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Midnight Snack, Anyone?

Uncategorized By 03/22/2009 No Comments

Ugh, it’s midnight and I am still awake!  Not on purpose I might add.  I had every intention of going to bed at a decent hour and starting the new week (and my favorite day)  fresh and well-rested.  I took a nice hot bath, read for a little while in bed, and as soon as I turned the lights out at 9:45 it was like someone turned the switch on in my head!  Suddenly, I had a song stuck in my head that I’ve been working on for Easter, without even trying I started making mental to-do lists for tomorrow, I was even thinking about several things I could do around the house if I just got back up out of bed.  AAHHHHH!  FINE, I’m up.

I started the dishwasher, cleaned up the kitchen, made a few notes in my planner, and now here I sit at the computer hoping to feel really, really exhausted any minute now.  I don’t get it.  At 8:30 tonight I was ready for bed.  I could hardly hold my eyes open as I watched a little T.V. with my Love.  Maybe this is just a sign that all of those drugs from surgery are finally out of my system and now it’s back to business as usual…but I kind of liked those drug-induced 14 hours of sleep every night for three or four nights!

Tomorrow is Monday, as you know, and I’m really looking forward to getting the boys back on their normal schedule.   We desperately need to catch up on school this week and I’m hoping for some beautiful park days.  For some reason I decided to start weaning Owen from his pacifier tonight.  I’ve heard that slowly clipping away the end of the pacifier is very effective.  Eventually, it doesn’t soothe like it once did and many toddlers throw it away on their own.  Owen took his out of his mouth several times and looked at it, but it still ended up in his mouth at bedtime.  We’ll see how the next clipping goes.

Master’s week (aka, Spring Break for the rest of the world) is in three weeks and I’m chomping at the bit.  It is definitely a bitter sweet week for most Augustans.  Many rent their houses out for large amounts of cash, but they must first clean their houses from top to bottom, better than they ever clean it for themselves, and must also move their entire family out for the week.  Personally, I work for a caterer and I am also cleaning a friend’s house (who is renting to three couples) this year.  Master’s week officially starts on Sunday, April 5th and ends on Easter Sunday, Arpil 12th.  It always goes by fast and leaves me feeling like a terrible mom…but then I get paid and it all seems worth it.  Just to give some of you, who don’t live in the Augusta area, an idea of how much money is made by the locals that week:  I will work about 45 hours (3 hours in the morning for seven days and 4-5 hours in the evening for five days) and make about $1500.  I know, it’s crazy!  That, my friend, is why it is worth it.  I have a friend who lives in a very nice house with five bedrooms.  Her house rents for $15,000 for eight days.  INSANE!

Okay, apparently just thinking about Master’s week is making me tired.  I’m going to try the bed again.  Wish me luck!

 

~audrey

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A Solid Foundation Never Fails

Uncategorized By 03/20/2009 No Comments

I’ve made it to Friday.  I can taste the weekend already.  I’ve been pain medicine free for almost 48 hours now.  I still feel occasionally dizzy and ‘out of it’, but overall, I can tell I’m on the up-side.  I drove for the first time today and washed my hair for the second time since surgery.  I’ve been at Ashley’s for most of the day today.  The kids have been great and it’s been nice to get out of the house.

I’m happy to report that this week was a total success.  Surgery was Monday, the boys came home Tuesday night and I’ve had a lot of great help throughout the week with the kids, meals, and friends coming by just to keep me company.  Most of all, I feel like I’ve had a successful week because I laid a solid foundation of planning and organization.  My entire house was clean before I left for the hospital Monday morning.  All the beds were changed, the pantry was full of snacks, and all of the laundry was clean and put away.  This week has basically just been a week of maintaining on Josh’s part.  He’s done a great job of putting the dishes in the dishwasher and running it every night.  Little Joshua has been keeping up with the laundry (gathering and sorting in the laundry room each morning).  Surprisingly, the vacuum hasn’t been used all week, as opposed to at least once a day on a normal week.  I’ll probably get around to that tonight.  Josh has been absolutely amazing this week.  He has stepped up to the plate like never before.  I haven’t woken up before 10am once this week.  He feeds the boys and allows me to rest in peace and quiet.  He gets them dressed each morning and keeps them busy until I wake up.  He comes home early and prepares dinner.  He forces me back to the couch when my uncontrollable urge to “clean up” kicks in.  He rubs my neck and back at night to help me relax and get comfortable  enough to fall asleep.  He’s my angel.  I love that man.

