My Life in a Nut Shell

3 surgeries for Endometriosis, countless medications, and lots of difficult years trying to conceive. We put the medical stuff on hold and decided to work on being parents instead. In July of 2000 we were blessed beyond all measure with a phone call announcing the birth of our daughter, Megan. Megan's birth mother had given birth the day before and was leaving the hospital. We had no warning that Megan was coming. At 4:29 in the afternoon we were a couple, at 4:30 we were parents. Deciding that we wanted a sibling for Megan, we looked into all our options. This time insurance covered IVF. One round and we were blessed with triplets, Abigail, Brigid, and Caroline. Did you know that there is a 70% chance of divorce in families of Higher Order Multiples? Almost two years after the triplets were born my ex-husband and I separated and eventually divorced. During that time both my Mother and Father passed away from cancer. In February of 2007 my sister came to live with us to help out. In December of 2008 she had to leave so now it is me on my own with the girls. In February 2010, Lisa passed away and finally found her own Peace.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Yes!

I needed this reminder this morning.  Funny how God manages to make sure we see things when it's needed:


That's how I'm going into 2012.  I've learned and been through so much that I no longer say "good riddance" to the previous year.  Without the previous year I wouldn't be where I am today.  Good or Bad.  In my head I should have been in a big house in Lake Forest with an adoring husband and maybe 10 kids (ala the Duggars) while I am a stay-at-home Mom.  Instead I'm a single Mom in an apartment with no husband and only 4 kids.  Not what I planned but let's face it.  If I hadn't ended up in this place in life, my Faith would have NEVER increased 100 fold.  There's something to be very thankful for. 

I'm not much for resolutions because mine are basically the same every year.  So instead here are some goals I am pretty sure I can attain:

  • attending the Seminary
  • taking a trip to Florida over Spring Break to let my sister's ashes go on a beach the way she always wanted
  • potty training Petey
  • having more fun with girls than should be allowed
  • moving/buying a house/condo
  • getting in shape
It seems like a lot!!

The girls and I found a condo we really, really want.  I can't buy a house until I'm 3 years out from the sale of my house/foreclosure.  That's Oct. 29 of 2012.  It's for rent.  And I think I can afford the rent for a year.  My lease doesn't end until Apr. 1.  I just have to keep praying that it's God's will that we end up there.  Here's the link:

http://www.homes.com/listing/155152228/LOUISVILLE_KY_40206

I actually lived in that complex when my parents first moved to Louisville in 1983.  The outside isn't much but the inside is gorgeous!!  We love it!

So that's it.  Happy New Year's Eve!!!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Single Parent burnout

I think I might be suffering from it.  I'm tired today.  Pretty much everyday.  I woke up with a killer migraine today.  I'm having a lot of those lately.  It sucks.  I'm still internalizing  everything from work.  I'm trying to let things roll off my back.  It's hard.  Let's be honest.  No one likes to be disliked.  (Thanks Jeremiah).  It hurts.  And just so you know?  When you exclude people from a get together after work?  We notice.  And it hurts our feelings.  'nuff said.

It's been a long day with the girls.  Even though I had a killer migraine I still had to do things around the house.  I had to go to Family Dollar and Kroger.  I'd never been in a Family Dollar until a few months ago.  Now it's my go to place for things like toilet paper and dish soap.  I found 3 shirts in there for me that were $2 and $3 apiece.  ChaChing!  I hit Kroger (the Dirty as our city calls it because it earned that nickname several years ago) and ran into 2 friends from Field and ended up talking with some old lady about the big game tomorrow.  U of L vs. UK.  This city will shut down for a few hours for that game.  I realized AGAIN that I have become my Mother.  I would CRINGE every time I went someone where with my Mom and she would end up talking with anyone anywhere.  I now do the same.

I had the girls pick up the living/dining room and kitchen.  We Petey proofed it.  Then I blocked off the upstairs so Petey can't go up there.  Thanks to that move, Petey only had one accident today and it was by the front door.  He still hasn't figured out how to tell us he needs to go.  With the upstairs blocked off he can't go upstairs and pee, poop, or  chew.  Very successful day for Petey!

I did THREE load of dishes.  I was so behind in the kitchen.  I made lunch and dinner.  Did 3 loads of laundry.  It's been so long since I have been able to just take care of me when I am sick.  No matter what my girls still need things from me during the day.  No one is patient enough with Petey to take him outside so that is my job.  It's easy to see how burnout occurs in single parents.  I imagine it happens to married parents as well.  At least if you are married you can tag team.  If one is out with the dog, the other is cooking dinner.  If one goes to Kroger, the other does laundry.  In theory at least.  Yes I get a weekend off every two weeks (again, in theory).   It's just that for the two weeks leading up to that weekend it is an unending assault on my abilities as a parent.  And call me crazy but I don't want to just do the bare minimum.  My girls need my time.  It's not their fault their parents are divorced.  It's not their fault that their Dad doesn't step up to the plate the way he should and be involved in a PRODUCTIVE, HELPFUL, POSITIVE way.  It's all on me.

It's a good things my girls are so dang lovable.  That fact alone keeps me going.  And I keep replaying a phrase in my head that I heard on a former TLC show "Table For Twelve".  I'm Facebook friends with Betty.  During an interview on the show they made a comment that was something to the effect of "It's not my time right now.  It's their (the children) time.  When they are grown it will be our time."  That is what keeps me going.  It's not my time right now.  So I'll keep getting up everyday and keep going. 

Except for tomorrow.  It's Saturday.  I'm sleeping in.  That translate to about 8 a.m. if I am lucky.

Oh and in Brigid's words, "Happy New Year's Little Eve."
I fell asleep tonight on the couch.  Cuddled with the dog.  While watching Twilight.  Megan was on a date.  No not really.  Had you worried didn't I?  My boss took her to go see Warhorse.  Megan loved it!!  I'm glad that my boss and Megan got the chance to hang out together and see a movie about horses.  I couldn't take the trio to see it.  Too long and not enough cartoon.  :)  I had visions of myself sitting on that couch not too far off in the distant future waiting for Megan to come home from a date.  Not sure I liked it! 

Today was a long day.  Still issues at work.  I still don' think I'm cut out for this.  The best part of the job is getting to interact with all the kiddos.  I really love that part of my job.  I love being with kids.  Kids are much easier to handle than adults.  No hidden agendas.  No gossip.  What you see is what you get.  I LOVE talking with parents about their most favorite little people.  I know I picked the right profession.  Just not sure I'm cut out to handle being the boss. 

We've been pretty busy here in the last several weeks.  Poor Abby cried everyday this week that we weren't getting home in time for her to play with her friends before it got dark.  Finally today it was sunny and we got home at a decent time and then her friends weren't home!!  That poor kid!  So I've promised that we will not go anywhere this weekend so she can play.  Works for me.  I'll be buried under piles of laundry anyway. 

I'm back on a diet plan.  Again.  Here's hoping I can stick to it.  Waaayyyy too much junk food at work this holiday season.  Plus my boss and a few other teachers want to do a Biggest Loser contest.  I'm thinking if we are able to help each other out then maybe this will work.  That and public humiliation with having our weights posted for all of SMCDC to see.  We rented Just Dance 3 from Red Box tonight and I got a really good work out from that.  The girls and I had fun doing it.  One thing is for sure.  I have absolutely no coordination!   I imagine it must be painful to watch me dance.  That's ok.  Poor Caroline is exactly like me.  It's a wonder that we don't injure each other when we dance.

Nothing exciting or epic today.  I kinda like it that way.

Catch you here tomorrow.  Same Bat time.  Same Bat channel.  (good grief.  What a dork.)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Shit Happens

Yes it does.  I've often wondered if my life is a result of the choices I make or I make the choices I do because of what life presents to me.  I seem to have an extraordinary amount of shit that happens.  Here is how my day went today:

I worked from 7:15 a.m. (OK I was late to work so it was 7:21 a.m.) until 5 p.m last Wednesday.  That last hour was off the clock because I was waiting for my little visitor's Mom to call and talk to here at my school.  Instead of just sitting and chatting with my boss I ended up doing some work too.  I can't NOT work at my job.  Drives me nuts. 

