Friday, March 31, 2006

My Slug Killing Partner

When I was in the 7th grade, I had a crush on one of my classmates. He was short, toe-headed, and baby-faced, and I just couldn't get enough of him. He was a soccer player, and I loved the sport. When he asked me "out", I thought I would never come back down to earth. Of course, I said yes, and we proceeded to "date". Which, at that stage of my life, meant we sat next to each other at lunch, held hands when we could sneak it, and passed love letters. He was my first boyfriend. His name was Christian.

My relationship with Chris didn't last very long, though. He transferred to another school, and he thought we just weren't going to be able to make it work. I was sad, but it made sense. Besides, I was very much a tomboy and the "going out" thing wasn't quite my forte. I did really like him though, and we were still friends for quite a long time.

It was years ago, the last time we saw each other. But he was still handsome and baby-faced, even though he was well over 6 feet and towered over me. I was married with a child, and his wife was expecting. Life had changed so much since we were young and innocent.


When I was in the 8th grade, I remember a guest speaker coming into one of my classes to speak. I was attending a little Christian school then, and the speaker was lecturing on "adult" type topics: dating, abstinence, self-control. I can't say that I remember most of what he spoke on. It wasn't my "scene", and I couldn't relate. But there was this one comment that I will ALWAYS remember. He mentioned that we should, "Start praying now for your future spouse."

I thought that was a novel idea. I had never really given it much thought before. I mean, goodness, I was only in the 8th grade! But his point made sense: It'll be important to you someday, and it's a big part of your life, so start praying about it now.

So I did. I prayed that God would give me a husband just like Christian. He just seemed to have everything that I figured I would want in a husband. I decided to break it down for God and make a list:

-Not too tall. Preferably short
-Short hair
-Athletic, preferably plays soccer (my favorite)
-a Christian
-Baby faced, like Christian was

I know this sounds funny, but I was serious. This was my list I gave to God. My "Christmas list" for a husband, if you will. Everything that I thought I would like in a guy, Chris had. So, I just ran down a list of his particulars. I guess I figured that if God could do it once, He could do it again.

And whenever it would cross my mind, I would remind God about my list. I probably did that for years.


Sometime during that 8th grade year, I met a girl named Jes. Jes was a year younger than me, but we hit it off really well, and the age difference just never seemed to be an issue (like it can be when you're that young). It's funny, now that I look back on it. Jes and I were very different people when we were younger. She was often shy and reserved; I was loud and boisterous. She was homeschooled; I wasn't. We didn't go to the same church, so we didn't see each other that much. Actually, I can't tell you why we ever got so close, but we did, and she's still one of my very best friends to this day.

Sometimes we would hang out at my house, and sometimes we stayed over at hers. I really liked going over to her place---there was always something going on there. She had 2 brothers and a sister, a dog and some cats (I loved animals, but we really couldn't have any at my house), and the kids next door from them were all but related to them, so they were over all the time too. Her house was a depot of activity, and me, being the people person that I am, loved the craziness of it all.

One of the first times I was over, she was introducing me to all these random people. Some of them I already knew, and some I didn't. But one person in particular I had never met before, and I guess I really didn't on that day either.....

He was half way under a dishwasher.

I mean half way---all you could see was the guy's legs. Jes introduced him as her older brother, and he stuck a hand out and waved. Maybe he said hello, but it was probably muffled. I mean, he was really under the thing. I didn't know a person could fit their head under a dishwasher like that. Nevermind half your body.

"So that's your older brother?"

"Yeah, he's 16."

16 was a whole TON older than 13. I just hoped he wasn't one of those irritating older brothers who was going to crash our slumber parties or pour milk in our Cokes. It wasn't until some time later that I actually got a look at the guy. He was skateboarding down the street. And he was terribly short. I could now understand the dishwasher thing.


When I went to high school the next year, Jes and I didn't see each other that much. We never stopped being friends, but life pulled us in different directions for a while. It wasn't until her parents started attending the church where we went, that I saw her more often. It was always good to be with her.

By this time, I was 16. A sophomore in high school. I was driving, and I had my own car. Even though I was still tomboyish at heart, a lot of that type awkwardness was gone. I was older, less geeky, a little more sophisticated. I actually cared about what I wore and how my hair looked. It wasn't top priority, but at least it was a priority. Big steps, for a girl like me.

I was starting to notice boys now too. Man, some of them were pretty cute. Feelings like that were a little strange to me, but not uncomfortable. Interesting. I hadn't had feelings like this since Christian. Yet, no one seemed to have his qualities. The things I liked about him. Oh well. I was only 16 anyway.


But then it happened.

I was in church one Sunday, sitting with my friends, when all of a sudden he walked in.

It was Christian.

But it wasn't Christian.

But he sure looked like Christian.

It was.........Jes' brother.

Chris. Home on a break from college.

The former skateboarding, squeezing under half the dishwasher, older brother that I could've cared less about.

He was........he was........


How did I not recognize a guy like that for the past three years I'd been around Jes?

He was "Christian", my prototype husband.


Every time I was around Chris, I was drawn to him. He always caught my attention. It was terribly uncanny, how much he looked like Christian. He was still short (my height, which is short for a man); his hair was cut in the "flat top" style that you see on military men. He was built like an athlete, and played like one too. And he didn't even look close to the 19 years he had under his belt.

As time went on, it become apparent that I wasn't the only one interested. So we started doing things together when we were out with friends. But we had never gone out to do something together alone. He called me one day to ask me if we could date, exclusively. I was so excited, but nervous as to what my father would say about dating a guy that was so much older than me. So I told him we would be considered "buds" (I know, cheesy), and yes, we could go out together sometime.

And the day came. It was a first date, of sorts, but being only 16, I was in new territory with the whole "dating" thing. I guess Chris picked up on this, so he decided that we would just go out and do something low key and fun:

He took me to a soccer field.

I knew he was the one.


3 years later, I married the man I prayed for. He ended up fulfilling every little childish requirement, and then some. I know some people say there's no such thing as "love at first sight", but I beg to differ. It may not have been love at first sight when we first "met" near that dishwasher, but it sure was when I was old enough to have sight for love.


This year will be our 10th anniversary, and I'm more in love now than ever.

Yet, I've learned more of what love is over this span of time. It's not quite what I thought it was when we started out. I guess most married couples get that eye opener after a little while. But for all the ho-hum times, stressful days, and meaningless irritations, I still can't wait to see him walk in the door at the end of the day. I still don't like sleeping alone. I feel weird when he hasn't had the chance to call from work. Something's not right if he's not nearby on his day off.

