Thursday, October 30, 2008

Kiss me. I voted.

James and I voted by absentee ballot this week. It felt very powerful and responsible. No matter who you vote for, let your voice be heard in this historic election. I'm not going to tell you who you should vote for--it's a very personal thing. Just make sure you *cough*ba*cough* ROCK the vote. ;)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Brownie Bits

My 3 little brownies are growing and changing so much these days. It's hard to believe I have an 11 year-old, an almost 9 year-old, and a 4 year-old. When did this happen?

A lady waiting next to me at the pharmacy today guessed my age to be 23. Twenty-three. She must have been picking up a prescription for cataracts. When I told her I was in fact 36 years-old, I might as well have told her I had 2 heads. She proclaimed it had to be because I'm black. She reported that she is envious of black people because according to her, we don't age as quickly as other races. And then I uttered words I never thought I'd say to another human being, "Well you know what they say, 'Black don't crack!'" Her reaction was priceless.

But back to the kiddos!

Savannah is now almost as tall as I am! And I may be biased, but she is as pretty as a picture. She has been continuing to get extra resources for her dyslexia, but her confidence received a serious boost when she successfully completed the "Wheelchair Driver's Course" at the kids' school! Her school's Special Needs population is lucky to have her--although I have witnessed her driving some of the kids and let's just say Miss Daisy would be laying into the horn behind her. We recently saw the orthopedist for a follow up on her scoliosis. He said it looked like she had grown 3 inches since he saw her over the summer. The curves in her spine are still there, but they aren't any worse, thank God. We take her back in early Spring for another set of x-rays.

Mariah is moving up to the next reading group! And she has started wearing her glasses more. Correlation? Hmm. She still has an abiding love for ponies, puppies, and anything pink. She has been invited to a Halloween/birthday party this Friday afternoon (no school for the kids) and she is going as Princess Fiona from Shrek. Is it bad that she makes an uber cute ogre?

Isaiah is going to be Clifford The Big Red Dog for Halloween. We found the perfect costume at a local thrift shop---$2! And it's great for 'Saiah because there is nothing to put on his head. It's not like he would keep it on. Monday we started his private Occupational Therapy sessions at the local childrens' hospital. We were on the waiting list for 6 months. We gave up on their waiting list for his Physical Therapy and that's how we ended up going to Gig Harbor every Wednesday. But it's SO worth the trip. His PT is just great. I'm still feeling out the OT, but Isaiah seems to be smitten. Just wait until she asks him to actually work.

Parent/teacher onferences are coming up for all 3 of them, so stay tuned!

Be Still My Heart

I went back to the doctor today for my Holter Monitor test results. (They basically strapped a tape recorder to my chest to monitor my heart for 24 hours. It all stemmed from a rapid and irregular heartrate I had during a routine appointment). The good news is that I wasn't having any tachycardic episodes or arrhythmias. And my blood pressure is perfect. The bad news is that I still have an abnormally high heartrate. The doctor prescribed Atenolol to slow it down. I just keep thinking it's going to cause me to start moving in slooooow moooooootion. I am to take it everyday for the next 3 months and then schedule a follow-up with my doc. She also told me to cut back my caffeine (*silently screaming: noooooooooo!*) and try to reduce my stress. Yeah, right. She suggested I try taking deep breaths when I start getting overwhelmed.

Perfect. I'll be right back there tomorrow for hyperventilation.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Daddy's Girl

Today is my father's birthday. If he were alive, he'd be 64. Ever since he passed away 8 months ago, I still find it strange to refer to him in the past tense. He wasn't the father he could have been or should have been, but he was my father. And I loved him even when it was obvious he didn't love himself. Or at times when he loved himself a little bit too much. Truth be told, I am a Daddy's Girl at heart. Having my father's love and attention meant more to me than I have ever admitted. I think that's why I admire James so much as a father to our children. He is everything my father wasn't and that's part of the reason I love him so much. When it comes to his kids, James is thoughtful and selfless. He's also present. Even when he's deployed, the kids and I still know he's here. My father wasn't always there. When he was, we did have some happy times. Like our family trip to Sand Bridge that summer. Or when he actually taught me how to ride a bike. Those are the memories I keep close to my heart...especially on days like today.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

What can brown do for you?

There is no sight quite as thrilling as the UPS truck slowing down and stopping in front of the house. I get absolutely giddy--even if I can't remember ordering anything. Yesterday, Doug Heffernan's blond, younger sister brought joy to my doorstep in the form of my brand new rain jacket. This might not seem like a big deal, but living in the Pacific Northwest where it rains more than it shines--the proper weather gear is essential. I spent more money on the jacket than I probably should have, but I look at it as an investment. Plus, it looks really cute on me. Heck, I hope it rains today just so I can wear it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

P.S.A. for Today...

Elizabeth Hasselbeck is a twit.

