Monday, December 30, 2013

Febrile Seizures

Today Henry had another seizure.

This is number eight since the  end of August.


My sweet little boy has and EIGHT freak'n seizures the past 4 months.

It has gone something like this.

One in August with croup.  This was the first and at the time we were not even sure he had a seizure because we caught the tale end of it because it was at night and this was all new to us.  But the ER doctor said it may have been a febrile seizure (a seizure brought on by a fever)  We read up on it.

Then the end of September, he had another one at night when he had croup AGAIN.  This time we saw more of the seizure and knew.

Then the saturday after Thanksgiving he had three.  THREE in one day.  He had a sickness and had a seizure at nap so we  went to the ER again and they diagnosed the ear infection.  However his temp got to a scary 104 on the ride home and he had a seizure in the car and again at home.

Then a week ago Henry had a bad cold and had a seizure at night and then again in the evening when I tried to give him a bath. NOTE: IF YOUR KID HAS A FEVER DO NOT GIVE THEM A BATH!!  If they shiver even a bit their body thinks it is cold and their temp rises and this is what caused his seizure because his temp was rising.

That brings us to today.  Henry had been feeling better.  His fever broke Christmas morning and the last few days he has had a cough and lots of snot, but no temp.  He was in a great mode this morning.  His temp was a perfect 97.3 and he was happy to go to school.  Then around 4:15 I get a call from his daycare and just knew.  Henry had just had a seizure and was coming out of it.  I can't even remember if I turned my computer off, I just grabbed all my shit at work and left as I talked to the teacher.  Apparently he had been outside playing and was running around when they noticed he stumbled a few times and then fell to the ground as the teacher was grabbing for him.  She noticed his eyes rolled in the back of his head and him shaking.  The shaking lasted a minute or so but his body was tense for about 10 minutes. (longer than normal) They had carried him inside while they were talking to me.  sigh.

The thing about this seizure is we don't know if a temperature was involved.  When I got there he didn't feel hot.  But he had been outside playing in a snow suit, coat, mittens, did he have a mild temp and overheat?!  Is that even possible?!  (the doctor we talked to said not as likely, but i still wonder.)  Was there a temp and it just went down or is this infact a real seizure?!?!  

We took him to the ER and he still didn't have a temperature.  He also showed no signs of an ear infection (though those come on quickly and he could always have one in a day), no respiratory problems, no major red flags or concerns....well except for the biggest concern, that our child has had EIGHT seizures the past 4 months with SIX in the last month and ONE that we don't have a cause for.  Febrile or not, that is WAY to many seizures in a short amount of time for a two year old.

At this point we have NO answers.  Three trips to the ER, many doctor appointments, and we have no answers on what this is.  And in the meantime we have a doctors appointment not scheduled until the 28th to get him into a neurologist.  It was agreed tonight that myself and Henry's doctor will try to get an urgent appointment.  If nothing, we are looking in Cleveland or Columbus.  This child NEEDS to get into a doctor.  Like yesterday.  We need to make sure he is OK and figure this all out.

For me I am a mess.  As I write this post I have looked into his video monitor no less than 8 times a minute.  I crank it up so loud at night it is almost impossible to sleep, not like I can sleep anyways.  I take his temperature ALL the freak'n time. I even went in his room tonight and took his temp while I wrote this.  I can't concentrate on anything but him.  I am tempted to pull him out of daycare so he isn't around germy kids.  The questions in my head.  What it could be.  What it couldn't be.  What does it mean for him and his future.  Yes, things I shouldn't think about but I do.  I am a total mess and with no answers and him having a seizure with no temp or a very low temp throws a curve ball in everything we have thought the past few months.  New questions and new thoughts and answers.

My little boy.  My sweet, sweet boy.  I hope we find out answers really soon.

(On the upside he had his first Popsicle today and loved it!)

Update: December 31st in the ER again with seizure 9.  On the upside we got seizure medicine and an earlier Neurologist appointment.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

SO MUCH TO DO! SO MUCH TO DO! Is This What the Holiday’s Are About?!?!

This time of year.  Oh this time of year.

I love this time of year.  It really is my favorite.  I love giving and let’s be honest, receiving.  I love the snow and the decorations and the cookies and the festivities and the music and family.  I love it all!!

And it is all those things and so much more that also make this time of year so stressful and that make me frustrated during the time of year that I love so much.


I am sure I am not the only one.  We ALL do this.  It is almost like a ritualistic form of torture that we put ourselves through this time of year.  We put so much on our plate (literally and figuratively) that by the time Christmas day gets here we are exhausted and over the holidays.  To say the holiday spirit is being sucked out of me quickly is an understatement.  Though at work I am trying to maintain the spirit I have left by dressing up!!
 (Those are ornament bulb earrings & a fun green braclet!)

And the thing that sucks, is most* of the time I do all this to myself.  I create the stress.

Right now I have this to do list:

- Order Christmas, nah, New Years Cards
- I still have Christmas gifts to buy (a few people I still have no clue what to get!)
- Make cookies (extra for his school)
- Clean House
- Wrap gifts
- Send gifts to a couple friends
- Figure out Christmas dinner
- Buy gift for work exchange
- Make food for work
- Go grocery shopping (which I don’t think I have done in a couple weeks except for basics)
- Put Henry’s gifts together
- Plan meals for the holidays
- Plan Christmas get together

Not to mention things I want to do with Henry like take him to the Lights Before Christmas, build a gingerbread house, bake cookies with him, play in the snow, enjoy this time of year!!!

On top of that we are ALL STILL sick and I have an ear infection and I have to go to the hospital for a chest X-Ray and all of it just makes feel blah.

I just have NO time to get everything I want done and I am stressing myself out and making myself feel like crap because I can’t get it all done.


"'And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill towards men.'"

"...That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown……er, Jenn"

I need to STOP. 

I need to BREATHE.



