Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Thank you for trick-or-treating with us today

Tonight I took DD,DS#3, Dear Nephew #1 and DN #2 Trick-or-Treating. We were out for 20 minutes when I noticed that DD was even slower than normal and she kept falling down. I asked her if she was tired. She told me no, but that she was ready to go home now. I was surprised that she didn't want to keep going until I noticed her Trick-or-Treat bag. It was more than twice as full as the three others boys. People had been giving her double handfuls of candy. Her bag was so heavy that it was hard for her to lift. Her balance was so off she kept tripping.

DD gladly gave me her bag to carry as we escorted her home. I handed her over to DS#1, who was manning the door, and asked him to check her treats while I took the boys around the rest of the neighborhood.

When we came back, DD had taken off her cowgirl skirt, vest, boots, and hat and was happily passing out treats wearing her sweater tights and a pink shirt. She thanked every visitor for coming.

My question is: did she score so many treats because she was such a cute Annie Oakley or because she has Down syndrome? She had taken longer at all of the doors, especially those who had dogs in the house. The boys would just grab the candy and go, but DD stopped to say "Thank you!" at every house which, come to think of it, charmed the socks off everyone so much that they would give her more treats. So, it wasn't the costume or the Ds..........

It was the manners.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Pumpkin Carving Day
Today we carved six pumpkins. Now what to do with all of those seeds?

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

2 cups fresh pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons dried ground rosemary
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons coarse-grain sea salt

Rinse pumpkin seeds in water, and drain on paper towels to dry. Toss with remaining ingredients, and spread on a baking sheet.
Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes or until crisp. Cool. Store in an airtight container.

Yield: Makes 2 cups

Southern Living, OCTOBER 2003

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sunday Gratitudes

This week has been ubercrazy with lots of swim practices and meets, the start of basketball practices, Halloween parties, and the week-long visit of two of my nephews. Still, I have had some interesting (or is it stranger than usual) thoughts about what to include in my Sunday Gratitudes:

1. I am grateful for black licorice. Now, before you say "Ick!", read the explanation. I always grab a big bag of RedVines before a road trip. In this case it was to meet my sister halfway between her place and mine to pick up her kids. As I was eating black licorice I started to think of my Grandpa. He loved black licorice. My sister and brothers and I would save the black jellybeans from our Easter baskets for him. We hated the stuff and he acted so happy to get it. But the lack of taste for black licorice changed for me when I was a teenager. Grandpa received a box of black licorice toffee. The box said it was Imported from England. I was a foodie even then and anything exotic, unusual, or imported really intrigued me. Grandpa noticed me reading his box and asked if I would like to try it. I took the smallest piece he poured into his hand. The stuff looked like coal. But when I popped it into my mouth I was surprised at the taste. Smooth, creamy, and good! Grandpa smiled that crooked grin as he watched my face and offered me another piece. That afternoon, he told me stories about his youth. (The one about being Cupid in the school play was priceless!) I think we ate the entire box. It was the first time I really listened to Grandpa. Now whenever I eat black licorice I think of him. He has been gone since 2001. I miss his smile, his Pinto yell (that is another story), his corny jokes. I miss his telling me his New Years resolutions, the only person I knew who kept them (one year it was to obey the speed limit exactly.) I miss watching him ride horses in the summer parades. I miss listening to him pray. I think a lot about his prayers at Thanksgiving and Christmas when he was always the one to do it. I grew up listening to that voice. Now do you see why I love black licorice?

2. A the swim meet this past week, I was sitting in front of some of my sons team mates. They were acting obnoxious and loud. It was a bit tiring and gave me a headache but I could stand it so we didn't move. Then a girl in the group yelled at one of her friends "Quit being so Retarded!" Those of you who know me well know that I would not let that go. I turned around, look at the offender and said, "You mean 'stupid' ". She stopped mid sentence and stared at me and asked, "What?" Right then, DD chose the perfect moment to look over my shoulder at the girl and say hi. The girls eyes got big as she saw DD (and no doubt noticed that DD has Down syndrome) and she started to apologize. I told her no worries, just change her vocabulary. The girl was quiet for the next half hour and her team mates ran off as if they were afraid I would include them in the conversation. When I told DS#1 what I had done and said that I hoped I didn't embarrass him he replied that he would have done it himself. I am grateful for all my sons because they correct anyone who uses the words retard or retarded when they mean to say stupid. We try not to correct in a mean or offensive matter, but just to point out that the words they are using are offensive and ask them to change.

