Tuesday, 30 May 2006

she's with the angles

I am woefully vague on a lot of Christian doctrine. I read the Bible one summer and promptly went into puberty (although I highly doubt one had anything to do with the other)and my teenage atheist mode, so certain things aren't crystal clear in my mind. I am comfortable having a casual relationship with religion.

This makes it hard when Cass has questions.

Last night, amid cries of "I want Panda back!", he asked if God had two hands. I couldn't remember anything that said he didn't, so sure, honey - God has two hands.

Now he wants to know how God will pet Kansas and Panda and take care of everyone else up there.

He finally decided the angles will take care of her, and amid visions of flying toolboxes with wings, (acute, right or obtuse?) I agreed.

How could you argue with a philosophy like that?

Monday, 29 May 2006

i'm really okay

It's been a mixed-up, crazy day.

First, we are now a two-cat household.

Secondly, Rosey's ECD appointment went phenomenally. Her therapist gave me a copy of one of the Hanen books (It Takes Two To Talk) to read and said she thinks R may take some coaching but she doesn't think she'll be a long-term client.
I can't tell you how wonderful that was to hear.

Almost as good as it felt to have my daughter grin at me and say 'Bubbles!'

Guess what we'll be awash in this summer?

Sunday, 28 May 2006

cue dirge?

For the last few days, we've been on Deathwatch 2006 for the poor damned cat, who keeps failing then rallying - the thyroid pills at first worked really well but now she's back to skin and bones. Last night I really thought she'd pass during the night - I talked to her and held her for a long time.

If she was in obvious pain, we'd have put her down last week, but she's not - clear-eyed, pleasant, calm, just terribly thin and moving like an old, old person.

After her pill last night (during which I noticed she had terrible breath) I poured out the juice from some tuna into her bowl. She - the doddering, we'd-swear-two-breaths-from-the-grave cat went to town. Cleaned the bowl and miaowed for more.

Today Bear went and bought some soft catfood, and she's been wolfing it down. Now we think that part of the problem might be that her mouth hurts her.

Is this the solution? Will there be a happy ending for Panda Bear?
Possibly - probably not.
She has an appointment at the vets' office on Thursday, and she may not come home.

But I feel better that she's not starving to death.

Saturday, 27 May 2006

better than halloween

I took the kids in today to a Well-Child Clinic. Between having their hearing and dental health checked, my two charmed people and were given goodie bags with everything from play-dough to toothbrushes to stickers to lotions to books to balloons. This is not to mention the stuff that was given to me: magazines, dental floss, soap samples, fingerprinting kits, and an all-expenses-paid trip to Fiji! Okay, maybe not the last one.

C had his eyes tested, and it turns out despite both his parents needing glasses, The Boy has 20/20 vision ...hmm, maybe there is a reason he always knows where the last pudding is hidden?

Thursday, 25 May 2006

show and tell: rock

show and tell for blackbird

This rock came from the driveway of my fathers boyhood home in Troy, Pennsylvania. When wet, it glows a rusty red, like most rock in that area.

The farm has long been sold but last time we were in town I took my husband on a quick look-see (the owners were pleasant, saying 'Go wherever you'd like') and we went through the old barns (apple-scented), the smokehouse, the brook and even up to the little pond where my parents tried to teach me to ice-skate.

I tripped over this in the driveway and picked it up. Someday, I will find someone to cut a sliver from it and make it into a tie-tack or some such for my dad, who will appreciate it in his quiet way - or be bemused that I've kept this so long.

must stop coming into work early

If you read the following after coffee, it's a deadly serious message.
If you read it before coffee in an early morning fug, it becomes a comedy about thin short people and weight loss.


Toronto: May 22-29, 2006, marks the Global Week of Action Against Small
Arms. It is time, says The United Church of Canada, to remember that
"God calls us to be peacemakers and reconcilers in a world of much
conflict and division."

Small arms are a big problem-not only for Canadian cities but also for
communities across the globe.

"With over 600 million small arms in circulation globally, we cannot close our eyes to the issue of small arms," says Choice Okoro, Program Coordinator for Human Rights and Reconciliation.

Earlier this month, Okoro wrote Prime Minister Stephen Harper, asking
him to stiffen the resolve of the Canadian delegation attending the June
26-July 7, 2006, United Nations Small Arms Review Conference.

She says the serious threat that small arms pose to human security can
no longer be ignored. She explains that the easy availability of small
arms prolongs conflict, and exacerbates poverty

"We must work harder to control the trade in small arms," comments
Okoro. "Small arms contribute to untold social, economic, and political
destruction, and act as a major hindrance to human development."

Arms: right size. Check.

Wednesday, 24 May 2006

poring over the cookbooks

I've got a hankering for something sweet. And the time to make it.

Now, the hard questions.

Chewy? Melty? Cakey? Gooey?

Possibly butterscotch. Mmm. Old fashioned butterscotch.

Now, which one of my seventy-eleven cookbooks has that recipe???

Tuesday, 23 May 2006

the hum of things going by

I realized yesterday that I'll never be twenty again. And probably never full of that hope and gonna-get-'em spirit like I was then.
But this? The thirty-five year old mom of two gig?
I kinda like it.

Thirty five seems to be the best so far - I'm aware that my body isn't the same as when I was in my twenties, but I have only a few new lines and sags, so no bellyaching about being over the hill.
I like that younger people think of me as grown-up, although it still amazes me that older people do - and I hope I never grow out of the lovely feeling of being a kid that my grandparents still give me.

Inside, I feel responsible and dutiful and ready-to-assume-control, but that feeling is fighting a never-ending battle with the voice inside me that screams 'Dance! Dance badly! WHO CARES!'

It's a nice hum. You could almost dance to it.

Sunday, 21 May 2006

some pretty pretty from the yard

It's a Japanese Quince, I think. It was hacked into a shape when we bought the house, but we've let it go wild. I love the color!

how we refer to her with our hands*

This is going to be interesting.
So far, we've (signing badly, and confusing the heck out of each other)
managed to annoy the baby (she swats at our hands when they get too close to her face)
and made our son think we were fussing at each other - with our fingers.
New Age conflict resolution?

I wanted to title this : The Indian Names No One Ever Got, but Shrill Monkey Boy calls me from downstairs...
rub rub

Thursday, 18 May 2006

spam at the holy house

Eighteen freaking e-mail messages on the manse's e-mail account, fourteen of them spam.

And I'm sure somewhere the e-mail headed "Do you want to make her cry out duringg Sexx?" will hit a chord, but not here. Thank God the council member who was here (I'm avoiding the term church elder, but he is prit'near the oldest still active member) is internet savvy and realizes this isn't something I subscribed to.

"Oh, I got that one at home." He said, stabbing a stubby finger at the screen. "You can just delete that."

I bit my lip to keep the words "No useable content, huh?" from floating out.

Most spam is irritating and well, stupid.

This, however, I liked. It's almost lyrical.

UNTITLED SPAM, by Eisenstein H. Density

...it and alerted everyone. It would be nice if I furnace faded and vanished.
You will accept my apology at this late date. And after much mumbling over old campaigns, I dived from skin, then punted it with care. Of course! Maybe this will keep their attention on the.....
I doubt it—not unless you come up with some out and around us. Green plants bowed to our altitude reports while I bring her in.
For the instrument lights.
As I flicked it on they are zombies or robots or something? I thought vital instant as I slithered across the desk double chin, clean shaven with an unmemorable straighten out the kinks.
Help put in if anyone cared.
Don’t I know you, trooper? You told me that, yet they are incredibly complete, easily again.
Now brief me, Taz, what kind of a fool am I?

Wednesday, 17 May 2006

we used to play in the park

In the marina park there is a climb-on structure for kids, built to look like a sailing ship.
The pirate ship is a big draw for kids and there are usually several young'uns swinging from the various ropes, slides, and ladders that adorn the thing. My two are no exception - they love it. So tonight we went out and let them romp in the park for a bit.

The marina park is only a few years old - lots of lovely landscaping, a path to walk on, a middle point with a mast (flags flying) replicas of cannons (the town thrives on its' Privateer history) and an area where a stage is put up every summer for concerts.

C and R love it - R can dig in the sand, and C can climb up all the ladders and ropes and neat ways to get up.
We like it too - there are benches nearby, and there's usually a breeze off the river...

Tonight there was a couple there with three children. Two boys (fourish and threeish) and an infant girl. Dad plopped his bum down on one of the benches and lit up a cigarette, while Four and Three took off, screaming like banshees, for the pirate ship. C was delighted there were more boys to play with. Their Mom and I said hi and how are you, and started playing with the boys. She and I were discussing summer play groups when there was a yell from behind her "D, this baby stinks!"

Off she went to change a diaper. Bear was slightly popeyed and didn't want to look at me - he's well aware that maneuver just wouldn't fly in our family, and I think he thought I was going to say something.
I held my tongue.

I was scooping sand with R under the pirate ship when Three called his Mom. "I gotta make, Mom." Then he did the I'm-not-kidding dance of squirmyness. His Mom was distracted by Four's howling (he'd fallen off the rope ladder) and pointed.

"There. You can go there."

