Thursday, December 31, 2009

Optimus Prime Speaks To My Heart

We celebrated Joe yesterday with homemade mac and cheese and rootbeer floats.  His favorites!  We also watched Transformers 2 because Joe was a  HUGE Transformers fan. 

The last line of the movie seemed to come right from Joe.  A victorious Optimus Prime says,

"I am Optimus Prime, and I send this message so that our past will always be remembered. For in those memories, we live on." 

Pretty cool.

Hoping everyone in blogland is having a safe and happy New Year's Eve!

Happy New Year! 

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I Can Only Imagine . . .

Happy Birthday to Joe.  Happy Birthday to me.

I don't celebrate today for the reasons I shared last year with my post on the parallel of birthmother grief.  

In that post I was able to put my emotions into words--rare.   I'm beginning to think Joe would want me to celebrate OUR day.  But I can't.  Not yet.  Maybe never.

Today, I just think about him, the incredible day he was born, and the 21 birthdays that followed. 

Today, I try to imagine the day we will celebrate together again--forever. 

I Can Only Imagine:

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I love Kathy . . . and Kathy . . . and Kathy . . .

It's snowing here--very unexpectedly!

I decided to use my new little Santa mug from my friend Kathy before my children found it and claimed it as their own!  And of course, I needed a snack to go with it :-)

Here's what's funny.  The cranberry bars are also from a friend Kathy and the Chex Mix is from another dear Kathy friend.  One of my best friends from high school is named Kathy and our social worker too!  And I have a few more friends named Kathy (or Kathie or Cathy or Kathi) and they are all wonderful women!

I think being named Kathy must just make a person naturally nice!

I love all my Kathys!!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Motivational Question

When I left you last I was preparing for a pj day--a coffee, computer, chocolate poisoning day.  A day lacking any and all motivation. 

Sometimes, those days are great.  Like all mothers, mine are few and far between.  Just having a day where I am home all day is RARE.

But soon after logging off I asked myself a question that has helped me more times than I can count.

Am I going to feel better or worse at the end of the day if I go with my current plan?

I originally learned to ask myself this question from a friend who struggled with depression.  She said that on days where she just couldn't get motivated to do anything, couldn't exercise, couldn't get past what she felt like doing (nothing) into what she needed to be doing (fill in the blank), she would think about how she would feel at the end of the day if she gave into her whims.   

Now again, sometimes there is nothing I need more than a pj day.  By taking one, I feel better at the end of the day.

But yesterday?  Our house was still in Christmas tornado-mode.  I had a weeks' worth of laundry from our trip and hadn't yet unpacked.  I had already sugar poisoned myself to the point of gluttony.

When I asked myself the important question, I knew I would feel worse at the end of the day by going into slug-mode.

So, I got dressed, took the kids up to the local school, played basketball and four-square and walked the loop several times.  I did three loads of laundry (while Patrick read to me assuaging my guilt over him not reading for the past week), ordered my books for the new term, then ate and served easy meals heavy on fruits and veggies.

I still spent plenty of time on my new baby, read several chapters in my current read (The Map of Love), and had a BIG piece of cheesecake with coffee.

And at the end of the day, I felt great!  I was glad I asked the question

And now, a few more pictures from the holidays:

Every child got a new pair of shoes the day before our trip--we are very thankful to a dear friend for a pass to the Nike Employee Store!

Creating gingerbread men at my sister's cabin.  Notice the tree in the background.  It was 24 feet tall!

This picture was taken just before they hit me!

Yes, Vu is sledding with a broken arm.  Our doctor said it was okay!

The cousins have a tradition of playing "spa" when they get together.  First, it was only our girls, but now the boys get in on it too.  Here is Paul getting an avacado mask.  There were no cucumbers for the eyes so potato slices were substituted.  He's going to hate this picture someday. 

Toothbrushes are always part of the Santa loot:

Hannah Montana?  Or Taylor Swift?  Pass the earplugs please!

I'm hoping that "Cooking Mama" will become a real life "Cooking Kim!"

The photo we used for our Christmas cards--that we have not yet mailed--more motivation needed!

Hope you are all enjoying your Christmas holiday!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The New Love Of My Life

While Vu might not trust Santa, I personally find him amazing!

Did you hear singing Christmas morning?

That was me, opening my new laptop!  So exciting!  Not only because I love the idea of being able to blog anytime, anywhere, but also because I still have two+ more years of school for my MSW.  Sharing one desktop with all my children definitely had its downfalls--especially on nights when several of us had papers due the next day!!!

Santa rocks! 

I even became a real member of society today when I joined Facebook!

True confessions.  Right now, at this very moment, I am BLOGGING IN BED (yes, I know, it is noon!) 

I am also working--catching up on all my blogger friends!  If you are doing the same you might enjoy checking out all the guest posts at a Bushel and a Peck.  Lisa is one of my favorite bloggers and it is fun to meet others on her blog.  I will be doing a guest post over there in January.

I have greater inspirations planned for today--watch movies, drink coffee, continue with the sugar poisoning, serve leftovers, read.

Looks like another pj day!

I might even finish my Christmas cards, just for the sense of accomplishment.

First, I need to go entertain all my new friends on Facebook!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Apparently, Santa Can't Be Trusted!

After going to bed at 2 am and waking at 6 I had very little sleep--but what needed to get done--got done!
Headed out for some shopping yesterday.  Wow!  I never realized how many unorganized procrastinators there are in this world!  I felt a sense of ONENESS!!  (Closeness for sure!)  Craziness for Shizel!!! 

The Christmas Elf did arrive:

This child DID get his number one request: mechanical pencils--and more! 

He did NOT get his request for his two front teeth:

Lots of Christmas smiles:

Vu nearly had a breakdown Christmas Eve.  He was quite distraught and worried that Santa would not bring him what he wanted--a Bakugan toy.  He was worried he hadn't been "good enough" (an idea I've never pushed!).  I assured him that nobody is perfect and he has the sweetest heart ever--that's what counts. 

All the other kids were finally in bed but Vu was still tight with worry because he had asked me to buy the big Bakugan toy (not Santa) but he had fingered all the gifts and knew it wasn't there.  And all the presents were wrapped.  I assured him Santa would bring the toy!

He had only asked Santa for a pack of gum because apparently, he was going to leave the toy buying to mom and dad.  We were much more trustworthy than Santa.  Santa might not come through but he was sure we would!

In my mind I was thinking Santa would be the perfect one to deliver the goods.  After all--what if Vu only had his stocking filled by Santa while all the other kids received their biggest gift from him?  How would Vu feel then?

Finally at midnight, I could take it no longer.  I could tell he was on the verge of a REAL breakdown.  He didn't trust Santa.

He trusted me.

I went into Santa's closet, wrapped a very special toy, brought it down to Vu and let him touch it and feel it and poke it and KNOW that indeed, the goods had been secured.

He smiled.

I smiled.

He took a deep breath, went into bed and fell asleep with a smile on his face.

And he didn't care at all that Santa only filled his stocking.

Because Mommy and Daddy gave him the Bakugan.

Trust.  It's a wonderful thing. 

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The True Meaning of Christmas

If my calendar is right, it's now Dec 24.

I should be all ready, right?  Santa's sleigh all packed?

Weeelllll . . .  we spent the last several days at my sister's remote cabin.  No chance to shop--unless of course you can find what you need at the local convenience store/liquor shop.  We had a BLAST!!!

We came home late last night.  I still have things I need to do.  Things to buy.  Christmas dinner to figure out.  And cook.  Christmas cards to mail. 

I should be stressed.  I'm not. 

I don't know if it's the loss of a child or the maturing of self--probably a combination--but I think I'm finally learning the true meaning of Christmas. 

What gets done will get done and what doesn't really wasn't important in the first place. 

Relationships are the true gifts. We must remember the gifts we have been given and to enjoy them to the fullest while we have them here on this earth.

Merry Christmas to all  . . .

and to all . . . a good night.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Stalking Santa--A Re-Run

Are you the type you likes TV re-runs?  Do you ever read a book twice? 

I have no time to blog so I will entertain you with a repeat of the post when Vu met Santa--a story we love to re-tell around here.

Christmas 2008-------

'Twas The Week Before Christmas . . .

We've been snowed in all week and I was beginning to wonder if we would make it to see Santa. Vu has never seen Santa. Vu really wanted to see Santa. Mommy really wanted Vu to see Santa.

The skies cleared so we sprang to our sleigh, to our team gave a whistle, and took off as dry leaves before hurricanes fly, through hail and lightening and a blizzard.

This means there was a tiny bit of snow still on the road.

Our actual destination was a party on the other side of town. We hadn't planned on going to the mall but since we had two minutes to spare I talked Eric into stopping--promising it would be more rapid than eagles on coursers could fly with the down of a thistle stuck in his eye!

We looked for the man with the nose like a cherry and belly that shook when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly--found plenty--but none dressed in red fur from his head to his foot. We looked. And looked. Up one side and down the other playing "Where's Waldo" with Santa, six kids in tow, a man trying to pretend he wasn't with me--a crazy vixen with a STALKER look!

