Friday, December 12, 2008

It's a Good Thing They're Cute

It's been quite a week.

Sparkle is being 2 and testing to make sure that I mean everything I say. If I say, "NO, don't touch that." She smiles and looks at me and slowly inches her hand toward whatever it is. Guess what! She found out that the glass on the fireplace gets hot! Just like mom and dad said. Luckily, she has super quick reflexes and didn't get much of a burn.

Twinkle on the other hand isn't testing everything I say. She, apparently, is totally deaf to the pitch and tone of my voice. Can't hear me at all. This is as annoying as Sparkle testing me. They both aren't listening. Sometimes I wonder why I even speak at all.

About half an hour ago, Sparkle asked for some chocolate milk ("cha mip" with a heavy emphasis on the p). I gave her a little bit of chocolate milk, which she thoroughly enjoyed.

Then she asked for more. I told her (without yelling) that I was not giving her any chocolate milk and not to bother throwing a fit about it and scream and cry that she wanted milk because I was NOT giving her any chocolate milk.

When I was finished, she looked at her cup and looked at me (the crazy lady) and said, "How 'bout zhoosh?" I smiled at her, told her that she asked very nicely, and poured her some orange juice.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Cheers!

HOW long ago did she birth twins??

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

We have traveled to the East and are celebrating Thanksgiving with both families.

Kind of...Mr. S's sister is holding some kind of grudge over some imagined grievance at the end of September and is "punishing" us by going to Atlanta with a friend for a week. ODDLY, she actually took her son with her instead of dropping him at the grandparents' house and traveling on.

It's been lovely.

Twinkle is spending the night tonight with my parents. My brother and SIL and their kids are there, so Twinkle is in heaven.

Sparkle is with us at Mr. S's parents' house. She is sleeping rather well on a cot in the same room as Mr. S and I.

I made a tasty mince meat pie an a decadent dark chocolate pie. My dad and brother both love the mince meat pie. My nephew does too. He just discovered today that it has BRANDY in it. It was really kind of funny seeing his face when I poured the brandy in with the dried fruit.

We will not be shopping tomorrow. We don't usually, but this year we are awaiting replacement credit cards because of fraudulent charges on the old ones. It's been an interesting experience needing cash to buy things like pie ingredients.

Now, I think I'm off to bed. Sparkle is sleeping well, but will no doubt wake me earlier than I'd like tomorrow.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Gift a Gift?

When did "gift" become a verb?

Was it before or after "office" became a verb?

Is Martha Stewart responsible?

Why not use "give"?

Just wondering.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Things That Made Me Go Hmmmmm Today

Still feeling giddy and hopeful.

These are a few things that made me shake my head today...in different ways.

Heard on NPR:
"I'm terrified. I think he's going to appoint people that blow things up."

"I didn't vote for him...that whole not putting his hand over his heart during the National Anthem just really bothers me." (um...never mind)

And something that I can't say I've ever seen before:
After dropping off Twinkle at school, I was driving Sparkle to school. Something caught my eye. I saw a hawk flying about 5 feet off the ground, like a line drive...carrying a squirrel in its claws (but somehow parallel to it's body). This was not a small squirrel. It looked almost like the hawk was second guessing its ability to fly away with it. Preferring not to think about what awaited the squirrel, I couldn't help imagining the squirrel thinking, "What the....I'm a flying squirrel!! Look at me!!!!"

Do all of these things tie together? I might need some tequila to see the connection.

What will tomorrow bring?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Believing

Awestruck. Excited. Hopeful.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Call Me Crazy

OK kids, I need some advice or insight or random ramblings off the top of your head.

To say I don't know where the idea came from would not be true, I am just not sure I can believe that I got onto this train of thought.

Mr. Swizzle's mom left a message last week asking for some help. A friend's grandson's girlfriend (why not?) is in need of baby things. Pregnant. Due in January. Absolutely no support except for boyfriend's grandmother. MIL was calling to see if we had anything we were finished with that we'd be willing to give. I told her that I'm pretty sure we still have Twinkle's stroller/infant seat combo, if the baby's a girl we can outfit her for a year, and that if Sparkle wasn't still using the crib, she could have that too.

THIS is what got me thinking. I guess we COULD go ahead and get Sparkle a big girl bed. It's not like she's confined to her crib anyway. When we got Twinkle's big girl bed, she was old enough to voice an opinion about what she wanted and Sparkle is not there. Yet.

Here's the crazy part. I started wondering about getting bunk beds and putting the girls in one room. We don't need to do this for the space, that's not an issue. I DID put in a lot of time painting Sparkle's room before she came along and I'd hate to lose that.

All that said, I do remember feeling "lonely" at night when I was a kid. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense for those who are afraid of the dark to be sleeping alone, when the adults, who theorhetically aren't afraid of the dark, get to have someone else in the room with them.

Twinkle is constantly saying that she doesn't like sleeping alone and wishes there was someone there with her. I don't think Sparkle has gotten to the stage to notice yet. I've told Twinkle what I'm thinking about and she didn't go gaga one way or the other. Maybe because I REALLY watered it down to a very low possibility and I didn't mention the whole "have someone with you in your room at night" part.

So, am I crazy? I have no experience with this as a child or as an adult. I only had an older brother growing up and we had our own rooms. Would it be nice for them to have each other in the middle of the night? Would it be bad for them to have each other in the middle of the night? I know it isn't long term and that Twinkle would probably be ready for her own room again in about 6 years. Could this be a nice little bonding experience for the girls?

Help.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Or Perhaps Three?


