Thursday, March 22, 2012

Dinner at the house

I thought we'd get out to the house at some point yesterday, but after a morning filled with errands and doctor appointments, lunch out with a friend, and a long nap by one, Mr. Hutton, it didn't look promising.  By the time I called Collin, he and his dad were already packing up for the day.  Despite an offer to go to the park, this did not set well with my construction-loving boy. 

I don't want to go to the park!  I want to go to the job site!

A couple more calls between Collin and I and we devised a plan, we'd pick up Subway and have dinner at the house.

I can't say Keaton was the only one who wanted to get out there.  With this beautiful weather and the knowledge that our windows were delivered yesterday, I was pretty antsy as well.


There is a lawn chair that sits in the future kitchen, right by the patio door, it's the "break chair" - I pulled it over and back just a little ways so I could look out into the yard.  While yesterday afternoon was on the hot side, the evening was simply perfect.  As I sat there listening to nothing but the birds chirp and feeling the gentle breeze of the wind, all I could think was, Wow, it is so peaceful out here.  You'd think I was in a new vacation spot, not in a place we've lived now for six years.  It all felt so new.  So fresh.  So beautiful.

I voiced this to Collin and he kinda smiled.  "This is what we had." He said.

He didn't need to elaborate more than that, I knew exactly what he meant.  In the days following the fire I remember telling people, I feel so guilty, all I did was bitch about that house.  The kitchen/dining floors were never clean enough, the carpeting and couches were always covered in dog hair, there was always laundry to be done and dishes to be put away.  It was never in good enough shape for me.  I never stopped doing to just sit and enjoy, to just soak it all in.

And then it was gone.  And I so desperately wanted to take back all that complaining, take back that looking for perfection and simply enjoy those rooms, enjoy that space, enjoy our lives.

This is what we had.

It was always here.  Peace.  Joy.  Beauty. It might have been under crumbs or dog hair, but it was here.  And sitting there last night I vowed that from now on our lives will be different.  Sure, there will still be floors to clean and laundry that needs folding.  That stuff won't go away.  But I don't need to focus on it. I don't need to constantly be looking for perfection. Instead I'm going to soak up all that is around us.  The birds, the wind, the sun on the patio.  Dog hair, dirt, crumbs and all, I'm going to enjoy this house, enjoy these rooms, enjoy this life.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Catching Leprechauns

If I were ranking holidays, it wouldn't have been until the past few years that I put St. Patrick's Day in one of the upper quartile spots. 

Side note: this actually makes me want to list all the holidays and rank them because I'm not exactly sure how my picks would fall.

But with our new-found love for corned beef and cabbage (we used to cheat and have corned beef and kraut) and the boys getting old enough to get into "catching leprechauns" this holiday has been one that I've been really looking forward to over the past couple of years. 

I had planned on making our leprechaun traps with the boys last Wednesday, but our day was full of errands and running around and we never got it done; so Busha helped them on Friday.  They decided to use tree branches this year as camouflage.  The boys were both sleeping on Friday night when we got home from dinner so we set out our traps on Saturday morning in hopes of catching one of those sneaky little guys.

Then we piled in the car and headed to Milwaukee for the day for their cousins' birthday parties.

On our way home we kept the boys awake with talk about checking our traps when we got there.  Then, when we actually got here, I totally forgot about it and Keaton and I were in the house putting things away and Collin and Hutton were outside with the dog when suddenly Keaton yells "OUR TRAPS ARE DOWN!!" 

Oh!  Wait for Hutt, I told him.  Go tell your Dad!


And then he and Hutt ran to their traps.  Keaton was a little more tentative, not wanting him to get out, while Hutt pulled that box up with wild abandon and started shoving gold in his pocket.

Keaton kind of peeked underneath his and I think he was disappointed (again) when all he found was gold and not a leprechaun.  But we explained to him that this means we got one!  The gold fell out of his pocket when he escaped!  And Collin told him maybe we'd set up a camera to catch him next time and that seemed to make Keat happy and he settled in to eat his gold.

