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Hello

I am happy to say as a family we are back on track. In the past year, we have said good-bye to a cherished family member, hello to a new family member, faced a health crisis, starting middle school, first dance and going back to work. We have decided to stay put in our home and to love the things we cannot change. To embrace everyday because it is truly a gift and to look at our failures as chances to grow.

Okay right now you are probably gaging at all the spiritual insight and wondering where is the miniature ‘Snooki’ you have grown to love. I am still here but as I approach (gulp) fifty, I am doing a little self reflection. Figuring out what is truly important and what is bullshit. There are only two things that are important in this world, your health and your family. Without either, I would be nothing.

Ashley is driving me nuts but I know one day this will pass. Rich drives me crazy and I know he loves me more than anything in this world. I get frustrated by what I can’t do anymore but I am learning to accept it as my journey. Figuring out what  I want to do when I grow up. It sounds crazy but at almost fifty, I feel there is one more card I can play and I am going to play it!

So my thought for today is enjoy the here and now, enjoy the little victories and try to see the big picture. You will be happier in the long run if you do.

Washed Away…

It’s been almost a year and I don’t know where to start. My family and I have been through another rough patch to say the least. Getting older is not easy on anyone let alone people who are dwarfs. My husband and I are encountering some health issues due to age and our stature. None of it is fun.
Last spring, Rich came home from a business trip. It was late at night when he arrived and he was as white as a ghost. He told me that he thought he was going to die while he was in Las Vegas. He couldn’t breathe or walk. It scared the crap out of him and me. He called his doctor while in Vegas and had an appointment for the next morning.

To back up a little, Rich hasn’t had a good night’s sleep in 3 years. He has been sleeping sitting up in a chair and he can only sleep for about 2 hours straight. Sleeping in a bed is a luxury to him. His hips have deteriorated so bad that it hurts him to sleep not to mention he has severe sinus issues due to the cartilage in his forehead.

The next day Rich had blood drawn and his physician prescribed Ambien to help him sleep in bed. We were hesitant to try it but also desperate for Rich to get some much needed rest. Taking the Ambien was the worse decision we ever made in our married life! Rich had the worse hallucinations  all night from the medicine. Sleep never came that night.  He was trying to ‘run’ which is not good for a man who walks with crutches. I stayed up with him all night because I was terrified of him hurting himself.

In the morning the doctor called and wanted Rich to be taken to the ER asap. His blood work showed that there was a problem with his heart. Rich was out of it by the time the doctor called and I couldn’t move him thus I had to call an ambulance to take him.

To make a long story short, Rich was admitted to the ICU Cardiac Care unit. His heart rate was all over the place and his lungs were filled with fluid. I thought I was going to loose him. Poor Ashley was in a daze. She couldn’t see her daddy because he was in the ICU. God Bless our wonderful friends who helped me with Ashley until family could arrive.

At first they thought he had congenital heart failure but the tests came back negative. They were puzzled as to what was going on.While in the hospital,  Rich had a constant flow of oxygen, which led to him sleeping comfortable in a bed. Eventually the fluid left his lungs and after a week he was let home.

Now being home required him living on oxygen all the time. Machines and canisters were brought into our home. This scared the crap out of me. I thought this is the end, this is how it will be. I cried every night by myself with the doors closed and the lights out. I didn’t know how I would go on without him and most importantly how Ashley would do without her dad. She is such a daddy’s girl and this would devastate her for the rest of her life.

The Pulmonary physician ordered a sleep study for him. Again nothing is ever easy. Sleep study equipment is not really made for dwarfs.  After 5 attempts at  sleep studies, they discovered Rich had severe Sleep Apnea. He actually stops breathing not once but several times during the night. This loss of oxygen is what caused the fluid build up and the sinus issues. It was the reason why he hasn’t been sleeping in bed for the past three years.

I went out and bought a bed that can be adjusted so he sleeps slightly propped up at night and he has a C-pap machine. After 4 months, he went off of oxygen during the day. He still needs it if he is going to walk far. His oxygen levels finally went back up to 95. When he first went into the hospital his oxygen levels were 77. Normal levels are 95! He is sleeping through the night in bed and his heart rate is back to normal. His shoes are big because he no longer has water retention.

