Wednesday, July 29, 2009

She's got the look

Check out my little girl... isn't she stylin'? The other day she put her rubber boots on, grabbed her hat and deposited it on her head. Then she turned to me and asked, "Mãe, pi-ture?"

Which, of course means, "dearest Mother, since I am looking so grand at the moment, would you be ever so kind as to capture it photographically for prosperity's sake?"

Rain boots and a bucket hat. Trust me, everyone will be wearing this style come fall.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Et voilà. This one's for you, Maria. Proof. Baby steps out the door...

Oh, and you may remember when I wrote about my foray back into the wonderful world of athletics. I had so many excuses as to why I shouldn't play softball (I'm out of shape, I don't know anyone on the team, it conflicts with Elise's bed time, I'm just a big baby and I'd rather come up with reasons why I can't play than go out and enjoy something I'm actually good at...).

Well, last night, our team (The Naturals) won the Grapevine Summer Softball League Championship. As Elise would say, "go go team!"

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Taking the stroller outside

I've said it before, in this post, that if I were a super hero my name would probably be something like Miss Meticulous. As much as I would like to think of myself as a zany, crazy, spur-of-the-moment type of gal, deep down I know I am just kidding myself.

Lately I've been noticing that the overly anal-retentive side of my personality is creeping up on me, and I'm afraid it's going to take over like a rising tide. If you've ever lived near the ocean then you know what it's like to be playing out on dry sand, and the next thing you know you're knee deep in water and your beach blanket looks very, very far away.

I relish order and, for lack of a better word, cleanliness to my life. And although this is an okay thing in small doses, I don't want it to stop me from living my life.

Elise has this baby doll stroller and she loves to toddle around the house with it. She puts her doll in it and strolls around; clucking her tongue and telling baby, "it s'okay, be-be, it s'okay". Apparently, her baby is suffering from some sort of angst... all the time. The other day she had the idea that it would be fun to take it on our walk with us. You know, outside.

I kneeled down and told her that no, the stroller needs to stay in the house. If we take it outside, the wheels will get dirty, and then track the dirt inside. And I'm the one that will most likely end up carrying it home (I added silently in my brain). As she started protesting violently, as only Elise knows how, I thought about how ludicrous my reasoning was.

But this line of thought is in lock-step with how I've been living my life lately. I refrain from doing things just because it's messy, or hard. The long and the short of it is; it's just easier to keep the stroller at home. If you've been reading for awhile, then you know that my daughter, now 22 months old, was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 12 months. And it has made life hard. And messy. And it has made me afraid.

My day-to-day routine is peppered with "what-ifs". I hate to stray to far away from the house lest something happen with Elise's diabetes. Plus I'm starting to feel like a bloody pack mule with all the stuff I need to carry around for her. And forget travelling. Trying to go through security with all Elise's supplies and food, not to mention what if something happens when we're in the air? Forget it. It's too messy and it's too hard.

But it's dawning on me that I'm not really living my life, I'm hiding from it. Life is messy, it's dirty, and man-oh-man is it hard. But isn't it during those times when you have the most fun?

I can remember when I was 15 or so, I was at my soccer practice one night when the sky opened up and it started to pour. Some of the more adventurous ones on my team thought that was a grand time to practise slide-tackling. In the mud.

I stood on the sidelines and said, "no thank you, I'd rather not have to scoop mud pies out of my shorts" (not those kind of mud pies you dirty, dirty people). But as I watched them, I saw the fun that they were having, I realized that I was missing out, so I took a flying leap into the biggest mud puddle I could find. And yeah I was dirty, but I had a load of chuckles with my team mates that night.

It's a stroller, and what else is it meant for if not for my little girl to take it on a walk around the neighbourhood? So what if the wheels get dirty? It's not like I'm trying to keep it in pristine condition for re-sale on EBay or something. The stroller, like life, is meant to be taken outside and used. And if I end up carrying it, and Elise, and her baby doll for a quarter of a mile; well, so be it. I could use the exercise.

I think what I'm trying to say is that for the past year I've been living my life in a box. Or a hole. Or behind a curtain. Or locked up in a tiny, windowless room with no light or sound being able to penetrate the walls. And I want out.

I want to know what it's like to live again.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Our newest weapon against the telemarketer

When the national Do Not Call Registry came out and we were told that by signing up we would greatly reduce the number of calls from telemarketers, Fred and I were all for it. Lately it doesn't seem to matter that we're on any list, because I probably receive 5 - 8 calls a day from these evil minions of the devil.

Caller ID has helped me weed out a lot of these losers, but if I don't recognise a number and I'm expecting a call; I will answer on the off chance that it's somebody I actually want to talk to.

I always hate getting into conversations with telemarketers because trying to tell them no is like talking to a wall; they don't listen to a word I say, and they prattle on about nothing for what seems like hours.

I don't remember who thought of the idea, so I'll claim it as my own, but Fred and I came up with the ingeniously evil plan to let our very talkative 22-month old field these calls from now on.

Elise LOVES the phone. She'll walk around the house pretending to talk on anything that might vaguely resemble the telephone; a calculator, her blood sugar meter, a kazoo, her hand... she's got words and she's willing to use them.

Usually Fred's and my Mom are Elise's target for her inane conversations. It's awesome. If you're not someone who spends all your waking hours with her, you'll have no idea that when she's telling you, "mocho, Val ouse, ooo-ooo, mocho-mae, mocho-be-be". It means, "we went over to Val's house and she has owls in her backyard! Owls! There's a momma owl and baby owls!"

The girl definitely has her own lingo, and today we got the chance to sic her on a poor, unsuspecting minion, er telemarketer. Fred and I were practically rolling on the floor with laughter. The conversation went something like this:

Hello ma'am, I'm calling from...

Hi Gamma! Avo! Hi! Mmmmmm, where Sewin? (Hi Gramma, Avo= Gramma in Portuguese, where's Seven - our dog)


Vaca, neigh... hi Gamma! Ach o-gurk Gamma! (cow, horse, hi Gramma. I ate yogurt)

Can you...

Where'sa Gamma? Where'sa Gamma? K, bye (Where's Gramma x 2, okay, bye)

At this point she hands us the phone, no longer interested in talking to the person that is most definitely NOT Gramma. It was so great, I cannot even describe how excited I am for the next telemarketer to call. This time, I need to put it on speaker phone and catch it all on video.

And I'm thinking of taking our name off of the Do Not Call Registry. You can never have too much laughter in your life.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tip of the iceberg

They say that only about 10% of an iceberg is visible above water. Well, Thursday was my tip of the iceberg day; minuscule compared to what was going to follow.

Most of it has been detailed on my other blog because a lot of it had to do with diabetes. But here is some of what I've been dealing with:

I've been sick since Saturday with what has been determined as a sinus infection. Nay, the mother of ALL sinus infections. Sore throat, fever, muscle aches, the chills, sinus pain and pressure, head ache and now laryngitis; this puppy has had it all and left no stone unturned. Today I have absolutely no voice left and yet I'm still trying to yell at my child.

Yesterday I had the fun adventure of running out of gas. You can read the whole story here. I do have to give a huge thank you to the wonderful guys from the Irving Fire Department for all their help. Yay firemen!

Elise still has some mystery rash that seems to appear when we take her outside in the heat (not heat rash though). The doc said it looks like hives and is probably an allergic reaction. My child is allergic to the heat and we live in Texas. Now I know we're not meant to live here.

We're also going through some fun times of major sleep issues (Elise), and major separation anxiety (Fred, I mean, Elise). This has been causing huge stress around here.

I just got a letter back about some blood work I had done, saying my platelets are low, and I need to repeat the test in two months. I don't even know what that means and the letter offers no explanation. And I will not google low blood platelets because I know it will just show me some scary picture and tell me I have cancer or something.

The last two times I have bought milk for Elise, there has been something wrong with it when I opened it. Both times the milk has had the consistency of whipped cream, but it doesn't smell spoiled or anything. It was the same brand both times. And yes, I read the label properly and it should have been whole milk. So I've been without milk for Elise for two days now, and not able to run to the store to buy some. But I must say thanks to my sweet friend Liz, who brought some milk buy this morning when she came to visit. Yay Liz!

And now Fred has gone to NYC until Friday, leaving me here sick and voiceless with a sleep-deprived, rashy, missing-her-Poppa toddler.

