Tuesday, September 29, 2009
And, for the record, I am told that the line I referred to was from the movie Blazing Saddles, but I only know it from the marvelous sleeper hit known as Troop Beverly Hills... where Rosa (Shelley Long's housekeeper in the movie) says 'Patches! We don't need no stinkin' patches!' If you have not seen the movie, let me tell you, it is quite inspirational ;)
A la Sophia Patrillo.....But, I digress.
Sharing a little video of my littlest man and the wonderful sleeper he IS NOT. You can CLICK HERE to see it. I should mention that this video comes on the heels of getting less than 5 hours of sleep thanks to the little star of this film. Which now probably explains the ramblings throughout this post. Yawn.
Monday, September 28, 2009
I NEVER get frustrated, I NEVER lose my patience, I NEVER bend my own rules just a little, and I DO NOT fly by the seat of my pants DAILY. NO WAY!!!
I have a problem with the ever-lovin' apostrophe.
You're thinking, wow-- this is all she has to write about-- the apostrophe? It isn't all I have to write about, but it is what is bouncing around in my head right now. Well, there is a lot bouncing around in my head right now-- like why my house is always cleaner when my husband is deployed than when he is here with me, why people look outside themselves to find happiness instead of within, and why my 10-month-old son has glitter all over his face and feet. But the apostrophe thing is bouncing the loudest.
I promise to translate my eye-opening, jaw-dropping grammar lesson into something a little deeper. Just bear with me for a few minutes. Or paragraphs.
I was reading a mommy blog today, one which I have grown incredibly fond of lately, and was getting very involved in the topic (she discussed the Duggar family and whether or not they have too many children, what really is too many children, by whose standards, etc.) when the writer made a teensie weensie grammatical error. I didn't notice the error in the bulk of her blog because I was more engrossed in the thought-provoking topic, busy formulating my opinion.
Wait, that's not entirely true. The reason, the true reason, I didn't notice the error is because I make the same error, time and time again, and until tonight was not aware that it was an error.
So, I am reading....."Do the Duggar's have too many children?". And there it was. Staring me in the face. And I completely missed it. Do you see it? Well, let me point it out for you.
Duggar's. Duggar's. Duggar's. Duggar's.
I was only made aware of the error when I was reading some comments. Duggars. No apostrophe. It's a noun. Yes, I know- a proper noun. But a noun, nonetheless. And when we pluralize nouns, we simply add an 's', in most cases, not an apostrophe.
I knew that. Deep, deep down, in the banks of my journalism studying brain, I knew that. But, for some odd reason, I pluralize nouns incorrectly, and often.
I immediately set off on a quest to change. I didn't go far. Actually, I just reached down into my nightstand, so it was more of a symbolic quest. I pulled out my old journalism books and AP style guide, and read up on the darn on nouns and making them plural. Then, the reality began to sink in. I have been making this mistake for years!! To think of all the stationary I have soiled, all the photo captions I have sullied by using that dang apostrophe. The articles, the essays, the cards, the RESUMES. Oy vey!!
And, as I was thinking of the photo cards we sent out at Christmas (yep-- signed with love by the darn Nelson's), I started to laugh.
Me, the person who studied JOURNALISM for nearly four years, the wife who CORRECTS her husband's grammar, the woman who SHUDDERS upon seeing statements punctuated with a question mark or questions punctuated with a period.....ME!!! The woman who WROTE for our local newspaper, and then got promoted to EDITOR of that very paper!!!
Go ahead and laugh. I'll join you when my embarrassment subsides. The weird thing is, the mistake is ridiculous. I never insert an apostrophe when I am referring to writers or dentists or rabbits or roads. And I should know that a noun, is a noun, is a noun- proper or otherwise. Oy veyyyyyyyyy.
At one point, while going through all this in my head, I found myself trying to reassure myself that the English language is a difficult one, tough to learn and even tougher to write, with so many rules and exceptions, blah blah blah.
But I stopped.
The truth and the lesson here is simple. When you think you've got it, chances are, you really don't. I kinda thought grammar and I had a thing going. Now I see, not so much. What a silly fool I was.
I wasn't so rude as to correct my friends. Good thing, right? I saved that service for family...you know, those who were forced to love me, regardless.
