Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Christmas Traditions

So Dillon and I sat down to watch some good old fashioned Christmas entertainment... the shows I used to watch in my youth. While I never forgot that Christmas was all about the birth of my Savior... certain characters were also definately a part of Christmas. From Kris Kringle teaching Winter to walk, ("Put One Foot In Front of the Other" ) to Elf Hermey's desire to be a dentist, the bouncing bumble, and the Island of Misfit toys... Even the Heat Miser... I so looked forward to these shows every Christmas. They disappeared for a while, but they seem to be making a comeback. I was so excited that my boys would finally realize I was not crazy when I danced around the house singing "I'm Mr. Heat Miser, I'm Mr. Sun"

Unfortunately, they still think I'm crazy.

Cody doesn't watch TV.. and Dillon refused to watch these shows after the first few minutes... "Mom," he said, "I can deal with the whole Santa Claus thing, but these puppets are really freaking me out!

Funny, I feel the same way about the animation in Polar Express.

Needless to say, Dillon and I watched and enjoyed the more traditionally animated Charlie Brown Christmas... which blows all those talking puppet shows out of the melted snow! I have to admit, I even cried when Linus explained the true meaning of Christmas. I always do. Can a cartoon be annointed?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Christmas Memories

Cody and Dillon ~ 7 years ago

Cody, Jim and Dillon ~ 2 days ago

A Christmas Survey

A Couple of friends have posted this Christmas Survey on their blogs.. I thought it might be fun to play along....

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?

Hot Chocolate! Without question! It's not that I love hot chocolate so much.. it's simply that I can't stand Egg Nog. It might have something to do with that h0liday episode of Sisters where everyone got food poisoning from the egg nog... Ummmm.. No.. It's just that I've never liked egg nog!

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree?

Oh, Santa never wraps presents! He sets them all up... all the thousands of pieces and hundreds of stickers.. he puts them all together so Mom and Dad don't have to! (wink)

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?

If it were just up to me... White. Simple. Elegant. BUT, I don't live with a simple, elegant men. They want color.. they want flash. Martha Stewart means nothing to them! Someday, I will decorate the house the way I want, and by then it will be in loud colorful flashing lights because of all the wonderful memories they carry!

4. Do you hang mistletoe, and where do you get it?

We usually don't hang mistletoe, but if we wanted to we wouldn't have to look very hard for it. It's our state flower and there is usually a clump of it in at least one tree in the yard. (it's actually a fungus, but that just takes all the romance away doesn't it?) I remember one year when my dear hubby risked his life on a snowy limb just to grab some mistletoe to hang for our Christmas party. I'll tell you a secret. I would have kissed him anyway!

5. When do you put your decorations up?

Well, we always plan to put them up the weekend following Thanksgiving.. but because we are a family short on organizational skills.. the only thing we know for certain is that the tree will be up by Christmas Eve. For instance, our Thanksgiving Weekend decorating was finally completed on December 10th.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?

Yorkshire Pudding... which is absolutely nothing like pudding... but it tastes wonderful. Of course you can't make it unless you have first made the delectable standing rib roast.. which is pretty yummy in and of itself... And doesn't it just sound like something out of Dickens. Can you eat it for Christmas without assuming a British accent? I think not!

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child:

Wow... all of them! I couldn't pick just one. Christmas has always been my favorite time of year! I suppose if I had to pick one memory it would be the our Christmas ski trip when I was in 9th grade. After I got over the pain of cold toes and altitude sickness.. and finally learned how to ski... oh, boy, was that last day fun!

8. When did you learn the truth about Santa?

The truth? What do you mean?

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?

We celebrate Christmas Eve with extended family... We visit Jim's mom and open gifts there, and then we visit my parents where the kids all open gifts and the grown ups ( I use the term loosely) play a dirty Santa game. (If you are not familiar with "dirty Santa" don't worry... It's not as bad as it sounds!) Christmas Day is just the immediate family and that is where we open our presents from each other and Santa.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?

