Friday, July 30, 2010

The Beauty of Skinned Knees

We were out exloring a new park the other day when Isaiah ~ not looking where he was going, again ~ stumbled over a huge rock. J swooped in for the save, albeit too little, too late. Bam! Zay went down to his knees. It didn't look bad right away. But the way he was carrying on, you would thought he had been severed at the waist. Daddy was cleaning the debris off of Zay's legs when I noticed the blood. And that's when it hit me: my son was walking, tripped, and skinned his knees. Just like a typical 6 year-old boy.

Just like a typical 6 year-old boy.

One year ago, at 5 years-old, Isaiah started walking. For real walking. No walker, walls, passing by legs, therapists, or furniture to hold onto.

July 31, 2009

Look how far he has come...

July 29, 2010

By 2011, Usain Bolt will have nothin' on Zay.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Wheelchair Runaround: Oh the Bitter Irony

A durable medical equipment vendor in Northern Virginia recently got to see a side of me rarely seen. (NO. Not that side...)

I am non-confrontational by nature. I was voted "Best Friend" by my 4th grade class. But if you try to dupe me or in some other way wind up on my doo-doo list, you will be rebuked. And if you try any of the above AND it involves my kids,'ve been warned.

All they had to do was replace a knob on the back of Isaiah's pediatric wheelchair (his "extreme stroller"). The knob attaches to the screw that attaches to the bar that keeps the seat upright or reclined. And keeps it street legal for bus use. They gave us a temporary, workable solution back in the spring. Told us the part would be available in 2 weeks. That was in March. What we've experienced has been a lot of empty promises, countless minutes waiting on hold, and a serious lack of decent customer service. All I wanted was straight answers.

It wasn't all about the knob. Well, not entirely. It was about a company, who provides equipment to individuals who very often can't speak for themselves ~ clients whose very day-to-day existence depends on the care and consideration of others ~ doing the right thing.

My son can walk, but he's not a safe walker--physically or cognitively. He uses his wheelchair EVERY SINGLE DAY. He uses it on the school bus during the regular school year and more recently, during the summer session. We depend on it. If it's not 100% in any capacity, that affects us all.

You would think a business that provides those services would realize that.

And for the most part, I have found they do. We've had nothing but positive DME experiences up to this point. I know it's not an industry-wide problem. Someone dropped the ball in our particular case (the original tech who evaluated the chair and was supposed to put the order in for part is no "no longer with the company"...) But I'm not going to give them the chance to drop it again. There are too many other companies out there who take pride in what they do. Who understand our daily struggles. Who see the worth of their work and what it means to families like ours.

The rep. I dealt with did call me back to apologize. (Earlier, J and I had inadvertently slipped into our Good Cop/Bad Cop routine on speakerphone. Can you guess who I was?) I refrained from rolling my neck and sucking my teeth, but I didn't mince words. It must have worked. The part will be in by mid-week--no charge.

For all that we've been through with this company, you'd think they'd throw in a uniformed technician to push Isaiah around for us for about 4 months ~ just about the length of time we've waited for the knob.

Monday, July 19, 2010

My Name is Sharon and I'm a Geek.

Believe it or not, I didn't start off as one.

I was only 5 years-old when the original Star Wars movie was released. The first time I watched it was last year. Savannah had really gotten into the animated "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" series. She informed me that in order to truly understand, the original trilogy in addition to the prequel trilogy were required viewing. We spent last summer watching, re-watching, discussing, and critiquing all 6 of Star Wars movies. I must admit, there was something cheesetastic about them. Once J got back, the girls went to work on coaxing him to the Dark Side. Their very own Mace Windu.

We were thrilled to take the kids downtown to the Star Wars in Concert event Saturday night. A live orchestra performed with a live choir. The music was from all of the Star Wars movies--which were presented in dynamic sequences. Anthony Daniels (the one and only C-3PO!) was MC. I thought the girls were going to fall out of their seats with excitement. Isaiah sat through the whole show. He loves music. And he loves lights. So yeah ~ he was feelin' it.

I have to be honest: I was expecting a "Geekfest". There were one or 2 people who didn't disappoint, but for the most part the crowd was "normal". Families, couples, singles, moms with kids, dads with kids, grandparents...everyone sharing the same appreciation. So if that makes us geeks, then I guess we were in good company.

Had to outfit Mace and the kids proper

Storming in like Troopers

Dodging the Death Star

The Force is strong with them!

Troopers and BOBA FETT

Carbonite produces killer jazz hands

The music was fantastic! Totally unforgettable night for the Brownies.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Do Fries Go with That Shake?

Just when I thought it was safe to go to sleep and not awaken to news of a local earthquake...

Now, before my West Coast friends start snickering, I have to preface this post with the fact that this was the D.C. area's biggest recorded quake since they started keeping records. Not a whopper, but definitely more than a whimper at a respectable 3.6 on the Richter scale. Smaller than my first West Coast earthquake last year, but definitely the talk of the town today.

So did I feel it?

Let's just review: I spent 3 hours at the pool with the kids yesterday in 90+ degree heat. I stayed up past my bedtime glued to those baby shows. The quake hit at 5:04 am. And Zay doesn't have school on Fridays.

An actual truck or an actual train barreling through my room this morning would have barely opened one eye. A baby earthquake never stood a chance.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

"I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant"


How does that happen? I KNOW I am not pregnant right now. And I am absolutely sure I would know if I was. I am 3 for 3 in the "I-think-I'm-pregnant-oh-look-the-test-is positive" game.

Call me a cynic, but that television show on the Discovery Health channel is either filled with mothers-to-be who have the worst cases of denial ever or it is actually possible to not know you are pregnant until the baby lands squarely in the toilet.

All women are different; each pregnancy is unique. I get that. But even if a doctor tells you or your significant other that one or both of you are unable to conceive, there are just some things you are going to notice. Like a missing period for 9 months. No matter how erratic my cycle has been the last 30+ years, I have yet to go close to a year without a period. Unless I was pregnant. Or nursing.

I could even understand missing or mistaking the first few flutters of movement. But well into the second trimester, the "it's just gas" explanation just ain't going to fly. I could see my kids' tiny elbows and knees move across my swollen belly--from the outside. How could someone not notice that?! That is not bad Chinese food, lady! Get to a doctor!

Which brings me to another point: my pregnant silhouette was unmistakable. People claimed I didn't look pregnant from the back with my first pregnancy, but there was no mistaking what was going on when you saw the front or side view. Savannah looked like a smuggled basketball shoved up my shirt. Note: that's not Savannah poking out in the picture. That is actually Isaiah at 36 weeks. Yes, polyhydramnios can turn you into a circus freak.

So I guess I have to concede that it's not unheard of deliver a baby without even knowing you're pregnant. Obviously it happens. It's not like this is Season One of this show--

Hate to cut this short, but I think my water just broke!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Too Close for Comfort

Sometime during the night, someone stole my bicycle out of our carport.

I hadn't ridden it in about 7 years. Not even sure it had a chain on it. But that's not the point. No, it wasn't locked in the shed ~ we were actually going to get rid of it. But it's not like it was sitting out on the curb with a "Free to a Good Home" sign on it. It was in my carport. Just feet from the home where my children were sleeping. And that's what unnerves me.

I want to set up a sting operation, like "Bait Car". J is convinced some badbutt kids committed the theft. They must have been soaked because it stormed last night (where is that wayward bolt of lightning when you need it?!)

I'm thinking it was probably a deer. Yep, the one who ate my plants. Probably an avid reader of my blog, he saw those snarky comments I made and rode off into the night:

"Haha! You said no hooves on the hostas, but said nothing about your Huffy! Peace out, suckaaaaa!"

Joke's on him. He forgot the helmet. Who's laughing now, Bambi Boy?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Prayers for Avery

Today, my thoughts and prayers are with my friend, Nicky (My Crazy Normal Life). The next 48 hours are going to be critical for her young son, Avery. Avery and his older brother, Isaiah, have a condition known as mitochondrial disease (or "mito"). It is a very unpredictable and progressive disease which very often robs parents of their children before adulthood. It is one of the conditions that Zay underwent testing. Avery's little body is fighting infection.

Avery was coded and intubated yesterday. He is resting comfortably now on the ventilator. My prayers are that Nicky and her husband will feel enveloped by the love and support from their friends and family. That God will comfort them...and give them renewed strength and wisdom.

Monday, July 12, 2010

D'oh! A deer!

Just look at it sitting there. Looking all smug.

The labs from CSI aren't in yet, but I have reason to believe this is the Prime Suspect in my heinous hosta heist. It had the nerve to saunter into my backyard this morning...helping itself to green snacks along the way. When it got nice and full, that's where it plopped---right there in the sunshine.

Yeah, I get that they have been displaced by construction. Boo-hoo. But we are going to have to learn to co-exist.

If they stay away from my flowers and shrubs, I promise not to hunt without a license.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


One of Savannah's favorite hobbies is plane-spotting. Good thing for her we live near one of the most popular places in America for watching planes take off and land.

Gravelly Point sits just north of Reagan National airport, which awards some ridiculously close encounters with airplanes.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Oh McDonald's! And a Farm!

It seemed like the perfect day for a breakfast out and a morning spent outside. So I awakened my Sleeping Beauties with promises of McDonald's pancakes and a visit to a local farm.

My farm animals


Peek-a-boo, barnyard style.

Zay peeking in the chicken coop

Now that's a lot of bacon, Mommy!

Eat mor chikin!