Saturday, March 29, 2008

Two days in a week

What have I done promising more pictures?  Do I realize this blogging business eats into the time I have reserved for cleaning under my appliances.  Yes, of course I do.  And so without further ado, I give you GIRLS GONE....OUT 

Here we are at Noodles Wednesday night just before we lost control of our bladders.

         From left: Tabitha, Trish, Me, Shelley, Joy

But then, something always happens between the salad and main course that sends us into pack mentality hysterics on these GNO's. My face is best kept behind the camera at this point.   

And here was our attempt at "Sexy" which is really more "aloof, cute, angry and fresh from collagen injections".  Too bad the "sexy seamstress" was off camera for this one.

All of these pictures were stolen from Tally's blog which were taken from Tab's email which  naturally came from Tab's camera because Shan forgot to charge her battery! So, thanks girls for making this memory possible!  Great ham slapping the pavement fun all around!! YEAHHHH!!! 

The following evening this happened....

Ratchet did a kick-ninja routine at his school talent show  with his bo staff and some techno music that was way to dangerous to categorize. 

The teacher apologetically put him in the "dance" category but that never kept a serious performer down.  Ratchet Gene Kelley'd his way into 3rd place!!! HA! :D  

We didn't even know he'd won something until the next day because they forgot to announce his name at the show.  For some reason that made winning a trophy even more exciting.  WEEEE!  WAY TO GO DUDE!  

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Easter Recap '08

We had a lovely Easter weekend with my parents and Ma/Gigi.

I forget how much the dogs enjoy a good grandparent lap or chest as well. Any time one or two of our visitors sat down they would immediately be adorned with a dog tie or belt.  Spoilt  to the rot they are.

We did a bit of a hunt in the backyard though it was a little chilly to linger.


And Ratchet got to keep celebrating his birthday by building several new Lego sets that came with our visitors :D.

We also had Jamey's parents over for lunch after church but I guess I was too busy eating to bother photographing that portion of our day. I need to get better about photos and videos while these kids are still young so I'll have something to show them someday!(Or myself when I want to reminisce over their sweetie tiny faces.)
And finally, I'll leave you with the "silly" version of the top picture even though neither is particularly un-silly, considering Dandy was flapping his broken basket handle out the whole time my mom tried to get a still shot.  You can rarely take any of us very seriously I'm afraid. 

Tune in next time for some GIRLS GONE...OUT photos from our trip to Noodles last night and possibly a shot of Ratchet twirling the fire out of his Bo staff in tonight's school talent show.  Pins and needles all around I know!!! teehee :D

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Cry Me A River

Oooh, it looks like there's an interesting documentary coming on tonight called 'Autism:  The Musical' for those of you who like such things. And to narrow the advertising audience down even further, it seems to me that you'll need the extended bonus channel cable deluxe package because it's on HBO.  I don't have that channel but I need to make a mental note for my Netflix queue makin' hubby to get it on the list(ahem, that's for you N.F.Q.M.H, so could you jot that down for me-thanks;).  

 I DO love an interesting documentary!  These days I almost prefer them to the regular movie selection for some reason.  Maybe it's all that reality t.v. seeping in to my not so subconscious lately.  I don't watch the telly quite as much as I did when we were first surprised with extra channels after the cable man visited us to check on our fleeting internet connection.  Our computer got a little faster but our t.v. was suddenly a whirlwind of superfluous activity.  I was an HGTV and BRAVO channel junkie for a while let me tell you!  I had some catching up to do with some half a million people I  still don't know from Adam!  I had been so remiss on all of their updates, makeovers and personal growth!  It was positively neglectful of me.  

Now that I'm mostly weaned back off of that stuff, I have some freed up space in my veg-out allotment to get in a few DVD's here and there.  Here is a short list of documentaries that I have quite enjoyed and you may or may not have seen:

Gray Gardens-(1975) This is a fascinating peek into the lives of Edith and "little Edie" Bouvier Beales, a  mother and daughter team whom back in their day seemed to have it all; running in wealthy circles, being related to Jackie O. and living  as socialites in Long Island's Hamptons.  The movie is of them years later in the same house but far from royal in any way, living a reclusive and physically and mentally altered existence together. I got some great quotes out of this one!
The Up Series-(1964) follows the lives of several British children from age seven to present(I think they are in between age 49 and 56 right now), revisiting them every 7 years for as long as the individuals in the group are willing to participate.  This one will take you a while but it's really amazing to see these people change before your eyes.

