Wednesday, February 29, 2012

coming together.. falling apart... and this weeks challenge.

We are finally done with the boys rooms. The last little bit was painted today, the doors put on. Fans installed and lights working. It has been crazy around my house since we started this little remodel.

So Dylan now has his own room and Hayden and Jude share a room. Our living room is half as small as it was, and Jude doesn't live in my room anymore! We are still not all used to it yet. I still come in the house from being gone and walk into the old living room which is now the boys rooms. Then I quickly realize my goof and go the right direction.

My house is 800 sq ft. 5 people live here. We just stretched it beyond it's means. Making the most of it, you could say. But on most days I don't feel that way. Most days I'm irritated that we live in such a small house. I don't believe in having a lot of things so that's never been the problem, but my kids are growing up. Their needs are changing. I need a huge 4 bedroom 2 bath house with a nice yard. In a quiet neighborhood. Not too far from town, but not right in the middle of it. Anybody got one of those you're not using?

It's been hard to craft with my house in a shambles but I've cracked a few crafts out. I made this corkboard for all my papers and sewing notes that I need to keep track of. Nice and colorful.

My husband bought me a glass beatles clock for Christmas one year. It has sat on the wall constantly telling the wrong time. So I took the motor out and he is gonna hang it for me and I'm going to use it as a dry erase board.. Glass is awesome like that.

I've made a few skirts for a sweet girl, turned a flat sheet into two panel curtains for Dylan's room.

I've also been spending a lot of time thinking about things that I like. I spend a lot of time caring for my family. I have had a family to care for for 7 years now. That's 7 years that I have not put myself first.. or at all it seems, looking back. I've lost who I am. Who I was. The things that I love about life that make it worth living. I used to be such a free spirit.

Well I decided that it's time for me to be happy too. I can have things I want. It's not too much. (unless of course, it costs too much or inconveniences others) I bought me some new clothes! I bought a pair of jeans on sale... they're cute and I feel good about myself in them.. I bought shirts too.. omg I now have like 10 shirts, I used to just have a handful that I actually wear. My closet is full of stuff I never wear too. It's time for the outside to look like the inside. Which means the outside must be awesome!

I also put some purple in my hair. I plan to put more in the back, it's really only in the extreme underside right now. I did it myself so I was nervous about getting it everywhere and believe me I did get it everywhere.

I love extreme, unnatural hair color. I've always wanted red hair. I mean, like blood red hair. I think it's so beautiful. For some reason my hair doesn't hold red hair color very well. It probably won't hold the purple for too much longer but who knows.

The challenge over at FreePlayLife this week is assembling your super hero tools. Things you like to wear, eat, hear, create.. things that are just you. I didn't realize I had superhero garb, but turns out I do!

sewing machine
hula hoop
croc flip flops (the comfiest flops you'll ever flip)
funky colorful bracelets
my phone
purple hair dye
reusable water glass (with a straw and lid! gotta stay hydrated)

I wanted to include my laptop because the internet rules, but it's on the charge. And I can't close it because I'm blogging. So my phone has internet so they're tag teaming. I also wanted to include my glasses. I didn't realize how much I love my glasses until I asked myself earlier this month if I wanted to get contacts again. I wore contacts in high school but quit wearing them once I had to pay for them myself.

My glasses are awesome, you guys. Thick black frames. I feel naked without them. I like their style, the way they make me look. I don't wanna trade that for contacts! My glasses rock! I rock these glasses!

I really do want to get good at hooping. I wish I knew somebody that could hoop and they could come be my yoda. I'm sure my first step at getting good is to practice more often. Gotta make time for that. Gotta pencil myself in.

The other night I went in my room with a glass of wine. Put my pandora station on Sara Bareilles and cranked up the sewing machine and that was so therapeutic. I wish every night could be like that.

So here's to more nights like that!

P.S you should go to FreePlayLife's facebook page and "like" it so that you can take a picture of your superhero tools and post them to her wall. And you can see all the others!

Monday, February 27, 2012

For your eyes only

So I shamelessly took a video of me practicing hooping in the backyard yesterday. I have not been practicing with any sort of regularity at all. But I'm much better than when I started. And sort of a goofball about it.

I almost didn't post this. I am always shocked at the size of my rear end when I see it. And my jelly roll. But you know what, I don't care what you think about my body, because when I hoop I feel like a rock star.

So get your laughs in!


Friday, February 24, 2012

52 weeks to a FreePlayLife challenge: Do it.

I recently stumbled upon an awesome blog written by an awesome woman. She's got 3 kids, she unschools them and she's so inspirational, motivational.. to be awesome and have a free play life. She is hosting something called 52 weeks to a freeplaylife. It's a journey, if you will, of finding yourself and really putting yourself out there. Digging deep and letting it all hang out.

I jumped on board about 4 weeks into it, so I missed the first 3 challenges but I plan to go back and do them when I get some time.

Here is her blog FreePlayLife!

If you are sensitive to profanity, this challenge may not be for you, just to let that be known.

Go to her blog. Check it out. Read a little. Learn a lot.

Here are the challenges that have already passed. They are in order of most recent to the oldest, so scroll all the way to the bottom if you want to read them in order.

52 weeks

This week is week 6 and the challenge is to create your superhero! We are all superheroes!

This is mine. She has a lame name. I don't do good at making up cool names. But she's awesome anyways.

My real life superhero self has tools too. I never really thought about it before this, but there are things in my life I hold near and dear that make me feel awesome. My sewing machine, my hula hoop to name the majors. I really think it's great to do these challenges and develop our personal selves. So often we let our lives revolve around our children, and that's not a bad thing, they deserve that. But we need to take care of ourselves too! When we take care of ourselves, we can take care of others. Nobody should be running on E.

I hope you do the challenges with me! She posts them on Mondays, so on Tuesdays, I'll come and post mine.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, February 20, 2012

No school rules.

Scenes like these make my mama heart sing. All 3 of my boys engaged in the same thing, enjoying the crap out of themselves.

And no, Hayden isn't wearing pants. That's how we roll around here.

That's Dylan wrapped up in the Spongebob blanket, and he is doing very well. Today.

He has been taking his new medicine for 14 days now... and there is a little improvement. He can now tolerate Jude in small doses. Unless he is tired, or hungry. Or overstimulated. Or the world is spinning....

But he is doing better. In fact, 2 weeks ago, scenes like this would have never happened. So I had to capture it.

Thanks, President's Day, for being that weird no school day that allowed me to be home with my dudes and enjoy them.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Breaking up with sugar.

I have decided it's time for me to break up with sugar for good.

It's not me.... it's you.

Really. I'm awesome. You're not.

I've had a big problem with sugar for the past 6 and 1/2 years. To come up with that number I just took Hayden's age and added about 6 more gestational months to it.

I gained a lot of weight when I was pregnant with Hayden. 66 lbs. He weighed 6 1/2 lbs. You do the math.

I have not successfully lost all of the weight since he was born. At my current weight I weigh as much as I did when I was 9 months pregnant with him. That's right, I'm a big ole' girl.

I have started many diets, they would last a while and I would lose interest... mostly in constantly thinking about food. It's exhausting to have to focus on what or how much you are eating... or NOT eating. That's why I think diets are poop.

I would lose some of the weight and feel great about myself but it would eventually creep back on. I'm a big stress eater.. ok let me be honest. I eat when I am happy, sad, nervous, irritable... I mean I'm just an emotional eater. It feels good to eat, it's like a release. Sounds sad, I know.

I have had another child since Hayden and I gained much less weight with him and lost it all in the first two weeks after his birth (yay breastfeeding!!!) and here I still sit with the weight from pregnancy #2.

