Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Quick Funny

Michaela's sitting on the couch next to the chair I'm sitting on. She's playing with a deck of flash cards that have letters on them. Asher is determined to get into them, but all he does is bend and mangle the cards.

So she starts thinking it would be fun to drop the cards on the floor, one by one. This, of course, would only make it easier for Ash to get into them. I catch her on the second or third card, and firmly reprimand her as her hand is hovering over the floor....


"Michaela, put the card BACK."

Slowly, but dutifully, she retracts her hand back to the safety of the couch.

Not 20 seconds after she does this, she picks up one of the letter cards and shows it to me....


(You may not know this about Michaela, but she's ALWAYS asking us "Why?")

IQ, Schmy-Q, this girl's SMART!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Return to Eden

Y'all THIS is what Grandpa Adam and Grandma Eve gave up for apples:

These, my friends, are FIGS.

For those of you who have never seen the tree OR the fruit (like yours truly, before I moved here), then you don't know what you're missing. They are AWESOME. Melt in your mouth sweet nectar of Paradise.

We're not talking Fig Newtons here, people.

And honestly? If this property didn't have my huge fig tree on it, I doubt I would've agreed to buy it.

I'm not kidding. I love these things.


So we were out today in the much-less-than-blistering heat to admire our puppies. The tree is located right next to the back porch (where the pups have made their home), and I noticed a good amount of ripe figs dangling from the branches.

All right!

So I recruited the boys to help me get what we could. And we ended up getting a pail full.

The cool thing about fig trees is that they're totally climb-able. The boys had a blast!

I think we'll have a huge crop this year. Perhaps a pail full every week.

.....I'm in Paradise.....

Friday, July 21, 2006

Love Ya Mom!


Right back......atcha........Ash.......

ohhhh, ewwwww

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Southpaw Walking

Ahhhh Asher.

The most rapidly advancing offspring of the bunch (unless you include "Cletus the Fetus", who's astronomical rate of growth is not easily photographed).

His life has taken some growth spurts lately, and thankfully for blogging, you too can enjoy a little part of the little man's life.


Spurt #1: The Haircut

It was to my great pleasure initially that we not only had ONE curly-headed prodigy, but seemingly TWO. Asher's curls appeared to be coming into their own, and although not to the extent of his sister's, they were curls just the same. His head lacked the straight downy fuzz that the other 3 had. It flipped up around the edges and framed his face. And every once in a while, he'd get this "Superman" curl thing going.

Too cute.

Unfortunately, curls turned into nap, and nap turned into tangled mess. Sigh. I was really hoping the hair would cooperate, but my dreams for a curly headed boy were quickly disappearing. Something had to be done. When you have to brush your little boy's hair just to keep it out of his face, you know the time has come.

So my adopted Mom offered to cut it for me, for which I was grateful. First off, I can't cut hair. Secondly, I was not interested in paying upwards of $8 to chop off the equivalent of hair on a half-grown chia pet. No thank you.
So that was Ashey's first haircut. Nothing a little cookie couldn't fix.

Curls, R.I.P.


Spurt #2: Walking

Ever since we went to West Virginia, he's been experimenting with this whole "walking thing". A couple of steps here, a 3-stepper there. We really had big hopes for him to start this whole process sooner, seeing as how he sat up at 4 months and crawled at 6. Waiting another 9 months to hit the next milestone, was not something we anticipated.

He finally put aside his stubborness (and let me assure you, his delay was nothing BUT), and bit the bullet.

So here he is at 15 months. (But he generally hates to be seen walking, so motion pics are sparse)

Finally. Now he won't be wearing out the knees in his church outfits.

(Do you realize how annoying that is??)


Spurt #3: Hand Dominance

It has become very obvious that we have our first left-handed batter residing here. Oddly enough, there isn't but one lefty in either of our families, that I can think of. Unless, of course, you go back a few generations. And then I have no clue how many right-brained relatives we have.

Speaking of right-brained, Asher is also showing his propensity for music. He sings.


