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Monday, May 11, 2009

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If you're not in a mood to be reading something written by someone in a mood, just step away from the computer now. I'm on a roll...and I'm not apologizing.

Okay...so its not Friday. I get that. But I was busy on Friday - birthday party preps, people looking at the house, summer baseball...
That's my excuse.
So instead of Friday we're going to try a Monday version of the roundup. But I'm warning you now - I'm in a mood. If you're not in a mood to be reading something written by someone in a mood, just step away from the computer now. I'm on a roll...and I'm not apologizing.
That's all I have to say.
If you're still with me, grab your ten-gallon, nab your horse, cinch up the saddle and don your favorite pink, paisley bandana. It's time for the Lazy T Roundup.

This one's a long one too...you may want to bring provisions.
Oh! And add a nice treat for the cows, because Anya says we've been mean. Mean, mean, mean...and we need to say we're sorry! Those cows didn't do anything to get chased after, tackled to the ground and shot in the butt with a needle the size of your arm. They have feelings you know.
I'm thinking Anya's daddy needs to have a talk with her. A vet's daughter can't go around talking like that. Its bad for business. ;>)

1. SPEAKING OF MEAT -
Since we've decided to move back to Kansas I've been trying to limit my grocery shopping - using up the stuff we have here. No use in packing up a bunch of boxes of macaroni and cheese if I don't have to.
In my effort to conserve, I started emptying out the downstairs freezer the other day when I came across four packages of hot dogs...that's on top of the four I have in the upstairs freezer. Good grief - we don't even eat very many hot dogs. I just bought four packages the last time around because they were on sale and its almost summer - although you wouldn't know it in Grab-Your-Lasso. Now I have to go through eight packages of hot dogs in less than a month.
Guess what the kids are having for supper tonight? :)

2. ON THE SUBJECT OF FOOD - Something arrived on my doorstep the other day and it was the best thing I've seen in a VERY. LONG. TIME.
I was so excited!
It finally came...my Excalibur Dehydrator.
I know, I know...it doesn't sound that exciting, but I have been coveting one of these for quite some time now...since I first saw a video on
Nancy's blog a few months ago.
I watched the first video on dehydrating...then the second...then the third...and before I knew it I had spent two hours watching YouTube videos on dehydrating apples, potatoes, onions and bananas.
Who knew you could make yogurt in one of these things?
Lame, I know. But I was hooked.
I'm using the excuse that I want the kids to have some healthier snacks after school...and that's partially true, but I'm also worried about finances.
While I'm not an economist, and definitely don't play one on TV, I do have enough life experience to know that as much stimulus as the government has been throwing at the economy lately can only mean one thing...
Rampant hyper-inflation.
I'm not trying to be political here. I am not saying this with ANY political bias. I promise. I save my political writing for
All The News That Fits.
With that in mind, consider this...

"The government had virtually lost control over economic conditions. Government spending increased sharply as an increasing number of unprofitable enterprises required state support and consumer price subsidies continued. Tax revenues declined because republic and local governments withheld tax revenues from the central government under the growing spirit of regional autonomy. The elimination of central control over production decisions, especially in the consumer goods sector, led to the breakdown in traditional supply-demand relationships without contributing to the formation of new ones."

Hmmm...sound familiar?
Its a Wikipedia entry on Russia's attempt at Parastroika in 1990. The Russians did something very similar in the 90s to what we're doing now. The only difference is that they were trying to switch TO a free market and we're trying to legislate ourselves out of one.
The results were huge lines at bread stores...and if it wouldn't have been for price controls it would have taken a wheel barrel full of money to buy a loaf.
AND WE DON'T HAVE PRICE CONTROLS - not that I want any.
So, in an effort to protect my family...and to try to eat a little healther and be more self-sufficient, I've bought a dehydrator.
Shad thinks I'm nuts...but he loves me anyway.
I've already made apple, banana and pineapple chips and am thinking about seeing what I can do with dehydrating potatoes.
The ultimate goal is to put away a significant amount of food.
I'm also planning on starting a garden - which seems to be the rage right now - with the plan of using the dehydrator to preserve most of it. I'm not big on humidity and am thinking canning may be a bit out of my league. So I'm drying.
Wish me luck.
Hmm....I'm thinking that last one was long enough for its own post. ;)

3. CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN - All we do is clean. I'm tired of cleaning the house we're living in so someone else can sell theirs.
The people who own this house decided to put it back on the market - while we're still living in it. As a result, real estate agents from all over Grab-Your-Lasso have been showing this thing in the last two weeks.
I had seven showing on Friday alone.
ARGH!
I don't even know why I go through this much trouble...except for the kindness of my heart...which at this point isn't really kindness so much as the fact that I don't want to have to fight with a real estate agent about why I don't want people walking through 'my' home.
Sigh.
I can't wait until they sell this place.

