Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
There was a huge hold-up with the state and the paperwork did not get sent to the school in a timely manner, then they had to have their follow-up inspection. Anyway... long story short.. the board decided tearfully that they were afraid that Carson would not be given a fair shake if he went back. Plus the fact that there is less than one month of school left. The decision was one that we knew was coming, but as a parent you can't help but want everything for your child, especially when the accusations against him were so ridiculous and malicious. Today is exactly 60 days from the date that we officially withdrew him, and I can't help but think that there was a definite (GOD) delay in all of this. He knew what would happen and as always, His timing is perfect. I will admit that Wayne and I both are emotional over this decision, but we also know that what is best for Carson is what is being done!
Now for the good news! Carson will be participating with his class in the graduation scheduled for May 22nd at 7 pm at St. Stephens Pre-School. He will be walking with his class.... now I know that a lot of people don't make a big deal out of pre-school graduation... and we are not doing that so much as to let Carson know just how many people love and support him. We have been asked by the school to invite as many as we would like to attend his graduation! So if you are in Amarillo on May 22 nd you are invited to come and celebrate with us. Many of you will be getting personal invitations, but I am opening it up to anyone who knows and loves Carson to attend. The director told me I could make signs and have a huge cheering section for him! It gets even a little bit better, he will also be able to attend the end of school party as well. The human side of me is a bit apprehensive about this whole thing. I am afraid of what some people might do or say when they see Carson there. I am also afraid of what I might say if I confront this mother. But I can't help really wanting to rub her face in the fact that we are going to be there with bells on cheering for my son, and that we have taken the high road and we will prevail. When all is said and done I sincerely want them to understand that the kind of malicious, slanderous accusations have actually strengthened our family. We will be better for it in the long run. I can only pray for a realization to them of the hurt and trauma they have caused us.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Lavendar Tulips from the tulip beds around the Tidal Basin...
A cheesy picture of Carson and I... we were both wiped out after the Smithsonian... but the only one that is semi-decent of both of us!
If you look to the left of my Blog, you will see my blog rolls.. I have three. I absolutely love to scrapbook, but have not been able to lately simply because with Carson he wants to be right in the middle. Anyway, you will see a long list of blog links for CTMH. These lovely ladies are all Close to my Heart Consultants just like I am. Their blogs inspire me to want to scrapbook more. They are all so very talented and creative. I have decided after today.... that I am going to try and post at least one new layout a week. The talent that these women have is amazing, and I strive to be as creative as they are. So to get the ball rolling.... so to speak, I pulled some of my favorite recent layouts. But with exception of the bike one, these date back two years... that is how far I am behind. Something that I realized a couple of days ago, is that this blog is a scrapbook of sorts as well. I try to post daily... and by doing so I am able to document so much better what actually happened and I have the date stamp there also :)
This last one is one of my favorites... just loved the way all the colors worked so well together. Carson got his first real bike for Easter 2007. We spent one afternoon outside while he rode all around hamming it up!Anyway... now that I have bored you with all this... I will leave you with this. I once had a friend ask me why did I scrapbook so much? I replied because there is so much that happens on a regular day that is extraordinary in my son's life that I want to look back when things are not so extraordinary and remember the good ones! Besides Carson absolutely loves to look at his books.
Friday, April 25, 2008
I have been here long enough now to enjoy my morning commute. The first part is about 5 miles and takes me from the residential area to I-95 North. It is a 2 lane road that turns into a 3 lane road each way about 2 miles from I-95 and it is just traffic about 8 red lights, nothing eventful and traffic moves quickly. Then I merge onto I-95 North, this is where the fun begins. It is a 3 lane interstate that has 2 additional HOV High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes - motorcycles, buses, vans, or cars with more than 3 occupants are required during the morning rush. Rush is from 6:00am to 9:30am. Anyway, I enjoy the drive, listen to my new favorite non music radio station 103.5 WTOP http://www.wtop.com/ it is all news, weather, and as they call it around here the "sprawl and crawl" refers to traffic. I must admit they do a fantastic job of telling you the traffic status, they tell it at all the 8's meaning that you get a traffic update at 8, 18, 28, 38, 48, and 58 minutes past the hour. But what I really enjoy while driving is watching the other drivers. For example you have your lane changers who think they can get to their destination quicker by constantly changing lanes, with or without signaling. Then you your space takers aka lane changers if you leave any amount of space between you and the vehicle in front of you they claim it and homestead it. At one point in my commute I have to go through the Springfield mixing bowl. This is the location where I-95, I-395, and I-495 all intersect, not to mention some exits for local roads approaching this interchange 3 I-95 lanes has now become 7 lanes.. It's quite comical to see the vehicle dances. The layout is all I-495 N/E traffic is left 2 lanes, all marked from at least a mile back. Washington DC via I-395 N is the middle 3 lanes and I-495 S/W are the 2 right lanes. Ok so you are a daily commuter then if you want I-495 S/W towards Tysons Corner (right lanes) why are you in one of the left lanes to head I-495 N/E or vice versa. The same also applies to those in the middle 3 lanes you have had over a mile to find your right or left lane - why do you wait so long? Ok now that you have gotten this far, here is the one that beats all and I'm going to adopt it as a new driving habit. When the traffic is slow, moving at about 20 miles per hour, or even standing still at times, I love to watch drivers in the far right lane who are in front of me or in back of me make a mad dash for the entrance on ramp to the interstate. Have a clue as to why they do that - they do that so that they can get further up in the traffic line. They literally pull out of line and drive up the on ramp as far as they can and pull back into traffic. If one tries that trick on me I hug the bumper of the car in front of me - I'm not giving up my place in traffic so that some local commuter can get to work a little quicker. I've added a link to WTOP and if you go to their website and click on the "traffic" tab you can pull up any of over 400 traffic cameras and watch the show for yourself. See if any of you can find my truck on the way to work or going home in the evening. Finally just for laughs read the article on WTOP about the DC streetcars the the District bought for $10 Million with taxpayers money. They are being used in the Czech Republic - why you ask - because the city bought them and never put down street car tracks in DC nor have they selected any company to run them...
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Found this on another site I visit... thought it was really interesting!
How smart is Your Right Foot? Just try this. (It is from an orthopedic Surgeon...........)
This will boggle your mind and you will keep trying over and over again to see if you can outsmart your foot, but you can't. It's preprogrammed in your brain!
1. WITHOUT anyone watching you (they will think you are NUTS......) and while sitting where you are at your desk in front of your computer, lift your right foot off the floor and make clockwise circles.
2. Now, while doing this, draw the number '6' in the air with your right hand.
Your foot will change direction.I told you so!!! And there's nothing you can do about it!
You and I both know how stupid it is, but before the day is done you are going to try it again, if you've not already done so. Send it to your buddies to frustrate them too.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
While in Virginia I had the opportunity to do a bit of driving around. Wayne took a cab to the metro and rode that into work so I could have the truck. It was interesting to say the least! As I mentioned before the traffic is amazing. On I-66, an east west corridor in and out of D.C. you can actually drive on the shoulders during peak traffic hours. Every 1/4 mile or so there is a light with either a red X or a green arrow over the shoulder of the interstate. First time driving to our hotel it was dark and the X's were all lit up on our drive out. Carson asked after every single one what does that X mean. We were patient in answering the first 7659 times he asked. Then it just became a game with him to ask us. People actually drove on the shoulders quite often, and Carson would always say that they were being bad.. and the police man was going to get them. Anyway on Monday, I had the truck and sort of got over my extreme fear of driving in heavy traffic. So Carson and I headed out to find the metro station where we would be picking up Wayne later that day, and do a little familiarizing with the layout etc. of the area. Imagine Carson's surprise when the green arrows were lit up, and people were driving on the shoulder. He piped right up saying that it was ok now because of the arrow.
Convenience stores are very few and far between. We literally drove for about 20 minutes looking for one to get some gas. Here we have them on practically every corner, and several different companies. Out there I counted four, yes four 7-11's that I noticed. I did notice several huge gas depot type places, but they were just fueling stops. Forget about going in to buy a ice tea.... NOBODY had brewed iced tea. Well McDonalds did...but they only have Splenda... and I am a sweet n low kinda gal with tea. I literally live on iced tea, and I am going to have to take mine from home wherever I go. Here, you can't swing a cat without hitting a Super WalMart. In the D.C. area , I never saw one. They had WalMarts... but they were the smaller older type of stores. They did have Super Targets... that I absolutely loved!
Another observation on food prices... some of the things I noticed while quickly walking through Target, is that the food prices seemed to be right along what we are paying if not cheaper! This is a good thing! I noticed things like Capri Sun juice drinks, here at Walmart they are $2.50 up almost a dollar from last summer. In Virginia at Target, they were $1.72. Of course things like seafood is way cheaper, even at restaurants... but again right on the coast, most is fresh.
Now for the eye opener... Carson and I were looking for someplace where we could get a salad at a good salad bar for lunch. There was a grocer called Whole Foods right by the hotel so we went there. We walk in the front door and there is a gentleman handing out slips of paper. He told us that there was a T.V. crew in the store filming for a episode of a new show that Emeril Lagasse is doing for the Food Network. First thing he told us was to look natural, act casual... and DO NOT STARE at the camers. Ha! Like I am going anywhere near where someone is filming for a T.V. show. They were filming in produce, and guess where the salad bar is... you got it produce. Carson is not always fun in the grocery store, and today was no exception. We get to the salad bar, and I see no prices for anything.. but I am thinking its probably 5-6 bucks a pound. So I get my salad. Get Carson a fresh fruit cup, and a small salad, and we get ready to leave. Now I must mention that there were all sorts of strange items on the salad bars... there were three huge bars and a lot of it was labled as vegan, most was unrecognizable. Now back to check out. Remember I only had three items... and my total was $19.87!!!! I should have known when I walked through some of the back isles trying to avoid the cameras... and saw absolutely nothing recognizable as our normal grocery fare. Everything was organic, everything was labeled as vegan or vegetarian etc. They did not have sodas that I saw, but this was the fanciest grocery store I have ever seen. By the way the salad bar was 9.89 a pound I had a little under a pound, Carson's was about a 1/4 pound and the fruit cup was $5.99.
I really would love to go organic, as in no preservatives, chemicals etc. especially since we are restricting certain dyes from Carson's diet. But I don't know if I could afford it. By the way, we never saw Emerill, the checkout gal said he filmed most of his stuff earlier. The crew was just getting background footage.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
It has a full finished walkout basement, four bedrooms and plenty of storage. We don't really need four bedrooms, but this one had a lot of space and four vs three.... will give us more room for out of town visitors (subtle hint) All hard wood floors throughout... and a huge deck on the back. It backs up to a park, but doesn't have a fenced backyard. The house will not be available until July 1st. Giving us two months to get this place rented. If interested check out the full listing. CLICK HERE I don't know why it wont take you directly to the right page... but the listing is on page 36
There is a link at the top of the page, a little film reel. Click on that for a photo display of the inside. The realtor knows what we are looking for, and is keeping her eyes open looking for something in our price range a little closer.
