Category Archives: Kids

It’s always good to be home

The kids and I went camping last week with my dad’s church family. It’s something the kids have been doing every summer for the past four or five years. This was my dad’s last year to be able to go, because he is retiring next June. So there was a lot of bittersweet floating around. However, I and the kids have been invited back for future years, since they have especially bonded with a lot of the kids there. We had a lot of fun. The kids swam, rode bikes, played gaga ball (??), went kayaking (my favorite part, may write a separate post about that), and played tug of war in the river. Lots of great memories.

My legs are in shambles. Good, old fashioned muscle pain from all the walking, I suppose. I walked constantly for the whole trip and I came back home to find I had gained 5 pounds. Seriously. I guess I forgot to mention there was a lot of eating as well!

I also woke up this morning with considerable nerve pain in my feet, which is unusual for the morning. It usually only comes around in the evening. I guess my body is just paying the toll for all the fun we had. I am more than okay with that. Just gonna keep moving forward anyway, with small breaks in between. No need to rush.

Speaking of waking up this morning… my husband woke me up to let me know that the refrigerator wasn’t working, and that he needed me to move the food to the fridge in the basement. He was on his way out the door to work but he is hoping to come back at some point to fix it. We’ll see. I’m just really grateful that we have a second fridge for these sorts of occasions. So that was my first task of the day, and I’m definitely going to take advantage of an empty fridge to get it all wiped out. There are lots of sticky spots and who knows what’s in those nooks and crannies.

The kids are happy to be home. The dog is happy we’re home. Hubby is really happy we’re home. Waking up on a Monday in our own beds is surely something to be thankful for, no matter what the day has in store for us. And coffee, of course.

 

Oklahoma in July

The kids and I flew to Oklahoma to visit Grandma Deb and Grandpa Dave (my mom and stepdad) for a whole week! EEK!! The last time any of us had been on a plane, Luke was 2 and Natalie was in utero. So it was pretty much like their first time flying. I was a nervous wreck through all of it, but the kids did great.  And once we were at Grandma’s, we settled in quite nicely. Pictured below on Natalie’s head is their green cheek conure, Riley. I learned very quickly that I have a new fear of birds flying near my head, mainly because when he flew toward me I could feel the wind from his wings before I could see where he was. Thankfully, he was pretty harmless, and by the end of the week we were getting along just fine.

We had so many activities in store! Our first full day there we went hiking near some natural springs. I took a lot of really blurry photos of that, so you’ll just have to trust me that it was really cool and the kids enjoyed themselves.

The next day Grandma took us to the salt plains to dig for selenite crystals. I was happy to stand around and take pictures while they got dirty. Luke found the first crystal, which led us to the mother load of crystals. It was pretty exciting. (Oh, and I got to drive a car! Since it was wide open space and no one was around. Don’t tell anyone though lol)

Another day we visited the children’s science museum in town. This was similar to the one we have back home, but with a different mix of things to see. The kids had a blast here too, and it was a good way to stay out of the 100 degree weather.

I’m sure I’m getting the order of events mixed up, but at some point towards the end of the week we visited what we were calling the rock museum. The museum was a house, made entirely out of rocks, that belonged to a couple that did a bunch of stuff, and kept pretty much everything they owned. So now they keep it on display and let people come and look at it. Which is funny to me, because it’s just some people’s old things, preserved for no apparent reason. I still thought it was pretty cool to see all these items from an entirely different era, and the kids were great sports about it. Grandma even bought them some geode stones to take home and smash open.

Let’s see… we also did some put-put golfing, because my poor deprived children had never been, can you believe it!? I beat everybody, both times we went, but the kids scored a couple holes in one, so they were strong opponents, for sure. We celebrated the second day by taking them out for ice cream, as you can see below.

There was also grilling, eating out, a bit of swimming in the blow up pool to cool off, jewelry making with Grandma, and of course lots of playing with Riley, the bird. I’m sure I’m leaving out details. Yes, flying was stressful for me, having to rely on the kids to see and hear things for me, but it was really nice to get where we were going so quickly. For all the fun we had and getting some quality time with Grandma and Grandpa, it was totally worth it. It was a fantastic, full week of fun and I am so glad we went. We hope to do it again next year.

 

Birthday Boy

The night before my son turned 10, he asked me to take his picture of his last day as a 9 year old, and put it on Facebook. Turns out, he had done the same thing the year before when he was turning 9. I had forgotten all about it, but maybe he hadn’t. Or maybe it’s just a thing with him, that he really enjoys the anticipation of special days like birthdays and holidays. He’s going to be one of those people who grow up to celebrate their birthday all month, simply because they are adults and they CAN. I love birthdays, and I have friends who love birthdays and we all agree that it’s cool to make it as big or as little a thing as you want. Because LIFE, people, we’re celebrating life.

So, speaking of celebration… on the exact day of Luke’s 10th birthday (the day after the above photo was taken) we all went to FunTyme to ride go-karts. Because we had so much fun on Mother’s Day, we figured, why not? Only this time Natalie rode with Dad, so Mom got to fly solo. They made sure I knew where the traffic light was located this time, as well as which position each color was so I would be sure to come in when the light turned red.

Dad beat the pants off all of us, and I was in 2nd place for several laps, until I hit the bump. There’s a decent bump coming over the bridge that I had learned to brace myself for each time. Only I was a second too late on this particular lap and I got jostled pretty good. Jostled so much that my right cochlear earpiece fell off. Well, flew off is probably more accurate. Oh, I was internally freaking, let me assure you. I calmly pulled the kart to the side and stopped, while flagging the operator to come over and help me find the earpiece. It was nowhere near the kart and I was starting to worry that I or someone else had run over it. The second operator came running and helped search the track a little further from where we were standing. He found it right away and held it up with a big smile. At least I imagine he was smiling… I couldn’t see that far, of course. Oh man, I wanted to hug that kid. I realize that the cochlear implant company can easily replace the earpiece, but I have no idea if my warranty covers it, and I didn’t want to have to make that call (with only the left year operational, of course).

Me: Hi, my right earpiece isn’t working.

AB: Can you tell me what’s going on with it?

Me: Well, it won’t stay on my ear anymore, because it’s… uh… sort of smashed to smithereens.

AB: Uh…

The earpiece showed no signs of damage and it worked fine, right off the bat. I was extremely relieved and grateful and we all had a good laugh at my expense. I’m still loving this go-kart thing though, and I think now I’ve got the two most valuable lessons under my belt: 1) know where the lights are and 2) don’t wear your earpieces while driving. The cars are so loud, hearing isn’t so useful to me then anyway.

But back to the birthday celebrations. After the racing, we let Luke hit some balls in the batting cages while Natalie practiced her cartwheels in the grass nearby. After that we all went to Chipotle for some yummy tacos and burritos. None of us had eaten there before, and we were quite pleased. Luke’s favorite restaurant has always been Taco Bell, but someone had told him that Chipotle was like Taco Bell, only better, so of course he had to try it.

Our last stop of the night was for ice cream. Because my son can eat ice cream all day long, and he will if you let him. It’s no coincidence that that’s all I craved when I was pregnant with him. TEN whole years ago. Can’t believe it, my baby boy is ten. Happy birthday, Luke.

New goals and stuff

Just real quick folks, I’m checking in to let you know today I am committing to every day – every day – starting with two things before everything else. One – time with God, praying and reading the Bible. Two – 30 minutes of exercise, walking, running, sit-ups, whatever. Those two things, in that order, must be completed before I do anything else each day. So if I know I have plans for the day that could interfere, then I just have to get up a little earlier to make room for those two things. Gah! We’ll see how this goes. This is certainly not the first time I’ve tried to get back to basics and keep these priorities in my life (well maybe for the first item, the second one is a more recent addition). So I’m not telling you because it’s new, but I’m telling you because if I post it here maybe I’ll remember that it’s here and that I made the commitment.

I think this will help me. I have been storing up a lot of anxiety lately over all of the details. Piddly little details, and I’m all worked up over them. So I’m just trying to get centered. Again.

Today I’ve completed those first two, even after going back to bed for the majority of the morning, and now I’m onto the next. Toilets to be cleaned, floors to be vacuumed. And I’m sporting my phone on my arm like a runner so I can groove to my techno station. Gotta make it fun, people!

