Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Monday, December 31, 2007

A series of unfortunate events

Last night Dean and his son Aaron were in the basement watching the football game, while Angela and I were watching her favorite episode of John and Kate Plus 8. (I still can't decide if I like that show, but am drawn to watching it cuz of the cute kids. LOL And I was only 1/2 watching 1/2 dozing on the couch)

Suddenly the screen went black.

Angela looked at me with a with huge wide eyes, "MOOooooom! FIX IT!" While at the same time there was hollering coming from the basement, "What's wrong with the TV?"

I like how everyone yells at ME like I magically caused all the TV's in the house to stop working. Wish I could work that magic with other laundry. Turns out our cable went down, which means no internet or phone either. Dean called the cable company to report the outage, who said we were the only ones out so they could send someone on Tuesday. TUESDAY????? You gotta be kidding? That's forever away. We begged for Monday and eventually got them to commit to that.

But, we have DVR so Angela and I turned on Ratatoulli which I had recorded earlier in the day, while Dean and Aaron played a couple games of pool. That ended, Angela went to bed, so we 3 big people sat down to watch some totally unwholesome "Two and a half men" episodes I had recorded. We were were 1/2 way through our second episode when the DVR went out too.

NOW what do we do? I instinctively went to the computer to check my boards and my email, only to be met with the "can't connect" screen. GAH! Here it was only 8:30 and there were no functioning electronics in the house. Ahh...but wait! We could watch a DVD, so Aaron chose "The Ringer". When that was done Dean was snoring on the couch and Aaron wasn't comfortable staring at me so we all went to bed.

This morning Dean got up at 4:30 for work, and discovered no hot water. Turns out the hot water heater cord had somehow found it's way to water (you know that drain hose that comes from somewhere indefinable? It got moved and so the cord was in water) which blew the breaker, and the cable modem is on that same one. So all this suffering we did unnecessarily! Well, and I'll have to call the cable company to cancel the visit we begged for. LOL

Lesson learned: We are far too connected to our computer and TV. This is not news to me, but it's sure slap in the face when something happens to it. Only a couple hours and we hardly knew what to do with ourselves! We don't even OWN any board games, and I couldn't find a deck of cards. There was apple pie though. Had some of that.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

She's coming home!!!

You may remember this post about Bringing Sasha Home
I'm thrilled to tell you that they have a travel date!!!! Their date for court in Aleksa's country is January 21st. Both Mom and Dad will need to be there for a couple weeks, but Mom will need to stay for several weeks. Aleksa should be home the end of February! HOORAY!!! Please keep their entire family in your prayers as they go through the difficult leg of this journey, being away from their other kids! Please pray for smooth court proceedings in Eastern Europe, safe travel at each leg of the trip, and for Auntie Elizabeth who will be caring for the kids while they're gone. And really, I want to say a special prayer for GOOD HEALTH for everyone involved!

And one more thing. Please, if you have it in your heart to contribute to Aleksa's adoption costs, you can do so by visiting her page at Reese's Rainbow

When families have to say goodbye

A Friend of mine Renee at "Life With My Special K's" had to do something yesterday that most of us would not have the strength to do. To send her husband off to Afghanistan for his 3rd deployment. Ok, lots of families do this, I know. But their family has a little extra on their plate compared to many other families. Please make the trip over to their blog, and say a prayer for Frank's safe return...first in May for their daughter's Make A Wish trip (3 year old Kennedy has Down Syndrome and Acute Myelogenous Leukemia ) and then again for him to return safely in March 2009. I'm sure that seems forever away for this family.

Friday, December 28, 2007

My Dogs Live Here

A friend sent this to me today. I think it's perfect, and explains something we experience on almost a daily basis that REALLY bugs us.

My Dogs Live Here....

My dogs live here, they're here to stay.
You don't like pets? Be on your way.
They share my home, my food, my space.
This is their home, this is their place.

You will find dog hair on the floor,
They will alert you're at the door.
They may request a little pat,
A simple "NO" will settle that.

It gripes me when I hear you say,
"Just how is it you live this way?
They smell, they shed, they're in the way."
WHO ASKED YOU? is all I can say.

They love me more than anyone.
My voice is like the rising sun,
They merely have to hear me say,
"C'mon, time to go and play."

Then tails wag and faces grin,
They bounce and hop and make a din.
They never say, "No time for you,"
They're always there, to GO and DO.

And if I'm sad, they're by my side.
And if I'm mad, they circle wide.
And if I laugh, they laugh with me.
They understand, they always see.

So, once again, I say to you,
"Come visit me," but know this too...

My dogs live here, they're here to stay.
You don't like pets? Be on your way.
They share my home, my food, my space.
This is their home, this is their place.

- Author Unknown

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Cool torture device for teens

Ok, I'll admit, I was at a loss what to give my boys (Noah 20, Tyler 19) for Christmas. Aside from the clothes they both need but don't want, I really had no clue what to get. What does one do when they're at a loss? Well, Google of course!

So I googled "gifts for teens" which brought me to where I found a couple different things, but the one that caught my eye was probably the strangest gift a parent could ever give. I had to have it.

In this game there are 4 joysticks. (the name joystick is quite funny, given the nature of this game.) You can set the game 2-4 players. Each person removes their joystick from the base and hold on to it, holding their thumb just above the red button at the top. DON'T TOUCH IT THOUGH! At least...not yet.

In the middle of the base unit is the start button. Pushing it causes it to flash red for several seconds, then suddenly turn green. When it turns green it's a race as to who can push their joystick button the fastest. The last one to push gets a shock. (The level of shock can be preset before the game.)

I know, I gave a torture device to my kids for Christmas. But really..they had a BLAST with it. And, if there were a group of adults looking for an entertaining drinking game, this one would make a great shot game! LOL

There was another game that I also ordered, similar, but only two players. Here's the description: " Do you think you can really handle this? Each player will receive a very low and short electric shock through the handles and the red lights will flash... The shock will then start again this time longer and more powerful! Winner is the last fool still holding the handle!"

Do you think this will win me the "Mother of the Year" award?

So, just so you can see how the game is played, here is a lovely video of our family Christmas. Notice that the teens have decided putting it on the highest setting AND holding TWO joysticks at one time would be a smart idea. (NOT!) In all seriousness, these ARE great gifts for adolescent - young adult boys. (shhhhh the adult men thought it was kinda fun too!) *disclaimer* the shock does NOT HURT! It's like strong static electricity that feels VERY strange. Much like the hand buzzers we had as kids.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

New years GOALS!

I don't like the word "resolution". It always sounds to me like you're FORCING yourself to do something you didn't really want to do. I'm NOT choosing to set a goal of weight loss. I mean, I am, but...well to explain it I probably won't make sense.

I do have a couple of goals for this year though. First of all, I want to get back to playing racquetball. When I divorced I went out and bought all new equipment and hooked up with some other players. If felt good to get back into the game. Even my deadly "Z" serve came back! Then I met Dean who doesn't play. I quickly got wrapped up in this great guy and let my game go. It's time to get back! It's an excellent workout and something that I desperately need.

My second goal is the Epic Journey I'm planning on making in June. I have this feeling I'll end up having to bow out, as some people in Angela's life aren't very reliable when it comes to caring for her when they say they're going to. This has caused me to cancel MAJOR plans on countless occasions over the past 6 years or so. But, I'm working on a back-up plan, just in case.

The third goal is to get my sidecar mounted and learn how to ride with it! To me this seems like a major undertaking, probably bigger than my two other goals put together. Getting this done will allow me to spend as much time as I want on my bike, as Angela can ride with me! So really this is two goals in one. ;-)

Ode to an Unknown Biker

But, You Didn't See Me

I saw you, hug your purse closer to you in the grocery store line. But, you didn't see me, put an extra $10.00 in the collection plate last Sunday. I saw you, pull your child closer when we passed each other on the sidewalk.But, you didn't see me, playing Santa at the local mall.

I saw you, change your mind about going into the restaurant. But, you didn't see me, attending a meeting to raise more money for the hurricane relief. I saw you, roll up your window and shake your head when I drove by.But, you didn't see me, driving behind you when you flicked your cigarette butt out the car window.

I saw you, frown at me when I smiled at your children.But, you didn't see me, when I took time off from work to run toys to the homeless. I saw you, stare at my long hair. But, you didn't see me, and my friends cut ten inches off for Locks of Love.

I saw you, roll your eyes at our leather coats and gloves. But, you didn't see me, and my brothers donate our old coats and gloves to those that had none. I saw you, look in fright at my tattoos. But, you didn't see me, cry as my children where born and have their name written over and in my heart.

I saw you, change lanes while rushing off to go somewhere. But, you didn't see me, going home to be with my family.
I saw you, complain about how loud and noisy our bikes can be. But, you didn't see me, when you were changing the CD and drifted into my lane.

I saw you, yelling at your kids in the car. But, you didn't see me, pat my child's hands, knowing he was safe behind me.I saw you, reading the newspaper or map as you drove down the road. But, you didn't see me, squeeze my wife's leg when she told me to take the next turn.

