Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The First

Okay, I said I was going to dedicate a post to this.  Here it goes...

We knew Faith needed to start some sort of preschool-type program.  She is really bright and verbal, but her social skills were lacking a bit since we just don't go to that many places where she can interact with kids. I know, rip me for not making playdates or going to a huge church with Sunday School and extended session.  Whatever.  We are who we are.  And we go to church where we go.  But I digress.  We knew it was getting bad when she would beg to go play at the mall and be excited, but then would hide and cry when we got there.  Seriously, it would be over an hour round trip to the mall and she wouldn't even step into the play area.  Now, I know the mall play area can be overwhelming, but she would ask to go and then didn't know how to interact with the kids there.   
There were a few problems with finding a place though- I'm picky aaaaand I'm picky.  I wanted her teacher to have a degree in early childhood education, love Jesus, and we wanted to be able to afford it.  Not so easy to find these days.  TJ was given the task of calling around on his days off and found out a local church had an opening.  He was sold when he talked to the lady on the phone and basically signed her up before I could say no.  We went in to walk Faith around the week before she started and I was seriously freaking out.  Then we met her teacher, Ms. Andrea.  She is just kindness bottled up in a jar.  She is from our town, she loves Jesus, and she has a degree in early childhood education.  She loves her job, I can tell a teacher that doesn't love their job from a mile away, and she really loves my baby.  She gave us her cell phone number that day and texts us pictures of Sis playing while she's at school. 
Faith's first day was pretty uneventful as far as first days of school go in my book.  A little crying from her, a little crying from me.  TJ and I spent the day together keeping each other from texting Andrea.  She got a little first day of school report card and it said she did great.  There was one little hiccup- she wouldn't go to the bathroom at all that day.  Her teacher knew she had to go so when Faith shuffled in the open door she thought Faith was finally going to go.  Well, she wasn't.  When she walked over to look in the door Faith was playing with the plunger getting toilet water everywhere.  Then she peed her pants.  Oh well, it could've been worse.  And another one of my major concerns- making friends.  She did make friends.  A little girl she holds hands with during the day and talks about at home.  Thank you, Jesus.
The one negative aspect- she's missed three days already because of sickness.  And you don't get your tuition back when you're home sick.  Grrr...

Here is a picture of her on the first day.  I downloaded the wrong picture so she isn't smiling. And my computer is being oddly slow so it is what it is. See her new school bag?  Cute, huh?  I wish I could claim that I made it, but I didn't.  I got it at An Affair of the Heart craft show.

Friday, March 25, 2011

TJ Appreciation Day AKA When Things Go Awry

I don't shout from the rooftops enough just how amazing my TJ is.  I could tell you stories about his amazingness, and I have in the past, but I won't today. A short list would include the fact that he looks hotter in a hoody than your husband in a tuxedo.  Sorry, but it's true, guys.  Don't hate.  Another bullet on the list would be that he has character how the freakin' wazoo.  Wahzoo? Whazoo?  I don't know how to spell that word...hmm.  The crew he's on rescues people daily.  Brings dead people back into life.  Crazy business, I tell you, crazy. Then, and here's the part that really blows my mind- he comes home, does all the laundry, parents like no other, cooks dinner his fair share, and has time to fix other people's lawn mowers just because he wants to help them.  WHAAA?!?!?!

So a few weeks ago he came home Sunday morning after a busy shift at work and I wanted to cook him a TJ Apprecation Lunch.  I was so pumped and was pulling out all the stops to show him I was thinking of him- fried chicken legs (his favorite, not mine for sure!), mashed potatoes and homemade gravy, homemade rolls, corn on the cob, etc.  But then things started going awry.  Faith was sick.  The chicken took FOREVER to cook, and by the time all three of us sat down to lunch TJ looked stressed out and I was holding a hysterically sick child while trying to eat corn on the cob with one hand without dripping on her head.  FAIL.  I wanted it to be so relaxing and special and instead, well, let's just say it wasn't.  And all I could keep saying (with raised voice over a crying child) was "This was supposed to be TJ Appreciation Day!"  That's nice, Amanda.  Make him feel guilty when you're actually trying to say thank you.  EDIT: These are the events that I stress about that cause those stupid migraines, people. I am officially ridiculous.