There are so many brave souls with more than two kids, I just had to make this. (AND I've already had 2 orders for them). I also bought smaller letters so that more than one name will fit on a disc.

I have more things on order. The possibilities are becoming endless.

Here's my store.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Passing on an Email

I received this in an email from a friend the other day and thought it was pretty cool. In case you haven't figured it out yet, I love things that are to the point.

Dear God, I pray for the cure of cancer. Amen

zwani.com myspace graphic comments

In memory of anyone you know that has been struck down by cancer or is still living with it.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sigh

I fear my blog is turning into a political one. But, hey that's what's swizzling in my head right now.

I will attempt to control it.

I just have to say, this made me want to knock my head against a wall:

"We must act now to protect our nation's economic health from serious risk," Bush said at a White House press conference. "There will be ample opportunity to discuss the origins of this problems. Now is the time to solve it."

Um, no. We must act 6 months ago to solve it when you said there was no problem with the economy, Mr. President. I don't think the discussion of its origins is going to be a very long one.

Ugh.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

That's Just Ridiculous

OK, I am no fan of Sarah Palin. You may have guessed that. Take, for example, the t-shirt I just bought:



But I must say that this is about the dumbest headline I've seen yet this campaign season.

Palin's Frameless Glasses a 2-Month Wait

What does that have to do with anything? That just tells me she's patient when it comes to fashion.

Why WHY can't we just talk about the things that are important and relevant?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

It's Never Too Early to Shop for Christmas!


My latest creation that I'm really proud of. You can see more about it here.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Gaaaalveston...

Let me start by saying sorry, I have that Elvis Costello song, "Alyson", in my head for some reason - hence the odd spelling of Galveston.


We usually head to Galveston every other summer or so with another family and rent a house at the beach for a week. We didn't do it this summer, I'm wondering if we'll do it next summer.

I saw this picture online this morning. See where it says "tattoo" in the upper left corner of the picture? Yeah. That's where I got both of my tattoos. At least it appears that it is still standing. All of the debris is from the little shops (and the Hooters) that were built across the street on the sea side of the sea wall, aka the WRONG side of the sea wall.

I've been looking for pictures of the west end of the island which is past the end of the sea wall and is where we usually rent houses.

Galveston is no Florida white sandy beach. You can't really see your feet if you're standing in two feet of water. But I love taking our kids there with our best friends and their kids. It makes me sad to see this. But, Galveston will resurrect itself. And it will be like it was before. I have no doubt about that.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Anger Induced Shopping

Is that wrong? I'm just feeling a little fed up today. So I bought a few things I've been meaning to buy.


A shirt.


Another shirt.


A bumper sticker.


And a bracelet.

I guess it's just that it's the first time in years that I'm actually excited about a political candidate. I realize that not everyone shares my enthusiasm. I live in Texas, after all. I'm being open minded and all that.

But I've been stewing all day about a comment made a week ago by my best friend. She said she and her 13 year old daughter were watching a little bit of Obama's speech Thursday night. She said, "I kept telling A (her daughter) he's a baby killer." I think she was slightly kidding, but not really. You know, kidding on the square.

Mr. Swizzle can't believe it's bothering me a week later and says to let it go. And yes, I need to let it go, because my stomach hurts. We've been friends for 19 years and we've, wisely, never discussed politics. We've always known not to discuss politics. They are Catholic, and apparently one-issue voters.

But, grrrrrr. I just have to get it out. That term just gets under my skin! I told Mr. Swizzle that she might as well have called him "the N word". It bugs me that much.

Must let it go...must let it go....must let it go.... I need you guys to help me breathe.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Lessons from the Seven Year Old

A recent exchange in the middle of Target:

Me: sigh Twinkle, why do you have to act so...goofy?

Twinkle: Because that's the way I'm made, mom.

It really made me laugh, but it also reminded me that she is indeed "fearfully and wonderfully made."

That's my girl.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Little Bit More "It's Not a HUGE Deal"

Just an update on Sparkle's echo.

Her doctor called on Friday afternoon and said that Sparkle has a Ventricular Septal Defect. You can read all kinds of information in that link. The condensed version is she has a hole in her heart between the left and right ventricles. They are usually found in infants and they usually close on their own.

Apparently this is the most common congenital heart defect found in infants. Somehow that doesn't make me feel better.

We will be going to the pediatric cardiologist who read the echo and put in her report to "follow up in two months". OK. So that tells me it isn't urgent. This cardiologist is also the one that Mr. Incredible recommends, so I have no worries about her knowledge and skill.

Outwardly, Sparkle shows none of the signs that are usually associated with this defect. She doesn't show signs of poor circulation. Heaven knows she doesn't tire easily. She doesn't normally have trouble breathing. I have wondered if our previous foray into the world of nebulizers was related to this instead of some asthma-ish problem.

Onward we go. I'm not constantly dwelling on it, but I do have some sore shoulders! I'll probably go ahead and schedule the appointment. Who knows? If I call now, it might be two months before we can get in anyway.

Thanks for your continued prayers and thoughts.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Thanks!

Just a word of thanks for all the prayers and positive thoughts today. Sparkle did really well at the hospital. Which is saying something.

We got there at 12:30 as instructed for our 1:00 appointment. Everything was smooth sailing. At 1:30 the assistant head of radiology came out to the waiting room to apologize for the wait and to explain that the "regular" person wasn't in today, and the back up was down at a hospital in the Big City. He would be at our hospital in 30-40 minutes, but that meant more waiting for us. We decided to go ahead and wait instead of rescheduling and were given meal tickets for the cafeteria.

