Monday Morning Chaos

We woke up a bit late this morning, but we still made it out the door right on schedule. However, since we were running late, Murray was going to have to eat breakfast at daycare today. He finally slept until 7:40 today. Hooray! Anyway, we were right on schedule; Murray was strapped in the warm car, happily snuggling with his blanket. I threw the keys in the front seat along with my purse, but as soon as I went to open my door, the truck shut off and the doors locked. The sound of the doors locking with my precious baby in the car could very well be the worst sound I've heard to date. Keys and Murray both inside, I almost fell over. I ran in the house (even though he was locked in, I didn't want to leave him out there by himself) to search for the spare set, but couldn't find it. I finally grabbed the home phone, went outside, heard a crying Murray, called Craig and then the police. MPD arrived in a flash (though it felt like an hour) and saved the day, but by that time, Murray was hysterical with fear and getting cold. We arrived at daycare, late, sad, and a bit wound up. I was carrying him in ever so carefully, I lost my balance on the ice and almost dropped him and broke my neck at the same time. After slamming his foot in the car door last week, I'm beginning to feel as though there may be a curse on the Durango. I felt like such a terrible mom, but the kind officer who helped us assured me that this is common. Oh well. Tomorrow is another day, but I think maybe I'll go back to driving the car.

Something to be Said for Winter


Though you can't tell (due to Murray being so bundled up), he loved his first sledding experience. He giggled and laughed, even when Daddy tipped him over in a snow bank. The dogs enjoyed being able to run around too. I guess there a few good things about winter after all. As the saying goes, having a child changes everything (even my immense dislike of winter).


Murray is getting another tooth on top, so that means mornings of upset at 4:00am. We have no idea why he wakes at the same time every morning, but like clockwork, the soothing begins in the wee hours. We take turns getting out of bed and comforting him back into a restless slumber. I have 2 theories about this: One, it's teething, or two, it's due to the fact that he's only napping for an hour a day in his new room at daycare, so he's actually over tired. My guess is the latter rather than the former, because since we've been home with him and letting him nap longer, he's been sleeping until at least 6:30am.


I suppose as soon as we get him adjusted to this new routine, everything will change again. :)

Christmas 2008









Maggie's God daughter and life sized Barbie spent Christmas day with us. It was a joy to have them. I hope you find his picture as hilarious as I do. Criag spent much time playing with Barbie and S.


Maggie and Fred joined us as well, and we so enjoyed having them. We had a ton of laughs and very much fun.





Grandpa Doug stayed in town all week, so Murray finally was able to spend some time with him. They were hilarious together.

Unfortunately, my memory card was out of space on Christmas Eve at the Beckerleg's, so I have 2 picture which aren't very good. We do have good video though.

We were all truly blessed; though the holiday brought much grief (due to missing my mom immensely and the passing of our fellow blogger/mommy friend, Emilie) we felt joy as well. 'Tis the reason for the season. God Bless.

Be At Peace

I am saddened to write that Emilie has passed away. As you are well aware, though we've never met, I've come to know her in a unique and indescribable way. Emilie was so amazing; words cannot express how incredibly sad I am. Stephen, Daniel, and Ben, you were SO LOVED! God bless you all.

And, as Peace Garden Momma; aka Roxane, says, please take the time to visit http://lemmondrops.blogspot.com/ and read about Emilie. Also, if you get a chance, you will love Roxane's writing (see my link to Peace Garden Momma).

Merry Christmas

Merry Chirstmas all! I do hope that your holiday brings comfort and peace, and that we all remember the real reason for the season. God Bless.

Whirl Wind Weekend

We were supposed to head to the cities on Saturday for a mini vacation and the Vikings game. The weather was too bad to go on Saturday morning, especially with Murray, so we ended up leaving yesterday morning without him. It turned out well. The roads were much better, and Craig and I had fabulous "grown up" time. We had a suite at the Hilton (where the Vikings stay) on the 24th floor, with special access to the top floor restaurant where we were treated to complimentary food and drinks. We shopped the skyway, and today we stopped in Albertville, where I refreshed my wardrobe and purchased final Christmas presesnts.

We've left Murray overnight in the past, but never when we've been out of town, and not for this long. We were both so lonesome for him; it was an absolute joy to pick him up at daycare this afternoon. It was good for all of us though, and thanks to Craig's mom and dad for taking him.

I wish that I could post pictures, but my memory card was full, and I forgot to run to the business center to empty it. The hotel is gorgeous, our view was fantastic, and the staff incredibly helpful. The Hilton in Minneapolis is my new favorite hotel, and I can't wait to stay there again (the prices, even for a suite are quite reasonable).

Only a few shopping days left; but I think we're finally finished. Now I have to wrap, which is my least favorite of Christmas. Maybe I can bribe Craig to do it; he's better at it anyway.

Dear Emilie

I don't know how to begin, but I'm very sad today. Through the blogging network, I have been following a wonderful writer's blog; she's a fantastic mom (boys 9 mo. and two yrs.), loving wife, friend, and inspiration to many. Emilie (http://lemmondrops.blogspot.com/) was diagnosed with cancer while she was pregnant with her second child. Yesterday, we were saddened to learn that Emilie's time on earth is coming to a close.

I don't really know how to react. Though we've never met; I feel a strange, but very powerful connection. Peace Garden Mama, (http://peacegardenmama.blogspot.com/), and I were able to steal away last night. Not only were we finally able to meet in person, but we both felt a pull to be together due to Emilie's news. PGM (also known as Roxane-Peace Garden Mama) lost a very close friend to cancer in 2000, and of course, dear readers, you are well aware that I lost my mom last November. I couldn't imagine losing her, I still can't believe she isn't here, but in the same respect, I can't imagine how it must feel to know that you are leaving your loved ones. My mom died with dignity and an amazing amount of grace, and I know that Emilie will do the same. I can only pray that they will meet in heaven. They do have a lot to tell each other.

Emilie, Steve, Daniel, and Ben: Your prayers are with us, and we wish you peace.

PS Emilie, if it wasn't for you, I would never have met Roxane, and never would I have been inspired so much to just write. God bless you. BE AT PEACE.

A CAH! For Christmas


Murray has been "practicing" opening presents at daycare. So when we received a gift from our neighbors, we let him try, but Kirby (in his typical I'm-the-king-of-the-house fashion), beat him to it. By the way, Murray enthusiastically refers to Kirby as "CAH". He can't quite get that "t" in there yet.

All's Quiet On The Home Front

Not much to say today. We are having a quiet week, much to my chagrin. We are leaving for the cities on Saturday, provided the weather holds. I know we are supposed to be watching for a storm, but Craig tells me we'll be driving away from it. We'll just have to see. I sure hope we can leave - I would love to finish my Christmas shopping in Minneapolis. We're staying downtown; Craig and his buddy have Vikings tickets, so Murray and I and his buddy's wife (our friend, LaDonna) will do our own thing on Sunday. We decided to take Monday off so that we can take our time driving home on Monday. We even have a house sitter and everything, so we don't have to worry about the pets.

Murray is finally adapting to the pre-tod room, and this morning was the first morning he didn't cry when I left. Of course, yesterday, I accidentally slammed his foot in the door of the truck, so that did not help matters at all. I have never felt so horrible in my life. I stayed with him until he settled down, gave him some Tylenol, and then proceeded to cry all the way to work. He was just fine when I called mid-morning yesterday and has had two very good days in a row. Big sigh of relief. He's also crawling on all fours (finally), cruising everywhere, and walking very well with assistance. I can only hope that he's walking on his own before we go on vacation. It would be very hard to have a 15-month old who isn't walking on that long of a trip.

I'm off to work on laundry and dinner. Let's pray it warms up.

Snow Days

So much for my dream of skipping the blizzard and having 90 degree weather. The good news, after 9.5 inches of snow is that I do love snow days. Craig had to go to work, since he is within walking distance; I'm home with a napping Murray. It's so peaceful. Our fabulous neighbors plowed our driveway, and it's fun to watch everyone in the neighborhood climb out from under the snow (in a good way). It reminds me of my favorite movie, "Grumpy Old Men". Yesterday, we ventured over to my in-laws, got stuck twice, but made it home safely. I haven't seen a storm this terrible since 1997.

Anyway, I'm off to nap myself. What better way to embrace a snow day than a nap?

Unmentionables

There is something wonderful about peaceful winter Saturday mornings. . .this morning it was my turn to sleep in, so I snuggled under the covers after Craig got up with Murray and reveled in a couple of extra hours of sleep.

I woke up to a very happy Murray, who had been playing with Daddy and every toy in the house, it seemed. I didn't mind the mess; I joined in the fun, playing and dancing until nap time.

I just finished wrapping a few more Christmas presents, and am steadily working on the pile of dirty clothes that has once again invaded the laundry room.

Craig went to do some Christmas shopping, so when he gets back, I will have more presents to place under the tree. Speaking of Craig and Christmas shopping brings to mind a hilarious story that took place on Thursday. I got home from work to catch up on housework, but when I walked in the door, I knew something was up. Both dogs were hiding from me, which they tend to do when they've been naughty. No sooner had I taken my coat off, when I looked around the living room and found ENORMOUS bras strewn all over. Apparently, they had "opened" my Christmas present from Craig. The best part is that they were just way too big. They would have fit over my winter coat. I laughed until I was gasping for breath and then called Craig at the office to share the news. Anyway, I was able to ship them back to Victoria's secret and exchange them for the correct size. When I questioned him about the size he ordered, his response was that he looked at the tag of one of my current bras. Well, these are my ratty old nursing bras and although they are bigger than my normal size, they still aren't as big as those he ordered. Anyway, it's a perfect gift, because I'm obviously in need of some new unmentionables, but it's one of the many memories I will cherish forever.

The First Blizzard of the Season?

My last post was filled with grammatical errors, and I can only blame it on not proof reading the post. Yikes. I just re-read it and was horrified. I will try to do better.

The weekend brings another Christmas party tomorrow, but tonight shall be family night at home. These are my favorite evenings. After Murray goes to bed, Craig and I play cards, watch movies, or just do are own thing. Whatever we are in the mood for. It's just nice being together on a "non-school" night, knowing we have two days together as a family without work obligations.

We are stocked up for the blizzard; ready and waiting. It's supposed to be a doozy, so I hope you are all warm and safe when it hits. Then again, this is ND/MN; it could be 90 degrees tomorrow. Who knows? We can only hope.

Happy Friday.

The Stomach Flu Blues and Other Thoughts

Though it may seem as though I've abandoned blogging, I really haven't. It's just been so busy. The events of the last several days are as follows:

On Saturday morning, I walked the 5K Arthritis walk. I am not ashamed to admit that I came in dead last (no kidding, the sweeper was following me), but I made it. 56:47 was my time; thanks to Pam for slowing down for me so that I had someone to walk with. The whole event made me realize that if I can all of the sudden walk 3.1 miles, I can at least fit in 20 minutes a day and work up to more.

On Sunday, I was stuck on the couch with a miserable cold, but by Monday was feeling quite a bit better. . . until Tuesday. I went to bed about 9:00pm, and woke up at 11:30pm with the worst case of the stomach flu I've had in years. It was even worse than when Craig went to WCHA last March, when I had to get an IV for dehydration. The symptoms (I'll spare you the details) finally subsided by about 7:00am, but I was so weak that it was all I could do just to take sips of water.

Luckily, Murray and Craig haven't shown any signs, and I am praying (and disinfecting) with all my heart that they both remain healthy.

I woke up this morning to the scent of turkey roasting, which made me feel a little ill, but I survived. Turkey in the morning, you ask? Craig had a pot luck at work and made his famous shredded turkey in the roaster, so it was cooking all night. Anyway, my sleep-deprived thoughts started with thinking about how there are so many people who never get to smell the heavenly aroma of warm food cooking in their own homes. Then I was listened to the forecast, which got me thinking of the homeless population in our community. You don't always see them, but they are out there, trying to survive. Not only during the holidays do they suffer, but 365 days a year. All day long I've been plotting of something that I can do to help. Yes, we have our favorite charities that we donate to, but something is pulling at me to really reach out more than ever this year. I have decided what I will do, and hope that I will follow through. I don't think I will share this with you, dear readers, because in my mind, giving of the alms is an act that you keep to yourself. It's not about the glory or being a hero, it's just about helping those in need. I'm no Mother Theresa, that is for sure, but I'm going to try extra hard this year to be just a bit more like her.

Murray is having a really rough time adjusting to his new room. The biggest problem, I think, is only one nap a day. He is so CRANKY by the time we get him home, that we usually put him down for an hour before supper. I suppose it will take some time to get into a routine. The good news is, I've decided to go back to working 9am-2pm, unless it's busy and they really need me. I can get my errands and housework done, and still spend extra time with Murray. I really do have the best of both worlds.

So, while I've missed blogging, here's to hoping I'm back.

New Post

Please scroll down under "Random Thoughts" to read the most recent post. It got lost in the mix.

Random Thoughts

What a week it's been! Murray sick, Craig on the road, the Game Feed at the Legion last night, and another Christmas party tonight. Tomorrow I am participating in the Jingle Bells Run/Walk for Arthritis. Phew! Next week looks to be a bit less busy, but that could change in a heartbeat.

Today is Murray's last day in the mobile infant room. I have mixed feelings. . .when I dropped him off this morning, we went over to meet his new teachers (who seem wonderful, as is the rest of the staff). He has been visiting their room since last week; even napping in there one day. I'm sure the transition will be fine for him, it's just a bit difficult on me. There's a bright side, though. He only takes one nap a day now; after lunch with the other pre-tods. That means he's exhausted at night and sleeps until about 7:30 am. It's fabulous, because Craig and I can both get ready for the day while he sleeps, and we're not rushing around running into each other. We don't have to wake up as early, either!

Murray and I have been faithfully taking our Ningxia from Young Living until recently. I kept forgetting, and sure enough, we both got sick. Craig thinks I'm bonkers, but we both remained healthy until we missed several days in a row.

Happy Friday to all; I hope your weekend brings joy!

Oh, Christmas Tree


Note: edited for spelling and grammatical errors.
Every year, it's the same argument. Real tree or fake tree? I prefer real, Craig prefers fake. Last year, I solved the problem by "lending" our fake tree to my sister (I actually gave it to her). In the 4+ years we have been married, I've always won the argument. This year, I didn't even have to ask. Craig came home last Sunday with one of the most beautiful blue spruce trees I've yet to see. We always go to Ole's Landscaping and Garden, and their trees never disappoint.
So, since Craig was on the road and we had so very much going on this week, we finally have it decorated. The worst part is attempting to put the tree in the dang stand. After a couple of hours on Monday evening of tree vs. stand vs. Craig and Marie, Craig went to Target and purchased a new and improved stand. It works beautifully, and he even bought a watering device.
I guess this just goes to say that sometimes you lose, sometimes you win. Marriage is all about compromise, right?

Finally News to Share

I can finally share the news that has thrilled me so much over the last week (see my post: Thrilled Beyond Belief). Check out Our Adoption Journey; the link is on the right hand side of my page. It's wonderful news!

Toy Box Fun

We purchased an ottoman several weeks ago to house Murray's toys. It's the perfect combination of foot rest/coffee table/toy box. Murray recently discovered how to open it and climb in. He is such a funny boy!

We had a very long night again last night with the croup. I ended up holding Murray in the recliner while he slept upright, though that still didn't help much. We took several trips outside to clear his passages, and also a long time in the steamy bathroom reading books. The cold air seems to work faster and better, so I think we'll opt for that again tonight. I took him in again today, and the doctor expects another rough night, but he should start feeling better tomorrow. Apparently the steroid shot they gave him last 72 hours, so we notice some improvement soon. The diffuser in his room with Eucalyptus seems to help as well.

He's been in a fantastic mood today, even tipping my plant over, after several stern "no-no's", he got that gleam in his eye and the second I turned around - CRASH. He's already testing us, and we're finding that he's quite stubborn, much like his mama.

I have a piano lesson to teach soon, so I best get prepared. She's learning so quickly for a beginner; I'm finding it difficult to challenge her!

Another ER Visit

We woke up this morning very early and thought that maybe a seal had taken up residence in Murray's room. I would much have preferred the seal over the croup. Grrr. . . I had a pretty good feeling that's what it was (I read a ton about baby and child illnesses), but he was fighting to breathe, so we took him in. They gave him a breathing treatment; sobbing ensued. Then he received a steroid shot; more sobbing. The poor baby. . .I couldn't get him to nap this afternoon, so I bundled him up and took him for a stroll around the block. Just what the doctor ordered! He's finally resting peacefully, and, while I should get caught up on the housework, will probably just rest too.

I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving!

Thrilled Beyond Belief

I can't post the reason that I am so thrilled; it's not my news to share. Stay tuned, and as soon as I know I'm allowed, I will share the details. I literally cried tears of joy when I heard; it's fantastic news.

Anyway, as I write this, Murray is in bed and one of his toys is going crazy. The Little People Car Port by Fisher Price seems to have a mind of it's own. All of the sudden, the cars began honking and beeping, quite loudly, I might add. I think they may just drive away on their own. Creepy. No one has touched it since yesterday. I can't even blame it on the animals.

Okay, I must go stop the annoyance. More tomorrow.

Friday, Friday, Friday!

Happy Friday to all!

I was thinking this morning about how I haven't been updating Murray's baby book lately. I was feeling pretty down about it, but then I remembered that I post pretty much every event, big or small, on my blog. All I have to do is reference past posts and fill in the book. I can handle that! Emilie, the author of lemmondrops, a blog I frequently read, has turned her blog into a book. It's very cool. I'm not ready for that, but maybe someday.

I'm going to see "Twilight" tonight and I am super excited. First of all, the last movie I went to was Ocean's 11. Craig doesn't like to go to the theatre, he'd rather buy the DVD (which I think is dumb, because what if you don't like the movie?). Secondly, I'm addicted to the Stephanie Meyer series and cannot wait to see the first book on the big screen. Third, I absolutely love movie theatre popcorn. I do not ever share; if I don't eat it all, I take it home and eat it later.

I've been trying to post this blog on The Forum's new website for Moms (and dads), but haven't been able to receive the correct information via email in order to finish registration. A friend of mine is in charge of the site, but she's on vacation, so I'll have to figure it out when she gets back. In the mean time, if you want to check it out, it's pretty neat. Visit http://moms.inforum.com/

I'm off early today; I finished all my work for the week (unless something comes up). Murray will be glad to break out of daycare early today. Then again, maybe not. Sometimes he cries when we leave, he just loves it so much.

Have a fantastic weekend!

A Very Happy Birthday

Finally, some pictures of the party. As you can see, the Speak Easy did a fantastic job.


Murray was VERY unhappy when we put his "See N Say" away so that he could open another gift. Sheesh.





Murray loved the lasagna, but wasn't such a fan of the cake. Hmm. . .maybe I've taken the minimal -to - no - sugar rule too far.
All in all, he had a great time, even though you couldn't tell by looking at the pictures. We have some wonderful video footage, but it's too big to post here. It will be fun to show him when he gets older. Anyway, it was a successful party and I do believe fun was had by all.

Teeth

Today I remembered the USB cord, but forgot the camera - go figure. I will get Murray's birthday pics up soon.

Murray had his one year check up yesterday. He weighs 22.9 lbs, in the 50th percentile (time to go car seat shopping), and is not very tall. In fact, they want to see him again in 3 months to assure that his growth is fine. Dr. G. isn't too concerned, since genetics play a factor, and Craig and I are both pretty short.

The top two teeth came in yesterday, finally. I was wondering when it was going to happen; at his nine month check up, Dr. T. said any day. Guess he was off a bit. Oh well, now they are in and life is swell.

On Friday night, I am going to see the movie "Twilight", the first of the Stephanie Meyer series. I am truly excited; I love this series.

I had a very stressful day at work today, so I'm off to bed. We're almost to Friday! By the way, I'm already cranky about the cold weather. It's going to be a LONG winter.

Birthday Fun

We had the best time at Murray's birthday party. The Speak Easy did an absolutely fabulous job; the banquet room looked beautiful, and of course, I went in and decorated before hand, with a little help from my mother-in-law, my sister, and our good family friend (she's really just like family). I forgot the USB cord to post pictures today, but will do so this evening.

Murray refused to eat his cake for the longest time crying and shoving it away. The video is hilarious. We tried everything, until finally, his cousin (who is only five days younger than Murray) came over and helped. They ended up sharing the cake and loving it. By Sunday evening, Murray was so pooped that he slept from 5:30pm until 5 this morning. I caved and gave him a bottle (he hasn't had one in almost 2 weeks) because he had slept through supper, and he went right back to sleep. There was no way that I was going to make scrambled eggs and toast on a Monday morning at 4:45am. Now that we're back on schedule, meal times should go back to normal.

The present opening was an interesting event as well. Murray opened his first present, a See 'N Say, and after that, he wanted nothing to do with the rest of his gifts. However, when we put them all together on Sunday morning, he was in heaven. He couldn't decide which to play with.

We just had such a fabulous weekend; I can't wait to post the pictures.

This weekend we will celebrate Murray's cousin's birthday, and I can't wait. Who knew first birthday parties were so much fun?

Stay tuned for pics. Have a super Monday.

Happy First Birthday, Little One

Dear Murray,

One year ago today, at this time, you were still in my tummy; we were waiting impatiently for you to make your grand entrance into this world. What a grand entrance it was! Although you took your time, you finally arrived at 5:56pm. Words cannot describe how thrilled we were (and still are). When I heard your first cry, I cried right along with you, though my tears were tears of joy. November 14, 2007 was the best day of our lives.

What a year we've had! You have been very busy growing and learning. To date, you are almost walking, and getting into everything. You are a very curious boy who loves animals and cell phones, but most of all, your daddy. When you were born, you weighed 9 lbs. 2 oz, and now you weigh 21.9 lbs. That's a lot of growing!

Mama is a bit sad today; it's amazing how fast you've grown. You are officially weaned from your bottle, and are very good at eating anything we put in front of you. But even though I'm sad that you are growing up so fast, your daddy and I are having so much fun watching you learn and grow. We are very proud of you.

So, even though you don't realize that today is such a special day, we do, and we celebrate in your honor. God bless you, sweet boy, and happy first birthday!

Love,
Mama and Daddy

I'm It

Here are the rules for this fun little game. I'm always up for distractions at work:

1. Link to the person who tagged you. Mine came from Peace Garden Mama II.
2. Post these rules on your blog.
3. tell about your six quirks (see below).
4. Tag six bloggers to do the same.
5. Leave them a comment to let them know they've been tagged.
6. No tag backs.

My six quirks (although there are many more):

1. I cannot stand dishes (dirty or clean) in the sink. It drives me batty!

2. There must be many pillows on my bed, all big, fluffy down pillows or I can't sleep. Craig is very clear that he doesn't like my pillows, but every morning, I discover that he has "stolen" one out from under me. Dirty rotten trickster!

3. I refuse to drive on the interstate. Ever since I crashed 5 years ago, I go through town, no matter how much longer it takes me. I wasn't even injured in the crash, so I don't know why it terrifies me so much; all I can say is it's a good thing I'm in therapy.

4. I don't like chocolate, or really, any sweets, but give me a big bucket of french fries and some ranch, and I'm in heaven.

5. I spend way too much time on Facebook. Especially when I should be working.

6. I have a terrible sense of fashion and hate shopping for myself. I'm sure I look pretty goofy most days.

There they are-I could go on forever. It was fun thinking of silly quirks. Now that I'm on a roll, I could write all day! Have fun!

Sick Germs, Be Gone!

Addendum to today's post:

I am addicted to KFGO radio, partly because I used to work there, but mostly because they have the best news, information, and talk I can find. It's been a huge distraction for me of late; music seems to make me sad, so I avoid it all costs (which I think, music lover that I am, is even sadder). Anyway, today on the way home, I switched to the FM dial, cranked the volume, and sang all the way home, for the first time in as long as I can remember. I felt SO good. It was such a relief - the cloud really is lifting. Music is so powerful; I'm thankful I found the courage to listen in again when I'm in the mood.

On another note, I came home to a clean house, although Craig had started the process of cleaning the refrigerator, hit a brick wall and quit. No biggie, I just finished what he started and it was done. At least he started the process for me! Both boys are asleep, have been since 7pm, so I'm finishing laundry (yes, finishing, I can't believe it) and am relaxing. What a great life.


Earlier today. . .
Well, even though I disinfected, Craig still wound up with a doozy of a bug. I don't recall him missing two days in a row for work, in a very long time, if ever. He seems to feeling a bit better this afternoon - he was shopping online. So, it will be interesting to see what the condition of the house is when I get home. :) I guess I will have to disinfect all over again. Sigh.

I'm feeling like the fog is beginning to lift. Work helps, and I'm beginning to enjoy things again. Slowly but surely. I feel like the tortoise in the Tortoise and the Hare. Slow and steady wins the race. I'm working hard on therapy and haven't even had a panic attack in about three weeks. I've had close calls, but was able to reign in my emotions and calm down. Anyway, I'm turning a corner.

It's already been a busy week, but I just don't mind. Keeping busy helps so much, as long as I remember to take time for myself once in a while too. I've scheduled a cut and color for this week, and am planning a massage next week (I've never had one, so I'm pretty excited).

Quote for the day: Don't let negative thoughts, feelings or people rent space in your head.

Gopher Fever


I have spent the last two days in bed with some sort of crazy bug. I didn't have the usual symptoms that you would associate with the flu or a cold. My whole upper body was in serious pain, it hurt to breathe, very bad headaches, and a temp of 102+ bordering on 103 that just wouldn't go away. I woke up this morning feeling a bit better, though still not 100%. I took advantage of a burst of energy and disinfected the entire house, including doorknobs, Murray's toys, etc., then ran to Target, started the laundry and scrubbed floors. I am going to spend the rest of the day on the couch finishing recovering. I may have overdone. I just picked up the third installment in the Stephanie Meyer series, Eclipse, so between naps, I am going to read away.


On a final note: Do you think that Gopher fever may have caused my bug?




Counting My Blessings at 4am

It was 4am when I woke up this morning. The dogs were by my side on the floor, the cat keeping my feet warm, Craig snoring softly beside me, and a baby who was out like a light (or so I thought). I don't know what woke me, but as I snuggled under the covers, it was as though a crystalline light surrounded me, and I realized how very, very special my life is. Even when Murray woke up several minutes later soaked through to his sheets, I didn't mind getting up. Craig and I quietly worked as a team to get him cleaned up and the sheets changed. As we all went back to bed, I smiled to myself, knowing with all my heart that God has a plan, and I'm living it. It may not always be what I want, but He certainly provides me with my needs, and oh so many blessings.

Murray just learned how to pull himself up on EVERYTHING. It seems like it happened over night. Several weeks back he began practicing, but he finally got it down. I feel like bolting all of our furniture to the floor and walls. In this clip, he was so proud of himself.

video

Whirlwind

Wow, it's been a whirlwind of activity and it's only getting busier. We completely overhauled our house on Saturday - adding new furniture, throwing out old furniture (sorry, the John Travolta dresser had to go), rearranging, etc. I just love what we've done and many thanks to S & T for their decorating and moving help. S just has such a fabulous sense of style, and actually, her husband does too!



On Sunday we spent time with Craig's family at his sister's house. It was fun to see the cousins play together and the Vikings win! After the game, we went to the lake to be with Grandpa and Grandma.



Monday was the one year anniversary (I despise calling it an anniversary; it doesn't feel like the right word) of our Mom's death. It was very difficult, but that is to be expected. I spent some special quiet time sitting at the beach, watching the stars, remembering her (this was a tradition of ours; including my sister, that started before I can remember). I'm still struggling, but expect to for a while. As I've stated many times this isn't a short process. I have many blessings, I just wish I could share them with her. Anyway, enough of the pity party. Today is a new day, and a good one at that. I'm off to vote!!!

SO BIG

Loving the brussel sprouts and performing at the same time!
A note on the brussel sprouts: I tried them for the first time when I was at Prairie, and found that I love them! So I introduced them to Murray, and we're hooked. I never would have guessed that this would be such an enjoyable veggie.

Pumpkin Patch

Not so loving the pumpkins. . .





Craig and I had more fun at the pumpkin patch than Murray did, but you will see that he LOVED the animals, especially the goats (they're my favorite too; my family owned Fort Detroit outside of Detroit Lakes, MN and I always spent a ton of time with the goats). Murray was very grumpy after the "not so scary ride" through the haunted forest.



So angry, but really kind of cute.


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This isn't the best video (goats and babies are very busy and hard to catch live), but still fun.
All in all, it was a great day (at least for Craig and I) and we're glad we went, especially since the next day was horrible weather wise. I really think that he will enjoy it more next year.


20 or 40?

I have some fun pictures from our outing at the pumpkin patch, but of course I forgot the camera at home, so I will have to post them this evening or tomorrow.

I'm working full time this week, which I'm not too sure about. It's good for my depression, in a way, but I miss my special mornings and afternoons with Murray. I loathe loading him in the car at 7:15 to get him to daycare. I hate not being able to give him breakfast. I don't like that we can't play in the afternoon before his nap. My time with him seems so much shorter. It makes me so sad. I realize that many moms work full time, and that's great. I just don't think it's for me. Maybe when he's in kindergarten, but that's a long way off, thankfully. I am going to hang in there this week and we'll see what happens. I'm grateful that I have options and can choose how many hours I want to work.

