Sunday, August 30, 2009

maybe its time for a new preschool...

no, not because my daughter is afraid of the resident cat (which is most often chased away by other over-eager children)and not because of her massive anxiety at staying there each morning (because she really does like it and after the initial first few minutes of adjustment, warms up and thoroughly enjoys herself)

and not because of creative assignments i dread.

but because....

while checking ella's bin at the end of the day...

standing amongst other children and mothers...

some random baby (not naming any names here)

that just happened to be in my arms...

SPIT UP on some poor little boys HEAD.

will ella ever be able to overcome this embarrassment?
will i?

Thursday, August 27, 2009


i like statcounter. its the number counter that tells everyone who cares (for instance, me and me alone) how many people stop by my blog. and it has other fun tools as well.

such as how someone might venture onto my blog.

like if a lovely friend links to me.

or if you find my blog on my facebook page.


if you google something interesting that causes my little ol' blog to pop up.

for instance...

over the past week, i have been humorously surprised at the number of people who google "the most expensive bracelet." granted, someone may be intentionally looking for the mildly entertaining blog entry of bennett's ER adventure. but i doubt it. especially if you are googling from south africa, england, or pretty much anywhere on the face of the earth, for that matter.

so its been like 11 people in the last week. and my blog comes up first out of 927,000 "similar" matches.


humbling to say the least.

Monday, August 24, 2009

all about me

ella recently started preschool.
i'm going to spare you my typical blah, blah, blah about how my baby is all grown up, i'm gonna cry, etc... etc...

lets get on to the more important stuff.

one of the reasons i was so excited about preschool for ella, more so than the personal break (that really isn't a break since i'm keeping the high maintenance 11 month old with me), or the opportunity to learn her letters and numbers and such things she already knows, or even the independence and social opportunities abounding in this environment....

yes, one of the main reasons is that professionals could now be paid to come up with new and interesting outlets to occupy my daughters creative energy.

so imagine the way my insides groaned with dread when i picked up my homework thursday. ella's "all about me" page. yes, my homework.

i'll add that i love these teachers and i think its great they are doing a little book about the kids and i agree its nice for ella to be able to share her interests, likes, etc...

but i'm so not creative.

and where to begin...

so i asked ella. "what is your favorite color these days?"

"light pink, light purple, light red, light orange, sometimes i like light yellow, light white. oh, and wait, also, i kinda like light blue."

lovely little assortment, don't you think?

favorite food:

"pizza and hot dogs. and macaroni and cheese. and cupcakes. and fruit loops, life cereal, and lucky charms. oh, and i also like corn on the cob." yes, we do eat vegetables here. in between our tv dinners and carnival food, apparently.

favorite thing to do:

"go the children's museum or to grandkids camp. and i like to read and eat at the spaghetti factory. and i really like preschool. and making crafts. oh, actually, i like making crafts at preschool. and i love sunday school. and also, mommy, i like to go to kid's corner at the grocery store. and can i say busy bodies even though i don't really go there? and don't forget going to the beach and going to the park."

ok, new tactic. i'm just going to find the most recent pictures i can and go from there.

and maybe i can put something along the lines of "my name is ella and i'm really happy and easy to please. my life is pretty good as long as you give me sugar and surround me with pastels."

because really, what i think her paper should say is something along the lines of:

my name is ella. i am sweet and kind and thoughtful. i love to create things and use the wonderful mind God gave me. i'm strong and determined. i'm smart and i love Jesus. i am very aware of everything going on around me, which makes me very compassionate and understanding. i don't like change. i don't like new environments or putting my face under the water when i swim, but i'm willing to try these things and challenge myself. i am very dedicated and a hard worker. i like memorizing bible verses because i understand the truth of Jesus is better than the lies of satan. i love my family and the security i feel with them. my brother is my very best friend and we love to laugh and get into mischief together; everything is better when he is there to share it with. i love knowing the rules and following them. my 2 favorite items in life are scissors and tape. and when i grow up, i want to be a "helper."

i could go on and on, but really, since this page is all about ella, she'll be happier with a picture of cupcake.

but i know the truth.

Friday, August 21, 2009

drumroll please...

and the winner is...
...jennifer! so click on over and congratulate her.

i know, i know... you're sad you didn't win. well, its not too late to purchase one of these t-shirts for yourself. bethany will be bringing her daughter home soon, and your purchase helps make it all possible. so go buy a shirt already!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

everything i need to know in life...

i learn from my kids.

for instance:

live on the edge. break a few rules.

never forget the importance necessity of a good nap.

be yourself. because in the wise words of dr. seuss: "Those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

growing old with you...

my lovely great aunt pauline recently made a major transition in her life.

she went from living independently in her cozy little town house with her little dog.

to an independent living facility without her little dog.

this is pretty big move for someone in the 8th decade of their life. but i really think aunt pauline has one of the youngest hearts i know.

