"What lies behind us, and what lies before us are small matters
compared to what lies within us."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Just Dance!

We don't have a cool stereo system, but we still know how to have a good time!

The DJ

My kids are probably going to hate me some day for posting all these pictures of them!

Francesca likes to boogie!

Nothing better than dancing in the rain.

At least most of us danced.
(Notice my son is on my netbook - I miss it!!!!)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Death Row Survivors

I found these two quotes today that I really want to remember, both of them are by Albert Einstein.

"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts."

"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is."

I'm not sure if I have mentioned this before, but I work with an animal rescue called "Dogs on Death Row". dodr.org

We only take the dogs and cats from shelters who are on their very last day at the shelter. The shelter workers will call my friend, Carol, and plead for her to come get the dog or cat before they are put to sleep. Some of the animals are older, some of them have been abused, others have just lost their homes for no reason other than their owners just didn't want them anymore.

There are just so many. The shelters can't hold them all.

Now I am going to shamelessly plug some of my kitty rescues, just in case anyone is looking for a new lap filler. Just like Amazon, we ship for free!!!

This is "Beatrice".
Beatrice is actually a boy, but I thought he was a girl for such a long time that I just couldn't change his name. He is Mr. Floppy. He is one of those rare cats who likes to have his stomach rubbed. I was saving some other cats from a shelter when I saw him. His cage was marked with a big X for the next day. X is not a good letter, so I popped him into the box and took him home.

Sweet "Homebody"
Homebody has a very sad story. Someone found her in the woods pregnant and alone in the winter. They called me and of course I took her in. She had all her babies on my bathroom floor a few days later, but sadly, they all died. She had a huge wound on her neck, but she recovered. She is as sweet as can be.

Baby is a rare orange female cat. Most orange cats are males. She is only about a year old. I rescued her mother and siblings from a shelter when Baby was only 2 weeks old. Her mother was feral, but the girls made sure they cuddled the kittens everyday. Baby is a snuggler.

And last, but not least, "Moosie"
Moosie is the kind of cat who loves to be with his people. He is happy to be on a lap or just sit near you. He likes to put his paw on my arm while I am on the computer, just to remind me he wants some attention.

Of course, all of the cats are neutered or spayed. They are only indoors. As you can imagine, they are all very used to kids, other cats and dogs.

So, if you are looking for a cat or dog of any kind, please let me know!

Sorry, I will try to write a funny post tomorrow, but sometimes, the unfairness of everything just gets me down!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

House Guests

I got a big surprise when I looked up at the celing in the bathroom the other day. There was an enormous, thick web, but no spider.

I am NOT afraid of spiders,
(remember this post? http://wronginalltherightways-travcat.blogspot.com/2011/04/creature-in-bathtub.html)
but, just to be on the safe side, I tore out of there like a maniac.

"Has anyone seen a spider in the bathroom?" I asked the kids.

"Oh yeah!" Anastasia replied, "that's our friend Felix. He's really sweet."

Apparently the fanged creature has an entire history with our family that I knew nothing about.

"We have another one named Eloise in the kitchen." Isabella piped up.

I was starting to feel itchy all over.

Eloise and Felix had dinner together last night while I was giving the kids a bath.

I jerked the kids out of the water so fast you would have thought "Jaws" was in the tub.

"Felix and Eloise have to go." I told everyone.

"But Mom, they would never bother us. They know us!" Catherine insisted.

How do you kill friends of the family?

I think I am just going to use the upstairs bathroom for the rest of my life, even though I am NOT afraid of spiders.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Another Great Idea

I'm sorry I haven't been writing this week. I can't seem to get my creative juices flowing when I have to use the family computer. Too many helpers around.
I just ordered a new netbook keyboard on ebay. I am checking the mailbox daily!

Thursday was my birthday. Since my birthday is the last of our family's long line of August birthdays, everyone is pretty birthdayed-out (that is probably not a word. but it should be) by the time my birthday rolls around. But, hey, I am too mature to even notice. Sob!! I went out and bought myself some of those sugary cake toppers and ate them slowly, one by one.

I was staring pathetically into my Lucky Charms for dinner when Theresa came by with a fancy cake - thank you Theresa!
(Yes, Victoria chewing on the plastic knife, but don't worry, it's not the sharp end! You all know what a meticulous mom I am.)

Perhaps I should be worried that all the stuff on the refrigerator is going to make it topple over soon.

In other exciting news, Victoria is eating cheese by herself!!

Francesca is learning to share.

Sort of.

Today I was in the mood for an ordeal, I mean adventure, so we decided to go downtown. Atlanta has a really fun Olympic fountain that the kids can play in, for free!

We decided to go at 4:00. At 5:00 we were still searching for Isabella's bathing suit. The bathing suit apparently had evaporated into thin air, but I refused to let this minor detail discourage me. Then, we had to make a quick stop to put air in the tires. I have taught my girls to do it, so they can be independent, strong woman someday. Also, so I can stay in the air conditioning.

Then, we realized we had to return a movie. We pulled up in the fire lane in front of the store.
The next thing I know, blue lights are flashing and a man in uniform is peering into my car, asking to see my license.
"This is an awfully big car," the cop pointed out, "how many kids do you have?"
When I told him, he gave me a sympathetic smile and sent me on my way.

