Thursday, August 20, 2009

Needing to vent

Dear Mr. Lego Man,

We have a lengthy love/hate relationship. I can (vividly) recall playing for hours on end with my little brother's Legos. I can also (vividly) recall the envy I had towards my brother as he was (is) the youngest of four girls and my uncle had (has) a soft-spot for the baby of the family, (perhaps because he too is the baby?) which meant that often Christmas'= fresh Lego set for my brother. (I would have to build the complicated parts of the set for him. The older sisters were "too cool" for Legos.) I suppose it was good preparation for becoming a mother of four boys, and now I can build the Lego Batmobile (with four boys playing tag, weaving in and out of my legs) in no time flat.

Mister Lego Man, did I mention DH doesn't play with your creations because he claims he has always been too cool for them? (Do you, too, see a common theme?)

Regardless, as a parent I am becoming to hate you again. Did you ever take into consideration that a 3-year-old may rip off his 4-year-old brother's Star Wars figurine's head and throw it into the abyss (under the kitchen stove).... all because the 4-year-old was being a "poo poo head?" Did you further consider that perhaps that would upset the 4-year-old so much that he would decapitate his 6-year-old brother's figurine and hide it in a spot so top secret, that even the 4-year-old would forget where it was hidden?

I must say, I truly find the crying to be a bit over the top. 12 hours ago I loved you. What has happened?

Could you please make note and in the (immediate) future sell figurine heads al la carte?

Thanks,
Momma of Many Lego-loving Boys


P.S. Did you know that a little hand can spend many days (if not weeks) in the garbage disposal and endure multiple spinning cycles and still come out recognizable? Kudos to your greatly engineered, but overpriced pieces of plastic.

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Dear Mr. Scorpion,

I thought we were past being graced with your presence in our home, but sadly I am wrong. Please do not curl up in my flip-flop and think I will not notice you. You have violated our agreement when you entered our home without our permission. Yes, the boys like to get up close and personal with you, but I would rather not have such relationship with you. Leave me, my kitchen, and our home alone.

Thanks,
Scorpion Hater

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Dear Mr. Scorpion's Friend.

I assumed because your friend didn't make it out alive that you would have got the message. Again, I stand corrected. Just because you were smaller than your counterpart doesn't mean I wouldn't notice you. Do you really think I would allow you to sit 12 inches away from your friend's resting place without calling for DH? Sorry, visiting hours are over. Go home and don't come back. (FYI that was a pun. I know for certain you will not be coming back. DH squished you as flat as a pancake. Your friends might stand a chance in the future if I don't see them, but DH definitely put his foot down with you.)

Thanks,
Still a Scorpion Hater

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Dear Mr. Spider,

I am writing letters to all of my "friends" and clearly you want in on the action... you are casually climbing across the bed as I type this as if I wouldn't see you. Please stay off our bed. If your other insect friends didn't stand a chance, I sure as [*$&@] aren't going to put up with you either.

Thanks,
Don't say I didn't warn you

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Dear Random Ants,

I would greatly appreciate it if you didn't march mindlessly across the kitchen counter. I have personally made sure there is not one crumb left on the one counter you love so dearly. Perhaps you should look somewhere else instead. Hey, if you come back later tonight then maybe there might be some "food" for you on the ground. Go run crazy next to my flip-flop. Watch out though, it might sting.

Thanks,
You do it again, I pull out the Raid

------------

Dear Terminix Man,

We pay you in advance for your services not because I enjoy picking up all the scattered toys scattered admist our backyard on the day you come to spray, and not because we have nothing better to do with our money, but because I justified the funds as a "necessity" and well spent if I (and the family) didn't have to live with desert-y insects. Please reassure me the money has not gone to waste.

Thanks,
Your Loyal Customer

------------

Dear Son,

The reason we did not buy a dog is because our financial resources are low after our unanticipated Lego store visit. Admittedly I am thinking the dog might have cost less in the long run and killed all of our bug issues without effort on my (and Terminix Man's) in the here and now. Hmm....