I can't imagine life without him.

And by the looks of us, you might not get that first impression. I'm a pretty independant person. I like to be with people, yet I have a self confidence that says "I can take care of myself." He, on the other hand, doesn't mind being by himself, doing something quietly while the world mad-dashes around him. He's also fairly independant. There are many times where it seems as though our worlds are connected, but spinning on their own axis, only touching once a rotation.

This is partly because of our situation in life. He has a job with crazy hours, and I have a house full of kids to attend to. We don't necessarily want it to be this way, but at this stage of the game, we have no choice. It's a part of life, and it's the way things are right now. These things are not the pretty side of marriage. They're not what you imagine when you dream about being together and raising a family. You never expect to be so tired at night that you really never talk. You don't forsee having no money and plenty of bills. You would never want to consider the possibility of having a child with a fatal illness.

But marriage is really like that. It's like a rock, out on the lawn. It's nice and warm on one side. Perhaps tinged with a color that shines in the sun. A nice place to sit and spend some time.

But on the other side, it's dark and cold. And there are grubs and slugs under there.

The cold, dark side isn't bad. It's just a side of the rock. It has it's purpose, and it's good points.

But it's not the side you think about when you consider that rock in the yard.

Sometimes you're on the warm, sunny side. And sometimes, you need to explore the dark, cold side.

That's just married life.

Today, I read a comment that a child made.

A five-year-old little boy was asked, "Why do people get married?"

To which he replied, "Cause they love each other. They can sleep together, kill slugs, and have fun."


I guess Chris and I have had to spend more time under the rock than we'd like to. But I'm so glad we're exploring it together. Dealing with all the un-wonderful things in life is so much easier when you're doing it with someone you love.

So, it's times like this, when the kids are in bed, and the stress of the day has stopped shouting, when I remember how much I love my husband. For all he does for this family. And for all the things he means to me.

I remember that I chose him. I remember love at first sight. I remember the butterflies he put in my stomach. And now that we've been married these 9+ years, I feel as though I can also say that

I love the man I kill slugs with.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

I've Gone Public!

We've all heard of Fantasy Football.


Well, have you heard of the "Fantasy Stock Market?"

I assume you haven't (Unless you're Marty).

Neither had I. Until recently. But just to let you know, this blog has the prestigeous distinction of being one of the "Top 100 Blogs" in the "Ailments, Illnesses and Diseases" industry. Number 80, to be precise. This blog is worth a whopping $42.98 per share! I mean, that's pretty good.......ummm......right? Dad?

There's 4000 shares hop to it all you risk takers! Just drop it all in one bucket. Forget diversifying----that's for wimps! Buy! Buy! Buy!

Hey, ya know how I can raise my value?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Writer's "Cramp"

I have not been into writing lately. Can you tell? My brain's hurting...literally. I've been dealing with migraines and headaches for 2 days now. Can you say ouch? Annoying, too. But that's life I guess. Here's what's new at our house:

-My dishwasher broke. A stinkin' Maytag too. Paid a whopping bucketload for the thing, and 3 years later.....kaput. I hear there's no fixing it cheaply. Well, not that I want a cheap job, but an inexpensive fix would've been nice. We'll end up having to pay almost as much for the fix as a new one. Either way, this was NOT in my budget. I think I'll be doing it by hand for awhile. My friend Heather always does it by hand, since she doesn't even have one. Perhaps I'll walk a mile in her shoes. Although, I do have to say that I've been empathetic to her situation for years, and have even offered her a dishwasher that we didn't need anymore. But alas, she didn't have a spot for it, so she is still spending way more time in the kitchen than I. Until now, at least......sigh.

-Michaela has had a rough 2 weeks. It seemed as though she was slipping a couple of weeks ago, when we saw her start to drool. I thought that it was because she had a head cold, but Chris thought otherwise. Historically speaking, he was right. She had been on the Felbamate for 4 weeks, so it made sense. We usually only get 5-8 weeks of usefulness out of a new drug. But I was still holding on to see if she would perk up and quit drooling. Well, that happened before her school break. DURING break, life ended up being a disaster for meds. I could NOT seem to keep her on the same schedule as she's used to when she's at school. Normally, she's had her first dose by 6:30 the latest. But on vacation days, we weren't getting up until at least 7. And then I would forget to dose her in the midst of Asher crying, and Libby needing to use the bathroom, and general morning chaos. And with Mom and Dad here, my mind was quickly preoccupied with other things, and get the picture. By the beginning of this week, she was using a bib full time, her arms were dystonic, and her speech was slurry. As of today, however, with 3 days of normalcy under her belt, it seems she's back on the upswing. I didn't put a bib on her this morning, but I put one in her backpack, just in case. Her arms looked better, and her speech was close to normal (for her).

Moral of the story: Don't mess up powerful neurological drugs......and get an alarm clock.

-Loo Loo the Froo Froo, aka Libby, is now a potty-training wonder. The child who would once say (oh not too long ago), "I like my by-per", is now sporting a whole array of toddler approved underpants. I thought the day would never come. But let me tell y'all this, ESPECIALLY if you need to potty-train (and I DO mean NEED)----naked butts are the way to go. I'm serious. It works. It seems as though 3-year-olds don't like warm fluid running down their legs. So we smart parents must take advantage of this little psychological glitch. And you too will soon hear your darling calling your name and mentioning the word "potty". Ahhh blisssss.

-We have acquired another furry creature. Poor Coop was miserable without his human pals on a constant basis, and so I decided that he needed a friend of his own. One that would always be there, even on rainy days (see, we were only "fair weather friends"). I saw an ad for an 8-month-old female yellow lab, and I inquired about her. Well, we got to bring her home a couple of Saturdays ago. Her name is "Cassie". She's somewhat quirky and shy, but I think she'll come around just fine in no time. She and Cooper have become fast friends. I was especially pleased to find them keeping warm together while taking a nap on the porch.

Unfortunately, the have also become partners in "crime". Arggghhh.

-On a more positive note, this spring is really turning my house into a pretty sight. We've never seen it when the trees are all blooming, and it's really getting picturesque out there. I have this black walnut tree (or so I've been told) that blooms bright fuscia---gorgeous! Two plum trees in the back bloomed the earliest, and they have white flowers. And of course, the daffodils have been out for a while. I spent some birthday money and put up some hanging petunias and a hosta plant. The kids and I planted strawberries, too. We're really excited about those. Personally, I can't wait for all the trees to get leafy. These 2 big pecan trees in my yard are going to shed a comfortable amount of shade---just right for small picnics this summer. I'm just very excited about it all. Trees were one of my biggest requirements when we were looking for property. And I've come to the conclusion that if you want nice ones, you gotta buy an old house. The type of place that's been inhabited for many years. That way, all the tree planting was done half-a-century ago, and all the trees are mature and spacious.

