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Thursday, March 27, 2008

It was my birthday yesterday two days ago (happy 37 to me!) and I was so touched when I discovered this bouquet delivered to my doorstep.Not from my husband, though flowers are his stand-by. But from a friend I haven't seen in over three years who took me completely by surprise. I met Martha when we lived in Las Vegas. She and her family left that city shortly after we did and moved to Arizona, and in the midst of all the transitions we have both gone through since we both lived in Vegas we have only managed to keep in touch sporadically. But, girlfriends, this is proof of how a simple gesture can mean so much, no matter how long it's been.

Martha is one of those people I could meet up with tomorrow and talk like it was just yesterday that we last saw each other. I have collected a few of those over the years, and I hope to collect even more. They can join me in my heavenly neighborhood. The more the merrier.

The timing was divine. I had just gotten home from an appointment with Sean-Peter where he had finally been officially recognized as having verbal apraxia. Even though it confirmed what I knew to be true, I was realizing a little part of me was hoping to be told I was wrong. These flowers brought me so much brightness, bringing me out of my own little world and back out to this great, big, brilliant one that we all share, where a little guy having a speech disorder, really, is not the end. But I'll write more about that another time.

Olivia hardly believes us when we tell her it's Spring, but these fresh flowers brightening up our space seemed to her proof that it really is here, no matter the temperature outside. She has held on to this hope of Spring for so long, anticipating the flowers that will bloom where she plants them. She was reluctant to believe me when I explained to her that these flowers will not thrive if she transplants them into dirt, no matter how much attention she showers on them. We discussed the meaning of a "floral arrangement".

And she took it to heart, as I discovered when, throughout the day, flower by flower, my birthday arrangement transitioned to Olivia's.
She started out slowly. But surely, by the end of the afternoon, my arrangement was looking rather decimated. And hers was looking, well, rather good?

I mean, really. For a five-year-old, don't you think?

She took her arrangement up to her room, where of course they were eventually knocked over and the water spilled onto the carpet. She picked them up and readily rearranged them, but I think she forgot to replenish the water, now that I'm sitting here thinking about it. I suppose we'll need to review some of the finer nuances of a "floral arrangement".

In the meantime, John came through with his own birthday brightness, and I tidied up what I had left from the other.

After John got home, Olivia lavishly bestowed him with a flower from her arrangement, "This is for you, daddy!" with nary a word about its origin or how she acquired it. When I asked her if she wanted some of the flowers from the ones that daddy brought home, she stated, like it was so obvious, "No, I have my own."

And she does, as do I.


I originally posted this last night (which means that, yes, I have been 37 for two days now)(and, yes, I also happen to share my birthday with that cutie-patootie Jason Castro on American Idol who is so adorable I just want someone to make him into a bobblehead so I can attach him to my dashboard), and almost immediately someone linked a trojan virus to it in the form of a comment. Besides all the things that I'd like to say about people who HAVE NO LIFE and do these kinds of things for their own demented pleasure, suffice it to say I have finally succumbed and implemented some security measures on the comment form.

Can anyone tell me how you delete a comment on your own blog that someone else posted? I just deleted the whole dang post; luckily I had the sense to copy it first. Because, really, on this dreary, dreary, rainy day, computer viruses and all, I needed to be reminded to literally stop and enjoy the flowers. Which is, of course, what will eventually follow this downpour. They always do.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Finally, what you've all been waiting for, Olivia's room.

Just as a reminder, here's a look at the wall color Before:

And here it is After, not a tobacco stain in sight:Photos never, ever, do a color justice, but trust me: It's beautiful.

I gave Olivia a little bit of control over the color. That is, I narrowed it down to two shades and had her pick between the two.

I tend to lean toward darker color, but Olivia picked the lighter, Sherwin Williams' Shagreen. And I'm really glad she did. I think the Ryegrass would have been too dark and not girly enough for the space.

It still needs accessorized, but we're working on that. So far I've taken the one idea from my sister about hanging up wooden letters that make up her name. Olivia worked hard to paint them red, her favorite color. I think it's really important you stick out your tongue while you do that.

It seemed to work, because she did quite a decent job. A little light sanding and a second coat and they'll be good to go.