------------

Dear Mr. Refrigerator,

I am sorry that I will soon tape your face. Unfortunately Squeaky Z likes to search the house for vessel-like objects and scurry over to play with you more times in one day than I would care to recall. He thoroughly enjoys watching your water shoot into the objects he so eagerly pushes against you. It doesn't seem to faze him that his cup runneth over. Actually it is quite the contrary.... He laughs as your water overflows the rim of the cups (and other containers). Although he enjoys watching your water spill down his clothing, down your face, cover whatever box or stool (used to give a height boost), and puddle on the floor, I do not approve. I have extremely enjoyed drinking your purified water but it becomes a bit much when the 22-month-old finds humor in his older brothers slipping and falling (with your aid, of course) in said watery mess. If your dispenser had a lock I would not have to cover you up, but you don't, which leaves me with little options.

Please understand!

Thanks,
It was him, not you

------------



Ahhhh, I feel much better!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Miracles

For those who have prayed countless times for this family; He has heard and answered.

Miracles do happen, here is proof.

Here is the sister that was ejected from the car, left gasping for air while lying on the freeway. She went from suffering internal bleeding, double collapsed lungs, a brain so swollen that part of her skull was temporarily removed, numerous surgeries, broken legs, and on life support for several weeks, to a 5 year old girl who, well, see for yourself...










All of 'em together



minus this little guy.

Welcome back, Faiza. We have missed you!

*for those who noticed the familiar backyard, yes, this is OUR backyard. But that is a whole other upcoming post, as are the California trip pictures.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Are you serious?

Do you remember this post? (If you don't, you can click here to read it.)

Well we were busy helping members of this family with their challenges that our life got a little sidetracked. Everything comes at a cost and getting a college education is no different. Last year I spent some time applying for various scholarships in hopes of getting something to help with the financial costs of attending college. Lucky for me, my work had paid off.

I had set aside the week of the due date to reapply for the scholarships.

Life happened. Between losing a baby and losing a dear friend, dedicating time to writing papers wasn't in the cards for me. Helping others is a blessing that comes during a specific time and place. Although I really wanted to reapply for scholarships, I knew that my being of service to others would have far greater blessings than any scholarship could award me.

The scholarship due date was the same day I was invited to Ahmed's burial. Money could wait, but this moment in time could not be paused, even for one second.

A week after the burial the phone rang.

"Hi, there is Jerry with the [city] Chamber of Commerce. How are you doing?"

I paused, not knowing what to think.

"So I'm calling to inform you that you are the recipient of the 2009-2010 scholarship. Instead of awarding a new recipient, we would rather award it to you instead."

*Stunned, still not knowing what to think.* Then finally, "You do realize I hadn't applied for any of the scholarship, right?"

"Yes, we know that. Usually we do not renew such scholarships, but after reviewing the current applicants, we felt it best to renew your scholarship than award it to someone else. We usually don't do this, but after talking with a few people, we're going to do it this time. We feel you desire it more than the others."

----------

Dear Husband was excited and said, "Congratulations honey. Why don't I take you out to dinner and, if you're lucky, you'll get some money for school while you're at it."

I also got to bring an additional guest to the event this year. Who better else to bring to such occasion than a person who has unconditionally stood behind me in all my craziness than Mrs. Barbara V?


Hey Barb, you must have been lucky too cause Dear Husband "picked up" your dinner as well! *wink*


Summer 2008



Summer 2009 - Nice to see you again, Rich!

Happy Birthday Son, but....

Happy Birthday Diggs!


Diggs turned 6 towards the end of May. Being the good mother that I am, I have not made time had time to sit down and write about the event. (In all fairness, I did have valid reasons for not posting this sooner: I had finals one week, his birthday party (round one) the following week, end of school stuff for Diggs, my scholarship/awards banquet dinner Wednesday night, and then we drove to California the very next morning. *sigh*)

Anyways, back to Diggs turning 6. As you can see for yourself, he thinks very highly of himself.


["Its my birthday! I am a star!" And a lovely cake with the number six on top because, after all, “6-year-olds are the coolest kids ever.” (I can’t wait to see what we are in for next year.)]

He got to have a “boy” party and invite a few friends to Makutu’s Island. All the boys had fun, but hands down the highlight was getting to see Tate again. (Tate changed schools shortly after the beginning of last year’s school year. I was surprised by how much they could remember about each other (they’re favorite character, favorite color, etc) even though they hadn’t seen each other for 9+ months. Surely I must have already forgotten how 6-year-olds are the coolest kids ever.)

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Diggs had begged us for months for a pet fish.

Let’s just say that I we don’t do animals (perhaps the Pollocks have enough animals for both of our families?), so I would use any excuse to postpone adding an animal to our bunch. “Ooohhh, that sounds like fun. Maybe we should wait until your birthday.”

Quickly the request shifted from wanting a fish to wanting a crab. He ended up hitting the jackpot this year and got both; a crab from us and a fish from a friend.

Meet Nacos (rhymes with tacos) the Crab.



And Batman the Beta (sorry, no pics of Batman - imagine a black beta fish with bulgy eyes).

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Unfortunately, WE (still) aren’t pet people.

Batman survived a little over a week before he went belly up.

Nacos died the following day.

Have I mentioned we are not pet people?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

California Trip Part I

We arrived home safely, and I am happy to report that (most of) my hair is still intact.

Here is a sneak peek of what's to come just as soon as I find a few uninterrupted hours to organize, edit, and upload pictures.










Many more pictures (and stories) coming soon!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Playing catch-up

I'd be here 'til next year if I were to sit and write out all the stories between mid March and now. Instead, I will spare you the details and get you up to speed via photos.






The boys have climbed mountains,





and helped Mommy in the kitchen.




The California cousins came for a visit: translation, nights spent like this.




They got invited to go visit Uncle J's uncle's "farm." It may not be exciting for some, but check out the entertainment the cow provided by doing this click on the picture if you want to see stuff coming out of its back end




This little boy




loves to play in water, and was in heaven doing this




all afternoon. Meanwhile, the older boys had fun with their new (my brother-in-law's father) Grandpa Pollock and cousins, riding in this.




And went fast like this.

video


By the end of the trip, there were 2 boys who believed they were real cowboys... especially since they could bravely stand on the fence like this.




A boy turned 3 and had a small party while his cousins were in town.




Mommy thought she would throw a big party the day of his birthday, but didn't anticipate having a miscarriage the day before. Luckily she has some amazing friends who volunteered to throw together a last minute party, Mickey Mouse cake and all!




A boy found a utensil perfect for eating cereal




and a good book to read.






Mommy took a break from this,




and went with a friend to go do this.




And for two seconds, she nearly forgot about how resourceful he's become,




how the Top Secret location of the make-up is no longer Top Secret,




how Mr. G is an aspiring photographer and wants to capture moments like these, even if Mommy just happened to wake up minutes prior




how cocoa puffs sometimes get mixed in with lettuce,




how blinkers randomly get turned on for unknown reasons,




how knives get left in jars,




and an occasional monkey that enjoys a ride.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mother's Day Tea


My own "Queen Joolya" crown

N's class threw a Mother's Day Tea; a special event for just him and his mommy. He was excited that the instructions were that he was supposed to serve me and I couldn't do anything. He had surprised me with a pink flower planted in a personalized [read: I love Sonic! I love Sonic heros. Sonic is the best. Mom loves Sonic.] flowerpot, a completed questionnaire all about me, and all the kids sang us songs.


Mommy Facts (according to N)

What's your mother's name? Joolya
What do you call her? Mom
How old is she? 26
How tall is she? 5
How much does she weigh? 130
What color is her hair? Brown
What's her favorite drink and snack? Lemonad and pbj
What does she cook? Chile
What's her favorite TV show? Spider Man
What's her favorite thing to do with you? Snugle
What does she like to do for fun? Trikc my dad (Trick my dad)
What does she do during the day? Sleep
What's the one thing she says to you most often? I love you!


Mom's Wish Express...
Wishes for Mom... clean the windows.
Wishes for Mom... I will take care of my brothers!
Wishes for Mom... I will snuggle with my brothers.
Wishes for Mom... I will help my dad cook so you can go to sleep!

------

Apparently I have mastered my parental responsibility in preparing our son to become a great husband someday. Even though he's only 5, he knows that the way to a mother's heart is by making her dinner, cleaning her house, watching the children (and making sure they're happy), and letting her take a nap.

Friday, May 1, 2009

I never would have guessed

On Tuesday, Dear Husband joyfully volunteered to be a chaperon on a field trip. N was excited his group would only consist of him and his friend.





On Wednesday, Dear Husband was nearly an hour late getting home from work. I was beginning to worry and told myself I would give him 20 more minutes before calling the cops to see if he was involved in an accident.

