31 May 2006 08:38 pm
By Heather O.
Defined as “loss or diminution of the ability to recognize familiar objects or stimuli, usually as a result of brain damage.” My own experience with agnosia has involved stroke victims, usually right hemisphere stroke victims, who don’t recognize parts of their own body. This really happens. It is truly truly freaky when somebody tells you that she is not sure if the hand on the table is hers or yours.
I’ve also seen people have finger agnosia, as well as arm and leg agnosia, with varying levels of extremes. Today, I must have had a stroke or some other massive right brain injury, because I experienced what is commonly known in the scientific community as Butt Agnosia. Extreme Butt Agnosia. Either that, or somebody else was naked with me in the dressing room at Target while I was trying on swim suits, but I just really don’t want to go there.
I don’t like swimsuit shopping. Really, not at all. At least now they have some cute suits that have those litte flare skirts that actually cover your rear end as well as any accompanying cellulite, but it doesn’t make it easier because you still know it is all there. And where will the agnosia end? Today the butt, tomorrow the tummy, next year the thighs, and before you know it, in 10 years I will want to introduce myself to that friendly lookin’ gal in the mirror with the saggy eyes and the wrinkles around her forehead who looks mildly familiar but I just can’t quite place her.
But since all of this mental deficiency is setting in rather early, maybe by then I’ll be so far into the realm of dementia that I will do just that: shake that smiling lady’s hand, and we’ll be good old pals. Me and mirror woman.
And truly, how much farther is denial from agnosia? I mean, once you are told that those yucky body parts really do belong to you, it’s just a hop, skip and jump into the land of “Nunh-unh”. And aren’t we all happier there, really? So once I get over my inability to recognize familiar objects, I think I’ll move there, the land of “Yeah, right.” Then I could still be friends with mirror woman but I could say stuff behind her back like, “Yeah, she’s a good friend, I like her and all, but I’m sure glad my butt’s not as big as hers. Let’s go swimsuit shopping!” See, now isn’t that better? I’m feeling happier already. Whose up for icecream?
By Heather O.
Tracy did this,too, but I thought I would put up a link to Deborah’s post on her thoughts about the statement read on Sunday. She has beautifully framed some of the harder issues facing the church with regards to homosexuality. Thank you, Deborah.
Mr. Famous Person
30 May 2006 06:28 pm
By Heather O.
My parents have a famous neighbor. Seriously. I can’t tell you who it is because a) I’d have to kill you, and b) My father would kill me right after I killed you. He firmly believes in protecting other people’s privacy. Once, when I was kid, Karl Malone was eating with his family at the same restaurant we were. The Mailman himself people, and that was when he was still delivering for Utah, except when he would totally and completely choke and fall back on his pathetic jumpshot which always missed, and before he abandoned ship to go play for that OTHER team, just because he was tired of not having a championship ring, which of course was all his stupid jumpshot’s fault. (sigh) For a while there, it was just REALLY hard being both a Jazz fan and a Red Sox fan.
Anyway, I’m sitting there watching this behemoth of a man chew his food, and I think, Hey, I’ve got a napkin, my mom’s got some lipstick–everything I need for a kickin’ autograph. I get it all together, and my Dad gives me THAT LOOK, which is funny, since he doesn’t actually have that many looks, and rarely uses any of them. Come to think of it, he really only has the two–his normal look, and THAT LOOK, so when I saw something different on his face, I knew he meant business. Plus, he looked a little weird, so I was transfixed, just a little bit.
“Don’t even think about it”, he said. “Let the man eat his dinner in peace.”
“Nobody else is letting him eat in peace”, I whined, which was true. People were high fiving him, calling out his name, just generally letting him know that the people of Utah appreciated him. I mean, c’mon, like professional atheletes don’t totally just LIVE for that kind of stuff. Hey, word up, Karl. Don’t go out to eat in Salt Lake when the Jazz are on a roll and expect people to leave you in peace. Of course, you can’t go out when The Jazz are losing, because then people would just throw things at you. Best stay home then if you don’t want to be impaled by a spork.
“Well, you are not going to be one of those people”, my father said, which left a distinct impression that I would get THAT LOOK again if I ever dared to be one of those people. And since THAT LOOK was freaky enough in the first place, I abandoned all hope of the Mailman’s John Hancock.
So, Dad likes to give people their privacy. And I don’t want THAT LOOK again.
And that brings me back to the neighbor. He and his wife are very pleasant people, really. They do regular stuff, like wash the car, paint the garage, and pick up their mail. But every time they do these things, I think, ‘Oh my gosh, Mr. Famous Person is washing his car! Wow!’ or ‘Mr. Famous Person is wearing shorts while he paints his garage-I can’t believe it!’ And I even contemplated calling my sister today to tell her all about how when I stood out on my parent’s front stoop playing with J and MFP came up and said, “Hey, you guys aren’t locked out, are you?”
Oh my goodness, he’s talking to me–ME! What do I say? Act natural, breathe, breathe.
“No, we’re just waiting for my husband. My son really wants to show him his new toy”, at which point J holds up his new ball and says, “See?”
MFP said, “Yeah, ok,” and walks into his house.
I mean, I would say that passed for an actual CONVERSATION with MFP. Will wonders never cease.
Why do we get this way around celebrities? I haven’t seen MFP do a single stupid, silly, or celebrity type thing at all ever, and yet every time I see him, I feel awed that I get to watch him, even do something as mundane as, you know, OPEN HIS GARAGE. It’s pathetic, truly. And yet, like a trainwreck, I just can’t look away.
