Friday, December 21, 2012

Hallucinating at the dentist's office

The wee babe, now two months, wakes up every 1-2 hours for food. He does this 24 hours a day. Needless to say, I am sleep deprived. Zombie sleep deprived.

However, life doesn't stop just because you have a newborn. There is laundry to wash, hungry older kids to be fed and root canals to canal.

Stupid root canals.

I woke up about 10 minutes before my dentist appt and drove half asleep to the office.  I knew I was in trouble when I got in the chair. I couldn't wake the frick up. I had been up all night with Mr. Thirsty. HEY. That's what we should call the new baby in this blog, Mr. Thirsty!

Also of note, my peripheral vision wasn't coming in right. Like tunnel vision.  Then I realized I hadn't eaten in over 18 hours. I should have pounded a coffee and a muffin before I left. Shoulda, woulda, coulda.

Anywho-they started by  injecting stuff in my cheek then laying me down to let it set up. Which didn't help. I started to have sleep dips when they left me alone. I started to panic. I needed to be awake so I could keep my mouth open. So they could do the flippin root canal.

At this point, I started getting giggly. Then, the dark outer edges of my vision started getting sparky. Yep, I was hallucinating sparks at the dentist's office. Then, my boobs started to leak. That special kind of leak that nursing moms get. Thankfully I was wearing boobie  pads and didn't leak through my sweater. Score!

At this point I decided not to fight it. If I was going to spaz out and go absolutely insane, I needed to let it be. So, I settled back with my sparks, my sleep dips and my leakiness.

Good times people, good times :)

Mr. Thirsty is almost ten pounds now. He was born a little sprout, five lbs five oz. He was little enough to warrent a week's stay in the NICU. I can't tell you how happy I am he's grown so much in two months time.

The past weeks have been such a blur. But I'm so greedy for all of this. I want to remember this blur, this tired, this non stop feeding. I cradle his head in my hands and just sob sometimes. We worked so hard to get him. Two years with two miscarriages and then his pregnancy took. I was so pukey for 5 months, then came the migraines and back pain.

His pregnancy was the hardest of them all-physically, mentally, emotionally. We won't be pregnant again, Mr. Hall has been taken care of. Which I'm not suppose to blog about so there Mr. Hall, I'm not blogging about it.

So all of this- the tired, the hallucinating, the happy happy booby buffet feedings-- I keep it here to read over and over and  remember years later. And for Mr. Thirsty to read when he is older too.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

No penis was hurt in the making of this post


Been getting a number of phone calls about Mac. Mac is our first son, the curly blonde up there. He's a free spirit to say the least. He's dancing all by himself in that photo. There is no music playing. He's just happy and getting his groove on.

The phone calls are from school. He has a number of behaviors that are upsetting to the teacher/recess kid watcher person. Pushing, grabbing, chucking balls at others.

For Mac, like all boys, social justice is a big trigger. If someone cuts in the lunch line, takes a toy, sticks out a tongue. . . it's an act of war. And boys--being boys--respond physically. Hence the pushing, grabbing, chucking balls AND PHONE CALLS FROM HIS TEACHER.

These type of phone calls make me crazy. The mommy bear instinct rises up and I get huffy about them. How dare they talk smack about Mac? He's a loving kid with goofiness galore. He has so much empathy and love. He's a good kid.

Also, what am I suppose to do about his behavior AT SCHOOL? I am home/at work. NOT THERE. I can't do anything about it. So I sympathize and comfort the teacher on these phone calls. Kids are nuts.


Then after I comfort the teacher-- I discuss the situation with Mr. Hall. He's better with this type of thing than I. He suggests a number of things and they are tried. But we still get phone calls. It's a work in progress.

Mr. Hall doesn't make a big deal about it. He is very calm and reminds me of the penis bite . . .

This one time, at dinner with couple friends, the mom leans in, almost in tears. These are good friends, NORMAL friends. The mom leans and tells me about a note she got when she picked up her little boy at day care that day.

She said, "They said he pulled another boy's pants down and bit his penis." The boy was three.


As long as we don't get that type of phone call, we should be ok.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

then . . . .this conversation happened


ME: Hello
THEM: This is Katie from the brown county vet's office, we just wanted to let you know, we have your prints.
ME:   Prints? (I'm cornfused. I didn't have any photos taken recently)
THEM: Yes, this is the vet's office, we have prints for you.
ME: (I'm still confused. Why is a vet's office calling? My husband is a veteran. But why would a veteran's office be calling about prints of photos?)  I'm sorry, who is this again?
THEM: Brown county veterinarian clinic. We have Prince for you.
This is Prince:
(But wait. Prince died a week ago. It was quick and easy. My husband took him in and that was that. So why are they calling now?)
ME: I'm sorry, my husband had taken him in last week. Um, Prince had passed on.
THEM: Yes, and we have him.
(At this point I am so confused. I am picturing my cat was left in a freezer for a week and they want us to pick him up. I start to think about the movie Pet Cemetery. THE LAND'S GONE SOUR!!!!)
ME: Um,  I'm so sorry. I don't quite understand. Mr. Hall had brought him in so I'm not sure what . . . um. . . was he sent somewhere?
THEM: Yes, and we have his ashes for you.
NOW IT ALL MAKES SENSE. They have his ashes because Mr. Hall sent him out to be cremated.
See now, if they had said, "We have Prince's ashes" in the first sentence, I would have totally understood. Instead it took like 10 minutes of me NOT UNDERSTANDING what the hell.
Which is ok. My brain is mush from nursing our new baby every two hours. I'm nursing him while I'm typing this for land's sake!! He won't stop eating!!!
We had Prince for over 15 years. I highly recommend a Siamese. They never get fat or too friendly. They also don't shed.
Sadly, Prince will never get to know our newest boy. He did get plenty of Mac love though.
RIP Prince Albert in a Can Hall.
You will be missed!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

In other news, our second son is here

This is our second son. He was born little and not without complications.

The complications were little too. They only required a week in the NICU.
Then he came home to the waiting arms of these guys.

His brother and sister.