I saw you, race down the road in the rain. But, you didn't see me, get soaked to the skin so my son could have the car to go on his date. I saw you, run the yellow light just to save a few minutes of time. But, you didn't see me, trying to turn right.

I saw you, cut me off because you needed to be in the lane I was in. But, you didn't see me, leave the road. I saw you, waiting impatiently for my friends to pass. But, you didn't see me. I wasn't there.

I saw you, go home to your family. But, you didn't see me. Because, I died that day you cut me off. I was just a biker,......A person with friends and a family.

*note* I have no idea who wrote this. I dug around online only to find 3 or 4 different people taking credit for it.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Twas the Night of Christmas

You didn't really think I was going to write a poem type thing did you? Sorry, I'm not that clever!

We had a lovely Christmas! Saturday we drove the 4 (turned into 5 1/2) hours north to my parents home and celebrated Christmas with my family. This will be the 13th year of the same gift from them...a 5 day vacation at a resort up north near their home, with all of my siblings and their families in the neighboring cabins. This has by far been the best Christmas present ever given.

For the first 10 years of this tradition we stayed at the Ivanhoe Resort in Walker, MN. Sadly 3 years ago that resort sold and so we moved next door to the Shore Crest Resort instead. (which, by the way, is also for sale for a mere 2.5 million dollars.) Every year, starting at Christmas the kids would start making their plans for Ivanhoe Weekend. Even after the move to Shore Crest, it's still referred to as Ivanhoe Weekend. LOL There certainly couldn't be a better present than the memories created on our Ivanhoe Weekend!

Now that the hubub is done, Dean and I are enjoying a quiet, empty house to ourselves. In fact, we haven't moved out the couch all day!

Friday, December 21, 2007

12 Days of Christmas

This is a MUST WATCH! Don't let the beginning fool you! ENJOY!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I'm IN!!!!

I have been dying to say something about this, but really afraid that I would jynx myself out of it! LOL

A couple months ago there was an ad running on 107.1 FM (a local women's radio station) about the FAB (Food Attitudes and Body) study being done at the University of Minnesota. I decided to call and get more information.

The study is actually a national weight loss study designed to determine the effectiveness of programs such as Jenny Craig. There are 400+ women in the study nation-wide, with sites in 4 places across the US, one being here in Minnesota.

There were several hundred people here in MN who responded to the call for study participants, but only those 100 or so women could get in. First we had to attend and orientation meeting where we were told the details of the program and what would be expected of us.

There are 3 different groups in the study with participants being randomly placed in each group. The first group would be put into the Jenny Craig Center program. These participants would receive 2 years of Jenny Craig food and do the weekly office visits with Jenny Craig staff. The second group would be put in the Jenny Craig Direct program, which is 2 years of food and weekly phone consults with the Jenny Craig staff. The third group would have monthly visits with the study dietician at the U. of M for the course of the two years.

At that meeting there were lots of questions about what the Jenny Craig food would be like, how strict it is, etc. Anyone who didn't like the sounds of the program didn't come back for the next step.

The next step was to come in for a visit with the study staff. We were given lots of forms to fill out about our eating habits and, I'm sure, to rule out a serious eating disorder. We also had to have blood work done to rule out things like thyroid disorders that would be cause for weight gain, and do a short fitness test to make sure we were physically able to participate in the study since part of it would require physical excercise. I went in for this visit a week ago and was told I'd hear on the 21st if I was in the study, AND which group I was in.

Last night I was in the shower, and I said to God, "Ok God, I know you'll put me in the group that is best suited for my needs, even if *I* don't think that's the group I should be in. You know me better than I do!"

Today they called, and informed me I'm in the Jenny Craig Center program. This is two years of Jenny Craig food free of charge, weekly visits with the Jenny Craig staff, and whatever else their program entails. I'm so excited! I might just be that hot biker chick of my dreams yet!!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Who IS Santa anyway?

Well, that all depends upon which store you go to, and which volunteer group is running the show for the day!

This morning Dean and I were laying around in our jammies when I got this brilliant idea to take the dogs to Petsmart for a picture with Santa. We did this when Dudley (now 2 years old) was just a little puppy and it turned out really cute, so why not do it again? WHY? Because you should never think something will turn out the same a second time, that's why!

