Monday, December 10, 2007

Go Forth and Check Out This Stuff

First, please go check out Daring Young Mom. On Saturday and today she blogged about helping their neighbors in Lewis County recover from the devastating and surprising flood they found themselves in. These are not people who live in a flood plain. In fact, one of the videos that DYM linked to shows a furniture store owner explaining that he couldn't buy flood insurance because they were shown a map that said his shop was not in a flood plain. Not a good surprise.

Second, I found a cool thing that I want to share. I used to think that parents who put leashes on their kids were lazy. But I was young and childless. Now I worry about someone wanting to steal my gorgeous tots. Of course, they would bring them back when they see how much work they are and realize that you can't get top dollar selling a screamer, but still I worry. I ran across these cool tattoos and finally feel that maybe I don't need to get a leash for the Biscuit. The idea is that you have a special pen and write in a phone number then put this temporary tattoo on your kiddo. I think it is a great idea. It would take a lot longer for a stranger to remove than an ID bracelet. They have a special version for kids with Autism, too. Very interesting. Still won't stop the Biscuit from running out into the street, but it could be helpful on vacation.

I found the tattoos through an ad on Our Special Kids. That is a website for the parents of kids with special needs "because parents have needs too." Yeah!

That's it for now. I'm up late doing laundry because we are leaving tomorrow to find a place to live in the Pacific Northwest. No towns mentioned so my hubby doesn't beat me with a wet noodle, but we aren't going up I-5 as far north as the floods. ;-) Here's hoping that we find a nice place for not too much rent that will let us sign a 6 month lease.

See ya when we get back!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Rachel Plosser LeDuc

I learned last week that my best friend senior year of high school, Rachel Plosser LeDuc, passed away in September. How did I find out? Well, every once in awhile I Google my name, my kids names, and the names of friends that I've lost touch with. All I could find were links to her obituary. I paid the $2 and read it, hoping to find details that would prove it wasn't my friend. The photo erased those hopes. I didn't learn much more than that she was survived by her husband, son, mom and brother. (At least it gave me a lead on her brother. Maybe I'll get the nerve up to send him an email.) What seems to be eating me up is that it doesn't say what happened. Was she in a car accident? Was she ill? I have no right to these answers, but the questions haunt me.

It bothers me that I couldn't find hide nor hair of her until this. So, for our other classmates and her other friends, I'm posting the wonderful things that I remember about her so that she will be more than just an obituary on the web. Maybe that's weird, but I feel a need to do it.

The first thing that I remember about our senior year was the "Class of '83 Hymn" that Rachel wrote. I don't know why, but it had been on my mind before I Googled her name. She would tell people that we co-wrote it, but all I did was clean up the meter in 1 line. I think I was more like an editor if anything at all. I will take the credit for being the one to memorize it though. I don't think she liked it as much as I did. Here it is in all its glory:

Disco sucks not rock and roll,
All the punks are out of control.
Ralph Lauren and 501's
Sexy girls and guys with buns.
'69 and '83
Our minds are sex-filled, you and me.
Scamming, swooping, picking up,
Some get pregnant in pick-up trucks.
We'll be remembered, wait and see,
We're the way-rad Class of '83!

[Her original line that I cleaned up was "Some get pregnant in the back of pick-up trucks." And the reference to '69 was because we both drove cars made in that year, don't be nasty.]

I still eat ranch dressing on turkey sandwiches sometimes. She showed me that with Thanksgiving leftovers.

Thinking about Thanksgiving leads me to think about the trip to take her ex-boyfriend down to L.A. on Thanksgiving weekend. I had permission to go with her so that she wouldn't have to drive back alone. I didn't have permission to take my 17-year-old self to Tijuana with them. But I couldn't very well stay at his friends' house in Apple Valley without them, could I? It was an interesting few hours. All we did was walk around some and then get back in line to come back across the border. Crossing back was when I realized that at 17 I shouldn't have crossed over in the first place. They looked us over in a growling kind of way and let us in. Frankly, I think we spent more time in line than we did there. But I can say I've been there.

One day we went out to a local ice skating rink. It was probably during Christmas break since it was definitely winter -- a very cold and rainy day. When we got in her car to go home we found that her wipers didn't work. So we tied on some fishing line and opened up the wing windows (this was a VW Beetle) and I would pull right then she would pull left. It worked well enough to get us home, but it was cold with the wings open and our hands were really sore from the fishing line.

We had ROTC freshman boys that we would take off-campus for lunch. We felt so powerful because we were seniors and those boys were so impressed with us. We also had a closed-campus school, but the security guard knew us both (I was in choir and Rachel in student government) and would just wave to us as we drove off. I don't know if he ever checked, but we did always come back for afternoon classes.

With our friend Ian we would go to a kind-of private poetry workshop that we had set up with a poet (C.B. Davis) that had come to a 6-week program in our sophomore English class. I remember shutting my hand in Ian's car door and I remember a field trip to the Fuller Paint poles. I remember walking single-file behind C.B. on a hot day as he read us Pablo Neruda's "Ode to the Watermelon" and led us around the old Fire Chief's house, ending at the refrigerator where he had a cold juicy watermelon waiting for us. But I don't remember a single thing that any of us wrote. I think it was more of letting C.B. inspire us and pontificate (but in a good way) at us, than workshopping our poems. I don't think I would have had the guts to do it without Rachel.

Those are some good things that came to mind. There are some more, and they are good memories too, but more about me than her. In a very real way Rachel helped me find myself that year. I wouldn't be who I am without all the things I did with her. I'm really sorry that I lost touch with her. If I find that she went to the reunions that I've skipped I'll probably beat myself up about it, but she wasn't at the one that I did go to. I miss her and now I can't tell her. So here is one of my attempts at sending that message out to the universe. I hope she gets the message.

I received an email this morning (23 Dec 2007) letting me know that Rachel died of a brain tumor. The person who contacted me said I could ask questions, but I'm not sure what to ask. However, if one of our classmates finds this, I wanted the new information and the idea of a source here for them to find as well.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Math and Words

Apparently it is quite common (at least among Melissa Summers' readers) to be good with words and bad with numbers. Somehow this translates into being good at geometry and bad with other math. Wha??? Not in my world.

I was a voracious reader. I baffled my just-out-of-college 1st grade teacher by finishing our reading book. It was a go at your own pace set-up and when I finished she didn't know what to do with me. I clearly remember her giving me her teacher's edition to read (ooh! red notes printed in the margins!) and running out of the room. I learned later that she went to the principal who decided it was time for a parent meeting. Somehow between my mom and the 2 of them it was decided that I could go to the library at reading time and could read anything, just as long as I was reading. It was awfully freeing! Also, my mom signed me up for the Weekly Reader Book Club. It's now defunct so don't bother Googling. It was bought up by Scholastic I think and now it's totally different.

So, obviously, I am a friend of words.

I also adored math. As part of my word-love we would go to the public library every week and I could check out 2 books. In 2nd grade I found a book on fractions and I loved it so much I had to check it out. My mom tried to convince me to get a book that had some kind of story to it, but I was adamant -- besides, the other book I was checking out was a story. The reason I loved this book, whose title I can't remember for the life of me, is because I came across an illustration as I was thumbing through it that showed number lines and discussed infinity along with fractions. They were showing that all the fractions exist between 0 and 1, then again between 1 and 2, and I think they even showed that negative fractions exist to the left of 0. I had an epiphany (as in "An inspired understanding arising from connecting with profound insight, awareness, or enlightened truth") when I realized that each time I had counted "One, two, buckle my shoe" I had hopped right over infinity. The idea that you could always add 1 to a number and get a bigger one is something that made sense to me. But to think that you could always add 1 to a denominator (1/2, 1/3, 1/4...) and get a smaller number, forever and ever without end was the first time that I sensed God. I felt like a beam of light from the heavens shone down on that little illustration and it was all clear.

I think that is not only why I like numbers, but why I fail to see how science and religion could possible be at odds. How else could the beauty of numbers and math exist? It seems obvious to me that it is not some haphazard accident, but an intentional plan.

Anyway, the reason I mention it at all is to show how deeply I felt my love for both words and numbers. Math class after math class came and went and I felt as if things I was being taught were obvious. Like if I had only bothered to think about it before I would have seen how true it is that 4/5ths of 25 is 20. (Actually I just made that up on the spot. It was more advanced math than that, I just can't remember any specific examples.) Then in 9th grade I met Geometry. What the heck was that crap? Where were my numbers and letters from glorious Algebra? I actually had to have the friend that I had tutored all through Algebra I tutor me in Geometry. She now thought that the things I was struggling with were completely obvious. The tables had completely turned. Thank goodness it was only that year and the next year I was back to Algebra II!

In reading all the comments on Melissa's post today made me wonder if my whole "there are Algebra people and Geometry people" theory -- similar to Cat people and Dog people -- was wrong. Or at least if I had somehow fallen into the wrong category with all the non-word-lovers. Weird.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

NaBloPoMo 2007

Last year I made an attempt to post every day in November as part of National Blog Posting Month '06. Ha! As you can see, I only managed 2 posts and then succumbed to the sleepiness of pregnancy.

This year I am not an official participant, mostly because I forgot to go sign up in October, but don't let that stop you. I'm still going to try to be better at getting my thoughts down. If that means I have to write on paper because the little ones don't want me sitting at my computer (oh, the whining!) so be it. I'll just put dates on the things I write long-hand and use that date when that entry gets transcribed.

I hope this works. I have at least 3 Works for Me Wednesday posts in my head, but I haven't posted them because if I don't sit down on Tuesday night then it's not right, right? Wrong! My new way of thinking is to write them ahead of time and then publish on Wednesday. Let's see if between paper and drafts I can get more productive.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Toys: Plastic vs. Wood

So with all the bazillion recalls lately toys have really been on my mind. I get the whole "wood is better" just like I get that I should be bringing my own cloth bags to the grocery store (I do, just not every stinkin' time). I started leaning toward plastic that doesn't have any paint that can be chewed off a long time ago. Then the recalls on toys that had too much lead in their paint started. Go check out the CPSC's search page and see how many you get for "lead paint" -- I found 60 when I limited the search to "in the last week"!!! That's insane.

So, despite all the "ooh, wood toys are better" I felt that if a spit-wet toy could leave paint marks on things (for awhile everything was a drum/drumstick), then that paint was also getting into The Biscuit. He's got enough problems, I'm not going to add some bizarre paint poisoning to the list. So plastic seemed nice and safe, paint-wise.

Then I was reading this post on Kerflop and a commenter mentioned off-gassing plastics. Well, crap. The kids are surrounded by off-gassing plastics now. What's that doing to them long-term?

What do you do? Where do you fall in this debate? I'd really like to know. I don't want everything to be rubbed with bees' wax just to be safe. Kids need color in their world.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Moms for Modesty

Ah, if only I could figure out buttons. This week's project: get the new WordPress blog up and running. I just don't want to learn how to do something here when I'm moving on anyway!

On to the topic at hand...

Get yourself on over to the Mission Statement post at Moms for Modesty and sign up if, like me, you feel that girls should be dressed like girls, not "ho's". Ugh. Hating the way I'm seeing girls dressed for the most part. If that means going into a store to expressly state why I won't be buying clothes there, then I will. Maybe by the time The Cupcake is in school there will be places that sell clothes for girls that want to look like girls instead of women.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Words That Encourage

{I hope Heather never starts a cult because apparently I would drink whatever Kool-aid she asked me to.}

My Biscuit's Daddy,

I knew when I was 14 that I would never get married or have children. I was deathly afraid to have a daughter thanks to a not-so-great relationship with my mom, and didn't like myself enough to imagine anyone else would ever like me. Both of these things are lodged in my psyche so deeply that I still cannot believe that you proposed. True we had dated for about a decade, but I was still shocked. So shocked that apparently I didn't actually say "yes" aloud and forgot to take a picture of you, even though in my mind I did speak and I did take the photo. Maybe stunned and incapable of functioning would be a better way to put it.

Now here we are 5 years later. I'm not sorry that I made us wait 2 more years for our wedding because I worked very hard to get you a meadow in the moonlight like you wanted. And I think it was a beautiful night. If only you could remember that the word "obey" was not uttered during the ceremony. Perhaps you were stunned as I was when you proposed and just thought you heard it?

I still cannot believe the life that we have. Who could have guessed that an old biddy like me could get pregnant so easily? And that the perfect boy we had for 3 days would suddenly turn into one who would need those awful surgeries? That we would be strong enough to help him recover from them and to develop into the rowdy toddler he is today? That his sister would follow so soon? And that having two children would be so much different than having one?

I know that sometimes you feel I am not on the team and am questioning your decisions. I know that you feel I tell you that you are wrong too often and that I go into debate mode too easily. I will try to remember (and I hope you will too) that those beautiful kids are proof that I think you are right. I don't think you are wrong, I just want to make sure that all bases are covered when you make these big decisions. If you've already considered those points then great. I'm glad we had the Volvo and I'm glad we turned it in when the lease was up. I'm glad you quit that crappy job where they didn't appreciate you. Yes, it is scary to not be out there and earning my own money and to know that it is not only me that depends on you for a roof and food but our children do as well. But look at what you have done! You've taken a firm non-believer like me and made me a mom. I never could have imagined I would love being a mom so much. Thank you, thank you, thank you for seeing the potential in me and helping me to unlock it. If you can do that then in my eyes you can do ANYTHING. I will gladly follow you anywhere.

