This is My "Real" Blog: May 2007

Angie's Blog!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Back from the Abyss

Last week was very interesting. I was starting to wonder what I had done to deserve all that I endured. (not really, but after a while, you start to get paranoid)

Caroline is much better following two visits to the pediatrician. The antibiotics are nearly gone. That's always a happy day. . .when that bottle is empty and thrown away.

Edison survived the end of school. He had a great awards day on Thursday. We were, and are, very proud of him. His first year of middle school went very well.

But with a sick child, and the end of a school year upon me, I was forced to suddenly come to grips with two children at home. Not one, but two. In most cases, they are fine, and function independent of each other. Not last week. They were inseparable. . .which I love. But, when one gets grumpy, they both react. Let's just say one was still recuperating, and the other declared himself "bored" or "overworked" after just one day.

Friday was also a day of "reckoning" for me, I guess you'd say. I went to a new doctor that I will begin seeing on a regular basis. He is an internist. Very thorough. We spent the better portion of the morning together. We had some long talks. We have more talking to do, but he's pushing me to get my life and health in order. I wanted to type "back" in order, but it's been so long, I can't type that in good conscience.

The rest of Friday afternoon was spent in tears. . .off and on. E-mails and phone calls from lots of my friends (Jeannette, Melany, Sheila, Beth, and others) were so encouraging -- and yet, I kept on crying. I really do have an enormous task in front of me -- but I'm taking it one day at a time, and three gallons of water at a time.

I'm really not drinking 3 gallons of water every day - but it sure feels like it!

The main thrust of my visit to the doctor was to address my hernia. More tests will be run next week, and I will proceed from there. It's going to be an interesting summer, to say the least!

On Saturday, Caroline introduced me to a phenomenon that Edison was courteous enough not to do. She stripped down -- removing her diaper -- proceeded to uh. . . let's say. . ."drop a load" in her bed, and wallow in it.

At the very moment that we discovered this -- I kid not -- my parents arrived to deliver her new table & chairs, and to say "hello." I was not in a "hello" mood. In fact, I was livid, and quite germophobic. It was the most disgusting thing I've ever seen, smelt, felt, grabbed, scrubbed. . .you get the picture.

Ironically, after cleaning up this disaster, we chose to take the kids out for dinner. Mexican food, of all things. After dinner, we bought ceiling fans for the new house. Fun.

Sunday was good. Kind of lazy. I like Sundays like that. We watched the Indy (some) and Coca-Cola 600 (most of it). Enjoyed it. I hate that Jeff Burton was pushed way back. He has become my favorite race-car driver. I don't know why. I might have a little crush on him. Who knows?

Monday - even more relaxation. Mark mowed the lawn at the old house. The kids and I stayed home and enjoyed a cool afternoon. Went to a graduation cookout last night. Had a great time there. Came home. Put kids to bed. Fell into bed exhausted.

All in all, it was good weekend...just busy. But, I realized, now that she's better...that I'm back. Back from the abyss. Back from the pit. Walking in victory. Feeling the sunshine on my face, and it's good.

Oh yeah, and I actually took some time this evening to scrap a picture. I've been contemplating the idea of "negative space" on a layout. One of the new girls over at BSD posted this layout, and I loved it. Here's my tribute to her great work.

Though I don't miss the 52 mile (round trip) drive to therapy every week, I really do miss seeing Jan and Missy. We need to schedule a follow-up visit, just to catch up with them.

Note to self: Do this before the surgery. Otherwise it won't happen!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Lest We Forget

It's Memorial Day weekend. I tried to explain to Edison, on the way home from church, about the significance of the Indianapolis 500 to people who are from the midwest. . . specifically Indiana. . . specifically Indianapolis. It may have sunk in, I'm not sure.

We didn't really have a moment in our church services about Memorial Day, but one of my favorite people, Stan, mentioned during his communion meditation the names of three individuals that he served with in the Navy. That was something. Names of friends from over 40 years ago -- and he described them like it was yesterday.

He also mentioned one of my other favorite people on earth, Bill, who served in World War II, who to this day, carries in his wallet the picture of his boyhood friend who died in the war.

The last person Stan mentioned was his friend at work whose son was killed last year by a roadside bomb in Iraq. Kind of made me swallow hard.

Guys, that's Memorial Day.

Not a race - two if you count the Coca-Cola 600 like I do!
Not a picnic.
Not a 3-day weekend.

