Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I am really missing my brothers. They live far, far away (because of meager excuses like living where the US Air Force says they have to or attending college. Huh.). I am proud of them. I appreciate their service. I am impressed by the men they have grown into.

I miss them.

I miss their sense of humor(s). They are, collectively the funniest people I have ever known (and I include some professional commedians in that group). They are milk snortingly, side-splittingly, achingly funny. All of them. They are each different, but each hysterical. I miss that.

I miss their creativity. If you want the best easter-eggs or most creative jack-o-lanterns in the world--these are the guys you want. For story telling, magic tricks,the best birthday parties or guitar sing alongs--they are the guys. Sigh.

I miss the shared memories we have. Two of them are (for all practical purposes) the closest in age to me in the family. We (of course!) lived through some chunks of family history that either the others didn't, or that they were just to small to remember adequately. I just wish I had someone to reminisce with about those things--the dirt hills, Jerry-Don, The Log, the best sledding hill in the world, walking to the river to go fishing (pointlessly). Using the windows in the Wilford house as our own private doorways.

I miss their hands on practicality. They built an awesome clubhouse when they were under 12 years old (2 rooms, windows & a trapdoor--and full platform roof that was used as extra rooms). They could make whatever device was needed at the time, including a mechanism to shut out the light from across the room without getting out of bed (it involved fishing line, weights & pulleys, I recall).

I wish that my kids could have them as close by, hands on uncles. There are so many awesome uncle-y skills they have, that I (as a supremely uncool mother) lack. The words to all of those scout camp songs. All of the skits. Whittling skills. Stories of hiking through the Teton Peaks, of dancing in a Koshare Indian Dance troupe, of fencing (both kinds!). How to fix a bike--or fine tune it. How to play the guitar.

I miss their kids and their wives.

I am grateful for living in a time of easy communication, but that doesn't change the fact that I miss them.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Kitty Update

We are all liking the new kitty-to greater or lesser degrees--except for The WonderDog, who is TERRIFIED of her. No matter that he weighs 10 times more than she does, or even that his (huge, deep, masculine) bark would probably lift her off the ground, he is terrified.

She has been named--several times! The final names are: Athena (for the big kids) and Cat-Cat for SmallDaughter. I think Cat-Cat is the one that is going to stick, which makes me laugh! She is settling in well, and has figured out the litter box, and she is really awesome with SmallDaughter, so she can probably stay.

Thrift Store Karma

I have several reasons for my firm belief in shopping for my families clothing at Thrift Shops. First and foremost, of course, is the fact that I am thrifty (that is the nice way of putting it!). I really hate to pay retail prices for clothes, which brings us to the second point--paying that much for clothes that they are going to (in BigGirl and LargeBoy's cases) outgrow in 4 seconds or (in LargeBoy and SmallDaughter's cases) blow the knees right out of!

There is also the very valid point of what happened to my blood pressure the time I bought new retail clothes and they fell apart in 1 washing. At least with thrift clothes I know they can hold up to a trip through the washer and dryer! PLUS it is really hard to find nice, modest clothes for a pre-adolescent girl--especially pants. Everything in the store is remarkably trashy looking! No Thanks!

That said, it is always a gamble--sometimes you score big, and sometimes you come up empty! On my last trip, LargeBoy got nothing, and the girls got great stuff! SmallDaughter got 4 really cute new shirts (so I can rotate some of the grosser ones out of her wardrobe!)--Long sleeve, of course!

BigGirl got 3 new pairs of jeans. She is (gasp, pant, sigh, faint!) in ladies size 7! WHOA! I suppose that is right for someone who is 5' 6', but still!


In the big win of the day, I found her white, shiny satin, opera length* gloves (Which she has coveted forever). Fabulous!

Even better, they were on super sale, and cost 59 cents!YAY! How can you fight that much glamor for that little cash outlay! WIN!!

*Opera length gloves come to the upper arm (bicep area). The rule for gloves was: the lower the neckline, the higher the gloves! (how is that for your costume-geek trivia of the day?)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

New Arrival

We seem to have acquired a cat. At least temporarily. If it doesn't do anything particularly egregious. So far, it seems to be a very nice kitty.

She is a gray shorthair, with white boots (shorter in front, long in back). She has behaved nicely with all the people--SmallDaughter is quite enchanted by her. The WonderDog would like to be friends, but he is still scared of her, and she is having none of it!

Since she is very friendly, and wearing a flea collar, we know she has had a family at some point. We put up posters yesterday. However, she is also extremely skinny, so either her family has abandoned her or she has gotten lost.

We shall see.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Today I threw away the PLANT OF GUILT. Or, more accurately, the poor, pathetic, miserable remains of what used to be the PLANT OF GUILT.