Supersize Me-(2004) A jolly good look at bad food.

Devil's Playground-(2002) A very interesting look into the Amish religion!  This documentary strictly films the teenagers in an Amish community who have reached the age of 16 and are entitled to have a what is called "rumspiga".   During Rumspiga these youth are allowed to live wherever and do whatever they want including living"English", drinking, doing drugs etc. up until the age of 21.  After this time of rebellion they must choose to be Amish or leave the religion entirely.  Superb!  I must find the one on Mormons.

Dark Days-(2000) The filmmaker takes you down below NYC through a manhole type entrance to an area where he gets to know some homeless people who have made a small community in an area of abandoned tunnels.  Fascinating! 

It WAS a Wonderful Life-(1993) A film about six different women who were part of the "hidden homeless".  People you might see on the streets of a big city and never realize they live in their cars or worse.  Most of these ladies came from normal or wealthy situations and found themselves without an income and floundering after a failed marriage.  Curious.

Brothers Keeper-(1992) The story of the Ward Brothers in rural New York who received national media attention when one of them was accused of murdering another and questions of euthanasia, incest and mental retardation all come into play.  This is not for the faint hearted.  One scene scared and may have even scarred me as well.  

My Flesh and Blood-(2003) About a lady named Susan Tom who has adopted 11 special needs kids(in addition to her own children).  This is a heart-wrenching year in the life of these people and their everyday issues that are certainly not everyones everyday issues.  Crying will ensue. 

Well if that list doesn't make you want to shoot yourself in the foot I don't know what will!  These movies for the most part take you right out of the poor me mindset in a quick hurry and I think that's why I liked them.  I have had such a blessed life so far that I sometimes need reminding that I've actually got it pretty easy here in Shansland.
 If your anything like my mother and prefer not to weep through your spare time(I know, WEIRD) then I would strongly encourage you to avoid my list and go straight for the MOCKumentaries or the romantic comedies.  I will not be offended.  I like those too. :D    

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I sense a song coming on

It sounds like the soundtrack to 'The Simpsons' outside my house this afternoon; The part where Lisa is playing her saxophone and the rest of the music becomes muted in the background. Well, to be more truthful, it's really more the beginning strained honks of a sax and even more the sound of a bison or other large animal giving birth to an even larger one with much pain and suffering scattering up and down the the bass cleft.
 I don't mind it though. I even sort of cracked the back door open a hair and listened while I tidied up in the kitchen. I like things that take me back to the 80's, the days I was rockin' my own beastly sounds on the good ole French Horn while wearing my finest of fluorescent clothing and eye shadow.
My brother played his saxophone much more like Lisa Simpson than this guy in his backyard blowing new holes in his instrument. My kids got the "surround sound" version while playing outside and I had to laugh at my little Dandy when he came in through the doggie door (er, didn't I mention the human door was standing open yet the hobbit sized one is more fun, I s'pose) because when I said "Isn't that saxophone music fun to listen to?" he said "Yeah, I told him to stop."

I didn't actually expect him to like it but I wanted to hear what he would answer knowing he has a huge sensitivity to noise. Dandy has lots of quirks, some of them are more easily titled than others. The noise thing falls into the "sensory" category which is one of the issues Dandy's occupational therapist tries to address with him at his therapeutic preschool. It kinda sounds like a day spa when I call his school that. And sometimes when I describe it as such, I feel like people suddenly imagine that he spends his time away from me in a vat of mud with cucumbers on his eyes listening to Enya oh so soft and low. Of course it could just be me getting those images. I dunno.

Where was I? Oh yes, my little Dandylion. Everything is too loud for Dandy except for Jamey's or my parental voices, go figure. He's gets a huge case of the Whadyasays when we talk to him, but turn on the shower water and the screeching begins. "IT'S TOO LOUD!!" he bellows holding his ears as if he were standing in front of the amp at a Billy Idol Concert(I know. I'm still in the 80's) getting the Rebel Yelling of his lifetime.

The sensory issues we first noticed he had were more texture related. Since baby dude Dandy came into our lives at just under two, we had a bit of a crash course on his likes, dislikes and the like. He could only handle dry food. And if an item was somewhat gloppy, it had better be fed to him very carefully because there would surely be panic and horror if he had to touch anything stickier than a crouton. That was the first time I realized this kid and I had a little something in common(sniff-I know, it's magical really).
If I can, I avoid cutting melon and baking bread for the same reason. "STICKY!! I'M STICKY!!" my brain yells each time.  So, though I don't always totally fold at these challenges, I could kind of relate on some levels to his disgust. 
Especially when Dandyboy's therapist sent home his homework one day and it was a little container of Flarp. "Hmm...Ok. This is nice he is supposed to play with this stuff like Play-Doh. No prob"......Oh looks a little wet and uh, gloppy. "Get it out Dand. Go ahead." I encourage. He starts working himself up into a small lather. "Can you get it for me?" he pleads from a safe distance. "Gulp. Um. Sure honey....ah, ohhhh," ICKKY! I can't do my five year olds homework.
Finally I just shoved my finger into the tiny container and scooped at it quickly all the while keeping as composed an expression as possible. Then, evil genius that I am, I suddenly realized I could whistle good old Ratchet over to team up with brother on this special assignment and BADA-BING problem solved! I hurriedly slopped it at the always game Ratchet and rushed over to wash my hands. Whew! That was a close one. One face saved, another pulled. Neither of us much more willing to bag taffy at the fair.

Ah but it's all a process of course, just like all of the other more serious challenges Dandy faces as he looks toward kindergarten. He's definitely come a looooong way with his highly capable but highly doubtful little self. His therapist says he works them over more than they can ever work him. And that's true. He knows all of the info one needs at his age to succeed. But he IS a tough cookie to crack sometimes (probably trying to keep his creamy fillings from spilling out). And if he thinks he can't do something well, then he doesn't want to try it at all. 
That's the main not as easily nameable issue he seems to face. Willingness. But we know what our little boy has accomplished and as soon as he believes in himself, he'll be able to do whatever he wants to do!  I see a giant bakery in this boys future!  He's a Dandy that one. And he regularly turns our hearts into the insides of a Cadbury egg. 
 Speaking of eggs...HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!!  And don't forget to thank Jesus for his amazing gift to us all! 

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Ratchet makes the decade!

Today is my dear little firstborn's birthday and I want to try to keep my wordiness to a min. (like that ;) and give a year in pictures to highlight my precious boy's goings on from year 9-10.  But knowing my track record for wordiness, do you really believe I could just start slapping pictures up willy nilly with nary an explainy? That's just not how I roll now is it? It's always fun to say stuff like that with a 'Frasier' type inflection so make sure you add that for grins.  
Well, It was an interesting though enjoyable pregnancy and he wasn't an easy delivery by any means but I.... >>>>>fast forward>>>>fast forward>>>>10 years later...decided to take Ratchet and six of his closest buddies and one sibling to see Horton Hears a Who Friday night to kick off a grand evening of sleepover splendor and shinannery.
Aside from a brief panic upon entering the movie theater and suddenly realizing I couldn't see(darn night vision) or hear(darn Dolby sound) any of the children I had come with, it all turned out fine once a nephew came to usher me to the proper row full of kids I had just been dutifully herding only moments before.  
After the movie, we raced home for sloppy joes, chips and fresh veggies(kids are so easy to feed).  Oh and did I ever represent the knowledge I have procured from all of your blogs!  I made cupcakes ala Slushturtle, and the kids made their own ice cream like Hillary's with baggies and rock salt so that was interesting and apparently tasty as well.  Yippee!  I had a picture of the ice cream too but please don't make me put it back in I tried once and everything went hideously asunder! It  turned quickly to all things weaponry anyway once the last joe slopped!

On it went with present opening and outdoor play well into the evening where we eventually all gathered in the living room where the legos and video games required some attention. 

