Sunday, November 6, 2011

Its been a while

I have started a few blog entries that I have never finished because the events of life come and stop me mid-thought...I am not sure where I was going with any of them but I like to look back at where we were and what was going on...we have come a long way in 6 weeks...thankful, thankful...

Start of week 2 of Clay's concussion...
Having a sick child is nothing new to any mother out mom is exempt from the worries we face! I give my worries to God but I am weary. To hear your child cry out in their sleep in pain is heart breaking. You jump up, run to their side and they are asleep. Thankful that the pain did not wake them up, you ease back in bed, just to hear it again and again. The gray circles under Clay's eyes reveal a lack of restful sleep and your day starts...and there is no make up in the world to make me appear rested!

I know God is in control of this situation and I am trying DESPERATELY to trade in my worrying ways for prayer. I think I have fallen sound asleep the past 12 nights praying. I love falling asleep is peaceful...until you wake up to the moans and cries of your child and you start the cycle over again.

In my prayers I count my blessing one by one. Boy, am I blessed with an incredible husband that loves me, loves our children and is the Christian leader of our home. I count that blessing first. Then I pray for each one of our children. Everyone thinks their kids are awesome....I feel no different! Each one of them are special, different....

Start of Clay's 3rd week out of school
WOW....Happy Monday
Wake up at 4:00 am when Brantlee's alarm goes off. He has a 6:00 am flight out of Albany this morning....this is his 13th flight in 3 is getting a little old. BUT...after this week there are no trips on his calendar for a while. After getting Brantlee out the door, I lay back down but never go back to sleep.  After laying awake for close to 3 hours I hear a loud crash and about 20 seconds later a scream! My first thought was...oh what?  It was Evelyn, she fell out of her bed and knocked her eye on her bedside table. I got her to my bed screaming, settled her down, turned on the light and see a huge goose egg.

At this moment I have a choice to make. I can crawl under the covers and dread the rest of my day (which lately has been my go-to behavior)...feeling sorry for myself that I have been up for 3 hours, Brantlee is gone, yet another week, Evelyn now has a black eye and Clay is not getting any better, and it is only 6:45...or....I can get up and get moving. I make a very conscious decision to not let the past 3 hours set the stage for my week. 

I head to the kitchen turn my ipod on as loud as I can and wake up the rest of the house.  We have tried many ways to wake up the children. We have the standard alarm clock or sitting on their bedside rubbing their heads telling them nicely to get up. When that does not work I sing to them, "it's time to get up, up, up open your eyes..." They HATE that.  I love to send Clay upstairs and let him beat the heck out of Lawson's drums. That always ends very badly but is too funny to resist sometimes. This morning I go with our other option....blare my ipod in the kitchen while making breakfast..

Last week...
Well, I think it has been a month or so since I last blogged...I am now blogging because my To Do list it way to long to deal with.  This seems to be the better option.  I need to make soup for the LPE teachers and we are having Brantlee's customers over for dinner tomorrow night.  Most items on my list have to do with cooking and cleaning.  My other items are "fun" things like thank you notes, returning clothes to the mall and finishing laundry.  Blogging is definitely a better option.

We have had a very eventful month.  We have traveled to Pensacola for my cousins wedding, to Live Oak for Brantlee's 20th class reunion and to Atlanta for fall break and a concert.  I am never sure what possess us to pack up and go so much.  We love being home but sometimes I think we love the road more.  The children are great travelers.   Don't get me wrong, some trips are horrendous and Brantlee and I swear to talk each other out of doing it again.  But, inevitably, we pack up and go again and again and again. 

At Liz's wedding we had so much fun showing LLCE around UWF campus in Pensacola.  We parked in the South side dorm parking lot and showed the children where their daddy and I met.....told them how he was carrying his comforter and a box of GAIN.  I knew then, a man that could do laundry was a keeper.  We showed them which dorm he and Mr. Russell lived in and which one Sam and I were in.  We walked to the ADPi dorm and the Commons.   I felt pretty was a feeling of nostalgia...sad but happy, missing those days but so thankful for the family and life I have now.  The last thing we did was head to the book store where I bought a UWF tag and UWF Tervus tumbler.  The tag on my car makes me laugh every time I see it.   Argonauts???  What is an Argonaut and why is there a sea shell on your tag?   UWF was not the most famous college around but it was a blast!!! 

As for today, November 6, 2011, life is good.  I guess we will always have ridiculous things happen in our family, the latest being Clay's trip to the optometrist (Tuesday) after his glow stick broke and squirted the glowing liquid in his eye....things like that I am guessing we will never be exempt from...But for now we are good.  The kids all have company  and are playing soccer in the front yard, Brantlee will be home this week and Clay has been back in school for 2 weeks.  He feels good most of the time.  He would say he is 80% back to normal.   He no longer has a constant headache, which is great.  The only issues we have now are headaches after a lot of reading and concentration and after playing for a long period of time.   I am ready for him to be 100% but am so thankful at how much he has improved.    We head back to the neurologist in Macon on Thursday and to spend the weekend with Amy...along with a Reckless Kelly concert for my birthday, Friday night...should be another good week for the Lawrence's.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Half Full

What a wonderful fall break!

Thursday morning the kids slept in as Brantlee and I enjoyed a few cups of coffee on the back porch...the weather was perfect. Early morning, cool, crisp air with beautiful blue skies! Soon we heard footsteps emerging on us. Four sweet sleepy eyed kids so excited to be headed to Cumming to visit their cousins. After convincing them to let us finish our last cup of coffee it was game on...get dressed, rush around, pack, feed the cat...and we are off!

While we had lunch in Columbus, Brantlee asked me how I would feel about driving through Atlanta. (Haven't we been married for 15 years...doesn't he know I HATE driving through Atlanta?) With a little bit of attitude I responded, "if you needed to work on the way up, couldn't you have at least done it between Albany and Columbus?"   Little did I know he had a Lawrence side adventure in mind. (Why was a surprised?  This is Brantlee. Of course he did.) Then came his "great" plan. He wanted me to drop the 5 of them off at the Atlanta airport and let them ride Marta to the North Springs exit. ARE YOU CRAZY? WHAT ? WHY? And in true Brantlee fashion, he responded, Why not?   It would be a fun new experience for children... interesting, entertaining and a bit educational. Well okay! I dropped them off and white knuckled it through downtown. The kids thought it was great. They jumped back in the car and started telling me about it all at the same time. Who knew Marta could be so fun? And as always, they tell me how "cool" and "awesome" their daddy is! 

The children were thrilled to be at their cousins house and I was extremely happy to be out of the car. Amy and I had a great time catching up...enjoying the weather on her porch. She was keeping the children for us Friday night. Brantlee and I had made plans to see Chris Knight at Smith's Old Bar. We left Friday morning and enjoyed a fun, kid free, day and night.  We met up with friends for lunch and dinner. It has been a long difficult 3 weeks of Brantlee traveling and me home with was so nice to have some time to ourselves.(Thank you, Aunt Amy!!!) Saturday morning we headed back to Amy's for a day and night of football, pool (in their AWESOME newly refinished basement) and grilling out!

Sunday morning rolled around and it was time to head south...back to reality! I was cranky and the children did not want to leave...this should be a fun ride home.   As we headed south on 75 the walls seemed to close in on me...I could feel the anxiety creeping up... we go again...Brantlee is flying to North Carolina tomorrow...gone all will Clay do this school...STOP...have a chat with God, readjust my attitude...I refuse to dread a week that has not even started...I am tired, yet refreshed from a nice relaxing's going to be positive...focus on all the thankful!!!  (I stop and wonder if other people talk to themeselves as much as I talk to myself?)

Is my glass going to be half empty or half full this week...I know the last 3 weeks it has been a toss-up depending on the hour or minute you asked me...but not this week, regardless of what we have going on, where Brantlee travels, or how Clay feels...this week, the glass is half full!

I am happy to report that as of right now, Clay is at school. I am half way through the laundry and my grocery list. This week is going to a good one!   Next weekend we are headed to Pensacola for Elizabeth's wedding. What a special time for her and our family. My glass may be completely full before this week is up!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Frustration:  The only word that comes to mind...
Oh, I know things will be okay, eventually, and that there are people with terminal illnesses, fighting battles with cancer, spouses headed off to troubles don't amount to a hill of beans compared to theirs...but to me, today, they feel like mountains...

The way it has all gone down...because the days are running together
September 15- Clay takes a hard hit in his football game.  "He is fine," says all the men on the field.  We head "mommy-dar" goes off...we head to the ER where they confirm a concussion.  Should be better in a few days.

September 16- Check in with Dr. Wahbeh like ER doctor told us too.   Clay is completely dazed and confused but he should be notably better by Monday.  We have a rough weekend. 

September 19 -We send him to school.  The doc said he would be better but not to return to activities for 2 week.   He returns from school and crumbles into pieces...terrible day, terrible headache. I now look back on my blog the day before...I knew something was wrong. I did not listen to my "mommy-dar" I knew better...I knew he was not right!

September 20- Go back to the doctor. Okay, the concussion is worse than we thought.  Stay home the rest of the week.  Take Tylenol with Codeine for the pain and sleeplessness.  Check in with him next Monday before sending him back.

September 26- 12 days after the concussion...head to Dr. Wahbeh's office, he walks in the room, takes one look at Clay and sends us to Macon to see a pediatric neurologist.  My little man is BEYOND miserable and my nerves are SHOT!

September 28- WOW, they got us in quick!  Brantlee, Clay and I head to Macon.  Meet with the specialist and are comfortable with the PCS diagnosis.  PCS is not very common but he assured us he would completely recover with no lasting problems.  The average recovery time is 4-8 weeks. (Deep breath.)  Okay...what about school? Try to send him one more time and if he can't handle it, hospital home bound him.   WHAT???  WHY???  The doctor explains to us that when you have PCS loud noises, bright lights, concentration, reading...all these things trigger headaches or make existing ones worse...WELL...that is a problem because noise, light, concentrating,

September 29- He lasted 45 minutes at school.  The teacher was holding him up as she walked him to me.  That's it....we are done.  Where is the paper work for HHB?

October 1 - PRAISE THE LORD....Clay is full of energy, running around the yard, walks with me to Lake Park to play, throws the football with the neighbors...outside all day...back to his old self. Brantlee and I were so happy and relieved!

October 2 - CRASH...miserable all through church, get home and his body never left the sofa. He can't be lured by a game of kickball, an offer to go fishing...nothing.   Can you say ROLLER COASTER?  Just the day before I was ready to throw the HHB papers away, send him to school.  What has happened?  Okay, Brantlee and I decide he over did it on Saturday and will bounce back and be ready for school on Monday. 

October 3- Not a chance...I fax the HHB papers to DOCO central office.   He did manage to play outside a few hours, my hopes soared that he was again turning the corner...but then...back in bed. 

Which leads me to today...the day of complete FRUSTRATION....I know this is a 4-8 week deal...but what was up with Saturday.  He cries wanting to go to school...he is so sick of this house and feeling miserable...he is tied up in knots with energy...

So, here I am, going to look for the positives, the blessings...
Positive-I have learned how to play 2 new board games and learned that I stink at them both!
Positive-Clay and I have had some special time talking, just sitting outside...the weather is AWESOME!
Positive-it is a short school week because of Fall break...only 3 days worth of make up work
Positive-I know in my heart that as my daddy has always said, "this too shall pass!"
Positive-I have talked to God a bit more than usual these past 3 weeks...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I thought she had a black rope in her mouth...

As we rushed around grabbing a piece of pizza, changing clothes and getting ready to head out the door for opening night of Logan's play, Aristocats, Clay started screaming that there was a snake in the house.  This comment meant nothing to one ear and out the other...never gave it a second thought.  I cannot count how many times he has said that or how many fake, rubber, and very life like snakes he has.   Meme, Logan and I were about to head out the door.  I did not have time for this.  I went to kiss him goodbye and saw him on his knees in the den under the table.   REALLY....YEP....there it was...a 3 foot long, skinny, black snake coiled up under the table.

My favorite line of the day came next when my dad calmly said, "I thought I saw the kitty with a black rope in her mouth."  Nope, not a rope, a snake.  Dang cat!!!  The kids went nuts!  Everyone was screaming, standing on top of the furniture.  Brantlee tried to get it with the broom and dust pan but it streched itself out, slivered off the dust pan and under the book shelf.   WE GOTTA GO!!!  Logan has to be at LCHS at 6:00.  Clay was going nuts, the girls were standing on top of the furniture screaming and my mom and dad just stood back in shock.  Yep, this is the way we roll at the Lawrence house.  Never a dull moment! 

I knew Clay was going to knock himself out, he was so fired up and excited.  The snake was not cooperating with Brantlee so he took a step back and said, "we'll just get it when we get home."  For a second, much to their disbelief, I think my parents believed him.   I found an old curtain rod with a hook on the end and Brantlee was able to hook him around it and tossed him out the door.  Clay, Lawson and the cat followed closely behind to stalk the snake down again.  Meme, Logan and I headed out the door.

The play was awesome!  I was so impressed with Logan and how relaxed and at ease she was on stage.  I thought my heart would burst right out of my chest with pride.  At the end of the play, I cried!  Where did that come from??  She had told us that in the final song of the play she (and other alley cats) would jump off the stage and dance right in front of the audience.  Evelyn sat awe struck when Logan danced right in front of her with the lights low, music loud and the whole crowd singing.  It was an awesome performance and yes I am biased.  This was Logan's first stage performance but I know now that it will not be her last. 

