How to Take Over the World

Advertisers know what they’re doing. They have a sneaky, secret plan to take over our minds and then the world. Oh, wait. That’s evil geniuses. Wrong villains.

But seriously. Advertisers know what they’re doing. That’s why they’ve always encouraged kids to beg their parents for cereal, candy, toys and the latest whatchamathingie that “all the cool kids have.” They know that enough battle-weary parents will give in to their kids’ incessant pleading and whining to keep products flying off the shelves.

Apparently some advertising firms have now decided that – since kids are natural-born salesmen – they shouldn’t be used only for begging for kid-related garbage.

That’s got to be the reason why they now place ads for products that only adults can use, understand and make decisions about buying on children’s television networks.

Case in point:

Pebbles: Momma, have you ever heard of PC Matic?
Me: Sure. I’ve seen their commerci….
Pebbles: Do you have PC Matic?
Me: No. I don’t need it. I…
Pebbles: You need PC Matic! There are bad people on the internet who want to steal your identity and your money from the bank!!
Me: You are absolutely right. There are lots of bad people in th….
Pebbles: Did you know that PC Matic can protect all your computers when you’re on the internet?
Me: Yeah. I saw their commercial. But we don’t need it bec….
Pebbles: And you only have to pay them $150 to protect all your computers. You have to get PC Matic before it’s too late!!
Me: Ooh-kaay. I’ll….have a look at it. Just as soon as I finish….doing some stuff.

Stupid, sneaky PC Matic jerks.

Next case in point:

Pebbles: Momma, do you have Life Lock?
Me: Umm. No. No I don’t.
Pebbles: You really need to get Life Lock!!
Me: Why do I need to get Life Lock?
Pebbles: Be-cause!! They keep you safe when thieves try to steal your identity!!
Me: Hmm. Maybe I don’t care if someone steals my identity. It might be kinda cool to have a new one. I’m getting kinda tired of this old one.
Pebbles: Huh?
Me: Have you been watching commercials again?
Pebbles: Yeah. I saw this one about Life Lock…
Me: Remember the talks we’ve had about advertising companies? About how their job is to make people think they can’t live without their products?
Pebbles: Yeah. But you really do need Life Lock because….
Me: Okay. I’ll have a look at it. Just as soon as I finish….doing some stuff.

Stupid, sneaky Life Lock jerks.

Thought control and brainwashing the youth. Wasn’t that how Hitler did it?
PC Matic and Lifelock logos superimposed over a swastika

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me
and My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

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Your Thermostat is Where? Riiiiiight….

Dr. evil with the caption

So, I’m just wondering if I’m the only person in the history of ever who’s had this surreal experience.

Pebbles and I have spent bazillions of hours at our local Chick-fil-A and McDonald’s playgrounds. For several reasons:

  • The Rock and I are old, therefore we have no friends with kids Pebbles’ age. Playgrounds are her social life.
  • I am old. I prefer indoors, where it is temperature controlled.
  • Restaurants with indoor playgrounds are restaurants. They serve food.
  • They also provide free wifi. I get stuff done. YAY!
  • We live in a small town. These are pretty much the only (relatively) free places to take a kid.

Other than the occasional everybody-out-of-the-playground-while-it’s-being disinfected time because a toddler went down the slide with a leaking poopy diaper, our experiences at Chick-fil-A have been positive.

The outlandishly surreal experience I had was at McDonald’s.

The temperatures in the playground and the dining area are often in completely different climate zones.  From the sweltering tropical heat on summer days in the playground while the restaurant was cool and comfortable to the freezing polar temperatures in winter while diners were warm and toasty.

Several times I asked that the thermostat be adjusted and received the following responses:

  • Deer-in-headlights stare
  • Oh…… Okay……
  • Sí.
  • Sure. As soon as I have time.
  • The what?
  • I’ll have to ask my manager. (Finally. Now we’re getting somewhere.)
  • The manager’s not here right now. (What? Who exactly is running this ship?)
  • I told the manager. She’ll take care of it.
  • I told the manager. She’ll take care of it. (Yeah. That’s what you told me 45 minutes ago.)

When I FINALLY got to talk to a manager was when it got completely bizarre.


Me: It’s really hot/cold in the playground. Could you adjust the thermostat?
Manager: Sure.


Me: Remember when I asked you 30 minutes ago to adjust the thermostat?
Manager: I have to call the store owner to do that.


Me: So…remember you were gonna call the store owner?….. About adjusting the thermostat?
Manager: Oh, yeah.


Me: So remember….
Manager: Yeah. He said we’re not allowed to adjust the thermostat because it’s on the roof.
Me: It’s on the…..What? You’re kidding, right?
Manager: No. The maintenance man is the only one who can adjust it.
Me: (Sure it is. Sure he is. But whatever.) Okay. So call the maintenance man.
Manager: Oh, he’s already been here. He only comes by once a day. In the mornings.
Me: What? You know, none of this makes sens…….never mind.


So I took the only logical next step. I complained to corporate headquarters.

I know that makes me sound really smart and all. But it’s really The Rock who’s the smart one. He taught me that everyone has a boss. Even the boss has a boss. He once called Lee Iacocca. Remind me to tell you about that sometime.

So I complained to McDonald’s corporate headquarters.

The temperature thing improved. For a while. But I did receive 4 coupons for free McDonald’s Meal Deals.

So, am I the only one who’s run into this kind of mind-numbing incompetence?

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me
and My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Humor, Other Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Independence Day Research – Paul Revere and Jack Black??

What with yesterday being the Fourth of July here in the U.S. and all, we’ve been studying about the American Revolution.

We’re working on this awesome Independence Day lapbook created by the awesome – and much more organized then me – momma at Homeschooling In Heels.

Yes, I did say working. As in, we haven’t finished it. Yes, we’re a bit behind the eight ball. A lot of it’s OCD Louie’s fault, but I really fought him this time so I can’t completely blame him. Mostly I’m always behind because raising Pebbles is exhausting. And I’m old. So there’s that.

But I digress.

When we finish our lapbook I may post some photos on my blog. It depends. On how I’m feeling at the time. Or how far behind I am. Probably both.

But what I’m sharing today is something I came across while researching Paul Revere. Apparently Paul is one of Jack Black’s ancestors and Paul’s DNA is incredibly strong. Because just look at this uncanny resemblance.

photo comparison of paul revere and jack black

Apparently I’m not the first person to make this astonishing discovery. At least not according to the all-knowing Oracle Google.

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me
and My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

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Mommy, What’s a C-O-N-D-….?

I just read a post over at Underdaddy.com that got me thinking about how thankful I am that Pebbles is a late bloomer in the reading department.

You might want to have a look at The Buttery Hole first. You know, just to give you a frame of reference. I’ll wait till you get back.


Back already? Cool. Let’s proceed.

Due to the neurological mess Pebbles’ mommy created in Pebbles brain by taking drugs during her pregnancy, Pebbles struggles with lots of things.

Reading. Math. Distinguishing left from right. Bike riding. Roller skating. Swimming. Jumping rope. Karate. Basically anything that requires coordinating movements on opposite sides of her body.

She also suffers from dyspraxia, which means she has a hard time doing anything that requires planning and sequencing. Like writing. Spelling. Playing games that have rules. Putting things away when she’s through with them. Finding things she’s looking for. Remembering where she put something. Following instructions with more than one step.

Seriously. It’s been a blast.

The Rock and I frequently alternate between anger, despair and depression. But we always come back around to dogged determination for finding a solution that will help make things easier for Pebbles. However, only once have I ever been actually grateful that Pebbles couldn’t read.

After reading Prima’s interpretation of the slogan printed on Underdaddy’s rubber drinking cup I was struck by the fact that if Pebbles had started reading when her typically-developing peers did I would have had to explain something she wasn’t ready to learn about.

Let me explain.

As we were stopped at a red light one day I glanced out the car window. Glaring back at me on a sign above a store – in HUGE LETTERS, LARGER THAN LIFE, IMPOSSIBLE TO MISS – was the name of the store.

Now, I get marketing strategy and product branding and reaching your customers – all that stuff. This is America. We thrive on having a free market and what not.

But for the love of all things holy, CONDOMS TO GO, couldn’t you consider the parents of kids who CAN actually read and please be a little more discreet about your sign size and placement?

I, and tons of other parents, hope you will take my suggestion under consideration. Which I’m pretty sure you won’t. But at least I tried.

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me
and My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Humor, Pebbles, Special Needs | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Terrible Twos, Teens and Tantrums – Fantasy vs. Reality

First, Let’s Take a Stroll Through Lala Land

photo of dorothy, scarecrow, tin man and cowardly lion on the yellow brick road
I recently came across an article that included this cute description of the Terrible Twos:

….the occasional tantrum.

Bwahahahaha!!! (Wipes tear from eye.) But seriously, I digress.

The article went on to explain further what parents can expect from the Terrible Twos. (See my real-life commentary in italics.)

  1. “The Terrible Twos can begin long before a child turns two, and can end shortly or long after he or she turns three.”
    • Depending on the child, this could be as long as twenty years – or more – after he or she turns three.
  2. “Every child really is different.”
    • The one thing the author actually got right.
  3. “Toddler tantrums usually get better as kids become better able to express themselves verbally.”
    • The downside here is that, once they can talk, they never shut up. And then they add whining and begging to their repertoire of skills that makes you wanna drive nails into your eyeballs.
  4. “Once they get a bit older, develop some maturity and understand that the parents are in charge life settles into a somewhat calm routine.”
    • Giggle!! Snort!! The author has obviously never raised an actual human child. Not a child like the ones I’ve raised, anyway.

Now, Let’s Talk Reality

photo of tornado scene from wizard of oz

I’d like to add the following points to the list.

  1. God made kids cute starting out so we wouldn’t kill them later.
  2. He fills parents with an insatiable need to take bazillions of photos and videos of their kids while they’re little.
  3. Somewhere between the ages of 9 to 11, until some far-off future time – which varies wildly with each kid (see article author’s point #2) – your kid will know more than you do. About EVERYTHING!! Until this stage ends spend as much time as possible looking through all those photo and videos you took of their baby and toddler years. This and point #1 may be the only thing that prevents you from killing them.
  4. When they become hormone-crazed teenagers you begin to understand why some animals eat their young. And secretly wish you weren’t human.
  5. Generally – and this has just been my experience – the teen-age years with boys are much easier than with girls. Notice how calmly I wrote that? That’s because written words cannot adequately describe what life can be like with a hormone-crazed, teen angst-filled, drama-ridden, boy-crazy teen-aged female human child. I won’t even try to describe what bad hair days and boyfriend break-ups are like.**
  6. If you’re a mom, just think back to your own teen years. If you’re a dad who had teen-age sisters, take a moment to reflect a bit on what life was like growing up with all that estrogen circulating madly through the home, ricocheting off the walls and slapping anyone in the face whose reactions weren’t fast enough to dodge it.

    Then multiply everything you actually remember by ten. Or maybe a thousand.

    **Underdaddy and Supermom – start preparing yourselves mentally now. Sorry, I’ve done it twice and that’s all the advice I can give you. I will pray for you though.

  7. If you have the misfortune of having a kid with ADHD, bipolar disorder, anxiety issues, etc., be prepared for everything I described to be multiplied by at least a million.
  8. Until the hormone wars raging in your child’s body and brain settle down to a manageable level teenagers will generally revert back to their previous Terrible Two personalities. Only magnified. Astronomically. So basically what you’ll have living under your roof for several years is an almost adult-sized two-year-old stranger. Who can drive a car. Now there’s a fun thought.

So, Do I have any Words of Wisdom to Share?

The best advice I can give parents is to pick your battles carefully. Plan ahead, rather than while in the midst of a crazed toddler and/or teen meltdown, how you’ll respond to your kid’s undesired behaviour.

A good rule of thumb for deciding whether you should punish or ignore is to ask yourself, “Is this the hill I want to die on?” I really like this war analogy. Because dealing with toddler and/or teen tantrums often feels like you’re walking through a mine field, leaving you fatigued and battle-weary from trying to avoid setting them off. The mines. Or the kid. Take your pick.

Which is why I think parents should receive combat pay and also qualify for PTSD disability payments. Which I’m gonna look into, right after I take a nap.

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Family, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Hair Bikini

Why? Just…why?

photo of hairy-chested man with bikini top shaved into chest

Photo credit: I have no idea.
I just want to make it clear that I don’t personally know these people, nor did I take this photo. It’s just one of those things floating around in the bowels of the Internet.

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me
and My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

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Pebbles Doesn’t Like Her Name and I NEEEEED Your Help!!

Pebbles isn’t happy with her name. Not her real name, which is…………


 

……..not going to be revealed on my blog. There’s that pesky anonymity thing, you know.

It’s the name I’ve given her on my blog that Pebbles wants to change. She thinks it’s not fair that everyone else gets, at least, a mineral name and, at best, the name of a gemstone.

Pebbles: Why do I have to be pebbles? They’re just stupid, little rocks!

Me: Um. Well….you’re kinda like the star of my blog, you know. I mean, the name of it is Pebbles on the Ro…..

Pebbles: I wanna be a gem. How about Peridot?

Me: Well. Hmm. I’m not sure that Peridot on the Road is a good name for a blog.

So, dear readers, there you have it. What do you think? Should I change Pebbles’ name to Peridot or not? And if I do, should I change the name of my blog?

If you haven’t already, please visit my About My Blog page and read how I came to name my blog and my family members what I did. And then please help me make this decision. Because this is just the kind of thing that gets OCD Louie all stirred up. He’s already pacing the floor, nagging me about how this could upset the whole look and feel of my blog and how I’ll probably have to do a complete redesign. Acckkk!!

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me
and My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Pebbles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Left Brain vs. Right Brain. Who Wins?

I mentioned in April that The Rock, Pebbles and I were far away from home getting treatment for Pebbles. And in May I told you a little bit about the STAR Center in Denver where we took her.

But I haven’t shared any details yet because….well, The Rock and I are just a wee bit overwhelmed with all the information we have to wade through now that we’re back home. We have literally pages and pages and pages of reports and recommendations to read through, digest and figure out how we’re going to implement them into our lives.

But there is one thing I want to share today. It’s something I figured out about how Pebbles learns. It explains why it’s been so freakin’ hard for me to find a homeschooling method that works for her.

Pebbles is a right-brain learner/thinker/doer. I’m a left-brainer, with a little bit of creativity (right-brain stuff) thrown in.

When it comes to homeschooling, unfortunately, my left brain wants to throw its weight around and insist on doing things methodically. By the book. My left brain is very OCDish. I’m pretty sure it’s where OCD Louie hides when he isn’t torturing me.

But Pebbles turns glassy-eyed and loses the ability to hear and to sit still whenever I start “teaching” her.

So I’ve been madly researching ways to teach her that make sense to her, that will engage her mind and tap into her interests. Basically, I need to figure out how to make learning so dang much fun that she’ll think we’re just playing games.

Which I’m gonna get right back to as soon as I publish this post. But first I’m gonna share this left-brain/right-brain image with you. Because I know you’re gonna love it.

drawing of right brain/left brain. Arrow pointin to left brain says "Get a calculator." Arrow pointing to right brain says, "Get a blog."

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me
and My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Home School, OCD, Pebbles, Special Needs | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Pebbles’ Dream

Pebbles: I had a dream one night that you died.

Me: Really? Wanna tell me about it?

Pebbles: Well, you said you only had a few more days until you were gonna die so I crawled in bed with you and snuggled a lot because I wanted to spend as much time with you as I could.

This child.
Wise beyond her years.
Sometimes.

Pebbles: Wanna hear about my other dream?

Me: Sure. (Only I’m not sure I can hold back the tears.)

Pebbles: I dreamed the whole world was getting covered by hot lava and then there were these lava ninjas coming out of the volcano and I had to fight ’em but I beat ’em cause I kicked ’em in the crotch and they passed out because they were all boys.

Okay. Poignancy moment is over.

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me
and My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Pebbles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Magnificent Yellowstone Part Five – Bison!!

We were thrilled to find this herd of  bison mommas with their new calves right beside the road!! SKWEEE!!!

In case you’re wondering – no, I did not get out of the car to take these photos. Unlike the foolish woman in the last photo.


(click photos to view full size)

photo of herd of female bison and their calves in Yellowstone National Park


SKWEEE!! Can you even believe how sweet that face is?!!

photo of bison calf laying down

photo of bison calf getting up to nurse in Yellowstone National Park


How SWEET are these photos? Can you even handle the cuteness??!!

photo of bison calf nursing in Yellowstone National Park

photo of bison calf nursing in Yellowstone National Park


What? You lookinat me?

photo of bison calf looking at camera in Yellowstone National Park


Big Chief Sitting Bull, you know, laying down.

photo of large male bison resting in Yellowstone National Park


Practically everywhere you go in and around Yellowstone Park you encounter signs, pamphlets and warnings. Signs, pamphlets and warnings that you’d have to be blind to miss. And what are these warnings warning you about? To STAY THE FREAKIN’ HECK AWAY from the wildlife. Especially the big ones. That can run really fast.

And then you see inexplicably foolish sights like this.

photo of foolish woman standing too close to adult bison crossing a river  in Yellowstone National Park

I am so thankful we didn’t have to witness this foolish woman getting run down and gored by this bison.


View all my Yellowstone photography posts

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me
and My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Photography, Yellowstone National Park | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Magnificent Yellowstone Part Four – Birds (and a Dog – Sort Of)

(click photos to view full size)


A magnificent pair of trumpeter swans

photo of a pair of trumpeter swans beside a river in Yellowstone National Park

photo of small bird on dead tree in Yellowstone National Park

photo of common raven in Yellowstone National Park

photo of common raven on fence post in Yellowstone National Park

photo of a pair of common raven on fence in Yellowstone National Park


The Rock helping Pebbles make a new friend.

photo of Pebbles walking on fence approaching a common raven in Yellowstone National Park


No matter how many ways I explained to Pebbles that this dog was painted on the side of this RV she wouldn’t believe me. Even though It. Never. Moved. She was absolutely sure it was real and “It’s really sad he can’t come out. He really, really wants to get out.”

photo of an RV-4-Rent with a painting of a dog looking out the window in Yellowstone National Park


View all my Yellowstone photography posts

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me
and My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Photography, Yellowstone National Park | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Magnificent Yellowstone Part Three – Flora

(click photos to view full size)

photo of plant in Yellowstone National Park
photo of Yellow Monkey Flowers growing next to bacteria mat in Yellowstone National Park
photo of moss growing on rock in Yellowstone National Park
photo of emerging plant between wood and rock with water droplets on leaves in Yellowstone National Park
photo of bobby socks trees in Yellowstone National Park


View all my Yellowstone photography posts

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me
and My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Photography, Yellowstone National Park | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Magnificent Yellowstone Part Two – Mother Nature’s Works of Art

No artist’s or sculptor’s work comes close to that of Mother Nature.


