Tuesday, June 30, 2009

utah mom's nite out!

hi utah friends & family, i stole this off my sister's mom blog

i wish i could be there for the fun! but you should all go,
my sister sure knows how to throw a party!

Need a Girl's Nite Out but can't get away from the kiddos?

Join me and all the rockin' women putting together the "Moms Who Make It" conference tonight at Gardner Village for yummy treats, lots of laughs and maybe even a bit of retail therapy! (this shop is gorgeous!)

Here's the deets:

Moms Nite Out
7:00 pm at Lorken Food Finery (in Gardner Village)
*meet other awesome moms, enjoy amazing refreshments, huge discounts and specials
* bring your little ones - there will be a fun kid's korner!
For more info., visit here

I'll be there, ready to party! Hope you will too!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

outtakes from father's day pictures

i was looking through these and thought they were pretty funny, so i posted them.
there are like 15 more, but didn't want to bore you all.

also, if you'd like to read about my rant on homeschooling, go to the public blog. and really, i'd love to hear what your opinion is on the subject.
the good, the bad, the socially awkward.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

episode 13: home schooling

so this week's episode on real mom's guide is about home schooling your children.

vanessa is a home schooling mom....right now to her 1st born, owen, who is 6, and soon to be to her daughter who just finished pre-k. she said that she made the decision based on the fact that she has 5 kids close together and she & her husband started to think about all of the open houses, after school things, project, parent teacher conferences, and wondered how they would do it all. she also said that she had a hard time with the fact that she was sending her kids off to someone else for the majority of the day & then having them home in time for homework, dinner, then bed. and she was missing all of that quality time.

so far home schooling is working out really well for her. she still sends owen once a week to classes like art and to get some social time. she said she wasn't too worried about the social aspect because her kids are very involved in the community and blend in well with kids.

ida is just about to start home schooling a couple of her kids. she felt that one of them needed more one-on-one attention and then one of her other kids said that she wanted to do it, too. so she has them signed up for an online home school program, where each kid is given their own laptop, assignments, and has a teacher available. they still "attend" school for a big chunk of the day, they are just at their home while doing it.

because i don't have an teaching background, this is probably the route i would go if i ever homeschooled my kids. there are state requirements for each child to need to pass in order to move to the next grade, and i would just be concerned that i wouldn't be doing enough.

my view on home school? i'm not particularly for it, but i was contemplating it last year when we lived in north carolina. there were reports on the news that elementary school kids were caught performing oral sex on each other in school buses and in the bathrooms. i freaked out! i couldn't imagine sending my sweet 5 year old into an environment where he could walk into the bathroom and witness this.

i remember the kids in my neighborhood who were home schooled. they stuck out not only physically (a little awkward) but definitely socially. they stuck closely together, didn't make friends easily, didn't know how to be patient, or wait their turns.

i feel strongly that caleb really needs the social aspect of school. he doesn't have siblings in close age to him, and not only needs the different skills that can only be taught in a social setting without his mom there, but he craves it. nothing makes him happier than being in a big group of kids.

so where do i stand now? probably won't do home schooling. for now anyway. so unfortunately for me, that means that i feel the need to educate caleb. i would rather have him hear the truth about the world from my mouth than from someone else's.

a huge pet peeve of mine is when parents shy away from educating their children. i've heard moms say, "well i don't want my kid to be that kid. the one who goes around telling the other kids what they know." or, "they're too young. i don't want them knowing this yet."

i think it is so important to not be scared to tell your children about uncomfortable things. is it fun? absolutely not. do i look forward to this? no way. i'm blushing just thinking about it.

but i also feel that you really need to know your children individually. this is so important, each one is different. just because you can tell one of them about the birds and the bees at a certain age, doesn't mean that every kid is emotionally mature enough to handle it at the same time. i also think there are some kids who are told the "appropriate" names of body parts a little too early and use it at inappropriate times, just for attention.