I am so thankful for my husband, my family, and the incredible group of friends that we have.  I’ve known all week that if I needed anything at all, there were a number of people I could’ve called that would have helped me at the drop of a hat.

Times like this remind me that you can  never fail when you build a solid foundation.  Not just organizationally, but in life in general.  In times of trials and stress, grieving or pain, if you have a solid foundation in the Lord, you can overcome anything.  You can stand on the promises of God’s word when nothing else makes sense or you don’t even have the physical strength to stand.    When you live your life serving and loving others, those very same people will be there to serve and love you in your time of need.  Isn’t God good?

~audrey

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Down Hill From Here

Uncategorized By 03/18/2009 No Comments

march2009-035It is Tuesday Wednesday morning (okay, almost afternoon) and I’ve been up for about an hour and a half now.  There’s nothing like a few little white pills to send you off into the best night’s sleep of your life.  🙂  This is day two post-op and I’m feeling pretty good.  I’m very sore and little weak, but nothing intolerable by any means.  It does feel a little funny staring at the computer screen.  I’ve never had to use backspace so much in my life and the text looks 3-D.  Anyways, I want to thank you for all of your prayers, emails, and comments of encouragement.  Everything went well on Monday.  We arrived at the hospital at 10:30am, as instructed.  I think it was about an hour before they even called us back to take my vitals and bring us to our “holding room”.  This holding room was basically a regular hospital room.  The nurse gave me my lovely hospital gown to change into and once I got situated in my rolling bed, she attempted to put my IV in.  Her first two attempts failed and the top of my left hand is now puffy and green.  Luckily, her first attempt in my right hand was a success or I would have let Josh give it a try…he couldn’t have done any worse!  From there, it was a waiting game.  The nurse gave us the remote control to the TV and left.  We watched almost an entire movie before they finally came and got me…by now, it was about 1:30pm and I was FAMISHED!  I had not eaten since 8pm the night before and had lost at least a few cups of blood from the two failed IV attempts!  If they didn’t hurry, they wouldn’t even need the anesthesia for me to lose consciousness! 

Down a few blue and green hallways that resembled an insane asylum, they backed my bed into the furthest corner and several people, all dressed in scrubs, came into my surgical cubicle to ask me the same questions over and over…What is your full name?  What is your date of birth?  What procedure are we doing today?  Wait a minute! What?? You don’t even know what you’re doing to me??  I know it is just a question to make sure the patient fully understands what procedure is being done, but come on!  After the fourth and fifth person asks, you begin to doubt if anyone really knows what’s going on!   I could tell, by this point, my sweet, starving husband was getting nervous.  The moment finally comes when we have to say good-bye.  He gave me a kiss and headed off to find food.  I remember them wheeling me into the operating room…once again, more blue and green.  I remember seeing lots of blue heads and someone with VERY cold hands began sticking leads all over me.  They were telling me to take deep breaths…and then I was gone…ten seconds later, or so it seemed, I woke up in recovery.  The first thing I remember saying to the nurse was, “Oh, I forgot I was having surgery.”  I couldn’t hold my eyes open, but I remember starting to cry as the pain set in and it was far worse than I had expected.  I think I had quite a “tough guy” mentality going into this.  I can handle this…I’ve had three kids for goodness sake!  Well, let me tell you, this was a LOT different than childbirth.  As I lay there in the recovery room, crying, someone appears to my left and tells me that they have to do another scope.  Up my nose and down my throat with a camera to make sure my vocal chords are working correctly after surgery.  It was uncomfortable, but they were quick and everything was working fine.  The nurse then gave me some morphine in my IV and I think I faded in and out from there.  I can remember her shaking me several times, telling me to breathe because my respirations were getting too low.  I felt out of control, and out of my mind, but the pain never seemed to fade.  I don’t remember them moving me back to my room, but I do remember waking up and telling them I had to go to the bathroom.  I can’t believe my legs worked, but they did, and somehow I made it to the little reclining chair in my room.  Josh was there, but I don’t remember anything else.  Each time I closed my eyes, I would fall alseep immediately.  I remember feeling like, if I could just go home, I’ll feel better.  I opened my eyes and grabbed the nurse button.  When she appeared, I asked her if I could go home.  She smiled and said, “Sure!”  Within 20 minutes, I was in the van, on our way home…with a quick stop by the pharmacy for my meds and a new ice pack. 

