Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber

Happy Halloween!
From Bob and Larry and a couple farmers you may know

Friday, October 30, 2009

Voices of Reason

Once upon a time, there was a young girl. My mother had gone to med school while I was in elementary school, so that by the time she graduated and entered her residency, I was Prime age for babysitting. Every year, the psych residents would have a retreat down by Lake Monroe over Memorial Day weekend. Many of the other residents had young kids. And my sister and I were the ONLY kids of babysitting age. They also had meetings about doctor related stuff, but all I cared about was watching the kids and going swimming. So...after hours, we played with the kids while the grownups did some playing of their own. It was good times. Our first year, I got to watch this beautiful youngster, we'll call her Lauren* to protect the innocent, and we had So Much Fun. Our second year, we couldn't wait to see Lauren again. Her Mom had another baby, and while that was all great, the baby didn't do much, and my sister and I were very excited to play with Lauren again. (It wasn't until many years later that I realized that the babies were the easier ones to watch.) We arrived early, and I remember seeing her family park their car at the top of the hill. My sister and I ran over to 'help' them unload (i.e. start playing with the young Lauren, who was 3 maybe). Lauren and my sister ran Dashing back down the breakneck speed. They were little and light and their running was even faster than I felt comfortable with. Apparently I yelled, Slow Down, just half a second faster than Lauren's parents.
Later her Dad would tell the story, that amongst a cacophony of noise and insanity as the screaming youngsters dashed down the hill, a Voice of Reason rang out.

I was that Voice of Reason.

So the story goes. And he would cite that I was this Voice of Reason amongst the insanity. Really that was how I spent the first half of my life, I was the responsible one, always well behaved, Goody Two Shoes, watching out for my little sister, cooking, etc.
Now I'm not.
Now my husband is the Voice of Reason, and I have become the Voice of Insanity....Come away with me...Be late to've worked so long, so late, sleep in...stay and have breakfast with me...let's go to Starbucks....leave the computer...throw away that cell phone.


He's been working too many hours. And it's because he's good guy. Darn it. On one hand I'm proud of him, he's such a good hardworking guy, on the other, he's so nice, he won't say NO! They keep extending the work, other people keep being dumb, and it just doesn't seem to end. He comes by it honestly, his brothers are the same way. Loyal and hard-working. All three of them have jobs where their bosses dwell in darkness without them, and they all have been experiencing the results. We got to see them this evening, it had been a while, months since we were All together, and I would've liked to stay longer, have a drink, relax and chat, but my boys were all losing the battles for sleep...all 3 of them. The youngest brother is taking a Monster actuarial exam this coming week, so he's all crazy. Eric's younger brother is taking an awesome new job offer and everything is all up in the air. And Eric, well, he's been so busy this month the boys can't stand it they miss him so. He was gone this weekend, Chris climbs him like a monkey and Sam just wants to eat his shirts. He missed the Children's Museum and ZooBoo and we didn't even get pumpkins for Halloween. Good thing we have a plastic one floating around here somewhere.

I was so livid that Eric got 3 hours of sleep because of work last night, (and the phone woke us ALL up at 5:45 this morning, that I told him in no uncertain terms that he was OURS tomorrow. Our MOPS/church group is having a Trunk or Treat, beginning at 10, and he is to be there. Plus to be Trick or Treating with the boys and I in the evening. And we want our Daddy! So when the project leader told him this afternoon that he was to report at work tomorrow, he said No. (I was so Proud!) That didn't go over well. Eric said, well I can work, but I have to leave no later than 9 a.m. He thought that would make his point. Instead the guy said, OK I'll see you here at 6 a.m. Oy.
So poor Eric is going to be working tomorrow morning, plus Sunday afternoon, and probably being bothered during any free minute he has in between. I can't wait until this project is over. I have been so frazzled. I'm not reasonable, I am not being a voice of reason, I am a woman on the edge, I just want to take his computer and phone and throw them out the window and run away to Disney World. I scared Sam this evening screaming at Chris. Usually Sam is accustomed to me yelling at Chris, but I had kicked it up because I had a short fuse and Chris wasn't listening. I'm not cut out for Single Parenthood. I guess the up side is that I've learned that my body is capable of a lot more than I thought, it's My Mind that's going.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Movin' on Up!

