Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Love is a Battlefield

Having a special needs child means that life can sometimes be a little rough.

Sure, there are emotional ups and downs.  Good days and bad days.  Tears and laughter.

But it can also be rough on the body.

My arms are often sore from Lily's "super pinch".

My back frequently aches from toting around 40 pounds - especially when those 40 pounds don't want to be held.

I was putting on my make-up this morning and realized that I had a sore spot on my forehead.  I then remembered that my head got in the way of a flying toy yesterday.

I currently have a lovely scrape on my thigh from the corner of the metal trash can.  I got this wound when I attempted to run quickly after Lily when she grabbed the Rice Chex box and made a mad dash for her room.

In the last four years, I have tripped, slid, fallen down, been bitten, pinched, had my hair pulled, stubbed my toes, and had my arms squeezed more than in all the other 36 years combined.

So much discomfort from one little girl.

But I have also been kissed, hugged, snuggled, cuddled, lovingly squeezed, smiled at, had my cheeks patted and my hand held more times than I could possibly count.

So much affection from that same little girl.

I  may take more ibuprofen than the average mom but I wouldn't trade that little girl for anything.

Singin' the Praises

Have you discovered the Big Kid's SleepSack?

Oh my.

Can I just say "greatest invention ever"???

Well.... maybe not the greatest.  That would be a tie between Spanx and the air-conditioned seats in my Tahoe.

Here's what it looks like:

Big Kids' Halo SleepSack - Purple
Buy new: $19.99 
1 Used & new from $19.99 

Let me just point out a couple of the finer features of this amazing garment.

One - Lily stays covered up all night long.  No worrying about her freezing her tushie off because she's flung the blankets to the far reaches of the bed.

Two - It has an inverted zipper.  Or in laymen's terms, the zipper is upside down.  Genius!  When Lily tucks her sweet chin down to her chest to sleep, she doesn't encounter an enormous cold metal zipper in the way.

Three - And my personal favorite.  Lily has not quite figured out the inverted zipper trick so she cannot unzip herself in the middle of the night, remove her diaper, wet all over the sheets, and then wake up at 3 AM wondering why she's wet and freezing her tushie off.

Thanks to the SleepSack, I've eliminated at least one of the reasons Lily wakes up at night.  Which also means I've eliminated one of the reasons I wake up at night.

And that, my friends, makes for one very happy momma.

Ahhhhh.... sweet dreams are mine again.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

You Might Be a Special Needs Parent if....

Lately, I've been doing some thinking on what makes those of us with special needs children just a little different from parents of typical children.

Here goes....

You Might Be a Special Needs Parent if....

  • you send Christmas cards to at least three therapists.
  • you speak in abbreviations that no one without a special needs child understands.
  • you have a lock on your pantry door.
  • you know what xanthan gum and hemp milk is.
  • your child's keepsakes include lots of evaluations, medical records, and hospital bracelets.
  • your babysitter is studying to be a therapist or a nurse.
  • you scoff at the age suggestions on toys.
  • you use the internet for research more than anything else.
  • your kitchen counter is lined with vitamins, minerals, and other dietary supplements.
  • your refrigerator is full of gluten-free flours.
  • the first place you visit in a bookstore is the special needs parenting section.
  • you know what the abbreviations IEP, ARD, ABA, BCBA, PPCD, PDD-NOS, and ECI mean.
  • you know which of your child's arms is a better blood draw.
  • you choose a restaurant based on whether or not they have a gluten-free menu.
  • the word "normal" has become a relative term in your family.
  • you know what a blessing each developmental milestone is.
  • you have learned the true meaning of unconditional love.
These are just a few that came to my mind.  

I'd love to hear more so leave a comment and add to the list!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving Smackdown

After a nice heavy Thanksgiving dinner, some families like to doze on the couch.  Or take a relaxing walk.

Not my family.

For the past couple of years, my oldest nephew has organized a family flag football challenge.

  Thankfully, he has the gift of mercy and doesn't make us all line up for team selection like in middle school.  I would be the last man standing for sure.  My athletic prowess is sorely under-appreciated.

You might notice in the picture below that we were short a yellow flag.  So I was selected to wear a yellow bag which totally made me an easy target - completely unfair.

At first, it's all fun and games.

People slapping high fives and encouraging one another.

Letting the little ones sneak by you.

Then it starts to get a little more physical.

And it's every man for himself.

My dad is very serious about putting pressure on the QB.  And Wayne is very afraid.

No more "letting" the kids win.

My little brother catches a pass and makes a break for the end zone.

Right about now, he's thinking this was much easier when he was 16!

He scores a touchdown then promptly falls and fakes an injury to buy a few minutes of rest.

The game continues - notice Ryan in the peach shirt with the ball - but Alan feels his work on the field is done and heads for the showers.

At least, I think that's what he's doing.  Why else would he be running full steam ahead in the wrong direction?

A ball is fumbled and I quickly lay down on it.  No one's going to strip the ball from me!  I thought it was quick thinking and smart playing on my part.  Until my nephew informs me, with utter disgust in his voice I might add, that I should've scooped the ball up and ran with it.  I just can't make him happy...

My whole goal for this year's game was to take out Austin, my oldest nephew.  Two years ago, in our first ever family game, I missed two stinkin' passes and Austin says, "Does Aunt Lana have to play?".  So I took the little punk to the mat.  Was it illegal?  Yes.  Do I care?  No.

Wayne watches in utter disbelief as Reagan wonders who got turkey grease on the ball and made it so slippery.

Game over when the old man - I mean, the MVP goes down.  But he was happy to go home with a dirty uni - a sure sign of some hard playing.

I've decided that next year, we should forget the football and just have a drill team competition.  I feel pretty confident that I could dominate at dancing on the field.  

On second thought, I don't think I can high kick it like I used to.  

That's it - I'm voting for an after dinner nap!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

An Old New Discovery

I am coming clean today.

I am obsessed with books.

I have an entire wall of them in my study - 34 shelves of books, people!

I have a TBR (To Be Read) pile on my nightstand.

I have an under bed box of books.... you guessed it - under my bed.

I have two baskets of them sitting by a chair in my bedroom.  These are the ones I pick up and slowly make my way through a little bit at a time - mostly non-fiction.

When we were moving into this house, my mom wanted to remove those books from the baskets and put them in the study bookshelves.

The horror!

I quickly told her that I needed to have these books around me, close at hand.  She gave me a strange look and backed away slowly.  I chose to ignore her.  Some people just don't understand.

Now that you know one of my deepest, darkest secrets, what do you think was one of the first things I did when Lily was diagnosed with autism?

Buy a book, of course.  And not just one, my friend.

Here's a partial list of books on autism I currently own:  "Facing Autism", "How to Be a Sister", "A Real Boy", "Let Me Hear Your Voice", "The Out of Sync Child", "The Child with Special Needs", "Dancing with Max", "Act Early Against Autism"...... I could go on and on.

We finally reached a point where Ryan gently and sweetly told me to STOP BUYING BOOKS!  Other members of my family like to spend their money on less important things, like food and toilet paper.

Since I cannot live without books, I had to find another way to feed my obsession.  A cheaper way.

So I have rediscovered the library.  I have a friend who makes fun of me for going to the library (and you know who you are, CB!) but I look at it this way - I'm saving my marriage while still getting my fill of books.

But the library I prefer is kind of "exclusive".  You have to live in a certain zip code to be able to use it for free.  And alas, I live in a lowlier zip code.

So I cheat.

People will do anything to get a fix and I am no different, though it shames me to say.

I have another good friend who volunteers at this particular library.  And at the risk of blowing our cover, she gave me my own library card - registered under her name!  The joy!

All I do is wear a hat and dark sunglasses, answer to a false name, and get ready to run like the wind to my getaway car if alarms start going off when I exit the building.

The risk adds a certain element of mystery to the whole experience, I must say.

But the really cool thing is that when I log into "my" library account online, it shows me how much money I've saved by checking out books instead of buying them.

And that's when I go to Ryan and say, "You thought you could control my habit.  But if you try to deny me, I'll just get it somewhere else, buddy boy.  And I'll save you money at the same time.  Tricky me!  So stick that in your pipe and smoke it!"

I feel so much better now.  Confession is good for the soul.

