Sunday, February 27, 2011

February Is Fun

I am having a Fun February. And there are lots of great things to look forward to in the coming months. Happy, happy, joy, joy!

Friday afternoon Lucy, Mathilda, and I met Lucy's friend John from preschool at The Bounce House. Bethany was there a couple weeks ago for a birthday party, and Connor was going the day after us for a birthday party. So yay for Lucy & Mathilda, they got a turn too.

Mathilda refused to actually bounce on anything, but she had fun running around like a lunatic and "playing" video games.

Lucy says she and John are getting married someday. I don't think John has anything to say about it. He's a boy who likes princesses, why waste time looking any further?

Mathilda has been talking a lot. She started saying "I scared" last week when Connor was chasing her around the house with his snake Webkinz. Now she says it all the time, sometimes paired with "I cry" while adorably covering her eyes with her hands. Lucy has been teaching Mathilda how to play her Leapster.

Mathilda shares Bethany's love for snazzy accessories.

Lucy has also figured out how to get Mathilda to do her breathing treatments without fussing.

Mattie is sitting in a doll stroller, which Lucy has thoughtfully equipped with many comforts, such as a pillow, a blanket, a lovey (Zoe), a cup of water, snacks, and lots more.

I have wheezy kids. Well except Connor, I don't think he's ever wheezed. I myself was a wheezy kid, but I always blamed it on living with smokers and being constantly subjected to the toxic fumes of second hand smoke. (Have I mentioned how thrilled I am that Michigan is now Smoke Free? Love it! Sorry smokers. Well, not really.) My kids are never around smoke and yet they're still wheezy. But not as bad as I was. My poor mother spent many late nights in emergency rooms with me. That has only happened once with Bethany. Imagine how sickly my babies would be if I forced them to sit in a metal box and inhale poison on a daily basis (in other words, sit in the back seat of a car while the adults in the front seat are smoking and forcing me to suck in all of their nasty smoke)? Hurray for progress. And for the record, my mom didn't smoke, just pretty much every other adult in my life.

Here are a couple sneak peak promo shots of Bethany's new band. Unfortunately, only one other band member was here for the photo shoot.

Do me a favor and pretend you don't see the mess of my basement storage room. Thanks.
Fellow band-mate and non musician, Marissa.

Speaking of musicians, Chris's band The Smiths United played on Friday night at The Old Miami downtown Detroit. I went and some of my friends went and it was really fun. Except that the sound was taking forever and the opening band started way later than they were supposed to and played way longer than they were supposed to and I'm old so I get tired early. Our friend Jerry was there taking pictures with his new super-awesome-and-I'm-so-jealous camera and mentioned to me that I should start a blog about being married to a musician. Ha, yeah I should have done that like 12 years ago. How many nights of my life have I spent sitting in hole in the wall bars in Hamtramck? Wait, that's a trick question, don't strain your brain trying to answer. But for all those nights in dumpy Hamtramck pits, there have been some really awesome high points, like seeing Chris sing on the big stage at Pine Knob (DTE? what's that?), and shows so packed that getting to the ladies room required strategic maneuvering. I don't know about a blog, but good idea Jerry.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Don't Wait

Last week my friend's mom passed away. She won't see her daughter walk down the aisle this June, except in spirit. What I've been thinking about is staying up all night talking to her at sleepovers after my friend zonked out. And also promising we'd get together soon every time we bumped into each other at Target or whatever...and never doing it. Life gets crazy...obligations pile up. But I wish I'd had that lunch with her, I really do.

Just two days after my friend's mom died, an old friend of my family also passed away. Frank and his family lived next door to my grandparents when my mom was growing up. His son (who is my godfather) still lives in the house, and my uncle still lives next door in my grandparents' old house. Frank and his wife were dear friends of my grandparents. Now all four of them are gone, which makes me sad. 

I can't imagine what it would have been like to live in that house where my mom grew up back in the 50's and 60's and 70's, when the block was chock full of friends, for the grown ups and the kids. When the neighbors took turns hosting card parties and the ladies met on each others porches on summer mornings for toast and coffee. At the funeral home last night my mom was treated to a story my Grandma never shared, of how my Grandma and a couple other neighbor ladies helped deliver one of Frank's babies when they couldn't get his wife to the hospital in time. People die and their stories die with them. I'm glad someone shared this one. As much as my Grandma and I talked, and as many stories as she told me, I wish there were more. So when I hear one like this, that I've never heard before, it's like finding a little treasure.

Make those phone calls and lunch dates while you can. Share your stories. Someone wants to know. Really. If your kids act bored now, they'll be glad later.


Don't worry, it hasn't been all dark clouds of doom around here. 

Chris has been working on the play room in our basement. He painted, put up some drywall, and put a rug down. Tomorrow we are going to pick up some shelving, then we can really start to put the room together. This is a major project we've been talking about since we moved in, so it is kind of exciting to see it nearing completion. 

A few nights ago some friends and I went out to dinner to celebrate my birthday and my friend Angela's birthday. I haven't laughed so much in a long time, especially when we almost got kicked out for being too loud, even though there were no other diners in the room with us. Also we were at the restaurant in the middle of a snow storm. YES! Another snow storm. After all our snow melted with the Easter weather last week, we are once again living in a winter wonderland. 

Spring is near. Spring is near. Spring is near. Spring is near. Spring is near.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Joy To The World

Last year I read this book called The Joy of Appreciative Living , by Jacqueline Kelm, and it really changed my way of thinking about life in general. I just happened to stumble across it at the library, which is one of my favorite ways to find books. I walk up and down the aisles and certain books just beckon to me to pick them up. Sometimes they end up being eerily relevant. I call it serendipity.

The sub-heading of this particular book is Your 28-Day Plan to Greater Happiness in 3 Incredibly Easy Steps. I got myself a notebook and set about to follow the plan. Here's a simplified summary of the steps:

  1. Each day, list 3 things you're grateful for. First thing in the morning is the ideal time to do this; it's a nice way to start your day off right.
  2. After making your list, answer this question daily: What can I do today to increase my joy?  This is not a trick question. The answer can be anything at all. 
  3. Once a week, do a visualization exercise. Spend about 20 minutes writing down a detailed description of your ideal, joy-filled life. 
I felt a difference in my attitude and my happiness level within days of starting the exercises. I finished the 28 days and felt like a new person. I felt like I finally understood something that had been eluding me my whole life. Life is meant to be joyful. Life can be joyful. But I am the deciding factor - no external force is going to come down from the heavens and bestow upon me happiness and joy. It's available, but I have to do something to get it. I have to be appreciative, even if my life is not exactly what I want it to be at this moment. I have to believe I can create my own happiness. I have to envision the life I want and believe that I can have it.

After the 28 days were up, I kept up the daily gratitude lists for awhile. I did an occasional visualization. But I haven't done any of it in awhile. Although I still feel the lasting impact of the book's message, I'm going to start it up again, at least for another 4 weeks. It really is easy, and I think it'll be beneficial to me to do this every now and again, as a reminder that joyfulness is there for the taking.

I highly recommend The Joy of Appreciative Living. It might just help make your world a brighter place. (Please don't gag. I'm serious.)

Bethany and I went for a run/walk together this afternoon. I love her energy, but spazz-ma-tazz is not exactly what I'm looking for when I'm working out. I like peace and serenity. Nonetheless, I'm glad she volunteered to go with me. Too bad tomorrow we're back to winter weather. I don't know if I can be dedicated enough to run outside in the cold. But I really have to do something since certain friends of mine have been heartlessly trying to fatten me up by enticing me with irresistible chocolates.  I have a bridesmaid dress to fit into in a few months. 

I caught Mathilda cleaning the toilet bowl with her toothbrush tonight. That's my girl, always up to no good. 

