Showing posts from April, 2012


Waking up, I'm afraid to move. Thinking back to the past four days, uncertainty as to whether or not my body will cooperate fills my mind. It's been quite a long weekend. 

Thursday found me loading my van with silent auction donations and swag bag goodies, unloading it at the hotel with a little help (it took over an hour!), doing a lot of driving, and finally relaxing at the hotel for an hour before organizing everything and meeting with amazing women to stuff swag bags and chat. Friday found me up at 5am and out the door by 6 to set up a silent auction and attend the Healthcare Provider Seminar. Thankful that my room was right off the main hallway where the event took place, I prepared my own food for lunch and made several trips to the room for meds and supplements to get me through the day. A dinner was followed by listening to an amazing speaker, then prepping registration folders and hanging out with more brilliant women. 

To bed late and up early once more, the next morni…

For Sale

One slightly used overtired four-year-old. While adorable most of the time, she did not sleep well last night and has been expressing herself in a very loud manner as of late. If you need to stay awake - or aggravate older children who are trying to watch a movie - she's for you! She comes with free bossiness and obsessive-compulsive tendencies. You'll be entertained for hours by spontaneous meltdowns due to someone walking the wrong way or putting their cup down a half inch too far to the left. Don't let the moments of cuteness as she sings to her fluffy bunny stuffed animal fool you, she's just as apt to pummel you with said stuffed animal should you at all disturb her concentration. Do not expect this tuckered out tyke to surrender to sleep. She will instead insist that should she fall asleep, a monster from her dreams will reach out through her mind and pull her still-beating heart from her chest while she sleeps and totally mess up her room with all that blood. If…

How Do You Feel?

When typing the title, I totally heard it in my head as the computer in Star Trek IV:

I do not understand the question

Perhaps it's coincidence, but sometimes my first thought when I hear the question, "How do you feel?" or "How are you?" is that I do not understand the question. Are you asking how I'm feeling in reference to how I normally feel living with psoriatic arthritis, amongst other maladies? Or are you asking in comparison to "normal" people? Do you really want to know how I feel, or do you just want me to say something like, "fine, thank you" and move on?

If you are really interested in how I feel, but are talking about how I feel in relation to healthy people, we need to go with the Wong-Baker pain scale:

My pain on my worst days would be a ... ummm.... wait - where's the want-to-rip-off-my-own-leg-and-beat-myself-into-unconsciousness face?  This pain scale must be defective. Is 10 really what the worst pain you've experi…


A Glimpse from my past: March, 2009 ... I'm giving up even trying to sleep. What's the point? Every time I try to sleep, someone needs something and wakes me up. Last night it was... - Mamamilk!!! (nurses one year old)
- I'm thirsty! (then get yourself a drink)
- I have to go to the bathroom and it's too cold in the bathroom. (gets up, turns on heat in bathroom)
- MEMEMEMEMEME (desparate for mamamilk)
- I have to go potty and it's too hot in the bathroom (gets up, turns down heat in bathroom)
- I need water! (then get some)
- Is it morning time yet (no, it's 3:30am)
- Mamamilk! (nurses one year old)
- I need my special mamamilk (nurses 3 year old)
- I had a bad dream. (are you ok? do you need to sleep with Daddy?) No. Do I need to go back to sleep or can I put a movie on (it's 4am - go back to sleep)
- I can't get back to sleep. (you just started trying 4 minutes ago - try again)
- Coren's keeping me awake.(tell him to try to sleep for 15 minutes)

MamaNym's Guide to Parenting with Love and Laughter

I've received a number of emails commenting on my parenting style and asking how on earth I handle some situations with humor when anger might be the first emotion to surface. Anger tends not to be a productive form of communication, so I try to avoid it when possible. Love and laughter are more fun, anyway! And that's what parenting should be - FUN! Even on the days the kids are driving me insane the most, if I can find laughter and remember love, things can turn around quickly.

I learned early on in life the importance of using humor as a tool to turn negative situations into positive feelings. My mother can attest to this fact. As a child, I often made my mother laugh when she was trying to reprimand me for something - and she learned that if she wasn’t so angry that she couldn’t laugh in that moment, then the situation probably wasn’t as horrible as her initial reaction told her it was ... and I was off the hook, or at least on a smaller hook.

That leads me to perhaps a slig…

Too Much Moose and Other Parenting Sillies

Too Much Moose

My son Coren tends to yell “aaaaauuugh” when he’s upset about something. It used to frustrate me - but nothing I did changed the way he expressed himself. One day he was getting overly frustrated with something, but wouldn't stop. I found myself getting overly annoyed with the sounds emanating from his mouth, so I figured, if you can’t beat ‘em, join 'em. I made the noise with him. My first attempt at mimicking the noise failed miserably, and I admitted so out loud. “That was no good. How DO you make that noise so wonderfully? Let me try again ….. No, that wasn’t right… I need more oomph in the middle part there … OK…can you help me out here? Can you make that noise twice and then be quiet for a sec so I can hear myself make the noise and figure out where I’m going wrong? Maybe you could give me some pointers. ….. Is that better? No? Too much moose, you think?" by which time he found himself giggling uncontrollably and I had to remind him that he was frustra…

47 Things

I assigned each of my children a list of 5 things to do. Alexander wanted none of it. He protested. He grumbled. He complained loudly about how I always make him do 47 things, every day, all he does is work. My response? "47 things? FOURTY-SEVEN THINGS? Wow! 47 Things!!! You want to do 47 things - how WONDERFUL." I started writing. I got to the end of the paper and turned it over. I started on a second paper. "This is going to be great! Fourty-seven things!" His eyes bugged out of his head. He started pacing nervously. He started to try to talk me out of it, but thought better of it. I handed him the list. He refused to take it. Finally relenting, he then wouldn't read it. I insisted he read the list before any further complaining. He grumbled through the first 6 things…then suppressed a giggle at #7. As he read, his face contorted with effort as he tried to keep his angry face on. It was no use. He got to #19 'Hop on one foot while gargling and singing The…

Heroes Among Us

"Even if he knew the outcome, he would have done the same thing." The family of Alan Hall ( )

"Carissa is and always will be my greatest inspiration and number one hero ... the only word that could ever define her is love. " Dan Pearce (
Hero. A simple four-letter word that means so much. This word has popped up time and again in my life this week ... 
People gathered today to mourn the death and celebrate the life of a hero - a man who lost his own life saving the life of a child. His story has been on the news in Florida where the event occurred and family and friends have been sharing thoughts about him via the internet. The one phrase I've heard and read over and over is that even if he knew the outcome, he would have done the same thing. Alan Hall truly is a hero.

On his blog, Single Dad Laughing, Dan Pearce honors the memory of his sister - his number one hero - by asking e…

I Dream of Sleeping

Opening my eyes, I'm astonished to find that I feel awake, alert, and well-rested. Sun streams through the window, assuring me it's morning. Getting out of bed, my joints don't protest as much as they usually do. The realization that my kids are still sleeping and it must be fairly early in the morning amazes me. This never happens. I'm never the first one awake, and I'm pretty consistently the last one up. I go about my usual morning routine, enjoying the quiet house. Opening the front door to welcome the day, the sun's rays warm my face and my spirit. Recognizing that this newfound energy might not last, I check the time before attempting to get some work done  - and I wake up.
Opening my eyes, the feeling of exhaustion overwhelms me and I close them again. Sounds filter through the haziness and I realize it must be morning, for some of the kids are up. I try to roll over, but the pain is too intense. My husband arrives with a heating pad for my lower back. I …


For so much of her life she was who other people wanted or expected her to be. She was a great student, a caring, supportive friend, a good daughter, a slightly annoying but normal little sister. She liked what you liked. She laughed at what you thought was funny. She dressed how she was expected to dress. She tried to be as perfect as she could possibly be. Appearing to be happy with life, she died a little inside every day.

Growing up she was told in many ways by her peers that she was fat, ugly, useless, disgusting. She was told by doctors that her pain was all in her head, that she must be faking it. She was told by her abusers that she was stupid, worthless, and things too horrible to mention. Others' negativity toward her or outright hatred of her seeped into her being, filling her with self-loathing.

She yearned to be herself. She wanted who she really was to be acceptable to others. She wanted to feel loved. She wanted people to look at her and realize she was a good, kind, …

A Note from the Easter Bunny...

Blessed Easter! 

We woke up this morning to this note from the Easter Bunny:

I had a thought As I was on my way About why Easter is really Resurrection Day About what’s really important, About what Jesus said, About his death on the cross, And how he rose from the dead. Chocolate and jelly beans Are really yummy, But what about putting food In an empty tummy? Or helping others Learn about our Savior? So now I’m wondering Can you do me a favor? Can you use what I left To help do some good For those in need in your neighborhood and at your church? That would be great! I’ve got to go I’m running late But one last note Before I’m through: There’s one treat each For each of you!

We went out to the back yard to hunt for Easter eggs, and were greeted by three deer in the woods overlooking our house. After gathering eggs and putting together the clues, the children discovered a bounty of Easter gifts.

Food for the food bank and quarters for Calumet!
The kids each got a chocolate cross - except for Coren, who got Hanukkah g…

Sick Day

I wrote this yesterday and then fell asleep before being able to post it. I'm still stick today - perhaps this sick day will be a bit more restful...

I lay here in my bed, sipping tea, reflecting on the peace and quiet of sick days. The rest, the relaxation, and the freedom to sleep the day away so my body can heal itself. I didn't appreciate how good I had it before children. Imagine - being able to do nothing but be sick all day.

I'm sick. I have a sore throat, congestion, cough, and almost no voice. I decided today was going to be a sick day - a day spent, for the most part, in bed. First I took my meds, took a shower, and left the house. I went to the bank, treated myself to a latte, went to the thrift store and went to the grocery store (Easter's coming and I had shopping to do!). Upon arriving home I unloaded the van, put groceries away, helped kids with lunch, and put a little one down for a nap. I'd planned on doing the same, but can't seem to …

Cucumbers, But That's Not What They're Called

Once upon a time there was a girl who was making a salad at her parents’ house. Having used up the last of one of the salad vegetables, she wished to inform her mother of the need to purchase more upon her next trip to the market. The girl approached her mother and said, “We need more … … … cucumbers, but that’s not what they’re called.” Receiving a quizzical look in response, the girl continued, “You know, they’re orange and they grow in the ground and rabbits eat them.” “Carrots?” inquired her mother. “Yes- those,” replied the girl.

All those years ago, I had no idea this would become normal behavior for me. Brain fog adds great fun and excitement to life. It’s like being on your own game show where you’re both the host and the contestant – “We now welcome you to “What’s That Word?!? – a game show of slow thinking and tip-of-the-tongue responses!” You know what you want to say. You can picture it. You can describe it in great detail - but the actual word for the object eludes you …