Friday, September 25, 2015

Joke Contest

Some of the symptoms I have experienced at one time or another because of MS:

1. Numbness (sometimes minor, sometimes debilitating)
2. Weakness (like I have the muscles of an infant and the body of a sumo wrestler)
3. Vision Loss (not complete blindness so far)
4. Extreme Fatigue (most of the time, just like when I have a newborn, but sometimes it's worse)
5. Paralysis (usually it's just partially paralyzed legs, but a couple of times almost completely paralyzed)
6. Slurred Speech (I promise I don't drink, even though it sounds like I'm drunk!)
7. Cognitive Issues (a little dazed and confused)
8. Tremors (I never know if it's an earthquake or me!)
9. Heat Intolerance (can lead to any of the other symptoms if I'm too hot)
10. Head Flops (it's got to be the proper terminology)
11. Spasticity (A two hour massage is never enough even for just my back, not to mention my sometimes claw hands or all the rest of me!)
12. Random Pain (usually feels suddenly like I broke a bone and lasts a few seconds up to many hours)
13. That can't be all, but I've forgotten everything else. Cognitive problems, remember?

Anyway, I don't think everything is bad all the time just because I can't teach my kids how to do a proper amazing back flip on the trampoline anymore. I do sometimes need a little reminding about the funny things in life, so I hope you can make a good joke out of one of the above topics. In fact, let's make it a joke contest. Submit in the comments a good MS joke. I make up my own all the time, but nobody thinks I'm as funny as I think I am. The winner gets a $10 Amazon gift card. I hope there are lots to choose from. I'll pick a winner sometime next week, probably close to the weekend, so get thinking of your best jokes. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Our Vacation

We went on vacation for ten days. Here are a few things that happened:

Sadie threw a rock at me. It was as big as my fist. It left a mark.

The other kids all figured out skipping rocks.

We saw about one hundred or more deer, including some babies with the adorable spots. Most were not the mule deer that we have around here but white-tailed deer.

Bill saw three mountain lions.

Bill hit one mountain lion with our car.

We saw a dead turtle.

A squirrel stared us down.

We saw lots of bear.... poop, right next to the cabin. 

I almost made it an entire day walking all over the place at an amusement park in 102 degree weather without having any heat-induced paralysis. (I could walk again just fine the next day, and it was only the last hour before the park closed that I couldn't walk!)

I went on three hikes.

My kids and Bill went on four hikes.

We saw about twenty lakes and millions of trees.

Preston said, "I'm kind of sick of seeing trees and lakes."

We fit eleven people inside a tree (an ancient cedar, not a redwood), but it was so big that twenty or more could have fit. 

We stayed in one cabin in the woods, one condo at a ski hill, one mountain lodge, one kind of cheap hotel, one campsite, one cousins' house, and one grandma's house. 

We went to four states and one foreign country.

Carter said, "We need a lesson in how to say "eh" properly." They thought it was awesome when they heard Canadians saying "eh" in their natural habitat.

We saw thirty-six different state license plates and six different Canadian province license plates, which is one more than Grandma and Grandpa saw.

We went to one doctor after Sadie got a foot full of splinters and a few in the other foot. I tried for almost two hours to get some of them out, but she wouldn't let me even touch her foot. Then I got about six out while she was sleeping. (I'm sort of awesome.) There were a few bad ones that I wasn't awesome enough to get, so the next morning, the doctor numbed her foot in the worst spot and got a few out. She didn't love that. The doctor left the other thirty or so splinters in her foot and said they will probably come out as her skin dies and just to watch them for infection. I felt stupid for going to a doctor for something usually so trivial.

We saw several forest fires.

We drove about 1900 miles.

We drove about four or five extra hours over the course of the vacation because of road construction or accidents.

Nobody ever got sick enough in the car that they threw up!

Our car became a neat freak's worst nightmare.

Sadie woke up from a nap in the car screaming. Then she said, for about twenty minutes, while still crying, "I'm trying to calm down. I'm trying to calm down. I'm trying to calm down." We finally found a place to pull over, and she calmed down as soon as I held her for a minute. 

After a big roller coaster, Sadie said over and over, in amazement, "I went on the big roller coaster, and I didn't fall down!" 

We went to a tiny little church in Montana. With the addition of my kids and my sister's kids, we more than doubled the number of kids in the church. There was an amazing spirit there.

We went into the car for about an hour in the middle of the night while we were camping because of lightning. It was just one continuous rumble for that whole hour because there was nonstop lightning!

My kids swam in three swimming pools and three lakes and waded in one river and two more lakes. 

Avery did awesome sand art at the beach.

My kids fought with each other in four states and one foreign country.

Bill took us all to see where he went to school for his undergraduate degree. The kids didn't even feign interest. 

Someone next to us in a restaurant spilled a full beer, a few drops on Bill's shoe and a little splash on my leg, but most of it spilled on her own daughter, who had freshman orientation about ten minutes later! She didn't seem too happy about it....

Carter said, "This felt like we went on a bunch of different vacations, and I don't know which one I liked best. I loved the cabin in Montana with our cousins, but I also loved going to Canada. I wish we had bought the weird ketchup chips. It was also super fun to go to Silverwood. I loved the beaches of the lakes in Sandpoint and Coeur d'Alene, too. And I liked hiking. And I liked getting fish and chips. Camping was fun, too, but it wasn't my favorite, but it was still awesome. I want to do this whole trip again sometime!"

Bill bought the kids kinder eggs in Canada. (They ate them there, so we didn't even have to smuggle them home.) 

Bill almost got pulled over by a Mounty.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


It's weird to see my kids navigate social situations. Each kid is so different. 

Carter did all his jobs (not exceptionally well) as fast as he could so he could hang out with friends. He had three separate friends call, and he tried to coordinate times so he could see all of them. He's had a few days the last few weeks where he's had up to six different friends wanting to hang out all in one day.

Preston made his first phone call to invite a friend over today. In the past, I have arranged with the parents so that I knew exactly what was going on. He has no idea how to talk on the phone. I try not to cringe as I hear ridiculously long pauses and strange answers to questions and really bad ideas come out of his mouth as I try to let him learn this necessary skill. 

I told Avery she could invite someone over as soon as her room was clean. She went into her room, came out five seconds later, and said, "I'm okay not having a friend come over." (It is super messy, so I understand her lack of motivation, but I would always pick friends first...)

Sadie cried and asked why she couldn't have a little kid play date since the boys are having big kid play dates. I reminded her of multiple friends coming over yesterday (and thought of the fact that she is horrible at sharing lately).