But the point is, I'd been walking around thinking that, grammatically speaking, I rocked the house. So tonight's little lesson was humbling, taking me down a peg or seventy, but also very positive. I finally get it.
I realized my error, I sought to change it, and I learned quite a bit, and refreshed A LOT of my knowledge in the process. Still, though, I'm a little miffed. To think it took comments on someone's blog, a woman I've never met, to teach me this lesson, some 16 years after I've been writing. Wow. The next time I hear my husband end a sentence with a preposition, I'll bite my tongue. YEAH, RIGHT!!!
Saturday, September 26, 2009
I am in love with Saturday mornings, in case you didn't know. There is no better time of the week, in my book. The peace that comes from waking up to smiley children tugging on my arms, rather than being so rudely jolted from quiet slumber by an alarm clock screaming at me to 'GET UP' from my warm, cozy bed. Having 5 people moving through the house, lazily greeting the day, instead of me and the 3 kids scrambling to get out the door, fully clothed, and belly's reasonably full, on time. Having the WHOLE day to with it whatever we like, instead of having our time mapped out for us in minute and hour increments. Oh, how I love Saturday mornings. So much potential.
Okay, I realize I sound a little dreamy, but really, the sentiments are sincere. You may think I have romanticized Saturday's a bit too much...perhaps because this was the first Saturday in a long, LONG time that we have had very few obligations. And it has been wonderful. After I got home from the T-Ball team mom meeting this morning, I sat on the couch and just hung out. No TV. No cleaning. No prying children apart from a toy they both desperately clung to. None of that. Just chillin' out with my husband. So nice. So very, very nice.
Thankfully, a very minor thumb boo boo kept me from delving back into my obsessive bow-making hobby of late. Instead, I chose to bake. We are going over to play with Wendy and Al tonight, and between Wendy and I, there is usually always a home-baked goody to indulge in. As I recall, last time it was she who made brownies. But let's face it- it's not like I really need a reason to bake. I didn't need to think twice about what to whip up-- my sticky bars were calling to me from the pantry. Okay, they really aren't MY sticky bars...I kind of altered a Paula Dean recipe that you can find HERE. My family is not big on nuts in food, so I switched it up a little. I thought I'd share it here, in case you are interested. Okay, I have some yummy bites of goodness calling my name. Enjoy folks! And enjoy this lovely saturday with your family.
- 2 cups light brown sugar
- 2 cups self rising flour
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 tablespoon Vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon Almond extract
- 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup butterscotch chips
- 1 cup white chocolate chips*
Friday, September 25, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Wow. Can you tell I'm tired? But, what I lack for in clever, witty quips, I make up for in pictures. I really couldn't NOT post these. He'll forgive me someday.
Yeah, that's my husband as a banana. Back off ladies, that chiquita is ALLLLLLL mine!
Notice the smile. He is actually proud. Hands down, this costume is the weiner....I mean winner! (I just high-fived myself in my head for that one.) Now, if only I could find a hamburger costume......
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
First off, if you live in Jacksonville, FL, and are going to medical school and are undecided on a specialty- pick Genetics!!! This is a big city, serving a bunch of smaller cities, but still, we have one Pediatric Geneticist. Just one! Which means he is a very busy guy. But he is worth the wait- my husband and I completely feel confident in his conclusions, and he has made me feel at ease in an uneasy situation.
We saw Dr. P on Tuesday, thinking the appointment would be somewhat of a waste because we still had not gotten in to see the number of specialists he wanted us to see before returning to him. I called Dr. P’s office and told them as much, but they said to come in anyway because he wanted to see Jack. And I am so glad we went, because I got clarification on things that had been troubling/puzzling me since our last visit.
Namely, the issue of Jack’s hearing- or lack of. As we have told most of you, Jack failed his hearing test 3 times, with consistent results every time. They concluded that Jack has no hearing in one ear, and less than 50% in the other. Our friends and family who knew of this took it upon themselves -as did I- to test the diagnosis. And almost everyone believes that Jack can hear, and hear well, at that. He responds to music, and when he hears his brother and sister across the house, he takes off after them. So, it seems that he CAN hear. We shared our thoughts with Dr. P. After patiently waiting as I made a case for Jack’s hearing, he calmly explained that while it is reassuring that he responds to sound and the kids shouting, it does not mean he can hear the way he is supposed to. Since sound travels at different frequencies, just because he can hear music and rumblings of running children, does not mean that he can hear sounds at higher frequencies, or everyday conversational tones. That poses a problem because this is obviously how children learn to speak. So we are going to do an inner ear probe and CT scan to get another look and determine whether his hearing loss is conductive, neurosensory, or both. Whatever the result, he thinks his hearing loss is reflective of his overall ciliary condition.
