Wednesday, February 29, 2012

'Round here . . .

(which is one of my favorite Counting Crows songs . . . don't hate--that album, uh CD, okay, I probably had it on tape, came out during a fun time of life when hips were something I wanted and bikinis were a questionable idea for a whole other reason than they are now)

I digress.

(what else is new, though, right? I don't think writing a parentheses-free blog is possible.)

Anywho . . . things around here are steady. I was telling some friends last week that I couldn't tell you the actual date, I just know that if it's Monday, I better make sure I'm caught up on groceries and laundry for the week and if it's Tuesday, I need a lot of caffeine and the burb needs a lot of gas to get the people where they belong. Wednesdays mean I need to get up earlier to get a shower before Bible study (and yes, sometimes I need a personal destination to inspire a shower in the morning). Thursdays are so amazing but require precision, staying on schedule and hitting traffic lights just right. And Fridays may mean speech therapy, preparing for dance competition or catching up from the hay-day that is Tuesday-Thursday. I can keep all of that tucked away in my brain, but throw in an event with an actual calendar date like a birthday or a doctor's appointment and I am apt to miss it or wake up in a panic several times before the right day afeared I have missed it.

This week I thought I had my stuff together . . . until the babysitter texted me that she was on her way and sorry she was running a little late.

(Imagine record coming to a screeching halt.)

Sitter? Coming to my house? But I'm not at my house. Or in need of a sitter. Unless today is my doctor's appointment. But it's not because I know it's Thursday. And today is Tuesday.

Scroll back through text messages. (Aka, my memory.)

Shoot. I scheduled the babysitter for Tuesday . . . and I need her Thursday.

Blonde mom texts back babysitter who is (thankfully) amused and also available for my ACTUAL appointment on Thursday.

Yes. I have a calendar (and I LOVE it) and a to-do list that I follow and RELISH crossing things off of.

But. Sometimes the nutrasweet from Tuesday's caffeine load bleeds into my brain space and I lose it for a bit.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Pop Culture

Pop Culture Confessions:

I love movies and books and US/People magazine.

I love books that turn into good movies so much that I went (with several of my ultra cool friends) to a Twilight Marathon in November and watched all 4 released Twilight movies back to back. The last time I was up that late, I was administering breathing treatments to my toddler.

I am SO STINKIN EXCITED for The Hunger Games movie that I find myself frequently listening to the Taylor Swift song from the soundtrack. And I have already made plans to go to that midnight show in 3 weeks!!

(And if you have NOT read The Hunger Games, I highly suggest you march yourself to the nearest book selling location and buy all 3. Then, before you start the first one, make sure there is enough food and clean clothes for about a week and kiss you family goodbye. You won't regret it. They are captivating and emotional and thought provoking. Maybe one day I will do my analysis of the books, but you should know that simply on an entertainment level they are AMAZING!)

I LOVE Oscar night. Josh and I had a red carpet party before we had kids . . . complete with ballots and prizes and movie-themed foods. But these days we are a little more low-key about the night. I printed off ballots for he and I and we had a little competition between ourselves. I don't want to rub it in, but let's just say that I don't have to make school lunches several days this week. It was a fun night. I looooved Octavia Spencer's reaction. I was bummed for George Clooney. I think that no matter how good he does, the Academy just can't give him the Oscar.

Caroline and I laid on the couch and watched the Red Carpet together . . . Dear Lord, please freeze her right now!

I am showing amazing restraint and have TWICE passed up the chance to buy US Magazine this week with COURTNEY ON THE COVER. I am using my self control and plan on just watching her tonight (and get in the longest line at the grocery/Target every time so that I can eventually get through the entire article).

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sigh of relief

Yesterday was a hard day for me as a mom. I can't remember if I've mentioned it here, but Tru has a degenerative corneal disease. Our amazing eye doctor (the lovely and talented Dr. Brent James) caught it very early and has been way on top of it, so his prognosis is great. In a manner very uncharacteristic of myself, I googled it once the day we found out and only clicked on one link (a reputable one). I read the information, I cried for about 5 minutes and then I dried my tears and said, "It's going to be ok."