Oh did I mention my visitor? Her parents are in Russia meeting their new children they will be adopting in just a few short months.  I volunteered to keep the 4 year old.  I was honored that they agreed to it.  So for 9 days we had 5 kiddos in this house.  2 cats. 1 dog.  And a partridge in a pear tree.

But I digress. 

During my rather lengthy work day I took an hour (damn it was more like an hour and half.  Good thing my boss likes me.) long lunch break to run errands all around this town.  I came home to let the dog pee and then hit a few places to finish up some holiday things. 

After work all 6 of us headed to Target to pick up my high blood pressure meds.  Lord knows why I'm on high blood pressure meds.  Could be the kids...

I then took all 6 of us to the mall.  I had promised the girls we would go to Glitter.  Glitter is an accessories version of the Dollar Tree.  Everything's a dollar and then have every type of accessory known to woman.  My girls like to go there because they can pick anything they want in the store.  Tonight I had promised they each could get ONE item.  That's $5.  Of course once we got there and I saw how excited they were, I upped it to TWO items.  Then it was off to the food court where we had to visit FIVE different restaurants to meet everyone's different mealtime needs.  I swear it took a half hour just to order. 


Here's where the choices thing comes into play.  I couldn't really afford last Wed.  evening.  I should have put that money to use elsewhere.  I need new tags and brakes on my car.  I need to see a doctor for my ankle because I am pretty damn sure I broke my ankle again  at work.  I can barely move my last two toes.  And it is swelling like crazy.  I have so many other needs for that money.  Yet I spent it on trinkets at a dollar store and on dinner.  I keep going back to a statement that Chloe said on her blog (http://www.chloeofthemountain.com/).  "Poor kids need ice cream too."  My girls needed this visit to the mall and I needed to give it to them.  I got lots of hugs and kisses and thank yous.  My little visitor kept saying, "Thank you Ms. Kristina!" 

Here's my favorite part of the evening.  While riding in the car, Abby will often make up songs about what is going on in her life.  Tonight she was singing as was Caroline and Brigid.  Megan sits next to me and tells me how stupid the girls sound.  My little visitor was singing too.  Then Megan said, "Mom listen to M's singing!  M was singing, "I love Harrigan Mother,  I love Harrigan Mother,  She is very pretty and I love her."  

Guess who's heart melted that day.

Sunday was Christmas.  A nice relaxed Christmas.  It was pretty low key.  The girls got new bikes.  What a gift to me to be able to see their smiling faces on Christmas morning when they saw 4 new bikes in my living room.  Who needs a present when you get to see that??  Brigid's favorite gift was a pink guitar.  A nice parent from my school today even tuned it up for her.  Yes she brought it into my school.  She wants to learn to play so I can put a video on youtube ala Justin Bieber. 

Santa also put 3 presents under my tree too.  I was not expecting that.  Needless to say I cried like a baby when I opened the gifts.  A bottle of wine, pink hippo jamas, lotions, and my favorite...aloe infused thermal socks!  In pink no less!!  Happy feet=happy me.  :)

I could not have made this possible if it were not a few wonderful friends from my village.  Thank you Katy, Laurene, Kim, Cindy R. and Cindy B.  God Bless you!!!

At work today I had to say something to a few employees about the way something was being done.  I've been told before that I am too blunt.  I try not to pussyfoot around.  I've had too much go on in my  life to stay quiet anymore.  I refuse too.  I have learned that so much more gets accomplished if I just say what I am thinking more or less.  Well it wasn't taken well and I ended up getting the silent treatment and unkind things said about me to others.  I'm not sure I'm cut out to be a boss.  My feelings get hurt too easily.   I do feel like it was a case of "shooting the messenger".  I understand that as well.  It just hurts when all I'm doing is MY job and I get treated poorly.  It hurts.  And it makes me think I might not be cut out for doing this job.  The worst part is I take it home to my kids.  That's not fair on my part.  Do you know when I realized that?  While eating tacos at dinner.  Petey the dog (who if he eats one more pair of my shoes might be looking for a new home) decided he needed a bite of Brigid's tortilla.  He looked much like the dogs from the movie UP.  The girls were going to laugh but then stopped because I guess they figured I might get mad.  I WAS in a grumpy mood.  Yet I couldn't help but start laughing at the dog and my poor girls' responses to the dog.  We ended up belly laughing over this stupid dog!!!! 

So tomorrow I'm going to get up, put my big girl panties on (have you seen my size??) and go into work and do the best job I can do.  That's all I can do.

Megan was thrilled tonight because I finally figured out how to add minutes to the cell phone Santa gave her.   She (and I) was beginning to think I wasn't going to add minutes to it.  Thank goodness with a phone call and a half hour on the computer, she was able to make a phone call.  Wanna know who it was to?  Go ahead.  Guess.

Her Dad.

Now if I could only figure out how to add music to her MP3 player from the computer.  We are at 2 hours and counting with me trying to do it.  Ugh.  Maybe this weekend.

 

Caroline has a spinal MRI scheduled in January and her appointment with the neurosurgeon.  It's looking more and more like she may have the same Chiari surgery that Brigid had.  At least this time I can do this.  Same surgery, different kid.

I am glad that Christmas is over.  Looking forward to New Year's Eve and the month of January.  As a teacher I always dreaded January because curriculum-wise it was always a bit boring.  As an adult, I look forward to January and new possibilities.  It always feels like a month of hope.  I read on an aol.com news feed that a woman was killed by a hit-and-run driver.  She had, in her pocket, a note that she carried around everyday.  Her bucket list.  She had things on it like "buy a house by 45" or "start a gay and lesbian group home for teens".   I don't think I have a bucket list as much as I have a goal for 2012.  Maybe a few goals.  A new place to live.  Possibly buy a house.  New possiblities.  And as much as I deny it, someone to love and someone to love ME.  I miss being in love with someone.   So here's to praying that 2012 brings me that. 

"I need somebody to love.  I don't need too much, just somebody to love.  Girl I swear I just need somebody to love."

Holy crap I've been listening to waaayyy to much Justin Beiber in the car.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Chiari Girls

That's what Caroline calls herself and Brigid.  Today was the follow-up appt. to establish Brigid's new normal after her Chiari surgery last March.  Dr. Moriarty pulled up Brigid's MRI pictures from yesterday and couldn't stop smiling.  He was very proud of himself.  He should be.  I couldn't believe the difference from her MRI in February right before her surgery.  Her brain looked beautiful!!  NO symptoms at all!  This is exactly what I was praying for!!!  She still has a bit of fluid collection so we will keep on eye on things.  She does not need to have another MRI for an entire year!!  Hooray!!!!  She still has some limits on trampolines and bouncy houses.  No tumbling.  But otherwise a clean bill of health!!    This is where my faith is renewed AGAIN!! 

Caroline on the other hand will have an MRI scheduled.  Her Chiari symptoms are much worse.  She is having exertion headaches almost daily.  I hate that she feels so badly.  Monday she got mad at Abby outside and came running up to while I was outside with Petey.  She stopped, grabbed the back of her head, and started crying.  Apparently these headaches have been going on at school too and she just isn't telling anyone.  Dr. Moriarty said if there has been ANY change in her MRI then we are a go for surgery.  I have mixed feelings.  I DO NOT want Caroline to experience any of the pain poor Brigid had to have.  But I also want Caroline to be healthy.  At this point I'm going to try not to worry too much about anything.  At least we've been through this before and know what to expect.  I won't have as many questions.  Brigid can prepare Caroline for what to expect.  We can handle this again. 

I did experience what has to be a definition of hell today.  Anytime we have an appt. at Dr. Moriarty's I know there will be a long wait.  WE brought snacks, homework, and activities to do.  That was fine for the first 45 minutes in the waiting room.  The hell came from the HOUR stuck back in that little white cubicle they call an examine room.  With 4 girls.  Shit.  We played games, read, did more homework.  We even did what a brilliant triplet Mom suggested we do and we drew on the white paper covering the exam table.  That got us about 45 minutes in but those last 15 minutes were awful!!  Ugh!!  I wish they would put a little TV in there.  Or computer games.  Maybe a recliner and small refrigerator.  Something to help pass the time.  By the time we got home after 2 long hours, I volunteered to take Petey outside just so I could have some decent space around me.  I need to decompress.  The funny thing was each one of the girls separated themselves to different rooms in the house.  They needed the space too!

