Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Happier Halloween

One year ago at this very moment I was at the doctor's office. I had spent the better part of three hours in the emergency room. I was given a 50/50 chance of losing my baby. And there was nothing I could do but wait and see.

It was one of the worst days I remember. I had endured thirteen weeks of constant vomiting, emotional stress, and physical agony and the only thing getting me through it was the hope of a healthy baby. And then there I was, afraid it was all crashing down around me.

Finally they were able to do an ultrasound, and I saw my little girl moving and wiggling about. She had one arm up, and it looked like she was waving. I imagined all the times Chloe had waved at me from a merry go round or ride, smiling, as if to say "Hey, Mom! Look at me! I see you!" and I imagined that's what she was saying.

I still feared the worst, but something about seeing her moving around, as if nothing was wrong, it helped.

I was put on bed rest. I had to miss Chloe's Halloween party, and she was really sad. I rode along to trick-or-treat, but my heart just wasn't in it.

Now, a year later, I have two healthy, wonderful girls who are excited for Halloween. I'm running around like a mad woman trying to get the house work done, and get prepared for the Halloween party at school and at Girl Scouts.

Today that little bean has grown into a chunky little bundle of joy, and though she's not waving at me today, she's smiling, and I wouldn't trade that for anything!

My happy, healthy baby girl ready for her first Halloween. Hopefully she doesn't have any scare-tactics this year.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Sharp Knife of a Short Life

When I first started blogging, I learned quickly the importance of networking. I began visiting random blogs and following comments to find writers (and possible readers) who meshed with me. About a year and a half (or so) ago, I saw Rachael's link on a Five Question Friday. I read her post, found she was new to blogging, and left her a comment to help her get started.

Over the next few months she became one of my 'bloggy friends.' I don't read a ton of blogs, and I don't follow a ton of people on Twitter. I reserve that for those that I really connect with, or the ones I interact with often. She was one of those. She always had an encouraging comment to leave me, or a sweet tweet.

I remember when she gave her recipe for pulled-pork, and though I had never considered cooking with root beer, I gave it a whirl, and it's the recipe I use to this day. One of the last times she tweeted, she said she was making it and wanted to know how many places to set. I told her to set one for me, I'd be right there (she's from the East Coast, so we knew that wasn't going to happen).

Soon she was talking about her upcoming vacation and how excited she was. She would see her mother in Florida, then head to MO to see a brother. We fancied the idea of having a chance to meet in person while she was here...though it never came to fruition.

Time passed, as it does, and being busy I didn't notice her missing at first. When Kailyn was born I was surprised not to have heard from her, but dismissed it, thinking she could still be on vacation. I looked at her blog, seeing her last post in March, and figuring she was having a dry spell (don't we all). I had already read that entry, so I didn't click on it.

Months passed and as tends to happen, she slipped from my mind. I got used to not seeing her. And out of sight soon meant out of mind.

Then the other day someone tagged her in a Facebook picture.

"THERE she is! She is still alive!" I thought to myself. Using the old cliche, and ready to go comment on the photo to ask where she'd been.

Unfortunately when I did that, I saw the caption. The tagger speaking of her as if she were gone. Talking about missing her and always being with her.

A knot formed in my throat.

I began hard-core creeping, and found that she had passed away. She never made it to Missouri. She was my age, and by some freak illness she died in her sleep while visiting her mother.

My heart was full and heavy. For someone I'd never even met.

I started thinking about all of my bloggy friends. We aren't "close," I guess, but I know what they're up to. I know how their days went. I think of them when I read certain things, or when the weather changes, or when someone mentions Canada. I didn't really realize what a structure these people were in my life, and how truly REAL they are to me.

I've been mourning this loss all week, and realizing that losing a blog friend doesn't hurt any less than losing a 'real' one must.

Goodbye, Rachael. You've been and will be dearly missed.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Munchkin Bags, Inc.

A few months back I was perusing Pintrest and saw a site where you send in your baby's clothes and keepsake items and this lady makes you a beautiful (read: expensive) quilt with the items. I decided then and there that one day I would tackle that project.

I started saving my dollars and I bought myself a spiffy little Singer sewing machine just a few weeks back. Never mind I hadn't sewn since I was a teenager and my granny was teaching me the basics. I was bound and determined to make that quilt.

I still am.

But first I need lots of practice. To start, I brought up some old clothes and scraps and just got the hang of using the machine. I sewed lines and corners. I made some little bean bags. I was just playing. All junk that I could throw away.

In the process, I used an old pair of dress pants and an orange tank top to make a little stachel. Again, just practicing putting pieces together, and how to applique. Chloe thought it was just darling, so she kept it.

Unbeknownst to me, she took it to school in her backpack. I don't care that she took it, but it's just a throw together piece of crap I was playing around with, and I don't want her telling people I made it :)

I guess she sees it differently, though, and so did her friends. This is the conversation we had yesterday.

"Mom, is it ok if I tell people you know how to sew?"
"I guess, why?"
"Sometimes you get embarrassed and don't want me to say stuff. I just wondered."
"Oh. I don't care."
Long pause....
"Can I tell people you made my bag for me?" she asked. I wanted to tell her no, but I could tell she was proud of it, so I decided to model self-confidence and say yes.
"Sure," I said.
"Oh good. Because I already did today, and I have two orders for you."
"Orders?" I asked her.
"Ya. My friend Jane wants a blue one, but it has to be big enough to tote her coloring book. And you can make Jill's just like mine, but with a pink heart," she announced.

So I may not be the world's best seamstress, but I have a six-year-old following you wouldn't believe. Now if I could get them to pay me in something other than bubble gum.... :)

I hate baseball, and I'm spunky

Happy Friday :) I have a blog in draft that is of a very somber nature. I have one in draft in mi cabeza that is a mom story. Then I log in (to work on said drafts) and upon reading the 5QF prompts, find I have good answers there as well. Maybe I'm in a bloggy mood? Either way, be prepared for a bloggy trifecta!

