Monday, May 31, 2010

All that food therapy for nothing

Joseph is a picky eater.  It took him years to get to that point.  He used to be ... I don't know, whatever it is that's 100 stages beyond picky.  It took two years of occupation therapy with a heavy emphasis on sensory integration, nearly two years of food therapy and a ton of work from us and him to get him to where he is now.

In spite of all the work he's done he's still a picky eater.  He doesn't like different types of food to be touching or mixed.  He doesn't like sauces or condiments of any kind, he refuses to dip or dunk any of his food.  Soups have been declared totally off limits for being "too soupy".  Anything too spicy or sour or crunchy or slimy or chewy or strong smelling "gross looking" is on his won't-eat list.


Yesterday we went to a teppanyaki grill.  Joseph ordered shrimp with rice and veggies.  He cheered and laughed as he watched it be prepared in front of him.  When it was placed on his plate he dug in.  With chopsticks!  He dipped his shrimp in sauce!  On purpose!  And he said it was yummy!

All that time spent on food therapy and it turns out the real trick to getting him to eat is to first light his food on fire and toss it around in the air before serveing it.  Thanks teppanyaki dining!

Also, it would seem that the trick to getting me to eat scrambled eggs is to have a Japanese man toss them into my open mouth.

Three years ago today I was preparing for an embryo transfer.
Five years ago today I found out I was having a girl.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The "I must be crazy" Chronicles - South Dakota Edition - Wall Drug

Wall Drug

Wall Drug started as a simple drug store.  A young couple purchased it in 1931 and sturggled for a few years to make a go of it.  They very nearly lost the business but then one of them came up with the bright idea of offering people free ice water to attract more customers.  Soon travlers were coming in droves from the nearby highway to get some free ice water.  I guess people were easier to impress in the 1930's.

Now Wall Drug is a major tourist atrraction in South Dakota.  There are signs for it every 2.3 miles on the highway.  You cannot go to South Dakota without going to Wall Drug.  It's like a law.

And why would you want to miss it?  It's a wonderful place!  In one stop you can fulfill your lifetime quota of tacky photo ops and chintzy, over prices souvenirs.  And don't forget the free ice water!

We stopped there twice.

The first thing you see when you walk into Wall Drug are these old westernish looking statues.  These have been there forever.  I have pictures of myself at Elle's age with these statues.  I thought it would be a neat thing to do to get pictures of the kids with the statues.  Two problems.  1. Joseph did NOT want to be in Wall Drug.  In fact, I believe the words "Why would I want to go here?  It's just a stupid wall and a stupid drug and drugs are bad!  What?  Are you saying you want me to use drugs now?" were muttered.  Or yelled. 2. There was a giant tour group of old people there at the same time as us.  This whole area was full of pushy old people trying to cram into the tiny Wall Drug chapel (of course there's a chapel) to sing Amazing grace.  They didn't care that a family was trying to take pictures.  They wanted their grace dammit!

Luckily Joseph got over his distaste for the whole excursion pretty quickly.  In fact, he really like the next statue.
They're to be married in the fall.

Jesse like the statues too.
I told Jesse to pose with the statue.  I guess he thought I said "Go proposition that statue."

Outside of Wall Drug is a big courtyard with lots of things you can stand in front of or sit on and get your picture taken.  The kids decided they wanted their picture taken with every single thing in the courtyard.  I said that was ok but I needed to get something to eat first.  We went to the Wall Drug restaurant.  Once we were seated my morning sickness kicked in and I decided that I didn't want anything to eat after all.  This irrtated Jesse mightily and we nearly came to blows arguing over whether I should eat or not.  In the end we compromised and I sat there feeling queasy while Joseph ate a donut.

Then it was back out to the courtyard!
Here's brave pioneer Elle getting ready to head west.  She's clutching a bracelet made of rocks.  A bracelet that she somehow managed to lose in the car approximately five minutes after we left Wall Drug.
The kids really enjoyed posing in these vaguely culturally insensitive cut out thingies.  Here they are posing as members of the OhMyGodYou'reSoPale DoYouLiveUndergroundOrSomething tribe.
Here Elle plays the part of a pioneer and Joseph plays the part of Chief Hitler.
For this picture I told Joseph "Act like you're on the back of a train!"  I don't know what I expected him to do.  This I guess.
I wanted to get a picture of Elle on the back of this (fake) horse but Jesse wasn't having it.  He was certain that if he put her up there she would fall off and hit her head.  (It's a major fear of his.)  We compromised.  Elle would sit on the horse.  I would take the picture.  He would act as a spotter in case she got the sudden urge to fling herself head first onto the ground.
Even though you can't tell by looking at him, Joseph really liked this Mt Rushmore sculputre.  It's a good thing too since this would be the best view he would get of Mt Rushmore.  Oh, we went to Mt Rushmore later in the trip but this was before he got glasses and he's since told me that he thought the real Mt Rushmore was just a rock.  He couldn't see the faces on it!  And somehow I didn't realize he needed glasses!  Awesome!
I kept demanding the Jesse get in the pictures.  I wanted to be able to look back someday and say "Oh, look what a fun vacation we had as a family!  Look at us all together!"  Too bad I forgot to get a single picture of myself while we were there.
Joseph always mocks Jesse because until very recently he (Jesse) thought jackalopes were real.  No, seriously.  Joseph is not pretending to be a rodeo rider in this picture.  He's screaming with laughter.  I wish I had thought to take a picture of Jesse's face.  It would best be described as NOT AMUSED.

Wall Drug still has free ice water.  Sort of.  There's a fountain outside where you can get get a paper cup full of water.  My plan was to get a picture of each member of the family enjoying the world famous Free Ice Water.
That didn't happen.  I think it's because we did not actually enjoy the water.  Wall Drug likes to talk a lot about their Free Ice Water.  It's an odd advertisement but I guess it's better than the truth.  Tepid Water That Tastes Like It's Been Used To Wash Balls doesn't really have the same ring to it.  Elle was the only one to actually drink the ball water, the rest of us threw ours away.  Then we went inside to watch the mechanical band play "Riders on the Storm".  I took a bunch of pictures of the mechanical band but then I got sad because they all looked like stroke victims so I deleted them all.

That concludes our time at Wall Drug.  Stay tuned for the next installment in The "I must be crazy" Chronicles - Crazy Horse!  And if you enjoyed my pictures you can find more on flickr.

Two years ago today I saw the grossest thing ever at a wedding reception.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The "I must be crazy" Chonicles - South Dakota Edition - The Badlands

One day last summer in a fit of hormone induced insanity I decided that I wanted to take the kids to South Dakota.  I planned it all out.  We would drive and see all the major landmarks of South Dakota.  We would bring a cooler full of food and picnic across the state.  We would bond as a family and have wonderful memories that would last forever.  When Jesse came home from work I filled him in our spur-of-the-moment vacation.  He said "Are you crazy?"

It was a valid question.  I was newly pregnant and still taking hormone shots to help me remain so. I was crabby and nauseated most of time.  We didn't really have the money for a week long drive across South Dakota.  I hate eating outside.  Those were all good reasons to nix the entire plan.

I'm not one to listen to reason.  We took that trip.  We saw the sights.  We made memories.  We ate outside.  I took a lot of pictures.  This is the story of this trip.  This is...

The Badlands
The first thing that I need to tell you about the trip is that we rented a car.  I think.  Honestly, I'm not sure.  I know we talked about renting a car because we were worried neither my car or Jesse's would be able to stand a drive to South Dakota.  I just don't remember if we ever got around to doing it or not.  Yes, we drove all over South Dakota and I don't remember if it was in a rental car or not.  I think this speaks to my mental state at the time.

There's not much to say about our drive to South Dakota.  There's nothing to see except corn fields and sunflower fields.  Seriously, that's it.  We survived by letting the kids watch movies.  I'm usually against kids watching tv in the car but friends of ours lent us a dvd player and I made a absolutely-one-time-only exception to the rule in order to help preserve our sanity.  It wasn't all bad.  They watched Oh Brother, Where Art Thou and even those of us in the front seat were able to enjoy the music.

When we got to South Dakota the first thing we saw was The Badlands.
I took about 47 million pictures of the Badlands.  Each of them looked exactly like this.  
Joseph really liked the Badlands.  I mean, he REALLY liked it.  So much so that he cried when we left and asked every day if we could go back.  This was shortly before we found out he needed glasses so in retrospect it's possible that the reason he liked it so much was because it's the only thing we went to that he could um, see.
Elle really like the Badlands too.  In fact, if we hadn't kept a tight grip on her the entire time we were there I think she would happily run right off the edge of a ledge in an attempt to get closer nature.
She has a manic love of nature.
Joseph was not scared by the "BEWARE" signs.  I told him to at least pretend or the snakes would bite him just to be buttheads.  That was the part of our trip where he collapsed on the ground laughing because I said "buttheads".
After a lot of walking around and picture taking we found the one shaded spot in the entire Badlands and sat down for a picnic lunch.  It was here that I gave Elle a carton of spoiled milk and had her drink some before Jesse realized there were chunks floating in it.  This was also the spot where Joseph pointed and yelled very loudly "Hey!  Those people are LITTERING!" when the people next to us left their trash on the ground.  Then he stormed over and picked up their trash and threw it away.  Then I gave him a cookie.
Here's a piece of wood.  I have 14 pictures of it on my camera.  I don't remember taking them.  It was very hot that day.  It's entirely possible that accidentally took these as I passed out and fell on my camera.

As we were nearing the end of our Badlands tour I spotted a small brown lump in the road.  It was a dead prairie dog.  I love prairie dogs so that made me sad but it did make me notice that we were right in the middle of a prairie dog town.  Hurray!
They dare you not to love them!  We got out and watched the prairie dogs for a long time.  A really long time.  The kids started to get bored but I maturely pointed out "This is my trip too!  I let you guys watch Cars 47 times on the way here now you need to let me stay and watch the prairie dogs for a few more minutes!"

There were signs all over the place instructing people not to feed the animals but since most people think the rules were written for other people and not them, a family right by us decided to throw corn flakes to the prairie dogs.  Jesse and I yelled at them.  They were embarrassed and got in their car and drove away.  Between that and the litter incident I decided the theme of the vacation would be Correcting Assholes with a secondary theme of Being Assholes.
Once I was done being Nature's Great Defender we headed out of the Badlands.
As we were leaving I made Jesse stop the car so I could get out and take a picture of a passing thunderstorm.  At least that's the excuse I used.  Really I just wanted to get out of the car and fart.  Pregnancy makes me gassy.

I hope you enjoyed our trip through the Badlands.  Stay tuned for the next installment in the "I must be crazy" Chronicles - Wall Drug!  And if you enjoyed my pictures you can see more on my flickr page.

Five years ago today Joseph was concerned with colon health.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Death Cold 2010 commands you to read!

Last night I wrote a post about Food Network and it's various stars and it was HILARIOUS!  Then I reread it this morning and realized that it was really not all that funny and maybe I shouldn't blog while under the influence of NyQuil.  Maybe I'll rewrite it once Death Cold 2010 has passed.  Maybe we'll never speak of it again.

In spite of the fact that I cannot breath or hear or bend over without my nose dripping like a faucet, I've been working on some blog posts for my other poor neglected blogs.  Stay tuned because this week I'll be revealing the most embarrassing thing in my house.  I'll also reveal the second most embarrassing thing in my house.  Then I'll curl up and die either from embarrassment or because Death Cold has won.  To kick things off check out this post on Problem Girl Creates where I show off something I didn't create.  Awesome.