Now I'm going to ask a favor.  Dear friends leave tomorrow morning for Russia to meet their new children.  They will be gone until next Friday.  Please pray that they have safe travels and that everything goes as planned in Russia.  Please pray for their new children and their child they already have.  Thank you!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Things are Looking Up!

You know I've always said I should never blog when I'm angry or in a pissy mood.  The other night I did both.  I wrote down all the things that have worried me or concerned me in the last few months.  I feel better when I write.  Just sometimes I forget that friends read this.  So I got an amazing outpouring of love and concern.  I'm doing well.  I really am.  It's just that my life isn't easy.  I imagine most people's aren't.  Some have it much easier than others.

My life is a product of both circumstance and choices.  I can't control the fact that my Mom, Dad, and Sister are gone.  I've made some really poor choices, some of which I am still trying to recover from today.  What I can control is how I choose to deal with my circumstances and choices.    My neighbor told me tonight that even after posting my rant last week, my faith still shines through.  And really my faith is what has sustained me through everything.  Faith that God is bigger and better than I could ever imagine.  Faith that God knows what he is doing.  I may not like His choices.  I may not like what I must go through.  But I have the faith that God will provide me with the Grace I will need to get through anything. 

Here in the last few days I am reminded how God provides in ways I would never expect.  From friends, to families I teach, to friends I have never met, my children will be provided for for the holidays.  I know I never ask for anything for myself.  I don't need anything.   I am always, and will always, be concerned about my girls.  I will go to the ends of the earth and back to make sure they have what they need and sometimes what they want.  And I'm thrilled that God is giving me the means, through my own hard work and my friends, to provide for them. 

It may sound cliched and heck, 6 months ago I would have rolled my eyes if I heard someone say "God is good."  How easy is it to spout that?  Many people do but I often have wondered if they just mean that because they have some material item they have always wanted.  When I say God is good I mean that he provides me with an attitude to get through anything.  The ol' "when life hands you lemons" gimmick.  Only it's not a gimmick.  I have made pitcher after pitcher of lemonade.  Thank you God!

And lest you think I've gotten all preachy on you...

Why is it that my dog like ice cubes?  He gets excited every time I crack the ice cube tray.

Caroline convinced me to buy a coconut to drink the milk inside.   Do you know that milk tastes like liquid sweat?

When Caroline was eating blackberries tonight she got ready to squeeze one in her mouth and announced, "Get ready for juice fest 2011!"

Petey the dog likes to pee when he is running up and down my carpeted steps.

Brigid is excited to get her follow-up MRI tomorrow from her Chiari surgery because she gets one on one time with me.

Abby wrote a Christmas song about Baby Jesus.  And told me she likes to fart.

Megan's favorite word is anus.

It's a good thing I have spell check as I tried to spell gimmick gimmich.

Now off to watch Cake Boss. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Feeling Better

I definitely am a talk it out kind of girl.  Just putting my ideas down on paper computer screen makes me feel better.  My life is always a struggle.  Some days finding my gratitude is hard.  The closest I can come up with is that I got up and breathed. 

I woke up this morning with a headache.  It happens every so often.  I worry that I have a chiari like Brigid and Caroline because of the way my headaches come on in the morning and they often start in the back of my head and travel forward.  It was another tough day at work.  We are Blessedly full with a waiting list but that is making our daily work much harder.  Our teachers have been hit with a lot of sickness lately.  Lots of throwing up.  That is definitely a risk we take in working with little kids.  After 20 some odd years working with kids I am lucky as I have a pretty good immunity built up against a lot of illness.  When teachers are out it falls on the rest of us to pick up the slack.  Again it's something we deal with in working in a small center.

 By the end of the day today my headache had reached epic proportions.  I KNEW something has been up this week because usually several days before the really bad headache I am unbelievably tired.  I left work and sat in my van in tears.  My head hurt so bad!!  I drove to the Walmart grocery store and got fried chicken, cole slaw, mac and cheese, and yogurt for dinner.  I tried really hard not to throw up in the car.

(I am getting somewhere with this story.  I promise.  I'm just wordy.)

I came home and told the girls I was going to lay down with the heating pad.  Here's where my gratitude comes in.  Megan told the girls to let me lay on the couch, Brigid turned the TV down, and Megan got to work in the kitchen making the mac and cheese and getting dinner ready.  She made sure every girl in the house had a dinner plate, took the dog potty, and let me fall asleep.  I sleep for about 45 minutes on the couch surrounded by Petey the dog, Ella the cat, Brigid, Abigail, and Megan while Caroline cozied on the love seat.  Wow.  How can I NOT feel gratitude for having such amazing kids???? 

Tomorrow I may want to scream when I go upstairs and clean their bedrooms.  These are girls who cut their own hair, put chapstick on their butts, play kick the 'gina, and fight with each other.  They are just kids.  But tonight I got a vision of the amazing young ladies I am raising and I KNOW God is at work in our house.   Like my friends Cassie and Jeremiah remind me of all the time:  God works.  God cares.  The Lord provides. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's My Blog

And I'll bitch if I want to...
My friend Cindy B. sent me a message on FB that she misses my blog.  Alright Cindy, here you go.  I haven't blogged in awhile mainly because I've been so damn busy.  And introspective.  And bitchy.  It's hard to post positivity when I'm not always feeling it.  Here is my list of why I'm so damn crabby.  Maybe if I put it out there, things will get better.  At least in my mind.

1.  Have  a broken, dangly tooth that is killing me.  I do not have dental insurance.  So I will continue to walk around with said broken, dangly tooth until tax time in January.  Maybe I'll lose some weight this way.

2.  I'm tired of walking around on this damn broken ankle.  I have neither the time nor the financial resources to go to a doctor about it.  It sucks not having health insurance.  I would love to have a sit down with people in Washington to discuss how much it sucks not having health insurance.  I get to choose between going to work sick or going to a doctor where I don't get paid for missing work.  So the paycheck wins out everytime.  My ankle hurts.

3.  I'm fat.

4.  I'm tired.  I'm tired of carrying this load by myself all the time.  My ex decided to be super dad for a few weeks when his hours changed at work.  I was thrilled that he was taking extra time with the girls.  The problem is it only lasted a few weeks and his true colors came shining through when he got pissed at Megan for quitting the swim team.  The extra time only works if it benefits HIM.  Not our children. 

5.  I'm feeling underappreciated at work.  I work really hard day in and day out.  I'm taking on more and more responsibility without an increase in pay.  I understand the reasoning behind what I make but I would really like to feel appreciated. 

6.  The apartment complex installed a spotlight on the building cattycorner from mine.  A ginormous spotlight.  So now the entire second floor of my townhome is illuminated at night.  We do not need nightlights anymore at night.  I'd like to think they installed it because they know I have to take a dog pee at 3 a.m. and now I have the sunlight spotlight to illuminate my way.  (Not sure why I threw this in there but hey, it's my blog.  I can bitch about anything if I want.)

7.  Last year some very wonderful women adopted my family for Christmas and provided my girls with a Christmas we will never forget.  For that I am unbelievably grateful.  But I knew the help would not be there this Christmas.  I didn't expect it.  The problem is that my girls got a Christmas that I could NEVER provide on my own.  And now that I am back on my own I'm stressed to the max trying to figure out how to buy some basic gifts for the girls.  I'll be late with rent.  And the car payment, and the car insurance.  Oh yeah and the cable/phone/internet.  And that's just to provide basic gifts.  I realize that Christmas is not about the gift receiving but let's face it.  Children come to expect things. 

I want to skip straight on to the end of January thank you very much.

I need a change in my life.  A positive change.  It started with the bible study with my neighbors.  I now find myself reading, and studying, the bible.  It feels amazing.  I can flip through it and find verses I am looking for.  I like that.  And I came to the realization, as stated in John, (fancy aren't I?) that if I believe in God I have to believe in Jesus. It's as simple as that.  All that wondering and doubt was erased in a single afternoon with the belief that Jesus is the son of God.  And my Savior.  So now I'm interested in attending the Seminary.  The trick is finding out how to fund that and make it possible.  I'm already so tapped out with my time and more importantly my energy that I'm worried that this might be one thing too many.  I just keep reminding myself that with God all things are possible.

