Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Joy of A Ferret

       About 3 years ago, my oldest son (he is now 20 years old) got hit by a truck while crossing the street. He broke several bones, got a concussion, and many other injuries. His recovery was a difficult road. He suffered severe depression and was left with the use of only one arm. . He eventually regained the use of his arm after an intensive surgery and physical therapy. While he was recovering, ended up getting a settlement from the insurance company of the driver.
     About eight months after the accident, Oldest was still pretty depressed. I decided to take him out of the house and go to the pet store. I don't know why I decided a pet store. I guess I thought that all the cute little cold noses and wet tongues would do the boy some good. We were looking around and he became fascinated with the ferrets. We had the cage opened and a cute little ferret crawled up his arm, sniffed his face, and licked his ear. He made his first big purchase with his settlement money that day. He bought that friendly little guy, a cage, food and everything he would need to properly care for him. He named him Rafiki.
   We had no idea what we were in for!!!! This cute little guy is so energetic and has the attention span of a cheese sandwich. I have seen YouTube videos of people who have trained their ferrets to roll over, play dead and other things and am amazed. Rafiki's favorite trick is finding Hubby's cooky stash, this trick, he taught himself. He runs all over the house stealing things and hiding them under the dishwasher, and has already gotten himself in such a pickle that we had to take him to an emergency vet. 
    All this havock is well worth it, though. He helped my oldest son through a great depression and now seems to be the only one that can make my son with Asbergers smile. This son, is still having a rough go of things. it seems that he decided to play the "Knock Out" game. This is a game where kids make themselves pass out. I guess you are supposed to have other people around to catch you. My son decided that he didn't need all that and made himself pass out, alone. He thought he had thought it all through. He piled up pillows around himself and went for it. Unfortunately, he miss calculated his height and bashed his head into the wall as he was on his way down.
    He told me about what happened. I checked him out and realized he had a concussion. I called an EMT friend and we decided that a home treatment would be fine. That was about eight months ago. Since his little.... slip of good judgement, my son has had daily headaches, confusion, is constantly moody, and has memory problems. It took a while to determine that these symptoms were a) not allergies, b) not normal mood disturbances, and c) daily. After that, we started  trying to get a doctor to figure out what was going on. We made three trips to This Son's doctor, one to the ER and still no one seemed to care enough to find out what the problem was. (The Emergency Room doctor did mention that it seems to be a brain tumor, but told us we would have to follow up with our regular doctor to rule that out, but he didn't run any tests.)  Finally, I had a fit at This Son's doctor office, fired the doctor (um.... kind of loudly) and left to find a new doctor.
      I decided to go to a Group Clinic instead of an individual. Best choice I could have made. Before they would even set up a new patient appointment, we were sent to urgent care. At urgent care, This Son was scheduled for an MRI and an appointment to have the tests read FOR THE VERY NEXT DAY, before we even left.
      My son has been tentativley diagnosed with Post Concussion Syndrome (not a tumor, HA). He still needs to meet with two other docs (an Ophthalmologist , and a Neurologist ) but at least something is being done- finally.
   In the mean time, my son's, still having symptoms. We argue every day and his memory problems are really stressing him out (wich feeds into the other symptoms, making them worse), but thank goodness we have this sweet little ferret that can distract him with its crazy anctics and put a smile on all our faces. Thank you Rafiki, you are a double silver lining. Best pet EVER.