(click photos to view full size)

photo of gnarled tree roots in Yellowstone National Park

photo of gnarled tree roots in Yellowstone National Park

photo of gnarled tree roots in Yellowstone National Park

photo of moss growing on a fallen tree in Yellowstone National Park

snow-covered mountain range viewed from Yellowstone National Park


View all my Yellowstone photography posts

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me
and My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Photography, Yellowstone National Park | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Magnificent Yellowstone Part One – Geysers, Hot Springs and Fumaroles

As I said before, there are no words, so I won’t even try.


(click photos to view full size)
photo of hot spring steam rising behind green pine trees and in front of deep blue mountains in Yellowstone National Park

photo of steam rising behind water flowing over rocks tinted orange by bacteria in Yellowstone National Park

photo of steam rising behind water flowing over rippled, orange rocks with buffalo tracks through the water in the foreground in Yellowstone National Park

photo of Bacteria Mat - orange steaming water with buffalo tracks in Yellowstone National Park

closeup photo of orange and yellow water colored by bacteria in Yellowstone National Park

photo of Pebbles surrounded by steaming fumaroles in Yellowstone National Park

photo of Fountain Paint Pots - bubbling blue-gray clay hot springs in Yellowstone National Park

4 side-by-side photos of Red Spouter - a boiling, steaming, red mud hot spring in Yellowstone National Park

photo of a deep, blue hot springs pool in Yellowstone National Park

photo of an erupting geyser's white steam contrasted by a dark cloudy sky in the background in Yellowstone National Park

photo of a rock-edged steamy hot springs pool of water in Yellowstone National Park

photo of a winding blue river with steam rising in the background in Yellowstone National Park

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two side by side photos of Cliff Geyser in Yellowstone National Park before and during eruption

photo of Old Faithful geyser erupting in Yellowstone National Park


View all my Yellowstone photography posts

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me
and My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Photography, Yellowstone National Park | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

I’m Not Sure Where I’m Going But if You’d Like to Tag Along, Follow Me

So I’ve been told I should promote my blog. I’ve debated forever whether or not to do it. OCD Louie, as usual, has turned it into a living nightmare.

OCD Louie: Are ya sure ya really want to promote your blog? I mean, suppose ya do and ya get all these new followers, and then you run out of stuff to blog about. Do ya really think that would be a fair thing to do?

Me: SHUT UP LOUIE!! You have no idea what you’re talking about! You don’t know me as well as you like to think you do, mister.

Except he does. Oh, does he ever, that sneaky annoying little devil. Louie leaves me alone for days, sometimes even weeks. Or even months. Lulling me into a false sense of complacency. Leading me to think that I may actually not have OCD. Maybe I just imagined it. Or perhaps I’ve conquered it.

Then, he comes back with bang, turning up like a bad penny.

photo of OCD Louie's face on a bad penny

Do you see what I did there, Louie? Your face. On a bad penny. Hahahahaha!! So good. Revenge is sweet.


But, I digress. Back to the blog promotion thing. If you want to follow me on Facebook you can click this link:

Click to follow me on Facebook

I’m not sure why you’d want to follow me on Facebook. Every time I post a new blog entry WordPress automagically sends the title and the first few sentences of the post to my Facebook page. If you’re already following me by email, following on Facebook seems a bit redundant.

But if you’re like me and check Facebook religiously and email, not so much, well then, this Facebook following thing makes some sense. It’s also a nifty way of scrolling back through previous posts a lot faster than you can do here on WordPress,

So there you have it – my first attempt at blog promotion. We’ll see how it goes.

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me
and My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in OCD, Other Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

More Photoblogging Inspiration – Magnificent Mountain Weather

We took a trip to Yellowstone and saw some magnificent weather on the way. Watch for more photos from our trip. Coming soon!

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Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me
and My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pebbles in Denver

Like I’ve said before – I won’t publish many photos of Pebbles on my blog because…well, if I have to explain why, then…I just don’t know what to tell you.

But if you’re paying attention, you’ll get an occasional glimpse of her because…well, just because. Don’t make things too complicated, okay? Life is hectic enough without all that analyzing and stuff. Know what I mean? Of course you do. So here goes. Just enjoy.


Pebbles in Denver in the snow – still doing it Texas-style – those are Spiderman rain boots on her feet:

0724

Pebbles in Denver not in the snow. Ah, yes. This weather I like much better:

0616

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me
and My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.


Posted in Pebbles | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

More Photoblogging Inspiration – These Mountains Take my Breath Away

There are no words – so I won’t even try.


Idaho:

0594


Colorado:

0753 07640766a


Provo, Utah:

0009 0010 0014

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me
and My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Photoblogging – Inspiration in Denver

I mentioned earlier that The Rock, Pebbles and I recently were many miles from home getting treatment for Pebbles. We spent a month in Denver, Colorado getting evaluations and treatment for Pebble’s sensory processing issues at the STAR Center.

The STAR (Sensory Therapies And Research) Center is the premier treatment and research center for children and families impacted by sensory processing and feeding disorders, ADHD, autism and other developmental disorders. You can learn all you want about that stuff at their website – http://spdstar.org – and, when I have time (shut up, Louie, I said I’ll do it when I have time), I’ll tell you what we’ve learned.

But right now I’ll share with you some of the photoblogging inspiration I found in Denver. Which really means I’m posting the photos that turned out decent enough to show you.

Enjoy!


Early spring tulips cast a long shadow in the late afternoon light:


Three different sky views from the STAR Center’s sensory playground:

0553


Awesome giant marbles on the STAR Center’s sensory playground:
0551055005490547

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me
and My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Best Ringtone Evah!

I’m wondering if there is a Best Ringtone Evah! Award floating around the internet somewhere. Because if there is, I want to nominate one.

At my doctor’s office last month I was getting my blood drawn when the nurse got a phone call. From her pocket I heard, “WARNING! Your son is attempting to call! He probably wants money!”

Since the nurse likely didn’t want to argue with her son about money in front of patients – that and the fact that both her hands were kinda busy with my blood and stuff – she ignored the phone and let it keep ringing. So we got to enjoy hearing her cellphone warning her several more times before it went to voice mail.

I have to confess that lots of cellphone ringtones make me wanna scream. Or yank the phone out of its containing pocket, purse, backpack or hand and throw it as far away as possible.

But this one I like. So much that I’d nominate it. You know, if there’s a Best Ringtone Evah! Award.

image of cellphone surrounded by musical notes, dollar signs and warning: Yo, Mom! Hide your wallet!

Am I the only one who thinks most ringtones are gratingly obnoxious?

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Other Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Amazon Review: Perfect Toddler iPad Case

Pebbles’ awesome grandmother bought her an iPad for Christmas.

While I may occasionally manage to pull off awesome and I am Pebbles’ grandmother, I didn’t buy her the iPad. It was my mother – who is Pebbles’ mommy’s grandmother – who gave her the iPad.

But life is confusing enough without having to explain all that to Pebbles. So, for now, Pebbles’ awesome grandmother bought her an iPad for Christmas.

So lately I’ve been on a search for a kid/liquid/peanut butter and marshmallow creme/booger/tantrum/impact-proof iPad case.

Which led me to this hilarious Amazon review written by a mother of a toddler. I love it so much that I have to share it with my readers.

i-Blason Apple iPad Air/iPad 5 ArmorBox Kido Series Light Weight Super Protection Convertable Stand Cover Case

5 star Amazon review, perfect for my kid

I purchased this for my 2 year old’s ipad (don’t judge, the Disney Jr. app is keeping me sane). I’m pretty sure it was handcrafted by unicorns. It’s the most awesome product ever. No really. EVER.

Not only can he haul it around by the nifty little handle, but he can use that grip as a shot put and the incredibly squishy material allows it to just bounce off the wall with little to no damage to anything else!

red kid-proof iPad caseOh! And the stand! I want to hug the neck of the person who thought to let the handle fold so that it can be placed in a couple of different viewing positions. I like to refer to these as the low/game play (punch the ipad in the face position) and the high/watch (let Cars lull you to sleep for the 517th time position).

So far, the ipad has been protected. (Although I think Siri is at the end of her rope… The ‘Why?’ phase is hard on us all.)

The only thing that would make this product better is if it came with a longer nap time and drink with an umbrella for Momma.

**Update 9/10/13*
Just thought I should put down my plastic wine glass and update… we’ve now had this for at least 6 months and the ipad mini is still going strong!

I will, however, strongly suggest not leaving your ipad in the hot car on a summer day for a couple of reasons. First off, aforementioned 2 year old could (did) throw a massive tantrum when Henry Hugglemonster is (was) no longer a sticky click away. And secondly, the case seemed to shrink a bit after getting hot/cold. (It now fits more like my bathing suit. Too snug and rides up in areas it never rode up before.)

It still works just fine, though. The ipad is protected, the kid is happy (minus the general two-going-on-thirteen attitude) and momma is a little less frazzled in those glorious moments that the wifi connection is working.

When will the ‘i ❤ i-Blason ArmorBox Kido Series Light Weight Super Protection Convertible Stand Cover Case’ *gasp* bumper stickers be available for order?

***Update (again) 10/27/14*
Well, I’ve come back to order another Kido Series ArmorBox case and thought I should update again. Except for the fact that my young’un has just about torn (chewed? Who the Hell knows.) the little cover over the home button, this case has been awesome and his ipad has held up beautifully. I wish I could say the same for his Momma. (I’m currently typing this through the cracked screen on my iphone while hiding out in the bathroom. He, on the other hand, is stretched out on our sofa, playing a ‘drop the shape into the hole’ game on his ipad (with the most annoying music ever), while watching Toy Story of Terror on our 57″ flat screen, eating shredded cheese and chocolate chips in his underwear and socks. I want to be reincarnated as a 3 year old.)