Those things are all good, but it's the memory of the men and women who, usually at a very young age, gave their lives for my freedom and yours. Really, I'm not a true-blue flag waver most of the time, but I really was touched by the reminder. Thanks for allowing me a few minutes to ruminate on the blessings of living in a great country!

Now, onto a layout. Christy released a new kit this week called Covenant. It's a Christian-themed wedding kit. (Those are few and far between) This kit is gorgeous. Unfortunately, I didn't have access to our scanner - it's in the garage (somewhere) and I had to rely on whatever pictures I already had in the computer.

Last year, we did a multi-media presentation celebrating marriages in our church. I just happened to have this one of my mom and dad. So, I am grateful to be able to share a celebration of their marriage of 45 years. They are a wonderful example to Mark and me. Their undying love and endurance, as well as their ability to stick through tough times--these are all things that inspire me. I'm sorry I didn't do this back in January, Mom & Dad. But, I'm even more proud of you today than I was then! I love you both!!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Friday Night in East Tennessee

For some, it might mean a night out at Calhoun's on the River, or Regas. My personal favorite is Aubrey's, but that would be obvious, wouldn't it?

For some Friday night means going to the movies. Pirates #3 has just opened. Edison's going to see it on Wednesday. So, we'll not partake of that cinematic delight tonight.

For others Friday night means going to the Walmart. Around here, the most important pronoun in that sentence is "THE" as in "THE WalMart." I was there yesterday. Don't need to go again.

Nope, for us, it's going to be a Food City frozen pizza (the thin crust kind is especially yummy) and Caroline's haircut appointment at 6:30. If all goes well, pictures will follow.

Happy Friday Evening!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Somewhere. . .in the midst of dozens of boxes in my [new] garage, lies all of my worldly possessions that I was convinced I couldn't live without. Someday. . .somehow. . .I'll get through that pile of boxes and decide that I need even less than I thought.

But for now, it looks like a moving van exploded in there.

Caroline is getting some better. Her strep throat doesn't appear to be bothering her at all. Yesterday, it appeared that her eardrum ruptured, but today, the doctor said that the goo, pus, and otherwise uninhabitable substances that came out of her ear did NOT cause the eardrum to explode. After a few doses of antibiotics, she is like a different girl. You gotta love those strong antibiotics.

. . . except for the side effects of those strong antibiotics. That's an explosion of dramatic proportions.

I keep discovering new and exciting things about my house that I didn't know when we set out to purchase said house. Some discoveries are big deals . . . like the roll-out cabinet shelves in three of the lower kitchen cabinets. Or, the lights in each of the kids' closets. These were huge discoveries for me.

But today, a much simpler, smaller explosion caught my eye, and surprised me. It delighted me to the point of creating a digital layout in celebration.

I have been following the example of my friend Beth, in trying to keep a running theme through today's blog post. I decided to go with explosion.


Monday, May 21, 2007

Saturday Night Fever. . .edited

. . .just one of the many movies I was NOT allowed to watch when I was in high school. Edison was invited to go see Spiderman 3 last weekend. We let him see it (reluctantly) and he really enjoyed it. We have since read that it is the one of the three with the strongest moral message. That helped, a little.

I understand, though, what my parents faced when asked by Lori and me (repeatedly, no doubt) about going to see PG or R-rated movies. I am far too old to be affected by PG-13 movies. And any more, they're as bad as most of the R-rated movies I *wanted* to see in high school.

Last week, Edison called Mark at work. His scholar's bowl team was being rewarded for winning with a party. At this party, his teacher had brought some movies from home (PG rated - it IS a small, Baptist private school). Anyway, the group had decided on "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," when Edison called Mark for special permission.

My eldest child is not a goody-two-shoes, but he does have a conscience that prevents him from getting into a lot of trouble by calling us in questionable situations. I missed the call on my phone--so Mark was next in line. Mark suggested that there might be a more suitable movie for a bunch of 12-year olds to watch. Especially at this conservative little school.

The teacher got on the phone, and apologized to Mark, saying that she had "grabbed a bunch of PG-rated movies from home, and her kids talk about how funny this movie is." Well, her kids are significantly older than Edison. And, they're HER kids. He is mine.

Personally, I'm not ready to explain the scene at the Castle Anthrax where the beautiful young women plead with one of the Knights of the Round Table to "spank me," and then promise other carnal delights afterwards.

[edited: Thanks, Steve. Edison *does* read my blog. Can you tell I was sleep deprived?]

Sorry, I'm just not ready to go there with my son. It is one stinking hilarious movie. And, sadly, he may have more of an understanding of some of these terms and concepts than I'm ready to admit. But until I take off my rose-colored glasses, he is not allowed to watch the Holy Grail.

Wow. . . I haven't shared a saga like that in a while. I guess I've been too consumed with packing, purging, moving, unpacking, and putting things away. And no, we're not anywhere near done. But it feels like home. And I think that's enough for this girl on this Monday.

The real reference to "Saturday Night Fever" is Caroline. Beginning on Saturday afternoon, around 5 p.m., she came down with a fever. Kind of a raging fever. I don't like my kids to run fevers. We were able to address it with Tylenol and Ibuprofen - alternating, of course - but we got her an appointment with the sweetest pediatrician ever - Dr. Powers - who confirmed for us that she has an ear infection in one ear and strep throat. In fact, while we were waiting for him to come in, she broke out in a rash from the strep. He was glad she did that today - because he said that a rash tomorrow would have made us all assume it was a reaction to the medicine.

. . . I never would have thought of that. God certainly has blessed our family through this special group of men and women who love both of my kids so much.

You have to realize that when a child like Caroline enters into a medical practice like our little one here in (unnamed unincorporated hamlet) where we live, because of her situation, she becomes everyone's little princess.


In fact, today, one of the nurses in training admitted that the ladies up front told her before coming into our room that she should be prepared to fall in love with little Caroline.

::hee hee:: I'm raising a little princess who has stolen the hearts of an entire medical practice.

Sometimes I smile when I try to grasp it all. This is what it means to be blessed - even in the midst of our circumstances.

Happy Monday. To Melany and Beth, Happy Victoria Day!!! I love you both -- you little Canucks!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Forrest Gump

What a man. . . few words, but he spoke volumes.

Here's my latest layout:

"And that's all I have to say about that!"

Forrest, you rock!


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Can you hear that? It's called "quiet. . ."

This new house is quiet. I mean. . .really quiet.

This house is built on a slab. . .our previous house was not. Creaking floors and joists kept us from ever creeping into Caroline's room after she fell asleep. However, last night, I not only went in her room, I turned on the lamp on her dresser and put clothes away. That's quiet.

This afternoon, it started raining. I mean, puppies and kittens. I had no clue. When I opened the door, I saw puddles (should I say "poodles") and realized that the skies had absolutely opened up and I didn't know it.

{sorry, some puns just have to be put in print}

Hubby and I have talked about it. Rather than rush me to an audiologist to get my hearing checked, we decided that I didn't hear the rain, because we no longer hear the cars, trucks, motorcycles, and other vehicles speeding through it and sloshing it all over the road.

. . .it's really that quiet.

Caroline noticed the sounds of birds chirping this afternoon. She's usually accustomed to hearing them at my parents' house (they live on a farm). This afternoon, she heard the birds, and said, "Bird?" I responded affirmatively, and encouraged her to listen again. Her next words:

"Grandma's house?"

I am in heaven.

EDITED. . . in case we actually *know* the people who made the offer on the house! (oops)
Oh yeah, we got an offer on the house today. According to our realtor (and our own common sense) it was a *low* offer. But, it was an offer. My heart needed an offer. We told them (through our realtor) it was too low. We submitted a counter offer that didn't budge too much. I'm stubborn. We've entered a chess match with some *people* who tried to tell us our house sucked. It doesn't suck. We're not asking too much. They need to get a clue. When they come to their senses, we'll let you know. Until then, keep praying. We appreciate it!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Timing. . . God's and mine

. . . .don't usually match up.

I wanted my kids 3-4 years apart. Kevin Leman, Christian counselor and humorist says that 3.5 years between kids is the ideal age gap. God didn't see it that way for our family.

We're talking 9 years between 'em. Talk about timing being off.

I was angry.
I was depressed.
I became bitter.

Then she arrived. . . right on time.

Edison was uniquely designed and created for Caroline. He has so much love and compassion for his little sister. Mind you, they do argue -- usually her scratching his face -- but not out of anger. (He's usually holding her too tight. . .or too long. . .or too much!) 99% of the time, they get along famously. She's his number one fan!

So, God timed that one perfectly, after all.

In 1 hour and 42 minutes, we will close on the new house. Have I mentioned how much I love my new house? Mark and I are scared about carrying two mortgages. We are worried about added expenses. But, God has led us into this new house. I specifically asked God to please let us know if this was not His will. So far, all has proceeded nicely - except for selling the old house.

30 minutes ago, Mark called to tell me that the realtors are going to show the old house in 42 minutes -- one hour before we close on the new house.