So let’s hear your Mr. Famous Person stories, and how you are in awe of a moment like seeing Kristi Yamaguchi eating french fries at Logan airport, or Harry Connick Jr. grunting to you as he signs the program you push towards him, or shaking John Travolta’s hand. Ah, if life were made of moments….
Oh, and just to make this post somewhat Mommy related, I should inform you that halfway through the writing of this post, J crawled into my lap in a seemingly loving mood, snuggled up to my face for what I surely assumed would be a kiss, and blew his nose all over my cheek. Oh yeah, I’m treasuring these Mommy moments. Every snot filled one.
By The Wiz
When my kids were very little, especially when I just had two, and one as a newborn slept all morning, and the other as an almost 2 year old slept all afternoon, I was sure I would never leave the house again. I longed for the days when school would come, along with lessons and activities that would give my day some structure, apart from the schedule of nap times.
Now I’m there, and I long for the days when scheduling wasn’t a problem, when I could just go to the park just because it was a nice day, or take hours (not literally) at Costco deciding which pajamas to buy, and hitting every single free sample kiosk that was there. Now I live and die by the clock, and in many ways it is nice, giving me structure that I normally wouldn’t have, making sure meals are served on time (instead of it hitting 3:00, and oh, wait, we haven’t had lunch yet).
But sometimes I just hate the way I can’t just follow my whims to hit a museum, or go to the zoo. And as I look back, I realize I did not take full advantage of that time. I was too busy complaining that I was losing my mind, that I had nothing to do and nowhere to go.
I guess I’m just a tad pessimistic, chronically wanting what I don’t have, and as summer approaches, the schedule will relax quite a bit, although there are still piano, swimming, and ballet lessons. Also, there are still huge blocks of unscheduled time, when we can just do whatever we want, and I know that I will vascillate between loving those times and hating them. I guess there’s just no pleasing me.
By Heather O.
The Oman family is officially ill. All three of us have it–the snot filled head, the runny nose, the sore throat, the headache, the aches and pains. Nothing too serious, but certainly something that makes getting up before noon a real struggle. And, of course, since nothing but a raging fever and puke will keep my little bugger down, we all have been up since 5:45. I’m not joking. The little sadist. He’s also covered pretty much every shirt he and I own with snot.
Anyway, in moments like this, we, of course, turn to the TV. We don’t have TV at our house, but as we are still camping out at my mother’s, we have access to her incredible digital cable from Comcast which boasts, you know, every cable channel known to man and beyond. And J is thrilled. Let the brain melting begin, I say, as I sit in my fuzzy bathrobe (which is actually DH’s and has like 4 pairs of socks in the pockets–men, what is WRONG with you people?)and stare at the ceiling thinking how crappy I feel and wondering how on earth I could possibly have any more snot in my head after blowing out enough goobers to cover North America.
Yesterday, in a rare moment of silence, I found myself watching the TV alone. J must have been asleep, DH must have been slogging through work, and I must have been congratulating myself on a nose well cleared. I was flipping through the channels, and of course, came across the kid’s stuff. Hey, SpongeBob, Dora, AND Blues Clues? Wow, we have hit the jackpot here, people! And I even starting clicking the remote to get myself to those channels before I stopped and realized that no self respecting adult should be excited to watch those shows, booger-blowing notwithstanding.
What has happened to me? I come across “Clifford the Big Red Dog” and think, “Hey, I could watch that!” Does this happen to every mother? Is it just because it has been so long since I could indulge in TV on more than a PBSkids level that I have actually even forgotten what it feels like? Or has my brain truly melted to the point where Clifford is really all it can handle? Admittedly it’s been a rough week, but hey, I should at least be able to handle a Seinfeld re-run, right? I would hope so. It would be a sad day if something like the Soup Nazi just went right over my head. No soup for me.
Mmmm, chicken noodle soup…hot, steamy, soothing on the throat….
I gotta go blow my nose. And get some soup. And turn on Clifford.
Where’s your bike?
25 May 2006 09:43 am
By Heather O.
We’ve done it. Well, almost. All of our stuff is out of our house, and I will be doing the key handover today. I can’t believe it, but we did it. And, unlike our last move, we did it without our driver hitting one of our neighbors’ cars after unloading and subsequently getting arrested. Bonus points for that, I say.
So now what? Well, we have to wait until DH is officially finished with his life in the slave pits, and then we can really begin life in our new home. In the meantime, we are camping at my mother’s house, living off of the land, as DH likes to call it.
I’ve been pretty worried about how J would handle all of this. After all, this is big stuff for a little kid, and I think in some ways, doing it all sort of little by little, as we have, is almost harder than just picking up, getting there, and setting up shop again immediately. But as we were unloading our truck at our new house, the kids in the neighborhood starting coming home from school, and J greeted them eagerly with, “Hey, where’s your bike? Wanna see mine? C’mon, let’s ride!” Seriously, within minutes, J had all those kids out there on their bikes, 4 kids total, all over the road. Now, the new house is on a cul-de-sac, and it was not lost on J that there were clearly no cars to be reckoned with. He gleefully asked me how far he could go, we set up some boundaries, and that was that. We didn’t talk to him for the rest of the afternoon.
The other moms said, “Wow, my daughter usually doesn’t ride her bike this long,” or “It’s so good to see my son outside. After school, he just usually holes up in the house”, and “My daughter is usually a little bit scared on her bike, but seeing J seems to have given her some confidence.” And I also heard the other parents setting up similar boundaries with their kids, which means that bike riding on the cul-de-sac is not a usual occurence.