If only they planted closets like they planted trees.....

-Noah is almost done 2nd grade. He's finished most of his subjects, so now, we're mostly doing filler work to get in enough school days. For the most part, he's an excellent student, but every now and then he gets distracted. I've since adopted a strategy to get him back on track: Every time he decides to tell me something instead of doing his work, I simply say "Distracted!!", and he gets the hint and re-focuses. It's pretty funny on some days though. You'll hear "Distracted!" every 5 minutes or so....even Caleb gets into it!

-The kids have a new swingset/playset in the backyard. This was their Christmas gift from many people, including Chris' parents and our adopted Alabama family. Due to bad weather, and illness, it took awhile for it to get up and "moving". It's been a hit since day one. We also trucked over our old storage building for them to use as a playhouse. It's not ready yet, but Chris' grandparents sent us some money as a Christmas gift for the kids, so we're going to use that to fix it up. Right now though, it looks like the house that fell on the Wicked Witch of the East!

And that's all for now, I guess. You know, if I can write this much under duress, how much should I be able to write when I'm feeling fine? Interesting concept.....

Friday, March 24, 2006

Tales From The Other Side

As you can see from this site, I like to read other blogs.

I've been a reader for as long as I can remember, and I'm pretty sure that I've always liked to read. Not everyone feels that way. Some only read because they have to. But I read for fun.

However, I have a hard time finding things that I like to read.

See, the type of material I like is mainly biographies and true stories. I have a hard time reading stuff that I can't relate to. Or stuff that is far-fetched. Forget science fiction. There's just no way.

And I don't like historical biographies. You know, George Washington or Napoleon. Uh uh. So that really narrows down the playing field too. Which really stinks, because I really like to read......a lot. And I hate not having a good book around to get immersed in.

Well, then I discovered blogs.

And interestingly enough, there always seems to be a good amount of whatever genre you like to read here in the blogosphere. Some people like politics. Some people like archaeology. Some people like computer technology. There's a healthy dose of blogs out there for all those interests. And that's pretty cool. Instant Barnes and Noble, at no extra cost.

Me personally? I like medical blogs.

And contrary to what you might think, it really doesn't have to do with Michaela and her issues. Well, not entirely. It didn't start out that way, at least. I've been into medical stuff since I was a teenager. I've always liked medical stories, especially those that deal with children. "Children's Hospital" was one of my favorite books in my personal library for a long time. I can't remember when I got it, but I'm pretty sure I was in high school. I could even tolerate medical fiction, particularly if it was based on true events.

So, I know it didn't start out that way, but now it's evolved into this fact: I like to read medical blogs because it shows the other side of my reality. The reality that I have a very sick child (and by sick, I mean, neurologically) who's in doctor's offices more often in one year than many children are in their entire childhood. When we first figured out that Michaela was having seizures, I made sure to make a beeline for the local University with a medical library. I can't remember how long I was there, but I found my info and started reading. I haven't stopped. Many times I read medical literature for her sake, and sometimes, it's for my sake. And then there are times when I simply HAVE to read medical stuff. If I didn't, then I could be found to be too ignorant on a subject that could have some drastic ramifications. And I can't always wait for the doctor to inform me.....they're too busy. So, apart from my natural gravitation to medicine, I now am many times "shoved" into medicine.

Yet, whether I go willingly or I'm led kicking and screaming, you can usually find me reading something of medical significance. It's just what I do now.

Another Mom in the blogosphere who has the same "problem", expressed it in this way:

One of the places where I am most comfortable, is in a medical setting. 95% of my day is spent in some way caring for my dear son. So, the best part of these blogs is coming home. Reading healthcare blogs and especially physician blogs, give me some great perspective and well as some good reading. It is the one area where I feel like I belong. I remember being particularly excited the first time I read FatDoctor'’s blog. I quickly e-mailed my friend who has a child with severe disabilities. I told her that it'’s pretty cool reading her blog because it gives you an idea of what the docs are thinking when you go in for an office visit as well as a different perspective. She fell in love with them too.

And this is why, if you look at my list of blogs, you'll find a few medically oriented sites listed. Many of the blogs in my roll have to do with parenting, kids with special needs, or friends from church, but then there are the doctors and nurses too. These are all people that I relate to. I may not know them in real life (but some I do!), yet we have a common thread, something we can share. And because I hold high standards in my writing, I've made sure to only include sites that don't include offensive content. (But if you find one that does, please note that I am unaware of it.)

So, if you've ever wondered how many bones are in the body (206, generally), why you have to wait so long in the ER, or if that rash on your arm is OK or not, I invite you to read along with me. And have fun reading stories from "the other side."

Thursday, March 23, 2006

It Doesn't Take Much

Let me tell you about something really funny that happened today!

Well, you may not think it's funny....but I laughed so hard I busted a gut!

See, Dad and I were trying to put together a storm door. Well, these things take a lot of work, right? So, we're screwing and drilling and doing everything that needed to be done to get the thing put up, and on one part (well, actually 2) you have to cut metal. The directions say you need a hack saw, but we didn't have one, so Dad took out some kind of folding saw that didn't hardly do anything. So I remembered that my tile guy had left a grinder here and Dad went to get it. WELL, the thing didn't work right! Dad plugged it in and it worked for a minute, but then it quit on him. So he thought maybe it was the outlet. He went to another outlet and it worked for a minute and then it quit again. He kept pressing the power button and shaking the thing and he figured it out! You have to shake it to get it to work (it must've had a short in it's wiring). So there's Dad, shaking the TAR out of this peice of power equipment so he can cut the metal piece. You gotta picture it: shake, Shake, SHAKE! And it goes voom,Voom, VOOM! The faster you shook the thing, the faster it spun the grinder! It was hilarious! Like Fred Flintstone trying to get his car to move! A power tool you have to shake to get it to work right!! HAHAHAHA!!!

OK, well......

I though it was funny.......

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

PFTD, Round 2

And Noooowwwww.....The much awaited tale of PFTD, Round 2!

((wild applause))

I'm your host, Guy Smiley, and this is "Kelly's Liiiiiiffffffeeeee!" For those of you readers who are not familiar with the PFTDs, we'll remind you that the acronym stands for:

((audience joins in)) "Project For The Day!!!"