We had our St. Patrick's Day meal on Sunday and I never got around to making the Irish Soda Bread or the green jello, but the corned beef was good.  Hutton shoved it into his mouth by the handfuls and Keaton warmed up to it a little after we told him it was leprechaun food. 

The boys have been checking their traps over the past few days, just in case, but no, no leprechauns.  Maybe next year!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Weekend Blues / Furniture Shopping / St. Patty's Day/ AKA: Totally Random Updates

I've noticed a trend over the past several weeks, it appears, almost without fail, I end up with what I'm calling the "Weekend Blues."  It's most prevalent on Sundays, it doesn't seem to matter what we have accomplished, or not accomplished; it doesn't matter if we have guests in town or if the sky is perfectly blue with a gorgeous wind blowing every so slightly.  Sunday hits and I'm depressed. There are almost always tears and sadness and a general sense of "I can't make it through this."  The feeling holds through Monday and most of Tuesday.  And then Wednesday comes and I seem to wake up on the other side of the bed; my mood improves, life doesn't feel dire, I generally feel like things are okay.  No, things are good.

I don't know if this is normal or not.  There are days that I feel like I might need to be medicated to get through the next several months.  And then there are days that I send emails saying "hey, can you send me that list again?  I seemed to have misplaced a landfill somewhere."  And I'm not tying to make light of the situation or force laughter or anything like that, it's just.. life goes on and we're doing good and well, that's about the time Sunday rolls back around...


We had a pretty productive couple of days this past weekend.  Not much got done in way of inventorying but we did get out on Saturday and repurchased almost all of our furniture.  It was a very different furniture shopping experience then we've ever had before.  While we don't normally make a purchase that big without price comparison shopping, when you're looking to furnish SIX WHOLE ROOMS going from store to store to check prices is just too overwhelming.  So we took a different approach and just went back to the store where we purchased said item in the first place (when we did compare prices) and we placed the order there.  Could we have potentially saved ourselves some money??  I don't know.  Yes, I suppose potentially, but we had one day without the kids in tow and we needed to get this done.  So when we broke for lunch, just after repurchasing the mattresses for our bedroom and the spare room, I looked at Collin and said, we can't dwell on this, the mattresses are done, checked off the list.  We're not looking at mattresses anywhere else and we're moving on to the next room.  And he agreed.  And we didn't.

The two rooms we have left to buy for are my office and the nursery.  The store in town that we got our office furniture from last time no longer carries that brand, but he made some calls for us and it looks like we'll be able to get it from them after all.  Whew!  It sounds dumb, but I loved that office furniture and now that I spend 10 hours a day in the room, well, I want my furniture back!

As for the nursery, I'm going to wait until we are closer to moving back into the house before ordering that.  We usually keep our kids in a bassinet for the first several months anyway, so I think it will work out okay.

Furniture shopping has made me really excited and anxious to get back into our house.  As of right now we're hoping it'll be mid-June, or so, when we move home.

This weekend is St. Patrick's Day and just yesterday it dawned on me that I didn't have a holiday guessing game on here.  Dang it!  It totally slipped my mind. 

I love having this blog to document things because, truly, I'm not doing it anywhere else.  I was especially happy yesterday when I was thinking about our St. Patty's Day meal and remembered that I posted the recipes that we used last year on here.  So I dug through my archives and found this post.  I'm happy to have my recipes, but I have to admit seeing those pictures of my decorations made me a little sad.  My grapevine tree.  It's gone.  My St. Patty's Day shamrocks.  They're gone.  My new Scentsy Love Knot warmer. Gone.

Keaton as a 2-year old.  Gone.  Holy crap!  He looks so young in these pictures.  And Hutty!  He's just a baby.  Of course, I had this post open on the computer when Collin came home last night and he said "Wow, the boys haven't changed at all in a year. "  And he was totally serious.  What do you think?  I'm curious.  Because I feel like they've grown 10 years in the past year.

The weather has been so gorgeous this week and Collin's mom called today and said there are crocuses popping up in their yard.   I don't normally let myself get too excited at the first sign of spring, living up here it usually means we'll get dumped on again with snow in just a few days time.  But the weather this year has been so odd that I think it might actually be here, and I in the last few days I've found myself longing for even summer things like farmers markets, weekends at the cabin, flowers blooming in pots, birds coming back to occupy our bird houses, and walks after dinner.  What are you most looking forward to as we (it seems) officially leave winter and enter a new season?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Baby Kono III: 26/27 Week Update

24 weeks

26 weeks

I'm annoying myself that I can't just call this a 26 week update.  But here's the deal....when we found out we were pregnant I desperately wanted an ultrasound to give myself a little piece of mind.  But I knew I wouldn't be able to get that unless something looked wrong or *gasp* I lied.  And so I lied.  I said I didn't know the date of my last period and so I didn't know how far along I was.  The truth is, my last period was August 28th.  Based on a 28 day cycle (which is what I had the month before) my due date would have been 6/3/12. Based on, ahem, estimated conception, because I thought we were, ahem, in the clear, my due date would be 6/6/12.  But when I had my early ultrasound the tech didn't do it trans vaginally (I have no idea why when I was that early, but whatever) and they came up with a due date of 6/11/12 - 5 days later then what I thought.  So each of my monthly appointments are on Wednesdays and per their due date I'm always x weeks 2 days.  When I thing I'm actually x + 1 weeks. 

So anyway, that's why these updates are ridiculously named.  The pictures I've been taking on weekends, which puts me half way between the weeks, a compromise in my mind.

Yesterday I had my 26 (27) (God, I can't stop) week appointment.  When I made the appointment I told Collin, "I can't do this one on my own", because it included my 1-hour glucose test/blood draw.  But then of course the weather had to go and be all 50 degrees on us and we can't afford for him to be off the house when it's that nice and so, long story short, it was me, a bottle of nasty, a blood draw and appointment, with two rambunctious kids in tow. 

It actually went pretty good, considering, except for the part where Hutt came thisclose to opening the bathroom door on me mid-urine sample to a room full of unsuspecting lab patients.  That would have been awesome.  So my pants are down around my thighs, my hair is in my face and I'm trying desperately to get a good angle on the cup when I look up to see Hutty on his tippy toes, little mits on the door, handle drawn down, just about to pull it back.  In high heel boots I scurry over, grab him by the coat and pull him back to the toilet with me.  No, no, no! I tell him.  And now I'm holding a cup in one hand and a kid in the other and CRAP, I'm missing the cup, and Keaton's asking me why I'm peeing like that oh, this is just SO FUN!

But it did go okay, and I didn't bare it all to the lab room, so that was good.

So...general baby updates...

  • First of all, here is a 24-week comparison picture with Hutton. And a 26-week shot with Keaton.
  • I know I shouldn't compare babies/kids and all that, but I can't help myself.  At 26 weeks with Keaton I had gained 18 pounds.  I didn't note what I had gained with Hutton except to say it was less than that.  With Baby III I've gained 17 pounds (up another 4 from my last appointment.)  I'm really only tracking this for my own records, because I find it interesting, not because I care how much weight I gain. 
  • This baby is a mover and a groover.  Lots of movement during the day and lots of movement when I lay down at night.  And it seriously feels like he is break dancing in there. 
  • I haven't nailed down the one word I would use to describe him yet.  I read this in a magazine during my pregnancy with Keaton and I used the word "inquisitive" to describe him and with Hutton I used "spitfire."  Both were dead on.  I need to spend a little more quiet time thinking about this for Baby III.
  • I'm having Braxton Hicks again, though I feel like not quite as many as last time. Although I noted last time that they were still pretty infrequent. They haven't picked up in intensity yet though; where I actually have to tell Collin to stop talking so I can breath through them.  Which, I'm starting to wonder, are those Braxton Hicks, or are those real contractions?  I've read that BH don't hurt, but mine always do.  Is that normal??
  • I had a massage a few weeks ago and I probably shouldn't type this here but my sciatic has been so much better since then. It still hurts, but nothing like it was before.
  • I think we're about 95% sure on this little boy's name.  It's a name that Collin loves, by far his first pick.  I like it to, don't get me wrong, but it is more common then the other boys' names and I've been stalking local hospital online nurseries and have seen it pop up a few times in recent months.  I'm not sure why this bothers me, I don't want a "weird" name, I just, I don't know, I guess it's because I was one of 3 Katie's in my class and I always hated being Katie B.  But I do like the name, so I'm not sure it matters, and the boys have already been calling the baby by this name. 
Appointment updates...