I did feel much better once I was home in my own bed.  I ate a popsicle and took my medicine.  Josh helped me make a little mountain of pillows that I was required to sleep on for the first week and I slept from 11pm to 7am uninterrupted.  Tuesday was good.  I was pretty sore, but it was absolutely beautiful outside.  I opened most of the windows, lit a few candles, and just relaxed.  One of my girlfriends came over around noon and fixed my lunch.  We watched “The Secret Life of Bees”.  It was a great movie, I highly recommend it.  The day went by fast, and soon I had visitors at my door with dinner.  My dear friend Anna came by after work and brought me some bath fizzies.  They look like giant scoops of ice cream and they smell divine!  I haven’t used one yet, but I plan to tonight.  I’m still not quite sure how in the world I’m going to wash my hair for the first time.  My neck is stiff and sore, but I suppose I can do it carefully standing up in the shower. 

It is difficult to swallow.  I can’t successully clear my throat because I can’t use those muscles.  I can’t blow my nose or cough either.  Thankfully I am sleeping well at night.  The pain is tolerrable enough for me to only take my pain medicine at night.  Today I decided to make bread.  It doesn’t take much effort on my part, my house smells great, and I needed to use that flour by today because it was milled in Sunday afternoon.  Ashley had taken the big boys to the park this morning and Owen was content playing out back for a little while.  By the time she returned with Joshua and Jesse, I was ready to feed them lunch and put Owen in bed.  Another friend is picking the big boys up in a little while to have a play date and take them to church tonight. 

I’m sure I’ll feel better and better each day.  This weather certainly helps!  I think I will take a nap now.

 

~audrey

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Wide Awake At 3AM

Uncategorized By 03/14/2009 No Comments

Today was going to be a busy day, but I had everything planned out (go figure :), so I was expecting everything to go smoothly.  I had the boys’ clothes laid out, sippie cups were full, diaper bag packed, directions to my pre-op appointments, etc…  I went to bed exhausted at 11pm last night…3am Owen woke up crying.  I gave him a little water in a cup and went back to sleep. I, on the other hand, could not!  I tossed and turned for an hour and a half.  One of the reasons I could not get back to sleep is because I had a dear family member on my mind.  Josh’s cousin Michael was killed two weeks ago in a tragic bull dozer accident.  He was 36 years old, married, and has three children ages 11, 6, and 3.  Jill is his wife’s name.  Everytime I think about her and the children, I cannot help but cry.  So as I laid there in the dark, my mind began to wander.  I thought about all the things that Jill has lost.  Never again will she be able to rest in her husbands arms as they settle into bed after a long hard day.  She no longer has her very best friend at the dinner table each night.  She now kisses her dear children and tucks them in bed at night and goes back to her room, where she must sit and listen to them cry themselves to sleep, knowing that in a few short years, little Sophie will probably not remember much about Daddy at all.  As I laid there in bed, listening to my husband snore like a helicopter, I thanked God for my sweet husband and precious children.  Our pastor has always taught us never to ask “Why, God”…but rather, “Why not me, God?”  It is only by God’s grace and mercy that we awaken each day to our families, our children, our spouses…all that is normal to us.  All that we hold dear could easily be gone in an instant.  I strive everyday not to take anything for granted, but to cherish each slobbery little kiss, each sleepness night because of the helicopter laying next to me, the mounds of laundry and piles of dirty dishes.  I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the whole world.

