Family Circus

No one can drive us crazy unless we give them the keys. - Doug Horton


It never gets old... **UPDATE**

The story of the miracle that is my very life never gets old. There are always people who have never heard the story, seen the pictures of the car, met my beautiful daughter who also survived. I am a willing participant in a genetic study that Baylor Research Foundation has going, so I got a call last month to speak at a reception. TONIGHT. Am I nervous? No. The fact that I'm not is a little disturbing for me. I ask for your prayers, both for me and the doctors speaking this evening. Mostly for the donors who will be in attendance. My prayer is that my story is the proof that they need to know that Baylor is forever conducting research that ultimately benefits patients.

I will post tomorrow about the event.

It was a very swank affair this evening, in the posh Dallas Design District. Let's just say that we got to see how the other half lives. We were welcome to bring our daughters, but had to be thankful we left them at home with Grandma and Grandpa. We are worried enough about how to pay for three separate college tuitions and eventually three separate weddings. DH didn't want to be working for the next ten years just to pay off the broken merchandise in the store!

God's specific design for me as an impactor was driven home tonight. Not that I needed any further words of encouragement to be certain, but I know that I know that I know it's His Design. The event was very intimate. 20 people max, and a subject about which I am very passionate: Baylor Research Institute. It is that very research that gave Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation (BIR) the clinical expertise to treat me back in the summer of 2003. What research did not give those doctors, nurses and therapists was the true heart that I believe I experienced while I was a patient at BIR. Baylor employs earthly angels, let me tell you. I enjoyed speaking tonight, because I am comfortable about the material and passionate about the continuing research that is going on.

At the beginning of February, I had a professional photographer spend an hour or so snapping shots of me with little Rosie in the back yard. One of those photos is posted on the Baylor Foundation
website. Of course, you are given the opportunity to watch the story of my miserable accident and miraculous recovery. Please feel free to do so with my blessing!

Thank you to each of you who offered words of encouragement and lifted me up in prayer. I have made myself available to any and all opportunities to speak on Baylor's behalf.


DH was home, so we had FUN!!

We spent DH's weekend off helping our daughters design, decorate, and vandalize their own mansion. I've got the story, with pictures, posted here.


Personal Questions...

...asked by complete strangers. At Walmart. When, on rare occasion, I take all three of my children out in public, I know that I'm just asking for nosy questions. Yet I do it anyway. Just so I can make those people laugh instantly, yet walk away mulling over what I said. Here are some versions of the questions that I am asked:

Are they all yours?

Actually, none of them are mine. I just like to stop at local daycare centers and take children that look like me.

All you have is girls?

Well, when I told God what I wanted was a single child, and a boy, He laughed and gave me exactly what He thought I needed. I'm raising myself times THREE!

Aren't you going to try again (for a boy)?

No. We finally found a doctor that was able to explain to us how these babies keep happening, and he put a stop to that!

Oh, my! You must be so busy!

I was busy with just one, but I looked at my husband and said: 'Why not have a couple more just like her?'

I must have an approachable aura about me. I love that. Really, I'm not at all insulted by these questions. I'm not afraid to answer these questions in front of my daughters. When I'm shopping with all three, however, I'm in a hurry to get finished. I'm not worried about what will happen to my daughters. I'm worried about what will happen to the store.

Take just a minute or two and see Chris's personal questions about her boys!


My Sweet Pea

Catie may be a loving, soft-spoken, blonde five year old, but she started out a Strawberry-Blonde like her momma. I'm telling you - she's a redhead on the inside!


For My Mother

I am grateful to be your daughter, Mom. I'm thankful that our past is forgiven and that it has shaped us into the women we are today. The saying is true: Mother and Daughter become closer when the Daughter becomes a Mother. I love watching the joy on your face as you watch my daughters. Your love for me was unmistakeable as you massaged my pregnant belly so long ago. Your love for your granddaughters is apparent in the fearless way that you let them take over your home for an afternoon/a weekend/an entire week. Thirty two years ago, I was growing inside your belly. We were still not as close then as we are now. I look forward to the decades of friendship that lie ahead, spent drinking coffee, playing Scrabble, and making each other laugh. Happy Birthday Mom! I love you today.


