About Me

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I like to think of myself as the 'crazy mom of four'. I'm 31 years old and I love my life, my kids, my husband and my God. "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Jim Eliot

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Heathen...that's me!

I'm skipping church this morning. I feel bad, because there is a chili lunch after church and I know that trying to get four kids fed and yourself is a handful...hopefully it won't be too hard on Kris. I think Grandma is going to be there too though so I'm hoping it will all go smoothly. Not that Kris isn't capable...oh he is. He's really great, especially with the kids. I just feel bad that he will have to go it alone, but I still just do not feel good.

I managed to get some sleep last night, thanks to Nyquil, Melatonin, and Xanax. Oh and Ibuprofen for the pain in my ears, eyes and throat. I also sucked on one of those Chloraseptic drops all night and managed to get some rest. I'm hoping that by resting this morning I will be able to make it through grocery shopping at Schnucks and Aldi's this afternoon, as well as the dreaded task of cleaning out the fridge!

Our new 'meal plan' starts today. Kris and I are going to work hard to stick to our budget and plan out the meals throughout the week so that we can not only buy ONLY what we need, but so that we can save some money and stop eating out for lunch at work. Not only is it costing us a lot of money, it makes it very difficult to stick to my yeast-free diet! So, starting today, the meals are planned out (only through Saturday so far) and we are looking forward to hopefully saving some money and eating better. The nice thing for me is that for the most part, everyone will now be eating yeast-free. There will be some exceptions for Kris and the kids, like white bread and chips that I can't have. But the 'main' meals will all be yeast-free. The great thing for Kris is that he will get to enjoy my home cooking on a more regular basis. Deep down, part of me wonders if this wasn't his plan all along...just to get me cooking for him all the time...and he is just saying it's to save money!! ;-)

Saturday, February 27, 2010


It's 3:30am and I cannot sleep. I laid down at midnight, stayed in bedfor about 30 minutes, and then headed out to the couch. I hate nights like this. It used to be that almost every night was like this. This is the first night in a long time that it has been this hard to go to sleep. And that is with taking some Melatonin and Xanax. I took some Dayquil around 10:30pm, figuring it was too late to take the Nyquil since we have to pick Kat up between 8:30-9am. She went on a field trip with the Girl Scouts to a sleepover at the Magic House. I don't know if I am just awake because of this head cold and sinus pressure or just because, but it's really frustrating. I am thankful that I don't have to go to work tomorrow though. And I am thankful that I've gone from most nights being this way to only an occasional sleepless night. I still don't stay asleep throughout the night but at least most days I can fall asleep within 30 minutes to an hour. The kids will be up in 3 hours.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I'm still here

I'm alive and well, in case you were concerned. After reading a comment just now from my previous post, I realized that I hadn't posted since my despondent rambling of early last week so I thought I would check in and let my faithful readers know that all is well with me. That hopeless feeling did indeed pass, as I knew it would.

Life has not slowed down though. In fact, it seems to speed up more and more each day. A coworker and I have switched jobs. I can't remember if I wrote about this already and so if it is a repeat, I apologize. While I am feeling better emotionally, I don't have enough mental energy right now to open up a new Google tab and read through old posts to find out (i.e. I'm lazy).

Until last week, I was driving to Fenton every day. On a good day, it took me right around 30 minutes to get there. On a bad day...well...fortunately there weren't too many of those!! Regardless, it gave me plenty of time to read. Those of you that know me, know that I listen to books while I drive. I'm telling you, I was against it at first. Kris finally won me over to listening to books when life started to speed up. I love to read and didn't seem to have any time anymore to read. So now when I am working out or driving or cleaning, I can just pop the headphones in and 'read'. It's a great way to pass the time.

I was the 'onsite liaison' for one of our clients, so I had a desk and worked right there with some great adjusters, assisting on files, making sure the people we hired did their job, etc. My coworker was in our actual office, dispatching claims, which is a fancy term for logging contact and accident info into our system and finding a local appraiser to investigate, take pictures, statements and so on. Extremely exciting insurance-related stuff. In addition to our primary roles, we also each have several other tasks that we are responsible for. I've been onsite at Vanliner for over two years now I believe. Maybe it's only been over one. I can't remember. It's been quite a while though. And I really enjoy being there. But I was getting extremely burnt out. And I didn't even realize how bad it was until last week, when we switched places.

