Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Penny For Your Thoughts...

Caption me, please.


Thank you.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Mama Monday #8.1

Theme: Home

Sweetie, who was sleeping over at Grammy and Grampy's this past weekend, was delivered back to us at just before 4 a.m. Sunday morning. She had a wonderful evening with them, but she came down with an awful earache in the middle of the night and just wanted to be home. (We took her to the doctor yesterday and she's got 1 and 1/2 ear infections. Her first ear infection ever! So I suppose, in that, we are lucky).

She asked to go to bed right away when home, but wanted to be read a story. She wanted Runaway Bunny - of that she was clear.

If you're not familiar with it, it tells the story of a little boy bunny who tells his mom he's going to run away. But no matter where the bunny says he'll run or what he'll do to hide from his mom, the mother always counters with her ideas of how she'll chase after him. Ultimately, the bunny decides it's just best to stay home and be with his Mama.

It's a sweet story and I thought - given Sweetie's health troubles and personal feeling that she needed to be home - that it was an interesting choice of books for her to want to hear.


Last night we three watched Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (as we pretty much always do). But this time it was special - the house they were building, the family they were helping, live in our state, not even 30 minutes from where we live.

This was a very deserving family, as their house was demolished in the Mother's Day Flood of 2006 and they had no resources for rebuilding. They were thrilled to be chosen by ABC to get the new home they needed, but they were also so very concerned about all the other deserving families in our state as well. Their house wasn't the only one destroyed in the flood. And there were certainly other NH families who had their own set of reasons for applying for Extreme Makeover to come build for them.

So this sweet family that was chosen? While they were eternally grateful to be chosen and their life has now completely turned around because of ABC's generosity - they actually noted feeling guilty that they were chosen and that all those other NH applications were now not going to be helped.

That's where the organization There's No Place Like Home came in. The Extreme Makeover: Home Edition team heard about this NH group and decided to help them out as well while they were here. ABC gifted the organization with $15,000 towards the rebuilding of homes, and 2 families on the top of TNPLH's waiting list were given the keys to their new home that very week (instead of waiting the 3-4 months they were expecting to wait before their rebuilds was done). This, in turn, brought the next 2 families higher up the waiting list and, as it follows, now all the families waiting will be able to move into their new homes that much quicker.


Today Sweetie and I are laying low and enjoying a (mostly) at home day (I have to go out late this afternoon for a bit). We've both got The Runny Nose Blues and we simply feel like being home, with the warm fire blazing, and cuddling with tea and cocoa on the couch.

Yep, it's true. There's no place like home to make everything right.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sweetie Saturday #93 - I Used Up All My Material Edition

That's right. I don't have much to offer today for Sweetie Saturday because I already wrote here and here about a few different funny things Sweetie said and/or did this week. Feel free to click the links and check 'em out.

In the mean time, Sweetie did come through with this deductive reasoning gem last night when I put her to bed.

Back story: the last couple nights, Sweetie has come to our room in the 4-5am range, asking for help with her covers. Apparently, they were messed up and she needed some retucking.

So last night I told her I wanted her to practice something. I told her that, if she woke up in the night and found her covers messed up, that I wanted her to practice fixing it herself instead of coming to us for help.

I bet you can do it, Sweetie. Okay?

Okay. It will be like I'm practicing for a show!

Yes! That's called rehearsing.


Yes. It means the same thing as "practice". You rehearse - or practice - before you're going to put on a show.

Oh. Yeah!.... Hey, Mama.


Did you know that if you take the "re" away from "rehearsing" you get "hearsing"? And then, if you take the "earsing" away from "hearsing", you get "huuuh" (the H sound).

Yes. That's right!

But, Mama. Then, if you add "ershey" to the "huuuh" - well, you get "Hershey"!

Yep. Still talking about our Hershey trip. Poor thing - in 2 to 3 years we hope to take her to Disney World. If she loves Hershey so much now, I do believe her pretty little head is absolutely going to explode when we get to Disney!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The One Where It Seems I'm Bragging and/or Conceited, But I'm Not. Really.

Sweetie's got a miserable cold. A nasty, nasty cough and a stuffy, stuffy nose. She's feelin' pretty yucky.

Still, if you ask her how she is, she'll answer with a weak-but-still-hanging-in-there: Great.

Since she doesn't have a fever and she's acting pretty normal, I sent her to school yesterday. On the car ride home from school, she was interested in telling me all about the "Beach Party" activities she and her classmates did that day - interspersed with some pretty serious hacking coughs.

And then we all sat in chairs like we (cough, cough, wheeze) were in a bus (hack, hack) and we pretended to go to the bea..(cough, hack) each!

She played quietly with her paper dolls at home last night, not even getting upset when she'd accidently rip one of the paper dresses or shirts:

Oh, I ripped it. That's okay. I'll just put some tape on it and it will be all better.

I gave her medicine and we sent her to bed at her regular time. She did have an awful lot of difficulty falling asleep. She got out of bed several times in a 2+ hour period, telling us she couldn't sleep because she was coughing too much. But she never once whined or cried about it. She was simply letting us know that she couldn't sleep. 

It wasn't until after 11pm when she finally did fall asleep. Then she slept through the night.

This evening she seemed to be coughing a bit less - but the times she did cough seemed just as brutal, if not more so, than the days before. And she seemed a wee bit more animated this evening as well. But she tired out quickly and went to bed without a problem tonight, with the aid of some night time cough and cold medicine.

Unless things turn dramatically worse overnight or first thing in the morning, I suspect Sweetie will be going to school as usual tomorrow.

My point with all this? Simply to show what a great trooper we've got. I know I've mentioned it here before, but Sweetie is so awesomely strong and brave when she's sick.

Whenever she's sick, we can certainly tell that she's not her usual self. She's more low-key and more snuggly. But never once - with this cold or any other illness she's ever had - can I remember her crying to me, or even merely mentioning to me, that her ear/head/throat/anything hurts her.

I try to get her to blow her nose, and she insists - more times than not - that she doesn't need to. Okay, that one may be explained with the fact that, when I do get her to blow her nose, she does complain that her raw nose hurts. Oh, and she's mentioned more than once with this particular cold that her lips are raw and she'd like some chapstick. But, truly, that is the extent of her complaints.

(Absolute Full Disclosure: Tonight she did happen to mention to me, in passing, that she doesn't feel very well. But then the next moment she was laughing and telling me a joke. So really, just like her non-ability to sleep last night, this was much more about sharing some factual information with me than complaining).

Now, like this post's title says, I really don't mean to sound like I'm bragging here. Believe me, Hubby and I both are thankful beyond words that Sweetie is so good at dealing with her illnesses. But her great attitude does make me wonder - where the heck did she come from?!

From the look and sound of Sweetie's current illness, I'm pretty dang sure I'd be one sad puppy if I was the one dealing with it. Sure, I'd take medicine and probably go about my work day as best I could. But then again, if my cough was as bad as hers or it gave me any sort of earache or persistent sore throat, I wouldn't put it past me to take a sick day so I could rest.

And I know that with pretty much every cold I've ever had, I've at least woken up in the morning with a badly sore throat. Generally speaking, the mornings and evenings are the times one feels worst when sick with a cold.

But yet there Sweetie was this morning, running into our room to wish us - in her raspy, cough-tired voice - a good morning. Just as she's done on other occasions when she's not feeling her personal best. Wow.

Oh, and Hubby with a cold? Yeah - he's no better, perhaps even worse, than I ever am in the "woe-is-me-I-feel-like-I'm-going-to-die-please-let-me-die-oh-Goodness" department. Sweetie certainly hasn't gleaned her super trooper attitude from him, let me tell ya.

So, again - where did it come from? It almost makes me wonder (and again, please refer back to this post's title and understand I'm not trying to be conceited here) - if I really sit down and try to reason it out - that maybe, perhaps, in some very small way... could Sweetie have adopted this "I'm always great!" sense of self and well-being simply from being my daughter? By observing how I silently and rather successfully manage my physical challenges and differences? By quietly, intuitively understanding that her Mama doesn't have it exactly as good as most other people she's ever seen, yet she's never heard me complain about it? 

Maybe, without even knowing it, I'm sending a message of strength and determination in the face of set backs to my Sweetie. Huh....

Or, you know, something else entirely. Like, she's just naturally always great just because.

