Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Lucky the Squirrel Lives and Other Happenings

So today we were leaving our house and I was a little slower than the kids to get out the door. As I walked out to the car I hear Mac yelling, "Mom! Mom!!! Come over here! I think it's Lucky!"

I walk around the car into our neighbor's yard and there sits a squirrel on the ground. Now, if you haven't noticed, squirrels don't exactly have a lot of identifying characteristics. In other words... all squirrels look pretty much the same. This could be Lucky the Squirrel whom we lovingly raised from squirrel infanthood, or it could just be a squirrel, right? If you ask Rohan, all squirrels are Lucky. He always tells me so.

I've gotten a little off track here.

So, I see the squirrel and Mac tells me again that he thinks it's Lucky. "Could be," I tell him. I start talking to the squirrel, saying things in a dorky, former-mother-of-a-squirrel type voice. The squirrel sits there some more. This squirrel is not sitting up on it's haunches like you see squirrels do. It's on all fours like it's ready to bolt and I'm thinking to myself, 'No way this is Lucky. He's totally going to run away like all the squirrels do.'

Not the case.

I walk closer talking in my dorky, mama-squirrel voice. He sits there, totally still.

I get closer. He moves a little, but it's toward me, not away from me. 'Maybe so...' I think to myself.

Soon I am standing close enough that I could bend down and touch him. My foot is, perhaps, ten inches from his nose. I can see that he has an old wound on his head. (probably some mean squirrel teased him about his big, fat, peach-skinned mama and Lucky reacted. What would you do if you were in his shoes?)

I am so close to him, I could reach down and pick him up if I wanted. I am quite certain now that he is, indeed, Lucky the Squirrel, former squirrel baby of Clancy and family. Here's my fear. I have flip-flops and a short-sleeve shirt on. I remember those claws. I remember how my arms, neck and collar-bones were a mass of scratches last November. And, he's bigger now. Stronger. Not only that, but this is no longer the squirrel I fed puppy formula to. No longer is he the squirrel I kept in clean bedding and who's little poohs and pees I kept all cleaned up. He is now a squirrel of the wild. He could have diseases. Not rabies, mind. Squirrels don't really get rabies. (another fact I picked up in my squirrel-mommy weeks.) But he could have other things. And he liked to bite.

So... I tell my kids that I think it is, indeed, Lucky and that we really need to get in the car now and leave him alone. Mac was disappointed, but I reminded him of those claws and he, remembering all the screams of fear when Lucky would leap from my shoulders onto any child passing too close to me, saw the wisdom of a visual reunion rather than a physical one.

We got in the car and backed out of the driveway. In my excitement, I couldn't help but call Dustin to tell him what just transpired. And as we started to drive away, I looked back and saw Lucky, still in the same position on my neighbors grass. I think he was as shocked to see his former family as we were to see him.

But, he lives. We raised a squirrel successfully and released him back into the "wilds" of our neighborhood to be a pest. But a pest that lived because of our love.

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So, that was Part A. Here follows Part B; Other Happenings.

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There seems to be some confusion for some of my blog readers. I am pregnant. Yes, it's true. I did "announce it", sort of. I did a blog post back on September 2 and mostly I talked about trivial nothings, but I threw it in there at the end. I'm not a big "ANNOUNCE" kind of girl. I didn't want a whole post devoted to my announcement, so I acted rather nonchalant about it and I guess some people missed it. So, just for the record...

I'M PREGNANT!!!!

Was that rude? I hope not. I just want to make things clear.

So, that being said... I finally went to my first doctor appointment today. Well, technically I went to a "midwife appointment" but that's so much more weird to say. It just doesn't flow like "Doctor Appointment", does it? Here's the lowdown because I don't plan on talking about this alot. Don't ask me why. It's just one of those things I'm going to keep to myself, mostly.

I was sick. Some. Not bad. Only threw up once, but I felt yucky from about 6 weeks until about 12 weeks. Now I feel fantastic. Except I get very, very tired a lot, but that's easy to fix. I just go to sleep! It's amazing. Last night I went to bed at 8:40 p.m!! Did you know sleep is amazing?

I am 16 weeks this Friday. I am due mid-March. My next appointment will be at 20 weeks meaning I'll have an ultra-sound, but don't get your hopes up because we don't find out the sex of the baby until the baby is born. Sorry. It's really funny how angry people get when you tell them this. My sister-in-law is one of them. My friend, Rebby, is another. My children aren't very happy about this choice either.

Two months after this baby is born, Rohan will turn five and Ella will turn eight. Four months after it's born, Mac will turn ten. Yeah... kinda like starting over. I know. I'm nervous, but it was the right time now. Not two years ago. Not one year ago. Not even at the beginning of this year. Now. (well, 16 weeks ago, really)

I don't do epidurals when I give birth. It's a personal choice and I like it that way. Please don't call me crazy for doing so like most people in the world like to do. If you think I'm crazy, that's fine. Just don't tell me so. I don't tell people they're crazy for getting epidurals. Let's all be respectful of people's choices. Birth is amazing no matter the circumstances surrounding it.

