header 2 copy />
header 3 copy />
header 4 copy />

In need of a chill pill

Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I guess my husband and I just really are true opposites. Some would say that we compliment each other well... and I would agree with that, with the exception of the days when we're at each other's throats because of our differences. All in all, we're really happy together. We are best friends on most days (except when I'm with my mom or Cilla... they just understand me all too well because they are SO much like me). Brad and I have survived a lot of hills and valleys, probably more than anything because I have a very patient husband who is willing to deal with my obnoxious mouth, hotheadedness, and stubborness. Sometimes that very patience is what makes me want to kill him... but more often than not, it's what makes me love him so much.

As parents, I can see these same roles even more defined. I am usually always the "bad guy" with the kids... enforcing the rules, threatening to "bust a butt" or take a toy away, and always the one who loses my cool or gets stubborn about some ridiculous little rule that no one in their right mind would really care about. It's just after saying things 100 times a day and being ignored 99 of those times, I get frustrated and decide that I will MAKE them listen to me. Sometimes it works, but more often I look like a raving lunatic. I get the fun parts of my children's lives because I'm home with them more than Brad, but I also get the bad part of being the disciplinarian. Not an easy job. But it wouldn't be that bad if I could just have a little more patience like Brad. (Don't get the big head, honey... I'm still pretty stubborn and probably won't ever admit this again!)

All of these thoughts were going through my mind tonight as I rocked my little blonde baby boy to sleep. I had a perfect example of my lack of patience and my husband's over abundance of it right after bath time. Yes, after bath time, Bailey always wants her daddy to get her out of the tub. This hasn't really bothered me, mainly because it forces Brad to help me and I can just get my wild man Jake out of the tub and dressed. So, I've known why Bailey wants her daddy for a while, but really took the time to think about it tonight. You see, Brad takes the time to wrap her up in a towel like a baby, holds her in front of the mirror and says, "Is that my baby girl?" and then allows her to jump on her bed naked for as long as she wants. Every night I spoil the fun by coming in and making her get dressed. Why? I don't know. I think that's what has been on my mind tonight. Why must she get dressed on my time schedule? Who died and made me keeper of the clock? So, I was "enforcing" my rule tonight when Brad just looked at me and said, "I told her I'd get her dressed when she was ready." Well, knowing Bailey that wouldn't happen until midnight... but he was right and I was wrong. He gave her permission and I tried to take it away. I was doing what I hate for him to do to me... I was going over his head. So... I quickly shut up. Yes, she is finally dressed and all is fine in the world. Maybe it's time for me to take the advice that my brothers and I always gave my dad when we were kids... Take a chill pill. :)

But I love him...

Monday, October 13, 2008
It is official... Bailey has now transformed to a pre-teen at the tender age of 3. My concerns about boys, dating, and all that goes with are being realized way too early. You see, I was told a few weeks ago about Bailey's new boyfriend, Austin. I thought I would crack up when they told me about how they hold hands during circle time, kiss on the playground, and can be found hugging intermittenly throughout the day. Completely innocent, affectionate children...

We have been teasing her about not kissing him so much, hoping that she'll understand that she needs to tone it down without discouraging her from being innocently affectionate with her friends. We both thought we'd just die laughing when Brad told Bailey she couldn't kiss boys anymore and she replied, in tears, "But daddy... I love him." It was definitely the worst case of foreshadowing yet!

I got the opportunity to see Bailey with Austin today when Jake and I went with her on a school field trip to Bi-Water Farm. They were adorable... and Austin is by far the cutest kid in her class. I completely understand why they are such good friends. He's a very smart, cute little boy. He's very sweet and a lot like Bailey. They really were like little best friends, sitting together on the hay ride, looking for pumpkins holding hands, and checking out all of the animals together. It was really sweet to see... even if it was a little strange. :)

Planning our days... have car, will go...

You know the kids are growing up when they have moved beyond playing in the floor for an entire day to entertain themselves to making plans for each and every moment in the day. Or maybe they have just been around their mother, the planner, way too long. "Multi-task" and "maximize your time" tend to be underlying themes for my life, especially with our concert season in full swing. So, I guess I should not be surprised that Bailey's favorite phrase has gone from "What are we going to do today" to "What are we going to do next?" or "What are we going to do now?" or even "What are we going to do this morning (or afternoon, evening, night)?" You get the idea by now, I'm sure.

It's a constant struggle between daughter and mother to make plans for the day. I, having to do work for my job, try to find time during Jake's naps, early morning breakfasts, lunches, and afternoon snacks to check e-mails, make phone calls, and work on whichever project is the most needy at the moment. Bailey, seeing that these are opportunities to get some mommy time while Jake is busy, has other plans. She wants to read a book, walk outside, go fishing, go back to the pumpkin patch, swim at the pool, visit Mimi and/or Mamaw, go to the park, etc. The list grows everyday and she has more creative ideas about how we should spend our time.

Jake, too, has become more accustomed to being on the go. He immediately wants shoes on his feet when he wakes up. Most mornings, even before he is out of his pjs, he brings me his shoes and holds up a foot. He knows that he has to have shoes to go "ow-si (outside)" and he is terrified to miss a moment of it. On our most recent trip to Mimi and Poppa's, I was getting our stuff together and asked him if he wanted to go to Mimi and Poppa's house. I do this quite often with him, but he usually ignores me. Not this time... he yelled, "Mimi" followed by "Poppa." He then nodded his head (nearly bending over to show me that he was saying yes), took off running for the door and started trying to turn the knob.

