Friday, March 28, 2014

thursday things that make me think - friday edition

i realize it's friday but this week i'm running a day late and, heck, i'm always running a dollar short so here ya go...

i think i want to adopt kid president. not as my son but as my mentor. :-) love his latest video. the whole wide world should watch this every single day.

i think band headshots/promotional photos are hilarious. rarely are they done well. this lineup for the upcoming icthus music festival made me laugh out loud. i think the least annoying photo of the bunch probably belongs to the headliner switchfoot.  most annoying award goes to transform djs - what's with holding a piece of tape and turning your head sideways? kudos to leaders - i have no idea who they are but i like that they're wearing whosoevers t-shirts.

i think this video of glennon doyle melton is so powerful. i love toward the end when she says something along the lines of everything has to fall apart in order for you to find what is indestructible about you.

i think this artist's creative ability to make normally ugly protective headgear down right cool is amazing! my favorite is definitely the aviator helmet.

did you see the march madness rat bracket? the boys and i loved watching this.

i think this is a lovely post.  maybe it’s writing. maybe it’s songwriting. maybe it is managing finances, or growing companies or making kids feel precious and loved...i can’t stop thinking about what would happen if i got over myself and just started sharing what i’ve been given...using your gifts is heroic.

happy weekend to you all!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

post op progress

the following is a photographic representation of what it's like for two boys to have and recover from surgery at the same time.  (unedited iphone photos)

meme snapped this pic on her phone. early morning in the waiting room at children's hospital north surgery center.

quietly taking turns playing angry birds.

pre-op. harrison looks angry but really they were both just sleepy. they were in good spirits. harrison chose to bring stinger the stingray into surgery with him. graham chose manny the manatee.

the pre-op nurse, marcia, was fabulous with both boys. she brought in a bucket of cars to keep them occupied. at one point she asked the boys if they had any questions and harrison asked where's the pepperoni pizza? which caused graham to ask where's the macaroni and cheese?. sweet marcia played along with their silly requests, went away and came back a few minutes later with a color photo print out of my kiddos favorite foods.

pre-op selfie. jeremy walked back to the operating room with graham while i stayed with harrison. then i walked harrison back. they allowed us to stay with them until they were asleep.

graham took this pic of jer. oh and graham was also excited about the television saying wow they have free tv!  cracked me up.

here's graham post op. this was after he finished puking and crying and panicking and finally calmed down and went back to sleep. i must admit this was the first moment i thought oh my gosh what did i just put my boy through?

here's harrison post op. this was after he stopped kicking and fighting and crying and finally calmed down and went back to sleep. i was in recovery with graham when they brought harrison out of surgery. there is a reason why they don't bring parents back to the recovery area until kids have settled down somewhat. it was absolutely awful to hear him as he was waking up. i was kind of freaking out because the nurses were loud and stern with him - not mean, not at all, but far too loud for his superhero ears. jeremy came back and took over with graham so i could go quietly, calmly, softly comfort and reassure harrison.

it wasn't long before we loaded up and headed home.

 this is harrison on the drive home. face in puke bowl (which i smartly brought from home. it's an old 32 oz. yogurt container. we don't leave home without them) with ice pack on forehead and neck. fast asleep. he puke once on the way home.

here's grumpy graham on the drive home. ice pack on neck, puke bowl in hand. he puked once on the way home too.

this is me on the way home, sitting between the boys in the back, dishing out the ice chips and kleenex.

home and settled.

finally waking up a bit to watch a cartoon.

first post surgical popsicle.

harrison has probably only spoken a few words since surgery. he prefers to type his thoughts on my phone. sweet boy.

day two.

day three.

day three. graham started to run a fever.

day four.

day four.

this was yesterday. day five. my only goal for the day was to get them dressed in real clothes.

day five. we actually opened the front door and windows and let some sunshine in! it was MUCH needed.

in the late afternoon when they were feeling the best we went outside for a bit. i don't think either of them were thrilled about it but the fresh air and sunlight did lots to lift MY spirits. why does this image of graham remind me of john cusack in say anything? i think it's the pants/boots.

all graham needs is a trench coat and a ghetto blaster.  ha! i just typed ghetto blaster!

we tried to putt a few golf balls.

