Thursday, March 29, 2007

A few randoms

My new job
I think I've mentioned a couple of times that I've gotten a new job... well I am now a Purple Heart lady! We have an organization here called Purple Heart Veteran's. They send a truck around neighborhoods and pick up clothing and misc. donations and then sell the items in a local store... well someone needs to schedule those donation pick ups* - and that is now what I do. I spend about 2 hours a day on the phone and call people on my route to find out if they have a donation to be picked up. I need to schedule 34 pick ups each week and in order to do that I end up making between 500-600 phone calls. For the most part people are very kind to me and it has been quite enjoyable. I'm not getting paid a TON of money, but it is a little something AND I feel like I'm contributing and accomplishing something during the day. The girls enjoy sitting at the table with me and coloring or making their own phone calls, so that is really nice. It is a great job for a SAHM.

*A "pick up" is really defined as two paper grocery bags full of clothes or household items or the equivelent of that (about 4 plastic grocery bags or 1 13 gallon bag or a couple of boxes). Your purple heart lady gets paid per pick up she's scheduled AND gets a bonus based on how many people actually leave the stuff for the driver to pick up (some people forget). So, if you donate to Purple Heart here is my request: if you have more than the amount I described, hold onto the additional so that you can be scheduled for a pick up on the NEXT time through, too - does that make sense?

I think we are healthy, people! Finally, we have everybody up and moving and feeling good. Everyone else has been good since Tuesday, but Nora contracted a very serious, extreme case of "convenient flu" for the last two days. This was the most severe case I have seen since becoming a parent... You know what that is, right?
Nora: I don't feel good, can I watch cartoons all day and turn my brain to mush?
Mom: Of course, dear, whatever you wish.
N: Can I have a snack?
M: No honey, you are sick it will make your tummy hurt.
N: I don't feel sick anymore, can I have a snack?
M: Of course, dear, whatever you wish.

M: Time for lunch, turn the tv off and come up for lunch.
N: Mom, I don't feel good, I'm not going to eat lunch.

And so it went for two days. Tuesday she skipped lunch and the rule in our house is if you don't finish your lunch you don't get an afternoon snack. She agreed. Then when I got Ryann and Georgia a snack she cried and cried and cried. So yesterday when she was too sick to eat lunch, I reminded her that she wouldn't get a snack. She said okay. So I made her sign this:

My baby signed her first contract:) And I made sure she read through it first before signing, like any responsible person.

The naughtiest one.
Could I request - as a parent of a three children - that I just skip this whole 1 year old turns into a two year old year? I've already done it twice - isn't there a point in parenting where you just get to skip ahead to the fun stuff? I will gladly have a two year old rather than a one year old - someone please do some magic.

Georgia, I think, has Obessissive Compulsive Disorder. She gets totally obssessed with the naughtiest things. For a few weeks she was obssessed with the dog food - transferring it from the food dish to the water dish, putting it in her little toy dishes and stirring it around like soup, carrying it all over the house and depositing it wherever her hands opened up. At least she has stopped eating it.

Dog food ended and then the toilets began. Everything went into the toilet. Hands. Arms. Toothbrushes. Empty toilet paper tubes. Toys. Scarves. Pajamas. Given the fact that I have two other children who for some reason decide not to flush everytime they go potty (I don't know why) this has been quite an experience. When a family has three bathrooms it becomes difficult to constantly monitor them all and make sure all doors are closed at all times.

Toilets ended and now climbing on the kitchen chairs and standing at the kitchen table has begun. All the time. Everyday. And she falls - a lot. And if we take her down or - can you believe this? - tell her NO screaming and fits ensue. And this child has fits.

The other two threw fits, but they were different - almost cute in a way. They would throw themselves, headfirst, onto the floor and scream. I would walk away and within 5 minutes they would realize that no one was paying attention and stop. Not Georgia. She does hers standing up and she travels. Traveling Fits. She screams and follows me from room to room so I cannot escape. And many of them last for 20-60 minutes. It is pleasant.

In case you're wondering
There's still time.

