Mommy Daughter Date

So things have been happening here. I just didn't feel like typing them out. Not that they were bad, which is my usual reason for not wanting to update. I just didn't feel like it. Sorry. Anyway, here is one of the things we have done. The week of Nutcracker was super crazy. With lots of curlers, tears, makeup ,costumes and pictures. In the midst of all of that Emmeline's official glasses came in. So, I decided to take a day trip with the girls and go to Southlake (45 minutes away) and get the glasses, our family picture (that had been ready for 2-3 weeks) and then go by Grapevine Mills to go to Build-a-Bear before heading back to Denton for Nutcracker pictures. I wanted it to be a fun day with no fussing or fighting where I could take the girls and let them have fun at their own pace. It didn't really happen. Apparently 3 year old pace and 8 year old pace are VERY different. Plus if they can reach each other there will be screeching involved.

Emmeline decided what she wanted in about 5 seconds.

Emmeline made hers look so cool that out of all the choices Isa decided she wanted it too. Next came the stuffing. Last year Emmeline did not like this part at all. The noise of the motor really bothered her.

Isa went first. Wishing with her heart.

Then stuffing. Luckily Emmeline was more interested then afraid this year.

Trying to find the pedal. She wasn't so interested in wishing.

A little disturbed be the stitching.

This picture is pretty much my next 1.5 hours.

I should have known better then to tell Isa she could pick out accessories. The combinations were endless. Emmeline picked out her dog collar with bells in you guessed it about 5 seconds. Luckily they have those birth certificate computers in there that Emmeline was more then happy to play on while Isa tried outfit after outfit on her dog. Its was killer and I was spent by the time we were done. Of course we still had to go get pictures taken after this but at least I didn't have to be giving opinions on stuffed animal outfits anymore. That place really exhausts me.


"Oh, That's What You Look Like"

At Emmeline's last Ophthamologist visit he told us she would need glasses in the next year. He thought she would be fine until she went into school and told us to call him if she wouldn't stay back from the TV. In only a couple of months she was as close as she could get to the TV without sitting on the entertainment center (which she has tried). So the girls and I went in to get her glasses. I should have know this would be super hard and waited until Josh could go with me. I tried SO many pairs on her and still couldn't make up my mind. Emmeline is a very hard fit for glasses to it really narrowed down out choices. she has a short stubby nose with a shallow bridge, low set ears and VERY long eyelashes. It is the perfect storm for glasses not fitting. Her doctor is 45 minutes away so I had them write down the 2 i was trying to choose between and then went to Walmart and Target to check out their choices. Target's were cute but WAY more then I was going to spend on a first pair of glasses that would probably be broken in a month. Walmart had cheap selections but pretty much only one pair in her size. We got it as her extra pair. She really liked trying on all the different kinds but was less then happy that we didn't leave with any. Her irritation only grew when they go them in but had to keep taking them on and off her face to adjust for fit. In then end her spare pare came in first.

Spares. It's hard to tell here but they are light metallic pink.

Her official pair. These stay on really well since they have hooks that go all the way round her ear. Plus the office we got them from was pediatric so they were able to fit her better then Walmart. This was as cooperative as she was willing to be. I was lucky I guess.

Who knows, maybe they will get in some flashier ones that fit her by the time she breaks these.


A Little Learning

A few weeks ago (yes I know I'm behind) I took the girls plus Isa's friend A with us to the Forth Worth Museum of Nature And Science. We got a family membership back in March 2011 and this was our first time back. I had to clear our schedule of all Emmeline's therapies which is a feat in and of itself but it was totally worth it. Not only did we get out of the house but it wasn't to a store or doctor and we took a friend! The girls all had a great time.

Emmeline felt right at home in the ambulance

Trying to hold down the siren button and drive. She had advance fine motor skills ;)

The little kid area here is far lacking in comparison to the Dallas Museum but they do have cool water guns

She stood here for a VERY long time

It was really hard to keep up with A and Isa so I only managed one picture of them. Learning to try and spin plates on sticks. It was really hard but they kept trying.

