Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Well that didn't take long...

We knew it was only a matter of time until Dr. Phil managed to cast homeschooling in a negative light, in relation to the FLDS sect in West Texas. I'm going from memory here, but basically he asked the county sherriff or some such person why they didn't check in on the compound residents earlier on to make sure everything was okay out there and their education was adequate. The offical responded, correctly, that Texans have a constitutional right to homeschool and they had no legal grounds to investigate that matter. Dr. Phil went on to comment how it was a shame that there was no oversight so that the authorities could have seen these abuses sooner.

So, does anyone else see the logical disconnect there? What does the method of education have to do with sexual abuse? I'm not defending these wackos, but I do believe in the constitutional principle of requiring some evidence to warrant a search of someone's home. It's probably true that public school personnel are trained to look for signs of abuse in their students, but that doesn't mean that the purpose of public education is to check in on parents.

Also much has been made of the fact that the families were polygamous. Well, again not defending these people, but what is so bad about polygamy from the government's perspective? In a world of no fault divorce, gay marriage and parenthood, lowering ages of consent, and single parenthood by choice (artificial insemination of single women and other such stuff)... is polygamy any worse? As Red Cardigan wrote (see "And Sometimes Tea" on the link list), the government has pretty much tied its own hands on matters of faith and morals by refusing to defend traditional definitions of "family". Again, I am absolutely opposed to polygamy, but on what grounds does the state make any sort of sexual moral judgement these days?

Also of note is that several of the teenage girls were pregnant or already mothers. Again I ask, is that such a big deal in a liberal secular world? What's the pregnancy rate among public schooled teens? Maybe most of them use contraception and/or abortion, but I bet nearly as many "normal" teens are sexually active as those living in the FLDS compound.

On a somewhat unrelated note, I can't remember where I read this, but I had to laugh a few months ago at someone's comment on the Republican primaries. It was noted that the only top Republican candidate with just one wife was the Mormon.

Llama Clipper Hands

I've recently tried immersing myself into the world of coupons! Why? Well, my budget for weekly groceries is getting blown (big time) every shopping trip and the bleeding out must stop.

Three years ago I was able to get my cash out before entering the store, and when the dust settled I either had a few dollars left to grab some fries for the kids on the way home (or more depending on how well we did)... or grab a few extra coins from my change purse, no big deal. Now I'm never quite sure where the bottom line will be and have had to rely exclusively on my debt card, and there is NEVER money left over... more often than not I look at the total and think I probably consider auctioning off one of my organs!

So now what? Coupons. This is harder than it seems... at least to me. For the most part what I buy, I've worked to find the lowest price already... now I have coupons for different brands, and that takes time to stand at the product and decide if what I usually buy is still cheap (unit price) or if the coupon makes the other item a better deal.

For example, last Friday
-I had $16 worth of coupons
-I had scoured the circular for that store, and had planned my meals accordingly

Savings Summary:
MFG coupons - $5.35
Store Coupons - $6.10 ($5.00 off more than $50.00 in groceries, and then a few others picked up in the isles)
In Store Sales - $37.03
Total Savings - $48.48
(Sadly still way over budget, but working it down)

What have I learned... lots of clipping, but that doesn't always mean savings (for that trip). But I did save, more than justified the cost of a Sunday paper that we usually NEVER buy. Plus I still have several coupons in my in my stash for later purchases.

I want to get better about coupons... some many people out there have figured it out, I want to be one of those people (you know the ones, they hold up the line as they hand over the coupons... except I tend to be quite organized and shouldn't cause too much of a delay), I WANT BIG SAVINGS... so are you one of those people who know how to save at the store... HOW? Teach me! Give me advice!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Who knew?

My blog is worth $6,774.48.
How much is your blog worth?

Bad blogger mommy

I've not been very diligent about blogging lately... but it's been because I've been so busy. Therapy, generally slow moving around in everything I do, finishing up school with the boys, and now I'm watching a sweet little 18 month old for some friends (for a few weeks).

Updates are as follows...
-Snookie finished school last week! He's officially a first grader now!

-Bobcat and Bubba finished everything except for math (which we are doing year round).

