Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Whole New World

What you see here is our next purchase in the realms of parenthood! This particular purchase means that we have finally and certainly crossed that threshold into mobility. Bryton decided Friday, at 9 1/2 months, to finally make some bit of an effort to crawl. Please don't get me wrong, however, it isn't because he wanted to crawl, it was simply because that is what happened when he was trying to stand up in the middle of the room on his own! We figured he'd never crawl, so we'll take anything we can get!
Fast forward three days and last night he decided he try again to stand up in the middle of the room on his own. (Keep in mind we've crawled from time to time now.) Well, this time the little booger almost pulled it off. He got up on both of his feet, bent over completely at the waist, legs almost straight, hands on the ground. He just couldn't balance himself enough to stand all the way up without falling over.
Here he is trying!

Now, today, he's into everything. He's completely figured out how to get from his belly to his butt on his own, which has him all over the place and pulling up on everything. I've said "no no" more than I thought I ever would. He looks at me with these innocent eyes like, "Are you sure, mom? Your exercise bands sure look like a lot of fun!" It's really hard not to laugh at him!
There's that face!

There is such pride that comes from this mother's heart. With the pride comes this whole new sense of fear. It's time to go nuts baby-proofing the house. And no more leaving him in the floor to play while I go downstairs to get the laundry or shower. Today, in a five minute time period, I came back to find him chewing on that exercise band. Uh - huh. Time to baby-proof. Well, technically, the right time to have done that would have been long before he was able to get to the exercise band.
So anyway, that's Bryton's whole new world! :) It's on now!
And I had to add this because I thought it was cute!!!

The Ugly Existence of a Migraine Sufferer

I’ve had migraine headaches for, well, as long as I can remember. I was diagnosed as a child and never quite understood how misunderstood migraine headaches could be for those who aren’t sufferers. So for those of you who don’t understand the debilitating effects of these headaches, here is a look into the window of my life.
My childhood was littered with the memories shared by most kids, flashlight tag and swimming at the neighbor’s house, catching fireflies in the summertime, and many trips to grandma’s on the weekend. In my childhood, though, I can pick out of a pile the exact sheet my mom used to lay on the couch for me when I was sick, and the exact trash can that sat next to me. I can pinpoint the smell of that trashcan. It smelled like dryer sheets, and can distinctly remember how nauseated it often made me. I have the vivid memory of cold wash rags pushed into my eyeballs like a mask, and the swishing of the fan overhead. My poor parents, as if it wasn’t enough to see their child in such pain, were confined to the kitchen for most of my childhood, where they watched tv in virtual silence in between checking to make sure my rag was still cold enough.
I can remember nights when I would cry, half because the pain was so horrible, and half because I was frustrated at what my life had become. I look back now and can’t imagine how much of my childhood I missed due to these headaches.
In kindergarden my doctor okayed the change from children’s Tylenol to adult extra strength Tylenol every four hours, which never helped the pain.
In the first grade I underwent my first ct scan to check for brain tumors. I would have eight more before the age of 9.
During the 2nd grade I was referred to an ENT. I had also had many sinus infections in my life and one particular test showed my sinuses miserably blocked. The day after my eighth birthday I underwent sinus surgery in hopes of relief. Though my sinus infections dramatically decreased, the headaches did not. A straight A student, I was almost held back my 2nd grade year because I had missed so many days of school. Which led to the “play it right” game of 3rd grade.
