Monday, December 31, 2007

A Vote For Me Is - A Vote For Me!

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About this Blogger:

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

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

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

About the Blog:

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

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

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

Click here to vote.

If you can think it, you can have it!


Mama Monday #4.1

Theme: Uber List

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

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

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

1) Financial Management
2) Family
3) Simplicity

That's it.

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

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

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

Then there's the goal of "simplicity".

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Sweetie Saturday #89

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

You're so kind.

See? Cute, but not really funny.

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

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


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

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

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


Yay. Good for me. Sounds great.

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

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

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


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

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

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

Case in point -

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

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

Not yet! I'm still eating!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes, we shall.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas is Awesome

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

Monday, December 24, 2007

Mama Monday #3.1

Theme: Room

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

• She wants a 78 Toy for Christmas

• Last Christmas, she wanted a Christmas Fork

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

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

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

She knows a lot of things, for instance:

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

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

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

Sweetie gets her smarts from both of us.

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Sweetie Saturday #88 - Birthday Wrap-Up Edition

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

That evening, Sweetie told me,

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

There was? What happened?

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

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


Out of the blue the other night:

Daddy? Who's your husband?

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

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

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

Ummmm..... Nana?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

5 Years Ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





Monday, December 17, 2007

Mama Monday #2.1

Theme: Notice

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

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

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

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

Huh! How about that?!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Me. Amy. Myself.

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

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Sweetie Saturday #87 - Bad Mama Edition

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

Oh... and that I completely ruined her.

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

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

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

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

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

Big Mistake.

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Click Awaaaay From The Cranky, Tired Lady...

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

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

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

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

Until next time...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Mama Monday - A New Beginning

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

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

As for today - the theme is:


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What's the family rule Sweetie?

No fighting about food.

And? What about the door?

No slamming the door ever.

And? How is the door in the nighttime?

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

You betcha - that's right!

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

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

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Sweetie Saturday #86

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

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

Hey! My juice looks like Nana!

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I wonder what someone will bring me now?!


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

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

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

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

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

Now, put it in the Picture Place.

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


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

Mama! You got a text message!

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

What a smartie you are!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Good News/Bad News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, December 03, 2007

Mama Monday #86

Theme: Surprises

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

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

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

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

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

Wishing you all the best. Thanks for the memories!


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

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

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

Saturday, December 01, 2007

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

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

That not make any sense.

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

For example...

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

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

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

Yeah! I love that story!

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

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

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


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

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

What? You hardly ever watch this?

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

Whatever. Crazy.

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


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

The school's bathroom.


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Oh well. So much for my ulterior motives.

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