Friday, December 31, 2010

Last chance before 2011

I figured I should write something being that it is the last day of Dec. and I haven't written anything this month!  Time flys for sure!   I actually didn't think anyone still was reading what I wrote so I was contemplating not writing any more...... but I noticed a couple comments so that made me feel like not giving up.   

So,   Christmas is done and after tonight 2010 will be just another number under our belts.   I think I've added a few numbers under my belt this past year.... 

It's been an interesting year.  That. is. for. sure!    After three years of being free as a bird during the day I started homeschooling again.  Most days I'd have to say that it was a great decision.  I would be lying if I said all days were like that, but on a whole it's been pretty darn good.    Danny and Ally both seem happier and now Slayt is thinking he would like to give it a try.......  I guess I'll have to get Danny and Ally to not look so darn happy all the time.    JUST KIDDING!   I actually wouldn't mind homeschooling all of them.  I just worry that Slayt is to smart for MY own good.

I also noticed that the older I get the more holidays are lonely....... at least it was this year.  Other than the fact that it's fairly impossible to get everyone to get together at any time of the year, I propose that from now on, every family member has to get together in the same spot on at least ONE holiday each year!  That means, cousins, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, etc.!  oh to be a millionaire!

I started a book this year.  Yeah.  Don't ask how it's going.  It's still sitting on page two.  I have a bunch of killer first sentences, but most people wouldn't be interested in reading a 300 page book of great first sentences.   However, if they would, this book would be top on the NY Times best seller list!  Just saying!
I think my problem is that I am trying to edit as I write, and that just doesn't work.  I need to "brain dump" and then edit later.  It's just not that easy.

I'm wondering what 2011 is going to bring.  I'm hoping for a stress free year, but I'm starting to realize that in the real world stress is part of life.  I really liked my world better when I was young and naive and thought that money grew on trees.   Ok, not on trees but it certainly grew from the pocket in your mothers pants...... and bills were optional. Trips were mandatory and Santa really was real.  Yeah, I like that world better so....... can I get a do over?

Happy New Year everyone!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving and so on.

Kermit the Frog said it isn't easy being green, but I think that it's even harder being a mom..........  
The older I get, the more I realize how many times I must have made my mom cry.  If I could go back and redo every time I ever did, I would.  Although hindsight is always better than foresight.  
It's amazing to me that out of anyone in the world, kids can make a mom feel at the top of the world or at the bottom of the ocean.  It's not fair I guess that kids have all that put on their shoulders, and I don't think it's intentional, it just is the way it is.   I know that any friend could make a sarcastic remark to me and it may hurt but it's forgotten or brushed off within an hour or two, but when kids make a cutting remark to a mom it cuts deep to the heart like nothing else can.  The words linger and mull around for days..... 
This Thanksgiving pretty much sucked.  Not that it was bad I guess.  There were a lot of positve things about the week.  I got to spend quite a bit of time with my oldest son and it was the highlight of my week.....  then my second oldest came home for the week and I got to see him a little.  He spent quite a bit of time out of the house, but I keep telling myself that is what college students do when they don't get home much.  Right?   Yeah, I'm gonna go with that.  He has big decisions on his brain and that caused a lot of angst..... more for me I think than him..........  I'm wondering if it's easier to just pull away from the ones who love you the most when stress is in your life?????  Although for me, it just makes me think I must be part of the stress....  Ugh, my mind works to much I think.  Why can't I think more like a man?  Yeah, I know.  It's the estrogen thing.....
The other nice thing about the week was that my mother-in-law and sister-in-law came Thanksgiving day and had dinner with us.  That was really nice.  I really have a fantastic mother in law.  And I even say that knowing she doesn't even read my blog........But it was nice they came,  especially since my mom was in Ct with two of my other sisters and their families.......  and my other sister and her family, including my favorite nephew and favorite niece in law and great niece who were there from Germany, were in Arkansas..........but the nice thing was that I was at least invited to Arkansas.
I'm not exactly sure why I'm mildly depressed about this past week.  Well, actually I am.  I could write about exact things, but since this blog is public  I won't. But just know that there are specifics.  Some things I guess are stupid and irrational, other things are valid and should change but what am I?  God?  Thank Him I'm not, because I'm pretty certain I would screw it up.  At the very least I would smite some people off the face of the earth and I'm pretty sure He doesn't do that when people make Him sad.  At least I hope not.....  wait, is that a meteor coming my way??

Saturday, October 23, 2010

time flys and boys who drive me to drink =)

Why is it that time is going faster?  Seriously, it is.  When I was young, time seemed to move at a snails pace in winter and now it seems like the weeks race by like a greyhound on steroids......  sheesh!   I'm pretty positive that it was last week that my now 17 yr old was 10 and my now 12 year old was 5.  Yeah, seriously.   It used to bug the heck out of me when people would tell me as a new mother that "time would go by fast and enjoy it while I could", because first of all, I thought I knew it all and second of all, I was usually sleep deprived and only wanted to get back to the days of sleeping until at least 8am......  Well, now here we are 21 years since it all began and they were right!  Time did go by fast. 

Today we went to Rock City, which after going, I"m not sure why we have never gone there.   It was amazing!  I surprised myself that I didn't have a heart attack because of the crevices that were waiting to swallow the kids at each step.  I couldn't go there with the older boys, because 21 and 19 year olds just don't listen to their mother anymore and I'm positive that they would try to jump a boulder and end up at the bottom of the canyon crumpled.......  all while their poor helpless mother (me) watches in horror. Little do they know is that I would put "i told you to listen" on their headstones........ 
Last night I was watching Mythbusters, yeah, I"m a geek.  Anyway, they did this experiment with a dummy and they dropped it 100ft into the water to see what the impact would be.  Well, needless to say the dummy died, or it would have if it was real.  Which made me think of the boys and their cliff jumping,,,,,,, and think, and think, and think........  that's when I decided to open a bottle of wine.  Why worry when I can wine?  Knowing that they wouldn't believe me if I told them that at 100ft, they would die, or be dismembered at the very least, I think I will just have them watch Mythbusters when it comes back on as a rerun.....  however, i'm not so sure they will believe me even then..... oh gosh...... is it time for another glass of wine? 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

it's been a long time....

Oh my word!  It's been over a month since I've written. Life just keeps chugging along and most of the time I feel like I am running to catch up.  The summer went wayyyyyyy to quickly and here we are already half way through October. 
It's been a busy, crazy fall so far.  Yeah, I know, it's only been fall for about 3 or 4 weeks, right?  UGH!  Since the beginning of September, I've been to North Carolina, Abby has had her wisdom teeth out, we begun installing new windows and insulation and Danny has been having meltdowns every stinking day.
All of the busyness is manageable, except for the Danny meltdowns.  It was about three weeks ago that his teacher had to physically pull him from me because he was just clinging to me.  Yeah, that just about makes me shiver thinking about it.  There isn't a day that goes by that he doesn't cry or complain about hating school or not wanting to go.  Yeah, I know, what kid WANTS to go to school?  But this whole thing is way more than just your typical school aversion.   First of all, Ron and I are pretty darn sure that 3rd grade is way to stinking hard for him.  Why?  Well, because he can't count past 30 without help most days, adding or subtracting anything more than single digits is over his head and up until this year he has been fine with school.  Oh, did I mention that the tests the school psychologist did last year showed that he was consistently at a k.9- 1.3 grade level in math and no more than a 2.1 grade level in any area.  Seems to me, they should have kept him back.  Well, the school doesn't want to do that because they figure they can't keep retaining him....... well, then sorry charlie, but you can't expect him to keep up with his peers just because he gets older.  He is socially and academically behind.  But what the heck do I know?  I'm just the mother.  SHEESH!!!!!
Next on my list is this whole writing a book ish type thing.  Yeah, so I'm submitting an entry to a writing contest.  It has to be something inspirational, uplifting, something that changed my life.  Hmmmmmm, what to write about?  Did I mention it had to be 10,000 words or more?  Hmmmmmm again.  So, today I started writing. I had one story idea in my brain so i typed away frantically for awhile.  Then my gray matter stopped working.  That's when I figure a food break is needed.  Come back to the computer and still nothing.  So I start a second topic...... write frantically again and AGAIN, the brain quits.  Go back to the first story, write, crash, eat......... and that is how the rest of my day went.  I'm hoping that if I can at least keep up some sort of writing then at least I will get somewhere, somehow.  Blogging is so much easier...  grammar doesn't count, i'm not being judged, well........, at least grammar doesn't count. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Wow, what a summer this has been and now it's almost come to an end.   I spent about six weeks of the summer pretty much either sleeping or sitting in a chair doing nothing.  Somehow I caught Mono and that sent my body into a tizzy.......  darn sickness.  My heart ended up playing games with me and that added to the stress/tiredness.  I am sooooo glad I am back to normal.  Or at least as normal as I can get I guess.  Now here we are on the last day of summer vacation and it will be spent taking Slayt to the doctor for shots, getting groceries and last minute school supplies, which should prove to be a grand time considering last time I was in Wallyworld I wanted to scream and run through the crowd knocking everyone over with my cart.  I have a thing with chaos and  crowds.... what can I say?  However, I did restrain myself and was able to get out of there without losing my salvation. =)
We did end up going camping this summer which was FANTASTIC.......  oh, did I mention it was FANTASTIC?   That is how good it was.   The kids and I left on a monday and went to Stoney Fork which is down near the PA grand canyon.  It was the most relaxing place on earth.  I swear if I win the superbowl, I"m not going to Disney World, but I will be going to stoney fork.  The kids swam in the creek, practiced their skills in the pool, emptied my pockets of change at the game room, rode paddle boats and best of all, fished in the pond.  When we got there Abby and I realized that the most important part of the tent was missing but never underestimate the power of the Norman/Cline women!  We used our ingenuity and rigged the tent up with duck tape and twine.  Hey, it stayed up and gave us something to laugh about. 
On our way home we stopped and took a covered wagon ride pulled by Perchiron Horses through the PA Grand Canyon.  It was beautiful! 
My #2 son was home all summer from College and it turned out to be a wonderful time with him home.  He had planned on moving out and down to Grams but it didnt' work out that way so he stayed home.  It was a relatively stress free and enjoyable time with him home.  I really miss him now that he is gone back to school.  That's the downside of having a great relationship with your kids.... you miss them too darn much when they aren't around.  =) 
The #1 son now has his own house/apartment that he is renting in Rochester.......  I don't think they should let 5 year olds rent......  Ok, so he really is 21 but where the heck did the time go? 
And now we are at summers end and the kids are heading back to school tomorrow.  Insert my happy dance here. 
Three months ago I couldn't wait for the kids to be done with school and home.... now I'm looking forward to being able to keep my house clean for at least 5 hours at a time while they are IN school......  and now let the homework begin. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Daddy Daydreams