(ok, I am done talking loudly!  I just have trouble controlling the volume of my voice….or fingers)

I feel some strengths of mine are also the weaknesses that create this stress. That is planning/entertaining/organization.  I envision things a certain way and get frustrated when they don’t turn out….and with a child, they don’t always turn out.  I get caught up in the moment and forget to STOP and take the moment IN.   I may not want things to be perfect by I want them to be loved by all and if I think one thing went wrong then it ALL went wrong.   I plan and plan and plan and want things to follow that plan exactly….if dinner is suppose to be at 5:15 it is AT 5:15, not 5:20.  

I am definitely not a go with the flow kind of person.  I have list upon list  upon list and cannot deviate from that.

You see where I am going with this?! 

Yeah, I sound AWESOME to be around during the holidays, no?!

As great as some of my strengths in the details and planning are, they also are the things that hinder me or that I obsess about or that make me miss the moments I shouldn’t miss.

I have tried hard since Henry was born to STOP.  Ok, this last year I have tried.  In some ways I have succeeded and others I fall back into my old ways. 

Like last Friday Henry has his school program.  I was SO excited for this because I thought it would be a great memory.  I got off work a little early (not early enough apparently) and picked up Henry and made a cheese tray and got him some pizza and Terry and I got him ready.  We were rushing rushing rushing.  Henry is going the potty like a big boy (YAY!!), but I was just like…come on, wear a diaper don’t pee in the potty which he didn’t like.  I am not mad or yelling, just short and snippy because we have to go!!  We get there 3 minutes late and I grab Henry from the car and Terry parks it and we run in and I basically throw him to the teachers and see my baby reaching out to me, confused at what is going on….but I have to get him to the program, right?!  Well apparently they start right on time and we missed the toddler performance.  Then we see Henry at the end in the finale and he is looking for us and looks so sad, and we are in the back waving but he can’t see us.  He looks so uncomfortable and sad and I just want to grab him….but NO, I had to get him up there to make memories!!  And while I was recording him there must have been a smudge on the camera because it is always blurry and auto focusing so I have a horrible video.  So we were just going to leave because we were annoyed.  We get outside and I say “great, like the night wasn’t bad enough he now is going to miss Santa”.  

I stopped.  Why did he have to miss Santa.  We had nowhere to be.  We were just annoyed that things didn’t go as planned.  Henry could still have fun with his friends & see Santa.  So we went back in.  Henry had cookies and talked to his teachers and saw (the jankiest) Santa and HE HAD FUN!!  The joy on his face with Santa was like no other.  (be still my heart)

That is what matters, right?!  So I got a crappy video, I was there and saw HIM.  So he missed singing, he sings at home.  We then drove around and looked at Christmas lights and the night as a family wasn’t perfect or as planned…but it was also pretty darn awesome!

I am trying to accept that not everything is going to get done.  That not everything will be perfect or go as I planned.  That if I keep focusing on what I “need” to do I am going to miss the most important things.  If I keep trying to create memories I am going to miss the ones infront of me that happen all on their own.

I admit it is hard, but I am trying.  Tonight I am going home and making a list of what NEEDS done.  Ok, really…you can’t change everything about me.  This girl still needs her lists.  But I am trying. 

What is more important to me, a clean house or making a gingerbread house with my son?!  Getting out Christmas New Year Cards or curling up on the couch and watching Christmas movies with Henry?!  Planning a big meal for Christmas or playing in the snow with Henry?!  Um, no question….my son wins EVERY time. And those, those moments are where the memories are made.

THAT is what I need to focus on. The time spent with my family.  Of course, there are things that I can’t get around and need to do….but I also don’t need to make everything “perfect” or try to do it all. 


So how do YOU handle the holidays?!  Have you learned to relax and take it easy?  Are you crazy like me?!  Somewhere in the middle?  What do you do to relax and ENJOY this time of year?

(Yep, this is how I feel too little buddy.)

*I say most because there are other people who do make this time of year more stressful then it needs to be…but that is an entirely different and private post.  But we all know who those type of people are!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Thankful - Days 9 - 17

(Please note I thought I hit publish but apparently hit save….this was suppose to post yesterday. Of course it was....)

So today is a TOTAL Monday for me.  I am a straight up grouch.  Totally unpleasant to be around and really don’t want most people to be around me.  I woke up with an upset stomach, I was stuck in a 4 mile back up on the highway this morning which caused me to be late to work, the power went off 4 times in 15 minutes at work (so basically once I got my computer restarted and things up it went out again), all the letters I was working on are in read only mood which is just annoying, I was getting off the highway today and stopped at the light when I see not one but TWO people driving and texting as they are getting on the highway (STOP TEXTING WHILE YOU DRIVE!!!!), for some reason I am so tired that I can barely stay awake, and I am annoyed with myself for being so crabby.  I mean, in the big scheme of things I have NO reason to be such a grouch.  But I am.


I think that I really need to post the things I was thankful for last week.  Today is annoying and sucks but I needed to be reminded of those things that have been good or make me happy and that I am thankful for.  It may not help my mood completely, but I am trying.

November 1st – 8th HERE.

9th – Amazon Prime account and free two-day shipping!!  We are now proud owners of an Amazon Prime account and I must say I LOVE IT.  Thank you mom and dad for the early Christmas gift!!  All the free movies and TV shows, free books and games AND free two-day shipping….that I shared with my mom and sister.  Yep, I am thankful for you Amazon prime….especially since we don’t have cable anymore.

10th – A Happy child.  For the last two weeks Henry has been fighting off croup.  And while the cough is the only thing that has been lingering the past couple days, he has still not been himself.  That is, until today!  Today he is his old self again.  Happy, funny, energetic….I love it.  I am thankful that he is getting better and that we have our happy (eh – most of the time) child back!!

11th – Veterans.  THANK YOU.  I really don’t know what I can say for those who have and are fighting to protect our country.  You and your families do so much and give up so much more that I feel “Thank you” just isn’t enough.  But today, and every day, I am thankful for your service and for you.