Did you know you can't just walk out the door with 3 dogs? No, first we had to discuss weather or not the dogs needed a bath. All we have to do is say the word "bath" and all three dogs disappear. There are some words we actually spell around the dogs. Words like "o-u-t-s-i-d-e" and "b-a-t-h" and "t-r-e-a-t". When Angela is here we have to spell entire sentences, such as "d-o...y-o-u...w-a-n-t....i-c-e-c-r-e-a-m..?" if we do this when Tyler or Noah are here the get this really confused look on their faces and beg us to please spell slower. So then we spell really fast, sentences like, "d-o...y-o-u...t-h-i-n-k...w-e...s-h-o-u-l-d....l-e-t...h-i-m...d-r-i-v-e?" If they can't figure it out they're just S-O-L.

Anyway, Rubee is always fine without a bath, though she's looking a little scraggly with her postpartum hair loss. I quickly brushed the last clumps of hair off her.

Zurri wasn't really dirty, but she definitely needed to be brushed out. She saw me coming with the brushes and quickly but quietly removed herself to the kennel for a private nap. In Zurri's mind, if she can't see us, certainly we can't find her. I bribed her out with treats and got her all brushed out. She still has her silly Seuss cut from the play, but she's a gorgeous dog anyway! I did have to trim her head so she could actually SEE for pictures.

Dudley, on the other hand, STINKS! His beard holds all kinds of smells, and God knows what bacteria. Still he is the best dog in the world. I called him over to get brushed and as usual he just laid down, exposed his belly to me as if to say, "Ok, fine, but I don't have to like it." I got him all brushed out and he looked handsome, but he still stunk. I really didn't feel like doing a dog bath AND getting him dry. Besides, it was 10:30 and Santa is only there till noon, and Dean and I still needed to get showered. Dudley, my boy, lucked out!

As we were getting ready to leave, Zurri was nowhere to be found. At least that's what SHE thought. Again, I called her out of the kennel and had to convince her we really were going for a FUN ride this time. Everyone went outside and peed on command (good doggies! No wonder our neighbors think we're weird.) and hopped in the truck. I wonder what people in the other cars think? Whenever we stop at a light or stop sign, here are 3 black noses pushed up against the glass (or 2 noses and Zurri's tongue licking the glass.) steaming up the windows so all you can see are their nostrils.

There was a line of people for the Petsmart Santa. First was very overweight black pug who was snortning and sneezing all over Santa, and wiggling to get off. Clearly this was torture for him (and Santa) Then a Cavelier pup who looked far too young to be out in public yet. (What are people thinking, and what breeder let that puppy leave already? ) Then it was our turn. Zurri was VERY excited to be there and really really really wanted to play with the fluffy kitties behind the glass we were standing next to! Dudley is Dudley and could really care less about anything except the fact he knows where those petsmart people keep their treats! Rubee was just happy to be out in the real world and not have puppies hanging off her!

The Santa was kind of a grumpy Santa. least that's what we THINK because he didn't say even one single word. He did choke Rubee though, the one dog who wouldn't get up from a sit/stay if her life depended on it! Dudley wasn't very comfortable on the very slippery floor, and Zurri yawned in just about every picture. Here's the best one of the 5 or 6 pictures they took.
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After that Dean and I decided to grab a Starbucks and chat a little. It's nice that we get time to do this now and then, and we sooo enjoy spending time together. Like most parents, all we talk about are the kids, weather they be two footed or 4! When we came home we decided I decided to try taking pictures of the dogs in front of the tree again. We'll add Angela tomorrow when she's home from her dads.
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Later I'll post the outtakes from last night. They're pretty funny!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Epic Journey

LET THE PREPARATIONS BEGIN! Yes, I'll be 41 years old this summer, and to celebrate it I'll be making an Epic Journey in June with some biker chick friends of mine. NO BOYS ALLOWED! LOL It's a fairly large group, and the ride is actually starting out somewhere in Ohio. (sorry, for the protection of the group I can't give specifics here) and will be traveling cross country to Central WI, then heading up through Duluth MN, then up into Canada. I'll be coming alone back down through WI and home again. I'll have several hundred miles that will be on my own, but the majority of it will be with the group. I cannot wait! This will be my first BIG RIDE...and EPIC RIDE! In the meantime, my bike is freezing out in the garage, but here's a picture of her and I together.
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Foggy day

Some days I can come up with some good stuff to blog about. Some days I have trouble finding my way through the crud in my brain to come up with something interesting. Today would be one of those days. But I'm determined....So here's some fun animal bloopers to give you something to laugh about while you're trying to figure out who you forgot to shop for.

don't wake the baby

Read this in a whisper voice....