To hold you over until I get the other posts up, here is a picture of me that I just discovered on my phone.  It was taken the morning the twins were born (two months ago yesterday by the way).  Please ignore the dopey look on my face.  I was using all my concentration and muscle power to not tip over.  Or explode.

You know, it's really unfortunate that the only shirt that fit me at this point had horizontal stripes.  What was I thinking?  "Gee, I'm measuring 50 weeks pregnant.  What can I wear to best showcase my enormous size?"  Cripes.

Three years ago today Joseph was sick.
Four years ago today Elle ate a lemon.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

What are you reading?

I am married to a man who does not read for pleasure.  In the nearly 11 years that we have been married I have only ever seen him read one book and that was the time I forced him to read Angela's Ashes.  He liked it and I hoped that might get him to read other books as well but it just didn't stick.  Other than sports and computer magazines he gets, he just doesn't read.  I don't get it.

My kids are both big readers.  Joseph will sit and read for hours at a time.  Any time he goes anywhere he brings a book with him.  The last time he was tested at school he was reading at an 8th grade level.  The kid devours pretty much any kind of book we give him.  Chapter books, joke books, biographies, short stories, history books, coffee table books and his all time favorite, video game guides.  He loves them all.  I love that he loves to read.

Elle can't read many things yet but she really enjoys looking at books.  She has several of her favorites memorized so sometimes she'll "read" them to herself or to her dolls.  She no longer naps but some days when she's feeling sleepy she'll tell me she needs to lay down and read for a little while.  It makes me so happy to see that I'm raising another budding reader.

I think one reason both the kids like to read so much is that we've always read to them.  Even when they were babies we read them bedtime stories.  Joseph can read better than some adults but we still read to him at night.  I don't know when that will stop but I don't think it will be any time soon.  To me, reading to your children is just a basic part of being a parent.  You feed them, you clothe them, you make sure that when they leave the house they don't have food all over their face (sometimes) and you read to them.  It's just not an optional thing.

I was read to a lot as a kid.  One of my favorite childhood memories is resting against my mom as she read the Little House books to me and my brother.  (Books just sound better when you're listening to them with your ear pressed up against the reader's chest.)  I grew up seeing both my parents read and we always had stacks of library books around the house.  I don't remember being told "no" if I ever asked for a new book.  We ordered copiously from school book orders and book fairs.  Reading was an important part of my childhood.

I still love to read.  A good book is one of life's great pleasures.  I like to read in the bathtub but I've fallen asleep and dropped my book into the water more times than I care to admit.  I never mind plane trips or long waits at the doctor's office as long as I have a book with me.  I'm always glad to have a little time to sit down and read.

How about you?  Do you like to read?  Do you have favorite type of book? Can you recommend something good for me to purchase on my nook?  What have you read lately that you loved?  Or what's an old favorite that you love to read over and over again?  And finally, do you think there's any way that I can get Jesse to like reading?

One year ago today I had underwear in my fruit basket.
Two years ago today Joseph tried to raise his eye brows.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The best pictures I've ever taken

A couple of summers ago my extended family got together for a barbeque.  Someone had the idea of getting all the great-grandkids together for a picture.  I got out my camera and took five of the best pictures anyone has ever taken.

To start with I hve my camera on the wrong setting.  At least most of the kids seem happy. You can't tell but the little guy in the middle is crying.  (I had to blur his face for privacy reasons that are too long and boring to go into blah blah blah.)  Joseph is psyched to get his picture taken.

I struggle to get my camera on the right setting.  The little guy on the right starts to lose patience with the endeavor.  The girl next to Elle does her imitation of a can of paint in a mixing machine.
Joseph tries to tickle the chin of the little boy in the middle.  The girl in the middle does her impression of a yo-yo.
The two on the right are getting concerned.  Joseph continues to try to fix the crying situation.  The Amazing Vibrating Girl has chilled out for a minute.
Just as I get my camera to the right setting an earthquake comes along and flings all the kids wildly about.
And that's the story of the best pictures I've ever taken.

