Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Thing About Sunday Mornings...

Sunday:  Ohhh, Sunday mornings.  Always the toughest morning of the week to get out the door.  I was doing it alone this week, too.  And like every Sunday, all hell breaks loose the hour before we need to be at church.  Leah and Autum were up at 6:45 am, and in great moods. Thank the Lord! Blake woke up grumpy.  I got the girls' around early in their church dresses, hoping to save myself time later.  Or at least buy myself a few minutes to comb my hair.  I got Blake ready and turned on cartoons after breakfast. I ordered Leah to keep an eye on him and Autum while I take a shower and get my clothes on.  Leah asks me if she can go out front and play. That is a big 'no' right now as the construction crew was working on a Sunday morning...barreling through our street with little regard for kids playing.  So I said, "no."  Then she asks if she can play out back.  I think on it a minute and make an executive decision to "no" that request also, because it rained all night and the backyard is muddy and everything is wet...and, just, "no." 

I get in the shower. She follows me downstairs..."pleeeeeease, can we just go and sit on the back deck?"
"Mooooommmmm, pleeeeease, I need some fresh air. We won't leave the deck...I promise."
"Sigh...ok, just you and Autum, NO BLAKE...I DON'T WANT HIM GETTING MUDDY.  Leave him inside...and also, Please stay on the deck...please!"
"ok! and out the door she goes..."

I get out of shower, dried off and hair combed.  I head upstairs and peek in living room to see Blake still staring at the TV. Phew! Good.  She listened.

I go upstairs and spend probably 5 minutes deciding on a skirt and shirt...put it on, dig out my shoes and head back downstairs....

---no Blake----

I begin to say, "no, no, no, nooooo, nooooooo"

I head out the back door to the deck, just as he is climbing back on the deck...covered from head to toe (no lie) solid black mud...and he is slithering his way onto and across the deck...leaving a black slime as he goes. 
I lose. it.  Right then. And there...
Complete insanity.  I yell. I throw something...not even sure now what it was...I quit. I yelled "I quit."

Done. Done. Done...
And yet I hear this still, small voice, saying..."this is why you must go. Find peace and rest in me...get to church..."
*sigh...I'd much rather just throw a fit and feel sorry for myself right now...

So I strip him down, yell at Leah for letting him outside, then realize it's pointless because she doesn't process directions well, then I get mad at myself for being so careless...and off the rocker, mad.  I throw him in the tub. Get clean clothes on him and carry him out to the van so he is not tempted to jump in any mud puddles.

I turn around and the girl's are coming out the front door with 3 dolls, 2 carseats, 2 diaper bags, and a baby stroller...are you freaking kidding me???  We are NOT taking the whole plastic family.  I lose it again.  NO WAY.  I am not dragging all this crap with us....NO WAY.  My hands are full enough with Blake's stuff and Leah's entertainment bag and lots of snacks.  My Bible, etc.

After yelling and arguing with Leah, I give in.   Just get the crap in the van...let's go!  On the way to church I assure them the babies and junk are not going with us into church...

Well, as we walk into church I am carrying a Bible, Blake, a baby, evidently the baby's cousin (I was told) in a carseat...and a diaper bag....I lost another argument.  GO figure.

I drop Blake and Autum off at nursery time.  And realize I have no baby bag....crap! Blake's diaper bag has seemingly walked away and I forgot to restock another one.  I tell them my dilemma and say he should be okay because he is potty training and will go if they take him...
I say a quick prayer this holds true and head to the service.  Finally.
20 minutes into service, a nursery worker taps me on the shoulder.  Blake has peed through his shorts and we don't have any diapers that fit him....
Ummm....what am I going to do?
Then I look over at Baby and Baby's cousin sitting in the carseat staring at the ceiling...BINGO!
I rip the doll-sized, pink diaper off of her and hand it to the nursery worker and say, "make this work."

Ha! As we are praying I thank God for the baby dolls we brought to church today and silently apologize to my girls for throwing a big fit about them joining us...who'd have thought they'd be such a help??

