Sunday, April 27, 2008

Go to the Island, little boy
Where your "future lies"
Ill be here praying for you
The one with whom you severed all ties

I hope you find yourself
They won't be kind to you
I hope you find a friend
A voice that will reassure, motivate, and tell you how to do

Return to us, when you have become a man
Be ready to give some answers
We'll look you over to notice any changes
To see if ours prayers were answered...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I was going to call this one "Long weekend plans" but it really turned into a Rant...

Well tomorrow is a "weather day" for MPS meaning out of all the really bad weather days we had this school year we didn't evacuate or stay home during any of them so we get the day off tomorrow. Yay for us. This means that I have Friday, Saturday, and Sunday off and I am loving it. I have frequent and sometimes bitter jealousy for those of you who don't have to work and so I suppose that there are some that harbor the same feelings for school employees who only work 182 days of the 365 day year. So I really shouldn't complain about my job if what I really want is not to work at all. That makes me sound REALLY spoiled and I don't want to sound that way. Being a mother of two to be WILL be a job - payed or not.

The truth is, "stay at home mom" has been on my mind a lot lately. Why is it for some and why is it not? How come there are women who dream of the ability to stay home and raise their babies but financially this just seems impossible. On the other hand there are women whose husbands make more than enough to make ends meet but they would rather be in the "corporate world" paying someone else to take care of their children? It just doesn't seem fair. I always joke with my sister (the not so maternal type who isn't sure if she wants kids) that she will marry some CEO millionaire and never "have" to work and get to stay home with her kids, however, I, with all of my morning walks/ finger painting/ cookie baking fantasies will probably be the one who looks 50 when I'm 30 due to working full time and raising twins and more (?)

I guess it all boils down to perspective. We ALL have something we are complaining about which causes us to grumble. I read a hand full of blogs and receive Facebook prayer requests for situations far more urgent and serious than my "problems." CKJ blogged about choosing joy even in the midst of our pain. She is right.

Most people don't understand until they truly fall in love that Love is not just a feeling... it is a choice. I think Joy works the same way. I may FEEL sluggish, tired, worried, apprehensive, ready for my prayers to be answered, and frustrated with friends or family that don't understand me but at the end of the day... actually at the beginning or the day, I have the choice to be Joyful or not to be.

Have you ever really contemplated the complexity and bizarreness of what causes emotions - both mental and physical? Think about it. You can be watching The Office and hear something you think is funny and start to laugh - maybe a chuckle or maybe you laugh so hard you start that "smoker's cough" sound that makes your say "oh my ga , whoooo" and grab your side. You can be driving and someone cuts you off or in a grocery story where the cashier is rude and you feel mad - maybe your ears get hot or heart starts beating fast or you think awful things about that person you would never say to them. Or, you can be driving and listening to music all alone in your car and be overwhelmed with gratitude and your eyes start to tear up all because of a line and melody played in a song - you feel peaceful and as it God sent that message just to you at the exact moment when you needed to hear it. Or, you can avoid confronting an emotion or feeling because you don't think you have control over a situation and then something totally unrelated happen and it is what causes you to blow up or "take it out on someone else" and forces you to deal with your pain.

I have read that tears are the bodies physical sign of flushing out emotional stress or pain that has built up or can be the result of when something euphoric happens that is too much for the body to handle- both physical reactions to emotional overloads. I believe this and I am also a crier. I don't understand people who don't cry. I literally think that would be painful to not be able to cry. I see it in my students all of the time. Little boys being picked on or yelled at by a teacher... they bite their lip, clench their fists, and by looking into their eyes you can tell they go someplace entirely away from the reality of where they stand... that whole blocking out thing.

Did God plan for us to not be able to remember our years when we were the weakest and most emotional - out infant and toddler years? What determined when we began to bank memories? I have a memory from when I was two years old of riding my tricycle down the long hallway at my mom and dad's Old Cloverdale apartment. I can remember the sunlight from the back door bouncing off of the wooden floors and causing a "tunnel like" effect and looking up and seeing pictures on the walls. My mom challenges that being a memory because I was so young (no more than 2.5 years) yet at the same time my memory matches the description of the house. What is even cooler is that 20 years later I lived in the apartment just above my families and actually got to revisit that hallway many times. SG bogged about her first memory of "beautiful" - sunlight pouring through glass jars while she was painting. When our 2.5 year old niece came to visit last weekend and she played outside with Ali and the slide I wondered if she would remember that day.

And to think we are about to bring two precious baby girls into this world and help them create memories... as well as memories for ourselves.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Yes I mean YOU!


Why do we talk ourselves out of exercising? And I don't even mean jogging on the treadmill at the gym followed by 3 sets of 12 reps on each major muscle family followed by 500 crunches. I'm talking simple 30 -60 minute walk around your neighborhood. I am SO the pot calling the kettle black because more often than not the conversation in my head is... "I should go on a walk before American Idol... nnn I don't want to get all sweaty... but it is so nice outside and Ali loves walks, come on... nnn but I actually styled my hair this morning and Bible study is at 7 I don't want to have to get ready a second time... you will feel so much better... nnn I 'd rather eat a snack and watch TV" ITS CRAZY TALK.

As I was putting on my tennishoes tonight at 6:45 I yelled to Nick from the bedroom, "I don't want to do this!!!" (But why not!) One hour , 2 full times around the neighborhood, one gorgeous sunset, 5,000 fresh breaths, 5-6 friendly waves to neighbors, and a quiet conversation with God later I feel amazing and know that I will sleep so good tonight and feel so refreshed tomorrow. My goal this week is to get moving to at least 3 afternoon/night walks this week.

Get outdoors people!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday Post Part II

Today's doctor appointment was great! Except for the fact that I was an hour late... not on purpose. The whole week I told myself out appointment was at 10:50. We signed in, we sat down to wait, and three minutes later they called my name. Wow! I had never been called so fast! The lady at the counter said, "Mrs. M. your appointment was at 9:40???" I could do nothing but apologize for my honest mistake and wait to see if they could squeeze me in. We did get an ultrasound and everything looks great. Heartbeats are at 150 bpm and 143 bpm. Both girls are measuring perfectly. Today one baby was in breech position with her head just under my right ribs and the other baby is still head down on the left posterior side. We don't have a scanner to upload new pictures but I'll be honest, at 10 inches/1.5 pounds a piece there isn't really that much to see. They are getting so big that you have to really concentrate and squint to make out what you are looking at. I have feeling we have seen the best images until they are actually here. So, today I'm 23 weeks, 5 days and feel great. My feet and ankles look like they are stuffed with grapefruits :)

After the appointment we had lunch at San Marcos with Grandma M., Bean, Brother Bean and his Mrs., Bean and her baby. AFter lunch we went to Hobby Lobby where I made the first purchases to begin my scrap book project. My first page is "December" capturing memories of Christmas, our positive pregnancy test, and wedding anniversary. I am looking forward to this hobby.

Next, we traveled over to Sonic for "Happy Hour" Route 44 Cherry Limeades :)

The afternoon was they spent in our backyard enjoying the temp. and sunshine. Brea slid down the slide 46 times and Ali had a blast chasing the ball and this little person. Tonight we will have dinner somewhere and hopefully get to feed the ducks at Shakespeare. We had a quick photo shoot in our back yard. Enjoy the pics!

Friday's Post Part I

I was able to sleep in this morning till 8:00 a.m. Ali propped up on my chest between 6:45 and 7 and started to lick my nose almost as if to say, "Wake up... you were supposed to be up by now and getting ready for work." But today is an off day! It is nine o'clock now and Nick and I have spent the start of the morning straightening up and making the house smell nice for out guests that will be arriving around 10:00. Nick's mom, sister, and our niece are coming around 10:00 and we will all go together to an ultrasound appt. at 10:50. I am excited to see how much Lily and Harper have grown over the past 4 weeks. Emily is also pregnant and I just know it will be hard for her not to hop up on the table and say, "Just one little peek since I'm already here!?!" Afterwards we will lollygag around town, grab some lunch, and just enjoy the day.

