Monday, December 29, 2008

MRI

Photobucket



This little girl and I are headed to Children's Hospital on Wednesday morning. Early. At the crack of what-the-heck-am-I-doing-with-my-eyes-open early to have an MRI on her cute little brain. They want to know why she's dizzy a lot. Why she's acting the way she's acting. Why she's falling. If it's the meds or the head.

If you need me I'll be curled up in the corner in the fetal position.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

It's Almost Over...

The year that is.

I've not blogged for over a week. For me, that's a long time. Hmmm...has it been a week? Time seems to run together when the children are out of school for Christmas break and I'm not working because I work for the school district and I'm also out for the break. Plus, with the snow, the Christmas break started nearly a week early and all the Interpreter appointments I had were cancelled due to snow and ice. Church was even cancelled two weeks in a row--unheard of around here.

I'm finally able to see the ground again because it's been raining rather than snowing all the time. I never thought I'd be thrilled to see the rain but I am. Truly I am.

As for Christmas, it was what it was. We spent Christmas eve at my sis-in-law's home where she put on a wonderful themed dinner as always. This year it was Spain. The next morning we got up and had presents with the children then caught the ferry over across Puget Sound to have brunch and presents with Lance's father's side of the family. The children love going over there---the house is on the water. This was our view for brunch....

Photobucket


Please excuse the cruddy photography. It's my cell phone camera. Again.

There was an enormous telescope upstairs where Ally discovered she could see people on boats.

Photobucket


I have another picture and it's of Ashley as she was picking a gift from the gift exchange pile. It's a game we play every year.

Photobucket


There was much more but I'm not in the mood for writing at the moment.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snow Angels

Photobucket


The snow has kept coming and coming today. I know you can't really tell here in this picture, but it did and has and it's been so fun to watch! That's Ally and Lance and Ash on the ground. Not sure why she was there on all fours. We'd just finished up a little stint on the slopes.

The slopes of the school that is. Here's a little video I took with my cell phone. It's horrible but you can see what the girls are doing. We gave them a laundry basket to slide down the hill. Yes, a laundry basket.



They tried to make snow angels but the top of the snow was crusty so they simply fell and lay there. No, we didn't leave them there.

Photobucket


Photobucket


Now it's back home to have some hearty stew I've had cooking in the crock pot all day and to finish frosting the sugar cookies.

I'm still not finished shopping.... Ho Ho Ho

Ashley knows how to bake!

Ashley wanted to help me make sugar cookies this weekend. Only she didn't just want to *HELP* me, she wanted to take over. Completely. Rolling, cutting them out, placing them on the sheet then frosting them later. She's quite the take-charge little girl.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Snow and Bathroom Prisoners

Ah yes, never a dull moment around here. School, with good reason was closed. The snow that was promised yesterday and never arrived, arrived today. The front yard and pond was dusted and then more.....covered.



We finally got the Christmas tree up!

Photobucket


Lance and I went to Northgate to do a wee bit'o' Christmas shopping and while we were there we got a phone call from our son. At first I thought he was crying then I realized he was laughing so hard he could hardly talk.

Seems papa got hissef locked in dat dere batroom.

He was trapped in there for forty-five minutes. We offered him food and water and blankets but he refused. He had some books so he was good. Finally we got the door opened and the prisoner went free.

Photobucket


Later we went to pick up Steph from her job at See's Candies and then drove to Mercer Island to drop Chris off with his pal Amir for the night.

Photobucket


We had gyros for dinner and brought one home to Papa. Then Lance and I walked the dogs in the snow. Brrrrrrrr.

Photobucket


When we got home we were so cold we couldn't feel our toes or fingers so we decided that hot chocolate was in order. Lance made it, then decided to take a quick detour to the bathroom. He neglected to remember that The Bathroom has decided to Take Prisoners and lo, he was captured and held hostage.

Papa tried to set him free to no avail.

Photobucket


I passed him his hot chocolate through the window to help him pass the time.

Photobucket


Ashley comforted her POW father through the door of his prison while the rest of the family rolled around on the kitchen floor laughing ourselves into a coma. Why yes, we are easily amused, thanks for asking

Photobucket


Finally he was set free.

I do believe that we will now be allowed to replace the door knob with one that won't lock us inside the bathroom. Progress!

School is closed redux

For the second time in two days the powers that be have cancelled school. Snow, glorious snow has blanketed the region.

Hubby and I got up to check the school report online and we keep seeing flashes and hearing booms. Thunder and lightening seems a bit odd for the weather we're having. I can't remember it doing this when it's been snowing as well.

