Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A good weekend?

In the last few months, I have attempted to write about our adventures with two little people.  At times, like most people, we hit ruts or bumps in the road.  My family has always called them the "ho-hums."  It was not until recently that I realized that this was a unique term to our family.  My sister and I often laugh about this expression.  Anyway, our little Schatz clan has definitely had a case of the ho-hums recently.  I think this weekend was a turning point though, as we hit our lowest point.  And here is an account of how our weekend went:

On Saturday, I decided I would finally (it's been there about two months) pick up my running stroller that had been at the store being repaired. Trying to be independent, I told Steve I could manage this myself.  In hindsight I don't know how I planned to accomplish this.  This small task involved me parking, walking to the store, picking up the stroller, and making it back to my car parked on a busy street.  Oh, and to make it worse, on Saturday there was extremely high winds! When we arrived at the store, Stephen was in a mood and refused to walk in the store.  People were laughing and making comments about his refusal saying things like "no, not the running store!"  Anyway, we make it in, get the stroller, and arrive back at the car.  In the meantime, Stephen decided he was scared of the car and began to freak out.  I managed to get Georgie and then finally Stephen in the car seat with relatively few tears (although the wind  knocked over the stroller and I had to go chase after it).  I packed up the stroller, wrestling the wind, and finally pulled away thankful that the whole experience was behind me.  Little did I know that I left my wallet on top of the car.  This, I will admit, is the second time in a year I have done this--the first being my cell phone.  After I finally arrived home after retracing my drive hoping to find my wallet, we spent the entire night cancelling cards and closing accounts.

I am sad to say that the stupidity of our weekend only continues.  On Sunday morning we got a call early in the morning from a very kind good Samaritan telling us they found my wallet and we planned to meet at one.  That gave us just enough time to make it to church and to Home Depot to pick up my wallet.  We rushed out of the house, deciding we would get gas on our way home after church.  Bad idea!  After leaving church we sank to a new low and RAN OUT OF GAS at a busy intersection in Arlington.  I am not joking, this actually happened, and yes, we did have two little boys in the car.  Steve rushes me and the boys into a 711 to wait while he goes to get gas.  However, when he made it to the gas station, the only credit card he had that had not been cancelled due to my lost wallet, had expired!  We of course had no cash and Steve had to beg the cashier to let him take gas without paying.  Steve rushed back and we loaded up the car to return to the gas station only lose his debit card in the process.  This created major freaking out on all of our parts because that was our only access to ANY money for seven to ten days while we wait for our other cards to arrive.  Luckily, we found it about a half hour later hidden under the driver's side seat.  We had just enough time to make it home to pick up snacks for Stephen and meet the very kind people who had my wallet.

So in two days we lost a wallet and ran out of gas on the side of the road.  It definitely had its moments, but I am happy to say that we made it through the weekend alive.  While there were moments that I prefer not to relive, especially when we could not find the debit card, I am happy to say that hitting our lowest point helped us realize that we need to get our acts together!  We have much to be thankful for and instead of looking at the glass as half empty, we have to be grateful for all we have.  We have spent the last month feeling like we had the worst luck, but really, we had much more control over our situation and only we can change our attitude and luck.  For instance, Steve kept saying we had the worst luck, but truly all of the events of the weekend were our own fault.  The wallet, while an accident, was my fault.  Running out of gas, well, that was plain stupid.

And finally there are some truly wonderful people in this world.  The family who returned my wallet is a perfect example of this.  The lady, an immigrant to this country, found my wallet on the side of the road.  She had her friend who spoke better English than she did help her look through the wallet to find my phone number.  Despite having difficulty communicating (my Spanish speaking sister was of great assistance) they called me and made plans to return the wallet.  All of the contents of the wallet remained, including the small amount of cash inside.  They are a true example that others genuinely do want to help one another! 

I hope everyone had a good three day weekend that perhaps was not as bumpy as ours!  How did you spend yours?  I hope not stuck on the side of the road out of gas :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

New adventures in composting.

Along with cloth diapers, the Schatz family has started composting.  We have anxiously been awaiting the arrival of our composter.  We first got the idea for a composter last year when we had a small vegtable garden.  Steve did a lot of research (is anyone surprised?) and finally selected the Ecomposter.  Steve put it together with a little help from his mini-me.  The composter was surprisingly hard to put together and took roughly four hours.  I am lucky to have a very handy and patient husband.  We made it a family event and went outside to get it all set up and add our first bits of composting material.