Conversations with my toddler

Also called The 20 Questions Game. Every mom knows what I'm talking about. Usually it involves a child much younger than two years old. I'm always the exception to the rule: Rosie (aka Stinker) does not say more than a few words besides 'Mama' and 'Dada'. We've been seeing a speech therapist since August 2005, and there have been improvements. So when Rosie says "Muh" I'm not sure if she means more or milk. Since we have a safety gate in the opening to the kitchen, Rosie stays on the living room side while I'm actually playing interpreter/translator/sleuth on the kitchen side, trying to figure out what exactly it is that my mostly non-verbal toddler is requesting. I start with the basics : I quickly make up a glass of milk and attempt to hand it to her over the gate. My two year old's response? She grunts:"Uh-uh." Usually those grunts are followed by the pitter-patter of her little feet - running away in a physical rejection. I try not to feel insulted. Of course, as soon as I tuck her sippy cup back in the refrigerator and close the door, Rosie is at the gate again. "Muh!" she says. I flip through the memory microfiche in my brain trying to remember what it was that Rosie last had to eat or drink. Was it a carrot? No. Was it crackers? Nah. Maybe string cheese? Yes! That's what it was. I go to the refrigerator and retrieve a piece of cheese and offer it to my daughter over the gate. Again, she grunts "Uh-uh" and takes off like I lit her hair on fire. Darn! You know what? Sugar is the answer for everything, right? So, I tucked the cheese back in the refrigerator and went to the pantry. I plucked a Dum-Dum from the bin where I keep them, unwrapped it, and handed it to my daughter. She was nodding her head, saying "Yah, Yah, Yah!", and doing her little happy dance as she snatched the miniature lollipop from my hand. I may not have solved the mystery, but I won The 20 Questions Game!


They have no shame!

Check out the Date Night (last night).


Married S-e-x

Inspired by Ginger Bee's Three Kinds of Valentines, I'm letting you in on some wisdom I received years ago. For those of you who are not married, please continue surfing. I am speaking only to married folks! Just so you know, I'm using dashes to avoid creepy searches leading to my site, hence the need to spell out s-e-x each time. That said, here ya go!

Back when I was still a Newlywed, a friend told me to expect that throughout my marriage, our s-e-x would go through each of three phases:

Honeymoon S-e-x:

You have s-e-x on anything that doesn't move, plus a few things that will.

Married S-e-x:

You only have s-e-x in your bedroom. (this should also read 'after the kids go to bed')

Hallway S-e-x:

You pass each other in the hallway, glaring at each other, and say "Screw you, " simultaneously.


I know, I know...

She'll eat when she gets hungry enough. I'm just not sure if my husband will let it go that far.


Annual Event

Since puberty began mwpthfmpteen years ago, I have engaged in the annual event of shedding my winter coat. That's a nice way to say what it really is: ridding myself of the braidable hair on my legs, accumulated from October thru February. Each year, I contemplate using the household weedwhacker (I'm Irish and quite furry, donchaknow!) and eventually, I am faced with the preservation of my delicate, pale skin. I always have relied on a specific depilatory cream, which this year, boasts a four-minute process boldly on the yellow bottle. Since Mondays are a day where Princess is in her first-grade class, and Sweet Pea is attending preschool, I just have Stinker at home with me. So when my two year old was down for a nap, I seized the short time to apply aforementioned depilatory cream. Almost as soon as I applied it to my left leg, it began to tingle. Despite the warning signs, I moved on and applied it to my right leg. Over the next three minutes, the tingling progressed to absolute burning, at which point I leapt into the waiting shower and couldn't get that stuff off my legs fast enough! The cool water of the shower helped immensely, so I finished with my regular shower routine (I won't bore you with the details), and noted that my legs were now furry-no-more. While I dried off, a similar burning began again. When I looked down at the inside of my knees, they were growing bright red, raised hives! OW! I quickly applied cortisone cream (us fair-skinned folk keep tubes in every room of the house), and while that was nearly two hours ago, I have yet to feel relief. So what am I doing blogging, you ask? I'm just wondering if any others have had a similar experience. No advice necessary. I already know that I should have done the cheesy 'patch test' 24 hours before I actually slathered the flesh-scalding acid to my legs. Never have to worry about it again. It's already in the trash - outside.


A New Nickname?

Stinker climbed into bed with me this morning, I don't know what time it was, about o-dark-hundred hours. When I rolled over and snuggled her up close to me, I realized that 1) she was HOT, and 2) she had not a stitch on. I got up, picked my toddler up and headed straight for her room. I put a fresh diaper on her as well as fresh jammies. I attempted to lay her back down on her pillow and cover her with a blanket. My two year old firmly objected by saying "NOOOOOOOOO!", then flailing her tiny legs to get the blanket off of herself. So much for THAT idea. Instead, I carried her on my hip as I went to the living room. I deposited her in her favorite spot on the couch and headed into the kitchen to retrieve her doses of Motrin and Triaminic Cough and Cold. When I returned, I turned up the lights in the living room, and this is what I saw:

I think I actually said out loud, "Oh, poor baby." It was then that Stinker began to wail. Not just crying, not moaning, just pitifully wailing. She has always taken any medicine without incident, but this morning, she gagged and spat a mouthful of liquid Motrin at me. Picture how the rest of the dosing went: I laid Stinker down on her back, between my legs, her head at my crotch level. I placed each arm under the weight of my legs, so when I poured the medicine in her mouth, she had no physical way to voice her objection. Wouldn't you know, Stinker didn't even whimper when I restrained her and gave her the medicine! About fifteen minutes after that, she was almost her normal self, aside from the faucet-like nose. Six hours later, when she was due for more medicine, my daughter was sleeping. I wasn't about to wake her, so when she finally woke up, I was in for a rude surprise. I liken her waking behavior to Bill Bixby turning into The Hulk. She began screaming, then began tearing at her clothing. When she got her blanket sleeper off, she grabbed her diaper at the crotch and ripped it off, in one fluid movement. Why did I let her continue, you ask? Because I was very afraid of my two year old. Like Steve Martin said in Parenthood, "I was just waiting for her head to spin around!" Eventually, my child began to wear herself out - Praise God - and began to move more slowly. I was able to step away, prepare another dose of both medicines, then grab her, restrain her using the method mentioned above, and medicate her once more. All is calm , for now. I am considering changing Rosie's nickname from Stinker to something more appropriate, like Crabatha or Grumblina. Maybe Crabigail. When my DH gets home after 7 this evening, I think I'll climb into bed and suck my thumb.


My Exciting Day:

An explanation is here.

Demon of Fever...BE GONE!

Rosie woke this morning with a 102 degree fever. Guess I'm gonna pony up and take her to the pediatrician today. Those co-pays rack up fast.

Yesterday was an exciting day, with Rosie at the center of it all. I'll post about it, with pictures, later. For now: a reminder of why my toddler is nicknamed Stinker.

**UPDATE** By the time we had lunch and got out of the house, Rosie was feeling fine - no fever. So much for the pediatrician's visit. That's 20 bucks I can spend elsewhere. Where to spend it? Any suggestions?


Erin for President eventually...

Get your position here

We're all sick. Please keep us in your prayers.


The girl who cried wolf...

I got a call yesterday letting me know that my first grader(Princess) was in the nurse's office at her school. The nurse called to tell me that she wanted me to come and pick my daughter up immediately. I quickly explained to my guests what the phone call was about, got them out the door, then packed up my two year old, and sped like Batman drove the speed limit to the elementary school. When I entered the door to the nurses office, the woman who greeted me was wearing a surgeon's mask! I learned from the nurse that my Princess had reported to her teacher that she had been leaking diarrhea when she coughed. My daughter was then sent to the school nurse who had just been through a tough bout with stomach flu herself, and didn't want to risk catching it again. That explains the mask. Luckily, I brought a change of underwear and pants for Princess to change into. We stepped into the bathroom and my daughter began to undress. I noticed that she had no stains on her clothing OR her underwear. I asked her why that was, considering the story she'd given to her teacher and the school nurse. Princess just hung her head. I asked her to get redressed while I stepped out and explained to the nurse. The nurse pulled off the mask and breathed a sigh of relief. I told her to that I would like to walk my daughter back to class. I spoke to the teacher who told me that Princess was having a rough day so far. I explained to my daughter that pretending to be sick to get out of class is a lot like the boy who cried 'wolf'. When she really is hurt or sick and needs help, adults may not believe her. I don't know of my words impacted my seven year old, but let's hope so!


Strangest, Wildest, Funniest

It's Official! I've been tagged by Jenny, but only because I asked.

most embarrassing moment
I had to rescue my toddler once from the indoor McDonald's Playground. I was seven months pregnant with my third daughter. I was so frustrated after the squeezing and shimmying involved in the climb, that I pushed my daughter down the slide and came down right behind her. It was only then that I noticed that the dining area was full. As I managed to heave myself to a standing position, the entire crowd erupted in laughter. All I could manage to say was, "Well, I'm not doing that again without Vaseline and a shoe horn!"

what household object are you?
Dishwasher - cleans every disgusting mess that every family member makes and I'm SO taken for granted.

worst thing you have done for revenge
Rubbed my finger on the bar of Safeguard soap, climbed into my bunkbed (conveniently located above my sister's bed), leaned down to pry open my sister's eye, then rubbed the soapy residue in it. She didn't wake immediately, so I had to stifle my giggling for a few minutes - then WAAAAAAAAH!!

what does your name mean
Erin Colleen: Irish Girl or Peaceful Girl, depending on where you get your information

you knew you were a parent when
My mother became a wise woman.

best fart story
Seven year old daughter complimenting my five year old daughter on the smell she had produced: "That was a good one, Catie! Do I still have eyebrows?"

proudest moment
When I married my DH AKA Prince Charming

strangest person you've ever seen
Dennis Rodman at a Dallas Mavericks game a long long time ago.

weirdest food you've ever eaten
Shark steak ( I had to prepare it for Home Ec in the seventh grade)