Though the sun was almost completely gone by now, but still, we persevered . I couldn't wait to see the joy on the kids faces when they saw where we were going!

I guess Catherine prefers water this way.

Party poopers!!!

Victoria loved the fountains!

I think the trip was definitely better than staying home and folding laundry!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

All Wet

We finally got some rain tonight. Unfortunately, my rotten, I mean misguided, children also accidentally spilled milk on my little netbook. I am not sure how it happened, but besides the netbook, Anastasia and Elliot were also covered in limp Frosted Flakes.

So, now my keyboard won't work! The z is now a 5. The b doesn't work at all. What am I going to do????!!! I tried putting the hairdryer on it, but it still won't work. I love my netbook! I don't have to worry about the hassles of Christmas shopping this year since I know what the kids are getting for their Christmas present - a new netbook for me!

Shortly after this occurred, our power went out. Everyone was whining that there was nothing to do, but I solved that problem. I put them ALL to bed early!

Sorry no pictures, they are all on the netbook!!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

T. G. I. F.

Another day, another doctor's appointment.

Look - Francesca has clothes on!!!

Isabella is such a good big sister!

This appointment was with a geneticist. She said she knew that Francesca has Aperts Syndrome, but she suggested that we still do an giant panel of expensive blood work just to have it officially confirmed. Uh, no thanks!

She also suggested that Victoria go see a neurologist. Apparently there are hundreds of different forms of Arthrogryposis, and many are genetic. She said the neurologist could do a muscle biopsy to confirm ONE type because Victoria will need to know this when she has kids. Having the biopspy won't change her treatment at all though. Considering she is only two, I think we can hold off on that for a little while!!!

My kids are the best. Look what they made me for lunch!

After dinner (a BIG thank you to Theresa for the Chinese food! I would never eat anything besides cereal without her!), we danced around the kitchen like wild women. Francesca was bobbing her head up and down and Victoria was twirling a cup, laughing hysterically.

Who knows what craziness we'll come up with tomorrow!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Head Under Water....

.....and they tell me to breath easy. Has anyone ever heard that song? That's how I have been feeling lately.

We've had six doctors appointments this week. Yesterdays appointment was 3 1/2 hours long! Little Catherine was with me, as well as Francesca and Victoria, so you can just imagine the fun we had. Towards the end of the visit, we were tossing tongue depressers at each other for entertainment.

The medical profession is kind of getting me down. First I had to hear from the nutritionist who said, "You needed to watch out that Victoria doesn't gain too much weight." Say what? Are we talking about the same child? The one that is diagnosed with failure to thrive?
Then she told me, "it might be hard for Victoria to loose the weight later. I mean, it's not like she is going to be mobile."

"You are aware that she isn't even on the growth chart yet, right?" I bellowed, "AND, I want to tell you, she is mobile! AND she just saw the GI doctor on Monday and he said she is doing fine!" I was getting a little testy, especially since I hadn't eaten anything but Frosted Flakes all day.

She still didn't shut up. "Well, can you tell me exactly how many ounces of water and exactly how many ounces of formula and solids she is getting everyday. And break it down by individual meals?"

I didn't even bother to answer that one. Clearly this woman was insane.

Then, I had to deal with the speech therapists.
"Why isn't she in speech therapy yet?",  they demanded to know.
"Didn't you all tell me that she wouldn't be able to speak until she had her cleft palate surgery?" I asked. "Didn't you say that since she STILL has fluid in her ears, she can't hear much?"

I think I was getting a little bit defensive.

So, we finally got home. I was cranky. I needed a nap, but no, my kids really know how to throw a party with the dogfood bag. It was kind of hard to stay cranky after watching them! So I ate some "Mike's and Ike's candy and cheered up a bit. Nothing like a little sugar coated food dye to restore my equilibrium.

My friend, Jen, (who adopted three kids at the same time and has 9 kids under the age of 8! She is way cooler than me! Here is her blog: http://letsfillthevan.blogspot.com/) asked me why my kids don't ever have clothes on n the pictures! Well, Francesca is a big sweat ball and Victoria is super messy with her food. Skin cleans way easier than clothes anyway, right? Is this weird? You all know I have no weirdness radar.

Then, little Catherine bugged the dog one time too many and he scratched her. I don't usually freak about blood, but the blood kept gushing and gushing. Francesca was screaming her fire engine scream. Then, I noticed that Victoria was soaking wet in her crib. She had pulled out her NG tube and the formula ($3 a bottle) had leaked everywhere!

It was a tad bit overwhelming. I wanted to climb into my bed and hide, preferably in another country. Or maybe even Mars.

So, off to the emergency room we went. I was so glad my mom came with us!

Two hours later.

Catherine actually screamed more about having her temperature taken than she did when she got the stitches.

Three stitches later. I wonder if Catherine learned her lesson?

Today Victoria had to get fitted for some new hand splints. For two hours I had to hold her down while they stretched her fingers. I know it's for her own good, but I hate to see her in pain. She can't use her hands at all when she wears them, so she only wears them at night. She can't play with any toys in her crib. I kind of felt like I was betraying her.

For a while she just lay there in her crib, pondering her life. She rolled over. She sighed.

She looked at the splints.

Then, she tried to touch a toy. She looked up and smiled at me.

Lately I've been questioning whether I was going to be able to do all this, but if little Victoria can hang in there, then I guess I need to stop my whining!