And how has YOUR week been?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Had a Bad Day

To celebrate the suckiness of this day, I decided to title this post with the name of a rather horrific song, just so it would get stuck in your head. Yes, I am evil that way. Impolite and evil.

Why did your day suck, Joanne? Because diabetes is a terrible, sucktastic, crappola of a disease and I really wish it could manifest itself as a person so I could kick it in the groin, thank you for asking. And yes, I am well aware that I have a preoccupation with kicking/kneeing/punching people in the groin. What can I say... I grew up with two brothers. Sometimes the best defense is a good offence. Ka-POW!

Anyway, as soon as Fred got home from work, I let him know that for the sake of my sanity and safety of any nearby groins, I was going to have to leave the house allbymyself. I had no destination in mind, I just went.

As is often the case, I wound up at Target. Maybe it was destiny. Maybe it was the wind. Probably it's my deep love and appreciation for the giant red bulls eye. Into Target I went and we all know how cathartic spending money can be. Especially when everything you buy was 50-75% off. It felt good.

I got back into my car and continued my journey to a nearby mall... and didn't run over the man who thought jay-walking across a 6 lane, extremely busy road was a good idea. Not running him over felt good.

I then ran a red light. It was iffy at best if I could have stopped... but I didn't. And it felt good.

In the parking lot of the mall, I didn't make fun of the girl who was wearing one of those stupid scarves around her neck in the 104 degree Texas heat. Well, not out loud anyway. In my brain I had a good chuckle at her expense. Yup, it felt good.

I walked by a Cinnabon, but decided against the ooey, gooey, decedent goodness of a cinnamon roll. And you know what? That felt good.

As did seeing my husband and daughter at the mall because he had brought her there to ride the carousel as a treat. He had no idea that I was there, and in the hour or so that I had been away from them, I found that I missed them.

I also found that a few small feel-good things can totally erase the crap of a bad day.

And you know what? That feels good too.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I Love...

Warning, this post may be a wee bit sarcastic. Oh, who am I kidding. It's going to be alllllll sarcasm, allllll the time. I have a few things I need to get off my chest. I may not be necessarily blessed in that area, but it's carrying a lot of junk right now. Ready? Here goes:

... people who speed up when I put my signal on to get into their lane. Ohhhh, so sorry that I'm impinging on your precious part of the highway. Oh wait, it doesn't belong to you? Then watch out, I'm coming over anyway. Get ready to rear-end me. (I only do this when Elise is NOT with me).

... people who believe that the rules don't apply to them and it's okay to leave their car running while filling up their gas tank. Or talking on the cell phone while pumping gas for that matter. Listen, just because you want to make a run for this year's Darwin Awards, don't take me with you because I have the bad luck of being at the pump next to you.

... people in stores who loudly tell stories of their drunken night out, followed by a drunken drive home, which culminated in them being pulled over and yelling profanities at the police officer. And hey, speaking of the police... they then go on to tell about that time last year when they were pulled over for all those warrants, and how that was soooooo funny. Shut up. My daughter is listening and in a few years will start asking me what "wasted" means. Save that crap for facebook.

... 100+ degree weather in June (I know it's July, I started this post mid-June). I guess hell has expanded it's borders to include Dallas now. It was only a matter of time. Shoot, I guess my property value is going to go to... well, Dallas. Oh, and can I hear a hip, hip, hooray for ozone action red days? Being stuck inside with a wound-up toddler who has only napped for 30 minutes is such great fun.

... people who write in "text speak". I don't have the time, or will-power to read your email asking, "how r u?", or "what's up w/ u 2nite?". And those are just the easy ones. If I wanted to be able to read hieroglyphics, I would have studied Egyptology. Sometimes, I weep for the future.

... the 45-minute Intruder. If you don't know what this is, then you either don't have small children who nap, or you're one of those people whose children take the fabled "three hour nap". In either case I hate you. But not as much as I hate the aforementioned Intruder. Please, please, PLEASE go away and allow my child more than a quarter-of-an-hour of rest. Oh, who am I kidding? It's me! I'm the one who needs the rest...

