Saturday, August 30, 2008

my life lesson of the week

1. DO NOT buy blue-tinted yogurt.
2. If you do buy the blue-tinted yogurt, do not give it to your almost 2-year old daughter.
3. If you do give it to your daughter, make sure you have plenty of stain-stick and oxy-clean spray.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

mystery date

A few days ago, Matt told me, "Make sure you take it easy on Wednesday because after we go to Red Lobster with your parents I have something planned for you."

So, I was very curious about what my mystery date was. Even after arriving at Red Monster (that is what the kids call it) I still had no clue what was in store for the evening.

Imagine my surprise when I found out my date wasn't even Matt. It was my dad.

We went and had a blast watching my very favorite singer, Rod Stewart. Who I'm happily calling my other date.

This was the second Rod concert Dad and I have gone to together. He is such a performer and I always love his energetic shows. I could go many more times, with Dad of course, and be happy!

I think it is so special because we both LOVE Rod Stewart music. Dad got me started early listening to his greatest hits. I'm so fortunate that we have that special bond and such great music to share. One of my fondest memories of childhood is dancing with Dad in the kitchen while we listened to all of the "oldies" music.

Thanks Matt for providing such a great early birthday gift. Thanks Rod for the incredible concert. And Thanks Dad for always making our concerts together so special.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

sharp dresser

Now that Zander likes to pick out his clothes, our getting-dressed time has gotten very interesting. He has a few favorites. He likes to wear numbers on his shirts and will only wear shorts that go to his feet (aka pants). Although he usually matches, sometimes the fabrics and clothes don't really go together. Oh well.....

But sometimes I'm pleasantly surprised. Last week he picked out this outfit. I thought, "Wow, he actually does look pretty cool and fashion-forward." And he thought he looked excellent, of course.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I don't love you for your ovaries

On Thursday I made probably one of the biggest decisions of my life. After months of unbearable pain, years of medicines, several surgeries and a blood transfusion, and the day-to-day burden of endometriosis.....I will soon have a total hysterectomy. I have researched and explored other options. I have taken herbal supplements for a year try to help me. I have looked into accupuncture and saliva testing for holistic treatments. But I am done.....I'm done being an experiment. I'm done with the pain and bleeding. I'm done and ready to move on. My doctor, Matt, and I agreed that this was the only was to stop the pain and begin a quality, pain-free life.

So, how am I dealing with this? The last few days my mind has been whirling with feelings of relief and sadness. Relief that one day soon I won't have to take a pain pill and sit on a heating pad just to post on my blog. And sadness, that I know I will never experience childbirth or having another baby.

Part of me feels so selfish that I even worry about other kids. Look at my could I be more blessed? Especially after being told by doctors that I would never have children and having a mindset since I was nine that my dream to be a mother would never happen.
Maybe that is why I've always been drawn to children since an early age. I always loved being a babysitter, a camp counselor, a bible-school teacher, day-care worker, and eventually an elementary school teacher.
I look at my two sweet, wonderful, silly kids and know my life has been enriched.

But I still get weepy......and I'm sure I will on occasion.

I'm so thankful I have friends and family to lean on during this time. EVERYONE that I have talked to have been the pictures of support. I was really nervous to talk about the hysterectomy at first because I know it is such a major, irreversible decision. But my friends and family have been wonderful. I could tell that they were all sad for me because it is such an emotional decision, but happy that I would soon have a normal life. Matt told me, "I don't think you even know what it is like to have a pain-free life. You probably have no clue what normal people feel like. It is pretty awesome." When I told another friend that my cramps feel like I'm in labor 24-7 she said, "No wonder you're the only person I know who thought childbirth wasn't all that painful."
But I think my favorite comment from a friend was this (and I'm sure I'm not quoting it back verbatim, but close enough),
"Korisa, the reason I have admired, respected, and loved you for all this time was not for your ability to bear children. I don't love you for your ovaries."

So dear friends and readers, keep me in your thoughts. I'll let everyone know when the actual surgery is when I find out. It is supposed to be scheduled next week. I told my doctor that I had to have my daughter's 2nd birthday ( you know I love a party, priorities, of course) so more than likely the major surgery will be late September or early October. I'll try to share positive posts until that time but may have a weepy moment or two....

