Monday, December 31, 2007

A Vote For Me Is - A Vote For Me!

I've decided to keep this post up top for the time being - just so newbies and regular readers alike get a chance to read my Blog For A Year profile and everyone who's interested can remember to cast their daily votes for me. Thanks again for your support!


Hey, everyone! I've entered a contest to get Paid To Blog For A Year! Here's my entry application questions and answers. Please read through and then go vote - often! You can vote up to one time per day. The contest will be going on for some time - I'll keep you posted. So get out there and vote!

"Why should you get paid to blog for a year?"

Why should I get paid to blog for a year? Hmmm – a heavy question. But one that I feel I can more than successfully answer.

My husband and I are both successfully employed. We work together in the advertising department of our local newspaper. Additionally, my husband works part time with his father in his construction/home repair business. And I tutor English and writing whenever the opportunity presents itself. We are hard workers, but stlll – it never seems enough.

Despite our multiple jobs, we continue to struggle with money, often living paycheck to paycheck. My husband and I both firmly believe that one should do what they love for their career. We also strongly feel that family is very important. Both of those points were major factors for my husband and I in deciding that he could work with his father – he loves woodworking and construction and wanted to learn as much as he could about it. And he wanted to spend more time with his father.

Similarly, I love to write. And I love being a mom. These are my real passions in life. I am so blessed to have such a happy, healthy daughter. And I’m equally thankful that I am able to share my unique parenting experience with with world through my blog and through other various writing opportunties that I’ve taken on.

Still, I am far from doing as my husband has done. I am far from living my passion. Only one of my writing opportunites has paid me any money at all – and that was token little. My dream of making a living by living my passion would certainly come true if awarded this Blog For A Year stipend. $80,000 is much more than my husband and I have ever made in a year. We could do so much with that money – pay off debt, increase Sweetie’s college fund contribution, and contribute to charities that help the disabled individual live a productive, active life. I was both a March of Dimes and an Easter Seals poster child when I was young. How nice it would be to finally have the funds to contribute to them today to continue on with their very worthy and helpful causes!

Additionally, winning this would mean the freedom to take the time to pursue my future as a Writer. Who knows – one day I would love to write a book about my parenting experiences. I feel there is a very real, very large audience out there who would benefit from hearing my story. So, if nothing else, perhaps entering and hopefully winning this contest would give me the better recognition I need to find an agent and get my book dreams well underway.

Thank you, everyone, for your vote for me. I may be a “mommy blogger” – but I am so much more. Your support in this contest would mean so much!

About this Blogger:

My name is Amy. I am 32 years old (almost 33), have been married to my loving husband for 7 years, and together we are the parents to our beautiful, active, healthy daughter, Sweetie. I’ve worked full time at our local newpaper in the advertising department for 10 years now. I also love to write and have been published in a few niche parenting publications. And I blog. I blog about my Sweetie and Me. Our ups and downs, our exciting times and general fun. Maybe a typical “mom blog” – but with a slightly different angle.

You see, I was born with the birth defect spina bifida. I wear short leg braces, walk with the aid of a walking stick, and have very limited feeling and movement below my knees.

Still – I get around just fine. I am generally healthy and happy. I am married to a healthy, supportive man. And our daughter is perfectly healthy. I use my blog as a means of talking about my life as a disabled mom raising a healthy, active daughter.

About the Blog:

My blog is my account as a disabled woman with spina bifida raising my healthy and active daughter. What my pregnancy was like, what challenges we face on a regular basis, and what I think about regarding her, and my, future.

There are many mommy bloggers out there. And there are even several moms who blog about their life with their disabled child(ren). But there are very few of us disabled moms who blog. I’ve heard from several of my readers, many in similar boats as my own, who are thrilled to have found me as a person they can relate to. I’m happy to give the disabled parents a voice. Our lives can be just as “normal” as any other parents out there – and I for one am helping to show the world that that is so.

Thanks for taking the time to read me, and thank you in advance for your winning vote!

Click here to vote.

If you can think it, you can have it!


Mama Monday #4.1

Theme: Uber List

I thought I'd start the New Year off paying homage to MSO. They always had "Uber List" as their first theme of the year, and so I'll continue that tradition. Uber List it is!

This is a list of what you hope to accomplish in the coming year. Or, if you're that ambitious, it could be a life list of hopes and dreams. Whatever you wish, this is the time and place to write it down.

My Uber List for this year is quite short. It consists of only three items:

1) Financial Management
2) Family
3) Simplicity

That's it.

This is the year where Hubby and I are firmly committed to eradicating as much debt as possible from our financial outlook. We've looked at the numbers, we've established a plan, and we know we can do it if we honestly work together!

This is also the year to spend more quality time with our families. With Hubby's side, we've (Christmas)-gifted each other with the promise of at least 1 family-based activity/gathering per month in 2008. And on my side - well, it seems like we already get together a lot. But, when I really think about it, I see that that's not so much the case. For instance, there have been several years when I saw my brother and his family who live in Texas more than I saw my local brothers and sisters-in-law.

And for Sweetie to spend more time with all her cousins on both sides of the family would be absolutely wonderful!

Then there's the goal of "simplicity".

Purging out old things. Acquiring as few new things as necesary. Making sure that any new items we do bring into our lives are the best quality items we can afford (no use buying cheap junk to satisfy an immediate need/want when it will just wear out soon and need replacing). Taking pleasure in new experiences more so than new things.

All this is what I mean by "simplicity". Knowing what we need and how best to achieve it in the most rewarding and meaningful way possible.

So - that's my 2008 Uber List. What about you? Let me know what you plan for you and yours in the coming year - either in my comments or in a post of your own. If you do blog about it, please leave that link in my comments for all to visit and, hopefully, become inspired by.

Happy New Year, Everyone! May 2008 be your best year ever!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Sweetie Saturday #89

Hmmmm.... with all the birthday and Christmas activities going on lately, you'd think I'd have a plethora of Sweetisms to share with you. But the only one I can think of right now is how, after I read her one of her new stories the other day, Sweetie thanked me and told me:

You're so kind.

See? Cute, but not really funny.

Oh - and she's also a bit interested in nicknames now. She saw me wrap one of Hubby's presents, addressing it - appropriately - to "Hubby". She wanted to know if that was Daddy's nickname.

Yes, it is. Just like your nickname is Sweetie.


Then, a few days later, when Sweetie was telling Daddy what his and her nicknames are, I asked about mine.

Hey - if you both have nicknames, than what about me? What's my nickname?

Sweetie only took half a second to come up with something.


Yay. Good for me. Sounds great.

Oh! I guess I have more too - I just remembered...

Sweetie was humming a Christmas tune the other day when she stopped to tell me,

Hey Mom - did you know that "(Sweetie) The Helpful Reindeer" sounds just like "Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer" when you hum it?


The only other thing I can think to mention today is Sweetie's general behavior over the last week or so. Well - maybe not her behavior, exactly (she's been a pill). But her amazing lack of greediness/neediness during this overwhelmingly celebratory time of year.

Despite what you may think of my last post, I too am really not a greedy/materialistic person. Sure, it wasn't too many years ago that I made up long lists of Christmas wishes. But for the last few years - I really haven't cared. I really haven't asked for much at all. Here are a few things I need and/or I might find pretty cool. Otherwise, give me an experience-based gift over a physical gift anyday.

I say all this because it seems, perhaps - if I'm lucky - that Sweetie has adopted this way of being from me.

Case in point -

On her birthday, after visiting with Santa, we went to the mall's food court for a Burger King dinner - Sweetie's request. But when I and Hubby were done eating, we encouraged Sweetie to hurry up.

Come on, Sweetie. We've got to get home and open your birthday presents!

Not yet! I'm still eating!

She wasn't focused at all on her gifts. She was in-the-moment.

Then, when we did arrive home and I sneaked her gifts into the living room when she wasn't looking, she didn't even notice them when she came in the room. She seemed to not even think about her birthday anymore - taking out her old toys to play with instead.

We had to purposefully ask her, What do you want to do now, Sweetie? On your birthday? Do you see anything interesting piled up on the coffee table?

I mean, it really took a lot of coaxing to get her to look at, and find, her presents that night. Presents that were right there in full view.

Of course, once she saw them, she was really excited and had them opened in no time flat.

Likewise on Christmas morning. Her 78 Toy (the scooter) was right there in plain view, next to the tree. But she totally skipped past it, preferring to go straight for her stocking. It wasn't until about half-way through her stocking when she mentioned that there wasn't, as of yet, a 78 Toy to be found. That's when Hubby and I made her look closer at the presents under - and next to - the tree. Even then, she finally saw, and was excited about, the scooter. But it took more prompting still to get her to notice the large 78 license plate.

Ya know, though? All this is just fine with me. She can be just as not-concerned about receiving presents as she wants to be for as long as she wants to be. That's a perfectly fine trait to have, as far as I'm concerned.

However - there is a downside to all this. A pretty big one, actually. But I'll not get into that right now. Let's just keep the good vibes going for a little while longer, shall we?

Yes, we shall.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas is Awesome

Santa brought Hubby and I a new coffee maker - that doesn't keep the coffee hot for very long (which is why we wanted a new coffee maker in the first place).

I got 2 pairs of too big PJ's (seriously - I feel invisible. XS isn't small enough for me. I need Petite XS. And even that may be too big).

Hubby had to give me a couple pictures of things that have not yet arrived in the mail. They're awesome - I just don't have them yet.

I didn't really get anything to "play" with (Hubby - you want to play with my plaque with me?), and the one really fun game I got requires at least 4 players.

Not that I wanted them as gifts, but I still need socks and dish towels. And a vacuum.

Santa brought Sweetie some new underwear - which is at least 1 size too big. And she needs new undies.

Sweetie is happy with (although seemingly not over-the-moon thrilled about) her 78 Scooter (I guess Santa only could bring me a 78 Scooter instead of a 78 Toy).


Hubby and I are sorry we showed Sweetie how to ding the bell on said 78 Scooter.

Between her birthday and Christmas, Sweetie got a TON of crafty things - needlework, quilt making, sticker making, paper dolls, a pot holder loom, etc., etc., etc.... which means a TON of work and frustrating hours of teaching and patience from me.

We got Sweetie some games and craft books we thought she'd be challenged by but also absolutely love. As it turns out, she's either too frustrated by or plain not interested in them.

Similarly, some of these toys/games/activities are stressing Hubby because the item(s) is a piece of junk and doesn't go together well, or stressing me because Sweetie's NOT DOING IT RIGHT and wasting the materials (Ugh! Like daughter/like mother).

Sweetie's slippers, while at least a full size larger than her shoe size, are still too small for her (i.e. - they're just perfect for now, meaning she'll very quickly grow out of them) and have to be shipped back and replaced - with a size that is currently out of stock.

There's always that Post-Christmas let down once all the partying/gift opening/celebrating is done.

Other than all that - Christmas was as lovely and fun and family-filled as ever. A real joy.




Edited to Add: To everyone who's reading this as a purely cynical/negative post - please don't. Yes, I'm complaining a bit - about things we brought on ourselves!

We bought ourselves a not-great coffee maker. I bought Sweetie too big underwear. I also bought her the too small slippers. I'm much more upset about my body in general not being able to find properly fitting clothes than the actual clothes; I didn't ask for anything terribly exciting to begin with, so of course I didn't get anything to "play" with - I'm an adult! I'm excitedly waiting for my last two gifts to show up - I know what they're going to be and I'm really going to like them. Sweetie can't stop riding her scooter - she really does like it! (she just told me it's "very great!") And we asked for Sweetie to get crafty stuff - so we're thrilled she has it! Either she's able to do them now or she'll acquire the skills and/or interest soon enough. Sure it's a lot for me to look after and supervise and help her with - but it will be fun. I like to do crafty things too.

So don't anyone worry about us. We really had a wonderful Christmas and are happily enjoying our holiday vacation time with each other and our extended friends and family.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Mama Monday #3.1

Theme: Room

So here's a funny story... last week I was thinking of something I wanted to blog about. And - hey! - I could turn it into a Mama Monday thing! And the theme could be "Room"! That's perfect!

But...ummm.... see....I can't remember what I wanted to write about. But the theme is "Room"! I know that!

Guess I'm running out of room in my head for important information like this.

Could I have wanted to write about making more room in our house? Purging out the junk and establishing space for new, more meaningful items?

Perhaps...we're always wanting to declutter and refresh.... but, wasn't that.

It must have had something to do with Sweetie.... maybe redistributing her older toys to less fortunate kids so that Santa has room to bring her new toys?

Hmmmmm.... well, we did do that. But I don't think I thought that was interesting enough to blog about.

Still, something about Sweetie. And "room". Huh - the only real bloggable thing I've wanted to say about her lately is about how changeable (okay, for the sake of pleasantness, let's just use the word "complex") she is.

So for lack of anything else, let's just go with that, shall we?

When Sweetie was younger, one of Hubby and my co-workers saw her and remarked: Wow! I've never seen a child look so equally like both of her parents. He could see just as much me in Sweetie as he could see of Hubby.

Now, as a little girl, I'm seeing more and more how equally Sweetie's personality is split between taking after me and taking after Hubby.

As I've mentioned time and again here, Sweetie is silly, creative and curious - just like her Daddy. She can be very "out-of-the-box":

• She wants a 78 Toy for Christmas

• Last Christmas, she wanted a Christmas Fork

• She loves making crafts, baking with Daddy, sewing with me, and learning all sorts of new things. Likewise, she gets on tangents with things, easily getting distracted from what she last loved to do.

• She sees dreamy things floating in her room at bedtime and she's very detailed in both her imaginative and reality-based story telling.

On the other hand, Sweetie doesn't take to change very well, she can be very matter-of-fact, and is quite particular - she's very black-and-white, just like me:

She knows a lot of things, for instance:

• When you see a carrot (as the 1st Blue's Clues clue) you know there's going to be a snowman (because Lord knows there's nothing else to do with a carrot but use it as a snowman nose).

• That her cousin M______ doesn't sleep with socks on (like Sweetie does) because, when they played in their cave together and pretended to go to sleep, M______ took off both her shoes and her socks while Sweetie only took off her shoes.

• Games have to be played the right way. Songs have to be sung the way Sweetie wants (silly or serious, depending on her mood); cupboard doors and drawers have to be closed; nighttime routines have to be performed in proper order; her shirt sleeves have to be down; shoes are off at Nana's house - always; etc., etc., etc....

Sweetie gets her smarts from both of us.

And, of course, she's definitely uniquely Sweetie:

• She's a true performer who ran up on stage at the Holiday Concert last weekend without a second thought, stood right in the middle of the front row of all the kids, and sang "Jingle Bells" and "Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer" loud and proud. She loved it, she told me. She's mentioned several times how she wants to be in the shows, not just go to the shows. (While both Hubby and I love the performing arts, we were both much too shy to ever do anything but help out behind the scenes)

Boy oh boy - how confusing to be a Sweetie. How very multifaceted and, dare I say? - manic? Both creative and practical, silly and serious. She's a dancer with nobody watching ....(her perform a very precise routine).

All I can say is - it's a good thing Sweetie's got enough room in her heart, soul and mind to take in all her different skills, ideas and traits, and showcase them each in her own especially great way.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Sweetie Saturday #88 - Birthday Wrap-Up Edition

Sweetie's birthday party was scheduled for last Sunday, but a huge snow/ice storm canceled that. Instead, Nana and Papa were kind enough to relocate the party to their house on Monday evening.