I would say more but I'm only sleeping 2 hours at a time. I sleep and nurse our son. Sleep and nurse. And nurse and sleep. I don't really have words lately. Just a sense of joy, relief, happiness, crazy spasm happy tears and absolute thankfulness.
I am blessed beyond belief.

Thank you Jesus for all that we've been given.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


When Mr. Hall and I started dating, I went to 'adiamondisforeverdotcom', picked out a ring and emailed it to him. We'd been together 3 months. I was making sure, in no uncertain terms, that he knew what I wanted. I wanted him to be my husband and to start a family.

I was a pushy broad.

Now that we've had the little foster kid in our lives for 3 months, I find myself getting ancy. The birth mom ISN'T DOING WHAT SHE NEEDS TO DO. Which is fine. More kid for us. I get greedy about this kid. My love for him grows and grows.

I'm exchanging emails with his social worker too, updating her on our weekends. Telling her about this and that. I need to pull back though. I am starting to get pushy. I'm starting to hint that we want him full time, not just weekends.

She already knows this.

There are implications if he comes to us full time. It means the chances of his mom getting him back grow dimmer. So, with these emails, I've noticed I'm starting to lay groundwork, to appear perfect in case he comes up for adoption. Things are pretty dim for the birth mom right now. But, I need to stop that too. He has a family. Not just the birth mom.

I can't just want this kid and then he's ours. I need to pull back with my needs here. They'll overshadow what I'm doing, which is just being there for him. Being there to tie shoes, make pb+j sanwhiches and haul him out of target because he wants a candy bar and i said no but he wants it and has a big ol snot bubble fit about it.

Seriously, the kid screamed so loud I didn't hear right for half a day.

Accepting things as they come, with no expectations, is something new for me. Like when I had my two kids. I read volumes and volumes of how to be a mom type books. I planned out how I was going to be a mom before I was a mom. But, those guidebooks are bull. They're meant to scare you so you buy their products. Like yon helmet below.


Then I realized something. After the target fun, I spent the entire morning scouring websites, rereading 'how to be a foster mom' books. Again with the parallels. I realized I need to stop reading and just give it up. Crap happens and it will happen again. Also, I can't shop alone with the foster kid. He listens to Mr. Hall a 1000 times better. I can let Mr. Hall take him shopping.

And I'll pretend that Mr. Hall told me BOTH TIMES not to over read, over analyze and over think being a parent/foster parent. God has a plan and I need to turn to Him. That's all I will need.


I am about five days out from my due date. Denial is no longer an option. The bassinet is built, the size 'n' diapers are bought and these dang braxton hicks grow stronger every day. I'm scared. Scared like the first trimester before you reach the magical 12 weeks scared. Only this time, denial is not an option. I have to face up to the fact that THIS IS HAPPENING. I have a baby in mah belly who is coming out in less than a week.

I will post his picture on facebook. I will accept visitors and well wishers into my home. I will feel his soft little head in my hands and hold him constantly. The miracle is happening and it's about time I started acting like it.

So, i'll pray. pray and let go and let God and let the joy and love bloosom out of control.

See ya'll on the other side.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Where my life and Breaking Bad intersect

There is this episode of breaking bad, when Jesse Pinkman goes to retrieve money from a meth couple and finds a little kid at the house.

We have a little kid at our house on weekends, the foster kid. Mr. Hall and I bring him every where we go with our kids, like to the park. The park kids say to him, "Can your Dad push us on the spinning thing?" He says, "That's not my Dad. My Dad's in jail." Which, oddly enough, doesn't make me that sad. His dad writes him, calls him and sends his son pictures he drew.

"That's more that I got from my Dad", says Mr. Hall, whose Dad was never in jail, just in California.

That bums me out.

The kid's mom is not in jail. I think about her when I tie her son's shoes, watch him pet our kitty, tuck him in at night and make him pancakes. I think about what she is missing, like I'm stealing her moments.

All she has to do is simple things and she gets the boy back in her life. When I say simple things, I say REALLY SIMPLE THINGS. No heavy lifting required. But she's not. And so we get him on weekends.

He sleeps on the bottom bunk in my son's room. We're going to give him his own two drawers next weekend so he won't have to pack a bag each time he comes.

All of this is driving me a bit crazy. I'm starting to feel less of a babysitter to this kid. I'm starting to love him and put him in line with my kids, love wise. This is dangerous. He's not ours. He has a Mom and Dad. The kid wants to be with his mom. I want him to be with his mom.

So, I pray for her and try to hold back my judgement. I try not to bristle when his grandma comes and drops him off. Her pain fills the room and I feel sucker punched by it. EVERY SINGLE TIME.

So I hold the kid when he lets me. No stopping the love now, it's already out there.


There is a character named Hank on the show. He unexpectedly gets shot and is in the hospital. His wife fights the insurance to pay for his therapy.

Last week we got a call that my Dad is in the hospital. He dumped his motorcycle, broke a collar bone and nine of his ribs on the right side.

It's going to take a long time to heal from this. He's 72 and has the old bastard trifecta of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. They are weaning him off the ventilator in the next few days. The co-pay for the insurance is nutz and we are all struggling with this.

This is not the first time we've had hospital calls about my Dad. He's a big bull who is stubborn and not careful. He's broken ribs, nearly cut off his thumb and gotten subdural hematomas all within the last few years.

He's not careful.

Today he was alert enough to make facial expressions and gestures. It was weird and shocking for me. He wants the tube out. I wonder if he'll be a different person after this-the most severe of injuries. I'll love him no matter what though. I've long since forgiven him and have grown actually found of him lately.

Like I said to my mom, "We'll get through this as a family."

Meanwhile, the pregnancy on Breaking Bad produced a little love of a girl. I'm now 37 weeks pregnant and READY TO GO.

Yet another intersect.

so, my question is . . .

Where's the money Lebowski???

OH WAIT. that's a different show!! :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


My work uses internet explorer 7 so no pictures and no spell correction for you dear readers. I can't blog at home either. Because blogging is done on company time only.

SUNDAY-Had braxton hicks something fierce. I am now 35 weeks so that seems about right. Braxton Hicks are contractions that don't actually do anything. They are fake. Real contractions dilate the cervix, push the baby down and out. Braxton Hicks just hurt. It's like someone randomly starting a car, the engine revs in fits and starts but never turns over. Not yet anyway. Once it turns over, labor will be officially on and YAH WHOO!!!!