OK, it's a complicated process.. but here goes. I pester Jim until he finally relents and gets the tree out of the attic. We used to buy a live tree until we finally caught on that the reason the kids were always sick on Christmas was because they were allergic to the tree. Anyway, after Jim gets the tree down, he asks for help putting it together. The boys and I hear him.. really we do.. but we are far too busy going through ornaments to help. Soon Jim is tangled in lights and once again asking for help. Dillon is happy to oblige because they are dealing with electricity at this point. Cody busies himself wrapping the dog in garland. Finally, the lights are on but they are burnt out. SO... it's off to WalMart to buy more Christmas lights.. because what's a tree without blinding lights! By the time we get back, Jim is exhausted and the boys take over putting the decorations hither and yon. Of course, we have to stop and remember the story behind each ornament.. which occasionally ends up with the same old argument.. "I picked this one out" "No I did" Ah.. Christmas Cheer! This year we are so thankful that Cody has reached that 6' mark. The top of the tree now gets some glam! I have seen beautiful trees where all the ornaments are themed and precisely spaced.. but I wouldn't trade our awkwardly decorated fake fir for anything in the world. It's simply beautiful.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?

Love it, love it, love it!

12. Can you ice skate?

Interestingly enough... I can ice skate.. but only backwards. That's they way I learned! It makes broom ball very interesting!

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?

It may not qualify as "favorite" but it was by far the most memorable. I has asked for it for many months. When I finally got it, I was sorry. It was an Epilady the Modern day torture device for women. But I actually BEGGED for it!

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you?

Slowing down and breathing and counting our blessings after a full year of running at full speed!

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?

Hmmm.. this question actually has me stumped. Probably homemade fudge!

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?

Lighting the Advent candles, reading scripture, and listening to Jim sing Oh, Holy Night every night for the month of December.

17. What tops your tree?

Usually an angel.. but this year, it seems we have lost a box of decorations (What? I already said the family was organizationaly challenged, didn't I?) and so the boys improvised. There is a penguin atop our tree... but not just any penguin. A festively dressed long legged penguin. These are the kinds of decorating decisions children make.

18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving?

Giving.. without question. But I used to like the receiving pretty well too! (ahem, that is until I grew up!)

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?

It used to be Band Aid singing "Do they know it's Christmas".. and while that still ranks pretty high up there, nothing sounds as beautiful as my husband when he sings "Oh, Holy Night!"

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum?

The first lick is yum.. but soon it gets all sticky and linty and ewww... quickly turning to yuck!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

It is finished...

Dillon finally had his root canals today and we finished a journey, ummm, a "trip" really, that we started three months ago.

This procedure has been a long time coming and some pretty major fears have had plenty of time to grow. By bedtime last night, Dillon was literally shaking. But he wasn't cold. My heart broke a little. When I went to wake him up this morning he was crying. My heart broke a lot! As parents, we are supposed to protect our babies.. even the 10 year old kind. I didn't want him to half to go through this.. especially since I had never gone through it before. This point was not lost on him. Everytime I told him it really wasn't going to be that bad, he would counter with an inquiry on how many root canals I had endured in the past. Ok... none. But if I could, I would have the root canals in his place.

Luckily, he has the world's best dad, who was able to cuddle with him and comfort him while at the same time filling him with courage. Soon Dillon was up and dressed and ready to go.

If you'll remember, the first time we visited the dentist, there was a bit of a "to do" about whether Jim or I could be with Dillon during the procedure. Jim realized that the doctor might just do a better job if Jim were not standing over him, dogging him. (Not that Jim would "dog" anyone... but he is a protective daddy!) So a deal was struck. Jim would stand just outside the room, just in case Dillon needed him.. but let the Doctor do his thing, without fear of Jim breaking any fingers in case Dillon winced. (once again.. not that that was any kind of possibility... ok.. maybe possible.. but certainly not probable!) And so Jim stood in the small hallway outside the room Dillon was in...

And Dillon did great! For all 3 hours! Yes, 3 hours. Dillon is not even sore this evening. Jim needs to soak his feet. Dillon's teeth are a little bit loose. Jim's calf muscles are tight. But it was an experience they shared together.

Cody and I went along for the ride, and shared some of the torment as well. No, we didn't have to endure the drill, or standing for three hours... But we did have to listen to Christmas music, which was turned up loud enough to attempt to cover the sounds of the drills in the back rooms. And as if that weren't enough sound input, there was also a TV dangling from the ceiling, where we could watch Martha Stewart instruct us on how to pull a book out of a bookshelf. Seriously... her studio audience even applauded when she did it. Of course, I still don't know the correct way because I could only hear loud drills and some novelty song about wanting a hippopatomous for Christmas. After Martha left, to practice pulling books no doubt, (soon to be an Olympic event), Family Feud came on followed by Jerry Springer. At that point, Cody and I decided we needed some fresh air and a break for our ear drums, so we left to wait in the waiting room outside the waiting room. We still had Christmas music, but thankfully Jerry Springer was corrupting young minds in a completely different room.