And now the whole world knows it (so I can't come back later and say I don't remember I said it).


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Chocolate Glaze Cures Adultitis

Just because I'm in the mood to share this with more people. I wrote this up for an entry into Daring Young Mom's adultitis cure give-away. The history part at the end wasn't in my comment though.

Here is my way to be more childlike.

Sneak a snack when no one is looking. You know your kids do (or will do) that when you aren't. My fave is this chocolate glaze on vanilla ice cream. I get to have it when they nap at the same time as a victory snack.

1 pound of bittersweet chocolate
1/2 pound of butter

Melt, stir, indulge.

Notes: Trader Joe's Pound Plus bar works great. You can make a small batch with no adjustments. Unsalted butter works too, but I add a bit of salt then because I like chocolate and salty (not a lot of salt though).

Helpful math: If you use the Trader Joe's bar here are the proper proportions for smaller batches.
20 squares + 1 stick of butter
10 squares + 1/2 stick of butter (4 tablespoons)
5 squares + 2 tablespoons of butter

This recipe is from a now-defunct bakery I worked at. We used it instead of frosting on our chocolate cakes by popping the cake in the freezer between putting on thin layers. Build it up until no cake crumbs or filling is visible. Top with warm, strained or food-processed apricot glaze if you want it shiny. Keep cool if you aren't going to cut it that day. On the day of serving you can leave it out for hours as long as you've done a good job of sealing it with the chocolate. Cut with a sharp knife dipped in HOT water. (It will probably crack when cut. All the pieces that crack off are treats for the person who was forced to cut the cake.)


Dove's Real Beauty Campaign: a new film

Again, obeying OMSH, I'm sharing this video with you. It's not one of the 2 she suggested, but it's the one that I like the best.

I still need to learn this lesson myself. Can't take a compliment to save my life if it's related to looks. Or my children's looks. So let's blame the beauty industry! Yeah!

Shooting Stars

Thanks to OMSH for the link to the explanation of what is done with poop in space.

This is why I bother to catch up.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Inflammatory Breast Cancer

I just read about Inflammatory Breast Cancer on Melissa Summers' Buzz Off. Then I did what she said and went to read the whole story.

You can have breast cancer even if there is no lump. Not all redness is mastitis.

Now go and read and spread the word!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Lead paint on fabric

Sometimes soft toys get recalled for violating the federal lead paint standard. I had no idea. I thought our soft toys were safe from all this.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

ALT text

I added this cute little geek comic called to my GR a little while back. It has taught me the importance of alt text more than any logical reasons. If you don't mouse over and look at the alt text you often don't see the punchline (my favorite example). Just thought I'd share.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


In getting caught up (again -- so neverending) on blogs, I've been reading the 3 that Melissa Summers writes: Suburban Bliss, Buzz Off, and Ordering Disorder.

In her recent post about garage sales she mentioned that her daughter finally got to set up a lemonade stand, something that wasn't allowed in their old neighborhood with the registered sex offender 2 doors down. This got a couple of people commenting, with one commenter saying that it's the ones that haven't been caught yet that are scary. Melissa replied with a link to a previous post she had written on that topic. Take a look at this paragraph at least:

"I realize how little control I have, I've realized a long time ago how I can't protect my children from bad things happening. I can follow my gut and I can teach them about being safe and owning their bodies and I can listen to them and protect them at all costs when I know they're being hurt and I can make them secure in the truth of the protection I will give them at all costs. I can't make bad things not happen, but I can make them strong and sure of themselves and make them certain of my willingness and ability to speak for them when they can not."

That's how I would sum up Motherhood: "I can make them secure in the truth of the protection I will give them at all costs."

Well said, Melissa. If you only know about her from the whole Today Show blah blah blah and "Momtini" stuff, you might not think she's worth reading. She is. Go check her out.

This is why it takes me so long to get caught up -- the dang comments on the blogs I read are so worthwhile. And it's why I bother to get caught up.

Martha's List of Reasons to Get Rid of Clutter

I found this list today thanks to "Momtini" commenter, Yolanda.

100 Reasons to Get Rid of It

I don't want to lose it in my bookmarks. This is what we are working on right now (which is why I haven't been posting).

Whining baby! Bye!

Edit: I think Title Trader is my favorite from the whole list. Which is yours?

Edit #2: It seems my direct link to Martha's site just came up with a blank page. Yolanda's Tiny URL still works, so I've fixed my link.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

And we're baaaaaaaaaack!

(You should hear Jimmy Fallon's voice when reading that title, btw.)

Turns out that vacation with a toddler and an infant is a lot of work.

We went off on vacation and are finally home. I still am not unpacked -- why bother when the dryer is broken and there's nothing but dirty clothes in the bags? I also haven't downloaded new photos from the camera and cell phone.

But since I left without saying anything (kind of like not leaving "We are out of town" on the answering machine), I thought I would at least mention that we made it home alive.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Not all recalled items are made in China

Sometimes people in the U.S. buy products, jazz them up, and then resell them. And sometimes that's a bad idea. I can barely stand that we use a pacifier with The Cupcake. I don't need to worry that the ones I'm buying are going to make her choke. I certainly don't see them as a fashion statement. I sound so judgemental, but really, I just think things should stay as simple as possible. This child raising stuff is hard enough without pacifiers becoming a status symbol.

Flickr contacts

I think I finally figured out how to use Flickr to keep my kids' photos away from the prying eyes of pedophiles and yet share them with people who are my blogging friends. I just need to make you Flickr contacts and then mark you as friends. So if you have a Flickr account, would like to see the photos of my kiddos, and are not freaky, then drop a comment here or send me an email with your Flickr screen name. Alternately, if you are way more with it than me, go over to Flickr and make me your contact already and I'll reciprocate. Either way!

Some random person I've never heard from before is not going to be made my contact though. So don't bother. :-P

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


I found out when reading The Big Trade-off today that her mom is hosting Alphabet Soup and today's letter is B.

Here's my list:

  • First my babies: The Biscuit and his Baby sister and My Bakery's Daddy as he is now calling himself. I can't love them without adding to my love for him, so he has to be included. ;-)

  • Obviously blogs. Lots of them, not just mine. I've got to figure out a way to read and write everyday because it makes me feel so much better.

  • Breastfeeding. It is the most Zen part of my day. I have a reason to just sit still and be in the moment and I love that.

  • Binkies. Technically it's a Avent pacifier, but we still call it a binky. I didn't think I would be a binky-loving momma, but since The Cupcake will eat past when she is full and then spit it all back up I had to find something to satisfy her that wouldn't over-fill her tummy. I swear we are taking it away when she's 4 months old like Baby 411 says we should. She already refuses it sometimes in favor of her hand, thank goodness. Still, it would have been hard to get through these 3 months without it.

