Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Good Things

  1. Geico called today, and after reviewing the claim and taking witness statements (the only real witness I'm aware of who actually stuck around to talk to the police was the other driver's friend) they're accepting 100% of the financial responsibility. Woo hoo! I get to release my frustration and aggression, now. Now. Now. OK, it will be a process. But I am feeling MUCH better already. And less litigious.
  2. Paul has a rental car.
  3. I'm finally reading Anne Lamott for the first time, and it's great fun.
  4. There have been 3 official days of summer vacation so far, and we've done something fun each day (zoo, library, park). I polled the girls about tomorrow, lobbying hard for anything other than what they chose - the zoo again. We'll see. Maybe we'll stay in the children's zoo where they can run around more independently, or maybe I'll offer a larger prize: the pool!
  5. Ant sightings are already tapering off in my bathroom.
  6. A college friend of ours, who sang at our wedding, is getting married this weekend. And we're going! (Mostly) sans kids!
  7. The house is tidy, and has ended each day in that state since Friday. A week now! Ahhhh.

Writing and marriage updates are conspicuously missing, yes, but that's because this is a list of happy things, and not everything can go perfectly all at once! So I'll just post a picture of the sloppy but quick and fun birthday cake my friends and I made for Paul on Monday. If you can't tell, it's two Legos.

Also, Ellie's summer hair:

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Crunch . . . and I Don't Mean My Abs

To Sarahlynn's beautiful Passatt, May 2002 - May 2008: RIP.

And to teenaged girls with cell phone addictions: yes, red lights apply to you, too.

It could have been much, much worse. Paul and I go out alone together very rarely, but this was one of those occasions. We'd just left the girls at home with a sitter Friday night and were on our way out to dinner for Paul's birthday, when, BAM!

So: no kids in the accident. We were in the car, not the new van. And a fraction of a second would have made a dramatic difference: primary impact was at the front of the car, rather than directly against Paul's door. I don't know how fast she was going, but the speed limit on this road is 45 mph and traffic usually moves significantly faster than that. There's no sign that she braked at all before hitting us. (Paul, on the other hand, did slow down, which might have saved him serious injury.)

But we're both fine, though we spent the weekend hobbling around a bit, stiff and sore. Especially me, perhaps because I didn't have a steering wheel to hang on to. My back and neck have been stiff, and my chest - this is a lactating breast! - got bruised from my seat belt. Thank God for seat belts. We're fine.


Today the accident took a turn for the worse. As if not having our car, being sore, and seeing the pieces of the VW on the street every time we go anywhere weren't bad enough, today we heard from Geico, Cell Phone Girl's insurance company. It seems that she's decided that she didn't run a red light, after all. Apparently, she just went through on yellow. And we, who were sitting at a red light on a cross street, decided to up and move into the intersection early, presumably to pop the tire on her cute Jeep by using ourselves as a tall speed bump. Have I mentioned that her father is a big attorney at a Very Important local company? [Specifics redacted at my husband's request.]

So. We have to wait 2 weeks to see what the police report says, and then, perhaps, we will be retaining counsel. I guess they figured that they didn't hurt us enough in the collision.


Monday, May 26, 2008

Cool Art

At Home with Down Syndrome in The New Atlantis: A Journal of Technology & Society

"Dr. Brian Stratford, a specialist in developmental disabilities at the University of Nottingham, suggested in the journal Maternal and Child Health that the Italian Renaissance painter Andrea Mantegna used a little boy with Down syndrome as the model for his Christ child."

"The Gonzaga family of Mantua, Mantegna’s sponsor, had a boy with an unidentified “sickness,” she said, and one of the artist’s own fourteen children shared this condition—a not insignificant factor in Ludovico Gonzaga’s choice of Andrea Mantegna as his court painter."

It's unclear whether this particular painting was by the master himself or one of his students, but the message is pretty cool nonetheless.

And it's an excellent article, all the way to the very end.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Writing Stuff

This week provided mixed results on the morning writing front, so I plan to continue the experiment into next week. On the positive side, I got up early and got real work done while my brain was fresh . . . and I have a few thousand new words to show for it! On the negative side, once Lizzi the pug decides she needs to go out and the girls get up (usually between 6 and 6:30) it's a little distracting. I think it's workable, but it's not simple. Also, I only got two days in this week; Thursday was a flop.

Wednesday was Paul's birthday, and he spent it in an all-day, off-site meeting. Among other things I did for his birthday this year (not my most creative year ever, remember last year's enormous surprise party complete with clown?) I had a fresh box of Krispie Kremes for him to share at the meeting. When he did so, one of his management colleagues jokingly asked, "What's this, #30? Hah hah hah," like we were ever so young, elbow elbow.

Paul, who was celebrating the big 3-1, replied, "No, that was a little while ago. Hah hah hah," implying that he too was well past 40.

And therein lies the difference between men and women, folks. I might have said, "Nope, this is the second anniversary of my 29th birthday!" If I were Paul's age. Which I was. 3 years ago.

But what can you expect in a world where male actors are frequently at least 15 years older than their female costars and women are old at 30? (Is anyone else watching Lost this season? It's renewed my interest in the series.) And not to get too sidetracked, but why are people acting shocked and horrified at 15-year-old Mylie Cyrus's nude photographs for Vanity Fair (Gasp! Exploitation of a child!) but when Britney made that nasty schoolgirl video as a teen, it was A-OK. Feh. We sexualize very young girls, and then critique them for selling what we're buying. FTR, I don't think it's cool to publicize photographs of a minor that are clearly so adult and sensual - e.g. wearing only a sheet, with windblown hair and bright red lips, etc. Have I mentioned that when Ellie was 2 I started buying little boy shorts for her because the little girl shorts were so short they showed her diaper? It's never too early to start sexualizing our little girls. Note that mine wear board shorts and rash guards to the pool.

Wait. Wasn't this post supposed to be about writing? Back to that, then.

I'd like to be able to share the subscriptions to agent, editor, and writing blogs in my Google Reader without adding them as a separate blogroll here. It's not as easy as I'd hoped, unfortunately. I haven't even figured out how to "share" a whole feed rather than just an individual post. If any fellow Google Reader users have any tips, I'd love to hear them!

Next question: My local writing group has fizzled (a couple of writers lost interest, a couple more are in demanding MFA programs) and I'm looking for more critical feedback on my work so I'm exploring online writing workshops. Do any of you have experience with one of these? I know that OWW is great, but I'm not currently writing SFF and am looking for something more general. E.g. Gotham. So: any stories to share? Or gossip about the relative merits of various programs?

Final question: Is anyone else planning to attend the Heartland Writer's Conference this year? I'm still tossing the idea around.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Public Recognition

Hey, I was recognized last week for the first time. Or, rather, my kids were.

We were at our Parents as Teachers annual Teddy Bear Picnic, tired and frustrated and trying to edge for the door at the time - that description would be for the parents. The girls could more accurately be described as tired and having a great time and not planning on leaving any time soon, thanyouverymuch.

On our way to the coveted exit, Ellie found an activity she absolutely must do involving paint. And Ada thought that looked absolutely fabulous, particularly the eating of the paint part.

And I wanted to get home to vacuum and pick up the books spread all over the family room floor before a couple of girlfriends came over for pizza and the season finale of America's Next Top Model. What? What?!

And a completely unfamiliar woman walked over to me and asked, "Do you blog?"

Why, yes, yes I do. Cool.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I probably didn't mention that I was quoted in the Sunday New York Times several months ago. I didn't mention it because my full name was the very beginning of the article, followed by "considers herself a supporter of abortion rights."

I stand by what I believe, and I don't regret being quoted so publicly. There needs to be a public face for this discussion, and I'm willing for it to be me. But I was a bit freaked out for a while, with the huge Sunday New York Times print and online readership seeing my controversial position and blogging about it on their right-to-life blogs, when a quick Google search would turn up my address and my daughter's school. (She's at a different school now, for unrelated reasons.) There are some scary, violent people out there who oppose abortion. There is risk in speaking out.

But I think that this is a discussion worth having and I think it needs to be explored as widely as possible. I don't think it does any good for either side to pretend that abortion is a black-and-white issue. There are some really strong reasons why women have abortions, and there are ways that our society pushes them to these decisions. I'm talking about the ways in which "pro-life" legislation frequently loses interest once babies have been born, leaving women, children, and families out in the cold.

On the flip side, it's equally reprehensible to talk about "choice" as though it's a purely personal issue, made in a vacuum, with no larger ethical or societal tethers.

Issues surrounding genetic testing and abortion include disability rights, sexism, eugenics, and the society we're building for the future.

I am incredibly grateful that Amy Harmon chose to tackle these issues head-on.
Amy Harmon is a domestic correspondent covering the impact of the genetic revolution on American life. Ms. Harmon won the Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting in 2008 for her ongoing series "The DNA Age," which explores the impact of new genetic technology on American life.

She did a fabulous job, and the award is well-deserved. I hope that her work continues to shed light on these murky areas and encourage reasonable discussion about difficult issues surrounding genetic testing and abortion.

I believe that there's a difference between what's right and what's legal. I don't believe that all of my morals need to be legislated. I do believe that I need to stand up and speak out for what I believe, to help try to make the world a more understanding and accepting place for my daughter and for others who don't fit into our airbrushed templates.

I know that lots of people - whether they call themselves pro-choice or pro-life - support abortion in cases of genetic or other birth defect or abnormality. And I think that's a confluence that needs to be examined more closely, to dissect how our prejudices are helping open a really ugly path to the future.

More information about Harmon's work, complete with lots of links, here.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Ants Are Marching

Well, they're more than a month late, but they're back. Every spring, we're pestered by ants. And it's the weirdest infestation ever. For one thing, regardless of what we - and our pest guy - do, it lasts a few weeks. As far as I can tell, this period can't be significantly increased or decreased by treatment or lack thereof. Still, every year I'm willing to try something new. And either nothing's worked so far, or I haven't found their real access point yet. I had such high hopes for last year's chalk line. This year: spray baby oil. And, if step 2 is necessary: corn meal.

They're tiny little black ants, about the size of the millimeter line on a plastic school ruler. I usually think they're minute pieces of lint until they start scurrying frantically across our white bathroom floor or bathtub.

And that's the other really weird thing: location. These ants are only ever found a few at a time in the master bathroom. I've never, ever seen one in the kitchen, which shares a wall with the master bath. The fruit bowl is completely safe. Nor do I see the ants in the family room, living room, or master bedroom, despite the fact that each of those places seems a likelier hangout for ants. The master bedroom is obviously close to the master bath, and has a larger window on the same wall. The family room has a screen door opening out onto the patio. The front/living room has large windows kissed by long tendrils of ivy, a known insect and arachnid hang-out.

I don't know why this limited influx of teeny tiny ants bothers me so much, but it really does. As good ant karma, I've steadfastly refused to kill the small spider living on the inside of my front door, between the thin curtain and the glass. It won't do any practical good with the ants, but maybe it will broadcast the message to the elements of nature encroaching on my house: you stay in your space, I'll stay in mine.

Because I really don't like to encounter living creatures while I'm naked and vulnerable. For the most part.

New Schedule

I can't blog tonight, because I'm supposed to be sleeping. Tomorrow begins my first attempt at getting up to write early in the morning. I haven't tried this before because my girls also get up early - sometimes as early as 5, never as late as 7 - which puts an early morning exclusive parenting burden on Paul. He's willing to try shouldering it a few mornings a week, so we're off on the experiment.

Now I just need to get some sleep so that I have at least a solid 4 hours before tomorrow. Snore. (And I think Paul will soon be regretting the fact that he's not in bed yet, either.)

In the meantime, I'd still love to hear what you think about fanfic (below) so I'm using this opportunity to introduce my first blogger quiz. Happy Monday!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Career Options

Ellie loves to play doctor, and she's very convincing at it. First of all, playing doctor involves Ellie briskly moving around the house, tending many different patients in various rooms. She talks as she does this, but she doesn't explain everything she's doing - much of which is quite mysterious to me - and she exudes an air of utter confidence.

If she decides to pursue a career in medicine, I will support that. But I know what a difficult path that is, both before and after receiving the degree. So I was glad to learn, today, that she has a strong alternative.