4. SPEAKING OF HOUSES - We're all set to move. We'll be pulling out of Grab-Your-Lasso on May 31...well, that is if we can get the U-Haul packed in time.
I'm actually starting to get a little excited about it. Sick, I know. But despite the whole packing of the boxes and cleaning everything bit, it WILL be nice to be living in my own house again.
And I loved my house! ;)
Maddie's situation is still a big concern, but I'm learning what needs to be done and am determined that she get the best possible help she can.
It all starts with a meeting this Thursday.

5. MADDIE'S IEP - Maddie's team of specialists met with me last week to go over her IEP and to document what services she would have received if we would have stayed in Grab-Your-Lasso.
It was a long list. I hope the Emerald City is prepared.
Here's the list for posterity's sake.

- 30 minutes Physical Therapy a month - to help her catch up on some minor orphanage delays. (This may be waived...the PT has been saying she thinks Maddie is caught up now. YAY! We're waiting on the test results.)
- 30 minutes Occupation Therapy a week - to again help her catch up on some minor orphanage delays.
- 30 minutes Speech-Language Therapy a day - for obvious reasons.
- 120 minutes Teacher of the HEaring Impaired A DAY - because they're awesome.
- Extended school year to keep her from regressing over the summer - which is a distinct possibility. She is on the cusp of learning so many new skills that a summer break would be a detriment to her. I'm fine with that.
- Personal FM System - which is like a speaker system attached to Maddie's hearing aid...which can follow Maddie from classroom to playground to P.E. to music.
- Classroom FM System - so no matter where the teacher goes, Maddie can hear her.
- Sign language - The school would need to continue teaching her sing language and to use sign language with her so she can effectively communicate. While Maddie is quite verbal, she uses sign to help if there is any confusion over what she needs. She needs to be able to continue doing that.
- Visual supports - you know, little pictures around the room to tell what is what and what the schedule is. The Emerald City does a great job of this anyway.
- Daily Hearing Aid Checks - I'll be checking the hearing aid before she goes off to school...they're supposed to check it again around noon to make sure its still working.
- Audiologist/FM Consultant - The district is supposed to provide an annual hearing screening with an audiologist to make sure her hearing hasn't changed as well as 30 minutes per month for the audiologist to come in to evaulate the classroom environment to make sure its optimal for Maddie's learning.

Whew! That's a lot of stuff...but its really quite reasonable, I think. Especially for a child with as much history as Maddie.
We're scheduled to have a conference call with the Emerald City this Thursday. So far they have been very receptive to everything...we'll see if that continues.

6. THE HAIRCUT FROM YOU-KNOW-WHERE - I have to say, I'm looking a little butch this morning. Not that I have anything against women getting their hair cut like men...its just not me.
But evidentally it is me, this week.
I went into a local chop shop last Thursday and asked to have my hair trimmed. Now does that sound like I wanted something life-altering?
I didn't think so.
I made the mistake of not really paying attention to the first couple of snips and by the time I realized how much she was taking off it was too late. I looked like just a bit like Jamie Lee Curtis...although not in a good way.
Sigh.
I will never be so glad to see my Emerald City stylist, Di. Hold me a spot honey, I'm comin' home! :)
And, NO, there will not be pictures!

7. BIRTHDAY BLUES - Is it just me or does everyone get teary on their kids birthdays? I don't know why it is. I have months to prepare for the next big day, but a part of me gets incredibly nostalgic on their birthdays.
And I wasn't even present at the birth!!!!
Its not so much that I'm sad for the time I've missed...although I am. I think its more that my kids are growing up WAY too quickly.
Sigh.
Alek's 11. He's not my baby anymore...not that he has been for quite some time. Its just that 11 seems a lot older than 10.
Nick's next on the list. He turns eight on August 1.
At least I have another three months to prepare.

8. SUNFLOWER SEEDS TRIVIA - Just a little trivia for you. Did you know that each of my children's birthdays are three months apart?
Yea. Weird. Almost exactly.
Alek - May 7
Nick - Aug 1
Anya - Nov. 5
The only one just a slight bit out of order is Maddie. She's Feb. 13 which is still three months in between Anya and Alek, but she's the second week of the month as opposed to the first.
Strange, but true. I couldn't have planned it better myself.

