2015 Family Week 16/52

Week 16 in the 52 Week Family Project

This week had lots of ups and downs and highs and lows. I enjoyed a movie date with Gunnar on a school night, such rebels! I submitted more articles at one time for work than I ever have before. Such a relief to click that submit button on things I've been working on for weeks. And then we had oodles of school drama that this mama is just not built for. I also discovered I cope with stress worse as I age. I've noticed the last few months that it effects me physically, which is new and terrible and I desperately need better coping skills. We said goodbye to house guests and are packing for two simultaneous school trips for the boys. I don't know if I will survive the coming week without them, but if it's quiet over here, you'll know that I'm hiding in a dark closet waiting for it to be Friday. 

Friday Links

Phew what a week! A big wholehearted TGIF if I ever saw one. This week has been weighing heavy on me for a few weeks. I had some big projects due, and one of them was such a big checkmark that I think I need a cocktail to celebrate. I can't wait to share what that one was all about with all of you. 

You probably noticed the extra posts this week that I worked on for a few campaigns, and I really appreciate your support whenever you see those articles. Plus, I think they provide such a fun bonus for all of you with the giveaways they usually bring to the blog. So enter away! Those $100 gift cards gotta go to someone! I don't even get to pick the winner, so for all you close friends and family that think I can't choose you, enter! You have just as good a shot as anyone. 

I would love it if anyone has any "must see, eat, drink, do" places for Portland, Oregon. Please share away in the comments or shoot me an email. We are planning a trip there soon and I need to get my list going!

I also had a really fun article published on Classic Play this week. And if you have kids, or if texting is still foreign to you, check out the awesome printable that Jen made. Golden! 

This beauty DIY is also a goodie, be sure to pin it for later. I am not sure if it's just my age, or if I'm noticing things more, but man am I getting old. I swear every other day I notice a new fine line, or a dark spot somewhere on my face. I've been trying a whole slew of new products recently, I have been bored with my usuals, and I will report back to you soon with my findings. So far only one product is in the return bin. 

Would you do anything different the second time around? 

Have you ever done one of  these top 10 no no's

This article is a good reminder to give your kids a little adventure. Helicopter parenting at parks kill me. Let your kids climb things, let them run! I was walking to school a few months ago behind a mom and her three year old (guessing, but I'm pretty good with kids ages). She ran a few steps and the mom reminded her, "we don't run, remember what happened last time you ran?" We don't run?! Huh? Remember what happened last time?! Kids run! They NEED to run or else they don't know what their legs can do, or how to coordinate their bodies. Let kids be kids, let them get hurt, and they will learn balance and speed and all the important skills needed. 

Hope you have a lovely weekend! 

Not All Scars Are Bad...

It’s been almost a year exactly that Greta had half of her thyroid removed, and each and every day I am grateful to the doctors and modern medicine that ensured my daughter could live a healthy life. It’s true what they say, you never value something quite the same until you’ve lost it. Food to eat, your home, a friend, even your child’s health. That picture above shows a beautiful scar healing on Greta’s neck, a scar that reminds me each and every time I see it what a gift she is to us.

When I was asked to write about our children’s hospital emergency room visit which led to that scar above, I thought at first, ‘No thank you, I do not want to revisit that time of uncertainty and pain.’ But then I kept thinking about the gratitude and appreciation I have for the hospital, the ENT doctor on call, for those emergency room nurses, and for the moment we met the surgeon who would later hand me back my daughter to take home. 

I can only imagine the mess we appeared to the staff in that emergency room. Bloodshot eyes from dealing with little sleep for several weeks, a nervousness and anxiety unparalleled because we had no idea what we were stepping into. We had been seeing our ENT for an infection in Greta’s neck. She was born with a cyst, one that they found during our 20 week ultrasound. We never thought much about the cyst, we knew it was there, but out of sight out of mind. It caused no trouble, so we didn’t pay it much attention. It had suddenly become infected and the treatments and procedures our ENT had tried were unsuccessful. He looked at us that morning and we knew we would have to be admitted to the ER for more aggressive help.

We walked into that emergency room knowing that we were going to be there until the infection was gone, not sure what that would entail, or how long we would be there. We just knew that it was in their hands to make her well. And we knew we were all going to go through this together, because when a child is ill, well, the mama is ill too. 

The nurses were incredible; Greta’s comfort and happiness were their main goals. I think they knew we were going to be there for a while, at least until the on call pediatric ENT doctor could examine her, review all our records from our previous doctor, and then consult with his boss on how to proceed. The nurses brought her little gifts, offered movies to watch, and most of all they were a support to us. They also knew we needed a lot of emotional support. When my dad showed up at the ER check in station, he was immediately brought back to be with us. And later, when my brother in law came, he too was brought to us, no questions asked, no statements about how long they could stay. They shared happiness with us, because we had loved ones there to hug and familiar shoulders we could cry on.

When I drive by that hospital now, I get tearful of the time we spent there; I recall the nights in her hospital bed watching the antibiotics slowly drip into her IV, I see the parking spaces outside the ER where the nice valet man let us park for well beyond what we probably were allowed, the extra pillows and blankets the nurses brought me because they just knew this mama wasn’t going to be leaving without her daughter. But more than all that, I feel my heart grow a little as I drive by because I remember walking down the hallway with Greta’s hand in mind when she was well enough to leave. We were leaving with a scar, but we discovered not all scars are bad.