Upon opening her stash of cards and gifts, Sweetie was very interested to read the greetings from each person.

One card in particular was great! It was from my brother's family, including my niece, Abby, and her steady boyfriend, Conor.

When Sweetie heard Conor's name, she was thrilled!

Conor?! He's my favorite boy who lives with Abby!

(Great! Not entirely accurate - they don't yet live together - but still... really cute. Sweetie looooovvves Conor!)


When we left Sweetie's party, she decided to ride home with Daddy in his car rather than with me in mine. Fine - that's the way it usually is. If Daddy is an option, you better believe she's going with him!

Upon arriving home, I walked into the house to hear Sweetie declare:

We're a strong family, a smart family and a great family. And we're a family of friends!

Great! How very sweet. Right you are, Sweetie.

(When I later asked Hubby what prompted Sweetie to make such a statement, he told me how Sweetie decided she'd ride home with him instead of me: Sweetie said it was because Daddy was smart. He countered that, saying that Mommy is smart too, and so is Sweetie. That was the end of that discussion, but it must have been what lead to her family pride).


Sweetie's birthday party was Blue' Clues themed. Hubby and I intended to hide her new little plush Blue doll somewhere, then put paw prints around as clues to help her figure out where she was.

Alas, with the change of venue and general craziness, we plain old forgot all about it. I ended up giving her the Blue doll one morning this week. Sweetie loved it and instantly wanted to take Blue to school as her new Sleeping Friend.

That evening, Sweetie told me,

Mama, there was bad news in the 4-year old room today.

There was? What happened?

Well..... T____ took Blue out of my bag and that was not nice. Then he gave her to T_____ and that was the bad news.

Hmmmm.... that's too bad, Sweetie.


Out of the blue the other night:

Daddy? Who's your husband?

What? I don't have a husband. I have a wife. Who's my wife?

It took some figuring out, but finally she understood. Then I asked:

Okay, if I'm Daddy's wife, who's my husband?

Ummmm..... Nana?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

5 Years Ago

Five years ago today I was awakened in my hospital room by several friendly professional faces telling me, You're going to have your baby today. (More accurately, they said, You're not leaving here without a baby in your arms.)

Approximately 18 hours later, Sweetie was born, at 12:50 am, December 20th, 2002.

As I told this to Sweetie this morning, I was surprised to hear myself choking up a bit. Surprised to feel tears come to my eyes. Surprised to feel so emotional over my daughter's birthday.

(Surprised to have the tears well up again as I write this....)

Growing up, my mom had always told me that on each of her kids' birthdays, she always takes a moment to remember the actual day. How events transpired for her. How she felt. What she hoped for, dreamed of, feared, and worried about. The joy of each birth, as well as the pain.

When I became a mother, mom reminded me to do the same for myself with each passing year. Sweetie's birthday will always be special not only for herself, but for me (and Hubby) as well.

And so I'm remembering. And celebrating. And grieving, a little, for the time that's flown by so fast. Five years old already?! I simply cannot believe it. My tiny little 5 1/2 lb. peanut of an infant is now a dramatic, creative, funny and intelligent little lady.

On the other hand, maybe this quick passage of time brings tears to my eyes because I realize it will only be another quick 5 years before I have a 10- year old pre-teen on my hands. If I remember correctly, 10-years old was NOT a fun age. I was a hormonal, emotional terror at 10 years old. And if I know karma like I know karma, I am in for some serious retribution when Sweetie hits the big 1-0. Ooh, doggie! I know I can wait for that!

Either way, I am so grateful. I can't possibly imagine a life without her, nor clearly remember a time without my Sweetie. Her very presence brings me so much joy and happiness every single day.

Happy 5th Birthday, Sweetie. Daddy and I are so proud of you and love you so very, very much.

Here's to another 5 years (so help me, Lord!) and many, many more. Here's to a long, happy life full of love and warmth.





Monday, December 17, 2007

Mama Monday #2.1

Theme: Notice

I seem to be noticing more and more things about myself.

We had friends over a few weeks ago. During the course of the evening, I mentioned how I've been experiencing blank out moments when, say, I'm reading a book and all of a sudden I just can't process the next few words in the sentence. I see the words just fine, their meaning is just not able to make it to my brain. But after about 10-30 seconds, everything comes to again and I continue on my way.

I thought this all had something wonky to do with seizures. I've had one grand mal seizure (a month before we got married), so I thought these strange episodes were somehow related to that. As a result, I'm back on seizure meds (which is why I was bring it up, I think - I'm finding that the meds still aren't fully preventing the episodes).

Very interestingly, our friend then related to us how the exact same thing happened to him years ago when he was being tested for hypoglycemia. Whenever his blood sugar dropped too low, he blanked out a bit and couldn't process the words he was reading in his magazine.

Huh! How about that?!

So I've been noticing a lot lately. How hungry I am. How often I'm hungry. When/if I get these strange episodes (not since I've been feeding my hunger more regularly). And I'm doing something about it.

I'm taking more food with me each day to eat for breakfast. I'm snacking more between meals. I'm not ignoring my rumbling belly. I eat. And I'm feeling better.

I've also noticed (as has Hubby... and probably Sweetie) that lately I've been grumpier/more stressed/more quick to temper/and changable ("blah"one minute and super emotional the next).

It's the season, I tell myself. It's the stress of the holidays. The money, the house, the go-go-go, the holiday prep, the crazy weather, family, friends, work - everything!

I'm usually so good at letting things go - letting things seemingly slide right off my back. But then Hubby brings up one little point or Sweetie works my last little nerve and I just explode.

I've got so much to do/make/wrap/take care of.... that I just don't take care of myself. And in return, I don't properly take care of my family. I snap at Sweetie and I grumble at and/or ignore Hubby.

I'm also very tired. I've always been tired, I tell myself. Everyone's tired - it's just the American way of life! Anyway, I'm a full time mom who works full time out of the house - of course I'm tired.

But I've been noticing lately - boy, I really am tired! I need some rest.

So....what? What does all this noticing mean? Fine - I'm aware of all the physical effects that life has taken upon me. I don't get enough sleep. I don't eat enough. I let things build up inside me to the point of total melt down.

I guess I've always felt - whether or not I fully thought it out as such - that I must deprive myself in order to take care of others. Who cares if I get a lunch? Sweetie's the one who really has to eat. And I don't mind that I'm always the one to get up with Sweetie on the weekend mornings - Hubby works hard and works late. He needs his sleep more than I do.

But you know what? Someone's got to start noticing me. Someone important. Someone essential to making me the best I can be.

Me. Amy. Myself.

First and foremost, I must take care of me. For if I'm not at my best, then there's no way I can completely take care of others, helping them become their best selves as well.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Sweetie Saturday #87 - Bad Mama Edition

Not much going on in Sweetie Land this week, other than to note that by the time I write next week's Sweetie Saturday, she will have turned 5 years old.

Oh... and that I completely ruined her.

How did I ruin Sweetie, you ask? By playing the song Something's Stuck Up In The Chimney for her.... on Youtube. (Sorry - no links today. Sweetie was so freaked out by this video that I don't want to risk going back to it to make the link. If you're that interested, kindly find it yourself).

I know, I know... I should have completely realized the potential consequences. I know the song is about Santa himself being stuck up in the chimney. But I just didn't know what the video would show. I made a bad judgment call and I've ruined Sweetie.

On the other hand, we heard the song spoof "Chipmunks Roasting on an Open Fire" the other day, and I immediately thought that I should turn the radio dial away from the song. But Sweetie heard only the very first line of this song and she was laughing. A lot! She thought it was hysterical. So we listened and she thought it was so funny.

