Thursday, May 31, 2007

Day 28: 2.8

200 Things About Me:

Just kidding!

But this IS my 200th post. My "Bi-Centennial" if you will. Gosh, that seems like a lot of writing, huh?

Let's see, what's the numbers on that?

My first post was on November 21, 2005. So, 365 days to November 21, 2006. Then there were 40 more days in 2006, so that brings it up to 405 days. Then we add the 151 for 2007, and that brings the total to 556 days since I started blogging.

Then we divide that by 200, which gives us 2.78.

Which means I post every 2.78 days, on average. Or, rounded up, is 2.8 (and lookee there! today is day "28"----how cool is that?)

Ha! And y'all thought I was slackin'. Heh! Every 2-3 days or so is not so shabby!

Well, until you look at the month of April. That's not a good picture of my blogging prowess at all. So, let's just forget about April and focus on 2.8, ok?

And hopefully, after this little 30 day stint thing, I can make the numbers even better!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Day 27: Stinky Shoes To The Rescue!

My sons are fascinated with knives. One of their best friends got a pocketknife (purposely dulled, by the way) for Christmas, and ever since then, Chris and I haven't heard the end of it. Much ado about knives, and when they're going to get one, and why can't they have one, yadda yadda yadda.

So tonight, Caleb says to us in the car, "[Friend] said he's going to make me a knife with his knife."

To which, both Chris and I answered, " Uhhhh, no he's not!"

Caleb: "Just out of a popsicle stick. Just pretend."

Us: "Uhhhh, the answer is still, NO."

Boys in unison: "Why? It's not gonna be reeeeeeal."

Which lead both of us "parental/unfair/meanie" type people to go into a long dissertation on the problems of "fake" (yet, still so wonderfully SHARP) knives, and how they could still get hurt (seeing how they get hurt plenty without the aid of fake knives), and how they're just plain not allowed to own such a dasterdly piece of equipment until they're at least 42.

But me, knowing the importance of these boyish type things, and the goodness of pretend play, felt the need to smooth over the hurt feelings and very-hard-to-suppress bad attitudes my boys were on the verge of displaying. So I told them that they should use something else instead of a real knife. Something to ACT as a knife......pretending and all.

Noah: "Like what? What could we use for a knife that would be fun?"

Me: ((Thinking hard)) "Uhhhhh, you......could........use a............................shoe!"

Chris pretty much lost it.


Unfortunately, the little guys just wouldn't drop the issue, and Chris had to lay down the law on them. Caleb got annoyed, but Noah started tearing up. I hate seeing him cry.

So I got out my funny voice.....

And little did they know......

I had SHOES in my purse!

Asher had taken off his very stinky shoes after church, and I collected them before we left. Doing my best Zorro imitation, I proceeded to take out my "knives" and show those boys a thing or two about having some fun!

We had a royal swashbuckling good time out there on the front lawn. Unfortunately, my sons were pitifully unarmed, and I won the match by a long shot.

And my boys learned that shoes make pretty good swords.

And stinky ones are double-edged!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Day 26: The Blogging Day That Wasn't

I sat down to blog yesterday, but read my email instead. Then I read all of YOUR blogs. Then I forgot to post.

Yesterday was Gabe's 5 month birthday. I got one picture of Asher that I was going to use, but I forgot to take pics of Gabe. Then he went to bed.

Man, I'm Oh-for-Two!

Perhaps I'll get on it least the pics, if nothing else! Hope y'all had a relaxing and enjoyable Memorial Day. Did anyone think of going to the VA or to a parade yesterday? I was thinking of taking the kids to the nearest VA hospital and then maybe a cemetery. Unfortunately, my best intentions just stayed intentions. Much to my irritation with myself!

"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!"

In other words, hopefully next year! I'd love to hear how y'all spent the day though~!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Day 25: Remember

I am like most Americans....


We have it so good, that we often forget what it's like to have it bad.

September 11th was a cruel reminder of what "bad" is. I don't intend to forget it ever again.

Here's a slideshow type presentation, to help us remember why we have a day called Memorial Day. It wasn't our present war in Iraq that put this holiday on the calendar, but it was a war just like it.....

.....a war where brave men and women lost their lives to protect our right to forget the bad.

And on a personal note:

A special thanks goes out to my beloved Brother-in-Law and Sister-in-Law. They are both active in the military. He is an Army Reservist, who has done a tour in Iraq

And she is a Naval Officer who has been in the Persian Gulf as well.

I can't say enough how proud I am of both of you, Jon and Jes. I'm so glad you're safe in the States....

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Day 24: Back On Track

Just a quick note to let everyone know that Michaela had a pretty good day today! She played with toys all day, revelling in this little item and that, making her masterpieces tirelessly.

I also took her outside for a short time, because she wanted to swing. Yes, she swings very well when she's doing well. That didn't last long though, because her brothers and sister were playing around in the new kiddie pool I got the other day. This is a source of high interest to her. Although she doesn't want to be in the pool herself, she seems to really love watching her siblings splash around.

I tried to put her in the very shallow (we're talking like, 18 inches here) water yesterday, but that didn't fly so well. Do you know the sound that an aggravated chimpanzee makes? Yup. That's what we got. She wouldn't have it. The most water she had interaction with was putting her feet in.

