29 January 2007

day 19

Today is huge to me.
I have not said much on this for the sake of privacy and safety for my family (I think I gave a brief mention of it a little while back), but today it is finally over and I am going to share.

My husband has been on a business trip. For the past 19 days. In the Philippines. Today, he will finally arrive home sweet home once again, and I already feel a deep weight lifted off my chest.

How much I have missed him, well there are no words for that. I think I love him far more than I did before he left, and I already was madly in love with the man. He is very much an integral part of my being and I can honestly say half of me has been out of the country recently. I’m ready to wrap my arms around my love, I know that much.

We were able to chat online almost every day. Twice a day. He played occasional checkers and tic-tac-toe with Little B online as well. And he voice chatted with us and told bedtimes stories that way. So close and yet so far away. To help mark the time at home, we taped 19 strips of paper to the mantel and made a paper chain, adding one link each day. On each link, I wrote the date and on the flip side, something about that day, whether a trip to the store or how much we missed him. It was a nice way to see how much time was left versus how much had passed. Both of us uploaded pictures to Snapfish so he could see the kids and we could see the places he went.

But, today, I add the last link and now I must busy myself doing some chores around the house and probably running an errand or two. Today is a glorious day, friends. Windy and cold, yes, but wonderful and beautiful regardless.

**For anyone who has been wondering, I posted not long ago about the need for my husband to have testing done due to specific cancer in his family. All tests were negative—no sign of cancer, no sign of infection. His grandmother, however is not holding up well and her cancer is spreading.**

23 January 2007


I may have mentioned before that we keep both of our children off all dairy products for the most part. Well, with Miss C, she’s very allergic and will instantly produce variable quantities of hives around her face; we carry an epi-pen “just in case” she ever has a “systematic” reaction. I surely hope I never, ever have opportunity to use. And she is never intentionally exposed to dairy, I assure you.

Little B, however, is (typically) off dairy as we think he’s allergic with a different reaction: that being an increase in his sensory processing dysfunction as well as noticeable sinus issues that are way too often linked to pizza, milk, etc (and sometimes result in ear infections). This conclusion was reached after much reading and research. Recently, he has had “small” bits of dairy via pizza several weeks ago, cookies (which had butter baked into them), and a general slacking on our part of items made with dairy but not a direct dairy source. The cookies he had almost daily for over a week. Also, this month, we’ve noticed a decline in the progress we were so pleased about. He is having a much harder time focusing, following through, and “hearing” directions. Essentially, his brain is delayed in processing the “input”, so his body doesn’t “output” right away. OH, it’s so frustrating. For him and us.

So, as of this weekend, we have gotten stricter about the no-dairy for Little B again. It takes time for it to completely leave the body, so it will take time to know if it makes a difference. Of course, once that decision was set, we found out that tomorrow his class is having donut holes. Dairy is in donut holes. I refuse to back down on this since it always takes several false starts (ie, a grandparent offering a treat and not realizing it’s dairy, etc.).

I have spent countless hours trying to find a solution that would be acceptable to my five year old's heart. First, I offered muffins I know he likes, Oreos, and other treats. He told me it would be too hard to smell the donuts and not eat them. So then I tried to figure out if I can buy vegan or at least dairy free donuts--lots of phone calls later, I know for sure they are made, just not to be found locally since they sell slow (and there was no time for shipping them, though I'd have paid the price for my little man).

Which leaves, what? MAKING some. After an embarrassing kitchen disaster, I called a friend who is much more, uh, culinary-inclined, shall we say, and she suggested Bisquick donuts. I found a recipe online today and made a trip to the store—I had no Bisquick on hand. And so, I made donut holes. No Dunkin’ Donuts or Krispy Kreme to be sure, but they are donuts none-the-less-thank-you-very-much. My son is way beyond happy that he will have donuts to eat with his class and I am happy that he does not need to be denied. (And they have been taste-tested repeatedly by all of us--I made them vegan for my little girl who is also allergic to eggs.)

Whew. Catastrophe averted.