9. SPEAKING OF BIRTHS - I did something really bad last Friday.
I skipped a baby shower.
Yea. I know.I thought I was over the whole jealousy thing too...but I guess I'm not.
Well, I am, but I'm not. I have no desire for biological children. I think I got the better end of the deal. My kids are way smarter, funnier and prettier than Shad and I could ever have produced.
In fact, I think they're smarter, funnier and prettier than ANYONE could have produced...I mean really, look at them. Aren't they the best looking kids, EVER?!
But I do have one regret. Not being able to carry them myself. Protect them from the very beginning...from day one. And for that, I am still INCREDIBLY jealous.
Well that, and the bio mom club thing. Is it just me or does it seem that we adoptive parents - the parent who haven't had any biological children - are excluded from some sort of secret society? Its like since we didn't give birth, it somehow disqualifies us for membership to the mommy club.
I'm tellin ya, when women start talking about epidurals, hard labor and stretch marks, I half expect to see them yell 'boo-yah' and do a chest-bump!
I personally think their club involves a secret handshake - something only taught during LaMaz class.
Somehow a baby shower just brings all that insecurity right back to the forefront for me. Its one more reminder of our decade long battle with infertility. And while the wounds have healed, there's still some pretty nasty scar tissue left that gets inflamed every now and then.
And I'd rather just avoid that if I can.
So, if you're a friend, who's thinking about inviting me to a babyshower go ahead an invite me but just know, while I'm happy that you'll be a mom - really, I am - chances are I'm not going to be able to work up the gumption to come celebrate with you.
It still hurts too much.

10. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH - Okay enough doom and gloom, besides this thing is getting long enough as it is. How about some fun stuff?
I finally did it.
I remembered to type of a Maddie-ism before the rest of the day erased it from my memory.
This morning as I was putting on my makeup, Maddie waltzed into the bathroom.
While she waited for me to finish my routine, she spotted the scale.
She jumped on...and as the digital thing did its thing she got all excited.
It popped up the number 32.6
'Ooooooh...,' she squealed. 'I like it. I like it Mommy!'
I wish I could get so excited about jumping on the scale. ;>)


12 salty messages:

Lorraine May 11, 2009 at 3:28 PM  

I often buy extra hot dogs on sale too. There are lots of things you can do with them! I chop them up and add a little broccoli to mac and cheese and Voila a one dish meal (I do this even more when dh is not home) I have also been known to chop them up and put them in spagetti sause and cassaroles of all types, also sometimes when we are pretending to have a fancy meal, I will slice them up and put toothpicks in them for an appatizer (along with some cheese) works great for my youngest who doesn't eat a lot and needs more protein in his diet. He loves eating them with a toothpick and dipping them in catsup.

jessy May 11, 2009 at 4:33 PM  

You can learn to can, simple. But I can't let the master read about the stocking up thing. He will be on me to let him grow a garden. Something--I keep reminding him--he has NO time for.
I am sorry about the baby shower. I wish I knew something magical to say to make the hurt go away. At this point, I do not feel comfortable in either place.
While I have carried and given birth to four children, I too am turned off by the whole "Mommy Club" feel of the conversation. I mean, really people, episiotomees and midnight cravings do NOT make you a mother. Wanting to die inside when they are hurting and mignight vomit moppings....THAT makes you a mother. Plus, after spending so much time in the adoption world, I'm always VERY conscious of my blessing of fertility...and my greatest desire on these occasions is to tell people to shut-up their whining. Which, as you might guess, goes over at a baby shower about as well as a terd in the punch bowl.
On the other hand, I feel like a thorn in the flesh at adoption meetings. When adoptive parents (or worse, pre-adoptive parents)meet my six children and learn that some of them joined the family through birth while we also were matched with two beautiful, by all visible indications healthy, daughters, I can see and feel the hostility rising in their faces; "IT IS NOT FAIR" their eyes shout at me. I am so sorry to cause them more hurt, but at the same time, (and I hope you do not take this the wrong way) I wish they did not view adoption as second best or a last resort. I don't think you see it that way, but is clear from their words and actions that many infertile couples do. I don't see adoption that way and never have, so it is difficult for me to understand.
However, I TOTALLY understand your wanting to carry them to protect them--hardly a day goes by that I do not struggle with that same longing. BUT, the Spirit reminds me of two things: 1. ANY of my birth children could have been given a specialness within my womb if the Lord had willed it (He was in control--not me--in ALL of my childrens' "weavings") 2. I must believe that God is going to be glorified in Marina's and Cara's weakness. For me and my family, He already has been in many ways. God is going to use those very things that the world considers dishonor to honor Him.