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Part II

Thursday: I get everyone around to go to work Thursday at Disability Supports of the Great Plains.  Jerad worked the night before but planned to get up when I left to watch the kids.  I drop Leah off at her day camp and off I go.  I don't know if it was near a full moon or what...but what a day!  Lots of improvising for behaviors and lack of motivation and cooperation.  I got done what I could and went on my way.

I found out my last client was gone for the day so I headed home early. Guiltily excited to get an early day off.  I get home in time to remember I scheduled a doctor's appointment for Autum at I skip my lunch  and head out the door with her.  She has to get a shot...oh boy.  Luckily this girl is a trooper.  She didn't even flinch.  I get home in time to meet my husband waiting at the door who has decided we make an impromptu trip to Hillsboro to pick up his truck (which had died the week before stranding he and the girls on the road until I could get done working late that night--thank God for good friends with big tow ropes) which the dealership had called and said was ready. So we swing by pick up Leah and head east.  I am starved...which equates to grouchy.  The kids are whining they are hungry, thirsty and have to pee all the way there.  Which on a normal day is fine.  Not this day.  I crank the wheel into Sonic and get them all drinks, including myself.  And hope that suffices.  I drop Jerad off at the dealership trying to convince him I'll drive the quiet truck home and he can take the van with the kids...but, no go.  We settle on him taking Leah and I head home.  I eat my lunch at 3:30 pm and remember Leah has her last math tutoring session that night--and we have done nothing since the previous week to prepare.  I try to sit down for a quick math lesson--which I should have known was a bad idea.  It turned into a yelling match about stupid numbers, stupid math, stupid mom, stupid world...and we both stomped up to our rooms.

I get her to tutoring and resolve to take a shower.  And Blake decides to poop, in his underwear, which I forgot all about in all this I leave my shower running--take him upstairs and give him a quick bath...and come back down to see Jerad leaving in the van with all the carseats..."going to the store" is what his note says...along with "don't forget Leah at tutor"...I realize I have 4 min. to take a shower and walk Blake who is already in his pajamas, in the smoldering heat, a few blocks to where Leah is at.  I skip washing my hair.  Throw his slippers on him, and off we go to get Leah.

I find out from her tutor that she has not progressed much over the summer.  She suggests we meet before school starts and make more accommodations for Leah in the classroom, to help her be successful.  That possibly some testing needs to take place for that...
...and I didn't hear much more.
My heart sunk.  My ears filled with air.  Even when you know it's coming, and you have prepared still is always a shock to hear.  Your kid needs extra help.  And I know I shouldn't be ashamed. Or feel guilty.  Or concerned.  Or upset.  They are only going to help her.  But. it. still. stings...

I try to stay upbeat because Leah is excited and hopeful that she is doing better.  And for her sake, that is how I left it as I nodded my head all the way home to her stories of what they did at tutoring and what games they played...meanwhile dragging Blake by his arm as he screamed and cried because they have doggies at tutoring...and he loves doggies and didn't think we needed to leave....

I get home from that, in time to shove some food in my mouth, set the table and get the kids eating...before I head out to teach my Thursday night CrossFit class at the Y.

Get home from that and just want to go to sleep. Block out my thoughts and worries and questions.  But of course, I still have kids to bathe, give meds too, and help rock to sleep.

Friday:  Ding Dong!  7 am.  You will need to move your vehicles again.  We will be blocking your street off all day.  Please park at the church.  I move the vehicles.  And get everyone in gear because Blake has an appointment in Wichita to see the endocrinologist.

We find out his TSH levels are high again, most likely because of his growth.  And his Vit D levels couldn't be checked because the limited amount of blood they did take wasn't enough for all the testing.  I choose to reserve more blood draws for another day. 

While in Wichita, I get a phone call from our family doctor that says, "We received Blake's first lab results from his titres and he has had the chicken pox, but not the Measles, Mumps, Rubella immunity....we would suggest you get in to get that shot ASAP because there are numerous cases of this going around fact I'd stay away from Wichita until you can get this vaccination completed..."

