Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Don't Blog On Ambien

I tried re-reading the entry from yesterday and I have to say that I have no idea what my point was. I'm sure I had one and it was semi-eloquent in my head. Didn't make it to the blog now did it?

Tonight I'm going to have to take a pass on blogging on anything actually interesting because I went for a "walk" with Christina. Now in her defense I was given the option for the two mile walk however, that felt like it wasn't enough so I went for the full meal deal. Yes, I'm an IDIOT!!!!

View The Walk in a larger map

That's 6.2 Miles People!!!!! So, I'm going to limp over to my bed and passout now.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Today I got an envelope of pictures from Granny. Some I already have in my collection but not this one. This is my the kids Great Great Grandmother. I remember meeting her more than once and going to her birthday parties. I don't remember anything about her as a person though, only the stories that I've heard about her over the years and they are all from when she was younger and Grandpaw Woody was still at home. It made me realize how lucky I was to have my Granny Sheldon. She was my connection to the great grandparent generation. While it's very weird for me to think of Grandpa Bud as a great grandpa the kids not only have a very young one and then they have Grandpaw Woody who really isn't. He turned 91 last week. I remind myself that he has longevity on his side since his Mama lived to around 103. It amazes me when I think about Grandpaw as I would have remembered him and who my children will remember him as. I am grateful that they have experienced life with him not just seen him for a rare family occasion. There are pictures that mean so much whether it be the next shot of Grandpaw Woody listening to Ephraim play cars or this picture from long ago that shows the generations of our family. This post was headed somewhere and then has taken a quick slide into nothing due to the taking of the evening medications prior to writing the blog. It is with that knowledge I will retire from this true ramble and come back and try to clean it up in the morning.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Nature or Nurture?

Or to nurture nature!

Our daughter is now a first grader! It is possible we will never be parents of a kindergartner again. We celebrated with some ice cream and then played in the back yard. The kids have a hideout in the bushes, it even comes with it's own stone Bambi. Judy and I took the opportunity to prune a few things that were bugging us, like the four leaves left on one of the totally butchered rhododendron bushes. If it's going to be a giant twig sculpture than it needs to be all twigs. No need to throw the fact that it's supposed to have leaves in our face. Ruby was a fantastic help with the yard debris. It was fun to just get out there and play. Judy found and gave them a slug that they decided was too slimy. He went on his first solo flight through the air (not an adult sponsored disposal). Then Ruby found a worm that she was carrying all over the yard. She climbed up in my lap while I took a break with her worm and announced that she was "nurturing the worm". Wow! Good to know. I really hadn't thought that was possible. The dynamic duo went off to find Eph a worm and instead Ruby found a potato bug. As Ruby ran across the yard with her potato bug in search of Phil the flying slug, Ephraim explained that the potato bug was "doing yoga"! Where do they get this stuff? I sure do love them! Kudos go out to my lovely wife Judy! She may be temporarily triumphing over the blackberry bushes that were trying to take over the back of "Judy's Sanctuary" (aka. the laundry and storage room).

Exciting discoveries in the back yard.....

1. the baby plum tree has furry fruit which means correct me if I'm wrong it's a peach or apricot.

2. the big tree (really big tree) in the yard is covered with 10 million plums! Woooooo Hooooo! Judy wants to know if we can freeze them in slices. I'm thinking we'll have to google that one. Plum pudding anyone? Oh and you'll all be getting plum jam for Christmas. Please send me your best recipes.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Take Slow Deep Breathes

Two posts in two days! I have the perfect spot and this is Judy's last night of class so it's just the dog and I. it helps to have this perfect little setup on our back porch. I really love this house. It's so nice to have "our" house. Even though we shared the apartment and things were all moved around and Judy had her influence everywhere (hence why you could see the floor, not every hard surface was covered with stuff, and you could find a place to sit). It was still mine and not ours. I just thought of something I didn't cover yesterday.... Hand Surgery. So I had this gangleon cyst in my palm pushing on the nerves in my finger. So after complaining about it for months here and there Judy made me call the doctor. A trip to the doctor resulted in a referral to the Hand Specialist. Dr. W asked me two questions, pushed on my hand, and said "Yep it's a cyst do you want to do surgery?" He explained why the other method wouldn't work for me. He asked me if I wanted a second opinion or time to consider surgery. He was my second opinion and cut it out if that's how you can fix it. Next thing I know the nurse is sending me over to the hospital for tests and I have a surgery date in 5 days! The big surprise was that my anxiety was a blip on the radar instead of the firestorm it usually is (ok to me, not sure I wasn't making everyone else nuts!). We made it there, the procedure went well, and it was the best nap I've ever had. Judy was a great nurse. Home I went to bo be tortured by hours and hours of Inspector Gadget!!! Now a reasonable individual might have noticed we just moved! Yep, I had hand surgery the weekend before our move. I am still married afterwards. I was amazed at how helpfull one can be with only one hand. Here it is 3 weeks to the day and it's looking great. I don't have any of the zings or ache I used to have. I still getting my strength back so if I look like I'm giving you the bird, I swear it's not intentional (or maybe it is).