15 minutes later, he pokes his head in the front door and asks the boys to go into the other room. The shirt he wore to work was meticulously crumpled up and in his hand. I could see in his face he was deeply shaken up about something.

M: "I was worried something had happened? Did you get in an acci....."

DH: "No I wasn't, but someone else was. Something told me I needed to stop. "

M: "Is everyone okay?"

DH: "Someone died on the scene. The worst part is, I'm almost positive I know the person who died."

I never would have guessed my son's friend and classmate would make news under such circumstances.

I never would have guessed my Dear Husband would spend a whole day with an amazing child, then the following day find his body lying dead in the middle of the freeway.

I never would have guessed I would be the person informing the school teacher and principal of what happened.

Wednesday morning, I never would have guessed I would spend 5 hours that evening in the ER at the bedside of the sister of my son's deceased friend; drawing pictures, making turkey balloons out of plastic gloves, caressing her hair and frequently kissing her forehead. Normally I don't do blood and guts, but when a girl's world has been ripped apart I do anything necessary to comfort her.

I never would have guessed I would sing the "Mommy loves me" song I sing to my children when they're sick or sad, to help comfort a child who wasn't my own.

I never would have guessed I would be one of five women allowed to attend a burial service that is traditionally NEVER attended by ANY women.

I never would have guessed a grieving mother would look at me, with tears in her eyes, and tell me my husband was the answers to her prayers. She prayed that an angel would come to comfort her after the accident and immediately my husband appeared.

I just never would have guessed.

Monday, March 30, 2009

A new chapter

We will not be having an addition to our earthly family. Although the outcome is not ideal from our worldly perspective, we are honored to know that we now have a spirit that is waiting for us on the other side.

It was/is bittersweet.

Does it hurt? Yes; words cannot begin to describe the physical and emotional pain.

I am sad, but I am not angry. I can't be.

Long before this spirit was conceived, I knew some thing would be a different. I am glad my Father in Heaven had sent me promptings that something would happen. Of course I didn't have details, but that is part of His plan. If He revealed all details, we would never need to gain a testimony.

Faith is born when we put ourselves out there and do not have a single expectation of gaining anything in return. Faith is strengthened when we continue to follow His teachings, despite the circumstances and final outcome. My ability to survive through this ugly storm is not the result of chance or luck, it is my faith in Him and His craftsmanship. It is through Him that I will be able to bask in His glory someday, with my entire family by my side.

I know He still loves me. Although I was not granted the opportunity to raise this boy on earth, my story does not end.

A new chapter has begun.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

He answers prayers

77 hours ago, I watched an ultrasound monitor display a heart beat 112 beats a minute.

Today is a very much, different story.

I am not in a place to capable of elaborating right now, but I know that He hears and answers prayers. We are never forced to travel our journey alone!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Back in the "limbo" saddle again!

I have been taking my time in going "public" with our current situation. It's hard to share a story that has multiple complexities. It is hard to share a story that has the doctor puzzled and unsure. Words are hard to come by when all you want to do is scream and cry, but doing so would not solve or fix anything. Ultimately, I have no control over the outcome. Despite my desire to plan every thing to the finest detail, He has decided to show me that some things are out of my control.

To many, it appears as though I've got it all together. In some respects, this is true. In many other aspects, this is far from the truth. Our latest struggle has been a hurdle for me. A big hurdle.

-------------

Flashback:
August 2006 - My body became out of whack after having our third child. Brought it to the doctor's attention and was told not to worry because it could be "normal." I know my body and knew it wasn't normal. Little did I know what my un-normal self was in for.

End of February 2007: Positive home pregnancy test. We were elated to be expecting. Early blood tests revealed I had low progesterone. To sustain any pregnancy, levels need to be above 10, ideally above 20. Mine was 8.8. Doctor was slightly hesitant I would make it to the 2nd trimester. Early ultrasound provided relief as the baby was healthy and dated 2 weeks further along than originally thought.

August 2007: Had some spotting and beginnings of preterm labor.

End of October 2007: A healthy, nearly 10 pound baby!

-------------

And now, we are back in our limbo state.

