Tuesday, November 29, 2011

on being interrogated by a very small person...

Have you ever been interrogated by a four year old? It's pretty intense, and goes something like this:

I'm really thirsty and need a drink of water!
I'm sorry, I don't have any water right now, you'll have to wait until we get home.
Why don't you have any water?! I'm REALLY thirsty!
We'll be home in a few minutes. You're being rude.
But I'm SOOOOO thirsty. WHY didn't you bring water. We had water earlier. Where is that water?
You drank all of it. I'm done having this conversation.
WHAT?! HOW did I drink all of that water. I can't drink a whole bottle of water! 
I don't like the way you are talking. It wasn't a whole bottle of water and yes, you drank all of it.
I'm just REALLY thirsty. WHY don't you have any water! 

And on and on and on, until my very own child sounds like the spoiled brat who belongs to a millionaire. What's the end of that story? She had a drink of water and then went to her room.

Yesterday I was having one of my mean mommy days. It started when we all woke up way too early and didn't end until after I'd read a very angry rendition of Brown Bear, Brown Bear and put Isabella to bed. (Seriously Eric Carle, what were you thinking? A purple horse, what are you trying to teach my kids. And then on top of that, I have to repeat the same dumb phrase over and over again).

Apparently I was the only parent at Isabella's preschool who didn't know there was NO SCHOOL yesterday. So there we were, lined up for drop off, minus the line of course because we were the only people there. I quickly realized my error and had to break the news to Isabella that there would be no school.

But WHY isn't there any school?
I guess because of the holiday.
But I WANT to go to school today. I HAVE to go to school today!
Okay, well, there isn't any school today so we're going to go home. But you'll get to got to ballet later!
BWAAAWWWAAA (that's her crying and melting down) But there are other cars here so that means I have school. 
No, these cars are other people who work at the church.
But Oma ALWAYS waits so that I can go into school.
AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH (that's me screaming silently in head) Well, I would wait too if YOU WERE ACTUALLY GOING TO HAVE SCHOOL TODAY!
But why don't I have school today? Why isn't my teacher here? We have to wait for my teacher! 

And then later when we were driving to the grocery store after Isaac's feeding therapy, Isabella was once again complaining about being sweaty (surprise, surprise)...

"Mommy, I really need to wear shorts today."
"Isabella, it is winter, you can't wear shorts."
"BUT I'M SWEATY! My back is sweaty, my legs are sweaty, my arms are sweaty."
"Isabella, right now I don't care if you're sweaty. You're not even wearing a jacket so I don't know how you could possibly be sweaty." (right there, example of mean mommy moment)
"Well I care. I care about everything that goes on with my body."

And then as we were on our way home from the grocery store, we had a very honest discussion about my mean mommy day...

"Mommy, I really love you. And I would really appreciate if you would talk in a nice voice and not be mean."
"Isabella, I really love you too, but today you are really frustrating me and I am also very tired so I am having a really hard time being patient."

After that, our afternoon got a little bit better, but it was a long day, and I couldn't wait for bedtime. I can't stand days like this. It's like we get in a cycle that neither one of us can get out of. You know how when your spouse irritates you and then everything they do for the rest of the day irritates you, and then they inevitably get mad at you about something later? It's like that.

Isaac's feeding appointment went really well and I feel like we made a very small break through. His task was to play with water on the high chair tray, sounds easy, right? Not if you're afraid to touch the water! Anyway, we finally got to the point where I was using my finger to put little drops of water on his lips and then his therapist would blow bubbles as a reward. This is big, people! Amazing in fact that he didn't scream when I touched the water to his lips. I was excited and it was the best part of yesterday...aside from finally getting to go to bed, even if it was for only an hour and then Isaac was up coughing.

Cruisin' around in the gait trainer...

The kids had tons of fun helping Walter put together some new shelves for Isabella's room...

Happy Tuesday! 


Friday, November 25, 2011

a list...

Poor Stella, Isabella and I were the only ones who had her name on our list of things we're thankful for. Our pumpkin pie was delicious along with the homemade whipped cream. My sister made a really amazing apple pie. I usually don't like apple pie but her version, or at least, The America's Test Kitchen version, was very good. If you're in the market for a well rounded cook book, you can't go wrong with America's Test Kitchen. It's my go-to cook book and though I tweak the recipes a bit they always turn our really well. 