Monday, June 8, 2009

I'm On The Blog Again....

...or so I hope. Were you signing it to the tune of "On the Road Again"? I don't expect anyone to believe it until they see more than one entry in a row.

the list from of blog topics from before has grown and some of it has actually changed. Let's revisit the list:

~The Family Vacation to Disneyland~ We had a great time. The kids were so good and everything came together fairly seamlessly. The parents all survived to tell the tale and there are lots of great pictures. I think this is still going to be it's own entry someday and when I do I have to make sure to tell the tale of Bitty!

~Ephraim's School Expulsion~ There is so much to say in this department. Several entries really. A quick update is that after 5 1/2 weeks Ephraim started at a new school where he actually enjoys going to school every day. Really can you ask for more?

~Run for the Arts~ The kids had a great time. They ran less laps than last year but only because Eph needs to work on pacing himself and Ruby had friends to talk to this year. I missed out on the event so I don't have much more to say on that.

~Ruby and the Wizard of Oz~ I'm so far behind we actually had another play yesterday! It was a dance theater production of Cinderella. She was the wicked step-mother and this was by far the best play yet. I'll have to see what we can do about getting them on the web.

~Judy the Karate student~ICE! This one will have to wait partially because I'm not sure what I can say without getting a chop to the middle of my head. No wait that's what I keep doing that Judy can't seem to block. Who is really learning this karate stuff. In all seriousness she's kicking butt (almost literally) and taking names. Oh, and she's cute in the outfit too. ~The Return of Tonks The Dog~ Got Tonks. Couldn't have Tonks in apartment. Invaded Katie's house sometimes with Katie still in it. Found new house. Snuck Tonks into apartment because what were they going to do, evict us? Now happily living in new home with Tonks the Lactating Dog. Yes. you read that correctly. I was sleeping on the dog yesterday when I awoke and noticed something white on her nipple. I went to wipe it off and it was MILK! Yes, I squeezed the dogs nipples to check how many of them had milk and Judy has decided I am dog molester. It turns out that dogs actually have a high occurrence of false pregnancy. So we could be at this for another month before the imaginary puppies are born! We are accepting donations for her spay! (actually we found a good deal on it through the Oregon Humane Society.)

~House Hunting~ Our marriage actually survived finding a house. Not that our relationship is that fragile rather house hunting sucks that bad. If you have unlimited resources for rent you could live anywhere your heart desires in our fair city for just $1250 a month. However if you want to live in a 3 bedroom anything that allows dogs that weigh 50 pounds and you refuse to live in Gresham than your screwed. We also discovered that certain property management companies in the area exist only to make money off multiple denied application fees. I will not name names but I swear to you.... they will someday go to Hell for the wrongs they knowingly committed (and I don't even believe in Hell so you know it's bad).

~House Finding (I pray that will be a topic very soon)~It's not only a topic but we've done gone and moved into it! So our new home is so very cute and absolutely perfect for us. We've moved out to the suburbs and live a few blocks from good friends. The owners couldn't be nicer people. The neighbors are friendly, the street is quiet, and I think our yard is 5 acres. Ok, maybe .5 acres but when you are mowing the lawn it feels like much more.

~A Tiny Tidbit on Work~ Not sure why I ever said I'd add a tidbit on work. I never post about work only that I work. Must not have been thinking at the time.

In Addition........

~Ruby's Birthday~ The beautiful and talented Ms. Ruby turned 6 years old. I swear it can't have been that long. Really! She has matured so much these last few months it's crazy. I feel like she grows before my eyes.