Two years ago today I added a chapter to Joseph's adoption story.
Three years ago today I got on my soapbox about underage drinking.
Five years ago today Joseph made no sense at all.

Monday, May 17, 2010

I win at poetry

When I was making dinner last night I found something unusual in my potato bowl.  I wrote a haiku about it.

bowl of potatos
i found a sock inside you
what the hell goes on in this house?
i don't know how haikus work
and my spellcheck says "haikus" is not a word
and neither is "spellcheck"

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The one where I ramble on about nothing in particular

We're planning a trip to New York.  Have I mentioned that?  What's that?  Only about 18 dozen times?  Sorry about that.  It's kind of what's on my mind these days.  Jesse has developed a fear of terrorists and his main contribution to trip planning is to get a slight frown whenever I mention Times Square.  Between that and my general fear of um, travel and New York and things I've never done before, this whole planning business is just SO MUCH FUN!

When I first started planning this trip I had the attitude of "Who cares how much stuff costs?  We're going to do everything we want and do it the right way and not pay any attention to the price because after all, this might be our only time in New York! Tra-la-la!"

Now it's morphed more into something like "Tra-la-holy crap!  That costs how much?  For all four of us?  FOR ONE OF US?"

I've come to the conclusion that we can afford either food or shelter while we're in New York.  We'll have to skip entertainment all together.  The only exception will be on Joseph's birthday.  He's hoping to spend that day at the Natural History Museum.  We'll just have to buy one ticket and send him in on his own.  Maybe every so often he can come back out and tell us about what he's seen.  Of course, then we run the risk of him never coming back out but then at least we would have one less person to feed for the rest of the trip.  If I can think of a way to lose Elle too Jesse and I might be able to afford a nice dinner at McDonalds one night.

Speaking of things that are totally unrelated, I have made progress in my quest to eventually be involved in the birth, raising and feeding of every child on the planet.  The twins have moved on to formula but I'm still pumping.  (It allows me to lose weight while eating nothing but various dark chocolate coated foods from Trader Joes.)  This past Monday I was able to give 450+ ounces of frozen breast milk to a friend of mine who had a baby just a few weeks after me.  She has not had a lot of luck with nursing so she was so glad to get it.  I was glad to have room in my freezer for ice cream again.

In other news, I had a really nice Mother's Day.  Jesse made up for not buying me a birthday present by going way overboard on the Mother's Day gifts.  Thanks to my new nook and my new ipod I'll now be able to carry my entire music and book collection with me wherever I go.  That is, of course, until I make a total me move and lose them both in a gas station bathroom.

But Mother's Day isn't just about the presents.  Mostly, but not only.  The rest of the day was good too.  The kids were sweet and well-behaved.  Without any prompting at all Joseph gave me several hugs and told me how much he loves me.  That kind of spontaneous physical affection is unusual for him so that was nice.

One of the best parts of the day was getting calls from both pf my pairs of former IFs wishing me a happy Mother's Day.  I know I'm not their baby's mama but it's still nice to be thought of on Mother's Day.  Especially since I am neurotic and I ave this fear that now that they've got their babies they're just waiting for me to lose their phone numbers.  Insecurity, it's what's for dinner.  So getting those phone calls was extra nice and after both of them I did a happy cry.  Which looks a lot like my sad cry in that they are both ugly cries.  I didn't even care that my face looked like a stewed tomato, I was just very happy to get those calls.

I have no good way to end this post and I'm too lazy to come up with one so instead I'll post this cute picture of a baby hand.

One year ago today I shared too much information about body hair.
Three years ago today Joseph wrote the sweetest essay ever.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Elle got a haircut

The title pretty much says it all.

Last week Elle was playing with scissors and she decided to cut a couple of stands of her hair. I took this as a subtle clue that she wanted to get a haircut. Well, that and the fact that she's been asking for one for at least six months now. Yesterday I finally gave in and took her for her second haircut ever. (That's right, she's four and a half and I'd only had her hair cut once before.)