It's odd how a person forgets the sound of someones voice, their touch or their smell.  All I can say is he was tall, dark and handsome, at least in my eyes.  I was five and he was my dad. 
There isn't much I can remember about him.  I can't remember what his voice sounded like. Was it loud and boisterous or was it soft and mellow?  What did he smell like?  Did he smell like Old Spice and airplane grease, or is that just a wish of a lonely girl longing to remember?  There are faint memories of his fingernail being crooked and bent out of shape.  Hints of remembrances from airplane rides.......  nothing concrete, just quick flashes. 
Richard Malcom Bowker is a legend in my mind.  I've had him raised on pedestals and then knocked down to dust different times in my life.  There were times that I wished as a young girl that he wasn't really dead.  I  longed for him to come back and kidnap me.   I'd see men that I thought looked like him and dream that they were there to wisk me away.  It wasn't that I didn't love my mom.  I just wanted my dad.  I NEEDED my dad and there are parts of me today that needs my dad. My feelings sometimes change to anger and resentfulness when I wish he had checked his airplane out better before he flew that day.   When a father is taken away from his daughter, there is always a void.  It won't be filled by things, by people, and not by fading memories.  
My sisters had a longer time with my dad.  Its funny.  I still say, MY dad.  Like I have dibbs on him.  Either way, my sisters did have more time with him.  They have their own memories.  I'm sure some great memories, and some not so great.   I've heard both.  The part that I sometimes feel cheated out of is that my memories are a haze of what I've heard and what I actually remember.  I'm often left with the question of " is that something I actually remember or something I've just heard repeated a 100 times?"  
There was one time before he died that my sister and I were outside and when he came home from work he showed us the "blood" under our fingernails.  He had us put our hands up to the headlights of his car and told us that the red behind our fingernails was our blood.  For some strange reason, that is something I remember.  Of ALL things to remember, and it was that.  There are days when I think that we used to take walks in the woods but why would I know that?  That would have happened when I was 3, so I highly doubt I can honestly remember that.  On the other hand, who cares?  Even if we didn't and it's a made up memory, it still is a nice one.  
I remember the day he died and crawling into bed that night with my mom.  That is when I started hating night time and it's not a coincidence that I still hate night time to this day.  It's less dreaded, but it's not my favorite time.  From that night until I was probably 8,  memories of life sort of stop.  Whether it was post traumatic stress or whatever else you want to call it, I don't recall much of what went on.   Bits here, pieces there.......
It was as if life didn't matter and storing the thoughts and memories weren't important anymore.  
Some days it's fine.  I know life goes on and there really isn't any need to wallow in pity.  Crappy things happen........ other days it's almost unbearable how much I want to hear his voice.  But, I put on a happy face and make sure the world doesn't know that I'm having Daddy Daydreams..........

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The truth about boys, men and the average trained monkey

When I was younger and more naive, I thought boys were herculean gods that were to be worshiped.  Then I married one and gave birth to four of them.  Now I am sane and know that these boys may think they are gods, but they are actually closer to a trained circus monkey.  Lets  take a gander down little boy to manhood lane...... 
When boys are young, they think that the world is theirs to conquer, draw on, chop down with swords and pelt with spit wads.  Mothers are constantly doing their best to keep peace in the neighborhood and stores.  The difference between a boy under the age of 10 and the 16 yr old is the cute factor.  When your 3 year old wants to take the tricycle at Walmart for a test ride, well, that is cute; and it carries a high probability that the mother in tow will buy said trike for the tyke.  13 years in the future, the same boy will be taking the newest model out for a test ride, except instead of his mother in tow he will have 3 of his friends cheering him on and playing bumper trikes with each other. 
One of my overactive sons used to, and still likes to do Parcour....  I'm not sure if that is the right spelling but it's the sport of  jumping and flipping over stationary objects and landing on your feet...  One frosty morning before school, this son of mine decided to run and vault over the hood of my car.  He forgot to take into consideration the fact that it was morning and a thick heavy dew was on the car.  Did I mention that it was slippery?  Well, as we all were sitting in the car waiting patiently for him, he came running out the door, placed his hands not so firmly on the hood and proceeded to fly across the front of the car and land crumpled in the dirt on the other side.  Not only was he mad at all of us for laughing, he was adamant that he could do it and land it the next time.  Thankfully for his ego, he did.   This is the same son who climbs trees, like a monkey, and waves at me from the top while the top of the tree is swaying back and forth like it's about to snap.  
Most boys are like this.  They have the inability to realize that they could get hurt.  To tell them that is just wasting breath.  Boys believe they have a built in suit of iron and 9 lives like the cat.  Why else would insurance companies automatically make men pay more for car insurance than girls?  They aren't stupid.   They know that a guy is going to get in the car and decide that the speed limit is optional and it's more fun to play chicken with Grandma Gert who is driving down the street.
I did happen to raise a child that was rightfully scared of heights..... until he went to college.  Then he decided he liked jumping off of cliffs.  I can still hear myself asking them this question: "if all your friends jumped off a bridge would you?"    I guess I got my answer..... and that would be a "yes".    Now all I can say is please make sure you check the depth of the water.   Although I'm pretty sure as soon as I say it their eyes glaze over and the voice inside their head sounds like the authority figures in the Peanuts TV specials... you know the ones I'm talking about, wha wah wah whwa wah.......
No matter how much they make my blood pressure go up, and even though I need to color the gray in my hair quite often, I will keep throwing them bananas..... after all, I have the best four monkeys a mom could ask for.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Summer Rain

The sound of discontent making its  way through the valley
It begins with a gentle rumbling and then gradually the murmuring gets louder until nothing else can be heard
Flashes of anger appear on the horizon and dance with random  chaos; kissing the earth with its piercing tongue
Tears of sadness and pent up rage begin to flood the streams; churning the waters into a tangled mess
Then as if it had only been a dream, the atmosphere turns into a gentle mist
Clouds of forgiveness rise from the valley floor and once again everything is new

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

It must be the heat........

I'm hoping it's just the heat.  I've been getting more and more bummed this week and I really hope I am just not coping well because of the temperatures.  This fat body just can't take it I guess. 
I suppose it could be because after living easy life for a while after selling the house it's back to "normal" life and it's time to reign in the spending.  That's part of it I guess.  The other part is kids.  Just kids in general.   Summer time bickering and that sort of thing.....  College kid that doesn't want to spend time with his mama...... Ya know, the usual. 
I guess the other thing that bums me out is the inability to take a killer family vacation.  I know, it sounds silly and very selfish, but I just am.  When I say killer family vaca, I'm not talking about spending a ton of money.  I'm just talking about being able to go somewhere.  I'm so used to going places when I was younger and when the older kids were younger that I wish we could still do that.  This time around it's somehow not a priority.  Hmmmmm.  Oh well.  I'll get over it.  I have to.  Right? 
The other things that bum me out are hearing how the world is going to hell in a hand basket fast.  Or how the economy is going to crash.... again.  BOO HISSSSS.....  Honestly, I guess I just want to stay in my own little bubble and not think about it.  I don't want to dwell on it.  It's going to happen anyway so why talk about it and make everyone worry?  We pretty much got what we deserved anyhoo.  When you bail out companies with money we don't have and then ram a health care plan that we can't afford through, what does anyone expect? 
And last but not least, I guess I'm sad that Danny is starting his summer school schedule next week.  It's only 3 hours each morning, but it is still time away from him.  I know, in a way I'm looking forward to the break, but most of me is just plain sad.
Sometimes I feel like I am an idiot and probably the only parent on earth that has a child with special needs that sometimes just feels sad and scared and whatever the heck else I'm feeling.  I know that isn't true but it just feels that way.  Then I feel guilty because I think of all the other people out there with kids that have WAY worse needs than Danny has and they probably would love to have a child as easy(in comparision) as Danny.   So I know there is no need for me to feel sorry for myself, but I really just do sometimes.  As selfish as that may be.  Sooooo, that being said, I'm hoping it just is the heat.