12th – Pictures with Santa and celebrating the holidays with my son!  Today we took Henry to get his very first pictures taken with Santa and folks he LOVED that jolly old man in a red suit!!!  (Post HERE) This makes me happy and I feel VERY thankful that I get to share these special moments with Terry and our son.  To see all the wonders of the holiday season through his eyes.  To witness him see Santa for the first time and walk up so proud and grin as big as he possibly can.  To be forced to take in all the holiday things I may have been in too much of a hurry and overlooked in the past.  To bear witness to all those things and force me to stop and listen to him in the softest and sweetest of voices utter “WOOOOOW.”  Sigh.  I am so thankful for this.

13th – Friends.  I am so thankful to have my friends in my life.  I used to be a loner (and still am in many ways) and never had many friends that I felt extremely close to.  I cared for a handful of people but was always awkward and kept my guard up.  But then I got out of college and started opening up more and making real friends.  The past few years has really proven just how important and valuable these relationships are and I cherish them so much.  And I cherish being able to talk to them about anything.  Something funny, just chit chat about the day, things that are serious…whatever.  Of course I still do most of this via email as in person or on the phone I can still be awkward :-)  But my friends get that and accept me for me and I truly love and care for these individuals so much and feel so thankful to have these amazing people in my life.

14th – For a husband that just does what is needed.  Back story.  Sometime after dinner tonight Henry threw up everywhere.  We are still not exactly sure why or the cause, but am convinced it wasn’t my cooking!! ;-) Well this puking turned to dry heaves and went on through the early morning….4:45am to be exact.  Henry only wanted me all night and finally around 5am Henry and I slept, on the floor in his room for a couple hours.  However, all evening and night my amazing husband did about 3 loads of laundry.  Changed the sheets 4 times before we moved H. to the floor.  Made sure Henry had everything he needed.  Washed his stuffed animals.  And even in the days after did about 10 loads of laundry to make sure everything was washed from the pukes.  I never had to ask nor did I expect it.  I figured we would deal with it later.  But Terry took care of it.  I am so thankful to marry a man who is like this.  Just does what needs done.  Is my partner and equal. 

15th – That whatever bug or food issue that Henry had seems to be over! 

16th – For Saturdays.  Enough said.

17th – Sleeping in until 7:30am!  The past few days sleeping has been at a minimum and since he started going to school more, sleeping in has been almost non-existent.  Well today Henry slept until 7:30.  Yep, that is enough to be thankful for right there!

So what are YOU thankful for today?!?!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Santa, Listening and Strangers….OH MY!

Last night we took Henry to see Santa for the first time.  To say the trip was a success is an understatement! 

We decided to not take him to see Santa the past two years as he was 3 months and 15 months and based on his personality at the time we thought he was too young and would be afraid.  For him, I am glad we waited. 

Still not exactly sure how he would be with the big man in the red suit, we decided to get him pumped for the big day!  (Folks, if you read my previous post about the holidays you know we are nuts about Christmas so this is really not unexpected nor a big stretch for us.)  So to prepare we have been listening to Christmas music, talking about Santa, and Henry has even been watching the Santa episodes of one of his favorite shows (Caillou – ugh) to get him familiar and excited!  I mean if Caillou does it then so will Henry.  No, really.

Now, I am not exactly what you would call a Bass Pro Shop kind of girl (why are you laughing at this?!?!) but they have a bunch of stuff for the kids to do, crafts, free pictures and most importantly a REAL looking Santa.  I am convinced this is actually the real one.  I don’t know how Bass Pro gets dibs on the real looking Santa’s, but they do.  Henry will not be sitting on no jank looking Santa**!! 

So we walk in and of course Bass Pro shop is a wonderland of stuff for kids (and husbands) to see and get in to and EVERY little boys dream.  For me?  Eh.  But I imagine it is the same feeling I get when I walk into a kitchen or home store so I enjoyed it with them and got excited seeing their excitement! 

We didn’t even make it 10 feet into the store and Henry was OFF.  I swear I needed a leash for BOTH Henry and Terry.  They were all over that store.  But we finally got Henry (And Terry) wrangled in enough to make our way to Santa.  Going on a Tuesday way before Thanksgiving was PERFECT.  There was no one in line for Santa and only about 4-5 kids the whole time we were there.  No people.  Nice.  That is what it is all about.

So the lady came up to Henry and asked if he wanted to see Santa and he said YES and held her hand and walked up to him.  Of course one of Santa’s reindeer was beside him and Henry made a sharp turn directly to it and was fascinated with that and ignoring Santa.  But eventually refocused and with NO fear or hesitation got on Santa’s lap, took a great picture (even though it was his “cheese face”) and told Santa what he wanted for Christmas.  A tree.  Yep, the last few days when we ask him what he will ask Santa for he says a tree.  We have given him suggestions for toys and it is always a tree.  Silly boy. 

When it was all done he said thank you and Merry Christmas (or some form of that) and we headed off to play with ALL the fun things they had for kids.  Remote controlled trucks, guns, bow and arrow, train….Henry was ALL. OVER. THE. STORE.  Literally.  So happy.  So much to do.  I think we made his day.  I know it made ours, even if we were sweaty from chasing him!

 Daddy showing him how to work the remote control truck....
 ....He totally got it.  And he literally shrieked EVERY time he made it crash into something.  Pure joy.
 That thing is bigger than him....but he had to do it by himself. Always.
Terry looks good with a pink gun ;-)

So much fun was had and I just love, love, LOVE doing these things as a family and seeing Christmas through a child's eyes.  MY child's eyes.  Happy sigh.

But, there is always a but....

... that brings me to this: listening and strangers because both were issues during this outing.

First is listening.  Henry gets so focused that you can scream his name and he pays zero attention.  At one point when we were exploring the store we lost grip of his squirmy jello like little hand and he ran off.  We are yelling at him to stop and he is doing nothing of the sort.  Total two year old tunnel vision.  Here I am with my arms full of coats, pictures, stuff from the Christmas area trying to chase after him (and it was a sight as I am not in chase after a kid shape).  He finally stopped when he got to where he wanted to go and Terry and I tried to tell him without major discipline in the store that he can’t do that and he needs to stop and listen to us.  Another time in the store he did that with Terry, just ran off and started walking up the stairs.  Just in a split second, off. 

