Saturday, May 31, 2008

Batter up!

On Thursday, May 29, Jennifer started K-4 T-Ball. I decided now was as good a time as any to get her involved in sports. Her involvement will be good for her. Not only will she have more children to socialize with and have some physical fitness in her life, but being a part of a team will teach her teamwork, responsibility, compassion and how to think on her feet.

I felt bad she was the only player to show up without a hat and mitt, but they had extras and told us where to go to get the hats and mitts for the team. I watched Jen play in between keeping an eye on Jesse, who I bundled up extra warm for the one-hour stay outside:

The coach was really nice and the team seemed to get along really well together. Jennifer didn't do so well catching and throwing the ball but, hey! It WAS her first time ever playing the game (though we HAVE taken her out to the park to hit the ball around a time or two). Throwing and catching didn't seem to be her strength. I made a note to remind her dad about this. Maybe they could spend some time together practicing throwing and catching a ball in the backyard sometime. (I saw one of the dads helping his daughter out on how to stand when waiting to catch the ball and I thought that was so cute to see a father involved.)

Here's Jen at her first at-bat, getting some pointers from the coach:

After she hit the ball, she ran to first. After the next player hit the ball, instead of running to second, she ran to catch the ball! (Whoops.) I made a mental point to explain to her later on that she's either hitting the ball and running the bases or catching the ball and tagging a player out. This reminder was reinforced later when she was aty third base and she thought it was her turn to hit after a player hit the ball. (Apparently, her mommy and daddy have not fully explained to her how baseball works!)

Here she is at third base:

And here she is waving from outfield:

She felt a little down that she didn't do so well and made some mistakes. I reminded her that this was the very first time she's played the game and she needs to practice to get better. I told her everybody makes mistakes and she's here to learn how to be a good ballplayer. So don't get discouraged after the first practice. Practice makes perfect!

After practice, I got some Carl's Jr. for dinner on the way home. Her dad joined us for dinner and we talked about what happened. We made plans to get her cap and mitt over the weekend. After that, she'll be on her way to being better at catching and throwing the ball, because one of us will definitely be taking the time to help her out with that!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

That Look

The other day, we were watching a movie. In the movie, a man had a lot of children and he was with all of his children and getting them into a truck. When I saw that, I started feeling a little sad. A little wistful. It's the same feeling I had when watching the movie Cheaper By the Dozen.

I looked away, because I didn't want my husband to see it. But, he'd seen it. He asked what was wrong.

"Nothing," I said.

But he told me to tell him.

"I can't tell you!" I said. "I'll scare you."

"Just tell me."

But I didn't. Instead, I only said, "It's just something that I want. Something I've wanted for a long time. But I know I can't have."

In my head, I was saying it. "A large family."

He'd recognized that look, though. He smiled, nodded knowingly and said, "You want to have more kids."


But it's only a want, not a reality.

Not for us, anyway.....

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The happy list

It's time for the happy list! Which is longer than the unhappy list. And that's a good thing! Yay!

1. I'm happy because I have my children. I love them and cherish them very much. They are number one!

2. I'm happy because I have my health. (No illnesses, diseases, genetic imperfections, etc.)

3. I'm happy that I have turned my life to God. That God has fully entered my heart and that I follow Him. I would NEVER go back to the kind of person that I was before!

4. I'm happy because today is my birthday. Yay!!

5. I'm happy because I have a better understanding of things now. I'm not so blinded or mislead. I see things for what they are. Like how people talk to me and the way my marriage is. (I don't know what's going to happen there. I just don't like being in a marriage where there is not complete love and complete trust. We will see what happens.)

6. I'm happy because of the accident I was in that left me burned. Even though I don't look very pretty because of my burn scars and even though I've had some bully experiences in the past and bad looks from people, I am still grateful for it, because it has helped me to value life more and to appreciate the way people are on the inside and not on the outside. What's on the inside REALLY does count! It has made me care about what REALLY is important in life. That whole accident AND the meningitis have made me appreciate life even more.

7. I'm happy because I have good friends in this life, even though they all do not live in the same city that I do. Friends like Allison, Jimmy, Jeremy, Mark, Gizelle, Michelle, Kay, Shannon, Mack ("Smacky"), July ("Jules"), Susie, Jane and Chris. Almost all of them live far away but in my heart, they all live close. I love and cherish them and our friendship lasts forever! I am also grateful for my online friends -- there are too many to list! (You guys know who you are. Love ya!!!)

