Friday, August 31, 2012


I am homesick for a home I have only been in once. And that was a brief visit. I don't know what the inside of the master closets look like, what the view from the loft window is, whether the fireplace is gas or wood...heck, I didn't even walk into the family room! But my mind goes to this house every day. My imagination eases down the stairs, puts away clothes in the kid's room, dives into the pool. I got an email today saying we would get an approval "very very soon." Please, please, please! I am ready to go home!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

What's Up

  • Still no word on "my" house.
  • Ross and I are trying to get back into the habit of dates! This week he wants to go to LBS. for fried cheese curds. 
  • Yoga tomorrow. I love yoga. *sigh*
  • Remy's new lady came for the first time on Wednesday...and promptly informed me that she is now leaving for a vacation and won't be back until the 10th. This is so typical of everything surrounding Remy's situation that it is getting pretty darn funny.  
  • But the fact that it is funny, and not infuriating, is a sign of what I told Remy's speech therapist on Tuesday; I am the least worried about Remy that I have been in months and months. Almost a year, actually. Wow.  
  • Remy can no say Mama, Dada, No, and even complicated things like "where are you?", "splish, splash, splosh", "thump, thump, air." He babbles to himself all day long, and it is such a beautiful noise.  

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Exposure-Corrected Pink Cloud House Pictures!

What's Up

Today is Sunday and we have a big week coming up. Here's the rundown.
  • Tuesday Remy goes in to have blood drawn for a bunch of tests - lead, iron, allergies, and chromosomal testing being the most important. Ross is going to take him with me because I am nervous about keeping him still for the needle. He hasn't had blood drawn since that heel thing they did when he was a newborn. We also need to get the genetic testing. There is a two year wait list in Las Vegas but she said that insurance will probably allow us to go out of network, UCLA probably, we have to wait and see.  
  • Wednesday we meet Remy's new ABA therapist. She is going to be a big part of our lives, coming 6 hours a week (as soon as we can work out the rest of the scheduling details), so I hope that she and Remy are a good match.
  • Thursday I go to see the counselor I have been seeing for a few months for my anxiety. I only go to see him once a month and it is hard to tell if I am any less anxious but he gives good advice and I can probably credit the counselor for how much more involved Ross is with Remy during the week.
  • Friday is Remy's current lady comes for the last time. I am not looking forward to saying goodbye. I get really sad when I think about it. She has been such a blessing to both Remy and me during what was a confusing, daunting period of our lives.  I don't know how I can possibly thank her enough.  
  • By the end of the week, according to our real estate agent, we should have an approval on our short-sale and a closing date set for sometime in September. KNOCK ON WOOD! Ross and I drove over to look at the house yesterday. It is such a nice, quiet neighborhood. It is a gated community and the house is just a few doors down from a cul-de-sac so there is very little traffic. I also love that the backyard, which is walled in, is up against a street, instead of another yard. Even though the back yard is on the small side, being able to see the sky, instead of the back of a neighbors house, makes it feel bigger.  

Finally, in case you are interested, here are the two most interesting autism articles of the week:
  • An Immune Disorder at the Root of Autism
  • Father's Age is Linked to Risk of Autism and Schizophrenia
  • Friday, August 24, 2012

    Yet another layer of "in-between"

    For over a month we have been in the limbo between getting the seller's approval and getting the bank's approval on the short sale we are trying to pull off. Now our agent has informed us that, within that bank approval, we are in between one lender's approval and the second lender's approval. We should get the second approval next week. And we should close on the house before the end of September. I am holding my breath!

    Thursday, August 23, 2012

    After the Rain

    What's funner than beans? WET beans!

    He has spotted the watering can!

    We need more puddles!!!

    And...Splat. How many times a day do I need to change this kid's clothes? 
    What's funner than wet beans? A wet Remy!

    Monday, August 20, 2012

    My Chicken!

    Sunday nights is when the parents come over for dinner and this week I decided to try something new. I saw it on the Pioneer Woman's blog and it looked so easy. It was her recipe for roast chicken. And maybe it is easy, for people who have handled a full sized dead chicken before! What I learned is that dead chickens are heavy, slippery, sharp on the inside where you have to dig out sad little bird organs, and that when they are cold straight out of the fridge you can "pat dry" to your hearts content and a butter still will not stick. (To all you people who do turkeys at Thanksgiving every year, you are amazing!) But it all worked out in the end! In fact, it may have been one of the yummiest things I have ever cooked.  And next time, maybe it will seem a little easier.

    That's rosemary from my own balcony-garden!

    Ree Drumond, beholding my magnificent roast chicken and smiling. 

    Sunday, August 19, 2012

    A Decade of Fibromyalgia

    This September will be the ten year anniversary of the car accident that basically pulled the trigger on my Fibromyalgia. I have been thinking about it a lot lately, probably because of the weather and the effect it has on my body, and here is a quote by Glennon at the wonderful blog, Momastery, that pretty much sums up how I feel: 
    I know that for lots of people, declaring war on disease and hating its guts is the best approach. It lights a fire under their precious bottoms and helps them Carry On, Warrior. But that approach, that FIGHT approach doesn’t work for me. 
    Ekhart Tolle said that when we declare war against anything, that other thing grows bigger and stronger. It fights back harder. I don’t really get that, I just believe it to be true somehow. And so I don’t want to be at war with my Lyme or my parasite. They will go when they have taught me whatever the hell they are here to teach me. So far, they have taught me that life is not about doing, but being. They have taught me deep compassion for people in all different types of pain. They have taught me to savor healthy days. They have taught me that I am surrounded by people who will take care of me. They have taught me gratitude. Not too shabby. I hope they’re done teaching me soon, but I know I’ve become better since the wise little bastards have arrived.
    I am so thankful for how much I have grown since that car accident in September 2002 and overwhelmed by the day-by-day grace that has made my life everything I feared to hope it could be. And if the next ten years turn out to be as amazing as the last ten years, I will be laughing my ass off at Fibromyalgia.

    Saturday, August 18, 2012

    Ah, toddler-hood

    Life is good for are a toddler; no school, no chores, no finances, no worries! 

    Friday, August 17, 2012

    Pool Time!

    We are having one hot summer here, even by Las Vegas standards! This week we took advantage of the pool. The water was perfect and we had the place all to ourselves! It was Remy's idea to get in the hot tub, he likes hot water and he doesn't care that it's 109* out! Thanks, Mama, for taking all these great pictures!

    Thursday, August 16, 2012

    Nook Doodles

    I got a nook tablet for my birthday and recently discovered an app called Drawing Pad. It has a virtual drawer full of kid's art supplies like construction paper, crayons, stamps, and stickers. It doesn't compare to similar apps designed for the ipad, but it is still a fun way to spend a little down time.

    Wednesday, August 15, 2012

    antidote to house angst

    Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. -Matt 6:20-21

    Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the Father is not in him. For everything in the world -- the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does -- comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.                                                   
    - John 2:15-17

    Better to have little, with fear of the Lord, than to have a great treasure and inner turmoil.
    -Proverbs 15:16

    We make a living by what we get, but we make a life but what we give away.
    - Winston Churchill 

    I've been reading Weird by Craig Groeschel and these are from the section I read last night. Pretty timely!

    Tuesday, August 14, 2012

    House Thoughts

    We still haven't received word on the house. Originally we were told that since we were making an offer at the bank approved price we might reasonably expect to hear back pretty quickly. But now that it has been three weeks our agent is advising us to brace ourselves for a 30-45 day wait. And, of course, many short sales take even longer than that. I am really struggling with my emotions over this. Basically, I am trying NOT to fall in love with this house, and at the same time, loving the feeling of falling in love with this house.

    Our apartment here is the nicest place I've ever lived. Three bedrooms, attached garage, two full bathrooms, a dishwasher, a laundry room off the kitchen, a balcony with a view. I feel so fortunate. When we first  moved here I felt like I was living in a vacation condo! It was hard for me to imagine we would ever find a house nicer than our apartment. But, amazingly, we did and I am a totally ga-ga for it.

    I love the idea of a soaking tub with a view of the mountains, I love the idea of snuggling up next to the fire on Christmas Eve, I love the idea of a separate guest room and bathroom for friends and family who come to see us, relaxing in the hot tub with Ross at the end of the day, and teaching Remy to swim in the pool! I love the idea of having my own garden to take care of, my own walls to paint, even my own pool to clean. And I guess I can admit to y'all - buying new furniture! Dining room chairs and living room furniture, stuff that we don't have right now.

    Anyway, it's all so fun to imagine, how could I not get emotionally attached?

    The biggest disappointment about not having an answer yet is that it makes it less likely we will be all moved in before the Stangers get here in October. I was so looking forward to them helping us break in a new house!

    Saturday, August 11, 2012

    Global Leadership Summit pt. III

    John Ortberg, Steph's picture for the WCA

    The Global Leadership Summit wrapped up yesterday. I had a busy day so I missed a large chunk of tweets, but these ones gave me plenty to think about!