This is the plant that I inherited from someone, who inherited it from someone (who I think got it from a funeral--maybe?). It came to each of the previous owners with a full load of guilt, and (as such things always do) the guilt only increased as it got passed along. It was in a pot fully two feet across, and prior to my "watchful care", quite huge (but ugly).

It has atrophied more and more each year, growing progressively smaller and weaker, but this last year, since SmallGirl has decided she LOVES to cut up plants, has really been its "coup de grace", and yesterday (which was our second snow day in a row--no school = lots for boredom and time for creative mischief!) she started pulling the now leafless stalks out by the roots.

I pondered all available options (first aid, smaller pot, better location) and decided the dumpster was the way to go. The pot was broken and faded. The dirt has been added to my front flower bed. I thought I would feel more guilt, but mostly I just feel relieved.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Updated Playlist

I tidied my playlist and rearranged it. I put "Summer Breeze" first to remind myself (the self that is sitting in a house surrounded by LOTS of snow, with more coming down all the time!) that summer still exists!

I think that the main thing we can see from this playlist is how random my wandering musical taste is. And, to make it even more surreal, it is automatically set to "shuffle". Just another added service in my ongoing quest for weird! I will update it more if I ever have time (no promises!)

Just a note--the green list is just fun music to have playing. The blue list is my "heartbroken" list--for when you are blue! Although I really like a lot of those songs, anytime!

I hope you enjoy it---I do!

My Birthday

I had such an awesome birthday! I really can’t even express how great it was! It began with 8 solid hours of sleep—an almost unheard of rarity in my sleep-starved life! I had lots of birthday wishes from friends, acquaintances and various-people-who-love-me. That was great, and I am so incredibly grateful for it. It is nice to know I am loved (and not forgotten!!)

My charming son LargeBoy and his bestest friend made me THE BEST CAKE I HAVE EVER EATEN. From scratch. Chocolate with chocolate frosting (also from scratch, my own recipe—involving both butter AND cream cheese and 4 kinds of chocolate. Perfection. If you stop at stage 2 you can make it into Truffles (we did), and then if you go on, it turns into fabbity-fab-fab-fab frosting!). MMMMH. Yum.

I went out to lunch and running errands with dear friend K—yummy, yummy Mexican food. (She also gave me a cherry cheesecake—which I nobly shared with her). I ordered pizza for dinner (which contained the MAGIC INGREDIENT-- “I didn’t have to cook it!”) I haven’t had ordered pizza in a couple of months, so I really enjoyed it—plus I got the toppings I wanted instead of what makes everybody else happy! (It was my birthday, right!). Nobody seemed to mind--it all got eaten!

Best of all, my hubby came home! He is working out of state, so he leaves at about 3:30 Monday morning and returns days later (which day depends on the weather!)

I got some great gifts—a package arrived in the mail with a lovely selection of small (great for my purse!) Bath & Body Works yummy stuff in a great scent (food scents are my very fav—not big on floral!) AND a Reading Woman Calendar. While we were out shopping Best Friend K got me a new phone (because she has said LOTS of bad words about my old phone, which was actually HER old phone that was still better than the one it had replaced!). Sweet LargeGirl got me some adorable, sparkly earrings (I always love new earrings!). And Hubby gave me more B&BW lotion—because he knows I love it so!

We also went on a great date, to our favorite restaurant. We thought about going to a movie, but the only ones I wanted to see were at the “El Expensivo” theater, so we just came home and spent time together. I am reading his Christmas book aloud to him—Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. A truly excellent book (the first of a trilogy). After listening to last week’s reading-aloud, while he was gone LargeGirl swiped it and finished it in a few days. She is now on the second one, going gang-busters!

I have realized that gift giving is one of my “love languages”. I love to find the perfect gift for someone else, and I love to receive gifts, too. I must not be maturing, because many women my age freak out about birthdays, but I still love them!

My birthday--full of love, thoughtful gifts, friends and yummy food. I am possibly the luckiest woman in the world!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Getting Dressed

There are some things about the script for dressing a toddler that are fairly standard: "come back here, you naked monkey!", "No silly, that's not a hat, that's your shoe! Shoes don't go on your head!", "Where are your toes? There they are! Let's put a sock on those wiggly toes!"

While my script has all of those elements (especially about silly hats--EVERYTHING goes on her head first--pants, shoes, diaper--except for gloves, which go on her feet!), we do have some unique variations.

First of all, my toddler is now 4 feet tall, and weighs 50 pounds. I never had visible (or even useful!) arm muscles--but she has changed that! I have quite the "gun show" going, now!