8. I'm happy -- blessed -- to know certain people in this life. The VERY TALENTED Dr. A. Richard Grossman, the musicians the Grynch Guys, the singer Brandon and the authors Jenna Glatzer, Frank Baron, Raymond K. Wong, Liam Jackson, Shaunna Privratsky, Angela Hoy and Martha Jette. They are all not just acquaintances, they are also my friends. And some of them are my good friends who I love and appreciate!!

9. I am happy that I have been able to experience living in different parts of this country. As a kid, it was hard leaving friends and changing schools and moving to a different house all of the time, but I am grateful for those experiences because I got to see what different parts of the U.S. are like.

10. I'm happy because I have friends who understand that I like to be silly sometimes, goof off, play pranks and say silly things and they don't point fingers and say "you need to grow up!" or "you're such a child." They understand that I like to be silly sometimes, act like a kid sometimes, because we ALL need to have those funny moments and be silly every once in a while. We all need to LAUGH sometimes!

11. I'm happy because I am able to read. Literacy really is a gift.

12. I'm happy because I have the gift to write.

13. I'm happy because I finally understood that whole "dream experience" and FINALLY saw it for what it really was. And that I have moved past ALL of that.

14. I'm happy because there are people I know who understand that I'm not trying to make any enemies in this life. They understand that I get confused, that I say things that don't come out right, that sometimes I make mistakes, that sometimes I don't understand things right, that I don't really know if I am making a mistake and that I have failed. These people understand that I goof or that I said things wrong and they forgive me. They know I'm not trying to hurt anyone, that I'm not the kind of person with "ulterior motives" or trying to manipulate anyone. I am SO GRATEFUL for these people.

15. I'm happy because despite my family's imperfections and past troubles, they are still my family! I am grateful for all of them and I love all of them. We are able to look past all the past fights, quibbles, grudges, etc., and still be there for each other. (Life is too short to hold grudges!)

16. I'm happy for the bad things that have happened in life. They were ALL learning experiences. Even the stuff with my dad. They have also helped me to be a stronger person for facing the obstacles, moving past things and being tested by them.

17. I'm happy that I am able to turn to God in my times of need. Prayer is 24/7! And sometimes, things from the past tug at my heart or I'll have a nightmare or I'll get sad about things, and I know I can just get on my knees, fold my hands together, and unload all of my pain to God. He really listens! (This is especially a blessing since there's not always someone for me to talk to when I really need that someone to talk to.)

18. I'm happy because I don't smoke and I'm drug-free!

19. I'm happy because I'm the kind of person who values having a clean house and being a good parent for my children.

20. I'm happy that I accept myself despite my own imperfections. I know that some parts of myself (my vision, figure) can be improved and they will improve in time. I am happy with myself the way I am right now.

21. I'm happy because I am finally trying to make my dreams come true! I no longer resign myself to feeling that nothing is possible, that nothing will ever happen. Anything is possible!!!

Friday, May 23, 2008

The unhappy list

I've been feeling depressed lately. I keep being asked why I'm so upset but I can't really talk about it. There is just so much stuff mixed together and making me sad a lot.

So I decided to write it all down. Sort through it. Think on it. Get to the heart of it all. Figure out EXACTLY what it is bothering me. What things were making me unhappy. And maybe some of those things can be resolved.

So here is my unhappy list:

1. I am unhappy because I don't get to see my family as much as I would like to. This is THE number one grievance I have. I miss my sisters. My nieces. My nephews. And I really miss my mom. A lot.

2. I'm unhappy because I hardly ever get to talk with any family on the phone. It's hard with the relay calls and they think I'm a telemarketer, or something.

3. I'm unhappy because I don't like living in Eugene. The people are great. The school is great. The city, not so great.

4. I'm unhappy because I don't have many friends to hang out with. Just Jimmy. But I need FEMALE friends to hang out with. Girlfriends.

5. I'm unhappy because I don't even have the TIME to hang out with anyone!

6. I'm unhappy because my writing career isn't where I want it to be and it's taking so long for me to move it up.

7. I'm unhappy because I can't wear a regular hearing aid -- THE ONE I HAVE.

8. I'm unhappy because of things in my past that I wish I could change. I wish I had done certain things different or hadn't done them or STOPPED in my rush to realize things or that I hadn't said things. I don't have a second chance to fix ANY of that. I can't turn back the clock and slow myself down or make myself smarter. There are so many things that I regret and it weighs me down.