Friday, July 2, 2010

I have a LOT to accomplish today but I thought I'd write for a few minutes first.  Hope that's ok......  So, during the winter I had this brilliant idea to make a fifth bedroom downstairs in our basement.  Well, it's not really a basement like you would think, it's not dark and dreary and cold, it's bright (for the most part) and has lots of windows and a french door so it feels like a regular floor in a house.  Anyway, I am digressing........  Back to the bright idea from the winter.  I wanted a fifth bedroom.  Ron said it probably wasn't a brilliant idea but maybe a slightly ok idea and being the patient man he is allowed me to dream the impossible dream of building the room.  My motto is truly "if you build it they will come".   I know, I know I'm plagiarizing a line from a movie, but I just knew that if we had this fifth bedroom my life as a mother would be perfect.  All the kids would have their own rooms.... well, the ones still at home.  College boys can fend for themselves.  I also go by the motto that 'possession is 9/10th of the law' and all that sort of jazz........ 
Fast forward to summer 2010, which would be now of course.........  I buy the wood, the sheet rock and the screws.  The men at the lumber yard think I'm crazy which is half true,  I'm crazy AND determined.  There IS a difference!  I build the three walls to make the room, do the mud on the sheet rock, and voila!  It's a room.  Now, Abby has already claimed this room so it's now a bright turquoise with black bedding and soon to be black carpet..... No, she isn't goth.  HOWEVER, and there always has to be a however........  my niece graciously pointed out that MY room is right above Abby's new room!  Did I fail to mention the fact that I'm not finishing off the ceiling yet?  As in, no insulation, no sound deadening aspects?  Hmmmmmmm,  I guess I should invest in a good set of ear plugs.  FOR US, not her, come on people, where is your mind going?  Sheesh!  Danny on the other hand, is THRILLED he has his own room.  Now Santa can see him through 2 windows and not just one (his words, not mine).  If you ask me, the thought of having an old guy lurking at my son's window in the dead of winter is kind of creepy, but I won't tell Danny that.  I'd have a third room mate in my room if I made that mistake. 
So, I guess I'm off to accomplish what I need.... after all, Ron is gone for the day and that means the sky is the limit..........  Who needs a wall built?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Oh Danny Boy!

Wow, it feels like a long time since my last post.   Time does not stand still around this house, I can tell you for sure.  The other day on my way back from Slayt's doctors appointment in Rochester, I was thinking that I had never told Danny's story on here.   So, guess what?  Here goes...........

January 8, 2002 I gave birth to a still born baby; his name is Daniel William Norman.  The doctors were all rushing around and the look on everyone's face told the story.  I knew the story wasn't good, but I prayed it would have a happy ending.  I think Ron finally told me that he was breathing and after that I don't remember a whole lot, until the following morning.  
Our Pediatrician came in the do his rounds and check on our little miracle the following day.  I knew something was up, but I wasn't sure what.  The doctor asked me if he looked like our other kids.    Gosh, what a funny thing to ask a mother still half strung out on all the pain meds...... In my head all I could think was that he was implying he wasn't actually both Ron's and mine.  Indignantly I said, "of course he does", however, in my heart I knew he didn't.  There was something different about Danny.  I just couldn't put my finger on it at the time.   My mother-in-law thought it might be because he was so swollen from the delivery so I thought she was right.  When it came time to nurse, Danny was so lethargic that I pretty much had to strip him down every time just to get him awake enough to eat.  Another oddity that somehow I didn't catch onto in the hospital was that it was more difficult for him to latch on.  I thought that was weird considering I hadn't had a problem with my other 5 kids... but after much practice and holding his mouth just right, we got him to nurse ok.  Not great, but enough. Looking back now, I think having large boobs that squirt milk like a fountain was a good thing in Danny's case.
Before we left the hospital, I think I had started to worry that Danny had Downs Syndrome.  He just had a funny look about him and that is the only thing I could think of.  It wouldn't be long before we had a few answers. I can't remember exactly the order of events, but I know at the one week appointment for Danny, the Pediatrician said they needed him to have some genetic work done.  He never gave me his thoughts on that but I just went with it.  I knew something was different, but I didn't know what so I just trusted his opinion.  In the meantime, my MIL contacted a friend who she knew who knew a pediatrician in Corning.  So when Danny was 3 weeks old we went to get a second opinion.  We just wanted answers.   We were silly to think that ANY answers were better than no answers at all..... 
At the appointment with the new doc, we felt like even though he couldn't put a name on Danny's problem, we at least were getting somewhere.  It may sound strange, but at this appointment we first figured out that Danny wasn't blinking.   I think we knew that he wasn't closing his eyes but we never even realized that he wasn't blinking.   I think it was at that appointment that our brains started to make the connection that Danny wasn't like the other kids at home.  He didn't do anything.  He didn't coo, he didn't move, he didn't smile, he didn't cry, he didn't do ANYTHING.  It was like having a shell of a baby that stared of into space.  I began to be fearful.  Right about that same time, within a day or two Ron and I noticed that everytime he would lay Danny on his arm and lay him on his back he would go limp and look like he fell asleep.  I took Danny into see our regular Ped. and he wanted him admitted to check for sleep apnea. So off to the St. James we went.  Good Lord!  If I didn't know then that they are complete idiots at that hospital, I sure do now.  
We got settled in our room and they laid him on a bassinet with an alarm that would go off if he stopped breathing.  It also picks up the heart rate and thank God for that!  He hadn't been laying on that silly thing for more than 5 minutes and the alarm started to go off.  The respiratory therapist came in and pushed some buttons and  the alarm stopped.  Another 5 minutes passed and the alarm started going.  So this time the nurse came in and checked some things and pushed some more buttons and the alarm stopped.   5 minutes later the alarm goes off again, this time the nurse AND therapist come in and notice the heart monitor.  I think by that time Danny's heart rate was up to 190 and climbing fast.  By the time it was over 200 the nurse turned to us and said "Do you think that's normal?".   I was like, um that's YOUR job to know if it's normal or not. 
The doctor was paged and they rushed Dan down to the ER.   I was freaking out by then.  When the doctor came in, she had to do a maneuver to stop his heart and make it start beating in a normal rhythm again so they made us wait out in the hall........  that was the longest 5 or 10 minutes of my life. 
After the doctors got his heart back to "normal" they let us come back in.  My poor little guy was hooked up to monitors, IV's, all sorts of stuff.  I kept watching the heart monitor like it was a huge monster ready to devour my innocent little one at any moment.  Each time Danny's heart rate would start to creep up, I'd panic.  In the meantime, the decision was made to had Dan taken to Strong Children's Hospital in Rochester but we had to wait for a team to be assembled from Strong and come down to get him.  It took about 3 hours for them to get there.  When the doctors and nurses from Strong got there I relaxed a tiny bit.  By that time it was midnight and I was mentally and physically exhausted!  Thankfully they let me ride in the ambulance with my baby and we hopped in and off we went with sirens and lights blazing. 
We were in Strong for a week.  While we were there Danny was seen by every IST you can imagine.  He saw the Geneticist, the Cardiologist, the Ophthalmologist, the Neurologist the Audiologist, and who knows who else.   Some of the tests they did were so painful to watch and I just couldn't.  They had to take blood from his carotid artery which sounded and was REALLY scary.  They hooked him up to wires, IV's, monitors, etc.   The one test they did was an MRI and so they wisked him away and said we could wait in his room.  Well, what they didn't tell us is that it would take a long time.  After about an hour I started to panic.  I started looking all over the hospital for him.  I know, that sounds like a fruity thing to do, but at 3 weeks post delivery, I was raging all kinds of hormonal freakiness..... so I didn't care. Just about the only thing the doctors could tell us, was that Danny had an extra set of "wires" that had not dissolved at birth like normally happens and that was the reason for his heart rate.  So his first diagnosis was SVT.  Supra-ventricular Tachycardia to be exact.  They gave him Digoxin through his IV but at home I would have to give it to him three times a day at the same time every day by mouth.  In my head I'm thinking, oh my gosh! I'm not going to be able to do this, I can't even remember to give the kids their antibiotics everyday, let alone a medication that keeps my son's heart from freaking out.  By God's grace, I managed to do it though.  I got myself on a schedule and it wasn't to hard.  But I"m gettting ahead of myself......   While we were still at the hospital, the doctors also gave us a tenative diagnosis of Moebius Syndrome and after the MRI they added a third diagnosis of Agenesis of the Corpus Collosum. 
Moebius Syndrome is a rare disorder that affects the cranial nerves and also many things midline on the body.  Most kids with this condition can't suck, blink, close their eyes or have any facial expression.  At least Danny could nurse, so I felt like we were ahead of the pack in some ways......   The diagnosis of complete ACC was harder to grasp for me.  All I could think was that he was missing a very important part of his brain.  With both diagnosis the doctors couldn't and CAN'T predict what the future will hold.  Some kids do ok, others don't.  So far, Danny falls somewhere in between the two.  The third diagnosis was the heart problem but that was the least of their worries and really mine.  Even though it was stressful, I at least knew what I had to do  to make it ok.  With the other two it was and still is a waiting game.  Let me tell you, patience and waiting to see what happens is NOT my strong area!
8 years have passed since that week in Strong.  Since then we have made another week long trip to Strong when Danny had Pneumonia and many other day trips to see specialist.   At the age of four, Danny was able to be weaned off the Digoxin for his heart and we see the Cardiologist only once every few years unless there is a problem.  He still has chest pain at times but so far they can't find the cause.  They think it might be a virus that makes the chest wall hurt and not actually his heart.  The doctors at Strong have gotten to know Danny and it almost feels like a second home in some ways.  Danny's pediatrician here in Hornell has taken a strong liking to him and makes sure he tells Danny's story to all the student nurses that train in his office.  If we are there he brings them in to meet Danny and each time introduces Danny as his 'special friend'.   It's nice to know that Dr. Virdee cares so much for him.  Dr. Virdee and I also have an understanding from now on that if Danny ever gets admitted to the hospital again, it will NOT be at St. James.  I'm not dealing with incompetent nurses that expect me to know more than they do, which isn't to hard.
Danny see's the Ophthalmologist in Elmira and Dr. Morello is THE BEST!  Dr. M has done four surgeries on Danny's eyes and is wonderful with him.
For the most part, Danny is a happy and relatively healthy boy.  We have our up and down days and his   Autistic tendencies are present and show their ugly head at times.   We make frequent trips to the doctor it seems but I guess that has just become normal for us.  Even though Danny is 8 1/2 he is still at about a 6 year old level on most things.  He is at a 7 year level on a couple things but there are some places he only is at 5 year old.......  some days it makes me sad but all he has to do is give me his funny little "smile" and all my fears disappear.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The blue pill and it's not viagra

