Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Goat Hair

I had an interesting conversation with my seven year old last night after dinner. Well, it was during my dinner. She'd rejected eating any of the four different stuffed brats that hubby had cooked on the barbecue in favor of one slice of juicy watermelon. She obviously finished her meal much earlier than I did.

Ashley: "You said you'd take me to the Dollar Store"
Me: (Reaching over to select a tomato and basil chicken brat) "Did not"
Ashley: "Did too!"
Me: (popping a bit into my mouth) "I never said I was going to take you today"
Ashley: "You said you were going to Goat Hair!!"

This was followed by a lot of facial movements and several stomped feet for punctuation.

Me: "Goat hair?"
Ashley: "GO THERE"
Me: "Goat hair? I don't get it. Why would you want goat hair?"
Ashley: "I didn't say GOAT HAIR!" (more stomping)
Me: "Well, I suppose goat hair might be nice, except if you use it as
underwear, I think it might itch a bit"
Ashley: (folding arms across little chest in anger) "I don't want any GOAT HAIR!"
Me: "That's a relief, although I think you'd look spectacular in a goat hair coat"
Ashley: (trying extremely hard not to laugh) "That's not funny!"
Me: "Of course it's not funny. Just think how the goat would feel if you took
all of it's hair and made it into a coat. Poor thing would freeze to death, although I do think goat hair comes in a lot of different colors"
Ashley: "Stop it!!" (now pounding on dinner table, rattling the plates)
Me: "and just think of how you'd smell. What would your friends at school say?"
Ashley: (alternately laughing and looking mad) I don't WANT any goat hair! I want to GO THERE!"
Me. "Go where?"

Ah, and therein lies the real question. I'm not sure I have an answer for that one.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Life Is Better At The Beach

I've been blessed to have married into a family that has a beach cabin in Kingston. We are all able to use it whenever we want, as no one lives there. It's simply there for the extended family. There are always big family BBQ's on holidays. Here is where we spent Memorial Day with my friend from Venezuela and her daughter.

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This is Annabella and her daughter.
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Ashley made a beautiful sand castle.
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Ashley loves her beach time.
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We drove to the cabin, but took the ferry back over to Seattle on the way home, as Annabella hadn't ever been on a ferry before. While we were waiting in line, Tom (Kimberely's boyfriend) treated us all to ice cream cones.
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Here is Lance eating the remainder of Ashley's. I think she got rootbeer float.
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Ashley looked out at the water from the ferry as we pulled out of Kingston on our way to Edmonds. It was a beautiful ride.
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It was the perfect ending to a wonderful four days with my friends. I haven't laughed like that in so long. We'd get to talking (and I go totally 'native' while talking to her) and it was more fun than should be legally allowable. She just called me to say that she's gotten back home safely after a nearly fifteen hour drive to Orem, Utah.

Field Trips of Death

Last thursday I willingly, and with foresight, climbed aboard a little yellow bus, crammed with forty or so 1st graders. We went to the zoo.

What was I thinking?

Before leaving, I took all the drugs I could lay my hands on medications I was safely allowed to consume in order for my spinal column to function in a manner consistent with life.

We were greeted at the bottom of first of roughly half a billion stairs the steps by this gorgeous creature. It was at first admired, then feared by the little macho men who thought they could chase it. It went on the attack and scared them half to death. This elicited giggles from me which, being the serious adult that I am, were muffled behind my hand.

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This little jewel is the reason I risked life and limb to go on this field trip. She so dearly wanted me to come, and despite her sister's best attempts at being sick, I managed to make it.
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First we went to the fish place. I'm sure they have a clever name for the place, but I was too busy doing the huffing and puffing to be able to read signs.
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All the children were able to put their little hands on some slimey sea creatures and they loved it.
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Then it was time for lunch. Other, better mothers, packed their children nutritious lunches. I bought mine a lunchable.

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And still she survived. Amazing.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Arranged Marriages

They're making a comeback! Perhaps it's just here, but still.

Every time I mention it to my Stephanie, she rolls her eyes and laughs at me. Which is not unlike her reaction to most things I say to her. This makes it difficult to know if she's not interested in the idea, or if she (as usual), believes that I'm off my rocker.