9. I'm unhappy because I never finished college. Also because the prospect of EVER finishing college is not looking too good. I really want to have that accomplishment in life.

10. I'm unhappy because people have ALL of these wrong judgments about me and make me out to be this horrible, evil person or someone I am not and they decide that I am just not worth talking to. Or they need to have drama so they create these ideas or rumors or assumptions about me. Or they just don't want to take the time and ASK if what they think about me is even really true. These are people that I really care about. And that kinda thing hurts.

Now it's time to make a HAPPY list.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Working with blinders on

I was reading this article today in a newsletter that talked about the stress some people tend to feel in "trying to keep up with it all" going on with the Internet. How there are so many web sites, forums, etc., and so many people wondering how in the world we can continue doing what we do on the Internet while also staying on top of everything. The writer said, "You can't." There is just too much stuff out there. It's impossible to keep up with EVERYTHING out there. So, don't. Don't try.

In fact, it's best to work with blinders on. Only go to the sites that you NEED for your work and avoid the sites that only act as distractions.

I kept thinking about that piece of advice a lot today. Not that I've ever felt compelled to try to keep up with EVERYTHING on the Internet. There is just way too much stuff!! But I kept thinking about how working with blinders on could LIMIT what we get to see on the Internet. Like we won't be aware of the new stuff and the stuff that could BENEFIT our online work.

But something happened today that made me realize that, yes, it IS better to work with blinders on. You just HAVE to safeguard yourself from things that can cause pain or fear or even doubt.

There is something that happened in my past that stays with me even now. Something that involved someone who I've never even MET. And those feelings just....linger. I'm not angry about what happened anymore. Really, I'm not. I have FINALLY accepted the fact that there are just bad people on the Internet who pretend to be someone they are not and play with someone's emotions and hurt people. I was angry at myself for being stupid enough to allow that kind of thing to happen, but I'm not angry anymore. You know? That's just life. It HAPPENS. But I'm...confused and sad and I guess you could say what I ended up feeling even then still lingers even now. And I can't let it linger anymore. I have to close myself off from that, because that was neither here nor there. That was not who I thought it was and I MUST GET MYSELF TO REALIZE THIS. And just STOP letting my emotions get the better of me.

So, for this reason, I am trying my hardest to just erase that part of myself. Just close myself off from it.

I WILL be meeting the real person someday. Hopefully later this year. And when that happens, I don't want to be carrying this luggage. Because that sort of emotional baggage DOES NOT belong in that picture at all. I guess you could say I'm going to meet this person to PROVE to myself that I understand what really happened. And it's cool, you know? I don't have some...ulterior motive, or anything. Heck, I wanted to meet this person, anyway. LOL

But for the time being, I need to wear those blinders. I was supposed to get certain tasks done today and I didn't do them because I ended up "freezing up" over something I saw on the 'Net. It just got to me SO BAD that I just froze up. And I couldn't work. I was too upset. (Well, at least I queried the agents today. Yay.) I know what sites to avoid in order to avoid seeing stuff like that. And I will avoid them. I know what links NOT to click on. That stuff just REALLY gets to me, you know? I get sad and hurt and regretful all over again. And I can't have that. I just can't. It's interfering with the work and I can't let stuff interfere with the work. Too many people are relying on me to deliver.

So I guess in some cases....wearing blinders while I work on the 'Net can actually be a good thing. And I am going to try to get my heart to wear those blinders, too.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

God answers prayers!

Last night, I kept feeling nervous about attending the barbecue at my daughter's school today. I didn't have my voice! At first, I thought I'd just wing it. Maybe have Jennifer act as my "voice" to talk with people. But what if I was in a situation where I HAD to talk?? It was just really bothering me.

So last night I said a prayer. I prayed that my voice would come back. I felt a little selfish, asking for something for ME in prayer. And also, I figured God already KNEW I wanted my voice to come back, namely by tomorrow. He already KNEW this! So why even ask?? But something told me I should just ask, anyway. Just tell God what it was that I desperately needed. I NEEDED my voice back!

Soon after my prayer, as I was trying to relax and go to sleep, I was suddenly struck with a coughing fit. it was a VERY STRONG coughing fit! I was coughing my head off! I got out of bed and hurried out of my room, because I didn't want to wake up the baby. In the living room, I just coughed and coughed. Then phlegm started coming up. Yuck!! And there was a lot of it, too. I kept going back and forth from the living room to the bathroom because I kept coughing up so much phlegm. At one point, after I spit some phlegm into the bathroom sink, I said, "Eww, that's gross."

