Sunday, September 30, 2007

Where's your grammar?

Ever heard this joke?
A salesman knocked on the door. A little boy answered the door. The salesman asked, "May I please speak to your mother?"
"She ain't here."
"Then I'd like to talk to your father."
"He done gone down to the store."
"Young man, where is your grammar?"
"She's in the kitchen making cookies."

Yeah, it's a groaner, but I didn't make it up! I thought of it yesterday when I talked to my mom. She had read my new blog. Suddenly, I hoped I'd written in with my best grammar. See, everyone has a gift. Some are talented at singing, others at being compassionate, and still others at art. My gift, since I was about 5 years old, has been to correct people's grammar. Mom says that when I was quite young I would tell her or others if I thought they said something incorrectly. Small wonder I became a teacher! Since the Internet has surfaced I don't think I do that anymore. I know I don't come behind someone and correct them, but I don't think I notice these things as much. Since I often post late at night, I HOPE that I'm not correcting others because my typos are a dime a dozen and I insert endless "ya'knows" and "y'all's" and other Texan terms! Did I mention run on sentences? LOL!

I think I've come a long way. Now, I LOVE when I find some misspelled words! It makes me laugh, but not because of the mistake. I laugh because it changes the meaning & I think it's a simply fabulous form of humor. I have an online friend who's husband in Doug. I inevitably type DOUGH. In fact, I did it just now on his name & had to change it. Now, considering my line of work, and the Celiac Disease, I find it quite amusing that my friend is married to Dough! One lady said she lived near a golf course, and anytime she was typing up newsletters for the community, she would type, "Gold Course!" Who wouldn't want to live there! And, most of the time when I type the name Chris, I type Christ! Funny how one letter can change the meaning! A friend told me her sister's wedding program said they got married at an Untied Methodist Church! They untied the knot, I guess!

If you ever catch me correcting grammar (unless it's my kids, of course, who also correct each other now...sigh....), just tell me to mind my own business. And maybe send me to the kitchen to bake cookies. That's my other talent in life.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

On a brighter note

At the hospital (did I mention this was our 3rd trip to the ER with Bethany?) Bethany was very active and not afraid of the doctors. She was saying things she doesn't normally say that, to me, were autistic type ramblings. But, for the most part, she did so well. She answered questions for the person who gave her the hospital bracelet. She TOLD the first nurse we saw what had happened. She talked a tiny bit to the doctor (he was man, and men are just kind of scary, you know!). She was concerned about him looking at her crotch area, but he reminded her that he was a doctor and I reminded her that we were there. I was proud of her for that. She didn't try to keep him from touching her. She has come a LONG way.

Tonight Phil told me about a family in a nearby town whose 7 year old boy drowned when he was alone in the car & it rolled into the river by their house. After this day & hearing that, I said, "I'd rather be overprotective than sorry."

And now Sleeping Beauty is all tucked in, so Mama needs to get ready for bed, too.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Never a dull moment

I've heard people say that being a stay at home mom is monotonous, boring, you name it, it isn't exciting. Those people have never lived at my house! Today the girls went out to the backyard & Bethany, who is known for scaling walls in our house, decided to climb higher than she ever has. Natalie tapped on the window (I can see the tree from my desk) and pointed. I had to smile as I was the child many years ago whose brother ran inside saying, "Mom! Lori is way up in that big tree!" Our trees in Georgia were skyscrapers compared to our trees in the shrubland area of Texas. I had to stop smiling when I heard footsteps above me & Natalie ran in to tell me, "Bethany is on the roof!" Yeah. Really. I went out to see her standing there, happy as a lark. "This is so cool! You can see the whole neighborhood from here." And you're about to see your mother go into cardiac arrest, young lady. Natalie & I scooted the playhouse (which is now more like a clubhouse, and a cool thing to stand on top of) close to the roof, and helped her get down that way.

But, wait! There's more! Later they went back outside. I heard Bethany start screaming, so I ran out. She was on the ground crying. I was sure she'd broken a bone. I picked her up and carried her into the house (good thing she's still so light). Once inside, I realized it wasn't a bone at all. She was holding her, ahem, potty area, and screaming that it hurt. We got her clothes off and discovered she was bleeding. I let her lay on a towel on my bed & got a warm rag. She finally was able to get up & move around, and seemed to be doing much better.

When I finally got her to explain what happened, it seems she thought it would be safer to have Natalie hand her the swing up in the tree and she could swing out of the tree, rather than climb down. I thought it was the rope/disk swing. No, she had the regular sitting down kind of swing. Somehow she grabbed hold of the CHAIN, not the seat, then lost her tight grip and slipped down, and she hit the bottom of the chain, where it attaches to the swing. Of course. That's what everyone does.

Meanwhile, Natalie was invited over to her friend's house, so she left right after this excitement. Bethany later went down the street to her friend's house to play. She came back a little after 6 to use the bathroom. The crying started all over again, along with some bleeding. This time I called the nurse hotline. The nurse went through all the questions. She said her guidelines for that kind of injury (who knew they had guidelines for this!) said she needed to be seen in the ER in case of "uretheral trauma." There's a new vocabulary word for the day.

I called Phil's cell phone, and he was almost home, so we waited. By the time we got to the ER, she was not hurting at all. We didn't have to wait terribly long to be seen. The doctor said there was a small cut, but it did not need stitches and should heal quickly. She does, however, have bruising & swelling. Neosporin and an ice pack, plus ibuprofen if needed, was all he prescribed. I'm not sure if we'd met her deductible yet, but I can almost guarantee after tonight we have!

She has been told, "Do not climb up that high in the tree. Do not go onto the roof. Do not jump out of the tree on your swing. Do not jump out of the tree. Come back DOWN the tree the same way you went up. Or just don't climb it anymore." See the redheaded girl in these pictures? See all 47.5 pounds of her? At the TOP of the door? At the TOP of the wall? Do you really think we'll keep her from climbing?

I'd say we had a good science lesson today. This is the way gravity works, dear. This is the way medicine works, darling. This is what happens to the body when you try to jump off the tree using the chain on the swing. Good thing we'd already done math and language arts for the day!

And, so, you see, why I say being a stay at home and visit the emergency room once every couple of years mom is never boring. It could, however, drive me to insanity, if I weren't already there.

Comments welcome

Apparently, I had this set so only certain people could comment. I am SURE that hundreds of people have been trying to comment but couldn't. I think I fixed it, so go ahead, make my day and leave a comment. But only if it's nice. hee-hee!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Autistic and Artistic

Before we had a diagnosis for Bethany, a friend & I were chatting on the phone. I was telling her about some of Bethany's creative skills and my friend said, "She's artistic." I HEARD, "She's autistic." The idea had been in my head at various points. When we finally had an official diagnosis, I laughed when I thought of my family in New England. They often drop their "R's" in speech, so they only need one word to describe my daughter, since Autistic would mean both! Some ladies on Splitcoast Stampers thought I needed a place to share some of Bethany's artwork. One of the ladies wanted an image of a spider on a leash with a woman walking it. I asked Bethany if she could draw that. Being the dork that I am, when B. asked me, "Does it need to be a girl or a lady?" I said, "Girl, I guess," and wondered how you can tell if a spider is a girl or boy. Then I realized she meant the PERSON! DUH! So, here we have The Lady and the Spider. Why does the spider have 4 eyes? Is this some great scientific fact we learned in homeschool? Um, no. It has 4 eyes, because, as Bethany said, "I felt like drawing it that way." And, in case you wonder, the spider is sad because it's on a leash. Of course.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I should've known

We ran into an old friend today at the store. Almost literally. We were in the candy section. You know I have a love/hate relationship with this time of year. I LOVE chocolate. Have I mentioned that? I picked up a bag of Almond Joys with Mounds and started singing, while moving the bag around, "Peter Paul Almond Joy's got nuts, Peter Paul Mounds don't." If you don't remember that commercial, please don't tell me because it will make me feel old. The 3 of us are pretty much filling up the entire aisle at Wal-Mart, and the lady behind us needs to get buy, so I was scooting out of the way. We looked at each other & realized who the other was. She then kind of rolled her eyes & said, "Singing and Dancing, I should've known it was you." So, I asked the girls if I sing and dance a lot. They said yes.

Next time you are in Wal-Mart and some crazy lady who is bigger than she ought to be is dancing and singing in the aisle, you'll know it's me.

My 2nd post!

I thought my first blog post title was so creative, that I came up with a similar one full of creativity today.

Natalie has been sniffly since last week. She had no fever or other signs of being contagious. Yesterday at our co-op many had ragweed allergies. Then, at some point during the night, she came to get me telling me her ear really hurt. She was almost in tears. I am taking her to the doctor today. That means we didn't get to play with our KONOS friends today, and may not go to the Sea World Homeschool Day tomorrow.

I honestly can say I am content to stay home for my sake. Yet, I know the girls would love to go see the animals at Sea World. At only $8.00 a person, it's a deal.

The name of my blog incorporates many aspects of my life. My full time job is being Mama to my girls and teaching them. My part-time job, that actually pays money, is as a Kitchen Consultant for a wonderful direct sales company, The Pampered Chef. I get to go into the homes and demonstrate our wonderful tools. Then, the guests get to eat the food! Yummy! I love combining my teaching skills with cooking! Also, because of my celiac disease, I am on a gluten free diet. That means no wheat, barley, rye and some oats. I have to cook from scratch for most items. Thankfully I can buy some pre-made foods that are gluten free, and of course, eat fresh fruit and veggies. I also love to eat. I was always very thin until I had my 2nd child. I gained a few pounds and was feeling heavy, when actually I was finally a normal weight. Then, once I went on the gluten free diet, my body began to heal and I started absorbing all my food. I absorb 30 lbs. worth of food in less than a year! Then after needing a course of cortisone, I gained 10 more lbs. It's hard to learn to lose weight when it was never an issue for 40 years! Now, 2 years later, it is an issue. I wonder if I eat JUST chocolate it would be okay. It is a vegetable you know, from the cacao bean!

My other love is crafting. I loved crafting as a child. I loved using cut up potatoes and tempera paint to stamp a brown paper bag! That was back in the days when grocery stores only had paper bags. I learned to crochet, sew, and embroider by the time I was about 10. I've tried many different crafts over the years. My newest love is rubber stamping! I admit, it's more than a love. It's an addiction! A good addiction, I might add. I love the feel of putting ink on a stamp and seeing an image appear before my eyes. I love the magic of sprinkling embossing powder on top of pigment ink and seeing it melt into shimmering raised images when a little heat is applied. I should make scrapbooks with all the pictures we have, but making a card is much faster. One day I'll get those pictures into books!

My First Blog post!

I've had friends enter this world of blogging and I've wondered if I really wanted to add one more thing to my plate. Adding something to my plate is a great choice of words for our house. It seems I am always doing something with a plate, or a pan, or a bowl, when I'm not doing something with a child and a pencil and a book!

I'm a wife of 17 years to my husband, Phil. We've had quite an adventurous marriage, including a year in Africa. But, our biggest adventure began on July 25, 1996. That was the day our special red headed bundle of joy was born. Bethany was so beautiful and such a sweet baby. Then we took her home from the hospital & discovered she'd been putting on a show at the hospital. Little did we know those first few months of chronic screaming and feeding were a sign of things to come. Enough about how I behaved those first few months.....LOL! We would discover a few years later that Bethany has a form of autism known as Asperger Syndrome. This is a very high functioning form of autism. One expert says the difference in AS & HFA is the spelling.

A bit over 2 years later our 2nd dumpling was born on November 27, 1998. Natalie surprised us by arriving 3 weeks early. If you haven't heard the story about THAT, remind me to tell you sometime. It was the only time Phil got stopped for speeding & had an alibi! Now, if we thought Bethany was a handful, Natalie was a handful, a fistful, and a mouthful! She did so many things "by the book" that surely THIS child was "normal". Turns out the saying is true: Normal is only a setting on your dryer. She wasn't LIKE Bethany, she was much more social. Unfortunately, she seemed to think being social meant biting the person who took the toy she wanted, and other lovely behaviors. I just wanted to make it through a church service without MY child's number being flashed up on the alert board for all the people to see. By the time she was about 5, I had accepted that she, too, wasn't quite what the books said she should be. Mind you, I have a degree in kids. I've been around kids since I was 15 when my nephew was born, and before that I WAS a kid. So, I've seen all kinds of kids. Just none like MY kids! Natalie soon added "alphabet soup" to her name, Natalie Garrison, ADHD/OCD/ODD/SD......translation: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder/Obsessive compulsive disorder/oppositional defiant disorder/sleep dysfunction (ya think when a child doesn't sleep through the night for the first 5 years of her life there MIGHT be an issue?).

Okay, remember how I said I had a degree in kids? I was an elementary school teacher before having kids. Then I taught at a learning center & worked with kids of all ages. Plus, I had a niece & nephew I'd been watching grow. As a young teacher with no kids, I was sure that ADHD was simply the result of poor parenting. Nothing a little good discipline wouldn't fix. Then I had kids. Trust me, we used not a little, but a LOT of discipline on these girls. It didn't fix them. In the mean time, Phil wasn't sleeping due to undiagnosed sleep apnea & I was getting sick all the time. We found a doctor who helped us figure out what was going on with these girls & how to help them. Plus, I've done so much reading about Asperger Syndrome & ADHD & OCD that I feel like a walking DSMIV. If you don't know what that is, tell God thank you!

Both girls are doing great now, but life is still an adventure. I've since been diagnosed (in addition to severe allergies---the allergist always says, "You have SEVERE allergies" um, yeah, I know, that's why I'm here) with Celiac Disease & Fibromyalgia, plus a string of other little things. The Fibro is the latests dx, but I still have bloodwork to do just to be sure I don't have something else. Some of my bloodtests came back with elevated levels. I asked the dr. what that could mean, "It could be lab error, it could be an infection, could be cancer....." yeah, just drop that in there!

So, as of today, I am on a gluten free diet taking meds for the fibro & allergies. I'm a tired homeschooling mom. Most of all, I'm a daughter of the Most High King. Jesus loves me, THIS I know! As weary as I grow some days with my girls, He never grows tired or weary of me. How AWESOME is HE! I use that word in it's true meaning. Not like an awesome football play, or awesome song, but truly, He bring AWE to me. I cannot fathom the love He has poured out on me, and I am so thankful.

Now, if I can remember what my user name is and where this blog is, I might be back for more another day!