Researching with the Fist Bump

My son was watching one of his favorite PBS shows the other day. Sid the Science Kid was talking about germ transfer, the importance of sneezing into your elbow, and the basics of handwashing. And Andrew, that brilliant son of mine, says "Instead of shaking hands, they should pop it and lock it (our little fist bump routine). Then maybe people won't get germs."

It's been kind of on my mind since then. How many less sick days would I have if I employed the fist bump instead of shaking hands?

And how many people would look at me funny?

So I gave it a little test run on my chiropractor. He held his hand out to me, and I said "fist bump!" He was curious, so I told him I'm trying to avoid the swine flu. Which turned into a whole different conversation that I'll save for another time. Dr. Josh doesn't like the fist bump, but he's willing to humor me.

The attorney I visited on Friday was a bit taken by surprise, though. He good-naturedly returned the bump when I said "swine flu a-coming!" Yeah, I fist-bumped with a lawyer. I'm the shizzle, fo rizzle.

Church tomorrow should be quite the experiment. :)

So what do you think? Will I spend less time hacking and coughing this year? Save the rainforest by using fewer tissues?

How would you react if someone offered you their fist instead of their open hand?


Highlights from Homeschool

The First Day of School picture

Mom, I think I got it!

Making Bean n' Cheese BurritosThe Finished Product


I'm putting together some pictures to send to Yasar's family in Syria. And I asked if it'd be appropriate to send a picture of Leila.

I cannot make myself think of our little miracle as inappropriate. She was a beautiful, precious little human being. A blood relative. Just because she didn't survive, she's not worth counting as a member of our family? At what point would she have been considered appropriate? If she drew breath? Cried her first cry?

Sometimes I struggle to understand my husband's culture. And sometimes I just throw up my hands and try to accept. But this time, it just hurts.


Update on Tiger

This weekend has been all over the place. I wish I have a definite answer when asked how Tiger's doing. At times, he's practically his old self, albeit much skinnier. Others, like last night when he peed all over his feet, not so much.

The good news is I haven't seen him vomit since Friday. Diarrhea, yeah. But at least he's keeping down what he's been eating. If only he could make it to the litterbox...

So far today (knock on wood) he seems to be doing pretty well. Eating small amounts of his expensive Prescription Diet mixed with chicken babyfood, and drinking from the toilet (yeah, he's disgusting - but I'll let him drink out of whatever he wants right now, as long as he drinks!). He's started to curl up again when he lays down, instead of that miserable hunker they seem to have when they don't feel well. He's also been outside for awhile today, so if he's had bowel distress, I don't know about it.

I'm cautiously optimistic. Maybe too many bad things have been happening to me to trust that something wonderful can come of this.

Tiger is scheduled for an ultrasound tomorrow, which we may skip if he continues to progress tonight. We've sort of discussed euthanizing him once we've seen the results of the test, if the prognosis is too bad. And most surprising to me, for as many times as Yasar has threatened to get rid of Tiger, he does not want to talk about that. Typical guy, huh? :)

My Kid, the Sk8erBoi

And, in case you were wondering, I did have to change my underwear when I got home. :)


A Vet Story

Yesterday Tiger went in for another bolus of fluid to get him through the weekend. It was a drop-off thing, so I went and hung out with Hubs at Domino's until Tiger was all done.

When I went back, there were a few people in front of me for service. A very nice woman with a sick little Yorkie and I were chatting, and we both noticed a young woman and her significant other come out of one of the exam rooms, completely distraught and in tears.

We both shook our heads and said a little prayer for them, and for us.

So Crystal, the super-nice front desk lady, is settling my account up. And we're talking about how good it was that Yasar got to talk to the vet earlier, that he sort of gets what's going on and he'll feel a little better about the financial side of this situation. I was saying that this is all new to Yasar, in Syria they treat animals like animals, not like members of the family. They don't spend this kind of money trying to keep a pet alive and comfortable.

Crystal kind of looks at me out of the corner of her eye and says, "well, if he gets upset, just tell him about those people you just saw. The ones that were crying. She just authorized us to perform a $350 leg amputation surgery.....on her hamster."

I was proud of myself - I actually controlled myself for almost 30 seconds before I just cracked up.

Only in America...


3 Months Later - Where Am I Now?

It amazes me that three months has passed already.

Mostly, I'm okay.

I set aside my time to cry, when I know I'm going to be alone.