Dig a Little Deeper

A long time ago, I went to college to get a degree in Elementary Education.  A professor told us, "You can find something good to say about any child.  You may have to look a little harder in some children, but there is always some good there."

She was right.

I had my share of students that were easy to compliment.  And then I had those students whose gifts were buried a little deeper.  It was my job to discover those hidden gems.

The lessons I learned, both as a college student and as a teacher, have served me well as a mom.

Some days, it's so easy to find the good in my children.  Other days.... well, not so much.

But a lot of it depends on me.

I can focus on the fact that Ryley has misplaced or cracked a couple of her camera's memory cards and we've had to buy more.  Or I can celebrate the fact that she's capturing our family history for generations to come.

I can focus on the fact that no matter how many cute storage containers I buy to hold Reagan's yarn, she's never going to keep it organized like I wish she would.  Or I can celebrate the fact that she's using her knitting talents to raise money for children in Guatemala.

I can focus on the fact that Lily is not able to do many of the cute little arts and crafts projects I did with her big sisters when they were younger.   Or I can celebrate the fact that she likes to scribble with markers.

So many times, my perspective is what makes the difference in my day.

I can weep, gnash my teeth, and wish things were different.  Or I can wipe my eyes, quit bellyaching, get up off my fanny, and start digging for that hidden treasure.

I can feel sorry for myself that I'm still changing Lily's diapers or I can change her, tickle her tummy, and get a big belly laugh.

I can grudgingly pack my daughters' lunches or I can pack a surprise treat or stick in little notes or comics.

I can cook supper and be miserable about it or I can play "Name that Tune" with my girls while working.

I can curse the laundry or I can keep all the money that I find in the washer and dryer and treat myself to a mocha.

"This is the day the Lord has made.  We will rejoice and be glad in it."  (Psalm 118:24 NIV)

Even better, The Message says, "let's celebrate and be festive!"

I don't know about you, but I like a party.

So grab a shovel and let's dig for the good stuff.

Then we can do as Kool and the Gang advised:  "Celebrate good times, come on!"

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Sunday Swing

Some families go for a Sunday drive.  Lily prefers a nice, relaxing Sunday swing.

Chilling on the hammock swing listening to some tunes is another good way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon.  The fact that we managed to catch her sitting still is a minor miracle!

Goodness knows Lily can be a handful but moments like this make it all worth it!  

And the fact that you can't see my gray hairs?  Another minor miracle!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Getting Ready for Sunday

Being the preacher's family, Sundays are big days for us.  Most Saturday nights are spent putting the finishing touches on the sermon.   Everyone gets involved.

Ryan makes sure his powerpoint slides are in order while Lily searches youtube for any videos that might make great sermon illustrations.

It's tough being a preacher's kid.  All the work and none of the glory.  Sigh....

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Importance of Being Understood

Imagine with me for a moment that your child cannot speak.

You think her rain boots from last year still fit so you put them on her.  She wears them for a couple of hours and when you help her take them off, you see an angry blister that has rubbed on the back of her heel.

You're cooking spaghetti for supper and even though your child has eaten it with sauce every day of her life to this point, today she decides she wants it plain.  You offer her pasta with sauce, she pushes it away so you assume she's not hungry.

She has a headache but you just think she's being grumpy.

She's thirsty but you don't know it.  Or she'd really like milk but you give her lemonade.

She wants to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse but you put in an Elmo DVD instead.

So much of each day is spent guessing.

And trying to ward off the frustration your child feels when she is not understood.

Even though Lily has not been sleeping well for the past three weeks now, we really didn't have any other symptoms that warranted a visit to the doctor - until the "vomit show" 2 nights ago.  We loaded up and headed to the clinic yesterday, fully expecting to hear, "Lily has a virus.  It just needs to run its course.  No medicine needed."

Argh.... I strongly dislike the v-word.

Turns out Lily has an ear infection.

"And the Bad Parent of the Year Award goes to..... Lana Rush!  Lana didn't realize her child has had an ear infection for the past three weeks!  Sitting in the doctor's office, she suddenly remembered that the one sure sign of an ear infection in Lily is that she cannot sleep!  Congratulations Lana!  Here's your trophy - display it with shame!"

OK - I don't really feel like the Bad Parent of the Year.

But I was reminded once again of an important role that I play in my daughter's life.  I am her advocate.  I must speak up for her because she cannot do it herself.

As parents, we know our children better than anyone else in the world.  And that little nagging voice in your head that tells you something just isn't right with your child?  Listen to it!

Maybe the pediatrician will think I'm crazy if I bring my child into the office simply because she isn't sleeping.  Maybe she'll think I'm really only concerned because I'm not getting enough sleep and I'm a lazy bum.  Maybe she'll think I'm one of those overprotective parents.  Or a hypochondriac.

That's fine with me.

Because at the end of the day, my job isn't about not looking foolish in front of others.  My job is to stand up for my child.

And that's a job I want to do well.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cracking the Code

Remember yesterday's post when I told you that Lily has been adding to her "menu" of gibberish?  And how we had that two hour conversation in the middle of Monday night?

Well, I think I figured out what she was trying to say:

"Hey Mom -

Guess what?  Tuesday night at 12:20 AM, I'm going to throw up!  And again at 1:50 AM.  And again at
3:45 AM.  We're going to get to spend another night up together!  Woohoo!"

Calgon, take me away....

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


"'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe."
Lewis Carroll, 1872

No, I haven't started speaking another language.

Though I don't believe this poem qualifies as another language - just fun gibberish.

But this poem did come to my mind in the middle of last night.  Around 2 AM to be precise.

Lily has been making a larger variety of sounds the last couple of days.  We've seen moments like this before so we've learned the hard way not to get our hopes up too much.  This just seems to be something that comes and goes but always leaves us with the feeling that she WILL talk one day.

So anyway, Lily wakes up around 2 AM last night.  I do the usual check of the diaper, offer a drink; that kind of thing.

But she's having none of it.

She wants to talk.  And she wants me to listen.  And offer the occasional appropriate feedback - "uh-huh", "is that right?", "you don't say!" and that kind of thing.

So talk we did.

For about two hours.

We walked and ran around the house.  We sat at the table.  We sat on the floor.  She sat on me.

About 4 AM, I deposited her back in her bed with a favorite music toy that she must have with her to fall asleep.  She dozed off and that was that.

While I don't really want to make a habit of two hour conversations in the middle of the night, when you've waited as long as we have to get some new gibberish from your baby girl, sleep can wait!

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Little Alone Time

Every Monday evening around 5:30 PM, a very good thing happens.

Our sweet babysitter, Julie, shows up at my house.

Now Julie is not your average babysitter - she's a babysitter with a bonus!  She's a fourth year University of Texas student who will graduate this May with a degree in Speech Pathology.  So while she's hanging out with Lily, she's also doing things to encourage her to talk.  

She starts cooking supper and getting ready for The Bird to come back to the nest after a long day at school.

This usually entails a series of stretching exercises, eating a quick bowl of Wheaties, and lacing up her running shoes.  Well....  not really.  But you do have to be on your toes around Lily Bird.

I deliver Lily to the kitchen table, give her an extra big squeeze and walk right back out the door - usually for a date with my sweet husband.

While I'm out gallivanting, my baby girl is being fed, showered, loved on and tucked in all cozy for the night.  I can gallivant much easier knowing Lily is being well-taken care of.

But this Monday night, Ryan had a meeting and couldn't gallivant with me.  I was on my own.

Now for some people, this might be alarming.  But I'm not one of those people.  I happen to like having a little alone time.  In fact, I'm usually a much nicer person if I get a little alone time on a fairly regular basis.

For my birthday last year, my mom and my mother-in-law sent me for an overnight stay at Barton Creek Resort all by myself.  Ahhhhh....  I got there at check-in time, immediately changed into sweats, took a nap, got a massage,  ordered room service, read until I couldn't keep my eyes open, slept through breakfast, rolled out of bed in time for a pedicure and manicure, then checked out of the resort and headed back to reality.

I was one happy momma when I returned home, which means the whole family was happy.

So I'm gallivanting alone and this is what I do:

  • Head to Costco for milk and apple juice  
  • Get Fire Bowl coconut soup to go
  • Eat said soup in car while flipping through a magazine
  • Go to Barnes & Noble and read free books for 2 hours
I know what you're thinking.

People could get arrested for having this much fun.  I'm not afraid, though.  I like to live on the edge.  I laugh in the face of danger.  

If some Monday night you happen to see me out gallivanting, approach at your own risk.  I could get you in some serious trouble with The Law.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Just 'A Swingin

After many failed attempts and lots of different kinds of swings, Lily has finally discovered just how fun swinging can be.

My parents got Lily a little yellow bucket swing for her birthday.  On their last visit here, we hung it from a tree branch in the backyard.

I'll admit everyone's expectations were kind of low.  Lily has never been a big swinger, even when she was an infant.

Insert sidenote here:  Just to clarify - I'm referring to "swinger" in the verb form, not the noun form.  Lily has been called a flirt but it's never gone further than smiles, eyelash batting, and gentle squeezes.

I am also positive Lily knows when all of us really want her to like something.

All of us transform into Vanna White, running back and forth in front of the new item, flipping switches to make lights and music, speaking in octaves much higher than normal, and trying to capture the moment on film.  We try way too hard to "sell it".

The result of our efforts?  She won't even look at it.

I know she's doing it on purpose.  She will look at anything but what we're trying to show her.  She can be so hard-headed - a trait I firmly believe skipped right over me and came straight from my dad.

So we've learned the best way to introduce Lily to something new is to place it in her environment and leave it alone.  Act like it's not even there.  Step away from the toy, ma'am.

She discovers it on her own and once it's her idea, she won't set it down for a week.  It becomes the new favorite.

So that's how we treated the swing.

Insert second sidenote here:  We did actually put her in the swing for about one minute since Mimi and Papa were here but all of us are learning not to take it personally when she doesn't immediately respond with unbridled enthusiasm - or treats new things like the scourge of the playroom.

The swing has now been hanging in the backyard for about a month.  And just this past week, Lily "discovered" it.  And now wants to swing.  Lots.  And swing BIG.

She wants you to face her, hold the sides of the bucket, walk under the swing while pushing her until you can't reach anymore, then let go.

It's good, clean, scary fun.  Not to mention hilariously funny.

We've waited quite a while to watch her enjoy this childhood pastime.  And as much fun as she's having, it doesn't quite compare to the joy we're feeling.


Best Cooker in the World

Chicken and dumplings is my all time favorite food.  I think I could eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day of my life.  I would need to buy bigger pants but it would totally be worth it.

When my Mamaw Askew was alive, she always made chicken and dumplings for my birthday supper. And hers were definitely the best I've ever tasted.

So I started hanging out in the kitchen with her when she made them, pencil and paper in hand, taking notes while she cooked.  It went a little something like this:

Mamaw - "Oh, my broth seems kind of thin.  I think I'll add a little milk to it.  Hand me that empty cream of chicken soup can, Lana."

Lana - "Here you go.  Are you putting milk in the can?"

Mamaw - "Yes.  It just needs a little and I don't want to get a measuring cup dirty."

Lana - "Well, how do you know how much milk to add?"

Mamaw - "Oh, you can just tell.  Add a little and stir it around and when the thickness looks right to you, it is."

Lana - "Can you just guess about how much it was so I can write it down?"

Mamaw - "Well, if I tell you an amount, next time we make dumplings, the broth may not be thin and we won't need to add any milk at all so I hate to guess...."

Lana - "uh...  ok."

Mamaw - "Now my dumplings look a little pasty.  Why don't you get me some more flour?"

Lana - "How much flour are you adding, Mamaw?  I really would like to write this down."

Mamaw - "Lana, this really isn't hard at all.  You just know when the dumplings feel right."

I think you get the idea.

And no, I have never mastered homemade chicken and dumplings like my Mamaw made.  Obviously, I did not inherit the "food just feels right" gene from her.

But I was always more than happy to eat her cooking.  When I was a kid, I gave her the official title of "Best Cooker in the World."

My Mamaw passed away about four years ago.  She was very sick towards the end of her life and not able to cook.  One of the last weekends I spent with her, I got to cook for Mamaw.  I got to show her how much I loved her in the exact same way that she always showed how much she loved me - through food.  This is a memory I will always treasure.

In honor of Mamaw, I thought I would share a super easy and super yummy recipe with you that my entire family loves.  Yes, every single last one of us.