Well, J’s here. It is now.
But I was pleased and a little amazed at how easily J interacted with these kids. “Hey, where’s your bike?” was all it took to get them playing together, and then those kids immediately accepted him. I think it shows that those kids are basically good kids, but I wonder if all kids are just like that. Hey, you wanna be my friend? Great, let me show you the supersecret path to my garden! (Actual statement uttered by my next door neighbor’s child. And really, who wouldn’t want to see a supersecret path to a garden!) And now, when we talk about getting to our new house, he has a group of friends he can think about and plan amazing amounts of mischief with.
Here I have been worrying about my kid, and it turns out that he immediately has a bigger social circle than I do. Why can’t adults be as friendly, outgoing, and immediately accepting as the kids are? These kids have very little walls up, and the ones that are there are immediately penetrated with a “C’mon, let’s ride!”. At what point do we lose that, and start putting up stronger walls between us and our adult friends? Why is it so much harder for us to bond as adults than it is for kids? I’m not saying our new neighbors weren’t friendly–they were as open and welcoming as we could have hoped for. And yet, after one afternoon, they are not my friends. I’m not saying they never will be, I’m just saying that we didn’t spend the afternoon playing and sharing secrets and traipsing through the three backyards like the 4 Musketeers. Of course, adults also don’t get quite as excited about the family of slugs that have apparantly made themselves quite comfortable in one of our trees, but hey, maybe we should!
Maybe we just all need to ride more bikes.
By Tracy M
By now, you all are probably so done with my musings on the finer points (ha!) of mamaries. This is it, I promise! I’ve pontificated on the medical healing of breast reduction surgery, the special level of torture that is pumping everything your baby eats, and my own grief at not being able to nurse. But I have something to add, something I never thought I would say; I have a baby that is nursing.
When I last posted a Mammary, I was in the throes of grief, and had all but thrown in the proverbial towel. I had bound myself and started giving my baby formula. Doing as the lactation nurse suggested, my milk supply was all but annihilated, but I just couldn’t bring myself to completely stop. So I was pumping a bottle or two for her each day- just enough that my milk wasn’t gone, and just enough that I was hopeful she was getting some good from it. Then, one day as I was pumping and she was rooting and definitely hungry, I thought, “Hey, maybe..?”. Well, it never worked with the boys, but the thought was tempting (inspired?) nonetheless… Especially since she had been so eager at first. So I picked her up and gave it a shot.
Well, guess what? It seems The Voracious One has done what over 1000 hours on a breast pump could not do. Yes, my little Hoover has managed to latch on, correctly, and for the first time in my life, I have a baby that is getting her milk directly from my body. Miracles…They really do happen. Granted it’s a small miracle in the Grand Scheme, but it’s my miracle, and I will take it and shout Hossanah!
Is it because I made such a big deal about not being able to nurse, and I needed to be shown who was really The Boss? Could be. Is it because I had the faith to try even when I knew it was “unlikely”? Maybe. Is it because this a different baby and she has a much stronger urge to suck, a hungry tummy and a patient personality? Possibly. Perhaps it is because of the reduction surgery making everything a more “manageable” size? Probably. I think it’s likely a fair mixture of all these things.
Either way, I’m ready to publicly have a big ole slice of Humble Pie, to eat some Crow and have a side of My Hat. Bring it on! I’m hungry! Never in my life have I been so completely overjoyed to be Wrong!
In the Beginning….
24 May 2006 01:55 am
By The Wiz
In the beginning, it was cute. There were costumes. Toddler-Man clapped at the end of each number. And yet, it was the production that wouldn’t end.
A few days ago, my daughter came home with a note from school saying essentially: “Come to the school on Tuesday night at 6:00 p.m. for a celebration. Performers need to be there at 5:50.” Performers? What?
“Honey? Is that you? Are you performing at your school?”
“Yeah, there’s a program. We’re singing ‘Wheels on the Bus’.”
Oh, well, great. Sounds kind of fun. But then, oh, then, I have been to hell, and it is a packed cafeteria/auditorium/gymnasium filled with parents and “alumni” with no less than 30 numbers on the program! There were kindergarteners in duck hats, school board members being honored, pictures of random alumni that nobody cared about(for an elementary school, people! Alumni, I tell you! This is what’s wrong with America today). The narration in the middle of each number was from mumbling fourth graders with no mikes, and let me just say, it was not the most pleasant place, temperature-wise. 500+ sweating people who haven’t eaten dinner and thus have extremely stale breath, and random babies and toddlers (including mine) with less than fresh diapers, packed into an elementary school “multi-purpose room” could be, quite possibly, the most odiferous place on earth!
At first, it was kind of cute, and I thought it would be a fun little thing to do before settling into our evening routine. I did not know it would go on for two hours. My daughter did, indeed, get up and sing ‘Wheels on the Bus.’ Along with 2 other numbers, with all the other grades doing multiple numbers as well. Hello! These are not professionals! Nobody wants to see this, even if it is our own kids. My personal favorite was the good 2 minutes it took for each class to file off and on the “stage” between each number. That was just GREAT!
The production quality was not what you would call “good” or even “fair” - we could barely hear a thing, and yet, I’m not entirely sure that was a bad thing. Toddler-Man happily did the actions for ‘wheels’. Then the endless torment began, and instead of clapping and shouting ‘yay! in his cute little way, whenever applause began, he would turn to his father “Ok - all done?”