Stay tuned for pictures!

Ahh. . .it's Friday

I had a busy day today at work and am feeling really good about it. While my new position fell through (the person they hired to take my spot quit after one day), I am taking on extra responsibilties and loving every minute. Today my boss and I drove around town looking for prime billboard locations to decide where to place our client. I learned quite a bit (while I'm familiar with radio and tv, I'm learning about outdoor) and was pleased that he is still keeping his promise and eventually will be the executive assistant. He is so loyal and appreciative and in return, I offer the same.

Plans for the weekend? PJ day tomorrow, Sunday maybe the pumpkin patch if the weather holds. The forecast predicts rain, but it was completely incorrect today, so I'm banking on a beautiful day. Or maybe will just switch pj day with pumpkin patch day. Either way, I am so happy for a quiet weekend.

Have a great one!

To Dress or Not to Dress?

I know the farmers aren't happy with the rain, but I love it. It's a perfect day to cuddle up under a blanket with a hot beverage and read a book or take a nap. Which is exactly what I intend to do this afternoon. I have my first out-patient therapy appointment at 4, but until then, I am going to give myself a little break.

Speaking of therapy, I've been anxiously awaiting this first appointment. It's been 3 weeks since I've been discharged from Prairie, and that was way too long to go without therapy. The evil D has been seeping in again, which in turn causes panic attacks, so I'm really looking forward to meeting my new therapist. Next week I will see Dr. B., the psychiatrist who treats me, so things are really looking up. Is it sad that I'm so excited about therapy? Maybe for some, but I see it as a tool to heal. This process is taking much longer than anticipated, and I've realized that there isn't a magic cure or pill to help. A blogger friend of mine reminded me on Monday (when I blogged about having a "blue" day) to make a list of my blessings. What a fantastic idea. I took her advice and came up with a fairly long list. I felt so much better after, and in turn, remembered to use some of the skills I've acquired at Prairie. Thanks Roxane!


We've been struggling with whether or not to put Murray in a Halloween costume. I go back and forth. My emotional side wants those precious "first Halloween" pictures, but my practical side does not think it's necessary. This may sound cruel; I certainly don't mean it that way. I just don't see the point in dressing him up and hauling him around when he isn't going to remember it anyway. He has some orange pumpkin pj's, and the other day I found some cute baby Halloween hats, so maybe we'll just dress him in this little ensemble and take his picture. If anyone has suggestions of past or future "first Halloweens'", I'd be happy to hear them. By the way is "Halloween" supposed to be capitalized? Spell check says so, but I'm not so sure. . .

Enjoy the rain!

A Case of the Mondays

Ho hum. I have the Monday blues today. I'm feeling down and struggling to pull myself up. Murray cried when I dropped him off at daycare today (he usually doesn't); Mondays are tough on everyone.

We had a nice weekend, though a bit busier than planned. Craig hung the storm door in the back, and it looks so nice! The storm windows are up as well, just in time for the cold to set in. We spent some time with our good friend Troy, and of course, watched the Gopher's hockey game. Murray was able to spend some time with his Aunt Amy, and Sunday we just took it easy.

I am appalled at the audacity of certain realtors in this town. On Friday afternoon, someone knocked on our door, claiming that she had left a message that she was going to show the house. Now, this is bogus, because the listing instructs realtors to call our realtor, and only he has our cell numbers and home phone (it's unlisted). All we could really do is sit in the back yard while they looked around, and thankfully it didn't take very long. So, Saturday morning, we're all in our pajama's lounging around, having coffee, just generally enjoying being together. 10:15, the doorbell rings. Conversation as follows:

Realtor: "Did you get the message I left you that I was going to show your house today at 10:15?"

Me: "No, we don't have an answering machine and I just checked both of our cell phones; no messages."

Realtor (obviously backtracking): "Oh, well, I called your realtor and he said it was fine. Can we come in?"

Me: "Uh, sure, let me just pack up the baby, change our clothes, put the dogs out, etc."

Realtor: "Great, we'll be waiting in the driveway."

We were pretty frustrated to say the least. The house was in fair shape, so that wasn't a problem, it's just a pain to be interrupted when you least expect it. Our realtor always gives us notice, and he did not receive a call from either realtor, so they used the "popping in" tactic. I guess it's good that people are still interested, but it was pretty inconvenient. Let's just hope we get an offer after all of this.

Sorry about the long post today. I didn't think I had quite so much to vent about, but there it is. Hope everyone has super Monday.

Roxane Salonen Works and Misc. Items

I have no idea how, but many thanks to Roxane for makeing the link work. We're ready to go, and I hope you enjoy her writing as much as I do. Check out the link in my blog list to Peace Garden Mama.

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This was so funny. We purchased this ball for him several months ago, but he's finally really enjoying it. Speaking of new skills, all of the sudden, Murray figured out how to sit up on his own, as well as pull himself up in his crib. I am terrified that he'll fall out, but suppose it will going to happen eventually (YIKES). Again, I wish we could put our kids in a bubble. We can't, so we just do the best we can.

Craig has been sick, but Murray and I have been fighting it off with Ningxia Red, and essential oils (if you click on the links, you will learn about it) which are awesome immune system supplements that have amazing results. It's working like a charm. This is a health pitch, not a sales pitch, because I do not sell the product, I just purchase it. :)

Tomorrow is supposed to be a fabulous fall weather day, and I'm so looking forward to just lounging around in the yard. I hope you all have a great weekend.

Yep

Yep, the direct link works, so I can't figure out why the heck my blog list won't accept it. I know nothing about Feed Burner or RSS or whatever, so I'm guessing that's the complication. Anyway, I really hope to get it sorted out soon, because she writes so beautifully.

New Blog To Read

I have been trying to post the link of a blogger Friend (actually, she's a professional author and columnist for the Forum; from Fargo), Roxane Salonen, but for some reason my blog won't connect to hers (Peace Garden Mama II). I finally at least am able to get to Area Voices, which, if you search for her, you will find her blog. I highly recommend it, and hope you will check it out. I hope as soon as Craig has time, he will be able to help me to make the link work directly.

I'll keep you posted. Try this link to see if it works here, instead of in my blog list.

http://www.roxanesalonen.blogspot.com/

Dock Day



It doesn't matter what day of the week, year, or month that we schedule dock day. It's guaranteed to rain, snow, blow, or sleet. This year was actually pretty nice; the guys had to take a couple of breaks due to lightning, but other than that, all went smoothly. It was absolutely beautiful; the trees were gorgeous and some of the flowers still in bloom, ironically. We had four, yes four, dogs "helping". Rudy dug his last rock out from the lake for the summer, and Nala was able to swim for the last time this season.

I decided to take some pictures, and while doing so, realized that my camera has much more potential than I have been taking advantage of. I really need to read the 5,000 page manual (exaggeration, but not by much), but I have no idea when I'll get to it. The shot above is looking from the lake to the big house, though you don't really see the house (it's out of the shot). It's my favorite place on earth, and always has been. I'd rather be here than any other place in the world, including Hawaii.



This picture is looking out to the road side of the house. The colors aren't nearly as sharp in the picture, but again, I'm hoping to learn more about my camera.









This is one of my favorite shots. It's peaceful, which is how the day was.