And I've always liked the song There's Something Stuck Up in the Chimney. I think it's funny and I thought Sweetie would as well.

So last night, after watching I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas (which was a big success!), I stupidly decided to search for that other song.

Big Mistake.

Had it only been listening to the words, she may have been okay with it. But it was the images that really did her in.

But a gentle explanation of the Magic that is Santa, a reassuring phone call to Daddy, and a nice cup of hot chocolate - plus lots of distractions from T.V. shows, story reading and playing - seems to have helped. Sweetie was able to stop thinking about it! long enough to fall asleep and sleep well all last night.

I've certainly learned my lesson. Please learn a lesson from me... review any videos or shows you're thinking of sharing with your child before you actually do so. Otherwise, you may be paying the price dearly.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Click Awaaaay From The Cranky, Tired Lady...

I'm very tired, very sore, very cranky and very hungry. I must be.... pregnant!

Uhhhh... No. I'm rather confident in saying it's not that.

But whatever it is, I don't feel like writing much tonight. Sorry about that.

However, I did just write this post tonight. So if you really feel like you're missing out on something here, visit me here instead.

Until next time...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Mama Monday - A New Beginning

Note: There's some hopeful news over at MSO - talks are going on as we speak, with the Mamas trying to figure out how to keep the site up in one form or another. Yay! Fingers crossed - we'll get an update soon!

Until then, I'm going to continue on with my Mama Mondays as usual. If you'd like to join me, and/or have theme words to offer up, please do so/let me know.

As for today - the theme is:


What a great word to start off my New, Independent, Mama Monday?! I'm opening the door to all new possibilities - for myself and anyone else who'd like to join in! Let's boldly and bravely walk through together, shall we?

"Door" is also a highly appropriate word for me to expound upon because there happens to be a particular door in our house that is someday - possibly very soon - going to deliver me right into insanity. Ugh!

See, Sweetie's bedroom is really more like a 2-room suite. You enter her main door and you're immediately in her play room. Then, off to the right, is another door which is the door to her actual bedroom. It's really a great space and one of the best things we loved about this house.

So, every night when we put Sweetie to bed and say goodnight, we always close the outermost playroom door, but leave her bedroom door open. We do this to keep Sweetie's room as quiet as possible while she falls asleep.

Then, when Hubby and I go to bed, we open the playroom door for the remainder of the night.

We open this door at this time for a number of reasons. Firstly - the left corner of her playroom leads to the upstairs bathroom. We like to have all access open to said bathroom for all household members throughout the night. This is especially important due to Hubby and my dark and sleepy and (in my case) leg-braces-less 2 a.m. bathroom treks. It just makes good, safe sense to leave that door open.

Secondly, we open the door because, if Sweetie needs us during the night, we're much better able to hear her when she calls.

However - Sweetie has become just a wee bit obsessed (insert major sarcasm here) with the nighttime state of her playroom door and this has led to several bedtime and middle-of-the-night stern discussions.

It started when, for some unknown reason, Sweetie decided that whoever put her to bed had to close that door really really loudly!

Okay - I suppose I get it. She likes to hear the door close as part of her routine and to know she's safe and sound in her room. Fine. Whatever.

But then she got more and more insistent - demanding that we go so far as slam the door closed every night.

Here we go with stern talking to #1 (repeated several times, by the way, because Sweetie's memory in this department is lacking).

No! We will NOT slam the door. This is an old house and slamming door hurts the house. We do not hurt the house! And people only slam doors when they're angry and we don't want to put you to bed angrily every night. No slamming the door! We'll close it loud enough so you hear it, but that is it. End of discussion.

Okay, fine. That's more or less resolved (finally).

Then she started in with her occasional middle-of-the-night wake-up calls.

Whatever her initial problem is in these cases is generally pretty mild and easily calmed. BUT - then Hubby or I go back to our room - leaving Sweetie's playroom door open.

This, very unfortunately, leads to more desperate cries for us to come back and close her door - and loudly, at that!

Here we go with stern talking to # 2 (repeated several times, by the way, because Sweetie's memory in this department is lacking)

At these times we have to go in, explain (again!) why the door is to remain open in the nighttime, and that we will NOT be closing it for her. The end.

Now, you may be saying to yourself - what's the big deal? Just close the dang door and move on!

But - see - we've tried that too. And it only seems to lead to her very regular middle-of-the-night wake up calls and insistence that the door is closed. Cranky, all-hyped-up insistence about the status of the door. And we're just not going to accept that. Period.

Now - knock on a lot of wood - things seemed to have finally settled down concerning the door. As I've done with other "issues" Sweetie needs to learn and accept - I've made The Door Status a family rule.

What's the family rule Sweetie?

No fighting about food.

And? What about the door?

No slamming the door ever.

And? How is the door in the nighttime?

Open so that, if I have a problem and call you, you can hear me.

You betcha - that's right!

After all this - please - for the love of everything - let that be the end of the Door Wars.

Otherwise, I truly am going to lose my ever-lovin' mind - right out the door!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Sweetie Saturday #86

Here's one more for last week's That Not Make Any Sense edition:

Upon picking up the cup of orange juice I placed in front of her last weekend, Sweetie looked in and exclaimed:

Hey! My juice looks like Nana!

Sorry - I've got no explanation for this. Something to do with the bubbles on the surface looking like Nana's hair. I don't know - Sweetie's crazy.


We had an old friend and his wife over for dinner last Saturday. We all - including Sweetie - went out for sushi (with Sweetie eating a peanut butter and jelly roll-up sandwich I had brought along with me, then cut into small, sushi-style pieces).

Sweetie was mostly well behaved, but she did finish her sandwich before our dinners even arrived. So to entertain herself, Sweetie decided to go back and forth between our table and the nearby row of chairs near the sushi bar.

Sweetie and the sushi chef had a great time making silly faces at each other, and eventually - with our permission - he offered Sweetie a unique, only-find-them-in-Japanese-restaurants lollipop.

She had a few licks, then was done with it.

A little while later, the hostess passed by Sweetie (still seated in the row of chairs) and gave her a fortune cookie.

Our friend laughed at this, finding it hysterical that Sweetie had found the perfect place to position herself - she was getting free treats all night!

This was funny. But it was even more so when Sweetie, who actually decided to sit with us for a bit, announced that she was going back to the row of seats. She obviously was thinking ahead - based on what she said as she left us...

I wonder what someone will bring me now?!


These next couple are more showcases of how tech-savvy Sweetie is, rather than funny bits:

Hubby and I got swanky new cell phones last week. We can take pictures, videos, and send unlimited text messages with our plan. Hubby's plan even comes with a GPS system. Cool!

During that first evening, I spent a lot of time looking at my phone, figuring out how to use it, where to find different functionalities, and how to program certain things. I did this mostly silently, with Sweetie merely glancing over my shoulder to watch along.

When Hubby got home, Sweetie was still up. So we decided to test out the phones' cameras and took some cute pictures of her.

After I took one picture of Sweetie, she instantly instructed me to,

Now, put it in the Picture Place.

Huh! What do you know? There is, in fact, a storage place on the phones that's called Picture Place! Something Sweetie had apparently noticed earlier when I was bopping around to all the different things.


On another night this past week, with Hubby again at work and Sweetie and I at home, Sweetie and I heard a BEEP, BEEP, BEEP sound.

Mama! You got a text message!

Right you are, Sweetie. Hubby had, in fact, just sent me a note.

What a smartie you are!


On the other hand, for as smart and savvy as Sweetie is, there are some things that still absolutely blow her mind.

Yesterday, for instance, Sweetie was at Nana's house all day. At one point - as nature will have it - Sweetie needed to go potty. And so she did.