I finally got out of bed at 4:30am and gave up on sleep.  I cleaned up the house a little bit, put some laundry in the dryer, started the coffee pot, and began to get ready.  It was actually a good thing that I chose to get up because I was ready in plenty of time to wake up the kids, get them dressed, and leave for the babysitter, while still leaving time for school traffic.  I arrived at my appointment only five minutes late…that’s pretty good for me.  I waited and waited and waited all morning long.  Luckily I had a good book with me that I am now almost finished reading!  Four and a half hours later, I headed to pick up the boys from our friends’ house.

 

Just a side note:  Before I left anesthesia pre-op, I had to ask the anesthesiologist if a certain medication I had taken was safe before surgery.  His response, “I don’t know, I’ve never heard of that medication.  Let’s see…”  He sat down at his computer, right in front of me, and GOOGLED IT!  I’ve always knowing I could be a doctor!  I google EVERYTHING related to my health!!  🙂 LOL!  Kidding.  Let’s hope he has more sources of information and experience than Google, or I might be in trouble Monday morning!  🙂

 

~audrey

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A Relationship Between Prayer And Productivity?

Uncategorized By 03/11/2009 1 Comment

I heard a great message on prayer last Sunday and I’ve been wanting to share it, so here it is:

In the “church circle” we often hear people say, “We are hungry for more of the Lord”…or “We are hungry for revival.”  It is probably accurate to say that we all value our dental hygiene, right?  We prove that we value it by brushing our teeth a few times a day, flossing, and going to the dentist at least once a year.  When we are truly hungry, we feed ourselves right?  If it is 12:30pm and I’m hungry…I eat lunch!  So what are we doing to “prove” that we are truly hungry for God?  Are we feeding on His word and in His presence, through prayer JUST on Sunday mornings?  If I am truly hungry for more of Him, I cannot be passive.  I can’t expect God to do something amazing in my life without  my participation on some level.  You don’t pray for the battle…Prayer IS the battle.  You don’t “pray” for the ministry…Prayer IS the ministry!

Prayer is a humbling act.  Through prayer, we’re confessing that we can do nothing without God.  Prayerlessness births busyness, but when we live a life of prayer, we’re MORE productive.  When we seek God’s face and not just His hand, it takes our focus off of the circumstances surrounding us and allows us to focus solely on Him.  As a result, we get more accomplished.  Run the race to win the prize.  Stay focused on the goal. 

When I have a “to-do” list for the day, I can easily get distracted by other things in my house and hardly get a thing done.  But when I stay focused on the final goal, whatever that may be, I get more accomplished and I’m able to do it faster. 

I want to encourage you, when the Lord puts someone on your heart, or if you’ve been thinking about someone in particular a lot lately…pray for them!  The Lord may be giving you an incredible opportunity to pray someone through a really tough situation that you don’t even know about.  The power of prayer is indescribable.  It only takes a moment.  How do you get to know someone if you never spend any time with them; talking and communicating?  How can I know the promises that the Lord has for me if I never take the time to read His book?  It’s all there!  New parents are often told, “Don’t you wish they came with a manual?”  They DO!  The manual to life, marriage, love, parenting, servanthood, relationship…it’s all in there!  The Bible holds the keys to life and how to live it more abundantly…how bad are your hunger pains?

 

 

~audrey

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Results and Peace in the Unknown