3. I am grateful for a noisy house. With the cousins here, DD and DS#3 are having so much fun. DD doesn't not have playgroups very often so having this many friends to play with for so long has been good for her. She is learning to share and take turns. She is also learning that boys play much more rough. So she will leave them and come be with me until she can stand to try again.

4. I am grateful for a quiet house. After all that noise, having every kid asleep and peace to write my gratitude list is pure heaven.

5. I am grateful that DS#2 has the opportunity to play basketball this year. He has so looked forward to starting practices. Now that it is finally here he loves being able to play with his friends on the team and working on his skills. It has been great to see him set goals and achieve them.

6. I am grateful for all the people praying for us to help sell the house. There are so many of you out there. The house has been on the market for six months now. My faith is still strong. My daddy taught me that Heavenly Father likes us to be specific in our prayers. I keep reading the scripture about wearying the Lord with our petitions. Please keep the prayers coming. We need every single one of them.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

4 Kids plus 2 more
I have my twin sis two youngest kids while she and her DH take their 4 oldest on a cruise. So far I am the coolest aunt and live in the coolest place on the planet. Not only do I have cool toys but we had Trunk-or-Treat at my church tonight and they scored on the candy haul and it isn't Halloween yet! We also have a corn maze, story time at the library, neighborhood park, and a whole slew of fun times. Oh, yes, they keep reminding me that I am the coolest aunt.
On top of the this Humane Society called. The dog we were hoping for has passed her obedience training and Good Dog Citizen certification and we will be able to adopt her this coming Friday. My nephews are ecstatic that this will take place while they are here as they do not have a dog at home. Our new dog has even started training to catch Frisbees so my sons and nephews have big plans for next weekend.
My nephews are hilarious, one of the examples happened at bedtime tonight. DN #2 who is 3, hyped on candy and just out of his costume, ran down our hall wearing only his underwear and wielding a sword he found is DS#3's room. He stopped in front of DH, posed and said in his best Spanish accent "My name is Manuel Montoya. You killed my father......prepare to die!"
DN#2 should not have been Robin for Halloween. He does a much better Princess Bride impersonation.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Brotherly Influence
Just how much is my little girl affected by her three heroes (four if you count DH) in our house? Tonight, I asked DD to take off her dirty clothes in the laundry room and put them on the washer for me. I turned around to look in the dryer for her clean jammies. While I was getting them ready I heard this:
I turned around just in time to see her shoot her pants up onto the washer where her shirt had landed. She missed and then did it again. This time at the success of her aim she pumped her fists in the air:
"Yesss! I win! I am Champ!"
A victory dance ensued which made it harder to put on her yellow Dora jammies. As soon as I was able to finish with the buttons she ran out of the laundry, looking for her brothers to request high-fives.
(Good thing she doesn't think everything they do is cool. If they burp and laugh, she gets on their case and demands an "Excuse me" from them.)

Monday, October 22, 2007

One of my online Cookie girlfriends has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. Another Cookie was evacuated from her home in San Diego with her sick daddy (he just got out of the hospital after being diagnosed with pneumonia) who is on oxygen, her sister and her two dogs.

Its been a rough day for these women whom I love dearly. I've known this group of women for over 4 years. We have shared each other's happiness and sorrows. They pray every time DD goes into cardiology. They have prayed with me to help sell my house. Today they cheered over my successful birthday cake for DH.

Now I have news of these happenings. Many heartfelt prayers going up for them from my home.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sunday Gratitudes

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Today is an absolutely glorious day. I think it seems even more so since we have sunny blue skies here after three days of cold and rain.Three trees outside my window have turned red and gold and most of them have lost leaves in the last storm. I love how peaceful it feels. Tody I am grateful for:

1. Today in church our closing hymn was a favorite Primary song called "Families Can Be Together Forever". You can listen to it here:

I love this song because it is the traditional song we would sing at my Family Home Evening at my parent's house. As I was leading it today in church I started to get a little teary thinking about my parents. I am grateful for the things they have taught me, most importantly about how families can be together forever. I'm missing my Mom and Daddy today.

