Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sweet dreams...

I thought I would post a recent video. I can't get over how much she has grown. She is walking now, and you can't see him off stage on the video, but she is actually fussing with Parker. I don't know what she was saying to him, but it must have been interesting because he actually perked his ears up and just listened to her. It was profoundly adorable and helps me remember what our ultimate goal is and just how precious and wonderful it will be.

I apologize for the loud booming noises coming from my husband's computer. He was engrossed in blowing up bad guys and could not be disturbed for an impromptu moment of cute.

Click here to see what the rest of the class is showing this week!

Show and Tell

On the Infertile Front Lines...

I haven't mentioned the baby making front for a while. I just haven't found it in me to discuss it lately. I'm beyond frustrated with my body. After one round of clomid my body has again gotten away from me. I had to wait a while for af to show. When she finally did, it came and went for a few days, so I missed my next round of clomid. I am right now 20 days into a visit from af and I feel miserable.

I keep telling myself it will stop and that there is no need for a round of provera. I feel like calling in provera is like admitting defeat I guess. I hate that the only way for me to have a successful cycle is with a pill every time I want my body to do something. I just want it to work normally.Tonight as I thrust the leash into hubby's hand and rushed upstairs, praying as I ran that my insides would not go gushing down my pant leg while the neighbor watched, I realized that it wasn't going to stop. I could go on like this for months. I want to just fall to the floor and collapse in to a heap of failure sometimes.

My doctor always seems so nonchalant about this problem. I wonder if he knew what it felt like to be forced to survive a full working day 15 days into one of the gore filled visits, if he would indeed be as carefree about them. I am exhausted right now, weak even. I have been trying so hard to work on several projects, but I find just making it through 8 hours is almost impossible. I haven't dared to grace his office doors for a blood check though. The last three times this has happened, he has checked my blood level and I have squeaked out a 12. He always shrugs and says, well, 11 is the point at which I get concerned, so you are ok. My body can't even be sick the right way! I always manage to just fall short of the line someway or another. Ugh!

Lately I have considered the option of bcps just for the simple fact that I would only have to deal with minimal visits from af. I am sick to death of feeling so disgusting all the time! Take a shower? What's the point? I will just be in here hosing off again in fifteen minutes! Laundry? Why bother? My clothes spend more time in the sink than on my body! I haven't bothered to buy new under garments for a very long time only because I would never be confident enough to wear them without fear of mucking them up.

And let's not get started on husbands! I don't know how many times I have heard, "You must be ready for some action after all this time hon!" or "Aren't you just dying for something lately?" Uh yeah! I'm just dying to be able to sleep through the night again without fear of drowning! They must think that we think about it as often as they do. To be honest, I cannot bear the thought of any hanky panky right now without the accompanied desire to gag and hurl! I just want to be done with my girly bits for a while! I need a break!

So, anyhow, I suppose I will wave the white (or crimson) flag of retreat some time this week and call the doctor for the dreaded provera to come in and clean up my mess. I will wait patiently for things to simmer down and with the definition of insanity so close to my lips, I will start this mess all over again.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Big Steps

One of the main reasons why I've been battling demons so to speak lately has stemmed from my intense need to find a positive outlet to help me move on. The thought reared its annoying little head after running into the mom of one of my best friends from my school years. Through her I contacted said best friend (In Africa! Nother story, nother day) and I anxiously awaited her response. All of these fears and emotions stirred up and kept me antsy and uneasy as I waited. I started wondering if she would even talk to me. I questioned if she would still remember all the horrible challenges our friendship should have never endured. She wrote me back two agonizing days later and to my relief (after several conversations) I have realized that we are all grown ups now and for the most part understand what happened from an adult point of view.

It was beyond difficult having to relive those feelings all over again. I remember telling hubby several times that I was so thankful I never had to go back to high school again. As I was drifting off to sleep one night I remember thinking "If only someone had talked to my friends and explained what I was going through back then." I realized that the only person to effectively talk about those things was someone with first hand experience. I woke up the next day with a heavy and scary burden to help change things for some other teen out there.

I tried for a while to ignore it. I thought it was just a fleeting idea that would fade, but it turned out to nearly eat me alive! I emailed my friend in Africa (let's call her Jill) and asked her what to do. I just knew she would brush it off or think I was the same ole me and never email me again but she didn't. She is a missionary in Africa that teaches in the schools about safe practices and such. She was so encouraging and I found myself writing out a plan. I started with an outline of things I wanted to discuss and even decided who I would talk to about it and how I would put the plan into action.

