The House of Doo

The House of Doo

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Two years.

Today is the two year anniversary of the loss of my precious Nana.  It was the worst day of my life to date but at the same time, I was so thankful that she was no longer in any pain.  In our selfishness, we didn’t want to let go but I know we will see her smiling face again soon. 

She (and my Pawpaw) bought me my first bicycle, my first television for my room, my first CD player and CD (Boyz II Men!), my first Coach purse, and my first brand new car, as a college graduation gift.  She spoiled me, much to my Dad’s dismay.  ;)  She loved the finer things in life, but loved the simple things too.  She taught me to appreciate front porch sitting to “watch the cars go by.”  She taught me how to pick out the perfect watermelon.  She taught me about lipstick (which I despise, sorry Nana!), shoes, and good handbags.  She taught me to “Never trust a person who doesn’t like animals, dogs in particular.”  (She nailed that one!)  She gave me the best piece of shopping advice ever – “If you leave the store without it, will you keep thinking about it?  If so, buy it!  If not, you don’t need it.” 

I remember getting aggravated at her for the most ridiculous reason.  When I was angry or upset with someone and I’d go to talk to her about it, she’d let me vent, but would never, ever say anything negative about that person.  I would want her to agree with me and say “You’re right, what a terrible person!” or something to that degree.  Looking back, I see what an example she was setting for me.  Don’t talk about people.  You don’t know what they go through.  That’s hard for me, when I get mad, I get really mad and say things I don’t mean.  I never saw her get very angry.  You know when she did get upset though because she’d say “Well kiss my foot!”  Haha.  She had the most self-control of any person I have ever known.  Funny, my dad and aunt Diane are that way.  She obviously rubbed off on them, I can only hope to try to be that kind of stand-up person.  Eventually.  ;)

After she died I got a message from a childhood friend on Facebook.  Here is some of what she said:

“She was such a sweet lady, and even though I haven't spent time with her since I was little, she was a great role model to me. I often think of her and how prim and proper she was, kind and gentle. I always remember how she would ask how we liked our waffles toasted! And if we dropped anything on her beautiful floor she didn't even care and would say that it was ok her puppy would eat it! Also, I remember that she slept with a satin eye pillow over her eyes and I couldn't wait till I grew up so I could be like her. She was so beautiful Jessica and so different than anything I grew up around. You are so blessed to have grown up with her as your nana!”

This makes me unbelievably proud. 

Nana died when I was seven months pregnant and never got to meet my precious little boy, but I know she sees him from Heaven and adores him.  He is so stinkin’ stubborn and I try to remember that was exactly how Nana was.  It makes it a little easier to deal with.  ;)  He wrinkles up his face sometimes in frustration and I see her in him.  That warms my heart more than I could ever say.  We miss you, Nana and can’t wait to see you in Heaven. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Break the Cycle

Dear Lord,
I once again bring my child to you.  Please show me how to parent this precious gift that you have given me.  Help me be the best mother that I can be.  I pray that Your Holy Spirit will teach me, Your wisdom will guide me, and Your love will move me.  Most of all, Lord, I give this child to you.  Please make him a servant after Your own heart.  In Jesus' name, Amen.

I saw this on Pinterest today.  Wow.  It really hit home, especially lately.  It's really hard when the person who should be teaching you what you want be is the person teaching you exactly what you don't want to be.  I can only try to "break the cycle" and be the kind of parent that Colt deserves. 

I will listen.  I will be respectful.  I will discipline.  I will do everything in my power to provide for him, but I will not buy his love.  I will teach him to work hard.  I will teach him to play hard.  I will teach him to get up again, no matter how many times he has been knocked down.  I will teach him to love God and to count his blessings.  I will teach him to say 'please,' 'thank you,' 'yes, ma'am,' 'no, sir.'  I will teach him to love himself.  I will teach him about the importance of family.  I will teach him to save money. 

I will fail sometimes, but I will try harder next time. 

I promise.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Send Out Your Ray of Sunshine.

“I want to walk the same roads as everybody else, through the trees and past the gates.
Getting’ high on heavenly breezes, making new friends along the way.
I won't ask much of nobody, I'm just here to sing along.
And make my mistakes looks gracious, and learn some lessons from my wrongs.

Well sometimes the sun shines on other people's houses and not mine.
Some days the clouds paint the sky all gray and it takes away my summertime.
Somehow the sun keeps shining upon you, while I struggle to get mine.
A little light never hurt nobody, so send out your ray of sunshine.

Oh, if this little light of mine combined with yours today,
How many watts could we luminate? How many villages could we save?
My umbrella's tired of the weather, wearing me down.
Well, look at me now.

You should look as good as your outlook, would you mind if I took some time,
to soak up your light, your beautiful light? You've got a paradise inside.
I get hungry for love and thirsty for life, and much too full on the pain,
When I look to the sky to help me, and sometimes it looks like rain.

Well sometimes the sun shines on other people's houses and not mine.
Some days the clouds paint the sky all gray and it takes away my summertime.
Somehow the sun keeps shining upon you, while I struggle to get mine.
A little light never hurt nobody, so send out your ray of sunshine.

The Sunshine Song – Jason Mraz

For those of you who know me, you probably already know that I am absolutely obsessed with Jason Mraz.  I think he is brilliant.  He’s a poet and an artist.  His music is beautiful, his voice is powerful and pure, but his way with words always hits me right in the heart.  I love this song.  He always has such a beautiful, positive outlook on life.  I really want to be that way, but struggle with it.  This particular song helps me to know that he doesn’t always feel that optimistic and gets down sometimes, but still somehow tries to overcome it.  That last line…”A little light never hurt nobody, so send out your ray of sunshine.”  When things are good, don’t hide it.  Share it.  Someone around you needs to know things will be good again.  Here is the link for the song.  Love it. ;) 
I need this.  I am easily sucked into feeling sorry for myself or being so willing to give up when times get hard.  Life isn’t always rainbows and butterflies.  It gets hard.  It gets hard to teach us to be thankful for the good times, I suppose. 
This morning, I was feeling pretty down in the dumps.  I’ve been feeling sickness coming on all weekend, I assumed it was just sinus stuff, but now I feel downright crappy.  Colt was up half the night Saturday night and into Sunday morning.  We spent the last few hours of the night on the couch together, all 37 lbs of him snoring on my chest.  I desperately wanted sleep, but couldn’t help being grateful that all he wanted was his mommy to hold him.  Sunday was a busy day and I was ill from the lack of sleep and not feeling well.  Even through that, we got to spend the day with some of our best friends in the world and family too.   It was a better day, for sure.  Even yesterday, I thought I was about to be over it.  Colt seemed better too.  Then, he went to bed about 9 and woke up crying at 10:30. And 11:15.  And 12:30.  And 2.  And 3:30, 4:15, and 5:08.  Oh boy.  It was a LONG night.  This morning, he sounded stuffy and I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck.  Sigh. 
ANYWAY, I was getting to this:  I have been feeling pretty puny and a little pessimistic and then I read a blog posted by one of my former high school teachers.  This woman is amazing and has been through so much the past year, but kept such a wonderful outlook on things.  I have learned a lot from her about life (not just literature and poetry!) and am trying to share her outlook on life.  HERE is her blog post.  Please take a minute to read it.  I feel like such a fool for allowing myself to feel the way I have.  Shame on me!  I have a wonderful life!  Sure it’s hard, but whose isn’t?  It could be a lot harder, so I need to be thankful that it isn’t.  The next time I am being all Debbie Downer, please kick me in the pants and tell me to get over myself.  Also, when things in your life are good, TELL EVERYONE!!!  Shared sorrow is half sorrow, but shared joy is double joy! 

A picture from Sunday

Not feeling too good, but being awfully sweet. :)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Update on Colt's eyes

I know this makes two blogs in one day, but hey, the other one wasn't the normal.  

Yesterday, we went to Colt's regular Pediatric Ophthalmologist for his three month post-op appointment. Dr. Peterson was not happy with the results, especially after we told him that two days after surgery, Colt's eyes were back where they were before the second surgery. After Colt's second surgery, Dr. Peterson told us he was frustrated because he thought he knew what the problem was but he was wrong. He assumed the first surgery didn't take because he thought Colt's muscles had moved after surgery. They hadn't. He didn't know why his eyes weren't lining up. So with the second surgery, he only operated on Colt's right eye, since it seemed to have been "over-corrected". He moved his muscles from their position after the first surgery, to their original position before the first surgery. The position they were in when Colt was born. Before our first surgery, Colt's eyes crossed in. So, I was afraid that moving the muscles back to their original position would make them cross in again. That is worse than them going out like they do now, because that causes Colt to have double vision, which REALLY hinders his development. When his eyes go out, he tends to have one dominant eye. Before the second surgery, it was his left eye that was dominant. When a child has a dominant eye and the other goes out, eventually, the weaker eye will lose vision. Forever. That was terrifying to me. That is why we patched his dominant eye, to force the weak eye to be used so he didn't go blind in that eye. Now, the problem is that his dominant eye is interchangeable. We don't know which eye to patch, but it isn't really necessary because he is using both eyes, just not together very well. So.  

Dr. Peterson wanted to schedule a third surgery to go in and look at Colt’s eyes.  That means, go in with no game plan.  That is scary to me, but I kind of know that is what his new doctor in Ohio will have to do too.  When Dr. Peterson told us this, we told him about going to Akron.  Ryan thinks he was irritated, but to be honest, I think he is just irritated with this whole situation.  He told us he was frustrated with it because he doesn’t know why it isn’t working.  They use some kind of algorithms to figure out where to place the muscles and it almost always works for everyone.  It doesn’t work for Colt.  Dr. Peterson seems to think the problem is more with Colt’s brain than his eyes.  His brain isn’t communicating with his eyes and that’s why they do what they want, instead of what they should.  I kind of wonder if this is a "cop-out."  After Colt’s first surgery, his nystagmus was almost completely gone.  You could only see it when he got REALLY tired.  Now, it is back, but only in one eye – the eye that goes out, when he doesn’t have control over it.  That concerns me terribly.  So, after mentioning all of this to Dr. Peterson, he seemed excited for us to get these tests done in Akron, because he “needs all of the information he can get for this one.”   He even mentioned calling Dr. Hertle and them trying to work together as a team for Colt.  I would LOVE that. 
Now our game plan is to go to Akron in on September 11th for our appointment on the 12th,  fly home on the 13th, then go back to Dr. Peterson to discuss what happened on the 24th.  I just want a plan.  Answers.  I know it can always be worse, I know, I know, I know.  I am grateful that it is not.  But I still want answers.  That’s where we are now.  I am sorry this was a lot of information, probably too much, but I wanted to try to explain and try to help people understand.  Keep my sweet Colt and his doctors in your prayers, if you would! 

Songs That "Do It"

Music.  Ever hear a song that makes you feel like you're wrapped up in a big, fluffy blanket?  When you hear it, it just hugs you?  Or hear a song that takes you back to a particular place in your life?  Maybe a good place, maybe a bad place...  Or reminds you of a certain person?  I think we all have those songs.  So I want to know what songs those are for you?  The songs that hug you.  The songs that give you chills.  The songs that can change your mood in an instant.  The songs that make you happy.  The songs that make you cry.  Share them with me.  I'll try my best to share mine.  There are so many that I almost don't want to open that vault, but am willing to ATTEMPT to narrow it down enough to post.  So.  Here goes nothing.

Songs That Hug Me:
"No Woman, No Cry"  Bob Marley.  So very comforting.
"Walking in Memphis"  Mark Cohn.  It just makes me FEEL.
"Halfway Home"  Jason Mraz.  Just beautiful.  His voice is perfection.  So strong and pure.
"Hold You in My Arms"  Ray Lamontagne.  Just love.
"Piano Man"  Billy Joel.  Sigh.
"Have A Little Faith in Me"  John Hiatt.  WHOA.

Songs That Make Me Happy:
"All Night Long"  Jason Mraz.  Cover of Lionel Richie.  This song makes me want to dance.
"I Believe in a Thing Called Love"  The Darkness.  Tell me you don't love this.
"Make It Mine"  Jason Mraz.  This song makes me think I can conquer the world for about 4 minutes.
"Cherry Bomb"  John Mellencamp.  'And dancin' meant everything...'
"Maggie May"  Rod Stewart.  No question. 
"Little Red Corvette"  Prince.  This song just does it for me.  No other explanation.

Songs That 'Take Me Back':
"Semi-Charmed Life"  Third Eye Blind.  Reminds me of guitars and bonfires with friends.
"Screaming Infidelities"  Dashboard Confessional.  (Anything Dashboard, really)  Julie and Geoff.  ;)
"I Can't Make You Love Me"  Bonnie Raitt.  Always reminds me of my mom. (Also a mood changer)
"Edge of Seventeen"  Stevie Nicks.  Mom.

So there are a few.  I know I will kick myself later because I forgot something.

Your turn.  Spill it. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

I hate thinking of blog titles.

