Thursday, June 28, 2012

Seeing the Silver Lining {p.h.f.r.}

Well, once again it's Thursday.  In fact it's been 3 (THREE!) Thursdays since I last managed to pull off one of these {p.h.f.r.}s, or really a post of any kind at all.  Been doing a lot of thinking, and a lot of resting (or at least a lot of thinking about resting - or maybe just wistfully considering what feeling rested feels like) since my last on-location hospital post.  Life has been busy!


My adorable Jelly Bean - already 9 months old and already crawling for the last two months!  I know I'm biased, but I do believe her to be the most beautiful baby girl in the world!  I'm excited to start including pictures of my beloved babes.  Hubs and I talked it over, and while we won't be disclosing locations or real names, we decided it would be ok to showcase their beautiful smiles.  And pictures make it a lot easier to convey their sometimes hilarious antics!


My little guy (better nickname hopefully coming soon!) recently decided he actually likes to hug his little sister.  Oddly enough, it seems this revelation came at a Greek restaurant near my parents' cabin that I DID in fact get to visit one last time, despite all the recent goings on.  A family sat near us at a large table with three young children, one of which was a little baby girl with a big bright flower headband.  Jelly Bean spent the entire meal backwards in her high chair (checking those people out!) and when the baby was pulled out of her carseat for a bottle, my son instantly asked "I hold her?  Pease?!?"  Well, that was certainly out of the question - the family was very friendly, even when my son barged in and stole their toddler boy's chair as we were leaving, but they weren't nuts!  We got back to the cabin and before bed that night, he asked to hold Jelly Bean!  So we had him sit on the floor, and he hugged and held her and rocked her back and forth.  It was delightfully shocking!  We took pictures, though, unfortunately, they're all on my parents' camera.  Now that we're back at home, he has asked again:  "I hold her?  Take pictures?"  Who can refuse that?!

Regarding the photos above - everyone is having a good time, even though Jelly Bean appears to be punching him in the lower left photo and he appears to be choking her in the bottom center.  Guess that's what happens when you're trying to get good shots while he's rocking her wildly back and forth!


The Little Dude will sometimes throw a complete fit over being offered a small bowl of Cheerios when he wants something sweeter ("Gam cacker pease??") but will then turn around and unabashedly swipe Jelly Bean's off her tray right in front of me.  I guess we'll just call that "sharing".  For now.

Also, this morning I sneezed several times.  It wasn't the first time he's said "Bless 'ou, Mama!"  (Be still, my heart!)  But it was the first time I asked him to go find me a Kleenex.  He promptly agreed to go find me one.  I held my breath, not expecting a miracle.  Several moments later, he came back "Mama, I have Kleenex?"  So... you're asking me to find you a Kleenex so you can bring me a Kleenex?  Well played.

And right now he's begging me for cake.  And cookies.  "Mama, what 'bout cake?  What 'bout cookies?"  Not that he gets these things often.  Must be dinner time.

Life being the way it has for the last several weeks, I have to admit that, at times, I've been feeling what I'd have to label "discontent".  And I read something recently (probably in my most recent MomSense MOPS magazine) about contentment - that it has to be cultivated.  And that it essentially means being at ease and satisfied with your situation, without becoming complacent about things that could or should improve.

I got to thinking that patience is a lot like contentment.  Patience is NOT forcing yourself to do things slower, thinking that it might rub off on your sense of urgency.  Rather, it's knowing how long something is going to take and accepting it.  It's knowing your children are being a little difficult and accepting it to the point that you don't lose your cool, without sacrificing their long-term discipline and good behavior.  It's accepting a moment of misunderstanding long enough to get the story straight before blowing up at your spouse.  All things I can work on.

Contentment and Patience also seem to have a connection to Gratitude.  And with a lot of the things that have happened in our family recently, it's sometimes difficult to think of them and be grateful.  My husband's grandmother passed away recently.  My Father-in-law was just diagnosed with lymphoma, shortly after I had been hospitalized overnight for the first time in my life that didn't involve childbirth.  It's hard to find the silver lining.  But - the silver lining is really still there!  For instance, my hospitalization showed me just how much I love being with my children, even when it's so easy to get impatient with them.  My Father-in-law's diagnosis is horrible, but we'll be visiting them a lot more often now.  I'm not saying the silver lining is enough to make you think, "I'm so glad that happened!  Let's do that again!"  No way!  But God does manage to include a little goodness in any situation if you just search for it.  It doesn't take away the sting, but it does soften the blow. 

So in the spirit of cultivating a little more Contentment, Patience and Gratitude in my life, I hereby plan to do a series of Silver Lining posts.

Reflect the Brightness!  Even if there's a bit of cloud blocking your sun.

round button chicken

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Food, Glorious Food! {p.h.f.r.}

Food is on my mind a LOT these days, and it's no big stretch to figure out why.  In the meantime, I guess I thought I'd torture myself a little more plan ahead for some interesting and delicious options!


Chocolate Raspberry Charlotte Royale Bombe Glacee

This would probably look like a mess if I tried to make it myself, but it sounds delicious and the photo is oh-so-pretty!  Check out for a whole index of amazing sounding recipes (haven't exactly had an opportunity to try them out) and beautiful photos of each dish. 


Pizza - Crust and Sauce- The Prepared Homemaker

I have often made pizza from scratch, but never sauce.  Pizza is pretty much my top go-to food whenever the question "hmm, what sounds really good right now?" pops up.  I practically could live on pizza.  Can't wait til I can have it again!  (Soon, please, God?)  I'm also incredibly intrigued by the premise of The Prepared Homemaker.  Will definitely be checking that out more thoroughly in the hours ahead!


If you do a online search for "funny food" there's a whole myriad of images available.  Some of them were a little weird for my taste, some merely cute, and others I wished included recipes.  But this?  This I found hilarious AND I would give anything to eat it right now!


Yup, that's what arrived for breakfast.  Interestingly enough, lunch and dinner look pretty identical.  {...sigh...}

round button chicken

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Things to do when you're bored, Bored, BORED... the hospital.

This list would be so much easier to make if the setting was ANYWHERE but here:

You didn't expect I'd include myself in that shot, did you?  Because ladies who have not been allowed to shower since Monday morning and who have been subsisting on broth and popsicles do not have their pictures taken.

Which brings us to idea number one:

1.  Take stupid pictures with your built-in computer cam.  Good for about 3 minutes, if you're creative, considering the limited subject matter.  (Also assumes you have said equipment.)
Ooh, here's a nice one I like to call "Farewell, Jello"

2.  Skype - assuming someone is signed on and that you don't mind them seeing you in your current bedraggled, unshowered state.  (Quick check... umm.  no.  on both counts.)

3.   Devour newspaper hubby brought earlier - or at least the important parts:  comics, crossword and... well, some of the headlines, I suppose.

4.  Watch TV.  (Good if you weren't already sick of it from a few hours of Everybody Loves Raymond and Friends yesterday afternoon.)

5.  Prank call your nurses.  (Definitely not recommended, especially if they're in charge of feeding you or emptying and recording the volume of pee in your in-room toilet.)  Soooooo happy to have a private room.

6.  Update your blog, being as snarky and whiny as possible.

7.  Look over your current stock of clear liquid treats again.  Lots and lots of Gatorade.  And no non-cherry flavored popsicles.  Darn.

8. Ignore the bag containing your yarn, knitting needles and Kindle (which yes, I own almost exclusively for the sake of portable pdf knitting patterns) - you're too upset to knit right now, am I right?

9.  Transpose the noises made by your Braun OUTLOOK 400es (digital contraption that doles out the IV fluid - nectar of the gods) into solfegge.  "Re (drop 2 octaves) Ti Do.  (pause) Do Ti Do."
Lament that you haven't installed the Finale Notation software onto this lappy yet, or you'd be able to notate it right down to the pitch, rhythm and dynamics.

10.  And yeah, there's the option my priest suggested this afternoon when he stopped by:  soak in the silence that is where we meet with God.  Pray.  Count your blessings.  Grow in the humility that comes from allowing your normally control-freaky self to rely on the aid and comfort of others.

My husband and I began praying the 12 year prayers of St. Bridget of Sweden on February 29th of this year.  I suddenly remembered just how many days we've missed since I've been under the weather, and I thought "hey, I'll check to see if they're printed out online somewhere." I teared up when I discovered that not only are they available, but there's a YouTube video I can use to catch up while I'm here - so I won't even have to pray it alone!  When I stop to look, how can I not see that God has already provided?  (Don't worry about hubby - my parents just arrived in town, and they're 5 years ahead of us in this.  I'm sure he'll be included.)

I suppose it's no surprise that I'm writing this shortly after discovering that, while some medical professionals hinted at the possibility of going home soon (today even?), I will be here until at least Friday.  Two more delightful days to go.  But in the time it took to write this post, things have been happening, including a visit from my parents with news of my ailing grandmother, and it's becoming clearer to me that even though whiny posts may be kind of fun in a way, I have a lot going for me in my life, hospital stays notwithstanding.  Thanks be to God.

Woeful Wednesday

I started looking up linky parties for Tuesday, just to have something to do, when I realized with a jolt that it was not, in fact, Tuesday, but Wednesday!  I guess laying around in bed with your laptop watching hospital cable will do that to you.  No, I am not in tip top shape this week, it would seem.  After 4 days of excruciating (but home-based) abdominal cramps, I am now celebrating my 2nd day of hospital awesomeness (think clear liquid diet, plastic mattress, IV fluids - my personal favorite, and constant requests for vitals, blood, and "can I get you anything?"
Not that I'm complaining...  Well, yeah, I am.  But it could definitely be much worse.  The diagnosis, though kind of scary sounding, doesn't appear to require anything drastic in treatment.  I almost feel like a phony being here.  Just passing my time drinking Gatorade, watching a little TV, trolling the net, and missing my babies, but kind of enjoying the general quietude. 
I had serious plans last week of getting my {p.h.f.r.} and 7 Quick Takes done on Thursday and Friday - Thursday got away from me, and Friday was the start of this current little adventure.  I've now resigned myself to a little non-multi-tasking (really non-tasking altogether) rest time, and the distinct possibility that I will miss out on the last trip to my parents' "cabin" before the sale closes at the end of the month.  It's the one place that always really felt like a vacation away.
My guys' cutie patooties, one month pre-Jelly Bean 

I raise my jello snack cup to "The Soo" and the St. Mary's River - We will miss you!