Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Just call me Little Miss Sunshine...

My blogging buddy Joe over at The Cranky Old Man gave my blog an award...the SUNSHINE award...he says because I "truly fit the name of this award" -- and so I'm thinking me? a sunshiny-type of person?  Eh, I don't know about that...but hey, who am I to argue with a cranky old man?  I've been taught to respect my elders, so if Cranky says I'm a little piece of sunshine, then I must be!
Thanks, Joe!  Err - I mean Cranky.  

Seriously, the guy isn't so much cranky as he is funny.  The blog should be called Funny Old Man.  But he sees himself as cranky so who am I to argue?  It's the whole respecting my elders thing again.  

Okay, so now I'm supposed to answer a few questions.  This is part of the award and I just can't get out of it.  So here goes:


 I love cats.  I can't have cats due to my husband being allergic.  But I've always had cats growing up, and I really do miss having one.  Dogs are great, too, just more work.  And I like easy.

FAVORITE NUMBER:  14-- my birthday day.  

FAVORITE DRINK: If we are talking sodas, I like Sprite.  If we are talking alcohol, I like red wines.  If we are talking every day consumption, I love water but HATE Arrowhead bottled water.  Tastes like pool water to me.  

FACEBOOK or TWITTER?   Ugh, Twitter...what IS that all about, anyway?  Seriously NOT a fan of Twitter.  I like Facebook and I'm starting to really LOVE Instagram!!  

  I'm passionate about being a mom and a wife.  It's all I've ever really wanted to "be" when I grew up! 
GIVING or GETTING PRESENTS:  I really DO enjoy giving much better.  I love making people happy.

 Definitely Mother's Day.  It's like my only payday of the year -- and I don't mean in gifts.  It's where my "job" is acknowledged and appreciated the most.  The day is set aside for just that, so I consider it my payday.

 I grew up with roses surrounding my I'd have to say roses are my favorite flower.  White, especially.

So now I'm supposed to choose a blog that I think deserves this award.  This is hard because there are SO MANY wonderful blogs that I love reading...

But I'm going to have to go with Erin's blog at The Sunny Side Up -- her blog's name says it all.  Her posts are uplifting and cheery. I find that I need my daily dose of Erin each day.  Plus, she's one super organized mama!  I get a lot of ideas from her blog.  

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I hate this date

February 17th is an icky, icky day for me.  Each year when it comes around, I get a sort of knot in my stomach, anticipating that something bad's going to happen.  When this date rolls around each year, I have a hard time saying "yes"  when my kids want to go someplace without me.

"Can I ride my bike outside?"
"Today I got invited to go to the beach...can I go?"
"I'm going to the mall today with my friends, okay?"

No, no, no.  Just please stay home with me on this day, so that I can watch you and be with you.  So that I can feel safe and at peace.

But of course I don't live that way.   I say yes.  I let them go because it's the right thing to do.  I can't force them live to according to my anxieties on this day.  So on this day, I smile and send them off...and I fight the fear.

I try very hard on this day to not remember. I try not to think about it.  But it's impossible.  It's impossible not to watch the clock for the four o'clock hour to arrive.  It's impossible not to think all the "at this time" thoughts as each hour of this day ticks by, and I relive it all.  I try every year not to do this,  but each year I fail.

It's been sixteen years since that awful day.  It sounds so long ago.  Sixteen years!  She's 20 years old now.  So long ago but yet still so fresh in my mind.  Especially on this day.

My little Aria is four years old.  She is at The Age. -- every time one of my kids turns four years old I live in a sort of Year of Fear.  I know it sounds silly, but for me the sweet age of four will always make me a bit nervous. Because I remember.  I remember when one of my four year old's life was interrupted and changed in an instant.  I remember the trauma of that day.  The helplessness and the fear.  The loss.   I remember her fourth year being a year of complete sadness for me.  I remember wishing she could have that 4th year to do all over again.  Better yet, a do-over of February 17th, 1997.  What would I do differently if I had that day to do over?  