After several anonymous comments (not the ones from the anonymous people I know).....I have decided to add the following to this post....

I have dealt with this problem for years.....although I am not yet 32, I have dealt with it for 21 years. Yes this means this all began since I was nine.

So I have put considerable thought into my decision and have gone to many doctors, had many opinions, and many surgeries, natural treatments, etc during this time.

I know as a blogger I'm putting myself out there but I was not expecting an all out lecture from the hysterectomy police. The first comment, I shrugged off. But after 3 more I thought this is ridiculous. Shouldn't we, as women, support each other's decisions about her body.

I was posting this to let my readers that care about me and my family and friends know what is going on in my life. If you don't know me, you probably have not seen me tear up due to the pain, watched my ups and downs with this problem (and yes it IS Endometriosis. I have had 2 laparoscopic surgeries to confirm this), or knew that I had to have blood transfusion at age 10 because I almost died from the severe bleeding. This is not an easy decision that I just decided on a whim to do.

Those of you that know me or have been reading my blog and commenting on the happy parts of my life for the past year, by all means leave your comments. For all of you that have no clue who I am, where I'm from, or the pain and bleeding I'm dealing with, back off. You WILL NOT change my mind.

Thanks again to my friends, family and readers who have supported me.......xoxoxo

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I just want to be flashy and fancy

This weekend we went car-shopping, well actually car-dreaming since it will probably be a LONG time before I actually get a new one. You would think car-dreaming would make me anxious, excited, ready for a new one. Well, not so much.

And the reason is color......yes, color. I think Matt used to be furious that the only way I judged a car was by color. Now he is just used to it and has started to accept my ways.

We looked at the new civic above and I like most things about it. It is a small sedan, has four doors, decent trunk space, great gas mileage, and looks pretty sharp.......if you could get past the color.

It comes in grey, dark grey, and darker gray. Does it come in a bright red? Oh no, but you can settle for a maroonish red. Does it come in electric blue? No, but wait, you can get a dark or baby blue. How exciting....zzzzzz

Why do car makers think a person that drives a four-door car can't be flashy? I did find a car that does have four doors that is incredible and very flashy.......but my friends, the Nelson, already drive it. And that may be a tad weird if I got the same exact car. I love it's redness, it's flash. But as Matt says, do I really need V8 power to drive my four-minute drive to Publix twice a week.

I just hate the stereotype that drivers of four-door cars are boring. Am I really boring because I need four doors to wrestle my two kids in and out of carseats? Am I really boring because my most exciting drives are to Trader Joes and back?
Which brings me to stay-at-home attire.....
Why can't I be fancy as a mom? Why is it so wrong to wear bright red lipstick to go grocery shopping?

I used to wear my bright lipsticks daily with pride. My students knew me by my lipstick-wearing ways. When I was in college my greatest joy of being on the speech/debate team was wearing snazzy suits while carrying my briefcase to the competitions. I may not have made finals in each round with my speaking, but I did with my fashion.

Now, on most days, I'm wearing a faded polo shirt with my hair clipped up driving my beige-colored car. And my brightest daily lipstick is a shimmery brown. that how the stereotype started?

So maybe today I will be flashy and fancy. Maybe today, I'll wear my most fun zebra-print dress with my brightest red lipstick to go to the BounceHouse with a neighbor and the kids.

Of course, we'll be strapping our kids in their carseats in a maroon mini-van before we go.

Monday, August 18, 2008


“The optimist pleasantly ponders how high his kite will fly; the pessimist woefully wonders how soon his kite will fall.”
William Arthur Ward

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I just want to pinch myself

There are times, in the midst of the fussing like typical siblings & trashing the house, that my kids are so sweet I just want to pinch myself.

As a parent I do want my kids to be smart & successful but my greatest wish for them is to be kind and compassionate to others. So when they have their sweet moments I feel like a dream is coming true.

I just want to pinch myself when I see how much they love their Uncle Michael and Aunt Teri. After their last visit, Kaya kept asking about Uncle Michael and looking for he and Tee-Tee. I think it so sweet how much the kids miss them.

