Friday, September 26, 2008

The Ends of the Earth

When Sugarplum had her surgery last May (which you can read about here, here and here)we met the family of the little girl in the bed next to her. Her name is Maida and she was 9 months old at the time of her surgery.
Her family is from Pakistan and she was born with 4 holes in her heart. The family was told in Pakistan this would require many surgeries to correct and they didn't know how successful they would be.
Fortunately, the mother, as most mothers do, refused to accept these answers and began doing plenty of research on her own. With the help of family in the US and the good fortune to be able to travel, they decided to come here to care for their daughter.
With two older children in school, mom came here with little Maida who became a patient of Sugarplum's own cardiologist. Dad followed once school was out for summer with the older children.
Her surgery was a success and her prospects were great. She seemed a little unstable at first in the ICU room, but once the breathing tube was removed from her tiny lungs, she immediately settled down.
Our cardiologist was nice enough to schedule a reunion of sorts by scheduling follow-up appointments with both of us on the same day, one after another. She was doing fabulously well.
Our Dr. informed us that this mom was his hero. They found out about their daughter's condition, and she immediately began to work to find the best solution to get her daughter help. In his words, she went to the ends of the earth to help her child... so he refused to charge her for the exams and helped coordinate the charity efforts of the children's hospital to cover most if not all of the expenses of the surgery.
Today, on another bulletin board I frequent, someone posted this site. This is an orgranization helping other children in the middle east get to Isreal to have heart surgeries they need. Surgeries that are needed for the same condition Sugarplum had, and many worse.
Seeing this site today, reading these stories, makes me remember just how fortunate I am to live here with access to health care and technology that so many others don't. Even if our economy is presently in the toilet, even if it's hard to pay the bills every month, even though our political future is in turmoil right now, we are still so lucky.

I've decided that for the month of October, I'll be compiling donations for this organization. If anyone wants to donate, please e-mail me at sugarplumsmom @ gmail dot com and I will send you information to either mail a check or send money through paypal. Or you can obviously donate directly on your own. Donations collected will be used to sponsor as many kids as currently need it, or will be sent in as one general donation to be used wherever it is most needed.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

New Tracks

September 20 Theme: Road

This one was actually taken by my husband. We used to snowmobile together and it was great fun. Then I went back to finish school and we had Sugarplum and she's too young for it to be a family sport. This is the logging road leading out of the parking lot by the meadow that is transformed into a sparkling sugary white playground every winter.

Friday, September 19, 2008


I've always thought the word coupon was a funny sounding word. I was watching a Ron White show and he pronounced it "Coo-puns" so I always hear it that way in my head now.


Every year, coming into fall, I get all kinds of ideas about how I'm going to be better organized in the coming year and I start practicing around now.

A couple years ago, it was buying Quicken to manage my checkbook better. Last year it was a new Franklin Covey organizer set which lasted until about January 12th.

Then about halfway through the year I get re-inspired and find some new tool for the second half of the year. I love tools. I love re-organizing myself. I work with financial information in spreadsheets and I have spreadsheets to balance other spreadsheets. I love making things ordering and concise. I just have a hard time keeping them that way.


This year's organization endeavor is into the world of coupons and saving money. Gas prices are up over $4 a gallon and we're getting a double whammy at the grocery stores because of it. We're not in any danger of losing our house or anything, but we're definitely feeling the pinch. So today, I took that Franklin Covey binder and bought some supplies for it to turn it into a coupon binder. I don't end up using those planning sheets very well so I may as well make the leather binder useful.

I also scored a great deal on a new tote bag to drag my personal household paperwork that I do at lunch time to work for $45 marked down from $99. Score! I signed up at an online coupon site, printed a bunch of online coupons and even still had Wednesday's junk mail on the table and cut some coupons out of that too. Here's hoping the grocery dollars stretch a little farther this weekend.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Two Words

Apparently Sugarplum has decided that there are two words that best describe me:

Sour and Curdled

Witness this morning's conversation in the car:

SP: Mommy, are you old?

Me: NO! I'm not old!

SP: (With the high pitch of insistence that only a 3 year old can reach) YES YOU ARE!

Me: You really think so? Is Daddy old?

SP: No

Me: Is Oma old?

SP: No. You are old like the milk in my ba-ba (sippy cup)

Maybe I've not been doing a very good job leaving my work at work these days. I've found myself often frustrated and feeling sour toward the condescending harpy I have to work with. Yesterday I actually counted the days on the calendar left until her upcoming 3 month vacation. 47 including today. It. Can't. Come. Soon. Enough.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Blue Monday

Wow, my last post was August 24th. I guess that means I have completely fallen off the blogging band-wagon but I would like to get back on. The trouble lately, is that I feel like I really don't have much of anything to say. So I'll complain instead - aren't you glad you stopped by?

Today is a gloomy and grey Monday. It's the kind of morning that makes me want to crawl back in bed with a good book. Except that, the Sugarplum needs to eat on occasion so I'm here at work instead.

I'm feeling decidedly underwhelmed by all the election nonsense floating around. I'm starting to lose sight of what the "issues" are since the mudslinging has begun. I also hear that the McCain/Palin Campaign is pulling ahead, which frankly just scares me. I abortion issue is my number one issue and any candidate who is behind overturning Roe v. Wade automatically loses my vote. I also worry about the ability of Sarah Palin to effectively govern with a 4 month old special needs child at home. I realize she's the Gov. and has been for a couple years, but isn't Washington a whole new ball game? How will she find that balance? I suppose her personal life is none of my business, but as a working-outside-the-home mom, it's hard enough for me to keep the balance in my 40 hour a week job, let alone a 24-hour-a-day job.

I work with a condescending, micro-managing, harpy wench who has stepped up her level of condescneding harpiness lately.. and it's driving me bananas. At least I don't have to report directly to her... and she drives my boss nuts too which is the only thing that keeps me sane when I have to deal with her on a more frequent basis.

If you've stuck around to reading this long, now I'll give you some of the positive stuff:

My husband has gone back to flight training so he can learn how to teach other aspiring pilots to fly. It won't be able to serve as a complete career change, but will eventually bring in some extra dough and give him a chance to do something he really loves a lot more often than he gets to now... and who couldn't use some extra dough?

I have been feeling a little more domestic lately - I've been planning and cooking meals at home a lot more often which is a challenge with a spouse who is a fairly picky eater. Nevertheless, I feel like some of my cooking skills are improving and that makes me feel good. Occasionally I even come up with something new to try which sometimes work and sometimes doesn't. I'm terrible with sauces and don't have the patience I should but I'm working on it.

Sugarplum has started a dance class that is lots of fun to watch. She gets to wear a leotard and tights and I get to put her hair up in a bun, it really looks more like a donut hole than a bun, but is cute nonetheless. She's having fun and getting some activity that is led by another adult besides me and has other kids to be around. Special thanks to Sandy for great advice about what to look for in the dance studio.

I have also started taking a Body Flow class at the Y. It's a combination of Tai Chi, Yoga and Pilates. It doesn't get me breathing really heavily but is proving to be a great work out. My muscles are tired at the end and I go home feeling like I've done something good and healthy for my body. I just need to learn to stay away from the Oreo's and milk when I get home.

That's been my life in a nutshell for the last month... for now, I'll just keep on keepin' on