Monthly Archives: December 2008

Blog Challenge: 2008 in Review

As 2008 comes to a close, take some time to reflect on the past year. Tell us about accomplishments and triumphs, good times and bad times. What will be most memorable for you about 2008?

I would say that 2008 will go down in infamy for our family.

The year started out great. We were SO very close to being debt-free and our four long years of delivering newspapers were finally coming to a close as soon as we paid off our last debt. On February 8th, as I was delivering papers on one part of our route, Dave was delivering a few blocks away. I got a phone call from a strange number telling me that my husband was down on the ice and that an ambulance had been called. I raced there to meet the firetruck and ambulance and they took him off to the hospital. It was obvious that he had suffered a severe break which later turned out to be a fractured ankle.

Later that morning I turned into a person I had never been before. I stopped at the house where he fell on the ice and gave them a piece of my mind and I was NOT nice. They obviously thought the flying fairy delivered their paper EVERY day (ummm, no, people with real bones, do). I was a mama bear in a rage and needed to lash out at someone. I know I should regret that I did that, but I don’t.

DH needed surgery a few days later to insert screws and we promptly all came down with the influenza….”all” meaning the ENTIRE family. I think I experienced the lowest point of my life when I had to go out and deliver our papers alone, sicker than a dog, on a frigid, windy, snowy February morning. My kids were too sick to help and DH was strung out on Vicodin and obviously incapacitated physically.

It was tough. Dave’s parents were in Australia and my parents couldn’t come with all of us so sick and contagious. I was on my own. I had to leave all my sick kids home alone to attend to my DH in the hospital. I stayed up with him for several nights while he experienced tremendous pain and made many trips to the doctor’s office (which may as well been in Omaha it was so far across town), to get stronger prescriptions of Percoset. They can’t call in those type of drugs to the pharmacy.

I lumped along, caring for all “four” of my kids (three kids and one invalid DH), delivered papers, cooked, cleaned and worked my regular job until April when I snapped. I delivered my last paper mid-month. And I took the whole darn summer off! No extra job for me during summer break! It was a much needed rest.

So needless to say, this will be a year neither I, nor DH, will ever forget. We are all much better now, though DH would beg to differ…I don’t think his ankle will ever feel normal again.

My summer was wonderful and relaxing. At the last minute we decided to attend the Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Conference in June in Chicago, which was the highlight of our summer. We even managed a visit to Lou Malnati’s for a big piece of heaven (Chicago style pizza…yummmmm) while we were there. The time spent with other families who have children with the same syndrome as your child is something you always, always remember. For one brief moment every couple of years we get to be somewhere where our child is “normal” and celebrated. That’s something that never happens any other time. Unfortunately, conference was a disruption in routine for Baylee and she spent much of her time washing her hands in the bathroom (a familiar routine for her), but she was none the worse for the wear after conference and LOVED every second in the hotel pool.

The last big highlight was Dave moving to his new store in October. It was a long time coming. It was an ordeal at first, but I think now we have finally gotten the hang of the new store. Dave got his first full day off since the store opened the day after Christmas! This also means our income has been slashed nearly in half and let’s just say finances are interesting right now, but with the economy I know that we could be much worse off and for that I’m grateful. We have enough. And hopefully it’s only temporary, but that all depends on the economy. We’ll hope for the best.

Some other memorable things about 2008 are that my baby started driving. He even got his own car. I’ve learned a mom never stops worrying until her kid is safely in the door at night.

I discovered Facebook and got addicted, but I’ve reconnected with lots of family and old friends through it. We got a Mac in January and I’ll never go back to PCs. I (heart) my Mac. I quit running and delivering papers, and now I need to lose weight (New Year’s Resolution maybe?).

Goodbye 2008. I won’t miss you. I envision good things for 2009.



Filed under Uncategorized

Wordless Wednesday–A View From Our Front Porch

A view from our front porch

A view from our front porch

Ice, sleet, snow. Yuck.


Filed under Special Exposure/Wordless Wednesday

Blog Challenge: Holiday Traditions

Share your family’s favorite holiday traditions and/or winter activities. Tell us a bit about them, such as how they started.

I find it a bit odd I’ve never really thought about this before, but I guess it’s just because it’s the way our lives are.

We only have one holiday tradition and that’s work. When you have a DH in retail it means that the holidays are the busiest time of the year for work and money making. It means there’s little time to engage in traditions.

That said, we know Christmas Day is the one day of the year that we know for sure DH will not have to work and he won’t get work related calls because his 24/7 store closes on Christmas Day. Since I’m moonlighting for DH and Lukas also works for his dad, we know we won’t be working either. That’s a plus! We usually hang out that day, play some board games and eat a big meal. This year we’ll get to celebrate sleeping in as it will be the first Christmas in four years we truly won’t have to work since we delivered papers for the past four Christmases!

I guess if you consider putting up a Christmas tree a tradition, we do at least do that, but frankly, I’m not sure the tree will get put up this year at all. Lukas was home all day babysitting for his sister and brother, and I told them to put up the tree while I was at work, but apparently it wasn’t important to them as it didn’t get done. They’ve always enjoyed doing it and now that they are older I’ve let them take on the task for the past few years, but something might be changing. Maybe they’ll feel the motivation next Sunday.

I usually like to put up Christmas lights outside, too, but since they aren’t up yet, it seems silly to bother at this late date.

Am I a Scrooge or what???

You know what, though…..I actually feel unburdened by letting the traditions go and not letting myself be bothered by the fact that I’m not stressing myself out trying to do things I simply don’t have the energy for. I think I just might enjoy this holiday more than I have in years. Our ‘holiday” will come in January.

PSA: As you engage in the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping be patient and understanding with all the retail employees you meet. They are working hard and deal with DOZENS (if not hundreds) of Scrooges a day which can really be hard on the spirit. A patient smile from an understanding customer is all we need to keep providing service with a smile. (Off soapbox….)


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CdLS Blog Challenge–Gifts for our kids with special needs

Gift giving season is here! Kids with CdLS can be challenging to buy gifts for. What gifts has your child received in the past that he or she has enjoyed, and what do you think you’re child will want/need this season?

Baylee has always been difficult to buy for. Baby dolls always prove to be a well loved gift for Baylee, but if she has too many they get to be a nuisance. Baylee always throws her babies and stuffed animals over our backyard fence into the neighbors’ yards. Some days I can look out a window on our second story and see the neighbors’ yards littered with baby dolls and stuffed rabbits. Once the toys are over the fence she frets and obsesses over the fact that they are over there and out of her reach. Then why, OH WHY, did you throw them over in the first place? It never ends. So we limit the amount of “babies” Baylee can have for our own sanity.

Last year’s Christmas “baby” is still her favorite, though unfortunately it looks like the Bride of Chuckie these days.


I’m sure a new baby will be on Santa’s list. Also, curiously, she is stressing about Santa this year for the first time. She obviously has some understanding that Santa comes to our house and brings presents. She is currently obsessing about the “Ho-Ho-Ho” (her verbal expression for the word “Santa”).

The only other thing on her list besides new clothing will be a new iPod Shuffle. She mysteriously broke her last one. It seemed intact and dry, but it was dead. I haven’t a clue what she did to it. Thankfully they aren’t expensive, and I’ll be buying a refurbished one from the Apple webstore. If it lasts 6 months, I guess it will be a bargain in Baylee-terms.

Our Christmas this year is going to be very sparse and sensible. We are very blessed to have all we need, and with the recession and skyrocketing taxes sure to come, we know it’s best to keep money in the bank. It’s time to celebrate Christmas for what it truly means and take the materialism out of it.


Filed under CdLS-KIDS Blog Challenges, Cornelia de Lange Syndrome