Thursday, July 31, 2008

Focusing On The Good Things

For me I think it's easy to come here and just vent. Things are stressful. I thought it would be better when my sister and her kids moved into their own house and it is - but it's harder in a different way.

But I've been reading LaRae & John's Blog. I simply cannot fathom Brian being gone over a year. Things could be worse. And in the midst of John leaving they both have such amazing attitudes. So I am going to try to temper every frustrated comment with something positive.

My girls right at this moment are giggling. They do sometimes play well together even though they do fight A LOT. Raina's giggle is hysterical. It's almost like a mini belly laugh. And when she gets laughing, Salem laughs, then I laugh and wow all is well.

Traits I LOVE About Salem:

1. Salem is very caring. She likes to help feed at church, to help the nurses with Nannie and help her sister go potty. She actually will go to the bathroom with Raina and gets her toilet paper and sings the Raina went to the potty song! It's silly and adorable. And she gets rewarded with an M&M as well.

2. She is also very dramatic. Yeah I can't believe I am say I LOVE that about it but it can be quite fun to watch her explain something or cry over something so minor (I don't laugh at her when she's upset though). I can fully imagine how she will use that drama as an adult.

3. She's very thankful.

4. She's very artistic. She can sit and draw for hours on end. And her art is beautiful.

5. She is fairly obedient. She is dramatic and has her moments and she and her sister fight a lot but she is usually easy to redirect.

Her love language is definitely quality time. And she likes one on one time with me and Brian.

Traits I LOVE About Raina:

1. She is SO affectionate. She literally wakes up holding our faces and giving hugs. She loves to kiss and cuddle.

2. She's harder to redirect but I like that she has a strong will and I hope I can (through God's direction only as I am powerless on my own) direct her to use that to do something amazing for God.

3. That she sucks her fingers. It makes me sad to think about making her stop. But it's just the sweetest thing in the whole word to see her sucking her fingers and fondling her ear.

4. WOW she is a spitfire. Ummmmm I can't imagine WHERE she got that from. ;) But I do love that she stands up for herself. As tiny as she is she could easily wimp out and be a cry baby.

5. I LOVE how daredevilish she is. She literally is afraid of VERY little. It's so fun to watch her explore.

Her love language is definitely physical touch.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

OK so when Salem was born Angel was too. She was born still of course. Salem was so fragile at birth and I was determined not to have her birthday associated with a funeral. So we cremated Angel and did a memorial service 5 weeks later and it was only me, Brian, Korie and my inlaws. I regret that. I still didn't want a funeral service at Salem's bday but really after watching the support a friend received last year it makes me wonder if it would have helped with the grieving process. I don't think I grieved. Salem was so fragile and seeing SO many doctors for so long that I realize now that I didn't think about anything.

I was just maintaining day by day and today it's hitting me. Almost 6 years later.

So I think grief counseling is in order but really it's just one more thing to do that I really don't have time for. The girls therapy schedule consumes our life most days. We miss the fun morning playdates and activities...Raina is an absolute monster at therapy for Salem. She was at her monster best today. Usually she waits to throw her monster fit right before we leave the rehab center. But today I ended up dragging her out and I do let her drag cause she always stops when we get out the door to the concrete - so she can obviously control it. Yet today she started before we got out of the car. It was awful. Another mom was trying to make me feel better but I was just losing it and crying. Seriously how can one 3 year old bring on so much stress? LOL.

I ended up crying and calling Brian and begging him to come get her. Well he didn't come get her but he came up there and she went from hiding underneath the chairs against the wall and playing with Brian. I swear he must think I am losing my mind cause she is never like this with him. Well seldom. He has seen her fierce temper but he can cajole her out of it so freaking easy. I can't.

So seriously - what am I going to do in the fall? Raina's therapy will be during the day 2 days a week for 2 hours. But because of that we lost Mother's Day Out. So LaRae is going to keep her on Wednesdays for 4 hours so I can have time to myself to clean and run errands. But Salem's therapy will be after school at least 2 days a week. I might can get one early morning. And we're doing gymnastics on Wednesday and it's important to Salem that she keep that. So really Salem is used to therapy and has always been quick to adjust.

