Sunday, January 30, 2011

The State of the Liz Address

Between Obama's State of the Union Address and our church's annual meeting I've been thinking a lot about the state of Liz, that is to say me.  It is no secret here that I'm trying to work on my weight loss, as I've written about it in this forum already, but I've been thinking deeper than that.

How is my emotional state?  My physical state?  My family? etc.  It has been interesting to think about and as I thought I've come to one main conclusion.


Which isn't to say that I am always cheerful (hehe, no) but I am in a really good place going into this year.  Much of this comes from my change in jobs.  Last year saw me lose my job after several years of struggling in a situation that amounted to professional bullying.  But within a week I was hired in a new job that has been so supportive, energizing and such a good fit for me that I am seeing many things in a different light.

When I was struggling with the anxiety and stress that I felt each day at work I couldn't really face making myself stronger.  I was on high alert and spent much of my time guarding myself emotionally...and I did that through food.

I can't say that approaching my desire to get healthy and lose weight is EASY this year, but it is easier to think about and really try than it had been before and much of that seems to be from the fact that I am simply happy.  There are things that I want to change but I am more hopeful about my ability to do them than I have been in a while.  This, added with my new CPAP fueled real sleep, means I have tools I didn't have before to make things real this time!

And so far things seem to be going well.  I've been working out regularly 4-5 times a week for the last 3 weeks and am working to follow Weight Watchers online.  I'm still struggling with the diet but I'm making continued efforts and the regular exercise is making noticable changes in my hunger (I get hungry now AND full!) and food cravings - which are slowly shifting to more healthy foods.  I'm working on it and am still excited about the changes I'm making and that is huge.

One of the goal setting things I've decided is that I will have a monthly health goal.  I know that I can do almost anything for a month (or for lent for example) so I'm going to take specific things that I need to focus on and make it part of my monthly goals.  So for example, as I learn more about healthy eating, my goal for Feb is to not eat at ANY restaurant that has a drive thru window.  This gives me subway and a few lunch out options still but I nixes any McDonald's breakfasts, Culver's shakes, or Wendy's burgers.  So you heard it hear first: February is NO Drive-thru month.  Who want's to join me?  (For clarification I cannot eat at the restaurants at all, even if I were to go inside, they are just off limits).

So work is good, diet is improving, and baby goat has had a few healthy weeks.  Hopefully we'll get a few more because it really helps our schedules be much more manageable when we are all well!  We are looking forward to the next few months to pack and move into our first house!  There are still some hoops to jump through to dot the i's and make it all a Go, but we are moving forward and it is moving fast!  Hooray!

In conclusion, I am happy, I love my job, I will lose weight, my family is well, and we are getting a house!  Squee!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

23 Months

Baby Goat,

Yesterday you turned 23 months.  That is shocking to me.  It seems like just yesterday I was on bedrest in the hospital trying to keep you on the inside.  And then you were here and it has been a roller coaster ever since.  You sure do keep us on our toes.

I'd love to have better pictures to share with the blog today but every time you see a camera (or any electronic for that matter) it becomes your sole goal to possess it, push all the buttons and play with it (which may or may not include throwing it.)   Hence all my photos end up being attempts for you to get at the camera.  Like this:

Or this:

Occasionally we still get a smile.

Or a sudden distraction

You are most definitely a toddler.  You are sweet and precocious and can turn on a dime and become a total pill in the next second.  You love all sorts of foods and toys.  Coloring is a big hit.  So is playdoh, until it isn't. 

You have started talking more in the last several months, and singing too.  I hope it doesn't make me a bad mom to admit that I don't always have a clue what you are saying which such purpose, but we are trying.  Certainly we are working on communication with each other.  Still you clearly understand most of what we ask and tell you.  Whether you feel like listening to us is another story!

Mr Goat points out that you are very opinionated, a trait feels sure comes from himself.  It is true but you are also quick to share and give hugs.  You love babies and point them out whenever you can in such a cute way that it is very difficult for mommy not to have another one right this instant!  (No, blogland, just No, we aren't there yet!)

