drives the bullying (whether unconscious or consciously) throughout life.

I have seen bullying already in my kids preschool.  Kids excluding others for one silly reason or another.  My child, was labelled a bully just because he kicked a few kids in the head at the beginning of the year (I know, I couldn’t believe it but his soft heart became evident as he adjusted.  Thank Goodness!)  It must be somewhat of an innate drive for power that we are born with.  It is our job as “responsible” adults and parents to teach our children what is “right” and what is “wrong”.  It is also our job to protect our children from being emotionally or physically harmed from bullying and I strongly feel from being harmed by becoming a bully.  Afterall, whether you are the bully or the bullied, the acts of violence come to hinder your learning, social/emotional interactions, and can lead to continued acts of violence.  Here are some facts and things to look for that signal acts of bullying or that your child may have observed such an act and have accepted it as being “normal”/acceptable.

Definition:  “A person is being bullied when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more people. Bullying can take many forms – both direct and indirect – but always involves a power imbalance that makes it difficult for the victim to defend him or herself.”

Direct Acts of Bullying:  Hitting, shoving, namecalling, mocking, threats, extortion for money or goods such as treasured possessions. 

Direct acts of bullying are easy to spot and for whatever reason, this is the form of bullying that boys and men will most often exhibit, especially at younger ages.  For whatever reason, they are wired in a more simple way and will “fight it out” physically before they approach the emotional aspects.

Indirect Acts of Bullying:  Beginning and contributing to the spread of hurtful/negative rumors, Intentional exclusion from social circles, verbal manipulation or just manipulating in general, preventing someone from becoming part of particular social groups or friendship circles.

Indirect acts of bullying are unfortunately very common, especially among girls and women.  Females tend to be more in tune with the effects of emotional manipulation and feelings.  Female bullys actually enjoy and will receive positive feedback from peers for being able to emotionally control a victim.  It’s a subversive act of controlling others for power.  In my reading, I found that this type of bullying is rampant in the workplace among adults (but that is another dissertation all together!)

How do you spot acts of bullying?:  40-75% of bullying takes place during breaks during the school day.  Such as recess, waiting to enter the classroom in the morning, lunch hour in the cafeteria, in the hallways, and secluded areas such as the bathroom.  Bullys know what they are doing is wrong, no matter what age they are, and will try to hide their repeated acts of physical/emotional violence, making it a little more difficult for others to spot.  Here’s a short list of things to look for with your child (believe it or not, this is a very short description of bullying):  coming home with damaged clothing, school items, or loses items with no explanation;  bruises, cuts, or injuries that are not explainable; loss of interest in school and a decrease in school performance (grades, activities, etc);  does not bring friends to your home or rarely wants to spend time with other students after school, takes illogical routes to, from or through hallways at school, finds excuses not to go to school in the morning, seems unhappy or depressed with sudden mood swings that involve anger and frustration, decrease in appetite, stomach aches and/or headaches, restless sleep that may include crying or nightmares.

How do know if your child is a bully?:  Children who admit to regular bullying tend to show the following characteristics;   impulsive, hot-headed, shows little to no empathy, easily frustrated, has difficulty following rules, and views violence in a positive way.  Ironically, bullies have an easy time making friends and have average to above average self esteem.

Not surprisingly, a child’s home life will contribute GREATLY to their tendency to be become a bully. 

Here are some characteristics in a person’s homelife that tend to produce bullies:  lack of warmth or involvement on the part of the parents; overly permissive parents (households that lack consequences for negative actions); lack of supervision by parents; harsh physical discipline; parents modeling forms of bullying (parents can be huge examples for children to learn bullying from.  They will show ways to exclude others or talk openly and maliciously about others in front of the children.  After all, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree). 