UHHHH....we are in very public places.  Oh Lord! I begin to pray.  Please protect my kiddo.
And we wash our hands and head out.  I message Jerad that he gets to take Blake to get his vaccination, I'm done with doctor's for awhile.

I take the girls swimming instead.  I miss just having fun with them, not running them places.  I need some interaction.

Well about 30 min. into our interaction I remember Autum has gymnastics at 4:45...20 minutes from that moment.  Everyone out of the pool! Go! Go! Go!

We were late.  But made it enough for her to jump, flip, and kick.

I take Autum home, feed her.  And load Leah up for gymnastics open gym night, it starts in an hour.  We pick up her friend and back we go to the gymnastics place.  I drop them off, and return home to see I can't get into my driveway yet, so I pull back into the church parking lot, all while talking to my mom on the phone.  So I sit in the van a minute to finish talking.

"Tap. Tap. Tap" on my window. I look out and an older man is standing there.

He asks me who I am.  Where I got permission to park in his church parking lot from.  That I am a liability to his church.  And the only person who has permission to park there is the old lady that attends there and doesn't drive anymore. Then goes on to ask why I haven't asked the preacher or someone in charge at this church to park there....and on and on. Which to my understanding, the city had done this--they were who told us to park there in the first place... Unfortunately this man picked a bad night to say these things...I just begin walking off and say, "we have nowhere else to park.  This is where I was told to park for now."  And walk past all 6 other vehicles belonging to my neighbors. All parked at the church too.  Back to my house.

I throw the keys on the table, tell Jerad to go deal with the man, and move the vehicles....and go upstairs and sit in the dark awhile.
And the weekend only gets better...stay tuned for Part III.

Monday, July 28, 2014

No Lottery Tickets Here

So, the way this past week has gone, I am not going to be buying a lottery ticket a.n.y.time.soon.

No luck here.
I have seriously questioned my need to be admitted.  Just til this blows over...

Monday: Good to go...

Tuesday: Leah gets a new retainer in her mouth.  I find out I have to adjust it with this miniscule tool two times a week...dear Lord, I can't even remember if the kids ate breakfast or not, by noon...let alone the need to adjust her teeth (which is a wrestling match in itself)...TWO TIMES a WEEK!  I am not organized.  Let's just have this understanding ahead of time.  I prefer to take the approach, 'fly by the seat of my pants, it will all work out how its supposed too..."

 Wednesday: 7:00 AM...DING DONG!!  I'm in the shower, kids are up, getting ready to be to work by 8:15 am...well, let's be honest.  All of their breakfast was sitting out on the table, there clothes were laid out by their beds, and I yelled on my way down to the shower for them to remember to go potty and flush and wash their hands before we leave--because when I get out we are leaving!!!"...meanwhile they are all glued to the TV watching the latest, apparently "can't miss a minute" episode of Sofia the First..not listening to a word I anyway, doorbell rings...I don't hear it.  But Leah does and she sprints to the door, let's in the two road construction workers, runs downstairs and yells through the shower door..."Mom, 2 men are upstairs, wanting to talk to you...can you get out?"
"WHAAAAAAA??? (in my whisper/scream voice) 

After I hear their boots make their way out the door, I dry off, get dressed, and refrain from choking a certain redhead who loves any excuse for company to visit...while I am mumbling under my breath about how many times we have gone over this, why doesn't anyone listen to me...bla bla bla...
Jerad was asleep upstairs, keep this in mind. :)

Well, after hurriedly shoving their uneaten breakfast in lunch bags and throwing a few layers of clothes on each child, giving up on the pottying and washing our hands, we head out the door, and realize our entrance to our cul de sac is nearly destroyed thanks to the ongoing construction taking place in all 3 directions from our house.  I am given the wave to drive through our neighbors yard....WTH??  Seriously...
Oh well, it was our only option so I apologize Harold our neighbor...thinking that must have been what they were going to tell me I went on our way...and then I am informed as I'm driving by that we will not have water for the next 12 hours either....