((wild applause))

That's right, ladies and gentleman, you too can now read seemingly endless tales of misery and woe as Kelly struggles to tame the wild beasts that lay slothfully around various parts of her house! This week's rueful tale:


((Ooooooooooo, Ahhhhhhhhhhh))

Our story begins on a dark and stormy night....

(stage hand) Oh Guuuuyyyyyy...


(stage hand) That's not how the story begins at all!

It isn't?

(stage hand) No! It was a sunny day when she started to throw random junk in the laundry room!

Oh! I see. Ahem. It was a bright and cheery day when Kelly started to notice that her laundry room was the perfect place to throw miscellaneous items. Things she couldn't seem to find a home for. Old, unwanted things that she didn't take the time to throw away. And since it was the only room with a latching door, it became a great place to hide all the clutter and rick-rack that troubled her. Out of sight, out of mind, they always say!

((audience laughs))

But one day, even Kelly couldn't take it anymore....

"I just can't take this anymore!"

She could hardly even use her laundry room. The piles were so high and so wide, that the clean clothes were starting to get lost! Something had to be done......but what? It would take much too much time to clean out the laundry room, seeing as there were many other chores that had to be taken care of too. But it had to be tackled. Kelly decided that the other chores would just have to wait. This was becoming an emergency!

"I simply must take care of this........TODAY!"

With determination and strength of mind our Heroine started her dreaded task. First, she picked through the garbage:

"This lamp is broken! There's no more deodorant on this stick! Why is this banana peel back here?!?!"

Then, it was the dirty laundry:

"Ewwww! This sock is growing mold!"

And before long, there was only clutter left. Little things that could not be thrown away, but had to find a home of their own:

"Sorry duct tape, no stickin' around. Winter gloves, I'm hanging you out to dry. Toy plane, you are grounded."

After what seemed like half a day, the room was finally clear of debris and junk. But Kelly's task was far from over. Oh no. There's was no stopping her project now. Now, she had to ORGANIZE the room. Put everything away that should be there, and make it all neat. But how to go about it? The laundry room didn't have a closet for storage. Only a few measly cabinets that were almost filled with detergents and cleaners. Yet the linens! They had no place to go! What would our Heroine do now??

"Oh dear! I have all these things to put in here, and no where to store them neatly! What am I to do? WAAAAAAAAAA.............!"

Poor Kelly. So determined to be organized and yet her house is seemingly trying to stay cluttered. But wait! It looks like our Heroine has an idea! Yes! Yes! She's found a storage rack in the garage.......and look! She's placing a corner......of the ROOM! She's neatly laying her towels and sheets on the rack! She's done it folks! She's successfully tamed the laundry room monster!

((wild applause))

And that look of accomplishment on her face says it all! Well, folks, that concludes another chapter in "Kelly's Life". Until next time, I'm Guy Smiley saying, Take a project a day to keep the clutter away!

Good Night!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Rapunzel's Child

Michaela had her dentist appointment today.

(OK wait , I am SO TIREWD, that I am having a harf time typing.... can yoiu tell? oh man , now my foots asleep too, arggghhh)

It went well. As well as could be expected out of a kid that's related to me....

She cried. Almost the whole time.

See, I don't like going to the dentist either. I just don't like my mouth to hurt. Or even feel different. You know what I mean? You go and get this cleaning, and your teeth feel......weird. Hard to describe. Kinda like, it's just not the same without that plaque/food/popcorn kernal from last month in that crack between your teeth. They feel disjointed. I hate that feeling.

And I hate it when they try to have a conversation with you while they're using that sharp metal pick. This is a real problem for us people people. We WANT to talk to the hygienist, but we can't. Like some kind of sick torture for outgoing people. Thank goodness it only happens once every six months. Well, unless you need other things me. Then you have to go like every 2 months, because I can't seem to suck it up and get it all done at one time. That's a lot of torture sessions.

Anywho, Michaela didn't really like the whole experience, but it was pretty run-of-the-mill considering we drove 1.5 hours to get to the specialist. I was expecting something a little more, well, specialized. But all they did was lay her back and go at it. So I asked them what I was supposed to do when she can't get her mouth open. Those times when I can't brush her teeth.

They ended up giving me a special thingy that I can use to at least clean the outsides of her teeth, and a HUGE bottle of mouthwash to use instead of toothpaste (I mean HUGE--the biggest freebee you've ever seen. We're NOT talking a trial size here! I felt really weird trucking that thing around the hospital). But other than that, they were like, it's all part of the package when you have a special needs kid. You can't always get their teeth clean, and there's problems that arise from that, but that's par for the course. They said that they wouldn't "knock-her-out" just for a cleaning, but they would if she needed a lot of dental work done, like cavities (of which, she has none. Woohoo!). So, we're going to try to schedule her regular cleanings around her good times, and if she's having a hard time, then we just won't do anything. I was a little shocked that I was putting more emphasis on oral health than the dentist was, but it made sense too. Putting a kid under has some pretty serious risks, and they don't consider regular cleanings a justifiable reason to do that. We'll just clean what we can, when we can, and save the heavy stuff for when she's able.


Replaced her G-tube while we were at the hospital. She'd been complaining of it hurting her for about a week and a half. It was strange because I could tell it was doing good, and wasn't infected. I just had no clue as to what was bothering her. I decided to pacify her mind and put some Neosporin around the site. That was a couple of days ago, and she hadn't complained since. But since I was driving all the way to the hospital, I called surgery and asked them if they would look at it. They ended up changing it and found it to be looking good. So maybe it was all in her head. I can never tell when she's just got a complaint stuck in her mind, and when it's legit.

Poor Mom though. Michaela wanted her to hold her hand through it, but Mom's stomach just couldn't handle the gaping hole in Michaela's belly. I kept asking her if she was ok, but I guess "ok" can change to "uh oh" pretty quick!


Got the super-important-all-official-looking document from Chief. Now I just have to finalize all my evidence and wait to get my hearing date. The letter is very specific and all encompassing. They can't possibly deny her with it. I would have to appeal again if they did.....just for the sheer principle of it!


On the funnier side, everyone loved Michaela's long hair. I left it down for the first time in a while, and the black ladies couldn't stop commenting on it:

"Girrrll! Where'd you get hayr like dat? Giiirrll! Shanice! Come see this! Check out this girl's hayr. Honey, how long it take you to get a brush thru dat? You eva cut that? It's like Crystal Gail. Mmm, mmm!"

"Let me run my hands in goodness girl, you blessed. You just blessed. I ain't eva seen hayr like dat on a child. You just let Miss Darita cut me off a little and give me some extensions---HAHAHAHAHA!"