Annie May 11, 2009 at 8:54 PM  

My boys could go through all of your hotdogs in a weekend; it is nauseating.

I gave birth to two and feel that wasn't "good enough" because they were both c-sections so I don't really feel I truly "gave birth". Shouldn't matter but it does this tiny bit....I am out of a loop somehow.

Hannah May 11, 2009 at 8:58 PM  

I think, to a certain degree, every mom feels left out of the "secret" club at some point. I am a rather young mother, having had my first at 21. I often feel that other moms disregard me as a mother because of my age. I tell myself that it is only Satan trying to use my own insecurities as a weapon against me -- but still, there's that nagging feeling whenever I get around other moms. The result for me is that I avoid "moms groups" like the plague...play dates, group outings, etc. I also ditch baby showers when I know all the other moms are going to be there. It sucks feeling marginalized, no matter the reason.

DoveFamily May 12, 2009 at 5:58 AM  

Wow, I could have written those exact words about baby showers! My husband and I joke that my invitation to Mommy Club got lost in the mail. I really thought I'd receive it, but it never happened :) Sure, most were very nice when our son came home. And I don't know, maybe it would have been different if I'd adopted a child at birth (there are a couple of domestic-adoption fams like that and they have at least limited memberships), but who knows. And like you, it's not that I want all the baby stuff. I just hate that I missed out on being there for him from the start. So like you, I tend to avoid the hullabaloo. I'll send a gift and offer my congrats, but I'll pass on the baby name game and all the other cutesie-ness of the shower mania.

Elaine May 12, 2009 at 7:15 AM  

Hmm . . . there's no secret handshake that I know of, but I never went to Lamaze classes (I'm a rebel that way -- why pay someone to teach me something I can read in a book? Especially when it's something nature has been taking care of for thousands of years?) This may not be helpful at all (one of those, "Easy for you to say" things), but you ain't missing much. When I knew we were supposed to adopt two boys, I was just so, so, so thankful that we were adding to our family through adoption. I know lots of women love being pregnant, but boy-howdy! Not me. So, like I said, maybe it's not at all helpful, but I just wanted to let you in on that little secret (since I don't know the hand shake to let you in on): pregnancy can be miserable (even when it's not some life-threatening, months of bed rest type of pregnancy), and the post-partum stuff can be a bitc . . . ahem. So if you ever do decide to go to a baby shower, and all the women are swapping stories of afterbirth and other disgusting things, you can just sit there all smug-like and say, "Wow am I glad I have nothing to contribute to this conversation!" Except I know you're not glad, and for that I am truly, truly sorry.
BTW, my husband read the comment you left on my blog about finding our moving boxes, and he said, "Tami is NOT funny." LOL!

mrsbroccoliguy May 12, 2009 at 8:30 AM  

Oh that's just not fair, having to show your house when it's not even yours! Sounds like a good time to pack up and leave town!

Michelle May 12, 2009 at 12:57 PM  

you want to see an awful haircut?

go back several entries on my blog & look at my post-op pics from my brain surgery. they shaved a diagonal part of my head to do the surgery, so i have a diagonal mohawk where it's growing back! it wasn't too bad at first - my regular hair covered it - but as it grows back, it pokes through & i look silly. plus i got this big ol' bump on my head where the shunt is between my skull & skin. i dread my first post-op haircut...

... i mean, seriously, who wants to say "don't press too hard, you'll destroy the valve draining fluid from around my brain or cut the tubing draining it to my stomach"? yeah. i don't, either.

- michelle

Laura May 12, 2009 at 4:46 PM  

I use to have a dehydrator but I used it to dry flowers. I love doing the canning thing myself, but it gets so hot, it is really something that should be done outside.
I don't blame you for stocking up on stuff. You just never know with the economy what might happen.

MamaPoRuski May 12, 2009 at 10:13 PM  

Wow, miss a lot from you in a couple of days...try the hot dogs with vegies on kebob sticks over the grill...

Elizabeth June 3, 2009 at 11:32 PM  

Great blog! I hope you'll consider adding it to the aggregator at Deaf Village (www.deafvillage.com). We'd love to have you as part of our community!

Also, !!!HOORAY!!! for adoption!

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