Showing posts with label Daybook. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Daybook. Show all posts

Monday, July 18, 2016

July Daybook

Outside My Window - Hot, humid, sticky, and everything you could imagine for Texas in July.  It doesn't keep us from enjoying a bonfire as the sunsets.  Enjoying time with cousins, s'mores, and a great game of Spades though.

I am thinking - About a lot.  Samwise is feeling better, such an easy even if expensive fix.  Meds, better dog food and the puppy is almost good as he can be.  We can see him gaining weight, enjoying some of his favorite games, and not constantly itching.  I love how easy this fix was.  
Benjamin, not an easy fix.  I'm torn between oversharing, using Autism as a crutch, and just plain old feelings of a mom, a parent, a friend, of everything.  Meltdowns are getting worse, and more frequent.  I think we are dealing with a blood sugar issue too, but don't know for sure.  We absolutely do not have this all figured out, not at all.  Feeling very overwhelmed and thinking a lot about how to insulate him but not baby him.  Protect him, but challenge him.  I am enjoying the moments I can slip outside, not die from the heat, and just be quiet with my own thoughts and prayers.  I know we will get there, I know it...but, *exhale* how, when, what, and all of the Mom guilt too.  Such a wad of emotion, I don't even know what to do with it.   I sincerely wish Ben's fix was as easy as Sam's, but then Dogs are uncomplicated...people, not so much.  Mostly, just coming to grips with the reality that he isn't going to outgrow this and there isn't an easy fix - it is a process, ongoing, always and forever.

I am wearing - We got our bracelets in.  We love them and wear them every day.  (and this is where I question myself...crutch, over doing it, I don't know, I just don't know)

I am creating - A home.  The recent gifts from my Mom have provided me lots of inspiration to 'feather my nest' and oh boy am I enjoying this.  I used to love to decorate my home.  Somewhere between newborns, and teens, and life... my home became a functional frat house full of love and lots of what is practical.  I tucked things away for 'some day decorating' and many many treasures got broken or lost between moves and life with a full house.  It is such a joy to bring things out, add in my Mom's and reclaim this art of making a home.  It is so satisfying to me in every way.  Perhaps having to let go of  of it for so long, just to not lose my mind, makes me love it all the more, I don't know, but it has been a source of great contentment and joy.  The kids love it too, making it all the more wonderful.

I am going - To start riding my bike again.  I love it, and the kids love bike riding.  The oppressive heat has made it difficult but we plan to begin again soon in the evenings.  Faith has a purple bike that is also darling.  I am eager to get back at it.

I am wondering - How people still use this word.  I heard it just the other day and I felt slapped by it.  Remove this word from your vocabulary - remove it.  It doesn't belong under any circumstances.  

I am hoping - To get a new family photo with everyone in 2016.  I'm praying, and wishing, and begging all my kids to be here for Christmas.   If Military and jobs can allow it.  It would be the best Christmas present!

I am learning -  I have a lot to learn, and all of the above.

I am pondering - How exactly to make these for Christmas gifts.  I love them!!

From my kitchen -  Pete and I have been wanting to do a routine Friday Fish Fry with an open invitation to friends and family for years.  We plan to serve this next Friday for those we love to come by and enjoy.  Life kept telling us for a while 'not yet' 'not right' but we both have felt a nudge to 'make it so'.  This Friday we are serving up some Catfish, red beans and rice along with hush puppies.  All we love who live here (and you know who you are..hint, hint W & H) are welcome to drop in, add to the menu, and enjoy...(LeAunt I'm talking to you, and bring the baby because it has been too long since I held her).  

A favorite quote -  I had an emotional week.  I caught another mother saying something cruel about my child at the pool (in front of me).  She didn't know he was mine, and when she realized, she was so embarrassed she left.  Words are powerful, they can heal and they can harm.  Choose your words wisely.