It's Raina I worry about. Can you imagine? LOL. So yes back to grief counseling I do see it as one more thing to "get done" and I just don't see how unless I can find a counselor that has an opening between 8:30-9:30 on T/Th.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

100 Things About Me

100 Things About Me

1. I am a Christian
2. I am a mom who adores her girls...
3. I love going to the movies
4. I love action movies and cop dramas rather than typical chick flicks though I will watch them.
5. I can't believe I am 40
6. I LOVE Third Day! Their new album is amazing.
7. I LOVE Christian Rock Music
8. I've been scrapbooking for 8+ years
9. I wish I could speak Spanish fluently
10. But I can read it and understand some
11. I wish I could scrapbook for a living
12. I wish I was better at scrapbooking
13. I love that my scrapbooks will mean so much to my kids one day
14. I can be liberal in things like health care and social issues
15. But I can be conservative in many other areas
16. I never vote a straight ticket - I am having a hard time figuring out who to vote for in November.
17. I LOVE going on vacation to the beach. I'd live there if I weren't terrified of hurricanes.
18. I've been on 4 cruises.
19. I hate to fly but I do go.
20. I worry that something will happen to me and the girls won't have a mom.
21. I work hard at praying about that so I won't freak out and smother the girls and/or not go places.
22. I did IVF to have Salem.
23. Salem was a surviving triplet- I am missing her sisters a lot lately.
24. I am a tigress when it comes to my kids.
25. I want my kids to grow up loving Jesus with their entire being.
26. I really resent spending so much time as therapy mom. But it's necessary.
27. I hate being overweight
28. I need to exercise
29. I love being a SAHM
30. But I hate house cleaning
31. I hate folding laundry worse.
32. I believe that better moms make a better world!
33. I need to go to the dentist
34. I feel old today
35. I need to be a more considerate wife
36. I need to spend less time online
37. I used to love roller coasters
38. Not anymore
39. I LOVE watching CSI and The Shield
40. I could easily watch too much TV.
41. I am not a good pastor's wife
42. I am way to blunt
43. I need to temper my opinions
44. I wonder if that will EVER happen
45. Salem has a cardiologist appt tomorrow.
46. They make me incredibly nervous.
47. I am sure things will be fine.
48. I LOVE my Nannie
49. I miss my Papa
50. I fiercly protect my family
51. I probably enable them some
52. I never knew my dad
53. I wonder if he's alive
54. I want to be a cool hip mom who raises good kids
55. I don't want to deal with the scary issues my sister has dealt with with her teenage girls
56. That scares the hell out of me
57. I LOVE having a swimming pool
58. My knee wishes I had a hot tub
59. It probably wishes I had insurance more
60. I wish I could bleach my teeth
61. One day I will.
62. I need to read my bible more
63. I pray often
64. I LOVE to sing to the radio
65. I sing LOUDLY to the radio
66. I've been hit by a drunk driver twice
67. I miss my mini van
68. I want a bigger car.
69. I HATE Brian's sporty convertible
70. Don't tell him that though
71. I think Brian is sexy in a goatee
72. I have a sweet and adorable husband
73. I finally found flip flops I like - Reefs. But they break - 2 pairs. Then I found Yellow Box. LOVE them.
74. I hate spending money on clothes
75. Life it too short - I can't believe I'm 40
76. I hate my wrinkles
77. I need to relax more
78. I also want the last word
79. That's a really bad habit
80. I have diabetes
81. I have high cholesterol
82. I have a torn meniscus
83. I have IBS
84. I can't believe all this is wrong with me
85. I wish I didn't have to work so hard at being healthy and fit
86. Why can't I be the woman who eats pizza and junk and never gains weight or gets unhealthy
87. I don't want to give up Diet Coke
88. I hate taking all my meds and supplements
89. I procrastinate a lot lately
90. I never used to be that way
91. I really have a soft tender heart
92. I don't let most people see it
93. I really want to have a long life and live to see my grandchildren
94. I want my children to have happy childhoods
95. I want to protect my children from evil in the world
96. But I know they'll eventually see it
97. I hope it's from a distance
98. I hope they never endure what I did
99. That would break me
100. I pray for their future and safety every day

No More Excuses

No More Excuses

The next time you feel like GOD can't use you, just remember...