Funny thing about my parents' house, though - they have a phone in their main bathroom. Not sure why - they just do.

So as Sweetie was taking care of her business, the phone rang. Aha! Sweetie decided she must answered it (not realizing that Nana had already done so using the kitchen phone).

It was my dad who was calling, just to say hi.

Well, Sweetie quickly dominated the entire conversation with her complete and utter amazement. She was talking to Nana and Papa AT THE SAME TIME! How cool was that?! Wow!

When I arrived later to pick her up - and Papa had just arrived from work as well - Sweetie was still talking about the awesomeness that was The Bathroom Phone Incident.

Then she proceeded to loudly and excitedly tell me all about it!

Mom told me that, as Sweetie and she were on the phone with Papa, mom took a walk down to the bathroom to check on Sweetie in person.

Sweetie was standing there, talking on the phone, happy as could be, with her pants down around her ankles.

It was probably around this point when my dad declared - Okay. I gotta get going now.

Poor dad - didn't get a word in edge-wise around all of Sweetie's exuberance.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Good News/Bad News

Good news! We're hosting Movie Night for our friends this weekend!

(Bad news. Movie Night has dwindled - most likely - to only 2 friends coming over, instead of the 4-5 that it used to be).

Good news! I'm hosting Book Club this weekend!

(Bad news. That's dwindled to only 3 people coming over - 1 of whom is my mom - instead of the 5-7 people it used to be. Plus? None of us finished - or particularly liked - the book we're discussing. Except, perhaps, Mom. There's still hope for her finishing and/or having a positive review).

Good news! We 3 were all excited about and had a great time at the Spina Bifida Association of Massachusetts Christmas Party last weekend. It was a fun-filled day shared with some really great people!

(Bad news. Hubby was sad to lose the jester-style Santa hat in the Yankee Swap, and Sweetie is frustrated by her inability to draw exactly what she envisions on the Doodle Bear Santa gave her... And I ended up with so-ugly-they're-cute Christmas-themed plates from the Swap. Eh. Whatever. It's not all about the loot... Read more about those adventures here).

Good news! Considering the holiday/gift-purchasing season, plus some unexpected banking snafus as of late, we're still doing okay financially. Knock on wood.

(Bad news. Hubby forgot to turn in his work time-slip last week, so there's no paycheck from him this week)

Good news! I decided not to buy tickets to The Nutcracker Suite on the one and only weekend day we have free this month. Woo hoo! A completely open day!

(Bad news. I decided not to buy tickets to The Nutcracker Suite on the one and only weekend day we have free this month. I really think Sweetie would have loved it).

Good news! Hubby's done with his out-of-town job! He's home!

(Bad news. Hubby's home... and I can't concentrate on writing anything even remotely brilliant when he's watching, and laughing at, the T.V. in the same room where I am).

Monday, December 03, 2007

Mama Monday #86

Theme: Surprises

For the last two months or so, I've had the great honor of posting each week's theme over at Mama Says Om. No, I wasn't the one who came up with the new themes - I just looked at my provided list and published the new word on their site.

So yesterday I went to log on to post the new theme - which was to be "Surprises" - when I received a shocking surprise myself - Mama Says Om is shutting down. Effective December 2nd.

Oh! How sad! I've had so much fun writing my Mama Mondays over the last year and a half. I can't believe this very special community of strong Mamas will no longer be available to me (at least in this form) or that I'll no longer feel the thrill of learning the new writing prompt, allowing my mind to wander and my words to wrap around their themes in unique and meaningful ways.

It's been a joy, Mamas. I real pleasure to work with you, to join with you, and to write with you. I've had a blast with your site and I am extremely sad to see it go.

At the same time, I completely understand the need - and desire - to move on to bigger and better things. I know you'll come up with a new way for interweb Mamas to come together and make the world a better place in both big and small ways. I'm excited to see what form that takes and to hopefully be an active part in it.

Wishing you all the best. Thanks for the memories!


P.S. - When I told Hubby there'd be no more Mama Mondays, he suggested that I keep it up anyway, coming up with my own themes to write about. But I'm not sure how I could do that all on my own - I wouldn't be able to decide objectively on the random words to use as my jumping-off points. That's where I turn to you, dear readers...

If you'd like to see me continue with my Mama Mondays (most likely under a different title, though), please leave a comment(s) with some theme words you'd like to see me work with.

In fact, if anyone would like to join me in these weekly writing ventures, please let me know that as well. Perhaps we could start a new adaptation on the Mama Mondays experience. Let's have some fun discovering the power of our words. I'm sure will be surprised with all the exciting experiences we can dream up, create and share.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Sweetie Saturday #85 - The "That Not Make Any Sense" Edition

When Sweetie was younger and she didn't understand something we told her, she'd always say,

That not make any sense.

Well, Sweetie? Lately, it's you who's not making any sense.

For example...

I love Sweetie's book Bear Snores On. If she'd let me read it to her every night at bedtime, that would be fine with me. Trouble is - she never lets me read it to her at all. She always picks a different book.

But the other night she finally agreed that I could read it. Great!

After the story, I commented about how much I really liked it, with Sweetie responding,

Yeah! I love that story!

You do? But you never let me read it to you.

Yeah. But now I've been to Hershey, so now I like it.

Huh? What the heck does that have to do with anything?! That not make any sense at all!


Similar reasoning was explained to me this past Monday when I turned the channel away from Bob The Builder.

Hey! Don't change the channel, Mama! I love Bob The Builder!

What? You hardly ever watch this?

Well, I've been to Hershey now, so I like it.

Whatever. Crazy.

(For those not keeping score - we went to Hershey Park this past summer. Obviously, it still holds a lot of great memories for Sweetie).


Sweetie drew a picture at school the other day - same as she does on most school days. But this picture was of a particularly interesting subject.

The school's bathroom.


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See? That's the potty itself (an aerial view) over to the right. Then, in the middle/bottom - that's the door to the bathroom, with the red (so we've been told) smiley face showing, indicating that someone is using the bathroom (as opposed to the green smiley face when the bathroom is free). And over to the left we've got Sweetie herself, getting some paper towels to dry her hands.

And that 1-2-3 business? Well, Sweetie's former 3-year old room teacher taught Sweetie the saying, 1-2-3, that's enough for me! (in terms of how much toilet paper a person needs to use). So that's what Sweetie's written here - 1 2 3 (squiggliness for the "that's enough for" part) Me.


Last night I let Sweetie stay up to watch The Polar Express. It meant going to bed about an hour and a half past her usual bedtime, but I felt it was okay, since today is Saturday and we've got nowhere to go.

(Plus, I secretly knew that if she went to bed later, she'd be likely to sleep in later too).

Then, about 5:30 this morning, Sweetie called Daddy to her room because her hands were all crinkly (asleep). So that disturbed her, and it was just a bit of work in general to get her to settle back to bed.

But that's fine too - because now she'll fall asleep again and really let us sleep late! Awesome!

Nope. Come 6:40 I heard her get up to go to the bathroom. Then she was playing in her room - not very quietly. Then, at 6:54, she came into our room to complain that it was too long to wait until 7:00!

Oh well. So much for my ulterior motives.

I guess your sleeping habits are making just about as much nonsense as you are lately, Sweetie.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Always Somewhere - and Sometimes, Something Else

Aaaaannnndddd..... here we go with another cold already. Great. At least it's just me this time - for now (knock on wood).

Hmmmm.....gee..... a quick look at my last several posts here reminds me.... things have gotten, shall we say, very formulaic around these parts.

A Sweetie Saturday here, a Mama Monday there, here a picture, there a picture, everywhere a health issue...

This old New England farmhouse sure is churning out some boring stuff lately. And I do whole-heartedly apologize for that.

That being said, I'm not here to make excuses. However, I suppose that's what the following is going to sound like anyway. Here goes nothing...

