Happy New Year!

I am happy to see 2012 go. It was a year with a lot of struggle for us and I think we are all happy to see it go. Regardless of the multiple surgeries and health crap we had to deal with, as always we are reminded how lucky we are to have each other. We are ringing in 2013 together, as a family, watching movies, eating snacks and once the kids pass out hopefully Jason & I will get to enjoy a drink together!

I hope however you are ringing in the new year you are safe, healthy and happy! May 2013 be better to you than 2012.

Happy New Year from my family to yours.... xo

2012 Montage from Jana Krausfeldt on Vimeo.

Kids Kill Self-Esteem

Today I was running errands with Joey and decided to stop into a new boutique clothing store in town. I have had several people tell me about this new store and the mom of one of Joey's friends was wearing the cutest leggings recently and when I asked her where she got them, she told me they came from this new store.

I had been meaning to get in there, but haven't had the chance.  I happened to be passing by today so I decided to drag Joey in. It did not disappoint and had really cute stuff. It only took me a few minutes to find the cute leggings. I dragged Joey into the dressing area so I could try them on. They are really cute pants, but they have long front pockets that extend onto the upper thigh area. Let's just say this is not my slimmest area so when I put the pants on I felt like they really accentuated my thighs instead of flattering them. It doesn't help that I haven't been allowed to work out the last 3 weeks after my second hernia surgery and you add in the Christmas cookies I have been devouring and well, my thighs aren't at their best.

Joey asked me if I liked them and I said I didn't think they looked good on me. He just looked flatly at me and said, "yeah, I wish you were skinny. William's mom (the one who has these pants, of course) is skinny and I wish you were skinny like her."

Ummmmm. Awesome. Perhaps this child doesn't realize that I am the one that GAVE HIM LIFE. But, whatever, he wants a skinny mom. I couldn't even reply I was so shocked.

Fast forward three hours later, just after lunch as I am getting Joey ready to snuggle down for a nap when this conversation takes place.

When you die and go to heaven will I get a new mom?

No, I am your only mom and I am not dying, babe.

Well, I know but maybe I could get a new mom and you could just be my step-mom?

What? No! Why would you want a new mom? That hurts my feelings Joey.

I mean I don't want a new mom all the time. I just sometimes want William's mom to be my mom. 

Williams mom is busy with William. You are stuck with me, now go to bed.

Aren't kids awesome?



P.S. William's mom....It's ON...you and your skinny thighs!

No Words

I have been doing what everyone else in America has been doing since Friday, watching the news for any new details about the Sandy Hook shootings and asking why? That is the question that people across the country are losing sleep trying to answer. Why would someone do this? Why at a school and why of all people, children? Since the shooter took the easy way out, we will never get a real answer.

There are no words to even describe what happened and even if the gunman was here, I am certain no explanation he could give would answer that question in a way that would satisfy our anger. I can't stop thinking about the children, the teachers and faculty, and now the families and friends left to deal with the loss of them.

My son is in first grade. I can not help but torture myself with the thoughts of what if. What if this happened in our school? We have learned it can happen anywhere, in any town. The horror of the what would've been if the same thing happened in my town, in our school, to my son. It instantly makes me overcome with sickness. The thought of scared children and teachers hiding in closets and bathrooms. The fear they must have felt as they were approached by a scary stranger with weapons that were like nothing they could ever imagine. It is almost unbearable to imagine, but perhaps we need to. It seems just when you think you are safe, that nothing like this could happen in your school, to your child, it does.

This has brought out a million opinions about what should be different, who is to blame (we need someone to blame) and what needs to be done to "fix" what is wrong with our country. I am just not sure there is one solution as much as there is a need for several things to be fixed.

The first issue that comes up is gun control. Of course, you get people who are outraged and want better gun-control. In their minds, if our gun laws were different, this never would've happened. This is a touchy subject. I understand people want the right to own guns. I understand people enjoy hunting and target shooting. I also understand people want to legally be able to have a weapon in their home to keep them safe.

I am not one of these people. I don't own guns, nor do I have a desire to. I don't feel a gun will make me safer in my home. I would live in the fear that my gun would be found by one of my children or their friends and someone would get hurt. Yes, I know you can lock your guns in a safe, like most people I know who have guns used for hunting do, but if I own a gun for the purpose of keeping me safe, I am not sure how the gun safe makes sense. Am I going to go unlock my gun from the gun safe as the intruder (or whoever) is in my house? It doesn't make sense to me. There would be better odds of one of my children getting their hands on that gun than there is of an intruder coming into my home and me even needing the gun. That is how I feel about guns for protection.

The owner of the guns used in the shootings was the gunman's mother. How safe did they keep her? Instead, her son took her guns and killed her, with her own guns, before heading to the school to kill an additional 26 innocent people. Without the use of her guns, this story would be a whole lot different.

I appreciate people's rights to own a weapon, but I don't think more guns is going to solve this problem. Perhaps stronger gun laws would, I don't think it would hurt. I would also like to think that responsible people who want to own guns for hobbies, etc would welcome these stricter gun laws because they would want people to be safe and responsible. I understand guns don't kill people, people do. I also understand that guns make it a lot easier for people to do. Adam Lanza wouldn't have gotten very far without those guns.

Mental health is also a huge topic of conversation. The thought is if these mentally ill people had access to help, they wouldn't go crazy and kill people. Perhaps. I can say from experience, getting a family member help for being mentally ill is incredibly difficult. There are more people struggling from mental illness than there are places to help them. This is a problem.

One thing we also have to consider is are we just assuming all the people who commit these crimes are crazy? The CT shooter had no police record and was not being treated for any sort of mental illness. He was described as "very intelligent, although quite and a little strange." Does that make him legally insane? Or, do we just assume that anyone who does something like this must be insane, because otherwise they would just be evil and that is hard to imagine. We don't want to consider the fact that the guy might have just been a fucked up maniac. We want him to be insane so it is easier to stomach the idea of him. Mental illness is a very real problem and perhaps the shooter was mentally ill, but there is a chance he wasn't. We can't automatically let him off the hook by assuming he was crazy.

Then there is religion. There are people who believe that the problem isn't with the guns or mental illness but rather the fact that God is not allowed in public schools. This one really stumps me. I didn't know God wasn't allowed anywhere. I thought God, and a persons faith more specifically, was always with them. Our faith is in our hearts and souls and no one can take that away from a person. I am not sure how it would've mattered if prayer was allowed in school because at the end of the day, you need to believe in God and that prayer in order for you to live by it. My guess would be someone who is sick (mentally or otherwise) enough to kill an entire classroom of small children wouldn't have changed his mind because of God. I am not sure how someone who kills children can even believe there is a God. I can also assure you there was plenty of prayers being said in Sandy Hook on Friday morning. Faith is in you and you pray whenever you need / want to. It doesn't matter where you are.

I am feeling anxious to bring my kids to school tomorrow. I know in my head that our schools have strong safety measures to try and prevent a situation like this from ever happening. They have intruder drills and my kids both know where to go and hide and what to do in case, God forbid, someone ever get into their school. In my heart, I want them to be home with me, where I can see that they are safe and where I feel in control of what happens to them. Yet tomorrow morning they will go to school and I will kiss and hug them goodbye like all the parents did to those 20 kids last week. I will say a prayer and hope that we can find an answer to the question why and that we, as a country, can find a solution so this never happens again.

I will continue to keep the people of Sandy Hook in my thoughts and prayers and to the 20 little angels and the 6 heroes that left this world too soon, I wish them peace.

Going Through the Big D

You know what sucks? Divorce. I am saying that with no first-hand experience in divorce so I can only imagine people that actually go through a divorce would describe it in a way worse than sucks.

It is pretty horrible to hear about anyone divorcing, well, maybe not when one person is abusing the other and such, but in general it is not happy news to hear. I don't think anyone walks down the proverbial aisle of marriage thinking they will get divorced. If they do, then they probably have bigger problems than their upcoming divorce.

No, really, when the man or woman of your dreams proposes to you and you plan a wedding there is never the thought that the actual marriage will not be as great as the wedding they are happily planning. You are thinking dresses, flowers and honeymoons..not the actual hard work the marriage will be. It is not easy to live with someone day in and day out and get along all of the time. I believe marriage is hard work for every married couple.

Divorce is about as common as marriage these days, sadly. Everyone knows someone that has been divorced. My parents are divorced, my in-laws are divorced, and two of my sisters have also been divorced. They all have their own reasons why their marriages didn't work, some of which I am aware of and some of which I don't think anyone is aware of but the actual couple involved.

When my parents got divorced I was devastated. No child, no matter what their age (I was in college) wants to see their parents relationship end. It was hard on our family and since my sisters and I were adults, we weren't shielded from all the horribleness a divorce is. It hurt and it was hard to watch.

I felt deeply sad for my sisters when they divorced. They both had kids and I felt sad for their children more than I felt the loss of their marriage, like I did my parents. I knew in my heart it was the best thing for my sisters, but already having been the kid in the situation, I felt for my nephews and niece.

It didn't take long after Jason and I were married for our first set of friends to announce they were divorcing. I hate to say it, but it was a shock to no one. We saw the divorce coming miles away and were actually relieved to see the couple separate (they had no children) and get on with their lives. It was hard because we were friends with both of them, but in the end, we remained friends with the person who was the better friend to us. We didn't really choose one over the other, the other person made the choice for us.

I recently learned another one of our couple friends are divorcing and I am totally thrown by it. It wasn't anything I saw coming, ever. I can't stop thinking about them, and their kids, as they try and get through the divorce process as cordially as two people can who have decided to divorce. We are friends with both of them and hate to see them go through this. I keep running their relationship (the parts I knew) over and over in my head trying to see if I missed any signs, what went wrong, and so on. I can only imagine if I am making myself this crazy thinking about it, this must be destroying them.

It is only natural that I am keeping in touch more with the woman in the situation and I am sure Jay will continue to stay in touch with the guy, we love them both. But.....but since I know how much my friend is hurting right now, I want to hate him. I want to call him and tell him he is making the biggest mistake of his life. I want to remind him he has kids who will forever be changed by his actions. I want him to wake up tomorrow and realize his marriage is worth saving.

But....I can't. The truth is it's not my battle to fight and I don't know the first thing about their marriage. I don't know what went wrong and what could have been done to save it.

I only know my marriage. I only know why I continue to fight the good fight to keep my marriage happy. It is easy to compare my relationship to other peoples, especially friends that live similar lives to me, but no marriage is created equal.

I am heart-broken for my friends and wish them peace and happiness in the future. I also hope that the rest of my friends going through a tough time or a rough spot in their marriage are able to put the hard work in and make it out the other side, together. There is no shame in fighting through it, as I am a firm believer that all good things are worth fighting for.

Thankful

I will admit that this year has given me a lot of things I have not been thankful for. It has been a trying year for us as a family, at times, and I am happy to see it coming to an end.

But in the spirit of Thanksgiving and the fact that I need a reminder of just how fortunate I am, I will focus on what I am thankful for on this eve of Thanksgiving Day.

I am thankful for my boys. I honestly don't know who I would be if I couldn't be their Mom and I don't know what I would do if I didn't have them to challenge me each day. I am thankful for their smiles, goodnight hugs and stories. I am thankful for their health, and even when Joey's health isn't always the greatest, I know it could be a whole lot worse for us. They are my greatest blessing.



I am thankful for my family, which includes not only my parents and mother-in-law, but sisters, sister-in-laws and my brother-in-law. I am blessed with nephews and a niece that I have adored being an aunt to. This also includes aunts, uncles and cousins. My family is big and loud, sometimes annoying, and I love every minute of it. I love spending time with them whether it is just hanging around my Mom's with my sisters, up north camping with my Dad or vacationing with Jason's family. The laughs and love are endless.





I am thankful we have found a place to help my father-in-law. He needs more help than we can offer and I am so relieved and thankful that we found the program we did to help us find a safe place for him to live. No one wants to see their parent ill, and mentally ill is no better. I am so thankful for the help of the people at his facility.

I am thankful for my health. It hasn't been the greatest year for me between the dog bite and the hernia and I just learned I will need a second hernia surgery next week. But despite all that, I am thankful I am active, I am strong and I am healthy. I have done a lot for my health this past year including lowering my incredibly high cholesterol into normal range with diet and exercise alone. I am so thankful I have my health.

I am thankful for my incredible group of friends. I have people I can call anytime and I know they would be there for me. They are trustworthy, honest, and so much fun to be with. Every girl should be as lucky as I am to have such amazing friends.

I am thankful for my sweet Sugar britches. She is a royal pain in my ass and she is still a bit of a pee sprinkler, but this beautiful pup will smother you with love and kisses. She is naughty, but she couldn't be sweeter.


I am thankful for my job. I love what I do and I am thankful I am challenged at work and also allowed the flexibility to be able to be home with my kids. If there is one thing people can't take advantage of these days it is having a job. I am blessed to have a good job with generous, kind bosses.

Above all else, I am thankful for my husband. I know it sounds all cliche, but truly I would not make it a single day in this world without him walking next to me. He makes me happier than I even knew I could be. Our family is blessed because of him. He puts up with me way more than anyone would and for his constant love and support I will forever be thankful.



Whatever it is you are thankful for this year, I wish you and your families the best.

Happy Thanksgiving!




Political Opinion Pushers

I hate election years. I hate the signs flanking the highways and the ones littering yards. I hate, in fact despise, the calls to my home, often during the dinner hour or just when I finally sit down to watch my DVR'd shows. If there is one piece of advice I would offer a politician it would be to STOP CALLING PEOPLE'S HOUSES! No one really likes political phone calls.

I don't talk politics. I don't usually share who I vote for and I will not argue with you about which candidate I feel is "best" or "right" for the job. That is not to say I don't have my opinions, I do, but I don't feel the need to shove my personal political opinions down your throat.

So with that, I am begging you, yes you know who you are, to stop doing that very thing to others. You have the right to your opinion, yes. You have the right to support one candidate over another, yes. The thing political opinion pushers (that's my new name for these people) don't realize is that there are two sides to every story and no single person is ever right every. single. time. So while you support your candidate whole heartedly, you also have to be open-minded enough to actually hear what the other person is saying. You need to try and understand all points of view, not just one point because it is Republican or Democrat. You still have the right to your opinion and you still have the right to support one guy over the other. But you really don't have the right to be an ignorant ass, or a political opinion pusher.

Sometimes you just need to agree to disagree.

I don't argue about policies when I don't know all the accurate details. I do know that a woman's rights are a huge concern for me, as a woman. I support Planned Parenthood because it offers women affordable healthcare. If you are a man and feel like women's rights are not a big concern to you, shame on you. You had a mother, a grandmother, aunt, sister or daughter. If you also believe that a deficit that has more decimal places than I can count is just going to go away without cutting spending or raising taxes, you are not as intelligent as I give you credit for. The list of policies and plans that are promised to be made is a lengthy one. It is easy to promise things when you don't actually have any intention of following through with.