Special Delivery at the Willman house.

New cases of diapers arrived today. Both Chris AND Sam have moved up to the next size in diapers. Chris is now in a Size 5. He was in 4s and 3s for like a year each, at least. As for Sam, a couple weeks ago I started him in Baby Dry 3s at night, they've worked, so as we were finishing the last of the swaddlers, it became clear it was time to get the big ones for Sam now too.

My boys are growing too fast.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I'm on the home stretch of blogging every day for a month for Down Syndrome Awareness.

31 for 21.

It's not as easy as I thought it was going to be. Some days I have to make up for lost time, some days, I can't do more than a picture. Some days I feel like I am reaching for somthing to take about, I love talking about my boys, I could do that all day. But...
It has been a challenge.
Now, it makes me wonder, perhaps that is what living with someone with Down's is like.

Wonderful, yet Challenging.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Emergency Hugs and a Pretty Day

Or The Top 12 for Tuesday.

Yesterday the boys and I had our first Mommy and Me yoga class taught by one of our MOPS Moms. I loved it, good stretching and Chris called it "Etsercise tlass". Even Sam enjoyed watching us pretending to be airplanes. Chris had fun running around the church, and participated a lot more that I thought he would have, but he threw a ginormous tantrum as we left the church and went home, really a necessity for a boy to just Chill.

However, I got a note from a friend of mine who was having a "Day". (You know, when you're having a Day.) It was a case for SuperHugger. So, I told her run to Butler I'll meet you, so I brought a picnic. I'm so glad we did, it was probably our last pretty day for a while. I was so happy that God was out there reminding me how Beautiful death can be by the colorful death of the tree leaves. He really does very good work!

My cell phone pictures are being goofy and small so they don't really do the beauty justice. The Butler Gardens were so beautiful and full of color. It's technically the end of Peak season around here, but the golds and reds on the trees are still pretty amazing.

Chris enjoyed running wild during our picnic, he climbed all over the gazebo. It's funny how different this same spot is from when Eric proposed to me here. Now there's a gazebo, and a tree planted in honor of someone. And Chris LOVES to play on the gazebo. So much changes, and yet so much stays the same. It's still beautiful and peaceful.

Chris took it upon himself to Make Brett Play. Brett wasn't too sure about playing. He was pretty good at it.

But Chris was persistant, and showed him how to play with sticks and run around trees.

I wanted pictures of the boys with the gorgeous trees in the background, and Brett wasn't too interested in my photo session. Chris "helped." He may have scared his friend more than help by trying to adjust him.

I was even get a couple pictures of happy Sam in the shade of happy trees.

Here he was by the canal.

The boys took a walk across the bridge, well, Chris started walking.

OK, truth be told, they ran.

Luckily Carrie was up for the chase.

After crossing the bridge, Brett kept right on going, tramping through leaves, right down the hill. It's a Beautiful sound, all that leave crunching in the fall.

Chris watched for a while, then made up for their head start by dashing down the hill. Sam and the stroller were not making it down that hill, no matter how beautiful it was, or how much I wanted to go. To get him back up the hill, I stood there and played Red Light/Green Light. And he loved it. It must be his favorite game, and I was just happy standing there in the fresh air waiting to be tackled by my sweetboy.

I told Chris that our friends had needed us to come play. But truthfully, I needed it too. Really the picnic and playing was just icing on the cake. Sometimes you just need Hugs, deep breaths, and fresh air. It was exactly what everyone needed.

Monday, October 26, 2009

More of the Runaways

Some of the pictures from our weekend run away to Fort Wayne.

Sam doesn't care where he is, as long as he gets to eat a book. Here he's on our hotel bed, happiest because we gave him Noisy Farm to chew on.

Mommy and Sam poolside.

Sam was pretty cozy in that water. He was happy as soon as he hit it!

Chris, Sam, and Grandma going for an afternoon swim.

Sam is a water baby. Splish Splash he was happy as a fuzzy headed clam!

And Chris was just Wild.

Hooray for Matching Jammies!

Sweetest of Sweetboy Brothers.

Chris fought the good fight. He didn't want to sleep. Finally he conked out with his legs on the cushions on the floor, body on the pillow and his face on the couch. When I moved him (post picture of course :) ) his face went STHOK, as his cheek stuck to the plastic fold out bed base.

