Thursday, April 24, 2008


Last night I scrubbed kitty poo that got tracked all over my newly mopped kitchen and dining room floors. I threw up just a little bit in my mouth. Then I swept and washed the back porch where the kittens had begun to poo. The smell was unreal.

Tonight I cleaned up a broken glass knocked from the counter by an overly zealous boy reaching for another Krispy Kreme.

Then I remembered the time I had to clean up---drum roll---poopy diaper, animal diarrhea, rabbit blood and half-eaten rabbit from my living room carpet. That one left me shaking.

What's the grossest mess you've had to clean?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Owen's appointment at Children's Hospital in Birmingham was satisfactory; we have some answers about his speech development.

Owen has velopharyngeal insufficiency. His soft palate does not hit the back of his throat and form a tight seal, a maneuver necessary to build up oral pressure to produce consonants. As a result, he has severely hypernasal speech, where the amount of air escaping through his nose as he talks is off the charts.

Dr. Wiatrak told us that without a pharyngeal flap surgery, Owen's speech would not improve. This surgery involves cutting a flap from the back of the throat and stitching it to the soft palate, leaving a little room on either side so the nose is not totally closed off from the throat. After the surgery is performed and all the swelling goes down, he will need intensive speech therapy.

It's what we were suspecting, and now we know for sure. We'll schedule the surgery for after the baby arrives, since the first available surgery date was during my 37th week of pregnancy! Imagine that...

Monday, April 21, 2008


Tomorrow is Owen's big day in Birmingham, where he meets with a speech pathologist for the first time, and with his ENT again. We've begun the prep work, telling him whom he's going to see, what they will look at, and what's expected of him--plus a little coaching on behavioral and cooperative standards, with the reassurance that there will be treats. Historically, he has done very well for doctors, but I'm concerned about this visit, because it will be more involved than opening up and saying AHHHH.

I've noticed that the words and sentences he is able to say have gotten very sloppy lately. I'm working with him to clean up his vowels and pronounce words correctly that he has the ability to pronounce. The first time I worked with him, he shook his head at me and said, "I don't want Mrs. Wendy!" referring to his speech therapist. I think what he meant was, "Shove off, mom, and leave my talking alone."

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Scrap Denim Rug

Someone in our family went wee-wee all over our bathroom rug. Then someone's brother went wee-wee on the rug in his room. So, it was time to wash throw rugs.

Then when I was gone for the evening, my kind and gracious husband, seeing something that needed to be done, moved the clean rugs from the washer to the dryer. (He didn't know I was planning to hang them on the line.) So now Owen has a poodle rug in his room.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Baby--29 1/2 weeks

Kicking and moving all the time, especially when I'm trying to rest.

Has found that wonderfully cozy spot behind my ribs to lodge his little feet.

Helen--17 months

Starting to say two words together. Said "Oh-ee's juice!" and pointed to Owen's cup.

After working for a few weeks on her second-year molars, is back to her smiley self again.

Learned how to pick her nose, following excellent lessons from her big brother.

Refused to get dressed last Sunday until Jason said her dress was pretty.

Got her toenails painted for the first time last week.


Learning to ride his trike. Would have it mastered on the straight runs, but loses momentum when he turns around to watch the wonky wheel on the back left.

Likes plain apple cider vinegar. We administered it to him by the dropperful as "Fussing Medicine," to put an end to whining. He brought me the bottle later, grinning and saying he wanted Fussing Medicine.

We're trying to work with his ma'ams and sirs. We were practicing at bedtime. I asked, Are you going to bed? He responded first Yes, ma'am. Then after a short think--NO! I asked, Do you want to wear your fire jammies? To which he replied, No ma'am!

Loves my new washer and dryer—a surprise from Jason. Laundry was the last thing on Owen's mind before falling asleep on Saturday night and the first thing out of his mouth Sunday morning. Mommy, need to start the dryer! Last week he sat on the floor with his popcorn snack, watching the washer and pointing out his fire jammies whirling inside.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Scorched Oak

It's not a secret. My kitchen table isn't really "me," and it never has been. We got a great deal on it when a friend replaced her dining set. We were very glad to get rid of the flimsy glit-wood table and chairs we had been borrowing since we got married. The chairs had suffered long enough, and we had to reinforce at least one when it umm, flew off the back of Jason's truck while we were moving from our first house to our second. They were the type of chairs that create quick moves to the living room after a meal is finished, not lending themselves to lingering over courses. Of course, this would take the form of polite suggestion to our company, "There's no reason we can't move to the living room and be a little more comfortable!" or "Wouldn't you love to see our plaid couch?"

Back to the oak set with the press-back chairs. We decided to snatch up the bargain, since our dream table was still only a dream. And, we thought, while we have a house full of young children, we wanted a table that could take a beating without us cringing.

Last night, the table took a beating, or a scorching rather. I was in too big of a hurry to grab a potholder, and so I threw down the rather damp towel I had been using to wipe my hands. When I cleared the pizza stone from the table, I found this:
I should have thought of it. When my oven mitt is wet, heat from the oven goes right through it and my fingers get toasted.

So what do I do? Ignore? Add more scorch marks? Refinish? Paint? If paint, what color? It's an oak pedestal table with one extra leaf. The sides of the table have that oak leaf/acorn carving detail that serves as the perfect receptacle for all the smeary grime from little hands. And by the way, I have tried to care about this table. I even make Owen use a placemat when he plays with playdough!

On a happier note, my clematis is doing better this year than last: