Friday, January 27, 2012


Bella.... Oh, Bella. She is, if you'll pardon my vernacular, a mess. One minute Brittany and I are falling out of our chairs laughing at something she's said or done, and the next minute Britt is pretending to strangle herself with her scarf because Bella won't listen.

A little information: Bella is six years old and repeating kindergarten this year; she's skinny because all she eats is peanut butter, cheese puffs, vanilla wafers, goldfish, and gummies, and her gait is more of a skip than a walk, so she burns TONS of energy. She loves to sing and dance, and she likes to make up her own lyrics to tunes she is familiar with. She is obsessed with fairies, particularly Tinkerbell, and she loves Barbie. Every day, usually multiple times, she stops her bouncing long enough to ask, "What color are your eyes?" We answer her every day and usually let her get close enough to see, but still she asks--and I discovered today that she also asks her own dad the same question all the time. Recently she's also had a preoccupation with angels and daisies. When she is focused on one of these things, it's incredibly difficult to get her motivated to do schoolwork; however, she conveniently enough NEVER gets focused on schoolwork.

It can take this little stinker upwards of an hour to sort 35 bears into 5 plastic cups based on color--and this lengthy time frame has NOTHING whatsoever to do with her low vision. She's just that stubborn. She sees colors very well and she's pretty smart; she has an incredible vocabulary, which is unsurprising considering so much of her information is probably based on sound.

Since Bella is completely blind in one eye and has very low vision in her other eye, it has been determined that it will be in her best interest to learn Braille and cane skills, so that if her vision fails completely she will already be much more adaptable. Since I am with Bella for about 30+ hours a week, I get to learn these things too. We had our first big breakthrough in Braille practice today--Bella wrote her name in Braille all by herself with no more than motivational support!

This is a HUGE DEAL. She hasn't been working on this for very long, and just yesterday it took her about 15 minutes to just write her name once--today she did it THREE TIMES in LESS THAN TEN MINUTES. Note: When I say she's learning Braille, it isn't the way you picture it. As she is so young and still working on dexterity, she uses tennis balls in a muffin tin to represent the six dots that form the basis for the language. We read books aloud to her and let her run her hands along the dots on the page, but she doesn't comprehend those at all yet. It's a long process, and she has a hard time sitting still for even five minutes.

But we're learning.

Eventually I'll post more information on Braille and sighted guide (when a seeing person leads a blind person), but for now, I'll leave you with this little scene from today....

Me (to Britt): Did you know Bella can speak with a British accent?
Britt: NO WAY. Are you serious?!
Me: Bella, do you know how English people talk?
Bella: No.
Britt: Do you know what language we speak in America?
Bella: I speak....BONJOUR!

And then we died laughing.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

You know you're married when....

I had a married moment today. Bob was getting out of the shower and getting dressed, and I was getting ready to take laundry to my parents' house since we don't have a washer and dryer at our apartment. So as he opened the door I threw out my hand and said, "Give me your underwear."

Ladies, this is your life as a wife: washing your husband's dirty underwear and being glad to do it, because that way you know that at least he HAS clean underwear, and you also know when he needs a new pair because the old ones have holes bigger than the waistband.

This is not to say that Bob doesn't ever do anything to help out--today, for example, he put all the dirty dishes in the dishwasher and fixed dinner. Last week he did the laundry because I was out of town, and most weekends we do the laundry together and share the folding and putting-away. Our marriage is very much a partnership and every day we learn about one more thing that annoys the other person and one more thing that makes them happy.

This is also not to say that every woman enjoys domesticity: I know several women who hate either cooking, or cleaning, or laundry, or all of it. My own mother is not a fan of cooking, but it made her happy to give my sister, my dad, and me a reasonably clean home, clean clothes, and healthy meals (when we would eat them.)(I say reasonably clean not because she was not a good housekeeper, but because with two children, two dogs, two cats and numerous friends and neighbors tromping through the house every day it's a wonder the house is still standing at all.) I have several friends who would rather express a dog's anal glands than vacuum. And that's fine. Everybody has different preferences, strengths, and ideas about who should do what in the house.

All this is to make the point that while demanding that a person hand over his dirty underwear is not something I'd choose as a career, it makes me happy that I can do certain things to take care of my husband, even when he's perfectly capable of doing them himself.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


We have now been married for a little over three weeks, closing in on four. In one way it is still new and exciting and I feel almost like we are just playing house. In another way, though, most of the time it seems like life has always been this way. It feels exactly like it did when I would go visit Bob in Auburn for a weekend, only it's one fabulous weekend that never ends. It's like life was always meant to be this way--it just feels so perfectly right.

I actually cook dinner most nights--I'm trying to keep up with planning meals two weeks in advance to limit last-minute grocery trips, and having expensive vegetables go bad before I use them all, and forgetting that there is a carton of sour cream in the fridge that has been expired for two weeks (yes, sour cream CAN AND WILL EXPIRE.) Some dinners have worked out well; others have left something to be desired. Bob has never told me anything is bad, though--he always says it's at least "edible," and I'm usually my own worst critic. He never complains when something happens and he has to fend for himself or when we have a last-minute change of plans and just have to have frozen pizza or spaghetti.

Our biggest adjustment in life has not actually been living together--it's been the change in our schedules. Since I got hired at Pleasant Grove Elementary as a special ed aide and he started class instead of work, I have to get up at a painfully dark hour and he doesn't get home until after 6. That means I stay up later to hang out with him, and he gets woken up at 5:30 when I get up to go to work. As a result, we're both thoroughly exhausted. I do get home around 4, though, and that gives me time to work on dinner and have it on the table before 7:30 pm.

That's all I'm going to write for now; I could go on for awhile, but I'll stop for now. Future posting topics will include Bella, my charge at school who is almost totally blind; the reason I spend hours on Pinterest each day but don't have the energy to clean; and why sex is worth waiting for. (The sex post will NOT include inappropriate personal details, disgusting euphemisms, or judgement about anyone's personal choices--merely reasons why, if you're on the fence, I recommend waiting.) I apologize for the lack of humor lately. It's all I can do right now to keep posting with some honesty and regularity. Hopefully future posts will be funnier--anything to do with Bella will probably be pretty good. She's a handful!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year = New Resolutions to Break

Hello friends, it's January 1, and we know what that means--time to make New Year's Resolutions! Now we all know that NYRs typically follow the same patterns with everybody: a resolution to eat healthier and to exercise, usually followed by a resolution to lose X pounds; one to stay/get more organized; one to spend more time with loved ones; one to pick up a new hobby, learn a new skill, take a class, or complete X number of projects....

These are the standards. And usually another standard is to break your resolutions by mid-February at the latest. So I figured I might as well choose resolutions I have little to no control over, and that way I can avoid any guilt whatsoever if I don't succeed, and I get to feel fabulously superior if I do. So here are my resolutions for 2012:

1. Get bigger boobs

2. Have a 92% good-hair-day rate

3. Improve contact prescription (under 14 would be great)

4. Go 6 months without a sinus infection

Now I think these are great resolutions to have. There are other things I want to do this year, too, to improve myself, my life, and my marriage, but rather than call them "goals" or "resolutions" (which allow for failure if you fail to meet them) I'll just call them "things I want to do." Maybe if I am less stressed by the idea of failure, I'll do better at these things.

1. Keep our home in a state of "20 minutes to clean enough to entertain."

2. Bake or cook new recipes frequently--one to three a month at least

3. Walk more often, work up to running a couple of miles without stopping

Now, how about you guys? What are some things you want to start doing, or do better at, this year?