Now that I'm writing practically everyday at 3 separate sites, I suppose I feel the need to compartmentalize a bit, just to help keep myself organized.

Here I focus my writings on all things having to do with being a disabled parent with spina bifida (Ha! Isn't that exactly what this very blog was set up to achieve?! How... ironic).

Here I focus on more regular mommy-ish things, ideally with a New England bent to my postings.

So that leaves this here blog, my oldest "child", to suffer in the Land of the Forgotten. You know, just post some regular features that keep the "kids" coming back for more dependable - if not altogether inspiring - posts. That's all a blog needs, really - regular offerings a reader can count on. Who cares about quality, anyway?!

(Uhhhh... I do?)

But...well... never mind all that, then. Move along... Nothing to see here, behind the whiney lady who's too buuussssyyy to pay attention to everything everywhere at all times.

Actually - I think it's a very good thing that I've organized my writings so neatly. And, for that matter, that I have enough writing to do that it needs to be organized.

Heck, if it weren't for this blog in the first place, Disaboom would have never even known about me to ask me to blog for them. Nor would I have known about New England Mamas and/or considered myself a good enough writer to ask if I could join their ranks (Hi, Mamas! Happy Grand Opening To Us next week. The new site looks bea-u-tiful!).

As for here - I know I at least used to write more deeply-felt Wednesday posts. And I promise to try to get back to that. I'm sure after the holidays I can sit down and focus more.

And, yes, my Mama Mondays are sometimes thoughtful and interesting - but always at the hands of someone else's writing prompt. Yet, I do love the challenge of applying a random theme to the events of my life.

And thank Goodness that Sweetie is always good for a laugh or two! I love my Sweetie Saturday posts - probably the most. What a great way to keep a record of all of Sweetie's cute sayings and ideas. Plus it's entertaining for you all as well - at least I hope it is.

Sweetie? Promise me you'll never stop expressing the cute/funny/wise/creative/crazy ideas you come up with. You inspire me everyday with your intelligence, thoughtfulness and boundless energy.

And I promise you, dear Sweetie - as well as all you wonderful readers out there - that I'll always stick around too. Offering up as much hope, humor and energy as I can muster.

I just can't promise that you'll always find my best offerings here. But do check me out in all my different writing worlds.

Yep. I'm always somewhere. And sometimes - just sometimes - I sure am something else!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Mama Monday #85

Theme: Earth

Sorry. Just not feelin' up to it this week. So I thought I'd give y'all a quiz.

What on earth is this?

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Hint - I have posted this picture before, somewhere deep in my archives. I see something very definite in this splat. What do you see?


So, what's your take on this week's theme? Submit your entry today.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Sweetie Saturday #84

Last weekend Hubby and I celebrated his birthday a little early by going out for sushi and then to a comedy show. Sweetie slept over at Nana and Papa's house.

When I called my mom the next morning to ask how their night was, I was told that everything went well. Sweetie went to bed shortly after 8pm and never made a peep until after 7am that morning.

Mom went on to tell me that, after Sweetie got up, she went to sit with my dad - her Papa - and they cuddled close together in the chair.

Then - something wasn't right. Sitting all warm and cozy with Papa, Sweetie soon turned to him and, making a scrunched-up face, told him,

Ewww - smells like somebody needs to take a shower!


Last weekend was very birthday filled, as on Sunday we three headed over to my Hubby's parents' house to celebrate my mother-in-law's special day.

We were the first to arrive for the festivities, and Sweetie was soon asking her Grammy if there were any games she could play. Grammy brought down, among other things, an old game from Hubby's childhood (I think) called Brick by Brick

After looking at the cards and figuring out what the object of the game was, Hubby noted to no one in particular,

Oh. It's like tangrams. You have to look at the picture on the card and make that shape out of the pieces you have.

Upon hearing this, Sweetie became confused.

How do you play Teddy Grahams, Daddy?


Sweetie was whimpering in the middle of the night this week, complaining of having a bad dream. She was mostly alright, though, and only needed to rest with me a little while before going back to her own bed.

The next day I asked Sweetie,

So, what was your bad dream about last night, Sweetie?

Oh! The radio kept playing ABBA Mama Mia and I wanted to hear the next song. But it wouldn't ever go to the next song!!!

(When I relayed this story on Thanksgiving, my brother-in-law laughed, saying - Yep, that would be about my worst nightmare too.)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Cold Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Wishing all a peaceful, loving day - unfettered by rampant wild turkeys attacking your children.

(No, Sweetie's not shielding her face from the oncoming fowl. She's using her "bee-noculars" (magnifying glass) so she can get an even closer look).

Monday, November 19, 2007

Mama Monday #84

Theme: Giving

Hi Daddy -

Happy Birthday! Mama says you're not getting any birthday presents today because you have to order your own present from the tool magazine. But I think that's so sad. I wanted to give you a present just from me!

I hope you like this song, Daddy. I love it - just like I love you.

I Just Love You, Daddy. I don't know why, I just do.

I hope you have a great birthday!



Saturday, November 17, 2007

Sweetie Saturday #83

Well, I don't have much for you this week, but what I do have to offer, I think, is pretty funny...

Hubby found some information on a local acting troupe offering singing or acting lessons to kids of all ages. So I asked Sweetie,

Do you want to learn to sing, or learn to act?


You do? You don't want to learn to act?

What does "act" mean?

It means to learn to be funny, to be on a stage and do a show.

Oh! Yeah! That one! I want to do that!


I'm kind of surprised I've never mentioned this before. Sweetie has an unusual name for her own reflection - Rubber Band (It actually used to be Rub Band, but it's evolved into this current existence.)

If ever she's taking a bit too long in the bathroom, I'll go check on her and often find her making faces at and talking to herself.

Whattcha doin', Sweetie?

Talking to Rubber Band.


So last night as she and I drove home from Nana's, Sweetie was talking about her upcoming birthday party and who was coming. Nana, Papa, Grammy, Grampy, aunts, uncles and cousins - all will be invited, I told her.

And Rubber Band too?

Who's Rubber Band again?

Rubber Band! She's lives in our walls and in the mirror! She's my reflection and I named her Rubber Band. See, she's right here in the car window too.

And why did you name her Rubber Band? Is it because she's your reflection which bounces back at you? (My aunt actually came up with that reasoning when she heard Sweetie's reference during a visit this summer. Sounded good to me - albeit a bit too deep for a 'lil Sweetie to figure out).

Nooooooo! (a big huff of exasperation, followed by...) She's called Rubber Band because she likes to make Rubber Bands!

Well, duh! Of course! Why didn't I think of that?


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Busy Is No Excuse

Hey! You know what? I have a new little niece!

Actually, she was born at the end of September. The picture's I've seen prove that she's adorable and, from what I hear, she's a pretty easy-going baby. 

But - I haven't met her yet. And she only lives about 25 minutes away.


Hey! You know what? I have a new little 1st cousin-once-removed! (My cousin's - who happens to be a great friend of mine - new little son).

He's an even more recent addition to the family and I'll get to meet him a few days after Thanksgiving.

But - I've only sent my cousin a quick congratulatory email. I haven't yet called to chat with her (as I did after the birth of her daughter).


I feel so badly about this.

Yes, our lives - ALL our lives - are very busy. And we three all had colds recently. Then I had the whole eye trauma thing last week. And nearly every weekend day has been planned to a "T" since as long as I can remember (and will continue to be so until the end of the year, at least. I only know of one weekend day between now and Christmas that doesn't have something scheduled for us. Ugh!).

And I know I'll finally meet my niece this weekend at a family gathering. Then I'll see her again on Thanksgiving. I can't wait!