Between last week and this one, I have been about 110% MORE productive. And I realized why tonight. Change is sometimes very good. Change is hard for some people, and while this change has called for quite a bit of adjusting, overall I am happy with it. I love my job again. And that is a great feeling. I still haven't really been able to fully jump into my role in our actual office, interacting with my other coworkers, all six of them. I've gone to a much smaller office too which is odd but I have barely been there. The girl I switched with was sick this week and so I filled in for her on Monday and Tuesday at our client's office. She was scheduled to be out today through Monday too, so I am back down in Fenton until Tuesday. While I was only gone a week, I have missed my adjusters down there. It's been good to be back among them, though I do look forward to getting into the swing of things downtown once Tara gets back. Ultimately, it feels good to change things up and have a different role now. It has energized me really.

Perhaps one of the greatest pluses for me is now when one of the kids is sick or they have a snow day, or one of their many random days off for no apparent reason, I can actually work from home. I am not required anymore to be onsite with our client each day, so I feel less pressure if someone is sick. It's hard for me to be productive from home, but it can be done, even with the four Little Bishops running around. And if Tara is sick or needs to be out, I can fill in for her down in Fenton. I don't know about her, but so far I am enjoying the change, and it feels good to give 100% again. I was getting so tired of the same thing every day and when you are weighed down, it is really hard to give everything you've got. So admittedly, I was not giving everything like I had in the past. It was a slow progression that left me to wanting to play on Facebook all day (not that I did!) instead of focusing on what needed to be done. And I HATE feeling like I could do more, or I could give more, but just not having the energy to do it.

On a different note, we had to sock almost another $1000 into Clifford the Big Red Van. I'm so tired of that van! Besides the fact that it hates me and won't blow out heat whenever I ride in it, I just feel like we are always putting money into it. This time the fuel pump went out. Kris and I weighed out our options. We didn't really have any. We NEED a van. We can't realistically (or legally) fit into my Explorer. And we can't afford a used van right now, which means we certainly can't afford a car payment. But we talked today about actually sticking to our budget and how if we do that, we would actually be able to save a decent chuck of money in a short period of time. So hopefully what we just did to the van will last us until we can sell it or trade it in for a newer used van. Preferably one that has a heater that works.

Lastly for tonight, I went back to the Y this evening. I haven't been in a couple of weeks. Kris and I commute to work now, since we go to the same place. We're saving on gas, though that money is now being spent to keep the kids in extended care so that we can work a full day. But that has left me unable to get up early and go to the Y on my way to work, or stop by on the way home. Abbey has speech therapy on Mondays and Wednesdays at 5:30 now so we are really limited. And if there is anything we try to be consistent about, it is the kids' 7:00pm bedtime! Trust me...I don't care hold old they are getting. They still need that sleep! We get up at 6am every day now (well the kids do while we usually drag ourselves up by 6:20) and if they go to bed late, like they did tonight because Kris and Kaleb's Tae Kwon Do doesn't get out until 8pm, they are cranky!! Or the ones that aren't cranky burst into tears at random intervals throughout the day. Anyway...with therapy and working different hours but riding together, it is harder to get to the Y now. We're shooting for Tues/Thurs/Sat though and hopefully we can stick to that schedule. A little tip about stationary bikes. If the heart rate sensors aren't working, it's probably not a good idea to pick a random workout that adjusts the resistance based on your heart rate. At the end there, with the sensor being temperamental, it took me from a resistance of 6 up to 12. And let me just tell you that was NOT easy. My knee seemed to tolerate it ok. It was puffy and red when I finished but by the time I got out of the shower it looked and felt better. And overall, it just felt good to work out again.

Ok that is enough for tonight. I'd better stop now...are you still awake???

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I hate feeling this way

From time to time, I just feel 'hopeless'. It's not as dramatic as it sounds. But I have these days where I feel 'down' about everything. Everything looks bleak. I feel sad. I'm on the verge of tears. Even when things in my life are going well. There are just these days. Fortunately I am learning that they don't last and it must just be some crazy female hormone imbalance, but when those days hit it's like being run over by a truck. At least emotionally...

