Saturday, September 29, 2007

Sweetie Saturday #76

Well, I actually have a whole mess of cute things Sweetie's said this week - all written down and ready to go.

But then she just had to come home from Nana's the other day with a cute little coloring book of her own creation. Totally her idea. And the pictures are oh so cute.

So - funny Sweetie-isms will keep for next time. Today - you get Sweetie drawings.

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Our little artist. What a smart cutie!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Aha! Moment

I just realized why Sweetie always suffers head injuries when she's alone with her Daddy, but never when she's with me.... I'm not physically able to do all the crazy activities that lead to such trauma!

Sweetie fell on her face when we where playing wheel barrow.

Sweetie got jabbed in the cheek with a pickup stick when we were playing magic wands.


Monday, September 24, 2007

Mama Monday #76

Theme: Aim

I am a short, tiny woman. I also have small feet that, because of my leg braces, require me to wear only flat (but not too flat) shoes.

You need to know these things so that you can understand how difficult it is for me to find clothing and footwear for myself.

(Hmmmm.... maybe that's why I don't ever crave shopping for myself - it's almost always a futile quest).

But there is a family wedding coming up.... and there's my sorry collection of pants to deal with on a daily basis.... and Kohls does have a petite section. We'd be near Kohls anyway when we go on our date on Saturday night....

Might as well give it a shot, then.

Okay, so I did make my way to the petite section of the store. But it seems to me like they cater more toward the short-but-larger woman. I could find sizes P8-P18 with incredible ease. But my P2 size - nada

(Yes, I too was shocked to see I was a P2. Last I knew I was a P4. But then I remembered that the clothing industry in general has been altering their sizes so that, for instance, P4 is the new P2. So there - I'm not shrinking after all....).

I was able to find a pretty skirt for the wedding, which I'd simply pair with a top I already own. But, unfortunately, I didn't try it on (I did try on a similar skirt of the same size, and that one fit okay, so I just figured....).

Got the skirt home and... it's too big.

I found no pants in my size at all. Bah.

I did find 2 pairs of shoes. So, there's that, which is awesome. But still....

After that depressing shopping excursion, Hubby and I found ourselves still with about 2 1/2 hours before our movie was to start. So now what do we do?

Well.... the L.L. Bean Outlet is right here. Might as well bop around in there for a bit....

Jackpot! I found not 1, not 2, but 3 pairs of pants that are just my size. Yay! I can finally get rid of my black maternity pants! Woo hoo!

Not only that, but Hubby got a boat builder's jacket he's wanted since last year - at half price. And - bonus! - we found the perfect pair of high top pink-and-green (Sweetie's favorite colors) sneakers to gift her with after a (hopefully) uneventful overnight stay at Nana's.

Hmmmm..... my aim may have been off with thinking Kohls would bring me shopping success. But, thanks to a little bit of extra time, a little bit of redirection, and a whole lot of luck... great finds were able to be found, purchased and adored...

(Note 1: I must say, I had good aim in picking my Hubby too. He never complained once during our shopping trip as he waited for me to try things on. Or when he witnessed me getting depressed as I found nothing - at first - that fit me. Then, when I did find some appropriate things, he didn't complain in the least when I wanted to buy them. He knows the difficulties I find in this area, so when things that fit are found, he understands that I should snatch them up right away.)

(Note 2: As for my wedding guest outfit - I figured out something to wear from clothes I already have. I'm keeping the skirt, though. I do love it and I need to gain some weight anyway. With any luck, it will fit me just fine for the holidays).

(Note 4: Sweetie was not as thrilled with her new shoes as Hubby and I were to give them to her. We honestly thought she'd think they were the greatest things she's ever, ever seen. Ahhhh.... not so much. Oh well. I still love 'em.)

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Note 5: Thanks to everyone who took a shot at guessing the subjects of these photos. Aim was right-on for most on picture #1 - canned tomatoes they are! And FOM got it right (finally) with picture #2 - a close up of one of Sweetie's kitchen "fan". Thanks for playing!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Sweetie Saturday #75

I'm happy to announce that Sweetie has gotten much better at Simon Says. It's now a rare instance where we can mix her up in the game.

This past week she and I were playing and I used the opportunity to quiz her smarts.

Simon Says, What's 2+2?


Simon Says, how do you spell dog?