He sounds just like an opera singer.

Is Pavarotti left handed too?

Monday, July 17, 2006

Kelly's World: Rule #247

Bathing your two neediest children while you bathe yourself is NOT a lesson in efficiency. It is just plain stupid.


Saturdays are the days when I prepare for Sundays. In our house, that means choosing church outfits and getting them ironed, sometimes preparing a meal, and getting all the children bathed. And of course, normal every day activities on top of it.

My 3 middle kids: Noah, Caleb and Libby, can all shower by themselves with no problem. Whenever I feel like it, I simply tell them to "go take a shower" and it's done. No work there for me to do.

However, Asher still needs baths.

And, of course, there's Michaela.

Michaela is not the easiest child to get clean. This has always been the case. For example, when she was little, she hated getting her head wet. It was almost always a huge scream-fest to get her hair and face washed.

Time has passed and she's still not too keen on the idea, but she doesn't scream anymore. However, the older she's gotten, the bigger she's gotten, and the more inable she's become. And as time has passed, it's become obvious that the only way to really get her clean without putting my back out was to be IN the shower with her. Forget baths. Anyone with as much hair as her cannot get in the water--hair takes up all the room.

So we've been doing it this way for a couple of years now. When I take my shower on Saturday, she comes in with me. It works for us.

When you've got a 60-something pound child with the mentality of a 3-year-old and the physical capabilities of a 1-year-old, you do what you gotta do.

You adapt.


Well, this past Saturday, I was feeling pretty lousy, kinda sluggish. Not too uncommon in pregnancy, but overall, not condusive to life with 5 kids. I ended up puttering around until after lunchtime, when I finally found the wherewithal to get into gear and get my stuff done.

On top of that, the kids had just finished PB&Js and Asher was a MESS.

A grubby, tangle-haired, dirty-diapered ball of Toddler. There was no way he was getting out of his high chair without a complete overhaul.

And in the meantime, Michaela was still walking around in her PJs, wreaking of urine, soaked with drool.

Chris calls me to say he's on his way home.

I HATE letting my husband see me and the kids and the house like that.

Something had to be done, quick.

So I had a "bright" idea.


"Noah, I'm gonna need you to get Asher after I'm done washing him. You'll have to dry him off and put a diaper on him, OK?"

"K, Mom."

So I get us all in there.

Mind you, we don't have a big bathroom.

So me, Michaela, and Ash are trying to get undressed, and I manage to get Asher disrobed first.

He decides to pee on the floor.

O-k then. Clean up the floor.

Then I get Michaela all ready, me all set, and the shower running.

Problem #1: Michaela has a hard time climbing into the tub. This usually isn't that big of a deal because I brace her and help her in. But now I have an Asher in my arms, so I'm half the woman I usually am. I'm starting to think this was a mistake.

But I can't turn back now.


So I'm trying to get Asher all sudsed up quickly. Meanwhile, Michaela's standing in the back of the tub, starting to freeze from the little droplets that happen to hit her every now and then. So I one-handedly try to guide her down to where the warm water is.

Problem #2: This is no easy feat for a two-handed person, nevermind someone with only one available appendage. Poor Boo has a hard time moving her feet in cramped spaces, and oftentimes gets "stone feet syndrome" where the top part of her will move, but her feet are like stone and stay put. I finally get her to the other end of the shower (mind you--3 feet away) after much cajoling and maneuvering.

But it's slippery down there, and stone feet turn into rubber legs.

Down she goes, falling half way out of the tub.

Ohhhhh, this was a BAD idea.


After much ado, Boo gets uprighted, Asher gets clean, and miraculously, there still seems to be enough hot water for me to take care of myself.

But Michaela prefers to get out of the tub instead of waiting for me to finish, so I help her out and into a towel (Noah's gotten Asher out of the bathroom by now). I firmly instruct her to remain standing on a towel on the floor while she waits for me. Our bathroom is tiled, and I know that her lack of stability on a slippery wet floor would be treacherous at best.

