Thursday, January 31, 2008
We saw a new doctor and for our purposes we'll just call him Dr. Theraflu. He seemed very young and I got the impression that he graduated from med-school about 30 minutes before our appointment. But let me go back to the very beginning.
It's too crazy to explain but due to Bella's adoption not quite being finalized her name according to her insurance paperwork is "Judi." Most of the ladies in the office know us well and know well enough to call her Bella; but the nurses and doctors are not so in the loop. They're busy and probably could care less. I think they should care. I struggle in vain as you will see.
We started Saturday's appointment with me and the check in nurse staring blankly around the room waiting for "Judi" to appear. oh shoot. That's us. I grabbed our stuff and headed back. (For any grandparents who accidentally read this post -she weighed 20 lbs even.) We did the check in routine -you know, how you tell the nurse everything that's going on so that you are practiced to repeat the exact same information to the doctor in 30 seconds. What are those charts for anyway?
Enter Dr. Theraflu. "Hello Judi." ok, yeah. Not really her name. She's adopted, yada, yada. Her name is Bella. Given that most doctors run you through with a cattle prod, the good thing about Dr. Theraflu was that he thoroughly explained everything he did. The bad thing about Dr. Theraflu was that he thoroughly explained everything he did. But the most annoying thing was when he asked me questions about her current and past health history. He would read the note as he typed it into the computer and the exchange went something like this:
Dr. Theraflu: How's her appetitie, energy level...?
Amie: Good. She's eating well, playful, happy.
Dr. Theraflu: So, I'm going to note that 'per adoptive mom' -she has been playful and has a normal appetite.
Insert Amie with an oooooh-kaaaay expression on her face.
Dr. Theraflu: Do you know if there's a family history of respiratory problems?
Amie: Nope. Don't know.
Dr. Theraflu: Okay, so I'll just put 'per adoptive mom' (insert sideways glance from Amie) -unknown family health history. What about her first year of life, she's been relatively healthy?
Amie: Yeah. An ear infection and a couple of colds but basically healthy.
Dr. Theraflu: So, 'per adoptive mom'...
It doesn't really matter what came after that because I was too distracted by thoughts of taking that stethoscope from around his neck and reintroducing it in a new location. Luckily, that was his last "adoptive mom" reference and everyone exited the room with medical equipment in tact. Now, we just had to follow up with Dr. Theraflu on Tuesday. Joy.
Tuesday morning "Judi" and I made our way to the nurses station. The nurse looked at her and oddly enough said "you know, she doesn't really look like a Judi to me." Because she was so sincere and had a sweet face I fought off the urge to conjur up tears and say "really? Because I named her after my favorite aunt who died last year in a rare elephant stampede. (sobbing gasp)." I'll save that for next time. ;-)
I explained the name situation and I think she cared. I liked her. Then came Dr. Theraflu. Sitting down to listen to her chest he said, "Hey, Judi, Judi, Judi!" Deep, slow breaths. Those were for me not Bella.
Here's the question that begs an answer --- With all the notes he took two days earlier where the heck is the one that reads"PER ADOPTIVE MOM -Her name ain't Judi!!!"?
Per Mom -Bella is fine now. :-)
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Sunday, January 27, 2008
While talking to our Pastor about a surgery he has coming up this week, another friend was gently encouraging him to have a realistic view of his recovery time. Now, Richard is not in the camp of the elderly by a long shot but I think she was trying to say (without actually saying) that our bodies just don't bounce back as quickly as they once did. Fair enough.
Every year on my birthday my Dad says the same thing, "You sure are making me old." Well, Daddy, and all the rest of us who can't escape this limited life span we've been given, don't worry, I have a new take on this touchy subject.
I will no longer use the term "aging." From this point on I am --ripening. Like a nice piece of fruit. It starts out firm, fresh, and a little tart; then gradually it sweetens up. Soon, it gets a few soft spots and bruises easily. Then later still, it starts to wrinkle and lose it's original shape until eventually it's just a soft mush with a strange odor.
Here's to "ripening" gracefully and not stressing when certain areas soften faster than others. =)
Friday, January 25, 2008
On our way to visit friends yesterday, the kids persuaded me to drive through our old neighborhood. We moved out not quite a year ago. I laughed at first, when they started silliness like "oh Mom, I remember that tree...that mailbox...that car," etc. Then as we turned a corner, Isaiah says "Look, Goshen Circle -it's still there!"
