Friday, September 30, 2005

Outdoor Life Network

When I was younger, I wanted cable TV for MTV and HBO. Then I wanted it for Discovery Channel and HBO. Now I don't want cable but if there was ever a reason for getting cable (or satellite) it would be Outdoor Life Network. Why? Because not only do they show the ENTIRE Tour de France, including repeats of live coverage, but they're now covering the National Hockey League.

Let's all have a moment of silence in honor of Outdoor Life Network. OLN: you rock.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

A cycling first

Today I was stopped by a flagman while riding my bike. We were headed to the playground and I stopped in a line of cars until the flagman signaled us to go. Then on the way back I was the only one on my side but there was a line waiting to come through after I made my way past the construction. I bet nobody waiting was expecting to be waiting for the likes of me on my bike towing a trailer!

Slurpee prayer

Heard today during lunch...

Dear God, please help my Slurpee not be pretend hard. Amen.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


I fluffed my hair a bit after coming home from the salon to get the crunchy feeling out of it (mousse & curl revitalizer) so it looks a bit different than in the photo. And we've had a few more hours to get used to it. I asked Andy what he thinks.

Me: So what do you think of my hair? Do I look younger? Older? Sportier? Frumpier?

Andy: Hmmm...

Me: What? Tell me what you think.

Andy: I'm trying to come up with a way to say it nicely.

Me: If it's not nice, don't make it sound nice. Tell me what you're thinking.

Andy: It's a good thing by society's standards.

Me: But I won't think so?

Andy: Well, I don't think it's good.

Me: Ok, so tell me what it is. You already know I'm not crazy about how it looks.

Andy: It looks - sophisticated... glamorous.

Me: Can I write that in my blog?

Another Locks of Love donation

When pulled straight, it was about 1.5 inches longer.

You have to wonder who is looking forward to getting a hairpiece made with that mess?

It's longer than I anticipated but we'll see how it goes. This is one of about 10 photos I took of myself when I got home from the salon and they all look weird.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


I told Betsy that I read her blog regularly so now I should answer the questions she recently answered which made me point out that I read her blog regularly.

5 things I plan to do before I die:

1. Re-visit Alaska

2. Learn Spanish relatively well

3. Have more kids

4. Accept God's grace passionately

5. Ride my bike a few thousand more miles

5 things I can do:

1. Design an efficiently normalized relational database model

2. Type fast

3. Laugh at my own jokes

4. Throw a disc (frisbee) multiple ways

5. Stick my tongue out far enough to touch my nose

5 things I cannot do:

1. Art

2. Sing well

3. Juggle

4. Run fast

5. Take criticism well

5 things that attract me to the opposite sex:

1. Kindness

2. Mouth/teeth/smile

3. Humility

4. Voice

5. Muscles

5 things I say most often:

1. That's cool.

2. mmmMMM... (a la Marge Simpson)

3. But if you don't want to, that's ok.

4. I need to check email.

5. How about YOU do that?

3 celebrity crushes (I couldn't think of 5):

1. Matthew McConaughey

2. Brad Pitt in Ocean's Twelve

3. Will Smith

5 people I want to do this next:

Anybody - I love reading this kind of thing

Monday, September 26, 2005


Credited to St. Ignatius of Loyola, as used in Sunday service yesterday. It really strikes me, especially the bold line.

Jesus, may all that is you flow into me.

May your body and blood be my food and drink.

May your passion and death be my strength and life.

Jesus, with you by my side, enough has been given.

May the shelter I seek be the shadow of your cross

Let me not run from the love which you offer.

But hold me safe from the forces of the enemy.

On each of my dyings shed your light and your love.

Keep calling to me until that day comes

When, with your saints, I may praise you forever.


That's illegal in most states

I have a stuffed animal squirrel that Andy used as a prop during his wonderful, surprising and really cool marriage proposal to me. It sits on my dresser and sometimes Kevin asks to play with it. This is how it went today.

Kevin: This your squirrel?

Me: Yes, Papa gave it to me when he asked me to marry him.

Kevin: Marry the squirrel?

Friday, September 23, 2005

Stuck in my head

I see a fire truck

A big red shiny fire truck

I see a fire truck

Coming down the street.

And... there's... a...

Noisy siren wailing on that truck!

I see a fire truck

A big red shiny fire truck

I see a fire truck

Coming down the street.

And... there... are...

Firefighters riding on that truck!

And there are firefighters riding

And a noisy siren wailing on that truck!

I see a fire truck

A big red shiny fire truck

I see a fire truck

Coming down the street.

And... there... are...

Great big fire hoses on that truck!

