Monday, February 26, 2018

Weekend Recap

“I hate people,” I muttered as I processed a complaint for one of the company’s products.  The patient wasn’t using the product according to the prescribing information, but was complaining about its physical properties and inquiring about off label usage (something only a physician can speak to).  My colleague chuckled and gave a sympathetic smile.  That’s basically how I felt all week.  Angry, upset, completely fed up, and close to (or in) tears each and every day.  I just wanted to avoid everyone.  I wanted to crawl into bed and not emerge until somebody, ANYBODY gave me some good news for a change. 

So what happened?  Well, on Monday, a routine appointment for our dog quickly turned into a likely cancer diagnosis.  X-rays, a fine needle aspiration, a cell culture analysis, and $1000 later, we still have no definitive diagnosis (though the vets believes Addie does have cancer).  In my mind, this was just the latest in a 6 month series of bad news, setbacks, and struggles, and I was DONE.  Now I was faced with the possibility of losing my dog and I couldn’t bear the thought of any further obstacles.  I was in such a terrible mood and I felt like I had reached my breaking point.  DONE.

But then something happened.  I realized how many people were reaching out to me.  My colleagues were asking for updates on Addie and asking if I was ok.  I had friends sending me messages asking how I was and if they could help.  Family members were sending love.  A friend stopped over for a quick visit.  I realized that one of my colleagues had even logged a product complaint for me – at 7:30 on a Friday night no less, just so I wouldn’t have to worry about it on Monday morning.  Those little actions restored my faith.  Yes, things really suck sometimes and life is HARD, but there are amazing people who reach out and show up when you’re in need of support the most.  And suddenly my sorrow turned into gratitude.  That gratitude further expanded in celebrating A’s birthday on Sunday.  When he was young, I’m sure a 38 year old CF patient seemed unfathomable.  And yet, here were are.  I am immensely thankful for A and my little family.

As for the rest of the weekend… it was insanely busy, but packed full of family time, which is the BEST.  My company offered free admission to the Adler Planetarium on Saturday so we decided to check it out.  We all had fun.  The boys loved the special kids area and A and I liked the Destination Solar System show we saw.  I don’t remember learning much about space in school so I found learning about the planets to be fascinating.  Methane lakes on Saturn?!  A storm the size of the US?!  SO cool…  

Once we got home, I had about 30 minutes before I had to leave again.  My mom and I worked at an auction that night to benefit my high school.  It’s something we do every year and we always enjoy it.  Unfortunately, turnout seemed to be at an all-time low.  It’s sad not to see more parents supporting their children, but I also understand that attending may be difficult from a financial perspective.  I ended up having the winning bid on a few items – Papa John’s gift certificates (I am NOT a fan of the pizza or the politics, but the boys love this pizza and the money was going to the high school) and also tickets to the Shedd Aquarium.  Earlier in the day, while in Chicago, A had remarked that we should go the aquarium next so I was excited to win tickets.  I finally got home around 10:30ish and couldn’t wait to hop into bed.  So tired.

Sunday was the usual.  I actually had to take S to the lobby during church because he was misbehaving.  A rarity, but he eventually settled down.  We went grocery shopping where the boys flirted their way into getting free cookies.  We topped off the weekend with an early birthday celebration for A.  He chose his favorite pizza place and the entire family came to celebrate.  All in all, it was a wonderful (albeit busy) weekend.  And we finally have warmer temperatures and sunshine today!!

As for Addie, the tests continue… hoping and praying she gets better.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Weekend Recap

Gosh, weekends just fly by.  I’m jealous of A and the boys who all have today off for Presidents day.  Why didn’t I become a teacher??  Oh yeah, because I have no patience…

W’s school was in a bind and asked if I could pick up groceries for them over the weekend.  We have to earn parent participation points and this seemed relatively easy so I didn’t mind at all.  The only catch was the grocery shopping had to be done at Walmart.  Not my favorite store.  I promise I’m not a grocery snob, but I kind of despise Walmart.  Anyway, it was relatively painless and the boys liked checking out a new (to them) store.

