Sunday, August 31, 2008

car trips and the great dee do issue

Since Jan of 2003 I have never driven more then 35 minutes by myself. In case you have never had the pleasure (torture) of riding in the car with us, my children hate the car. Until Gabrielle was ill and we had to move closer to town, we lived 35 miles from one town and 20 miles from another. In rural Colorado, 35 miles is usually 35 minutes. I drove to town myself once a week until Madeline was 18 months old. It was a huge drawn out production when she was a baby of nursing her to sleep in the car seat in the car, jumping up front, and driving like a bat out of hell to town hoping to get mostly there before she woke up. I'd run errands while she screamed from stop to stop, and then then when I'd finally get her back to sleep, I'd make the drive back home. I also spent many, many hours pulled over on the side of the highway trying to get home. Madeline wouldn't just cry herself to sleep but scream and scream, vomit, and continue screaming, the child never tired of screaming. Once she hit 18 months of age, I was able to distract her with toys. I had an huge backpack of toys on the front seat and would spent the entire drive handing them back one by one. Even today at 5.5 years of age, Madeline does not like the car. In order to get more then 20 minutes without her turning into a whiny, obnoxious child, a DVD player is a must.

You can imagine my utter dismay when I gave birth to a second car seat hater. I am starting to believe that it is a complete myth that any child actually likes riding in the car. Gabrielle is much better then Madeline ever was though. Madeline always hated the aspect of being strapped in, she hated slings, strollers, basically anything that contained her. Gabrielle can be entertained on short trips without nursing the entire way which is what I always did with Madeline when someone else drove, but she still doesn't like the car seat. Her max limit is one hour in the car, then we need a good break, and one hour is pulling everything out that i can possibly think of, like singing row your boat ten thousand times. I should also mention that I never get to sit up front like a real adult, I am always in the back with the children, it is the reason I own a minivan actually.

So this weekend I drove 80 miles by myself with two children, and lived to tell the tale! We were supposed to drive up to my parent's house in the mountains and spent a night or two, only Ryan ended up having to work, I'm tired of never getting to go anywhere so I decided to try it. We left before 7am, I only had to stop 4 times, which wasn't bad. My secret was that both children got their very own DVD player. Yep, I put my 22 month old in front of a TV in order to drive. Gabrielle LOVES trains, loves them. The train passes through town a few times a day and we often see one, she always likes to carry toy trains around. Friday night I ran out and bought a Thomas movie. It was a hit. So much in fact that now every time she sees a TV, she screams and crys for "dee do" which is what she calls trains. She screamed for house this afternoon because I refused to let her watch Thomas, sigh. I finally got to drive somewhere but was it really worth it?!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

our new therapist

A few weeks back through sheer luck of contacting a mom I know with a son who has a diagnosis of SPD, she gave a number of woman who happened to be my neighbor! She in return got me in touch with a occupational therapist who normally only takes a client here or there because she works full time at a school district. The therapist didn't want to take us as clients but agreed to do a couple sessions and give me some feedback. Madeline had her third session this week, and today I had a conference with the therapist. She is concerned about Madeline's visual perception. I had a through vision screening done on her in May to rule out any vision related issues, so it's not that her eyesight is bad. Rather her whole perception, we think. The therapist has agreed to work with us weekly until we go to Denver for the OT sessions, and next week she is going to do more testing to see if she can learn anything else. I also need to contact the Star Center now and make sure that we have a through vision evaluation added in to our regular one and along with the auditory evaluation our first evaluator recommended.

The weekly OT sessions are held at my house, I need Gabrielle to be asleep so that she doesn't interfere so it ends up being a huge juggling act to ensure everything goes smoothly. We also do a weekly Theraplay session in Durango, Ryan, and I have to be present for that, but no Gabrielle, so once again another juggling act to accomplish that every week. Our evaluation in Denver is now Oct 1-2. We are hoping that once we get back from all the OT sessions that we will not need the Theraplay and might be able to cut down on the OT, especially since together they add to up $145.00 each week...

Friday, August 15, 2008

before and after

Before: Ignore Gabrielle nail marks all over my belly, and about
five lbs of ice cream from this summer.....

After: You'll have to wait a few months for the after pics, nine to be exact, about mid April 2009. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

anxiety attacks and B-Days

Poor Ryan, he always tries so hard. He can't help it that I'm a picky bitch. Out of all the gifts he has given me for Mother's Day, B-Day, anniversaries, X-Mas, etc... over the years, I have kept very few of them. He gave up trying to buy me clothes years ago, now I usually get a house plant (which I promptly kill, not on purpose!), a gift certificate, or jewelry. I should mention I'm also very picky about jewelry, I don't wear much at all. We I was pregnant with Gabrielle, I stopped wearing all jewelry, even my wedding ring because it bugged me, that lasted until X-Mas after she was born, he got me a new ring, so now I feel like I have to wear it and I always do. I wear earrings maybe once a week, never a bracelet, and last X-Mas he bought me a simple silver necklace I pointed out in a magazine and said I wanted. I never take it off, so I'm fairly simple. 