We came home and had a belated birthday party for my mom.  With the children all jacked up on chocolate cake and soda, the adults headed to bed :-)  As I climbed into my bed... pushing my feet down under the covers...what gets caught between my toes...but one of Clay's cold plastic snakes.  

I smile knowing that my old Clay is back!  He is out of the drug induced fog he has lived in the past week and he is going to be okay!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Worth Celebrating...

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds~James 1:2

When my feet hit the ground this morning I prayed for a good day and believed that I would have one.  Clay slept through the night...which meant so did I...I made pancakes AND French toast...whatever they wanted...just call me a short order was were happy...Brantlee is flying home is going to be a good day! 

Clay and I head out the door to take Evelyn to school and my car sounded horrible...hummm...headed back home and it sounded even worse...hummm...I have car pool tonight...okay, no problem I will head to Geryic's.  As they check out my car Clay is rolling around on the bench in the waiting room, not loving life.  I call Laura...she picks us up and takes us home.  Geryic's will call when they have an answer.

No problem, we are not going anywhere anyway. It is what it is!

Clay gets all comfy on the sofa and the phone rings, it is Lawson...sick at school...REALLY!  I have no car, no way to get her.  So, I pick up the phone and call Laura (again)...get Clay back up and have Laura drive us out to the airport to get Brantlee's truck....head to Merry Acres...pick up Lawson...come's Geryic's...need all new brakes...$800.00...yippee! How did it all go so wrong so fast...I have not even finished my coffee and I have had a car break down, another sick kid and have spent $800.00.  Not the day I was planning on!

I get Clay and Lawson situated, heat up my cold coffee and check my computer.  Mom had sent me an email about reading June 4-11 in the book Jesus Calling.  She did not know how far south my day had already gone.  It read...

"The best way to get through a difficult day is to hold My hand and talk to Me.  Ask Me to guide you through your problems and show you the blessings hidden in them."

Today is going to be a good day.  I am going to see the blessings hidden within.  I don't ever want to sound like I am complaining.  I find so much of my life purely comical and down right hysterical at times.  I think LLCE might get a kick out of reading this one day.  I can usually laugh off one thing being out of whack at a time...and even roll with is when I get 3,4,5,6 things falling apart around me then throw Brantlee being out of town on top of it...things can get a little hairy. 

I know I am blessed beyond measure and my problems are so small in the scheme of things.
But today I am considering problems pure joy and knowing that with Him by my side they can become worth celebrating.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Now what...

Well, today is a typical Sunday.  Rush around trying not to "loose our religion" getting to church, make it to church, have a seat and be BLESSED by the music and sermon.  I love our church.  It sustains me. 

My options for today are endless.  I can get started on the MOUND of dirty, crusty dishes in the sink from last night.  Those poor dishes did not get done due to way too much football to watch.  I try not to go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink, but last night was an exception to that rule.  My other option for today is start folding the 5 baskets of clean laundry in my room that get more and more wrinkled by the minute...not to mention the 3 loads that are patiently waiting on the laundry room floor.  I could also go through my refrigerator, plan our menu for the week, check my calendar for what is coming up....Instead I find myself still sitting in the den by Clay...doing nothing...just hanging out with him like I have done since Thursday night. 

This poor child is bored out of his mind...rolling around on the sofa, tired of his DS, Ipod and television.  He can entertain himself for hours in the woods and in his tree house.   He would pick the outdoors over any type of technology any day.    More than anything, I just want him to feel better.   I know concussions are extremely common and a complete recovery is coming our why I am not wanting him to go to school, or leave my side?  I even hesitated leaving him in Sunday school this morning.   I have never been one to act on my over-protective-mom-neurosis...but today I am struggling.

I am usually sure when he is on a field trip that his bus will get in an accident, but I send him!
I am usually sure that when he is spending the night off that the house will burn down, but I send him!
Every morning that he leaves our driveway on his bike, headed to school, I think he is going get hit by a car.  But I let him get on his bike and go.

Some of my mom friends say they feel the same exact way, others say I need medication.  

With all these situations and my crazy over protective mind games, I pray...I pray all the time, little prayers, big prayers.  Not just for my children but for myself and my over abundance of fear.   I pray for balance.  Not long ago our pastor said something that I have not forgotten.  She said that fear can be a lack of faith.  I believe that whole heartedly

Clay is a very accident prone kid. We have had many visits to the orthopedist as well as the ER.  This last visit to the ER was the second trip to Palmyra that I truly feared the outcome.  To see him confused and in such pain was about too much.  Oh, I know there are people out there with much bigger health problems than ours and what we are going through is nothing compared to the mountains others have to climb.  But this is my thoughts.

