Join the Club

>> Monday, September 27, 2010

In October of 2005 when one of my dearest friends lost her precious daughter, we had many conversations about how we had both joined this most unfortunate club of moms who had lost their children. It is a club no one would ever choose to join, and yet it is helpful to have others to lean on who have walked a similar road.

Well, 5years later I find myself joining another unfortunate club. This one is WAY less tragic but still kinda life-shifting. I have fought this diagnosis all along. But the more time that passes, the more it seems that I am indeed in the Lupus club or the chronic auto-immune illness club. Just typing those words makes me want to throw up. But with all that is going on in my body lately, the words seem difficult to avoid.

People are starting to associate the illness with me and I am not sure how to feel about that. A new friend forwarded on some information about a benefit where the recipient charity is some Lupus foundation. So very thoughtful of her and yet I am not sure if I would ever go. Knowing that I have been doing some running lately, I had several people tell me about this Lupus walk that is going on next weekend in Grant Park and on the Naperville Riverwalk. It is a 1 or 3mile walk similar to like a Heart Walk or something where you are supposed to be on a team and raise money to benefit the Lupus Foundation of America.
I have no team. I am not a fund-raiser kind of gal. And yet I feel like I should go. At the same time, I REALLY don't want to go. I would feel like a poser there even though I have been given this diagnosis by 4 reputable rheumatologists in the last 6months. I don't know exactly what I am afraid of. Maybe I am afraid of truly feeling like a part of this club that I have been trying to avoid joining. But that is part of the reason I feel like I should go. Maybe it would be good to meet others who are walking this road. I could ask them a few questions or simply not feel so alone in this whole thing. Maybe I could talk about the painful mouth sores or headaches or debilitating fatigue and joint pain and NOT feel so much like a whiner.

I can't bring myself to register but I did ask a co-worker to cover my call for a few hours. Clicking "register now" feels like resigning myself to the truth that I have this illness and I am not mentally at that point yet. I am still very much in the "yes I have all the signs and blood work, but this couldn't possibly be what this is" phase. Maybe not healthy, but where I am none-the-less.

What do you think? Should I go? Is it lame to go alone when everyone else there will probably be with some sort of team? I thought about asking someone to go with me, but that might make me feel even more awkward. (Anyone want to come with me?) Or maybe I just want to walk alone and try to sort out some things in my head.

Chronic health challenges can be a very isolating thing. Maybe this would be a good way for me to connect with other people who have Lupus and also bring my friends a little more into this journey with me. Or maybe it would feel too uncomfortable and I should wait for another year when I feel a little more at peace with this whole mess. Oh.... I don't know. Help!


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His Creative Mind

>> Sunday, September 26, 2010

video

This is a video I took with my cell phone the other night (sorry for the crappy quality- I had to seize the moment). This is Lucas looking at a toy catalog, I think it was Constructive Playthings. He loves to "read" these catalogs but he also does this with any number of books (dinos, cars, sharks, other animals, trucks, superheros...). He sits and systematically goes through each page and does exactly what you see here: creating scenarios in his mind where the objects he sees in the catalog or book come to life and play out entire storylines in his imaginative mind. It is so fun to watch! It is like seeing his little mind just explode with imagination and creativity. He zooms his hands around like that, making whatever noise he feels is appropriate for the story his imagination is playing out in his head. A sign of genius I am sure! :)




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Push-Pull

>> Sunday, September 19, 2010

I am in a stage of life where things could be leveling out a bit. Could.

The boys are just great. I mean, really great. Parenting is hard but I get lots of hugs and "I love yous" and that covers a multitude of frustrations. I love being with them but also watching them from afar. I have moments of sheer bliss and then others when I feel like I am totally failing them as their mother. My head is filled with thoughts of "how should I ..." and "what is the best way to ..." I want to raise them right and love them well and have them be joyful, respectful, balanced men who grow up to love others well and serve God. How do I get there?.... still figuring that one out.

This Lupus thing is a strange beast. Just when I thought I knew what was going in, yet another curve ball seems to be thrown my way. New symptoms, recurrence of some old ones. Hearing the words 'chronic-illness' come off my tongue of anyone's around me makes me want to vomit. I am so-very-far from having this whole thing figured out and that is frustrating. But I am keeping perspective (most of the time) and trying to make good decisions.

You see... it all boils down to this: There are a few things in my life that are really important to me. My boys top that list... my faith, my husband, my friends and family. Add to that list being respected by others, doing something meaningful with my life, trying to live the best life possible. I want to be a good friend, a great wife and mom. A good daughter and sister and daughter-in-law and sister-in-law. I want to be a success, to be fit, a good cook.

So here I am, in a place where life could be leveling out, and yet I am here still very much trying to figure out what that may look like. I want to sign the boys up for enriching things but yet I want to be at home with them just playing cars and reading books. I want to take them to the zoo and every children's museum within a 2hour radius but my body won't always cooperate. I want to fill our days and yet I am a better mom when I am not rushed or pressed. I want to have coffee and dinners out with friends, to go to women's bible studies, romantic dates with the Hubby. But more often than not, all I really want to do is lay on the couch and rest. Push-Pull.

I am an introvert who loves (and tries to nurture) community. I am a purposely busy mom who cherishes the slow days/nights. I am a couch-potato, diet-pepsi drinker at heart who desperately wants to be fit and healthy. I have Lupus but that doesn't define (all of) me.

I am a woman, child of God, busy mom. Trying to figure out how to be what I can for everyone who needs or desires a piece of myself. Filtering out things that clutter our life and prioritizing things that enrich it and not letting unhealthy thoughts or influences make those decisions for me. Deciding when to go out and when to stay in and not feel guilty for either one. Asking God to show me what His definition of meaningful is for my life. For my family.