Wayne and Carson in Reagan National (NICE AIRPORT) before we left this afternoon.
These are some of the tulips on the grounds leading up to the White House. The flowers are spectacular there!
This was Carson waking up on Saturday.... he was one tired puppy!
The boy with a "tude" He wanted to run, but his mean parents made him wait for the old folks (us).
Just playing with the macro on the camera... loved the tulips!
The White House
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Kinda like lions and tigers and bears.... Not really but these were the two focus areas that interested Carson. Can one do the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in one day?Seriously, I don't think that it can be done. Especially when youngest member of our party is five, and had only two things on his mind. Butterflies and Dinosaurs! They are having a special exhibit right now that is a walk through butterfly habitat, and Carson was insistent that the butterflies will land on his fingers. I will post a few pictures in a minute. We also went to Imax show... The Dinosaurs of Patagonia in 3D. It was awesome. It was really fun to watch Carson try to reach out and touch things that appeared to fly right at you. It also made all of us jump a few times as well. I did sneak off a couple of times myself... to important stuff like diamonds.... this is the infamous Hope Diamond... was absolutely stunning! The picture in no way does it any justice. There are a few pictures from the butterfly exhibit here as well... I enjoyed that exhibit immensely
The following pictures are of Wayne and Carson with the 3D glasses waiting for the dinosaur movie. Then there are a few of the Dinosaurs in the exhibit halls. The lighting is low and the pictures are a little dark... but some of them are really neat anyway.
It poured practically all day, so inside museums was the place to be... they were packed! We were at the museum for about five hours and did not get past the 2nd floor. There are at least two more floors plus several other buildings that are a part of the Smithsonian. Since we know that we will be living here in the near future.... I am sure we will make it back! It is free admission to most museums in D.C., but they do charge for special exhibits, like the butterflies, and the Imax presentations. They have a cafeteria inside the basement of the museum... and you can get practically anything... but for thee of us to eat lunch it was about $40.00 bucks.... not cheap by any means... but it was actually pretty good food!
Saturday, April 19, 2008
We arrived last night after a two and half hour delay out of Amarillo. Seems that the inbound flight from DFW was short a flight attendant....someone forgot they had to work. This delay caused us to miss our connecting flight out of DFW to Washington Reagan. Fortunately the ticket agents in Amarillo were able to get all three of us on the same flight at a later time into D.C. Instead of spending a couple of hours in DFW as a layover, we were sooo lucky that we got to spend it in the glorious Amarillo airport. It really wasn't to bad except for Carson constantly asking when are we going to get on the airplane.
All is well and we get to the hotel last evening after a quick bite to eat. There are 50,000 kids(only a slight exaggeration) at our hotel from an organization called People to People. We are waiting for the elevator, it opens and about 10 kids rush out of the elevator, and Carson rushes in before we can get in. The doors start to close and Wayne and I immediately try to block the doors from closing all the way and Carson getting lost somewhere in the hotel. Now normally, elevator doors open when you break the beam allowing the doors to reopen. Not these... the doors slam on Wayne and my arms. We are both stuck as well as Carson on the inside of the elevator. we call for help and the hotel manager comes, and calls for the engineer. He finally shows up and works for quite a while and is unable to get the doors open. I was able to get my arm out, but Wayne purposely kept his arm in the door to keep it from going up. Another woman and I went up to our floor so that the guy could send it to our floor and get Carson out on the right floor. About five minutes later the doors open and there is Carson... just happy as a clam... and totally not concerned in the least. Needless to say... we were glad to get to our rooms finally. The hotel has apologized profusely and made several concessions for us for the rest of our stay.
Now on to some FUN stuff. We spent Saturday morning in D.C. doing some of the "typical tourist" stuff. We drove around several of the monuments. This is Carson standing in front of the Tidal Basin with the Jefferson Memorial in the background. He is about 2 yards from the edge... and I held my breath, taking this picture.
This is one of my favorite pictures of the day. Carson and Wayne in front of the White House. Of course I had the boy in a Texas t-shirt.
This is probably my favorite of the day. We walked up the steps of the Capital building and they had beautiful fountain and the prettiest tulips I have ever seen!
We were walking down from the Capital, and there must have been several hundred police come running up the steps in full riot gear. We had no idea what was going on, but we continued on our way. We ended up stuck in the worst traffic ever, just trying to get away for the Mall area. There were thousands of police in riot gear all over the place. We heard on the radio, that there was a neo-nazi rally on the Mall, and the police were in force because of the protesters were in near riot mode. Needless to say... it was an interesting day.
I have a ton more pictures... but I will save that for another day! We did manage to get in some serious house hunting done in the afternoon, and I will have pictures of the ones we have narrowed it down to later. Tomorrow we are off to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History... Carson wants to see some DINOSAURS!
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Carson and I are finally heading to D.C. in the morning! Wayne has been in Austin for training all this week and will be meeting us in Dallas, and we will all fly together to D.C. We have a ton of stuff to do... and plan on looking at houses and areas (schools) etc. I am sure I will have a ton of pictures to post when we get back next week. The cherry blossoms are still blooming all around the Tidal Basin... so that is definitely a must see stop. I am sure that we wont get as much as I hope to get done.... But Carson and I definitely need to see Wayne... it has been since Easter, and we need some family time. Pray that we have good flights... all on time... and that Carson doesn't lose me!