    You want people to understand your vision? Over-communicate it! -Patrick Lencioni 
    A core value is something you are willing to be punished for. -Patrick Lencioni 
    People need to be reminded more than they need to be instructed -Samuel Johnson quoted by Lencioni 
    When angry, you'll make the best speech you will ever regret. -William Ury 
    The biggest obstacle to resolution is not conflict, it is yourself. You need to find a place of clarity. -William Ury 
    When negotiating, go to a mental balcony, give yourself perspective. -William Ury 
    One of the greatest powers we have in negotiation is the power not to react. -William Ury 
    Be soft on people, be hard on the problem. -William Ury 
    The goal of negotiating success is not to elminiate conflict, it is to reach a decision that works for everyone. -William Ury 
    The cheapest concession you can give someone in a negotiation is basic human respect; listen to them. -William Ury 
    Too often we argue over Christianity rather than marveling over Jesus. -John Ortberg 
    God is a father filled with unquenchable love for every person in the world. -John Ortberg 
    What if the man association people made with Christians this election season was 'humility'? -John Ortberg 
    Galations 3:28 was the first expression of egalitarianism in this history of literature. -John Ortberg
    Conference attenders on break, Steph's picture for the WCA

     Gungor back stage, Steph's picture for the WCA

    Friday, August 10, 2012

    Global Leadership Summit cont.

    More quotes:

    I realize that life is not measured in time; life is measured in love, contribution, and moments of grace.    -C. Fiorina
    Never accept the world as it is. Always work to make the world as it should be.   - Condoleezza Rice 

    Great Pictures by my sister, Steph, who is volunteering:

    Kevin Olusola playing cello and beat-boxing. 

    Conference attenders eating lunch under a tent. 

    Bill Hybels and Jim Collins

    Thursday, August 09, 2012

    Favorite Leadership Summit Quotes So Far...

    (The auditorium at Willow Creek - photo from Willow Creek Association, South Africa)
    • The signature of mediocrity is not unwillingness to change, it is chronic inconsistency. -Jim Collins
    • The X-factor of great leaders is not personality; it is humility. - Jim Collins
    • God didn't make you a leader to respond to stuff all day, but to move things forward. -Bill Hybels
    • A leader's most valuable asset is their energy and their ability to energize others. -Bill Hybels
    • When a leader gets better, everyone wins. -Bill Hybels
    • It's impossible to have a great life without having a meaningful life. -Jim Collins
    • Greatness us not a function of circumstances, but of choice and discipline. -Jim Collins
    • Very few things can actually increase your level of happiness. One of them is contributing to a cause greater than yourself. -Sheryl WuDunn

    (Condoleezza Rice, Bill Hybels, Jim Mellado, Jim Collins - photo from Willow Creek Association - Steve Bailey?)

    Wednesday, August 08, 2012


    Debated whether of not to post this one - I think some people are shy about having people see them asleep - but decided it was too lovely to keep all to myself. And dear husband doesn't read my blog anyway, so if you won't tell him, I won't tell him!

    This is a typical morning for Ross and Jojo. The sun is shining, the rest of the world is going about its business, but these two are still snuggled up in bed.

    Saturday, August 04, 2012

    What's Up

    Still no word from the bank. The fact that they didn't get an answer back to us right away, as our real estate agent expected, makes me wonder if something is wrong - like the bank is no longer happy with their approved price and is going to come back with a counter offer. That would spell the end for the Pink Cloud house, which is already more than what we had hoped to spend. Ross and I are going out to look at three more houses this weekend. Looking for a plan b. But Bank of America says their short sale replies take three weeks so I still feel hopeful.

    Things are going well with Remy. Yesterday I met with the company that will be providing his ABA therapy. From Wikipedia:

    Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is a psychological approach that uses the theory of behaviorism to modify human behaviors as part of a learning or treatment process. Behavior analysts focus on the observable relationship of behavior to the environment to the exclusion of what they call "hypothetical constructs". By functionally assessing the relationship between a targeted behavior and the environment, the methods of ABA can be used to change that behavior. 
    There were four therapists (or aides or whatever, I never know how to refer to these folks) present at the evaluation and they all loved Remy and were unanimous in their belief that Remy is going to respond really well to ABA therapy.  I can't wait to start!

    A little more than two months until the Stangers come to visit. I can't wait! We are going to have so much fun and October is one of the best months of the year in Vegas. It's gonna be awesome to see Remy with his cousins, Malachy and Owen.

    In September I think Ross's parents and aunt are coming for a visit. That is up in the air for now while we wait for a closing date, but it would be great to see them.

    And that's about it for now!  Hope everyone has a great weekend!