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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Monkeys! Monkeys! Everywhere!

So, what does a 44 1/2 year old peri-menopausal woman do who is at home with a two year old?  (Yes, I know I've aged in just a few weeks.  Apparently I have a hang up about being 44.  My husband informed me that I typed the wrong age on my menopausal announcement post.  It's not the first time I've done that.  I seem to tell doctors the same thing.  Annsley has corrected me in front of them.  On a personal note, I think my hubby needs to find that marriage book that tells him women don't want to be reminded of their age.  He lost valuable brownie points that night...)

OK, back on track. 

The hormonal driven woman paints the kids' bathroom with monkeys!!!! (You didn't guess that? You're kidding!!)   I think I announced it to the girls like I was going to fix scrambled eggs--ya know, no big deal. I searched all over the internet for ideas, combined different heads and bodies of monkeys, drew out my patterns on butcher paper and then armed myself with a pencil, a huge eraser, gobs of green acrylic paint and lots of deep breaths. TWENTY-TWO HOURS later they got this:

Everyone needs jungle vines wrapped around their head as they sit on the potty, don't you think?

Monkey #1 squatting beside the bathtub.

And his cousin...

Sure Annsley, I'll put something beside your sink.  Hey, how about another floor to ceiling tree?  I've got nothing but time on my hands...

And, of course, every jungle needs a toucan!
 It had been a long time (since high school??? eeks!) since I had painted anything other than walls or stencils. I thought surely I had enough of my talented grandma to pull this off. I was a bit nervous though. It was a daunting idea, but I knew I had enough base coat paint to repaint the bathroom if I bombed. My shading is a bit off, but I think they turned out OK. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Adoption Ban Update

Please pray for the 46 families who are currently waiting to pick up their children.  I am so saddened and angered that these orphans are being played as pawns in a political move.  Here is a link to the latest news coming out about the potential ban.  If you haven't signed the petition to support US adoption of Russian children, please go to my adoption blog and read December 23, 2012 post. 


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Falling in love with Rural America

Have I told you recently how much I love living in our new little town? 

It wasn't a fluke about the pharmacist coming out from behind the counter and helping me select my over the counter medicine.  He did it again the other day. 

I was going to comment on the post office to Doug a few days ago. I began, "Can you believe how the post office ladies" and he interrupts me and finishes with "how nice they are???" 

We're like two kids walking around Disney World for the first time.  We probably go around town with our tongue hanging out of our mouths. 

One of our family Christmases was thrawted to another time and place due to Kennedi waking up in the middle of the night Thursday with the stomach bug that has been going around the school.  Our county library was having a showing of The Polar Express for the elementary kids Friday evening, so Annsley opted for that.  I loved the fact that several of the hosts there already knew my daughter, and I could feel safe leaving her in her pajamas at a public forum at 6:30 at night.

I love this little library.  It's like it was caught in a time warp.  It is filled with books I haven't seen since I was a little kid.  And so many of them have that camel colored velvety feeling that only very worn hardback books get.  And that smell.  A little bit of dirt and old paper.  It gets me all tingly.  Doug doesn't understand AT ALL. 

Anyway, I was driving by the courthouse after dropping Annsley off, and the lawn is covered in decorated Christmas trees AND the 3 wise men and a manger scene.  I LOVE THAT. 

Annsley started throwing up yesterday.  Her uncle asked, "What'd she eat?"  If you are new to my blogs, I wrote an entire expose on guys and throw up way back HERE. Doug has the "high trots and thin scatters"  right now. So glad Andrei and I have good, healthy genes!

I have put up a new blog post on our adoption blog.  Russia is very close to deciding to ban US citizens from adopting their children once and far all.  It infuriates me to think that politics trump the well being of their children who are in desperate need of a family.  Click HERE to read about it. 

Have a very Merry Christmas. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


We signed the papers on our old house last Wednesday.  That is relief beyond measure.  Now we can look at getting some flooring down and saying goodbye to our purple carpet that crinkles when you walk in certain spots.   Did I tell you what our carpet cleaner said when we had the carpets cleaned before we moved in? 


I didn't think so, and I didn't even go back into my archives to double check.  He said he wasn't able to get out a few stains. I told him that was OK.  We weren't planning on keeping it.  He said, "I didn't think you would."  Enough said right there, don't you think? we approached the last few days of double home ownership, I began thinking about all the things I would miss and NOT miss about our old house.  Here's a brief run down: (I'm telling you now-- hold on to your seats.  You might not be able to handle this!)

I'll miss being able to watch Annsley and Kennedi drive their battery powered jeeps all over the pasture.  They were truly 4 wheel little vehicles--unless they ran over a yucca plant.  That would stop them in their tracks every time. Nasty little cactus weeds.

I'll miss watching Annsley do her mud cooking on top of the gun range.  She found an abandoned aluminum slide, some fencing material, and old pots in a junk pile on our property and set up a little play area at the gun range. She dragged the slide probably 200 feet all by herself one afternoon.  Independent little thing would you say?

I'll miss Annsley catching horny toads, especially the baby ones. And I guess I'll include all the tarantulas here as well.  They did nothing for me, but they brought my oldest daughter joy beyond description.

This is the house that Kennedi learned to ride a bike without training wheels. 

I'm very much missing our master bathroom right now.  Our new house's master bath is tiny, and Doug and I haven't had to share a sink in 21 years. 

I miss our huge covered back porch.  I miss looking at our beautiful awesome sunsets.

I'll not miss the wind.  We lived on top of a hill.  No wind breaks in sight.  There were some days that I thought the back porch ceiling fans were spinning so fast that they would certainly fly off and become a deadly weapon.  40-50 mph winds nearly daily in the spring--all day long--all night long and the sandy dirt that came with it.