today we are on day six. last night was the most difficult by far which seemed odd to me. perhaps i pushed them too much with the fresh air yesterday?? in any event i am upstairs quickly writing this post and have left them to watch a cartoon by themselves. i'd say that's progress. up until this point i've been at their beck and call 24/7, literally spooning ice chips and holding water bottles and squirting medicine and wiping noses and cutting pears into bits and scooping them into their sore mouths. it's a job i've been happy to do but it's not without exhaustion. it's good to step away for a few minutes and allow my brain to focus on something else.

it's also good to post these photos and see that we are actually recovering - slowly but surely. i was quite naive about how this would affect them. it has been very hard to see them in such pain and to know i'm the one who gave the okay to put them through it. i knew my boys were brave and tough but this process has convinced me even more!

okay...i better get back downstairs and check on them.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

the boys are having surgery tomorrow

would you pretty please say a prayer for harrison and graham tomorrow morning? or send positive thoughts, healing light, best wishes, whatever good energy you can forward our direction will be most appreciated!

graham's tonsils and adenoids come out at 8:45, harrison's at 9:30.

i'm told recovery will last between 1-1.5 hours and then we will head home.

have a lovely friday and a relaxing weekend! for those on spring break from school next week, whether you're vacationing or staying home, we will send you best wishes for a wonderful holiday while we rest on the couch, watch videos and eat way too many popsicles.

thursday things that make me think

i have to clarify something from last week's edition of thinking thursday. i'm grateful to my sweet friend rachel ottley who lovingly challenged and voiced her concern regarding my comments about thinking too much...

confession: my therapist did not out and out say "rachel, you think to much".

but that's how i interpreted what he said - i think too much therefore i should stop thinking so much. 

it sounded funny (to me) to write "so, my shrink says i think too much". my attempt at humor i suppose.

what he in fact said and what he confirmed to me again in our session yesterday was that much of his job is actually teaching people how to think - how to live a conscious life. he doesn't have to do that with me. he believes my ability to ponder things deeply is actually an incredible gift. where his concern lies, though, is that people like me often tend to get caught in thoughts, to ruminate, to be too busy thinking about life than actually living life.

as opposed to my negative thoughts which were very out of control, he does NOT think the way i process things (ponder them, write about them) is unhealthy. he simply wants to make sure i stay on top of my thought life, that i am in charge of my thoughts rather than the opposite. i agree with him that i certainly lean in the over-thinking direction and it's good to be aware of that predisposition so that it doesn't lead to consequences such as depression and anxiety (the common side effects of a deep thinker).

thanks for letting me set that straight.

it still sounds sillier to say "my shrink says i think too much".  :-)

so. on to the things that made me think this week...

i think these yoga poses that are said to relieve anxiety might come in handy someday (everyday).

i think this list of must-reads was posted by no less than twenty people in my facebook feed. i've read 18 of them but am feeling challenged to read them all! my very favorite (of the ones i've read) - a prayer for owen meany. i cannot tell you how many times i started and stopped that book. it took me ten years to finally finish it and, by golly, i love, love, LOVED it! i am a big john irving fan.

i think this idea to completely step away from screens for one day each week would be very difficult (hello withdrawal) but very rewarding. i'll let you know if jeremy and i implement this in our family.

i think this 3-ingredient dessert  looks like something jeremy's mom would enjoy. she LOVES chocolate and cherries. and i love an easy recipe!

i think this video about a deep thinking, poetic man who was reunited with his family after 35 years of homelessness is so heartwarming. even though i have been trying to limit my facebook usage lately i cannot deny its beautiful ability to connect people.

happy thursday!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

sensory bin - outer space theme

here is an idea for creating an intergalactic sensory bin.

 fill a bin with black beans.

 add some swirly metallic marbles (dollar store).

 add some large black pompoms (dollar store).

 add some small silver tinsel-y pompoms (dollar store).

 add a few silver dish scrubbers (target's dollar spot).

 add some glow in the dark stars (i have no idea).

 add plastic planets (these from amazon).

 that looks a bit like outer space, right?

 now add some astronauts and space vehicles (these from amazon).

and you're done. 