The kids were tired, the kids were hungry with visions of McDonald's dancing in their heads. . . So hungry. How hungry?

Me to Patrick: "Patrick, quit picking your nose!"
Patrick: "But I'm hungry!"


FINALLY, we find the jolly old elf, tucked away by the chimney, obviously HIDING from children!

Just then a sign goes up saying he's going on a one hour break. An hour!!! What kind of Santa leaves his post for AN HOUR just days before Christmas? I look over at Vu. He looks very disappointed. He looks like he is going to cry! Santa cannot leave!

I dasher, dancer and prancer after him yelling in front of the whole crowd, "Santa, Santa! Please! We need to see you! Pleeeeease! We can't wait an hour because I have a husband who is going to divorce me if we spend five more minutes in this peddler-packed-forsaken mall!"

He looks over his shoulder, sees desperation on my face and pauses. I think I've got him . . . oh but then, that "I've-been-peed-on-one-too-many-times-today-look returns and I realize I'm losing him--he is NOT going to stop--he is leaving so lively and quick I know in a moment it's the REAL St. Nick!

I consider doing something drastic--how can I get his attention in a flash??

Tear open my shutters and throw off my sash? Or MOON him giving a lustre of mid-day to objects below!

That might get me arrested!

Desperate times call for desperate measures! I take the reindeer by the horns and use every ounce of sugarplum I have, creating a clatter. "Santa PLEASE! My little boy has NEVER seen Santa in his whole, entire life!!!! He grew up cold and tired and hungry in a far away orphanage dreaming for six years of the day he could finally meet you!!! Please Santa, please??"

By this time a crowd has gathered to see what was the matter. Was this the REAL Santa? Did Santa have a heart? Would he stop in his tracks like a moose after a long winter nap?


Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

November 47--Still In Denial That Christmas Is Coming

Okay, so it's pretty obvious I have been having way too much fun with my time off!  Too much time to blog?  What's up with that?  Do you think it's because I have been doing all my Christmas preparations?  Isn't it still NOVEMBER??

Are all my gifts purchased, wrapped, mailed, and given?  Then why does the tree still lack ANY presents??

Have I been playing St. Nick?

Technically yes, but even HE arrived one day late (we celebrate St. Nicholas Day after our years of living in Germany).  Luckily, the little kids didn't even notice!  Oh, and note to self and all of you--those sticky hands might LOOK like fun and they were BUT we had about fourteen eye injuries in fourteen seconds.  Go with the mini versions.

Have I been decorating my house beautifully?  Well, ummm...I think I am truly getting OLD.  When I look at those boxes of decorations and I know it is only days until Christmas (YES!  OKAY!  I admit it!!!--DAYS)it seems like it would just be a lot of work to get them all out only to have to take them back down.  OLD I tell ya!

No picture--no decorated house

Did I finally find purple candles and get rid of the ghetto wreath?  No purple candles!  So I have a joke for you.  Question:  Why are there no purple candles in the stores?  Answer:  I don't know, you tell me!  I settled for white and then tried to get a picture as beautiful as the one I stole from Bushel's.  Not sure if I got it quite right:

We did make Christmas cookies.  And in case you are a lucky recipient, don't worry about spit germs.  I make sure my kids never lick their fingers while decorating.  Promise!

And we did start to hang Christmas lights tho with results similar to this:

Clark is remarkably like someone I know!

Regardless, the children are nestled all snug in their beds

and the stockings are hung by the chimney with care
in hopes that Santa Claus soon will be here!

I can now officially go into panic mode!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Come Party With Me!

It's time to party!  Finished my last term paper at 1 am this morning and presented it at 10!  I'm a free woman for the next three weeks! 


It's time to celebrate so . . .

Everyone stand up!

Yes, YOU!!!

Stand up and cheer!

Then move it, move it, move it!  I'll help you!

Just push the arrow.

And in case you don't recognize me, I'm the one with the pineapple feather hat and the ringed tail.

Let me know which one you are!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Being Proactive

In the last 36 hours we've had two calamities.

#1--Broken Toe

(kitchen stool fell on toe)

#2 --Broken Arm

(fell off loft ladder)

Supposedly, things come in 3's . . .

so I've decided to be proactive. 

Here's Patrick on his way to school this morning with some bubblewrap to keep him extra safe:

Here's Paul--bubble wrap AND extra seatbelts

Kim wasn't leaving without some bubble wrap too:

I even got the ATM covered pretty well:

Have you ever had to call your doctor TWICE in the same day for TWO different kids with TWO different broken bones???  If I have CPS knocking on my door tomorrow I'll know why!

I sure hope they have computer access in jail!