I expected Three to high-tail it (with Dad) across the road to the Chinese restaurant, or the bowling alley, or the bakery, or even the hardware store.....but the next thing I knew, R was staring in fascination at the wet on the sand in front of her. C was hopping up and down. "He peed! He peed, Mommy! In the dirt!" And then to the kid "That's a bad thing to do." Three shrugged. "Mommy lets me."

His mother had told him to piss in the play-sand, under the play structure, with other kids around.

I used to think those Dateline specials about the ball-pits at McDonalds were ridiculous, mainly because I couldn't imagine anyone knowingly making something germy and dirty for a child.

Now? We just re-stocked up on hand-cleaner. And I don't think we'll play at the park anymore.

Monday, 15 May 2006

blah blah blah

In the next few days, I am to get a clear plastic container-box, fill it with an assortment of toys, and work with R so she can hear me say the words. There are quite a few - a horse (the tongue click sound) a cow (the muh-MOO sound) a ball (buh) a train (chew-chew) an ice cream (mmm!) a baby doll (sssh! Baby's sleeping!) and so on. The object is to get R used to the feel of the sounds in her mouth as she begins to make words.
The feeling now is that this is more a delay than damage, although noone can explain to me how she can be missing such elemental building blocks of sound (buh? ssh? oink?) and still trot out tickle-tickle.

I can finally swallow without wincing, thank God. I hear the doctor's sons are getting a touch of whatever this is that's been going around. (evil grin) Not, you understand, that I had anything to do with that.

My siamese cat was finally diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. Now she's calmer and much happier until she spots me coming with her teeny little pills. Not a happy kitty! I explain (futily) everytime I'm stuffing one down her pink maw and she's giving me that outraged 'why would you do this to me' look - If I didn't like you, I wouldn't be doing this!

Must get to bed. Perhaps not so much better as I thought, huh?
Tomorrow I'll write more coherently.

Friday, 12 May 2006

fighting with crunchy man

My doctor is a health nut.

Which is good, because health is a good thing, and better him than me when he runs his marathons.....

but it leads to a certain amount of waffling when it comes to the antibiotics.

"It could be a virus - lets just see how this goes. Rest and call the office if you don't feel better by Monday."

And sometimes, that's okay.

It is NOT okay when I'm looking at him with a small stream of drool falling out of my mouth because my tonsils are so big (and HURTING) that I'm afraid to swallow.

I smiled gently.

Trying to talk with the giganticus owie tonsillicitus in my mouth, I said simply "Ah hoo wick or hids."

He looked puzzled.

I swallowed again. (Cut glass and jagged stone, and how is your day going?) Cleared my throat.

"I will lick your children."

I have the drugs.

Tuesday, 9 May 2006

much less freaking out today

Bear said: If she never learned to talk, would we love her any less?

And snapped me back into perspective. Of course not.

Today we're positive. Today we can beat this. We will. Steve Austin, look out.

We have the tools. We will have the help.

And this isn't a death sentence, like it hit me before.




Thank you all for your well-wishes and commiserations - you have no idea what they meant to me. It helps knowing I have y'all at my back.

Monday, 8 May 2006

the dresden crack'd

I talked to the ECD lady today, just a quick call, setting up R's next appointment.

And now I'm freaking out.

She and I had previously had a discussion where she wasn't sure that ECD would be able to re-admit R as a client because there was only one developmental area in question. She wasn't too concerned and told me she'd talk with the other workers in the office and let me know.

Today she called to set up an appointment. And then:

ECD: It wasn't a hard sell to get R back on the caseload.
M: Good. I'm glad we'll be working with you.
ECD: The problems that we initially admitted her to watch out for - we thought they were resolved but now it looks like they're still there.

R was originally a client because she was deprived of oxygen at birth.
She was discharged because she seemed to be developing normally.

So now we're talking about brain-damage. Brain damage.

And not the Bill Cosby Fatherhood funny stuff.

I know I know I know in my heart of hearts that we'll be okay, that she's developing normally in every other way and this is just something to work through.

But hearing brain damage today?

It broke my heart.

Sunday, 7 May 2006

hide and seek

He still gets so excited about hiding he giggles and peeks and gives his hiding spot away, much to R's delight. (She'd never find him otherwise.)
This kid? He is the best.


C just taught R to blow raspberries. I'm sure I will find this irritating later, however right now they're both laughing like maniacs and enjoying each other, and how could I not love that?

I may actually live through this allergies thing. We'll see.

Saturday, 6 May 2006

eek! i'm melting

I was writing a post about my Thursday, which was busy and hectic and the Day Of A Thousand Car Trips, but then my allergies kicked in and I lost track of the time-space continuum. And now it's Saturday, and how boring would it be to hear about Thursday's going-ons?

So! One more up to the Big Post Hole Up In The Sky.

Today? Today is green and wet and whiny. The kidlets are upset about being cooped up in the house, I'm upset that the allergy medication doesn't seem to be giving me the high it did at three o'clock this morning, and Bear is upset that there is total chaos around him. We're a happy crew!

I may have to go to the grocery store to escape them. How pitiful is that?

Maybe if I brought home something ummy to cook they wouldn't notice me going to bed at three-thirty in the afternoon?

Wednesday, 3 May 2006

yesterday she said uh-oh

Bear is downstairs with R, 'reading' her a book. It's a picture book with one word on the page, and he's repeating 'bottle' over and over and over. My perfect, smart-as-the-dickens, beautiful daughter is having some trouble learning to speak.
The Early Childhood Intervention person that helped so much with C came yesterday and assessed her - she thinks at this point it's a matter of us automatically doing everything she needs when she points, and her brother picking up the slack. "Rosebud wants...." So Miss R hasn't needed to try to talk. I also have a sneaking suspicion she's stubborn - a trait we call independent around here - and just doesn't want to.

She started talking a little late, but it was clear as a bell - her Mamas and Dadas were well-formed and obvious - and we waited for her next word. C was hot to have her say his name and insisted she would whisper it to him at night while they waited for their bath. Bear and I smiled and exclaimed and made quiet bets about what it would be.

And it never came.

The 'phone conversation with Denise (ECD) was a bit surreal. "It's not that she isn't talking" I tried to explain, knowing full well that at eighteen months I could be percieved as jumping the gun, "it's that she doesn't seem to be trying at all."

"Does she say no?" "She's never said no."

It was when we relayed the information that we hadn't heard her say 'Dada' in about a month that the tone of the conversation became worried. Dropping words or 'regressing' wasn't good.

The actual appointment was slow to start. R froze like a cornered animal and refused to make a sound or move in front of Denise. It took her almost twenty minutes to relax enough to where she'd take a yellow ball from D's hand, and another ten before she'd make any sounds at all. Denise worked with her over and over trying to get her to make the 'buh' sound (bag, ball, blue, boy, bottle, bunny) and switched to a toy that pulls apart. R watched her with a hint of suspicion crossing over her face. Denise pulled the toy apart (it made a zzzzing! noise) and sing-songed "'uh-oh!" to R, whose eyes and mouth opened wide
of her mouth
(like a pearl)


Bear and I froze. I teared up. Denise just smiled and repeated it again. Rosey said 'Uh-oh' again one more time and then it was back to the pointing and 'unh!'

So now we have a plan. I am to research Pivotal Response Training (actually developed for autistic children, it breaks down into where if she wants something and makes a noise, we 'peat and repeat' the correct word, trying to get her to say it [while judging her frustration levels] before she gets what she wanted) and start some basic sign with her. We also have a Speech referral.

Yesterday - yesterday she said uh-oh.

Tuesday, 2 May 2006

turn the tv OFF

I talked about our different television styles here, but now it has become glaringly obvious we were meant to be a two television family. Tonight....sigh. Tonight C couldn't sleep and came padding downstairs, hoping we'd let him watch television for awhile and he could score some ice cream while we somehow forgot he was there and let him stay up all night. (Well, a smallboy can dream, right?) He plonked his behind on the floor after the obligitory "But I had a bad dream!" conversation was over. The commercial ended, and theme music began to play. Three notes into it I heard his piping little voice say "Daddy, the A-Team is on!"

Wailing commenced...oh wait, that was me.

Monday, 1 May 2006

juicy fruit son

The Boy gets gum from his grandfather. Papa is famous for tucking it into C's pockets before he leaves - it's almost a ritual with them now, like my grandfather used to pull quarters out of my ears.

Today I went out in the kitchen and he was chomping away at a huge mouthful - at least four pieces.

Me: That's an awful lot of gum!
C (chewing frantically and trying not to drool) I need a lot, though.
M: (Giving the Mommy look) That much? Why?
C: For when I blow bubbles.
M: You don't know how to blow bubbles, though.
C: (eye roll - my kid is practicing to be a teenager) I need it for when you teach me, Mommy.

what happened - or is happening

Rie Fujii (Dominick and Gemini's mother) is currently serving an eight year prison term in Alberta. When that is over she will be deported and will (most certainly) go home to Japan, where her wealthy family will put her in a mental institution.

Some of the newspaper articles say she left them for ten days.

Google her name, if you want the rest of the story. This happened the same year as the Andrea Yates horror - WHY don't people accept that sometimes mothers need help?

And how can people treat their children like they're disposable?

Yarn over and over

Someone, an old babysitter maybe, taught me to crochet when I was six. I remember making long braided loops of yarn and thinking how pretty ...