confession: my boys are slowly but surely outgrowing these sensory bins. i have been attempting to create themes that might still interest them. we have quite a few space-themed toys around the house so i designed this bin more as a jump-start for their imagination, to accompany the toys they like playing with. both the boys have played with this bin for short periods of time and enjoyed it. i have to chuckle though because graham's idea of playing has been to remove everything except the beans and SIT inside the bin.

perhaps he's launched himself to the moon? and the moon is inside the bin?

your guess is as good as mine.

i cannot tell you how many times i've said, "graham, why are there black beans all. over. the. rug.?" 

so it goes with sensory bins.

heck, so it goes with graham!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

what we've been up to lately

just some random things...

jeremy snapped this photo while i was driving home from the mountains one sunday last month. it's safe to say that was our worst drive this winter as far as visibility was concerned. total white out. it was immediately after this photo was taken that i completely blocked a fire vehicle from getting through because although i could hear his siren i had no idea he was directly behind me. even his flashing lights weren't powerful enough to cut through that blowing snow.  (the worst drive time-wise i had took 3 hours, 40 minutes. jeremy got stuck in a 5-6 hour long driving fiasco because of a random shooting that took place on i-70 which completely closed down the highway for investigation. our best drive time so far has been 1 hour, 8 minutes).

 then we reached a clearing and graham yelled out "bighorn sheep!" can you see them?

this was at beaver creek over president's day weekend.

last week the weather was lovely after school so the boys and i walked to the park to hit some golf balls.

another day after school, playing at the park with our friend addy.

my mom and dad came for a visit over president's day weekend. we bundled up and stood outside watching the boys ski at beaver creek.

the best shot of the bunch.

graham with an ice pack wrapped around his head. could he be any cuter?

 my mom snapped this one of jeremy and me at beaver creek. love.

Monday, March 17, 2014

treehouse - an update on the loft

all photos in the post are unedited because this lady does not have time to edit photos. some images were taken with my good camera. most were captured with my phone. some are really, really dark because the space just does not get much natural light. all that to say, the pictures aren't perfect...but you'll still be able to see the progress. enjoy!

this is the only true before photo i have of the loft. unfortunately, i didn't get a shot of the king bed, two twin beds, shelving units, dresser, ceiling fan, fake plants, television, crazy artwork, two tables and four chairs (or was it six?) that were brought down from the loft and either donated or taken to the dump. shame.

here's harrison in the empty loft. oh, i DID get a shot of the television! this picture gives you an idea of how pitched the ceiling/roof line is.


here is the carpet that was removed from the floor piece by piece, rolled and taped for easy trash collection.

here's the bare floor.

 here is the floor after it was sanded. it was a HUGE improvement!

some furniture had to be brought back up to the loft so jeremy, meme & papa had a place to sleep while the downstairs was all torn up. at this point the floor had been sanded and a sealant was applied. the king bed in the photo was brought up from the master bedroom. i bought that 14" tall bed frame so we would have storage underneath. eventually, we removed the box springs. it was crazy trying to climb up into that bed at night!!

 here is the 10x14ft natural jute rug meme & papa hauled up to the mountains for me.

here's the rug in the space. do you see that small metal bucket behind harrison? i attached a pulley system to the ceiling so the boys could raise and lower that bucket from the living room to the loft. i need to get a photo of that to show you. they love it!!

still trying to figure out the best furniture placement.

 i wanted the space to be a place where the boys can play but that also felt relaxing for jeremy and me.

this photo shows you the true colors of the bedding - grey, green, burgundy, white and black. a mix of gingham, stripes, solids, plaids and pattern (in the sheets). the bed has now been moved to the right to accommodate a dresser in the corner of the room, which also makes for a more open "entry" at the top of the stairs.

the next images are from this past weekend. i think the loft is complete except for hanging a few things on the walls.

boys' play area.

we finally have lamps that work! and dressers! and seating!

 the very cozy bed.

in case you are interested there flannel sheets, a quilt and a down comforter on that bed. there are also fifteen pillows. three were made by jer's mom. two were made by mine. the owl pillow was bought (by my mom) at a precious little antique shop inside an old white barn in iowa. it's made from an old men's work shirt. the boys have nicknamed him barney.

they wanted to call him hooter but i vetoed that choice.

barney loves his loft.