Sunday, December 27, 2009

Candy Houses

Christmas is over!!! Yay!!! I ended up in the spirit, but it was tough. Here are a couple of photos of the girls making their candy houses. They had a lot of fun. Kitty licked them right away. Silly Kitty.
Bailey loves the cream cheese frosting. Could you tell??

I'm going to take part in Shutter Sisters 365 Photo project at Flickr. I think it's going to be fun. I write every day (not here) so taking photos should be a breeze. I predict lots of product photos for work, lots of patio shots, and Sarah, because I can usually talk her into it.
I'd like to get a new little point and shoot that I can carry with me on runs, my bike, or hikes. There's no way I'm running with either of my "good" cameras in a backpack. I'm having trouble writing. My attention is half on the TV where I'm watching a rerun of Criminal Minds. Reed just told a philosophy joke. No one laughed. He's my favorite part of the show.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Thinking About Joaquin Phoenix

Some of the boys on Facebook have been putting up movie quotes.

I rarely recognize them, but for some reason I've been thinking of Joaquin Phoenix as Merrill in Signs saying, "Felt wrong not to swing." I loved him in that movie. The whole thing with the nerds explanation and the aluminum foil cap. He was so charming. Then, I remembered when he was in that movie Inventing the Abbotts, the movie where he drew the side burns on with a permanent marker and he falls in love with Liv Tyler. Did you see that one? I loved that movie. Last weekend I saw him in Ladder 49. Sad ending. I hated the ending.

When I was first married, my husband Todd and I watched the movie Parenthood. Remember him (when he was Leaf) in that movie? All that hair and anger? When I was pregnant, just a few months after seeing him in Parenthood, I saw a rerun of Space Camp. He was "Max" in that one. That's where I got Max's name, from a movie that most people haven't even heard of.

Earlier this year, Joaquin Phoenix was acting pretty odd. I sure hope that guy is okay.

Okay, enough stalling.......tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I'm not prepared. Ooops.

Image credit:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Falalala Lifetime

I decided to start writing my food blog again. I took a break while writing for Food/Nutrition at Blisstree. I started with a review of some truffles from Vosges (photos below) and a quiche recipe. I want to work on trying some things. I get so used to making tacos and taco salad and breakfast for dinner and ...........blah, boring. (Although I love tacos and honestly never tire of them).
My girls are both at sleepovers right now. Max is in bed and I have no idea where Kitty is off to. It's so quiet here. Nothing but the sound of the dishwasher and a movie with Jamie Gertz on Lifetime. Does anyone else think of The Lost Boys every time they see her? It doesn't matter how many years or how many episodes of her former sit com that I saw, she's still the Lost Boys girl to me. Or possibly Muffy (?) from Square Pegs.

This movie is pretty cute. It seems like movies on Lifetime are either women in peril, women causing some sort of peril, or love stories. Uh oh, guy in this one has issues with his dad. I gotta go!

Image credit: Michelle Smith

Monday, December 21, 2009

Feeling Chatty....

I started my holiday baking last night. I made some combo chip cookies with semi-sweet, milk chocolate, white chips and coconut. They turned out good, but I've never met a chocolate chip cookie that I did not like. Sometimes I put a little bit of oats in them. I like a crisp cookie and both the browned coconut and oats really give a cookie great texture.

I made up sugar cookies with the cookie cutters that I got from Mom and Grandma. I love using their tools. My rolling pin used to be Great Grandma Halfhill's. I like feeling like they are somehow baking right alongside me. Most of my pans belonged to Grandma Halfhill, my strainer, my colander, all the things I use every day. I'd like to add to my pan collection, but I will always use these tools. I trust them.

I have a friend who uses his mother's baking table when he cooks. It's perfect - good height, good size, and you can see the marks she put into the table over the years as she prepared food for her family. What a treasure. He lost his mom way too early, but every meal he prepares, her hand is in it.

That table means a lot to him. I appreciate people who get things like that. New things are nice, but a little family history, there's nothing like it. I want to hand things down to my girls when they have their own families. I want Bailey to be able to grate cheese for tacos with Grandma's grater and Sarah to scoop ice cream with her wooden handle scoop. It might sound silly, but that's just me.