~Ephraim's Birthday~ Mr. E turned 7! It's crazy and I do mean really crazy. He loves his birthday so much it was really fun. On the morning of the actual day I called him to say "Happy Birthday". He was telling me about his presents when his bus came. He hung up on me to run and get his bus. That's how well school is going! We took him to the nickle arcade on his birthday and he spent nearly all his nickles on his favorite jump rope game. It's a good way to burn off some energy. He played the same game at Chuck E. Cheese for Ruby's birthday but he had to take turns with other kids so having the machine all to himself was like a birthday present all on it's own.

~Teeth~Eph's teeth have been falling out right and left and some of them are actually growing in again already. He lost the two top front teeth and I thought he couldn't get any cuter. Then the bottom ones fell out on either side of his front teeth and it's the cutest carved pumpkin grin ever. The tooth fairy had the opportunity to come visit our house on the last tooth and that was really fun.

~Hilda~ Did you know that the Candy Witch (of Halloween Fame) has an evil sister? Actually neither did we! However, one day we were informed that Hilda not the Candy Witch had taken away all the pez. I think Mommy might have had something to do with this version of the story so as to preserve the good name of her dear friend the Candy Witch. None the less, we ended up with Hilda who only visits the kids at our house and is "super greedy and a very mean lady"! When we were packing up the kids room to move we even discovered correspondence left under Eph's pillow begging Hilda to be his friend and give back the pez. Apparently his pleas did not fall on a heartless Candy Witch's Evil Sister Hilda! In his bed tonight when I went in to take pictures of his room, Hilda had returned so many pez and they were all tucked snug in his bed. I can't wait to see what Ephraim thinks when he comes over next.

~A Washer and Dryer~ We have our very own washer and dryer! Ok well they are Jeanna and Katie's that we are babysitting for them. They are hooked up, washing, and drying. I realize this may be something that some of you take for granted. I'm just so thrilled not to have to trudge to the laundry room, spend quarters, and still not get my stuff all the way dry. The other option has been trucking a car full of laundry to the Property to wash it for "free". This only works when we actually get to go out there and the way things have been lately our clothes would have been walking and talking if we'd waited. As part of having a washer and dryer some things that really needed to be washed but we couldn't justify that cost found their way into the washer.

So that's that for now. It's late and the bugs are eating me as I'm sitting out in my nice backyard with my cute Wife studying for her math final!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

9 Days and Counting

Eph's been out of school now for 9 days and I'm not sure when he'll be returning. We received a call the Monday before last saying that Ephraim choked the teacher. Jen picked him up and we did the suspended thing. When she went to have the return to school meeting on Wednesday we discovered it was an expulsion hearing. We hadn't gotten the letter about the incident or letting us know what was going to happen. Jen rescheduled the meeting which was good. It gave us a few more days to investigate what the possible placement options might be. We toured the pioneer school and while it could be really good it also has the potential for being locked in the seclusion room that is so scary to us. I would doubt Ephraim would get to that level but none the less it still makes me sick to my stomach knowing it's possible. It was interesting to me that when we went to the tour the woman who came to the end of the incident on Monday also believed Ephraim had reached up and choked the teacher which is what we were lead to believe. When we got the letter finally on Wednesday we found out she'd been wearing a scarf that he pulled on and was choking her. It doesn't change the fact that there was an incident and that he is responsible for his behavior but there is a big difference between your kid choking someone with their bare hands and them pulling on a piece of clothing that consequently the teacher shouldn't have been wearing in this setting anyway. We have the big expulsion hearing this afternoon and an IEP review/update. I'm very nervous as there is a lot of tension surrounding this specific event and his needs and rights. We have a lawyer from DRO joining us as well as a OPTI advocate. I hope we can get what Ephraim needs out of this so that he can return to school and be successful. He's been having a fantastic time away from school and it's been nice to have time with him. I'll write more with the outcome and any insight I gain from the meeting.

When You Need It Most....

there is no time to actually blog. I really need to get back to it though as there are a million things that need to be said, remembered, or ranted on. I'm going to make a list today and starting tomorrow I'm going to blog on one of them per day till I'm all caught up. Look out world!

