Taking the Scenic Route

Wednesday March 30, 2005

30th March 2005

Wednesday March 30, 2005

Visual-Spatial Learners

I found some great websites on VS learners.  This applies to all three of us, but especially Zach and Zane.


and this is one of the links from the above page, but I thought I would point it out because the cartoons gave dh and I a hearty laugh.


I really need to write the authors and tell her what a God-Send her information has been.  Truly.

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28th March 2005

Monday March 28, 2005

From Feebee:

Anagram your name

Mine is:  ‘Crazy angel enchants if rejecting.’

that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. 

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28th March 2005

Easter 2005


Well, Easter didn’t turn out quite like I planned it.  Actually, the whole week didn’t turn out quite how we planned. lol.  Spring Break week was dreary and rainy the whole week and too cold to do any of the outdoor activities we had planned to do.  We did get to do one thing this week that was great though.  Mom came up and watched Zane so Zach and I could go out to eat and see a movie.  WooHoo!  We haven’t had a date night in a long time, so it was really nice.  We split a steak at Outback, then went to one of the newer Warren Theaters to see Robots.  There were a few Star Wars references, which was particularly funny since Ewan McGreggor was the main character (well, the voice of the main character) and we kept hearing ObiWan anyway.  lol.  Robin Williams voiced one of the other main characters…it was a riot.  Oh, and we saw the preview to the Star Wars movie…it gave me chills.  I can not wait for the movie!  That preview was worth the price of admission it was so good.  It was really fun.  Zane had fun with mom…they played with playdoh, watched a Cedarmont Kid’s video, gave Zane a bubble bath…just had a nice evening with no tears. 

On Easter, we were planning on taking Zane out to my folk’s church, then to Easter dinner at the farm, followed by a day playing out there.  No such luck.  I woke up with my ear and jaw throbbing.  I downed a lot of Ibuprofen to try and cut the pain, but decided it was best not to go out to the farm since Joy’s immune system is vulnerable and I might have an ear infection. So, we stayed at home.

We finally got Zane out of bed (he did not want to wake up…lol…takes after us) and told him that the Easter Bunny had been here.  We got him a bucket and showed him the first egg or two, and then let him find the rest of the eggs.  He was really enjoying it and better at finding them than I would have guessed.  After he got them (plastic eggs, btw) and shook them (so it made a rattling noise) and told him he should open them because it sounded like there was something in there.  When he opened them and discovered Whoppers, a candy he really likes) he was stuffing them into his mouth as fast as he could, probably convinced that we were going to take them away.  We showed him the other things the Easter bunny left…a chocolate bunny and a row of peeps, and an egg carton with chocolate covered marshmallow eggs.   He jammed an egg in his mouth and ran away from us, but after some talking, he finally realized that we weren’t going to take away the candy and that it was meant for him.  The look on his face was priceless.  Then he took the bunny, started singing the bunny song from VeggieTales, and promptly ate the ears.  lol.  From that point on, he was more relaxed about the chocolate…carefully opening the eggs so the whoppers wouldn’t spill out all over the place and lining the balls up on the table instead of just stuffing them in his mouth. 

There was a point he stopped eating the chocolate and asked for regular food…I didn’t know kids could do that. lol.  The sugar rush was fairly insane, and at one point in the day he sat on my lap sort of groaning from a tummy ache…poor guy.  It was a pretty fun day for him, despite the change in plans.  I know he would have loved it out at the farm, but it just wasn’t a good day for that.  Maybe we can go out sometime this week…the weather is supposed to be a lot better.  Dad & Steve fixed the Olds, so we need to pick it up anyway.

eta:  I forgot to mention one funny thing.  When dh and I were at Outback Steakhouse, when the guy brought our food, he declared “Well Ladies, here is your food”.  Zach and I laughed and commented that at least Zane comes by it naturally.   Zach’s hair isn’t even long, and if people think he looks like a woman, he certainly doesn’t look like a pretty woman…he wouldn’t even look good in drag.  LOL.  People just don’t pay much attention I guess.

Carefully opening an egg  (notice earless bunny in foreground)


Chocolate fun…all over his face.  At one point he had chocolate on his arms and legs too. 


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25th March 2005

Friday March 25, 2005

Zane seems to be doing better with his hair.  Last night he actually attempted to cut it himself, so I think his fear of the scissors it gone, which I am really glad about.  Zach also discovered that if he ruffled the front of the hair to make it look spikey it looks a lot better…so we might actually go get a little bit of mouse or gel so it holds that shape.  It sort of had that D.J. Conner (from the Rosanne show) look to it. lol.

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24th March 2005

Thursday March 24, 2005

Isn’t learning supposed to be a part of higher education?  Opening our minds to new ideas, learning about the world, thinking.  Well, Florida politicians didn’t get the memo.  According to them, we should be allowed to sue a professor who either presents an idea that we don’t agree with, or asks us to present a logical, well-thought out argument to defend our opinions.  I guess thinking should be against the law now. 

This has got to be the most asinine piece of legislation that I have ever seen.  It makes me so angry that people would even begin to support this bullshit.  I can not believe I used to consider myself a moderate…stupidity like this is making me hate the Neo-Cons.  Hate.  I was annoyed with the true conservatives, even though I didn’t agree with them, they had logical arguments that made sense, just came from a different point of view.  The Neo-cons have blinded the conservatives and conned them into thinking they are the same thing.  Unlike the conservatives, the Neo-Cons are fiscally irresponsible, and rely on laws to limit personal freedom instead of supporting personal responsibility (which true conservatives are really into), and are actively working to destroy our constitution.

New story for more info:  http://www.alligator.org/pt2/050323freedom.php

On a really ironic, sad note, here are some of the quotes people keep throwing around to support these actions:  

“Large numbers of revolutionary young people . . . have become courageous and daring path breakers. Through the media of big-character posters and great debates, they argue things out, expose and criticize thoroughly, and launch resolute attacks on the open and hidden representatives of the bourgeoisie.”

“In this great Cultural Revolution, the phenomenon of our schools being dominated by bourgeois intellectuals must be completely changed.”

“The more books you read, the more stupid you become”

Quiz:  who was the originator of these quotes. 




Answer:  Mao Tse Tung, Communist leader of China

How is it that the Neo-Cons are quoting Communists, and then claiming the liberals are Communists?  Hmmm.

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24th March 2005

Thursday March 24, 2005

Haircut Hell

We cut Zane’s hair.  We found a stylist that specializes in kids who hate to get their hair cut.  She was genuinely nice, and instead of getting frustrated with him diving all over the place, she just seemed really focused. Despite the fact that I don’t really like the cut, I like how she treated him and us and if I ever decide to trim his hair, I am going to try her again for that single fact alone.  It wasn’t a spectacular looking cut, but certainly a whole lot better than the chop job I gave him.  It was a great cut considering he didn’t hold still for one second and we were in a constant battle to keep him on the cute animal chair thing.  She was careful, quick and kind.  The area of the salon was really cute…had an animal/jungle theme and a tv with a huge selection of kid’s videos, and suckers (which was particularly helpful for us since he has never had a sucker and almost never gets sugar…he was very interested in it)

I am just so sad.  I only wanted to trim his hair, but he moved and I got a huge chunk, and then I was trying to correct it…it just kept getting shorter and shorter.  His beautiful long hair is now short.  Shorter than I ever wanted it.  I like being able to see his eyes better, but I never wanted it this short.  Zach hates it. Really, really hates it.  Zane cries and grabs his hair every time he gets a glance of himself in the mirror, or even just when he is walking around and can’t see it, but feels that it is gone.  It really sucks.  I hate this whole thing.  It is depressing.  We are going to try and get some pictures for Easter, and at least we have a hat to cover up his head. 

It just looks so blah now…there is no personality to it.  It is the boring, dime a dozen boy haircuts now.  Wanna know the kicker?….despite the fact it is an extremely boyish cut, and we dress him in boy clothes, he still is called ’she’ every single time we have been out.  every. flippin’. time.  It wasn’t even remotely worth it.  I just need to let go of that little part of me that was unsettled having to correct people when they call him a ’she’, because it doesn’t matter one iota how I dress him or have his hair.

Most people around here would probably compliment it, which just makes it worse because I just feel sick thinking of how I ruined his hair.  It grows back, I know, but it will probably be the end of summer before it starts looking like him again.  I just hate that Zane is so upset by it.  I never thought he would dislike it so much…I just thought he hated the process of it but didn’t really understand what was going on.  I was really wrong.  At least I didn’t go to somebody who was hostile and we had to massively restrain him to do it. 

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23rd March 2005

Wednesday March 23, 2005

Anybody else not sure which side to take in this whole Schiavo case? 

I think way too many people have really strong opinions on this particular woman, and even thought there is consensus by professionals on the state of her brain, the parents aren’t listening.  According to one camp, the part of her brain that has thoughts, feels pain, gives us the characteristics of being human, isn’t there.  There is just fluid floating around and it is physically not possible for her to be communicating, and it isn’t possible for her to ever come out of it.  They attest that the video is several years old and heavily edited to make it appear that the woman has interactions and that if the communication was genuine, they wouldn’t hesitate to make a more current video.  Plus, the parents didn’t visit/weren’t interested in her until recently while the husband has been by her side and caring for her for over 15 years.

On the other side, the woman cried when removing her feeding tube, communicates quite well, just can’t speak, and her parents are saints trying to rescue her from her money hungry husband.  They seem to be oblivious to the fact that 15 years is an insanely long time to wait for her to ‘come out of it’, especially for a 20-something guy not married very long to the healthy her (relative to the length of time that she has been ill) and if there are any insurance benefits, the beneficiary will be lucky to have two pennies to rub together when all the finally bills are rung up. 

There is more on both sides, but it is along the same lines.  There is so much information that we aren’t getting, nor should we get, and there is a lot of conflicting information, but I really think the more valid info is on the side of the husband.  One side the dh is good, parents bad, the other side the parents are good, dh is bad. 

I actually hope she can’t think because living trapped inside a body, but able to think, would be worse than death.

I think the thing that disturbs me the most is the implications of the state stepping in.  If something happened to me, my husband has a lot better idea of what I would want, presented with the dx, than an unfeeling government agency.  However, I understand the fear of some that this means we will start to kill off anybody who might be a ‘burden’.  This issue is so complicated, but I really don’t think the government has any right to step in and over-ride the family decision. 

What I really don’t understand is that the Christian Neo-Cons are the ones pushing the issue.  Isn’t the reward of a comfortable, happy afterlife one of the basic tenets of Christianity?  Why is death such a horrible thing for these people?  I could understand if it was a group that believed that our experience here is it…for them  quantity would be more important than quality of life.  However, I have seen people first hand that were suffering and death was a blessing, and prolonging their life would have been cruel and heartless.  There was no quality of life there.  I also am shocked that the people who profess that they want less government intervention are the ones who are intervening.  It just makes no sense. 

So torn on this issue.  There is no right answer and everybody loses.  There is more than enough heartache all around on this issue.  I just pray that God walks with all the family and comforts them during this time, no matter what side they are on.

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20th March 2005

Sunday March 20, 2005

Some good stuff

My entries have been a little depressing of late, and I want to talk about some neat developmental things Zane is doing.

His ‘helping’ skills are improving.  Today, for instance, when we needed to clean up the megablocks all over the hallway, I started putting the blocks in the crate, encouraging him to help me clean.  Usually, this consists of him putting away about 3 blocks, getting sidetracked and starting to play with them or do something else, me handing him blocks and reminding him to put them away.  Today he helped me fill the first crate, and then when I explained that since this crate is full, we need put this crate away and get the new crate as I lifted up the crate.  He took the crate from me and put them in his room, grabbed the other crate and started walking around with it.  I thought I was going to have to catch him to get the crate back to finish the job, but instead he took it to the hall, set it down near the remaining blocks and started putting in the blocks.  WooHoo!  I still had to refocus him a few times, but we were able to finish picking up all the blocks.  Then, when I went to his room to clean up in there, he did a fairly decent job of remembering that we were putting away and not dragging out.  It took about an hour to clean up (would have taken me about 10 minutes without help), but through most of it, he helped put stuff away.  It was so nice to finally see improvement in that area.  I have spent so much time, and up until recently, it seemed like I was wasting so much time trying to get him to learn how to clean.  Today it seemed like it clicked a lot better.  I don’t expect it to go smoothly every time from now on, but at least it is moving in the right direction.

He is also seeming to understand how to do laundry a lot better.  I am sure it was confusing to him before…sometimes it is ok to pull stuff out of the dryer, sometimes you put stuff in the dryer…and for a toddler brain, which one was correct was confusing.  This week I noticed he seemed to understand that when I handed him wet clothes he puts them in the dryer instead of running around the apartment waving it around.  I had to catch a few run-offs, but most of the time he put them in the dryer and then grabbed a dryer sheet to lay carefully on top.  (because it has to be ‘just so’ lol)  Also, when I was putting clothes into the washer, at one point he grabbed his diapers.  I explained that we weren’t doing diapers right now, we were washing blue things (well, darks, but I figured ‘blue’ made more sense to him)  He actually started grabbing blue things and triumphantly tossing them in the dryer.  He even carefully poured the detergent in the washer that I measured out for him.  He was aiming for the hole in the middle of the agitator (where the fabric softener goes), so I gently helped him pour it on the clothes so I wouldn’t have to clean out the fabric softener container. lol.  He wasn’t sure about that, but was really excited to help.  After we closed the washer and started it up, he carefully moved his step stool back out of the way so he could close the bi fold doors in front of the machines.  (that is sort of cute too because when one door closes, the air pressure forces the other door to open a bit, so he is going back and forth a few times until both doors are flat) 

It is so nice to see something I have been trying to teach him take hold.  Hopefully the next thing will be not using every clean utensil I have as a drumstick.  *sigh*  Of course, I am not actively discouraging that bit of creativity, just hoping it will be less fascinating soon.