My new necklace is pretty, just not something I would pick out. I'm trying to decide if I should go ahead and return it or  keep it when it's really not my style, and I doubt I'd ever reach for it.... And he brought home a chocolate cake with vanilla icing. I despise vanilla icing, if it's not chocolate then it doesn't belong in my mouth. He knew I preferred chocolate icing, but the bakery was out, and he didn't realize the full level of hatred I have for vanilla icing. Like I said before, poor Ryan, he does try!

You might be thinking by now that the part about the anxiety attacks is Ryan thinking about further gifts for me, but it's not. It's Madeline. It started over a week ago. She flipped out at a park, she thought I had left her, and I was right there. A couple days later she did the same thing to Ryan at the fair, she started having nightmares over the weekend that we had left her. Madeline had an art class today, she has been taking classes through the local art center this summer, this is her 3rd class there. This particular class is just for this week, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for two hours at a time. Madeline LOVES art, she loves making crafts, drawing, pottery class has been a favorite of her's lately. She was so excited to go back today. Apparently she made over 10 painting in less then an hour, and then started freaking out, screaming for me. Only there was a major problem, I had registered for all the summer classes last Feb over the phone, they had only asked for her name, B-Day, our credit credit, and then the billing addy and phone number. The billing phone number is my home #. So you can see where this is going, I wasn't home. I was running errands around town with Gabrielle. So poor Madeline was crying for an hour until I came to pick her up, needless to say, the center was not pleased with me. I don't feel that this was all my fault. Madeline has been taking classes without me for 3 years now, she has never once had an issue until today. I always fill out the emergency contact forms with many numbers, my cell, Ryan's cell, his office, all my mom's numbers, etc... I was never given any type of forms to fill out at this place, we just started taking classes here this summer, and I just didn't realize that they only had one number to call. Had I know, I would of made sure it was my cell. Poor Madeline. She said that she thought we left her forever. I don't know where this is coming from. We rarely leave her, she has never been a daycare type setting, not even at a gym, no baby sitters other then family. She takes dance and gymnastics classes, sometimes I leave, other times I stay, she has never cared if I'm there or not. She isn't going to school,  I guess I have something else to mention to her therapist. 

Happy Birthday

.... to me! I am 26 years old today. Ryan actually remembered this year as well. That is huge, it's not uncommon for him to forget, last year Madeline reminded him, LOL. No special plans at all, going to take Madeline to art class later today, we'll have leftovers for dinner, and then Ryan and I will will watch the Olympics after we get the girls to sleep. I love the Olympics, I always end up watching as much as I can, and normally I hate sports. We never watch sports of any kind. I think I love watching because it's just not sports, but stories, joy and heartbreak. I've been staying up way too late every night because I get sucked into an event and can not go to bed until it's over. And on a side note, I have a relative of some sorts in the Olympics. Not going to go into too many details since I don't care to share my last name, but there is a swimmer with my last name in the Olympics. And that person is from the same area where I was born! My last name is not common at all, there are very few of us out there. So few that we've only ever found my family, and then another small branch in Texas. That side of my family doesn't have a family tree, so no one knows much about it, some day when I have time I should research it. 

Monday, August 11, 2008

Madeline's new treasure

We found the canopy in a thrift store last week for $2.00! Ignore her messy room, it had actually been clean a minute earlier.... Her room is  all pink and purple "treasures", just looking at the photos makes my eyes hurt, but she loves it. And normally it is even brighter! We have her very colorful rug pulled up to steam clean. 

Gradually she is starting to even play in her room by herself for short periods of time! She has been sleeping in here most nights, but some nights she has nightmares and wakes up to go to Ryan's room. I can tell my next project will be weeding though her stuffed animal collection, she collects them, and I have to sneak them out one by one when they started over running the house. 

Sunday, August 10, 2008

the girls play dress up

Thanksgiving in August!

We cooked a 22 lb turkey today. About two weeks before Thanksgiving when many grocery stores have a sale on Butterballs, $0.99 a lb, I always buy two. One to cook for Thanksgiving, the other to save for later. And every year towards the end of summer, I realize it is still in my freezer, and I end up rushing to cook it! I cook a very large turkey because I freeze the meat and use it in soups and other dishes through out the year. 

I have spent the last 5 years trying to perfect my brother in law's famous turkey recipe. It always tastes amazing, but I really need to keep better notes year from year, I keep forgetting what I did last time! 