When school started I got sort of antsy about it. I tried to put it off for a while with the idea that I never had time to go see the guidance counselor (the same one that was there for me when I was in high school!). I tried to reason with myself that it was a silly idea. I mean, who was I to go in and talk to a whole school full of girls about something so important?

Today, I had to leave to assist with a meeting at another school. I had given myself an hour so that I could go home and change for the meeting. I ended up just wearing nice clothes today and so I had an hour to kill. My car drove itself to the high school. I swear. I was humming to a great song on the radio one minute and gripping the steering wheel in a parking space the next.

I met with the counselor today. I told her why I wanted to do this. I told her what I had hoped for. I let her know that I understood that perhaps I was asking a bit much and that in that situation I simply would like to know how I could help someone else talk to the girls if at all possible. We devised a plan that involves me meeting twice this year during "health class" with the freshman girls. I would meet once with the fall girls and once with the spring girls (we do block scheduling so half go in the fall and half in the spring). She told me to write a letter to the principal and that she herself would go in and deliver it for me explaining how it would fit in the curriculum and what our ideas were. She is going to talk to the teacher for me and they will set up a date for me to come. It will be school board approved so that we can continue it next year if it is successful.

I walked out of there shaking and feeling nervous but relieved and at peace with myself. I took the first steps. I took huge steps today. I only hope that my huge steps can save someone else from having to wear my shoes.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Let's take a happier trail for a bit shall we?

The big read...

The Big Read (a program of the National Endowment for the Arts) guesses that the average adult has only read six of the top 100 books on this list.

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline (or mark in a different color) the books you LOVE.
4) Reprint this list in your blog so we can try and track down these people who've read 6 and force books upon them ;-)

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible (I have started but not finished it entirely)
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

31 isn't that bad eh? I saw this over at Dana's and thought how wonderful it would be to keep this list handy so I can work my way through. I've been wanting to read so many of these books for so long and I just never remember them when I pick up new books. I guess I have no excuse now eh?

Something to point out...I never knew it... You can go.og.le most of these books and read them online. How cool is that? I'm so behind on the times!

Let's take a happier trail for a bit shall we?

Monday, August 25, 2008

My Story

I have to preface this post. The things discussed in this post may bring back emotions or memories for some that they would prefer to leave tucked away today. I understand. I've been there. If you want to read on and share, know that this is a safe place to do so. If you do not wish to continue, that is ok with me too....

Ten years ago, life was great. I was young, clueless, and deeply immersed in the angst that accompanies growing up. When the school year started, we moved to a new house across town. It was bigger and held such promise for all of us. Football season began and I found myself busy with auditions and performances. I was eager to begin treading into college level classes and nervous that I would not be able to keep up with some of the higher ranking students. I put a lot of pressure on myself to stay at the head of the pack in everything I did. I was not popular. I was too thinly spread to settle in one click or another.

One night my world crashed in around me. All of the fears and nightmares I had kept at bay for so long suddenly in one fell swoop carried me away. I cannot say the word comfortably. I do well to acknowledge it to myself. I dare not whisper it. I always find myself looking over my shoulder nervously if I ever do utter the word. I don't think I will ever get over that.

I remember a train whistle in the distance. I was asleep after a long angst filled night of football and halftime preparations. He came in and took what he sought despite five people being in our home. I thought I was safe - until that night. I thank God every day of my life that my little sister and her three friends stayed oblivious and safe in the family room with my mother.

They never found him. Our tiny police department just didn't know how to handle things like that. My friends whispered behind closed doors and on telephones. Things like that never happened in our town. Surely this was just a ploy. I must be desperate for attention. Parents looked at me differently and no one would come to my house anymore. I was broken. No one knew what to say or do. Least of all me.

My parents, meaning well, encouraged me to leave it all behind. They wanted me to go on as if nothing had happened. I had such a future ahead of me and if I fell behind now, I would never catch up. I struggled to keep up and hide behind the walls I built up. It didn't work.

Ten years later, I still wake up at night scarcely able to breathe. I am drenched with sweat and fear. I cling tight to any ray of light I can find.

My husband knows. Sort of. He knows that it happened. He doesn't understand it though. I don't think that anyone could truly understand unless they too had been forced to stand face to face with my reality. He uses the word nonchalantly in the games he plays. He scoffs at my terror of a train's whistle. I can't blame him though. Anyone on the outside of my walls would think it silly to shudder and tremble at a passing train. A thoughtless word is just that - thoughtless. Without the images that flash on the screen of my mind, how could anyone possibly understand the pain or terror that goes hand in hand with those words, sounds, smells.

I don't have many friends anymore. The looks and cold shoulders of that time have jaded me I am afraid. I am one of those surface people. I know there have to be more like myself out there. I meet with colleagues at work and we have a great rapport. I can talk to people and carry on a fun and entertaining round of conversation. I love my family and hold them tight. But, no one can breach the surface. My husband has even raised a complaint or two that I should share more with him.

I can't. Part of me wants to hold tight to this memory that plays over and over. I dare not leak a breath of it to anyone. If I carry it and hold tightly to it perhaps I can protect all of those naive people that share their lives with my own.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Melancholy Truth

I haven't been completely honest with you all lately. I've been avoiding the blog. It isn't that I am not in the mood to write. Actually nothing could be farther from the truth. I can't use the old "Just haven't found the time" excuse truthfully either. With hubby going to work at night now, I have a bit of alone time to sit and put thoughts to type everyday. Truth be told, I'm scared.

A few times each year, I go through this sort of brooding melancholy. I find myself pulling inward and spending a lot of time deep in thought. I think that is one reason why my crocheting has become this insistent need lately. It gives me a great excuse to be alone with myself. I have things in my heart that I just can't move past. I usually find a way to work my way out of their grasp and stuff them away for a while longer, but I've never been able to find the release and closure that I need.

Normally, as football season kicks off, and the leaves begin to change, I allow myself to melt away for a while, fighting demons inside for a bit. I've done such a great job for so many years of hiding this from everyone I know and love. I don't want them thinking that I'm still bothered or affected. Truth is, I'm haunted every single day. This year, I, myself brought on this mood earlier than norm. I've been trying to find the courage to use my issues in a positive way. I want to mark the 10th year with good. I thought by making this a positive thing, that I could overcome my feelings. I didn't think it would bring it all back so mucky and deep, threatening to overtake me.

My thoughts are dying to pour out onto paper. I want desperately to share them and be out with them. My fingers type the words in my sleep sometimes I think. I just need for someone else to help me carry the bucket so to speak. I can't. So many times I have been told to move on. So many times someone very close to me has brushed off this pain as something in the far off past. I feel so silly holding on but I can't find the release that will finally free me.

The best thing for me to do is to purge it all, to just let it out and let it fly into the wind one word at a time. I'm so scared of what happens once I finally let go though. What kind of person am I under all that stuff?

Infertility does that to us too sometimes. It is part of me that I can't just sweep under the rug. I can hide it from everyone. I can tuck away the corners neatly in a box, out of the sight of others, but at the end of the day I am still going to have to deal with that box. I can put it in a corner under a table somewhere, but every time I walk past, my mind still zeroes in on that box. I will always know it is there.

Do you have any boxes stashed away? How do you even begin such a scary task of cleaning out the cobwebs? How do you keep it all from collapsing in around you?

A Puppy Showdown

Ok as promised (even though a day late) - a story about Parker.


Now that I am back to school, I stand outside each morning and wait on my mom to pick me up. I live right by the school and last year hubby had the car at work in the mornings so mom would just swing by and we would ride together. I truly don't need her to this year, but I enjoy it so she still comes by.

Anyhow, as I am waiting I am usually befriended by one of the five or six kitties that wander around our building. A few days ago this gorgeous orange medium haired, declawed, tabby comes up to me begging for some love. I played with him for a bit and sent him on his way. He started hanging around and I would meet him every morning at the foot of the stairs.

One morning I took Parker out before I left for work and the tabby comes up to the bottom step not noticing Parker sitting there. Parker lunged through the railing at the kitty and barked at him. The kitty, in all of his cat-titude flipped tail and sauntered off. I didn't see him for a day or so after that. With that being said....

Hubby came home one morning last week and as a sweet gesture took the pups out for me (Between the lines... we argued the night before about his lack of chore assistance and he was now kissing tush to get back on his side of the bed....). I stayed in bed praying that all time would stop for two more hours so that I could catch up on some much needed sleep (It didn't.). All of a sudden Parker comes running in the house and curls up under the blanket with me shaking. This apparently did not suit him so he hopped down and crawled into his crate and curled up under his blanket in there.

Hubby comes into the house laughing and calling for Parker. Parker would not budge. He was not coming out of his crate for anyone or any reason! Hubby was laughing so hard he couldn't tell me what was going on. I felt sorry for my baby but he wouldn't come out.

Finally, hubby held back his chuckles long enough to fill me in.

Parker had just hiked his leg to do his thing when all of a sudden out of a bush comes this orange flash. The orange tabby had been hiding in a bush and had now clobbered all six pounds of Parker. There was much paw whacking and growling and of course from our Parker, howling. It scared the behoovits out of him and hubby feeling a pang of compassion, released him from his leash and let him turn tail and run.

