Thursday, April 30, 2009

365 Days Ago...

We were driving the second leg of our move out to Arizona.

We had slept in the grossest motel in Van Horn, Tx. So gross that I made my children keep their shoes on at all time. Even in bed.

When we stopped for lunch, we thought we were going to be killed by an crazy drugged-out homeless guy in the Wendy's.

Luke had gotten carsick while we were driving through the hills of New Mexico and puked Disney Princess Fruities all over himself. I had to change him on the side of the 2 lane highway winding through said hills.

I had to call Alyshia in an absolute PANIC because I had gotten ahead of Jason, was about to run out of gas and there was nothing but desert and cactus as far as I could see.

We arrived in one piece at Martha and Gary's, and Romo promptly brushed up against a cactus and got a million and one needles in his belly.

But we had made. And we were there.

We were in for 6 months of laughter and tears, life and death, unbelievable heartbreak and pure joy. We couldn't have gotten there, been there and came back home without the support and prayers of so many people, to ALL of you I am eternally grateful.

As most of you know, we have had a very hard time since we got back. I thought it would be "business as usual", but our lives had changed so much going through what we did. Our priorities changed. Our view on life and death had changed. We grew up a lot and realized we were making a lot of mistakes. But, my God, how we have been struggling to get our bearings straight. We are completely worn out weighing every option, every choice we make. It can be so frustrating knowing that no matter how much you plan, life will have its way in the end.

So from here on out, we can just do what we can with what we have. And that means not flaking out on the trainer, keeping up with our FPU homework, cooking in instead of eating out, resisting going into Hobby Lobby, making time to watch House with Jas, calling my girlfriends instead of just texting them, having play dates with Nanna GG and really listening to her words of wisdom, staying positive and putting only good thoughts out into the universe, work on making our little family closer and our marriage stronger, educating ourselves on what's really going on in the world around us, and praying for wisdom and courage. We miss Gary everyday, but we now find ourselves asking, What would he do in this situation? What advice would he give? We use his wisdom and courage as a compass during this uncertain time.

So, here's to making the next 365 days "Pure".

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Luke is a genius. And not an A,B,C and 1,2,3s kinda genius. (Well, he's that too, ...) No, he's the "too-smart-for-his-own good" kind. He is systematically figuring out how to work people to get what he wants. And it takes everything I have not to crack up at some of his tactics.

He has really, for the most part, been going to bed so much better for us ever since we moved Morgan in with him. But the past couple nights he's been getting up and coming in the kitchen making requests for water, Dora books, you get the idea.
So last night he comes in and I hear him on the other side of the kitchen counter.

"Luke! Go back to bed."
"No, no, no! I just want to give you a hug." (Ahhh...)
"Well, okay..." Hug. He walks away.
2 minutes later he's back.
"Luke! Back. To Bed!"
"I wanna give you a hug and a high-five."
Ahhhh, this is sweet because that's what we do at Mother's Day Out when I drop him off. BUT- he then proceeds to have to give me about 15 high fives because if they don't make JUST the right smacking sound, he deems them as "bad ones!" and he will continue to high-five you until he has got it just right. We finally get a satisfactory hit, and I send him back to bed again.

Well! Five minutes later, he is back.
"LUKE PALMER! That's enough! I want you to-"
"No sir! We've already don-"
"Wait! Wait! And tell you you are the best Mommy in the whoooooooooooole woooooooorld!"
Seriously. You should have seen the smile.
He kills me.
Little Toot.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"You Scared My Heart"

This is what I have always said to O when she was little and she would hide from me, or walk away from me in the store. For some reason it was a visual she could get: love= hearts, I love her, she scared my heart that loves her, ... it made since to us. Anyway...

I lost Olivia in the Target once when she was about 4 and I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I had stopped for 5 seconds to check out something stupid, I'm sure, at the end of the aisle and she took a detour down another. When I turned around and she wasn't standing right there, I started calling her name and looking all over. After not being able to find her right away, the whole place started swirling in slow-mo and I couldn't think straight. Thank God another nice Mommy recognized that "Holy Shit, Where Is My Kid?!?!?! Face", and we found her in the electronics section looking at Wiggles DVDs. (Damn, Wiggles.) After I found her, of course I hugged her and just kept saying, "You scared my heart. You sacred my heart!" I was so freaked out that I almost pushed an entire cart of groceries out the store without paying for them. Luckily Jas was there, took care of everything and drove us home. On the way I just started laughing hysterically. Like a crazy person. I couldn't stop. I was Looney-Tunes. And then I burst into tears and cried for the rest of the evening. So needless to say, I have been teaching Luke to stay here I can see him. But he is 2 and honestly, can't be trusted, as we learned yesterday.

I made persuaded Jas take Bubs with him to run a few quick errands. One of which was to the grocery. Now, I have trained the pants off Luke to behave and walk with me in the store. He knows not to go more than about 15 feet away from me, and he knows without a doubt! that he has to hold on to the cart as I push it through the parking lot back to the car. He has never tried to break free. There is something to be said for The Fear Of God. It works. For me at least.

But, when they got home, Luke walked through the doors and said, "I've vewy naw-dy boy." Jas came in all red in the face. What did he do?, I asked. Jas just looked blankly at me and said he ran from him in the parking lot. At 5 pm. The busiest, most hectic time there is. I think he was freaked out. Seriously. Here's the weird part: Jas said he was walking out of the store and both of his hands were full of the grocery bags. He was holding Luke's wrist and right as they stepped off the sidewalk, Luke broke free and started to run straight into the cross traffic. Jas said a car was coming right for him and all of a sudden this guy who was walking the other direction runs out, grabs Luke and gets back to the sidewalk before Jas can react. And guess who this hero was??? The older brother of one of Jas' best friends growing up. Small world. Thank goodness.

So needless to say, we were both a little shaky for the rest of the evening, it was the first time Jas had a "Scare my heart" moment, bless his heart. I think that is one of those building blocks of parenthood, though. It always seems like it takes one big scary thing to happen to teach you to do so many little things differently. I still feel really bad for him though. I know that knotted "What if?" feeling that stays inside of you for a long time. (I also feel a little bit bad for me too, because now I know he won't take Luke with him anywhere ever again. Boooo.)

Friday, April 17, 2009


Remember my psychiatrist? One of the smartest women I have ever met? She once pointed out something about me that she found interesting: I say, " I don't/ didn't/ wouldn't look like a crazy person..." ALOT. She (jokingly) asked me why that is one of by biggest fears. Why do I worry what people think about the choices I make and how does that effect the things I do and the way I behave? I think it boils down to the fact that I have very strong feelings about certain things - but at the same time, I look around at other people and see how they are living and doing fine and I wonder if I am crazy for feeling the way I do. Am I wrong? Dr. S pointed out that we can spend an enormous amount of our lives searching for one thing: validation of our beliefs and feelings.

And believe it or not, last night I got a big whopping spoonful of validation. From Dave Ramsey of all people.

Jas and I have ALWAYS, for almost 8 years now!, disagreed about money. We have never seen eye to eye on things- and we have tried everything under the sun to make things work out: elaborate budgets, separate bank accounts, my handling all the bills, him handling all the bills. It has made both of us nuts and it has caused more shouting matches than I care to disclose. It is one of the only real things we fight about. Honestly. (That and the fact that he doesn't think that "butt" is a bad word. But, I digress...)
So last night at out FPU class the whole lesson was about Nerds (me) and Free Spirits (Jas). Every thing Dave said about each of us and our planning and living styles was SO SPOT ON we kept turning and looking at each other with big saucer-eyes. VALIDATION. I am not crazy for thinking we should have a budget and expecting us to stick to it. I am not crazy for making spreadsheets, outlines and Power Point presentations on the topic in hopes of getting him on board. That's just me. We are who we are. We handle things differently. And that's okay.
He touched on how men and women approach shopping. I can't tell you how many times I have asked Jas to go shopping with me, only for it to end up being a complete beating. Over the years, it bothered me that we would always leave in such a huff if we tried to buy something together- what was wrong with us??? Uh, nothing. We are completely normal, typical men and women. We don't like to shop the same way and have no business doing it together. More validation. We are who we are. We handle things differently. And that's okay.

But most importantly, and again, the reason for us attending this workshop, is the issue of saving. I have felt so uneasy about things since I have stayed home. I have told myself stories about how much stress and anguish I was causing Jas. I have worn myself into the ground trying to control so many areas of our life because inside I felt like things were so NOT in control. I was making everyone nuts. And it all boiled down to our finances- and the fact that we never have had it together, even when I was working. My major issue was that when I go back to school and then re-enter the workforce, I want it to bless our family. I want that money to help where it really needs it: college funds, wedding funds (we'll have 2 to pay for!), our retirement. I will feel secure when we are financially secure. Dave explained the feelings I had so simply, and I know Jas got it. He fought me tooth and nail about taking this class, and I think at that moment he finally understood. Again, more validation.
I love that when we leave the classes we actually talk. About the class. We sit in the car in the garage for a few more minutes after we arrive home, discussing how what we learned ties into our lives together. We get of the car and hold hands as we walk into the house. This process is slowly, but surely really truly strengthening our marriage. It is making us a real team, not just the default kind that comes from being married. Its funny, we have known each other for almost 12 years now and this stranger comes into our lives: he gives us the knowledge and the strength to make better choices, he opens our eyes to a new way of living and amazingly enough, he explained each of us to the other. So let people think we live like "crazy people" when this is all said and done. He and I will know the truth. (wink)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Little OOC

You heard of ADD. You've heard of OCD. You've heard of TMI. I myself have issues with a disorder called "OOC".

Out Of Control.
It comes and goes, and usually effects me when I have started a simple project ("Why of course that simple square throw pillow needs hand-beaded fringe!") or when I start planning a shower("A garden theme?! Why I must make topiaries that spell out the guest of honor's 7-letters-long name!") And it really happens when I start planning parties for my children. It takes over and I can't stop and things quickly spiral Out Of Control! (I had the flu on Olivia's 3 birthday- but got hopped up on DayQuil, because come hell or high water I was going to finish her huge poodle cake, damn it!)
So the other day, I was throwing birthday ideas around with Luke (given his birthday isn't til the end of June- but, you know me...) And he tells me he wants a King Boo cake- not a Thomas cake. That could be nice and easy- King Boo is pretty much a big white circle with a red tongue. Done. Easy-breezy. But, then...I can't help myself and start googling "Super Mario cake"... And I find this:

How amazing is this??? They makes the most INCREDIBLE creations- there's no way I could cut into these cakes. Seriously. I am totally blown away.

Now, given, she has had a gazillion years of experience. And given this cake was for a wedding, and not a 3 year old's birthday party. But don't think for one second that I totally didn't have a moment when I thought "I could do this. I would tone it done a smidge, but I think that I could totally do this." I even sat down and drew my toned-down version. (Jas found it later on my desk, thought it was a silly drawing that Olivia had done and wrote his shopping list on the back. Thanks.) But I have also YouTubed how to make yummy tasting fondant, and also the trick to make precious gum paste figures, so we'll see... I might just surprise myself.

This OOC condition has a way of doing that to a person. (It can also make them curse the day the project was thought up, but we'll hope for the best!)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Don't Complete Your Ballots Quite Yet

While I know many of you didn't have any hesitation about picking me as your choice for "Mother Of The Year 2009", you might want to hold off on casting your votes quite yet. The following story may take me out of the running:

Sweet, precious, chuba-wuba, Morgan Jane is suuuuuuuuch a big girl that she now takes a bath in the big tub. The real deal. She gets so excited when I sit on the edge of the tub with her on my lap as I turn on the water- she starts waving her arms and making that "Ooo-ooo" monkey sound. She loves nothing more than kicking her little froggy feet under the water, and smiles up at me while I lay her back in the water to wash her darling little brown hair. She laughs like an adorable Beavis when she gets a hold if the huge yellow Dickies BBQ cup I use to rinse them off with (and I do everything in my power for her not to drink the bath water from it). Her sweet little fat fingers fish out the fun little toys that are bobbing in the water. She cries when I lift her out when "tubby-time" is done. In a nutshell: She loves sitting in that big bathtub. Loves. It.

Until the other night.

You see, the mesh bag that hangs from two flimsy suction cups and holds all the tub toys had fallen from the sheer weight of naked Barbies and countless plastic Disney characters. I had started running the water and quickly slid the bag and its contents to the side and set Morgan down. She started screaming. I quickly felt the half an inch of water that was slowly filling the tub to make sure it hadn't become scalding in the 2.2 second since I checked it last. Nope, its fine. Then I thought maybe the bottom of the tub was super cold since the water hadn't really filled up yet, but she was still crying while sitting in the warm water, so I knew that wasn't it. I handed her a little Dora the Explorer. Still crying. I handed the Dickies up. Still crying. So then I sort of swishy-schooted her to the side to find another little toy to appease her when she REALLY starts crying. Now I think she's just tired and needs to be bathed and put to bed STAT. So I start to lather up her hair, and lay her down to rinse it really quickly. She stops crying for a minute, but when I scoop her back up to a sitting position she starts screaming again. What in the world?!?! So I quickly, quickly washed her body, rinsed her off and grabbed a towel. As I go to pick her up something falls into the bath. This:

Yup. She had been sitting on this!!! It must have came out of one of the Barbie's or My Little Ponies' beautiful long locks when the bag fell down. And I, her moth-er placed Morgan's precious little chubby tush right on top of it. For a good 10 minutes. Wiggling her around enough to really embed it into her baby flesh. Twice. Oh, the guilt. I felt so awful.

She is fine. No permanent butterfly outlines on the tush. Luckily, she will never remember it happened, but unfortunately, I can't forget. So, please: feel free to change your vote, seeing as how I have officially take myself out of the running.

There's always next year.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Who Do You Love?

We were stalking a house that just went on the market taking a leisurely drive this morning, when Luke starts saying in his precious sing-song voice, "I wub Bawk Ohhhhh Rama!" and cracks up because he knows this makes me nuts. (Jason taught him to say "I love Barack Obama" as joke and I guess he got such a rise out of me the first time he said it, that he can't resist doing it about 10 times a day now.)

Then in true Luke Palmer fashion, he starts saying silly endings to this sentence:
"I wub Bawk Ohhhh Bunnywhop!"
Okaaay, Luke.

"I wub Bawk Ohhhh Too-Too."
Luke, now you're just being crazy.

"I wub Bawk Ohhh Potty"
Luke Palmer, that's enough!

And then... He made me smile:

"I wub Bawk Ohhh PooPoo Head"


Friday, April 3, 2009

Mo And Me

I need to have a "widdle tawk" (as Luke would say) with the advertising group what dubbed Marly and Me a "fun family film!"

Are you frickin' kidding me?

Has anyone seen this movie? Spoiler alert:

It is great, but do we really need 45 minutes of the dog dying? Seriously. I was a sobbing, blubbering mess. Jason had to get up and LEAVE THE ROOM he was crying so bad. We were both so emotionally drained after watching that we pretty much just snacked at dinner and put everyone to bed by 7pm. Then poor Jas sat there and re-told me the story of when his beloved childhood dog, Tex passed away and how eerily similar it was to the movie. Many more tears. Jason and I weren't dating when that happened, but we still talked alot- he had called me that night and it was the first time I had ever heard him cry.

Needless to say, last night we hugged our sweet Mo, let him lay up on the pillow with us in bed. Olivia topped his dog bowl off this morning with a little bone dog treat. "An 'Olivia Special' just for you, Mosers!" He is in the living room as we speak, smacking the fireplace poker set and then chasing the light reflections around the room like a crazy person. The clanging is like Chinese Water Toture, but have I gone in there and yelled at him to stop? NO. Because I think for the next day or so, Mo is king around here. He's such a pain in the ass, but he's also such a sweet part of our family. Just the thought of loosing Romo is too hard to think about...

So here's to you, Romo Dog. Mo. Mosers. Moey.

We love you. Pain in the ass and all.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Smack Down

Remember yesterday? When I was being all productive and excited for what the future could hold? When I was feeling like a Nike spokeswoman?

Well. Today I felt like I was a featured guest on this show:

And I am the blond guy in this picture: See that guy kicking my hopes and dreams out of me? Yea. It was pretty much just like that.

As of last evening the following things happened:
I was late to take the nursing school entrance test thanks to traffic on 635. This actually ended up not being such a bad thing because a) I'm not sure it was going to be the best place for me and b) I now KNOW that it is not the best place for me. I freaked out a little after last night. So I did some more research today and realized that to do what I really want to do, I have to go the RN route. No quick-y nursing trade school for me.

So now I am no longer looking at a 13 month time frame, but one more like 3 years. I went from looking at putting my kiddos in full day daycare at $480 A WEEK for one year, to now 3 (I'll give you a minute to do that math and choke on whatever it is your sipping on, like I did). I now have to wait to even APPLY til January of next year, only to wait to START in August of next year. I am looking at Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4pm, instead of Monday through Thursday, 9am to 3pm. I am looking at completing my degree when Morgan is older than Luke is now- which hurts my brain. I am looking at a dead-end dream because there is simply no way to make all of these new requirements work. There is not enough hours in the day or money in the bank. I have looked at it from every angle: A different school maybe?: I've called every school in a 50 mile radius and its the same story. Move back to our Shonka house to save money and be near friends and family? That puts us in limbo again, which is precisely what we are trying to get out of. Get a nanny in the morning to take the kids to school at 9? Yea right. Online courses? I am a hands-on learner. I have prayed. I have cried. I have put a request for any plan or idea out into the universe and hope that something will come back. I am feeling beat up. I am feeling like all this is my fault for not knowing what I wanted to do until I was 30, and life has just taken me to a place where that really just isn't feasible. It just doesn't make sense, seeing has how all of those things that have happened to me are the reasons I want to do this in the first place...

It just sucks because I was excited.

And now I've had an official WWE Smackdown.