24 February 2011

Not a writer's block

Sorry that I have not written much these days. I went away to the grandparents' house. That alone is not an excuse to not write.


.. I dropped my laptop and now it is not working anymore. (*sad face*)

Now I will be back home in two weeks, and then I will have alot of catching-up to do! Until then, please be patient with me, and you can read some of my older posts, if you like...

See you soon!

14 February 2011

Kids and God

If you don't know it yet, I only became a Christian about six years ago. I did not grow up in a church, so to see my own kids soaking up all they hear and learn in Sunday school and at home, it just makes me so happy! Maybe they can avoid a few of my mistakes, mistakes I made because I did not know God. Here are a few situations when Coqui has proven that he is listening.....

This morning, we did our weekly shopping trip to the local supermarket. At the cash register, the kids can get Buddies that can be put into a machine and out come buddy points. When we were in the car, driving home, he told me all about how he asked nicely for the buddies and then got a pretty high number on points out of the machine. So I said: "now Mami just has to figure out what to do with those points".
And Coqui told me, in his simple way, that I just "have to ask God and He'll tell me". Wow. It makes me so proud. And it proves how simple it actually is. Trust in God, ask for what your heart desires, and expect to get it. (amen to that)

A few months ago, we went to our friend's house. At the last light, Coqui announced that he has to go potty. Usually that is not a problem, I just pull over because I always have the portable potty in the trunk. But it was the last light, so I told him to hold it because we are almost there. Telling me how badly he had to go, he almost cried, so I told him to pray to God to change the light into green so we would get faster to our friend's house and he can go to the bathroom there. Well, he prayed and the light changed immediately. To him, that was like magic! So when we went to the same house last week, the light was red again, and I guess he had to go to the bathroom, again. He must have prayed in his head, because when the light changed pretty quickly into green, he yelled "God heard me again" from the back of the car.

Recently, I started to add bible study to our schooling. I do it right during breakfast, so I have both kids at the table and their full attention. For some reason, I opened the book to a story about how Jesus healed a man that couldn't walk. Coqui is very interested in 'handicapped' people - maybe because we have two blind girls coming to our church. The cool thing is that he actually remembers those stories from one day to another, or even over the weekend. His brain is just such a sponge. Well, back to the main issue, when hearing all those stories he tries to apply them to his own life. Like he would exclaim how he prayed to God to heal his boo-boo and it got healed. Or how God saved him from getting crushed when he decided he needed to open every single draw of his dresser and the dresser actually tipped over. Really, Coqui had this guardian angel and it saved him from being crushed under the dresser! His foot got hurt a little, but again was not crushed because one if his name train letters was in the way, and got broken in the ordeal - but we believe that this letter, it was the 'O', saved his foot. God is good - all the time!

13 February 2011

Couples Valentine Breakfast

The Women's Ministry in our church is organizing an event for our ladies every month. So one month, we go bowling, the next we have a guest speaker at the church; last month we had a game night at one of the ladies' home, and this month we had a couples breakfast. Every month, a different lady is organizing the event - this month it was me.

So I had to plan and organize what to do and find a place and so on. I had never done something like this before, but now that I have, it was fun and I will do it again. My biggest issue was not the 'work' but my fear of failing and not getting it done. I had some help, and that help was a huge blessing to me. The initial idea was, of course, a sweetheart dinner - but try to find a place that will be willing to reserve a party of twenty or more people on a holiday weekend. Well, we didn't find one. Apparently, Valentine is all about couples; larger parties (parties larger than two???) are not appreciated on that weekend. Of course, we still wanted to organize something to bless the couples in our church. You see, our youth had agreed to babysit all of the children, so the parents can go out together and have a blessed time. Most people in our church are not from this town or state, so we don't have (alot of) family around here. Pretty much all of our families have children, and we all know, once you have kids, your time as a couple (just the two of us) is very limited.

We came up with a breakfast, and the idea was applauded. So I found a restaurant that would reserve a room for our larger-than-two party. We made flyers and announcements at church, and we had eleven couples signed up. Wow. So yesterday morning, we dropped our kids of at the church, and then all went out for breakfast together. We had such a good time, got to know each other better, laughed alot, and ate great food.

Of course, we had to have a game. My friend who helped me found this very different version of a scavenger hunt. The couples had to find/buy the following items:
  • chocolate
  • rose / flower
  • a candle
  • a drink
  • write a Vaelentine's poem on a napkin
  • a restaurant menu
  • candy jewelry
  • sweetheart candy
  • nuts
Once I handed out the list, people started immediately writing down the poems. They started paying, and off they were. The race had begun. Who would be first back at the church? We just went to Target and got everything there, but there was a couple who actually didn't spent a single dollar - they just went home and got everything there. Amazing the things people come up with. It fascinates me.