And of course now that I'm up I can't go back to sleep. Grrrrrr.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

School is closed

Let it snow, let it snow let it snow!

Apparently there is snow in the air. There isn't any here right now of course, but they suspect there might be some of the white stuff falling today so they called a preemptive strike on education by closing the schools.

We may get as much as GASP 2 inches!

We might be able to make a few snowballs.

I'll admit it's awfully cold here. When I dropped the children off yesterday it was in the teens with a brrrrr factor of Holy-crap-I'm-cold. Then it warmed up to a balmy 27 or so.

Ok, back to bed.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Malinche

I finsihed the book for our Spanish book club this weekend. It's called Malinche.



This was an excellent exercise for my gray matter, as it's been years since I've read an entire novel in Spanish. At first I sat there with my Spanish/English dictionary in my hands, looking up every word that I didn't know or remember. Then I fell into a kind of rhythm and after understanding a bit more of the story line, I laid my dictionary aside and enjoyed the book. Even if I didn't at first understand the word, I understood the context of where and what it was and then I knew what it was.

I'm not sure that makes sense to you, but it does to me. The book was a good read and I enjoyed it. I found a website this afternoon that talks more about the historical figure of Malinche and it's entitled "La Malinche"--Harlot or Heroine?.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Infatuation Monster

I'm up early on a Saturday morning. Why? Because hubby's cell phone went off. It's our college girl---homebound and truckin'. Well, not truckin' exactly but heading in our direction.

She texted to let us know that the roads are so bad it's going to take twice as long to get here as it would have originally. That means....12 x 2, carry the coefficient divide by the number of Monster energy drinks....and....she's going to pull into Puyallup tomorrow night rather than tonight.

Speaking of

my other young lady came home yesterday and informed me that a certain guy (GASP) has been emailing her all day and that he's going to GIVE HER A MONSTER! Her cheeks were a bit flushed and I became concerned. Could she be coming down with something? Something fatal??

Apparently so. Infatuation is deadly. But a Monster?? Is this the 2008 equivalent of being given a tie tack in the 70's? (I may have just dated myself)

(note to my sister: There is no need to tell your daughter about this post please. It will only serve to embarrass my daughter when your daughter tells her about it and what she doesn't know won't hurt her. Thank you.)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Helper

Photobucket


I teach a few early morning Spanish classes and my assistant is Wee One. She's such a good helper and in the process she's bettering her Spanish. Bonus! This morning she decided to write on my blackboard.

I had to pick her up early from school today and then spent some time on the phone with the pediatrician, and then her Neurologists office at Children's. This dizzy thing just isn't going away and it's got me concerned.

My assistant needs to be in top form!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Why am I doing this....

Oh right. To keep a chronicle/journal of sorts about our life. Or my life. Or life in general. Or Sargeant Major.

I'm sure that was funnier in my head than it is here.

At any rate. I dashed off to school this morning to teach my little darlings and then forced them to march down to the school office to show off their newly learned skills in singing Christmas Carols in Spanish.

Boy were they embarrassed, but they did a fairly good job. Their Cascabels could have used more work but they brought the house down with a rousing rendition of Feliz Navidad if only because they've heard it on the radio so often and it does contain some words in English.

I was ever so proud.

Then it was on to home to pick up the Wee Girl (as she shall now be known) and take her to her swim therapy lessons at Children's Hospital. As I was sitting there I took out my cell phone and looked at a video I'd taken of her when she first started. The difference in her swimming is amazing! She's doing better and better all the time.

Then I picked up her seizure meds at the pharmacy while Wee Girl and Daddy traipsed off to the cafeteria for some pudding. I'm made to understand that pudding is an essential part of each hospital visit. I believe it was vanilla today. Then we took her to school and dropped her off.

We came home and hubby went upstairs to nap while I got his dinner together for him to take to work. He needed a nap as we ddin't get much sleep last night. Don't ask.

Now I've been sitting here laughing with my father as he reads through the things in his Diabetic Notebook. You know, things like how he's supposed to be controlling his portions and how to cook without sugar and how to make sure he never again enjoys another morsal of food as long as he lives. (That last part is what he believes)

As a newly minted diabetic, we all have a lot to learn to help him. To that end, I shall be attending yet another three hour class with him this evening. Right after I make dinner, clean up dinner, take girls to swim lessons and right before I collapse into a coma.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Dead Sunday

Soooooo none of us made it to church today. Ally has a fever and cough. I did something unspeakable to my spine in the pool yesterday. No, I did not go off the rope swing, though it did look like fun. I did a good bit of power walking in the water when Ash was in shallow end and I could be a bit of distance away from her without hyperventilating.