Baking, it really helped to regain my holiday spirit. I've still got a lot left to do - lacy almond cookies and some fudge. Maybe some chocolate krinkles for Mom. Tonight I'm going to make a quiche for dinner. I haven't made one of those in a long time. When I was a hairdresser, I'd take my tips upstairs where I'd pick up quiche and spinach salad for lunch. Yum. That reminds me......I think I need a bag of spinach. I'm going to finish my decorating and my wrapping. Okay, I'm going to start the wrapping - I have nothing under the tree so far. It's going to take me awhile. Good thing I've candy canes and cookies for energy.
Kitty scratched Sarah's face today. Sometimes she's mean and nasty. I try to get Sarah to understand that she can't have her face too close to her. I'm afraid that she's going to get her in the eye. I love my cat, but when she makes my girl cry, I feel like doing a Grandpa Harold, I feel like sending her sailing out the door (he chose the deck, flying kitty - don't worry, she always landed on her feet). I don't. I am gentle with her, but she's going to stay stuck in my bedroom for awhile today.

I'm done with my work-work for the day. Way early. Feels great. I may even get time to read today. Guess what? This was my 300th post. Wow.

Monday, December 14, 2009

On My Makeup Wishlist

My minivan over-heated today. Damn. I don't know what is wrong, but I filled it with anti-freeze and drove home. I checked later and the level was low again. I'm going to baby it and try to wait until January to get it fixed. Luckily I live close to the grocery store, etc, so I can walk if I have to.

I'm really enjoying my new job at Gadabout Media. I love the freedom to write about pretty much anything that tickles my fancy like this makeup kit.........

I wrote about it after seeing an article in SELF magazine about low cost makeup ideas for gleamingy, sparkly holiday looks. The whole kit, made by Urban Decay, is only $18. If you'd like to see the post, it's here. You can use it for way more than just eye makeup. I so want that kit!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Bah Humbug

I'm feeling extremely bah humbug-ish. At this point, I want the holidays to be over. Past. History. I blamed a broken heart on the last two bad holiday seasons, but really I think it's just me. I think I'm anti-holiday and no matter how much I try to get into the spirit, I feel overwhelmed by regular life.

Here's something that I do love about the holidays.........
Candy canes do not suck. Glittery stuff is kind of cool, too. See, I'm trying. I haven't given up completely.

This is our Christmas tree. The prettiest ornaments we have - other than those made by the kids - are from the Dollar Tree.

I took this the other day out on the patio, before the rain started. Someone should put a coat on that kid. It's chilly.

I think I'll be in a better mood when I get to the cookie baking. I'll let you know if it works.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I Want To Give Basketball A Hug

Today was the first day of the Winter basketball season for CARD. The kids got to watch the CSUC Men's and Women's team practice and do a dunking contest. Later, the kid's teams met and each played 2 practice games.
Sarah is my youngest and the smallest person in our family. When she's on the basketball court, she looks huge to me. She blocks and runs and waves her arms around. Her little face gets so red and if I were her, I'd probably barf from all the exercise. I am so proud of her and the effort she puts into her game.

The kids have a break until the second weekend in January. They practice but no official games until that weekend.

I'm really going to try to perfect my sports photography. I want to try to convey how exciting the girls are when they play. They put their whole heart into it, they don't care how they look, they don't worry about boys, or mean girls.
A girl's life goes like this - first they feel no limitations, they feel like they are beautiful, smart, strong, capable, then life starts to chip away at their confidence. Someone calls them ugly or fat or in some way makes them feel less or diminished. They deflate a bit. When girls play sports or sing or play an instrument, when they find something that they feel good about, it helps to inflate them again. They grow bigger, stronger, they work harder, they enjoy some success. It's a wonderful thing.

I love what basketball does for Sarah. I wish I could give basketball a big hug of gratitude.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Noblest of Fir

Nothing really to say. Just a photo of some Noble Fir. I was messing around with the Macro Lens.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I have no idea what to call this one..........