But, like most days, she doesn't listen. And I'm stuck in the shower, all but helpless to go grab her. Noah, who knows she's not supposed to be wandering around with just a towel on, tries to herd her back into the bathroom and onto the "safe" towel.

But on the way she slips and falls.


Not only can Noah NOT get her off the ground, but I'm still in the shower with soap in my hair. Thankfully, she landed on her rear end, and there we left her, until I could get out and hoist her up.

No harm, no foul.

Unless you consider my nerves.

They were officially shot.


Some say rules are meant to be broken.

In MY world, rules are meant to help me keep my sanity.

I've lost so much already, I need to hold on to what I can.

Hence, Rule #247 is on the books and shall remain there until we start seeing gray hairs.....

...on my kids.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Catching Up

Welcome Home to Me--courtesy of Denna and Dyrus and Kevin (look closely--do they know something I don't??). There's just nothing like coming home to a good practical joke. And since I can take it AND dish it out, you all must know that I'm just looking for the perfect opportunity to TP their yard....

Just Kidding!!

But honestly, it's very nice to know you're loved and missed when you're gone. Especially when you pull a "me" and surprise everyone with unexpected news (join the club) and turn off your cell phone (hehehe!).

Not to mention, the comments were incredible!

30-something comments?!?! That's amazing!


How come some of you didn't comment on my 100th?!?!?!

Oh, IIIIIIIII Seeeeeeeeee, babies are more "fun"........

Well, OK, you're forgiven!


So our romp to West Virginia was nice. This is where Chris's family's reunion is held over the 4th every year. Always good to visit the Fam, and since Chris' grandparents are still with us (in their early and mid eighties!), we want to be able to spend as much time with them as we can work out. They have a beautiful home overlooking a private lake. It's spacious and comfortable, and everyone feels at ease there. The kids know where they can and can't go. It's really just a nice "hang-out session" if you will, but we love it. Chris just NEEDS it after working so hard for so long.

Unfortunately, y'all will just have to forgive me, because I didn't take anywhere NEAR the pictures I wanted to or should have. I just can't hold a camera and wipe noses and hold hands at the same time. And that really stinks because there were a few things that were really neat about this trip:

Chris' grandparents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. How cool is that?

Chris' sister's boyfriend came along on the trip, and ended up proposing to her on July 3rd. Congrats Olivia and Jared!

We also got to see family that we haven't seen in a very long time. They were able to come this year, and it was so nice to catch up with them. In fact, we had a photographer come out and get some family portraits done, since most everybody was there. Unfortunately, I can't post those on here due to copyright laws.

So we're just sunk in the picture department. Sorry.



We DID get some pics from Caleb's birthday party. His 5th birthday was on the 9th, but while we were in WV, we celebrated with everyone there, including my little nephew Eli who's birthday is later on this month.

It was the craziest birthday party I think I've ever been to. First off, we started it after dinner, which didn't end until like 9:30. So the kids were tired, the parents were tired, and no one was really interested in a long drawn out birthday party. Unfortunately, it was really the only time we could do it, so we just had to suck it up and DO it.
Yeah, we DID it all right.

You should've seen my sister-in-law. She would give each of the boys a present, they would tear into it, hold it up for a picture, and then she would wisk it away. The whole process took less than 30 seconds. Ok, maybe a bit of exaggeration, but I'm not far off.

You should've seen Eli (who turned 3). He was so excited about his gifts, but he barely got to relish them before his Mommy took them away and presented him with another brightly colored package. You could see him looking longingly at the gift as it moved down the table, just to be snapped back to attention to demolish the paper on the next one.

And then there was Caleb. The pictures speak for themselves. For some reason, he always has his tongue in some odd position in his mouth. I cannot for the life of me tell if he's embarrassed, excited, or hiding something. Reason being, it's exactly what he does when he's lying to me! I can always tell when he's trying to pull one on me by his tongue. So why was it acting up now? I had no clue.
But all in all, I think he liked the gifts and the cake and all the hoopla. Even a whirlwind party is great fun for the kids!