I will insert here that yesterday I had a stiff neck and went to bed last night at 8:00. From about 2am on, I didn't sleep very well, and ended up "getting sick" around 6am. So, I was quite a picture today and not feeling so great. By the time we went down to the cafeteria, I was feeling a bit better, but could not even contemplate eating. The children were distracted by food, and everyone was happy.

The asst. head of radiology came down as Mr. S was paying and said that there was in fact someone at the hospital who was free to do Sparkle's echo. He told us not to feel rushed eating and that she would be available whenever we got back to radiology.

She was indeed ready for us when we got back. Sparkle was amazingly still for the whole thing, sitting on my lap. I could see the 4 chambers of the heart and the valves working, but other than that, I couldn't tell you anything of value.

Our echo will be read by a pediatric cardiologist tonight or tomorrow and our doctor will get a report in a day or two.

Sparkle and I both napped when we got home. I'm feeling better tonight and even ate some Nilla Wafers. I may go have something else. Sparkle is doing great and is her usual self. She is now in bed and will go to school tomorrow for 1/2 of her normal time. Next week she starts full time, which for her is half days on Wednesday and Friday.

Tomorrow, I'll have an entire 1.5 hours to fill all by myself. Well, part of that will be driving back and forth to the school. What will I do with the rest of the time?!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

OK. I'm Not Fretting Over Tuesday

Nothing like a trip to an emergency care center to take one's mind off of a scheduled hospital visit.
Poor baby. Playing chase with Twinkle. As she ran past Mr. S, she grabbed his leg with her hand like you would to swing around a vertical pole and slammed full force into the corner of an end table.

You can't really get a good feel for the swelling from the pics. The doctor assured us that she would look worse in the days to come as all the blood around the swelling moves South because of gravity. The good news is the gash (my viewpoint - it is my baby) isn't deep enough to warrant stitches or even glue, and she has no fractures around her eye.

I happened to be in the next room when it happened. I was trying to be laid back and not be annoyed by the happy sounds of my children running screaming through the house. I heard the collision and Mr. S say, "Oh my God!!" before scooping up Sparkle and carrying her to where I was. She had barely even started to cry. It was kinda scary.

She handled the whole thing extremely well. We dropped Twinkle at a friend's house and took Sparkle to make sure that all was as stated above. As mentioned in the previous post, when she first came home, she HATED doctors. She allowed this doctor to examine her eye and even clean it to see how deep the cut was. Mr. S took her to the xray room, but I didn't hear any screaming so I think she handled that well, too. She's acting like her chipper dare devil self.

At the time, I was freaked out. Now, I look at those pictures, especially the second one, and can hear her say, "You want a piece of me?"

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Say a Little Prayer

The first week of school went pretty well. Thursday was a little difficult with the homeschooling. It seemed for most of the day that there was no sound coming out of my mouth. At least, judging by how my children reacted to my speaking to them.

Friday, I took both girls to the doctor for well checks. Twinkle got herself all worked up over getting a shot. Last year at her well check, she was supposed to get a shot, but the doctor was out. Apparently supply was low. She said it was no big deal and could wait until this year. Twinkle, being Twinkle, remembered every word of what the doctor said and did NOT want to go to the doctor this year. Obviously, she lived through it. She cried for about 30 seconds then went back to the space book she'd been reading.

Sparkle did really well. The last few times she's been to the doctor, she's started crying when they weighed her and didn't get much better until we were in the car on the way home. Friday she was perfectly fine being weighed and measured and waiting for the doctor. She even interacted pretty well with the doctor. Of course, she wouldn't let the doctor look in her ears. Maybe some day, someone will have no trouble peeking into the poor child's ears.

The doctor was happy with both girls' growth and general health.

There was one thing that came up that made me give this post the title I did. Sparkle has a heart murmur. The doctor assured me that it was quite common in children, but that Sparkle's was kinda loud and she wanted to refer us for an echocardiogram just to check things out. Sooo, we will be going to the hospital on Tuesday to get Sparkle's heart looked at. (Gee, saying like that made me tense up a bit.)

I talked to Elastigirl, Sparkle's Godmother, and she also assured me that it was likely no big deal. Being Elastigirl and such a great friend, she said she'd try to get Mr. Incredible, Sparkle's Godfather who just happens to be a cardiologist, to "try to be around" on Tuesday when we're there.

I haven't really stressed a whole lot about it over the weekend. I'll probably be a bit tense on Tuesday, but that's just me. Hopefully, having homeschool with Twinkle will not add to the stress, but will provide a bit of distraction for the morning.

So, say a prayer for the Swizzles as we face this common, probably nothing, stressor on Tuesday.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Guess What I Did Last Night


OK. I realize that having that title and then a pic of Trent Reznor is kind of comical, but what are you going to do.

Anyhoo, Mr. Swizzle and I went to a Nine Inch Nails concert last night in the Big City. Yes, we felt old. Especially looking around at all the goth teenagers. But hey, Reznor is a couple of years older than Mr. Swizzle, so we know we weren't the oldest ones there.

It was a great. Lots of songs I didn't know. Some that I did and love. A fave NOT performed, but that's ok. It was a 2.5 - 3 hour show and clearly they couldn't do everything. One of the fun things for me was watching the mosh pit. These kids (I'm so old) were jumping around enjoying the music and crashing into each other with wild abandon. I'm positive they are all bruised today, but I'm not positive that they can feel it or if they care.

Two things went through my head as I watched them. One was that if I were 19 and a huge NIN fan AND had floor tickets, I think I would have joined them. They were clearly enjoying themselves. The other thing was that if I'd had been in a NIN mosh pit when I was 19, I would be in a totally different place than I am at my age now. Who knows where'd I'd be or what I'd be doing.