The museum is great for Isa age kids but Emmeline was very tolerant. They even had a pretty cool visiting exhibit on George Washington where the girls got to take the Presidential Oath, and see a scale model of his home. They had a hard time understanding why he wasn't living in the White House. At lunch Isa asked me to sit at a different table so they could pretend they were in a cafe in NY. No, she hasn't seen Sex in the City. The day was great up until we tried to get home. A 45 minute drive took us 2 hours. The girls held up way better then me. I was so excited to get out of the car. Glad we could get away though. Even if it was just for a day.


My Secret Society Of Silverware

I might have OCD. I say might because I know people that have OCD and they seem pretty crazy. i mean, I'm crazy but I would like to think I'm not that bad. As a matter of fact if I catch myself doing something compulsively I try to do the total opposite just to prove I can. Just to prove it hasn't got me. Maybe proving it doesn't have me is what has me? It's a vicious cycle.
One compulsive thing I just can't seem to beat has haunted me since my childhood. For as long as I can remember I have done it this way. I MUST put the silverware away in a certain order. I know it doesn't sound like a big deal but it is. First I will tell you the order, then I will tell you why and then I will explain the repercussions if I don't use said order.
First goes any big utensils like spatulas, can openers, wooden spoons, then knives, then spoons, last comes forks.
Big stuff first because they are big tough and guard the drawer in which they reside so must be returned quickly.
Second knives, they are the elderly utensil and have earned respect and the right to get back in the drawer next.
Third spoons, they are young and sweet and would get their feelings hurt if they were last.
Last forks, they are mean and bad. They pick on everyone around them and therefore are punished by being last.
If I happen to over look a knife or spoon and get the forks out I have to return at least one fork to the dishwasher and get whatever was left behind out and then get the fork back out. There are more forks then anything in the drawer. If I don't make sure they are absolute last they will gang up on the spoons and pick on them. The knives being old will have a hard time calming everyone down so it's just best to keep the forks in their "place" by making sure they are last.
There, that doesn't sound so bad does it? OK, I know it does. I'm not sure when I came up with the whole plan but I just can't seem to shake it.


Just Hold It In

I Usually try to keep my sadness
Pent up inside where it can fester
quietly as mental illness

When I saw that quote a couple days ago I thought it pretty much explained me. And it does. Occasionally that sadness breaks through and comes out as yucky, slimy, puffy crying sessions. I try to have these sessions in private but sometimes they catch me by surprise. It feels like when I was pregnant and I got that feeling that I was about to puke and frantically searched for a private acceptable place to do this. But try as i might sometimes I can't get to that private place and I cry right there in the open. I hate it almost as much as the crying itself. In the end I just feel sick for hours. This only fuels my hatred for crying. It is totally useless. I feel worse after then before.

Emmeline apparently agrees with me. In her Pre-k classes they want her to be able to identify and happy person and a sad person by pictures. I didn't think this would be a problem. We had read plenty of stories where the main character gets upset and then there is a resolution. She seemed fine. Well, after one session of trying to teach her the signs for happy and sad she showed clear signs of distress. She responded fine to happiness but then if anyone was sad, hurt or crying she would give a nervous laugh and then try to change the task. After a few more attempts she would just plain cover her face a disengage from whatever we were doing until we had adequately convinced her we had moved on to happy people. I don't blame her. It's like being led by a blind person and she knows it. She wants nothing to do with those yucky tears and all the fluids that goes with them. Just hold it in mom. Be a pro.


Why I Shouldn't Watch Current TV And I May Have Said Too Much

I am a bad parent when I watch current TV. Back when I got hooked on Lost I realized I was either ignoring Isa so I could watch or I was putting her to bed insanely early just so I wouldn't feel guilty about ignoring her while I watched. I of course failed and ended up feeling guilty anyway. So like a good adult I quit watching. It also helped that at that point I was totally fed up with the plot line/lines.
I just get so caught up in the story and have trouble detaching from the characters and was totally stressed while waiting the week to find out what happened. I would worry and fret and literally get sick to my stomach about it. I know this is far from normal or healthy but I am who I am.
I am once again having trouble detaching. Thanks to this guy.

Ben Wyatt photo

I am totally smitten. The casting director for Parks and Recreation hit a home run for me on this one. Adam Scott is the perfect amount of nerdy, sensitive and manly in this character.

And the prep for me to say too much.

When Adam entered the show as Ben Wyatt they had him be pretty annoyingly bland. Even then I liked him. I realize this might say something about my taste in men but I like to think I could see his inner personality they were suppressing. Anyway, Even though I am not crazy about the main character Leslie (played by Amy Poehler) as a date-able person (meaning I don't see how anyone could find her attractive enough to date. Personality or looks) I was glad when they paired up her and Ben for a secret relationship. Of course the writers screwed that up for me and they "had" to break up for Leslie to run for City Council (she wasn't aloud to date co-workers, hence the secret relationship). This created an even bigger problem for me.

And now the too much.

I can't accurately fantasies about being in a relationship with Ben if he is single.

I know, it's weird. It is totally a part of my inability to detach that has created this sick little problem and as an adult I see that. Does it make me like Ben/Adam less? Um, no.

You would think I would be thrilled with the fact that they got Leslie and Ben back together in the last episode but I'm not. I know that too make good TV they have to be dramatic. It was WAY too easy to get them back together. I know they are just going to toy with me some more by creating a new bigger reason why they can't be together. Well, if they writers are any good they will. My only hope is that either the drama will bring Leslie and Ben even closer or that they will spin the drama too something else. My hopes aren't high.

There, now don't you wish I didn't have Hulu Plus?


A Little Itchy

For as long as I remember I have said I didn't like Christmas. Well, all the things that seem to go with it really. The silly sweaters, the gift pressure, especially the carols. Yuck. I was never sure why but they just made me feel gross. This seemed to changed slightly when I had kids old enough to look forward to it. When they get really excited I can't help but get excited with them. I slowly started to enjoy picking out gifts, putting up decorations, baking cuddling with a good Christmas book on the couch. The love for the carol has never come. Still yuck.
As an adult I think I have been able to figure out why I didn't like Christmas. I really love it. Since I really love it, it upsets me when it ends. Over they years this turned into me getting mad that it didn't last longer and pushing it away. I felt yucky and abandoned so I abandoned it. Very mature right? I know. Now that I have kids who love Christmas I remember all the fun stuff I did at Christmas and want to do it with them.
This doesn't fix my original problem though. Christmas is just too short. I know some stores started their Christmas stuff before Halloween but it isn't the same. Christmas doesn't start until my house is decorated. I am really itching to get my stuff out. Josh however doesn't like doing this until after Thanksgiving. I don't see the problem. You should show your thanks at Thanksgiving and I am showing I am thankful for Christmas. Seems like a win-win to me. Josh doesn't agree. We'll see.


A Little Seussy

Sometimes I wish
and hope and dream
Of things I want to Be

Not just in my head
But where everyone could see

Where the whole world could feel
my excitement and zeal
Not for an illusion
But for a world that is real

But today it's not there
Or it's to small to view
Not just for me
But also for you

There used to be energy
And sparkle and light
But now my poor heart feels
It's not worth the fight

The fight to stay here
In this cold empty place
Became only harder
By the look on my face

So my light got shut out
It could no longer stay
Not with my outlook so stormy and grey

The wood of my soul
Is too wet from the tears
And my life has become crippled
By all of my fears

So now
I try and work and fight
To dry that wood with all of my might

The work will be hard
The goal long to achieve
But I wont give up

One day in the future
My wood will burn bright
In hopes of helping others
To put up a fight

But the thing that I hope we all get to see
Is that I will be happy
As things happen to Be.


