Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Year or So Later...

I was just indulging in my favorite time of the day, rocking my wee little man and smelling his yumminess....and thinking about the past year of his life. 

He is now 12 1/2 months old.  One year ago "today", we'd been home from the NICU for about a week.  We were doing irrigations every 6 hours and just holding our breath until his surgery at about 7 weeks old when he'd be "healed". 

Fast forward to his first birthday, we've had a NICU stay, a disease diagnosis, a new vocabulary, a new skill-set, a new how-our-family-functions, a major sugery, more close calls with infection than I can count, many more months of irrigations and Dr. visits and wondering and watching and learning and stress, enterocolitus and another hospital stay, HOME from the hospital 2 days before his birthday, and now we are back to irrigations two times a day from now until who-knows-when.


If I could go back to a year ago today what would I tell myself? 


There is a reason God only gives us one day a time.  I ABSOLUTELY would have had a mental breakdown if I had "known" what the first year of Titus' life would look like and what it would mean for me as a mother and for our other childrens' lives and our time as a couple.

For that matter, there's a reason God only gives us one second at a time!! 

I could NOT have absorbed it. 

I could not have understood any of it.

When we were in the Dr. office in Milwaukee as Titus was about to be admitted a few weeks ago with enterocolitus I was talking to the nurse and just trying to make sense of what was going on.  Hirschsprung's is so hard to put your finger on sometimes.  I absolutely felt like an idiot.  Just like the worst mother in the WORLD.  How was it possible that, I, a mother of 4, had NO IDEA my baby was so sick?!?  We had left home that morning thinking we were headed to Milwaukee for a routine follow-up appointment and 15 minutes into our appointment our little one is admitted with a roaring infection.  Another two hours later and he is seriously, SERIOUSLY ill.  What the??? 

Sometimes having other kids is a really, really good thing when you have a sick baby - it gives you confidence that you DO know what you are talking about.  Dr.'s trust your gut more than maybe they would if you were a first time parent, I think.  BUT....it also gives you a whole lot of experience with which to compare "symptoms" to - (I'm SO not explaining this at all....you're probably about ready to switch off this update and onto something entirely more entertaining!! Go ahead!  I won't blame you! :)

What do I mean....well, HD issues, or enterocolitus symptoms in particular, are very "normal" in a lot of ways - vomiting, diarrhea, not wanting to eat, dehydration, fever, fussiness, crying, lethargy, distention, foul smelling stool, wicked diaper rash, etc.....OK, that list all together like that is a pretty good indicator that something is seriously wrong.  AND IT IS!!  But, in the midst of life, one of those things on their own in a "normal" child is no call for alarm.  Several of those things in a "normal" child is a bugger, but no call for alarm.  When you have other children, you see one or two of those things and you start to wonder - but, then don't want to overreact because you know "kids get sick".  If I called the hospital and said, "my baby has a fever", or "my baby has diarrhea", or "my baby is quite fussy" - I'd be totally dismissed. 

However, with HD it all snowballs SO FAST!!! At 7:00am the morning we left he was fine.  Basically.  For the past few days he'd been kind of "off".  Just kind of clingy.  Kind of fussy.  Wanting to be carried around all the time.  He was starting to get a little distended (but, that is a continual thing - more/less/more/less - it just ebbs and flows all the time).  He was eating and drinking a little - less than he should - but, not flat out refusing...just not enough.  He had woken up SCREAMING in the middle of the night with a big poopy diaper (which was very weird for him), and he had another huge, REALLY FOUL smelling diaper in the morning (which was very weird)....but, we knew we were headed to Milwaukee to see his Dr.'s, so we were a little concerned...but we had no idea.

By noon he was admitted. 

By this point, he had a roaring fever, he had EXPLOSIVE stools, he was vomiting, he was dehydrated from refusing to drink or eat, he had a serious infection, he was HUGELY distended, he was completely lethargic, he was screaming and crying.  Ugh.  And all of us were with so while dealing with all of this and the fear and worry and guilt and anxiety and "logistics" of being 3 hours away from home - we were entertaining and trying to have "happy faces" for the other three kids who were watching all of this and getting quite concerned. 

"He'll never remember and You'll never forget". I don't know how many times I've heard those words from Dr.'s and nurses in the last year.  I've said them to people myself! And, up until the past couple months I'd say they were true.  Praise God he won't remember his time in the NICU, he won't remember his surgery at all, he won't remember so much of the pain of the beginning of his life.

It's not true anymore.  He KNOWS now.  He is terribly fearful of Dr.'s now.  He starts crying as soon as we enter the exam room.  He was terrified of the bed in the hospital because that was where the IV insertions happened and all of his irrigations.  He is now furious and very sad almost everytime we need to irrigate him. As soon as I lay him on the table he starts to cry.  It breaks my heart.  He just looks at me and cries and shakes and tries to get away the whole time I'm irrigating him.  I KNOW that I'm doing this because I love him and because it keeps him healthy and because it has to be done.  I KNOW that I would jump in front of a bus for him.  But, what does he think?  When it's over and I can get us all cleaned up I just hold him and kiss him and tell him "it'll be all better...soon". 

I feel mean.  I have apologized to my other children more in the past year than I ever expected to in my life!  Just last night, after another especially stressful irrigation I went upstairs and screamed and hollered at everyone for everything...and then sat down and cried.  And apologized.  I told them I'm so sorry for yelling and being so impatient and that nothing I'd been mad about was even wrong and I'm sorry I was so crabby.  I explained that Titus has a disease called Hirschsprung's Disease (Isaac went completely white and FREAKED OUT! - we've never before called "it" anything) - I told them that this was why we had to help Titus with his poops and this was why he had had his surgery and his hospital stay and I reassured them that nothing had changed and nothing new had happened and nothing was wrong, but, that when Titus cries so much it is stressful for Mommy and it makes me sad and upset and I feel bad and that that is why sometimes I get so crabby afterwards and yell so much.  And I'm sorry.  And I love them and it isn't their fault and would they please forgive me.  And Lydia patted my head and said, "You're OK Mommy.  It's OK now.", and Isaac said "Of course I forgive you.  I'm sorry we stressed you out.  Can I read tonight?", and Susanna said, "I wuv you Mommy.  Oh Ti-us!  You so tute!"....And Titus had "forgiven" me by this point and was crawling around with his cutest-baby-in-THE-WORLD little red-headed self smiling and bringing joy to everyone.....and I was overwhelmed with how blessed I am!  How have I been given this life and this much beauty and this much love and this much blessing!?!  My cup runneth over. 

I could not have understood all of this one year ago.  I am so thankful to be here.  "Here I raise my Ebenezer.  Here I lay my burdens down."  I have never been left alone....Praise Be To God!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Hirschsprung's Disease

So.  My son has Hirschsprung's Disease. 

You know, for the past 10 months, I have "known" that he has HD.  It actually hasn't been until very, very recently that it sort of fully occurred to me that he has a "disease". I know.  You're like...DUH! It's in the title! I don't know.  I can't explain it.  I knew it...but, I clearly didn't...."know" it. 

I am asked fairly frequently "How's Titus doing?".  I always sort of hesitate because I'm not entirely sure how to answer that question. 

He's happy!  He's so handsome!  He's snuggly and smiling!


I think people don't really want to hear about poop. 

I think they ask, and want to hear "He's Great! Thanks for asking!"

Or, they ask....I share a little more than they clearly felt like hearing and they'll say, "Well, but, at least his surgery went well.  So everything else will work itself out."

I don't ever really know how to respond to that statement, because, I think up until really just quite recently that was sort of how I was feeling, or hoping.  I think I was looking at HD as a physical anomaly - that he was born with a physical impairment and the surgery fixed "that" and now it will just take time and everything else will "heal" or "learn" or....something I've never really been able to put my finger on. 

Hirschsprung's, I've learned....(oh....did you notice....I took the "disease" part off of it again.  huh.)...anyways.  I've learned that HD has a lot to do with mother's intuition.  At least so far.  A whole lot of what is going on with Titus is kind of hard to explain.  It sounds gross more than really concerning.  He has been very close to very sick so many times I've lost count.  It happens so fast.  He seems fine in the morning and by later that day....something is wrong.  He's distended.  He's clammy.  He's feverish.  He's fussy.  He's refusing to eat.  He's visibly uncomfortable.  That's combined with us never really knowing what to do...do we irrigate right now?  Do we wait it out and see if his body can get some poop out?  How much poop is enough?  Oops!  Now it's swung in the opposite direction and he can't keep any poop in and he's had so much poop leakage that his bottom is so sore and raw and rashy that now I'm afraid he'll get another kind of infection.  Is the fact that he doesn't want to eat and struggles to swallow things related to HD or is it totally something unrelated?  Additionally, the one food he wants to eat - yogurt - isn't great on digestion! BUT, he's not gaining weight fast enough (HD related) and so we are desperate to get him to gain weight and will just let him eat all the yogurt he wants if it will at least make him gain weight and get bigger and stronger.  Ugh. 

I feel insane. 

Anyways.  It has just recently really hit me that this is a DISEASE.  It isn't going away.  It is a lifelong condition.  His diet needs to be drastically high fiber (which he won't touch with a ten foot pole!).  He will ALWAYS have bowel issues.  Potty training and obviously particularily poopy training is going to be HORRIBLE.  (And the fact that I am dealing with the joys of potty/poopy training right now with Susanna and KNOWING that Titus' will be SO. MUCH. WORSE. and WON'T be any fault of his own has me absolutely overwhelmed right now).  AND...that there is a distinct possibility that he could still need to have a pull-up and/or accidents quite long on into school years has me just heartbroken and embarrassed for him and defensive already for dealing with people who don't understand that this is a DISEASE and not a matter of his will or a power struggle or a need for "tough love" or us being lax or....whatever.

This is not something he can "learn" away. 

This is not something that he can "grow" away.

YES!  He is so much better than he was when he was a newborn!  YES!  He hasn't been hospitalized since his surgery!  YES! He is finally making some gross motor gains - sitting up on his own, commando crawling! 

But.  (sigh)

He tends to swing back and forth from 2-3 days of not pooping and getting significantly distended and visibly uncomfortable - so we irrigate if he doesn't poop - then he swings to 3-4 days of continual poop - basically the inability to keep anything in.  That's where he is today...and for the past several days. His little bottom is so raw it breaks my heart.  I can't imagine how that must feel for a wee little person who can't stand up to get the weight and pressure off of his sore bottom.  (I have him stand on my legs while I hold his hands for as long as he wants everyday)

(This is so rambly.  You must want to shoot yourself in the head by now!....welcome to my poor husband's world! :)

Tonight, for some reason, I typed in Hirschsprung's Disease on Facebook and up popped 3 different groups/communities.  I literally stood here in my kitchen and started to cry! (OK....I need you to know that the word "popped" up there one sentence ago was originally typed "pooped".  I can't get away from it!  My world revolves around poop and my fingers just auto type it!)





I cannot even express the sense of relief I felt just reading other people talking about the same things that we are going through and questioning about Titus.  Just a HUGE sigh.

And then...I started looking online at other sites and now I'm a little overwhelmed.  Sometimes you can have too much of a good thing.  Reading everyone else's questions and situations and stories was a little more than I could handle.  It made the DISEASE portion so real and so...forever. Silent little whispery questions in the back of my mind were there...typed OUT LOUD by some other mother somewhere else in the world. 

So.  That's how Titus is doing.  That's how we're doing.  I'm sure that tomorrow I'll wonder WHAT IN THE WORLD was I doing by typing all that out and posting it in my blog.  But....this blog....originally...was to be a chronical or a written testimony to my life with my children so that I wouldn't forget the events, the feelings, the daily events - good, bad, ugly and beautiful - in the midst of the "chicken with my head cut off" that is my life with my blessings.

I don't know how to end this.....I guess that's fine.  Because I am coming to understand that there isn't an "end" to this story...it's just Titus' story and our life and Praise God, it goes on!

Thursday, April 26, 2012


I am feeling selfish today. 

There.  I wrote it out loud.

I have discovered in the last 3 months that sometimes the "easy" days are harder than the hard days. 

Today is perfectly fine.  There is no crisis.  Everyone is healthy and happy and it is sunny outside and....and....I am foul! I am crabby and foul.

How is this possible?  I think it's because the scary days, the rough days, the hard days require EVERYTHING.  They require all of my energy and focus and attention and prayer and thought.  The hard days require all of the best that I am.

The easy days, the days like today, give me time.  Time and the ability to relax evidently lead me to all sorts of chaos.  It allows all of the yuckiness that is sometimes ME to fully surface and roll around and enjoy itself. 

