The Gift Of Time

These past couple days have been amazingly wonderful for me….US. I suppose a near death experience will do that to a person. And during these precious days, I’ve reflected very deeply on TIME and the gift that it is. I’m not going to sit here and write about time and it’s relation to eternity or anything like that. What I’ve realized though (for me in particular) is how much I…WE as people in general, take time for granted. We waste it. We piddle it away on stupid things. Gone are the hours used for gaming instead of playing outside and enjoying LIFE. Gone are the hours spent lounging on the couch for hours on end because “I’ve worked my ass off and deserve to relax.” Gone are those precious hours that could have been spent getting to know your family better, or basking in the beauty of nature, or some other worth while activity that encourages growth, newness, or brain activity. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge advocate of romantic comedies or Spiderman movies or war documentaries (my husbands choice) or whatever. I LOVE movies. But as much as I love movies and the occasional video game, I do realize how easy it is to grow roots and watch one right after the other right after the other. And soon enough, the day is gone or my regular nights sleep has gone from 7 hours to 4 or 5 because I just HAD to watch another show. I get that. Or maybe it’s hours on the phone when I could have spent the time in conversation with my husband or my neighbor down the street. Or maybe it’s hours on the internet browsing and surfing and messaging “cyber friends” whom I’ve never met but somehow they’ve taken the place of the friends who I have a long history and who are right in front of my face. My dad said to me once that what defines a man/person is not his job or what he does as a profession, but rather how he spends his free time. It’s something to think about. And as I’ve been thinking about these things, I also have been reflecting on my dear sweet loved ones who no longer have that time here on earth…time to experience and learn and give to others. But I do! Time is a precious thing. And it will inevitably come to an end for each and every one of us at some point. It could be tomorrow or years from now or maybe even minutes from now. We don’t know. What matters is how we spend it. There is something to be said for “living in the moment”. I used to think “carpe diem” sounded so careless and selfish. But it isn’t. Enjoying this moment right now is what life IS. Loving your family and friends right now is what life is about.

“Enjoy this moment, for this moment is YOUR LIFE” (the heading from a friend’s blog)

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Death and All His Faces….

I should be dead. Hayden and Megan should be dead. And this moment as I sit in a silent house filled with slumbering loved ones, I reflect on all that has happened this ordinary Wednesday.
Our van is in the shop. It wouldn’t start and we had the tow truck haul it to our trusty mechanic. That left John’s little truck for our only means of transportation until the van is finished. This morning was a school day. Great. Not only am I without my van, but I have to take 2 kids to school this morning in John’s truck. *sigh* It felt like a Monday and I didn’t like it….you know the kind of Monday when everything seems just a little bit off and nothing is going quite right?…..the kind of Monday that makes you want to just stay in bed all day and forget about everything that needs to be done this week…this day? Yeah, that’s what this morning felt like. Only it wasn’t Monday, it was Wednesday.
We slept just a tad bit later than we should have. Hayden didn’t want to get out of bed or go to school for that matter. He always wants to go to school. But today he didn’t. Megan is a pill in the morning, especially when she is woken up and not left to wake on her own. She’s just like her dad in the morning. Grumpy, cries at everything, and just plain wants to be left alone. SO….there I was trying to get Hayden motivated for school and Megan to stop whining long enough to at least get dressed…..and I was wishing right then that the kids road the bus because then all I’d have to do is get them to the end of the driveway and they’d be gone for the morning. Anyway, we managed to get the kids dressed, fed, and ready for school by a decent time. I strapped them securely into the truck and ventured out. It is about 3 miles from the end of our driveway to the stop sign that takes us into town. It really isn’t that far. But today, it was too far. The roads were exceptionally icy. Glare ice. And I was only going about 40mph and keeping my distance from the semi ahead of me. The semi was slowing to turn and I began to slow. Just as my foot began to slowly press on the brake, a blast of wind hit the truck and pushed the back end into the other lane. I knew right then that control was almost lost and the only way I was going to stop was if I hit something or went into the ditch. I was still going pretty fast at that point and now I was sliding…..there was a semi in front of me that was stopped and there was a semi (a fuel carrying semi) that was heading in my direction at full speed. When he realize I was not in control of my vehicle he began to slow but there was no way he was going to be able to stop before hitting me. He slowed and veered as far to the side of the road as possible without tipping his truck. At that point we were completely in the oncoming traffic lane and still spinning. This was a “life flashing before my eyes” moment. All I could think about was….”WHY?!!!! Not another thing to happen to my family….to my parents….to my husband. NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” And then I realized that there wasn’t anything I could do. It was out of my hands….”okay, he’s going to hit us. (at highway speed a semi hitting a tiny truck would have been fatal) Please Dear God, if this is going to kill us please make it quick. I couldn’t stand the kids suffering.” I grabbed Megan’s hand and made eye contact with Hayden and waited as I watched the semi get closer and closer. Somehow in a matter of fractions of a second, the truck slid slightly back toward the middle line and the semi zoomed by honking his horn as he passed.
We should have been hit. And we would have died. Which leaves me with this burning cry “WHY?!” Why, once again, are we spared? Twice in the past 3 years I’ve come fractions of a second from being hit head on by an oncoming vehicle. And last year Hayden was given a death sentence and lived. WHY?! Why are we spared? Why am I spared from a vehicular fatality and my brother isn’t?! Why is my son spared from death when the child down the hall at the hospital will die from leukemia? WHY?!
My cries are loud and grateful and humbled and painful. Why.

*hug your loved ones today. We really really really have no idea when it could be our last.*

Pregnant Musings (in all seriousness)

A friend of mine wrote this post for her blog today. This subject is so dear to my heart that I had to ask her permission to copy/paste her writings because she wrote it so well. So many women, especially new moms pregnant with their first, blindly follow whatever it is that medicine/medical community says. I know highly highly educated women who research every diet under the sun to make sure it does exactly what they want it to do for them. They research vacation places til they know everything there is to do once they get to their destination. They weigh pros and cons for which new flat screen TV to purchase before spending a small fortune on just the right one. But when it comes to researching and doing what is best for their bodies and their babies, they simply talk to the doctor. And whatever THEIR doctor says must be the best and safest route to take. And I am by NO MEANS saying don’t follow medical advice. Not at all. Quite the contrary, actually. I am simply agreeing with Mallory (blog author) in saying that it is our obligation as mothers and stewards of our bodies and the bodies of our growing babies to be as informed as possible, look at the big picture, and do everything we possibly can to ensure the wellbeing of our babies (both in-utero and out). I am simply saying that doing the research and doing the work could bring about an outcome far better than just sitting back and waiting and following whatever the medical norm is for the time.

I should probably stop there as I am sure I’ve aggravated a few of my readers. But this is just something that I am truly passionate about. If it provokes discussion or thought beyond what one would normally engage in, then great!
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The Midwife Model.
For this pregnancy we’ve elected to use a midwife. Being in a new location, and not feeling like I needed an Ob/Gyn for my care, both Mark and I agreed that a midwife would be a nice alternative.

The midwife model of care is strikingly different than anything I’ve ever experienced, and I have to fully admit that I really like it. Mine does just what a doctor would do, i.e. check my weight, BP, urine, measurements, as well as monitor the baby using a Doppler. What’s different is that midwives aren’t doctors, they don’t try to be doctors, and because of that a large amount of responsibility is put on the patient to take care of themselves, because if they don’t, then the women will need a doctor.

At my first appointment my midwife, she handed me two large books and multiple handouts–all nutrition related. In them stated how much of certain foods and vitamins I needed, and then why they were important for me, baby, and the success of my labor and delivery. Wow! In addition to nutrition was another handout showing the many different exercises imperative to the growing strain of pregnancy on the body. The exercises are meant to relieve pain and pressure, but also to engage baby’s head and strengthen the muscles and tissues pertinent to delivery.

It’s all quite simple, really, and perhaps I’ve read this twice before with the other two pregnancies and brushed it aside, but this time it’s required of me, and a large part of the success of a healthy pregnancy relies not on medicine, but on my ability to take care of myself. What a concept!

A few examples of how I’m trying to achieve a healthier pregnancy:

1). Calcium. My midwife wants me to drink a pint of milk everyday. Women, especially in COLD MN, are calcium (vitamin D) deficient. When growing a baby, the body will take calcium from a women’s bones to makes the baby’s bones. Also, calcium deficiency is a big culprit for those awful pregnancy leg cramps and restless legs.

2.) Iron. With 40% more blood than the non-pregnant state, iron is necessary for pregnancy health. Even more importantly, the stronger the blood, the less likely post partum hemmorage will be. For me, I’ll start taking Alfalfa, in pill form, sometime in the next month. It has iron in it, but is known for it’s blood-clotting abilities. I’ve actually done this with my first two after hearing the advice from a trusted family member. After two very clean and healthy deliveries, I’m a believer in the simple supplement.

There are many, many other nutritional needs for pregnant, women, as well as exercises for body and relaxation for labor. There is a lot on my plate to prepare my body for birth! I’m excited though, and glad that I have the opportunity to have someone challenge me to make myself, my baby, and my family healthier.

Dripping Wet

Hayden steps out of the shower, looks at his dripping wet little body and says, “Mom…water sure does make me wet.”

I couldn’t stop laughing!

He’s growing up so darned fast. He was cuddling on my lap this afternoon and I whispered in his ear, “Hayden…please stop growing up.”
“What, Mom?”
“Can you just stop getting big? Stop growing? I want you to stay little for just a bit longer.”
“But MOM, if I don’t get big then I can’t chop wood like Dad. If I don’t get big then I can’t go hunting with Dad. If I don’t get big then I’ll stay little….” *sigh*, he looks up at me with almost sad eyes and says, “and I just don’t want to stay little Mom. I want to grow big and strong like Dad.”
We cuddled and watched PBS kids for a while. I suppose I can just think of him as a little boy forever. Can that work? Probably not…….but today is okay……

😉

Back To The Projects

It has been almost a week since I’ve picked up my needles. And boy am I crabby. 😉 Just kidding. I do feel a bit withdrawn though. Such are the symptoms of a fiber addict without something to work on. Truth be told, I have several projects on the needles that need to be finished before starting anything new. We’ve just had some incredibly busy busy busy days this past week.
Anyway, my goal today is to get my housework done:

*dishes…there seems to be an endless pile of cruddy dishes in the sink
*laundry…I’ve got 3 loads to do
*baking….it is currently -22 degrees here and I have decided to bake bread this morning and cookies this afternoon to help keep the kitchen warmed up
*vacuum (in between dumping out the toys)

IF I can accomplish just half of this today I will be a success! THEN I can sit and knit til my heart’s content this evening and finish up my projects so this weekend I can start something new. OH how I have a few projects I’m dreaming of.

I’ll keep you posted.

Anyone working on anything during these cold days? baking? sewing? house projects?

Heat Wave

I’ll be the first one to admit I’m a die hard clothesline fanatic. I think I’ve blogged about it, actually. And yes, I traipsed through 3 feet of untouched snow to do this. My jeans were soaked and my legs were numb. But really?….I DO have reason for this weirdness…..

SEE…..

The red blanket is a giant king sized down comforter that goes on Hayden’s bed. Hayden woke up this morning sick. Pukey sick. Thankfully he didn’t leave his sickness on the comforter. For preventative maintenance I did strip his bed, wash his sheets, and hung the comforter outside to kill any sicky bugs that may have decided to take up residence on it during the night. (I wasn’t about to even try to shove it in my washer and a trip to the laundromat was out of the question).

Hayden was sick. Wyatt spent most of the day cuddled on the couch with his “Blank” (blankie) and a juice cup and sporting a nasty fever. Yvette managed to dodge this quick bug completely (today anyway).

Everyone is in bed, hydrated, drugged, and sleeping. Thank goodness it seemed to be a quick 12 hour bug with a little bit of a lasting fever. I guess the next few days will tell the truth though.

Hope everyone is staying healthy through the 2011 midwest blizzard.