Friday, September 28, 2007

Good Morning

It's two thirty. Two. Thirty.

Q is still up.

That is all.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


I thought I'd write about the events of the day, but S has wrapped paper tape around her leg, which has some hair growing on it, and she needs it to come off, so cover your ears.

There. Are you deaf now?

Why not? I am. Hmm--somehow I doubt she'll be decorating herself with tape again anytime soon. Poor thing. Gotta love that Dermoplast though. Whew.

(Insert bedding down of kids, medicating Q, several loads of laundry.....)

Now for the update. Q's ear has less crud coming out of it today, but he hasn't wanted to eat much, even nursing has at times been too much for him. Grandma got some of the Just for Kids down him, so there's a few calories anyway. The pediatrician wants to see him back for sure three weeks from Monday to recheck that membrane.

I forgot to mention that the one specific recommendation from the neurodevelopmental clinic is that Q have good and increasing access to adaptive technologies. He has a switch device. We've used it to record my voice saying, "Where's Q?" and "Peekaboo!" He played with it for several minutes at his best time, even going back and forth between the switches to hear the messages in the right order. The nurse practitioner we saw yesterday noted that he's obviously vocalizing well, even when feeling under the weather, in an effort to truly communicate. (Yay!) She would like to see growing emphasis on this for him, as she foresees him using more complex devices as he gets older. (Yay!)(Gulp)

I feel like we've been pretty lucky so far with most of the services and therapies. DDD has provided an indoor platform swing and the switch device. The rotten thing at this point is that I hear the whole department is seriously in the red, so not much hope of getting the bolsters and perhaps even feeding equipment that Q could certainly use.


The funny for the day happened yesterday. I got home from the trial by fire that is an appointment with a new medical office (seriously--it's like giving a three hour lecture without notes) and felt like I could do a face plant into whatever soft surface happened to be nearby. My mom was home and told the kids to leave me alone for a bit so I could rest (smiles). This is like an invitation to S. She came in and asked if she could nap with me. Awww. Sure. But you have to be quiet, no wiggling, close your eyes. She assented, dove into my neck and shut her eyes. Two seconds later she popped up and said, "You know what would be tasty?" No. What. "A big bowl of cereal with breastmilk on it." Pause. Ummm. Okay. "I mean, I know it's just for babies. But don't you think it would be nummy?" Uh.....

There was no nap. Just lots of giggles.

I thought it wise to let G sleep today, so he missed his piano lesson. After a shower and some blowing of the nose he felt enough better that we kept the orthopedics appointment. The nice ortho guy was great with him--asked good questions, made good points. The upshot of his opinion? That G isn't so tight that he needs surgical intervention. After all, surgery is something that can most times be done later, but once done can't be undone. In this case, he'd choose to be conservative. Since G can run, on or off toes, and run fast, since he can stand flat on his feet, since he can do pretty much everything else physical reasonably well (though sports are mostly not his thing), he falls into the "mild" category. G, when faced with the prospect of eventual surgery vs. reapplying himself to his stretching, picked the stretching option. Smart boy. We'll think about this again in six months to a year, G's OT will keep an eye on him, and we're on to other things.

I hope G is feeling 100% better soon so we can once again experience his love of all things science. A chemistry book came in the mail today and he was just a sad puppy and didn't want to read it. This is so not him. Poor baby.

Speaking of books and mail... Some sweet angels have been at work again. (blushing) I now have a beautiful coloring book of birds for E (though we're all becoming de facto birders--lots of good material here), the aforementioned chemistry book for G, and some music for moi. This makes me want to dance and squeal like a little girl. So I shall. Pardon me.

There. All better. The kids will love the music too, but I'm so happy to have it! Thank you, thank you, thank you. For your continued support of our little crew here--the prayers and more are so hugely appreciated.

The poem that came with the coloring book (author unknown--to me):
I heard a bird at break of day
Sing from the autumn trees
A song so mystical and calm,
So full of certainties,
No man, I think, could listen long
Except upon his knees.