Poor thing. He got his butt kicked by a cat. Did you notice me saying earlier that he was declawed?!?! We finally coaxed him out but he was really clingy all day and refused to go back outsided that day. I haven't seen tabby since, but I am certain he is hiding somewhere plotting attack on his next victim!

This is how he was the rest of the day....

Thursday, August 21, 2008

What Can I Say?

This week is absolutely exhausting!

I'm so sorry I have been absent. I have been spending so much energy trying to get through a day with all of the new kids I have to learn. I have four classes with twenty kids in each room and then I have a lunch group and a bus group. Going to sleep now consists of a flood of names and faces flashing up on my eyelids as I try desperately to hum them away.

What do I have to tell you about this week?

I could tell you how I broke a child's heart this week and gave myself the award for "The most insensitive human being on the face of the earth." I promise it wasn't intentional.

In kindergarten we stagger the kids in for the first two weeks. We usually have four or five a day just to get them used to things and allow us to see where they are in terms of readiness. This little girl showed up on Tuesday and it wasn't her day to be there. My friend Betty, the teacher looked and said "Well honey, did you just want to come an extra day? You didn't have to come today." The little girl froze and almost cried.

I went to find her older sister and figure out how she would go home that afternoon. Her sister's teacher gave me an fyi that their grandmother had passed away that morning. Explained why she was there. I would do the same thing if I were a mom. Here's the crappy "Arian should be fried on a skewer" part.

I walk back in and call the little girl up. I say "Sweetie, did...did your grandmother die this morning?" She proceeded of course to burst into tears and I hugged her and told her that it would be ok and that maybe she would feel better if she went and played for a while.

I totally panicked! I meant to say "Did something happen to grandma" but I was thinking in my mind about expecting her answer to be that she died and it all got away from me. Then I freaked out for making her cry and just tried to hug her and move on. UGH! Later on she told us she was so mad at grandma for leaving her and that she did not want to be at school. I felt so bad. We got her through the day though and she became my very best bud all day.

*** I could tell you how that same day they moved my grandfather to the nursing home. They have to move him there until he can get up and go to the bathroom and a few things by himself. One doctor said roughly 8-12 weeks. Another said 2-3. Who knows.

When they moved him, they told us at 3 o'clock that he was in route. He didn't get there until almost 9 pm! My grandfather was so tired. I was pretty angry about that.

I got to see him yesterday and we were able to have a bit of fun for a while. He just looks so tired and fragile. It scares me. He fell asleep while we were laughing at my grandmother's incessant need to go to I'm going to wait a couple of days before I visit again. He needs to rest and build his strength up a bit.

*** I could also tell you about the hilarious pickle our Parker found himself in yesterday. I'll save that one for tomorrow though. It is rather funny.

I've been working on a blanket for Grandad. I started out with socks but umm.... grrr! They were a pain in the tush! I need to wait till I get some smaller more socky yarn for them. I figured in the meantime, why worry about cold feet when I could warm his whole lap and his feet at the same time? That is one reason why I am so lazy with my blogging right now. I've been pushing to get it done so that it will help him feel at home in the nursing home. I know my grandad and despite what he says, being there is unbelievably hard for him. Right now he's too tired to care much, but in a few days, I fear what it will do for his spirits being there.

Sorry for such a jumpy post. Just thought I'd check in before surrendering my hands to the yarn again! Come back tomorrow for a funny pup story and pics!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Thankful Perspective

This show and tell is more tell than show but I just had to share it with you all. Every Sunday I go to church in a tiny room with tiny little people. I love my little people and I try to recognize that they are just that. Little people.

If you are confused, worry not. I keep the toddlers 18 months to 2 and a half years old. I love them all so much and I never leave church without a funny story to keep me going all week.

This morning we were learning that we can talk to God. We all bowed our heads and said a little prayer. We went through the normal things, "Thank you God for Mommy and Daddy. Thank you God for our class. Thank you God for the cows" (Two year olds love cows!). All of a sudden one of my little boys opened his eyes really wide and looked up to heaven with his little hands raised and a huge smile on his face.

"Tank you God for my Paci!"

My heart melted right there on the floor. God reminded me this morning that I need to keep in mind all of those everyday things that we all so often forget to be thankful for.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Tough Birds

Yesterday was frought with nervous energy. Everytime someone came to me with a request I almost melted into the wall, terrified of what they would say. Before the day had even started, our reading coordinator came to me and asked me to document every time I worked one on one with a child. They had found a loophole that gave the school an extra $150,000. We have to document like crazy, but it paid for six assistants salaries. It saved my job. I told her I would keep records until my fingers fell off if I could keep my job!