This went on for a while, with me asking her basic intelligence questions appropriate for her age. But one answer that did kind of happily surprise me was when I asked her,

Simon Says, name a country other than the United States.

Without much pause, Sweetie excitedly answered,


(See there? Maybe we do talk about you guys a bit after all!)


Speaking (indirectly) of my far-off cousins, my aunt and uncle from Georgia (my cousin's parents) came for a brief visit earlier this week. How wonderful to get to see them again!

Sweetie has met my aunt and uncle before, but that was about 2 years ago. So, in preparation for their visit, Hubby and I went over with Sweetie who these relatives were (Nana's brother and his wife, Asa and Emmy's Granna and Papa, etc., etc...).

When they arrived at Nana's and Papa's house, we were there (along with many other family members) to greet them. We all had dinner together, visited a bit, then left for home.

Once home, I explained to Sweetie that she had to go to bed soon. But tomorrow was a Nana Day, so she'd get to see everyone again.

You'll get to play with everyone - Nana, Papa Dave, Aunt Claudia, Auntie Sue, Aunt Janet and Uncle Jeff.

Uncle Jeff?!

Yes. My Uncle Jeff. Not Abby's daddy. (one of my brothers is named Jeff too. So Sweetie has 2 Uncle Jeffs).

Oh. I LOVE Uncle Jeff!

Wow! That's great! (You hardly acknowledged him at all at Nana's tonight. But...) I'm sure Uncle Jeff with be thrilled to hear that.


Other Sweetie-ish things from this week.

Sweetie: I know, Mama! I know everything!

Me: Oh yeah? What's 6+7?

Sweetie: (without even a moment's thought put into it) I don't know.


Sweetie playing under our kitchen table with her stuffed friends and her telling us that her Teddy was having a Wine Party.


After listening to Sweetie babble on and on and ON about one thing or another...

Hubby: Sweetie, do you talk this much at school?

Sweetie: Well.... I surely do!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Mystery Bloggeter 2007

Blah. Blah, blah, blah. I'm feeling blah. And glandular. And yucky. Don't want to feel yucky! Yuck.

So tonight, instead of a funny and/or thought provoking essay on life in general, you're getting funny and/or thought provoking pictures:

Do you know what this is?

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How about this?

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Go ahead and give me your best guesses. Maybe I'll pick a winner to win.... something. Or, maybe not. Yeah. Probably not. Cuz, really, it's not all that difficult to figure out what these things are, if you ask me. But still...

Guess. Or not. I don't care.

Ugh. Yucky, stinkin' glands.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Mama Monday #75

Theme: Respect

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This is a really awesome book and a wonderful activity-&-information0-filled website. It's marketed as a place for kids with spina bifida to go to learn and grow. But I really think it's a great site for any child - disabled or not - to visit.

Teaching all kids everywhere to respect the differences of others and to not be afraid of those potential friends who may look, act, or move around a little differently than themselves. How cool is that?!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Rejoice, Reflect.... Relax

Friends - today is the day!

Today is the day to Rejoice, for we have been sent word of a wonderful new website - A website aimed at disabled adults seeking information, support, and friendship. The site is up and running already with a ton of interesting articles, blogs (like mine!) and communities. By the end of September it will make its official premier and be a true thing of beauty. - Transforming the way people living with disabilities communicate.

Today is the day to Reflect. For, as a member of the Disaboom blogging community, I am presented with the perfect opportunity to sit back and remember all the things that got me to who I am today - the loving and capable mama (who happens to have spina bifida) of my healthy and active Sweetie.

See, here at Sweetie & Me, I'm mainly writing about the here and now. And the reality of that is moving much more toward plain ol' "mom stuff" and somewhat away from the "disabled" mom stuff. Yes, of course my spina bifida will always and forever be a part of my - and Sweetie's - life in little and big/significant and insignificant ways. But for now, I see that Sweetie's growth of body, spirit and independence is only allowing the Disabled Mom Issues to take a bit of a back seat to the general Parenting Issues. So that's mostly what you get when you read me here these days.

Enter - my Disaboom blog. The place I can get back to basics. Back to the beginning. Back to a forum where a whole new group of interested people can easily find my stories about the early days of Sweetie's existence (and pre-existence) in our lives.

Of course, I truly hope that Disaboom allows me to stick with them long enough to get to The Now. I am excited to talk about it all over there. What an exciting adventure to undertake!