Monday, March 26, 2007

March Madness

I've put all the screens in the windows and opened the entire house up. I'm trying to get rid of any and every virus that may still be hanging around. We cannot shake the flu around here.

Last Wednesday I woke up (after my stimulating day in the hospital) feeling "not quite right". Not really anything I could describe - just queasy and no appetite. Weird for me. Definitely weird for me. Smells made me sick to my stomach. Thinking about food made me want to crawl into bed. I was exhausted.

Morning sickness.

Thats what it felt like.

Until Saturday. The aches came with no fever. Not even half of a degree. But I couldn't sit still in church because everything hurt. I couldn't do anything that day because I had no energy. My knees hurt, my eyeballs hurt, my back hurt. And the pizza we had after church was not enjoyable.

Sunday the aches were gone, but still no energy, no appetite, no hunger even. For the last 5 days I ate simply because I knew I needed to, but that was the only reason. My pancakes were not enjoyable. I was functioning, but not well. I felt like I was faking it because I didn't have any real symptoms. I was beginning to think that I would never feel normal again.

Until today. I AM normal (okay, you can snicker about that - but normal relative to me:) My energy is back, my ambition is back, my appetite is back (although my stomach is not always very happy about that - still a little queasy after I eat). I am soooo happy!

But Cornbread and Nora are down. They have fevers, though.

Two of my friends had this "morning sickness" virus - and they even took pregnancy tests to find out. How in the world do we get rid of this? It has been 2 1/2 weeks of different things going from one person to the next. Never seems to be the same as the previous person in our house... Don't have a clue what is going on in this house, but the windows are open, the doors are open, I've been doing laundry and disinfecting.

Lest I jinx myself, I will just note that ONE person in our family has not been sick at all. Perhaps some questionable diaper contents, but no vomitting or fever as of yet during all of this. Lets just hope it stays that way;)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

2007 Spring Fling - Part II

Okay, now some other observations specific to my children:
* I'm not sure I shared this story last year... We went to Easter Brunch at a different country club last year. Ryann was 1 1/2 at the time and absolutely terrified of the Easter Bunny. Terrified. At one point she was holding onto the table with white knuckles and trembling because she was so scared. Me and my friend Bling Bling and Jenny witnessed this and laughed and laughed and laughed (okay, Jenny didn't since she was right next to Ryann - she actually picked her up and hugged her, Bling Bling and I were across the table). So the Easter Bunny was there. She was brave enough to walk past him, but didn't want to have anything to do with shaking his hand, hugging him or getting anywhere near him:)

* Nora did really well with her modeling and singing. She hit her marks perfectly, waved nicely, sat nicely while waiting to sing, sang all the words and did all of the motions. Sometimes it is very evident to me that she is an oldest child in the midst of many non-oldest children - that night was definitely one of them. She sat very quietly in her chair waiting to sing and watching the other models. Other kids, on the other hand, were jumping up every time the crowd clapped, were falling off of their seats, were waving to their moms and dads. I would like to take credit for this and just say that she is a perfectly behaved child, but I think the oldest thing has more to do with it - seeing her make her marks was also very convincing in that regard. I am looking forward to seeing how Ryann and Georgia act in their own Spring Flings.

* When I dropped Nora off in the room of kids before the show, there was a BUNCH of kids running around the room. I dropped her off and went to find seats, thinking nothing of it. After a couple of minutes I decided to go tell her that we weren't able to sit in the front like she had requested. I stood in the doorway looking for her in the mass of chaos that was running around the room. She was standing by herself away from everyone else with a very quiet look on her face. My heart broke - I knew EXACTLY what she was feeling. Overwhelmed. Uncomfortable. Awkward. Not included. I could feel it myself for those few moments that I looked at her - my chest is kind of tightening right now even remembering it. I immediately went over to her, gave her a hug and told her how pretty she looked. She started crying - I could tell it was a release of all the feelings that she had and I felt so bad for her. Her two best friends were not there - Nicole and Olivia. Olivia showed up almost immediately and Nora ran to her and gave her a BIG hug.