2. DH's birthday dinner was a rousing success. I was thrilled at how everything turned out, especially the cake. This was the first cake I didn't have a bit of trouble with. Check out the recipe I posted yesterday. I'm grateful that my mom took the time to teach me how to cook. My wedding cake was Italian Cream Cake. I tasted what the cake baker had to offer and then asked if she would mind doing a family recipe instead. It was the first wedding I had seen where the entire cake was eaten. People were going back for seconds. My mom had to rescue the top layer from the guests to freeze for my first anniversary.
3. We had someone look at our house yesterday in Utah and they happen to be from the city where we live now. I am sooooo grateful that someone was interested enough to look and I hope hope hope that they love it enough to buy it.
4. Yesterday, DS#1 arranged a service project to help DNDN move a bunch of rocks to her backyard as well as plant two trees. I am proud of him for doing this. He was disappointed when only one other boy showed up to help. DH rounded up DS#2 and they went over to help. They got the job done in two house and tromped back here for Krispy Kremes and Stephens Gourmet Milk Chocolate Cocoa. I am grateful for the example that DS#1 and DH set for DS#2. DS#2 learned how giving service gives us good feelings about ourselves and those we serve. DS#3 even went over for the last half hour. DH assigned him to push the empty wheelbarrows from the back yard to the front to be filled up with gravel. He struggled with it but was so proud of being able to help. DD went into their house to share the love with DNDN and her two daughters (and their dogs, of course).
5. Today in church DS#2 sat next to a boys in Primary who was determined to bug him as much as possible. This kid was so irreverent. I was substituting as the Primary Chorister today and watched DS#2 as he tried to convince the boy to be reverent and then ignored him and acted appropriately as he knew he was supposed to do. He sang the songs and sat still during Sharing Time. I am grateful that he did what he knew was right even when it was hard.
6. I am no reading Luke in my scripture study. I like how much more clear he is. I am understanding more reading his accounts. So here is gratitude for Luke!
7. Honeycrisp apples. Oh, wow, are they good!
8. All those parents who struggle with their kids, hoping that they will teach them enough for those kids to go out and make good decisions: in case no one has ever told you....THANK YOU!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

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I"ve been tagged by Brady's Bunch to answer a Halloween Meme:

What was your favorite Halloween costume as a child?-

I don't remember a particular favorite for Halloween, but I loved the Ascot Races costume I wore in My Fair Lady in high school. My mom made my twin sis and me the most awesome hats.

What was your least favorite Halloween costume as a child?-

I hate to say this but but when I was a kid it was the Tinkerbelle costume. It breaks my heart to think about it as I love it now. Mom sewed me a Tinkerbelle costume and I got mad at her because it had sleeves instead of being strapless. I further showed how onery I was by pitching a fit when she made me wear a coat over it to go trick-or-treating. I bet that she was ready to duct-tape me shut in my room and forget Halloween that year.

What was your favorite Halloween candy as a kid?

I hated candy of all kinds and gave away all of my Halloween, Christmas and Easter candy. (At Christmas, Santa would fill my stocking up with exotic fruits). My family all claimed dibs on their favorites out of my bag.

How old were you when you stopped trick-or-treating? Do you miss it?-

Age 12. Itell my kids the same thing. I let them hosts cool teen parties instead.

What is the scariest movie you have ever seen?

I hate scary movies. I did like Sixth Sense, though.

Have you ever dressed up in "matching" halloween costumes with your date?

Once I went as a famous actress, glamourous dress and Oscar award and all. DH went as my pool guy. Does that count?

Okay - I tag Gingersnapspice, Laundry Faerie, and Virginia Lover
Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to DH! I'm posting the recipe for his bday cake so you can either drool or go make it yourself:

Fresh Orange Italian Cream Cake

You'll need to start this cake a day ahead because the Fresh Orange Curd must chill for 8 hours.