So, with all of this.... today is the day to Relax. For today marks my last Sunday post here at Sweetie & Me. As I now regularly contribute to three blogs (this one, New England Mamas, and Disaboom), I am writing one place or another every single day of the week. Except Sundays. I hereby declare Sundays to be Writing Free Days. Family Days. A Day of Rest. The End.

I invite you to join me at NE Mama's on alternating Tuesdays (the 1st and 3rd weeks - this next Tuesday being the 1st week); at Disaboom on alternating Tuesdays (the 2nd and 3rd weeks), every Thursday, and alternating Fridays (the 1st and 3rd weeks). And right here at Sweetie & Me every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. Got that? Man! I'm just everywhere!

Phew! That's a big schedule! I better go lie down for awhile so I can gear up for all I have to do.


Just so we're all on the up and up - my new blogging gig at is a paid position. New England Mamas - now that's just for fun.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Sweetie Saturday #74

Sweetie's big thing to work on these days (so sayeth her parents) is Listening. Ugh! How the stubborn child doth like to fight and ignore... ignore and fight! All the live long day.

To try to teach her about listening in a fun and interactive way, she, Daddy and I played Simon Says last weekend. (well - Daddy and I called out the commands while Sweetie tried to keep up with us).

Long story short - Simon Says did not go so well. She didn't listen close enough to hear if Simon really told her to do something or not. It actually may have been partially our faults, though. I think we may have given too many Simon Says commands in a row before finally throwing one in without the necessary prefacing words.

At one point I was so fed up with her just not getting it that I found myself being short with her, saying....

Sweetie, this is not a ga......! I mean. I know we're playing a game here, but we're also trying to teach you something. You need to listen much better to hear whether or not Simon Says to do something. Pay attention!

After a little more time, Sweetie did finally have a couple successful rounds. We were delighted that she finally was listening and we told her how proud we were of her.

Me. Good for you, Sweetie! Come give me a kiss.

She did not come running.

Hubby: Simon Says give Mommy a kiss.

At that, Sweetie came bounding toward me, jumped on the couch next to me, and.... threw her Kisses the Hershey Kiss stuffed friend in my lap.


On a different day - a rainy day - Sweetie looked out the kitchen window and proclaimed her exasperation with the weather. Then she continued, showing Daddy with her hands that,

This (showing a diamond shape with her hands) is the shape of raining water. This (adjusting her hands to make a triangle) is the shape of a Hershey's Kiss.

Uhhhh.... do you think someone had a good time on her recent family vacation? Cuz, I mean... I don't know. She never really talks about anything we did or saw while we were there. And she definitely doesn't play with any of the souvenirs we got her. Hmmmmm.... I wonder?....


Radical change of subject - straight ahead!

Every night right before going to bed, we tell Sweetie go potty. Often this is met with a whine,

... but I don't feel like I have to go potty.

Well, you have to try. Go try to go potty.

Oh, okaaaaaayyyy. I'll tryyyyy.

Then there are the times when, for instance, we're about to leave to go someplace and we ask her to try to go potty before we head out the door. In these cases, many times after she emerges from the bathroom she'll excitedly tell me,

Hey Mama! I didn't have to try to go potty. Because I feeled like I had to go. So - I didn't try. I just went!

Good for you, Sweetie. Good for you.


Along with Sweetie's need to grow some good Listening Ears, she's also got to get a grip on life in general these days. What does this mean, you ask? Well, basically I'm just saying that the last couple weeks or so have been filled with lots of fights about her not wanting to go various places. And then, once there, her not wanting to come home from said place.

So, of course, Sweetie threw a fit the other evening when I picked her up from Nana's house after work. She was not interested in going home at all. I'm talking, dead-weighted flailing child, rigidly stiff body of fighting child not allowing anyone to buckle her in her car booster seat, and death screams of doom. The whole 1 1/2- year old baby F.I.T.

Once she was finally, unhappily situated in her seat and we were driving home, Sweetie continued to whine for the entire trip.

But I don't want to go home!

Well, we could pretend that we're not going home. Let's pretend that we're going to our castle!


Yeah! And Daddy's driving to the castle now too. It's a race! Who's going to get there first? King Daddy or us - Queen Mommy and Princess Sweetie?

Yeah! And maybe we'll get there first and I can be the Princess of Corn on the Cob. And Daddy will be the King of Corn on the Cob. And you're the Queen of Corn on the Cob.

Uhhhhh. Okay. If that's what makes you happy, then.... Just stop the incessant fighting and whining.... PLEASE! Because the Queen (of Corn on the Cob)? She is not amused. :(

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Help!... No, Wait. Don't. Or Do, I Guess - If You Want. Oh, I Don't Know - I'm So Confused!

One morning while in Hershey, we went outside our hotel to catch the shuttle bus to Hershey Park. And we were surprised to see a really. long. line.


Admittedly, we were lucky the previous times we'd used this service - getting to the pick up/drop off spot just in time to hop on the bus before it took off for its destination. Perfect timing! But not this go-round. No sir.

Having read the large sign in the entranceway of our hotel, we knew that the shuttle came by every 30-40 minutes. So who knew if we were joining the line close to the arrival of the next bus or just after the last bus took off? We'd just have to wait and see.

At any rate, from our far back position in the line, we figured that even when that next bus showed up, we wouldn't make it on anyway.

And we were right.

Oh well - we'll get on the next one for sure.

Grumblings and kvetching continued all around us, but Hubby and I just stood and waited. And Sweetie was surprisingly patient as she quietly stood and waited with us.

Next bus finally arrived. And we're getting closer. And closer. Closer still!

Close, but no cigar. The group of 3 in front of us could fit on that bus. But no more. We now were the first people to enter the next shuttle bus!


At first I was all,

What? Can't they see I'm disabled? Don't they see my braces and walking stick? Can't they make room for just three more? Or couldn't the group in front of us have been gracious enough to allow me and my small family to go on instead of them?

But, really... no matter. Actually, Hubby and I were thrilled to get rid of that party right in front of us. They had nothing but pure negativity spewing from their beings. Nothing was right with them in their chocolate-smothered world.

So, fine. Get on the stinkin' bus! Just go away from us and allow us to be as happy as we can be given the current glitch in the day's plans.

And you know what? It all worked out just hunky-dory anyway because as soon as that bus pulled away, 2 smaller vans and another full-sized bus pulled up to take all the rest of us to the Park. We ended up riding with a pleasant group of about 10 people, with a very friendly driver who deftly drove us through the back roads of Hershey, PA (avoiding the huge traffic jam on the main roads). We got a mini personal tour of the area. And we pulled up to our drop off point at Hershey Park just in front of the bus that left before us.

Ah.... Karma. Dontcha just love it?


And another thing.... This past Monday Sweetie and I went to the Post Office together. As we parked the car, I reminded her of The Rules - stay with me, hold my hand, no silly walking, and listen to me at all times. Got it?

Okay, Mama. Got it.

So we got in the Post Office just fine, took care of my business, then headed back to the car. But Sweetie, this time, did not want to hold my hand - only walk with me without holding my hand.

Whatever - as long as she really stayed with me.

But, of course, she started getting silly. Started getting skippy. And I implored her to please stop and please hold my hand.

Then (betcha didn't see this coming?)... she tripped on the pavement when my walking stick had the audacity to get in the way of her skip-adoodling.


HUGE screaming cries emitted from poor Sweetie (who actually wasn't hurt in the least - thank Goodness). And there we were - in the exact middle of the Post Office parking lot - both down on the ground waiting for her to calm down.

(That is, I immediately knelt to the ground right where we were so I could comfort Sweetie and assess her damages.)

And... there was at least one customer walking in the Post Office. And.... there were at least two Postal employees who were filling the trucks nearby. One of them, I know, did make eye contact with me.

But nobody came to help.

Again - I was all like,

Jeez! Can't a disabled mama get a little help here? Clearly I could at least be offered some - you'd think. But, noooo.....

And then... we were fine. In actuality we were probably down on the pavement for not even 30 seconds before I convinced Sweetie she had to get up so we could get to the car (that's interesting too... If Hubby had been with us she would have instantly insisted that he pick her up and carry her to the car. But with whatever - she doesn't even begin to ask such things of me. She knows better - even in distress).

Getting her to get in the car was somewhat argumentative (as is her wont recently with most things). But, finally, she did that too. She was not scratched up at all and we were able to make our way home. No harm, no foul.


In both cases I did initially feel an affront that my disability wasn't taken into account. At the same time, in both cases I was proud of myself to take the higher road, not complain, and get things settled in my own way.