I'd hate for the moshers to give up their leather and mohawks, but I hope they survive to adulthood and don't live on the street.

God, I'm so old.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Returning to Normal?

The summer flew past me. Twinkle's first day of school is August 18. We didn't have a lot of things to do this summer. Not a lot of different camps or classes to take the kids to. Somehow, though, I was too busy to blog. Go figure.

Hopefully, once the kids get into a school routine, my blogging will return to more than once a month posts.

Did you notice that bold s on "kids"? Yep. Sparkle will be going to Montessori school at our church for 4 hours a day, 2 days a week. That will definitely be interesting. She will have the same teacher Twinkle did, but will be in a different classroom. Thanks to the growing needs of the school, the "classroom" that Sparkle will be in is the same room where she goes to the nursery on Sundays. I think that will be a good thing. We shall see.

Twinkle starting next Monday means that homeschooling will start next Tuesday. Time to put that Prozac to the test! I haven't screamed at my kids much since I started taking it. I also haven't had to try to teach Twinkle. One thing that will be different this year is that Sparkle no longer naps in the morning. Last year, Twinkle and I got a lot done while Sparkle was asleep. I'm in the process of rearranging a few things in the office/school room that will hopefully help. I'm going to make a space for Sparkle to color or do puzzles, etc. hoping to keep her occupied instead of trying to push Twinkle out of her chair.

I'm not sure where the summer went, but I sure wish that the first day of school automatically meant cooler weather! Our summertime temperatures often last through September. I can't wait to be able to go outside again for an extended period of time!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

New Jewelry!

Go check out my latest entry on my jewelry blog. I'm pretty excited about it!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

"That's Annoying" #462

THIS picture sparked rumors that Eva Longoria-Parker is PREGNANT?! WTF? I cannot form a coherent, non-f-bomb laced sentence.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Do You Read?

I love books. If you don't believe me, you should see all the filled to overflowing bookcases in my house.

As I typed that I had a flashback of the bookcases in my parents' house growing up. They built bookcases to attempt to hold everything. In the house where they live now, they had built-ins with tons of shelves put in, and they still can't hold everything. Growing up there were shelves and shelves of National Geographics next to the shelves and shelves of Reader's Digest Condensed books. I know they still have the condensed books, I'm not sure about the National Geographics. (Note to grade school self - the National Geographics are NOT to be used when cutting out pictures for school projects. Yow.)

Anyway, back from that tangent...all of my adult life I have loved to read. I loved to read as a child, too, but I've heard myself say this phrase one too many times lately - "I was supposed to read ____ in high school/college, but I didn't." I guess the classroom discussions were enough to do well on the tests.

I have read all of the Harry Potter books at least 2 if not 3 times. I have a friend who just does not get reading a book more than once. After you know how it ends, why read it again? I've stopped trying to explain.

Since having children, especially the toddler now running around, it has become more difficult to just sit down and read a book. I had all but given up. Not that that stopped me from BUYING books. Mr. S once gave me grief for buying so many books. I told him to be glad that my vice was books and not crack. I could go to the library I suppose, but I've never gotten into that habit. Maybe I'll have to put some serious effort to that in the future - once I read all of the purchased, yet unread books.

I, like my dad, have trouble getting rid of books as well. I'm getting better about not holding on to paperbacks forever. Thank God there is somewhere like Half Price Books that will take them off my hands. I couldn't bear to drop them in the recycle bin. It may be time for another trip there.

Just recently, though it took me at least a month and a half, I read Crime and Punishment. One of those "I was supposed to read"s. Wow. I said to Mr. S, "This is a REALLY good book." Of course, you know what he said. "Um, maybe that's why it's a classic?" Duh. Having just finished it, I wish I could go back to that college class that assigned it and participate in the discussion that I just sat through at 20.

I've just cracked open another Dostoevsky - The Idiot. When I bought it, I also bought a book with 5 or 6 Oscar Wilde stories in it (not condensed). That should be fun. I'm truly excited to be spending more time reading, again. I grab minutes here and there whenever I can. Slowly but surely, I'll make it through these books and look forward to more.

One of these days, maybe I will keep a list on the side of my blog keeping up with what I've read. MB does that, and astounds me at the amount of text she has gone through so far this year. How do you DO that?! She knows she reads freakishly fast and readily admits that, but yeeshk. Just take a peek at her list.

I'm thrilled to have Crime and Punishment in/as my list of books read in '08. Maybe I'll finish another book or two by '09.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Out of the Mouth of Twinkle

Anxiously waiting to get out of the van at a birthday party:

"[exasperated sound]! You're going to drive me to Greek!"

I don't recall ever telling her, "You're going to drive me to drink", but it's entirely possible.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I'm Feeling Much Better Now

OK. I may break one promise. This post isn't going to be as "Grrr" as I thought it would be.

Last week, the girls and I went to visit my parents. It was a great visit. Oddly, it's always hard for me to leave. Even with all of my parents' little idiosyncrasies, I really enjoy spending so much time with them.

It's a pretty good time of year to visit my parents. Every year Mr. S takes part in a production put on by the Bar of the Big City. Last week while I was visiting my parents, he was having rehearsals every night and not getting home until 10. Saturday and Sunday he had rehearsals all day. This week he has rehearsals until late at night and the show starting tonight and ending Saturday night. All of that means we see him for breakfast each day and that's about it.