But she loves to watch. And she loves to walk around the pool. And she really likes to rip up grass and throw it in. It is especially funny when she starts demanding the other kids to "Swim!"---sharply pointing to the water. Man, if I could just get HER to "swim." I think the water would be great for her.

I might try again next week. Maybe if I only put a couple of inches in. We could start with that, and add a little every time. That might help her get used to it.

Overall, her slump is past, and she's back to her normal self. Just in time for some "pre-sweltering heat" summer fun and Vacation Bible School. What a good feeling!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Day 22: Some Days, 2 Brains Would Be Nice

The moment you've all been waiting for!

Chief called this morning....


Me: Hello?

Chief: Good morning!

Me: Oh, hey Chief! How are you?

Chief: Good. Good. Soooooo, her labs came back fine!

Me: Oh yeah? (obviously disappointed)

Chief: Yeah! Uh......that's good, right?

Me: Well, yeah, but I was kinda hoping that they would show a reason for all these ups and know.

Chief: Well, yeah (trying to empathize for my sake), but at least she's not in liver failure!



And here I was, HOPING they would come back "not normal!" AHHHHHHH!

I was mistakenly thinking that the labs were checking the level of the Felbamate in her system. Which, if they WERE off, that would show that perhaps the dosing needed to be changed. I also knew that they were doing a CBC, which I was thinking would show an infection----which might be altering her balance. All of these things are very fixable, and in my limited knowledge, might have helped her "even out" a bit. Ya know, a good thing.

I completely forgot that the labs are to make sure she's not in acute liver failure (a side effect of the Felbamate). A very bad thing!


Poor Chief. We went through an entire phone conversation without me even realizing the implications of those Good Labs. Chris reminded me when I called to give him the news.

But once again, Chief smoothed my ruffled feathers and let me know that she's just doing what LGS kids do. Unfortunately, it seems like a lot of the kids on the LGS message board are more "static" in their conditions---meaning, they don't seem to have these ups and downs like Michaela. But, that's just a slice of the population. I admitted that, that I didn't know of TONS of Lennox-Gastaut kids, so he confirmed that yes, people with broken brains have these fluctuations quite frequently. Not just with LGS, but with Parkinsons, and Alzheimers (at least, I think that's what he said). And, a lot of the kids I know, have many more neurological and physical issues than Michaela. Most of them don't ever walk or talk. So, I guess, if she's walking and talking PART of the time, that's better than some.

And she's been doing better the last couple of days. The lows are not so low. She's been eating somewhat normally.


I need a new game plan guys. If, for some reason, I start to get frustrated and bothered by her condition, then y'all need to remind me of this. That it's normal for her. You can read to me my own posts where I talk about how I understand her "new normal"--how I don't freak out anymore.

Well, to a point, that's true. I don't generally freak out at all, and I didn't this time. Yet, she was doing some kinda weird stuff that she hadn't done before. But really, if I had just stepped out of my own brain for a moment, I would've seen from the outside, that it wasn't that awful. Give it a day (or after the phone call to the ped? right?), and she would've evened out. She would've been back in the comfort zone--the place where I understand what's going on, and don't think of different possibilities of what it could be.

And I talked to my Mom about this too. I think part of my problem is that I'm a product of human nature. Human nature tells us that if there's an effect, there's a cause. In Boo's case, I'm constantly thinking, "If she's changing in her status, then there MUST be a trigger." Most anyone would probably think that. But with Michaela, that's just not the case most every time.

I have to break the cycle. I have to stop thinking I did something to cause her ups and downs.

But when DO I get alarmed? When DO I start to wonder if something needs to be addressed or checked into?

Chief said to definately call if she doesn't wake up without a lot of trouble. I told him that I'd probably call an ambulance in that case!

But I guess that's just the way it is. Not that he minds if I call for things like this. I've always known that he doesn't mind answering my questions or addressing my fears. But, I keep feeling like we're missing part of the puzzle, and I keep trying to find it. But it's not there. Her brain just doesn't HAVE all the pieces.

I need to adjust......again. To not only not freak out when she can't eat or walk, but to also stop looking for that piece, that trigger that's not there.

So, if I seem to be forgetting my new normal a good bloggy friend and let me borrow your brain for a while? OK?

Sometimes mine just gets on overdrive!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Day 21: Delivery Confirmation

I don't like giving the wrong impression, so let me clarify.

Dana commented the other day, about how "there's a power greater than Murphy." To which, I wholeheartedly agree. And Dana knows me personally and knew what I meant, but for those of you who don't, let me just say:

Be it far from me to leave God out of the equation!

I don't like to give the impression that I'm "flying solo, " or relying on my own strength when it comes to any facet of life. Especially Michaela's situation. Because I'm not. Plain and simple. I wouldn't even have a BLOG if that were the case, because I would've lost my mind in anger and sorrow a long time ago. I'm sure I wouldn't have any mental capacity for it. And probably no desire at all.

No. The reason I do as well as I do is because of God, and how He's taken care of us and kept a hand on our difficulties in life. And the reason my blog is named what it is, is because I know that no matter what happens in life, I've got it pri-tee good. Doing it God's way, that is.