Goshen Circle, as you may have guessed, is a street. A street with about 10 houses on it. I was like "ok, egomaniac doofuses. They didn't shut down the whole neighborhood just because we left." shrug
My insult was deflected without so much as a dent. We later drove toward the area of the barn that we spent a few months in. They asked "Mom, can we go by. Do you think it's still there?" Uh, no dear children. It's not there. They tore it down and erected a mighty shrine inscribed "the Sexton's once lived here" and people travel from all over the country too see it.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
While hanging with the Millenders recently, we all watched as Bella wandered from one temptation to the next -a full mug on the coffee table, the fireplace poker, etc. After hearing a firm "no" we waited curiously each time to see how she would respond. And if she walked away from the forbidden fruit, as it were, she was rewarded by rounds of "good girl, good choice Bella!" UP went the hands and she would circle the area triumphantly. Her face saying something like "Oh yeah, I did it! I overcame my sin nature and I am the victor!" (Maybe it was more like -"oooh, people are staring and smiling at me" but I choose to believe she is a great theologian in the making.)
I couldn't help but think -what if every time I overcame temptation I threw off my inhibitions and celebrated openly with hands up praising Jesus for the victory? I bet I'd have lots more opportunities to share the Gospel (especially with my new friends in the Wake Med Psych Ward). Wouldn't if feel good now and then to just jump up and down and shout "We did it, Jesus! Yes!"? Victory is sweet.
Ah, but so is surrender.
It wasn't until yesterday that Bella's new move (not to be confused with The Emporer's new groove) taught me an even greater lesson. We were eating lunch -a tedious time at our house. Bella fights hard to be picky. I fight hard to discourage her pickiness. So far, the table is our fiercest battle ground. She was supposed to be eating some chicken noodle concoction care of Gerber but wanted to be eating the left over pizza that the other kids were enjoying. She has two teeth so clearly a whole slice of pizza is not yet an option but I decided to strike a compromise: three bites of chicken stuff for one bite of pizza crust. She was cooperating but she wasn't enjoying it.
I would say "open up" and slowly she would open her mouth and in went the spoon before she could change her mind. She cried but she chewed. The kids and I would encourage her and say "you did it, Bella. Good girl!" And with her face contorted by sorrow and great big tears in her eyes, she would lift her little hands over her head.
There it is. Truth revealed by a one year old. Every victory starts with surrender. Surrender of self, surrender of time, energy, wants, feelings, comfort, and on and on. We are more than conquerors through Christ -joyous victory! But only when we daily take up our cross to follow Him -tearful surrender!
And if you need a better example than Bella well, there's always Jesus. He (and by default we) could never have tasted victory over sin and death, if not for His agonizing surrender in the garden.
So, maybe you are like me and you want to experience the joy and thrill of more and greater victories in life. I guess the question now is...what are we willing to surrender?
Monday, January 21, 2008
But for any of you who are interested, you can read my article entitled "Cinderella Should THANK her Stepmother!" at www.amiesbraindump.blogspot.com It is a reposting so, some of you may have already read it. I'm also going to post the second article which was part of a threesome of story book lessons. It's called "You Can't Whistle While You Work if You're Sucking Sour Grapes." Hope you guys enjoy them. Thanks for reading even when there isn't much new to report.
Have a great Monday!
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Friday, January 18, 2008
Tim: Are you guys gonna stay this way? When Mamoune grows up will you two still jab and laugh together like friends?
Mamoune: (trying to sound smart) It would be great bondage.
Me: It's bonding you Freudian freak! Bondage is what we are living right now.
She's so much like her Mom and I do agree, we make a great team when we aren't at each other's throats. Btw, she has no idea what Freudian meant but is quite familiar with "freak." And I'm well aware that this is probably #3 on the list of "Things You Should Never Say to Your Children." I haven't read that list. Don't plan to. Please do not mail it to me. ;-)
"Sometimes it feels like God is telling me to go one way (using his fork to draw a line through his eggs) and Satan is trying to get me to go a different way. And I just wish I could pick the one way and just stay on it. But sometimes it feels like Satan is standing in my way and I just want to kick him!."
I think he's on to something.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Margarita's aren't my thing and I think I have evidence that proves this is for the best. You know how some people tend to be easily addicted to substances like alcohol, nicotine, etc. Yeah, I think I must be one of those.
I love myself. Not in a weird way but in the normal takes care of myself, tries to maintain a relatively healthy lifestyle, and avoids bodily harm when possible kinda way. I don't intentionally bring pain and agony into my life but my recent UN-intentional escapades are really getting annoying. You all know about the prune situation. By the end of that episode my colon was so clean it could've been used as IV tubing. I'm such an idiot. What have I done now?