By this time, every woman in the clinic is crowding the door. It's a funny sight to see, all these black ladies cackling about "all dat hayr" instead of working. It IS pretty, though--one of Michaela's prettiest features.

Too bad for Boo though. It kept getting caught everywhere and bothering the tar out of her. Oh, well. Back to the braids.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Chatty Cathy

My brain is fried.

"Mama, Mama what's that? What that right there?"

"A picture." (I couldn't really see it, it was a tiny imprint on a book cover)

"No, I said what's THAT right here. In the circle. What's that? What's that, right there? Right there?"

"It's a picture." (I've stopped trying to explain things in detail. It seemingly goes over her head)

"No, I asked you about that, right there. What's that right there? That little thing right there. What's that? Mama, mama, mama, what's that?"

"Michaela, I already told you what it is."

"No, no, no, Mama, it's right here, RIGHT HERE!"

"Michaela, please hush, I already told you what it is"!

"Mmmmm, errrrrrr. I just want you to tell me what it is. What is it Mama? Look it's right there. "

"Michaela, do you know what it is??"

"It's a diamond. A little diamond. It's a DIAMOND, Mama! Yeah, a diamond. Look Libby! What's this? What's this Libby..........."

Rhetorical questions. That's what I deal with ALL DAY LONG....

"Mama, what color is that?"


"YOU'RE RIGHT! IT'S BLUE!! You're right Mama. It's blue. GOOD JOB MAMA!! What color is that? That one, Mama. What color is it?"

"Michaela, do YOU know what color that is?" (I've learned a little of how to get out of the run-around)

"IT'S GREEN! I'm right! It's green Mama! I like green. Green. Mmmm, hmmm, it's green."

But this doesn't stop. FOR HOURS. The only time she's not talking is when she's sleeping (and maybe eating, maybe), and thank God, she takes little naps throughout the day. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the incessant talking is what tires her out so much.

I could use a few naps myself...

How to feel like a hypocrite though. Here I am one day sad because she can't talk to me, and the next day irritated because she won't stop talking to me. And I am honestly flustered. Especially since it starts at 6 am, when I'm still sleeping.

I guess I won't win "Mother of the Year" feeling this way. normal is this?!? Am I allowed to be annoyed?

I guess when it comes down to it, I'll handle it like this: I've decided that I don't like "Abnormal".......on BOTH sides of the spectrum.

And neither do my ears.

Friday, March 17, 2006

A Little "Happy", Minus the Guinness

Speaking of roots....

Where's my brain today?

(For those of you who don't know, I'm Irish......3rd generation American.)

La 'le Phadraig Shona Dhuit!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

And remember this: Only stupid Irishmen get drunk on St. Patrick's day. The rest wear green and watch parades with their kids ;)

Manchester On My Mind

I've been looking into "tweaking" this blog recently.

When you first start blogging on Blogger, they give you a series of different looks, or "templates" that you can choose from. This one I chose, called "Tic Tac", seemed to reflect me and my personality:

Many facets, all a little different in significance.

In other words, I've got lots of many different things about me, and some are more distinguished than others. And through this blog, you can have a little helping at a time. Like the candy, I'm probably a lot sweeter if you don't get all of me at once. Just a little tic tac here, a little tic tac there. Making your day more enjoyable. But if you are downing a whole pack at one time, it might make you sick.

I don't know, it's a thought. I like to be subtle.

Yet, I've grown tired with this template. It's too.....generic. I am also the type of person that likes to be original, unique, out of the ordinary. Well, I'm not so sure if I like it, but it's how I've always been, so it's comfortable to me. And these days, this generic looking website isn't "me" enough. I'm feeling a little disconnected. Like, it's a house I used to live in, and someone else's furniture is here.........weird. In fact, that's exactly what I experience when I visit other sites and the owner chose the same template....what are they doing in my house?

The color scheme is also not "warm" enough for me. I'm more of a "dark maroon, midnight blue" kinda gal. Autumn colors suit me well too. "Primary green" just isn't cuttin' it anymore.

I don't even really like the format. The more I look around, the more I find that there's a lot out there to choose from. Hey, you can have anything you want for the right price, right? Well, I'm not looking to break the bank on a simple pasttime (although many Americans do), but I would like to experiment a bit. I think there's probably a lot I can do within Blogger, so I won't be changing my address here, but sometime in the future, this "Single Wide" from 1984 is gonna (hopefully) be replaced with a shiney "Double Wide" from 2005. All in good time.

So here's why I said all that.

I was surfing a bit last night on my search for blog elements that I like, when I found this:

I know, it's cool and all, but what's the big deal? Welllllllll.......

This picture was taken in Manchester, NH. The place where I was born and raised. I didn't even know that it existed until last night. It was taken in 1914, and that HUGE flag (95 by 50 feet, to be exact) was made right there in that mill, the Amoskeag Mill.

How many times have I been there? Too numerous to count. I would know those windows on that brick anywhere. My relatives came to this country to work in those mills. They may have helped make that flag. And even though it wasn't this particular building, my Dad's parent's met in a mill building (they worked in a shoe factory, and my Grandpa wore roller skates to get from one end to the other!). A building that was one day converted into apartments. My FIRST apartment after we were married. The home where Michaela was born. It all came full circle. How cool is that?

The Mills in Manchester have a special place my heart. But even more than that, I can't help but have a deep affinity for the place where I spent 24 years of my life.

The last time I was there was during the New Year after my aunt had passed away. It was a surreal time for me. My aunt was the first relative that I had lost from her generation, my PARENT'S generation. It was so strange. I expected my grandparent's deaths, in that they were at that age to die. My aunt really wasn't. She was 53.

Anyway, while I was there, my brother and I were in the car driving along with all the other mourners on our way to the cemetery. The line was incredible. I felt bad for the traffic, having to wait for all those cars to pass through. But we got to thinking:

Manchester is OUR city. It's where our Grandparents raised 7 kids. And each of those 7 kids have made a dent in the local life. That's why the line was so long. There were many people who wanted--needed--to pay their respects. Growing up, we never could go anywhere without someone knowing who we were. As teenagers, it could be annoying. But as adults, it was a gift. We have a connection with that community. They know us, we know lots of them, and there's this understanding that we all love Manchester.

Sadly, my generation has been moving on.....exploring other intriguing parts of this country. We are now spread from coast to coast. Whereas our parents never seemed to venture very far from the heart of Manchester, us kids only come for an occasional visit. Sometimes just to feel "at home", I imagine. Some day, our family may only be a vacant memory in Manchester. Perhaps all the good my family has done in the city will be memorialized one day, but if not, then we'll just be visitors, passing through for old times sake. And nobody will know our name anymore. My kids will barely have any connection at all. They won't know the five different ways to get to JFK Colliseum. Or the best places to play "hide and seek" at South Soccer League.


that's kinda sad.