We headed for my parents' house after lunch on Monday. With it being close to a 3 hour drive, I was a little concerned about how Sparkle would be on the trip. The girl really doesn't like to be in the car for more than about 30-45 minutes. Whether it was luck, divine intervention or good timing, she slept for almost 2 hours of the drive. Hooray!

Sleeping at my parents' house was a different matter. Sparkle does not like the pack 'n play. Really. Really. Also, since she's so limber and quite the little monkey, she climbed out of it in no time. When she demonstrated her ability, I decided I needed to stay in the room with her to keep her from climbing out until she fell asleep. Ugh. The first night, this was a 2 hour task. She just stood in the pack 'n play wanting out and crying.

The second night, it was only a 30 minute job. I thought, "All right! I can do that." Then she woke up twice that night which meant that I had to repeat the process to get her back to sleep each time. I napped the next day.

The rest of the time, she continued to require close to 30 minutes at bed time and woke up at least once a night as well as not napping during the day. Now, there are those out there who can testify to how cranky I get when I'm tired. I must get my 8 hours. Night after night, of interrupted sleep only builds the crankiness.

We returned home on Saturday afternoon. It WAS nice to be in my own bed and to have Sparkle back in her bed. I slept really well. Sunday afternoon, Sparkle decided that it was just as easy to climb out of her crib as it was to climb out of the pack 'n play. The only difference is that the crib is a 3 foot drop. Sunday night, Mr. S got to follow the routine I did at my parents' house and stayed in Sparkle's room until she fell asleep. Again, in the middle of the night, Sparkle woke up and was awake for a couple of hours. All told, I got about 5 hours of sleep Sunday night.

Monday morning, Mr. S converted the crib to a toddler bed. I felt so unready. I was NOT looking forward to being the only one putting her down for naps and night times every night this week with her freshly in a toddler bed. UGH! That's actually quite tame compared to what I said.

Monday night, she climbed into her bed. We read a couple of books and turned out the light. Then I sat in her floor for an hour to keep her from climbing out. After that hour, when she was still awake, I thought "What is wrong with me? Poor Twinkle has been sitting by herself for an hour. That's so unfair to her." I got up and left Sparkle's room. She cried for about 3 minutes and stopped and slept all night.

I also slept all night. Tuesday I was thinking much more clearly. I decided that her room is baby-proofed, what does it matter if she gets out of her bed? The reason for keeping her in her bed was to keep her from falling 3 feet from the side of her crib. At this point, I'm thinking of her entire room as her bed.

Tuesday at nap time, we read a couple of stories and I left her in her bed. I realized it's OK if she gets out of her bed. Why should I worry about her getting up? She can't get out of her room. It's OK! (This is a sure sign that the meds are working) She did get up and play in her room for about 30 minutes, but then she got quiet. I couldn't resist checking on her. I peeked in and she was indeed asleep. Not in her bed, but in her rocking chair. Hey, whatever works.

Tuesday night, I don't know if she got out of her bed, I don't know where she slept, but she slept all night. And I slept all night.

I'm crossing my fingers that this will continue. It would be quite nice. Mr. S and I were talking on Monday trying to remember what we did with Twinkle when we switched her to the toddler bed. I still can't remember, but this seems to be working for Sparkle...for now.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Promises, Promises

I promise I'm still alive.

I promise I will participate in Elastigirl's meme tag.

I promise I am going to post within the next day or two.

I promise that post will be a bit "GRRRR."

I promise I appreciate each and every person who visits me here. Even if it is just the one.

Back soon. Promise.

Mrs. S

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I've Been a Mother of Two for a Year

Today marks the one year anniversary of Sparkle being given to us in China. I think in years to come we'll celebrate the day in some special way, but this year I don't think she'd notice. We've played a lot today and I've taken lots of pictures, but that isn't so different from any other day.

It's been quite a year. Memories of that day are just like memories of giving birth. The sights and sounds in the room. Other families being formed at the same time. Being anxious all morning leading up to the moment. Heck, being anxious for the 2 years prior.

I expected to feel a little bit like I was babysitting someone else's child at first. After all, there's a bit of a difference between having a newborn, and being handed at 9.5 month old. I really prepared myself for not feeling connected or wondering when this kid's parents were going to come get her. (I did wonder that after giving birth to Twinkle). But from the moment I saw her, I knew she was mine. I'd seen a picture of her and stared at it for 2 months, but that was nothing compared to seeing her across the room.

I remember saying to Mr. S when they brought her out, "That's her!" I can't remember if he looked at me like was crazy or said something like, "Yeah" like I was crazy, but I'm sure he thought the heat was affecting my brain. I mean we were standing in line and we were next and they were bringing babies out of the other room - of course it was her. I can't explain it, but to me, it was HER. SHE was the reason I was on the other side of the planet. Getting her was like getting a piece of my heart returned to me.

I don't know why, but she has been mine from the beginning. I've never doubted it for a minute.

If you'd like to take a peek at my non-anonymous side and see video of "the moment" you can do that here.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Here's to Cocktails

I had an appointment with my doctor on Friday to get my happy pills refilled. I have to go in every 6 months for them to make sure everything is working OK. I told my doctor that for the most part I am feeling better than before. I know I've accomplished some things that I wouldn't have otherwise.

I also told my doctor that some days I wonder if they sent me sugar pills. On those days, I've mentioned many times on here, I feel annoyed by the smallest thing and once I'm annoyed with one thing, it snowballs all day. They are things that, as am ranting about them, I know are not things that I should be annoyed by. The children's laughter getting louder and louder, for example. My doctor suggested adding a "tiny, baby dose of Prozac" to my Welbutrin. Apparently Prozac has many uses these days ranging from the kind of irritability I'm experiencing to irritable bowel syndrome. Seeing it written out like that makes me wonder what I'm saying about myself.