It is one of those perfect mornings outside on our porch where the mowers can be heard buzzing next door, the pigeons are cooing, and the coffee tastes great. It is also one of those mornings where you just take a deep breath in and exhale, "I love you Lord and Thank you."

Sunday, April 13, 2008

RestFUL nights

I don't know if it is all in my head but the past two nights of sleep have been wonderful for me.

Nick and I swapped sides of the bed. Most couples have a side. I am on the right and he is on the left beside the dresser where he can store the two remotes, his cell, his Mac, and cup of Crystal Light. I just need a place to rest my cell phone/alarm so the smaller bedside table is fine. Last week, I found myself up three times a night, 12:00a.m, 3am, and 5am to go to the bathroom and try to find a position that did not aggravate my sciatic nerve. Most of you heard about the episode I had on the way to Memphis back in March. It happens that this nerve, located on the right side of my body from the lower back down to the foot, when pinched will send me into nauseating restlessness that requires me to get up, stretch, take a handful of tums and find a new position to sleep.

So three nights ago, I suggested that I try sleeping on Nick's side of the bed so that I can lay on my left side and be facing the outside of the bed. The first night was amazing sleep. I did not get up one time! The only bad part about this night was that I had an all night dream that Nick was telling me he was gay and that he was moving to Birmingham with "Heath." I remember screaming and crying in the dream "WHY!?!? WHY did you marry me if you are GAY!?!?" This night terror seems to be a reoccurring dream for me unfortunately - not that I actually or subconsciously feel this way. (I had actually watched an episode earlier that day of Oprah where a gay man married a woman, had two children, then "came out").

Last night I slept so good that I don't even remember my dreams and I didn't wake up one time until 7:40 a.m. Everyone says, "Enjoy it now cause when those babies come you can kiss that goodbye!" so think of something else clever to say in the comment section ;) (wink wink) There were new sheets on the bed and that ALWAYS makes the first night a little more restful.

23 weeks pregnant today. Harper and Lily are swimming all over the place. Everything I have read say that they will be most active in the night time and sleep most of the day but I am not sure that is my children's schedule yet. They seem to be up when I am up... hungry when I am hungry... and still when we are in bed and I want them to kick so Nick can feel. It would be beautiful if things stayed this way when and after they are born.
Other symptoms:
-swollen feet, ankles, and hands (edema)
-blood pressure 114/40
-gaining a pound a week
-far less indigestion
-category "desperate hunger" coming on ever 3-4 hours, again. First trimester I had never been so hungry. Second trimester I could not have cared less about what I ate. Third trimester... like the first? Don't know the full scope yet.
-I catch my elementary students at work looking at my stomach all of the time. One little boy was so bold as to blurt out, "You 'gone have a baby?" When I said, "Actually there are two in here!" he quickly nodded his head and said, "Yea, you big."

Nursery is coming along. Walls, done, chest of drawers are being painted, cribs on are the way, one set of bedding needs to be ordered, the first set is here. (video and pics to follow)

Looking forward to this week. Work should be "back to normal" since SAT testing is completed. I will have Friday off to go to the doctor for ultrasound and checkup then spend the rest of the day with Nick's family.

Hope that everyone had a nice weekend.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Prices Going Up...

Everyone has complained at one time or another of the rising gas prices. Even the price of milk-a necessity for survival to some- has gone up with inflation. This morning I went to Starbucks to order my usual venti nonfat nowhip Marble Mocha Machiatto and when I pulled up to the window the cashier said, "That'll be $5.25." I didn't give one moment's hesitation before I exclaimed, "Did they go up!?!?" Granted, I am used to suckering out $4.95 once a week but anything over $5 for a hot milk just seemed ridiculous! She said, "hold on" and fidgeted at the register and with another guy for about 2 minutes. The other guy came to the window and tried to explain to me that since my drink wasn't on the menu I would be charged extra. I put a smile on and said, "I am really not trying to be rude at all it is just that I have been ordering this drink for over a year now and I have never paid over $5 for it... may I change my order?" They gave me my drink for the regular price but advised me of the change for future references... Sheesh.