Mmmm. Rocker. I'll need a nice new rocker to sit in to rock Stephanie's and Adam's first baby.

You have to admit that this whole arranged marriage thing takes away some of the difficulties that a great many newly married couples experience. The groom's mother and I are exceptionally good friends. The groom's mother adores Stephanie, so that nixes any mother-in-law to daughter-in-law conflicts right in the bud. What more could they ask for?

Oh sure, they'll have to meet for the first time. I'm sure everything will work out just fine.

As it's Memorial Day here in the colonies, we're planning on heading over to the beach cabin for some sand and fun. Annabella wanted to see the beach while she was here, so that's what we're going to do. After we're done there we'll take the ferry from Kingston to Edmonds and go back home via Seattle. Then tonight we'll say goodbye to Annabella until July when we'll meet up again.

Annabella's nephew is getting married in Caracas in December and she wants me to go down there with her for the nuptials. I'd love nothing more than to return to Venezuela, but with Hugo Chavez in power, Americans aren't exactly what you'd call safe in that country. Annabella says I could dye my blond hair black, wear dark contacts and get a fake'n' bake tan before I do. That way I'd fit in. Maybe.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

I love Venezuelans

Having lived in that country for some time, I consider myself an honorary citizen. I've spent the last two days with an old friend from there. She and her daughter drove up here from Utah. She has two children, twins, a boy and a girl. They are twenty. Annabella (my friend) and I have decided to take a step back into the old days when marriages were arranged.

Stephanie is going to marry Adam. A match made in heaven. It has the added benefits of the mother's in law already being great friends, plus we'd laugh like crazy at the reception and spoil our future grandchildren crazy. We're already fighting over who will be the best grandma and spoil the babies the most.

I think I'll win.

At any rate, I'm spending the day up in Seattle with my friend so we can go to all our old haunts. She was with me when I started dating my husband, so she knows all my dark secrets. It's been a great time talking more Spanish. I've missed having someone here that speaks our particular way.

Off to Seattle.

Friday, May 26, 2006

My Near Death Experience

It began when our computer wouldn't connect to the Internet. You'd have thought that I, personally, had reinstated the Spanish Inquisition (no one expects the Spanish Inquisition!!) and was torturing my very own children.

I swear it wasn't my fault. I still don't know why it won't work.

Husband: "Did you pay the Internet bill?"
Me: "Yes"
Husband: "Are you sure?"
Me: "Yes, as our cable and Internet are on the same bill and our cable is still
working, right?"
Husband: "Hmm. Did you unhook anything?"
Me: "Now why would I unhook anything?"

It was then that my teenagers wanted to know what I'd done to the computer. Why is it that everything is my fault even when it isn't my fault? I mean really.

It was kind of nice after the second day. We began communicating with each other more. My daughter text messaged me more than she usually does. If that's not a sign of family togetherness, I don't know what is. Of course my son just grunted at me as he walked by as he usually did, so no significant changes there. My two youngest couldn't get on their favorite websites and were forced to spend more time with their parental units as well. Allison baked her first cake all on her own and the rest of them joined in to consume said cake.

All in all, not a bad thing. Perhaps I shouldn't tell them we have access again.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Online Friends

I'm sure you've heard by now that blue is the new black, forty is the new thirty and they're lying through their teeth when they say that last thing. Also, imaginary childhood friends (you know you had one) have been replaced with online friends. They're the same in that no one ever really sees them, but you talk to them, you play with them, your other friends and family think you're just this side of a restraining jacket and you're a lot older than you were when you first had friends you never saw.

Sure they're real you might say in that mocking tone you have . Well stop that. Save your mocking for later on when I tell you all about my Internet friends. No, I can't see them, or touch them, although some of them have asked, well, we'll go into that later.

People have become friends with other people across the world, sometimes they've become friends with people they'd never become friends with in RL. That means real life for those of you who still have most of your friends offline. There's an entire new language that your online friends use and we'll also get to that later.

I, woman of the 22nd century that I am, have many, I mean real friends that I talk to on the Internet. Let me tell you a little bit about them.

