Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Don't Drink*, Don't Smoke, What Do You Do?**

* Okay, so I do drink socially. But we're, sadly, not a very social couple. So the drinking is a nice luxury when it does happen.

** Also, I don't swear. At all. I've said the alternative "a" word for bum a few times, mainly to make Hubby laugh. But other than that I can't even bring myself to say the mild "d" word (for darn it). How pitiful am I?

Anyway, even though I appear to be a completely upstanding citizen, completely without fault (cough, cough), Sweetie has still managed to pick up on my one and only (cough, hack, cough) bad habit.

Namely, my use of the word hate.

Now, I was raised to never use the word hate. You don't hate anyone., my parents would admonish. You can strongly dislike someone or something, but you don't hate.

That, and you don't say Oh my God. He had nothing to do with it., my parents would inform. Say Oh my goodness or Oh my gosh instead.

But back to the hate. That's how my brothers and I grew up - not hating. To hate was a very bad thing and it just wasn't done. And so, that philosophy has seeped into my being and become an innate part of me....

Until we got cats.

When they were kittens, all was well and cute and adorable fuzzy love. Then they turned into cats.

But really, they turned into dogs. At least my cat did.

She follows me everywhere. She is always under foot. From the moment I get out of bed in the morning, she is right in front of me, leading me on my journey to the bathroom. Then she's pacing at my feet as I sit on the commode. Then, since I sit on the bathroom floor to get dressed and put on my braces everyday, she constantly circles around me as I get dressed. With her fluffy tail in my face and her cold nose on my legs.

I push her away. I (gently) kick her away. I sometimes even throw her out the door. But she always comes back. Repeatedly. Every time. Every day. Non stop. It never ends.

And so, occasionally, unfortunately, regrettably, it comes out.

I hate you, Noki!


I once said it when Sweetie was right there with me.

You hate Noki? she asked, sad disappointed look upon her face.

No. I don't hate Noki. I just get annoyed by what she does. She's always in my way.


Then, I said it again at some point last week (and probably more times in between). This recent time, Sweetie was not right with me, but very likely close enough to hear if she wanted to.


Cut to a couple days ago when I changed the T.V. channel to Live With Regis and Kelly. Sweetie didn't want to watch it, but I was interested in the band that was featured. I told her to listen to the new song and see if she liked it.

I don't like this song! she said.

I hate this song! she continued.

I whipped my head around to look at her. She had this smirk on her face like she knew she just used a new word that she really shouldn't have used. She knew.

No, you don't hate the song. We don't hate anything. If you don't like it, fine. But you don't hate it.

No argument from Sweetie. She knew she was testing me.


I told Hubby about this incident. I told him I knew I was the party to blame. He reminded me of my use of the "H" word last week. I know, I know. I need to be more careful.

Some people have swearing jars, where money goes in everytime a swear word comes out. Maybe I need to keep my own kind of jar. The Hate Jar.

Cuz, in our house, hate is an ugly, ugly word.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Happy Feet

This week's MSO theme is "Song". But I'm still too sore.

Too sore to tell you how I sang the chorus of a French song (that I don't know the name of but which happens to have Sweetie's name in it) to her while she was in-utero. I'm too sore to mention that that song continued to be the only song to soothe her in her infancy, or to say how elated Sweetie was as a toddler when we introduced her to the real version of said song on a CD we were given. I'm too sore to tell you how fascinated Sweetie has always been whenever she hears music - any music. Too sore to tell you one of her favorite movies is Grease (or, as she calls it, the "Tubby More movie - think "Tell Me More"/Summer Nights song). And if I wasn't so sore, I'd tell you how much fun she and I have watching the new Grease-themed reality show on T.V. (although if the contestants aren't singing a true Grease song, Sweetie is sure to point that out to me in a very disappointed tone of voice.)

I'm just plain too sore to write much at all.

So - to make up for all that I'm not writing about, here's a video clip of Sweetie's latest favorite song (and movie, even though we haven't actually seen it yet). It's funny to hear her sing this one. She's got the lyrics pretty close, but not really, singing "Baby, Baby, whatcha waitin' for?"

Am I in trouble or what come the teen years!? Oh boy.

Anyway - Enjoy!

Sunday, January 28, 2007


So much going on!.....

We're home now. Hubby's desperately trying to not come down with a cold (and failing miserably). So I feel like I should do what I can to contribute to daily household living and management (giving Sweetie a tubby last night instead of having Hubby do it? - Probably not one of my brightest ideas).

I have an Audacity Magazine article due now (well, actually, it was due on Jan. 12, but as y'all must realize by now, I was a tad bit preoccupied around that time).

I've got paperwork to fill out for Sweetie for the dentist - paperwork I've had now for several months! Geesh! They said to take my time with it, but this is ridiculous!

I've got our finances to figure out and creatively timed bill payments to dole out into the world.

Hubby's got something wooden he's got to build ASAP for his dad (sorry for my supreme lack of details there - I get lost whenever he starts talking shop).

But first - my in-laws are coming over this afternoon to visit (haven't seen them since Christmas, now that I think about it) and the house is a sty!

I mean it. I know, I know. I so often complain about the sorry state of my house. But this time, even though it truly is a pit of doom, there's not too terribly much I can do to rectify the situation.