February 17th.  Blah.  This day on the calendar always brings me down. Maybe someday something wonderful will happen on this day and I will then think about it differently. I hope so.  Maybe one of my future grandchildren will be born on this day or one of my children will get married on this day ~ something to make this day a celebration.  But until something like that happens, this is a date on the calendar that I despise.

So I'm thinking all these thoughts on this date this year - my normal February 17th gloomy thoughts - and then I read this update on my 20 year old's Facebook page:

Sixteen years ago ... 

My life changed for the better ... having a 2nd chance at life after getting into a really bad car accident ... my family wasn't ready to let go of me quite yet and because of them I am who I am today ♥ 
All my sport dreams have came true with my added on disability I played soccer Did Horse - Back - Riding Was a cheerleader Girl Scouts for THIRTEEN years ♥Life is perfect and it only gets better and better each day ♥ Eight siblings to love .. another brother on the way ♥

And after reading that, I thought Wow...she has an amazing attitude.  What's MY deal?  If she can celebrate this day as something positive, why can't I?

I learn lessons all the time from my kids but never as many lessons as I've learned from this one.  She always amazes me.  While it's true that on February 17th, 1997  we almost lost this precious girl, it is also true that we did not lose her -- which is what she chooses to focus on.  She even says her life changed for the better.  The better!  I don't think I could ever describe her brain injury as being "the better" part of her life, but somehow she sees it this way. I'm guessing that she's choosing to look at all her blessings instead of what she lost ~ the friendships she has made, all the siblings she has been given,  her activities and all she is able to do instead of what she isn't able to do.  Her outlook is truly inspiring to me, and again...she has taught me a lesson.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

I miss the mouse

So have you heard that I got a new laptop?  My first laptop!  Oh yeah, it's pretty nifty, that's for sure.  I really do love it.  But I have some concerns:

For one thing, I pretty much suck at navigating the arrow-thing around without a mouse!  Am I the only one who likes using a mouse better than my own finger when it comes to working a computer?  I know, I know: I can always plug a mouse into my laptop -- yeah, yeah, I know that.  But the thing is, I WANT to learn how to use only my finger. It's the laptop way!  So I guess it's just "practice makes perfect" ... right?  Or am I an old dog that cannot learn new tricks and I'll only frustrate myself trying?  Only time will tell.  For now I'm going to admit that I really miss the mouse!

You know what I love about having a laptop?  I can sit in my bed at night, with pillows all around me, as comfy as can be...and still be on the computer!  No more sitting in a stiff chair in the hallway.  This is GREAT.  Really.  Except...

Well, I have to healthy is it for the baby in my belly to have a laptop sitting on his head for an hour each night?  What about laptop radiation?  Has there been a study on this yet?  I really need to look that up.  I certainly don't want to harm my little guy.   So if anyone knows the answer to this, let me know ASAP.

This weekend is a 4-day weekend for us.  No school.  Very cool.  No schedules?  Hardly.  The kids still have sports and all that.  It's always busy around here, school or no school.

The other day I took Aria to the park, just her and I.  Here she is on the teeter totter.  And guess who was sitting on the other end of that teeter totter?  Yep, that would be me, pregnant belly and all.   While some of my older kids would think it's pretty funny, their pregnant mom on a teeter totter, Aria thought it was a completely natural thing for me to do.  She was like, " sit on the other end."  and I was like, "Okay, I'll do that."  And you know what?  It was fun!  I had forgotten how fun teeter totters were.

Sometimes you just gotta have fun no matter how ridiculous you look.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Mommy Valentine

Valentine's Day.
It's a day for lovers.
For husbands & wives.
For boyfriends and girl friends...

Says who??!!

I spent my Valentine's Day with little ones.  And it made me happy.

First it was with my little guy in his Kindergarten class.

 then off to a homeschool Valentine's Day party

And my preschooler's class did it up -- nothing but a bunch of pink and red everywhere!