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, separated
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
Fresh Orange Curd
3 cups Pecan-Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut, lightly toasted (optional)
Glazed Pecan Halves (optional)Boxwood Garland (optional)

Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add vanilla; beat until blended.
Combine flour and soda; add to sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in 1 cup flaked coconut.
Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter. Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cakepans.
Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.
Spread 3/4 cup chilled Fresh Orange Curd between layers; spread remaining Fresh Orange Curd on top of cake. (The Fresh Orange Curd layer on top of cake will be very thick.) If desired, loosely cover cake, and chill 8 hours. (Chilling the cake with the curd between the layers helps keep the layers in place and makes it much easier to spread the frosting.) Spread 3 cups Pecan-Cream Cheese Frosting on sides of cake, reserving remaining frosting for another use. Sprinkle 1/2 cup toasted coconut over top of cake, if desired. Arrange Glazed Pecan Halves around top edge of cake, if desired. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve. Arrange Boxwood Garland around bottom edge of cake before serving, if desired.
Note: Cake may be frosted with Pecan-Cream Cheese Frosting immediately after adding the Fresh Orange Curd, but the cake layers will not be as steady. Yield: Makes 12 to 16 servings

Fresh Orange Curd

You can substitute reconstituted orange juice for fresh; however, squeezing navel oranges only takes about 15 minutes and can make all the difference in this cake's fresh flavor.

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 cups fresh orange juice (about 4 pounds navel oranges)
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup butter
1 tablespoon grated orange rind

Combine sugar and cornstarch in a 3-quart saucepan; gradually whisk in fresh orange juice. Whisk in lightly beaten eggs. Bring to a boil (5 to 6 minutes) over medium heat, whisking constantly.
Cook, whisking constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until mixture reaches a pudding-like thickness. Remove from heat, and whisk in butter and grated orange rind. Cover, placing plastic wrap directly on curd, and chill 8 hours. Yield: Makes about 3 cups

Pecan-Cream Cheese Frosting

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 (16-ounce) package powdered sugar
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended. Beat at high speed until smooth; stir in pecans. Yield: Makes about 4 cups

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Today was picture day at school. DD loves having her picture taken. Although she wasn't quite sure what to expect, she knew it involved a camera and that was good enough for her. She wore her favorite green hoodie sweater and wanted her hair in ponytails "Up, not down, Mom."

I asked her aide to make sure that her ponytails were even on both sides, and that her face was clean. Can I just say how much I love having an aide follow my daughter around? In previous years on picture day, my sons had been known to have messy hair and obvious food or dirt on their faces when their pictures were snapped. (One year, it was so bad, that I refused the pictures and demanded my money back. What kind of photographer thinks it is okay to take the picture of my son with chocolate all over his mouth and up to one ear where he tried to wipe it with the back of his hand? Retakes, anyone?)

DD's aide is also an aide to one other girl. I do not know this girls reason for needing an aide. She looks like the typical kindergartner. (This is harder in a way. When people look at DD, they see that she obviously has Down syndrome and immediately understand and have compassion. If a child has a disability that the public can't see, said public often wonder why the child acts as she does and put it down to bad parenting.) This girl walked into the photography area and immediately was scared. I am not sure if she was scared of the photographer, the bright lights, or having to sit on a stool by herself, but she refused to go.

DD immediately headed to the chair. DD's aide started to stop her since her picture had been taken earlier that morning, but the photographer told her to let DD come. DD sat on the chair, photo was snapped and lights flashed. Then DD went to her friend and said "See? It not scared.", and led her to the chair. Her friend, reassured that nothing bad would happen, allowed her picture to be taken with DD close by but outside of the picture frame.

Yep, I am proud of my daughter.
Yesterday I was at DS#1's high school (he forgot his lunch). While I was there the students were walking to their next class. I always wonder at the clothing styles that I see. Most of these styles aren't too bad but there is one I cannot tolerate: low slung jeans.