Or - because, because - as Sweetie so often says when she wants to quickly explain things away.

Whatever. I suppose I don't really care where she gets it. I'm just so very glad she's got it! A great attitude and a willingness to face obstacles head-on will take her far in this world. 

Go out there, Sweetie, and be your great self every single day. You're the best! 

Oh, and feel better soon. You may be able to handle your colds okay. But it breaks my heart to hear you cough and sniffle so badly.


Monday, January 21, 2008

Mama Monday #7.1

Theme: Culture

A week ago yesterday, the house of Sweetie & Me (and Hubby) was absolutely drenched in culture.

We three sat on our couch, snacking on crackers and brie, Hubby and I each with a glass of wine, Sweetie with some juice, as we watched an episode of From The Top.

Classy, I tell ya. We were the very picture of a fine, upstanding, culturally astute family.

And every Sunday - late afternoon - we will continue to engage is this highly sophisticated cultural experience.

If only for a half hour or so.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Sweetie Saturday #92

Earlier this week I found Sweetie stomping out of the bathroom, tears rolling down her face, loud cries coming from her pouting mouth. When I asked her what the problem was, she dramatically pointed to her hair.

What?! Is it not curly enough? (Sweetie loves her curls!) It looks fine!

But... it's not BEAUTIFUL! Waaaahhh!

Oh, Goodness.


I had the pleasure of dining with a princess a couple nights ago:



I happened to remind Sweetie of the times, a couple years back, when she went to Toddlercize at her school. I told her about how, for some reason, she never liked it when the class played Wiggles songs, and how her teacher, Miss Kathleen, would always allow Sweetie to go hide in the bathroom whenever such songs played.

Sweetie did not remember these instances at all, but she thought it was so funny! that she hid in the bathroom because of Wiggles songs!

Hubby and I thought it was funny (peculiar) at the time, because Sweetie has always liked the Wiggles. What was her deal with not liking to Toddlercize to their music? We'll never know.


I recently introduced Sweetie to my latest high-energy song favorite - J'Lo's Let's Get Loud. Sweetie and I have been having a blast coming home from work and school, turning up the volume, singing and dancing around.

But after hearing it so many times, Sweetie decided to switch things up a bit. Instead of singing the chorus as-is, she decided to change them to include one of her favorite snack foods.

Let's get gorp, Let's get gorp. Turn the music up to hear that sound.

Hmmmm.... Gorp. Yummy.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

House of Pain

I've always contended that, since turning 30 some years ago, I can't quickly remember how old I am. I mean, if someone ever asks me, I really have to take a minute and do the math.

Okay.... I was born in this year. And now it's this year. But it's not yet May, so.... I must be this old.

Still, regardless of this lack of at-the-ready information, I'm reasonably confident that I'm not 90- years old.

However, if I listened to my body, I'd say that's exactly how old I am.

Meaning? I'm sore. All sore. All the time. Not good. Sad, really.

I know my lower back has bothered me since Sweetie was an infant. But, honestly, I thought it only hurt when I first stood up after sitting for a long time. Or after standing for a long time. Or walking for a long time.

But, no. I hurt. All over. And I suppose it's been for a long time now.

See, those dang kids got me all thinkin' and stuff. Made me wonder what they'd ask and prepare answers ahead of time.

Does spina bifida hurt? Oh, no! Just a little sore from working my muscles so much to get me moving.

Hmmm... what's that tweak? Ooooh... what's that crack? Ouch!... now that hurts!

Yup - I suppose spina bifida does hurt after all. In a round about sort of way. For me, anyway.

Ya know what else I've noticed recently? My joints are all cracky. Like, if I adjust my posture while seated, I hear the bones in my back crack. If I twist or turn or stand up too quick - I hear more cracking.

By cracky, I think I'm old! And in pain!

Also - I'm not so much the fan of climbing stairs anymore. They used to be so not-a-big-deal to me at all. Buying a 2 story house wasn't any sort of concern for me at the time we bought it. Stairs?! No problem! Bring 'em on!

But now? Not so much. Some people don't do windows. Me? I don't do stairs. Not if I can help it, anyway. I mean, that's what I've got a Sweetie for, right?