He was less than pleased at the situation, and did everything in his power to let us know. He did a lot of screaming and jumping on the metal folding chairs - which, by the way, are the most comfortable chairs known to man, and I hope whoever invented those is extremely wealthy, for they are truly a miracle of science. I wanted to join him, for jumping on chairs looked like a great way to demonstrate my feelings. Sometimes, you know, there’s just no other way. (just ask Tom Cruise.)
My husband decided that everybody at the school should be fired. Clearly, this was an institution run by incompetent people. And, you know, he just might be right.
By Heather O.
Today was one of those Sundays.
It started at 5am, when J woke up and wondered where his bed was. We are out of our house, and staying with family while we await the movers tomorrow. All of our stuff has been packed since Friday, and J is sort of freaked out. Hence, I think, the 5am wake-up call.
Anyway, he was cranky the entire morning, and the prospect of church did not cheer him up any. He cried almost the whole way to church, a trip that took us 20 minutes longer than usual, coming from my family’s house instead of ours. We slipped into the 2nd to back row in the overflow just as the Sacrament hymn was ending. J whimpered during the entire Sacrament, and intermittently moaned that he was hungry and loudly whispered, “I don’t want to go to Primary!”
After the Sacrament, we finally got him calmed down enough to play with some toys, and he sat down on the floor to entertain himself. I usually do not allow him to sit anywhere but the chair or bench, but as we were in the overflow, and as we were all very near the edge, I let it slide. He seemed content, for the first time in literally 4 hours.
The meeting progressed, as did J’s play. He started crashing his Spiderman into his space ship, with the appropriate sound effects. DH and I shushed him, pulled him away from other chairs, told him he was not allowed to slam Spiderman into the chair, etc. He responded pretty well, I thought, to our instructions, and I actually heard most of the speakers, and felt myself starting to relax just a little bit.
Then a member of the ward I did not know come up to us during the meeting and harshly whispered, “I have an investigator here, and your son is depriving us of the Spirit!”
Have you ever heard of the straw that broke the camel’s back? This was the whisper that broke the Mamma’s very thin veil of sanity.
We blew out of that Sacrament meeting so fast that J was too stunned at Mama’s behavior to even cry. We spent the rest of Sacrament meeting taking a “family walk” around the idyllic neighborhood while I worked extremely hard to pull it all back together. If DH wasn’t scheduled to teach Elder’s Quorom, I think we would have left altogether.
I was shocked, hurt, angry, appalled, and embarassed, all at the same time. Shocked that somebody would have the guts to say that to my face. Hurt and angry because it had been such a struggle to even get there, the entire weekend has been draining and exhausting, and I just needed the peace of the fellowship of the Saints. Appalled because that man did not know our situation, he didn’t know us at all, and still felt like he could say something like that. What if we had been investigators too? What if we had been inactive and were just coming back to church for the first time in years? What if we our testimonies were hanging by a thread, and this would have been the cut that lost us forever? These are the kinds of things that make people leave and never come back.
And, finally, embarrassed that J’s behavior was clearly disturbing others, and I truly did not notice. What kind of mother doesn’t realize her son is running amok and depriving others of the Spirit? One who is totally fried, is the real answer, but that’s not really an appropriate excuse for not controlling my son’s behavior at a time when others are trying to worship, too.
Our church prides itself on focusing on the family, and yet our 3 hour block sometimes makes it tough on families to stay focused on the Spirit. I think sometimes as mothers we have a certain threshold for noise (ie, I apologized to the woman in front of us at the end of church for J’s behavior, thinking that if J disturbed that guy, he certainly disturbed her, and she looked at me blankly. She honestly hadn’t heard a word from him or the whisper from the man because she was completely wrapped up in keeping her own 3 year old from losing it.), but we can forget that other’s don’t have that same threshold.
I don’t know, I’m just completely at a loss, here. Has this kind of thing ever happened to anyone else? How are you supposed to handle something like that?
I saw the Bishop later, and he said he wanted to talk to me in his office. It was mostly about releasing me from my calling, but he said, “You look like you could use a treat”, and he pulled out his candy jar. I told him what happened, and he said, “Yeah, I saw you guys leave. I wondered what he had said to you to make you depart so abruptly. Not super tactful, that guy.” And he gave me a miniature York Peppermint Patty and told me it was going to be ok.
I guess my point in all of this, besides just getting it off my chest, is that there should be some middle ground. Mothers, we should do what we can to make sure our children aren’t disturbing other people’s worship. And other people–when you see a mother dealing with a cranky, rambunctios 4 year old whose sound effects aren’t exactly spiritual, remember that she might be a stressed out nutcase who is functioning on 4 hours of sleep and is living out of a suitcase at her mother’s house and is three seconds away from a major meltdown before you suggest her family is less than righteous.
And remember this: Good bishops should always have a candy jar in their office.
Grosser than Gross
19 May 2006 10:47 am
By The Wiz
This is not a post about poop, vomit, or any bodily functions of any kind. Disappointed? Nope, this is just a quick post about ice cream.
My oldest is doing a ballet performance this weekend, and opening night was last night. We saw her dance around cutely, giggle at other little girls on stage, and yawn hugely right on stage (the performances are at night, and she gets a little tired, especially after all that rehearsing). Anyway, so afterwards, we go out for a little treat, some celebratory ice cream. We are Mormons, after all - we celebrate with fat and sugar instead of alcohol and caffeine.