A peek into my day - This morning Pete asked me what my agenda was for today.  I replied that it was an easy breezy day.  I planned to make some Dr. appt's but otherwise the kids and I would be at the pool all afternoon....then karma laughed and laughed.
*I got a phone call from a child in Dallas soon afterward who needed to be picked up - Migraine while on the job.  
*Called to get Dr. appt. for several, and eye appointment for several - headache triggered my realization that I need to take care of that.
*Take oldest son to get new copy of birth certificate and social security card because in an effort to reduce all he brought home from Florida, he threw all that out and needs it - like now, for another opportunity (more on that later).  
*While helping with this, get a call from Braums that a child who had the day off needed to come in due to 3 people not showing up for their shift.  Um, I kinda needed him right that second.....
*Get home, make lunch and feed kids.
*Take oldest son to work.
*Take sick son to pick up his car 30 mins away and drive home with him close (because #sickwithmigraineheadache
*Take sick son to Dr.
*While at Dr., get call from one son at work that he needs to be picked up.  
*Leave Dr., pick up one, drop off at home - go back to Dr. where luckily adult child can see Doc without me.
*Return home, start dinner.
*Field about 4 phone calls from Doc offices, and children.
*Add to this about 6 loads of laundry.

One of my favorite things - The wind chimes.  I love them and look forward to steeling a moment outside to enjoy them tonight, after prayers, after bedtimes, and while it is quiet.

Monday, April 13, 2015

~April Daybook~

Outside my window - The weather has been perfect, everything is green and new.  The flowers are blooming, birds are chirping and all the buzzing bees and butterflies announce that Spring is in fact here to stay.

I am thinking -  It was all worth it.  All the testing, Dr. appointments and follow ups etc..etc..  It led us into this classroom setting that is truly amazing and a place where Benjamin feels he belongs.  This has been one of the hardest journeys, this trying to find out what is going on and what to do about it.  I'm careful not to use 'what was wrong' and 'how to fix it' because there is a lot about Benjamin that I do not want to change, I want to understand.  I want for him to be successful at navigating this world of ours so we need to find new ways to teach him, but I do not want him to be viewed as needing to be fixed - he doesn't, he is just the way God made him.

I am wearing - This is what I wore yesterday, when I didn't realize we would be taking a picture out in the Bluebonnets but hey, I got one with me and my honey so I'm good even if this isn't necessarily what I would have gone with had I considered.  Oh well!  Today, I'm wearing jeans and a pink gingham shirt.  We went fishing so I dressed for success.

I am creating - Memories (and a cookbook)

I am going - To start sharing more stories about taking care of this crew when they were all younger.  I've been thinking a lot about the Mommy Wars and how happy I am that I got to raise my older kids before things reached the level of crazy it's gotten to.  I mean Mommy Wars existed, but they were tamer and I don't have the fear factor breathing down my neck because I already raised a few that ate twizzlers or didn't breastfeed, and guess what They Turned Out Okay.

I am wondering - How anyone can mistake the grass being greener on the other side of the fence.  Water your own grass and watch it grow green beyond your wildest dreams.  Family life can be a struggle at times and those early years when your still trying to figure out this whole marriage thing and the babies start coming and you are absolutely exhausted, well it can be easy to see the grass as greener in some other situation.  It isn't.  Invest yourself in your family and treasure them, make sure they know how much you do.  Like I said, your grass will be green and lush in a way that will surpass what you could have imagined.  God has something better, just stay the course and love what you chose with your whole heart.  

I am hoping - These two continue to follow their dreams and work hard for a great future.  Being the mother of young adults is rewarding and also keeps my heart in my throat in a way teens have not so far.  Jonah is off in the Middle East and Noah is working towards finding a good fit for a Masters Program.  The world can be hard place to navigate.  I have these two constantly in my prayers.  It is my deepest hope they remain safe and come home to see me this Christmas.