Later that afternoon, mom kept getting phone calls. They put off Granddaddy's surgery several times. They were going to have to work him in somewhere and he kept getting pushed further and further back. It worked out though because we were able to get there before he left for surgery and neither of us had to leave work early.

As I finished up getting kids on the bus and making sure everyone was safely on their way home, the reading coordinator came to me saying, "I'm sooo sorry that I have to tell you this with such short notice but..." Holy crap my heart leapt into my throat! "Can you be at a meeting Monday morning at the Central Office? You will be there from 8-3 training for us. Is that ok?" I almost kissed her! I just knew she was going to tell me that I couldn't come back! I assured her I would make the meeting.

Five minutes later, the principal herself hunted me down. "Mrs. Arian? I got a call from "the other elementary school" and they are having a meeting for parents on the 28th. They asked me if you could sign for them. Would you please go and do this for me?" While I silently kicked myself for not removing my name from the sign language interpretation contract already, I happily nodded yes and got a huge sigh of relief from my new boss. She assured me she would remind me and that she truly appreciated my willingness to help! Yay!

After dodging all of these bullets, I rushed back to Mom's room ready to head out. She was looking for these little scraps of paper. The frustration was almost too much! I hunted and dug for several minutes, dancing around at the thought that they could take Granddaddy back any second and I wouldn't be able to at least give him a hug. Finally she gave up and we headed off. Once there we went up to the 6th floor. My uncle was hanging around outside the elevators and Mom just had to stop and chit chat. There were some friends from church in the room with him he said. I didn't really care. I wanted to see him.

Finally, we walked in to his room. Room 665! Cut that close huh? Just as we walked in, the nurses rushed through to take him to surgery. I was heartbroken. Mom pushed everyone out of the room, but I slipped into a corner. I waved at him over the crowd of nurses, monitors, bags, and such. They were taking out his teeth and hearing aids, and getting him ready. He finally saw me and smiled real big as he waved back. I felt better knowing he just knew I was there, so I slipped out into the hallway. They wheeled him out and he waved and said "Bye, Bye" to each one of us. I tried so hard to hold it together. As I walked in there was my grandmother sobbing and saying "If it's time it's time I guess. We can't stop it now." I fought so hard to keep from falling apart. I had to be strong. I managed with only a couple of tears (I can't bear to cry in front of people). We set up camp in his room and waited.

The doctor came in and told us he was doing fine but that they would keep him in ICU just to make sure things stayed ok that night. Mom pushed everyone out including my grandmother. That frustrated me. My grandmother should have been there. She went on home though.

Mom called me late last night and said they got to see him for about an hour and a half last night. They said he was up talking and laughing. They still won't let him eat or drink, but he was in good spirits. When he first came to, the nurses said he kept asking them if they were real and where he was. I truly think he didn't expect to make it through the surgery. When Mom and my aunt went in to see him he told them, "I guess I should listen to you all more. You always did say I was a tough old bird and a farm isn't a farm without its rooster right?" That's my granddad!

They are worried about pneumonia right now because he will be laying down so much. He should be able to leave the hospital on Monday. He will be moved to a nursing home for physical therapy until he can get up and go to the bathroom alone and then they will let him come back home. The doctor told us realistically to plan for about three or four months. He has a rod that goes from his hip almost down to his knee. He's gonna be ok though.

Something interesting I learned though. Everything always happens on the 13th for him. He was enlisted in the army on the 13th, discharged on the 13th. His aneurysm ruptured on the 13th and he fell on the 13th. There were several other things like that, but I couldn't remember them all. He's decided he just doesn't like that number!

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers! I am so thankful that we have slipped under the wire just a bit longer with him! I'm going to go call my mom and see how he is today.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


The school year has started out wonderfully. I have worried about so many things that changed this year. There is a new principal, a new superintendent, a new schedule, and new children. Last year was an absolute nightmare in every single way. The principal, super, schedules, and children made going to work a chore. This year, I love it! I love my schedule. I got to work with all the teachers I loved and my schedule flows well enough that I'm not overwhelmed at the end of the day. My mom is happier than I have ever seen. She has a great class and loves the changes in administration. She feels like she is able to teach effectively again and this in turn makes me happy too. I think of my mom as my best friend and I am fortunate enough to be able to work right there with her. When she struggles it breaks my heart and I struggle alongside her. This year, we found ourselves so relieved and happy with the outlook ahead.

In life there is always a precious balance. I knew this. As talk of the budget crisis in our county hit the grapevine I headed home with knots in my stomach. I was petrified yesterday when they mentioned having to let go of some assistants and such. I just knew the shoe would drop soon. I almost relaxed after hearing that our superintendent had dropped in and told my mom directly that he would not consider letting any personnel go unless they just had no other option. Still, I could not shake the gut clenching fear.