They all use their real names, which is refreshing. None of this silly made up name stuff to try and improve their image. Take Neon Feverdream for instance. I'm sure his mother had a very good reason for naming him Fever. Neon lives in California and is an author and aquarium aficionado. He dispenses left wing rantings along with helpful tips on how to keep your cichilids alive in a harsh environment. Neon is my friend. He also wears a pink dress once in a while. Did you know you can exchange pictures with your Internet pals? Why yessiree you can. Just be careful because sometimes people on the Internet will send you photos that can be quite disturbing. I was very disturbed after seeing Neon in the dress but I received some counseling and now I'm good.

I have another amigo who goes by the name of Murray. My suspicion is that this may be a fake name because who would name their child Murray? He makes toilet paper for a living. No, really, he does. Murray also likes to barbecue, bake, makes his own salsa and has been known to sing Kumbaya on occasion. He won't admit that last part, but trust me, it's true. Murray shaves his head and has a great big shiny barbecue grill which he swears is not a compensation kind of thing for him like if he had a red corvette.

Then there is Laurie. No one has actually seen a picture of Laurie so she may be a figment of our imagination. If she is, then she's a busy little figment. She posts online all the time and she's quite humorous. Hmm...I keep calling Laurie a 'she' but since I've never seen a picture of 'her' I could be wrong. 'She' could actually be a 250 pound male who lives at home with his parents and posts in his underwear. Laurie? If you're reading this, please post a picture of yourself on the Internet. I swear it's safe. I just need to make sure you are who you say you are.

Phil is a fellow journalist living somewhere where people have named their town things like Turkeyfoot Valley and Paw Paw. He writes about sports and ducks and sometimes his dreams. Phil is a real person because I once saw a picture of him with his arm around some big name sports figure. You can't fake things like that, right? Right?

Then there is PaulinesMama. I'm assuming she has her own name, but has forgotten it due to the fact that she is a mother. It's a well known fact that you can lose your identity after giving birth and become known as so-and-so's mother. Apparently this has happened to this poor woman. She says she's a probation officer but with that kind of mental instability she may have imagined that as well.

Margie lives somewhere near a river and has seventy five children, give or take twenty. MM is a Canadian guy so when we talk to him we all hum 'Blame Canada' and laugh at his moose pictures. Barry is a Brit living in Canada who has actually made moose sausage. We fear him and his cats. Kajunwytch is a nice woman who lives in the south and has worked undercover for the FBI. Libby is a reformed Liberal and Duckboy is a little to the right of Rush. There are others, like Graz, which is short for something that means (I think) If They Reorganize This Company One More Freaking Time I'm Going Postal and a guy name Fred who has offered to let me live in his barn. I'm hoping the usage of the word 'barn' isn't a euphemism for something else. Rina is a red headed google-goddess who has the ability to locate anything at a moments notice. She's good enough with photoshop to have caused some of the other imaginary people some imaginary disgruntlement. She's never disgruntled me though. Mike Weasel found true love with a Mad Scientist and they are getting married. I'm not sure if they're doing that online or not. Trish is a teacher, billio is another one of those Canadians, eh? and I've had occasion to post with the (in)famous Dave Barry. I know he's real because....well.....just because. I'd say more but the restraining order keeps me from elaborating further.

There is a guy that calls himself a Frontier Editor, and claims he's not a liberal. That outed him as being a fake right there! There's a girl who calls herself Anna and wants me to mail one of my kittens to her in California. I also share time online with a group of women who tell stories about their lives. We belong to (wait for it) The Storycircle Network! A made up name if I ever heard one.

There are too many of my friends, imaginary or otherwise, to mention here but suffice it to say that I have a rousing social life which of course, you can't see.

I wonder. If blue is the new black, forty is the new thirty and they really are all in my head after all?

Drugs, Sex and A Little Rock And Roll

Ok, there was only drugs and a little bit of rock.

I realized why I was such a waste of space this weekend. Drugs. Now normally I'm not a drug taker. Unless of course they are prescribed medications, and then watch out. I'm Pill Poppin' Pammy.