~The Family Vacation to Disneyland~
~Ephraim's School Expulsion~
~Run for the Arts~
~Ruby and the Wizard of Oz~
~Judy the Karate student~
~The Return of Tonks The Dog~
~House Hunting~
~House Finding (I pray that will be a topic very soon)~
~A Tiny Tidbit on Work~

Hmmm.... if I think of more I'll either come back and edit the list or just have to do extra entries. I've really missed this.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Eye Surgery

I realize now that it's over and I've had a few posts, emails, and text messages that I might have left out some details about our happenings today. Ruby had eye surgery to fix her wandering eyes. It was just an in and out thing and we would have been there even less had her Doctor not needed to see her this morning. She was the bravest girl ever and her Mama managed to save her meltdown for after she went into surgery. She is going to make a really fun drunk when she's 37 if the medication today is any indication! She was happy to come home and be done with it as are all the Moms. The sheer numbers of Mom's really messed with some minds today. She's got some double vision to deal with for a little while but other than that she's already back to bossing her Brother and basking in the attention! She might need some reading glasses to help while her eyes learn to adjust to their new alignment but other than that we should be finished with the eating and hiding of the glasses for good. Oh... and just in case I forget.... we'll be doing the same thing with Ephraim in June or July!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Another Birthday...... Trying To Be Happy

My Darling Fairy Princess,
Here we go again, another birthday! Seven, can you believe it. So many things have changed since the day you were born. Some things haven't. I am still so happy to be your Mama and so very grateful you came into our lives. Without you I would never have become who I am today. You taught me so much about what and who is really important. Today your Brother and Sister helped me to make your birthday cake. Your Brother read the directions off the box and your Sister told us all exactly what they meant and how we should be doing it. Had you been making it with us I wonder what part you would have played. Would you have been fighting to crack the eggs or to be the first to poor the batter? We got balloons for your party and worked on your card. It's so strange for me to think about your different birthdays and how your Brother and Sister have changed as we mark each of them. Remember the scribbles they used to leave on your cards, and then when you could finally read their names. Today they both wrote in their best writing "Happy Birthday Sister Megan!" and gave your their love. Your Brother even wrote you a special note that makes me the craziest mix of happy, proud, and heart broken. His note read "Sister Megan I know you died a long time ago but I love you. Love, Ephraim". There really are no other words more true and pure than that my sweet Daughter.

Happy 7th Birthday My Fairy Princess! I know it's been a long time since you died but I love you! Love, Your Mama!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

From One Kind of Helpless to Another

Ok.... so I've spent the last two days absolutely sick about what has happened to my Son. The pictures of his head from the day it happened are horrifying and it's still not pretty today. This afternoon the investigator for the state came to talk with the kids about what happened. You want to know what happened?.......... My daughter is a big fat liar and took her brother down with her! AGHHHHH!!!!!!! Really does parenting suck sometimes or what. So tonight has been all about talking, making I'm sorry cards, and more talking. With Ruby it included a nice roll play where we accused her of kicking the dog and we played on it for awhile till she was good and bothered by it and hoped it would sink in. The question is... has it? If you use bedtime as a measure.... NOT ONE BIT!!!! I asked her if she'd gone to the bathroom, she said yes. I asked her again knowing full well she hadn't and she said yes again. I asked her if she was lying and she said YES!!!! I took away her story time and put her to bed. I hope it takes both of them a really long time to fall asleep tonight so they have lots of time to think. I know I'm horrible for saying that but I'm not sure there is much else I can do at the moment. Tomorrow we're hoping to have a meeting with the daycare people so they can make their apologies in person and so we can all talk about what happened and what is going to happen going forward. There is such a weird line between wanting to punish them till the cows come home and needing them to understand that when they make a mistake (or LIE) that they need to tell us what happened and that we may not like it but it will be ok. I just wish all parenting could be as easy as 1-2-3 Magic. Somehow though I just don't think that would help right now.

*1-2-3 Magic is the idea that when your child doesn't want to do what they are asked you say...."Ok, I'm going to count to three and if you don't take your art stuff up to your room by three then I'm taking your Bakugan's away. That's one......"

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I have such a feeling of anguish and helplessness at the moment. Two children were out on the playground and one child got really hurt. The account from the child who was hurt is that the boy who was picking on him shoved his face into the fence. The adults missed the whole thing and thought he had an accident. I am so angry that my child has been hurt at the hands of another. Even though I know he's been the one who has hurt others in the past. He at least has a reason for his behavior and nothing was this severe. What was this child's motivation to hurt him. Was he frustrated with him, was he just being a bully, were they playing some stupid kid game and played too rough? I want to know what exactly happened. All I really know is that my child is hurt both physically and emotionally. He is afraid to go back to a place that has always taken good care of him where he has good friends. He doesn't understand why someone did this and it's so hard to help him when neither do I.