I just want to pinch myself when Zander makes sweet comments to me out of the blue. The other day I said, "Thanks for helping me clean the garage, Zander." He answered, "I help you mama because I love you."

I just want to pinch myself when they actually get along and don't argue. Like this day when they were having snack together. They kept hugging and calling each other, "Buddy."

I just want to pinch myself when Kaya wants to kiss my belly when I'm having a bad cramp day and am in pain.

I just want to pinch myself when Zander is so thoughtful about something that happened weeks before. The other night before he went to bed he told Matt, "Daddy are you calling Pappaw Texas tonight? Will you tell him thanks for my blue jersey?" This was almost 3 weeks after he got the gift.

I'm glad I'm living in this dream.....and on occasion my kiddos are the sweetest things I've ever seen. I'll try to remember this dreamlike state the next time they fight like cats and dogs.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

to teach again?

The past weekend I went to see a friend and help her set up her classroom in this adorable little school. School starts today for her and she had so much to do to get ready. A teacher's work never ends.....

I loved the jobs she assigned me. I felt like a teacher again. It was fun to put bulletin boards together for her, write in my best cursive writing, and cut out laminated decorations. There are few things more satisfying and relaxing than cutting laminated items. Weird, I know, but ask any teacher and I bet he or she will agree. Must be something in the "teacher" gene.

But while I had great fun working in the classroom, I was also so grateful that I didn't have to do this. I just wanted to cry for my friend and the beginning of year stress I knew she was going through. During the 6 years I taught I always had that panic feeling before school started. Unless you've been in the teaching field I don't think one can even begin to comprehend all of the work that has to be done. And you still have to face your students and parents with a calm, smiling, professional smile.

I'm often asked if I will ever go back to teaching. Although I loved teaching and think that was what I was destined to do (for that period of my life, anyway) I'm not sure I could go back. I already have a full-time job as a mom. I honestly don't think I could do both well. Someone (either my kids or students) would get the short end of the stick, which wouldn't be fair.

I know several of you out there do manage both and do and incredible job of it. My mom was one. How she did it all, I'll never know (although Matt & I have serious suspicions that she may have some sort of super-human powers, even now). And to all of my friends who started back to school recently, best of luck. Hang in there and don't let the stress kill you!

Right before I started writing this post I found a wonderful site, Donors Choose in Real Simple Family. It enables teachers to choose what supplies or items they need by applying on this site. Go ahead and support a teacher......he or she will greatly appreciate it.

Monday, August 11, 2008

take me out to the ballgame

For a couple of months now, Zander has shown a real interest in baseball. He loves to watch it on tv and has been begging to go to a game.

We joined our friends, The Nelsons, to go see the Chattanooga Lookouts for Zander's first game. I'm so glad we did....he and Kaya both seemed interested in the game and loved all the sights around them. They both showed great sportsmanship too and cheered.....which was really cute.

Zander is still talking about Looie, the mascot. He got to meet him and Slider, the other mascot for the team, and they both signed his shirt. All day he has been asking "When will we see my friend Looie again?" At the end of the game we got him a Lookout Bat and Ball. He has loved playing with it......and actually hits it pretty hard and far!

The girls enjoy the game!

Camden and Sue

Go Looie, Go!

Kaya and Katie in front of the Looie statue

The big event.......we all meet Looie

Friday, August 8, 2008

daddy and son

Since Zander has gotten a little older we've been letting him stay up "late" (until 7:30). At first I wasn't sure I would like this new extended bedtime but I've grown to love it.

After Kaya goes to bed either Matt or I then have an hour of alone time with Zander. I love our walks through the neighborhood, our "playing school" time, and when we snuggle to watch a movie. But what may be even better is watching my husband who I love dearly interact with my little boy. Nothing can make a woman fall more in love than that.

"Any man can be a Father but it takes someone special to be a dad."
-- Anne Geddes

learning to ride, part 2

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

so much fun.....except for one incident

Yesterday my neighbor and I took our 3 kiddos to one of my favorite places, The Children's Museum. As you can tell from the photos, they had a blast together. Aren't they so sweet holding hands on the way there?