Both kids have colds, so I'm going out today to re-stock up on Elderberry Syrup and Chestal Honey. And I've been forcing Walter to drink Airborne so that he doesn't get sick because I need him in tip-top shape while I'm gone at a wedding tomorrow. So far I've managed to stay well. Which is surprising because I tend to get the kid's colds, times ten. 

Another blog that I read on a regular basis, and also the one that made me not fear making my own pie crust, is Dig This Chick. Have you ever read A River Runs Through It? Wonderful book, you should read it, or I guess, watch the movie. Anyway, I've always wanted to go to Missoula, Montana and learn fly fishing, and then I happen to start reading a blog about a family that lives in Missoula, Montana. Pretty crazy, right?

Check out this post, You are already naked, (I promise I'm not naked, that would be really weird)...here's my list....

1. Take a family trip out west

2. Spend a week on a dude ranch

3. Take a second honeymoon (with Walter of course)

4. Photograph a destination wedding

5. Write a novel

6. Have a studio for writing, thinking, taking pictures, and editing

7. Keep my car clean for more than a week (I hope I can cross this one off sooner than later)

8. See Bruce Springsteen in concert

9. Get the hang of exposure and lighting

10. Learn how to develop film

11. Watch Isabella grow up into a beautiful, confident, and independent woman who is doing something she loves every day

12. Read the entire Bible

13. Continue learning to love me for me

14. Raise my daughter to accept her body just the way it is

15. Inspire other parents of children with special needs

16. Attend a 9pminus conference

17. Attend a CAPPSKIDS (Craniosynostosis support group) gathering

18. Help Isaac reach his fullest potential

I'm sure I'll think of more to add. Walter saw it sitting on the table and said, "I should make a list too." If you want to share, what's on your list?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


It's funny to me that I didn't even know what a blog was until a couple years ago when Sarah talked about starting her own. And then before Isaac was born, per Sarah's recommendations, I started reading Kelle Hampton's blog and then I was sucked in. When I started Picturing the Ordinary, it was originally out of anger toward Shutterfly and their lack of displaying my pictures well, and at that point I wasn't even a real photographer. The point of this blog was also to keep my grandparents up to date with the kids since we don't make it to Columbus nearly as much as we used to. Isabella and I (and Stella) used to take impromptu trips to Columbus, but that's not so easy anymore. And before Isabella was born, Stella and I would pack up in my little red Toyota Echo and drive to Columbus to hang out with my grandparents. My Echo didn't have A/C, so in the summer I arrived everywhere a sweaty, sticky mess. But I still love driving the with the windows down, even though I now have my luxurious Honda Fit with A/C and even, get this, a CD player! Woohoo!

All of that to say that last year when I was researching gardening, I stumbled across this blog. Oh, and it turns out I'm a really horrible gardener, so I'm not so sure about my gardening prospects for next year. And then oddly enough, when I was photographing a wedding with Andrew, the writer of Chiot's Run was there with her husband and they were the videographers. Well anyway, Susy recently wrote a post on how certain people can change your life and how your life journey may look completely different than what you ever expected.

Hello! My life is nothing like I expected it would be. But that's cool, because I'm having fun, and I'm constantly learning and I never ever want to stop learning. On her blog, Susy asked, "Is there something in your life that you would have never experienced had you not met one specific person? "

Without a doubt, Walter is one of these people. I don't mean to sound cliche, but really, he taught me to love, and how to express love. From the beginning he made me feel comfortable and for the first time I was able to share my feelings with someone. It took time, and he was patient, and as a result, I became a more affectionate and open person. The only problem with getting married when you're young, is that you haven't really had a chance to discover yourself and you end up going through all of the self discovery and change while you're married. That's not always such a good thing. But I'm sure on the flip side it's hard to be set in your ways and then get married. Not that you're ever truly done with self discovery, because then life would get really boring. I went through a major shift when Isabella was about eighteen months old. I didn't know what the heck was going on and add to that I was really, really depressed. Oh, and for the record, most people brush off depression as just being sad. If that's you, well, you have a lot to learn. That's like someone who's never had a migraine, saying "oh just get over your little headache". Um, no, that's not how it works. 