Earlier today the last of the puppies left, and just a few minutes later Angela left for her dads. I don't know which one of us hit the couch first, me or Dean. All I know is when I woke up a couple hours later Dean was snoring and the 3 dogs were splayed all over the living room enjoying the quiet and the return to their usual routine. Ssshhhhhh Dean is still sleeping and it's been THREE HOURS! (Maybe I can convince him to go out tonight!)

The next "must have"

Have you heard of the Kindle yet? If not, and you have a reader in your midst, this will be the next "must have" electronic device. Imagine 200 or so books (all of your choosing of course) at your fingertips, in a device the size of a small paper notebook! Need "cheater" glasses? Not a problem, change the font to whatever size you need! Reading in dim light? Not a problem, change the background lighting. Reading while on your treadmill? Not a problem, the "pages" turn when you click a button, so no pages flopping around when you don't want them to. All completely wireless so you can use it anywhere. When flying in a plane it has another setting so you don't have to be connected to the network. What an amazing little device! This thing is going to be HOT for college students! No more loads of text books! Instead they'll all be electronically stored in this one tiny device! And hey, maybe it'll even save some trees too? My friend's husband got his last week and I got to touch it. I'm in awe of his new toy. Here's a link to a video demo Scroll down when you get there to see the video

Here's the Amazon Product description:
  • Revolutionary electronic-paper display provides a sharp, high-resolution screen that looks and reads like real paper.
  • Simple to use: no computer, no cables, no syncing.
  • Wireless connectivity enables you to shop the Kindle Store directly from your Kindle—whether you’re in the back of a taxi, at the airport, or in bed.
  • Buy a book and it is auto-delivered wirelessly in less than one minute.
  • More than 90,000 books available, including more than 95 of 112 current New York Times® Best Sellers.
  • New York Times® Best Sellers and all New Releases $9.99, unless marked otherwise.
  • Free book samples. Download and read first chapters for free before you decide to buy.
  • Top U.S. newspapers including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post; top magazines including TIME, Atlantic Monthly, and Forbes—all auto-delivered wirelessly.
  • Top international newspapers from France, Germany, and Ireland; Le Monde, Frankfurter Allgemeine, and The Irish Times—all auto-delivered wirelessly.
  • More than 250 top blogs from the worlds of business, technology, sports, entertainment, and politics, including BoingBoing, Slashdot, TechCrunch, ESPN's Bill Simmons, The Onion, Michelle Malkin, and The Huffington Post—all updated wirelessly throughout the day.
  • Lighter and thinner than a typical paperback; weighs only 10.3 ounces.
  • Holds over 200 titles.
  • Long battery life. Leave wireless on and recharge approximately every other day. Turn wireless off and read for a week or more before recharging. Fully recharges in 2 hours.
  • Unlike WiFi, Kindle utilizes the same high-speed data network (EVDO) as advanced cell phones—so you never have to locate a hotspot.
  • No monthly wireless bills, service plans, or commitments—we take care of the wireless delivery so you can simply click, buy, and read.
  • Includes free wireless access to the planet's most exhaustive and up-to-date encyclopedia—
  • Email your Word documents and pictures (.JPG, .GIF, .BMP, .PNG) to Kindle for easy on-the-go viewing.
  • Included in the box: Kindle wireless reader, Book cover, Power adapter, USB 2.0 cable

Friday, December 14, 2007

Excited to see the excitement!

Ohhhh I can't wait till Christmas morning when Angela sees what Santa put in her stocking! Two tickets to the "High School Musical" stage show! It's not till April though, so Santa better make sure there's other stuff in the stocking too!

Some of you may remember her excitement last year when I took her to see The Doodlebops. We'd had second row seats, and she got pulled up on stage by one of the background dancers. His name was Michael, and when she sees pictures of the event she relives the entire thing! LOL

Our seats for High School Musical are not quite as good, but we're still on the main floor, but she's so short I just hope she can see over the heads of all the people! Oh well, it'll still be fun. After our Make A Wish trip this will be a great way to wrap up the winter.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

sicky ickies and travel

When kids get sick, it's really quite gross. Especially when the illness involves the sinuses. Angela has a horrible sinus infection and has spent the week smearing snot everywhere. Today she was sick enough for me to say she definitely had to stay home, which meant she had to go along to my doctor appointment before we could get to hers. She's breathing like a freight train and you can hear her coming a mile away. And if she sneezes? Well lets not even go there, shall we? Hopefully the new antibiotics will quick in quickly and she'll be feeling up for school soon!