All day I have walked around, haunted with dread at any moment. Things were just going too good. I made it home and started a new project, enjoying hubby's company while I worked. Then the scales balanced themselves and the phone rang. My mom called me to say that she was in the emergency room with my grandfather waiting for them to transport him to the hospital one county over. He has broken his hip. I am so scared. All I could do was cry.

You see, my grandfather is a miracle. Really. He has been a farmer and carpenter his entire life. One day he went down to the fields to feed the cows and he passed out. He came too and managed to drive back to the house. He went in and layed out across the bed saying he felt weird. By the time he had been transported to the big hospital, they could get no pulse or heartbeat. They just looked at us with those eyes. An abdominal aneurysm had ruptured. It was very rare to survive one like he had. My grandfather beat the odds. The only lasting effect for a long time was the loss of control he had in his right leg. In fact the leg issues were from spending so much time bed ridden and not really a direct result of the aneurysm. He now has some major issues with his blood and he has a bad valve that can't be repaired. He would never make it through surgery.

My family cherishes every second with my grandfather. We have been able to spend ten precious miraculous years with him. We all feel that we were given such an amazing chance to be with him for a bit longer. It is as if God reached down and said, "I can see you all aren't ready. I will give you just a little while longer." We all wait silently, never daring to talk about it. It hangs over us haunting and threatening to crumble our happiness.

I don't know if my grandfather knows how much I love him. I hope he does. He has always had such a special place in my heart. I love my other family members more than anything, but he has always been so amazing to me. I've never really admitted to having an earthly hero, but I guess he is one of them for me. We share so many loves and I can connect with him. We "get" each other. Our love for reading keeps us close and although I can't visit often, I hold tight to those precious hugs and smiles. His laugh makes my soul light up.

I know that breaking a hip is a horrific thing for someone 70 years plus. I know that someone with his health and physical problems is another strike against us. I'm pretty sure he won't walk again and I can't imagine how it will affect him mentally. He is a silent man, never telling us that something is wrong until he just can't take it anymore. He loves being outside and misses working in his shop so much already. I know that life expectancy drops dramatically after a broken hip.

I'm so scared. I'm not ready. I haven't been able to visit enough times. I haven't read all the books he wanted me to. I can never remember all those questions that come to me in the middle of the night as I drift off to sleep. They are questions only he can answer - questions about my past and his. Hubby tells me that this is only a broken hip, but we have already snuck under the wire with him so many times. I don't think we can run or hide many more times.

If you have stories of loved ones that have broken hips, please tell me. Give me any peace of mind at all. If you are the type that prays, pray for him please. I can't bear him being in pain after all he's been through, and I want so much for him to defy the odds one more time to be with us as long as possible.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


As promised... my tag....

Rules: Answer each question with one word and tag four others to play.
1. Where is your cell phone? purse
2. Your significant other? Hubby
3. Your hair? brunette
4. Your mother? sigh5. Your father? eccentric
6. Your favorite thing? a rainbow on a bad day
7. Your dream last night? no clue
8. Your favorite drink? The Dr. P.
9. Your dream/goal? Two pink lines
10. The room you're in? bedroom
11. Your hobby? crocheting
12. Your fear? Never hearing the word "mommy"
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? kindergarten
14. What you're not? patient
15. Muffins? Strawberry
16. One of your wish list items? Joy
17. Where you grew up? Southern small town
18. The last thing you did? cried
19. What are you wearing? PJ's
20. Favorite Gadget? My computer (My blue microwave came in a close second!)
21. Your pet? Parker and Zina
22. Your computer? Dell
23. Your mood? melancholy
24. Missing someone? myself
25. Your car? Whoever's driving!
26. Something you are not wearing? Bra
27. Favorite Store? Hobby Lobby!
28. Like someone? I like most everyone.
29. Your favorite color? Any shade of green!
30. When is the last time you laughed? Today
31. Last time you cried? Ten minutes ago.

I tag...ummm....Emily, Brown eyed girl, Mel, Barb

Monday, August 11, 2008

In the back of the pack

The first couple of weeks at school are so friggin hard!

I am so sorry I've been lax with my posting. I swear once things get back in a routine I will be better. My entire world has changed in the last three days and I just have to juggle counter-clockwise for a while I guess. I thought I would play catch up with this post and try to make my way towards the center of the pack again. I hate feeling like I am the lone pony trotting in the back.

1. Ok first off.... I won! And so did Alicia! I am so excited for her and I am so glad I could share my secret shoes with her!