Incidentally, this is a picture I took outside Olivia's window while I was painting her room.

And here's one I just took five minutes ago.

There seems to be a trend here. It must be all that global warming. The steady rain we've been having the last 48 hours? Just turned into a heavy, wet, wet snow. In the five minutes it took me to download this photo and type this up, the ground is lightly covered.

I guess I spoke too soon.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Snow Bunny

It's a balmy 51 degrees outside, but it's going to take a bit more for the near-record (13 inches?) snowfall to completely melt away. This was just taken today. Everytime I think I have that hat put away it pops up again like a bad habit.

Olivia is the quintessential snow bunny. So befitting with Easter around the corner. Temperature permitting, she will be out making snow castles, "drawing" in the snow, digging, shoveling, piling, poking ... watching her this morning reminded me that we are definitely going to need to get some kind of sand box for our yard. When there is no snow, sand will definitely do. It's the main thing that keeps her outside.

This little guy, on the other hand, came home from preschool completely tuckered out.

No more playing outside for him. Instead I sat him down in front of his favorite "Little Einsteins," always good for what ails you. The novelty of taking the bus seems to have worn off; the sweet man who serves as the bus aide told me that he was quite fussy coming home today, moaning and crying what he could manage in between yawns.

It's no wonder -- daylight savings time seems to have had a negative effect: instead of sleeping in that extra hour, he's running in the opposite direction and waking up an hour earlier. Don't you know I'm loving that. Can someone remind me again why it is that we have daylight savings? What is it, exactly, that we're saving?

Too bad Conner and I have to go get our cavities filled this afternoon and I can't lie down with the little guy for my own nap. Maybe I can manage some shut-eye in the dentist's chair. I'm not sure what that says about me, that I would look forward to relaxing while getting shot up with novocaine. Shouts out that I'm a Mother of Preschoolers, I suppose. Go figure.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

"It's the Sun, Stupid"

I may be going out on a limb here, but I really think this is going to be the last winter storm of the season. This is the view that greeted me out of my kitchen window at 7:00 this morning.

The drifts were already building up quite nicely.
It's been doing this since yesterday morning. And the thing is? It doesn't show any signs of letting up like it was supposed to.
In fact, it's snowing even harder.
And harder.
The forecast says 3-5 inches of snow. But that looks like, um, a little more?

At least it provides some insulation.

And I'm just glad I don't have to be out in it, like some people.Conner went to his friend Justin's last night for his first sleepover there. I hope they like him.

John shoveled the walk, just in case they don't.
So much for that.
And it looks like the sleepover has turned into a weekendover.

Painting photos are coming soon. I triple-dog promise.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Trip to the Dentist

We had just pulled into the parking lot at the dentist's office when Olivia says, "Mommies aren't smart, are they?"

"Um, they aren't?"

"Well, some mommies aren't smart."

"Is your mommy smart?"


"Well, just a little, little bit smart." She said this last part while squinting through her two little fingers for emphasis.

She's a real ego boost, that one. But about an hour later I was thinking that she'd given me more credit than was due. One of the cavities she needed filled? Um, the tooth was almost abscessed? and she ended up having to get it capped instead? Yea, my little girl with a pirate's tooth. The dentist said another week and a half or so it would have started hitting the nerves and we probably would have lost it altogether. Just call me mom of the year.

The poor thing. Afterward we hit Kroger's and did a little PTSD impulse shopping. I think it was just as much for me as for her. Ice cream and popsicles and stickers and balloons and a stuffed puppy dog and unicorn on a leash because that's just what we need is more stuffed animals in this house.

The dentist said she did quite wonderfully -- I'm sure they've seen some doozies go through there. And I've been very impressed with this pediatric dentist; he really has a way with children and even successfully cleaned Sean-Peter's teeth! and with nary a tear or cry of protest. But come on -- Olivia got a cap.

I'm not quite so crazy as to take a picture of my little girl immediately following such a traumatic ordeal. She may have been fine in the office, but you know how it is once it's done and they see their mom and all of a sudden realize that they really didn't like what just happened and how could you do this to me?

But I did take one once we got home. Because she sure knows how to milk it.But it's amazing what a little ice cream can cure.