Yes, I guess we will be doing more running around. I have created little monsters! :)

A Fun Fall Trip

Wednesday, October 8, 2008
My wonderful mother-in-law, Kathy, who is celebrating a birthday today, came down to visit us last week. Happy birthday, Kathy! She and I had a wonderful time with the kids. It was perfectly timed - before I had my tests on Thursday - a much-needed distraction. We took the kids out to Boyd Orchards and had a BLAST! It was so nice because there wasn't a large crowd and we were able to let the kids run and jump without any problems. The kids were good, for the most part, and we went to dinner at the Outback afterward. It was fabulous to have dinner out and not have Jake screaming the entire time. It was the first time since late spring that we've gone out and I've actually been able to eat all of my meal without taking him outside to calm down. Yay... maybe he's outgrowing it!

In any case, I had to share a few of my favorite pictures from that day... Thank you, Kathy, for such a great time...

Jake really enjoyed the slide... as you can see from the smile on his face.

Bailey just had to try the tractor out... Jake was not a taker.

Bailey (and Jake) really enjoyed feeding the goats. Bailey actually fed them... Jake really just held the food out and yelled when they got close to his hand. It was very cute!

Jake really loved the horse, or "dog dog" as he called it. That tends to be what he calls all of his animal friends, except the turtles. :)

This is my favorite picture of Bailey from the day. She looks so big... I can't believe how much she looks like a little girl instead of a baby. It's happened overnight.

Jake enjoyed the slide - thanks to Mamaw who climbed the hay bale wall...

He really enjoyed it... :)

I actually got a picture of them together... without tears.

A lame attempt at a joint photo, but a good chance for those of you who haven't been to Boyd Orchards to see what it looks like!

Just a major scare

Friday, October 3, 2008
It's been a crazy year for my family... from my mom's breast cancer to losing my grandmother, it truly has been a tough one. And I had the scare of my life last week, when I thought it was only going to get worse. Normally, I would spare you the details of my medical history, but I can't do that right now. Not because I'm unhealthy - thank God I've had only good news - but because I hope that maybe this experience will encourage all of you women to really pay attention to your body.

I found a spot on my breast about two weeks ago. After hesitating as long as possible, hoping with all hope that it would just disappear, I made an appointment with my doctor. I was optimistic going in... it was a small spot that I was truly convinced she would not even feel and would laugh me out of the building. As she asked me a few questions and did the exam, she confirmed that she could feel the spot and that she wanted me to go ahead and have some tests ran to make sure it wasn't cancer. My heart completely sank. Sitting on that table, tears forming, I realized that she was seriously talking about my body... that I could possibly have cancer. And while I knew that it would be in the early stages and that most likely it would not be life-threatening, I sat altered. I couldn't believe that she was actually saying I could have cancer. Me. Twenty-seven years old. Breast cancer. Me.

So, I choked back the tears, tried to listen to her words of encouragement, which truly meant nothing to me, and made my appointment for an ultrasound. Walking out to the parking lot, I stared at my cell phone, trying to decide who I should call first. My mom, Brad, and Cilla would all be waiting by the phone for me to call and tell them what they said. I called Brad first, thinking that after I said it out loud to him it would be easier to call my mom and Cilla. Before the end of the conversation, I was crying and had convinced myself that I had cancer. Brad tried to help, but I was hitting the realization of it all and poor guy couldn't figure out which way I was going with everything. Talking to my mom made all things better - she knew EXACTLY how I felt and she was able to make me laugh at myself, which is truly what I needed. She reassured me that I'd be fine, one way or the other. Cilla, as always, listened and told me she'd do whatever I needed, which was exactly what I needed to hear from her. She always knows how I feel and understands when I need words and when I need an ear. It's great having people who understand you!

My ultrasound was scheduled for Thursday and I was so lucky to have my husband go with me. Unfortunately, he had to sit out front the entire time, so I was a nervous wreck by myself, but that's OK. I went through the ultrasound and the much dreaded mammagram that I wasn't expecting to have. They took the tests to the doctor. I waited as patiently as possible for them to come and get me for the results. The nurse was really sweet. She told me she'd go and get my husband... she didn't look like she had good news. Brad came in the room and stood by my side. The doctor entered the room and introduced himself. He immediately made Brad sit down. I thought, "This is it... I have cancer and he's going to tell us now." Brad's face looked nervous, like he was thinking the same thing. He was opening and closing the clasp on his watch over and over. The doctor asked me a series of questions about my mom's cancer and then assured me that he did not detect any signs of cancer in my test results. The world was lifted off of my shoulders. I could actually breathe again. He recommended that I go to a high risk clinic in Lexington to have a consultation with an oncologist and to have an MRI. He recommended this in an effort to help me catch breast cancer early if I am going to have it. I have to have a mammagram each year and an MRI every two years.

So, what was a terrible experience will hopefully help me to catch any signs of cancer earlier. My appointment with the high risk clinic isn't until October 28, but I'm able to focus on things again... focus on living instead of not dying. Unless you've been there, you really don't understand what it's like to hear the "C" word in conversation about your body. It's terrifying, no matter what the result. I hope that none of you ever have to experience it. And I thank God every night that I didn't have to battle it... and pray that I won't have to later.

It all really makes you realize what is important in life... family, friends, fun... It's scary how fast things can change and how quickly you could lose it all. I have to admit that it makes me want to hold everyone a little closer and tighter.