We got one last picture of her before the haircut.

See the People magazine on the counter in front of Elle? It had a picture on it that made me laugh so hard I nearly collapsed a lung. Seriously. My chest has not stopped hurting since I saw it.
The bandanna! It kills me! For some reason!

Anyway, back to the haircut. I didn't like watching it. With each snip more and more golden red curls fell to the floor. I was thinking about how that was her baby hair, the hair she was born with. Why was I letting someone cut it? Clearly I was not ready for this and should have put the haircut off until Elle was a little older. Forty-seven perhaps.

But then it was done.
Now Elle looks like she's about nine years old. All her baby curls are gone. Boo hoo!

But it's not all bad news. We're donating Elle's hair to Matter of Trust. Soon those gorgeous curls will be soaking up oil in the Gulf. Here's an artist rendition of how a mat made with Elle's hair might look.

What a crappy picture. I can't believe I paid someone $300 for that.

Anyway, to sum up: Elle's haircut is cute but it makes me sad that her long hair is gone; I'm glad Elle's hair will soon be helping save the planet; even on the brink of death Bret Michaels somehow manages to look like a tool.

One year ago today I was getting ready for an embryo transfer.
Three years ago I hated the internet.
Five years ago I was 17 weeks pregnant with Elle.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010


Yesterday I was unloading the dishwasher and Joseph was reading a book. All of the sudden he threw his book down and exclaimed "Mommy! I just remembered that I know how to mambo!"

And then he started to dance.

It was ... it was like Frankenstein and a zombie had a baby. And then that baby got drunk and tried to mambo.

I couldn't stop myself from smiling as I watched him thrash and clunk across the room. He moved with the enthusiasm and confidence that one only possesses when they know they are a good dancer. When he noticed me smiling at him he got a huge grin on his face and said "I told you I knew how to mambo!"

Then he mamboed his way over to the couch and sat down to read again.

Can we all agree that we'll never tell him that he dances like a drunken zombie baby? I couldn't bear the lose of cuteness that would occur.

One year ago I was in peak physical condition.
Two years ago today I was terrified of ET. I still am.
Five years ago today I got a belly.

Monday, May 03, 2010

If I can make it there I can .... never make it there

My family is planning a trip to New York. It's very exciting/terrifying. We've never been before (other than the one time we were and that hardly counts because we were there for less than 24 hours and I spent the entire time trying to appear casual) so it will be a fun new experience for all of us. I'm a little overwhelmed by all the options there are for things to do so right now I'm just trying to decide on a few main things. Here's what I've got so far:

1. Visit the World of Nintendo store. This is for Joseph's benefit. We'll be in New York during his birthday so there's no way I can say no to this.
2. See the Lion King on Broadway. Duh.
3. Baby snuggling.
4. Avoiding the subway like the plague because I am scared of it. Not scared in the "someone will rob me and pee on me way". More in the "we'll get so lost that we'll somehow end up in a dead end tunnel and we won't be able to find our way out and we'll have to eat pigeons to survive because I know so little about subways that I don't even really get that they're underground and there won't be a lot of pigeons around so we'll starve but I'll be to scared to ask anyone for help because I'm sure that if I do they'll notice our pasty white skin and tendency to adorably elongate our O sounds and they peg us as out-of-towners and they'll rob us and pee on us" way.
5. Visit the Museum of Natural History.

You would think a trip to new York would be no big deal for someone as cosmopolitan (ha!) as me but I'll let you in on a little secret: I'm totally neurotic when it comes to doing new things. Another secret? I can't keep a secret. I'm going to be in New York for 47 seconds before I'm standing on a street corner and yelling "I'm just a naive tourist! Please take pity on me! My cash and credit cards are in the side pocket of my purse!"

Oh my god you guys. I am going to die in New York.

Three years ago today this blog was the place to be when looking for giant schlongs.
Four years ago today I talked about shit.
Five years ago today I diagnosed myself with CHOFS.