Anyway, I know many of you commented before that I should talk to my doctor and that some kind of combination may be helpful. I just waited until now to do it. I'm 2 days on the Prozac and have to go back in about a month and a half to report back. I have my fingers and toes crossed that it will do the things she said it could.

Enjoying being with my children AND not screaming? Sweet.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Who Likes Free Stuff?

Head on over to Alyson's. They are having lots of fun over there. And you can even win stuff.


Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Good News!! Jesus Lives Next Door!!

I just have to get this out.

This morning, GND did ride with us to school. On Monday, when her mother drove both to and from school, GND did not talk to Twinkle, she read a book. So, this morning Twinkle took a book in our car, just in case GND didn't talk to her again. The book she chose? "How to Be a Friend" She wanted to show it to GND. Yeah, well....

I told Twinkle that she could not sit there next to GND and show her all the sins in the book that she believed GND has committed. I was in the house when they got into the van. When I got in, Twinkle was saying, "GND, you blamed me for something that I didn't do and that isn't being a good friend. You said I ______ and I didn't." GND responded that either she didn't say that or that Twinkle did do whatever it was. She probably said both which... well... nevermind.

They went back and forth and I told Twinkle to stop doing that and just read her book. Twinkle, of course, had to say one more time, "You DID blame me for something I didn't do." GND's mother who was standing there by the door of the van said, "GND doesn't do that."

Hold on while I growl at the memory of it again.

OK, WTF? So many things went through my head for the entire drive to school and back ranging from "Is she an idiot?" to "Why would you stick your child with that?" It seems like a lot of pressure to me. "Why would she say that in front of the child?" "Is she a habitual liar too?" And over and over, "WTF?!"

What do you do with a mother like that as another mother? Part of me wanted to go over and chat with her and ask what if anything GND told her about Sunday. I wanted to tell her what happened and point out that ALL kids do things at one time or another and why on Earth would she think her child was different? I, as is my personality, wanted to just go over there and talk to her or smack her until she saw the light!

I'm also just bewildered that GND is the one acting like Twinkle wronged her. I just want to say, "Do you understand that Twinkle is the one that by all rights shouldn't want to talk to you?" But then the other part of my mind says, "Wait. Wait. Let her sulk. Twinkle would be better off without her."

Ugh... Yet another chapter in the saga. The upside is Twinkle and I have been playing together a lot over the past few days and I'VE been having a blast!

Monday, April 28, 2008

My Turn!

Yep, yesterday was MY turn...I was the one who lost my sh*t.

Actually, I was in control the whole time, but I'd just had enough. I yelled at GND. It, sadly, felt kinda good.

Let me give you a bit of a mental picture. Our driveway is in the front of our house. We have a sitting area inside the house that has French doors that look out onto a porch and the driveway beyond.

Twinkle, GND and a little boy, D, were playing outside yesterday afternoon. At one point, Twinkle seemed a bit upset because the other two were playing catch and she wasn't, but I knew that would pass soon enough and wasn't anything major.

About half an hour later, I heard the kids playing in the driveway and looked out through the blinds on the French doors. The nice thing about this is that I can observe without being observed. Twinkle was sitting on the porch and the other two were riding their scooters in our driveway. OK, no problem.

Then I hear Twinkle say, "Guys, can you get off my driveway. I want to be alone." I thought that sounded a bit rude, but wanted to see how things played out. The next five minutes were filled with Twinkle asking over and over that they let her have some time alone and go play in the cul-de-sac. Each time she'd say this, GND would smile at her and say something along the lines of "we want to play here" and she'd ride her scooter in circles right in front of Twinkle and sometimes around her. D, wasn't leaving, but he also wasn't taunting Twinkle. He was just riding his scooter further up the driveway away from Twinkle and GND. Twinkle's voice got louder each time she asked them to leave until she finally started crying. GND still with her little smile continued her circles, pushing me over the edge.

I think I can recall what I said word for word. I opened the door and said/yelled, "GND THAT IS ENOUGH!! She has asked you, like, 20 times to let her have some time alone and to go play in the cul-de-sac. You're just doing that to be mean to her and you're doing it to get THAT reaction (pointing at a crying Twinkle) and that is ENOUGH! Now, go play in the cul-de-sac and let her have some time alone. I've had enough of you doing that!"

I think she was a bit stunned at first, but by the time I finished she had such a hate filled look on her face. She narrowed her eyes at me and if looks could kill, I'd have been lying on the floor of the sitting area. She turned and rode her scooter out of the driveway and into the street - I think D may have left before I finished yelling. Twinkle looked at me and said, "Thank you, mommy."

I brought Twinkle in for a few minutes and gave her a hug. I explained to her that I may have just ruined her chances for playing with GND or D for the rest of the day. I also told her that she didn't need to play with GND anyway, because there's no reason for her to put up with someone treating her that way. She stayed in for a few minutes then decided to go ride her bike, whether they played with her or not. A little later I looked out and saw Twinkle and D riding up and down the street.

Mr. S, who had seen the storm coming, had taken Sparkle and the dog out into the backyard about the time the yelling started. He told me later that he'd seen Twinkle and D go over to GND's driveway and that they seemed to all be talking nicely. At one point, Twinkle saw Mr. S in the backyard and said something to him which made GND's head whip around to see who she was talking to.