Oh last week we were given our tentative travel dates and today they were confirmed. We now know exactly when we're leaving for Angela's Make A Wish trip. We'll be having some type of party the middle of January. I can't wait to find out how many people we can invite!

Narcoleptic Insomniac

Is there really such a thing as a Narcoleptic Insomniac? Yes, there most certainly is. I personally know someone who suffers from this condition. How does this happen? Let me tell you a story.....

Since sometime around 15 or 16 I've had a horrible time staying awake. Lots of teenagers are like that though, so I'm sure my parents didn't think much of it. I can remember coming home from school and taking loooooooooooong naps. I think most teenagers do. But there were times when I was also a really busy kid, with track meets and chior concerts, and all that stuff.

Before I knew it, I was a young mom. Aren't all moms of 2 toddlers really tired all the time? I loved when the babies were still on 2 naps a day, because it meant I could take one too! I was lucky that both my boys were nappers!

By the time I was in my mid 20's I was discovering that driving was a bit difficult. Well, the driving wasn't, but staying awake while I was driving sure was tough! Along came Angela. By then there were 5 kids in the house and I was exhausted all the time. Who wouldn't be? But I certainly wasn't short on sleep. I was getting 8-10 hours a night and would wake up in the morning thinking, "If I can just make it till 10:00 a.m., I can take a nap with Angela." Waking up planning your naps isn't a good sign.

When Angela was around 2 or so, my friend Joanie said to me, "You sleep more than anyone I know. I don't think it's normal. Did you know that most adults don't take a 3 or 4 hour nap every day?" (well, I knew they didn't, but I thought they probably WANTED to!) She told me there was going to be a special on 20/20 about sleep disorders, so I watched it. It mostly talked about the truckers that spend too many consecutive hours driving and the results of it, but it also talked about sleep studies, and narcolepsy. I could identify with a lot of the stories. By that time in my life driving more than 10 minutes at a time was very difficult. Angela needed lots of trips to the children's hospital which was 70 miles one way, and I'd often have to pull over 2 or 3 times so I could close my eyes. The story gave a website address of the National Sleep Foundation where you could take a screening test to find out if you should see a sleep specialist.

I took that test, and up popped a warning box, "You should not be operating a motorized vehicle. You need to be sleep by a sleep specialist as soon as possible." Wow...hmmm...ok. So I went to a specialist, had a sleep study, and was diagnosed with Narcolepsy. (a year later my then 15 year old was diagnosed as well.) There is medication you can take for Narcolepsy, but it's extremely expensive and I don't currently have health insurance so I've been off it for quite some time. But it's very strange. Even when I have the medication I don't really want to take it, because like most of us who have Narcolepsy, we LOVE sleep. Also, the medication causes migraines. If I catch them soon enough I can stop them before they render me incapeable of opening my eyes in the daylight, but I'm not always able to catch it.

Most people who have Narcolepsy will tell you people think they are lazy. It's tough to get things done when you really just want to sleep. You have ZERO ambition. BUT...when you take the medication it's like taking speed and you can whip around getting the most amazing amount of stuff done. I often forget just how awake I can be if I'd just take a pill. But it's not an abnormal amount of awakeness (is that a word?) It's a NORMAL amount. Like what everyone around me probably feels like and so I'm shocked at how much they can get done in a day. People with narcolepsy also have trouble with weight gain, because for us, eating out of boredom is also a way to stay awake.

So where does insomnia play in here?

Well...I'm at a lovely age. I'm 40, and have had a hysterectomy which means I'm hitting the peri-menopausal stage a little early. Sorry if this is TMI, but it's crucial to my story. Part of this stage is insomnia.

GOOD GRIEF! I'm so tired of being awake in the middle of the night! This is silly! I can't really get anything done or I'll wake up the whole house. Take tonight for instance. I went to bed at 10:00 like a normal person. Having narcolepsy means I fall asleep within seconds of my head hitting the pillow. But at 11:30 the dogs started barking at something outside (damn deer!) I went back to bed but I knew it was hopeless. I layed there wondering if I could pull the tree out of the storage room, get it up and decorated without waking anyone. Then I remembered the puppy in the basement and knew that idea was out. She'd be barking her head off. So I did my usual and went to the computer to find something interesting to read. It's now 2:00 a.m. and here I still sit. Not even the slightest bit sleepy. I could be decorating a tree, or painting the kitchen, or something else productive, but all I can think about is how tired I'm going to be tomorrow!

Angela is staying home from school since she's not feeling well, and I have a dr. appointment to get to. The lack of sleep is catching up with me and I know I'm going to have a hard time driving, much less getting anything else done. I've gotten to the point that if I have even ONE appointment during the day I feel like I've run a marathon and could sleep for days. It's very frustrating. Not only for me, but for Dean.

