Monday, August 20, 2012

Falling Apart

I have reached my breaking point, as far as my asthma goes. I have been depending on massive amounts of steroids, breathing treatments and constant doctor visits just be able to breathe enough to survive. I want to breathe like a normal human being, without drugs or treatments, but if I'm going to mess with taking all of those things, I want to breathe great... And I'm still not.  After a while, it gets old feeling like an old lady at the ripe age of 26. I should be able to run after the kids and carry them up the stairs without needing an inhaler or feeling like I'm going to pass out from lightheadedness.

This has been going on since the middle of May so I have every right to be fed up. They keep putting me on steroids, which is like putting a Band-Aid on the problem... They cover it up for a few days but don't really fix the problem. To top it off, the steroids aren't good for you and there are some serious consequences to taking them long term. They can lead to osteoporosis, weight gain, liver problems, etc.. And even when I'm on them, I'm horribly hungry and all I want to do is eat. It's to the point that I love taking them because I can breathe but at the same time, I hate taking them because I don't want to gain back all the weight I've worked so hard to lose. It's a lose-lose situation.

To add to  my already horrible asthma, I caught a nasty cough from my kids and that lead to a bout of bronchitis. When I have bronchitis I am extremely sick... I wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air and truly wondering if that next breath is going to come to me. I take a breathing treatment or a puff of an inhaler and I'm always fine but I shouldn't have to get to that point. All of this has left me exhausted and it's hard to feel so groggy all the time when you have a house full of energetic little girls who need you!

So right now I'm on an antibiotic, oral steroid, inhaled steroid,  an emergency inhaler, breathing treatments and another medicine for allergies and I still feel like garbage. To add to this mess, I have a new doctor because mine moved. I love the new doctor but she's still trying to figure me out and she doesn't know me as well, obviously. She's pushing for me to go to a pulmonologist because she's concerned but I'm anxious about that. It's kind of my "last resort" and if they aren't able to make me feel human again then I don't know what I'll do. That may sound weird but that's how I'm feeling.

The biggest worry I have is that Fall is approaching and that is my worst time of year, by far. In the Fall I usually end up in the ER with such severe asthma symptoms, no matter how hard I try to avoid it. They have attempted to hospitalize me before but I'm pretty stubborn and always demand to manage my own care at home. Maybe that's the problem? Lol

I'm hoping that I'm miraculously better by vacation and that I can enjoy my time away without asthma controlling me. I know it could be so much work and that some people could read this and think I'm a big baby, but in my small world, it's a huge deal.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

No Judgement, Please

Disclaimer... The purpose of this post is, by no means, to down homeschoolers. In fact, one of my best friends is going to be homeschooling one of her kids this year and I totally respect and support her. As I will explain, it's not homeschooling that I'm opposed to... It's people that think homeschooling is the one and only way to educate their children and that they are superior for doing so.

Lately I have been feeling very judged by many people in the homeschool world. There are quite a few people who have questioned why I would send Brooke to public school and not teach her at home. One lady suggested it and for every single reason I gave her, she was argumentative and simply could not see it from my point of view. That makes absolutely no sense to me because it's my child, after all, and it's not up for her discussion. Just like I don't look down on her for homeschooling her kids, I would appreciate her for giving me the same social courtesies.

I also met another lady this week who treated me the same way. She was talking about how she homeschools and I simply told her that I don't feel as though I have the level of knowledge that a trained educator has. She said, "Well, it's your child. If there was every anything to invest your time in." Oh yes, because I don't homeschool I'm not invested. That's right. She then gave me the whole spiel about how I should be the number one influence in my child's life and not allow the school to "indoctrinate" her. I kept explaining to her that John and I feel comfortable with the school system and like we're doing the best thing for our daughter and she just kept pushing and pushing the issue.