Then I realized something: I was able to talk!! I HAD USED MY VOICE!!! I actually felt my voice as I spoke those words!! WOO-HOO!!!!!
The coughing fit wasn't over yet, though. I was still coughing and coughing. Still getting all of that phlegm out of there. And in between all that coughing, I kept testing to see if I could still talk. And I could! I didn't know what to do about the nonstop coughing, though. I kept wondering if I'd be coughing my head off all night! I knew I shouldn't take a cough suppresant, because of the phlegm coming up. So I texted hubby to ask him what I should do. He said to just lie completely flat on the couch until the coughing stops.

Eventually, after the coughing started dying down, I lied flat on the couch to rest. My throat started to tingle and feel a little scratchy. I still kept testing my voice to see if it was still there. I even recited the lyrics to the song "Major Tom" (the one by Peter Schilling). Everything was fine. My voice was not as strong as normal, but it was still a voice! I COULD SPEAK!
I still kept praying, though. I lied there on the couch, my hands on my chest, saying, "Please, Lord. Heal me." Then I eventually went to bed.
This morning when I woke up, my voice was a little stronger. Woo-hoo! And after I dropped Jennifer off at school, I went to the store to get some first aid for my ailing throat. I was going to get Celestial Seasonings Throat Soothers tea (it is GOOD STUFF!!) but they didn't have it. I started reading the ingredients of the other herbal teas until I decided that the Celestial Seasonings Honey-Lemon Ginseng Green Tea was the next best thing. I had a cup of that tea with my breakfast. By the time the barbecue at the school rolled around, I was talking a little more better and without any pain or itchiness in my throat. I DID have trouble with the reading part in the classroom after we all ate, mostly because I still have a cold and my nose was bothering me, but I was still able to talk pretty good.

And even now, I'm still talking pretty good! Even better, in fact!

PRAISE THE LORD! My prayer was answered!! I am once again verbal! God is good!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A visit that brings back memories

So I haven't blogged for a few days. Reason is, my mind's been elsewhere. What's left of it, anyway. After FINALLY taking some cold medicine, I honestly felt my brain vaporize within my skull. (Yes, it is strong medicine -- which is why I cling to it so much!) But, also, it's because I was sick for a couple of days. Starting right on Mother's Day! *rolls eyes* And today I've been trying to get this house back in order because you know how it is: When Mommy gets sick, the whole house falls apart. Dishes don't get done. Laundry piles up. The meals turn crappy. You know Mommy is writing a book, er, I mean, Mommy is sick when the meals start looking crappy!

So today after I took Jesse to a doctor appointment, which we ended up being too late for and had to reschedule for next week (darn medicine knocked me out for an hour!), I was driving all over, running more errands, I texted hubby and asked him if he wanted me to pick up some fast food for lunch since it was after 2:30 and neither of us had lunch yet. And I was STARVING, darn it! He said, sure, get some Taco Bell. So after I ran to the store to stock up on dish/body/clothing soap, I got the food and drove home. I pulled into my driveway to see Jimmy, my best friend who used to be my neighbor, sitting on my porch. Jennifer was running around in the front yard, playing with his dog. I asked Jimmy what was up and he said he had some business to take care of with the new neighbor. So he ended up hanging around for several hours -- which was a good thing. It was great to have a friend hanging around. I have REALLY grown to dislike being alone with the kids at night (hubby works from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m.) so it was just great to have some company. Jimmy went to pick his daughter up and he brought her over to play with Jennifer. All of us just visited, talked about things, shared pictures and did stuff on the computer while the movie Robots was on the TV for the kids.

Later, I started making dinner in the kitchen. Jimmy walked in right around the time I was voicing my concern over whether I'd have enough spaghetti sauce. I thought I had a whole extra can in my cupboard in addition to what was saved in the fridge but, nope. It wasn't in there. That's when Jimmy took over and told me to just go relax while he made dinner. (I appreciated the suggestion to relax, but I did have some more housekeeping jobs to do. I just appreciated having one less thing to worry about!) Jimmy ended up raiding my cupboard and grabbing a bunch of cans to make a "special" kind of spaghetti sauce. He used diced tomatoes, chili beans, cut up meatballs, the sauce I had on hand and a can of chili. He also added a bunch of seasonings. Surprisingly, it was GOOD!!!! It was SOOO yummy. The kids didn't appreciate it as much as we grown-ups did but, hey, at least they ate the meatballs left out of the sauce for them! It was definitely filling. I even put a picture of it up on my other blog LOL:

After a late dinner, Jimmy had to go home and get ready for work. (He also works at night, sometimes.)