I know it's my fault that I won't be able to give them the same feelings and emotion that I have when it comes to being in Manchester. We moved on too. Their affections will be directed here, a place that I can't relate to as well as I'd like. There's just something to be said for living in the same place for all your life. I really hope my kids decide to stay around here when they get older. I would even love it if they all lived close by, on family land. But I hope they all understand that blank look in my eyes when I don't know what they're talking about. The great places to hunt, the wildest road to drive fast on, the oldest house in town. All things they'll learn just from growing up here.

But I hope they also understand the faraway gaze I have when I'm reminiscing about my childhood.

And I've got Manchester on my mind.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Making of A Heart Attack

Asher is 11 months old, but he is incredibly small. His brain doesn't know this, apparently.

I guess it wasn't so bad on my nerves.....I at least had the presence of mind to yell to Noah to get my camera....

Don't worry, Mom. I was close by the whole time.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Ms. Efficient

Has a book ever changed your life?

First, let me just say that the Bible has been THE ultimate life changing book for me. So, what I'm talking about here is the title in second place:

Pictured here on the left. Cheaper by the Dozen.

Have you ever read this one? No, not the movie, the BOOK. Have you ever cracked this one open?


Oh, well let me just tell ya about it.

Other than Scripture, this book has been THE book that has completely altered my life. No kidding. I can't quite remember when I read it.....hmmmm, maybe 6th grade? I don't remember. And I don't even think I read it more than once. Well, maybe twice, but that's about it. But, amazingly, I remember quite a bit about the stories in it.

From the picture you can tell that the main focus of the book is on a family with A LOT of kids. 12 to be exact (hence the title). And I already know what you're thinking.....

No. I don't have a big family because of "Cheaper by the Dozen". We're not having 12 kids! Yikes!

Actually, what I got out of the book is how the father manages life. And I dare say that this is the main focus of the entire story:

He LIVED for efficiency.

Everything he did, he tried to do it quickly and with the least amount of work possible. No, he was no slouch, or a lazy guy trying to get out of hard work (how can anyone do that with 12 kids??). But he knew that there must be a faster way to get the job done, and he worked at it until he got it right. He was positively fanatical about efficiency. It changed the way everything was done in his house: from brushing teeth, to eating dinner, there had to be a quicker, better way of getting it done.

And now, this is how my brain works.

I am constantly thinking, "Does anything else have to go in that room before I walk in there?", "If I start this project first, then that one in the middle, I'll get them both done at the same time.", "There's got to be a faster way to do this!" All because of that one book.

One story I remember from it is how the Dad figured out how everyone should take a shower (bath?). You take the soap in one hand and make a pass on the opposite side, switch hands, make one more pass one the remaining side, and voila! you're done in 3 minutes. Now, don't quote me, it's been a long time, but that's the gist of it. Amazing. High efficiency. I LOVE IT.

My poor husband doesn't know what to do with me sometimes. I just live to be efficient, and he.....well, it's not a top priority for him. I'll be like, "OK, if you do that, then turn around and put that there, and hold the baby while you scrub this, then it'll all get done in the next five minutes." All the while, he's going "Huh? Put what where and scrub what kid? I only got two hands!"

Sigh. Why can't everyone just want to do things quickly?

Not to mention, it's sometimes very hard for me to live down here in the "Land of Take Your Time". I hear stories of friends building a house and the contractors just come whenever they want, just whenever they feel like it. What?!?! No way, Jose. I just couldn't deal with that. For me it's GO GO GO. I'd be like, "You need to paint? Fine. Here you go. No sheetrock you say? Fine. Paint this sheetrock on the floor--you can do it before they hang it. Let's just get it done!"

Silly, I know. But I can't help it anymore. It's just a part of who I am. I actually have to TELL myself to slow down and not fuss over making 2 trips. Crazy, huh?

All because of a book I read when I was a kid. Go figure!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Days Like These

Straight up beautiful day today. The air was fresh, crisp. A touch of breeze, but it was warm, and it ruffled my Sunday best just enough to be refreshing. Days like these, you don't mind your hair messing up a little. And the best part of all was kicking off my shoes and going out barefoot.

Was holding my little niece for awhile. Aww, she's not really my niece, but she'll grow up thinking I'm her auntie, so we're shoving the formalities aside. She was fussy. Wanting her Mama real bad; yet she was busy, so I took over. I guess I'm experienced (so they say), and her crying didn't bother me in the least. I did want to help her feel a little better though, so we went outside.

A little bounce, a little jostle. The rustling of the trees. She was captivated. It was a good trick. I was finding myself lost in it all too. Some bird, I don't know what kind, was calling close by. "Hee Heeeee. Hee Heeeee." Over and over it kept insisting. That, and the "dong, dong" of some chimes made for an impressive duet. And all the while, that breeze.

She was quiet now. Soaking it all in. Relaxing with the bounce and the breeze. We live on a mountain, and the edge was only feet away from where we were. You could see down and out for miles. She couldn't, the little girl. Her eyes aren't quite that sharp yet. But she could see my face. And if she really studied, she could've seen that valley in my eyes.

It's days like these, and places like this, where you feel caught in the middle of earth and heaven. This must be what it's like there: warm breezes, clear skies, content babies. Feeling like you could stand here for eternity. If only the weather wouldn't change. If only the night wouldn't come. Just stay this way, please? I'm living the moment. I want to feel that little piece of heaven longer.

But it's not that way here. On earth, I mean. The bird finds his mate. The clouds take over the blue. She starts to squirm. "Good trick, Auntie, but my tummy hurts, " she says with a howl. Earth wasn't meant to be bliss. We have to wait for that.

It's days like these that make me long for something better. To have my eternity overlooking a bluff, hearing soft music, feeling the breeze on my face. I only get brief snatches now. But they're just enough to whet my appetite so that I'll hold on. I need to hold on. For when all my days are.....

Just like these.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Glitter Boy Strikes Again

"Mammmaaa...Asher's in the glitter box agaaaaaiiin..."

Was enjoying a nice, peaceful little cat nap with Michaela last evening. Chris was playing with the bigger kids in one of the bedrooms.

Little did we know......

Will someone please tell me why this child loves to eat NON-EDIBLE things?? Thankfully, the cat doesn't really use that "glitter box" (as Caleb and Noah calls it). He just goes out most of the time, but we have it just in case he's stuck inside for a storm or something. And thankfully, it was just cleaned.