We usually hold his hand, but he is so damn squirmy.  We have been trying to teach him to stop and listen as we are having the same problem at home where he doesn’t listen andignores usHenry stop, Henry STOP.  HENRY STOP.  “Oh, huh…are you talking to me?!’   Not sure what we can do at home and in public to get him and/or teach him to stop when we call his name and listen to us. 

Tips?!  Suggestions?!

And second are strangers.  Henry used to be so shy around people he didn’t know, but then he got older and started going to school more and now everyone is his friend.  We went to dinner and he blew a kiss to a complete stranger.  When we were out last night interviewing a babysitter for Henry at Panera this old guy came up and sat down in the area we were sitting (strange) and Henry walked up and started talking and even grabbing his arm.  No personal space.  No boundaries.  No fear. Even with the potential new babysitter we said we are going and he said “Bye mom, bye dad” and went and stood with this new girl.

We have started talking about strangers and politely moving him away when he gets too close to people.  But what are tips and suggestions for a two year old who is just sweet as can be and overly friendly and wants to talk to everyone but needs to understand andlearn about strangers?!  Is he still too young to get it?! 

Thoughts?  Ideas?!

**Thought: how many real looking santa’s do you think are out there?!?!  Even in our area alone?!  Think about all the places they are over the Holiday season. I know a number of them have the Santa’s with real beards.  I don’t see them throughout the year, but then BAM at Christmas they are everywhere!!  Do they go into hiding during the summer months or have to shave their beard so people like me kids don’t see them and think it is Santa?!?!  And what a cool job is that?!  I am retired but during November and December I am Santa.  Awesome!!  With my hormones all I mess and the beard andgray hair I am growing, I could probably be Santa in a few years!!

Friday, November 08, 2013

Thankful Days 1 – 8

So during the month of November people write daily posts about what they are thankful for.  I like this.  I am not posting every day, but rather writing things down daily and will post every Friday or Saturday during the month.  So here is what I am thankful for from November 1st – 8th.

What are YOU thankful for today?!?!

1st – Emailing with my sister.  Her and I email each other pretty much every day.  It just makes me so happy and I am so thankful to have her and be able to “talk” to her every day.  Whether it is something serious, a recipe, a funny story, life in general, or a joke that I know only she will laugh at….it makes me feel close even though we don’t see each other all the time.

2nd – Last minute weekend visits from our family!!  It was so great to have my parents plan a last minute trip to see us today!  It was a perfect…and I think helped one sick little kid feel better.

3rd – Dots, aka, Tim Bits.  Come on, I think we can all admit “dots” make everything better and are something we should be thankful for!

4th – Having a job where I can take the day off, even if unpaid, when my son is sick and my work doesn’t question it or get mad.  I know many people, including my husband, cannot easily take time off unexpectedly.  I feel lucky that I at least have the option to put my family first.

5th – Dancing!!  I came home after a loooooong day at work and was tired and it was yucky out and as I walk through the door Henry comes running to me and says “DANCE”!!  You want to dance?  OK!  So I literally throw my stuff down and Henry and I dance.  How can you not be thankful for that.

6th – For being able to sit down and have a dinner with Henry and Terry!!  Sure tonight it was just grilled cheese and soup.  But for two years we have only had a handful of family dinners and now we have one almost every night!  Tonight we talked about his day at school.  We are fairly certain he was trying to tell us that a big kid would not let Henry ride the bike at school.  “Big Kid.  No No Bike.  Me.  No No Bike.”  You guys…..I am SO thankful for this.

7th – For finding the most awesome wee-ooo, wee-ooo truck (aka a Fire Truck) for Henry!  And the best part was it was on sale and I had coupons putting this $30 truck at only $10!!  Henry has been asking for this truck for awhile….he will be so pumped to get it Christmas morning!!

8th – For the guy in front of me at the Starbucks drive through who paid for my coffee and bagel this morning!!!  THANK YOU!!  That is such a kind gesture!!  I was so thankful and continued the chain and paid for the person behind me.  What great holiday spirit!!  I am truly thankful to you stranger (and others like you) and your act of kindness!

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

I Love….The Holidays!

Warning: An annoyingly long and random post about my favorite things I love during the Holidays where I use the word LOVE about 50 times too much and use an obnoxious amount of exclamation points!!!!!

Here is the thing.  Fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Winter, Christmas - they all make me SO happy.  I love fall festivals and picking out pumpkins.  I love passing out candy and dressing up for Halloween.  I love preparing a big Thanksgiving meal and sitting around a table with love ones.  I adore everything about Christmas.  I actually listen to Christmas music on and off all, yes you read that right, ALL year round.  And if I could have a spinning white tree with blue lights and decorations up in the house all year round, I would.  Really.

The idea of giving and being together and remembering and celebrating and eating and doing holiday activities and relaxing….it just makes me so happy. 

I sort of stay in my own little bubble during the holidays.  I need to so I don't get caught up in the negative or rush of the season.  I avoid holiday crowds and shop online and I smile at those being scrooges.

LOVE this time of year so much and do not feel that a month for each is nearly enough time to celebrate.  I want to celebrate longer!!

I sort of lump Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas together.  When October hits I am 100% IN the holidays.  Three months of festivities!  I give them each their due respect and appreciation and celebrate fully each holiday, but I am also celebrating or preparing to celebrate the others.  So if we have Halloween decorations up and are listening to Christmas music, or have Christmas Decorations up and are listening to the haunting sounds of Halloween, or even have Christmas decorations up & Christmas music playing on Thanksgiving day…well in our house that is OK! 

I love Christmas music and it is in full force in our house.

I know some say I am listening to Christmas music too early and celebrating too soon.  I respectfully say, bah humbug on you….no I am not!! :-)  (Disclaimer: I totally understand how some may not want to listen yet.  But I want too.)  I love the way it makes me feel, I love singing at the top of my lungs (and man is it singing like you have never heard before!), I love how as soon as I hear the first notes of a song it takes me somewhere or to someone, I love how Christmas music just makes me feel and my family…..happy.  Yes, even the semi-annoying songs.