I was floored at how many guys had their jeans so far below their bum-cheeks that I not only knew exactly what kind and color of underwear they were wearing but that I wondered by what miracle they stayed up. Of course, guys must not care if their jeans fall to their ankles. Maybe it happens to them multiple times a day. I would think that anyone stepping onto the bottom of their pant leg that puddles to the floor would automatically lose the rest of their jeans right there in the hallway.

Is there any connection with this style and IQ?

My sons do not dress like this. I am so glad that they think it looks ridiculous, too.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sunday Gratitudes
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I woke up to a gorgeous day and my heart is full. I love Sundays! The fact that it truly is a day of rest (just the thought of no laundry is reason to cheer) and I have the day to sing hymns in full voice lifts my spirits. True, I can sing hymns in full voice every day but that does earn me odd looks and double takes in the grocery check out line. Today I am grateful for:

  • I was able to plant some of the tulip bulbs I have been adding to my grocery purchases. Nothing says spring quite like daffodils and grape hyacinths. My kids get excited to watch them pop up in the spring. They love to go out with DH and cut a bouquet for me. In honor of my hard work yesterday (and also tomorrow, Tuesday, and possibly Wednesday - I bought A LOT of bulbs!) I have put up a picture of tulips on my gratitude post. I know it is out of season but I could not resist.

  • My sweet niece was born this past week. She is healthy and her mom is healthy which is reason enough to be grateful. I think she looks like my brother. Dear Niece was born into a wonderful family. I wish I were closer to see her in person but the pictures in the emails will have to suffice for now.

  • DS#3 worked so hard on his handwriting and his spelling list this past week. I have to admit I was worried. He seems to get easily frustrated and it was hard to keep him on his homework at times. Friday, he came home from school and glowing that he got 7/10 on his spelling test. This is a huge success for him. His confidence skyrocketed and his new goal is to keep practicing so he can become the best speller in all of first grade. I am grateful for his teacher for working with him and also for him setting a goal and working hard.

  • I have kept my scriptures in the car this past week. I usually have to wait 30 minutes in the car for DS#1 to get out of school. It is quiet with DD asleep in her seat so I have started to use this time for personal scripture study. I have finished Matthew and am nearly halfway into Mark. This time I am trying to really take my time with each chapter and ponder while I study. It is slow-going but it is peaceful. I have come to really look forward to those 30 minutes. So here I want to express my gratitude for a very worn set of scriptures that I bought when I was married because I wanted to have my married name printed on them. The gold leafing on the page edges is worn away where I thumb through them looking up a reference. There are bits of insights written in the margins throughout the years where I have recorded either something from classes or from my own reading. There are so many colors highlighting certain scriptures - not because I am an organized color-coding queen but because I use whatever I have on hand. There is a quote from Bruce R. McConkie written on the inside page called "Finding Answers To Gospel Questions", a quote that I was impressed with and wrote there during my first few month of owning this set. I often look at some of the torn or wrinkled pages, thinking that I really need a new set of scriptures, but I can't bear to part with this set. We've been through too much together.

  • As I was sitting on the stand at church today, I took the opportunity to see how many names I knew in the congregation. I still don't know the names of most of the people but I am getting better. I am stating to feel a kinship with these people. My dear Visiting Teaching companion already feels like a kindred spirit. I know more of the choir members by name. I feel more comfortable talking with people in the halls because I can use their names now and not worry about calling them by the wrong one. Before I knew their names, though, I still had a sense of belonging because it is the same church where ever I go. The gospel is the same. the songs are the same. The Spirit is the same. I am so grateful for that continuity.

  • Today is my Dear Brother #4's b-day. This guy is a good hardworking dad who thinks about others before himself. He is thoughtful and considerate. More than anyone else, he follows my daddy's motto of "Obedience To Exactness". I am very grateful for him and for my parents for raising such a cool guy.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Oh My Heck! update.....
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I have now found out where DD learned to say "Oh My HECK!"

Apparently The Man In The Yellow Hat says "Oh My HECK!" every so often. I am amazed that Curious George does not repeat it as he is exposed to it on his very own TV show.

It wasn't kindergarten. Beware the media........

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Do NOT let your child go to school without socks....

