Friday, April 8, 2011

How Not Too Cook - Pork Chops

Once a week, I get together with my friend Danielle, and we cook something from The Food recipe site. This week we attempted pork chops. Enjoy the 4 minutes of pure comedy. You will learn nothing.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

From The Mouth Of Babes

I was frustrated with my daughter.

BoopaLoop's picture taken by me and then improved by AllThingsBD

She wasn't eating dinner, and I was pretending she was until she hurt her foot messing around in the kitchen. (After spending 30 minutes eating my dinner, I excuse myself, so I don't see the 3-course microwaved meal I slaved over get sneered at.)

My BoopaLoop comes sobbing into the living room where I'm hanging out trying to ignore her. When she falls into my lap, I say, "No! You wouldn't have hurt yourself if you had been listening to me and staying in your chair while eating dinner!!" (Picture flames surrounding my head.)

BoopaLoop continues sobbing as she pathetically scampers to the dining room table.

I shake my head at my Mom who is giving me a strange look.

Soon, I hear the thumping of feet coming from the dining room table. I know it isn't BoopaLoop since I still hear her sobbing at the table.

LittleMan pokes his head around the corner of the kitchen.

LittleMan - "Geez, Mom! At least give her a hug!"

Me - "..."

Me - Contritely "BoopaLoop, would you like a hug?"

I really should have been put on time out.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Can You Help A Mom Out?

I'm a morning person.

Me and my brother, All Things BD's hubby, Christmas morning 2010

Others in my family... are not.

The side-effect of being a morning person (aside from the derision of friends and strangers alike) is that by the time the clock strikes 5 PM, I'm beyond done. I'm exhausted. I'm grumpy. I'm useless.

Fortunately, My Mukor takes over the night time duties since he's a night owl. So, our kids live in a perpetual illusion that their parents are happy people.

Until the truth rears its ugly head.

In order to prevent my grumpy Mr. Hyde from taking over, I come up with short cuts that reduce my evening workload. And I get to waste away on my couch.

The children are now old enough that they don't require my hawking attention any longer, so I just yell instructions at them in the hopes they do at least 50% of what I'm saying. "ARE YOUR TEETH BRUSHED?!" "Hurmph.", they garble in unison. I have no idea how good of a job they are doing, but that doesn't matter. THEY are doing it. I am NOT.

In an effort to further efficien-tize the evening getting-ready-for-bed ritual, I have the children shower. They insist on showering together, and I'm okay with it as long as they aren't playing doctor. Most of the time, they require me to get off the comfortable couch to tell them that it is time to end the shower. I turn off the nob, and then sit back down.

I realized that this step of turning off the shower was a waste of my God-given talents. They are perfectly capable of turning off the shower themselves. I just needed to give them proper incentive.

Me - "You have 5 minutes left to shower. If you turn off the shower yourselves, I will give you each thirty cents!"

Children - Chorus of cheers!

As I'm leaving the bedroom feeling very successful in my brilliant incentive plan, I overhear the following:

LittleMan - "I don't care about money. I want to play!"

I need a new plan.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Pick Your Moment Wisely

We have two children.

Christmas 2010

BoopaLoop is 6 years, and LittleMan is 8 years.

I had been watching a lot of the crime dramas on T.V. the last few weeks, and it distressed me to see how many shows depicted the victim as an 8 year old child. In all instances, the child was first kidnapped by strangers.

After torturing myself by watching these programs in their entirety, I was somehow inspired to revisit the whole Stranger Danger talk with my children.

I just needed their undivided attention.

Right before bedtime every night, my Mukor reads to the kids. But, before they are read to, the children are forced to do menial labor in form of cleaning their bedroom. Sometimes, a miracle happens and the children finish cleaning before my Mukor is ready to read to them, so they have a few precious minutes to play!

A couple of nights ago, I walked into their bedroom to find it spotless.

At first, I was shocked! Then, I gave them high praise for doing such an amazing job so quickly.

Hugs were exchanged. Self-satisfied smiles were shared.

And then, I launched into my Stranger Danger talk. I gave my kids both barrels of reality. I talked about how it is okay to hurt anyone who tries to take you anywhere you don't want to go. I explained how to run to another Mom with small children if you are ever separated from me.

In other words, I went on and on.

But, I had their full attention.

While I was spewing forth the nastiness of life on my young children, I began to question the wisdom of doing this just before they slept. Bye bye, happy unicorn and friendly robot dreams! Hello, nightmares!

I then ended with a question, "Do you guys have any questions about what I was talking about?"

Both children were looking at me like I just told them that I could sprout wings and fly.

A few seconds of complete silence passed when LittleMan said,

"Awe, Mom. You just wasted our play time."

I thought that went well.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Light After The End Of The Tunnel

I have been wanting to update my blog for some time now, but the reason for my prolonged absence was fairly depressing, and I didn't know how to write about it.

My sister-in-law, AllThingsBD, does a great job of encapsulating "the event" that took place and put my life on temporary hold. However, I feel like I should add some kind of Zen statement that can put into perspective my reality. But, right now I feel woefully lacking. I don't have the right words. All I know is that I made it out whole, and I have only God to thank for that. Otherwise, reality would have sat on my face and smothered me.

My Mom, the one who taught me tennis, to hate shopping, my greatest cheerleader, one of my best friends was on the precipice of death, and I had to make the decision on whether or not to gamble the rest of her life with the possibility of living brain damaged for its duration.

This was the singular moment during this whole crisis that was pinnacle. Do I believe in God? Do I trust in something beyond what I know? I certainly wasn't going to trust my Mom's life to this doctor who studied medicine. He's human. He's fallible. I'm human. I'm fallible - so what do I do in this situation regarding my Mom's life?

The doctor broke it down for me: We can either do nothing, and your Mom will die peacefully - or we can operate and live with the consequences.

Under normal circumstances, doing nothing would not be an option... but what if the consequence for doing something was far worse than death. I pictured myself sitting with my Mom who had survived surgery but who was only a shell with working parts inside. What kind of life is that?

Then the enormity of my questions hit me - who am I to judge the quality of my Mom's life? Who is to say that sitting around with no brain function isn't a quality life? Who is there to judge that? If I was to assume that there is no purpose to life other than the pleasure we get out of existence, then I might as well let her die. What pleasure is there in life by simply existing?

However, if I believe in God, and that there is a greater purpose to my Mom's existence, then I have to believe that making the "right" choice should be obvious. But there was no obvious choice. Until...

I remember babbling to the doctor asking me if he should operate on my Mom about my Mom. I told him how she is a Christian, how she believes in the miracle of science, and how she doesn't want to live life as a vegetable. The doctor kind of looked at me like, "That still doesn't tell me what your decision is."

I was, again, waiting for the obvious choice. I was just talking hoping that since I had sided with God that He would give me a sign. I'm waiting, God!

Suddenly I was stuck with an idea (was it divine inspiration?), "Doctor, can you open my Mom up, see what kind of damage we are talking about, and re-evaluate at THAT time?"

The doctor perked up, "Sure! If it looks bad, I'll come talk to you. If it is simple, I might be able to repair her."

Me, "Great!" That seemed like an obvious option.

One hour into surgery went by...

Two hours...

Three hours...

Four hours... My cousin-in-law, a former respiratory therapist, said, "The longer he's doing surgery the more likely it is that he's repairing her. That's good news."

Five hours later the Neurosurgeon came out with a smile on his face. "She's fine. I took about a 1/4 cup of brain matter out. I hung two units of blood that I ended up not needing. Now, we just wait and see how much she understands."

There is more drama to this story about the year and 1/2 of recovery and fighting for my Mom's care, but I wanted to record how I put my faith into God's hands - no matter the outcome. Some might consider this shifting responsibility from myself onto a God that doesn't exist, but words can't adequately describe the peace I felt after making that decision with the doctor. Sure, I lamented that choice during the months that followed, but the proof of God in my Mom's life never wavered.

Only my faith in God did.

I will continue to share what has been going on with me and my family this last year and 1/2, but I will not make you wait to see the good news.

Here is a picture of my Mom 7 months after the surgery (February 2010):

And here is a picture of my Mom Christmas 2010 (6 months after they put a shunt in her brain to regulate the fluids):

I never expected that my Mom's recovery would be so miraculous. I simply hoped that whatever state my Mom ended up in that God would do amazing things with her.

More of the story to follow. I'm just so happy to be back blogging!