Dear Son,

Mama is so sorry this has happened to you. I know that there are going to be times in your life when I can't protect you from the world. I wish with all my heart that I could. I know that if I did it would only interfere in your growth into the competent adult you will be someday. It hurts my heart so much to know you are hurting and I wish I could fix it. Just know that you are loved and that your Mama will do anything to teach you that this is not how the world should be. That there are far more people out there who will treat you well and love and care for you than these terrible few who will cause you harm. Please don't lose your trust in the good. Please give us a chance to prove it to you.

With more love today than yesterday and less than tomorrow,

Your Mama

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

We'll Miss You Bill!!!

PORTLAND - William "Bill" Ardeel, 73, Portland, died Dec. 26, 2008, at his home.

Private interment rites will be at Willamette National Cemetery, 11800 SE Mt. Scott Blvd., in Portland.

Mr. Ardeel was born Nov. 26, 1935, in Hillsboro, a son of Art and Erma Meltabeke McGahey. He was raised and received his education in the North Plains community.

A veteran of the Korean conflict, he joined the United States Marines Dec. 3, 1953, in Portland. He served three years and received his discharge Dec. 2, 1956, at Camp Pendleton, Calif., at the rank of private first class.

He was a sheet metal worker for Gunderson Brothers in Portland for many years, until he retired.
Bill was our next door neighbor, our watchdog, our friend. He was always in his dark denim overalls. He was not a man to flash you a gratuitous smile but when you got one they left you no choice but to smile back. He was grumpy and somber and so looked forward to his death as he wanted to join those who had gone before him. Under that though he had a sweet caring side that was really enjoyable in the times it showed itself. Things don't seem right in our little complex without him. I expect to go out to the car in the morning and see him standing getting his little walks in, or doing his laundry, or impatiently waiting on the mailman. Some would consider him the nosey neighbor. He just always made me feel safe. I knew when I wasn't home that any funny business would be known. I used to tease him that if he saw anyone stealing my stuff to let them have it and if he had anything he wanted new to give his old stuff to them as well! I remember the time he gave Ephraim two red cars that I think came in his cereal boxes. Ephraim loved those cars. Anytime the kids would lose something on the walkway or by the cars they would be waiting on his chair outside his apartment for the next time we walked by. We will miss our friend Bill though we will keep his memory alive each time we trek down to "Bill's Restaurant" for a neighborhood breakfast, just like he used to do.
We're happy that you finally got what you wanted Bill. Though we do miss you!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A Three Hour Circle

We did not get lost, we did not plan, we just had to!

So this evening it started snowing. We checked the weather last night and knew we needed to get out by 3pm to beat the wind and rain (nothing said SNOW!!!!). We tried to leave at 2pm but as all good plans with good intentions are thwarted it seems, we left at 3:15pm. As we were driving out Hwy. 53 it started snowing and sticking to the road. Judy was driving great and then the car slipped a little and we traded drivers. It was snowing and slow going but it was going along fine. We got about 35 miles toward home when all traffic came to a stop. We sat and waited guessing it was an accident before we say the State Trooper pulling up to each car and talking to them. So when it was our turn we rolled down the window only to find out that without chains you were to turn around. With studs or 4 wheel drive you could continue with the knowledge that "when" not "if" you got stuck it was a $145 ticket. Needless to say with the kids in the car there wasn't much of a choice as to what we were doing. (well that and we just have front wheel drive) So as we started back we made the necessary calls to advise Granny we'd be back, Jen & Courtney that we weren't coming back, and Bo that Tonks (the worlds best dog) wouldn't be coming home either. The drive was slow and SNOWY and we had a little trouble getting over the pass after Camp 18. We couldn't take 53 as it's too unpredictable (and curvy) in the snow. So.... we drove out to the ocean and around. Though the snow stopped the rain and wind kicked up! Egad...... what a day for driving. A little over 3 hours later we pulled into Granny and Grandpa Noisey's driveway parking exactly where we had been earlier. DOH!!!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Having A Fun Weekend

This weekend is really good! We're having a fun time. I'll post the weekend hopefully soon but here's a couple pictures.