Sweetie, could you ever fetch me my book from my bedroom nightstand? Would you please take this small pile of clothes up to your room? Could you please take the vacuum upstairs for me? And vacuum too?

(Oops. Sorry. Those last two were meant for Hubby. He's pretty helpful that way too).

And so, with all these aches and pains settling into my still-pretty-dang-young-after-all-thank-you-very-much body, it looks like we 3 will be fixin' to pack up and move out. Well, within a long-term 5-year plan, anyway. Not quite yet. But certainly not staying here forever. Nope, cannot do it.

After all, we bought this big ol' New Englander with our eyes set on having a couple of kids. But, thanks to what I was recovering from exactly 1 year ago today, that dream is over. "We 3" are "we 3" for good. And we don't need all this extra room.

So - on to finishing projects already started! On to making the place "good enough" to appeal to a buyer! And here's to not going all-out to make this house the end-all/be-all dream home we wish to grow old in.

Cause, baby?... I'm already feeling old, achy and crabby. And this house just isn't making me feel any younger.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Mama Monday #6.1

Theme: Quiet

As you may already know if you've read these two posts of mine over at Disaboom, last Thursday I went to Sweetie's preschool to read a book to and answer questions from her classmates. The four year old class as well as the kindergarteners attended. It was a fun, humorous and interesting visit, but I won't repeat the details here. Please read my other posts for that.

What I will mention here is this: for all the non-related statements, repeated questions, silly activity and seemingly unimpressed kids who made themselves known to me that day, there were several others who stayed quiet. Others who had questions - possibly legitimate questions - which I didn't have time to get to. Others who were intrigued, listening close, and truly curious about what I had to share.

In fact, the very last question I addressed before my time with the kids was up was from a shy girl in the back row. I think she must have had her hand raised all along, since one of the teachers asked her what her question was before I could decide who's raised hand I would call upon next.

This quiet little girl from the kindergarten class broke away from all the non-related talk of pets, somersaults and birthday parties to ask me if I'm able to walk without using my stick.

Yes, I can. I'll show you the difference in how I walk with and without it.

All the kids stayed quietly captivated as I executed my demonstration.

Later in the day, when I went back to Sweetie's school to pick her up and go home, I crossed paths with this inquisitive 5 year old again. She was walking out of the school with her mom as I was walking in.

Hi (Sweetie's) mom!

Hi there!

I really liked the story you read today.

Good! I'm very glad!

Wow. That little girl made my day. Not because she was thoughtful enough to say hi and thank me for the story. But because she represents a number of other kids who listened to me that day, yet didn't say a word. Didn't ask a question. Other kids who stayed still, quietly wondering, listening, and understanding.

Initially I left Sweetie's school, after my visit with the kids, thinking that they didn't ask nearly as many questions as I thought they would. At the time, it seemed like I hardly made any impression at all.

Yet, even if the truth of the matter is that most of the kids were too young; too self-interested; too tired, hungry or bored to pay attention to my visit with them, I know there were other kids who were intrigued and impressed.

That day - and that cute little girl - truly made me realize... sometimes the wisest, most curious sounds can only be heard from the quiet.

Open mouths often only make the loudest noise. But it's the open eyes, ears and minds that can make the biggest difference.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Sweetie Saturday #91 - Back With A Vengeance Edition

And,.... we're back!

In preparation for this past Tuesday's First In The Nation Primary, Hubby and I wanted to watch last Saturday's televised debated among both political parties. I explained to Sweetie ahead of time that we were going to watch this, and she probably wouldn't like it. But it's important for Daddy and I to watch - so just deal with it.

Actually, she did pretty well. She sat on the couch with us and snuggled in, didn't talk too much, and let us mostly pay attention.

However, she did become mysteriously very tired much earlier than she usually does and asked to go to bed early. Fine. Whatever.

The next morning we all came downstairs and I turned on the news. At the time, they were doing a recap of the previous night's event. Sweetie took one look at the T.V., saw the same scene she'd seen the night before, and exasperatedly exclaimed -

This show is still on?! I do not believe it!


I think Sweetie - and kids in general - knows a lot of things we adults don't know. Or at least things we as adults don't remember. For instance, Sweetie very clearly stated the other day that:

I was an imaginary friend before I was born. That’s what you are before you’re a baby. Everyone’s an imaginary friend before they were in your tummy, Mama.