20 January 2007

potty talk

When we moved into this house, the first "issue" we noticed was the ultra slow flushing of the toilets. It would often just barely get the water flushed through. We learned quickly that if anyone had to "do business", it must be flushed before any toilet paper could be added to the pot--and if much was needed, there was a fair amount of flushing in between times. Highly annoying, and the plunger has been used more in the past several months than I have ever dreamed of using one in my lifetime.

Enter my father. He knows a little bit about a lot of things. Sometimes I believe he can answer nearly any question I could have. He's a subcontractor which adds to his knowledge bank about stuff like potties. He checked in the back of the toilets and knew what we did not (we'd looked too, but it meant very little to us). There are large cylinders around the rubber stopper slowing the water flow, essentially a water saver, I think. How it was saving water when we had to flush so many extra times is beyond me!

He cut large notches out of them to give a better water flow and voila! My potty WORKS! It even sounds like a real potty flushing now. I get a tiny thrill every time I hear that distinct sound. It's only been a few days, and I find there is an ingrained dread of "Will I need the plunger for that?" (Let me tell you, going one week without plunging was a treat and meant a well-catered potty!) Now, I push that dread away and think, "Listen. . .it's flushing". Then I smile.

16 January 2007


I turned 31 last week, and almost forgot about it—I “knew” but didn’t really think on it long. Honestly, it startles me the week of Christmas to realize my birthday is imminently upon me. This is ME, the girl who used to think it was a big deal and everyone should be remembered that one day at least (I was even known to be mildly hurt if I didn't get at couple of calls); this time I was swamped with other things and just didn’t care, yet almost all my friends called (the phone rang constantly throughout the day and on into dinner). It was nice to chat with them but for once it was just a day.

My family came for dinner (Mom cooked, not me; now that is a gift!), my brother drove about 6 hours round trip to see me, my husband made his usual last minute stop for gifts on his way home from the office (my expectations have lowered over the years, and even this did not bother me). In all, it was a nice day, but no big deal. Several days later, it occurred to me that I was no longer “30”. Now that felt odd.

I do think I'm ready for a calmer year, though. The past two have really done me in and I'm tired. Deep tired.

11 January 2007

the smallest details

I meandered out of Target after picking up a few things my husband needed right away and perusing the aisles while the store was once again quiet and calm, the crowds dispersed at last until the end of the year. I'd found slippers 75% off for myself as well as some nice socks on clearance, then refurbished our supply of soymilk and bananas, grabbed some strawberries on sale. Upon getting in the car and turning out onto the street, I was chatting with my husband on my cell phone, seeing how his day was wrapping up. I glanced at the dashboard clock and gasped; my heart began to pound. I had approximately 5 minutes--2 if she was early, 9 if she was late--to make it home in time to meet the school bus. But, I was 15 minutes from home (I know how long it takes to get to my Target...I frequent it, well, frequently!).

I got off the phone and began to pray in earnest. A small thing, really, but my car needed wings and safety. Oh, and my son's bus really needed to be late. I know they won't leave him at the house if I'm not home, but how frightened and forgotten would my sensitive little man feel? It was a rocky week for him already and my not being home would worry him for sure.

I put in a call to my across-the-street neighbor with kids of her own, though she drives them to and from school; I know she often gets home right before the bus arrives, and I was hoping she'd see it--even if all it did was reassure him I was okay and on my way since I knew the driver would not let him off in the care of a stranger (something I am quite thankful for, really). However, I spoke frantically to only her answering machine.

My car sailed, glided, whatever you want to call it. I stayed behind a line of cars that went faster than the average, but not too fast (I'm very particular about pushing the speed limit very far). Miss C was calm and restful in the back versus the occasional cranky attitude that seems to get stuck in her carseat with her. I made it home in 12 minutes. I was breathless and hopeful and fearful and a thousand other things all at once. I parked in the driveway just in case the bus had not arrived, so there would be no mistaking I was home, left my peaceful little girl in her carseat while I checked the mail, peering down the street, then ran inside to call the school, fully expecting no one to answer. But, answer the blessed lady did, and she said the bus had not radioed her yet about a parent not being home at our house, so it would seem they were late. My entire being began to relax at last as I hurried back down the driveway. Sure enough, as I hung up with her, the bus rolled around the corner up the hill from us.

My poor heart was still slowing down as they stopped at our home; it turns out there was a problem with a road on their route and the driver had to take a detour. She had called Transporation to report it and everything. My son's bus was more than 10 minutes late that day, and never have I been so thankful for road delays.

By chance? Not on your life. Every prayer I breathed was answered. My God is in the smallest details of my life and my heart overflows with this. My car indeed sprouted wings, with more safety than I could have fathomed. My son's bus was indeed late, and I met it with my little boy safe and sound and he was spared the worry of wondering where his mommy was.

05 January 2007


I can tell we are entering the two year old stage of life with my daughter:

More screaming.

Less sleep.

More words.

Less distractable.

More mischief (which she's always into anyway!).

Less variety (from plate to mouth).

More adorable.

Less cooperation.

More "No!"

More expression.

More frustration.

More lovin'.

Oh, and she's completely in love with Caillou...I mean, if she could, she'd probably propose.

04 January 2007

what we decided

This took a lot of deliberation on my part; my husband, apparently, was more set in his ideas of what our son's tooth should bring.

Originally--and only one person saw it before I changed it--I had posted that I was considering two quarters for the first tooth, one thereafter. After a friend said she did a dollar per tooth, I felt chintzy and as I said, completely unsure. So, I changed my post and made it vague

Then, my mother said I got about a dollar a tooth. Okay, I just don't have memories that are precise enough to find that information (I remember liking losing teeth and the little container my mom kept them in...I actually have them packed away still!). My husband was thinking in the dollar range also (he says he got about a dollar, sometimes more, depending on what change was in his dad's pocket). We both wanted to do "more" for the first.

The "first" would be generating $5 for one of his friends (roughly a dollar thereafter), and another friend of mine had extremely generous parents--like $10 for front teeth, and we're talking 25 years ago, people (that one is a bit over the top for me!). Her parents also gave gum or stickers or something with each one (which I liked).

I had either a one dollar bill or a five dollar bill. So, we were going to give him the five until my parents said they wanted to add $1 to the the pot; we gave him $4 which felt a bit more balanced to me...of course, that was also convenient since I could still use the $5 bill. To say I was unprepared is putting it mildly.

And so what he found was a note with with a five dollar bill (the note explained the $4 from us and $1 from his grandparents plus lots of lovin') and tucked into the pocket of the little tooth-shaped pillow was a pack of gum I had not opened.

Bear in mind, as I mulled over the tooth fairy money, I was considering that while my little boy is hard-pressed to give up old toys, he was adamant about giving his money a few months ago to the Red Cross during a drive his school had. I wanted to honor his generous heart and be generous with him in return.

02 January 2007

tooth fairy

Help! My son is due to lose that first loose tooth any day, if not any moment now (literally)! For a long time it was just kinda loose, then suddenly it was all kinds of wiggly! Just as well it went very slowly for him (and he wasn't too aggressive in the beginning anyway). Oh, and it's an upper tooth, whereas the lower ones typically go first. Who knows why. He's so great, though...he lets his mommy check it out a few times a day! haha--I am not bothered at all and my husband and father get the "heebie-jeebies" about the whole thing.

So I need to know what the going rate is for the tooth fairy (aka--Mom and Dad, since my kids know the "truth" behind all these things)? I had an amount in mind, but think I was being rather cheap after talking to a friend earlier; on the other hand, I've got friends on the other extreme, so I feel really lost about this. And the tooth next door is already looking a bit loose as well...

Oh, and way back when it first showed it's "looseness", I made him a small blue tooth pillow. He's had it on the ready every night...I'm not sure if he thought the tooth would just fall out in his sleep and jump into the pocket or what. Very cute.

It's out! It fell out all by itself as he wiggled it, just like he'd hoped!