Saturday, December 31, 2011

Time for a new year

My year end time always gets a little reflective. I look back at this hard hard year and I see so many blessings. Even in the hardest parts if I stare long enough a picture comes out of the chaos, a blessing.

I hope I'll see more clearly in 2012. I hope it will take less time to feel things deeply and more time to lose the good parts as they fade into memories.

If nothing else this year made me so much more aware of my time.

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Monday, December 26, 2011

It was Christmas

I came home from work a half an hour early and crawled through the darkness plugging in lights and straightening bows. I stepped cautiously around Santa's magic dust and brought in the milk and cookies plate from outside. I clicked on the floor heater in the back room, let the dog out and started making breakfast which woke Jon and sent him stumbling down the hall to see what the ruckus was. After the egg casserole was in the oven and the bacon was arranged for cooking I took a break before the chaos. I didn't have enough time to nap so instead I enjoyed listening to everyone else start to stir and sometime around 7 the baby awoke and then the big kid thumped down the hall.

"It's Christmas Baby", I told them. When the adults gathered blurry eyed under the Christmas tree the girls went through their stockings and swapped their pillow pets and then we assembled some things while we waited for Papa Glen to come at 8. I finished making the bacon and sausage and mixed some pancake/waffle mix.

From 8 am to 9 am there was a flurry of wrapping paper, squeels, begs to assemble and open things and the chaos and the noise got a little overwhelming. Then we showed the girls their outside swing set and they learned to swing and slide in the PJ's and jackets in the frost while I finished up the waffle making. After breakfast there was a good dose of making toys and giving praises until eventually I couldn't wait any longer to sleep and the grandparents filtered out one by one before I padded off to bed just before noon.

I woke occassionally to the sound of outside play or toys going up and down the hall and I know I missed some good parts so I forced myself up at 4:30 and heated up some dinner for my girlies and listened to endless stories about what they got and what they did. I watched Layla pretend to be Nannie with a back the hurt so she couldn't get out of her toy car before dinner. I watched Anyah lay the kisses on a Princess Belle baby. I was the receiving end of silly walkie talkie conversations and the samplier of pretend food from a plastic dish and before long I helped people back into their Christmas Jammies and kissed them so I could head back for a few more hours of sleep before work.

It's the smallest Christmas we've ever had. I feel blessed that the kids were overwhelmed with awesome gifts and quality time. I sort of liked how condensed we've become sometimes because I don't have to be anything I'm not…especially when I'm tired. For the first time in many many years the tree stayed up tonight because I had to go to work. I'll walk passed it on my way out the door tonight, surrounded by the toys left right where they fell and the small bits of wrapping paper that didn't make it to the clean up sack and it will make me a little sad that I'm not all snuggled with my husband and enjoying the Christmas night…

And then I will say "it was Christmas" when I tell the stories and I'll remember how much Layla loved her new toy car and swingset or how Anyah made messes with her gifts all over the house and cried when we tried to clean up… and I won't remember how tired I was or how the bacon wasn't as crispy as I had hoped. Because that's how it goes. By this time next month it will be something we did once… a fond memory and a tradition kept. I'll forget how stressed we were about everything, I may even eventually forget how tight the budget was or how I much I worried it wouldn't be enough. Even now that part seems silly, because it's always enough. Because it is Christmas… and they got what they wanted… time to play with us.

*photos to come eventually when I download the camera since this is the only one I took with my phone (before we got started)

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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Traditional Christmas Eve

Least you think our Christmas Eve was too tragic...

We did the traditional Christmas
Pajama and Book opening without a hitch.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Def: fear of saints or holy things, also a fear of Santa Claus, which may occur in small children and babies

She is 4 and she stayed up till 1a.m. Santa found his cookies and milk outside on the porch. The North Pole was contacted and elves assured us he knew our house was do not enter.

Nannie had to spend the night and sleep in her bed since I was at work and Jon had things to assemble.

Turns out Santa is just another creeper with a beard. At least now I am much less worried she will walk off with a stranger with candy or a puppy because if a national icon of present bearing kindness can't get in the house... She's got stranger danger down.

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Disconnected & Reassembled

Sometimes the way you feel consumes you. It's been a hard year ending in a hard month so what I know about myself and others gets a little clouded in what I wish we could have together. A friend called it isolation, a family member called it disconnected and I call it scared.

I choose this week to focus on my children and the hope that they will fell overwhelmed with love, joy and laughter. I hope that I can give back to them what they give me: an overwhelming sense that the world has endless possibilities, that people can act out of pure love, and that time is a powerful gift.

