Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thank God for Playdough

We skipped the vest this morning and did regular 'poundies' with the rubber percussor. But all day I psychologically prepared her for trying it on again. I'd say, "mommy has a present for you, and we're going to play with it while we wear our vest."

Froggy has never seen Playdough. I've avoided it thus far because she is so fond of eating crayons, dog food, etc. So this was a great opportunity to introduce something new, as a distraction for the big scary vest. And it worked. While opening the Playdough, I slipped the vest on her, asked her to turn the machine on, and we rolled Playdough balls, while singing, "Shaky, shaky, shaky, aaaaahhhhhh shaky, shaky shaky." Yes, I know I'm a dork, but I'll do anything to stop those tears.

She wore the vest (on a low level) for ten minutes, and when it was done, she gave me "five" and we danced around the house. This Froggymama is soooooo relieved. And once again Froggy amazes me with her bravery and tolerance. I love this kid, have I ever mentioned that?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Markers, what markers?
I'm a Picasso!

Yeah, it's up my nose, so what?

Tastes like chicken.

Froggy and her mama draw a rainbow with markers. Froggy pretends to color on the paper, but secretly colors her face.

Froggymama: Froggy, stop coloring on yourself. I'm serious!

Froggy continues drawing a green mustache above her lip and replies.

Froggy: I'm serious...too.

Froggymama laughs wildly and thinks, "alright, you win this time kid."

Monday, November 26, 2007

Quotes by Oscar Wilde

A true friend stabs you in the front.

All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling.

Always forgive your enemies - nothing annoys them so much.

Ambition is the last refuge of the failure.

Anybody can be good in the country. There are no temptations there.

As long as war is regarded as wicked, it will always have its fascination. When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be popular.

Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same.

Everything popular is wrong.

I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.

I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.

I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.

I sometimes think that God in creating man somewhat overestimated his ability.

Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.

Life is too important to be taken seriously.

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

Women are made to be loved, not understood.

Who, being loved, is poor?

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Froggy on the beach in Laguna.

Froggy with Auntie R. and Uncle S.

I love the look on Auntie R's face in this picture.
Cousin M. and her friend J.

Auntie GranDee. and her grandson.

Grandpa J.

Great-grandma B.

We had a lovely Thanksgiving weekend at Great-Grandma B's in Laguna. What an amazing dinner - turkey, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, and the best apple pie I've ever had, courtesy of Auntie GranDee. Froggy met her cousin "C" for the first time. They're about 5 months apart and got along great, taking the dogs for walks, smooching and hugging, and loving the attention they received from being the two cutest toddlers alive!

On Saturday we had a campfire on the beach, roasted hotdogs and ate s'mores, and the kids ran and ran and ran. Froggy was actually tired and fell asleep during treatment. I have never seen her exhausted, but we did it. We finally wore her out!!!

I was too busy eating and chasing Froggy around to take more pictures, so sadly, the beautiful turkey will have to be remembered as the leftovers I'm about to devour...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Froggy's Vest

On Monday, we'll receive Froggy's vest! It literally shakes the mucus from her lungs, and is more efficient than the percussion we've been doing.

Guess how much it costs? Nope, higher. Guess again... not even close.

This sucker is $16,000. It's more expensive than both of our cars, my wedding ring, computer, and basically everything we own put together. In fact, it's only a few thousand dollars less than our yearly household income.

I laughed out loud when the representative from the vest company said they would try to get our health insurance to cover some of the cost. I said, "good luck, because they've been so helpful in the past." The rep. said they automatically appeal and do all the paperwork for us. You have NOOOO idea how that made my day. Had we not been on the phone, I would have kissed her.

It arrives on Monday and then they'll send out a rep to help us get this toddler comfortable with being shaken like a martini. Wish us luck!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

'Night Froggy

Scene I.
Mommy and Froggy in bed - snuggling in after stories.

Froggy holds her monkey Bubba in the air.

Bubba's tail!!! (she pulls up his tail)

Froggy: Is there poo poo in there?

Froggymama: No, Froggy (a little annoyed, she is supposed to be sleeping) there's no poo poo in there.

Froggy: Is there pee pee in there?

No, Froggy (wondering where she gets this stuff).

Froggy lifts Bubba's tail, sniffs a couple times.

Froggy: Peee uuueewww Bubba. You stink.

Froggymama: Good-night Froggy.

Froggy: Is it funny?

Froggymama: Yes, you were funny. Now go to sleep.

Froggy: I so funny.

Scene II.

Still in bed.

Froggy holds her Rabbit "Helen" in the air.

Froggy: Where's Helen?

Helen's eyes are obstructed by her ears.

Froggy: Where's Helen?

Froggymama pulls back Helen's ears.

Froggy: There you are!
Froggymama: Are you ever going to sleep?

Scene III.

Froggymama wraps a blanket around Froggy.

Froggymama: Night night little Froggy.

Froggy: Toes, oh toes, where are you?

Froggy rips off her blanket.

Froggy: There you are toes.

Froggymama: Goodnight my funny girl.

Froggy: Huggy mama. (Froggymama snuggles the tadpole and says the lie that all parents tell their children, when they need sleep)

Froggymama: You rest, I'll be right back.

Froggymama exits and the sound of, "toes, toes, where are you." slowly fades as the nightlight goes off...End of play.

Poem: "Loss and Gain" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Public domain.

Loss and Gain

When I compare
What I have lost with what I have gained,
What I have missed with what attained,
Little room do I find for pride.

I am aware
How many days have been idly spent;
How like an arrow the good intent
Has fallen short or been turned aside.

But who shall dare
To measure loss and gain in this wise?
Defeat may be victory in disguise;
The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide.

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

If you don't read The Writer's Almanac everyday, you're missing out.

Everyday, no matter how busy, I read today's poem in The Writer's Almanac. It's one of my daily joys, like the moment my head hits the pillow, or my first sip of coffee in the morning, or when Froggy leans back, nestling her head against my chest, or when FD says, "pretty mama," -those things that make the dishes, the laundry, the grind all worth it. The Writer's Almanac is my moment of "oh yeah, that's why we're here". Enjoy.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Silly Girl

Froggy is a weird kid. She found my winter hat and has now worn it for three days. Keep in mind she screams bloody murder when we try to put one of HER hats on her. Nope, she likes Mommy's.

Today she wore it to the pharmacy, the other pharmacy, the bank, and on a walk with Buddy.

It's not cold out. She just loves this hat. Sadly, I've come to realize, I'm one of those parents who lets their kid wear whatever they want. You've seen these kids at the store, right? Wearing a tu-tu, moon boots, a bandana, leg warmers, a tiara, wonder woman underoos, and last but not least, a 'My Little Kitty' purse. Oh yeah, that's us - the weird family where the child looks like a cross between Boy George and a bag lady. And the parent, accompanying the cross-dressing-homeless kid gives you that look that says, "we pick our battles, and this was not one of them."

What are you gonna do? Life's too short to argue with a two-year old. And I get a kick out of the reaction we get.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Couple of Dates

FD and I actually went on a date. We saw the movie "Dan in Real Life" and it was funny, endearing, and it was soooooo nice to see a film that doesn't involve puppets, animation, or dancing Australians.

We get out so rarely, that when we do, we act like teenagers and talk during the credits, smooch during the smoochy parts, and eat way too much popcorn and candy. And it was a matinee on a rainy afternoon. Is there anything better than going to a matinee on a rainy afternoon? Nope.

Grandma and Grandpa babysat and Froggy had an amazing time with them. When we returned home, she was playing a new game she invented called, "Jump off the sofa onto Grandpa's chest!" He was a good sport.

Froggy and her boyfriend "The Bub" also went on a date, a playdate that is.

I know the pictures aren't great. It was difficult getting these two super-high-energy monkeys in the same frame. Fun, fun. And I had a lovely time talking to The Bub's mom and holding their new Boston Terrier pup.

It was hard to wake up to MONDAY. I've had the feeling all day that this is actually a Friday just stuck in Monday's body. It may be a long week.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Farmer's Wife

The Farmer's Wife

what was it like
to hold five babies in your belly,
and know them later as people

what was it like to wake with the chickens,
catching their eggs before they knew
they had laid them
without an alarm

just to wake
and know what has to be done
because no one else
will do it

what was it like

to fix a million meals
with colonial white bread,
butter and
jam jarred
on a wet summer night,
sweat and dead mosquitoes away, wondering
what it would be like

to sip champagne
in Paris.

what was it like to lose the man
you knew
as home
to cook his last meal
without realizing it was
his last

what was it like

to sway in a rocking chair that knew
the gentle curve of your hips, wood bending
for old age and apple pies consumed,
year after year

what was it like

dancing to the quiet music
of a broom
on hardwood floors,
swish, swish, swish
and dip
and the clock tick-tocking
and dip again
reminding the hours
there is still life
between the
and big hand

what was it like

to scrub every inch
of the farmhouse
over and over again for fifty years, memorizing,
like a poem or psalm
the cracks and ridges
that only you

what was it like to walk the rows,
where the corn grows
like a green green wall
and loneliness has no sound

what was it like when sleep wouldn’t come
because it was just too quiet
to sleep
what was it like

on your last day...
you said, ‘I have been blessed to know all of you,’
what was it like not to know
that it was we who were blessed,
even though
we never would know
what it was like
to be you.

- by Froggymama

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

A Day in the life of a Froggymama

I know these are boring. This is more for myself so when I'm 90, and want to remember the glory days of having a toddler. But feel free to read, or scroll down.

8am - wake up. I know, I know, most of you with small kids get up at 5:30am, but after reading this, you'll understand why we feel the need to sleep in.

FD takes out dog who has been clickity-clacking his toe nails on the hard wood floors for ten minutes, which in dog-world is like crossing his legs and screaming, "I gotta go, man!"

I snuggle toddler in bed, she kicks me in the ribs and says, "I so funny." I reply, "No, you're not."


Wash dishes from late night snacks,
Make coffee
Give Froggy her seizure meds
Prepare nebulizer equipment for Albuterol
Make bottle of apple juice with laxative and probiotic,
Suck down cup of coffee numero uno,
Put on a video and do albuterol treatment (20 min)
Then we pound her back (10 minutes)
While I'm doing treatment, FD runs to my bosses' house to put the rugs in the dryer (because I'd washed them the day before and didn't have time to wait).
For the lovely favor of running my errand, I thank him by being bitchy wife and say, "You didn't have your cell on, and I needed some papers from the coffee table." And he politely says, "You're welcome." I feel like a jerk, and make a mental note to apologize later.
Now that he's back...
I gotta run errands so I leave the LONG treatment for him (45 min)
While I'm away, they do her treatment and play.
I run to hardware store, buy plastic drawer knob for cupboard - for bosses' house
Inquire about HEPA filters - they don't have any, so we can breathe clean air after the fires,
Run to grocery store, pick up milk and essentials, spend 60 bucks and have no idea how, I only went there for MILK!
Run to pet store, pick up kitty food - the kitties have been without for DEAR GOD seven hours, and were about to call the Animal Police to report us for cruel and inhumane treatment.
Return home to sad toddler and frustrated FD. She won't take her enzymes before breakfast.
I shovel them in and encourage the stubborn girl to eat.
11am - nap time, for Froggy that is.
I give Froggy her iron, zinc, antibiotic, and another seizure med, prepare a milk, give enzymes, rock her to sleep,
While the tadpole sleeps for two hours,
Kiss husband goodbye - he's off to school,
Do breakfast dishes,
clean nebulizer equipment,
dry hoses,
set up meds for the day in their syringes,
call the nurse at Children's Hospital and inquire about Froggy's vest,
write blog about Froggy's seizures,
call the neurologist, she's not in so....
send an email to the neurologist explaining her seizure meds aren't working,
call back a 1/2 hour later and talk to her in person,
write blog about update,
make list of things to do for work,
make several work-related calls,
talk to two friends who are having tough times,
call my dad, tell him about the seizures,
scrub kitchen floor,
wipe off kitchen cupboards,
clean stove top,
throw out old food from fridge,
clean sink and counter tops,
swiffer the house,
shake living room rug and spray Resolve on it,
scrub living room rug, and hang it out to dry,
take laundry out of dryer that's been sitting all day,
fold clothes,
listen to NPR - yikes the world is crumbling around us, and I'm too busy to care,
check emails,
write thank you letters from Froggy's bday in September,
wipe up bathroom,
scoop kitty poop,
vacuum kitty litter from bathroom floor,
pick up Froggy's toys,
make organic mac'n'cheese for Froggy's lunch,
Froggy wakes up, we snuggle and read three stories,
defrost turkey cutlets for dinner,
throw them in the crock pot with cream of mushroom soup and sliced celery,
feed Froggy lunch,
Soak and wash Froggy’s shirt from a carrot explosion,
take out the dog,
get mail,
pay bills,
do lunch dishes,
and it's treatment time again, this one is only 15 minutes,
pound her back for another 10 minutes,
give Froggy more meds and a juice,
pack bag for running more errands,
put on jazz and dance around the house,
read another story,
give Froggy a pen I bought at the hardware store with a Tinkerbell top that lights up when you write, she's very impressed and writes all over her arms,
do more dishes,
drink more coffee,

call pharmacy for a refill,
eat lunch - garbanzo beans in spicy indian curry, with rosemary garlic crackers, promising fabulous breath the rest of the day,
call husband and apologize for being a bad wife earlier,
drive to bosses' house, and...
replace cupboard knob,
water plants,
check fax,
view mail,
take rugs out of dryer, put in bathrooms,
drive home,
give Froggy a snack, peanut butter, cheese, and juice,
more meds,
take Froggy and Buddy for a walk or RUN around the block,
FD calls, we meet on the sidewalk,
I take Buddy home,
And we meet back at the park,
Froggy and her friends play,
I catch up with another mama,
Home again for Albuterol treatment (20 min and poundies)
While FD prepares dinner, I run to the grocery store again
For items I forgot, and purchase cleaning supplies for my bosses’ housekeepers,
Home again, I help Froggy eat her dinner,
Check email,
Do dinner dishes,

beg hubby to go to the pharmacy to pick up meds, he does, yay!,
More meds –seizure, antibiotics, vitamins,

Cook rice for dinner, throw everything in the oven and defrost some veggies,
Last treatment – 45 minutes, plus more poundies,
Have a quick dinner with FD, while Froggy sits on my lap and pours a ton of salt on my food,
Brush Froggy’s teeth,
Read two more stories,
Make a milk bottle, give enzymes, she refuses to drink anything,
Rock Froggy to sleep,
Pick up the house,
Do dinner dishes,
Yell at husband for not doing the dishes like I asked,
Apologize to husband for yelling,
FD goes to bed,
I check emails, write this blog, have a glass of wine,
Eat some crackers, watch Law & Order and it’s off to bed, until tomorrow,
When it starts all over again.

More Froggyisms

(Froggy trips over Buddy)

I sorry Buddy.

(she then leans into his face and says eye-to-eye)

I didn't seeeee you Buddy.

The dog silently acknowledges her apology.

(Grandma W. catches Froggy trying to drink out of the dog's bowl.)

Grandma W
Froggy no, you are not a doggy!



Froggy's seizures are not improving with her new medication. Grrrr!

I just put a call into the Neurologist to see where we go from here. I'm disappointed. Think "no-seizure-thoughts" for little Froggy today. And I'll keep you all updated.

Besides the Epilepsy and Cystic Fibrosis, she's doing great! Sorry for the sarcasm. My coffee is wearing off, and I'm feeling tired and crabby.

***Update*** The neurologist increased her new seizure med. And we'll keep her on the old one too, until she adjusts. Cross your fingers, legs, hair, pray, chant, do a little jig that this works!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Sweet Home California

The Venice Drum Circle at dusk.

SissySnuggiekins took this photo.

Froggydadda and Froggymama

SissySnuggiekins with a 'shrunken head tattoo' from the freak show we went to in Venice, where we saw a live turtle with two heads, a pig with his heart on the outside of his body, and a cyclops piggy (in formaldehyde). Ahhhh, only on Venice Beach.

Couldn't you just smooch those lips?

Only in photos do I realize how much taller FD is.

Two sissies in the sand.

Grandpa J. at sunset.

Grandma W. clapping to the drum circle.

We got in at 11:30pm last night (which was 1:30am Iowa time) and we're exhausted! Today we unpacked and then hit Venice Beach and the drum circle with Grandma and Grandpa and Sissysnuggiekins.

I'm too tired to write, but the sunset and beach were a warm welcome home. Ahh, we missed our Froggydadda, Sissy, Buddy and kitties sooo much. It amazes me that one day we're running through a cornfield and the next, sinking our toes in the sand.