Last week, we finally had a much need family vacation at Disney. Rich did wonderful around the park! His hips never bothered him and his oxygen levels were fabulous without oxygen.It was the first time in almost three years that it seemed life was finally getting back to normal.

Moral of this story, if you are a dwarf and feeling blah, go get a sleep study ASAP! If you are an average size person and feeling crappy, go get a sleep study ASAP!!!!

I will try to post more and keep you updated but I don’t know what curve balls life will throw at us again. I hope all is well in your neck of the woods. Take care and be safe.

Times when it sucks being a dwarf

Here is my new car. My husband and I don’t relish the new car experience like most people because for us it’s a real pain in the ass. When you are a dwarf, you just can’t drive your new car off the lot. So here is my new car sitting at the dealership for another two weeks. We have to coordinate dates between the dealership and the specialty garage to have my pedal extenders installed. It is a crappy situation and one where a lot of begging and pleading occurs.

For many legal reasons, dealerships no longer install the pedals. If I was more mechanical I would install them myself. The friggin extenders just clamp onto the existing pedals. It takes all of fifteen minutes to do. Since we live in a country of flying lawsuits, dealerships do not want to be responsible if you drive off of the lot and get into an accident. Thus you have to wait for your car and sign away your life in order to get your pedals installed.

This is why my husband and I only go for a new car every ten years. Don’t even get me started on how long it takes you to find right combination of pillows and seat adjustments. That takes another two weeks.

What motivated me into buying a car was accessibility. In my old hatchback I had a string attached so I can easily pull down the door. One day the string broke and I was stuck in the Target lot with my car wide open. A good samaritan came to my rescue and closed it for me. From that point on, I couldn’t use my trunk unless Ashley was with me.

My new car has a power tailgate! YEA! The salesman was trying to point out the finer points of the car like the leather interior and the navigation. While he kept giving his sales pitch, I stood in the back of the car raising the tailgate up and down, up and down, up and down. Finally the salesman gave up talking and said ‘Is the power tailgate the only reason why you are buying the car? I almost blurted out ‘No kidding Sherlock’. Instead I politely said ‘Yes’.

So I am sitting here waiting for my cool power tailgate automobile. Hopefully the wait will not be much longer. Thanks for listening to my rant.

Rosie oh Rosie

I thought I would weigh-in on the controversy surrounding Rosie’s interview with Chelsea Handler. I for one was not insulted by Rosie’s honesty. At least she was able to admit that she has ‘dwarf fear’ instead of acting like it doesn’t exist. In my life I have encountered people with ‘dwarf’ fear. You can tell by their eye contact and facial expressions that they would rather be running as fast as they can away from you rather than having to deal with a dwarf.

Dwarf fear is just having a fear of the unknown. When I lived in Pittsburgh, every time I would go into the local Dunkin Donuts you could hear jaws dropping and eyes bulging out the local’s heads. It was like time would stand still and I was the time keeper. Sometimes it was so weird that I was usually allowed to cut line so they can get me the hell out of there as quickly as possible. It was rather cool to have this power to move people in Dunkin Donuts especially on a cold busy morning. It was also rather insulting that these people who live 20 miles outside of a major metropolitan area never encountered a dwarf before.

Now dwarf fear isn’t limited to service people you encounter like the waitress that serves your meal or the plumber who can’t wait to get the hell out of your home as fast as he can. It can also happen to family friends. My mother-in-law had a neighbor who was terrified of us. She would run out of the house when she would hear our voices or see us come through the door. It started to be comical to me and my husband. Sometimes we would say ‘hello’ just to time how long it takes her to come up with an excuse to go home.

My mother-in-law denied what was going on when we asked her. She said that the neighbor just doesn’t want to intrude on our visit. My mother-in-law just sees life through rose colored glasses. She is one of those half full type of gal. I am more cynical than she is, especially when there is a party and the neighbor goes ‘Oh your son is here’ and then runs out the door.

What eventually got this neighbor over her fear was normalcy. Normalcy that she was able to relate one of her life experiences to our life. When we adopted Ashley and became parents something clicked. Parenthood was what she could relate to. She was lovely to our daughter.Soon after Ashley came, she started talking to us about parenthood. Eventually her fear was banished. She finally saw us in a light that she could understand. We were parents just like she. We had all the same issues with raising a child. We had a connection that lead to an understanding. Now when we visit, she talks our ears off about everything in her life! I think I liked the other way better. I kid you really I do.

What Rosie needs is some positive experiences with the dwarf community. If she can see we are just like everyone else, just short, her fear will go away. Human contact goes a long way in breaking down perception and stereotypes. All people need is to see you are a real person. A real person with the same problems and fears like they have. Normalcy is the key to breaking down the fear of the unknown.

Rosie come over to my house. We will have a blast! I make a mean spaghetti and meatballs. We can go shopping afterwards. I am sure after you meet me, you never again have ‘dwarf’ fear again.

Bad day at split Rock

My partner in-crime and I were out most of the day on Tuesday. In our travels we decided to go to lunch at a common seafood restaurant that begins with the letter ‘R’. I have successfully eaten at this establishment in the past so I was not concerned about my food allergy I have to lobster. The broiled fish I had must have touched lobster in the cooking process. Two hours after we got home, I was sick to my stomach about another hour later I was in the bathroom. My allergy doesn’t cause shock (thank God) but I do get very very sick to my stomach. Let’s just say nothing stays in me! I was so sick that it lasted most of yesterday. I feel a little better today. This has only happened to me 5x in my life.

The last time it happened was when hubby and me planned a romantic evening out. Grandma was keeping our daughter over night and we had reservations in a swanky Charleston hotel. To surprise me, Rich made reservations at a 5 star restaurant. It was a wonderful restaurant. The kind that has maitre’d that seats you and pours the water. One problem with this lovely restaurant, Almost everything contained LOBSTER. I did find a shrimp entree that looked safe. I should have known better when I asked the waitress if it contained any Lobster and she replied ‘I don’t think so’. The last romantic thing we did that night was walked hand-in-hand back to the hotel. By the time we got out the room key, I had to make a mad dash to the bathroom! I mean it was like scene from the Exorcist.Every thing was spinning out of me. Needless to say romance went out the window that night. It is hard to be romantic to a girl who is kneeling to the porcelain god never less wanting to kiss her afterwards. Poor Rich, all that money spent and nothing in return! He was bummed that I was sick as well as concerned. It was a long night for both of us and not the way it was planned.

Things were not that bad the other day. Next time I have to be more careful where I eat and avoid any restaurant that has a picture of a lobster as its’ logo. How dumb was that?

Mid-Life Crisis: Reason Numero Uno

My mid-life crisis officially started last month when I turned 48. As many who turn the mid-century mark, you wonder ‘where the hell did time go?’. In my mind, I am still at St.Aedans getting yelled at by Sister Catherine for standing too long by the pencil sharpener. Sister Catherine frowned upon socializing while sharpening. I was always guilty of the crime.

I still look somewhat the same from my college days and feel the same inside. I play video games,watch Beavis and ButtHead and still love ‘fart’ jokes. I can’t help it, I am my dad’s child. In our family we lived for fart jokes.

Physically though I can’t say I am the same. I have more aches and pains than Bon Jovi in an Advil ad. By the way, did he sell out or what? My boobs have officially joined my stomach in becoming one with the universe. I can’t even have a glass of wine now without falling asleep.Back in my college days, I held my liquor with the best of them.

All my melancholy has been brought on by one blaring reason, middle school. Ashley will attend Middle School next year. Oh my God, she will be going to middle school! Boys with raging hormones, girls with short skirts and make-up and puberty sprouting all over the hallways. I can’t bear the thought of dances and texting. Why do they text so much anyway? Isn’t talking on the phone like we did much better?

She still plays with dolls and watches Spongebob. She thinks boys are cute as well as icky. I told her she is not allowed to kiss a boy until she is in college. For some stupid reason she agreed. The joke is on her! More likely the joke will be on me. She will probably break that one by the end of sixth grade. Oh god, smelly stinky boys(no offense to the mothers of boys, I give you permission to say the same about girls). I don’t think I will be able to handle this.

I have been a ‘helicopter’ mom for the past eleven years. When she was a toddler, I used the ‘kid leash’ because I was terrified of her getting away from me and I couldn’t catch her. I became homeroom mom to follow her when she started Kindergarten. I still drive her to school and when she is outside playing, I annoy her at least four to six times to make sure she is okay. I am not ready to let go. How am going to let go? If I am this emotional about middle school, can you friggin imagine how I will be when she leaves for college? I will probably grab her ankles and scream ‘Taking me with you’ while she tells me to stop embarrassing her. Don’t even mention the phrase ‘Drivers License’.

Do you think colleges will let me rent a room on campus? Oh never mind, just get me a bottle of wine. I am going to start drinking like it’s 1985!

Looking out onto the horizon….

I want to start this post by apologizing for my last entry. After reading it, I thought I was rather rude to my followers. I should have explained more how I felt. I think I am going through some sort of mid-life crisis. I have been really snarky lately and not very patient.

You see I am (gulp) 47 years old and have no direction. I left my career as a Programmer Analyst with a Fortune 10 company about 9 years ago to raise my precious daughter. My days were filled with playgroups, mommy and me activities, taking her to and from school. Now my days are filled with being her taxi and personal assistant. How did this happen?

My child had the nerve to grow-up. She needs her momma less now. I feel more like the sideline cheerleader to her life other than the main character. She is ten and wants to do everything by herself and we are in a power struggle almost everyday. I don’t want to give up control and she wants to be in the driver’s seat. I feel sorry for my husband because he has been getting in the middle of this struggle. Poor guy. I want her to stay the three year old who needed me for everything. From getting dressed in the morning to what should she eat. If I can’t handle her being ten, god knows what I am going to be like when she goes to college. I need a new purpose in life. One that will fulfill me and give me something to forward to.

What can a 47 year old dwarf woman who has been out of the workforce for nine something years do? I am thinking about going back to school. I have been taking a few community college classes to brush up on my programming skills. I honestly don’t like programming but you always fall back to what you know. It is rather tedious work and under appreciated. I thought of getting a degree in history. I love learning about life in the past and how it can impact the future. The only problem what can you do with a degree in history? I really don’t want to be a teacher. Another truly under appreciated profession. I would probably get fired anyway if I was a teacher. I would be telling the parents what I really thought of their precious child. It would not go over well.

Motivation is what I need the most. I need to stop feeling like a cow that has been put out to pasture. I need to tap into my inner youth who was not afraid to try and do anything. A new chapter should start instead of feeling like ending. I will keep you posted on this journey. I am sure it will be a lot of laughs.

In other news, I am going to be updating this blog with new graphics and more tales of what is it really like to be four foot tall and a mom. I still owe you the story of how me and my husband met, adventures in grocery shopping and why dwarfs hate being recognized as someone else. The later is a pet peeve of mine.

Until then have fun and enjoy the weather.

Thanks for listening!

Monday Morning


Another Monday morning is here and another week starts with a pile of laundry. Not a very romantic way to start Valentines Day.

One of the best inventions know to man and many dwarfs alike is the front load washing machine. As soon as these came on the market, I wanted one. My top load machine became my enemy over the years. Especially after Ashley came. I used to literally climb into the machine to pull out the clothes. One day I fell in. My legs were dangling out! Yes, it was a hysterical sight to behold! My husband was laughing more than helping me get out. Eventually I wiggled myself out of the machine with the help of God. That was the day that laundry became my enemy!

Happiness was the day that the machine caught on fire. I called the fire department with glee. When the captain told me the machine was kaput, I did the happy dance. The front load machine was within my reach. No more did I have to worry about falling into the wash machine, no longer was laundry my enemy. Anything that makes life easier, is a special occasion for us short people!

Today I am happily doing laundry. It is a good day in the house overall. The sun is shining. I believe the worse of winter is over. Best of all, my husband told me to make sure I answer the door today because I am getting a surprise! I love surprises, especially from my husband.

Take care and have a Happy VD day!

Time

Time goes through your hands like sand. Honestly it does. One minute I am a girl of sixteen, next I am a middle aged mom of a nine year old. How the hell did this happen. When did my life change 360 degrees without me knowing? It’s pretty scary.

I am going through some sort of mid-life crisis right now. I thought I would blog about it to see if anyone else can sympathize.

The goals I set for myself at sixteen, I never accomplished. I wanted to be a Fashion Buyer for a department store. That never happened. Even though I got accepted to Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC, my dad would not let me go. He thought if I wanted to become a buyer, I should just start working the counter at Macy and skip college all together.