I know that feeling too well - it is how I feel, even now at 30 years old, in a situation like that. In fact, I felt that way just the other day at the hospital cafeteria. It was very crowded and full of people with scrubs and white doctors coats on. As I looked around for a table, I felt like everyone was staring at me. I felt completely out of place and like everyone was wondering what the heck I was doing there. Overwhelmed. That is such a good word - overwhelmed. I also felt that way as I was looking for a table for all of us to sit at during the program. There were soooo many people there, the room was crowded, there was excitement in the air and it was all a bit smothering to me. Overwhelmed.

So I empathize with my little Nora. Her face, her posture, where she was standing said it all to me... And I realized how often we, as parents, do that to our kids - just drop them off somewhere and not think twice about how uncomfortable they might be. Nursery. Preschool. The bus. I guess I just figured that kids are kids - they just jump in and start playing. Nora isn't shy, but it really hit me that night that she is introverted like her mom and I need to be aware of it, remember it, and empathize with it.

I'm reading a GREAT book right now, lent to me by a friend: "The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World". I feel like the author is standing in front of me reading my mind, my heart and my emotions. It is as spot on as anything could be - amazing. I will blog more about that in another post sometime, but I bring it up to say that being an introvert does NOT mean being shy and based on this book it is clear to me that Nora is an introvert like me. I need to be sensitive to that for her.

Friday, March 23, 2007

2007 Spring Fling - Part I

Nora's preschool had their Spring Fling on Wednesday night. She has been so excited about this for the last few weeks - she asked every night if it was her spring fling that night.

In a nutshell it is a preschool fashion show/singing show. The kids chose an outfit that they wanted to wear and then modeled them on a runway for all of the families to enjoy. After the fashion show we were treated to 4/5 year olds singing fun spring songs like "You Are My Sunshine" and "Here Comes Peter Cottontail".

I have a few thoughts on the whole thing...

First - parents of preschoolers are absolutely crazy. This thing began at 7pm at a local country club. We were told to get the kids there by 6:35pm. We showed up at exactly 6:35 and almost every table was taken (it was a banquet room of round tables). I guess its fairly obvious that I'm a first time parent of a preschooler since I didn't show up at 3:30 that afternoon to reserve my seat. We got the very last table in the back of the room and could hardly see Nora and Olivia as they modeled their clothes. I took a picture, but it is so dark and blurry because I had to fully zoom in, that you can barely figure out which one is Nora and which one is Liv.

Second - who thought it was a good idea to put the cookies/goodies in a basket on each table BEFORE the show even started - like 20 minutes before the show started? We had Ryann, Georgia and Cornbread at our table in addition to PD, her husband and her three other kids (boys 11 & 8, girl 16 mo). It is not a huge stretch of the imagination to figure out how long those cookies lasted. That was brilliant. The only reason Nora and Liv even got a cookie was because PD stole the basket off of the table next to us after they left.

Third - I have to come back to the craziness of preschool parents. They videotape, they stand up right in front of you so they can get the perfect angle, they have absolutely no sense of courtesy to anyone around them because they are trying to see their baby up there. Drives me batty. (I will point out that PD was not doing this, in case you're wondering).

Fourth - perhaps the school people should have checked the sound system before the show to make sure it was working. We hardly heard any of it.

Fifth - I feel really bad for the country club staff that had to clean up after we left. I heard that there was another program the next night so everything had to remain the same as when we got there. These poor people had quite a job to do at our table - vacuuming under the table and chairs. Between Ryann and Georgia there were at LEAST two smashed easter cookies that had been ground into the carpet - you know, the kind of easter cookies with the pink and green frosting? Yeah, that would be a nice thing to clean off of carpet, right?

Tomorrow you will be treated to Part II of the Spring Fling - observations specifically about my kids.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

**WARNING** This is loooong

The flu hit our house two weeks ago. It was lovely. First me, then Cornbread, then Nora and then Ryann. Unfortunately Ryann was hit the hardest...

She started vomitting Friday at 2am. I changed her bed, Cornbread changed her clothes and washed her up. We went back to bed only to get up within minutes to do it all over again. She seemed fine Friday morning when she woke up, but within hours it began again. She ended up being sick for the whole weekend and missed out on playing with her cousin, Tessa, and seeing the rest of the VanderWall family on Sunday. She couldn't hold any food or liquids down and alternated between feeling kind of warm and really warm.