I have had a bad case of baby fever.  I can't have any more children.  Kinda makes the baby fever a hard thing to live with.  So the girls and I did the next best thing:


Yep.  This is Petey Harrigan.  He is 1 and part Chihuahua.  The potty training is killing me.  But he has been soooo good for Megan.  I'll take what I can get.  The cats aren't too happy. 

We did have a very nice Thanksgiving with my neighbors at my house.  Finally a holiday I could get excited about.  The girls and I decorated the table:


Brigid has her follow-up MRI on Tuesday to make sure things are doing well with her Chiari after her brain surgery in March.  Keeping my fingers, toes, and whatever else crossed.  Caroline is having lots of Chiari headaches.  Lots.  Keeping everything crossed that she doesn't need surgery.

Abby still struggles in school.  I wish I could make it easy for her.  She deserves easy.  She's a great kid who gets easily stressed.  And she still processes things while she sings.  I love that girl.  <3

So that's it in a nutshell.  I think I might be feeling better. Just not the dangly tooth part. 

 I'm thinking a shoestring and a door might solve that problem. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Laundry

I suspect if I go back through the last 4 years on this blog I will find many posts about laundry.  It is so damn time consuming.  I'm overwhelmed by it.  My girls have been on this planet for 11 and 8 years.  Ever since they could understand I have tried to impress upon them just how much I hate laundry.  Therefore PLEASE only wear one outfit a day.  We are not hosting the Oscars so we do NOT need 5 outfit changes a day.   They are just not getting it.  I've spent the entire weekend doing laundry.  Including bed linens and I'm still not done.  By the way exactly why do we call them bed linens?  My sheets are not made of linen.  I should just refer to them as cheap ass cotton bed attire.  There.  That sounds better. 

How is it possible for 4 small young ladies to go through so much clothing???  I can give you a hint.  It's because those lovely young ladies hate cleaning anything up.  It's like asking them to do 45 math worksheets in an hour.  They moan and groan and bitch and complain.  So instead of cleaning up they take whatever is on the floor and put it in the dirty clothes thereby creating MOUNTAINS of laundry for me to do on the weekends. 

Ain't no mountain high enough?  Diana Ross never came to my house and saw the laundry baskets in the hallway.  There's a mountain that would keep her from her one true love.

I have so much laundry my children seem to mistake it for some cozy place to sleep.

Anyway I am tired of doing laundry.  I have decided that when I win the lottery or when I marry Brad Pitt I am going to hire a laundry person whose sole job will be to wash the laundry, fold the laundry, and put it away.  The only thing I want to do with my laundry is wear it.

Of course only ONE outfit a day.  I don't want to wear my laundry doer out. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

What the hell did I eat yesterday?

I had a dream last night that has stuck with me all day.  After my divorce, I fell in love with someone that not many people know about.  I really thought he was it.  I really did.  And it turned out he wasn't.  I think of him every so often.  Last night I had a dream about him.  He  proposed.  I was so filled with joy that someone loved ME and all that I am.  It felt so good.  Then I woke up.  I can't shake that feeling in the dream last night.  Now I realize I really am lonely.  How can I be lonely in a house full of people???? 

Man this sounds like a pity party doesn't it? 

So I did something stupid.  I dialed his number.  And a woman answered.  I made a stupid excuse that I had dialed the wrong number and hung up.  What a complete moron I am.  I'm not sure why I'm telling you this.  I think it's because, one, I put it all out there.  Two, that dream really has stuck with me.  I'm learning that God has a plan for us but I'm getting kind of impatient with this plan.  Daggone am I going to spend my life alone?  Is this what I am destined to do?  Even frickin' Noah paired up animals two by two on the Ark.  What the hell happened here?  Crap.  My friend put a  link on my FB wall this evening.  Here it is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HI_xFQWiYU&feature=share

Listen to the words.  Really weird.  I'm not sure why she chose to post this link but it goes in line with that stupid dream I had.  I've been on match.com for awhile to really no success.  I'm not that fabulous on paper.  I may not be that fabulous in real life either.  I'm kinda quirky.  Not many men want to date quirky. Quirky with a lot of kids.  Oh and let's not forget fat.  Oh and there are those tattoos. There's also the minivan.  And I'm a liberal democrat.  And a Catholic. 

Quirky.  I'd make a great sidekick on TV.  You know all the georgeous woman on TV have a quirky sidekick.  Even on the Wizards of Waverly Place (I'm a kid TV expert) Alex Russo has Harper.  Just call me Harper. 

It's a good thing I have so many kids or else I could totally see myself as the crazy cat lady. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

If it ain't broke don't fix it

For some reason that title sends the teacher in me to crazy town.  I have to agree with it.  I'm a change kind of person.  I like change.  I thrive in change.  Like my hair color.  It's pretty much been every color under the sun.  I change it on a whim.  I'm still trying to get up the nerve to add a little blue or pink.  Something about a 43 year old with pink hair might smack of despiration.  I'm still wanting that eyebrow piercing.  I'm wondering if that will help the OCD or make it worse.  I rearrange my furniture all the time.  I like change.  So I changed my blog again.  Just keeps it interesting.

Let me know what you think.

Not much else going on here on the homefront.  I did a lot of picking up this weekend.  And a LOT of quiet.  I went the whole weekend without turning the TV on.  I used to shake my head when my Mom used to tell me that as soon as we left for school she would turn the TV off.  Now I understand.  No radio, TV, nothing that causes noise.  My noise tolerance meets its quota after two straight weeks with the girls. 

I spent an hour with the babies today at work.  You know it's a good thing God knew what He was doing when He made me infertile.  I fed four babies today, changed diapers, burped them.  And played.  If I wasn't infertile I could very well see myself as Michelle Duggar.  With 20 kids.  There is an especially yummy little boy in the infant room who is about 9 weeks old.  Everytime I feed him I just melt.  This may very well be why I do what I do everyday.  I make almost no money (grammatical error there again).  But what I get from the children at my preschool, and better yet from my own children, makes me feel wealthier than any person I know.  I get JOY in doing what I do.  Pure and utter JOY.  My soul is fed by what I do.  How many people can say that?  I've often thought a lot about switching careers to something that would provide my family with a better standard of living.  Then I spend an hour with these babies that I am BLESSED to take care of and I know I'm right where I should be.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Zoo (no not the one I live in)


It's been an incredibly busy week at work. No time for blogging. Friday evening finished out the week with a 10 1/2 work day so the goal last night was to treat my girls to a fun evening. That meant the World's Largest Halloween Party at the Louisville Zoo. Of course we got a late start but the girls were thrilled to find out that trick or treating could last until 9:30. That's right ladies and gents, 2 1/2 hours of trick or treating at the zoo after a 10+ hour work day. Geez. It was incredibly crowded but we had so much fun! Here's a little peek:

 


Momma and Abigail
Caroline with attitude
Brigid as a Spanish dancer.  Some days there are no words to describe this young lady.  I'll let the picture do the talking. 

That's it in a nutshell.  My week.

Monday, October 10, 2011

I'm stuck.

That seems to be a pretty defined issue I have in my life.  Getting stuck.  Sunday's assignment for Bible study was the Book of Ruth and Samuel 1 and 2.  I can't seem to get through Samuel.  I've read the same few verses over and over again.  I suppose this is why Bible study is an ongoing thing.  It has to be to continue to understand and get the word of God.  I'm impatient and don't like to be stuck.  This has been a struggle.  Last night after Bible study I felt somewhat drained.  I think it is because the Old Testament is a build up to Jesus.  Lots of foreshadowing.  Lots of drama.  Lots of negativity with people having made really bad decisions like ignoring God's voice.  I try really hard not to ignore his voice but let's be honest.  We all ignore God at one point or another.  No matter how hard we try to listen.  Maybe in getting stuck in Samuel I am somehow trying to ignore God.  That's why it's been so hard to get through that part.  I'm facing my own ignorance.  That's a hard pill to swallow.

I've spent this weekend getting stuck in my past.  It was my 25th high school reunion.  I got to spend my evening having people have no idea who I was.  I was a dork in high school.  I may have mentioned that.  I lived with parents who really seemed to prefer that I not date, go out, or otherwise have a social life.  I'm working hard not to raise my children that way.  School is much more than an academic setting.  It's a social setting.  So if my girls want to do something friend-related, I'm all for it.   Instead of being my usual outgoing self on Saturday I reverted back to that shy, quiet, meek girl who felt intimidated by everyone one around me.  I'm mad at myself for feeling that way.  I was stuck. 

Here I am.  A big floral nightmare.  Why didn't I bring my social self Saturday night?  Why did I feel so intimidated??  Maybe it's the extra 75 lbs I'm carrying.  (Notice the artfully cropped photo.)  Or maybe it's because I never felt on the same level with these wonderful ladies.  Saturday night just made me feel that way all over again.  Stuck.  When am I ever going to put away the old memories of my former self and move on?

 How do I unstick myself?

Closing my eyes and listening with my HEART to God is what I need to do.  And fast. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

There goes my illusion of perfection...

No I don't have it all together.  I'm not the perfect person.  I just play one on TV.

I took the wrong kid to a therapy appointment today.  I thought I had Abby's name on the calendar.  It turns out it was supposed to be Megan.  Crap.  I was 20 minutes late to the appointment to start with because I worked late.  The morning started out bumpy at work.  I was told I was blunt.  Me?  Blunt?  Could be.  It's a trait I have developed over time from holding my opinions to long.  I spent a lot of years being a meek little mouse.  No more.  Divorce will do that to you.  So will the loss of your Mom, Dad, Sister, sanity, and dignity.  I've had to spend a lot of time fighting for myself and fighting for my kiddos. 

Blunt?  You betcha.  Thanks for the compliment.

My lovely neighbors offered to watch the other 3 kiddos so I could take Abby uninterrupted.  We get there and I discover it should have been Megan.  What a dumbass.  Me, I mean.  After lots of confusion and running around on the therapist's end, she met with us.  Fast forward to about 6:30 and Abby and I run to Target to look for a white button down shirt for Megan that I learn only yesterday she needs for her choir concert tomorrow evening.  And black pants.  Target had ONE shirt in a 6X.  So tomorrow afternoon after work I have to look for a shirt.

Double crap.

My neighbors fed my girls.  And me.  :)

We get home and then Millie and the Millers take over.  Oh you know them.  Those are the children who take over my house when I ask my girls to get ready for bed, school, church.  My girls MILL.  They mill instead of moving.  They mill in the living room, they mill in the micro-kitchen.  No one gets anything done.  Except for milling.  Which is usually followed by fighting.  Between Abby and Megan.  Tonight I told them to have at it.  When you are done killing each other let me know.  That stopped the fighting on Abby's end.  Not on Megan's.  Let's just say Megan is grounded from outside play until Sunday.

And I mean it.

 I think I like Millie Miller waaayyyy better than Muhammad Ali. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A+

Ok.  I might brag a little.  This single parent of 4 children, who works full-time and gets about 4 days a month to herself, has a child who can do this:

Advanced program.  Math/science/technology magnet program.  Wow.  I think this is fantastic and I am so proud of Megan!  Way to go Megadoo!!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Adoption Day

HAPPY ADOPTION DAY MEGAN!!  Woo hoo!!!!!


10 years ago today the judge said Megan was ours forever.  She was already ours in our hearts. 

No it wasn't this day:
This picture is me holding Megan for the first time.  That look on my face is me crying such tears of joy and relief.  Not bad gas.  Megan was 1 day old.  We didn't even know about her on the day she was born.  Imagine Megan was on this planet for a whole day before we knew she existed.

No, Adoption Day is the day that we went to court.  Megan was 14 months old.  I still remember that little bald baby running around the courtroom while my parents took videos and the bailiff played with Megan while the judge did her judging business.  There was such a sense of relief after that day.  I knew Megan couldn't be taken away after that.

I feel so Blessed that I am Megan's Mom.  Even when she is beating the crap out of her sisters and sassing me.  I wouldn't change a thing.  Not one thing.  I love that kid.

I often think of Megan's BirthMother and hopes that she knows how grateful we are to have her in our lives.  I don't really care the reason that she chose to place Megan.  It doesn't matter to me.  I just know that because of her choices I got to be a Mom.  For that I will always hold a special place in my heart for her. 

Always.




Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sunday

Another beautiful Bible study with Jeremiah and Cassie!  I feel such peace when I get together with them and talk about God.  Such peace.  It's like all the worries of my life disappear for 2 hours while we study the word of God.  My life, my week, comes together at that time.  It's amazing how the one thing, theme I am struggling with gets answered in 2 hours on Sunday evening.  My gratitude (there it is again!) will never be fully expressed in how thankful I am for Jeremiah and Cassie!!

I had a surprise visit from Liz today.  She is the daughter of Brigid's Godparents.  When I heard the doorbell ring I knew it was the girls coming back early.  Imagine my surprise when I opened the door to see Liz!  We had a lovely visit where I found out she is engaged!!  Woohoo!!  Congrats Liz and John!!!  Fantastic!!!  And amazingly what did Liz bring me???  A cookbook called Dining on a Dime!!  Now how perfect is that????  Do you see how things come together?? 

Tonight we read Exodus 20- The Ten Commandments.  We read Exodus 20:17  "You shall not covet your neighbor's house.  You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male or female slave, nor his ox or ass, nor anything else that belongs to him."  This was in conjunction with Judges 21:25  "In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what he thought best."  This has been my struggle this summer.  In Bible terms I have been coveting.  I see others' vacations, fabulous houses, dinners out, etc. and I covetted.  And I was doing what I thought was best.   But I have to realize that God will provide.  That I need to be grateful for what God has provided for me.  Isn't this amazing?  My whole internal struggle, the reason I left Facebook, was discussed tonight during our Bible Study.  Then look, Liz brings me a cookbook to handle my reduction in food stamps.  God is telling me not to worry, not to look for help in this world.  He will provide.  He provided through Jeremiah and Cassie.  He provided through Liz tonight. 

I can't begin to tell you how personal this evening was for me.  I just hope Jeremiah, Cassie, and Liz know how grateful I am for them.

God is good.

It SUX not having health insurance

Yep.  I work for a small business where they absolutely cannot afford to offer us health insurance.  I know they would if they could.  I choose to work here because it's a great place to work and they absolutely do not bat an eye when I need off for anything going on with my kids.  There aren't many places willing to be that flexible with me.  So the trade off is I don't have health insurance.  The girls are covered through their Dad and state health insurance.  I broke my ankle.  Now I'm in a scramble to find a specialist willing to work with me.  The closest I have found is someone who wants $120 up front for me to be seen.  After that I apply for financial aid through Jewish Hospital.  Sounds great right?  Only I don't have $120.  I don't have $20.  So tomorrow I will begin the process of finding someone else who will see me. 

Since I've always been so honest with you guys I'll offer up the newest fact I found out today.  My food stamps were cut by over $100 a month.  I get to feed my family on $338 a month.  No that's not a typo.  I worked a ton of extra hours over the summer, hours I will not be able to work during the school year.  So not only will I not be making as much money but  the food stamps were cut.  So now my family will starve for only have a month.  It's going to be a Ramen soup kind of eating from now on.  Looks like the second job hunt will begin in earnest.  Well not until this damn ankle heals.  Shit.


That's the end of meals like this.
I'm trying really hard to find my gratitude here.  This makes it difficult.  I suppose the fact that I will now become really creative in what I serve my kids is a positive.  I won't be able to buy any junk food so my waistline will be happy.  I'll be dropping lots of weight because I will be STARVING.  I will become really good at using coupons.  That's a positive.  There's some gratitude in that. 

The ankle gratitude?  Not so much.  Anyone want to throw out some ideas?  

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Tired, a recurring theme at Chez Harrigan

I am always tired.  In speaking with a co-worker yesterday, who is an adorable 18 year old, she mentioned that she was tired from studying at U of L.  I pointed out that once you have kids you will ALWAYS be that tired.  I don't know what it means to be well rested.  I don't think my girls know either.
  






Man there are a LOT of sleeping pics of my kids.  I don't know if it's that they are just so adorable when they are asleep or if it's because they are always tired.
Caroline gets a lot of photo coverage.  That's her on the laundry basket, with the ladybug pillow, and curled up in a ball next to the couch.  I finally got her paperwork sent in to the Weiskopf Center at the University of Louisville for Asperger's testing.  I told the ex today and he was upset.  Even though we've discussed this before.  I pointed out that with his ADD and my OCD it would be pretty hard to create children without some initials.  This is where I might also interject that I am grateful I am divorced.

Most of my photos also involve my couches.  The next time I move I'm renting a house with one big bedroom.  So the girls can all sleep together.  No one wants to sleep in their beautiful bedrooms.  The girls do a lot of plotting to figure out who will sleep with who and where the sleeping will take place.  Drives me insane. 

This last picture is one of my favorites.  They are sleeping on the floor in my micro-kitchen.  That night we had several tornado warnings.  The kitchen is our innermost room. 

These girls can sleep anywhere.  Which goes back to my original point.  We are always tired.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Yep.

This is what happens what fat people exercise:


I've been walking with my neighbor/co-worker every evening after work.  We started maybe a month and a half ago.  About 3 weeks ago while walking with Cassie I felt a strange pop/burning sensation.  The next day my right ankle was swollen.  I walked on that thing for 3 WEEKS limping and feeling a lot of popping and burning.  My foot continued to swell.  Wednesday after work, while getting out of my van, I stepped wrong on that same foot and knew something was wrong.  Still I went to work yesterday.  By last night I couldn't stand the pain and swelling anymore.  So I loaded up 4 girls and off we went to the ER.  Since I don't have health insurance and could not get into the health clinic, I have learned that the ER has to treat you.  Since I don't make a lot, I usually get some sort of financial aid to cover the bill.  4 different x-rays of that ankle came back with the diagnosis.  Broken.  I've been walking on a broken foot for 3 weeks.  Geez.  So now I look fabulous in my crutches and splint. 

You know how I've always described a definition of hell?  Grocery shopping with 4 children.  I have a new definition of hell.  Grocery shopping with kids while driving one of those electric carts.  I ran over Abby's foot.  I almost ran over Brigid.  Words cannot describe what it was like.  Let's just say that I would rather have a root canal.  Without Novocaine. 

I'm supposed to stay completely off that foot.  No weight-baring at all.  So I went to work today and walked on it all day.  I'm too big for crutches.  Now I get to go to my 25th high school reunion with my foot in a splint/cast and on crutches.  There goes the heels. 

Think I could wear my tennis shoe with my dress?



Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ways I Feel Rich

I'm going to the U of L football game on Saturday with Laura!  Woohoo!!  I'm so excited!!!  Laura is the incredibly beautiful person I sorta knew in high school.  You see, I was a nerd.  Ok, well I still AM.  But back then I was a quiet nerd who never spoke my mind for fear of what others would think.  I'm past that.  :)  Laura was in a group I never could hang with back then.   She used to model.  That kind of beautiful.  I still feel intimidated in her presence.  We connected through FB when I was getting a group of friends together to go see Sex and The City 2.  Laura was looking for some women to hang with so here we are today.  We are also going to be each other's dates for our 25th (!) reunion next Saturday.  Her husband isn't able to go and I of course do not have a date.  So in two weekends I get to get in some serious adult time.  I'm so excited!  I might have said that already.

I have some AMAZING friends.  Both IRL and a lot not IRL.  How could I not feel rich?  I don't ever feel like I say enough how thankful I am for everything they have done for me and more importantly, for my girls.  GRATITUDE ladies and gentlemen.  Earth shaking gratitude.  I love my life.

Oh and I might add that Abby cut her hair today.  Not sure where the gratitude is in that.  Thankful she knows how to use scissors?

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Seven Dwarfs of Depression, or you dress how you feel.

  You dress how you feel, you feel how you dress.  Kinda like the chicken or the egg thing.

Sometime after I  got my job at SMCDC I stopped wearing makeup.  No one else really wore it there.  I wore nursing scrubs everyday (that's our uniform) and just didn't feel like make-up went with the job.  Really only 3 year olds were going to see me all day and they didn't care if I wore antlers and polkadots, as long as I provided fun activities to do.  Yet I started to notice that I was starting to feel like I was dressing.  Schlumpy.  Frumpy.  Dumpy. Lumpy, Bumpy. Clumpy.  And Pitiful.

You know, the seven dwarfs of depression.  I dressed the way I felt.  And I felt the way I dressed.


That's me.  Frumpy Bunny.

 Fast forward to this summer and my boss's husband deciding that we should wear make-up and dress up a bit.  At first I was furious.  Are you actually saying I look like hell?!?!  How dare you!  And then it started to sink in and I was hurt.  Are you actually saying I look like hell? 

I've been released from wearing scrubs.  I get to wear normal clothes in keeping with my position, assistant manager.  Every morning I've gotten up, put makeup on, and dressed in nice clothes.  I'm excited at night to pick out nice clothes for the morning.  My children are so excited that they have told everyone they know that Momma now gets to dress fancy.  They pointed out that now I can come to school stuff in the evening and look nice.  I'm thinking they may have been embarrassed by how I was looking. 

Here's the amazing thing.  I'm starting to feel just a bit better about myself.  I'm still fat.  But I feel better.  I feel just a bit more excited about going to work everyday.  I'm hoping it shows at work.  I'm hoping my kids are seeing the importance of looking neat and tidy.  I hope to now start dressing like I feel.  And feeling like I'm dressed.

Now to find an outfit for my 25th high school reunion.  Anyone have something I can borrow that makes me look 60 lbs lighter? 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

So

I notice that when I type out most of my blog entries I start with the word so.  I often do it so that when you read this you feel like you are dropping right in the middle of my conversations.  I do this IRL too. 

So let me tell you my story.  See?  So here's what happened...

I'm not going to do that tonight.  Tomorrow maybe.

I started a Bible study with Jeremiah and Cassie.  I explained to them awhile back that I felt like I didn't really know the Bible.  In fact, I am intimidated by it.  I don't feel Holy enough to read it.  Mainly because I can't get my Father's voice out of my head when I start to read it.  He was an atheist you know.  He knew the Bible inside and out and loved to point out all the inconsistencies he said was in there.  I may have mentioned on here before that he said it was a good thing Jesus didn't hang himself or we would all be doing the sign of the noose.  I think right before my Dad died he may have had a change of heart.  I think he was hoping he would see my Mom again.

My faith journey has been one of may questions with very few answers.  The RCIA I attended at St. Louis Bertrand consisted of elderly people, very nice people, sitting in the basement of the parish hall for 2 hours on a Monday night overwhelming me with church doctrine.  Not the best way to learn the Bible for someone who was taught to view it with sarcasm.

Jeremiah offered to teach me the Bible from the basics.  Tonight he even had outlines!  I asked the smallest of questions.  Like "What do the numbers mean next to each group of sentences?"  Basic but when no one has ever told me, it was confusing!  Now I feel a renewed sense of purpose for reading the Bible.  I'm starting to understand it.  For me that is huge!!! 

It's still overwhelming for me but I am excited at the beginning.  I'm noticing little signs from everywhere.  Megan is obsessed with the movie Soul Surfer.  That's the story of Bethany Hamilton, the surfer who lost an arm in a shark attack.  AT one point she says she can't figure out how something this awful could be part of God's plan.  Today we were looking at clips on youtube about Bethany.  Several clips of her interviews always talk about God's plan for her.  Tonight while reading the Bible with Jeremiah, we talked about God's plan:

Jeremiah 29:11  For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

This verse has come up in my life so many times.  Did you know that when I made our adoption portfolio I placed this verse in the very front of it?  Why does this verse often come up at what appears to be random times?  I feel like this verse keeps filtering in my life at the times I am looking for my gratitude.  Living a life of gratitude is a powerful thing.  Even Sheryl Crow has a line in Soka Up the Sun that the girls and I heard on the radio coming back from church.  (By the way, the priest even spoke of gratitude today.)  The line is:

I don't have digital, 
I don't have diddley squat
It's not having what you want
It's wanting what you've got

Ok so it's not the deepest way to put it.  But it makes a point.  I'm kinda feeling like God is waving every single flag he has at me to pay attention.  So I'm paying attention.  (yep, just used so again)

In other less deep news...

I turned into the Mean Mom of the Year yesterday.  I'm fed up with the mess.  I can't take it.  And  anytime I struggle with my depression, my house shows it.  So yesterday we started at 9 a.m. and did not finish until 4:30 p.m.  We stopped for to eat lunch and a trip to Kroger.  The shrieking that was heard from my open windows were the sounds of children who were not happy.  I felt like I should have gone to my neighbors to apologize for all the noise.  But I was not letting up. Everytime someone wandered off for downstairs I made them come back up. That's when the shrieking usually occurred. It was nice to sit down at dinner and talk about how good we all felt that the upstairs was clean enough to show off to their friends. Of course today the downstairs is a disaster but that's ok. There's always next weekend.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Say Yes to the Dress

It's Friday night.  I'm doing my usual.  I have four kids passed out on the floor downstairs.  Actually only three.  Number four is in my bed.  It's something I don't let happen very often but Brigid has had a rough way to go this week.  Friday nights in this house mean sleeping on the living room floor and watching the wedding marathon on TLC.  I love weddings.  I love everything about weddings.  The dress, the music, the floors, the reception, the promise and the hope that is represented by a wedding.  Everything.  I loved getting married.  I loved the excitement.  I LOVED my dress.

I'm pretty sure I tried this dress on almost everyday before the wedding.  I love my Mom here too.  That red dress looked amazing on her!!

I've been single for over 6 years.  There have been a few guys I dated.  One of whom I had fallen in love with.  Yet here I am today on a Friday night watching a wedding marathon and wishing it were me who was getting married.  I want the excitement of getting married again.   I want to feel that love.  I want to be in love with someone.  I want someone to love me. 

I'm very proud of being on my own.  I'm making it work.  My girls are growing up realizing that they each are responsible for taking care of themselves and making themselves happy.


No partner can save us, deliver us or give meaning to our lives. The source of our salvation, deliverance and meaning is within us. - Marianne Williamson
 
This doesn't mean that I don't want to find someone.  I've been on match.com over the last 6 years without much luck.  I suppose on paper that I am not the most desirable person out there.  I'm chunky, I have 4 kids, I'm not Cameron Diaz.  I imagine we five ladies would be a lot to handle!
 
So I'll continue to have my Friday evening wedding fantasies.  But if any of you know a single wealthy, kindhearted man, please send him my way.  I'll even invite you to the wedding. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bandage

I cut my finger tonight.  Only I don't have any idea how I did that.  I was doing laundry, helping with homework, and trying on clothes for work tomorrow.  Brigid had the thermometer in her mouth and came to show me the temp she had.  Megan was home sick today with a temp and headache and Brigid was goofing around with the thermometer hoping she had a temp so she could sleep with me tonight.  Brigid was very whiny this evening with lots of tears.  I just attributed that to her field trip today where her class went canoeing.  So she comes in and asks what the numbers 99.9 mean.  Crap.  I took her temp again a second time to make sure she hadn't tried to make the thermometer go up higher.  When I reached for the thermometer that was when I realized I had cut the crap out of my finger.  I was bleeding everywhere.  I have absolutely no idea how I did it either.  Then I realized that I didn't have any bandages either.  (man I'm using the word realize a lot tonight).  I went to Cassie's again to borrow a bandage.

 I keep forgetting to buy those.

That made me think that I've been using a lot of bandages lately to fix things.  Financially, mentally, in work, friendships.  Instead of working hard to correct the issues I am having and letting things heal, I have been using a lot of bandages.  I'm starting to rip them off.  One at a time.  I'm starting with my faith.  Jeremiah, Cassie's husband, is going to lead me through a bible study for the next 8 weeks or so.  I'm excited about it.  And Jeremiah is excited about it.  Back in the summer when I was really struggling I sent in an email and a phone call to the Baptist Seminary for more info.  Amazingly in the last week I finished that life changing book, I set up a bible study, I've gotten a phone call from the seminary, and an email.  Do you think God is leading me somewhere?  I kinda feel that way.  So I'm going to quiet my negativity and let God lead me.  It feels good.

My job is changing too.  My boss and her husband have some really fantastic changes planned for our school.  Changes that have me really excited.  Changes that have me feeling like we are at the beginning of something amazing.  I get to start by leaving the scrubs behind.  I now get to dress professionally.  I never realized just how bad I was treating myself when I was hiding behind my scrubs.  I stopped wearing make-up.  I showered, dressed and left for work.  Now I'm taking the time to get myself ready with make-up, doing my hair, wearing jewelry.  It feels really good to take care of myself again.  There goes another bandage off.

I'm going to keep ripping them off.  One by one.  Until I am healed.  I've got a long way to go.  But I'm excited about the journey.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

underwhelmed.

Yesterday was an underwhelming day.  It started with Megan and I getting out late to catch her bus.  The bus driver has been super late 4 days in a row.  Yesterday he was early.  Megan was upset with me because I didn't rush her straight to school.  I have to be to work at 7 a.m.  I cook breakfast for all those preschoolers.  Yep 7 1/2 years in school and a Master's degree and I stand in the kitchen at 7 a.m. to cook breakfast for 30-40 kids.  My boss depends on me to get to work in a reasonable on-time fashion.  So I loaded up 4 kids and off we went.  Megan was not a happy camper.  We get to about 8:30 and she is fit to be tied.  I'm talking to the big boss in the kitchen and Megan kept opening the door to ask if we could leave.  I realize she is a kid and doesn't often understand that you have to respond to the person who signs your paycheck.  At 8:45 it was time to leave.  Megan was so mad because I wouldn't take her first and then her sisters to school.  As I was explaining that I wasn't going to make 3 other kids late just so she would be even later than late, she told me to shut up.  Whe I asked what did you say, her response was, "You heard me I told you to shut up." 

Needless to say Megan was grounded for that one.

Pretty good day at work after that lovely display.  We get home after work and Megan is mad because I won't let her go out and play.  So began the evening of keeping Megan inside.  We all hadn't had hair cuts since before school let out in the Spring.  I saw that the hair design place on Bardstown Rd. has $5 haircuts.  So I loaded up 4 grouchy kids in the car and off we went.  Only they don't give haircuts on Friday afternoons. Shit.  We went into Taco Bell next door and for $6 I fed my kids a dinner I did not have to cook or clean-up.

After we came home I called Ali.  She told me about $5 haircuts at SuperCuts.  I then loaded up (again) 4 grouchy, dirty kids and off we went.  Now we all look like we got $5 haircuts from the hair design school.  They are not good cuts.  But the ladies who cut the girls' hair were so amazingly friendly and nice, I didn't have the heart to say anything about our bad hair cuts.  I could have cut the girls hair and it might have looked better.  The girls are happy with their cuts nonetheless.

I might also add that during this whole evening I had to deal with screaming, crying, rude, disprectful young ladies who were not happy about having been dragged out of the house twice in one evening to try and get haircuts.  I couldn't do it on Saturday as the girls are with their Dad.  There was name calling, and pushing, and general painintheassness going around.

I rented Soul Surfer for the girls to watch when it got dark.  The movie came from Red Box and had scratches all over it so we had to watch a movie that kept sticking and skipping.  That only added to the grouchiness.  I popped two bags of popcorn.  Towards the end of the movie Megan and Abigail started to physically fight and in the process the big bowl of popcorn ended up all over the floor. 

That was the final straw for me.  I sent everyone up to bed and all I wanted to shout was:

"I had a religious epiphany yesterday!!  Don't you know my life should be different today?"

After what I went through on Thursday I just assumed, hoped, that I would wake upon Friday morning and things would be different.  My life would be instantly recognizable to anyone who knows me that somehow my life was different.  Maybe I thought I should win the lottery.  Or my boss would give me a raise.  Or Prince Harry (damn he is yummy) would somehow swoop in and make my life feel better.  It was a let down.  I was underwhelmed by it all.

So today I am going to continue to go about my life the only way I know.

"You just put one foot in front of the other and soon you'll be walking out the door."

That's the only way I know how.  I'll just get up everyday.  Keep going.  One foot in front of the other.

Or I just may take a nap.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Careful this could be long and you will think I'm nuts if you are a skeptical person.

This started at 3 a.m. this morning.  I woke up with two bad dreams.  It's amazing the clarity you get at 3 a.m.  You wake up and it's just complete and utter clearness about what needs to be done and feelings you have.  I had a new sense of calm and gratitude in my life.  I finally feel like myself again.

Fast forward to this morning and driving to work.  It was dark, cloudy, and rainy.  Yet I still felt at peace.  I make breakfast, deal with kids, the craziness of my work environment.  I take my girls to school, come back to work, and continue on with the day.  Then all of a sudden out of nowhere the sky clears and it is a beautiful, crisp, Fall morning.  Amazing.  Here's where I make my analogy.  It was like my Faith, my Peace was coming out of a long, dark, rainy morning and had become a beautiful, crisp, Fall morning.  I've weathered the storm, so to speak.  (cliche I realize but it does fit.)

Fast forward to leaving for my boobie appointment.  As I leave, I drop by the Carriage House because Cassie asked me to come.  She handed me a beautiful pink Bible!  And yes I will be using the word beautiful throught this post tonight.  I love that word.  It was a gift for my journey of Faith.  She prayed with me and off I went.  I had a marvelous discussion with God on the drive to the Brown Cancer Center.  It went something like this:

"Ok God.  Here it is.  I need you to make sure this cyst is nothing.  I can't be taken away from my girls.  I am all they have.  You know the situation they would be in without me.  So you have to make sure I am ok."

Probably not the Holiest of prayers but c'mon.   I wasn't raised to pray.

I get to the Cancer Center and continue reading this book Cassie gave me.  It's called The Same Kind of Different as Me.  I've mentioned it here before.  It's the story of two men brought together by a woman of unbelievable Faith.  Denver is a black man raised in modern day slavery as a sharecropper's kid in Louisiana.  He was homeless for 30 years.  Drugs, alcohol, crime, and jail.  What a hard road to travel.  Ron and his wife Deborah are wealthy people of Faith.  Ron is an art dealer.  His wife says that God has been talking to her and wants her to help the homeless.  She convinces her husband to help.  Her amazing journey as a Godly person is detailed throughout this book.  She says that God told her husband to befriend Denver.  They begin to forge an unlikely friendship. 

So I'm reading the story in the lobby and begin the part about Deborah dying from cancer.  I'm choking up in the lobby.  I'm thinking oh please don't let anyone see me crying.  They'll think I have cancer and that's why I'm upset.  Stupid, I know.  All through out my journey at the Cancer Center I'm reading the rather lengthy time this poor woman is dying and how her Faith and the Faith of those around her are being affirmed.  I finally get to the part where she dies and is buried at the exact moment the doctor comes in and tells me everything is fine and I can come back in  months to keep an eye on things. 

Here's where I'm making the stretch:  Her Faith journey comes to end as I find out I'm living.  My worry has been put to death.  My dark days of no Faith are over and buried in the ground.   If you don't believe that God sends messages everywhere than this should prove He does.  My whole Faith journey in the last few weeks can mirrored in this book!!

I scoffed (man I've been wanting to use that word here lately.  As in, 'He scoffed at the notion that there were no chips to go with his fish.')  at the idea of reading this book.  I like Cassie.  I respect her and her husband's Faith.  But I did not want to read any sort of Christian literature.  I thought it would be all Holy and crap.  Seeing as how I do respect and have come to love this couple, I started reading the book.  I'm glad I did.

Right before Deborah dies, Denver tells Ron that Earthly chains are holding Deborah here when all she wants to do is return home to God.  Denver goes into her room by himself and tells Deborah (who is in a coma),  "It's ok Miss Debbie to leave.  I will continue your ministry in helping the homeless and helping others find their Faith."  Not too long after, Deborah dies. 

After the appointment, I drive to the Dirty Kroger.  Man it is dirty too.  On the way there I was mulling over what Denver said and was trying to figure out how I could help the homeless.  As if I am even in a position to help anyone who is homeless.  I'm like one paycheck away from being homeless myself.  I kept thinking about why I don't have these spiritual epiphanies like othees seem to do.  I'm mulling, thinking, talking out loud when it hits me like mack truck.  (And what is a mack truck BTW??  Why isn't it a johnny truck, or alex truck, or carson truck?)   I BELIEVE.  I BELIEVE like the intensity of thousands suns in a thousand solar systems.  I belive.  And Denver kept his promise to Deborah.  He had reached the Faithless in this world (ME) by telling his journey.  Deborah had a direct line from God though her through Denver.

Isn't God amazing!!!!!

I found my Gratitude

I woke up at 3 a.m. with two very vivid dreams.  One about my Mom and one about my niece, Ana.  The first thing I did (well after going potty,  I did carry triplets and the ol' bladder ain't what she used to be), was to email my niece and apologize for being so wrapped up in my own misery that I have neglected her. 

Then a funny thing happened.  I found my gratitude.  I started typing my gratitude list last night with the idea that there had to be SOMETHING I was grateful for. The first line comes from this book Cassie gave me to read, Same Kind of Different as Me.   A homeless alcholic was grateful that he woke up everyday so that made him happy.  After spending about 15 minutes I realize that I have soooooo much to be grateful for!  It might not be the level that someone who makes a million dollars a year and lives in a spectacular life kind of grateful.  But it is MY grateful.

Facebook has this new thing where it shows you your status update from a year ago.  Here's mine:

Kristina Jorgensen Harrigan
Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone... to bring you flowers."- Veronica A. Shoffstall Amen to that!!
 
How fitting that I see this at 3 a.m.  If you don't believe that God doesn't show you things in his own time then this should prove it.  I had two bad dreams.  I wake up to find that statement right there.  At 3 a.m.  Did I mention that already?  Why on earth would anyone just randomly wake up and see that very statement that I have been struggling with for weeks???  Why now? 
 
Because God has a plan for all of us!!!!  "The will of God will never lead you where the Grace of God can't keep you." 
 
Yes!!!!
 
I have more Grace than most people!  How else could I survive??  Because the Grace of God is with me.  Everyday!  Every second of every day.
 
Thank you God for your amazing Blessings.  For my children.  I mean really.  How lucky can one person get in a lifetime??  I struggled for YEARS and prayed every second for God to give me a child.  And what did he do?  He gave me FOUR! 
 
God is good. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Today was one of those days where I'm pretty sure God was just smacking me around.  Seriously.  What a horrible day.  I could drone on endlessly with a long list of the crap going on but I won't.  Because, really, it's just more of the same.   I keep being told that God has a plan for me.  I just want God's plan to include some really good luck too.  So instead of boring my dear readers with a long list of shit,  I'm going to post the positives today:

I woke up.
I had clean underwear.
I made a good lunch in preschool today.
I ate said lunch.
I had gas in my car.
I made stir fry tofu for dinner (ok according to my kids though this isn't a positive).
My children were ALL up and ready this morning on time.
All 4 kids got homework done, agendas signed, backpacks by the front door, and clothes picked out for picture day tomorrow.
I walked with Cassie on our evening exercise walk.
I have air conditioning.
I have utilities.
I'm using free internet.
My jamas were clean.
I have lunch packed for tomorrow.
My cats love me.
I love my cats.
My girls had friends to play with today.
I did the dishes tonight after dinner.
I have a meal ready to go in the crockpot tomorrow.
I'll have dinner ready when we get home tomorrow afternoon.
I get to get my haircut and so do my girls.
I visited with friends. 
I have a great book I'm reading.
Megan let Brigid sleep with her this evening and helped her pick out an outfit for school tomorrow.
My boss and I had a great laugh today.
I LOVE MY CHILDREN.
God has given me another day in which to spend with my children.
Ali.
Diet Dr. Pepper (well actually it's Diet Dr. K)
I have my wits about me.  Mostly.

You know when I started typing this list I felt bad.  After seeing everything on this list, things aren't as bad as I think they are.  I am really Blessed!


And while you are at it, I am requesting a selfish prayer.  Tomorrow's my appointment to have my boobies poked with a needle.  Well actually only one boobie.  And it's lots of needles.  May my boobies be on your mind all day tomorrow.  :)