Friday, September 30, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me :)

I have pretty much always enjoyed my birthday. I am not one of those people who dread getting older, although I really cannot believe that I am now 38. I definitely don't feel like I am *this* close to 40. I am in shock. AND we had our 20th high school class reunion this past weekend as well, so now I feel doubly old, but that's okay because things just get better with age, right???? It's definitely harder now to get excited for my birthday since my Dad passed away just days before (Sept. 25 and my bday is Sept. 27). Sometimes I just feel like we should forget it and just let the day pass unnoticed, or just celebrate at a different time when the mood isn't so somber. That is not going to happen and I just need to face reality. First of all, my mom will not let the day go by without celebrating even in a very low key way, but I guess it is important to her. I can understand because I cannot imagine NOT celebrating my boys birthdays regardless of life events. And my boys enjoy it--they don't care about my gifts of course. As excited as I get for gift certificates or my new Keurig coffeemaker (Thanks Mom again, by the way), they just don't get it. What, no motorcycles? No toys? No bike??? Well, Mom, that's not a birthday??? So, what do they get excited about? Why, the cake of course! Well, rather blowing out the candles and eating the icing is more like it. I remember one year my cousins Laura and Debbie had to light the candles on their cake probably 10 times just so Troy and Anaka could blow out the candles over and over and over.....But really, they REALLY get excited to help decorate the cake and I think they may have a future. Move over Cake Boss....

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sad Day

Today was a sad day. My beloved sweet Buffy girl was hit by a car this afternoon and didn't make it. My heart is broken. I got her from the pound when I was living in Kentucky in February of 1998 as a playmate for another dog I adopted from the same pound the Spring before. She was a very sweet dog, but unfortunately was abused by her previous owner and that left her extremely skiddish and afraid of everything, particularly newspapers. It was so hard to see and I hoped that one day she would eventually recover but she didn't. Needless to say, the boys were not easy for her, but she handled it well and was a great pet for them as she was very calm. She had to growl at them a couple times, but really and truly, she coped with their craziness as well as she could. I cannot go into details as it has truly been a hard day and no one really needs to read it, but for what happened, it was the best possible situation. We had gone to my mom's and she was there along with a few of her friends that are as wonderful as can be. And a neighbor drove by and helped as well. Everyone loved Buffy because she was a sweet gentle dog. I kept thinking about what it would have been like if I had gone there to an empty house. What would I have done with Will? How would I have gotten her into the van? I know that I would have done it, but I just can't imagine and am so thankful for having such wonderful people close by. It was a horrible, tragic day and there's so much more I can say, primarily about the person who hit her that didn't even stop, slow down, acknowledge...NOTHING but I will refrain as that would be an angry rant and there's nothing that I can do about it. So I will remember my sweet, beautiful, loving little girl and know that we gave her a nice, safe home for her time here. And like Troy said when I told him, "Mommy, she's alive inside me" and he's right. She was a beloved part of the family and will be missed terribly.
A special moment with Troy
Watching over Troy 
My happy girl--she really looked like she would smile ♥

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

So Proud!!!

Troy and my niece, Anaka, started Tae Kwon Do a few weeks ago and both have really enjoyed it. I have just loved every minute. I was not familiar with it at all but learned about the class last Spring. I was always fascinated with martial arts but never had any opportunity as a child to ever take a class. My sister was very happy about this since she was afraid that I would have learned to fight back and kick her tail for all the abuse I took! I never lost interest so when I found out about it, I became *that* parent. Let me live vicariously through my child. Luckily, we were allowed to go and observe a class back in the summer and Troy LOVED it. Absolutely loved it and wanted to start the next day. He asked about it daily and it was so sad when I would have to say "Not today buddy".
I have been amazed at the class. He is teaching them respect first and foremost and also self control and discipline. He stresses being good at school and at home and that's even part of how they earn stripes on their belt which leads to the next level. Troy has his moments of course, but the minute I say "Is that what  you would do in Tae Kwon Do...", he changes his tune. It's been a wonderful experience so far and I can just see the excitement building in Troy about moving forward.
The first hurdle was earning their white belts. To do this, they had to recite the class creed in front of the entire class and parents. He worked so hard and was very ready to do this. I was excited with him, but I was also nervous, mainly because he has gotten upset when he's made mistakes in the past. And when I say upset, I mean crying hysterically because he didn't do something perfect on the first try. Today was the day he wanted to do it so we went to class and this was done at the end. He was next to last to be called and he did so well! He messed up one small part but corrected himself and finished it perfectly. I was so proud!
Anaka earned her's last week with a very few other students. But, Anaka has been working so hard to do everything he asks. They are learning to count to 10 in Korean and she had her Daddy download it so she could practice. Today, he asked for a volunteer to do it. She was the only one who raised her hand and she did it perfectly! This class has ages 3-12 so having a 6 year old being the only one willing and most likely the only one able was so awesome! I am just so proud of these two and can't wait to see where they go with this :)
Of course, not to be outdone, Will and Antonio are picking up on some commands as well so they have to show off

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Boys--Oh the Joys....