So, I tried to take a nap to ease the fake, yet very painful, contractions. Tried to sleep because I can't sleep at night. I'M SO DANG TIRED AND SO BIG AND SO SWOLLEN. About an hour in I hear my daughter holler at my son.

My daughter is nine, she's bossy. She hollers to my son, "MAC!! DO NOT PEE YOUR PANTS!!" My son is five. He's potty trained. He just doesn't like stopping what he's doing to go potty. So, he peed his pants. I get up from my nap, put him on a time out, then get back to my nap.

That's right.

I interrupted my nap, that was suppose to quell my braxton hicks, to put my five year old on a time out for peeing his pants.


yep, mmhmm :)

MONDAY-Had my OB appt. Mr. Hall went along. Which focuses me a bit. I'm so scatter brained these days and don't really make much sense. Mr. Hall directs my questions. The main question I had was about the birth of my yet unborn. "Can I have a c-section?" I asked. I had a c-section with my daughter, went totally natural with my son. I'm not particularly attached the natural child birth.

So, I explain my son's birth to the OB. I explain how I tried to have an epidural with my son but it didn't work. The epidural only numbed my right knee.

This gets Mr. Hall going. He interrupts me and says,

"YEAH. And they still charged us for it!!"

He loves saying this. It's his favorite joke.

Never fails to make people laugh though.

The ob explained my options which do in fact include a c-section. Which I don't think I'll take unless needed. I have contractions on and off these days. Which means my body is getting ready.

Which makes me so excited and over the moon. We already love him so much, our little bean.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

On babies and being eight months pregnant

Last night we went to see our friend's new baby. 7 lbs of day old newborn. All Maggie Simpson on the nuk, sleepy and easy to hold. As I held her my pains and aches went away. Newborn babies are the elixir that cures pretty much every woe.

This photo below, is my current baby. Well, it was him 14 weeks ago. Back when I was 20 weeks pregnant. Cute pregnant. Little belly pregnant.

This is me now. I am 34 weeks, or, about 8 months. I can't eat, sleep, breathe, walk or get comfortable. My back spasms throughout the day and I have an unending need to pee. My pelvic bones are breaking apart most of the time. It's like when you crack your knuckles, only it's my pelvic bones cracking when I walk. I don't say these things to whine and complain, I say them because they are part of my current complex craziness.

Holding that baby last night, it broke open my last vestige of denial. I've talked to other Moms who have had miscarriages and we all experience denial with recurrent pregnancies. It's involuntary. We little forget we are pregnant to buffer our fear and pain. Crazy denial.

The first five months I was super sick with morning sickness, so that took care of a lot of my crazy denial. Then my belly poked out a little and it was like the castle in the fish bowel. A surprise every time for me. But a great surprise, like winning the lottery every time I looked down and noticed my belly.

I've struggled with fear. Crazy amounts of fear that wax and wane. Fear that this baby died. I get obsessed with feeling my baby move and struggle when he doesn't. I have had nightmares and obsessive thoughts of sad. It has gotten better the more I pray and go to bible study. The more I reach out to God, the more I heal and let the love flow.

Praying has made the biggest difference in the world.

And now, I am nearing the end of my pregnancy. I feel things loosen and change. He's so big inside me. I can feel his feet, his arms and his head. He's so strong that his thumping movements can be seen from the outside.

My faith has over come my fear. It's all so wonderful. I'm so thankful :)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Fine Breaking Bad, I'm not made of wood, I'll watch you. yo.

Season one thoughts.

Why don't I give in to these things? Countless bloggers have extolled the virtues of this show. Friends have recommended it. Yet, I have resisted.

Then, I started reading the recaps of the lastest season.

SO. Started watching it.

It brings up a number of questions, season one. Questions Mr. Hall and I debate.


If you had some serious cancer eating away at your insides, would you go through chemo knowing there was only a slim chance it would work?

Would you crank out crystal meth and sell it to people to make the payments on said chemo?

Is it evil to cook and sell the meth?

How come the wife isn't supportive or warm? She's quitely emasculating which irritates the crap out of me. Sigh. SIGH.

Somehow we women have been sold a bill of goods that in order to be strong we must be ball busters. This is not how God made us. Our strength is in our softness. Our strength is in our love. I would have held Walt's hands, supporting him with his non-chemo requests.

She does seem to come around though, near season two beginning.

Why does Walt not have a better job? He seems smart and had some personality in the flashbacks of his life. Not so much of a shell.

Well, for us, the first question is a tough question. About the chemo. We Halls are believers there is much more than this life. If God is calling us home, why fight it? Let God's plan unfold, it's going to anyway. But, if Walt went on hospice, prayed and quietly went into this good night, it wouldn't be much of a show-now would it?

Question 2: Is it evil to cook and sell the meth?

This divides Mr. Hall and I. I say yes, selling meth is spreading evil. He says no, people have personal choices that they make and we aren't responsible for them. It's a weird sticking point between him and I.


There are a thousand other things underneath this character. Things manly and masculine that I can't begin to fathom. Men have a call to fix, to provide, to be men. I do worry though. Where is the wellspring of yon Walter White's power as he becomes a man?

Is it evil?

We shall see. . .

onto season two


Monday, August 27, 2012

Eric Northman vs. Alcide: two enter, only one can survive

Alcide is up there. He is a werewolf on the show true blood. I wonder and stare at those muscles when he appears. Especially the muscles right above his jeans, where love handles usually are. I wonder what it would take for Mr. Hall to puff out like that. I wonder about Alcide's manly abilities. Beyond lifting heavy things and putting them down.

I wonder why this appeals to me, the Alcide muscles. I mean, I've never been much of a beefcake type of girl. So why does Alcide make me wonder and stare? I don't think Mr. Hall could puff out like he does. Alcide, well the guy who plays him, is probably 6 foot 4 and has been working out since junior high school. Mr. Hall is five foot ten and has a body style more of the Eric Northman type.

Northman is up there. He does not have the bulging muscles that make me wonder about his prowess. I don't need to wonder because I can already tell. No need to be all puffed out about it. It's subtle and strong. That is what Northman has-nuance. And better acting skills. And better story lines.