So, off to Cold Stone we go. Ah, chocolate ice cream mixed with Snickers. Mmmm….but my girls? No, no. They don’t appreciate the fine delicacy of Mocha Almond Fudge with a little toffe thrown in. No, they like….I can barely type this, it’s just revolting…Cotton Candy mixed with gummi bears. ICK! Or, just as stomach turning, Bubble Gum ice cream with gummi bears! They don’t appreciate the delicate blend of flavors that Cold Stone does so well. They like BRIGHT BLUE ice cream. Where did I go wrong?
Oh, have I taught them nothing? I hope it’s just a phase…..
By Heather O.
That’s what I just wrote on one of my boxes. Seriously.
See, the box that I found from who knows where was the perfect size for that Costco package of toilet paper I bought a while back, but, clearly underestimating the amount of poop in our home (TMI? Sorry, I’m moving, I’m a little frazzled, you’re gonna hafta deal), we have a lot left. So it’s too much to toss, too much to leave, so it all fit perfectly in a flat box I’ve got. But that left a lot of space, of course, and it’s pretty squishy, being two ply an’ all, so the space was just perfect for my Christmas rug as well as my front hall rug which is the rug the Christmas rug replaces during, you know, Christmas.
I swear, I am trying really hard this time. I’ve got my FlyLady notebook out, I’ve designated a color for every room and I’m marking the boxes per FlyLady’s orders, but what do you do when you have a box that is perfect for toilet paper and Christmas Rugs? Do I label it for the bathroom or for the garage? Where do I put it upon arrival so I don’t get “bogged down by indecision?”, or worse, stash it in the back of the boxes and forget about it, buy another Costco size package of toilet paper when nature calls because I have no idea that I already have 24 rolls snuggled among my Christmas Rug, only to find it 6 months later when I am rummaging around in another frazzle looking for the freakin’ rug that is supposed to take my front hall rug’s place on December 1st.
Yeah, sadly, that last part is totally me. (sigh)
Anyway, my 15 minute break is over. Back to the boxes, and the colors, and the labels. But I think I will just leave that box labeled as it is. No color code, nothing. HA!
So come visit us in December, it’s beautiful out here that time of year. And, um, I’m sure we’ll have plenty of TP!
16 May 2006 05:33 pm
By Heather O.
Avoidance is good, avoidance is fun, tra la la la, I’m having so much fun
SHUT UP BOXES! YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE PACKED RIGHT NOW
Avoidance, tra la la, let’s blog, avoiding, yesiree
I SAID SHUT UP! DON’T MAKE ME COME UP THERE!
Oh crap. That’s what they want me to do. They are sucking me up there so that I can be productive. No, no NO! I will not fall into their trap!
Blogging, Blogging, what’s up on the Bloggernacle…
THEY’RE IN MY MIND! MAKE IT STOP! SOMEBODY SAVE ME FROM MOVING HELL!
Tra la la la la la…
NOOOO..THEY GOT ME…ARRGGGH….
Classics for kids?
15 May 2006 04:16 pm
By Heather O.
Our library had one of those book sales, you know, the awesome 3 day kind where you can find really good stuff for under $2.00. I LOVE these kind of book sales, and spent over 20 bucks and felt happy about the 15 books I got with the money. Ahh, more books to pack, yipee!
One of the books we got for a quarter was an Illustrated Classic Edition of _The Three Musketeers_. My BIL has read these kinds of books to his young children, and he recommended them. We read the Illustrated Classic version of_The Call of the Wild_ to J, and he loved it. Nature, ice and snow, a little bit of animal violence–what’s not to love? He seemed equally excited when he saw the Disneyesque picture of 3 dashing soldiers on the front of this cover of Dumas’ Classic. I felt like a virtuous parent for buying it for him, and even more virtuous when the kid sat through the first 30 pages of it, no wiggling at all. Woohoo, we have an attention span, people!
Note: I have never actually read _The Three Musketeers_. I saw it performed on stage when I was in high school, and faked a good enough book report from the play to pass it in for freshman English. Needless to say, I don’t remember much. And that was my big mistake.
Anyway, I figured it would have some violence-Musketeers are, after all, soldiers, but I hoped it wouldn’t be too bad, and thought we could handle it.
I was unprepared, however, for the adultery.
Yeah, adultery. Queens falling in love with Dukes and giving him the King’s diamonds, D’Artagnan having something going on the side with a married woman, who he drops like a soiled dishrag the minute Milady DeWinter gives him a little nudge nudge and a wink wink, yaknowwhatImean? J started asking questions like, “Why does that woman hate her husband?”, and it was then I knew we had to stash that Illustrated Classic away for another time, perhaps.
But this is Alexandre Dumas. I was supposed to read this as a 14 year old. It’s supposed to be a classic. Why, then, did I feel like I was reading a trashy romance novel, sans the explicit sex? And I’m sure that the version without the Japination-like picture on every page was definitely a little more, shall we say, um, steamy?
So, I’m a little perplexed. Aren’t we supposed to encourage our children to read more advanced things? Aren’t classics supposed to be good literature? I have to say, after this experience, we might be sticking with Clifford the Big Red Dog for quite a while. Any thoughts on if classical literature is actually inappropriate? And please, no sermons on how Dumas was probably the wrong guy to go with at this age. I have definitely learned my lesson.
Unrelated side note: J has just informed me that the Lindt Truffles that DH got me for Mother’s Day look just like the Death Star. And, upon further inspection, I discover he is absolutely right. Screw Dumas, I’m sticking with George Lucas.
