A Dozen Good Eggs

Friday, July 13, 2012


I am sick. didnt sleep well. up off and on all night. when I did sleep I had short little dreams. Tara came to me in my dream. she was well and happy and running.  I miss her. She was a real pain but she was my pain and I loved her.  The kids are still lobbying for another dog. Eric and I aren't feeling its the right time.

Sophie went off to clinic with daddy today for an x ray of her leg. they will email it to Van bosse. hopefully he will let us know then if we need to return for another visit or not. (hoping not)

Mocha rarely leaves my side. she is sleeping on the floor near the bed right now. She sleeps under my feet at dinner. if I put on my shoes she is already in the car. She is not going to take a chance on losing me. or maybe she feels I need her. I dont know. I do, though. need her. When the kids go to school she is my company.

Sophie is getting to be a reader. I catch her trying to decode words wherever she sees them. I havent spent too much time with her on her words or math this week as Eric is on vacation and we have been busy doing fun things as a family.

Cody went to his dads for the week. His dad will drop him at summer camp. Chrysta is at camp this week and next. The other kids go to camp a week from now.  Andre Ben and Sophie and I are going to try to do some fun things since they dont get to go to camp. I promised Andre a train ride since yesterdays train ride didnt work out.

Not much else is news around here, except the BIG news is that Stephen is coming to town. He is a friend of ours from twin cities and the kids absolutely go nuts for him. they adore him. so everyone is quite thrilled that Stephen will be here!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


our brown eyed beauty girl Tara got hit by a car a few days ago. it was terrible. it was traumatic. she broke her back. it might have been easier on all involved if she had been killed instantly. we had to put her down. We buried her out by the garden she loved so much to run through. I cry every time I go anywhere because I cant stand to see the road. I cry every time I come back from anywhere because I still have to go across that piece of road and I am reminded she wont be here waiting for me. I cry a lot. I held her on the side of the road with my foot going numb under me, lest I should move it and upset her. I got blood on my clothes. I looked into her beautiful beseaching brown eyes and cried for her.  Eric went home to get the truck and I stayed with her. he stayed in the back of the truck with her and I drove us home. so the driveway hurts me too. Mocha misses her buddy. The kids miss their buddy. I miss my funny girl. Eric misses his hunting buddy that never did hunt. the same day she died we were laughing at her climbing all four legs into a giant watering container Eric keeps in the greenhouse.  the kids have never encountered death before. they have a lot of questions and comments. It is hard for me to deal with them when I am still so upset by it myself. Ben wants to know if she is going to rot. he also says well Tara is dead. Andre worries unnecessarily about Mocha getting hurt. Diana wants to know where it happened. Natasha immediately asked if we could have another dog, but later cried. Maia says she misses Tara. Jaeger and I sobbed together while Eric buried Tara. Sophie tells everyone we meet that our dog died. Ethan was fairly stoic but did get a little tearful/misty eyed. Cody was mad at us for putting her down. Chrysta wanted to stay home from the band camp she has been looking forward to for MONTHS. We made her go to camp. she is doing fine. staying home wouldn't change anything. Tara would still be gone. the kids would love to get a new dog but as much as I love animals I have to say no. I am still so heartbroken about Tara being gone. I dont feel that a new dog is a good idea. Tara cant be replaced. they need to learn that. Important loved ones can not be replaced. So we moved here a three dog family, and we are now a one dog family.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

back in philly

kids are being naughty at home. nothing I can do about it from here. should be home on saturday if the house is still standing. a couple of my kids are really ticking me off. and it isnt the little ones. I dont have the energy to say more than that about it.

Sophie sees doctor tomorrow. we are staying at camden. A woman we met here when we were here a couple weeks ago had her baby yesterday. I hope he and Ashley are doing ok. Im thinking of you Ashley!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

My Imperfect Child

My child is not perfect. There I said it. She is not perfect. Her body does not allow her to do all the things she wants to do. She was born with something called Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita. In layman's terms it means she was born with contracted joints. What is a contracted joint you ask? It is a joint that is fixed or frozen and does not move. She is affected in most of her joints.

She is unable to do most thngs for herself. She uses a wheelchair. She can not dress or undress, use the bathroom without help, bathe herself, and sometimes due to the difficult surgeries she can not feed herself.  I often wonder how she tolerates the painful treatments, the rude stares and nasty comments. People talk to her as if she can not understand. She understands just fine. It's her muscles that don't work, not her brain. I think to myself I would be a mess if I had to live like she does. How would I handle the struggles she faces? 

 And yet, she wakes with a smile every day. She tells me how she is going to help me with housework as soon as she learns to walk.  She tells her "brudders" to wait for her if they are going to play. She goes to school, learns, writes, and generally makes do with what she has been given. She never met a stranger, and makes friends everywhere she goes. She has a bubbly personality that seems to draw people in.  She does well in school and has lots of friends there.

As a parent you look forward to all the things you can teach your children as they grow. You don't think about what it will be like if you can't teach them. What if you never know the joy of teaching your child to walk?  Will it be ok? What if your child never learns to say those special words every Mama loves to hear?  Will you manage?  Will you learn to love her as she is?  If you do, you might find that even though parenting isn't as you pictured it, the person doing the learning isn't your child, it's YOU!