And the ability to wear the hell out of a pastel blue sweater. Most of last season no less.

Normally, I don't think these thoughts but being 8 months pregnant my brain isn't working in the usual way. It's a weird, wonkey world all up in my head and I'm becoming a lot simplier. I'm too tired to think deep thoughts. :)

So yeah, bring on the pretty men. They please me. Especially the Northman. :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Dealing with my foster mom energies

This is me yesterday. With my daughter Pancake. And a turtle. At a zoo. :)

SO. Becoming a foster family is providing some good blog fodder. It's hard though, I can't really write anything about anything but I want to provide some insider information about the process. That way I can share what I'm learning and encourage others who might be thinking about becoming a foster family.

Right now, we are doing what is called 'respite' care. Not full on foster care, but temporary care to give a break to foster parents. Basically, it's like babysitting at this point. We've had the same child twice now. Again, we'll call him Sam here.

Sam has a birth family and our job is to help support a reunification plan with that family. He's staying with us more and more lately which makes a thousand and one questions swirl around in my brain. Followed by a thousand emotions.

All these questions and emotions are largely self centered. I want to know why the birth family isn't following their plan to get better to get Sam back. I want to know what role the Dad has. I realize he's a guest of the jail system, but when does he get out? Can he take Sam to live with him?

The first questions, about the birth family getting better, are tough for me. I'm in mental health. I know about mental illness, addiction and general behaviors normally seen on the show COPS. Well, I know about them from a clinical point of view. But, being with this kid is opening up a bridge to the actual reality of it.

It's hard because I want to get in there, with the birth family, design a treatment plan and get on with it. However, that is not my job. They have social workers and counselors and treatment teams. There is a plan. Again, my job is to care for the kid a few weekends a month.

Then. There is the other family. The ones Sam lives with during the week. She is kin. She provides kinship/foster care for Sam. She has to deal with birth family not getting better too. Only it's her family. When we do the drop off/pick up for little Sam, I see the pain in her face and it just.frickin.kills me.

I don't have the protection of clinical detachment here. She is not my patient, but someone who loves Sam just like we do. I want to raise my hand and volunteer to be Sam's full time caregiver while the birth family gets their act together. That is what real foster care is.

Then, if I look deeper, I realize I want to adopt the little guy. But use an open adoption model so we can still keep in contact with his birth family. Then I realize I have to stop.

This isn't about me. It's about all this gifts my family has been given. I have a fantastic marriage, two awesome and loving kids. And a big, round belly full of number 3. God gave us these gifts so we can share them. This journey of becoming a foster family is not something I am in charge of. It's my job to let it all happen.

God has this all planned out anyway.

So. I'll let go and let God guide the way.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Here is the church, here is the steeple-God save me from your people

I’ve been getting ancy lately with my fellow brothers and sisters at church. Not so much ancy but irritated.

Not so much with all of my brothers and sisters but those who post pictures of themselves gleefully eating at that chicken restaurant which I won't name because I'm not interested in getting traffic about it on my blog.

Which is not an entire surprise. My church people tends to run a little more fundamental and I'm from a smaller town and well, bud light is the beer of choice. And I don't really care about the particular issue that is driving them to that greasy chicken restaurant but it's that fact that that has become a hot button issue. A polarizing point where people gather round.

Much like the Runner recall debate a few months ago, this chicken thing is like a bell that calls people apart. And I didn't care about that particular political mess either. Except to say my Mom was part of it by wearing a sandwich sign and walking up and down downtown. AND SHE DIDN'T CALL ME TO LET ME KNOW THIS.


And it's not that I don't care about the underlying issues, it's that you can't have a reasonable debate about politics or religion. EVER. It gets all frothy mouthed and angry. And polarizing and ugly. I for one have had enough ugly to last me a lifetime.

The problem though, is the photos. Gleeful people standing in the chicken line.
That is what irritates me. People celebrating an anti-stance. In such an inane way. Why celebrate your beliefs at a place that is a machine for environmental destruction and animal abuse? Most likely they provide no health insurance for minimum wage employees. Corporations are ugly places. It's ugly framed at the ugly store. On facebook. By my Christian brothers and sisters.





We are called to love as GOD LOVED US.

These photos are not spreading love. They are spreading ugly and sad. I get sad when I look at them and make me question my choice in churches. I am a Christ follower. And I choose to love all these people, even in the ugly photos. I'll pray about this and let God lead me.

Because my fight is not with them, but with the spirits between us. My struggle is not with them, but with the enemy working inside them. And I will let God's love rule.

Ephesians 6:12 (NIV version)

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Monday, July 30, 2012

it all started @ 2.53 am this morning


so i woke up and for lands sake i had to go potty. only i couldn't wake myself up because it was the third time i woke up that night. it was like try to surface from deep sea diving. i made it though. then i got out of bed and my horizontal hold shifted in a see-saw pattern. I made it though. And that's all that matters.

It's been about a month since I slept through the night. offt.

then i woke up at 5.30 and decided to screw working out i'm tired.

6.50. Woke up too late to make breakfast, needed to hit the mcdonalds. every time i order a medium latte and an egg mcmuffin. EVERY TIME I ORDER IT'S AN ORDEAL FOR THE GIRL TAKING MY ORDER. The egg mcmuffin part is ok, she gets that. But ordering a medium latte is akin to speaking Chinese appearently.

It's 7 am now.


"No, a medium latte please".


"Um, no, I would like a medium latte please."

I don't want a coffee, I want a medium latte. Latte is french for milk. Which is steamed and put into a delicious coffee beverage. Which the girl has never head of despite it being on the menu. RIGHT THERE. UNDER THE WORD LATTE.

Frustrated, I slam my hand down on the steering wheel because I have to do this every.single.time. I realize I look like crazy person but noone can see my hands so it doesn't count. And I don't snap at the McDonald's coffee girl because I'm better than that.

7.35. I get to work and the door is locked. Mondays and Tuesdays are my days at a tiney tiny clinic. With a security guard about the same age as Grandpa Simpson. His hearing aid is constantly high pitched humming. He forgot to unlock the door.

