Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Ventage Tuesday: Have a little faith in me

Angie suggested we all take some time to talk about faith this week. It's one of the ways we Ventage girls are different. But here's the thing I love about my girls: we are good at agreeing to disagree. So while some of us choose to wear polka dotted pants and some of us think they are the most ridiculous things ever, we still love each other. And while Sundays will find some of us at church and other meditating, it's all good. I think our group works because we see each other as whole people. We know enough good about each other that when we see something we don't understand or don't agree with, we see it as a teeny tiny part of a whole person who we love. That makes the differences no big deal.

The aspect of my faith I want to share today isn't so much about my relationship with God, but rather about how my relationship with God impacts my relationship with others and my view of the world. If there is one thing I believe without a shadow of a doubt, it's that God wants us to take care of each other. Love thy neighbor. I believe that God meets our needs by using the people in our lives to help us. I believe God uses my Ventage girls to get me through the day. I believe God uses my boys to show me so much about myself both good and bad. And I believe He uses me to help others. Sometimes, on my most sleep deprived days, I can't imagine I'm very useful to anyone, but God works in mysterious ways.

I think this idea that God wants us to take care of each other can be forgotten in the day to day stuff. It's hard to "love thy neighbor" when your neighbor isn't doing things the way you think they should. It's much easier to try to make them fit into a mold or give them a label. But I don't think God works through labels. He works in spite of them. He works when two very different people find common ground. He works when we see a need and find a way to meet it for someone, even if that someone doesn't look like us, doesn't come from the same kind of family we do, doesn't believe what we believe. I believe God wants us to spend less time talking about what makes us different and more time celebrating the things that can bring us together. I believe God is glorified when we say, "How can I help you?" and not "You need to do it my way."

For more thoughts on faith, visit my friends Angie, Barb, Em, and Katrina.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Hello, Monday

(the new name badge I wore *all weekend long*)

Hello, adjusting and recovering: What I love about my new job: I will always have every other weekend off. What I'm still getting used to: the weekends I work will be 3 solid days of work in a row. This weekend I was reminded wearing the same shoes two days in a row is a bad move. I kicked myself for not remembering cough drops on the day I was teaching a make and take for 6 hours. And when I finally made it home Sunday and crashed on the couch, I concluded I will need to manage my expectations for my capacity to get anything done at home during my weekends I work. Overall, I love my new job. Really, really love it. 

Hello, preparing: This weekend we will take our first real road trip with two kids. Aside from the 4 hours in the car for Stacy's wedding last fall, we haven't done any real distance travel with Sammy. Let's all cross our fingers and say a prayer that he does well during the 9ish hour drive to Detroit. This week will involve lots of list making and some tetris style packing to ensure we have everything we will need for a few days of visiting with the grandparents. Here's hoping I don't forget anything. And that the Easter Bunny can find us. 

Hello, growing: These boys are getting so big despite my best attempts to stop time and keep them little. Sammy has mastered pulling up and you can tell he's thinking about the next step (literally) and getting ready to make his move. If I were a betting girl, I'd say we'll have a furniture cruiser by the end of the month.

Hello, anticipating: Nana is coming for an unplanned visit. Karl is once again being called to Canada, and since his trip will include a weekend (and a weekend I'm scheduled to work nonetheless), we decided to call in backup. Perhaps Nana can bring some Florida warmth with her when she comes. I know one almost 4 year old who is downright giddy about Nana coming to visit. Sammy is quite oblivious, but I'm certain he'll warm up quickly and soak up plenty of extra Nana snuggles.

Hello, craving: I need spring. I need melted snow and bulbs poking through the ground. I need rain boots replacing snow boots. There's not much I can do to force Mother Nature to get with the program, so I guess I'll have to settle for making some Easter basket cookies and doing a fun little rainbow craft with the little dude this week. Oh, and I'll buy some tulips. It may still be winter outside but I can do my best to spring it up in here!

Happy Monday friends! Hard to believe we're almost finished with the first quarter of 2013!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Ventage Tuesday: Wanted: Spring

As I'm writing this (on Thursday night...some day I will post a Ventage Tuesday ON Tuesday), my blinds are drawn for the evening. I'm sitting in bed, with sheets that still smell fresh after changing out my bedding yesterday. I can almost, for a moment, pretend that there isn't snow on the ground outside. This time of year is hard on me. I'm ready to move on. I'm ready for the winter sickness to leave our house for good. I'm ready to throw back the curtains and open the windows. I'm ready to hear the sound of laughing neighborhood kiddos outside, rather than that nails on the chalkboard sound of the plow truck rounding the corner or the annoying hum of the neighbor's snow blower. I don't often like to rush time along, but it is Spring. I am ready for it to start feeling like it.

Angie, our resident legal counsel who moonlights as a stylist, suggested we all compile a little Spring Fashion Wishlist this week. So, without further ado, here are a few items I'd like to work into my wardrobe once Spring gets the memo and arrives in Wisconsin.

New ballet flats (pretend to be shocked that my must have list starts with shoes!)
A new sundress (totally love that eyelet is a spring trend this year!)
Can't argue with Pantone's color choice (and living in WI spring is definitely cardigan season!)