This is not just a weight thing though. Sugar is reeking havoc on my body. My skin is suffering, my hair.. my moods, my sleep, my teeth. Sugar is not serving me at all. So why am I allowing it to do such damage in my life?

I want to be free! I want to feel better. I want to look better. I need to set an example for my children. Hayden is learning about junk food at school and he tells me sometimes that I am eating junk food and asks why I want to eat stuff that is junk. (trust me, he's sitting beside me eating it too, he just doesn't think of it like that lol) I tell him that sometimes eating junk food can be ok as long as we don't eat too much and he accepts that response and happily continues munching,, while I'm cringing.

I've just got to do better. I've spent my early twenties overweight and addicted to sugar. It could have been so much better!

So here it is. Making it public.

I'm done with sugar.



Tuesday, February 14, 2012

my valentine's gift

Happy Valentine's Day!

My husband bought me the Simplicity Bias Tape Maker for Valentine's day!!

For those of you that don't know, bias tape is binding on quilts, hot pads and blankets. Or on anything you want it on, really.

Normally I purchase bias tape or just make it myself. It's a painful process sometimes, it can take more time to make the tape than it does to make the project. It involves a lot of ironing.

But now, some of that work is done for me.

It irons the sides over for me, leaving me to only need to iron it down the middle. If I want to, you can use it without the crease in the middle.

It took me a minute to feed the fabric through the tip, which I did not photograph, I was very "in the moment".

But this is the result.

Nicely and quickly made bias tape!

He also got me a large basket of candy, candles, soap, a brown teddy bear that smells like roses... honestly I love the basket more than it's contents lol. It's a big useful basket.

Here's my sickie-poo Jude with m bear. He likes it.

Monday, February 13, 2012


The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion. ~Albert Camus

I'm not free. Nope. Not free.

No, I'm not talking about America and the general freedoms we enjoy. I am thankful for those everyday.

But I mean, like free. Example: When I was a smoker, cigarettes controlled me. I was not free because I could not live (happily, at least) without my cigarettes.

But since I am not a smoker anymore, I'm obviously not talking about addiction.

But there are things in life that I allow to control me and I wish so hard that I didn't let them.

Things like sugar and approval from others.

I wish so bad for a life where I could put sugar down and never turn back and just be free. Free from being overweight and unhealthy. I quit smoking cold turkey, telling myself it would be easy when I was ready. And it was easy, because I was ready. I don't know that I could ever truly be ready to quit sugar and never turn back. So I keep putting it off, because it will be the absolute hardest thing I ever do and I will have to continue to think about it for a very long time... like, the rest of my life. I'm not a moderation girl. It's all or nothing.

But approval from others? Geez, that's ingrained pretty deep. It's one of the first things we learn. It feels good to make other people happy. Living in a world where we constantly irritate others or disgust them or create controversy would not be a happy place. Everybody just wants things to flow smoothly without sticking out like a sore thumb. Blend in, be just like the others. Not drawing attention to ourselves.

There's times in my life where I want to be completely free from that. Like, I would love nothing more than to shave my head. I hate my hair sometimes. It went through a lot of changes during pregnancies. I insist on keeping it long but I wear it up so it's not in my face. Why do I do that? Just shave that mess off, already!

It makes sense to me. It would be shocking to other people, because there are gender traits that let others know what gender you are, longer hair in girls and short hair in boys. But a girl with no hair??? She's bound to be weird or have cancer. And I mean no disrespect to those with cancer.. But when a girl shaves her head just because she wanted to, people just probably wouldn't understand why. If it's because of cancer, their eyes soften and they have nothing to say. Perhaps they'll stare. Maybe not even look at all.

I'm not going to shave my head. Maybe I'll cut it short. Dye it some funky color.

I've got some pretty wild ideas about how life should be. About parenting, relationships, healthy living. I usually leave people confused or bewildered.

I wish I could just be ready to let go of what others may think and move forward with a life that makes me truly happy.