Getting ready.


Hey, what is this thing?

And adventures in composting have begun.

Little Georgie eats!

Since all of our craziness, I have not been so good about blogging.  Life is calming down now and will shortly return to normal (I am about to be able to shower, wash my own hair, oh the joys!) I can finally catch up on my blogging.

In the midst of everything the last few weeks, George has had some really exciting developments!  At his four month check up at the end of January, George weighed in at nearly 15 pounds and 27 inches long.  The doctor was a little concerned about his weight gain, which has slowed, and said that we should start food. 

A few days later we started some oatmeal, and Georgie, well, he was not so sure about that stuff!

Grandma helping get ready for his first solid meal.

Georgie is not so sure.

Me trying to reassure him.
And finally Georgie has started to roll.  A lot of big things for such a little guy in just one week.  Way to go, George!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Great blog!

A good friend of mine from high school started a blog about a year ago.  Her blog covers everything from society events to culture and it shows off her good taste in fashion!  I love reading her blog because it reminds me of everything Baltimore and well, "preppy!"  Her blog shows her creative side and I must say that I am proud of her success.  She even won an award from the Baltimore Sun and has over five hundred follows.  She has a great give away now on her blog so please check it out.  Congrats to EAS on her blog success!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Today we celebrated the month of love with our friends.  We had a great time and Stephen was so happy to be out after a week of being stuck in house.  

Notice our little guy trying to escape?  Thank you for hosting Nicole and Taffe.  We had a great time!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Wear sunscreen, trust your instinct, and be grateful.

Last Monday, Stephen and I got some pretty scary and upsetting news.  About a week before I had seen a dermatologist and happened to mention that I did not like a small bump I had under my right eye.  She became concerned when she examined the small mark and said that she thought it should be removed and biopsied.  On Monday as I was in the car on my way home with both kiddos, I got a strange message from the doctor.  They explained that my biopsy had come back and that I had basal cell carcinoma and would need to have a surgical procedure to remove the cancer.

Luckily, basal cell carcinoma is, as the doctor said, "the best kind of skin cancer to be diagnosed with."  The cancer is slow growing, and while it is malignant, it rarely affects your health and can usually be removed with a noninvasive procedure (Mohs surgery) where they remove the cancel cells piece by piece until they have gotten all the cells.  Basal cell cancer is most often caused by sun exposure.  If you have had an immediate family member diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma you are at a much higher risk.  Other risk factors include fair conplexion, light hair color, and light colored eyes.  While I have always been diligent about sunscreen, I have gotten a few burns here and there and am at an increased risk because my father has also had some skin cancer spots.

Part of what made this diagnosis so scary was that I had the mark for a very long time.  Roughly four years ago, the mark appeared and I saw a dermatologist who was very dismissive of my concerns.  When I asked him to remove it (which would have shown that it was skin cancer) he told me I was too worried and that I was basically being vain.  I should have trusted my instincts about the mark and insisted that it be removed.  I have seen several dermatologists about it since then, but because he was so dismissive about the mark, I did not even ask about it until recently.

On Thursday, I had a procedure to remove the cancer.  Because the mark had been there so long it had spread and I had to have more skin removed than we had hoped.  While it is over now, I will say that the procedure was one of the most unpleasant experiences I have had.  That said, it could have been much worse and I am lucky that I only had to have nine stitches.

I share all of this to provide some education about skin cancer and to encourage everyone to wear sunscreen!  Sunscreen is so important, even if you are not going to be in direct sunlight.  Sun damage can happen even when reflecting off of other surfaces.  Hats, sunglasses, and protective clothing can help protect your skin.  Make sure your lotions, including face lotion, eye cream etc, contain SPF.  Also, if you  have kiddos with light complexions, sunscreen at an early age is absolutely necessary.  Trust your instincts about your body and see your dermatologist on a regular basis, especially if you are like me and have a fairer complexion or family history of skin cancers.  I am very young to have been diagnosed with it, but my dermotalogist shared that she is seeing more young people diagnosed with skin cancer.  The surgeon who performed my surgery said that he treated a patient as young as nineteen.  

And finally, after my initial upset and vanity, this experience has again reminded me how important it is to be thankful for all that we have.  I am lucky to have such a wonderful and supportive husband and family.  They have all been so supportive this week as always.  Things can change so quickly in our lives and we need to be grateful for all that we have.  I have much to be thankful for, most importantly, my health!