Sweet dreams, lovely people.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


So Q has a perforated eardrum. Poor guy. He had some yellow crud in his ear Saturday night, but it seemed like just a little earwax gone wild. As he was taking ibuprofen for teething pain, he didn't have anything else for symptoms. Yesterday the vision therapy doc called to say that his glasses were in--could we come right away for a fitting? Sure. We headed off. While waiting for the doc, I noticed there was more yellow exudate, this time not so much like earwax. I called the pediatrician's office and described the symptoms--we proceeded directly there after procuring little Q Potter's pair of back-up specs. Although he has no apparent hole, the crud is obviously coming from somewhere, so we're doing the usual stuff for a perfed ear--no baths, no water around the ear, Zithromax and ibuprofen. This morning it was worse. How much yuck can one little guy have in his little bitty ear? The pediatrician wants me to watch for swelling or redness in the area behind his ear and jaw--there was some puffiness and pinkness there. Since we started the antibiotics yesterday, I'm hoping we caught it early enough to keep it from advancing into full-blown cellulitis.

At noon today, we saw an ARNP at the local children's hospital. She's in the neurodevelopmental clinic and specializes in helping parents of special needs kids to manage the resources they have or need. We spent nearly two hours talking with her before deciding that if there was a nutritionist available, we'd need to talk with her too. Wait some more, wait some more... The nutritionist and I spoke about Q's needs and how he's lost about a pound and a half between teething and the hole in his ear and not wanting to eat. The nice lady wrote up a note and plans to get the team to write a scrip for Just for Kids, a liquid supplement that's 1.5 cal per ml. The trick here is to get someone to pay for it. Most insurance companies don't cover anything that's delivered orally, but WIC might. They tend to go only with the company which has provided the contract which equals the lowest cost for formula. Since this isn't formula, I don't know what will happen. I did learn today that most insurance companies will cover diapers after the age of three. Boy. I'd like to not need to worry about that by then.


Tomorrow G has an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon who may recommend orthotics. Splints. Boots to stretch his Achilles tendons. I don't remember if I've mentioned previously that the boy has been a toe-walker almost since he started walking. After this many years, one might imagine how that can shorten those tendons. Tumbling has been quite helpful, but G has been really resistant to the stretches his OT gave him. So. He lost the dorsiflexion he'd gained and returned to a range of motion of approximately 5 degrees. Normal would be around 20 degrees. I'm not sure if the OT is hoping that a serious chat with a surgeon will rearrange his resistance to those stretches or if she's thinking that he's really going to need boots and perhaps lengthening surgery. Did you know that toe-walking can be a symptom of Asperger's?

My head is spinning. Right now, I don't know if we'll keep piano or the medical appointments tomorrow--G's running a fever and the girls are cranky. We'll see what the morning brings.

Today, while I was patty-caking and singing "Where is Thumbkin?" and walking Q all over to keep him entertained, I was noticing the families who nomadically populate a children's hospital. There's the parents with teenagers in reclined wheelchairs with headrests, neatly accessorized with "shirt protectors" (not bibs--too cool for bibs) to block the drool. There are the families with kids in masks, accessorized with a perfectly starched mohawk or an IV pole, or gauze and tape over the latest blood draw site. There are the families eating on the run, hauling a cafeteria tray with the stroller so they can have enough nourishment to remain on their feet through their day of appointments. There are the daddies who've dropped off the mamas and the babies, parked the cars and are now headed into the hospital lugging bags, pillows, favorite blankies and stuffed bears. There are the kids who break your heart while making you grin. So if you have a glass near you, raise it in honor of all the oh so brave and strong and quietly persevering mamas and daddies and punkins. Those people who keep putting one foot in front of the other in order to Get What the Beloved Child Needs.


The following is an excerpt from Expecting Adam by Martha Beck. The author is mourning the Down syndrome diagnosis of her still in-utero son and has taken a drive with her cousin, Lydia, no stranger to crisis herself. Martha's toddler daughter is in the backseat, and the two women have cried and talked and cried some more.

"'Look,' she said. 'Here's what's going to happen. You're going to have one really smart kid, and one really dumb kid. Is that so bad?'

I found myself laughing--not the way my father had laughed, but truly and spontaneously. That kind of laughter doesn't drive tears away. It complements them.