The elementary school counselor called yesterday. She wanted to know if we needed financial assistance. DS#3 told his teacher that we could not afford to buy him socks which is why he wasn't wearing any that day.

Oh, dear.

I told DS that morning that I refused to buy him any more socks until he found the 12 pairs of socks I had previously bought him. He has a nasty habit of stashing dirty socks everywhere rather than putting them down the laundry chute for me to wash. I usually find them when they get so ripe I can follow the smell.

The counselor had a great laugh over that one. I am sure it will circulate around the teachers lounge during the lunch break. *sigh*

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


It never fails. Every time one of my children starts kindergarten, they learn a whole new vocabulary. It is always a very undesirable vocabulary.

I often wonder what it is like at the homes of the children who teach my kids words that I do not want them to repeat. I am always amazed to hear cussing come from any child, but especially from a kindergartner. Surely those sweet faces do not understand those words coming out of their mouths.

When I was in elementary school I learned a new word. I had no idea what it meant but I noticed that a lot of people said it or wrote it on walls in the school restrooms. One day I found a piece of chalk and decided to try that word out. Since it always seemed to be coupled with some one's name, I picked Jamie who was a boy who lived across the street. On every square of the sidewalk on one side of my street I wrote "Jamie is a _____________". I think my mom found out from a neighbor what was going on and came running out to stop me just as my chalk was running out. My daddy was the ward bishop, and there was his oldest daughter writing profanity all over the neighborhood.

The first thing my mom did was give me a scrub brush and a bucket of soapy water and make me scrub those words off of every single square of sidewalk. That night she sat me down and told me all of the swear words that she knew so I would know them, too, and never use them. I can remember feeling horrified that the word I had used was not a compliment. I went back outside the next morning to make sure none of the words on the sidewalk could be seen.

With that lesson burned into my brain, I thought I was prepared when DS#1 came home from kindergarten and saying the Lord's name in vain. I sat him down and told him all of the words, just like my mom had. I explained very calmly how we don't use those words. We even talked about the commandment that says Thou shalt not take the Lord's name in vain. I did every thing just like my mom did and expected things to turn out the same way.

DS#1 still said the Lord's name in vain. I tried to teach him to say "Oh wow". I took away privileges. Nothing seemed to help.

It turns out that a little Tabasco on the tongue worked great.

This same procedure went by the book with DS#2 and DS#3. Explanation, removal of privilege, Tabasco. I ended up doing Tabasco every time.

Today I picked up DD from kindergarten. She usually runs out the door, arms open wide, yelling "MOMMY!!!" (which makes my day, by the way.) Today she ran out the door, backpack flapping, huge artwork in hands, and yelled "OH MY HECK!" I am proud of myself for keeping a straight face while DD's aide and teacher both tried to cover laughs. What do I do with this? Nothing for now. In the meantime, everything is "OH MY HECK!" this and "OH MY HECK!" that.

We had her favorite mashed potatoes for dinner. "OH MY HECK!"

DS#3 was practicing his handwriting and did a perfect 'e'. "OH MY HECK!"

I told DD it was time for bed. "OH MY HECK!"

I have got to stop this somehow. Quickly. Before it rubs off on the rest of the family.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Sunday Gratitudes
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Today is my birthday! Thanks to my mom and daddy for giving me life and for Heavenly Father for allowing me to live. I was a very ugly, blue, 3-month premature baby and weighed less than 2 lbs. Back then, then only thing hospitals did for preemies was to give them a feeding tube and stick them in an isolete. My parents weren't allowed to touch us. Now they know that babies needs lots of touching and contact. How did my twin sister and I survive? Through the grace of God. He has some kind of plan for us. My parents were told that we would not survive. After the first month, they told my parents that we would be blind, deaf, and dumb. By three months we were doing okay and the hospital sent us home weighing 4 lbs each. My aunt sewed us doll clothes since there were no baby clothes to fit us. We survived and thrived and now we both have families of our own. I'm grateful to my Heavenly Father, for His plan for me.
Today was general conference. Since we were traveling we listened on the radio. Personally, for my birthday, I'd rather not be traveling but it was the only way we could see my family this weekend. It was a great weekend, and worth the time in the car to get there and back. General conference is something I look forward to. not just because I (normally) spend the day in my pjs and make fantastic food for lunch and dinner. It is wonderful because of all the uplifting messages given to us by the prophet and apostles and other leaders of my church. I look forward to reading these messages next month when the Ensign magazine is delivered to my doorstep.
Today my aunt and uncle came over to make me a birthday dinner. One of my fave foods is fish tacos and my Dear Uncle happens to be a great maker of them. What a fab b-day dinner along with yellow rice and pinto beans and crab cakes. I was too full for the banana splits for dessert. Much gratitude to my DU and DA for making it a nice evening.
My DH planned a surprise overnight trip for the family to a local hot springs for my bday. He had to cancel went things came up at work Thursday night. We have another tradition for a certain place for my birthday lunch when we lived in Utah. Since we were going to Utah for the weekend, DH thought it would be great to do our annual fall-look-at-the-leaves drive and ending at Fannie's Grill at the Homestead. Unfortunately those plans had to be canceled, too, due to the 8" of snow that fell the night before and the 8" of snow that were expected yesterday. So DH had all of his plans foiled. Not to be deterred, he found a way to make things more bday like for me. When my In-Loves took us to lunch at one of my fave local places, DH ordered the "Very Good Chocolate Cake" for me to share with the table. DH is not a chocolate fan, but he knows that I am. It turns out that DD is even more a chocolate fan. She is a true chocoholic and ate half of the cake. This cake is over 5"tall and has an inch thick layer of chocolate ganache in place of frosting. It is a to-die-for cake. Much love and gratitude to my DH for making me feel loved. He has promised to make things up for me.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

"They shots owie!"

Yesterday, I had to take DD to the hospital outpatient lab for a blood workup. DD does not like hospitals. She told me how much she did not like hospitals all the way there.

"Mom. I don't want hospitals. They shots owie." This was repeated over and over in a matter-of-fact voice during our ten minute drive.

Once there she forgot her lecture as she said hi to and charmed the information desk and the registration desk. We found a seat next to the large prerequisite fish tank that all hospitals have. Fish tanks are good at keeping DD's mind engaged and off the impending task at hand.

I have always been interested at the looks DD gets where ever we go. Most people stare and then look away quickly pretending not to have notice that she has Down syndrome. Some people come up to her to talk. DD has a spirit that draws people in and makes them feel.....well, good. Anyone who wants to socialize gets a hug. Nearly always, someone tells me how pure and special she is.

When DD's name is called, she insists on walking in herself. She tells the nurse that she is fine, that she is 5, that she likes kindergarten especially when they get to play at the playground. Then DD sees "The Chair"......

"No, don't want to", she says in that lecture voice again, all the while climbing onto my lap as I sit in "The Chair" The nurses put the front arm down so we are effectively blocked in. They look at me dubiously when I explain that we do not need to restrain DD's arms. DD keeps talking as I cover her eyes. Her voice changes from lecturer to a whimper "Noooo, don't want tooo."

Not once does she cry, just a whimper that breaks the nurses' hearts. They are floored that she doesn't cry or scream like their other young patients. They ask if she has done this before. Yes she has. Every three months for the past two years as we try to regulate her meds.

The nurses pull out a blue bandage. After DD is wrapped, they pull out a BIG basket. DD's eyes get nearly as big as that basket as she eyes the prizes inside. She pulls out a sparkly yellow-green bouncy ball.

As we leave she princess-waves to the nurses at the station and bounces her ball once. Then she giggles as the nurses scramble to help me pick up her ball. Out in the waiting room, I ask DD not to bounce the ball. She ignores me and bounces it again which causes the entire room to chuckle as they watch me scramble for the ball. This just reinforces to DD how cute she is and negates my admonishments. The ball goes into my pocket. DD princess-waves to the waiting room. Even those who were staring before smile and wave back. DD doesn't forget to wave to the registration desk and to the information desk as we leave.

At home, DD makes sure she gets full sympathy from all family members as she shows them the blue bandage on her arm. She tells her daddy "I was brave!". All aversion to shots has been forgotten.