So I shove the van into reverse and slam the pedal like I'm driving a 4-wheel drive truck, back through Harold's yard to my I can fill some jugs with's 100 flippin' degrees outside and my kids will be thirsty and need to pee and on and on...

By now I'm late to work.  Thank God I have understanding, self-motivated clients who started class without me.
We get through 3 hours of classes and training sessions to rush Blake to the lab to get some bloodwork we are still trying to sort out his vaccinations and titeres.  So more blood is needed, in addition to lab work needed for his endocrine appointment that week as well.  So lots of blood. We rush out of the Y, hurriedly getting to the doctor's office only to find out that the scripts aren't all in for the requested lab work for his endocrine appointment, so I will have to wait until they receive those and do the blood draw all at once...


Home we go.  For a quick lunch.  And a breather.
Oh wait...I can't get to my house. 
So we decide to park in the church parking lot, where they originally told us to park, even though it was going to require a good walk to our house, with 3 kids, a diaper bag, purse, and toys that we just HAD to drag with us to the Y.  We get out of the van, headed to the house, and Autum stops at the edge of the grass and melts into full on toddler tantrum.   Completely confused as to what lead to that...I keep on walking and just ignore her, hoping it will pass quickly.  Nope, wrong.  She begins to scream "the grass is wet, and I hate my feet wet and its going to get my shoes wet and I hate my shoes wet and I am going to cry because the grass is wet..." (repeat)

I go back scrape her off the pavement and carry her and everything else from our house and van back inside...

We just get sat down for lunch and the doctor's office calls and we are to head in for Blake's blood draw, they have a quick break and have the paperwork now.   Jerad is still asleep, so I begin to drag all 3 kids back outside, after shoving their food in their mouths...nearly 45 minutes after we got home before...all while reassuring Autum that the grass is dried by now and it won't ruin her feet and shoes.  We are almost out to the church parking lot and Jerad yells out the back door, "why aren't you leaving them here?" 
So I trot/drag them all back to the back door.  And sprint with Blake over my shoulder back to the van.

The doctor's appointment didn't go well either...the kid was apparently dehydrated and 4 pokes later only a few milliliters of blood were taken and I chose to call it a day.  They hoped to have enough to get his MMR vaccination figured out and his thyroid panel tested and we'd have to come back again next week....poor kid is bruised up one arm and down the other.

...and that was just Wednesday...more to come in PART II...
I am only telling the stories in part as they become funny...some things I'm still not laughing about yet...

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Check Points

Jerad and I decided a few months ago we were going to train to compete in the Sunflower State Games Adventure Race.  I continued with my CrossFit training and added in some extra endurance and mountain biking and Jerad upped his running and biking training.  The first thing the race commissioner said when announcing opening rules was, "you can never prepare for an adventure race, you just do not know what types of obstacles you will be faced with..."

We looked at each other like, "uh oh." 

We got our passport, our topography map (that was 10 years old), and the rules...then we had some time to come up with a game plan.  There were 4 legs to complete and 18 checkpoints.  You could choose to do the legs in any order after checking in at the transition area which was at the south end of the park, a long ways from where we were starting.  The legs included canoeing/kayaking, trekking/running, and mountain biking.  We chose to stick to the order of the passport and do canoeing first.  Hiking and running second. And both legs of biking last.  We mapped out our route to checkpoint 1 and took off.  We ran through bean fields, forested areas, climbed fences and rocky ledges, crawled through brush, hopped over many fallen logs--just to get the first few checkpoints.  I remember thinking a few times, I know why they recommend wearing pants...

We survived the canoeing without falling in.  It was windy and people were falling in the water all around us. I was determined to stay dry because I did not want to run 5 miles and bike 15 in wet clothes and praise God we stayed dry. I am guessing we canoed 2-3 miles.  My arms were tired!

We unloaded the canoe and drug it back to the starting line. And took off on our running/trekking leg.  It was probably the most fun leg to me.  Thank goodness for general other participants who helped us out a few times, we got all the checkpoints for this leg.  It was beginning to get pretty hot by then.  I drank all the water from my Camel Pak dry so we stopped in at the nearest camping area and refilled our water supply. 