(side note: isn't this thing sweet? its a high chair. its a stroller. graco just doesn't make 'em like this anymore. i mean, sure, my kids would be doing suicide dives out of it since it doesn't have straps and doesn't meet current safety standards... but wouldn't it look great in my kitchen?)

our recent visit up north included more than just raisins and hospital visits. we also got to visit aunt pauline at her new digs.

and let me just tell you, i want to live there when i grow up. the place is awesome.

i mean, not only is her apartment nice and cozy, but the entire place is great with puzzle tables scattered about in cozy nooks, gourmet meals in the dining room, activities all day including arts and crafts and Wii games, shopping trips, bingo...

and there is even happy hour. every afternoon where, "you can just bring a soda or something. but some people... some people bring the hard stuff." (wink, wink)

it has a very welcoming feeling. a mixture of summer camp and dorm life, all rolled into one. some of the great memories of my life. (minus the walker-parking in the dining hall.)

its kinda like the not-a-care-in-the-world season. (of course i know this is not the case when you have to wear emergency call buttons on your necklace.)

while spending time with aunt pauline, my mom joked that it wouldn't be long before she had herself a boyfriend to sit in the other cozy chair in her living room. she laughed. she's quite a foxy lady, and i'm sure this will be the case. should there be a worthy ol' gent out there for her...

so it got me to thinking. someday, when i'm living there, parking my walker to eat my supper, putting puzzles together because someone else is vacuuming my room and taking out my trash...

you know, living the good life in my Depends...

i just can't imagine being there without anthony.

you know, thinking of aunt pauline's new boyfriend and all, i just can't imagine having to start all that business all over again so many years from now. i can't think of why i would want to begin again with someone who hasn't been there since the beginning (or the beginning that began when i was 23... you know what i mean.)

i just simply don't have the energy to explain to someone why i put salt on my grapefruit, ice in my milk and chips in my sandwich.

if survivor is in its 125th season, we can still ask each other on thursday mornings, "so, who's going tonight?"

we can still have our sometimes weekly "so, tell me your hopes and dreams" conversation...

i can still tell him all about the characters in my latest book...

i can roll my eyes and sigh with disgust if his channel surfing stops on ultimate fighting...

and when we put on our bifocals to look at pictures of our grand kids and read letters from ella about how her children just won't sleep, answer calls from bennett about his child's latest stunts that landed him in the ER, or when mason tells me his baby screams all the time, it will be nice to have someone to laugh with about the irony. i want to sit there with someone who can see me grin and he'll just know that the grin means, "haaa haa haaa! so there really is a such thing as karma."

its just nice to have so many wonderful memories with such a wonderful man.

not to say we won't get tired of each other from time to time. that's why he can go play wii while i do puzzles.

let's just say... once you marry your best friend, it just doesn't get any better than that.
so, in other words, don't go dying on me, anthony. we have lots of memories still to make.

Monday, August 17, 2009

best ever

in honor of the birthday of my precious little nephew, allow me to direct you to my most favorite blog post ever. you may have read it before, but if not... boy, have you been missing out on something your whole life...

so please, click on over and be moved and inspired:

best blog post ever

happy birthday, josh.

(don't forget to do your part to help bring an orphan home. enter the contest! lucky winner will be drawn on friday.)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

patent pending

the many uses of a onesie.
for the child too lazy to hold his own bottle.

*credit owed to daddy, the brains behind this invention.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

enter the give-away and make a difference for an orphan

the UN estimates there are 6 million orphans living in the country of ethiopia.

that's 6,000,000.

its hard to wrap your head around such a number. each being a child. each being an ella, or a bennett or a mason.

it seems overwhelming to try to do anything to help 6 million. 6 million individual souls special to God.

and yet, today you have the opportunity to help one.

my dear friend bethany is soon to welcome a precious little ethiopian girl into her family. she and her husband are selling very cool t-shirts to fund this mission.
so... go do your part to care for orphans in their distress and buy a cool t-shirt.

come on, i know you have $16 to share. all to make the difference in the life of an orphan... :)

in fact, i think its time for my first ever give-away.

ways to enter: 1. leave a comment. 2. visit bethany and then come back and tell me your favorite color. 3. post about the give-away on your own fancy little blog and link it in the comments.

enter as many times as you want. if you don't have a blog, leave your email so i can contact you and tell you all about the fabulous t-shirt you won.

Friday, August 7, 2009

the most expensive bracelet ever there was

after a lovely visit at my parents' house, in far greener, slightly cooler country, i'm driving down the road, sorta mentally checked out because the kids are happy and quiet and destined to drift off into a peaceful sleep on our way home.

so i'm somewhat aware of bennett saying, "owie! owww! owie!" but its kind of a silly-type whine, not so much an i-severed-a-limb type cry for help. so i absently respond with, "what hurts bennett?" to which he responds, "the raisin."

hmm... what could this be all about? a raisin. hurting?

so i glance in the rear view mirror and see his finger stuck up his nose.

trying to retrieve a raisin.

oh boy.

"bennett, did you put a raisin up your nose!!! get your finger out of there!!! i'm going to pull over." (i'm such a calm mother) so, on the side of the highway, i examined my son's nostril and promptly called my mom. i mean, she is a nurse and all, but even if she weren't, i'd call her anyway. she knows everything.

after digging through my suitcase for the tweezers and an unsuccessful attempt at roadside retrieval, it was back to grammy and poppa's house we go. bennett, starting to realize this is a bit more serious than he anticipated starts to look very worried and his eyes fill with tears.

my mom googles "remove raisin from nose" or something along those lines and we try a few techniques. and had bennett not been so traumatized at this point, i definitely would have photographed. for instance:

"close the empty nostril and blow hard in the child's mouth." you know, so the air will push the raisin out. my dad did this to my terrified child. no raisin, but there was a tad bit of snot that made its way to my dad's face. poppa of the year for sure.
a few other ideas also failed and my dad suggested trying some suction, such as hooking up a vacuum.

had i been crazy enough to try that, and it worked, the title for this post would have been:

"if you use a vacuum to remove a raisin from your son's nose... you just might be a redneck."

facing the fear that the raisin could be lodged out of reach or even make its way into his lung, it was off to the ER. because of course urgent care was already closed.

my dad works at this hospital. actually, he is currently the employee who has been with them the longest. i would have been born there, had i not been delivered in a traumatic experience at the doctors office that is now a bar or some other lively venue. regardless, he's worked there since before i made my appearance in this great world. so yeah, he's been around a LONG time. i kinda think this should count for something. like, say, free hospital bills for your family. yes, this is a grand idea. (should you work at this particular hospital, please forward this fantastic idea on to your administration. in fact i'll even let them advertise on my blog. for free. FREE! all in exchange for that raisin.)

growing up, if we had to go the hospital, since my dad's in tight with everyone, and since its a small town, we'd just head in the back door and they would see to our every need. like, say, if someone (not me... not my brother...) in our family broke their finger on the slide. or if someone (not me... not my brother...) swallowed a safety pin... we'd get taken care of and i'm pretty sure my parents never paid a penny.

oh, how sad i am that times have changed. sad indeed since our insurance has recently changed to one with an astronomically high deductible.

all for a raisin.

leaving my mom with a screaming 10 month old who wouldn't go to sleep and whining 4 year-old who didn't have a nap, my dad and i took bennett. and of course, while we were waiting... waiting... waiting... people kept stopping by and saying, "oh, hi randy." and they'd have a little chat with my dad and when they left i'd want to say, "so, who's that? do they work in the billing department?"

needless to say, the raisin came out with forceps and a well aimed light by the very skilled, very expensive fingers of a very sweet PA. after she pulled it out, she held it there asking if he wanted to eat it now and i'm sure i wasn't the only one in the room about to gag at the sight of it.
bennett has more than learned his lesson through all of this. his little lip kept quivering and his eyes filled with tears... so please, if you happen to see him, please refrain from the overused: "bennett, why did you put a raisin in your nose? don't you know you are supposed to eat those?" yes. yes, he knows that. and every time someone says that to him i think he might cry. so leave my baby alone!!!

and, as far as the discharge instructions: give tylenol for any pain and "teach your child not to put objects in his nose."
thanks, hospital. that thought never occurred to me.

i'm not sure how much this will cost us yet. but i do take donations. yes, i do.

bennett called anthony right after all this to tell him he was ok and all. and he says, "daddy! it was so gross! she pulled the raisin out and it had boogers all over it!!!"

ewwww is right.

so... no more raisins, no more swallowing pennies (or retrieving them), no more stitches.

bennett's cool new bracelet