And from there I was off to sporting events -- soccer practices and a baseball game.  That took us into the 7:00pm hour.   Then we got home and ate a later dinner.  And that's my Valentine's Day, folks.  Nothing to hoot about, really.  Just me and the kids, since the Rich works today.  But that's perfectly okay with me.  Married to a fire fighter, I am used to having to go it alone for many things: birthdays, Christmases, Halloweens, anniversaries.  But see, what I've come to know is that it really doesn't matter which day these events are celebrated.  Not as much as you think.  Well, Christmas is a big deal, but we celebrate birthdays a day ahead or a day behind, same with wedding anniversaries and Valentine's Day.  We just have to be flexible, our family, knowing that daddy has to earn a living and sometimes his job has him working on certain holidays and celebrations.  We are very used to it, and we are very good at adjusting.

Rich and I had our own special Valentine's celebration on Tuesday.  We went out to lunch together and we also went out to dinner together!  It's rare to do one of those, let alone two!  (the perks of having older kids who can babysit!)    We told each other no gifts, so I only made him a card.  And what did he do?  He went out and bought me the MacBook Pro laptop that I've been wanting for so long. No fair! I said. We said no gifts!  But he explained that I could really use one now since I'm  pregnant and would like to sit in bed on the a laptop instead of in the hallway at our computer (where our media niche is)  and while he does have a point there, I still couldn't feel good about it.  I mean, no gifts means NO GIFTS, right?  He also said that he wanted to get it for me so that when the baby comes and I'm "stuck" in bed for the few days afterwards, I could have a laptop to play on.  I pointed out that I'm not due until the end of May -- there was still plenty of time to get the laptop, like maybe as a Mother's Day gift.  But nothing I said could change his mind.  

And so I got a laptop for Valentine's Day.  From him.  And he got a homemade card.  From me.  

At first I felt pretty darn guilty about this.  But then I thought about it some more.

Laptop-smaptop...I'm growing him a child.  As far as gifts go, there's not much that can top that :)

Monday, February 11, 2013

our week in photos..and a few words

Well it's been another busy week.  What have we been up to?
We have been up to (our neck) with kids.  Like always.
And I love that.

Here's a bit from our week...

Aislynn has been enjoying her art lessons!  She drew this picture of our bunny and then used water colors to paint it.  Didn't she do a great job?  I think so!   Twice a month a home school art teacher comes to our house and gives Aislynn private lessons.  Avery and Alex did the same program back when they home schooled.  Art is so much fun!

Alex got new soccer cleats.  Yeah, this was a big deal.  The kid carried those things around for days before actually wearing them to practice.  He said he didn't want to get them dirty.  You know, the thing about being in a LARGE family is that you really cherish the NEW things that you get!   Even new soccer cleats.  Do you like the color?  Now I will have no problem finding Alex out on the field.

She folded these blankets all by herself.  And she was very proud of herself.  So I took a picture.

This little six year old of mine has been taking pictures with my good camera.  Yep, I'm trusting him with my Canon 60D.  (He wears the strap around his neck at all times!)  Anyway, he is so proud of the photos that he's been taking.  I think he's got talent!  He took some great shots of me and my big belly this week.  I'll be showing those photos in another post... coming soon!

One morning I woke up to find these two cuties snuggled up in my bed next to me.  We three stayed in bed a bit longer than usual because we were "cozy" so I got my phone and you guessed it -- I took a picture.  Memories, you know.  You just gotta snap them when you can!
At a soccer game this week, Andrew kept kissing my belly to say hello to his little brother.  So cute!

 Aislynn went with me to the health store in search of some supplements I needed ~ ugh this stuff...doesn't taste so good.

And finally we worked a bit in our garden plot.  It had really gotten overgrown during the winter months.  A bit neglected, even.  But since spring is coming soon, we though we'd better get it in shape again.  So we weeded and weeded and then pulled some more weeds.

Of course when I say "we"  I mean "them"  because I'm just not up to all that bending right now!

And Aria did her part.  She enjoyed pulling up the weeds.  
And that was a good thing, because there sure were a lot of them!