He also explained, again, that he thinks each one of Jack’s health issues are linked to a common cause, and we need to figure out what that is- soon. The cardiac anomaly of situs inverus, hearing loss, frequency of infection, bradycardia, cardiac arrhytmia, abnormal heart structure, and questions and abnormalities related to his abdominal organs- mainly, the spleen, all stem from a primary condition. Unfortunately, it is not a simple as conducting a blood test to determine which condition he has. There are hundreds, and each one has a hundred different deviations, and we are dealing with an incredibly rare condition. We also still do not know whether Jack’s condition, which they not so lovingly refer to as a gene defect, was spontaneous, or a genetically recessive trait. They are going to hold off on testing the kids until we know more about Jack. They will not do genetic testing on Jeremiah or I because they are more concerned with what our genetic profiles combine to create. So, all we know is what we have already known- that our son has heterotaxy syndrome, also referred to as laterality defects, and that the conditions that spring from this are wide ranging and plenty. I won’t name them here, because I know Grandma Julia likes to look things up, and as I have learned, no good comes from that. But there are a few that we are focusing on.
We are going to start the testing very soon, and hopefully will have a better picture of things before his 1st birthday! But our Jack continues to thrive and grow and you’d NEVER know to look at him that he is not the picture of perfect health.
On a lighter note, an interesting comment made it into Dr. P’s report. Jeremiah and I shared a good laugh from it, so I thought I’d share it here. ‘....-stuff about jack-...His sister and brother are tagging along, they are being good, and not disrupting the clinic.’
I got a good laugh out of that. Not sure why my insurance carrier needs to know that my children were well-behaved on THAT day, or if that was to serve as a warning to us that should they disrupt the clinic, it would certainly make it into his report.
Okay, better put my laptop away.....yep, it is still missing the ‘Shift’ key. We’ve got our first Open House tonight at T’s school, and I need to prepare my list of questions for his teachers. ;)
Monday, September 14, 2009
I’m in a bit of a pickle......not sure where that adage comes from, because I don’t feel like I am surrounded by watery green walls, but anyway. (if the point of the saying is that you are in something you can’t get out of, then why did they pick pickle and not squash or potato? I’m just sayin...)
I’ll get on with it. A little over a week ago, I decided to ‘clean’ my mac laptop. I wiped down the keys and screen, made sure the outside was fingerprint free. Not quite satisfied, I decided that the underneath of the keys needed cleaning, as well. Don’t ask how I came to this- it’s just who I am. I am going to be honest here, and if ya love me, you’ll stick by me after this admission-- I get a thrill out of cleaning odd things. Like hairbrushes. It pleases me so to pull out the hair and remove the gunk from the brush and restore it to slightly less pristine condition it was in before it came to meet my mop. Cleaning my cell phone brings a smile to my face, too. It’s sad really....I mean I have no problem sitting amongst the muck and mess that finds it’s way into my living room, but I will put my children on hold and demand some quiet time while I am cleaning that all important hair brush.
Anyway....so I was peeling the keys off gently and cleaning what I found underneath and having a grand ole’ time-- really, it makes me so happy. When I was pleased with my results, I proceeded to put the keys back where they belong. And all was going swimmingly (another one I’m not sure I understand, but since I love how it sounds, I’m gonna use it), until I got to the ‘Shift’ key. That darn, teach-me-a-lesson, very necessary ‘Shift’ key I have come to call ‘aww poop’. It would not go back on. I was patient and gentle, and begging the little button to please pop back on before my husband walked through the door and gave me one of those ‘Oh, Shannon’ looks. After many deep breaths and desperate maneuvering, I realized that it was not going to go back on, at least not by my hand. So, I did what I had to do. ‘Honey’, I called. No more was needed-- he knows me enough to know the tone, so the look when he walked through our bedroom door was not great. I told him what I had done, how I had tried to fix it, and asked for his help. So he tried-- all the while mumbling about how next time, maybe I should ask him before I attempt to clean my computer-- and he failed. And since then, two of his friends- one a mr. fix it, the other a tech junkie- and also failed. So, my only option is to learn to use the Shift key on the right (which I never knew was there until this catastrophe), or to take my computer into the apple store and face the 20-something apple genius who is far more hip and knowing than I, and explain what I have done. Enter the pickle.....