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Last, but not least, a funny clip of my Grandma and Murray playing blocks. Murray's laugh is hysterical; he just loves her so much. I am so grateful that she and Grandpa are in our lives.


Here's to a great Monday morning.


BRRRRR

I was thinking today about how Murray is already almost 11 months old. It's cliche, I know, but they grow up way too fast. I LOVE watching him grow, but I miss the newborn stage. I guess we all grow and change; time is inevitable. I've learned that myself recently and realized how important it is not to take anything for granted, which is so much easier than done; I don't know that anyone ever perfects the ability to do so.

We're taking the docks and lifts out at the lake this weekend, which is always a fun day, but a sad one too. It marks the beginning of another season gone, though another to look forward to (I do not look forward to winter, as a friend of mine and I were discussing today). Craig finally has some waders (thanks to Grandpa Jack), so he shouldn't freeze this year. I get to help in the kitchen for the big meal to warm up the guys.

Though I appreciate the crisp weather, I'm cold and wishing it were warmer. It is kind of fun to cozy up with a good book and a warm blanket though; I'm finding the bright side of things. Besides, the trees are beautiful! As long as it's not snowing, I'm happy.

BUSTED!

I just have a quick minute to check in. I'm feeling better today than I have the last two, so I'm making progress. I was well aware that the adjustment from Prairie back to the "real" world would be difficult, so I'm not expecting to feel 100% immediately. It's not a quick fix, it's a process, and one that takes a lot of work. Good work, but hard work. To everyone who has sent comments, thoughts and kind words, thank you. I'm sorry I haven't responded properly, but I will as soon as things settle down a bit.

Our annual end of the year softball party was a success and fun was had by all. At least until the Moorhead PD came knocking and threatened a noise ordinance violation if we didn't break up the party immediately. I feel so embarrassed, no one there was under the age of 27 (and it wasn't that large of a party). Good thing we had several sober drivers, and everyone cooperated. The funniest part is that they had the whole house surrounded. Each fence gate, the front door, back door, etc. You would have thought we were running a drug ring. It will be one of those stories we don't tell Murray (who was at Craig's mom and dad's for the night).

It's billing week, so I'm swamped, but thought I'd update. Hope you all are having a great week.

Settling In

Been a while since my last post - I've been so busy trying to get settled into a new/old routine. It's only Tuesday and it feels like it should be at least Thursday. I will update more soon when I have the energy to post.

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Murray and Owen (Owen is Murray's cousin born five days after Murray) got together to play for a short time on Saturday. They are pretty funny together, and you can already tell that they will be great friends! Owen is doing beatifully (despite being born at 1 lb. 10 oz) and even surpasses Murray at many skills. Just goes to show that every baby is different, no matter what.

I'm being discharged from the hospital on Friday and am a bit anxious, but excited at the same time. I have learned so much and feel ready to use the skills I've learned in the "real" world. I will follow up with my psychiatrist and therapist, as well as a Hospice grief support group.

We are off to a play tonight at MSUM with some friends, and I'm really looking forward to it. Craig doesn't get into plays very much, but my hope is that he will enjoy himself.

God Bless!

PS If you haven't checked out the Stephanie Meyer series (the first is titled Twilight), you should, great read!

On to the Weekend

What can I say about this week? I'm feeling better emotionally, most of the time. I'm excited about the progress I've made and the support that I have. I hope to be discharged next Friday, which is exciting, but nerve racking at the same time. I've really been working hard at practicing what I've learned, so I think that I can do this. Upon discharge, I will continue appointments with a psychiatrist and a psycho-therapist, so it's not like I'm completely on my own. This is comforting. I'll continue to keep you posted. Someday I hope that I can write in detail about my experiences, because they have been life changing. I'm just not ready yet.

Murray spiked a temp yesterday of 101.6, but a little Tylenol and some extra TLC brought it down and he's back to "almost" normal. Tired, a bit cranky, but I suspect it's the cold combined with teething.

We are celebrating Craig's boss's retirement party tomorrow, and his wife has asked me to help prepare. I'm looking forward to this-it's a chance to be creative and a such a wonderful social event. I am pretty honored that she asked. She has become a close friend; I value her very much.

Happy Friday!

Loving Life

Kiing Murray at the Crowne Plaza.



I love love giraffes, always have. This is not the best picture, but I still love him (or her) and wish I could have taken him home.

Murray LOVED swimming. We couldn't get him out until he was chattering with cold.






We are so lucky!




Stepping (limping) Out

We have finally arrived in St. Paul, after what seemed like the longest car ride ever. Murray did not sleep until 30 minutes before we arrived, so it was a bit difficult (to put it mildly) to get him to settle down. Our hotel room comes with a complimentary relaxation CD, so I popped it in and it's about to put me to sleep too.

I was uber organized for this trip, or so I thought, but upon arrival, realized that I forgot all of my meds (it's the dementia again). I have nothing for anxiety, which is the one that worries me the most. Hopefully, my doctor will be able to call in a small supply to a pharmacy near our hotel to get me through the weeekend. Otherwise, if anyone is going to be in the cities tomorrow, please call me!!! :) Good thing I've been learning so many cognitive coping strategies.

I went to the foot doctor today and he told me that there isn't anything to do except let the bones heal. About six weeks he thinks. At least I don't have to wear a hard cast, and I'm very happy about not having to have surgery.

I hope to do some shopping tomorrow, and take Murray in the pool while Craig is in meetings. I also plan to nap whenever Murray does. Since I don't drive in the cities, and I have one bad foot, the shopping part may not get accomplished until Craig is out of conferences. On Saturday, we are taking Murray to Como - I am so excited for this. I'll probably have to get a motorized cart, but I don't care. It should be fun. I'm most excited to see the giraffes (I've always wanted one).

This CD is really doing the trick. ZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Stay tuned for zoo pictures!

Finding Humor

The word is that I have fractured several bones in my foot. When I received the X-Ray results today, I actually laughed out loud. I was a bit hysterical, I must admit, but it was better than losing it completely. I just can't imagine what next. Craig needs to up my life insurance policy and I think I'm going to start wearing a crash helmet. I have a huge boot to wear and will see a podiatrist on Thursday to determine the next course of action, which we are hoping is not surgery (this, from the walk-in clinic doctor). Meanwhile, I am determined to find the humor in the situation. There are worse things in life, much worse. No self-pity allowed! I'm actually getting around much easier with the silly boot than I was before, so that is a huge plus.

I am loving the weather this week, and was so looking forward to continuing my afternoon walks with Murray, but it looks like they may be put on hold for a while. At least we can still play in the back yard.

I'm off to catch some zzzz's. Sleep tight, and don't forget to find the humor.

I'm Still A Klutz

Yesterday afternoon as we were packing up the car, I tripped over the edging that surrounds my hostas and injured my foot. I have no idea what is wrong with it, but I can hardly walk and it hurts even if I don't move. I swear, I'm really testing poor Craig, what with all of the injuries I've had in the past year. Sprained ankle, allergic reactions to bee stings (this happened twice in one month), mental illness and now this. I will ask to see the medical doctor at Prairie on Monday, but for now, it's ice and Aleve, which doesn't really seem to be helping.

It's not a sunny day at the lake, but it's completely serene. There is no wind, and the temperature is just perfect. As soon as Murray takes a nap, I plan to find a comfy chair outside and do some writing.

I hope that today finds you relaxing or enjoying whatever leisure activity it is that you enjoy.