If you haven't figured it out yet from this post and those shoes, I am a huge fan of The Wizard of Oz! I love all things Oz! I even have a cat named Oz (Three dogs one cat, he was the guy that hid behind the curtains and ran the show. I figured that was a perfect name!)! I will have to remember one show and tell day to share with you all my fabulous pictures and such! I have some really neat Oz things!

2.Hubby got a job. Yay. Big stress gone. I feel a lot better, and thankfully it happened quickly enough that although it will be a bit painful for a week or two, it won't be devastating or result in the use of candles and a battery operated AM/FM radio for entertainment. It isn't the world's most glamorous job, but it pays well and should actually make us more comfortable than we have been in a while. He seems to love the people he works with too so it can't be that bad.

It is third shift but hubby does so great on third shift! I, do not. I have a hard time sleeping on a different schedule from him, and the extra time apart (even though normally we would be sleeping through most of it) makes him a bit more clingy. I don't handle clingy well. I am one of those individuals that require a bit of personal space and me time. I spend so much time inside my head (I'm a thinker I guess you could say) and I worry about all those tiny details no one ever remembers. I get flustered when I feel crowded or cluttered. It's no big deal really. I just need to adjust. I will have more in my head time while he is at work, it's just that I have to get used to using that time wisely and preparing for our together time. The first week of school is not an easy time for such feats!

3. I was tagged. I am slow getting it up here but I will follow up with my tag post tomorrow!

4. I have been crocheting like no one's business! I have lots of cool new projects that are finished and more to come! I am so excited to finally have a stash of neato Made by Arian pieces!

5. AF! Need I say more? Well ok, if you insist. Totally caught me off guard last night in the middle of a movie. There was no gush or usual squishy feelings. I didn't even get that "sense" that it was gonna happen like normal. I apologize if this offends, but I know we all get an itch at times. I tried to relieve the itch and I was all omg! My new couch! Thankfully, I caught it in time and there was no scrubbing of the sofa. It is still one of those come and go things though. I think I'm calling in for Provera. Grrr.

6. We have a new principal. I love her to death. She is supportive and fair. She is great with the kids and so upbeat. Her smile is contagious and when she fusses at the kids she does it in a way that leaves them feeling ok at the end but yet she remains very effective. There have been some power struggles and there are several new rules to get used to but I think it is going to be a great year - if I can make it through these first weeks!

7. I met a kid today that called himself boogerhead (pronounced budderhed). I had to document this meeting! I never want to forget such an impressive introduction from a five year old!

8. With school comes a change in sleep and also a change in routine. This always, always means that I get messed up taking my metformin! Always! I just can't remember. I need help! Any suggestions would be welcome!

9. I haven't had any migraines all summer. Well none that are noteworthy or close together in frequency. A couple of weeks before school started I went with mom on occasion to get her room ready and to help "my" teachers. Now I'm in the school every day. During this time I have noticed my migraines becoming a more frequent thing. I'm wondering if perhaps the lights in the school or something like that could be triggering them to come more frequently. Any thoughts?

10. I have to have 10. I just do. Nice rounded out list in my opinion. What to put here? Hmmm...

My hands smell like fish! Omg I can't believe I didn't type this already. It has freaked me out all day! One of the teachers wanted me to sponge paint letters with her kids today. I go in to help her twice each day, and the first time I kept forcing myself not to get sick. I could not figure out where that fishy smell was coming from.

There are only two things that can make me puke just by the mere sniff of it. Soured milk and fishy. I love fishing and the ocean. I don't mind eating fish on a rare occasion as long as it has been caught that day, but the smell of fish after the fact makes me gag!

The second time I went into her room I was supposed to paint and she had these styrofoam thingies that they put meat in at the grocery. Aha! As I poured the red tempera into the blue container I could almost see the stinch rush towards me, trying to suffocate me. It was horrible! I had to continue to paint in said container for over an hour! I almost didn't make it! To make matters worse... I had tuna salad for lunch! AGH! Needless to say, I didn't eat much lunch. I can not get the smell off. I don't know what I am going to do! I can't stand myself!

I hope you made it all the way to ten! I almost didn't! I am very sleepy. I hope I can get this new schedule worked out soon! I have lots of things floating around that I can't wait to tell you about! Until then...

Friday, August 8, 2008

I will miss you Rocky

Some of you will remember Rocky. He was an amazing, inspiring little guy. I'm usually not one to get that attached to my aquatic babies. I know their lives aren't very long and they have so many things that can happen to them. Rocky was a different story though. From the moment he was introduced into the tank, he had to fight. He kept fighting for weeks, beating the odds and surviving terrible injuries. He came into our lives just as we decided to start trying again and he brought me hope.

Rocky died yesterday.

