Sunday, January 29, 2012

Happy happy birthday birthday!

Today is a special day for *two* people in our family...Uncle Bobby and Aunt Becky; both of them are having their birthdays today! Woohoo! Happy birthday you two, our family is richer for you being a part of it!!

A birthday is just the first day of another 365-day journey around the sun. Enjoy the trip.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Happy Birthday!!

To Gramps the Great!

Today's the 81st anniversary of Gramps the great being born and we're so glad he's here!

Have a fabulous day and eat lots of cake!!

Love you!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

But, he's so polite!

Gabe sees a counselor on Thursdays; Dr. B. She's awesome and we love her (and more importantly, Gabe loves her) today she had an assistant to help with scheduling, etc. She's actually the receptionist/medical assistant from the pediatrician's office downstairs. She was polite and kind and chatted away...until she flung the "r" word out.

The "R" word, is, of course, retard. She said "oh I am so retarded. ah ha ha ha"

I looked at her and politely said "I would really prefer if you didn't say that word."

She said "Um, ok, I didn't mean anything by it, I meant I was being stupid"

My response "And being stupid and being retarded are NOT interchangeable So if you want to say that you're being stupid, just say so. "

She said "I don't know why it bothers you so much"

"Because my son is retarded"

"no he's not" she said

"Yes", I replied, "he is. He is physically retarded"

to which she said "no. no he's not. he's so...polite. there's no way he's retarded"

(at this point I was steaming mad...)

I said, softly, politely-if you will-"Gabe has a hole in his spine as well as other related problems, so yes, he is retarded. Just because he has a physical disability, does NOT mean that he can't have manners"

And at that point, I thought it would stop, but it didn't

She said to me "well, I'm sorry but he's too polite to be that way and I still don't understand why I shouldn't say the word. Besides my nephew is...he's 'like that' and he's fine. He doesn't care if I say it"

I nodded and smiled and the doctor called her away.

A few minutes later, I could tell she was still flustered, whathaveyou so I said as she was leaving, to show that I wasn't angry at her (because I wasn't, more annoyed than anything else) "Have a safe trip home, it's getting icky out there"

She stopped and said thank you and said "you know, my nephew and your son are both really polite, and I don't think of them as having any problems. I just don't. My nephew is really eager to please and I love him"

It's fine that her nephew doesn't care about the word retard being tossed around so cavalierly, that's his choice, but I prefer not to hear it because retard does NOT mean stupid and it's insulting to those who are retarded to have the word stupid equated with them.

After she left, I was still so annoyed that I spoke to the doctor she worked for; the doctor was less than impressed and promised me it would be taken care of. She looked horrified (particularly since she works primarily with children who have Autism and other disabilities) and I'm glad. It's NOT okay to use that word, especially when you're in the position to be dealing with patients day in and day out-of all the people that I've ever encountered, I wouldn't have guessed in a million years a medical "professional" would have used such a derogatory comment-especially while in a medical facility!

I'm just so thankful that Gabriel didn't hear her trying to justify her use of the word, I don't want to have that conversation with him yet. He's too little and doesn't need to know that people out there think less of him and others with disabilities as lesser people, as people whose feelings do not matter. I will protect him as long as I can from the hurtful ignorance of other can count on that.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I love you so much, I could just explode

Today was a fabulous day for Bitsy. She woke up full of excitement at 6:45 (even before Gabe!) because story time at the library started today. She was nervous and excited and couldn't WAIT to go. For a few days before story time, she asked me "do you think there will be girls there?" "what do you think we're going to read about? I hope it's bears" "are you going to go with me?" and so on and so forth.

After getting herself dressed and having her hair done, she looked at me in my black t shirt and pants and said "um Mom, are you really gonna wear all black? can you put on some make up too?" So being the good momma I am, I changed and put on some make up and off we went to story time.

Imagine Bitsy's surprise when she walked in and found her name on a nametag shaped like...a POLAR BEAR (her current favorite bear) and then she got into line with a little girl who is going to be starting kinder at her school in the fall...and then they read a book about polar bears, had a snowball fight with plastic bag snowballs, and best of all, made a polar bear picture to bring home.

Oh this child was on cloud nine! Bears and little girls and more bears oh my.