In third grade I had a miracle teacher. Her room was empty in the afternoons, and she just happened to have a room in the middle of the building, which meant no windows. In order to assure my “graduation” from 3rd grade, she would lay out a pallet in a corner, get me a cold rag for my head, and let me lay down on the days I had headaches until 2:30 rolled around and I could be counted as being there for an entire day of school.
During these years it was normal for me to have headaches 4 – 5 times a week. 3-4 of these headaches would often require my sleeping them off, and just as many would result in nausea and vomiting, which we later found out made a dramatic difference in the health of my teeth.
In the 4th grade I was referred to a neurologist at a children’s hospital in St. Louis. After several appointments I was finally diagnosed with migraine headaches at the age of 10. My mother began a 3 month journal tracking every food I ate, looking for foods that would trigger my migraines. Imagine her joy when she had the privilege of telling her 10 year old that she could no longer have chocolate or anything with caffeine in it. Beautiful. The diagnoses also led to a daily prescription medication, Inderol, and prescription pain medication, midrin, and three visits a week, for 6 weeks, to a therapist to undergo biofeedback. The exercises I learned there helped, but my most valuable information gained was learning what it felt like when a headache was coming on. If I caught them early enough it seemed I could beat them completely, with no sleeping and no vomiting (which often made my head feel a little better.)
The hopes by all of my doctors was that, like most children diagnosed, I would begin to grow out of these headaches as I got older, which for me, is exactly what happened.
In the 8th grade they began to wean me off of the inderol, and by my Junior year of high school I was able to beat my migraine headaches with an over the counter migraine medicine.
As I graduated high school and for several years following, the 4-5 headaches a week gradually became 3-4 headaches a month, and only 8-10 a year that resulted in the vomiting and required me to sleep them off. I finally felt like I was winning... I had gained my life back, or possibly, I had gained a life I had never really been able to experience.
Still now, though, I’m plagued by bouts of these headaches, just as bad as I once remember. Sometimes the bouts last a few weeks, sometimes a few months, and the one I’m currently fighting seems to be longer.
Now I’m back to the game I’ve played all of my life. What will work this time? Migraines seem so easily diagnosed, but so impossibly treated. Nothing ever works forever. Eventually medicines stop working and something that has never worked before does. Sometimes it is a trip to the ER... sometimes it’s a cold room and an hour of quiet.
For me, now, the pain is different than ever before, which opens a whole new chapter of trying to figure out the relief. My over the counter drug no longer works, and sleeping it off is now not only an option (due to my duties as a mother), but also has a counter effect and makes my headaches worse. The door has now opened to night guards and more prescription medication, chiropractic visits, massages, and possibly even surgery if we so believe it would be a permanent solution.
And here I sit, another stage in my life where the wonderful memories of life, now my son’s childhood, will be littered with more cold patches for my head, bottle after bottle of Excedrin, and more vomiting than I’ve done since my childhood. Looking back I wonder what I missed out on in my own childhood with headaches so debilitating that I was forced to sleep through most of it. I refuse for my memories of my son’s childhood to be clouded by the same fog. It’s time to find relief.
Many people, thankfully, will never personally understand the physical pain that a migraine sufferer experiences, but many will also never understand how a headache can so greatly impact an individual’s life. That’s why I felt this was so important. As a 24 year old mother and wife I have endured the pain for nearly two decades now. It is most certainly the thorn in my side, and I’m out to give a voice to those who are suffering.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

And so the vote goes...

Today was a big day for our church. Huge in fact. All of today relied upon years and years of work and prayer. It's required long looks at our budget, long looks at our heart, and long looks at our current building. We went from an elevator, to a building, to no building, to a different building, to plans and finances, to today, the all or nothing vote... we either do it -- or we don't. Well, we're doing it.
FBCDQ has voted and "okayed" to start building "Phase 1" of our new building as soon as all of the funds for that phase are in. That vote means lots of sacrifice on the part of the church, both financially and in their prayer life. It is imperitive that we now all get on our knees and pray about what we can sacrifice to allow work to be underway. It is imperitive that we pray harder for our staff, that they would be united, for our church, that we would be united, and that this project would unite our church and not cause division. The vote doesn't mean the hard part is over, it means it has just begun.
Building new homes can divide families. Building new church buildings can divide churches. Aaron and I saw it on the road, and our prayer for our church and church family is to love one another despite differences and preferences and to trust that regardless of our vote that God's will is being done... that's been my prayer all along.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Ultimate Challenge

(This is Aaron on one of our "in" date nights we had for our Christmas gifts last year. That in the pan is the HOMEMADE wonderful PF Changs lettuce wrap filling :)

I used to LOVE to cook. When I say "used" to I am referring to that time period between 6th grade and, well, maybe Freshman year, and I can't even say for sure that I can include that year. It was that time period where I was home by myself all summer long and had nothing better to do, so I cooked. I cooked dinner often, I baked all of the time. My parents never knew what they were coming home to. I found recipes in some of my mom's old recipe books and went at it. I can remember numerous phone calls to my mom at work saying, "What is EVOO?" or "What is oleo? Why couldn't they have just written margerine?" Anyway, you get the drift. My dad even bragged to his buddies at work about having all of this great home cookin' when he got home.
Fast forward about, wow, I cringe to even say this, 10 - 12 years and I relish the summer so we can throw something on the grill, throw some veggies in the microwave (steam bags are the greatest), and toss a little salad on the side. It's healthy, it tastes good, and it requires very very little effort on my part. I guess that's what happens when you are busy, and, to be truthful, are a little embarrassed to disappoint the gallery with any new creations.
BUT - in the same turn - when I do make that little extra effort and fix something new and enjoyable I bask and take pride in any pleasure I've given those who have eaten it.
SO here is my challenge: (we'll see if I stick to it in this crazy life we lead). I'm going to try one new recipe every week for a year. That's right 52 new recipes to toss or add to the arsenal of nighttime eating. The goal is for them to be main - courses (though I'm up to doing good, home-made sides with these main courses), that are tasty, healthy (to some degree), and allow us to branch out of the chicken / hamburger routine. I'm all about trying foods cross - culturally and about trying things we don't normally eat (or that I don't normally cook).
SO - to put extra pressure on myself, I'm going to try to post a link to or the recipe for each new creation I try. We haven't decided on a "day" yet, and I don't know that we'll have a set "day". But check back. I'll let you know if it's a dud or a do :)
Mostly, I try my best to give well to my family in my attitude and in the time that I spend with them, I also think it's important now for me to provide food to nourish them and not just fill them. In the hopes of someday having more children, I want to provide both my husband and my kids with good food that contributes to making them strong, healthy men. :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Little Prayer Request

Well, I'm looking to increase my blog followers. I figure, what is the point of writin' if no one is readin'? (Like the grammar? I thought so. :) So, I'm still trying to blog more often. So here is today's:
It's a prayer request. (Don't you love it, I invite you along, take some of your precious time and then ask you to give me more of it ;) I hopefully have a job interview coming up. I've submitted my resume as a Classroom Coordinator for a grant-funded Abstinence program for schools. I don't know all of the details so to speak, but I know that I have to be detail oriented, organized, have experience with youth, a BS, and feel comfortable public speaking. I figure I qualify, and given my history, am a very strong candidate for the position. As far as zeal goes, I'm over the top. I'm not sure what they are looking for... but I'm excited for the opportunity (if so given the chance) and have a lot of great ideas of things to say and ways to encourage students to practice abstinence.
So, my plea is that you'd join with me in praying about this. I'm a little nervous about it anyway, as I had originally planned to go back to work part time so that I could really parent -B- the way I want to, so part of my prayer is that God would absolutely shut this door if He feels it would be better for me to be home with him at least some of the time. Some parents feel as if both parents working full time is wrong and irresponsible parenting... my prayer is that if God wants me home with B, then He'll keep me home with B. This position looked too much like "me" not to send in my resume.
SO - long story short, I sent in my resume and received word back that I should hear from Family Advocacy Services during the week of August 24th to set up an interview and the position starts the middle of September.
Pray for strength, courage, God's will, and no stammering if I get the interview :)
I'll keep you posted!
love ya'll

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Man on the Park Bench

Everyday at about 5:00pm I see the same man on the same park bench in town. He's never with anyone, and he never seems bored. We have obviously never talked. When I see him I am usually driving by with Bryton in the backseat, on our way home from errands or trips or all of the other chaos of life. It never fails though... as we drive by, probably going a little too fast, there he sits. Sometimes he has a book. Sometimes he's just sitting. Though we've never talked, I'd imagine he's pretty content. After all, he does this day after day after day.
And I don't understand it. On one hand, my life is so chaotic and so full of "things to do", I don't know how anyone just has the time to sit on a park bench... whether they are reading or not. On the other hand, I don't know why anyone would WANT to just sit on a park bench. How... boring! I mean, even when I have "down-time" I'm going to do SOMETHING during it, facebook, cooking, shopping, on a real pampering day maybe a hair cut or color. Something.
But on the other hand (pretending I have three), as I drive by the man on the park bench I am almost jealous. Jealous that he not only has the time to sit on a park bench, daily, but that he has the patience and "off-switch" required to do so. I must imagine that this particular gentleman, regardless of what has happened prior to 5:00 pm, finds his relaxation on that park bench. When the rest of the day is chaos, life happens for him there. I wonder what in my life is of the equivalent. Even when I'm resting I'm going. For pete's sake, I grind my teeth in my sleep, even when I'm sleeping I don't stop "going". Which brings me back to... my coffee house fetish. My coffee house fetish, though currently untapped, is my park bench. I may not be able to sit on a park bench and watch cars go by, or people go by, or birds for that matter. But I could sit in a coffee house, whether with a group or even by myself, and just sit. And not think about anything. Or worry about anything. Or want to go anywhere. I'm so glad Du Quoin has park benches, but seriously folks, we need a coffee house.