Friday, August 28, 2015

The Adventures of Bear & a New Passion!

Thank you so much to all of you who have been praying for my little Bear! Today I am feeling relieved, excited...but I will admit a little stressed & overwhelmed adjusting the three of us to our new lifestyle. 

Truly, I am so excited for her. No, she isn't "fixed" but we have been given a better lifestyle for her. A chance for her to go through her days without fear of having an accident, carrying her extra clothes everywhere she goes, struggling with her self-confidence, and some days just simply scared. Literally, it feels like we have been stuck in potty training hell for four years.
Yes, she could NOT wait to get outside the hospital yesterday now that the external tube was gone & do a cartwheel!

As her mom, I am so excited for her to take off to her first day of second grade & feeling even more at peace! I used to worry all day long about her; was scared for her. I used to be afraid to put her on the school bus in the mornings, I was afraid of field trips & not being there with her. I would sit there on the edge of my seat with my fingers crossed during gymnastics or basketball games! 

We see this as an improved lifestyle for us. This gives us a better way to put her body on a set schedule & to force her colon to work on our schedule. 

Don't get me wrong, this will not be easy. We will do her flush every evening & we are not sure yet how long it will take us but easily an hour & a half. We are sort of back in a trial & error point now that we are down to once a day. There will be activities we have to leave early from, friend sleepovers that might be difficult, and times we just cannot join in some fun.

Now, the hard part for mom is making it all work! I work full-time; by the time I leave work & pick up my girls & walk into our home it is at the very earliest 5:30. She is supposed to eat dinner & have at least a couple of hours before her routine & it is supposed to be done about the same time every day. 

Hmm....yup! This will not be an easy transition for this mama on her own! To add to the fun, I confirmed yesterday after my own personal observations the past few weeks that processed crap causes her to cramp greatly during - like screaming & to the point of tears. It makes sense - our bodies are not made to process chemicals & when we are literally forcing her body to break down the foods as quickly as we do, I can imagine the struggles it endures. I have really limited the processed foods at my house already, but I know I have work to do!

Because the health of my girls is my number one always, be ready for this mom's new passion which will be cutting down & out processed foods & packing healthy lunches for all three of us. Followed up with dinners via the crock pot on several nights or easy & quick meals!

I have always worried about Laynee's body getting all the nutrients it needs since we have to force her body to process them the way we do. She has not grown in the past 2 years much at all & has not gained weight but we have also seen her weight crazy all over the place with losing some so fast at times. At this point, her pediatrician & I discussed that we have put her body through a lot in the past two years so for now, we will watch & see if she progresses. But, I know I can do my part to make sure her body is getting the good stuff! 

A new direction, an even bigger passion, for my healthy lifestyle! This 100% will not be easy for me. I have never been good at planning meals out for the week - ever. But, life has given me no option. To make our school year flow & function in a smooth & healthy way I have to make changes. I have to dive in! 

By the way....ever wonder why I call her Bear?? Two years ago, her kindergarten year, she was a total mess in the mornings & I swear she growled like a bear!!! Every day. It was horrible. Days I wanted to pour a glass of wine before 7 in the morning! So, I began calling her a bear. Well, towards the end of the school year we discovered she had sleep apnea after a sleep study! Hmm...that explains it - she was not receiving quality sleep! She got her tonsils & adenoids out & things got better. But.... she will always be my Bear!
Until Next Time~

Sunday, August 23, 2015

What To Call It....Re-something

I am not sure if I shall say I am re-directing...

