Friday, September 24, 2010

Oi Vey

I feel so amazing, these days! Last Thursday, when I came home from Bible Study, I found my mom had cleaned my entire house for me. She is the master of organization and I openly proclaim that I am the furthest cry from organizationally gifted. {have I mentioned that my mom is the bestest in the whole wide world? No? Well, she is.}

Now I have a daily check list with just a few things to do, and I make sure to do them first thing in the morning before I start any other projects, and it's been over 1 week now, but my house still looks immaculate. I rock.

If you know me at all, this is a rather amazing achievement.

I also am feeling great now that Bible Study has started back up again. The daily time in The Word and meditation has made a huge difference. I am feeling hope again for my future, and it's exciting!! I try not to think about the dreams that I cannot achieve, but rather I focus on the things I CAN achieve. I don't know what God has in store for my future, but I know that I can help to make my "right now" more tolerable by giving Him praise in my every thought and action.

Things are looking up for me for the first time in a long time, and it feels so comforting. I still struggle with letting go of my own desires, but I'm working hard on learning how to desire what GOD wants for me.

Today I have a play date with a couple of my friends, and I may even build up the courage to see if a lady friend from Bible Study would like to work out an occasional play date as well.

I'm tired of sitting back and waiting for life to change. I have to take charge of my own life as much as I am able, and make something for myself. I may not ever be able to get my medical degree, but perhaps I can find something to be passionate about that's more attainable.

Here's to the hunt!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Why I've Been Absent

I know my posts have been few and far between for the last few weeks, but there really is a good reason.

To start with, once Tay started school, so much of my time has been filled up doing things!! I'm amazed at how busy I've been. I go out shopping with my mom twice a week (once for her, once for me), I have Bible Study on Thursday mornings, and the rest of the time, I'm playing with Vin or taking care of Oz!!

I have had this blog on my mind a lot, though. As much as I would LOVE to get on every day and post, the reality is I have way too much on my plate right now that requires my attention more than this. I'll still be around at least once a week, but other than that, I can't make any promises. I'm trying to take this time to train myself to be more diligent in my house keeping and general family duties.

I hope you understand and support this choice. I believe this is what will please God more than blogging every day.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Guest Blogger!

This weeks guest blogger is Jason Marsden. You may recognize the name if you're a Munsters fan. Jason's wife was pregnant with a baby boy due on the same day as me, but little Clark was destined to greet the world early, and I have thoroughly enjoyed watching him grow up via posts on their blog, Chronicles of Clark. Be sure to stop by and leave them some love!!
1. What is the greatest thing about being a dad?
Man, there are so many things! It's so new, so bright, so infinite, it's hard to pick the 'greatest' thing. It changes almost every day. How about some highlights instead?
Changing his diaper - greatest thing! Yeah, most parents would not agree, but Clark loves the whole process. I get the biggest smiles from him when I take off his diaper. It's 
either from extreme relief or he's an exhibitionist. We'll soon find out. 
His smile! So pure. So sincere. So infectious. - Greatest thing.
Feeling him melt into my chest or over my shoulder when he falls asleep - greatest thing.
Watching him eat! He cries for two reasons...fatigue...or hunger. The look of utmost satisfaction when we insert the bottle - greatest thing!
Showing him off to friends or strangers - greatest thing.
Dressing him up - greatest thing. If you think about it, and do it right, babies can be one helluva fashion accessory!
Singing, dancing for him! He's a rapt audience - greatest thing.
Watching him sleep - greatest thing!

2. What was the biggest challenge for you with Clark being born so premature?
Spending 89 days at the NICU and going home empty handed.

3. How has Clark effected your life?
I say this in jest (kinda), but you parents know what I mean: I never thought I could love anyone more than I love myself. 
Sleep...goes without saying.
All in all I'm surprised at how easy it is to acclimate him into our lives. I'm the kind of person who craves a schedule. Clark dictates. We follow.

4.What are some your favorite childhood memories that you wish Clark will be able to experience as well?
This is the toughest question for me, because I had such a unique childhood, being an actor. Unless Clark plans to follow in my footsteps, his
experiences will be quite different. I guess, I just always loved meeting new people and traveling to new places. I do remember driving cross
country from Rhode Island to California. It was such an uneventful trip...really. And long. But the excitement of it reminded me of being on
an adventure. I hope Clark sees things with such an open heart and mind like I did.