All the ants.  The red ones on the ground and the flying ones that showed up the first week or so in June.  Of course, with all the ant beds we had a plethora of horned frogs running around which my girls enjoyed immensely.  (Well, Kennedi and Andrei not so much.) 

Sand burrs.  Do I need to really go into detail about these stickers from hell?  I'll bet we dug up 1000s over the course of 3 years.  I. HATE. THEM. 

The black widows.  We had our fair share of them.  I will say, however, I pick those things over the Brown Recluse which we had at our new home.  At least black widows make nasty, sticky webs and stay around their webs.  Brown recluses are nasty little brown spiders not known for web making and like coming out to feed at night when you are asleep.  (And as a side note, if anyone in my area needs a good pest guy, I'll get you the name and number.  We knew we had a problem before we moved in, so we had our pest guy do his thing before we actually moved.  He said it was the most brown recluse infested house he'd seen in 25 years.  They sprayed carpet, every drawer, every cabinet, every crack, dusted the attic, etc.  The arachnid carnage that was found the day after the exterminators left was simply short of amazing. We haven't seen a creature AT ALL for the last two months, and yesterday he gave us the go ahead to start putting stuff back in our attic. Whoo Hoo!)

Enough reminiscing.  Our dog chewed up a soccer ball yesterday.  She dumped the outside toy bucket and chewed every cup, plate, baseball bat, and glove that was in it.  Our back yard resembles a small scale war zone.  I keep telling myself that every day she lives, she is one day closer to becoming an adult dog. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

"M"s the word...

Welcome to a frank, honest post.  (Well, actually all of my posts are honest, but this one is all about me.)

I'm getting old.

I'm 43 1/2 (almost), I've found more than 10 gray hairs to pluck out in the last 6 months, and I'm in the middle of peri-menopause hell. There, I said it.  That's so freeing.  Maybe there's a group.  An 800 hotline.  If not for us ladies, then at least one for our bewildered husbands. 

It's OK, Honey.  I'm bewildered at the whole thing as well.  The last thing my gynocologist said to me was, "Well, let me know when you can't stand those ungodly hot flashes or night sweats any more." 

And what else can I look forward too???

I didn't know there was such a thing as peri-menopause.  I just thought you woke up one morning and were menopausal.  Apparently, there is a transition period from the time you show symptoms until you fall off the reproductive cliff.  And, I have since learned that the "powers that be" have dubbed the time before you reach the time of peri-menopause as well.  That's called pre-menopause.  Duh. 

I just keep thinking about one of my favorite movies, Father of the Bride II, and that whole discussion of menopause and Diane Keaton sifting through the books on the nightstand...The Silent Passage, The Change.  Gag!  It just seems so old. Steve Martin gets it.  He gets me.  Menopause.  It's an old word. 

I actually cried the night when my doctor's office called with my blood work results after I had gone three months without any sign of menstruation in sight.  "Your blood work is elevated," her nurse told me over the phone.  "What does that mean?"  I've had blood work done about every 6 months as my cycles were so out of wack, but I had never gone over 90 days without one before.  "Well, it means you're entering menopause," Teneesa said. 

"Aren't I a little young?  A lot young?"  I asked.  "Well, average age is between 43-50. You might be in the low end of the range but not unusual," she says.  I got off the phone, went to bed that night without saying anything to Doug, and cried about 5:00 in the morning. 

Doug, being the compassionate man I fell in love with years ago hugged me and said, "Oh, it'll be OK." I think he was just glad to know that there might be a reason for the introduction to my fangs and the fact that the house needed to be no hotter than 60 degrees at night for the last several months.  "It's like the end of an era," I sobbed. 

He laughed.

We've had several interesting conversations over the last few months.  I arrive at the dinner table on night and Annsley says as I sit down, "Mom, Daddy says your hormes aren't right."


"That's what Daddy says.  That's why you get so mad so much these days.  It'll be OK.  We just have to stay out of your way."

Really. So he and the children have been discussion my estrogen levels. Lovely.

And then just two days ago, my oldest tells me after a particularly brutal afternoon, "Mom, you know your brain isn't working right. You need to leave my room NOW." I'm still debating on whether that is disrepectful of her however true it may be...

And then today driving home from church...I comment to Doug that I'm going to have to get to the eye doctor.  I find myself looking under my glasses half the time to read.  I know that can't be a good sign  in the aging process.

Doug says, "Hey, why don't you look into laser surgery?  That would be good.  I think you would look great."

I raise my eyebrow at him.  He continues. "It would be a gift. (And he starts laughing) You need to gift yourself during your time of transition.  You know, your season...Hey--it'll be my Christmas present to you."

My season? So that's what it's called...

My mother keeps asking me if I've gotten the progesterone cream ordered.  Yes, Mother, I have it, but I haven't used it yet.  She tells me I should.  It would be better for everyone she says.

So, it seems that I've been a hot topic around these parts. I haven't taken any drugs yet--haven't broken the seal on the progesterone cream as recommended by Dr. John Lee and his book What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause book.  I have taken some Menopause Support vitamins though.  I really think they help with the insomnia and night sweats.  Obviously Doug thinks they help with my Jekyll and Hyde mood swings.  I woke up one morning after I had a horrid evening to find both bottles of Menopause Support on top of the coffee pot.

He had already left for work that day, but I had to laugh at his attempt at subtleness. 

What a tricky, web infested path he must forge.  I hate thinking my children will look back on these days as "remember Mom during her crazy phase." My saving grace is I've heard that men go through it too.  I'm waiting not so patiently. 
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