Saturday, September 29, 2012

Here Kitty-kitty!!

With kids being sick off and on all week, we haven't spent as much time outside as usual.  Our little kitten, Tuck, has been missing the attention from my kids.  He recently discovered the ledge outside our living room window... And it has become his new perch.

Lauren has also recently discovered the "freedom" of cruising along furniture and pulling herself up to standing.  She LOVES Tuck and is just beside herself trying to get to him whenever we are outside.  She is in 7th heaven with his new window perch!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

So Thankful Thursday - Karen Edition

 As any Mom knows, there are ups and downs to parenting your little ones.  Sometimes the world is golden and the sky is the limit and sometimes you look at your little one with so much trepidation and wonder what the future holds.  This is true for any parent and I think especially true for parents of little ones with challenges.

I struggle daily with letting go of my worry for Karen and trusting God.  I struggle with focusing on the present and her beautiful, silly, joyful personality and letting go of wondering what challenges might hurt her in the future.  I struggle with not comparing her to other kids her age or even Megan and just seeing her for the child she is at this moment.  I struggle with not getting frustrated at not being able to understand her and remembering to feel blessed by the number of words she does use to communicate (and that I do understand) that she didn't have several months ago.

I struggle... that sentence could go on, and on, and on... the key that I've been trying to remind myself of is that it really is not about "I"... it is about her and the fact that she is exactly how God made her.

... exactly how God made her... really?!  Wow!! 

How blessed am I then that he entrusted this beautiful little girl to me and how much harder I need to make sure I work to remember that!  When looked at from that perspective, it is easy to see the blessings and graces that He has brought into our lives to ease this journey.  Just to name a few:
  1. Karen's future kindergarten teacher (the one she will have next year!) chose to go to a conference on Apraxia this summer so she could understand Karen's condition and be better equipped to teach her!!
  2. While at the conference, several of the speakers referenced Dr. Amy Meredith... Dr. Amy is the SLP that oversees Karen's twice a week sessions in Spokane!
  3. Dr. Amy hand picked the student therapist that Karen is working with and so far Karen LOVES her... She is responding so well and working so hard!
  4. Karen's SLP that she works with through the school chose to come to several of her sessions in Spokane so there would be continuity between what they are working on and what she does. 
  5. This SLP has also established communication with Dr. Amy and is working on her own time to learn some of the resources that Dr. Amy recommends for Apraxia since she is not familiar with them. 
  6. I've read enough blogs to know that the above 5 items are not typical experiences.
So that's what I'm thankful for on this beautiful Thursday.  What about you? 

O Lord, we give you thanks for having given us children. They are our joy, and we accept with serenity the worries, fears, and labors which bring us pain. Help us to love them sincerely. Through us you gave life to them; from eternity you knew them and loved them. Give us the wisdom to guide them, patience to teach them, vigilance to accustom them to the good through our example. Support our love so that we may receive them back when they have strayed and make them good. It is often so difficult to understand them, to be as they would want us to be, to help them go on their way. Grant that they may always see our home as a haven in their time of need. Teach us and help us, O good Father, through the merits of Jesus, your Son and our Lord. Amen.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Back to school... stomach flu!

Yep!  We fell victim to the "back-to-school" stomach flu this last weekend.  I came down with it Thursday night.  Luckily it was a "once-and-done" for me.  I just feel crummy for a couple of days.

Megan woke up at 1:00am Friday night/Saturday morning with it.  The poor girl was pretty sick for about 36 hours. 

She finally started perking up yesterday afternoon.  Now the wait is on to see if Karen is the next victim and if Lauren will escape because of my anti-bodies!

I'm trying to get my week started off right - I need to get caught up on housework and laundry that didn't get done because of taking care of myself and Megan... but to be honest, I'm just reveling in a morning that doesn't include puking!! :)  Maybe this afternoon.

.. how's your week starting?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fall Schedule - craziness!!

We are now three weeks into our fall schedule and all I can say is **WHEW!!!** I'm tired!

Karen started preschool three weeks ago.  The school part is not too bad - other than she is not a morning person, so having her up, dressed, and ready for school by 8 is a challenge.  I feel like a terrible Mom, but she has not eaten breakfast ONCE before school in the three weeks since it started.  Not for lack of offering it to her or time - she is just one of those kids that needs to be up for an hour (or more) before she is ready to eat.

This week - we added her speech therapy sessions in Spokane.  These are twice a week trips for 50 minute sessions.  With the drive time, it is a minimum of three hours.  When you add other appointments on top of that (I had a foot dr. appt in Spokane on Tuesday), today is our first day to just be home!

I've been trying really hard to change some habits.  It's been going pretty well but my challenge now is to keep up with it even with our added busy-ness.  Being out of the house for most of two days during the week (and this week was three) make it more of a struggle, but I have felt SOOOO much better with these changes in habit/focus on structure. 

So, in the interest of accountability, my focus the last few weeks has been:
  1. Make my bed (so far I'm about 60% on this) 
  2. At least one load of laundry a day (doing pretty good on this if you don't count that I haven't been getting it all put away)
  3. Not leaving dishes in the sink between meals ... I tend to do this after breakfast because there only a few, but then if I don't take care of it at lunch I walk into the kitchen to make dinner and feel like it is a mess!! I'm so much more relaxed if I just do it!
  4. Try and get the weekly house-cleaning items done prior to the weekend so our weekend can be focused on outside chores and projects, or inside house projects that we are finishing.
  5. Put a timer on my computer/electronic time so I stop "losing" time!
  6. Now that I've got the ok on my foot, I'll be adding in a daily fitness of some sort!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

My changing view

Remember last summer when I was bragging about my beautiful view? ... well it's changing, and not for the better. Our county commissioners decided that inviting a wind farm into our area would be a good thing for taxes.  So, I have the unwanted "pleasure" of having nearly 90 windmills surrounding my house, 30-40 of which are visible to us.

