Saturday, October 23, 2010

At Whit's End is at the end...

To the masses, the hoards, the insane amount of readership this humble little blog has received since it was started 5 long years ago... (yes, you, Lisa and Jonny...)

It is time to say farewell for now. I know, I know, you are crushed...despairing...contemplating what there is left to live for, and yet, there is hope yet. I do not feel my relationship with blogging is finished forever, but, in light of the fact that it has been so long since I even blogged at all, it is time to say so-long to this blog for good.

I'll post again when I have begun a new blog, which I'm sure I will do in time. And it will be so much more awesome than you can even dare to imagine. But for now, I feel Whit's End is at it's end. Go on, now, have a good cry and hug it out.

Whitney

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I want this bike in a bad way...

Yeah, I know...I haven't blogged in a long while. Mainly because my laptop died and life is crazy. But, here's the deal, I have wanted one of these Madsen bikes for a REALLY long time, and linking to their page enters me into a contest to win one, so...




Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes 
Shameless, isn't it? ;)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bedtime Conversations


Tonight as I was putting the boys to bed, we started talking about Jesus. Kaden asked how come we can't see Him. I said we will someday. Kaden said we went to the "Jesus Loves You Party" (my mom's church's Halloween alternative party we go to every year), but he didn't even see Jesus there. I told Him one day soon, we'll see Jesus in the clouds and go live with Him forever. 

We talked about how God adopted us into His family just like Mama and Daddy adopted them into ours. And how awesome is it to be a part of God's family!

And then Allen tooted, and the conversation was over.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I'm Sorry.

So...I've been a little mopey lately. I'm sorry. I just read several of my posts, and...I even depressed myself a little. I'm hoping I don't have that effect on you too. It's time to cheer up. So, things aren't exactly perfect right now. So, I'm still not pregnant, still waiting on this house, still struggling financially...so what? Paul said he had learned in whatever state he was in, therein to be content. And he didn't even live in the sunshine state like I do. I should be content.


...How could I not be with these two little faces to look at every morning? I mean, pu-lease! God will accomplish in my life that which He desires. And all will be well. I just need to trust and obey.

I hope you're having a great week. Here's what I'll be making this week for Kaden's BBQ-themed 4th Birthday party (at his request):



Hamburger Cupcakes! Oh, fret not...there will be pictures to come!! :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

No Rest for the Weary...

After my last post, I had hoped to be able to blog about restful sleep and leisure time. Apparently there is no rest for the weary. Last night was one of the longest of my LIFE. So, here's the breakdown:

2:00am: Kaden comes into my bed, coughing ferosciously, and gasping for air between crying and coughing. I cannot get him to calm down. I blow in his face to get him to stop for a second so I can talk to him. I'm only slightly panicked.

2:02am: I quickly grab his asthma meds, and start his breathing treatment. I take his temp: 102.3. I look for Children's Tylenol, but less than a teaspoonful left in the bottle. I scoop it out as best I can and give it to him.

2:15am: Take off his breathing mask, we both drift back to sleep.

3:15am: Barking cough, shallow breathing.

3:30am: Breathing turns to weezing and speeds up. I run to the fridge where I keep an asthma pamphlet. It reads: "SEEK EMERGENCY HELP IF: 1. Lips turn blue 2. Skin between ribs is sucked in 3. Breathing speeds up or slows down."

 3:40am: Panic. Wishing my husband were home.

4:00am: Call doctor's office, hoping they have after-hours help. I leave a message with an answering service.

4:15am: Nurse calls me. Takes my information. I break down and start crying like a lunatic. She listens to Kaden's breathing and coughing over the phone while he sleeps. Has me turn on the lights and look at his lips and ribs again. I am more panicked as I tell her it's hard to tell if his ribs are sucked in because he's so skinny and they stick out normally. She says it sounds like the croupe. Advises me to double up on Albuterol and run a hot shower and stay in the steamy bathroom with him for 20 mins, then Albuterol again.