Hmmm.... is that so? Sounds good to me!


As Sweetie and I headed out the door the other morning, leaving Daddy at home as he too got ready for work -

Have a fun day, Daddy. And remember - if you fall asleep, if you have a nightmare, don’t forget to call 911. Call 911 if you have an emergency!

Will do, Sweetie. Thanks.


One of Sweetie's many Christmas gifts was the High School Musical 2 DVD. She's watched it only 2 times now, including all the extras. And already she's a pro at singing the chorus of one of the more interesting songs - Humuhumunukunukuapua'a

Here are the actual chorus lyrics:

Makihiki malahini-who
Hawana wakawakawakaniki pu pu pu.

And now, Sweetie's version:

Wow! Pretty cool, huh? Great job!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I Do Apologize

Man! I am so sorry! I've denied y'all a Sweetie Saturday this past weekend. And now I'm here to tell you once again - sorry, I just don't have it in me to write tonight.

I did have a blog post ready to write. A very good, most likely long-winded/insightful one at that. But I've been caught up in emailed discussions (basically IMing, without the actual technology) and haven't been able to get here to start writing.

And now it's late. Too late for me to start in on a potentially long-winded/insightful post. But I do promise to keep it in mind for another day.

I will tease you a bit though.... tomorrow I'm headed off to do something very exciting and possibly very interesting. After which I'll be posting about said experience tomorrow evening over here. So you may certainly want to stay tuned for that and check me out over there at that time.

Until then...... Have a great day!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Mama Monday 5.1

Theme: Choice

Yes, this week marks the New Hampshire Primary. No, I'm not going to use this week's theme to discuss my political beliefs or urge you all into action when your state's time comes around. I've already done that here and, tomorrow (Tuesday), I'll post about it over here. If you're interested, please do check those out. Otherwise, let's move on...


Something's been running through my mind this weekend. It's the memory of Hubby and I wandering through our local kitchen and bath store years ago, trying to register our gift wishes for our impending marriage. As I recall, it all went down relatively smoothly... until we got to the silverware.

Looking at all the various styles of knives, forks and spoons - ranging from plain and lightweight to artsy/craftsy and medium weight, to hoity/toity and heavy, and every style and weight in between, Hubby and I were absolutely dumbstruck about which set to choose.

Seriously, we were debating the merits of each and every set for about 30 minutes or more.

We were discussing a couple different fork choices in particular when it finally dawned on me.

You know - it's just a fork.

Yes - just a fork. Not the end to world hunger. Not a cure for all the ails of the world. Not a marriage-defining deal breaker. It was - Just A Fork.

And? After laughingly agreeing on this, we easily chose a silverware pattern within the next two minutes. Done!

This weekend, Hubby and I spent hours trying to find/understand/and easily use various computer programs for a certain organizational effort we're trying to get underway in this new year.

We needed a program that does this, but also is able to do that. Oh, and what if this sort of situation comes along? The program has to know how to handle that as well. And then, of course, there's all the random variables like this, these, and those that may or not come up and, therefore, may or may not have to work into the system too. Not to mention the different "free trial" times alloted for each of the programs and noting how much whichever one we ultimately chose will cost us when we decide it's a good tool.


Sorry to be so vague about what we were exactly trying to set up and organize. But, really, that's not so important in this post. What is important to note is the building frustration Hubby experienced while doing his "window shopping" of each program. As well as my building exasperation with Hubby in the face of never finding "The Program" that worked well and worked easily for everything we (he?) wanted it to do.

Finally (and after being vocally fortified by a lovely glass of pinot grigio), I was like -

Look! What exactly do we need to accomplish? Isn't there another way - a non-computer-related-way - to achieve that? Even if you don't want to do anything manual to organize things, I don't mind. Can't I just do that? And keep you regularly informed along the way?

Can't we just all get along?!

Basically - I felt like I was declaring once again....

It's Just A Fork.

And? After that, all was well. No more searching. No more frustrations. No more exasperating sighs of anger and dispair. We were done.