Ok,  sooooo, it's been kind of a hard few weeks.  Yep, not gonna lie or pretend to be perfect.  That might shock some, I know, but I guess the truth must come out sooner or later (she says tongue in cheek). 
I know some people don't agree with the use of mood/anxiety stabilizing drugs, I get that.....  sort of.  Don't necessarily agree but that's another blog.......Anyhoo, back in January after I had what I thought was a heart attack but wasn't, I went on Prozac for anxiety.  I know, what could I possibly be anxious about right?  So, I went on it and life was grand, UNTIL allergy sneezon hit!  Then I started downing Benadryl like it was water and I figured maybe I should lay off the Prozac for awhile, Ya know the whole drug interaction thing.......... long story long......  I went off the Prozac cold turkey.  Can I just tell you that it was a really BAD idea?  Two weeks later, I'm  a freaking out, blubbering fool without a clue.  Yeah, so guess what?  I made an appointment with the Allergist; thank God for PPO insurance plans that don't require a referral.......   AND I started medicating again.  And they all said AMEN!  Seriously. 
Onto another story......  Ally hurt her shoulder a few weeks ago.....  she had an MRI on it last friday and I called yesterday to get the results.  Nope, can't give them to me over the phone, we have to go in to see the doctor.  UGH!  Ok, i guess I should be glad that he wants to see her again.  He obviously cares about his patients.... but I'm sort of nervous about what it might mean.  Did they see something on the MRI? Will it mean surgery?  Maybe just physical therapy?  (said as I grab the bottle of Prozac and down a few)    Then on top of it all the Gastrointestinal doc calls about Slayt and wants to put him on a third Medication for spazms and do an upper and lower barrium swallow study.  EEK!!!!!  Do you think they have Prozac in liquid form that I can just inject into a central line? 
Onto another and final story......  my brakes went out on my car.  Yep.  Jake was driving and THANKFULLY he was able to stop but he got home, Ron looked at it and saw that the break line had broke.  NICE!!!!!!  Now, some of you might not recall that my breaks completely went out a year ago coming down the hill ( a very steep, scary hill) in Ron's old truck.  Somehow (yes Virginia there IS a God) I made the turn at the bottom of the hill and slowly came to a stop, but let me tell you, it was a LONG time before I could drive over 30 miles an hour and you might as well forget about me coming down hills.  It has seriously taken me a year to get over having major panic attacks when I drive down a hill.  SO, now that the break line went on my newish car, I'm kind of thinking that I might just give up driving all together.  This might be my time to go completely green and bike everywhere.  I wonder how long it would take to get to Florida or Arkansas on a bike carrying 6 kids?  Hmmmmmm.
Well, maybe after all that you can understand why I need a little stress reducer in pill form.  If not, then you are a better person than I.........  or is it me, myself and I?  How many of us are there anyway????  Oh, that's another blog.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

C'est la Vie

I find it interesting at how different the Christian view on things can be. I have found over the years that what one person or group of people believe to be the most important part of scripture can vary quite wide.  I'm not talking about the basics of Christianity or the differences between Muslims and Christians.  I'm strictly talking about bible believing folks.  Those of us that believe that God came in the form of man (Jesus) died on the cross to save us and forgave our sins and died and went to Heaven and that he also takes the form of the Holy Spirit and He dwells within us in that form.  Ok, now that we are all on the same page........
I have a friend who up until a couple years ago I thought that she and her husband had a direct line to God.  Seriously.  I hung on every word she said and agreed with her on everything relating to God and her thoughts on the subject.  After much growth and partly because I grew something called a backbone, I realized that I didn't have to necessarily agree with EVERYTHING she said and if I didn't it didn't mean I was less of a Christian.  I'm sure some would disagree with me about the less of a Christian part, but oh well.  Back to my thought..... There are just parts of being a Christian that I find to not be or shouldn't be such a huge issue.  Partly because it causes such a huge riff in the church and partly because I think the scripture can be interpreted differently on the subject.  What is this subject you might ask?  It's the whole gifts of the Holy Spirit thing.  Now don't get me wrong.  I do believe that there are gifts of the Holy Spirit.  I just don't always agree with those that think that is the be all end all part of being a Christian.  Ok, speaking in tongues......  that is a big one for some.  Personally I believe that the Holy Spirit gives each of us the gift of speaking in tongues if we needed it to edify someone.  BUT I believe the person would be able to understand what I was saying.  AND I don't think I would have to TRY to do it.  Let me give an example.  I think that if I was speaking to someone that didn't know English....  and I started praying for that person or trying to witness to that person, the Holy Spirit would give me the ability to speak or pray to that person in their language.  Otherwise what would be the purpose of speaking in tongues?  It doesn't do me any good because I can't understand what I'm saying and If it isn't in anyone elses language that I'm talking to it doesn't do them any good.  All it does is say "look at me, I'm more spiritual than you".  Nope, not going to agree there.   To be perfectly honest, I haven't studied ALL the different uses of speaking in tongues but honestly, am I going to be less of a Christian if I don't? I know there are those that would say "how can you call yourself a Christian if you don't believe that..."  all I can say is Oh well. 
The other thing that I've heard lately is that God doesn't allow bad things to happen, if bad things happen it's because the enemy has a hold on your life in some area.  I absolutely disagree with that one.  I don't think God WANTS bad things to happen, but I don't think that it's always because of sin in our lives or because we are allowing the devil into our lives that bad things do happen.  I think bad things happen because we live in a fallen world.  How we handle things is where our heart is. If we allow Christ to teach us through those tough times then awesome... if not then oh well.  How we deal with things sometimes shows unbelievers Christ better than anything else.  There is NO WAY someone could convince me that my Dad died because he allowed Satan in his life or had sin in his life.  I think he died because of  airplane failure and it was just time for him to go.  Also, I'm pretty sure I was closer to the Lord than I had ever been when I had Daniel so how would me doing something sinful play a part in why he was born the way he was?  First of all we sin all the time so with that logic we ALL would have sickness or bad things happening to us all the time, and second, Daniel has pointed my family and others to Christ MORE with his disabilities than if he had been born "normal". 
Oh golly, I guess I could go on and on, but I won't.  I just  had this discussion with someone and it got me all hot and bothered so I thought I'd write.......  if you disagree with me then I'm ok with that.  If you agree with me then I'm ok with that too.....   either way, pray for me because isn't that really the part that matters?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Kids say the darndest things.

 One of my college age sons (I have two and it wasn't the oldest) came to Ron and I the other night and said "So, I want to live at Grams for the summer".   Now, I don't know if he was expecting me to be upset, or cry.....  he has very valid reasons why he wants to.  Well, valid for an 18 year old.  In his world he sees it as a hard transition to go from being away at college to coming back into the fold and being required to say, weedwack or mow or whatnot.  Even eating what I prepare for dinner is not fun for him because he has been at Culinary school.  Soooooo  he wants to be 'free' of the ol ball and chain like his big brother was at that age.    Back to how I feel about this.   I say " fine with me bucko".    First of all, I know that there will be guidelines of what he can and can't do at grams.  Grandpa isn't always the most fun person to be with and Grandma eats Gluten free so if he wants something Yummy he will have to fend for himself.  Ha!  I'm seriously giddy!  I know, he will NEVER, EVER, EVER tell me it's not going well for him down there if that is where he makes his bed, but that's ok.  He has to remember, I grew up at grandma's house, well yeah, it was my moms but same thing.  He also has to understand that it's just as hard for  us to get used to him being back as it is for him to come back.  We ALL have our own routine.  However, where I was willing to make some concessions, like give him his own room and move everyone around, he still felt the need to bolt.  Ahhhh the tempestuous teenager.  
Now his biggest challenge will be for him to actually aquire a job AND get the car that we gave to him on the road, pay for insurance and make enough money to put gas in his car.  Ok, he sort of might have a job.  I'll give him that.  He talked to a guy who needs house painters.  BUT he hasn't talked to him since and even if he does get the job, he is wholly dependant on the weather.Almost working doesn't pay the bills... at least not at our house.  Maybe it's different in the real world.  I don't like to go there often, it's not a fun place.
Soooo  this whole moving transition thing isn't going to happen overnight but that is what he would like to do.   It's going to be all up to him and Grandma AND Grandpa, and the latter might not be so easy to convince it's a good idea. 
Anyway, that is my life right now.  Well, part of my life.  Kids are awesome, aren't they?  Most of the time, yes..... then there are the times when you just have to say "welcome to the real world".

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Family matters

I find it really funny at how no matter how hard we try, most of the time as humans we take the ones for granted that really should be the most important people in our lives.  So often we choose friends, girl-friends, boy-friends, pets, and the list could go on, instead of making the people who have been with us from the beginning our priority.  
Unfortunately I've seen it with my own sisters and grandparents.  Days, weeks and even months can go by without talking to them.  Now my grandparents are gone and I kick myself for not taking the time while they were here to make them a priority to go see more often.  I let stuff get in the way.  I let my own selfishness for "fun" or getting stuff done take precedence over spending time with the people that had an instrumental part of me even being on this planet.    Gosh, what a waste of my time.  Now they are all gone and I've missed my chance to be with them.   You would think I'd learn my lesson and take better care of preserving the other family relationships I have.  Nope.  I can go months without talking to a couple of my sisters.  Not because I don't care about them or love them, it's just that I talk myself out of calling or whatnot.  I tell myself that they are busy or wouldn't want to talk..... well, who cares.  I should try.  I find out all the info from our mom, but what happens when she is gone?  Then what?   I see the same patten happening with my own kids.  That breaks my  heart.  The older kids are gone most of the year to college, jobs, etc.... the little ones look forward all year long to see them and then the boys get home and being pestered by little kids is the last thing they want to do.   The only thing is, they don't realize that they are hero's in the minds of their brothers and sisters.  No matter what they do, or how much they argue, the little kids want to be just like the older ones. 
It's something that I see the older I get.  Family matters.  Family matters a LOT.  You don't have to agree, get a long, or even be their "favorite"...... it just matters that it's family.  Through thick or thin your brothers, sisters,mom, dad, aunts, uncles, grandparents need to know that you have their back.  Come hell or high water that bond should not be allowed to be broken. 
In today's day and age it is a cell phone world.  Most of us do not leave the house without our cell phone.  So why is it that we don't stay in touch more often with our family?  It's not like the phone call has to last a long time.  Pick it up, dial, say "Hi I was just thinking about you and wanted to say hello" and call it good.  Sometimes you might talk longer, sometimes you might have to leave a message.  At least the point has gotten across.  Family matters. 
After my dad died, I lost touch with lots of my dad's side of the family.  Granted, I was only 5 so I'm not really sure how "in touch" i was in the first place....... but still.   There was one person in particular that didn't keep in contact with us and that hurt.  It hurt pretty bad.  In fact I grew to pretty much hate that person.  Maybe it was my own fault for letting it bug me that much, but I just assumed he would want to......  when I realized that we didn't matter that much to him I grew resentful.....   Now that I'm older I can understand a little better about how and why that would happen.  Life goes on......  but with family, life shouldn't just "go on".   It should go on with family.  Family reunions shouldn't happen only at funerals.  We hear ourselves saying "oh we need to get together instead of only here at the funeral home"...... well, we say it, but do we mean it?   It's been forever since I've been to Arkansas with my kids to see my sister.  It's been 11 years.  I've seen her, but only because she comes here........  that sucks.  What is sooo important that I can't take a trip out to see her?  Make sure she knows that I think she is important enough to travel to see her?  She is.  I go to see my mom in Fl when she is down there and so I see my other sister when I go down but to be honest, would I go down there just to spend time with her if my mom wasn't there?  I'd LOVE to say yes, but honestly, I'd probably let other things get in the way.  I'ts just frustrating sometimes.  If money  was no option I'd go see all my family every year..... but alas, money is needed........ However, I'm getting off on a tangent.  I'm actually borderline becoming pissed at someone who I feel makes it hard to do that sort of thing...... so I will stop. 
We need to decide if family IS really important to us or not.  If it is do something about it.  Call, write, visit, etc..... if it's not then I guess there isn't anything more to say........  except I feel sorry for you.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Loud mouth kids

Anyone with kids or who has been around kids for more than 12 hours will know that they have one volume on their voice box.  Why is that?  There is no mute button and even if someone finds the knob to turn down the sound, it's right back up to a decibel level that has been proven to cause hearing loss in lab rats!  
Our son Slayt is constantly being told to be quiet, or use his indoor voice.  I'm pretty sure he wasn't given an indoor voice when he was made.  I think I'm going to have to address that with God when I get to Heaven.  Slayt can be two feet away and still feel the need to shout like he is standing next to a Nascar revving it's engine.  It's always a crap shoot whether or not he will be able to contain himself when he is required to remain quiet for more than 3 minutes, and inevitably,he blurts out something with the force of a trumpet right when the last Amen has been said......
He isn't the only one in our family who talks loud.  Daniel might possibly be even louder and more unpredictable than Slayt.  With Dan, you never know what he will say, and no matter how hard you try to cover his mouth, he gets it out somehow.  It's like a ventriloquist!  I'm like, how the heck did they just come out? I've got my hand clamped over his trap with the force of 15 suction cups and still his voice is heard!  UGH!  I need to go visit a lady whose husband died recently and I'm wanting to take the kids but I'm fearful about what Danny is going to say.  You see, the man was probably not on God's favorite person list and the kids know that..... Danny is recently fixated on Heaven and Hell and who goes where.  He has said to me on more than one occasion that people who don't love God go to hell....  SO, all I can picture is that we would walk in the door and Danny would announce with all authority that this poor lady's  husband was now in hell!  Oy VEY!   
I'll save the story about Danny calling 911 in the car and needing to convince the operator on the other end that we were fine and not being car-jacked...... all while I had 3 screaming kids in the car for another time.
I suppose I could blame all of this on their older brother Jake.  He is the oldest loud speaker in our family so I'm sure it's hereditary and they got it from him.....  When he was younger he always talked loud.  Now that he is older, he can be quiet SOMETIMES but usually he just doesn't shut up!  Driving in the car is quite the experience also.  I've almost wrecked the car on more than one occasion because i've been laughing so hard at him that I can't see the road.  If you are ever driving by a car and there is a guy in it making weird facial expressions or shaking his groove thing, then it's probably Jake.   We have driven by numerous truckers and given them a show on wheels.  The booty shake, the chest pumps, the wink and tongue lick over the teeth are big for Jake.   It's like a traveling circus in my car.    

Thursday, April 22, 2010

What's a girl to do?

So many things on my mind lately but not really sure about what to write......  I'm really needing to do more writing on the book I'm writing about my mom but I feel like I'm at a stand-still.  Yikes!  Writing a book is probably one of the most daunting tasks I have ever tried.  Everything I write sounds blah and just stupid.  Oy vey! 
Tax season is technically over but now we are in the 'clean-up' phase of that and I think that is even more stressful for Ron than the actual tax season.  He is so sick of looking at numbers at this time of year but still has too so he's kinda bummed and I really hate it when that happens.  I'm not sure what to do for him when he is like that.  I kind of wish he'd just go on a backpacking trip to clear his head or something like that.  I've even thought about calling work (UPS) and having them give him vacation time, work it all out and buy him a plane ticket to Arizona or somewhere I know he likes.   Who knows......  he'd be upset for about 3 seconds, until he realized that he was going to somewhere warm and sunny and he could relax. 
I'm also trying like crazy to get some junk yard guys to come get these dumb vehicles we have sitting in our yard.  Our yard looks like a welfare house because we have three vehicles that are just sitting there.  At least they aren't up on blocks, but still!  If the junk guy doesn't call me back today i'm going to call someone else.  Sheesh! 
Yesterday I got a thing in the mail from our insurance company that gave a total for our oldest son's knee surgery.   It's over $9000.!!!!!!!    His dad's insurance won't cover it because they said there is a spending cap.  Well, thanks a LOT for letting me know that.  How the heck was I supposed to know?   Seems to me that the person scheduling the surgery and doing the insurance stuff would have found that out.  GOSH!  I'm really hoping and praying that the college will pick up some of the cost since it happened at a game. 
I'm really eager to build Abby's new room downstairs.  We are making a fifth bedroom downstairs in the "basement" which really doesn't seem like a basement.  It's really bright and has a walkout with french doors so it's nice and open.    Anyway, we are letting her become a cellar dweller and I can't wait to transform her new room into something great!   I love doing that kind of stuff.  If I could buy houses and redo them, I think that would be fantastic.   
My other dilemma is trying to figure out Ron's office.   We have another house on our property.  Actually, most people would say, knock it down, but it's a really old  1800's farm house and the floors are wide plank floors which would be beautiful if we restored them.  I have lots of idea's of how we could make that into Ron's office and get him the heck out of the house.  It's nice having him close, but having him too close when he is trying concentrate and the kids are running over the top of his head is another story.  My other idea for the house is that if we could somehow make it usable for my mom and step-dad and Ron's mom to live in when they need to, it would be great.   I never thought I'd ever want my parents or Ron's mom that close, but I'm thinking it would be kind of nice to have them there.   There would have to be boundaries set, but I think it could work.  I'm sure they would want boundaries set too.   
Yesterday I worked for a friend who has a cleaning company.  We had a smoke job to do on a cabin.  Holy cow!  The person is a total HOARDER!   Not even packrat.  Down right Discovery Channel Hoarders!  I don't know how anyone can live like that.  Seriously.  I am sooooo the opposite of that.  In fact, I probably throw things away too much. I wonder if there is such a thing as a dehoarder?  If so, I am definitely one of those.
I suppose it's time to start my day..... time to call the junk yard guys............

Saturday, April 10, 2010

oh to be a woman

Oh to be a woman.   Most of the time I have to say it is a really awesome thing.  It's days when the hair won't do a darn thing, my legs look like hamburg because the razor is dull and 'aunt mary' comes to visit right in the middle of  the grocery store. 
I think most women can agree that being a woman can be torturous and humiliating at times.  Take the gyno for example.   Now, first of all I think the majority of whooha doc's are males.  That right there has to tell you something.  My OB/GYN is prime example of a doctor with NO qualms of telling me I've let myself go all while I'm butt naked from the waist down with my legs spread  farther apart than the north and south pole.  What am I going to say?  I'm not about to argue with a man who has a metal torture device which has just sprung my va-JJ open so wide you could drive a truck through.   When I had my second son, my placenta was attached to scar tissue and the doctor had to reach inside to scrape it off so I wouldn't bleed.  Do  you think he gave me any drugs?  That would be a no.  I'm pretty sure if a man had been laying on the table and the doctor had crawled inside like mine did, he would have died right there on the table.   But no, I laid there, begging him to  shoot me while he crawled inside and did a dance on my uterus and set off fireworks on his way out. 
Then we as women get to have mammograms every year.  Well, they start when a woman is forty so I am just writing based on hear-say on this one.  I have heard though that during a mammogram, you are asked to place your bossom onto the slab like a sacrifice and watch as your breast is squished flat.  Now what kind of sadist  came up with that machine?  Did someone sit around in an office somewhere and say," how can we take a picture of the inside of a womans boob? Oh I know, we can put it between a door and slam the doors shut?"     Yeah, great idea Mr. Inventor.  Gosh, and we as women just go along like lambs to the slaughter and offer our sacrifices to the gods.  Well, this chick is taking her lambs to no such place.  My lady lumps will stay firmly on the ground where they belong. 
And last but not least, I will talk about hormones.  Ahhh, the joys of hormonal inbalance.  I've noticed that my 8 year old has started to show signs of  pre-pre- pms.  My sixteen year old has definitely become inbalanced and I've been inbalanced so long I walk with one arm and one leg.    Thanks Eve, ya had to go and eat the darn apple didn't ya?  And what did that get us?  I think PMS is God's way of saying " I told you so". 
Now don't get me wrong, I love being a woman.  But men have to realize they have it so much easier.   And if they think they don't then I say it's time to start designing a mammogram machine for men.  

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

the truth about cats and dogs

Pets!  It's very ironic how the word, if changed, spells pest.  In our house we have an abundance of pests.  I mean pets.  We have two guinea pigs, two indoor cats, one lizard and one dog.   The dog, which was once an outdoor dog has now become an indoor dog with the propensity to think he is my 7th child.  Forget about human brother/sister sibling rivalry.  I have dog/cat sibling rivalry happening in our home.   The dog, as most dogs are, is like a large four legged baby with no hope of their IQ reaching past 1.3, cats on the other hand are like snobby geniuses that make Einstein look like a moron.   I'm constantly telling our cat Sam to play nice with our dog Hound.  Do they listen?  No.  Sam torments hound every occasion she gets and has now decided it is quite funny to chase the dog down the hallway.  Sam thinks she is queen bee in the house and even limits our other cats food intake.  I think this is because Sam has an eating disorder.  Let me describe what Sam would be like if she were human.  Sam would be a bulimic know-it-all sociopath with narcissistic tendencies.  The dog on the other hand would be like  Gomer Pyle, except not as bright with breath like a toilet bowl.     Oh well.  Animals help keep us sane right?  I think it's because we see ourselves in them  There are days when I'd like to rip out someones eyes like the cat has tried many times and some days I feel like I've rolled in a pile of dog doo then rolled across the carpet spreading my yuck everywhere.   I guess I won't complain, just as long as I don't start scooting my butt across the floor or licking my private parts in public.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Tick tock

My heart has been thumping erratically again lately which is quite annoying to say the least.  I refuse to go to the doctor because I'm sick of them telling me it's stress.  However, last time I knew, stress could and does cause heart attacks.  Oh well.  I guess if my ticker stops tocking then someone can tell the doctors "i told you so" for me.   I was thinking a while ago about my funeral.  I know, it's a morbid thought but oh well.  No, I'm not suicidal.  I am too much of a chicken to do that.  Anyway.....  these are my wishes in the event I croak.......
 I want a FUNeral.  I want waiters walking around serving wine and cheese at my wake.  I want party music and a dance floor.  In my casket, I want one finger up my nose, the other giving a thumbs up and my eyes crossed and I really want my tongue sticking out of my mouth.   I think it would be great if someone could figure out how to rig up a motion sensor and when people walk up to pay their last respects "I" can say things like, "have a great day", "don't cry for me argentina", "boo", "wow, there really are dogs in heaven", and who knows what else.   Also, since I'll be dead anyway, if someone could have them take off about 80 pounds and make me look super skinny and put me in a pair of skinny jeans and a tank top then that would be great.  Leave the boobs the way they are.  Well, tack them up where they should be,  but you get the idea.   
Well, i guess I better get back to reality.  No time to die this week.  Until the kids are old I'm pretty sure my schedule is packed so heaven will have to wait. 

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Thank God for Easter!

Have you ever had times in your life when it seems like every mistake you make compels you to make another and then another?   I have had one of those weeks.   
I think it started because I've been stressed out about Danny.  I've been stressed out because it's tax season and that causes a  spill over effect from Ron.  I'm sad about other things and so all in all it's just been an emotionally draining few weeks.  
I got my panties in a wad about something which was said so I wrote about stuff on my brain which probably should have been kept private.  Then I made someone upset so I got defensive and wrote other stuff and so it went.......  If nothing else, these last few days has given me time to look at myself.  I can be a real hard core, stubborn witch when I want to be.  Not a good thing when dealing with family.  I think I've dug canals instead of bridges and done more for hurting the kingdom of Heaven rather than help it.   That's why I'm thankful that it's Easter.  I'm thankful that Christ died for me, even though I'm a real jerk sometimes and very insensitive and probably very undeserving of His forgiveness.  Yet, he still gives it freely.  However, even though I know in my heart that He has forgiven me I am still the one who feels like I don't deserve it.  Probably because I know I'm inevitably going to screw up again so it makes me embarrassed to walk in forgiveness.  I think that is why I get stubborn sometimes.  It's easier to put on a bitchy front and act like I don't care or whatever, rather than to accept my part in a problem and move on.  Funny thing is, I do care if people are mad at me.  A lot.    That is the other thing I've realized over the last week.  I have a major fight or flight response to conflict.  Usually conflict makes me want to run away.  Especially when I feel like I'm on the loosing end.  Ahhh, the joys of self-discovery.  Well.... I've decided that there are just some things that are off subjects.  At least in a public forum such as this.  I've also decided that being the youngest sucks.  We are born to be peacemakers.....  and that is not always fun or easy to do.  I know that if I had been hired to do that job I'd have been fired this week for sure. 

Monday, March 22, 2010

Eye surgery from hell

I guess I'll update everyone on Danny's surgery.......  
Surgery was friday.  Everything seemed to go well, he didn't even cry when he woke up so that was great.  I should have known things wouldn't go that well the rest of his recovery.   I've decided that I really hate surgery on kids.  It's so hard on them.  Dan is having pain in the backs of his eyes. The only way he explains it is that that backs of his eyes hurt.  I don't think it's itching because I asked him if his eyes itch and he said the front does but it hurts in the back.  I'm pretty sure he knows the difference.  So in the last few days, I've spent the majority of my time running to the doctors and to Buffalo to see Ron's gram who is not well and then home and back to Elmira to the doctors.  Fun.  I would drive to the moon if I felt the doctors could figure out what was wrong with him.  I feel so bad.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Eye surgery #4

Danny had his fourth eye surgery yesterday.  Everything went well and the doctor seemed pleased.  His eye doctor is AMAZING and I feel very blessed that the Lord pointed us in his direction.  I know it was the Lord who worked it out that we would see this doctor because otherwise I'm sure we would have gone to Rochester and seen someone else.  Every other doctor is in Rochester and so it would be logical that he would have seen an eye specialist up there as well had God not intervened.   When Daniel was just a couple weeks old and right before his heart problems happened we had gone to get a second opinion from a doctor in Corning.  While we were there he called his friend, Dr. Morello and asked his for a favor, which was to see Danny that day to assess his eyes.  If doctor Morello hadn't been able to see us that day or it had been a week later, we would have been in Rochester with Danny due to his heart......  so that is how I know God had a plan for us to see Dr. Morello.  
As of this morning, Danny is doing well.  His eyes do look straighter than before so that is a good thing.  His eyes are pretty swollen still and very red and I'm not so thrilled that his cheeks are very red but I guess he looks ok.  He is acting good so why worry, right? 

Monday, March 8, 2010

Thoughts from a youngest sister

 Growing up the youngest is not an easy task.  It requires one to have a great amount of patience dealing with older siblings who love to torment and nit-pik every minute detail of the younger sisters life.  Torture and cruel practical jokes were everyday  treatment for me, it really is a wonder I turned out as well as I did.  Youngest siblings know that being force fed all sorts of nasty food and inedible things is common practice among  older sisters or brothers.  Occasionally one particular sister will come to the rescue but very rarely is that the case.  In my case I was fortunate to have my elder sisters marry and give me wonderful brothers-in-law who love me and know that I really am the unfortunate one in this family.  I'm sure that they married my sisters to watch over me like guardian angels.  Knowing that they sacrificed their happiness to protect me  has restored my faith in humanity.  As the years progress the youngest of the family finds herself in a unique predicament.  No longer small enough to be beat upon by her elder sisters, but still feeling subservient to them, the youngest often embarks on self destructive behaviors.   Any wise person would see that had the older sisters been more caring and helpful these behaviors would never have manifested.  During this whole ordeal the youngest of the family knows deep down that her mother is secretly longing for the day when her young daughter will realize that all a  long she has been the favored one.  Rising from the ashes like a phoenix, her day comes and everywhere shouts of praise is heard.  The only thing the old sisters can do is hang their heads in shame.  Being the kind and loving  people  that youngest siblings are, we quickly forgive our tormentors.   After all, what are younger sisters for?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Life with 6 kids

Do any other mothers  have those days when having a root canal without Novocaine seems like a better idea than motherhood?  I guess I'm having one of those days.  It is days like these that I'm hoping it is just PMS because if it isn't I think I'll consider getting a job that requires me to travel 360 days out of the year.  To top it off, my husband is a CPA and is up to his eye balls with taxes and deadlines causing him to be wound up tighter than Bin Laden on crack.  I guess it is a good thing my blood pressure isn't normally high, because today would cause me to have a stroke which would then cause Ron to go into cardiac arrest trying to figure out who was going to take care of the carpet munchers while he finished out tax season.  It really is a vicious cycle having a family.  When we are single we are bored and want to get married.  When Mr. Right passes by we hook him like a salmon going to spawn and just when things get quiet after the wedding, babies start joining the mix.  It takes approximately 1.5 kids for you to realize that singleness might not have been such a bad thing.  After number two comes along,  life settles down a bit and a routine is found.  Then out of the blue the stork brings number three and chaos is again ruler of the house.  Numbers 4, 5 and 6 are a blur, suddenly 21 years has passed and mental health is something you only dream of attaining and  sustaining for more than 3 seconds a day.  That brings us to days like I'm having today.  The sun is shining but the kids can't seem to find the door to go outside.  It almost seems as if aliens have visited during the night and sucked their brains out of their heads leaving them with the inability to do anything but annoy me.  Once forbidden things such as bouncing from couch to chair is now happening with reckless abandon.  I swear if I had a chandelier they would be swinging like the monkey brains they are.  The only bit of relief that I can see is the clock is continuing to count down the minutes until bedtime.  Once the last fifty-ninth  drink is had, the twenty-fifth bathroom trip is done I can look forward to quiet for the next 8 hours.  Granted, I will also be asleep; dreaming of root canals without novocaine.  

Friday, March 5, 2010

It's been a few days, well maybe weeks since my last post.  I'm in the process of gathering information from my mom and other places to write a book about my mom and her life.  Anyway, that is why I haven't been blogging, my mind is preoccupied.  
My college boys were home from school this weekend.  Justin was only home for  24 hours and Jacob has been home about 5 days.  
It got me thinking about raising kids and how as parents we try to steer them in the right direction but so many times they demand to figure it out themselves.  Sometimes the kids listen and go in the way I think is right but other times I feel like I'm banging my head on a brick wall.   It's really hard as a mother to balance the need to fix things for them and knowing when to just back off and let them figure it out for themselves no matter what the cost.  I remember a situation with my oldest son that required serious intervention a few years back.  It involved a girl and he was dead set that she was worth all the headaches he seemed to have over their relationship.  Ron and I both talked numerous times with him, questioned his reasoning and we even talked to both of them along with her parents.  It's funny, at least now when I think about it.  I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that this girl was NOT the one for Justin.  It wasn't even that I didn't like her.  I did like her and I want the best for her even now, I just knew that Justin wasn't the one.  However, he didn't want to hear anyones opinion, least of all mine.  One day though, he just decided on his own that he was done.  I think I heard the angels doing a dance in heaven.  Seriously.   I know that God will bless Justin for waiting for the best that God has.  I think he's found it, but time will tell.  I know that Justin has done it right this time and I really feel that I can relax and let him go at this on his own.  Not because I approve of the girl, but because I know that Justin is relying on the Lord to do this, not just going at it himself.  It takes a man of great Character to remain single for over two years, waiting for the one he knows is worth waiting for.  I'm impressed of how much my son has grown.  Not only in his faith this year, but just as a man.  It's pretty cool to watch.  
That is my prayer for the rest of my kids.  That they would pray and wait for the one that God has.  The best.  It takes a lot of patience.  I honestly don't know if I could wait.  I know I didn't wait and it caused a lot of heart aches.  If a relationship is not built on a mutal relationship with the Lord, it makes it so much harder when the going gets tough.  

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I wonder how many people have ever seen the Auroras Boreales?  I am sure many northern Canadian and Alaskians have seen them and the people in northern Europe....  but while we lived on Call Hill we were able to seem them on a couple occations.  They were the most amazing heavenly specticle I have ever witnessed.  The emerald and flecks of gold danced across the sky in a fluid mesmerizing way.  It was like watching colored oil in water roll and swirl right before our eyes.  The ribbons of spontaneous light cause everyone watching to become spell bound and held captivated by its majesty.  While we were getting ready to head inside because the show was becoming dim, Slayt, who was 4 at the time said it perfectly when he said "Thank you God, that was wonderful!"

Friday, February 19, 2010

Winter morning on East Valley

Crisp winter mornings
Quiet, serene, new
The snow squeaks as if it is crying under the weight of each step
A lone owl screeches as he takes flight and glides across the cold dim sky
In the distance a fox barks as he happily skips through the field in search of breakfast
Under the apple tree a doe stands as if in a trance and stares with large onyx eyes waiting to see if a threat is posed by this wandering intruder
Nestled under the cover of a fresh blanket of snow are field mice, snug and secure from the elements
Tunnels dug through the snow are like subways on which they travel, carrying food and warm bedding
As the sun creeps over the hill tops, the light causes the white fluff to glisten like diamonds which have been spread at random
Neighboring houses begin to stir with life
Lights flicker on in the windows as if its eyes are opening
Car engines begin to grumble and cough their existence
The calm of the early morning has turned into the assiduousness of another day

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Have you ever had 'one of those days'?  We had one of those back in 2000 on April fools day.  
Before we lived in our house on the hill full time, we  used to go up there just to get away and hike.  There was a huge metal watering trough which the previous owners had left behind.  Ron had moved it to catch water coming off the roof and by April it was filled to the top.  The day we went up was a nice hot day.  The perfect day for the kids to splash in the watering trough.  Jake, Abby, Slayt and Justin all took turns dipping their head into the trough and splashing each other.  I believe they even were drinking some water.  Jake had just come up from dunking himself when something floated to the top.  It looked like a tiny little foot.  Hmmm, what would a foo.... "RON!!!!!!"    Ron came over to look at what had caused my panic and saw the horror on my face.  Floating to the surface of the water were tiny little mouse parts.  Occasionally a whole mouse would float to the top.  We quickly realized that the watering playground the kids had been playing in was a watery grave to hundreds of field mice.   Ron decided that the best remedy would be to drag the watering trough down the hill and dump it so it wouldn't be near the house.  He put a chain around the metal tub and hooked the other end up to his Chevy truck and proceeded to drag it across the hill to the perfect spot.   Ron turned off the truck and put the parking brake on and got out to unhook the heavy tub.  Just as he unhooked the tub, the weight holding the truck back released which caused the trucks parking brake to fail, sending the truck careening down the hill.  The only thing we could do was watch the truck plow through the grass and slam into a tree at the edge of the field.  At that moment, we all decided that the best thing for us to do would be to pile back into our van and call it a day.  We needed to make one stop and that would be to the store to buy a gallon of bleach for bathing in.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Mom, the dog just pee'd on me

We are a dog loving family on the most part.  There are the few exceptions to this rule however.  Ron and Jacob are not thrilled with dogs but they tolerate them as long as they don't need to be their care givers.  As a family we are also a camping family and there are no exceptions to this.  Everyone in the family loves to go camping and we usually try to do it every summer at some point, especially when the kids were younger. Quite a few years ago we used to go camping as a group with our church.  This one particular summer, Ron wasn't able to go for some reason and so it was just me and the kids.  Thinking that it would be a wonderful idea to take a protective element, we decided that our new puppy would come along with us.  I have no idea what I was thinking, because a puppy is worse than taking an infant camping.  
Justin had his own one person tent, I was in a bigger tent with the three little kids and Abby and Jacob was in a two person tent.  Guess who got stuck with the puppy?  Yes, that would be the dog lover hater, Jacob.  I justified it to him by saying that he was the only one with enough room in his tent.  He had a two person tent and Dory's blanket could fit nicely in there.  Jacob reluctantly agreed and took the dog.  Around one in the morning, I heard Jacob at my tent door saying "mom, mom, i need to sleep in your tent".  I asked him why and about died laughing at his reply.  He said "the dumb dog just pee'd all over me and my sleeping bag".  
Dory had done what most babies do and wet the bed.  Unfortunately for Jacob, it happened to be his bed also. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Another Surgery

Each time I take Danny to one of his doctors, I'm always amazed at how easy it is to forget that nothing is routine about his appointments.  Today we had to go to Elmira for his eye doctor appointment.  Danny has been seeing Dr. Morello since he was just two weeks old and we are very confident with him.  Dr. Morello is a pediatric Opthomologist and is very knowledgeable with Daniel's disabilities so it is worth the hour and a half trip.   Today we got the news that Danny would be having his fourth surgery on his eyes in a month or so.  Moebius Syndrome, one condition Danny has, causes Strabismus.  Daniel's eye problems are further complicated by his brain abnormalities.  Normally kids with Strabismus have one surgery to straighten their eyes and that is all they need because the nerves that connect to the muscles in the eyes and go to the brain figure out they need to now keep the eyes straight.  In Danny's case, there are no nerves or very few nerves that work in his eyes.  The ones that do work don't work in conjunction with the other eye and that makes it virtually impossible to keep his eyes straight just by the nerves "talking" to each other like normal eyes.  So this time the doctor is going to completely detach the muscles on the outside of his eyes and hope that there won't be any tension pulling them back.  As we have been told before, there are no guarantee that this will be the last surgery.   Maybe this one will do the trick, who knows.  All we can do is pray and wait until next time. 