Today it has led to me being selfish.  Pure and simple. 

So....if you prefer to think of me as someone who is all sweetness and light...look away.  It's for your own good.  And probably for mine as well.  I am sure that tomorrow I will be back to normal (a good and fine normal, God willing) and I will regret writing all of this down for the world to see.  But, I also feel like it's ok to let my children know that I KNOW I am not a perfect mother.  I know that I had days that I wish I had done things differently.  I will never be one of those people who go through stuff and afterwards (or during it) people they know say, "She never complained.  Not once.  She was always encouraging and uplifting and practically perfect in every way".  Yikes. People like that scare me a little.  They are either cyborg's or they are in denial or they are bottling everything up so tight that somewhere, someday they are going to POP and it's going to be messy!

So, maybe that makes today my "let a little of the messy out in small doses that are easy to clean up" day.

OK....I warned you.....

Last chance to look away....

Alright...you asked for it...

I am tired of poop.  I'm tired of being covered in poop.  I am tired of my hands smelling like poop.  ( And this is all SO PATHETIC because it's not like anything going on in my life is MY PROBLEM anyways!!  It's Titus' stuff!!  He's the one going through hospital stays and surgeries and irrigations 4x's a day and dialations and pain and discomfort.....NOT ME!!!...and he is quite honestly still the most delightful, happy, smiley, "EASY" baby ever!....ugh...now I despise myself all the more....)

I'm tired of feeling trapped.  Four times a day we need to do irrigations on Titus and it is messy.  MESSY.  It isn't something that can be done in a car (I will probably need to figure out how to do this for my own long-term sanity...but, so far I haven't figured it out).  It couldn't be done in a restroom - I'd be arrested, I'm certain.  So...it makes going anywhere for the day nearly impossible. 

I want to go shopping.  By myself.  With lots of money.  All day.  Somewhere that isn't here.

I want to eat whatever I want.  By myself.  Food made by someone who isn't me.

I want to sleep.  I want to sleep alot.  Lay down.  Fall asleep.  Not wake up until I wake up on my own.  Then I want to take another nap just for funsies.

I want to go for a run.  And be able to run for a long time.  I am getting better at running... I can run 25 minutes without stopping (today was supposed to be 28 minutes for the first time but LIFE this morning with our family didn't allow that to happen....which, truth be told, is probably the reason that this whole crabby-spew is happening in the first place!!).  Anyways....I want to go running...and not have to hurry and finish up and get out of the shower still sweating.

OK.  I think that's all.

Now I can be delightful again.  ;)

After I get some tea.

And now I have 22 minutes until Isaac is home from school, Lydia comes down from her "quiet time" and I am ON again.


I'm better.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Miracle #4

CLEARLY....clearly...I am NOT an efficient blog update-er. Quite the opposite! But, believe it or not, I do "write" blog updates in my head while running errands on a regular basis. Can't you tell? Haven't you read them all? No...?
But, tonight, I had a few free moments while Isaac and Lydia are at Sparks/Cubbies at church and Miss Susanna is watching Sesame Street and eating mountains of raisins and I checked to see if any of my friend's had updated their blogs and WOWSERS! My dear friend Alicia has updated her blog EVERY DAY this month. I am shamed. So...I am updating! :)

The even more embarrassing part of THIS update is that it is MOMENTOUS...and I just haven't written it down yet!

Our fourth baby is due in 12 weeks.

I honestly paused after I wrote that sentence....what a MIRACLE! For so many years and in so many ways I truly believed I would never become a mama. Period. It was just so hard for me to keep the spark of hope alive that I would hold my own child in my arms someday...and that no one would ever take him or her away from me.

(oh...my heart...Susanna just called "MOMMY" from the other room!...I'm back. That child is FULL of raisins!)

But, Praise God!, I did keep a small spark alive. That light of hope was what gave us the courage to keep trying and keep believing and keep trusting....and solely because GOD IS EXTRAVAGANT and ABUNDANT and MERCIFUL and HE DELIGHTS to BLESS US...

He chose to bless us with Isaac Matthew! Our "Child of Promise" "Gift of God"!
And then years later with our Lydia Hope! Our "Beautiful Light""Full of Hope"!
And then the frosting on our life, our sweet Miss Susanna Joy! Our "Pure" "Joy"!