It began with a positive pregnancy test. I had a beta blood test (which measures the quantity of free HCG. HCG is the hormone present during pregnancy) later the same day. Results: Progesterone level at a 5.1, which is very low. Usually that would indicate I hadn't ovulated, but the same test results proved otherwise.) Immediately started on medication. Thank goodness for good insurance because those things are expensive.

Two days later, another trip to the lab (with all four children in tow), for another beta test.

And again two 1/2 days later. By this time, there was definitely extra support from above. The children were perfectly behaved. They knew the drill: come in, sit down, and don't wrestle with each other touch anything.

And again two days later.

And again three days later.

And again two days later.

And again two days later.

And again three days later.

I was relived to hear that the doctor gave up with the testing. It was emotionally exhausting playing the role of a human pincushion. I became numb to the fact I was still bruised from prior pokes, and yet they were sticking me yet again. 1/3 of the time, my HCG numbers would double as they were supposed to, the other 2/3 they would not. On Wednesday, I went in for an ultrasound and things went relatively well.

What we don't know: Lots! We've been told every thing from miscarriage, various chromosomal abnormalities and/or defects, perfectly healthy baby, and every thing in-between.

As of now, what we do know: I should have realized how blessed I was to be so worry-free with the first three pregnancies. There is no longer the simplicity of getting a positive pregnancy test and then seeing the OB 8 weeks later. If it weren't for modern medicine, I would not be able to artificially sustain these last two pregnancies.

Prior to the ultrasound, the doctor said it was a 50/50 chance of going either way in terms of viability. But, in our favor, a heartbeat was detected. It is healthy for the gestational size, but is measuring a few days behind. It is flirting with the healthy/unhealthy growth rate border.

Right now, we remain in limbo; we may have an addition to the family in late fall, or we may not. We are living one day at a time. While we are uncertain of our future and what it will look like, the Lord's plan is not so uncertain. He knows my husband and I willingly accepted this hand of cards before we came to earth.

Now if only I could catch a glimpse into the reasons why. :)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Let the games begin

N got an award for getting 100% on all of his phonogram and spelling pickles. I don't know why, but they call various tests "pickles." N says he's super cool, Daddy says N's a super pickle!

The next morning, Daddy left a special note before leaving for work.




Embarrassed, N quickly erased the message and wrote,

"Mom wished she could be cool like a super pickle.
"



And so the games begin.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Not Me Monday


Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.


This week, the boys did not follow me around the house, saying Mom.Mom.Mom like a broken record. Clearly any response and acknowledgment I gave was not satisfactory enough because they continued. I did not reply, "Mommy is not here right now... try again later!" just to get them to say something different.



Our boys do not play with their food during meals.



A huge palm tree frawn did not fall 7 feet and land on my leg, right above my ankle. Why would it? This woman does not do 80% of the yard work and palm tree trimming, so clearly I would not be subject to such a battle wound. It's a good thing I chose to wear socks and shoes and not flip-flops.

I did not get all worked up over a comment a guy made in one of my classes. He (a guy who claims to work with special needs children) did not publicly announce his ignorance when he stated that autism is nothing more than just "a learned behavior."

The two older boys were not wrestling after they were instructed to stop. G did not go face-first into N's knee and bust his lip. He did not grab his mouth and come running to the kitchen. In route he did not touch the cream-colored sectional with his fingers, which were of course not bloody. [In case you're wondering who in their right mind has a cream-colored couch in a home that houses 4 small children (and boys at that), I would not know. Surely, it is not us!]


video
This was not our house during baths/showers.

I have not listened to Third Day's Revelation CD thirty something times already. G's favorite is not #13.



The laundry pile has not managed to find its way back into an overflowing basket, sitting oh-so-comfortably on our bedroom floor. Did it not understand that once I put it away on Wednesday, it needed to wait at least another week before reemerging?



While I was putting the last batch of cookies on the cookie sheet, Z did not dump the entire 2.5 pound bag of raisins on the floor. His older brother did not walk across the couch and smoosh some of the raisins into the cream-colored couch (which we do not have) as I was trying to rescue the raisins. Oh, the 2.5 pounds of rescued raisins.... they did not get put back into the bag, and surely they did not wind up back in the pantry.



Our pillows were not used to build a secret clubhouse.

I did not say, "You can pick your nose" after getting asked what fun things there was to do. N did not quickly shove his finger up his nostril and ask, "You mean like this?"