I'm not saying that there aren't great things about homeschooling and that it's not perfect for some families. As for our family, though, we are going to send our kids to public school. In my opinion, if we pull all of our Christian children out of schools for fear of tarnishing them, then what hope is there for the public school? And how will we ever expect our kids to stand up for what they believe if they are never given a time or place to have to give an answer? Our home is such a loving and secure place where we're all obviously like minded and unfortunately, little to no exposure to the world is not setting our children up for the day that they have to venture out on their own. Then, there is the educational aspect of homeschool..  I know that I could never teach them everything they need to know to go out and attend college. I'm not trained in teaching, let alone math, biology, history, English, etc... These teachers go to school for a reason and I want my children to have every opportunity to learn and grow. This is how I feel for MY children but if you feel differently for yours, good for you! My feeling and opinions are rooted out of love for my children, as I'm sure yours are.

I'm just so frustrated by the "holier than thou" attitude that I've encountered recently. I was listening to a Christian radio station a few weeks ago and they were interviewing one of the speakers at a local homeschool conference. The man was so overwhelmingly critical of parents who chose not to buy into his way of thinking and it really made me feel judged. I'm no less of a Christian because homeschooling isn't for me. My parent are some of the most Godly people I've ever met and they sent us all to public school and guess what...We are all living for the Lord and we have all made something of ourselves. The same could be sound for countless other families. Public school is not the enemy.

Like I said, there are several homeschoolers that I love and respect and I know that I can't label everyone who homeschools because of the few that have been rude. I just wish that we could all unify as parents trying to raise Godly, productive children and not become divided by which method happen to choose.

Friday, August 17, 2012


Bailey carries around something that we call her "mischief stool." This stool is what enables her to reach things that would otherwise be out of her grasp and it makes our lives crazy. We try to hide it from her to prevent her from getting into things but sometimes we forget and we find her on the kitchen table or pulling things off the counters. The girl is absolutely fearless!

Her favorite forbidden item to get with her mischief chair is our home phone and I could spend the entire day taking it from her and putting it back. If I'm trying to get a meal on the table or something, I sometimes let her play with it because it keeps her happy. John always tells me not to let her play with the phone because he doesn't want her calling 911. While that's a valid concern, I figure that mathematically speaking, the probability of her dialing those numbers in that sequence is slim to none.

Wrong! The other morning I was rushing around to get the girls dressed and ready to go. I had run upstairs for a few minutes to get clothes for everyone and about 15 minutes later, I heard the door knock. I saw one of John's co-workers at the door and instantly my heart started pounding, Thankfully, John was sleeping soundly in his bed so I wasn't worried that they were coming to deliver some horrible news to me. Completely perplexed, I answered the door and the deputy standing there said, "Jillian, is John beating you? We had a 911 call from your house." Of course she knew better and was laughing but at that point, I just felt completely stupid. The department has a policy that they send a car to all 911 calls just to be safe but because they know us, they tried to just call and see if we were but the phone was still busy. They also tried calling John but he was sleeping and didn't hear his cell phone ring. It kind of makes me worry that they wouldn't have rushed right out if there really was an emergency!

I'm still shocked that Bailey actually dialed 911. I know that the other girls didn't do it because they were playing in the toy room nicely and hey don't even know to dial 911 in a real emergency, let alone just for the heck of it. I'm not one to put away things that children shouldn't have... I would rather discipline and teach them not to do something. However, I'm thinking that this phone is going to have to be an exception to that rule for a while. I'm not interested in having the police at my door anytime soon... Unless it's my husband, that is!

Monday, August 13, 2012

How's This For Ironic?

As a baby, Adrienne was the most perfect sleeper. When I brought her home from the hospital I quickly realized that I was mothering a phenomenon, as far as infants go. I could put her on the couch, crib, bassinet, or any other place of my convenience and she would simply put her thumb in her mouth and sleep for hours on end.  Bedtime was no different... When she was just a couple of nights old I put her in her bassinet for the night and was shocked to not hear from her for the next 15 hours. Luckily, we had the Angel Care Monitor that would have alarmed me if she had stopped breathing, otherwise, that would have been freaky.  I called everyone we knew the next morning and most people attributed it to a fluke but it quickly proved not to be. With the exception of the few sicknesses she had as a baby, she never looked back and I was maybe up with her in the middle of night 3 times within her first year of life. Pretty amazing!

Over the past couple of months we have hit a rough spot with Adrienne's sleep. For starters, she has made nap time a horrible hour of fighting and mischief. Much to my dismay, she has outgrown the need to sleep and instead of staying in her bed like she's supposed to, she gets out of her bed and destroys her room, pulling clothes out of drawers and messing with anything she can get her hands on. She also picks fights with Brooke and I usually end up in their room a countless number of times throughout nap time. It used to be the most quiet and relaxing hour of the day! I've tried just about everything and have yet to find a solution. I'm hoping that once Brooke starts school that it won't be as much of issue. If not, I just may go crazy!

Then, there's bedtime... Heaven forbid the child gets even 2 seconds of shut eye throughout the day. In that case, we have hours of protest in her room. She will come in and out, regardless of punishment and disapproval from John and me. When she's really tired (which is most nights, lately), she will go straight to bed.. After first demanding a long list of requirements, such as water with ice, her music on the perfect volume, a special baby, her fan on, etc.. She really makes it tough. That's not even where it stops, though. She has been coming into my room in the middle of the night and screaming at me in my sleep for the past week or so. It's usually something like, "I want a water!" I'll tell her that there is water right next to her and she'll continue screaming, "I want you to get it for me." Then, there's the classic, " I'm scared." Or, " I want you." It's just getting old and frustrating. I'm totally about being there for my kids and but this is getting ridiculous. The way she literally screams at me when I'm in a dead sleep alarms me and of course my adrenaline gets pumping and I'm wired and then I can't fall back asleep. Its amazing to think that because of one little 27 pounds 3-year-old, I'm waking up every morning exhausted.

I'm sure hoping that this is a phase. I know that she's in good health and there are no ear infections or anything to blame because she just went to the doctor. I'm not sure what her problem is or what I can do to fix this or at least make it somewhat better. I do know that that perfect little laid baby that I once had is now a very strong willed creature these days. I would trade her for anything or anyone on the planet and she makes me laugh constantly. Her personality is hilarious and goofy and I can't imagine my life without her. So I guess that during this challenging stage in her life I'll choose to focus on all of the wonderful things that make her uniquely Adrienne instead of focusing on the exhaustion and frustration from getting no sleep.

Friday, August 10, 2012

A Lot to Prove

I went to the college today to hand in some final paperwork and to get my books. Despite dropping a wad of cash on the books, I left the school feeling overwhelmed with excitement. I have practically been counting down the seconds until school starts because I'm just that eager to start and this put me one step closer!

I wanted to share my excitement so I posted on Facebook that I had gotten my books and that I couldn't wait to start school. Now, I'm not one to get into silly Facebook spats because, first of all, I live in a house with three little girls and that is more than enough drama for me and second, I understand that people can come across differently in that type of forum. However, someone posted, "You must be sick! What happened to the Jillian that hated school 8 years ago?" I know that this person probably wanted to say something funny or clever and that the intent of the common wasn't destructive. It just kind of stung because for my entire life I have felt... stupid.

There are reasons for this... I have an older brother and sister (who I adore, by the way) who always made amazing grades with their eyes shut. To give a comparison, my brother has a master's degree in engineering and my sister has a bachelor's in nursing.  I was the type of student who would study for 2 hours and be thrilled with a C when they wouldn't crack a book and get A's. When we lived in Texas there were advanced placement classes called "Gifted and Talented" classes and I was the only one out of the three of us who didn't get an invitation into the program. I once had a teacher ask me, "Why can't you be more like your brother and sister?" I also had another incident where I truly studied my heart out and got an 80 on a biology test and my teacher said, "Did you get a boyfriend or something because your grades are slipping?" Comments like that made me not want to try and not care about being intelligent. To compensate, I found myself as the class clown and a social butterfly and pretty much decided that school was a waste of time and energy. And for me, it turned out that skipping class and pulling pranks was way more fun than studying anyways.