It was great to see the kids interact and play with each other and the exhibits.....most of the time.

I know I've talked about Kaya's rambuctiousness before. She just has a very enthusiastic attitude about life. Most of the time when she is too rough with other kids, she is trying to hug or kiss them. Other times, she does mean to be rowdy and wild. Thank goodness my friends still love us and continue to have playdates with us. As one friend said, "We have to remember she is only 22-months old. She just looks older and acts older."

I'm still teaching her to be easy and gentle with other kids (and adults at times). But she just doesn't seem to understand why some people don't enjoy being tackled with a hug or getting a headlock to receive a kiss.

So yesterday at the museum I was observing her play with another little girl (who I think was probably older than Kaya) at one of the exhibits. And then I saw the look. The Kaya look that means, let me run as fast as I can so I will run into this girl as I give her a hug. I immediately scooped in as Kaya raced to hug her and stopped her right before she knocked her down. So then Kaya and I sat at the picnic table while I talked to her about being an easy and gentle friend. After we sat for a couple of minutes I took her back to the little girl and told Kaya to say "I'm sorry. I'll play nice." I then looked at the mom and told her, "So sorry about that. She can get a little rowdy."

I didn't expect grand praises from this mom about my parenting skills at that moment. But I certainly didn't expect her response, "Yeah, whatever." And then she glared at me like my daughter had just assaulted hers with a deadly weapon.

So, I took my kids to another part of the museum to let them play. This woman's reaction to me really bothered me. I kept thinking, "What else did she expect me to do in the situation?" I tried to avoid her from then on and let the fun continue.

Later on, I met up with my friend Meaghan at the train table. We witnessed a little boy throwing a fit because other kids wouldn't share (not that I'm judging, my kids have been known to do such things.) His mom (who happened to be the same woman from earlier) came over and got him. Meaghan then looked at me and said, "That mom was letting her kids run all over Kaya & Connor earlier when I was watching them and she didn't even get on to them."

That was when my mothering doubt feelings evaporated and my revengeful, let me give her a piece of my mind feelings erupted. I then proceeded to tell Meaghan about the incident that happened earlier.

I so much wanted to go to that woman and say, "What kind of lessons are you teaching your kids? To be rude and act like the world revolves around only you."

But I didn't, one because I hate conflict, and two because I knew that was not the role-model I wanted to be for my kids. Two wrongs do not make a right.

And then I thought about the great time we were having and how much I love my enthusiastic, energetic, charismatic daughter. And she can tackle me and give me rough hugs any time.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

once again, my silly daughter

In Kaya's fashion world it is no clothes or too many clothes (remember the girl loves her panties).

So here she is after she took off all of her clothes and is attempting to put her diaper back on.

We are getting ready to go to the Children's Museum. I just hope that we can stay in the same outfit we go in...

Monday, August 4, 2008

learning to ride part 1

I thought I would be so sad to see my little boy transform into a big boy. But I do love this new age of 3. One of the joys of 3 is the new things you learn to do.

Zander had to have a helmet for his birthday. I kept wondering, "What for? He doesn't really ride anything." But he was just preparing for these moments.

Here he is riding his tricycle. He still doesn't pedal much, just walks himself along, but I'm sure he'll get the hang of it! It is a joy to this mom's heart to see him learning new things!!!

Uncle Michael and Aunt Tee-Tee got him a new scooter (3 wheeler one) for his birthday. I'll post pictures of him riding it later this week.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

stingrays, penguins, and sharks....oh my!

On Tuesday of last week we trekked up to Chattanooga to go to the Aquarium with the Nelsons (minus Sue). We had a great time. The kids especially loved seeing the penguins and loved seeing their friends! The stingrays loved coming right up to us...the kids loved that!

I'm glad Kaya has finally met her match with Camden. Usually Kaya is the rough & tumble girl who embarasses her parents during playdates. Well, Camden gave her a good scratch during the trip. Ben seemed to be the mortified this time. I told him not to worry about it, she had it coming! This confirms my suspicion that we are going to constantly keep our eyes on these girls as they continue to grow.

I know I've said it before, but we are so happy the Nelsons are only 1 1/2 hours away instead of 1 1/2 days away now.