So when I woke up this morning I took a muscle relaxant and some ibuprofen thinking that would loosen me up and help me get going. All it did was knock me out for the entire day. Yay me!

Lance had to work today, which was unexpected. Something to do with an electrical thingy on the plane that wasn't doing something it was supposed to be doing and they had to get it fixed asap.

So it was a bit dead around here today. I did manage to rouse myself this afternoon/evening and make some chimichangas for the kids for dinner and then clean up the kitchen. Yay me again!

I'm hopeful my spinal column will cooperate tomorrow because I have a full day of teaching to get through.

Hear that spine? Behave!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Time

Photobucket



This is my father wearing the sweatshirt that was given to him about 10 years ago. My four children, and the four children of my sister Julie, placed their colorful handprints on the white fabric. When he pulled it out to wear the other day I was a bit overcome with emotion. My baby girl was only 8 months old. Her tiny purple handprint with her age next to it nearly made me cry.

I wish time would slow down for a bit. Just a while.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Viruses and Energizer Mommy

Photobucket


Ashley rested on the examining table today at the pediatrician's. We were trying to find out if her seizure med levels were in acceptable limits or were they out of whack and causing her headaches and bouts of dizzy-whirly-fun.

So far so good. They think it might just be a virus.

I was happy with that. A virus is fine with me. A virus doesn't cause permanent harm. I'm good with that. Very good. Yay virus!

And now, to fall into bed. Another long day. When I got home this evening around 9 my father said, "Do you ever stop?"

Sorry, no. I'm the energizer mommy...I keep going and going and going and going and going.. and well, you get the picture.

G'night.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Santa Sighting

As today is the first of December, it was only fitting that I saw the man in red.

Most of the year his name is Wayne, but during the month of December he transforms himself into Santa Claus. I don't know if you can see it here, but he's holding a beautiful American flag in his hands.

Photobucket


Wayne usually shuffles around wearing a suit coat, pants, shirt and tie. Always a tie. Wayne has oodles of ties. If Wayne spies you wearing a tie, he will ask you for it, in the the nicest possible way. Often times those that are asked for their ties, hand them over unless their tie holds sentimental value for them. If that's the case. the next time they are there they'll bring an extra tie just for Wayne.

Wayne has boxes of ties. More than he could ever use probably.

Wayne is a special person. As long as I can remember he's lived at Fircrest. A place for special people like him, and like my sister Cheri and many, many other unique and wonderful people. Most of them are happy. Continually so. Without rhyme or reason, they are happy. Wayne is such a person. He'll make faces at you, he'll talk about Che-reeeee as he calls her. If you're lucky he'll flip his dentures at you. Then you know he's really giddy.

Photobucket


Each December there is a Special People's cruise ship that goes out into Puget Sound. Each year, Wayne wears his Santa suit, because it's December of course. He's a happy, jolly man.

There should be more Wayne's in the world.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

My special day

According to tradition in my family, when it's my birthday (notice I don't say when it's anyone elses birthday), no one can refuse my request. My one request? That my children come with me and sit for this picture.

Photobucket


Well, this one was taken with my cell phone camera. The real one is coming in the next week or so. I've had them taken each and every year since 1989.

That means this girl on the right has been photographed with that jolly man in red every year for 19 years.

Photobucket


The Boy? Every year since 1991.

Photobucket


These two? Every year since 1996 and 1998 resepectively.

Photobucket


I have all the years of Santa pictures in a large frame with beautiful matting. I've filled an entire one up and am three pictures deep into the next one. I hang them up each Christmas and then spend a few moments marveling at the march of time across the faces and bodies of my children. It brings home to me how much has changed---but one thing hasn't and won't ever change. My love for them.

After the Santa picture, we engaged in another family ritual: The purchasing of Christmas ornanments. Each year after the picture, the kids get to pick out one ornament. We hang all the ornaments on the tree each year and when it comes time for them to leave and have families and trees of their own, their personal ornaments will go with them. Ally picked the 2008 Barbie, Ash picked a Hannah Montanna ornament and Chris and Steph each picked snowflakes. We bought the kids gyros and then dropped them off at home and then Lance and I had some alone time.

We drove to the International District, picked up some Japanese food then took it to Highland Park on Queen Anne overlooking the Space Needle. My cell phone doesn't take a great picture in the dark---and it was breathtaking in person---but you get the picture. Sort of.

Photobucket


We watched ferries, all lit up and sliding across the blackness of Puget Sound. Lance sat behind me with his arms around me as we remembered coming there when we first began dating oh-so-many-years ago.

All in all....my special day was a good one.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wheeeeee!