To get things started...5QF

1. Who wakes up in the morning with the kids, you or hubby?
I do. Not to say he isn't awake. He is usually up before we girls are. But I am the one who does the breakfasting and the dressing and the hair-pulling. I make Chloe's lunch and get her out the door, and for obvious reasons I'm the one who nurses Baby K. But none of my children have been demanding, or early risers, so I really don't mind. If we ever have a rotten little boy who wants to play outside at 6 a.m., it will be alllll on the Mister :)
2. Do you watch the World Series even if your team isn't in it?
If the Weaubleau High School baseball team made it to the World Series AND someone I know was playing, I MIGHT watch it. I hate baseball. Hate hate hate.
3. What is the best compliment you have received?
I'm sure that I've had many sweet compliments from many important people in my life. Some of the best ones come from my lil Chloe. But somehow compliments stick a little harder when they are from an unexpected source. Therefore, the following two are the ones that stick with me:

"You say out in the world you are just an average person, but I don't think the world sees you that way."

"You're painfully adorable, and spunky," someone told me. A couple years later, I quoted that person, and said, "Some things one never forgets."

To which that person replied, "One cannot forget what one is naturally."

And sometimes when I feel like a big ol' pile of crap, I think about those compliments, and it makes my day a little better to know people might think I'm adorable and beyond average.

NEVER underestimate the power of your words.  

4. Do/did you dress up to take your kids trick or treating?I only dressed up once. That was Halloween 08. It was epic.
I was "The Beast" :)
5. Do you have a favorite bible verse? What is it and why?
I really don't. I don't know why. I know a lot of verses from Youth group and teaching Awanas and Sunday School, but they all have different meanings for different times of life. There isn't one certain one that is my go-to verse.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A "Cow"nundrum

I've always been a bit of a 'fraidy cat. I often ride along on the four-wheeler, but I'm usually screaming, "SLOW DOWN! I DO NOT WANT TO DIE! STOOOOOOPPPPP!!" as we whiz across a field. The other day, however, hubby needed to get his truck from the field, and we took the four wheeler.

I had no choice but to drive it back.

I've never been on the driving side, and I found it was MUCH less scary (and kind of fun) when I was driving rather than putting my life in hubby's hands. I puttered back to the house, proud of myself for a new 'farm thing' I could add to my list of things I can do.

I thought about it throughout the day, thinking I could wrap K and we could go for a ride. I could get a cow in without having to run down the hill and have a heart attack. I could take Chloe for a ride. I had options.

So a day or two later when I heard a LOUD mooooooooo outside my window, it was time to take action.


The cow was leisurely strolling down the hill, headed to the other field to where several other cows had been moved. I decided I could ever-so-quickly hop on the four wheeler, zoom past the cow, open the gate, then chase her inside.

Sissy was napping, so I could just leave her in her bed and make this quick run. Hubby and company would be so proud of me. Gone would be the days of me calling them every time a cow got out. I would soon be a respected cow-hand, all due to my new ability.

Now never-mind the times I've run cows before. Don't think about the time I couldn't get the Cummins turned around, parked it in the road, and ran a cow in while wearing my athletic shorts and rubber boots, calling her an ol' bitch as people crept past the truck I'd left in the road and no doubt had a good laugh. Never mind the time I had K wrapped and was chasing a handful of cows on foot in the sweltering heat, baby's head just a bobbin' as I ran after them. And don't count the time I chased one down the lane in my car.

No. This time would be different.

I hopped on the four wheeler and started it up (OK, it took me a few tries and a lot of button-pushing...that had been left out of the tutorial).  I knew how to put it in gear, believe it or not! I got it going and away I went! I had to ride up the highway a bit and get behind her. I almost died a couple times as I misjudged the slope of the ditch I was climbing, but I got the ol' girl headed for the lane, and chased her at a reasonable speed toward the gate.

I realized I needed to get ahead of her, so I tried to zoom past.

She cut me off.

I hit the brakes and did NOT fly face first over the handlebars. Success!

I finally got around her and got the gate open, then I headed back to chase her in.

She ran past the gate, and I then proceeded to chase her in circles for quite some time.

Finally I got her headed back toward the gate, and again she went past it, heading for the highway again.

I got past her and was sure I had her this time! All I had to do was turn around and run her in.

She looked back at me, almost with a smirk, knowing the lane was too narrow for me to get turned around without hitting the ditch.

I tried.

And I failed.

And the four wheeler rolled slowly down the embankment until the fence stopped it.

No problem. The fence wasn't damaged. Was just acting as a barrier. A much-needed barrier. All I had to do was turn the thing around and get ol' Heifer in the gate.


There's a little R button.

So I pushed it.

Then pushed the throttle.

Which pushed me harder into the fence.


I never learned how to do reverse.

So, afraid of admitting my little dilemma, I decided I'd put it in neutral and push it back up onto the road. All the while the cow stood, shaking her head at me now and then. She walked right past me and headed back toward the highway yet again. Leisurely, knowing I wasn't going to be chasing her anytime soon.

I finally threw in the towel and made the call.

"Hey babe?"
"What." He could tell by my embarrassed tone I was in a pickle, I'm sure.
"Um," (giggles) How was I going to explain this when I had NEVER taken off on the four wheeler by myself before?
"Uh. How do you make the four wheeler go backwards?" He then explained how, which made no sense to me, and told me he would show me when he got there.
"Um. I'm down the lane. I was chasing a cow," I said, laughing. He laughed. Then he came to rescue me.

And he got the cow in.

And now I know how to put the four wheeler in reverse :)