Couch Refresh

Did you read my post about deleting facebook? If not, you can read that here: http://www.thepinkshoelaces.com/a-day-without-facebook/

With all that extra time, I decided to get out a Christmas present my mom got me two years ago – a Bissel Portable Carpet cleaner. As you can see, our couch was in DESPERATE need of a refresh. I used this on on my couch cushions only once before and thought it didn’t do a great job but now I know that I was using it wrong. I think the before and after pictures speak for themselves:

Yuck, I know, but I’ve got two little boys and one that still occasionally has an accident over nap time. They eat on the couch and spill milk on the couch. It’s gross but that’s life. But look at that transformation! I wish you could see up close and truly FEEL the difference in the couch. I set the cushions out to dry outside and they were dry in just a few hours. I remember when I tried to do it before I felt like it took forever to dry but not today!

I washed all the pillow shams too and now my whole living room has a refresh.

Look how NASTY that water was! It’s oddly satisfying

As I’m sitting here on my newly refreshed couch I wish I had done this months ago. What a difference! Even Carver said “Mom, this couch feels like new!” I ended up running out of the formula that Bissel suggests to use and I just added about a fourth a scoop of oxyclean instead. I oxyclean everything in this house and the couch is no exception!

If you want to buy the same machine, it has excellent reviews on Amazon and I recommend it as well, especially if you have a couch you are just trying to limp through until your kids are old enough to not pee on it and dump milk on it 🙂

Here is the link! https://amzn.to/338139e

Even though it is a carpet cleaner, I’ve never used it on carpet, only on my couch (after two years of it sitting in the closet!) Anyway, thanks mom! I love your practical Christmas gifts!

If you ever purchase any amazon products from MY link, I do get commission. If you buy, let’s just say, $150 worth of other stuff while you’re on Amazon by following my link, I also get commission on those things you purchase. It’s a way to support my blog and it is a way to score some great quality products. I just want to be honest with you guys. I would have raved about these products even if I didn’t make any money off of it.

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A Day Without Facebook

I spend way too much damn time on my phone.

Yesterday I was honestly sick of how much time I was checking my phone and spending time on Facebook. I’d even gotten in a few comment wars over politics and COVID that had me stressed and pulling my hair out. I was ashamed that I had been picking fights with friends and neighbors, both of us knowing that we wouldn’t change the other’s mind and damaging our real life friendship.

I’ve been contemplating deleting Facebook but so much of my blog relies on my interaction on social media. So today, when I woke up I posted the blog post for the day and I deleted the app.

SO SO SO many times, I opened my phone, totally mindlessly, and opened the bill paying app I use that was in the place where facebook used to be. I wouldn’t even be thinking and I would be reaching for my phone and opening the app. UGH!

Here are a few observations I made throughout the day:

I am so much more present with the boys.

Time goes by so slowly.

It’s amazing what you can get done when you aren’t checking Facebook every five minutes.

I was in such a better mood.

I did things today I’ve intended to do for weeks.

I feel so caught up around the house.

Taking the “acyclables” in 🙂 Carver drove them in his gator

I did a ton of cleaning and organizing, something I truly enjoy doing. I listened to podcasts, did laundry, totally cleaned my entire couch, washed the pillows and cushions, and now it’s only 4 pm and I’m sitting outside, watching the boys play “astruction” in the rocks in the driveway. We’ve been in the pool, had a picnic, took in recycling, Carver has a friend over, and we’ve just had an awesome day.

My favorite part of today is that Carver had his dear friend Brody over. We all love Brody. Carver and Brody are just 2 weeks apart in age and lives just outside of town. We’ve been family friends for years and he is such a good influence on Carver.

So in the end, I 10/10 recommend that you delete Facebook for a day. I know I’ll reinstall it and I’ll admit to taking five minutes or so in the morning and afternoon to purposefully look at facebook and I enjoyed it. It wasn’t mindless time wasting and scrolling.

So yeah! That’s all I have folks!


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An Average Monday Evening…

We had a fun time on Monday night. I think the pictures speak for themselves.


Everyone says mom and I look alike! When I posted their wedding picture on my Facebook page people thought it was ME in the wedding dress! While I’m flattered, I don’t think I look much like my mom! Maybe in the cheeks and the nose? What do you think?

Mom making fun of my squinty eye

One of my favorite humans is my brother Karl. I love the way he is teaching Carver to become a young man, garden, and speak spanish. Karl is a friend to all. Karl has high expectations for Carver and he just becomes the most kind young man when he’s around Karl and Karl doesn’t allow anything less. He has such a way of getting through to him. Needless to say, we are beyond blessed with Karl in our lives. He’s also Gannon’s godfather.

Puddle Jumping

I tried to get a nice picture of mom and Rosie together – you can see how that went. Can you even believe how beautiful my mom is? I swear she is like Benjamin Button and ages in reverse. I’m serious guys – she looked older when she was 40 than she does at 54!


We spent most of our night watching the birds fly over and land on the water tower


My sassy niece Georgia – this is the most smile I could get out of her. I thought Carver was sassy but oof da. Kelli has her hands full with that little girl!


Introducing the most photogenic baby ever: My nephew and Godson Jasper! I don’t know what it is about this little boy but whenever he is around, I turn into a master photographer. I was the first one to capture his smile when he was just hours old and they even used the picture for the baby announcement! This little boy is so smiley and giggly. He just adores the camera as you can tell!


I guess some of the best photo shoots aren’t posed and the best nights aren’t planned! I would much prefer this style of photography – very casual vs. posed and smiling at the camera. I feel like I was able to capture some personality last night – all with my iPhone 11 on portrait mode and a few of my favorite presets from Jenna Kutcher!


That’s all I have for tonight folks! Thanks for reading!

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Gannon Update: Genetics

I’m sure you clicked on this post thinking that we would’ve actually gotten some answers from our genetics appointment. Sorry to disappoint.

I’ve always been a very impatient person. My mom told me that the more impatient I am, the more God will present me with situations that test my patience so that I can grow. I think this is one of those times.

In summary, we did not leave with a diagnosis. Was I expecting to leave with a diagnosis? I think deep down I really wanted to leave with a diagnosis but realistically I knew that that was probably not going to happen.

We met with a geneticist (the doctor) and a genetic counselor. Instead of going through the whole conversation word by word, I have developed three conclusions that I left the appointment with.

Number one: Gannnon is developing normally. Gannon is growing normally. They told me that that alone rolls out a lot of genetic conditions and disorders and that there is a chance that they won’t find anything with genetic testing.

Number two: Although all of my concerns are valid, they’re only mildly concerning. I heard a lot of “well his joints aren’t that loose“ and “well his muscles aren’t that weak“ and a lot of “his milestones aren’t that delayed“ and “it doesn’t seem to affect him very much” which was super frustrating.

The doctor suggested that this is all G.I. related and that he thinks it’s a motility disorder. At that point I questioned if he had even looked at his chart to see that we had been in Milwaukee and had antroduodenal manometry to rule out any form of a motility disorder. I pointed this out to him.

I’m sure they have to call him a lot of very anxious patients down when they come for genetic testing and I know this because when I was in ER nurse and a kid was really sick and sometimes downplay it to the parents so that they wouldn’t get so worried. And while it’s necessary in some situations, it’s very patronizing in other situations. I felt very patronized today.

There was a lot of, “what are you so worried about“ and “he seems to be a healthy young guy“ and “he seems really happy“ and at one point the doctor said to me that he didn’t realize I had such anxiety about Gannon‘s issues. I’m like, dude, I’m just answering your questions. I’d say something like “He had a really weak cry when he was first born, he was so quiet” and it would be met with “Well that doesn’t seem to be the case now!” Well, you asked! I’m just telling you.

They told me they don’t think it’s Ehlers Danlos syndrome. They said that he would have a very distinct features and characteristics that they would be able to diagnose him with just an examination and he does not have those features or characteristics.

At that point I was so frustrated I didn’t even ask clarification as to what they were looking for that they weren’t seeing.

In the end I did leave the office with some closure in some kind of a plan they are going to do what they call a CMA, a chromosomal MicroArray which if you imagine all of the genes and chromosomes in your body it looks as a library it looks for any extra books on the shelf or any books that are missing.

They are also testing him for fragile X syndrome which is a very broad net that they are casting. They don’t expect either of these tests to show anything.

If we’re sticking with the library analogy, the next test they would order is like if you were in the library and you were searching through all of the books for misspellings, you would probably miss some books with misspellings because you’re looking too broadly. If you were looking in one single book for a misspelling you’d be more likely to find it. So essentially after this first basic test that takes about 4 to 6 weeks to come back (looking for extra books or missing books), they will specify testing.

I thought, why not pick a section of books to look through instead? Like the connective tissue section? These genes that they will be looking at, there are about 3000 that can cause connective tissue disorders. This is a lot more in-depth, both Craig and I need to get blood drawn and tested to do this test.

We will follow up with genetics in about three months and go from there. They did offer a tiny bit of reassurance, this is most likely has a connective tissue disorder which really isn’t anything we didn’t already know or haven’t been told before.

Frustrating. Back to square one. Back to “we have no idea.”

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Mistakes

Every day over supper or before bed time if we forget, we play a game called “favorites” inspired by The Kardashians game “Pit and Peak.” Essentially, everyone has to go around and say what their favorite part of the day was, what made them mad or sad or angry, and now we added a new rule: You have to admit if you made a mistake that day.

Oh how the mighty have fallen. When I started my new job and went from ER nurse to ICU nurse, expert to novice, I learned how important it was to admit when you make a mistake and when you don’t know the answers. If I could give any advice to a new nurse it is this: make mistakes. Make lots of them and learn from them and then don’t make them again but above all, loudly and proudly declare when you are wrong.

Carver was going through a phase when he was lying if he did something wrong or naughty so I kept saying, “It’s okay to make mistakes!” we would talk about each and every mistake made throughout the day and what we learned from them.

The other day, Carver threw a fit and wanted to close the garage door. We were in a hurry and he was dinking around and hitting the button over and over and the door would go up and down and up and down. In my not so proud parenting moment I exclaimed something along the lines of, “Why don’t you listen to me? Why are you dinking around! Cut it out!”

Before Carver even had the chance to explain himself, I hastily made my way over to the garage door and started pushing the button. The button was broken. It was going up and down because there was something in the way. Carver wasn’t dinking around at all.

I felt so terrible. I immediately stopped what I was doing, put my hand on his shoulders and said, “I made a mistake Carver. I thought you were dinking around. You tried to tell me it was broken. I didn’t listen. I’m so sorry.” We talked about it again at supper that night and Carver jokingly told Craig, “Mommy made a mistake Daddy!” I had to admit to the whole family my mistake over supper and all was well again and I asked Carver, “Do you forgive me?” and he did.

So, in honor of admitting mistakes, and making sure you don’t get the illusion of some perfect family lifestyle blogger, I have a mistake to admit to you all.

First of all, last Sunday, I forgot I had to work. We were enjoying a leisurely family night on the couch when something prompted me to double check my schedule for the week and OH MY GOD WHY DOES IT SAY THAT I’M SUPPOSED TO BE AT WORK IN 10 MINUTES!?!?

Yup. Just a few weeks off of orientation and this is the reputation I set for myself. I fly into work but because of the commute I clock in an hour and 15 minutes late. It was all well, it truly does happen to EVERYONE, especially when there is a lot of shift flip flopping and odd shifts. It was my first night shift on the new schedule and I had been working a month of day shifts prior. I was fully intending on arriving at work the next morning at 7:15.

I’ve done this only two other times before. I was JUST back from maternity leave after Carver. I had FINALLY earned the coveted Saturday day shift in the ER – the first three hours you are alone until the mid shift comes in at 10. It took a good year before I earned this position and the VERY FIRST weekend I was scheduled, I got a call at 7:15 am wondering if I was coming in. I slept through my alarm! How embarrassing! I spent the day lamenting and over apologizing to ANYONE who would listen swearing I would NEVER do it again. I had learned my lesson.

UNTIL THE VERY NEXT MORNING WHEN I WOKE UP 10 minutes before my shift was supposed to start! YES YOU READ THAT RIGHT TWICE IN THE SAME WEEKEND!!! And I haven’t done it for 4 years. Until last weekend.

Every time, guys I promise you, I’ve timed this out so many damn times, if you ever give someone a hard time about making a med error or for oversleeping, it WILL HAPPEN to you next. It happens to everyone and it will probably happen again, even to the most professional of us.

One more to give you all a giggle on this Sunday night:

Where I used to work, everyone was way into biking. The town I worked in has a beautiful 11 mile bike trail surrounding it. So many times I’d hear about the trail or I would see on the Strava fitness app I use that people would conquer the 11 mile trek in an hour or so. We’ve done several 14 mile rides and regularly bike, I thought “11 miles, piece of cake. I’ll knock it out in an hour, get some alone time, blare some Taylor Swift’s new album. It’ll be good. My brother backed out because he thought it would be too hot. I thought “What does he know? Once you get moving it’s a nice breeze anyway.” So I set out around 12 and had a great few miles in. It wasn’t too hot, it was breezy and shaded. I thought to myself, “I’m such a bike riding pro.”

