Category Archives: insanity



Lately, I’ve had some completely unrealistic ideas about what I’m going to accomplish in any given day.  Etsy shop items are not finished, neither are Christmas gifts, blog posts are unwritten, nothing in the house has been remodeled or painted or heck, even dusted, and even giving my son a quick haircut turned into a complete fiasco that involved hair being blown all over my bedroom with a blow dryer, Thing 2 coating herself and the shower in a thick, greasy cream, a bath where a potty chair was added to the tub and the floor soaked, and ending with Thing 2 painting her legs and window sill with purple glitter polish.  Let’s just say we didn’t make it to the park that morning.  These guys are just so much WORK.  I thought as they got older they would be a wee bit more self sufficient?  Well, I’m still waiting for that day but in the meantime we do have a good deal of fun around here in the midst of all the chaos.

I have been sneaking away a bit as well for some fun Quilt Guild activities.  A few weeks ago we have an all day sewing retreat and I blazed through a stack of unfinished projects. Not really, but I did have fun and was able to photograph my newest quilt finish. (Stay tuned).  Then, this past Sunday was an amazing product photography workshop with Lauren, and I am feeling really inspired to re-photograph all the items for my Etsy shop.  (See unrealistic goals, above.)  I’ve also become convinced to shoot in RAW format instead of j-pegs, just don’t tell my brother because he tried to convince me of this a few months ago and I totally blew him off.   I will share a few images from the day, this is one of the projects I completed at the sewing retreat- which is going to end up under someone’s tree and don’t you wish it were yours? I wish it were for me!


And we didn’t talk about this at the workshop, but I just feel compelled to throw this out there on behalf of all of my photographer friends and beginning amateurs like myself… camera’s DON’T take good photos, people do.  Sure, good equipment is a benefit but you are doing the photographer a great disservice with comments like “Your camera takes good photos.” Most camera are capable of crappy photos too, no matter how nice they are.  You have to learn to use what you’ve got, whether it be your i-phone or point and shoot, or $5000 DSLR.  Anyways, just needed to get that off my chest.

Pictures of the latest quilt to come soon! (Again, see unrealistic ideas, above.)




Summer is over, whew.  My first two months of staying at home went really great, the last month has been trying.  A friend referred to this stage as the ‘”F”-you Fours’ and that is definitely what we have going on here.  To say I am sick and tired of being treated like crap is an understatement and again, it’s only been a month of this.  And in a few days, we are going to all climb into a car together and spend the next few weeks in very close company.  More parents around does not equal better behavior, just twice as many people to feel royally ticked off. All I want is some relaxation at the beach.  Is it too late to leave the kids here?

I’m not really cut out for this, and I miss my job so much it hurts sometimes.  This is part of the adjustment period, I know, but it’s still tough.  More time at home lately is not more quality time, just more discipline. And by the time Craig gets home I’ve had my fill.  There is NO QUESTION that our family was running smoother when I worked part time, but I am hoping this stage will not last forever.

Devan started his first day of Pre-K today, he won’t say much about it, but I’m sure he is going to love it in time. I’m also hopeful that it will help this “I’m going to test you all day long” situation out a bit.  It’s clear he is bored to death at home, I am at a loss for things we can do together that don’t involve him screaming at Leah that she is ruining things, or not playing “correctly”, or is messing up his projects.  I understand why some kids end up in front of movies all day long but I don’t want to do that.  But sometimes, I do want to do that.

So, that sums up August.  I’m been feeling better, which is such a HUGE blessing and deserves a post all it’s own, so maybe in time.  I’m taking a break from Etsy and quilting, and sewing in general for awhile.  It’s been nice to be lazy and watch movies and read books.  I have a huge list of projects and commissions that are backing up on me and instead of tackling them, I felt it more prudent to set them all aside and do nothing for a month.  I’m sure I will be grateful for this decision come October!

We are going internet-free while on Vacation, so it’s going to be quiet around here for awhile.  Not much of a change from this past month, I know.  And I broke a rule by telling you all we are going to be gone, so don’t any of you dare come steal my fabric!!

More of the Crazy


We had a good Independence Day, we all enjoy blowing things up which is why we travel down to the folks where such activities are legal.  Leah wasn’t phased one bit by the noise and seemed to enjoy the show. Devan was really into it, right up until a mortar exploded over where half of us were sitting.  Literally, 2 feet above everyone’s heads.  It was amazing that no one was burned and after that, he wanted to watch from inside the house and I can’t say I blame him.  The poor kid attracts accidents.

