November 27, 2009

Another Good Day

SO MUCH can change in such a short amount of time

we can be given so much in just one simple year
and on the contrary, so much can be taken away


My wise Aunt Mary (aka Aunt Mary the "Great" -
dubbed by Luke a couple years ago, since it's MY aunt...
HIS "great" aunt)
major sidetrack there... sorry

Okay, so- Aunt Mary the Great shared with me something that was perfectly timed this past spring when my mother-in-law was taken from this earth.  Aunt Mary told me,
"Life is not taken away.  It is just changed."
True. Very True.  And on many levels.
To quote Craig's cousin, it's those "seeming too young,
too needed, and so loved"
The hardest part about this concept is that
WE WILL NEVER HAVE ANSWERS!
We don't even have a right to know.
This can lead to * Anger * Fear * Depression *

And then for the first time this year, I really KNOW what it means to have the world "move on" around you.  - To have my heart re-break in unexpected ways with each passing day.  Friends can't help but sort of "forget" about your loss.  They don't mean it.  They do care.  They just aren't living in your world, so they don't realize how often you ache for just one more day with your loved one.
I also empathetically imagine it's uncomfortable for many people to outwardly discuss the grief of loss.  It includes such confusing emotion.  Within the walls of our home though, we try to frequently talk about "Mimi" with the kids... to remember.

Being Thanksgiving, today more than ever,
I had to focus on what we HAVE, and not what we DON'T.

Here's a story... of a lovely "hospice nurse"
(that was supposed to go to the tune of The Brady Bunch theme)

Did you go back and reread it with the melody? ha ha

A hospice nurse shared a personal story with us.
She hypothetically told us, "What if God came to you and said, 'I can give you a son.  He's going to be wonderful!  He's going to be handsome.  He's going to be smart.  Do you want him?'  Well of course, she proceeded, I'd answer, 'YES!'   God then would go on, 'Now, you'll only have him for 14 years.  Do you still want him?'  She answers without hesitation, 'Of Course!"  She told us that this fictional conversation helped her to deal with the loss of her 14 year old son a few years prior.

SO... I put a spin on this scenario to help myself cope.
At first- my reaction to my mother-in-law's diagnosis was anger.  I was mostly mad because MY CHILDREN... HER GRANDCHILDREN were only going to get a small handful of years with her.  Lydia was getting just ONE YEAR!!!! Can you imagine?!?!  It still pains me to process that.

Here's my version, God approached CHARLOTTE and explained, "I can give you some grandchildren.  They're going to be fun.  They're going to be healthy.  They're going to be smart.  They're going to be everything you'd want.  Do you want them?"  She of course would answer, "Yes!"  He goes on though, "Now, you're only going to have a couple years with them.  Do you still want them?" WITHOUT HESITATION, she undoubtedly would answer, "YES!"

That makes my heart instantly  H A P P Y ! ! !  Immediate contentment to know that my kids weren't entirely "jipped"!   No!!!  Instead SHE was blessed!  SHE was given a the gift of being on this earth long enough to meet and hold and LOVE her grandchildren.  I am wholeheartedly grateful.
THANK YOU, GOD!!!!!

SO... how do I make you laugh today????
Well, my nieces and nephews attempted a drama today-
unfortunately not their first to which we've been subjected.

They spent nearly an hour in preparation (costumes, props, dialog, casting programs, etc.).  Five minutes in, my brother-in-law shouts out, "This Play Blows!"   Sadly, it was a super drag!  They're nuts though, and actually did have a great time goofing around with the adult audience!
In my opinion, the BEST PART about it was that my niece
chose her stage name to be Mayme.  WHAT?!?!
Where in the world did she get that name?
Craig asked if her character worked in a cotton field?  hee hee
Mayme... hee hee   "Now, That's FUNNY!"




November 23, 2009

ASK LESS - THANK MORE

I came across a simple phrase today:
ASK LESS - THANK MORE

WOW!!!  In a world like ours... a world where we have MORE than enough... where we are utterly surrounded by met needs and an abundance of wants....  It rips at my heart trying to help my children comprehend what it really means to having nothing.
I certainly can't speak from experience!
How do you truly teach gratitude?
I do my best to model it, but I myself am too often guilty of greed.  That saddens me, and I definitely don't mean to be! 

I want to use THIS week - on purpose -to take time to reflect...  take time to process a real understanding of this new found phrase I'd like to forever remember!  I wrote it down on a card and plan to post it someplace where I will regularly see it and in turn, regularly remind myself to...
ASK LESS - THANK MORE

I feel compelled to challenge you to do the same.
I imagine it can only bring genuine joy to our hearts!

