Happy Birthday, Baby.

This is finally “it”. After nearly two weeks of prodromial labor, a few false alarms, and a great deal of stress on the part of our entire family, Jessica is FINALLY in the hospital to deliver her baby. We’re still under the assumption that she’ll be a baby girl, but surprises have happened before and will happen again, I’m sure.

I’m excited, but feel very disconnected from everything since I’m nearly 700 miles away. This means I have to start packing, though, since I’ll be heading home to Kentucky for at least 2 or 3 weeks very soon. My baby brother will very soon be someone’s father. That’s just a little unsettling.

For Kaytlynn-

I hope you are born with your father’s energy and your mother’s grace.

I hope you inherit your laugh from your Granny Sandy. Her laugh is like tiny sprinkles of cold rain in the middle of July.

I hope you are as strong as your Papaw Chet. He’s humbly carried our world on his shoulders for a lifetime. He rarely stumbles and never falls.

I hope you have faith like your Great-Grandma Jewel, and fire like your Great-Grandma Auglee.

I hope you are as slow to anger as your Great-Uncle Wendell was, and as quick to fight for what you know is right.

I hope you are as inventive and curious as your Great-Grandpa Goms. I also hope you never decide to name your children after him!

I hope you are as stubborn as your Great-Grandpa Ruben, but more willing to bend into the arms of those who love you.

I hope you can compete like an Allen and sing like a Howard. I hope you will run with my children and rest in my arms with them when the thrills of childhood have worn you down. I hope you never have nightmares but, if you do, I hope there is always someone to squeeze you if you wake up in tears. I hope that you’ll always believe you are beautiful, and always see the beauty in your family and friends. I hope you are healthy and never face the battles that our family has struggled through in the past.

You are blessed to be born in a family with hearts as big as the sky, and roots that grow deep into the mountains you will call home. Embrace your heritage and let it’s colors paint you and fill you, because struggling will only cut you off from the things you need the most when you are grown and gone. Find comfort in your big, crazy clan and wrap yourself in the warmth of cousins and kin. Don’t let them be strangers. There are already far too many strangers who will walk through your life, so make sure you have these perfect and precious hands to hold. Linking yourself to your family will help you find a way home if you ever feel lost. Listen to your parents when they talk to you about faith. Let your heart stay open to the whispers of that faith, and fill your soul with it’s peace and presence. Life without faith is hard, cold and nearly empty and it is so much harder to pick up the pieces of a broken spirit than it is to keep it whole in the first place.

I could talk to you forever and still not be able to tell you everything you need to know. Tonight, while you are still struggling to find your way into this world, I am filling the space that will some day be yours with blessings and hopes and prayers and advice that I have not even thought to offer my own children. Your life will be different than their lives. You will be unique to them, because you are a part of a heritage that they can only see in passing, and will never fully understand. You are a piece of what I would wish for them, if things were different. You are an Allen, living among Allens, in a place where you will always be at home. They can only visit that place, both physically and emotionally. That is a gift your Father and Mother are giving you that I would have loved to be able to give to your cousins, so please take full advantage of all it has to offer you as you grow up.

I hope you always know how much I love you.

~Leigh

Since I’m sitting here trying to pretend…

I am not afraid, and I don’t even WANT to sleep (despite burning eyes, shaking hands, and a massive headache). I promise I’ll write a fluffy, light post about the nice things that have been going on in my life soon. Because, honestly, there have been some really great things happening when the sun’s up. The days are so sweet, lately, which only makes these hellish nights harder to handle.

The night-terrors are getting so much worse recently. The terror is lasting longer after I wake up, and I’m not able to shake off the cold as quickly. What kind of messed up mental issues do I have that would make me dream of sacrificing one of my children to save the others? I have a variation of that particular freak-out at least every other night now. Sometimes I’ll have variations on that same scene twice in one night if I actually lay down to try to sleep. What kind of torture am I living in that makes me watch my children die every time I fall asleep?

So, technically, I don’t have insomnia. I’m sleepy. Oh, I am so sleepy. I fight to keep my eyes open because I’m haunted. I’m afraid of sleep. There’s no pill for this, either. Sleeping pills will help with the deprivation, but I end up waking up even worse because I haven’t been able to escape the dreaming.

On a much better note, sleeping close to Dave definitely helps. The kids slept with Dave’s parents this weekend and I could get 2-3 hour stretches between the nightmares. Dave’s like a safe, light place that I can bury myself in till morning.

~L

Gluttony, I know thee.