Our little ray of sunshine can't walk with her legs, but she takes us down many roads we may not have chosen to go on our own. She is the one doing the teaching. She leads us. Some of the many things we have learned is how to smile through adversity, to be kind to others no matter their treatment of you, to be brave when you would rather fall apart. I know I couldn't live like she does with her disabilities. I don't have the wisdom. I don't have the brave face. I don't have the never wavering smile.  She is not my first child, but she is the first child to teach me so many hard lessons I never thought I needed to learn.  Raising my imperfect child has taught me more than my college degree. It has taught me more than 40 years of life could teach me.  The next time you are faced with a scary challenge, think about my imperfect girl. She never gives up. Ever. If she fails, she tries again, she tries harder, until she reaches her goals. In spite of all the adversity thrown her way, she just keeps on trucking. It's too bad we all can't be as imperfect as she is.  Imagine what we could do if we were.

Monday, July 2, 2012

another day another tantrum

Andre started the day with another doozy of a tantrum. He decided he didnt want to live here any more. over and over he said it. he says it all the time. so today I told him if he would like he can call me Tammy instead of Mama and I will talk to Eric and see where we can find for him to live since he doesnt want to live with us. his eyes got big,  and the tears started falling like a storm. I asked him if maybe he didn't want to stay is that why he was crying?  He curled up in a ball and wouldnt let go of my arm. I said to him that I thought he wanted to go since he keeps saying that. and I dont want him to stay here if he is unhappy here. no. he didnt want to go. then I asked him if he would like to call me Mama or Tammy. he whimpered Mama. so I told him if he was going to stay and call me Mama then we were a family and he would have to pull his weight and help out around here, not have a tantrum when asked to help out. I dont enjoy washing his wet bedding. but it must be done and we are a family so I do it. and he needs to do jobs that sometimes he doesnt enjoy. if its a job he likes its NO PROBLEM he will work all day. but toss out a job he doesnt feel like doing and forget it. thats what happened this morning when I asked him and the others to put dirty dishes in dishwasher. Jaeger emptied the clean ones, everyone was loading the dirty ones. he absolutely refused to help. refused to sit on his bed. after our little come to jesus talk he has been sweet and helpful.  not that it will last long. it never does. but Ill take a break where I can get one.

I went to the dentist and have a gum infection. that sounds fun doesnt it? the monkeys devoured an entire bag of chips at snack time and didnt save me even ONE! I guess at some point they will be hungry again so I better go work on cooking some dinner. Last night we ran out of water so we couldnt cook because I couldnt clean up. so tonight its fajitas. it was natasha's plan to make them but she is nowhere to be found. I guess its my turn to cook.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

back to philly

we have enjoyed being home. sophie goes back to philly next week. her leg is almost straight right now. i am hoping after this visit she will be sent home for the duration until the next surgery scheduled sept 19.(I think) she is bored mostly. and a bit whiny and spoiled. the other kids are having mama boot camp also. they ran wild while I was gone. noone did anything for chores. with the exception of Natasha who did try to keep things clean and has a sense of what its like to clean up after these monkeys. the laundry was 3 feet deep and I am not kidding. on the last of it right now.  good thing I came home early. I cant imagine what would have happened if I stayed gone another two weeks. Natasha also has a sense of what Mama likes and she likes to please. she knows it stresses me greatly to walk in to a disaster and start cleaning the moment I walk in. My standards are not high but I do like to have a trail at least!

My friend Teresa and her husband Mark stopped by today. They drove in behind my friend Cindy that was driving down my driveway to bring me some handmedowns. Cindy called me from the driveway to tell me she was driving down the driveway behind a BEAR! The bear was not at all concerned about the two cars behind it. it eventually turned off at the gas pipeline clearing just down from the house. so the kids are staying close to home this afternoon.  The dogs stay out all night to keep critters away.

It has been very warm here this week. Might have to bust out the one and only lonely fan we have. its an old box fan that doesnt even have a knob any more to change settings or turn it off. its either plugged in and on high or unplugged and off.  Probably going to have to invest in curtains for our room also. the sun beats so hot on our windows and the door always gets blown shut and then we go to bed and its like an oven after baking all afternoon. the rest of the house stays fairly temerate. if you get too hot you just go outside for a bit and suddenly its not so hot inside lol.

Andre had a doozy of a tantrum today. every so often he does. I ended up on his bed holding him (or rather holding myself in a way that doesnt allow for him to get up and leave.  He screamed and hollered and told me all kinds of nastiness. but after awhile he always comes to the point where he realizes it isnt working and asks if I still love him. I assure him that I do love him but I do not like his behavior. He decided to clean his wall after he calmed down. It is filthy from all his pounding with his hands and feet.  They have only beds in their room. Ben loves it because he can walk without falling down. I like it because its easy to keep clean and nothing gets destroyed. Andre does not like it because he equates "things" with love. he is hover extremely irresposible with his things and destroys things so putting toys in his room is just asking for it. clothes in his room just asking for it. so nothing in his room works best. One thing he really wants is a guitar and I wont give him one until he can show me he is responsible. that is proving hard for him to do.

When I got home last week I got a package in the mail. it was a beautiful flower basket arrangement from Pat who reads my blog! It totally made my day. made my week!!! I was thrilled.  Thank you so much Pat! It was so thoughtful of you!

I guss thats all the news from Lake Wobegone. where all the women are strong, all the men are equal, and all the children are above average.