   Good Mail Today! 

We had a nice surprise in our mailbox today.  The shoes we won on ebay for Zane came!  They are some adorable stride rite saddle shoes…navy blue ’saddle’ on white.  We snagged them for $9.50!  They are $43-45 shoes.  YES!  So, inspired to complete his Easter ensemble, we went to the mall to get a hat to match his outfit.  Children’s Place had a ’spanky’ style navy blue hat that was just perfect for $5.50.  So, for $15 we have a complete Easter outfit.  (He fits into his outfit from last year, although it looks completely different because he fills it out differently).  Last year we took his photos without shoes and socks because we couldn’t afford anything that really matched, and just had him wear his old brown shoes with it when he wore it to church, even though it didn’t look quite right.  It was fun to do the outfit up like we wanted to.  I would have never expected to be able to use it again, but I am so happy about it. 

Hopefully sometime this week we can take him to a picturesque spot and get some neat Easter pictures.  I am NOT taking him back to that horrible photographer that ticked me off last Easter.  I wonder if the tulips are blooming at Botanica yet?  Anybody know when tulips bloom?  Or what flowers are blooming now?   I should go ask MellisaTulip…she knows about flowers.

We also got a flier from our DSL/phone provider with a special deal.  So, Zach called them up, upgraded our account to double the speed, and got $20 knocked off our total monthly bill for the next year.  Fabulous!  Now we have the same speed as the cable modem at a much better price and we don’t have to give any money to the aweful cable people that treated Zach so rotten.

Just a quick PSA before I sign off tonight.  Do not let your child drink Sobe orange creme when you want him to be asleep within the hour, even if there is only an inch or two left in the bottom of the bottle.  Two and a half hours later, when you are trying to figure out what is wrong with your child, you will suddenly realize the drink has Guarana, similar to caffeine, in it. 


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19th March 2005

Saturday March 19, 2005


Spring Break!

Our vacation week begins.  Zach was actually out of classes yesterday, but was working on some online assignments and tests, so it wasn’t really a vacation yet. 

Our plans for the week:

  1. get the house clean so we can enjoy the week more
  2. get laundry done…aren’t fishing for clothes
  3. get some movies to watch in the evenings
  4. go to the Zoo for a day
  5. check out some local parks
  6. go to Exploration Place
  7. on Monday, I go to the funeral while Zach & Zane play at the farm, then go to Hutch’s Kansas Cosmosphere & Space Center. 
  8. maybe go to the train store so Zane can watch all the little trains for a while (maybe pick up a piece for his Thomas set since it is kind of rude to go to a store and not buy anything but spend time looking at trains..lol)
  9. check out some of the museums in Old Town…I think there is a ‘transportation museum’ that features train stuff.  There is also an aviation museum, and ‘world treasures’ (or something like that) that has mummies and such.  depends on whether Zane can deal with looking and not destroying.
  10. knit, knit, knit. 

Right now, I need to take some Ibuprophen so I can get started on the week.  It sucks being a woman sometimes.  Right now about the only activity that appeals to me is sitting on the couch watching movies. lol


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18th March 2005

Friday March 18, 2005

A post on MDC.  I just love this comment.  It is from a parenting discussion (discussing the insanity of 3 year olds) (link here)

Good luck – it’s tough for sure. You’re not suppossed to be raising children pretty much by yourself. They are set up to be way more needy than that. It’s like trying to get a lawnmower engine to power an Expedition. But we all just clunk along as best we can and everything is FINE. Life is still wonderful and they are alive and fed and warm at least – and loved! It doesn’t have to be “perfect”! And I bet if you tried to pin down what a perfect childhood looked like you’d have a bunch of nutty contradictions and total impossibilities.                           ~momea, MDC member

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  • Zane's age

  • Zane is 22 years, 3 months, and 17 days old
  • Zora's age

  • Zora is 18 years, 3 months, and 21 days old
  • Random Quote

  • Where did we ever get the crazy idea that in order to make children do better, first we have to make them feel worse? Think of the last time you felt humiliated or treated unfairly. Did you feel like cooperating or doing better? — Jane Nelson

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