Around Here: Week 43 {2018}

Celebrating... my niece Romy turning one year old on Saturday with a party in Wenatchee.  It was surreal to have a pink party with little girls running around after a decade of All-Things-Boy.  The party was lovely and we were all so happy to celebrate this beautiful little girl.

Watching... Logan have another seizure Sunday with a bit different symptoms.  His eyelashes fluttered for a long time at the start of this one, which is different than his previous seizures, but after that stopped, the seizure resembled his others.  It lasted about a minute and afterward he wasn't very tired, which was nice. His lunch was about two hours late because he had been out at the land (his grandparent's land) riding the four wheeler, and I'm assuming his low blood sugar is to blame for the seizure.
A call to the neurologist confirmed that we're going to up his morning meds to 400mg as well, so now he's on that dose both morning & night.  Hopefully that will be high enough so that even if he has a trigger (a sleepless night, a late meal, a cold coming on) the meds will override his body's desire to respond with a seizure.

Hosting... my parents for a night following my niece's birthday.  We spent Sunday hanging out, visiting the park and shopping for toys.  Then Monday my parents stayed with the littles so I could get groceries on my own sans children, which was great.  I was sad to see them go, but my mom will be back in two short weeks for another visit, so that made saying goodbye easier.

Taking... Wyatt for a sleep study Sunday night.  In the spring he had three ear infections back to back to back, and while we were in to see the Ear, Nose & Throat doctor, I had a hunch to ask him to have a look at Wyatt's tonsils and adenoids as well.  He said they are definitely large, and suggested I talk to our pediatrician.  The pediatrician said that before I could request surgery to remove them, a sleep study would be best, to make sure they were impeding his sleep (which is what I thought, because despite sleeping ten to twelve hours at night, Wyatt often wakes unrested). 
The sleep study ran from 7:30pm to 5:30am and I got home feeling like I had basically been awake all night. I was exhausted!  We'll know the results soon, and my hope is that we get some answers about why Wyatt's sleep isn't restful, whether surgery would help, and if any of it is related to his constant asthma from colds.

Going... to see my counselor and really digging in to talk about some hard stuff.  Oh the tears.  I am still reeling from all we talked about and am hoping to spend some time this afternoon journaling about all the things we talked about.  I am so grateful that this is something I started in the spring and that I have been able to continue to make it a priority twice a month.  I can see how much it is helping me grow & change, and it challenges me to see things in new ways.  It's such good, hard work.

Riding... bikes all week with Wyatt, even in the rain (oops!) on Thursday.  I am so grateful that the weather has been so mild thus far and that we're not all stuck in the car for drop off yet!

Happy... that my broken toe seems to be a lot better this week!  I tried wearing a real shoe on Thursday and while my toe isn't fully ready, I can tell it hurts a lot less than it did, and that is positive progress!

Putting... Wyatt back on steroids only a month after the last round when he woke up one morning this week blowing 50% of what he should be blowing on his peak flow.  The steroids help his lungs, but lower his immune system, which sucks.  But they are a necessary evil.  The good news is that after only three days on them, he's already doing so much better!!

Hitting... my 2018 year long reading goal of 60 books nine weeks early! Woot woot! I am now hoping to hit 70 books before 2019 is upon us, and Josh and my boys think I could even hit 80 books if I tried really hard. We shall see!

Receiving... a scary call from the school Monday afternoon that Jack was bleeding from the head and I should meet him at the office ASAP.  Turns out he tripped over his own untied shoe, and caught himself by his ear on someone's desk.  The blunt force of the desk hitting his ear caused his glasses to crack his head open behind his ear, and as all moms know, head wounds bleed. A lot.  He was incredibly dizzy and tired, so between the bleeding and those symptoms, I took him in, unsure if he'd need stitches or had concussion.  Thankfully, he didn't need stitches or even glue, the doctor said that the laceration was perfectly in the crevice of the ear and would heal beautifully, so he just had his nurse clean it out.
As for the dizziness, that was because Jack had his his hear so hard, his inner ear had been kind of knocked out of whack. He had no other concussive symptoms. Phew!  Since then, Jack is okay, other than the fact that he can't wear his glasses, and his ear looks like we took a baseball bat to it. Boy, these kids keep me on my toes!

Enjoying... book club with my girls Thursday night.  We sat and ate and talked and laughed, and it was just what I needed.  When I think of how far I've come since I've moved here- how many friends I've made, how much I've grown, and how settled I feel- I am overwhelmed with gratitude and contentment.  I love this hometown of ours, and I love the village of women that surround me.  They are so amazing.

Reading... all.the.books! This week I finished Love Does on audio and have moved on to Lord of the Flies, which I am listening to again for the first time since tenth grade.  I started my Book of the Month book, Not That I Could Tell, which I am already halfway through (it's about a mom of twins who goes missing along with her kiddos & it's so good!)  I am also still wading through Grace (Eventually), which I am underlining every other paragraph of!  "I knew that no one comes holier than anyone else, that nowhere is better than anywhere else." Anne Lamott just speaks to my soul.

I am also reading my next chapter in "It's a Boy! Your Son's Development From Birth to Age 18" to prepare for what's next for the twins (gulp) and 52 Things Kids Need From A Mom, which is a fun, easy, breezy read that is reminding me of some neat ways to be a loving mom to my kids.  My favorites so far include: Linger around the table, Never stop touching them, Miss a few things they do wrong, Tuck them in every night, and Keep date night with their dad.  A lot of these I was already doing, but I am more motivated than ever to continue doing them, and doing them with a big heart.  Especially bedtime.  The boys cherish that time.  Which is hard, because by bedtime, I am kind of over being a mom.  Hah! (Truth!)  So I am trying to summon a little extra love & tenderness so that they get the best of me during those last thirty minutes.  They're worth it!  I also love the advice to never stop touching them, and I'm making sure I hug them first thing every morning, and give them hugs & kisses every day before they leave for school, and any time we're reunited. 

I am also working my way through The Whole Brain Child by Daniel Siegel.  The first step in this was acknowledging their feelings ("connect"), then give the consequence or teach the lesson ("redirect"), as opposed to jumping right in with "You're grounded, dude!".  My next step in implementing the ideas of this book is to get the boys writing in daily journals about their feelings.  I just wish there were more hours in the day!

And lastly, I'm working through The Lies We Believe, which I think I started when we lived in Alaska and have since picked back up.  This week I read the chapter about how Emotional Pain is Good, and it was epic.  Lots to work through.

{love this. so much.}



Around Here: Week 42 {2018}

{How is she even real?!?}

Spending... Saturday morning by myself as Josh took all four kids out to the land to visit his parents while they were in town. It was a lovely (much needed) break after a week of not being able to work out because of my silly broken toe!  (It's amazing how much working out releases my pent up stress and makes me a better parent!)
I spent my break time journaling and reading and enjoying the quiet.  It was crazy-windy that morning and we actually ended up losing power for the entire day (from about 10am until 5pm), which forced us all to slow down and relax for the day.

Celebrating... Halloween a little early with a fun fair in Wenatchee with my sister and her kids.  The kids wore their costumes (all except Jack, who seemed shy/embarrassed about wearing his, I'm not sure why) and played games to earn candy.  The weather was gorgeous and it was a really fun way to spend the day.

Making... apple crisp for the first time (ever) with Samuel since Uncle Paul and Aunt Lynne brought us bags and bags of fresh apples.  The crisp was crazy-good and the kids loved it.  Up next is a batch of apple cake with caramel frosting for my beloved husband, and maybe some apple muffins for the kids. Yum!

Thankful... that everyone was healthy this week!  All the kids have gone to school each day, and Josh and I have been healthy as well.  It feels like such a sweet blessing and one that I do not take for granted!

Riding... bikes to school this week since walking is out of the question.  Josh fixed up my bike and Wyatt's (we had flat tires) so that we can ride!  He hooked up Carly's bike trailer and I bundle her up each morning, and off we go!  She loves it, as do Wyatt and I.  My thighs burn for most of the ride (#truth ha!) but I feel like a kid again riding a bike, and riding doesn't hurt my broken toe at all!  It's also nice because the mornings are cold here now (between 28 and 35 degrees) and riding is much quicker than walking! (P.S.- thanks for the bike, mom & dad!!!)

Weighing... down another pound at 165, meaning I have lost 35 pounds now since January.  I am so darn proud of myself for eating so healthy and continuing to lose this week despite the small setback of my toe. I am hoping to lose another pound so that I will have lost 36 pounds by my 36th birthday (November 18th), but at this rate, I may even lose closer to 40 pounds by then.  Woot woot!

Loving... the feeling of the house after dinner is done and the kids are in bed and the house is tidied for the night.  I've been lighting candles lately, and there's something about a clean table and a lit candle that just satisfies my soul.

Reading... and finishing An American Marriage on audio, which I wasn't sure about at first, but which I loved by the end.  I also finished listening to Hillbilly Elegy, which was absolutely fascinating. I didn't want to turn it off each time I listened. I finished reading my Book of the Month book, A Mother's Reckoning, which was, of course, a sad read (it's written by the mother of Dylan Klebold, one of the shooters at Columbine High School) but it was also insightful and illuminating about brain illness and taught me a lot about depression and suicide awareness and was just a really fascinating read.  I highly recommend it.
So now I am listening to Love Does by Bob Goff, which was our book club book a few months ago, which I missed reading thanks to #life, and I am reading Grace (Eventually) by Anne Lamott, whom I love (!). I am like five pages in, and already I'm underlining stuff.  Ha!  Our next book club read is The Prince of Tides, which is coming from Amazon, so as soon as that gets here, it will take precedence and I'll get reading!
I am super excited because I have already read (and listened to) 8 books altogether this month, thanks to my social media break, and I have almost hit my 60 book goal for the year, and I've still got ten weeks left in the year! I'm thinking I might add (at least) another 10 books onto my goal, making it 70 for the year.  Heck! I wonder if I could read 80!!! (I really am SUCH a nerd! Hahah!)

Savoring... the slow life.  Compared to how we ended last year, this year is so simple, and I am loving it.  At the end of last year, I was watching some friends kids a few days a week after school; the boys were in baseball; and I was working for VIPkid, waking up at 3:30am many mornings a week.  Now, there is none of that. It's just me doing the kids, and Josh going to work.  In the last two months, I feel like I have been able to catch up on the house, myself (mentally & physically) and really embrace my role as homemaker.  I am so happy, and feel so light and free.  It's the best feeling ever.  I wouldn't trade it for anything.

"We're a culture of people
who've bought into the idea
that if we stay busy enough
the truth of our lives won't
catch up with us."
-Brene Brown

I love this quote.  I wrote it in my journal a few months ago.  The more often I see it there, the more truth I find in it.  As I have slowed down, stepping away from busyness, away from social media (this month, anyway), and away from constant motion, I have discovered the truth of my life, which is that this is it.  This day, this regular, blue sky Friday, with Carly playing Legos on the living room rug, is my life.  And I don't want to take a single second of it for granted.  So no matter what's going on- if Wyatt's having asthma, if I have broken my stupid toe walking down the hallway- I want to spend my days finding joy. Choosing joy.  Manifesting joy.  Even amongst the mess.  I hope you all can go forth & do the same!



Around Here: Week 41 {2018}

Grateful... that my broken toe is feeling better.  I broke it last week walking down our hallway, "said some words," according to Wyatt- Haha!! (#truth), and even though it looks 100x worse than it originally did, it actually feels a lot better.  I am wearing my boot everyday and making sure to spend some time with it up, which is really helping with my reading, so it's not as big a bummer as it could be. ;)
I'm also grateful that Wyatt has slowly but surely gotten better this week, after his asthma kicked in following a cold.  He was like the turtle from The Turtle and The Hare, but he made it!  Steroids are almost done, and he's off the nebulizer.  Hallelujah!

Spending... Saturday afternoon at the kids cousin Gabriel's birthday party.  The kids had so much fun and I had a great time visiting with everyone there.  Afterward Josh, his brother Samuel and I watched the fight.  I surprised myself by enjoying it as much as I did.

Keeping... different kids home all week this week.  Jack was home Monday and Tuesday with a terrible cold that had him super run down.  Then Logan stayed home with me Thursday after having two seizures back to back. One at 7:30am, and another at 9:00am.  He hadn't eaten much dinner Wednesday night and was coming down with Jack's cold, so he didn't sleep well, and those 2 seizure triggers combined with an oncoming fever, caused him to have the seizures after nearly FIVE WEEKS seizure free.  After a call to the neurologist, we decided to up his meds to 400mg of Tegretol at night so that even when his body is exposed to seizure triggers (flashing lights, lack of sleep, low blood sugar, etc.) the medicine will be enough to keep him from seizing.  I feel good about this plan and am hopeful that we won't see anymore break through seizures.

