Thursday, April 27, 2006


Before our bible study meeting officially started last night, I made the son of the hosting
family cry. Then during the meeting I yelled at one of my best friends and included some
curse words for good measure.

In all, I'd call it a successful evening.

Friday, April 21, 2006

The sounds of sickness and the sleep of the drugged

I am on antibiotics for bronchitis and a sinus infection. Been on medicine for 5 days and still have plenty wrong. I thought I got sick from Andy, who was sick a couple of weeks ago but it turns out I probably got my germs from my coworkers.

After being on antibiotic and codeine for a sinus infection with coughing a couple of weeks ago, Andy's cough 'came back' and got worse to the point that he coughed up some blood this morning so he went back to the doctor and was diagnosed with acute bronchitis. He's on another medication and was instructed to get a chest x-ray if he's still coughing next week.

Speaking of codeine, Andy sleeps like a hibernating bear when he's on that stuff, which is kind of crazy because he usually sleeps terribly. When he's on the codeine, it's as if he melts into the mattress and everything in his throat relaxes into a puddle making him snore like the dickens.

Kevin was on antibiotics for 2 days when we thought he had an infection that boys don't generally get and he was also scheduled for some more tests, one of which is really nerve-wracking and unpleasant, but now we've learned that although something is/was wrong, it wasn't an infection. So now he has another appointment with his regular doctor before doing any further crazy tests and hopefully we'll figure out what went wrong with him but we might not. If it never happens again, I don't really care if I know why it ever happened. His symptoms have diminished and we're ever so grateful for that.

Andy and I are being great parents these days - all we want to do is sleep and ask the other parent to take care of the kid.

Two Answers

Kevin asks us how God made him. Andy and I answered separately before knowing that the other one had answered as well. Guess which was my answer and which was Andy's?

Answer 1: "God put some cells together and they grew bigger. Some cells turned into legs, some turned into feet, some turned into hair and some turned into fingers. All along, he knew you and loved you."

Answer 2: "God wanted a boy who was funny and charming, who liked to laugh and had a radiant smile, a boy who was good at being polite and who enjoyed playing. So he made you and named you Kevin."

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Personal Income Tax Computation Notice

I received a form in the mail from our state comptroller's office notifying me of a calculation error on our tax form. Now we're getting back $1400 less from our state taxes than we thought. Oops.

I once got a form like that back from the federal government. I think the mistake was in their favor so I actually got back more than I had calculated. Ever since then, I've been a little less leery of making mistakes because I know that their computers will find them and fix them for me without sending armed guards to my home or place of business.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

The palate of a child? Ok, I give

While I can tolerate a more varied selection of food these days, I'm still fairly picky. However, it was only a few years ago that I was still really, really picky. Someone likened my taste to that of a 5-yr old. I basically agreed what with my severe dislike of vegetables or having my foods touch each other. And I really like ketchup.

This year for Lent I did not eat any meat. As previously mentioned, I had to take more iron supplements while not eating meat so I didn't find myself craving a bacon cheeseburger as I sometimes do. I have never craved steak like lots of other folks do, but I do occasionally crave a burger. Anyway, this no-meat-eating stint was really not difficult at all except for the convenience factor. It's easier to make sure I get complete proteins on a tight schedule by eating meat and it's easier to only plan one dinner instead of 2 (one that is nutritionally complete for me without meat and one for Andy with meat.) Other than that, I didn't really have any cravings, except when I was really hungry and I smelled something yummy.

I was surprised at my cravings when I was really hungry... not that meat smelled good, because that's not surprising at all. But I was surprised by the 2 things that consistently over the 6 weeks provided my biggest temptations.

Hot dogs & fish sticks.

Never did a burger smell all that enticing, never did chicken smell all that enticing, never did hamburger helper smell all that enticing (good, yes, but they weren't difficult not to eat.) The hot dogs and fish sticks were about to send me over the edge most every time I smelled them.

So I guess, without a doubt, I have the palate of a 5-yr old.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Four Years Old

Today is Kevin's 4th birthday! We had a party for him last weekend and he's received some presents and extra Happy Birthday singing since then. Today we went to an Easter party during which he was surprised with another Happy Birthday song which he loved and hated all at one time. He wasn't traumatized, he was just overwhelmed and he quickly got over it.