I've been feeling a little funky the last couple of days. I don't think I'm much of a Winter person. My toes are cold. I can't sit on my patio and most of my plants have frozen. I'm a big baby.
I'm doing all the things that are supposed to help with the blues - I get lots of exercise, I'm eating right, and I try to get outside. (I cleared out a bunch of frozen plants yesterday - all the Hawaiian Ginger that was taller than I am ). Still, I'm blah.
Yesterday, during my run, my right calf was really holding me back. The muscle felt tight, like a fist. I kept stopping, massaging it, but still it would cramp. Of course, at the end of the run it was warm and flexible and I felt like I could go on forever, but I was out of time. I wish that there was a way to start the run feeling that way.
A couple of plants have made it through the freeze. Like the petunia below......Okay, I'm out of words and I need to get the dishes done before Leah comes over.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Being Bay's Mom

I just dropped my newly blonde daughter off downtown. She and her friend are going to a concert at the Senator theater. Very exciting. I gave her a 1:30 curfew, which I thought was generous. She did not. She's only 17.
This is her first day off after almost a week of grounding. Prior to that she was at Robin's place. Prior to the Rob visit, she was grounded.
I am really hoping that she will follow the rules I've given her, because I'm tired of grounding that kid. In 7 and a half months, she's going to be 18. It's time for her to start figuring things out on her own. I can't make the rules for her forever- she needs to learn to rule herself. Not an easy lesson to learn, as I remember.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

My List

Every year I set a few goals. Sometimes I reach them, sometimes I don't. There are a few things that I put on my list every year.

They are:

*Play something on my guitar
*Learn a foreign language
*Learn to juggle

Today is the 3rd, well it's the tail end of the 3rd. This year I'm going to accomplish those goals, at least in some part. Sarah is going to teach me something on my guitar. We are going to start tomorrow. We are going to start learning some Spanish - I think I'll get something from the library, like a kid's book. This weekend, we are going to juggle. That's it.

I've got a list and I've got a little over 3 weeks to finish it.

Then, I'll start a new list.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Nothing To Do With Apples

This post is not about apples. I've just been eating a lot of apples lately, I'm really tired, and I couldn't find a photo that fit. So, here are some Granny Smiths.

I am so tired. My body hasn't adjusted to this exercise yet. I'm trying, but regaining fitness a second time is almost as hard as getting there the first time. I vow to never let myself get distracted enough to lose sight of my goals again.

I was watching a former Biggest Loser winner on TV last week. He was participating in an Iron Man competition, but he was not in his former Biggest Loser-winning shape (he was a chubby boy). He finished, but missed the cut-off by mere minutes. At one point, he's in the running portion (the running portion is the distance of a marathon) and the sweep-up vehicle goes by. He's warned that he'll have to pick up the pace or be "swept" off the course. He digs in, crosses the finish line, his wife (also a former Biggest Loser contestant) runs over and hugs him, she's crying. He explains how he believes that it is important for everyone to at some point do something that they feel they cannot accomplish, to push the body beyond it's limits.

I could never complete an Iron Man. I could work toward a marathon and I've always wanted to do a Sprint triathlon, but the time it would take to train for something like an Iron Man is insane. I'm a single parent - I'm the only eyes on the case around here. My kids would run wild and be left to live on Cheetos and Diet Coke. Okay, not really, but I do tend to greet each new idea with an instant NO! I can't! I'm working on changing that. My idea is to live bigger, to move beyond my usual barriers. I'm a creative girl, I can figure out how to make it work. (See how I pep talk myself there??)

Giving birth is similar to an Iron Man in a way. There's this point where you are so exhausted, you are sure that if you could just stop and take a break for a bit that you'd be able to get your second wind, but it doesn't work that way. You labor when you labor, you push when it's time to push, because whether you are ready or not, that baby has got to come out. You are simply pushed beyond your limits by necessity. Maybe when I am feeling tired I should remind myself that I have completed something much harder before, in fact I did it three times.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sarah's Moon and My Ride

I am enjoying the late afternoons for my ride. As I headed East on Springfield today, the moon sat at the end of the street. It was big and pink, just hanging around at about 5pm.

It reminded me of my favorite moon, the one I saw when I drove home from the camping trip that brought me Sarah. We were on the way home from Lake Siskiyou, Max and Bailey asleep in the car, just West of Red Bluff and it was low and huge. Really incredible. I've always remembered of as Sarah's Moon, which would be funny if you knew Sarah - I'm always having to tell her to pull her pants up. (Leah is always saying, "Top o' the crack to ya!")