We were not the first ones, but third. Not too bad. The thing was: it didn't really matter who was first. Because..... when everyone was back, we had the husbands kneel in front of their ladies and present them their Valentine's gifts = the items that came from the list. Hahaha.... we laughed so hard. It was very fun. Each item represented something, like the flower was meant to say that the lady was as beautiful as a flower, or the nuts were because our husbands are nuts about us. The hubbies had to read the poem out loud - they did such a great job! I think I am safe when I say that each lady (and hubby) was blessed that morning.

I was blessed. Blessed to have my husband. Blessed to have friends to hang out with. Blessed to have laughed that much in only two hours. Blessed that my daughter had a blast with the youth and did not scream - because you see, she usually doesn't want to go inside the church building because she immediately assumes that I drop her off at the nursery. She doesn't like going there, she cries each and every time. But yesterday morning, she didn't. That was my Valentine's gift from her!

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone.

11 February 2011

Baby Steps

I have a confession to make.

I have a comfort zone. Surprise!!! Yeah, and my comfort zone is called my home. I don't like invaders, I don't like it being disorganized. God, it is hard enough to have children that run all over the place and spill things, break things, and put things in disorder.

I always preferred going to other people's houses than having someone over in mine. So my comfort zone would never ever have someone in my house. How realistic is that? Not really. I mean I don't want to become a hermit and die alone. That wouldn't be healthy, and I don't want it. I want to break out of the box and overcome whatever fears I have. Face them and run them down. Live my life to the fullest.And isn't there a saying that "Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half...", or something like that? Well, I rather share my fear with my friends and family, than being on my own.

That said, how do I survive play dates? Good question because I have a hard time with that. I would prefer to never have to have them at my house. Because adding to the disaster of my own two children breaking things, now other kids come and break things, spill food or drinks, and do things that I would 'kill' my kids for! Right? Well, I have learned that setting boundaries with my friends helps to keep the chaos at bay. Also, leaving just a few toys out rather than every single one, helps to keep the mess controllable.

I can do family dinners. I can - if I don't have to cook!?! Just kidding, it intimidates me actually. But I have stepped out for that, and survived. Yes, it is a big deal to me.

But bigger parties still scare the living Jesus out of me! They do. An uncontrollable amount of people in my house, running around with food in their hands.... aaaaah! So scary.

I have to step out of my comfort zone! I think it’s important to test my boundaries from time to time. Because without exploring, there will be no growth or life experience. Right? Trying something different may feel awkward, but it could turn into an enjoyable experience.

Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9 (NASB))

I have to push the limits of my comfort zone BECAUSE I love my friends and want to surround myself with their company. Cancer taught me something! I don't want to die alone! Nope. Not at all.
So I have had my own baby shower at my house. Wow, was I scared. I did not have to throw it, my lovely friend did all the work for me. But we had the girls in the house, and kids! With food and drinks. And guess what? Barely anything was spilled, the carpet stayed completely clean. I was impressed. And now feel so much more confident.

Then I was invited to a few parties were I had to bring my own food. You mean I have to cook for someone else? Oh, that is a challenge for me. Not only because most people don't eat what I eat, and then I am not confident enough to know if they like what I make and how I make it. BUT I got alot of positive feedback. Someone actually asked me for one of the recipes. I was blown away! Being human, I am thriving on that positiveness, and got more courageous. Now I am much less scared to share my dishes with others. And if they don't like one, it won't be the end of the world (anymore).

Now I am about to throw a baby shower for a friend. And I am scared! But it is a step into the RIGHT direction. To get over this fear I have. I want to reach out and bless my friend! One baby step at a time.

And if anything goes wrong, I have God who will help me through the crisis. I have friends who will help me to clean up the mess. I will be blessed to have all the fun and joy around me. I won't be alone. And I think that I will be blessed.

10 February 2011

Update on Health and my new hobby(ies)

Thank you all for the kind words regarding my recent excursion in the medical world of cancer. I still feel the lump. That said, I do feel more peace. At the moment.

Isaiah 26:3 "With perfect peace you will protect those whose minds cannot be changed, because they trust you."
The Lord did not give me these two kids to take me away from them this early - that I am convinced of. I did question myself if we should even think of attempting the adventure of a third child, or should we just leave it at two. It is so hard when your heart just screams YES, but the brain is thinking "I could die, sooner or later". Then I thought, hey, we are all mortal. Yes, we are! So a perfectly healthy mother can be hit by a car tomorrow, or die during a routine operation next week. I can die of cancer within the next years or so, but I might not. I will not! So I will let my heart take over the prayers this time, and pray that we might (?) have another child by next year or so. Maybe...

Also, the doctor's office called me to make an appointment for an ultrasound in about six weeks. I made the appointment and I am so happy that I have a doctor who cares. I am taken care of very well at this oncology and that, too, gives me peace. I am blessed.