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 18, 2009

Babies Having Babies


Tonight at dinner, I removed Lydia's shirt- as I often do when we're having "messy" food.  It showed that her tummy-tum-tum is starting to pooch out.  Now- if you've met her in person, you know she's a teeny little thing.  We've had a slow grow start, but after some diagnostic (BORING) stuff this year and some pharmaceutical intervention... SHE'S GROWING!  FINALLY, she has a healthy appetite and is starting to beef up a bit! 

SOOOO  back to this evening: we giggled at the sight of her bulging baby belly,
and then Luke boldy announces,
"I think Lydia's going to have a baby soon."
I burst out laughing, and yes-
seasoned my dinner with some saliva sprinkles!!!
(did I hear an "eewww!"???    COME ON!
Like you've never had drink fly from your mouth mid-cackle!)

Anyway, I could hardly contain myself,
and WISH I would have grabbed the camera! 

It did indeed look like a little preggo pixie sitting there.  Oh My!  Then we had to quickly steer
Luke away from the reason WHY Lydia CAN'T be having a baby.  UGH   
funny stuff

November 16, 2009

The FUN Theory

SUPER COOL!!! video

(taken from www.thefuntheory.com)

Now, THAT'S what I'm talkin' about!!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
And here's one more site that I've seriously had bookmarked for YEARS!!! And seriously visit rather regularly... every couple months or so. It may seem weird and possibly unnecessary, but for me- there's nothing that can compare to hearing a child laugh until they can't breath!!!!!!!
MY FAVORITE SOUND E V E R !
It replenishes my soul instantly!

November 11, 2009

It's A Bird! It's A Plane! It's DIAPER GEL!

THREE POSTS IN ONE DAY!!!!! Too much!!!! I had to share this though P R O N T O! My Uncle Jim commented on my last post... Heavy Huggies. He told me of some fascinating related information. I'm going to quote from his email referencing our diaper experience, "Yes, the absorbent gel that they contain is amazing. As an aside, they are currently experimenting with spraying a... form of this foam over homes in forest fire areas and then wetting them down with water. The gel holds the large quantity of water and protects the house from catching fire. Clean up is not too bad either." WHAT?!?!! Craig, my personal skeptic, prompted me to do some googling. So here... an article I found on this topic, "The federal government will begin field testing the gel by dropping it out of planes, probably onto forest fires in Utah, Nevada and California, said Merrill Saleen, a chemicals program manager at the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

The gel, made with a super-absorbent polymer, soaks up water and stores it in several layers of tiny bubbles. When heated by fire, the gel is boiled away one layer at a time, protecting the surface below from extreme heat for long periods.

After a fire, it washes away with water and is biodegradable.

The gel was originally developed after a firefighter in Florida, John Bartlett, noticed that disposable diapers didn't burn during fires. He discovered that the absorbent powder used in those diapers could be converted to a gel that, when mixed with water, could be sprayed on houses and foliage, Fredley said.

In his living room last week, Fredley mixed water with a quarter-size blob of the Barricade gel -- which looks like milky-colored, translucent shampoo -- spread it on his hand and blasted his palm and fingers with a propane torch. His skin was undamaged.

Saleen said the gel won't replace the retardants currently dropped from planes because it doesn't halt fires for as long as traditional retardants. It's about the same price as other fire retardants, he said.

But it's valuable to firefighters because it's mixed with water using a 1-to-99 ratio, meaning little gel is needed to fight a large fire. Other fire retardants are mixed in a 1-to-4 or 1-to-5 ratio, Saleen said. That makes Barricade more portable, allowing firefighters to transport it closer to a fire quickly, Saleen said" - taken from http://www.firefightingnews.com/article.cfm?articleID=13801

Don't you feel a little bit smarter now after reading this? ha ha

Thanks, Uncle Jim!

