Tuesday, January 31, 2012


My baby is hardly a baby anymore.  She turned 3 this past November and she is a breath of fresh air every time I see her.  Even when she's kicking ans screaming and pitching a tantrum fit for a king, I look at and back at her and just love every moment with her.  Like the others, I beg her to stay 3.  I thought I almost had her the other day, "Will you get me a milkshake?" "If I say yes, will you stay 3?" "Sorry mama, I need to grow bigger.  I tried...  

She is different than my other two.  Maybe it's because she's the baby that I focus on all minutia.  I've always been a working mother with her and she does not fault me for this. She was sick last week and I stayed home from work.  "Mama, will you stay with me forever?"  "I'll always be with you forever." "You can't.  You have to go to work." "You're right, but I'm always in your heart, even when I'm not holding you and I'll hurry to get home."  "Just like God?" "Sort of..." 

My Big Girl is so smart and such an incredible athlete at 8.  I see so many good qualities come through her actions when her words don't quite exhibit this.  She's gotten old enough to pass on the excitement of me coming home, yet reserves the right to be angry with me for not being home. It's a no-win situation.  I remember when she was little would run to the door and throw her arms around me.  I hold onto this when I miss her.  I know she is still pissed off I didn't figure out how to be a stay at home mom.  I know because she doesn't hold back on how she feels about the whole situation.  She fights me often and has no problem blaming me for things that couldn't possibly be my fault.  I know she loves me, but I feel her judgment: for not being a good enough mom, for being heavier than some of the other moms, for not having eight arms instead of two.  I know a big part of this is because she is getting bigger and thinks that she understands everything.  She understands a lot, but lacks perspective which will only come with age and possibly with her own children...trust me.   

My Little Man has the biggest heart of all.  My dad often wraps nick-knacks he finds around his house in an effort to give them something.  He doesn't have a lot, but wants to give something to stay up with the other grandparents.  My son asked me a few weeks back "Why does Grandpa wrap old stuff from his house and give it to us?" "Because he wants you to know he's thinking about you and he doesn't have a lot of money, so he wants to give you what he has." "Okay"  he said and that was the end of it.  My dad such a better grandpa than he ever was a father.

My husband went to my dad's last week and was taking our Little Man with him.  Before they left, my son had emptied his piggy band (which he covets) and had put all the contents into a zip lock bag.  "What are you doing buddy?" "Mom says Grandpas doesn't have a lot of money, so I'm going to give him mine so he has some."  My heart melted...He doesn't just watch out for my dad, but me too.  When my Big Girl is giving me a tough time he'll says something nice to me to lessen the blow.  "It's okay mom, I think you're muffins might taste better when they cool." For the record, my muffins did not taste better, but I appreciate my little boy had the heart to think about my feelings...Instead of the "These are the WORST muffins I've ever tasted!!!!"

I really do believe you don't have a favorite child.  I believe that each child is your favorite for different reasons.  My Big Girl is my favorite because she's my oldest and first baby girl.  She has an spicy edge to her which is both a blessing and a challenge.  She is the child that taught me about loving someone more than myself.  My son is my favorite because he has the biggest and kindest heart of any human being I've ever known.  He's reserved and humble; there is no show-boat with him.  He gives me hope in humanity.  My Baby Girl is my favorite because she is just that, my baby.  She reminds you of what true joy and happiness can look like and is contagious in her plight for these.  She's tough, but loves anyone who will allow her to;  she has an open heart.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Come On, Seriously?!

Yes, yes, one of my New Year's Resolutions is to try and find more time to post.  I am not off to a strong start, but I still have the rest of this year to improve :-).

I have been spending a lot of time reading about food and the implementation of cleaner, less processed eating.  We as a family did not eat terribly comparatively to those we know, but we are a busy family and maybe twice a week we would serve pizza, corn dogs or dino chicken nuggets to the kids.  The rest of the days would be filled with tacos, spaghetti, casserole or whatever else we could quickly whip up.
Maybe it's just me getting older, but I feel like every time I open my ears I hear another terrible story of cancer or heart disease - or of someone losing a loved one.  This worries me.  In November of last year, I started on the crazy path to understanding food.  I have so much commute time on my hands, I thought I'd make it productive. One of my biggest fears is that by the time something bad happens, it will have been too late.

Just the day after my last post, I went in for my much dreaded lady doctor appointment.  I had been putting this off for a few months and finally they refused my refills until I got in there.  All I wanted was a refill on my birth control pills... 
At first the nurse thought the blood pressure cuff was broken. " How are you feeling" she asked.  "Fine - just like any other day."  So then she got a new one and took it again. "Were you particularly stressed to get here?  Did you have a chaotic morning?"  "Nope." And then she took it manually.   "Your blood pressure is way too high.  I'm not going to be able to write you a prescription and I need you to call your general doctor right away."  COME ON, SERIOUSLY??

After giving my husband the book, Eat To Live, lecturing my family on healthy habits and emptying our pantry of processed stuff, I was the one who had issues!  I went and saw my doctor and my blood pressure was 160/116.  I have real hypertension.  I have to be honest, I didn't take it as seriously as I should have when I first heard it.  It wasn't until I really listened and heard "This is not a question of will you have a stroke, it's when" that my attention was captured.

I went into work mode.  What are the stats, what causes this and of course, how do I fix this.  For the first time in my life I wanted the doctor to say "This is because you're fat" because that's an easy fix - and I'd be bathing suit ready - two birds with one stone.  But, he didn't.  He said that I wasn't that heavy, I don't drink, I don't do drugs, I roller derby for crying out loud.  He thought there might be a problem with my artery - which is "an easy fix" and we scheduled a bunch of tests.  He sent me home with medication and literally benched me - literally.  No exertion. 

It's been about a month and I have been tracking my blood pressure several times a day and exporting data charts to my doctor.  The good news is that there is physically nothing wrong with me.  The bad news is that my blood pressure is really high Monday through Friday.  It's my job.  Or maybe it's just me.  I think that's the worst part of this whole thing.  Short of quitting a job I need or winning the lottery (yeah, I'm still a believer), I don't know how to fix this...

Until I find that golden answer, I'm on a second set of meds that have helped.  I'm hoping for my doctor to clear me for roller derby and I can focus on some exercise for a change.  I always thought old people or really heavy people had high blood pressure; I pulled that "It's not Me" card for the last time, that's for sure.  I do know I don't want to take these meds longer than I have to and if that means hitting this thing from all sides (diet, exercise, lifestyle), I'm in.  Don't even get me started on how hard it was to give up salt and coffee...that's post for another day.  Today I'm just happy I am alive and my family is healthy.  Baby steps...