My back had been cooperating with me for a while and then went back to it's old tricks so I took some muscle relaxants in order to...well....relax. I was hoping this would ease my pain as well.

I was rendered unconscious for most of Sunday. I could not lift my head off the bed, I was that far gone. Groggy, groggy, groggy. So, I have decided not to take those little pills unless it is right before bedtime because taking one in the morning (on an empty tummy no less) has the effect of causing me to sleep the day through.

This morning I woke up at my usual five a.m and got Stephanie up. Then I crashed again and awoke to find hubby asleep beside me. Hmmm. Odd. Wasn't he supposed to be long gone at work? Why yes, he was. Seems he'd driven to work and back again with a migraine. He's not feeling well, so off to bed with him.

I took Allison (and Ashley for moral support) over to the doc's this morning with our cache of urine that we collected over a 24 hour period. When the doc saw it he said, "Is that all you got from her in twenty four hours?". I answered in the affirmative. He looked at me and shook his head and sent us over to the lab to have her blood drawn.

This was Allison's least favorite activity. I kept reassuring her that it would be quick and semi-painless. The lab tech there has drawn my blood and she's very good at what she does. None of this fishing around inside your arm for a vein.

Thankfully I was right and it was a one poke deal. Ally didn't even cry. I was so proud of her. For their reward we stopped at Fred Myers and got them each a lunchable (haute cuisine for the elementary crowd) for their lunch today.

I dropped them both off at school and then I went to the gym for my swim. I didn't have to take the two daycare boys as hubby was home and keeping an eye on them. That helped me out a lot as I have to pay to put them in the daycare there each time I go.

Now we wait for the results from the doc.

Tick tock, tick tock.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Doggy Home!

We brought Cassie home this afternoon and she's soooo incredibly different. I'm glad we took her in because she was so sick. Now we feed her cottage cheese, boiled rice and boiled hamburger for two days to make sure she can keep it all in. Plus we get to give her two pills in the morning, two pills at night. This ought to be fun!

I took my two youngest to the pool this morning for the family swim. Hubby had to work, so we were on our own. The girls had such fun. As we were walking to the pool, someone in one of the lap lanes started waving at me and calling my name.

"Pam!" Splash. "Paaam!"

I decided this woman had to know me, as she was calling out my name. I hadn't the foggiest idea who she was so I squinted in her direction and made the universal face-sign I Have No Clue Who You Are.

She splashed some more and yelled something that sounded like Janet. So of course I went 'Ooooh! Janet! Hi!' with a big wave.

I don't know anyone named Janet out here.

It was when I finally reached the family pool and stepped into it that I realized who she was. Shannon. I only figured this out because her husband and children were in the family pool. Shannon wasn't so I deduced (smart woman that I am) that it had to be Shannon waving at me.

It was.

Ah yes, there's nothing like meeting people from church while wearing your swimsuit.

I'm Not Too Bright

But then, this isn't news for those of you that know me.

My computer died on Thursday evening. Not sure why, but it simply didn't 'go' when the 'go' buttons were pushed. The children were unhappy, I was mildly miffed and hubby didn't know about it until late last night when he came home and plugged in the plugs that had come unplugged behind the computer and made it 'go' again. Isn't he amazing? Just one of the many reasons I keep him around.

So, with a computer-free day yesterday, you might wonder what interesting things I embarked upon. Did I spend the day out and about? No, I spent the morning in bed being quite dizzy for no apparent reason. It was disconcerting to lift my head from the pillow and watch the room go in circles. I'd have blamed it on being over medicated, but I'd taken no medications whatsoever, despite the back pain I was suffering.

Due to the impairment I was experiencing, I wisely decided not to drive to the gym. I'm sure my fellow drivers would thank me if they knew I'd not wanted to dent my brand new vehicle had their best interests at heart.

Later in the day I felt better, dizzy wise, so I went to the gym where I was the only person in the entire pool and swam laps and did my exercises. Luckily there were three lifeguards to keep an eye on me in case I went under.

When I got home from the gym I had to have my army neighbor guy carry my dog Cassie into our suburban so I could take her to the vet.