Monday, February 8, 2010

Oh no she di n't.........

In an earlier blog I had written about my daughter Abby.  We have a great relationship and she is a pretty good girl.  Being 16 can pose some attitude problems for some teenagers, but honestly, I haven't had many troubles.  Perhaps that is because she used to give me fits when she was younger. 
When abby was about 2 or 3 we thought she had swallowed some money.  Being the dutiful mother, i whisked her away to the ER to get an x-ray.  Sitting in the room, waiting her turn, Abby gave the appearance of a sweet little blonde headed angel.  I could have sworn  I overheard the nurses plotting my death so they could take her home because she was so adorable.  All that would change the minute the x-ray tech took her in the room to get a picture of her stomach.  I'm pretty sure my little angel not only woke the dead in the morgue with her screaming, but she gave the nurse trying to hold her down a nervous breakdown.  It took 4 nurses and me trying to hold her down just for a simple x-ray.  After about ten minutes of this game they decided that if she had swallowed any money, she was no worse for the wear and  could go home.  As soon as the nurse told us we could go home, Abby tucked her horns back into her head, put on her halo and gave the nurse a huge smile. 
Fast forward ten years......  Abby was about 12 or 13 and had wanted to get her ears pierced for a third time.  My answer was a definitive No.   Assuming my precious angel would abide by my wishes, I didn't give it another thought.  Any smart mother would know to never assume a NO answer would deter a teenager.   However, I have never been accused of being mentally sound.  As it turned out, one particular sunday morning my mother sense kicked in.  Mother sense is a lot like spider man sense.  When this kicks in, we not only have eyes in the back of our head, we can climb walls when needed.  It is a scientific fact.  Across the room, I noticed something shiny on my daughters ear.  In a flash, I was at her side and pulled her hair away to get a better glimpse.  I do believe my blood instantly boiled because in her ear was a third hole!  Now, most mothers would have waited until after church to beat their child.  I on the other hand believe it is unfair to  torment the child with fear and trepidation of what is to come.  So, I beat her there on the spot.  No, no, no....... Actually, I didn't beat her.  I did something worse.  I whispered in her ear that if she didn't get up from her seat and go take that ear ring out of her ear I would rip it out right then and there.   Thankfully she didn't test my resolve and immediately got up and did what I had requested.  Other than a few well done eye rolls, she didn't appear to be too upset.  Until recently, Abby hasn't challenged me in that area.  Last weekend she texted me while she was at the mall to ask if she could get the tip of her ear done.  I reluctantly said yes and as it turned out she came home without it done.  There really could be worse things she could ask me to do, or not ask me and do them anyway.  I pray that Abby will always know that she can come to me with any request or problem and it will be received with honesty and love.  So far, so good.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Colors of Spring

Spring is like the beginning works of a masterpiece painting.  Just like the canvas being stretched onto its frame to prepare for the painting, is the freshly tilled soil being prepared for the life which will spring forth.  The tender shoots eagerly wait for their time of arrival onto the canvas; at the appointed hour, they burst forth with colors to delight every eye.  The stems are like the delicate yet sturdy brushes an artist uses to bring the picture to life, with the ends dipped into every sort of color imaginable.  Canary yellows become the soft and round bulbs of daffodils, the deep pinks with sprikles of electricity burst forth into Deptford Pinks. Varying depths of purples, from soft lavenders to bold magenta occupy the crocus and tulips.  As colors flow into view, new and wonderful possibilities for the end result emerge.  A person annot guess what the final painting will look like, they can only wait and see what natures artists reveal. 

I can take a punch

Sometimes boys can do the stupidest things.  At least my boys can. The old saying that 'boys will be boys' has a lot of truth to it, because girls usually will have more common sense than to try many of the things a guy will do.  Take for instance the infamous "I can take a punch" video's my two eldest son's made one night in the fall of 2008.  Little did they know that it would cost $3500 and time spent in the ER.   
Jacob and Justin have always had a tight bond.  From the beginning they have been more than just brothers but best friends.  If a person saw Jacob then Justin was right behind and visa versa.  Up until they were probably  in their late teens they had the same friends and very rarely did they go anywhere without the other. 
I believe I need to give a brief overview of the different personalities each boy has though to make it clear as to why this story is so funny.
Justin has always and will probably always be a very easy going and relatively passive person. He doesn't like to hurt anyone's feelings and would go out of his way to avoid a fight.  Jacob on the other hand has been running around like a chicken with his head cut off from the time he was born.  He came out swinging and he will probably go to heaven that way.   Jake is a very sweet kid, but his personality is the exact opposite of Justin.  Justin tries not to antagonize but  Jacob lives to drive everyone nuts with his ADHD.  Unfortunately for Justin, Jake has taken advantage of that fact quite frequently; picking fights with Justin,wrestling him to the ground then claiming victory was Jacobs favorite past time.  Little did he realize was that Justin let him win many of the times.  
Flashing forward  to the fall of 2008.  The boys got it into their head that it would be great fun to see who was the tougher male specimen by punching each other in the stomach. Unbeknown to me, they went to the shed to "box" because Jake had his punching bag up there.  After about a half hour the boys came back in, laughing and carrying on about how funny it was and told us of their escapades.  Jacob had not been in the house more than ten minutes before he started to look a little pale and feel sick.  He sat down on the step and said his side hurt.  Off to the hospital it was for us.  To make a long story short, while the boys were punching each other, Justin had managed to get a good jab in and bruise Jacob's spleen.  Thankfully they had stopped when they did and called it a night.  I do believe that the embarrassment of rehashing their story to the many doctors and nurses  that saw them was punishment enough, not to mention the fact that Jacob had to take it easy and slow down for a while.
We still have the video's the boys made and from time to time I think it would be a great idea to pull them out and show them that "they can't take a punch". 

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Slayt the big chicken

While the kids were growing up we lived on 104 acres out in the middle of no where.  When I say No Where, I really mean it felt like siberia most of the time.  It was a great place to raise kids, especially our kids because it afforded them lots of room to roam and pretend they were wilderness adventure men.  Our only rule was that they had to tell us when they were going to go exploring.  A kid can get very lost, very quickly on 104 acres.  I had already put poison control on speed dial and I didn't want to have to add search and rescue.  
During the time we lived in the country, we decided to try our hand at raising chickens, horses, turkeys and rabbits.  Rabbits multiplied like, well, rabbits and we quickly found out that they eat their young so that didn't last long.  Turkeys grow to the size of ostriches if you don't eat them and get grumpy.  They didn't last long either.  Horses just graze and look pretty and as long as they have a companion are realativly happy creatures so they stayed.  Chickens give eggs and are happy to cluck and eat bugs so the chickens found a place on our little homestead also.  Ron had constructed a cute little chicken coop with a small hole in the front and a bar inside so they could roost.  On the top of the coop, Ron had constructed a clever hatch that we could lift and reach in and get the eggs out without needing to reach into the little hole at the front.  
The day Slayt decided to take off on hike adventure was a nice day out.  It was a perfect day for exploring, or at least I'm sure that is what he was thinking.  I'm confident that in his little head he was saying to himself , "self, we are going to go find a t-rex".  Unfortunately for Slayt, the first place he looked for the giant dinosaur was in the cute little chicken coop which Ron had constructed.  
After a little while had past and the house had become noticably quiet, I decided to look for Slayt.  I called for him and he didn't answer.   I walked around the outside of the house and he still didn't answer my repeated calls.  About that time, Ron came home and so I told him that his little adventure seeker was missing in action.  We enlisted the help of the other kids and set out searching for the lost boy.  Justin headed out into the woods down by the pond.  Jacob headed up to an area where they boys had built lean-to's.  Abby searched the house and kept an eye on Ally.  Ron went down by the shed and chicken coop and came back and said he was no where to be found.  I headed down by the end of the driveway, praying as I went that Slayt hadn't gotten near the well which was near the horse barn.  Thankfully he wasn't there.   Ron decided to walk down the hill, past the chicken coop to a path that lead down into the woods.  However, as he was walking past the chicken coop, he heard a distinct whimper eminating from the coop.  Thinking it was either a very sick chicken or our wayward son, Ron lifted the hatch door and sitting on the bar was our little explorer.  As Ron lifted the hatch, he heard Slayt whimpering " someone help me, someone, help the boy".    Slayt had climbed up onto the bar so that he could get up off the hay which was covered with chicken poo and the reason he hadn't climbed out the way he came in was because the chicken door on the front had slid closed and the lid was too heavy to be lifted.  So, inside he sat, just as a chicken does, clucking out the only thing he could think, "someone help the boy".