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.