Cassie is an amazing pooch and we all love her to death. The story of how we aquired this sweet soul if often told to others by my husband and children. I still don't think I'm responsible.

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At any rate, on Sunday night she began vomiting. On Thursday she ruined our carpeting in several locations with diarrhea. By Friday afternoon she was in a bad way. When I got her to the doc, she was dehydrated and very ill. They said they had to keep her and run some tests. They put her on an IV and took blood to check her pancreas, kidney and liver functions.

Later in the evening I got a call from the vet. Cassies bloodwork came back ok, but they'd found an exotic bacteria in her stool. They'd put her on two different antibiotics and were waiting to see if she was still vomiting or having the runs.

As of this morning she seems to be doing a lot better and they said if it holds out then we can bring her home this afternoon. Then she can take her favorite place on the couch again.

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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Thursday Madness

Ok, I lied. There will be no madness today. Just the usual chaos.

I've been to the gym, where for some reason I was very distracted during the class. I kept up, but my mind kept wandering off into the great beyond for some reason. It didn't help that my back was giving me fits off and on. Dang spinal column. I did, as always, feel better after my workout. I was so absentminded that I neglected to pack my bra so after the pool, with towel around the neck and hanging down over the front of my shirt, I skedaddled home instead of running a few planned errands. No one needed to be seeing me in that condition. They'd need therapy.

Today I've got Ashley's IEP. The meeting with her therapists to discuss her progress and set new goals. Measurable Goals. I've done a lot of thinking about this meeting, and I have concluded that I will not agree to them cutting off her occupational therapy simply because of budget cuts. Ashley has the legal right to both physical AND occupational therapy. Her condition warrants the continuation of said services. This is me standing my ground.

Perhaps another source of my absentmindedness is that I'm worried about Ally. They found more protein in her urine, so on Sunday we will be doing a 24 hour urine catch on her (don't ask) and early monday morning we will go in for blood work to check on her kidney function. There could be some kidney damage from all the medications she took when she was so little and it's just showing up now.

The Internet is an amazing place, where you can look up any symptom to find out what deliciously horrible disease is trying to kill you. I believe in being well informed, especially on all aspects of my childrens' health. However, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing and can certainly keep you up at night.


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Angel Puss is Back!!

Look who's back home! Angel Puss was adopted out a couple of weeks ago, but her owner is on vacation so I took her back in for a few days. She's (the kitten) is loving being back with her brothers. They've been playing like crazy and having such fun. I still need to convince this woman that she needs to take a sibling with her when she picks up Angel Puss. We don't want any lonely kittens, now do we?

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I've been asked to facilitate a Writer's Guild for our women's group at church. We'll be meeting in different homes once a month. The first meeting is tonight. I've been up since five, working on some things for it, plus doing the gym thing, then Coscto and then picking up Ally from school.

I knew when I sent her this morning that I'd more than likely be bringing her home again. She feels warm, her tummy is hurting a bit and she just doesn't feel right. This child tugs at my heart strings when she's ill. The past several years she's been so healthy that I've been holding my breath in the dreaded anticipation of something to come.

You see when she was born, they weren't sure she had a functioning immune system. She was constantly sick at home and when she wasn't at home, she was in the hospital. We were not allowed to take her out in public for the first six months of her life.

When she was three days old she spent a week in Children's Hospital with sepsis. In September, at two months of age, she was back in the hospital with osteomyletis (a bone infection). That really had the infectious disease people on their toes. Then when she was four months old we nearly lost her to spinal meningitis. She spent some time in the PICU and after a month we were able to bring her back home. After that she was in and out of the hospital with pyleonephritis (kidney infections). At one point the nurses taught me how to do IV's so we could take care of her at home rather than spend so much time at the hospital.

So, when she's sick....I tend to worry. She had that bout with the very odd mesenteric adenitis, and now she's not feeling well again. Yesterday we saw her new doctor and he said that she has some lymph nodes that are enlarged, but that usually that turns out to be nothing.

He'd better be right.

Baby Taylor

Monday, May 15, 2006

Monday Monday

I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again. I love Mondays.