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Last week while visiting Carson's class, his teachers gave me 18 white t-shirts to put Carson's hand prints on. All the kids in his class will have their hand prints on them and their names under each print. The shirts will be handed out at graduation as a memento of their last year of pre-school. All I could envision before starting this project was red paint all over everything! Actually only found paint in two locations besides Carson and the shirts.
This is Carson before cleanup... I am so glad that we took his shirt off... only wish we had taken the jeans off. This is 12 of the 18 shirts... we really had a great time doing this!This Carson after cleanup... the paint was a little difficult to get off... took about 3 days to wear off...
I love this photo...simply because it is extremely rare to see "the boy" asleep anywhere besides his bed... and early in the evening!
If you get a chance take a look at Nona's blog on the left. They were recently chosen as adoptive parents of a baby boy born last week. They took the baby home from the hospital.. and two days ago the birth mother changed her mind. Please pray for them, and the birth mother. This is a subject very near and dear to my heart, and my heart goes out to them.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Ok... it must be all the time that we are spending together... but yesterday Carson asked me if there was a baby in his tummy. I explained that only girls have babies. He thought for a minute... and asked if I had a baby in my tummy? I told him, "no mommy's tummy was broken and a baby couldn't grow in mine" I could see his mind working... he asked if he grew in my tummy before it was broken... and I told him no...a special lady grew you in her tummy and since she knew you were our little boy... she gave you to us. I tried to explain in five year old language.. that he was adopted. This is the first time this has come up with him, and I have prayed for years the right words to say when it finally was asked. I explained how special he was, because of all the little boys in the whole wide world we got to pick him. He was happy with that answer. I can only hope that as he gets older and the questions become more detailed, that God grants us the right words to say. I have often struggled with the what if questions... you know how come she didn't want me, or why did she keep my brothers and sister? I know that I am most likely worrying about something that is years away.. if it ever comes up!
Monday, April 14, 2008
Last night as I was listening to Carson's prayers...I was reminded of what is important to a 5 year old. I was listening to the God Bless parts, you know every person he can possible think of and then some. He prays for his friends at school, all his teachers again, anyone who he can think of. Then we start the thank you God for.... and he looks around his room, thank you God for toys, and videos, thank you for the curtains and so forth. So I asked Carson, what are you really really glad that God gave you? His response, serious and dramatic...was dirt. I asked Him, why dirt? He said because it feels good in my fingers and I like to throw it in the air and I can get a muddy with it too! I seriously had to laugh because nothing is truer than what he stated. If you have ever been out to our house, you will have seen that we are surrounded by an acre of dirt. Carson has all kinda of little diggers (bulldozers) and tractors that he plays in the dirt with. He will spend hours on his knees (he has the holes in the jeans to prove it) in the front yard digging roads, and making trenches and rivers. Having never been a little boy, and the fact that I have to wash his clothes I don't see the appeal. But to Carson, dirt is VERY important, and he is glad that Jesus loves him enough to give him dirt. I am thankful Jesus provides the "little" things that bring so much joy to Carson.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
It isn't easy being in love with you and not being able to see you everyday. There are times when I'd give anything just to be able to gaze into your eyes or hold you in my arms, even for a few minutes. I always feel incomplete, like a part of me is missing, when we're not together. I know that right now, this is how things have to be, but that doesn't make it any easier to bear. Everyday without you just reminds me of the joy you add to my life, joy that I'm missing...a lot. So don't forget that I love you, that I'm thinking of you, and that I'm counting every minute until we're together again.
See you and Carson on Friday
Love, Hugs, and Kisses to both you and Carson.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Do you ever wonder why things work out the way that they do??? I have been questioning for several weeks why in 10 years of marriage Wayne and I have been separated by several states for extended periods of time. The first time over 5 years ago... Wayne was working for a company called Raytheon in Forrest, Mississippi. Carson was only a hope for the future, and it was just me and Wayne's mom living in our house in Amarillo. We were trying to sell the house and all move to Mississippi. Thank GOD that the house did not sell!... Wayne was home for Christmas break December 28th 2001, when we suddenly lost his amazing mother May. Never was there a sweeter mother-in-law, than Anna May George. She was a phenomenal, gracious lady who was loved by all who knew her.
After May's passing, life adjusted and Wayne went back to Mississippi to work. The house was still on the market... but again PRAISE GOD that it didn't sell. March 2002, I am working at my parents aquarium store in town, when the phone rings. There is a young woman on the phone wanting to know if we are hiring. We really weren't, but I told her she was welcome to come in and apply. She came in a few hours later... and Mom and I discussed her and hired her on the spot.
Now cut to 5 weeks later... this young woman comes in and says that she needs to take the next day off. I ask her why.. and she says that she is pregnant and needed to go to planned parenthood to see about an abortion(I shudder when I type that word). Wayne and I at this point in our marriage had been trying for 5 years for a child. There were issues and we were trying alternative methods to have a baby. I was on heavy duty fertility drugs and we were going through IUI. We had enough money for one more round, and decided that if that did not work, we would pursue other avenues for a child. Cut back to the young woman needing time off.... She explained that she already had a 9 month old at home and was not married. She was afraid that her parents would disown her and her son, she thought the only option she had was to terminate her pregnancy. God was with us for sure that day.. because I am generally a non-confrontational person, but I got in her face (politely.. if you can believe that) and told her that there were hundreds of couples in Amarillo alone who would be happy to adopt her baby, if not us. I told her about our attempt to conceive, and how much we would love to adopt her child. She left adamant that she needed to terminate this pregnancy.
Get a call the next morning... after a very sleepless night, from our manager at the store... he said that the young woman wanted to talk to me... She gets on the phone and said that she went home the day before and played with her baby.. and realized that there was no way she could go through with it and would we take her baby! Of course I sad yes... without even consulting Wayne who was traveling across country with his mothers ashes to bury her in New Hampshire. I called him up and basically told him we were adopting this baby. I don't know for sure what he thought.. I am sure he was a little like "sure dear, whatever"... but he soon came around and realized that our dream of a child was going to be realized. I went to every single prenatal, we supported her in any legal way that we could, and we became friends with her family.
September 15th 2002 Carson Frederick Isaiah George was born and I was present at his birth, as was Wayne, my mom and dad, my sister. Her mom, aunt and grandmother were there as well. It was a truly amazing thing to say that, as a mom, I got to witness his entrance into this world. We were truly touched by GOD when Carson was born and we give thanks to Him daily for this miracle.
Wayne was still working in Mississippi, and he soon had to go back to work... I was left alone with a newborn... we were ever more diligent to sell the house and be together as a family. To make the commute a little easier Wayne was transferred to Wichita, Kansas... 6 hour drive verses the 12 from Mississippi. ...so now we looked at transferring back to Kansas.... but we were still waiting on the house to sell.
Carson was 18 months old when Wayne was able to get on with Bell Helicopter in Amarillo... and we were a complete family again. He missed sooo much in that 18 month period, and we suffered as a family in many ways. But again, GOD was in control... we found a wonderful church that fit our needs, made awesome, lifetime friends, and I was able to say we were truly blessed in many ways....Carson was thriving under the doting of both of his parents... and we were settled.
Present day, Amarillo.. and Wayne is working in Washington D.C. and I am here in Texas with Carson...I can only imagine what the Lord has in store for us in Virginia.. other than a complete fresh start... which is desperately needed and the opportunity to develop new friendships.
So why so melancholy????... when I know that GOD has so much in store for us.???? I know that it is easy to look back and see the hand of God, but it is rare that we can see the plans as they unfold. I guess I am at the point in the journey... that I want to take the picture and look back at the memories. Weird huh? Sometimes the days seem long and endless... especially with it just being Carson and I 24/7 . I long for adult conversation...freedom...something... You would think that my house is immaculate because I am home all the time....WRONG!...I spend way too much time watching Backyardigans, and Sponge Bob...on the computer... I should be enjoying the time for myself...but I don't. Wayne, I know that this is a HUGE sacrifice for both of us... but more so for you. I know that you would trade your left kidney to spend a hour with us... and I know we are heading in the right direction... being a whole, complete family again.
So why the history lesson???... I don't know except I really felt like letting you know of our blessings and how the hand of GOD is so visible looking back... but isn't always apparent looking forward. You can only start with the knowledge that God is with us each step of the journey and take the photos along the way.. then wait for the pictures to see how HE was evident in the entire journey.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Well It seems I have been tagged... Thanks, CARRI This is my first attempt at tagging so let the games begin: And it appears I don't know how to link as of yet.
Here are the rules:
1. Link your tagger. Post the rules.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself (random and weird).
3. Tag 7 friends.
4. Leave a comment letting them know they've been "tagged."
Seven weird and random things about me...
1. I used to keep poison dart frogs as pets. CLICK HERE.. Weird I know... but actually I love frogs... always have. I remember being a little girl about 5 and my Mom, I think made me a screened cage to put the frogs I would find in. It wasn't until Graduate school that I really became interested in exotic frogs... to the point that I had several terrariums devoted to exotic frogs. Some of those suckers cost upwards of 75-100 bucks apiece! Of course it helped that the family owned a pet store at the time... and was able to get them at reduced prices. When Wayne and I met I had three larger sized terrariums with several varieties of frogs. I was also breeding Mantella frogs.. and I had over 100 babies... the funny thing is I had to breed fruit flies to feed the babies.... those were fun when they got out in your house. I will stop and rescue frogs and turtles if they are in the middle of the road.
2. I have a Master's of Biology with my degree area being Aquatic Biology (both Fresh water and Marine Biology. The weird part about that is that I got this degree at West Texas A&M University in Canyon. Whats weird about that... we are a good 14 hours away from the coast. What am I doing with this degree???? I am SAHM... I do maintain a few aquariums for some local Dr.s etc.
3. I have a group of fish classified in the Smithsonian Institute's Museum of Natural History In Washington D.C. When I was completing my Thesis research. I had to request preserved specimens of Discus fish from several museums around the world. I had to count the number of scale rows, fins etc. Reeealllly, Reeeeaallly, boring...Anyway... a whole set of fish came in and they were classified as Symphysodon Aequifaciatus (say that as fast as you can 5 times)..... After I did all the different counts on these fish, I discovered that these fish were not what they were labeled and were actually a "cousin" species of these fish. So I contacted the curator of collections and told them of my findings. A couple of months later, I received a letter indicating that the correct classification had been made, and the credit on the classification was given to me.