One day.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Valentine's Day teacher gifts

I wanted to do something special for Dylan and Hayden's teachers for Valentine's day this year. I usually avoid teacher gifts because of the uncertainty of what to get them. You don't really know them, and I always get anxiety that my gift is dumb... or that's how I used to feel when I had teachers.

But handmade gifts are awesome, regardless of how corny or not useful they are!!!

I feel slightly guilt that my kids did not make these, but honestly, they'll probably appreciate that. hee hee.

This was my scene at 5 am.

Oh how I love mason jars.

Some pretty fabric, a glue gun and a mason jar and you've got a perfect gift to put homemade cookies in!!

I chose to do cake mix cookies because they are so easy, fail proof (unless you burn them) and they have the perfect flavor and texture. I used Valentine's funfetti cake mix! So festive.

The recipe:

1 box of cake mix, any flavor
1/2 cup of oil
2 eggs

You don't even need a mixer, just combine all the ingredients in one bowl make sure it's all mixed in.

I bake them for 8 minutes at 350 degrees. Don't let them brown, pull them out of the oven as the edges start to darken and set them on the stove for a couple of minutes, they'll continue cooking through there.

Once they're cool enough to take them off the cookie sheet, cool them completely on cooling racks.


FYI: if you want them to fit into the mason jars without breaking, make them small. These cookies expand a bit and won't fit through the mouth of the jar if you make them as huge as I did.

Now fill your jars

and pretend not to look when a cookie or two gets swiped!

So pretty.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Tuesday in pictures.

FYI beads are heavy. They will weigh the string down and make your felt hearts appear cramped. Not recommended.

I played outside. Felt good.

Things are better today. Thankyou for all of your kind words.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Diagnosis: Dylan

Today was the ever important psychological evaluation for Dylan. Me and my mom left Sunday around noon to head towards my grandmother's house where we would stay the night and head to the hospital the next afternoon.

I'm writing this in a weird mood. I'm not feeling myself so much, I think I feel defeated.

We arrived at the hospital way ahead of schedule so that we could allow ourselves time to find the place. After about half an hour of walking we finally were at the right place. We checked in and then I filled out the books worth of paperwork. We were called into a little meeting room with a round table, some chairs and a wooden doll house. Dylan played with the doll house while me, my mother and the doctor talked about Dylan. His upbringing, everything that could possibly seem relevant, and some things irrelevant was talked about.

Dylan was avoiding the doctor by pretending to be a dog. Every time she would ask him a question he would respond with "ruff ruff". It was cute at first, but it soon became apparent that it was a coping mechanism. Dylan felt very uncomfortable there and asked to leave several times.

After the evaluation (which took maybe 45 minutes) she left and came back with the "real" doctor. Meaning, the doctor that we came to see. He didn't perform the evaluation, his team mate did and she relayed the information with him and he deciphered it and came in with his recommendations.

He was a very nice man. He was warm and actually wanted to engage Dylan in things to see how he would react/play with him. He has some apps on his phone, a light saber one and Dylan was hardly interested in it. He seemed confused at Dylan's lack of interest in it. Dylan's just not that kind of dude. Perhaps he shouldn't have worn a lego Star Wars shirt.

The verdict is, we left there without a diagnosis. He prescribed Dylan a medication that he will take every day and it will help with irritability, impulsiveness and help him sleep through the night. He says it has a very good success rate, and I can only just trust him.

The doctor said that Dylan's behavioral symptoms are a result of the brain injury. He is referring to Dylan's brain inflammation episodes. The lesions that Dylan gets on is brain, they can heal but they leave behind scars. They never fully go away. Every time that Dylan gets sick he runs the risk of developing brain damage, and we have been fortunate every time that he recovers. It's not guaranteed every time. Especially when nobody can say why he is getting sick!