Overindulgence was the word of the day. I slept in till 9am. I ate at least 3 days worth of points at lunch. I had a fluffy, girly drink with that high-point lunch. I took a 3 hour nap to sleep off the fluffy, girly, butt-kicking drink. I watched 3 hours of television. I read a yummy book. I’m surfing blogs from my recliner while the house is super quiet.

After 19 months, Aunt Flo has turned up on the doorstep again. Darn the bad timing, I was so sure I would get to have some “quiet time” with Dave today while the kids were out with the inlaws.

I guess life just goes on and on and on till it stops, huh?

Amber made me do it! Continue reading

I have trouble posting when I’m sad.

It annoys me that I can’t seem to post when things are horrible around here. I used to find journaling cathartic. Now I can feel so many things bottling up inside of me and I have trouble giving myself “permission” to write them down.

My family (extended, not Dave and the kids) is driving me insane. We’ve lost a dear member to death, my parents are so ill, and my grandmother has been mostly lost to us as well, since the grief seems to have broken her link with reality.

So, since I can’t seem to write honestly about what I’m feeling at the moment, I’ll blather about incidentals.

I’m drowning myself in Josh Groban music at the moment. He has such an amazing voice. And, if nothing more, it’s good for my Italian. My favorite song at the moment is Gira con Me….Wander with me.

HOLY SHITE! My inlaws just walked through the door unannounced. Oh boy, the fun begins.

~L

I’m still here…

Still plugging away, still losing weight. I got a bit obsessive with the journalling and jumping on the scales, though, so I decided I’d take that easy for a while.

Started the “bones” of some new work last night. I’m about to dive into children’s lit for the first time. I find the idea both frightening and exciting. There’s never been a time in my life when I wanted to do children’s books, don’t even really love the thought now, but I had an idea that refuses to let me go. Whatever the muse may be, it’s hanging on tight and dragging me forward.

~L

Sunny, Sunny Saturday

Woo, I’m feeling better. I still have a long way to go before I’m “well” again, but at least I’m functioning. I’ve cleaned all 3 bathrooms today, and am trying to get photos from our Disney trip printed and placed in albums.

EVERY family should have an Epson Picturemate printer. I love, love, love this printer. It makes me want to start scrapbooking, really.

Grocery shopping must be done today.

Morning Weight: 258

Brunch:9 points

Buffalo Chicken salad on spring greens-8 points

Airhead-1 point

I’m still here…

I have a raging UTI and a semi-raging upper respiratory infection. I’m on drugs and they’re making me nauseous. I’m having trouble making even close to the minimum amount of points I need to eat per day.

UTI makes me retain water, too. I’m up a pound.

I haven’t journaled today because I’m too tired.

~L

There’s a blizzard comin, folks.

It’s soon to be March, and we’re expecting 12-17 inches of snow. Gawd, I just love living in the tundra. Love it so much, in fact, that I’ve rebelled and ordered pizza delivery just to torture a delivery driver. Mmmmm, pizza. I love Weight Watchers.

Boooo to the fact that the kids can’t go to gymnastics tonight because of the weather so I have to lose my 2 hours of nearly free (still have Anna, but it’s during her evening nap) time.

Morning Weight: 259

Total Points Allowed: 30

Total Points Used:

Breakfast: holding out for pizza! Yeah, I know it’s bad, but I dreamed about it last night and I am going to do it. I won’t make a habit of skipping breakfast or eating fast food pizza, but I am truly going to enjoy it today.

Lunch:

Sunday, Bloody Sunday

I didn’t use enough points yesterday. I got distracted by all the chaos and, in an effort to NOT overeat, ended up eating under my points. Everything I read says this is bad so I’ll try not to do it again, but I can’t help being proud of myself for not giving in to the temptation of ice cream and potato chips and pizza.

Em has Chinese school today. I’ve got tons of cleaning. I also intend to do my 1 mile DVD again. I want to do at least 5 days a week, if I get any chance at all.

Morning Weight: 259

Total Points Allowed: 30

Total Points Used:

Breakfast: 6 points

cereal (1.5 cups honey clusters and wheat flakes with almonds)- 5 points

1/2 cup of 1% milk- 1 point

Snow Daze

I think it’s been snowing almost daily since we came back from Florida. It’s pretty, but it’s COLD. I’m so ready for Spring.

Morning Weight: 260.5

Total Points Allowed: 30

Total Points Used:

Breakfast: 3 points

3 slices bacon: 1.5 points

2 slices toast: 1 point

12 ounces water

Lunch: