Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Good News and Bad News

I can't be the only person who dislikes the phrase "I have good news, and I have bad news." Because really, the good news is so often overshadowed by the bad news. It's not like "Hey, the bad news is we didn't win $1,000 in the lottery, the good news is we won $1,000,000." No, it's more like, "Well, the good news is we don't have to take your kidney out, but the bad news is we do have to take your liver."

That's the type of good news/bad news I got today. Not for me personally, but for my husband.

He had been having pains when he ate for a while now, and after getting very sick about three weeks ago, he finally went to the doctor. They had some concerns about his gallbladder, so they did some blood work, which lead them to wanting an ultrasound because of elevated levels of something that I can't remember (though I think it dealt with his liver).

The appointment was made, and in the mean time, he started having extreme stabbing pains in his abdomen. The nurse's suggestions for a solution were less than helpful for relieving the pain, and while waiting to hear back about the ultrasound, R did a little online diagnosing (something I do not recommend), and came to the conclusion that he possibly had a gallstone.

The ultrasound results came back that his gallbladder was ok, and (I'm guessing here since he didn't specifically say) there was no gallstone -- good news. However, his liver is enlarged, and that's why he's having the pain -- bad news.

So, my husband who loves bacon, sausage, 70/30 ground beef, frying things in bacon fat, tenderloins, and all things unhealthy is now on a low fat/no fat diet. He has to eat chicken (skinless), he has to eat fish once a week (not battered and fried either), and he has to eat vegetarian once a week (no I can't fry his tofu in bacon grease). He also has to drastically increase his fruit and vegetable intake, and canned doesn't count.

The part that I'm ashamed of: I'm glad he has to do this. I don't like bacon, I prefer 93/7 beef, I like chicken and fish. I don't cook them as often as I would like because I get grumblings from him when I buy those things at the store. Also, I think this is the perfect time to switch to ground turkey in place of beef.

Now, here's where you all come in. I need some help with recipes. I need easy, fast, tasty and inexpensive low/no fat, fish, vegetarian, turkey, and chicken recipes. If you know some good reliable sites, please put a link in the comments. If you have a personal favorite, put it in the comments. If you just want to laugh Nelson Style (HA-ha) at the Iowa farm boy who has to go lean, please, put it in the comments.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Too Messy

I've found a new blog, and I'm in love. Aiming Low: Perfectly Mediocre is a site with guest bloggers, and they are normal everyday people who aren't perfect, and don't claim to be. It's AWESOME!! I don't feel crappy about myself after I've read a post there. If anything, I think, "Wow, I'm so glad I'm not the only one." Then I heave a great sigh of relief, and go back to my never ending, seemingly always growing list of chores.

Right now, they have a challenge running, Capture It-Too Messy. Basically, they want to see your mess. For me,  this was hard. Not because I didn't want to share, but because I couldn't decide which cluttered surface, or pile 'o junk to take a picture of.

I settled on The Angry Midget's room.

Play is hard work, but cleaning is "too hard".

So, that's my submission for the challenge. It's going from the 20-27th of May, so if you'd like to share your mess, hop on over to Aiming Low, and add your image to the linky. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Silent Sunday Is Coming

Silent Sunday is coming,

Silent Sunday

and I still don't have a definite picture yet.

I have to admit, I'm a little stressed by that.

I have a photo that I've been contemplating, but I'm not sure if I really want to use it. it's just a camera phone picture, so it's not all fantastic like some of the pictures that are entered.

Well, I guess we'll just see if something else pops up, or if the phone picture makes the cut.


Tom Petty really knew what he was talking about. The waiting really is the hardest part.

R had his ultrasound appointment today. He wasn't allowed to eat anything, and was even afraid to drink any water this morning. The appointment was at a local radiology clinic, and since the doctor's office is only open until noon on Fridays, it will most likely be next week before we find out what the results are, and where we go from here.

I would like to take a moment to apologize to my readers. I know my past few posts haven't been the usual humor you may have come to expect on here, but I just need to get this off my chest.

Hopefully I will soon have something funny to blog about, but until then, I hope you'll hang with me.

Friday, May 13, 2011


I admit, it's not the most creative post title, but that's really what this post is, an update.

After possibly the most stressful week ever, I'm nearly done with my PTA duties (yea!) one ball down, several still to go.

We heard back from R's doctor about his blood-work. He has several elevated levels, and they want to do an ultrasound. This is what I was expecting. It doesn't make it any easier, but that is what needs to be done. After speaking with my sister in law over the weekend, he has all the same symptoms that she had before she was sent for surgery. Now my biggest worries are if his boss will fire him because he'll need a week off, and will be on light duty when he returns, and if he will listen to the doctors and get the surgery, and follow the instructions afterwards.

The Angry Midget is still feisty as ever, but since being nearly forgotten, she has been getting out to the car much quicker (often before I'm ready to walk out the door) and is in with her door closed and belts buckled without the usual goofing around and chit-chat.

I had a lovely start to my Mother's Day, but picked up the nasty virus that R and TAM had earlier in the week, and spent the second half of Sunday and most of Monday in bed with a substantial fever. I'm feeling better now, and hope to be 100% soon.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


On Twitter, thousands of moms find themselves on #momfail every day. Whether they put themselves there, or someone else put them there is irrelevant. Today, I found myself joining the long line of failed moms.

In my last post I talked about how stressed I was, and how it just didn't seem like I had enough time in the day.

This morning, the most important of all the balls I've been juggling lately hit the ground.

I was in such a rush to get to the school to decorate a room for a bunch of strangers that I actually drove off without my older daughter.