Just as I was getting the kids into bed, our power went out. My kids are all afraid of the dark and two of them can't get to sleep without a movie (don't judge me too harshly, it'll come back to bite you).  Bethany miraculously found a lantern and everyone piled into Lucy and Mathilda's room. It became clear that Mathilda was not going to be thrilled to see me leave the room, so I laid down on the floor with Connor. Ouch. Mathilda was not going to be stuck in the crib when mommy was right there, so I got her out and held her while lying on the floor. Double ouch. Thank you Jesus for bringing our power back on and saving me from untold misery. I owe you one.

Bethany is trying to start a band. She's recruited a few friends. None of them play anything. They haven't had a practice yet. They do have a dressing room (Bethany's closet has had an Extreme Makeover) and lots of super cute rocker outfits. Even so, I'm not quite sure they're ready to start booking gigs, although Bethany was already busy composing letters to area venues. She is a girl with a plan, always has been, and I hope she always will be.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I Can Practically Taste It

We've been having more of that Easter like weather. The snow is melting. I actually enjoy leaving my house because I'm not freezing my butt off. I'm thinking Spring, but it is my goal to enjoy the here and now, and not try to rush into the next season. Anticipation takes away from the beauty of the moment.

(Note:  The current moment for me consists of listening to Mathilda alternating between pathetic whimpering and full on sobs in her crib as I decide whether it is going to be necessary to go get her, and a throbbing headache. Searching for the beauty in the moment.)

Mathilda and I did some Macy's clearance shopping while Lucy was at preschool this morning. She is my little shopping buddy and is generally quite happy as long as I keep a constant flow of snacks going to the stroller tray. She likes saying "hi" and "bye" to everyone we pass. It makes me happy when people respond to her, because she loves it, but sometimes she won't stop and it gets awkward because I don't want strangers to feel obligated to answer her greetings and salutations 50 million times. I got some really great deals, and could have done some damage with that Macy's card, but I restrained myself and limited my purchases to a few things my mom got me for my birthday. Thanks Mom, I love picking out my own birthday gifts.

After Mattie and I picked Lucy up from school, the three of us went to meet a few of my friends for lunch at a new Mexican restaurant nearby. The food was good but the company was better. I have the best friends. 

(Note: I brought Mattie downstairs, thinking maybe the other kids would enjoy getting some sleep. Toddler hugs, kisses, cuddles, hand holding, giggling, and tickles...beautiful. Toddler exhausted out of her mind yet not falling asleep until after midnight...not quite. Is this the living definition of ying and yang?)

One of my best friends called to tell me her mom is in the hospital and she doesn't think she's going to make it. Friends losing parents seems surreal. Is there anyway to put into words that even though I'm a grown up, I sometimes don't think I feel any different than I felt 20 years ago? My heart is aching for my friend today, who is getting married this year and her mom might not be there to see it. I am praying for peace for her mom, who I have known and loved since I was in the 4th grade. She always seemed like she would live forever. But doesn't everybody? 

We are mere mortals, yet convince ourselves otherwise just to get through the day. There is an invisible clock ticking away the minutes of our lives. How many minutes are left? No one knows. Each one counts. Each one is precious and irreplaceable. Some get wasted. Lots get wasted. Is there a giant dump somewhere full of wasted minutes, sort of like the great plastic island floating in an ocean somewhere that I've heard about? I don't want my minutes to end up there. 