And now. Again. AGAIN!? Oh Lord. My heart overflows!

Our precious baby is a boy! I/we are 28 weeks pregnant and in 12 weeks (give or take) our little man will be in our arms!

I long to see your face, my son. I long to hear your voice and smell your head and kiss your ears and inspect your tummy and your toes. I can't wait to call you by your name and introduce you to your sisters and your big brother and your grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins and so many friends who have loved you and prayed for you since the moment they knew you existed!

You are a FOURTH MIRACLE! Does that make you less of a miracle? Being a fourth? Does a miracle only count as a "miracle" when it happens only once? NO! I believe a miracle is anytime God intervenes where we have been told "impossible" and God steps in and says "I SAY YES"!

I cannot promise that you will be alone in very many pictures...but, that does not make you any less valuable...it proves that you are delighted in and rejoiced over and that we long for your company!

I cannot promise that I will update your baby book as fastidiously as I did Isaac's...does this make you any less important?...NO, it proves that you have added immeasurably to our home and I would rather snuggle you and Isaac and Lydia and Susanna than write about you.

I cannot promise that all of your clothes are brand new and perfectly unstained...does this make you any less worthy?...NO, it proves that WE are a blessed family and that we have a house that is overflowing with CHILDREN!

Little One...You are precious and valuable and loved and rejoiced over and anticipated joyfully and you are the object of abundant prayers of praise and thanksgiving!

Welcome to YOUR family!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Poop-tastic Potty Training Story

So...this actually happened about two weeks ago...but, it is SO FUNNY!! I had to write it down to make sure I didn't forget all the details.

Miss Lydia is potty training!! Whoo-hoo!!....once she's "trained". The "training" part is enough to try the patience of a very, very patient person.

I am not a very, very patient person.

But, on this particular day, we had a GREAT story.

Isaac was home "sick". By "sick", I mean he was fake sick...he had been sort of sick the night before but was basically perfectly healthy by morning. However, he'd made up his mind that he was "sick" and I obviously was not in the mood to push the matter. I felt that he probably did need some extra rest and a Friday in Kindergarten is not the most...shall we say...productive time frame in the world.

By 9:05 I had changed my mind. It was time to get out of the house before I and/or Isaac and Lydia went crazy!

Lydia had been potty training for about a week at this point. She REALLY, REALLY loves her Big Girl Underpants and was determined to go out on errands wearing only those, and not a diaper. So, we boldly ventured forward. Our longest stop was at a store called Other Mothers. It is a used children's clothing store. We are there A LOT! This day happened to be the Quarter Sale (about 15-20 large bins of "unacceptable" clothing is all 25 cents each). I really love the Quarter sale...but, not when my children are with me. I don't feel like I can watch the three of them and plunder the bins at the same time. But, we'd already arrived and the store was fairly empty, so, I decided to go for it!

Lydia and Isaac went to play in the play area...they don't stay there very well. Well, Isaac does...he usually ends up getting absorbed into whatever movie is playing. Lydia...she wanders off. She doesn't try to leave the store (THANK GOD), she just wanders over to the "toys for sale" area and plays there like she is in the "play area".

So, Lydia announced that she has to go potty! Yippee!! So, off we all trod to the bathroom. She went potty...but, clearly had to go poopy. This happened 6 times! She'd come, announce she had to go potty, we'd all four wander into the bathroom, she'd maybe squeeze out a few drops and that was it...but, clearly she had to go poopy.

Once again, they went back to the toy area, Susanna and I went back to the bins. And I actually got to look for a few minutes. Susanna was in a cart, happily munching on an animal cracker, and time just....slipped. Suddenly, I had that "mom panic" feeling that I hadn't heard or seen Isaac or Lydia in just a minute or two too long....you know that feeling....

Just as I was quickly finishing the bin I was in before going off to check on #1 and #2's whereabouts I hear this....

"Mommy! Mommy! I did it!!! I went poopy on the potty!!!"

I look up and see Lydia running towards me. (How she had gotten to the bathroom without me noticing is beyond me...she had to literally walk almost right in front of me to get there from the toy area...and yet...)

Out she comes, dress held high up by her armpits, undies and pants around her ankles, the middle 2/3 of herself as naked as a jay-bird!

And poop running down her legs.