Happy Mother’s Day
14 May 2006 01:52 pm
By Tracy M
I’m feeling rather soft and squishy about my children tonight. Somedays I feel I am the one learning and they are the teachers. Not necessarily the older wiser teachers, but the harder, tough teachers that you never forget the lessons you learn from. Ever had any of those? I’ve got three of them here under my own roof.
The woman I used to be was independent, a world traveler, a career chick who had a really fun job, cool and interesting friends, a convertible, nice clothes and a good dye job on the hair. I relished my freedom and independence, I sat in bed on Sunday mornings reading the paper and writing self-indulgent things in my journal while my dog slept at my feet. I had friends over for fancy meals and to try out new, gourmet recipes. I spent my free time with other bohemians who were equally self-indulgent and submerged in relative luxury. Luxury of time, of money, of place and weather. Luxury of friends and career’s and choices and plenty. Luxury of museums and concerts and sunset cruises on the Bay after tiny bistro dinners in the City… Ah, I can still feel it, and on melancholy days, I might even miss it a tiny bit.
The woman I am now… Ah, the woman I am now is so much happier than the woman I was. The previous life sounds glamorous and full and fun- and at times it was. But it was also a whole lot of hollow- years of looking for what I felt was missing. Years of writing in that journal, wishing for a family of my own, wishing for my eternal companion (even though he was right under my nose), wishing for children, wishing for a home, wishing for everything that now occupies my days and often my nights.
From my children and my choosing to be a stay-at-home mom, I have learned more than I ever imagined possible. From the moment Jeffrey was born, he has been teaching me- starting with his body sliding into the world… Came the stunning realization that there really is a God. Nothing in my life has been as impacting and as sure as that moment. From Eric’s birth I learned that my heart could expand indefinitely, that love was not something metered out or finite. From Abby’s birth, I learned my capacity to cope and deal with pain reached far beyond what I thought were my boundaries, and I came out not only alive, but thrillingly so.
Each day, as I watch my children grow and change, visibly metamorphosing, the same thing is happening inside of me. My life is not about me anymore, but the irony is that I am more alive, more myself than I ever was when it was all about me. Motherhood has given me confidence in the face of opposition, a knowledge of my personal resources and how deep they might actually be, lessons in patience repeated over and again, a solid sense of what is really important, the ability to discern and trust my intuition, and faith. Oh, most of all, Faith.
How could any of us mother without faith? How could we get through the long nights and exhausting days without faith? How could we do what we do, over and over, without faith?The Lord gave me the greatest gift when Jeffrey was born. I had been searching for years for answers, but it was not until the very moment his warm, wet body was laid on my stomach that I knew, knew with all my heart, that God was there, that God is real.
As mothers, we walk around in the world watching our hearts live outside ourselves. Tiny bodies holding our very lifeblood toddle off into the great blue beyond, and the vulnerability would be unendurable without Faith.
So today, I thank the Lord for answering my questions in unmistakable ways, and for giving me the gift of these little teachers, who stretch and grow and push me toward my eternal destination. I pray that I am enough of a mother to do the same for them.
Happy Mothers Day to all of you. Go kiss your mother!
By The Wiz
Ok, just super funny. Go check it out here. It’s all about evolution. But in a good way.
He dressed himself
11 May 2006 11:08 pm
By Heather O.
My son has a new skill. He can get ready for school BY HIMSELF. Almost every morning for the past month he has come into our bedroom fully dressed, ready to go. Ok, sometimes it’s a little bit earlier than we would like, mainly because he thinks that being dressed completely (”To the shoes!”) entitles him to go outside and knock on our neighbor’s door to see if the boys there can play bikes. At 7:15am. Our neighbors like J, but really, not that much.
Anyway, I want to encourage this behavior (the independence, not the early rising. That I could seriously do without), which means that on more than one occasion, I’ve had to bite my tongue and let my kid wear what he picked out. And really, who wouldn’t want to wear a Superman T-shirt with a striped shirt underneath with yellow batman shorts to preschool? Besides, the striped shirt has a pocket, and the Batman shorts and Superman shirt don’t (I guess Superheros don’t carry wallets or loose change all that much), so he puts the striped one on underneath so he can sneak his Star Wars guys into preschool in the breast pocket without the teacher noticing! See, stylish and practical. Of course the teacher won’t notice the 4 guys stuffed into my pocket and falling out—they are COVERED by my SUPERMAN SHIRT!
Anyway, my point is that I am totally ok with my kid lookin’ a little lame now and then because I can just shrug and say, “He dressed himself.” And all the mothers give me that little smile, and look at J with his mismatched socks and shoes on the wrong feet and say, “Ah, yes. Of course”. Plus, there is that extra added bonus on being able to blame it on the preschooler that really, there were no matching socks in the house because Momma is behind in the laundry.
I’m ok with it when it’s my 4 year old. Not so much when it’s my husband.
When it comes to how DH dresses, I can’t let it go the same way I can with J, I just can’t. Our first year of marriage was frought with admonitions and exhortations from me along the lines of, “You can’t wear those socks, they don’t match”, or “That tie just looks bad, honey”, and “Those pants are wrinkled, we need to iron them.” I’m really not that much of a nag when it comes to clothes, not being much of a clothes horse myself, but DH can’t go to church wearing mismatched socks, he just can’t! What kind of wife would I be if I allowed such a thing?
We were discussing this issue with a friend of DH’s, and frankly, he was appalled at my behavior.
