We moved!


Okay, so the girls moved. We have a small house and are limited on space, so DH switched his office to the girls’ old room, and the girls moved into what used to be his office. We figured that it would be quite an ordeal with breaking down the bunk beds and DH’s office desk, plus transferring filing cabinets and a safe. DH scheduled four days off to get the move finished. We did it in one. I say ‘we’, knowing that I did very little of the manual labor, mostly keeping Rosie out of harm’s way. I spent a few hours trying to keep her distracted, and failed. We often use a tension gate to keep her out of trouble, and I realized late yesterday that it could expand to fit the entrance to the hallway that leads to the bedrooms in our house. It placed a convenient barrier that allowed both me and DH to work together in the transfer of ‘stuff’ back and forth from room to room. However, within five minutes of placing that gate, I saw Rosie sizing up the obstacle between her and us. Rosie made every effort to squeeze under the gate, which was the most logical way, considering it was 5 inches off the floor. She first tried to stare down the gate, then tried to slip under, head first, then left-side first, followed by feet first. Rosie never asked for the Vaseline or a shoe horn, and she never cried in frustration. Not even once. She learned that while her head and torso may slide easily through, her rear end is another story.
Rosie finally realized that she could only observe Mom and Dad through the plastic mesh of the gate, but decided that wasn’t enough. My little one spent the rest of the late afternoon peering at us from under the gate.

So finally Rosie has her own big-girl bed, and shares a room with Catie. The beds are bunks no more (Papa and Rainie bought bunk beds that separate nicely, *thanks, you two*), and the middle and the youngest girls share a room. Halie is sharing space with the family office, and will soon have a twin-sized bed to go with her mattress. Each daughter seems quite pleased with the move!

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If you wonder where I got it from

We must have inherited our ability to make just about anyone laugh. (read: make even a well-spoken individual search for an appropriate comeback) I enjoyed lunch with my sister today, who is expecting her first child, a son, at any given moment. No, I’m not being dramatic, considering her own doctor did not think she would make it this far in her pregnancy. I am very excited, but of course, I’m not the one who will be losing sleep or changing diapers while trying to ‘bounce back’- WAIT. I’m still doing exactly that! My sister’s son will be the very first boy born in our family. My DH told my sister to be prepared to have the ‘most spoiled nephew in history’. As much as DH loves his role as King of the Castle, he must secretly wish that he’d had a boy. Maybe he still could, with his NEXT wife. Over lunch, my sister asked me to tell her the one thing that I wish I had been told before we brought our first baby home. I wanted her to know what I had to learn years later: Being a Mother is not always the most beautiful thing in the world. It is sometimes yucky, frustrating,leaving you weary and in much need of a long shower utilizing a Brillo pad to rid yourself of the slop of the past few days. I wish I had known that I did not have to answer the perpetual question, “How do you feel about having a baby?”, with a positive answer like, “It’s what I’ve always dreamed of!” BS!! I’d like to see how Katie Holmes deals with Postpartum Depression – better yet – let’s see Tom Cruise trying to give her some vitamins!

My sister and I alternately joked with our waiter, but she definitely got the best one in quite early in the meal. The waiter was taking our drink orders, and after each of us had given our requests, he gestured towards Rosie (sitting in a high-chair). My sister smiled, and in a serious tone said, “Scotch.” Poor guy. With both women from our particular gene pool, he was sunk before we were even seated in his section.

D.A.R.E. for First Graders

Drug – Abuse – Resistance – Education
This week is Red Ribbon week at my daughter’s elementary school. I recently sat down with her, prepared to have to explain a lot of things to her about drugs. “Do you know what I mean when I say ‘drugs’? There’s medicine that your doctor prescribes to make you better, and medicine that buy buy at the store, like the Tylenol I give you when you have a fev-“, I began, before Halie stopped me. She told me,”I think it’s about using drugs everyday, whether you need to get better or not. I know that there are drugs that the police will arrest you for, but I’m not sure what they are.” You could have knocked me over with a feather. I’m just glad that my first-grader did not climb in the car and casually ask me, “Momma, what’s crack ?” Whew! Dodged a bullet there. I am prepared to be honest with my children about my past drug abuse, but I hadn’t expected to broach the subject with my daughters at five and six years old! I might as well, before they figure out that Mommy does not know everything.

This week has been a Drug Awareness Week, and there has been a wardrobe to match:

Monday – ‘Sock it to drugs’- wear crazy socks
Tuesday – ‘Team up against drugs’ – wear team shirts
Wednesday – ‘Don’t get tied up with drugs’ – wear a tie
Thursday – ‘Living drug free is no sweat’ – wear sweats
Friday – ‘Red Day’ – wear as much red as possible

Halie has participated so far, except for wearing a tie on Wednesday.
It’s never too early, I have recently discovered. Have you had a talk with your children?

Something to Laugh About

A salesman called the house and a little boy answered the phone, “Hello,” said the boy.

Man: “Hello, is your mother home?”

Boy:”She’s busy.”

Man:”Well, is your father home?”

Boy: “He’s busy too,” in a whispered voice.

Man: “May I ask when they will be free?”

Boy: “I’m not sure,” still whispering.

Man: “Well is there any other adult I could speak with?”

Boy: “There is a police officer here.”

Man: “A police officer?”

Boy: “Yes,” in a barely audible voice.

Man: “May I talk with him?”

Boy: “No, he’s busy too.”

Man: “What’s he doing?”

Boy: “He is talking with my parents and the firemen.”

Man: “Firemen?!”

Boy: “Shhh…”

Man: “Are you telling me the police and fire department are at your house?”

Boy: “Yeah,” still whispering.

Man: “How long have they been there?”

Boy: “I don’t know, I can’t tell time,” in a hushed voice.

Man: “Is there anyone I can speak with?”

Boy: “No. Quiet, I’m trying to listen…”

Man: “Son, is there an emergency?”

Boy: “No.”

Man: “Could you please let me speak with your parents?”

Boy: “No, they are busy.”

Man: “So, the police and fire department are at your house, there is no emergency and you cannot interrupt your parents?”

Boy: “That’s what I said,” again whispering.

Man: “Well what in the world is going on over there?!”

Boy: “They’re looking for me.”

Glad my children know not to touch the phone unless a grown-up hands it to them! The exception being to dial 9-1-1, of course.

Good and Bad – in so many ways

First a GOOD part : Today, DH and I were privileged enough to be invited to attend a Baylor Health Care System Board Meeting. I was told that the video of my recovery (taped in May 2005) would be shown to the board, and that I’d be there as a ‘success story’ – ‘proof’ if you will, that besides the positive financial numbers, Baylor affects each human being they treat. My physician, Dr.C, has been rehabilitating patients who have suffered Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), since long before I was her patient. Regardless of Dr. C’s number of success stories, she made me feel special when I was in her direct care. I could go on and on about Dr. C , respective therapists and nurses at Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation with cheerful memories, but to sum it up in one sentence: BIR helped me to heal physically, mentally and emotionally, so I could resume my life. At the Board meeting, I expected to hear a lot of information that I knew nothing about. What I did not expect was to discover a passion about my state government! I never knew that Dr. C was so involved in the passing of bills that directly relate to her own patients’ care. Listening to her share about a bill that is headed into ‘sunset‘, and wanting to make sure that it does not simply die in legislature made me want to travel to Austin and stand in front of both Houses, pleading the bill myself. While I have made myself available to share the story of my accident and recovery with anyone who’ll listen, I never imagined that I could have so much impact in the Texas Government. DH sat in the seat to my left, out of my line of sight. Though we held hands though the presentation, I could not see how Dr. C’s words were affecting him,
until the meeting was adjourned, and we simultaneously volunteered to go to Austin with her.
Entirely possible that DH and I will be in correspondence with Rick Perry’s office in the future.

Let me take this opportunity to personally thank all of the staff at Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation who taught me, guided me, encouraged me, prayed for me, and strengthened me. God used each of you in a phenomenal way in my recovery, and you still continue to touch my life.

But of course, the BAD part: When I saw Halie waiting under a tree with the rest of her class after school, she looked like her clothing had been mauled by a wild animal. I dropped her off at school this morning in an entirely solid outfit, consisting of jeans, t-shirt and a red zippered hoodie. The child who climbed into the vehicle was wearing what resembled jeans, ripped from crotch to cuff down one leg. What was left was being held together by staples and a prayer. My little Joey Ramone wannabe! If I had not already had a phone call from Ms. F about these jeans, I’d have been asking some serious questions. Ms. F approached the car with a bright red bundle in her hands which she held up for me to see. It was the hoodie that Halie had dressed herself in this very morning – ripped apart! All I could say was, “Halie does not need anyone else to entertain her.” (insert tone of sarcasm here)This day was getting better and better. As I drove home, I (silently) went over some ideas for potential discipline approaches: 1) Make her wear them anyway, just the way they are, 2) make her pay in sweat for the two pieces, 3) see if Grandma can repair them, and still make Halie wear them to school. I called DH when we got home, and his thoughts were to let her just be ‘cold’ for one night, since she doesn’t seem to appreciate the clothing provided for her. I agreed. So, Halie spent this evening in her bed. In her underwear, with only a pillow and a blanket. She had PB&J for dinner with water to drink( read: plain bread and water seemed too harsh). She was sound asleep by 6:30PM. I called Grandma, who agreed to survey the damage, and tell me ‘yeah’ or ‘nay’ regarding repairs.. This story is to be continued…

But this adventure ends well, I tell you! Not long ago, Halie created a pumpkin for a school contest. I’m kicking myself for not snapping a picture of it before she lugged it off to school. I can easily describe it for you: a medium-small pumpkin, wearing a baby bonnet, complete with pacifier and large google eyes with hand-drawn eyelashes (of course). She turned it in last week, and over the weekend, in the Texas HEAT, it began to rot as it sat on the floor outside the classroom door. Monday morning, I got a call from Ms. F that the ‘Baby’ pumpkin was no more. Halie was devastated, convinced that another student had sabotaged her prize-winning creation. Ms. F’s own daughter, a third-grader at the same elementary school, found another pumpkin and reassembled Halie’s ‘Baby’ pumpkin. My hero! More importantly, Halie’s hero! My first grade daughter proudly showed me a certificate that showed her ‘Baby’ pumpkin had won the prize ‘Funniest In Class’. It’s tough to stay mad when Iamsoproudofmydaughter!

It’s BAA-AACK!

I spent Saturday afternoon and evening alternately barfing and snoozing. I figured out the pattern my body was making: Barf, then 30 minutes of rest, barf again, followed by another 30 minutes of rest. So I took a chance. Immediately after the last barf session, I swallowed two Dramamine, which have helped me with motion sickness in the past. The label read ‘May cause drowsiness’. It should have read, “Don’t make any friggin’ plans”, since after I took it, I crashed on the sofa. I mean I was sound asleep! Halie and Catie were having an all-out water war in the kitchen, just four feet from my head, while I snored happily. DH played computer games behind his closed office door, and I didn’t wake until I heard his stern voice directing the girls in mopping up the fallout. I knew right away that I was in the wrong . I had not told DH that I was taking the medication, and knew that he had retreated to a safe place to avoid the Princess of Puke. Every family has them, and I was one before becoming a Mommy: a Sympathy Puker. No wonder that DH was avoiding me.
Later, I was feeling solid enough to try some crackers. The crackers were soon followed by some blueberry tea, which I used to down two more Dramamine. The rest of the evening is foggy, but I do know that there was no more barfing involved. I woke this morning feeling great, aside from the familiar pain in my head. Oh great. It’s baa-aack!

Independence Day

Halie was already up and dressed (again) the very next morning. She had decided to make her own breakfast as well. She created her favorite: Butter on Wheat Bread. Not toast, mind you. Baked wheat sandwich bread. Halie gave me a nod when I asked her if I could watch. She deftly laid out two slices of wheat bread, then went to the refrigerator to retrieve the butter spray. Halie held the bottle over the bread, and tried to force the pump down to make the butter-like substance coat her breakfast bread. I offered to help, but got a stern, ‘No.’ Good thing I backed away when I did. Halie did manage to make the liquid spray out, but she forgot to make sure that the opening was pointed toward the bread. Instead, it was pointed toward her face. I’ve never heard her make the sound I heard – AARRGH! I was doing my best to stifle a laugh when she turned around and burst into a whole-hearted belly-laugh herself. She had held her eyes closed in the strain to make the pump work, but she had spatters of butter on her lips, eyelids, her hair, and some sprinkles on her cheeks that complimented with her abundant freckles. Note to self: always have the camera ready!

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