But folks, it just does something to you when you see your child in a serious health crisis.  It shakes me to the core.  It makes me irrational and crazy.  Lawson came close to being hit by a car when she was 3 years old and it took me FOREVER to feel normal again.  

So between my irrational thoughts and my accident prone children...times like these are hard. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Oh boy...Clay does it again

Yesterday I was thinking about my blog...and now that I started one...what next...what do I write about...well, here is another entry into the Lawrence children's virtual baby book.

Yesterday was the first football game of the season.  Logan had play practice from 6-8, Lawson had soccer practice from 5:30-6:30 and Clay had a game from 6-7.  I hated the idea of missing his game but Brantlee and I decided to divide and concur.  I was excited when Brantlee text me at soccer practice to let me know that Clay's game started 30 minutes late.  GREAT!  We will make the second half. 

I found Brantlee tailgating with the Plowden's.   We all hung out on the outside of the fence and watched the game.  I decided to move so I could see better...when I looked up, there was a player down...after half a minute I looked at Brantlee and asked if it was Clay. I knew the answer by the look on his face.  I have learned to hold back the urge to act like a hysterical mom and run on the field.  Instead I try to hold back, let the coaches do their jobs I waited....and waited...I saw the coaches make the teams take a knee....then make the players remove their helmets...that was it...I ran around half the field to get to the gate.  Somehow when I got there, Brantlee was already by Clay.  How did he beat me to Clay?   The adults on the field kept telling me, he can move everything, he never lost consciousness. Okay...I know that is all good but....he was bawling, his head was killing him.  When he came off the field Brantlee and I sat with him for the last few minutes of the game.   That's when Brantlee told me he jumped the (7 foot) fence when he heard someone mention calling an ambulance. 

On the way home Clay got very upset saying his head was killing him, he was dizzy, he thought he was going to throw up, his legs were tingling.....I just prayed, "Oh Lord, let him be okay!"  Brantlee and I pulled over on the side of the road and I put Lawson and Evelyn in his truck.  We headed to the ER.

The doctor was not "happy" with the quick neuro test (squeeze my hands, stand up, put your hands out...close your eyes....)  and ordered a CT.   Four hours later we were sent home with a diagnosis of a concussion, to be woken up every 2 hours and to see our pediatrician first thing in the morning for a follow up neuro test. 

We did all that.  He is going to be okay, just dazed, confuse, very sleepy and a little slow.  He should be notably better by Monday or to come back to see the doctor.  Now for the nothing...NOTHING...for 2 weeks.  Do you know Clay?  Have you ever seen him sit still for very long?  He could give himself a concussion watching GATOR football.  No riding his bike to school, no getting in his tree house, no swinging, no scooter, no skateboard (Dah!) no basketball,no back yard soccer, no running...nothing...nothing. 

I now know what my mother-in-law means when she said, "they (children) will keep you on your knees!"

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I write too much on facebook...but I have a lot to say!

I love reading friends blogs but never thought about starting one for myself...I think it will be like the baby book that my children will never have.  Of course, the first child (children) have one that goes all the way until the day Clay was born.  He also has one with three whole pages of the pictures from the day he was born.  I tried scrapbooking but was not very successful at that.  If you know me at know I love to start a project...but completing it has always been a problem. 

My husband, Brantlee, and my four children are my life.  The children do and say so many crazy, amazing, ridiculous things that I want to document and remember...I think that is the reason I got on FB to begin with.  But the stories I have to tell want fit in the  FB status bar. I love to look back and see what we were doing in the past.  I looked into a way to print out my FB but could not figure that out.  So, here I am on Blogger! 

I have been married to my college sweetheart for 15 year.  We had twin daughters, Lawson and Logan July 1, 2000.  Clay came along VERY soon after.  He was born April 26, 2002.  We knew we wanted a large family (even though our families did not believe us.) But, we waited 4 years to have Evelyn.  She was born November 28, 2006. 

I taught Special Education for 5 years, until I got pregnant with the girl.  I am now a stay at home mom.  Brantlee is an agricultural chemical sales representative for MANA Inc.  He covers several states and travels all the time.   The traveling life is all we have ever really known.  When we were first married, he was home a week, gone a week.  It works for us!  You know the old saying, "absence makes the heart grow fonder!"  Well, it is TRUE!

So, that is me!  I am living my dream.  All I ever wanted to do was be a stay at home mom, just like mine! I do, however, spend a lot of time in "mommy timeouts" and I am usually convinced that I am screwing my kids up but I am doing the best I can.  I'm doing the best I can was my second choice for my blog.   I think blogging will be a fun thing for me to do when Brantlee is out of town and it will give my children a good laugh one day!   So here it goes...