“You married a grown man, Heather. He is not your son, he is his own person. His wrinkled and dirty shirt do not reflect upon your wifely skills. They reflect his OWN slovenliness, and you need to let it go.”
DH, surprised to get some support, said, “Yeah. Yeah! Let it go, wouldja?”
I have let up some in the intervening years of our marriage. But I find it ironic that I refuse to let my husband wear a T-shirt that says ‘Commies aren’t Cool’ and has a picture of Che Guevara with a line through it in public, but I can let my son walk around wearing a blue duck towel on his head all day because he thinks it makes him look like a Jedi. For some reason, I am more concerned with my husband’s grooming standards reflecting badly on me as a wife than I am about my son’s grubbiness reflecting on me as a mother. Anybody else feel this way?
I guess I should really just employ the same tactic I use with my son when I think my husband looks like a total goofbrain:
Shrug and say, “Hey, he dressed himself.”
By The Wiz
Guest post from Tammy - her blog can be found here. she introduces herself as follows.My name is Tammy. I live in Utah. I am a mature Mormon Mom with kids ranging from 19 years-18 months. It my 18 month old baby, Parker, that I blog about. Parker was born with Down syndrome. People have a hard time believing me when I say that the Down syndrome isn’t an issue at all with Parker. We already had 5 ‘typical’ kids and were ready for a new ‘flavor’. =) What we were totally unprepared for were the health issues that came along with the extra chromosome. I think that I offer a different perspective. As a mom of a large family I come with a wide experience base, and even wider hips.
Parker gets sick a lot. A whole lot. You’d think that we would be used to this by now. We’re not. Although we can identify certain clues in Parker’s behavior that makes the hair on the backs of our necks rise in that all too familiar warning: Parker’s getting sick. Again.
One big clue is Parker’s inability to tolerate his CPAP machine at night. Parker has severely obstructive sleep apnea. When he sleeps his trachea collapses and it makes it hard for his heart to send blood to his lungs via his pulmonary artery. This increases the pressure in his pulmonary artery which in turn makes it even harder to get blood to his lungs. You add that to his chronic lung disease and you get a whopping case of Pulmonary Hypertension. This is where the CPAP comes in. Each night we put a mask on Parker that provides both extra oxygen and continuous positive pressure to help keep his trachea open and reduce the strain on his heart. It looks a lot like a mask a jet fighter pilot wears. On the very best nights it is simply an irritant. One the nights where he is getting sick, he can’t tolerate it. He wakes up gasping and choking.
The last two nights Parker hasn’t been able to tolerate the CPAP and that anxious feeling has started creeping up the backs of our hairlines. Both Reed and I begin to wonder if this will be the beginning of our next PICU stay. How far will this set back Parker’s progress? Will the doctor believe us when we say there is something going on even if they can’t see into his very tiny ear canals or the fact that kids this age aren’t supposed to get sinus infections?
I got this same run around when I kept trying to get someone to believe me when I said that even as a young baby Parker was breathing through his mouth. Nope, Mom, can’t be. Young babies never breathe through their mouths. Imagine the looks on these doctors faces when I showed them the report saying that Parker’s adenoids were blocking his airway over 90%.
Knock, knock, guys. Parker’s extra chromosome gives heed to throwing out the ‘usual’ and ‘typical’ thoughts when considering his healthcare. You gotta think outside the box when it comes to this kid. You have to explore any and all possibilities. I have printed out what I call Parker’s Law and I have posted it before at his bedside when he has been in the hospital. It goes like this: “If there is anything strange, bizarre, or totally unexpected that could happen, it will happen to Parker and in a VERY big way. You have been officially been warned.”
Maybe now you can understand the thoughts I was having as I was calling the answering service this Sunday morning hoping to get into a weekend clinic. I can’t help the fact that in my heart I am somewhat frantically praying that I can be able to still hold on to all the ’some-days’ we have planned for Parker. The ’some-day’ when he is healthy and strong enough to crawl. The ’some-day’ when he is healthy and can have his bowel surgery. The ’some-day’ when he can just be a kid and run and play and make messes and drive us nuts just like our other five kids. The ’some-day ‘ when he is healthy enough to not freak us out with worry every time he gets sick.
We got lucky today. It took Reed and hour in the waiting room with Parker before they were seen by a PA. But the PA listened and prescribed an antibiotic. Even though he was placing his bets on this being something viral. Well, funny thing is, when Parker is sick just one shot of an antibiotic will turn things around. Of course the doctors just humor us when we try to explain this to them. But we know better. We are away ahead of them in figuring out this extra chromosome thing.
While still not feeling good, Parker has perked up tonight. It won’t be a CPAP night, but it won’t be a PICU stay either. Each night without that CPAP sets us back a little in our goal to have Parker’s PH numbers recede. So many setbacks tend to really get you down after awhile. But I found this quote. I can’t give it’s author credit because I don’t know who it is. But it made a difference in my day today:
“Courage doesn’t always roar-sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day that says, “I’ll try again tomorrow.”
And as long as Parker is willing to keep trying, so are we. So are we.
So sleep well, sweet boy. And dream of that ’some-day’ when you will be healthy and able to run and dance and play.
I love you.
Relief Society Rebel
10 May 2006 07:01 pm
By Heather O.
It’s spring, it’s beautiful outside, so I’m feeling daring. I’m feeling adventuresome. I’m feeling so good I’d even be willing to…willing to…DEVIATE FROM THE MANUAL this Sunday! Oh, the POWER!
I’m one of the TOTP RS teachers (wow, that’s a lot of acronyms), and I’m teaching this Sunday. I like this calling (best calling in the church, hands down). And I like using the manual to get some interesting discussion going. Our Relief Society is particularly chatty, so it’s really not all that hard.
But, as we all know, this Sunday is Mother’s Day, and there is something particularly depressing about teaching from the manual on Mother’s Day in Relief Society. I’d like to do something special, but I’m not really all that good at “special” stuff. Do I bring in food, do I do a different lesson, do I quote only from Eliza R. Snow, what? The Tales Gals are talking about what to do for Sacrament Meeting, but I’m wondering what I can do during the gathering of women. Any thoughts about things you would like to see happen in our women’s meeting on Mother’s Day?
I am leaning towards the food, thing, though, just so you know. I actually advised against it for Sacrament meeting, only because grubby little hands seem to get to our treats first if they see them, but in Relief Society, that wouldn’t be the case. We could indulge in SECRET! Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha…
09 May 2006 02:39 pm
By The Wiz
Guest Post from jbn…
Think about those days when you’re just craving that bon-bon, that frozen snickers bar, that handful of jelly bellies, but you know that one bite will send you into carbohydrate hell, a never-ending spiral that eventually leads you to mindlessly playing free cell or lying on the bed w/the TiVo remote in hand to watch the same Gilmore Girls episode that you’ve seen 20 times but don’t care because you have such a headache that you can’t even see straight let alone try to function rationally in the real world.
You all know what I’m talking about…
At last, a solution!
Frozen grapes. My new favorite treat. Eat them like candy. Eat as many as you want. No hell, no headache, no guilt, no free cell. Just pure low-glycemic, zone-favorable enjoyment.
For those times when you are upset that you are wasting perfectly good food because people are starving in Africa as your grapes are about to go rotten because you left them on the counter for a couple of days, hoping and assuming that as people walked by them they would grab a handful and therefore relieve your 3rd-world guilt, but nobody did so now you have to throw out rotten grapes, take heart! There is a positive solution!
Open freezer baggie, insert grapes, put in freezer. Wait an hour or two and voila–instant tasty snack!
By Heather O.
Yes, it’s true. The saga continues.
So when we last left our hero, Bobo the snake had just been rescued from the book shelf by BIL and DH, having spent the night there after escaping from his cage the night BIL and sister (Is there a blog acronym for that? DS, for Dear Sister?) arrived for their Spring Break trip back East. Yeah, we even found scales under the bed, which means he took a little detour before heading to the bookshelf. That thought freaked sis out, to say the least.
Anyway, BIL tracked him down, and we got him safely back into the cage. Then BIL decided Bobo would probably be hungry after his little excitement, and so BIL got Bobo a mouse for dinner. Bobo snatched it up greedily, just like he always does, and sister pronounced it one of the grossest things she has ever seen.
Ok, that was what, a month ago? Well, we decided he was probably getting hungry again (we feed him about once a month), so we got Bobo a mouse yesterday. Now, it was during the day, and snakes feed at night, but we were too busy to give it to him that night, and we figured he would be hungry enough to eat the mouse.
We were wrong.
Bobo didn’t touch the mouse. Seriously. The mouse at first was running around, you know, like terrified animals who know they will be shortly consumed by a predator do. But eventually, after about 3 hours, the mouse settled down into the cage, built himself a little nest with Bobo’s bark, and FELL ASLEEP! Ok, if this mammal is NAPPING, surely he is not feeling in fear of the very large reptile less than a foot away. Weird. At one point, before the mouse’s little moment of slumber, the two animals actually, as J put it, nuzzled noses. J was actually quite delighted. Hey, the mouse and snake are friends! What the heck is this? Bobo doesn’t make friends with mice–he’s a killing machine! Not so yesterday.
Ok, so we decide to leave the mouse there, and check up on him in the morning. Surely he would have disposed of the mammal at night, right?
We woke up this morning, only to find that the little mouse had dug a trench in the bark and was snuggled UNDER the snake’s water dish, which was full, which meant that the snake couldn’t get at him. Smart little bugger, if you ask me. And at this point, Bobo was completely curled up, totally uninterested. J said, “Oh, they really ARE friends!” My dad said, “This is the beginning of a children’s book”. J said, “What book? Can you read it to me? Where’s the book?” Yeah, thanks Dad.
So now what do we do with the mouse? Bobo won’t eat the mouse if it is dead. How long can a mouse go without food and water?
We finally decided to take the mouse out of the cage and try to keep it alive until we think Bobo will eat it. We now have the mouse installed in Lola’s old cage (Lola, for those of you who haven’t kept up, is our former parakeet. She drowned in the toilet) with newspaper and mouse food that I got from the pet store ages ago in preparation for this very scenario.
Now J wants to name this mouse. Hello? How are we supposed to feed a mouse with a name to Bobo? Like any one of us want to see Bobo devour “Fluffy”.
DH thinks we should just cut our losses, let the stupid mouse free in the woods and let the thing fend for itself, forfeiting the $1.20 we paid for it. A lot less hassle, and, arguably, more humane. At least we are giving the mouse a chance. Ok, not much of one, since it was born in captivity, has no idea how to forage for food, and is snow white, which means it doesn’t exactly blend in with the forest floor, but hey, we could at least say we tried. Or, something like that.
My sister had the best suggestion. Keep the mouse as a pet and just buy another one for Bobo. Think of it as food storage for the snake.
I guess that would go under the motto “Be prepared.”
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