Monday, January 31, 2011

In for the duration

If  you’re in the Midwest, or the other areas that are getting ready for this big winter storm at our doorstep, you’ve probably prepared for being home tomorrow and Wednesday.  At least I hope so.  If you’re in the StL area or most of MO, you’re seeing the first round show up this morning.

My light post in the front is already showing the freezing rain in action… 10:45am
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’m going to try to remember to take some pics every hour or so to see how the icicles grow.  They already have since this picture was taken.  In fact…. hold one moment please…

Here ya go. Up to the minute… 11:15am.  See how the little cute frozen drops are longer? This is a better angle with the tree behind.  So fun. (IF you get to be inside, thank goodness for that!)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We get a little pause in the action this afternoon, then the big punch comes. More sleet followed right behind by a big load of snow. No better combination than that to bring our city to a halt, if my guess is right.  They’re already predicting power outages from the 1/2 to 1 inch of ice that will be on us before the snow comes.

So we’re in for the duration. And we pray for those that don’t have that luxury… be careful, friends.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What’s your name?

Due to recent events that will not be explained further--and don’t worry, the details are boring and you’re not missing anything super dramatic—I’m going to repost a part of a post I did over a year ago about how we refer to Down syndrome in many different ways. This particular part isn’t about DS at all, but instead about our family names.

In our family, names are a big deal. My husband’s name, though I generally refer to him as M in writing and sometimes in person, is Muncher. Yes, that’s his name. He’ll be happy to show you his driver’s license if you don’t believe him. I have two daughters, Nebraska Larae and Kinlee Carene. Not the most common names ever, we’re aware. Usually they are known as Braska and KiKi. In blog land, I’m known as RK, and many people in my face-to-face life call me that as well. My name is Randa (pronounced ran-duh, not ron-duh) Kay, usually used with a hyphen—Randa-Kay—because I’m not a fan of Randa by itself. (Long story, not one that the blog will be carrying.) I have a sister I’ve called by her initials for most of her life, there are others in my family who have been known by nicknames most of their lives and have started using their given names, and there are also cases of the opposite—choosing to use a nickname over a given name.

In case you missed it… “because I’m not a fan of Randa by itself.”

I know that many people who have known me since birth call me this, and in most cases, those people get a pass…my parents, aunts, uncles, siblings, cousins, my parents’ friends, and a very tiny few special people from college. But those people have all known me 20 years or more. As an example, I’ll say I appreciate that my dad calls me Randa-Kay. He doesn’t have to. He’s my dad. But he knows my preference for it and he honors that, and I think that’s nice. Thanks, Dad.

I know it’s petty in a way. And I’m not yelling about it or getting all mad. Though sometimes, when I’ve been clear either in conversation or in writing communications with people, I get a little annoyed that they don’t seem to listen.

It’s like if someone named Mary Ann was emailing me and in her signature was “Mary Ann” every time. And yet when I address her reply emails, I would start with “Mary,” and then go on with the note. What sense would that make? She wouldn’t put “Mary Ann” on there, always signing that way and introducing herself that way if she wanted to be called Mary.

Granted, there are situations where most people know a person as Katie and professionally they go by something more… well, professional. Like Katherine maybe. That’s fine. But her husband and siblings still call her Katie when they get together. If she stipulates that she wants to be called Katherine in all contexts, then great.

Part of it is my fault, because I tend to shirk off the “do you have a preference?” question that some ask about what I want to be called. And I’m not doing that anymore. I’m sharing what I prefer. I mean, if they ask, surely they’re open to accepting the answer, right? If I say, “Oh, it doesn’t matter.” (which has been my usual response) then I can’t get upset that they choose whichever one they want. If I ask someone that question, and they say they don’t care, then I will call them either whatever I’ve known them as to that point or whatever is easiest to remember, depending on the situation. So it’s my responsibility to be upfront about it. Fair enough.

I’ll not carry on and on about it, but just a note…and most affected parties do not even read my blog, but for what it’s worth, there you go. It’s just shown up out of the blue in the last couple of months…and I don’t get it.