but i do think that when you feel your kid is ready to know, they need to graduate from using the words "pee-pee" and know the real lingo. because chances are, they're going to be told from some other kid and come home asking you about it. i just think the job of teaching them the appropriate times to say it are what is important.

i'm not an expert, i haven't yet done it, but the time is coming up quickly and i'm getting ready for it.

i realize that i can't protect caleb from everything. in fact, i would be doing him a dis-service if i tried to. these children have come to this earth at this time and it is our job as parents to not just teach them manners and good behavior, but to teach them values and educate them on respecting themselves and others around them.

so that if every they are faced with a situation as unfortunate as the one i heard about in NC, they are educated enough to know that it's not appropriate, and they're strong enough to be able to say, "no."

anyway, sorry for the soapbox.

watch the episode from real moms guide, here. and let me know what you think!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

when "just in case" becomes just too much

the last couple of weeks have been a little rough here. well, i guess "rough" is a matter of perspective. i have lived through worse. but allow me to vent for a moment. or an hour, really, because i've had a lot on my mind. hopefully i can make it all make sense.

i used to consider myself a spontaneous kind of gal. the type where, if i wanted to just go away somewhere for a weekend, i would do it. if i wanted to pick up and move to another place not really knowing what lay ahead, i did it.

when i got married, this was something i loved about ben. spontaneity. we had such a fun time, just kind of doing what we wanted to do, when we wanted to do it. not the best planners, but we were fantastic at last-minute parties.

enter caleb.

everything for me changed. i went from "spontaneous, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants" lynsey, to "just-in-case-this-happens" lynsey. i became an over-planner, an over-packer, an over-stresser, an over-worrier.

now here's the 'why' behind the change. because caleb was that kid. and i'm not exaggerating here, he was the one who would have a poop blowout the minute we arrived. anywhere. he was the one who suddenly spiked a fever out of nowhere. he was the baby who projectile vomited everything he had eaten in 24 hours when you were least expecting it. this is leaving all of his seizures & screaming aside. he did the rest of it, too.

after cleaning out others' cars (still sorry about that dad), walking out of church with vomit covering me all the way down my skirt past my knees (and having had to literally throw away my wool sweater in the church bathroom), carting a baby in the middle of winter in only a onesie and socks back to the car, i learned. and learned quickly.

our diaperbag turned into an over-stuffed managerie of pretty much everything you could think of. my mom would comment often about how heavy it was and how much stuff we carted around.

i constantly had an extra set of clothes for caleb, tylenol, a nose sucker-thingy, washcloth, several empty plastic garbage bags for carrying home nasty clothes, diapers, wipes, a changing pad, burp cloths, toys, his latest medicine, bottles and formula.

don't even get me started on going on trips. it became insane.

this packing is only the tip of the iceburg. when it came to caleb's health, i too became the one who always said, "well, let's take him in--just in case." and why?

because he was the one who always had something. everytime others thought i was over-reacting or being too paranoid...which would make me question myself at times...we would find out there was something wrong with him. and not just "ear infection" wrong. it would be "spinal meningitis" wrong. and we'd end up in the hospital for 3 days.

i learned quickly to speak up for not only my son, but for myself. because there were many times throughout those first couple of years that i would just get this....nagging...for lack of a better word. i would mimic others and say out loud, "it's probably nothing," but in the back of my head i would always think, but what if it's something?

there were several times when i actually had to dispute what doctors told me and push to get them to listen.

when i first brought him in for his seizures at 10 days old...it's just colic, the doctor said. and put him on reflux medicine. we continually brought him in & said that something was wrong. two months later, when she finally witnessed one of his "colic episodes," she immediately said the lovely words, "that's not normal" and put him in the hospital for an entire 3 day work-up of tests.

3 weeks later, caleb got a fever. he cried non-stop. this wasn't unusal for him, but there was something unusal about it. the nagging feeling came, so i took him into the doctor.

it's just a virus, it will pass,
the on-call dr. said. the nagging feeling didn't go away, and neither did caleb's fever.