Soon, through the window, I saw Dillon peering out, no longer sporting that snaggle toothed look I have grown so used to. All the chips were gone, and his smile, though strained because of his ordeal, was beautiful!

He doesn't have to go back again. Well, at least for 6 years. He only has temporary caps but that is all insurance will pay for until he is 16. However, we were assured that these temporary caps are pretty tough. The only restriction is that he not bite into an apple. He can handle that. He proved today that he can handle just about anything!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

a little appreciation

I hear it everyday!

"Mom, I don't have any socks!"
"Do I have any clean jeans?"
"Please tell me you washed some towels!"

Well, at least someone appreciates it when I don't do laundry!

Sleep well, Jessie.... tomorrow your cuddly bed will be gone and the smell of Meadow Breeze fabric softener will permeate the house!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Interview with a Teenager

Cody at 13

Cody at 3

It occurs to me, reading back over this blog that, what with teeth trauma and curly hair conundrums, the whole thing has been a bit Dillon-centric for the past few months. But Cody has been having an interesting few months as well. This summer, he became a teenager complete with a mustache. (Where has my little boy gone?) He is about 6 feet tall now, towering over me and stripping me of any intimidation factor I thought I might have had. In light of this new teenage thing he's doing, I thought I would interview him for this blog. Enjoy.

Mom: So, can you tell me how you feel, not that you are officially a teenager?

Cody: I dunno.

Mom: OK.. Well, I know that you are busy working designing your own video game. How is that coming?

Cody: I dunno.

Mom: Mmmm. Oh, I know.. Dad has let you drive a few times in the shop parking lot. How cool was that?

Cody: I dunno. (but with a smile)

Mom: Have you read any good books lately?

Cody: I dunno.

Mom: You're really embracing this whole teenage attitude thing, aren't you?

Cody: I dunno.


(Disclaimer - This was not an actual interview with the boy.. but a reasonable facsimile of one. His favorite sentence these days is, in fact, "I dunno." He uses this pat answer in all situations EXCEPT, if one were to truly ask him about the video game he is designing right now, one should probably wear comfortable clothes and pack a snack, because that is one thing he will talk and talk and talk and talk about!)

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Dillon and his Daddy making some pretty rockin' music together. This was taken a few years ago but remains one of my favorites!

So much for ripping that band-aid off fast!

This morning we were scheduled to go have Dillon's root canals.

I'm sure there is absolutely no greater morning greeting to a ten year old boy than to sweetly whisper in his ear, "Wake up, sweetie.. It's time to go get your root canals."

The 10 year old boy summons all the saracsm the morning will allow, looks at me with his sleepy green eyes and says "you realize I'm in no way looking forward to this!".

Neither was his daddy. "Any chance they will cancel on us!"

"Nope... the appointments already been confirmed. We're going and getting it over with. In no time, we will have this whole dental drama behind us. It's like pulling off a band-aid... Just do it so you can quit thinking about it. Now everyone get dressed!"

Everyone got dressed and we headed to this dentist whom we had never met before.

First problem: We were told we would not be able to accompany the 10 year old boy to the back office where he would have major dental work done by a dentist we had never met before (did I mention that?)

Why was this such a problem?

Two reasons... one mine and one Jim's.

My reason - when I was a little girl I was ushered into the back offices to have my teeth cleaned by one of the most evil dentists in all of dentistry. I'm fairly certain Sir Lawrence Olivier used this particular dentist as his inspriration for his portrayal of the Nazi dentist in Marathon Man. Any way, this dentist asked me not to gag.. but as reflexes go, I didn't have a whole lot of control over that. Gag, I did... and then SLAP! Right across the face. My face. Because I gagged. I've not been a big fan of dentists since then. So I will be with my children at all times.. just in case a gag reflex causes another slap reflex.. or something worse.

Jim's reason - Simple. He promised Dillon he would be with him. And Jim does not, will not, not now, not ever, break a promise to either of his boys!

We explained our side of the story and told them that while we were sure most children did do much better without their parents in the room, this was not most children.. this was in fact our child.. Unique is many different ways. It was not long before they let Jim take his place beside the young patient who had already been x-rayed and given a good dose of laughing gas. At least someone was laughing.

Jim met the dentist and they had a good talk. The dentist told Jim if he were the dad he would feel the same way and that Jim was welcome to stay. But by then, there was no point.. there would be no root canal. The teeth simply were not ready. Doc wants them to have some more time to implant back in the gums.. like 6 to 8 weeks worth of time.

So, we go back at the end of November to check and see how stable the teeth are. And Dillon gets to continue to "look forward" to the dentist visit and Jim and I get to continue to see his chipped teeth that take us back to that night and how we wished we had the power to turn back time and make things all right again.

As I said.. so much for ripping that band-aid off fast.

The dental drama continues.....

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

To the tune of " I Will Survive"

So for some unknown reason, surely not having to do with any anonymous commenting on my blog, I was thinking of my college days. We had so much fun, it's a wonder that I even graduated. Oh, wait.. I didn't! That's right. I STILL have to run 3 MILES. Way to bring up a touchy subject!

Anyway, that touchy subject aside, I well remember some of the hijinx that used to ensue when we would all get together. I'm speaking, of course, of the famous Solid Gold Dancers, Fletch and ZMan. Oh, they were so talented they didn't need a singer.. but every once in a while, I would fill in with the most passionate performance of Gloria Gaynor's "I will Survive" you have ever heard. Ok, to be fair, what you would be hearing WOULD BE Gloria Gaynor because I was far too tone deaf (still am) to sing myself.. but man, could I lip sync.

If you look very closely at this photo.. you just might see someone who has contributed recently to my blog. He looks a little startled. It's either from a difficult Solid Gold move or perhaps he's just had too much java!

I sure did hang with a class act of friends! So many have gone on to such great things. My best friend and name sake and her hubby (who was one of the gang) just had their third little girl. Another friend has written a great book that had my hubby laughing till he cried. Still more friends wrote a little movie that was recently released. Even me... I've had my work published one or two or even more places.. and look forward to more success in that realm.

But my greatest production has been my family. Cody and Dillon are great works in progress and I expect great reviews when they are released into the world. My production partner/hubby is simply the most talented being God ever created and I know it won't be long until the world knows this as well!

I can't wait to hear all about old friends and their new lives. If only there were some way to find out what Z-man has been up to.. I mean, besides drinking java, and doing a few solid gold moves every now and again.

Monday, September 25, 2006

To the anonymous commenter

Heavens yes! It has been ages since Lomov came calling on Natalia but that certainly narrows down the scope of possibilites! I think I may need just one more hint... or was the use of the word "robust" in your original comment a bit of hint in itself?

Quick Dental Update

9 out of 10 readers of this blog prefer Dentyne AND would like me to update as to the state of young Dillon's chompers. Due to a terrible cold and or allergies, Dillon was coughing way to hard to have any kind of dental work last Thursday.. so his appointment will be this Thursday. Say a prayer!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

That boy is rough on teeth

It was a beautiful, breezy wednesday evening. The boys and I had gone to spend time with Jim at the shop and they decided they needed one last race before calling it a night. Jim and I were the "finish line" and we standing at attention when our boys rounded the shop corner. Suddenly, Dillon was down and screaming. Jim and I were trying to run to him, and Cody was doing his very best to comfort him where he was. I just couldn't seem to run fast enough and my mind was racing with just what I would find when I finally got to him. I have never heard him scream like this before. When I finally got there, I saw his mouth was bleeding. At first I was relieved that his arm wasn't broken and figured he must have just cut his lip open. But when I saw the amount of blood we were dealing with, I knew it was bigger than a busted lip. Jim immediately took him to the hose and began to wash his mouth off. We still did not know the extent of the damage but when Dillon was able to say he couldn't feel his teeth, I began to panic. Jim reasoned, hoping against hope, that he had just hit them so hard they were numb. I told Dillon to open his mouth wide so I could get a better look. My worst fears were realized. His front two teeth were no where to be found.

This was not the first time he had done something like this. When he was two, I had just come home from my first homeschooling meeting of my homeschooling journey. When I pulled up, Jim and the boys were outside playing and Dillon ran to the truck and tried to crawl in. He slipped and broke his front tooth exposing the nerve. A root canal and a crown fixed it until he slipped getting out of the bathtub and knocked is crown out. That crown was replaced until it fell out again thanks to a piece of Starburst candy. The dentist finally gave up and suggested we just pull what was left of the tooth. He walked around with a missing tooth for about 5 years when his permanent tooth finally sprouted.