And there's a great big fire hose

And firefighters riding

And a noisy siren wailing on that truck!

I see a fire truck

A big red shiny fire truck

I see a fire truck

Coming down the street.

And... there's... a...

Big ol' snaky ladder on that truck!

And there's a big ol' snaky ladder

And a great big fire hose

And firefighters riding

And a noisy siren wailing on that truck!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I'm a short, overweight and timid woman - hear me roar

I drove to the playground this afternoon and was the only parent actually on the playground. The others were playing tennis and such. So when I heard the teenage boys ram their motorized scooter into the port-a-john around the corner, I knew it was up to me to nip the hooligans in the butt - er, bud. It's unlike me to stick my nose into something that doesn't actually wrap itself around my nose so this is why I have to write about it.

I decided that I'd just let my presence be known. The kids were fooling around on the other side of the trees and probably had no idea that so many people were in the park. So I held my chin up high (up to about their chests) and walked confidently (I'm a good actress) around the bend and directly toward them. Kevin followed and asked what I was doing so I said rather loudly, "I'm just seeing who is making all this noise over here and checking out their cars." I committed their makes and models to memory plus the beginning of their license plate #'s just so I would have fire power should they choose to confront me. Of course if they did, I wouldn't have stuck around long enough to show them that I'd remember them. But anyway, they pretty quickly hopped in their cars and took off, leaving their poor friend on the scooter by himself. When he realized they were leaving, he picked up the scooter and ran to catch up, losing his fashionable drawers down by his knees. It was funny watching this guy try to hold onto the scooter and his pants and run up the park road to catch up with his rapidly retreating friends.

When he was passing us Kevin asked me what he was doing. I enjoyed the moment to teach them both that, "When people do bad things, the first reaction is usually to run. That's also when you find out how true your friends really are."

One of the cars waited for the scooter guy at the top of the hill and I kept walking toward them until they took off and I couldn't see them anymore. Then I turned around to return to the playground and while feeling seriously proud and empowered, I started to shake and got light-headed.

Friday, September 16, 2005

First soccer class

I just checked out the website for the soccer program (U.K. Elite) that Kevin started yesterday and I'm a bit overwhelmed. But anyway, his first class went well. I want to write about it before I forget.

We decided to forego buying him cleats (he's 3!) but we bought the required shinguards and then found out from the coaches that they aren't necessary. Oh well, no harm in being safer and like the coaches said, it will help the kids get more used to them the longer they wear them. Coach Josh and Coach Dave both hail from the U.K. and talk funny like our friends the Greens, who just (sadly) returned to the U.K. after living here for over a year.

I had to walk Kevin over to the group to sit down but then he was ok staying there by himself. He was a step behind for awhile as he figured out what the coaches were saying to do and seeing what the other kids were doing but he hung in there. At one point he started kicking his ball and running directly to me but he was intercepted by a coach and didn't mind being guided back to the field.

Twenty-five minutes into the hour, he ran over to me and said, "I'm done. I want to go home." I asked if he wanted to go listen but not play and he again said, "No, I'm done. I want to go home. Let's go home." I told him we would sit there and watch and wait for Andy to come before leaving. He sat with me for a little under 10 minutes and after drinking a huge amount of water, I suggested he might want to go listen to the coaches even if he didn't want to play. He agreed and grabbed a ball and headed back to the group and stayed the rest of the time. When Andy arrived, Kevin ditched the ball and the field and ran over for a hug but then went back to playing pretty quickly.

He needs to learn to stop picking up the ball but otherwise, he did pretty well. I don't think he understands the coaches' instructions but he'll get there. They played some fun games and the coaches were good.

When it was time to leave, Kevin cried, "I want to stay here. Can I stay here, pleeeeease?" Then he said that the whole ride home. "Mama, pleeeeeease. I want to stay there. Pleeeeease!" That was a bit tiring but I was really glad that he'd had a good time. Now he's excited to practice with his soccer ball at home and wear his shinguards again.

I should be packing

I'm moving back and forth from the couch to my computer desk today. Nap on the couch, read email, nap on the couch, read email. I should be washing dishes or packing for camping but I really have no energy to do so. I noticed this morning while lying on the couch that my throat felt like it was closed in. I attempted to relieve the feeling by changing positions but it didn't get any better. This feeling continues.

The only other time in my life I had such a painful sore throat and a feeling that it was closed in was when I had mono. Of course when I realized this a few minutes ago, I raced (well, walked slowly but with determination) to the computer to look up whether I can get it again. Probably not, which is what I remembered reading/hearing previously. That's good, although all of the documents I read left a little window of opportunity open for a strange body to have multiple active infections in their lifetime.