We now return you to regularly scheduled programming.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Rainy Days and Mondays

Blah. It's rainy, cold, and Monday. I needed 24 more hours of weekend. Savannah has a dentist appointment this afternoon which requires Valium an hour before. The Valium should be for me. James is supposed to meet us there. The last time I took Savannah, I left with a headache. She has "soft" teeth genetically and has had a lot of work done in the past. I'm pretty sure she's traumatized, goodness knows I've been. Hopefully after today's appointment, she'll need just one more. And then we start with the orthodontist. Good times...good times.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

En Garde!

James' First Sergeant (boss lady) and I hit it off immediately after we met earlier this year. She is funny, and old school, and we totally get each other. So I was naturally thrilled for her and her husband when she gave birth to their first child, a beautiful baby boy! As she struggled with going back to work after her maternity leave, she asked me if would agree to be a short term "guardian/escort" for Baby V if anything were to happen to her and/or her husband. It's a pretty big deal for a dual military couple. I would be authorized to pick up the baby from daycare, authorize his medical care...basically act as his parent, on behalf of his parents. She sent over the Special Power of Attorney paperwork today for me to sign.

All I know is that if I sign it, James' name better not appear on the duty roster for a loooooong time...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Baby Steps

Today was a half-day for the girls and physical therapy for Isaiah. It's a bit of a drive over a very scary bridge, but I do it for my little guy. He obviously knew where we were going today and had other plans because he began to wail as soon as the front wheels of the van hit the bridge. I guess he was having flashbacks of last week....*insert flashback sequence here*:

Last week everything was going relatively well when PT Larry (whom I admire and totally respect) decided to try a new balance technique with Isaiah which involved standing him up and letting him fall. It was terrifying for both son and mother. At the end of the torture session, Larry came over and basically thanked me for not killing him. He said that Isaiah has all the potential to WALK BY HIMSELF and that he just needs to work on trusting himself. He literally needs to learn how to fall and get back up again. The possibility of Isaiah's being able to walk has always held a special place in my heart. I rejoice in every milestone, no matter how tiny--but Walking is in a league by itself.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pumpkin Picking

Saturday we treated the kids to a trip to the pumpkin patch. I have such fond memories of going when I was a kid--I can't believe it's taken us this long to go. In addition to having a pumpkin patch, this place is also a Christmas tree farm. (I haven't had luck with live trees in the past. I'm not going to try and be a hero this year either, i.e. it's Martha Stewart's prelit, K-Mart special all the way). But it was neat to show the kids how they are supposed to grow in nature.

The kids actually agreed on a "family" pumpkin. It looks more like a giant, orange pear. Though I have to admit, I fell in love with it too. It's as unique as we are. We also picked out several smaller pumpkins and gourds to decorate the house. And then, due to the economy we will be forced to eat them.

After pumpkin picking, we indulged in something called "Elephant Ears" which received mixed reviews from our brood. It's huge, flat, fried dough brushed with butter and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon (although, I use the terms "brushed" and "sprinkled" loosely. The guy who made our ear used a PAINT brush for the butter and the restaurant-size container of cinnamon didn't even have a top...)

The girls fed the goats and Isaiah rode a pony before we called it a day. The weather was absolutely perfect. There's a link to the complete album down on the left.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Girls' Day Out

James and the kids had the day off today (lucky them), so I decided to take the girls to see "Beverly Hills Chihuahua". We arrived early, so we ended up walking across the street to the "Justice" girls' clothing boutique. The girls picked out some really cute hoodies and long T's for layering this fall. The sales lady also convinced us to buy candy while we were there, which we promptly smuggled into the cinema.

The movie was actually tolerable to my 36 year-old sensibilities. The girls gave it two enthusiastic thumbs up. (Not to mention we've spent a great deal of time since we've been home perusing the pages of the Seattle Rescue Shelter online....)

Afterward, we headed back across the street to Ben & Jerry's. After sampling, Mariah went with 2 scoops of vanilla on a generic cone. Don't know if I'll ever take her back with me. Savannah had a more adventurous coffee/vanilla combo. I scanned the menu for a lactose-free choice and said a silent prayer as I finally asked for a fruit smoothie. I guess I chose correctly: I'm not typing this from the bathroom.

It was a good day for the Brown women.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

We've come a long way, baby!

James and I recently celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary. I guess we showed them! We celebrated with lunch where the legend began: McDonald's. James' pick-up line to me was, afterall, "Do fries go with that shake?" Totally kidding, but wouldn't that have been hysterical?! What he really asked me was "Can I have a #3 with a Sprite?" Boy oh boy did he get more than that. The rest, as they say, is history.

It is 2008, right?

So, I guess it's due time for me to step into the new century! Welcome to my blog! Whoa. I love my family and I love talking about my family, so this forum is perfect. I invite you on this journey with us!