But ((cold shiver)) it's still, like, really really gross. Ugh.

Oh, and let me just tell YOU. If YOU have a cat. AND you have a mobile baby with pica. DON'T. I repeat: DON'T. Buy....

Clumping "glitter".

Cuz it clumps.

When you want it to wash away.

Just warning you.

Friday, March 10, 2006

The Way "Life" Was Meant to Be Lived

Josh is wonderful.

Josh is great.

Josh deserves a lasagna and a gallon of milk all for himself.

In order for everyone to see my title the way it meant to be seen, you must do as Josh says:

Kelly's title font can be downloaded for free right here: Curlz MT Font

Save the font to C:\Windows\Fonts

Then you should be good to go...

It only takes a sec.....Life will definately look more Wonderful if you do....

Thanks, Josh!

God Always Roots For The Underdog

You know, I really don't like to go visit a blog, only to have to navigate "off site" to go see something.

But THIS is an exception to my rule.

Without spoiling it, let me just say that this video will MAKE YOUR DAY.

For those of us who deal with mentally/physically challenged children every day, this is the sunshine in the rain:

Take the time (only 2.5 minutes), to see what I'm talking about. You won't regret it....


Thanks, Jen, for sharing this.....we're all a little better for it....

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Streams of Conscienceness

Random thoughts. Some major, Some minor, but all a little random. Just a stream of up-dating-ness...


Spoke with Chief this evening, and the Make-A-Wish referral is in. Now we have to be in contact with a local representative who will get some info and we'll talk about her wish. I got a little nervous when I spoke with M-A-W on the phone, though. My contact lady (so far), was like, "OK, so the doctor's paperwork is in, and she qualifies. Now we're going to send someone out there and they'll talk to Michaela about her wish." I was internally freaking out (a little), because Michaela definately cannot make a wish herself. So I reminded the woman about this fact, and she instantly remembered, "Oh, yes! I remember! OK, then they'll talk to you about what you think she'd like." PHEW. I can just see all that goodness wasted on a "My Little Pony" or something....


Chief and I also discussed the Medicaid appeal hearing. He told me that he could simply write up a letter (on that super-important-looking letterhead) that discusses all her issues and how they qualify her. This is going to be the crux of my case (Although, Chief, you're welcome to show up at the hearing and look all big and doctorly and all. That should put the nail in the coffin!). I'm going to back up what he says with medical studies that I've found myself, and some of his notes to prove that he's not just fluffing it for the trial. You know, it's really nice when you can call someone up for help and they're like, "No prob! I'll do whatever you need me to..." WISH I could say the same for the Medicaid people....


In case everyone was wondering, the ticker at the top of the blog is so that everyone can know when Boo's next appointment is. My family is always wondering when she goes back to the doctor, so I thought that the ticker would be a good way for everyone to get their question answered. This month, she's going to a special dentist at Children's Hospital. Unlike our family dentist, this physician specializes in children with handicaps, and will be able to help us take care of her mouth even when it's not working right. Specifically, they have the capability to "knock her out" so that they can get IN her mouth. As of right now (and probably on the 20th too), she doesn't particularly need to see a "specialty" dentist, but I think it will be good either way. That way they already know her, and what she's like at baseline (her good days), and can understand her situation better when she's not doing so well. Next month, she'll be going back to see Chief, and the ticker will change to reflect that. Cool, huh? You can click on mine if you want one of your own....


Unfortunately, Noah's pretty sick. He looks and sounds like he has the croup like Libby did a while back. The "barking seal" cough, the fever, the inability to breathe easily... it's all there. Poor guy. He's rarely sick. The last time was Christmas of '03 when both he and I had the flu pretty bad. He was EXTREMELY sick then. His fever was so high that he was hallucinating. That was pretty scary. Right now, he's having a hard time dealing with it. He keeps crying, "Mama, why do I have to be like this?" Awww, pitiful. He did get to enjoy some really nice weather today though. He decided to take it easy on the porch swing, and eventually he fell asleep:


Went to a consignment sale today. This is where a bunch of Moms get together and clean out their closets and sell a bunch of their kid's stuff to other Moms. It's appropriately called "Kids Kloset", and I go twice a year (or, every time they have it). This is where I outfit my kidlettes with nice/brand name outfits, for a fraction of the cost. I'm not too proud to put used clothing on my kid's backs, and it fairs me well. I usually end up with a lot of stuff by Carter's, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, Gap, and The Children's Place. And for you other Moms out there, you KNOW that stuff is high quality. For large families, it's the way to go, hands down. There's another sale at the end of the month, and I'll be sure to go and see if I can't get my paws on a few of the items I couldn't get this time around.


Love Cooper. Hate trash. Cooper loves trash. Mama's NOT happy about this recent development. Cooper will find himself finding another past time REAL SOON....or else....


My Mom and Dad are coming into town soon. Haven't seen them since October, when they came to help us paint the "house 'o nicotine" that we bought. Yeah, the place needed a fresh coat of paint BAD. I, personally, don't like the color called "pack a day". And since the previous owner was gracious enough to paint every surface this yellowish color, every inch of the house needed at least a touch up. Mom and Dad stepped up to the plate and painted like crazy people. But that was before we moved in or finished other projects. So this is the first time that they will see the house semi-finished (I don't know if they'll ever see it "finished"--or me either, for that matter).


Are y'all seeing the blog OK? I've noticed when I've accessed the website from a computer other than my own, that the title is REALLY BIG and not in the font that I've picked out. This annoys me. Seeing as how I'm no computer whiz, it took me many hours and plenty of tries to get this blog looking the way I like it. Many hours of lost sleep, just to find out that the general public sees the title in that ugly form. I DID know that the font I picked is not an extrememly common one, but I told the program to pick a secondary one that most people have. I don't like it. I have to tweak this. Perhaps Josh can help me work out this bug. I'd even like to look into a download so that everyone can get a copy of the cool font I picked out. So, let me know what the deal is from your end....and what you're seeing.


I've been working on a project for this blog recently. I was thinking that I would do a series of posts on Epilepsy. What do y'all think? I would address all the different aspects to help all of you out there who don't know too much on the subject. Namely, because the research will help me understand more for Michaela's sake, and I also thought that some of you would benefit from the knowledge also. Epilepsy affects a large number of the human population, and I'd be surprised if there was someone in my readership who DIDN'T know of someone diagnosed with it.


OH! Hey! Sign the guestbook people! Especially if you're related to me--I want to know if you've been here!! Now, stop what you're doing, and JUST DO IT!