I am learning - more and more everyday from this one.  Linus got the combination of charm, brains and quick wit.  It has gotten him into more than one scrape with his older brothers, but finally they are coming to appreciate the genius that is Linus.  He is starting to get selected to be 'on their team' when we play games and is getting more opportunities to shine for them.  I love watching his self esteem climb right up because it has been pretty low.  He has had a rough couple of years, but I think we are finally seeing the light.

I am pondering - Samwise, a lot.  Gosh we love this dog, and oh boy does he love us too.  He is just such a bundle of energy and has taken it into his head to jump on our guests...before we can leap to catch him.... because he is so happy to meet them.   I think we are just all around failing at this dog training business, but we will keep trying.  He is such a good dog and so lovable but goodness gracious what energy.  

From my kitchen - These are guilt muffins, otherwise known as chocolate chip breakfast muffins.  I also prepared country sausage, and cheesy scrambled eggs (I felt really guilty).  You see Simon had his District Track meet this past Wednesday and I had planned to go, then the only date I could schedule Samwise for his 'procedure'  was Wednesday.  So Simon got guilt muffins and mileage out of claiming I love the dog more than him.  Gotta love teens!

A favorite quote - See above.

A peek into my day - Saturday after Mass is one of my favorite nights of the week.  We are enjoying the longer days, having friends over.  Bonfires.  Good food, good times and Extreme Charades, we love Extreme Charades.

One of my favorite things:  Benjamin in the Bluebonnets (more bluebonnet photos soon)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

~March Daybook~

Outside my window - Gorgeous, just gorgeous.  We hit 80 degrees and in our excitement we decided to pretend it was 90 degrees and time for swimsuits, backyard water hose fun, and ice cream,...
in March...
because after a week of wet weather, and the week prior was a long trip driving, and the week before that was an ice and snow...well, you get a little heady when the weather is warm, sunny and perfect.
So out comes the swim suits and on goes the water works. 
Plus,  nothing says good weather like a cup of Blue Bell ice cream either, it just feels like Summer.

I am thinking - I'm thinking a lot about Jonah's deployment to the Middle East.  
I am grappling with the fact that Benjamin came off the bus screaming bloody murder yesterday that it was "THE WORST DAY EVER"!
Once he settled down, we learned he just really REALLY needed to go to the bathroom.
Once his bladder was better he instantly forgot it was the worst day ever in order to show me the newspaper.  He was absolutely over the moon excited to see this, his teacher gave it to him:

I had not told him I submitted it to the newspaper's photo contest so he was very eager to know "how they got the photo" "why is Faith in the paper" and most important "where is my picture". 

I am wearing - Sparkly shoes (because I love them), boyfriend jeans (with sparkles too, on the pockets - it's Texas ya'll) and a black knit top.  We had lunch at Ben's school today and then we took Samwise on a walk at the park so I needed something to accommodate everything. 

I am creating - I'm still working on the cross stitch and I'm also working on a little Easter crafting...

I am going - I am going to plan a birthday party for Benjamin, just working out the dates right now before I send out invitations. 
 I am going to have a hard time saying goodbye to Jonah when he leaves all too soon. 
I am going on a nice weekend get away with our whole crew, still living at home, and Samwise.  I cannot wait for that.
*he is just the best dog ever*

I am wondering - Why this book was not shoved in my hands the moment Benjamin was diagnosed:

*affiliate link*
Carrie Cariello has been an amazing find for me, I first learned of her writing when the blog post:  'I Know What Causes Autism"  came through my facebook feed.
While Jack and Benjamin are not exactly alike, there is enough alike for me to nod my head and make Pete sit and listen while I read another chapter out loud.  It helps us being  new to this diagnosis (not new to Benjamin) understand and relate, it has been a balm and the best book I've read on Autism.  
I should state that I have not wasted my time trying to figure out what caused this, I spent so many years feeling guilty over the traumatic brain injury that I just don't have the emotional stamina to go through that again.  
I also love who Ben is, and I'd rather spend my time trying better to understand him and help him navigate the world (and the world navigate Benjamin).  
So, I've not spent any time educating myself on the causes.  I read one article that resonated with me and I've left it at that.  Something about toxemia/pre-eclampsia and an Autism link, if there is one so be it and if there isn't so be it... but the link was enough for me to be satisfied that I need not look farther..the end 
(and yes I had extreme Toxemia/Pre-Eclampsia, help syndrome and all the other scary words within Ben's pregnancy so I'm just happy he and I are both here today).  
Ben is how God made him and we are lucky that he is ours.