Amid the birthday parties, Easter egg hunts and Easter baskets, we have more sugar in our house right now than any other food group. I know that sugar isn't a food group in and of itself but it would be if the USDA saw our cupboards.

Also important this month is the anniversary of Kevin being with us for a year and a half. Kevin has now been in our family longer than he has been with any other caregiver in his life. He may have no conscious notion of that, but we can see that he continues to work through his attachment and grief. And he becomes a more amazing person every day.

Happy Birthday, Kevin!

Let my people go

I'm not a great writer. Sometimes when something big happens and I want to write about it, I can't do it justice and therefore I don't write about it at all. But I can't pass up mentioning the experience that our bible study group had over the past weeks so bear with me and assume that it was much more intense in every manner than I'm describing.

We planned, prepared and led a (Messianic) Passover Seder for our church on Thursday night. A Seder is a ritual family meal to celebrate Passover, which is the remembrance of the passover of the Lord when he spared the Israelites from death of the firstborn when they were in Egypt. It also serves to celebrate the exodus of the Israelites from bondage in Egypt into freedom in the Promised Land.

For weeks, we've studied what the scriptures say about passover and planned the logistics of performing a seder to include people who have never heard of one so that they would understand it and serve dinner to a large group of people. Because of some snafus in communication, I expected we'd have about 50-80 people but instead we had 200 people register for the seder. Yikes! I think about 150 showed up but that's only my guess.

The planning was impeded by many of us missing a number of meetings and it left a lot of details to be handled at the last minute. There were too many to list here but one that will stand out in all of our minds forever is how to feed 200 people without a real kitchen on the premises.

We rented warming ovens for the food and despite great intentions and strictly following the instructions for using them, we had a fire. I don't just mean that the sternos were lit in the ovens - I mean that the ovens caught on fire. Thank God they were outside by the time they got really bad and that Kirsten and Amy got out of the kitchen when they did as well (lest they pass out from the searing heat and chemicals in the air.) The fire required the fire extinguisher and one of the ovens was so hot that the aluminum food service tray (I don't mean an aluminum foil pan) melted. According to Andy's research, aluminum melts at 1220 degrees Farenheit. Yikes.

I'm getting tired so I'll wrap up here by saying that although I felt the planning and preparation for the service was extremely stressful and frustrating, I'm already feeling the amnesic effects gained by the passage of time after such a crazy event.

Next year in Jerusalem?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


The "why?", "why?", and "but, why?" conversations are still in full effect in
Kevin's world, but now they've been joined by much easier questions such as,
"How did God make me?" I tried to answer with, "Only God knows," which I
thought was pretty clever, but that wasn't good enough.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

The party; it is finished

It seems that I had a reason to be anxious about today's party. Before going to bed last night, I heard a blurb on the news about the tornadoes in the midwest and that the same storm system was headed our way today. Then I read an article in a local family magazine about how to throw a good birthday party and it included doing all sorts of things I didn't plan to such as having good group activites to keep the kids from being bored.

Fortunately, it ended up that I didn't have any reason to be anxious because everyone seemed to have a good time and, most importantly, Kevin really enjoyed himself. He knew what was going on and looked forward to the presents, pinata and cake & ice cream and in between each of those things he played well with his cousins and friends.

After everyone left, the three of us sat on the couch zoned out in front of the TV, which is something we almost never do, especially not all together. We were pretty wiped out from all of the people in such a cramped space (no tornadoes, but the rain kept us inside.) We ate some leftovers for dinner, played with some of Kevin's new toys and games (he loves them all) and then Kevin and I went on a search for new slippers. He doesn't have to wear his shoes all the time, but he always wants slippers on in the house and the ones he has now are getting holes and the velcro doesn't hold them closed very well anymore. Anyway, Kevin fell asleep in the car on the way home and woke up when we were putting his pajamas on so he had a snack and we read his 2 new books and then he fell quickly to sleep again.

If anyone knows where to find boys slippers at this time of year, please let me know. Target, Kohl's and K-Mart were a bust.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Think I'm anxious?

Tomorrow is Kevin's birthday party wherein we will celebrate him turning 4 years old. 4 years old!!! We don't have anything planned for it except for lunch, pinata and cake & ice cream. We were hoping to let the kids just run around in the yard playing with the slide, the soccer goal, sandbox, etc. The forecast is for rain. So... either I quickly plan some inside games for everyone to participate in and then I have to preside over them instead of taking care of party details which is what I prefer or I can just let it ride and say, "Hey kids, it's a free-for-all, do whatever you want" and watch them all stand around looking at each other from different corners of the room. Hmm... I vote for the latter because there will be 14 adults here besides me who can take care of the kids should the gathering turn into a middle school dance.

