Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My Own Advice Column

Please help me answer this recent inquiry I received....



Dear Lara,
I have this problem that I need your help with.  You see, I have this blog that I really like.  I think it likes me too, but I can't be sure.  I try to give a little time to it almost every day, but I'm kind of busy and it usually gets pushed to the end of the day when I'm really tired.  Although I try hard to put my best effort into the relationship, I think my late night efforts are starting to take their toll on us.  Not only am I getting kind of cranky, but it also seems like most of my irresistible charm and humor (I know these terms are generous) are gone by that time of night.

So what do I do?  Only communicate with my blog when I'm coherent and wide awake and hope I don't offend it with my sudden neglect?    Or keep babbling incoherently and hope that I don't embarrass myself too much?   What to do...what to do....

Please help. 

Sincerely,
Bloggin' It From the 'Burbs

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Getting to Know Me....

THEY SAY:   Some people say you can get to know a girl by looking at the contents of her purse.  

LARA SAYS:   I say, it's all well and good to peek into people's purses, but  if you want to get a really good glimpse at someone's personality, then take a look at the photos on their cell phone.  The snapshots of scenes that were just too good to pass up will tell you far more about their personality and values than any stick of gum ever could.  

SINCE I'M SO NICE AND I KNOW YOU ALL WANT TO GET TO KNOW ME BETTER: 

Here's a glimpse into the photos on my phone: 

 A spinning class doing their workout OUTSIDE.  For some reason I found myself somewhat embarrassed for them sweating and panting for the whole world to see and just couldn't resist taking a picture of them. 

The bookshelves of my friend Karen to show to the guy who was constructing our built-ins. 


Gorgeous cupcakes made by my friend Jenny for a baby shower.  I couldn't wait to show it to Cami, who happens to love decorating cakes/cupcakes. 


A really yummy looking recipe I found while perusing a cookbook at a store. 


A really cute and creative picture Ellie had drawn of "princess art on easels".  She was particularly proud of that picture and was giving it away to someone, so I snapped it quickly before she gave it away. 


The local Domino's store, which had just been rammed by an old guy in a fancy Jaguar.  We were there within a couple minutes of it happening and enjoyed our 2 minutes of being the gawking/picture taking bystanders. 

Really cool airplane exhaust trails. 

And today is YOUR LUCKY DAY.  I figured while you were all getting to know my charming, albeit random, personality a little better, you could also see a glimpse into my beautiful fake Louis Vuitton purse (taken by my cell phone camera of course)...
  And with that, I'm going to stop writing blogposts late at night....



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Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Little Glimpse...

....into our Thanksgiving    

(best turkey ever, another lost tooth during dinner, 4 loads of dishes in one day, cutthroat game of Apples to Apples which Ellie won, lots of laughing, staying up too late, decorating for Christmas, some online shopping, hanging up pictures, handprint turkeys... )


and a little Thanksgiving silliness just for you....





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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful....

At this Thanksgiving time, I thought I'd dedicate this post to a few things in my life I'm most grateful for right now: 
  • For another Scout in the house (and devoted Scout leaders who are not named Lara)....


  • For good insurance....

  • For an awesome family who come from near and far to support us...


  • For a snazzy new blender that makes rockin' smoothies....



  • To finally be done with this fun, albeit time consuming project for Adam's teacher....


  • For a super hot, kind-hearted husband who puts up with me and my projects....


  • And for videos like this one that give me goosebumps and get me excited for the upcoming Christmas season....





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"For each new morning with its light,

For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson




Happy Thanksgiving!

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Reasons Why...

People who run for exercise have a myriad of reasons why they like to run--because it's an efficient way to exercise, you don't need any special equipment, you don't need a gym membership, and even the elusive runner's high. 

A couple of my kids have recently taken up running, and being a former cross country/track runner myself, this was a very exciting thing for me.  Emma participates in an after-school program where they train to run a race.  Adam and Ellie aren't quite old enough to participate yet, but they still decided they wanted to run in the school's annual Pumpkin Pie Race last Saturday. 

Of course, with my kids running has nothing to do with efficiency or mental satisfaction--it's all about the....




FOOD!  

Emma ran a 3K (1.8 miles) and because  so many people ended up participating from her class that they all ended up winning a lunch party from Chick-fil-A. 


  Adam and Ellie both ran a 1K race (.62 miles) and pretty much ran it for the piece of pie waiting for them at the end. 


Adam ended up with more than just a piece of pie after they drew his number for the raffle.  Although there is only one person (Glen) in our family who really likes pumpkin pie, Adam is pretty darn proud of owning his own pie. 


And after all that food they also got to enjoy the entertainment factor of the day.... the race winners getting to stuff a pan of whipping cream in the gym teacher's face.


Pies, chick-fil-a lunches, whipping cream in the face.  I see my kids really embracing this whole running thing. 



...Now if I could just have a piece of pie and a can of whipping cream waiting for me at the end of my runs.... 


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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Lara's Revenge....

Hope you don't think less of me after this confession....