Life does not seem to have a flow lately. Life does not seem to revolve around a clock, or the schedule in my mind I might draw up.
Time flies by and a million things each day do not get touched & our lives here revolve around the schedule of one.
We are in a state of adjustment with Laynee's new routine, still. But, we are making the changes. She is nothing short of amazing....even when having to leave a birthday party this weekend to come home for at least an hour for her nighttime routine & then returning. Yes, I did get an "ugh, I don't want to." But, she vented her frustration for a second was all, & then in stride said "let's get it done."
It has been a long chunk of time daily & this mom has had to change up her routines, schedules, plans for the day. This week is the week we go back to Columbus to have the external tube removed & we will be able to begin her routine just in the evenings instead of twice a day. This will change our evenings greatly headed into the school year soon. A job I'm already focusing on tackling & evaluating the changes we will make to ensure I am doing the best I can for her!
I have had to do a lot of stop & breathe moments lately. I'm an "on the go" kinda girl & planning anything is difficult right now. I have had several moments where I have to sit right next to her & hold her hand during heavy cramping for an hour & forget about my laundry or the dishes in the sink. This gets followed by a state of exhaustion where I decide I will hit the de-wrinkle button on the dryer in the morning & the dishes in the sink will get washed later. This is completely not my nature! 
Many times I have sat down & allowed excuses to creep in on life. I hate excuses; truly. So, I have down some digging, some praying, some writing, some something....making sure excuses are not controlling me or my life! I am human; I have days where I just want to be lazy & do nothing.
I have had to do some re-defining of my fitness & health goals & plans. You see when I first started my journey it was about a number. A number that I allowed to have control over me. Now, I continue because I feel good. Simple as that. I am a happier person when I take care of me.
A re-direction. Yes, a couple of months ago I had decided I was going to train for a full marathon again for this fall. I have been fighting with this. I love being in training for something! It takes my workouts to a whole new level for me, it allows me to fuel that super competitive side that I was born with in a way nothing else does.
But, I have had to be honest with myself. At first, I thought it was excuses I was allowing. But, I don't think it is. I think as hard as it is for me to say "not this year" I think it is the only thing I can say. Training for a marathon takes so much out of you physically, mentally but even emotionally. I simply don't have enough in me to give to it. There is not enough of "me" to go around right now.
I am easily at least three weeks behind the training schedule. After my injury from training & running the full last fall, I do not want to travel that road again. My body is not ready. I am not in the proper shape to accomplish the time goal I want for my next 26.2!
But, I love training! It makes me feel like *k* so I have been searching for the answer. I truly do love the half-marathon distance. So, I have set a new goal of trying to run at least three half-marathons in the next few months. In the big picture goal, the 26.2 goal is set for 2016 achieving the time goal I want as I spend the year preparing, training, building strength & speed to tackle it then.
This is a do-able goal for me. A goal that will keep this mama working towards her goals & ensuring she is taking care of herself as there is no one else to do that. But, this will also allow me to keep my focus on our new normal here in our home & adjusting us back into another school year smoothly.
So, today I pull out my planner & draw up my plan to accomplish my goal. If I don't have a plan, it is only a dream, not a goal!
While I am in a mode of changes & re-defining, re-direction, re-arranging....
I am continuing on my quest of my "why." So many chicken scratches are written here....why?
Stay tuned to this week as I try to define my new why as the last one I did was when I still wore a ring on my finger. Yes, life is a roller coaster ride & sometime we cannot see what it coming once we reach the top of the hill....
But, it is a beautiful ride & we must enjoy the ride.
Until Next Time~

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Ever make one?

I have.

Pretty sure I make them daily.

Okay, not sure....positive.

In the last year I have truly stripped myself down to the core.

I have questioned myself, I have dug deep, I have pushed myself over the edge.

I have taken deep looks at the most inner layer of know the layer most people want to ignore & pretend it doesn't exist.

I had to accept my responsibility in my failings. 

I had to look hard to find the reasons why things failed; what I did wrong instead of ignoring my faults & not accepting any blame.

I did some things very wrong; I made mistakes. I even would say I damaged some bridges I never meant to.

But, I was on a quest; a woman who had been so alone, so unloved, so unaccepted for so long that I did not even know who I was or who truly cared about me anymore.

I was living in a dark place screaming at the top of my lungs for help, for love, for someone to grab my hand.

In my yelling, I pushed some people away who maybe were there & I misunderstood them. 