I pray and wait for grace amongst my own raw emotion. I find now that I open myself to truth amongst my friends they find new and surprising ways to pull me out of myself, out of the dark. They literally deliver and remind me that we are part of a greater family, one that shows up when we need them and responds sincerely without judgment. We are all God's children. We are all in this together.

One points out the things I have done for others and says she just wanted to be like me. I point out the things she and others have done and how I want to be remade like them.

Maybe next year I'll resolve to take the best parts of those around me and make them part of myself. Because we could all use more good parts and everyone has so many to choose from.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sometimes I think God & My In-laws hate me

There was a bid this week at work where a position that paid the same amount as mine came up for bid. Money being tight recently since Jon's job is only part time with not great hours sometimes, high childcare expenses and a house payment this looked like the only opportunity I would have any time soon to get off the overnight shift. The overnight shift, simply put, is killing me. Just ask my Dr who tells me constantly I need to switch to a shift that allows me a normal sleep pattern for my lupus.Plus the overnight shift is ruining my relationship with my husband, my time with my two small children and makes everything from school to drs appointments very difficult. The only way I could get the shift was if no one else bid because I had some swine flu absences last year and this position bidding is based entirely on attendance and not on anything else. Taking time off for my kids last year screwed me because if you are on the night shift and everyone's ill you have to call in sick or be up 24 or more hours. No one wanted it when I bid but on the last day someone else decided to bid. She has no kids, no school, no husband but needed the $2 an hour pay increase it would give her and as I knew it would, it knocked me right out of the running.

I haven't spent one minute of this lupus experience mad at god but that schedule bid I prayed so hard for, it has knocked me right odd my knees. Constant pain combined with knowing I am stuck in a life situation is crippling my faith. Meanwhile, Jon is stuck at working waiting for the last step off a possible position change for him that would allow me to bid off the night shift but there is no end in sight for that right now and so I can't even bid for the other girls shift in good faith.

I have debt... Personal, medical... I can't take a pay cut when I am not making ends meet now. God may love me but I do not see how this life situation reflects him liking me.

It's sort of the way I feel about Jon's side of the family. They think I am ok because its the Christian thing to do but they don't love me. They must not because eventually they have all thrown out an opinion about something they've been judging me on since they met me. Like the conversation 3 years ago when my mother in law told me she doesn't understand how honest I can be after praising my honesty in the passed or the sister in law we supported through bad life decisions and was positive to until she started handling her own junk jumping my shit over the fact that I curse in front of my kids. I have a father in law who seemed to like me until his kids all started talking to him again. I guess I just don't understand them. And after 5 years I think I have to let go of the hope I ever will.

I just feel like I can never be me. Thanks for becoming a Christian enjoy the life of Job while acting like you can manage because God has your back.

But I can't manage. Just so you know. Last week I tried to tell my mom how bad I am taking my feelings at the moment and it blew back at me like sand in a wind storm. I miss having someone to talk to who got me, this year I feel JB's death to the core of me. In a room full of people I feel alone and judged and like it is my responsibility to make it ok for my kids sake. I don't trust anyone or anything not even myself. In the end, maybe that's why they don't like me.

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Letter to S.L.E.

Hello Lupus,

My name is Allie and it looks like we are going to be living with each other from now so I thought we’d get to know each other a bit.

I googled you; that was a poor choice. You are scary on the internet. Your complications seem endless. So instead I think I’ll focus on dealing with what you are giving me so far.

Fatigue. Thanks for that. As if working night shift, going to school full time and having two kids at home wasn’t tiring enough you thought it would be fun to knock my ass out on my days off too. I guess I’ll just learn to embrace my new dirtier house look.

Joint and Muscle Pain. I especially like how my joint inflammation is in my hands and my spine. My Spine! Really, you couldn’t pick something I don’t need like my left knee or something? No, well I guess my T8-9 and I will get used to you flaring up and causing us the inability to lift small children or bend over without wanting to scream. So far, your muscle pain is manageable so thanks for that.

Skin Problems and Ultraviolet Light Sensitivity. Oh for the love of butterfly rash, random mouth sores, bumps under my skin and strange discolorations. Blue finger tips in the cold and bad feet circulation…no thanks. Other than the mouth sores we seem to be doing ok but seriously, having mouth sores on Thanksgiving due to stress was just not cool so you better not attack again at Christmas. Thank you very much. The sun sensitivity is manageable and the reaction to it is not severe yet so at least there is that but the eye sensitivity and dryness pretty much sucks. Just saying.

