Friday, July 13, 2012

Recovery vs. Potty Training

My Brain Tumor Recovery (in Hospital) & Potty Training:  Similar Tactics Required?

 Things I learned...  

You find your life filled with a bunch of poopy moments. 

You see & hear things you never intended. 

 You spend hours reading about it or during it. 

 You have to come up with creative rewards for milestones & accomplishments. 

 If you are lucky, you get to flash your 'tushie' to everyone  & someone else gets to wipe for you (embarrassing moment for me for sure ;0( - not so embarrassing for Kadin, much more liberating). 

Cheer leading support is a requirement. 

 When you gotta go, everything stops. 

 It's a process, sometimes one step forward means there will be two steps back. 

 Big Girl Panties (big boy undies) show you've moved onto the next stage - thanks LeeAnne for that very 'theraputic' term. 

 Clothing (bed covers) are optional  - (hot flashes stink!!!). 

 Towels to mop up the dribble are a must - (me/drool). 

 You have a whole new list of words to use. 

 Freestanding toilet - need I say more? 

 You learn what gets things going & what you can use to stop them. 

 Patience is a must. 

 Sure, I can laugh about most of these now, but I didn't realize at the time that my journey was in preparation for what was coming including potty training.  My experience with child #2 has been very different than training child #1.    I'm so thankful I've moved past those 'learning & growing' experiences.  Now for Kadin  to do so too. Here's wishing & hoping to dry days & nights in the near future. 


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Brain Treats

Yesterday, I visited my Neurosurgeon Dr. Kralick. I can hardly believe it's almost been 2 1/2 years since my surgery.  I brought in another brain treat for the office and a brain present for him.  It's fun to try and come up with a wild way to make the treats I bring in resemble brains. I've had some fun!  I've already come up with the treat I'm going to make for my next visit,  which is set for February 2013. At that time, I will also be celebrating my third year tumor free and get my latest MRI results for the test that I'll endure in January.   God is so good!

I was able to finally ask Dr. Kralick for his recollection of what I was like before/after surgery and what he thought the outcome I'd have knowing the immediate deficits.  It was interesting to hear what he had to say & to learn more about the actual location of the tumor.  He definitely tied up some loose ends for me.  What a journey this has been!  I'm so THANKFUL for Dr. Kralick.

Framed Brain Art for Dr. Kralick - Artwork by UrbanfootprintDesign on Etsy
Pictured above is my copy of the Brain Typography that I jazzed up a bit before I framed it. Dr. Kralick's copy is just plain, simple and classic.

Brain Cupcakes -
Grey Cupcake representing the color of Brain Tumor Awareness
Blackberry Jam for blood
Walnut for Cross-Sectional view of Brain 

Treats for the office :0)

I think this was taken by Dr. Kralick, but I got it via text from an unknown number after my appointment.


Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Sensitive Issue

Caution :

What you are about to read is a matter of the heart and should be received as such.  Sharing ones frustrations, short comings, and such is never easy and my hope is mine will be looked upon with grace, understanding, compassion and love.

Now that's out of the way... as part of my recovery, I've had to relearn new things, but I wasn't ready for all the challenges it entails in being a parent. It is the HARDEST job on the planet.  Would I trade it for anything? No! I just want to express that it is tough and to openly talk about that.

Zechariah 4:6

"Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit," says the Lord Almighty.

My new approach to Parenting! God tells us to lean on Him and I plan to do just that.  When you're expecting your first child you have dreams & fantasies of how they'll be, how you'll be, and how your future will appear.  However, in my discovery, these ideals rarely occur.  They are seemingly just fiction.  You have this precious newborn and it suddenly begins to sink in, you are responsible for this little one.  You are responsible for teaching & guiding them. Let's be honest, it ISN'T easy. Not in the least! The relationship between parent & child is amazing, but it can be both challenging & rewarding.  Professionals & Specialists warn of developmental growing pains like terrible two's and teens, but this leaves so much uncovered.  What's a parent to do? When you are trying to help your little one reach adulthood as a responsible individual filled with wonderful attributes like honesty, patience, generosity, love, thankfulness, helpful, etc. How do you wade the murky waters from day 1 to day 8030 (age 22) and still remain sane?  I'm really scratching my head on this and I have a 4 1/2 year old and 2 1/2 year old.  I've discovered my system isn't working and it is Extremely hard to admit that.  I am not admitting defeat, I'm choosing to change some areas that aren't working so well. I'm choosing to rely on God for help with this because I cannot do it on my own.  Thankfully, I have a wonderful husband in this shenanigan called child rearing, but at times he's at his wits end too.

I'm not necessarily looking for advice or "survival skills", but I'm trying to be honest and real. I think most Christian and Non Christian parents face this struggle and it's time to talk about it.  Let's be honest! This is truly a matter of the heart and this is an incredibly vulnerable spot for me.

I must say, I've probably painted a grim picture of parenting or my children and that certainly isn't factual.  I love and adore my boys so much.  I love snuggles with them and the way they say "Mommy" when I've been gone for just a few short moments.  I love watching them learn and discover. I love watching their kind and loving and generous hearts. I love seeing them hug each other without prompting from anyone. I can't do an adequate job with words telling you how much I love them, but I do.  I am proud to be their Mom and I know they were selected just for Darren and I. Maybe that's why this frustration of good parenting is so charged. We take it seriously and it's driven with love. I love my boys beyond a shadow of a doubt, but I certainly don't always like their behaviors.  I bet ever parent, of any aged child, can agree with that!

Do I have any quick answers or fixes? Nope!  I'm going to keep attempting to refocus on God and ask him for help. I'm going to remain a stickler for manners & consistency and hope and pray that works too.  Regardless, I'm going to love those boys without hesitation and remind myself their behaviors are there's and I'm going to try harder to figure out what they're trying to tell me.

Thanks for listening to my ramblings. 

Back to the trenches ;0)

Here are some photos of my little trouble makers whom I love so much!


Sunday, July 01, 2012

God Moments

The other morning, my alarm went off at 4:30 and I struggled to open my eyes.  It wouldn't have been such a struggle if I hadn't skipped the gym the past two mornings because I had been so tired.  I finally got up and ready for the gym. After arriving and doing a slighty shorter workout (bum knee), I headed to the grocery store to pick up a few things for the upcoming week.  I got in line and began to unload my items.  I looked up from my basket and noticed someone behind me in line.  She only had one item & had my checker not started with my items, I would have let her jump ahead. I recognized that I met her months before at the salad bar where I shared my brain tumor recovery and she'd told me about her own struggle with cancer and her daughter's brain tumor.  I left that conversation grateful and thankful I'd had the opportunity for it. Now this lovely lady stood behind me. I apologized for the number of items and she said, "wow that's some sore throat" and before she could get it all out, she cocked her head and said, "it's something different, isn't it?" I reminded her of my brain tumor recovery and she nodded.  We exchanged pleasantries and then I moved to the counter to check out.  I said "hi" to Patty, the wonderful night checker I've come to know.  She commented on my positive attitude and how good it always was.  I told her that I was so blessed by God and thankful I was doing what I could.  We all just smiled and went on with our days, but I was blessed by those exchanges.  I know from previous conversations those ladies know my God and give Him the glory for things that have happened in their lives just as I do for what He's done in mine. Thank you Lord for working in and through us. Blessings.