Noah was a drunk
Abraham was too old
Isaac was a daydreamer
Jacob was a liar
Leah was ugly
Joseph was abused
Moses had a stuttering problem
Gideon was afraid
Samson had long hair and was a womanizer
Jeremiah and Timothy were too young
David had an affair and was a murderer
Elijah was suicidal
Isaiah preached naked
Jonah ran from God
Naomi was a widow
Job went bankrupt
Peter denied Christ
The Disciples fell asleep while praying
Martha worried about everything
The Samaritan woman was divorced, more than once
Zaccheus was too small
Paul was too religious
Timothy had an ulcer AND
Lazarus was dead!
And Don't forget Jesus Helped them all and USED them all.

No more excuses! God can use you to your full potential. Besides you aren't the message, you are just the messenger. God's waiting to use your full potential.

1. God wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts.
2. Dear God, I have a problem, it's Me.
3. There is no key to happiness. The door is always open.
4. Silence is often misinterpreted but never misquoted.
5. Do the math.. count your blessings.
6. Faith is the ability to not panic.
7. If you worry, you didn't pray. If you pray, don't worry.
8. As a child of God, prayer is kind of like calling home everyday.
9. Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape.
10. The most important things in your house are the people.
11. When we get tangled up in our problems, be still.
God wants us to be still so He can untangle the knot.
12. A grudge is a heavy thing to carry.
13. He who dies with the most toys is still dead.

Monday, July 28, 2008

I've just had a really weird realization. I've never really grieved or healed the loss of Brynna and Angel. I realized that weirdly at 2:00 am after watching Batman with my heart still grieving for Heath Ledger. Then I came home and felt ridiculously angry for feeling invaded as everyone was here, in my house when I just wanted some solitude. Seems crazy right? Then I went to a my IVF group board. I've been posting with these ladies since the fall of 2004 on a private board that we moved from IVF Connections too. I went from there to a small bible study board that several of us on the IVF board created. There Phoebe linked me to a blog called Audry Caroline's Story.

Enough said... go back and read the beginning of the story and you'll understand. I have a lot to process. Too much. But if you want to know the beginnings of my story - check out my old diary at A Mother's Love Knows No Bounds. If you want to know the whole story just keep clicking next.

I am assuming with the flood of emotions I am feeling right now that I will be writing a lot about this. I don't want to feel it at all but life is too short to keep it all locked up. It's been 5 years. Brynna and Angel want me to move forward.

So I am going to try...

Amazing what a night of Batman, sadness for Heath Ledger and an unexpected link to an unexpected blog can do.

This kinda sucks...but obviously this is NOT a coincidence.
So my friend Phoebe said this tonight:

One thing I know I need to do is stop doing exactly what I am doing in this post - I need to STOP focusing on me, how horrible I am, etc. and just look at Christ instead. I need to just be busy praising Him, praying to Him, studying Him, etc. and not for what that will do to my life but because He is worthy of that. I need to get my eyes off of me.

Yes I agree. I have been so busy focusing on life's problems and stress and the chaos of my life that I sit and forget Christ - to focus on Christ - to die to myself and praise him and study him and be more of him to the world.

I need to get my eyes of:
  • Money issues - I can't change them without winning the lottery so I need to tolerate it better and do with out silly things better. I do miss Target and just buying something because I like it but it's not the end of the world.
  • Therapy - the countless stressful hours of therapy and constantly questioning what I am doing and if its right, how hard it is on both girls. Am I missing anything...please don't let me miss anything.
  • Nannie - Amy still does a lot but it's so much harder having Nannie here at home with me without Amy here. Actually if I am brutally honest it sucks and most days I resent it.
  • My family and the issues there - I feeling guilty and responsible for them as if their happiness is my direct responsibility and we know its now.
  • Sometimes I just want to move and start over.
Anyway I know this blog sounds hopeless but in my heart it is somewhat hopeful. I have a lot to be thankful for and I need to concentrate on that.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Raina's Newest Thing...