So... there's the 4-1-1. Did I answer all questions?

I went to see my midwife today for the first time. I heard the heartbeat and it was music to my ears.

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That's about all there is to report. Dipping continues. Landlording sucks rocks. My dad is doing great. Dustin is awesome. Mac is getting better and better with school. He ROCKED the home-schooling HOUSE today! Done before noon and smiling the whole time (almost!). Thanks to Maria for talking about some incentives for good behavior. He's doing great! I'm doing great!

It's 10:11 p.m. and I have a splitting headache and my neck is pinched and my shoulders are burning, not to mention the burning-computer-screen eyes. I'm thinking that how I'm feeling right now was the filter for my writing up above... that semi-grouchy tone that was coming through. Sorry about that.

Love to you all.

Nighty-night!

Friday, September 18, 2009

First Week

This is completely a "for my own records" post, just so I can have it recorded. Therefore, it is, potentially, rather boring. Sorry.


I mentioned that we are keeping Mac at home this year for school. The Idaho Virtual Academy "powered by K12" is our method of choice. In my ideal world, I would be choosing all his curriculum and planning it all myself. But, alas, I know my own limits and that is way more than I feel capable of at this point in my life. And that's o.k. K-12 it is!

We got all our "materials" a week ago today. (At the end of the day, so we didn't use them, we just got them out and looked at them.) We officially "started" on Monday. Monday didn't go so well. If you don't recall, look at my post that day and it will give you an idea of my Monday. That post wasn't entirely about my son or homeschooling, but those two things were the catalyst for a lot of dormant emotions and, to put it nicely, I lost it.

Tuesday wasn't easy, but I was in a better place.

Wednesday was quite good with a few, minor rough spots.

Thursday was good too... I think. I'm starting to blur a little on the details...

Today was long, but should have been short. We didn't have that much to do, but Mac likes to drag his feet and dilly-dally. It makes me crazy-insane, but somehow I've managed (aside from Monday) to keep my head and stay cool. (Go me!) This day had a lot of potential for being totally awful... maybe like Monday... but I chose to be chill and not react (...much. Does slamming my fist on the table and raising my voice count as a reaction? Probably, but I apologized right after and we carried on.)

Thus far he hates Math the most (not so shocking) and he likes Art the best. (not so shocking)

So far, I am pleased with the program. I am pleased that I can just go online and see what we're doing for the day and I don't have to plan. If you recall, planning is not one of my greatest strengths. I think it's good for Mac to be home. Truly. I am happy to see him interact with his little brother.

At this point, I'm happy that Ella has chosen to go to school as well. She loves school (although she loves it a little less since she's the only one who has to get up in the mornings at 7:00 a.m.) and I love watching her do her cute homework. I think I would be totally overwhelmed if they were both home this year. Mac and Ella are often the best of friends, but more often it seems, they antagonize each other and therefore harry their mother endlessly. This transition, I believe, has been infinitely smoother because Mac and Ella are not battling each other or vying for my attention all day. Rohan, in his easy-going manner, is happy to play Legos or sit on my lap while I do things with Mac. Bless that child. And bless Ella for choosing to go to school this year. And bless Mac for his strong will and his consistent, if begrudged efforts. And, if I may be so bold... bless me, too. For something.

So, there's the log for my first week in our new adventure. Pretzel dipping continues as does apartment management (or not... PLEASE let us get a new renter!!!). Also continues the mantaining of a household (to some degree anyway), and continues what would seem the easiest part of my life right now despite the limits it's putting on my wardrobe: baby-growing.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Then and Now

I used to want to write all the time.
Now I all I seem to want to do is sleep.

I used to spend a lot of time on the computer blogging.
Now I spend a lot of time on the computer looking at lesson plans for my son.

I used to feel like I had a fair amount of free time.
Now I feel like there's not enough time in the day to do it all.

I used to get sick of dipping pretzels before I even started.
Now I get sick of pretzels before I'm even started. Umm... wait a second...

I used to not mind dipping so much once I got started.
I guess two things haven't changed.

9:50 p.m. used to feel like the night was just beginning.
Now I can't wait to go to bed 50 minutes ago.



I'm just going to package some pretzels and then I'm going to get my Zzzz's. Night night.

Monday, September 14, 2009

That Kind

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One of those times when you can't make sense of it.

One of those spots on your heart that's all worn and threadbare.

One of those songs that feels all the feelings for you so you don't have to.

One of those prayers where you scream at God.

One of those afternoons when your shoulder aches because you're carrying the mad world across it like a purse full of all the garbage you've forgotten why you even put in there in the first place.

