Monthly Archives: January 2009

How was my day spa you ask?

oil-slick-birdYeah, I came back home. For those of you into details,  I’ll satisfy your curiosity. Mud wrap= Oven roasted Thanksgiving turkey in a bag.  At least that’s the thought that came to mind after my body was slathered with a paint brush in minty smelling, luscious looking (yes, I peeked) mud the color of milk chocolate.  It went on almost hot at first touch, but unfortunately cooled off quickly in a room that was a tad too cold.   I didn’t need to fear, because as soon as I started to feel chilled, I was encased in a Goliath sized roll of Glad wrap and heavy, warm towels were put over me. Perhaps this was basting before I baked?

To be honest, I am claustrophobic and had visions of being wrapped so tightly that I would confess all my sins back to my childhood when I stole Halloween candy out of my brother’s trick or treat bag. Thankfully, the plastic was loosely wrapped and instead of feeling frightened, I really was able to doze a bit as I listened to relaxing Indonesian bell tone music being piped into the room. My body was supposedly de-toxing as the mineral mud oozed over every pore.

Unfortunately, just as I drifted off, however,  it was time to “gently and lightly” rinse away the toxins from my body that I assumed were now firmly ensconsed in the mud. Does the word waterboarding mean anything to you? Admittedly the shower heads hovering over the rest of my body felt lovely. Warm and relaxing water pulsated over my body as the mud rinsed away. Unfortunately, however, water rinsing off my neck and chest splashed up into my face, causing me to wonder if I should admit to a terrorist act in order to be released from my cell in Guantanamo.  The masseuse was kind enough to put a shower cap on my head, leading me to believe I still might look semi-human when I emerged from the sauna type room, but this was not to be.

As I toweled off and moved to the much drier room for a massage, I thought I would really relax and sleep this time. I’m wondering if they attach a pulse oximeter to your big toe so they can wait until your pulse and respirations drop and then shock you to wake you back up.   Madam Masseuse decided it was time to massage my scalp…with the oil coated on her hands from massaging my back still in full force.  To be fair, I think she made a halfhearted attempt to remove some of the oil because before she started, the room smelled briefly of Vicks Vapo-Rub. It was either that or turpentine, I’m not quite sure which.   However, rubbing my oil slathered neck up into my scalp left me wondering how on earth I would be able to rejoin society.  My daughter is Haitian.  She needs her hair oiled. I am  of German/British descent. I do not.  As I said in a previous post, I have had many massages, but none were quite so oil filled as the one I had this time.  Did the bottles have an expiration date and they were trying to use them up before they went bad?

After my massage was finished and I looked like a bird trapped in a Gulf of Mexico oil slick, it was time to slip and slide in my rubber sandals to another room for my facial with a different woman, hereafter known as Madam Facial.   A breeze of warm, moist air wafted over my face which felt wonderful, but after cleaning my face, I felt the thick and almost sickeningly sweet aroma of honey.  I like honey. I like it on peanut butter sandwiches.  However, I’ve never worn it on my face.  I am sure there are healing properties and had I asked, I would have learned that my skin once again needed to detox. I’m curious if there are AA meetings for skin.

After the honey came one cream after another, with most of them smelling minty. I think perhaps the spa got a good deal on mint scents in bulk during the after Christmas sales.  As each one was removed with warm, moist towels that admittedly felt heavenly, another cream was applied. Next to last was one that smelled a bit like orange.  I love oranges, but as my body prepared to indulge  in the new aroma that was not mint, my face began to pop and sizzle. Not really, but whatever was in the orange cream proceeded to burn my face.  Did Cindy surreptitiously pay for a laser peel for me instead of a facial?  I know I have plenty of wrinkles from a life in the Arizona sun, but I wasn’t sure if this was how I wanted them removed.  Thankfully the feeling of my face being broiled faded in a minute or two only to have Madam Facial also decide that my scalp needed a massage. Any remnants that I had left of a hairstyle completely vanished. As she ran her fingers over my scalp, she stopped and tugged at my ears as well which was a bit disconcerting. I don’t have any muscles in my ears that I am aware of that were manifesting signs of tension or stress.

As I changed out of my robe and back into my regular clothes, I looked in the mirror and wondered how on earth I could resurface in public. Witness protection program? I put on make up before I left, but short of a shampoo and blow dry, my hair was a hopeless mess that resembled an oily Rod Stewart or Mick Jaggar.  Of course Cindy said it didn’t look that bad as she stifled a laugh….she has 5 times the hair I do in length and thickness so her oil slick was hidden in the hair that only touched the nape of her neck.  Note to self: Do NOT go to a day spa in the future  if you need to go anywhere afterwards  other than directly home to a shower.

Thankfully Cindy’s husband met me briefly before we went into the spa, so I prayed he could remember what I looked like before he saw me again looking like I had been to Jiffy Lube.  I must add here that Joe is every bit as wonderful as Cindy has described. No Joe, she doesn’t exaggerate. You are kind, gentle, intelligent, and handsome, and I am thrilled to see Cindy so happy in your presence.  Since neither of you have a sense of direction, it was wise of you to rent a car with a GPS.  I do hope you made it back to the airport and home and are not wandering through Home Depot’s parking lot for yet a seventh time.

Dinner was wonderful as long as I didn’t catch my reflection in any of the glass in the restaurant.  Cindy insisted on a picture before we parted and I can’t believe I complied. Should she show it to anyone, I will spread rumors that her parents were never married.  Thank you Cindy for the wonderful day away from kids, bills, the dog and life in general, and thank you Jeff for holding down the fort while I escaped for the day. You too are kind, gentle, intelligent and handsome and I am blessed to have such a wonderful husband.

Perhaps I am just not classy enough to appreciate waterboarding, burning skin and nostrils sated with mint.  Next time let’s just save the money and have a long chat instead.  I appreciate you emptying your 401K to pay for the experience and love you to death for your kindness and generosity. I’ll see you in Michigan in the fall when it will be my turn to treat. Maybe it should just be an hourlong massage with no scalp massages allowed and we’ll donate the difference to charity. 🙂

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Spa Day

massageTomorrow is a day I have been looking forward to for a long time.  My dear friend who lives in Michigan is flying out here with her husband for a few days while he attends a conference for work. She is treating me to 3 1/2 hours at a day spa. Oh yeah!

I’ve had massages. As a matter of fact, I’ve had plenty of them. When I worked as a sign language  interpreter full time, I got a massage every two weeks as that is what kept my arms and back muscles going.  However, every time I had a massage, I used to lie there on the table when they were done, wishing that the hour had not ended.

Tomorrow my wish will come true, because I get to relax for much longer than an hour. We will have a mud wrap, an aromatherapy massage, a facial with a bright eyes cooling treatment and a foot massage. What more could any mother ask for? No wonder the package is titled Pure Relaxation.

I must admit the mud wrap will be interesting as it is supposed to be warm and relaxing. What I want to know is what do you do when you are all cocooned in mud and have a hot flash? Does the idea of warm and relaxing go right out the window?

A facial also sounds incredibly wonderful, but you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. My friend said she had a facial once at a spa and it was absolutely wonderful. When they finished, she said there was not a wrinkle to be found…the effect lasted for all of 9 minutes.  Perhaps I should bring a camera and document the effect immediately after the facial, before gravity has a chance to take over once again. We’ll have film at 11.

Jeff has threatened to put an ankle bracelet on me; the kind parolees have, to make sure that I return home afterward.  If this is the last post you ever read on this blog, you will know it is because I never returned.  🙂

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Life: Imagine the Potential

Kudos to Catholicvote.com for this amazing ad.

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In the hospital

Our newest little guy is in the hospital and has been there since yesterday due to a serious respiratory illness. They were removed from their home due to medical neglect. He is a sweetheart and a trooper, however, giving smiles and coos whenever he isn’t being poked, prodded or woken up from finally being able to doze off.

His older sister has attached to one of my soft fleece gloves and it is beyond adorable as she walks around the house with this HUGE winter glove on her tiny little hand. She is loving playing with all of the older kids and is doing well although she clearly misses being separated from her brother.

She is in love with Alyssa and is quite attached to her which is good since Jeff and I are doing tag-team parenting at the hospital. Right now, Alyssa has been the only constant in this dear little sweetheart’s life. Yesterday she was velcroed to me but I had to leave her to go to the hospital and she is clearly upset at me for that. How I wish she didn’t have to experience added trauma from Jeff and I taking turns leaving her to be with her brother.

Overall, we are doing great, but many continued thoughts and prayers would be appreciated that he can heal and come home. We are hoping to be able to come home tomorrow if all goes well. Jeff is giving me a few hours reprieve and I just got an hour nap on my own bed which felt like heaven! Time to head back, however, to the hospital…ugh! I realize that treatments are essential, but often wonder if they don’t realize that being able to sleep more than an hour without being awakened also would truly help his little body to heal.

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Our First Placement

We got a call for an emergency placement tonight of two very young siblings: a baby and a toddler. Child Protective Services called 5 hours ago and should be here within the hour. I know the kids will be frightened, so any and all prayers and positive thoughts sent this way that the kids will feel safe here in our home would be greatly appreciated. TIA!