  • Big Timber, Montana. It's the tiny town my grandparents were from and where they are buried. I can't imagine going up there without stopping in Big Timber for a bit. There's a lovely florist on McLeod Street called The Toggery where we go to get flowers to take to the cemetery. I also stop in to Little Timber Quilts just a few doors down. I'm a sucker for red, white and blue fabrics and last time they had ones that I hadn't seen here in Northern California.

That's enough, don't you think?

Poop is a tool

I haven't had anything much to say for 10 days, but now I do.

I started reading Sweet Salty awhile back and her post today about a conversation with a high school friend that hasn't had kids was (as they always are) excellent.

I often feel awkward with people who don't have kids now. Just as awkward as I used to feel with people that did have them. I *do* find poop talk fascinating and don't mind it during a meal or whenever. I have disassociated from its disgustingness and now see it as a serious diagnostic tool and must learn from others what they have noticed in order to improve my diagnostic skills. It's serious business, this poop stuff.

And, yes, one of the blogs I read every-stinking-day is The Shape of a Mother, because there is no other site that has single-handedly made me feel better about the way I look. Can anyone who hasn't had a child (and I include adoptive mothers here) or been pregnant really understand what a boon this site is? Probably not. It's one of those things that you can't get until you've been there. Might it be an absolutely hellish site for women who want babies but are having trouble conceiving? Yes. Because it is so brutally honest and open and there are so many of us with scars and stretch marks and bad body image, yet who are trying to come to terms with how these things that make us feel ugly happened during the most beautiful and amazing events we've lived through. But it's not hellish to those who are not ready yet or have decided to be child-free; it's probably just silly and they think we should get to the gym already.

Kate's post today talked about how those people aren't living life. They think they are but they have chickened out on the biggest challenge there is. She says it so much better than I could. Here's a taste:

You think you’re living, really living, revelling in a life that’s all about you. Sure, you’re living my momentary fantasy: perky tits and sleeping in and jogging and international travel and sharp-edged coffee tables.

But you’re still a bunch of pussies.

Go read the whole post. This is the third link to it I've given you. And then think about whether climbing Mt. Everest is really such a feat after all. I'm thinking that compared to your 3rd almost-a-week stay in your son's hospital room before his 2nd birthday, Everest pales in comparison. Not that my husband and I should be praised in the media for what we've lived through, but my curiosity about what mountain climbing and bungee jumping and lots of other things would be like has dimmed to a mild, occasional wondering now.

And maybe all those people living adventurous lives full of travel and wine don't have it so great.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

I Wish I Had Known...

The Shape of a Mother celebrated its one year anniversary with this post.

Numbers 137 through 141 are mine, edited as she says at the beginning, but pretty much just like I sent them in. Like everyone else, many of the others could have been mine. I just didn't want to forget how I feel now and thought this would help me remember.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Want to win a sling?

Stephanie over at Adventures in Babywearing is hosting a sling give-away! Go over and enter for yourself.

In case you don't win, you can just go to KimzKreations and buy a sling.

I'm off to shop!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The crap doesn't end when you stop diapering.

I just read Suburban Bliss and then watched this movie. I had no idea. I do not remember asking anyone to come wipe my butt. Am I just blocking out a horrid memory?

Sunday, June 10, 2007


I've been doing some research on car seats yesterday and today and came across the Consumer Product Safety Commission site. I was happy to find no results when I searched for "Britex" and "Sunshine" within a search for "car seats" -- yay, 2 companies with no car seat recalls. Can't say the same for EvenFlo.

Then I started looking at all the different recalls for children and was disgusted. Apparently kids up to the age of 14 are at risk of death from clothing with drawstrings (the guidelines page is a pdf). I never would have thought that possible, but it has happened. And then there are things like these bicycle helmets sold at Target. The photos plainly show a label with the CPSC letters yet the recall is because the helmets didn't meet their safety standards. So, don't trust labels.

There were a ton of jewelry products that were being recalled because of too high of a lead content. Toys R Us had to recall a crib because the paint had a high lead content. I even saw some boys' jackets that had a high lead content.

You can do an advanced search of their site (including searching within a search like I did) here.

You can also sign up to receive announcements from them on this page. Their explanation of what subscription categories mean actually had some humor on it... and this is a government site. Surprise!

Friday, June 08, 2007

5 Things Meme

I was tagged by my friend, Ellie, from Panjo Kids. Here goes!

  1. Good mom, bad housewife.

    This is an assessment that my husband and I agree on. I love the mom part of being a SAHM, but I hate cleaning, so I really let it slide. The slightest sign of a kid needing my attention and there is no time for the cleaning. Except the kitchen, because I like to cook. The problem is that I don't think I'm much good, and I'm slow. That's where the housewife that has dinner hot and on the table part comes in -- and falls apart. Our plan is to work on the "throw out the clutter" theory because then cleaning will not be so hard. Too bad the grandmas don't understand why we are resistant to their desire to fill our house with stuff (you NEED another chair in this room so I bought one, he NEEDS a table so I bought one, I know this toy is big but it's a car so he'll LOVE it). We aren't even choosing the crap that our home is being filled with! A good housewife wouldn't let things get to this state because she would have decorated and set up a playroom that her mom & mother-in-law could comprehend (and would be smaller than the living room so that they could see that it's full). Basically, a good housewife would have the house so under control that the grandmas would be able to see the boundary lines. Sigh.

  2. I'm a Dvorak typist.

    Way back in, oh 1991, I got my first computer and soon after borrowed a modem from my aunt and started chatting on local BBS. I spent my work days typing on a computer, adding up numbers on a calculator and dialing a phone. Then I'd go home and chat for hours. I had major pains shooting up from my wrist all the way to my shoulders. I bought a wrist wrest but that didn't help much. One of the guys I chatted with suggested I try the just-released free Dvorak layout driver from Microsoft. It would remap my Qwerty keyboard to the Dvorak layout for free, so I wouldn't have to go buy a new keyboard and I could try it and see if it helped. By the time I had the layout memorized I was pain free, and I've been singing its praises ever since. Don't think that you can't memorize a new layout; you can. And it's easier because you can't cheat as only the "a" and "m" keys are the same. Try it and I bet you'll like it. You can read more about it in the Wikipedia article.

  3. Daddy, not Dad.

    I'm 41 and I still call my dad "Daddy." I can write "Dad" and it sounds fine, but it sounds stupid when I say it.

  4. Front loading washers need a soak cycle.

    While I'm thrilled that we have a front loader like I always wanted, I'm bummed that it has no way of soaking things overnight. How will cloth diapers ever work (assuming I can convince my husband that it's a good idea) when they sometimes need soaking? I wouldn't want an open pail & I wouldn't want to have to dump the water myself. I have looked at gDiapers and I think they sound great. At least they put the waste where our society already expects it to be instead of the landfills.

  5. I'll freak out when my dentist retires.

    The only other dentist I've ever seen was his dad. Apparently his son decided to do something else with his life. Pah.