One day a week or so ago she decided that emptying the laundry hamper and hiding in it was funny! We had sent her out of the room numerous times as she was being SO very loud. So she came in walking underneath the hamper and sat right int he middle of the room. We decided to experiment and see how long it would take her to say something if we ignored her. She lasted about a minute which I think is enormously patient for a 3 year old! Then she squealed so off course we shrieked did you hear something? She giggled more and thus it began - the Hamper Game. Now she will bring it right beside me and say My Hide! LOL. And that means it's time to play where's Raina Holamon!

Two videos are showing and I can't get one off. LOL. But they are the same.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Resolution With Comfort Suites I20

I spoke with the gentleman who runs this hotel as well as one other hotel in Abilene and one in Midland and San Angelo. He was very nice and very apologetic. He insisted that this is not their regular policy and while they have had some bad luck as of late at this hotel their policy is to make sure it's a credit card transaction so damages can be billed.

Again he was very apologetic and I found him to be very sincere. My whole purpose in making a big stink about this was to possibly change a ridiculous exclusion. He plans to work on training with this particular staff.

I personally am very glad this situation has been appropriately handled and while it doesn't make the "bad experience" go away I am at ease with the resolution.

I do think their are other hotels who have similar exclusions to help protect their properties but again as a previous poster said - they need to use common sense in whom to apply it to.

The Abilene Reporter News said they planned to go forward with their story for the local paper and I made sure she was aware that it can to be a reasonable end for me.

Whew!!! I am so glad. Even though I am a very forthright person - I actually dislike conflict intensely. Before I became a Christian in 1995 I was the type who just flew off the handle and never worked out issues. Therapy, the use of common sense and the guidance of the Holy Spirit has taught me a lot over the years. Thank you Lord.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Salem's New Hair Cut!

Salem begged to have her hair cut yesterday into a swing bob to match cousin Kelsea. Then Raina had to have hers done too! :) Really all we did was pull it back like Salem's.

And Now Raina's Update

Raina is doing awesome. She is potty trained. I haven't had one accident though poor Brian got one at the Zoo! Sorry dad.

She's doing well in speech - since I asked not to be present. LOL. Imagine that was all it took. She's scheduled to go to Language Lab at Woodson two days a week and a local preschool class one day a week.

She's a total mess - definitely my tom boy. She won't stay dressed at home and is into everything but she's amazing. Her affectionate personality is so sweet. Her love language is definitely physical touch and Salem's is Quality Time.

I will be back to post a cute pic of the two.

Salem - Upcoming Cardiology/Geneticist Visit

Salem is due to see her pediatric cardiologist next week. She's still on her beta blocker and still has some minor issues. He mentioned a year ago putting her in a holter monitor. This might be a good time for that before school starts.

She is being included in the Harvard Gene Study for Noonan Syndrome. It probably won't matter at all to treatment now but I am hoping by the time she is an adult and considering having children of her own that it will have given more information to the researchers. Right now several genes have been isolated that cause NS. But not all kids have all the genes. The one she has just been tested for is the PTNP11. There are 3 others I believe.

Her geneticist visit is the first week of August. It's more of a clinical visit and usually very short. Please pray Salem does well in both visits. Salem is amazing but she's at an age where her questions about why she has NS and why she has to go to the Dr. and speech and PT and take medicine are harder to answer. I want to make sure and answer well enough to give her what she needs to know but not answer so vague that she knows I am not telling her something or too much and overwhelm her. What a tightrope walk.

Learning Experience

I have really been able to turn the who Comfort Suites Hotel fiasco into quite a teachable moment for Salem. We talked about how mommy made a mistake cursing and getting so frustrated and that its ok to be angry but the bible says in our anger do not sin.

We were able to talk about how discrimination of any form is just wrong and what other forms of discrimination there are.

We talked about how we felt sorry for the owner of this hotel - that he doesn't trust people. We actually prayed for him.

We talked about how sometimes things just don't go our way - and sometimes that's really unfair but it's how life is.

We also talked about how it's ok to fight for change if it's something you really believe in but to realize some people might get angry or think you're making a mountain out of a molehill etc. Some people just won't always understand.

The Abilene Reporter News did publish my letter to the editor so hopefully that will help change things.

And really what do I want out of all this? I am not trying to score a free room. Right now that is not even on my radar. I want change. It's a dumb exclusion - discriminatory and ill-hearted. That's what I want. A more defined exclusion if need be but preferably no exclusions as there are a ton of valid reasons to stay locally.

I have since learned that Fairfield and Holiday Inn Express have the same exclusions locally. I will not send people to them either. I just had a MOPS Area Coordinator stay at the Fairfield. What a mistake. :( If they can't support local business they don't deserve me sending out of towners to them. With all of the new hotel properties under construction maybe some of these exclusionary hotels will have to change their practices to stay in business.

We'll see.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Our Children's Generation - Too Entertained!!!

Watch's not terribly long and gives excellent food for thought. After having some problems lately with my own teenager I am beginning to realize how being such an entertained generation is becoming detrimental to our children - even our Christian children. It's humbling and gives Brian and I much pause as to how to change our parenting so our little girls don't feel so entitled as they grow older. We want them to have things and be blessed but to grow up grateful and humble and know that nothing is theirs to keep. It's all from the Lord and could quickly be gone tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

This and That...

So I'm not near as mad as I was before. Don't get me wrong I am still in a VERY anti-Comfort Suites mode but just not near as psycho about it.

Salem had another riding lesson yesterday. She looked fantastic up on Bob!!!! She wasn't scared at all on top. I am SO proud of her. Look how tiny my almost 6 year old looks

And speaking of Salem school starts August 20th. SIGH! Am I the only mom on the face of the earth not looking forward to K? I wish it were half days. Salem is my sweet girl. We did have an amazing time in Weatherford. We just happened to be there for the Peach Festival so we walked around downtown in the searing heat, shopped and then scrapped all night (literally Salem was up til almost 1 and me 2). It was fun. It needs to be a yearly tradition I think.

Raina is doing SO much better on her words. I am finally thinking therapy is helping. But summer therapy ends after next week for a month. So that's a bummer. And speaking of therapy - the fall is going to be hard...Salem will have horseback riding therapy once a week after school starts before school and Speech (2x a week) and PT (1x a week) after school. YIKES. I better get good at getting ALL my stuff done before school is out. I will have Raina most days so lets hope it works out. I am going to try not to send Raina to Mother's Day Out. It's just too complicated because she will have speech lab twice a week for 2 hours. Those are the typical Mothers Day Out Days. So if we do that then it would be too hard on her to go to Speech Lab, get picked up at 10 and then to Mothers Day Out. Two pick ups and two drop offs sound worrisome to me for a 3 year old. She is going to go to a Friday preschool at a local university for 3 hours. So I get 2 hours to myself on T/T and 3 on Friday. WOW I had more when Salem and she were younger with Mother's Day Out! LOL.

And speaking of Raina - I think she's potty trained. Brian had her in panties ALL weekend when I wasn't here. I was just too chicken. No accidents. So I've done the same. So far 4 days no accidents but we are doing pullups at night. :) I am looking for plastic diaper covers and can't find them anywhere - I've looked at Walmart, Target, Kmart, Family Dollar and Dollar Tree and even Good Will.

Korie and Larrah get home tomorrow from Brazil -w ell technically later today on Wed. I can't wait to see what God has done in their lives!!!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Awful Experience with Local Comfort Inn On I-20

And it's been 6 hours and I am still furious. So earlier this week I book a mini suite at the Comfort Inn for me and Salem for a mommy daughter scrapbooking night. She's SO excited. It was so sweet. We loaded up the car and headed across town.

We went in to check in...
I have a reservation....
But they won't rent a room to me...
Because they don't rent to locals...
Because they get drunk and destroy the rooms?

Excuse me? I am a 40 year old woman trying to check in with a 5 year old daughter..that is ridiculous and I have a reservation.No exceptions the desk clerk said. I said she needed to call manager. She did and I could hear him talking to her No exceptions. Salem is almost crying cause she knows we can't stay. I tell them this is S**T and say this is ridiculous.(Yeah I am not proud of that but the anger got to me).

I had a $20 Comfort Suites Gift Card that I cut up right in front of the desk clerk (yes overkill but I was furious). I said I woud never stay at a Comfort Suites if this was the level of service to expect and I would be sure to call the coporate office and tell all my friends.

Then I did say I am sorry I cursed but I was very angry. At that point the manager called her. I thought he wasn't there based on something the clerk said earlier. But why would he take that moment to call? He basically asked if I was still there and she said yes that I was cussing at her. SIGH! That is SO not true. NOT TRUE. One slip and hardly directed at her.

I asked to speak to him and clarified what I said and that I was angry and that this was ridiculous service and if I wasn't going to be allowed to rent a room he should have called me.

He said it was not his fault - that Comfort Suites International shouldn't have let me rent as its in his exclusions. That's untrue as I later found out. I said that I planned to tell everyone in Abilene that I knew about his poor customer service. He said that was my perrogative. I said I no longer wanted to speak to him. I laid the phone down on a granite counter and the clerk wasn't there to pick it up so it went sliding across the counter and clanked to the floor. So I am sure they thought I threw it. I wanted to but would never do something so low class.

Salem and I left and of course Salem was crying.I call Comfort Suites Reservtions from my car to make sure my debit card won't be charged. They said they aren't sure it can be stopped but would refund it. I told her my story and said she better find a way to stop it considering they wouldn't let me stay the night or I'd dispute the charges.

She was very nice and apologetic and looked at the exclusions and there wasn't anything listed about locals being excluded. She call the local hotel to make sure my reservation was cancelled. They then offered me a room.

Uh no...I would rather sleep in my car than EVER stay there. He only offered because the coporate office called. I am not an idiot. He was beyond condescending and rude. They did cancel. The reservationist did say I needed to call Customer Service. I said I would be I needed to calm down as my daughter was very upset.

I also said why would being local be exclusive with being drunks and destroying rooms?

1. Can't couples get a night away from their kids - what about Valentine's Day?
2. What about a family whose house catches on fire or has been robbed?
3. What about a family whose home has plumbling issues or has been flooded?
4. What about a family who one of their spouses leave and need a place for the night?

There are MANY valid reasons to book a hotel locally. This man's reasoning is ridiculous. Maybe during prom and graduation season I could understand it but really me and a 5 year old who was standing there with me?

I came home and called all the hotels in town and they are booked because of weekend travel and a convention.

I am SO furious. So we're going to Weatherford tomorrow to stay at the Hampton. And tonight I will type up a letter and send to the corporate office copied to the local hotel.The girl at the local hotel did call me with a cancellation #. I did tell her I hope she knew I wasn't angry with her and she said yes.

Salem was DEVASTATED. Seriously. It was awful. I am STILL ticked.

I need to chill...but man am I mad.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Summer Is Killing Me

I was SO excited about this summer. It was going to start off with a fantastic trip to California. That was a bust. I am still MIGHTILY disappointed in that.

I had a HUGE to do list starting with...

1. Swim every day with the girls (Uhhhh it's too hot to swim even in our own pool LOL )!
2. Clean and organize my bedroom (if you have seen my bedroom you'd realize how important this is!) I haven't touched it thugh!
3. Work on reading lessons with Salem - It's called "Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons!" Uh I have to take the plastic off the book right?
4. Therapy is kicking my butt this summer. Salem has horseback riding lessons on Mondays (an probably another day starting next week) to supplement the PT I don't think is helping. Then she has speech twice a week and PT 1x a week. Raina has speech twice a week as well. That's over 6 hours with drive and wait time. By the way Raina hates waiting rooms! LOL.
5. Lose Weight - UGH! Let's not even talk about that.
6. Book a cruise for January! I tried - they messed me over on my quote so I hung up. Now I have to start over.
7. Get the house cleaned and organized.

So what I've done in stead is hang out at the Jump Around when the kids get too nuts being at home! I have gotten a lot of paperwork done - as I take it with me.

So next week Salem as Art Camp and I plan to work on the house. I have too!!!! Help me stay focused.

Then I have MOPS Retreat. So I have to work on that too.

And I am getting rid of my van! :( But at 4.00 a gallon and $95+ a week I can't afford it.

Whew...and I didn't even list it all. Say a prayer for me.