Until next time..... ;)

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A Ramping We Will Go

We've been given a gift....A "Christmas in March", if you will. Here's a picture journal of the Ramp Raising.....


This is Randy and Cathy. They work for Delphi Corp. which is a manufacturing company located in the county seat where we live. Believe it or not, part of their job is to do volunteer work! So they got together with the Volunteer Center for our county, and they ended up at our place. Here, they're sizing up the situation to see where the footing posts should go.

Before they could start, they had to prep the entrance. We had some stepping stones as a walkway (didn't personally care for them--they came with the house) that they took up, and some metal stair rails that had to come down first.

Here, they're putting in the 4x4 post footings. They other gentleman with Randy and Cathy is Ed. Ed actually works for the Volunteer Center and helps organize the various projects. I guess you'd call him the supervisor. Almost all the posts were cemented in. Once the footings were in, they let them set overnight.


The next day they started by framing in the support joists. Another helper came this day--Gary. He also works for Delphi. They "piggybacked" the joists on the existing cement stairs. This helped make sure that the deck was flush with the existing porch.

Here's Gary laying down the decking for the extension. The ramp has three parts to it: the extension, the new stairs, and the ramp itself. The extension was so that the ramp could travel down sideways, parallel to the house (which is where we park the van). At the end of the extension is a new set of stairs so that you could still access the house without having to use the ramp.

The completed extension.

Randy was the resident skill saw operator. He is very meticulous and always tried to make sure that the boards fit just right. Ed made sure to constantly rib him for his perfectionism......which kept things light and enjoyable (at poor Randy's expense!). I sure did appreciate his attention to detail though. His handiwork shows all over the project!

Here, Gary and Cathy are decking the ramp. Cathy spent a good amount of time on her knees, which must've been quite a "pain". Gary had a hard time doing that part, due to "old knees", but Cathy jumped right on it. After finishing all the deck work, the crew called it a day.


Today, Wednesday, they came to finish up all the loose ends. At this point, the ramp was usable, but the stairs were not in, and the handrail still needed to be put up. But first, Randy needed to cut all the 4x4 posts down to size.

Once the posts were the right size, the handrails could be attached. The kids really enjoyed watching! Cathy was not only really good a using a power drill, but she sings a mean "Skitterma-rincky-dinky-dink" too!

The finishing touches on the stairs.....

And now we have a new ramp!

All our thanks to Ed, Gary, Cathy, Randy, and those who donated funds to the Volunteer Center.....

People like you help make the hard days a little easier!

Monday, March 06, 2006

I Have A Big Bladder

Dontcha just LOVE it when your kids try out new words?

Noah: "I just had a big bladder!"

Me: "You had a what?" Did I hear that right?

Noah: "Yeah, I just had a big bladder, Mom." Accompianied with a good dose of dramatics.

Me: ((chuckling)) "What is that?" Acting like I don't know.

Noah: "You know, when it all comes out from here and here." Gesturing in a downward motion to the front and rear.

Me: ((trying hard to contain outright laughter)) "Um, I think you mean a 'full bladder', Noah"

Noah: ((sheepishly)) "Yeah....."a full bladder."

Caleb: "Whatsa bladder?"

And who said homeschooling was hard? I just taught my first anatomy lesson!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

It's The Little Things.... wanting to eat by herself.... holding a spoon correctly....

...and holding the cup securely.... opening her mouth...

...or swallowing a bite...

....that I don't take for granted anymore.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Deadliness Is Next To Laziness

I am ILL.

Which is Southern for "irritated", "upset", "annoyed".


It really gets under my skin to see how people are so careless with their children. Now, I'm no paranoid mother, but let's get real here people: How hard is it to put your child in a safety seat? How much time does it really take to buckle them up? How much money do you have to spend to keep them from flying out the window? Outrageous. It's absolutely outrageous that some parents ARE SO LAZY they won't do one or two simple things to protect their children.

Now, I'm gonna get ILL (Northern style).

I'm not kidding. It literally wrenches my gut to see helpless TODDLERS bouncing around in a backseat, completely unaware of the danger they're in. All the while, some LAZY mother is chatting on her RAZR cellphone, and not paying much attention to the road.

Or, how about this one? The mother that doesn't want to "go through the trouble" of putting her infant car seat (at least she's got that, Britney Spears) in the back seat of her 2 door "matchbox on wheels". Hello! Can you say de-capitation from airbag??

Children are small. Children are lightweight projectiles that can move very fast, and hit very hard when they're not strapped in good enough. Oh, and that car seat that dances like a bobblehead when you take a curve? Yeah, not safe, Moms.

"But Johnny doesn't like his carseat! He cries all the time when he's in it. He's 3 now! He can sit in a regular seat!" Eeeeeehhhhhhh, wrong answer. Suck it up. Who's the parent here? I just don't have much sympathy for these spineless, lazy women who care more about their fake nails than about their child's wellbeing. They say kids should be in a weight appropriate safety seat until they're 4 ft 9 in. That's a big kid. But you know what? Seatbelts aren't made to restrain a human shorter than that. The belt ends up cutting right across the carotid artery (in the neck), and can slice it in the event of an accident. And no, it doesn't help if you put the shoulder belt behind the seat. The dinky lap belt won't do the trick for your 45 pound darling. That's why newer vehicles have shoulder straps even on the middle seats. And that's why there's such a thing as "booster seats". Which, by the way, take absolutely NO TIME to install or use. So, no excuses there.

And, yes, I understand that there are times when we don't go through the hassle of switching carseats just to go down the street to Grandma's house. And even though that's just as dangerous, I'm not really addressing that. It's the no-car-seat-all-the-time people that irritate the fire out of me.

Because I'm scared for their child. HA! ME! Who doesn't know that kid from Adam! I'M all concerned, but the mother isn't. Twisted, I tell you. But I am. I always hope they go somewhere other than where I'm going so I don't have to see a potentially fatal accident. You know, the feeling of being hopeless. Like watching someone go into a burning building without any protection. Yeah, they might make it out ok, but they're severely decreasing their odds. I just can't watch.

We have GOT to realize that cars, as common as they are now, are dangerous. The roads are filled with inexperienced drivers, problematic intersections, and unending distractions. We cannot take it lightly. Especially not when we have children in the car. Just remember: one moment of laziness now, can reap a lifetime of guilt and regret later.

So invest a few bucks on a solid carseat. Make sure it's installed right. Use it every time, for a long time. And feel confident that you've done everything you can to keep your child safe.

And save the laziness for the laundry.