Besides the fact that I don't think windmills provide the sustainable energy that they are touted to, or the fact that my utilities are actually going to increase, or that all the energy produced from them has already been sold to another state and won't even be used locally ... those aren't my main issues with them.

My main issue is what they have done to this beautiful farm ground in order to put them in.  There are roads through prime farm ground 30 feet wide where there used to be none.  There are concrete supports so deep into the ground that even if the windmills are taken down I doubt it will ever be able to be farmed again.  The location of the windmills will make it nearly impossible for crop dusters in our area - hurting their business and forcing us to change how we farm our ground.

And yes... I'm bitter that my view which was once

will now be

I know the pictures don't look that bad... they don't do the windmills "justice" ... plus, once the propellers are put on, they look even worse.  This is just one view out the back and we have a view many more out the front.

All that being said... I am still thankful for the chance to live in the country surrounded by these hills and hope that someday I will get used to seeing these "things" surrounding my house.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

10 Running Related Questions

Since I'm still laid up with my stress fracture and itching to get running, I thought I'd join the "10 Running Related Questions" party that I saw yesterday on several of the blogs I read...

  1. Best Run Ever - I know this was a LONG time ago, but it was a practice run with my cross country coach in high school.  I was late to practice because I had to take a test after school so I did my workout with him.  After the warm-up, we did a progression run.  We were about halfway done and I can remember thinking that I was ready to back off the pace.  Instead, he said, "Ok, let's go!" ... and so we went.  I don't know what our pace was but I know that it is faster than I had ever ran a sustained distance.  It was also the first time I really understood what it was to push myself and that I had the capability of doing it.  I felt so powerful at the end of that run!
  2. Three words that describe my running - inconsistent, sporadic, over-ambitious (I tend to injure myself because I feast or famine with regard to running... either don't do it or go all out jumping into a training plan too hard and too fast)
  3. My go-to running outfit - shorts and a tank of any sort.  I hate sleeves (unless it is long sleeves) when I run
  4. Quirky habit while running - don't know that I have one, unless you count constantly asking the other person how they are or if the pace is ok when I'm running with someone.
  5. Morning, midday, or evening - I prefer morning but these days I take my runs whenever I can get them in.
  6. I won't run outside when it's - dark (country rode, no street lights) or harvest (to many grain trucks and equipment on the roads!)
  7. Worst injury and how I got over it - achilles tendonitis... laid off of running and am hoping that it is gone!  I won't know for sure until my stress fracture is healed and I ease back into running.
  8. I felt most like a bamr when -honestly, any time I manage a run and get home to see my three little girls... maybe I pat myself on the back to easily but I feel like a bamr just getting out there!
  9. Next race is - TBD - was hoping to do a 10K this fall but will have to see how the foot does.
  10. Potential running goal for 2013 - Race a half-marathon and hit my sub 2hour goal and completing a sprint-tri!
If you are runner - consider yourself tagged.  Leave a comment so I can check out your post! :)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Back to school

Tuesday was the first day of preschool for Karen.  It is her third year (sort of) in preschool.  She started in January of 2010 when she was three years old.  Her teacher told me that it was obvious that Karen knew the ropes - in her own way she was "telling" and showing the other kids the "how-to's" and "what-for" of class!!  So cute - I wish I could have been a fly on the wall for that.

Karen is wanting to walk into the classroom (she almost always had me carry her from the car to the classroom in the past) and she is riding the bus home after lunch... ack!!!!  I'm still a little in disbelief that I'm willing to let her be on the bus.  The only thing that really convinced me is that it is a kindergarten/preschool bus, so unless it is an early release day there aren't any big kids. Plus, her cousin Lucy rides until right before our stop.

I can see improvements in other ways too.  I have always asked her how her day was when I pick her up.  Usually the response to that question is dead air or her simply telling me "no"... which is her way of saying that she doesn't want try to talk.  The last three days I've gotten a response from her when I asked her.  Honestly, I don't have any idea what she tried to tell me - but the fact that she even attempted to share something is HUGE!!

Here's looking forward to another school year and the things you'll learn little nut!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Stress Fracture

I found out last week that I have a stress fracture in my left foot... insert frowning and unhappy face here!!

The fortunate part is that it is not a "bad" fracture and I will hopefully be back up and running in three or four weeks.

Everyone knows the unfortunate part... I'm not running for three or four weeks and need to be careful coming back.

The hard part... I'm not sure what caused the fracture.  I haven't been doing any significant running since April / early May, and I don't recall doing anything recently that caused trauma to my foot.  So, it worries me. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Harvest 2012

We are three weeks into another harvest.  Praise God it has been a good and safe year so far!!  We have had few break-downs and no major scares... I like years like this!
Days are long for the guys in the field.  Carl is typically out of the house between 5:00 and 5:30 and hasn't been getting home until close to 9:00 at night.  He is missing seeing the kids and they are missing him. 

They quit a little early last night and you should have heard the squeals of excitement when they saw him pulling in the driveway at 7:45 last night!!  It was not an early to bed night, but they got some quality play time in with their Daddy.

The other way we sneak in Daddy time is by letting the kids ride on the combine and tractor.  The equipment these days make it so nice!  I grew up perching on the arm rest of my Dad's combine or curling up on the floor.  My girls get their own "buddy" seat!

My niece and nephew had to get in on the action to!  Getting ready to ride with Carl.

As I said, it has been a good harvest so far.  It makes me sad to think, though, of all the farmers in the mid-west who have no crops to harvest because of the drought.  Please offer up a prayer for them and for their families!  It is tough when your entire yearly income depends on these few weeks of harvest.