I get these emails all of the time that claim if everyone refuses to buy gas on a certain day that the market will suffer so greatly that particular day the prices will have to go down. Do I forward them? No. Have I started turning off all of the lights when daylight is enough and switched to Publix brand ziplock baggies and laundry softener? Yes. Nick and I have even swapped cars during the week so that his gas guzzling truck won't travel the extra 110 miler per week (22 miles to Millbrook, 2 x per day, 5 days x week = 220 miles) versus ( my drive to work is only 11 miles, 2 x day, 5 days x week). It makes a difference in the times we both need to fill up on gas. I would love to work it out that Nick drops me off at school in the morning on his way to work and then picks me up on his way home. That would save even more. Not only is this better for the environment but it does have small advantages on our monthly budget. Especially since Knoledgy went up this month and with summer on it's way Alagasco and Power bills are sure to rise. Plus, our lawn is growing at rapid speeds due to the rain and humidity which means any gas we are saving by carpooling will have to be poured back into our lawn mower each week just so we can see out of our windows! It might be cheaper to pay someone to come and mow our yard. I'll do the math and get back to you on that.

I am sure all of you have these exact same thought processes and discussions among your own families and what I am saying is not anything new. I can't help but wonder if what we are going through, which could get much worse, will produce a more money conscious and appreciative generation? Tom Brokaw said that our grandparents were "The Greatest Generation." World War Veterans, the Holocaust, and The Great Depression Survivors are among this generation. Women's Rights Activists and parents of Civil Rights Heroes were all working together not at overstocked/under employed Walmarts and McDonald's but at small "convenient" family owned stores where it mattered to the owner that your needs were met and the buyer cared that the owners were able to provide for their families. Has anyone watched the scene in the Godfather II where young Don gets laid off at the grocery store because Fanucci threatened the store owner into hiring his nephew? The store owner is devastated that he has to let Don go and chases him down the street with a basket full of bread and other goods so that he will have something to provide to his family... but Don refuses to take the gift. Where is that relationship in businesses anymore? My mother can tell me stories from growing up in Hayneville, AL where she used to visit my Grandfather's cafe after school in the afternoons with her friends and each school girl would order a Coke and bag of potato chips for a nickel. She used to love going because she loved to see the "goings on" among the adults who were there just to get a quick bite to eat, socialize a bit, and head home. Where do we go to do that? Where could our kids WALK from school to do that? Is that day in age gone? I guess so and I guess it has been long gone because I never got to do that growing up.

I want to teach my children the beauties of a simple life. What is simple? Nick and I live in a beautiful home with AC, plumbing, instant meals, cable, wireless internet, etc. I guess what I mean is, I hope that we can teach our children what it means to work for rewards and to appreciate the good things God gave us that you can't put a price on.

I am being challenged everyday to make sacrifices in preparation of the coming of our two daughters. I won't even say how much my face moisturizer that I am running low on costs because I am not sure if I should even order it again. I reason back and forth on why it is worth it to pay this amount (quality skin care is important to protect against the sun's damaging rays and replenish moisture to prevent wrinkles and age spots) but then feel guilty when I realize what else I could do with this money if I'll just buy the "cheap stuff" at Walgreens. So that is NOT my biggest dilemma ... what kind of face cream to buy... it was just an example. I'll never forget an episode of Fresh Prince when Will and Vanessa are arguing and she comes to realize her fault in the argument and says, "You're right Will, my problems are just luxuries." I saw that when I was very young and have never forgotten the line because it is so true for my life. My "problems" are so luxurious.

To go full circle with the purpose and title of this post, "Prices Going Up" I'll conclude by saying that I will be thinking a lot this week about where we put our values and where we put our worth. Do I spend my energies and other resources on "things" that are not worth inflation or do I "save" and watch the appreciation grow on the things that are invaluable... or a little bit of both?

I received an email from Cesar Milan Inc. that "with warm regards" informed me that my question to Cesar has been denied review because there are thousands of other emails that Cesar receives that are basically more urgent (worthy of viewer's ratings). The email did, however, remind me that if my question is an emergency that I should contact a local pet healthcare provider and that I, of course, should continue to be "calm and assertive." Thanks a lot Cesar.