Sunday, July 30, 2006

Weekend Update

Big changes on the way in my life....but we'll get to those another time.

For now, I wanted to show you about our weekend. On Friday afternoon we made a spur of the moment decision to drive down to Ocean Shores and spend the night. My father and my sister, with her two girls and my Ally, had spent the entire week camping down there. So we packed up the suburban and drove south.

Ashley slept in Julie's trailer, Lance and I slept on an air mattress in the back of our suburban. We slept in our jeans, socks and hoodie sweat shirts because it was cold. Yes, I said COLD! Amazingly chilly and we were loving it. Here's my adorable hubby in his hoodie.

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This is one of the beaches we played at on Sunday.

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You may recall from a different posting last spring that we visited this beach once before. Lance helped the girls climb up to some little caves carved into the side of the hill.
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Here's another view from the other side of our ride.

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Here is my Ashley, Nicole, Ally and Jessica hugging at the beach.

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We had a good time. Especially at the campground on Saturday. You see my sister, in all her wisdom, brought her two kittens with her to the beach. She got annoyed with them and made them stay in her van, along with their kitty litter box and their bag of kitty litter. On Saturday morning it was discovered that the kittens had ripped into the kitty litter bag, strewing the pebbly stuff all over the inside of the van. As they were well trained kittens, in that they always used kitty litter to do their pooping in, they thought that the enire van was now their kitty litter box

My sister was not amused.

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She had to climb inside to clean.

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Now every time we see her van, we've promised to Meow at her. We don't think she'll be taking kittens to the beach again any time soon.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Finally!

Someone said I need this product for my son.

I think that's a great idea!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Beach and Looks

My sister has stolen my ten year old Ally for the week and whisked her off in her trailer to Ocean Shores. It's Thursday and I miss the little muffin. She sends me pictures every day so I can keep up with my baby.

Here's Ally and her cousin Nicole. They have matching swimsuits and they kind of like each other.

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Here they are enjoying some ice cream. Apparently it's cold where they are. Notice the coats? It's blazing here and cold there. Go figure.
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While they are off having fun, I am subjected to yet another dose of THE LOOK.

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I've been feeling a little queasy just now and wondering why. It took me a minute to realize it's because my cats are freaks!! I caught the kitten (nearly six months old) trying to nurse on his father. And the dingy daddy was allowing it!!!

Gross.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Oops He Did It Again

I have often used this space as a therapy session for myself. Yes, you poor people have been the unwitting recipients of my psychological effluvia. You have probably already sensed this on some level, I’m sure. I hope I’ve not done any damage to your psyches, or have deterred any of you from having children of your own after reading about some of the exploits of my offspring. Having said that, I apologize beforehand for whatever damage I may cause you by reading the following.

It’s about my son, but then you probably already knew that was coming as it’s been approximately two weeks since he’s done something column-worthy. Its time to tell you about yet another mind-bogglingly stupid action that my son took this week. First, let me inform you that being of semi-sound minds and stretch-marked bodies, we purchased a trampoline for our children.

We believed the advertisements that touted the health benefits for our little ones. We wanted them to be active and healthy and not couch potatoes. We made this purchase out of the innocent good intentions of our hearts.

We poo-pood the worries of friends and family.

“Aren’t you scared that your son will do something stupid and paralyze himself, thereby necessitating 24 hour care and a respirator for the rest of his life?”
Nooooo. We’re good. We even bought one of those safety nets that entirely surrounds the trampoline so that no one can fall off and break their necks.

We sat the children down, the three girls and the one boy. We included the girls there so the boy wouldn’t realize that all our cautionary tales about jumping on the trampoline were really just aimed at him. We know the girls aren’t insane. We’re fairly certain the boy is.

So, off they go to play on their new toy. All is well for nearly a month. No one is hurt, there are no broken bones or wrenched limbs. All is right in the universe.

Until my husband mowed the back lawn.


You see, in mowing the lawn, he had to move the trampoline in order to mow under it. Where it was once sitting close to the back fence, it is now huddled close to the house. Right below the second story bedroom window of the girl’s room. Right below. Close enough, in some prepubescent minds to hit from the second story.

Do you see what’s coming?

Ayup. He jumped. Oh, he made it all right. Landed right in the middle of the trampoline, bypassing being skewered by the poles to which the safety screens are attached.

No one saw him do it, because if any of us had noticed him with his legs dangling out the second story window, we would, naturally, have attempted to stop him.

The first inkling we had that there was trouble was when the man-child burst into our room and fell across our bed. He was writhing back and forth and appeared to be having a fit of some kind. His face was beet red, he was sweating profusely and he kept saying, “It hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts…”

We went through the checklist of ‘what did you do nows’ and ‘are you bleeding anywheres’ and the ever-popular ‘what were you thinkings’.

He was in agony. He said when he landed, his legs snapped and his neck cracked.

The pain was everywhere. I was worried about internal bleeding. I was worried about everything, of course.

I’ve often told him that the number one treatment for any injury he sustains is catheterization. I tell him this in order to frighten him into not doing the first idiotic thing that pops into his head.

So far it hasn’t worked.

He was unable to walk upright for a few days without searing pain in his legs and neck, for which I am grateful. I have given him something, a mantra if you will, to say before he attempts anything he thinks might be in the tiniest bit dangerous. He’s to say to himself, over and over, “would I do this if my mother was watching? Would I do this if my mother was watching? Would I do this if my…you get the picture.

Let’s hope it works.

Tuesday already?

Yesterday I spent a great deal of time (out at the house by the sound) editing, revising, and writing, as I watched my two boys and Ashley. When I got home, we ate dinner and I spent three more hours editing three pages. Three hours. Three pages. Goodness.

However, I have to say that I am reveling in this experience and learning so much as I go.

I also called the brother of the man in prison for killing my friend. No big surprise that he didn't care to talk to me. I have to say though, that speaking to him made me nervous.

I couldn't sleep last night because of the heat and it didn't help that somehow the dog was outside our window barking at 3a.m. When I got up to bring her in, I really woke up so I simply stayed up and did more writing.

This morning at ten Ashley had a physical therapy apppointment at the CTU with Erika and it was a good hour. She (Erika) asked me to get Ashley to her Orthopedist so we could get x-rays of her hips to determine for sure what is causing the problems. I called Dr. Song's office up at Children's Hospital in Seattle and made an appointment. He's always hard to get in to see and they were booking out to October. So she's got an Oct. 10 appt for now. Then I called our PCP (Primary care physician) in order for them to fax a perscription to the CTU so they can begin work on Ashley's hand brace/splint and make a referral for her to see Dr. Song in October.

So many hoops to walk through in this dance of disability.

Ashley has agreed on a daily course of action which requires me to help her stretch and improve the muscle strength on her right side. I generally stetch and massage her each night before bedtime, but this routine is much more time intensive and involved.

My seven year old angel is going to have an interesting path in life.

After the therapy session, we went to Costco to charge some food. Now we have full cupboards again! Yay! Well, sort of semi-full.

And now, it's back to work.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Look

I got The Look today. Getting The Look is not an unusual occurence for me. I manage to get The Look quite often. I'd say that on a daily basis, I am given The Look an average of ten to twenty times. Some may say this is excessive. I would have to agree The Look is often given without provocation on my part. Being the recipient of The Look, has oft times made me question my parenting abilities. On occasion it has made me question just why I had children in the first place.

Today The Look was bestowed upon me for no discernable reason that I can find. I was, in my own mind, doing everything right. I allowed her into my air conditioned bedroom and even let her use my laptop. I was not asking inappropriate questions, such as 'why is three inches of your tanned and toned belly showing beneath your tank tops?' or 'why are you wearing tank tops?' or even 'what do you mean you don't want me to go to the same gym you do?'. I wasn't actually speaking at all, when I got The Look.

Mother's sometimes have this special ability to know things that they couldn't possibly know. In this case, I knew The Look was coming, so I surreptitiously got my cell phone camera ready to get evidence of The Look. I present it to you here.


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Friday, July 21, 2006

Sizzling Hot

No, I'm not talking about the picture of Viggo Mortenson that Fronty posted on his blog. (SUCH a disappointment it was). Today the weather is climbing near the 100 mark and as well all know, this does not please me.



Especially since the FREAKIN' AIR CONDITIONING is STILL not hooked up in my house.

So, at the moment that I write this entry, I am ensconced in the downstairs office of the house overlooking the water with icy-cold air being blown at me from the vents. I'm in heaven. I may not go home tonight.

I'm not kidding.

I'm off to do some writing and researching. Stay cool y'all.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

This is Thursday, right? Right?

Somehow I got my days mixed up (being gone for nearly three weeks will do that to you) and I missed an appointment at CTU (no, not the terrorism unit) for Ashley. This is the Children's Therapy Unit and she was to meet her new physical therapist Erika. The appointment was yesterday, so she called last night and asked if we could come today. We could and we did.

Here is Erika evaluating my baby girl.

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More of the same.

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We sat and talked about what my concerns are for Ashley. I'm concerend about her gait, her posturing, her right thumb being more in the hand than out, and the disparity between her limb lengths.

Erika discovered that Ashley's left hip is about two inches higher than her left. Her left leg is an inch and a half longer than her right, this is causing the hip issues. We need to fix this as quickly as we can and so once a week we'll be in physical therapy with Erika. There will be a lift placed in Ashley's shoe to make up the difference in limb length. Because of her cerebral palsy, her foot is ...well....

Ok, I'm tired of talking about this stuff for now. Suffice it to say that I'm pleased with the therapist and the plan we have for Ashley right now. We're on the waiting list for an Occupational Therapist to deal with Ashley's arm and hand.

And here to end on a happy note, is a picture of the boy I watch (Daniel) with his newly bandaged pinkies after the nail was sewn back on. ((shudder)). He's doing well. I am too, since so far today I've not had to see that little dog.

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What a day....

A little background here....

I watch two little boys, brothers, Daniel and Dillon. They lived across the street from me before our road trip. While we were gone, they moved to a house overlooking Puget Sound in another town entirely. It's a long story, but they had to do this (Dad is currently serving in Iraq) Now instead of her walking across the street to bring me the boys each morning, I drive for 45 minutes or more to her house to watch my guys. While I care for them I try to research and write. Not always easy to do, but I try.

They have a dog named Dora. She looks like this:



Only less...cute. The dog is forever escaping the yard, peeing in the house on the rugs and chewing things up.

Yesterday it got out and a frail old neighbor, who had trouble walking, brought her back. Then she got lost again, and I spent a great deal of time tracking her down, to no avail. I searched inside and out. This took some time. I was hot. Up and down the stairs again and again. As I was coming into the downstairs family room for the umpteenth time, five year old Daniel was sitting on the floor next to an exercise thingy, upon which Kylee (a little neighbor girl who has come with me and my youngest Ashley for the day) was standing. (I think it's a stair master or something of that nature)

"Daniel, what's wrong honey?"
(sobbing) "I...I....don't know!!!"
"Honey, don't worry, we'll find Dora, I promise"
(still sobbing)
"Daniel, are you crying becuase Dora is missing?"
"I...I....I...don't knowwwwwww"

As I'm talking to him, I'm getting closer to him and I see blood on his face.

"Daniel!! What happened??"

He continues to sob as I pick him up and rush him to the bathroom to see where the blood has come from. Then I see his fingers.

Oh no. He put his hand into the exercise machine while it was in motion. Oh no.

I hold his hand under the water, which of course elicits louder crying, but I have to do this, I have to. I'm not panicked, being a seasoned mom who has seen a heck of a lot worse in my time, I know there are much worse things out there. I just want to see what has happened to his fingers. Or what's left of them.

Poor thing has had the finger next to the pinky nearly completely stripped of it's fingernail, from well below the nail bed. The pinky finger has had it's nail shredded but is still in place for the most part.

I text the mom. "Please come home right now"

She texts me back "On my way.

She thinks it's about the missing dog because I'd told her she was missing. It's not. So I call her to let her know what has happened. The poor woman is hysterical on the phone with me and that worries me because she's going to drive here.

By the time she arrives she's much calmer but I can see that she is angry. I was hopeful she wasn't angry at me. By this time I've wrapped Daniel's hand in a hand towel and pretty much got the bleeding stopped. She picks him up to take him to the hospital and carries him out through the garage. When she opens the door, there is Dora. Apparently she was locked out there by one of the children.

She leaves, I go upstairs and my husband arrives. I've called him and asked him to come. Besides the Dora-missing fiasco and the Shredded Fingers, we have a backed up toilet to deal with. He fixes the toilet and then tries to fix the exercise thingy. The reason Daniel could put his fingers in it was because the covers had been removed for the move and not put back on. He searches for a screw driver, to no avail. He finally finds a screwdriver but can't locate the hardware. There's nothing he can do.

Meanwhile, I go to let Dora outside. She turns to me, looks right at me and deliberately pees. I yell, she runs, peeing as she goes. This house has incredibly new hardwood floors, with two area rugs. She peed all across one of the area rugs and continued her Pee Run around the couch and to another door before she was caught. You will applaud my self control in that I did not wring it's little neck.

Hubby and I cleaned up the pee as best we could, blotting, cleaning, blotting some more. Then we put the rug outside on the deck railing to dry. Thankfully it all came out and there are no spots. After everything the mom had been through, she didn't need to know that as well.

Did I mention it was a v e r y l o n g day?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Ouch

This is how I feel today.





Can't seem to shake the headache that I've had since yesterday. Ouch.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

More of the same

Work, work, work. Research and writing. Fun, fun, fun. Also, not just a lttle disturbing, due to the subject matter involved. I'm making great progress though.

Ok, enough of a break. Back to work.

Monday, July 17, 2006

A change of pace..




Today I spent the entire day out in Steilacoom, in a house with a lovely view of Puget Sound. I watched two little boys and spent untold hours doing research for the book I'm working on. I came up with some very good information today, plus some excellent contacts. At one point I had one computer and two laptops going at the same time. Things are coming along.

It was wonderful to see 'my boys' again after being away on vacation.

Tomorrow more of the same. Film at 11.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Mud Mountain

Today we had the best time. Nothing was planned, it just happened. A friend from Shoreline spent two nights here (a friend of the children) and needed a ride to Bonney Lake, so hubby and the two younger girls went with us to drop him off. Drop him off we did, then we took a little drive.

What? You took a drive after spending untold hours in the vehicle driving all over the west?

Yes, yes I did. And loved it. We were heading towards Chinnook Pass, where all those snowy pictures were taken a few days ago, but veered off on roads less traveled and found the most delightful little park at a place called Mud Mountain Recreational Area. The girls loved the place and so did we. There was this amazingly steep trail down to who knows where (we were not equiped with the right shoes to do some hiking) and I snapped this picture of Lance waaaaaay down at the end of a switch back. You might just be able to make him out down there.

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Then we went back up to the park proper where the girls waded around in the pool for a bit. They wanted to go in all the way, but again we'd left home unprepared for such activities so all they were allowed to do was wade and get their shorts wet a bit.

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Here's a picture of hubby and the girls.

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And since you complain that you never ever see me in a photo, here's one with me and Ashley that Allison took with my cell phone camera. In fact all these were taken with my cell phone camera as again, we were unprepared. Also, Ashley looks agitated because she was upset that we refused to purchase her a can of soda from the machines there at the park. She got over it when we bought milkshakes on the way home.

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And our last picture of the day, Allison with her head out the window enjoying the wind in her hair.
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And now we're off to get the house clean in preparation for a family birthday party tomorrow for Allison. Wheeeeeeee!

Friday, July 14, 2006

My Chicago Boeing Reader

I see you

Ok, I don't really see you. But I see you have been reading here and I'd like to thank you.

Boeing has been a great company for my husband to work for and we're grateful that they rehired him after the Big Layoffs.

Jump in and say hi. I'd love to know how you found me and if you can get my husband promoted. ::grin::

For Vicus

We left Orem, Utah around 4:30 and got home around 6:30 in the evening. Not too bad.

We traded this....

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for this....


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We took Chinook pass home and it was a breathtaking drive. At the top there is still snow on the ground. When we stopped for a closer look, Chris leaped over the railing into a snow patch in his bare feet. Just as quickly, he pulled himself back over to the right side of the railing. Apparently snow is cold on bare feet. Who knew? :grin:

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An alpine lake, surrounded by snow.

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Ashley got out to take a closer look, but Allison couldn't locate her shoes and refused to leave the vehicle.

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More...

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Our ride at the top of Chinook Pass.

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Chris loved the cool air of the pass and put his head out the window as the greenery flew past.
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All in all, not a bad drive. When we got home, Lance had dinner ready for us. Steak, green beans with bacon and applesauce. Is it any wonder I kinda like this guy?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Home again, home again

We arrived in one piece. I'm tired, so no big blog tonight. I had enough energy to light some candles and lay in a bathtub. Now I'm going to collapse until tomorrow. Smoochies to all and thanks for your well wishes and smart alecky comments (you know who you are)

Vicus you will be glad to know that I have more pictures to share. Tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Zion National Park and Kolob

While driving here (Orem) from Las Vegas yesterday, we made a little side trip into part of Zion's National Park. We took the scenic drive into Kolob.

It was breathtaking...

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As I slowly drove the red road, I talked to the children about the beauty and majesty of nature.

"Isn't nature incredible?
"Mom, nature could do better"

This from Allison, in all her ten year old wisdom. Her comment made me laugh. I suppose you would have had to have been there.

Here's Ally.

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I stopped at a couple of view spots along the drive.

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The kids found a big rock they wanted to climb. Allison helped Ashley.

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Chris peeking from the top.

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Here are all three. I love this picture of them.

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Of course Chris, being male, had to climb up things. He also wanted to drop rocks down and did so until I stopped him. I didn't want our names in the paper for having caused a major rock slide.

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And here is Ashley sleeping on the remaining drive to Orem.

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Last night we had pizza for dinner and then drove up to Salt Lake to see the new movie in the Joseph Smith building. As we were coming into town there was a double rainbow over the city. So beautiful.

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The movie touched me deeply and I wasn't alone in shedding tears during the film.

Then we stepped outside on Temple Square and sat by the reflecting pools to look at the temple. So beautiful.

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Here are Ashley and Allison in front of the temple. They had fun splashing their hands in the reflecting pools and enjoying the warm night air.

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I love this place and the peaceful feeling it brings me. I could have stayed there all night, just looking up. My mom loved this place and this temple. I wiped the tears from my face and tried to wipe the pain from my heart at having her gone four years now. I miss her.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

More Las Vegas

Here are some random pictures from our stay in Las Vegas.

Three kids in the pool.

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Stephanie and hubby Lance on the escalator at the Luxor.

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Steph and Chris by the pool.

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Hubby making eggs for us. He's cute and he cooks!

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After hubby flew home on Sunday, Chris and I watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail in my bedroom. He loves that movie.

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For Ally's birthday she wanted her picture drawn. Bonnie (MIL)Allison, Ashley and I went to the Alladin casino and she got her caricature drawn. It turned out pretty well.

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Hubby cooking the salmon for the birthday party.

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