God's timing.
God's sense of humor.

Here's a situation where His divine timing might just be one hour ahead of my timing. Wouldn't that be one for the books?


[Pictures of the new house are coming. I promise!]

Saturday, May 12, 2007

We're In!

. . .and as I type at 9:53 p.m., both children are in their respective beds. Asleep, I hope.

We're exhausted, but happy.

I'm older, but wiser.

"I am pressed but not crushed; persecuted, not abandoned. . .crushed down, but not destroyed. . . I am blessed beyond the curse. . for His promise will endure, that HIS joy is going to be my strength!" or something like that.

As Edison and I drove home from the church tonight (yes, I did have to go into work!) we were listening to oldies on the radio. After enduring "The Hustle" (all of it) we got to hear "Our House" just as we turned into our new subdivision. It was pretty awesome!

Tomorrow is another day. . .and I promise "lived in" pictures will come about. You'll get to see my "stuff" amidst the sourdough, cotton candy, and taupe trivia walls.

You may even get to see some of our smiling faces. I assume we'll be smiling.

In answer to Doug's question. . . .the showing yesterday went well. Our realtor told us that the people like the house - and like the backyard. No word today, but again, I am not crushed. God will provide.

So, as I close, thank you all so very much for your kind words, encouraging thoughts, and well wishes. Your prayers are the most precious gift ever.

On behalf of the whole gang, we love you!!!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

More House Pictures

This is a somewhat dark view of the "north" end of the living room - and a little peek into the sun room. I'm still debating whether or not to paint the french doors. I'm tempted to keep the sage going through the whole room. We'll see. First we've got to get moved in.
Sourdough, anyone? This will be the office. The chandelier is going away. . .very soon. the piano will be on the left wall. The office will be opposite of the piano. This is really getting exciting, ya'll.
The Princess's quarters. Cotton Candy pink, no? She's going to love it, I hope. Oh, and to the left of her "runs the length of the room" closet. . . .? That's a light switch. Both Caroline's and Edison's closets have lights in them. Oy.
This is the room where I got daring. Edison's room is two-tone. He loves it. That is "Heavenly Blue" on the right wall, and "Falling Star" on the wall with the windows. He's excited to have a cable connection in his room. Yes, he will be thirteen in November!

Edited: Say a prayer tomorrow (Friday) we have a scheduled showing. We are hopeful. And, I dreamed last night, that we sold the house to the first people that looked at it.

I can dream, right?
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Finally. . .some pictures of the new house!!!

This is our bedroom. The walls look lighter than they really are. The color is "Taupe Trivia." I love it!

This is my new kitchen. For those of you who know my current/soon-to-be "former" kitchen, this is awesome!
Another shot from the other end of the kitchen. That faucet has one of those pulley thingies - where I could shoot water at someone from across the room. But, I won't. Really. I won't.
This is my awesome new living room. The entry way is probably my favorite part of the living room. . .oh, and the color, too.
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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

It is SO Pretty. . . .

So I went to the new house today to "inspect" the work the painters have been doing.


I am so in love with my new "light sage" living room, and my "sourdough" office, and Caroline's "cotton candy" bedroom. And, don't get me started on my "americana" kitchen and Edison's "heavenly blue" and "fallen star" bedroom.

It's just too much.

And, tomorrow, my "taupe trivia" bedroom gets its extreme home makeover.

I am so in love.

There's still lots more "stuff" to pack, move, donate, pitch but we're getting closer. At this point, there are only two boxes of cereal in the pantry. If the kids don't want Life or Cheerios, they'll have to eat donuts for breakfast. Because, yes Virgina, there are Krispy Kremes in da hiz-ouse!

Glazed mini crullers. . .and traditional Krispy Kreme glazed donuts. There is a God in heaven, and he likes Krispy Kremes too.

[although, I suspect he really likes Dunkin Donuts better -- but it's not in his divine plan to have a DD here in the greater K-ville area]

My God is watching out for me. . and my waistline.

I had a close call tonight. . . while perusing some musty, dusty old boxes that have been lying dormant in our attic for eleven years (so ashamed I am) I started to have an "attack" of the hernia kind.

NO. . .I haven't gone to the doctor yet.
NO. . .I can't get them to call me back.
NO. . .it didn't mean a trip back to the ER.

[the squeamish should look away at this point]

I pushed it back in place.

Yes, I did say that. I pushed on my abdomen (stop laughing) and pushed the hernia back into place. As soon as I felt this little "blurrup" my pain and nausea disappeared. Like, immediately.

I went back out to the living room, and participated in conversation with my parents and in-laws. They knew what had just happened, and when I didn't puke all over them, or my furniture, they believed me -- that I felt better.

So, now I know how to temporarily ease my discomfort, if it happens again. I couldn't believe it myself. Call me Doogie Howser. . .but, girls and boys, I feel a thousand times better.

So there it is. . . .a strangely complete and inter-connected blog entry. And now that I have a few new friends perusing the blog from time to time. . .namely Doug and That Chick, I feel this responsibility to write truly blogworthy stuff.

Doug is one of Mark's best friends from his "pre-Angie" days. Doug and I actually knew each other first. He was in the band that Mark and I played when we met. He was in our wedding. He is one of the few people who can make me squirt food or liquid out of my nose -- just by making me laugh.

That Chick is someone I stumbled onto through the internet. She's hilarious. Seriously. Funny girl. And, she lives near me! How cool is that?!

I live near That Chick. Hee Hee.

Peace out, my friends. There's still more cr. . uh, stuff to go through before going to bed!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I Am Such a Dork!

Just so you know. . .

One of the cool things about having a blog is that when people leave comments on a particular entry, I get an e-mail telling me that there's a comment. The subject line of the e-mail even tells me which entry has a comment.

Here's the part where I'm a dork.

When I get one of those e-mails, I could read the comment there in my e-mail. But do I? Nope.

I go to my blog - you are here right now - and I read the comments in "context" of the entry in which it came. For some reason, it feels better reading a comment from that point, than from the notification e-mail.

I am a dork.

Really. A Dork.

Monday, May 07, 2007


I am always surprised at how much energy [destruction] a 3-year old can have [cause] when she's come home from a full day of school. Unfortunately [for me] she napped on the bus, so when she arrived at home, it was like Mardi Gras.

. . . I'm not a big fan of Mardi Gras. Those big heads scare the bejeezes out of me.

Anyway, all the things I wished to accomplish this lovely sunny afternoon disappeared like . . .well, something that disappears easily.

So, my update will be pretty concise. The kids (yes, both Edison and Caroline) are playing on the piano that Caroline has just discovered that we own. That's right, for the first 2 years and 11 months of her existence, it was a "catch-all" for my various scrapbooking projects, art projects by Edison, and the junk mail that we had not yet discarded.

Suddenly, she has a piano. And the world has never been the same. As I type, Edison is pounding, yes, I said "pounding" out a bleak rendition of "Ode to Joy" by Beethoven. The man is dead, deaf, and in another country, but I swear Ludwig can hear this, and is doing the obligatory rolling in the grave.

So, while they "serenade" me. . . ahem. . .I'll simply say that the conference this weekend was wonderful. A bit overwhelming, but wonderful. We got to meet some great families from across Tennessee whose kids share that extra chromosome that Caroline has. Their kids are engaging, beautiful, funny, and quirky - just like mine. They have struggles - just like we do.

It was a great life-affirming weekend. However, the overwhelming part came after nearly 48 hours of unending seminars, talks, and presentations about brain function, family challenges, school system battles, gI distress, neurbehavioral disorders. . . you get the picture. We spent a lot of time focusing on the challenges, rather than the victories.

I'm a victory kind of gal! I realize that when I am in a "dwell on the challenge" situation.

Not every presentation was a challenge, but by the time Saturday lunch rolled around, I simply wanted to get home, hug my daughter, and be "normal" -- whatever that means!

I've nearly finished "The Memory Keepers Daughter," which is probably part of the reason I was saturated with Trisomy-21 talk. It's a great book, and as I near the end, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. But still, I probably would've done well to take a grocery-store novel (you know, with Fabio on the cover) and read that on the way to and from Nashville.

Moving. . .this weekend. Yikes. Many boxes to pack. Little time. Lots of distraction - see paragraph 1.

I will do my best to keep everyone posted as the week wears on. Until then, I need to pack...and re-cover the piano. It was a much quieter house when it was a catch-all.


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

I'm so glad I was a mean mom. . . .

. . .and Edison is glad, too.

Today, my little genius helped his team of middle schoolers win the Scholar's Bowl.

A few weeks ago, Edison complained loudly that he didn't want to be part of Scholar's Bowl. In fact, he talked to the coach about quitting. She tried to talk him out of it.

We told him "no."

And today, more than anything, I enjoyed asking him whether or not he was glad he stayed in.

His reply: "I can't wait until next year."

Sometimes, as a mom, I rock.