But I like words, and I like to play around with them. I love puns and riddles and use them frequently in my writing. I especially like to change commonly understood phrasing (like the title of a song, for instance), into something that suits my purpose, giving it a double meaning. I think it's fun and clever. I like reading stuff like that, so I use it as well.

So, when I use a phrase referring to something like "Murphy's Law", it's NOT that I'm disregarding "God's Law", it's just that I'm using phrasing that everyone knows and understands (who doesn't know what Murphy's Law is???), to get my point across. I could've just wrote about how uncanny it is that children seem to OFTEN do better right AFTER you call the doctor, but I liked the twist up of using Murphy's Law better.

And while we're on the subject:

I've mentioned before why I don't invoke the name of God in my writing more than I do. It is because I have a strong disdain for cheap talk. Not that I would be talking cheap, but so many people do. Especially when it comes to their religeon. I've met more than my fair share of religeous "gushers" in my short 30 years, and I've also found that a fair majority of them are not what they appear to be.

They're not walking it, they're just talking it.

I hate that.

So, you just won't find me gushing on this site. I'd rather you make the connection from the way I live, than from what I tell you. So then, when I DO bring it up, you won't be surprised. There are just too many instances in this world (and especially here, in the Bible Belt, where over 90% of the people claim to be a Christian), where the opposite is true: A person might be surprised to find OUT someone is a Christian, after they see their daily life. That's just as bad as the gushers who put "Praise the Lord" at the end of every sentance, but are hanging out at the girlie bar on Saturday night.

Ok. But I don't do that. Yet, I still feel as though people shy away from people who gush incessantly. Like, they don't trust someone who talks like that. Maybe it's just me. Maybe I just don't trust them. And that's fine too. Like I said, I've been around people like that, only to be burnt by my expectations later. So I prefer to handle myself differently.

But God's HAS been good to me. Let me show you how....

PS: this post is NOT directed at any one of my readers. If you think I'm talking about you, I'm probably not. If you think you fall into the category of a "gusher", then analyze yourself and decide if you're just talking cheap. If you're not, then you don't qualify. Handle yourself the way you feel you should, and so will I :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Day 20: Specifics?........Please?

Thank you to everyone for your kind words, phone calls, babysitting offers.....I can't say enough how much those little things are appreciated.


Boo's day today was similar to yesterday. I tube fed her this morning, but she was able to eat a McDonald's parfait for lunch. Then she ate dinner like normal.

She barely talked this morning. Had a hard time walking. Wouldn't (couldn't?) go to the bathroom until late afternoon. Mainly just sat and drooled. Until mid-afternoon. Then she snapped out of the funk, talked fairly normal, and ran around being silly. Chris doesn't think this evening was as good as last evening, but it was still night and day from the mornings.

I don't know what to make of it.

Her left eye still has the blood spot, her hands mottled up a bit this morning, and instead of tilting backwards, she tilted sideways. I brought her to her appointment with the good pediatrician doctor, and he really didn't have much to say about it. Said he would call Chief. Since then, I haven't heard a thing. They're probably playing phone tag.

I had her lab work done. I trust I'll get an email tomorrow letting me know the results. Normally, the results are perfectly fine. No problems there. I guess that's a good thing.

But then, what is this? What's going on with her? I would be lying if I said I would be glad if the results came back fine. I would like to see a discrepency for once. A reason for the roller-coaster ride that is her daily life right now. If the labs are good, then what's the problem? Why is she so varied neurologically, if there's nothing askew?

Chief usually just chalks it up to "epileptic encephalopathy." Just her condition. Just the way it is.

OK. I can see where he's coming from. I understand why he tells me that, and why that's all he can generally offer me for an explanation. I mean, sheesh, he's a doctor---not God. He doesn't have to know everything, or have all the answers. But honestly, I like answers. I really do. Specific answers, specifically. I've come a long way as far as not having to know everything, honestly, I have. But this just irritates me. It's so frustrating. To see your kid go through 2 totally opposite ends of the spectrum---for example: in consciousness, they have a scale of 1-15. 1 means you're a total comatose vegetable, and 15 means you're normal. If you're reading this, you're a 15 or so. Michaela will fly from, let's just say, 6 to 11, in the span of hours. HOURS. And that has been happening on a DAILY basis. To see that, and hear that it's just "par for the course," is soooo hard to take in. It just makes MORE sense that something's not right.

But I haven't changed her meds, her food, her schedule, her toothpaste even! And yet she STILL vascillates between two extremes. What in the world is going on?

OK. Here's the point: WHAT am I doing wrong here?

She lives with me, I take care of her. Why is my child falling off the cliff one moment, and being normal enough to warrant punishment the next?

Can she not handle Crest toothpaste? Is the laundry detergent soaking into her skin and messing her up? Am I talking too loud? Is it sugar? Milk? The water? The dog? The weather?

Of course my first impression is the meds. But the labs come back fine!

Do you see my problem here?

We'll see if I get any answers tomorrow....

Monday, May 21, 2007

Day 19: Murphy Who?

The saga continues.....