As I said, Margarita's aren't my thing but coffee is. Or at least it started to be. About two weeks ago I made the random decision that real women probably drink coffee every morning. I wanted to be a real woman so I began fixing a cup or two of "Joe" to go along with my breakfast. No problem. I was even learning to cut back on the ridiculous amounts of sugar I think are necessary to make it palatable. I was feeling like a real woman. Oh yeah! And then...
I forgot to buy coffee filters. I used the last one on Tuesday and yes, I know that real coffee drinkers would have found some creative method (paper towel, cheesecloth, oil filter) or just washed the previously used filter and ran it back through but I had not yet achieved that kind of commitment level. So, I did what seemed perfectly natural. I just didn't drink any coffee yesterday. All day. Or this morning. Mistake. H-U-G-E mistake!
I woke up with a mild headache and my sweet husband rubbed my neck and back before heading out to work. It helped for about three minutes. By ten o'clock this morning I was in big trouble. It hurt to move my eyes and I could only manage to say two or three words at a time because my soft pallet would moisten and I would have to breathe deeply to keep my oatmeal down where it belonged. This worked out great for Mamoune who was having a lying issue. I had to let her off so I could run and hover over the toilet. Having your mom vomit all over you seems a bit harsh even for what I consider a serious offense.
I made it to the couch about the time my friend Gloria stopped by. She's like family and it's a good thing since I lovingly informed her that I could not talk to her nor look at her, but I was perfectly capable of listening if she felt like sharing. We speculated about whether or not I was fighting off a virus and it was during this mostly one-sided discussion that the caffeine withdrawal theory hit me. I made one last attempt at communication by calling Tim to come home from work. Then I sent Gloria to the store to get me a Coke -or anything with caffeine in it. That's right. I needed a fix and she hooked me up. My little enabler. =)
Tim came home. Gloria left for work. I took a few swigs of my new carbonated best friend and slept the rest of the morning and lunch hour away. I did drift out of my dozing long enough to hear Mamoune's lunch time prayer that I would feel better soon. She basically admitted later that it was bologna and that she was hoping I was down for the night so there was no chance she would be retried for previous crimes. I figure lying to me is one thing but if she's gonna lie directly to God, I can let Him handle that one.
I woke up completely recovered! Not even a tinge of a headache remaining. I released Tim to go back to work and spent the rest of the day sipping my Coke and feeling really good. I think I've learned my lesson but I may need to start attending the Celebrate Recovery meeting our church has on Thursday nights.
"Hello. My name is Amie..."
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Sunday, January 13, 2008
She started out a bit timid but as you can see the sugar took over and a monster emerged.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
A license check. I knew I had my licence. No need to panic. But like clockwork my heart rate goes up and my hands get shaky. I get my licence our of my purse and instruct the children to settle down and stop asking a million questions until we get through the check. I rolled down the window and offered my I.D. I knew something was up when he called his companion over and said "you take this one and I'll keep it moving on that side." heh? The second officer took the I.D. and asked for my registration. I reached in the glove compartment and found it crumpled under the owners manual. I quickly uncrumpled and tried to smooth it out in my hands. Then he informed me that my inspection had expired in July 2007 and I would need to pull over while he issued a citation. I didn't shoot him. Though Nathan did point out that in his opinions "their guns are really small." Small guns, big hats. That's how we do it in these here parts, son.
ugh. I don't do car inspections. I buy groceries. That's my domain. And no one gives you a ticket if you forget to buy peanut butter one week. You just go to Plan B. The kind and courteous officer of the law didn't offer me a Plan B. Not even when I batted my eyes and squished my bosom together to give the illusion of cleavage. I think the four kids and the minivan were cramping my sex appeal. (no, I didn't really do that.) So, while I admit to being annoyed for a short time -I gotta say that it's really not fair. Tim's responsibilities carry greater consequence than mine do. I can be a slacker in certain things and the world doesn't fall apart and it doesn't cost us a ridiculous amount of money. If, in the midst of moving twice, getting a new kid, and possibly leaving the country, he forgets to look at the sticker on the van, the hammer falls.
There's the bad news. $145 ticket and a day in court for me. The good news? As of right now, there are three of us from church who will be hanging out in court together. If the number keeps increasing, it's been suggested that we have the praise band come out and hold services for us. =) Anyone else out there who got nabbed last night?
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
I'm looking in the mirror and personal appearance aside (there's work to be done there, too) I'm just ill. I see a big fat hypocrite staring back at me. I sat on the sofa last night working on my list of things that I need to change like "stop watching so much television." I actually wrote that down. Do you know what I was doing when I wrote it? Watching television. Law and Order SVU -that's an hour of uplifting programming. ???? HYP-O-CRITE!
Then I switched over to the news for a minute. Maybe you've been following the story of Meredith Emerson -young woman from Georgia who was missing. She was found dead yesterday. Now they are investigating a possible tie between her killer and other missing/murdered individuals. I prayed for this girl and for her family. I prayed that by some miracle she would be found alive but that she would at least be found so her loved ones could have closure. But I had just spent an hour being entertained by the very story line that was ripping her family's hearts out. HYP-O-CRITE!
I marvel at my kids apparent inability to grasp what seem like elementary principles that we have gone over and over and over again. Then I have to remind myself to do things like "rejoice in the Lord." hypocrite, hypocrite, hypocrite!
I was sharing with a friend yesterday some great ideas I've had recently for books and she said, "that's exciting stuff!" But I had to admit that it wasn't exciting at all because somewhere inside I know that I will never actually accomplish it. I'm full of ideas and absolutely void of follow through. And yet, let one of my kids utter the words "I quit" during a board game or home school and I am the first one to tell them what a horrible character trait that is. hypo-hypo-hypocrite!
It is not my intention to gain sympathy or to fish for comments of "you're not as bad as you think." (my closest friends are thinking...as if!) Nor do I mean to be preachy. I am self-sermonizing, if anything. It's just to let you know that this is the funk I am in. I'm closing this one out with a song I wrote a while back (it always loses something without the actual melody but still...) I think it is exactly what I need to do. Thanks for lending me your eyes. :)
Monday, January 7, 2008
Sunday, January 6, 2008
My digestive tract has an occasional need for encouragement. I'm not ashamed to admit it and since my readership increases exponentially when I discuss body function, I'll assume that you (equally strange people) are not offended by the topic. I blame it on my mother. I recall as kids she would at times service us with a laxative. Not because we were constipated but because it's just good sense to "clean things out" now and then. As I think on it, I remember this cleansing coincided with our annual spring cleaning of the house. That's cleanliness to the extreme. Anyway, I suppose my body became dependent on the yearly maintenance and now it happens once in awhile that a person needs a little Drano to get the pipes running smoothly.
I bought a box of prunes. Great Value Dried Pitted Prunes. I want you to recognize the little demons when you see them. Like many of you, I had always heard of the association between prunes and, uh, plumbing and being an advocate of natural remedies decided to give it a try. What no one told me was that prunes are really good. They really are. Okay, if you don't like raisins or other dried fruits then you won't like them but for the rest of us, they ain't half bad. I bought them on Friday morning. By last night, I'd eaten half the box.
Now, I realize that this reveals more than just a prune problem but says something regarding my lack of self-discipline in eating habits, but that's not the point of this post and we can return to that issue some other day. Half a box of prunes later, and here I am missing church. But I'm not alone. The kids wanted to taste the prunes and Nathan loved them and ate 3 maybe 4 himself. I'm no mathematician but based on a height/weight comparison -that's probably equivalent to half a box.
Tim did some research this morning and found one person who said of prunes, "two isn't enough and three is too many." And another lady who, like me, downed almost a whole box and said that they "roto-rootered her system." I hear ya sister!
Nathan and I are recovering nicely. The other two partakers have been unaffected thus far. And for future reference, I recommend balancing half a box of prunes with a nice block of cheddar cheese. That should be healthy. ;-)
Saturday, January 5, 2008
Not much else is happening. The kids each have their first Upward basketball game today so that is entertaining to say the least.
There was one billboard that we saw on the way home that was unforgettable. I WISH I had gotten a picture of it but I wasn't quick enough. (and Tim isn't very keen on tracking backwards for photo ops when we are still several hours from home.) But just imagine this...
A billboard with a man in a police uniform plastered across it. His name in HUGE letters
Thursday, January 3, 2008
Mabell and 10 great-grandchildren.
Random and occasionally interesting pictures Amie and Tim took while doing 85, er uh, 65 down the interstate. We are goofy and we know it!
We've appreciated your cooking for years but didn't realize you had branched out. Congratulations Daddy!
I think Tim should sell this one to Al Gore for the Global Warming Campaign. =)