Thursday, July 18, 2013

Losing my religion.

Until about an hour ago, the only reference I'd ever heard to a "God's Eye" was on my favorite episode of Family Guy - the one with "Bitch Stewie". 

I stopped in at Hobby Lobby today (I'd been there once before, but only for about 3 minutes in the floral section). I knew the company had some sort of religious focus and they close on Sundays to allow their employees time for worship with their families. I did NOT know that they sold so many religious-themed crafts. 

Summer crafts were 80% off, so I looked for a few things I thought my Mad Hatter might enjoy - avoiding those of the variety that said things like "I Love Jesus!", which were in abundance.  One little treasure was a kit that makes 4 God's Eyes, and at $.60 I definitely wasn't leaving without it! 

MH's friend came over play, and I convinced them that we just HAD to try  making them. I was so excited! What's not to love about popsicle sticks and variegated yarn?!?

For a crafter, I must be incredibly challenged because I couldn't understand the instructions to the point that I had to find a tutorial on YouTube (thank God's Eye for the digital age). As the young boy in the video was showing his mad skillz and I tried to keep up, the mom started narrating about how they make these at VBS (?), you can make smaller ones for Christmas tree ornaments, something about "four points". In a sudden flash a light bulb went on!

I looked at the picture again, and what did I see? Wow, it looked very similar to a cross with yarn wrapped around it! And THAT's when this Jewish girl realized why she has no recollection of EVER making one growing up - even throughout years of (Jewish) camp!

So, I'm still not convinced that I got it right - it looks kind of lopsided - BUT, if you're in need of a new ornament this year, it's free to the first bidder. The only thing is, you're going to have to figure out how the make the loop for hanging it, because I GIVE UP!

Those sweet little girls? They abandoned me ages ago for far more exciting activities. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

At least I'm a good snuggler.

You know those days you just know are gonna be one of those days? 

Unfortunately, no one sent me the memo about today. 

I woke up in horrible pain, but many days that's the norm, so it is what it is. 

I somehow proceeded to burn pre-cooked bacon in the microwave, in the process breaking the first plate I've ever broken. In 12 years of marriage. I know, many people are already onto a new set of flatware, but mine? I LOVE it. Have never even gotten so much as a chip. And now? I can only have 11 of you for dinner. I no longer have 12 perfect settings. Of course it had to be a dinner plate and not a saucer, which never gets used anyway. 

While the bacon was burning, I was somehow messing up my famous (according to the Mad Hatter)  scrambled eggs with cheese. I still don't know what I did wrong, only that as I was running around the house throwing on workout clothes and packing snacks for camp, that pile of eggs was not getting any smaller. 

"What's wrong with the eggs honey?" 
"Nothing, mommy. I'm just kinda full."
"But you haven't eaten a thing. Is something bothering you?"
"No. (pause) They just taste kind of weird."

Translation: I'm convinced since you burnt PRE-COOKED bacon you have also become completely inept at scrambling a couple of eggs

The next few minutes were a combination of me offering her other breakfast options while she said she was fine, me silently berated myself (and my husband for buying a new kind of cooked bacon that takes less cooking time), and me continuing to rush around throwing random snacks in her lunch bag while insisting that she had to eat something. We settled on a granola bar. Some days you just have to go with it and be glad snack time is in an hour. 

My smashing start managed to make us 5 minutes late for camp, and when we arrived, the door was locked (bonus points for keeping my kid extra safe all day, but today it would have been great if you could have held off until 9:06). We had to be let in by someone in the other part of the building, and by this point I  know that MH is mortified in general, but especially that on this particular day, I happen to be her mommy. I could tell she actually thought she was in trouble for being late, even though the teacher warmly welcomed her and assured her they'd just started - definitely not my goal for an awesome week (okay, at this point day) at art camp. 

I'm sure she was fine a minute after I left, but me? Total hot mess. Without much hope for changing that, as we're going for 101 degrees today. And I'm sitting here in the car blogging from my iPhone before I step into the already oppressive heat for this morning's walk. 

Right before I left, I gave her a huge hug and whispered in her ear how sorry I was for a not-so-great morning, and that I wanted her to have a great day. 

She squeezed me back, and in the most serious and sweet little voice said "We all have bad days Mommy. I think maybe you're just tired. And you did a great job at one thing this morning - snuggling!"

Well, at least there's that. Now someone, please wish me luck for the rest of the day - snuggle time doesn't happen again for at least 10 hours. 

Monday, July 15, 2013


It's hard for me to believe that tomorrow will be exactly 3 months since my lumbar fusion. 

The time has flown, and there have been so many stages. Unlike my 2 previous back surgeries, my recovery has been going well. Don't get me wrong, I have good days and not so great ones, and I'm a long way from full recovery, but I'm feeling more than optimistic about what my future holds. 

I'm currently in the rehabilitation phase.  In fact, I have dedicated this summer specifically to spending the majority of my time working on rehab. I started physical therapy a few weeks ago, and while it is HARD work, there have been no surprises. I'm waking up muscles that haven't been worked in ages. There has definitely been an increase in pain, but I can easily distinguish between muscle soreness (good) and true back pain (not so good). I try my best to listen to my body and treat it with kindness. 

In addition to working on a variety of core-strengthening exercises and stretching, I walk daily. This is probably one of the most important things I can do to help promote healing. 

After my morning walk, I tend to snap a pic of myself for my Instagram account - I like the accountability it makes me feel, and it feels great to share my progress with others! It also feels great to look at my album and see tangible proof of my commitment. 

I am not a hat person. Outside of a floppy sun hat, I own just one baseball cap. It's a Life Is Good hat I picked up ages ago before a vacation to Florida, and the front is simple: a flower and the word "grow". 

One day last week as I was uploading this pic, it occurred to me how appropriate my one and only hat is. 


I'm a silver linings person - I tend to need to find some good in any less than positive situation. In that moment, it hit me. This was my 3rd back surgery in less than 6 years. Life doesn't get much harder (at least in my own experience) than healing from major back surgery. 

BUT. You can feel sorry for yourself and wallow in your pain, or commit yourself to doing everything in your power to gain your life back - to build a new and better one than before! I will not lie and say I don't have days where I feel down - I am human. However, overall, I choose the latter. 

I have chosen to grow. I consider my current state ground zero. Only I can build the me I want to be, and this is my clean slate with which to do it. A blank page in the story of the new life I'm choosing for myself: commitment to daily exercise, losing weight, making drastic changes to my nutrition. Adding in more exercise as I am able. These things will not only make me feel better and more energetic, therefore making me a better mom and wife - they will make a better ME. 

I know I will never be pain free, but if continually working on my growth can help keep it at a manageable level and allow me to live the life I feel I've been missing out on living, I will take it. 

So? I think I'll stick to my one hat. Every time I put it on, it's a reminder that I'm a work in progress. There are many hills and valleys on the road to recovery, but we are NEVER too old to grow.