Oh, and coffee. Another cup of coffee is in the works.

Wait, I forgot to mention – today my son turned 10!! That’s a really big deal (at least it is for him, and I still remember turning double digits myself) and I totally ignored it with this post, didn’t I? I think I’m supposed to share a nice photo and a story of his birth, or something like that, but nah, forget “supposed to”. We have celebrations planned for him, dinner with the family tonight and a party on Sunday. So I’m sure you’ll hear more about it from me soon enough.

Now back to the toilet business. *Focus, Mindy, focus.*

Best Mother’s Day ever

 

I had only asked for one thing on Mother’s Day. Well, it started out as one thing. First I wanted one whole day where I didn’t have to wash dishes or cook. And a day with no fighting or tension. Then I said it would be nice to walk around downtown and stop for pie or ice cream. Oh and wouldn’t it be nice if we could do a little shopping and find that perfect side table I’ve been wanting for the living room? It was starting to feel like I was asking for too much, but I tried to be gracious and easygoing about it. The way I saw it, I was giving them options to choose from.

But no, my husband is such a giver that he managed to fit all that and more into the day! He managed to throw in something I had been wanting to do for a long time now…. drive a go-kart! I don’t get to drive real cars anymore, and I still miss it from time to time. It’s mainly the independence that I miss, but I’m gradually regaining that sense of independence with help from friends and public transportation. But just driving for the sake of driving, that’s something I always loved and still sometimes miss. So being allowed to drive around a figure eight for a few minutes was absolutely exhilarating! I’m requesting we make it a Mother’s Day tradition, since it’s something all four of us can enjoy together. And this year was made especially memorable because I got to go around the track an extra two laps! Mike was explaining to the operator after I blew past the red light the first time, that I was colorblind, and just couldn’t see that the light had changed from green to red. He had no explanation for the second time around though, as he didn’t really want to tell the guy the real story – that I couldn’t even see the lights. Ha! Next time I’ll be sure my passenger is aware of her task of letting me know when it’s time to come in.

After go-karting we came back home and took some serious naps. Then Luke grilled up some brats and we sat out on the deck and ate them along with potato salad and coleslaw. Of course we had to finish a delicious backyard meal with dessert, so afterwards we went for ice cream. I’ll have you know I took a break from counting calories this weekend. I ate a hot fudge sundae with chocolate ice cream, peanut butter, and pecans and it was so yummy I didn’t want it to end. You ever have one of those? Where you literally cherish every bite? That was me yesterday. So good.

When we got back home I napped again while the kids had fun playing ball out back with dad.

Overall it was one of the best days I’ve had in a long time. I love hanging out with my family, and even more so when it’s doing things we ALL enjoy.

We have more festivities coming up this week between Luke’s baseball games starting, his 10th birthday shenanigans, and the 2017 MS Walk. So I have my literal to-do list and then I have the one floating around in my brain, taunting me and stressing me out. I have to figure out what to do about the latter, because it’s all worry over things I can’t control, and I haven’t really mastered the whole letting go thing. One day at a time, I suppose. I’m a planner so often I find myself looking too far into the future and I just need to stop that.

Today is Monday. It’s going to be a good day. Not nearly as good as yesterday, of course, but I can still hold onto those wonderful feelings. Yes, that’s what I’ll do.

Might as well call it the May Update…

Last month I published ONE blog post, and as it’s already the 10th of May, I guess I’m off to another slow start. Lest you think my silence is a bad sign, I’m poking my head out to let you know all is well. To prove it, I will now proceed with semi-coherent ranting about what I’ve been up to. What fun, yes??

So last Friday we ran another 5k race, my son and I. He absolutely killed his time from the year before, but since he had not really been training for it his recovery was pretty rough. He’s feeling better now, but the weekend he was in rare form, complaining of sore legs, not wanting to move around. I hadn’t done a lot of training either, and my finish time reflected that, but my legs felt okay after so I’m not sorry. I stayed on my feet the entire time and that’s my one true goal when I run, so I’m happy. My daughter ran the one mile race that’s not timed, and her goal was to finish, and girl, did she finish. She cramped up a little towards the end, but she was determined to not give up, and we are super proud of her for that. Both my kids are serious fighters.