I feel sort of silly getting worked up over a little fish but seriously, you should have seen this guy! Every single day we looked to see if he was still going and every day he would welcome us with gutsy little swishes of his upside down tail, daring anyone to mess with him. He managed to find ways to eat and perservere despite the problems he had.

I noticed him acting a bit sluggish a few days ago and realized he must be getting tired. I felt like it was nearing time for him to go. It was better that way. He fought so hard for such a long time but his fins were too damaged and they never truly grew back in. He also developed a problem with his air bladder and would never have been able to swim right side up or go very far below the surface. I'm glad he isn't hurting anymore, but I miss the little fella. I truly do.

It is so amazing that God puts us in the path of the smallest creatures sometimes to teach us things. Rocky reminded me that I needed to fight my fight every single day. He gave me something to hope for and look forward to each morning as I walked in to see him swimming around. I was so proud of him and I believed in him. As he continued to thrive the hope was contagious and I started to once again feel the fight come back. I believed in our cause and found the strength to try again.

Rocky will be missed and I will forever tell people about the little miracle with fins that I was blessed to know. I hope that I can remember the defiance he showed and his will to make it through when things looked their bleakest.

Thank you Rocky.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Start of a new year...

So I got up this morning with only a few hours sleep and trudged off grudgingly to school. I felt like I was five years old again! I got there, helped shuffle people to the right classrooms, got my skeleton schedule, wrote my full schedule, and made it to 9:30. I thought I would never make it! We had a meeting with the principal at about 9:45 in which she griped to us about the new principal rules set in place by our new superintendent that insisted she be there on time by 7 am each morning. She then rushed us through some beginning of school issues and told us she had a meeting at the "board" at 10:30. The teachers gave a head count and we proceeded back to my mom's room to plan the first full day....

Mom and I left the school around one o'clock and had high hopes for canning twenty something quarts of tomato juice. It didn't happen. I have a horribly sore spot on the inside of my cheek where I have apparently bitten or cut it and it has gotten infected. I felt horrible all day and managed to get one load of laundry going before I passed out for two hours on her couch. Ugh! I hate unproductive days!

I woke up around 4 o'clock with my mom running through the house going "Oh My! No Way! You have Got to be kidding!" Apparently at that 10:30 meeting it was decided that our principal would no longer be our principal. She is now principal at another elementary school in our town. The assistant principal for the high school is coming over to us. There were a ton of changes made today in our sysstem. I think it is all for the better. We had a horrible tyrant of a superintendent that made teachers' and assistants' lives a nightmare for seven years. The new guy is coming in like a lion and changing some much needed things. I am excited and hopeful for a new year!

Hopefully the changes to our school won't be the only good and exciting part of my year....

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Bad Timing

Life is so frustrating! If anyone "up there" is reading, gimme a break! I mean seriously! Every single time we get our groove going again and jump on the wagon to try try again, life kicks us down. I'm almost at a point of just giving up.

AF is still missing. My cycles just don't want to do what they should. I was going to call this past Monday to get doc to sign off on some Provera and round 2 of Clomid but life threw a curve ball. Hubby is looking for another job right now. I guess it would be horribly irresponsible of me to keep us going when hubby is without a job. I'm beyond frustrated! Why can't things just go the right way for once?

On top of all this frustration, school starts Tuesday, so life is hectic. I have been helping Mom and all the other kindergarten teachers ready their rooms. I don't get paid for this, but how can you say no to your mom's plea for help? I will officially start back when the kids do on Tuesday though. This means that I really need to get my house back together and bunker down for the long year!

The summer is so nice because I am at home and have enough spare time to allow things to relax a bit with organization and planning meals and such. Won't be the case when I'm back at work. Darn! I'm hoping my meal planning will stay on target and I can keep preparing ahead. It won't be too bad either way.

I want to apologize in advance. The first couple of weeks at school are really hectic and it takes a while for them to get my schedule situated and plan which teachers get what as far as assistance and reading time. I usually come home in the afternoons exhausted with my head spinning from all the schedules and plans and such. Posting is one of the last things on my list of priorities for a bit and may end up being a bit spotty. I hope not, but if it does, I apologize. It will only be temporary. I promise!

I'm bummed that summer is coming to an end. Soon the pool will close and cold weather will loom in the horizon. I dread the short days! I can't wait for football though! Hopefully hubby will be back on track in the next day or so and I can focus my stress and attention on the AP poll for the fall!

Hubby has an iterview on Tuesday. Any prayers, thoughts, crossed fingers and toes, would be greatly appreciated! If he can get this job on Tuesday, we won't feel a pinch very much at all. If he doesn't get it, things are going to hurt very bad very quickly!