'No, I guess it isn't so bad,' I said. Then I bit my lip. 'It's just so hard to think about the way people will look at him. At me.'

I had read about this in several books by parents of disabled kids. They all agreed that one of the challenges of having a child with Down syndrome is learning to bear the shame of being a public spectacle.

'Okay, so let's imagine the worst,' said Lydia. 'you're sitting somewhere--at the bus stop, wherever--and you've got your baby, like this.' She pantomimed holding a little bundle on her lap. 'Then some fat, middle-aged woman with bad teeth comes over to you and says, "Hey you! Looks to me like there's something wrong with that there baby!"

I shuddered. 'Exactly,' I said.

'Well, here's what you do,' said Lydia. She looked intently at the face of the invisible baby. Then her eyes widened in horror. 'Oh, my God!' she shouted. 'You're right!'"


Friday, September 21, 2007


K, hollering, "The biggest p*nis in the world is as big as an elephant!"

G's rejoinder: "No it's not! It's the size of my pinky!"

WHAT ON EARTH? Adrenaline surging, running, listening for clues...

They were arguing about peanuts, of course, and K had her mouth full of apple.

Oh, thank God. At least we can hold off on that particular discussion 'til we hit the whale section of biology.

They've already moved on to arguing about the largest planet in the history of the universe.

I like it here. (grins)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Loose ends

Here is a bunch of unrelated "stuff," some of which I've meant to post for awhile...

The Guy Thing (and it's guy-ness)
While you may not experience the same level of connection with the book Wild at Heart that I seem to be having, I hope you'll indulge me for just a little more discussion on the topic. I know several families who are really in the throes of heck right now. The dynamic seems pretty typical. She wonders what happened to the man she married, he wonders if this is all there is. In the middle are the punkins whose very presence is, for the moment, keeping two adults who are steeped in longing locked in, committed, for better or worse. They crave the better while seeming only to be able to keep their heads above water, fearing the "worse."

"'I'd love to be William Wallace, leading the charge with a big sword in my hand,' sighed a friend. 'But I feel like I'm the guy back there in the fourth row, with a hoe.' That's a lie of the Enemy--that your place is really insignificant, that you aren't really armed for it anyway. In your life you are William Wallace--who else could be? There is no other man who can replace you in your life, in the arena you've been called to. If you leave your place in the line, it will remain empty. No one else can be who you are meant to be. You are the hero in your story. Not a bit player, not an extra, but the main man."

I don't know how a guy would receive the above. To me, it sounds all hopeful and exciting, full of promise and maybe even adventure. But then I'm a girl.

In case there are any guys reading, especially anyone who happens to be struggling with the above, let me just tell you this: your wife loves you. No no--she loves you. Whatever else you have going on between you, she is still the lusty Viking figure on the prow of the ship, she is Eve in the Garden, she is your private dancer. She loves you with the tenacity of Boudica, the temerity of Ruth, the wits of Rahab or Tamar. She loves you with the ferocity of every self-assured, tantalizing maiden who ever walked the face of the earth. She loves you like an earthquake, like a warm, dr-enching, in-sin-u-a-ting rain, like nothing you can imagine (go ahead--try). She will fight for you, beside you and with you. She has rather specific aspirations where you're concerned--to tend you, care for you, kick your hiney if it requires it, then nurse it back to glowing health. Your wife will go with you to the ends of the earth, the universe. She is that woman in the Song of Solomon. Look into her eyes, hold her gaze--she knows you, she wants you, and you are her hero. How can I be so sure? She told me.

Go on, get outta here. Just draw the shades, please.



How are you?

Fine, thanks. And you?

I am well, thanks for asking. (tapping fingers) Anything new with you? Is that an echo I hearhearhear? Hello-llo-llo? Huh. Well, since it's just you and me left here, I'll catch you up a little.

The Finger (and it's "ribbon")
The silly thing finally stopped bleeding about four days in. Since the cut still tries to pull apart if left to it's own devices I still need a band-aid, but it's much, much better. Save for a weird combination of numbness and pain, I'm closing in on normal. I've worked hard to baby it (yeah, right) because a mama needs her hands. This is my cautionary tale about knives, I suppose. Always follow your rules for kitchen safety (I wasn't holding the lime properly) and never, ever cut with hands covered in citrus juice. But then we covered that part.

