Wednesday, July 31, 2013

It Wasn't My Finest Moment

Jason's hometown has a population of 2,000 people - give or take a few or one hundred...I'm not really sure because Google hasn't updated their information since 2011.
That's not the point.
The point is that Jason's hometown has a population of 13678432 deer.
They wander the streets, especially at night, and they're so comfortable with life they would probably tip their hat at you, if they wore hats.

One night after Emily was asleep for the night Jason and I took advantage of a house full of people and went for a walk.
Jason would tell me about the people who lived in each of the homes - some of them have interesting stories - and every few feet we would pass another deer.

Anyone who had bothered to plant flowers had some kind of protection from the deer:

-mesh fencing
-chicken wire

Several homes had white fences with big gaps between the fence strings.
After we had passed a few of them I asked Jason, "How on earth do those keep the deer out?  There is enough of a gap that all a deer has to do is put his head between the strings."

"Maybe there's some kind of netting we can't see," Jason suggested.

"Maybe they spray some kind of repellent on the fence," he said next.

We were just walking past another home with the same white fencing and I said "Just a minute.  I'm going to investigate."

I walked up to the fence and put my hand between one of the gaps.

"Nope, there is no netting.  This is a dumb way..." and while I was saying this I waved my hand back and forth.

A shock of electricity ran from my hand all the way up to my elbow and I jumped back and yelled "OUCH!"

And as I stood on the sidewalk in the dark, with Jason trying to hug me but not doing a good job because of how hard he was laughing I said, "Now we know."

My arm took three days to recover from the ELECTRIC FENCE and Jason will never stop laughing about it.

After I complained the rest of the walk home Jason did offer to put his own arm through one of the fences if it made me feel better, but I was a good wife and told him he didn't have to.

He owes me.

Monday, July 29, 2013

How Emily Spent Her Weekend

Hi World!

It's me, Emily.

Mommy said I could tell you all about the fun I had over the weekend!
World, I'm a lucky girl because my family loves me so much!
We spent a few days with my daddy's mommy and daddy, and some of my cousins and my aunt and uncle were there too.

Those cousins...they love me and they take such good care of me!

I have one cousin who loves me a lot - I think I'm his favorite.  He always tells me he loves me and he gets excited when I hug him or want to be around him.
He made my mommy laugh because one time he said, "Emily really wants to be around me.  Actually, it's getting kind of creepy."

World, I did so many things!
I went on a hike with my daddy, I threw rocks in the stream with my aunt, I played in the back of my grandpa's truck, and I laughed and clapped my hands a lot!

We went to a parade and I went on my first skateboard ride.

One morning right after I woke up my cousins took me outside and let me draw on the sidewalk with chalk.
I had so much fun!

I was sad when the rain washed my pictures away.

(World, my cousin took most of these pictures and Mommy wishes my cousin could just follow us around all the time.  She takes such cute pictures of me!)

The town did fireworks one night in the rain.
Grandpa put up chairs in the garage and we could see the fireworks perfectly.
Every time I saw a new one I would look at Mommy and Daddy to make sure they were watching too.

When I grow up I want to play the piano like my daddy and I spent a lot of time practicing on the same piano that my daddy practiced on when he was a little boy.
Mommy says I have great form, and she says my music is beautiful.

Mommy says Grandma is a great cook but I wouldn't know about that...I guess you will have to take Mommy's word for it.

Mommy says that everyone in my family loves me.
Guess what World, I love them too.

And I love you!


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Mini Vacation

We are going out of town for a few visit Jason's family.
Jason is so happy.

But first?

First we have the pleasure of participating in The Amazing Race - my sister-in-law's version.
I'm on a team with my dad, Ben, and my niece Erika and my nephew Nick.
Our color is green.

We are meeting at 9 am for breakfast, and then at 10:00 the adventure begins.
Em is going to hang with Aunt Rachel while her daddy and I compete against each other for a few hours.

I have no idea what to expect...I do know that we will get wet and that at some point we are going to have to carry a 50 pound bag of horse feed...

You wish you could play too don't you?!!

Here's something you don't know about me.
Sometimes when I'm at work and I can't find tweezers to pull out the dumb gray hair that is overtaking my head, I use these:

(True Story)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Thank You In Advance

When I started this blog almost 5 years ago, I had already lived a full life.
I had loved, and been hurt, I had traveled and given of myself to different countries and people,  and I had gone through experiences that changed my way of thinking and my way of living.
Along the way I wrote about all of it - maybe not the tiny details that were reserved only for the pages of my journal - but if I lived it you read about it.

In exactly two weeks my sweet girl will be two years old.
I have lived more life in the last two years than I have all of the rest of my life combined.
I have hurt more and loved more and suffered more and felt joy more than at any other time in my life.
And along the way you've read only a small part of that journey.

There is so much I want to say - so much I need to say and yet my keyboard remains relatively unused.
I will sit down to write and before the words even make it to the page I'll have talked myself out of it.

"If you write that there is a chance you might make _______ feel bad."

"If you write that you might be misunderstood."

"If you write that you will most definitely sound ungrateful and selfish."

"If you write that ..."

The reasons for not writing seem to outweigh everything else and in the end you get a post that skims the surface of what I really want to say.

There are days I feel like I'm going to explode for holding it all in - and perhaps those are the days you will find me playing Candy Crush until the early hours of the morning.

In the last two years:

I haven't always handled everything well.
I haven't always reacted maturely.
I haven't always recovered easily.

But I have done my best - I've gritted my teeth and sucked it up and done everything I could to just survive.

And once in a while I want to scream really loudly to some of the people closest to me to just forgive me already.

Acknowledge that the last two years have knocked me down - over and over again - tell me to my face that I'm not the same person I was two years ago - that I will never be the same person I was two years ago - and then please, please please please just let it go, and stop treating me like ...

I don't even know.  So many of my relationships have changed and I feel like they've changed because people have lost respect for me, or lost their confidence in me,  for showing weakness - for being human.
It makes me really sad.
And weary of trying so hard to prove that in spite of it all, I am doing okay.

I exploded.
Just a little bit.

Thanks Internet, thanks for being there.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Rest of the Story

After reading my last post my friend Jill texted me and said something about how she hasn't even considered teaching her daughter letters.
I texted back and said, "Emily just licked the bathroom floor - at work.   Does that make up for her knowing her numbers?"

"Why don't you ever blog about that?" Jill asked.  And then she thanked Emily for taking one for the team.

She was teasing me - but I promised her that my next post would be more about licking bathroom floors and less about knowing numbers.

Jill, this is for you.

TEN THINGS ABOUT MY LIFE:  (or more, if I can think of more)

1. I was eating a bowl of cereal the other day when Emily climbed onto the table.  She started playing with the light over the table and within just seconds dust fell from the light fixture into my bowl of corn flakes.

It was a lot of dust.
I poured the cereal down the sink and added 'dust kitchen light fixture' to my list of things to do.

2. I carry a bag with me everywhere I go.  It is filled with paperwork that I NEVER get to.
There are probably bills that haven't been paid - and phone messages I've never returned.

3. I went to my 20 year high school reunion Saturday night and saw a friend I haven't seen since high school.  He was with another guy we went to high school with and everything he said was in the 'we' form - when he told me that 'they' had just heard their baby's heart beat for the first time, I asked him if he knew yet if the baby were a girl or a boy.  I happened to look at the guy he was with as I asked the question, on the chance that they were 'together', because at this point I really wasn't sure.

They weren't.
And the friend he was with was quick to let me know that my friend and his wife wanted to be surprised.

It's possible I've never been more embarrassed and also possible that I've never laughed so hard as I did when I retold the story to my friends a little bit later.


My daughter.
She licks plunger handles.

5.  I can't remember the last time I cooked a meal.

6.  Emily is supposed to get medicine/vitamins seven days a week.  I average about four days a week that I actually remember to give them to her.

7.  I rarely eat lunch.
By the time I have Emily up and fed and ready for the day I am dashing out the door to get to work at a decent hour, and by the time I get to work I'm too tired to go back out with Emily to find lunch.
I never have time to make a lunch and so unless Becca takes pity on me, I snack on crackers if I have them, or come home from work starving, and with a terrible headache because I haven't eaten.


My daughter.
She licks everything.

9. I'm hopelessly addicted to Candy Crush.

10.  Sometimes I eat cookies for breakfast.

Jill, will that do for now?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Life Lesson #762

Think about something that makes you giddy - something that makes you want to squeal in delight just thinking about it.
My little lady lives her life with that much excitement.

It's numbers, it's letters, it's the music at the beginning of any Disney Junior show, it's seeing a license plate, it's hearing the door open when her daddy comes home after being gone, it's listening to a wind chime, or playing with her cousin Sami, it's playing Candy Crush on Mommy's iPad, it's falling into a pillow at the end of the day...

Everything in Emily's world brings her as much happiness as her little body can handle and there are moments she just shakes trying to contain it all.

Last week Em and I were at the post office and while we were waiting in line Em was pointing to every number she could see.

I would ask her to find a number and she would look until she found it.
She knows when she's right because even before she points to it she grins and makes her little happy sound.
I was speaking quietly with the hope of not bothering those around me in line.

After a few minutes of our number game I heard a lady in front of me say to another lady she was standing next to, "I had more than one little child at home and I couldn't possibly have taken the time it would have taken to teach them their numbers at that age."

Her tone was defensive - almost as if she had to justify to herself and to the complete stranger she was talking to why her kids didn't know their numbers at Emily's age.
And with the same sentence I almost felt that she was lecturing me for only having one child.

I wanted to say, "I'm standing right here, do you think I can't hear you?"

I didn't say anything.
Instead I ignored her and clapped for my daughter when she pointed to the number 23.

Isn't it amazing how quick we are to judge someone else and their situation?
That lady didn't know that Em fought every single day of her life for the first year just to survive.
She didn't know that I shed tears whenever I think about my girl's next open heart surgery.
She didn't know that Google doesn't give Emily much hope for anything academic...that there are women who terminate their pregnancies because they were given the same diagnosis we were for our little girl.

If the lady had asked me I would have told her that if anything, I worry that Em spends too much time watching Little Einsteins.
If she had asked me I would have told her that Jason and I didn't do much other than just say whatever it was that Emily was pointing to - over and over again.
If she had asked me I would have told her that all I hope for is to hear the word 'Mommy' one day - even if when she does say it Emily also tells me the square root of 376458.

She didn't ask me any of those things.
Instead she made a judgement of a situation she assumed she knew about, and missed out on knowing a small part of Emily's incredible story.

World, let's try to judge less - let's try harder to be generous in our thoughts of other people.

And while I'm trying to do those things, I'm going to be trying to simply keep up with my Emily.
Tonight I bought window crayons and wrote all over my back would have thought Em had just been given Willy Wonka's last golden ticket.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

My House Smells Like A Nail Salon

In a fit of rebellion I threw away a sink full of syringes.
I get tired of washing them.
If that's the most rebellious I ever get I think the world is safe.

(And too?  I'm pretty sure the syringe basket won't miss what I threw away.)

I was talking to Jason on the phone (he's out of town - again!) and we decided that throwing syringes away was a good stress reliever. 

In a fit of rebellion Emily shattered a bottle of bright pink fingernail polish on my tile floor.
It wasn't rebellion.
It was just Emily being Emily - she loves hitting things on the floor if they make a loud noise.

I was talking to my mom at the time and said, "Well, there goes the resale value of my home."

I was able to clean it up, with the exception of what got in the grout - and the grout is now a light shade of pink.

I'd like to mention that I have cute nephews.

Grandpa took them rock hunting on the 4th of July - they loved it.

World, our girl is going to be two in a little over three weeks.
How did that happen???

Sunday, July 7, 2013


It seems so long ago when I blogged every day - when I had something to blog about every day.

My cousin was talking to me the other day and said, "Remember when you lived a different life?"
This question came after he walked into my office and found me changing Emily's diaper.

I thought about that different life ...

The one where I traveled regularly and had friends I did things with several nights a week - the life where I had time to read and exercise.

...and the life where although I was happy and content, I knew something was missing.

I wouldn't trade my life now for anything - diapers and all.

* * * * *

On the Fourth of July our little lady decided that she knew her letters.
Several weeks ago I made her a little book of the alphabet and the numbers 1-30.
She loves that book and points to the numbers and letters all day long.

(Speaking of numbers we now have three number puzzles.  I step on numbers ALL DAY LONG.)

I knew Em knew the numbers in her book - numbers for Emily are old school.
What I did not know was that Emily also knew her letters.
Turns out she does.
Ask her to point to a certain letter and she can.

(Emily just saw the picture of her puzzles on my laptop and is now pointing to every number while I type.)

Every day of her life my little girl amazes me - and fills my heart with gratitude for all that I was given the day she was born.

If you've been reading this blog for any amount of time you will recognize what the following pictures mean for us - for Emily.
We're a long way off from losing Em's feeding tube but we have hope that one day it will happen.

That last picture is my favorite one.
Jason and I sat with two of his sisters, his brothers-in-law, his parents, and a handful of nieces and a nephew and we all watched in awe as this little lady drank over and over again from that hose.

(It's culinary water - it's safe.)

Em was asleep once tonight but she started coughing and that tickled her sensitive gag reflex which in turn caused her to lose her dinner and need a bath.
If I can drag her away from the puzzles I'm going to go and snuggle her back to sleep.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

It's Too Hot To Blog

I need a pedicure.
And I need for it to be less than 112 degrees when I get in my car after work.

I have a husband at home for six entire days and tonight I asked him to go to the store with me just because he was home and could.
We went to a toy store to get ideas for Em's birthday that is only a month away and then we ended up at Wal-Mart for a minute.

Jason held something up and said, "Dear, is this a tube top?"

I said yes.

"Huh," he said, acting like he was surprised. "And they sell tube tops at Wal-Mart? Weird."

The sarcasm in his tone still has me laughing.