-I'm supposed to be weening myself out of the boot slowly... I'm sore, new bruising is showing up, and I have this week (3 sessions) of PT and then I'm supposed to be done and all better (ha ha ha ha). Well, I'm supposed to have learned how to PT myself and take care of the rest of the work on my own.

-We WILL be going camping Mother's Day Weekend... AND I WILL BE WALKING ON MY OWN (gosh darn it, even if I have to kill myself in the process).

-Is it time for summer vacation yet??????

Just an interesting sidenote... all you mom's out there that started off with just one kid... wow, that must have been hard! At least with our new little daily friend, the boys do a great job of keeping him happy and entertained! I really am just there for some emotional support (when he remembers that 'Daddy' isn't there), and overall supervisioner and cooker (as Bubba calls me)!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

There's no such thing... too much beer! Or is there?

I picked up one of those Heineken mini kegs for a little shindig here at Casa Llama last weekend. I don't want y'all to think we are party animals. We were going to have seven adults, and the mini keg was $18, so basically the price of three six packs of cheap beer. I figured it was a good deal and had been wanting to try one for some time. Well, early on the mini keg sprang a leak and we'd only had four or five drinks out of it. So I went to return it to the store. They wouldn't offer me a refund, but they did let me exchange it. So now I have a mini keg all to myself. It says it will stay fresh for 30 days, so I guess I'll have to enjoy in moderation every night for the next month. We have some other friends coming over this Sunday, but I don't think they're beer drinkers.

You know, I should have just saved it for our upcoming beach trip - sorry, Familia Del Valle! We'll get another one on the island.

Monday, April 21, 2008

9-year-old boy flees Islamic school that makes beggars of African kids

It's hard to believe that this is really happening:

We are so blessed to live in the United States.

The rising son

Bubba and I have developed a little routine in the morning. I typically wake up earlier than the rest of the family, and am gone before sunrise. When Bubba was younger and still learning to stay dry all night, I would wake him up and send him to the bathroom on my way out the door. And I'd kiss his head and tell him to have a nice day and behave for Mommy. Well, he's been dry for over a year and I don't need to wake him up. One would think that he'd be happy to stay asleep longer, but he still likes to get up early to use the bathroom. The funny thing is his timing. I assume that he wakes up when he hears my shower, and then he lies in wait until he hears me in the hallway. Once I'm dressed, I head to the kitchen to grab my lunch, and that's when he emerges. He's always there when I pass by for his kiss and pep talk.

Today my routine was a little off. I went to the kitchen right after the shower to get a drink, and as I came back down the hall I heard him going into the bathroom. I assumed he'd do his business and go back to bed. But the poor little guy sat there for 15 minutes while I shaved and got dressed and then returned to the kitchen for my lunch. He must have been wondering if I'd ever come. I think he had started to give up because when I finally did come by, he was already headed back to bed. But of course I stopped for his kiss, and I saw that little twinkle in his eye.

I just love our secret little routine, sharing a moment while the rest of the house is still sleeping. I love his sweet little head and his sleepy eyes. I know he loves one-on-one time. I'm sure he knows my cologne, our boys have always been big on smells. I wonder if he'll remember these moments when he's grown up. I can't think of a better way to start the day than with a little Bubba waiting for his kiss.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Friday, April 18, 2008

Joy Behar is an idiot.

Evidently Joy Behar from "The View" thinks women should be allowed to be priests, and that priests should be allowed to marry. I'm not going to go into the theological reasons for a celibate, male clergy (and they are theological, not purely practical or historical). I just want to rant a little bit about the audacity of Joy Behar criticizing the Catholic Church.

First off, she's not even Catholic (I think she's Jewish). Could you imagine the uproar if a conservative Christian talk show host said that Jews and Muslims should be allowed to eat pork, or that Mormon men should still be allowed to have mutliple wives? Clearly anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable prejudice.

Also, why in the world do people still think that celibacy has anything to do with chastity? I want to say, "If only JFK, Bill Clinton, and Eliot Spitzer had been allowed to marry...." Oh wait... Clearly marriage in and of itself doesn't cure philanderers.

