Friday, August 28, 2009

Still not a gardener

So it's no big secret that my thumb is not only not green it is pretty
much black. I just don't seem to do well with plants. So this year I
decided to try doing just on tomato plant. Yep that's right just one.
So of course I did pretty good at first. Then there came a point where
I forgot it for a few days. It withered up and I thought I had
probably killed it. I mean the leaves were completely dry. But for
kicks it decided to still water it and see. I was SO excited to have
on little tomato grow.

Well it looked great from one side (the side facing to window I
watched it from of course). So it was so sad to see it from this
angle. Yeah guess I'm still not really a gardener.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ride #2

The Ugliest Word Possible- Cancer

This post is especially one that I don't know if I want to write. And just to forwarn you, I won't proofread- writing it is hard enough so you will just have to deal with the bad grammar! Even writing the title has got me tearing up to be honest- darn pregnancy hormones.

I've pretty much decided that cancer is the ugliest word I've ever heard. That it is just something that no one really understands until they live it. I've had distant friends or people I know have cancer, but with my dad that all changed. It is in my face and on my mind pretty much every day. Of course it doesn't help that we have the word Pancreatic in front of it.

Let me say, I have been SUPREMELY blessed. In that my dad has and is beating the odds. It is past the year mark and I'm so thankful that he is still here. But with that comes the bitter sweetness. I'm trying very hard to just embrace every moment I get, but it sucks to know why I'm having to do that.

I love, love, love to see him and Sariah together. She gets so excited to do lunch with Papa. To play with his pens, or whatever fun things she can grab out of his shirt pocket. She especially loves the "glowing finger" caused by the sensor that he often has strapped to his finger at the hospital. But with this comes the pain of knowing that as much as I cherish these moments, she won't remember them. She won't remember how much she loved him and the times that they play together. Even more she won't get to grow up with him. Learn all of the amazing things that he has taught me- from him. And now as I'm nearing the end of this pregnancy, I always have this hope/fear in my mind that I really want my baby to at least meet him.

The up and down of chemo and cancer is yucky. Everyone always asks me "How's your dad?" And most of the time I really don't know what to say. On my bad days, I want to scream he's dying. Of course I never say that. I know they are just being nice and are concerned. But there are times I that I think people expect me to say he's doing great, or he's feeling better. Usually I just say he's hanging in there. I don't know what else to say really. But lately has been harder for this question. He's been off chemo for a while because chemo was doing a better job of killing him then the cancer. He was loosing a lot of weight, seemed to be in the hospital more than out, had no stamina and the worst was that he wasn't himself. He didn't laugh as much or joke- it was like all his energy went into just surviving and trying to do anything more than that was to much.

So being off chemo has been a blessing of sorts. Sometimes I am so happy to just have my dad back. He has more energy and is more here than before. Ironically, he seems "better." And who knows, he has scans again next week to see what has happened while he's been off. It is scary. Pancreatic cancer really isn't one that you want to just let do its thing. I'm trying to prepare myself that there will probably be growth. How much..well let's just say I try not to think about it too much.

So the week after that, starts chemo again probably. And some days, I want him to fight and do everything possible to stay on earth as long as possible even if it means pain and sickness for him. Because I'm selfish and I'm not ready to have him leave. Other days I feel like it isn't worth it. All this chemo and being sick and just seeing him hurt all the time. Those days that I really honestly think about him, I want him to go. I want him to be with Christ and his Heavenly Father again. I want to stop being the selfish daughter.

The worst part lately...dreams. You know they say you dream more and more vividly when you are pregnant. I wish I wouldn't. Not often but sometimes, cancer has to show its ugly face even in my dreams. I wake up crying in the middle of the night. And unlike any other nightmare where you can calm yourself down by saying it isn't real, well this nightmare is real. Dreaming about my dad dying well that isn't a dream. I usually just go to the downstairs couch and cry until I fall asleep. I feel like it is part of my daily life and the least it could do is stay out of my sleep.

Okay if you've made it this far in the post, I've probably thoroughly depressed you. In fact I've sat here crying the whole time I've typed. But there is some light here and this is what carries me through. My dad is amazing. I've always thought this my whole life. He is so knowledgeable about EVERYTHING!! There isn't a topic I could bring up that he doesn't know something about. He has taught me about Christ and God in ways that I just pray I can do for my children. I have never doubted his testimony and his faith the in Gospel. I've never doubted his love and concern for my well being. I love to see his name on my phone in the morning because it probably means he wants to do lunch. And I drop everything do meet him as often as possible. I no longer take for granted the people I have in my life. I soak up every moment I see him with my daughter. And I KNOW that while it may feel like a long time until I'm with him again that I will be with him again. That there is so much more than this earthly life and for eternity I'm blessed with my daddy.

Rollercoaster ride #1

My work.

Okay I have been blessed for a little over 2 years with pretty much the perfect job. I was able to work the hours I wanted, when I wanted and once Sariah was born I was able to pretty much do it all from home. I would go up to the office for maybe an hour a week. My boss totally rocks! He is very understanding and has put a lot of trust in me. So when he moved to head up the Utah office, I was unsure what that would change. For a while nothing really. Then I got more independent I guess you could say. Rarely would we talk. He mostly just let me do what I knew I needed to do and we only talked when I had a real question or concern. So then the only other person in the office location here started traveling- a lot. And at the beginning of this month, it was decided that he would move to FL to head up the office there. So that left me concerned. What did that mean for me? Did I have a job still?

Well Monday came the call. You know THE CALL. So after what I think was a good conversation, it was decided that I will no longer do the company accounting. They will have a CPA in Utah taking that over and I will only help with my boss' personal finances (which I have been doing as well.) So that means like part time to hardly working. It really cuts my hours.

So now I've had a couple of days to digest that. James and I had a big talk Monday night about our budget. We had come to rely on my income and perhaps lived more frivolously than we should have been. So now, well it's back to NO SPENDING MONEY time. Back to really watching the budget. Cutting out the things that aren't really needed and sticking to it. It doesn't mean we are going bankrupt or losing the house. Thankfully, we weren't THAT FRIVOLOUS. But it does mean some extensive lifestyle changes and a few set backs on paying some things off.

Part of me is elated about this change. I have been wanting to be full time mom with less distractions for a while. Although I could work from home, I still had to devote time to work and not my home or Sariah. It relieves many fears of how I was going to manage those hours when our new arrival comes. But the other side is sad. I loved working. Although I complained, when it really came down to it, I liked being part of the company. I loved the people I worked with. I liked feeling like all those hours in school were worth it. And lets face it- the paycheck was awesome!

Overall I've come to a conclusion. That this is a blessing as long as I CHOOSE to see it as a blessing. If I want to see it as a trial or hardship then that is exactly what it will be. But if I want to look at all the good and positive and know that we can do this, then it will be the best change.

Get Real

So I am uncertain even as I write this whether or not I want to write this post, what I want to say, how to say it, how much to say etc. But I feel like I want to be a little more real on my blog. Lately, life has been sort of well spinning, a roller coaster, changing, etc. And I haven't really felt like I wanted that to be publicly known. But today I realized that while I've posted tons of pictures and videos of Sariah, I haven't really posted of myself in a long time. So the upcoming posts are... me I suppose.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Cake for breakfast?

Well not exactly. Not that I'm opposed to cake for breakfast. But
today I mean pancakes. This is Sariah's new favorite breakfast. She
calls them cake. I'm thinking maybe she likes them so much because she
thinks she is getting cake - not sure. But I love that she loves them.
And even though they may not be quite as easy as cereal, they aren't
that much harder. Yes I make them from a mix. And Sariah can eat two!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Yikes

So I got my little pregnancy tracker email today that I'm about 27 weeks along. Agh!! What? Really? I only have like a little over 3 months left? Huh!?

I have WAY too much to do still. I mean my craft room that will be the baby's room isn't really even fit to be called a craft room according to my husband it is the junk room. We have Sariah's new toddler bed, but yep it just came this weekend and is still in the box. So need to get her transitioned before the baby comes. I have some clothes but umm hello Sariah was a girl who wore all pink so I'm completely started over pretty much. Still need to clean the room out, paint the room, set up the room.

Hopefully the baby isn't early- that is all I've got to say!

:)

The manipulation has begun

Okay. That is such a simple word - okay. So how did my daughter figure out already how to turn that against me?

Sariah has started saying okay instead of yes. And it is totally cute. But I came to a realization with this. That somehow she says okay and then I've agreed to give her the item in question. how did that happen? She is a total talker and usually I can figure out what she is asking for. But I still usually ask her to just make sure I know what she is saying so here is a figurative example.

Sariah says "Book". I say "You want to read a book?" (Just trying to know if that is what she is asking for. Sariah says "Okay" And now somehow I've agreed to read her a book right then.

Sariah says "Bite" in the direction of my candybar. I say "Bite?" Trying to see if that is what she said. Sariah says "Okay" And now I've somehow agreed to share my candy bar with her.

Wow she's too smart!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The petting zoo

videoSariah enjoying the sheep at the petting zoo inside the Kansas City Zoo.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Uh oh

videoOkay so I must make a little confession. Yes I like to take my bowl
and drink the milk when I'm done with my cereal. I know that isn't
proper manners. But I figure it's just in my house and it so much
faster and easier. But well umm apparently i've taught this to Sariah.
Uh oh.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Delivery!

So I've started a new thing- having my produce delivered. Yep they bring it right to my door and IT ROCKS! A friend of mine told me about doing it (I will put her thoughts at the bottom) and so we tried it out and have been using it for almost 2 months now. I wanted to wait to post about it until I could really give an opinion. Basically I've decided I love it!


So there are two companies that my friend told me about.



Door to Door Organics. http://kc.doortodoororganics.com/


The company we use is FreshConnect KC. Basically I chose them for 2 reasons they seemed a little cheaper for what I wanted and as you can read about below they try to get local produce as much as possible, which I think is cool. To fill out the bin and have variety, they do use some store bought stuff that is organic.


So am I an organic freak? Not really. I mean if I go to the store myself I don't normally go for it. I really can taste no difference. I try my best to remain uneducated so that I'm not grossed out by the processing our food goes through. So if you are into organic go you! And this might be really great for you. Basically I do it because 1) I'm lazy- hello did I mention they deliver this stuff? 2) It has really helped push me to make healthier meals. Meaning that I try really hard to make the stuff we get and therefore we have been eating more veggies especially. We always did pretty good on fruit, but now we have upped our veggie intake too! 3) And with number 2. It has made me more adventurous. While we haven't gotten anything really weird. This last time for example we got eggplant. So I'm planning to do a lasagna with it. This is something I would never try on my own. 4) It is actually not too pricey for what we do. I personally get their small combo bin every 2 weeks which means I spend $50 every month on my produce. I have to get very little at the store to supplement so I think that is pretty good!


A couple of other side notes that I like:

--You don't have to be home when they deliver- you can leave a cooler out and they will put it in that for you.

--No contract. You can try it out and then stop at any time if it isn't working for you.

--You can have it delivered as often or as little as you like.

--You can see previous bins on the website to get an idea of how much and what you get. Every week is different. For example this Saturday, I will be getting:

Small Combo Bin
1lb Potatoes
1/2lb Carrots
2 ears of corn
1 Cucumber
1 Bunch Bananas
1 Bell Peppers
1 Eggplant
1lb Tomatoes
1/2lb Green Beans
1lb Peaches
1 qrt Blackberries


YUM YUM!!


So for those of you who are interested I would definitely recommend them. I have loved the stuff we got. And so far have been able to incorporate almost everything into a meal. (You can also ask to substitute if you know you won't eat a particular thing.)


And here is a picture I took of our first delivery!


And here is the info on both companies from my friend. She has used both and so this is her opinion:

There are two companies available now!

I was talking about Door to Door Organics. http://kc.doortodoororganics.com/
They do all certified organic produce. But they don't try very hard to have local produce. Because of this, the person in KC who merged with them was frustrated and left.

Out of that frustration, a friend of mine started:
FreshConnect KC. http://www.freshconnectkc.com/
They focus on local produce, raised organically/all-natural, even though most is not certified (because it's such an expensive process for a small local farmer.) They do still provide some non-local produce, which is all certified organic, in order to offer greater variety. In addition, they are also starting to offer local meat boxes, and I think local dairy is in the works for the future.

I switched from D2D to FCKC b/c I liked the local aspect better, plus the owner of FCKC is a friend of mine. At this point, D2D does still have some advantages, but I'm hoping that FCKC may improve on them as time goes. D2D is very easy to edit your account online. You can set up the produce that you never want to have, and tell them your preferences for what you want them to substitute. Also, they tell you a week in advance what produce will be in your box.

FCKC has started to tell you a tentative list of what they plan to have in your box, but they only get it from the local farmers the day before, so it's not guaranteed. You can email them personally to tell them your preferences. You are dealing with a small family-owned thing, so it's more personable, but also probably not as easy to set up.

Payment: D2D charges your credit card the day of your delivery.
FCKC asks you to pay cash or check upon delivery, or paypal up front. If you won't be there (all deliveries on Saturday so far), you just leave your payment in the cooler waiting for them.

The FCKC owner is the husband of the gal who started Happybottumus (cloth diaper/natural mothering store in Lees Summit). They are crazy busy and just had their third baby at the same time they were starting FCKC. I don't know HOW they do it! But it's working out really well so far!

Both companies offer small, med, & large boxes, including options for fruit only, veggie only, or mixed. The quality of both has been great. They've also both been excellent about replacing anything that was unsatisfactory.

If I were to sign up my mom, I would choose D2D b/c it maybe seems more user-friendly. But for myself, I'm going with FCKC b/c I want to support local farmers and businesses.


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Temple Weekend

This was a special weekend for me. I suggested this trip last week to
my parents. My dad has been off chemo for over a month now. Next week
he meets again with his oncologist so we presume he will start back up
again next week. So this was a last chance weekend for him. The drive
is very taxing on him. So I proposed going and staying a night in
Omaha and that is what we did.

Friday afternoon I took Sariah over to Rob and Jessi's because they
were going out to James' work and were going to take her with them to
him. This saved me a little time. Then I picked up my parents and my
sister Meg- who tagged along for a weekend away.

I was able to go by myself Friday night to the temple. Then Saturday,
I got up early and snuck up again. After that I went back and got
everyone else. We took Meg to the zoo and then my parents and I went
to the temple together.

It was a special and amazing time. I know that there is a good chance
this was the last time I would be able to go with my dad. I can't even
describe how special and sacred this time was for me. It was more than
worth all the sacrifices it took to get there.

My daddy and me:

Peaceful sleep

Friday, I had to wake Sariah up from her nap to take her to Rob and
Jessi's house. When I went in I found her peacefully sleeping with
hands behind her head. She didn't even wake up when I turned on the
light to get a better picture. Isn't this just the cutest?

Sassy sunglasses