Yep! I absolutely GASPED! And then ran towards her and turned this little poop machine back towards the bathroom. She had poop running all down her little bottom and her legs.

I absolutely got the "YOU ARE A TERRIBLE MOTHER" look from several mothers. I got a hearty laugh from several other NORMAL mothers. I got the "You had better plan on buying more than just a bunch of Quarter stuff after this fiasco" look from the Other Mother's people. Yep. It was AWESOME!

All four of us arrive in the bathroom to find that Lydia had indeed gone into the bathroom herself, got up on the toilet herself, pooped A LOT by herself, and then slid off and came to proudly show me her accomplishment...all by herself. The result was, that poop was all over the toilet seat (from her slide off the seat) and some was across the bathroom floor as well. Not to mention the poop on her little tushy and her legs.

Lydia was SO proud of herself! All I could say was, "Great job sweetie! You did a great job!....Just, next time,....please come and find me first."

As we left the bathroom, I was still receiving the same looks from the same parties. We all resumed our positions - playing, watching, plundering, nibbling.

We left shortly after that...with WAY too many Quarter items in an attempt to placate the store I frequent!

Just two weeks later Lydia is TOTALLY potty trained! She has been amazingly quick and focused and independent. It's AWESOME...except that, as she said yesterday, "I really, really LOVE going potty". So, we go potty about 1200 times a day. Our first actual trip somewhere is going to take about 10 hours at this rate.

But, for now, we are very proud of Lydia and this story will go down in the Johnson Family history as one of the best potty training stories EVER!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I don't actually know what A.K.A. stands for...but, I know it has to do with alternate names for people.

So...today, I will let you in on my children's alternate names.

These are the names that only Steve and I call them. We don't really want them to have a complex because of everyone calling them these names. But, it does give us SUCH satisfaction to mutter these little names to each other about our little angels.

Isaac: AKA "Captain Freaktastic-Amazing"
This name came about because Isaac can turn on a FREAK OUT like nobody's business! He is normally a very mellow, happy, thoughtful child. But, MAN, can he flip on his OCD switch and just have a meltdown about anything! Socks that don't sit at the exact right spot on his ankle, breakfast that doesn't count as "breakfast", an invisible tear in a piece of paper....honestly, the list is so long I may have a meltdown myself just thinking about all the amazing freak outs he has had in the past six years! Tears squirting from his eyes, body thrown to the floor, muttering incomprehensively....Fa-REAK OUT!

Lydia: AKA "Princess Lydzilla"
This name is fairly self-explanatory. Lydia is 2 1/2 and at the moment she is a "beautiful princess" almost all of the time. But, sometimes, while she was a beautiful princess just a moment ago...if you ASK her if she's a beautiful princess she will immediately change her entire demeanor - facial expression, body language, voice, etc. and become a tiger, or a rhinocerous, or a kimodo dragon....all that, and when the "Lydzilla" part started it was because she liked to trample on Isaac's building projects. :)

Susanna: AKA "McScreamy"
This name was just bestowed this morning....hence, this post. Steve and I were lying in bed, barely conscious after last night's screaming chaos and Steve said, "I have Susanna's new name. McScreamy. Because she's tiny like a McNugget, but she can scream like nothing I have ever heard before." Honestly...this little one is AMAZING! She has a scream that is honestly just unlike anything I have ever heard before...the pitch and strength are phenomenal...especially since she is SO TINY! She just turned one a few weeks ago and she is in the 0th percentile for her age! She only weighs 16 lb 9 oz at one year old! She is just teeny tiny....but, she has lungs like an opera singer! She is usually a sweet, happy, shy-ish little baby. She wants to be held by me ALL DAY LONG. But, put her in a car seat or put her in bed when she doesn't want to be asleep and WOW! The show begins!
Last night, she woke up at 3:00am for a bottle. She drank almost the whole thing, seemed to be satisfied, snuggled into me and was almost asleep. We rocked for a few minutes and then I put her in her bed. She POPPED up like a jack-in-the-box and commenced to scream at eardrum rupturing decibels for 90 minutes! 90 minutes!
Today while running errands, she SCREAMED the entire time until my ears were actually ringing. We stopped at Walgreens for something and she stopped on a dime, smiled, cooed, chatted, snuggled, and then COMMENCED SCREAMING the moment she was back in her carseat.