This makes sense to me, and I believe it, but it's not satisfying to me. I know Dylan. I live with Dylan. I witness every bad mood, every irrational thought process.... everything. I have known of this appt since December and I have spent alot of time agonizing over it because of this very reason. You see, since I am the closest person to Dylan I really know Dylan. Many times I can predict his wacky behavior because he's just so much a part of me, I just have a sense about him. ANd I go to these appts and I paint the picture that is Dylan, to a person that has only just met him, and they don't interpret it the way I intend it. It makes me feel as though I have failed.

I just can't buy that Dylan's behavior is a "side effect". Dylan has been having these issues since he could have issues. He has always been this way, and I tell the doctors this, but they can't see past his tremendous brain injury deal. It was a very significant time in his life and it does have a lot to do with the way he is, but it's not the root. It's not the beginning.

You might be confused about why I just want a diagnosis. I mean, really what do labels matter? They don't, except without a diagnosis you don't have access to certain therapies and services that you would with one.

I've been searching for answers for Dylan since he was 2 years old and I've been denied them every single time. He has no diagnosis for any aspect of his entire medical history. He is a gigantic gray area. Not black or white, cut and dried. Somewhere in the middle. Not quite this and not quite that... just Dylan. I think I want so badly to just put him in a box. Put Dylan in a box and label him so I can move past this and we can heal. Why is this so important to me?

Diagnosis: Dylan.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Sorry I'm bad, sorry you're blue...

Sorry for my spotty presence in this space lately. Sometimes I have a lot to share, and other times, I may have a lot to share but should not share. It's a delicate balance.

We are currently moving toward making some repairs on the 2nd home on our property (aka "the back house") so that we can move in to it and rent out the house we are living in. The back house is bigger and has a second bathroom. There's value in a second bathroom with 4 men in the house. The hardest part about this is finding the time for it. We can't stop working and taking care of the kids to do this so we have to use our spare time which there just is not a lot of that.

Dylan has a very important doctors appt Monday. He is being evaluated for a mood disorder (read: he's being tested for Bipolar). This is so important and quite anticipated because living with a child that you suspect such an illness in and who is not receiving any medications or therapy for, is hard. Just hard. I just want answers and help for him. He's had a hard 7 years, and something needs to give so we can all live peacefully.

So as you can imagine I will be away from this space until at least Tuesday. I'll certainly post the results.

I hope you all have a great weekend! Peace!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

what's going on.

Dylan got really sick last night. He had been home from school Monday and Tuesday and was not feeling his best. Always worries me, but Dylan is not a complainer. He has had the flu before and the only way I knew he was sick is because he would lay on the couch at times and whimper a little bit. No fever or anything.

He was complaining of his left ear hurting, but when they checked it, it was actually his right ear that is infected. Weird how that works, right? I took him to the doc by myself. I always have to buffer between Dylan and the doctors. He can't stand the sight of a person in scrubs. He assumes they'll hurt him. As many times as he has been in the hospital though, it's no surprise, really. When Dylan feels threatened, he is like a caged animal. He will do whatever he has to do to get away from them, regardless of how ugly it gets. I was thankful they were working quickly yesterday, and that the nurses listened to me. That's very important if you are a nurse, by the way. If a parent says he doesn't want you touching him or trying to make him laugh, please respect that. It makes it easier for all of us if you do. Many a nurse has gotten her feelings hurt- by me and Dylan.

Last night he lay in my lap while we waited at the pharmacy. He felt so bad. It always puts me on edge when he is sick. I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop I guess. If Dylan is sick long enough he can develop brain inflammation. Stay with me, Dylan. Stay here, with me.

However, I did some shopping the other day and I found Jude some summer shoes on sale! I got him 2 pair. Some sandals and some flip flops. I paid 8 dollars for both pair, so proud of myself. Isn't he cute in is Airwalk flip flops and his mama made shorts?

He's not sure how he feels about flip flops yet. He keeps taking them off!

Silly boy

I'm still hoopin'! Got a new one, it's 2.5 lbs weighted and foam padded! It's moves quicker so I like it better.