You continue to be a pretty good sleeper which makes us very grateful as we like our sleep too!  It does make the rare off night very hard on us all.  We are a family that needs its sleep.  You can get your whole leg up on the side of the crib like a ballet bar, but you've yet to try to climb out.  We are grateful for this because we aren't ready for big boy beds.  I know that the next year will bring that, and potty training, and regular non-sippy glasses, and who knows what other milestones.  It is hard to believe all we have coming ahead of us.  It happens so quickly and you seem to grow and change every day.

You spent some time back in the hospital this month as your asthma flared up with a cold.  You are such a trooper and really are so well behaved for all of the tests and doctors you have to see.  I wonder if it was your start in the NICU, but I continue to be impressed with your flexibility and strength in all the doctor visits.

Only one month from now you will be 2 years old.  I wonder how you will continue to grow and hopefully thrive.  I look forward to bringing you home to our first house later this spring.  We can give you a real room, look at getting a train table for you and just give you a real space to run and play.  We are all growing and moving forward together as a family and Daddy Goat and I love that you are a part of our family.  Life would be so much duller without you.  You make me smile everyday and I love you to the moon and back!

Mama Goat

Monday, January 24, 2011


The smell assaulted her senses, making her gag as the bile and panic welled up in her throat. It wasn’t the smell’s fault really. It was just a slightly fruity, floral, antiseptic smell, most identifiable by its sheer generic-ness, but the images it evoked had her gasping for air. Gasping was the central theme of her flashbacks too. A scrawny chest rising and falling; ribs showing through the paper thin skin. The graying of the face when he forgot to breath. The body-shudder as his brain remembered and started the gasping again.

It was all clear in her mind, because of that smell, as if it were just yesterday. And in a way it was, long-removed yet somehow omnipresent in its legacy: the same hospital but a different time.

But the smell of the soap remains with her, bringing back memories of washing until her hands were raw and bloody. For touching anything prior to his tiny body meant GERMS, the scourge of the NICU. Looking back she took the simple act of washing her hands to the extreme, but her hormonal, sick and guilt-laden self was convinced that she should do no more damage to this boy than she already had done.

As the smell faded and the pictures with it, she stops to smile at her boy in the hospital crib across the room finally asleep after another long ordeal of a night. His breathing is finally calm as the steroids have taken effect, calming his inflamed lungs. His cough stays with him, occasionally racking his sleeping form, but he is peaceful again.

She laughs a little then, quietly to herself, about how often she took air for granted. How she still does most days, until of course a cold or a cough returns. Then it is back to the nebulizers, and steroids, and doctor visits, all trying to keep a tiny pair of lungs doing what they are meant to. At least they aren’t quite so tiny now.

The boy has grown so much. Even asleep he seems to hum with some unseen energy as if life is so powerful in him it vibrates. You wouldn’t recognize him for the tiny paper-thin boy of his birth, except in the wisdom and glee and mischief behind his eyes. Those have always stayed with him. But now his chubby fingers grasp crayons instead of yanking his tubes out of place. His ribs are no longer visible behind is milk-fed Buddha belly.

In the midst of being back where it all began she marvels at how far they’ve come. The panic the soap brought her fades as she says a small prayer of thanks for this boy and his breath.

(A writing exercise I tried. ~Liz)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Packers are going to the SUPERBOWL

It was a wonderful weekend but topped off with a very sweet finish - The Packers beat arch-rival the Bears to head to the Superbowl!  I knew they had it in them but it lead to several nail-biting minutes as I waited for the game to end.  I know many Bear and Viking fans probably read the blog so I don't want to gloat too much other than to say I am very excited for my team and for Aaron Rodgers to have proven so handily that he is NOT is Brett Farve's shadow.  Go Pack Go!  Now I just need to find some place awesome to watch the game in two weeks!  Yay!

(Regularly scheduled blogging will return tomorrow!)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

50 Book Challenge 2011

Another year, another 50 book challenge.  I have to say I'm impressed that I've kept this up for so long and really love that I now have 5 years of records of all the books I've read.  I've read 290 books in the last 5 years, that is over a book a week.

(It makes me think that if I had been working as hard to lose a pound a week that I would have been at my goal weight last year, but that is an issue that I'm working on.)