But the day was just starting for Miss Bits-a-roo! She had her first dance class of the session too! More little girls and pirouettes and tutus! Oh my!

She was so worn out that she slept the whole way home...and woke up to make some fresh squeezed orange juice with me-her day just kept getting better. As she was squeezing the oranges she said "oh momma, this is so much better than what comes from a factory" (she's so right) and a little bit later, she put her arm around me and said "oh Momma, I just love you so much, I could, I could, I could just EXPLODE" and then gave me a squeeze and a happy sigh.

What a good day to be Bitsy!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Kids and Animals

As most of you know, we have two cats. Ding and Dong. No no, Boni and Bam :) Two furbabies; we've had Boni cat for three years, he's a rescued shelter cat and we've had Bam since August-a friend of ours had a cat who had kittens and we decided to take one. They bring so much pleasure to our family. Yes, they annoy us, but they also make us very happy. More than making Geo and I happy, they really make the kids happy. There's never a time when there isn't a cat curled up with one of the kiddos when they're in bed. If you're sick, there's a cat nearby to purr in your ear. If you're having a snack, you guessed it, there's a kitty.

Having cats has taught the kids responsibility; they have to make sure the cats have food and water every day. They have to make sure they aren't locked in a room or a closet (which has happened before, whoops) and they brush the cats to keep them clean and lookin' good.

I grew up with pets, Geo grew up with a dog. We both loved having pets as kids and we love being able to share that with the kids. So a few weeks ago, we decided since we all love the cats so much, how about adding a few more pets to the family? This weekend, we'll be getting two little guys called Degu's. They look like a giant gerbil; they're similar to chinchillas and prairedogs (which is a weird combo, but they're sooooo cute) they're highly intelligent, they adjust to your schedule (rather than being up all night like other rodents) and they can be trained to do tricks. We went this week to play with some at the pet store and make sure they'd be the right animals to add to our family and they definitely are. They don't bite and are really social. The one I was holding kept checking my face out, trying to see what I looked like. All of us are super excited to bring them home this weekend and you can expect to see pictures in the near future.

Do you have pets? Did you have pets growing up?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Bitsy Bitsy Bitsy aka: damn you albuterol

Miss Bits-a-roo is prone to wheezing when she gets sick; it comes with the allergies she has. Since she was little when she gets a chest cold, she wheezes. The last few times it's been so bad that the doc has prescribed an inhaler for her. Earlier this week I took her into the ped's office because she was coughing so hard she was losing her breath; come to find out it was a sinus infection and an ear infection and her chest was so tight she wasn't breathing properly.

In the scheme of things, no biggie. Hooray antibiotics...and the dreaded albuterol. Albuterol is an inhaled steroid and while it works wonders, it riles her up like nobodies' business. For the last two hours I've been trying to calm her down. She gets so wound up that she will click her tongue over and over, she's hop in place, she'll yodel, she spin. It's ridiculous. It wouldn't be nearly as bad if it wasn't at bedtime when this happened, but jeez oh pete. On the plus side she will crash hard when the effects finally wear off.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tell The Truth Tuesday: I Hate Baby Talk

Unless babies are the ones doing it.

A few weeks ago, Katie and I went to have dinner together; while in the ladies room, I saw a disturbing thing. There was a woman holding a little one (maybe 9 months old or so) and another woman standing next to her. The woman said to the mother of the child "Oh! I just love her hat, it's so cute" (it was, it was a cat) The woman holding the baby said to the other woman "oh thank you! her just loves her kitties. yes she do. her loves her kitties!"

To be clear, the baby talking woman was NOT speaking to her child but to another fully grown adult. Her just loves her kitties. yes she do. her loves her kitties Seriously? No, really. Seriously?

The woman who gave the compliment looked a little bit stunned and said "um, ok" and walked out of the ladies room with a rather perplexed look on her face as if she wasn't quite sure what happened there...

Now, it's a well known fact that when I come across a baby, I act like an idiot. New Years Eve for example, I was playing with my little boyfriend Logan. I would hold him up high in the air and say "super baby!" and then bring back down and say "I'll take the soup" and he would giggle like crazy. Talking like an idiot to a baby and talking like a baby to an adult are two different things. Can you imagine if I would have just said to you.