Remember Miss Grumpy Lunch Lady who likes to yell at me? 

Although I look all sweet and innocent in these pictures, in reality, I sure showed Grumpy Lady a thing or two last Thursday....


I brought Subway sandwiches to the school Thanksgiving luncheon,



instead of  buying her pressed turkey parts in gravy. 


And then, in a fit of rebellious vengeance, stood up on the table and yelled,

"Hello!  My name is Inigo mon-Lara.  You yelled at me.  Prepare to splee" 

I don't know what 'splee' means, but it rhymed with 'me' and sounded all cool and vengeful, so I just went with it. 

Then I grabbed an extra one of her precious plastic spoons and challenged her to a battle of the wits right then and there. 

I won handily....of course. 

(For some strange reason, nobody really believes me when I tell them this story.  I'm hoping that by putting it here in print that people will finally start to take me seriously for once.) 

 


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Thursday, November 18, 2010

I Finally Decided What I Want to Be When I Grow Up....










....a professional pancake photographer.


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Let your friends know....


Lara's P.P. Photography
the ONLY pancake specialist in town. 


Guaranteed that your pancakes will never look better!



 You provide the pancakes and I take care of everything else, including pats of butter, authentic Aunt Jemima syrup, and a variety of plates.

Here are my rates: 

Pancake on a Plate Sitting Fee: 
$125


Single Pancake/4 Different Plates:
 
$245


Stacks of Pancakes/9 Different Plates/3 Changes of Toppings:
 
$3,103


Pancakes Standing on End in Shape of "Y" Mountain/Blueberry Topping/Singing Cougar Fight Song: 
$1,031,432



**Please note blemish removal (ie.  burnt edges, clumps of flour, etc) will cost an additional $75**


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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Ellie's Toof

Okay.  After leaving this post "wordless" all night, I just can't stand it anymore.  I at least need to give you the short story.  Basically Ellie's front teeth have been wiggly for a couple of months.  Last night she bonked her mouth right before dinner, which left one of her teeth hanging by a thread and bleeding.  She was too paranoid to eat, since she'd accidentally swallowed one of her previous two teeth that she'd lost.  Spencer jokingly offered to pull it out for her and much to my shock, she actually accepted!   All right.  Now I feel better.  Enjoy the photos! :)

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tender Mercies

"We should not underestimate or overlook the power of the Lord’s tender mercies. The simpleness, the sweetness, and the constancy of the tender mercies of the Lord will do much to fortify and protect us in the troubled times in which we do now and will yet live. When words cannot provide the solace we need or express the joy we feel, when it is simply futile to attempt to explain that which is unexplainable, when logic and reason cannot yield adequate understanding about the injustices and inequities of life, when mortal experience and evaluation are insufficient to produce a desired outcome, and when it seems that perhaps we are so totally alone, truly we are blessed by the tender mercies of the Lord and made mighty even unto the power of deliverance."

Some tender mercies that I'm especially grateful for right now....

The moved up MRI date.  When they first told us we'd have to wait almost a month for the MRI and we were so anxious to cross the scary things off of our list that that seemed like an eternity to wait.  Having the date move up by a couple of weeks was a HUGE relief to us! 

Ellie is so young.  I feel like this whole epilepsy diagnosis would have been so much more difficult if she were older.  She'd be more aware of her issue, she'd be more resistant to our protectiveness, she'd have a harder time in school,  and other people would be more likely to notice her seizures.  

Homeschooling Cami.  It hasn't been as organized as I'd hoped, but I can't even tell you what a blessing it's been to have her around with all the craziness with Ellie.  She helps me prepare dinners, she's home to help with the kids while I'm at the doctor with Ellie, and more than anything she makes it so have someone to talk to Ellie about.  I'd drive any friend crazy with it all and Glen occasionally has to get some work done, so it's made the beginning of this journey so much less lonely for me.   She's getting Real Life 101. 

Ellie's school teacher.  We put in a strong request for another teacher and were very disappointed when the principal did not honor our request.  Now we can see that her calm and experienced teacher is just right for her and the issues that she's facing.  Even the other teacher (whom we still love) told us that her classroom was really crazy this year and probably would not have been the best fit for her. 

A calm and patient husband.  Emotions have been a little high around here and I am grateful every day for Glen's calm presence.

Freckles, gray roots, and wrinkles.  It would be such a pain to juggle television appearances and modeling appointments along with the rest of my daily responsibilities. 







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Monday, November 15, 2010

The Elusive Happy Medium (an update on Ellie)

We're almost to the two month mark  in our unexpected journey into epilepsy.  It's been a crazy couple of months and I hope that in the end I can say that I'm a better person for them.    I'm learning first-hand that while her diagnosis of childhood absence epilepsy was probably the best one we could have hoped for in this situation, it still is (and probably will be for several years) an ongoing process to find a happy medium--a place we definitely haven't reached yet. 

The medication she is taking has effectively reduced the seizures from dozens per day to only a couple per day (that we notice), but in the process has sapped her energy and made her grumpy and clingy.  She's already on the lowest dose possible and in an effort to help reduce the negative side effects the neurologist has had us split her 6ml per day into 3 doses, rather than the 2 it had previously been.  For a busy (and somewhat disorganized) mom like me, remembering to dole out medicine 3 times a day is quite a feat, but I am happy to say we haven't missed a dose yet.

With the 3 doses per day we've definitely noticed an improvement in her energy level.  She is not dragging near as much as she had been, which is a relief.  Now, however, she has begun to have headaches which I just realized are another possible side effect of the medicine.  She has also been more irritable and moody.

Her follow-up appointment with the neurologist is in a couple of weeks and unless there is significant improvement in her energy and mood, I'm not sure that we can say that the benefits of this medicine outweigh the negatives.

There are two other medicines out there to treat this kind of seizure, although the one she's on is usually the first line of defense because it supposedly has fewer negative side effects than the others.  We're hoping that with her wiring, that maybe one of the others will prove more successful (or that she will adjust to a happier place sometime soon with her current medication).

I guess I've gotten fairly lucky in that out of our five kids, Ellie is the first one with special needs at school.  She was already one of my most distractible and talkative children, but combine that with her fatigue, irritability, and seizures and I'm sure she is not the teacher's favorite student this year.  It is my hope that once we find our elusive happy medium, that the teacher will see a little glimpse of the smart little sweetheart we sent off to kindergarten this year.   It would almost be funny if it weren't so sad when I go to pick Ellie up early from school almost every day,  looking in the "Student Sign-Out" book and seeing Ellie's name 3 or 4 times on every single page. 

Okay, enough with the negativity.  Tomorrow's post will be much more uplifting and until then here are a few pictures of Ellie modeling her new Medical ID bracelet.  They recommend that anyone who has seizures (of any kind) wear one,  but mainly it is for the medicine she is taking.  Apparently it negatively interacts on a moderate to severe level with almost 500 other medicines, including almost all pain-killers stronger than Children's Motrin or Tylenol and every cough and cold medicine in the universe.  I'm not a big medicine giver anyway, but I still dread the day she gets her first illness this winter knowing that there's no choice but to go without medicine.   

She is quite proud of her new jewelry and will happily show it off to anyone who shows any interest!  She will even tell you why she wears it. 


I thought about switching her bracelet to the non-bandaged side for the pictures, but in the end, I felt like it showed a little glimpse into her personality!  :)

We figured while we were engraving her medical issues on a medical plate anyway, that we may as well add in her allergy to penicillin as well.    Basically, without us saying a word, a doctor now knows at a glance that she has seizures and  can't have a sizable chunk of "normal" medicines.
Good thing Bandaids aren't a problem though! 


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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Harper's Ferry

I can't think of a single way to make this funny or interesting, but I don't want to miss posting these beautiful pictures of our spontaneous  trip to Harper's Ferry last week.  Basically, we woke up to a day off of school that so happened to be a little brisk, but otherwise GORGEOUS!  I was trying to think of something to do that day, when I happened across my friend's blog that morning and after ogling over her lovely pictures of Harper's Ferry decided that that's where we were going for the day! 



 We called my sister-in-law, who may have four kids 4-years-old and under, but is still always up for a spontaneous adventure!   It also happened to be my mom's last day in town, so she also joined in the  fun for the day! 




We hiked up to Jefferson's Rock, where Thomas Jefferson once stood and proclaimed that the view at that spot was "one of the most stupendous scenes in nature" anywhere and standing there on a lovely autumn day  I couldn't have agreed more...




A family picture at Jefferson's Rock (minus Glen who still had to work that day).....



And another peek at the amazing view (with a weird lady standing in the way)....


Spencer wasn't sure he wanted to come along with us, but ended up with a cute little buddy on his back that made it a little more tolerable to spend a day off of school with 7 kids under the age of 10....


We came home with pockets of rocks (Ellie and Adam's new hobby of late)....


One of the most exciting parts of the day for the preschoolers in the crowd were the super powerful hand dryers in the restrooms.   (this is my cute niece Lauren)....


It was an exhausting day for Ellie, but with a little gustatory bribery she was able to hold it together until she collapsed into a sound sleep in the car...

Thanks for the idea Deanne!  
Thanks for coming along with us Mika and Mom! 
Thanks to Thomas Jefferson for discovering one of the most beautiful vistas in America! 
Thanks to the convergence of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers that make it flood prone and thereby keeping it a small and quaint little town!  

There you have it. One certifiably long, boring post about a beautiful day spent with people I cherish (that counts for something...right?)   :)




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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Party On!

Oh yay!  A VIP invitation.  It must be for me, since I've been told before that I am a Very Imperious Person.  Oh, I'm so excited!  I love parties.  




Hmmm, what does it say inside?  I hope it's a pie and ice cream party with some good 80's music blasting! 


Uh oh.  My name isn't listed, but details like that don't stop an imperious person like me.  

Oy, there IS a fashionable clothing requirement? Hmmm.... 



Good thing I won't have any problem with that!   


Party on!!!






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