4. I am a voracious reader....I absolutely LOVE a good mystery, love romantic(clean) historical novels. I also love to read Christian Fiction... I read practically every night... and will stay up all night if I am in the middle of a good one! Haven't done that in a long time...
5. I love photography... but not for the sake of taking good pictures.... I love it because I love to capture the moment... and since that is my perspective, I am forcing myself to become a better photographer, and have taken a class or two trying to get better. I am a huge scrapbooker... not very weird... but I am obsessed about setting the shot to get the right picture.. to scrapbook...... you know if it doesn't come out right the first time... I am not opposed to tell everyone to go back and lets try it again...
6. I won the West Texas Science Symposium's call for Papers in 1996. My Professor did not even attend the event because he figured that my research wasn't ready and developed enough to place, let alone win. I rubbed that one in for a really really long time. He never lived it down.7. I abhor, hate, get sick to my stomach thinking about eating any kind of organ meat. My brother took care of us never having to eat liver. My parents love liver and onions, and would every month or so...have it for dinner. The last time it was served... my brother threw up all over the dinner table...never ate liver again...My sisters and I paid him well for that service.
Now for the fun part... I am going to try and think about who I can tag... I tag Amanda, Lily w., Christie M.... and Hmmmm Who else???
Thursday, April 10, 2008
I have been looking forward to today for several weeks. This was the day that Carson's class pictures and his cap and gown pictures were going to be taken. I was totally fine until we walked into the classroom and of the kids surrounded Carson with a huge group hug. Of course I bawl... my son was so excited and he was genuinely missed by all of his friends.
The Photographer was a little backed up and we had to wait...for which I am thankful, because we didn't just walk in get pictures and have to leave. For the first time since all of this happened...Carson was the center of attention... GOOD attention! Here he is surrounded by his friends, waiting for HIM to tell them what to do next with their cars... kinda like Simon Says.He had a terrific time, was able to play one on one with a few girls...At one point, Miss Heather wanted all the kids to go and sit on their spots. Carson did not go over and sit on his spot.. instead he put his little head down on the table and refused to go. When Miss Heather asked him why he didn't want to go sit with the rest of the class. He said that he was sad and that he missed his Daddy. I am a big sap lately, and this about broke my heart. Everyday he tells me he misses his Daddy... but today it was so sincere and heartbreaking. One of his classmates came up to Carson and told him that he still has a spot on the carpet, no one else sits there... they saved it for him. Again, the waterworks start.
The class prior to us getting there, made Carson a picture of a volcano. We all know how much he LOVES volcanoes. Everyone signed it with their fingerprints, and names. He wants to hang it in his room.... I think we are going to frame it first for him.
I was a little worried that when it came time to leave we would have some issues. So we talked about this on the way, and he understood that he was just visiting. We have 18 T-shirts that were sent home for us to put his hand print on....and graduation (hopefully) to look forward to.
Priceless times of Carsons life that I am missing while in Virginia are told to me via Kari. Today was one of those priceless times when I would have traded everything I own to be in Amarillo. We all know that Carson is no longer attending school and today was the day that his spring school pictures and spring class picture were going to be taken and taken in a cap and gown. Per prior arrangements and approval with the school Kari takes him to school and all of his classmates are very happy and anxious to see him. He got hugs, and kisses, and all the kids wanted him to come play something with him, it was like he had never left. In fact the kids made him a picture of a volcano, and they all signed it. We all know Carson loves volcanos. Kari, Ms. Heather, and Ms. Denyce were all in tears. I might not have all the details of the story right and I'l let Kari tell it from a first hand experience. At some point during his class visit today Ms. Heather wanted all the students to sit around their tables and in their respective seats including Carson. Since Carson left the school no one has sat in his seat it is still Carson's seat and he didn't want to go sit with his friends - when asked why - he said "I MISS MY DADDY" - absolutely PRICELESS - there was not a dry eye in that classroom and there was not a dry one on the phone a little while ago when Kari was relating this to me.
Carson buddy - I MISS YOU TOO - Love Daddy
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
When we first noticed a difference in Carson, at the ripe old age of 18months, I questioned my pediatrician, as to whether she thought sugar played a role in his behavior. I pretty much had complete control over what he put in his mouth at that age, so I did not do any experimentation at that point. Fast forward about a year. He had developed quite the sweet tooth. I asked his pediatrician again, if I should control the sugar and see if we have any noticeable changes. She said it would not hurt to try him without. So we removed refined sugar from his diet specifically high fructose corn syrup. He still had natural sugars from fruits etc. We did not see a big change at all. He was still very active, and still struggling with language. So we allowed sugar back into his diet.
Several months ago I read a blog (it is posted in my blogroll as info on red dye #40). I read this and something kind of clicked.... Carson loves Popsicles... you know otter pops.. and he would eat 2-3 a day year round. Another favorite is gogurts..., also loves fruit loops, fruit snacks, and all sorts of artificially colored and sweetened food. I hesitate to even call this stuff food. I, in much the same way that the other blog poster, noticed that Carson's BMs were green (he doesn't always flush)... not just green... but almost neon green. I casually thought that was weird, but wasn't too concerned until I read Lou's blog on her son and his behavioral issues. Her son's issues are very similar to what we have been seeing in Carson.
