Monday, June 27, 2011

What's my name???

A month or so ago, I posted about our glipse of the teenage years when overnight I went from "Mommy" to "Mom." These days, KIC mixes the two and mostly uses "Mom" when she's exasperated with me. While I'd like to tell you that KIC very rarely gets exasperated with me, that couldn't be farther from the truth. It's a well known fact that KIC is much smarter than me, a fact that she drives home on a regular basis.

In the Shoup House, Brent and I refer to each other as "Mommy" and "Daddy" or "honey." On occasion, when I'm irritated with Daddy, I'll employ a long, drawn out "Breeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeent", which is very quickly parroted by KIC. I'm sure my giggles are egging KIC on which has lead to her retaining Daddy's "real" name very well. Not so much my name. To be fair, I secretly believe that not even Daddy remembers my name most of the time. It always shocks me when he uses my name. But I digress.

This weekend, KIC and I had the privilege of" hanging with my parents in Virginia Beach. Nowhere in the world is there any place where my name is used more or with that many inflections. KIC picked up on this, so while I was downstairs discussing something with my mom, I heard "Kellllllllyyyyyyyyy, Kellyyyyyyyyyyyyy, Kelly!, Keeeeeeeeeeeeellllllllyyyyyyy". It finally dawned on me that it was KIC upstairs calling my name!!! Talk about a quick study. Rest assured, I let her know that to her, my name was "Mommy" not "Kelly" and that she should use "Mommy" from that point on. Don't think that was the end of it, as a couple of more "Kellys" came out over the weekend. This momma is not a granola, touchy feely kind of momma so if the Kellys don't stop, it may be time for drastic measures. ;-)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Turning the Tide

This is a post that has been weighing heavy on my mind for a couple of weeks. I generally try to keep things lighthearted because really, there's enough sadness in the world, who needs to read about more?? Sometimes, it's just good to cleanse, and well, apparently my blog is a place where I can purge.

To start with Mayhem has returned to the Shoup house. His return is due to the combination of him being an idiot and me putting him in a position where he could be an idiot. I was so hopelessly idealistic in thinking that he could get what he needed with this family who was so obviously ill-equipped to deal with his issues. He's a difficult dog to place for sure (strong, hard headed, hates little dogs) but he's such a sweet goofy boy with us that it's so very hard when a placement for him doesn't work out. While it's true we are far tolerant than most people I know (and talk to), I can't believe he is so completely damaged that he's unadoptable. But at the same time, it has damaged me in ways I can't explain. All he needs is someone who can understand HIS inabilities (I sure as heck am not going to call them disabilities) and embrace them and love him in spite of himself. Surely there's someone other than our family who can provide that for him. And really, don't we all need someone who is willing to look past our inabilities and embrace who we are? Aren't we all just damaged goods in some way, just trying to make a role and a life for ourselves with minimal impact upon others?

An awesome coworker of mine went through a pretty crazy ordeal when her daughter had a choking accident (you can read about her at I'll be honest and say that before the accident, I was fairly impervious to disabilities and the frailties of human life. Her daughter and KIC are not far apart in age, so the accident had a profound affect on me. That could have been MY kid. Even though it wasn't, I couldn't rejoice that it wasn't my kid. I could only pray and hope for healing for my friend and her family. In the meantime, I really started to take notice of people with disabilities and try to be more empathetic as opposed to dismissive. I've also started to pay attention to how other people view disabilities. On one of my favorite TV shows, in particular, there was a discussion where two people carried a recessive gene that increased the likelihood of blindness in their unborn child. To add my own dramatic flair, they gnashed their teeth and blamed themselves for carrying a gene that could inflict such an injustice on a helpless, blameless infant. I quickly lost patience for that story line, as I have learned, there are far worse things than a child who is born blind, or deaf, or with an extra chromosome. Why don't we celebrate life instead of focusing on the imperfections? Why don't we speak with people with disabilities instead of shunning them because they are different?