There are some projects in the works to keep me busy.

I still miss my little girl very, very much....

...but, right now, at this very moment, it doesn't feel so debilitating.

That's not to say that those horrible tears won't be back 5 minutes from now.

Grief can be so unpredictable, that's the hell of it.

But grief doesn't seem to be my main focus anymore.

Lots of pots in the fire right now.

The most pressing at the moment being Tiger.

He's very sick. And we need your prayers.

"Pancreatitis", the vet says.

He's lost so much weight. Vomitting. Diarrhea. Dehydration.

Large vet bills at the most inopportune time.

Yes, he's "just a cat", but we love him like family.

And losing him would just be another blow.

A swift kick to someone desperately trying to stand up.


The Crying Game

This whole weekend (and today) has been one sopping, tear-soaked moment followed by the next.

I miss my little girl SO BAD.

I desperately want to be pregnant again.

I can't for the life of me figure out what the flip is wrong with my family. And I'm rapidly getting to the point where I just don't give a crap anymore. You know who you are.

And I've just spent the last two hours mired in paperwork, the likes of which I never in my life expected to be filling out.

So I've got Eminem screaming in my ears, the only music on my mp3 player angry enough to match my mood right now.

Life's not fair.

People are throwing their newborns away, when I'd give everything I have to still have my little girl safe in my womb.

People get pregnant so easily, too easily, and then abort their babies.

Families should be supportive instead of drumming up unnecessary drama on a woman walking the edge of a high cliff. You'd think they'd understand that I'm still grieving and put aside their pathetic agendas for just one minute. But no, not mine.

I have all I need. My God, my husband, my son. Everything else is just noise.

But I've had so much to cry about this weekend. Seeing an old friend and meeting her new daughter, Piper. Church. Lots of deep conversations with Yasar. And nothing. Just crying for no particular reason.



It's odd to me to feel so emotional again. I really thought I had a hold of my grief, instead of the other way around.

Today found me just begging God for that next chance to be a mommy again. Begging like I imagine Sarai begged. Tears rolling down my face. And God led me to the booklet that Anita gave me, that precious booklet of verses that I carry with me in my purse.

I stopped, and asked God to lead me to the verse, to speak to my heart. I opened it at random...

Phillippians 4:6-9
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Jesus Christ. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. ...And the peace of God will be with you.

Wow. Wow wow wow! I feel so humbled. And so privileged, that God would speak to me that openly. It's easy, when your heart is dying inside you, to think that God doesn't care about you. That nobody cares or understands you.

And then I remember He knows what it's like to lose a child.


Lurking Around Every Corner....

Do not, for even one second, think that I'm doing great. I'm not over losing my little girl. But I'm learning to live with loss and moving on.

It seems like, every once in awhile, something triggers an all-out surprise bawl-fest.

Today it was googling foods to avoid while TTC. Somehow I landed on BabyCenter, and they proceeded to tell me I'm 31 weeks pregnant. My little girl is 16 inches and 3.3 lbs.

My heart breaks anew, every time I run into something like that.

And these little landmines are everywhere.

The Flipside to the Homeschool Creed

"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it."
~Proverbs 22:6

I call this The Homeschool Creed. In the homeschool community, this verse seems to pop up everywhere! Maybe it's our Biblical vindication to live on the fringe, to do what is not "normal".

But I got to thinking about this verse in the other context. The public school context. When the government takes it upon themselves to train up our children in the way they think they should go. And how those kids aren't departing from their lessons.

What do kids learn in high school? What did I learn in high school? What lasting lessons did I take away from public school?

fade back to 1993.....

I learned that it was not okay to be different. High school kids fall into a pack mentality - if you're not with them, you're against them. They don't know how to appreciate how differences can keep things interesting or teach them something new. How that lesson affects us today? Racism. Prejudice. Elitism. Intolerance.

I learned how to sleep in class. Smoking in the girls bathroom. Cutting last period. Breaking the rules, and getting away with it. How does that lesson affect us today? We've learned to be sneaky. That rules were meant to be broken. And, if we do happen to get caught, so many others are breaking the laws that the punishments aren't so prohibitive.

And what about what I didn't learn? Like math, science, English. The teachers were too busy trying to referee the class to really imbue us with any pearls of knowledge. Sure, I got the basics, at least enough to continue on my own. But I could have gone so much farther with more attention. Smaller classes. Stricter rules. My lesson for today? That I want to be the one teaching my son. No one will give him as much attention as I will. And he deserves to not fall through the cracks of a public school education.