Everybody at our Sunday morning swim. I tried to take more pictures, but the boys were crazy moving targets!

And I have no idea why my cell phone has shrunk all my pictures. I want them to get bigger, but they won't. Oh well, you can still see the cuteness.

Running away

You know how last time Eric left town, I went all domestically crazy and was productive? Well, This time I went a different kind of crazy.

We ran away.

To Fort Wayne. (And as boring as that sounds, we could've spent more time there, I wish we had, there was too much to do in the brief time we were there.)

Eric's retreat weekend with the Via de Cristo was up in Albion and I suggested that we be there to pick him up on Sunday, plus there's a song and prayer service on Saturday night we could attend. So we did. My Mother-in-law, wonderful woman that she is, came with us. And it was like being on vacation! Even though it was 1 night.
We left at almost lunchtime Saturday. Mommy was hungry when she went to the store for travel snacks, and bought enough food we didn't need lunch, or dinner. Sam slept most of the way (Wonderful!) and Chris was just sweet. But I did learn that though I may be able to do lots of things on my own while Eric is gone; pack, load, and unload just about exceedes my limits. Thank Goodness for my Mother-In-Law! Eric booked us at this NICE Comfort Suites, which was spacious, clean, and well priced. We got to the hotel, and of course, no one wanted a nap, they wanted a swim. So we did. But Chris's swim only lasted 5 minutes because he pooped in his swimmie. We tried to take naps, but it didn't work. Then we piled back into the car, and headed to the camp for our song and prayer service for those that are attending the retreat. It was great, we even caught a quick glimpse of Daddy. It was not guaranteed that boys would see Daddy, so even a glimpse was Bonus.
We got back to the hotel fairly late, driving back in the dark, we got a bit lost, and the boys didn't want to sleep. Chris finally fell asleep half on the couch and half on the cushions I had placed on the nearly 11. Luckily, Mom didn't hear either of them when they woke in the night.
As soon as we woke up, Chris wanted to go swimming again, we had breakfast first. Then the boys had so much fun that we didn't get out until Sam, red-eyed and pruny, started to lay on my chest and close his eyes. Then we speed bathed him and he conked out for his morning nap. Chris ran wild through the hotel room. At one point, my MIL was hair drying herself and Chris, and get dried for a second and run a lap around the room. I said, Are you being crazy?
"No" he said, "Drama (grandma) is." True. But he was too, I see where Chris gets it.
We were able to do lunch with Cousin Dolly, she's Eric's Dad's cousin not sure how that plays out with us, 1st cousin once removed in-law? She loved loving on the boys, and we hoped that they would take a nap when we got back to the hotel. They let us have a "nap extension" for check out until 2...Chris fell asleep at 1, Sam about 20-30 min later. We felt like we were doing something sneaky as we wheeled our luggage and the drowzy children out with 1 minute to spare.
We had an hour to kill before heading back to the camp, so we attempted some shopping, at Toys R'Us. Chris was a maniac, he was so happy, he was like...a kid in Toys R'Us. We didn't actually buy toys. just diapers, but you never saw a boy so happy to shop. And Sample some of those toys: trains, cars, skates! (Got some ideas for him for Christmas!) We were late getting to the camp, but they were running later. The boys did well up until about halfway through the Closing service, they were done. These boys are VERY Good at being distractions, sometimes, it's a Blessing, but it just doesn't work during people's Testimonies of Faith! So afterwards we snagged Eric and headed home.

I will say, though, My Favorite part of the weekend: while we were singing both Saturday and Sunday, Chris joined in, singing Alleluia, Alleluia. But last night, he joined us again, and specifically again on the verse, I will Serve Him, which he repeated multiple times. It brought tears to my eyes, I can't wait to see him Serve Him! It really was what the whole weekend was about for Daddy, but how amazing that Chris got it too.

We were additionally lucky enough to meet with Eric's Uncle Bill on the way home. He's a policeman and his 'beat' is right off the higfhway, so we met up with him at Cracker Barrel for some home cookin'. Chris was in a snit, until he saw full Police Officer regalia. It was like he didn't even recognize him, he couldn't see past the awesome uniform. Such a Smile. I think he eventually forgave us for keeping him out late, though it is Clear to me Chris is not ready for eating out at suppertime yet, especially when tired. He fell asleep in the car around 9:30 thpough he toyed with consciousness, he basically didn't wake up again until 9 this morning. Wish we all had been so lucky.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

15 years...

Once upon a time....there was a boy and a girl....
Today marks the 15th anniversary of Eric and I dating. It's hard to believe those days were so long ago.

Eric and I met at college, at Butler, as freshman. I was in the Marching Band and he was in the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and was dating a friend of mine. Eric was very quiet and kind of spooky when I first met him, he had very long hair, and only wore black. But by year end of Freshman year, I'd discovered what a nice guy he was.
So at the beginning of sophomore year, we were friends, and we'd had emotional summers. I had broken up with my boyfriend named Mark, it had only lasted a month, and Eric and his girlfriend had also broken up. We started hanging out together. A lot. After hours.

This picture was taken the week before we started dating. Can you spot Eric and I? We'd decided to go to a concert little sister's high school Choir concert. And we'd decided to make it a formal occasion. We were a little crazy back then.

We both had joined the school's honorary music fraternities. I was in Tau Beta Sigma (TBS) and he was in Kappa Kappa Psi (KKPsi). The fraternity and sorority did a lot of things together, and we would meet first in Joint meetings, then split off into separates.

One night, we were on our way to Ross Hall to pick up some friends of ours, to walk over to our weekly TBS/KKPsi meeting together. We were waiting, when our friends came out, stood on the front stoop, took one look at us, and said "We're going to drive." They darted off leaving me in shock wondering aloud why they did that.

Eric surprised me, "They knew I wanted to talk to you."

We sat down on the steps, and started talking. He'd been seeing a girl, and he'd broken it off, that very day, because he had begun to have feelings for me. So he was wondering...wondering if perhaps I'd like to go see Les Miserable on Sunday with him.


My response was automatic. I didn't hardly think of the consequences either. It was just so right. Because I too had been developing feelings for Eric. There were a couple friends who thought we'd make a good couple and I had begun to listen. I just figured since he was dating someone else, that it wasn't a possibility. Guess not. He felt the same way.

Eric took my hand and we walked over to Lilly Hall for our meeting. Holding hands. Happily Ever After.

Looking back on it now, those days were filled with emotional angst as only a 19 year old teenager can experience. And it was so neat how we ended up, how that was a turning point for us. So our official first date was going to Les Mis later that week, but we consider this day our Turning Point. So we used to celebrate it by a small present or going to dinner. But that was before kids....

On a sidenote, after the meeting, some folks went to Steak-n-Shake, and invited us along. We were holding hands, and we'd gone back to Eric's dorm so he could grab his wallet. I may have called him Hon as I reminded him to grab something else, I'm not sure. As soon as his back was turned, an acquaintance nudged me and asked, "How long have you two been dating?"

I looked at my watch. "About 2 hours."

And now it's 15 years. 15 years later! 15 years and my heart still flips when he kisses me. 15 years is still not long enough....

Friday, October 23, 2009

Zoo Boo!

Every year, the Zoo stays open extra hours, and provides a Trick-or-Treat, complete with great decorations and people handing out candy, and games and festive fun. They call it ZooBoo. I love that it's not scary for the young kids. But then again, just when I think something may scare Chris, he proves me wrong.

Today was another day where we had thought plans were going to go one way, and they didn't. But it ended up being fabulous, because all Chris wanted to do this morning was stay in and watch tv, and it was raining. But when we woke up from naps, it was actually slightly sunny. I asked Chris if he'd like to go to the zoo, and dress up to do it. He said yes, and got ready post-haste.

We managed to get there just after a storm passed, so though everything was wet, we didn't get wet. Except Chris who sat on the ground as soon as we got there, when I told him to go by the pumpkin so I could take his picture.

Sam on the other hand, behaved quite well.

The giraffes were active and pretty interesting to both boys.

