Thursday, April 30, 2009

Happy Birthday Freddie, now here's your present...

My first crush was Johnny Depp's character from 21 Jumpstreet, Tom Hanson. Tom was dark, he was brooding, and best of all; he was complicated. I quickly realized that the type of guy I was attracted to had those qualities and more. I loved the artistic type; a musician or painter, who often got lost in his own thoughts, only to emerge days later with an epic new poem. He could serenade me on his lute and loved to philosophize over tea about life, the universe and everything.

If you know my husband, the type of guy I just described is the complete antitheses of Fred. So why is Fred my husband and not Officer Tom Hanson?

Well, number one, Tom Hanson is a fictional character. And while reality and I sometimes appear as though we are just mere acquaintances, I am not crazy. And number two, if I had married a guy like the one I described above, he'd be dead and buried in my backyard by now.

It's not them, it's me. As much as I love creative people, I just don't want to spend the rest of my life with one. The more I got to know "creative-type" guys, the more I realized that they sort of lived in their own world, by their own rules, and by their own watch. And they pretty much drove me crazy with all their meanderings and what-not.

So I married Fred. And got everything I needed in a husband and more. So what kind of husband is Fred? I'm glad you asked...

He's the type of husband that takes our daughter out every Saturday and Sunday morning; not only to give me a break, but because he loves spending that one-on-one time with Elise. He's the type of husband that cleans up the kitchen every night after dinner. He knows how to make me laugh, how to put a smile on my lips, and after 12 years together can still make my pulse race. He loves to surprise me, and spends most of his fun money bringing me little gifts. I don't think I've ever met anyone as generous as Fred.

He can wrap a present like nobody's business, which really has no real-world application unless you're working at a booth in the mall during Christmas. I'm just sayin' that my presents always look really purty-like.

He doesn't always get me, but he loves me anyway; despite my long list of quirks. Actually, I think he loves me because of them. He's honest, hard-working, funny, an AMAZING father, an INCREDIBLE husband, and let's not deny it; handsome and sexy as the day is long.

You know that episode of Seinfeld where George does the complete opposite of what he normally would do, and his whole life turns around for the better? Well, I guess in this case, by marrying Fred, I "pulled a George". Wow, that kinda sounds dirty...

This post was supposed to be so much more; I wanted to wax poetic (and perhaps write my own epic poem to be accompanied by a lute player) about how great a man, husband and father Fred is. Unfortunately, life once again, has reared its frantic head; making it impossible to devote the time and effort to this that I had wanted to. This post sounded so much better in my head. Everything sounds so much better in my head.

Maybe I'll start writing next years birthday post tomorrow.

Anyway, happy birthday Freddie! Thanks for being who you are and exactly who I was meant to be with.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bad Poo

Those of you who know me well, know that I have a penchant for poop talk. I think I've written many times on this blog that poo makes me laugh. So when is poop not so funny?

When it inhibits your daughter from taking her nap, that's when. Elise and I have discussed this many times. No bowel movements between the hours of 1:00 - 3:00 pm. I also have a no night-poop policy in place as well.

I knew I was in trouble today when about 20 minutes after I put her down for her nap, I could hear her chattering away to herself. Elise usually falls asleep about 5 minutes after I put her down, so I knew it had to be something.

And I smelled that something as soon as I opened her door. So I got her up, changed her (with the lights off, no less), and put her back down; all in the span of about 60 seconds. But of course, she decides that it must be time to get up and is not too happy about being put back in her crib.

Yes, I am sitting here blogging, while my child is wailing away.

I am soooooo mad at you, poo.

Edited to add: Yay, she finally fell asleep. I think she only cried for about 10 minutes, but it felt like forever. Sleeeeeeeeep, little bean!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Now with even MORE sugar...

I poured orange juice on my cereal this morning. And what made it so incredibly sucktastic was that it was the last of the cereal and I needed a quick breakfast. So I poured out the juice, added milk, and ate it anyway.

And it was gooooooooooood.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The PlayHaus that Fred Built

My husband and I are the type of people that talk about a lot of stuff we should do/need to do. For example; we should really buy a decent barbeque (or grill as Texans call it), we need to go on a fun vacation somewhere, we should start researching cars in the likely event that one of our cars bites the dust (after all, mine is 10 years old, and Fred's is 13 years old). The list is long and the journey to get through it; arduous. And for some reason, none of it ever ends up happening. Mostly because life keeps popping up and getting in the way of our grand plans.

One such thing we talked about a few months ago was, "we should really get a fun play set for Elise." This was back in March, and Elise had been living with diabetes for 6 months. A lot of people do something for the year anniversary, but I had it in my head that Elise needed a play set now. You see, Elise loves going to the park, but sometimes, with the very strict schedule we're on, it just doesn't fit into our plans. So if we couldn't go to the park, we would make the park come to us.

So I started looking at Craigslist, and when I realized the beating it would be to find some poor soul who would help us (and hopefully owned a pick-up), schlep all the way out to some place like Mansfield (because there were no good play sets listed nearby), tear down the set, bring it home and re-assemble it, perhaps sans instructions, I decided there must be a better way.

Our answer came by the way of a Toys R Us flyer; we saw that they had one of the play sets I had researched on-line, for $100 off! This time all we needed was the help of a poor soul with a pick-up.

When Fred brought the packages home and we had opened them up, we saw that this was going to be no easy task. The instructions said it would take about 8 hours with two people. Yeah, if those two people were Superman and Batman (known for their play set building ability), and we lived in Bizarro World where time travelled backwards.

There were about 100 pieces of wood and about twice as many screws. But all the pieces belonged to different groups, so I set about sorting and labelling the wood and the screws; a job which took over an hour.

Which is nothing compared to the hours that Fred toiled over this thing. It took over three weeks, but this amazing Poppa built the whole thing pretty much by himself and all by hand (no power tools). He worked late into the night by flashlight, on weekends; whenever he could find a spare moment. His muscles ached and he wound up with blisters the size of quarters on his hands, but he never complained and never gave up. He sure loves his little girl.

So I present to you... the PlayHaus That Fred Built (I like the word haus - it's jaunty). Elise LOVES it and you just can't beat the proximity to our house!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Hello, My name is Joanne. You have soiled my house. Prepare to die.

I'm at war with my house and I'm losing. Attacks are coming from all sides; armies of dust bunnies from the north, battalions of dishes lie due east, and two squadrons of dog fur are charging me from the southwest. Now I know how Napoleon felt at Waterloo. Maybe I'll too, have a dessert named after me. As long the two key ingredients are meringue and mini eggs, I'm okay with that.

I know people that have a cleaning service come out to their house every so often and clean, but I am just so not okay with that. I don't like the idea of a stranger poking around in my business. Not that I have anything to hide... but what if one day, I do? "No, no... that's not a dead body. He's just sleeping. Hey look, is that Zac Efron?"


Now I have two somethings to hide.

Plus what if the cleaning person comes in and tries to usurp my position as wife and mother? It could totally happen. Haven't you ever seen The Hand that Rocks the Cradle? Okay, I know that was a nanny, but I think cleaning people can be just as devious. If it can happen in a movie, it can happen in real life.

Besides, I think I can win this war. Now that I've lulled the mess, clutter, dirt and grime into a false sense of security with my lack of cleaning action, I'm going to launch a sneak attack on them à la the Trojan Horse at Troy.

And my battle cry shall be, "Remember the Windex!"

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Normally Strange or Strangely Normal?

During my Mom's recent visit, I unearthed an old swimming report card while we were going through my baby book. There, among the chunky baby pictures and photos where I'm not wearing any pants (and my God there are a lot of them), I found a truth that has defined me for so many years. The date on this report card would put me at almost 4 years old, and the teacher wrote, as delicately as she could, “Joanne is a very different little girl.”

Thunk. Those words leapt off the pea-soup coloured page and smacked me in the forehead. It's something I've known about myself just about forever, but I never knew other people saw it too ... especially when I was that young. When I asked my Mom about it she said, “you always did march to your own beat.”

I've always known that I lived somewhere outside the borders of normal. While other little girls played house, or with dolls, I was out pretending to be a ninja, climbing trees, playing with G.I. Joes and beating up boys. All at the same time. I thought poop and fart noises were funny. I hated dolls. Barbie and My Little Ponies were for weenies. In fact, I remember one day when my older brother stole (gasp) the head off a Barbie doll at a department store. He brought it home, cut off all her hair and dyed what was left green with kool-aid. We called her “Boobie”. That was the respect I had for dolls. I didn't care that Kirk Cameron was dreamy, or that NKOTB was cool.

As I got older, I think I got weirder. In my twenties if I had taken out a personal ad, instead of reading, “I like candle light dinners and holding hands while walking barefoot on the beach”, mine would have read, “Loves hurtling down icy cold rapids in a raft, hockey, and drinking Earl Grey Tea.”

It's the tea that makes me a lady.

All this self aggrandizing drivel to say normal and I were never well acquainted. Looking back I now realize that if it was popular, I hated it. I'm still that way, for the most part, but I have noticed a strange trend. Weird is now cool ... the more different you are, the higher your score on the coolness scale. Bizarre hairstyles are now trendy. Fauxhawk anyone? Wearing clashing couture is now the norm. Pink goes with red. Wear your polka dots with stripes, if you please. It's a free-for-all in the fashion world! Music that would have been listened to only by indie aficionados is now downloaded by the masses. Thank you Al Gore for inventing the Internet.

Looking at my life now, I think I've immigrated to normal. I'm a stay at home mom who loves looking after her family. A good day for me is taking Elise to story time at the library and scoring a great deal at Target. It seems everyone around me is getting weirder, and I'm becoming more normal. Or does that make normal the new weird? I have a headache. I'd better go watch my soaps and eat my bon-bons.

And for the record... poop still makes me laugh.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Who takes care of the care takers?

I'm sick. I had a sneaking suspicion that this was the case, and it was confirmed on Saturday when I received the diagnoses of a sinus infection. For me to give in and go see a doctor, means it has to have reached a point of terminal velocity (can you use that term to describe illness? I don't care, it sounds cool). And it had... I'll spare you (most of) the details, but you can't find the colour of some of the stuff I coughed up in nature. It was that gross.

It's not the total down-for-the-count kind of sick, but it has been going on for a little while and it's starting to take it's toll on my body. I feel like I'm walking through a giant mass of gelatinous goo with shoes that weigh at least ten pounds each, all the while wearing titanium body armour. And carrying about 10 extra pounds that I must have gained from all the mini eggs I have eaten since Easter candy went on sale. I'm tired, my body is tired, and all I really want to do is lay on the floor, with Elise within arms reach because I'm sure not moving too quickly if she gets into anything.

But no, it just doesn't work that way. Because there is laundry to do, mail to open and file, meals to make, a dog to feed, diabetes to treat, a house to clean, grocery lists to compile, bills to pay, coupons to cut, so on and so forth for evermore, ad infinitum.

It doesn't seem fair, does it? When Fred is sick, he gets to take the day off, stay home and lie on the sofa. When I am sick, I get to stay home and... well, pretty much do everything that I normally do in a day. Momma don't get no sick days.

I'm not saying that Fred doesn't do his share. In fact, he is the antithesis of the stereo-typical husband. When he is home, he goes above and beyond in helping out and I know I am so blessed to have a guy like that. Unfortunately, since we are not independently wealthy (or even dependently wealthy for that matter), Fred has to work, and life must go on.

So I'm slogging through as best as I can, but I honestly don't know how much longer my poor body can put up with this. It doesn't help that Elise has been sick too, which as I posted earlier, makes caring for her diabetes so difficult. I'm mentally and physically exhausted.

In a perfect world, we would have some sort of "Mommy Charter", dictating that when one of us is down for the count, others would step in to help out, giving Moms everywhere the peace of mind that they too, can have sick days.

In fact, when I become president of my own sovereign island nation (which will happen when I purchase said island - preferably a deserted one), I will invoke this idea into law. If you want citizenship to this heretofore unnamed nation, you must pass an IQ test, a personality test, smell nice, and listen to good music. The president has spoken.