I am hoping - Everything works out okay regarding school next year.  We are thinking about a lot with regards to our homeschoolers.  More on that later.

I am learning - To exhale, I'm not very good at it.

I am pondering - Lent.  This has been an absolute wipe out and a real pointing out of just how terrible I am at sacrifices that I set.
...... and I'm not so great at sacrifices life throws at me either but when I have to do it, I am better at rallying. 
 We've never, not in many years missed Stations of the Cross...but we have this year and every single Friday so far. 
 It isn't because we've forgotten, but we've not allowed life to slow down enough to really submerge ourselves into this meditation and discipline.  
I'm shaking my head at what bad examples we've been to our children and am already considering how to address this for next year.  
This year has been a fail, it is good to know God loves us anyway.  I still want to try harder...because I love Him enough to make the effort.

In my kitchen:  They strong armed me into making the Tator Tot Casserole.  Ugh!  
They love this so much and it is one of the recipes my mother - n- law passed on to me because my husband loved it so much growing up.  
I used to beam with pride when I made it for everyone and loved watching them scarf it down.  Then I got educated about healthy eating and my shame was the Tator Tot Casserole I had so lovingly prepared all those years. 
 I tried to make a healthier version, I tried to just quit making it all together...but no they were not having it.
My family LOVES this dish and the combination of Jonah being home coupled with "I'm going to the Middle East Mom" was enough to bring this dish to our table, just the way they love it.  
They are still trying to manipulate me into making Tuna Ring too.... which is an entire post for another day...what a colossal fail that was.
*recipe at bottom of post*

A favorite quote for today -
*or better yet, don't insult anyone at all*

My husband recently had an experience where someone described a person as having "The Autism" in a derogatory way.  It was stunning to him, so this quote means a lot to us right now.

A peek into my day - 

We are playing Catholic Trivia, all the time now.  We don't even use the game board.  I am so happy Jessica shared these because the whole family loves them and we are all learning a lot.

One of my favorite things - 

See that smile on Linus's face, total love towards Jonah.  He came to share with the cub scout troop and let them ask questions.  It meant so much to Linus and just made my heart swell.  Jonah has being a big brother wrapped up. It is also a testimony to Marine training, Marines give back.

Tator Tot Casserole:
Brown 2 lbs ground beef with one yellow onion.  Put in 9 x 13 casserole

On top of this spread out 2 cans (sometime 3) of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup.  
Don't preach to me about this soup.
 I've made my peace with it.
 There is nothing better in this recipe.

because let's be honest, the very making of Tator Tot Casserole means you've stepped off the healthy menu for the main course, so just go with it...your kids will thank you and sing your praises.
 I have 3 adult children who have not had any bad thing happen to them because of this casserole or
Cream of Mushrooom Soup
 the fact that I used twizzlers liberally to keep them happy and quiet in the grocery store 
*think about it, 6 small boys and a pregnant Mommy, twizzler were my bff*
They are all fine, and healthy, and love twizzlers and tator tot casserole.
I'm so grateful that the scary news media about all the ways parents mess up their kids with food came out after many of my kids were over the age of 15.  
New parents have enough anxiety as it is.  
I do support 'real' food for children, but every once in a while this kind of meal is fine!

About 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese or cheese blend

Then layer the Tator Tots and be generous with them.

Another cup of shredded cheese over top and then bake at 350 for about 40 minutes.


and beware, they will manipulate you into making it over, and over, and over turn it on them...promise it when...
they come back from the Middle East
they get their bedroom clean
they make straight A's

work it Mama!

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