Heavy Huggies

Hilarious!
Today, I pulled laundry from the washing machine and found that a CLEAN (it's NOT GROSS) pull-up diaper that had slipped in along with our clothes. I was astounded to find out just exactly how much these suckers would hold!!! I weighed it and it weighed just around 3 pounds!!!! Can you believe that?
That's almost 15% of Lydia's body weight!
Calculate that for yourself! What if you carried 15% of your body weight around IN YOUR BRITCHES!!!!!!!!!! I was cracking up SO MUCH about it, that I decided to share some photos comparing a fresh new one and one that is SOAKED TO THE MAX.
FUNNY STUFF!
Plus... Luke never experimented this way, but we might have some trouble with Lydia's curiosity. She stuck Captain Hook's sword up her nose this morning. At least it wasn't Peter Pan's knife which is a third of length. That would have been a whole different problem. I doubt in that circumstance I would have told her to FREEZE so I could... grab the camera. ... or maybe I would! hee hee

Our Favorite Place

of LIBERTY TOWNSHIP rated CINCINNATI'S #1 GYMNASTICS FACILITY for 2009 by Cincinnati Family Magazine. WOO HOO Just about OUR favorite place to go... EVER! We never leave without a giant smile and I - as a mother - an overflowing feeling of satisfaction and pride! This is where Luke has been involved in karate for nearly a year. Week after week, we watch as the instructors teach him chops and kicks along with gymnastic skills, sports skills, and always always always through the most exciting and typically entertaining (for the parent audience) techniques a child (and parent) can only dream of experiencing. Each week... lots of praises, high fives, hugs and plenty of laughter! So for Luke's 5th birthday last month, we couldn't think of a better place to celebrate but The Little Gym. Ms. Jenna and Mr. Josh were the perfect team to create a remarkably memorable party! Mr. Josh "SLAMMING THE CHEESE" Each guest took a turn at this. Even I gave it a try. Surprised?!?! probably not, right? WHAT A HOOT! I can't say enough about this city's best kept secret! I hope if it's appropriate for your family, that you can check it out. They offer free trial classes and have a terrific reward program! I obviously have EVERYTHING great to say about it!!! This is my shameless plug!!! PS Thank You to TLG Staff!!!! and Thank You to my sister, Trisha, for her excellent photography skills and willingness to share!

November 9, 2009

Enjoyin' The Ride

Well... I've had trouble taking my own advice lately.
I must admit. I've had too definitely
"look harder" this past week.
(see my last blog)
Last week on Wednesday, my day started as normal... had a great day starting with school work for both Luke and Lydia... and then babysitting for the dear family I've spent over 2 years caring for. Then I stopped by my sister's to drop off some silver that belonged to our grandparents, gave some hugs and on our way. I just wanted to stop by the bank and get some milk before heading home for dinner and CRASH! I smashed my car!
Let the drama begin.
It took a few days of hanging my head in shame... well not really, because my neck was sore, but I then decided I was going to make my days happy again.
No sense in moping around, right?
It started with a hug. A LONG embrace with the man I love. Then it turned into our family members taking turns listing 10 things we were grateful for. Even Lydia joined in! She's happy for her baby dolls, and her DADDY! among other things. I let her and Luke come up with their own list. It was remarkable to see their little hearts announcing with pride what they love.
So then the weekend rolled in. Sunday we attended with my father-in-law a memorial service sponsored by Hospice of Cincinnati in honor of my mother in law. It was lovely and Craig and I agree that it's nice to have a designated time to pause and just remember. It hurts to remember sometimes, so it's often easier to just stay busy and not make time to feel sad. We were reminded that it's healing though in a way to have those emotions surface!
So now today even still without a car, my days are back to some normalcy. We started our day with some more school work and then our fun friends Christy and Lily visited.
Life is moving on, and so am I. It's so cliche', but I love the description of life as a roller coaster. It really is... and if it means you have to have the DOWNS to appreciate the UPS, then I'll take them all!!!!
Lastly, a quote I borrowed from a wise (and happy) gal:
The happiest people don't have everything;
they make the best of everything.

November 4, 2009

Look Harder!

Forgive me... I'm going to sin! I'm STEALING from a friend. Well okay, not really. It's not stealing if you asked permission to borrow, right? A friend of mine does some mighty fine blogging, and she just included a wonderful, wonderful blip that I want to share.
"Happy is all around us - sometimes we just have to look for it....
God? I just want to give You a shout out for providing the little things."
LOVE IT! Thank you, Christi!

November 2, 2009

Blast From The Past

Today was a total
BLAST FROM THE PAST
- - -
and not just for ME!
My friend, Christy, and I went to West Park Retirement Home and put on a musical show for the residents. We had done this a handful of times when we were much younger and had much more free time, but it's been awhile!
Christy's great aunt Gene and my dear aunt Mary were both present, which was an especially wonderful treat for us.
We chose songs that are decades old and for more than half of the performance, we had a whole room of lovely people singing along and tapping their elderly toes.
It blessed me beyond words!
I was reminded about how remarkable it can feel to be selfless.
I want to work harder at that!