And I truly believe that it will.

(By the way, googling ANY symptom is NOT recommended . . . my friend, Cory, and I have decided that apparently EVERYTHING is a symptom of brain tumors because every symptom we have ever googled has it listed as a possibility.)

Anyway, because of the disease, Tru's corneas are coned instead of rounded which makes glasses only partially effective. To slow it's progression and give him optimal sight (which I learned is critical by age 9), Tru Bud needs contacts. This made me sad for 2 reasons . . . One, have you ever seen anything cuter or more handsome than this?
 I don't want him out of glasses because I am in love with them! And, well, the second reason is because the thought of dealing with Tru and contacts made me a little . . . terrified, mortified, petrified, are you getting my point? It takes 2-3 of us to get eye DROPS in, you can imagine how well yesterday went as we attempted (with medical assistance) to put in a very small, hard contact. (They have to be hard to smush down the coning of his cornea.)

Let's just say when we left, I am pretty sure Dr. Julie (Brent's eye partner) left for the day . . . to drink heavily. I know I wanted to.

What broke my heart even more than the embarrassment of having my 8 year old throw a MAJOR fit/panic attack was the thing we had to keep repeating to him . . . "We don't have a choice, buddy." For just a little bit, that reality weighed heavy with me. Oh yeah, he has a DISEASE. Contacts are not cosmetic or fun, they are necessary to slow the progression of a disease that could eventually lead to a corneal transplant. Boo.

We were able to get one contact in and out and quit while we were ahead(?). We will try again in a few days once Dr. Julie has had time to call in her tranquilizer prescription (I think I am kidding about that). And we all recovered from the incident and went on to have great days (even Tru who is so resilient and always has been).

And, today, I am thankful that yesterday is over. I am enjoying the fact that the only thing on the calendar today is the option to meet a group of buddies at the park. I am loving Sascha's self done hairdo and bracelets (thanks, Amy! She has NOT taken them off, except to bathe).

I am so glad it's Friday and can't wait to cheer some dancing on tomorrow (RCDC ETJODT!) I am ecstatic that I didn't give up diet coke again for Lent (sorry, Mom). I am pumped that by going gluten free I have been able to stop taking my thyroid medicine and feel better than I have in YEARS!

There is so much to be thankful for, so today is that sigh of relief that comes when you have had a hard day that doesn't define you. It's remembering that God formed Tru in my womb . . . every little detail right down to that cute button nose and coning cornea and has a plan for Tru's good that includes keratoconus. And it's a sigh of relief because the alternatives to what's going on with Tru's eyes weren't as simply fixed with contacts. (And I didn't learn that info from google.)

Well, I'm off to shower--I want to be a blessing to those friends at the park, not someone they can't stand down wind of.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Judge me if you want to, but . . .

I must devote a post to The Bachelor.

I almost don't know where to start.

Let me say, though, that if I really cared about the BEST fit based on families and personalities, I would tell Ben to choose Lindsay. (Since I am sure my opinion matters to him.) She is precious and beautiful and fun and seems normal and her family seems like a great fit with Ben.

Kacie B owes her daddy big time. I hope that somewhere in Tennessee tonight they are celebrating what a great job he did protecting her. And in a few short weeks when Ben's "relationship" falls apart immediately after "After the Final Rose", she will not be the one humiliated and hurt and plastered all over the tabloids. (But FYI, if your dad is a teetotaler and old fashioned when it comes to dating, perhaps, just perhaps, dating a wine maker you met on a reality dating show infamous for hook-ups and break-ups is NOT going to over well with him and maybe, just maybe, you should have seen his disapproval coming. )

Sorry, Nikki, I just don't see it. At all. I think you owe Kacie's daddy big time too.