4:30am: Kaden wakes up and says "What are you doing?!"

4:31am: Albuterol. Kaden starts crying. I prop him up with pillows and start the shower.

5:00am: I get Kaden's pillow, a cup of water, my cell phone and Kaden, and head to the steamy bathroom. Kaden says it's too dark, so I turn on the lights.

5:05-5:15am: I sit on the toilet holding Kaden, who is shivering from his fever.

5:15am: He gives me "the look" and I ask him if he's going to throw up. "Yes."

5:15-5:20am: Throwing up mucus and dry heaving. His tiny little 3 year old body is convulsing as he dry heaves. He doesn't even cry.

5:20-5:30am: It becomes increasingly difficult to hold him as we are both soaked from sweat, and he keep slipping. He jerks violently in his sleep after he drifts back.

5:30-5:40am: Last round of Albuterol. I say "I'm so sorry, baby." He says, "It's okay, mama." I cry a little.

5:45am: I take his temp: 103.

5:45am: Nurse calls back, listens to him breathe--says he sounds good. I tell her about his temp, she says give him more meds at 6am. I scrounge through the house and find a couple of chewables. She says make a doctor's appointment later that morning. I thank her for her help.

6:00am: Kaden chugs some water, takes the Tylenol, falls back to sleep, breathing close to normal.

6:15am: I call my hubby. He's at the airport. I tell him my woes. He says he thinks he's going to miss his flight. I'm too tired to care.

6:30am: Finally back to bed.

6:45am: Allen comes to my bed. Fidgets. Keeps kicking me. I use some pleasant words and tell him to go to sleep!

7am: Zack texts me that he made his flight after all. Woo-hoo! Now leave me alone so I can sleep!

8am: Call and make doctor's appointment.

9-10:30am: Get boys up and ready, breathing treatment and steamy shower again. Get myself ready, rush to doctor's office.

10:50am: Doctor says Kaden has the croupe...do Albuterol and steamy showers to help with asthma and cough. Shocker.

11:50am: Pick up Zack at the airport.

Rest of the day: Lunch, naptime, family time, and now it's time for some... REST FOR THIS WEARY MOM! :)

Goodnight to all!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

...to say the least.

Today was crazy to say the least. Well, it actually started last night. Mr. Stoutimore is in Missouri running a marathon and visiting his Dad. My sister Meghan spent the night last night so she could come see the boys' last soccer games this morning.

She was sick to say the least. She was hacking-up-a-lung kind of sick. And so we all had a rough night of sleep. And because my bed is extra firm because of my back issues, she was less than comfortable and opted for the couch half-way through the night.

Life without my husband is hard to say the least. Single parenting is not for me, especially because my husband is THE MAN, and pretty much does every and anything that needs doing. Even so, I'm still pretty proud of the way I handled myself without him. Last night I: cooked dinner, washed and folded 4 loads of laundry, did dishes, changed sheets, bathed kids, brushed teeth, dressed kids, wrote thank-you notes to coaches, gave breathing treatments, packed bathing suits and towels and shin guards and soccer uniforms and shoes and clothes for afterward and water and snacks and sunscreen and video camera and lawn chairs and socks and underwear and a million other things boys have to have for Saturdays at the YMCA.

This morning came early to say the least. Got up, made breakfast, got the boys fed and ready, got myself ready, loaded up the van, gave breathing treatments, brushed teeth, and even made it to the soccer game at a reasonable time. Kaden's game was great. Then to the locker room to change, then to the pool to swim, snacks, back to the locker room to change, then back to the soccer field for Allen's game. Trophies, snacks, meltdowns, video, cupcakes, major sweating, load up the van again, back home to grab a few more things, then to my mom's house to eat lunch and go swimming some more.