Embracing the Silence

Today I woke up feeling like I took a step backward in my progress. I don't know why I was having such a dark day, but there it was, lurking outside of the comfort of my bed. I went to therapy, despite the fact that all I wanted to do was hide under the covers and watch Lifetime all day. I'm glad I forced myself out the door. I learned today that this is not a linear journey, but more like traveling around a mountain. Up and down, up and down, some inclines steeper than others. It's the old cliche, one step forward, two steps back. My anxiety was too high yesterday and this morning for me to drive, so Craig and the wonderful Prairie van helped with transportation. I did drive myself home this afternoon, so I'm feeling a bit empowered. I meditated with my nurse before I left, which made a world of difference. Then, in the car, I practiced the skills I've been learning, and I made it!



I am learning to embrace the silence. We viewed a presentation by Dr. Wayne Dyer today (who, I must say is amazing and I recommend purchasing his book or DVD) and one of the ten secrets for inner peace that he teaches is to embrace the silence. So, when I returned home this afternoon, Murray and I snuggled up together and had a completely quiet, peaceful 10 minutes. There are so many wonderful secrets that he discusses, and I will write more about them in another post. It's a lot to take in at one time. Basically, the principle of embracing the silence means that there is one power in the universe that flows through everything (whatever or whomever you believe that power to be). This power is indivisible - you simply cannot divide it. If you can get to that place inside of you that you can't divide, embrace the silence, you will come to know your source, your peace, or whatever it is you seek.



I have been trying to download a fun video of Murray crawling, but it must be too large. I'll try again later. In the meantime, happy Friday!

R & R

We've had a wonderful weekend. I haven't felt such calm or peace in a very long time. It was so nice to just stay home and be together. I even found the energy (with Craig's help) to get the house back in shape yesterday. This is a big relief in itself. I'm always calmer when things are as they should be. We even went to the West Acres yesterday to shop for some clothes for Murray. I did better than expected, but after about an hour, it was time to go. I began to get pretty overwhelmed, but settled down when we got in the car. Two weeks ago, I wouldn't have even been able to leave the house, much less go to a busy shopping mall. I'm calling this progress.

Craig and I had a very nice date night on Friday. Murray went to a sleepover at his Grandpa and Grandma's and Craig and I grilled and shared a bottle of wine by the fire. We sure needed it!

I got a call last week from my boss. Of course, I was worried that they didn't want me to return to my position when I'm finished with therapy. It turns out that they hired someone to fill my position, and when I return, I will be the executive assistant to the president of the company. I was blown away. His faith and trust in me is amazing, and I am so pleased to be able to return in this capacity.

I added a new blog to my list for those interested. Our very dear friends are adopting a child from Columbia, and they have just started posting about their journey.

I hope everyone has an outstanding week. I'm going to continue this journey and will continue to keep you posted.

Labor Day Pictures

Murray and Grandpa Doug had a great time playing together on Saturday.




We woke up on Sunday morning at the the lake to the most beautiful fog. It was mystical and a bit magical, the way it rolled across the lake. So peaceful, that I just had to run outside and snap a couple of shots.

I'm off to bed. Seems like I just can't get enough sleep these days. Might as well call it a day.

Peace to all. . .


Thank You

To all of you who have emailed, called, or posted a comment, I appreciate your support more than I can explain. It really helps to have a foundation of concerned friends and family, and with your help, I will get through this.

Life at Prairie is difficult to explain. I just received my treatment plan this afternoon, and my team has not decided how long I will stay, or if I will need to spend some time on the full hospitalization floor (where you stay overnight). I hope that won't be the case, but I'm willing to do what it takes to recover. It takes a lot of self examination and honesty to get through each day, but I am learning (and re-learning) many new things about myself. I listened to one woman today who is nearing the end of her stay at Prairie, and she described finding her old self again and how wonderful it felt. It's funny, because that's exactly how I feel. I feel like the old Marie is on an extended vacation, and now I'm in the process of finding her again.

We had a nice labor day weekend. We spent Sunday at the lake and just relaxed. It was nice to just "be". Murray came down with a fever yesterday and is still battling it today. Craig took him to the walk-in clinic while I was at therapy today, and he has a viral infection. It should clear up in 72 hours or so. He's been a very sad, fussy baby.

Tomorrow brings another day. Tonight I am going to practice some of the skills I've been learning and get some rest. Peace to all, and again, thank you for the support.

Be at Peace

I'm sitting here talking with my dad on the deck, and we're having a very nice time. We're relaxing, and that's what I was hoping to do this first weekend after my first week as a patient as Priaire, I'm very tired, but that is normal in people with depression. We are having friends visit for a barbecue, and I'm very excited to see them. I may have to go to bed early, but right now, I feel okay to do that. Tomorrow we are going to the lake, and that is my most favorite, peaceful place on earth. Peace to all.

Prairie

It's time for me to lay it on the line. As anyone who reads my blog knows, I have been struggling with severe anxiety and depression. I've been fighting and fighting, and I was only feeling worse. On Monday morning, I literally fell apart, completely and totally. I couldn't even get dressed. So, with Criag and Maggie behind me, I checked into Prairie St. John's. After some very honest evaluations with therapists, counselors, nurses and my psychiatrist, I am now what the call a partial hospitilization patient. I have found the relief I need and after the first three days, and wish I could stay there forever. They are teaching me so much, and I am learning a ton about humanity. The group I am in has about 9 others just like me, who suffer from this mental illness (I learned that depression is a mental illness, much to my surprise). I had many stereotypes about the people who sought help at Prairie, and I was, once again, way off. I was very ashamed to admit that I needed help, but I'm starting to realize that this is the best thing that I could have done for myself and my family. It is a wonderful feeling to realize that I am being proactive and that I won't feel like this forever. I have a lot of work to do, and it will be hard work, but I'm looking forward to healing and recovery. I did not grieve properly when Mom died, and it has finally caught up with me. Anyway, I have a whole team to help me through this, and I am so glad that Maggie and Craig pushed me to enter the progam (I'm pretty sure they would have forced me if I had not gone willingly). I have so much support on the home front, and that in itself is amazing. This will be a slow process, I'm told 3-6 weeks, but it isn't meant to be a quick fix. And I'm happy about that. I need to take the time to learn and process, and each day is emotionally exhausting, but at the same time comforting. I haven't even had an anxiety attack since Monday, though it's still very hard to function on a regular basis. Each small task is a huge accomplishment, and I'm proud of each and every one. So there it is. This is where I'm at, and I'm learning to be proud of myself for asking for help when I need it, instead of being ashamed.

Money, Schmoney

When Murray was born, I absolutely dreaded going back to work. This feeling started while I was pregnant, and intensified three-fold the very first time I held him. But, I love my job, so I compromised. My boss agreed to let me to come back to work part-time so that I could be at home with Murray more often. We found a fabulous daycare center with a part-time rate, and it's worked out beautifully. I love our lazy mornings and quiet afternoons together. Yesterday, the center newsletter stated that they would no longer have a part time rate for infants (pre-school and up only) and that the full time rate was increasing. I understand that daycare rates need to increase from time to time, especially if we want our center to maintain their reputation for excellency. However, now we're going to pay eighty bucks more a month for Murray to only be there 25-28 hours a week! That's quite the increase. By the time I pay for gas to get to work, I may as well stay home, what with my pittance of a paycheck. I'll get over it, I suppose, I'm just more upset that they took away our part time rate. I would even have paid more if they had kept it, but I don't have a say, so I'll suck it up and write the check.