Over the years I have tried to explain to Kris that sometimes women cry and...I know this is hard to wrap your head around...we don't always know the reason why. We've experienced this with Katherine (age 9) many, many times. It happens with Abbey and from Kaleb every now and again. Last night I watched this happen to Olivia. And sadly for my girls, it won't get better as they get older. There will still be moments and days that they find themselves 'emotional' for no good reason. It happens to me when I am really tired, whether that be physically or emotionally. When I am tired, that is when I struggle the most to reign in my emotions!

Today is one of those days. Not with the crying so much. Just the sad feeling, and feeling like nothing matters. Nothing I do, nothing I eat...who cares about any of it? Because I certainly don't. For today...

I'm thankful to God that those times don't last. But I really don't like them when they come. It's that longing to curl up in a little ball and hide from the world. To just zone out, tune out, and just not care about anything. That's where I am at today. I am confident that I will not feel this way tomorrow though so I just need to get through the rest of this evening...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Did I mention I like word games?

Today is obviously Valentine's Day...

Kris and I were fortunate enough to have sitters in place so we could get away Friday and Saturday night. We had a great time away. We met up at church today and then took the kids to Target and let them pick out a little $5 present. Then we ordered Chinese and came home and watched G-Force and one of the Tinkerbell movies. When all of that was over, we got the snack foods out and played a new game we picked up at Target. Scrabble Slam. I am a lover of all things Scrabble so of course this game piqued my interest!

We made up some rules for the first round of this game...that way it would be easy enough for the kids to play. The real object is to start with a four letter word (not the bad kind!) and then deal out the rest of the cards. Then it's like Speed and the first person to get rid of their cards wins! You all play at the same time, shedding cards by making words. After Kaleb and Abbey got bored with it, I told Kris he had to play with me the right way. Katherine hung around and wanted to give it a try too. So we let her.

The first game she plays with us we're down to the wire. I have 2 or 3 cards left and she has one. Kris doesn't really count in here since he had about 12 cards left! :) So we're sitting there looking at loom or something like that. I've got a card with a z and k on it and there was no way I could play on it. I had to just wait until an opportunity opened up. Kat is sitting over there staring at it, then all of a sudden she throws down her last card, which has an A on it. And she yells 'LOAM!' Kris and I are like "Loam is NOT a word!" And she keeps insisting then goes on to tell us that it's in her science book and has something to do with soil and plants. So of course, Kris goes to the computer to Google it! And sure enough, LOAM is "soil composed of sand, silt, and clay in relatively even concentration, considered ideal for gardening and agricultural purposes." I haven't seen Katherine that proud and excited in a while. It was awesome to see her proving us right! I never liked science!!!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Like Mother, Like Daughter

As I mentioned earlier, Abbey stayed home from school today. She loves to play Farmville. But today for some reason, it was glitching. She kept adding things to her farm and making it just the way she wanted it. Then she would refresh the screen and everything had disappeared. After this happened about 5 times, Abbey said the funniest thing today:

"Why does it keep doing that? It's like it says 'Oh let's get rid of everything and give her back her money so she gets frustrated!'"

And the dancing around singing 'Thumbelina!' was pretty funny too. Though I told her that sick people shouldn't be dancing and made her sit down!

Abbey was WAAAY to excited...

I am blessed in so many ways. What I am thankful for this morning is the fact that Abbey usually doesn't get sick. Out of the four kids, Abbey gets sick the least often. Because of this, she always has to watch the others get little beds made up in the living room when they're sick. Many times she tells us she doesn't feel good, but I am pretty sure she just wants the kind of attention the others get because she doesn't act sick. Today however, Abbey finally got what she wanted. She came into my room this morning and said she didn't feel good. All of the kids have been fighting colds and so instead of just writing Abbey off, I felt her head and she felt hot all over. So, Abbey has a fever and I told her that she should go lay back in her bed until the others left. She happily pranced back to her room to lay down. Then she came back into the room asking if I would make her a bed in the living room. I told her after the others left. Then she kept going back and forth between my room and hers asking questions! She was really excited to finally have an opportunity to be sick and stay home.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Livvy's take on Indians

We're watching "Virginia's Run" for movie night tonight. Kris is immediately bored and so he and I are cracking jokes about the movie...this is how we suffer through *some* of these 1 1/2-2 hour movies with the kids (most of the time we enjoy them but there are some that just aren't quite right).

