Friday, March 27, 2009

Super Human

This week marks two years since Reid's amputation. I can never quite believe how normal it has become. So normal, in fact, I'm sometimes surprised when I'm dressing Grayden and he has two feet made of flesh and bone. I regularly expect a stump or prosthetic to poke through his pant leg.

Reid certainly has adapted well. Though he can run at super-sonic speed without his prosthetic, he really doesn't like to be without it, refusing to take it off even for swimming. Which is fine. His prosthetic hasn't slowed him down from normal three year old life in anyway (except that he's a little bummed he can't wear flip-flops).

I take the crazies to an afternoon PE class every Tuesday through the kinesiology department at the local university. The first day of class, all the kids went through a serious of activities to determine a lesson plan for them throughout the semester. Reid wore pants that day and got through all the activities (hoping on one foot, kicking a ball, crab walking, jumping, running, etc) with flying colors. Though they noticed he slightly favored one leg, they had NO IDEA there was a prosthetic under his pants. And he's excelling in the PE class. It's so fun to watch him. He's such an active, happy, silly, little kid (when he's not whining).

In remembering Reid's amputation, I'm including my favorite post about this journey...though the majority of you have already read it. Originally posted August 7, 2007.

(For more, you can Reid about the beginnings here. About his one-footed superhero, here. About his first prosthetic here. And second here.)


I was bathing the boys the other day and they were sticking the plastic cups they play with in the bath tub on their feet. When Reid put the cup on his stump, it went all the way up to his knee. And we all thought that was pretty awesome. So then I started to think about all the other advantages of having only one foot and a prosthetic leg (which goes clear up to his knee).
  • When he wears a cup on his foot it goes all the way up to his knee

  • If ever he wants to be a pirate for Halloween, he'll make a great peg-leg

  • At play group this afternoon an older kid referred to it as a robot leg

  • He can only get a sunburn on one leg

  • He has 5 less toenails to clip (and it's not an easy task clipping a 1 year olds toenails)

  • He has one less foot to wash and dry at bathtime

  • If he steps in a puddle with shoes and socks on, he only has to experience that sloshy discomfort with one foot

  • When he plays in the snow, only one foot will be unbearably cold

  • If he steps on something sharp with his prosthetic, he won't bleed

  • His foot sits on a stand when he sleeps

  • It won't hurt when he stubs his toe

  • If ever he gets in a fight, as boys do, he has a secret weapon (it hurts pretty bad to get kicked by that far he hasn't done it on purpose, but he'll soon learn)

  • People freak out when you pull his leg off to go through airport security

  • He'll be able to play awesome tricks on people
  • He only has half the chance of developing foot problems (ingrown toenails, athletes foot, corns, planters warts, and all the other gross diseases of the foot)
  • When he's been wearing shoes with no socks, only one foot stinks

  • He's the only kid in nursery who has one

  • According to the latest Olympic debate, he'll have the "advantage" in athletics

  • If you ever get paired with him in a three legged race, it will be more like a two legged race.
  • He'll win any standing or hopping on one leg contest

  • His legs are two different colors

  • If (heaven forbid) he decides to wrestle in high school, it will be easy for him to "drop weight" - He can just take his foot off
  • He can't sprain or break his ankle
These are all the advantages I could think of in just 5 minutes. Given more time, I 'm sure there are many more to list. It's pretty awesome. He's doing so well.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

To Grandma's House We Go

I keep putting off posting about Spring Break. It's way too daunting of a task. I have about a bazillion pictures to go through.

We spent the week in Arizona with my mom and brother, Jeff. I say week, but we spent three days driving. (More to come on that...the road trip deserves a post of it's own.) So we really only spent five days there. We had WAY too much stuff to pack into that five days and didn't come close to accomplishing it all. And can you believe what got cut? Pedicures with my mom. And even worse...visiting some of our favorite people. We didn't get around to visiting all the friends and family we would have liked. Sorry.

Makutu's Island:

It is this MASSIVE playground that's at least 2 stores tall and so incredibly awesome. And the best part (or worst part...depending on how you look at it) is that it's not off limits to the grown-ups. The kids wore us out...even uncle Jeff in his 6 ft. 3 in. stature chased the kids through that thing. We all came out with rug burns. And I've never been on a faster slide in my life. I let out a pretty crazy scream...Jeff can attest to that. And that, I believe, is where I broke my coccyx...yet again. (Which made for the most uncomfortable ride home.)

This picture doesn't even do it justice...there are 3 slides INSIDE this tree alone.

Jeff, Grayden and Mom...this is a REAL fish tank built right in to the playground.
This was my mom pretty much the whole trip...taking pictures. Can you believe how skinny she is?
All four Smith crazies on a bridge.

St. Patrick's Day:

The Leprechaun's paid a visit. We rode a merry-go-round at the mall and of course went out for our tradition St. Patrick's Day meal.

Hiking in the Desert:

Parker learned about dinosaurs at school the week before spring break and has been obsessed. When he realized Arizona was a desert, we HAD to hunt for dinosaur bones. And every rock we saw...half buried in the dirt...was a t-rex head or a brontosaurus foot. Plus the boys loved the cactus and we even saw a snake.
I realize my kids look ridiculous...they hiked in their pj's and insisted on taking their shirts off.

Parker had to have pictures in the desert with the cactus. I think they're hilarious.

Swimming at Aunt Debbie's:

My aunt Debbie has the most fantastic pool and backyard I've ever's like a private resort. We spent a little while swimming at her mom's pool wasn't as warm as hers. Yet I thought hers was still too cold, even though it was 90 degrees out. I didn't get in past my knees. But the other four braved it. Afterward we feasted on her HOMEMADE whole wheat bagels. To die for!

A visit with April:

Spencer has a sister that lives in Arizona as well...but he wouldn't let me post the ridiculous pictures I caught of that event. April has such a fun family. She has kids about my age. I really love getting together. And the kids love it because she has so many pets. Gray chased her dogs around all night barking at them.

Science Museum:

We rode the light rail into the science museum. The "train ride" alone would have been enough of an adventure. My kids loved it. Spence and I? Not so much. But the museum was perfect for Parker. He is so curious by nature. He has to know about everything...especially science related. He colored the whole trip of tape worms, and head lice, and bed bugs (he learned about all this at the museum). When I took him to school yesterday I asked him what he was going to tell his friends about the trip. He said the desert and science because he only tells his friends cool things and those are the cool things he did.

The "Train" ride

Uncle Jeff entertaining the usual.

Hangin' Out at Grandma's:

We of course spent lots of time here...and lots of early mornings waking up uncle Jeff.

I LOVE this picture of my mom with my crazies...Popsicles of course...and dipping their feet in the pool...the request of the week.

I think our favorite night included sitting around a fire pit with cousins into the night. The crazies had been our entertainment for quite some time. I was afraid once we put them to bed, the fun would end. But we had a great night visiting and roasting marshmallows. It's sometimes sad to live so far away from family.

Thanks mom for the whirlwind week. We'll do it again in about two years...which is probably how long it will take to clean up all the Lego's in every crack and corner of your house.

Monday, March 16, 2009

St. Patrick's Day Top Ten

  1. I'm like 1/8 Irish. Ok, I don't actually know the percentage, but I am at least a little Irish.
  2. St. Patrick's Day cupcakes (which is the reason I'm posting a day early...I don't want anyone to miss out on these scrumptious yummies)
  3. My crazies look great in green...and the whole family leaves the house rockin' our matching green shirts.
  4. Leprechauns...Parker has a FANTASTIC imagination. Last week he built a leprechaun trap out of legos and has been on a hunt for a pot of gold ever since.
  5. One year, I dared Spencer to greet someone with "Top O' the mornin' to ya" on his way to work. And he did.
  6. Green milkshakes
  7. Going out for corned beef and cabbage sandwhiches...ok, reubens. Are those even Irish? I doubt it. We go out for them every St. Patrick's Day anyway. We've been doing this since before we were married.
  8. Memories of elementary school when you would try to be so discrete about wearing green...underwear, socks, some pinpoint sized random shade of green somewhere on your clothes.
  9. Shamrocks
  10. Irish movies. My favorite...Waking Ned Devine.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Phone Home

I sat next to someone in Sunday School last weekend who was following along in their scriptures on something that looked like this:
And immediately, Gray chimed up with "Hello? Hello?" Though it was not being used as a telephone at the moment, he knew exactly what is was. How in the world does that look like a phone? When I think of a phone, I still picture something a little more like this (even though we don't have a land line):

I think I need one of these. Only I'm thinkin' yellow. Don't you think that'd be a killer accent piece on a black bookshelf?

