RE: My Brains

So what is recovering from a stroke like?  I can sum it up in one word – tiring.

 

I’m so tired.  I wasn’t this tired after my pacemaker surgery, or after having LP and was getting no sleep.  Tired in the way that I take a shower, get dressed and think “I’m ready for the day…time for a nap.”  I’m trying to sleep when LP sleeps, which is great in theory, but she seems to be moving from two naps to one, so I never really know how long she’s going to sleep or when she’ll zonk out. They’ve told me this exhaustion will continue intensely for at least 2 weeks as the swelling in my brain subsides, and then I’ll still be “moderately exhausted” for up to three months while new pathways are formed in my brain to replace the ones damaged by the stroke.  And honestly, moderately exhausted is sounding appealing after the past few days.

 

We haven’t found any part of my memory or day to day life that I cannot do, which is an enormous praise.  However, it takes much more concentration to knit and type (you would not believe the number of typos I’m correcting as I go), and is sometimes more frustrating than walking.  My reflexes are visibly slower – as playing Mass Effect 3 multiplayer has revealed.  My right hand and leg will shake, often near the end of the day, tired from trying to overcompensate for the weakness in my left side.  I have to be very vigilant in gauging my energy levels – I walked to get the mail one afternoon (a two block walk) and that was it for the rest of the day – even getting up off the couch sounded impossible afterwards.  I find it hard to focus while reading or following conversations.

 

There are upsides to this.  Sleep has never been so refreshing.  I was told by my doctors that while I’m asleep is the only time my brain can work on repairing itself, so I’m trying to get at least one hour long nap in a day, going to bed around 9 pm, and sleeping at least 10 hours at night.  Husband has been fabulous at getting up when LP wakes, feeding her and entertaining her quietly so I can continue to sleep.

 

Another upside is that I’m getting a glimpse of what daily life is like for my husband, who suffers from MS.  Down to the mental fatigue and the side aching.  At least I don’t have to suffer from the shots.

 

Thank you again for all your prayers and support.  We have felt overwhelmingly blessed throughout this entire journey by all of you, and thank you just doesn’t seem adequate.  We are so grateful for all the prayers, the meals, the encouraging comments, and the support.  If I could give each of you a hug, I would.

Home.

Yesterday afternoon Sarah was cleared by all four relevant departments (Neurology, General Surgery, Physical/Occupational Therapy, and Cardiac – if I’m remembering right) to be discharged from the hospital.

We arrived at our home at about 5:30pm last night. (It’s ok – you can do a little dance, shout, or even tear up a little bit if you want. We did.) We’ve hugged our daughter, caught up with family, and Sarah got a nice long shower. We slept in our own bed, which is a blessing in and of itself. We are very, very tired, but happy to be home.

And now, of course, comes the hard part. There’s no more doctors or nurses, no more on-call buttons, no more monitors attached to her that reassure us that everything is ok. Now that we’re home we get to worry about every dizzy spell, every little itch or tingle, every little normal thing that might possibly indicate that somethings wrong. We get to begin building a new pattern of life, one that lets us take care of our daughter AND help Sarah slowly get back up to fighting strength. (That’s a figure of speech, by the way. As far as I know, Sarah no interest in competing in any sort of fighting sport.)

We still need your prayer. Maybe not the “every second/all night long” sort that you’ve been showering with us this whole week (though, we’d appreciate that too), but certainly the “keep us daily in your prayers” sort. We’ve seen many miracles this week, and we’d like to keep them coming. We also… need your help. Sarah and I are both very stubborn, and dislike asking for things. But, stepping back, I know we are probably not going to be able to do this alone. And, we probably shouldn’t try and do it along. So, we humbly ask for your help for the next few weeks as we work on taking care of Sarah and helping her to get better. I’ve listed a “ways you can help” section below. I’m sure some further needs may become apparent as we work through this, so I’ll try to keep people updated as we go.

Ways You Can Help

  • We would appreciate meals being made for us.  Sarah is on a special diet, so we would prefer things without potatoes, white flour, and/or sugar.  If you’d like to bring us a meal, feel free to text or call me (husband) to set up a date and time.
  • Prayer – we have a long road of healing before us.
  • Yard work – Even though we have a small yard, the heat prevents me from keeping it mowed as often as it needs to be with my MS.  If you have a teenager who would like to make a few bucks, let us know.  We have an electric mower they can use, as well.
  • Errands – we’ll know more about this as we settle into a routine.  Sarah gets tired very quickly, so sometimes going to the grocery store may be too tiring.  We work on the Dave Ramsey cash envelope system, so we can hand you the money and the list if you want to go for us.
  • Coffee. Decaf anything. (Sarah especially likes Dutch Bros and Roasters.)

Ok. Pride has been swallowed, help has been asked for. Praise and prayer time.

Praises

  • We are home today, instead of having a funeral. This sounds overly dramatic, but this could have turned out very differently. Praise God that Sarah is home, safe, and on her way to becoming healthy.
  • Sacred Heart – I praise God for every single person there. Even the coffee stand people. (ESPECIALLY the coffee stand people?) Every single person at that hospital was committed to keeping Sarah healthy, making sure she was comfortable, listening to our concerns and (sometimes inane) questions, and laughing and rejoicing along with us.
  • Our friends and family – on top off all of your amazing prayers, we’ve had friends and family come to us at the hospital, help out with LP, and come up to help with Sarah this weekend. Thank you. Thanks for sharing our statuses, blogs, and prayer requests. Thanks for liking our Facebook updates. Thanks for your comments – both the ones that encouraged us and the ones that made us laugh.
  • Being home with our daughter is such a relief. Also, she LOVES Sarah’s balloons from the hospital. She’s very happy her Mom and Dad are home. And so are we.
  • Sarah’s wedding rings were found! They may have been here at home all along. Or, God transported them home from wherever they had fallen on the floor in the hospital back here to our house. (The last one is my theory. In case you couldn’t tell.) Either way, it’s an answer to prayer, and we’re happy that they’ve been located.
  • Sarah has been able to knit, and even played a little bit of Xbox last night before she got too tired.

Prayer Requests

  • Pray that Sarah’s brain stays healthy and safe. There’s still swelling, so pray that goes down in a safe and timely manner. Also pray there’s no further bleeding.
  • Pray that Sarah can get the rest she needs to fully recover.
  • Pray that there are no further damaged areas of her brain. We’ve joked that while it’d be ok if she had somehow lost the memories of a few college classes (*cough cough* Intro to Missiology *cough cough*), but we’d really prefer it if all areas of Sarah’s brain checked out to be healthy and happy.
  • Pray Sarah’s physical therapy goes well.
  • Pray for the insurance coverage. Now that we’re out, we begin the fun waiting game where we try and guess what they’ll cover and what they’ll refuse. They’ve already left one automated message for us telling us to call them as soon as possible, but they’re closed until Tuesday. So now we get to stress out about it all weekend. (Yay!) Pray that it’s all covered, because a long insurance fight sounds really exhausting. And stressful.
  • Pray for my brother and his wife, who lost their pregnancy a day before all of this happened. While we’ve been out here in all the craziness they’ve been quietly mourning the loss of their child.

We Have A Room! With a View!

Hi. It’s Jason (Sarah’s husband.) Ready for some good news? We have a lot. First of all, Sarah has been moved out of the ICU to her own room on the 8th floor. It even comes with a window. There was a small scare last night where, for a while, it looked like we’d be in the ICU for a bit longer. They had performed a CT scan that ended up showing some blood in her brain. If this was a bleed, it’d have been bad news.  However, they did a second scan this morning, and the amount of blood was about the same – maybe even diminished a bit. This means the blood was likely from the procedure itself, and not from a bleed in the brain. The doctors and nurses assured us that this wasn’t something to be too worried about, so we tried to stop worrying. They are, of course, still watching Sarah closely but she just. Keeps. Getting. Better.

It’s been a day of recovery for both Sarah and I. We were both able to a get a semi-decent amount of sleep last night, and Sarah has been able to take a few naps today. She had meetings with physical therapists, and they tested her physical and mental recovery. Her left side is indeed a bit weaker – especially her left leg – but her progress is nothing short of astounding. Less than 48 hours ago Sarah couldn’t move her left leg or arm at all. She couldn’t even make a finger twitch. And now she’s typing, tweeting, talking on the phone, and even walking.