The night got crazier because we ended up in the ER with Faith that evening.  Then next morning when we woke up we realized we had left out ALL the leftovers on the counter in the tupperware and we had to trash it all.  Some things just go awry sometimes.  I've since made up for that crazy Sunday with another TJ Appreciation Dinner.  I didn't pull out all the stops and make every side dish TJ loved with that particular entree', in fact, I can't even remember what I made.  But it was relaxed and I made sure he knew Faith and I love him so much. 

TJ, we are thankful you're our daddy/husband.  I would make everyday TJ Apprecation Day if I could do it without being crazy about it.  But just know you're appreciated.  If you're even reading this blog. Which by the way, if you are, will you please be a follower?!?!? Sheesh!

Dig For Victory

Back in the good ole days there was a little thing called the Dig for Victory campaign.  I'm not going to give you a history lesson, TJ's the history buff around here.  The very short version is that during WWI and WWII, the government encouraged folks at home to use empty space to plant vegetable "victory" gardens. The government needed all the money it could for the war, and in the UK (they had a campaign too) the food supplies were critically low from feeding troops and war.  Honestly, it was probably good for the folks her in the US to focus on the veggies and not their babies at War and helped to supplement the fact that many of the men who once worked at the commerical farms were now overseas.  Its estimated that during those times private garden production EQUALED commerical production in the US.  That is just amazing to me.

Last year we planted a garden and unbeknownst to TJ it was my victory garden.  I was just seeing the light at the end of the depression tunnel and it was just so nice to see green and cultivate life. We planted a hodge podge of veggies, not paying much attention to row spacing or plant spacing, but somehow it grew into a bounty of leafy greeness.  If that garden wouldn't have grown I probably would've been a mess.  A seriously unhealthy expectation for vegetables, but it's where I was.   We loved that garden with all our hearts, weeding it and loving it each night.  Guys, I know I sound like a crazy old hippie, but I bet there's some study that links healthy and happiness to vegetable gardens. 
So it's that time of year again and I'm gearing up for the 2011 garden.  I have a laundry list of items I want to plant and have to narrow it down to what can healthily grown in our space, although we doubled the size this year. Crazy Aragons.  I am also considering turning a flowerbed in the back into an herb garden and trying my hand at strawberries.  Probably too much, but you seriously do not know happiness until you pick something in your backyard, dust it off on your shirt, and eat it.

And just a side note, if the price of gasoline, food, and whatever else in the world you love keeps going up, just come the Aragon's house, we'll have the veggies to keep you going. :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Ode To My Camera

You may not be a DSLR
But to me you are
So much more.
You are perfectly pocketable
Clear and crisp
Murdered out black.
I love the photographs you take
Of my growing child.
I adore you
You little Canon Powershot SD4000IS. 

Here are a few of my favorites.  And it's not that they're perfectly lighted or that the composition is just so, it's just that the moments are so special.  And I love that we captured them. Finally.

So excited Santa brought her a guitar.

Faith and her sidekick, O'Ryan, in the snow. With a beautiful blue sky.

Painting.  What can I say, she's an ar-teest. Ha!

Enjoying ice cream for the first time.  Not that she hasn't had it before, just the first time she didn't tell us it was "gucky."

Our little bug lover.  Plus, she's just absolutely gorgeous. Look at those little lippies!