I can't vacuum. I can't constantly bend over and pick things up. I can't carry heavy loads of laundry. I can just sit, dictate clean up orders, and fret.

But Sweetie is actually being relatively helpful, putting things away as I ask. And I think Hubby is working on the kitchen clean up. Then he'll definitely have to vacuuum.

I can probably run a sponge over the bathroom sinks and such.

That'll do. I mean - it'll have to.

We warned them that they were welcome to come over, despite the state of our house. And of course they understand I'm under severe physical limitations. So it will all be fine. I guess. It'll have to be.

Until they come, maybe I can finally get to work on that article.

Oh, and a nice shampoo and teeth brushing might just cheer me up a bit too. Yes, that'll do.

Ah, the wonders of personal hygeine! Makes you feel better and makes your visitors that much more pleased to be around you.

Can I get an "Amen"?

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Sweetie Saturday #42

More with the "what" craziness...

My mom gave Sweetie a bath a few nights ago. Afterwards, while getting her dressed, mom pulled up Sweetie's pajama bottoms without first pulling up her undies.

Laughing at her mistake, mom said to Sweetie...

Is Nana silly, or what?

Ha! Yes, you're silly, Nana. But you're not what.


One great thing about Sweetie - she's easily amused. Case in point.....

When I was in the middle of all my mouth sores suffering, I had Hubby get me some Orejel Medicated Mouth Sore Swabs. To activate a swab, you have to break the tip of one end so that the numbing medicine flows down into the other cotton swab tip.

That evening, as Sweetie was getting ready for bed, she was wondering what her bed game would be this time around. Luckily for us, bed games can be as simple as doing a patty cakes type hand clapping game, telling a couple knock knock jokes, singing a quick song, or whatever. Easy peasy, that's the point.

Quick thinking Mommy to the rescue! I took out one of my mouth swabs, broke the tip, and let her watch the other tip magically change color and fill with medicine.

Watching in absolute amazement, Sweetie proclaimed...

Wow! That's a really, really great bed game!


As this past week went on, Hubby and I (and Sweetie) got more and more anxious to return to the comfort of our own home. We decided that we'd go home Friday (yesterday - yay! We're home! How nice!)

The next morning I said to my mom....

(Hubby) and I think we'll go home Friday.

Then, before mom could answer, Sweetie very seriously and solomnly inquired....

Can I come too?

You sure can, Sweetie. You know it!

Ahhhh.....There's no place like home.


Bonus "Proud Mama" moment....

Another part of Sweetie's bedtime routine is going potty one last time of the day. Because she does this, she's always been able to make it through the night without a bathroom visit.

Well, the other night, when Hubby put her to bed, both Sweetie and Hubby didn't remember to stick to this part of the routine.

And Sweetie hadn't gone potty for hours before this.....

So she went to bed, no big deal. All was well.

Then, at 12:55 am, Sweetie woke up, ran to Nana and Papa's room (thus waking Hubby and I up in the nearby guest room), crying that she needed to go potty.

She made it to the bathroom just fine, did her "thing" and happily/easily went right back to her room, Nana tucking Sweetie tighly into her Dora sleeping bag/inflatable bed. She slept well for the rest of the night.

That's it. That's the whole story. But - wow! I'm just so proud of her that she was able to wake up, recognize her need, ask for help and get the situation resolved without much fuss (other than waking up 4 people in the process).

Great job, Sweetie! You done good. :)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #12

As suggested by my mom - I now present:
13 Reasons My Mom Kicks Tushie
(Boy, this is really hard to keep down to only 13 things!)

1) She's opened her home to myself, Hubby and Sweetie as I recover from surgery

2) Even though she's not feeling well herself, she takes care of me as I recover, as well as any and all of Sweetie's needs, wishes and demands

3) She quietly plays with Sweetie in the other room as I take my daily nap (or two)

4) She cooks and serves me meals on the couch - anything I want

5) She does our laundry

6) She runs our errands

7) She comes home from the store with "treats" for both Sweetie and me

8) She serves me a glass of wine in the evening

9) She gets up with Sweetie in the morning and lets Hubby and I sleep in (if we're able to/so inclined - but mostly, we get up too)

10) She lets me watch American Idol (or pretty much anything else I want) when she'd rather watch history shows, movies or sports

11) She gave Sweetie a really cute, desperately needed, haircut

12) She's a great cheerleader/motivator/caretaker/nurse

13) And she's an awesome Mom, Mother-in-Law and Nana.

Thanks, Mom, for Everything!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Oh Yeah... Sweetie

Enough about me. My temp's down, my mouth sores are healing, I'm walking around. I'm good. 'Nuff said.

Other than a few quick mentions of Sweetie wanting to go home/playing at home for awhile, I haven't really talked about how she's faring with my recovering.

In a word: great.

I've shown her my incision, when it was all taped up, and she was somewhat interested, but not really concerned. Every day she asks me if I'm still sore. She's become a wonderful "braces and shoes retriever" for me, as well as anything else I ask her for. If I call her from the other room to ask her a question or to do something for me, more times than not, she will come to me and answer my requests. She listens well to all her authority figures in the house - Nana, Papa, Mommy and Daddy and even cousin Abby. She announces when she has to go potty, but takes care of it all by herself (other than the occasional help washing her hands). Except for one night of major defiance, she's sleeping well in her new, makeshift bedroom in my mom's office. She spends her days playing school with all her friends, pretending she's Sharkey the dog, watching T.V. or running errands with her Nana. She's eating well. She is great.