So here are my books read for 2011.  As always the list will grow and you can keep track of it on my left sidebar.  I'm always happy to review a book if you are curious about it, and always want new suggestions too!

50 Book Challenge 2011

1. The Lacuna: A Novel by Barbara Kingsolver
2. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
3. The Piano Teacher by Janice Y. K. Lee
4. Walking the Bible: A Photographic Journey

6. The Heroes of Olympus, Book One: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
7. The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin
8. Traveling with Pomegranates: A Mother and Daughter Journey to the Sacred Places of Greece, Turkey, and France by Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor
9.  A View from the Back Pew: God, Religion & Our Personal Quest for Truth by Tim O'Donnell
10. The Girl in the Gatehouse by Julie Klassen
11. Leaping Beauty: And Other Animal Fairy Tales by Gregory Maguire
12. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua
13. The Unquiet Bones: The first chronicle of Hugh de Singleton, surgeon by Melvin Starr
14. Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal
15. Mom: A Celebration of Mothers from StoryCorps by Dave Isay
16. A Corpse at St. Andrew's Chapel: The Second Chronicle of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon by Mel Starr
17. The Heretic's Daughter: A Novel by Kathleen Kent
18. The Fiddler's Gun by A.S. Peterson
19. The Fiddler's Green by A. S. Peterson
20. Stories: All-New Tales

My Name Is Child of God...Not "Those People": A First Person Look at Poverty

The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment
The Kane Chronicles, Book Two: The Throne of Fire

Viola in Reel Life
Viola in the Spotlight

42. State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
43. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin
44. Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris
45. The Shape of Mercy: A Novel by
46. Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok
47. Fractured Fairy Tales by A.J. Jacobs
48. The Year of Living like Jesus: My Journey of Discovering What Jesus Would Really Do by Edward G. Dobson
49. Bossypants by Tina Fey
50.  The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party
51.  The Broken Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin
52.  The First Husband: A Novel by Laura Dave
53.  Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
54.  Smokin' Seventeen by Janet Evanovich
55.  The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
56.  Killing Kate by Julie Kramer
57.  Then Came You by Jennifer Weiner
58.  Heiress by Susan May Warren
59.  Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
61. The Baker's Wife by Erin Healy
62. The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie

Jeanne Birdsall

67. Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott
68. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday - By the numbers

-15 the temp outside this morning in MN.

8 the houses we went to see today.

5 the number of houses I could tell you at first glance that I wouldn't live in.

1 a house we are willingly going to see a second time.

1 the number of houses whose kitchens appeared to be used for cooking substances other than food.

5 the number of workouts I've done since Sunday. (S, M, W, Th, F)

0 the number of naps I've taken.

So I'm heading to bed :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Tomorrow I am going into a NICU to see two adorable twins born early.  Their mom had a variation of the same issue I did and her children came into the world too soon as a result.  Now a month old they are thriving and I am looking forward to connecting to the family and giving the mom a huge hug for enduring exactly what I know she is enduring (x2).

We've tried to meet at least 2 times before but baby goat illnesses have kept us apart.  I'm not willing to risk being a petri dish to two tiny girls.  God willing, we are on board for lunch tomorrow.  I'll likely get to see the girls too and face the cords and the beeping.

I have to admit, I have some anxiety here.  On the one hand, I see clearly the beauty of a premature baby.  On first glance it may seem that they are not that cute as babies go - with tubes and wrinkly skin, or in baby goat's case covered in hair like some wrinkly hairy old man.  But there is miraculous beauty in those tiny children.  The tiniest of feet and hands, the depth of their eyes that seem to know more than a newborn could.  They are so beautiful that they catch my heart in a vice and refuse to let go.  It was true of baby goat too.

But there are the reminders too.  Tubes and beeps and the foam sanitizer.  I remember the panic that rose in my throat by the soap of the hospital earlier this month when we spent a few days getting baby goat's asthma under control.  Most of the time the NICU process fades in the vibrancy of baby goat's laugh and the urgency in is running.  He is so far removed from the tiny baby he once was. 

Will it be ok for me?  Will I jump at every beep like I used to?  I have no idea, but I feel compelled to go.  I feel so strongly that NICU families need to be upheld and supported and if I can help in any way then I want to be there to help.  It seems impossible that I could have made it through without the support I had from my family and my friends and from you here on my blog.  And if my experience can be helpful to another, or reassuring, even if it is just a chance to vent and commiserate then I want to be there.