Choices/schmoices! So often the pain and agony of making a decision becomes such a bigger deal than the actual decision being worked out.

After all - we must remember that there's often more than one way to skin a cat.

And, really, sometimes a fork really is just a fork.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Sweetie Saturday #90 - The Return of Sweetie Edition

Hi there! So sorry I didn't get to posting this already. For a weekend with nothing planned, we've had a very busy morning of errand-running. Four errands in one trip - now that's efficiency!

Anyway.... you know what? I think I'm going to take a 1-week break from the Sweetie Silliness. Why? Because...I've personally had enough of silly, crazy, not-behaving-or-listening Sweetie and I don't want to talk about it anymore - that's why!

(Ahem.... Sorry... It's just that I'm so tired of that particular "L" word written above that if I have to utter it just one more time, I think I'm going to go all Britney on this house.)

BUT - drumroll, please...

...Houston, we have a Sweetie!

That's right. After a big-ol' discussion I had with Her Majesty this past Thursday evening, I do believe that our Sweet Sweetie has finally returned to us. Her ears have been open and she's generally been polite and non-whiney ever since. (Granted, that's only a day and a half at this point, but I have faith). She seems to be on a good path now.

So - let's all take this opportunity to bask in the glow of Good Sweetie, ridding our minds and hearts of the Over-Stimulated/Off-Schedule Sweetie, okay? Okay!

Have a great weekend, everyone! See you on Monday.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

And Now, Back To Our Regularly Programmed Life

And thank Goodness for that!

Today was my first day back at work since right before Christmas. And Sweetie's first full day back on her schedule (today was a Nana Day - tomorrow is school). Hubby's back on schedule as well. And all is right with the world.

See, Sweetie has been a bit of a stinker over this holiday break. Not listening well. Not caring about very nearly destroying her piano with spilled orange juice not even a week after receiving it for her birthday (Well... it's okay. You can just buy me a new one.... Uh, what? I don't think so, little girl. Things don't work that way around here.), talking back and/or being bossy to many different people of many different ages and relationships to her, and just generally being a high energy twister of emotions and attitude.

That is... she has been an over-stimulated 5 year old who's eaten much more junk than she's used to and not been kept to any sort of normal routine for the last week and a half.

Of course she's been a little off.

So have Hubby and I. We've been alternately short-tempered with her based - mostly, I think - on what's going on with ourselves at the time than on any real trouble she's currently caused. In fact, with hindsight, I now feel that Sweetie wasn't so much the problem this past week. It was Hubby and I having to deal with her higher-than-usual-energetic-craziness on a constant basis.

Basically - it's just a real good thing that things are back to the way they usually are so that we each can get away from each other and breath a bit freer.

Not that I don't love my Sweetie to the ends of this earth.... I absolutely do! It's just that I know for myself that I could not stay home with her every single day, on my own, and remain a sane woman. Bless all those saintly moms out there who can do it - I just can't.

Honestly - I feel I've got the best of both worlds. Ever since Sweetie's birth I've only worked a 4-day work week, leaving Mondays as Sweetie and Mommy Days - and I love that time with her. But then I'm just as happy to get back to the office and let Sweetie enjoy her own time away from me - with Nana or at school, learning great new things about the world around her. Her own world. Her own thing.

It's your thing, Sweetie. Do what you wanna do.

Sweetie - Know you have the power to do what you want, to be self-assured, free and independent. To be a confident, curious explorer. At the same time, never forget that you always have a place of comfort, safety and love right here with both Daddy and me as well as with your extended support systems of family and friends.

But for now - above all else - I'd be thrilled if you'd just open your dang ears and start using your words instead of your whines. Enough, already! Jeesh!

Thank you.


Thanks to everyone who's voted for me in the Blog For A Year contest. I'm not sure what's up with that - voting was supposed to end as of January 1st 2008. Anywho - I'm currently (and have steadily been) in 10th place out of more than 250 bloggers. Yahoo! That is a huge accomplishment to me! I'd love for everyone who's interested in doing so to keep on voting for me as long as the site will allow it - keep me in 10th place (or better)! You can cast up to 1 vote per day. Thanks again so much! I'm very blessed and honored to have so many people interested in what I'm doing here and excited to cast a vote. Y'all are awesome!