Besides the music, I love ornaments.  Our tree is this hodge-podge of ornaments, each meaning something different to us.  Some represent milestones in our life, some represent our favorite things, some make us laugh, some make us remember, and some are from our childhood.  Seeing our tree as a backdrop for all those little reminders of our life together and from when we were younger brings so much joy to our house!  Last night Terry and I were on the Bronner’s website looking at Christmas ornaments.  They have the best ornaments there!!  We have already ordered one ornament this year and will be ordering a few more as gifts. Shhhhhhh

Henry’s Ornament this year that we ordered….What Time Is It?!?! 

I also love the holiday smells.  I know it sounds weird, but smells make me happy….or unhappy depending on what the smell is!  The smells of: Thanksgiving dinner cooking, of our apple spice candle that we only bring out this time of year, of that cold air that hits you in the face when you step outside, of recently fallen leaves, of the inside of a freshly carved pumpkin, of Christmas trees and wreaths, of a big breakfast being cooked, cookies being baked, and so much more.

The Lights.  Whether it is the lights of a glowing pumpkin or of the Halloween decorations we have peering through our windows or of candles lit or of Christmas lights…I love lights.  Terry and my first date was actually in November, thirteen years ago at the Lights Before Christmas at the Zoo.  It was a horribly frigid evening but we loved every minute of it and drank tons of hot chocolate and stuck close together.  And now every time we go back, it sort of feels like that first date…those memories all come back.  And now we get new memories every time we take Henry and he looks at the lights and says “WOW”.  I agree, my son.  WOW.  

We are actually planning a trip for next December to the Oglebay WinterFestival of Lights.  Too many lights to count spread out over 300 acres in the rolling hills of WV.  Perfection.  I went when I was a kid and can’t wait to share that now with our son.

Movies.  We just introduced Henry to It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown last week (well the first time he actually watched it) and we are preparing him for A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.  I think we can all agree there are SO many great Holiday movies and shows out there that just make you laugh, cry and think about your childhood or family.  But The Peanuts are pretty much THE BEST thing to happen to the holidays.

Tradition.  You know, I think this may be my favorite thing about this time of year.  From October through December it is all about making memories and remembering traditions from when you were a kid and starting new ones with your family.  Really, there is nothing better.

So be forewarned.  If you come to our house from now until probably the end of February chances are you will hear Christmas music, see a tree (in a few weeks), be eating cookies made by my husband, and be surrounded by so much Holiday cheer that it may make you a little sick.  Don’t worry, we always have some Tums on hand if it is just too much to digest.    

Yep, that is how we do it.

Have I mentioned just HOW MUCH I love this time of year?!?!??!!

So what are YOUR favorite holidays?!   Your Favorite things about the holidays?  Any traditions you love?

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

This Is My Brain.

Lately I feel like my brain is totally out of order.  

There is SO much going on inside that I cannot sort out my thoughts or what I need to do next.  Basically, I cannot FOCUS. 

I even have about 7 blog posts and can’t finish any of them.  Even writing this post, my brain is about 20 other places.

Between bills, holidays, work, finances, home, family, things I have to do, things I want to do, things I have forgotten but pretty sure I was suppose to do….my brain is a MESS! 

And I am the type of person when I feel overwhelmed and can’t focus then I stop and I don’t want to do anything and then BAM I will go crazy and try to accomplish everything at once.  For the record, I am currently still in the “I don’t want to do anything” phase.

I tried to write everything down and get organized....and then I lost the note pad.

Yep....THIS is my brain at the moment. (including the tiny little cowboy hat.)

Let me ask, how do you focus?  How do you sort through the clutter in your brain so you can think again and get stuff accomplished?! 

I think I need Peter Walsh, de-cluttering extraordinar, to get all up in my brain and organize it.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Post For The Times When It Is "Just Too Much".

Last night we were awoken by that cough.  Parents, you know the one I am talking about.  At first you hear it as you are balancing in between reality and dreamland and are hoping that perhaps it was a dream and maybe a good dream, like one about going to the Zoo to visit a seal!

But no.

You hear it again and quickly sit up, knowing he is awake and his tears will soon follow and so will your 1:00am.

Luckily you have been through it before so you and your partner are on auto-pilot and just do what you need to do.  There are tears (yet you remain strong) there is screaming and hitting (yet you remain calm) there is lack of sleep (yet you remain awake) and after a few hours he is back asleep and you are laying in bed and the emotions just come rushing out.

You think those words that make you feel so alone....

"It is just too much".

You are annoyed and mad and frustrated and sad and feel helpless.

Now this...on top of everything else going on and everything I have been feeling.  Now my son is sick.  Now I worry more than I normally do about him. (Which is already a lot!) have been trying to be better.  Be positive.  Have perspective.

So you acknowledge the fact that you remained calmed and where a good mom and your little boy is comfortably back to sleep and you shouldn't be so hard on yourself...and soon you head back to dreamland for a couple hours.

Now, there is a point....just a little longer folks.

A little while later I am sitting at lunch, surprisingly not as tired as I thought I would be on just a few hours of sleep.

I want something mindless so I go to and skim past all the BS (I don't care about Miley and her costume,!!!) and I see this story.  A real story.  I story worth writing and reading.  HERE.

It is about these two who were dating in college when a horrible accident happened, leaving her boyfriend with traumatic brain injury.  They had only been dating 10 months and she could have left him knowing that the dreams she had may never be met.  But she stayed. And they got married a few years later.  There is a is sweet.

I normally just skim quickly though these stories, but something drew me in.  Made me read and read again.  And then I noticed she had a blog and I clicked on it.  This selfless person had my curiosity.  Something made me want to read more about her story...folks, I never read more about these stories and am always just on to the next.

But I clicked and the first thing that caught my eye wasn't the first blog post but I blog entitled "For the days That Are Too Much".  HERE.

You have my attention.

It was a short blog and I read these words and instantly my eyes teared up (part of post below):

These are the days that feel like too much, that this isn't what I asked for because stress brought from the little just reminds me of the bigger losses I have.

But then there are the sweet gifts, like the new book in the mail that will show me god. The three hours by the fire with a girlfriend and his smile when I come into the room late. 