Dentist: $282.00

Comfort shopping: $24.50

My little girl's smile: priceless.


And Carmen -- I promise that pictures of Olivia's room are coming SOON! We've just had so many other exciting things going on here, what with losing moles and almost losing teeth and whatnot. And I like the idea that I've got you sitting on the edge of your seat in anticipation. I'd be a little nervous that you might not like the color, but it's so lovely I just know you will.

Monday, March 3, 2008


I'm three months late getting my six-month dermatology check-up since my melanoma was taken out last summer. Conner had a check-up, too, as he is just a moley kinda kid and had his first one taken out last summer, too -- his first mole, that is. Thankfully it wasn't melanoma. But now, thanks to his mom (and her mom) for giving him his family history there are likely a few more mole removals in store for him in his future.

Already he is scheduled to have two more removed. This time from his arm and back. The one on his arm, really, was beginning to bother him; he is at that age of uber self-consciousness, and he said people at school were starting to make comments about it. It has been changing, getting more prominent and growing in irregular size, not to mention that raw reddish tone that makes it look like it's sunburned -- all motivators for going under the knife. The one on his back is your classic "halo nevi".
My amateurish camera and mad photo skillz wash these photos out just a tad, so you have to use a bit of imagination. But you still get the idea of the "halo" effect.

They used to remove these halo naevi as a matter of course, but now they only deem it necessary when other factors are present. See those different colors in there? Most notably the darker irregularly shaped blob in the middle? Yea.

The dermatologist went ahead and took one off my own back right then and there. It was small and shallow and could be "scooped" -- a few pricks of general anesthesia and a minute later it's gone. Much akin to nicking yourself with the razor. Albeit a rather big nick.
It really doesn't look like much, but the color is irregular. (Except the purple. That's the doctor's markings, I promise.) And really, with my recent history, there's no sense in waiting. Because it will keep changing. I'm half-tempted just to have them take off every mole on my body right now, just to cut to the chase. Even though today I learned that they can grow back. Because a mole I had removed at least fifteen years ago? There's another one there, in the scar, like.

But I'll spare you the photo. I do have my limits. Although you're missing out, I tell you what. I had a doctor and two interns and a technician all crowded around me like I was a specimen under a micoscope. I was quite the popular gal. You should be jealous.

I debated whether to give the wave-off at the beginning of this in case anyone is squeamish about this sort of thing. But I decided it really is an important topic about which everyone should have some knowledge. So my apologies if anyone was grossed out before they could look away. You'll get over it.

It is very, very important to keep on top of any changes that might occur in your own moles, as well as those of your children -- even ones on your spouse that they can't easily see, especially on the back. When I called attention to my mole last year, the one that ended up being melanoma, the physician was not impressed. She subtly discouraged me from having it removed as it would leave an unsightly scar in a fairly prominent area (my forearm).

When she called me three weeks later with the results she was duly respectful and readily congratulated me for looking out for myself. I for one was readily confounded that I was right: I mean, no one wants to be right about something that might be cancerous. I like to think I was one more notch in her belt that will cause her to pause and lend respect for her patients and their instincts about their bodies.

And now that I finally gotten around to getting Conner and me our first dermatologist appointment since we moved, I am resolved to stay more on top of this by simply taking photos of our moles every six months or so as a way of documenting any possible changes. I think they'll make a fabulous scrapbook someday. But I promise I won't blog about them.

At least not for another six months.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Recent Olivia-isms

Olivia's crying upstairs finally brings her daddy up from his study in the basement.

"I hear you crying up here."

"Yea, it was loud enough for mommy to hear it."

"But it's too loud and you don't need to do that."

"Yea, it was so loud, my room started to copy it."


"Oh man! I can’t get my poop to come out!"

..."Well, sometimes you have to sit there and wait a couple of minutes."

"No! My poop is stuck in there!"


"Sometimes I have to hold my breath a little to make my poop come out."


Out of the blue in the grocery aisle, not quietly:

"Some people are old, and some people are regular looking."


Near tears, "Conner, why didn't you bring me my po'corn! You confused me! You made me so sad!"


Ah, Olivia. We're still waiting for her to come out of her shell, that one. We really wish she would let us know how she's feeling once in a while.