One of those moments where you explode all over the place and wonder at the people who've told you they can't imagine you losing it.

One of those trips you take down the guilty road of Lost Self Control.

One of those looks that blows right through the threadbare spot like tissue paper.

One of those carefully composed posts that stitches up your heart a little bit.

One of those days....

Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday's Fabulous Five

It's been a while since I've done a FFF post. Life is so fabulous, I better do ten.

1- My dad is pink-skinned and breathing on a daily basis. I pray I never take that for granted again.

2- My mom is a total rock. I've known it all along, but she kept things so calm the night that my dad was in peril. I've since realized how freaked out she really was that night, but she kept it together so well for her children. She's amazing. She wrote a note to many friends and family explaining what happened to my dad. Here's the tail end of that note and I want to preserve it in my someday-blog-book:

We are both extremely grateful for the gift of his health & "new lease on life". There's nothing quite like an extreme wake up call to sharpen the senses & bring perspective to things.

To those of you who knew about this already; thank you for your love, support, kind words & prayers. To all; including those who are just finding out in this message, it's been a wild ride, one that I don't wish on anyone. My children have noticed that they want to be sure to speak the words of love that they may not utter often enough. I feel the same way. It's so easy in our workaday lives to lose the focus of the importance of speaking words of love, support & caring. To add a touch, a pat on the back, a caress or a hug and to look someone in the eye & commune soul to soul and convey all the feeling in our heart, soul & mind that is the love we feel. It needs to happen every day. Whether big or small, everyday. (If we focus on the love & sharing it it's easier to avoid the other stuff too) That's what's been going on in my mind a lot the last 1 1/2 days.

Love to you all AND go hug your loved ones & tell them how you feel. Right Now!!

Like I said... my mom is a rock.

3- We haven't gotten much school done at home because we still don't have Mac's books, computer, etc, but having my two little sons home with me has been more of a joy than I would've ever imagined. Mac has been nicer, more helpful, more cooperative and just generally more light and easy than he has in... well, years. This alone is making this endeavor worthwhile. I hope it continues until he's in, at least, his twenties. ;-)

4- My brother, who lives in Salt Lake, came up the day following my dad's heart attack. (He and his wife Nicky) Nicky stayed until Wednesday and then went back to Salt Lake. Zandy stayed to be my dad's muscles for a few days. You see... my dad's heart is fantastic. He looks and feels great, but he can't lift anything over five pounds for about a week while his femoral artery incision heals from his surgery. My dad does construction for a living. Bless my brother for lifting 200 lb doors and swinging sledge hammers for a few days so my dad can still earn a living and keep his commitments to the job he's on. I love my family.

5- I love a freshly vaccumed floor.

6- You know the miracle of the loaves and the fishes? I've had a miracle of the caramel.

7- Marci's Napolean Dynamite dance on her blog. Awesome. (sorry, ya'll... she's got herself a private blog so I have to enjoy that one alone... or with a few people whom I know who read her blog.)

8- I don't feel sick from being pregnant anymore. Not that I ever felt super sick, but even feeling a little sick sucks, don't you think? But now it's all gone.

9- For these few days, I get to watch my brother enjoy my children. Rohan especially. Rohan has a way of worming himself into people's hearts. Zandy is loving it and I am loving it too.

10- Dustin.


Happy Friday!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Bless-ed

The week since I last posted has been one of those weeks that make you say, "Holy Crap-a-Moly!"
(That would be a young Macism phrase...)

We went camping for Labor Day weekend and I spent several days running around, preparing food, making lists and generally freaking out trying to prepare for our excursion. On Thursday, I drove up to where we planned on camping and reserved our spot early thinking it would be packed for the holiday weekend. (which, to my great surprise, it wasn't) That took the majority of the day. My in-laws came into town and we went to dinner with them on Thursday night.

Friday I ran around like a maniac trying to prepare food ahead of time and gather the multitude of things required to camp. We still left later than we hoped... as usual.

In the midst of all of this, I was trying to figure stuff out for Mac's schooling. You see, we've decided to keep Mac home this year and we are using the K-12 program for his school. We still don't have his books and so I've been trying to figure out what we can do and trying to learn all about the program. Holy-crap-a-moly, I'm nuts.

And speaking of nuts... it's pretzel-dipping season again. The seasonal shop where I sell my stuff opened today and I wanted to be all prepared way ahead of time, but somehow that doesn't seem to be how I roll.

Back to camping... we had a great time, leaving Friday night and returning Monday around noon. Upon our return, we unpacked everything, cleaned up, showered and got "the dipping room" ready for chocolate and messes. Then, we went out to eat again with Dustin's parents who were coming back through town from their own camping trip. After we ate, I went home with the intention of dipping the night away, but I was so exhausted that I fell asleep on the couch at about 8:30 and ended up just going to bed about 9:00.