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Okay, our family has been under some weird sickness funk/attack/craziness for oh, THE PAST MONTH.  It first started with Faith.  She had waves of sickness over 2 or 3 weeks, ending with a trip to the ER and us feeling like the worst parents in the frickin' world.  Yes, we were in touch with our doctor prior to the ER trip and we were doing every dang thang he told us to.  And we STILL ended up in the ER.  
The day after, THE DAY AFTER, Faith finishes her antibiotics and is fever free I start getting really nauseous and have the worst headache I've ever had in my life.  I'd been having headaches for the past month and attributed them to my wisdom teeth needing to be extracted, but this was something different.  I spent the ENTIRE weekend in bed and ended up crying in my doctor's office Monday morning.  "Stress induced migraines," she says.  If I hadn't had been in such pain and crying, I would have laughed.  So I spent FIVE DAYS of my Spring Break in horrific pain because I can't manage my stress.  I mean, really? 
So I started adding up my "stress factors" because I wanted to see if my stress warranted this immense pain.  And I figured out, yes, I have stress.  Yes, it is a lot of stress.  Yes, more than some people have to deal with. BUT...
Others have much more than me.  And others can cope with their stress much more effectively than myself, obviously. 
I do not have the answer to that one.  I try to "cast all my cares upon Him"  but I STILL worry.  I try to let things go for health's sake, but I STILL worry.
I am going to be extra prepared.  Tomorrow I am going to work on my last day of Spring Break (of which I enjoyed one day! grrr!) to prepare for the entire next unit, not just one week.  I am going to clean up my room.  I am going to make an outline of how to complete the rest of the year's assessments.  THEN at least I won't stress about school.  I already plan and make weekly menus at home so that part of my life isn't so stressful.  I am going to work on keeping my house keeping up by working just 20 minutes each night after Faith goes to bed.  And I am going to give myself permission to let a few things go.  Because these frickin' headaches bite. And I cannot afford one more copay. 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Judy Says...

Judy, Judy, Judy.  Little, spunky, smile on her face at 8am Saturday morning Judy.  I want to hug her and kick her in the shins weekly.  Judy is my WW leader. (Please don't laugh at the fact that I go to a chubby kid class.)   And she has a little saying she likes to say.  "You'll always prove yourself right."  Which means that if you believe something you WILL make that thing happen, because people don't want to prove themselves wrong.  And I fell right into this little trap, oh, about a month ago.  When I just HAD to "take a break" from Weight Watchers.  And I'm pretty sure I blogged about it a few weeks ago, about how I was okay with a little bit of a weight gain. 
Let's go back a little and unpack this little journey to what I like to call, weight loss hell. 1)A friend that I was going with quit.  Having started out around the same weight as me, lost 1/3 as much as me, and having not stuck to the plan, she quit.  I wasn't really bothered by her stopping, at all.  What bothered me was that having all those things into play, she still wears a jean size (or two depending on the brand) smaller than me.  Grrr.    2)I was/am really bothered by the fact that I won't stick to a workout plan.  Quitter pants is what I like to call myself.  3)TJ, in an attempt to compliment me, told me I "used to be fat."  He was honestly being nice to me, his intent was pure, but it cut me for some reason.  Like a hangnail that burns.  I'm not upset with him about it, it just hurt my feelings.  4)But the big thing that really sent me to the hot place was getting into a bracket of weight that I haven't been for a LOOOOOONG time.  Maybe high school.  I know, right?  Why in the name of all things holy would making a goal weight make me want to quit?!?!?!?!?
Now remember, Judy says, "you'll always prove yourself right."  I think that is what I was doing.  When you've always thought of yourself as overweight, been called overweight, and have been overweight, that is your identity.  Hitting a major goal like I did freaked me out.  My identity is beginning to change and I am having a hard time with the paradigm shift. 
So last week I weighed in for the first time since the end of January.  And SURPRISE- I had gained back 5 of the hardest pounds I had gotten rid of.  The spew of curse words that went through my mind would've made my Uncle Lloyd blush because it was ONLY THEN that I realized what I had done to myself.  Instead of using the circumstances I found myself in to motivate me, I used my self image to sabotage myself.  Grrr.  Annoying and embarassing, really. 
I lost 1.6 of what I had gained back, which means, I still have 3.4 to lose before I'm back to where I was when I had my little emotional fall apart.  I will get back there.  I will go past it.   I will be pissed if I don't reach my goals, not be okay because I expected to be a failure.  I will find a workout plan and stick with it because its good for me, not stop jogging when I know I can push through just because that's what I did last time.  And I will change the image I have of myself.  From overweight girl to woman. mother. wife. friend. teacher.  With no adjective in front of it that describes my physical appearance.