"Her was just playin with the baybee, yes her was. Her just lovessss her Logan. Her Logan is a super baby, oh yes he is. He a super duper baybee, yes he is. yes he is"

I'm pretty sure you'd smack me. Hell, I'd smack me if I spoke like that. So yes, the truth is, I hate baby talking adults. I understand that some times you've been with your children so long you speak to others like they're children, but for the love of Gob stopping speaking in baby EVERYONE. Even your baby. Babies aren't morons, you can speak to them like they're people since...*gasp* they are.

Now if you need me, her will be drinking her diet coke. Oh yes her will. Her just loves her diet cokes, doesn't her? *smack*

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Oh lordy, it's one of THOSE weeks again

About once a year we get hit with one of "those" weeks, you know the one where everything that can go wrong will and then some and then even some more after that.

Let's see, I was in the ER on Tuesday with bronchitis, Wednesday Gabe got a new stretching cast, Thursday Bits was in the ER with a "viral syndrome" AND we got a massive snow storm, Gabe couldn't go to school on Friday because I couldn't shovel and Geo was at work, Gabe is coming down with a cold AND to top it all off, Geo has worked 77 hours this week so he's been virtually gone all the time OR sleeping. I kind of forgot what he looked like to be honest :( oh and did I mention I'm growing a second face on my lip? I never get cold sores but apparently this beastly thing has decided to take up residence on my face because a bright red nose, chapped lips, and a cough that sounds like foghorn wasn't enough.

BUT at least I can laugh about it because seriously, I don't know what else to do at this point. We're all zombies at this point and one of us is thumping around stepping on cat tails and mournfully staring at the snow he can't play in BUT we've watched movies and eaten popcorn and snoogled a lot on the couch. Gabe read me Calvin and Hobbes today while I laid in bed sipping a diet coke (just what the doctor ordered...until I dumped it all over myself and the bed, which made Gabe laugh) Bitsy snoozed on the couch while Geo was finally able to enjoy some football and then he made dinner for really, it hasn't been *that* bad...though I am looking forward to a break from all this crap...maybe getting it out of the way early in the year will keep us all healthy the rest of the year-or so I'll hope!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Perspective

My mom is a cancer survivor; when I was 16 she was diagnosed with cervical and ovarian cancer. It's been 15 years and she's cancer free and healthy. When I was first going through Gabe's diagnosis and so angry and just wanted to know WHY me? WHY  Gabe? Why why why why!??! My mom's answer was "why NOT you? why NOT Gabe?"

I was confused until she explained. She said "Chris, someone has to make up the statistics, SOMEONE has to be the 1 in 10 that spina bifida has to happen to and rather then saying 'why me' perhaps you ought to be asking why NOT me? When it comes down to it, things happen and that's that. Why did this happen to you guys? Maybe because you have access to excellent doctors and you and Geo are equipped to handle something like this rather than a single teenage mother. Maybe because you'll love this child regardless of his abilities rather than just having an abortion. Maybe because nothing, maybe because sometimes shit happens and you deal with it. So stop dwelling on the why me's and work on taking care of this situation. Do your research, find your support groups, stop your crying and get busy"

And you know what? She was right. Why NOT me? Does it suck to be the 1 in 10 (or whatever your statistic might be) YES of course it does...but think of all the other things you aren't dealing with...there are so many other people who are so much worse off than you no matter how dire your circumstances are. So go out there, do your research, find your support and GET BUSY!

(Thanks Mom, you really DO know best ♥)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tell the Truth Tuesday: I Love Reality Tv

Yep, it's true. I love love love reality t.v. Not only things like "No Reservations" hosted by my boyfriend Tony Bourdain, but "Man V. Food" "Kitchen Nightmares" "Tori and Dean" and my newest favorite "The Next Great Baker" (I have a thing for food apparently)

They're my escape from every day life, they're a way for me to not think about things in my own life for 30-60 minutes once a week..everyone has guilty pleasures...what's yours?

Friday, January 6, 2012

I Can Clearly See Your Nuts

It's unseasonably warm today; like almost sixty degrees...very very warm. After a nice work out at the gym while Bits played with some other kiddos and a fitting at the dance shop for her new shoes (this child is going to make us broke with her ballet shoe issue. She seems to think it's OKAY to keep growing, when clearly it's not. Shoes cost money :P) Since it was so warm and HH needed to get some sleep (I don't know why he only worked 56 hours this week the slacker) we took a walk...and an hour later just got back to the house.

We have a really great park near the house that happens to go around a super old cemetery (which Gabe is fascinated by, but that's another post for another day) and we decided to take a walk on the path around the cemetery and see where it led. It led us to thru a gorgeous patch of woods where we saw two small red headed woodpeckers who seemed to think we were no threat because they landed on branches no further than ten feet from us-almost as if to say "oh sure, take a look at us!" They were gorgeous.

As we walked my leg got snagged on a picker bush and I hollered OUCH! Bits, ever the little momma, asked "oh what's wrong momma?" I told her a picker bush got me and she wrapped her arm around my leg and pulled me close and said "ok then, just walk with me, I won't let the pickers get you anymore, ok?" and at that moment I realized something...

I realized that in just a few short months my little momma, my shadow for the last nearly five years, my itty bitty baby girl is going to be going to school and for the first time since she was born, I'm going to be on my own for a few hours I almost can't fathom this. When Gabe went to school I was relieved; he was so bored at home and I had Bits to take care of. He settled into school very easily; he loves to learn, he loves being surrounded by other kids, the whole bit. He's very independent, always has been.

Bits, on the other hand, has always been a momma's girl. Never wanting to be further than a few arm lengths away from me, even at night. She never wanted to go to dance by herself, never wanted to go on playdates...all of that is changing though. She loves dance class with "the big girls". She ASKS to go to the gym so she can play with her friends, and she doesn't seem to need me 24/7 anymore, something I thought would never happen. Something I swore I would rejoice over when it finally happened but yet...I can't help feeling like I'm not really ready for this. I'm not ready for my itty bitty to be not so itty bitty.

As we walked along the path with her arm wrapped around my leg, chatting about what we saw and what we thought, I realized that she really IS independent and it happened in the blink of an eye. We continued on with our walk, seeing ducks and geese, petting dogs, and stopping for a good five minutes to watch a nutkins (that'd be a squirrel in this family) chew on a black walnut, only leaving when he tossed the empty nut shell down and Bits was able to pick it up and put it in her pocket. We sat and talked to ducks, we saw ANOTHER woodpecker (busy birds today) and then we saw a gorgeous red tailed hawk before crossing the street and finding our way back into our neighborhood.

The above picture was taken by mini momma; she thought it would be cool to see what the nutshells looked like in a picture. Turned out pretty well I think, just like her...and hopefully, me too, when I'm on my own picking up nutshells and watching birds with no one to protect me from the picker bushes.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends

I have this really amazing friend, actually, I have quite a few amazing friends, two or three for sure (haha, I'm kidding) this amazing friend has a brother who is quite ill. So ill that he's on the transplant list for an organ donation and actually one of the many things that makes my friend so amazing is that SHE is going to be donating part of her liver to her brother. Anyway, he's sick, he's fading fast. The situation is going downhill quickly and as you can imagine, he's in poor spirits. His birthday is soon, the 18th of this month. Mel (my friend) has asked that people reach out to him and send him a birthday card. It's not that hard, in fact it's probably one of the easiest things you could possibly do to make another person feel good. Another amazing friend (who is going to be the birthday girl in about an hour and a half or so) set up a website for Mel and her brother Ken...and if you check it out you can find the info to send Ken a card for his birthday.
Check it out!

I thank you in advance for your kindness :)

It was Ah-May-Zing!

Gabe started at a new school this week. He bounded off the bus Tuesday (his first day back) with a huge grin on his face. When I asked how his day was he said "it was AH MAY ZING!" He was darn near giddy with how great his day had been. I was very relieved, I was concerned he'd have a rough day, etc etc.

Wednesday when he came home, I asked "how was your day Gabe?" he said rather dully "yeah, it was fine" I was concerned; he had a great day Tuesday, he was excited to go to school Wednesday morning but the afternoon was a whole different story. We started talking about his day and I asked "so what happened today? what were your specials?" He said he had gym and told me what he did, then said he had library. I asked which books he got and he said "oh some about basketball and race cars" and then he trailed off...I asked "so what's the problem McGooch?"

He sighed very deeply and proceeded to explain why his day was just "fine" (you're gonna love this) If you can, hear this next rambly paragraph in Gabe's voice:

"I went to the library with my class and we were told we could get any book we wanted so I went to look for Calvin and Hobbes but I couldn't find them so I walked up to the librarian and asked her where I can find them because at the big library they are in the 700's but I couldn't find the 700's so I didn't know where they were *deep breath by Gabe at this point* AND then she said, she said I'm sorry but you can't have Calvin and Hobbes until you are in third grade and I told her that wasn't fair because I read them at home and I was just looking for one book that I still haven't read and maybe she would have it and she said no. I just couldn't have them because I am only a second grader and that stinks. She stinks."

A few things about this paragraph:
How great is it that Gabe knows Calvin and Hobbes are classified in the 700's of the library? (741.50 if you want to be specific, but you probably didn't need to know that)

How wonderful is it that he asked the librarian for help rather than saying screw it and ripping shelves apart? crappy is it that they wouldn't let him check it out because he is in 2nd grade? Gabe isn't one to be too totally obnoxious when it comes to exaggerating things, and I could tell he was very clearly upset about this...I think I'll be talking to the teacher and librarian to see what really transpired at the library, but in the meantime,  I don't think it's appropriate for librarians to decide which books a child should or should not read; in my opinion even if they can't read all the words in a book doesn't mean they shouldn't be allowed the opportunity to GET that book anyway...strong readers continually challenge themselves when it comes to reading new material; how else are kids going to learn if they aren't allowed to challenge themselves?!

On the plus side, unlike his first art teacher, he and this art teacher get along swimmingly, he didn't even have to offer to take her on a date! He also loves gym class and thinks his classroom teacher is AWESOME, which I love. Now to get him and the librarian on the "same page" ha :P

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tell the Truth Tuesday: I'm Loud

(for the new year, I'm going to switch it up and do some different theme days)
(also, my title is alliterative; I love alliteration, in fact the other day I said something to Geo and he said "ah yes, speaking in alliteration again!" I hadn't even realized it...)

I'm loud; I always have been and suspect I always will be. As long as I can remember I've done everything loudly. I talk loudly, I laugh loudly, I cry loudly, hell I even WALK loudly. I can't help it, I'm just naturally loud.

Why though? Why am I so loud?

(here comes the truth...)

I'm afraid I'm not being noticed.

Now how ridiculous is that? I'm honestly surprised when people I've met in passing remember me. I'm very surprised when people whom I've never met directly know who I am. (and it also surprises me that people don't remember me as "the loud one") I suppose my very loud persona is a way to cover up the fact that deep down I feel invisible a lot. Which, again, is kind of silly, because I'm obviously *not* invisible at all.

So there you have it, I'm loud. Always have been, always will be. Now if you'll pardon me, I'm off to work on some more alliterative titles for blogs!

Monday, January 2, 2012

2011: Things I Learned

Lessons learned are always easier to see in retrospect; so in no particular order some things I learned in 2011 (and in no way is this list complete lol)

Sometimes second chances open you up to being hurt again and people WILL take that chance and WILL hurt you again...
but sometimes a second chance gives a person an actual chance to do better and they ARE better...and it's all worth it in the end.

The family you chose is often more loyal and amazing than the family you're given...
but there's no substitute for being with people who've known you and loved you your whole life.

In a world where celebrities are married and divorced in a matter of months and you hear of cheating spouses, abusive relations, and partners who just don't care there are people who prove that love is indeed alive and its' worth celebrating.

Children are the greatest gift in this world...and also the greatest pain in the ass and often at the same times.

There's nothing better than warm blankets and cuddly kitties when it's snowing and blowing outside.

You can go home again, though it's probably not the same as you remember (in both good AND bad ways)

You can only be taken advantage of if you allow it and sometimes you've just got to step back and not allow it.

Babies are a wonderful way to start people.

You get what you give and eventually it will catch up with you. If you're consistently putting forth the most effort in a relationship, it's probably not worth your time and as painful as it will be, it's probably time to cut your losses and move on.

Diet coke fixes AND creates problems (who could have known that being thankful for something like diet coke would start a comment war earlier this year!?)

Saying thank you is as satisfying to you as it is for the person you are thanking.

*whew* and that's it for now...Happy New Year everyone!


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