Twinkle came back at one point and said that GND told her that she was never going to play with her again and that she wasn't allowed to play with her. Yeah right. I told Twinkle that she may not play with her for the rest of the day, but that GND would get over it. I also told her that if she didn't get over it, that was ok too because, again, there is no reason Twinkle should play with someone who is mean to her. D, who was behind Twinkle said, "I'm not mean to her." I told him I knew that and I appreciated it. So, Twinkle and D went off to ride scooters and bikes and ended up playing with two other kids in the cul-de-sac and GND wasn't around for the rest of the afternoon. You know what? Twinkle didn't whine or cry once the rest of the day. Hmmm.

I spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning up the living room. I figured it was a better use of my energy than terrorizing the neighborhood children. I was also waiting for a call or visit from GND's mother that I assumed was inevitable.

She did actually call to say that she needed to take GND to school this morning, and that she would still bring Twinkle home this afternoon. I, blinded by my anger as Mr. S put it, assumed that GND wasn't interested in riding with me this morning and that I'd be taking Twinkle to school. As it turns out, that was a bit of miscommunication because GND's mom came over this morning to get Twinkle and had kinda thought I hadn't understood that she'd take Twinkle this morning. I had already told Twinkle that if GND wasn't nice or wouldn't talk to her in the car this afternoon that Twinkle shouldn't get all upset about it. Just let it go. She assured me she would....

So, here we are. GND's mom acts like nothing happened. I wonder if GND mentioned it to her and if she did what version of events she told her. I'm thinking about sitting outside and reading in a lawn chair the next few times the kids are out playing. The days are so nice, after all. As I told Mr. S, GND needs to just assume that I'm close by and I've got my eye on her. I think she knows now that I'm not going to put up with much.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Power Tools and Ice Cream

Sunday was a lovely day.

We began it with all four of us eating kolaches on our screened porch. We don't eat the kind with meat in them. Not even the ones with fruit in them. NO. The Swizzle kolaches (that we buy, not make) have chocolate or cream in them. It's one of the few breakfasts when I don't really feel a need to sweeten my tea.

We made it to church on time. We had lunch at church because the youth were having a fund raiser. They made burgers, including patties for us vegetarians. I about fell out of my chair laughing when Fr. D, sitting next to me, said, "Ugh! I got one of those Boca things!"

We came home and settled in for a relaxing afternoon. Twinkle went out to play. Around 2:30, Twinkle came in and said a family across the street, who were outside, had some ice cream and invited her to have some. I said yes, no problem. Ah, what a day.

Around 4, I heard a disturbance in the driveway. I opened the door, and Twinkle was crying and saying, "R is going to tell on me..." and various other things that I couldn't understand. R is a boy who lives in our cul-de-sac and is a few years older than Twinkle. He isn't the gentlest of people. He's the kid who was nuts as a younger kid, but seems to be mellowing out.

R is behind Twinkle trying to explain himself. When everything quiets down, I finally heard that Twinkle and GND "needed to build something." OK. Sounds fine. To build whatever it was, they took Mr. Swizzle's case of drill bits and the huge case with his big, powerful (cordless) drill in it over to GND's driveway.

Part of why Twinkle was crying was because, "Dad's screwdriver is broken. It won't work!" Can I hear a "Thank you God"?! The battery was run down. Thank you! R, being a boy in his early teens recognized the danger and came to let me know.

Now, I must say, neither of us have ever explicitly told Twinkle that the power tools are dangerous and that she must not touch them. We have NOW, but I can't blame her much for thinking it was a good idea. She and I had a chat, during which she calmed down and I told her she had to tell her daddy. Then her daddy came outside to mow the backyard and she lost her sh*t again. She calmed down again and I fed her the words for her to tell him what she'd done.

This wasn't really a major ordeal, looking back at it. She was greatly sorry and truly didn't have comprehension of the danger associated with her actions. I told her that she could stay outside and play, but not to ask for any more than that - like ice cream from the truck they could hear in the neighborhood.

Twinkle assured me, eventually, that she would not ask for ice cream if the truck came down our street - even though she really, really, (really) wanted some. Off she went, back out to play. I went back inside and called my mom to tell her about Friday's conversation and about the events of the day.

While we were talking, I heard the ice cream truck. It actually came down our street. "Poor Twinkle", I thought, "She's standing there watching it go right past her. She's probably going to have another meltdown." I told my mom that I needed to go and let Twinkle know it was time to come in.

Can you see it coming?

I went over to GND's driveway to find GND and Twinkle eating ice cream. I didn't scream!! GND's mom was standing there with them. We chatted a bit. GND's mom was holding a couple of dollars and asked the girls whose money it was. I said, "It's not Twinkle's. She didn't have any. I guess it's GND's." GND shakes her head, "No. That's Twinkle's money. It was in her pocket." Her mom was handing the money back and forth between me and GND. I finally took it and said, "Well, it's mine now." I wonder if/when GND is going to ask Twinkle for her money back.

As Twinkle and I entered the garage to go into the house, I said, "I hope that is really good. I want you to really enjoy it, because you are not going outside to play Monday or Tuesday." This set her off again and she actually yelled, "NO! I DON'T WANT TO ENJOY IT!" I told her if she stopped eating it and threw it away (she really hadn't eaten much) she still couldn't go outside on Monday, but we'd see about Tuesday. She started walking to the trash can eating as fast as she could. She opened the trash can and actually continued licking the thing as it got closer and closer to the trash can.

After she dropped it into the trash, she started begging to be able to go out Monday and Tuesday. I repeated Monday was a definite no, and Tuesday was a maybe. This caused her to start jumping up and down screaming, thereby ensuring Tuesday was a definite no.

When the smoke cleared and the tears stopped we had a conversation. We covered the outright disobedience pretty thoroughly. We talked about GND, and how she knew Twinkle was not supposed to have ice cream. Apparently she told Twinkle that the ice cream they'd both had earlier really wasn't very much.... Isn't that nice? We talked about the fact that GND likes to get Twinkle in trouble. Twinkle said, "GND made me get in trouble." Mr. S quickly corrected her. He said, "GND led you up to the door. She even knocked and ran away, but you walked through the door all by yourself."

When it comes right down to it, no matter what pressure you're under, no matter what actions others take, the decision is yours and yours alone whether you're going to do the right thing. It's your decision and your consequences or reward.

How many times will I repeat this to Twinkle? At least as many times as I repeat it to myself.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Like Sands Through the Hourglass...

The soap opera continues....

Well, sort of.

I love the cul-de-sac we live on. It's teeming with kids. When everyone is outside, it's fantastic. This is the first year that I've really appreciated it, probably because I'm finally comfortable with Twinkle going out the door to ride her bike. I peek out every now and then, but I certainly don't feel like I need to go out with her.

Friday afternoon, most of the kids were out and so were some moms. Sparkle was napping so I wandered out to chat. (so unlike me, really) The woman that lives across the street, B, is my kind of person. She is great with kids. She is also straight-forward, doesn't put up with crap and she'll tell you how it is. If you don't want to hear that, yes your child does burst into tears way too easily, don't ask B.

B has a daughter who is in 4th or 5th grade at the same school Twinkle and 2 other families on the cul-de-sac attend. She was talking about a problem her daughter was having with a girl at school. Apparently the girl at school told B's daughter that she couldn't hang out with her anymore because she wanted to be invited to another girl's house. Nice.

I told B that my problem with Twinkle right now is that she'll believe anything that Girl Next Door (GND) tells her. I've posted about GND before. The girl gets under my skin. The fact that she watches me out of the corner of her eye whenever I'm outside with them doesn't help. Anyway, I mention this problem to B and she says, "Well, anything GND says is a lie."

Whaaa???? Could my instincts be right? B and GND's family have lived on our cul-de-sac for a while. I think they both lived here when their kids (now 8-12) were born.

I question B a little bit and she says that the child is a habitual liar. The whole "so and so said ___ about you"? she does that to B's daughter too! (Apparently she also tells B's daughter she's fat which is so ironic if you saw the two girls).

B also said, "But don't try to take it up with her mother. Her mother will tell you that GND NEVER lies."

I said, "Twinkle just told me that exact thing, word for word." You know what I told Twinkle? I told her that I'd never say that about her because we are all human and we all make mistakes and we all tell a lie every now and then. I also told her that I can't imagine a mother saying that about her child.

So I left the conversation wondering how to approach this with Twinkle, but also feeling pretty good about my gut instinct.

That was Friday. Let me tell you about Sunday.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Fever


Spring fever? Organization fever? (Thanks Elastigirl)

Nope actual fever. It's been an extremely long time since I've actually run a fever.

Monday, my allergies were bothering me a little bit. Elastigirl came over and helped me turn my pantry into the 8th wonder of the world.

Yesterday, we had a great homeschool day and completed everything quickly. Thankfully! Because I went downhill after lunch. My goal yesterday afternoon was to keep Sparkle from eating thumbtacks, so my afternoon was a success. Mr. S got home around 7 and I went to bed at 7:15. Of course, I had hockey on because, hey it's the playoffs!

I wandered back downstairs after the girls were in bed and chatted and watched hockey with Mr. S for about an hour, then went back to bed - with hockey still on.

I'm feeling better today. I'm not feverish, but my face hurts. Hopefully, Sparkle and I will have a relatively easy day. Fingers crossed.

Monday, April 7, 2008

What's in a Name?

This post actually started out as a comment to Heather's post over at Cool Zebras about picking a name for her new little one who will be debuting next month. I decided to just write my own post instead of taking up so much of her comment space.

In her post, Heather discusses the desire to give her children names that are not too common, but also not too off the wall. I hear her! Anyone who knows us knows that we felt the same way when naming our children.

Even though we didn't know Twinkle was going to be a girl, we settled on a name pretty easily. As I recall it anyway. We didn't have any boy names picked out, so we got lucky there.

With Sparkle, since we were adopting from China, we were pretty certain that she would be a girl. We had a more difficult time choosing a name for her. When we first started the adoption process, I was amazed at the number of people who already had a name picked and embroidered on blankets. Let me tell you, as someone who didn't want her child having the same name as many others in her class at school, this desire was compounded by being part of the China adoption community. It seems like there are just a handful of names that most girls adopted from China are given.

Anyway, why did we have the trouble we did naming Sparkle? For one thing, we knew she'd already have a name and didn't feel comfortable taking that from her. For another, I wanted to at least see her face before we picked a name. I didn't feel that way when I was pregnant with Twinkle, so I can't explain why that was, but it just was.

True, we discussed possible names long before we saw her face, but "the list" had at least 15 to 20 names on it. After we received her first pictures and we needed to actually start filling out paperwork with her name on it, we decided we needed to buckle down and decide. It was on an airplane flying back from New York about this time last year that we finally settled. And it was a name that wasn't on the big list that I'd made over many months. It was a name from a list Mr. S made in his Palm Pilot before Twinkle was born. A list that I didn't know existed.

The name is perfect for her. It has many nicknames, but none are bad. We kept her Chinese name for her middle name. When she's older, I wonder if she'll go through a period of time deciding what SHE wants to be called.