Friday, November 27, 2009


I'm in a bad mood.

I've spent much of today, and some of yesterday, and quite a bit of the day before looking for my cell phone. I've looked in boxes and bags, drawers and cabinets. I've checked the freezer, under the bed, under the covers, under the couch. I've looked in Elliot's room, in the toy box, down the laundry chute, and between the sofa cushions. I've checked pockets. I've cleaned out my entire car. It's just nowhere.

I know, nothing is nowhere unless it really is nothing. And my phone is something, so clearly it's somewhere, but I can't figure out where.

I had it last in the parking lot at Powell on Tuesday night. I dutifully turned off the ringer so as not to disturb other people attending the lecture if I got a call. I didn't think about it again till Wednesday morning, when I discovered it was not in my purse. Or my jacket. Or my pants pocket.

I messaged my step mom, who'd been out with me that night, and she called the hall, as well as Gene, who'd given us a ride. No phone. I emailed mom because i'd stopped there to pick Elliot up on the way home. No phone.

I'm out of ideas. I'm frustrated. I'm isolated.

It's not like I lost a limb. It's just a phone. It can be replaced. But it's such a hassle, and it had to happen just when I was getting into the holiday spirit and starting to feel cheery. So much for that. Bah, humbug.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Holiday Cheer

We got this catalog the other day - Chef's Whatever Gadget-o-Rama. It's your typical mid range kitchen enthusiast catalog full of pots and pans and pasta machines... and stand mixers.

It happens that I have a stand mixer, and I used it on Elliot's birthday to make cupcakes. Because I had spatulas and spoons and mixer blades covered with cake batter, somebody had to clean them off.

So, naturally, Elliot got his first spatula and it was love at first bite.

I didn't know the monster I had created till I saw him start leafing through the Chef catalog. He found a picture of a stand mixer, complete with unknown white buttery goo in the bowl. Then he licked the picture. About 20 times. When it still didn't produce the desired result (and the page had become wrinkly and soggy) he leafed through looking for another bowl. Sure enough, there was one with yellow icing. Maybe this one would taste better. But it didn't.

He looked rather distraught. A mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do. Of course I made cookies, and he was willing to trade the magazine glossies for the real thing.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Evolution of the Story

So I was going to tell you about this:

This is Elliot's first haircut. It happened while we were in Wisconsin visiting Karl's parents. His mother ran a beauty shop in the first mall in America - a little family claim to fame that Karl liked to share with people. I'd held out on the haircut, perhaps for longer than I should have, but I thought it would be lovely to have Donna do it, and it all worked out.

While I was planning the blog, I made Elliot a sandwich. Nothing new or fancy, just PB&J, which he has liked lately. He sat behind me as I started working on the computer, and instead of eating, did this:

I used to brag a little about what a good eater he was. When we started him on solid food, we went quickly into real stuff right off our plates. He ate just about anything we were eating. Then, one day, he started looking askance at his plate sometimes, and calling in a taste tester. I had to eat the first few bites, just to prove I wasn't poisoning him, but then he'd eat.

Well, now he's two. He wouldn't eat the sandwich, but did dissect it, consuming as much peanut butter and as little bread as possible.

So I decided to tell you about that instead, and went to get my camera for photo evidence. Unfortunately, right after I took the shot, I did this:

Now, maybe you have to look close, but if you do, you'll see that the front lens is not sitting at a healthy angle. That's because I photoshoped it to look like it had a few minutes before. Here's what happened.

I took the picture, and turned around to go in the kitchen. For some unknown reason, maybe because I actually hate this camera, I threw it across the room. Not gently - I didn't drop it. I flung it, and it bounced off the wall. Some strange muscle spasm or maybe I tripped - honestly i don't know. I do know it made a sickening crunchy noise, then some angry grinding noises, then it lay very still.

I thought I killed it. I secretly rejoiced, because I've replaced the camera once, but with a camera I ended up hating even more. Then the replacement got stolen (darn the luck!) and I haven't been able to justify buying a new one. Finally, I was on the right track - I'd have to have my new camera by Christmas!