SO. I am noticing something lately. Like everyone else in this world I have an inner voice. However, my filter for this voice is becoming very weak and very useless the more pregnant I become.

So i'm outside the door yelping "FOR GOD'S SAKE!!! STUPID DOOR IS LOCKED!!!"


My crazy person is on full display.

The clinic is tiny and the walls are thin and everyone inside has heard me.

Someone opens the door and smiles at me. Luckily they like me and just laugh off my crazy.

7.37 My tailbone starts to throb as I sit down. My eyes feel like sandpaper. I can't breathe and the stomach acid is splashing around in the back of my throat. I open my email to learn I am officially in the third trimester.

Which is awesome really.

I mean, the baby is getting so big he's literally moving organs out of his way. I can feel him so much lately. All kung fu fighting in there. I can't help but feel so happy and proud of my belly. He has about 2 more months to cook and then, God willing, he'll be in our arms, nursing and snuggling.

Then I'll get my body back. And start to sleep through the night again.

oh wait.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Moments from our first weekend as foster parents

We offered respite, aka, temporary care for a kid in the foster system this weekend. We'll call him Sam for our purposes. He's about 5 years old.

Friday night:

Sam's Grandma drops him off and spends an hour. She explains Sam's wants and needs in a lot of detail. I am tired from work and smile and nod a lot. I am thinking, why is this woman going on and on? We've met Sam before and he's a good kid. He'll be fine, I think to myself.

I can tell she's nervous. She tells me she's been Sam's caretaker for a year now. Then it all makes sense. She is a nervous mom dropping off her kid. It'll be his first weekend away, with any sitter of any kind. I'm humbled that she trusts us so much.


We go to a festival. Lots of kiddy rides and ninety degree weather. I am nervous because we don't know Sam in public. Is he a runner? Does he listen when full of hot dogs? Will he throw up at random times?

Mr. Hall and I struggle with juggling three kids in public. Two is easy, three outnumbers us. I begin to groan under the workload. Three kids is a lot of work. Lots of shoes to tie, potty times to enforce, meltdowns to manage, pb and j sammiches to make. I realize how good I've had it.

My kids don't ask for sweets. My kids take direction and listen. They march off to a time out when told. Sam is now relaxed enough that he begins to test boundaries. We discover he listens to Mr. Hall more. Mr. Hall takes the reins.

Later we go for a swim. I am in super nervous mode. Sam doesn't know how to swim but we have a life jacket and I'm holding him. Mr. Hall let's Sam float and doggie paddle back to him. I freak out and shriek a little. I realize I need a cocktail. I realize I can't have one because I'm 7 months pregnant. I go inside and put myself on a time out.

After shower we put in a movie. For 30 minutes Sam snuggles on my lap, not moving. I breathe in his hair and little boy stillness. I realize he's like every kid. LOTS AND LOTS of work during the day, unbelievable sweetness when the storm settles. I have trouble not crying.


I wake and I fumble with my cell phone to check the time. 5.53 am. I realize Sam's awake but didn't make any noise. Didn't wake up my kids either. I know he's awake because a mother knows when children are not sleeping in her house. I find him in the sun room, looking at the pool. I give him a hug.

"I miss my Mommy cause she went to jail. She's out now. My Daddy's still in jail because he made naughty choices.", he says. Then, in the next breath, "Can I have mini wheats for breakfast?"

I give him another hug and make him mini wheats. I don't really say anything about what he said. I see he's focused on the cereal so I just let it be.

After cereal he sits on Mr. Hall's lap, watching Simon the cat videos. He relaxes and puts down his matchbox cars. The ones he's been clutching all weekend.

We drive to church and he's a chatterbug. Says more in those 15 minutes then he's said all weekend.

At church there is a sermon on how God gave us gifts for a reason. We are to share what we have. I am humbled.

We have this marriage, this parenting partnership, this house and these good kids so we need to share them with others. If not just for a weekend. I realize I have a lot of work to do too. I've been too short with Sam. I'm not a patient parent and while I'm getting better, I need to get a lot better. I'll pray about this.

I realize that without Mr. Hall, I couldn't do this. I love that when I get ideas (like becoming a foster parent) my husband is right there, encouraging me and giving of himself right beside me. I am humbled to have such a husband. I don't even try to hold back the tears.

When we get home, my son, Sam and I all lay on the grass in the front yard under a shady tree. I'm exhausted and know his Grandma will pick him up in an hour. We don't say much. After we're done we get up and go into the house.

When his Grandma comes I can see she's still tired. She wanted Sam's mom to come along for the pick up. I don't say much about that, just look kindly in her direction. Then, as Mr. Hall loads Sam into the car, I give her a big hug.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

How to Handle Your Wife

Sadly there is no picture I can post here because my work doesn't support the new blogger platform. So close your eyes and envision people holding hands and hugging. Nice huh?

Now, imagine everything below being spelled right. :)

In the last month of my pregnancy my nausea has receeded. OH GLORY DAY!!! I can eat again. Food tastes like food. Apples taste like apples. Rasberries taste like rasberries. Snozberries tastes like snozberries! My belly, it grows so big and round!

I'm six and half months now. I feel the baby move. He's so strong that if I lay right, others can feel him move too. Like my daughter and my husband. My son says he can feel the head, the hands and the string that's feeding him. It's all very unbelieveable and makes me misty eyed. We love him so much already.

Praise Jesus!

My waking up from five months of nausea and the misty eyed love of my unborn son, has caused a bit of crazy to pop up. It's coming to a point where we need to figure out what to do with our fertility after the babe is here. I don't want this squishy love to ever stop. I want to be like the Duggar family. You know the one, with the 19 kids and counting.

But Houston, we have a problem. We aren't a family supported by a church who own storage shed facilities or radio towers. We aren't a family with two stay at home parents. That is not our reality.

Which is harsh, when the world I live in collides with reality. The reality is, Mr. Hall is tired. He is so happy for the new baby and this will be it for him. The last butt I wipe he says. Last food we'll cut up. We are so close to freedom he says.

It's sad but I agree. I'm just never going to feel right about being done having kids. But you have to cut it off sometime. Sniff sniff.

Then, I enter my maternity leave request at work and that was huge for me. Having people notice my pregnancy and openly talk about it is huge. It's very scary still because of the losses. But, I'm getting better at trusting God with all this. And the more I let go, the more gooey eyed I get.

Wait, where was I?


Feeling cute preggy + baby moving so strong = crazy

So, we've decided to revisit the foster care family idea. It's been on hold while I was five months of pukesville. And lo and behold, once I got better we starting getting calls for respite care needs. The social worker suddenly started calling us again.

So we'll start small. Having a foster kid for a weekend here and there. Dipping our toes in the water.

"This will handle your energies, give you something else to focus on for a while." says Mr. Hall.

Which makes me wonder. Who alerted the social to my wellness? Maybe these calls aren't so 'out of the blue' after all.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

The time I got hit on and didn't know it (x2)

I was studying to become a mental health nurse practitioner and spent a lot of time in the library. Mr. Hall, who was my boyfriend at the time, bought me a sweet Acer laptop to facilitate my learning. He tricked it out with everything I needed.

Let me just say I had, and still don't have, any idea how much that man loves and supports me. I didn't ask for a laptop, he just saw the lines at the computer lab and made sure I didn't have to wait. Love you babe.


I was studying and a dude came up asked me about the acer laptop. He keep asking about this feature or that feature. It was kind of weird, I mean, I didn't really know what he was asking, but the string of questions kept coming. I remember he was sort of blushing and nervous. Somewhere along the line I mentioned it was a gift from boyfriend. Dude promptly disappeared.


I was in the grocery store with a big old can of Swiss Miss hot chocolate. Some dude came up to me and asked me how I liked that particular brand. What was the taste/texture? How did it compare to the others? He said he ran an office and wanted to have hot chocolate in the waiting room for his clients. This discussion went on for a good five minutes. Somewhere along the line I mentioned that Swiss Siss is my husband's favorite brand and the mix was from him. He promptly disappeared.

Which makes me wonder.

What was I wearing/doing that attracted these people? These were just ordinary days. Nothing spectular about what I was wearing or how I looked. Why then?

What does it take for a guy to come up to a girl, all cold calling like, and hit on her?

I feel for the men. Women live such a life inside their own head. We have no idea what men go through trying to reach us. No idea when we are being hit on. :)

Yep, good times :)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Pam and Eric from True Blood, marriage and a dream I had

Spoiler alert. True Blood is a show about vampires. Eric is a older vampire that made Pam a vampire. That makes Pam his creation, his protege, and sort of his wife. He released her during the last episode. Which means he kind of divorced her. She is free to go about the earth all free from him now. No longer beholden to their relationship. She didn't really want this, but, it was time.

Which made me sad for her and her fictional storyline. I mean, what is she to do with the mounds and mounds of love she has for Eric? Pam and Eric have been together for a hundred years. I wonder what that does for love?

Which brings me to my dream last night.

In my dream last night, Mr. Hall and I were in a hotel room. We were spying on a man climbing into bed. We were hidden in the closet. The man . . .

TOTAL ASIDE HERE . . . the man was John Cleese of Monty Python. In drag no less.

NO idea what the heck that was about but. . . .

The man crawled into bed and the mirror above the headboard opened up to reveal another man. This man was some sort of judge who judged Mr. Cleese's marriage. Again, John was in drag so it was sort of homosexual relationship he was judging. Not judging the homosexual part, but the quality part.

Had John been loving enough to his partner? Had John been in the marriage for the betterment of that person, and not just for selfish reasons. Or, put another way, did John put his partner first and not be all selfish gimmee, gimmee about things. Things like the love between them. Had John given and not just taken? Had John respect the gift that had been given to him?

Which brings me to me.

I am currently doing a class on Beth Moore's bible study called, "Living beyond yourself". It's all about giving up the idea that I am NOT the center of the universe. Which is hard because-I was a very spoiled child raised in western society. This society assumes and trains people to be indignant at the very idea we are not the center of the universe and everybody owes us something. It's a good study, an excellent one. I highly recommend it.

Which brings me full circle to the Eric/Pam separation, the judgement dream and my marriage. Stay with me now, all two of you who are still reading!! :)

I've been married lo these last 11 years and our love has grown so much. It's so tender and sweet. Vast, wide and deep. I had no idea the gift God was giving me when he sent me Mr. Hall. NO idea that love could be like this. It has caused me to surrender my selfishness in so many ways. And with each surrender, our joy has bloosomed up exponentially. And we are only 11 years in.

Like I said, I wonder what a 100 years would do for our love? :)

However, the fact of the matter is, I still have a lot of work to do. I do hold back, I do be selfish, I do be grumpy and pull away when my hubby needs me. I recognize he has needs and sometimes I just ignore them. I'm not proud of this. So I am actively changing this, asking God to help me be a better wife. Give more back rubs, listen to his day more, smile and relax more. To return the love I've been given.

It's amazing what has happened so far when I pray for this. Our love was bananas before, I can't wait to see what happens next. :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Involuntary noises

The item above is the breathylzer at work. If people show up drunk at my office WHICH THEY TOTALLY DO I have to have them blow into it. I pray it's under the legal limit. Sometimes though, I get lucky and they show up drunk-with a sober driver- in which case I THANK THEM FOR THINKING AHEAD. Because if you show up drunk, without a driver, blow above the legal limit-- I have to call the police.

And I give the stink eye. I don't like calling the police. I try not to sound off a grumpy noise but it happens.


When driving with my husband, he makes little noises. I fully admit I am not the best of drivers. Six speeding tickets and a few accidents (most due to innattentive driving) proves this. I've gotten much better and having been pulled over in years though.

But, I am not the best driver and this irks Mr. Hall. He does his best not to say anything but the noises, they let me know. He becomes especially squeaky when we are in parking lots. It seems parking lot driving IS A BIG HONKING DEAL for most men. The noises, they become a bit more pronounced during these times of woe.

One time, I did a full on u-turn in a residential neighborhood and Mr. Hall let out a large GAAAH. He doesn't believe in such tomfoolery. Unsafe he says. Which is fine, if we are going to drive long distances or in parking lots I let him drive.

At that point where I become his driving coach. To which he replies, "So-being on that side of the car makes you a better driver?"

touche' Mr. Hall, touche!


Sometimes I can't shut up when I am trying to sleep at night. It's not that I can't stop talking, it's that my brain won't shut up. It's useless draining energy. But sometimes I get so verbal with my thoughts I start saying words. Random words pop out of my mouth like green, pepper, or basketball. At this point I've woken Mr. Hall up because HE NEVER HAS ANY TROUBLE SLEEPING AND COULD FALL ASLEEP AGAINST A STUPID WALL. Yeah, I'm jealous. What of it!?


I notice this with my son who is a busy thinker. It all has to do with ADD. Which I have and I am pretty sure my son has. The ADD brain is a busy fricking one. Even when doing nothing, like eating his p b and j sammich, I see his head bobbing, legs and feet wagging. He will wiggle his butt right off the chair cause he's thinking so hard. Meanwhile he's sort of humming and making these weird noises. Totally absorbed in his thoughts and his peanut butter.


I ask him, "Sweetie, what are you thinking about?"

and he says,


And smiles his big smile and all is right with the world :)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Letting it come

The above photo is all that survived last year's mass give away of maternity, baby and kid clothes. I gave away 8-12 honking rubbermaid containers because after my last miscarriage, I was done.

Turns out, I just needed to heal. Thus, some five months after the loss, Mr. Hall provided wonderful lubrication in the form of what he called 'tropical juice'. Through drunken slurs, the truth came out. I wasn't done. I wanted to have another baby. I wanted the two babies we had lost. He wanted to try again too.

And God has blessed us with more baby belly and I couldn't be happier.

Everybody dance!

It's still shocking, seeing me like that.

That being said, when family and friends heard of my mass purge, they promptly deluged me with this.

There are another two rubbermaid containers not pictured. I am humbled, bereft of words to explain how this feels. I mean, YOWZA! People are too kind and it's hard to accept this kindness. But I did. And now my kid now has enough clothes to last for two years!!!

I tried not to fight it but all of this is making my cry for happy and just languish in the goodness.


I'm still in shock over the whole thing. I mean, am I really five months pregnant? My coworkers are figuring it out. My patients are figuring it out. I'm figuring it out too.

Mr. Hall is not in shock.

He believed all along.

I guess I just needed a little help with letting go. Letting go of my shock, of my denial and my sad. This baby is so squirmy and strong. I feel him kick all the time. I can breathe now, hold him in my belly for a few more months and love on him.

Then, God willing, he comes out all pink and screamy. Then I will hire a marching band and go up and down the street!



Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Then, there was this

When I layed down on the ultra sound table, my left shoulder blade started to ache. Which exploded into spasms that ate up the rest of my back. It stunk because I knew it was just my body articulating my crazy. Because I was fine, the baby was fine. In fact, he didn't sit still the entire time we looked at him.

Here is the one moment of relaxation. With legs crossed no less.

We call this the hammock shot.

Yep, he's a boy.


Now, what to call the mover and groover. I love feeling him move. It's like a little conversation we have. He moves, I tell him I love him and we talk about things.

Anyway, names! I was so sure he was a girl I never even thought to come up with names.

Mr. Hall would like the name to end in a vowell. It'll go better with all that way.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Ok Game of Thrones, I'm not made of wood, you got me

I started watching game of thrones because my husband watched twilight with me. I usualy get dizzy around shows like Game of Thrones. There is a lot of plotting, schemming and beheading with swords. It confuses me because the plot is advanced by action, not character development. Plus, it's set in the time of castles, knights and bethrothed ladies in waiting. Plus, there are dragons and women birthing demon shadow babies. It doesn't makes any sense at first.

The show left me lost and itchy. The game is played by something like five families, all intertwined. With confusing names. And weird lineages. All swords and horses.

But, again, Mr. Hall watched Twilight. All of them. With me. Because he loves me. So I started to watch Game of Thrones for him. And read about it to help me be less lost.

Then a funny thing happened. DANGIT!! I started to become a fan. I started getting it.

It started with this actor. Peter Dinklage.

He's the bastard son of a king i think. Bastard is a word they use a lot of this show. However, the actor is above and beyond. Leading man meterial with toughness, vunerability and undeniability. He uses his smarts because he's a tiny man. Which gets him a lot of places. I really like his story lines and this was the first hook for me.

That girl up there is a treat. She's not as good of an actor though. All the swords, horses and dragons can lend itself to overacting, which she does. But, she's soft and sort of blonde. I think she's topless in the first season a lot. I didn't watch the first season. So, like her, I don't really know what's going on with her character. And the character is making up her story as she goes along, not really knowing what she's doing. I like this.

The only thing that bugs me about the show is the fake, prententious, faux british accents that all fantasy shows have. But, I can't be too picky. I need shows like this. Shows I can really sink my teeth into and enjoy. Shows I can analyse and think about. I mean, what am I supose to do with my after the kids go to bed time? Read?? I think not!!

And look. Green fire blows things up!

Anyone else a fan?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Open letter to my friend who is gettin divorced

Seems divorce is happening around me lately. In places I never expected because well, marriage is suppose to be forever.

I have a lot of opinions on marriage. Well, not opinions but ways I can suggest to make it better. First, even before you get married, sort yourself out. If you are addicted to booze, drugs or food, get that fixed. If you are an asshole, get that fixed too. Same goes with selfishness, cheating on your girlfriends, meanness and general inflexibility. Work on your tolerance and mercy. Work on you to make you marriage material.

Next, find someone you want to marry. Get to know them. Look at that list up there. Are they an addict? Are they an asshole? Are they living with their mother and no plans of ever getting their act together? Decide what is your deal breaker and stick with that.

Decide what you want out of marriage and discuss with them. I can't stress this enough. Discuss values, goals and how many kids you want or don't want. I can't stress this enough. I see too many of my patients just merge with the next hot chick they see. After a lot of bar shots off of their bellies I bet. But a love of shots, being young and reckless does not a marriage make.

So yeah, a lot of prep work in the beginning will save you a lot of fixing while IN THE MARRIAGE. Fixing a marriage is hard work. People have to step up and change what they are doing. But--i've seen it happen where people--- who are absolute animals towards each other--I've seen that they can learn to change and make a healthy marriage out of a sucky one.

I don't think this is my friend's problem though.

My friend is actually my high school boyfriend who I dated for about 3 years. My only complaint from the relationship is that he never did stop doing drugs or getting drunk. He just saved it for Fridays when I wasn't with him. That and I'm 100% sure he gave me crabs-- but bygones people!!

I found him on facebook a few years ago and we talked a lot. He's a good guy. Good provider. Has a small girl with this wife and besides the fact he still talks about getting wasted... and they are both over 200 pounds . . . i never really saw anything amiss.

I remember when I first contacted him I had such guilt. When we were breaking up I was experimenting with so many things . . . lsd . . . living in the big city . . . dating girls . . . .it was a time of young, punk and naked stuff. I was turning feral. But, that's what one does when one turns 19 and leaves home. In short, he was a townie and I was on my way out.

I was happy to learn he was married. I always felt bad that we never even considered marriage. I was way too young in high school. I had no idea what a wife was. That all changed with Mr. Hall though.

When I asked about his wife he said, "she saved me." I was happy he was making a life and was still the same good guy I knew.

But know, it looks like he will be getting separated and maybe divorced. I feel bad for him. I want to reach out and say something. Like this.

Dear Brian:

I'm so sorry to hear about the 'relationship change'. I realize this isn't my place, but I want you to know my heart goes out to you. Marriages busting up really do suck. I can pretty much guarantee that you are still the same good guy and I can't imagine what has happened.

I hate to say this and I don't want to say something that will offend you, but have you tried counseling? Is she interested in counseling? I'm not sure what has happened but I can say from my experience, if two people are interested in saving their relationship and if they are willing to come to counseling, it's amazing what can happen. Maybe just schedule an intake for you, to help you through this process.

Either way, if you need anything, I'll be here for you. If you're ever on our side of town, you and your daughter are welcome for a bbq and a swim in our pool.

I'll be praying for you-

Maybe I'll send this. who knows?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Not just a river in Egypt

This is me 19 weeks pregnant. I took this photo today.

Drove into work yesterday and was thinking about flashmobs. If I have one thing on my bucket list, it's to be in one. Then I started sobbing. Flashmobs just seemed so unbelievably sweet and tender that I started to cry. Tears flow pretty easily these days over the simpliest things. They are happy, sweet tears :)

I've had to buy a bigger set of clothes. I broke down and bought maternity pants.

I'm starting to feel like a human being. The constant exhaustion and nausea has faded and I've started painting my toes again. Next I'll try putting on make up on a regular basis. I'm eating more, food has started to taste less like dish soap and more like food!

But the biggest change I've noticed, is that I look like that up there. That really is me in the photo above. I still can't wrap my head around it. At night, I stare at myself in a full length mirror. Absolutely gobsmacked by purple stretch marks, blue veins and fleshy roundness.

It blows my mind. How did this happen?

I believe I've been in denial.

Even when the doctor asked me if I felt the baby move, I didn't know. Was the fluttering real? Was the tiny pushes from tiny arms real? I told him I just didn't know.

I do now though.

I feel the little bean moving around in there. It's never the same, not like other belly sensations which have a rythm and predictability. The baby moves at different times and in different ways. I get greedy about it. Pushing on my roundness. Trying to get her to react. She doesn't though. Stinker!

I can say I'm so, so thankful for this child. So thankful for this blessing. So thankful for all that I've been given.

And just like the Lord above, we love our children even before he is born. The love is unbelieveable now. I feel absolutely flooded with it.

So thankful.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Let's talk about Lane Pryce, shall we?

Knee deep in Mad Men love here. This show, it just gets to me. Much like the sopranos before it. It's just so rich and layered. Last night's episode was sort of a death knell for the Lane character. I haz a sad about this.

First, let me say, I didn't like Lane at first. English twit and all that. However, I've now grown an affection for him. He is so deeply sad. Bound up in his sad, sad life. He is a nice guy who is finishing last.

It doesn't help the fact that he's now actively lying and hiding things. This will get you nowhere. Jesus and the IRS sees all people. Best to fess up, take your lumps and rebuild.

It also doesn't help the fact that he carries himself insecurely. Well, unless Pete insults him-- at which point:

Pete had that coming. I really really dislike the Pete character. I'll never like him. I hope Trudy dumps his stupid butt next episode. I love Trudy. It's the only reason I watch community. Just to get my pseudo Trudy fix. She's better than Pete, he's bound up in his own way too. Bound up in entitlement and miserableness.

Which is where this post comes back to me.

I have a number of patients who carry entitlement and react like children when they don't get what they feel they deserve. And, like every job, there is a certain expectation of catering to the patients we serve. Thus, I need to drop and/or change my attitude about this type of patient. I can't just ignore them and not listen. I can't direct them on how to solve their own problems. They aren't interested in getting well.

If you are sick, you don't have to attend to your life.

Sadly, some don't want to get well but they keep coming to my office. And whine. They feel entitled to stay sick. AND whine that they are not being taken care of enough.

It's not so much what I'm giving them or not giving them. It's what the system is not giving them. The 'man' if you will. The man giving them the shaft and all that. Patients will spend entire life times whining about that.

But, again, I need to drop the attitude about this. I have 26 more years before retirement. Best to let things go, flow the love a little more. After all, working in mental health, (as Mr. Hall says) "Your job is to listen and say 'uh-huh' every so often. It's not that hard."


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Moments of Hall

Just looking through photos. Still not sure how to spell check this stuff so bear wit me.

I STILL get annoyed when looking through photos and finding stuff like that up there. That is a photo by Mr. Hall. I am assuming a work photo. But, he has photos like this before he started working on computers. Like when he was nine and took apart a lawn mower. Took photos of that too.

This was us dating. I don't really like the dress. It was done at Glamor Shots.

Men age better.

Sgt. Hall (aka Daddy)

@ a work conference. The lighting in that bathroom was phenomenal.

Literally holding the kids in place to get this photo.

That is not Mr. Hall. But yet, fully worth taking up space not only on the hard drive but here as well.

OK everyone. Hope your weekend was swell.

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