Lastly, we hit the bikes.  And then hit a wall.  Up until this point we were determined to get all 18 checkpoints in 6 hours.  They tell you those are the rules, so we were going to do it.  Heck! We'd been training for this...

Jerad had not eaten breakfast or anything yet because of nerves and his energy stores began to get low.  We suffered through the first 4 checkpoints of the bike and Jerad was good with stopping there and heading in to finish early.  Not me.  You see, this is where our levels of competitiveness began to differ.  I wanted to finish.  We were finishing, dangit!  I did not care if we were toast.  The commissioner said, "get all 18 check points..."  We checked back in at the transition area to head out on our last leg of biking and decided to rest awhile.  We had 1 1/2 hours left before the time was up.  Every minute you were late was a penalty to your time and checkpoints.  So we did NOT want to be late.  We cooled our heads off under the water fountains.  And I convinced Jerad to eat some food.  We resupplied our water packs and decided to maybe only get the closest 3 check points depending on our time.  Jerad was getting some energy back so we gave it a go.  We rode all the way to the other end of the park on some hilly trails that required us to get off and walk our bikes up and down, and zapped whatever energy stores we had left...and then we got really lost.  It took us a lot longer to get the last 2 check points.  We were down to 45 minutes left...there was one more check point left at the top of this hill and wooded area on our way back to the finish line...we would head that way and decide if we could make it or not when we got there.  Well, we get there with 35 minutes left...good! I knew we could get it.  Jerad was content with just calling it good and heading in.  I made my way up the hill in desperation to get that 16th check point..and turned around to see Jerad sitting at the bottom...refusing to budge. (there are so many real life analogies I could make here about how he keeps me grounded in reality...bla bla bla)  You see, part of the rules we were given stated that partners could not get more than 100' apart from each other throughout the race, or else they will be disqualified...we were pushing 100' by this point...but I could knew I could get to that check point if he would just come a little farther.  After yelling back and forth at each other up and down the hill....and my blood boiling...I came to the conclusion he was done.  He was good with our 15 check points, I however, was NOT.  Man, I was mad. And now we weren't going to get it.  I blew by him on the way back down the hill and on to the finish line.  I dropped my bike at the finish line and Jerad came in right behind.  The race commissioner asked if we were okay, we were pretty quiet!  HAHAHA.  My anger was that obvious? 

In my complete maturity, I threw my helmet down-picked up my bike-and stomped out of the finishing area back to our pout.  Jerad was thrilled we did as well as we did. He was pumped we made it this far in this heat. Especially being first-timers.  And all I could focus on was we did NOT get that 16th check point....GRRRRR!!!  I even said something to the like of, "well let's load up our bikes, we might as well leave...we didn't even finish!!"

After some coaxing, I made my way back down from the truck to the finish area to eat lunch with everyone and wait to hear who the winners were...the 3 college-aged guys beside us who were a team, laughed when we walked up and said, "notice there aren't many co-ed married couples doing this race??" HAHAHA.  "Most are first-timers and don't know better or get divorced before the next year's race!"

I won't lie, it made me smile.  Then laugh.
I still wasn't ready to give up my pity party though, so I quickly returned to a bad mood.

Jerad and I shared a few more choice words and then they announced the winners...
"First place, co-ed winners..who did an awesome job getting so many check points at their first race...The Wood's!?! Here are your trophies and medals...stop here and let us take your pictures!  Congratulations! You did awesome!!"

*crickets*  And Jerad's glaring stare and sly smile at me...
As I began to melt into the concrete in embarrassment and guilt...

15 check points is good?  Why do they tell you to get 18 then??  I did NOT know most first-timers stop at 10-12 check points or quit at 3 hours no matter where they are in the course....

Well, I'll be....
Now to apologize.  All the way home.

*As a side note, we are laughing about this now.  And would actually like to do another one. :)