Boo continued to jabber for a good long while last night. I put her to bed around 8, hoping that she would crash after such a strenuous day. Usually, she crashes after a normal day. I was looking forward to the peace and quiet.

It wasn't to be. Poor Boo couldn't stop talking even though she clearly wanted to. She called out to me endlessly. I tried to ignore her at first, help her realize that it was bedtime, the time to SLEEP. But her voice quickly became worried and hectic. And still she was mostly saying "hi!"

So I went to her room to check on her, maybe calm her down some. She practically starts to cry (for those who don't know, Michaela doesn't cry unless she's hurt. Her emotions are pretty mixed up, and she almost NEVER cries due to sadness, fear, or remorse.) and her whole face is contorted in an awful sadness. It totally breaks my heart.

"Mom!" she cries. "Mom! Be with me!"

So I try to sooth her and calm her down and help her stop the cycle. She becomes more comfortable, more calm, but simply cannot stop. By now, she's even whispering random conglomerations of "Mom", "Hi", and "Be with me."

Something similar to this had happened to her sometime last year. I had called Chief's office hoping to find out what to do. I didn't get Chief, but a foreign resident who couldn't quite figure out what the problem was. Once he did (after much pain on my part), he told me to give her Benedryl. Benedryl?!?! I about croaked. She didn't have hives! What in the world???? Benedryl?

But it worked.

So last night, I gave her Benedryl.

And she finally conked out.


This morning, I found her sitting on the floor in her room when I went to get her up for school. She was seemingly having a hard time sitting up straight. She would start to slump over, but catch herself before she fell all the way. I sat on the floor and looked at her. She was not talking. She hardly noticed me. Her hands and arms were contracting with little tremors. She was drooling.

I picked her up, put her back to bed, and kissed her on the cheek.

And I called the bus to tell them she wasn't going to school.


She's had a pretty rough day overall. She couldn't eat, so I hooked her up to the feeding pump. Funny thing was, I gave her some crayons, hoping she would color so she wouldn't be so bored in her wheelchair.

She ate the crayon. Purple with glitter. Gotta love it.

Then, when I couldn't get her to stay in the chair anymore (because she was growing very agitated, and you don't want a non-verbal, feeding tube bound child to get agitated. It can get loud and messy....), I let her walk around. But her walking was funny. It was like she was falling backwards constantly. Either that or her own private hurricane was pushing her back.

After a while, she was grunting under the strain of walking like that. She couldn't even sit without falling backwards. I would lay her down to give her muscles a break, but she didn't want to "sleep", so she popped right back up and resumed her awkward walk.

In the middle of this, I notice her hands are turning mottled and reddish-purple. Like there are rubber bands on her wrists or something. It wasn't extreme or anything, but not quite common either. I thought maybe her hands were cold. They were warm to hot. It mainly occured when she was standing up, and would dissipate when she sat down.

And the last couple of days, I've noticed that her eyes are bloodshot. Not pink-eye, mind you. Just dotted or splotchy with broken blood vessels. I assumed it was from the extra seizures I figured she was having in her sleep. Today, her left eye had a perfect dot of blood, while the right was blotted. Weird.

So, in light of all these strange symptoms, I called Chief. Just to be on the safe side. As much as I've seen her bad days, this was the most unusual bad day she's ever had.

Chief's wonderful nurse Barbara tells me to go get some labs done, and see if she can be seen by our Pediatrician. Maybe Chief's thinking what I'm thinking? Inner ear or something like that? I make the appointment. It's for tomorrow at 10.


Would you believe me if I told you that approximately 2 hours after I make the appointment, Michaela starts acting normal again?

Talking. Eating. Walking normal (for her).

Yeah, she's still a little slow, and she can't do everything she normally would, but NOTHING like she was the majority of the day. Just nothing. In fact, she perked up significantly when her Daddy walked in the door. She talked his ear off with "Hi's" and "I love you's" and "You're home's", all the while, hugging his guts out and planting big slobbery wet kisses.

She continued to improve through the evening. She was determined to hug both of us endlessly.

She played like she normally would.

She ate her dinner at the table with the rest of us.

She went to bed, and right to sleep. Just like she usually does.


I think Murphy's Law came into affect a little today. You know, the one that says, "If your child has a problem, they will ineveitably "snap out of it" right after you call the doctor, leaving you looking like a hypochondriac parent."

Well, chalk one up for "Murphy, " but I'm still keeping that appointment tomorrow.

I want to get to the bottom of this.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Day 18: Tails We'll Try Again

Michaela has had a weird couple of days. Absence seizures up to whazoo. Then plenty of the Wham Bang grand mal types when she's sleeping. This can sometimes leave her brain in a state of perpetual......perpetual-ness. Repetition. Continuous continuing.

Broken record syndrome.

Yesterday, it was some strange arm flapping, air guitar-ish type movements. Constantly. Over and over. And she seemed to like it. At least, she laughed when she did it. But then it appeared to overcome her, and she couldn't stop. So she'd walk around in circles, stopping avery 15 seconds or so to jam to the Santana in her head. Her poor arms looked like they would fall off after an hour long set.