... commercials, either on TV or radio, in which the announcer has poor pronunciation. Things like saying, "yer" instead of your. Or "fer" instead of for. Unless it's a particular character yer goin' fer, learn to pronounce the words properly.

... people who try to go through the intersection when traffic is backed up and end up sitting in the middle of the intersection when their light has turned red because there is nowhere for them to go. We have one such intersection right near our house, and the other day I had to sit there through two green lights because of the jerkwads who do this. It usually takes all my strength not to get out of my car and get up on the hood of their car; jumping up and down while screaming at them. Yes, I am well aware I have an anger problem... and? At least I write about it instead of actually doing it.

Okay, time to end this lest all the sarcasm explodes my brain or something. Plus Elise has already slept her allotted 45 minutes. Sigh.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Daily Picture Reject #10

I know every parent thinks their child is the be-all-and-end-all-oh-my-goodness-have-you-EVER-seen-a child-more-adorable-than-this-cutest-thing-in-the-entire-known-universe. I know I do.

Mostly because random strangers come up and tell us this. A lot. One person even told me that my daughter should be doing commercials because she would buy whatever Elise is selling.

After convincing myself that I should not exploit this person's good taste by telling her that Elise is, in fact, selling water-front property on the moon and if she could just make the cheque out to cash, thankyouverymuch; I pondered a career in acting for my daughter but quickly decided it was not a good idea (Fred said no).

But just look at the above Daily Picture Reject. Just look at how excited Elise is about those nose drops she's holding. Wouldn't you buy a saline nasal rinse system from that face?

Just make the cheque out to cash, if you don't mind.

I haven't posted one of these in awhile, so here's the official explanation:
For those of you unsure what the Daily Picture Reject is: Fred and I take a daily picture of Elise. Rather, I do. This is not because we are prepping our daughter for a life as a super model. It is simply a way to hold onto memories as time slips by at ultra-sonic speed. It's also pretty cool to see how much she has changed in 669 days. After I take the picture, I email it to Fred, who then posts it on his website. It usually takes about 10 to 15 shots to get just the right picture. I am not what you would call a stellar photographer, so about 25% of those are completely unusable. Then there are always one or two that crack me up, but aren't suitable for the daily picture. Hence, the Daily Picture Reject!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Doing my part for the economy

I think I've said it before on this blog, but I love a good deal. Seriously, I've never done drugs and will never need to because all I need to do to get high is buy a cute pair of jeans at 80% off.

Last night, with Fred and my dear daughter in tow, I went to a bunch of stores and hit the motherload. I did so well that I decided to post a picture of all my bounty and how much I saved.

In this picture:
*double-sided tape
*two shirts for Elise from Old Navy
*a paint set for Elise
*a package of 14 bracelets (for Elise)
*some cool plastic jungle animals
*Crayola markers
*L'Oreal face cleanser
*Ponds face towelettes
*Ziploc snack bags
*Fusion gift set (razor, shaving gel, hydrating gel, body wash, and deodorant)

So how much do you think all this originally cost? $53.81

How much do you think I paid? $12.72

It might take me days to come down off of this one.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Freddie get your gun

On Tuesday, we went to a Ranger's game and sat with some friends of ours. Jade and Michael have a little boy, Preston, who is about 3 1/2. Elise and Preston were so cute hanging out; sitting beside each other and holding hands. At one point we look over and Elise has Preston's face in her hands and is looking like she's leaning in for a kiss. GASP! Where did my almost 22-month old learn THAT? The kiss never came to fruition, but it made us laugh.

Isolated incident? It doesn't seem that way...

Today, at open gym playtime, Elise is hanging out on one of the floor mats playing with a boy who looks to be about 3 or 4. I turned around to say something to my friend, and when I look back, Elise is pulling the same move as she did on Preston. And the little boy has this huge grin on his face and doesn't seem to be minding it at all! Again, the kiss never happened, but jeez!

I think she must take after her father... he's told me stories of wanting to play "house" with his little girl friends when he was 5 or 6 because he liked getting to kiss his "wife". I mostly chased boys so I could punch them when I was that age.

I think I need to have a little talk with my daughter.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day to all my Canadian peeps out there! Now if only I could find me a good ol' hockey game, my touque, an Aero bar and a bag of ketchup chips; then I would be one happy Canuck.