I am woman. I can do anything. Since I am a disabled woman, it may mean taking a different route than most others would. But I get things done and I do it, usually, pretty well.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Mama Monday #74

Theme: Ambivalence

One behavior of mine that I'm none too fond of (although I tend to think most moms do the same thing) is this - upon hearing the "wondrous" milestone-surpassing achievements of nearly any child, I - somewhat completely beyond my control - feel I MUST put in my own two cents about the wondrous milestone-surpassing achievements of my Sweetie. That is - I act completely ambivalent and unimpressed with whatever the other child's skill is and am all, like, Oh, Sweetie does that/did that too. In fact, most kids I've seen about that age can do that. It's not really so amazing - except, you know, it IS amazing that Sweetie can do it. But not your kid. Psssshhh. Whatever.

Ummmm. That's bad, huh? Not very nice of me, right? But - on the other hand (come on, you can admit it) - it's so totally true!

I think moms (well, parents in general) absolutely pull out all the stops when discussing their kids with each other. - Oh, Tommy could read at 2 1/2 years old! - My, that's amazing! Annie could memorize whole poems by the time she was 2 years old. - Wow! That's awesome! Come to think of it, there was one story - and it was a long one - that Sweetie knew by heart, and she was only 1 3/4 years old.

To be real - I do honestly feel that kids are developing, as a general rule, at a faster pace than even the current "official" guidelines suggest. For instance, Sweetie, at 4-years old, can do some math, can read fairly well, has an excellent memory, and is very tech-savvy. But I make no claim that Sweetie is smarter/better/funnier/cuter than the average 4- year old. She is smart, funny and cute - but so are many, many others.

Sweetie walked at the typical age when kids start to walk. She's the average weight for kids her age. She is taller than most 4-year olds, but considering the height of her paternal grandfather and great-grandfather, that makes complete genetic sense.

I guess I just figure that the other things she can do - remember things so well, the fact that she had a large vocabulary so young, and can get around the computer with ease, among other things - are all pretty typical of pre-schoolers/kindergarteners in this day and age.

Maybe that's why I act the way I do when talking about other kids? Yeah - that's it. Cuz - man oh man! - try to one-up me with the accomplishments of your own kid and I'll come back with an air of bored ambivalence every single time. (well, you know. I do try to give you and your child the enthusiastic props you're digging for, but then....)

Kids these days - they're all just too dang smart!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Hubby Sunday - Special Edition

You know, they say its too expensive these days to have kids. But it's so worth it to not always have to go upstairs yourself.

(said after sending an eager Sweetie up to turn on the A/C in her room).

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Sweetie Saturday #73 - Multi Media Sweetie Edition

Ummm..... I don't think it's much of a secret that Sweetie watches more than her fair share of T.V. At home on the weekends we try to fill our days with other activities. But evenings and Nana Days seem to have a lot to do with all things T.V., videos and the like.

So of course, for the last 3 weeks or so, Sweetie has been asking me almost every day,

When is Labor Day, Mama?

Why? Because that's when the "all new" kids shows start on our local public TV stations.

Sweetie, in fact, had been so excited for Labor Day to finally get here that I once asked her (jokingly)...

Is Labor Day your favorite holiday?

And she answered (seriously and enthusiastically)...

Yes! Because all the new kids shows start!

Come last Monday when the Big Day had arrived, Sweetie happily watched all the great programs - Super Why, Word World and new episodes of Curious George.

Looking at my happy, learning-curious little girl, I leaned over to give her a kiss.

Happy Labor Day, Sweetie.

Happy Labor Day, Mama - as I got a special holiday kiss right back.


It always surprises me when Sweetie can be heard around the house singing some of the catchier commercial songs she hears throughout her days.

I want to be one less, one less! O-N-E-L-E-S-S. I wanna be one less!

Wow. I've heard this Gardasil commercial so many times and I don't even think I could spell "one less" as fast or as accurately as those double dutch girls - or Sweetie - can do it.

I've also heard Sweetie singing Blondie's One Way or Another and wondered how in the world she knows that one? Oh, that's right. It's in a Dannon Fruision commercial.

She also really digs this commercial for Chips Ahoy cookies. Hubby and I once told her they were singing an 80's song. So now every time Sweetie sees this she tells us,

Look! Those silly cookies are singing The 80's Song!