And then yesterday, for the second time in my short little life, I experienced a total system shut-down and found myself laying on the floor of the bathroom in grossly inadequate clothing while a bunch of firemen stood over me and did my vitals.  Let’s just say if Devan ever wants to tour a fire station, we will be traveling out of the county just to be safe.  Who wants to talk about that though? Not me.  Sigh.

How about something fun? I talked Mom into taking a quilt class with me in hopes of converting her to my craft.  I can’t say I met with any success there, but it was neat to work on this pattern together and her finished quilt top is super pretty.  I dislike sharing my WIP’s until they are completely complete, but I have no plans to gift this quilt (yet) so I suppose it can’t hurt to give a little sneak peek!

The pattern is Crosshatch by Empty Bobbin Studios.  Mom thought it was challenging for a first quilt and I agree but her points match up so well! I’ll share more pictures when they are quilted but that might be a ways in the future and I was eager to share.


Permission to Fail


I’ve never been one of those people who craves change.  In fact, I’m one of those people who avoids change. I let change come to me, and then I adjust because I have to. I take so much comfort in my routine.  For those of you who know me, I’m sure I’m not sharing anything you don’t know.

You also know the past few weeks have been extra tough.  It’s been a tough few years, or let’s just go ahead and call it a tough decade.  It’s not all bad of course, but I’ve had one health problem or another for most of that time.  So there’s that.

Last night Craig put the kids to bed and I laid on the couch, hurting. I tried to pick up a glass of water and the pain shot through my wrists and fingers and I almost dropped it.  That’s the sort of pain that scares me.  It’s also a blunt reminder, I’m NOT healthy. I can wish it, hope for it, pretend it, but that doesn’t make it reality.  Reality is that I need to cut myself some slack, instead of continuing to push myself.

Add all this together and you can perhaps understand why today, I left my job.  My dream job.  Do you know what it feels like to choose to walk away from your dream job? I can tell you that I cried the whole way home, and I’m not a crier.  (Or so I claim, starting to think I might be just a wee bit of a crier.)

This is a big change for me, one I’m not totally certain of.  I know there is going to be challenges but I hope there are rewards as well.  I know most of you read my blog through Reader but just this once, if you have any encouragement, or stay-at-home mom survival tips, please do share!  It’s been less than 12 hours and I’m already thinking “What did I just DO?”  (and, “Will I ever buy fabric again??”)  This is not what I wanted, but how often in life do we get what we want? We make the best of what we are given, and that is what I’m going to try to do.  (Wish me luck.)

A long and serious post with much over-sharing


Ugh, it’s been a tough week.  It started last Sunday when I woke up feeling a little queasy, head-achy, weak.  I assumed I was getting sick and sure enough felt worse Monday.  And then Tuesday, felt awful. I started to suspect that maybe I was having a “flare” and not necessarily any sort of bug.  Why does this happen? I try everything to figure it out but it doesn’t make sense.  I’m not eating anything different, I’m still taking probiotics and such, I just feel terrible.

What is terrible? What exactly is a flare? I’ll tell you exactly what it is like, even though I doubt you really want to know.  I woke up yesterday feeling like I could throw up.  My stomach feels like acid is sloshing around, and I decide to go ahead and eat breakfast.  I try to get ready for work but an hour after I eat my stomach starts cramping, those awful painful cramps that you get when you are going to be spending some time on the toilet. I know, tmi and yuck.  But it has happened every time I eat for the past week.  It’s wearing me out and I feel terrible.  Once I did make it to work, I spent a lot of time pretending to feel okay, to joke around, smile, be positive, get my work done.  But I am distracted by the tremendous pain in my hands, my hips, wrists, lower back.  Everything aches and hurts and all I can think about it curling up in bed with a rice heat bag.  I take a chance and eat some lunch but by 2:00 my stomach is cramping again, hard and painful.  I head home and start to feel a little better in the car and stupidly decide to swing by Joann’s quickly to grab some supplies for a craft project this weekend. The cramps hit and I’m stuck in the nasty bathroom at Joann’s for 30 minutes.  When I finally got home I curled up on the couch with a heat bag and fell asleep.  Craig called at 5, having figured out I wasn’t a work and picked up the kids.

When they got home I felt my mood lift a little and I headed out to great them.  It isn’t that there is less pain, but I think about the pain less when the kids are around.  We spent the evening gardening and buying plants and having a great time outside in the sprinklers and didn’t come in for dinner until after 8.  It was a fabulous evening and a welcome respite from feeling like crap.  When I am outside and gardening, the tension and pain seem to melt away.  Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure it makes me ache a lot more once I back to reality inside.

I had a giant salad for dinner, got the kids in bed at 9:30, read in bed for awhile with a heat pack on, and then spent another 30 minutes stuck in the bathroom. By 11:00 I was hurting everywhere, and exhausted, and starting to fret that I would not feel better ever again, my anxiety disorder trigger is feeling ill. My mouth is dry as can be and my eyes itch and burn.  They are like this all the time, I just notice it more when I’m trying to fall asleep or working at the computer.  It took at least an hour to finally succumb to sleep.

At night I dreamt that my tumor grew back.  There is no respite from the flare, even in my dreams.


There’s a “flare” for you.  I’ve been told it has a lot to do with inflammation, with my body overreacting to some stimulus and that is why everything hurts so much.  Depending on the doctor, I been diagnosed with so many different auto-immune problems that it is hard to know which to claim.  Surely I don’t have them all, but weeks like this remind me that I’m really not normal like I prefer to believe. I looked at my bedside drawer last night and saw the huge pile of red Target pill bottles, and $100 anti-inflammatory eye drops and then thought about the special mouth washes and supplements and vitamins and probiotic drinks… it takes a lot to keep me going. And then these weeks happen and it seems like none of it helps at all. It was humbling and depressing.

I saw my eye doctor a few weeks ago and he again strongly suggested I need to see a rheumatologist.  He said I had the driest, most irritated eyes he has seen in awhile and gave me the names of some doctors he would recommend.  He says he sees and awful lot of young women with auto-immune issues and that they get the most relief when they are treated holistically.

I feel stuck right now, I know if I go to my family practice doctor I will be sent to the gastroenterologist and he will want to do scopes.  Scopes suck, I’ve had too many of them for a 30 year old. I don’t really like my GI doctor, he seems to think Nexium cures all ills.  I believe more in the power of probiotics than in Nexium and I really am not up for any more testing.  So that is out.

And going to a rheumatologist requires finding a new doctor, and filling out those forms that make me feel like a total loser, and it’s just an ordeal and I don’t have the energy to do it.  That’s why I still haven’t, seven months after it was first suggested to me. Does it really matter if I know exactly which autoimmune problems I have and which I don’t? I don’t think it does.  It’s hard to think it would make any difference.  I’m all kinds of messed up, and don’t really believe there is a doctor out there who can figure out the puzzle for me.

So I do what I’ve always done, continue to be optimistic that I will wake up one day feeling normal.  It’s happened before, it ends as suddenly as it begins sometimes.  The joint pain and aches never really go away, and neither do the eye and mouth problems, but they can fade to the background enough that life feels normal.  March and April were fantastic, I’ve never been happier.

I’ll just push on for now, finding the joy in life everywhere I can, but still feeling angry and sad that this burden of illness is one I will carry for my entire life.  Some weeks it feels heavier than others, and during weeks like this I think it just might crush me.

My Devan


I refused to get up this morning as I stayed up a little too late, after starting and finishing the Hunger Games in one evening.  Refusing to get up is not something one should do when you have small children, but thankfully I have a husband who indulges my pathetic behavior so long as I don’t try to get away with it too often.  So as I groggily laid in bed, I overheard Devan happily tell Craig that he had made himself some cinnamon toast.  He then said he was going to make one for Craig, but he has used up the last piece of bread, so he went ahead and made him one with a hotdog bun.  My heart melted, and I thought about what a sweet boy we have.  I heard Craig thank him profusely and after a few more fruitless tries to get my lazy bum out of bed, he gave up and they all left.  I finally decided Craig was probably right that it was way past time to start the day, and I went down to the kitchen and discovered this:

Oh, it makes my heart melt.  I don’t think it is what either Craig or I pictured when he was describing the cinnamon toast, but it is so perfectly Devan.  I love him so much it is hard to describe.  It’s true that at this age, the kids require a huge commitment to their physical and emotional needs, at times seemingly sucking my life-force right out of me.  But then they fill me right back up again with a sweet gesture, a hug or kiss, or a funny story.  Or cinnamon and globs of butter on a hotdog bun.