The Gas Tank (and it's diesel)
A few days ago I realized that I never posted a follow-up to this story. (In case you haven't read it yet--spoiler alert.) We hadn't really run out of gas at all--the fuel pump went out. So I was saved from my folly by malfunctioning equipment. The irony in that makes me giggle. Of course, as I've since had pointed out to me by dozens of fantastic folks, it's a lucky thing that it wasn't gas into a diesel engine because that would have been a real mess. This way, the engine just had a little extra lube. Funny that most of the people who share this with me are men--the women seem to have mostly learned this the hard way. Which is of course my personal favorite way to learn things.

The Court (and it's, uh, courtliness?)
We're back in on Thursday (9/20). I'm still praying for cool heads, clear thoughts, and the very best thing for the kids. I cannot imagine having to go to work every day in the family court system. Still, I bet they get to contribute to miracles--sometimes there are kids who need rescuing from things we cannot fathom. I know one such family who could really use your prayers right now. For those defenseless babies, I'm glad that there are dedicated people who show up every day to hear those hard things and then make fearless decisions, while praying that they're the right decisions. And absolutely prostrate, I thank God that my kids are not in that group.

The Q (and his cuteness)
With only two more molars to come in, things are looking up. Throw a party--that horrid bump is gone and in it's place is little ridges of tooth. He had a banner day today in OT--babbled, reached, pushed up with his feet to catch himself when he was slipping forward off the seat. I have a new drink from the pediatrician to try with him--it packs in a whole 1.5 cal per ml. This is huge. I gave him almost half of one of the little juice box-like containers the other night. It was okay, but he seems unimpressed by the French Vanilla flavor. Funny, I can suddenly hear his daddy saying that with a silly nasal accent: Frrraaaanch Vaneeeella. (smiles) The boy went down late last night and got up at 4am. I had two and a half hours of sleep last night. What am I still doing here?

So let your beloved know just how much he or she really is to you. Unless, of course, you were in the group who left earlier. Ahem. In which case, you've pretty well covered that.

Good night.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


"If these children had been kept in institutions or treated at home as 'vegetables,' there can be little doubt that they would have turned out exactly as predicted," Shewmon says.

Hmmm. I'm thinking about this. (Hat tip to my dad for the link.) I don't know what to say. I don't feel qualified to summarize, really. It takes me a few days of turning this stuff over in my head before I can discuss it, never mind intelligently.

I wonder if this phenomenon (is it a phenomenon? or just a realization of what's long been true?) explains Q's apparent Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI)? Which, now that I think about it, I meant to ask the neuro guy about at his last visit. Q goes back in November, so I'll bring it up then. If I remember correctly, the notes from Dr. Dobyns on the MRI (see link for more on Dr. Dobyns -->) mention Q missing some of his cerebral cortex. I'll have to go back over it.


Saturday, September 15, 2007


These are Mountain Ash berries on scrubby little bushes. I didn't know that they came in anything other than plain bright orange, like the big trees have. The brilliant cerise color just pops right out of the landscape, no? This reminds me of the time in Bible class when a couple of us got the non-stop giggles and were sent outside to pull ourselves together. Not that going outside helped. Why? Because we'd been watching the pretty little birds outside flitting about. (Disney music playing in the background.) Flitting and flying, lighting on the branches. Or missing the branch entirely. Or falling over while standing on the ground. Or nearly hitting the windows but veering off at the last second. Because they were drunk on rather old Mountain Ash berries.

The "destination" of the hike was worth it. The journey provided plenty of berries to spur us on. Slurp. I hauled Q on the way up, a friend hauled him down. A lucky thing since S, little trooper that she is, needed a piggy-back ride for a good half-mile at the end. My mom shot most of these--I'm so happy she has her camera.
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Hiking rewards

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Something to do

Oh my. Go look at this and see what you can do to help.

I received an email from a friend who has adopted through this organization. Their family has been changed so much by their experience. Even if you feel you have nothing to offer of yourself right now, think about other people you know, and other people they know. Perhaps, if each of us tosses a stone into the pond, the ripples will reach out far enough that some really grand things could happen for these children and their caretakers.

Looking at this site makes me wish I was independently wealthy or something. Seeing those sweet little faces... Well, I'm perfectly busy here and all, but my arms are sort of reaching out involuntarily.


Go look and then share. Perhaps a miracle will come of it.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Circling the drain?

Eh. Not so much. Lest anyone think I'm on my literal last legs, let me 'splain.

Q's been sleeping worse and worse since the weekend, getting up this morning at 5 after going down at about 12:15. The night before wasn't much better, so this knocks me back a bit. But hey, lucky me, I discovered that even at odd hours of the night, the boy likes his Baby Einstein singing caterpillar and I can sleep with my head right next to the blinky singing thing that's keeping him from crying. Yes indeed, I can sleep for a whole twenty minutes with the racket and wake up only when his noises go from happy to not so happy. All this culminated in a rushed trip to the pediatrician (is there any other kind these days?) with a silly molar that wanted to be noticed or something. It looked like nothing I've ever seen before, but apparently even with swelling that made me think that for sure the thing had to be abscessed, the nice doc has seen much worse. EEE-ew. It's smaller now, whatever it was, so at least there's that.

Also, I've been reading more out of Wild at Heart. Why now, you say. It's a book for men, you say. No guy anywhere in your life, you say. Well, the whole subject of human nature fascinates me and this book in particular resonates. Plus, Eldredge writes rather than pontificating. Always a good thing, that. This part is what I was looking at most recently:

"Every woman can tell you about her wound; some came with violence, others came with neglect. Just as every little boy is asking one question, every little girl is, as well. But her question isn't so much about her strength. No, the deep cry of a little girl's heart is am I lovely? Every woman needs to know that she is exquisite and exotic and chosen. This is core to her identity, the way she bears the image of God. Will you pursue me? Do you delight in me? Will you fight for me? And like every little boy, she has taken a wound as well. The wound strikes right at the core of her heart of beauty and leaves a devastating message with it: No. You're not beautiful and no one will really fight for you."

So if you're female, you may be familiar with the messages that we wrestle with about being worthy, pretty, acceptable. The tapes we hear in our heads range from odd to bizarre to outright self-hatred. Sometimes we don't even realize we have them playing, they're so entrenched. Every one of us has some issue in this regard, but mine (relatively benign) spent years receding, thanks in no small part to reinforcement from a very kind, very beloved, and (I believe) a completely sincere person. Without heading any further down this path, which will inevitably lead me to feel as though I've managed to somehow, in full view of thousands, flip my skirt up over my head (what are the odds of that?!), let's just say that the voices in my head don't feel very friendly of late. I had no idea that nonsense was still hanging out in there, but voila! There it is, and then some.

At least I still have some sense of humor, I suppose. Some other time I'll write about how hearing people cut themselves down for their (perceived) imperfections makes me wince, like a psychic blow has been dealt, or how I so wish that we, us lovely, precious women, would look at ourselves in love, with appreciation, as our lovers truly do, instead of with criticism, as if we've nothing better to do than invite that sort of negativity into our lives as we would an honored dinner guest. Maybe I'll even get around to quoting from one of my other favorite books of late: Woman: an Intimate Geography. Like this part: (she's comparing sizes of various male and female primates)

"I'm not saying this simply to have fun with numbers (although I am having fun with numbers, and as a fairly small woman it's heartening to think of myself as an impressively large female primate.) What I am doing is offering grist for for the argument that women need muscle mass more than men do, and that while nature has given us a nudge in a more monumental direction, we must take the hint and make the most of our long-lived vessel. We need muscle for practical reasons, and we need it for the mind's I, the uncertain self, and in both cases we need it now more than ever."

Or this:

"Being strong won't make you happy or fulfilled, but it's better to be sullen and strong than sullen and weak."

Not that the book is about muscle, it's not. But I digress. Regress. Whatever. As she says:

"Physical strength is but one allele of strength. There are all the other strengths: of self-conviction, of purpose, of being comfortable in your designated plasm. I don't know if physical strength can enhance those other, intangible strengths, if a better braced body can give one ovarios of heart. It's a good gimmick though, a place to start, or to return to when all else fails."

As I said, not about muscle, but the chapter is titled Cheap Meat. (chortle) As much as I'm enjoying these books, they may be the only ones that I read this year. Besides the ones I'm doing with the kids, that is. I keep falling asleep after a paragraph or two and there's no visible solution for that.

Aaaanyway... Grief is a crazy thing. In order to appreciate the oasis, one must walk on out into the desert and wail. And hey, after all that what's left to fear? Only fear itself. It's not pretty, but there it is. So. I've done the story-reading, bed-tucking, med-dosing thing, now to drown out the voices in my head--maybe they'll disappear behind some push-ups and prayer. Do you think it's possible to fall asleep in the middle of lunges? Let's find out.

Thanks for the good thoughts, the sweetness of prayer, the sprinkle of pixie dust. The encouragement keeps me upright when the rest of everything is going to heck in a handbasket. And hey, even with everything else, the kids are Learning, for goodness sakes. Ask G about Dante's Inferno. It's all good.

Wishing you peace, healing, and bliss in the ordinary.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


This made me bawl. I just love her. I wish I had something else useful to say here, but I'm afraid that at any attempt I'd just start crying again.

(Sound of heralding trumpets) I'm going to take down my CafePress shop--under the SHOP heading to your right. It's rather mocking me these days. In what, nine months? I've made exactly $17, none of which I've actually seen, because they don't pay "shopowners" until they hit at least $25. Plus, the magnificent camera is out of commission (sniff), so no hope for anything new to add. And, I wish it was more, somehow. There are probably better sites, but my focus lies elsewhere. Take a last look. As soon as I can get around to doing it (could be next year--snort), I'm done with my little experimental foray into photography. I was very proud of my technology-challenged self in getting all the pictures together and all, but there's just no time for sentimental dithering. Tra la la.

Off to read bedtime stories (no crying), do meds and sniff Q's neck (no crying), and tuck the little angels in (definitely no crying allowed). Hmm. When my expectations have dropped this far, whaddya think--maybe I'm tired?

What're the rules for this broken heart thing again? If you have a link, please, to some sort of enlightening information...

Rest well.

No title, don't have one, can't think anymore

Have you ever had an exchange with someone that left you thinking, "Wait a second. Perhaps everything I thought was true isn't." And then you wonder what is true, if perhaps you'll turn around to discover that you're levitating or living in someone else's house. Or you suddenly expect to look up and see the sky is pink or that squirrels are building elaborate condominiums in the trees. Nope. It's just the woodpeckers hammering away. For a second there, I thought they were on the inside of my head. We all live in a yellow submarine... If I could perhaps get my brain to stop racing, maybe I could wrap it all the way around the material I'm struggling with. Sort of wrestle the subject to the ground, as it were.

In other news, I'd been hoping for awhile to get G and Q weekly appointments in OT and Speech, respectively, in place of the twice per month schedules they have been on. It's been several months since their therapists last brought it up, but in the last several days schedule slots have opened--no doubt due to the shake-up of a new school year. So the boys will be at the therapy place a little more, hopefully with corollary pay-off.

For many, many weeks, I've been waking up with the words to Lincoln Brewster's Everlasting God running in my head.

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
Wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord...
...Our God You reign forever
Our hope our strong Deliverer
You are the everlasting God
The everlasting God
You do not faint You won't grow weary
You're the defender of the weak
You comfort those in need
You lift us up on wings like eagles...

So. Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord... The first thing running through my head every morning, as I whisk through the shower, run on to breakfasting everyone, mixing/dosing meds, doing school, Strength will rise... A luverly friend mentioned to her friend that I was having this experience, how much I was really leaning on the words as things were crummy and even when they weren't. In that same conversation, my friend said that she was going to get the CD and send it to her friend to get it autographed, because her friend? She sings with Lincoln Brewster. How awesome is that?! So, dear friend of friend said, "Naw, let me just get one at church." She did, she got it autographed, and she sent it to me. It came with the sweetest note from dear friend of friend and the text Phillipians 1:6 written in the front of the CD cover, along with the autograph. When I went to look it up, this is what I read. What encouragement.

As I was thinking about all this, I realized that some people who read here may find all this religion--or dogma, really--stuff offensive. (Turns out I'm more widely linked than I'd realized.) Two things: first, that makes me cringe a little, since I hope to not accidentally turn anyone off to the whole God thing. Sooner or later, I'm bound to say something you don't agree with. I believe religion/spirituality to be a very personal journey and that none of us has any business crawling up other people's noses on the subject. Second, get over it. You may have noticed that I linked God's Politics on the side -->. Again, I hope it doesn't offend anyone, but if so, I trust that you too (the other side) are capable of getting over it. Heh.

I find myself in the odd position of being too conservative, too liberal, too something for apparently most actual organizations. Sometimes, for most actual people. Is it not weird--that I'm not conservative or liberal enough? At this point, even the labels make me cringe. I'm more and more okay with that. Turns out that if you go reading the fine print, most organizations aren't so much worth the hoop-jumping they require for inclusion. I'd rather be free to figure out what, where, how, than have to toe the line with some funky statement of faith that I'm not reeeeally sure I can agree with. Or one that I'm pretty sure I can't agree with. Or one that makes me want to dial 911 and whisper, "Help!" I'd rather stumble a little, while earnestly using the magnificent brain God gave me (you have one too, yes you do) than sit up on high somewhere all safely bundled and cossetted, free from any errant challenge.

Besides, in order to be a bonafide grown-up, one must be able to do what one loves, knows, believes to be right and then stand, whatever the fall-out. If you're going to open your mouth, you'd better be prepared for what comes next. This has made me more careful about what I say. Is it worth it to bring up a hot topic or offer my opinion when someone else has done so? Perhaps. Am I willing to go down the path of re-hashing all the particulars of whatever someone else may feel they need to say to justify themselves in response to me? It depends. Less and less so, actually. There are a few people and a couple of topics I'm willing to go there with, but that is almost 100% of the time a simple conversation between friends. Anymore, I mostly have no problem sitting quietly and letting things just waft by. Seriously. I'm Busy. I enjoy hearing other people's opinions, but I don't really have the energy to grapple with all the nice people and their tough topics. Plus, I think, as I've regarded myself more seriously as a writer (ahem), that I've had to come to grips with the idea that there are people alive on the planet today who will never like me (wince), even people who when reading here will then feel entitled to say or do rather odd things. Doing this, this writing thing, while still being who I am, has required me to get over myself a little. This is good. And I'm still learning, slowly, painfully, how to be human. I feel rather naked right now, actually. Breathing in and out, iiiiiiit's ooookaaaayyyy...

When I was an adolescent, the church's youth paper put out an issue that dealt with abortion. Stories and first person accounts from all sides were tactfully presented. The editorial piece that tied it all up for me said basically this: Until both sides are willing to recognize that if their mothers had followed medical advice, we would have lost both Beethoven and Hitler, I can't take either side's posturing seriously. The details of the platforms, sure. The politics, no.

This is the trouble with life, as I see it. There's a lot to think about while we're busy with the quotidian. Sometimes we don't do a very good job with all that spiky, volatile, difficult information. Sometimes, often when we need the most help, we don't do a very good job with each other. Sometimes, we have to slow up enough to realize that there are two sides to every story, that taking care of the people first, stuff second is where it's at, that we're going to have to sift through it all for ourselves, whether we like it or not, or the experience never becomes our own. Even if we don't really feel up for the task, it's what we have to do. And at the end of it all, there might not be a perfect solution.

I know of someone who believes that we are all far more products of our religious upbringings than we're willing to admit, cognitively. That we must acknowledge, even embrace the traditions we were raised in, at the very least as our roots, lest we spend the rest of our time here being chased and therefore owned by our fears of the same. We're all inhabitants of a messed-up, piercingly beautiful planet, and the manifestation of that is rampant.