For as long as I can remember, I never wanted to go to college. When I graduated from high school I just wanted to marry John (who I had been dating since the middle of my senior year) and have a family. I went to college partly to appease my parents but mostly because I needed to be full time to have their medical benefits. With a severe case of asthma I couldn't be without them. I goofed off for  2 semesters and never went to class because it wasn't what I wanted in that time of my life. Thankfully, John and I were engaged so once we got married I could have his benefits and quit school. He was always happy to support me in whatever decision I made and I loved that about him... And still do:-)

Now that this is what I want with all of my heart, I feel know that I will do whatever it takes to get there. I may not be the most "book smart" person on the planet but it's possible that I'm far more determined than most people realize. And I also tend to believe that intelligence and success is not based solely on a person's ability to score high on a test or write a perfect paper. I have other gifts and abilities that simply aren't reflected in academics.

I have no regrets. I'm so happy that John and I married and had babies super young. In response to my plans of going to school, somebody recently told me, "Hindsight is 20/20. I bet you wish you had seen this desire before you had the kids." That statement isn't accurate for me, though. I would have never been content waiting the 2 years of getting my schooling out of the way and then possibly working before starting a family. My life's ambition and drive was... and still is... to be a mother. And even though I'm furthering my education, it's still all for my family and it will be done with ME being the one to sacrifice, not them.

I know that I really don't have to prove myself to people but I feel as though I do. I didn't try very hard in my previous attempts at education so I suppose people are entitled to think that I won't succeed and that this is weird ambition for me to have. With that being said, though, I intend on working my butt off to show everyone that I can do anything I set my mind to!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

Grrrr. My older two girls got sick yesterday. First, Adrienne spiked a high fever in the afternoon and Brooke followed her hours later, right as I was about to go to sleep. It always seems to happen like that, doesn't it? The poor girl did not sleep well so I, of course, didn't either.

Adrienne has been having some frequent urinary tract infections (another story for a another day) so we had her follow-up with the pediatrician today. I wouldn't have otherwise dragged the sick girls out to have them evaluated because I had already taken Bailey on Sunday for the same symptoms, only to find that it was a virus. So, anyways, I told their doctor what was going on and after hearing what each of the girls had and evaluating them, he said that they had a classic case of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease. Basically, get you a high fever, sores in your mouth and throat and sometimes a headache. You know it's run its course when you break out with little red spots.. Which Bailey had on her cheeks and chin, but I attributed them to her teething and drooling a lot. So there we have it... A diagnosis for all this madness. That's why I hate walk-in clinics.. They usually don't have the most accuracy.

The worst part is that this could potentially last for 3-5 days. I'm not up for that and the girls more than certainly aren't! Bailey is completely fine now, Adrienne's case is mild but Brooke is pretty sick. She has horrible sores all on her lips, her head is throbbing to the point where she just wants to lay around and her fever has been the highest. Poor little princess:-( She also has some type of cold or allergies that are making her nose drip like crazy and cough constantly. It's definitely not a good combination for her.

I suppose that the best news about this whole nasty virus is that it's very rare for adults to get it. The doctor said that most adults have immunity against it and the simple fact that it's contracted through saliva is what makes is so contagious among small children, especially. I'm not sure how I would manage all that I have to if I got sick! That's always a crisis.

I'm really hoping that everyone sleeps well tonight and we wake up to three healthy girls but I'm not expecting it. That way, if it does happen, it will be an added bonus instead of a huge disappointment. Lol. This motherhood thing is sure exhausting but nothing makes me feel more "in my element" than when I'm caring for and loving on my babies and when they're sick, I sure get to do an awful lot of that!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Mr. Wonderful

I have been on the hunt for a new laptop for school because, while my little net book is great, it's just not capable of handling my full course load. Even though I knew I needed it, I'm always slow to spend money on myself and in this case, I had really been hesitant. I just figured that I would get one when the timing was right or when we saw the perfect deal and I had resigned myself to just working off the desktop for a while.

Well, John saw a great deal on a laptop in yesterday's Target ad. We talked about it and he did some research but I didn't think we would rush right out and buy it. Again, when it comes to myself, I rarely push to get something and would much rather save the money or spend it on someone else.

At 7 this morning I got a text message from John saying, "I got a late call. Running late, babe." I didn't think anything of it because that's not abnormal by any means. An hour and a half later I got another message telling me that he would be on his way home soon. I wasn't suspicious until I saw him walking into the house in street clothes. I couldn't imagine why he wasn't wearing his uniform but when I saw the Target bag in his hand, I instantly knew. I was elated that he had worked so hard to give me such an extravagant gift and surprise. Ah!! I'm such a spoiled woman!

I'm pretty impressed that he pulled this one off because I'm extremely nosey and I usually catch on quickly. His brother knows a lot about computers and they happen to work together.. even on the same shift right now... so they both went out to Target on absolutely no sleep. That right there had to have been a huge sacrifice for both of them! And the other thing that gets me is that John came into our room in the middle of the night to pack some clothes to go to the store in and I didn't even realize. Apparently I even talked to him but I have no recollection! Lol

Sometimes I wonder how I got so lucky to have such a caring and thoughtful husband. He really is amazing and he treats me like a princess! After almost 7 years of marriage he hasn't stopped seeking new ways to steal my heart again and again. My love grows for him every single day and I am so extremely blessed to have him in my life!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Where to Begin???

Well hello, blogging world! Yes, I do still live and breathe... I'm just a very, very busy wife and mommy trying to juggle it all! I actually blame most of my lack of blogging on my iPhone. I got it a little over a month ago and I do almost all of my internet related activities on it so I'm rarely behind a computer these days, making blogging a forgotten thing. I'm determined to get caught up, though!

Let's see.. Last week we had Vacation Bible School (VBS) at church. Our church does it in the evenings from 5:30-8:30 so it pretty much wipes us out. The older girls had a blast and were sad when it was over but Bailey was pretty sick of being out so late every night. She goes to bed before 7 some nights so that really conflicted with her schedule. Here's to getting back on track!

Speaking of Bailey, she's actually pretty sick right now:-( She's been running a high fever and after a couple of days I took her to the doctor. I assumed it was just a virus and I was right.. Except for the doctor thinks it's the Herpes virus, giving her sores in her mouth and throat. I feel awful for her! That would definitely explain why she hasn't wanted to eat or drink. I can commiserate because I got it 2 weeks before my wedding and I had a severe case... I could eat or drink NOTHING and my throat and mouth were bleeding. It was horrible. It was a great way to trim off 10 pounds for my wedding dress, though! I'm just thankful that Bailey doesn't have it to the degree I did.

My sweet Brookie is anxiously counting down the days until Kindergarten. This mama isn't so ready but she reminds me everyday that she is. She wears around her new La-La Loopsie backpack and tonight she even tried to pack her lunch in her La-La Loopsie lunchbox. Lol. What am I going to do with her?? She also got a bunch of new school clothes and she tried every single outfit on. She's such a girl! I had to buy her 5T clothes for length but they're falling off of her.. I'm still trying to figure out what to do about that. She swims in the clothes but nobody wants to wear high waters, either!

Adrienne has been testing me lately. I know that 3-year-olds often assert their independence anyways but she's quite the strong-willed child. She has given up her afternoon nap, which is fine, but the hour that I require the girls to take quiet time has turned into her causing all sorts of trouble in her room and every single day it's the same battle. I sometimes feel like there is not one punishment in the universe that hurts her. I'm still racking my brains out trying to figure that one out..

It won't before we leave for our beach vacation! The only downer is that we leave on the 25th and my first day of  "school" is on the 27th... So I'll be doing schoolwork while we're gone. Grrr.. Nothing in life comes easy, though, and I know it will be worth it. Since it's the first week of classes I'm pretty sure that it won't be all THAT bad. Let's hope not, anyways!

Here's to blogging more often! Don't hold me to it, though:-)