My friend has used her experience to mentor others and to start a project in Colorado that encourages healing, and finding hope in places that you'd least expect. She's blown the "minimal impact" attitude out of the water and brought about peace and change in so many people, with an eye to impact several hundred more people. So from this day forth, I will do the same. Well, maybe not with a ginormous project cuz really, who has that kind of time (and yes, I know, I'm making excuses). From this day forward, I'm going to embrace differences and trials and tribulations and spit them out into something that has a positive impact on the world! I'm going to kick depression and self doubt in their collective patoots and flip the bird to adversity! And tomorrow, when I wake up, I'll do it all over again! I'll stop here before you start hearing Howard Dean's voice in your head.

Thank you for reading this post. I promise more light and airy to come. While you're waiting for me to come back with a song, you can check out my new blog and let me know if you're interested in being a guest blogger:

Saturday, June 11, 2011

High praise indeed

As parents, we all want to encourage good behaviors, so we do what works to get the results we want. In the Shoup House, tons and tons of praise is lavished on all parties. "Good job on dinner, Mommy" and "thank you for doing the laundry, Daddy" are often heard in our house, along with the standard "yeah, KIC, you went pee pee in the potty ALL BY YOURSELF!!!!". Mommy continues to cook for everybody, daddy continues to do laundry and KIC continues to pee in the potty ALL BY HERSELF!

I was recently the recipient of unexpected praise. On Tuesday, when I got home from work early, I decided to start dinner. This is not an unusual occurrence, but what was unusual is the fact that I decided to grill the steaks. The grill is Brent's domain, and I'm content to keep it that way, I just wanted to eat dinner sooner rather than later (ie I was STARVING). to toot my own horn a bit, I had never grilled before, a fact which did not escape KIC. After I successfully lit the grill and left it to preheat, she turned to me and said "Good job, Mommy, you didn't get me on fire!"

I hope the fact that I managed to cook without lighting my child on fire gets me nominated for Mother of the year. The fact that KIC was surprised that I DIDN'T light her on fire should be an indication of her confidence in my skills (or lack thereof) and should shoot me right to the to top of the nomination pile. That, or alert the CPS authorities. Here's hoping it's the former. And the next time you grill out, don't forget to praise the grill master on not lighting any small children on fire.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

This and That

Once again, it has been a long time since my last blog. Our days, nights, weeks, weekends, months, years remain a blur of constant activity. Instead of stringing paragraphs together, I'll try to condense life at the Shoup house in bullets:

- I neglected to thank my husband and daughter for their incredible support during my second Breast Cancer walk endeavor. Giving up time with me is no small feat, especially given how much fun it is to hang with the famjam. They'll never truly know how much their love and support mean to me, but it's important that I acknowledge their sacrifices in conjunction with mine.

- KIC has gone three months without an ear infection, which is a huge blessing and in large part to her last surgery. We had a follow up with the ENT who said Kaitlyn's ears looked great. We were not able to get her hearing tested as her utter disdain for someone outside her inner circle makes any kind of interaction difficult, but we're working on it.

- May was a busy month in terms of actual and potential animal adoptions. The nearly drowned kitten, Olivia, went to a wonderful home that loves and adores her already. Jade, our older foster kitty went home with a college student that couldn't wait to dote on her. Pistol Annie will soon be going to her forever home, provided she gets along with the resident cat (though I don't know that you can call him a house cat since he weighs 30 lbs) with my parents. Annie needs a lot of TLC and I know that my mom can give her all the attention she deserves, so I'm very excited about this! Last but not least, our very own Mayhem is going to his potential forever home for a two week trial this Friday. We wish he and his new family much success. They can't wait to take him sailing with them on their boat and given his real name, this is fitting for him. Here's hoping they don't go on a misguided "three hour tour." ;-)

- Brent completed a very difficult trail marathon in preparation for his 50 mile marathon this upcoming fall. He was very pleased with his time, and in true "iron man" fashion, he left the race and went to work until 2 am that same night. But he got a cool shirt out of the deal! ;-)

- KIC continues to tell anyone who will listen about her sister at home. Sometimes she mixes it up and throws a brother into the mix, but she's consistent about having a sibling at home. Since I was recently advised not to drink the water at a certain establishment I frequent (day care) due to the sheer number of people who are pregnant, I don't think KIC's prophecy will be fulfilled any time soon.

That's all for now. More on the black hole that my life has become later! Stay hydrated. 103 degrees in DC today! Shoooooooooo buddy!