Still I wonder what I'll have to face emotionally once I get there.  On the other hand, I get to meet two adorable little girls tomorrow, and honestly what could be better than that.

** I'm considering whether or not to do March for Babies this year to help raise money for prematurity research and support.  I wish the Metro walks weren't on a Sunday but I'm considering taking the day off from church anyway.  IF I walked would anyone want to be on baby goat's team with me and/or help me raise some funds?  (A big IF so far).

Monday, January 17, 2011

20 Questions

I'm wondering all sorts of things today - which makes it the perfect time for one of my signature 20 questions blog posts.  Feel free to answer some or all of the questions below in comments.  I always love your brilliance and insight!

1. What is your one must-have item/feature in a new dwelling - house, apartment, whatever?

2. Were you thrown into a panic when it was announced that your horoscope sign might not be right?  (even though it seems that it doesn't matter much because there are two different calendars?  I'm not sure as I don't really care).

3. What is your favorite workout activity and why?

4. What are good core-strengthening workouts and/or stretches?

5. Do you do timeouts with your children?  What age did you begin and how do they work in your household.

6. What are good go-to snacks - the healthier and more satisfying the better - to cover your salt and sweet cravings?

7. What is your favorite low-cost indoor play area in the Twin Cities?

8. Who is one person you'd most like to meet in your lifetime?  (besides me of course, LOL)

9. What is one healthy tip that helps you?

10. What is one cleaning tip that helps you keep on top of housework?

11. Will it ever stop snowing?

12. What helps you remember incidents like what happened in Tuscon or what happened to MLK in your daily life?  What does remembering mean to you?

13. Would you like to see more photos and videos on the blog?

14. Would you like to see a tracker to document my weight loss hear by the numbers?

15. What is your favorite (non leftover) lunch to pack for work?

16. What is your favorite meal to make for your family?

17. Would you ever consider mentoring me in a new workout or cooking a healthy meal and being featured on my blog?

18. What helps you not hit snooze in the morning?

19.  How often do you change your bedding?

20. What is one blog that you read every day?

Happy answering.  I'll add my own answers in comments as I have a few of them but I'll give you all a chance first.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

My weekend was awesome!

A summary of why this weekend was awesome!

Friday - We had our magic loan officer meeting.  No details other than we do have the go-ahead to start our house hunt.  It is nice to know that our numbers have the potential for making a home a reality, maybe, if we find the right house.  And that is great!

Saturday morning - I got up before my boys and headed out into the cold to attend Jen's One Breathe One Step PriorFatGirl event.  I was looking forward to meeting some of the great people I've "met" online through Jen and her hunt for the next Future PriorFatGirl and to learn some tricks and tips to stay on the weight loss track.

Still, I confess I felt fat and shy when I arrived.  There were so many people who'd come so far on their journey and so many people whose journey's I admire that I sort of wanted to run away, lock myself in a closet and cry.  And then no less than 6 people came to talk to me.  They asked about how baby goat was feeling, they said they read my blog, they gave me hope and hugs.  And I felt better.  It is true, no matter where people are on their weight loss journey they don't forget where they've come and they want to help others further back in the process.  It is sort of like the NICU that way.  I hope that I will have a post about all these amazing folks soon!

And even without the community there was so much good information for me.  Practical things about food and nutrition that really help clarify what my "diet" should be - (hint - not a diet!).  Here are some of my favorites for me to remember:

* To stay hydrated you should drink half of your body weight in ounces of water a day  (I really need to step this up).

* It is ok to put a little fat on veggies if it gets you to eat them!  (this will help with Mr. Goat - I also got tricks for including veggies in recipes)

* Broccoli slaw is great on sandwiches to add extra veggies!

There are more but I forgot my notes in the car so I'll have to do a seperate post.

