Sunday, October 30, 2005


It's been a bad week for me. I think we've covered the fact I don't handle continuous stress very well. Shocker. But for some damn reason, it keeps on coming.

Scene: Sean's pediatrician's office. Thursday, 1:00 p.m.

Dr: See those brown patches? The birthmarks?

Me: Uh, yeah?

Dr: Well, the thing is...if a kid has more than six we really should send them to a dermatologist to "rule out [insert something that starts with an "N" that even the Dr. had a hard time pronouncing]"

Me: LA LA LA LA...I'm not listening. Don't tell me. I'll take the kid to the dermatologist but don't tell me what it "could" be. I don't want to hear it right now. I'll listen to it if it turns out to be anything "for sure" and deal with it then.

Dr: I'm sure it's nothing, but you know... just to be safe. Here's the name of the dermatologist I'd recommend.

Me: Yeah. Thanks.

Nurse: Uh, doctor... you want me to pick her up or just let her lie there on the floor for a while?

(ok... so I didn't really pass out. But I'm pretty sure my mind and emotions tuned out for a while). Yeah, I'm sure it's nothing too. And I'm honestly not stressed about Sean's health. But it's one more phone call to make to one more doctor who'll have a waiting list a few months long (so my pediatrician warned). We have been doing homework with Liam all week and still have piles to make up from his week of testing. We have to go back to Cincinnati on November 11th for one more assessment appointment and the diagnosis. I have a house that looks like CRAP - it's messy and still unfinished as far as renovations go (yes, the house warrants bold, CAPITALIZED and italicized CRAP). And my husband? A complete moron sometimes.

(please... I adore my husband. He is a wonderful man and looks great in a pair of soccer shorts. But he is, at times, completely brain dead and knows how to do something just stupid enough to make me question whether his brain came unplugged).

So. Aren't you glad you stopped by? I just saw that Linda linked to me and I really do apologize to anyone who clicked there and ended up here. So sorry about that. I'd love to say I don't always whine so much, but I like honesty. It works for me. So admitting that I've been "Queen-O'-the-Whine" is pretty much all I can do at this point. Stop back later, maybe I'll post some pictures or tell a joke or something.

Monday, October 24, 2005


We're back.

Baby Emerson Dawn Kelly arrived healthy and perfectly beautiful on Sunday, October 16, at 9:06 a.m. Click here to see her adorable newborn photo. Mommy and baby are doing wonderfully, Daddy is beaming and big brother, Jacob (21 mos.), seems slightly curious but mostly oblivious.

And? Caitlin and Joel are married! The wedding was fabulous, the bride was gorgeous (seriously, she looked like an ad in a bridal magazine) and the reception was way fun. Loads of dancing, the most touching speech by a best man (Joel's brother, Jose) and 8 mos. pregnant Lianne looking way too cute in her bridesmaid's dress. Say a prayer for Caitlin and Joel that they won't get blown away by Hurricane Wilma as they venture to Disney World for their honeymoon.

As for the assessment, Liam's testing is not quite finished. We have to go back to Cincinnati on November 11th for an appointment with one more department then we'll have a diagnosis summary with his Developmental Pediatrician, Dr. Oppenheimer, later that afternoon. We love Dr. Oppenheimer. She is wonderful. Every single person we met at Cincinnati Children's Hospital was incredibly nice and for a few days it was comforting to have a team of experts taking care of Liam and documenting his challenges. Though we won't have an official diagnosis until the 11th, we were given some opinions and first impressions by the different people we saw. I'm going to try to gather my thoughts a little and write more later. The bottom line, though, is that we were told that Liam does have issues, particularly with communication. We were given some encouraging opinions as well as some sobering first-hand looks at how he processes the things he hears and what he understands about certain aspects of life around him. Obviously we'll know more after the full diagnosis. But the process has been worth going through and seeing those doctors interacting with Liam and understanding him in a way we can't has been good for us.

Photos and more to come later on.

Monday, October 10, 2005


So you know those funky domino things where they line up like half a million dominos then knock down the first one? And they just start falling, one after the other? Well, that's the period of our lives that my extended family is entering into. For you see, anticipation is in the air. We are waiting with baited breath. The first domino? Is falling any time. My brother and sister-in-law are expecting their second child any day now. Once I get that call that Emerson has entered the world? It's time.

**Emerson Dawn ("Emma" for short) is my highly anticipated niece due on the 13th

See, Emerson's arrival is only the beginning of the period which I've lovingly started referring to as "the craziness". Emmerson's birth (most likely this week) will be followed by Liam's assessment early next week. Liam's assessment? Will be followed up by my sister's wedding at the end of next week. Two weeks after that, early November sometime, Rusty and I will be traveling back to Cincinnati on our own for the diagnosis appointment with Liam's doctors. Then my other sister is due with her first child, a girl, on Thanksgiving Day (no name yet, but my dad has lovingly started calling her baby "Sweetie Pie". So "Sweetie" it is for now). Wrap it all up with Christmas and some family birthdays thrown in and you got yourself one heck of an exciting end-of-the-year.

I need a nap.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Hysterical laughter

Ok, so a while back Rusty and I stumbled upon a site called "The Sneeze". It's a webzine featuring a section called "Steve, don't eat it!". Steve, the author, goes to the grocery and buys one of those food items you always see but wonder if anyone actually eats them. Seriously? This could be one of the very funniest things I've ever read ever. It's gross. And the language gets bad sometimes. So be warned, it may not be for everyone.

If you read my warning and still decide to check it out? Be careful. You'll be laughing out loud, and possibly even snorting. So if you're at work or anywhere around other people while reading it? Either control yourself or tell them what the deal is so they don't think you're having some sort of spasm or something.

Click here to read "Steve, don't eat it!" . You can thank me later (or send me hate-mail. Whatever.)

In other news, my soldering skill still sucks. I actually came back to the computer to see if I could find any info on how to do this better. But amazingly enough, I didn't get any hits when I entered "solder + tips + art + sucks + burn + hate" into Google. Shocking.

It burns

So. I've been experimenting with soldering lately. You know, the soldering iron, the flux, the third degree burns.. good times. But you know what? I totally suck at it. Or at least I think I suck at it. And it's driving me crazy. Because for my entire life, one thing I could always count on was being able to make things. And dammit this isn't working!

More updates and possibly a photo (of either a finished piece or a burned body part) later on in the day.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


Originally uploaded by art chick.
Ok. So I feel kind of bad that one of the only things anyone knows about Sean from reading my blog is that he likes to go pants-free quite a bit of the time. Over the last month or so he has made great strides in rejoining the pants-wearers of the world. Of course, at this very moment, he is sitting on the floor watching TV wearing nothing from the waist down. Baby steps.

So, anyway. With all that's been going on with Liam and his upcoming assessment and everything, I've been using my blog space to work out my feelings about a lot of what's on my mind in that regard. I felt like I wanted to take some time to talk about Sean and how great he is and how Rusty and I feel really honored to be raising this child as well.

Rusty and I aren't really the type of people to go around saying things like "Verily, our children are truly a blessing to our house". Most of the time we're yelling things like, "Get your foot off of the table while you're eating" or "Close the door when you go potty. No one wants to hear that." But honestly? We believe we are blessed to have the really great kids that we have.

Sean turned four this past September. And he's everything that a four-year old should be. He's cute, he's smart, he's active and he's hysterical. He makes Rusty and I laugh and totally loves his Mommy and Daddy. He throws himself at us to give spontaneous hugs on a regular basis. He carries on little conversations with us and he knows what he likes and what he doesn't. He's hitting all of his milestones and then some. He's just a fun kid to be around.

That? Was a very hard phrase for me to type - "a fun kid to be around". I'm not sure why. Maybe because Liam, through no fault of his own, often isn't a fun kid to be around. You have to be on your guard to make sure he doesn't get upset about odd things. His outbursts are embarrassing and also make you more protective toward him because you don't want other people thinking he's just being a brat. He struggles to get complete thoughts and sentences out sometimes. A lot of times it's just harder. And for a while, I was too ashamed to write that because I really felt like it was "wrong" for me to feel that way. But after a lot of prayer and thought and maturing spiritually I am now at a place where I can say that though Liam is often a complex child to parent? I adore him. I love his quirks and his unique views of the world even though it's more of a challenge to deal with a lot of time. And I can finally say, without feeling like a bad mom, that Sean is a lot of fun to parent. And that I enjoy being his Mom in so many ways that I haven't been able to share with Liam because that just not who Liam is or what he's capable of in some ways.

While I never want Liam to feel like he isn't as good, or smart or "fun" as Sean? I also never want Sean to feel like he and his childhood have to take a backseat to Liam's issues and what we have to do to resolve and/or deal with them. Sean deserves just as much time and attention and discussion (often resulting in much laughter). I love both of our boys and I truly feel honored to have been chosen to raise them to become the men God created them to be. A little freaked out, but honored nonetheless.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Wal-Mart = Hell

I hate Wal-Mart. Or at least, I hate our Wal-Mart. It is dirty, cluttered, dirty, crowded and not stocked with anything you actually need. You honestly can't just "run in" for anything because there are only three cashiers at any given time and you have to wait 20 minutes or so in line to check out. My friend, Ashley, refuses to shop there because the last few times she's gone there have been "domestic altercations" where the police had to intervene. Honestly, my experience there has never been quite that bad. But still. It looks like a place that would have domestic altercations.

Now, I didn't always detest Wal-Mart. When we lived in Fairfield (Ohio) there was a newer Wal-Mart near us that I adored. It was clean, stocked, well-lit and organized. There were sky-lights and high ceilings. There were very nice people working there. There were even cashiers standing in front of their queues waiting to ring you up. Craziness!

So what is the point of this post? Why all the whining? Well, I succumbed to the lure of cheap-o prices yesterday and went to Wal-Mart to pick up some transparencies for an art project. It wasn't our Wal-Mart, but one a bit farther up the road. I had other errands to run, I knew Wal-Mart's prices on what I needed were $3 or $4 less than Staples, I had already checked Target with no luck and had just been putting it off so I took a chance. Sean and I went in and straight back from the entrance I happened to see the boys section with a big ol' rack of University of Maryland gear. I was sucked in. We'd purchased Maryland wear for the boys from the university bookstore on campus and the quality was very disappointing. So when I checked this stuff out at Wal-Mart and it was actually very sturdy I bought a few things for Liam and Sean. But? That was my mistake. For you see, I didn't have Liam with me. And I should have understood the law of buying clothing for children not in your presence. Because though the long-sleeved Terps t-shirt was nice? It was from Wal-Mart. A Wal-Mart not really close to home. Which means? If it doesn't fit right, it has to be returned.

Of course, you know what I'm going to write next. The t-shirt didn't fit Liam. Neither did the sweats I bought for him (I couldn't help it, people!). So I'm faced with a decision. Drive less time but wait in the inevitable long line to return the items closer to home? Or drive a while longer and wait in a shorter line (or even no line, I've seen it before). This? Is why I now hate Wal-Mart. My life is stressed out enough as it is. I don't need little irritations of my own making like this thrown in. I should really know better by now.
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