I can smell Spring and it smells like life and newness. And at the same time my friend's mom is dying.  I want to say it's not fair, but it just is what it is. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Neither Here Nor There

We've been having some truly frigid weather, and the temperatures the past couple days in the 30's and 40's are so refreshing. I swear there was a warm breeze. Although there is still snow on the ground, this kind of weather always reminds me of Easter for some reason. Early warm breezes take me back to Easter egg hunts at Salter Park that my Uncle Herb put together for my cousins and I every year. Some years we were shedding our sweaters as we searched for that last egg (with a $5 bill in it!) and other years we were freezing and racing back to the car as soon as we were finished. Back at Aunt Char and Uncle Herb's house, I looked forward to the predictable menu of ham, homemade potato salad and noodle salad, hard boiled eggs, and seven layer Jello. I hate mayonnaise and Miracle Whip (and I'm not sure which she uses), but love my Aunt Char's potato salad and noodle salad. I should really get those recipes from her, even though I have it in my mind that it won't taste the same if she doesn't make it. There were also the little glass dishes full of pastel M&M's, jelly beans, and all sorts of candy goodies for me to grab as I strategically walked by them over and over again because my mom never (ever) had candy in the house and I had to get my fill anytime I could. (Yes I did get candy in my Easter basket. But other than that - never, and especially no candy in accessible little dishes scattered throughout the house.) As much as I loved candy, I think my favorite Easter gift ever was the set of Anne of Green Gables books my mom got for me one year. I should get those out for Bethany. I hope she enjoys them as much as I did.

Two years ago my Uncle Herb died, too young and too painfully. Three of my kids knew him, but not nearly well enough. Maybe their lives are better in many ways than my own childhood, but it makes me sad that there are so many things they have missed out on that I had, like Uncle Herb's Easter egg hunts. Like spending day after day with cousins and aunts and my Grandma all summer while my mom worked. I have lots of wonderful memories of those days, even though I'm sure my mom would have rather been with me than at work, and I'm sure there were lots of days I wished I didn't have to wake up early and could have stayed home and played with my friends in the neighborhood. Instead my kids have a mom who is home with them everyday all summer, and I'm so happy for that, and I know they will have their own brand of special memories. 

My kids don't have cousins, but they have each other. There are no bored and lonely days around here, like I had as an only child. They have two parents and a level of stability that I never knew until I was an adult. What they've never had is the adventure of leaving everything and everyone they know and getting on a train to Phoenix to start a new life, which my mom and I did when I was 6 years old; of needing to depend upon the kindness of strangers, and having playmates who don't speak the same language. They've also never known the tiresomeness of making new friends with the start of every new school year, which was hard but taught me a lot about relating to others.

I guess I'm kind of rambling, so what's my point? Maybe just that there's more than one way to have a happy family and a happy childhood. Endless ways, in fact. Maybe we worry so much about doing the whole parenting thing "right" when the truth is we make our own "right" that fits our personal lives and families. There's a give and take, and despite our best wishes and efforts we can't have everything and we can't give our children everything. 

My kids have to miss out on some things to get other things. They don't have the (relatively) adventurous, rambling life I had as a kid, but they have something different and maybe better. So they are missing some things I took for granted, like friends from different cultures, seeing first hand how people live in different areas, needing to have the skills necessary to meet new people and make new friends on a regular basis, the ability to improvise out of need, a sense of wanderlust. In exchange, they have friends they've known for years. They have their own beds (something I didn't experience until I was in 3rd grade...I shared with my mom, slept on couches, and even used an orange vinyl beanbag chair as a bed for a short time). When I was a kid, I always wanted to be like my friends who had known each other since kindergarten, with brothers and sisters, and two parents, and a regular home. And now my kids have that; they have what I wished I had. I'm grateful. But I also want for them some of what I had. 


I have a lot to be grateful for lately. I've had people, some I don't even know, offer to help me get to the bottom of my health issues. People are generally nice and caring and want to help. The generosity I've been the recipient of has been truly humbling and so sweet and appreciated. 

My wonderful preschool co-board members took it upon themselves to decide we would meet at a coffee shop last week, even though the meeting was scheduled to be at my house. They knew I had been sick and maybe didn't need one more thing on my plate. 

Lucy went to a super fun birthday party over the weekend for a preschool classmate. Like I've said before, I love preschool. I love the other kids and their families. So Lucy got to ride a horse at the party, which she was very excited about. Which is funny because in the past she has been extremely reluctant to even ride the smallest pony. I guess she is growing up.

My friend Julie's little girl also had a birthday party over the weekend. She is turning 2 this week. All 6 of us went to her party, and since I love Julie and I love her family it was a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon. And the kids loved it all the more because it was held at a restaurant where they were given the opportunity to repeatedly put tokens in a couple of machines in exchange for crappy candy and plastic junk. What could be better?

Today was my working day at preschool, and it was fun being there for the Valentine's Day party. Otherwise Valentine's Day is one of those days that doesn't really mean much to me. Maybe it should, since it's a day for celebrating love. But I think everyday is a day to celebrate love. And Chris and I don't really go for romantic mushy gushy stuff anyhow. But happy Valentine's Day nonetheless; go spread some love.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

I Did It!

Yesterday was a successful day. I got through my birthday without once getting overly crabby. In fact I hardly got crabby at all. I had a good day.

One of my very best and oldest friends (as in we've been friends since 7th grade), Julie, treated me to a delicious French toast breakfast at The Pantry. We each brought our youngest offspring with us, who are only months apart and destined to stand up in each others weddings one day. I love Julie and am always happy when I'm with her. So, it was a good way to start my challenging day, otherwise known as my birthday.

My dad came over for a visit, which was lovely, especially since we don't get to see each other very often. Chris went to Secretary of State for me to renew my tabs (thank you honey!) so I wouldn't have to sit there and get crabby on my birthday. Yes I could have gone before my birthday, or actually mailed in the renewal, but geez that takes foresight and preparation and that is just not how I roll. While Chris was getting crabby for me at SOS, my mom and I took the kids bowling. We only had to get someone to retrieve a stalled ball two times, and just watching Lucy do a little victory dance every single time she rolled that ball down the lane made the whole thing worthwhile and fun. Connor is getting much better (he even had a strike or two!), and Bethany is so strong she just amazes me. I was one of those kids who could never climb the rope in gym class or do a single pull-up, and Bethany is one of those kids who climbs swing sets at the park and gives her mother a heart attack, so yeah she can totally hurl a bowling ball. She practically throws it.  

After bowling, my mom came over and had dinner with us - homemade (by Chris) lasagna and cassata cake (from a bakery) for dessert.

It was a nice, pleasant day, and I don't have one single thing to complain about. I knew I could do it!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

It's That Day Again

Let me just start out by saying, there's that matter of my health which is leaving me in a rather dark place at the moment and I don't really want to talk about it. Many people have called and sent messages checking on me, and I appreciate that so much. All those kind thoughts and prayers are keeping me afloat, along with my blissfully unaware children. I'll just say I don't know anything much about anything at this point.

On to other news...tomorrow is my 36th birthday. Which is totally surreal because I feel like I'm 18. More or less. I AM going to have a good day. It will be my mantra. 

I'm having a good day. I'm having a good day. I'm having a good day. SMILE!

The first step in having a good day when what you really want to do is crawl into a warm dark cave with a box of Godiva and a teddy bear (or a cuddly toddler) and stay there until the warmth of the summer sun mercifully shines from the sky, well the first step is to fake it. Smile and act happy and eventually you might actually be happy. I'm not trying to tell anyone what to do, I'm actually sort of publicly talking to myself.

So anyway, I thought I would reminisce about random pleasant birthday memories to get me psyched up for tomorrow. 

When I was a little girl, every year my mom made me a heart shaped birthday cake. The earliest birthday I clearly remember I was 5 or 6. I got a Holly Hobby lunch box. My Aunt Char took me shopping for a new dress, which I absolutely loved and still have to this day. Bethany and Lucy have both worn it.  It has smocking and a lace collar and is so thin I had to wear a slip under it. Of course my girls do not own a slip nor do they probably even know what one is, and they've worn this dress with jeans because they're fashionable like that.  I remember my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins all coming over for my birthday party every year and singing my family's special rendition of "Happy Birthday" which I've never heard at anyone's birthday parties outside of my family. It goes like this:

          Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you
          Happy Birthday dear Alysia, Happy Birthday to you
          May the Dear Lord bless you, may the Dear Lord bless you
          May the Dear Lord bless Alysia, may the Dear Lord bless you
          Stand up, stand up, stand up and tell us your age, your age
          Stand up, stand up, stand up and tell us your age

My 10th birthday was memorable because I had a slumber party with several of my friends and there were lots of pre-teen raging hormones resulting in tears, fights, and all kinds of drama. A boy from my class lived two doors down, and he had a slumber party the same night. At the beginning of the party, one of the boys brought a walkie talkie over for us girls, and we spent the whole night talking and giggling with the boys.

Then there was my 30th, which was memorable because Bethany, Connor, and I were all sick with some horribly nasty food poisoning or stomach bug and I'm pretty sure I've never thrown up so much in my life.  

I don't recall when I first started to not enjoy my birthday. Definitely sometime after my 10th and before my 30th. But I'm turning over a new leaf. Happy birthday to me. I will smile until I mean it.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

I Think The Universe Is Trying To Teach Me A Lesson

Oh what a week this has been. 

The media had us Michiganders in a panic for days, expecting the blizzard of the century. No wait, The Blizzard of the Century. Schools were being closed and trash pick-ups were being canceled even before the snow started. Grocery stores were running out of milk, cars were crowding gas stations. The snow started Tuesday evening. Judging from my friends' status updates on Facebook, plenty of people were disappointed in the so-called blizzard and thought it was actually pretty lame when all was said and done. That's probably because they weren't out driving in it at 3:30 in the morning. We did get a lot of snow, but things didn't get as nasty as everyone had predicted.

So just as the snow really started coming down, I was feeling really sick and Chris was putting the kids to bed. Suddenly I felt really sick, and I sat up a little bit (I was laying on the couch) to reach for my bowl (I learned my lesson last time I was sick, I wasn't taking any chances of passing out again and finishing off my front teeth). And that's when things got nasty, but not nasty in the way you might be thinking. Instead of throwing up, I got really lightheaded and my hands started getting this tingly-numb feeling and pretty soon I couldn't move them. They were clenched closed so tightly they hurt (a lot!) and I couldn't open them. I started calling for Chris because I was pretty freaked out (that might be putting it mildly...) and the numb-tingly feeling started spreading throughout my whole body. Chris called my mom to come over and then he called 911. 

If you know me, you have to know I had to have been beyond terrified to let Chris call 911 for me. I don't want anyone going to all kinds of trouble for me, not even paramedics who have made a career out of helping people. Because I think that's for other people, people who really need help. Well this time I was one of those other people. And you know what, it's pretty scary being one of those other people.

So the very nice paramedics got to our house (and so did my mom - thank goodness she lives very close) and checked me out & I started feeling a little better. They asked me a bunch of questions and took my vitals and said they were okay and that it would be alright if Chris drove me to the hospital so I could avoid being carried out of the house on a stretcher and scarring my kids for life, and also so we could avoid a massive ambulance bill. They helped me out to the car and Chris drove me to the ER of the major trauma center in our area, figuring it would be the best place to get me whatever care I needed. If you live in metro Detroit you might have an idea what hospital I'm talking about and you might be laughing to yourself about what damn fools we were to choose this particular hospital. I was still feeling extremely sick and made Chris bring a bowl with us, which he was just so happy to carry around the ER. However, I was not about to be seen puking all over the place in public and I was in no condition to be sprinting to a bathroom, or even a waste basket. Sorry Chris. Even though I never needed the bowl, it made me feel better knowing it was there.

Despite the fact that the ER was very quiet that night, this was where the waiting and waiting and waiting portion of the evening began. By the time I saw the doctor my hands were getting better and I could move them with effort. The tingly-numbness was mostly gone. The doctor ordered a urine test, some blood work, and an EKG. I got an IV which helped and I felt okay enough to doze on and off while we waited and waited and waited some more. After the first IV bag was empty, some machine was beeping and beeping and driving us crazy for a long time so Chris went to pester a nurse to do her job, um I mean get someone to help. The nurse came in and saw my blood pressure had dropped to 70-something over 40-something, which, in case you're wondering, is really not very good. So she started up another bag of fluids. And then we waited and waited and waited. And then another nurse came in when the second bag had been empty for awhile and saw that my blood pressure and heart rate were okay and ruthlessly ripped my IV out. Perhaps she thought I was unconscious and wouldn't feel it. But no because then she really confused us and told me to get dressed and she'd be back in a minute with my discharge papers.

Hmmm. Okay. I got dressed and she brought in the papers which read "dizzy spell - cause unknown." And she started telling me drink lots of fluids, don't stand up too quickly, etc. Alright, but why did my whole body go numb and then there's the matter that I couldn't move. Because that's actually why I came to the ER. And actually something very similar happened to me just a couple months ago (when I fainted that time, my hands started to do the same thing) but this time was way worse. And I'm pretty sure we told the doctor all of this, did he not hear us? Was I being confused with another patient? What about my test results? Shouldn't some other tests be done? Was this because we don't have insurance?

Just to clarify, I know and love many nurses (and other medical professionals) and I respect what they do and everyone (except the IV ripper outer) was kind to me. But I do feel that I was blown off. I'm not a person who abuses the ER. I haven't been a patient in the ER in about 3 decades. I didn't ask for drugs. When I was told I had a "dizzy spell" I pretty much lost it. I was totally without shame by this point and so the sobbing began. Because this was the scariest thing that has ever happened to me, and I was (am) so afraid of anything like this ever happening again. Next time could be worse. What if Chris hadn't been home? What if I had been home alone with my little girls? I wouldn't have even been able to get myself off the couch and use my hands to pick up the phone and call 911. This was a maddeningly frustrating experience. And then we got to drive home at 3:30 in the morning, hoping and praying the whole way that our little car wouldn't get stuck in the snow.

So this is what I'm thankful for, because yes I'm going to put a positive spin on this so my friend Angela doesn't give me a hard time for being negative. I'm thankful (so thankful!!) that Chris was home when this happened. I'm thankful the paramedics came quickly. I'm thankful my mom was home when Chris called and lives close so she could come be with my kids. I'm thankful we won't get charged for the paramedics since they didn't transport me. I'm thankful I didn't puke all over the ER. I'm thankful the horrible feeling in my hands eventually went away and I'm now able to move and use my hands almost normally (they are still weak and a little stiff). I'm thankful we made it home safely without needing to call for a tow. I'm thankful Chris was able to get me an appointment with a neurologist on Monday. I'm thankful Chris made all the necessary phone calls because I really (no, really) hate making phone calls. I'm thankful my friend suggested I see her chiropractor husband on Friday and he was so nice and helpful and gave me hope by telling me that my spine is a mess (so maybe my brain is okay??). So now I'm just hoping somebody can tell me something to ensure this never happens again.

Maybe the universe is trying to tell me that I am worthy of being a priority to myself. I got so sick in November and passed out and never even went to the doctor because I'm fine. I'm a healthy person. No one need bother themselves for my sake. I don't have insurance, I'm not about to rack up medical bills. Well okay, I guess the universe was not satisfied with that response. Second warning, loud and clear. Although I'm a person for whom it's an effort to not constantly think of mortality, I now have this sudden clarity that something could happen to me. And that I really do need to take my health seriously. I want to be here for my kids. I have a lot I want to accomplish in my life (have you seen my Life List? And I'm just getting started!). So this is a turning point for me. I will definitely do whatever I need to do to make sure another episode like this never happens again. It's a pretty good motivator. Thank you, universe.