The routine for dressing her goes like this:
Unzip the top of her specially made, escape-resistant jammies, but only down to the tape around her waist. Take out her left arm. Attempt to pin her right arm under my leg. Cut the tapes around her jammie sleeve (one at the wrist, one at the bicep), take out her arm, cut the tape off her night glove (which is not only dirty, but probably has at least one fingertip chewed off--a new development that I HATE!), make sure any open wounds are covered with A) Neosporin, B) A High-end, latex free bandaid, C) Several layers of medical tape. Then put on a new glove and tape it around her wrist.

Wow, that sounds tidy, when it is written down like that! The part that throws off reality, is that while I am trying to apply all of those things, SmallGirl is insistently trying to remove them (and she is faster and sneakier than I am!).

As soon as I have her glove on, I slide her (long sleeved) shirt over her head and put her arm in, then tape the sleeve down at the wrist and just over the wrist. Two layers of tape, going in opposite directions, to make it harder for her to peel off.
Repeat for right arm.
Tape her shirt around the waist. Cut the tape off the waist of her jammies and unzip the rest of the way. Change her diaper, trying to keep her from picking any leg wounds (there are ALWAYS leg wounds!). The second she is in a fresh diaper and liner, a pair of stretch knit pants are pulled on and taped around each ankle. I am deeply grateful that we finally got both ankles healed up, because they are the hardest wounds to deal with. Then, pull on a sock and tape it around the ankle. Repeat for the other leg. Then pull on her overalls and tape them around the ankles. Twice. Pull up the overalls and fasten them. Button the sides and pull any loose fabric to the back, then apply tape around her waist and chest (at least 3 times around).
Whew! Now you can put shoes on. And attempt to brush her hair (which reminds me, I have to schedule a haircut for her, she got nail polish in it last night).

All of this because with all of the exotic Latin and Greek based, long words that describe the conditions that affect her life (oral apraxia, hypotonia, epilepsy, developmental delay) the one that really affects every minute is CSP--"Compulsive Skin Picking". Related to Compulsive Hair Pulling. Not fun to live with.

The first time I asked a doctor about it the dialogue went like this:
Me: "she picks compulsively, even in her sleep. If you hold her hands, she will move her elbow or knee up, so she can still reach it."
Doctor: "Have you tried Band-Aids?"


We have tried EVERYTHING. From Duct tape (on the outside of her clothes, of course!) to Heavy Duty Anti-Psychotic Meds (NOT GOOD).
So far, the best option is cellophane tape. After having tried every variety, by every company, I can conclusively state that for this purpose the very best tape is the cheapest type Wal-Mart sells. (Which I am very glad about!--I buy 12 or 15 rolls at a time. You should see the checker's faces. And I get a lot of comments about "you must wrap a lot of gifts!).

This blog entry sounds pretty whiney and self pitying, but it isn't. I am feeling very blessed to have her in my life. She is SO funny. She was so cute this morning. I am glad to have scotch tape invented (I just LOVE whoever invented that stuff!) and to have clothes available so easily (she is unbelievably hard on clothes. The tape wears out the cuffs in no time at all.) I love that I only have to sew her jammies, and not every single thing she wears. I love being her mommy.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Dr. Visit Follow-up

BigGirl's visit went well. We like the new doctor just fine. We are trying an inhaler for exercise-induced asthma. Her hands are currently symptom free, so they are hard to diagnose, but if it happens again, we are going right back in. Her heart sounded fine. The most surprising part for me was the initial height and weight. While I know that she is growing like a weed, and I can't keep her in pants that are long enough, I was still surprised that she is 5'6". FIVE AND A HALF FEET TALL!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Doctor Visit

Today's adventure is a doctor visit. This one had more pre-visit adventure than the usual office call, because our "old" family doctor (who we liked, had a pretty good relationship with, and had already filled out the pages and pages of forms that medical visits require) joined the Air Force and left. He was actually quite young for a doctor, and I can see the military being a great life for him--but it did leave us doctorless.

Finding a new doctor turned out not to be just the usual pain in the neck of doctor shopping, either. Our insurance (which is not too bad) is a smaller company, and the doctors who accept it tend to be in the North/Eastern part of the state. Most of my life tends toward the South/Western part, so finding a doctor who A) is accepting new patients, B) accepts our insurance C) is reasonably close and D) that we like, has not been fun or easy.

But I seem to have accomplished it at last. (You may hold the aplause--or not, as you see fit).

BigGirl gets to go in today, hopefully to find out what the heck is up with her circulation. Her hands have had problems with a strange rash/dryness, swelling, cyanosis (being blueish) and they are always cold. Not good signs for anybody, but particularly not for a skinny early teenage type person. Keep her in your prayers, just in case! I will post results when I know them.