Today, it's the word "Hi." It has taken me all day to figure out that she can't say much else. Other times when this has happened, Chris and I thought that she was just liking to say the word. Or that she forgot the response we gave her. But I figured out what's going on:

Oral aphasia.

She's responding to me, communicating with me, but only capable of using the word "Hi" (or the 2-3 other phrases that pop out intermittantly).

I was WONDERING why sometimes when she would come up to me and say "Hi", she would be to the point of tears....

I wasn't GETTING IT.

I wasn't reading between the lines.

Not that some of it ISN'T mindless repetition. I'm sure it's a bit of that as well. She's just saying hi too often for it to be communication all the time. But the times she would come up to me--addressing me, engaging me--it's those times where I'm thinking she's bogged down by the broken link in her brain. Because, if I hit the right answer, or ask the question she's dying for me to ask her, her whole face will light up and she'll blurt out "YAH!"

And poor thing, you'd think she was going to cry with joy when we finally respond correctly. She'll even hug us like we're leaving forever.

And I just figured this out.


Yesterday, she was playing Santana.....

Today, she's living it.....

Everytime I try to talk to you
I get tongue-tied
Turns out that everything I say to you
Comes out wrong and never comes out right
"Why Don't You and I" by Carlos Santana

Poor Boo. Always a roadblock. And sometimes, there's not even a road.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Day 17: Paying Extra For My Entrance Into The Asylum

Beautiful Saturday.

Took the kids out yard sale-ing.

Kids got hungry.

Went to McDonald's.

Treated them all to Happy Meals.

5 stupid, dinky toys.

Cheap plastic donkeys that all say: "Shrek!", "Are we there yet?", "Peek-a-Boo!"

Over, and over, and over, and over, and over, ad infinitum.

Kids are estatic.

Mom is testing the beds at the funny farm.

Day 16: What's Wrong With Your Browser?

Whaddya mean, you didn't see my post yesterday?

Did you even check?

Are you sure you had the right URL? Cuz, ya know, one little letter off and you're looking at a completely different site.

Cuz, see, the internet can be kinda tricky....kinda elusive....kinda



So, uh.....

How 'bout them Red Sox! Go Sox! Go.....Boston.....uh.....

Sheesh. Can't a girl get a break around here?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Day 15: Tag! I'm It!

Thanks to Jeni, I don't have to come up with something spectacular to say today!

She tagged me, and I'm more than happy to oblige. I'm supposed to tell you 8 things about myself; some random facts and/or habits. Hmmmm.....

1. I like puzzles. Specifically, those with Charles Wysocki prints on them. Can't say I like too many others. I don't like hard puzzles, because to me, puzzles should be fun and relaxing. The Wysocki ones are so busy, that it's relatively simple to put together a 1000 piecer. I've been doing them since I was a kid, and still do them with Chris when we have the chance. I have two that I framed, hanging in my bedroom.

2. I bite my nails. A terrible habit in one sense, but definately one of the more benign ones to have. I always seem to gnaw on them during a good book. And overall, I just can't stand to have my nails longer than the edge of my finger. I always end up poking the kids with them!

3. I can't handle watching people kiss. Don't ask me WHY, because I really don't know the answer, but for some reason, I get that "butterfly feeling" when people are kissing. I don't generally watch the wedding kiss. I turn away if I even THINK people are going to kiss in front of me. It doesn't gross me out or anything, but I think I just feel like I'm watching something that's "too private." Or something like that. I just don't know why I feel that way. I'm probably killing myself by owning up to it on here. Now everyone is going to try to kiss in front of me!

4. I have the bad habit of throwing things away. Some people are compulsive hoarders, and I am a compulsive the trash can, that is. Or the dishwasher. Or the laundry basket. If you come over, and don't HOLD your can of Coke, then it is free fodder for getting moved, put in the fridge, or the garbage. I can't stand clutter, and so, I live by this motto: "If it doesn't have a home, either make one quickly or get rid of it!" I actually have a garbage bin for stuff that I might want later (it only gets emptied every once in a while). This is a really bad habit that I'm working on----very hard!

5. I love reading, but have a hard time finding stuff TO read. I'm pretty picky about what I like. No romance (see #3). No sci-fi. No fantasy. Very little fiction. I mostly like true stories, or very plausible fiction (not easy to find, I dare say). Some modern biographies too. That's probably why I like blogging so much. Reading a blog is reading a true story, and that's my favorite stuff to read. Coincidentally, ever since I was a child, I've liked to read true stories about children. My favorite was "Children's Hospital' because it made me cry and cheer. I never thought I'd be living out my own version of that book.

6. One of my habits is to ask questions. I can't say whether this is good or bad. Probably a little of both. Sometimes, it works out very well for me to be so inquisitive. Other times.....not so much. I'm generally the one asking the ONE question that everyone wants to ask, but won't. My nickname at church is, "The Question Box." Thankfully, I've not only learned to ASK questions, but to live with the ANSWER I get. Can't say I've always been so good at that!