The truth is at the end of this election one person will get the incredibly difficult job of running this country. A lot of people will be disappointed that "their" candidate didn't win. That is the thing about races, there is only one winner. I can guarantee you one thing, complaining about it for the next 4 years (like so many have for the past 4) will not change a thing. You also need to realize that you have never been President of the United States, therefore you have no f'ing clue how difficult the job is. You don't get to criticize something you have never done.

So instead of the constant Facebook statuses bashing one guy or the other or instead of making references like Obuma or Mittens, why don't you take that opportunity to actually tell people why you support the guy you do? 95% of people spend all their time complaining about and bashing the opposing candidate. Did it ever occur to you that you could actually share positive things about the candidate you actually DO support? Have you never heard the phrase that even bad press is good press? Instead you make arguments about policies you don't know everything about (the truth is so far removed from elections that it is almost impossible to know what is true and what isn't) and you sound ignorant. When I hear you talk like this, or post something on Twitter or Facebook that is completely ignorant, I judge you. I don't want to, but you leave me no choice.

I have a political opinion. I have a candidate I want to win. I don't expect you, or ask you, to agree with me. I respect your opinion and you should respect mine.


3 Girls and a Million Memories

It is hit or miss when you live with someone. It could be a happy ever after story with BFF's galore or it could be all wash your dishes, bitch. You just never know. If you are one of the lucky ones, like I was, it was both.

My last several years of college were spent living with two of the most amazing girls. Through those years, a lot of drinks, several boys, a ton of laughs and some occasional tears we made a million memories. Some of them are remembering just how often we wanted to kill one another and so many of them are just remembering us being together, sharing everything, talking on the kitchen floor until we had nothing left to say. They were some of the best years of my life.

Since that time, we have moved to different cities, gotten married and managed to have some of the cutest kiddos out there. Our lives are busy, so much so that it will be months between conversations sometimes and was years before we had all seen each other. It is sad that it takes us years to find the time to get together, but I am certain after our past weekend together that will no longer be the case.



It was as if we never left one another. We couldn't stop laughing and the talking was almost exhausting. After all these years, they are still my BFF's. They just know me and I them, we don't need to make excuses or offer explanations for our thoughts and feelings. They just truly get me and I haven't had such a relaxing time in a long time.

Galena was gorgeous this time of year and we were lucky enough to see the hot air balloons launching each morning outside our patio and the trees changing colors almost looked fake, because nothing that beautiful could be real.



We relaxed at the spa, we shopped and ate (I have never seen three girls more excited about a caramel apple in all my life) and went horseback riding. But mostly, we just laid around, had a few drinks (or a bottle of wine!) and talked. We may be older and falling apart a little here and there, but somehow we managed to be back in college again, if only it was for just a weekend.


Roommate Trip: Galena 2012

For the Love of All Things Holy....

If you only ever take one piece of advice from me, let it be this: DO NOT EVER HAVE HERNIA SURGERY! 

No, really, for the love of all things holy, don't do it. It was supposed to be an all easy peasy no big deal kind of procedure, which I could see might be true IF YOU WERE THE GUY HOLDING THE SCALPEL.

Truth is, there is nothing easy about this. It sucks in a big way. Now, I know I am going to hear from all of you with your c-sections, ectopic pregnancies and tubal ligation's. I get it, those sucked too, I'm not saying they didn't. What I am saying is, I was not, in any way, prepared for the amount of pain I am in after having my very small, teeny tiny, umbilical hernia repaired.

I have never been more thankful of a vaginal delivery in all of my life.

I can't move anything, it seems, without being in pain. Who knew your abdominal muscles were attached to your legs? I can't even stretch them without it hurting. I can't sit or lay comfortably and I am not really sleeping because I am a fetal-position side-sleeper and there is no way these muscles are letting me lay on my side. There is no sneezing or nose-blowing allowed (which is super convenient given the status of my seasonal allergies) and laughing is out of the question. I can't even talk about the thought of pooping...I am doing shots of Miralax and praying to the sweet baby Jesus that when it happens I don't pass out.

My mom and Jason have literally been caring for me like I am an invalid, rotating ice-packs in and out of the freezer, fetching me drinks and Vicodin and preparing me peanut butter toast. Jason has had to help me in and out of bed all week and he even had to help me get in the shower yesterday. I have reached all new lows.

The thing about this, quick little no big deal procedure, is that I am not a wuss. I have had plenty of surgeries and can handle my fair share of discomfort. But this? This pain in my gut that aches no matter what I do, even breathing hurts, has exhausted me.

I found out a few months ago that I had this little umbilical hernia because I would have a sharp pain occasionally when moving a certain way or when carrying something heavy. It would quickly go away and I would forget all about it.  The doctor explained that I probably got the hernia when I was pregnant with Joey, that kid is destined to kill me, I swear, and that I needed to have it fixed because some intestine or bowel or important organ could get stuck in the little hole and strangulate. If that happened, it was very serious and emergency surgery would be needed to save whatever important part of me got stuck in the hole.

Knowing what I know now, I say, who needs intestines or bowels anyway! I would just roll the dice and wait to see if something got stuck in the hole or not, it could be a fun little game. Because this recovery? Not fun! I was in ZERO pain when I walked in to the hospital on Monday morning and I was wheeled out miserable. It has been 4 days and I am hoping today will be the day I can walk actually standing up-right instead of hunched over like a troll. It's good to have goals.

So, yeah, things are less than pleasant around here right now and getting the call from Jack's school yesterday afternoon that he was in the nurses office not feeling good didn't add to the fun. Thankfully my Mom could run over and pick him up. He said he had a tummy ache and was tired, truthfully Jason and I were wondering if he was just trying to get out of school. He took a long nap only to wake up barfing his little guts out so I think that confirms we are a-hole parents for thinking he was faking and also, horrible pain and a barfing child? I am super lucky! (Again, thank God for my Mom handling him and all his pukieness.)

After a mini-puke fest Jack seems to be better today and the rest of us are all praying he kept his germs to himself (it only took 7 days of First Grade to bring home that bug) so the rest of us don't get it. As it turns out I am guessing puking would be more painful than laughing. I am hoping to not find out. In the meantime, I'll be on the couch and remember if anyone suggests hernia surgery to you, JUST SAY NO!

Goals

When you are always working on improving anything in your life, it is important to have goals. I have all sorts of personal goals for myself in addition to my professional goals at work. I am obviously overly optimistic when setting goals for myself and there have been plenty of times I fell short of meeting my goals.

I can tell you as happy and shiny and new setting fresh goals can make you feel, not meeting them feels extremely disappointing. Failure tastes like shit.

If there is anything disappointment has taught me it is to expect less. Less expectations automatically means less disappointment. I prefer happy and shiny.

Then I added fitness goals to my list of goals. I have always tried to be active and fit (except for the period in college where all I did was drink a whole lot and eat pizza and Egg McMuffins.) Since all that though, I have been working on being healthy.

This past year I started working with a trainer who is also a nutritionist. I am held accountable by her and by the fact that she makes me weigh in every week with her. We track my weight as I go up and down on the scale. I have the workout thing down, but my diet is a work in progress. She has been crucial in meeting my goals, not only my weight goals, but also pushing me in my workouts. She also helped me tweak my diet enough that I was able to lower my crazy high cholesterol with no medication.

When we started meeting with each other she told me in order for her to work with me I needed to do two running workouts each week. She gave me written workouts that went week by week and I was to follow them. Only problem, I couldn't run a mile without walking at some point.

She encouraged me and we took it a week at a time. My goal was to run, some reasonable distance (more than 1 mile and less than say, a half marathon) without dying. So I ran. I hated it, but each week I did her running workouts at least twice per week, sometimes more. I was slow, but soon enough I could run 1 mile and before long I could run several miles.

I never thought I could be a person who runs, and although I don't really love it,  (the runner's high people talk about is lost on me) I can do it. I am slow, but I run between 9-12 miles each week, not day, week....let's not get ahead of ourselves!

Then I started TRX and could hardly get through class. It was painful, sometimes embarrassing and incredibly challenging. I had to push myself to do things I never thought I could do. I set a new goal for myself, I wanted to do boy push-ups. Again, slowly but surely I worked on them and as of today I can not only do boy push-ups, I can even do a few with my feet suspended in the TRX straps.

Fulfilling those goals inspired me to continue finding small, attainable goals for myself. It feels good to have something to work towards and stays in the back of my head when I need to push through a hellish workout.

My next goal, do a pull-up. Yes, I would love to do more than a single pull-up, but I am also trying to set a goal I can actually accomplish. Just saying it out loud scares me because pull-ups are hard, really, really hard. I know some pretty fit people and they even struggle with this exercise.

It will not be an easy goal to meet and since I just turned 35, I am well aware that I may be 40 before I can do one, if I ever can. This goal is pretty far out of reach for me. It will be a ton of work to check this one off the list.

I may fail, but I will not quit trying.

Cravings

Did you ever have an unsettling feeling that you just can't shake? I am stuck in a rut and wanting things to change. I'm just not feeling optimistic enough to make the changes.

I am craving routine, but don't want to feel restless and bored.
I am craving consistency.

I just want to feel passionate about something and right now I kind of feel nothing.

I am craving changes I am just not sure will ever happen. It feels like no matter how many positive thoughts I send out, I am still being swallowed by the negative ones.

I am craving closeness and family. I am surrounded but have never felt more disconnected.

I am wanting nothing more than to be in shape and eating healthy when instead I find myself feeling tired, making unhealthy choices. I am craving to feel good in my own skin.

I feel like I am being smothered by all that needs to get done and although I am always on the go, I am accomplishing nothing.

I am craving to do something better than half-assed. Parenting, marriage, friendships, work, myself...when I split time between all of these I am just half-assing all of them. I am craving to be better at managing my time.

Most of all, I think I am tired of feeling disappointed. It is so easy to feel disappointed instead of actually changing the way you react to certain situations. I am craving reassurance and comfort.

I am craving a happy place.





Itchy, Sneezy and as always, Wheezey

It's that time of year again and the fall allergy season is already upon us. It seems as though Joey has no real good season though. Spring sucks with trees blooming and grass growing and summer is hard because it is hot and humid and then fall hits and, well, that sucks too. I feel like winter is the only time we get any break from his allergy triggers but then we are constantly fighting colds & flus - the worst triggers of them all.

I guess my point is, it is hard for my kid to live comfortably. I hate that he gets very little respite from the itching, sneezing and constant wheezing his asthma and allergies cause him.

I understand it could be worse, way worse, and that lots of kids have allergies that are more severe than Joey's. I am also aware that his asthma could be worse and that we are so fortunate to have incredible doctors to help Joey stay as healthy as possible. I hate to complain, because he never really does, but I can't help it. The kid got a raw deal. He can't be a regular 4 year old and I fear he never will be able to do everything he wants to do, that he should be able to do, the same things other kids his age do with no problems at all. It makes me angry, frustrated and incredibly sad.

We just completed our usual round of allergy skin testing last week. I went into the appointment hoping his results would be better than the last time we tested and that ideally we would be able to challenge his peanut allergy. I shouldn't have gotten my hopes up. As soon as he was stuck, being brave as he always is, the welts started appearing. He sat there for15 minutes twitching with a back full of hives trying not to itch. I have had this type of testing so I know first hand it isn't pleasant. He listens to me when I explain why he can't scratch, even though I know he wants nothing more than to roll around like a monkey, and he waits patiently for the nurse to come apply the Benadryl. The doctor came in to measure the welts and to inform me that he's still testing highly allergic to trees, cats, grass, pollen, molds, and the list goes on and on. I think there were only one or two things he didn't get hives from. I felt like I had been kicked in the gut.

They then stuck him with the peanut test, set the timer for 15 minutes and sat with us while we watched and waited. Within a minute his back was swelling and after 7 minutes the doctor decided he needed to stop the test and apply the Benadryl. He wasn't feeling optimistic about the peanut challenge but said we needed to do a blood test to check his peanut (all nuts, really) levels before we could say for sure.

I then explain to Joey he needs yet another stick and that they need to draw blood. He is scared but he's done it before and he is trying hard to be so brave. He cries as I tell him he has to sit real still and I bribe him with a reward of ice-cream if he's a good boy.

The doctor called a few days later to tell me the not-so-good news, his peanut and tree nut levels had increased since his last blood test. His allergy was becoming more severe instead of getting better. I was hoping that he would grow out of this allergy, like he did his prior egg allergy. I was told it was not safe to challenge nuts at this time and that we need to continue to avoid all peanut and tree nut products. I was heartbroken for Joey, who just that morning had asked when he would be able to try peanut butter.

Joey usually does all that I ask of him in terms of his medical treatment, as he generally does for all his doctors. It may take a lot of explaining and often bribery, but he does it. He is just 4 years old and he sits still for blood tests, skin tests, a CT scan, nebulizer treatment after treatment, oxygen masks, a scope of his sinuses, pulse ox tests, blood pressure cuffs, peak flow tests and IV's. He is an incredibly strong, brave child. It is because of all of this, all of these things that we constantly put him through, that I am scared of what his doctors are suggesting we try next. Allergy shots.

I know allergy shots are proven to work and there are so many studies that show how beneficial they can be. I know they have been shown to lessen symptoms therefore reducing the amount of medication patients need. This all sounds so incredible to me, I hate that Joey has to take so many medications each day, except for the shot part.

He is just 4 years old and now I am supposed to try and make him understand why he needs to go through more hurt?

Most doctors don't start allergy shots on children under 5 years old. Joey's doctors think we need to start the shots on him sooner than later due to the severity of his asthma and how the allergies trigger it. It is one thing to be itchy and sneezy but a totally different ball game when the allergies cause you not to breathe. They are suggesting two shots per week for 6 months and then two shots per month for 3 to 5 years. Yes, years. I am just not sure I can put my kid through more hell, on purpose.

When he can't breath, the things we put him through are necessary. They help him breath, they keep him alive. These shots, although proven to be beneficial, are still optional. Will it be worth torturing him every week at this young of an age when I know he won't understand how this will eventually help him?

I can't help but feel like a terrible Mom. I hate having to be the one to constantly ask him to do things that hurt him instead of just being the one to comfort him. I want nothing more than for him to be healthy, to feel good and to run and play with his friends without wheezing. I am just afraid that adding more trauma, which I think these shots will be for awhile, will only make things more difficult for us when we need him to cooperate with things that are not optional when he can't breathe.

When is it the right time to put my sweet faced boy through more? I already ask so much.


The Fog of Summer

I have been living in a fog of summer. It is a glorious, hot, sticky fog made of sunscreen, sand, good books and record high temperatures. Chicago has literally felt like it is on fire this last month. I like hot weather and even I am feeling the effects of the heat.

We have been busy with weekend trips, full on vacations, lazy days at the pool, work, summer camps for the boys and trying to keep up with our regular daily life stuff. Laundry and grocery shopping are the official buzz kill to my summer.

We started with several trips up north camping at my Dad's, chased that right into Jason & I away for a long weekend in Kentucky for our annual Adults Gone Wild trip and came home for a few days before heading to Michigan for our family vacation on the beach. We will make another trip up north this weekend before finishing our summer tour with a weekend trip for Jay & I to Green Lake, WI for more adult fun.

Summer is exhausting. I am tired of the packing and unpacking, but love the time we have had away both alone and as a family.

 The Girls at Adults Gone Wild

The whole Adults Gone Wild gang.

 Dune Buggy Ride

 Big Red



 A beautiful Southwest Michigan sunset.


I have been enjoying all the trips but have been completely slacking in my diet and exercise. I am only working out about half as much as I normally do, which basically means I have only been wearing clothes that don't button. I can feel myself getting soft, and round, which isn't good when it is 100 degrees out. Parts of my body are starting to stick together that shouldn't. 

It is a good thing this summer is rapidly coming to a close because I need to get back on track before I become the Mom that has to wear sweatpants to school drop off because my pants don't fit. This is a real threat at this point....and I just ate a pop tart, so ya know, I am totally taking this diet thing seriously. 

In other unrelated news, I am still dealing with the healing of the dog bite (which has also not helped with my exercise plans) and I have also scheduled a surgery to have my newly discovered umbilical hernia fixed at the end of the month. Apparently being pregnant with Joey destroyed multiple parts of me...and my boobs thought they were the only ones ruined! That kid has been shit-wrecking since the womb.  Fun times! Up next, my birthday (I am turning 30, again) and back to school.

Please excuse me while I go eat away enjoy the rest of my summer! 

We Interrupt This Blog for....Porn!

It has been awhile, too long, really and I have missed being here. You know, writing about mostly nothing. It makes me feel better. So where was I? Oh yeah, the dog bite.

The dog bite is still (almost 5 weeks later) a huge pain in my ass leg. It is not healing as well and not nearly as fast as I would like it to. Several doctors visits, ooze cultures (yes, that is a real thing), another round of antibiotics and a CT scan later and it is official....my leg has one hell of a wound.

It is still swollen and the muscles and nerves have been torn and yada, yada, yada. I want my freaking summer back! It has been a total buzz kill on the fun summer type things I generally get to do, but it is slowly but surely getting better. I refused another round of antibiotics because, well, honestly 20 days does enough bad things to your body. So I wait and figure it will heal one of these days.

In order to distract me from the bite from hell I started reading the Fifty Shades of Grey series. Obviously there is no better way to make oneself feel better than by reading ridiculous porn. Yes, I know it is called Erotica, but who the hell are they trying to fool? The author is not Madonna and the books are straight up written porn.

The books are amazing in the way that you can't believe the shit you are reading or that, ohmygod I could. not. put. them. down. I was sucked in and could not bring myself to back away. I finished the last book over the weekend and am sad it is over and relieved I have my life back. It was a time consuming series.....there is a lot of sex and just reading all of it made me exhausted. All I know is Christian and Ana have stamina like no one, ever.

There were more parts of the books that were ridiculous than really believable but I still loved every word of it. If I got anything out of it, it was the ability to have several conversations with my girlfriends over the weekend using the terms nipple clamps, butt plugs, Ben Wa balls and flogger. One of us even described something as a "hard limit." It has changed us all, obviously.

So that is where I've been...happily reading my porn. My kids have been running around dirty and motherless the last couple of weeks because I just kept saying one more chapter then I'll give you a bath and so on. Jason stepped up and took one for the team so I could continue plowing through them, although I think he was hoping the books would benefit him in a way. wink, wink Poor thing didn't realize that by the time I was done with the books I was way too tired from reading about all that sex to even actually have any sex.

Other than the porn, things have been bat-shit around here. We have been up north several times and spent all last week with no power, you know when it was 103 balmy degrees out, so we were living in WI with my Mom. Joey could not even spend 5 minutes outside without wheezing due to the heat so we missed fireworks and all holiday festivities to hunker down in the AC. Then Jay and I spent the weekend in Kentucky for our annual Adults Gone Wild weekend (the porn talk was so useful) with our closest friends. It was a great trip away but when I climbed in my own bed last night it had been 11 days since I slept in it. I was happy to be home, in my bed, with power and clothes in drawers instead of suitcases.

We have a busy week before we leave for our next trip to Michigan. Yeah for summer trips, yippee for porn and well, f off to dog bites!

Once Bitten

**WARNING: This post contains nasty, graphic pictures. If you are a wuss I would skip this post!**

I never ride my bike to the gym. I sometimes jog, or walk while the boys ride their bikes, but mostly when I go to the gym I drive. My friends give me a hard time about this because I only live a few blocks away and since I am going there to exercise they don't get why I'm lazy and driving there instead of biking.

Last Wednesday I decided I would bike to the Y. I spend a little over 2 hours at the gym on Wednesdays doing my TRX and Body Combat classes. Since it is my night, yes Jason and I each get a night, and I am there so long, I don't take the kids with me. It was a beautiful night, I was kids free, I might as well be less lazy and bike, right?

As I was biking I approached a lady walking her dog. The dog was on a leash with a pronged collar. It was a decent sized dog (I think some sort of Shepard mix) and as I got closer to her I casually yell out, I'm coming up on your right. I don't want to hit you or your dog! She acknowledges me by saying okay and pulls the dog closer to her side. I start to ride around them and really swerve to almost the point of riding on the grass when just as I pass, WAM! The dog jumps out and bites my left calf.

I almost fell off the bike from the pull and as I caught myself, in shock, I looked down at my calf to see it bleeding down my leg. As I yell something like OHMYGOD! the lady simply tells me, it's okay, the dog is fine. 

This is when my mind goes all WHAT THE F...and I say, no, lady your dog is NOT okay, it just bit my leg.

Her response almost made me lose my mind. She replies, that is from your bike chain. Yes, you read that right...she thought the gouge out of the outside of my calf was from my bike chain.

I was less calm when I explained that bike chains don't generally hit the outside of your leg and also WTF kind of bike chain do you think my Huffy has? Spiked? Razor blades?


I will make an already looonnnggg story shorter by telling you that I did require a trip to the ER. That super fun time included a tetanus shot (sweet hell my arm still feels like I was hit with a baseball bat), the would irrigated and washed (OMFG!) and then three stitches through just the middle, deepest point and the cherry on top of all that was a prescription for 10 days of a strong-ass antibiotic.

The ER doctors explained that dog bites have a very high rate / risk of infection so they usually don't stitch them closed for the fear of shutting the bacteria inside causing a raging infection. Since my bite was gaping opened and just begging for additional bacteria and shit to get in it, they decided to sew it lightly up while leaving some of the middle and edges open so it could heal from the inside out.


I have had cuts, stitches...hell I have had a thumb torn off and been bitten by a Brown Recluse Spider and I was not prepared for how painful this bite would be. The actual wound burns like someone is holding a lighter to my skin ALL THE TIME. The back of my calf, where the bottom of the dogs jaw caught me is bruised deep under the skin so it is hard and hurts to touch. I am pretty much miserable on my entire left side between the leg and the tetanus shot in my left arm. I am also really tired since I usually sleep on my left side and that is absolutely out of the question right now.

It is not a good situation.

I don't want to get into much about the owner of the dog except to say it was a weird situation dealing with her and she claims her dog is vaccinated and agreed to have the dog tested for Rabies. I haven't heard from her since she watched me limp away with my bike by my side after she apologized and said, let me know if I can pay your co-pay.

Yeah. Needless to say there are insurance companies that need to be involved and lawyers have been talked to. We'll see what happens. I just hope, and pray, that this was a one-time random fluke and her dog never bites again. I also hope she keeps her dog away from children just to be on the safe side.

I adore dogs and as I've mentioned here many times, I have a Rottweiler. These dogs are big and often judged as being aggressive and mean. I have never experienced any aggressive behavior with my dogs, although Jason and I spend a lot of time training and disciplining our dog, probably more time than we spend disciplining our kids. The reason being, we know, if not trained properly, our dog could really hurt someone or worse yet kill someone. It is our responsibility to be sure our dog never reacts aggressively, NO MATTER WHAT THE SITUATION.

I can say, it would kill me, but if my dog did to someone what this dog has done to me, she would be gone. It just isn't okay.

Good thing she's sweet as Sugar!

Sugar, 15 weeks

A sleepy boy and his girl.

This story is far from over, as is my healing. I just want to be able to work out and swim with my kids and, well, walking without a limp would be super great right now too. This is a total buzz kill to the start of my summer. Needless to say I won't be biking to the gym anymore. This makes the couch look better and better!

What Never Was

When Jason and I decided we were ready to have kids it didn't take me long to get pregnant. I remember thinking there was a possibility I could be pregnant, but really couldn't believe it was actually possible, that it would happen so fast. He went out and bought me a pregnancy test and insisted I take it even though I assured him we were getting ourselves worked up for nothing. It is like an unspoken rule that people usually don't get pregnant the first month they try so the chances of me actually being pregnant were slim. I had been on birth control for years and before that day I had never had a pregnancy scare nor had I ever taken a pregnancy test.

I remember him standing outside the bathroom door as I peed on that stick. I remember the two of us waiting the few minutes that felt like hours for the results to appear. I remember telling myself not to get excited as I was freaking out inside. Jason was the one who read the results - positive.

We stood there staring at each other for a minute before the two of us held on to each other for deal life. There were tears and excitement and I remember asking him, "oh my God, now what?" The thing is even when you plan to have a baby and then make all efforts to conceive, it is still a complete shock when the test comes back positive.

That is what happens to people who are careful to NOT get pregnant for years - they can't believe what they've done when they actually do get pregnant.

I was so happy but so nervous too. I wasn't entirely sure how I felt about the whole thing and it admittedly took me a couple of days to wrap my head around the notion of a baby growing inside me. I can clearly recall Jason just being elated.

We told our immediate family and said we were not planning on sharing the news until after we heard / saw a heartbeat and were closer to 12 weeks. We had known so many people who spread the news they were pregnant and then miscarried and had to spread that news as well. I knew I didn't want any part of that.

I guess in my heart I just knew I should be nervous. I felt good and I thought that people who were newly pregnant usually didn't feel good. I had a constant worry about me. A couple of weeks after I peed on that stick, and a week after I actually became excited to have a baby, I started spotting.

I knew, in my heart, then that I would lose the baby. I remember calling my Mom in tears and her reassuring me that sometimes people spot and to just put my feet up and rest. I wanted to believe her and did what she said, knowing deep down that my baby was not going to be.

By the next morning I was bleeding so much the doctor ordered me in for a blood test and ultrasound. Just like I knew, and just like so many other women I know, I had miscarried. I sat on the exam table after the procedure to remove the tissue (a full D&C was not necessary, thankfully) sobbing and cramping. How could something I didn't even really have, or know I for sure wanted a few short weeks ago, make my heart hurt so much?

I can still hear the doctor explaining to me why miscarriages occur and that I should try and see the positive side of it, that my body was smart enough to know there was something not right genetically with the baby therefore it rejected it. That day, on that table in a gown bleeding and cramping, I could not see any good.

I grieved for that baby. The one I never really had and never knew. It changed me even for the few short weeks we were together.

I never went through another pregnancy without fear of miscarrying. I didn't feel the same excitement when taking the pregnancy tests that I did that first time, instead I felt worry. I told myself over and over for 12 weeks, please God let this one be okay and thankfully, they both were.

I still wonder about that baby, the one that could've been. I wonder if it would have been a boy or a girl or if he would've looked like me. I still think of that baby often and how my life would be different if we would not have lost it.

It was 7 years ago this month that I lost that baby...and 7 years ago next month I found out I was pregnant with Jack. Sometimes losing something that breaks your heart leaves you just enough of a hole that can be filled with something you never thought you could love so much.

Giving Thanks

One of the kids teachers mentioned to me today she thought it was a full moon. Apparently all the kids were in rare form today and she thought the full moon would explain a lot. After all isn't it full moons we blame on the crazies coming out, babies being born and werewolves?

The thing is, if I am going to start blaming the phases of the moon on my kids bad behavior that damn thing better get full and stay full. I can't have the moon making me look like a bad parent when it's not full and my kids are acting like assholes in Target.

I feel like I say this alot, like every week, but it has been a rough few days with the boys. I feel frustrated and tired. I feel like a failure at parenting and each time one of the boys screams at me, talks back to be or just blatantly disregards me I am convinced I've lost the battle. I feel like giving up.

I don't succeed at everything I try. I am not one of those people with the horseshoe up their ass that just always has things going their way. I also have never really crashed and burned at anything. Right now, today, I feel like I am burning up.

I have been trying to be firm, to follow through, to threaten them with things I will actually take away. None of it seems to be working and I am embarrassed by their behavior in public multiple times per week. Things are rough between us right now. I am screaming all of the time. They are listening never.

I have found myself wallowing in the self-pity only a Mom can feel when she comes to grips with the fact that she is doing it wrong. That she is raising boys who are often disrespectful, say poop more than any other word they know and are sometimes just plain mean. I feel discouraged and sad.

I have been brought to tears out of frustration over my kids three times in the last five days.

And then. Then I learn about a 5 month baby named Avery. Avery has Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a disease that is all too familiar to me. I learned about SMA after one of my dear friends received the diagnosis that their sweet baby girl had Type 1 SMA and would only live for a few months. She, Cameron, passed away at 4 months old. I don't think anyone that knew her will ever be the same, she touched us all and taught us so much in her short life.

My friends created a foundation to honor their daughters memory, Angel Baby Foundation. I try and help as much as I can with this organization that helps families who have a child with SMA. It provides things for these families to try and ease the burden of a disease that has no cure.

While talking with my girlfriend last night (who is one of the strongest people I am lucky enough to know) she asked me to look up Avery and offer her family the help of Angel Baby Foundation. Avery's parents created a Bucket List blog to talk about all the things they wanted to do with their daughter before she left this Earth. They wanted her to live her life, while she had it. My friends did a similar thing with their daughter. They took Cameron on walks, out in the rain, on a family vacation, etc. They lived her life to the fullest with her while she was still here with them. Avery's parents, like my friends, are inspirational in so many ways.

They have been dealt the worst hand imaginable and still, they smile, they laugh and they love.

I contacted Avery's family last night to tell them about Angel Baby and how I hoped they would contact us so we could help make one of Avery's bucket list wishes come true.

After dropping my boys off at school this morning, frustrated by our morning craziness, running late and no one listening to me, I read my facebook feed.

The first thing I saw was the news of Avery passing away last night. She was 5 months old and like the angel I knew, changed so many people.

I can not imagine, nor will I try, to understand the loss her family is feeling. I can not fathom what it will take to make them get out of bed today and face the world, the one that keeps moving forward as theirs just came to a screeching halt. I can't understand.

I woke up this morning and yelled at my kids for screwing off while brushing their teeth. Shame on me.

As crazy as today was and as frustrated as I feel, today I am grateful. I am so incredibly thankful to have these boys to make me feel like a failure. They are my life and I am so blessed to have them.

Tonight Avery's family is in my thoughts and prayers. I hope Avery finds our angel, Cameron, and they live the most wonderful life in heaven.

I will squeeze my babies a little tighter tonight and thank God for all I have.

To learn more about SMA please visit, Families of SMA

To read Avery's story and see how she lived her life to the fullest, read Avery's Bucket List

To learn more about Angel Baby Foundation or to make a donation to help a family affected by SMA, to help make prenatal testing more readily available or most importantly, to help find a cure, please visit www.angelbabyfoundation.org


Snotty Noses, Pee and Oxi-Clean, Oh My!

This week has gotten away from me. I came down with a cold that snuggled up and moved into my sinuses. Based on the way my face feels I don't think it plans on moving out anytime soon. I am hoping the Z-Pack I am chucking down will persuade the snot to hit the road. Sayonara sinus infection!

My snotty face is super generous and shared it's germiness with Jack who is now snotty-nosed with a cough and running a fever. He missed school today, which also included a Brag Night for his class. Since I am a rookie to this whole elementary school thing, I am not even sure what we missed at Brag Night but I know Jack was really disappointed he couldn't bring Jay & I to school to talk about his classroom and all the fun learning he does there (which really means he would show us his favorite toys in the play center and his favorite bug books in the reading corner.) I am really bummed we had to miss it. 

I am hoping Joey doesn't catch what we are carrying because a simple cold for him usually means around the clock nebulizer treatments. I am hoping that sinus surgery paid off and his nose and face stay clear. It is still way too soon after the whole thing for me to learn it wasn't anything but a success.

...........

Let's talk about Sugar. Sweet, sweet Sugar! Our amazingly adorable puppy who is actually some sort of fur covered pee sprinkler. Who knew that puppies could actually spray pee like some sort of faucet while you are carrying them? Not this girl. All I know is when you buy a puppy you should also get a year's worth of paper towel thrown in for free because OHMYGOD THE PEE! I know I haven't had a puppy in almost 12 years, but I have never seen anything so little carry so much freaking urine.

If you look at her and smile, she tinkles. If you talk to her in a happy voice, she really tinkles. If you yell at her for tinkling, she straight up pisses, usually on my foot/shoe. When I walk in the door and she is happy to see me, she wiggles her little apple bottom around, nubbin' wiggling, pee sprinkling everywhere! 


She is the cutest little pee-filled fur ball I have ever been peed on by. Really, we are loving her even with her razor sharp teeth and pee sprinkling!

...............

Perhaps this conversation between Jack & I should tell me something. This is a real conversation that took place during lunch yesterday - right after he spilled a big glob of yogurt on his pants.

Jack, is that yogurt on your pants? (in a frustrated, I am sick and need a nap voice.)

Mommm! It was an accident. Is it going to stain?

I don't know Jack, I need to wash it.

Well, Mom you need to get Oxi-Clean!

No, Jack, I don't need Oxi-Clean. I need a boy who sits at the table facing forward so he doesn't spill on himself.

It's like you don't even want to get the tough stains out.

Seriously? This conversation happened word for word. Is this a sign my kid watches too much TV? Also, why in the hell are there Oxi-Clean commercials on Cartoon Network and Nick Jr? I already have a mother to yell at me for doing the laundry wrong, I don't need my 6 year old critiquing me.

Regular TV programming is fired and On Demand and Netflix are going to get to take over as babysitter during my his"quiet time." Take that, Oxi-Clean.

...................

We have a busy weekend coming up with Jack's first T-Ball game (as the Marlins) on Saturday and another Flag Football game (on the Bears) on Sunday. As much as I love the sports and watching him play, I am starting to feel the pain of having my weekends revolve around kids sports.


I hope the two of us are better before his big game(s)! He needs to be feeling 100% and I need to have my cheering voice in tip top shape. He is a royal pain in my ass, but I adore watching him play. I am his biggest fan and quite the cheerleader.

Go Marlins, Go Bears, Go Away Snot!

Four Years Ago

I wonder if it is normal, or healthy, to count the anniversaries of the day you lose a loved one. It seems like it isn't, but still no matter how busy our lives are or what the day holds I still remember this day, the one four years ago anyway, when we lost him.

I remember the call and my screams Noooo. I remember begging Jason to tell me he was lying to me, playing some sort of sick practical joke on me instead. I remember the hospital room and his stillness and the feeling of complete unrealness, I know that's not a word but that is what it was, unreal. I remember trying to will him, with my mind, to wake up and talk to us. I wanted him to sit up and tell us it was a scare but not to worry because he was back. I kept staring at him, hoping and praying, dying a little inside for him to just open his eyes.

Four years ago today he left us faster and more suddenly than any one of us could have prepared for. There was no chance to make any wrongs right, to say things left unsaid or to tell him how much we loved him and how we wished he wouldn't go.

Four years ago he was just gone, taken from us forever.

I don't want to count down the weeks and then days as they approach this date every year. I don't want to remember this. I want to remember his laugh and the way he talked to my boys. I want to hear his grumbling and weird noises. I want to see him walking around the living room with his pants pulled up too high just to get a laugh out of us. I want to hear him make fun of me and call me Cheese one more time. I want him to know Jack and Joey as the big boys they are growing up to be. I want him to walk his daughter down the aisle this fall when she gets married. I want.....

I want so much I can't have back.

I know time heals, and we have in so many ways. The double edged sword is time doesn't let you forget. I have so many happy memories and then I have the final memories that are haunting. I miss him so much, not just today but most days. I miss him at the most random of moments, most pertaining to my boys. I believe he is with us in some way, no matter what we are doing.

Today was Jack's first flag football game and as I watched him lining up in his 3-point stance on the line, yelling hut, hut, hike, I missed him so much I could hardly swallow it down. It sat like a lump in my throat. He would have been Jack's biggest fan today at the game. I am sad at all he is missing in our lives.

He was a man that was larger than life when he was living. He is remembered because of that. We will miss him forever and remember him always.


Introducing Sugar

I am happy to introduce you to the newest member of the Krausfeldt family, Sugar!
She's 8 weeks old and probably one of the cutest things I have ever seen. She goes by Sugar Britches, Lil' Britches, Sugar Bear, Sugar Pie, Shuggs, or just plain Sugar. (note: she has no idea what her name is and since we seem to call her a million different things there is a good possibility she will never know her actual name.)

Sugar is a Rottweiler and will grow to be a big dog (100+ pounds.) Before anyone gets all nuts that I have a Rottweiler and start in with the oh my God, aren't those dogs mean? Won't they eat your kids? kind of questions, let me remind you that we've had this breed of dog before. No, they aren't mean or at least any meaner than any other dog could potentially be and they are actually very smart, loving and loyal dogs. I understand we aren't always the world's greatest parents, but I assure you we would not have a pet that might eat our children. Besides, Sugar is too busy trying to eat the 12 pairs of Crocs in my house to even be concerned with eating my stinky children.

We brought her home on Saturday morning and it has added to the already insane craziness that has been going on in my house. As I mentioned, Joey had surgery last week and although everything went well the recovery has been rough and he is still not feeling well. He has not been sleeping well and since Sugar's least favorite place is her crate, her cries have meant none of us are sleeping well! Joey has been thrilled to have Sugar here to snuggle with and the two of them are in a competition for who can whine the loudest. Fun times!


Puppies are like babies and I am not sure which is easier at this point. Babies have the fact that they wear diapers going for them but puppies usually come out on top because you can out them in cages and leave them! I will say I never had to leave my warm house to change / nurse a baby in the night and I have never spent so much time in my backyard as I have in the last 48 hours. If peeing were a sport, Sugar would be an Olympic pee-er. I feel like I am taking her out every 10 minutes.

I am hoping she gets used to the fact that she has no momma or siblings to snuggle with anymore and gets used to the comforts of her crate so her cries at night will become less and less. Until then, we are all sleeping with pillows over our heads, when we are sleeping at all.






The boys already adore her. I assure you this will change the minute she eats their Legos, so sometime next week. We are so happy to have her and can't wait for the fun times ahead (aka poop cleaning and dog training!)




Forever & Ever

The topic of marriage has randomly come up several times in the last few days. First, a huge shout out to my dear friend and sister from another mother, Kristie Cozzi on her engagement. I don't think I have ever been more anxious for someone to get engaged, beside myself, than her. I couldn't be happier for her and her fiance Chris.

The wedding talk started when Jason and I were talking to another couple that are really good friends of ours. We were discussing marriage, or more specifically getting married, and that was when the question was asked. Would you guys still be married if you didn't have kids? We were all laughing and joking and the mood was light-hearted, but then they (our friends) both said, rather bluntly and honestly, that they wouldn't be. They admitted if they didn't have their kids they would most likely not be married anymore. I was shocked, kinda, I mean these friends are always talking about how they dislike each other and teasing one another. I always believed they were just joking and I am guessing they still were kidding, but maybe a little bit of that was the truth coming out.

I just assumed they were making jokes about being married like 95% of married people do. The wives complain about how the husbands do nothing around the house and the husbands complain about how they never have sex or get blow jobs. This is just what married couples do.

When our friends asked us this question, I answered quickly and honestly that yes, I would want to be married, no matter what. Kids or no kids, I would want to spend the rest of my life waking up next to my husband. Forever. 

I am happily married. I love my husband. I know, that seems obvious to say but, maybe it's not. I know people stay in unhappy marriages for all sorts of reasons, kids probably topping the list, but I guess I just can't understand why. If you wouldn't want to be married to your partner without kids, why do you want to be married to them with kids? The marriage part of the relationship is somewhat separate from the family aspect, in my opinion anyway.

Then on Monday at work a few of the girls I work with were talking and one said she doesn't know anyone that really loves being married, except me. Once again the question of would you still be married if you didn't have kids came up and surprisingly all three of the ladies I was talking to said they didn't think they would. When I stated that I would, they asked me didn't I miss going out and flirting or going home with whoever? One girl actually said, "Don't you miss doing the walk of shame?" I explained to her that the reason you go to college is to do the walk of shame and truthfully, after a while aren't you kind of like, damn, I wish I had a ride?

Why is it when you are single you want a boyfriend / girlfriend more than anything and then when you get one, you want nothing more than to be single? It is the whole grass is always greener concept, when in reality if you just water your own grass, it would be green too. You get what you put in.

I can't imagine not being married to Jason. I loved college and the fun of flirting and walk of shames just like anyone else. Now I just love getting the ride home.

P.S. Tomorrow morning my sweet-faced boy goes in to have his surgery. If you could keep him in your good thoughts, we would greatly appreciate it. xoxo

Roid Rage

We have a full blown case of roid rage going on over here, again. I keep saying, poor Joey, but what I am really thinking is, poor me. It started on Sunday night with a crazy allergic reaction to who knows what, which triggered an asthma attack and out of nowhere came this horrendous cough. Because obviously one of those things alone wouldn't have been awful enough, so we better get all three to deal with at once because that will be more fun!

So, so much motherfucking fun!

We ended up in the ER at around 1a.m. and thankfully we got right in and it was slow so we didn't have any old people moaning next to us or any drunk guys screaming about having to piss in a cup for a drug test. Those were always the super fun visits.

Our local hospital is brand new and opened less than a year ago and I can say it is incredible. The ER rooms are all private, with doors!, and each has its own flat screen TV and bathroom. It is such an improvement from the old ER and now I can actually make myself take my kid there in the middle of the night.

What I don't love so much is when I get nurses or doctors, who although are incredibly kind, don't really seem to either know how to handle my kid or me as a parent. Any time an ER doctor says to you, "What do you think we should do?" You should make a mental note that this is not the best situation. I have incredible doctors for my son and it is unfortunate that sometimes his condition requires me to have to use the ER and its often less than stellar docs. I will clarify that not all of them are bad, but a few just lack what I am looking for in a doctor. Like answers and solutions and medical expertise, you know, small stuff.

I appreciate them asking me how I feel my son is doing, but let me fill you in on a little secret. If I got out of my warm bed and drove my 4 year old to the hospital in the middle of the night, it is not because I feel like he is doing okay. I thought this would have been implied by my visit, but alas it obviously was not.

So yeah, his face swelling? It normally doesn't look that way perhaps more than a shot of Benadryl should be considered. I could have done that at home. His breathing and non-stop cough? A problem. One that can (and usually does) quickly worsen being that my kid is severely asthmatic. So, yes, thank you for the nebulizer treatment of special epinephrine drug, that helped. The problem is when I ask you if I can get a prescription for that for home and you explain to me that they are only allowed to administer it in the hospital because he needs to be monitored on it and you are releasing us to go home, of course I am curious what in the sams hell you think I am going to do when he starts coughing as soon as we get back home? 

It is this question that makes you wonder whether or not you should admit him? Since it is almost 5am, my thought would be yes since he is 1) no better and 2) we are exhausted and 3) you could give him the secret neb treatment and monitor him and 4) AGAIN, HE IS NOT BETTER! But, you say you think if I just do my regular nebs at home around the f'ing clock his breathing should be okay and the cough sounds like croup (which the secret medicine was for) but follow up with you doctor to be sure and his face? Oh yeah, not sure why it is still swollen with hives. He must be having a reaction to something. WELL NO FUCKING SHIT, SMARTY PANTS!

As you can see it was a very long, incredibly frustrating evening. We left after they gave him a double dose of steroids and after following up with his "real" doctor yesterday it was determined that it was a croup cough and he still had wheezy lungs. His face was still bad but after a few more doses of antihistamine he was just itching and sneezing instead of swelled up like a plumper. His seasonal allergies are so bad and the early blooming this year along with the swings in weather (85 one day and 40 a day or two later) has made him a disaster. I am actually concerned he is going to scratch his eyeballs right out of his head.

The best part is I have surgery scheduled on April 4th for him to have some procedures done that will hopefully help him feel better. His CT scan showed chronic sinusitis meaning his sinus cavities are packed solid with infection that no antibiotic can clear (trust me, we tried 45 days worth.) This issue is also causing an increase in breathing issues, his pulmonologist believes anyway, so the plan is to do a procedure that will open up his sinus passages. They will also remove his tonsils, his adenoids (AGAIN, the damn things were removed and have grown back because they are apparently over-achieving adenoids) and they will also remove a tube that is stuck in his ear that should have fallen out by now. Yes, it is a lot to do to one 4 year old's face / head. It is going to suck bad, most likely really, really bad, but the hope is he will feel so much better once his sinuses are cleared. Poor kid has been complaining of a headache nearly every day for months.

Hopefully clearing the sinuses will also improve his asthma. They say they are all connected through some sort of pulmonary tree or something or another. All I know is they say it should work and I am praying it WILL work because he is only 4 and he doesn't need to go through this all the time. He needs to run and play without wheezing!

So we are on steroids, yet again. I think this is his 6th round of steroids this winter alone and we hardly even had a winter here! It is rough and the side effects are horrible. He brings a whole new meaning to the term roid rage. He is fine one minute and losing his ever-loving shit the next. It is impossible to deal with at times and I just have to let him freak out and wait for a calm to pass over him. I wish I could put him in a t-shirt that says "I'm hopped up on roids" so people would understand the craziness and behavior swings. The drug is a miracle worker for his lungs though so we do it. It works and it usually works pretty quickly so I will tolerate my child becoming a monster, but oh sweet Lord is it difficult.

I feel horrible for my boy. He is brave and deals with so much, but I really can not help but feel bad for myself as well. It is hard being a Mom on any given day. It is hell parenting a kid on steroids.

Fingers crossed his lungs clear and we can actually go through with the surgery next week. It will suck but going through this week after week, month after month is sucks way worse, I think.