Just got back from the gym and my workout, which has left me feeling great about the day. All except for one thing. It's going to hit 87 or higher here today. This will force me to put ice cubes down my shirt in order not to have a near death experience. I'm not one to enjoy sweltering heat waves unless I can carry ice packs in my clothing. It's also nice that our new baby has air conditioning. I'd live in it this summer, but gas prices prohibit that sort of fun.

I'm hoping that hubby can get the AC hooked up within the next week or so. It's that or risk me getting frostbite again.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Best Mother's Day EVER!

After I posted below I got a phone call from my sister telling me that our niece Heather was in labor. We went to church for sacrament and then I took Ally and Ash off to the hospital. (Lance had to teach a class so he couldn't go)

We weren't there very long and little Taylor Christine Hunsaker was born. If you look closely at this picture you can see my sister Julie.

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Julie was hovering like any good great aunt.

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Taylor Christine Hunsaker, weighing in at 6 lbs 9 oz a bit over 11 inches long. Tiny little girl with lots of dark hair and an adorable face. She was covered in the white stuff though, as she was a couple of weeks early.

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Mom and baby bonding.
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I've always loved this poem by William Wordsworth as it says so much of what I feel about our mortal birth here on earth.

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:

Welcome to the world little Taylor.

Mother's Day

This morning I was awakened to breakfast in bed on a silver tray. There were wafffles smothered in whipped cream and fresh strawberries, scrambled eggs, link sausages, more fresh strawberries and juice. My girls gave me gifts they made at school and at Achievement Days (a church sponsored group of girls 8-12)

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Ally is holding five chocolate suckers she made in molds with different colored chocolates. They are all flowers and are so beautiful. Ashley is holding an angel window ornament in stained glass.

My in-laws sent me a card with a wonderful surprise. A check! She wrote 'gas money???' I laughed and laughed. Then when my hysteria subsided I collapsed on the floor moaning 'what have we done...what have we done' over and over again.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Baby's First Bath

It had to happen. Every baby gets it's first bath. Today was our baby's day.

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Lance decided to wash the new vehicle. Ashley was helping until her little fingers got frozen so she dashed inside to get warm. Hubby had to use a step ladder to reach the top of the roof.

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All in all, baby's first bath turned out well. I even brought hubby some hot chocolate in a big mug to help him warm up.

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Friday, May 12, 2006

Friday Fun!

Ahhhh. Just got back from the gym and it was wonderful. I needed that today.

I've been pondering the merits of starting a Writer's Group here. I'm facilitating a new writer's guild starting next Tuesday evening for the women in our church, but I'm also considering forming a non-profit group aimed at helping people tell their stories, be they fiction or non-fiction. There would be subgroups within the main.

For instance, I think it would be incredibly rewarding to have the mothers and fathers of disabled children tell their stories. I know that I've experienced a great deal of healing as I write about Ashley and her struggles and successes in life. It's helped me and I believe it would help others, regardless of whether or not they've ever put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) before.

I know that women have a great deal to say and teach other's about their lives. Men would benefit from this as well. I'd also like to sponsor a child's sub-group to encourage children of all ages to write.

There are speakers I'd love to have and so many more things that I've got in my head about this project.

So, any takers?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Time to make cupcakes!

Ashley was bored. She was whining. She decided that being sent to her room for throwing a fit wasn't in her best interests. so she stopped. Then she decided that she could bake cupcakes.

But first she had to find the cupcake tin with her daddy.

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Then when they were in the oven baking, she insisted on sitting by the oven door on her step stool to watch over them.

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The cupcakes turned out quite well so she shared them with the neighbors. All on her own! What a sweetie she is. Now if we can just keep her from pitching fits we'll be just fine.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Some Things Don't Change

Anyone who knows me, knows that we were the lucky recipients of four kittens a couple of months back. Four delightful, furry balls of fun and mischief were born into our family. Oh yes, lovely little hairy creatures with sharp pointed teeth and wicked slicing claws that can knock over any plant or glass vase in the house by merely looking at it with their bright yellow eyes. Wild eyed, racing balls of fur that use my semi-new living room furniture as scratching posts or as spots to hork up nagging hairballs from their tummies.