And I did just call my cousin tonight, but it wasn't great timing. The baby was crying and both parents were tired for bed. I'll try again soon - or at least be content in knowing I'll see them all in about a week and a half.

But still. I should have found the time by now to see my niece. I should have called my cousin sooner. Busy is no excuse. Everyone is busy - especially this time of year.

This time of year always stresses people so badly. For instance, Hubby and I have bickered in the past about what holiday commitments we're going to attend, and which we can (and agree to) shrug off. 

I personally have always liked all the holiday gatherings and festivities - bring 'em on, I say! But Hubby is one to prefer staying home as a family, decorating the house and/or cuddling up with cocoa and a Christmas movie.

But this year - I don't know, but I'm feeling a bit too "activity-laden" and not enough "home-based".

Yet, a few deep breaths and a quick check of our Christmas gift list proves that we've at least got things more or less under control there. And our datebook, while full, is packed with fun activities that all three of us are excited to participate in.

Bigger responsibilities. Bigger gift lists. Bigger holiday-related stresses every year. They just keep piling on.

But oh how the tiny additions to the family make this often tiring holiday season seem completely fresh and new again.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Mama Monday #83

Theme: New

Sometimes new is not so great.

That's why I'm currently writing this blog post a day ahead of time from my parents' computer.

Our own home computer is currently out of commission.

In trying to upgrade to the new and improved program system (yeah - I'm so impressive with my lack of computer lingo knowledge. Go on, you can laugh at me. I'll wait...), things went all kerfluey.

System down. Computer frozen. Things = ALL AROUND BAD.

Luckily, we are friends with a "Mac Guy". Hubby is, right this minute (as I write this) over at his house with our laptop, trying to get things all right again.

Last I talked to him, things seemed hopeful.

We are, as they say, cautiously optimistic.

Thus my reasoning for writing this elsewheres a full day ahead of when I need it posted. Must take precautions in case thing remain kerfluilus. (Yes, that's a word. Because I say it is, that's why).

New, schmew. I'll be thrilled if we just wind up with the same ol' computer we had before.

New is so over-rated.

Update, Sun. 11/11/07, 8:20pm - All better. Fingers crossed, anyway. Thanks to Hubby spending most of the day with our good Mac Guy friend, M____, plus another hour+ on the phone with him this evening, things are looking up.

When Hubby ordered this program, it arrived in the mail without instructions - the reasoning being that help/instructions can be found on the internet if need be.

Major flaw - if your entire computer goes down, you can't get to the internet to find the help you so desperately need.

BUT - Our friend M_____ is the Hubby of my friend L_____. And I met her on-line a few years ago at a mom's site.

SO - had I never met L_____ - through the internet - we'd not know M______. 

But I did, and we do. 

The point is - in a crazy, round-about sort of way, I guess we did get our program installation help via the internet.

Yay! Here's to new ways to make great friends! 

I guess sometimes new can be pretty wonderful after all.

Anyway - Thanks SO MUCH, M_____. You're the awesomest!

So, what's your take on this week's theme? Submit your entry today.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Sweetie Saturday #82

Sweetie's a smart cookie, but she still gets her divisions of time messed up. For example -

Last weekend I needed Sweetie to help me out and get herself dressed. Finally, she did - just at the same time my mom was arriving at our house to drop something off.

Where's Sweetie?

She's upstairs - supposedly getting herself dressed.

In a few seconds, she was downstairs - completely dressed.

Good job, Sweetie! Did you remember to put on clean underwear?

Uh... no. But - that's okay. Because I already did when I took a bath last year.


She's also recently told the dentist that her birthday is December 20th - which is correct.

Oh! That's really close to Christmas!

Yeah! Five weeks after Christmas!

Uh - no. Not quite.


Last Sunday was a lazy day in our house, with Hubby and Sweetie taking a late afternoon nap together on our couch. So cute!

Until... she couldn't fall asleep that night.

Well, what can I do for you? Should I take your nightlight out so your room is darker?

No - I think I need a rainbow in my room.

(That - thanks to my big mouth/big Christmas ideas. We saw this item in the catalog and I told Sweetie maybe she could ask Santa for it).


A few minutes later - still, she couldn't sleep.

Back up in her room, I told her that it was okay if she couldn't sleep - just stay in bed and rest.

You can talk to your friends (Kisses, Bunny and Curious George), you can think about happy things - fun things we can do another day. Just rest. Don't worry about sleeping - you'll be fine.

With me back downstairs, just a few minutes later - I hear Sweetie running from her room to the stairs - crying.

Mama! It's not working! My brain is CLOSED!


My brain is closed - I can't think of anything when my brain is closed.

Uh... Okay - do you want to rest downstairs for a few more minutes?

Yes - I think that will work.

Alright. Come on down and rest on the couch.

I'm not sure the downstairs "scene" was as thrilling as Sweetie thought it could be - Hubby was on the phone with an old friend and I was working on the computer. The T.V. was off.

It only took maybe 5 minutes before Sweetie declared -

Okay, my brain is open now.

So, you're ready to go upstairs?

Yeah. My brain is open now so I can think of good things.

Great! Let's go.


Hubby taught Sweetie how to play Mancala this week. She really took to it quickly and they've been playing marathon rounds of it every night Hubby is home.

On one of those nights, as Sweetie made her move (and, believe me - it was just "a move" - no big deal), we heard her proudly tell herself (while shaking her head in mock disbelief, with a sly smile on her face) -

I'm so ingenious.

On another night, when I played the game with her, the thing to say was That's the spirit! Everytime she moved a stone, she enthusiastically said this. And she told me I had to say it too.

Say, "That's the spirit!", Mama. It means - "That's the way ya play it!"

Okay, Sweetie. Will do. You've certainly got the spirit in you.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

taking the red eye....

Hello again,

Hubby here, with apologies from Amy.

Nothing in this household is so traumatic as eye trauma (Amy hates eye trauma, no matter how minor, and has thereby karmically brought it upon herself).

Not content to rest at pink eye (I hate pink eye) she's gone on to full-fledged, hollywoods-night-of-the-living-dead, evil-gypsy red-eye.

You can call it corneal erosion (which sounds way worse), but I won't. We don't talk of eye trauma in this house.

The lights are low, and things are quiet... for now at least.

Amy wishes you a good night, She's off to bed, accompanied by my dramatic reading of whatever her current bookclub selection is.... That'll get her mind off the pain.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Mama Monday #82

Theme: Running

Upon driving home later than Sweetie's usual bedtime on Saturday night:

Okay Sweetie, as soon as we get home, you have to get your pajamas on and go right to bed. And I have a trick to show you in your room then.

A trick?! What is it?!

You'll see. It's only in your room. It has to do with the time.

Cut to home - downstairs.

Okay, Sweetie - what time is it?

Looks at clock - 9:50.

9:50?! Wow, that's late. We're home late because of the party. You should have been in bed an hour ago! You're usually in bed around 8:50, not 9:50. So let's hurry up and get you upstairs.

Upstairs, in her room.

Now what time is it, Sweetie?

Looks at her big digital clock (which I had turned back earlier that afternoon) - 8:50.

Wait for it.... she's going to be amazed! Time? Running backwards?! Wow!... Buuuuutttt..... No. Not so much.

Even after reminding her that her bedroom was the only room in the whole house that was in a different time.

Hmmmpphhh. Hubby and I were so sure she'd be impressed with this "trick".


Kids are amazing. Their minds are so completely open to everything that, try as we might, it really is pretty hard to astound anyone preschool-aged or younger.

We - older kids, teens and adults - all know certain basic truths of science, nature and The Way of Things. For example - people can't fly of their own volition. If we actually saw someone who could do this, we would be so completely shocked that we'd surely faint from the awe of it.

But put a flying person in front of a small child and they'd be all - ehhh. So what. What else have you got to show me? They simply don't comprehend all the limitations we as humans operate under.

It's that openness to everything that puts Sweetie in a position to receive our "super-duper time-travel trick" as no big deal.

You sure are something, Sweetie. I love how your mind is always working. How creative and imaginative you are. You surely come up with some amazingly fantastical scenarios.

Yet, I also love how you keep searching for The Answers. You're at that fragile age between knowing some things can't possibly be - however, the "proof" is right in front of you, so of course it must be true after all (case in point - her belief in, and questions about, Jack's story).

Keep that brain of your always churning, Sweetie. Always running, full speed ahead, to find The Reasons Why things are as they are.

Yet never let those "facts" get in the way of Possibility, Belief, Dreams and Wonder.


So, what's your take on this week's theme? Submit your entry today.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Sweetie Saturday #81

Sweetie really had fun trick-or-treating with my dad on Halloween. But I'm not sure getting all the candy was the highlight for her - I think she was more excited about being out at night.

Papa Dave said she talked a lot! About the moon, and the stars (the moon's the daddy and the stars are all the brothers and sisters). Then there's Little Star who's the baby.

Sweetie narrated their trip as they went along.*

Wow! We're walking in the night! I love the moon! I love walking outside at night! Now I'm skip-a-doodling under the moon and stars....... (later) I want go back now because my eyes are starting to get cold.

* Sweetie's narrative as I imagine it, based on what my dad told us about their adventure together


Sweetie does really love the moon. She loves to watch the sky as we drive to our weekday early morning destinations.

Look, Mama! I see the moon! It's right there! And there's Little Star. I love the moon and stars. I wish we could build a rocket and go up high in the sky and see behind the moon.

Well, maybe when you grow up you can be an astronaut. Then you could do that.

Yeah! I really want to see behind the moon.


Sweetie came to our room a little after 6am yesterday morning, asking:

Mama, why is it so dark in my bedroom when my clock says 6:00?

Well, because its the time of the year when it stays darker longer in the morning.

Oh. I really thought it was night 6:00.


Upon picking Sweetie up from my parents' house yesterday evening, I was greeted with a great big welcoming hug.

Hi, Mama!

Then, looking at my sweatshirt -

Oh, you're wearing your.....


Yeah... your city sweatshirt.

My college sweatshirt.

Oh, your college sweatshirt..... Do you go to college, Mama?

I did go to college.

Oh. Congratulations, Mama!


Sweetie's made some pretty good observations this week:

When playing, and laughing, with Daddy -

Hey, Daddy! When you laugh, your mouth gets closer to your nose!

As we settled in the car, heading off to Sweetie's school -

A comma is just when you're a little sleepy. A period is a full stop.

Right you are, Sweetie. You're so smart.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Cold Hearted Post

Sweetie has a cold - she came down with it this past Saturday afternoon. But she's okay - she's always been able to handle sickness well, thank goodness.

I have a cold too - I came down with it yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon. I think I'm also handling it well. It's just the evenings and mornings that really stink.

Hubby (you guessed it) also has a cold. Or so he says - haven't seen much of him lately. But he, like me, is pretty okay with it all except for the beginning and ending of each day.

But what I'm really sayin' here is that I'm done. Sweetie's sleeping, nothing's on T.V., the dishes are done, and I feel yucky. I've got to go catch some zzzzz's.

In the meantime, don't forget about my other blog posts over at Disaboom and New England Mamas. I blog several times a week at the former, and once every other week at the latter. In both cases, I've posted as recently as a day or two ago.

Feel free to comment on my - or anyone's - posts at either sites. NE Mamas is open for anyone to post comments. Disaboom commenting is for members only. But registration is free and takes, literally, only seconds to do. Please don't feel shy about registering there - it's not only a site for the disabled community, but one for friends, family, caregivers or anyone at all who's interested. Everyone is welcome, so come on in! (no spamming either, which I know is a concern for many).

Okay. Goodnight. I hope to feel better real soon.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Mama Monday #81

Theme: Legacy

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Sweetie's Sundress, July 2007

Sweetie's sun dress, made by her Nana, with material from a sun dress my paternal grandmother once owned, then passed on to my mom.

Unknowingly, Oh, The Joys posted a lovely entry on this week's theme. Check it out and send her some love.


So, what's your take on this week's theme? Submit your entry today.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Sweetie Saturday #80

So last week y'all saw Jack's Story. But I didn't get a chance to tell you some other details of the day:

When Sweetie and I first got home that evening, she took off like a shot for parts unknown (well, okay - she took off towards the bathroom). Good! It gave me time to set up the Jack scenario and take some pictures.

Finally, I called to Sweetie:

Sweetie? Where are you?


But you've got to come here. You have a special letter waiting for you.

At that, Sweetie came out of hiding - completely, 100% naked.

See, she was excited to take a bath in our new bathtub. New in that, just the day before, Hubby had the pleasure of spending many, many hours with and many, many dollars on the nice plumbing and heating guy who replaced pretty much all the plumbing and fixtures in our downstairs bathtub.

Anyway, at the time Sweetie was much more excited about her impending tubby than her letter from Jack. But after the bath, that's when she started to get into it.

She was somewhat confused.

But, pumpkins can't write.

Well, apparently this one can.

But, he doesn't have any arms.

Maybe Noki (one of our cats) helped him write the letter.

Noki can't write either!

Then, a minute later, she's talking directly to Jack:

Jack - did you write the letter? How'd you do that? I love you, Jack. (accompanied by a big squeeze)


Later that day, at Pumpkin Day, Sweetie was bumped a little when we left the snack shop. I heard the college-aged guy who ran into her say,

Excuse me, little man.

Uh oh.

Not only did I hear him call her a "little man", but Sweetie heard him too. So she did what she had to do - she followed after him.

Excuse me, she said when she reached his side. I'm a girl.

The college kid was apologetic and admitted he didn't even really look at her. It's all good - Sweetie wasn't mad - she just felt she had to set him straight.


A couple weeks ago Sweetie was all instred (interested) in lots of things. This past week, she's been realizing lots of things. Actually, she's not been realizing things:

I didn't realize that Noki walked behind me while I played the clock game.

I didn't realize that you changed the channel.

Hi, Mommy! I didn't realize you were already here to pick me up!


More Big Girl vocabulary and thought processes of the week:

After taking the bagged leaves to the door, Sweetie discovered a large hole in the bag. Telling me about said hole, she then asked - You can handle this, right?

After discovering that her "map" had been folded and crumpled, Sweetie cried - But it's all folded up! It's folded diangolly!

After seeing a commercial for a tattoo removal cream - Actually, Mama. Ummm... I was wondering... what is a tattoo anyway?


On the spelling front this week:

Hubby brought home a gingerbread cake the other day. As we ate dinner, we told Sweetie about the cake we could have for dessert. But, in order for her to have a slice, we told her she not only had to finish her dinner but she also had to spell "cake".

I even gave her the unsolicited hint that it ended with a silent E.

Several minutes passed while she ate, and I asked her a couple times if she was ready to spell the word yet.

No - not until I'm done with my ravioli.

Okay. That's fine. Whatever.

Several more minutes passed. Enough time, anyway, that I pretty much forgot about the whole spelling requirement part of the evening. So it was especially exciting, impressive and cute when, all of a sudden, Sweetie was singing the letters C-A-K-E.

Very good, Sweetie! Now we can have cake and eat it too.


On another evening, we three were chillin' in the living room when Sweetie was looking at the cover of my latest Reader's Digest. Completely out of the blue, she read the subtitle of the lead story - 10 Not to Take.

As Hubby and I gaped in impressed awe at each other, Sweetie beamed proudly, telling us,

Now you say, "Very good, Sweetie!"

Yes - very good indeed. You're the best!