Our morning went from swim lessons for Ash at Children's Hospital...

Photobucket


Then to the hospital cafeteria for nourishment in the form of a cheeseburger and fries. Here she is in the throes of opening a packet of mustard.

Photobucket


I'm not sure it was a fun experience for her, but the rest of the meal was consumed with a dearth of facial contortions. Well, almost.

Photobucket


Then I took her back to school and went on with my busy day..until we ended up back in Children's Hospital and not in the good fun part of the place. The ER.

Photobucket


She became very dizzy, a sharp pain in her head and another one in her chest making it difficult for her to breathe. Her Daddy showed up after work to wait with me and help me with her. I was grateful that he came.

Photobucket


It was a very long wait. VERY. LONG. Did I mention the length of the wait? Yes, verily it was lengthy. Too long. We finally made it into an exam room and I was so tired that I nearly had a fit of the giggles because our ER doc looked like Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory. You know, this guy?



Yeah, him. Seriously. By the time we left there we'd been up nearly 24 hours. Giggling was the least of my worries. This was my main worry...

Photobucket


It's amazing how much fear and worry can fill you when you think there is something horrible about to happen to your littlest angel, who has already had something awful happen to her in the first place. After so many hours, the dizzy resolved itself, and the pain in her chest went away and the only thing left was a dull ache in her head where the sharp pain that had made her cry had been. The pain was in the same spot as her stroke, which was further cause for concern. Blood clots? We don't know. We may never know. They suggested another MRI to make sure that nothing else had happened.

At any rate, we went home and tried to sleep for an hour or so. I had to teach this morning....that was interesting. I love the wee ones in my class and they buoyed me up and I managed to get through the Spanish class with my eyes open. Then I took Lance to the Pain Clinic for an injection in his spine.

Photobucket


Then I came home and fell over for a few hours before picking up Ally, grocery shopping and then creating these for tomorrow:

Photobucket


I'm putting on the big feast here tomorrow. It will be the first time Thanksgiving has been held in this house since my Mom passed away six years ago. I'll be using her formal dinnerware and glasses. I hope I do you proud Mom.

And now...I'm going to go fall over for a few hours. G'nite!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Interpreting

I LOVE IT!

It's stressful and weird at times becuase I'm simply a conduit for communication but I am loving it. A lot.

I'm also learning more vocabulary. Some of it is a challenging, especially for someone with ADD. If I let my attention slide for a second it's a disaster. Thankfully that only happened once for a fraction of a second.

I am loving it. Yessire.

I still enjoy teaching but I think interpreting is a tad less stressful and complicated because basically all I have to do is show up and...talk. The hard part is getting all the people involved to talk one at a time and wait for me to interpret what they've said. Sometimes in an emotional meeting with four teachers, therapists, principles and parents things can get a bit....tense.

Other than that...fun!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cousin Love

We picked up Steph in Puyallup yesterday evening and she went to church with us this morning. Her cousins Jessica and Nicole were excited to see her and before the service began they visitied.


Photobucket


During the meeting they visited, with their cell phones unfortunately. (Note to self: remove cell phones from offspring during church hours) This is a pic that Jess took of Steph behind her and some few people behind her.

Photobucket


But it's nice to see the love.

(I get my girl for a whole week! Yay! I'm sure she'll lighten my bank account while she's here)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Twilight, Edward and Bella oh my...

Last night we had the Big Cousin Sleepover. It was supposed to be an evening of movies, lots of snack foods with sugar, trans fats, hydrogynated oils and chemicals difficult to pronounce, then little or no sleep before we embarked on our journey to see TWILIGHT!


Here's how it really went down: I fell asleep. Ashley fell asleep. This all happened before the cousins even arrived. When they did arrive, I sort of roused myself long enough to hear that they wanted to go home and sleep if the party wasn't to be on. They did stay however, and we made up for not consuming bad food that night by consuming bad food this morning. Here are the girls with waffles, strawberries and oodles of whipped cream. Yum!

Photobucket


Then we scurried to the theater to see Twilight. Here are the girls and Lance waiting in line.



Photobucket


We waited and we waited. I'd purchased the tickets earlier in the week and we were the second group in line, so that was nice. What you can't see is that it was c-c-c-c-c-cold there and I never warmed up, not even during the movie.

As for the movie.... it was all right. It wasn't up there with my top ten but it was ok. Ally is mock-angry at me for not thinking that the actor portraying Edward is the most gorgeous creature on the face of the earth. He's ok I s'pose.