Kaden throws up easily to say the least. And today was not a good day for it. And when I say he blew chunks in my mom's pool 3 times before I could get him out of the water, and a 4th time leaning over the edge of the pool, I mean he blew CHUNKS. And so I skimmed the pool for several hours. But we all just kept swimming nonetheless, which is both gross and funny. Hung out with the fam, ate dinner, bathed the boys, got them ready for bed, packed up my stuff, loaded it in the van, put the kids in the car, drove in the rain to our house while the boys slept, unloaded the van and the sleeping boys in the wet dark...BY MYSELF. Then, showered, facebooked, checked email and blogs, blogged, texted my hubby, and now, I can honestly say...

I am exhausted, to say the very least!! Good night all! :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Just another day...

Today I found a snake in my laundry room/garage. A big one. I called Mr. Stoutimore at work to yell at him for not being home to catch it. I've been battling cockroaches and lizards all week, but snakes are where I draw the line. When he got home, he and the boys ravaged the garage, but to no avail. I have declared a state of emergency and a full-on laundry strike until the serpent is found and disposed of. Seriously.

In other news, I bought a new bird feeder. The squirrels literally DESTROYED the last one I bought. This time I bought "The Squirrel Stumper." We watched out the windows for hours as the squirrels ate the bird seed. They were not at all stumped. We banged on the windows, and eventually ran outside and sprayed them with the hose. This is when we met the snake for the first time...and it scared us pretty bad. I'm thinking one of the boys left the door open, and that's how the snake got inside the garage, but I can't be certain. But I can be certain that I almost peed myself the second time I almost stepped on it.

Today I finally decided that Bank of America is either the anti-Christ, or will in some large way usher in the coming of the anti-Christ. I'm not certain yet which. Yesterday I deposited some money into our overdrawn business account. They accidentally gave me back $10 extra. I was annoyed because I was in the drive-thru, in a hurry, and knew I was going to have to go inside to explain their error, and, knowing them, get blamed for their mistake. I considered keeping it for just a second, but didn't. Instead, I hauled my kids inside, waited in line while the boys acted like I'd given them crack, and told the lady that they had given me back an extra $10 in my transaction through the drive-thru. She spoke to the teller who had done the transaction, and came back to tell me I was wrong. I REALLY considered keeping the $10 at that point, but once again explained their mistake. The lady walks back to my teller, and I hear her explain the mistake to the teller. The teller loudly asks her to tell me how it was somehow my mistake. She comes back and made up some weird excuse that made no sense. I said, "Look, I'll keep the $10 if you want, I could really use the extra money." She said people don't usually write the amount of cash they want back...uh, you mean where the deposit slip says "less cash received"?? I'm pretty sure that's exactly where you're supposed to write the amount of cash you want back from the transaction... Finally, the teller came over, and I said, "Why does that even have anything to do with you giving me back $50 instead of $40?" She finally admitted it was her mistake, but...And I just said, "Yes, it was just a mistake, that's all you had to say." And took 2 lollipops for my boys who'd had to stand in line and wait while the morons at Bank of America tried to make me feel stupid for their mistake, and walked out. Next time, I'm keeping that $10. I've paid more interest and fees to that company for a lifetime supply of lollipops and a whole lot of $10 mistakes.  

Aaaand yet another disappointing Office episode tonight. It's kind-of sad to watch it slowly collapse on itself. Almost everything about it I onced loved is gone now. And that's just really sad to me. I was such a loyal supporter for so long. It's like I'm mad at it now, though. It's just become stupid, and I find myself rooting for it to fail. I loved it so much, and now it's such a huge disappointment to me that I'm kinda bitter about it.

Tomorrow morning, I'll meet a friend I haven't seen in over 5 years. The last time I saw her, I sang in her wedding and was a bridesmaid. We were best friends growing up. We went to elementary and middle school and junior college together, both on sports scholarships, took the same classes, rode to school together, hung out together, did homework together. It's funny how people drift apart, and then somehow find each other again. Both our sons will start kindergarten together next year at the same school. The same school we went to together all those years ago. I'm hopeful this will lead to a new old friendship.

