Monday, May 29, 2006

A New Level of Hell

For those literary minded bloggers or anyone who has heard the saying, "Seventh Circle or Level of Hell" here is a nice link to an explanation of
Dante's Inferno from which that saying proceeds.
We have entered into a new level of Hell. If you look, you will see Limbo is actually a pretty nice part of Hell, comparatively. I should have enjoyed it more while I was there. How was I supposed to know it was going to get worse?
We have been robbed. We certainly made it easy for the thieves to make off with our stuff. But in our defense, we live in Utah. We do not live downtown in any four of the larger cities in Utah. (For you edification, those are Salt Lake City, Ogden, Provo and St. George) Utah is a small place, we only have about 2 million people in the entire state! We live in a wee suburb, fairly far from any unsavory downtown areas. We have no home robberies in our neighborhood. Sometimes things will get stolen out of front yards or cars, but that is about it. We have never had anything stolen out of our cars. Until last night. Missing: two cell phones, one from Bald Man's van, one from mine. One cd player from Bald Man's van. And no we don't usually lock our vans, no need really. Gosh dang it. My phone would not have been in my van, but I can't find the charger for it, so I had to use the car charger. I had to get a new phone, because mine old phone met up with a untimely demise. That is a whole 'nother story.
On friday, Pea was at our house, and playing in her wading pool, having a good ole time. I went inside and grabbed a handful of toys to play with in the pool. I tossed them in. Woe is me, my phone, forgotten by myself, was also in my hand. It did not like being thrown into the pool. My phone, to punish me for the abuse it received, will no longer speak to me. Two phones in 3 days. Pretty talented huh?
Come around often, who knows what other levels of Hell we are going to get to explore? Perhaps we shall be able to add some postscripts to Dante's Inferno. Do you think I could get a job as a travel writer to Hell?

Saturday, May 27, 2006


Not limbo the game, but limbo as in the state of between-ness.
Yesterday changed everything. We are currently freefalling, unsure as to where we will end up landing. We are moving, that part I know, because our house is sold and by Thursday or Friday the closing will happen and we need to be out of our current house. Whether we are moving to MO is what is in question as this moment.
The day before yesterday, JJ, (age 16) fell and hit his head. I wasn't there to see it happen, but he ended up in ER to make sure everything is ok. Yesterday I received a call from the ER informing us while JJ's CT scan showed no damage from falling and hitting his head, it did show a "low density mass" which could be a cyst, (and awfully, the word she did not say, is tumor) and needs to be followed up with an MRI as soon as possible.
If this low density mass needs follow up, we need to stay in Utah. JJ's health insurance is tied to Utah, we will lose it as soon as we move. Plus, the thought of being so far from family if this becomes a crisis is not a comforting one.
I am not really good at worrying, in fact, sometimes when I am faced with my mother and sisters, who are Olympic class worriers, I wonder if I am the abnormal one. I have a tendency to "cross that bridge when I get there" and not fuss too much about what might happen.
But I am concerned and trying to figure out what we need to do. It seems as though I will not be able to get the MRI setup until Tues. (The person we need to arrange it with is gone for the weekend) And wouldn't you know it???? It is a stupid three day weekend. ARGH!
JJ has a complicated neurological history which began with a stroke that happened before he was even born. He was paralyzed on the right side of his body for much of his first year. He also had some seizures. Our doctors declared him a miracle child. His last testing and check up with his neuro when he was not quite two gave him a clean neurological bill of health. The doctor said it seems as though his brain had rerouted around the damage and there were no signs of anything left. (He had an MRI on his first birthday and there was NO "low density mass" present)
What is scary is that JJ might have had a seizure which caused him to hit his head. I didn't see it, but a neighbor did, and that is what they said. A few years ago, we were concerned that he could be having seizures and he went to the neuro and they did an EEG on him, (to check his brain waves). He didn't have any seizure activity show up on the EEG at that time, but now of course, I am questioning everything. Certainly the mass they found might not be related to any of this, but I find it impossible to disregard what happened to him years ago and not wonder if these things are somehow connected.
But even though I am not fussing and not freaking out, I woke up at 5:30 this morning and was unable to go back to sleep as I usually do. So here I am, at the computer, telling people I have never met in person, but consider my friends, our saga.
Part of being older, at least for me, has been the loss of blithe trust and short term hope. I have my faith, which is very comforting in the face of trials, but what my faith gives me is not things are going to be okay today, but in the Eternal Scheme, it will be more than okay. Somewhere along the line, I no longer think praying is a way to "make" God do what I want Him to do. Instead, praying is a way for me to express to God and myself what I think I need and want, and to begin to make peace and to find comfort in the now, even when things don't happen the way I want or think they should. It doesn't mean everything won't turn out the way I hoped, but I am braced for the possibility they might not. God's way is not mine, and I have given up on trying to figure it out.
Today will have to move on, we have a garage sale scheduled and Little Man has respite both today and tomorrow so we need to seriously get some stuff done.
But the move? That one is on hold until after the MRI is done and we know what the next step will be. I am hoping that it is something they can declare completely harmless and doesn't need to be followed up on. A part of myself understands that is unlikely, but it is a comforting thought.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Pygmies, Peas, and Quilts