Now I'm supposed to tag 5 others, but I just looked at my Google Reader list and they've all done it already. Oh, well. That's what happens when you come in at the end of a pyramid scheme. ;-)

Why aren't I Dutch?

Dutch women don't get depressed? No fair. I can be bossy and would love to work part time.

The best part was the ending:

"Luckily," she said, "most men have enough Tarzan in them to like a bit of a jungle."

Will we ever be the same?

Yesterday Kate at Sweet|Salty wrote:

We’re so drained. Our skin still smokes and hisses, fresh from the brand of tragedy, to the point where I wonder if we’ll ever be ourselves again.

No, you won't. No parent is. I was just thinking about this the other day. My husband has a friend who is 1 of 4 sons (he's somewhere in the middle). This guy claims that no one should have more than one kid because you have less love for each child that way. My husband and I maintain it's not a zero-sum game; parents don't have a finite amount of love. Love expands and grows with each new family member, whether from birth, adoption, marriage or some other way I can't think of right now -- but why?

The answer hit me last week. Each new person in the family brings out something different in you. I feel like a different parent now that The Cupcake is here and it is a very good thing. I have to figure out her moods and body language. I have to understand how to soothe her and, sadly, the tricks that worked with The Biscuit do not always work on her. In fact the things that soothed him the best and the fastest make her scream. And while that can be frustrating and frightening, she is changing me into a better parent that has even more tools to work with and better ways of coping.

We felt like we became experts on our son and his heart problems and how to navigate the hospital bureaucracy. Now we are newbies again. We are brand new to the world of a "typical" girl who doesn't have to go to the cardiologist and get echo cardiograms. In fact, the first week home I was taking her temperature all the time. She feels so warm to me despite a totally normal thermometer reading because he was slightly cooler than normal. And yes, it did take me a week to figure that out. It was my first clue that despite it being the second time around, I'm a newbie and have to learn all over again. But I know that I don't know, so that puts me at the second level, right? At least compared to last time when I was so lost that I didn't know what I didn't know.

Maybe it only makes sense from where I sit.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Mr. Rogers

This is great article about Mr. Rogers. I love reading about him and this article had some new info. There is a link at the end to a profile in Esquire Magazine that is quite long, but well written. If you want to read more than the 10 points on Mentalfloss then it's a worthy read.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Spreading the word

I followed the link on Owlhaven's post today and I want to spread the word to more people.

Most of the time I fall on the side of going ahead with vaccines, but this doesn't sound good at all. I feel like I need to check into exactly who Judicial Watch is, and if they have their own agenda, but my first reaction is that this vaccine needs to be pulled. Now.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Yet Another Contest

Despite the fact that my husband thinks this contest stuff is a bit sad (phhbbbt), I found another contest I want to enter.

If you want to enter too, just go to Fina 'Drea (this is my first time there). She's giving away a purple frog WubbaNub from Baby Dagny.

I poked around Baby Dagny a bit and found some great stuff. There is a hooded towel and wash cloth made from bamboo. Sounds weird, but I bought a pair of socks at Target that were made of bamboo and they are the softest that I own. Completely luxurious, yet a quick-growing, renewable resource. Yipee! But the coolest thing that I found at Baby Dagny was this device to basically strap your kid to anything. And it's on sale! We struggle with how to keep The Biscuit safely seated when we go to relatives' homes at the holidays and I think this may be just the thing. It also looks great for in the shopping cart since it has some cushion. I've just been putting the sling under him for awhile now, but The Cupcake is going to be in the sling so I'll need a better solution. He's too big to use it on the floor though, and I'll never give up my Patemm Pad and Pitaka (we have the large Patrick with pockets and an extra Emma Pitaka -- because it keeps wipes moist FOREVER), so maybe The Buddy is overkill?

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Friday, May 25, 2007

Sew Much Comfort

Because we've had extensive hospital stays where we don't have full internet access, we have set up a Care Page for The Biscuit. Care Pages are a wonderful way to share what is happening with family and friends, while still keeping medical info confidential -- or not as some people opt to make their Care Page public.

In this month's Care Page newsletter I came across a link to Sew Much Comfort. They use volunteer seamstresses to make adaptive clothing for injured veterans. Having just stayed in the hospital and wishing that there was a gown for new mothers that allowed for breastfeeding, kangaroo care (skin to skin) and was easy to close up when someone needed to come in the room, this charity really hit home. I have cousins that are in the Marine Corps (well, maybe just one as the other may be out by now), but I still feel lost as to how I can contribute. This seems like it will be a good fit for me so I sent off for my information sewing packet.

Just thought I'd share in case anyone else wanted to sew for someone who'll really appreciate it.

A Contest

I keep seeing contests all over, but I've finally decided to actually enter the one going on now at Adventures In Babywearing.

I love earrings and the ones she's giving away from Cheeky Jewelry look lovely. I hope I win!

I think what got me off my duff to enter is that they are sage green (one of my 3 favorite colors). I haven't worn earrings much since I had my son, which is a shame. I have some absolutely beautiful Mikimoto pearls that I really should wear every day. My husband bought them for me for no special occasion -- which makes them pretty darn special. I think I'm just paranoid about them getting pitted or loosened from their setting so I don't just put them in and leave them in. Ah, someday when small people aren't grabbing at me all the time...

I just went and looked at all the earrings on Cheeky Jewelry's site and they totally remind me of the earrings that we made for my wedding (I had my cousin's help to make a beaded headband & earrings). I so love those too, but can't wear dangly things around the babies. Actually, the boy may be old enough that he'll understand not to grab, but the girl has an amazingly quick and strong grab so it will still be awhile before I dangle. I miss that so!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Thanks to a link on Owlhaven I have found Antique Mommy. I had seen that name around before and thought that it was someone who was into antiques. No no. I’ve now read her about page and realize that she’s like me, a woman who when pregnant was of “advanced maternal age.”

Her story is full of trials and tribulations that I was spared. As I read I felt so fortunate that these 2 children came to us so easily. Maybe the delivery part was not what I wanted, but the conception was not clinical and didn’t involve drugs and surgeries and professionals, just some fun.

These last 4 weeks when we have been the parents of 2 kids have been harder in ways that I didn’t foresee. I forgot that I wouldn’t be able to lift anything over 20 pounds (and guess whose Biscuit weighs in at 21 pounds?). How could I have forgotten that restriction? Because it didn’t matter last time. We didn’t have anything over 20 pounds that I needed to lift. I think that has been the saddest part of bringing The Cupcake home and incorporating her into our family’s life. Poor Little Biscuit doesn’t understand when I say that Mommy has owe-ies and cannot pick him up. He just keeps reaching up his hands with a hopeful look on his face. I’ve finally given up trying to explain because the explanation always starts with “No, I can’t do that.” Now I just give him a big kiss. He’s still disappointed because it was not what he was trying to communicate, but he is happy for the kiss. So that’s something.

In addition to the stress I’m putting on my toddler, I am really struggling to learn what it is The Cupcake wants. I swear someone told this girl that she was going to be born into the British Monarchy and she is severely disappointed that she has to actually go to the bathroom, and in a diaper no less. I have figured out that when she is snuggled in my arms and starts looking terrified and gripping frantically at my hands (she is STRONG) that she’s peeing. That’s all, just a bit of pee and she is freaked out. I do believe we have a drama queen on our hands. At other times I can do everything and not be able to calm her down. I mean, she’s a month old, there aren’t many options here. Tummy? Full. Diaper? Dry. Sleepy? That must be it! So rock, and walk and nope, still screaming. Ack. It stresses me out so much more than with The Biscuit because I don’t want to wake him. And she’s doing this at 6am – I’m so not a morning person and here she is, inconsolable, in the early morning.

The only thing I feel sure of, that I have certainly deciphered correctly, is that when she wakes screaming from a deep sleep it is definitely a dirty diaper. I would be concerned that she was having a problem with the diapers or with the wipes, except that the diaper changes that happen when she is happy and full of milk are no problem. No yelling that she’s wet or poopy, no yelling because I’ve laid her down to change her diaper, no yelling that she doesn’t want to be wiped; just a happy, smiling, looking around at things little girl.

I hope I don’t feel this clueless when she’s a teenager (although I know I will).

Thursday, May 10, 2007

We are doing well and not well all at the same time. Both of us are exhausted (I only thought I was exhausted in February -- ha!) and both kids don't want to nap. The Cupcake has to nap in the sling for awhile before she's willing to go to her bed and The Poor Biscuit has only been jealous of his sister in his sling. Figures.

On the other hand, thank goodness all the stress of a kid that was looking at surgery and special needs intervention happened when there was only one little goober to take care of. I can't imagine being hit with all that when you are dealing with more that just one newborn. I had thought before that it would be easier if I had some mom-experience under my belt first, but now I don't think so.

One of the things I ran across today in my 15 minutes of computer time was this post by Daring Young Mom. I immediately followed her bridge link and added my own comment. You should too!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Real Moms, Part 2 -- TMI?

Just a warning, this may be Too Much Info for some. And no, I'm not posting a photo.

Sadly, real moms leak right through breast pads in the first days. Luckily they have genius husbands who say, "Why don't you put one of her diapers in there?" Ah, the comfort! No breast pad is as soft as a Pampers! I had used cloth diapers in my bra with The Biscuit to help apply pressure and to absorb during the lovely engorgement phase, but they weren't working this time. The milk came in faster and there was even more this time. So even when I would sleep for 2 hours I would wake in a puddle. Yuck. But the Pampers solved the trick. Ah, dry sleep.

So, real moms have boobs the size of a newborn's butt and, therefore, Pampers lining a bra solve a big messy problem.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Home at last

We are home, everyone is doing well. Oddly, all 3 of them now have a cold and I'm feeling great. No one bothered to take a photo of me letting Cupcake suck on my left pinkie while she sat in her bouncy chair as I fed Biscuit a yogurt with my right hand at lunch today. (Why was I doing that if there were people here that could have taken a photo, you ask? Well, my husband brought me lunch and was on his way back to work and his mom dropped off some lasagna on her way to work. They took a moment to watch me, but then they took off.)

Today is my first day home with 2 KIDS. Who the heck let me have 2 kids??? Heehee. It went pretty well, but it sure was nice to have last week to just get a rhythm with Cupcake. She is a pro-breastfeeder. Doesn't like to burp though, so some meals come back up. I've learned to just keep going and insist that she burp. No point in sitting there and her working so hard and then having it all end up on my shirt.

I decided to go ahead and put a few photos up on my Flickr account.

Long fingers

Monday, April 16, 2007

Homeschooling for kids with Ds?

I'm really loving this discussion over on Kerflop. I'm one of those people who was gifted and yet never bored in public school because I could find something to learn (not to mention that since parental disappointment was my greatest fear I never would have acted out if bored).

Now I'm faced with this same kind of decision with my son at the ripe age of 2. I've already been asked twice by his educational team if I've thought about what I want to do with him next year. Since he has Down syndrome he is eligible to start in the public system at age 3, but I'm not sure that even early school with trained professionals is the right way to go with him. Every child is an individual and he is (thank you, God!) at the far end of the spectrum of developmental delays. He probably isn't going to be reading above grade level like I was, but that doesn't mean that he won't be bored and unchallenged in a special ed class. I'm concerned that we will lose all the gains we've made if he's put in a situation that expects him to be slow in areas where he is not just because of a label that has been applied to him.

Really, our concern is that he will start on a path that will lead to an attendance certificate when he actually could earn a diploma. I don't want to squelch any of the joy that he has, for life or for learning. Now if it turns out that even with the best help he isn't capable of earning a diploma then (while heartbroken) I will accept it. But I'm not going to give up when the boy isn't even 2!

SO, (blah, blah, blah) I love the links and advice that I've been able to read on Kerflop, but does anyone out there have links and advice for kids that are not geniuses and gifted and skipping grades?

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Autism Speaks video from Five for Fighting

"Yay" to Heather from OMSH for her post that led me to this video about Autism by Five for Fighting. I didn't see the info on the video page about the band donating money, but I'm willing to take her word for it. Besides, I heard a great song and learned a little, and what's so wrong with that?

I have to admit that I do have one concern though: do we really want a world where everyone with every kind of difference is cured? I've been through this with deafness, I've been through this with Down syndrome. I haven't yet learned how Autism would be different. In my opinion it would be better if we could accept people who have differences and learn to value their outlook on the world as equally valid to the "normal" way of seeing things. On the other hand, I can imagine that Autism can be (emotionally if not physically) painful for those who have it. I certainly wish that pain could be removed, but... I want a world with unique people who have interesting perspectives.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

View from my bed-chair

I don't know what happened with Beth and her blog, but I wanted to put this up to show that I really did put her poem up in my son's hospital room (with permission of course -- and that's Gumball the Kitten next to it). This was my view when I would get up in the morning. Well, when I would get up the second time. They sent a tech and a mobile x-ray machine around at 6am every morning and since I'm pregnant I always had to get up and wait far away until they were done. Then I could go back in, help The Biscuit settle, and we could get a bit more sleep. But by the time I was awake and my husband was there with my Starbucks' hot chocolate, this is what I saw. Pretty nice view if you can forget that you're sitting in a Pediatric ICU.

Awake My Soul by Beth
Here's a close-up of the poem. It's big enough to read over on Flickr if it isn't here.

Real Moms meme

Thank you Kerflop for pointing me to this particular entry in the Real Moms meme. It's beautiful.

I was just walking my almost-2-year-old Biscuit to sleep for his nap, and thinking how we are going to do things differently with The Cupcake. I'm going to try the advice I read (I think in The Happiest Baby on the Block) and start laying her down to nap when she is drowsy around 6 months old instead of rocking her until she's completely asleep. And that made me flash on how some day I'm going to have to explain to her why we did things differently. At first she'll probably only be old enough to understand that Mom and Dad learned from the first time and so she got the benefit of our experience. But there will come a day when she'll think that she didn't get special cuddling treatment because (Oh, please, God!) she doesn't have Down syndrome. And that's not really why. It's because of that heart surgery which loomed so large from the time he was 3 days old. I was so afraid that he would not survive the surgery or that it wouldn't be enough of a help for him and so he wouldn't live; I thought that the days I had with him before his surgery might be the only ones. So I sat in the glider and sometimes napped with him for every nap and every night before bed.

After laying him down for his nap about 20 minutes ago I came downstairs to my computer to read a bit, so amazed that after almost 2 years it can still hit me so hard how much I love him. I kind of got over that by starting to read and BOOM there was the link on Kerflop.

I don't have any photos of me walking him or rocking him to sleep, so I'll just post this of our glider.

Real moms rock their babies to sleep, even when the parenting books tell you that you shouldn't.
(They also use $20 chairs from Ikea as side tables.)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Mommy-Brain is not full of junk -- or empty!

I just read Meagan Francis's article on The HUB and was amazed at how much better it made me feel. Like a spring breeze on a warm day (yes, we are having some great weather recently) I feel validated and renewed.

If you want to read more of her writing check out her blog. I think I originally found her through an article about Mommy Bloggers in Parenting Magazine. I think. Some details are foggy. I'm still going to use Pregnant-Mommy-Brain as an excuse.

So much to do!

I went for my week 33 prenatal exam today and was given a sheet of paper with my daughter's birth date on it. It felt so weird, like I had just been told what day was going to be special in our lives for the rest of our lives. It made me forget half the questions that I had wanted to ask on this visit. But I guess that's normal when you are scheduling a c-section.

The Biscuit is doing well post-surgery. He seems to be waking up in the night teething, not with any pain left over from the actual operation. Poor guy has one tooth after another moving with no breaks.

I am doing well, other than feeling sleep deprived no matter how much sleep I get. I'm very much looking forward to this lull-before-the-storm that is this March. I can feel the frenzy of The Cupcake joining us in late April coming now, and I am appreciating the moments of quiet (like now) when The Biscuit is napping and I can just sit and write. Although lately I have been sitting and reading. I don't think I read any email last week at all unless it was from my husband. I got really behind there.

We will spend the next few weeks moving furniture around (we are trading bedrooms with The Biscuit) and throwing away clutter. Last pregnancy I was all about "do we have to buy this?" and this time it is "we can throw this out, right?" I just want to get rid of everything. Too bad I'm the one with no energy and am more of an idea person now. Poor Hubby has to do most of the actual throwing. But I'll get that cake baked for him today, which should make him feel a bit better!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Exhausted, Part 2

We are home. Everything went well. So well that the surgeon told a joke. This was a few days after the surgery when The Biscuit was still in the hospital. Thank goodness I had nurses who know his personality to be amazed by that with me. Otherwise I might think that I was imagining things.

Basically, The Biscuit is great, but I am whacked. I get exhausted to the point that lifting my arms seems like this huge effort. I think that only cat-napping all night long for about a week probably has taken it's toll. And then coming home where for most of the day 31-week-preggie Mom is here on her own is really hard. I always forget how comforting it is to know that if things don't make sense or you need another pair of hands you can just press a button and someone comes to your rescue. Heck, I hardly changed a diaper on my own the whole time we were there thanks to all the tubes and wires (and the temperature probe that I was completely afraid to re-insert because what if I put it in too far and hurt the poor guy?).

Thanks so much to everyone who commented and sent their good thoughts and prayers our way. I'll be able to respond to those more coherently when I can shake this exhaustion. I just wanted to post about where we all are for memory's sake and to say that we made it home ok.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


I am emotionally exhausted from today's pre-op events and really, we haven't even started. It's only going to get worse.

The Biscuit is having heart surgery on Thursday. More than that, I'm not comfortable sharing. My husband and I want to protect his medical privacy so have decided to be very guarded about what we share and where. Obviously, I've mentioned that he has Down syndrome, because without that so much of what I say here and leave as comments on other blogs just wouldn't make sense. It's a big part of where I'm coming from. And he had a congenital heart defect that has been repaired. However, that just made them able to see that there was more that needs fixing, hence the second surgery. The main problem we have is that the Down syndrome will follow him his whole life. He will have struggles that we can't imagine. We don't need strangers meeting him someday that know more about him than he does. And we don't need him to not get a job that he wants because they are worried about his heart or something. It's far-fetched, but we are doing what we feel comfortable with.

So, that is why his real name is not in this blog. Nor any photos of him. Nor his detailed diagnosis or details of his surgeries. But thank you, so very much, to the people who have asked. I can only assume that you do so with kindness and care in your hearts, and I thank you. I take it to be the blog-world equivalent of bringing us a casserole. I hope you can understand why I feel the need to protect him as best as I can while still allowing myself a place to express myself.

Today we saw the cardiologist, heart surgeon, had x-rays taken, and had his blood drawn. I knew how he would hate the blood draw, but I had not seen him sitting in the little plastic device they use to hold small children still for an x-ray. His arms were straight up in the air (holding Dad's hands) and he was encased in 2 pieces of plastic that went up both sides almost to his wrists. There was a small opening for his face, just wide enough. It was horrible. I had waited out in the hall last time on the off-chance that I might be pregnant, while my mom stayed with him. This time they had me go behind the glass so I could "stay" but all I could really do was bear witness to the awfulness of what he must have been feeling. I felt horrible for my husband because I hadn't realized what I was asking him to do when I asked him to take the day off work and come, especially since I couldn't stay with The Biscuit for the x-ray part. I just had no idea. If I had known I would have asked my mom to come with me instead.

When all of this was finally over and we got home there was a message waiting for us that they need to re-draw some of his blood so could we call them? Dear Lord. We had already made a promise to The Biscuit that he was done for the day. So I called and asked if the doctors would have their lab results in time if we came back for the re-draw tomorrow and the man on the phone was so nice. "Oh, yes, ma'am. Absolutely, ma'am." He had answered the phone the way anyone would an inside line who talks with co-workers in other hospital departments all day would, but when I told him I was a mom and that I was concerned about surgery being postponed if we didn't come in until tomorrow he spoke to me with such caring and reassurance in his voice. It was really very sweet. Too bad I didn't think to get his name so that I could say thank you. They have little pink cards all around the hospital so that you can let them know when someone does a good job. Maybe I can find out his name when we are there tomorrow.

I don't know when I'll have the time or energy to post again, but rest assured that I'll be back when I can. Tomorrow I get my haircut; one thing I am doing for myself so that at least my hair might look ok after sleeping in one of those chair/bed contraptions. I don't honestly know at this point how I'll be able to leave his room to come home and shower. Maybe this is the hospital stay where I'll use the shower they have for parents on the pediatric floor.

See you all when I get back.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Bloggers are very cool people

Go take a look at this lovely poem that Beth posted today. And thank you, Beth, for permission to print it out! I'll take a photo of it when I hang it up and share that.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Keep them in 5-point harnesses!

I've seen this video once before, but now she's donating money based on people leaving comments. Go look at the video and learn why it's important to keep kids in 5-point harness restraints until they are 80 pounds.

Don't watch without some nice, soft Puffs with Lotion though.

Then leave a comment to up the donation by $3. All it costs you is a little time and you learn so much.

Monday, January 29, 2007

I Missed Blog for Choice Day

But that won't stop me from writing about it!

I first heard about it on Daring Young Mom's blog and felt like I had a lot to say, almost too much. Then when I saw Owlhaven's post, with it's simple and heart-felt message that cuts right to the heart of things I figured out how to say what I wanted.

There are countries in this world that are thrilled to announce that their Down syndrome birthrates are declining. Sadly, the reason these rates are declining is not because they have found a cure -- unless you call very early prenatal testing and abortions a cure. I don't.

I found 2 articles (so far) that share my view that people with Down syndrome are worth giving birth to. Their lives are not so short and empty that they should be aborted. And since there is no cure, what else can early testing lead to?

The first is by Patricia E. Bauer and was in The Washington Post.

The second article is by George F. Will and appeared in Newsweek.

My husband and I were lucky, I guess. My OB/Gyn asked us if we wanted amniocentesis and we asked back weren't the risks of miscarriage great at my "advanced maternal age"? He said yes and then asked the big question: Is there any reason that you would want to terminate the pregnancy? We both said no, so he agreed that the increased risk of miscarriage wasn't worth it. What if we hadn't been so sure of ourselves? I wonder now if his advice would have been different. As I sit here typing this and listening to The Biscuit through the baby monitor, I thank God that we didn't know so that we didn't have to deal with medical professionals that might have prodded us towards not having him.

It seems like the Choice debate always centers around women and their right to choose or the child's right to be born. We are missing out on something and it is quietly slipping by: doctors give pregnant women advice. When the doctors' information is not up-to-date, women get out-dated advice and then make life and death decisions based upon that old way of thinking. The doctors MUST be taught that the best advice is to talk to someone who is living in the situation, whether it be an adult with Down syndrome or the parent of a child who has Down syndrome or whatever. A doctor, just like any other human being, cannot know what it is like to live with something unless they are actually living with it. And we have to learn to be self-advocates and ask to be referred to support groups. Maybe after meeting some adults with Down syndrome and learning about the wonderful things that are happening today it wouldn't be so scary. And maybe then, with this better advice, 85% of these children wouldn't get aborted.

Shame on the Today Show

Have you heard about Melissa Summers "interview" on the Today Show? Well you can get it all on her blog called Suburban Bliss. There have been a lot of entries about her experience, but today's was the best IMHO.

So many have written so much about this that really I just want to add where to send your thoughts to NBC.

Their email address is and their snail address is:

NBC News
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, N.Y. 10112

Check out this post for an example email that I loved.

Meredith Vieira has a blog on iVillage. Who knew? On Fridays she answers questions from the past week and with so many comments about her behavior during this interview, maybe she'll talk about that on February 2nd? I'll be checking in to see what she says.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Good Ds Info

I found a wonderful blog tonight through a Down syndrome bilingual Yahoo group I belong to. The dad posted a message about this article that talks about bilingualism and delay of the onset of dementia to the group and included his blog URL in his signature. (In case you don't know, dementia is of interest to the group because Alzheimer rates in people with Down syndrome is relatively high compared to the general population.)

After reading the article I looked at his blog. There aren't a lot of entries but they make the ones that are there count. There was an entry about a friendship club at a Southern California high school, another about an article I had already read in the NY Times about people with Down syndrome going to college, and two posts about a couple with Down syndrome that got married.

That last entry really intrigued me so I followed the links off to see the husband's website (classical music will start to play when the site loads -- he's a musician). There I found his page that has a video of his proposal, which certainly made me cry! I'm not sure how I found it but I also read the story on Time Magazine's site about their wedding and looked at the photos too.

I found so many treasures at this blog that I just felt a need to share. There was more, not necessarily as uplifting, that I found through their blog, but these were the wonderful parts that had me crying and smiling.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Inspired by Owlhaven's Little Skater

This was such a beautiful post! I am so looking forward to the day when The Biscuit is ready to be independent because I think it will probably be a long time coming. Right now at 19 months old he is still wearing clothes that say they are for 9 months. I keep telling myself that there are other moms who are sad because their little ones are growing up so fast and really I'm lucky. But I want him to get to that point some day.

Because of the new pregnancy and finding out that The Biscuit needs a second heart surgery, I think that I have recently started to go back through the grieving that we did when The Biscuit was born. More precisely, when he was 3 days old and they took him from my room to the NICU because of the problems with his heart. This was the same time that we found out he has Down syndrome (Ds). Oh, the tears. How could they give me this news and then take him from me? But he is such a cool little kid! He would not have this personality without the Ds, so it has made it easier to accept -- and to accept him for who he is both good and, well, not bad really, but as his mom I can't help but worry. I worry about the things that the moms of typical kids do and the things that they don't. I don't know which bothers me most. I know of a mom who got upset when her son was just a baby because she was thinking of how someday a girl was going to break his heart. Once I had The Biscuit I remembered this story and fell apart thinking "What if no little girl ever loves him?" I have the fears that other moms do -- and I fear that he'll miss those things that "everyone" experiences.

Now I worry that there will be something wrong with The Cupcake. And if there isn't? Oh, a whole other pile of worries. Will she resent her brother and the possibility that he will outlive us so that she will have to help take care of him? Will she think that we had her just so there would be someone to take care of him later? Or will he think he isn't good enough and we wanted her because he's "broken"? Some days it is just too much. Luckily I can just go sit down and play with him and all of the worry & sadness falls away. He is so cool. He makes jokes, gives hugs and kisses, and really seems to enjoy hanging out together as much as I do. And really, what more could I wish for?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Blog Portrait

Blog Portrait
Originally uploaded by KYouell.

No matter who I pick for a host, when I try to update my blogger profile it says it can't find it. Arrrrrrgh!

I figured it out, I think. I did it the way they said to in Blogger's help, even though Flicr's help said that I could do it that way but it would be wrong. Whatever, the photo's up now!