Craig has state softball tournaments this weekend, so Maggie and I and our friend Michelle are off to the lake for "girls" weekend (except for Murray). It's the last weekend before school starts for Mags, so we thought it would be a great way to send her back. Should be a fun weekend.

Good luck to Dave's Southside Tap! I hope you come home with no injuries and a big trophy!

The Big D

I used to think that people who suffered from anxiety attacks were full of hooey. I'm ashamed to admit that I was way off the mark. Totally, completely, wrong. They are not made up, they are very real, and they are very scary. I can be happily going about my day, no particular stress, or "weird" feeling, and BAM! Out of nowhere, I suddenly feel as though my world is crashing down around me. My limbs go tingly and numb, I'm dizzy, my heart is pounding as though it will pop out of my chest, I'm fighting to breathe, and sick to my stomach. I feel like I am going to keel over any second (this is not an exaggeration). Sometimes, it lasts for hours, sometimes, minutes. When they do subside, I'm always left feeling tired and weak, which, when I think about it, is no wonder. My body is fight or flight mode, and of course I would feel pooped after.

Now, you ask, why would I share such personal information? I was thinking about that, and seriously considering never, ever discussing any of this. For some reason, it's very difficult to admit that I am having a tough time, and it shouldn't be. Maybe it's because I don't want anyone to think I've gone a bit crazy, or I'm simply feeling sorry for myself. Or maybe it's because so often people keep these things to themselves, and here I am, writing about it for anyone to read. It would be easy to hide out until I get through this phase of life, but I don't want to do that. As a trusted and wise friend recently told me, at the end of the day, it's me, not anyone else, that I have to report to. So, I chose to write about my experiences with anxiety and the big "D" because I think that maybe by being honest and open about what I am feeling, someone else won't be so afraid. Because this is scary. It's terrifying (not to mention very frustrating) to feel this way, and if I could only understand it, maybe it wouldn't frighten me so. The unknown is always the worst - sometimes I think it's easier to know what's going to happen, even if you aren't going to like the outcome. At least then you can prepare yourself.

Anyway, there it is. This is what I'm dealing with. I don't want sympathy or pity, I just think it's important to talk about this issue. There are so many good things in my life, I don't understand why I can't get myself out of this slump. I am constantly fighting it, trying so hard to not feel like this. And I will keep fighting. I won't let the evil big "D" win.

Murray has been having fresh nectarines for breakfast this week, and he gobbles them up like they're candy. Here is a funny clip of him shoveling them in this morning:

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He's a great mood booster. How can you not feel a bit of happiness when you see this face? What a great reminder that life must go on.

An Apple A Day

Murray had his nine month check up this morning, and he is a very healthy boy. No shots, either, not again until 12 months. This is a relief, because he's usually miserable for a day or two after the shots, so we got a reprieve this time. At nine months though, we feel it's probably time to start weaning him from the pacifier, and we forgot to ask for suggestions. I'll have to google it.

That's all for now. All is quiet on the home front. I hope to have a quiet, peaceful evening at home.

Dazed and Confused

Well, the hard part is done. On Saturday, we drove to Grafton and packed up mom's house. The movers will make the trip on Thursday and bring all of her things to Moorhead. It's a relief, I suppose, but it's also so sad. I'm glad that we waited this long to tackle the task, because I think if we had done it any earlier, it would have been that much more emotional. I didn't expect to laugh as much as we did that day, but I swear, she was with us. Her home was always so organized and uncluttered, but we kept finding odd items stashed away. For instance, she had enough envelopes to send one letter to each troop overseas, and enough candles to light St. Mary's Cathedral. There was an abundance of cords; phone cords, cable cords, computer cords, all wrapped up neatly, but seriously, what the heck do you need that many spare cords for? And blowdryers and curling irons. Lots of those too. Anyway, it went far better than expected, and I'm glad that we were able to do it together. I did find out that Maggie and I are complete oppostites when it comes to packing. Maggie's idea of packing was to clean out a drawer or closet by dumping everything in one box. That meant winter hats were mixed in with a cordless drill and a variety of other miscellaneous items. I kept running around behind her unpacking her boxes and repacking them. It was actually pretty funny - I hope I didn't offend anyone with my bossiness. I'll call it a coping mechanism.

Yesterday we had a lazy, lazy day at home. It was nice. The house is a bit of a disaster right now, but for once, I don't mind. I'm not letting it get to me (I mean it). There are more important things in life, and I'm not going to let it stress me out. I don't know if this is due to the place I'm in right now, of if I'm honestly just starting to get my priorites straight. Time will tell, I guess, and until then, I'll keep on keeping on.

Drawing A Blank

I need some time to ponder a bit more before I can form words from my thoughts, so until then:


HAPPY NINE MONTH BIRTHDAY, MURRAY! WE LOVE YOU VERY MUCH!

Off Come the Rose Colored Glasses

I have been unable to write lately. Every time I sit down to post, I end up staring blankly at the screen, fingers poised over the keys, ready to type something, anything. At first I thought it was a simple case of writer's block, because it's extremely rare that I don't have something to yap about. This morning I realized that I'm stuck because I'm dealing with some tough stuff right now, and I needed some time to come to terms with what's happening.

My appointment with the cardiologist went well, but it certainly wasn't what we expected. Dr. Otero believes that the high, tachy heart rates are caused by stress and anxiety, not an arrhythmia, which was the affliction in 2006. I realize that this is good news, but it was a huge blow to me and my perception of how things are. Ever since my mom was diagnosed with cancer last July, I have held it together, been strong, kept going, one foot in front of the other, determined not to let myself fall apart. You know, the "pillar of strength" type. Yes, there have been some bad days, but bad days are healthy once in a while. For the most part, I thought that I was handling things in a way that would have made mom proud. We were raised to be strong women, of the "pick yourself up, dust yourself off and move on" variety. No feeling sorry for yourself! Now, I just feel weak, and humiliated, and let down. I SHOULD be able to handle this, I WANT to handle this, and I still don't want to fall apart, but apparently that is what is happening when I have these so-called "attacks". I am beginning to grasp that this has been a slow decline, one I didn't realize was happening. It began in my heart, and has steadily moved right down to my toes. I used to be a morning person, and lately it's hard to drag myself out of bed. I used to care about how I was dressed and how my hair looked, now, I have to force myself to get in the shower in the morning (don't worry, I do shower at least once a day). My whole body hurts most days, which can be chalked up to the evil D-word I'm not ready to say (or type). I'm just so tired. I want to surround myself in the cozy blanket of family until this passes, but I can't just lie down and let it take over. I will keep fighting, and fighting and fighting, and I will be okay. I have to get the following off my chest:
The number one thing never to say to a person who is grieving:
1. "I know how you feel, I felt like that when so and so insert illness/death here "
NO, you DON'T know how I feel. It's different for everyone, and comparing your situation to mine only makes me feel worse. I'm sure you did feel similar feelings, and I'm sure that your situation is/was just as tragic, but right now, I need be selfish and feel what I need to feel, and sometimes, that is indescribable. It's not that I don't care, really, if you know me, you know that I DO care, probably too much sometimes. I just need to deal with me first.

This whole post probably sounds incredibly selfish and self-pitying. That may be true. It may not. Right now, I just don't know. I do know that I don't want to feel this way (who does), and that I'm trying to fix it. It's time to take off the rose colored glasses and realize that maybe, just maybe, I don't have to be strong all the time. Maybe it's okay to be sad right now. The question is, how do you do that?