Some downfalls - some days she isn't getting dressed until around noon. That has got to stop. Also, she has about - oh, I don't know - 7 to 10 friends she sleeps with now as opposed to her 3 faithful friends at home. Will she miss them all once things are back to normal? There is, of course, some grandparental spoilage of the Sweetie that we can only hope won't be a problem once we're just the three of us again. Then there's the fact that the one regular time each day that the most people are here - me, Hubby, Sweetie, Nana, Papa, our niece and her boyfriend - is in the evening, close to Sweetie's bedtime. So it's difficult to keep her not too riled up. Then we need to all keep pretty quiet once she is tucked in because we're in a Ranch style house and she's sleeping just around the corner from where the rest of us are gathered. But Sweetie's got both a fan (for white noise) and a heater (to combat the cool air of the fan) going in her room and she's behind a closed door to keep out all the sounds. So, so far, so good with all that.

We three are anxious to be home, yes. That looks like it'll happen very soon, which will be nice. But, for the time being, we are all doing well with Nana and Papa. I'm ever so grateful for all the help I'm getting and the quiet nap time I'm able to sneak in. And Sweetie is behaving, for the most part, just wonderfully.

My Sweetie - such a big help, such a big girl.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Mama Monday #45

Theme: Acceptance

Hi There! Gonna make this short and sweet, since I'm slowly recovering from my surgery and still not up for a long-winded post. But I do believe I'm the one who suggested "acceptance" as a theme to take on, so the least I could do is write something.

Ask me any other time of the year, under different circumstances (I.e. - not so self-absorbed in my own aches and pains) and I'm sure I'd write something entirely different. But, as it stands, I'll just tell you all about a certain challenge I've accepted to take on.

It's called Small Change and it's the brainchild of my friend Beth. She discusses the whole premise here, over at her ClubMom blog - Diary of a Playgroup Dropout.

Basically, she's calling on the large and wonderful power of the blogosphrere to come together and, individually, do what we can to help others - specifically, children. See, she's always wanted to contribute to charities revolving around children. But she never thought she, on her own, could do enough or had enough to give to make any sort of difference. Therefore, if we all band together to do whatever we can, then that in itself will be a significant help!

I've joined her "army", as have many, many others. Together we are going to tackle monthly challenges, report to and support each other on a regular basis, and, in short, make a difference.

Why not click on over and see if this is a challenge you're ready to accept as your own?

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Still Here, Still Not Kickin'

Yay! I made it! I stayed regularly dosed with Tylenol yesterday and that helped keep my temp down. But the last time I took that was about 4:15 yesterday afternoon (except for my heavy duty pain killers that I take at bedtime and in the morning - they have some Tylenol in them too). I took my temp just a little while ago and it was only 98.2. Ya hoo! I think (knock on wood) that I'm in the clear.

I'm getting around a little better too. This morning I was able to get myself out of bed and to the couch without assistance. And my middle-of-the-night bathroom trek was not nearly as painful as it's been the previous nights. Pretty good, considering I only took one heavy duty pain killer at bedtime instead of my usual two!

I guess maybe my biggest complaint right now is the sore on the roof of my mouth. I think it must be from the air tube that was there during surgery, although this pain didn't start until a couple days after surgery. But my mom's out shopping this morning and I've asked her to get me some Ambesol or something to numb the pain. Hopefully, that will also get it to heal faster too.

As for Sweetie, she did get to go to Noki's house yesterday with her Daddy. She got to play in her kitchen (- What did you cook in your kitchen, Sweetie? - Chick peas!) and helped gather things to bring back to Nana's while Daddy bottled some homemade beer, did some laundry, fed the cats and prepped some food to bring for dinner. What a guy!

So - we're all doing well. Up until now I haven't felt like reading, playing games or doing much of anything. But this afternoon does seem like a good time to break out the Scrabble board or Blokus as we await the playoff game between the Patriots and the Colts.

(My mom said to me yesterday - Remember, tomorrow it's football! I thought she was (jokingly) saying that I was going to play football. Hah! Good thing, cuz I'm not feeling that well yet! And, quite frankly, I don't think I ever will.)

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Sweetie Saturday #41 - The Non Edition

You know, since I've not been around Sweetie all that much this week, I've really got nothing to report for her.

The most interesting development, though, is that last night she was crying that she wanted to go home and sleep in her own bed. I felt bad for her. But it's interesting to see that, even though she loves being at Nana's house, she does understand that home is home and that's the best place to be. Soon enough, baby girl. Soon enough.

As for me, Hubby and I spent 3+ hours at the ER last night because of my 103 degree fever. Actually, I was so close to getting out of going (the local doctor said that if it was below 101 by 8pm after taking some Tylenol, then I really didn't need to come in since I had no other major symptoms of infection.). My temp was down by 8pm, but by then my surgeon had called and he wanted me to go in anyway. Ugh.

Three 1/2 hours later, we were finally on our way home again. They did some labs on me and the local doctor said that I was close to having a UTI, but not quite there. And the mesh they put in me seemed just fine - no infection. If it was up to her, I could have been treated for the UTI as an outpatient and been sent on my way. But she had to call my surgeon, and he would have preferred that I be re-admitted for 24 hours so I could get a good, strong antibiotic IV going, which would take care of everything.

However, both docs knew how anxious I was to just go home and rest there. So that was okay. But today, I have to watch the fever again and if it goes over 101, then I will have to do the 24 hour hospital stay. Ugh.

So - we'll see. If I write tomorrow, you'll know I'm home. But if you don't see anything new from me, then I ended up back in the hospital.

Let's hope for staying home, shall we?

Friday, January 19, 2007

Back From The Dead

Hi There, Everyone! How the heck are ya?

I'm doing well. I've been home from the hospital since Wednesday evening, and now we're chillin' at my parents' house while I get through the first bit of my recovery. I'm VERY sore and pretty tired, but I'm alive.

The surgery went well and the doctors think the incision is healing beautifully. One surprise, though, that the surgeon came across was an egg-sized (5cm) cyst on my left ovary. He removed it and sent it for the required testing, but he was certain that it looked benign and nothing at all would come of it. So that's good.

I'm sorry I didn't write sooner than this - my parents' haven't had internet service since the ice storm that went through here on Monday. Today Mom finally spent almost an hour on the phone, trying to work out this very frustrating situation and, long story short, she did. We're back up, baby! Phew! Any longer without a connection and I think I would have died!

Well, that's it for now. I'm been sitting at the computer for too long now. Gotta go. I'll post again as soon as I can (knock on wood, I should be able to get back to my regular posting schedule now).

Take care and thanks for all the well wishes.


Sunday, January 14, 2007

Isn't It Ironic, Don't Ya Think?

Early this week I started to feel congested again. Not truly coldy, and not even very bothersome. But most noticable when I lay down in bed at night - just congested. Ugh. Not this again.

As the week went on it all got just a little worse, but still manageable. Stil no drippy, stuffy nose. Just an overall feeling of congestion.

Two nights ago, during the overnight hours, my throat hurt so incredibly bad and I felt the worst that I had all week.

Yesterday, I was just plain "blah". Still generally congested, but now with lower back pain and abdominal pain/bloating/soreness/yuck. Okay, so maybe this was more flu-like than cold-like.

Now remember - I'm due to have surgery tomorrow and I'm not to take pretty much any meds for the week leading up to it. But I did talk to the nurse at the hospital on Friday and she said I could take Sudafed for the stuffiness. And I already knew I could take Tylenol for pain (but at that point there was no pain yet).

The nurse went on to say that , if I only had a cold, that would be no problem for surgery - I could still go through with it. But if a fever developed, then I'd have to call the hospital and things would most likely have to be postponed.


But, like I said, that was Friday when I still thought I only had a minor cold. So all, pretty much, was going well and staying on track.

Then I felt the yuck and pain of yesterday's issues. I felt so yucky, in fact, that I cancelled my last date out before surgery with Hubby. Instead we stayed home and had spaghetti. I hardly felt like eating, but I knew I had to have something because today is All Beverages, All The Time day. I'll not have another meal until post-op tomorrow evening.

Anyway.... all this to say that last evening, after taking some Tylenol (had to send Hubby out for some since we're more Advil type folk), I actually started to feel better. But then....

I woke up 2 or 3 times overnight from the pain in my back and in my abdomen. I went to pee a couple times overnight (when I usually make it through the night just fine). And I woke up more than an hour before Hubby or Sweetie because I was in such agony.

I took a hot bath, but it didn't help. I took more Tylenol, but after an hour it still felt bad. I had to have help to get to the bathroom. In short, I'm just miserable.

What? Is this the mother of all UTI's? I've had many UTI's in my life, but it never has felt like this. The coldy portion of my illness seems to have pretty much ceased. So that's good. But I'm just dealing with this horrific, monstrous pain around my middle. Lower back pain worse than it's ever been. Abdominal pain. Just pain.

So I looked up the symptoms of uterine prolapse. Hmmmm. Lower back pain. Abdominal pain. Heaviness. The possibility for a UTI, urinary frequency. The whole lot.

Okay, then. Let's go with that. I'm just feeling the effects of my prolapse. Big time. Finally. Just a couple days before I'm scheduled for surgery to take care of it. Hmmph. Whattayaknow?

Yeah, I suppose it could be a UTI as well. But I've already asked about that in regards to still having surgery. I'll be on so many antibiotics because of the procedure that a UTI would be no problem at all and would be taken care of because of all the meds I'll be on.

So - I just have to get through today. Sweetie is going to my parents by early afternoon so I can stay home and take care of my cleansing regimin ('nuff said. Y'all don't want to know. Seriously). Then it's up to the hospital early tomorrow morning. Soon enough I'll be feeling better.

Who'da thunk, though, that the major soreness we've been telling Sweetie I'd be feeling after surgery would start the weekend before the surgery.

I guess it's time. Gotta go. Not sure when I'll get in front of a computer again, but hopefully I can have Hubby post a brief entry within the next couple days to give you all an update. I'll write again as soon as I can.

Thanks. Take care. I'll see you all again soon.


Saturday, January 13, 2007

Sweetie Saturday #40 - 2 Days To Go Edition

I'm done with work now for awhile. And I got the call about my hospital arrival time on Monday (mid morning instead of early morning - yay!). Hubby and I are going out tonight to celebrate my last day of freedom before my surgery (for tomorrow is pre-op dietary restrictions day). Life is about to get very different around these parts.

So, for now, on with the usual Sweetie-ness...

One recent morning I asked Sweetie what she wanted for breakfast.

Do you want a breakfast bar? Bread? (yeah, she's weird like that - bread is a great meal for her). Or what?

(no response)

Oatmeal? Do you want oatmeal?

Yes! Oatmeal. Oatmeal is a "what" food.


This past Sunday I went out to meet with my Book Club, leaving Sweetie and Hubby at home.

When I got back, Hubby greeted me at the door, immediately telling me that Sweetie had fallen within the past half hour or so and now had a pretty good goose egg on her forehead. He went on to say that he was able to get some ice on it and she was just starting to feel better.

Then I went in to say hi to Sweetie and I found her happy as could be, entertaining our friend Mark (who was about to go to the movies with Hubby).

Hi Sweetie.

Hi Mommy.

How are you?


Great? - That's great!... Did you have fun with Daddy?


Anything exciting happen while I was gone?

(thinking hard for a few seconds, then coming in close to excitedly whisper - loudly - in my ear)...

Daddy tickled me!

Obviously, she was feeling better, since that wasn't the response I was going after. That's the great thing about kids - they bounce back quick!


Sweetie is loving her Hello Kitty Surprise Ink activity book that she got for Christmas (thanks again, Uncle Rob and Auntie Wendy). She loves coloring over the seemingly empty spaces and discovering the hidden pictures that appear.

She was playing like this a couple weeks ago when she colored over a space and uncovered a picture of a house. Sweetie was excited....

It's a house! It's a brick.... house. (sung to the tune of the popular Commodores song).

Mind you, Lionel Richie had just been on the Today Show the previous day, singing this song. And we had heard it again in the car just hours before on our way home from her school. Apparently, it really stuck in Sweetie's head.


We all went out for dinner last Saturday night - for sushi! Sweetie came along, but she dined on a clementine, goldfish and peanut butter crackers instead.

As the waitress came to take our order, Sweetie piped up before anyone else could say a word.

My Daddy wants sushi!

Then, after I placed my order of California Maki, Sweetie made sure the waitress understood....

That's a kind of sushi too.

Yes it is, Sweetie. And one day, you're going to love it!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #11

In honor of National Delurking Week, here are 13 blogs my Hubby and I have commented on (some new finds, some regular haunts).

1) Whoorl

2) Peach & Pearl

3) All & Sundry

4) The Woman Wonders

5) Much More Than A Mom

6) Kerflop

7) Pinch My Salt

8) Everybody Likes Sandwiches

9) Chocolate and Zucchini

10) David Lebovitz

11) Matt Bites

12) Woodworking Dungeon

13) Lumberjocks

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Delurking Loser of Invisibly Helpful Droopiness (Duh!)

A little confused by my crazy post title? Well, it's simple - I've got a lot to talk about in only one post. Voila! Thus creating the Crazy Post Title of All-Inclusiveness.

First off - Happy National Delurking Week 2007! The week where everyone who visits but does not typically comment is called out on the carpet - not because you're in trouble or anything. But because we bloggers (me! me!) want to know who reads us and what you're thinking.

In honor of this wonderful week, I'm committed to visit - and comment on - as many new blogs as possible. And I would love it if you did the same - starting with mine! So, without further ado....

If you regularly read me but never seem to leave a comment - now's your chance!

If you're a semi-frequent commenter - hello there, Friend! What's on your mind?

Or if this is your first visit - drop in and say Hi! How ya doin'? What's up?

To all of you - Thanks for visiting - hope you enjoy your stay. Feel free to stop back soon and often.

As for the rest of my rambling thoughts - can I just say what a complete loser I am?!

First of all, a coworker lent me a book on tape - oh, about 2 months ago! - and I misplaced it until just this past Monday!

I tried to return it to her this week, since I'll not have enough time to listen to it before I'm gone for 6 weeks recovery. However, nice coworker that she is, she encouraged me to keep the book so I had something to listen to while I'm out. She didn't need it back right now, so it was okay.

Well, guess what? I don't know where it is. I have one more hunch to check out, but if it's not there - it's gone. It's got to be somewhere. I just don't know where. Maybe I'm not meant to listen to this book after all.

Then Sweetie and I stopped to fill the car's gas tank on our way home tonight and - yep. No debit card. Had to put it on the credit card (which I'm trying desperately to stay away from these days). Thankfully, this lost item didn't remain lost too long. When I got home I checked more pockets and it turn up. Phew! That would have been a bad one!

Okay, okay. Maybe I'm not such a total loser after all. But I am kind of feeling a bit invisible these days. Work is preparing for my time away, so new routines and schedules are being set up all around me to cover my duties. But, ya know, I AM still there this week. Yet people are acting as if these new schedules and procedures start now. What, am I supposed to sit in my cubicle and twiddle my thumbs all day? I don't think so.