Well, so much for that year in pictures thing eh? The party in pictures(html) has me looking as tired as J and I in that last picture so I'm going to stop there. :D
I'm glad my sweet boy had such a wonderful birthday weekend.  I certainly have enjoyed every moment of his ten short years on this earth. He is such a happy blessing that makes every day brighter. Many more big boy!!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Puff Mama

Did you hear that noise?  I bet your dog did.  That was the high pitched squeal sound I made when I saw these little jobbers my friend Trish just brought over.  They are little puffs for makeup removal that you use like a cotton ball and then throw  into the washer to use again and again pretty as you please.  She has little matching cloths as well and is getting quite the line of "green friendly" products made for her new Etsy store that will soon be simply brimming with squeal worthy items.  I'm about to use my first cotton ball (mine are pink with brown dots) after fighting the urge to eat it like a truffle.  
She also makes things like hankies and kitchen scrubbies as well as some terribly clever shopping bags that you can take with you to the store to keep the plastic sack stockpiles in your house to a dull roar.  She is SAVING THE PLANET STYLISHLY and we can too!  Check it out :D

Monday, March 10, 2008

A new entry

Oh the upkeep of having ones own blog!  Whew this pace is absolutely exhausting.  Ok, I guess I don't exactly churn out the info on a daily basis but you must understand;  I'd much rather read all of your amusing and informative words than have to think up my own and then form them into readable thoughts(I'm still working on that part)and finally physically input them onto my page with just the right restraint so as not to come across as a crazy-faced psycho that gives her vitamins personalities and frets over one dinner guest!   
I'll admit I started blogging because I simply didn't have enough room on the comment boxes of your blogs to get out all of my talkativeness.  I feel like I'm always the commenter that leaves a giant flaming S on everyones pages like the girl who just didn't know how to NIP IT!  Well, sorry if that's true.  It's only because I like you and call you "friend" in my mind and sometimes in real life as well. 
The other thing is I am an INPUT JUNKIE. I could read all day if I could stay awake and I love surfing around and finding out about everybody's goings on like I'm sitting in a giant room listening to all types of people all over the world and piping in from time to time with my own couple cents when I want to.  Wouldn't I be a veritable mecca of information if I could retain anything longer than a minute.
Oh, and if I'm not sitting in front of the lighted screen of goodness gnarling my sciatic nerve up in bundles, then I immediately shift over to the auditory input I'm equally fond of.   I don't do lots of noises at once well but, boy do I ever need some voice other than my own going in my head most of the time.  I have one of those little i-pod dealios filled to the brim with talking programs.   And if I'm home and fairly alone, I've got that thing going and telling me stories or sermons or even lectures from college courses(if I'm really low on listening materials ;).
  Anything half entertaining or educational in my ears if I'm doing housework will allow me to accomplish terrifically tedious tasks( triple "t" in the hizouse!) without a complaint or even a notice sometimes. I'll think to myself "I guess I'd better get in there and peel that wallpaper off the wall...What? The mindless Mommy drone has already been here?  Oh, that does seem vaguely familiar to me and come to think of it I'm covered in tiny scraps of paper so....Cool."  Actually, it's more often than not something slightly less useful like "Lookie there!  Somebody put together that 550 piece puzzle that the kids left on the table." 
 I do hope to finish painting the shed soon with this same worker drone mentality.  That'll be nice. 
So there you have it.  The reason my posts are all kind of Seinfeld in that they are kind of about nothing at all.  Boy can I ever DRONE (oh yeah, still rockin' the bee metaphors) on about it once I get started though, eh?  I truly have the gift of gab. 
 Now, back to your blogs.  I hope you've got them all updated for me.
Your avid reader, Shan ;).  
I'll leave you with a shot of a few of us bloggin' girlfriends that most of my readers know.  From left to right Becky, Lori, Me, and Trish at Becks house.  Good times.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

THE WINNER TAKES ALL...of my cash (Walk off results)

Well sports fans (read: Nutrition Nerds), I know you've been on pins and needles waiting the for the official data of my vitamin battle to emerge. Sadly, it didn't take a month to see a clear winner between what appeared to be fairly well matched competitors. They each had their own strengths. Both came in eye enticing bottles promising health, wealth and prosperity with every serving. And, though the Natures Plus-Ultra Source of Life Liquid seemed to have much higher quantities of each vitamin, mineral, and boasted of whole foods and herbs and such, Vibe claims to have a revolutionary way of delivering its nutrients by changing the molecule size for total absorption of the supplement. And it has some impressive antioxidant rating that is talked way up in the brochure about the product.

At this bit of analysis they both came out on the cat walk looking pretty fine in their stats. They made it down the runway and gave their first poses. "OK! looks like we've got REAL talent here people!" Then I got a good look at each of them outside of their tidy containers. Whoa! It was suddenly like looking at Glenda the good witch standing next to Elphaba the wicked witch of the West! The reigning champ sat looking like the condensed form of a huge bowl of delicious fruits, benignly amber in color and pleasant in aroma. While the challenger sat green and mucousy, trying to pull the medicine cup around itself to shield it from the light. It was like a bubbling swamp of raw elements and smelled like mashed up minerals and pennies. BA-LECK!

Then came time for the tasting. Yes, healthy things are green and yes, even unpleasant at times, so this was no time to be prejudice. I clothed the green witch with a swatch of orange mango juice and down the hatch she went. "Eew." I said and went on with my day. This continued for about 2-3 days if memory serves (which it clearly doesn't let's face it) and I DID have a noticeable amount of energy those days and felt simply charmed by the green goddess and her sludgy sauciness.

This charm however was exactly that. And charms are the devils work. On the fourth day(or third, I can't remember) suddenly my green vitamin drink rose up in the glass and gave me her most vicious of poses just as I was tipping her back and I nearly spat her right out on the floor with an "EEWWWW!!" It was getting grosser and more abhorrent with every sip like a changeling who could no longer hold her shape!

The next day I simply couldn't face her. And how I longed for my $60.00 beauty of months past. Yes, I couldn't help but reminisce those fond but expensive days in Munchkinland where I'd pour myself some delicious Vibe making it "tall" by adding a full glass of water to dilute and enjoy a healthy leggy beverage of nutritives. A true winner holding her title by a tastebud.

And the moral of this shallow tale...

If one cannot pay the price of vanity, but cannot in turn bear the shame of liquid ugliness, Then one must taketh thy health by fork and pill.   
 - The Shan

Monday, March 3, 2008

Like sands through the hourglass...

It's time to check in with my little blue page and give a few small updates.  It feels like I have been gone  from this computer for months, but alas, it has only been a week or so since The Shan has been roaming the planes of her land.  

I started getting so very tired and achey about 10 days ago and found myself sleeping between activities.  I would get up, get the kids ready for school, say goodbye to two boys and a hubby, mill about for a few minutes, then climb back in bed.  It seemed the thing to do.  Then, at about 2:45 in the afternoon, I would hear the little tiny tri-tone beep on my insulin pump, so I'd get up and obediently go pick up the kiddies from their schools, go back home and WHEW! Tired.  Momma needs a little resty poo before dinner time.   And so on. 

I've always had a special fondness for my bed,  but this seemed a bit extreme even for me!  I decided I was depressed because "depression hurts" according to that commercial.  But, a few fevers and two inches of lung biscuits later(not to mention a husband who was also coming down with the "depression" too), I cleverly realized I was actually just sick and proceeded on to the doctor for some Tamiflu and an antibiotic for the smokers cough I had recently developed.  Turns out the flu hurts too.

In other unrelated news, I lost my job.  Job?  What job?  Well, I have been babysitting this little pimpernel

three days a week since August. But, his mommy got a promotion and different hours at work so he got re-routed to daycare, leaving his "Auntie Shannon" one baby short of a day job. Though it conveniently came at the same time my new sleeping hobby cropped up, now that I'm feeling better I find myself wondering what my next venture will be.

I've been batting around all the usual possibilities:

1) Start watching another baby on a part time basis.
2) Get paperwork, CPR and training up to date and reopen our home for foster care.
3) Repeat step two and try to adopt another child.
4) Get a part-time job outside the home.
5) Go back to school for that elusive and endlessly painful degree.
6) Be a stay-at-home-mom who actually does all the stuff one is supposed to do to keep a proper house.

Yep, I'm right back where I started in August when I sort of happened into #1 due to a lack of school enrollment. That seemed good at the time. But now I'm back at the list scratching my head for insight. I think I'm ready to move on past the first option but 2-5 strike me as pretty serious choices and not ones to be taken lightly.
While I ponder those, I will default to #6 and see if I can find a comfortable balance between housework and personal enrichment that allows time to focus on my new years resolution of having "A year of intelligence-becoming smartererer than ever before!" And if it works, pondering the middle four options should only become easier with a little more brains on board. Hey, we've already seen that I can now type faster than a dead person. Maybe next I can learn the art of decision making before actually becoming one.