Still, sadly, on the same subject (in a round about sort of way) - I asked Sweetie the other day what she wanted to be for Halloween.

A cat!

A cat? Okay.

Yeah - I want to be a cat.

That's fine. And what would your kitty cat name be?

Ummmm.... Rhianna.

Rhianna? How'd you think of that name? (I have a cousin-in-law named Rhianna, but Sweetie's never met her and I very rarely - if ever - talk about her.)

I don't know. I just had it in my mind already. Yeah - it was in my mind and I said it, so now it's out of my mind. But - it's still in there too. I just knowed that name Rhianna already!

Well, okay then. Let's just hope that the few occasions I've showed Sweetie my cousins' blog was the miraculous inspiration for how Sweetie got this name in her mind. And not, you know, this video by Rihanna that features a song Sweetie really has taken a liking to.


Speaking (still) of songs, the most time we ever spend listening to songs is when we're in the car. Unfortunately, we spend a lot of time in the car (as we live a good distance from most things we have to and want to do in this world). So, whenever we're anywhere else (the grocery store, the doctor's office waiting room, or watching singing shows on T.V.) and Sweetie hears a song she recognizes, she always excitedly tells me,

Hey mom! I know that song! It's a song in our car!

Yeah, that's our car alright - one big ol' song-playing machine.


Bad news - Sweetie got one heck of a splinter in her toe last weekend. She was very brave, though, while I worked to get that sucker out. She, of course, screamed her ever lovin' head off. But she was kind enough not to kick me in the face one bit while I dug around in her toe with a pin for about 10 minutes.

However, last night when Sweetie went to put her jammies on, I noticed that besides from her whole self being all sweaty-like, her feet were A) incredibly dirty and, B) (looking closely at her toe) still splinterized (I guess I didn't get it all out after all). This meant another unfortunate round of splinter hunting action. Oh, yippie!

Again, even though Sweetie did NOT much care for this, she was pretty good and pretty brave.

As her reward, I told her she could take a bubble bath and add some of my chocolate-scented bath salts to the water too - even though it was now 8:45 pm and she should be getting into bed, not into a tub. (Hey - don't judge! A) Sweetie likes baths - especially chocolate scented bubbly ones - so this was definitely an awesome reward for bravery in her eyes. And, B) yes, Sweetie typically goes to bed later than the average 4- year old. Note the "much time in the car" thing I mentioned earlier. We have long days, long commutes, and late suppers. So Sweetie gets to stay up a bit after we eat before going to bed each night.

Aaaannyway....... ALL this to say that, after Sweetie's bath, she and I watch a little of the Fashion Rocks concert (Now, I couldn't send her to bed with a soaking wet head, could I?). First performer up? Fergie - the very singer who sings one of Sweetie's favorite songs - Big Girls Don't Cry. Of course, Fergie didn't sing that song. But she did sing Glamorous, which Sweetie recognized instantly from this singing superstar's performance on So You Think You Can Dance (oh, and I also think it's in a commercial too. As is the Big Girls Don't Cry song. Yeah, that's right - more commercial hooks for Sweetie to get her groove on to).

Then a couple performers later - Avril Levigne, who sang Girlfriend. Now I was the one to remember watching a dance number to this song on SYTYCD. And Sweetie remembered too, once I reminded her. Then she added,

Yeah! And I know this song too because it's in the car!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Lots and Lots of Not Very Much

Uhhhh.... so..... it's Wednesday already, huh? That's nice. I guess to many of you it feels like a short week, what with the holiday and all. But not me - I have Mondays off from work anyway, and I took my Labor Day holiday off from work last Thursday. So this week is just same ol', same ol' to me. Bummer.

So... can't really think of anything to post about tonight. And believe me, I've been trying to come up with something.

Oh! I could write a funny post about how I think all my aches and pains and medical annoyances and life-in-general-hassles are related to spina bifda. Yeah! They've just gotta be, right? Well, no.

I could write about the back and forth discussions Hubby and I have been having over the last few weeks about what to do with Sweetie and her education for the next two years. Does she move up now to the next level at her private day care center, thus solidifying the decision that she must go to public kindergarten next year? Or do we have her repeat the Pre-K program, thus allowing us to decide at a later date whether she'll go to public or private kindergarten next fall? Won't she be bored if she stays back, though? Oops! Doesn't matter. Her teachers think she should repeat this last year because she's not yet ready, socially, to move on. (Grrrrrrr!!! How dare you tell me my child isn't ready to move on! She's clearly awesome and smart! I mean, who cares that that's ultimately the decision Hubby and I reached on our own anyway. But, still. Let's just not talk about it anymore....).

I could reach back into the recesses of my memory and relate more stories that discuss how I managed as a disabled mom to my infant daughter. I mean, that is pretty much why I'm here, right? Well, yeah... but... I can't really think of something right now that I haven't already mentioned somewhere in my archives. So just look there for now, okay?

Or, what about current stuff? What's difficult/challenging for me in terms of raising a pre-schooler? Uh..... not much, actually. I mean, not much related to my spina bifida. It's difficult/challenging to raise a pre-schooler anyway - ask any mom. I just can't think of anything in particular that is particularly more difficult for me and my given abilities.

I could talk about how frustrating it is to me that there is still not much information out there for women with spina bifida interested in having children. It's now been 5-6 years since I was looking for such literature and/or help from the greater medical professionals. But women I've recently been in contact with tell me that this lack of info is, sadly, still very much the case. That's just too depressing to even think about.

On that note, I'd love to tell you how pumped I am to start a revolution to get more and more adult clinics for spina bifida patients established in this country. I know my local SB chapter is prioritizing this for the upcoming year and I hope to be able to help out with that as much as possible. I mean, all us SB kids from the 70's and 80's are all grown up now and, you know, we need some advice and guidance too. But, realistically, I don't know what I can personally do to get a crusade going or how much time I can truly give to the cause (considering the meetings for my local SB chapter occur on typically inconvenient nights for me and - oh yeah - not in my home state). I will try, though, to do what I can. Anybody with me?!

So, see? I tried, I really did. But I really don't have anything to say tonight. Sorry about that. Better luck next time.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Mama Monday #73

Theme: Lullaby

Hmmmmm..... of all the themes to trip me up, who'd have thought that it would be this one?

We all love music so much - especially Sweetie. It's so funny to hear her singing along to the radio (pretty accurately, too) and/or coming up with her own little ditties. She's such a dramatic little performer that, once she reaches the proper age, Hubby and I are definitely going to get her into some local children's theater.

But calming songs - lullabies - now that's not something Sweetie's interested in. At least not these days.

As I know I've mentioned here before, there used to be a song I'd sing to Sweetie when she was an infant. And this song would, without fail, calm her down and lull my over-stimulated babe to sleep. It worked like a charm - as long as I was the one singing it.

This was a song Hubby had learned while he studied in France. A friend of his there would play it on the guitar. Hubby liked it so much that he taught me a small portion of the lyrics (since, as someone not familiar with the French language, the simple chorus was easy enough for me to remember). It has a gentle, easy tune and I, too, loved it instantly.

Hubby even now keeps in touch with one French friend in particular. A few years ago, this friend found a CD with the much loved song on it and generously sent a copy to us. Upon playing the song, we were surprised to hear a much more upbeat version than we had been gently singing to a sleepy Sweetie. But it was still a great song that Sweetie instantly took a liking to and still to this day absolutely loves to hear and sing.

So, from a soft, soothing lullaby to a peppy dancing tune Sweetie can really get excited about - this particular song sure means a lot to our little Sweetie.

Find the song here - and enjoy.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Of W(h)ine and Song

Did someone, somewhere decree that all Sundays are now International Whining Day? Or maybe it's a newly declared American holiday. No? Oh. Okay, then. I guess it's only a "special" day for we three fortunate folks in the House of Sweetie and Me. All I know is that Sweetie sure knows how to do it up right - Every. Single. Sunday.


Anywho, enough about the whine. Moving on to the wine! (and this time, some not associated with The Traveling Vineyard - although, if I had my druthers, they absolutely would be).

Yesterday we hosted Nana and Papa for dinner. This, in exchange for their decorating sense (Nana's) and brawn (Papa's) while we produced our own version of FreeStyle for our living and dining room areas. The rooms now look great and our evening meal together, while meager, was tasty nonetheless.

Before the turkey burgers and chips were served, mom and I toasted our furniture-rearranging-successes with a bottle of Root:1 Sauvignon Blanc, 2006 from the Root:1 Winery. (well, I personally picked it up at our local market but, you know, gotta give some props to the winery itself).

Boy, was it good! This is a refreshing white wine with a strong start and a light, simple finish. It has a fruity nose and a light yellow/greenish appearance. This non-oaked Chilean wine was a pleasantly surprising treat that I'm eager to pick up again.

Another terrific wine is the Pinot Noir, Amber Ridge Vineyard, available from Kindred Wines.

Now, Kindred Wines is near and dear to Hubby and my hearts, as Hubby's uncle Tim is co-founder/co-owner of this co-op winery in the San Francisco area. Kindred uses some of the highest quality grapes from the Russian River Valley to create truly exquisite vineyard offerings. One of which being the aforementioned Pinot Noir.

This medium-bodied red is a very fruit-forward wine with warming hints of cedar and cigar smoke. Bottled just last autumn, this Pinot is perfect for sipping right now, but will also age beautifully if you'd prefer to save it for a future special occasion.

Thus endeth the summer Sunday wine posts. Amen.


And now, didn't I say something about a song? Ah! Oh, yes!

I can't leave you today without singing the praises of one Miss Andi Diehn, a freelance writer who penned an excellent article for this month's Parenting NH magazine. Why is it such a good article, you ask? Well, because I and my lil' ol' blog here are mentioned in it, that's why! Check it out here and/or, if you live in the area, pick up a copy of Parenting NH for yourself. Who knows, maybe in a few years' time, the September '07 issue will be a valuable collector's item. :)

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Sweetie Saturday #72 - More Hershey's Fun Edition

When we arrived to our hotel in Hershey, PA last Saturday, we were informed that our room was not yet ready for us. No problem! With four restaurants and a coffee shop in-house, we had plenty of places to explore and ways to keep ourselves busy during our wait.

We happily accepted the four large Hershey chocolate bars given to us at the check-in desk and headed to the Cocoa Beanery coffee shop. But not before stopping by the kids' check-in desk where Sweetie was given the chance to guess the number of Kisses in the jar, then sent off with a fun bunch of coloring/activity pages to work on.

As Hershey Park is celebrating its 100th birthday this year, there's lots of promotions going on to highlight this big anniversary. On a small scale, this included one of the pages in Sweetie's Hershey activity book asking questions based on the number 100. I'd ask her the questions, then write down Sweetie's answers. Here are a few of my favorites:

Question: If I had 100 friends, I would...

Sweetie's Answer: Shake their hands and say, "Hi, I'm _________"

Q: If I had 100 legs, I would...

A: Cut 'em off and make them into two.

And my favorite question/answer of all:

Q: If I had 100 eyes, I would...

Now, I should admit that at first Sweetie answered similarly to the 100 legs question. But I told her, Ow! No! That would hurt! You can't do that! Think of something else. (no, I don't know why I didn't object to the original cutting off of legs. But I do have a thing about no eye trauma allowed. So, there's that...)

So what was Sweetie's second choice resolution?

A: Well... I'd go on the computer and go to


After our first full day at Hershey Park, the three of us sat at our hotel's fancier restaurant for desserts and drinks (so fancy that we had to go to the lobby, up the escalator, down an impressive corridor, out the front (back? side?) of the building, and across a small foot bridge over a koi pond to get there). I took the relaxing opportunity to ask Sweetie what was her favorite thing she did that day.

Well..... (yes, she's taken to starting most statements with this dramatically thoughtful preface)... I liked riding the escalator.

Great! Just great. We got up before dawn, drove 400 miles across 5 states, just so you could be happy to ride an escalator. If we knew that's all it would take to impress you, we could've gone to the freakin' mall back home.

Then, at the end of the next day, I had to torture myself again by asking Sweetie the same thing - what was your favorite thing about today?

Well... buying my eye glasses (new sunglasses), of course.

Of course. Not the water park, not more rides. But sunglasses.

Ain't you just a cutie?


In telling others about our trip, I'm frequently relaying the story of how Sweetie and Daddy went down the really big, really fast water slide. In fact, I was telling my cousins and aunt about the excitingly watery adventure, when Sweetie interjected that she did think it was fast and scary, but fun too.

Yeah... I was brave.
(Sweetie said with a proud little smirk and heroic nod of the head)

You sure were, Sweetie. You're just about the bravest, smartest, sweetest little Sweetie I know.