By Sunday evening she had eaten a pb&j sandwich and managed to keep it down and her fever was gone. She was tired, but she hadn't had a nap that day, so I figured she would be better in the morning. And she was. She woke up her usual self and had some raisen bran for breakfast. Seemed totally fine to me - we were back to our normal routine.

12 noon Monday - I come out of my bedroom to get Georgia up from her nap and find Ryann laying on the stairs like she had been coming up to go to bed, but couldn't get the energy up to go any further. She begged me to put her to bed. Begged. But I wanted her to have some lunch and something to drink first. She had 1/2 of a banana and nothing to drink. And she refused to drink anything. She was exhausted and lethargic and again begged me to put her to bed. So I did - at 1:30 - and worried that I might not be able to wake her up later that afternoon. I made an appointment with Dr. Hottie for 5pm and prepared myself and the girls and Cornbread for the possibility that we may end up in the hospital. Arranged for babysitting and waited to go.

When she woke up - on her own - 15 minutes before we were supposed to leave, she was energetic and happy and seemed fine. I almost thought about cancelling the appointment... but we went. And we got sent to the hospital because she was dehydrated. At that point I didn't think she was that bad and kind of felt like we were overreacting a bit, but I trust Dr. Hottie and so does Cornbread, so we went to the ER.

We were put first on the list (there were a TON of people in the waiting room and a bunch on beds in the hallways - all with the flu) and got a room with a door right away. They came in, took some blood and started an i.v. I have to tell you - she was sooooo brave. She did not cry at all with either of the needles and it wasn't because she was too lethargic to care. She was having a good ol' time in the "hostible" at that point. And the needles didn't phase her one bit. I was so proud of her.

We were admitted to peds later that night (10:30) and decided that I would sleep at home, Cornbread would sleep there with her and I would come early in the morning to stay for the day. And when I got there that morning I embarked on the most boring day of my entire life.

Here was my day in a nutshell: PBS cartoons on the tv (which are HORRIBLE for adults - great for kids), a few books at my side (none of them were fiction so I could only bare to read a few pages at a time), some Robin's Egg candies and Ryann getting up to go potty every 1/2 hour or so - which meant that I had to unplug the iv machine, untangle her cord and follow her to the bathroom to help. (And I decided that I haven't seen anything much cuter than Ryann from behind with her pajama pants and her little "hostible" gown on and an iv trailing behind her).

It was soooooo boring. Cartoons are terrible. And I shouldn't have brought that bag of Robin's Eggs because I'm not joking when I tell you that I could FEEL myself getting fatter as I sat completely sedentary in the chair next to her bed. She, on the other hand, loved it and did not want to go home because she didn't have a bed that moves at home:) I think she also thoroughly enjoyed having mom all to herself for an entire day. My main job was to help her to the potty and ask her if she wanted anything to drink or eat (which the answer was usually no).

Dr. Hottie came in around 1:30 to see how she was doing and said she looked good, but since she hadn't eaten any solids yet, he wanted her to eat and then see how she was doing in a couple of hours. He also said that she had 3 bolises (don't know what exactly that is) of the iv before she peed the night before - so obviously she was needing it pretty badly (apparently that is a lot for a little girl) and it was important that she was there.

She had a couple of bites of pb&j, a few bites of a banana, a few sips of juice and finally fell asleep at 2:00. I could watch normal tv... but I gave up my soaps last fall and I have to say I'm not missing anything and I was almost as bored watching GH as I was with the cartoons... then Inside Edition and Jeopardy and then a desperate search for the food network.