My Milestone!

At the beginning of this year I set a goal for myself. I wanted to revive my blog. I had never really totally ignored it but it like so many things had become neglected and that caused me to lose connection with people and things I enjoyed. So, I am happy to announce that this blog post is #64 this year!!! That is exactly double my previous annual post high of 32 in 2004 when Isabella was 1!! I have to say I am pretty proud of myself. I was going to do a post that tied into my very first post on this blog but I was lame and this was my first post "This is my first post". So lame.
So, I decided to check out my 32nd post in 2004. sadly it was about completing the 1/2 marathon in the distance challenge at Run for Your Life. I don't really run anymore. One, because I would have to push Emmeline's chunky but in the stroller and have Isa riding her bike which is still patchy. Two, because the weather here sucks so taking the girls out in it let alone motivating myself isn't the best scenario. Either way I am glad I was able to accomplish something this year even if it is just updating my blog for everyone to read. I am actually excited that I stuck with something that wasn't "needed" for our family to function. I feel like everything I do is just to maintain the family. But this blog was my self indulgent thing. The thing I did when I felt like I wasn't a real person but merely a caregiver. It kind of brought me back to the world outside of this apartment. Reminding me that the people I care about are still there and despite my neglect, they still cared about me!! YAY!! I'm not sure if I can do 120 posts next year but we will see!


The See Ya Later

I have tried to write this post many, many times. I never make it past looking at the pictures though. I really hate crying and every time i try and sift though them I cry. I had never even heard of ECI/CDSA until we were being discharged from the hospital. We were lucky to have a great social worker during discharge because I have heard stories of others who were so lucky. She set EVERYTHING up for us and gave me a list of people to call to possibly get more services we might need later on. CDSA in NC did their best but most of them (excluding one) didn't know how to even begin handling Emmeline. She was the most medically complicated child in the county and probably that they had ever seen. I loved them. They were sweet and loved my kid but we didn't see a ton of progress there.
When we moved I was nervous about meeting new therapists. I don't really like appointments or talking to strangers. They were of course amazing. They listened to me and all my concerns. They loved Emmeline and pushed her hard. She grew by leaps and bounds. She has gone from a non communicator that could barely sit up to the little ball of energy that runs around my apartment bossing her sister all day.
As the dreaded 3rd birthday drew near I decided to have a birthday party with Emmeline's best friends. Her therapists. Sadly in the end only a few could come to the actual party but it was still a great (and heartbreaking) day. It was great to have one last in home visit with them. I have already crashed one of their staff meetings to see people and I'm sure it wont be our last.

the gift table

All dressed up for her party

I have never served a store bought cake at my kids birthday. Ever. Emmeline was very clear that this is the one she wanted though. Hey, it's her party.

It never fails that I can let Emmeline pick any bag of chips she wants and she get Cheetos EVERY time.

They brought her balloons so most of the pictures I have are like this.

And this.

They got a gift for Emmeline and Isabella. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE these people!!!

PT. "Um, Lala what are you doing in my picture?"

Speech. I just love how Emmeline is looking at her. You can see the love.

We had some how ended up with 3 therapy balls.

After everyone left she needed to do some comfort eating.

I can't really accurately describe my feelings for these wonderful people. This post probably doesn't really make much sense. I don't do well with emotions but at least over the internet you can't see me cry so that is a plus.