The fire and the conversation with her and the staying up late with him is worth it. Because those are the moments where I get to live and breathe.

Those are the moments where I see God filling me up, filling my emptiness.

I NEEDED to hear this.  You have no idea how much I needed to hear this.

It is more than my child getting sick.  So much more.  Nothing horrible, we are all OK and in good health.  Infact, this post isn't intended to say "i am sorry Jenn I hope you feel better", it is sort of the opposite as it is encouraging me to stay strong.

But I think we can all agree we go through ups and downs.  Life gets tough.  There are stresses.  There are things we could never in a million years plan for (good and bad).  Feelings we hate feeling.  Days we are not at our best.  Moments we question our self.  Times we just want to curl up in a ball and fade away into a different place in our mind...even just for a moment.   Days where it just feels too much.

And what do we do during these times?  We focus on all that is going wrong.  All the bad we feel.  All that we cannot change but want to.  All that makes us feel even more alone and like we are not good enough.  All that makes us want to yell and scream and cry.  (Which those are our feelings and it it OK until it is not OK.)  And soon we find we are lost and trying to figure out how to get back.  How to gain perspective.  How to be ME again.

What I am realizing, though, is just when you feel alone and you don't know how you are ever going to get better and find find it.



Reassurance that you are not alone.

Something truly inspiring.  Something that makes you feel better.  Something that gives you hope and confidence.  Someone who makes you open up and talk about what is wrong so that you can BE better.

As many times as I may question it, sometimes I think the universe really does have your back.  Sending you a friend at just the right moment to talk to or making you click a link you would normally just overlook or giving you a confidant you can share anything with without feeling judged or wrong in your feelings.  

Reminding you that you are NOT alone.  That others struggle and overcome and you can too.  That even though we all feel down sometimes, there is SO much to live for and be happy about.

It gave me perspective.

And while I know I have more to figure out and further to go with feeling better; admitting, opening up and remaining positive are key.  Just taking it one day at a time and just TRYING each day to be better and knowing it is OK to have bad days as long as there are also plenty of good ones.

Yeah, i got ALL that from the post.  You may not, but I did.  It may not make sense to you, but it does to me.  And I need to remember that I did gain some perspective from this post.  You know, for that time in the future (and there will be a time) where I need to be reminded of this again.

I needed to hear this today and I KNOW there are others who may possibly need to hear this too.  So I am sending this back into the universe in hopes it finds those who are also having a rough day, week, month, year or just feeling lost and need a little perspective or just want to read a good love story to put a smile on their face!

A simple and inspiring story about love and hardship and dedication and persevering through those struggles.  A reminder that no matter how tough it may seem and when you just feel it is too much that sometimes right around the corner there are those moments that give us hope, make us feel loved, and remind us we are not matter what we are going through.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Henry, No. Henry, Stop That. Henry, Listen to Me. HENRY NO!

So let me preface, like any parent feels the need to do, by saying overall Henry is a really really GREAT child.  (Just wait for the but…) He is funny and laughs all the time.  (keep waiting…) He so incredibly sweet and will always usually give out hugs and kisses when asked. (wait for it….)  He LOVES to help and he is an awesome little helper.   BUT (oh, there it is) he doesn’t always listen and has a big temper when he doesn’t get his way. And while he does listen at times, this is a growing problem and the lack of listening is becoming more and more frequent.

Now, I am sure most parents of kids older than mine are saying “yeah, that is just a toddler. Why are you writing a long blog post for something that is normal?!”

Well, because I don’t know how to get my child TO listen.

I wrote a post awhile back that talked about multiple things, one being the frustration of extreme independence and not listening. HERE (#5)

As I mentioned in the post I feel like I am constantly saying NO.

Henry, NO.  Put that down! NO, Get away from that! DON’T touch that!! You will get hurt!  Don’t stand on that!  Don’t put that up your nose/in your ear! Henry, STOP IT!!!

I don’t know about any of you, but sometimes always feeling like the “bad guy” or saying “NO” all the time can wear on you a bit.  Though terry tells me to get use to it, it is part of being a parent, I just want him to listen more, especially with important things like running away from us, getting into stuff that is dangerous for a 2 year old, or doing things that are unsafe. (and believe me, Henry likes to do things that are unsafe)

Now that Henry has really started talking more (He is saying SO much and talking in sentences and actually trying to say words…WOOHOO!!!) his independence aka stubbornness is growing and he is not listening as much as he once was.  Everything, and I mean EV.ER.Y.THING. IS….NO.  ME. I DO IT. NO. MEMEMEMEME.   He is also big and can reach nearly everywhere and wants to touch and get into everything.  And he does stuff and gets into stuff even when I ask him to stop.

Henry, stop turning the lights on and off! (as he laughs)

Henry, put the phone down! (as he refuses to even look at me and proceeds to keep pushing buttons on the phone.)

Henry, do not stand on the table! (as he jumps and purposely falls into my arms when I go over to get him down.)

Henry, stop!  Get back here! (as he runs away and I am chasing him….which is a sight)

Henry, get out of the trash!  It is yucky!  (as he proceeds to pick out pieces of trash)

Henry, you need to listen!  Look at me and listen and play with this cool toy (as he ignores me and continues with what he is doing)

There is NO denying this child is stubborn, I mean look at his mom and dad, and extremely curious and into everything.  And while I want him to have independence and do things on his own, I also need him to listen.

Perhaps this is all normal and I just need to continue with what I am doing and he will grow out of it.  The "he will grow out of it" statement seems to be a common thing with kids.  

But I want to try to get him to listen better.

I have tried getting down on his level.  I have tried quietly saying “no” or “no thank you”.  I have tried explaining why he needs to listen.  I have tried time outs.  I have tried yelling.  I have tried ALL of the above at once just to stop him from doing one thing.  Sometimes after trying everything or saying NO 22 times he will stop (though goes back to it later).  And sometimes it takes me physically removing him from what he is doing, which means Baby Hulk comes out and Baby Hulk no like when I say NO.  Baby Hulk SMASH and hit mommy and fall to the ground screaming.