From there, I met up with a couple girl friends I’ve known since middle school.  I love catching up with them and we ended up talking (and eating) for over 3 hours.  The poor waiter… It was so great to reminisce and vent about work issues that we’re all going through.  It’s funny (or maybe ironic) – they’re both teachers, but we all have similar work complaints.  There really is no perfect job (or maybe I’m just unaware of any that exist).

While I was with the girls, A took the boys to lunch and then to an indoor bouncy place.  Best dad ever!!

Sunday was our usual.  The boys were super cranky in the morning and I ended up putting S in the car to go to church without shoes.  I think they were worn out from the day before and S woke during the night (he seems to be getting another cold L).  After church, I asked the boys if they thought they deserved Starbucks after such a challenging morning. W (my thoughtful, analytical one):  “Well, we weren’t very cooperative this morning, but I think we’ll be better this afternoon.  So we should go and we’ll be good this afternoon.”  So we went.  But mainly because I wanted coffee.  The rest of the day was mostly uneventful.  The boys were still a bit cranky.  I took them both to the grocery store with me to get dinner items and they were perfect while we were out.  I think we’re all just tired of winter and longing for some fresh air.

And that was our weekend.  I started a new book about raising healthy sons.  It’s interesting – the author suggests that three things essential (or especially helpful) in raising successful boys are a relationship with parents (especially dad), practicing religion, and avoiding pressure.  I just started it and I’m trying to read it with an open mind, but there are already ideas I’m questioning and/or disagree with. J  It also mentions that boys these days do not spend enough time outside exploring and too much time inside playing video games, which I definitely agree with.  My goal is to avoid gaming systems for as long as possible (but that’s so easy to say now when the boys have no clue what they are).

Friday, February 16, 2018

Friday Thoughts

I can’t even talk about the school shooting without getting incredibly angry and upset.  It brings me to tears.  For now, I’m just going to say that I joined Moms Demand Action and will be looking for other ways to be more involved in pushing for gun control.  If you’re aware of other groups or have ideas, I’m all ears.

I’ve previously mentioned that W has struggled with writing/drawing.  We’ve worked on it quite a bit and provided lots of encouragement.  I’ve been trying to focus on his efforts vs. final product.  W had to bring valentines to his classes earlier in the week.  He’s technically in two different classes and had to bring a total of 37 valentines.  Once he had a job to do, he took it seriously and actually asked to work on his valentines.  All he had to do was write his name, but each time he wrote it, it got better and better.  And then he asked to start writing words and actually wrote ‘grandma’ once I showed him how to make the letters.  Fast forward to yesterday.  I picked him up from school and he showed me the “book” that he made.  He drew our family and then showed me that S had a frown.  He explained that S was sad because he wanted Lucky Charms cereal, but mom and dad said no. (LOL)  I opened up the book and there was S’s name written.  I asked W if his teachers helped him spell it or if they showed him how to make the letters.  “No, I just remembered.” he said.  So so proud.

Speaking of W, we signed him up for a few summer camp classes.  I thought he was ready to try something new and this will give A a little time to himself this summer.  Only a couple hours each day, but still… enough time for A to squeeze in his vest and maybe some treadmill time.  Each class is one week long and I’m hoping that W will find new interests/activities he really enjoys.

A had his CF clinic appointment on Tuesday.  We haven’t seen the numbers yet, but were told his lung function was up a little.  Always good news.  He’s been walking/running on the treadmill for 2 miles – he’s totally kicking my butt.  Proud of him!  I think exercising will really help his lung function.

I’m obsessed with the Olympics.  Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten to watch as much as I’d like, but I’m enjoying the little bit I do see.

I wore this outfit on Superbowl Sunday and felt so comfy, but also stylish.  I’ll definitely be wearing it a lot more.

Every morning when S wakes up, he usually wants to come to our room where he insists on lying in bed, drinking milk, and watching cartoons.  This kid has his priorities straight.  Some days he’ll demand “Cuddle with me!”.  He’ll typically only lay there for about 15 minutes, but what a way to start the day!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Weekend Recap

What. A. Weekend.