Push-Pull.



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Dinner with Disney... AKA: Why I need to keep running

>> Thursday, September 16, 2010


Earlier this week, I was fortunate enough to be invited to have dinner with some fabulous bloggers and the nice folks from Disney. We had a super fabulous meal at a place called Carnivale in the city. I took the train in to reduce the stress of driving downtown. It was SO relaxing to sit and listen to music and watch the suburbs pass by.

The food was fabulous, the company was great... overall it was a really fun night out. We got to hear about some fun things that Disney is doing, including their mom panels. I also learned some details about the races that they hold in their parks every year. I knew there was a marathon there and a half-marathon. I really wnat to do one of their princess half-marathons or one of the other races in the park. I think that would be so fun!!! So I guess I better keep running. And after all the delicious food I ate there, I have to keep running to burn all those calories.

Thank you, Disney, for the fun evening out! And the fun gift basket too! :) Oh, and the motivation.



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Joy in the Simple Things

>> Sunday, September 12, 2010

I want to remember them just this way.

Smushing their faces into the bars of the playground because it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Running with abandon on a perfect fall-ish afternoon.

Giving PowerMan a ride on the airplane and truly believing that they are both flying.

Smiling, Laughing, Having Fun

All this plus: Snuggled up with Mom and Dad at the end of a busy day/weekend, reading books and saying prayers and singing along to the songs Hubby and I are singing to soothe them.
Opening their eyes when on the edge of sleep just to say "Love you, Mommy" then closing them again and letting sleep fall in.
Waking up after midnight, disoriented and crying for Mommy, but easily persuaded back to sleep once the comfort of Mama's embrace calms their sweet hearts.

I want to remember everything about these boys. I want to hold on to these days in my mind forever. I want to remember their milestones and big events. But also, these simple joys that fill our days.

All this, and so much more.




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Still Lovin' Our Sling

>> Monday, September 6, 2010

Besides my sweaty head and hair (I had just finished a 4+mile run), I love these pictures. I love that Caden is over two years old and over 30lbs and we both STILL love our sling time.

When I got home from my run, I wanted to try out this new recipe for Zucchini- Choc. Chip muffins. I had some zucchini to use up from my vege box and I am trying to get more creative in getting veges into my boys (mostly Caden). But Caden was feeling a little mommy-needy, wanting to be held and snuggled. I asked him if he wanted to get on my back in the sling and his little face lit up. I put him in and he immediately let his body sink into mine. *sigh* I SO love this little sling baby!
He stayed on my back for only about 15min. He had a little ToyStory book he was looking at and we sang some songs as I peeled and shredded zucchini. And then, he was done. "Mama, down" he said. So I let him down and he was on him way, off to play and have a sword-fight with his brother.

I love that I can still put him in the sling when he is needing just a little reassurance that Mama is still here and he can be as close to me as he wants. I love that it only takes a few minutes of sling lovin' to get him back to his normal crazy-on the go-non stop self. And mostly, I love that when he gets in the sling, he remembers that he is connected to me and he is safe. He remembers that even when he is off being a toddler, he can always come back to Mama and be my little sling baby. I LOVE it and I'll do this as long as he'll let me.

P.S~ I still put him on the front/side too. I do it when we are in a store and I don't want little hands touching everything or when we are out and he's tired. I put him in after getting some shots at the Ped. office the other day and it helped calm those post-shot tears. Have I mentioned yet how much I LOVE my sling!!
P.S.S~ I have a million other carriers that are awesome for back carrying. But when it only for a short time and we are wanting to be especially connected, I still always grab my sling. :)



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Game Day

>> Saturday, September 4, 2010

The boys are at Grandma's and yet I still got up at 7:30. Actually, I woke up periodically throughout the night and was awake at 5. Not that I am worried about them, it just felt strange for them not to be here.
And yet, it is quiet here. Very quiet. The air is nippy. We slept with the windows open last night. It feels calm, peaceful. I feel like I can think and maybe even be productive today. I contemplated going for a run but my iPod was dead and I have other things on my agenda.
Today we are cleaning out the garage! Hooray!! If you could see my garage, you would know why I am so excited about this. It is in dire need of some TLC. And so is the crawl space and the tupperware cabinet and my kitchen desk and the the boys' closet. More work than can fit in one Saturday, but I intend to get a good jump on all of it.

Well, as soon as College GameDay is over. That's right y'all. It is a beautiful day in my house: college football starts today! I am sitting here watching GameDay on ESPN now and my Gators kickoff at 11. My beloved Tebow has graduated and is doin' his thing in the NFL. But here comes Johnny Brantley and a whole host of other rockin' Gators who are gonna GET IT DONE!!

It's a good day. Feels like fall, football starts, and I might just be able to park in my garage. Well, let's not get too crazy. I'll be happy just to be able to walk through it. :)

GO GATORS!!!



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Brotherly Love

>> Wednesday, September 1, 2010

After putting both boys down solo tonight, I left the room thinking they both were asleep (in their own beds). When I went upstairs to investigate a scurrying noise, this is what I found: both boys asleep in the same bed! Way to melt a mama's heart! I especially love how Caden positioned himself right between his brothers legs. Like he just wanted to be as close as possible. I reluctantly moved Caden back to his own bed. I love how they are starting to be friends and play so well together. They still fight, don't get me wrong. And they fight intensely. But Caden adores Lucas and doesn't like to be out of his sight. And Lucas loves to play "big brother" and take care of Caden (which is mostly appreciated by Caden but not always).

These boys are just so, so sweet! I feel extravagantly blessed.



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