Obviously, we have some communication issues.

I totally get that he just turned two and that we need to teach him and reinforce good listening.  But HOW do I do that?!?! 

I think I just don’t know the best way to communicate with Henry.  T & I talk to Henry pretty much like we talk to each other.  I know I have had to get use to changing the inflection of my voice and trying to be quieter because I can be loud….Terry and I can be loud.  We get excited and talk loudly and laugh loudly and we forget sometimes and talk loudly to Henry.  So we are working on softer tones, not baby talk, but I more rhythmic talk for things that are good and a more stern tone with things that are bad.  But yeah….that doesn’t always work!!

Maybe I need to stick to one way to correct him….which is hard with two parents with two different styles and whom he listens to differently depending on which parent it is.  Maybe he is bored and just very very active and we need to bring in his focus on different things so he is constantly doing the productive stuff instead of getting into everything he shouldn't.  Maybe I need to teach him when to listen, though I don’t know how to do that!

Do you have a stubborn child who doesn’t listen?!?!  How do you communicate with your kids?  How do you get them to listen and focus?!

I have seriously started looking for books on Amazon, but lets be real....I won't read those ;-)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Talk to Me - Getting Older

I totally acknowledge this post may come off as vain or like I am complaining, even though I am trying to make it fairly light and funny.  However, I don’t know of any woman who likes the changes that happen to our bodies as we age and especially changes post kid.  And what is even more frustrating is men seem to get younger looking as they age which makes women look even more broke down as they get older even if that is NOT the case and they look great.  Feminist….back off!!  So I am not complaining (maybe a little) because I am OK with getting older, I am just not OK with looking the same age as my husband who is 7 years older and having more facial hair then my husband...

Ok Ladies (and men if any read this blog) let’s talk getting older.  Specifically, getting older and your look.

Now let me preface and say by NO MEANS do I think I am old, but I also think I am reaching the age where I can no longer deny the fact that I am getting older and things are changing and I am looking older.  My body is changing.  My look is changing.  I feel different and am noticing things I have never noticed before.  And the last time I went to the store I wasn’t carded and she just put in a random birthday, so there is that...

Now I never thought I was someone who cared about my appearance.  I very rarely wear make-up, I don’t use lotions and creams, I wear my hair up and messy about 96% of the time, my clothes…well you could say they are dated and ill fitting, I get a haircut once or twice a year, and if I don’t like the way I look I just don’t go out in public….which is OK with me. 

I mean honestly, it is too bad that What Not To Wear is ending because I probably could benefit from a makeover.  But I just have not put too much effort into my appearance, which I think can be good and bad.   I probably should have made a little more effort over the years, I just always felt uncomfortable with beauty and fashion.  Perhaps it was because for so much of my life I tried to go unnoticed by my peers, just blend into the background, that for me to wear makeup or fashionable clothing I feel like it would draw too much attention to myself and that makes me uncomfortable.  Though I totally get that by NOT doing those things I am also drawing attention to myself, but it is hard to argue with crazy person logic!!

So what does this have to do with changes in my look and getting older?!?!

Well, now that I am getting older I am finding it harder to continue the way I have all these years.  I am thinking I need help.  I need to hide stuff.  Cover things up.  

So what is changing, you ask.  Well let me tell you.

1. I am growing a beard.  Ok, maybe not like this…

….but I have so many little dark and light hairs on my chin.  I am going to be that lady that has one really long hair growing on her neck that I don’t see but everyone else sees it and stares at it and thinks “WHY WON’T SHE PLUCK IT” but they never say anything and it is the big elephant hair in the room that no one talks about.  UGH.

I am seriously obsessed with trying to pluck every hair and I feel like they are just multiplying and it is so frustrating.  I know that most people don’t get close enough to me to really see them, but I see them and know they are there and on really sunny days there is no hiding them.  Dim lighting is my friend.

2. I have been getting pimples. Yep, 33 and breaking out on my face and my back like I was 15 years old boy!!  I have been lucky that I have not had a huge problem with pimples in the past, but apparently now it is an issue.  Sure hormones and stress can be a cause, but it is just weird and annoying that now I am breaking out.

3. My skin.  Yes, in general my skin is changing.  It isn’t as taut as it once was.  It is blotchy and dull and just blah.  I have circles under my eyes the size of half dollars and my once wrinkle free forehead now contains a crevasse that I feel I could store my change in.  And just wait until the winter months….I will turn my head and half of my face will flake off!  Awesome.  

4. Hair.  Besides losing tons of hair on a daily basis, I am also the proud owner of grey hair.  After I had Henry I found my first grey hair.  I heard that happened post pregnancy so of course like any normal person I quickly pulled it out and denied that it even had happened.  And all was good.  Until this weekend when I saw this…..

Grey hairs!!!!  WTF?!?!  When did those get there?!  If having blotchy skin, pimples, and a beard wasn’t enough, now I have grey hairSSSS?!  I really thought that being grey free was the one thing I had going for me, the one thing that didn’t make me feel like I was getting older.  And then I was bitch slapped by a stray coarse grey hair and reminded that, yes Jenn, you are aging. 

5. Boobs. All I am going to say about this is that boobs post kid fuck’n SUCK.  Pardon my language, but your boobs should hit you in the face when you jump, not smack you in the vagina or rest comfortably on the post baby jelly belly you still have.  But I still have hope for this as I promised Terry that when we were in a better place financially I would get a boob lift and he can get a ball lift.  :-) So there is hope!!!

6. Body.  My body is just different.  Things are jiggling more and sagging more and clothes just fit weird.  And I just feel at this in between with clothes.  Like, what is appropriate and what doesn’t make me look old but what also doesn’t make me look like I am trying too hard or trying to look like my 25 year old sister.  I know working out would help some of this.  I will get on that.  

There is also just things creaking and snapping that shouldn’t make noise and haven’t in the past.  Or soreness that I have never had before.  Like today with the weather, I feel and sound like a 90 year old!  And don’t get me started on things happening below the belt.  That is just a hot mess.  Probably literally. Sigh.