If you have a warm fuzzy to share about how a pet has helped you, please share it with me! I wanna hear these stories and see the pics of the little unsung heros that change life just by being themselves.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Change of Intent

     When I First started this blog, I decided that all of my posts would be on a positive note. I didn't want what I have to say come off as whiny or to have a "Whoa is Me" feel to it.  Then, I decided on a huge life change that was difficult, but seemed necessary.
     I struggle with this choice. Everyday, I weigh, measure, balance this choice. Some days, I realize what a good thing I did. Others, I rue the day I quit my Assistant Managing position and became a Stay at Home mom. I feel as though I am in agony. This is not something that I felt comfortable blogging about. I figured no one would care. No one wanted to hear another cry of negativity, and honestly, I don't think I realized exactly how hard it would be.
     Now, I realize what a dis-service I have done. I while I have been struggling and conquering, what if I really was not alone in what I am trying to achieve? What if there is someone out there that could very well have benefited from any one of the issues I have, or continue to struggle with? As of now, I am done with keeping my silence. I will do my best to be more communicative with the issues I face.
    So.... cheers to my new attitude of "express not repress". Wish me luck!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Summer Fun

   So far my summer has been...... interesting. Life has been kind of a whirl since Father's Day. I spent two weeks hanging out at my dad's house in Seattle, with the kiddos of course. I was helping paint my dad's house (Living room and dining room) while the kids did their best to help (staying out of the way).

   My father is an artist and his house, that was built in 1901, very clearly reflects this. He is a photographer and likes to paint using oils. His passion for art does not stop there. He has dabbled in sculpting, stain glass, and yesterday, I watched as he made a mystic maiden arise from a stick he started carving on a whim. I make a point to describe his artistic explorations simply to drive two points home. The first being that his keen eye for detail is also expressed in his living areas. There is base board with coordinating skirt rail, chair rail, crown molding door molding, fancy window molding in both rooms as well as a really cool relief  (made by the aforementioned artist-took him like 2 years to complete) in one room. The second being that since he has such a discerning eye for detail, it is kind of difficult for it not to spot errors- a lot. To the point that they drive him just a little crazy. So mix that all together and what you get is a lot of different surfaces and edges that all need special, individualized attention, with an eye to knowing what the hell to stay way from (the relief of course). It took me a week to finish the detail work; it was worth it. The rooms smile in a shiny new way that only new hardwood floors and a face lift via a lovingly meticulous couple of coats of paint can  make happen.
    While we were there, the kids got to go to the zoo, discover the wonders of the International District (China Town), and even how to get a long a little better. I got a master to teach me a thing or two (uh note it is really RE teach) about how to compose a better picture and got some creative ideas that I will try out and hopefully document now that camera issues have been solved. YAY!
    Another interesting thing happened while I was out of town. Hubbers drove the kids and I to my dad's house so he could catch a baseball game, but had to leave  us to our own devices so that he could go to work. This arrangement suits me just fine as I really don't care to drive in Seattle. I can, just don't wanna. Any how, I figured that maybe the time alone would do him/ us some good. For two weeks he wouldn't have to come home to rowdy kids, or their messes, after a hard day at work. He wouldn't have to deal with my eccentric behaviors. I thought wow, this will really give him a break. The funny thing is, I am not sure he needed it. He missed us right away (or was really super convincing any ways).
      One thing I noticed though, is how much I really truly rely on him. for emotional support, back up with the kids, and camaraderie. This may sound odd but I knew I would miss him, I just didn't realise how much. Five years ago, we were a military family and we did pretty well with all of his comings and goings (not that we had a choice lol). I was an Air Force brat and we form attachments a little different than your average person, mainly because at any time, your best friend will have to leave with little notice and chances are once they do, you will never hear from them again. As a kid, you deal with this by learning how to live in the moment which requires not looking back too much 'cause that can kind of sting a little. So that is kind of how I am with my attachments now. I guess unless I am married to you or you are one of my kids. Who knew? Maybe I becoming more sentimental as I age.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Father's Day

    With Father's day rapidly approaching, I had to really rack my brain for something to give my dad. He is very artistic (which means it has to be tasteful) and has the type of life style that allows him to go out and get most things that he could want. The last couple of years, I have decided that the only thing he doesn't have the ability to go out and buy is things hand made for him by his loving daughter. By making his gifts I can be guaranteed of two things. The first being that he doesn't already have it and the second that he realizes exactly how much thought and effort is put into his gift (that way even if he doesn't like it, he is still happy to have it. Muhahahaha the power of hand made gifts is unconquerable!)
    My father and share a love for art and the finer things, and as I tried to come up with something original with that in mind, I decided that I would find inspiration from the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods.  Well, I decided to use the KISS method (Keep It Simple Silly) and go with the ever traditional neck tie as a father's day gift. I found some really cool fabric, and using a vintage pattern, I came up with these beauty s:

Unfortunately my camera skills are not what I would like them to be, but hopefully you can see the beauty of them:) I thought they were so cool, I made some extras and listed them in my etsy shop. Hope your father's day gift hunts are going well. :)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Oh Wow What an Update!

   A lot of changes have rapidly taken place since my last post! Time for a super update, but before that, an appology for being away for so long. Once you see why, I am sure you will understand.
   As you know, I have been really wanting to do something that matters in the world, or maybe not the world but at the very least one person? I was thinking of social work or finding a super great charity and funneling my passions and energy into that. Well, what you may not know is that I have a child with Aspergers  Syndrome (a form of autism. He is 15 years old. I thought all was going ok with him, then one day when I was at work, I got a call from the County Sheriff letting me know that my son is fine, but that they had to bring him into the Emergency Room for evaluation. My heart just dropped. I was seriously freaking out but since I was at work, I had to maintain a professional demeanor (and let me tell you that was not easy) until I could find someone to cover the rest of my shift and get to the hospital to see my son.
    Isn't it funny that when you are told that someone is fine, you just can't really believe it until you lay your own eyes on them? You just kind of get the attitude of "I'll be the judge of that". This situation was no different. So at this point, my only motivation was to find my son a see what the heck was going on with him and do my own analysis of the situation.
     When I got to the hospital, what I saw was a child that was not fine. Sure he was breathing, and had no blood or injuries of any kind and physically, he was ok, but emotionally, he was definitely not ok. Apparently he had quietly descended into a depression so deep that he decided the best thing to do was to end the situation. The situation he was trying to end was the one where the actions in his life included breathing. I will not go into detail, Let's just say he had a definite plan, including a day and time picked. I was devistated. I knew he was feeling a little down lately, but I just didn't see this one coming. Thinking back I guess there were signs (symptoms of suicidal thoughts), but with my busy work days, struggling to meet even the basic needs of the family (having dinner ready, attempting to get the house clean, etc) I had absolutely missed them. He was admitted into the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Ward at the hospital.
     For me, this was unacceptable. I sincerely feel that, as a parent, I had failed my child. I got so wrapped up in the day to day things, I missed what was right there. I also felt powerless. Here was my son saying, I am done with you all and you have no choice in the matter. I have found out that there is not always clear cut signs and hope to learn to forgive myself for being..... human I guess (We can't all be one of those super moms that can juggle cooking dinner, helping Billy with his homework at the same time as closing a big deal at the office on her cell phone, while petting the dog and feeding the cat.); after accessing the situation, I decided to control the only thing I was really able to control- me. So yeah, I quit my job.
    This is a very scarey step for me! Wow is all I can say. My son was on the ward for a little over two weeks. In that time I put in my notice and through talking with my son, figured out what changes he would like to see happen and what changes I was willing/able to make happen. Surprisingly, seeing me everyday was pretty close to the top of his list (I would sometimes go 3 or 4 days without seeing him for more than 5 minutes in a day because of school and my work schedule). Now I am attempting to work at home. I have opened an etsy shop ( So far, I really haven't sold anything, but I am hoping to make it work. Right now I am trying to save up for Hippotherapy that is both costly but proven effective for children with autism and also for ones that are considered at risk. So, wish me luck! I'm gonna need it, oh and since I am a newbie on etsy, any tips or ideas from anyone (even if it is not positive) of something I could do better or make for your viewing pleasure (or should I say purchasing pleasure?) please feel free to let me know! I appreciate your input. Also, any of you out there dealing with any of these issues? PLEASE let me know. I want to talk to you or maybe just know I'm not alone in all of this.Thanks and I promise to start blogging more often. =^.^=

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Wooing The Man #1- How it Went

    When I decided on doing Wooing The Man #1, I thought it was going to be sooooo easy to pick some objects from around the house that would have meaning for both of us. Or more meaning for me until I explained what it signified to me. Boy was I wrong! I had to really give my brain a work out to figure out what gifts to give and why. I guess some problems came from the fact that my husband is a pretty sentimental guy and I..... well I am not the most sentimental of girls. I think this stems from being an Air Force brat. When you are a child of someone in the military, it really doesn't pay to be sentimental. You or your friends are always moving, your favorite things get damaged or lost in the moves- things like that. So for that reason, I think this one was a really good challenge for me.
      The items I chose:
           1.) A wrench
           2.) A tennis ball
           3.) A picture I drew when I was preggers with our daughter
           4.) A trash bag
           5.) My favorite picture from our wedding.
     The wrench was a bit of a challenge to wrap. I ended up making a box for it and wrapped the wrench with tissue so that it would feel nice and heavy but not bang around inside the box. I already talked about the reason I chose it, so I will move onto the next item: the tennis ball. I really just wrapped it as was. there was no real way I could disguise it, so I just wrapped it making pleats in the wrapping on one side. It actually came out really well. I chose the tennis ball because we started playing tennis in college together and make a point of playing every summer (sometimes until midnight or after, we love it that much). We even get the kids in on it. I am not very good at this game (and he lettered in it in high school) so he spends a lot of time laughing at me and I spend a lot of time chasing the ball, but we still have a blast!
      The picture I drew when I was pregnant was of Hubby in a hammock with a sleeping baby on his chest. The baby's head was turned away and he was in profile. the hammock was tied to a tree and the tree had a rake leaning against it. In foreground, there was a pile of leaves with a squirrel nearby looking for something to nibble on, and in the background, there was a storage shed. The picture was titled "[Hubby] Raking the Leaves". I was a single parent when I met my husband and had never had the luxury of raising a child with the father around. I had this excitement back then because I knew that he was the one that would stick by me. I don't know that I had ever told him that. To wrap the drawing, I took a medium sized pizza box, lined it with wax paper, covered the inside with wrapping paper and then covered the outside with a coordinating paper. I then mounted the photo on the bottom inside of the pizza box. After I did that, I just closed the box and taped it closed.
           The trash bag I felt was a little unoriginal, but I was kinda running out of time and ideas. I chose it because, as old fashion as it may sound, I believe it is the mans job to take out the trash. Even when I was a single parent, I always made sure one of my brothers came over and made them take out the trash mu ha ha ha (being a big sister rules :p). He always does this for me and I never even have to ask. I love that and never really say thank you any more. To wrap the trash bag, I just found a DVD case, took out the movie, the little movie booklet, and the dust jacket (or whatever that thing is called) and placed the trash bag in the spot that the movie booklet was in. After that, it was a piece of cake to wrap!
       The wedding photo, I framed in a really pretty frame I had around the house. It had a picture of my dad in it, but I decided that it was time to get my photo shy photographer/ dad to pose for some pictures of his own (it was a candid snapshot). When we got married, Hubby was home on leave and we only had 1 week before he had to go to his first duty station. In that time he had to spend time with his family, help me get our house in order, see any friends he would want to see, and oh yeah, get married. Our wedding was kinda just something we got through because we knew we wanted to be together, not the grand special occasion I had planned (lets just say everything went wrong that day). All of our wedding stuff was quickly whisked away as we moved out of state. We didn't really even see any pictures of it for a year. So really our photos have sat in a box, collecting dust. My favorite picture of him, though, is when we are saying our vows and he is getting ready to put the ring on my finger. He pulled the goofiest face that is just so... him. It cracks me up every time I see it and really brings to mind all of the good things from that day instead of the negative ones.
      I didn't do the extravagant candles and fire thing. I have been working a lot of hours so didn't have the time to be as elaborate as I would have liked. Instead, I wrapped the first present, put a name tag on it and accidentally left it on the bed as I had to rush off to work. Luckily, I had left the name tag blank. I called him on one of my breaks and he (and the kids) were all excited wanting to know who the present was for and what was in it and when could it be opened. I explained to Hubby that it was for him but he couldn't open it yet. He asked me questions every day "When can I open it?" and "Why do I have to wait?" and even "Why are you doing this???" lol. So yeah he was excited.
     On the day of present opening, he sat down with all of his little packages. He opened the tennis ball first, and his original reaction was one of disappointment. "So what you just wrapped up all of my old junk???" Until, that is, when I started telling him what the tennis ball meant. Then he opened each gift one by one and waited for me to tell him why that was special. He kinda seemed almost embarrased by the time we got to the last gift (in a good way). He seemedsurprised by the thought that went into each one, but better than that, I think he realized that I really do see what he does and contributes to the family, even if I never say anything to him. He saw that I appreciate all that he does. Funny thing is, I realized that maybe there are things that he appreciates about me, too.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wooing the Man #1