Well, I guess it's better to see the effects of how things will run while I'm out than to be overwrought with stress and crazy busy work right before my time away.

One place I'm definitely not going to feel like an invisible entity is over at my friend Beth's Club Mom blog. She's starting a new campaign for bloggers to gather together and commit to helping others - specifically, children. She's calling on her readers to join forces with her and promise to do at least one caring act/month to benefit children. She's even providing us with specific challenges to complete and a list of agencies we can go to for even more caring suggestions. Check it out and join us - if you dare to care!

As for me. I already tutor students in all things literary, including study skills and SAT prep, whenever I get the call to do so. And Hubby and I contribute to our local Santa Fund every year in Sweetie's name. This year she gave several of her nearly new/never played with stuffed animals to other kids less fortunate than she. It's a tradition we're excited to keep up, teaching Sweetie to care for others and think about what she can do to help this world out in any way she can.

I'm excited to get on with the Helping and Caring - definitely! But I probably won't be up to doing too much caring for others until after I've taken care of myself post-op. My lower back has been hurting more than usual for the last couple weeks or so (maybe prolapse related???). And I do feel somewhat heavier and droopier than usual (if you know what I mean). Maybe my poor ol' uterus is desperately trying to make its last great break for the big outside world - and so this surgery is coming in just the nick of time. If I had to wait any longer - I don't know what would happen. Best not to think about it and just be grateful that this situation is, once and for all, about to be all taken care of. The end.

That's it. I best be going now. I just need to sit myself on the sofa and chill with Sweetie for a bit. I better not try to accomplish anything too difficult tonight. Heck! I could bearly get us in the house this evening!. It was dark. And cold. and I DID have my keys. But, try as I might, I just couldn't get it to fit in the key hole!

After about FOREVER I finally - wait. for. it. - turned the key over, and in it went. Just like butter.


Now - we're here. We're safe. We're chillin'. Hope you're all doing the same.

(Hey! I have an idea! Why don't you leave me a comment and tell me if that is, in fact, what you're doing! What a concept! Commenting! What will they think of next?)

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Normal - That's All

I took Sweetie to school this past Thursday, but she was none too pleased about it (yes, she's started that again). She fought about it at home, but then seemed resigned to the fact of school during our car ride there. But as we parked the car, she really started in again about how she didn't want to be there.

She was crying a little and whining, and I was doing what I could to talk her into helping me out and going into the building with me. As we sat in the car - the two of us trying to stand by our own convictions - Sweetie finally seemed to come around. Her only concession?

Will you pick me up, Mommy?, she whined to me from her booster seat.

I can't pick you up, Sweetie. You know that.

No. Will you pick me up after?

Oh! Pick you up after school? No. Nana will pick you up. I've got to go to work.

That's it. That's my entire story. But for some reason I just thought that was very interesting that Sweetie, of course, knew exactly what she was talking about and was not trying to get me to do something out of my physical limitations. She legitimately thought I might be able to pick her up because, for the last month or so, I've had Tuesdays off. So I have been able to both take her and pick her up from school. I just couldn't that day. That's all.

If ever we're out and about as a family and I need to take a minute to sit down and rest - that's okay with Sweetie. She never questions why. She'll either sit quietly with me or she and her Daddy will go off ahead and I'll catch up in a minute.

If I happen to be too clumsy and fall down while puttering around my house (something that happens probably a bit more than for the physically able person), Sweetie will just look at me and offer up that...

I'll go get your stick, Mama, so that you don't fall down again.

In short - Sweetie just gets it.

On one of those occasions where I picked Sweetie up at school within the last month, one of her classmates did ask me why I had my walking stick, why I had those things on my legs, or some such related question that I've heard from a million and one other young children in my lifetime. I took the opportunity to politely and simply explain that I just needed a little more help walking around.

Sweetie was right next to me during this exchange, but yet she didn't flinch at the question. In fact it seemed as if she possibly didn't even hear the boy's inquiry. But I know my daughter better than that and I know that that girl hears just about everything (except those things you want her to hear, of course). So I'm guessing that she simply didn't care. She knows me. She's cool with my deal. So who cares what others say or think?

I'm thinking that once Sweetie gets into a more regulated school situation - around about kindergarten or 1st grade - once she's with kids that she'll likely go through several years of schooling with - then I might offer to the teacher(s) to come in as one of Sweetie's show and tell projects. I can introduce myself to the kids and tell them a little about spina bifda and why I wear what I wear and why I walk the way I do. If I take the time to get familiar with Sweetie's classmates, then they'll feel more comfortable with me whenever I'm around, maybe more comfortable with Sweetie, and with people who are a little "different" in general.

I don't know for sure yet, though. We'll have to see. I mean, if I do this for Sweetie's classmates, that experience may in fact be the first time Sweetie hears for herself exactly what I'm all about. It may do the opposite for Sweetie than what I hope it accomplishes with her friends. If I point out to Sweetie in such a "formal" situation what all my differences are, then she may in turn start to think of me as different. And Heaven knows I don't want to do that.

It's funny, isn't it? My talking to a bunch of able-bodied youngsters about what makes me tick - and, in fact, what we all still do have in common anyway - is the very situation that may point out to Sweetie that I am, indeed, different than other mommies out there. And it could make her uncomfortable.