Saturday, September 12, 2009
--copied from our family site--
Well, it’s certainly been a while. I neglected the site for quite some time, but only because life has been full and eventful lately, in a wonderful way.
As you all already know, my wonderful husband is home! His time in Iraq was cut short (thankfully) because he has orders to transfer to HSL 48-- so he had to be back before the rest of the group. I did not tell the kids about Daddy’s return until an hour before he was set to land in Jacksonville-- finally, I have learned, right? Anyways, they were beyond ecstatic of course...it was an awesome thing to see. The homecoming was one of the most exciting things I’ve experienced and it felt wonderful to have my husband in my arms again. It was the sweetest day.
He’s been home for a couple months now, and we quickly settled back into our routine as a family of 5. And can I tell you how incredible it is? Kaiti would not leave Jeremiah’s side for weeks-- I am not kidding. I had to fight for a spot on the bed, and even if I got close to him, she was not far behind, wiggling her way in between us. Being the happy baby Jack is, there was NO adjustment to Daddy being home. Jeremiah quickly got filled in on all that he missed-- with Jack sitting, laughing, babbling, and jumping in his jumperoo. Tyler was equally happy to have his Dad back, and to have his load lightened. Even though he is only 5, Tyler is entrusted with a quite a bit-- baby entertainer, door holder, dog feeder, recycler, grocery carrier in-er. Kaiti helps, too, but Tyler seemed to revel in his big-shoed role. So I was a bit surprised when he seemed all too happy to relinquish his many titles.
Since Jeremiah has been home, we have had a very full summer. We went to Charleston and saw the aquarium and walked downtown, and swam A LOT. The kids held a baby alligator and saw sharks swimming just a few feet from their noses.
We visited Flat Rock, NC, with Ellie, Vic, and Hayne and had a wonderful time hiking beautiful mountain trails, wading in streams, and admiring waterfalls. The boys went golfing while Ellie and I enjoyed quiet time, and we filled our bellies with great food every day. It was a blast- Jeremiah and I decided the mountains of North Carolina is a place we’d like to set down roots.
When Grandma Julia came in August, we did a lot of fun little outings here in town, and then took off to Hilton Head for a couple days of fun. While there, we sailed on a sunset dolphin cruise, made tye-dye shirts at the Salty Dog cafe, went to a hand’s on children’s museum, splashed and swam in the pool, visited amazing historical sites (Old Sheldon Church and a plantation near Beaufort), and stopped at charming little shops and bakeries- Grandma Julia spoiled us all with chocolate alligator pops, yummy fudge, gummy treats, and chocolate dipped marshmallows.
We were blessed to have time together as a family and to be honest, I’m a little sad that summer is fading, which is surprising to me. I’m a fall girl- never realized it til I moved to Florida. Taking a walk on a crisp autumn night, seeing the beautiful leaves of Florida oaks turn a fiery red reassure me that this is where I am meant to be.
But the end of summer meant the start of school-- and
Tyler entering big school. That’s right, my not-so-little boy is a Kindergartner. He was so excited to go to big school an had been wearing his backpack and sharpening his pencils for days, so that when it was time to go, he didn’t even turn to offer me one last wave or hug. So I stood outside his classroom door for a while, biting my bottom lip, hoping the tears did not spill over onto my cheeks, making sure my little boy found his place. And he did. It is such an intense feeling I’d imagine most parents feel. Knowing that I have to let him go, but seeing your child, so small amongst a sea of so many, and hoping, praying, you’ve given him what he needs to find his way. I was a mess that day. That was almost 3 weeks ago. It has gotten better, but I still have my moments. The only struggle he has with school is the time he has to wake up for it. He’s my child, after all.
Kaiti started VPK this year with Miss Pat, and she was a little apprehensive-- which comes as no surprise based on how she was last year. But when it came time to drop her off on Tuesday, a little panicked that I would have to peel her little fingers from my thigh, and suppress my tears while wiping away hers, my daughter surprised me. She saw Miss Pat and Miss Betty, gave them huge hugs, turned to me and waved, and told me she’d see me in a bit. This was not something I was ready for, and once again, I gave it my all to keep the tears at bay. And they held out long enough for me to fasten my seat belt and turn to see my little girl in a whispered conversation with her little girlfriends, smiling and looking so happy. This time, the tears were joyous, that somehow my beautiful baby girl had found within herself what she needed to face something a bit scary and new. My heart swelled with pride the whole drive home.
As for Jack, well he continues to be our little butterball of bliss-- most of the time. He is truly the happiest baby I’ve been around, so long as you catch him from 8am to 8 pm. He is now crawling EVERYWHERE. If he hears bath water running, he takes off, and I usually round the corner just as he is about to throw himself over the edge of the tub. He started taking steps, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say he is walking, because after about 3, he either plops down on the floor, or falls face forward. Tyler walked at 9 1/2 months, Kaiti at almost 11 months, so we’ll see what this guy does. He really beats to his own drum, so just when we think we’ve got him figured out, he throws a new one at us. As for his health, we continue to be blessed with how healthy our boy is. In June, Dr. Lacey- Jack’s cardiologist- told me that she thinks he has Kartegener’s Syndrome. She explained what it was, and told me he needed to get into to see the geneticist as soon as possible. The news broke my heart. There I was, with my 3 little ones, Jeremiah far, far away, while this amazing doctor tells me that Jack might have something that would could limit him, create problems for him, as he grows. But she- Dr. Lacey- looked at me and, while urging me not to google it (the last time I googled something they thought Jack had, I did not sleep for weeks) and reassured me that with all the things Jack was up against before he was even born, he has been, and continues to be, a very healthy, GROWING, baby boy. She is absolutely right. And when I spoke to Jeremiah that afternoon on the phone while he was in Iraq, he reassured me that if it were true, and Jack has this condition, we would not let it affect his life. Thank goodness I had the foresight to marry such an incredible rock of a man. We have been to the geneticist since then, and he thinks that Jack may have a ciliary condition (which is the category that Kartegener’s falls under) but that it might not be as severe as Kartegener’s. He thinks that all of Jack’s health idiosyncrasies are linked to one common condition, and now we have to figure out what that is. We go see the geneticist again next week- but we have learned that answers about Jack are slow to come by. So I have had to learn patience in all of this. I am still learning. But as soon as we have answers, we’ll be sure to pass them along. Every night, we say our prayers, and we ask that God continue to watch over our family and our friends. Every once in a while, as we are finishing our prayer, one of the kid’s pipes in, ‘Excuse me God, can you please make sure that our baby Jack is okay.’ Tyler and Kaiti have been there every step of the way with Jack, from the scary news in the beginning, and I often forget how this has affected them. And then they remind me, while we pray, about the compassion this has taught them. I think we all know how blessed we are that Jack is a healthy boy and it could be much, much worse. I am so incredibly thankful for my family and the blessings that have come our way.
Before I close, I wanted to share with you all that my old friend Chris- Christine, now that she is all growed up-welcomed her second child, a healthy, beautiful baby boy, they named Dylan, a couple weeks ago! Glad to hear she has already been inaugurated into the ‘Mama of a Boy’ club......hehehe.
Love and hugs to you all!
p.s. had to share this with you- as I have been typing this, Jeremiah has been baking cupcakes for Kaiti’s fishy, Lady-- it’s her 1st birthday today, according to Kaiti. he even went so far as to make buttercream frosting--- isn’t he great????
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
My hopeful spirit and positive nature was not what it used to be, and I was truly scared for our baby.
The next morning, on the drive to the hospital, I remember thinking how bizarre this was, that this was happening. You see, you never imagine that things could go wrong, really. Babies are all around us, pregnant women are glowing amongst us, and in my innocence, despite having had a miscarriage, it never occurred to me that after making it 9 months in my belly, a child could be born and have to fight for his life. And for the first time in my 30 years, I was in awe of the miracle that is life. I will never take for granted how amazing a gift a healthy child is. Never. And that is just the first lesson my sweet son would teach me over time.