Be sure to visit the other girls for a peek at their spring wish lists. And please forgive us all our tardiness. I think we're having trouble thinking spring when winter just doesn't want to go away.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Ventage Tuesday (on Saturday): The Luckiest

When Angie suggested we blog about luck this week, I kind of shook my head. I'm not lucky. I play Powerball and Megamillions when the jackpots get big and I think of all the wonderful things I will do with my winnings. I dream dreams of amazing vacations with all of my favorite people and paying off the debt and mortgages of those I love. I dream of college funds and shopping sprees and pinterest parties. And I just keep dreaming because that winning ticket just never seems to come my way.

I could blog about how I'm lucky in the ways that really matter. Lucky to have found a wonderful husband. Lucky to have two awesome kids. Lucky to have a circle of friends who make me laugh and wipe my tears and support my dreams. Lucky to live in a country where I can dream big dreams for myself and my kids. But that's not luck, that's being blessed. And I'm thankful for that.

So how can I blog about luck? Well, it turns out I have a little story to share from my "lucky" day yesterday. It started with this mama leaving 2 kids unattended in the living room while I went to the bathroom. I came out a few minutes later to the sounds of a crinkling wrapper. Now those who have been to my house know it's pretty locked down as far as baby proofing goes. AJ was and still is my climber, and with his food allergies we locked most of our cabinets (and our fridge!) to keep him from helping himself to something that would make him sick. So I wasn't overly concerned about the wrapper sound. It was probably AJ trying to stealthily finish off some fruit snacks he snagged from one cabinet that isn't locked. What I found when I made it back to the living room was much much worse. Sammy was doing the crinkling and what he had in his hand was the wrapper to a single serve dose of Benadryl. There were 3 other wrappers laying on the floor around him.

I'm not going to lie. My heart stopped. For a moment I wasn't capable of any rational thought. 4 single serves of Benadryl is 20ml. Sam's dose for weight is 3ml. I was instantly thinking he would need his stomach pumped and how was I going to make it to the hospital by myself with two boys still in their jammies in the snow. As I picked up the phone debating between calling 911, the pediatrician, and poison control, my brain kicked in. While Sammy is clearly a genius, he lacks the fine motor skills to open 4 foil packages and twist off the caps on 4 single serve bottles in less than 5 minutes. And even if he did, the likelihood he would do so without spilling even a drop on his sleeper or the floor around him was slim to none. I looked him over and I smelled him and his breath and there wasn't even a hint of that super sweet cherry flavor.

And then I looked at AJ who was carefully watching me as I paced circles in the kitchen. "Bud, did you take some medicine?" "Lup." "How many did you take?" "Four. It was lummy" (Note to self: have strong conversation about how medicine is not candy after calling to make sure kid isn't going to OD) So I took a deep breath and called poison control. AJ's normal dose of Benadryl (which he's had on many an occasion due to those pesky allergies) is 7.5ml. So what he consumed was a little less than 3 times a normal dose. More than therapuetic but nowhere near toxic according to the kind, calm, and patient woman at poison control. She advised I pump him full of snacks and fluids for the next half an hour to help absorb the medicine. Watch him for things like an inability to use the bathroom, slurred speech, loss of balance. She said she'd call back in an hour to see how we were.

In the end, he was fine. Completely normal and blissfully happy that the mama who just 20 minutes ago had told him he didn't need anything to eat before dinner was now pumping him full of crackers and tortilla chips. All those allergen exposures gave him a little bit of tolerance to the Benadryl. He still had enough energy to stay up until his normal bedtime.

Yesterday, I was very lucky. Lucky that it was AJ and not Sam that got into the medicine (that was kept on a high shelf in an unlocked cabinet...that will now be changing). Lucky that AJ left the evidence where I could easily see it. Lucky that he's a pro at downing those things and didn't leave any for Sam to come along and take himself. Lucky that AJ can now communicate and answer questions.

So while I'm sure I won't be winning the Powerball this weekend, I'll take this kind of luck of 216 million dollars any day.

Friday, March 8, 2013

It won't be like this for long...

  • wakes up no later than 6:15 every morning, and immediately asks for "breked-fist," which is either waffles or "cee-ruh-ruls" and in his opinion should always include bacon. Because "It's a beautiful day for bacon."
  • call his brother "Baby Sammy" every single time. If you ask him what Sam's name is he will tell you "Baby Sammy Homburg." He greets him every morning with "Good mord-in Baby Sammy, how your nap doin?"
  • starts every day by checking his calendar to let me know if it is: a new school day, an old school day, a Mama day, or a Mama and Dada day. 
  • is so proud to tell me he "stayed on green" all day long at school. He also likes to tell me all the friends that didn't stay on green. Hello, tattle tale! 
  • is testing my patience on the potty front. He's capable, he just has better things to do. 
  • is constantly taking his clothes off. It's 10 degrees outside, everyone else in the family is wearing multiple layers and slippers and he's running around nekkid. 
  • has Disney World on the brain. Overheard while playing with his trains the other day: "Please stand clear of the doors!"
  • has no concept of elapsed time. Everything is "last week" "Last week we went to Charlie's party." "Last week Santa came." "Last week when it was my birthday." 
  • Is the king of the double negative. "But I don't want to not take a nap." "But I don't want you to not leave."
  • drives me crazy on a daily basis, but I could not possibly love him more.