Blogging about life and raising our five 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!"

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Undercut the Market



Yep, that's the name of my new album. I know, crazy isn't it? It's a game of randomness that you can play too!

The name of my band is "Epistle", and my album name is "Undercut the Market". HA!

Here's how to play:
create your own band and album
1 - Go to "wikipedia." Hit “random”
or click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random
The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2 - Go to "Random quotations"
or click http://www.quotationspage.com/random.php3
The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album. (make sure you hit the new random quotations button at the bottom)

3 - Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days”
or click http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days
Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover. (ahem, what happens with copyright laws???? Is it fair when it's in the name of fun?)

4 - Use photoshop or similar to put it all together (http://www.picnik.com/) works well, online.

5 - Post it with this text in the "caption" and TAG the friends you want to join in.

Freecycle Ad

This add was posted on my freecycle list this morning. What a hoot!

Up for grabs this morning I offer my fiance who woke me up last night to help him push his
car at 1:30 when he got home from work and got stuck in our alley.

Makes great breakfasts, wonderful with children, but finds it acceptable to make a woman
expecting a baby in three weeks push his car in the middle of the night, so accept at your
own discretion.

Sorry Admins. One of those days. Delete as you must and please don't ban me! ;
)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Pirates

Angela is determined to have her bedroom redone in a pirate theme. Last year while on her Make A Wish trip, she kept talking about "a pirate room" and we couldn't figure out why. She talked of a ship's wheel, a mast, a "ship window" (a port hole) and, of course, a ship. It wasn't until we got home that we figured out what she was talking about.

You see, on Extreme Home Makeover, they often send the families to Disney World. Then, when the family comes home, there is a bus and Ty waiting in front of the house. The family goes in, and many of the kids have a Pirate Room waiting for them! Angela figured since we were at Disney, and the whole Make A Wish thing is a big deal like EHMO, and since she WANTED a pirate room, that must be what was waiting for her at home.

When we arrived home after a week in sunny Orlando, Angela RAN to her room, threw open the door, and stood there speechless. There was her old bed. The same bedding. The same walls. The same drawings taped to the walls. No pirates. No ships wheel. No port hole. No ships mast. Just her old room.

I was heartbroken for her. Her shoulders drooped, and a tear ran down her face. There was no way to protect her from this disappointment. She would just have to get over it. That's life kid, you just don't get what you want. It doesn't just appear like it does on EHMO.

Only she didn't get over it. She has spent A YEAR asking for a pirate room. I've tried to talk her into all kinds of different themes. Themes that are much easier to work with. Girly themes with flowers or dots. Even (gulp) High School Musical. But if you know Angela, she is anything but a girly girl. (she's so much like I was at that age! I HATED my pink room! LOL) She is all boy. Must come from having 4 big brothers. LOL

So I've promised her a pirate room, only I have no idea how to do this really. I have a new friend who is pretty smart about pirates and the "must have's" for a pirate room. Now, if I could just figure out her bed! If I had the choice, I'd spend the buku bucks and buy her one of the pirate beds I've found online. But Angela sleeps in a hospital bed, which is tricky to incorporate. I'm thinking just a ship-looking headboard and footboard would work, but have no idea how to do it.

While most 13 year olds outgrow their phases pretty quickly, Angela isn't a typical tween, and will be in the phase for a long time. Who knows? All I know is she wants a pirate room REeeeeeaaaaalllltyyyy bad! LOL

So if anyone reading is into constructing things, can you think of a way to design a pirate ship-like bed out of a full-size hospital bed?

Tonight we're going to let her watch "Pirates of the Caribbean" for the first time. I'm hoping she'll get over her pirate obsession by watching it. With my luck, it'll make the obsession worse. LOL

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Breakfast


Doesn't every kid drink their breakfast? Angela has been really tough to get breakfast into lately, and even tougher to get fruit into! So, now we're making smoothies. They consist of Pediasure, (which is a complete meal by itself, and what tube-fed kids get for their meals, and what Angela got for several years while on her tube) with fresh fruit blended in. This morning was Chocolate w/banana blended in. Other flavors I whip up are Vanilla pediasure with strawberry/banana/orange. Or pineapple/orange/banana/, or strawberry with fresh strawberries in it. This way I can get 2, sometimes 3 servings of fruit into her, which is 2 or 3 more than she was getting before! LOL You could also use "Ensure", which is the adult version of pediasure, BUT, you can get it with fiber! I sometimes use it when Angela needs a little extra for her "digestive health".

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Swim meet

Angela had her first swim meet today. Actually, it was a "mock meet" to prepare for the upcoming state meets, but a race is a race man! She did GREAT! A far cry from "the rock" she was just 18 months ago!

She was pretty nervous! Here she is, waiting for her race. Notice the swimmer shoulders this kid has!




First, the 25 meter Backstroke. Her first race of the day, look how nervous she looks before the whistle! I have to tell you, this is the FIRST TIME she's swam the backstroke without stopping to see where she is. I was so excited! She ended up turing around about 5 feet from the end. LOL



Next came the 25 meter Freestyle. Angela is just learning rythmic breathing, so sometimes it's hard to put it all together. Today she didn't remember, so just swam with her face out of the water. You can tell when she remembers, because all of a sudden she throws her face in the water. LOL



Next comes the 15 Meter Freestyle. Notice she's throwing her face in the water once in awhile. Very cute. I'll miss watching this stage when she finally gets it all put together!