A few more minutes into my ride tonight and the sky really started to change - pink, purple, salmon-colored. The best thing about a cloudy day - it leads to a dramatic sunset.

On my second to last loop, a flock of Honkers flew overhead. I love the sound they make. It reminds me so much of home. All in all, a perfect ride.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Ruby Tuesday and My Bike

My first Ruby Tuesday in awhile. If you want to take part, click here.
So far, so good with the exercise, although I almost forgot to ride today. I was in my van at 4:30 and I thought, oh man!
When I got home, I put my shorts on (yes, shorts, it's not cold-cold here yet) and I got to pedaling. I was only 3 miles in and it was too dark, so I headed home. At home, I can do a 3/10 mile loop in the apartment driveway. I had to be really careful, lots of people are coming and going at that time and I was not easy to see. Tomorrow, I'll take an earlier ride. I couldn't not do it on the second day of my plan.
When I arrived at the apartment driveway, two men, also on bikes, were coming right at me. We all turned in and dodged a car right off the bat (some people drive too fast here), then veered to the right, toward the West side of the apartments. One man was in front of me, one behind me.
The one behind me was faster, so he passed on my left, and we veered farther to the right to avoid another car.
It was just a few seconds and nobody said anything, but it was kind vroom, vroom. It reminded me of when I rode in the Wildflower and we finally hit town. Everyone was tearing down the street with the weekend morning traffic - it was exciting, but kind of jarring after riding for so many miles out on the country roads. I remember thinking, I did it, I did it, I'm almost there. I felt great.
I love riding. I run and it's what makes me feel strong and healthy, but riding is pure joy. (Unless I'm going uphill, then it's work).
**Edit** Blogger won't let me format this correctly. Grrr

Sunday, November 29, 2009

On A Diet

Last night I decided to start a diet. I set a goal of 20 lbs to start. I'm going to accomplish this goal by doing the following:

*Eating less (duh)
*Riding my bike every day (weather allowing)
*Getting my running mileage up (Currently 12 miles a week, need to get to 20+)

The running is the most important point on the list. I am running a 10K on the 19th and I'm in no way ready. I figure I'll walk what I can't run. Possibly Bay is running this with me. Which means I will watch the back of her until she disappears from view, then I'll run into her walking about a mile down the road. She's faster, but I can run farther. I'll take my victories wherever I find them.

I got the biking in, plus some yoga, but no run yet today. I've been at my computer longer hours lately - either writing or researching - and that means I've got a really stiff back. Have you ever tried to run with a stiff back? Very awkward. Very uncomfortable. I need more yoga.

When I got out my bike today, my neighbor said, "Sharp bike." I thought he was teasing me, because so many of the men that I know are smartasses, but apparently he was actually complimenting me. He went on to compliment the color. I've got to get better at accepting compliments.

And on a totally unrelated note.......I smell interesting right now. I wrote a piece about the top 5 men's fragrances that I've reviewed this year and I'm wearing all 5. My favorite changes, but it would probably be a toss-up between Gucci Pour Homme (no that is not "poor homie" but I read it that way and it never fails to make me laugh) and Kenzo Power which actually smells a bit like sweat. I'm such a hippie, well a hippie who appreciates pricey Japanese men's fragrance.
Okay, time to feed Max and then get that run in.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday - Good Day For a Tree Hunt

This is what the sky looked this afternoon. The rain was over, but it was wet-ish out, not cold. Really beautiful, in my opinion. I got some work done, let the bulk of the Black Friday-ness pass, then I went in search of a tree.

We have a little fake tree - white, extremely girly with pink, purple, blue, and gold lights. I love it and it fits well in the little living room, but sometimes I miss a real tree. My favorite trees were the Silvertips that my Grandma Artie is famous for. Okay, famous in my mind, anyway. They were wide open, broad-width, with silver-green branches. I will always see Grandma's trees as the perfect example. I'm going to ask my cousin to take a picture of her tree this year... Teri, if you are reading this, would it be possible for you to send me a picture?

I found a 6-7 ft tree for $29.99 at Raleys. Yeah, I was shocked at that price myself. It's not a Silvertip, it's a Noble Fir, but that tree is a beast. Huge.