I think we've got to get it out of our heads that we're raising kids, and realize that we're raising adults. Do I trust the public school system to raise him up in the way he should go? Do I really in my heart think that Troy City Schools can mold him into a well-rounded, educated, compassionate adult?

This is why I do what I do.


TTC bits

Yasar and I want to have another baby.

I believe with all my heart that God has one for us, and is waiting for that right moment to bless us again. But I don't believe He's going to do His work when we expect it. So any traditional fertility treatments are probably not going to happen.

That being said...

Last week, my husband was at a business meeting with other professionals from different occupations. And the speaker was a local chiropractor.

Dr. Josh spent lots of time talking about so many different facets of health, and how they're all controlled by your spinal column.

Including fertility.

DingDingDing! Bells and whistles start going off in Yasar's head.

So I went to my first appointment Monday. They took x-rays (Aunt Flo had arrived that morning, before you ask), and later that evening I went back for the interpretation.

The verdict? In a nutshell, my spine's a mess. And Dr. Josh is going to fix me up, good as new.

Now, going to the chiropractor sucks. I hate the little zappy pads. Not too wild about the rolly table, either. Having the Doc sit on me? Uhhh, well, he's cute, so we'll let that go. Hearing my neck crack? Ugh! Sounds like popcorn in my head!

Will it help us have a baby? Hmmmm...

Also, as a side note, I looked back in my food diary from when we conceived Leila. And I'm trying to mimic that diet again. High fiber, normal fat intake of good, healthy fats. Low on the processed foods. Consequently, the buzz is this will also help Andrew's attention span and impulsive behavior. We're also going to take a stab at eliminating dairy from our diets. With homeschooling, we should be able to get a fairly full picture of the benefits of this new diet.

With us luck!


Foreclosure Watch - TickTickTickTick.....

Sheriff's Sale 9/9/09.

After the events of this year, this is but a blip.


After a loooong day of walking IKEA, a little AFV and a cappuccino are in order.


Homeschool - The Rebuttals

"I couldn't do that!"

"Better you than me..."

"If he doesn't get a proper education, the only person you can blame is yourself."

"It takes a lot of discipline, and we're not really known for that."

Now that the decision to homeschool Andrew has been made, it seems like all the negative comments are pouring in.

Guys, let me just say that I've been praying like crazy for God to slam this door shut. The comments I've gotten are nothing I haven't said to myself. I know I'm not the most disciplined person in the world. I know taking on sole responsibility for Andrew's education is risky. I know it's not going to be easy.

I also know that there's immense Christian homeschool support available to me. I'm not perfect, I'm gonna stumble a few times. But I've got wonderful women here to pick me up, dust me off, and point me in the right direction.

I also know that homeschooling for kindergarten is not the same as homeschooling a 10th grade curriculum. The structure element is not the same. We will be using workbooks at a K and 1st grade level so I can be fairly confident that he stays challenged. Life skills are also important, and there's plenty of education to be had at the grocery store, walking through a nature center, cooking at home. And, at the end of the year, Andrew needs to be able to pass a test *that he can probably pass if taken today*

I also know what it's like to have my kid labeled. Andrew was on an IEP for his two years of preschool for attention issues. Hypothetically, I send him to kindergarten. Where they're reaching the lowest common denominator. He gets bored. Fidgety. Starts being "disruptive". My child was just released from his IEP in May, he doesn't need to be labeled again.

I also know that I look forward to being responsible for his education. Raising my hand here, I'm a product of the school system. Even the Christian school system. I'm not impressed with either. And, from what I understand, homeschooled kids are in demand in colleges these days. And why not? They've been educated in the fullest sense of the word. If they didn't understand something, school didn't pass them by. If they're advanced, school didn't dumb them down or leave them bored. They're for the most part disciplined and self-motivating. What school/college/future employer wouldn't want that?

I also know that I love my son fiercely, and want what's best for him. His education is paramount to me. And if that means that I have to make structure a habit, well, I'm gonna pull up my big girl panties and make it happen. When it comes to mandatory things, like clocking in at work, the OCD in me kicks into high gear and discipline abounds. We'll be okay in that area.

And, for those concerned about the socialization aspect, Andrew's calendar is already pretty full. Karate twice a week, AWANAS every Wednesday, Sunday School, McCHEO-sponsored gym classes/art classes/science classes, we've got annual passes to Boonshoft - we'll be lucky if we have a full day at home.

