Posted in Kids

If I Could Talk to Me Back in May

I would put my arms around that poor woman, who was totally freaking out, and tell her that not only would it be ok, but it would really, honestly, for-true-and-for-real be REALLY OK.

Ethan and Laura have been learning some amazing things–so many skills that will take them through life. In the way of things, I’ve actually learned a really important thing as well.

I will be able to handle them going away to college. All of them. I will not die in the process.

This summer has not broken me. Sure, I’ve missed them off and on. Sometimes quite a bit off, actually–meaning not at all! I’ve visited Ethan each Sunday since he’s been gone (He and I even went to McDonald’s yesterday!), and we’ve texted/talked with Laura a few times each week. While I really look forward to having them back on Friday and finding out what all they’ve been up to in person, not seeing them all day long has honestly been fine.

Who woulda thunk? ME! Saying THAT!

So, basically, this summer’s programs? Win-win all the way!

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Posted in Kids

Down to Two Kids

Last Sunday we dropped Ethan off at his summer program, IDEAL, for four weeks. I cried. It was HARD.

Yesterday we dropped Laura off at her summer program, The Summer Academy at Penn State. I didn’t cry. It was still hard.

So much had been leading up to those two events…mental energy, worrying, shopping, physically gathering everything needed, worrying some more, planning….both of them have been on my mind for the better part of probably 9 months, and definitely in the forefront for more than a month.

And now both are gone. I made dinner tonight for just the four of us. Two parents and two kids. It. Was. WEIRD.

For his part, Ethan seems to be really enjoying the program and getting stuff out of it. He’s learned how to make sandwiches (!) and does so each day.  Today he did his laundry for the first time. He’s tried–and liked–granola bars, french fries, garlic bread and lasagna. He had SECONDS of lasagna. He has NEVER EVER EVER EVER had seconds (and not for lack of me trying to get him to!). My mouth literally dropped open when his dorm manager told me about it.

I had–and still have–high hopes for these summer programs and how well the kids will do. In 20 short days we pick both up (splitting the job unfortunately because both end on the same day). I can’t wait to see how they’ve grown and changed!

Posted in Church

God’s Leading Even If I’m Clueless

Today was the culmination of a week of seemingly random occurrences that only this afternoon I put together.

  1. Last week? Week before? I used the Lord’s name in vain. I honestly NEVER do that, and it shocked me. I internally noted that I feel like things are very different with me not going to church.
  2. Catie and Ethan had a dentist appointment. Afterward we dropped by the vet office to pick up dog meds. After THAT, we drove home, but that took us past the church we visited a few times back around Easter. Catie remarked that she wanted to go again.
  3. I had a two hour conversation with my sister. This, in itself, is insanely rare. During the conversation we discussed many different things, but two of them were church and how my family has not attended in a long time and my feelings about that, and her meeting someone from her past and their reconciliation.
  4. Last night I determined that I would go to church–that even if I slept in to 7:30 I still had plenty of time to get ready for the 9am (first) service. And this morning, when I got up, I still determined that I would go. I got a shower first thing, which helps keep me on track, and I told each family member that I was going and they were invited. Only Ethan chose to go with me.
  5. Because I got there early and only had Ethan, I had more choices in where I sat. I chose the fifth row on the right hand side.

Now, all those things seem to not be very connected. But this morning, when I glanced around and saw someone I haven’t seen in 12-14 years because we had a falling out, well, God used all those things to get me to the place where I could say hi after church, hug her and apologize for what I had said all those years ago. She was very “it’s water under the bridge” about it, but to be able to say I was sorry after all those years of regretting and it being on my mind and heart–it was amazing. We now live very close to each other and she got my number.

It was a GOOD day and I’m so very glad I went to church!

Posted in Health, Me

The Change

Those two words deserve to be in capitals. Really. Perimenopause sounds so…unassuming. So not a big deal. The Change, though, sounds much more descriptive, though both are true. I’ve been in perimenopause for maybe two years? Ish? Not sure when it started, although it’s been more than a year. My cycle is still very regular (for me, which equals roughly every 6 weeks). I don’t typically get much in the way of hot flashes, thank goodness. But moodiness? Oh my yes. It’s like I have PMS all the time. And when I actually DO get PMS I’m biting everyone’s head off. And weepiness? It literally just occurred to me yesterday that the weepiness I’ve been dealing with for the past few months might not actually only be about being sad because the kids are getting older and doing so many milestones.

I was reading a book–a novel!–and read a paragraph that was sad.  And found real tears in my eyes. And though to google “perimenopause and weepiness” and BOOM. Hello other people going through it! I haven’t been like this since I was pregnant, which was a long, long time ago. I’m not a cryer by nature, except for videos of soldiers coming home and adult children telling their families they are pregnant. But lately commercials, TV shows, watching my kids…you name it and I’m in tears. Which believe me, makes me feel stupid. Which yeah, I know I need to get over.

I’m just grateful I can put a name to this moodiness and that at some point it will actually be done once I’m in menopause. Right? Or does this actually continue? Readers who have gone through it please comment!

Posted in Kids, Me, Vacation

We Made It

Whew! The hardest academic year–by far!–is finally finished. Bennett and Laura are now seniors (Ahhh!), Ethan is a junior and Catie is a sophomore. While the greater part of me is sad, there’s a tiny part that wonders just what this upcoming year will bring. What will I be typing here next June (through a heavy veil of tears, I’m sure!). What they will experience and feel as they come to the end of high school. I’ll let you know in 12 months–we’ll meet back here, ok? 🙂

In the meantime, we have a small breather of a few weeks for them. Physical therapy for my back continues–some days very well and some days (like today) slowly and painfully. We meet with our lawyer on Monday to start our wills and special needs trust. Trying to made decisions with 60+ years in the future for Ethan is somewhat daunting. I hope and pray that we are able to fund that trust and that it is enough. A few dentist appointments, med checks with the psychiatrist, and bloodwork and endocrinologist–well, there goes June.

Ethan leaves on June 30th for his summer camp, comes back on the 7th and then leaves on the 8th for his 4-week-long summer program for the visually impaired. Then Laura leaves on the 14th for Penn State for her 3-week-long summer program for the visually impaired. They both come back on the 3rd of August and then we leave on the 9th for Michigan. Wheee! There goes the summer!

I’ll do my best to post–I’m not that great over the summer, but I’ll try. I know, I know, “Do or do not, there is no try.” But still, I will.

 

 

Posted in House, Kids, Me

Mayhem

SCREECH! It’s MAY!!! The busiest month of the year–even beating December, and that’s saying something y’all! (The title of this post is courtesy my friend Julie, who named it such and I’ve now adopted it. Thanks Julie!)

I’m looking at my calendar that hangs on the wall to the left of me at my desk. With the exception of the 20th and the 27th, EVERY SINGLE DAY has something written down in their date square. And that’s just the stuff that has been scheduled ahead of time. That doesn’t include regular school carpooling and things that will crop up as the month unfolds further.

Breathe. Breathe. In. Out. Every year I get here and every year I wonder how I will get through this month. And then I think about next year being senior year for two of my kids and start to flutter in panic, and then I stamp it down because “sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof”, which is a beautiful King James version of saying “STOP WORRYING ABOUT NEXT YEAR YOU NINNY!”

I started back to PT on Monday and go again tomorrow. I’m definitely starting right back at the beginning. The shots did a little bit–I’m more aware of my back in a general sense and it only spikes up a bit when I’ve been walking or standing for a long time.

In house news, well, we’re the owners of a brand new dishwasher and a brand new pipe going from the water main into our house. Neither of which were planned or expected, but this is why we have an emergency fund!

I’m falling asleep at the keyboard (I’ve had to retype this sentence because my fingers are forgetting how to spell and type correctly!), so even though it’s not even 10, I’m heading to bed. Night, y’all!

Posted in Health

In Which I Didn’t Have a Heart Attack

 

Saturday morning started very normally. Catie had to be to work at 9, so we were going to head out the door at 8:45. At 8:15 it crossed my mind that I could get a quick shower, but I decided nah, I’ll do it after I drop her off. And brush my hair. And brush my teeth. And get more protein to add to my “only had an English muffin and coffee” breakfast. Except, no.

8:45 I’m walking through my laundry room on my way out the side entrance of our house. I’m passing by the dryer and OW OW OW OW OW. My chest suddenly feels like there is a really tight elastic band around it and it HURTS. I can’t breathe, even, because it hurts so much.

What is RULE #1 of chest pain as an adult? PAY ATTENTION TO IT.

I paused a few moments, thinking it would pass quickly. It didn’t. Catie came up behind me, so I started to walk forward again. I took a step or two outside the house and stopped again because, really, I shouldn’t ignore this. Catie is looking at me at this point. I get my phone and start to google “women heart attack symptoms” because I know they are different from men’s. The first one is chest pressure.  Well, yeah. But I don’t seem to have the other ones, so I get in the car and keep scrolling, holding onto part of my chest because it still really hurts. Catie gets Dad, and I start to think–you know, I probably should get this looked at. I drive to urgent care and let Jim take her to work.

Urgent care scolds me, saying I should have gone to the ER. She calls 911. At this point I’m starting to get a little scared and cry a bit. Which I hate. Because I am woman, hear me roar, not cry in public! Jim calls and finds out what’s going on and agrees to meet at the hospital. The ambulance pulls up, gets me on a gurney and out the door (humiliations galore–I DO NOT like attention!) and into the back of the ambulance. The start hooking me up to stuff and asking 100 questions. The comes a moment when the band tightens around my chest and I literally couldn’t breathe at all. It passes and I can breathe, but am kind of getting really frightened at this point. If it isn’t a heart attack, what the heck is it?

We arrive at the ER, I’m wheeled in, hooked up to their EKG and asked more questions. They do bloodwork and a chest x-ray quickly. Jim and his mom come in. I get another squeeze-can’t-breathe thing. My bp (normally 110/72) is 145/82, which kind of freaks me out. I NEVER have high blood pressure. Even pregnant with quadruplets I never had it.

EKG is normal. Chest xray is good. Blood work is good except for the D-Dimer, which is positive or elevated or something and might indicate that I have a blood clot. It’s going to be a few more hours. I feel ok, so Jim’s mom leaves to go home to the kids. Jim leaves to get me McDonalds and then head home to take Ethan and Laura to a field trip with Overbrook at a local park. My sister comes to the ER to keep me company. The CT is ok, although the contrast part hitting my system is WEIRD.

While waiting for CT results, what the doctor tells me is that I did not and am not having a heart attack. Which, HALLELUJAH. Thankyouverymuch.

CT shows I have slight pneumonia. And the horrible band of pain and pressure is Costochondritis. “Costochondritis (kos-toe-kon-DRY-tis) is an inflammation of the cartilage that connects a rib to the breastbone (sternum). Pain caused by costochondritis might mimic that of a heart attack or other heart conditions.” (mayoclinic.org) Yeah, that.

They sent me home on a Z-pack and an anti-inflammatory. I took it easy the rest of Saturday, but Sunday I was up and doing regular stuff. Today I was grocery shopping and feeling fine. If I had to go to the ER and have a dramatic adventure, at least it’s with an “all’s well that ends well” ending!