Her heart is also doing great – the doctors even used the word used the word “perfect” when talking about how it looked after they got her results back.

We are enormously, amazingly blessed. We are blessed by God’s healing, by the fantastic staff at both Sacred Heart and Kadlec, by our incredible families, and by the overwhelming love and support from all of you. Thank you so much – we have been blown away by the response this has gotten.

We are also very tired. We are ready to go home and see our daughter. We are ready to eat something other than hospital food. We have both reached that three day wall – that level of weariness that always seems to hit sometime in the middle of the third day of a long hospital stay.

I’ll answer a few questions we’ve got from people, and then we’ll go over praises and prayer requests.

Was the stroke caused at all by Sarah’s heart condition?

Actually, no. They’ve run a plethora of tests on Sarah, and her heart is fine. There’s zero evidence that her heart contributed to the stroke in any way. The most likely suspect at this point? Birth control.

Was Sarah on blood thinners before this?

No. She was on them for a short time after some complications from when she had her pacemaker put in, but she’s been off them – and not needing them – for years. She may have to be on them after this, but we haven’t heard for sure one way or the other.

What happened to the wedding rings?

We have no idea. We’re pretty sure they were still on her fingers when she was airlifted. We didn’t notice that we had no idea where they were until well after Sarah had been moved to her room in the ICU. No one in either hospital remembers seeing them or taking them off, so… who knows? All we know is Sarah didn’t take them off, because she couldn’t move her left side at the time. The nurses are launching a fresh “find the rings” mission tomorrow, so we aren’t out of options yet.

Is Sarah the most awesome person ever or the most awesome person currently roaming the earth?

I’d put Jesus at the top of the “most awesome person ever” list. And right after that? Sarah. Right behind her? Chuck Norris. What’s that? You think Chuck Norris should be higher? Well, maybe when Chuck Norris goes from being paralyzed on the left side of his body to walking within 24 hours we can talk. Until then he has to settle for third place.

Ok. Praise and prayer time. Prepare yourself – I’m busting out the exclamation marks.

Praises

  • Sarah’s not dead!
  • Sarah continues to get better!
  • We’re out of the ICU!
  • Sarah’s talking and joking with the nurses!
  • Sarah is up and walking!
  • Sarah can still knit!
  • Sarah’s Dad was able to come up and see her!
  • There’s no bleeding in Sarah’s brain!
  • We have amazing family who’ve helped out a lot, so I can take breaks and take care of myself.
  • Our room has a great window.
  • Bioware is releasing a free expansion pack for Mass Effect 3 multiplayer on Tuesday! This sounds out of place, but it’s not – it’s something Sarah’s really excited for, and using her hands to control the game while keeping track of different objectives and such will actually be really good for her recovery. That’s right – videogames ARE good for something.
  • Lucy has been doing well with my family. Every time we’ve called to check up on them she’s in the background laughing, which is a huge relief to us.

Prayer

  • Keep praying that there’s no bleeding or further damage to Sarah’s brain. She’s out of the high risk time period, but there’s still some danger.
  • Pray that Sarah’s recovery continues to advance. She’s come a long, long way, so pray that we can keep this progress going.
  • Pray that there aren’t any damaged areas of her brain that haven’t been discovered yet. They’ve done mental and physical tests, but it’s possible that some damage will only make itself known as time goes on.
  • Pray that Sarah’s physical therapy goes well. She has some leg exercises that she has to do several times a day.
  • Insurance, Finances, Job, etc – These are all about the same situation as last night. Keep praying! I have had an overwhelming amount of support from work, and that’s been a huge blessing.
  • Lucy – we miss her. Pray that she’s safe, that we will get to go home to her soon, and that she doesn’t drive our family crazy in the meantime.
  • The wedding rings. We’d really like to find them. Pray that they turn up!

To close, I’d like to share this picture:

 

Those are the first rows Sarah knitted after the procedure. I think they’re pretty miraculous.

Thanks again for all the prayer – please keep it coming! And, of course, feel free to leave any questions in the comments below. We’ll keep you updated!

The Meadens Went to the Emergency Room. It Must be Tuesday. (aka, The Stroke Post)

This is not Sarah posting – this is her husband, Jason. I’m sure most of you have heard by now, but Sarah suffered a stroke yesterday and had to be airlifted to Sacred Heart. I’m going to try and write a semi-coherent post about everything that happened, which should be fun because I’m running on nothing but the after effects of adrenaline, several cups of coffee, and about 1.5 hours of sleep I grabbed this morning. Buckle up, and don’t freak out.

Tuesday afternoon I came home from work to help my wife get ready for my parents coming to visit. I volunteered to watch Lucy while she ran some quick errands with my brother Scott. A while later, my brother Scott opened the door and asked me to come quick, because something was wrong with Sarah. I handed him Lucy, and went outside. Sarah was on the ground next to the car, conscious, but really *really* out of it. She kept asking to go inside and lie down, and kept saying that her right side felt weak. I realized quickly that this was going to need an ER trip, because her right side was fine – but her left side was completely limp. She had no control over her left leg, or foot, and the left side of her face looked less responsive as well. I kept talking to her, asking her questions about how her day went and what she bought at Target to keep her awake and responsive, and pulled her up to a semi standing position, and from there was able to get her in the back passenger seat. I buckled her in, left Scott with quick instructions for Lucy, and drove to the ER at Kadlec as fast as I could.

When we got there, I ran in and got the ER team. They brought her back to the ER and quickly ran tests. Several members of our family showed up, along with our Pastor. Things did not look good. Sarah wasn’t able to feel anything on her left side, and had little to zero movement for her left arm and leg. The doctors asked for permission to start her on tPA, which is a drug that can be effective for strokes, but only if it is administered in the first three hours. It was now that they started mentioning the chances of death, along with other scary side effects. We agreed, and they began the treatment. It appeared that she was getting a bit better, but then her symptoms changed for the worse. It was around this time that they told me she’d be airlifted to Spokane. (Though, I’m now told that this was the plan all along, they just didn’t tell me because they didn’t want to freak me out.)

There wasn’t room for me in the helicopter. I would have to drive. Meanwhile, this whole time Sarah has been reaching up to stroke the side of my face with her hand, and saying she loves me, and that moment happened – you know, the moment that happens to anyone who takes someone they love to the ER. It’s the moment where you realize that this might really be it. And that there’s nothing more you can do about it except wait and pray. I had told myself I wouldn’t lose it in front of Sarah, and I didn’t. As soon as they took her to be airlifted though, I lost it. It wasn’t from a lack of hope – I knew God was in control, I knew Sarah was in good hands, and I knew that we had prayer support. I just felt weak, and completely unable to handle this.

My Dad took me home, and I quickly threw together some clothes, cell phone chargers, and meds and toiletries. Lucy had woken up crying, so I was able to hold her and comfort her (this actually helped immensely.) I said goodbye, and we then began the drive up to Spokane. None of us knew how Sarah was doing, or even if she was still alive.

We finally got there, and I asked at the ER check-in what her status was. They said that she was in the middle of a procedure, and that when they were done she’d be moved to a room in the ICU. We sat and waited. Finally I was brought back to see her – she looked like she was asleep, but she soon opened her eyes, saw me, and smiled. She was able to move her left arm a bit, and lift her left leg as well. We were told that they had gone in through an artery in her thigh, and ran the scope all the way up to the blocked artery in her brain. They then broke it into pieces and removed it. It was successful, and she showed immediate improvement. This is a newer procedure, and Sacred Heart is (supposedly?) one of the flagship hospitals performing it. Don’t quote me on that, though, since it might just be the (admittedly awesome) nurses from up here bragging.

I stayed with Sarah through the night. She joked with the nurses, held my hand, and slept when she could. So far, she’s doing great. She’s not out of the woods yet, but there was a definite miracle done.

Most of you know me. And most of you know that Sarah and I are Christians. Most of you also know that I’m very critically and scientifically minded, and this has caused confusion for both our believer friends and non-believer friends. For the nonbelievers, they often wonder how someone who’s otherwise very scientifically minded can believe in a “pie-in-the-sky fairy tale” like Jesus. And for our believer friends, this has often caused frustration when my scientific, political, or social views don’t line up with theirs. I completely understand both sides – but I hope events like this can help show both of these two sides how awesome our God can be. I was terrified, but I had complete faith that our God had Sarah in His hands. I knew this because He has not only promised it, but He has shown this, time after time. The set of circumstances that have kept Sarah and I alive for our lives has long surpassed the “unlikely coincidence” threshold. In every one of our fights for our health one thing out of thousands could have resulted in our death. In every circumstance, God has provided. Some will still call this good luck, or medical skill – and yeah, I can see that. But what I see is a loving God using science, knowledge, and the love and care of others to work miracles. Sarah could be dead. In fact, judging from some of the reactions of the doctors up here she SHOULD be dead. And not only is she not dead, she’s regaining movement and body functions every hour. Not only did Sarah have some of the best medical care available in the Northwest, she had hundreds – yes, literally hundreds – of people praying for her throughout the night. I had to stop checking facebook because the support, love, and prayer kept making me tear up and cry. This is what defines true Christian love – not the messages of hate, bigotry, and power that is becoming all too associated with the Christian church, but this overwhelming outpouring of love, support, and prayer. We had people willing to drop everything and drive to Spokane if needed. We had people who, even though they had jobs they needed to get up for, stay up through the entire night just to pray and support us. We have people we’ve never actually met in person (aka, internet and message board friends) praying for us. And that prayer and support, and our faith in God, and the doctors and technology up here all melded together and formed a miracle.

True, she’s not out of the woods yet. But you know what? She’s still alive. She’s laughing. And this was not the likely outcome. This could have turned out very differently. But it didn’t. And I’m not going to turn this into a soapbox moment, or even a come to Jesus moment. You guys know Sarah and I. I’d like to think you know what we stand for. And I just wanted to let you know a little bit of just how our faith was tested – and reaffirmed a thousand times over – in the past 24 hours.

I’m going to list a few praises and prayer requests, but first a few notes.

  1. I apologize for my many grammar and spelling mistakes. This is, frankly, not me at my best. If you catch any mistakes, let me know and I’ll correct them. (This is especially for you, Tami 🙂 )
  2. Our Pastor preached a sermon on Sunday on the topic of what to do when you’re faced with impossible situations. It was highly relevant for our situation, and God kept bringing bits and pieces to my mind throughout this whole experience. If you’re struggling, I’d highly recommend giving it a listen. It was called “When You Don’t Know What To Do”, and it’s available on iTunes and from our church website here: http://thefirstfamily.net/sermons
  3. The music of David Crowder Band, Gungor, and Rend Collective Experiment has encouraged me beyond words. They’re all bands that avoid the shiny happy Christian music genre, and instead make music that is creative, challenging, and refreshingly real. In normal days, they’re awesome bands making great music. In times like this, their music becomes something much, much more vital. I realize I sound like I’m geeking out here, but go to Spotify, make a playlist, and start listening.

Ok. Praises and prayer requests time.

Praises

  • My brother Scott was home to watch Lucy while I took Sarah to the ER.
  • My Mother and Father were here to help watch Lucy / drive me to Spokane.
  • We got Sarah to the hospital within a half hour of the stroke. This, I am told, was vitally important. If you suspect someone of ever having a stroke DO NOT WAIT. Get them there as soon as you can.
  • We were able to administer the TNA within three hours of the stroke.
  • The helicopter ride up for Sarah (and car ride for me) was safe and noneventful.
  • Sacred Heart is one of the hospitals doing a new procedure for stroke treatment. They were able to perform it within 6 hours of the stroke. This procedure likely saved Sarah’s life.
  • Sarah has shown remarkable improvement in her left side mobility. She can lift her lift leg, move her foot, hold her phone well enough to text, and is able to grab and squeeze my hand with her left hand.
  • She’s also talking clearly and alertly, and is pretty much completely coherent. Except when she’s asleep.
  • There are hundreds of people supporting us in prayer and encouragement across the world. (Yes, world. We have people in other countries praying.)
  • Sarah wants to leave the hospital. This is good, because it shows that she’s back to her usual attitude regarding hospital stays.

Prayer Requests

  • Sarah’s still at risk of brain bleeding. This would be very, very bad. She’ll be out of the biggest danger zone tonight.
  • She’s also still at risk of the artery that the blockage occurred in collapsing. This would also be very bad.
  • Ongoing symptoms – There is brain damage. So far, Sarah looks great. But there could be areas of damage that we haven’t seen yet. Physical ability, memory, personality… all of these could be affected. Please pray that we can deal with whatever comes up in a hopeful and positive way.
  • Physical Therapy – Sarah’s going to need it. Please pray that this goes well. Also pray that it will strengthen her and help get her back on her feet.
  • Our daughter, Lu. We have family watching her now back at home, but she needs her Mom and Dad there. Pray that we can be with her soon. And pray for our family as they watch her.
  • Insurance – in theory, this is all covered. However… insurance companies like to argue. And with the airlift involved, this could get complicated. Please pray that the claims will go through without a fight.
  • Sarah’s wedding rings are missing. They were there when she got in the helicopter, but no one knows where they went after that. Pray that they find them!
  • Finances – We are ok. But if I have to take time off from work to help with Sarah, or if the insurance refuses to cover something, things could get real bad real quick. God has *always* provided for us in this area, but please pray that we can trust Him in it so we can focus on getting Sarah healthy and well, instead of worrying about money.
  • My work situation – pray that I can balance caring for Sarah and Lu with my job so I can continue providing for them.
  • My own health –I have multiple sclerosis. Things that can trigger attacks or flare ups include lack of rest, stress, and overexerting yourself physically. Pray that I stay healthy so I can take care of Lu and Sarah!
  • And finally, pray that Sarah will still be able to knit, use the computer, and play xbox. I know it seems small, but these three things all require dexterous use of her left hand, and she’ll be crushed if she can’t do them anymore.

I’ll update this post with praises and prayer requests as time goes on. Let me know if you have any specific questions.

May

Even though we’re nearly halfway through the month already, I’m still going to to do a little resolution posting.  Since writing things down helps solidify them.  But first, a few excuses for my tardiness.

It felt like the beginning of this month came a week earlier than it should have.  I was not ready to give up my sweet 60 degree breezy and rainy April for the month which normally shows our first triple digit weather around here.  The forecast for that first week was still April-y, cool and lovely and spring.  Unfortunately, the next week our household forecast included the flu.  Husband was home for two days on the couch, sick and miserable.  LP managed to avoid his germs, which is an amazing blessing because dealing with a sick toddler when neither parent is functioning at their best is something I’d like to avoid.

May is also our one month of the year when everyone decides it would be a grand idea to come visit us.  And that isn’t a complaint.  We normally have at least one of Husband’s siblings and their spouse come visit, his parents, and our best friends.  This year is no different, although it’s one of his siblings sans spouse for a few days.  Starting on Thursday, we have guests all the way until the end of the month, with only three days of just us three.  Which will be fantastic from LP’s perspective as she is the most social person in our family.

But back to my resolve – and lack thereof.

1.  The state of the house.  I’m still slogging away at purging the excess of stuff in our home.  We did manage to go through the closet, all of LP’s clothes (although we’re nearly to the point where she’s changing sizes again), and her toys to pull things for expulsion.  There’s a yard sale to benefit the International Justice Mission on May 26th, so a large part of what we’re getting rid of is being donated to that yard sale.  There are some things we’re saving to give to other specific people.  I’m going to continue this with as much energy as I can devote to it.  I managed to clean up/out the garage a bit this month, which I was not planning on doing but hey, it happened and I’m glad.

2.  I did go see a movie this month with Husband – The Avengers – and I can highly recommend it to anyone who likes superhero movies.  We’re hitting the summer blockbuster season now, so I’m hoping that in the next few months I can catch up on my movie quota for the year.  Here is an unnecessary list of movies I would like to see this summer that will benefit not many people except possibly Husband: MIB3, Abraham Lincoln:Vampire Hunter, Brave, The Amazing Spider Man, and maybe The Dark Knight Rises, but I’m not very excited about that movie because I know it’s going to be all kinds of depressing.

3.  I have made considerable progress on my 25 books for the year having now read 15 books.  I’ll probably up my goal in June if I continue at this pace.  I did achieve something it’s taken me years to accomplish – I finished “War and Peace”.  My brain struggles with philosophical writing so I need to read it very slowly and multiple times to grasp it.  But it’s done and I may read it again sometime…in another 5-10 years.

4.  LP and I have not been quite so good at reading together lately.  I can manage one book every few days.  She is very active and dislikes sitting still unless she’s eating.  So I’ve been trying to sit her on my lap when she’s eating her snack (toast or cheerios) and read, but it’s still a struggle to finish before she gets too squirmy to manage both a book and a one year old.  I’m still going to work on doing this because reading.is.important!

5.  I’m no longer watching the baby I mentioned in April, which ironically has not affected my morning routine.  I’ve been very successful in keeping that going.  My night time routine is still a struggle, although I’ve somewhat set a bedtime at 10 pm since I’m normally awake by 7:30 because LP is talking over the baby monitor.  I think I’m just going to stop beating myself up about this and focus my energies somewhere else.

6.  I did finish knitting the wrap I resolved to complete in April.  It’s waiting to be blocked and photographed and boxed so I can post it in my Etsy shop.  I have another larger item on the needles right now, but it’s a gift so I can’t talk about it.  It needs to be finished by the first week of June, so that can be my knitting resolution for May. Additionally, I am resolving to figure out how to use my new sewing machine.  I’m in the process of converting some of Husband and I’s old nostalgic t-shirts into re-usable grocery bags (an idea from Pinterest) and that’s helping me to learn the basics of the machine my wonderful mother bought me for Christmas and I, the ungrateful daughter, am just now learning to use.  I’d like to finish all the bags and feel comfortable doing the basics on the machine by the end of the month.  I’m just putting out a disclaimer right now that this may be a 2 month goal, since I did mention before that we have guests coming for the entire second half of the month and it’s unlikely I’ll have much free time apart from knitting, cleaning, purging, reading, entertaining, and trying to keep up my Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer skills.  #momlife.

I won a contest!

I’ve been meaning to post this for a few weeks, but life is hectic, so I’m finally getting around to it.  Last month, my fabulous friend, Pooka, offered a contest for something from her Etsy shop and I won!  I chose this beautiful knit cable cuff and I have worn it nearly almost every day since I got it.  It is so soft and lovely and I’m surprised at how well just having something fuzzy and knitted around my wrist helps me stay warm.  Not that I’ll need to be warm in the coming months, but I might just wear it anyway!  Be sure to check out Pooka’s Etsy shop – Bohemian Jubilee – for her fabulous work and know that she has my full recommendation and love for her craft!  You can also check out her blog here.  Thank you, Pooka!

The end of March! And some April resolutions.

This month seemed to go by faster than anytime in the past year!  Maybe because in three days a certain little lady will be turning ONE!  *sniff*  I honestly can say it’s felt like a year since she was born though.  She’s still quite small so maybe that helps. I’ll try and post some pictures of Miss LP after her birthday party later this month.  Meanwhile, I’ll fill you in on resolutions, past and present.

 

1.  In the craziness that was this month, I completely gave up on the 52 weeks of home organization.  After I got our paper clutter under control, I just wasn’t motivated to keep following the steps, so I’m making a point to spend 15 minutes, twice a day to do some crazy cleaning so that I don’t get too behind.  We’re also slowly growing our pile for the garage sale, whenever that happens.  I feel pretty comfortable with the state of cleanliness our house is in, although I’m getting the decorating bug which means there will probably be furniture re-arranging this month.  In April, I’m resolving to keep up with the 15 minute cleaning sessions and I’m going to try and clean out our clothing closet.

 

2.  We did not go see a movie in theaters this month.  Mostly because there weren’t many movies I wanted to see in the theaters other than the Hunger Games and John Carter.  And I’d like to actually read the Hunger Games book first, so we may go see that in April. And I’ve told husband that I will probably just make my goal 12 movies this calendar year, so when the summer comes I can get a little bit caught up with all the summer blockbuster films.

 

3.  I still am not on Twitter, as Easter hasn’t arrived yet, and I gotta be honest with you…I don’t really miss it that much.  I miss following a few people, and being able to update my status on Facebook from anywhere, but I think when I pick it back up again  I will be unfollowing the majority of people I don’t know in real life or from the blogosphere (aka lots of celebrities) and I will be much more selective about what I say in those 140 characters.