Especially when you're 5.

Happy Birthday, Pudgers!


Puppy Update:

It's not getting any better, Gang. They're just not getting any uglier. Especially when they sit there and growl at you and try to bark. It's adorable.

They're 3 weeks old now.

And they're still available.

Buy one, get one free!

Limited time offer!

A year of free dog food with every purchase!

(OK, maybe not a year.......just 6 months.....)

Monday, July 10, 2006

Why Do They Have To Make Things So Difficult?

I have a ton of things to post from the past week, but I just got an email from a friend, and my reply turned into a rundown of my day (without even mentioning all the unpacking I had to do). I've been wanting to post, but I've been tired. Here's why:

Denna's email:
Why are you going to court? I sure hope everything's OK!

My email:
The State of Alabama denied her disability determination. In other words, they say she's not disabled, and doesn't qualify for disability benefits. As of right now, we have to go to court on Sept 14th in Montgomery to fight for her disability. That means I have to have a lawyer, med records, testing, yadda yadda yadda. It's a lot of work (and $$$) just to prove what's true.

Now I know what people go through when they're falsely accused.

There's a chance we can forego the entire hearing if the judge will agree to look over the med records and decide that the evidence is strong enough. Shane [our lawyer] thinks we can't lose. But I still don't want to take out a loan just to make them realize it. It just doesn't seem fair. And I told the lawyer in Montgomery (for the State) so. I don't see any reason why we have to hire Shane, go all the way down there, and spend thousands of dollars just to give them some paperwork to prove our point. We'll see if the judge will be benevalent. I'm praying that God will open his eyes to the severity of her condition. That it's NOT just "epilepsy".

By the way, if we win the case---we don't get any money. Just a lifetime benefit that will eventually be worth the cost, but not anytime soon. It would probably take 5 years to be worth what it'll cost us to go to court!

I sure hope God sees fit to not make us go through this. It's been a strain.

As it is, we got denied her disabilty check today (totally different State department). She qualifies disability-wise, but you can't make too much money in order to get the monthly check.

We make 60-something dollars too much a month. How's that for a let-down?

That check would've been nice. It would help pay for the van that we had to get because of her needs. Not to mention the prescription co-pays and doctor visit co-pays. Nevermind when she's hospitalized in August for some testing. THAT co-pay should be fun (feel the sarcasm?)

Sorry to sound like I'm dumping. It's been a crazy day. I'm not all that upset. I alway know in the back of my brain that God will work it all out. I just get kinda frustrated with the system sometimes. Like I have nothing better to do than to fight for her rights. It's a lot of work. A lot of phone calls, a lot of paperwork, a lot of fighting with people to just do their job and to realize that I didn't ASK to have a sick child. Sheesh.

On the brighter side, Make-A-Wish called today and they should be arranging to come over some time this week.....very good!

And as I'm writing this, Michaela's having a seizure.....

the irony of it all

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Nursery Rhyme

This is the Van
That Kelly Got


This is the Van

That has lots of seats
That Kelly Got


This is the Van

That is Midnight Blue (Her favorite color)
That has lots of seats

That Kelly Got


This is the Van

That has a deep trunk (perfect for wheelchairs and much more)
That is midnight blue

That has lots of seats

That Kelly Got

This is the Van

That gets great gas mileage
That has a deep trunk

That is midnight blue

That has lots of seats

That Kelly Got


This is the Van

With side curtain airbags
That gets great gas mileage

That has a deep trunk

That is midnight blue

That has lots of seats

That Kelly Got


This is the Van
With duel sliding doors

With side curtain airbags

That gets great gas mileage

That has a deep trunk

That is midnight blue

That has lots of seats

That Kelly Got


This is the Surprise

That requires the Van

With duel sliding doors

With side surtain airbags

That gets great gas mileage

That has a deep trunk

That is midnight blue


That Kelly Got


(Did I mention it has LOTS of seats?)

Please spread the news by referring others to this blog post---it's WAY more fun that way!