She woke up at 5:15 and after she got out of that groggy-just-woke-up stage she was all about exploring that hospital room. She was climbing in and out of her bed, climbing on the chair, climbing on the other bed, jumping on the other bed - all while trailing the iv behind her;) I would say she was okay and ready to go home! She was again very brave when they removed the iv needle and was quite excited to put normal clothes on. Our poor girl lost so much weight, though, that her pants would not stay up very well and she had plumber bum the whole way down the hallway out of the hospital;)

We got home right at 8:15 and walked in to see Cornbread watching American Idol with Nora and Georgia. It was time for bed and everyone was ready - Nora and Georgia had spent the day at PD's house and played and played and played and they were exhausted and Ryann was already tired again from her boring day at the "hostible".

It was a very, very boring day, however, again I am thankful for the many friends we have who really stepped in to help us. Doug, Jenny and the boys had Nora and Georgia overnight on Monday and then PD had them alllllll day yesterday in addition to her own children (one is 5 like Nora and one was born the same days as Georgia... and she has two sons who came home from school later in the afternoon). It was inconvenient for all involved - us and all of them, but no one complained. No one thought twice about helping us and watching the girls. PD and Doug and another friend called me in the hospital to break up my day (read: to make sure I wasn't smothering myself with a pillow), and PD sent dinner home with Cornbread when he picked the girls up (that was really, really nice -I didn't have to eat graham crackers and italian ice for another meal). We are blessed!

All seems to be normal this morning so far. She has eaten breakfast, has pouted about something, she and Nora have fought several times already, and she is currently in her room crying over something to do with Nora. She has had a little bit of water to drink and has had a snack, so hopefully her appetite has come back. We will be very aggressive with the fluids and hopefully we won't have to go back (although I'm not sure that she wouldn't like to go back:)

And just as an FYI for any of you with small kids - one of the nurses told me that she thinks that pacifiers contribute to dehydration in little kids because when they suck on them they just recirculate their saliva and never feel a need to satisfy their thirst. I'm certain that wasn't the case with Ryann over the weekend because she only gets her pacifier in her bed during naps and over night, but she did have it all day yesterday in the hospital and she wasn't drinking or eating anything at that time. It makes total sense to me and I thought I would share.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Family Update 3/07 - Nora

I figured that since I really do want to remember these days when I'm a big girl (read: 40 years old) and I have big, grown up children, I should probably write some stuff down so I have something to refer to:) So here is my attempt to record things about my children and our lives:

Nora -
*Nora turned 5 in January and LOVES being 5. She is such a big girl, although she has not quite grasped the fact that all of the things she said she would do "when she turned 5" (like try jello fluff) are now nearing deadline. She has most of the year before she turns 6, but 6 is looming large when you don't want to try jello fluff:)

*She is in her 3rd year of preschool and loves every minute of it. Every day she comes home and tells me that she played with Nicole. I have yet to meet Nicole, but apparently they do everything together at school. And she has not kissed any boys - I know, because I ask. She is saving herself for our little next door neighbor Nolan, who goes to kindergarten at a local Catholic parish. We are quite happy with her choice:)

Cornbread took the girls sledding along with Nolan, his dad and Nolan's brother on President's Day - they had a blast and Nora and Nolan rode on the same sled together and they did not kiss (I asked), but they have affirmed their love for eachother and their intentions to marry.

*Nora is still very interested in anything related to art. She colors everyday and is doing very well at staying in the lines. She also enjoys copying words out of books and doing "homework". She has a nagging desire to learn how to read, but I'm not quite sure how to teach her. I'm going to look into some homeschooling books so I can get her started on this. She is always very eager to learn and is very excited when she does "read" a word:)

*About a month ago she got the brilliant idea that she would like to earn some money so she can buy her own stuff (read: Polly Pockets). I'm not quite sure where that came from, but it has been a fun learning exercise for all of us (read: Ryann has to do it, too). We have set a couple of jobs and prices for her and we set up 3 cups for her to put her money into: 1 cup is for Jesus, 1 cup is for her piggy bank and 1 cup is for her. She knows that the first penny goes to Jesus, the second penny goes to her piggy bank and the rest are for her. This has been a really fun exercise in teaching her about tithing, saving and earning money. We have not quite ventured into 10 pennies equals one dime yet, but we'll get there someday. We also have noticed a sharp decline in the desire to earn money after the first week, hmmmm, apparently the novelty of making your bed for 10 cents has completely worn off;)

*She is such a sweet, kind and gentle soul (most of the time). She comes to me often and says, "Mommy? I love you" and gives me a hug. It truly is one of the best sounds of all time. I am so happy that she is a loving child and that she enjoys expressing this throughout the day and not just at bedtime or other pre-set "I love you" times. She sincerely loves - not because she has to, but because she does. It has been fun to watch this develop in her and has been delightful to watch her learn to express it when she feels it.