5.What did you want to be when you were a child?
I wanted to be a rock star! Or in a musical (still do). There was always a bit of 'performer' in me.

6. What is your favorite past-time?
Dark theatre, popcorn, watching a (hopefully) fantastic movie! 
Live music at a dive bar. 
A killer yoga class.
Gatherings with friends.
and now...Father's Day!

7. What is your biggest fear?
Great question. My #1 answer to that, used to be, death. Now, it's weird, cuz now that Clark is in my life, I see him as my living legacy. I am totally at 
comfort knowing that a part of me will continue to live on through him, well long after I'm gone. My biggest fear has now turned into my greatest comfort.

8. Who is your role model?
My wife. Christy Hicks slammed into my life just when I thought all hope for love was gone. She has truly changed my life. Not just cuz she's the woman of my 
dreams and all that. I have seriously watched her overcome so many obstacles. This pure soul has had so much shit thrown at her (including, but not limited to,
the premature birth of our son) and she continues to somehow get herself to rise above. I've watched her grow in so many ways. She is my inspiration. 

9. What is your favorite thing to eat?
Random question...but okay...chocolate.

10. What was the first concert you went to?
Billy Joel.

11. Where is your favorite place to "chillax"?
The sanctuary of my living room. Preferably alone with myself for some Jason time.

12. Do you turn the stereo down in the car when you are trying to find someplace?
OMG I so do!

13. Favorite music?
I like so many kinds. Hip hop, grunge, rock, country, classical. For example, here's what's cycling on my iPod:
Weezer, Lady Gaga, U2, John Williams, Pharcyde, Adele, Gorillaz, Foo Fighters, White Stripes, the soundtrack
to Aladdin, and currently I'm addicted to Podcasts: Stuff You Should Know, Geeks On, The Moth, This American Life
and so forth.

14. Where would you like to be 20 years from now??
Bi-coastal. Keep my pad here in Los Angeles, perhaps a nice bit of land in Nashville, TN (where Christy's from).
You know a place to park the RV as we travel travel travel! Clark will be somewhere abroad, sending holographic
texts requesting we meet up with him in Amsterdam or India or China. Christy and I will jump at the chance, if
she's not busy doing some world peace event she started or if I'm not on-location on some feature film of course.

15. What bit of advice or testament would you like to give my readers?
If it's parenting advice, I have none. I'm doing the same thing you all are doing...the best I can, with the abundant
times infinity amount of love I have, pouring into my son. Communication, listening, kind words, kind actions,
these are ingredients to a happy and loving family life. Don't sweat the small stuff. Stay open. And for Goddess 
sake...turn off the lights when you leave the room!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Guest Blogger!

This week's guest blogger is a long-time friend of the family. Her name is Katie Martin and she is the ultimate super-mom. I've known her family for about 15 years and I was so excited to share this with you. She doesn't blog, but I think you'll still be able to take something away from this post. If you'd like to send her a note, leave it as a comment and I'll forward it on to her.

1. How many kids do you have and what are their names/ages?
I have 4 kids with one due in Feb. My oldest, Jerry is 8, next Bethany just turned 7, Faith is 5 and Luke is 2 1/2

2. What are their disabilities?
Bethany has spastic diplegic cerebral palsy which usually doesn’t have seizures (which we are very thankful for) it affects her legs giving her low muscle tone making it hard to walk on her own. Faith has down syndrome which there can be many thing involved but for her, she had open heart surgery at 6 months of age, has had tubes put in her ears, she is also delayed in speech as well as mental delays. And the last thing we have dealt with is Leukemia.

3. What is the biggest challenge raising children with disabilities?
It can be quite lonely. It is hard to find kids that your kids can play with (that are willing to play with someone that can’t do everything they can do) as well as spend time with moms that know exactly how you feel. I don’t know if it is harder for me since I have two children that have totally different disabilities but I am sure most moms with special needs kids have this challenge especially as their child gets older and notices more.