What you can do to stop the bully cycle:  #1, the most important thing you can do is be involved in your child’s school and social life.  Now, don’t be controlling but just aware.  The bully and the victim both tend to have uninvolved parents.  So, be involved and know how your child treats others including how their social group treats others.  Encourage your child to not just be a bully bystander.  Help them identify bullying among their peers and let them know that it is not okay.  Encourage them to defend any bully victims by telling an appropriate adult but don’t have them contribute by fighting it out themselves.  If you see any acts of bullying (either direct or indirect), stop it immediately.  Get physically in between the victim and the bully.  Let them know that this will not be accepted and consistently apply immediate appropriate consequences.  Help the victim “save face” and allow them to find support/intervention by regaining self control and without fear of retaliation from others.  Never require that the victim and the bully meet and “work things out”.  Since bullying is a power imbalance, these conversations can once again traumatize the victim and often do not lead to constructive solutions.  Assist the bully in finding ways to make amends in meaningful ways.  Such as changing their actions for the better.

Whatever you do, don’t think that this issue is an unavoidable right of passage for children.  It is never acceptable to deliberately cause harm to another person, no matter what age they are.  Allowing your child to feel victimized will not make them a tougher person.  It will only cause emotional scarring and baggage that will effect them for the long haul.  And if you feel it’s okay that your child hangs out with peers who have shown acts of bullying, remember that people who are prone to bullying are 4 times more likely to perform criminal acts as they reach adulthood.  Violence promotes violence.  It’s a slippery slope.

Well, that’s the end of my lenghty dissertation on bullying.  Probably not one of my most exciting posts, but hopefully informative and helpful in organizing some thoughts and facts on a very sensitive issue.  I know that we all want our children to be happy and successful.  It’s our job to show them the way.

There are so many resources on bullying, surf the web for credible sources or visit the library to review many great books on the topic.  This is a world wide problem, mainly focused on the school age group but also for adults since it never stops if gone unchecked.

Alternate Title:  Compared to Me, Everyone Else is Normal

Go to fullsize image  I thought I would update everyone who cares on my goings on, green happenings and life with 3 crazy children and 1 lazy husband. Oops….did I say that last part aloud?  I know that you have one of those too at times….come on just admit it. 🙂  Add my 2 itchy dogs and an OCD cat and we’ve got a mixture made for madness.  If you have decided at this point that you just don’t care about this stuff, stop reading, and go find something more educational to do.  Such as watch the History Channel or Food Channel.

I will move on to my update now.  First of all, an update on my “natural” attempts to rid my dogs of fleas and itch.  Results are mixed.  One dog is great.  No fleas, no itch.  That would be our husky-mix.  She is a trooper and it built strong like a truck.  Nothing really phases her.  Except macaroni and cheese, she goes beserk for mac and cheese, and watermelon.  Then there is our terrier mix, Harry.  He has gone from itchy to super itchy.  Top that off with about 30% hairloss in a couple days and mild skin abrasions from his claws itching himself, and you have one unhappy little pup.  There is no ataxia at this point, which means there is no neurological issues yet, that’s a good thing.  He is going to see the vet straight away tomorrow.  I gave him an oatmeal bath and then a massage with natural oils to help soothe his skin.  He did love that and it really helped.  But the hairloss is still worrisome.  I keep saying he has the mange just because I like that word.  Oh, I almost forgot!  The fleas are gone though!  This is probably a skin allergy to something else, like my natural veterinary pharmaceutical concoctions.  I will let you know what the vet says.  If it’s something I made, I will be sure to let you know what needs to be changed in the recipes.  Even though the vet will likely think I am crazy for trying the previous methods, I don’t care.  I am full disclosure in the realm of health.  I think he will be more impressed by my obsessive clinical observations that I have been recording every 3 hours. 

On to the weekend:  The weekend started off great.  The kids and I met up with some friends on Friday evening.  They had a blast eating cookies, riding on a battery powered fire truck, and performing songs for us in their impromptu band.  The 1 1/2 year olds weren’t too helpful in this but they looked cute.  The night ended with an hour of chasing fire flies all over the neighborhood, catching them in clear jars and releasing them to be chased again.  We got home at 10:15pm and the kids were still all pumped up.  All six of the kids in the group were having so much fun they didn’t want to leave.

Tomas was not at this event because he was playing in yet another tennis tournament.  His back muscles are looking mmm…mmmm….fine, but ladies, this schedule is killing me.  He played Saturday as well and thanks to a rain delay and quick elimination for Tomas that day he was home by noon.  This tourney was mostly college punks and my old man just couldn’t keep up for too long.  He expected this going into it and the money goes toward charity, so he wasn’t disappointed.

Saturday also brought us an ill child.  Zack developed a fever of 103 and was obviously fighting a bug.  Anson is potty training and doing awesome.  Only one accident in 3 days.  I can NOT wait to have another one out of diapers totally.  The nighttime dryness is still an issue but I will take him wearing unders only in the day anytime.  The landfills are breathing a sigh of relief.  If I knew then what I know now, it would be cloth diapers all the way.

Since it was rainy and Zack was sick and Anson had to stay near the potty chair and Gret is cutting molars and Tomas was exhausted from trying to keep up with the younger generation at tennis and my dog was itching his skin off, I decided to start a minor remodeling project or 2 in the basement.  We were trapped in the house, why not take on another project right? 

I created a large chalkboard (about 6ft wide by 4 foot tall, set low by the floor) using chalkboard paint in the craft room, mounted squares of cork board above it to display any cool kids projects, and posted a large map of the U.S. to chart out our families travels.  It looks really awesome and the kids love it.  As I was doing it, Zack brought me the keys to my car from my purse.  When I asked him why he had those, he said that we needed to go to the craft store to get chalk, right now!  So exciting for the little ones.  I will post pics of the room once I rearrange our craft tables to fit the new space.  I am working on creating my “craft studio” in there as well, so they can do fun projects while I get some work done.  I have to admit it looks a little reminiscent of an old school classroom.

But don’t think I stopped there, I was on a painting roll (or should I say, roller).  I love to paint things.  It’s a sick thing really.  I put Anson’t potty chair right outside the bathroom in the basement which is by our new “studio”.  I pulled out one of the several cans of paint I have collected over time and started painting that room.  It was a boring 80’s beige/off white color.  No life what-so-ever, but now it is a lovely “Seaside” blue/green color.  Zack said he really liked that as well.  Now I just need to make some curtains (I have some material I can use for that).  I cleaned it all up today and hope to make a coastal spa feel in there so mommy or guests can have a little retreat.  I will post pics of the finished room once I make the curtains.  If anyone remembers this bathroom, it used to have the cat littler box in it (that’s been relocated) and it was kind of dingy.   I also did take a break when an honorary Dutch friend swung by and kidnapped me to go to the local Dutch store.  We got some yummy things and our favorite coffee.  Which I would desparately need in the morning.

For most people, that would be a full weekend.  But not for me.  I think I must be certifiable.  Today, Zack woke me up puking his guts out.  Good morning!  At least he waited until 8 am to start this.  Poor thing had a raging fever again.  We took care of our little man all morning and when the pukeys subsided, I tackled the now huge pile of laundry, cleaned the other 2 bathrooms, and the kitchen.  I went to 2 second hand stores, looking for a couple specific items, including a bathroom cabinet for my newly painted one.  Didn’t find it but found a couple other great deals.  I came back, played with the kids for a while.  Zack was doing 200% better after some ibuprofen. 

Tomas prepared the meal we were supposed to share with some very special friends.  It was delicious!!  Sorry guys about having to postpone!!  I am sure you didn’t want this virus though at your house.  After our great 4 course meal, we all went outside to play since it was finally below 150 degrees outside with 200% humidity.  I trimmed all of our shrubbery on a whim, swept the patio, pruned some trees, and prepped the trash and recycling bins for pick up.

So, that is my weekend activity.  It was unexpectedly jammed packed even though we were “at home”.  We were supposed to go see 2 of Tomas and I’s grandparents who are under hospice care and not expected to make it through the next week.  One was having a Birthday party, because he probably is not going to be here for his 90th in August.  It was a great event, and we were sad to miss it.  But we couldn’t go due to our infected home.  We will get to both as soon as our germs clear out.  Our other 2 grandparents are doing better.  But grandma has been switched to a full care alzheimers facility instead of assisted living.  Grandpa is scheduled for heart repairs in a couple weeks but is doing well.

Hmmm….if you made it this far, I applaud you!  I hope you could keep up with our chaos.  There will always be more to come! 

You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star.   ~Nietzsche

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