Going... to counseling Tuesday with Jack in tow, since he was sick, and canceling with less than 24 hours notice is $85!  So he came and brought headphones and a tablet and I talked to Chad like I always do. At this point, each of my kids has come with my to counseling with me, and I honestly think it's great. They get to see that counseling is nothing to be afraid of.  That it's just you, and another person who listens to you, talking about life and your feelings.  I have been very open with all my kids about my need to go to counseling and why I am in therapy.  I tell them that it helps me sort out my emotions and keeps me healthy in my mind.  I think that if therapy had less of a stigma a lot more people would go, and the world would be a healthier (happier) place. 

Losing... another pound this week, despite my injury!  I am down to 166lbs now, and so pumped.  That's 34 pounds since the new year, and I am really starting to feel quite proud of myself.  Josh and I have gotten the family's eating back on point as well, and I'm excited to see all of us eating better, in addition to all the physical activity we have been doing.

Finally... getting to the grocery store on Wednesday after not being able to go because of sick kids Monday & Tuesday.  We were desperate for quite a few things (especially for making lunches!) by mid week and the kids were SO happy when they got home after school to discover I had been. Haha! Now that's real life!

Hanging... with Samuel most evenings.  Josh's brother moved here a few weeks ago, and he's been joining us for dinner, which has been so fun.  He and Josh are the best of friends, and I so enjoy his company.  Those two can get me laughing like nobody's business, and are just really fun to hang out with.  So it's been awesome.  He's also a super awesome uncle and amazing with my kids, so that helps, too.

Using... Friday to search for costumes with the kiddos since they had the day off from school.  The twins both went for something creepy, whereas Wyatt is being Ironman and Carly is being a kitty.  Shopping with the four of them wasn't so bad as I thought it might be (thank goodness!) although the rest of the day with them home felt kinda long.  I was ready for pizza & a movie by the time we put them to bed!

Reading... A Mother's Reckoning (written by the mother of one of the shooters at Columbine- it is so good and heartfelt and eye opening. I am learning a lot about mental health) and listening to An American Marriage on audio.  I finished Ghosted, which I ended up hating (it had a twist I did not care for) and Heaven is For Real, which was a sweet, quick read (I finished it in one day last Sunday).  When I finish An American Marriage, I hope to finish Hillbilly Elegy and start Love Does on audio. 

Dreaming... that I was drowning (and rescued) in one dream; that I took our cat Ramona out to eat at Burger King in another; and that I was surrounded by broken glass in another.  I am constantly fascinated by my dreams and wish I had a personal dream analyst on staff at all times. Ha! #inmydreams (see what I did there?)

Loving... the progress that Josh and Samuel made on the coat cubbies in our entryway this week.  These cubbies have been a dream of mine since the boys started school here two years ago, and to see that dream coming true is the best!  Eventually, they will be painted white with 3 hooks in each one (one for their backpack and two for coats). 
On the very bottom shelf, they will keep their shoes & boots; then on the second shelf, below their backpacks and jackets, in the wicker basket they will have their gloves & hats.  The top wicker baskets will have extra hats & gloves.  I am going to be in organizational-nerd heaven!  #justcallmemonica

Accomplishing... a lot on my to do list. I know I said it last week, but seriously, being off social media has given me SO much free time back.  But I also think it has motivated me to look inward and see what my priorities are.  So the two together are causing me to be really productive.  I have been sorting through things to give to Goodwill and organizing the kids' toys and bedding.  It feels really good.  In that same vein, though, I have been allowing myself, at times, to just be, and that feels equally amazing.

Allowing... imperfection.  Sigh.  I had wanted to blog everyday in October for "Blogtober", but life happened, and I have missed a few days.  This weekend it was more important to spend time with my kids & get ready for the week than to take the time to blog.  I wish I had had time for both, but I just didn't. And that's okay.  Growing up is so nice.  Hard, but also nice.  Allowing myself grace is really quite lovely.