Now to the next point. I am not blogging every day, but I don't want you to think I am not busy. Here is a picture of my new creations, my new hobby:

I finished the last two this morning. After making a few of those, I have come up with a pattern that I like and the fabrics that I prefer. At first, I ran out and got all new fabrics, now I am just cutting up old receiving blankets that were just collecting dust in the dresser. The fleece inside the diaper is better for baby's skin, but it makes the diaper much thicker to work with. So far, I am planning on making around twenty of those kind of diapers - just for my own use. I want to be done with them before my trip that is coming up in about two weeks. So I have fifteen more to go. It takes me about two hours to produce one from start to finish, cutting the pattern first until the last stitch. Not too bad I think.

The other "new" hobby is the home schooling project, with that I mean getting all the legal information that I think I need to back myself up (from the government). I had gotten four (existing) books from the library that I was reading for the past three weeks. By now, I think I have a general idea how I want things to be by September. I have been much more serious with Coqui about school, doing it longer and more intense. There were some days that he complained about it taking too long, other days, like this morning, he couldn't stop from doing more, even though I was done, and so was Peanut. (She gets a little clingy when I am away from her for too long.) I am actually almost ready to order my curriculum - not sure on a few books, so I will wait and see if I can find some more books in a different library here in town.

Yeah, so I said I was busy. But also very happy. Blessed every day.

07 February 2011

A Praise of Thanksgiving

For the past month, I have been a little preoccupied by the thoughts of recurring cancer.

Let me start from the beginning. About a month ago, I found a lump on my abdomen, while showering. I never felt it there before. To say the least, I was frightened instantly. Living with cancer also means living with the fear of it coming back, at any time. My initial reaction was panic. Then I tried to find explanations to calm myself down. After about a week, I went to my support group - this meeting is for all gynecological cancers. I usually go to give support, not to get it. But for some reason, this meeting was quite somber, and at the end, I just lost it, and "confessed" to the nurse. Of course, she told me that she will talk to the doctor and get me in to see her. And if it is just to give my mind peace.....

I went home, relieved that something will be done, but also more frightened to find out if I die sometime soon. You will laugh reading this, but believe me, at the time, it was not funny. So I waited and within the next three weeks, we came up with a game plan that included lab work and a CT scan and a possible doctor's examination, depending what the scan would or would not reveal. My scan would have come up in May anyway, so we were just having it a little earlier this year. I have to have one each year, to make sure that everything is okay. Sounded good to me!

Now the thing with the CT scan is that I am allergic to the iodine. They have to pre-medicate me, 24 hours before and 24 hours after the injection of the iodine. Something I am most definitely not looking forward to. Taking it for two days is fine, but getting off it is like "floating-on-drugs" and hardcore detox! To make a long story, or waiting time, short, I had my test this past Thursday, and the results came back fine.

Or at least fine enough for now. I am getting cysts quite often. And the doctor says that I have one right now, on the spot where I felt it. If it keeps giving me problems, there are not many options. Eventually, it might mean that she has to remove my ovary / ovaries. Eh? What? My ovaries? Kidding, right??? I was so happy when they were not removed the first time around, now she is talking about another operation? I am not sure what to think? I am not ready to give those up yet? Not only would that take away the last way to ever have another child, but it also would put me in early menopause - and I am not ready for that! For sure!

So I am praying that it will not be necessary! I am also thanking God for taking care of me!

Psalms 30 - A Prayer of Thanksgiving.  
1 I will praise you, LORD, because
   you have saved me
   and kept my enemies from gloating over me.
2 I cried to you for help, O LORD my God,
   and you healed me;
   you kept me from the grave.
3 I was on my way to the depths below,
   but you restored my life. 
 4 Sing praise to the LORD, all his faithful people!
   Remember what the Holy One has done,
    and give him thanks! 
5 His anger lasts only a moment,
   his goodness for a lifetime.
   Tears may flow in the night,
   but joy comes in the morning.


05 February 2011

My very first sewn cloth diaper

The other night I was looking through Etsy - a place to buy and sell all things handmade, vintage, and supplies. Why? Well, Peanut is getting bigger, so my medium sized cloth diapers are getting too small. Also, my beloved neighbor has a growing baby and she wants to have her cloth diapers back. So I need diapers for her - at least for a little while longer until I am super serious with potty training. When looking through the multiple brand names, I always get stuck with the thought, why it is so damn (excuse me!) expensive?

So I found a few and then some more, cloth diapers that people have handmade. Then I saw tutorials to buy to make your own. Now that got me thinking! There must be free stuff out there! And there is.

So I educated myself (what a word!) and went shopping. Then I went through old clothes in our house.... and found what I needed. Within a week, I had all my supplies, patterns printed and even cut, and with two snow days, I made already two diapers. Here they are: 

At first the pattern looked way too big, but then I put it on her, and voila, it fits just fine. These are just cloth diapers, so a cover is needed.
How fun a snow day can be!!! And so productive. Now I have to make some more....