You may notice that in my post categories, I have more ‘insanity’ posts than ones tagged ‘sanity’.  I guess to make sure my blog title is still apt, but honestly it’s just how we roll around here.  After we returned from Branson we were all (minus Craig of course) plagued with nasty colds, and breathing problems, and bloody noses, and etc.  And I ended up taking Devan to the pediatrician Tuesday afternoon and while we were there they requested a urine sample.  And in his sample happened to be a very high amount of glucose. Those of you who are medically-savvy may know that this happens when you have diabetes.  But Devan’s blood sugar levels were normal.  The doctor was clearly puzzled, and we were there for nearly 3 hours, finally sent home with the promise of more answers soon.

It’s Friday afternoon now, and I don’t know much more know than we did then.  We’ve done some google searching but haven’t come up with much.  We are returning tomorrow morning for Devan to give a fasting sample.  Maybe we’ll get some clues or answers, and maybe we will continue to wait.

If you’ve known me any time at all, you know we are no strangers to this dance.  The wall that keeps the information from flowing from doctor to patient.  The nerves that build at 5:15 as you wait for a ‘results’ phone call.  The futility of worry, but the impossibility to do anything but. We’ve been here before. Except for, there’s one small difference that makes this horrible in a way I wouldn’t have expected- it’s not about myself this time, it’s my son.  My Devan.

So, this is where we stand.  Waiting and not knowing.  It could be nothing, or it could be something that changes everything.   Not knowing is always the hardest part.  So we go about our business, but we worry.  And now I suppose I’m having all of you worry with me.  But oftentimes, that is what makes me feel just a little bit better.  So please, join me in my worry.  Devan is a special little guy, and I am ready to know that he is going to be okay.



Part 1.   (warning: pics at the bottom so please don’t look if it will make you uncomfortable.)

I was able to come Saturday afternoon and felt fairly good.  I moved around the house, watched Eric and Craig move my huge new desk upstairs (piece of cake), and didn’t even feel a tinge of nausea.  I decided I was going to feel awesome and have a very quick recovery and even planned some errands.  First things first though, I had to return to the hospital to have my drain removed.  No biggie.  Craig dropped me off and I headed up to the ENT unit, and into a small exam room with a dental like chair.

I asked a few questions, then the ENT resident pulled the drain, warning that it might feel “warm”.  Well, it didn’t feel warm, it felt hideous.  Painful.  Excruciating.  I’m not sure why, maybe it hit a nerve but it was a 10 on the 1-10 pain scale.  I started to get that hot, sweaty, nauseated feeling and warned Craig and the resident, who got me a trash can.

I woke up stretched out on the floor of the exam room, people holding down my limbs, with wet pants and lots of unfamiliar faces poking at me and asking me questions.  It was confusing, embarassing, and scary! They called a rapid response team and admitted me to the ER to check it out, as they suspected a seizure.  I spent yesterday feeling so incredibly exhausted.  The medicines are starting to bother me, and I don’t really feel like moving from the couch.

My lips and mouth are very weak, not so much that anyone can tell by looking at me, but it does make it hard to eat and there is no way that I can use a straw. My ear feels so weird, it is completely numb still and also around my head behind the incision.   The Percocet is keeping the pain in control, but I am worried about barfing again.  It’s been yucky.  I guess I would just describe it like not feeling like myself, unsettled and groggy.  I know everyone on the support groups have been extolling the virtues of patience in healing, but I know I am going to struggle with that.  I really hate feeling this way.

Once I feel like sitting up a bit more, I do have some projects to work on.  An adult coloring book of stain glass windows (thought it would be relaxing), pictures to sort and put in albums, Christmas thank-yous, and even some fabric to cut out for yet another unfinished quilt top.  I don’t think any of those things are going to happen today.  My goal for today is to change out of these scrubs and possibly take a bath.  That’s it.

And now, the pictures from Saturday.  I’ve been told she did a very good job with the stitches, though to me it is still a horrible thing to look at.

Eventually, the scar should be nearly invisible. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

Some of the bruises on my face are where they STAPLED down the surgical drape. Thank God for anesthesia.