Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Murderer of Fun

I love the movie, Dan in Real Life, and my absolute favorite line from this movie is, "YOU are a MURDERER of LOVE!" This line is shouted at Dan (played by Steve Carell) by his teenage daughter who is experiencing the usual teenager/love angst.

As I've processed and replayed in my mind, a certain episode of my own life in which Isabella told me she "wished she never had a mommy", and didn't like me, I can't help but think, I am a MURDERER of FUN (and LOVE)! How often have you thought the same thing of your own parents. It's basically the definition of parent--murderer of fun; destroyer of fun; revoker (that's not a word, but it should be) of fun; the one who depletes fun. That is, until you become a parent, and realize that your own parents, for the most part, were completely reasonable when they seemingly plotted to destroy your fun. On most occasions, they weren't heartless and weren't trying (especially) hard to ruin your life, they were just trying to protect you, or steer you in the right direction. In Isabella's case, I was showing her an example on the board of how to write a word so that all the letters belonging to that particular word are close together, and then, has a noticeable space, informing the reader that they are now reading a new word. Example: Jules cango tothe d    une s. As the reader, I'm sure you appreciate reading, Jules can go to the dunes, instead. I could be wrong.

This morning I saw a book recommendation on Dig This Chick's facebook page. The book is, Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to stop yelling and start connecting by Dr. Laura Markham. I found myself in an incredibly calm state when Isabella told me she "wished she never had a mommy". I calmly told her she was unkind, and needed to go to her room until we could talk. Later we resolved the issue, but I'm not always calm, and I certainly yell because it feels like most of what I say during a day falls on deaf ears--five year old kids have a very hard time hearing--don't worry, I've had her hearing checked on more than one occasion.

As I sipped my coffee Saturday morning, I read the introduction to the book, about not yelling. An hour later we went outside, and Isabella, who has yet to understand that when you suggest something, Isaac assumes it will happen instantly. Like any almost three year old, he doesn't have a concept of time, so when someone, say, Isabella, says, "Isaac! Do you want to go to Oma's house?!" He wants to go to Oma's house that minute. I yelled. We were having a happy moment outside, and she planted this idea in his head that we would go to Oma's house, and he had a meltdown, because that wasn't going to happen. Happy moment no longer. I stomped into the house with a screaming Isaac, and complained to Walter, and then we both burst out laughing because I told him I was reading a book about not yelling and I just frickin' yelled! 

I walked the walk of parental shame, and went outside and apologized to Isabella for yelling, and explained, once again, that Isaac does not understand the concept of time.


After a sudden desire to relive my youth, I downloaded Oregon Trail on the iPad. We hunted squirrels, fished, walked off broken legs, arms, and cholera. Isabella said it was the most fun she'd ever had.

Outside, before I yelled. Please note, Isabella's outfit (and she says my nicest outfit is a bathing suit--I really can't trust her fashion judgement), and Isabella cheering for Isaac when he walked across the grass. This morning, as we were playing at catch at 7:30 a.m. and Isaac caught the ball, she said, "Sometimes, he just does such amazing things, that I cry!" They're both amazing little people.

 If you have any questions about strokes, ask Isaac. He studied this flyer for about fifteen minutes.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

First Band-aid

Last night, as I added the finishing touches to our beef stew, Isabella came upstairs and said, "it's an emergency!", Isaac was bleeding and needed a band-aid. I basically ignored my ever-dramatic first-born. I wasn't alarmed because Walter was in the basement with the kids, and Isaac wasn't crying, so, no crying is always a good sign. But I did eventually wander down to see what happened. He had the tiniest pin-prick on one of his fingers. I thought he wouldn't be able to handle a band-aid, because he's like that, and doesn't like certain things touching him, but he insisted, so I wrapped it carefully around his little finger, anticipating the moment he would realize the band-aid was a death trap. As it turns out, band-aids are not death traps, and he handled the whole thing beautifully.

Walter and I searched the floor for the prickly culprit and came up with nothing, then we looked at each other, both thinking the same thought, right in that moment, this is the first time he's bled that wasn't caused by a surgeon cutting into him. 

It has been a year since Isaac's last surgery, and I am looking forward to another year without any surgeries on the schedule.

This morning I removed the band-aid, and he promptly requested a new one (in his way, of course. Which is basically a lot of pointing and grunting.). I offer no shortage of band-aids in this house. When Isabella was Isaac's age, she used to have band-aids lining both legs. Strangers would ask her what happened, and if she was okay. She was fine, she entertained herself for an hour with those band-aids, so we were both happy. Then, after a week of wearing the same string of Hello Kitty band-aids, we pried them from her legs as she screamed, and found that she had a latex allergy. The result, red welts where band-aids once happily rested. Now we buy latex free band-aids.