I've been going through a rough patch lately. This week was a really hard one. And then, out of the blue, some good things happened too. Like, we got a couple of jobs for the business after a really long dry spell. We are now getting paid a little to do some work we've been volunteering to do for a while, which is really nice. And today my husband persuaded BofA (aka: the anti-Christ) to give us back some money they stole from us, and that usually never happens. Oh, and Mr. Stoutimore got his school schedule for next year, and it looks like he's going to be able to teach some honors classes (aka: not the kids whose excuse for not doing their math homework is that they had to meet with their parol officer). He's excited, and I'm happy for him. You gotta find the good things, and hold onto them. Sometimes they're few and far between, but all is not lost.

Well, I should go to bed. I have a long day tomorrow. Thanks for reading this very random post. :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I Married my Hero.

I think about it often. I don't say it enough. I married my hero.

Not only is he hot and sexy, not only is he the kind of man who ALWAYS does the dishes, and WANTS to give the kids a bath and read them stories and say prayers with them and scratch backs and sing them to sleep...

Not only does he work 4 jobs and go to school, and take the boys to soccer practice, and put gas in my car, and open doors for me, and cook amazing spaghetti and meatballs. Not only does he have the most integrity of anyone I've ever met. Not only does he pretty much always let me have my way...

Not only is he the most disciplined person I've ever met. Not only does he run marathons, and write sermons, and play every instrument, and call people he hasn't seen in forever because THEY need a friend, and sit on the edge of the bed every morning and pray while I snooze...

Not only does he eat peanut butter on his buttered toast, and put tobasco sauce on everything I cook. Not only is he an amazing teacher and coach. Not only is he the most creative, imaginative person in the world. Not only would he much rather DO something than GET something. Not only does he call me to tell me he loves me and misses me EVERY SINGLE DAY of our lives. Not only couldn't he care less about what he wears or what his hair looks like or vain things like that...

Not only does he love people, and have the silliest sense of humor ever, and have the scruffiest facial hair, and want to try out for The Amazing Race, and still make my heart beat fast when I see him. Not only is he adventurous and sensitive and selfless and handsome and funny and hard-working and kind...

Not only THAT, but...he's crazy about me.

He treats me like a queen. He loves me at my worst, and always sees the best in me. He thinks I can do anything, and tells me so. He makes me strive to be better. He encourages me and makes me believe in myself. He pampers me. He adores me. And I think that's my favorite part about him. ;)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Burger King...of Kings?

Whew! Zack finally got paid! Time to stop selling our stuff on Craig's List so we can afford groceries. And even though I'm grateful to be able to do it, grocery shopping is one of my all-time LEAST favorite things to do with my kids. Seriously. ALWAYS ends in catastrophies of Biblical proportions. Today, feeling incredibly wealthy with my $11 in spending money, and stoked about the fact that we wouldn't have to borrow money for gas again this week, and due to the fact that I was procrastinating going to the grocery store with my kids, and also because you never, NEVER want to take my kids to the grocery store when they're even remotely hungry...I decided to take them to...BURGER KING.

Now, we aren't really much of a fast food family. Well, at least I'm not much for fast food. My husband and kids love it. But when we do go, it's usually to Chic-fil-a. It's clean there, they play good music, I like their food, I like the company's values, they have a fairly clean indoor playground, my kids like it there...it just seems like the upper-class of fast food. And if the food I'm consuming is going to be made fast, I'd like to think it's also fairly clean (a girl can dream).

Today, however, we were nowhere near Chic-fil-a, and I was pretty sure I couldn't feed all 3 of us for $11 there anyway. The boys voted for McDonald's, but I always imagine homeless people sleeping and relieving themselves in the outdoor playground. I can't be certain, but that's how I'd swing it were I a homeless person...and we've come close a few times, so I've had time to think it through. But I digress...

Incase you were considering a career in psychology, might I suggest heading to the Burger King on US 19 in Holiday. It's a mecca for the crazies. We ran into several very intoxicated very large men who wanted to get friendly with us in the food line; an ex-marine who followed us outside to talk to us about his days in Nam (I think my boys' new buzz cuts triggered some memories); a disgruntled employee who decided to take her smoke break with us while we were outside eating, until I finally asked her if she wouldn't mind smoking elsewhere; and finally there was Roger.

Roger rode up the sidewalk on his bike which was loaded down with a duffel bag, basket, papertowels, spray bottles, and a MASSIVE sound system which was blasting something equivalent to Kenny Rogers. I turned to look when I heard the music, and he was already waving at me. I looked away quickly, realizing he was homeless and, judging by the Burger King patrons I'd met thus far, CRAZY. He parked his bike over by our smoker friend, and I told the boys to stop staring at him. It was hard though, considering the loud music and big hat he wore with a large dollar sign and the word "money" written all over it. As he headed inside, I heard him mumble "I'm gonna get them something." I didn't turn to look, assuming he was talking to himself.

"Young lady!" I looked up. "I'm going to buy them something, okay?!" I glanced at Allen (my 5-year-old, who was giving him 2 thumbs up), then back to the man, whom I then noticed to be a middle-aged, clean and semi-attractive man (though the strength of his cologne made my cheesburger taste musky).

"Oh...no, thank you...they're fine."

"I just want to get them some ice cream."

"Um, thank you...but, they're okay. Thank you, though!"

"Okay," he said annoyed, "I guess if you really don't want me to..."

I tried to hurry the boys along as they ate, knowing the crazy homeless man was sure to want to dine with us. He came out with his ice cream a few minutes later and sat beside me. He told me he liked kids, and said he could still go back inside and get them ice cream if I'd let him. I thanked him but refused. I'm sure he'd panhandled all day to earn the money for such a treat. Then he told me all about how wealthy he was, how he had $1.2 million, but didn't like to flaunt it--hence, the bike filled with finds from thrift shops. He told me about his neice. Told me about the company where he made his millions. I tried to be nice, but I wasn't especially friendly...he made me feel pretty uncomfortable. As we left, I thanked him for his offer. He'd gotten a cell phone call by then (I assume his broker), and couldn't really say goodbye. It was just as well--I was ready to get away from this place in a hurry.

We left and went grocery shopping, which wasn't as bad as usual. When Zack got home, I told him the story about Burger King and Roger, the man we ate lunch with. When I told him the part about him saying he was a millionaire, Zack said maybe he was an angel! Maybe he was sent there to give us some money, and I should have asked!

Hmm. I don't think that man was sent there to give me money, but...maybe...just maybe...he really was an angel. I hadn't even considered that. Come to think of it...maybe the smoker was an angel. Or maybe it was the Vietnam vet, or the large guys with the dread locks who looked high as a kite. Any one of those people could have been angels really. And how did I treat them? Like crazies.

Hmmm...what if that Burger King on 19 in Holiday is, like, this place from an alternate universe...a testing facility to see how we'll treat people when they look or sound or smell a little different than us. Maybe Roger really is a millionaire. Or maybe...just maybe...Roger was Jesus, trying to see if I'd let him buy my kids an ice cream, or even just not act annoyed by having to hold a conversation with someone I looked down on.

Or maybe it was just a low-end fast food restaurant full of crazies.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

How He Loves.

This story and this song move me in so many ways. I can't help but cry (surprise) when I hear it. I'm so glad God wasn't afraid to get His hands dirty when He sent His beloved Son to earth so He could hang naked on a cross and take all that is grotesque and embarrassing and shameful and dirty in humanity onto himself...better yet, He BECAME those things for us. I love a good love story. Ours is the most beautiful one of all time.