*She made up a game called Georgia the Cutie Bug, which came about after Georgia began to walk. It consists of screaming "Georgia's a cutie bug" at the top of her lungs, squealing and then running away from Georgia when she comes running (she always does). She really loves to play with her sisters - when she feels like it (fortunately that is most of the time). She likes to teach them how to dance or how to play with babies or other stuffed animals. And she especially likes to correct Ryann when she is wrong (we're convinced Ryann says things wrong as a way to bug Nora).

* Nora is our family drama queen. If something is not to her liking it is a sure bet that she will overreact - in a big way. Every fit she throws is a big, dramatic to-do. With lots of crying. Loud crying from her bedroom (the only place she's allowed to act that way) that is intended for everyone in the house to hear. If she can't find something, or if Georgia changes the channel on the tv, or something else relatively minor happens, she reacts in such a panick that you would think that someone cut off her finger. It is amazing how dramatic she can be and how overdone her reactions are. We have never given in to her when she acts like this, we rarely acknowledge it other than to say "Please do that in your room", so I'm having a hard time understanding why it continues (in other words, we're not rewarding her in ANY way - not attention is given to her to reinforce the fits). She will grow out of it, I hope:) As for now, it does provide a bit of comic relief throughout the week - we never let her see or hear us laughing, but it does make me giggle - sometimes (read: most times I want to pull my hair out).

* She has never really been big on playing with dolls or stuffed animals. She's gotten a few dolls as gifts, but they are played with for approximately 7 1/2 minutes and then forgotten about for the rest of their sorry little lives. She also has about 2.4 million stuffed animals that never get a second glance. Now, though, we have one stuffed dog that goes everywhere with her. She took it home from Nathan (15) and David's (14) house a couple of weeks ago and when we gave it back to Nathan, he (thankfully) said she could keep it. She had named it Mojo, but he said the only way she could keep it was if she called it by its given name - Dingo. So we now have Dingo the stuffed doberman that you see in the photo above. She sleeps with him, brings him in the car with her, carries him everywhere. She also leaves me lists of how to take care of him while she is away at school - Breakfast, Bath, Nap, Lunch. Very strict instructions on the care of Dingo:) She loooooves Dingo and I love that she loves Dingo.

*Overall, Nora loves life. She does everything with her whole self and is teaching me to look at things differently. Who would guess that a 5 year old would have as much to teach a 30 year old as a 30 year old has to teach a 5 year old? I cannot say enough about how wonderful she is. She's 5 - and even though she may whine or overreact to things, she is learning to get through those things rather than allow them to become the normal way of reacting. I witness her learning it. And I witness her making intentional decisions to change the way she is acting because she knows the results will be different if she does. She is smart, funny, loving and kind. She is beautiful inside and out and really has been instrumental in me learning more about God.

My little Peak is becoming a big girl right in front of me. I feel like I've simply blinked and she is now a little girl who is almost ready to get on the bus. My mother-in-law told her this weekend that she is looking forward to going to her wedding someday (to Nolan). It occurs to me that I may blink again and I'll be blogging about wedding plans and what a pain in the bum she is in making decisions and how epensive weddings are. I am looking foward to that day - to seeing my beautiful girl in her wedding dress, seeing the love and adoration in her eyes for her future husband, witnessing the hope and excitement of beginning life together. I'm looking forward to that with all of my girls, but I'm mostly looking forward to the days in between now and then. She has taught me so much - I can only imagine what I'm in store for in the next 20 years:)

Friday, March 16, 2007


Happy Birthday Dad!!!

My children are sick. I am cleaning up vomit on the carpet and washing 2 sets of bedding. I hope your birthday is more fun than my day will be today:)

I love you:)

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Dave's cousin, Amy, has some great church/ministry related questions on her blog right now. They are really thought-provoking and I'm sure (I'm assuming) she would love to hear your thoughts on them, too. I've already verbally vomitted over there since I know everything there is to know about church and ministry.

Go check it out. Think about it. Discuss. Its good:)

Amy's blog

And stop making fun of my dog;)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Its time (updated 8:50pm)

Poor Woofy. He has been in desperate need of a haircut for far too long. He needed to get his haircut a while ago - hmmm, maybe like in December. You know how they get - a little shaggy and the hair is just a little too long. That was him in December. But it was busy. The holidays. And there simply was no time to make an appointment or to bring him in. No time? Maybe no desire to add one more thing to the list...

So by the time I felt recovered from the holiday busy-ness (read: end of January) he needed a haircut BADLY. But by that time it was coooold outside. Like 0 degrees cold. And how nice would it be to shave Woofy and then send him out into arctic temperatures. Because I love him so much (ahem), I put off making an appointment for him. In the meantime, I cut his "bangs" so he could see - which made the situation a little better. It was also during this period that Ryann asked me one day if all dogs had feathers. I guess that tells you the state of urgency for a good grooming.

After a weekend of nice weather and a promising forcast for additional good weather, I decided it was time to give in and make an appointment. We were a bit hesitant to go forward with it because he was acting so... uh, Woofy-like this weekend (read: he's a pansy and has seizures and he was acting like a scaredy cat of everything this weekend, which usually means a seizure is coming) - we didn't want to send him over the edge with the grooming session into a full blown seizure.

But yesterday I just couldn't wait any longer. He is shedding now. He can hardly see anything. The hair on top of his head has fallen into a natural part in the middle. He is bringing in lots and lots of mud on his superlong hair. An appointment was made. He is there now and we expect to pick up a completely new dog after lunch. But for your viewing pleasure, here is Woofy before the haircut and I will reveal the after later this afternoon or tomorrow:)


I don't like to complain, but I'm going to have to complain a little bit right now. I'm so unhappy with the haircut. He looks like a complete goof ball / dorkwad. I know that he is anyway, but he looks awful. This is only the second time I've brought him to this groomer (I used to do it myself until my clippers got dull and they cut him up pretty badly without me knowing it), but I don't think I'm bringing him back.

Last time I brought him there, they gave him a "puppy cut" which apparently means cutting his body and legs to a short length and leaving the head and face longer... well that resulted in the mess of a face that you saw in the before photos. So this morning when I dropped him off they said, "Oh my, he's a mess." (thanks - I DO take care of him, but it has been cold lately, DUH). "He's pretty matted, he's gonna have to be shaved." Shaved - thats exactly what I wanted. Shaved. All.over. Not his body shaved and his head trimmed. What the heck??? How in the world could someone cut his hair this way and think it looked okay? When she said shaved, I thought, "Good, none of that puppy cut stuff that he came out with last time." I expected him to be shaved.

And as you can guess, I'm not one of those confrontational people that would be like, "Oh no - he's not coming home looking like that. You take him back there and make his head look like his body or I won't pay you." Nope. I had left the girls in the car (parked right outside the door where I could see them) and was eager to get back in (I never do that, but this place is dirty and smelly - another indication that I should find a new groomer - and I didn't want them running around bothering everyone and inhaling the smoke and hair that is all over the place). So when he finally came out with The Woof, I just wanted to get out of there (read: get out of the stench) and go home. I hardly noticed his goofy haircut.

Now what do I do? Do I sedate him (yes, I said it) and try to cut his hair with a cutting shears? Do I bring him back to the stinky place and ask them to fix it (not happening...) or do I leave him like this until May? Something needs to be done. It is spring. The squirrels are coming out and they are going to make fun of him. Oh yes, they will.


Oh you know I couldn't just let him stay goofy looking like that, didn't you? I couldn't stand it. I got the shears out and fixed him:)

Other than the ears, this is how I like my Woofy to look. And I left the tuft of hair on top on purpose. He has a white spot up there that I've always wanted to leave a little longer than the rest, but was never able to isolate with the clippers. With a shears, though, it was easy. My boy - looks soooo much better!

Sunday, March 11, 2007


I feel so uninspired lately - uninspired in relation to blogging, anyway. Actually there are lots and lots and lots of thoughts running around this head of mine that I'm not sure I can put down in writing. I not even sure that I want to for fear that other people reading it will think I'm a) a complete looney toons, b) an uninformed, uneducated dorkwad or c) both a and b. You know how that goes - you're trying to figure things out in your head, but aren't sure that you can truly articulate your thoughts on something. Add to that, the fact that I'm thinking about many different issues - not just one - and you've got a mess up there:)

One thing that I was able to resolve in the last day or two was my final order of photos from our portrait session. That was a huge ordeal - trying to figure out what I wanted vs. what we could afford and where everything would go and what kind of frames and where to buy the frames and how much would the frames cost and would the frames cheapen the portraits. Whew! I told you - it was a big ordeal. For me. Thats how I am - I need to have that stuff figured out. I can't just buy something and figure out where it is going to fit in my house - I have to have the place figured out and know approximately what I'm looking for and then go out and find it. Its kind of a pain, really. But it is now done. I just need to email the order to the studio, send them a check and wait for the pictures - because I've already bought the frames:)

The other thing that I was able to resolve this week was the decluttering of my master bathroom. Holy COW! It feels good to go through things and throw things away, put things away and give things away! I threw a bunch of stuff out - some old perfume, an expired prescription, some partially used travel sized toothpaste - that kind of stuff. I also made a pile of stuff that I would like to give away or sell. I'm going to try to sell a couple of things on ebay, but mostly give the rest away, so I joined and am going to try to give it away there. If not there, I'll give it to Purple Heart Veterans (my new employer - more on that later). My bathroom is so unbelievably clean and organized - it has not been this way since we moved here 4 1/2 years ago! Its amazing to me that by cleaning out the drawers and cabinets, I now have a place to put the stuff that was on the counter;)

So I am going to declutter my house - week by week a new room/area. My Grace friends are all privy to my decluttering challenge and some have taken me up on it. If you would like to join the fun, let me know - I'll be happy to post my challenge here every Monday, too. I cannot believe how happy my clean and organized bathroom makes me. I want to skip when I walk through it and realize that it has been more than 1 day since I cleaned it;)

So my mind is racing on so many things. Thats where I've been. Struggling with my thoughts. Trying to sort out issues - church issues and political issues, mainly, but also some others. Maybe I'll begin sharing - maybe it'll help me sort through some stuff. I'm not sure. I'll have to add that idea to the list and think about it:)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

For my 30th birthday Cornbread reserved a portrait session at a local photography studio that he works with through the Orland Park Chamber of Commerce. I was thrilled. I've always, always wanted some of those professional artsy, beautiful black and white portraits that I see other parents have of their children, but knowing that they would be completely out of our price range, I've never looked into them.

He listened, though, and arranged for the session and for a framed print for my birthday. I cried. He had done so well and had been so thoughtful - the surprise birthday party was more than enough, but to know that he had actually listened to me the few times I mentioned how much I would love to have something like this but just knew that we couldn't afford it... it meant so much to me.

I was very, very excited, however, at that particular time Georgia was only 5 months old and I wanted her to be a little older for the pictures, so we waited. And waited. And waited. Until just a couple of weeks ago when we finally had them done.

Today, Dave and I went to see the proofs of our session and to wittle them down to a total package of portraits to share with the world:)

We sat down on the couch and Elise started the slide show and walked into the back room for a moment. One after another the portraits came up and each was as beautiful as the last one. Tears rolled down my cheeks - really they did - because these were exactly - EXACTLY - what I had hoped for. They were spectacular and I cannot wait to figure out where I am going to be putting them throughout my home.

So here you go, please take a look and enjoy. Click on the link below, then go to sessions and type in dykstra (all lower case) for the session id.
Wehmeier Portraits

And come back and tell me which are your favorites!!!

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