The books were light years better than the movie in all repsects, though I do think they caputred Alice brilliantly. I'm sure we'll see the movie again and again as it's become Allison's passion. Much like The Titanic was Stephanie's passion at that age. It must be a girl thing.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Joy and Greenlake

As I sit here writing I am listening to the giggles of my girls and their friend Kylee. She's spending the night because her mom was called out tonight (she's a flight attendant).

The giggles and the laughs and the happy sound makes my heart happy. I should be telling them to go to sleep because it's late---and I do, albeit a bit half heartedly. I'm loving the sound coming from their room. Being happy is a gift--one I've had trouble hanging on to in the last few weeks.

But things have changed and improved. I made the decision to be happy despite things and then the situation that was causing me such pain improved.

Being happy is a good thing.

On Monday I took the girls and their cousin to Greenlake. I'd like to say it was a peaceful time but we were accosted by some insane man who began yelling at us, kept yelling and being rude. It frightened my girls and made Ashley cry. So I did what every grown married woman does in that situation. I called my 76 year old father. He came down to the lake with his dog Amy and took care of the situation so we could go for a little walk without fear that this mean person was going to vandalize our vehicle.

Oh, the lake was beautiful, see? I think the UW rowing (sculling?) team was on the lake practicing.

Photobucket


The silly girls were determined to wear shorts because they were going to be walking the lake...which of course we didn't. Ash couldn't walk that far and our little episode with the crazy man took away some of our time. The light was fading so we didn't go far. But....the girls in the shorts had a good time.

Photobucket


Since I began writing this the giggling has ceased. It seems the angels have gone to sleep for the night.

Sweet dreams angels.

Chimpanzee riding on a segway

And now for something completely different...

The Boy, who is acting remarkably human these past couple of days, came upstairs and showed me the following. I thought it only right to pass it on to all of you. Turn on your speakers. You're going to want to get this song stuck in your head. No, really.

My first car was a 1962 white Ford Thunderbird.

This is a car that I loved loved loved. White, with lots of chrome, black interior and a way cool 8 track tape player that was removable!. Oh yeah we were the cool kids on the block as I drove this baby to high school.

As we were driving up Aurora the other day I slammed on my brakes to make a quick turn because I'd seen my car.

Photobucket


We stopped and checked it out. It could very well have been my car. It had the same cracked hole in the dashboard in front of the passenger seat where Kevin Nickel had slammed his fist while I was driving us all to see the Eagles in concert at the Kingdome.

It might not have been the same car though because it was a little too shiny. You see, one day my sister and I decided to do a good deed for my Dad and wash the car. It was awful dirty.

We used Comet. You know, Comet? The abrasive bathroom cleanser?



Yes, that one. We washed the car with it. We were so helpful! And yes, a little blond. The car was still white but it sure wasn't shiny any longer.

The car is for sale.... I'd like to buy it for my girls to drive. One thing is for sure, that car is a tank and a much better protection than any air bag in a car made of tinfoil today.

Ah yes...my car...

Photobucket

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Prop 8 and tolerance

As I've been watching the news and reading articles online and finding the protesting has been violent, rude and hate filled. LDS temples have been targeted with grafitti, people have had cups of urine thrown on them. sacred books have been burned and church buildings vandalized.

This, from a segment of the population that says they believe in tolerance.

Uh huh. They're only tolerant when you don't believe as they do. They ask for tolerance but give none in return.

I understand that it's not going to get better it will only get worse and that's a sad thing.

Call it a civil union, have all the medical decision making rights, property rights, everything---but just don't call it marriage. It's not. It's something entirely different.

Ayup. This is me taking a stand.

And also, for the record, the church didn't set up phone banks, or send in millions of dollars to support Prop 8. Private individuals sent in support and worked for it.

And one more thing....the only reason that it passed in California is because of the enormous African American voter turnout in their support of Obama. Funny how you're not seeing huge disrepectful protests down in their churchs and their commnuities.

I wonder why that is....

Friday, November 14, 2008

Bobo and Love

We brought our kitty Bobo with us when we moved to my father's house. He's a very loving feline and back when we lived in Puyallup he'd give all of us what
we called Head Butts. He'd knock heads with us, in an affectionate way.

Since we've moved he only gives head butts to Lance. I feel cheated somehow. Oh, he still walks all over me at night, comes to me for loves but not one single head butt. He reserves them all for the alpha male of the family.

Also, the word Bobo means stupid in Spanish....not that I'm uh...you know. Not that I'm saying he's stupid or anything. No, I'd never do that. Here he is laying on Lance this morning.

Photobucket


This morning my sister sent me a picture with her cell phone of something her kids had written on their dry erase board. It made me smile.

Photobucket