 

4.  Keep working on those 25 books throughout April.  I finished two books this month – both on the Christian life and both that I loved.  One is quite well-known, called “Too Busy Not to Pray” and it has drastically impacted my prayer life.  The other is called “Sexy Christians” and was a phenomenal read on the intimacy aspect of a Christian marriage.  And not just physical intimacy but emotional and intellectual intimacy between spouses as well.  I would highly recommend both.  I will continue to read towards my goal of 25, but I’m adding the goal of trying to finish “War and Peace” in April.  I’ve got about 300 pages left, so I think it’s definitely doable.

 

5.  LP and I spent lots of time reading this month.  Maybe not every day, but quite often.  She really loves books and we are trying to make reading part of her bedtime routine.  She can easily content herself with a book during a car ride and it’s very sweet to see her “reading” to her bunny lovey as we drive.  I’d like to keep this up and I may start reading some chapter books to her.  I want to hold off on reading things like The Chronicles of Narnia to her so that she actually remembers the first time she got to read it or hear it, but I can pick up some other classics like the Secret Garden, or the Enchanted Castle and read through those again with her.

 

6.  I have done pretty well with my nighttime routine, making a point to wash my face, brush my teeth, and floss every night.  It helps that I also keep a daily journal for LP about what she did that day (especially the “firsts”).  I’m going to start implementing a wake-up time every week day this month because I have been blessed with the opportunity to watch a sweet baby while her mom goes to work for a while each day.  And I’d like to have time to eat breakfast, spend some time in the Word, and do one of my 15 minute cleaning flashes before the baby gets dropped off each morning.  And maybe a bedtime will stem from a regular wake up time.  We’ll see…

 

7.  I epically failed at getting some things knit for my Etsy shop.  I attribute it to the fact that I joined a swap on Ravelry and was busy knitting some things for my swap partner that were a little more challenging than I had expected them to be.  However, that package goes out this week, so I can refocus on knitting a few things for the shop.  I am working on a lovely wrap and some more baby hats.  My goal is to get the wrap at least done this month.  I say just that because lace is hard!

March Resolutions

I bet you thought I forgot about this, didn’t you?  No, we were out of town for Husband’s sister’s wedding – which LP was a flower girl in.  It was so fun and LP nearly stole the show in her cute dress and sweet smile.  Even though March is almost a week old, I’ve been working on these resolutions.  Ready?

1.  Once again, I’m doing four weeks of the 52 Weeks to an Organized Home Challenge.  I think this month will be a bit more challenging for me as it seems it’s mostly about organizing paper clutter.  We have a traveling paper clutter monster in our house that tends to breed, so this month will be especially good for me.

2.  Go see another movie in theaters with Husband.  I am not sure what we’ll see this month.  I would like to see The Hunger Games, but I haven’t read the book series yet (I know! I know!) so if I can get that done, then maybe we can go see it.  If not, I’ll need some suggestions for something to go see with him.  I don’t do horror movies and I don’t really like to see romantic comedies in the theaters.  Have any ideas for me?

3.  I gave up Twitter for Lent, so I suppose that can be listed here as a resolution even though it started in February and will continue on into April.  I’m not sure most people will really notice that I’m not tweeting anymore, but I’ve sure noticed.  It’s helping me realize just how much information I’m sharing with the world, the pointless and the personal.  I want to form some better tweeting habits and this is a good way for me to break off for a bit and take some time to think about what kind of tweeter I’d like to be.

4.  Keep plugging along with those 25 books in 2012.  I’ve read 7 so far.

5.  In the spirit of reading, I’d like to spend time reading with LP every day.  She doesn’t like to sit still for me to read to her quite yet, but she does love books.  I don’t want to set a number on books or time we read because her attention span varies greatly at different points during the day and different days.  I’d just like to get some reading time in.

6.  I’m going to try a night time routine, even if I haven’t gotten a set bedtime figured out yet.  LP is in the process of weaning herself to completely solids, so until that happens I don’t want to try and set a bed time.  But I can still work on a routine.

 

7.  I’d like to work on getting some things knitted up for my Etsy shop.  I have a bucket list goal of selling things regularly in that shop so I can donate some of the profits to a charity, but I need to start producing!  I have a few baby hats ready to go, but I’d like to do more than just those.