Uncategorized By 03/03/2009 No Comments

I have to start off by saying that I love serving a God who IS into details.  I know I say that all the time, but it is so comforting and sometimes hilarious to look back in hindsight and see God’s hand in every detail of certain situations.  That said, God knew that I needed my little boys with me today.  I arrived at the hospital and checked in at 9:40.  I was told that my appointment was actually at 11am and the hospital reminder service had messed up and told me 9:40 so I’d probably have to wait a while.  I was armed with snacks, drinks, school work, and books.  The boys were unbelievable.  Even Owen sat down in his own chair in the waiting room and looked out the window at all the passing cars and an occasional ambulance.  Much to my surprise, we were called  back within ten minutes.  The boys sat on the floor (GROSS, I know!) next to the stroller as the nurse took my vitals and then put us in a room.  The doctor came in within five minutes…so much for a long wait! 🙂  As the doctor opened the door, he looked around at all three of my children and said, “Um, do you want me to discuss this in front of the children?”  WHAT?!  First of all, what in the world am I supposed to do with them?  Make them wait in the hall??  Or maybe the waiting room??  All I could get out was, “Yes, it’s fine.”  Already, my mind was racing.  Why would he ask such a question?  Obviously the results were not inconclusive or normal.  Joshua was sitting in a chair drawing a picture of the American Flag.  Owen was in another chair with his blanket and a bag of goldfish.  Jesse was sitting on my lap, and at that point, I couldn’t have let go of him if I wanted to.  He was anchoring me to my chair; to all the things that were normal in my life for that instant. 

The doctor looked at the little paper in his hand and simply said, “The results were highly atypical.  I don’t know yet whether it is cancer, but we suggest you not take a chance.  I’d like to schedule a consult for you with the surgeon on Friday.  He will take out half of your thyroid; the half that has the large nodule on it.  Then they will be able to tell whether or not the cells are malignant.”

 

Wow.

 

That’s it.  I think I smiled and said, “Ok.  Thank you.  Can we go?”  Within five minutes, we were on our way back to the parking deck.  I called Josh and told him the news.  Of course, he had lots of questions, none of which did I have any answers to.  I will know more after I meet with the surgeon on Friday.  To be perfectly honest, my biggest concern at this point is whether or not I have to stay in the hospital after surgery.  Part of what makes me ME and allows me to function for everyone in my life, is my schedule.  I stay busy and my days are planned down to the minute…ok, not really down to the minute, but you know what I mean.  I need to keep my normalcy in order to keep my peace.  Having my boys with me today allowed me to stay focused on ‘other things’.  I didn’t have a chance to sit in the exam room by myself and ponder the “what ifs”.  I didn’t have time to get scared or shed a tear.  I was holding a sweet little four year old who depends on me for every meal, every hug, every question, and I chose to focus on those things.

Whatever the results, we can handle it.  I have peace in the waiting and peace in the unknown.  God has always given me peace.  When my mother found a mass in her stomache, God gave me peace.  When my grandfather had a stroke two weeks before my wedding, God gave me peace.  When my dermatologist found the beginning stages of skin cancer on my TWENTY-FIVE year old arm last summer, God gave me peace.  When Jesse (my four year old) went through a year and a half of surgeries, procedures, and testing for his immune deficiencies, God gave me peace.  I have no fear and I will choose to rest in His peace.  Your prayers are greatly appreciated and I’ll post more on Friday after my consult with the surgeon.

~audrey

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Wax, Floods, and Flour

Uncategorized By 03/02/2009 No Comments

Let me start by saying, I have never had such an eventful 24 hours in my life.  It all centers around my mischievous little 20 month old.  I’ve never had to baby-proof before.  My kids just seemed to know better than to touch something like a glass vase or stick something in an open electrical socket.  I guess I had more time to show them right from wrong back when I only had two kids. 