If only we could take the good, the glowing, the rich and emollient and leave the rest. If only the things that fill us up were enough to mend others' broken hearts. If only I knew...

After days like today, I feel drained. Sort of in a good way--lots of great stuff accomplished, yes--but mostly just drained. And it makes me wonder. Maybe those squirrels really are building condos.

Thanks, thanks and more thanks to the wonderful person who sent me the CD. What a blessing. She's on-air talent, you may even have heard her (wink). I'm off to look at next week's lessons, then settle my brain, I hope. When you find The Answers, email me, will you? Thanks.

'night, all. Sweet dreams.

Strength will rise...

Sunday, September 09, 2007


This has been a really crummy weekend for almost everyone I know. Really crummy.

Between IV antibiotics/hospital admission, severely abraded little toes, stitches in one little lip, pukingpukingpuking, and a quick trip to the peds office today with Q, almost everyone has had some kind of medical emergency this weekend. Thankfully, our immediate family has been limited to just a scrip for Zyrtec for Q and a nice little schedule of Tylenol and ibuprofen dosing. I don't think I could take the crying, howling angst that he's been doing lately and any of those other things. The boy is working on three molars and having some crud in his ears from allergies--we think. I'd howl too.

He had a lovely time in PT on Friday. It was his first time having pool therapy. If he could, he would have happy danced all over the place. He was a hoot for his PT--talking to her, letting her just feel the love. Her only concern was keeping him from dunking himself. Again with that part fish thing. He'd make his daddy proud.

Q: What does a baby say when trying to nurse and giggle all at once?
A: Hoing hoing. Try it. You say it and you'll see just how his little mouth was shaped. Really. He said it. Hoing hoing. It makes me giggle. Hoing hoing. The boy's got some skills. Hoing hoing. Hoing hoing. Hoing hoing.

Spotted today, my new favorite bumper sticker: Madness takes its toll. Please have exact change.

Have a super week. Spread those hugs and kisses all around. Here's one to get you started: Mwaaaa. Ooooo-weeee! (Hugs with sound effects.)

'Night. (Oh, I hope.)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Joy is the absence of pain

Or: How not to slice a lime.

The perks of being a weenie when it comes to my own pain levels and free-flowing blood? When I lie down, white-faced, in the middle of the kitchen, apparently K knows that I need a "puke bowl." And she delivers it promptly. Not so much luck in the Band-aid department.

Notes for next time? Do not, under any circumstances, cut yourself to ribbons (okay, it's only one actual ribbon) while your hands are covered in lime and lemon juice.

Things I've noticed? Well, I can type pretty quickly with my left middle finger up in the air. Ibuprofen is my friend. Also, I need insurance. (Pfffffbt.)

That is all.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Speaking of parenting (weren't we just?), here's a little something to think about.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Labor days

Madame Mental multivitamin is always a good stirrer of thoughts, but there are two that I'm finding particularly, well, awesome.

The first should be viewed only if you're not squeamish. Or if you've ever faced a writing deadline. Even if you are squeamish, the looming deadline business should jolly well cancel that out. Heh.

The second is a call to arms for those of us dedicated to our children's success--particularly in learning. If you're a teacher by profession, if you're busy supervising your offspring's undertakings, if you just love your babies, you'll find her entry a respite. Dealing with kids sometimes requires a retreat into one's own head in order to simply recharge before taking on the daily-ness all. over. again. Madame M-mv presents ample inspiration as we slip from summer to fall, whether you have your children in your own family-centered learning project, or you're doing something more like packing lunches and sending them to a classroom.

For a final rounding out of your soul, read here, here, and here. Now tell me you don't feel ready to take on whatever will present itself. Mm-hmm. I know. The rest of her unblog is the same, more or less. Meander on through.

So. Go forth. Enjoy your Labor Day, then enjoy your labors. The fruits are always good, a break in routine is nice, but remember to enjoy your labors. If they are worthy of your time, they are worthy of your pleasure. Choose well, then revel, baby.

(Okay, minus the act of scrubbing the toilet. But you know what I mean.)

Blessings, peace, rest, renewal to you.