Did I ever mention that my shingles was misdiagnosed by a couple of doctors? Ok, I know I did. But did I ever mention that my case of mono was also misdiagnosed by a couple of doctors? And in a university health care center setting? Sheesh. Anyway, I had a raging case of mono with the whole liver involvement thing and I had to leave school for a few weeks and drop some classes for that semester. Seems like I don't get sick very often but when I get sick, I get sick!

So I doubt I have mono but even if I do, it's not like there's anything to do about it but rest and drink lots of fluids and try to tame the symptoms, so I should just go camping this weekend with Andy and Kevin, right? I just need to let them do all the packing and setting up of camp :-)

Real self pity - not just a post *about* it

I feel like I was run over by a truck. I haven't had a fever like this in a long time and it's knocking me flat. The knives in my throat I can handle - the all over prickly, painful, stiff, sore, sweaty chilly feeling has got to go.

No work for me today and, thankfully, no Kevin for me today. He's at Magy's house. Maybe I'll get some rest and he'll have fun without cranky Mama for a day.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Self pity

I don't know whether this is normal for other people or not, but this is how being sick works for me. I might feel a little sick or a lot sick, but I'll keep going like I'm not sick until somebody officially tells me that I'm sick. Then I'm miserable.

To this day I'm still bitter about the lost self-indulgence and pity that I could've had when I had shingles a couple of years ago. Granted, I was miserable even while some doctors were telling me I had a sinus infection, but because it was "just a sinus infection," I kept going to work and doing all of my usual things. Then I found out I had shingles and I thought 1) I knew there was an explanation for my excruciating pain and I wasn't just being a wuss and 2) well NOW I can feel sorry for myself and tell other people about how bad I feel. As if I couldn't tell people had bad it really was when it was "just a sinus infection."

The same thing is happening this week. I've been sick since the end of last week with it getting progressively worse this week. My throat has been sore all day, every day - every time I swallow, it's like I'm swallowing a knife. My skin is prickly and sore all over and I'm tired and cranky. My glands have bulged such that my neck is always painful. However, I still went to work, I still took care of Kevin, I still planned packing for the camping trip and grocery shopping, etc. Then I went to the doctor today and was diagnosed with a throat infection of some sort, was told I do have a fever, was told to take both Tylenol and Advil at the same time for the pain, was told to get lots of rest, was told I'd be called if my throat culture shows up some weird strain of something, and was told not to get near to Kevin and by no means should I kiss him.

And now, I'm a sniveling, whimpering shlump of a person. Because now it's official that I'm sick and I can prove it to everybody because the doctor told me so.

Hopefully just strep

Can someone recommend a good thermometer to use at home for testing my family members' temperatures? The ones I have never seem to work. They tend to be accurate (they give the same reading under the same conditions) but they're far from precise (giving a true reading.) [Mr. Heitz, if you're out there... see, I DID listen well in high school chemistry class!]

I've been sick this week although pretending I'm not. I'm swallowing knives and the glands in my neck are now big enough that I can see them bulging out in the mirror. Ick. I've also had prickly, painful skin. That usually means a fever but, doggone it, I've checked my temperature multiple times and it never registered higher than 98.9. So, no fever. I am taking Tylenol for my sore throat but I've even taken my temperature after letting the Tylenol run out.

The knives and prickly skin and bulging glands got to be too much this morning so I went to the doctor. After taking Tylenol, my temperature was 100. I wouldn't have thought that's a big deal but the Dr. said that on Tylenol, that is defintely a fever. She swabbed my throat for a culture and put me on antibiotic. We'll find out Monday whether there's anything out of the ordinary growing in there. I surely hope not.

When I was a kid, the doctor said, "Let's do a throat culture just to see what's going on." I freaked out. Seriously freaked out. I remembered a throat culture as something different (a brown q-tip with bad-tasting stuff on it) and was quite against having that done again. When the Dr. put the long swab in and just brushed around, I was like, "Hey, that wasn't bad at all!" Then we got home and my mom and I walked down the driveway to tell my dad about the appointment and I suddenly saw the world spinning before my eyes and felt like I was moving even though I wasn't. I woke up laying on the driveway feeling really groggy and then I threw up. Fun! My mom called the doctor and he said that he was surprised that I hadn't fainted in his office as worked up as I was about the throat culture. Nothing to worry about, just nerves.

I told the Dr. today that I once fainted from getting a throat culture and she backed away and said, "Well, you just let me know when you're ready. I'll wait."