So...that's how a narcoleptic insomniac comes to be. Now, I'm going to try going back to bed and see what happens! Goodnight!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

A HUGE Thank you!!!

As we prepare for Angela's upcoming Make A Wish trip, one of my concerns was the dogs. I really wasn't sure about asking MAW to cover boarding for our dogs for an entire week. That's a HUGE expense. A friend of mine who just returned from their MAW trip encouraged me to ask anyway.

In the meantime, I contacted several boarding facilities in the area, and visited a couple as well. UGH! My dogs have been away from us plenty of times, but it's usually with a family friend or something and they have a good visit, but they've never been "kenneled" at a facility before. The ones I visited seemed just like that, very "kennelish".

A friend of mine recently recommended Paws And Claws located in Hudson WI. They are NOT a typical boarding kennel, and in asking around to my other trainer friends I've heard good things about them. Yesterday I emailed them pleading our cause, and they've agreed to take our dogs to make Angela's wish come true! I'm so excited! I have been very nervous about the dog situation. Our dogs are our babies and I'm as picky about where they go as I was about daycare for any of my human kids!

So, Thanks PAWS AND CLAWS for helping us make Angela's wish come true!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Admission of Guilt

The police detective investigating the case with Angela called me this
morning. The substitute para who slapped her across the face at school
admitted it!

The timing of events is very interesting.

The detective called me this morning around 11:00. At 11:30 I got a call
from one of the other moms in the class. I'd talked to her last week to see
if her daughter had mentioned seeing anything, and she was just getting back to me.
Her daughter said she didn't SEE the slap, she just HEARD IT (from several
feet away she heard skin on skin...), but her friend sitting next to her SAW
IT and said, "Oh my god! "M" just hit Angela in the face!"

I'm waiting for a call from the friend who SAW it. I'm so disturbed that not
only did this happen to Angela, but the fact other kids saw it and the
myriad of things that could be going through their minds.

I was told that the police report will be sent to the city (or was it
county) attorney for review to see if they will prosecute. Even if they do,
this falls under "malicious punishment" which is a misdemeanor, which WILL
NOT SHOW UP ON A BACKGROUND CHECK should she apply for a job in another
district. Is this insane or what?????

Believe me, I'm not done with this. I'm just not exactly sure what's next.
There are so many directions I can take this. One of the things the Dept. of
Education said is at this time, there is no inter-district reporting when
something happens. So like, the district can't report to other districts
just as a precaution. If this woman applies for another job, and puts down
our district as a former employer AND if the new employer CHECKS...THEN
they'll be told of the incident. BUT...if this person were to say something
like, "I haven't worked for any district in the last 5 years" the new
district will likely never know this happened. This also means this COULD have happened before, but our district would have no way of knowing that before this woman was hired. Remember this is a SUB we're talking about, NOT a regular employee. That means she doesn't have an employee file of disciplinary action....NOTHING!!!!!

UGH! I'm so burned up about this. Believe me, this is far from over.

Monday, December 03, 2007


Tonight you took my face
in your hands
and turned me
so my eyes met yours

Tonight your eyes
looked deep into my soul
and told me things
that only God knows

Tonight in your eyes
I saw the love
of angels
and the wisdom
of God

Tonight those deep
dark pools of light
bottomless and crystal clear
brought me back
from somewhere
far away
like an anchor

Tonight your eyes
flashed both forward and
back in time
a baby
a woman
in those eyes

piercing but
gentle eyes
hold both question
and answer

They hold the world
your eyes

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Tis the season to park

C'mon people, it's CHRISTMAS for goodness sake! Sure are alot of scrooges around.

So here I am, making my 3rd run to Petsmart this week. We spend far too much money there! This week alone we've gone through 90 lbs of dog food, and the stuff I buy is a premium food that runs $42 a bag! I really should just get a job there so I can get an employee discount. Better yet, I should have taken out stock in them about 10 years ago before pampering your pooch became the craze that it is today.

Here I am in the parking lot. I spot a space not too far away from the door, but not right next to it the next row. Since there's a grass median there I have to go all the way around. Not a big deal, as I'm in no hurry. Dean is home sleeping in front of the watching the football game, and Angela is gone, so I'm on my own with almost no time limit.

As I'm getting ready to make a right turn into my coveted spot, an oncoming SUV comes sliding towards me in the slushy snow/salt mixure, and turns his blinker on JUST as he starts to turn. Cuz, you know, turning your signal on at the last possible second means you can claim the spot. Except the guy slides too much and is now past the spot, and even with me, so I go ahead and pull into it.

I putzed around getting my act together to exit the vehicle, when I did, here was the guy. Apparently he'd stood at the back of his vehicle and waited for me to come out. "That was my spot you know, I had my signal on."

I looked to see that his vehicle is parked just two spots away. "What? Was I supposed to back up so that you could back up and pull into the spot?"

"That doesn't matter. It was my spot, I had my signal on."

"I'm sorry you had trouble driving on the slush. Apparently you're not from here and don't realize that 4WD equals go power, not stop power, and that driving fast through parking lots isn't a good idea this time of year. Apparently you're having a bad day and I look like a willing victim. Sorry, not playing. Hope the rest of your day is better!" and I walked away.

I'd love to carry a card with me that has my blog address on it. Then when people irritate me enough to write about them, I can give them the card so they can come read it for themselves. I bet that'll get me some votes! LOL


It's morning.

Angela is gone, and last night I stayed up extra late looking forward to the fact today is the only morning in the next month that I can sleep in. Like a lot of people, I sleep best from about 5:00 a.m. Sometimes during the week I get up with Dean and visit with him while he has his morning POT of coffee (no wonder he pees every 5 minutes!) Keep in mind that "sometimes" is maybe like once a week, because "sometimes" is at 4:30 a.m. and "sometimes" I'm not able to get back to sleep! UGH, I hate that!

So today I'm sleeping in. I never hear Dean get out of bed. Ever. It's other things that wake me up, like the front door creaking when he lets the dogs out, or the beep of the coffee pot that is actually very quiet, just a noise that happens to go right up my spinal column to the back of my head where it bangs like a hammer and makes me feel anxious and stuff. Another thing that wakes me up is Angela. Ok, she's not a thing, but my darling sweet daughter who stands in the bedroom door and says, "Mom, can I lay down by you?" Yeah, don't be fooled. She doesn't really want to lay with me, she wants the warm spot that Dean left.

This morning it was none of those things that woke me up. No, instead it was SCREECHING PUPPIES!!!!! I love the puppies, but I don't love them at 6:00 on a Sunday morning when I want to sleep in.

Everyone knows the rule about waking a sleeping baby, right? Well, waking sleeping puppies is even worse! Especially when all eight of 'em are going to wake up hungry and have to pee and poop. Normally Dean can get to the basement smoking spot (that will be another post) without waking the puppies because they're out in the 3 season porch. Only yesterday we decided it was too cold out there and they needed to be moved inside. (this is why I've always avoided winter litters, and why I'll never do another winter litter again.) Now the puppies have 1/4 our our basement (which is actually pretty big) PLUS the porch to run around in AND a potty area.

So Dean tries to sneak downstairs to the fireplace/smoking spot when he hears a tiny "ruff". That's all it takes for all the puppies to leap to their feet and start throwing themselves against the side of the pen, screaming in excitement and hunger, in hopes that Daddy has brought breakfast with him.

Daddy does not have food (he hasn't yet figured out you don't show up at feeding time without food!) but he does let the puppies out of the pen into the porch so they can go potty in the big litter box we have set up for them. Only they've waited all night and not one puppy makes it to the box. Instead all 8 of them immediately squat and poop, and since I just wormed them a couple days ago, it's liquid poop. It's impossible to get it cleaned up before every puppy runs through every pile. (later today I'll teach him how to get all the puppies to the litter box in time.)

While he was cleaning up the poop everywhere, the puppies were still screaming and clamoring around his legs, jumping and trying to tell him "Please...feed us...we're starving...we can't wait 5 more minutes." And since they'd just run through poop, well...he needs a shower now.

All of this noise made it's way to my ears which had been sleeping peacefully upstairs. There is no amount of blanket rearranging, or holding pillows over your head that will drown out screeching puppies. Besides, I needed to make sure he was doing everything right, so I dragged my body out of bed, grabbed my robe, then waddled to the kitchen where I got puppy food ready. While that was soaking for a minute I came here to check email and stuff. See, I haven't gone downstairs yet because I KNOW it's silly to do so without the food to shut the puppies up!

Now it's 8:15 and all is quiet. The puppies are fed, and after they ate they all pooped in the litter box where they're supposed to. Rubee went in to play with them a little, which is very funny, and now they're tired and getting ready to nap. My pillow is now begging me to come back and cuddle with it some more. Since it's Sunday, and Angela is gone and the puppies are all taken care of, I just might do that!