In the past week or so I have slowly eliminated foods with artificial dyes.... particularly red dye #40. It’s also known as E129. It’s interesting to read that it’s not recommended for consumption by children and is banned in Denmark, Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Austria and Norway. Do you have any idea how many food products contain red dye#40. It is in many kids drinks, cereals, fruit snacks, gum, yogurt, sodas, puddings, chocolate cakes, popsicles, ice cream (specifically sherbet) cakes, icing etc. It is even in many medicines specifically designed for children.. Children's Tylenol...as well as many antibiotics. You get the picture it is a hidden product in tons of foods not just overly red colored foods. These are just a few of the ones that have been in our pantry. Fortunately Carson is very happy with a banana, carrots or a cheese stick as a snack... but one of his new favorite foods is vienna sausages (I know... way gross, but it is some protein he will eat)...guess what? Some sausages, as do hot dogs, have the dyes added... good news, most chicken ones don't.
So... I am embarking on an experiment of sorts...I am going to eliminate all foods with red dyes, and see how/or if his behavior changes. Then after a week or two with out, I will allow some red dye back into his diet and see if we see... a change. I am seriously hoping to see some differences, and hope that I don't pull my hair out with in the midst of this science experiment! So wish us luck and I will keep you informed!
Yesterday I called my local Corporate American Express travel office and explained that I needed to make some arrangements. First, I personally needed to get from DC to Austin, Tx this coming weekend since I am attending a conference and training session there all next week then I also needed to get Kari and Carson from Amarillo to DC via DFW. The plan was that I would leave Austin about the same time that Kari & Carson would leave Amarillo we would meet up at DFW and fly back to DC all together, sounds simple, and that the agent assured me that she had it completed and all I had to do was wait for the itineraies to be e-mailed. Oh and I also asked that on all the flights that Kari & Carson sit together.
So this morning I sign into my corporate e-mail and pull up the itineraies, mine is ok, Kari's is ok, Carson's well let me just say that his was different. When we meet up in Dallas we all are suppose to be on AA flight # 1374 leaving DFW at 2:30pm and arriving in DC at 6:25pm her seat number is 31F. Carson as we all know is special and unique so guess what AA booked him on an entirely different flight. He is booked on AA flight # 1200 leaving DFW at 1:05pm and arriving at 4:59pm, his set number is 31E. He and Kari has adjoining seats, just on different flights. That is a middle seat and I hope that the people sitting on either side of him will watch and take care of him. I also hope that when they arrive in DC that he knows mommy and daddy are on the next flight in from DFW 90 minutes later. I'm sure that he will be waiting at the gate for us, yes I'm sure a couple of Metropolitan Police Officers (thats what they are called in DC) as well as maybe a TSA agent will be guarding over him.
Now let's talk about seat assignments, on the flight from Amarillo to DFW, AA flight # 3762 Kari is in seat # 10B, and Carson is in seat # 16B, I can see him running up and down the aisle now, he would like that, I don't think mommy will. On their return from DC to DFW they are on AA flight # 437, her seat is 15D, his is 23C - C & D are next to each other - oh wait 8 rows apart - I think that means more running. Finally on AA flight # 3353 from DFW to Amarillo she is in 8B, and he is in 9B, 1 row apart - I think in horseshoes that is a ringer.
We haven't even departed and the trip is off to a good start. Can't wait to see how the rest of this trip turns out.
Monday, April 7, 2008
If you have not had the chance to see Nim's Island, Carson and I give it two thumbs up! We finally made it to the theater on Sunday. There was a pretty good crowd for early afternoon, and I was surprised to see many adults without children there. The story was wonderful, Abigail Breslin was adorable, the scenery was fantastic, the imagery was amazing, plus the actor Gerard Butler was some nice eye candy as well! I can usually gauge how well Carson likes a move by how many times he needs to go to the restroom. He did not wiggle, or squirm for the entire movie..... Oh yes... we must not forget....it has a volcano in it..his current obsession! Another reason he did not move....We will definitely be purchasing this one when it comes out!
Sunday, April 6, 2008
We have had a rough couple of months....nothing more so than what has occurred in our family since Feb 21st. I am hoping that we can finally lay all of it to rest. In order for that to happen... We have to step back from a lot of what was most important to us.
Carson, first and foremost, must be protected. Many will not agree with what we are doing, but he has been the scapegoat, whether in truth, or not for nearly everything that has ever happened in a situation where other children are present. He has absolutely no impulse control... period. He knows when he does something wrong... and he has told me he hates the way it makes him feel. He doesn't know why he does it either. We are working closely with his occupational therapists and we are already seeing some positive changes. A new medication therapy does seem to help, during the daytime... but we still have an evening lapse...where the control is gone... you can look in his eyes and see the frustration. I cannot spank it out of him or expect that in situations where there is too much stimulation, that there won't be something that sets him off. I do know that once he sets his mind to something... that is all he talks about or thinks about. For instance, the investigator questioned Carson, and he answered everything she asked... honestly. We praised him over and over for doing the "right" thing and telling the truth. She praised him for answering her. He craves that! Since that time, Carson has talked more about the incident than he should, his therapist warned us that we should not discuss it all. Simply because he has such a literal view on practically everything. Today for instance, we were eating at My Thai for lunch, and I put too much hot mustard on my food. I said that my mouth was on fire!.... He wanted me to open my mouth so that the fire could get out. He seriously thought I had fire in my mouth.