My Season of Remembering

Like I said in a previous post, the fall reminds me of Emmeline being in the hospital. Most of that makes me feel better but one thing sticks out like a sore thumb and kind of ruins it. Halloween. On this day 3 years ago I made what I was told was a life saving decision. Maybe it was. I'll never know. All I do know is I am full of regret. I can't help but feel that if we had given her a bit more time she would have done it. But I was new to this and thought they really had her best interest at heart and not just their schedule. How naive I was. On that day 3 years ago I decided to permanently scar my daughter's beautiful tummy. Now if she ever shows her stomach she will get hit with questions. For a choice she had no choice in. It was very difficult to have the G-tube placed. It took all the self control I had to not run into the O R and grab her off the table. I just sat and cried the whole procedure. The Chaplin in the waiting room was so freaked out they didn't even approach me. It did probably make her stronger faster then she could have alone but at what cost? Vomiting multiple times a day for years. Totally forgetting how to eat. Our sanity. Any chance at a "normal" family life. In the back of my mind I truly believe she didn't need it. But that doesn't matter now.
Sometimes I get really, really angry when I think about the doctor's motives surrounding such a hard choice for our family. It's something I am constantly having to try and move past. Which is harder then I ever imagined. It bothers me that I let this eat away at my happiness for all the amazing things Emmeline has done over the last 3 years. She is truly exceptional. Today I'll try to see her exceptional things. Will I make it that whole day? Probably not. But I will at least give it the best I have. Just like 3 years ago.


Daddy Day!!

Emmeline's riding lessons are usually on Friday mornings. Josh has class. Emmeline's instructor and I have been trying to convince him to skip said class and come watch her ride. She is being super cute these days on Eeyore and we really wanted him to see in person. No such luck. Apparently professors think Phd classes are really important or something. Totally unreasonable.
Well, last week we hit the jackpot. The instructor had to go out of town on Friday and needed to reschedule for Tuesday. Josh's morning "off". He never really has extra time but he took a break from homework and came to riding with us. Emmeline was THRILLED!!! She wanted him to do everything with her and wanted me to get out of their way. So, i stepped back and documented their Daddy Daughter time. Very Cute.

Showing him how to do all the tack.

I can attest to how hard it is to lift Emmeline and that saddle. They are heavy.

Helmet on and ready to ride!

Her fist pump "Go"!!!!

Deciding whether or not she wants to do "air plane arms"

Gave in

Trail riding

Walking Eeyore back to his "house" butt shot

On the way out the owner saw Isa and asked if she wanted to ride. Um, I can' tell if she liked it. Can you?

I am so glad Josh was able to come. Both girls LOVED having him there!!! Emmeline was really showing off for him.



I love pumpkin patches! They kind of force me to feel fall. Unless it's hot then my brain kind of freaks out. We were lucky enough to have a cool streak this week so it ended up being the perfect week to go to the patch. Well, except that we had 3 other appointments that morning. :( . So I canceled 2 of the 3 and off we went. It wasn't as cool as the patch we went to for homeschool days when we first moved here but that patch was an hour away so I'll take 20 minutes and a moderate amount of fun instead.
Part of the big draw for this patch is all their cute cutouts for pictures. It was super sunny though so Em didn't really want to open her eyes pretty much the whole time. She did still offer up some cuteness you can see below.

Em tried the bouncy house. Try that with no vestibular system!

Isa was a great big sister and took Em through the maze

It helped that she could see over the top

Not really made for a kid her size but I couldn't resist

In the pumpkin house

Notice a theme in the next few pictures? I swear she just started doing it herself!

It was like she was saying "Mom, it is way to bright out here. This is all you're going to get". I'll take it!!


Sleep Deprived and Cool

Whenever the weather gets cool and I don't get much sleep it makes me reminisce. I think of Emmeline shortly after she was born. When she was doing her very best to scare us to death. I should have known that she was just messing with me. No matter what we did it always seemed like she was in total control. That she could "stop" at anytime and we could all go home. We did what we thought was our best, and what was best for her. I wonder if she will agree? Or if she will think that with a good nap we would have been thinking more clearly and done things differently?
Oddly I feel safer this time of year. More at peace. Less scared. Back then I had a whole hospital to help me. Plus I had no idea what was one the road ahead. I thought "if we can just make it thought this we can go home and start our normal life". A thought that is laughable now.
I miss the hospital, I miss the Ronald McDonald House, the nurses, the rooftop playground, the Condon's, the janitor I would chat with everyday, the toy room, and the pediatrician from back home who would call to check on the patient he hadn't met yet.
I have met some really amazing people through all this. Some were amazingly stupid but amazing none the less. I'm sure I'll meet more of both. But for now I will try and remember that feeling of safety. The time when everyone had my back. While I had Emmeline's.