I know I've said it before. This is pretty much an often recurring topic in my blog. But, nonetheless, I am Sweetie's "normal". Billy's mommy has blue eyes. Johnny's mom has diabetes. Annie's mommy is the CEO of a big company. And Sweetie's mommy wears leg braces and walks with a walking stick. It doesn't matter. It's all good. It is what it is.

That's all.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Sweetie Saturday #39 - It's The End Of The World As We Know It Edition

We live in New England. And it's January. We should be buried under mountains of snow and suffering through sub-freezing temperatures right about now. But instead? It's in the freakin' 60's, people! And the only thing we're suffering from is dreary rain and a somewhat still stuffy nose (that last one's just me). This crazy weather - sure, it's nice and all not to have to worry about ice and snow. But I'm tellin' ya - it's just not right. Not right at all. Surely Armageddon is right around the corner. I'm just sayin'.

Still, through it all, Sweetie remains her typical sweet and funny self...

I've been prepping Sweetie for my upcoming surgery and for her role in my recovery. I've told her that I'm going to have to stay in the hospital for a couple days, then when I come home I'm going to be really, really sore and will need her help to take care of me and be a good girl for me and Daddy. I've also told her how she'll not be going to school while I get better so she can stay home and help me get well.

So this past Monday evening I mentioned to Sweetie how the next day was a school day.

And then I'll come home and take care of you after the dentist?


Oh... I mean the hospital.

Oh, yeah. But not yet. In a couple weeks.

Then one night at dinner, out of the blue, Sweetie asked me...

Are you sore, Mommy?

Huh?...... Oooohhhh... No, I'm not sore yet. But I will be pretty soon!

Oh. Okay.


Last weekend we went to Target to make some Christmas exchanges. With our store credit, I got Sweetie a new story for her T.J. Bearytales and told her she could get something new for her kitchen as well.

We gave her the choice between 3 wooden toys - a working toaster with toast, a wire basket of foods, or a birthday cake that you could "cut" into pieces, put candles on and/or other treats.

She chose the birthday cake. And she was sure about her choice. How do I know? We asked her about 3 or 4 times.

Yes. The birthday cake. I'm sure that's what I want.

Well wouldn't you know, after playing with it for about 10 minutes back at home, Sweetie deemed it the absolute worst choice she could have made and threw a 45 minute fit over how she wanted the basket of food instead.

I don't remember how it all went down, exactly. Because I know at first we were telling her she could either keep the cake or take it back to the store and get nothing. But somehow we took pity on her (I think Hubby looked more closely at the cake and could understand what a not-very-exciting toy it was). So we ultimately told her that, if she could be very good for a whole week, then at the end of that time we could talk about maybe trading in the cake for the food basket.

So, guess what today is? Yup - she's made it through the week pretty well behaved. And she knows it. She came in our room this morning and excitedly asked...

Is it O Store Day?!

She ain't no fool. She's been working hard at being good, so it looks like we'll be making that exchange today after all. Let's just not remind her about that toaster, m'kay? Cuz there's no way in heck she's pulling this I changed my mind game again.


Oh, and another thing about this morning.... Last night I put Sweetie to bed, telling her that she could get up in the morning at 7 or 8.


So who strolls in our bedroom at 6:37 this morning? You know who.

Sweetie, it's still only 6. Can you please go back to your bed until 7?

Oh. Sure.

And that was that. She went right back to bed - until exactly 7:00 on the button. Wow! That was incredibly easy. Cool.


Lastly, I thought you all should know that Sweetie has started to play more with her Paz Car. But not in the typical way that you'd think she'd play with it.

The girl can spend huge amounts of time putting guests into her car and carrying on imaginary conversations amongst them all.

Are we there yet?

See all her guests?!

In her car there she's got: Paz, Dog, Pig and Rabbit (all the "guests" that came with the car) and then there's: Tigger, Winnie the Pooh, Piglet and Eeyore, plastic giraffe chop sticks, a parrot from the Littlest Pet Shop Happy Meal prize collection, a Surprise Ink marker, a bottle of infants Tylenol, a blue plastic butter knife from Sweetie's kiddie utensil set, a metal hair barrette, a scratched (losing) lottery ticket, a flip book showing cars going down San Francisco's Lombard Street, and last but not least (I think, anyway) - a wooden tree from her train set. And she's made them all safe and secure, held together with rubber bands and ribbon. How thoughtful.

She did drive it last night too, I should point out. All the way from our coffee table you see in the above picture to where you see it sitting right now. Woo hoo.

What a nut.

Oh, and she's of course still loving her kitchen. But even with that, she's found a new way to incorporate one of her other Christmas gifts - Mini Gear Oliblocks. See?!

She found all the the metal places - including that pole and all the metal screw heads she could find (most were even painted to match the kitchen, but she found them anyway) - so she could install all those fans.

That's Sweetie for you - she's got one great imagination. Oh, and she's crazy.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #10

Thirteen Things I'm Lovin' Right Now

1) Sweetie calling me Mama recently

2) Sweetie snuggling with me on the couch almost every night

3) Sweetie sitting stock still, snuggling with me, as we watch the entire Little Mermaid movie. It's my favorite Disney movie and it looks like it just may be a new love of Sweetie's.