So there was this scene where a dark-haired woman gets out of the car and they played some music that sounded like the kind of music they play in a movie where there are Native Americans. And so we were joking around about her being an Indian-even though she clearly is not. And one of the kids said 'She's not an Indian.' And then Livvy said 'Yeah because Indians don't even have cars!'

A few minutes later, they showed a scene with this very white and very BLONDE woman riding a horse and they started playing that Native American music again so Kaleb yelled out 'Hey her mom is an Indian!'

I don't recommend this movie. 15 minutes in and I wish we could watch Spongebob! I shouldn't even be sitting here with my laptop on during movie night...but the movie is *that* bad!!

Friday, February 5, 2010

A visit from the Tooth Fairy

I really wish I had taken a picture to post on here of Abbey with her first missing tooth. Sadly, I did not. But wanted to 'write' this down before I forget it.

Last night Kaleb and Kris went to Tae Kwon Do. I kept the girls all home with me so that I could put them to bed at a decent time (7pm around our house!); we've had too many late nights the last couple of weeks and they NEEDED to sleep. I contemplated keeping Kaleb home too but since we are paying for the class, he really should be there.

As I was putting the girls in bed and turning all the lights out, I told them that I didn't want to hear any talking or playing or want anyone getting out of bed...the normal bedtime speech. I had forgotten Abbey even had her first loose tooth until she said 'Maybe if I do that [she meant get up] you can pull my tooth out as a punishment.' She's funny. And as if that wasn't funny enough...

I went into the kitchen and started cleaning up so that I could make myself dinner. About 5 minutes later, Abbey walks into the kitchen. She has her little hand outstretched and said 'I went into the bathroom and pulled it out myself.' She stood there proudly holding her tiny little tooth (which of course grosses me out because I hate teeth!). So she's standing there with this huge grin on her face-oblivious to the blood that was pooling in her mouth. I put the tooth in a ziploc bag and told her to go rinse her mouth out. She came back into the kitchen, I gave her the bag and sent her back to bed, telling her to put it under her pillow.

And then she would not go to sleep! I don't know if she was just excited because she knew the Tooth Fairy would come (or in our case IF the Tooth Fairy remembers to come!), or if she just couldn't shut her brain down...which happens many, many nights. Kris and Kaleb get home just before 9pm and I am pretty sure that at this point Abbey is still awake.

Finally, she fell asleep. And fortunately, the Tooth Fairy remembered to come to our house. Abbey came into our room this morning to show Kris where her tooth had been. Kris, not wanting to get up yet, was like 'yeah...' even though he didn't have his glasses on and couldn't possibly see it! So I told her to turn the light on and him to get his glasses on. He did, reluctantly...

And then I asked Abbey if the Tooth Fairy had come. And she said "Yeah, she gave me a dollar!" Then she proceeded to tell us that she actually woke up at 3:30am and felt under her pillow. These are close to her exact words: "I reached under there and my tooth was gone but there wasn't any money. But then I reached WAY BACK and found a dollar! And then I went back to sleep."