Her last race was the 100 Meter Relay, however there are other athletes in the relay and I haven't gotten permission to post the video online. (note* If anyone has an email address for Kiera's mom, or Joe's mom, have them email me!)

A video you HAVE to watch!

A new hero on MN. Very uplifting, but you'll need a tissue! (note* I've replaced the video with a link to it instead. The video was set to "auto-play" so the sound was interfering with other things on my blog. Anyway, here's the link, please go watch!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Stolen from Renee's blog, who stole it from Michael's blog. I don't know who Michael is, but I might read his blog now, since he posted this hilarious video!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Keep your eyes on the pri...I mean road!

So, in an effort to keep my mind busy while Angela is on her ski trip today, I decided to go to the "Y". You know, that place that I've been paying a monthly membership for an entire year now, and that I've only used a handful of times since June but am determined to start using it again! Yeah, that place.

Walking the track was a good activity for me today so that's why I chose to do. The track is upstairs, and overlooks the swimming pools and basketball courts. Today there were groups of men playing basketball on each of the courts. Most of them appeared to be late 30's to early 40's. All of them like me, a little out of shape but trying like heck to defeat the aging process. They were playing HARD.

But there was one guy, maybe in his mid 20's who was F-I-N-E. Oh my gosh, I haven't seen anything like THAT in a long time! You know the kind, but like a you-know-what, nearly hairless chest, but that one hair line.....

Now, in my defense, the following situation happened near the end of my walk. I was at about the 3 1/2 mile mark at this point, so my legs were a little numbish, and I was hungry with my blood sugar getting low making me kind of foggy. Anyway, I came around to where the basketball courts are, and there's this young man, only this time he's pulling his shorts away from his belly to tuck the drawstring in.

BAM!!! Down I went.

That seemed like a really good time to end my walk.

Wrestling

A couple weeks ago we  made the mistake of taking Angela to one of her cousin Connor's wrestling meets. If you know Angela, you know why this was a mistake! Anyway, now she wants to be a wrestler.

She was very quick to nab Connor's wrestling gear!






You're Under Arrested

Angela's favorite game is "Cops". She'll frequently come up to one of us and say, "Mom! Hands ahind your back! You're under arrested!" Then she'll move behind you and pretend to tie  your hands together, or....if she's having a really good day (and you're not!) she'll have her toy handcuffs with her that are actually tough to get off behind your back!

So yesterday afternoon I'm waiting for her to get home so we can get out the door for our afternoon activities. Instead the phone rang. Whenever I see the district phone number on the caller ID I answer with, "Do I really want to talk to you today?" Yesterday her teacher said, "Angela came back from lunch with imaginary handcuffs on, saying she was under arrested, and is now refusing to move, saying she's in jail. The bus has been waiting and I need to let it go. Can you come get her?"

This is such a classic "Angela" thing, how could I not laugh? My only concern was that going to get her would backfire, and she'd repeat the performance today, or someday soon. I told her teacher if it happens again to go along with it. Just tell her something like, "Yeah, well the jail is on the bus, and it's going to leave without you! C'mon, lets go talk to the cops who are waiting on the jail bus!"

Angela is very good at d.r.a.g.g.i.n.g  us into her pretend world!

I take it back. I TAKE IT BACK!

Yesterday I made a HUGE mistake! 

Years ago, when my boys were little, I learned that giving into "Just one more time Mom!" is wrong. Never do it! Here's an example: When you've got your kids at the BMX track, and it's time to go, the kids will beg for "One more time Mom!" DO not GIVE IN! If you do, there is sure to be an accident of some sort, usually involving stitches or broken bones.

The day before school starts in the fall, DO NOT SAY STUPID THINGS like, "Well, we made it through the whole summer without anyone needing stitches or anything!" When you say stupid things, stupid things happen! When I made the mistake of saying that the day before school started, Tyler crashed on his bike, with his helmet on, and wound up with 90 stitches in his face!

When you're on a motorcycle, riding a twisty turny road at high speed, you will eventually come to the end. That's when the guy you're riding behind says, "Lets take it one more time then head home." Get off the bike!!! I repeat, GET OFF THE BIKE! You'll be glad you did, because that guy is going to go down, and you'll be the one to to help him up, and be a shoulder to cry on when his bike is destroyed but he is whole.

A year ago, Dean and I were talking about raising kids, kid injuries, and stuff like that. I said a dumb thing. I said, "Yeah, for all the stitches my kids had, nobody has ever had a broken bone." The very next day I shattered my wrist. 

So last night I was talking to a friend of mine, and we were discussing kid injuries. Before I even realized what was coming out of my mouth I said it. I said the really dumb thing. I said, "Yeah, Angela has never needed stitches, or broken a bone or anything."

Today she's on a field trip DOWNHILL SKIING! What was I THINKING? Now if I'd said that a week ago when she wasn't doing anything potentially dangerous, it would be no big deal. But no, I said it when she's going to be on SKIIS!!!!

Ok, so God, I am not claiming this for my kid. Nope, I will not have it. You have her out on a fun day with the entire 6th grade class, and she's going to have FUN and I am not going to worry about what I said!!!!