Sickie Update

Elise's fever is gone, but we're still dealing with a lot of snot and a cough. This is causing her numbers be crazy-all-over-the-place and it's driving me mad. She's also been having ketones, which is not a good thing. To make matters worse, I was diagnosed with a bad sinus infection on Saturday, and I now seem to have contracted whatever Elise has. She's a giver, that girl.

And the cherry on top? Fred is leaving tomorrow morning and will be gone through Sunday. Grumble, grumble, grumble.

I've got a case of the Mondays on a Thursday.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Team Elise

I posted this on my other blog, but also thought it was worth mentioning here...

We're starting to get things organized for this year's JDRF's Walk to Cure Diabetes in the DFW area! We will be taking part in the Irving walk on Saturday, September 26, 2009 (9 AM). If you are interested in joining Team Elise for the 5K walk, would like to make a personal donation to JDRF on behalf of Team Elise or would like your business to sponsor Team Elise, please click

Last year the walk was only three weeks after Elise was diagnosed, but we still took part and raised over $3000... how amazing is that? Our goal this year is $5000. If you have the means, please join us either by donating, or walking with Team Elise!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night

A few days ago I told Fred I wanted to have a weekend where we had nothing planned. Our weekends are usually so hectic and packed with things, that I go to bed Sunday night exhausted instead of refreshed. I use my week to get over my weekend.

So our calendar was free, save for a little visit to Nash Farm for their Spring Event. They had pony rides, a petting zoo, hay rides, and a bunch a farm animals wandering around for the kids to pet.

I noticed when we took her home for lunch that she seemed a bit warm, but I attributed it to being out in the sun. I meant to take her temperature, but with all the other stuff I have to take care of for her, it slipped my mind.

I didn't think of it again until after dinner, when she was sitting next to me on the sofa and I could feel the heat radiating off of her. She didn't seem sick, in fact she was full of beans, so I wasn't all that worried when I took her temperature.

To my surprise, she rang in at 103.4. With Elise having diabetes, it really complicates things. So I called her pedi, who quickly suggested we take her to the ER. WHAT???

So about 45 minutes later we're sitting in the ER at Children's. Elise is screaming because that's her response to anything that looks remotely medical. Really, with all she's been through, can you blame her? They gave her an IV, some Motrin for the fever, and ran a bunch of tests; including a urine culture. Everything came back okay, which makes them think it's a viral infection. We finally got to go home around midnight.

This morning the fever is gone, but her blood sugar is sky-high and she has ketones. But she seems to be okay and is eating well, so it's sort of a mystery. Obviously something is going on that's affecting her sugar levels.

Please pray for our little girl, that she get over what she has quickly, and get her levels back to normal.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

She's watching me

My daughter is watching me.

Elise started imitating us at a very early age. I don't remember her exact age, but I do remember how it made my heart melt. First she would copy the sounds that we made. Then, our facial expressions. I think she was about 10 months old when she picked up the telephone and held it up to her ear; pretending to talk to someone.

The other day I was in the bathroom, completing my morning ritual of getting ready. Elise was standing beside me, intently watching. As I was putting cream on my face, I could see her out of the corner of my eye, copying every move I made. She rubbed her hands together, then mimicked smoothing the cream over her cheeks and onto her neck.

Next, I started to brush my teeth. And again she pantomimed my actions, complete with sh-sh noises, using her finger as the toothbrush. Her joy was apparent and she seemed to revel in doing everything Momma was doing.

I kept watching her as I reached for my hairbrush. She grabbed a discarded comb and we brushed our hair in tandem; Elise standing on her tippy-toes trying to catch a glimpse of herself in the mirror.

My daughter is watching me. And if she's imitating the very mundane details of my life; just what is she seeing and copying when it comes to what is important?

How I treat people.
The things I place value in.
How well I love.
My words versus my actions.
How I spend my time.
The words that I use.

I could write more; it is a seemingly endless list. But I worry that she sees the worst in me, not the best. More than anything, I want her to see Jesus in me. The Jesus that is kind, and gentle. Who loves well, and not just the people who are easy to love. The Jesus whose yes means yes and no means no. The Jesus who died on a cross to save the ones He loves.

Some days I just don't see that person in the mirror when I'm getting ready in the morning. Old habits die hard and I need to remember.

She's watching me.