Anyone else have issues with the same? Do you use a shortened version of your name or use your middle name primarily or anything like that?

(Edited to add: Per Karol's comment about a preference between RK and Randa-Kay, I don't really have one. So yes, that means you can use either interchangeably. I generally introduce myself as Randa-Kay because to say RK always brings a questioning glance and "come again?" Or the need to clarify what that stands for...as LC knows well... Well, actually, no matter what I say when I finish, "My name is..." I get a request to repeat it. I should have picked a nickname like Betty or something, I guess, and just ran with that. But between those two, either is ok. It generally plays out that people who know me well, end up with RK (like my husband often does), whereas those who are more casual acquaintences call me Randa-Kay. Clear as mud, right?

Karol, I've been RK to your gang since day one, and I'm good with that!)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hurting for those grieving

Today people dear to me lost people dear to them. And they have had more grief in their lives than anyone should have to experience. I hurt for them, and I pray for them. At the same time I pray for the parents of their friends who lost children today, families who did not expect today to be the end of their joy. But I'm sure that right now it feels like that is the case.

I've not experienced this situation personally, not to this degree. But I've come to know grief through the eyes of a few close to me recently. Though dealing with it indirectly will never begin to compare to what a mother, son, father, daughter, sibling, or grandparent will feel. Yet I can feel the hurt of my friends, and I wish I could do something. Anything. Participate in their comfort. But right now, there's not much comfort where these families are.

Another dear friend lost her father a few weeks ago, who I knew well and loved also. One very special man, who made everyone he met feel like the star of the world when he gave a hug and asked what was new. The pain is so fresh. To feel such a yearning to help and be completely helpless is difficult. But nothing can compare to the pain that these families feel.

So I pray. Which is the most powerful thing I can do for them. It's not a last resort, by any means. I pray for peace that passes all understanding. And I pray for people very near to these families to be able to stand up for them when they falter and cannot do for themselves. I will do what I can, listen for as long as it takes, hug over and over, check in just to let them know I haven't forgotten them nor their loved one. And I will continue to pray, for I know that God does know the pain of losing his Son, and he is there where the tears are flowing tonight, holding tightly.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Best laugh in a LONG time

Do NOT miss this... thanks to Karol for sending this to me. M and I just sat on the couch and were in TEARS laughing the whole time!!

Seriously...totally the endorphins you're gonna need today!



(The funniest part for us?? This girl is just like Kinlee...she talks in that same even rhythm, goes from smiling to crying in seconds, and notices random elements around her. It cracked us up! Guess it's considered impressive for an almost 2-year-old, but maybe not for a teen? ha!)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Kinlee-isms #3 and evidentiary video

K: Mom, I don’t have a button in my belly.
RK: Well, you do have one button, you just don’t have two like Braska.
K: I want to have two buttons. Where is my other button?
---------

K: Mom, I need you to open the cab’net. It’s too hard for me.
RK: I’ll help you in just a minute.
K: I want you to help me now, please. I don’t want you in a minute.

---------

K: Snoopy is a good dog. And Blue is a good puppy.
RK: Yes, honey, they are.
K: I love Snoopy, Mom.
RK: That’s good, KiKi. Snoopy is pretty cool.
K: Belle is a good dog, too, Mom.
RK: Yes, KiKi, Belle is a good dog.
K: I love Belle, Mom. She’s a good dog.

--------

When singing any song in the car or around the house, if Braska starts to chime in too…
K: Braska’s singing my song, Mom. I don’t want her to sing my song.
RK: It’s not your song, Kinlee, we can all sing the song. Braska can sing and Mommy can sing and KiKi can sing. All together.
K: We can sing all together. Everybody sing the song?
RK: Yes, it’s everybody’s song.
K: I don’t like everybody’s song.
(This exchange, verbatim, is a frequent occurrence.)