Someone at work told me some of this could because I am off birth control and haven’t been on it for 4+ years and my hormones are just a crazy mess and that is what is causing some of these issues. WHAT, YOU THINK ME AND MY HORMONES ARE A CRAZY MESS?!?!  YOUR HORMONES ARE A CRAZY MESS!!! 

She may be right…..

And while she may be right and getting my hormones readjusted may help a little with some things, I think I have to face the reality that with each decade I enter things change and therefore I need to adjust. 

First adjustment is signing up for AARP and bingo night at the senior center Fridays at 6:30. 

Second is taking care of my skin. I have always said I need to do this, but just hate the feeling of anything on my face.  But it is more than apparent that I need something now.  I am looking at different lotions for my face. (What do you use?!?!)  I also think my first trip to a dermatologist may be good.

Third, I need to lose weight.  Mostly for health, but I also think if I can be happy with my weight I will be happier with my overall appearance.

As for my beard, well I am still trying to figure that one out….

I know that aging is inevitable and though it may not sound like it and this post has sounded totally vain, I think I am OK with getting older.  I am just not OK with all these things that seem to be showing up all at once that make me feel older than what I am.  I mean, can’t I just have ONE of these as a problem?!

Talk to me!!  This is the face of someone who needs advice!!  And some strong moisturizer.  And her bangs cut. And some concealer.

What do YOU do in regards to aging?  Deny it?  Use lots of lotions and potions?  Seek help from a witch doctor?  Use natural remedies?  Take lots of vitamins and supplements?  Stay indoors and avoid all mirrors or reflective services?! All of the above?

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Done By 5pm

So after two years we are officially transitioning to a new work/day care schedule.  WOOHOO!!!

You guys, I am absolutely thrilled about this. 

Now believe me, I know people have it so much harder than us when it comes to schedules.  Single parents, parents with one spouse overseas, working third shift or working late at night.  Ours wasn’t the worst schedule out there, but it also wasn’t the best and starting to become draining on both Terry and I.

On the one hand we were really lucky that his job allowed him to work part time and in the evenings….especially since he works retail. It gave Terry the opportunity to be at home with Henry for TWO whole years.  This alone was awesome.  But with that came the fact that Terry was only working part-time and to work part-time he had to work either 3-4 days a week in the evenings and every weekend.  And the past 3-4 months he has been working stretches of 20+ days without a day off, all while watching Henry during the day. 

Our weeks consisted of me rushing home and having a brief conversation with Terry about the day while he was in the shower.  So many important conversations have taken place while I sit on the bathroom floor with henry :-)  Then about 15 minutes after I got home, Terry would leave for work.  Some nights till 11pm and other nights until 8:30pm and then every weekend he works both Saturday and Sunday until about 4pm.  So there was a lot of “solo” parenting done by each of us.    

But folks….it is done.

That schedule is over.

Terry is going back to full-time status at work and though he will still have to work every weekend, he will only have to work three DAYS during the week.  No more evenings!!

Honestly when this first started, two years just seemed like an eternity away.  We always knew we were going to make the transition back to full-time and with Henry in daycare around two years.  But when you have a colicy baby or a one year old starting to get into everything or an 18 month old who can’t communicate and is throwing tantrums or a two year old who thinks it is OK to put things in the microwave and turn it on, having that extra person there can provide much needed help and support!

So now we are transitioning to days!  I say transitioning because this may be hard at first for some in our house *cough cough* Terry and Henry.  The two of them usually get up around 8/8:30 and now everyone will have to be up by 6am!  Even I can no longer sleep until 7 and rush to get only myself ready and leave for work by 7:30.  Nope.  Now we have to get a child up and fed and out of the house by 7:15am three days of the week.  A highly independent and stubborn child who doesn’t like to wake up early and doesn’t want to do things on OUR terms but rather his own.  For instance, today he wanted cheese and only cheese for breakfast. Um, OK.  Not going to pick a fight with you about that!

I am sure this new schedule will come with its own set of frustrations, such is life.  But now…now we can do it all together. We can be there so one parent isn’t trying to do it all.  To stop a child from coloring on the wall when a parent is trying to make his dinner.  To sit down and have a meal together!  To help wrangle a naked child at bedtime.  To give each other good night hugs and kisses that are not done via text.  To spend time together, though after two years spending so much time apart we may have to ease into that one!!!  I kid…sort of :-)  To be together.

Yep, I am ready!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

HDH – Happy (Belated) Birthday, Henry!!!

Happy SECOND Birthday, Henry!!!

(Ok, this is a little late, but the sentiment is still the same!)

I am sorry I didn't post on your birthday little dude but between the Zoo, party, family, cake, presents and LOTS of fun...there was no time!!!  :)

Oh Henry.

My sweet, funny, highly independent, caring, wild child…..where has the time gone?!?!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Happy Anniversary!!

Today marks my husband and my seven year wedding anniversary! 

Hey Terry, remember that one time we got married?!?!  Yeah, that was cool.

I guess at 7 years of marriage you are suppose to start getting the itch, well at least that is what I have heard a number of times today.  Thank goodness, Terry, you have never given me an itch and I don’t foresee receiving an itch because of you anytime in the future…..and if I do we may need to talk and get a cream!! ;-)

As I was looking for pictures to print and give you in place of spending $5 on a card I found this. 

OK first, let’s be real.  I love you but $5 on a card is ridiculous so it is either make my own or get a 99 cent one with a kitten in a bucket and inside it says “You are purrrrr-fect”.  OK, that would totally be worth 99 cents!

Anywho…I found this picture and thought of you. 

But it didn’t seem complete, so I decided to add to it:

Love is walking hand in hand.

True love is walking hand in hand even when the other person’s hands are really sweaty and gross.

Real love is telling them their hands are sweaty and gross and refusing to hold their hand until they wash up.

Terry….we totally have REAL love!! ;-)

Happy Anniversary! 

P.S. This counts as your card and gift so enjoy it! 

And so you don't think I don't care about my husband, I have written nice anniversary posts HERE, poetic post HERE, week after having baby post HERE, and short and sweet post HERE....see, I can only be nice so long!! ;-)