Thursday, October 30, 2008

21 Things about Sarah

I'm taking a cue from a few of the blogs that I read.

1. is 4 1/2.
2. has 2 sisters, one older, one younger.
3. was named after her 2 grandmas.
4. has worn glasses since she was 1 year old.
5. loses those glasses at least once a day.
6. loves the Doodlebops, Backyardigans, and Signing Time.
7. has platinum blonde hair and blue eyes, both of which she got from her father.
8. once ate a whole container of strawberries, by herself, in one sitting.
9. loves chips and salsa.
10. does not have the palmar crease on her hand, but has it on her foot.
11. has a bad habit of eating her hair.
12. loves to ride the bus to school.
13. gives the best hugs.
14. can fold herself in half.
15. is still in diapers (but we're working on it!)
16. calls soda "pop" even though we don't (talk about a child of her environment).
17. is the biggest Daddy's girl.
18. calls everyone by their appropriate names (Mommy, Daddy, Emma) except Katie. She calls her "baby".
19. LOVES music, anything musical.
20. is seriously stubborn.
21. has taught me more than I could ever have imagined.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Calm after the storm

Life has been a whirlwind the last month or so. Between school for 4/5 of us, work for Jeff & I, and general madness, it's been hard to keep up.

I've been completely remiss in my plan to blog every day for the month of October. There have been some days where I just didn't have a brain cell left to think about what to blog.

A few anecdotes from the last few weeks:

* we got the girls' costumes: Emma's a witch, Sarah's a pirate, and Katie's a cowgirl.
* Jeff signed up for his spring classes; he only has 2 more after that, and he's all set to graduate next December.
* Emma got through her first MEAP (Michigan Standardized Test) and I think they're now starting the LD evaluation
* we had an incident with the bus and Emma, I'm still following up with that, it'll be a later blog
* Emma seems to be doing very well in school; she's making great progress in reading
* Sarah continues to be the "little teacher" in class
* Katie is still doing wonderfully; she's loving daycare and doesn't cry every time we pull up to the house!
* I've been having an existential crisis over what to do with the rest of my life, education-wise

That pretty much sums up our lives for the last few weeks or so. We have some cool things coming up, including our annual get-together with our best friends from Tennessee. It's their turn to drive up here for Thanksgiving. Not to mention the election next week!! :) The girls all have the day off, which is NOT going to make it easy to go and vote. But, we'll make it work. Never too early to learn about civic duty. :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Political Post-Open at your own risk

I have (mostly) avoided politics on this blog, as I have many friends who have many different political views. I am friends with people who are die-hard Republicans and equally die-hard Democrats. Because I am a tolerant person, I don't hold grudges against people who have varying views from me, because I know there is more to life than constantly arguing about things we can't always change.

That being said, THIS pissed me off to no end.

I would LOVE to see the entire program, but I can't find it. If anyone can, please feel free to e-mail me with a link. This woman is intolerance and bigotry at it's absolute worst. WHO THE HELL EVER SAID THAT AMERICA WAS A CHRISTIAN ONLY NATION?? Last time I checked, we were a "freedom of religion" country. Who the hell cares if a family member of a politician is atheist? I am LIVID. If you're not Christian (or Jewish, although those are few and far between) then you're apparently not qualified to hold public office. When was the last time you heard of a Buddhist or Hindu running for office? You don't, because it doesn't happen very often. And as for atheists, there's only 1 currently in public office, that I know of. NEWSFLASH: Christianity is NOT the only religion in the world. It might be the most populous, but guess what's next on the list? Islam!! And after that, it's "Non-religious".

I do not consider myself religious in any sense of the word. I haven't been to church on a regular basis in 5 years. Do I believe in God? Yes. I consider myself spiritual. I don't "look down" on people who have deep religious beliefs. In fact, I think I might even be jealous of that at times. Nor do I shun people who I know have little to no religious beliefs. Religion does not a good person make. Nor does a lack of it.

Flame on.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Go CMU!!!

The weekend just got away from me. I meant to post something on Saturday & Sunday, but I blinked and all of a sudden it was Monday morning.

So, Friday night, after giving myself an aneurysm about getting my English paper in on time (which I did, with 21 minutes to spare thankyouverymuch), I didn't even want to think, let alone blog. Saturday was Central Michigan University's Homecoming. Although we have season tickets for the whole fam, we decided to get a sitter, cause as much as we love our kids, we needed a mini-break from responsibility, lol. So, the girls had fun torturing breaking in bonding with a new sitter (FYI: it involved 2 non-napping girls, a closed room and poop, I'll end it there), and we had fun hanging out with people from Jeff's work and enjoying the oh-so-fabulous and very unusually warm weather. It's mid October, in Michigan, and it was 78 degrees people!! Absolutely gorgeous!

Anyhow, the tail-gating was fun, the game was great (even though our star QB and one of his favorite WR's got slightly injured; they're both ok), and it was a lot less-stressful than our last game, which ended up being decided by a botched field goal that hit the upright with 3 seconds left. I lost about 10 years on my life with that one. We beat Temple University 24-14 (I think, don't quote me on that). Oh! And I got a not-so-great picture of our Grand Marshall for Homecoming, Amy Roloff!! She and her family star in "Little People, Big World" on TV, and she's a CMU alumni, which is pretty cool.

So, all in all, we had a great time, and next comes WMU next weekend!! :) So far we're on track for another MAC Championship!! Fire up Chips!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

College stuff

I wish I had something cool for today's "31 for 21" post, but I have a paper due for my English class in less than 2 1/2 hours, and my brain is mush. Maybe something tomorrow....

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Chatting Time

Last night I had a pretty cool experience: I was in a chat room with none other than the "one and only" Rachel Coleman. One of the creators of "Signing Time", which is the one show that my 2 little ones can always agree on watching. Of course, there were about 20 other people in there, too. But, I digress. And I don't care what you say Rachel, Miss "I'm just me", lol; the fact is you're a freakin' super hero at our house, and I'm sure at thousands of others, as well.

The proof is here & here.

Oh, and here, too.

I recently started following Rachel on Twitter and she reciprocated (another point for the cool mom). So, when she Twittered about the weekly Signing Time chat that was just starting, I decided to join. It was hilarious, and not always G rated, lol. There were a few people I knew online: Kei, Pam, and Erin. Aaron, her husband, even joined us. A fun time was had by all.

So, Rachel, I know you want us all to think that you're just a normal mom, but I can see the red cape poking out from the orange sweater from where I stand. :) And Happy Birthday!!!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Special Exposure Wednesday

When I took this picture, I thought it was going to be a fabulous pic of the 3 of them. Then I actually uploaded it to my computer and got a look at Sarah's face. LOL

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

A Tough Decision

So, after numerous hours of wracking my brain and stressing about too many unknown factors, I've come to the decision that I just can't make this trip to North Carolina. I'm bummed beyond belief, but my car is acting up, my kids are starting to act sick, and as much as I'd like to spend time with my family, the trip there and back by myself would probably stress me out way more than the trip is worth.

I still need a vacation...

Monday, October 06, 2008

Return of the bathroom posts

The last time I mentioned my bathroom (the one that reeked of cat pee, if you'll remember) we had a new floor, courtesy of a friend of Jeff's. The original idea was the peel and stick vinyl floor tiles. That ended up not happening, as time was against me. So Jerry came in and within 6 hours, had put in beautiful ceramic tile. So, we had a floor, which was great, but the walls were still covered in gawd awful pastel Hawaiian print wallpaper. So, I ripped it off. (See previous posts about my lack of forethought on home improvement projects) That worked for about 75% of the wallpaper, while the rest was stuck on with industrial strength adhesive. I was reduced to spraying the walls with water, letting it soak in, and then using a putty knife to try and scrape off the adhesive. This was tearing the crap out of the drywall and driving me insane. So, this weekend, Jeff had had enough and said "Family trip to Home Depot, this bathroom is getting finished." So off we went, for primer, paint, and supplies. I also found this wallpaper remover, Dif, that helped me get the majority of the adhesive off. I immediately went to work. I used the Dif, and then on Sunday morning, prepared to paint. I taped off everything, and put on 1 coat of primer. I then put on 2 coats of "Raindrop", a subtle lavender color voted by a majority (I was out-voted 2-1, I wanted "Sweet Blue", which was a bit darker). It's hard to take pictures of a room that is less than 9x7 feet, and have them be color accurate. But, I can do some contrast pictures, to give you an idea.

Plus, here are some pics of the ceramic tile floor.

It's still not fully finished (I have to put the 75 pound mirror back on the wall, plus, I still need new baseboards) but it's fully functional, without looking like people were showering in the middle of a construction project.

ETA: I don't know why the pictures aren't showing up, but it's late and I'm new to Flickr, so if anyone could e-mail with how to have them show up on here, that would be awesome!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Grains of Gratitude

I've never done a "Grains of Gratitude" before, but I think today I need to. I haven't had an existential moment or anything, nor have we been involved in any accident to be thankful for our safety. I was told awhile back by someone that I might get some benefit from a "Gratitude Journal". I haven't done that yet, but this is a start.

I'm grateful for:

* my family, and their health.
* my husband, who is my biggest cheerleader and best friend.
* a home to call my own.
* the ability to go to college, even if it is going to take me forever to finish.
* being able to go visit family this week, even if it requires a really long drive.

I think I'm going to try to make this a regular post on Sundays. :D

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Two down, two to go ('nother TMI post)

Poop samples, that is. I was able to scrape (literally, as they gave me 2 wooden popsicle sticks) enough out of a particularly nasty diaper yesterday to get 2 of the 4 vials I need. I'm hoping I can get the other 2 sometime this weekend, and maybe I'll be able to take Sarah to the hospital to get her blood drawn very early Monday morning before school. I want this all done and taken care of before we make the pilgrimage drive to NC the middle of next week. And then maybe, just maybe, I'll have some results by the time I get back. Wouldn't that be nice.

Friday, October 03, 2008


I need to have that tattooed to my forehead.

Trying to get Emma ready for school in the morning is an exercise in futility. I beg, bargain, and threaten her into getting ready. We even set hr clothes out the night before in an effort to expedite the "getting ready" process. But between eating breakfast, brushing hair & teeth, getting her backpack ready, socks/shoes, coat, and getting out the door, I'm exhausted by the time she walks (usually late) out the door to the bus stop.

I'm thinking this is karma catching up with me because I recall doing the same thing to my mother. While my mom only had me, and I have 2 other kids, my mom worked full-time, and had to be out the door roughly the same time as me, so I suppose it's pretty equally frustrating.

I have tried numerous tricks to help Emma be able to do all this stuff on her own: she has an alarm clock, which we use; we set out her clothes the night before; I try to get her to make her own breakfast (she's almost 9, and cereal doesn't require heat, lol). I make her lunch if need be, so it really shouldn't be that hard to get ready. But, every morning, I find myself getting her backpack together, untying the knots in her shoelaces, putting her coat, socks, and shoes all by her to she can get to the easily. I'm practically pushing her out the door so she doesn't miss her bus.

The problem is that there is no real incentive for me to punish her if she is procrastinating. If she's late and misses her bus, then it punishes me, lol. Because then I'd have to get all the kids ready and in the car so I could drive her to school Which wouldn't be terrible, but Sarah's bus comes 45 minutes after Emma's. And Emma's school doesn't like it when you drop kids off more than 20 minutes early and I wouldn't be able to drop her off and then get back home in time to get Sarah on the bus. And if Sarah misses the bus, then I'd have to drive HER to school, too. And I can't just drop her off. We all have to find a parking spot, get out and walk into a huge building. Of course, this requires that we're all dressed in something other than our pj's, which defeats the purpose of having Emma ride the bus! You can see how this one little thing snowballs into a bunch of hassle for the entire family.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Gimme the poop (TMI post, not for the squeamish)

After procrastinating for way too long, I finally was able to get Sarah in to see the Pediatric Gastroenterologist (from hereto referred as the Pedi GI). This poor kid, in her entire 4 1/2 years of life, has probably had less than 10 solid BM's. I'm not joking. Ask anyone who has babysat her, and had to endure a poopy diaper, it's like liquid. It's practically the consistency of newborn poop. And it goes everywhere. Katie has days where hers are like that, too. But, she also has pretty normal poop, for a 2 year old.
Sarah's been tested for celiac, but her last test was over a year ago, and I knew she was due for one. I've tried limiting the amount of juice she gets, that didn't work. I contemplated putting her on a gluten free diet, just to test it out, but then thought that if she DID get tested for it, that would skew her results. A lot of different scientific names have been thrown my way by the medical people I know: C-diff, celiac, acidophilus, intestinal bacteria.
Needless to say, that trying to potty train a kid who has these types of BM's is not happening. And I want at least 1 kid out of diapers by the end of the year and at the rate we're going, it was looking like it was going to be Katie. Although I think Jeff and our bank account would throw me a party if I got both of them out of diapers by then. But, I'm not going to get ahead of myself.
So, the appointment yesterday wasn't groundbreaking, but at least it was something. He gave me 2 lab orders, one for a blood draw and 4 vials. For poop. And a wooden stick. Not kidding. I have to collect Sarah's poop and put it in 4 different containers. I've done this before, but at the time, she had rotovirus and her poop was the consistency of soggy green alfalfa. (I told you this was going to be TMI) So it was easier to scoop up with a wooden stick. How I'm supposed to do that with liquid, I guess I'll find out.
I'm hoping, praying, BEGGING that some answers will come out of this. This poor kid just wants to poop normally. Or at least she would if she knew any different, since this IS her normal right now.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

National Down Syndrome Awareness Month

October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month. I am going to accept the "31 for 21" blogging challenge. Simply put, I'm going to try to blog everyday for the entire month of October. Get it? 31 for 21, as in Trisomy 21. :)

This has been going on for a couple years, but this is the first year I'm going to attempt it.

ETA: I started this post waaaay before October 1st, and then got slammed with life in general. So, I'm a little late, but I'm going to try to do this!! :)