Using the squeeze ball and tube attachment of her toy sphygmomanometer (without the arm cuff) Ellie gave me a haircut for 40 minutes today. I love having my hair cut, brushed, and otherwise played with (unfortunately my last haircut of any kind was 11 months ago) so this was an excellent nap-delaying tactic. It might have lasted longer, but the phone rang and broke up the party. During the epic styling session, I was stationed on the floor in the middle of Ellie's room picking up toys and organizing them into their storage bins while playing with Ada. Ellie stood behind me, moving from side to side, one hand firmly moving, tipping, and repositioning my head when necessary, always explaining what she was doing. Periodically, she stepped back to examine her handiwork. Have I mentioned that this was super fun for me? Plus, I told myself, all the squeezing on the bulb (simulating cutting) had to be good hand strengthening/OT for Ellie. And Ada got to read stories and do puzzles with me on the floor while Ellie worked. Everybody wins!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Mild Rants and Request

I have a crick in my neck from typing on my laptop while looking at the desktop PC's (actually, kitchentabletop, if you want to get specific) monitor. Because my laptop's backlight died this morning, which was a lovely way to start the day. Sentence fragments suggest frustration, dontcha know.

Fortunately, we purchased the extended warranty and someone from Dell is supposed to contact me tomorrow about coming out to replace it. Paul doesn't seem to think that this is a big deal, but swapping out the monitor on a laptop seems a bit more involved to me than doing the same with a PC. So I backed up my entire "Writing" folder, just in case.

For the interested, On Point had an interesting program on closed vs. open box systems and the future of innovation/the internet.

Moving away from technology to vent about something else briefly, let's talk about summer programming. I won't even get into the way most activities for kids assume an at-home parent to ferry kids around at extremely variable and inconvenient pick-up and drop-off times. That's not my rant, because I am an at-home mom and available to make those trips. (Though I still acknowledge how incredibly unfair the system is.) But figuring out a schedule for what my girls should do this summer was harder than creating a workable semester schedule for an English major/pre-med back in my college years. (There's very little overlap and lots of conflict, there.)

But I figured it out. June's will be the busy month; July and August will provide a bit more AM down-time (all afternoons are pretty relaxed). In June Ellie has summer school two mornings a week. Two other mornings, she'd be in a morning-only day camp at a local park. Those 4 mornings, Ada and I would go to swimming lessons together while Ellie was otherwise occupied. And the 5th morning, we'd do something fun altogether, usually swimming.

But I got distracted by the IEP and then vacation, and . . . camp was booked solid when I tried to enroll Ellie. It was the only camp I've found that had a two days/week option, so that it fit around her summer school schedule. But the closest pools to us have 4 days/week swimming lessons (a practice I like for the learning water comfort/safety process, though it makes scheduling tough) so I can't take Ada for swimming lessons unless Ellie has some sort of programming on those mornings. I don't think Ellie'd be really cool with being dropped off in the gym daycare while Ada and I swim. ARGH.

I know, I know, this is an insignificant problem, in the grand scheme of things. But I can't take swimming lessons with both girls at the same time (trust me on this) and I want both to have that opportunity. Scheduling summer programming feels like a big puzzle that I'm having trouble solving. Does anybody have the box, so that I can see the picture I'm trying to match? Seriously, if you have suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

Finally, thinking of bloggy helpfulness and to end on a positive note, I want to give a big THANKS to Carolyn for the Mystic Chai tip. I got three canisters for Mother's Day and I plan to put them all away before my September birthday. It's just as good as I remembered, even when I'm stirring it myself!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Fan Fic

I read an interesting discussion of fan fiction on Alas, and have been pondering my response ever since, especially given the Mariam Zimmer Bradley thing and then this agent post on copyright infringement and this discussion of the difference between fanfic and profic.

Really good article about it (read: slant I primarily agree with).

Obviously the MZB example is an extreme one. But I can't imagine losing years of my own hard work, let alone the time and anguish accompanying being sued and virtually attacked.

An excerpt from a letter to the editor of Writer's Digest, March 1993, by Marion Zimmer Bradley:
". . .While in the past I have allowed fans to 'play in my yard,' I was forced to stop that practice last summer when one of the fans wrote a story, using my world and my characters, that overlapped the setting I was using for my next _Darkover_ novel. Since she had sent me a copy of her fanzine, and I had read it, my publisher will not publish my novel set during that time period, and I am now out several years' work, as well as the cost of inconvenience of having a lawyer deal with this matter.
"Because this occurred just as I was starting to read for this year's _Darkover_ anthology, that project was held up for more than a month while the lawyer drafted a release to accompany any submissions and a new contract, incorporating the release. I do not know at present if I shall be doing any more _Darkover_ anthologies.
"Let this be a warning to other authors who might be tempted to be similarly generous with their universes, I know now why Arthur Conan Doyle refused to allow anyone to write about Sherlock Holmes. I wanted to be more accomodating, but I don't like where it has gotten me. It's enough to make anyone into a misanthrope."