But back to the case… It has protected my investment through the terrible 2’s, the trying 3’s, a trip to the beach, a trip to the aquarium (and a day in the lost-in-found before we realized we’d left it behind “tucked in” to the other bed in the hotel room), enough fruit snack residue to put Humpty Dumpty back together again, the Frozen soundtrack 298759876789304 times (for the love of all things holy, Let it Go already) and an $88 iTunes shopping spree thanks to In-App purchases. It goes without saying that I do recommend this product. (I also strongly recommend birth control. Or Xanax if that fails.)

On the eve of his 4th birthday, I thought I’d let my little spitfire pick the color he’d like for his new case and he indignantly responded “Blue, orange, green and purple. I need four.”

ipad case color choicesAs much as I do love the case, let’s hope 1 orange one will get us through another year or two.

If I ever get a moment of peace, I may work on a blog! 🙂 Gotta go now, I see little fingers slipping under the bathroom door.


For the record, I haven’t decided yet which iPad case to buy. But I do know that if Mandi ever starts a blog I definitely want to follow it.

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Humor | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Very Best Reason

I owe everyone who follows my blog a huge apology. I’ve been MIA from the blogosphere lately.

I’m pretty sure there isn’t anyone out there who absolutely lives for my blog posts. So at least I don’t have the guilt of letting anyone down weighing heavy on my heart.

But there’s something about starting a blog and then accumulating followers that makes you (read: me) feel obligated to keep churning out the good stuff. (And also gives OCD Louie something else to whine about.)

But that’s something I haven’t been able to do lately.

I actually have a very good reason. In, fact, it’s the best reason I could ever dream of. It’s for Pebbles.

The Rock, Pebbles and I are currently many miles away from home getting treatment for Pebbles. Treatment that we hope will make Pebbles’ life easier. She had a rough start in life which has led to behavior issues that should be getting better, but aren’t. I’ve written about them here and here.

So here we are on this learning adventure, far, far away from home, feeling kinda lost and overwhelmed.

I’ll share what we’re doing later when I have more time (Shut up, Louie. I’ll do it when I’m ready.)

In the meantime, if you believe in prayer, any you want to send Heavenward on our behalf will be greatly appreciated.

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Pebbles, Special Needs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

I Forgot Who I Was Talking To

Me: Whew! That made me tired. How about you?

Pebbles: Did you forget who you’re talking to?


This kid cracks me up. But I digress.

She’s right. She never gets tired. Never. No, for real. I’m not kidding or exaggerating. Not even a little bit.

You know how people say, “The kids are really gonna sleep good tonight after all this (insert any type of activity here)” or “Isn’t it great that they’re running off all this energy? They’re really gonna be tired tonight?”

NEVER. HAPPENED.
NOT. EVEN. ONCE.
IN. HER. WHOLE. LIFE.

Pebbles can’t even go to sleep at night without medication.

Have you read about the night we didn’t get to the pharmacy in time to pick up her sleep meds? She was awake for 30 hours. THIRTY. LONG. HOURS. And she was like a mini-tornado, feeding off of her own energy, getting more active, more hyper and more destructive.

You should go read it. It was a really, really fun adventure for The Rock and me. We even gave it a cute little name. We fondly refer to it as Hell Night.

image of flaming letters on black background spelling Hell Night

I hope you’ve all enjoyed this teensy peek into our reality. Welcome to our world.

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Pebbles, Special Needs | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Trix Cereal. Not Just for Kids. At Least Not in Pebbles’ World.

Pebbles: The Trix commercial teaches kids a bad lesson.

Me: What’s that?

Pebbles: It teaches them not to share.

Me: Wow. You’re right. All these years I’ve been watching that commercial and I never looked at it that way.

Pebbles: If I was in that commercial I’d share my Trix with the rabbit. That’s just rude to tell him they’re only for kids.


 I heart this child’s mind.

image of a red heartSo much.

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me
and My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Opinions, Pebbles | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Bullying Epidemic

I was recently invited to join a Facebook group created with the intent to stop bullying. This particular group was started because of the recent suicide of a 12 year-old girl in our town. Sadly, she took her life, as too many have, because she was being bullied.

Parents in the group have offered suggestions for how to stop bullying.  Some say we should teach our children to love others and to have compassion for everyone. Others want our schools to be more proactive, by teaching students about the harmful effects of bullying and by punishing those who engage in it. Others think we need to teach our kids to defend themselves.

I agree that, as parents, we should teach our children to love and accept everyone and that bullying is harmful and can have tragic consequences. I also agree that kids need to know how to defend themselves.

But I think that too many people mistakenly believe that bullying can be stopped. I don’t share that belief. After all, bullying has existed since the beginning of time. The first recorded bully, Cain, a son of Adam and Eve, killed his brother Abel out of jealousy.

Rather than thinking we can stop bullying, I think it’s important that we be realistic and acknowledge the facts.

  1. There will always be crappy parents who will raise crappy kids.
  2. There will always be good parents whose kids will sometimes do crappy things.
  3. There will always be kids who are filled with rage because their self-esteem has been so battered and broken that they are looking for someone to take it out on.
  4. Today’s public schools are so overburdened by rules, regulations and government intervention that we can’t realistically expect much help there.
  5. The middle, junior and high school years are the most stressful and confusing times of kids’ lives.
  6. The electronic age we’re now living in has escalated bullying to a level no parents today experienced when growing up. The secrecy this provides has allowed bullying to become so much more than painful. It sometimes becomes tragically lethal.

I believe that parents are the first line of defense in insulating and protecting kids against bullying. To accomplish that I believe we must:

  • instill in our kids a sense of their true value and worth.
  • teach them that their value and worth are not determined by what others say about them but, rather, by who they choose to be and by what they choose to do.
  • show them that bullying is actually a cry for help from someone who has little self-worth, whether the bully knows it or not.
  • ensure that our kids know how to defend themselves – physically, verbally and emotionally.

I also believe that bullying as we now know it will continue until parents begin strictly monitoring their kids’ electronic lives. Yes, they’ll hate us for it, but only temporarily.

As long as we allow bullying to hide in electronic darkness it will continue to poison our kids’ lives. And sadly, there will continue to be kids who will take their own lives, believing that is the only escape route available to them.

However, knowing every thing our kids are doing online will shine a light on bullying that will bring it out into the revealing light of day, thus depriving it of the secrecy it needs to continue its often tragic, deadly path.

The Rock and I have already made a decision about Pebbles‘ cellphone, tablet and computer use. Of course she’ll need those devices to reach us and so we can reach her when she’s old enough to be away from home without us. She’ll need them for school work, entertainment and to stay in touch with friends.

But she will not have the freedom to roam the electronic highway unsupervised until we are certain she has developed the maturity to handle the dangers that lurk there.

God has entrusted her to us. How could we do otherwise?

Posted in Other Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , | 11 Comments

(fill in the blank) Night at McDonald’s

McDonald's logo
I was originally going to title this post Redneck Night at McDonald’s.

But the all-knowing Oracle Google told me that redneck is a disparaging term, implying negative stereotypical traits such as ignorance and narrow-mindedness.

It isn’t my intent to offend anyone. And besides, according to Jeff Foxworthy, there’s a little redneck in all of us.

But I digress.

Not wanting to offend, I checked the Oracle Google’s database of synonyms for redneck.

hillbilly
boor
bumpkin
clodhopper
farmer
hayseed
rube
rustic
yokel
backwoodsman/woman
cornfed
country boy/girl
country cousin
countryman/woman
good old boy
local yokel

None of those words are what I’m trying to convey, either.

So I’ll just describe what went on. And let you make your own assumptions.

There were really just two families in the McDonald’s playground who made me cringe, over and over.


The Loud-Angry Family


The first was what The Rock and I took to calling the Loud-Angry family. Mr. and Mrs. Loud-Angry and their 18 to 20ish -year-old daughter. All yelling at each other. And very angry.

The worst part was the little toddler boy, who was apparently the daughter’s child. Mrs. Loud-Angry/Grandma was in charge of this sweet little tow-headed darling. Because his mother said he was “a big pain.”

Apparently Grandma thought so, too, because she didn’t say a kind word in a normal decibel to this little boy the whole time they were there.

I resisted the urge to slap them both with my Big Mac. It wasn’t easy, but I managed.


The (fill in the blank) Family


Then there was the (fill in the blank) family.

I won’t describe mom’s and dad’s physical appearance because, like most civilized people, I was taught if you don”t have something nice to say, keep your yapper shut. I take that to also mean when you’re yapping through a keyboard.

But it was the appearance of their one year old that almost made me gag. Cute little guy. Not his fault who he got for parents.

Wearing nothing but a onesie, the little dude’s diaper was so full that the onesie could no longer contain it. As he waddled all over the playground, his swollen-far-past-maximum-capacity Huggie protruded out of one leg opening like a giant, horrendous white hernia.

The Rock and I watched in horror as the Huggie hernia grew larger. And squishier. And sagged lower and lower. I swear by the time the (fill in the blank) family left it was down to his ankles.

The little guy’s onesie was soaked from the waist down, trying valiantly to absorb the overflowing leakage. How can parents not be aware of this? How can they not care?

The worst part was that this little boy knew how to climb all over the play equipment. The same play equipment Pebbles’ hands were climbing all over.


This was the first time I’ve ever known the McDonald’s mop lady to come into the playground and mop the whole place down with bleach. Lots of bleach. While people were still there. Eating.

We were grateful. To say the least.

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are?
Want to know why we’re raising Pebbles?
Find the answer to these burning questions and
more on my About My Blog page.