It took me almost 3 hours to purchase and put up the tree - it required a lot of trimming along the bottom - but Max is pleased. I think I need two more strands of lights. I'll decorate it tomorrow.

Check out these cute Turkey cookies that Leah just dropped off. Now I know why she was searching Chico for candy corn. I love that girl.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankgiving Grump

Sometimes I have a hard time with holidays. My intention is to be happy and make a festive home, but part of me wants to go back to bed and sleep right through the day.

I woke up all set to get busy, but as the day went on I could feel my celebratory spirit slipping away. I kept cooking, getting organized, taking pictures, talking to Sarah, but I missed my daughter Bailey and I missed the company of other women in the kitchen - Mom, Robin, Grandma.

After dinner, I pulled the garbage bag out of the can, it split and the turkey carcass rolled down my leg, along my foot, onto the floor. I was done. I called Leah - she and KP were due in less than an hour for pie - and asked if we could postpone until tomorrow. I left them pie-less.

I want to figure out how to keep from getting grumpy at Christmas. Where is my notebook? I need to get started on a plan....

#1 Follow Sarah's cheery example. Sarah has the right attitude about the holidays. It doesn't matter which one. She's always ready to seize the day.......or the Kitty.

Kitty is trying to look grumpier than me here. Okay, she wins.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

To Find Balance, Organize

Sometimes I get the urge to get everything organized. It's not as easy to do this as I get older, the kids get older, and our lives become more challenging. Right now I'm working on going through each room and getting rid of excess STUFF.

So far we've worked on the larger part of Sarah's room in depth. Her closet will be a separate project. I'm doing my room today. Then, my closet. I'll slowly work my way through the various rooms, closets, drawers, etc, until I feel that I've regained control again. When it all flows smoothly, life is more enjoyable.

I used to be very organized. My house was clean. My bills were organized. My menus were planned. I used coupons when I shopped. Everyone was up to date on check-ups, homework, etc. I somehow had a handle on it all.

I've spent the last two and a half years sort of distracted and scrambling. It's impossible to find anything but short glimpses of peace when I live that way. I want more than that. Learning how to balance, family, friends, work, dating, the whole thing - it's an ongoing process. Wish me luck, please!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Before the Brownies Were Done

I'm single again. That's all I'm going to say about that and not because I'm secretive or because I feel that it's none of your business. I'm more open-book-y than that. The reason is simple. I can't talk. Anything I say is misconstrued. It's exhausting.

Okay, I guess I had a little more to say about it. I am done now.

I'm hopeful that it will rain this weekend. I want to sleep in a little, then open the window at the head of my bed, and listen to the rain as I read my book. Kitty loves to sit in the window and watch for birds. I can tell when she sees one because her tail goes thunk, thunk against the wall. She thinks she is a hunter, but in reality, she needs me to lift her up to catch mosquitoes when they buzz along the wall.

The brownies are done. Time to go.

Monday, November 2, 2009

It's Time To Be SuperMom

I don't claim to be good at many things. There is, however, one area in which I am very skilled. When something - a way of life, a job, an event, a relationship, whatever - is not working, I stop and re-evaluate the situation. I look at other possible options, some of these options are not options that most people would consider, but I gave up on having a "normal life" long ago. I chose a new direction and I get going again. The one aspect of my personality that I am proud of - I'm creative.

I don't like to think of anything as a failure and if you find a way to do something that is different or better, then there is no failure. Doing it better is success.

I don't get to that point easily, the re-assess point. I'm what my good friend, Jackie, calls a fence sitter in many ways. I hang on and hang on and try to fit the square peg into the round hole until that moment arrives when I realize that it will never fit, because it's not supposed to fit. When I decide it's time to move on, when I get to that a-ha! moment, I feel so at peace. Everything leading up to that moment might be full of freak-outs and stress, but once I recognize that there can be another way, I'm good.

I hit that realization, that moment when I threw up my hands and said, nope, not going to work, with one of my kids today. No, I'm not saying she doesn't fit me, that she doesn't work. I'm saying that I've been pushing her to finish something in a way that has not worked for years. Duh, mom. Time to re-evaluate and move in a different direction.

This morning I'm going to look at some options, I'm going to find a way to get it all back on track. I'm feeling a little like SuperMom ...........