After Pygmy Child had been out of touch for a week, Brown Boy was missing her so very much. So off Pygmy Child goes to Florida this week to visit him and his family. She is in a frenzy of making and buying small gifts for his family, (with mom's help of course, can you show me how to do that, please?) She will enjoy the warmth of Florida, we always tease her about being a sun seeking reptile. I am a bit jealous since I love the beach so much, but ah well, at least someone will be having fun!
Speaking of fun...
I finally finished the quilt I started for Pea a couple of months ago. Pea decided she needed to help.

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And this is what I call really enjoying your fiber art! You could say she was "hungry" for some quilt'n,.

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Here is a picture of the finished product:

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I am really pleased with the results. This type of quilt is called a
rag quilt,I love the frayed edges, they seem so homespun and comfy.
When Pea gets older, I will let her pick out her own fabrics and she and I will sit down and her grandma will teach her how to tie a quilt of her own. My kids still have some of the quilts we made together. Just because I am a believer in women's rights, doesn't mean I haven't enjoyed some of the more domestic side of life.
My friends in college seem so surprised to find out that I am a quilt'n, breadmaking, fruit canning kind of mom. But I am. Far less crunchy granola than I was when the kids were small, but the values and skills are there.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

For Your Enjoyment

Now I don't know about the other parents out there. Okay, truthfully, the mothers. I suppose a few fathers belong in this catagory, but I don't personally know any. Oh my gosh. Family pictures. What a horror. It is amazing there are any smiles at all, because it is pure torture getting them done. This time was NO exception. First, there are an awful lot of people to coordinate. Not just clothes, although of course I must add that particular form of bamboo-skewers-under-my-nails to this whole experience. I guess I am the kind of person who does things well, and this my bloggiest snickerdoodles includes suffering. Nine people must be in the same place at the same time. That was awful. A couple of temper tantrums, the most spectaular done by oldest son! He is 21 folks, yet he had the biggest hissy fit before we left.
The clothes alone were a three day torture-fest. Finding something everyone was willing to wear. The boys were the whiniest about it. The girls didn't care. Up until the moment we went in the room to get the picture taken, I was dealing with boys who were unhappy with their clothes. I swallowed my small amount of vanity and wore white, because the girls ended up wearing white, and while my sons don't like to admit it, I am a girl. I didn't want to wear white because it makes you look bigger and boy, I don't need any help in that department. You guys already heard the story of how Little Man acted and we had out of town company and this was the ONLY day this month this whole thing was happening and oh my gosh repeating all this reminds me why we only do this about twice a decade! But done it is and without further ado:

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It isn't perfect, they cut Little Man's side of his face off. Pea isn't smiling and I do look bigger (even if I don't, please say I do!) BUT, we are smiling! Don't we look like a happy family? And really, sometimes we are. Along with some of the sad things, mad things, frustrating things, the picture is true, we love each other and at the foundation of it all, we are a happy family.
Run down on the peeps in the pic: Pygmy Child to the left in front. Princess holding her Pea, Me, Little Man. In the back: Bald Man, Oldest Son, Tank and JJ. There we are. Hope you enjoy it, I am just going to try to forget how horrible it was to get it taken and remember the smiles instead.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Mother's Day Gift

Last night Girlfriend came over with a Mother's Day gift for me. Here it is. It left me all teary eyed.