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Missing my missionary

12-3-2007-1121We really love the missionaries we have serving here in Arizona, but sometimes being around them makes me miss my son who is serving a mission in Texas. I wiped continuous tears during a baptism on Saturday just thinking of my son doing the same work.

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I write him every week and we share our deepest thoughts about families, God, Christ, missionary work, trials in life, etc., but they aren’t funny things that show up here like the hilarious things my younger kids often say. I am really missing him tonight for some reason and since I can’t pick up the phone and call him, I will blog about him instead.

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I need to share more of my older kids on this blog since I realized after Nicole made a beautiful scrapbook for me of my blog for a Christmas gift that it consists 99% of my younger kids.

Tonight’s entry is dedicated to Taylor. He’s a kid who nearly drove me crazy as a young boy.
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Refused to stay in time out, was stubborn as the day is long, and once when I put him in his room for a timeout the kids said, “Mom, Taylor is watching TV!” No, that would be impossible since he was in his bedroom…or so I thought. Silly me for thinking he would have stayed put. Instead, the dear little one had removed his screen from his window, crawled out the window and come around the back yard to watch TV through our sliding glass door in the family room.

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With the girls when they were young, all I had to do was threaten to remove a privilege or a favorite toy, and they were quick to obey. With Taylor, however, I could say, “Clean your bedroom or you won’t be able to go to: _____. Insert anything here that one would think would inspire him to get busy; soccer game, baseball game, Cub Scouts, it didn’t matter. His all too often reply? “I don’t care, I didn’t want to go anyway.” It wasn’t that he didn’t want to go to Cub Scouts or soccer. He did, and he loved them both, but he wasn’t going to show it, and he would dig in his heels and miss both activities. Cut off your nose to spite your face? The phrase, I am convinced, was invented just for him. His early years on more than one occasion made me mutter under my breath, “I hope you have a child just like you someday!”

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He tends to be pretty ADHD, but has thankfully been able to make it through life without meds. One of his middle school teachers told him one time when he wouldn’t shut up, “Taylor, you are like a fart in a skillet!” I didn’t know whether to be offended for her talking to my son that way, or agree with her.

In spite of our challenges, however, Taylor has always had a sweet and sensitive spirit. scan0022
He loved it as a young boy when we would sit and sing songs together, and after one night of singing as a family in harmony by the light of the fire in the fireplace, he said that he loved the way that felt and wanted to do it again. If he watched a touching movie, he was always the first to be wiping away tears,

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and he always looked out for and was kind to the underdog.

His sensitivity has carried him far in life as he has grown and also brought him a wealth of friends. He was voted class speaker at both his junior high and high school graduations,  with Kelseyand if you mention his name to almost anyone from his high school, they will say, “Taylor? Yeah, I knew him. He’s a good kid!”

He has wanted to serve a mission for as long as I can remember, and from the time he was about 15, he didn’t think he could wait four more years to be old enough to go. He really wanted to serve a foreign mission, but when he was called to Texas, within an hour or so of opening his mission call, he said, “It feels right…it feels like a well fitting suit”, and knew that it was the Lord’s will that he serve the people in Texas. 12-3-2007-0691From the experiences he has had, it has been confirmed to us over the past year that Texas was exactly the place that the Lord needed him to be.

elder-white-biesinger-stevensonHe’s a wonderful missionary now, who has dedicated his life for the past year to serving his Heavenly Father. He has 11 more months to go and wishes that he had much longer because he loves missionary work and loves the people with whom he is working. Y’all has become a permanent part of his vocabulary.

108_00051When I see how much he has grown and matured over the past year and how much he loves the Lord and the people he is serving, all the past challenges when he was a young child fade away and I am blessed with the reward of seeing what an incredible young man he has become. Once again the words come to mind but this time in a positive light, “I hope you have a child just like you someday.”

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Foster License Approved

approvedstampWell, after 9 long months, I am happy to announce that our state finally approved our foster license effective today. Our licensing worker submitted it two weeks ago and we received notice on Christmas eve that they wanted more information that they deemed our homestudy was lacking.

Our worker was out of town from the 24th through January 1st, but I typed up everything the state said they needed and sent it to our licensing worker in a Word document. She sent it on to the state this morning and by this afternoon we had our approval.

Micheline became very excited and asked, “Does that mean I get my new sister today?” Not yet, dear, but hopefully very soon.

On days when I am ready to rip my hair out with foster care and the hazards of working with the state, remind me that at least for today, we are very excited about this! I never dreamed that we would go down this road. As a matter of fact, about 5 years ago I swore I never would…not in a million years. It’s interesting, however, the paths that the Lord leads you down and we know that for this time in our lives, it is what we are supposed to be doing.

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