I certainly am as uspet as anyone at the abuse scandal of recent years. I want all of the pervert priests (mostly homosexuals, but don't you dare say that out loud, it makes all the "good" homos angry) and the Bishops who covered it up thrown in jail for life. It's despicable, they will have to answer to God for their actions. But it was a very few individuals, and does not discredit the church as a whole. And it has NOTHING to do with celibacy. Quit being stupid, Joy Behar.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Formula 1 Race Car Driver

After exhaustive testing 2 weeks ago (growth hormone stimulus tests), it has been determined that Bobcat can be labeled with idiopathic short stature. And in 4 months he hasn't grown a single inch or gained a single pound (based on their records).

Thankfully nothing is wrong with him. All of his blood tests came back normal, he will just be on the shorter side of the charts (hopefully 5'3" at full adult height). His endo. does want us to consider GHT, but in all likelihood it can't really increase his overall height enough to make the daily injections tolerable (in my opinion). More than likely what would happen would be that his childhood growth would speed up, but he would still top out at the same height.

So now what? Well Daddio thinks he will make a great formula 1 driver. You need to be small and agile, and Bobcat seems to possess those qualities... so that is what he's pulling for. While that would be really cool, there is no height requirement for being a priest either (or a POPE for that matter).

At any rate, we are pleased beyond belief to know that he is healthy... and I don't mind that he will be my spritely boy for a long time!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

President Bush and the Pope

I've been following the blog "Benedict in America" and I thought this was very interesting:

"It was the first time in his presidency that Bush had gone to Andrews to welcome any head of state. The air base has hosted more than 300 arrivals or departures by heads of state since 2006."

The president also gave a really nice interview with EWTN's Raymond Arroyo (I recommend The World Over podcast) and was not bashful about expressing his admiration for the Holy Father. That really endeared President Bush to me. He made a great comment about not separating his faith from his public office that was very eloquent. He's definitely not the blubbering idiot Jon Stewart wants you to believe he is.

Joy in the firsts!

As an adoptive mom, so many times I regret not being there for the boys' firsts... their first breath, their first cry, their first words, and the list goes on...

But with the choice of homeschooling, I've been there for many more firsts... firsts that I helped create! Today was one of those firsts... MULTIPLICATION!

Bobcat started working on multiplication... and he did his first problems today and managed to understand it! Yippeeeeeee!

Another song

I think the Ipod shuffle is trying to make me cry today. John Michael Montgomery's "The Little Girl" just came on. I haven't heard that song in years, since before we had the boys. Definitely hits close to home now. Here's a YouTube link. I'm pretty sure it's not the original video, someone else made the slideshow and set it to music. (And the story in the song doesn't quite match our boys', but still, it's a tear jerker.)

Now I just need to watch "The Land Before Time" tonight and it'll be the perfect day. My next post will be more macho.

A Step or Two

Another beautiful song came across on the iPod randomizer. I love rediscovering music that we bought in high school and haven't heard in a long time. This one is Michael W. Smith, "What Are You Waiting For". Here are the lyrics:

I walked this road so very long ago,
to show the way so you would know.
I walked the road with holes in my hands and feet,
to make the way. Come follow me.

No you are not alone, you will be free indeed.
The journey begins and ends with me.
One million miles, it starts with a step or two.
What are you waiting for? I'm waiting for you.

You run the race, thinking you've almost won,
Then you may find you've only begun.
You're on the road thinking you're far from here
And suddenly find, you're very near.

No you are not alone, you will be free indeed.
The journey begins and ends with me.
One million miles, it starts with a step or two.
What are you waiting for? I'm waiting for you.

This was just the song I needed to hear. I have a big account to work on today. Lots of little steps, it's a bit overwhelming to even get started. I've already had two coffee breaks, trying to put it off. Time to dig in.

Also, I hope we can use this song at some point in our work with prospective adoptive families, and prospective homeschoolers. It's a much gentler way to present our core message which is, essentially, "Quit whining and just do it!" Take a leap, folks. God will catch you.

To MommaLlama - I'm so glad we took the first step. Some days it feels like we're far from home. Some days it feels like we haven't gone very far at all. We definitely have a lot more steps to go, but we'll make it. I love you.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Progress Report

Homeschooling, while we have had our share of challenges this semester, is moving along quite well. Better than expected actually... and most subjects are well ahead of schedule. When I planned out the semester in December I had each of the boys finishing up mid-May... but thanks to a few days of great attitudes and concept comprehension that exceeded my expectations we are nearly done with everything NOW!

  • Finished Handwriting Book
  • Finished Phonic Book
  • Nearly done with Grammer
  • Spelling I'm purposely taking my time so that he is really getting it
  • Math is still somewhat of a struggle but that should be finished in the next few weeks (but I plan on Math going throughout the summer with drills, flashcards and activities)


  • Finished Handwriting Book
  • Will finish Phonics by the first of next week
  • Spelling (same as Bobcat)
  • Math (same situation as Bobcat)


  • Finished Math TODAY!!!! Yeah little man!
  • Finishing up Phonics this week
  • Finishing Handwriting this week

Me... well I have goals too ya know. For homeschooling I'm still finishing up my book order list for the next grade levels and working out the way I want to organize them. On the whole I'm pretty much done, I'm just researching some alternative Math programs to see if we can have a better year with Math than we've had the last few years!

On the injury front, I went to my first therapy (evaluation) session on Friday... and it turns out I misunderstood on a previous phone conversation... but I actually tore all three of the ligaments found in the previous post. The very nice therapist said this will mean a longer recovery time because... well, it just takes a long time! I am still very sore, actually the ankle pain seems to be getting worse... because I have daily exercises to help the muscles start to loosen up and those muscles have now become angry with me. But the pain from the RSD (some sort of nerve condition that is causing the bruising and pain found in other areas of the foot, my orth says I have a mild or early stage of it) is starting to settle a little. It went from any weight being put on the foot felt like stepping into broken glass... to now it just feels like jagged gravel! I call that improvement. And the massage they want me doing along with the exercise does seem to be helping... desensitizing the area, that went from feeling like my toe nails were being ripped out after the massage to just feeling like my toes and foot were smashed... again I know it sounds bad, but it happens to be an improvement!

Tonight I have my first of 9 therapy appointments... bring on the pain meds :-).

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Jolly Old Saint Nick

Patrick at Creative Minority Report has a post up about first communion preparations at this parish. Here's a sample:

"Then the children proceeded to the sanctuary right in front of the altar where they began a song that made the first little diddy seem like a Schubert composition. This song had more hand motions than a three day conference for the hearing impaired. Then they started a clappin'! Then they started a hootin' and hollerin' punching their fists Arsenio Hall style "Woo Woo! Jesus!" clap clap clap "Woo Woo! Jesus!"

Hilarious! As I posted previously, we opted out of the group instruction for Bobcat, and it's not half as bad at our parish (but they do require the making of felt banners... barf).

I got this wonderful historical gem from one of the commenters:

"At the Council of Nicea, Arius was TKO'd by another bishop, who was outraged by his heresy. What I mean is, he was slapped hard right across the kisser! The emperor threw the misbehaving bishop in jail. That night, the emperor had a dream, seeing that bishop resplendent in his episcopal robes and holding the Book of Gospels. Awakened and alarmed, he called his guards to accompany him to the dungeon. There they found this "disrespectful" bishop, just as the emperor saw him in his dream. The bishop was immediately released.That naughty bishop was none other than Nicholas of Myra. That's right... Jolly old St Nick cold-cocked a heretic!"

Any suggestions on how we can incorporate this story into our family's Christmas festivities?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Personal space

The next time you think your house is too small, consider the following:

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

More pain meds please! (Update)

I had my ortho consult this morning and the nice dr. says NO SURGERY! I do need lots of PT, and a re-evaluation in 2 weeks to check my progress. Hopefully the tear in the ligament will get better on its own and I should be good as new in a few months!
**Update** Actually I have two tears... one in the Anterior Talofibular Lig. and one in the Calcaneofibular Lig (say that twice without screwing it up). My PCP just called to ask how my appointment went and made the comment about the two tears... which the ortho didn't go into any real detail on while we were there.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


The boys are picking up on their parents' Catholic nerdiness. For example...

"Look, Mommy, I'm St. Peter!"

I'm proud of him for embracing his martyrdom with such joyful enthusiasm. St. Lawrence would be proud (who is said to have told his torturers as they were roasting him alive on a spit, "You can turn me over now, this side is done!")

A homeschool FAMILY

For a little fun on a Tuesday...

Monday, April 7, 2008

Long time... no post

That's mostly because I'm supposed to be in bed with my foot up... still. Turns out I have a grade 3 sprain (or 3rd degree... I wasn't paying real close attention as the PA was ever so gently jabbing and pushing on my foot/ankle of Friday). That's right, one week later and was still considered the worst sprain you can have. I called Friday morning a little concerned that the swelling hadn't gone done in one week, and that I still couldn't put any real weight on it, and I couldn't move the blasted thing. Needless to say that wanted to see me right away for more X-rays. Sometimes it takes a week or two for a fracture to appear, so they figured with the lack of improvement that clearly this was a case of fracture. After taking a nice long (touchy) look at my Shrek foot (cause that's what it looks like... including my little toes) she was sure that was the case. After the X-rays I amazed them all by not having any fractures. You would think that everyone would be relieved at this... not the case! Turns out it could be serious ligament damage or even a torn ligament... either way BAD NEWS!

We were then sent to another office for MRI's (yes, plural... I had two... each taking 35 minutes). They started with the ankle. Not a lot of pain, just had to be really still... which is hard when I keep having muscle spasms. Once that series was finished they started the foot section. I thought "no big deal, surely they won't make me move... it can all be done just the way I'm laying." Close, but they pinned my toes down... um UNCOOL. That hurt like a son of a gun... so for 35 minutes I laid there holding my breath, then a big deep breath, then hold it again!

Now we wait... 'til Wednesday when I have a consult with an orthopedic surgeon... yes my friends you read that right... a CUTTER. As luck would have it, the little PA that saw me let this little nugget fly "I've only seen one ankle this bad before and it did require surgery to repair the damage." HA HA HA HA... WHAT? Do I think I need surgery... um, I'm never a very good judge of my own severity... I either think it is too bad, or not bad at all and I can manage. But with this particular situation I really have NO CLUE!

What I do know is that we have our summer vacation booked 8 weeks from now, so what ever needs to happen... NEEDS TO HAPPEN NOW so that I can get over it and be ready to party down on the beach!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

7 Random Things

I saw this over at Matilda's blog and decided it looked fun, and would do one myself! So as always, here's the rules:

1. When tagged place the name and URL on your blog.
2. Post rules on your blog.
3. Write 7 non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
4. Name 7 of your favorite blogs.
5. Send an email/comment on their blog letting them know they have been tagged.

1. I love all things organizational. Office supply stores are off limits without Daddio for fear of putting us in debt beyond repair! And have mercy if those items are also way cool looking (because of color, design, and all together practicality of course). If the items coincide with scrapbooking, or crafting in general... well, it's every man for himself!

2. Expressions and sayings... I'm very bad at them. I usually say them wrong. It's my mom's fault, she always said them wrong and I never noticed... but Daddio catches them all the time and corrects me (and usually has to spend a few minutes explaining why I got them wrong and why they actually make sense when said properly)... for instance, Daddio's way: "six of one, half dozen of the other"... Llama speak would be: "one sixth, half dozen or the other".

3. I really enjoy mountain biking. Before the boys came along we went nearly everyday! Our gear was ready, and we would head out right when we would get home from work and stay out on the trails till we couldn't see the path!

4. I'm nervous in water when I can't see my feet. I love swimming, I love being at the beach, but in murky (deep) water I'm very uncomfortable and will start heading towards the shore. This some what irrational fear (yet some what rational if you consider I grew up in La. and we would boat and ski on the intercoastal canal... alligators, seriously!) was probably the reason I was really great at water skiing as a child, never fell off the banana float or tubes being dragged by boats! And when every one else would tip canoes on youth canoe trips... forget it! Same with wave runners, I'm staying on top no matter what!