Dear Jo,
Thank you. That is the only way I can say it. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for caring if I am happy and safe. Thank you for the comfort of a mother and the support of a friend. Thank you for all the times I've cried to you and not felt foolish. Thank you for family dinners and family outings. Thank you for letting me be a part of your amazing family.
You have taught me so much aobut the person I want to be. About life lessons and understanding them. Because of you I've learned how to better accept those who've hurt me and still love them. Because of you, I've learned to love myself andnot waive my feelings aside as silly or unimportant.
You are a beautiful woman, an amazing mother, a strong saint of Chirst and I am proud to have known you. I love you.

I hate that the letter feels like goodbye.

We Are Home (sort of)

Yikes! Still trying to get my life back to a place of being semi organized. When you come home from a trip, you notice how the car vomits all its' insides into your front room? Still have bits and pieces there, but it is mostly put away. I am feeling a bit, um, well, frazzled? Fuzzy? Not sure of the word. But it is because we were gone for a week and I am still not feeling completely home, AND now I can not ignore the fact we are moving in TWO weeks and we have to pack up our lives of 13 years here. I am tired, tired, and really tired. We arrived back in Utah at 3 AM and I was up by 8 to help get Little Man off to school. No nap and Little Man did NOT go to sleep til past midnight last night. ARGH. I am NOT thinking about that. Won't think about it, too hard to think about him not sleeping and what it does to our lives. I hate that we live our lives in a such a fragile space. But there, we do, there is no helping it. And am I packing today? Nope. Friday breakfast with a friend, off to Salt Lake to see a friend's sick child in the hosp and then a visit with an out of towner and to Borders to spend a 40$ graduation present.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Sisters. Such a small word, for a huge amount of experience, life, laughter, tears, fury and love.
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Here I am with my three sisters. With suprise we have gotten along so well. I feel as though maybe we are, I am? Finally growing up. The relationships for some reason feel simpler, easier, like an old familiar and comfortable pair of shoes. Sure there is that lump in the sole, but you are used to it, and it doesn't bother you most of the time. The places where the shoe is worn the most, where your flesh presses hardest, perhaps is the most comfortable, the grooves worn and the leather softest. In a way, comforting to know, even in the irritating things, you know what to expect and in spite of all the changes in your life, some things haven't changed at all.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

On the Rez

Sorry my Bloggiest ones, no time to resize pics. As it is, I am stealing a minute from all the craziness to post to you! I have missed you all, and I can't stand it anymore.
Things are going well! Very well actually. Everyone is getting along, and no fights! I haven't even had to hold myself in, yay!
So far, we went and visited the buffalo on the reserve, enjoyed a prarie sunset, stared at the prarie dogs, and visited and laughed way too late at night.
Living off the reservation it is so easy to only remember the things about my culture and heritage that are whole and beautiful. Coming home means the ugly and hurtful is right in my face. Along with the things I love, the things I hate live here.
Geez, I gotta go, catch up with all my bloggy friends later.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Shoes and Love

Jenny asked for a picture of Brown Boy's shoes when he deplaned. Here they are.

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Now my whole family is awaiting for the mystical fortune telling by our beloved Jenny on what exactly those shoes mean! Kind of reddy brown sorta bowling shoes.. Well Jenny?