   I have been thinking about this for a while: What can I do to make things really great between hubby and I? Lately we have been in a bit of a slump. We barely see each other- he works days and I have been working nights. We don't seem to share a common interest any more. We used to play card games or video games or have a show that we both loved but those have seemed to have gone to the wayside, especially since our quality time seems to be when he is going to sleep and I am just getting home and making myself some dinner. All to often any more it seems as though we are living our own separate lives instead of sharing one. This isn't all that bad, there is a feeling of freedom involved, but if I wanted to have a relationship like that, I think I would have just opted for a roommate instead of a husband. I miss us. I miss our passion. I miss laying my cheek on his shoulder and feeling his skin against mine and knowing that for just that one moment, all is right in the world.  So I have decided to take the reins in the relationship department and start wooing him. I think that maybe it hasn't occurred to him that this needs to be done. Or maybe he feels like he is being taken for granted (I know I do). At any rate, something's got to give. So I decided why not give it a go? That is how project Wooing the Man has begun. Fortunately he never reads my blog (I am not sure he even knows that I have one) so I can post my attempts here.
   The challenges I face are these:
              1) It must be something from the heart.
              2) Low budget.
              3) Something that will get us talking about the positive things in our relationship.
              4) Big impact, small time.
This is what I came up with:
     Wooing the Man#1
    Every day for the next seven days, I am going to wrap him a gift. The gift cannot be anything purchased. It has to be from around the house. I am gong to wrap them as though there were something very expensive inside and put them on the fireplace mantle with a sign that says: Do not open til Thursday. No peeking! Or something like that. Next Thursday, once the kids have gone to bed, I am going to have a pile of seven presents all wrapped and tagged with his name on them. They are going to be in a pile around the fireplace and maybe even have the fire on. I am going to light some candles, and have him unwrap his gifts one by one. As he unwraps them, I am going to tell him the reason I chose to wrap that particular item up as a gift. The first item I am going to wrap for him today is a wrench (and cross my fingers that he wont need it for a week lol). The reason I chose the wrench is because there are so many times that he has saved the family time and money by working on my car (and his) and it is appreciated. I am not even sure if I thanked him the last time he worked on one of the vehicles. It could be because I helped him, well he let me feel like I was helping hehe. But really even if I did, usually little automobile repairs like that are appreciated at the time and then completely forgotten about. I want to spot light those efforts and let him know that I still appreciate him for it.
I am not sure what I am going to do for the other days, but I will keep you posted and let you know how it turns out. Wish me luck!