As if that weren't enough to make me say, 'Holy-Crap-a-Moly!'...

After my 9:00 crash, I woke up to the tail end of the phone ringing. I missed the call. It was just after midnight. I looked at the caller ID and saw that it was my mom calling from her cell phone. When I called her back she let me know that my dad had just been taken to the hospital in an ambulance. She was on her way over behind him and could Dustin come over to the hospital and give him a priesthood blessing. Something was wrong with his heart, she thought, but she kept saying "I think he's going to be ok."

"Of course Dustin would come over", I assured her.

I got off the phone and relayed her message to Dustin who had also been asleep. He got up out of bed and came straight over and hugged me. Hard. At the time I just wondered why he was wasting time hugging me when he needed to be getting to the hospital. He threw clothes on and left.

After he left, I knew why he was hugging me so hard. I was alone in the dark of my room. I didn't know what was going on and I started imagining all the worst things. What would I do without my dad? He is such a rock, such a foundation for our family. He is so knowledgeable and wise and he is such a comfort to me personally. Those thoughts went on and on and in short order I was an emotional wreck. I wanted to be at the hospital with my mom. I prayed. Hard.

After 45 minutes, Dustin called and asked if I would like his parents to come over and sleep at my house so I could go to the hospital. Yes, I wanted that. More than anything. So, they came over and I left.

By the time I got there (about 1:30 am) my dad was already out of surgery. He had a heart attack and the surgeon had put two stints in his artery. He will have to have one more within the next month or so. We listened to the doctor tell us things and we hugged and cried. My dad was ok.

In just a few minutes we got to go in and see him. He had been awake through the surgery so he was bright-eyed and alert when we walked in. We talked to the doctor some more and he showed us a video of the surgery. Modern medicine can be truly amazing.

I left the hospital at about 4:00 am with a profound sense of relief and gratitude. I cried as I hugged him, feeling so grateful that all my imaginations were unfounded. He is still here. I have an amazing father whom I love more than I can express.

The next day I had to dip pretzels, but all I really wanted to do was go to the hospital and watch my dad breathe.

I am so blessed.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Shove Over, Brain

Sometimes my brain just gets in the way. Sometimes I think to much and it's usually about the most trivial things. Here's one. Showers. I play the silliest head games about showering. This is something I don't understand because I love showers once I'm in there. I feel just like my children because they never want to do things and then, once doing them, never want to stop.

We have a window in our shower. It's on the east side of my house and it's on the opposing wall from the shower head. Here's the problem. Correction: Here's where my brain creates a problem. Said window is one of those bathroomy windows. You know, it's all textured so you can't see through it? (that's not the problem since seeing INTO the window that is IN my shower would be a problem!) Before 8 a.m., my neighbor's house hides the rising sun. After 8:00, the sun shines through that textured window, creating a shower full of sparkling, brilliant light. 'So what', you say? Remember how I said the window is on the opposite wall of the shower head? Well, to stand in the shower and rinse your hair, it works best to have your back to the shower head causing your tired morning eyeballs to face the brilliant, sparkling, blinding, sunny-like-a-laser-beam-of-death window. I don't like that. I'm a I-hate-sun-in-my-eyes kind of girl. So, I dink around in my PJ's before 8:00 am and then I think, 'Oh, the sun is shining in the shower now! Blast! I guess I can't shower until after about 10 or 10:30!' (because that's about when the sun gets out of range) Then, by 10 or 10:30, I'm in the middle of something else and I don't want to stop and shower, so it turns into me not showering until afternoon. Silly, silly head games! Just bite the bullet and shower, Clancy!

Here's another game I like to play. Getting up in the morning. I lay in bed and I run circles in my brain about how I should get up, but my body answers my brain and says, "Do you know how comfy I am right now? I'm way too tired!" And then I lay there wasting away the precious minutes of non-blinding shower time. Sometimes I wish I could just turn off my brain so I could get things done!

As a side note, in the last few months I've become an early-to-bed girl. I know, I know... I was a dyed-in-the-wool, self-proclaimed night owl, but I really knew for my own health and sanity this must change. So, I've been going to bed for the last couple months between 9:00 and 10:30! Can you say "Wow!" (wow!) Here's the less-than-remarkable conclusion to my side note: Monday night I stayed up until almost 1:30am. For the old me, that time was average, but for the new me, that was very late indeed and the next morning KILLED me. I forgot that I used to be that tired all the time! So, today I will say that I am profoundly grateful for the many factors in my life that brought about this, the more rested version of Clancy!

One of those factors that brought about this early-to-bedness might be of some interest to you... this Friday I'll be thirteen weeks pregnant with the fourth and final installment of Clancy/Dustin procreation. This factor alone makes me very ready to be in bed as early as 6:00 pm some nights and that is a blessed reason, indeed, to get more sleep!