Posted in Other Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , | 12 Comments

I Need One of These. I Really, Really Need One.

Everyone who lives in Tornado Alley knows the importance of having a storm cellar or shelter.

Most of us, by now, realize that a zombie apocalypse is inevitable. It’s no longer a question of if, but when.

And whether or not you believe all the gloom and doom that gets thrown around on Facebook about climate change, global warming, chemtrails, HAARP, weather manipulation and the Illuminati, the thought has probably crossed your mind that having an underground shelter would be a good idea.

We do have a storm cellar. It gives me great peace of mind knowing our family would be safely underground should a tornado ever pass too close for comfort.

The door on our storm cellar is heavy metal and has some kind of locking device that we’ve been assured a tornado couldn’t breach, so I’m pretty sure it’s also zombie-proof.

But I wouldn’t want to stay down there very long. As much as I love The Rock, Pebbles, our two dogs and the 200+ stuffed animals that Pebbles refuses to leave behind so we have to figure out a way to take them all with us – I know without a doubt we’d all go stark raving nutso in a ten by twelve shelter together after more than a few hours.

I do believe, however, that we could tough out quite a long stretch in this underground beauty.

This incredible underground shelter has a beautiful living room

Underground shelter has enough beds for everyone

Underground shelter is equipped with a toilet, shower and laundry

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie? Find the answer to these burning questions and more on my About My Blog page.

Posted in Other Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Perfect Score

The Rock’s been a little hard to live with lately. Mainly because his head has swelled so enormously. Pebbles and I are growing a bit tired of the strutting around he’s been doing. And if I hear, “Who’s the man? YEAH! WHO’S. THE. MAN?!!” one more time I think I’ll scream.

The cause of all this man-bragging? The Rock’s Wii Bowling scores.

The Rock bowls 300 on Wii Bowling

He actually bowled 300 three times but I only got a photo of the TV screen twice.

And for the record, he really doesn’t strut around and say all that silly stuff I wrote up there. And his head is still its regular size. The Rock is actually a very humble guy.

But he’s also incredibly competitive. That’s why he used to race motocross. He’s too old for all that now. But he is talking about starting a Wii Bowling league.

I’m pretty sure all that stuff I made up about him will actually happen if he starts bowling competitively. Even if it is only in an electronic bowling alley. I don’t think testosterone can tell the difference.

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Our Family | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Pebbles’ Teen Titans Go! Joke

If you watch Cartoon Network’s Teen Titans Go! no explanation is needed for Pebbles’ joke, which you’ll find below.

If you don’t watch it…well, I don’t know what to say other than you’re missing some seriously funny stuff.

I mean, it’s a cartoon about super heroes who live together 24/7.  And they’re teenagers. With special crime-fighting super powers. And they’re teenagers. Who live together 24/7.

With all those super-powers, teen angst and out-of-control adolescent emotions bouncing off the walls 24/7 what could possibly go wrong?

 

Robin: Hey Cyborg! Crime is afoot!!

Cyborg: I thought crime was a leg, bro!!

Robin:   Very Angry
image of characters from Cartoon Network's show Teen Titans Go

 

Pebbles has introduced The Rock and me to cartoon characters we’d probably never have known about if we weren’t raising her. We’ve kinda grown to love Robin, Cyborg, Raven, Beast Boy and Starfire. Watching them reminds us of raising our first batch of kids.

What? You haven’t met our first batch yet? Well, hop on over to my About My Blog page and meet them. They’re awesome kids. But raising them was a pretty wild experience. Which I’ll blog about at some point. If Pebbles ever gives me a minute.

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Pebbles, Pebbles' Posts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Beans. On Toast.

Pebbles: Momma, did you know that cowboys like beans on toast?

Me: Yeah, I think I heard that somewhere.

Pebbles: Beans on toast! Can you believe that?!!

Me: Well, yeah…I guess if you like beans…..

Pebbles: MOMMA! It’s BEANS…. ON TOAST!!

Me: Ummm….

Pebbles: Nobody should like that. It’s just weird. And nasty.

The kid knows how to make a point. But then she wouldn’t eat beans with anything. Or by themselves. Not even if her life depended on it.

So there’s that.

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Pebbles | Tagged , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Can It Be?

Can it be, can it be?
Can it be what I see?
Do I actually see
a face on a tree?

A face on a tree - close up Face on a treeClick the pics to see this bad boy up close and personal.

Yep. It’s really a face. On a tree. Why? I have no idea.

But we’ve had an awful lot of fun with this silly tree. We drive by it several times a week. And every single time, The Rock girlie-screams, pretending it scares him.

Pebbles still hasn’t figured out that he’s teasing.

#LifeWithALiteralKid
#AspergersFun
#KidSeesEverythingInBlackAndWhite

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Keep Your Pants On

Pebbles: I HATE wearing panties!

Me: Why?

Pebbles: Because they make me feel like a BABY!

Me: A baby? How?

Pebbles: I dunno… (as her eyes and attention drift back to the TV)…they just…I just feel like…I just don’t…they make me look….

Me: You mean like you’re wearing a diaper?

Pebbles: NOOO!!! HAHAHAHA!! A DIAPER??!! HAHAHAHAHA!!

(Like I was supposed to know, with all that information she gave me.)

Me: So what is it, exactly, about panties that make you feel like a baby?

Pebbles: Well, when I don’t have any pants on…. (as her eyes and attention drift back to the TV)….I feel…I don’t…like….

Me: So if you have pants on over them, panties don’t make you feel like a baby?

Pebbles: Huh? Oh, yeah.

Me: So keep your pants on.


That’s right. I’m a problem solver.

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Pebbles | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Magneto and Friends in the Sky

Over at Gibber Jabberin recently the comments somehow got waaay off topic. Actually the comments always get waaay off topic. If you haven’t discovered Gibber Jabberin’s crazy Q&A blog yet you really should check it out. It’s more fun that adults should be allowed to have.

But I digress.

The Gibberites went from trying to guess the question to Doobster’s Weekly Gibber Jeopardy answer to talking about jumping out of airplanes. Trust me, it made sense at the time. In hindsight, not so much.

So, for all my fellow Gibberites – and anyone else who is foaming at the mouth for more info about my son, Magneto – who gets his thrills jumping out of airplanes – here’s an actual photo of Magneto and his friends falling through the sky over Texas.

Magneto and his friends in freefall

Photo credit: Magneto’s buddy whose name I can’t reveal.
It’s that pesky internet anonymity thing,

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers, meet my family and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Our Family | Tagged , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Changing Face of Facebook

Dear Facebook, Why Did You Change?

Facebook logoMy relationship with my personal Facebook account isn’t what it used to be. And I’m not all that crazy about the change. I go there less often these days because wading through all the junk in my newsfeed is getting to be too exhausting and time consuming.

I still have my Facebook account. But just thinking about checking it makes me too tired to follow through.

Finding what I originally joined Facebook for, which was news and photos of family and friends, has gotten more and more like mining for gold. Endlessly sifting through the non-essential stuff to uncover the occasional nugget.

I Blame the Share Link

facebook_share_buttonI do understand that lots of people like to share the cute, witty and inspirational sayings they come across that someone else has taken the time to photo-shop into an instant Facebook status. No thinking or effort required. Just hit that Share link and BAM! Instantly shared with everyone on your Facebook friends list.

I also realize that we are now living in the Instant Gratification era, with the resultant change in the way we do a lot of things. What with microwave meals and fast food, DVRs and streaming video, texting and Instagram, and everyone on the planet (but me apparently) having a smartphone permanently affixed to some part of their body at all times, day or night, most people don’t want to do things that take much time or effort.

So Would I Change Facebook if I Could?

I don’t miss, nor would I ever want to go back to the days of snail mail. But I really would like a bit more interaction from people I care about. So, yeah, maybe I would change Facebook. If I could. But I can’t. So that’s a moot point.

With that being said, once in a while a photo-shopped Facebook status catches my eye and I enjoy its message. In particular I love lots of the someecards. I think what appeals to me about them is how much they sound, in my head, like Jack Handey’s Deep Thoughts.

Like this one:

Sometimes when I say, I'm okay, I really want someone to hold my hand and say, You're not okay. Here's a thousand dollars.

Really. I love this one so much. Money can fix so many problems. Not everything. But a lot.

Facebook and someecards – when you care enough to click Share.

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Other Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Pebbles’ Winter Jokes and Snow Day, Texas-Style

We have snow in Texas today so I guess all the frozen white stuff has put Pebbles in a wintery-jokey type mood. Here are two she told me today.

Pebbles: What do you call a frozen hamburger?
Me: I don’t know.
Pebbles: An iceberger!! Get it? An iceberg-er!! HAHAHAHA!!!

Me: Hahaha! Good one!
Pebbles: I’ve got another one.
Me: Okay. Let’s hear it.

Pebbles: What do you call frozen french fries?
Me: I don’t know.
Pebbles: French frice!! Get it? French fr-ice!! HAHAHAHA!!!

Me: Hahahaha! Those are funny! I have an ice joke for you.
Pebbles: Okay.
Me: You crack me up.
Pebbles: (deer in headlights)
Me: That was an ice joke.
Pebbles: I don’t get it.
Me: You know. Ice. It cracks. Like when you walk on it. Or throw it.
Pebbles: That doesn’t make sense. Mine were better.

Yeah. She’s probably right.

I’ve decided to give my readers a rare treat. A photo of Pebbles with her snowman. Sort of a reward for having to read my sucky joke. Publishing her face isn’t something I’m real comfortable with, so I won’t do it often.

Isn’t she adorable? She inherited her momma‘s beautiful complexion. I love those rosy cheeks so much.