I am not going to lie and tell you that I am OK with all of this. I was hurt tremendously, deeper than anything else has ever hurt me, or Wayne. This is our child. He is the most precious thing to both of us. As I know your children are too! For this reason we have chosen to protect him from any environment that would place him in situations he does not need to be in. I like to think I am good mother and can control every action, but I am a realist and know that this is simply not possible.. for me or him. With much prayer, I know that we can push through this...but right now, we need to circle the wagons and regroup so to speak.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Ever have one of THOSE days where you can't seem to do anything right? This must have been my day. Didn't sleep again last night...until about 2:45 am. Had to be at my parents at 9 am to keep my nephew, while my dad was at the hospital having a colonoscopy. I was so afraid that I wouldn't wake up this morning that I woke up all night long. I pull up in their driveway.. and they pull in. Dad's colonscopy did not take very long after all.... I was, however, able to get my clients done today.....
Get home and after lunch Carson is playing outside... looking for ladybugs...He comes in after a few minutes and said that he ran out of gas... I am puzzled..so I follow him to the garage where he has taken our gasoline can and filled his cozy coupe with real gasoline. Not only his little cozy coupe...but his bike.... the only good thing about this whole thing is that there was less than a cup of gasoline in the can..So I pull out the hose and wash everything down, and put "the boy" in time out.
Then I get a phone call.....now, I know I can't please everyone... GOD knows I have never been able to. But I am a people pleaser...I try to make people happy..... and unfortunately I did not succeed...I know everyone has an off day....but, sometimes... you just want to give it all up... and chuck the whole thing...But I know me well enough that I won't just give up....but if I am honest, it will make it easier to move in a few months.
Enough complaining.... in the words of Scarlett O'Hara....
"Tomorrow is another day"
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
I know that it is a right of passage of sorts... but today Carson comes running into the bedroom all excited, his mouth full of food....jumping up and down with excitement because his bottom tooth was loose. Of course we had to call Daddy...and let him know how excited we are! Am I excited? Yes. But I am also a little sad... He cut that tooth on February 20, 2003. I have the exact date written down... because it was his first to come in... and I, of course had to scrapbook it. I am praying that I am there when that tooth comes out. There are so many milestones in childhood... and I am blessed to say that I have been there for a majority of them. I am a true dork, in that I already have scrapbook paper that I bought about a year ago for the page I am planning to do. I have a pillow with a special pocket for the tooth somewhere....you know for the Tooth Fairy... I just need to find out what the Tooth Fairy's going rate is... Is it more for the first tooth vs the second and so forth?
I just got this awesome phone call from my little boy Carson - as I picked up the phone and said hello (thinking it was Kari) excited he says "my tooth is loose my tooth is loose" I asked which one and he said the one right next to the other tooth daddy...LOL he thinks that I can see through the phone. Anyway at 5 1/2 years old my boy is now starting that right of passage from having his baby teeth to getting his adult teeth. It is not ready to fall out yet it will take a little time. I know this will be a scrapbook page, one of probably many - will she do a page per tooth - that might require it's own album. We also need to call the tooth fairy and put him on notice - what's the going rate these days, in my days (slightly after stone age) it was $ .50 / tooth. Also does it have to be cash or can it be a dinosaur, or a reading book?
signed a very excited daddy who misses his litte buddy
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Hmmm what thoughts are lurking in this somewhat devious mind of mine, only the author knows. Can I play a trick on Kari or is it too late and is she too wise to me and would she immediately know if I was pulling her leg or not. I do have to give her credit she does know me quite well but just even posting this - will it make her wonder or not. Ahhh I have a thought, and will implement my plan of action, I still have 12 hours to get her.
To those of you who posted comments, thank you very much, this too is new to me and I'm enjoying it so far. My wife warned me that she holds editorial rights to my posts, is that not a Constitution right that we all have, called Freedom of Speech, I'm close to the Library of Congress so I can go find the original Constitution and see. Just so you all know she edited out a comment about cherry stems and knot tying.
Well it's lunch time here in VA, so I'm off, will post more later.
Wayne and Carson... my two men in suits.... Wayne never gives me a smile in posed pictures... so he looks mad...when he really isn't.
This is what Carson looks like when he falls asleep after eating ice cream...without washing his face...I let him sleep....he took a bath in the morning.
I don't know what it is... other than Wayne being gone, that prevents me from going to sleep at a decent hour every night. Last night it was 2:15am the last time I looked at the clock...The dogs needed out at 3:50.. and I think I fell back asleep about 4:30. Fortunately Carson slept until about 9:30. When Wayne is home I can usually go to sleep at a decent hour.. at least by midnight...oh well.... this too shall pass... I hope!
Carson got invited to a birthday party for a little boy in his pre-school class for Wednesday afternoon. The time of the party is from 5-7, we have church at 6:15... If we go we would have to leave early. I am conflicted for several reasons. The main being that the kids in Carson's class were all told that we were getting ready to move to Virginia. His teachers told me that several ask about him still... so I know that he was missed by his class. I am conflicted because I don't want to set Carson up for disappointment. He is so incredibly lonely.... He misses his friends all the time and constantly asks when he gets to go back to school. He would love getting to see them... but I am afraid that IF he DOESN'T get to go back to school, that we will start all over with the crying and wanting to see his friends. Another reason... is I don't know how many moms actually know the real reason why he is not there. I know that several do... but I don't want to have to be explaining that we haven't moved yet... and blah blah blah. At this point in this whole mess... we KNOW the results of the investigation, but not many others do yet. I don't want to answer questions about us, it, the move etc. I will have to think real hard about what would be best for Carson, and also call Gary and let him know we might be a few minutes late....More later..