The first time I served it, it was happily gobbled up without any complaining.  I swear I heard angels singing the Halleluia chorus.

It's not Mamaw's recipe but I think of her every time I make it.

Easy Chicken and Dumplings

1 (32 oz) container low-sodium chicken broth
3 cups shredded cooked chicken (about 1 1/2 lbs.)
1 can reduced fat cream of chicken soup
1/4 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 can refrigerated jumbo buttermilk biscuits (Grands)
2 carrots, finely diced
3 celery ribs, finely diced

1.     Bring first four ingredients to a boil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.  Increase heat to medium-high, return to a low boil.

2.     Place biscuits on a lightly floured surface.  Pat each biscuit to 1/8 inch thickness; cut into 1/2 inch wide strips.

3.     Drop strips, one at a time, into boiling broth mixture.  Add carrots and celery.  Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent dumplings from sticking.

4.     Serve right away, hug your Mamaw if she's still around, and be grateful for the legacy of family.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What a Way To Start the Day!

This morning, I started my day with good coffee, sweet treats, and ten new friends.  

I attended my first ever meeting of MOSK, which stands for Moms of Special (Needs) Kids.  I was invited last week by Amy, a fellow mom of a child at Lily's school.  And I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am she did.

Even though I had never laid eyes on any of these ladies, I felt a bond with each and every one of them.

First of all, each of us has a child with some type of special need.

And secondly, each of us is a Christian.

It felt so good to sit with moms who "get it".  Moms in the trenches, slugging it out each and every day. Fighting for their kids.  Loving them and celebrating the uniqueness each of them brings to our families. Looking to the future with hope and expectation.

I left feeling energized, ready to face whatever the day had to offer.  This gathering was better than any Red Bull drink or 5 Hour Energy Shot!

The road of special needs can be a lonely one.  But today, I know there are at least ten other ladies in Austin on that road with me.  We may not be traveling in the High Occupancy Vehicle lane but we are together.

And that makes all the difference.

"So speak encouraging words to one another.  Build up hope so you'll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind.  I know you're already doing this; just keep on doing it."
I Thess 5:11 (The Message)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Highlight of Lily's Day

Lily's days are quite predictable right now.  We've settled into a good routine and are making some forward progress.  It's baby steps forward but hey, at least we're moving in the right direction!

Of all the things that Lily does each and every day, she has one definite favorite.  One activity that stands hand and shoulders above all else.  One task that is guaranteed to bring a smile to her face and a spring to her step.

And that super fun activity is.....

Vitamin Time!

Lily Bird loves her a deliciously fruity gummy vitamin.  (And whoever came up with the concept of gummy vitamins.... may I just say "sheer genius").

Nothing makes Lily's eyes light up quite like taking her vitamins.  When I get all the bottles out and line them up on the counter, she starts dancing around the kitchen.  I mean, it's practically a party.  All we need is a disco ball.

The fact that she takes so many it could double as Snack Time may be the real reason she's so excited.... she's hungry!

Lily is currently taking a multivitamin, omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, and probiotics.  After a very thorough panel of bloodwork and an hour long conversation with her nutritionist this afternoon, Lily will continue taking those along with some new additions - vitamin C, vitamin D, TMG, a digestive enzyme, an antifungal to help control yeast, and a fiber gummy.

When I add even more bottles to the line-up on the kitchen counter, it's gonna blow Lily's mind.

I think I'll wait to hang that disco ball.  One step at a time....

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Sad Story

So we're eating supper the other night.  Ryan opens the silverware drawer to get a fork and there aren't any. I suggest he look in the other silverware drawer.

And I kid you not... he looks right at me in utter amazement and says, "We have another silverware drawer??"

A couple days later, Reagan can't find her sunglasses.  I suggest she look in the sunglasses drawer.

And I kid you not.... she looks right at me in utter amazement and says, "We have a sunglasses drawer???"


We have lived in this house since June! (I realize this statement would pack a lot more punch if I could say we've lived in this house for 10 years but this is what I have to work with.)

If something happens to me, someone please come over here with a label-maker, uncurl Ryan from the fetal position, and help a man out.   Please.  Don't let my work be in vain.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Super Pinch

Throughout Lily's 4 years of life, she has packed some pretty serious weapons in her arsenal.  Biting, hair pulling, squeezing our hands while baring her teeth.... these are just a few things she has done to express both excitement and frustration.

We have all been caught off guard countless times and felt her joy or her wrath.

But she has recently added something new to her bag of tricks.

And that is The Super Pinch.

More than just a simple squeeze of the skin, this is a pinch with some mustard on it.

And it hurts.

And her most favorite point of delivery?

The.... ahem..... boob.

Men and women alike - she does not discriminate.

Pick her up and and she goes straight for the "sweet spot", shall we say?  This is just to ensure that you are looking straight at her and giving her your full attention.  And I must say, nothing gets my attention quite like The Super Pinch to the boob.

But my momma didn't raise no fool, and I have quickly learned to pick her up and grab her hands in mine in one swift motion.  This is especially important while out in public since there is nothing like trying to have a conversation with a total stranger while your daughter is pinching the fire out of your boob.

Thankfully, a small pinch to her cheek is usually the key to a quick release.  (and I mean a really small, not painful at all pinch, like your grandma used to do while telling you how much you had grown.)

The good news is her weapons tend to come and go so we'll endure this for a while and then it will one day just disappear.

And on that day, boobs everywhere will rejoice.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Be the Change

So I spent most all of my Saturday at church for the Tour of Hope Conference.  And in a word, it was amazing!

I learned so many practical ways that I could make a difference in the world and I'm so excited to try some new things.

My favorite quote of the day -

"Let us be the ones who say we do not accept that a child dies every three seconds simply because he does not have the drugs you and I have.  Let us be the ones to say we are not satisfied that your place of birth determines your right to life.  Let us be outraged.  Let us be loud.  Let us be bold."

And who said these inspiring words?

Brad Pitt.

Not who you expected, right?

Me neither.

insert sidenote here:  No, Brad Pitt was not at the conference, though attendance probably would've soared through the roof if he had been present.  His quote was read by Noel Brewer Yeatts, the founder of Tour of Hope.

While I don't agree with 99.9% of anything Brad Pitt says, this I do.

Those of you familiar with the Austin/Guatemala Project know that we have adopted a Guatemalan village called Pueblo Modelo.  And for anyone who doesn't know what I'm talking about, check out www.austinguatemala.com and get on board!

I visited this past August, my first ever mission trip at the age of 41.  And let me tell you, God worked a miracle in my heart!  I am in love with Guatemala and plan to spend much of my time, talent and treasure investing in those wonderful people.

We're in the process of getting a child sponsorship program up and running where you can actually sponsor a child from Pueblo Modelo.  And if you go on any of the trips (of which there are 4 every year), you can actually meet your child face to face!  And through others going, you'll be able to keep up with your child on a regular basis.

I am so excited!

I could go on and on but I'll just close with this.

If you want to get involved but just don't know what to do, hear this.

Do not look at the masses of hurting, poor, hungry people and allow yourself to get overwhelmed. Focus on one person.  While you may not be able to change a nation, you can change the life of one person.  And that my friends, is a big dadgum deal.

You can do this.  Get started.  Reach out.  Focus on one person.  Then stand back and watch God work a miracle in you and through you.

You will never be the same again.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Lily Bird aka "The Techie"

Lily has discovered the iPad.

From the desktop, she can click the "youtube" button and up comes a menu of all her favorite videos. She will very deliberately browse through her options and make a selection.

Then lean back and enjoy the show.

When the video is over, she repeats the process, choosing another favorite song.

It took her all of 2 minutes to figure out how to work this thing.

She may not be able to speak, but she is one smart cookie.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

My Baby is.... 17???

My baby turned 17 today.  I just can't believe it.  Nor can I believe that I'm old enough to have a 17 year old daughter.  Why, I'm just a few years older than that myself!  It seems like just yesterday she was a tiny baby - a little guinea pig that taught Ryan and I how to be parents.

Just a couple weeks ago, she was sweeping our back porch.

 Hanging out with her baby sister & new puppy in the backyard.

Playing pretend on vacation.

Going to VBS with her friends Kaylinn and Meredith.

And trick or treating.

And now look at her!

Those cute little cheeks are still there, though!

Yep, that's my girl.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...