And now, to Courtney. I am fairly certain that he will choose her. Because he is a stupid boy who canNOT get past the line under her name that says "Model".  Because she is good GREAT at showing skin to distract him when he begins to get suspicious about her true colors. But seriously the faux wedding? And could she and her mom make any more of the same sour puss expressions? And I am almost certain they have as little personality as Courtney. And really? If those girls were catty about everyone, then maybe Ben should ignore them, but when EVERY OTHER GIRL YOU "HAVE A CONNECTION WITH" TELLS YOU COURTNEY IS THE SHE-DEVIL YOU MIGHT WANT TO LISTEN.

I must admit that I am intrigued by the previews for next week . . . I mean Switzerland, more Courtney drama and a surprise visit from someone?!?!?!?!?! Truly, this may be the MOST DRAMATIC SEASON EVER.

And I will end with this little observation. (Let's pretend these girls read my blog.) You have chosen to go through (what I imagine) is a fairly extensive interview process, possible psych evaluation, legal debriefing and signed untold contracts, disclaimers and the like and have probably watched at least one of the previous debacles seasons before agreeing to be 1 of 25 girls chasing shamelessly after the same guy while drinking insane amounts of alcohol and going on dates in groups where you ALL take turns kissing him. (The poor girl who kisses him last . . . I hope he sprays Binaca in between each girl.) During all of the prepping for the show and watching of the show, did you really miss the part where there were going to be 24 other girls? I'm just not sure how to help these poor souls in the limo being carted off can really say, "How did this happen? Just last night we were making out in Brazil and now I'm going home? How could this be happening? I really loved him (after 2 group dates and 3 cocktail parties) and could really see myself as his wife!"

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Still here....

Don't give up on me! I will update soon, just swamped with life for now!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Oh. My. Yumminess.

Trust me (and if you were in the midtown Target yesterday, you can second this), Sascha is NO angel. But, oh my precious goodness, she is such a lover. And funny. And seriously loves me. And I am beginning to see true remorse when she is disciplined (not everytime, but I'm hopeful). And she and Bo are a hoot together. And right now she is singing Jesus Loves Me while sitting on the toilet. I am still amazed that my heart can feel like it is beating outside of my chest a 4th time.

This is my favorite pic of her recently. It just sums her up. (And kind of reminds me of my Uncle Keith because there are lots of family pics of him doing the same thing.)

And this one too . . . we are big fans of Yo Gabba Gabba. She loves Foo Fa.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Hurt Feelings

Well boo.

I am one of those people who HATES for anyone to be mad at them. I think that people pleasing might actually be what runs through my veins and NOT blood. There are obviously exceptions to this side of my personality, and, from time to time, I speak my mind to people other than Josh and my kids, but 99% of the time, I do anything and everything in my power to keep the peace.

(And yes, I know that this is one of those things that can be good or bad. And yes, I am working on boundaries and balance. And please don't be mad at me for being like this. Hahahaha.)

Anywho. Today, I found out that one of our neighbors (and I'm pretty certain I know who) called to complain about our dog barking last week.

Seriously, people, it was 10:15 in the morning and there were 2 city workers in the ditch right behind our house for a good 30 minutes. Had I KNOWN they were going to be there, I would have brought him in before they came, but once they got there, Tate was not leaving them alone.

(Which, by the way, is part of why we got a dog. To, you know, alert us when strangers were traipsing around our property. So, good boy, Tate.)

And, in my defense, I tried to bring him in, but he would have nothing of it. He kept running between me and the workers growling at them and trying to keep me back. (God love him.)

Once they left our house and moved on, I heard dogs a couple of streets away barking at the guys.

People, they are dogs. They bark.

Tate is never outside before 8:30 in the morning or after 8:30 at night and during the day, he is inside off and on depending on the weather and his and my mood. Of course he barks some, but we have a bark collar and he wears it 95% of the time when he is outside. (I would prefer no comments on that part. Josh and I argued over it a lot and our vet convinced me it was harmless and a good thing to keep neighbors happy.)

Of course, last Wednesday, he was let out without the collar on.

So now I am cycling between anger and embarrassment and hurt feelings and guilt and considering making everyone on our cul de sac and the next banana bread and leaving a note of apology and explanation.

But I am pretty sure that I know which neighbor it was because it would be just like him. And I am pretty sure that family washes their cars (and boat) enough to water a small nation. And I'm pretty sure that if there is ever a water reduction thing this summer, I will be watching them like hawks. And I'm also pretty sure their kids got in a fight one night and cops had to be called.

But whatever. My dog is definitely the problem.

(And I probably need to add bitter to that list of emotions I am cycling through.)

(And the people pleaser in me really feels the need to add that I have NOTHING against clean cars. I envy them. I long for them. I just have more to do these days than hand wash mine several times a week. But maybe I should. No judgement unless you are the neighbor who called. And then there is judgement and bitterness and anger and embarrassment and hurt feelings and guilt.)

So, needless to say, after I found out, the first thing I did was bring Tater-Totter in. (And can I say that at the vet, where we also board him on trips, he is a crowd favorite. They get SO excited when I call to make an appointment or reservation for him. He is a joy.) I guess he will have to be bored and get all of his energy out in here until I am done pouting.

(And ps, I really hope this post made everyone happy and no one mad. Heehee.)

(That's only a little true.)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Catch Up

Wow. The last few weeks have been insane. The kind of non-stop activity that can be thrown off by an ill timed red light. I am happy to say that I think the next 3 days are boring before the pace kicks back up again for a bit. That being said, I better recap the last week or so now before a) I forget and 2) I end up having no time to blog again.

(And yes, I know I used a and 2 in my listing . . . Paul on Mad About You used to do that and it always made me laugh. I loved that show. Paul Reiser, Helen Hunt, Hank Azaria, Carol Burnett . . . good stuff. We even have a spot in our kitchen that I swear slopes some and will pull a Jamie (Helen Hunt's character) and dramatically point it out with a lunge for Josh.)

Sorry. Major digression.

OK, last weekend was Caroline's first dance competition of this season. It's fun and it's crazy and it's exhausting. She is in 4 dances this year, so we had our first experience with costume changes and bow changes and shoe changes. I really do enjoy watching the dances--some of them are emotionally moving and others are jump up to your feet entertaining. I also have a lot of appreciation for the talent and time it takes to pull them off. More than anything, though, I love the time that Caroline and I get to spend together and on the car rides, she becomes an open book. I realize there may come a day when she is not as candid with me (please, Lord, no), so I LOVE LOVE LOVE getting a peek into her life and heart and thoughts.

Tru (as previously posted) had his birthday and a little party with a Lego theme because he may or may not be slightly into and obsessed with Legos. On his birthday, he LITERALLY ate, slept, and played Legos (his cake looked like a Lego block. It was to die for cute). So, Josh and my gift to him was a trip to Dallas for just the 3 of us and a trip to Lego Land there. I was so excited. When you have 4 kids (and I can only imagine with more), you (ok, I) worry about whether or not they feel special and whether or not they get enough time with us and do they know we love each of them as if they were the only one, so anytime we get a chance to take them away alone, we jump at it. We had a blast and Lego Land was cute and fun. What I love about Tru, though, was how excited he was to get home and play with his own Legos. The other three were lavished with love and attention by Nana and Papa and didn't call once missing us. In fact, they begged to stay Saturday night too even though we were back.

In completely unrelated to my children news, y'all have all put up with my loving, blubbering updates about my nephew, John Tyler. What I have been less internet over the top about is my yummy, darling nephew here in town, Davis. My sister had her first baby in December and I have been strangely quiet about it. Kristin doesn't have a facebook account that she posts anything on . . . she's just not a blogger or facebooker or twitterer or anything like that, so I felt like it wasn't my place to introduce him to the world wide web. Let me just say, though, that Davis and I looooove each other. I am gaga for his beautiful red hair and the way that he smiles now (he's 8 weeks old today). I will brag for a minute that I have a little bit of a magic touch with him and he asks for his Aunt Rayray often. We've even had our first sleep over. It's been really fun to see my sister be a mommy. She's a great one and this has been a great bonding time for us.

By the way, I am writing this while I watch The View--something that I haven't done in FOREVER and like do when my blood pressure seems to be too low. If I could have one wish granted today (obviously after world peace) it would be for Joy Behar to get laryngitis. Permanently. Or at least for someone to turn her mike down while other people are talking so THEY CAN BE HEARD TOO. I guess she figures if she can't be right, she can at least be louder than everyone else. Oh. She. Drives. Me. Batty. On a fun note, one of the actresses (Madeline Stowe) is wearing the same dress on The View that I wore to Josh's brother's wedding. That's right. I am THAT fashionable. (Or she needs a stylist.)

And because I would be remiss not to leave you with a Bo or Sascha story, here you go . . . this morning Bo woke up while I was in the shower. After I got out, I noticed that his mouth and tongue were blue. (Not like he wasn't breathing blue, but like what the heck had he eaten blue.) So I asked him and he told me it was blue circle candy that he found in the white trashcan. I'm sorry . . . WHAT?! I tried not to panic or gag or react and reminded him to always ask before he ate anything. Thankfully, Josh asked him to show him where he found the blue round candy and he took him to the Lego cake (stored in a white trashbag . . . just trust me, they keep better that way). He had eaten a blue fondant circle. Sigh of relief.

And Sascha bonded with our security company guy today when he came to update our system. She invited Mr. James to stay for the day and eat with us. Sadly, he had to go on to other houses. The girl loves people.

Well. 2 weekends on the road and crazy business in between have left me with some clothes to fold and dishes to put away. And perhaps I should locate some focus factor to gather my scattered mind. Happy Monday!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Tru Buddy

Yesterday was Tru's 8th birthday. How is that even possible? My little melon head baby is growing up.

The first week of his life was all kinds of crazy . . . the night before he was born, Josh and Caroline and I holed up in the house and cuddled and enjoyed our last night together as a family of 3. We watched the Superbowl and during half-time I asked Josh if we could run to Walgreens to get some nail poish (can't be birthing a baby with necked toenails!). Does anyone know what we missed while I was buying that bright red polish?

Only the most talked about incident for years. It spurned it's own term that has been repeated over and over again and will forever be a part of our vernacular.

We missed the infamous Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction.

The next morning, we got up early for my induction and my mom came over to hang out until Caroline woke up. I had been having contractions off and on since about 20 weeks. Some of them seemed longer than others and, of course, they got more and more uncomfortable the last couple of weeks, but they were nothing a few breaths and maybe a squat couldn't handle. With Caroline, I was induced at 5:30 and delivered about 12 hours later after 1.5 hours of pushing and her finaling being suctioned out. She was that typical first baby, with sloooooow labor. I expected the same with Tru, but when we got to the hospital we found out that Tru had planned on coming that day, induction or not. The nurse asked me if I knew that I was in active labor and I told her I thought I was having long contractions every 10 or 15 minutes. Nope, I was having regular contractions every 5 minutes and was dialated to a 5 already. We got that epidural doc in there quick and by 11:30 and just 3 little pushes, Thomas Truitt Bass busted into our lives.

We were in love. He was small and cute and we went nuts with blue blankets and blue gowns. Caroline adored him. We were so thankful.

2 days later, in a wash of postpartum hormones, we came home as a family of 4 and I sat on the stairs looking at him and Caroline and wondering what the heck I had gotten myself into. I alternated between laughing and crying for a good 20 minutes. Poor Sissy laughed and cried right along with me, also unsure of what was going on.