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Max's Mohawk

Today is my son Max's 19th birthday. In honor of the day and because I thought it would be a good look for Halloween, I gave him a mohawk. Do you have any idea how hard it is to hold up a kid and cut his hair at the same time? It's near impossible, but here's how he turned out........ His hair had grown so long, because..........well he's Max and Max has a lot of hair, but he was sick for a few weeks and I didn't want to hassle him with a haircut. Here's what we started with.... I already had one side buzzed when I remembered to ask Bay to grab the camera. You can see from the other side that his hair was down to his shoulders.

After I buzzed it, I couldn't get the mohawk to stand up, so I had to cut some of the length of it off. If he was someone who walked around, we could use something extra to really stiffen the spike part, but I don't want to make the kid miserable. He spends so much of his time napping. I think after this, I'll leave the mohawk for a bit and just let it lay down.
I hope he enjoys showing it off at school today. His school has students of all ages - preschool all the way up to the early 20s. He's probably one of the oldest guys there.
Today is also my last day at Relationships - I finished Food/Nutrition a few days ago. I'll still be at Splendicity Fragrance and Pretty By Nature. I'm starting at a new place very soon. Relationships was my first blogging job - it was called Dating Dames back then - my first writing job after a few years away from freelancing. I'm ready for a change, but I'm a little sad about leaving it behind.
**Okay, not my last day at Blisstree Relationships because I can't post. Maybe tomorrow?**

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I Have This Wish For Bay

Just a quick update.......
Max is doing a bit better. He isn't needing breathing treatments as often and he's been fever-free today. He's starting a new week of antibiotics, so hopefully he will be doing well in a few days. We go back to the Dr on Tuesday. His hair is getting so long. Today, I pulled it back and said, "Look girls! Max has a Revolutionary War ponytail." Max wasn't amused, but Sarah sure was. I guess I better give the boy a haircut.
Sarah spent the night with her friend, Kacee on Friday. She came home and crashed early on Saturday, but for some reason, she thought she was awake until 4am. I think she must have dreamed that she was awake. She's asleep right now - wearing a Halloween costume. Bay wore it one year when she was a wizard or a witch. She is so cute.
Bay is feeling sad. She's going to be okay, though. She's a smart kid and while she's had some set-backs, she's figuring things out. She's very resilient and even when something bad happens, she looks for something to be happy about and she focuses on that. I don't know if she's noticed that about herself, but I have.
She had a friend-emergency this weekend. A girl she knows started throwing up and all the girl's friends took off. Bay stayed with her and found her a way home. Anybody that knows Bay very well will recognize this as HUGE. Bay's biggest fear is barf, which has made having Max as a brother challenging, because that kid barfs all the time. I'm proud of her for setting that aside and helping someone out when they needed it. When it comes to teenagers, it's important to appreciate the little things as well as the big ones.
I have this wish for Bay - I really hope that she can find friends like the friends that I have, people like Jackie and Leah who love me even when I'm not very lovable. It's important to find friends who love you despite your flaws. It's not a friend's job to judge - none of us is perfect. People that can't make allowances for human flaws, you are probably better off without them in the long run.
Some of those life lessons really suck.
I'm watching the new season of Storm Chasers on Discovery. Very exciting. I love to watch a good storm, but chasing tornadoes, I'll stick to watching that on TV.
Today was my boyfriend's birthday. I wonder if we will ever get to spend a holiday of any sort together? He's never tasted my birthday cheesecake.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Today Sucked

*This post, for some reason, is refusing to be formatted correctly. Please excuse the lack of paragraphs. Grrr.
My son has been sick off and on for awhile now. It started close to 2 months ago. I've been feeding him full of vitamins and trying to keep him well.
On Saturday night he came down with a fever. He seemed to be getting better by Tuesday, but last night he moaned all night. He's always very tough and stoic. I knew that if he was making noise, that he was very uncomfortable. Sarah woke up in the middle of the night and she cried and was shaking. I think it was a combination of fever and nightmare.
In the morning, Max was no better. I made a Dr's appointment for later in the day, because I had a business meeting planned for the morning.
During the meeting I found out that I lost two of my jobs. It's not that I was doing anything wrong - they are just changing the way they are doing those sections. They keep restructuring things, constant change, and while I will be okay without these two sections, money was already pretty tight. I keep trying to look on the bright side. I keep reminding myself that this means I'll have time to work on my book again. I can practice more with my camera. I can find other blogging jobs. I can find other writing jobs. I'm a decent writer. But the truth is this sucks.
Bay went to the appointment with me. While there the Dr mentioned possible pneumonia and that Max needed an xray. We walked down to the hospital and got the xray done. It's pretty tricky to xray a young man with scoliosis. He can't sit up by himself , so I have to somehow hold him upright and stay out of the way at the same time, while balancing him on the end of a large umbrella stroller (can't take the wheelchair in my vehicle). He now has abrasions on his back from the xray film that was shoved behind him. The xray guys were as gentle as possible placing it there, but the boy has no fat and his spine is extremely curved and curled. It's going to be tough to clear this up.
The Dr called after we got home to say that Max had pneumonia is his left lower lung. The nurse said that she'd called a prescription into the pharmacy. I gave Max a breathing treatment, then went to the pharmacy. They said they got the message, but the meds were not something that Max's health coverage would pay for. They tried calling the office and the Dr was gone. I freaked out and cried in front of everyone there. Bay, who would normally be horrified by a display like this, put her arm around me. I was very proud of her, but at the same time I apologized over and over to the pharmacy ladies. I made a scene. It was very embarrassing.
By this point I was tired (next to no sleep last night) and scared (my son has pneumonia and I was told years ago that was how I will eventually lose him). The pharmacy let me leave with a prescription that is so far not paid for, but if it ends up the coverage will not pay for it, I can go back and cover it.
I got home, suctioned Max, and had an unpleasant text conversation. I turned my phone off because I had no energy left to deal with it.
At this point (almost 9:30 pm), Max is eating, I've got a full days worth of medicine in him. His fever is low and he is not barfing. Bay is spending the night some place that I'm hoping she will finally be able to get some rest. Sarah is feeling crappy, but not barfing. Kitty has not scratched the furniture in a few minutes. The day is finally looking up. Thank goodness that it is almost bed time.
Tomorrow will be a better day.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Ms or Mr Mantis

Max and I are sick. Yuck. First, he got it and now me. So far he's feverish. I haven't hit that point yet. Just the yucky part. I'm taking a lot of Vitamin C.

I found the guy above when I was watering. I had the hardest time getting him to look at me. I have a feeling he prefers Nikons to Canons. Darn. Grabbed the wrong camera.

Mom loves Praying Mantis...... mantises? mantisi? She loves the things. I wonder if this is the same one from earlier the Summer. Do they change color, because that one was little and green. This guy (girl?) looks older.
I'm taking off now. I think I need a Popsicle.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Special Boys and Their Personal Space

I went on a hike/run this morning. When I arrived at the parking lot, there were no other cars there. NONE. It was odd and unsettling and of course my mind went straight to Mountain Lions. Was no one here because there was a sighting? I looked at the board at the bottom of the North Rim Trail and there was no mention of Mountain Lions. Phew.

My back has been bothering me so much - I felt every single step on the way up. I did some short runs up the hill, then ran all but about a tenth of a mile down. On the way down I had to concentrate on not falling, so I was distracted from my back. If I'm diligent about stretching everyday, it's fine, but if I forget and skip a day, I'm sunk.

I've been noticing some really sweet pictures of John Travolta and his son on the Internet. Jet looks like such a sweet boy and his dad looks absolutely smitten. There's something about kids with special needs - they are extra open and welcoming, there is no guard.

Have you noticed how in the photos their heads are always close together? Max is like that. He wants his head right under my chin. He has no guard. He does the goofiest things sometimes, like yesterday I took him to get xrays of his thumbs and wrists (his contractures are causing his thumbs to dislocate) and he kept leaning way to the left, like he thought he could lean himself out of his wheelchair. I'd prop his head back up. He'd lean again. People kept looking at him like, kid, you are going to hurt yourself, but he was focused on the goal.

If he wants to do something (or not do something) then he just does it and he gives no thought to how it looks or sounds. I wish I could be that free.

Parenting a special kid can be a real challenge, but it's also a gift.