Then I remembered that I'm me, and I have to at least TRY to resuscitate the thing. It's been with me for at least 5 years. I owe it a chance at life. I tried to move the lens back in place, but it wasn't budging. So I pulled out the battery and whacked it on the table - hard. I put the battery back in, and still nothing. The I gave the lens a little twist and pulled again, and out it popped, looking quite normal. I turned it on, and it hummed to life again.

I leave you with this - me looking very cross at my camera, which just won't die:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Waiting Sucks.

Last week I met with a woman from Missouri's First Steps program. The way I understand it is that this is a division of the state department of education meant to help families with children with moderate to severe developmental disabilities. Since Elliot is not talking, my pediatrician suggested that we have him screened, and First Steps offers screening at no charge.

The meeting last week, the 'intake' meeting, really didn't cover much about Elliot or his delay. It was an information meeting about how the program works if he qualifies. The screening itself is done by a speech therapist, and has to be scheduled separately. At our meeting last Wednesday, I was told that somebody should contact me "within a week" to schedule this, but as of today, I haven't heard anything.

It's very frustrating, because I feel like I don't know how to help my son. And worse, I don't even know if he needs help, but because I don't know, I worry constantly.

The screening is a win-win situation for me. Either they tell me that he has a problem, but then they help me fix it, or they tell me his delay is very minor, and there's no need to intervene. Both scenarios are good. Either one I can live with and work with.

What I can't seem to handle is waiting, not knowing if there's something I could be doing, something I SHOULD be doing, to help my son talk. Everybody tells me that boys talk late, and I shouldn't worry, and once he starts talking I'll just wish he'd stop. At least two of his Kopitske cousins were late talkers, and speak clearly now. Elliot communicates very well most of the time, and even strangers seem able to tell what he wants and needs. But he doesn't use words, and my gut tells me he should.

So why can't I stop feeling like I need to DO something?

I think it's the not knowing, mixed with the frustration of feeling like my child is not a priority to somebody else. While I understand that the program is really meant to help families with more severe problems, I still feel like they should not set expectations for me and not meet them. If they'd said "Somebody will be in touch soon" and not said "a week," I think I would be fine. But as it is, I'm not fine.

On top of all this, I got a call from my health insurance broker this week telling me that my rates, which went up in October, are going up again in January. So I'm shopping for insurance, but I'm not sure if I'll need to see a specialist on my own dime, or if First Steps will be helping, or what's next. So I don't know exactly what to look for in a policy, because I don't know quite what I'm looking at for Elliot...

Because I'm waiting for a phone call.

Waiting sucks.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Not the grossest moment in Mommy History, but close.

So I was changing a big poopy diaper a bit ago. The mixed soft'n'chunky, super stinky kind. The kind you know happened even tho he's in another room. The scent doesn't waft gently through the house, rather it stampedes from room to room, trampling nostrils and crumpling all things pure and happy.

Yes, so the diaper, not the gross part.

I had just finished cleaning him up, and the dog came wandering in. As I slid a clean diaper under Elliot's butt, I noticed the dog chewing something. Without thinking too much, I reached down and did a finger sweep to remove whatever he had.

Yes. It was a chunk of poo half the size of my thumb, and just pulled from half way down the dog's throat. I'm not sure how it escaped the diaper and ended up in the dog, but eew.

I'm quite grossed out.

Monday, November 16, 2009

North by air, and home by car.

We had a nice visit in Minneapolis and Navarino. The flight up to Phil's place went pretty well, other than having to re-check through security for our connection in Milwaukee. Even that was pretty smooth, now that the airports have 'family and medical liquid' lanes. I'd still like to see "single mom paying for two seats and unwilling to pay even more to check bags hauling 100 pounds of caryon and a baby" lanes, but I'm not holding my breath. The good folks in Milwaukee were at least happy to load the carseat and one caryon bag in my seat before boarding started, which made everything a heck of a lot easier.

