Thursday, July 31, 2008

Name Change

The paranoid side of me came out tonight and I decided I did not like my surname included in my title, thus, the name change. Besides, I like this one better.

Ugh...I've got the blahs

Ever feel like that? Not really upset about anything in general, just kinda down. Maybe it's my depression rearing it's ugly head along with PMS. Not sure. There have been a few things come up over the last couple of days that have upset me. (Sorry, no details!) Of course, in the grand scheme of things, I have nothing to be upset about. I mean, look at how the Lord has blessed me. Where do I get off being down about ANYTHING? Ugh...another wave of BLAHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I'm sure I will be over by tomorrow. I think I am mainly bummed because I finally felt like I was coming out of my post-partum, hormonal funk that I have been in since Olivia's birth and then WAMMO, I turn into this super grumpy, overly sensitive not-so-nice wife or Mommy. *****Side note - Do I use caps too much???***** Anyway, sorry to be such a downer. Guess I thought it might help to write about it. Nope...still grumpy. :) I promise a cheerier post tomorrow.

Friday, July 18, 2008

A very happy anniversary!

I can hardly believe that ten years ago today, we said "I do." There were many that told us we were too young, that we should just live together for a while. Several told us that we should enjoy the wedded bliss while it lasted because by the second or third year, we would be tired of each other. Well, I am happy to report that ten years later, we are more in love and happier than we have ever been. The past ten years have not come without challenges, however, we were serious when we said our vows, "...for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health, as long as we both shall live." Here are some secrets that make our marriage work.

1) Never go to bed angry. Not with each other, or anyone for that matter. I have sign in my kitchen that says, "Never go to bed angry...stay and fight." We have done that plenty of times but before we go to sleep, we always make sure we have resolved whatever the issue is. There have been several times that we stayed up so late that we had to call into work the next morning!!! But, we went to sleep happy with one another.

2) Never, ever, ever use the "D" word. Not even as a joke. Divorce is not an option for us. It doesn't matter how rough things get for us, leaving is not an answer. Before we got married, our pastor wanted us to go to some premarital counseling and it was during this counseling that she told us that you don't even joke about leaving. To which I replied, "Oh, I would kill him before I would leave him." She thought I was joking, but Evan said, "No, she is quite serious." I think she was a leery of me after that session.

3) Talk, talk and talk some more. We talk about EVERYTHING. I mean, everything! Probably about some things that people don't even talk to themselves about. My point is, you have to communicate, even when it hurts. My parents, who have been married 37 years, don't do this too well. They are happy, but their communication skills are a bit lacking. It drives me crazy when my Mom says, "Oh, your Dad doesn't know about *whatever*, so don't tell him." Or, she will tell me that I should keep certain things from Evan. WRONG! I love talking to Evan, sharing my thoughts, dreams, funny things that happened during my day. There are many nights that we will lay in bed, in the dark...just talking until the wee hours of the morning. We used to do that when we were dating, except it was in his car in front of my house, although I still don't think our parents believed we were "just talking." OK, there probably was a little smooching thrown in there!!!

4) Keep God first in your marriage. We are not always the best at doing this, but we do try. Pray together, volunteer at church together, do a Bible study together, play in the church orchestra together (that's us!)...anything. We have leaned so much on our faith during our marriage and seen God work in so many different ways. From closing doors on jobs and out of state moves to opening doors to new jobs, new homes and eventually, new babies!

5) Finally, make time for one another. That's definitely harder these days due to the fact that our children run the house, however, I can tell when we aren't making that a priority. Things just don't feel right. That's usually when we call the Grandparents and go out, even if it's just for coffee. Or, we stay up until the wee hours of the night catching up on what's going on in our lives.

Speaking of children running the house, it has taken me ALL day to finish this post. I better scoot. My hubby is taking me out to dinner to celebrate this wonderful day. I am looking forward to almost uninterrupted, adult conversation. Mia is staying with Granny and Granddaddy, but Livi has to go with us. However, we can usually talk over her. Usually!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Adopt and you will get pregnant!

Raise your hand if you have ever heard this. Now, smack yourself silly if you have ever had the audacity to utter this phrase! I hate it when people say this. It's painful. It stirs up old emotions that you THOUGHT you had made peace with. It implies that adopting will somehow cure your PCOS, endometriosis and defective uterus. Nevermind the fact that it RARELY happens!!!

It was because of this phrase that we dreaded telling people that we were pregnant even though we were thrilled beyond all belief. I'm not one to really care what people think or say, but I did not want to hear all the "I told you so" comments that I KNEW were going to be thrust my way. It's as if people were discounting Mia and her amazing adoption somehow. I know, that probably doesn't make sense but it's how it felt. And then I was met with something else, people trying to explain to me in an earthly way - a.k.a., no mention of God, why we were now pregnant. "Oh, you just needed to relax." "Your motherly instincts with Mia prompted your body to work just the right way." Blah, blah, blah! How about, God. Period.

When I look back at how both of our children came to be, I am in awe of God and HIS perfect timing. Only He knows the hows, whys and whens of our lives and when you get down to it, isn't that all that matters???

Now, repeat after me:

"I (state your name), will never, ever tell someone the BS line..."You know, as soon as you adopt, you will get pregnant." In addition, I will never, ever tell someone, "There's a crazy lady with the blogspot title 'The Jackson Four' that adopted and then got pregnant."

Monday, July 14, 2008

Does this happen to anyone else???

First and foremost, I am a Christian. However, I feel I am not a very good Christian. I don't read my Bible like I should, I don't have a quiet time everyday like I should, I am horrible at scripture memorization. I do pray, but more often than not, I typically fall asleep before I finish. Periodically, I try REALLY hard to do better at the above things. I'll read my Bible, memorize a verse or two, etc. And then....Satan attacks me. He finds ways to make me irritable, he steals my joy, old "issues" creep back get the idea. I have talked to my hubby about this and he said the same thing happens to him and that the best way around it is continue what I am doing because if I give up, I am giving Satan exactly what he wants - a Christian by name only.

Anyway, I was just curious if anyone else experienced this.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Magic Eraser

Most that know me know that I am bit OCD when it comes to cleaning. I am very particular about my house and try my best to keep it clean, even if no one is coming over. Of the many chores I force upon myself, mopping is a biggy. I try to do it at least once a week (although I would do it more if I could!) and when I do, I use really, really hot water boiled on the stove in an effort to get it extra clean. So, imagine my horror when I spilled something the other day and went to wipe it up with a damp papertowel only to discover that the papertowel came up black. ARGHHHHH!!! Are you freakin' kidding me??? How could my floors be that dirty? Especially since I had just mopped the day before. I decided that an 'ole fashion scrubbing was in order, complete with stiff brush and REALLY sore knees. After doing about a quarter of the dining room, I discovered that the Magic Eraser I was using to get up scuff marks was doing a MUCH better job and I wasn't getting blisters like I was from the scrub brush. My hubby saw me scrubbing and said there had been an article in Popular Mechanics describing how the Magic Eraser works and that it only made sense that it clean the floor better than the scrub brush I was using. Apparently these miraculous little sponges are made from something called melamine foam. See below info from Wikipedia -

Melamine foam is a foam-like material consisting of a formaldehyde-melamine-sodium bisulfite copolymer. The foam, because of its microporous properties, may remove otherwise "uncleanable" external markings from relatively smooth surfaces. For example, it can remove crayon, magic marker, and grease from painted walls, wood finishings, and grime from hub caps.

The open cell foam is not only microporous, but its polymeric substance is also extremely hard, meaning that it works like sandpaper but on a smaller scale, getting into tiny grooves and pits in the subject being cleaned. On a larger scale, the material feels soft. Because the bubbles interconnect, its structure is more like a maze of fibreglass strands than like the array of separate bubbles in, for example, styrofoam.

The substance needs to be dampened to work properly. It does break down rather rapidly, so a given block of foam generally lasts only a single intensive scrubbing session, though it can be used repeatedly for much smaller marks.

While the name-brand "Magic Eraser" is made by Mr. Clean (Procter & Gamble), the foam itself is manufactured in Germany by BASF under the name "Basotect" and was already a common product before this new use was discovered. Other companies have also begun marketing it for its cleaning properties, either under other names, like Coralite Ultimate Sponge, or as a generic product.

Melamine foam has been used for over 20 years as insulation for both pipes and ductwork. It also has a long history as a soundproofing material for projects like studios, sounds stages and auditoriums.

So, I got rid of the brush and bucket and magically erased the dirt from my kitchen and dining room floors. I couldn't believe the difference it made! My floor looks better than it did brand new although while on my hands and knees, I discovered that I really dislike our vinyl flooring. It's a really porous, thus the reason it attracted so much dirt, and I really think it's made to look a little dirty in spots. Of course, on one hand, that is great. It's obviously done a great job concealing the dirt for the last few years, however, it makes it hard to tell what needs to be scrubbed harder, or just left alone.

I think I am going to start a letter writing campaign to Proctor and Gamble to come out with a "Magic Eraser" mop. My floors may be cleaner, but my knees and back are KILLING me!!!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Infertility - I have not forgotten your pain!

Since entering the blog world, I have enjoyed reading other blogs, mainly those involving adoption and infertility. I love reading how God has brought families together through adoption, especially open adoption...something near and dear to my heart. However, it's the blogs about infertility that stir up old wounds and break my heart for those that are living with the IF curse.

I remember that pain. I remember crying so hard over the possibility that I might never be able to fulfill my lifelong dream of being a mother that I would want to crawl in a hole and never come out. I remember avoiding baby showers. I remember coming up with excuses as to why I could not visit family and friends in the hospital following the births of their children. I remember skipping church on Mother's day, Father's day and baby dedication days. I remember cursing Johnson Baby commercials that talked about how having a baby changes everything. I remember walking through the baby departments at stores hoping that one day, I would be buying something for MY baby. I remember my family trying to shield me from news stories about women dumping their babies in trash dumpsters because they knew it would hurt me. I remember the countless comments from family, friends and even complete strangers as to how we could solve our little problem. I remember feeling like the reproductive endocrinologist (let's call him Dr. Doo-Doo! Kriss knows who I am talking about!!!) held my future in his hands and instead of seeing my pain, he saw dollar signs and a new Lexus. I remember the pain of realizing that if I ever wanted to become a mother, it was going to cost me big bucks and even more emotionally.

I also remember the day Evan said he was ready to look into adoption. I had been ready for a while, but he wanted to consider additional IF treatments and had said that if we did adopt, he did not want to go into debt for it. I remember him coming home from work and telling me that we had gone into debt for a lot worse stuff and that if it was God's will for us to adopt, then HE would provide a way. I remember all the paperwork, home study visits, required training and reading that we had to complete to be approved to be parents. I remember the bitterness that most people we knew that were parents did not have to go through any of this. They simply got pregnant!

And I will always, always, always, always remember the day I was at work and my director came to tell me that there was someone named Rachel on the phone from Buckner. My heart stopped because I knew she was the maternity counselor. I remember every detail of that phone call and how as she gave me the information of the prospective birth parents, I cried on the inside because I knew there were too many "red-flags" for Evan to consider meeting them. I remember him FINALLY telling me (after several hours of him praying about it) that we should meet them and if it wasn't God's will, then He would close that door. To use a cliche, the rest is history. Four days after we met Mia's birth family, Mia was born and our dream of becoming parents finally happened. It didn't happen how we planned, and I thank God everyday that it didn't. When I look back at all the negative pregnancy tests, the perfectly timed intercourse because the OV predictor kit said it was time, the IUI that didn't work - I realize that had we conceived, we wouldn't have Mia.

Infertility sucks big time and I would not wish it on my worst enemy. Nor would I force the adoption issue on someone that is not ready to look into it as a way to fulfill their dream of becoming parents. However, my heart breaks every time I hear someone say they are spending thousands upon thousands of dollars in the hopes that they can have a "child of their own." Perhaps it was the adoption etiquette training we received at Buckner that has made me a bit touchy about that phrase, but any adoptive parent will tell you that ALL of their children are their own, regardless of how they came to be.

So, to all those that are struggling with infertility...I feel your pain. If you know someone that is struggling with it, keep your mouth shut. Trust me, they have already heard or read anything you are going to say to them about how to get pregnant. And don't you dare throw the, "adopt and you will get pregnant" line at them. That's another touchy one for me that I will most definitely blog about another day! However, I have rambled long enough for today.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Why? Why?? Why???

That is a common question in our house these days. Mia has entered into that lovely part of childhood that no matter what you say, she asks, "Why??" It is driving me up the wall. Evan deals with it better than I do. When she asks "Why?", he explains whatever she is asking to the point that she is the one annoyed. Like, "why is it too late for chocolate?" He breaks into a discertation about the effects chocolate have someone's ability to sleep and the decay it can cause to teeth while sleeping. I use the 'ole, "because I said so" excuse which gets me another "Why?" She knows it is annoying too because when I really start to get aggravated she will erupt into, "Why why why why why why why why why..." and then starts giggling. There have been many cute phases in her nearly three years, and I am sure there are more to come, however, I hope this one passes REALLY, REALLY quickly. Don't you dare ask why!!!!

So much going on

Whew, this past week has been crazy. Let's start with a week ago today, when Evan hurt his shoulder. Best we can tell, he did when he was playing with Mia and threw her up over his shoulder. It was pretty sore and by Wednesday afternoon, he was miserable. I told him to go to Carenow since it was so late in the day and all they were able to do was tell him that nothing was broken and to go get an MRI in 5 days if it was not better. He went on into work Thursday morning but had to come home because the pain was so bad. I decided to take him to the ER in the hopes that they would do a CT or MRI to find out if he had torn his rotator cuff. No such luck there. They did another X-ray and told us the same thing, no broken bones but he did need to see an orthopedic surgeon. The rest of Thursday was spent with him passed out on pain meds. Fun!

We got up early on the 4th to head to East Texas to see my Dad's family. I was ready to cancel our day trip, but Evan said he felt well enough to go since the day would only consist of sitting around and visiting with family. I am so glad we were able to go since it had been a year since we were out there. Mia has grown up so much and none of them had seen Livi yet. Mia had a ball playing with my cousin's daughter. They rode my Uncle's horse, played outside, chased name it. I tell you, that girl was made for the country. She was not scared of riding the horse by herself, even if her Daddy and I were. Of course, Olivia was cute and smiley for everyone. My Uncle threatened to keep both my girls and told them they could come back anytime they wanted. Funny, I remember him telling me that when I was little. Both girls were so exhausted, they were asleep before we hit the interstate and stayed asleep for the entire 2 hour drive home. How wonderful to have a quiet car ride to actually talk to Evan. We took advantage of the quiet to FINALLY decide what to do for our anniversary. We decided that we would spend the weekend at the Gaylord. We'll leave Mia with my parents for one night, and then go get her for the 2nd night. I know the Gaylord has a lot going on this summer that I know she would enjoy. Besides, I don't think I could be away from her for more than one night. Anyway, we got home around 9:30 to discover our neighbors setting off fireworks in the street. This, of course, woke the girls up. Argh!!!

So excited to see her cousin!

Whoa, Mia!

She's a natural!!!!

Three little cowgirls!

Olivia and Uncle Doug

Saturday consisted of Evan sleeping most of the day, thanks again to Vicodin. Poor guy has really been hurting. I was determined to find a firework show because we had missed it the last two nights and Mia was really excited about them this year. We found one being put on by my MIL's HOA of all places, so we headed to her neighborhood. Crowds are so not my thing and I could think of a million other places I would rather been, but once the fireworks started and I saw Mia's and Olivia's reactions, it was worth it. They absolutely LOVED them! I knew Mia would, but we were surprised how interested Livi was.

Ready for fireworks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She said, "WOW!!!" after every one!!

Sunday was Olivia's baby dedication at church, which meant we had to be up and out the door earlier than usual. Fortunately, I had ironed and gotten everything ready Saturday afternoon which turned out to be a good thing since we overslept. However, we still made it on time. I was a little upset because my brother and some other families did not make the effort to come, however, we were happy to have to the family with us that we did. Livi was adorable, as usual, and did not sleep through her dedication like big 'sis did. I still can't believe how blessed I am to have two children, especially after all the years I avoided baby dedications because they were too painful. God is SO good! I'll have to upload pics later. None of ours turned out very good :( so I am hoping my friend got some better shots.

Oh, back to Evan's shoulder. He saw the surgeon yesterday afternoon and she is concerned that is might be something more severe than just a sprained shoulder so he goes today for an MRI. Hopefully we will hear within a couple of days what exactly we are dealing with. It is feeling better, so hopefully it isn't anything too severe.