I just love them. And not because they'll be the cause of me getting brand new couches sometime in the near future. No, I love them for other reasons. If I had enough time I'm sure I could come up with those reasons and explain them in excruciating detail to you, but that's not what I wanted to talk about today.

Today I want to discuss males. Not just males of the human variety, but males of the feline species specifically. You see, the kittens that I have are all males. I know this because it's hard not to know this when looking at them. They have no shame. No modesty. None. Zip. Nada. Plus, I had to explain some biology to my two youngest daughters when they pointed out various protuberances on their kittens and wanted to know what they were exactly. This was a birds and the bees and the kittens kind of chat. They probably learned more than they wanted to learn about their pets. I know I did.

The kittens are now nearly three months old, litter box trained and weaned. I add this in case there are any of you out there that would like to adopt one of these little balls of love. So, where was I? Oh yes. Weaned. These kittens are all weaned. If you're not sure what that means, Webster has a little definition here for you.

Main Entry: wean
Function: transitive verb
Meaning 1. To accustom, (as a child) to take food otherwise than by nursing.

This also applies to animals. Once an animal has been weaned off of a mother's breast, it's customary for that child to remain off the mother's breast. It's not like at the age twelve you suddenly get the yen for some really tasty breast milk from you former supplier. That would be wrong on too many levels to enumerate in this column.

I buy kitten food for the kittens to eat. They drink water, and eat kitten food. All is right in the world of weaning.
Until today. I came upon my mother cat, still emaciated from her bout with birthing four hairy angels into the world and then being their sole source of food for two months, surrounded by her male progeny all nursing upon her!

Shock, dismay and not just a little empathy for this poor mother swept through me. They've gone back to the breast! How could they? It's just not natural!

Oh. They're male. That explains a lot. Some things just never change from species to species, do they? Now shoo kitties! Off! Give your poor mommy a break. I don't want to have to explain this aspect of the birdies and the bees and males to my daughters just yet.

Yay it's Monday!

Most people moan and groan about Mondays but I LOVE them. I know, I know. If I were working outside the home I would probably feel differently about things. However, since I work at home, in the home, around the home, I can like Mondays all I want.

I went to the gym this morning, daycare boys in tow as usual. Then we dashed over to Top Foods to pick up some things for our chicken stir fry for dinner this evening. Then I dashed Daniel to his speech therapy at the grade school, dashed home to put the groceries away, dashed back to pick Daniel up and then dashed back home again.

How many calories can you burn in a dash? Hmm. This bears more pondering.

My father called me a bit ago.

Dad: "Do you have gas in your suburban?"
Me: "Yes"
Dad: "Good. Do you have a gun?"
Me: "No, why?"
Dad: "I want you to drive out here and shoot me"
Me: "Dad, it's just a cold. You'll feel better soon, and when you do you will appreciate your health all the more!"
Dad: "if you really loved me you'd shoot me"
Me: "No. I want you around for many years"
Dad: "Don't wish that on me"

Now, I know he doesn't really want to die. He's just miserable with this head cold thing that's going around. He caught it from my sister's kids. They also gave it to my poor Ally when she spent the weekend up there this...uh....weekend. She went to school, despite not feeling 100%. Poor thing.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Twitchy and the man.

One of our kittens has been named Twitchy by our children. This is due to the fact that the poor thing tends to twitch in his sleep. He's also the sweetest, most cuddly kitten I've ever encountered. For the past three nights he's curled into the crook of my arm and slept with me all through the night like a newborn baby. It's so precious. (yeah, yeah, I know. Awwwwwww) Last night I had to get something going for the kids and so I took the kitten and placed him on Lance's chest. He stretched out and slept there for a while.

Naturally I had to get some pictures.

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Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

When I came back to bed I took the baby off his chest and it curled up with me till around four or so.

Sleeping with the kitten is just fine. Sleeping with my daycare children in the room is something else. Dillon and Daniel spent the night (as they will do the next two nights) while their mom and dad are in Las Vegas having some fun. Dillon, who is two, didn't want to sleep through the night. He alternately cried 'momma' and 'no' most of the night. Sleep was in short supply for us last night. Tonight I'll have Lance sleep in another room so he doesn't get woken up again. He has to work in the morning.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

It hurts sometimes...