And now, that permanent tooth along with its partner was simply not where they was supposed to be. Jim put the boys in the car while I ran to the back of the shop and got on my hands and knees in the dark until I found those two precious teeth. All I saw were the long roots and felt the littlest bit of relief. At least they didn't break off. They were whole and could be put back in... (I didn't realize until I saw them back in Dillon's mouth that they were in fact, quite chipped) Jim and I discussed briefly the best course of action to help the teeth survive until we could get to the ER. Ideally, they should be put in Dillon's mouth, but that wasn't really an option. He was bleeding too bad and needed to keep his mouth open. Option number two would be milk, but we simply didn't have time to go to the grocery store.. so Jim did what has now earned him DAD OF THE DECADE AND BEYOND. He put the teeth in his OWN MOUTH! Never underestimate what a dad will do for the good of his kids!

We pulled up to the ER entrance and just got out of the car, leaving it running at the door. We quickly got Dillon registered and put the teeth in a cup of milk. Dillon made it through triage and back into a room before I even finished the whole insurance / billing portion of the evening. Jim stayed in the room with Dillon while Cody and I waited in the waiting room. At one point, Cody, who might have been the clearest thinking Walenciak that night, reminded me that the car was running and perhaps we should park it.

Mom and Dad came out and helped quite a bit. They sat with Cody in the waiting room, who refused to go home without his brother, while I went back and forth sending messages. Dillon, through his swollen mouth would tell me "Tell Cody hi" and Cody would continuously want updates. Through all the trauma and awfulness of the night, I saw how much my boys love each other and my heart has melted many times over thinking of that night. The one good thing.... and if you look hard enough, you will always find one good thing.

So, by 2AM, the teeth were back where they belonged, a little worse for wear. They were still very loose and there were no guarantees they were going to stay in their sockets... (They fell out several times before we could leave the ER) but we went home. We didn't sleep. Jim and I watched Dillon for the rest of the night until we saw the dentist at 7AM the next morning.

Thursday (my birthday) we will visit another dentist and see if Dillon's teeth are tight enough to undergo the root canals the dentist says he will need. He says that due to being cut off from the blood supply, the nerves will die and there is nothing we can do about it. We're pretty sure God can restore blood supply to nerves He created in the first place, but we also know that Dillon will need caps or bonding to fix his chipped teeth and make them useful again.

One thing is for certain... We are investing in some mouth guards for Dillon!

Friday, September 15, 2006

But it's even cooler when you do it yourself!

OK, you've seen the movie.... but you really have to experience it to get the full effect. It's like 3D... ONLY BETTER!

This pics were taken at earlier this school year when we were studying chemical reactions. (and I"ve been meaning to post for quite a while!)

The first picture is the definitive proof that Diet Coke makes a much better fountain than regular Coke. The other pictures show Cody and Dillon loading the Mentos into the Diet Coke and making their get away! You have to appreciate the fancy "broadway slide" Cody is performing. Although Dillon made every effort to get away from the spraying fount... he could no long resist temptation and jumped right through the syruppy stream. I felt the need to get him home before ants attacked.

Everyone must do this once in their lifetime. Drop a bunch of Mentos in a Diet Coke and run! What could be more fun!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Dillon and the Curly Hair

My Dillon... my little hobbit who is outgrowing his hobbit hole all to quickly. I'm sure he is already taller than Frodo or SamWise.. but he will always have his hobbit hair. I love his curls. His daddy loves his curls. His grandparents all love his curls. He hates his curls. Almost as much as I hated my straight, lifeless, not blonde, not curly hair when I was his age.

The other morning, he finally emerged from the bathroom, the smell of hair product wafting in the air. "I tried to tame my hair", he said with all the seriousness in the world, "but I didn't have a bull whip!"

Oh, Dillon...don't give up! Girls are gonna love those curls!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Thursday Thirteen- a day late

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things about MY NAME

1. My name is Melanie
2. I was not named after the Melanie in gone with the wind
3. Rumor has it, I was supposed to be a Melissa
4. When my mother had me, her hospital roommate had a little girl as well
5. My mom had 2 sons named Mark and Mike
6. My mom's roommate had 2 sons named Mark and Mike
7. My mom's roommate had picked the name Melanie out.
8. If I had been a boy my name would have been Matthew... the same name my mom's roomate had chosen if her baby would have been a boy.
9. After discussing names, the roommates traded. I became a Melanie and the other baby became a Melissa.
10. I met that Melissa when I was in 7th grade and we both ended up at the same private school.
11. Melissa told her mom she met a girl named Melanie who shared her birthday.. and Melissa's mom put the whole thing together.
12. My middle name is Dawn.
13. Melanie means dark, so my name could be translated to mean dark sunrise.. which is so NOT ME... but nevertheless, I love my name.

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things about MY KIDS NAMES

1. Cody was going to be an Elijah
2. I have pictures of my hubby when he was younger that looked just like Elijah Wood, so it seemed a logical choice.
3. Except that Elijah Walenciak is a harsh name for any kid.
4. We decided on Cody one day while we were at the Horse Races in Hot Springs.
5. Cody is NOT named after Kathie Lee's son, Cody Gifford.
6. Cody is named after Cody, Wyoming
7. Cody's middle name is James, after his daddy.
8. Dillon was always going to be a Dillon.
9. He does look like Elijah Wood though, and his curly, floppy hair has earned him the nickname, Frodo.
10. Dillon is named after Dillon, Montana.
11. His middle name is Colter
12. My hubby and I don't agree on how to spell Colter. Jim wants to put a "u" in it.. like Coulter. 13. If we had a girl, her name would have been Cheyenne.. after Cheyenne, Wyoming. (Can you tell my husband's favorite part of the country?)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Thanks Kahri! This was fun!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

It's the thought that counts

Valentine's Day hasn't even arrived and he has already shocked me this year... really and truly. And it wasn't diamonds, flowers or candy. It was a phone call.

And I'm not the one he called.

He called another dad in the homeschool group to see if they could arrange a night to take all of us, oh-so-deserving moms out to dinner.

I will wait while those of you who know my husband get up off the floor.

Let me explain. My hubby is a hard worker... but not much of a player. He works about 30 hours a day (OK, that MIGHT be an exaggeration) and although he spends quality time with me and the boys, it is certainly not quantity time. He would love to, but his business is more of a one man show and it takes all he's got just to stay afloat.

Because of his work schedule, he is known for being a bit anti-social. He shows up for the all the important events.. school plays, graduations, and the like... but he's not much for other types of get togethers. I'm the social butterfly.. He's the busy bee.

So you can imagine my surprise when I find out that he has put the wheels in motion to plan a big social gathering. I immediately headed outside to search for flying pigs.

Jim had the idea, and that was huge. Two of the other dads made the plans. We would meet at a restaurant tonight and have a great time. All seemed right in the world. Until last night. Ok, it started before last night with one sick boy, 2 grandparents(aka babysitters) with an uncertain schedule, the start of a kidney infection, one bad back, and a partridge in a pear tree.

By this morning most everything had been worked out. The boy, although not 100%, felt well enough to go hang out at his granparents, who were actually going to be home. Thanks to a good overdose of cranberry juice, my kidneys were in tip top shape.. but that back.... it was worse than ever.

Hubby's back has been a source of trouble for the past 9 years. After falling off a painting scaffold, he has endured all sorts of treatments... from pain pills to experimental surgery. Most days it's manageable.. but in the last few weeks, he has been down with severe pain about 3 times.

He was down for the battle today. He wanted to take me out for an evening of laughing and eating and eating and laughing... He tried to pretend it was ok... but I knew something was wrong when he came into the kitchen this morning to help make pancakes. He hobbled into the kitchen just long enought to tell me that he had to go sit back down... and with much wincing and grimacing he hobbled back to bed.

But soon he was up again... A couple of Advil and one shower later, he was ready to go. I told mom and dad we were bringing the boys and we headed to the car.

Now, this winter has been unseasonably warm. Most days you could sunbathe or even swim. Today of all days it drops below freezing. As soon as we walked outside, Jim's muscles felt the cold and tensed up, contorting his back in all kinds of wrong ways. Still he moved on. A friend who lives close by brought a walker over to see if that helped. Not really. When we realized there was simply no easy to way to fold him up into the car, we decided to surrender.

Jim could only mouth "I'm sorry" to me. I am too.. but not because we missed the shindig.. but because I can't stand to see him hurt.