I came from an era where if your dad said ‘NO’, no it was. You did not question. You just followed. Unlike today when you say ‘no’ to your child, it’s just an opinion, not law.

This is one of my regrets in my life. I should have figured out a way to go to New York City on my own. I was too scared and too confused.

My new reflections of my life then and now came this week from connecting with an old friend. He was a good friend of mine when I was sixteen and the world was my oyster. Unfortunately I didn’t know it at the time.

I am glad that I had such good friends when I needed them. I wish I could find my inner sixteen year old spirit. She is in there somewhere. I just need to pull her out. My balance is out of whack and I hope it will return soon. I am sure it will.

Sometimes you hate to admit it but…

Hey All! How is your New Year treating you? I hope you are doing fine.

Gals you know that you are going to cringe with this next statement but it needs to be said. Sometimes I should just listen to my husband. GASP! I know I just broke one of the golden rules of sisterhood.

I had to eat crow this week which is never a good thing in a marriage.

Here is the story. Back when we were deciding what to get Ashley for christmas. Rich and I both thought it would be nice to give her a camera. She has shown an interest in photography. We thought it would be fun for her to have her own.

Richard being of practical mind wanted to get one of those low price digital cameras. You know the ones at the check-out counter in Target or Walmart. I on the other hand wanted to get her a good digital camera. I thought a cheap camera would break easily and we would be buying her another camera in a year. My first error in judgement.

Okay I’ll confess. I really wanted the Nikon Coolpix and I saw a way to get it. There I said it. You see after Richard bought me the Nikon D40, I have been officially banned from any new cameras for the next 200 years. Ashley getting a camera was the light at the end of a dark tunnel. I figured it would be her camera but mommy can borrow it. Pretty clever huh?

My con game worked. Rich agreed to buy the Coolpix for Ashley.

Christmas finally arrived. Ashley had no clue about the camera. She shrieked with delight upon opening the gift. I taught her how to use the camera and gave her the rules. I needed to know when she was going to use the camera. She just couldn’t take it and use it. The photo shoot would have to be mother approved. Ashley happily agreed to the rules.

It was great timing for the camera. North Carolina had it’s first white Christmas in about 40 years. Ashley darted outside and took the best pictures of the snow and scenery. I thought I was raising the next Annie Leibowitz! All was great in the world. Little did I know dark clouds were forming.

Three days later, my budding Annie Lebowitz decided to take the camera with her while she was roller blading. She thought it would be cool to take pictures on her roller blades. Now this was not a pre-approved photo shoot. If it was, the answer would have been ‘over my dead body you are going to take pictures with your new camera while on roller blades’.

Not only was she on roller blades with the camera but rolling blading down the hills. Can you guess what happened next? Oh I am sure you can. She fell on top of the camera and broke the lens. The lens would not go back into the camera. Something I am sure that could be fixed by a professional. Ashley decided to cut out the middleman and try and fix it herself.
This made the problem worse. After figuring out the camera is kaput. She hid the camera in her closet.

Now speed ahead to this week. Ashley and I are going to her Girl Scout Cookie Rally. I told Ashley that she could take her camera to the rally. I trusted her with the camera. Ashley very innocently replied ‘I can’t’. ‘Why’ I asked not so sweetly. ‘Because it is broken’ Ashley said with fear in her eyes.

She finally spilled the beans about the whole situation. I was livid. I told her to go to her room, that I needed to cool off. My husband had the ‘I told you so’ expression on his face. I hate that! I don’t know if he was more mad at me for getting her the camera or her for hiding it.

Ashley was properly punished. She has to unload the dishwasher until she is 21 and was grounded from all activities for a week. My punishment was hearing about the ills of buying a 9 year old a good camera.

The camera is now in a box on his desk while we figure out if Nikon is going to fix it or not. Like the mother I am, I bought a replacement camera. Ashley does not know I have a new replacement camera. She has to earn it back. I am thinking by the time she turns thirty, she can have it.

The new Coolpix was 50.00 cheaper than the first camera! Another lesson I learned from this fiasco. If you are purchasing a camera for a Christmas gift, buy it the day after Christmas!

Bottom line, once in every ten years of marriage, your husband can be right.

DJD