On one hand, sure it's flattering that others are so excited by the world you've created that they want to keep living in it. Imitation is the highest form of flattery and all that.

But have you read any of it? It's never worked for me, because it just doesn't feel real. Even the stuff that's not atrociously written (and, let's face it, a lot of fanfic on the net is really really horrible) doesn't ever have the same feel as original stories created by the author. And, seriously, I don't care how hot the story is, Harry and Snape were just never going to get it on. What? You've never read slash?)

After kicking this idea around for a while and not making much progress with it, this is where I think I come down on the issue:

Ideas are not copyrightable. It's dangerous for fans (or anyone else) to be able to claim that an author "stole" an idea for one of her novels, because writers get ideas from all over the place: what we read, what we listen to, our families, our lives. Two people could take the exact same incident and write very different stories about it. (Heck, one author could take an incident and write very different stories about it.) It's the writing that's protected, not the antecedent.

However, when an author creates characters and a world, they are hers. Without express permission of the original author, I'm not terribly comfortable with the idea of others making money off an author's creations. This one's sticky for me.

It's not an issue that's likely to impact me personally, but I guess I won't know how I'll really feel about it until I find myself in that situation.

How do you feel about it? Feel free to try to convince me that I'm wrong-headed.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Naughty Words

While I was changing Ada's diaper the other day, she was vigorously swinging the octopus toy that hangs over her changing table. On one particularly energetic pass, the heavy plastic clip that attaches the toy to its hanging string whacked me in the eye. I have no idea how it missed my glasses and hit my eye so hard, but it did a real number on me, as my father would say. Fortunately, I blinked in time so it only hid my eyelid, but wow did it hurt. And surprise me.

"Puffer duck!" I said.

I have been cultivating my potty mouth since elementary school, and 4-1/2 years of parenthood have ruined me.

I said "puffer duck!"

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Equality State

It's 1000 miles from our house to Paul's parents' house, and we tried to make the drive in one long take again this year. Since it was early May, we figured that was reasonable. Imagine our surprise when we got stuck at a rest stop, then, a little later, a gas station by black ice covering the interstate in western Nebraska. It took us 22 hours to get there, and we arrived exhausted. On the way back, we stayed overnight in a Country Inn & Suites. Nirvana! We arrived home much happier than we would have if we'd tried to drive all night.

The girls were really really really excited to take this trip. Ellie asked about it every day for a few weeks beforehand. And they were not disappointed. Nana arranged for Ellie to have a therapeutic horsemanship session, which was sort of the highlight of her month. We looked at the pictures again today, and she said, "Walk, Targo!"

Both of their language developments (can you say "language developments" like that?) are really blooming right now. I love hearing them voice their preferences. During the trip, they actually argued over which movies to watch on the car's DVD player. Today, Ada told me that she was done listening to "Ralph" and wanted to hear the ABCDs song. And, while we were at the Outback with Paul's folks, Ada flagged down the server to order a pizza. Seriously, she yelled at him, "Pazza!" Too cute. Meanwhile, I've discovered a way to help Ellie go to sleep at night (sometimes). We now talk through her day today and tomorrow, which helps her process all the stuff running through her head that she's still developing the ability to really talk about.

These kids are great.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Fiction Cred

Blog? Blog? Blog!

Sorry for the unexplained absence; we just got back from our delayed vacation visiting Paul's parents in Wyoming. We had a lovely time. I'll probably write about that, and about the cute new things the girls are doing, and about the step sheet I'm working on.

But, tonight, I want to tell you that I've had a story published. Yay! It happened really fast. I submitted the story a few weeks ago, got an email yesterday that it was accepted, and saw it posted online today. Yippee!

Enjoy the new fifteenth edition of apt: an online literary journal.

Self portrait:

Friday, May 02, 2008

A Culture of Life?

I knew that I was expecting a baby with Down syndrome, and the news got around. Pretty soon, I started getting recommendations. A coworker I barely knew has a son with the same diagnoses Ellie has, and she stopped by my office with a lot of great information (and support) including the name of her son's fabulous pediatrician and his inclusive daycare, complete with great therapists. The special OB who performed my prenatal testing set me up with a terrific pediatric cardiologist who did a couple of fetal echocardiograms. Fetal. Like, before Ellie was even born. And then I had 20 weeks to grieve for what I imagined I'd lost, and to prepare for my daughter's birth.

When Ellie was born, I was so far ahead of where most women are after giving birth to a baby with trisomy 21.

And I loved my baby. I loved her so much, I hardly ever put her down. We had no problems nursing; we had immediate, intense attachment. Also, my mom had given me a book of therapy exercises to do with young children with Down syndrome, which I did daily almost from the time we got home from the hospital.

But I was still paralyzed by fear and discomfort and desire not to have to negotiate this new world into which I was thrust. I could handle the medical stuff. But First Steps and therapies? Nonononononono.

Many pediatricians deal mostly with typically developing children, but Ellie's amazing, wonderful, terrific, unbelievable pediatrician was so helpful. She made the first call for me. She followed up. She told me what to expect, what to ask for, what Ellie needed. I got it all.

And then, the system changed. After our new "Pro-Life" governor was convinced that he really didn't want to eliminate the First Steps program after all (start at the bottom) he still decided to cut it way back.

He instituted fees for some of the services, and a whole new model for determining what services are provided to our state's most vulnerable children.

When Ellie was 4 months old, she had an OT and a PT. By the time she was 12 months old, she'd added a developmental therapist and a speech path. A woman I know had a baby with Down syndrome two years after Ellie was born, and by the time her baby was 9 months old, she was receiving zero services. Nothing. Nada.

Because now, instead of working with the parent to determine the baby's needs based on diagnosis, pediatrician's recommendation, evaluation, or even a simple questionnaire, it's all based on one question: what are your concerns?

When the stunned new parent of a baby with any sort of special need finally works up the nerve to call the organization that's supposed to help her child, she's presented with this:

How are things going; do you have any current concerns?

It's a newborn baby! With an unexpected diagnosis! What is the parent supposed to say to this?! She's not walking properly yet, being a newborn and all. Perhaps she should have physical therapy?

As the parent, I am the expert on my baby. I'm the expert on her day-to-day needs, and on loving her. BUT, I'm not an expert on all babies. I'm not an expert on PT, OT, development, medicine, or speech. I need to be able to rely on a team of experts who will tell me what my baby needs.

But we withhold this information, tying the hands of the providers lest they offer more services than the parent knows to ask for, costing the state money (in the short term). Yet we want women to choose not to have abortions?

No Child Left Behind has made sure that public education continues this ugly trend.

The goals on a student's IEP (individualized educational plan) drive what therapies she receives and what her therapists address with her. But the goals are derived directly from the "Family Concerns" section of the IEP. We messed up last year and didn't write down enough parent concerns and are currently having to supplement Ellie's therapies in all areas.

Tomorrow is Ellie's IEP meeting for next year, and I've been preparing for weeks. I've taken a training class and I have a better idea of what to ask for, and how.

But it shouldn't be this hard for parents. The experts should be able to help us determine what Ellie needs, and what it's realistic to ask of her.

Because, you know what? I'm more equipped to deal with this situation than a lot of other parents. What does it mean for their children? And what does it mean for our society when these children leave school and are expected to become productive adults?

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Nothing to See Here

Tonight was a night of company, poorly sleeping children, and a lot to accomplish, so there's no new content. However, I did tinker with my template a bit more, realizing that I never reinstalled my statcounters after my template upgrade, so I haven't been tracking visitor stats for more than a week. Alas. That's fixed now, and I've reinstalled the link to the PCUSA webring.

Thinking of the PCUSA Bloggers site, it's changed a lot since I first joined. Does anyone know if there was an official switch of leadership, or just one prolific poster currently active?

The giant coffee table is finally gone from our family room. It took a long time for me to clean that out.

And now I'm off to continue preparing for Ellie's IEP meeting. I'm going to need to mainline caffeine to get through to Saturday.