Brown Boy passed our family tests with flying colors. He was polite but obviously smitten in a good Mormon boy way with our Pygmy Child. Being raised LDS if you behave yourself means, you will be celibate until marriage. And by way of TMI (too much information) Yes, Bald Man and I were good Mormons and we behaved ourselves until our wedding day. Not that we were not tempted, but we felt strongly about it, so we kept our hands pretty much to ourselves until that day.
The chemistry between the two seems of the normal variety. He did say that our family was pretty silly and interactive. We are very hands on, lots of tickling, wrestling, hugs and kisses in this household. We tease and have a lot of insider family games and jokes. Brown Boy said he enjoyed that about our family. He even got to witness Little Man at his absolute worst at the Picture Taking Fiasco and didn't run screaming, so he must really like Pygmy Girl!
By the way, in spite of Little Man's not so great behavior, I am so pleased with the picture we got out of it. All the portrait place gave us was a tiny computer printout of it, but I went ahead and scanned it in. That amazing picture taking lady even got Little Man to smile! Wow. Small taste of what is to come in a couple of weeks for your perusal.

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Pygmy Child expressed her continued approval of Brown Boy. I also had a chance to speak with Brown Boy's mama, who was very nice also. I told her she had taught her son well and he was a credit to her teaching.

The romance continues.

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So what do you guys think? Will they or won't they?

Saturday, May 06, 2006

So Scared

What a crazy day, but I will post about that later, when I am in less ruffled mood to do so. Pygmy Child is enjoying her visit with Brown Boy and so far he is passing our family tests with flying colors. But this post is not about them.
Due to insane schedules of many adults and the fact we are moving to MO at the end of the month, to say nothing of our road trip next week, suffice it say that today was the ONLY day to get all the kids together to get a family portrait done. The last family portrait we had done was oh... when Little Man was a year, and he is almost 9 years old now. Time to get it done, or it wouldn't be happening in the next decade I think.
Little Man was HORRIBLE! I am really traumatized by how awful he was. He walked up to me and bit me on the breast, (what the heck? He has never done anything even remotely like that before) He pinched me, HARD on the neck, he scratched me, he screamed, he cried and in general carried on terribly. He made our trip for a family picture into a complete nightmare. Autism+retardation+his other mental disorders= a really bad time.
I know it isn't his "fault" and he has a ton of problems that contribute to times like these, but even though understanding helps, it does not take away how hard it is to remain patient with him, nor does it take away my fears.
What my sweet, (ha!) boy does not understand is that days like today scare me to death. I think that is ultimately my trauma about his behavior, it scares me! It makes me wonder about the future. What about when he is bigger than me? What about puberty hormones? Will the future bring uncontrollable aggression on his part?

He doesn't understand that days like today leave me in terror of a time when he might not be able to live with us. There are quite a few children with Little Man's syndrome who have been moved out of their family homes permanently, and more than one child who has had to live separately temporarily. I just pray our little guy won't be one of them. Days like today leave me fear and doubts.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Things I am going to miss

Today is the big day! Brown Boy arrives in Utah later this evening. Today is a busy day getting ready for his arrival and the usual daily busy-ness.
As we are getting ready for the big move from UT to MO, I find myself wending my way nostalgically down memory lane. Because we are moving from a five bedroom house to a three bedroom apt, there are many things going to be left behind. Some of the things, all I have to say, is good riddance! Two broken down couches, an older freezer, things like that. Teenage boys who like to wrestle have been very hard on our furniture.
But some of it! Oh it is going to be hard to say goodbye...

My lilac bushes

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Close Up

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The Wisteria
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Close Up

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Because of space constraints, we are also leaving behind our nice grill, it is only one season old. I really enjoyed it while I used it. Sigh....
And Igamu.(that is Lakota for cat) Our sweet kitty. He is 12 years old and only has half a tail. He is filled with spunk and curiousity. He was licking (tasting?) the rat last night! But the family who is buying the house wants to keep him. I really think he will be much happier staying in his familiar house than picking up and moving somewhere. So I will miss


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Good bye grill, goodbye wisteria, good bye kitty...