--------

RK: It’s time for night night. Let’s get jammies on.
K: No, mom, I wear naked body to bed.
(She took to removing her jammies in bed, so we just let her sleep in her diaper and heat her room a little better. And she is SO excited when she gets to take her clothes off and get into bed.)
RK: Ok, you can wear naked body to bed.
K: NAKED BODY! (running around in circles) I love my naked body!! OH! (stopping abruptly) I need my bunny, blanket, and bink first, Mom.

We might be in trouble…

Exhibiting some of the “naked body” excitement…Here’s some video that I took about a week ago, just trying to capture some of the silliness we see so often. I realized that I will want to be able to look back and watch these little clips, though there’s not much “new” stuff in it, it’s just the normal. It’s the regular. It’s what life is right now. So enjoy, if you want to see a lot of silly girls running around being silly girls. If nothing else, it will probably provide you a few extra smiles today. Grandparents, you’ll probably want watch more than once if my guess is right.

If you listen closely, which is hard since my voice is the loudest…my apologies…you’ll get a good example of how difficult it is for M to get a word in edgewise at our house with us three chatty girls living here… a little Jingle Bells, a little cheering each other on, big sister bossing, great giggles, a Mark Sanchez impression, and random funny little bits.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Intro to snow

Yesterday Kinlee asked to go walk in the snow. Precisely like that.  “Mom, I want to walk in the snow.”  And I bundled her up and let her do just that.  There are many more pictures on Braska’s blog if you’re up for the pink snow bunny look.

But it just dawned on me now that this was my first time to play in the snow with my daughter.  Not just this daughter.  Braska’s never cared anything about the snow, other than liking to watch it fall from inside.  So here’s a picture from my first parenting adventure in the snow.  It was short, but fun. Not too bad. 
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Maybe tomorrow I’ll get them both suited up and we’ll see what Braska thinks, too.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Late night blog construction

Playing with new ideas...hopefully it all comes together.

Edited to add: More work to do, but I'm soooooo tired. Still bugs to work out, so bear with me. I know there are some issues with the header images loading properly.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Popping in for a sec

A few things to note…

  • I’m working on a blog re-do, to represent a different approach to things blog related as I move forward.  I hope to have it up this weekend. No promises.
  • Braska’s finished day 2 of a 3-day wean (tube feeding transition tool…measuring ability, not actually weaning) I’m documenting that over at her blog if you’re interested.
  • Tonight we had medical exams for new life insurance policies. I’m 5’2”.  Not 5’3”.  I’ve been fooling myself thinking I had an inch I don’t have.  But oh well, still just plain short.
  • We’re in the middle of setting up a special needs trust and doing our wills.  Hence the aforementioned updated life insurance policies.  It’s important, but it’s a lot.  I don’t mind the “someday I’ll be dead” thing…I’m good with all that completely.  But all the arranging and considering what we want for the girls, especially Braska, when she’s a teen and beyond.   Writing the Letter of Intent that specifies SO many details of what we hope her life will be like and how we want it to look as far as we can see. It’s hard to think like that. My brain doesn’t work that way.
  • Kinlee is such a funny girl.  She tells knock-knock jokes, she does impressions of other people, she has a few fake voices and distorted faces that she pulls out here and there for a laugh.  It’s enough to make us just stare at her occasionally.  The kid is not even 2 yet.
  • I really need to do another installment of Kinleeisms.  They are unbelievable. The girl has great sentence structure, pronouns, tense, proper use of possessives, and on and on.   She’s a little tiny adult, with the full ability for conversation and real discussion, and she converses CONSTANTLY.
  • Someone bought me a new pair of shoes yesterday. They are AWESOME.  I cannot wait to wear them. I have a lot of foot pain, so to find a shoe that’s classy looking AND comfy. Really honestly comfy!  I’m still blown away.  I even wore them around the house last night. Just because.
  • It’s amazing to me how something that has been long anticipated with excitement can become totally revolting in the split second of a condescending glance.
  • Tomorrow begins wildcard weekend.  Should be some fun football, even though the Bears have a bye this week. Enjoy!