Well anyway, life was really hard then, and Walter and I stuck together even though things really could have fallen apart. Then when I was pregnant with Isaac and once again, very depressed, he told me it would be okay and that I wouldn't be pregnant forever--I really, really don't like being pregnant. He's probably one of the few people who can put up with my moods, my sarcasm, my need to write and read instead of clean all the time, the fact that I always leave the milk out (and he kindly puts it away...I have to eat my cereal as soon as I pour milk on it, okay, I just can't handle soggy cereal), my desire for quiet, alone time, and so much more. So yes, even though we can drive each other crazy and this last year and a half with Isaac has been hard on us, I couldn't imagine doing all of this without him. 

And because I couldn't just pick one person, I have to say, and I know I've said it before, but there is so much that I wouldn't know or understand, had we not had Isaac. I wouldn't wish endless doctor's appointments, weekly therapy appointments, surgeries, and our daily struggles on anyone, but Isaac has changed me for the better and opened my eyes to a world I would have never known or understood otherwise. Because of our circumstances, I've met some amazing mothers, and I'm so thankful for them. 


Isaac is doing very well pulling to stand and lowering himself from standing all on his own. He has the flattest feet I've ever seen and his physical therapist thinks he may need shoe inserts. I think he's worn shoes about five times (if that) in his life, but with the weather getting chillier I'll have to make more of an effort with the shoe thing. For now, if you see me at the store and it's forty degrees out and he has bare feet, I promise I'm not neglecting him, he's very talented at pulling his socks off and throwing them in the car. And since my car is full of crap, the socks are gone forever. He thinks this is quite fun and is always ready to share a big smile when I come to unbuckle him from his car seat.

I was so excited when Isabella did this puzzle all by herself!

Grandma, you should be proud, I hemmed my dress pants all by myself. And while I did that, Isaac played with spools of thread.

Best Toy of 2011: a giant syringe

My little photographer at it again...

Isabella and I made pumpkin pies today! I am quite proud of myself and thank you Susy for the recipe!

Isaac is strong enough to stand on a chair!

Last but not least, some of our most entertaining moments from the last few weeks:

Because I didn't feel like finding a new light bulb and dragging a chair into the bathroom, the kids are taking a candlelit bath. Isabella told me she would be scared and I told her that I would in the bathroom with her. Her response was, "but how will I know if you're just a statue and not my mommy?" "Statues don't move, so that means I'm not a statue." "But when they fall down they move, so that means statues move." I can't compete with that logic. :)

"Mommy, I'm just going to talk to Isaac because I know you just want to be alone and don't want anyone talking to you." That lasted about thirty seconds.

Some wise advice from Isabella: "The only time you're allowed to say 'stupid' is when you're telling someone not to say 'stupid', because 'stupid isn't a nice word."

‎"Mommy you have to go get ready to take me school so that you don't look so tired. Like, you have to put that stuff on your eyes so you're no so (fake yawn) tired looking." Thank you, Isabella.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

a thanksgiving feast...

Yesterday Isabella's preschool celebrated Thanksgiving. Isaac and I went to join their little feast where Isabella was dressed up like a pilgrim, even though she insisted that she was an Indian. They'd made place mats and on the back was the the list of what each child was thankful for. This is Isabella's list:
My pony
My scooter
My daddy
My mommy

For the record, she doesn't have a pony, and she doesn't have a scooter.

As you can see, she doesn't spend much time coloring. At home she says it's too much work. 

Isaac was very excited to sit at the table with the big kids. He even touched a grape! This is exciting because he usually only touches things are dry or crumbly, like pretzels or cereal.

Daddy's home!

Isaac still loves to paint and since we keep our easel and paint supplies fairly accessible, he paints a lot.

Unlike Isabella, he doesn't mind getting a little messy, so for now, we're sticking with watercolors.

"Isaac, show us how you pray..."

"Isabella, what do you want to pray for tonight?"
"That I wouldn't be sweaty when I go to school and that I wouldn't be sweaty when I go to ballet."

Isaac is in love with Isabella. During the day he randomly scoots over to her and wraps his arms around her.

I was listening to the radio yesterday when they said that if you don't get at least six to eight hours of sleep a night, you will age faster and suffer from mental decline. Well, I guess I'm doomed. The mental decline is obviously already taking effect and as far as aging, I'm about to turn twenty-eight and feel like I'm at least thirty-five (not that thirty-five is old). But the thirties are the new twenties, right? So that's okay! We're in the process of completing Isaac's sleep diary because the sleep doctor is requiring a consultation before the sleep study is approved, it looks like he sleeps about five hours each night, and definitely not all at once. I'm not even sure how he's functioning. From the parents of children with 9pminus, this seems pretty common: short bursts of sleep and then wakefulness. I even read that one high school student with 9pminus woke up every day around three in the morning to study. From the looks of it, that will also be Isaac's ideal time to do school work. 

For now, Walter and I continue to take turns with Isaac throughout the night. Which is better than it used to be because it used to just be me with Isaac all night. I've also found that if I just surrender and bring him to bed with me, he'll sleep a little bit longer. Don't judge. You don't live my life. The only problem with that is Walter complaining about Isaac snoring. He says he sounds like a horse, which is true, but this is very funny to me since I've been complaining about Walter snoring since we got married! Payback! 

More to come...we've gotta run to Isaac's neurology consult. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Isabella's pictures...

My grandma asked for pictures of my hair, so Isabella was the photographer for a few minutes and Isaac thought we were playing a really fun game...

Sorry for the short post!

Monday, November 14, 2011


Stella feels on top of the world today considering I accidentally left her to roam in the house while I walked the kids over to my in-law's house. You know what this means, right? It means she made a bee line for Isaac's room and was all like, "Score! Dirty diapers in the trashcan! Let me carry them one by one to the living-room and shred them all over the place and then eat as much as possible!" Wow, she's a smart one.

I finally took the plunge and dyed my hair blonde. Don't worry, I didn't do it on my own, but that would probably make for interesting blog post. Anyway, my new hair color didn't go over very well with my children. Isabella saw me and said, "Ew". And then Isaac saw me and started crying and scooting away from me (hmmm, maybe that's what I need to do, disguise my appearance so that Isaac's doesn't need to cling to my hip) and then when I picked him up he started crying even more and reached for Sarah to hold him instead. It took a few minutes of convincing, but he finally accepted the fact that I was who I claimed to be. Then, Isabella started crying in the car because she didn't like my hair and wanted it to be curly again, because her "mommy is supposed to have curly hair." I assured her that I could wash it and make it curly again, which seemed to make her happier, but after we got home she told me she was really glad that I was really her mommy because she thought I was going to take her to the wrong house! Walter says he likes it, but wouldn't want it this way forever. Hmmmm...

A quick run down about Isaac: he loves tube feeding. He even hands the port to me when I'm ready to hook him up. I'm pretty sure he would be quite content with this feeding system for a very long time. Walter and I joke about how we have to take his pants off for him to eat and also the fact that he likes to eat anything now, from prune juice to breast milk, he'll get whatever he can take. Because I'm working with Andrew Jordan more often, the tube feeding relieves the stress of Walter having to force feed Isaac and I'm also not worrying about whether or not Isaac is being fed while I'm gone all day at a wedding.

Because we do want Isaac to eventually enjoy eating by mouth, we've started working with a new feeding clinic. Their approach is quite different than the other feeding clinic, so for now, we're working on getting Isaac comfortable with just touching food, and then later we can work on bringing food to his mouth. At the moment, we're trying to remove the "scare" factor out of eating. I think it will take a while, but I'm sure that one day, he will eat, and we won't have to take his pants off for him to do so.

Last week we went to a new endocrinologist. I wasn't too crazy about the last guy whose main form of getting Isaac's attention was to snap his fingers in front of Isaac's face. He may be small, but he's not dumb. Anyway, during his next surgery, in December, we're going to re-test his growth hormones to see if he actually has a growth hormone deficiency because apparently, the test may have been skewed since he was so underweight for the first test. And Grandma H., you'll be happy to know that we're finally going to get a scan of that pituitary gland. After I wait on hold for ten days and see ten more doctors, then we'll get the MRI done. Speaking of that, you'd think scheduling a sleep study with Rainbow Babies was like scheduling an appointment with the President. The sleep doctor is heavily guarded by several secretaries and they are all annoying me and seem to have a personal vendetta against me. If only I could reach through the phone and strangle someone, I mean, schedule our own appointment.

Moving on...

This is a nest, and they are both birds...

First of all, I can't take a good "swing" picture to save my life, but I'm pretty happy with this attempt. Secondly, miss matched socks are cool. So if you want to be cool, don't wear matching socks.

I walked into the living-room to find Isaac sitting on top of the toy bin. Apparently he's better at climbing than we thought!

A few pictures left over from vacation...