One thing about the visit though was that Jennifer ended up getting into bed late. Too much excitement, I guess. I tried my hardest NOT to let this bug me. So we have one day where we don't follow the regular schedule. It won't hurt anything. At least she STILL got her dinner, she STILL got her bath and she STILL got into bed at least before 10.

I was really happy my friends were over for a long visit with us today. It felt so good to have a house full of people again! I come from a large family, so I'm used to the hustle and bustle of a lot of people in the house. It made me miss those days when my family members came over to visit. Heck, I hardly have any company or friends coming over these days! Just Jimmy and his family. Which is actually part of MY family, too. They're not just my friends, they're also my family. Which makes that visit even better. It wasn't my real family paying us a visit (all my family live far away), but my "other" family stopping by to visit and hang out with us is just as good.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Swallowing my pride

For some time, I have not been wearing a hearing aid. The main reason why is because it's hard to find a hearing aid that doesn't hurt my ear. (I can only wear one.) The last hearing aid I wore caused some kind of skin irritation to develop in my inner ear. It hurt like something awful. So I stopped wearing the aid and just lived "completely deaf." This is something I started to take pride in. I was doing JUST FINE as a completely deaf person, completely deaf parent. Despite the fact that my hearing friends had to write stuff down and despite the fact that my daughter and I had to work around her impatience in trying to communicate with me. For the most part, I was getting along. I was doing it!

But now...there's not too much left for me to take pride in. Now I realize that it's the better thing for me to do in getting a hearing aid. I just think it's the better way to go. Mostly for my daughter's benefit.

So I'm going to swallow my pride and get a hearing aid. There are some people in the deaf community who frown on deafies wearing a hearing aid. But not me. I'm going to wear one.

Hopefully, I'll be able to find one that doesn't hurt my ear.

I'm not upset about this decisaion. Actually, I'm curious about what changes it would bring. When I WAS wearing a hearing aid, life was different than the way it is now. I could enjoy "listening" to songs I heard before I lost my hearing -- but, that was when I had MORE hearing. I lost more hearing after first becoming deaf, then I couldn't enjoy music anymore. But maybe I'll find a hearing aid strong enough to help me fit that in. And maybe I'll be able to talk on the phone again. Maybe I'll FINALLY be able to get an idea of what some peoples' voices sound like. Attend a class without an interpreter. Maybe understand the minister the next time I attend church services??

Those thoughts are making me feel better about my decision. I would LOVE to have all that in my life! It would be WONDERFUL!

The icing on the cake: "hearing" my kids' voices. Now that would truly make my life perfect.

So it's not so terrible that I'm going to get a hearing aid. Some deafies may see it this way, but I don't see it that way. Actually, I'm feeling quite hopeful.

Deep in my heart, I DO want to hear again. I wish so badly that I could hear again. I could only pray for such a miracle.... A hearing aid won't help me to hear again, but at least it will get me as close to that as I can get.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Every saint has a past

There is a T-shirt I once saw with a profound message. On one side, it reads: "Every saint has a past." On the other, it reads: "Every sinner has a future." It's a great message, really. It's not talking about ACTUAL saints and ACTUAL sinners. But people. People who try to change their lives for the better.

I am someone who could wear a shirt like that. I may have turned my life to God now, but that doesn't mean I have always lived a "Godly" life. That doesn't make me a "saint." Far from it! It only makes me a penitent person. Nothing more.

I am not perfect. I do not profess to be perfect, either. I mean, I'm human. But the thing of it is that, despite my faults, I TRY to live a religious, respectable life. I TRY to walk on the good path and not on the bad path. Believe me, I HAVE walked on the bad path before. I used to be so lost, so confused, so tormented and just....bad. I am grateful my life is not that way anymore, but I DO know, every single day, that it USED to be that way.

I guess in some way, this can be seen in the same way that a recovering alcoholic continues to call themselves an alcoholic even after they've stopped drinking. They don't say "recovering alcoholic." They just say "alcoholic." I used to think this was a bad idea. That doing so would put them into the wrong mindset. "I'm an alcoholic. It's ok to have one more drink." But now I think that's not why they do this. I think they do this because they KNOW they have that label on their past. And admitting to as much gives them a gentle nudge to live a new day trying to be the opposite of it.