Saturday afternoon - After our loan officer meeting we jumped into the house hunt with a realtor at our side.  We saw 6 houses that afternoon.  Most of them were pretty easy "not for us" houses but one had some potential for us and we are keeping it in mind.  But it was fun and exciting.  Even such memorable houses as the flesh-colored drunken funhouse of despair were fun to me.  (Seriously, this icky peach colored house was built in the 80s and EVERY wall was purposefully at wonky angles.  It made you feel drunk or seasick.  Very strange).  The hunt is still on but it was educational to narrow down the reality of where and what.  I'm sure it will get frustrating if it drags on for ages but now it is fun.

Saturday night - The PACKER game!  I don't really need to say more but it was such a fun game and I'm thrilled that we are advancing to the NFC Championship game vs the Bears.  It is an NFC North showdown for the Super Bowl!  Go Pack Go!

Sunday - Today was a crazy morning but fun and everything went smoothly.  All fell into place for Sunday School.  I played with the bells which is always fun.  Mr. Goat sang with the kids choir and later cantored and we had so many compliments on his voice (as always but it is still nice to hear).  PLUS, baby goat was very good in worship, even though he'd already been at church for over 3 hrs.  (4.5 when all was said and done).  It is so nice to have such a sweet cheerful kid most of the time.  Someone said today that he belongs in a Family Circus cartoon.  And it is true - particularly since as the mom of a toddler I often feel like I'm following a dashed line to all of his projects, piles and messes!

Plus!  Mr. Goat and I both went to the gym.  Baby goat went into the childcare and had fun and we swam laps.  I didn't feel like I did that much (30 min slow laps and treading water) but I am SORE now.  It is a good sore.  I'm off with baby goat tomorrow and I will be using the childcare again so that I can get another workout in.  I might even do a water aerobics class in the am.  We'll just see how baby goat feels in the morning!  It was a LONG day for him.

So this got long but it was a lovely weekend.  Thank you to all the people who helped make it fabulous!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Infinity Plus One

Well, I've been to the gym twice in the last two days.  It is a good start for me.  I hope to go tomorrow but we'll see how long the various appts I have go.  Still, this plus Saturday for sure means 3 times this week.  That's darn good for starting up again.

I've kept the food journal these last two days as well.  I've been diligent and the results are...pretty ugly.  I'm going to need to do some serious figuring out in the food department.  I eat crap, and I eat too much, and I eat too much crap.

I also accomplished my third goal - facing the scale.  I hesitate to post the number here because the number seems so judging to me.  And it feels like admiting it will make you all judge me more than any words I write here.

But I need to face the reality of the number too.  So here goes...335.8 lbs

(ducks head in shame)


If you ever had a sibling perhaps you have had the following exchange with any number of phrases filling the blank

Liz:  "I _______ to a hundred!"

Liz's sister: "Well, I _____________ to a thousand!"

Liz: "I _______ to a million!!"

Liz's sister: "Well, I _____________ to infinity!"

Liz's: "Well, I _____________ to infinity plus one!!"
That is what my weight loss journey feels like sometimes.  That the task ahead of me is so daunting that it is infinite.  It is that thinking that makes me delay in making the changes I need to.  Because really infinity and infinity plus one are the same thing.  They are both infinite.  My stomach says that starting today is the same as starting tomorrow or the day after that because it is such an impossible, never-ending task that there is virtually no distinction between today and tomorrow.

But the reality is very different.  The journey to wellness may be undefined but it is finite!  There will be and end to it and I have to remember that just because something seems difficult doesn't mean it is a insurmountable challenge.

So you get the real honest number.  I can't stop you from judging me, but the reality is fat people are judged everyday.  We are judged by our society, but mostly we are judged by ourselves.  I judge myself at the very same time as I avoid the issue.

So instead I am facing the issue and ditching the judgement.  Or trying to.

And today, well, even if today is infinity, which its not, it is infinity minus two and that has to count for something.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hunt for health

2011 has sure swept in with a storm of baby goat illnesses.  After the hospital last week he's been home for the last two days with a GI/fever virus thing.  Not fun but thankfully it is not anything upper respiratory.  Still, I am ready so much for some health, for baby goat's sake mostly and for Mr. Goat and mine too.  I don't think I've worked a complete week of work since Thanksgiving because of all the crud.