I haven’t updated the blog in a week, so I suppose it is time.  I guess I just didn’t know what to say.  I don’t want this to be a reposting of every activity that we have done, but at the same time, it’s hard to avoid that. 
This week has been fairly uneventful, though this weekend was better.  Saturday, my dear friends, Lindsey and Lauren, accompanied Colt and me to the Tennessee Aquarium.  I just knew he was going to like it, because he really liked the Georgia Aquarium when we went back in January.  I was wrong.  He was not a happy camper.  I didn’t know what the problem was…maybe his teeth (he’s trying to cut his “eye teeth”) or the crowd or the dark, I have no idea.  I just chalked it up to the fact that he wasn’t in the mood for it.  As soon as we got outside, he was a different kid.  Maybe it was the dark?  Who knows, but I don’t guess we’ll go back again until he’s quite a bit older.  Thanks to my friends for being so patient, understanding, and helpful with him during his grumpiness.
Sunday was Ryan’s only off day and it was GORGEOUS!  It felt very fall-like!  That warms my heart like you guys will never know.  We decided to get out and enjoy the day, so we took Colt to Heritage Park in East Brainerd to play.  It has a nice little playground with lots of room to run, and big, beautiful trees for shade.  It also has a wonderful dog park, we will definitely be bringing the girls along with us soon!  After playtime, we had lunch at Mojo Burrito.  My favorite!  Then we went to Barnes and Noble for new books!  I got one and Colt got two!  Ryan isn’t a reader.  (Crazy!)  We then went home for a nap, then went with Jody and Lauren to the Mexican restaurant for dinner, followed by about 3 hours on the back porch.  THIS DAY WAS AWESOME.  Full of all of my favorite things!!!  Fall weather, Colt playing, Mojo!, new books, naps, Mexican food, and my back porch!  Wow!
Heritage Park

Yesterday, I had the weirdest surge of energy.  I was feeling a little “manic.”  Manic Monday, perhaps?  I cleaned the entire house.  Not only cleaned, but scrubbed the sinks with Magic Erasers kind of cleaned.  It was exhausting and gratifying at the same time.  I also got puked on for the third time in a week.  If someone had told me that I would WILLINGLY catch someone else’s puke in my hands two years ago, I would have laughed in their face.  Amazing the things you do for your child, without hesitation.  I don’t really know why he’s been throwing up, but my dad says I was a pukey child.  Last night, he choked on a green bean, which made him gag, which made him lose the entire dinner.  At the table.  While we were still eating.  Sigh.  He recovered quickly.  See below.
Laundry basket races!  Yeehaw!

So anyway…the above was exactly what I want to avoid, but haven’t decided how yet.  Maybe I am not interesting enough to post anything else!  ;) 
Tomorrow we have our three month post-op check-up at our Pediatric Ophthalmologist here in Chattanooga.  I am really curious to hear what he has to say about Colt’s eyes (besides ‘that surgery obviously didn’t work!’) because we do really like him, but we also have to break the news about us going somewhere else.  I am so nervous about that.  I know it is probably not a big deal, but I still worry about how exactly to word things.  Anyone have any tips?   
One last thing... On Saturday, we had to say goodbye to our dear friend, Trey.  He left to go back to college.  We'll definitely go visit him, but we're going to miss seeing that happy grinning face every day.  Colt adores Trey.  See?
Saying his goodbye!

I have an idea for my next blog post.  I have been thinking about it for about a week but I’ve got a little brainstorming to do first.  ;)  I hope this post finds all of you doing well and feeling happy.  Have a good day!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Fall, fall, fall!!!

Is anyone else over summer?  I want fall so badly, I am miserable.  I love fall smells.  I love fall air.  I love fall leaves. I love fall colors.  I love fall clothes.  I love fall.  Fall.  Fall.  FALL.  I love it!  I just told a friend, I know it sounds cheesy, but I feel like I come alive in the fall.  Probably weird, because fall is when most things are dying, but I feel like I am dying in the summer.  It is so hot and humid and all I feel is heavy and sluggish.  Yuck.  I love pumpkins, apples, caramel, everything!  I cannot wait to make a fall wreath to put on the door, make cinnamony smelling stuff and burn fall candles.  I can't get enough.  If there was a place in the world where it was fall all the time, I would do everything in my power to move there.  Come to me, FALL!!!  AHHH!  I can't wait!!!  :)  Anyhoo....

