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).

Friday, June 12, 2015

Answered Prayers

Carter had a scout campout. I was helping him get ready to go. We said a prayer for safety and protection right before his ride was supposed to come. After praying, I felt like I should get him some allergy medication, and I threw in some quick dissolving Benadryl. Bill called me today and said that he was really grateful I had thrown that in along with his regular slower acting medication. Carter had had a severe reaction, possibly to peanuts the other boys were eating next to him. (Carter had told me a few times the last few weeks of school that he seemed to be having reactions to peanuts other kids had at lunchtime. I should have taken him more seriously!) I am so grateful for answers to prayer and promptings of the Holy Ghost!

Remember when Avery blamed her poopy diaper on a bee about six years ago? Sadie has regressed in her potty training, and today, she followed in her big sister's footsteps.

Me: Why didn't you go in the potty?
Sadie: I did go on the potty. Something else pooped in my pull-up.
Me: Really?
Sadie: Probably it was an ant.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Hey Diddle Diddle, The Cow Jumped Over the Fence

It's my last day of steroids, so hopefully I will start sleeping again. I never fell asleep at all last night, so today I am kind of loopy. At church, the organist was not having the best day, and it kept making me giggle. I completely understand because I have had those kinds of days where I keep messing up, but it still struck me as funnier than it should have been every time a wrong note was played or when he got completely lost one time. (Remember that I have that neurological condition that makes me overreact and laugh harder than is normal sometimes, and then think how much worse it would be when I haven't been sleeping much at all for a couple of weeks and not at all for the last night.) Then, Bill told me he was 90% sure that he left the iron on, so he left in the middle of church to make sure our house wasn't burning down. He didn't come back for a long time, so I felt a bit worried that it really had caught on fire. Once he returned and was sitting by me again, he said that it took so long because he had to call the cops because one of the cute baby cows in the field next to our house had jumped the fence and was wandering around the neighborhood. He said the cop got here in less than a minute, so we've got a great emergency response time for wandering cows. He said Sadie had told him before we left to go to church that she saw it jump the fence, but he didn't believe her. Well, hearing about the cow made me laugh even harder. I was not very reverent in church today, but at least Bill temporarily saved a cow, until it jumps the fence again and makes its way to the highway and gets hit by a car.... I had no idea cows could jump that high. It's probably a five foot high fence where it got out! 

And before we even went to church, Bill and I were laughing really hard because I couldn't find anything to wear that didn't make me look five months pregnant. I'm retaining so much water from the drugs! 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Blind or Paralyzed?

I love when Sadie makes up her own songs. Here's part of one from the other day. "I know Jesus is so rea-oh. And he's so friendwy, and he wuvs me so much. Pwease don't take my Jesus away."

Would you rather be blind or have your legs paralyzed? I probably won't get a choice, and one day I'll probably be both, although maybe not with all the advances that are still in testing right now! So, of you had to choose, which would you rather be? What is your reasoning? Right now, even though it's hard this week to not be able to walk, I think I'd probably choose to have my legs paralyzed. I'm frustrated to not be able to move, but I would adjust to not walking and using a wheelchair, etc. to get around. I may not see quite well enough to drive, but I can still read and see my family, and I don't want to lose that! 

(Update since I forgot to finish writing the post before: I got on steroids really quickly, and I am getting better way faster than I have in the past. My aunt had told me that starting steroids right at the beginning of a relapse makes a huge difference in how fast she gets over her relapses, but the previous times, everything was just so slow getting processed that I hadn't been able to start on steroids until I had been having problems for weeks, so it took months to get better the other times.) 

Sometimes I make jokes about not being a full capacity human, and it's sort of true. I'm tired all the time, way beyond what's normal for a tired mom, which I also am. I don't get much done around the house except laundry. I can't drive anywhere. I'm too tired to fix my hair very often. I can't exercise at the moment, so the only things working at full capacity are my jeans. I forget that while I may not be able to function at full physical capacity, I still have full value as a person. It's hard to get over the mindset that I'm only worth as much as I accomplish. I never think less of other people who can't do things, but I almost always think less of myself for not living up to my own expectations. I need to remember that God doesn't have the same expectations. He just expects me to do my best, whatever that is. I already know these things, but I'm not very good about actually implementing these thoughts and feelings. I need to be a better example to my kids of having a good attitude more of the time. I think they've seen my cry too much the last couple of weeks. I'm blaming my mood on the steroids and possibly not having enough chocolate, specifically chocolate cake. Also, spring break is not much fun when we are stuck at home! 

Vacation planning always gives me energy, so as you're answering the blind vs. paralyzed question, also give me ideas for vacations. You get two suggestions each, one family vacation idea and one couples vacation idea. If you are the first person to suggest the idea we pick, I'll send you a $10 Amazon gift card. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Naked Crayons

Preston: Aagh! Quick! Turn the lights on! I need to sneeze!

Sadie had divided all the crayons into two piles, one of the piles included all the crayons with no paper on them anymore. "What are these crayons, Mom? These crayons are naked. They don't want to tehw their daddy that they're naked. Don't see them. They want to hide so nobody sees them. I can just put them in this bag so nobody can see that they're naked."

We always change the words to songs. Sadie tried it on her own today. "You are my moonshine, my onwy moonshine..."

Carter: I have to practice so I'm ready for basketball practice today.
Me: Do you realize how funny that sounded?
Carter: Since I was sick the last couple of weeks and missed all the practices and the games, if I don't practice now, I'll look like a fool when I get to practice tonight!

Avery's hair was almost to her waist, just about an inch or two shy of that, so I cut it last night to her shoulders. It was just in the way and getting food in it and getting tangled horribly. Preston kept a bunch of the nine inch long locks because he just knew he would come up with something to do with them. This morning, as he was getting ready for school, he used a clip and attached the hair to the front of his hair. Sadie said he looked like a unicorn. Obviously, I didn't let him keep it on, and I don't think he really wanted to do more than make people laugh. Then again, maybe he's not happy with his hair quantity. Last week, he wore a fake mustache to school one day. I never heard how that went over or if he chickened out and took it off before he got there.

Also, it took Avery an extra half hour to get ready because she couldn't stop looking in the mirror at her new short hair that only took thirty seconds to brush. I probably should have not done it on a whim with my lack of skills, but now Sadie wants the same haircut. At least if I am not the best at cutting hair, all my kids have super fast-growing hair like mine, so it won't look horrible for very long. 

Avery spent over two hours drawing a dragon yesterday. Carter saw it and said, "That looks really good, but I can't believe you just spent two hours of your life that you'll never get back to make it. I would have never done that." (Says the kid who spends ten hours programming one little game for a word study assignment that could have taken ten minutes...)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Pedro's Wig

Preston: I lost the list of all the kids in my class. I need it so I know how many valentines, I mean friendship notes, I need for my class.
Avery: I know how you can figure it out. Just write down all the kids that you can remember. If it doesn't feel right, then you know you're missing someone.

Preston: Do you know one of the weirdest and funniest parts from Napoleon Dynamite? 
Me: When he has a pocket full of tots?
Preston: No, I don't even get why that's funny. 
Me: When Deb is doing glamour shots?
Preston: No. It's when Kip meets LaFawnda for the first time. I just really didn't expect her to be that pretty! And did you notice that Summer's boyfriend looks just like Uncle Matt? And I like when Napoleon says, "If you're drinking one percent milk because you think you're fat, you're not. You could be drinking whole milk."
Bill: It's a good line. Why don't you try it out on a girl you like?
Avery: Everybody stop talking about the movie! I haven't seen it yet! You're ruining it for me!

Update: Avery loved it, by the way. They watched it in the car on the way home from Arizona, so even though they all had headphones on and I didn't know exactly what was happening, I still had the satisfaction of knowing that my kids have a great sense of humor, as evidenced by all the giggles I kept hearing. They keep quoting different parts of the movie and attempting to dance like Napoleon. One of her favorite things about the movie is Pedro's girly wig. 

Sadie has been taking more naps again lately. She gets her pillow and blankets and makes herself a bed somewhere and puts herself to sleep. The other day she made Carter play her "some wuwabyes on the cheh-wo" and told me, "Weave me awone so I can faw asweep." 