Let’s start with Friday… I took the day off in order to clean, decorate, and run errands in preparation for S’s birthday party on Sunday.  My mom said she’d still come over per usual so that she could entertain the boys while I prepared for the party.  A great plan.  BUT Mother Nature had different plans for us.  Several inches of snow were predicted for Thursday night into Friday.  School ended up being cancelled for A and obviously, my mom couldn’t come over.  A was a huge help!!  But it is exhausting trying to clean and decorate with 2 little boys.  Both continued to make messes and tried to help me decorate by standing on chairs and unraveling streamers.  We got about 8 inches of snow and by late afternoon, A and I decided we’d had enough cleaning/decorating and thought we’d try to take the boys sledding.  There is a sled hill just down the street and there were quite a few people there, but it wasn’t overly crowded.  However.  Kids were going down at the same time and crashing into one another, other kids were sledding down the hill and not moving out of the way once they reached the bottom.  It was a little crazy.  And try getting a 3 year old up a snowy hill in about 10 inches of snow (because we already had some snow on the ground).  I think the boys went down the hill two times, a little snow flew up and landed on their faces, and they were done.  We finished the day by heading to dinner at a nearby restaurant.

Saturday night, it snowed again.  Only about an inch or two.  A took Addie to doggy day care so she could spend the night and be out of the house for the birthday party (she gets a little overwhelmed with lots of people so it seemed like a good idea) and offered to pick up Starbucks on his way home.  Yes, please!  While he was out, S and I shoveled the driveway (only what fell overnight, a plow truck had come the previous day, thankfully!).  That boy loves to shovel!! 

Later, I tried to remove some of those Command hooks that were left over from Christmas and ended up tearing off a huge section of paint – exactly what those stupid hooks are NOT supposed to do.  So I asked A to look for paint in the basement so that I could paint over the huge spot.  The previous owners labeled all the paint cans (thankfully), but we could not find the paint for the hallway/play room (which is the largest painted area of the house?!?).  A found a color that looked like the light yellow and I got to work re-painting several areas of the wall that had been scratched ONLY TO REALIZE IT WAS A DIFFERENT PAINT COLOR.  So now my wall has various different yellow spots.  I thought once it dried, it might be the same color.  NO.  What the heck?!?  A prime example of me trying to correct something and having it go horribly wrong.  STORY OF MY LIFE.  

On a brighter note, my mom came over to watch the boys for a bit so A and I could pick up a new tv console that I’d ordered.  We have had the same little tv console (if you can even call it that) for 11 years.  So it was time.  I had planned on waiting for my bonus before purchasing one and then I realized that the console I’d had my eye on since summer was on sale.  So I ordered it and will hope that I still get my bonus.  Eek.  I was nervous about it fitting in my car, but we had no problems picking it up.  It came assembled (praise the Lord) and I absolutely love it.

Hoping to mount the tv on the wall, but that's another project.  Also, I think it looks bigger IRL?  The perspective seems off...

That night, we headed to church for mass and the annual chili cook off, which was fun.  There were six different types of chili to try and we were supposed to vote for our favorite.  W does not like chili, but really wanted to vote so he voted for the hot dog, which was also available to eat.  Bahahaha.  And he wrote ‘hot dog’ all by himself.  Side note: if you’ve been keeping up with us, you know W’s teacher was very concerned about his fine motor skills.  I thought it was mainly a matter of him holding a pencil correctly.  After some work and lots of encouragement, he is holding a pencil correctly and has made vast improvements in his writing!  I’m really proud of him!