I know it is likely temporary and baby goat will keep growing and building antibodies.  I also know that we are taking all the right steps to get and keep his asthma under control.  It is a scary thing but it is just what we are given to deal with, and we can.  I just wish I could do so with a little less frustration.

Part of the frustration has been my inability to get to the gym since we rejoined.  I'm so grateful that we were given the membership to the Y for Christmas but I want to go and take advantage of it.  I have been full of good intentions but all my spare time has been baby care or finding a way to finish my work.


Tomorrow, if baby goat wakes up able to go to daycare, TOMORROW is the restart day.  I'm on the hunt for health right now, for me, for baby goat, for Mr. Goat, for our family.    I know it is a long (long) way to go, but I need to take step 1.

I've taken step 1 before but I hope this will be my very last first step and that every other step will be 2, 3, 4, 5...

I hope to share my thoughts on this as I go on.  I feel like I'm starting from scratch but I am hopeful and if I'm being honest, a little fearful too.  This needs to happen and the time for me is now, but I"m notorious for sabatoging myself before I truly begin.

Tomorrow's goals:

* Go to gym.
* Journal food.
* Weigh self to get the starting point.

Those I think I can handle.  We'll just have to go from there.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Dear Fischer Price...

Dear Fischer Price,

Baby goat recieved your Little People garage for Christmas from Grandma and Grandpa this year.   Rest assurred he loves it!  Nevertheless I can't help but wonder what message you were intending to send with the figures that came with it.

When we first opened this I noticed the car's driver right away.  So fast that I had to take a picture before we even got it out of the box.  Do you see what I see?

I see a driver with a cell phone and some papers/book/garage door opener in their hand.  Both hands are full and while the tiny car that our driver pilots does not have an actual steering wheel I'm left wondering how he could drive with 1.  His hands full. and 2. Distracted by his cell phone and book. 

In an age where technology is rampant and kids are exposed earlier and earlier perhaps we shouldn't send the message that distracted driving is good.

On the other hand...shortly after noticing the cell phone-toting driver, I noticed the other vehicle and figure that came with it. 

Yup, the phone-toting driver is getting towed.  (Even though the tow truck driver also seems to have its hands full).  So perhaps the message is - Use your cell phone while driving and get into a crash?  That certainly seems to be a true warning but again perhaps it isn't the message for a toddler toy.

Either way, I would think that this product might be better recieved if its drivers had fewer accessories, especially the cell phone.


Mama Goat.

What do YOU think blogland?  Is the cell phone ok?  Does the presence of the tow truck change its possible message?

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Deep Breaths

We came home yesterday just after lunch with a list of meds, strict nebulizer instructions, and bags under our eyes, but we came home.  Thankfully baby goat (and his parents), Grandpa Goat knew how to neb him and could sit with him while Mr. Goat and I ran into our respective offices to do a few hours of work.  (Baby goat mostly napped the entire time anyway - poor kid).  I feel like I am drowning in work after the craziness of earlier in the week but that stress I can handle.  That is just work and as much as I care about work and my ministry - baby goat is just so much more important.

And so I am trying to be calm, not let the tiredness and stress add to the mix and take deep breaths. 

Deep breaths are the key.

I have been thinking about breathing a lot this week, its no wonder with an asthmatic child that you think about breathing.

In baby goat's worst he retracts when he breaths, that is you can see his ribs as he works too too hard to get the air he needs.  It reminds me painful of those first days when it was all too-tiny baby goat could do to take each breath, his tiny body concentrating on nothing else.  Surfactan and a few days on oxygen helped him get the hang of it and it wasn't too long before he was off the support.

When baby goat retracts the only solution is a steroid delivered quickly to his lungs.  Typically this is albuterol from the nebulizer.
Here is baby goat from last Jan using his Neb.

The nebulizer produces an albuterol mist that is inhaled and works to reduce the inflamation of the airways and open them up.  It is quite remarkable what it does, and (when baby goat doesn't fight it) it can be almost relaxing to watch the mist being breathed in and out.

It makes me think of the idea of the "breath of God," one of the desriptions of the Holy Spirit.  The nebulizer produces something tangible that baby goat breaths and it transforms him.  It takes away the pressure and work of his breath and instead allows him to breath deeply and calmly again. 