5. I usually sit at a table with one leg folded under the other. I'm short (5'1" ish... my crutches say 5'4" though) and my legs ALWAYS hang when I sit, and it is more comfortable for me to only have one leg a'swingin'.

6. At night I use my foot to regulate my body temperature. I like to be bundled at night... meaning a top sheet and a heavy comforter (sometimes an additional blanket in the winter), and running a fan! If I get too hot under the covers, removing the covers isn't an option... I only stick one of my little tootsies out to cool down. Once I reach a comfortable level I pull the foot back under! This is one reason I don't like sleeping with socks on, much to the frustration of Daddio who complains if one of my usually chilly tootsies migrates to his side of the bed. I need an unadorned foot so that in case I get hot I can let it out to cool me off. Side note to this little air conditioning feature I have... when I get hot and sweaty, my skin is very cold to the touch!

7. I guess you could say that this little oddity goes with the one above sort of... but my resting body temperature is 97.2! So a few weeks ago when I was running fevers of 102... that was REALLY HIGH for me. What I think is pretty cool about this little fact is that I just found out that my grandmother and aunt also have the same temp., but my mom and sister don't!

Okay, I'm not going to tag anyone, but if you want to share your 7 oddities leave a comment so I read about yours!

I'm Special...

but not in the good way, more of the this is super inconvenient... 'did this really have to happen now' way.

Back a few days ago Daddio mentioned in this post in passing about an ER trip. Fortunately it had nothing to do with the boys... it was for me!

The long and short of it (is that how you say it... I never get those little sayings right?), I was unloading groceries on Friday afternoon, and went to get the last two things and when I took the last step to the car my foot made contact with the little lip from the garage down to the driveway (you know the one that keeps rain and what not from invading your garage) and... well... I went down like a sack of bricks. Apparently (once my sanity returned and I was laying in the driveway trying to compose myself) I rolled my right ankle right on over till it made contact with the concrete while my shoe stayed up on the garage floor level. Thankfully I was able to get the attention of Bobcat who was still milling about near the entrance to our house (via the garage) and he came out to get the rest of the groceries while I tried to figure out how I was going to:
  1. Get Up (without screaming... I tried once and it didn't go well)
  2. Get the back of the beast SUV closed (it's the one big door that goes UP, which meant I would need to stand in order to reach the handle to pull it down).
  3. Get inside
  4. Decide what to do next (which at several points I thought would include passing out, and throwing up)

I should also probably note that it hurt so bad that I could hardly control my crying (I don't cry about being hurt... I usually have a very high threshold of pain, and when something similar happened last year on the other leg I never once shed a tear, heck I walked on it for another hour, saw a movie, and walked back the car and it wasn't till the next day late in the afternoon that I finally decided that it wasn't getting better and should seek professional help). And when I see things on myself that don't look RIGHT I usually get sick... (I'm usually okay with other people looking messed up, just not myself). When I finally got in touch with Daddio and relayed the severity of the situation, and got my parents on the line to get them to come and watch the boys so that Daddio could take me to the Dr.... I was able to crawl back to the living room, take off the shoe/sock and apply ice and wrappings. Um, here's the part when I nearly lost my stomach for like the 3rd time. HOLY DELORES... um, it looked terrible.

After X-rays it turns out that thankfully there were no visible fractures... just a ton of ligament and tendon damage... a SEVERE SPRAIN. Did you catch the part when I said it was my RIGHT ANKLE? So now what? Well, I'm black and blue (and purple, green, and yellow), I currently don't have any ankle on that side that you can make out (just a very large lump on the outside and no definition on the inside and my toes look like baby carrots), I can't put any weight on it without the walking boot (and even then I can't put any weight near my heel, and for any distance I need crutches. Okay... right side... NO DRIVING! WHAT???

This is going to be a very tricky 4-6 weeks!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Our Father

I was once told, whatever voice God gives you, just give it right back to him. This girl actually has pretty good pitch for a 2-year-old!