Pebbles with her snowman

I’d like to point out the snowman’s greasy, sweat-stained farm hat, which was borrowed from The Rock. Also, Mr. Snowman is holding a plate, which was formerly a bubble dish. Now it’s a plate. For his icebergers and french frices. He also has a red and yellow tail. Only Pebbles knows why.

I’m posting this next photo so you can see how to dress for snow Texas-style. We aren’t equipped with all that going-out-in-the-snow gear here.

pebbles in her texas-style snow gear

Those may look like cute monkey snow pants but they aren’t. Pebbles is actually wearing two pair of fleece PJ bottoms, with leggings underneath.

Those snazzy red snow boots are kickboxing boots worn over her shoes. They’re left over from the Tae Kwon Do class Pebbles refused to finish, after we shelled out the bucks for all the gear. Today she got some use out of them. Oh yay now I feel so much better about all that money we spent.

And how ’bout those sweet snow gloves? Pebbles is wearing a baseball glove on her right hand. She couldn’t find the mate so she substituted with a Spiderman glove.

Yep. We’re Texans. We know how to improvise. ‘Cause that’s how we roll.

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Pebbles, Pebbles' Posts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

A Cool Title Capitalization Tool

Why Do Title Capitalization Rules
Have to Be So Complex?

I never gave too much thought to proper title capitalization until I started writing a blog. But OCD Louie has chosen this as yet another of his annoying campaigns for nagging me incessantly.

That, and the fact that I’m a hopeless Grammar Nazi mean that I’ve spent way too much time trying to remember all the confusing title capitalization rules.

I’m cool with nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs and adjectives. But when a web page starts spitting out phrases like coordinating and subordinating conjunctions, and telling me that prepositions are only capitalized if they are used adjectivally or adverbially, well, honestly my head starts to spin.

There’s Got to Be a Simpler Way to Achieve
Title Capitalization Nirvana

I just want a simple way to get correctly capitalized titles for my blog posts without memorizing all those rules. Is that asking too much?

Turns out that it’s not, thanks to Hilverd Reker and the all-knowing Oracle Google, at whose website I worship.

The wise Oracle led me to Hilverd’s nifty little program called the Title Capitalizer. And it is nothing short of amazing.

Here’s all there is to it:

  1. Go to http://www.titlecapitalizer.com.
  2. Enter your title (in lower case) in the Title box.
  3. Select your preferred capitalization style. I chose The Chicago Manual of Style. ‘Cause it makes me feel all professional.
  4. Click the Analyze button and voila! Your newly capitalized title will automagically appear in the Capitalized box.
  5. Do as you please with what appears in the Analyzed box. Apparently OCD Louie doesn’t think it’s important because I’m able to ignore it.
  6. Click the Copy button.
  7. Take your shiny new title over to your blog editor and paste it in place.
  8. Publish your post, then sit back and admire how professional it looks with its properly capitalized title.

So the Title Capitalizer Is Perfect. Right?

Using the Title Capitalizer isn’t an exact science and it can’t be blindly trusted.

For instance, when I feed the Capitalizer an acronym or a word in all caps it kinda plays dumb, spitting out iRS for IRS. And gPS for GPS. Does that even make a modicum of sense? On any level?

I’ve considered the possibility that Hilverd Reker works for Apple and has gotten stuck in an iOS loop.

Or maybe the Title Capitalizer is testing me.

Whatever. All I care about is that now my blog posts can have spiffy looking titles that OCD Louie doesn’t whine about.

Thank you Hilverd Reker for sharing your awesome Title Capitalizer with the world. And thank you all-knowing Oracle Google for leading me to it.

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Other Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Back Up. Backup. Back-UP! BACKUP!! BACKUP!!!! ASAP!!!!

file cabinet with files and folders falling out the bottomI had a heart-sickening moment this morning when my electricity went off and my computer shut down.

When I restarted the computer and opened up my mail and calendar program…YIKES!! ALL my mail folders were empty!! My calendar was empty!!

This is a major thing for me. I keep everything I need to remember to do on my calendar. I don’t use web-based email and The Rock and I have an online business. So I really kinda need those business mail folders with customers orders.

I do, however, have a nifty backup script that runs every night. It automagically backs up all my data to an external hard drive.

Getting my life back required nothing more than simply copying the backed up folder from the external hard drive to my computer’s hard drive and I was back in business.

Raven, from Teen Titans Go cartoon, meditating, peacefully floating.This isn’t the first time my backups have restored peace to my soul and saved my sanity.
<===== Backed up data
<===== Peace
<===== Sanity
<===== Ahhh, yes

(A photo of Raven from Cartoon Networks’ Teen Titans Go on my blog makes me cool in Pebbles’ eyes.)

My backup plan isn’t perfect, though. The only backups I have are stored on that external HD. In my house. Should my house burn to the ground I’d lose both my original data and my backup. I’m still working on a paranoid computer nerd’s cloud backup solution. Until I perfect it and have my files also stored securely off-premises and safe from prying eyes I won’t feel completely at ease.

But the moral to this story is….do you have a backup strategy for your important data? How much anguish would it cause you to lose all those precious photos either on your phone or pc or that you’ve uploaded to Facebook, Instagram, Flicker or wherever? How about business documents? Browser bookmarks? Email? Your blog?

If there is only one copy of something you consider important, whether it’s stored on your own personal device/machine or on someone’s server floating around in Internet Cloud Land, you are taking the chance of losing it.

ALL
OF
IT.
FOREVER.

Just let that thought sink in for a moment. Makes you wanna get started on that backup plan, doesn’t it?

cartoon depicting man on phone with tech support . man: my hard drive crached. tech support: did you backup?

I hope this post gets you thinking about figuring out a way that works for you to have multiple copies of your precious electronic data, in multiple locations. And by multiple I mean more places than your iPhone and iTunes/iCloud.

I could write a tutorial about how to do that. But I really need to spend my time homeschooling Pebbles. I learned everything I needed to know by consulting the all-knowing Oracle Google, at whose feet I worship for providing me with massive amounts of info when I need it.

One tip I can quickly share is how to back up you WordPress.com blog. You can read about it here.

And I’ll leave you with these three words of advice. Always keep them in mind when setting up a backup plan.

AUTOMATIC – because if it isn’t, you probably won’t remember to do it.
REGULAR – daily, at the least.
REDUNDANT – never depend on a single source with the stuff that’s important.

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Other Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

OCD Louie Makes Me Look Up! Look Up! Look Up!

I just realized I haven’t mentioned OCD Louie for awhile. That’s because he comes and he goes. In and out my life.

(Does anyone besides me hear the Four Tops singing Sugar Pie Honey Bunch?)

I’ve previously mentioned that I’m pretty sure I have a touch of OCD.  I’m also pretty sure my OCD is male and speaks in comedian Louie Anderson’s voice, which is why I named him Louie. You can read more about my Louie here.

One of the ways this pesky little bugger manifests himself is by sitting on my shoulder, silently watching everything I type and when he sees a word we aren’t completely sure that we know the meaning or correct spelling of, he taps me ever so gently and says, “Shouldn’t we look that one up? Ya know, just to be sure?”

I usually ignore him, but he doesn’t give up. When the ever-so-gentle tap and question don’t produce the desired response Louie nudges a bit harder, right in my rib cage, with his pointy little elbow.

But I continue nonchalantly typing away, repeating to myself my OCD-defeating mantra, “I don’t have to be perfect. Making mistakes is OK.”

Next, Louie tries grabbing my cheeks, shaking my head from side to side and screaming in my face like a spittle-spewing drill sergeant.

I’m pretty good at ignoring all of his tricks.

But that diabolical little sneak knows my greatest weakness and pulls it out like a trump card and uses it on me. Every. Single. Time.

He gets into my thoughts.

That’s it. Just one teeny little thought, planted in my subconscious and left to take root, and before you know it I’m Googling definitions and/or spellings.

At this point I’m pretty sure OCD Louie goes off somewhere to take a break, probably chillaxing with a good book and a soda, because he knows. He knows his work is done. For now.

And, in case you don’t know, here’s the definition and correct spelling of chillaxing. I know it’s correct because I asked the all-knowing Oracle Google.


chillaxing \ chĭl-lăks’ĭng \ , verb;

  1. Relaxing, chilling.

♬ ….I can’t help myself. No, I can’t help myself…. ♬

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in OCD | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Poem for Pebbles

~ FOR PEBBLES ~

Being her momma 
brings out the mother bear in me. 
Watching her struggles 
makes me angry when they don't see 
the sweet spirit inside her 
that has to fight constantly, 
to understand herself, the world, 
to be all that she can be. 

So, please don't try to change her. 
Don't ever say to me 
that she's "too this," 
that we're "too that."
Just love her. Unconditionally.

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Pebbles, Special Needs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Awesome Blog Alert #2 – Jabberin’ with Gibber and the Gibberites

logoI recently discovered a truly awesome blog.

Gibber (with a J) Jabberin is the genius behind…um…Gibber Jabberin.

Gibber Jabberin is a question and answer blog. But it’s not like any Q&A blog I (and possibly you) have ever seen.

It’s more like being at a tweenie slumber party really, really late at night, long after the parents have gone to bed, and all the sugared up, sleep-deprived kids have been given free run of the house.

Here’s how it works.

You have a question you want answered. Dear Abby and Ask Heloise are not really your cuppa tea. And besides, you want an answer NOW, DANG IT!! Or at least in the next few days. But more importantly, you want a lot of answers. And you want ’em filled with sarcasm and wit, tomfoolery and ridiculousness.

If this describes you then Gibber is your gal. Simply send her your question and she’ll post it on her blog. She’ll say some nice things about your blog and post a link to it, as well.

Then sit back and watch the sideshow begin answers roll in.

But the fun doesn’t have to end there. Oh my gracious, no. Keep an eye on those nuggets of wisdom and respond in kind. See how long you can keep the comment threads going.

And, if you happen to enjoy sharing your own foolishness knowledge with others, you can participate by answering questions other people submit.

So what was my stupid question?

“Ever since I discovered this amazing blog with its brilliant question-and-answer format, one question keeps running through my mind, over and over, tormenting and berating me. I now place it before your distinguished  panel (who are all paid to do this, right?) to answer: Why didn’t I come up with this idea first? It’s genius!”

And it is genius. Pure genius! Because Gibber has figured out a way to get other people to write her blog posts AND she is guaranteed that each post will receive lots and lots of likes and comments, thus driving up her blog stats. PURE. GENIUS.

Why didn’t I think of it first?

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Other Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Baby Pebbles and Her Uncle Xander

I thought you might like a little “Awwwww….” in your day. ‘Cause that’s what I get whenever I look at these photos of baby Pebbles and her uncle Xander.

It’s moments like these that have gotten us through the bad times. If you’re new here and have no idea what I’m talking about, check out some of the posts in the Pebbles – Special Needs archives. It’ll make more sense if you start at the bottom and work your way up the page. (Am I the only person who finds blog navigation confusing?)

You could say it’s been a rough eight years. Thank goodness for digital memories.

Uncle Xander loves baby PebblesUncle Xander kissing baby PebblesUncle Xander makes baby Pebbles laugh

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Our Family | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Guess What This Photo is Saying or Oops! We Did it Again

You know that saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words?” Wanna guess what this picture is saying?

two clonidine tablets laying beside an open empty prescription bottle and lid

Yikes! Only two clonidine left! Time to panic!!

If you can’t see it right there in the tiny caption I’ll tell you. It’s saying, “Yikes! Only two clonidine left! It’s time to panic!!”

Which is exactly what I did when I realized we had done the unthinkable. Again. Over a year after The Night We Ran Out of Clonidine, The Night We’ll Never Forget and Hell Night we had done it again. We let Pebbles’ sleep meds get down to a single dose. And HAD. NOT. CALLED. IN. A. REFILL!!!

To find out why this is such a big deal, read Hell Night Starring Pebbles Stone.

This time it was The Rock’s fault. And he admitted it. He said, “Yeah, I saw last night that there were only two pills left.”

“AND YOU DIDN’T THINK IT MIGHT BE A GOOD IDEA TO GET IT REFILLED TODAY?!!”

I panicked as horrible memories of the worst torture you can imagine flashed before my eyes. I literally felt like puking.

The Rock’s response is one of the reasons I love him so much. Very nonchalantly, he replied, “Yeah, I did. But you know me. I like living life on the edge.”


So if you read Hell Night Starring Pebbles Stone you’re likely wondering what happened next.

After we stopped laughing ourselves silly – because it was either that or weep and wail and gnash our teeth in front of Pebbles and scare the wits out of her – we called the pharmacy, gave Pebbles the last dose and picked up the new bottle the next day. Early. Before the pharmacy closed.

The Stone family. Livin’ on the edge since since 1970. ‘Cause that’s how we roll.

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Pebbles, Special Needs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Hell Night Starring Pebbles Stone

Kids Who Don’t Sleep

You’ve probably heard of kids who don’t sleep well, or have a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep. You may even have one of those children living in your very own home.

But unless you have a child who literally cannot fall asleep without medication, YOU. DON’T. KNOW. WHAT. HELL. TRULY. IS.

Pebbles is one of those kids. She lulled us into a false sense of security by sleeping really good when she was a baby. Which was kinda nice and really unexpected considering the hell she put us through during her waking hours.

See my post about Hell Week for a vicarious visit to Hell on Earth.

A Visit to a Different Version of Pebbles-Hell

Pebbles takes clonidine to get to sleep. Yes, The Rock and I know it’s a blood pressure medication. Yes, we know about melatonin, but it doesn’t work with Pebbles. Yes, we’ve tried a warm bath, cozy jammies, bedtime stories, warm milk, unplugging electronic devices, lavender lotion, and every-other-trick-known-to-man.

I’m a skeptical researchaholic, so, trust me, if I resort to medicating my child to sleep, it’s the only option.

Two clonidine tablets put Pebbles to sleep for the night. Which is why The Rock and I worship at the throne of modern pharmacology. Because it has given us back our lives. For real.

So Pebbles has been sleeping like a baby again ever since she was four year old.

Until one night that will live in infamy. At least in our minds.

We have a few cute names for that night: The Night We Ran Out of Clonidine, The Night We’ll Never Forget and Hell Night.

We Brought It on Ourselves, Really

We caused Hell Night by waiting until we had two clonidine tablets left to refill the prescription. But since I had an errand to run the next day I knew I could swing by the pharmacy on the way home and Pebbles would be in slumber land by 8:30 PM.

Except I didn’t know that Walgreen’s closes the pharmacy at 6-freakin’-o’clock PM on Saturdays! Wanna guess what time I got there?

All you really need to know is that it wasn’t by 6-freakin’-o’clock PM.

After weighing my options and deciding that armed robbery wasn’t really one of them (and only because I didn’t have a gun) I started to panic a little.

But then I remembered that (because Pebbles at the time also took a dose of melatonin with her clonidine) we had been considering a melatonin-only trial. This presented the perfect chance to experiment!

At least that’s how I presented it to The Rock when I came home from the pharmacy empty handed.

Remember how I said that melatonin doesn’t work on Pebbles? That was the night we figured that out.

After trying everything we could think of to get Pebbles to go to sleep we admitted defeat and agreed to take shifts. After all, how long could she stay awake really?

The Answer is 30 Hours. No Joke.
THIRTY. STRAIGHT. HOURS.

Wide awake. Not slowing down. At. All. In fact, I’d swear she had an internal generator that was fueled by motion.

And the more energy it produced, the more hyperactively-maniacal Pebbles became.

Around 3 AM The Rock and I decided to turn off all the lights, leave the TV on a continuous cartoon loop, pile the coffee table with snacks and go to bed. And pray that we’d hidden the flammable and sharp stuff well enough that Pebbles wouldn’t find them.

We both have vague horrible memories of the rest of that long, looooong night. Several times Pebbles used our bed – and us – as a trampoline. I think she read numerous books to us because we were both covered with a humongous pile by morning.  She dashed madly in and out of the bedroom about a hundred times, talked non-stop, laughed maniacally, then found a flashlight and used us to study the science of pupil dilation.

When we emerged from our bedroom the next morning, guess what we found?

You thought I was gonna say we found Pebbles passed out on the floor surrounded by a pile of empty snack wrappers and juice boxes, didn’t you? Did you forget about the THIRTY. STRAIGHT. HOURS?

Pebbles was still going strong. Actually stronger. She was so hyped up by her wild night of freedom that she had enough energy to keep going. And going. And going. Like the EverReady Bunny. On steroids.

Our house looked like it had been visited by the Tasmanian Devil.

And what was Pebbles doing? Exactly what she continued to do the rest of the day until we finally gave her a bedtime dose of clonidine.

She bounced on her mini-trampoline while watching cartoons, her face 6″ from the TV screen. She bounced on the couch. Then the recliner. Skidded on her belly across the coffee table. Danced on the windowsills. Laughed hysterically. Talked and talked and talked and talked. Extremely loud. Ran haphazardly through the obstacle course of toys, clothing and overturned furniture she’d scattered throughout the house. Knocking over the stuff she missed the night before.

Judge Not, That Ye Be Not Judged

So, if you think it borders on abuse to medicate a child to get her to sleep, think twice before you judge parents who choose the medication route.

I used to be one of those judgemental types. You don’t want to be me.

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Pebbles, Special Needs | Tagged , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Guest Blogger Post: Pebbles’ Joke

Pebbles: Do you know how to make a tissue dance?

Dan: No. How?

Pebbles: You put a little boogie in it, Dan!!


 Note to readers: Dan is one of Pebbles’ Minecraft friends. See his photo below. He is so excited to have a real photo of himself featured on Pebbles on the Road. Watch for a future post about how Dan came to Pebbles world.

Pebbles' photo of her Minecraft friend, Dan

Photo Copyright 2015 Pebbles Stone & Pebbles On The Road

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Pebbles, Pebbles' Posts | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Pebbles – Our Puzzling Paradox – Part Two

A recent post I wrote describing Pebbles’ cute obsession with mangling game rules prompted a reader to ask if Pebbles does the same thing when she plays with her friends.

That question can’t be answered with a simple Yes or No. Or even a Sort of. Like everything else with Pebbles – nothing is simple. I’ve written a few posts about the trials of raising her. You can find them in the Special Needs category.

We’ve ridden the Mystery Diagnosis Roller Coaster with Pebbles ever since her first official evaluation when she was four. Since then we’ve dragged her from specialist to specialist in an effort to get an answer that would explain WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON WITH THIS CHILD!!

diagnosis_roller_coaster

We still aren’t certain but we think we’re getting closer to knowing. We’ve been given so many diagnoses that sort of fit. But as time went on they didn’t really fit well enough.

Three times she’s been diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder. And as we’ve learned about SPD we’ve seen more and more evidence that sensory issues may be the cause of Pebbles’ quirks, idiosyncrasies, motor delays, reading/writing issues and behavioral problems.

This mother’s blog post does an excellent job of describing what it’s like living with, and loving, a child with SPD. Pebbles has a lot in common with this little guy, although medication and maturity have helped a lot with her aggression.

So, back to the question about Pebbles playing with her friends. The sad fact is that she really doesn’t have any friends. We live on a farm so there are no neighborhood kids around. Because of her sensory issues Pebbles can’t handle school (we’ve tried, twice) or group sports, so she has no buddies. The Rock and I are old, so we really don’t have any friends with kids. And none of Pebbles cousins live close.

But Pebbles is a kid magnet, a people person. She LOVES to play with kids. So we hang out at indoor and outdoor playgrounds a lot. And, yes, Pebbles likes to be the one to make the rules, which has led to some arguments and some unhappy playmates. Medication and maturity have helped with this a lot and she’s learning about give and take. She has partly solved this problem by choosing younger and/or easily-led kids to play with. But there are still days that we have to go home early.

Life with Pebbles hasn’t been easy. She has been a difficult kid from the beginning. The Rock and I have exhausted ourselves searching for answers, for ways to help her and dealing with her constant ups and downs. But above all, we love her to pieces.

And that’s why we choose to look for the humor, the happiness, the joy in raising this beloved, special little girl who has completely turned our lives upside down and inside out, in the very best ways.

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Pebbles, Special Needs | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Pebbles Mangles Twenty Questions

In the car last night, about 20 minutes from home, we played a Pebbles Stone version of Twenty Questions. Which means the rules were mangled beyond recognition. This was the weirdest one yet.

Twenty Questions, struck through and replaced with Alphabet Game.


Pebbles:
This is gonna be the Alphabet Game. I’ll think of something that starts with a letter from the actual alphabet.

NOTE: Pebbles really, really likes the word ‘actual.’ And what the heck other alphabet can we choose from?

She’s also forever been wanting to give us hints when we’re the guessers.

Pebbles: I’ll tell you the letter it starts with. Then I’m gonna give you three hints. Then you each get three guesses.
Me: Okay.
Pebbles: If you don’t guess the word I’ll give you three more hints.
Me: And we get three more guesses?
Pebbles: NOOO!!! (Like we were supposed to know.) You get two more guesses!
Me: Why not three, like the first time?
Pebbles: How about unlimited guesses?
Me: Um. That…doesn’t…sound…
Pebbles: Okay. Would you rather have three hints and three guesses or one hint and unlimited guesses?
The Rock: What? One hint? Unlimited guesses? We could be guessing all night!
Pebbles: Okay. I’ll tell you the letter the word starts with, then I’ll give you two more hints and…
Me: Wait. What’s this “two more hints” mean? Are you saying that telling us the beginning letter is a hint?
Pebbles: Yes. And then you get two more hints and three guesses.
Me: The beginning letter is not a hint. This is the Alphabet Game. Remember?
Pebbles: Yeah. And the first letter is a hint. You couldn’t guess the word if you didn’t know the first letter.
Me – accepting that resistance is futile: Okay. And then we get how many guesses?
Pebbles: How many do you want?
Me: How many do we….? Never mind. How about three?
Pebbles: How about six?
Me: Six?! Why do you keep changing it?
Pebbles: Okay. How about unlimited?
Me: Didn’t we already explain that one?
Pebbles: Okay. You each get one guess.
The Rock: One guess? And if we don’t guess it…..
Pebbles: I get another turn. Wait. I’ll give you the first letter, then two hints. Then mommy can make a guess, then daddy can make a guess, then mommy can guess, then daddy, then mommy again and then daddy.
Me: So we’re back to three guesses each.
Pebbles: Yeah. But you have to take turns.
Me: And what happens if neither of us guesses the word?
Pebbles: I get to go again.
The Rock: Well, if we don’t get started soon, we’ll be home before you finish making up the rules.

See why I love this man so much? Always the voice of reason and practicality in our crazy, convoluted world.

Me: Okay. Let’s do this.
Pebbles: I’m thinking of something that starts with…..Wait. If no one guesses the word, I get to go again. But if I want to, I can pass my turn off to someone else.

Fine. Whatever. Let’s just freakin’ PLAY THE GAME!

Aaaannd……we’re home.

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Pebbles | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Wanna Play a Game?

When Pebbles asks that question it doesn’t mean we’re gonna have fun right away.

First, we have to get through – and try to make sense and keep track of – all the rules she adds, makes up, and changes until the game is mangled beyond the point of recognition.

Very confusing diagram of Pebbles' game rules

The Rock and I have always puzzled over why Pebbles insists on doing this. We’ve come to the conclusion that she’s simply a FREAKIN’ CONTROL FREAK! There is no other explanation that makes sense. So, for now, we’re going with control freak.

Pebbles has mangled the rules for every game we’ve ever played with her. She’s done it to Old Maid, Crazy Eights, War, Uno and even Go Fish. Who the heck changes the rules to Go Fish? Pebbles, that’s who.

She’s completely rewritten the instructions for board games, as well. Poor Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, Checkers and Monopoly. We hardly recognize you.

And lest you think she’s just a card/board game rule freak – Bingo, Hangman and Tic-Tac-Toe haven’t gotten away unscathed either.

Games with Pebbles Stone. Good times.

Watch for tomorrow’s post about about another exciting game of Twenty Questions we had tonight.

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Pebbles | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Can You Use the Words Spam, Useful and SEO in a Sentence?

Useful Spam and SEO. Who Knew?

no viagra, great sex or money offers but useful spam SEO info

So far I’ve been lucky. I only get an occasional message in my blog account’s spam folder. There haven’t been any offers for Viagra or secrets for improving my sex life or promises of unimaginable wealth from Nigerian princes. For some reason – for which I have no earthly idea – all of my spam has been from someone hawking an SEO Plugin, and inadvertently giving me useful SEO tips.

SEO = Search Engine Optimization

If you don’t know what SEO is, and you want to optimize your blog for the best search engine rankings, I recommend consulting the all-knowing Oracle Google. He has a wealth of SEO info – what it is, how to use it and why you should.

Or you can just continue reading this post.

Useful Spam. That’s Actually a Thing?

Turns out it is. Someone keeps sending me spam that is actually useful. Why is it useful, you ask? Because Mr. Spamborine Man tells me what my blog posts are missing in order to make them search engine friendly.

So far Mr. Spam Man has told me I need to:

  • use all three H tags in my posts
  • use keywords in my title and in my post’s URL
  • use keywords in the first paragraph and in the last sentence of the post
  • strive for a keyword density of 3-5%
  • use relevant LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing). I have no idea what that is and maybe don’t want to know.
  • include one internal link to a page on my blog
  • have images in each post with alt tags containing keywords

Thank You Mr. Spam Man

I learned all about SEO a few years ago when I built a website for The Rock. I haven’t been paying a whole lot of attention to it with this blog, but thanks to Mr. Spam Man I’ve been thinking about putting it to use in my posts.

The SEO WordPress plugin my spammer is selling does all the SEO work automagically, which would be nice. But it’s totally useless with a free WordPress account where plugins aren’t allowed.

So for now, I’ll just thank my lucky stars that, for once, spam has actually done something useful, like maybe improving my search engine ranking.

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Other Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Looks Can Be Deceiving

You can’t always trust your eyes. They don’t always see the whole picture.

See this pup? See those deep, soulful eyes and that alert, intelligent expression?

pup with deep soulful eyes

You’d think she would grow up to be an amazing dog, wouldn’t you? Surely, your eyes tell you, this pup will give you many years of love and joyful companionship.

But your eyes would be wrong, wrong wrong. What she grew up to be was a neurotic all-night barker.

And for some reason she always waited until The Rock went to bed to start her nightly barkfest, right outside the bedroom window, mere feet from The Rock’s head, separated only by a headboard and glass.

Every. Single. Night.
All. Night. Long.
Without fail.

And she had a special bark pattern from which she never deviated. The Rock knows it better than I do – because it never really bothered me – and he can imitate it perfectly. But he’s not here right now so I’ll try to convey it the best I can.

It went something like this:
BRARF!! BRARF!! BRARF!!….BRARARARARA!!….
BRARF!! BRARF!! BRARF!!….BRARARARARA!!….
BRARF!! BRARF!! BRARF!!….BRARARARARA!!….
…..and on…and on…and on….

All. Night. Long.

I kid you not. I’m not exaggerating. Not even a little bit.

We eventually found a lovely new home for her where she was allowed to sleep indoors at night. Which is, apparently, what she was trying all along to tell us that she wanted.

pup with deep soulful eyes

You talkin’ to me?

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Other Stuff, Photography | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Please Be Careful What You Share

Some parents worry me. Really, really worry me.

I’ve seen blogs and public Facebook and Instagram accounts that have allowed me, with minimal effort, to figure out where a person lives, how many kids they have and the gender and age of the kids.

I’m not a trained sleuth and yet I now know from casual browsing some of these childrens’ favorite foods, activities and TV shows. I know whether or not they’re home alone sometimes. I even know the first and last names of some kids.

As proud parents, we love to share photos of our offspring, their accomplishments, the cute and funny things they do. And the electronic age, with all its nifty devices, makes it super easy to do so without giving much thought to the possible consequences.

Fortunately, most people are good. Most people are too busy with their lives to do more than quickly browse through the information they come across on the internet.

But most people aren’t the ones parents need to protect their children from. There are some terrifyingly evil people among us. Sexual predators, pedophiles, who prey on children. Maybe your children.

Seeing this image got me thinking about writing this post.

too much information on bumper stickers can be dangerous

Privacy and anonymity, online and otherwise, should be carefully guarded like the precious commodity it is.

Please give some serious thought about what you reveal online about your family, especially your children, and who you allow to have access to it.

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

Posted in Other Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments