Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Heart to Heart

Last night was funny. I went to bed and read for a while and fell asleep around 10:30. At 11:30 Canaan was ready to join us, so I brought him to bed. He didn't nurse; he just sort of rustled around until he was finally comfortable and drifted off to sleep.

Every couple hours he wanted to nurse. My memory is bleary, but I'd say he nursed a couple times.
Then at 4:30 am, our neighbor's car alarm went off. Lights flashing, siren sounding. The three of us simultaneously erected and peered through the 2nd-story blinds. Somehow the visual image I had of Alif, Canaan and I all looking out the blinds at 4:30 am, as through a video camera, made me laugh. Alif too. Alif got up and made sure the property was safe. Once he returned to bed, he gathered up his little son and fell asleep. Canaan then migrated back to my side of the bed. ;-)
This morning we woke up for good around 6:45. Alif had the cutest heart to heart with Canaan:

Alif: Canaan? You can sleep with us all you want, ok? But you have to be still and leave your mum-mums alone. No mum-mums at night, ok?

Canaan: whine

Alif, laughing: Yeah, you know exactly what I'm talking about, don't you? No more mum-mum at night. Would you like your own pillow for our bed? Would that be good?


I lay there for another 30 minutes or so, nursing and playing with Canaan while dear Caris voluntarily rubbed lotion into my feet and legs. I am so blessed to have a husband who loves our babies so much but also knows that Mommy needs some SLEEP!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Canaan the Lionheart

The boys had guitar lessons today and while they played the two little ones & I played in a shady, grassy area at the side of the building. I was a little concerned because there were several ant hills, but once I knew where they all were I felt pretty good about sitting down and reading a book while the kids played.

Canaan was near a lion statue, checking out the spider webs, when he screamed. It was a guttural scream that told me something was very wrong. I closed the book and laid it on the table in one motion and in a second I was kneeling next to my baby. I was sure he'd been stung by a bee at first, but when I really looked at his face, I realized he'd screamed out of fear.

All I can figure is that he was not seeing the forest for the trees, so to speak. He was checking out the spider webs on the statue and failed to recognize that there was an actual face of a lion under those spider webs. Oh, how it terrified him! I pet the statue, told him it was pretend. Touched the eyes and the tongue as he watched on, cautious to say the very least.

I'm so curious to see what his reaction will be when we see the statue next week!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


If you're having the kind of day where you just feel stuck, where you feel like you're not making the kind of impact God wants you to, or you just aren't sure what our world is coming to, be encouraged with me here. Oh, our God is powerful. He is mighty. He is capable. Every single story is everything to Him who loves us so powerfully.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


This would really, REALLY be more appropriate for Twitter, but since I have only signed up for a Twitter account and have not ever USED it, here I am with just a quick little blog.

I AM GOING ON A DATE!!! Do you remember, just recently I told you that I haven't gone on a date in literally years?

The other night I said, jokingly, "aren't I cute in my new outfit?" I did have on a new outfit and it is very cute but I don't really ever feel cute thanks to my whale-like proportions. Dh, however, does think I'm cute and said, "You're cute enough to take on a date!"

I forgot all about it until yesterday when he told me that his brother would be coming over to after the kids are in bed, while we go out to a movie. No WAY! He arranged babysitting and everything? How much do I want him to dress up like a frog and be my frog prince this Halloween??

So then today I looked up the movies and umm, hello stupid movies. NOTHING looks even remotely enjoyable. I IMed my friend Sarah-Michelle and she said her favorite dates involve walking around at Wal-Mart or the mall. I totally laughed it off. And then I thought - you know, that actually sounds fun!

We are going on a date, friends. To Wal-Mart.

I can't WAIT!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Could you just step in?

Would you mind? You over there - the one with the great fashion sense? Could you just step inside my head for a moment? What I need is a personal fabric shopper. I see designs I love. I see patterns I adore. I see color combinations that make me swoon. But when it's my turn to pick fabrics for a project, I fall flat. I end up with fabrics I'm sick of in a few months, and I never end up with that feeling of "YES! I LOVE IT!!"
Photo from allsorts.typepad.com

What fabric for living room curtains? Dining room valances?

What fabric for my kids' quilts and curtains?
Photo from seedpodbooksandart.com

What fabrics for my bedroom linens?
Photo from themikkelsens.net

Oh, bother!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Prince of Peace Academy, Week 4

Four weeks into our 2008-2009 school year. Wow. Let's see how our week went!

Monday we relaxed quite a lot and just spent time together. I spent the weekend at the beach with my Mom & sister, so I was tired.

Tuesday we went to the charter school to sign up for enrichment classes. It's our quarter for priority sign-up, so it was very quiet in there. We were only the 3rd family to show up that day, and yet one of the classes Malachi wanted was already full. :::things to make you go hmmm:::

We also met with our resource teacher for our 1st grading period check-in. Alif has never come to a meeting with us and he surprised me by showing up. What a nice Daddy! Our meeting went well and the kids happily picked treasures out of the treasure chest, and we were on our way.

That evening we went to my Dad's for a Birthday barbeque. Megan turned 29 this year and I turned 34. We have the same Birthday! Anyway, we swam and ate gluten-free chips plus non-gluten-free hamburgers and ice cream. It was perfect.

Wednesday we were supposed to be on an aquarium trip, just the kids & I, but everyone I knew scared me out of it by telling me that Mapquest was lying when they said it would only take just over 2 hours. We signed up for the charter school's trip to the same aquarium instead and will spend the night the night before so we can really enjoy the aquarium the next day. I think Alif might come with us. Yippee!

Thursday we took Caris to the dentist, who said, "Caris, you have no carries." Oh, was he funny. ;-) The office was awesome with my kids as always.

Then we went to pick up our Birthday cake from my friend Stephanie. SO good to see her - it had been years, and we've known each other all our lives! You should have seen us trying to cut this cake. It toppled in a big way and we laughed our heads off. So awesome.

Later I got to have a Lady Lunch with my Mom & sister. Ohhhh, too good for WORDS. Seriously. I love those ladies!

Do you like how my week has no mention of actual homeschooling activities? We did read. We did work. We just didn't do anything super exciting worth mentioning here. Life is learning, right?

I don't even remember Friday. :::things that make you go hmmm:::

Monday, September 08, 2008

Prince of Peace Academy, Week 3

This last week went as quickly as the previous week had gone slowly. It just zoomed right by. It was another week of much discovery but not much book work. Well actually, I take that back. We did a lot (!) of reading but not too much written work.

We stuck with archeology for history since we were all pretty interested in that.

We went to story time on Wednesday.

Malachi finished a Magic Tree House book in 2 days, which is the most reading I think he's ever done all on his own in such a short amount of time.

Caris continues on with her excessive use of workbooks and gleefully announces to anyone who will listen: "I love math!"

Graham's interests mostly revolve around creating things from cardboard and also making books with unique illustrations and hilarious text. I requested one for my Birthday and boy did he ever deliver!! I wish I had a scanner!

As for me, I've been spending copious amounts of time with my Ped Egg. :-X

Thursday, September 04, 2008

One year went by

A year ago yesterday, I had a 7-month-old, a 4-year-old, a 7-year-old and a 9-year-old. We were having a nice morning, despite the fact that I'd stayed up late sewing and eating chocolate the night before, and drinking some sort of awesome chai tea latte. We got up and I had my usual cup of coffee. I made some butternut squash for Canaan. Someone knocked on the door and as I turned to answer it, Canaan grabbed a huge bottle of bleach and it fell off the counter onto the kitchen floor. The lid broke and the bleach spilled everywhere. After tending to the visitor, I cleaned up the bleach mess.

Around 12:00 I went upstairs to put Canaan down for a nap. I laid him on my bed and got in next to him. I latched him on to nurse. I closed my eyes.

Then things went wrong. Very wrong.

My heart flopped. It just beat one time very, very hard. Harder than I'd ever felt my heart beat. And then it raced. And thumped. My heart was doing flips inside my chest. I bolted halfway upright, looking out my bedroom window and trying to get a grasp on what was wrong.

Then I started to feel dizzy, like I might pass out. Like - oh my gosh, like I really might pass out. And I was home alone with all those kids.

"Malachi - bring me the phone!"

"What phone?"


I called 911. I told him that my heart was beating way too hard and fast, and that I was home alone with four children. I was getting weak and he couldn't hear me very well. He said, "You're home alone with a four-year-old?" I said, "No, I'm home alone with four children." He said, "don't worry, we'll make sure they're taken care of."

Panic! What would they DO with my children? Where would they go? They'd be afraid!

Hello - we have in-laws across the street!! I sent Malachi to get Grandma and Grandpa. They came right over and got the kids, and I somehow got myself down the stairs and onto the couch. My sister-in-law came over and sat with me while we waited for the ambulance to come. I felt so weak, so tired and surprisingly more embarrassed than afraid.

The fire department arrived and asked me tons of questions and put an oxygen mask on. So embarrassing, all these people in my living room and here I am slouched on the couch in pajamas at noon. Alif walked in and looked pale and nervous. The ambulance arrived and they loaded me up.

My heart rate fluctuated between 180 and 220 on the way to the hospital. The paramedic put an IV in and said he was going to give me a medication that would stop my heart for a split-second, and that it might hurt. Nervous! It didn't hurt. No wonder - when we arrived at the hospital he told the doctor that he gave me Digoxin and it "didn't even touch it".

The rest is a blur of medications, staring at my vitals and waiting for my heart to convert, finding out that it was not the v-tach they'd suspected but instead it was a-fib which usually happens to very old people or extreme athletes (I don't qualify in either case). I converted to normal sinus rhythm within a few hours. I stayed overnight and was very glad to do so, as I was afraid to be home alone with my babies again. I called my midwife to find out if I could still nurse with all the meds in my system. They all checked out fine, so I pumped and when Alif brought the kids to see me, nursed Canaan. It was the longest 36 or so hours of my life.

Those few hours wreaked some pretty serious havoc in my life. I was so afraid. I couldn't imagine ever exercising again, for fear that my heart would go crazy. I started having panic attacks, mostly at night. I couldn't imagine driving anywhere ever again. I ended up in the hospital again - TWICE - within the week, thinking I was in a-fib again, but I was "just" having panic attacks. They gave me a tranquilizer.

I felt so . . . not in control. What an awful feeling, to go from feeling like a normal, productive woman to someone who can't do the simplest daily task without feeling afraid.

My Mom paid for me to go to counseling. My counselor worked with me for a few months and really understood what I was going through. Several of her family members have had a-fib and she herself has suffered (!!) from panic attacks. She really helped.

When I look at my life today, I am so thankful that my a-fib was a one-time occurrence. I'm thankful for the ability to live each day and not be afraid every time I lie down or get into the car. I'm prayerful that it never happens again. I'm completely caffeine-free, I try to get enough sleep and I try not to use bleach.

I think the thing that was so disturbing about it was that it was so random. I've never had a problem with my heart at all, and all of a sudden it went completely berserk. It was such a strange thing to be fine one minute and very not-fine the next. I can say one thing for sure, though. There is nothing that drives us deep into the Father's arms like a health scare. For that, I'm thankful.