Tru was born on a Monday and by Thursday, we were tired. Josh and I were sitting in our bed around 11:00 that night. I think (and this makes me laugh) we had watched the Friends and ER episodes we had taped on our VCR earlier that night. Anyway, I nursed Tru and put him on my shoulder to burp. He let out a big one and then a HUGE spit up followed. I pulled him away and before I could even ask Josh for a towel I started screaming--instead of being covered in milky spit up, Tru and I were both covered in BLOOD. I have never seen so much blood. His outfit was soaked, I was soaked. I kind of threw him at Josh and jumped up to put some clothes on. Somehow, and I honestly don't remember any of these details, we called my parents to come stay with Caroline and in minutes were on our way to Children's Hospital. As I was running to the car, I kept saying, "No, God, no, please no, don't let him be dying. I don't even know him yet!"

My dad is friends with a neonatologist and Terrance was able to calm me down somewhat over the phone while we drove (literally) 100 miles an hour to the hospital. I was sobbing and called my friend, Lea, who had delivered Tru's best friend, Kent, just 2 weeks earlier. I don't know how she understood me, but she did somehow, because not 15 minutes after we got to the ER, her husband, Tim, was there with us too.

When we got into the ER lobby, a guard tried to stop me so I could walk through the metal detector and on to triage. He took one look at me and Tru covered in blood and with a horrified look, opened the doors straight back to the rooms. I was met by several doctors immediately and by the grace of God (and the condition Tru and I were in) none of them suggested we go about this according to policy and start with triage. Instead, they ushered us into one of the big ER rooms with all the equipment, gently took Tru from me and started working on him. Someone brought me a scrub shirt so I could changed out of my bloody clothes. I still have that shirt and his pajamas. I never washed them--just left them in the big plastic bag and tucked them away with all his baby stuff.

LOOOOOONG story short, they drained his stomach, pricked and prodded him, checked him over from head to toe, took my blood in the process and were absolutely wonderful to us. Kind and caring, they kept us updated. They never asked us to leave, they let my dad and Tim stay with us as long as we wanted them to be there and helped us stay as calm as possible. Turns out, he burst a blood vessel in me while nursing (I thought nursing him was more painful than I remembered with Caroline, but who knew?) and instead of drinking breast milk, he got a stomach full of my blood. Nice, right? Sorry for the TMI. The idea of testing my blood to compare it to the blood they drained from his tummy came after them not being able to find anything wrong with him right away and wanting to rule out something benign before they started getting more aggressive with their investigation of the 4 day old baby. Praise the Lord, the blood in his stomach was mine. Other reasons for vomiting blood (especially at that young of an age) are not so good.

I met with a lactation specialist the next day and he was on formula for a few days to give me a chance to heal. I will admit that I fought emotionally holding him at arm's length after that for a few days. Loving someone that much and fearing for their life like that is hard and it took some time to breathe normally again.

Tru's first year was a roller coaster. Literally, the week we paid that ER bill, we were back in the ER because he wasn't breathing. Once again, we drove like maniacs to the hospital and bipassed the guard station and triage. Paid that bill and he went back for croup. Paid that bill and he went back for bronciolitis. I told the lady at check in that time, that we would NOT be paying this bill because it was bad luck. They would have to get over it--I was tired of taking my baby to the hospital.

But, oh my, that sweet boy. He is so smart and so funny. He belly laughs so hard at things, that you would have to be made of stone NOT to laugh too. He is sensitive and affectionate. He looks so handsom and adorable in his glasses. He LIKES to be different--he cannot stand dressing anything close to the same way as Bo for anything. He wants to keep his glasses and never get contacts because he loves being a little different. He has a great sense of humor and can figure things out that still stump me. In the last few months, he has really been stepping up his responsibility game and is waking himself up and laying his clothes the night before. He is an outstanding kid!

Tru Budders, I love you so much. Daddy and I are so proud of you and so fortunate to get to be your parents. You are going to do great things and you are going to be a man of God. Happy Birthday! I can't wait to celebrate you at LEGO LAND!!!!!!!!!!!