Monday, May 23, 2011

100 Random Things

OK, Sarah did it. Christina did it. I'm nothing if not a follower.

1. Cheese is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.
2. I love to eat and to cook. I'm rather good at both.
3. I have three children. I lost a child 7 years ago. I still wonder about that child.
4. I feel called by God to work with junior high kids. My husband thinks I'm insane.
5. Giordano's in Chicago makes the best pizza in the world. So much so that I cannot eat any other pizza and be satisfied.
6. I don't feel 32.
7. Before the year is out, I will have pink streaks in my hair.
8. I love to read and completely lose myself in books. You have to put your hand on my shoulder or between my eyes and the book to take me out of my trance. Be warned; I'm going to jump a mile.
9. I want a pug named Winston and a Basset Hound named Murphy. Winston is going to be the crazy British royalty and Murphy is going to be the tired P.I. Winston will wear a tutu and Murphy will wear a trench coat.
10. I tried to nurse and then pump for each of my children. Each of them rejected my breastmilk in favor of soy, sensitive and rice-starch thickened formula respectively. I'm trying not to be offended.
11. I routinely call my kids Butt Monkeys. The oldest has repeated it at least twice.
12. Each child has their own lullabye. They love it when I sing to them and have since they were born.
13. Ben and I were boyfriend-girlfriend in middle school. Then we didn't see each other for 14 years. Then we decided to get married after talking online for 2 weeks.
14. I've lived in Texas almost all of my life except for a brief stint in Oklahoma and 3 years in Germany. (Army brat.)
15. My sister, brother and I have psychotically Irish names. (I'm Kelly Shannon.) My sister is the only one with green eyes.
16. During my first marriage, I had a doctor tell me that I would probably not conceive on my own. It took me 9 months to get pregnant and then I lost the baby. Another 9 months went by with no pregnancy.
17. During my marriage with Ben, he's always knocked me up within a month.
18. I hate pregnancy. I've had 2 preemies, a massive bout of Post Partum Depression after Gideon and it took 25 weeks of progesterone shots/2 weeks of terbutaline pills/3 false alarms just to get Milly to 37 weeks.
19. It's still totally worth it and I'm considering a fourth.
20. I have a horrific temper that I struggle against daily.
21. When snacking, I go for savory / salty rather than sweet. Unless I'm pregnant and then all Snickers within 200 miles are in danger.
22. I will eat chili and cheese on almost anything. Also, BBQ sauce.
23. I just finished watching Red. Holy Carp on Monkey Britches, that is one AWESOME MOVIE.
24. My favorite movie of all time is still Steel Magnolias.
25. I don't like girly things. I'll usually pick the action movie over the romantic comedy, the fantasy novel about dragons over the latest Danielle Steele and I don't wear makeup.
26. I love shoes. Like, obsession levels.
27. I could live out the rest of my life in a pair of comfortable jeans, a black tee and a pair of Converse low tops.
28. I can follow recipes but I usually don't. I'll tweak, substitute and eyeball instead of measure.
29. My husband has a really long ponytail. When he wears his hair down I swoon.
30. My favorite soda is Mr Pibb but I'll usually drink sweet tea or Dr Pepper in restaurants. No one EVER has Pibb.
31. I'm picky about ratios in food. As in a burger has to have a certain ratio of meat to bun to condiment to topping ratio. Otherwise, it's ruined. Same goes for sandwiches and salads.
32. I'm slightly OCD. I like everything to be on even numbers. Odd numbers drive me bonkers.
33. I've struggled with depression and anxiety for years. I've been on medication for years. I'm just now starting to let go of the guilt for needing this medication.
34. It scares me to death to think of my children having to deal with depression or anxiety.
35. I am a control freak. It's hard to admit that.
36. I call myself Cranky Toddler online because that is how I act with God. I have to remind myself often to act my spiritual age.
37. I accepted Christ into my heart personally at age 10.
38. Around age 21 I turned my back on God and told Him I could go it alone. Those were some dark years.
39. I finally turned back to God on the floor of a mental institution while on suicide watch.
40. During Sunday School I once won an award for memorizing so many Bible verses.
41. On the floor of the mental institution I could only remember one. "Be still and know that I am God."
42. That verse is now my Life Verse.
43. I am not ashamed of my mistakes or my past. I want others to see that they don't have to go through the Dark alone.
44. It still gets Dark sometimes. God is still there.
45. I don't play video games. I'm not coordinated enough and I get too annoyed.
46. I love board games, word games and card games.
47. I cannot WAIT to read "real" books to my kids. Little House, Harry Potter, Narnia, there are so many worlds I can't wait to introduce!
48. The smell of vinegar makes me gag.
49. I love pickles and can finish a jar in one sitting.
50. I want to be crafty. I'm just so impatient!
51. After my children are in school, I want to go back to school.
52. I have no idea what I'm going to do. Nursing? Teaching? Accounting?
53. I miss being in a choir.
54. My oldest daughter has a speech delay. I blame myself.
55. I blame myself for a lot of things.
56. After a very long time, I have a group of girls that I call my friends. I consider myself very blessed to have them in my life.
57. I love Brazilian Steakhouses.
58. I would go get a massage every week if I could justify the time and money.
59. I hate spending money on myself.
60. I'm ready to buy a house with my husband so I can start fiddling with everything.
61. I have a lot of plans for Our House.
62. Some of them are crafty plans. This could get interesting.
63. Someday there is going to be a cooking section on this blog with recipes and pictures.
64. I might have to trade some favors with my husband to make that happen.
65. I'm talking about enchiladas. Get your mind out of the gutter.
66. A lot of people keep telling me that I'm funny. Honestly, I don't see it.
67. My sister has always been the pretty one in the family. She's also funny, smart and daring. It's interesting to try to "live up to" your little sister.
68. My brother is insanely creative and sensitive. He just looks like a tough guy. I adore him.
67. God listens to my mother and my grandmother's prayers. They are amazing women.
68. I have the greatest mother-in-law in the entire universe. I'm not saying that to suck up. IT'S TRUE.
69. I want dozens of cute aprons and lots of vintage Pyrex in my kitchen.
70. When we buy Our House, I will make a garden in back. It's going to be colorful and interesting.
71. There will be at least 2 gnomes and a flamingo.
72. My favorite colors are green and yellow.
73. I love holidays, birthdays and just about any other kind of celebration. I want to entertain!
74. I love to cook for others.
75. I would love to cook as a ministry. I just don't know how or where.
76. I would love to start a ministry for NICU parents.
77. House chores are actually not that bad. It's just harder to do them with a preschooler and a toddler around my ankles.
78. Eventually I'll get around to making my own cleaning products.
79. I've made my own baby food for all of my kids.
80. I'm still trying to make the switch to cloth diapering.
81. I'm not a crunchy-granola-hippie Mom. I'm just cheap.
82. I hate driving. I wish I could hire a driver to do it for me.
83. I love grocery shopping.
84. Ben has me switched over to all Apple products. I honestly don't know if I could switch back to a PC.
85. I'm still trying to find a hairstyle that's easy to fix that also looks good on me without being too Mom-ish. Anyone have a stylist to suggest?
86. I will keep telling people I'm 25 until they stop believing it.
87. I grew up never watching sports. I married a sports nut. I now pay a little attention to the Rangers, NASCAR and the Cowboys.
88. If you ask, I'll tell you what worked for my kids but I'll probably tell you to trust your instincts first.
89. I'm still afraid of the dark.
90. I buy birthday cards and almost always forget to mail them.
91. I can't wait to travel with my family.
92. Especially a tour of Israel with my father-in-law. The man is brilliant.
93. I love Star Trek but I don't like the original series. The new movies are awesome. Next Generation are my favorite.
94. I'm addicted to sci-fi shows. Eureka, Warehouse 13, Firefly, Stargate SG-1...I love them all! I can't wait for Alphas!
95. I want to take a train trip with Ben.
96. I shared a room with my sister for years. I have every intention of making my daughters share a room.
97. I love a bed with a gazillion pillows, a featherbed topper and curtains. I want a haven. I want a sanctuary.
98. I want a master bathroom all to myself that I can turn into a home spa. No husband and kids allowed.
99. I love bath products. Sugar scrubs, bubble baths, aromatherapy candles, it's all so wonderful!
100. This was a lot harder than I thought it would be.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


I really should be in bed.

I'm still sick. I'm on better meds now but I'm still recovering. All of the doctors tell you to push fluids and get as much rest as possible. That would be easy if I didn't have three young children.

Tomorrow I have to get up early, pack three different bags, take Ben to work, take Sophie to school, take Milly to my sister's and then try to get Gideon into the pediatrician.

Instead of going to sleep, I'm up thinking angry thoughts. Tired, weepy, frustrated, overwhelmed thoughts.

I will never be able to live up to everyone's expectations. I'm always going to disappoint someone. I have to be OK with that. I have to know that there is only One that will ever love me no matter what. I can never be too stupid, too needy, too wrong for God.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Please, God, let me believe this.

Monday, May 9, 2011


It began with a sniffle.

I think it was Gideon. He had a runny nose two weeks ago. He was also drooling and had random low grade fevers. I brushed it off as teething and dosed him with ibuprofen whenever he needed it. Then he started coughing and Sophie started sniffing. Gideon got through it first and Sophie followed quickly. They are both back to normal. Milly and I got sick around the same time last week. I took her to the pediatrician last Wednesday and found out that she had her first ear infection. I went to the clinic and came out with a sinus infection diagnosis. Ben and I juggled wildly as we pushed fluids, made our kids sleep and generally tried to make them well. Milly is finishing her antibiotic and still has a shade of a cough but is feeling much better.

Then there's Mom.

This weekend was bad. On Saturday night, I spiked a fever and began coughing. HARD. It's that deep, nasty chest cough that makes people back away from you in public. Mother's Day was supposed to be spent at church with a Parent/Child Dedication where we would dedicate Milly alongside our friends. Instead, I stayed in bed until 1:00. I'm killing tree after tree with my tissue usage. Green tea with honey is AMAZING.

As evidenced by the births of my children, nothing leaves my body without a production. This cold/sinus infection/Martian Death Plague is no different. There will be a full orchestra. There will be Chinese acrobats. There will be daredevil bike riders jumping over flaming pools of sharks and monkeys with kazoos playing "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?" while a Spandex-clad choir sings along in Russian while making jazz hands.

I think my medicine is kicking in.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Chicken Horror

I just put my very first whole chicken in the oven. I've been cooking for years but I've never made a whole chicken. This was a VERY different experience for me.

It started with this recipe. I've used it on chicken breasts and it's wonderful. Then Albertsons put their whole chickens on sale for 49 cents a pound. Frugal Kelly couldn't resist and bought three. (The limit they would sell.) Today, after the kids went down for their naps, I began the battle.

I started by mixing the spices with butter to create a rub. Then I sliced an onion to make an edible rack for my roasting pan. So far, so good.

Then, I faced the chicken.

Carefully, I opened the package and watched horrified as what seemed like 16 legs squirted out. Gingerly, I picked up the chicken and began to try to wash it inside and out. (As my mother had instructed me.) It was like trying to wash a soaped up, shaved howler monkey. I could not keep my hands on that thing! Then I peered into the depths of the...honestly, I don't know what end of the chicken I was looking into and I'm happier that way. Somehow I had to reach into that thing and dig out all of the innards. I took a deep breath, recited Philippians 4:13 and plunged my hand into the bird. I felt like a magician as I pulled out hearts, kidneys, livers, lungs, pancreases SERIOUSLY LIKE 100 ORGANS. I think I got a prank bird. I think someone at Pilgrims Pride stuffed it full of 127 other chicken organs just to giggle.

Finally, I got the durn thing clean and dry. I plopped it onto the onion rack and poured on some butter / spice mix. Then I started to rub it into the chicken. All the while I'm trying not to think about what I'm doing. After all, I'm just putting butter and spices on a chicken for dinner.

I'm just rubbing the spices into the skin so it can pick up some flavor.


It's all over now. The chicken is in the oven. I've washed my hands a hundred times. I'm really looking forward to dinner.


Last Wednesday Gideon and I spent the night as guests of Children's Legacy. He had an ear infection, a high fever and was struggling to breathe. I was worried about it settling in his lungs and having another pneumonia stay like last year. He had a chest x-ray, an IV steroid and a few breathing treatments. They kept him overnight for observation and the next morning everyone was satisfied that the danger had passed. Gideon went through a lot that day including a Torquemada-like device to keep him in place for the x-ray, an IV with a splint to prevent him from moving his arm and getting cathed for a urine sample that made him terrified to potty for the rest of the night. I held that kid on my chest most of the night. It reminded me of nights in the NICU. Of course, now he weighed 25 pounds instead of 6.

On Friday, we realized that I was sick too. Ben stayed home and helped get Sophie to the pediatrician and me to the clinic. Sophie has a blocked ear tube and I have a sinus infection so ear drops for her and an antibiotic for me. The whole weekend has been a blur of wiping noses, naps and sitting on children's chests to force them to take their medicine.

On Saturday, Sophie had an EPIC tantrum that lasted an hour. She fought me like the devil and then passed out in my arms. She was just tired, sick and angry. She had to take it out on someone and I offered myself. Once she was done fighting and had fallen asleep, I eased myself away from her to let her sleep. She whimpered and grabbed back at me. I put my arms around her and let her sleep in my embrace for a while. It's OK to need your Mama. Lord knows, I needed to love on my baby.

Today it's raining. We're all getting better but we're still coughing. Tempers are still a little tender. The weather and sinus infection makes my head hurt so I've taken my heavy duty medicine. Mama's a little bit zombified.

Every once and a while I put my head back and daydream about a quiet beach. A big comfy chair with an umbrella, my husband beside me, a good book and a cold drink. My bare toes buried in the warm sand.

I really like that dream.