They had trick-or-treaters giving out candy. And the zoo was festively bedecked. But we were there during daylight, so we couldn't see any lights. They had a tent and inside was a hay maze. Chris just traipsed right in. He didn't exhibit any fear, I was impressed, until he saw a giant fake spider, and he wouldn't go past it, until an older kid did, and that boy was so nice he turned to help Chris. Then Chris went about 3 more feet, 2 more turns from the end, he turned around, and ran all the way back to the beginning.

This Lady Lioness was walking by the fence. I think she may have thought my little pumpkins were looking a little tasty tonight. It was getting near suppertime after all. And Trust Me, Sam has got some tasty toes. And belly. And neck. Yeah, that lioness might have enjoyed that treat.

They had this thing where Chris could 'build' a drum, or some flower thing. You can guess which one he was for. And Mommy had to like Hammer and stuff. (Definitely chose the wrong parent for that one.) But it turned out ok, Chris was thrilled to hammer, and even happier when Mommy let him bang on the drum most of the way home.

Mommy and her Punkins.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Venting without the Hubs

My husband is on the team for a men's spiritual retreat, the Via de Cristo. He left today. It's hard for me to be upset with him, because he's off Serving the Lord. But I am, a little. He's off having great quality God time, and grown up talk... and getting closer to God... out in the beautiful woods... in the fall...
Maybe it's not anger maybe it's Jealousy.
I want to go out in the woods and have grown up talk and get closer to God. I got SO Jazzed about God when I served on team last spring. (March 08)I would love to do it again. But I just wasn't ready. I am just not ready to leave Sam. I have been able to leave him with the inlaws, but I haven't been comfortable to take him into the church nursery. I want him to be a little older. Maybe I want him to drive me a little crazier before I start pushing him away. He's hard to push away.
Do you hear it? I want to do what I want. HA. I keep hearing Jesus telling Peter "Get Thee From Me Satan!"
Poor Eric. His workplace was trying to make it very difficult for him to leave, working him like a dog and then trying to guilt him into staying. But he didn't fall for it. On one hand, I wanted to go up there all Bulldog on their butts for even trying to get him to stay. Don't they know he's going out to Serve the Lord? You can't stop that for computer work?! I was telling Eric to tell them to 'Get Thee From Me', because they were trying to interfere with him doing the Lord's work. On the other hand, here I am, not really wanting him to go, because I was going to be dwelling in darkness without him. When he got he call, and I so desperately wanted to yell, DON'T LEAVE ME! I didn't think I could handle it. Not with both boys. Alone. Then he got sent off to Atlanta for a week to learn to be GeekiER. And I survived. As a friend said, I didn't just survive, I thrived. I didn't end up flat on my back, stuck on the floor with Sam and Chris stuck somewhere and me useless and unable to help them, or for them to help me. I didn't. I really thought I would. But we were fine. We went to the Apple Orchard, made applesauce, cleaned up, did laundry, and I painted the bathroom. This was God telling me it was OK. That I was going to be fine this weekend while Eric was gone. That I could do it. Bummer is, now I just miss him. It's awful quiet around here. I'm not Alone. We're not alone.
Holy Cow! I am so Blessed. I am reminded multiple times daily, just how blessed we are. The list is quite extensive, you know. We have our health, and we have such an Excellent support system. My children are so chock full of loving friends and family that we rarely have free time. What a super problem to have. It's because They have this Glow. And people just want to be around it. Strangers stopping us at the store to compliment their smiles. That's their Gift. It's so hard to be sad, or upset, to dwell on my own problems when I'm with the boys and they are happy. I think that's true for our friends. To see Chris running wild with his friends, or hear them giggling until they can't breathe, well, it just makes everyone smile.
It strikes me odd that anyone wouldn't want to spend time with me and my boys. They are so Awesome...all 3 of them. Back to the problem at hand, just like the boys, everybody wants Daddy too. Work. Church. Me. And this weekend he gets to live it up out in the woods doing work for the Lord. Well, I guess it's probably not all fabulous. Eric is probably tired, sore, and sleep deprived. Already. It is Work, serving the Lord and all.
Worse problems to have.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My Kingdom for a photo

Yesterday was a lovely fall day (well today was too, but Chris was at school) and we were home with little to do. Mommy was getting the Itch, the itch to go outside and get fresh air, and pictures of sweetboys in lovely fall settings.

The perfect place came to mind. It's a park in Speedway, next to an elementary school, and it's been there for ages. Giant Shady Trees! It has some Classic Old School playground equipment: large slides, a log cabin, an Eagle's nest (or at least that's what we used to call it back in My Day) which was this half dome thing made of bars and triangles.

And the most awesome a big metal pumpkin coach. Painted like a pumpkin and everything. Rumor has it they are tearing down all the 'old equipment' and putting up new sometime this winter, so that by next spring, it will be all new fangled. They're probably going to tear down trees too. Though Melissa assures me that they mean to keep the Integrity of the shady park. I don't know if I believe it. And I really wanted Chris to experience an Old School Park like the kind that Mommy used to play on back in the day. And so he and his friends Did!

This park is within walking distance of Chris's school, and my friend Melissa and I went walking there a few times while the weather was nice while the kids were in school. We haven't lately, but I have been itching to get Chris there. I thought he'd really enjoy it.

And I had this vision of getting a picture of the boys on the big pumpkin coach surrounded by shady trees on a sunny fall day.

Yeah, something like that.

He was more content climbing on the bottom of the coach, while his friends climbed the seats around him. But he was happy there.

Mommy, on the other hand, really wanted her picture of Her Boys, sitting on the bench of the pumpkin coach. Chris was afraid of getting up on the bench. I couldn't lift him all the way up, just on the footrest of the bench. Chris FREAKED OUT!

Sam wasn't exactly content either, but at least I had a hold of him. For a while anyway. As I snapped my last shot, he went Wobbling....

I told him, Mommy wants you to say Cheese. Though his tears, he did.

But at least he was happy on the slide.

A friend referred to my disease as the Momarazzi. That's me. Taking pictures ALL THE TIME! Someday I hope he'll forgive me.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mission Accomplished!

You know how I told you about my massive FAIL on the Halloween Costumes. Well, Eric and I were talking about it. And I decided that the red sweatshirt didn't look so awful. Especially if you consider that they are going to be outside in the dark, who's going to be looking to see if the red is the purest red.
As Eric put it...Tomatoes start out green and turn red. So Sam is going to be an Early Bob the Tomato. Perfect.
Last night I made hats for the boys. Then this morning I cut out black and white fabric and made it into eyes. (On a sidenote, it was easy to keep Chris away from the supplies as long as I left the iron out, when I broke it out to iron my fabric, he Freaked Out. Not sure I want to deter that.) It was amazing the transformation the eyes and mouths made the shirts into Veggie Tales characters! I can even tell who they are. I bet you can too.
I free hand stitched them together, (Dude! It's been a LONG time since I cracked out a needle and thread for more than a button, I'd been so afraid to use them around the kids*) then outlined with fabric paint. Now they're drying. And I'm a bit proud at how nicely they turned out, I can't wait to get them on the kids. They really look like what I was going for, HOME MADE HALLOWEEN COSTUMES.

* No children were harmed in the creation of this project.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

What I don't need

I went to meet a friend for lunch today. Ericc is helping her sister with her computer, so I was making the 'swap'. OK, really it was an excuse to see her new baby boy, 8 weeks old and stinky precious.
Anyway, while preparing to take Sam and get ready to go, I grabbed my camera. My camera didn't really fit into Sam's classic pooh diaperbag. (We have 4 diaperbags by the front door: the black backpack which has stuff for both boys, the classic pooh, which is just Sam, and Chris's school backpacks, which are just diapers for him, though only 1 of those also has wipes and germy squirts, because dev preschool provides that.) So I decided to upgrade diaper bags. We were given a cool Colts bag by my Dad and Stepmom (which they had made) when Sam was born, so I transferred a few Sam things into that one, you know dipes, wipes, an outfit, wipey cloth, bib and spoon. Well, and phone and my camera. Just the bare necesitities. :)
Then I grabbed Sam and drove off, had a nice lunch.
On my way home, I began to dig for my phone to call Eric. It was in a side pocket. I pulled out a funky paper thing. I brought it around (diaperbag was around behind my seat), and it was a gauzie pack. The were gauze pads that we used to put on Chris's feeding tube. They looked like this.

They used to come in little packets of 2 gauzies a piece. And apparently I had stuffed an 'emergency gauzie' in that diaper bag.

I don't need it anymore.

It brought tears to my eyes to say that, to see it, to realize it. I can't say I'm going to throw it away. It's a gentle reminder. Just one piece of what we've been through, and what Chris has overcome. He will have been Feeding Tube free for two months come tomorrow. I'm so proud of him. We have so much to celebrate.
It makes me that much happier to realize that 6 weeks from today, we're going to celebrate it all for him in Disney World!

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Three good things happened today

1. My husband ran the Indianapolis Marathon in 4 hours and 2 minutes!

This coming off of three long work weeks and multiple nights of less than 4 hours of sleep. All nights of sleep lately for both of us, have been interrupted. Though he is disappointed that he was 2 minutes worse than his run last month, I am Quite Proud. I'm also impressed as hell that he didn't just collapse and have to have the Truck pick him up on the way. I'm also quite Grateful that no emergency personnel had to call me, because he left his phone home.

2. Chris has bronchitis!

Never thought I'd be so happy to have Chris sick with bronchitis. Well, it's much better than having him have the Flu! And H1N1 has been going around at both schools, so I was really scared he'd have it, and he's so tiny I am just so scared of what it could do to him, or if it got to Sam. Anyway, he got a happy little antibiotic, and within an hour of that starting dose plus his tylenol, he was wanting to play in his room for the first time all day, and feeling good enough to be disobedient at dinner.

3. Eric and I watched a movie!

It's been a while since Eric has been home without homework to do in the evening. His work loves him, they dwell in darkness without him, and unfortunately they can't do without him. That's Good for job security, but Bad if I want to actually SEE my husband. Last night, he came home, and we went out to dinner. I guess that makes 4 things, but the datenight techinically happened yesterday. We gave the kids to Grandma (little knowing that 4 hours later Chris would develop a fever--sorry Fam!) and went out. I thought he'd want Olive Garden, but he wanted Sushi. Not going to turn that down! It was lovely.
Tonight, after his marathon at Fort Ben, he was feeling sore and tired, and we camped out on the couch, and parked his computer in front of us, and watched my Netflixed movie, "Arsenic and Old Lace". Frank Capra, 1944, starring Cary Grant. I hadn't seen this in decades, and Eric hadn't ever. Within minutes we were thinking, WHY don't they have characters like these in movies anymore? That Teddy, my word, he was hysterical! It was fun and relaxing to just hang out on the couch for a while. Sure, the kids still called, and there is always something to be done. But sometimes it's just nice to hang out and watch a movie, and we hadn't done that together in weeks. I've missed him.
It seems that anytime we would have some time together, we've got something on the calendar. It's been nice that the last couple days have been a little free-er, and even with Chris sick, it forces us to stay at home. Which is nice too. At one point, all of us were camped out on the couch watching Scooby Doo (at someone's request), and in spite of the circumstances, and me being bummed about having to cancel our plans for the day, it was nice. I really do enjoy having a Family of 4!

Friday, October 16, 2009

But Manners are Hot

My MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) had a meeting today. We had a guest speaker, Lori Borgman, author and columnist. She writes about families, Christian principles and today she spoke to our group about the differences between boys and girls, and how our the trend in making girls and boys completely equal has emasculated our boys. It was interesting, her theory that by punishing a boys' natural tendencies to run, chase, fight, and dig in the dirt, leaves them confused. I was reminded of God created us Differently because that was HIS plan, not ours, and we go around messing with it, trying to make us all the same. God enjoys variety.
One of the other things she told us was that it was our job as Moms, to bring up our boys (or for those of us that have girls, to be aware of boys) to be Men. We Moms have a tough job to do, creating boys that are gentlemen, comfortable with girls, and not cruel. She said the root of the word Virtue, was virtus which meant Manly. That to be a Man was to be virtuous.
One of the stories she told was about her daughter, who had gone with a group to a basketball game downtown. Afterward the boys wanted to go to Hooters, and not for wings. She and the 1 other girl (who she didn't know well) didn't want to go. One boy in the group said to them, you two girls shouldn't be wandering around downtown at night, I'll go with you. So they went to Steak and Shake. My favorite part was when she told a story about a girl that had been asked to prom by two boys. One boy took the extra step and wrote her a POEM. He signed it, Tenderly. She said, you can guess who got the date. Because Manners Are Hot.