Last night wasn't our best night of sleep as Kevin was awake for an hour and a half, crying for part of the time and extremely unhappy that I was only giving him the choice to sleep in his bed or on the floor in our room. He clearly wanted to sleep in our bed and nothing else would do. I didn't sleep much from 2:30 on but when I did, I had dreams. Crazy dreams. Weird, more-usual-for-Dianne dreams than I've had in awhile and the "best" one was about tomorrow's party. It went something like this.

I was on my way home from somewhere (maybe a beach crop weekend) before the party and ran out of gas in the car. I had a friend along with me (Hi, Amy!) and we coasted to the shoulder while discussing our options. We got out of the car and looked around to see how far we were from civilization and when we turned back around, the car was rolling back down the hill much too fast for me to catch it. Shoot!

Fast-forward to the party as I'd somehow gotten home and was totally unprepared but nobody showed up until 45 minutes after the official start-time anyway. Then the storm came... not just any storm - there were tornadoes! The kids were freaking out, I was freaking out... We were in a different house and of course, there were plate-glass windows all along the side of the house where the storms were coming from so we could see the twisters coming. I should've been making sure that everyone got into the basement but I didn't seem to pay attention to that as I was trying to finish cleaning the house as if it mattered at that point when everyone was already there and the house was about to be blown to bits and thrown to some other address.

I must've woken up before any twisters hit the house but I surely am not looking as forward to tomorrow as I was before ;-)

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Call Me Hammy

I have a pulled hamstring muscle. It's not the whole thing, it's just at the top. I've had this happen before and because I didn't rest then, it took about a year to completely go away. I should probably rest it for 4 weeks this time but I can't imagine that's going to happen. I suppose in my older age I should listen to my body better or else it'll completely stop listening to me. Maybe it already has as I can't get my wrist problem to go away (it faked me out and got somewhat better but then got bad again) and my ankle has been a problem for months and I don't know what's wrong with it. At least the hammy problem should go away eventually. It only gets worse, doesn't it...


Over the past few weeks my craving to chew ice grew significantly and it started to make me wonder what was going on. I googled ice chewing and found that it is a pica which is

an abnormal desire to eat substances (as chalk or ashes) not normally eaten.
What would cause such a thing and why would I have it? Many health and doctor sites claim that ice chewing is often a symptom of anemia which, according to is
a medical condition that occurs when a person does not have enough red blood cells. Red blood cells are important because they contain hemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen from the lungs to the body's muscles and organs.

I've been diagnosed with anemia through blood tests before but only once was it at a really dangerous level and thanks to that episode, I learned to deal with having blood drawn at least to the point that I didn't actually faint when I felt like I would because that's what happens when you have to have it done so many times.

Still, I thought the ice-chewing symptom was a stretch because what does ice have to do with iron? I decided to test the theory by taking iron supplements. Lo and behold, I stopped wanting to eat ice! I know it sounds hokey but the change was dramatic and it makes a lot of sense that my iron levels would've decreased now more than usual given that I'm not eating meat during Lent. I still eat iron-rich foods that aren't meat, but the amount of iron absorbed from such non-heme sources can vary greatly depending upon what foods are eaten together.

Interesting stuff but I'll admit that I don't necessarily want to boost my hemoglobin levels too high because then I won't have an excuse not to donate blood more often. Hmm... maybe that's not such a good reason, is it?

Monday, April 03, 2006

Sometimes it's not all about Papa

I'm reading my work email and catching up on the blogs I read while Kevin and Andy are outside playing Blue's Clues. I just heard, "Yoooohooooo!" at the back door a few times and decided I should get up and see what was going on.

I got to the door and Kevin asked, "Mama, do you like dandelions?" "No," I answered. "That's what I told him," said Andy. Then Kevin said, "I told Papa not to pick the flowers that you like. Papa, you can pick the dandelions but not the ones out front because she likes those."

It's nice to be looked out for sometimes, I'm usually the one being told to make sure I leave enough food for Papa, to get him something to drink while I'm up, to not hurt him when we bump into each other, etc. Because, you know, I'm really out to get him.