4) Lazy parenting toys like Sweetie's kitchen and T.J. Bearytales - Go off and play, Sweetie. Make me something in your kitchen or have TJ tell you a story. Mommy's restin'.

5) My parents - for their generous offer to have us stay with them for awhile after my surgery. This will make it so much easier for me to get around in their 1 floor living space, and Sweetie will have constant supervision (easing the pressure off Hubby a bit and allow him to go back to work sooner and earn us some money).

6) Six weeks of no workee, baby!

7) Hubby getting just as excited as I am that one of my favorite aunts is coming up for a visit this weekend.

8) Sweetie's Pre-Kindergarten curriculum - for including the fine arts. I'm excited for her to start going to school 2 full days per week in a couple months from now. She'll get more opportunity to learn about culturally important subjects and people - always a great thing.

9) American Idol starting the day after my surgery

10) You're The One That I Want reality show starting this weekend

11) Oprah's encore show the other day featuring the effects of a Challenge Day in a typical U.S. high school - powerful stuff

12) Peanut M&M's

13) Hubby, as always, for all his hard work preparing pre-cooked meals for me to enjoy post-surgery. And for taking an active interest in getting me through the procedure as calmly and healthfully as possible.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Calm Before The Storm (Of Goodness)

I was all set to write tonight about some really cute/great things goin' on in the house of Noki (the cat). But then I realized I could, like, save that info and stuff for tomorrow night's Thursday Thirteen. And so... you, and I, must wait. for. it. Oh well. Doncha just love cliff hangers?

In other news - well, gee... let's see. So as not to ruin my Loveliness Laden List for Thursday, I guess I'll talk about... how I'm getting pretty stressed at work these days. Lots to do before I'm outta there next Friday. Including the fact that I don't think most of my coworkers even have a clue I'll be out for 6 weeks on medical leave. I thought my boss would say something, but as far as I know, that hasn't happened. Thus leaving me with the awkward responsibility.

Yeah, so... I'm not gonna be here for several weeks starting real soon. You're going to have to find someone else to help you with that/you're going to have to do that for me while I'm gone. Sucka....

I'm thinkin' that's not really going to go over so well.

What?! I mean, who cares that you're having major abdominal surgery which will strip you of all your feminine femininity female parts and cause you much pain and soreness and woe for several weeks on end. It's all gonna mean extra work for ME!

Actually - no, I'm kidding. I'm quite certain my co-workers will wish me nothing but the best and will do everything they can to make my time away feel as stress-free as possible for me. But what really is stressful is just wrapping up the loose ends and making sure my back-up replacement is as comfortable as can be with all of my daily/weekly responsibilities. But in the end I know everything is in good hands and all will be fine. I hope.

Okay, then. That's about all I can say right now. The Lovely Sweetness of Life will be divulged tomorrow. Sorry you had to suffer through this less than thrilling, even boring snippet of my life that is not all happy happy, joy joy.

But, hey! - If the worst thing going for me is tying up work junk and working a little bit harder before a really long rest period, then I think I'm doing A-OK. Life could be a whole lot worse, I say. So - good for me!

See you Thursday night!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Mama Monday #44

Theme: Uberlist

Oh, man. A list. An "Uberlist", in fact. I can't deal.

I usually am a list maker. That's not a problem for me. But I'm not a resolution maker. So the idea of an Uberlist of things to do/see/experience in the new year is particularly daunting to me.

I know the point is to list 107 items in this list. Well - that's not going to happen. At least not right away. Keep coming back all week and check out my list as time goes on. I'll add to it when I think of great things to be included.

For now - let's start the list off with things I'd ideally like to accomplish before my hysterectomy in two weeks.

1) Take down the Christmas Tree and other Christmas decorations

2) Remove junk we don't need/want/use from our house - a New Year's cleansing

3) Have my mom over to help Hubby and I resituate our downstairs living space. She's great at coming up with new furniture arrangements - we need a boost

4) Tie up loose ends at work and write an "Uberlist" of responsibilities and instructions for my co-worker who'll be doing my job while I'm out

5) Find time to relax, read my new book I just got for Christmas, and maybe get back into counted-cross stitch projects (that will be something great for me to work on while recovering)

6) Go out to dinner one more time with just Hubby - one last "hurrah" date night before reality of recovery sets in.

7) Make sure bills are all paid up on time so Hubby doesn't have to think about it while I'm out of commission.

8) Really start to work out a plan/schedule for how life is going to be post-surgery. Who can come over when to help me out? What exactly can I do and not do to help myself? Just get as prepared as possible for the aftermath. (Yeah, I know. There's not much I can really prepare for here. I have to actually see what life is like post-surgery before I can know what I'm up for doing or not. But as long as I'm aware that things will definitely have to be much slower/quieter afterwards - that's probably as much mental prep work as I can do.)

9) Do what I can to better prepare Sweetie for her role in my recovery - i.e. - being as helpful as she can be to me and her Daddy, being gentle with me, behaving well for Daddy and I, and getting her to be a bit more independent so she can do what she can on her own. (Yeah - I know - again. This is a huge one. And pretty much nothing but an impossible dream. But at least I can dream, right?)

10) Try not to stress too much - about work, home, surgery, recovery - nothing. Yeah - I really am dreaming now.