Sunday, we awoke to MORE snow.  It marked the 9th straight day of snow for us and tied a record.  Yay for records.  But not really.  This time we got about 3-4 inches… so we have well over a foot of snow currently.  I was giving the boys a bath when doggy day care called.  They told us that we should probably come pick up Addie and take her to the vet.  She wasn’t eating, had a swollen mouth, and a scratch on her snout.  A rushed out to get her and take her to the only vet that was open on Sunday – the 24 hour emergency vet that charges $100 for just a consultation.  Meanwhile, I called my mom and begged her to come over to watch the boys so I could go pick up all the food for the party and the balloons that A had been planning to pick up that morning.  The roads were bad thanks to all the snow and the errands took longer than expected.  I’m thankful to the Portillos worker who must have noticed I was having a rough morning and handed me a Coke and the grocery store worker who helped me bring 3 bags of balloons to my car.  And my mom for always coming to my rescue and allowing me to head out in the snow sans little boys!!! 

A waited with Addie for 2 hours just to be seen!  Addie had scratched her mouth and had an abscess inside her mouth.  The vet suggested it was either from another dog or she’d been trying to get out of her crate.  They wanted to sedate her to treat it, but detected a heart murmur so they had to be cautious.  She left with a cone about 4 hours after arriving to the vet.  A missed half the party.  Things were just crazy with 10 kids running around.  Luckily, the food was great and I think the party went well.  A eventually made it home for presents and cake.  And most importantly, I think S really enjoyed it. 

I was exhausted afterwards.  I told A I’m so done with parties – I spend too much time cleaning just for the house to be trashed.  I felt like everything that happened to Addie was my fault because I thought it was best to have her out of the house for the party.  We’re still not exactly sure what happened and very concerned about what we’ll do when we travel. 

And then I went to get S out of bed this morning and he was singing happy birthday to himself. J  So that made me feel better.  Seriously though, next year we’ll have a celebration at a restaurant.  I need a vacation!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Weekend Recap

We had a very low key weekend...

Before I get to that, I feel like I need to preface by saying last week was a rough one for me.  I want to keep this post positive so I’ll summarize very briefly:  On Monday, I found out the company was closing its site in Germany.  On Tuesday, I found out that the projects I had been responsible for (for 5+ years) would be managed by our site in Ireland.  I was moving to a development project and getting a new boss (my third different boss in 8 months).  I was very upset.  Luckily, I was working from home that day.  After quite a few tears and lots of anxiety, I reached out to a couple coworkers who’ve always been supportive.  They reminded me that the development project could be a good thing – it has high visibility and it seems everyone wants to be involved.  I don’t really care about accolades and I still miss my old job, but I knew they were correct in that the new project offered a bit more job security and opportunity for growth.  While I’m still struggling to be optimistic and still very stressed, I’m trying to see this as a new opportunity.  My previous boss was the one thing I liked about my job so I hate having to report to someone else, but again, trying to see this as a chance to learn.


So after that week, I wasn’t in the mood for any big weekend plans.  I barely put on any makeup Saturday and considered it an accomplishment that I changed out of my pjs.  A grabbed Starbucks for us and did the grocery shopping while I bathed and entertained the boys.  We read lots of books, watched too many You Tube videos, walked on the treadmill and had a slow, quiet day.  Just what I needed.  A and I finished the day by catching up on This Is Us – we’re still 2 episodes behind, but that show is sooo good.

Sunday was our usual morning routine.  After church, S was playing and I was keeping an eye on him.  On a whim, I decided to paint my nails.  Upon seeing me, S insisted I paint his nails and then of course, W wanted his painted too.  So we are all rocking pink nail polish. J  I invited myself (and the family) over to my mom’s house for the Superbowl.  Hopefully she didn’t mind too much.  I made buffalo chicken dip and my mom picked up fried chicken.  The boys played and danced to JT at halftime.  They wouldn’t leave poor Meiko, the cat, alone and before we knew it, it was bed time.

Today is my sweet S’s third birthday!  He’s such a joy and I’m so incredibly thankful for him.  I’ll do a separate post all about him, but I’m looking forward to making him feel special all week.  We’ll celebrate his birthday this coming weekend. J  And you MUST check out A’s post on our sweet S.  The title caught my eye as I was scrolling through my blog feed and saw the word ‘birthday’.  It’s been so long since A wrote a post, I immediately wondered which of my blog friends had the same birthday as S. ;)  Anyway, I love it and you should read it.