15 minutes of fame
My injury and ongoing recovery was featured on a Baylor Foundation Documentary on Traumatic Brain Injury, in which I gave much credit to my doctor and therapists at Baylor. Ultimately, I give the glory to God for the miracle of not only my life, but also the life of my baby. The video was presented at a dinner honoring philanthropists for Baylor Research, and I've made myself available for any other events. I am participating in two studies for TBI, one for Southwestern Medical, and one for the Baylor Foundation. I'd say my 15 minutes has stretched into almost three years!

celebrity run ins
Tom Cruise while filming in Dallas for Born on the 4th of July

longest facial hair that sprouts
One blonde hair on my chin

oldest item of clothing you currently wear
1970s vintage wrap dress, puchased for $10 on EBay

funniest movie
For the Birds - Pixar short featured on Monsters, Inc.

stinkiest smell
Burned hair

earliest memory
Being in a crib covered with a sheet printed with rocking horses(I had croup, and the sheet was to keep in the steam pumped in by a humidifier)

worst haircut
bald (shaved my head at 21, just so I could say that I've done it)

best/worst first day of school
Does my oldest daughter's first day count? Blech!

weirdest habit
pulling out my own hair, literally (one at a time - I don't even realize I'm doing it!) So glad God gave me lots of hair!


I didn't know that Walmart sold hand-grenades

I once said, referring to my first-born daughter, that my Princess would be the child to pluck things out of my meticulously organized grocery cart and then smash them angrily on the linoleum floor of the store. I could almost hear the intercom page in my thoughts: "Redheaded, hot-tempered, fit-throwing toddler in Aisle 13 in need of a good, old-fashioned, tool-shed whipping". I just knew that it was her personality that was most suited to making a public spectacle of herself, undoubtedly in a Walmart. Little did I know that while I waited more than seven years for this spectacle, I would not be my Princess. It was my eternal infant, the miracle baby that would make me crave bushes to cower behind.

While on a trip to the store, I was doing what folks consider their Pet Peeve: parking my cart in the middle of the aisle. I did so mostly to annoy other customers just to keep my toddler out of reach of the fully-stocked shelves. Rosie seized the opportunity to grab a can of Vienna Sausages from the shelf nearby.

Before I could even make Rosie reconsider her grave decision, my toddler had the EZ Pull Ring in her teeth, gave the can a yank, then lobbed the can over her head as if tossing a live grenade.

I shook myself out of my waking nightmare, grabbed the two cans of sausages that Rosie had managed to pluck from the shelves, replaced them, while mumbling to myself that from that moment on, I would do no more shopping during my children's waking hours. I was through. Rosie was through. We got the heck-outta-dodge.


SuperBowl XL Commercials

I just know that the half-time commercial that featured Robert Plant was directed at ME. DH and lots of others call me 'Erin Colleen the 80's Queen'. That said, I saw Robert Plant, the robotic dance moves of women wearing cosmetics applied with a trowel, and knew immediately what the song/album/artist and year it was released. As I began to voice those facts, I heard the first three notes and started singing along, then realized that Mr. Plant wasn't saying 'addicted to love'. He was singing "addicted to Lost". He had it right. I'm so addicted to Lost.


Go visit Hat Trick!


Are You a Coffee Addict?

Never thought of myself as addicted to caffiene, but when hot coffee isn't available, I'll pour it over ice. This fits me to a Tee.
You Are an Espresso

At your best, you are: straight shooting, ambitious, and energetic.

At your worst, you are: anxious and high strung.

You drink coffee when: anytime you're not sleeping.

Your caffeine addiction level: high


Ban Guns?


  • (A) The number of doctors in the U.S. is 700,000
  • (B) Accidental deaths caused by physicians per year are 120,000
  • (C) Accidental deaths per physician is 17.14%

Statistics courtesy of the U.S. Dept of Health & Human Services


  • (A) The number of gun owners in the U.S. is 80,000,000 (yes
    that's 80 million)
  • (B) The number of accidental gun deaths per year, all age groups, is 1,500
  • (C) The number of accidental deaths per gun owner is 0.001875%

Statistics courtesy of the FBI

So statistically, doctors are approximately 9,000 times more dangerous than gun owners. Remember, guns don't kill people, doctors do.

FACT: NOT EVERYONE HAS A GUN, BUT ALMOST EVERYONE HAS AT LEAST ONE DOCTOR. Please alert your friends to this alarming threat. We must ban doctors before this gets completely out of hand. Out of concern for the public at large, I have withheld statistics on lawyers for fear the shock would cause people to panic and seek medical attention.

Thanks, Dad for keeping us informed!


Erin: 31, Emcee. Witty redhead, handy with a whip.

DH: 30, Strong Man. Comedian, defender of virtue.

Halie: 7, Chimpanzee. Pulls teeth, loves bananas.

Catie: 5, Leaping Lemur. Gentle and cuddly, loves grapes.

Rosie: 2, Cappuccin. Flings poo, loves carrots.

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