So our Valentines Day date was a little like the gift of the magi. He sacrificed his "anti-social buzy bee" status to take his "social butterly" out. I sacrificed the evening out so he could stay home and recuperate. (OK, if you look really hard and close one eye and squint the other you can kind of see the Gift of the Magi in there)

Jim will always have a hard time topping our first Valentines Day together... That day, he cooked me dinner, sang me a song he had written for me, and PROPOSED, all just two weeks after our first date. This Valentines Day comes close. He thought of me and what I would like to do.. and he did his best to make it happen. It's the thought that counts.

Well, it counts up to a point. The real Valentines Day is still 3 days away. Plenty of time to get to feeling better and come up with another "thought" Until then, while he's sitting in his comfy recliner.. I"m ordering takeout and forcing him to watch a chick flick with me... So say a prayer for him... oh and pray for his back too!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Flying Squid

No, not flying squirrels... flying squid. They are the official mascot for mothers everywhere.

At least Kahri and I think so.

Kahri and I were IM'ing today and trying to work out a small schedule snafu. It seems that Kahri was planning to come and help me organize my office (she's a professional organizer and I am NOT) at the same time she was planning to have an Usborne Book Party at her home. Now, although Kahri has some hefty organizational skills, I was still pretty sure she hadn't yet figured out how to be at two places at once. Now usually, I would by pretty cynical of any organizer who manages to doublebook herself, but not this time... because I knew that not only is Kahri an organizer, she is also a mom. Moms must multitask daily... so much so that it is perfectly logicial that one might forget her human limitations and believe she can multitask in multiplaces.

To be truthful, Kahri's organizational skills leave me in awe. She was once describing how she packs away her Christmas decorations. Her boxes are labeled Christmas 1, Christmas 2, Christmas 3 and so on. The Christmas 1 box comes out first. It contains Christmas music and other things that you might use before the actual tree decorations are needed. Those are in Christmas 4 or Christmas 5. I was incredibly impressed as I thought of all my Christmas decorations stuffed into one large box marked "Dishes".

Anyway, Kahri joked that I could go to her house and she could come to mine... She would get me organized and I could host her book party. She then said that she could never fill my shoes. I quickly pointed out that even I couldn't fill my shoes at my house, let alone her shoes at her house. I suggested that I should be cloned or at the very least have several sets of arms surgically implanted. Kahri liked the idea of several arms, but thought that perhaps wings might be an added bonus... and so, the flying squid was born. The perfect symbol of motherhood, complete with it's huge all knowing eye.

And yet somehow I don't think this mascot will catch on.

So Moms.. what do you think... leave a comment and let me know what would be the best mascot for motherhood.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

AS IF.....

There is a quiz going around letting you discover who your style twin is... Apparently my twin is Jessica Simpson. I can't help but laughing as I struggle to even pull up my daisy dukes! Click the link below and find out who your twin is.... and let me know!

Your Celebrity Style Twin is Jessica Simpson

Flirty, feminine, and fun.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

In which my faith is restored in humanity

I'm sure all the regular readers of this forum (yes, both of you!) have been holding your breathe waiting for some kind of update on our recent victimization!

The Tahoe and all it's contents are still gone. The detective says that the video from WalMart doesn't show anything. And in an interesting turn of events, it seems our debit card is being used by someone to pay membership fees to America Online.

Oh, and here is a funny thing.. American Online fraud division won't tell us who is using a credit card for..... you won't believe it..... wait for it....... SECURITY REASONS! Whose security? They have a phone number.. they have an e-mail address but they truly don't want to infringe on the guy's (or gal's) privacy. You know, the nice person who is helping themselves to AOL on me! We gave our detective all the info...just in case it's not some terrible coincidence and the two crimes are really related. Maybe the detective can get farther than I did with the fraud investigators who are more intent on protecting the fraudulent than the fraudees!

But all is not hopeless.. In fact, all is pretty good. Thanks to a wonderful friend, who just happened to have a van in her garage that needed a new home, I am still able to jet about town! This friend just about tripped over herself explaining all that was wrong with the van and apologizing in advance in the event that the engine might fall out as I drove down the street, but the van has been wonderful! Not only did she give my family the van, she put $25 in gas in it... which, by the way, lasted longer than any other $25 of gas I have purchased in recent years. We even had friends come over the other day who used to drive a van just like this one, and told me how jealous they were because they wish they had theirs back.

So there may be bad people in the world.. but there are good people too! And even if they don't outnumber the bad ones, they definately outshine them!

And, Tarry, if you're reading this.... THANK YOU AGAIN!