I got a call from Ashley's physical therapist at her school today. She wanted to set up Ashley's IEP (indvidual Education Plan) for this month. We talked for a while and she mentioned to me that her OT (Occupational Therapist) was going to drop Ashley from services after this meeting.

I must have gotten very quiet because the PT asked me if I was all right.

No, I wasn't. They want to stop her therapy? How can that be? In my mother's heart I cried but she's not all right yet...she's not...better. My head knows that she never will be a typical child with a right hand and leg that works properly. For some reason this just stabbed at my heart and I could feel my eyes getting ready to spill tears. All the physical and occupational therapy in the world won't ever make her physically perfect. Ever.

My head knows this, my heart can't bear it.

We talked some more and I told her I'd like to have the OT call me so we could discuss our options. I'm not willing for them to simply stop because she won't progress. The therapy keeps what range of motion she has and she needs it.

I think we may be in for a long meeting on May 18th.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Yay me!

I have gotten up every morning for the past couple of weeks, with daycare kiddies in tow and I go to the gym to workout. So far I've lost nearly ten pounds. Yay me! I'm feeling better as well, which is nice. I'm making healthier meals for the family as well. They don't really notice that I've cut most of the fat out of their dinners, which is good. It means the meals are still flavorful. I've been searching the web for good low-cal recipes. I have a couple of WW cookbooks here as well. It's been fun to try new things on the masses. Mostly they have enjoyed it.

Tonight, chicken fajitas.

If only the gym was close enough so I could walk there instead of driving. I nearly fainted with shock when I filled up the suburban yesterday.

What were we thinking....

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

My Dad's 74th Birthday

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My sister and I took our father out to a Mexican place for his birthday lunch today. I generally speak to the waiters in Spanish, so while I was talking to them I mentioned that it was my father's birthday and would they do something special for him?

A bit later they snuck up behind him and placed this rather large sombrero on his head, put a fried ice cream in front of him and sang happy birthday to him. His face was so red. I wish the picture was larger so you could see his expression better. It was nice to spend some time with him. Even though it cost $97 to fill my gas tank to get there!

When I left I told them I'd see them at Christmas.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Behind The House Construction Update

It's been a while since I posted an update on the construction going on behind our home. It was brought to my attention today because whatever it is that they are doing has been shaking my entire house!

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Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I usually don't mind the noise, but the shaking gets to me. It looks like they've put in the sewers for nearly every homesite. But then I could be wrong. I know nothing about construction. Lucky me, eh?

So..This Is How I Roll

We did something a week ago Saturday that I have not written about here because I didn't want my father to hear about it before I had a chance to show him. I purposefully didn't tell my sister about it, because I wanted to surprise her as well.

Friday night hubby and I went to the temple in Bellevue. My sister and her husband were there as well. It was so hot that night I was considering spontaneously bursting into flames on the spot. Thankfully there was a Dairy Queen nearby for us to put the flames out. As we were leaving the restaurant we saw a new shiny black suburban parked in front. It's horn alarm was going off.

"That's annoying" I said. Then I held up my key ring, hit a button and turned off the alarm.
"Wow, did you do that?" my sister said, eyes wide. "Can you open their car with your thing too?"
"Sure!" I replied. I held up my keyless entry remote and hit 'unlock'. Immediately the four doors of the new suburban unlocked, the interior lights went on as did the running lights.
"WOW! That's so cool! How did you....." She looked at me, she looked back at the vehicle, looked back at me and repeated this until the light dawned on her.

"That's YOURS???"

Yep. It's mine.

I begged her not to tell Dad. I was going to pick him up on his birthday on Tuesday and surprise him. With a red face she told me she couldn't promise me. I begged her again. I mean, how hard could it be to keep that secret. Her husband was there watching the whole thing.

He told my father.

I was not happy. They knew I wanted to keep it under wraps.

Oh well, at least I have a shiny new suburban with which to console myself. It looks a lot like this one.

Except ours is a 2004, black with tinted windows, a sunroof and all the bells and whistles.