4. What do you love the most about them?
Their personalities. How each one is different, and that they look after each other in a special way.

5. What are their favorite foods?
If they could have their way they would probably want mac n cheese everyday for a week and then the next pizza. But they are pretty good eaters with whatever we have.

6. Where do you draw your strength from?
I have to continually turn to God for strength. Sometimes He allows things in life to draw me closer to Him and other times I willing turn to Him.

7. What does your daily schedule look like?
Each day is different, though now that there is less therapies it is getting more manageable.
I home school my oldest two so the morning is usually filled with school stuff and three (a couple of years ago it was 5) days a week (two of which we take her) Bethany has physical therapy. Faith is going to a special needs preschool 3 days a week where she will get her therapy. Then it is just the everyday stuff involved with being a wife and mother and everything that goes with it.

8. What is the biggest lesson you have learned?
That God is always in control, no matter how uncontrolled our lives feel at the time and He will use circumstances in our life to draw us to Himself

9. What do you struggle with the most {personally}?
I struggle with fairness. I try not to think about it to much and compare how easy (at least I think it would be easier) life would be if my girls didn’t have special needs and all the therapies and doctors we go to and the things we “miss“ out on because my kids aren‘t able to do it. I want to be content in whatever God has for me, so I try to not think about the hard part just focus on the blessing that they bring and knowing it could be worse.

10. How does your family support you?
I am so thankful for my Mom as well as my Mother-in-Law. They watch the kids for me so I can run to the grocery store without 4 kids (one of which uses crutches) in tow. Or when I have to take one of the girls to their doctors appointments. As well as my Mother-in-law would stay at our house (sometimes for over a week) when Faith was admitted in the hospital so that I could stay with her.

11. What is one thing your husband does that you are most grateful for?
He is always there for me encouraging me to keep on keeping on. When he gets home from a long day at work he just steps right in and helps me get done whatever I haven’t gotten done that day. Plus he gives some great neck and shoulder rubs.

12. What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I wanted to be a Mom. When I was a little older I figured I better have a plan b in case I never got married or had kids so I was going to become a teacher.

13. Who is your biggest role model?
I don’t know if I really have a role model. I just want to be a pleasing servant of God who at the end of my life hears. “ Well done good and faithful servant.”

14. What are you most afraid of?
That I would be an inadequate mother and wife.

15. What have your kids been able to teach you?
To never give up even when things are hard. It took Bethany till she was 6 to start walking on her own (she is still working on her balance so she usually uses crutches). To love unconditionally. I think the closes picture of God’s love to us I have seen is in those with down syndrome. They just demonstrate it so easily and effortlessly.

16. What advice would you give my readers?
1)To take nothing for granted. 
2)God will use things in your life that you probably wouldn’t have picked for yourself to show Himself to you. 
3) Lean on Him, trust in His infinite wisdom and grace. 
4) Reach out to a mother of a special needs child and let them know you care and get involved in their life.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I'm a crime solver!!

Case Detective: Mom. Crime Investigated: Massive diaper rash on 3-month old {today} baby boy.

For the past two weeks, sweet Ozzie Bear has had a wretched rash. I'm talking about the kind where the skin just sloughs off and the exposed raw skin gets stuck to the diapers. We have tried everything, liquid baby powder, ointment, prescription ointment, you name it we tried it. No success.

Finally I decided to buy a couple of cloth diapers to see how they would affect this issue. I chose to go with gDiapers. I have heard awe-mazing things about them and I loved the idea of flushable inserts. I looked up store locations and wuttaya know!! They are sold at a store in our little town!!

My mom and I stopped by yesterday and even though they don't sell the cloth inserts, we bought a pack of two gPants and some of the flushable inserts. I had regular cloth diapers at home that I could use until our shipment of gCloths came in.

Wunna know how they worked??

After just four hours of wearing it, Oz's rash practically disappeared. No joke, no exaggeration.  No oozy skin patches, no redness. The raw patches are starting to dry up and he can have a diaper change without screaming.

I'm in love. I can't wait for our box of more supplies to come on Wednesday and I am so happy that my baby once again has a happy bum!!