  • Heat beat yesterday was 127; the lowest it has ever been (he's usually in the 140-150s).  I'm guessing he was sleeping, or on a sugar crash following the glucose drink. 
  • Based on my fundal height I was measuring 28 weeks.  Doc said this was fine and what he doesn't want to see is measuring behind.
  • My appointment was 24 hours ago and I still have not received a call from the nurse telling me I failed the glucose test.  Is it actually possible I passed???  I've failed the 1-hour with both of the boys so I was fully expecting to fail this one too.
  • Found out I might be having an allergic reaction to my progesterone injections.  After last weeks shot my injection site itched liked crazy for several days.  After last nights shot I broke out in a rash on my arm.  I'm going to try taking Zyrtec next week, if that doesn't help we might have to stop these.
  • My next two appointments will be spaced 3 weeks apart (instead of 4).  At my 32 week check-up (6 weeks from yesterday) I will be having a pelvic exam.  I assume this is to check to see if I'm thinning/dilated.  Holy crap you guys, six weeks!  I feel like that appointment will be very telling as to whether we have several more weeks in us or we'll be welcoming this little guy early again. Or not.  Who knows!
  • Either way, I'm starting to think I need to get myself some clothes to take to the hospital and start working on that "must have" baby gear list to make sure we're at least somewhat prepared here.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Bad days

There are days that I long to come on here and just let all of my emotions come spewing out of my fingertips, to write it all down in hopes that its exit will leave my mind with a void that can be filled with more positive thoughts.  I suppose I knew this time would come; things felt too easy in the beginning, even to me.  I told friends that I fully expect to have it all hit me in a couple of months.  Unfortunately, like most struggles, knowing they are coming doesn't make them any easier.  I've been feeling so hurt lately and there has been anger and bitterness and a sadness that reaches into the depths of my being.  I try to push the thoughts out of my mind or let them slide out through the tears and sometimes that works, but sometimes it doesn't. I'm overwhelmed with all that still needs to be done.  I feel guilty for not being there for family and friends who are going through their own battles right now. And I'm worried.  I'm worried about where this is going to leave us financially.  I'm worried about Collin, who is internalizing all of the stress and I wish I were kidding when I say I'm afraid he's going to end up in the hospital.  I want so badly to have it all together, to not feel like each day I'm unraveling just a bit more. 

The only thing that truly does help is to think about the people in our lives that we've become closer to because of this; with each set of tears Collin reminds me of that. 

When people ask how we are doing I tell them we're putting one foot in front of the other and just trying to move forward. 

And we are.

And we will.

I have to believe that.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Story of the Fire: Part II

**Click here to read Part I**

As soon as the words house and fire escaped my mouth I heard "Oh my God" and the door swung open. Picking up the kids once more I ushered them into the entryway. The thing I remember most about this moment is that the boys had yet to make a peep. There was no crying. No screaming. No asking of questions. They were eerily silent. Shock, I'm sure.

"Can I use your phone?" I asked John. Almost immediately he handed it to me.

"Who do I call? 911?"

"Yes." He told me.

It seems odd I'd have to ask that question but I think I was just so out of it. Still so confused as to what exactly was going on.

"911. What’s your emergency?"

"Yes, our house is on fire."

"What is your address?"

"xxx Xxxxxxxx Xxxx"

"Is everyone and all animals out of the house?"

"We are all out. Our dog is out. Our cat is still in there."

"Can you move the cars out of the garage?"

At this point in the conversation I was standing at our neighbor’s window, one hand holding the phone, the other on my face in a state of shock, looking at our house and seeing a large ball of orange flame in one of the windows. My mind was still too fuzzy though to actually put together what window it was that I was looking at.

"No. It's right by the garage."

(In the end, Collin was able to get the cars out, but from my vantage point I really didn’t think we’d be able to.)

About this time is when I saw Collin, standing on the apron with his hand to his ear.

"My husband might be calling in too."

"Yes, I think he is calling right now. Okay, I have called the department. There is a deputy on the way."

I believe this was the end of our conversation. I don't think I told her that we thought it was the Christmas tree. But to be completely honest, I don't know for sure.

After hanging up I remember looking at the clock and seeing it was 1:22 am. My brother was still at work and I was wishing I could somehow get a hold of him. The problem was, in this day and age with cell phones, I didn’t know his number and I didn’t have one of our phones with his contact information saved.

"He should hear it come over the scanner." John told me.

We turned back to the window, the boys were both standing below me with their hands perched on the sill, neither one of them making a sound. I was replaying to John what had happened; explaining that we thought it was the Christmas tree, but as we were studying the house I realized it wasn't.

"It can't be. The tree is way over in that corner." I said, pointing to the west most side of our house. "That window, that's the basement."

As we stood there analyzing the windows, slowly making sense of what we were looking at, our basement window blew out and bright orange flames were bursting from the house.


When we left the house I picked up the kids and ran to the neighbors. Meanwhile, Collin turned to go back into the house. However, when he got to the front door the smoke was so black and so thick that he didn't go in. He turned instead and ran to the garage, knowing that he should try to move the vehicles. Hoping there might be a spare set of keys in his truck he opened the door and frantically searched around. No luck. He stuck it in neutral and tried pushing it, but it wouldn't budge.

What I didn't realize at the time is that when the smoke alarms went off, in addition to grabbing Hutt, he also picked up his phone. When he couldn't get his truck to move he called 911, which was at practically the same time I was calling.

Hanging up the phone he remembered that our car keys, while typically in our kitchen, an area there was no way to access, were in his fleece pocket, which was lying on our bedroom floor. As soon as he remembered this he ran back to the front door. The smoke was so intense that it practically knocked him down; getting on his belly and army crawling he made his way back to our bedroom.

As the electric box was in the corner of the basement, the fuses had already blown out, which left him navigating in the pitch dark, trying to stay as best he could beneath the smoke. He found his fleece, called for the cat and swung his arms to see if he would hit her, thinking maybe she was in our bedroom, possibly under the bed. If Sophie was there, he couldn’t find her. Turning around he made his way back to the front door. Before standing he felt a random pair of tennis shoes and as he stood up to leave, he kicked those out the door with him. A pair of shoes. So minor, but having just one item of your own to wear the next day would provide just a tiny bit of normalcy.

Exiting the house, he ran back to the garage and first moved his truck, backing it up into the field far enough so it was out of the way. His truck had been parked outside of the garage, so of our two vehicles this one was easy to move.

My car, unfortunately, was inside the garage. The garage sits right next to the basement window which was now bursting with flames. I have no doubt that adrenaline played a major role in getting my car out of the garage.

Assessing the situation he knew there was only one way in. Lowering his shoulder and charging only inches from shooting flames, he bull rushed the locked entry door. The frame split down the middle, enough for him to break into our smoke filled garage. Since there was no electricity, and no way to easily open the door, he had to use the release cord. Except there was one problem, a couple of years ago we removed the release cord because it was red and it was attracting hummingbirds that were coming into our garage, getting stuck, and dying. There was no release cord. Holding his breath he raised his arm and used the car key, aimlessly poking around for the tiny little track release. Someone was definitely watching out for us that night that is for sure, because by a stroke of luck he hit the release button and was able to open the door, getting the car out of the garage and avoiding an even bigger disaster if the fire were to reach the gas tank.


I hadn't planned on drawing this out into a Part III, but there are so many details I don't want to omit and the process of putting this together and collaborating with Collin so we document as best as we both remember is somewhat exhausting. So, to be continued….