I thought she was in the car already. She was talking to me in her usual constant stream of chatter. telling me all the things that go through her 6 year old mind. I saw her throw her back pack in the car as I clicked her sister's car seat into it's base. I could have sworn I heard her door shut just after I shut mine. So I put the car in gear and started down the drive way.

I was not ready for what happened next.

Mid-sentence, possibly even mid word, she started screaming, "Mom, MOM! MAMA!! WAIT, MAMA, WAIT!"

I turned around and realized that I had pulled away before she got in the car.

The door was hanging open, and she was standing at the top of the driveway crying hysterically. Tears were running down her face, and she was sobbing in great heaving, hiccupy sobs.

I felt sick.

Did I run over her foot?

I motioned for her to come get in the car, and she ran full tilt down the driveway.

She got in the car and through her sobs asked, "Why did you leave me?"

I apologized, and asked her if she was hurt. She said no, and I apologized some more. I waited while she closed the door and got her buckles hooked and apologized some more. All the way to school I held her hand and apologized. I walked her up to her classroom (something I haven'd done for almost a year because she's a big kid now) and apologized some more. I hugged and kissed her several times in the hallway, and helped her get into her classroom.

I still felt sick, but worse than that, I felt like I let her down.

When she was born, I stayed home with her for two years. Then finances required me to go back to work, and I hated it. I felt stressed and rushed with her all the time, and I missed out on a lot of firsts because of the hours I worked. I remember thinking to myself that this is not how it's supposed to be, and that if I ever had another baby I wouldn't let it be like this.

Fast-forward four years, and here I am with a new baby. I don't have a time clock to punch, but I'm still stressed and rushed to the point that I drove off without one of my children.

I vaguely remember the days when I could focus my full attention on just one thought, task or idea. Now if I'm not doing at least two things at once, I feel like I'm letting someone down. While folding laundry, I was composing this blog post in my head. Now, I'm breastfeeding while I type, and monitoring homework progress.

After the incident this morning, I took a step back and looked at what my life had become. I rush from commitment to commitment, hurrying my children along so I don't let others (often strangers) down.

My life had become a juggling act.

Crituque group
Staff Appreciation Week
Dance classes
House keeping
Book club
Play dates
Mother's groups
Parenting groups
Support groups
School activities
Various random promises to The Angry Midget
Birthday parties
Baby showers
Doctor appointments
An endless list of errands and chores...

All things I enjoy. Well, at least I used to...

It suddenly became very clear to me that with all this juggling, I was simply touching everything briefly, often not even long enough to enjoy it.

I wasn't really holding anything at all, and somewhere in that mix was my family.

Soon, some of those balls will go back in the basket. I'll have to think long and hard about whether or not I'll get them back out again when the time comes. Other's I can let slip down to my pocket for a while. Maybe I'll get them back out, maybe I'll put them in a basket. Then there are the ones that never go away. The ones I have to keep to make sure life is comfortable, like grocery shopping and laundry. But the three that are out of the rotation for good are my family.

I'm not going to juggle them anymore.

They will be held.

Just as they should be.

Together, and close to my heart.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Time: Can I have some now, please?

I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see.
- John Burroughs, essayist and naturalist
I have been trying to finish a post that I started almost two months ago, but every time I sit down to work on it, something happens, and I'm pulled away. It seems like there just isn't enough time to do what needs to be done. There isn't enough mom to go around.

This week is staff appreciation week at my daughter's school. The 3rd VP PTA Board position is in charge of fundraising and Staff Week.

I'm the 3rd VP.

It has been no secret with my family that I have found being on the PTA Board very stressful. Add to that the fact that I gave birth this school year and have been dealing with breastfeeding issues, a slow growing baby, a six year old who is suddenly acting out at school and at home, a husband who is in danger of losing his job (which means no insurance, or income for our family) and has been sick off and on for more than two months, a furnace that's trying to kill us, and the ever increasing cost of everything but no increase in paycheck size dilemma that most families are facing these days, and you get a very stressed Mama.

This week it seems to all be coming to a head.

We got the furnace fixed, so it won't kill us in our sleep. The down side is I had to use the money set aside for getting us significantly out of debt to do it.

After some drama, the second to last fundraiser is finally behind me (I hope).

Staff appreciation week had a bit of a rough start, but I think things are smoothing out.

My husband's job is no more secure than it was before. That still makes me a little ill when I think about it, so I just try not to. It's not exactly the "Ostrich Approach" but it's working for now (mostly).

Then Monday night happened.

Ahhh, Monday...

Monday my husband came home from work early. He never does that. Ever. It doesn't matter how horrible he feels, he toughs it out to the end of his shift. He asked me to call the doctor in the morning. This is also very out of character for him, so I knew he was really bad off. At the appointment, the student doctor writes it off as a 24 hour bug, and is ready to let him out the door. Then the ARNP comes in and starts talking to him. She does a physical exam, palpating his abdomen, and tells him that she wants to do blood work because she's concerned it's his gallbladder. Initial results come back that there is no sign of infection of any kind, so that rules out food poisoning and 24 hour virus. More signs that point to a gallbladder issue.

We are supposed to hear back today about his blood work, and if further testing will be required.

Yesterday, in the doctor's office, I was fine with this. It was no big deal, everything would work out ok. Now, 24 hours later, it's a different story.

I've had to wait for blood work results before. Hundreds of times. I've been impatient, because I needed a Rx refill. I've been nervous because my baby's health was at stake.

I've never had this feeling before though.

I don't even know what it is.

But I have a suspicion it's fear.

Deep down, I know everything will be ok. No matter what the results are, I know it will all work out. But...

But then there's that voice that pipes up every once in a while that says, "Not always, not always."

So, that's where I'm at today.


Waiting for someone else's blood work to come back.

Waiting to hear, "It will all work out."