I’ve been filling my weeks judiciously with shopping trips with friends, playing fetch with the dog, and going to various doctor appointments. I saw a dermatologist (Did I blog about that? I seem to remember) and discovered I do not have acne, but rosacea. Which was still possibly triggered by my round of steroids, but treated much differently. I’m also seeing my primary doctor soon in regards to what I’m calling “significant” joint pain in my right hip and knee. I suspect it’s just my osteoarthritis acting up and hoping it’s nothing more serious. We shall see.

I decided back in November to stop eating meat. It’s going fairly well, and I do feel better. I still eat some fish and some beef (the ground beef we buy from a local farmer) but only when other options aren’t readily available. I don’t have a great explanation for the change, other than the fact that I really, really love vegetables and grains and I’m disgusted by what I’ve read about the way meat is processed in this country. So my appetite for foods I used to love is pretty much gone. Like last night, I made chili dogs for the family and I totally thought I was going to eat one too. But then I just couldn’t do it. So I made myself a spinach salad, and it was delicious.

Also, somewhere between November and April I realized I had gotten a little too uptight about food, and it was spilling out onto my family members. I’m not sure how to correct that really, but I’m trying to loosen up. Geesh, that’s the story of my life, trying to loosen up. I’ll get there, eventually. Won’t I?

My son is turning 10 in one week, and he is beyond excited. I remember turning 10… double digits was a big deal. He is just as excited, and we will be throwing him a party right here at the house. I’m a little nervous about the dog, and the noise, but I think we’ll get through it. Just praying for good weather so they can all play outside for most of it. My only major responsibility for this party is making a cheesecake, which I can do days in advance and I love that. Piling too many responsibilities into one day doesn’t work very well for me, so I love when I can spread things out throughout the week.

We have an MS Walk coming up here in May, and I’m excited for that as well. I haven’t participated in one since just after I was diagnosed 7 years ago. I had decided this was a good year to get back on that wagon and pull my friends and family together to show me some support. Selfish? Maybe, but I’m not sorry. This girl is learning to step out a little and ask for the things she wants. And I want a gang of people I love walking with me on a beautiful morning in May.

I think that’s enough rambling for now, don’t you think? I pray you all have a blessed Wednesday and are able to soak in some sunshine!

April Update

I am running a 5k next week. I haven’t been training for it. Occasionally I’ll get a run in, and I do fine. So I think I’ll do fine on race day. I won’t be breaking any records, but I’m confident I’ll finish on my feet. Which I guess is the most important thing to me. Just keep swimming.

This morning when my son went to pack his lunch, he found a gang of tiny ants in his lunch box. Eww. He freaked out, rightfully so I suppose, but he went a little overboard if you ask me. I mean, they weren’t biting ants, or even the flying kind. But still, what a mess. The kids managed to get out the door to the bus on time, while I did what I could to clean up before my ride came (dermatologist appointment today), but I’m sure there are still creepy crawlies hanging around here and there. I put his backpack in the garage because they were there too. This is per my son of course, because my vision, you know? They are too small for me to see, unless I know where to look. It didn’t help that his backpack is black, so the sneaky ants are camouflaged. 

Ugh. Then my ride came 15 minutes early, and I was still in my pajamas. But the driver was plenty patient, and everything was fine. The day could only go up from there, right?

And it did! The dermatologist seemed to know exactly what is going on with my face, and it turns out it’s not my fault! It broke out again when I was on the prednisonea couple months ago, and just won’t clear up. He said the prednisone was likely just a trigger for the underlying cause, which he believes to be rosacea. Stress is also a trigger, so I think I need less stress in my life. Anyone wanna take my kids for awhile? Or the dog? Or both? Anyway, the doctor called in a script for a cream, and I’ll go back in a few weeks to see if it’s helping. And he was a super nice doctor and didn’t make me feel crazy or neurotic, so I’m feeling better now. Amazing what a difference a kind interaction can do for your mood.

Now I have the whole day ahead of me, and with a positive outlook to boot. I’m thinking a nice cup of coffee and a good book are in my future today…