Isaac ventured outside this morning with Isabella. He walked across the yard like Bambi, but it gave me hope that this summer will be better than last, and we just might be able to enjoy our yard again. I just hope our "hope" isn't going to get the best of us. Walter and I are excited to have a real garden this year--one that we actually have the energy to care for, and pick the vegetables before they rot--we are basing that excitement on the few times that Isaac has actually walked across the grass.

Either way, in three weeks, we will celebrate Isaac's third birthday, and last summer, we predicted that Isaac would maybe start walking when he turned three. Here he is, defying all expectations, and learning to run.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

My story, Isabella's story...

A few people have asked why I haven't written a blog post recently. I don't have a good answer other than, I've been stuck in a book, my computer died, came back to life, died again, and came back to life again, and I live with incredibly needy people and will be so happy when one day, they can hunt, gather, and prepare their own food.

Stuck in a Book

If you haven't read it, you should: The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. Basically, it's a novel about Alaskan homesteaders in the 1920s. Following a friend's recommendation, I added it to my Nook, and was gripped with intrigue from the first few pages. Did you like that, gripped with intrigue. What does that even mean? Anyway, the premise of the story comes from a Russian fairy tale, which you can read at this LINK. The author has an amazing ability to set you, the reader (assuming you are going to read it), in the Alaskan wilderness in a way that you can really imagine the harsh elements and all that the early homesteaders had to endure. Along with all of that, the story centers around an elderly couple who bear the burden of years of sorrow after losing a child and never being able to conceive again. Hence, the child, they construct out of snow. And now you're convinced and have to read it. I can't write anymore about that because Isaac, sitting next to me at the table, trying to poop, is seriously interrupting my creative writing flow--You can do it Bud, push! Get the poop out! Now you can see why it is so challenging to get a post done.

Death of a Computer (and Rebirth)

Last week my computer started to sound like a police siren. It would stop for a few minutes at a time, so  I checked email, facebook, and a few blogs. Then the siren got really mad and wouldn't shut up, so I had to shut down my computer. Thankfully, Walter was able to fix it, and Shakespeare and I were back in business. Yes, my computer's name is Shakespeare. My last computer was named Hemingway, but he's in Columbus with my grandma. Well, then Shakespeare decided he didn't like how the screen worked and decided to just turn black and not do anything. I'm not sure what Walter did, but so far so good. I think I'll name my next computer after a female author.

Hunting and Gathering

I am so tired of people asking me for food. It literally drives me crazy and one day I will be in a mental hospital and the basis of my insanity will be on people asking me for snacks.

Last week Isabella and I were practicing words ending with -nt, like, hunt. She said, "Like, hunt ducks on Duck Dynasty?" Just like it. Every time we watch that show, we think of my grandpa, who did not hunt ducks, he hunted deer, turkey, and squirrels, but who would have gotten such a kick out of watching Duck Dynasty. Especially the episode where the wives went deer hunting with their husbands.

Isabella plays outside even when it's raining. I stay inside, and take pictures from the window.

Isaac, dancing

I had to tackle her for this picture...

Lego engineer, hard at work...

Isabella just showed a story to me that she wrote:

The Bear That ate The dog
by Isabella

The Bear wet for a woc. Then The Bear soy a dog. The Bear ate the dog. The end.

I think Isabella's story is written better than my post. Probably because she didn't have people pooping, doing math, and asking for a snack, and asking for help putting on boots and coat to play outside, while she wrote it. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Bad Dog

Walter: We really need to re-train our dog not to go near our food.
Me: Did we ever do that?

Walter is holding a grudge against Stella. He'd waited, impatiently, for his order of girl scout cookies, and finally they came. As it turns out, Isabella had a cookie and couldn't get the plastic tray back in the box, and "didn't want to ask for help" so she set it on the bottom shelf of the pantry...guess who ate almost a whole box of Samoas when the pantry door was open...Stella. Who can blame her? She's a dog, she has urges. It's okay, Stella, I understand that you couldn't control yourself.

Isabella: Did we bring my peanut butter and honey sandwich in case I get hungry.
Me: Yes, I brought your sandwich. You need to know, anytime anyone in this family says "we", it means Mommy.
Isabella: So, anytime we say "we", it means you?
Me: Yes, every time. It doesn't matter who says it.

Things that are regularly said in the plural tense that shouldn't be: Did we bring water? Did we figure out what we're having for dinner (breakfast, lunch, any snack in-between)? Did we bring diapers? Did we give the kids a bath recently? Me, myself, and I...we make a good team.

We (okay, now I actually mean all of us) spent most of the weekend outside, soaking up the beautiful weather. Saturday at the park wasn't fun for Isaac. He was constipated, so he either stood angry and holding his hair (as pictured), or Walter held him.