3 days later, i pushed to take him into the ER on a sunday. they looked at me like i was crazy. and finally, did a spinal tap. we spent 3 more days in the hospital after he tested positive for spinal meningitis.

so anyway, this trend continued.

i know there were family members who felt (and probably still feel) that i was too over protective of him. even though it is difficult for me, i have learned to stop caring what others think. because i know my son. i was given the gift of having divine inspiration for him and each time that i have listened to the nagging (which i recognize as the holy ghost), i have been right. so my confidence in my abilities as a mother grew.

not only that, but i could not take advice from others who had only experienced healthy children. no one understands what it's like to have a baby with health issues unless you actually have one.

caleb-2 1/2 mos., 1st out of 3 EEG's

so when i would hear, "oh, i've had 4 kids of my own and they all get sick, and they all end up fine. you just need to relax," my insides wanted to scream out, "but you've never had one who had to spend the majority of his first year in a hospital, with specialists trying to figure out what is wrong with them!"

it was frustrating. i felt like i spent a lot of time trying to justify my reasoning as to why i wasn't comfortable just passing him around the crowd, or letting sick kids around him. or just letting others baby-sit him when he was having seizures.

okay, i will stop rambling about the past. we are through it, and i'm grateful. there's a purpose for the rambling.

the point of all of this, is that being the "just in case" lynsey became exhausting. anxiety broke out constantly, mainly at night when i would try to sleep. but it was there in the daylight too, i just tried to keep it to myself. even ben only knew about 50% of it.

as the years passed, i began to relax more. and really, during it all, i had the faith that caleb would get through it. i never questioned that. my anxieties mainly stemmed from knowing that he was my (and ben's) sole responsibility, and that i didn't want anything to happen to him due to my negligence or being too casual like i felt others wanted me to be.

enter leah.

even though she had a few weeks of a screamfest, i could tell from the beginning that this would be a different experience. she seemed stronger, sturdier, healthier. chubbier. and i know that sounds weird, but with a baby who has extra chunk, you worry less about them getting sick and losing weight.


a couple of weeks ago, she started waking up in the middle of the night, panicking. it was like she had a nightmare, or like something was bothering her. she would all of a sudden take in this huge breath and then pant like she was scared or hurt. sometimes she would arch her back and cry out. at first she would only do it once at night.

i thought it was weird, but didn't worry. i figured it was a nightmare. it went on for several days, and then it began happening 3, 4, 5 times at night. i knew then that it wasn't a nightmare, that something really was bothering her.

i lay her next to me and would watch her sleep, to see if she had some sort of sleep apnea and would actually stop breathing. she didn't.

anyway, there was one night where she seemed particularly uncomfortable. i sat next to her on the bed for several hours and she woke this way around 5 times. i finally thought to myself, "okay, if she does it one more time, i'll take her to the doctor tomorrow. she probably has an ear infection & it's making her wake up. or maybe it's reflux."

so she did it a couple more times and i made the decision. the next morning, i called for the appt. and took her in that afternoon. when i explained what was happening, i thought for sure they would look at me like i was crazy. (because that's how the doctors looked at me with caleb.)


"you need to take her straight into the hospital. tonight." they told me.

what??? what was happening here? they explained that if it was some sort of sleep apnea or seizure going on, they needed to monitor her overnight and do some tests.