P.S. A Tale from the Bathroom

By the way, my Bloggiest ones, do NOT buy the Neutragena Micromist Tanning. I like the color, great color. The spray sucks! You will end up a striped tiger, it is impossible to do it well, so don't bother spending the money. Also, you will use more than half of the almost 10$ can for just one use! I had to go back 3 more times trying to get rid of the stripes and I still had paler spaces. Dang it. I am going to see if they sell it in a lotion instead.

Participate in ending the Genocide in Darfur!

Bombadee has asked everyone to please blog about sending a postcard to Bush to help end the genocide. Please, please go to this link and send a postcard to Bush, telling him we need to stop this!
Send a Postcard to Bush Please send the postcard and please blog about this issue too. I can't imagine how difficult these people's lives must be and this is a very small thing I can do.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Mutant Pygmy Child

The early promised post was mostly written and almost ready to go when my connection to AOL was lost. Along with the connection there went my post into cyber space. So if this rewrite doesn't meet with your high expectations, blame it on the puter. So my little Blogger Snickerdoodles, here we go. Pygmy Child.
Pgymy Child came into our family in the most common way, albeit a tad bit early. (four weeks) She was a wee thing of just six pounds, but we found her uncommonly beautiful.

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She was always just a little snip of a thing. Being the first child overly concerned with parental approval and perfection. (She is still that way, 25 years later, anyone who says kids don't come with their own personalities, either has NO kids or only 1!) She was an easy baby, easy to entertain and rarely even needing a scolding. My husband and I were convinced it was our amazing prowess at parenting that was the root of her delightful and well behaved self. The Princess was sent to us to cut us down to size! We quickly learned from the Princess that we were incapable and in fact, probably rotten parents. Now we have teens and are are CONVINCED we suck at the parenting thing, but we can't find the place to return them, so we are stuck with them.
Back to the Pygmy Child. By the time she was 7 or 8 it was obvious to EVERYONE that she was not a normal sized kid. I remember someone asking me in a public bathroom if she was potty trained already. I replied, I sure hope so, she is four! At eight years old she only weighed about 32 lbs.

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Child in the center is Pygmy Child, she was probably about 13. Child on left is brother Tank, 6 years younger! Child on right is a cousin, 6 1/2 years younger.
We took her to some specialists but it would be a few more years before we got an answer to her problem. She has a rare form of dwarfism.
-A small aside on political correctness among those of below average height. There is no such thing as a midget, all people under 4 ft 10 in are considered Little People and suffer from a form of dwarfism-
The form of dwarfism our daughter has is actually what makes the pygmys short too! Hence, the name Pgymy Child. When I quizzed a doctor as to how we had produced a pygmy child, seeing that even though Bald Man and I are short, neither of us are pygmys. We were told it was probably a mutation. There ya go! Mutant Pygmy Child!
Here is a more current pic of the darling.

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To the right is Tank, 5ft 10in, and to the left is Oldest Son, 5ft 8in. Pygmy Child in the middle makes them look much taller than they really are.
Currently Pygmy Child is a junior in college. She returned from a mission for our Church about a year and half ago. She served in Venezuela and Aruba. She now is a fluent spanish speaker. She is still a pleaser and a perfectionist. She is really a kind person and I am proud of her in terms of the person she is becoming.
A few months ago Pygmy Child joined an internet LDS dating service and a couple of months ago she began a long distance relationship with Brown Boy who lives in Fl. I know, I know... we feel uncomfortable with the internet thing too, but I think this is getting to be a more common way of people meeting, as the world wide web shrinks the globe.
So far, everything we know about Brown Boy has impressed us. Brown Boy has a degree in computer stuff, is employed by the public utility company in Florida so he is a college grad and he is gainfully employed! He has a good relationship with his family and treats his mother with respect and love. (I have always told my girls to watch how a boy treats his mom, he will treat his wife with the same amount of respect. It has nothing to do with weird Opedial urges, it has to do with a man's perception of the worth of women)
To bring us to the entire focus of this post:
Brown Boy arrives to meet the fam on Fri! We shall see. Watch this space for updates and even possibly pictures!