Tomato, Boxed Velveeta Dinner?

When someone asks me what they can save money on couponing I always tell them the same thing. Not healthy food. Personal care items will be raining from the sky. I have the more razors, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrushes, floss, lotion, body wash, you name I have more of it then cabinet space.
Let me clarify a bit. By healthy food I mean something that is not processed, carb heavy, boxed food. I can get a ton of "Whole Grain" stuff. When I want healthy, I want low calorie. There might be a random produce coupon every once in a blue moon but not enough.
I am so sick of these coupon websites trying to get me to buy Velveeta boxed dinners just because they are free. YAY! Free Fat!!! Who wouldn't want that? Um, me and my hips. Why can't I get a a free box of tomatoes?!
Now my coupon sites are going crazy because there is cheap Great Grains Post cereal on sale this week. Still not healthy. That stuff is not only high in calories but loaded with sugar. Well, more sugar then something deemed "healthy" should be. It is so infuriating!!! Just because it says whole grain on it doesn't make it good for you!!!!! Otherwise my idea of "Whole Grain Cheese" would have really taken off.


I Thought You Meant Someone On The AH List

At dinner the other night I asked Josh if he could have his picture taken with any celebrity of the opposite sex who would it be. He answered pretty quickly that he would pick Catherine Zeta-Jones. I have to admit I was surprised. I figured it would be Christine Taylor or a Deschanel sister.
Then he asked me who I would choose. When I answered that I would probably choose Michael Shanks, he kind of chuckled and said "Oh, I thought you meant someone on the AH list". I was insulted by this. Next he said he thought Michael was a little too dorky to be a top pick. Again, I was insulted. Maybe he originally played a dorky character but that character ended up kicking some serious A$#. Very manly. Plus I'm pretty sure by the end of the series his arms were bigger then my head. I'm not usually attracted to muscular cut guys (no I am not saying josh is fat or un-muscular so don't even start that) but I make an exception here for the sake of humanity.

Pretty dorky but still cute.

More manly

More manly because he is carrying a gun. That he has killed bad guys with. How do I know that from a head shot? Yes, I know the full uniform and that he has a gun strapped to his right leg.


The Dry Well

I find this sentiment applies to multiple areas of my life right now. First I can't seem to come up with clever or interesting blog posts. Is my life really that boring? I feel really busy but I guess deep down I know it's a busy that no one else really wants to hear about. Next it applies to close local friends. It is super hard for me to make and keep close friends now days. I just end up being flaky and hard to get a hold of which aren't good friend qualities. Then comes all family relationships that I need to "invest" myself in. Not much there to invest. I feel like my well is dry. I would gladly give what I have but who would want it? It's like offering someone your half eaten, smushed sandwich. You get this look like "really, this is all you've got? Well, OK."
Here's to hoping something fun interesting happens to me soon. I like fun interesting.


Isa's Bridging Ceremony

Isa had her re-dedication/bridging ceremony today for Girl Scouts. It was super cute. I a m so glad she loves Girl Scouts like I do. We are super excited for her first troop camp out in October! She had several big roles and felt very important.

Job #1 Color Guard
She was very worried she would be late and the flag would touch the ground.

The Girl Scout pledge

Job #2 reading part about what the world would be like if people didn't help each other

Pinning with her troop leader

Posing picture

She also had another speaking part where she read a very cute poem written to make parents cry. Evil poem. I did not take pictures of it though because I was recording it. I am not computer or blogger savvy enough to get it off my phone let alone put it on here so you will just have to take my word for how cute she was. Cute. Side note, she is wearing tights and a pink leotard under her clothes because we had to rush from Nutcracker rehearsal and fitting to get there in time. Busy but totally worth it.