"i'm thinking it's just reflux, or maybe she has a cold," i answered. "is it really necessary to go to the hospital?"

they were insistent. "just in case," they said.

i called ben, who was equally as shocked. he had to call in at work, and i came home to pack an overnight bag.

it was an exhausting night. between the plastic fold-out couch, the constant beeping from leah's heart & oxygen monitors, and then having to jump up everytime she did one of her "panic" wake-ups to write down how long the episodes lasted and then call the nurse in.

very. little. sleep.

they ordered an EEG, but because it was the weekend, weren't able to do it until the weekday. and asked if i wanted to stay 2 more nights. because the nagging feeling wasn't there, i quickly said, "no, thank you," and said i would follow-up with the doctor.

however, before we left i made sure to get a quick picture with the large mouse bringing balloons.

and thought, "well this will be the only time we'll have to be here for her, glad that's over." naive little me.

two weeks later, wednesday (yesterday), leah spiked a fever. she had been acting funny for the past couple of days. not sleeping well, not eating well. then the fever showed up. she acted okay if she was on tylenol, so i thought maybe it was an ear infection.

i knew that not only today (thurs) was ben's finals, but he would be taking the car for his overnight job and not coming home until friday morning. which would leave me without a car for 2 days. so i asked him yesterday if he thought i should take her into the doctor because if it was an ear infection, i just wanted to get it out of the way and not have to wonder.

we went back and forth, then finally decided just to do it so that ben wouldn't have to miss school or work if she got any worse.

i get to the dr's office, and explained. they take her temperature, which on tylenol was like 101.8. they become concerned. she didn't have an ear infection, or a sore throat. they took a flu test, it was negative. suddenly they're drawing blood from her arm. then doing a catheter to check for a bladder infection.

all negative. so what do they say next? yep, you guessed it.

"you need to go straight to the hospital and have them do a spinal tap. it might be meningitis."

"seriously??? can't i just take her home and watch her and promise that i will take her in if she gets any worse?" i ask.

"no, because there could be something seriously wrong with her and we want to make sure--just in case."

i was overwhelmed.

suddenly, the words that i always heard myself muttering to others came back to bite me. i was rolling my eyes on the inside, thinking that they were being overly cautious, and i couldn't believe that we were being sent back in for a long night in the ER.

lil sweets being patient in the ER.

i also knew what a spinal tap on a 3 1/2 mos. old baby looked like. been there. and, again, because i didn't have that nagging feeling, i wasn't comfortable with them doing that on her. it is horrible.

i called ben, and for some reason, started crying. i just couldn't believe we were re-living 4 years ago. both babies were at the same age for the first visit to the hospital, and now they were the same age for their spinal tap hospital visit.

it was so weird for me that the tables had been turned on me. i knew that because of caleb's health issues, i was being treated differently. with more caution.

and even though 4 years ago, all i wanted was a doctor who would listen, take me seriously, use more caution, right then it was the last thing i wanted. i wanted to hear them say, "oh it's nothing. take her home & she'll be okay."

so anyway, after spending 5 torturous hours in the ER, more blood drawing and another catheter (because they wouldn't take the tests done 4 hours ago), the resident doctor came in. and luckily said the words i had been hoping to hear.

"this baby looks fine. she probably just has a virus. i really don't want to do the spinal tap on her."

i could have kissed the resident. we came home at almost midnight, exhausted. on the way i told ben to remind me of this experience every time i say the words "just in case" so that i can make an educated decision before heading into the doctor.

i need to relax a little, to realize that i did have a baby with health problems. and i need to listen to the voice that is no longer nagging, because leah is not the same baby that caleb was. it's hard though. i didn't realize how hard it would be. but after the last 2 experiences in the hospital, i know that it's necessary.

to make sure that i am deciphering between what is real in the present, and what is in the past, and is no longer part of my reality. interesting.

i feel that my character is growing again. that i am learning to come back to my old, fun, spontaneous self. because no one can keep up this intense, anxious, stressed out self for too long without it taking its toll.

it's not that there aren't times when you need to push, need to take your own advice over others', need to listen to the nagging. but this just wasn't one of those times.

still though, i watched her closely last night and let her sleep in the bed with us.

you know, just in case.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Friday, June 19, 2009

a father is...

***this is a re-posting from last year but with some new additions.

someone who makes you smile when you don't feel like smiling...

someone who feels your pain...

someone who will tickle you until you wet your pants...

someone who will share their hairstyle techniques...

who will hold you tight after you've been on a long journey...

someone who will lift you up so you can see the light...

someone who isn't afraid to give you kisses when others are watching...
someone who loves to have fun...

someone who values education...

someone who will help you appreciate the beauty of the earth...

someone who knows the value of a good nap...

someone who will teach you "marco, polo"...

someone who will help you walk through trials...

someone who will talk you through your problems...

someone with a fantastic sense of humor...

someone who gives the best hugs...

someone who will make you feel like a prince or princess...

someone who will sit on santa's lap when you're too scared to...

someone who is a good friend...

someone who will carry you when you are too tired to stand...

someone who is the best example of a super hero...

someone who would make his own father proud...

for all these reasons and more, this is why we love you.

happy father's day, ben.

hope you all have a great father's day weekend!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

beating the heat

here in arizona, things have "cooled off" this week by having the temps stay in the high 90's. seriously. next week we are supposed to go back in the 3 digits. so how do we keep cool?

eating a lot of popsicles, having one of these in each of our rooms:

getting haircuts:

and letting this chubkins look cute as a button in her old navy one piece.

thanks for the sale, old navy. we've got to keep these chubby thighs cool somehow.
if only i could adore my thighs as much as i do hers.

for more pictures of my new look, go to the public blog.

the debut of the new 'do

so here it is.
still not quite sure my feelings on it, but there's no going back now!
this is the first time i've done it curly which i am better at than the straight style.
straight style involves a round brush...need i say more?

ben is still a fan.
though when he saw it curly he kept calling it "exotic"
which led me to believe that although he is a very intelligent fellow,
he has absolutely no clue what that word means.

anyway. black and white is a little kinder on the close-ups,
the one farther away is in color on the private blog,
but be warned, i'm sporting a goofy smile.
but it also has leah looking cute and full of summer lovin'.

what do you think? and be kind, i'm a fan of constructive criticism,
just not a fan of dashing any hope of ever being considered attractive again.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

episode 12: dana

i thought this episode was really interesting...showing a "non-traditional" family of 2009. a stay at home dad & a working mom! i love to see how they make it work for them & reserve the weekends so that their adorable baby girl kendall still bonds with her mom.

that little girl is so cute, she could be a model!
anyway, enjoy the episode here.

ps-as soon as i start feeling better i will take a picture of my hair & post it.

Monday, June 15, 2009

does this hair make my cheeks look big?

a wise man once said to me,

"life favors those who act."

so troy, today i took your words of advice. i've been thinking about cutting...no, chopping my hair for some time now. but the fear of failure (also known as making my face look rounder than it already does) kept me at bay. i danced around it for several months, even getting a "halfway" cut last time, which i wasn't really happy with. i wasn't happy with it because it wasn't what a really wanted, just a mere idea of it.

i haven't taken a picture yet, because i'm not sure how i feel about it.
but i'll give you an idea of what it looks like:

HA! are you kidding me? please don't tell me you believed that.
what is she thinking?
different subject for a different day.

no, it really looks more like this:

right about the same color now, too.
(though imagine me about 1,000 lbs bigger, a shirt from target on
and with less professional makeup)

because of my natural curl, the look i am hoping to achieve once i shower
and figure out how in the heck to style it is this:

though i'm afraid that once i get going with my diffuser i might look more like this

chubby fingers included.

ben says he really likes it. but you know what? it's not that i don't believe him, but what i think impresses him most is the fact that i took the risk and just did it. no more talking about it. it's done. there's no turning back.

the plane has left the runway, the car has left the parking lot, the broom has swept it off of the floor and thrown it in the garbage can.

so i guess we will just have to see if there are any more pictures of myself posted, or if i go incognito for the next 6 months waiting for "the good ship lollipop" to drop its anchor into a different harbor.