BIL's Apple Turkey

This is a loose recipe. Take a turkey, and loosen the skin from the top and all around the sides, you need to be able to get your hand in it. Take a bottle of honey, pour handfuls into one hand and rub into the turkey, coating the breast in honey. I don't end up using a whole bottle, maybe 3/4 of it for a very large turkey. He is a huge fan of Emeril, and that is probably where this recipe came from. Pour handfuls of Original Emeril Essence Spice and smear into the honey, throughly coating the breast, sometimes I end up using all of the bottle, other times I don't. The last step is circles of Granny Smith apples. You place them under the skin, on top of the honey and spice, cover all the meat that you can reach under the skin. You might have to toothpick the skin back into place after this step to keep the apples in place. I stuff the turkey with onions and more apples. Place the turkey into a roasting bag, and cook per the bag instructions! It is a great recipe. Sometimes the honey underneath causes some of the skin to char, just peel away after it's cooled, the meat underneath is still fine (this is one of the parts I'm working on perfecting).  Always remember when you pull a turkey out from the over, do not cut it! Let it sit in it's juices for at least 20 minutes before cutting, it helps keep the meat moist. 

 Now I just need to learn how to make great homemade gravy and stuffing, mine never turns out right! I can make a mean country gravy but not turkey gravy. I didn't attempt it today, I just went straight to the canned stuff, I always try every Thanksgiving. Maybe this year.....

Friday, August 8, 2008

Ryan has no right to complain

.... about the cost of Madeline's therapy. So guess who is going to pick up a new car tomorrow? Hint, it's not me! Ryan is not a thrifty person, never has been in any way. He has slowly been getting better over the years, sometimes.... He never keeps a car very long. We've had this last one two years, which is a record for him, seriously. It is a used Audi wagon, we bought it when it was pregnant  with Gabrielle for me. Only she was born and sick, we were not driving often, but I was trying to fit in between car seats driving the 35 miles each way to doc appointments. Needless to say, we ended up with a minivan, which I love and loathe at the same time, and Ryan got my fun car, sigh. 

Ryan always does things on the spur of the moment, there is no planning about anything. Twice, I have gone out of town and come back to a new car. Other times he has just driven one home, no warning at all. There was no warning on this one either, I went to his office to pick up my cell phone which he had, and he said he had something to tell me. I think the only reason he told me is because I tell him frequently that we are not getting new cars anytime soon. Anyway, he had come up with some plan to make it all work in his mind.. He "needs" another company so he doesn't have to pay $0.50 a mile to his employees. One of his employees has a decent 4 Runner and has been looking for a nice car to buy. So apparently the company is buying the 4 Runner and the employee is buying the Audi, which leaves Ryan free to get a new car. Insert major eye rolling on my part here. I'm not pleased with it, but over the years, I've learned that I'm not his mother and he is going to do it one way or another. Men..... sigh. 

Sunday, August 3, 2008


Today is Ryan and I's 7th wedding anniversary. I bought him a new shirt for work, he has to wear collared, professional shirts and at times I get tired of seeing the same ones over and over again. And he got me a massage! We had hoped to maybe sneak away some time this week and do a dinner without children. There is the slight issue that we only leave Gabrielle with my mom, and she already has to watch her Tuesday night so Madeline, Ryan, and I can go to a therapy session. We are really fine not getting to go, the last time we went out by our selves was in June to hear Madeline's evaluation results, and before that it has been about 2.5 years! I'm a tad disappointment only because I've been craving this awesome Mediterranean restaurant in town that is not child friendly. 

Ryan and I have known each other since I was 16 and he was 22. I was waitressing during the day and attending college at night. I had about 3 hours in between my job and school, I often would watch one of my friend's children during that time. I would drop them off of at her work on my way to class, she worked in a computer store, and Ryan was a tech there. We would chit chat but that was about it. About a year later he drove by me while I was walking to class, he stopped, we started talking and the rest is history! We were married a year later, had Madeline 1.5 years later, and Gabrielle after 5 years. 

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Maine pics

final living room pics

Ryan finished this a few days before I went to Maine but I just finally got the pics uploaded.

Friday, August 1, 2008

darn hormones

I'm blaming it all on them, estrogen would be to blame I guess since it all started exactly when my period returned when Gabrielle was 18 months old. Ever since then I've had three issues. Number one is acne, not just the run of the mill acne that I've suffered from since becoming a teen, but cystic acne. Last month I finally realized I couldn't win this battle, and went to a dermatologist and got meds for it. Normally I'm fine with waiting things out, but it was scarring and not to mention painful. I now have several pitted scars on one cheek, and numerous other red spots that are not fading as the months go by. Issue number two is a nasty rash that is spreading across my stomach. It started as a small circle on my left hip, it grew bigger, and now I have other circles on my stomach that are appearing and growing. Did I mention it itches and nothing is getting rid of it? So I have yet another appointment with the dermatologist the end of this month. And my last issue is the funniest one yet. I have been suffering from never ending yeast infections for months now, and yet again nothing is helping. I've tried it all, garlic cloves, OTC meds, apple cider washes. I might get two itch free weeks and then it comes back. I've increases probiotics, decreased sugar, fruit, anything that could be feeding these yeasties, but apparently like all the other issues my period brought with it, it doesn't want to go away. Sigh, maybe I should just get pregnant again, maybe if my estrogen levels dropped, all my problems would go away? Somehow I don't think it would be that easy!