I do not have daughters so I don't know if it would be any different, but since I am a woman (although Will doesn't think so as he told me the other day when I dressed up, "Mommy, you look like a girl!!!"--either he's very confused or I just really don't dress up enough--I am a Stay at home mom you know...), I can honestly say that I don't think mom's of girls have to go through this. I am sure I will be corrected by my mom but well, I was a tomboy so that's different.
* It's something I have talked about many many times. Oh the GAS--they are constantly burping, tooting, FAKE burping or tooting or simply talking about it. At any time--at the table, church, in school......AAUUGGHHHH!!! And nothing discourages it!
* They do.not.sit.still. EVER! And the more tired they get, the more they move. I remember my cousin who has 3 boys (she does have a girl now, but at the time it was all boys) saying that she used to watch all the little girls sitting nicely and playing or coloring while her boys climbed the walls and hung from the curtains. YES! I learned that this is soooooo true. My niece would sit and color or play quietly (well, she talks a lot, but she sits still) while Troy would be demolishing something, running, jumping......
* And to continue with the do people have handmedowns for clothes or toys for boys? How?!?!?! Nothing lasts because the boys are always dirty and stained and treat everything as if it were a tool (hammers or axes normally) so everything is broken from being used to "fix" things
* and lastly, why do all of the pictures turn out like this:

 Now, with all this being said I have to say that although boys are challenging and can drive me nuts, I have some confessions to make:
* I do find myself giggling at the gas thing--not all the time, but I do. Just to clarify it's just funny when the boys do it
* I cannot sit still for long so this actually may come natural to them.....
* I should show you a picture of my sweatshirt last night--it's covered in BBQ sauce because I simply am a mess. My mom used to always say that she could tell what I had been doing and eating all day...Most of my clothes are stained actually???? HMMMMM
So I guess, it's not that bad. Boys are pretty cool and fun. I mean, I pretty much just negated everything I just said and I turned out okay, right? ;)

Monday, September 12, 2011

My Dad

This is a challenging month for our family. This is the month where my dad's health went very downhill. Let me back up and explain. Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer in June 2007--they knew it was already advanced as it was in his spine as well--which is how they diagnosed the cancer in the first place. He was having back pain that was unexplained. He had begun working out and losing a lot of weight and everyone just assumed it was from exercise. It didn't get better so finally a scan was done and they found compression fractures in the spine. Well, that was a huge red flag because that's not something you see without trauma. The orthopedic physician ordered a chest scan and found the very large tumor :( It was a whirlwind of appointments and figuring out a plan of action, but there was one more test that needed to be done--just to be sure. This is when they found that the cancer had already spread to his brain and our lives all changed at that moment. This was July and Dad went through radiation and tolerated it well--better than what many people thought and had told us. Then chemo began :( This was pure misery because they were having to use such strong meds and it just was pure utter hell. There was pain, nausea, weakness, blood transfusions....and in September, we found out that his kidneys just simply could not tolerate it. Dialysis was an option but then, the chemo had to stop so we finally, after much debate and discussion brought him home under Hospice care and a wonderful local group called Angels of Misery. These were CNA's that stayed 12 hours to help the family care for a loved one and we couldn't have done it without them. They have the toughest job and did it with kindness and lots of TLC. Unfortunately after being home only a short time, Dad had a stroke. I was there and it was horrible to see. We didn't know what exactly was happening at the time, but after that moment, he never woke up and we soon realized he was unable to use one side of his body. On Sept. 25 in the early morning, Dad passed away. Although it was expected and probably a blessing after all he had been through, it was the hardest thing I have ever been through.
It's been 4 years and I still struggle but all I have to do is look at Will, be around Will and it's like he's right there. We always joke that Will is Dad reincarnate and that helps. I think it helps everyone who knew Dad because it helps us remember the good and not those last few months which were so painful. I miss him. Everyday. There is so much I wish he knew and could see and I can only hope that he's watching down and can see the kids learn and grow. I have to believe it or it makes me incredibly angry that he was taken from us at such a young age of 62.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fun Down on the Farm

It's just too much fun living here. The openness, the land, the family, the friends....Nothing like a little fun down on the farm!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

11 months into Healthier Living

It's been around 11 months since I started my weight loss and overall healthier living. 11 LONG months of exercise, healthier eating, keeping a food diary, plateaus, successes, frustrations....and I can report that it was all worth it! I hit my goal weight this morning. My ultimate goal weight--not just my initial goal. Bye Bye 30 pounds of excess yuck! Of course, I could still lose 5-10 more pounds. Of course I am not model thin. Of course my body is very different since having children, but I am 30 lbs lighter, a size 6, exercising machine :) I feel better than I have in ages and I swear I am in better shape cardiovascularly than I have EVER been, including my cross country days. I would love to get a physical and find out how I am doing with cholesterol and such, but thanks to insurance limitations, that will have to wait, but I can pretty much tell you that my doctor would be very pleased. I must admit that my diet is still a problem, but I can safely say that I am nowhere near the 2500-3000+ calorie days and that my bad days are 1800-2000 calories only. That is a huge change and although I have lots of work to do on diet, I have come a very long way. I will never have the perfect "clean" diet, but the focus is on much healthier foods with the fun stuff thrown in rather than lots of fun stuff with a carrot here and there.....Man, looking back I just don't even know how I could ever eat that way!
Exercise has always come easy because I enjoy it and like being active and that will continue as long as this body is able. We had a 4 mile Fun Run/Walk last weekend and our oldest competitor was 90! That is going to be me ;) That's my goal anyway!