7. I feel I am very good at business. My parents have taught me a lot about how to handle billing issues, creditors, money, and the like. I am not as good as my teachers yet, but I feel very confident when it comes to business deals. I don't think I would've been able to mentally take care of all of the ins and outs of Michaela's medical/insurance/disability issues without this ability. I take business transactions very seriously, and I expect the other party(-ies) to act the same. If not, then I have NO PROBLEM calling them on it. Business is business!

8. "Hello, my name is Kelly, and I am addicted to chocolate."
"Hi, Kelly."
Sometimes, I wish my chocolate habit was more of a dark chocolate habit (because it's healthier for you), but either way, it's really a bad one to have when you're looking to lose weight in the near future. I prefer my chocolate with nuts. Any kind of nut is fine. No caramel, please. Peanut butter is welcome in all instances. Cherries with chocolate? No problem, just leave them there on the counter. Chocolate coffee? Oh, you shouldn't have! Yup, it's a pretty bad habit. I DO pride myself on having at least a little bit of control in that area, though. I got a bag of mini Reese Cups for Christmas, and I'm still not finished the bag. Pretty good, huh?

Well, that's that. Don't start the kissing, please. We ARE taking chocolate donations, however.

Here's my tagged bloggers: Dana, Chrystal, Tesia, Kayla, Josh, Poppi, Nicky, and Reba. You can refer to this post for the rules (underlined up top). Have fun gang! Can't wait to see your answers!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Day 14: You Can't Say I Don't Know Myself

Like I said, I'm better today.

Is it really that bad? Am I just blowing things out of proportion? Maybe I'm hormonal. That's probably it. Or......maybe I just have bad days every now and then like everyone else, eh?

But I'm not a negative person. I'm definately a "glass half-full" kinda gal. Yesterday's post is SO out of the ordinary for me. I hope y'all can tell that. Now, I even feel bad. Like, I shouldn't really vent at all (unrealistic?). I keep reading that post to make sure I wasn't having a pity party. If I was then it's coming down---I just don't like giving that impression. I don't pity myself. I don't pity Boo. I don't sit around wishing she was something she's not, and I don't begrudge my place in this life.

It just gets hard sometimes, that's all.

That's all I'm sayin'.


I know it's normal to have hard days. And even Dana, her teacher, deals with Michaela's little ideosyncracies on a day to day basis---she's KNOWS what my hard days are like. All the teachers in her class do. Like Chris and I tell each other when we vent, "You're preaching to the choir, Honey!" I'm sure Jeni, and Jen, and Evan's Mom, and Thimbelle, and Mete, and all the other "special needs" bloggy Moms have had days just like mine.

And, if I really think about it, so has Mitchi, and Heather, and Denna, and Jules, and Reba, and the other "regular needs" (which can get flat out overwhelming too, right?) bloggy Moms out there.

Raising children is just that way. You have your good days and your bad.

Oh, but you guys are right! The good days WAY outnumber the bad. I know that. I know that.

I guess I just needed a good crying jag yesterday. Know what I mean? Thanks for the shoulder, guys.

AND the prayers.

Y'all are the best.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Day 13: Bad Day

I'm irritated.

You know, it really stinks when you have a special needs child, and you know they need you, and you know they need you in a special way, but you're sooooo exasperated with them, that you can hardly function.

I know that sounds bad. I know that sounds wrong.

But it's reality.

Sometimes, I'm just so downright aggravated with Michaela and all the things she can't do (or things she DOES), that I have to be away from her.

I hate it. I really do.

I'd rather be some kind of super Mom that can have the utmost patience in every circumstance, every time, no matter how many times I have to repeat myself to her. Or, no matter how many times she ignores me, wants to have her way, or downright disobeys me.

You wanna know what it's like? It's like having a child in the terrible twos.

Who doesn't grow out of it.


I don't know why, but for some reason, Michaela has been overwhelming the last week or so. She talks constantly. She consistently says, "Huh?" EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. she's told to do something. Even though she can hear us. Without fail, she will tell us what she wants to do, instead of doing what she's told.

I don't raise children like this. I don't give my kids lots of opportunities to do what they're told. They have been trained to obey, or face the consequences. If I say "go," they say "where?" When I tell them to hush, they hush. Temper tantrums are NEVER allowed. Telling us "no" is NEVER allowed.

But Michaela does all that and more.

And I can't treat her the same. That's obvious. But she's NOT two. She's almost 10. She's as big as ten. Yet, her mind is at two. And it's pretty terrible to have a 65 pound 2-year-old who won't obey without a huge production. Two-year-olds get disciplined, then go on their merry way. Michaela pouts, and cries (melodramatic like) and tries to do what she wants. I can't just pick her up and move her to another room like I would with a young child. I can't just stick her in a playpen either! (Oh, how I wish sometimes!!)


Today, she talked non-stop. That in itself is mind-numbing. Sometimes, my mind gets so overwhelmed with her incessant chatter and repetition, that all I can do is laugh. Laugh till I cry. Because she can't help herself, and I can't turn her off. If she has her head on something, it's stuck and won't go away. For hours even. There's nothing I can say or do to change her mind sometimes. And so I tell her to hush. But that's useless. So I send her to her room. But her attention span is so short, that she quickly forgets why she's in there. So I give her another toy to play with....same result.