So. There you have it. Mommy, Daddy, Captain Freaktastic-Amazing, Princess Lydzilla and McScreamy.

Welcome to our home.

Thursday, August 26, 2010



I just returned home from a grocery shopping trip to WalMart.

That could be my whole post right there. That's enough.

Sadly...that's the point of this post!...sort of...

I am a list-maker. I LOVE making lists! I make lists of the things I am planning on doing or accomplishing during the day. I add things to my list if I complete something that wasn't on my list to begin with. I have even been known to get to the end of a particularly hectic day and rewrite my whole list and then cross it all off one thing after another just so I can SEE what exhausted me so much!

I think this desire to "LIST" my day may have been kicked into super-drive when I became a stay-at-home mom. Some part of myself needed the "ACCOMPLISHED" phase of life...do you know what I mean? I taught for 6 years prior to being blessed with motherhood and of course, as a teacher, I had LOTS of lists going at all times and LOTS of things to cross off my list all day long.

Being a mother to small children is a little like the movie "Groundhog Day". Everyday is a lot like the day before it. Wake up, nurse, change diapers, wipe up stuff, change diapers, wipe up more stuff, run errands, make food, wipe up more stuff, change more diapers.....repeat...

Don't misunderstand. I LOVE BEING A STAY-HOME-MOMMY! I love it! But, I definitely have my moments. I am only human. I have my selfish times. I have my impatient times. I have my less-than-super-mom days. Today is one of those days.

So. My list for today looks something like this-
-Upstairs Bathroom
-Post Office
-Renew library books
-Make granola

I began my day - everyone fed, everyone clean...ish, everyone ready to roll - off we go on our errands. Drive thru at Post Office and two Banks (in another post I'll describe my reasons for why ALL places I must go during the day should be drive-thru...but, that's another post)...then I head to WalMart for my grocery shopping.

I don't like that I shop at WalMart. I feel like I am helping to contribute to the downfall of all the family run businesses of the world. But, THEY ARE CHEAP! I can't help it! I would, at this point in our financial and family world, be CRAZY to do my bulk shopping anywhere else! So...I head to the largest WalMart in the state of Wisconsin. Yep.

Let's just blink for a moment and pretend that that hour of my motherhood doesn't exist. Can we all do that together? Please? Do you think that in the long-run my children will remember that hour of their lives?

So, we get home from "WalMart". I carry in the bags of groceries, park the car, get the kids in and occupied while I carry my HYSTERICAL baby Susanna around the kitchen putting away the perishables. I get those things put away and walk past my "LIST" on the way to nurse her before making lunch. I scan the list so I can quick have that satisfaction of crossing off my morning and I get to cross off"Post Office", "Bank", and "WalMart". WHAT THE!?!?! "WalMart" SO does not count as much as sweeping later today or my quick drive up to the mail slot and deposit the envelope at the Post Office or my 5 minutes of making granola. "WalMart". One tiny little line through that word is supposed to give me the satisfaction of accomplishing that monumental task with my children in one of the semi-truck carts while they battle each other and me for an hour through the grocery store that could feed a small nation!!!

So...from now on....I think on the days that I must go grocery shopping at WalMart my list for the day will look something more like this...

-Post Office
-Make it into WalMart from the car without Lydia getting mowed down by an SUV
-Get all 3 onto mammoth cart without Isaac having a nervous breakdown from the piece of goo on the far corner of the cart
-Survive produce section without 302 lemons cascading down on Lydia's head
-NOT say something snarky to crabby old lady near meat counter when she says to my beautiful baby daughter "He sure looks a little crabby. Maybe he needs his diaper changed."
-Resist urge to duct tape Lydia to cart after she throws 4th box of cereal into cart onto grapes
-Do NOT say something I'll always regret after Isaac whines "Why can't we have Lucky Charms!!! You NEVER let us get anything good!!!"
-etc. etc....this could become a REAAALLLY long list
-Avoid getting myself a treat from Starbucks just to punish the little felons in the backseat....maybe I shouldn't cross off this one...
-Unload all the groceries without the dog stealing the cheese sticks out of the last bag before I can get them from him
-Sit down and get Susanna nursed before she turns purple from screaming
-Make Granola
-Renew Library books

Ahhhh. That feels better. Crossing off this list gives me satisfaction. It makes me looks like a rock star. It. Is. Finished.