Yeah they are!

So, when Eric took me out to dinner this evening....he opened the doors for me. I didn't even have to ask. Yeah, Manners are hot.

I want my boys to be like that. Well mannered boys, with hot manners, who are comfortable playing run and chasing and playing in the dirt...when appropriate. Boy, am I going to have a lot of work ahead of me! I'm really blessed that my boys have such an excellent role model in their father. He's a great father to them, and they both know it. Their biggest smiles and hugs of the day are when Daddy comes home. And Daddy plays with them in ways Mommy can't, and to see them together does my heart good.

It was also comforting to hear about how rambunctious and wild boys can be, climbing all over, and chasing and running, and growling, that it's all normal behavior. I NEED to hear that my boy is normal. I like having normal boys. I'm so used to things being not normal, that it's comforting to hear that behaviors are normal. Now to spread the word and reinforce the truth, how absolutely amazingly Extra-ordinary they are.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Supermom, my aunt fanny

I have a friend who was recently frustrated by hearing about all the other moms who were "Supermoms", making extensive homemade dinners, sewing, having sparkling clean houses, and making homemade Halloween costumes and all that crap. Horse Hockey.

No such thing as a Supermom.

There is No Perfect Mother. Only Moms. Moms who have to choose their battles. Battles with kids, battles with the cleaning. Moms who choose to cook, clean, or play, or choose to lay on the floor and raspberry the baby's belly rather than dust and vacuum for the 47th time in a week. Every Mom is different, God plans it that way. He provides the Mom that is best for that family.
I'm afraid I have been a contributor to her frustration. I don't clean. I Can applesauce.I don't cook dinner. I bake pumpkin bread and cookies. Or at least I try to.

And I've been trying to make the boys Halloween costumes. Only that's been a remarkable failure too!

Last fall when we went to Zoo Boo, we had just found out Sam was going to be a boy, and everywhere I looked I saw adorable little boys in costumes, brothers that were Batman and Robin, or a Cowboy and an Indian. Chris was coming off a high from VBS that was about Veggie Tales. Suddenly it hit me, we'd have a little Blob by Halloween of this year. Blob...Bob...Bob the Tomato. Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber from Veggie Tales. Perfect. So as soon as Halloween was over, I started hunting, only couldn't find infant costumes for Bob. At all. OK, I thought, I'll just make them.
We found a recipe online, that called for a sweatshirt and a sock. Dye the sock to match the sweatshirt for the noses. Only I couldn't find socks in green and red to match plain sweatshirts. I thought, I'll buy white ones and dye them. Only that was really hard. 7 shops looking for plain white sweats....Wal-mart had them but not sweatpants, so I had to buy girls' leggings. And I bought the last two children's small white sweatshirts in the store.
When Chris went to school yesterday, I dyed them. What was supposed to become 'Scarlet' and 'Dark Green' came out dark pink and a tealy olive green. Yipes. Those were going to be some FUNKY looking Veggie Tales. Chris saw the green outfit, and didn't care, he wanted to wear it right now! So I put it on him. He was thrilled.

A friend recommended dying it again, so after the boys went to bed, Eric ran out for more dye, 2 boxes of each color this time! So, I soaked, rinsed, and by the time all was said and done AGAIN, it was almost midnight. I was so tired. Eric put them in the dryer and we went to bed. This morning, he restarted the dryer, saying they were wet. I left the house without even seeing how they turned out, and was gone until naptime. At which time, I went downstairs to see how the sweats and socks turned out.

Oh it's not good. My son's red sweatshirt, looks like it got splashed with green dots. It's ruined. Ruined. The green sock has a red haze, and the red stuff is red and green. I don't know what to do now. Maybe just let Chris wear the green stuff around the house.
But I feel like a fat failure. I can't even dye a sweatshirt, let alone achieve the lofty goal of 'homemade Halloween costume'. No Blob the Tomato here, I guess. I'm so bummed.

I bought pumpkin outfits as a backup. Good thing.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mostly Wordless Wednesday

So, I don't have any pretty trees in my yard that are turning lovely colors like out at the reservoir or Eagle Creek Park.
But I have this weed. Just a pretty weed, changing colors in the fall weather.