Our weekend was pretty uneventful.  Friday evening we got to have dinner with our friends, Trey, Jody and Lauren, at one of my favorite local BBQ places called The Purple Daisy Picnic CafĂ©.  If you live around here and haven’t yet been, their food is really tasty.  There were two STRANGE women a few tables over with a child, they later told us was 8 months old.  While we were eating, the kid squealed or screamed or something and it freaked Colt out so badly, we had to take him outside.  He (Colt) cried uncontrollably.  That happens occasionally as he is very sound sensitive.  I carried him outside, finally got him calmed down and then he wouldn’t come back in the restaurant.  Sigh.  He ate about 5 bites of his meal but it didn’t matter, he was NOT GOING BACK INSIDE.  No way, no how.  Also, he never forgets.  Oh, Purple Daisy, I will miss you.
Saturday, we got to see my dear friend, Julie, for a little bit.  She got Colt some super cute shirts.  We made this unbelievable dessert that she knows how to make.  It was sinful.  Some people call it “Chocolate Cobbler” but she calls it “Hot Fudge Pudding Cake” or something like that.  Holy mother, it was amazing.  You can find the recipe HERE. Warning: Amazingly chocolatey and delicious.
Sunday was Ryan’s off day!  We had lunch at Chili’s downtown.  As we were walking down the sidewalk, hand-in-hand with Colt in the middle, suddenly Colt stops walking.  We look down to see what the problem is and Colt starts to dance.  We had just gotten close enough to the restaurant to hear the music from the patio.  We let him dance a minute then pulled him along.  He almost immediately stopped again to dance.  This went on every couple of steps for about 20 feet.  There were about 15 people who had stopped to watch this chubby little toddler dance his way to the restaurant.  I would give anything to have had it on video.  It made me so proud.  J  All that kid wanted to do was dance, he didn’t care who was watching.  I hope I never forget that moment.  After lunch, we took Colt to the Creative Discovery Museum for the first time.  It was really fun, but there wasn’t too much for kids his age.  It was nice to be able to let him run and play a while though.  We ended our weekend with the Edge service at my parents’ church (our first time at that service) and then dinner with family at Cracker Barrel.  It was a really good day. 
Dancing with his Aunt Amie

Playing at the Creative Discovery Museum.  I love this face. 

Sweet boy snuggling with his new friend, Chica

I have a prayer request for those of you who pray.  I think I have mentioned before about my stepdad, Allen.  He is undergoing chemo for pancreatic cancer right now.  His plan is for 12 chemo treatments, one every other week.  Basically, every other week for six months.  At the end, they will decide if he needs radiation or not. I really hope not.  I have seen how chemo has affected others that I know and honestly, I wasn’t sure how he was going to make it.  Last week, he had treatment #9.  He only has three left.  He has done remarkably well and still has his hair!  He works on the weeks he doesn’t have chemo and has been mowing his yard and everything.  This last treatment really knocked him back though.  He has been really sick and hasn’t gone to work this week yet, granted it is only Tuesday.  I don’t know if he is just extra tough or what, but I am impressed.  I do know though, that these next few will only get harder.  If you get an extra second, please send up a prayer in his name.  He has been really good to me and an amazing support to my mom.  Thanks! 
Sorry this was so long.  :/  Guess I figured out how to get things out after all!  ;)  Hope everyone had a great weekend! 

Thursday, August 2, 2012


“Nothing but heaven itself is better than a friend who is really a friend.”  - Plautus

So, I had an interesting conversation with my dad's cousin the other day.  I don’t really know what got us on this topic, but she asked if I was in a “MOPS” (moms of preschoolers) group, for meeting other moms or what have you.  I was honest with her.  I can’t stand groups of women.  I am okay with a couple, but can’t stand being in a group of them.  If it’s more than two, I shut down.  To my surprise, she completely understood.  I don’t usually get that response, especially from a “real adult,” if you know what I mean.  ;)  I have always had a hard time being comfortable around other females, as I am not really a girly-girl.  Like I have said before, I lived with my dad and was around a bunch of men who watched wrestling (Ravishing Rick Rude, what!) and football until I was seven.  Maybe that’s why?  I like football, baseball, fires, playing trucks and ball, not playing Barbies or dress-up.  Women in groups always intimidate me and for some reason, I always allow myself to feel inferior to them.  That’s definitely my fault, not theirs.  I have very few girl friends and more guy friends.   Granted, the few girl friends that I do have are amazing, but aside from them, I don’t trust girls.  They are catty.  They talk about you when you walk away.  They say they like your new jeans and then when you can’t hear, turn to their friend and say “did you see how big her hips looked in those jeans?”  Maybe one day I will get over that.  I hope so, because I would really love to have friends who are in the same situations, dealing with the same things as me.  

Anyone else ever have this problem?  How do you deal with it or do you deal with it?  Suggestions?