Then my music quit. My iphone got overheated. Too overheated to function or play any music. That’s weird. Then I felt like every turn was straight up hill. Wow, no one mentioned this. Must be just a short rough part of the trail. I kept going.

EVERY. DAMN. TURN. WAS. A. STRAIGHT. UP. CURVE.

I really started getting worried when I started meeting the real pro bikers going in the OPPOSITE direction of me, downhill. That’s weird. I’ve gotta be getting close to the top.

15 straight up hill/curves later, I was out of water, it was 95 degrees. The breeze that I had enjoyed while I was moving was GONE. I was walking my bike up most of the hills. I kept thinking “I’ve gotta be close.” Every time, I was not close.

I turned around and traveled back to an intersection outside of town so that when they found me left for dead at least I’d be found faster. I called my brother and begged him to come pick me up. My iphone had cooled down long enough to make a few calls. Karl was already out of town. I was screwed and I was certain I was going to vomit.

Then, I remembered the town’s taxi service. I called and within minutes they had someone on their way. I snapped this selfie as I was waiting for them.

My vision was going spotty while he was trying to stuff my bike in his prius. I must not have been thinking straight because I couldn’t process that the road he picked me up on was straight downhill into town. If I could have just had a moment of clarity, it would have saved me some embarrassment.

So yeah guys, I made a mistake. I overestimated my abilities, the amount of water I had, the difficulty of the trail, all of it.

Everyone talks about “AWESOME WORKOUT!” and they show off their calorie counts. I want to hear from someone who gives up sometimes and has to call a taxi so they don’t pass out on the gravel road in the July heat. So I’ll be that person for ya’ll.

That’s all I have for today folks. Have a good one and set a shit ton of alarms.

Oh, and admit your mistakes!

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A Week With the Boys

I’m starting a new work schedule/rotation so this past week I work Sunday and Monday overnight. I’ll work tomorrow night and then I’m off until next weekend! That leaves long stretches of days off with my boys.

On Wednesday, we made a big deal of going to the library and then bringing lunch for mom. We made an appointment at the library to pick out books. I want to get Carver reading as much as possible. Mom started me out with the Junie B Jones books and my brother and I enjoyed reading the magic treehouse books. So we got some of each. Carver is started on hooked on phonics too. We read and read and read. Gannon is just finally getting into books and now he is REALLY into books – all the time he is bringing books to read and signing “please!”

Then we went to the bar next door to order lunch. Carver always gets so spoiled there. Dan (the owner) opened up the pool table so the boys could play pool while we waited for our food, we got M&Ms.

Gannon walked around greeting EVERYONE! He is so friendly and loves to wave and say hi to everyone.

We spent the afternoon at my mom’s and I helped her with a few tech things, I love video editing and was able to help her get a few videos on YouTube. She finished a new quilt and as usual, the boys were all over it – literally.

Wednesday Gannon had his appointments – well child check and then the orthotics appointment . I’ll link that in the latest posts at the end of this post.

Today, Taylor Swifts new album dropped. I am in desperate need of some “me time” and “alone time” so I got up early ready to dive into it and tackle the laundry… along with the rest of the family 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️ So no alone time for me. So I was a bit on the grumpier impatient side today – at least until nap time and then we were all ready to tackle the afternoon. We headed to the pool after Craig got home which was fun.

We put the boys to bed early and now we are watching the Last Czar on Netflix – like a real life remake of Anastasia (my FAVORITE kids movie) and narrated by historians. It’s fantastic. Ever since we deeply and madly fell in love with Hamilton on Disney + history seems much more interesting. Our favorite movie category on Netflix has always been movies/shows based on real life.

Tomorrow, I’ll send the boys for a cousin day at Grandma Joey’s and then I’m getting some ME TIME in – I’ll load up my bike and head to Decorah, shoot the bike trail, blare Taylor Swift and then get groceries all by myself! I so look forward to it and as Hamilton would say “I am not going to miss my SHOT! (To get some me time). Also, did I mention I got a new bike? She’s a beaut and I’ve only got to take her around town so far.

Man, I’m just rambling at this point. Maybe I’ll have more eloquent words tomorrow. Smell ya later guys.

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