And then I get stern with her. Mean even. Trying to elicit the response I'm looking for (obedience? hello?). Nope. If I try to punish her, she gets her feelings hurt something awful. Like she has no clue what she did that was so bad. Apologizing to me for the longest time.

And you know what? It probably WASN'T all that bad. All I did was tell her to hush, and she wouldn't listen. Why is that so bad? She probably couldn't even hush if she wanted to. But after hours of it, I can't STAND it anymore. I can't function. I'm to the point of tears.

I try to be understanding. I try to talk her through the things I want her to do. I try to be patient. But I'm human. And I have my breaking point. I have my limit.

I'm not supermom.

I'm just "regular mom".......

.....and days like these make me wish I had a regular kid.

Blasphemy, I know. Oh well. Special needs is not a bed of roses.

If it is, then I must not have a "green thumb."

(ok, so I'm venting. welcome to my online diary. come back tomorrow. i'm sure i'll be fine.)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Day 12: And I Just Like To Eat Them....

Check this out. Perty cool.

But makes me think that some artists aren't what you call, "starving."

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Day 11: Cheese!

Since my Mom and Dad are in town, I decided that I wanted to get pictures taken. Professional pictures. It's been four and a half years since we've had family pictures taken....

...that's BEFORE Libbigail! I have DOUBLE the number of kids now!

Yeah. Pretty pitiful. I know.

I'm not sure why, but the thought of my parents coming just seemed to make me want to get them done. I think I liked the idea of having them in the pictures. I wanted some shots of them with the kids. We also got shots with just the kids, just Chris and I, and my favorite:

Me and my Mom and the girls.

See, 10 years ago, for Mother's Day, Mom and I had our picture taken together. I was pregnant with Michaela at the time, and it was my first official Mother's Day.

So I thought it was neat to get our pictures AGAIN for Mother's Day. This time, with 3 generations. As another gift for Mom.

(And before you get your hopes up, no, I'm not going to post it here. I'm too self-conscience of pictures of myself!)

We got some cute pictures all in all. Here's a couple of the best of them:

The gang with their Grammy and Grandpa

The Kidlettes

And I'll tell should see the hoops the camera people jumped in order to get the shots to come out! Working with 6 kids, for a total of 10 people is NOT easy. Kudos to Portrait Innovations!

Day 10: Blame It On The Brain

I forgot to post yesterday.

I had a pretty bad headache, and could do nothing but go to sleep when I normally write.

But here's a complimentary pic---just to sooth your feelings......

Friday, May 11, 2007

Day 9: Mom And Dad

They drove over 1200 miles to come see us, and they arrived today.

My Mom and Dad are some of the best parents in the world. They raised me right, and taught me what I needed to know to make it on my own. And yet, even now, being a married woman for over 10 years, they still share, give, help and spoil me.

I hope, I pray, that when I'm the parent of grown children, I will be able to be as wonderful to my kids as my parents are to me (and my siblings). I know I will definately TRY, because they have led by example, and so I know HOW to make my grown children happy (even before they're grown), just from seeing how my Mom and Dad treat me---how that makes me feel.

"Special," "Loved," "Cared For"........ the rest can't quite be put into words.

They're just really awesome people :)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Day 8: My Gift, My Time, My Sacrifice

THIS is why I homeschool......

And THIS reason too......

But most of all, I think I just like my kids.

Why would I want them gone all the time?

This is my gift to them: to be their Mom 24/7, to be their teacher, to give my time, to sacrifice my present "freedom," to keep them close.

To train them in the way they should go.

I homeschool my kids. It's my labor of love.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Day 7: Mistaken Identity

I find it a pretty interesting concept that I saw this building

And thought it was one of two things (because I could only see the LARGE print):

1. A new fitness center
2. A new church

I was strongly leaning towards #2. But turns out, it's actually a movie theater.


I've since come to two specific conclusions:

1. Americans are fat (the author included), and therefore, gyms are spending big bucks on marketing themselves, and making their place look big on frills and worth the money. Which would lead me to entertain the thought that the Rave Cinema could be a workout club.

2. Americans aren't as interested in the "seperation of church and state" anymore.....Or, in this case, the seperation of church and "the world." Because there ARE churches out there that call themselves such unchurchy things, like "Rave," and they market heavily to reach the masses---using every trick in the book to get people in the door. Which would lead me to entertain the thought that the Rave Cinema could be a new church.

This case of "mistaken identity" doesn't bother me so much when it comes to the gym, but I'm thinking the church idea...........well, that's pretty sad. my humble opinion.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Day 6: Blowing Steam Out My Ears

It's VBS season here.

At our church, it's more affectionately called just "Bible School." I am the project leader for the "junior" aged children, otherwise known as "pre-teen", ages 10-12. I think you can already see where I'm going with this.....

Unlike a lot of VBS programs, ours runs a full 10 days. It is completely homegrown, as opposed to the programs we did when I was a child. Those were pre-packaged kits, if you will. They always had catchy names like "Fun in the Son," "Savior Safari,"or something along those lines. And when I was a "junior" (as we call that age), I was DOING VBS, not attending it. So, working in my congregation's version of Vacation Bible School is quite a change of pace for me.

Like I said, it's homegrown, which means the projects are also that way. The juniors and the older teens only put together one project for the entire program. So it has to take more than a day or two to make. And as the leader in the project department, I have to come up with a project that pre-teens would like to work with and take home.

Both the girls............AND the boys.

And therein lies the rub.

As a female, I am naturally pulled in the direction of projects that have a more girlie side to them: baskets, candles, pottery. Yet, the tomboy side of me tries to keep the process fair and so I work hard to keep it all balanced and enjoyable for the male set.

But sometimes, that's so hard.

10-12 year old males are generally not considered crafty. Yet, I've gotten a few of them to work hard and not sling paint and mod podge all over the room.

Because, that's what they really WANT to do.



So, in my efforts to find the perfect project, the perfectly bipartisan project, I often end up completely frustrated. Spent. Worn out. Exhausted. It seems as though every craft store in town has ganged up on me to NOT carry the one item that will put the finishing touches on the craft. And usually, it's that one thing that makes it acceptably boyish. Hence, without it, we couldn't really do the project at all, without leaving the males in the cold.

Because, let's be honest: it's not HARD to find butterflies, flowers, and ribbon paper for papier mache boxes, is it? But go ahead, I DARE you to find paper with footballs, tractors, or race cars. You think it's there? HA! So did I! Go ahead! Try to find them! They're NOT THERE!


Oh, but they WILL be AFTER Bible School is over. I assure you. Those craft stores have it in for me. (No offense Mitchi)


Today, I put the project together for the first time. It came out nice. I'm hoping that the boys will take to it. It's not as boyishy as I wish it would be, but they can't blame me for not trying. Maybe if they don't like it enough, they can give it to their Mom.

Or their sister.....


Here's last years project: marble magnets on a hanging metal plate....

A girlie one....

....and something to suit the boys.

Stay tuned to see what we're doing this year.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Day 4: This Funny Bone Ain't So Funny

My arm hurts.

Don't ask me "why," because I have no clue why it hurts. Or "when," since I don't remember ever hurting it. All I know is, last night when I was getting ready for bed, my elbow started hurting. Around where your "funny bone" is. Dull and achy pain, like when your fingers swell. That dull ache quickly turned into a sharp pain when I moved in certain ways. And later, the ache crept down my arm, affecting those muscles and the hand.

In case you didn't know, it's hard to be an effective Mom, when you're arm is all-but-useless.

And strangely enough, the arm in question is my left arm. NOT my dominant arm. So, how I hurt an arm I don't use as much is beyond me. And even stranger, is the fact that seemingly un-arm-related type movements are killer on a bum arm. Like, bending over, for example. I can attest to the fact that the muscles that run through your arm DO contract (for some unknown reason) when you're bending over. Even if you hold your arm slack. Yup, that elbow just feels like it has to be part of the action. I know this now.

Sooo, I'm trying to get done what I have to, even though it hurts. But just like I did with the toe, I asked my pastor to pray that it would get better quickly, and I trust that it will. I just have to be creative between now and then. So I can actually get something accomplished while Chris is at work tomorrow.

Good thing I like being creative!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Day 3: Eggin'

Here's a set of pictures I neglected to post back in the "unbloggy" days of April. As you can see, only a couple of my kids got any good camera time! The two oldest boys were in a different area, and really didn't need help like Michaela and Asher did. They all enjoy the thrill of the hunt, though :)

Friday, May 04, 2007

Day 2: The End of An Era

Gabe's been transferred. To another room. To another bed. So I can get some sleep. So he can get some sleep.

It's the end of an era. The end of baby cradles.

I'm not sure how to feel about this.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Day 1: Magical Erasure

My Mom and Dad are coming to visit next week. Which means I'm on a whirlwind to get things nice in and OUT if my house again (you know it's true, Mom!).

They have agreed to stay in our pop-up camper. Our house is a taaaad bit too small for comfortable company, but I really didn't like the idea of them going to another town to stay in a hotel. So the camper is kind of "middle ground": not a hotel, but not cramped, and generally comfortable.

Unfortunately, the aforementioned camper was looking somewhat....shall we say....moldy? Not real mold, mind you, but that harmless green stuff that grows on vinyl. You know, what your patio furniture looks like after a couple of years of living outdside?

Yeah, thaaaaat. IE: not pretty.

So, I got a good tip from a fellow camper on how to spiff up Crusty the Camper....
And all I have to say is......



Double Wow.

These things WORK.

I have scrubbed the camper before. I'm talking s.c.r.u.b.b.e.d. This time, I wiped it clean.


I'll take wiping over scrubbing anyday.

Goodbye Crusty! Helloooooooo Pristine the Pop-up!

A Day Here, A Month There....

And little do we realize how much the blog gets neglected!

And I had such aspirations of doing better! Yet, I've posted LESS! Ack.......

There's a blog I read where the author didn't post for like 2 or 3 months straight. And like her, I'm feeling pretty bad about it. Probably because I WANT to keep a journal of my life, and also because I know people are waiting to hear from me.

She decided to post for 30 days straight. Every day. And she's done it.

Hmmmmm......I may just need to do that. To be able to get back in the saddle again.......