Anyways, I had to stay home from church yesterday because Jesse was running a fever.  I really needed to spend some time on the house because we had a home-study scheduled with our foster agency at 3pm, so it worked out well for me to stay home.  Josh was getting Joshua ready to go to church with him when I realized that I hadn’t seen or heard Owen in a while.  You see, Owen has unfortunately mastered the art of opening doors, so no room is off limits anymore and we have to watch him like a hawk.  I ran to the hall bathroom expecting to find him swirling a toothbrush in the toilet or maybe playing with the water under the faucet.  What I found was infinitely worse!!!  Owen had some how gotten into my cosmetic wax.  You know, the kind that your hair stylist uses to wax your eyebrows??  It was stored (at room temperature) with the top on, but even when cool, it is sticky and soft.  It was all over him, from head to toe.  Not only that, it was all over the boys’ training potty, my tile floor, my beautiful black rug, and a brand new pair of jean that Jesse had left on the bathroom floor.  I was dumb-founded.  I hadn’t the first idea how in the HECK I was going to remove all of this wax, which has the consistency of rubber cement…but thicker.  Owen was literally stuck to the floor.  One of his hands was stuck in his hair and when I was finally able to pull his shirt off, I think I got a clump of his hair with it.  This stuff was such a sticky mess, even the bottom of my feet were now sticking to everything that I stepped on, so I could not leave the bathroom until I had cleaned my feet off too!  I immediately called one of my best friends, who also happens to be my hair stylist.  She said to use OIL!! Oil would break up the wax and allow me to clean up the disaster area.  The only oil I could think of was my cooking oil.  Josh brought me the large bottle of canola oil from the kitchen.  By this time I had placed Owen in the tub…and now he was stuck there.  I started with his hair and slowly worked my way down his body all the way to his sweet itty bitty toes.  Luckily he had a diaper on or we may have ended up in the ER! YIKES!    Owen was all greased up, and at this point, I was tempted to throw him in the frying pan!! LOL! It took quite a bit of Dawn dish soap to get all of that oil out of his hair.  I think my cuticles will be soft for the next six months!  Two and a half hours later, I had thrown several of our belongings in the trash and finally cleaned up the last of the wax.

Then I had to move on to the rest of the house before 3pm.  Three o’clock came and went and the lady never showed up for the home study…VERY FRUSTRATING!!  The rest of my Sunday was uneventful.

As many of you know, Mondays are one of my favorite days of the week.  Today I started my morning off with some coffee and packed the kids up so we could take my brother-in-law to school.  Right before I walked out the door, I started a load of laundry.  When I pulled back into my driveway about 30 minutes later, I knew something was terribly wrong.  My driveway has a dip in it before you pull up to the garage.  The dip was flooded and the water had SUDS!!!!!   Oh my Lord, the washer overflowed!!!  I don’t even remember getting any of the kids out of the car, yet somehow they all made it in safely…YES, I spent the next two hours emptying the garage and using a carpet cleaner to suck all the water off the floor. The washer and dryer are in the garage, in case you didn’t figure that out, and the garage floor has berber carpeting..we don’t actually park the car in it.  What a mess!  Luckily, only a small amount of water got into my kitchen; and luckily, it is sunny out and a little breezy today, so with the garage door and the back door both open, the cross draft should air the place out by the end of the day.  Seriously, what else could go wrong??  After emptying the water bin in the carpet cleaner for the hundreth time, Joshua poked his head into the garage and said, “OWEN DUMPED POWDER EVERYWHERE!”  What am I going to do with that kid???  I ran into the house thinking Owen had gotten the baby powder and dumped some on the carpet in the living room, which is where I keep the powder, wipes, and diapers.  Once again, I was wrong!  He had gotten into the pantry and vivaciously emptied an entire new box of corn starch and a bag of flour.  My kitchen looked like a winter wonderland.  At this point, I was laughing because I thought, “Seriously Lord??  What next??  Is this some kind of test or a sick joke??”  I was laughing because there were little footprints in the powder leading all over the house.  Then there were white handprints on the couch, carpet, and pillows.  And on the couch was my sweet, “innocent” toddler holding his tigger and his blanket, probably hoping that I would spare his life for the second time in 24 hours.  I picked him up and put him in his room, shutting the door behind me, I told him to STAY!  I cleaned up that mess too and now, every time I throw something in the trash, it is followed by a cloud of white dust as it hits the bottom of the can.  Some how after all of these misadventures, we’ve had a great Monday.  I’ve learned to take these events with a grain of salt (and preferrably a margarita!).  I certainly could have had a fit, yelled at Owen, and sat down in my floury mess and cried, but instead, I kept on truckin.  I fed the kids lunch, put Owen in bed for a nap, made a grocery list and menu for this week, and sat down to do school with the boys.  Now here I am, in desperate need of a shower, but I survived the first half of my day and now I’m taking the time to tell you about it with the hope that the next time you have “one of those days”, you’ll choose to laugh and let it roll off your back.  It could be a lot worse!    🙂

 
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~audrey

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