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A belated birthday present

I feel like I've been celebrating my birthday all week. Monday night (since I wasn't eating 'right' to begin with) we had Chinese. It was wonderful. Every last sickening sugar and gluten filled bite! Tuesday was my birthday and my day off went exactly as planned, except for one minor glitch which I managed to get over fairly quickly. I slept until 11am and it felt great! Then I did some boring things...working out at the Y (not boring for me), grocery store, picked the kids up from school. Kris came home early. We ordered St. Louis Pizza and Wings (as I was still making poor choices) and watched LOST with my mother-in-law. All in all, it was a good day. Oh...yeah...back to the belated present. Kris told me I could order some things from Avon. Well, actually I told HIM I wanted to place an Avon order for my birthday...and he said I could and gave me my 'limit'. So I ordered a few things and got them in the mail today. I love companies like Avon, BeautiControl (though I can't afford it anymore), Tastefully Simple (though I can't have this anymore), and of course the best ever Pampered Chef! In fact, towards the end of my 'active' Pampered Chef days, all of my commission was either going to buy more Pampered Chef or Avon. It's been a long time since I was able to get something 'fun' from Avon. Anyway...so it arrived in the mail today! I know this is incredibly boring and no one cares, but I don't care that no one cares. I was giddy with excitement. I love getting new stuff!! My favorite was a new perfume. I'm always hesitant to buy perfumes without smelling them first, but I felt the catalog gave a fairly good description of this particular one...and it was only $10...I was thrilled to get it and find out I LOVE it! I also got some makeup and a necklace and earrings that I'm pretty excited about, which is odd considering I don't typically wear jewelry. But I always see these cute things and think, 'maybe I'll start wearing makeup and jewelry'. And then I get through a couple of days of that and decide I just don't have time for it.

While I didn't go to the Y tonight, I sure did get quite the workout at physical therapy tonight. 12 minutes on the treadmill. Leg press, scooting around like a fool on a chair, leg lifts, bike. Then there was the trampoline. No, I didn't have to jump on it. I had to stand on one leg (my bad leg) and throw a two pound ball at an upright trampoline and then catch it...all while trying to balance on my one leg. I assured the therapist that I would be unable to do this even without a bad leg. I insisted that he just wanted to have something to laugh at. Today, because I did better than last week, he made me stand on this foam square and do the stupid activity. I told him that I was NOT a circus act. He just laughed.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Happy Birthday to....ME!

This is random and has nothing really to do with my birthday, but Livvy just said something I thought was really funny: "I hate three minutes because it takes so long. Why do Daddy always have to do that?"

I've had a great day. Kris got the kids up and ready for school, then took them to school this morning. I vaguely remember them coming in my room about a million times before they left but then I went back to sleep and didn't get up until 11am! I don't know when the last time was that I slept that long! It felt wonderful.

The house was messy and since I didn't feel like cleaning (it is my birthday after all and who wants to work on their birthday?), I got my bag together and went to the Y. I've been sticking to the recumbent bike while my knee continues to heal and get stronger but I get so bored with the bike. I don't burn as many calories and when I'm done with 30 minutes, I feel like I should do something more. While the elliptical and I are known for hating one another, I am ready to get back to it. Today I rode for just 15 minutes on the bike and because my knee was feeling pretty good, I thought I'd give the elliptical a try. I managed 5 minutes with no pain and burned the same amount of calories as I did with 15 minutes on the bike. So tomorrow (assuming I actually get up at 5:30 and go to the Y before work) I am going to start with the elliptical. Besides that, the physical therapist showed me this exercise I can do when my knee feels 'out of place' to get it back in place and I'm really happy that it actually works. There is now very little limping. My scars are getting softer and smaller as I rub them constantly with lotion at the P.T. recommended.

Boring stuff aside, I wanted to share some pictures of the birthday card Katherine (my 9 year old) gave me. She's a great little artist and very thoughtful in all she does. And if there is one thing that girl knows, she knows her mother! She's so funny and her card was the best part of my day. See below:

This is the 'front' of the card. She got a kick out of the fact that I share my birthday with Punxsutawney Phil. I like the drawing of an eye in the middle of the heart to say 'I love you.' Oh and that is, I believe, a groundhog saying 'Happy Birthday Mommy!'

I thought this next part was really cute too! Because I loved her design for the spring carnival t-shirt, she decided to include a replication of it on my birthday card!

But I saved my favorite part for last. Katherine decided to make me an acrostic. She used the word 'MOMMY'. Oh and she just had to do a pop-up book report, so she has a pop-up groundhog in the middle of the card. What really just melted my heart was her descriptions of me. I have to cherish this now because in 5 years, who knows if she will still see me in the same light.

I know you can't really see the acrostic so I am going to write it below. Again, my all-time favorite moment of the day was reading this:

Master of grammar and spelling. c-a-t
One of the best cooks ever.
Mommy always cares for me.
Maybe I'll grow up to be like you some day.
Your the best Mom ever!!

I didn't point out to her that it technically, grammatically should have been "you're" instead of "your".