In my journey in the last year going from married to separated to divorced & then back in the world of dating all while finding the real *krisha* again there have been an endless amount of lessons.

Lessons that I will be beginning to share on here. 

For starters, my biggest one:

Accept your journey & understand that others will not understand it or might judge you on it but its your journey, your life....only you know what has happened. Only you can change your direction. Your happiness matters & trust that you deserve a beautiful life.

So, yes, I was part of a failed marriage. I have made mistakes. I have done things I wish I could change.

Some choices I will always stand by & know they were the absolute best for my future no matter how hard they were to make or life-changing they might have been.

This is my journey; I am learning & I am growing daily. I admit to my failures, my imperfections, my short-comings. But I will also admit to my positives, my successes: I'm passionate about the people in  my life & about my activities, I always give more than 100%, I so completely love to help other people, I'm hard working, and I love hard & give big. 

My mistakes do not define me. I will make more mistakes as I travel. But, if I am willing to admit to them, to accept them as my mistakes they can only help guide me down the road. I am more than just my mistakes & I fully believe my future is going to be filled with all of the best things life has to offer. 

My dark days are over; my smiles are real. I am who I am, mistakes & all. 

Until Next Time~

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Glimmer

I sit here with my notebook where I write random thoughts, words, or memories. 

So much reflection going on inside this mind of mine.

We didn't get to church today; just was not in our cards this morning for Laynee, so I sit here instead deep in my own thoughts & prayers.

I cannot tell you the number of times I have found tears in my eyes since returning back home this week from our surgery trip.

Happy tears.
Grateful tears.
Amazed tears.

I came home to a house that my mom had arranged and paid for to be completely clean for this full-time working mom that is on her own. The carpets were even cleaned. Although I had done extra cleaning up before leaving so I did not have to walk into a mess, walking into a house that was totally & completely clean was incredible. My mom also did some other random jobs around here for me. She has the most giving heart I have ever known.

My daughter arrived home to another fun "get well" gift bag on the front porch & fun "welcome home" signs hanging on the garage from her sister & cousin. The next two days, Laynee received flowers to the house & so many more cards in the mail. I came home to my favorite hard cider sitting in my fridge.....which I immediately poured myself a glass.

In the days since, I have received so many more messages from those praying for us or had been thinking about us. I still get daily texts from family & friends checking in to see how things are progressing.

The other night I was treated to a "spoil mom night." My girls got a bubble bath ready complete with wine & music while dinner was being made. I sat there with tears & the biggest smile on my face & a heart that was simply busting with love.

For the past year, I had been traveling through a storm. There were many dark, scary days. Days where I felt the rain may never quit. Days I wondered if the lightning would strike & knock me down to the ground. Days where the wind was so strong, I could only go backwards.

There were times I reminded myself that sometimes you have to travel through a storm, you have to fight & stand strong. After the storm ends, the sun comes back out & if you are lucky, you might find a rainbow.

This weekend I have just been full of true joy. My girls are healthy (yes, Laynee has her "issues" but in general she is a healthy seven year old girl). I have some truly amazing people by my side that really just love me for me; the real me. We have so much love in our home; in our world. 

Today I can say that right this moment...

I am so truly happy; the sun shines all day & even when it does get dark, I can always find just a small little glimmer of light reminding me that the storm will end & that no matter what, the sun will be back.

So, today I want to say thank you for being a blessing in my life! Always, always, look for the light no matter how small of a glimmer.

Until Next Time~


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Home Sweet Home.

Home Sweet Home.

After ten days of pretty much zero sleep for this mama, I am currently in my very own bed! Not to mention how amazing it felt to squeeze my Jacee!!!

To not say we have been on a roller coaster ride would be anything short of a lie. As most recovery cases are. Her little body likes to throw curve balls often, right at the moment you think you might hit it out of the park!

After her surgery when the surgeon told us they removed a foot of her colon and that it was coiled up like a snake inside her, I almost felt a sense of relief. For years I have known there was more to it when I was told she was withholding or that it was just this or that or just her not listening to her body. To know that having this surgery was needed and to know all this time there was a real reason gave me a deep sigh of relief that I wasn't crazy.
Today, during my last conversation with one of the surgeons, I learned her case of her colon & what it was doing puts her in the top 1-2% of worst cases. Didn't I tell you all last week that my bear believes it "Go big or go home." She never takes the easy way or the normal way!

With this sweet little girl I never know what each day may bring. We had many times of struggles there but times of laughter too. Times I had to really call on my strength when all I wanted to do was cry. I found myself praying through a lot of moments: times of fear, times of weakness, time of loneliness.

Monday we did our first Malone flush together out of the hospital. They had been very painful previously and docs kept changing the recipe around. Right after we started, she began crying in pain. Horrible pain. An hour into it she began looking pale, started having extreme chills when she is always hot, and then began to vomit. I thought she was about to pass out. I immediately stopped the IV. She was crying and scared, I had already been fighting the tears for an hour as I just wanted to take away the hurt. I was so heartbroken, scared, alone, nervous.

I began to clean up and she saw I was crying and asked if I was. 

"Yes, I am Laynee. You have no idea how sad my heart is to see you like this. I wish I could take your place and take the hurt from you. But I can't. All I can do is stay strong by your side. We can and will get through this but you can't get weak on me now. We have to stay strong together and keep fighting and have faith it will get better." 

She cried listening to me talk and as I went back to cleaning the bathroom, through her giant tears and sweet little voice she said:

"I'm so glad you're my mommy."

I lost it. Thank you God for blessing me with this sweet little girl who is so brave and courageous. One who keeps fighting and inspires me. I have been taught many lessons in patience with her and her body, which isn't my strongest characteristic. I have been pushed out of my comfort zone with her. Been given the strength to know to keep fighting when you get all the wrong answers because mamas know best. To trust the doctors we have been led to and believe the timing was perfect. I have learned to never give up even when you reach many dead ends. 

Funny how we think as parents we are supposed to teach our children about life. But somehow they teach us. The lessons that come along for the ride with them change us. Their spirits, their smiles, their strength, their bravery, their constant love and their willing to believe. 

We still have some work to do. I am still working with her two doctors on the right recipe for her Malone. I understand now that her colon may never work on her own; she may always have to force it. But, this surgery is still a step forward for her. I felt so much more confident this morning after her team stopped by again & one of her docs went over so many different scenarios with me on what to do or change. Not to mention, that I was given an e-mail address that the top 2 docs of this program monitor & respond. So any questions or issues we may have, gets to be taken to the top dogs! Have I mentioned that one of the nurses told me that they now have all fifty states covered for patients traveling just for this incredible team & also a handful of different countries. They are so extremely passionate about what they do & for these kids to live normal lives or as close to normal as they can.
In the next four weeks, we will spend about three hours a day in the process of her daily medicine. When we return in four weeks, we get to drop it to once a day & split that time in half. No doubt that this will take some adjustment; getting used to our new normal.
However, can I tell you how amazing this child is?? She is so incredibly independent and hands on with her medical "stuff" and always has been. From the start of learning her Malone, I have made it a TEAM effort, not a mom effort. She is already hooking herself up on her own & wants to be involved in all the prep. For a few days, I felt her spirits were maybe down as she was learning her new normal & I know she had been self-conscious of the appearance of it for the next four weeks (not understanding that soon it won't be visible) & was struggling as we made adjustments so to suddenly see her reaching out & wanting to be a part of the team made me so proud!
Together, with her amazing docs we will find the perfect recipe for her! The entire staff at Nationwide Children's Hospital is amazing!!

As her mama, I will stay strong for her, be her biggest cheerleader, her best friend, her rock... In that moment the other night where she said those sweet little words to me is a moment I will always treasure.
So even on those days we might take a step backwards, we think it is a great day. No matter what, we are not at the beginning and we are not at a dead end. Progress is a blessing, no matter how big or small.

Until Next Time