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

This is why I'm not a dentist

Kevin's tooth is not missing or broken, it's just now erupting out of his gum. How we thought he had 20 teeth before and now only 19, I don't know. He has an area of decay on his front tooth that needs to be drilled but the dentist wants to wait until he's a little older to do that. He said it'll keep growing even though we brush his teeth every day. He also said there aren't any other pitted spots to be concerned about, which is good.

Kevin is now the proud owner of a blinking toothbrush. You push on the handle and the light blinks for a minute, at which point you know you've brushed long enough.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

What's up

  • Kevin's Parks & Rec class, "Twist, Jump & Shout," was cancelled so he is now registered for U.K. Elite Petite Soccer for an hour on Thursdays. We had to buy him shin guards - I never knew they made 5-inch long shin guards. They're labeled "Size: Peewee."

  • Last Thursday Andy finally went to the climbing gym with no injury to stop him only to find a "Closed for the evening" sign on the door.

  • Last night while brushing Kevin's teeth he cried more than usual and his toothbrush came out pink. We discovered that he now has 19 teeth instead of 20. He has an appointment with the dentist tomorrow.

  • Tomorrow we have an appointment with our social worker for our 12-month post-placement report interview. Yup, we'll celebrate our 1-yr anniversary as a family in 2 weeks. Hard to believe!

  • This weekend we're planning to go camping. We spent one night in our tent on our church property but this will be our first family-only camping trip to a park.

  • I have an appointment to get my hair cut (and donate it) on Wednesday, Sept 28th. Instead of a buzz-cut like last time, I think I'll go for a round, "frumpy mom" cut.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Dear Drivers

As a cyclist I promise...

  • to do my best to signal my intentions regarding slowing down or changing course

  • to stay on the shoulder where the shoulder permits me to safely ride

  • to stay on the roadway where the shoulder does not permit me to safely ride

  • to make my presence known to you, even if that means being in your way on purpose

  • to expect that you will be annoyed by my presence and do stupid things because of your annoyance

  • to continue riding despite your annoyance because I know that while on my bike I am a) not adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, b) decreasing your health insurance premiums as I become healthier and cut down on the number of claims I make, and c) decreasing the demand for gasoline thereby increasing the supply (and reducing the price) for you

Monday, September 05, 2005

Bedtime funnies

I've always found the bedtime routine thing to be annoying. At least now there are moments of humor.

  • Tonight when I went back in his room he asked for a drink and after that he said, "Sing, Mama. 'See my vest, see my vest, ...real gorilla chest.'" He wanted me to sing Mr. Burns's rendition of See My Vest (to the tune of "Be my guest" from "Beauty & the Beast") from The Simpsons.

  • Last week I went back into Kevin's room when he called out and I fluffed his pillow, tucked him in tighter and sang to him. In the middle of my soothing lullaby he said, "Where's Papa? Can you go get Papa?"

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Picture Parade

This is for Elesa. The giraffes were out and active at the zoo last Friday.

Update:This turtle (Clemmys muhlenbergii) is not a herbivore - it is an opportunistic feeder but prefers invertebrates such as slugs, worms, and insects. Although Kevin's fingers are not sluggy, wormy or insecty, I still think he'd lose one if this were real and true to size.

"Look, Mama - Papa is a ladybug!" (yes, he really said that)

At the beach

Great Questions

Our church is doing a series on peoples' stories in an effort to learn more about God through the experiences of other people just like we learn from the stories of peoples' encounters with God in the Bible. The stories this week were Stories of Struggle and one of the discussion questions that came out of it is "What did someone else do for you that was an expression of God's love to you during your own struggle?"

One of my friends consistently shows me expressions of God's love by asking me questions that show she understands what's lying beneath the surface of the issue/struggle we're discussing. This means two things to me: 1) she (and God) help me realize things I hadn't thought about before and 2) she (and God) show me that I'm not the only one who cares or "gets" what's really going on.

Here's an example: You all know (if you've read my blog before) that I went through a really dark time when we first adopted Kevin. During a visit to my friend's house a couple of months after Kevin came home, I told her that it was difficult but I didn't go into too many details. I told her it was hard, I didn't think I enjoyed being a parent, etc. She asked me, "Do you love him?" I was stunned that she'd even ask that because why would someone think to ask, "Do you love your child?" Truth be told, I didn't feel that I loved him but it's not something I felt open to say. When she asked that, I knew that at least God (and probably my friend :-) knew how I was feeling and that I had a lot of stuff going on inside that I couldn't/shouldn't share.

I've talked to this friend about many issues since I've known her and I always leave our conversations feeling loved, understood and more clear-minded about things. She shows me through her questions how God loves and understands me deep inside.