Saturday night, he pooped in his sleep. This is his new skill, which seems a bit disturbing, but also requires a fair amount of talent (I think). Let's just say, he was much happier on our second trip to the park.  

My mom, while looking at the iPad: These are all of the pictures they've taken with the iPad?
Me: Yeah, Isaac takes a billion pictures of his hair. It's a little ridiculous...Wait, what, oh my goodness, let me see that!

And that my friends, is when I saw that Isabella had been snapping shots of me, trying on bras in the fitting room at Nordstrom. Let me just give you some advice, don't let your kids have a device with a camera when you just so happen to be half naked. That is definitely worse than the scenario last year, when she announced at Nordstrom, that her mommy was "getting new nurshes". Obviously she doesn't understand that anyone getting getting "new nurshes" would not opt for ones as small as mine.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Preschool, throw up, and mascara

I have had a horrible headache all day. It's not a migraine, but it's bad enough that I actually enjoy picturing my brain exploding all over the place. I assume after a brain explosion my headache would be gone.

For about a year, the goal has been that Isaac would begin preschool when he turned three. Because he has "special" needs, this label qualifies him for free therapy from the school district, beginning at age three. About three weeks ago, we were forced to end private therapy because the fund we were receiving ran out of money. And as you all know, our insurance does not cover therapy for those who truly need it. Shame on them. So, we have to be creative. Today I mailed out a grant application, and if we receive the grant, it will cover speech therapy for a little while. Also, it should come as no big surprise that we don't have five hundred dollars a week to pay for therapy. It's okay though. Honestly, a break from the therapy routine is somewhat welcome, and we've settled nicely into not having to be anywhere on Wednesday mornings.

So...preschool. Isaac and I went to meet his teacher yesterday, and see the room he will be in. Initial thoughts: the teacher was nice, the kids were nice, the room was a complete disaster, they hadn't received any of the faxes they should have received to complete the PT and OT evaluations...we have to go back two times next week. Oh, and I cried when we got back to our car. I have literally held Isaac for more hours of his life than not held him (I have a really buff left arm), which is not a bad thing, it has been tiring, and annoying at times, but it has just been our life. With that said, I'm having a really hard time thinking that I will be able to leave him and trust someone else with him. It didn't help that one of the kids threw up on the floor and I was imagining all of the disgusting things he would be around...like, other kids, for example. Kids can be pretty gross. After the throw up incident, I considered grabbing Isaac and climbing out a window (the door was blocked by puke).

After the visit, I decided to run a couple errands to clear my head. I needed mascara (very essential item), so we stopped at Macy's, where, I started crying at the make-up counter. It should go without saying that I asked for the long lasting mascara...emotional breakdowns tend to come unannounced, so at least I would be prepared with bold, extended lashes.

All of my friends who have children with special needs tell me that preschool is amazing, and I'm sure it will be, I just have to let all of this sink in.

Isabella took this picture this morning. I was so excited that one of my children actually wanted to be in a picture with me. Isn't he the cutest thing you've ever seen? 

Monday, March 4, 2013


I love quiet, and having children makes it challenging to find that elusive, but much sought after, quiet. Friday afternoon was spent doing school work with Isabella, which included drilling addition facts. Talk about tedious. If you want to torture yourself (and your child), do flash cards. Walter didn't survive math fact time, so I had to take over. I have an easier time empathizing with those who do not easily grasp the concept of numbers, or anything having to do with numbers. The key to homeschooling = PATIENCE, or, you will go crazy, and donate your child to a friendly person at the grocery store.

Anyway, this post is not supposed to be about homeschooling, or math, or donating children, which is illegal, by the way.

After math, I set out for the grocery store, but then I realized that I was really hungry, and I have to eat the minute I feel hungry or I get really grumpy. The more I thought about how hungry I was, the more I realized that I also needed my afternoon cup of coffee. And then I pictured myself sitting in a quiet restaurant  reading, eating, and drinking coffee all by myself, and I just had to make that dream come true. So I did, and it was fabulous.

When I finally arrived home from the grocery store, Walter said, "did it really take you that you long to get the groceries?" "Well, actually, I was really hungry, so I had to stop and eat something, and I'd brought my book along, so I read a chapter." Thankfully, my husband knows that I like to be by myself, and didn't care that I took a slight detour on my grocery shopping trip. After all, I did rescue him from addition flash cards.

I couldn't resist, these daffodils looked so happy at the grocery store, and I love seeing them every time I walk in my room.

Time to go. I have a killer headache, and have questioned multiple times why I am sitting in front of the computer working on a blog post, but there you have it. Good night.