I hope everyone understands this is not a decision I took lightly. More than anyone, I was looking forward to the "me time" while someone else took responsibility for my son's future. I thank God that He used that math problem to open my eyes and see that this is an option and we need to explore it. He led me to my friend Amy, who led me to Kim, who is the county coordinator for Christian homeschool and a mom who just had her last daughter graduate from homeschooling. Anita has passed me email addresses for her son and his wife, perfect strangers, yet people who are doing it and look forward to helping someone else. Fellow Grace Baptist members, Madonna, Margie, women I'm not close to, but have still reached out in support. Even Jeanne, Andrew's substitute grandma and a woman just retired from the public school system, had nothing but encouragement for this decision.

Everywhere I've turned, homeschool moms are crawling out of the woodwork. And not one of them said, "I wish I hadn't."

I won't be the one to say "I wish I had."


Exploring Our Options - Homeschool

Yesterday, at work, my 5-year-old dragged me into the office to show me a piece of paper he drew on. He wrote "3+4+5=12". Say what? I'm 34, and it took me a minute to do that calculation in my head! And, last night, he was arguing about sleeping in my bed. I said no, and it wasn't open to negotiation. He said, "why can't I negotiate?"

He's going into kindergarten in 2 weeks.

I spent a little time digging around on the internet for the grade level of the math problem Andrew solved, but couldn't really find it. They did show that 1+2, 2+3, etc. were first grade level. And Andrew and I were doing some of those problems yesterday after I saw that initial math work - he breezed through them. We also did some vertical format (think 12+25) math problems, he took to them like a fish in water. Even some basic subtraction! He must get it from his daddy, math is certainly not my strong suit.

For the first time, I'm seriously considering homeschooling Andrew. Yasar and I are talking about the pros and cons, and we're starting to lean into that direction. I've got some pretty serious researching to do....

So here's where you come in. Anyone tried homeschooling? Succeeded or failed? Know the pitfalls? I'd love your input.


Winding Down

A wise woman once said, "grief is like an onion - it has lots of layers. Just when you think you're doing well, another layer will peel off and you'll be left crying again."

For the past week or so, I've been feeling good. Not crying. Stable. Even happy. I find I have less to say on my blog. Is it possible that I'm getting over the intense pain? Or will another layer peel off?

AF is due in about a week. Yasar has been put on notice that I will be an emotional mess, and he's okay with that. I have no doubt she's coming, and here's my theory as to why:

I believe that God will be glorified with my next pregnancy. His goal is to be as glorified as possible. So does it make sense that He'll bless me when I'm more likely to get pregnant due to hormones? No. We've also been offered Clomid by the OB if we weren't pregnant after 3 cycles. Would it glorify God if I got pregnant using medical intervention? Not as much as it will when He drops that bomb on me again a few months (years) down the road. So I'm not expecting any surprises. Hopefully that takes the emotional aspect away from AF.

Another sign that I'm feeling better is that I don't desire to spend as much time on the computer anymore. I love all you fellow DBM's, and I still pray for you every chance I get.

So I hope you're fine with the slower pace over here at Mumblings. And maybe a few non-pregnancy loss posts. And I hope you know I wouldn't be where I am without you....


Oh, What A Weekend!

Yes, it's been quiet here at Mumblings. Why? Because we were in Pennsylvania for my family reunion! Lots of fun, some tears, and ~as always~ a little drama.
Andrew and his cousin Samuel with their ice cream-lipsticked smiles. My wonderful husband, who really enjoyed the family reunion (many thanks to Glen for making him feel welcome!), and my awesome sister-in-law, Chris.My mom and my sister, Beth.My dad (on left), hanging out with Uncle Warren and Lynn. And they say the old women gossip at these gatherings!

And having my baby girl recognized publicly at the reunion was a special gift. I'm very surprised you can't hear me crying while I record this moment. Thank you so much, Aunt Ginny!

Sunday was school shopping for Andrew at Old Navy. A hoodie, a button-down shirt, 3 t-shirts, 3 pairs of pants, a long-sleeved baseball shirt, sneakers, a romper (for a friend, don't get too excited), 2 fabric bags, and a pair of gold princess shoes (not pictured). Price? $107.13! Score!

Overall, we had a wonderful time with family and friends.