As I dressed her for skiing today I prayed over her. As I put her scarf on, (cuz it's really cold here today, only 3 degrees) I told her, "Tell your teacher NO TYING the scarf! Just fold it and drape it over your shoulders. NO TYING it!" (because scarves can get caught in chair lifts and stuff.)

I'm thinking a trip to the Y is in order to keep me busy today.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Buyer Beware: Look at the leaves

So I called the Beistle Company (who markets the Hula skirt) in PA, and talked to a guy named Jim. 

"Hi Jim, I'm calling from MN about a particular product I bought in a party store. It's the "Tropical Fern Leaf Hula Skirt" 

Jim (chuckling)" Yes, we've looked at that product before." 

me (not chuckling): So then you know it's not a 'fern leaf' pattern?" I then told him the story. 

Jim (more chuckling): The first time I took it out of the package I knew what it was." 

Me (now feeling a tiny bit insulted) "Well, it's not that I didn't KNOW what it was, it was that I didn't feel the need to inspect the leaves. 1) because it's just a hula skirt and 2) because it didn't even occur to me and 3) there is nothing on the packaging that says this might not be something for kids." 

Jim: Well, all our products are marketed to adults, not children. 

me: Well I'm looking at the package right now, and there is NOTHING on it about it being for adults. Also, I bought it in the general "tropical" section of a party supply store, and it was hanging right next to the raffia grass skirts.  It wasn't hanging next to bongs, or pipes, or other paraphenalia.There is nothing to indicate this would not be suitable for kids. In fact, it says, "FERN leaf" on it.

Jim: Well, I wouldn't send my kid to school in it! 

Me: Right, neither would I, if I'd known I was buying a skirt of pot leaves! Now, had the packaging been labeled differently, I wouldn't have bought the thing. If it had been labeled "not suitable for children under 18", or "Maie with silk marijuana leaves" or something I wouldn't have bought it. 

Jim: Well, but it's not even sized for a child. 

Me: My child is 12, and small for her age, and it was almost too small in the waist for her! What adults ARE you sizing it for? Besides "adult" has to do with age, not size. 

Jim: I'll talk to management about it. (I'm thinking he didn't.) 

Ok, so clearly Jim thinks I'm an idiot. Clearly it's my fault for not inspecting the leaves of the hula skirt I bought my kid for Hawaiian day. Note to self, always look for pot leaves before dressing your child.

My next call is the Party City Corporate offices. Now, I DO think this whole thing is funny. And I'm glad I had school staff who were just as humored, but some other kid might not be so lucky when they wear this thing to school!
_________________

While we were...

Both of the children pictured below were listed on Reece's Rainbow adoption website. So many children have found their way into homes this year, but so many more face the same fate as these two little girls. Sitting in an orphanage exposed to the flu, without the love and health that comes with a family they didn't have a chance.

Written by Meredith
While we were...let's not forget...

While we were eating...
... they were hungry

While we were playing...
... they were restrained

While we were tucking our kids into bed...
... they were alone

While we turned up the heat...
... they laid in the icy cold

While we wrapped our children in blanket sleepers...
... they laid in their own excrements

While we sang songs and listened to music...
... they listened to the screams and cries of those around them

While we rocked our babies...
... they silently rocked themselves

While we hugged our kids...
... they scratched at their own faces and pulled their own hair for stimulation

While we cried over scraped knees...
... they moaned in their loneliness

While we brushed our daughters' beautiful hair...
... they had their heads shaven to stave off the lice

While we fought off the flu with love and nourishment...
... they got the flu and went Home.

No longer suffering... but so many more still are.

In memory of those that have never felt the love of a family, but have passed away alone. Today we learned of the passing of these two girls in Eastern Europe.

                                                                          Margarita
  Katarina

Exposing Europe's Guilty Secret

How do we make this stop? What can *I* do to help it to stop????

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Excessive permissiveness: What do you let YOUR child wear to school?

This week at Angela's school is spirit week. Monday was "Pajama Day" and she was thrilled to death to wear her new High School Musical pj's. 

Tuesday was twin day, but she didn't think that concept was so funny.

Weds was "Wacky Hair Day", which she had a BLAST with. 

Today was "Hawaiian Day", so yesterday after school I took her to a Party City to find Hawaiian stuff to wear. 

She found flowered bracelets and hair clips, but was FASCINATED by the grass skirts. There were two types available, one grass, and the other strands of silk leaves. She chose the one made with silk leaves. 


This morning we put all the hawaiian garb in her bag, with instructions that she was only to put it on once she got to school. In the midst of packing, some of the strands of leaves fell off, which I set them on the table to throw away later.

Only the dogs go to them first, which I realized when there were silk leaves all over the living room. As I picked them up quick before the puppy ate any, I suddenly had a flash of recognition. These were not just any old leaf shape. No, these were way better. Do you recognize the shape?


So, what does one do with THIS information? I called her teacher, "Ummm Did Angela get to wear her hawaiian skirt today?" 

"Oh yeah, she has it on now. She's been hula dancing all day!"

"Well...umm...if she's lost any pieces, you might want to put them in a brown paper bag or something."

"Why? Do you need them back?"

"Umm...no...but...ummm...you might want to go take a close look at the leaves."

She set the phone down, and seconds later I  heard hysterical laughter. 

So there ya have it folks. I sent my kid to school wearing a skirt made of marijuana leaves. First the bike, now this. I really AM the coolest mom in school!!!


Pride in my husband

My previous post was about finding out that Dean was proud of me for accomplishing something. I think it only fair that I also tell you how proud I am of him!

A year ago, Dean needed some major dental work done, except that the oral surgeon wouldn't tough him until he brought his blood pressure down. So he went to the doctor who basically told him he's a walking heart attack! A smoker, and overweight, without any exercise, it was only a matter of time. 

And so he decided to make some changes! While on our Make A Wish trip last year, he quit smoking. Yes, yesterday was 1 year since he's had a cigarette! He went from 2 packs a day to nothing. He did use Chantix for one month. I'm so proud of him. I know how difficult that was for him. There are days when he says, "Man, I really want a cigarette right now!" and he will always have those days. But he gets through them, because he's a strong man. I know he's way stronger than me, because I could never do it!

The smoking done, blood pressure coming down, he entered the surgical suite to have $10K worth of much needed dental work done. If there are any teenagers reading who smoke, just know it DOES eventually destroy your teeth! There will come a day when the dentist tells you, "Sorry, we can't save any of them."

Quit smoking: Check
New Smile: Check

Starting to feel like a new person,  in August he decided he needed to loose weight. I think it happened when we went on our motorcycle trip together, and he couldn't zip his leather riding jacket! He signed up for Jenny Craig, and so far he's lost 30 pounds!!! (I've been on JC for 13 months and only lost 15, but that is all my fault.) He wears a pedometer every day, and does his best to get his 10,000 steps in.

All these changes made in one year, many of them things that others struggle with individually. I'm so proud of him! 

A Compliment from my husband

Last year, as I was customizing my sidecar, Dean was giving me a really hard time about it. Something about money.  Honestly, ever step in the process I wanted to keep secret from him (bad, I know this is bad) because I knew he was going to harass me about it. But, it's kind of hard to keep a 6 ft 150 pound WHITE tub that is a sidecar part secret now, isn't it? 

Then yesterday, Dean was telling me what he REALLY thought of all I'd done. He said he was PROUD of me! 

PROUD?

One of his customers was telling him that he bought a bike via ebay. He flew out to wherever he was purchasing it from, and rode it home. As soon as he got it home (after a couple thousand miles) everything started going on it, and it was junk. $6,000 worth of junk.

Dean told him, "You know, I have to give my wife credit. She took on this big project with her bike. She wanted a sidecar, but really knew nothing about it. She researched the heck out of the subject, and got hooked up with other sidecar enthusiasts. She found a sidecar for sale in Ohio for really cheap, and arranged for someone else who just happened to be going out for a sidecar rally to bring it back for her free of charge!  She wanted it to match her bike, but I told her not to waste all that money painting it, just in case she didn't like riding with it. Well, she found herself a custom body guy and had it painted just the way she wanted. Then she found someone to mount it, and they did a great job. Now she has a bike that everyone drools over, which I think is also exactly what she wanted. I'm very proud of my wife. Not many women would have gone to the lengths she did, gotten what she wanted, AND did so without getting burned by anyone."

I was shocked when he told me about this. "Ummm Dean, you gave me nothing but a hard time while I was doing this!"

"I know. It was because I was worried that somewhere along the way you were going to get screwed by someone, and I didn't want to see that happen. It didn't happen though, and I'm proud of you for getting all that done yourself. None of my friends' wives would have even attempted it, especially considering this will only be your 3rd full season riding. And now, you have a beautiful bike to show for it. "

Wasn't that sweet? I had no idea he felt the way he did. I wonder if he'll be as proud of me when he sees my new GPS on my bike?


oh oh oh I can hardly stand it!

I have spring fever SO BAD! What is adding to my feverish state is the fact that this weekend is the Bike show (like the " camping/rv show", and the "sportsman show", and the "lawn and garden show".)  

This week, with the help of my handy dandy tax return (I know, I know, one should NOT use Uncle Sam as a saving's plan) I've been getting stuff for the upcoming ride season. 

Ebay and craigslist love me.

You see, I have a big trip coming up. Originally I was supposed to be going to TN in April, but then a better offer came up. In August is the National Women's Motorcycle Rally in Keystone Colorado, and I'M GOING! Oh, it's going to be so much fun!

But I need STUFF for that trip! Like, I really *need* a GPS for my bike, so I got this one. A TomTom Rider 2nd edition. It comes with mounting hardware for my bike, and it can also be easily moved to the car for use there. I will never get lost again, right?



I realize people have been riding for years without the use of a GPS. They just pull over and look at a map, simple enough. However, some of you may remember what happened to me a couple of times last summer. Dean and I (and sometimes a big group of us) would go for rides through the river valley. A beautiful area to ride! But, there were days when I had time alone when I really wanted to ride, but I just don't know that area well. 

One Saturday Dean wanted to lay around, but I could see that one of our last good riding days of the season was going to be wasted, so I set out alone. About 2 hours later I called him, "How do I get home from here?" "Well, that depends upon what town you're in." I looked around for a person, "Um, excuse me, can you tell me what town I'm in?"

Do you see why I need this thing?

With the GPS, the map is right in front of you, so no need to pull over. But, even better than that, using bluetooth technology, you can have a little voice right inside inside your helmet (If I wear one) and Iyou can hear it talking to you, telling you that my turn is coming up. You can even choose the voice! My friend named her GPS voice "Prudence". I'll have to think of something similarly clever for mine. Any suggestions?

The FedEx website says my new toy is on the truck to be delivered today, but it has to be signed for, so don't ask me to meet for coffee or anything cuz I'm not going ANYWHERE!

Then there is the issue of luggage. Last summer when I went on my Epic journey with Tink and Scharlotte, those two ladies had some really nice luggage on their bikes. I don't mean as in "super expensive designer stuff". (well, ok, it WAS expensive.) I mean "Super waterproof and utilizes space well" kind of nice. Note the emphasis on waterproof! Last summer I wrecked my camera that had been neatly tucked away AND inside plastic! 

I really want the bag that Tink has, only Dean says I'm nuts to spend that much. So I've been looking around at others, and all the others really require a passenger backrest. (oh darn, something more to buy for my bike.) Which is why I also bought this on Ebay this week:

The backrest arrived yesterday, and has been sitting on the kitchen table looking just like it does in the picture, so I can drool on it. This morning after Dean and Angela left, while still wearing my cow and moon pajamas, I slipped on my boots and took it out to the garage. There I held it up next to my bike, and where it would be mounted. You know, to see how it would look and stuff. Then I came back in the house, and looked at the snow outside. BLECH!

This weekend, when we go to the bike show, (oh, I can hardly type that without butterflies in my tummy! It's almost as good as Disney World!) I'll be on the hunt for a good deal on bike luggage. I know what I'm looking for, I just have to find it. However, I will be honest, if I don't find what I want, I'll buy that expensive one just like Tink has because...well...I want it. 


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

One year ago today

One year ago today, thanks to Make A Wish of Minnesota, we boarded a plane for the most memorable event of our lives. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Right of passage



Choosing which studs she wants. She chose pretty sparkly flowers.


The last shot of her virgin ears. She has the tiniest lobes EVER! There's nothing to them!


Hair all pinned back, she's a little nervous!


Ready? 1....2.....3!!!! And, neither of us cried! LOL


Oooh, look at her pretty sparkly ears!

She's very proud of her new look!

We are changing dog food...AGAIN!

O..M...G! 

We change dog foods about every 6 months or so, depending upon what we happen to be feeding. Our last switch was because we were feeding Canidae, but the company changed one of their main ingredients to something not "optimal". In fact, it eliminated them from the top 10 dog foods.

So we changed to "Precise". Three different foods for the different needs of our dogs. 

Rubee, who has been slightly overweight since her spay last year, was getting the senior formula and has lost weight nicely. 

Dudley, being fed TWICE the recommended amount of the "high performance" forumula, has gained weight nicely. Although he's gaining we have noticed a lot of staining on his beard, which comes from the foods.

Zurri and Roman are on the adult "maintenance" formula. Roman is doing great.

 Zurri, on the other hand, has put on a couple more pounds than I would like. She has also developed a HORRIBLE personal problem! Zurri is a standard poodle, and their systems are on the sensitive side. Zurri is always the first one to react to a food. First we noticed the excessive licking of her paws. In dogs this is an indicator of an allergy, usually to food. Then, about a week ago, Dean and I were sitting on the couch, when first I, then he was hit by a HORRIBLE odor. "GOOD GOD!" I hollered at Dean. "Go to the bathroom already!"

He looked at me with that blank look guys give you. "What? I didn't do anything." 

We looked down to see Zurri laying right below him on the floor. Then we heard it. An almost whispered "ffffffffffffffffffffftttttt" sound, coming from the dog. 

OH GOD!!!!!!! Something crawled in her and DIED!!!!

Some nights this problem has been worse than others. Tonight, however, I'm hearing that awful noise about every 3 minutes, and Dean and I are on the couch with our shirts over our face. The dog is now downstairs and does NOT get to sleep in her usual place in our room. No way man!!!!!

So, time to change foods!!!


I passed the test!

WHOO HOO! I passed the test! My final score was 159, (I needed a 150). Then they go by my previous GPA (from 22 years ago!) which is 3.8, to put me in the running to get into the program. My admissions counselor said I'll be notified the first week of April.

So, let the waiting begin!

Cremnophobia

Cremnophobia is the fear of ice. I have that now. 

Yeah, I developed it last year when I shattered my wrist on a day just like today! We had a sudden warm spell yesterday, causing melting everywhere. The 2 feet of snow on our roof melts, and drains down onto our front sidewalk. (need gutters much? LOL) Then at night when the temperature drops everything freezes again, creating a skating rink.

I intended to salt the driveway last night before I went to bed, but I realized it was useless. Most of the salt would get washed away by morning.

So this morning I GOT DRESSED before going outside (no more "naked in my robe" excursions for me.) to go out before Angela and check the ice factor. Bag of salt in hand, I stuck a toe out in front of me, checking the surface for any hint of being slippery. Nope, just wet! But, I could see further down the driveway where Angela would need to walk that it was melting ice, which means quite slippery.

That's too much driveway for the little bag of salt I had, so I decided to just walk her down to make sure she didn't slip and fall. There were definitely some dangerous patches! By the time she comes home from school today what was ice at the bottom of the hill should just be water. However, tomorrow I'll have to do this all over again!

TESTING TESTING

UGH! I have to take THAT TEST again today at noon.

Did I study? NOPE! And I know you're asking why. 

Well, to be honest, the math is just over my head! I decided I'm just going to aim for 100 on the reading/writing, and not worry about the math. If I worry about the math it's very possible I'll do WORSE than I did the first time. Today I'll get to find out the results right away when I meet with the admissions guy. If I don't pass this time, I don't know that I'll take it a 3rd. I think my self-confidence will be shot by then.

Just a few pictures

Little Otis, 9 weeks old. He is the cutest puppy EVER! (and the easiest puppy I've ever house trained, and there have been a few!



Beautiful Angela. Nuff said!


Dean with a lap-full of dogs!


Watching the Superbowl Commercials! ROFL






Just cuz

I just LOVE to watch kids sing!

Monday, February 09, 2009

The Palate Expander





The one they showed me looked just like this one.

See that TEENY TINY HOLE in the middle of it? That's where the key goes. I don't know that I can even get her mouth OPEN that far! LOL

See where the brackets go around the teeth? That's where they have to put rubber spacers in to make ROOM for the things to even GET around her teeth. I can't remember...those stay in for 1, 2 or 6 weeks. I've totally forgotten already. LOL

The key goes into that hole in the middle (which involves having her lay with her head on my lap, mouth open so I can get in there, and you turn it. Millions of kids do this every day, so it's not unusual. But new to us so a pain in the neck. There is NO WAY her dad will EVER do this, so that will slow the process down a bit.

Angela's mouth is SO TINY! They showed me her impressions, then the impressions of an average child her age. OMG! Her mouth was about half the size! And her teeth are all just crowded in there. We still don't know what we're going to do with the area that has no permanent teeth. So far the baby teeth are good and solid, but that could change as we expand her palate and there's more room for them to move. (cuz it's so crowded in there.) Some orthos will go straight to implants, then do the implant with the braces in place. Others prefer to leave the baby teeth as long as they'll stay, and allow them to keep the space open. Ours prefers the later. Why remove something now if that space will eventually be needed? Implants can't be moved, so let the baby teeth move around. It's possible they'll loosen with the braces. So, we're just going to kind of wait and see what they do. She said most likely at some point over the next couple of years she'll need to have implants put in. If it was just one tooth they wouldn't need to, but it's several teeth right next to each other, and above/below each other, and with nothing there the bone will collapse after a few years. Yeah, they said her articulation would go downhill big time (just what she needs.) but thankfully it's only for about 3 months.

Did you watch it?

So how many people watched the interview who said they were going to boycott it? NOT ME! 

How will you finish?

Even if you've NEVER watched a video on my blog, please watch this one. You'll be glad you did.



I am T-I-R-E-D

First, I sat up until 2:00 a.m doing absolutely nothing productive, except monitoring Angela who was VERY awake and talking all-night-long! So, I really had no sleep.

Then I took her to the orthodontist to go over Angela's care plan, and here it is:

March 3rd she goes into the dentist for a regularly scheduled cleaning, which works great since her last 2 teeth to come in can grow in the rest of the way. They're *almost* done. They're in, just have to come up further.

The following week we'll go in so they can put spacers between her teeth.

The week after that we'll go back to have the palate expander put on. This has to be cranked on once a day for a couple of months to widen her palate. This should prove to be interesting!

Once the weekly cranking is done, they will solidify the expander and leave it for a month so the new bone can firm up. 

When it's time for that to come off she'll get a different kind of thingy tthat looks regainer-is, but I don't remember how long that stays on. Once it's time for that tome come off, she'll  get her braces on. 

What a long process. They did warn me about swallowing difficulties with the expander in place. Lovely, Angela already has a compromised swallow, so I'm sure this will help just a ton! (was that dripping with sarcasm like I intended?)  We'll have to watch her really close for aspiration. Lovely!

That done she and I headed over to the Mall of America to get a one year pass for the park. This allows her PCA's to take her and, while it's expensive now, it will ultimately save me money, as they take her there a lot! I also need passes for the Children's Museum, the Minnesota Zoo, Underwater world, and Cascade Bay which is a waterpark near us. Her PCA's should have no trouble keeping her busy this summer!

So that's my day so far. The behavior specialist is due here in 1/2 hr. I don't know if I can keep my eyes open till she gets here. If I allow them to close I may never wake up! Then I have a PCA coming while I leave to take Roman to dog school. I'm thinking it would be a good night to call in sick for EVERYTHING and just go to bed early!

One year ago today

One year ago today Angela were in a spa (her first ever spa experience.) Getting beautified for her Make A Wish trip!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

What kind if kid were you?

This was both right and wrong. Anything it says about excelling in school, etc is WAY OFF BASE! Seriously, I don't know how I graduated from high school. It didn't have anything to do with my ability, but in my interest. I just hated school, it required too much energy and ambition, something i didn't have a lot of.
I had lots of friends, with two that were really close. None of my friends were "serious", and were all pretty out-going. I was extremely shy though, and would use my friends to get me through new social situations where I didn't feel comfortable.


You Were an Achieving Kid
When you were a kid, people often remarked on how mature you seemed. You acted quite adult.
You excelled at school, and you actually enjoyed it to a large extent. No one had to ask you to do your homework.

As a kid, you were probably a bit picky. You liked structure, schedules, and organization.
You had trouble being friends with regular kids. You probably were only friends with other serious children.

Friday, February 06, 2009

I'm boycotting Octuplet mom

So, she did it. She finally did an interview with Ann Currey, which will be broadcast on February 9th.  I'm sorry, but I just cannot support this woman. Not only is she nuts, but what the heck was the doctor who treated her thinking? And the other day she made a statement that she wants something like $2 million dolllars for a book deal and she wants a parenting show (something along the lines of "Supernanny".) What, because her oldest child is 7 she has tons of experience? I DON'T THINK SO! 
She says in the interview she was on disability because of a back injury that happened at work. (she was injured while working in a psychiatric unit.) But right after that is not only pregnant, but pregnant with EIGHT? She can't work, but she can carry EIGHT babies?

She's single an unemployed. Who do you suppose is paying for all those kids? The state of California is having enough problems paying for illegal aliens, I'm sure there are a few people ticked off about this one. Gee...to be 33, single with FOURTEEN kids, and living with Mom and Dad. What a wonderful role model for her kids! I just feel bad for the 14 innnocent victims! 

So, I'm boycotting watching the interview. How much did the Today show pay her for it? I think they need to loose ratings on this one. Anyone else care to join me?
\

Q & A time

 Ok, it question and answer time, so ask away!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Stitches

Don't worry, nobody here is getting stitches. I'm just trying to occupy my time while Angela is at the dance! LOL 

Earlier today my friend Bethany posted about an incident in their house last night, which reminded me about our experiences, so I thought I might as well blog about it! LOL

Lets go back to the time Noah amputated his finger. 

I was a very young (20) new mom, and about 4 months pregnant with #2. We were out at my sister's house in a rural area. Our toddlers were all playing in another room, but within our sight, when Noah started crying. It wasn't a "scream", but crying like he might be hurt.

I went to see what was wrong, and he was holding up his hand. I didn't even really look, just ran with him to grab a paper towel. By this time Noah WAS screaming. I lifted the paper towel to look at his hand and just about passed out. "OH MY GOD HE CUT IT OOOOOFFFF!"

"He cut WHAT off?" everyone yelled.

"He cut is finger OFF!!! OMG HE CUT IT OFFFFFF". By the time those words were out of my mouth, my sister, her husband, my husband Noah and I were already in the car. Except that a football game had just ended across the street and we couldn't even get onto the road. We were all arguing about what to do, while I was hyperventilating. Noah, on the other hand, was shocky and silent.

We got to the RURAL hospital, and because he was in shock Noah was brought back right away. Somewhere in there my sister called my mom to tell her what was going on. My mom was an hour away from where we were, and she was already in bed for the night. When I got on the phone she asked me, "Do you want me to come down there?" I looked around at all the people I had there with me already, and felt silly when I said "Well...I really want my MOM here, but..umm...I guess you don't really NEED to come."

Soon after, the doctor came out with Noah's xray. The growth plate was damaged, and he was going to need surgery to re-attach the tip of the finger. We were sent on to another hospital in the cities to meet a hand surgeon, so that the nerve endings could be saved. So, at 2:00 a.m. Noah was strapped into a papoose, given some anesthetic, and had his finger re-attached. He came out with a big 'ole turkey leg bandage on his hand, but by the next day you never would have known anything had happened to him. Noah, as a 21 year old adult, the finger nail still grows crooked, and he can't feel the tip, but other than that his finger functions fine.

And then there was the day Tyler got 90...yes NINETY stitches in his head. But I have to leave to pick up Angela now, so I'll post about that one later. ;-)






She's at the dance

Angela is at the dance, and she very politely put her hand up in a "talk to the hand" manner, and said, "Ok mom. You drop me off. I go to the dance. See ya later!" and took off running for the school gym.

I did go watch from the windows into the gym...just for a minute... and she was slapping her rear end as she danced. LOVELY!!!! 

I have to add though, that I was thrilled to death to see all the girls who came up to her individually and said hello, giving her one of those tween girl squeely hugs. What thrilled me was that they went up to HER to say hello. She gave a hug back, and said a nice hello, but I could see her eyes on the pizza line! 

Product Review: Acne Free


Years ago, when Proactive first came out, I wanted to try it for my son who was really having a hard time with Acne. At the time, Proactive cost $30, which was a lot of money for us back then. I was  new to the internet, and didn't feel safe buying anything online. At the same time, my skin was breaking out more than it did when I was 15! I always wanted to try Proactive on myself, but just never got around to doing it. 

Then last June I was in Walgreens, and saw Acne Free, and decided to give it a try. It comes with three bottles: Purifying Cleanser, Renewing Toner, and Repair Lotion.

Step 1: Wash face with Purifying Cleanser, and rinse well.
Step 2: Apply renewing toner, and allow to dry air dry.
Step 3: Apply Repair Lotion. (this can stay on under your make-up.)

At first I was a little worried. I started using it while on my Epic Journey, so I wasn't sure if my extremely dry and peeling skin was from windburn, or from the Acne Free, but it does say that your skin will be extremely dry for the first several days using the product. 

By the end of my 7 day trip, my face was not only completely clear, but the texture was starting to change as well! Three months later, Dean laid his hand on my face and commented how smooth my skin is lately. 

People, this stuff WORKS! 

Since I've started using it, there have been a couple of times when I've gone out of town and it at home. By the time I got home the difference in my skin was very noticeable! It's now become one of my "don't leave home without it" items. 

I do NOT know how it compares to Proactive. The one thing I do know is while staying overnight at my sister-in-law's I once used her proactive cleanser. (equivalent to my purifying cleanser.) Hers had a lot more exfoliating particles in it than mine has. Since then I've noticed that with Acne Free, how much exfoliating product is in the cleanser is VERY inconsistent. But, it still works well!

About 3 months ago I ran out of the toner, but still had a lot of the other products left so I didn't buy more. Within days I noticed another improvement in my skin! Hmmmmmm When it came time for me to buy another kit, I tried the toner again and my skin started breaking out that night, worse than it had in months. I no longer use the toner at all, and my skin is perfectly clear. Occasionally I get ONE blemish on my chin, but this is far better than what I used to have. When I do get a blemish, I put a dab of repair lotion on it and it'll clear up right away. (unfortunately I can't leave anything alone and tend to pick at things, making the problem worse. ) The large pores that used to be visible on my nose have all shrunk down to being invisible again. 

I will stay with this product for a VERY long time! The only thing I would suggest is if the company would sell the bottles individually. While the kit is supposed to be a 30 day supply, it takes me about 3 months go to through the cleanser, but only about 2 months to go through the repair lotion (it's a MUCH smaller bottle!) and I don't use the toner at all and get a little crabby that I have to buy it in order to get the other stuff.

So, to recap: AWESOME product for a low price, but packaging needs to change! (edited to add: After posting this, I found that you CAN buy the bottles individually online on the site linked above. YAY!) 




How do I become a fly?

Tonight is a first for Angela. The 6th grade dance! She's had "dances" at her elementary school, but parents were required to stay. They were more like a lot of silly kids jumping around and being...well...silly! (and Nate, if you're reading, you'll find I always use elipses inappropriately!)

But this is a REAL dance. Where you drop the kid off, and pick them up two hours later. She is going to have a BLAST, but I'm a little sad about the fact I won't get to see her having it. I'm thinking of sending her camera with her, but then she'll be busy taking pictures and not participating. One of her teachers will be there, maybe I can send the camera with her, and she'd take pictures for me? 

Oh, how I want to be a fly on the wall tonight! 

Tis the season for snot!

*Gross post alert!*

On Friday morning last week, Angela, who had gone to bed appearing 100% healthy, woke up quite stuffed up. Then she spent the weekend at her dads. 

Monday morning she woke up with snot plastered over her entire face, and all of her hair stuck in it as well. I told her, "Ohh you'll have to take a shower to get that off!" It was one of the very few times she willingly got into the shower. LOL She RAN to the bathroom yelling, "I have to get this snot offa my face! Eeeewwwww".

By Monday night the snot was green. I'm so very lucky that our pediatrician trusts my diagnosing abilities, and was willing to call in a prescription for her. While she's not yet 100%, at least she's not oozing snot anymore, which is a good thing since there's a school dance tonight!


Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Speaking of the test

Thanks for the reminder Alyssa!

Well, here's what happened. I needed 150 to get in, and I scored 149. Can you believe it? I scored 89% on the writing portion, but only a 48 on the math. The math score is no surprise to me really. 

I called my admissions contact and he said there was another guy who tested the same day, and got the exact same score. (hmmm was he sitting next to me?) He came back the very next day and re-tested, and scored a 179. It would sure be nice if I could do the same thing! Even if I get a couple more of the writing questions right, I'd be eligible. But, remember only the top 20 scores of those who want to get into this program are accepted, so the higher my score the better. 

I'll be retaking the test on Tuesday of next week. Of course, right after I took the test I cleaned my office, and threw away the practice test. So, I'll need to get a new copy of that, and find someone who has time to teach me AGAIN how to do the math! I'm thinking it should be Monday night, right before I go test! 

Meet Otis


Isn't he a doll baby? (and no, this has nothing to do with my previous post.)


Something I know that you don't

I know something that I'm not supposed to tell yet, but it's going to drive me CRAZY! I promised Dean I wouldn't tell yet. Not anyone. Not. Even. One. Person. Not. Even. My. Siste. I figure if I drop little hints, it's not REALLY like telling, right? I mean if someone GUESSES what I know, I can't help that now, can I? 

Monday, February 02, 2009

How does this make sense?

The movie "Twilight" was a huge hit, and the sequel is much anticipated by millions. But it strikes me funny how the casting for the sequel was done. You see, they needed "Native American" actors, but the casting call was held in Vancouver, CANADA. Ummmm is "America" the same as "Canada"? Or were they thinking "North America" as in the continent? I guess it doesn't really matter, as they received more submissions than they will ever be able to get through, but still...this made on sense to me! But, then again, that's just me.

That said, who saw the movie? From those who've seen it, I've heard nothing but great things about it. I chose NOT to see it, because I don't agree with some of the things, not so much in the first book, but particularly in the 3rd. I don't mind it FOR ME, because I'm an adult, but I don't know that I'd want me tween reading the 3rd book! 

If you could choose

If you could wake up tomorrow with a new talent, what would you want it to be? 

I would want to be able to be an artist of some type. I wish I could draw or paint something that would truly move people. Something that would make people ask, "Did YOU paint THAT?" 

I also wish I could cook. It's another talent I was born without. LOL So, what would YOU choose?