Gray has one of these:
A cute little toy. An updated version of a toy I grew up with. Though he'll play with it on occasion, he has NO IDEA what to do with it or that it's even a toy phone. It looks nothing like the phones used in today's world. To Gray, it's just another toy to throw down the stairs or swing at his brothers. His toy phone (which he LOVES) is a used cell phone. Much more fun than this wiggly-eyed pull along.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Suggestion Box

After last summer's highly successful road trip entertainment, I'm having a hard time coming up with something new to keep the crazies busy on a LOOOOOONG car ride. It's been a while since our last road trip, so I'm sure I can repeat some of it. But does anyone have any great ideas for traveling fun? I'm open to suggestions for both snacks and activities (besides movies...that's a given). What worked for you?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Girl on the Box

So I'm letting my secret out of the bag. I cut and color my own hair. And now that I've said that...please nobody look to close. Truthfully, I'm really fine with cutting it. I know how I like it. I run into trouble around my hair line in the back, but I do a decent enough job on the rest. I've been cutting my own hair for years and years with a few exceptions. I try to get a real hair cut once, sometimes twice, a year. (I know some of you long hair people only cut your hair that often, but short hair needs a trim every 5 weeks or so to keep up a good shape.) But even then, I end up coming home and fixing the parts I don't like.

It's the coloring I really shouldn't attempt on my can we forget the hair dye disaster of '07 when I decided to go platinum and came out cannery yellow. I have not really had a good self hair coloring experience since. I go to the store and the girl on the box always looks so cute and happy about her healthy, shiny hair color. It's way too alluring. Since that fateful disaster two years ago, I've been on a quest to achieve my natural hair color again. It's so much easier to keep up. And sometime last summer/fall I got pretty close and have been wearing it like that ever since.

A couple problems. One. My natural color is a boring mousy brown. Two. With the exception of a few fabulous friends, life in Texas has not been good to me. I am way too prematurely gray for my 27 year old self. Something had to be done. I debated a long time between dying over it a color similar to my natural color or adding highlights. I love, love, LOVE a dark shiny hair color on short hair like mine. But I've tried to go dark a few times and never really been happy with the outcome. My complexion can't take dark hair. And I'm tired of mousy brown. Besides, grays poke through a few weeks after a coloring anyway.

So highlights it was. I think my pale freckly skin looks good with a little brightness around the face. Plus who can really notice the difference between a bleach blonde streak and an unfortunate gray? And truthfully, it solved that problem nicely.

I'm not a pro at the self picture thing.'re always so good at it. What's your trick? Half of these are in the mirror and half are taken straight on...I didn't just switch my part in the middle of picture taking.

The problem is my color looks outdated. Though the bathroom lighting was not good for an accurate hair color portrayal. I should have included a "before" picture.'re a hair dresser and you have highlights and your hair always looks fantastic. Advice? Is there a certain kind of highlighting that's in? Chunky highlights have never worked well on short hair for me. I'm highlighting it the exact same way I did ten years ago. There's gotta be a more up to date way to highlight than the thin all over highlights. Any suggestions?

I've been wearing my hair ultra short for over ten years now. It's hard not to get stuck in a rut. No matter how I cut it, it all looks the same two weeks later. And it's hard to move on and not get stuck on what was cool so many years ago. I watched You've Got Mail about 6 weeks ago and I fell in love with Meg Ryan's hair all over again. I realize that that style is way outdated and I wouldn't repeat it, but I love it as much as I did back then. My roommates and I used to watch that movie all the time and be jealous of her cute hair and clothes and I think I'm stuck in that era because I'd do it all over again. Though I have moved past the "duck butt hair cut" as my roommate called it, I think I still occasionally dress like that. I love it.

I never wanted to be the kind of person who can't move past what was cool in my hay day. But I have a favorite pair of CHUNKY black and white wing tip mary-janes (thank you Jeff) that I can't seem to get rid of. I no longer wear them. They're way too chunky to be cool anymore, but I can't bear to throw them. They're still in great shape and I still REALLY love them. In my little mind, this kind of shoe will always be cool. I certainly didn't intend to take this post here.

Since hair is the theme today...Parker talked me into giving him a buzz. I knew it'd be a mistake. My kids look ridiculous with buzz cuts. Reid got one once because of the fits he throws when he gets hair cuts. I swore I'd never do it again. And I did. Parker started naming all his friends who have a buzz. Maybe I'm not going to be a good mother of teenagers if I give in all too easy to the "but all my friends are doing it" excuse. And he's only four. But I want my kids to be their own person. Parker's too old for me to choose his clothes and the way he fixes his hair. If he wants to be a kid with a goofy looking hair cut, then that's his prerogative. And he likes the way it looks. I don't have a picture but I will include this one from Crazy Hair Day at school. Parker designed that look himself. And now it's all gone.