Lutherans so rarely have a working understanding of the Holy Spirit.  It is so intangible and really hard to understand.  But, if there is one thing I have gained from watching my dear son struggle for air is a greater understanding of the breath of God.

Air is essential to life and we often breath on our own just fine.  We often think we can do most things on our own just fine too - our work, our lives.  We work to save ourselves and be our own support system.  But there are times in our lives when our breathing becomes labored by our trials, our weaknesses, and our fears.  It is the Holy Spirit that comes to us and gives us the strength and calm to breath deeply again.

Much of our life we take for granted the breath we are given.  We have a hard time remembering to appreciate all the gifts we are given, even the simple gift of air.  But often life catches up to us when we least expect it and we are called to deal with trials that seem beyond our surviving. And yet most of the time we do, and even go on to thrive, but thinking back it is hard to know how it is we made it through.  Perhaps because we had heavenly help keeping us breathing and moving forward.

It is scary to watch baby goat struggle to breathe and for me the nebulizer is essential for my favorite little asthmatic.  I am equally grateful that God has given us the breath of God to help keep us breathing deeply when life gets tough.  I know it has helped me this week.

Any messy theology I blame on lack of sleep, Lutheran difficulties with the Holy Spirit, and general outside-the-box thinking.  Still it doesn't represent necessarily represent any views of my church or the ELCA, so don't go crying "Heresy" anytime soon, kay?

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Observations from a night in the hospital

My battery is dying, I don't have a charger and I'm operating on very little sleep, but I want to record some observations from the last 36 hrs.  So this is free flow and general.  The basics:  We are in the hospital with baby goat after a cold moved into his lungs too quickly and triggered his asthma.  We are negative for all the big nasties - pneumonia, RSV, flu.  So we are just hanging out making due as we wait for his lungs to catch up and his steroids to kick in.  All in all we are doing well and I'm so grateful for everyone's good thoughts.

That out of the way here are a few of the things I've discovered...

* The soap is still the same in the hospital.  We are at the hospital we delivered at, where I spent a week on bedrest and 46 days with E in the NICU.  The soap gives me the willies every time I washed my hands today.  It is just the same as it was during those panicky days.

* The panic of waking up from a nap caught at home in the middle of the day and realizing your kid is in the hospital is the same panic as back then too.

* Baby goat can charm the pants off of any nursing staff anywhere.  They just eat out of his adorable hands.

And how could they not?

* I didn't realize a parenting skill was being able to pin your toddler down as they tried *4 times* to insert an IV, all while singing Old MacDonald and having a baby rage in your arms.

* Baby goat does better on little sleep than I do but even he can only manage for so long.  He looks pretty tired here doesn't he?  A whole night of not sleeping and being sick does that to a kid.

* I can will myself not to throw up in the presence of my son getting sick, but that may be the only person for whom that is true.

* Ceilings on cribs make baby goat upset!

* I have amazing friends who check in and offer all sorts of wonderful things.

* Ditto to our families

* We have done this TOO much for baby goat's 22 months.  He has now spent at least one night in the hospital every calendar year in which he's been alive (2009, 2010, and 2011).  We need a rest.

* My battery is dead now.  Baby goat is sleeping soundly in his hospital crib jail.  I will be sleeping soon myself tripping to be back in a hospital bed.  Thank you all.  Thank you.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy New Year!

Its a New Year.  Between the final day of 2010 and now Mr. Goat and I....

* Finished up our Christmas cards.

* Cuddled with our toddler

* Cleaned two bathrooms (floors included)

* Cleaned one kitchen (floor included!)

* Slept on clean sheets.

* Cleaned the living room.

* Cooked a homecooked dinner for my parents (Mr. Goat did this one).

* Shared a kiss for the new year.

* Slept in an extra hour while Mr. Goat got up.

If this is any sign of things to come I will be lucky.  And even when it isn't I know that it has been a good few days - even if full of work.  I'm feeling really good about the possiblities of 2011 and all that it holds - gym trips, birthdays, new opportunities, maybe even a house?   Either way, in the interest of healthy self-care I wanted to take a moment an acknowledge the work we've done today.

I hope you all had a safe and happy New Year!  Baby goat hopes it will be an amazing year for you all!