I'm a big fan of this gadget. It hooks the carseat to your caryon luggage, and lets your kid ride securly. I will say it's a little overpriced for a little piece of webbing and a few D rings, but boy does it make it easy to get from place to place in the airport. The only improvement I can think of would be to make the strap itself adjustable instead of relying only on the Latch straps from the carseat. I ended up unable to get El's very tall carseat to hook in right without running the top strap over his diaper bag, adding height to my bag. But once he was hooked in, I piled my other things on top, and we were off.

Even with the second check in security, I was able to pop it off the bag and back on, and only took about 3 minutes to get him re-situated. Not bad, all things considered.

Elliot enjoyed wreaking havoc at Phil and Grace's place, and tolerated a trip to the local yarn store. We mostly hung out around the house Thursday and Friday, and headed for the farm Friday evening.

Grandma and Grandpa were excited to see Elliot, and as long as we were there, we decided to let Grandma have a go at cutting his hair. He now sports a slightly less wild hairdo, and I have the clippings from a very special first haircut. Grandma Donna ran a beauty shop at one of the first malls in America, before she got married and ran off to New Guinea with her missionary husband. She still keeps her hand in the business, and gave Aunt Vic a trim as well.

We went out Saturday night to Uncle Arlyn's 80th Birthday party. I got to meet several new Kopitskes (well, new to me, anyway!) I have to admit it is a little awkward sometimes, when I'm introduced as Karl's wife. Those who know suddenly don't know what to say, and their sympathy can be overwhelming at times. Here it is, over a year later, and once in a while I find myself right back there in the shock of it. I guess that's just something I'll always live with.

We enjoyed the party. Elliot ran in circles around the room, laughing and delighting everybody, and I mostly just listened in on everybody's catching up and retelling favorite stories.

Later, back at the farm, we played a few hands of cards and headed for bed. In the morning, we went to services with Harley and Donna, then headed back on the road with Aunt Vic and Uncle Randy, who'd driven up for the birthday bash. Elliot made the whole 8 hour trip without a single complaint. Amazing!

Sadly, we woke up to the same gloomy skies we hoped we'd gotten rid of with the pretty weather last week. Time now to go wake the boy from an over-long nap, and scrounge up some dinner.

Photos to follow, when I get the camera recharged.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tomorrow: Wisconsin!

Right, I should be packed. And since I'm not, I should be packing. Instead, what am I doing? Looking through pictures of me and Karl as kids trying to decide who Elliot favors. I'm thinking it's an even split, but I'll let you decide for yourself:



Friday, November 6, 2009

Better Sleep? Better sleep.

I'm discovering the when he sleeps, I really should too. Driving out to the county tonight for knitting I may have been a danger to those around me, and if you were there, I'm sorry. I stayed up reading while he dozed. He doesn't like me to read my own books when he's up, so I have to wait till he turns in. And I'm really enjoying my book, so I didn't put it down till, well, lets just say VERY late. And when he sleeps well he gets up very early.

Not a good combination.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I'm trying NaNoWriMo again this year. I did try a few years back, and wrote, um, 2 paragraphs? before I gave up. It will be part novel and part memoir, as my main character is recently widowed and working through all that emotional crap that, hey!, I'm working through too!

I may, and may not, post excerpts at FulcrumMonkey, but will keep them to a minimum here. This particular heroin has no little monkey. I kind of want a chance to work through the other side of this crap deal I got - the crap side - without the Big Sunshine. the little monkey - you know - he's the good side. but there's a whole lot of dark on the other side of that scale, and i shouldn't pretend it's not there.


Here, we continue to talk about monkey, who, by the way, rocks. I asked him to clean up his blocks before he could watch a movie, and he went and started right away. usually i have to help. so he'd got about half of them when i made the mistake of walking near the box. then he decided he needed to hand them to me, and I would put them in the box. I didn't like that plan, so I pulled my hand up into my sleeve. "Mommy can't help! She has no hand!" so he reached up there and felt for it, and sure enough, there it was. he scowled and pushed the block towards me "TAKE THE BLOCK, WOMAN!" so I pulled my arm ALL THE WAY into my shirt, and flapped the sleeve emptily. And he took me and placed me where my sleeve was directly over the block bin, and then stuck blocks up my sleeve, letting them fall into the box. Good enough.