Family and friends are always joking with me that if there is a one in a million chance of getting some new health problem, then I will probably get it. I don't know if that is totally true. Sometimes I get things where the odds are more like five out of a million. I hope this last extremely rare symptom of MS was just a momentary thing because it was so weird. I went in the bathroom to take my contacts out tonight. I looked in the mirror, but I couldn't see my face looking back at me. For almost a minute, I stared at the person in the mirror, trying to figure out if it was really me. The sensation of not recognizing myself went away, and I recognized Bill just fine, so maybe things will be fine. If I do have a lesion forming in that part of my brain, life might get really interesting with all the new people I will be meeting every day! 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Santa's Sister

Carter: Do you know what this is?
Sadie: It's a penny!
Carter: Do you know that if you have a hundred of these, it will be the same as having a dollar?
Sadie: I don't want to have a dowar. Sorry, but I'm too wittow to have a dowar.
Carter: Do you want to save your penny in your piggy bank?
Sadie: No, I can just put it in my pocket.

Sadie got so mad at me this morning because I gave her a purple bowl when she wanted a yellow or green bowl. She screamed at me and hit me for almost twenty minutes. She ran away for a minute and came back a little more calm. She whispered to me, "You have to try new things cause it might taste goo-ood. Goo-ooh-ood." Then she went into the kitchen and ate her breakfast. That is not the first time that I have been grateful for the songs she learns on Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. 

Preston: You can't read Big Nate. It's a boy book.
Avery: But you're reading Ever After High...

Sadie: Is the Tooth Fairy Santa's sister?

I gave Sadie a hug, and she kissed my face. Then she scrunched up her face and asked, "What's that sme-oh?" I had just put some toner on my face. "Oh, does it smell kind of weird?" She shook her head. "No. It sme-ohs not weird. It sme-ohs horriboh!"

After my shower, my hair was drying super curly and funky, but I didn't feel like blow drying it and straightening it. My bangs were the biggest culprit of my weird hair, so I just pulled them back and left the rest poofy and curly, not a style I have done pretty much ever. Sadie saw me and said, "Is that you, Mama? You wook wike not you. You wook different and weird. You don't wook wike Mama."

I couldn't find all the Anne of Green Gables books in our house, so I ordered a new box set. I hope Avery likes it as much as I did as a kid. 

Someone called Sadie sassy. "Oh, am I wike Wizzie? (Her cousin) Wizzie is sassy, too. We're the same!"

Avery suddenly gets jokes and sometimes makes up her own jokes, especially puns, which seem somewhat advanced for an eight-year-old. Maybe I am wrong about this? Maybe it just seems advanced after the boys, who both still find the most satisfaction in potty humor...

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Uni-brows and Bacon Bits

Sadie is very concerned because she just noticed that "Bert ony has one eyebrow! He does have ony one eyebrow."

One good thing about kids who tattle is that I end up hearing little gems like this. "Mom, is Carter supposed to be eating handfuls of bacon bits?" Or "Mama, did you say that Sadie could play in the water in the bathroom?" Or "Mama, Carter's not wetting me stea-oh your chocowate." Or (at least fifty times a day, every day lately) "Avie/Presty/Carter stow my spot! Tehw them to get out and to weave me awone. She/he's not weaving me awone!"

Kids are honest. "Mama, you're not as skinny as Aunt Heather." Or "You have a wot of owies on your face, Mama." Or "Why do I have to clean my room? YOU didn't clean your room. It's a giant mess." Or "Are you just not as good at cooking as Daddy is?"

Sadie: When I grow up, I want to be a mama. Wike Aunt Becky, not wike you. So I can have a wot of wittow boys. And twins.

Do you ever find that one doctor who really gets you, is appropriately concerned, pays attention to all the little details, asks all the questions, tells it how it is, and really makes sure you get the care you need for whatever it is? Yeah, I really like that guy, even if he is honest just like my kids. "I can see that you've gained a lot of weight since I saw you just a few months ago.... Oh, and here's a prescription for more steroids so you can gain even more weight..." 

And to make up for all their honesty, I do hear things like this all the time. "You're my wittow sweetie, Mama. You're just a wittow cutie. You're the baby, and I'm the mama. I can take care of you. I wuv you, wittow Mama." (We'll just pretend that it balances out the kicking fits and tantrums. It sort of does.)