Lung Inflammation. Now I know you can inflame anything and I am super thankful that you didn’t pick my heart because that would be scary but having the constant pleurisy is a little concerning. Hopefully the new NSAIDS will help to battle you down. I miss breathing without pain. I really do. Other than spinal pain, your attack on my lungs is the must unsettling.

Kidney Distress. I like how you distress my kidneys and you also require me to take medication which distresses my kidneys…you are a tricky little bastard aren’t you.

Then there is the random worry factor…will I develop a heart problem, will my kidney function or liver function get worse? Will my hair start falling out again? Will I develop fever? Will I randomly gain or lose weight? What if I get edema or vascilitis? Will I have swelling again? Will you give me another bad batch of Anemia? Another bleeding ulcer? Another day of headaches? Will you go after my nervous system and make my hands shake again?

You make me worry. Which is kind of ironic if you consider that the things that they say trigger you are stress, not eating, physically over doing it, and lack of sleep. Oh and the weather, you can also be triggered by the weather. I love having a few “act of God” triggers to worry about to. So now I pray, sleep, eat, rest, medicate, and wait…

But, we’ll be ok me and you. It’s going to suck sometimes but they say if I stay on top of you I’ll still live to be 80 something or more. I’m going to live to be 100 just so I can change that statistic for the next poor bastard who googles you. I like a challenge. I am not a symptom list and once I get your cycles down I think we’ll manage alright. I’ll learn to accept things differently then the way I expect them and to ask for help and you’ll learn that you can’t stop me if I put my mind to something. And I think that’s all I have to say to right now. Welcome to my body… try not to trash the joint because you have to live with the mess you make. Love, Allie

**For more information on Lupus please visit where you can learn from a trained professional**

For the record- Lupus is an autoimmune disorder which causes your body to flare up causing your immune system to attack itself sort of like an invading illness. The attacks cause flare ups and chronic inflammation. And any technical information on lupus can be found on the link above or at WebMD by searching for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (which is the kind I have)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Days Go By

I haven't forgotten you. I know I still have pictures to upload from Disneyland, the Turlock Lights Parade, the Downtown tree lighting, Thanksgiving, decorating our house...all those important things I am forgetting. But we've just been so busy and I hate it when people give that as an excuse because really who isn't busy but I am SOOOO busy right now. So here are some bullet points to get you a little caught up.

  • I'm in school full time now. I'm still working full time at my overnight emergency response job but I am also completing my MFCC (Mariage Family Child Counseling) Masters Degree.

  • We got a dog from Jon's cousin Sarah's family. Her name is Pixie. She is a malte-poo and in addition to being spoiled rotten she's also an amazingly well behaved dog that the girls absolutely adore.

  • We went to two out of three of our favorite local Christmas attractions already. The downtown tree lighting and the downtown lights parade (picture above and whole albums available on Facebook)

  • We still need to go to Christmas Tree Lane and to see the Oxford Court Christmas Train this week

  • We have a whole new house all decorated up (pictures available on Facebook) and we're having people over for Christmas morning breakfast since I work all the Christmas holiday nights.

  • We had Thanksgiving at our house the day before Thanksgiving and it was AWESOME and I am so thankful for our friends and family that stopped by.

  • I got diagnosed finally. I have lupus. I'd tell you all about it but I'm too busy because it's Christmas and I have a full time job and classes to complete.

  • We moved back our planned Disneyland trip for January to see the Christmas decor. We'll see the Christmas decor another year. We've got things to catch up on and we'll probably go again near my/Anyah's birthday in the spring instead.

  • Layla is spending the night at Nannie's house tonight, the first time since Boda (her most favorite Nannie's house dog) passed away. It's tough on me and I'm praying more than normal.

  • Anyah has discovered "Ow Shide" and now we can't get her to come in from outside and do anything inside. Today it is raining, she will be devistated.

  • Santa needs to run errands today and we're out of milk. We are always almost out of milk. I think my girls are single handedly keeping the dairy industry in business.

  • I know 3 people who are having twins and 7 people who are pregnant right now. Something is obviously in the water and luckily I only drink pepsi.

  • I still can't make fudge. I don't know why. I can make things no one else can make but get again I ruined a batch of fudge yesterday. Sigh.

  • Layla asked for her own room so we've decided to give her one in January since she mostly sleeps in the spare Nannie room anyhow and nannie doesn't mind sharing Layla's room instead of the other way around. The girls have polar opposite sleep patterns and's just going to work better.

I think that's enough to keep you going for awhile. I'll be back soon to post some pictures. By soon I mean hopefully before January but if not then I have a week off in January and I'll be back then.