to your mother


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

There is much for which we can be thankful...most of all laughter.

Joe is ready to drive to Grandma and Grandpa Loyd's!
Hydration + movies + snacks = a happy Joe in the van

We, along with Paul, gathered at Mom and Dad's home today to celebrate Thanksgiving Loyd-style. Turkey (just the breast, who can eat all those leftovers? Dad only asked me twice if it had bones...yes it did), stuffing (Mom's recipe - lots-o-butter - yum), corn pudding (Mom's recipe - it separated but we squished it together on our plates and ate it anyway), cranberry jelly (the only thing from the "feast", as Joe called it, that Joe ate), gravy (no lumps and Dad went back for seconds - a winner), mashed potatoes (Paul peeled and cut those bad boys - thank you), and rolls (from the freezer section...inferior to Mom's but I'm too scared to try her recipe - I may try it out for Christmas). Oh, and who could forget the green bean casserole (did Campbell soup come up with that one? Everyone at the food store was buying up those ingredients). Oh, and layered pumpkin pie (with whipped cream cheese, alright? YUM! But I wouldn't know just how yummy cause I forgot to serve it and Paul reminded me of it as we were ready to walk out the door. I had already gotten Joe into the idea of giving hugs and high-fives so we could leave so there was no way we were going to stay...I think it was Paul's idea all along not to share it. After seeing Joe wolf-down that cranberry jelly, Uncle Paul may have been afraid that he wouldn't get more than a sliver from the sweet-tooth nephew.)

Okay, enough about food...things that made Mom laugh:

This is a dress that Mom made for Rachel years ago that has been passed on to Julie. Mom was thrilled to see Julie in the dress...then had a hearty laugh when she noticed it was on backwards (Mike dressed the wee one this a.m.)

I prepped some of the food at home and it traveled in diaper boxes, great for storing or moving anything...let me know if you need any...we've got lots to share.

Julie ate before we did. Mom likes it when Julie picks up a small morsel of food, attempts to place it in her mouth, then ends up sucking her thumb. Mom laughs even harder as I pull the thumb out saying "No thumbs when we eat"...then I get a big grin, then the thumb goes back in.

After a frenzy of food flying from pots and pans, into the oven, out of the oven, onto the counter (Dad likes buffet-style, then you don't have to pass anything...he's no dummy) and onto our plates, we relaxed to eat. YUM YUM SUPER YUM! Mom smiled. After many years of this food-frenzy holiday, Mom didn't have to cook.

It was a relaxing meal because Joe was watching a show. Thanksgivings to the Disney channel.

Paul cleaned up. Mom smiled. After how many years of clean-up, she didn't have to.

Mom relaxed after the yummy meal by stretching her tootsies and watching Joe attempt to fill her shoes (see the brace?). Note Mom's Christmas socks...she's still a crazy-sock-wearin' least this pair matches.

No one can fill Mom's shoes when it comes to putting a special meal on the table...but with some stained recipe cards and a lot of love, I beleive we came in a pretty close second.

Many blessing to you and yours this Thanksgiving! Take some time out from the feeding frenzy to appreciate the blessings in your life, no matter how small they may seem.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

This panic attack brought to you by The Mall in Columbia

Scene: Townhouse in Columbia where two newbies to the area live

Peggy "We need to get a nice picture of the kids."

Mike "Hey, lets go to the Mall on Sunday and take a picture of them on the carousel."

Peggy "Perfect!"

Scene changes to the parking lot at the Mall, Sunday afternoon

Peggy "Good golly, people are parking everywhere!"

Mike drives

Peggy "I think the carousel is near out for that kid!"

Pan to kid jumping over a statue and almost clamoring into the parking lot where Mike is driving.

Mike "Maybe we should come back on a week-night."

Peggy "Sounds good...look out for that car!"

Pan to a car, driving on the wrong side of the parking lot street and almost side-swiping our van.

Mike "I really need to pay attention to get out of here...where did we come in?"

Peggy "I don't know...let me look at the directions."

Needless to say, we came home to a nice dinner on the deck.

Be proud of who you are

We were getting ready to walk to the playground today (gorgeous 70 degree weather!) and Joe decided to wear a hat. How cute is that, right? (Halloween-costume-hat worn backwards...thanks Michele!) Well, real cute until we arrive a the playground only to receive stares from other parents as if to say "Who let you out of the house like that?" I almost encouraged Joe to take it off, then stopped myself. Shouldn't I be teaching my son to feel confident about the choices he makes, regardless of how others may judge him? As long as he is not hurting himself or others (physically, spiritually, socially) Joe should be able to don any hat he chooses and wear it with pride. I finally got a smile out of one mom, I smiled back, shrugging my shoulders and said "Just expressing some Independence" and she replied "Hey, I love your hat!" Props to that Mama at the playground who embraces thinking outside of the sandbox.
On the way home, Joe decide to walk his lawnmower (keeps him focused on the walking part of going for a walk) through a large, 1 inch puddle. How cute, right? And I'm such a great Mama, not yelling or anything, allowing my son to experience life, get a little wet. All fun and games until he decided to take a belly flop dive (I am not joking) face down into the puddle. Joe received many laughs, a couple of gasps and a comment from one couple..."Gosh, our daughter won't even put her feet down if the ground is dirty," as they showed us how she scrunches her legs like a frog to ensure her crisp pink shoes didn't touch the pavement. Joe actually understood that diving into the puddle meant we had to go home instead of see the ducks because little boys who are wet from head to toe have to head straight home. He didn't care and proudly pushed his mower home, squishing his shoes the whole way.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Speaking with my dear friend Don today, I explained that I feel lost, don't know if I want my life to be this way (my life is very blessed today, this is depression speaking) and on and on. Joe snuggled up next to me, wrapped his arms around my waist and said in his little Joe voice, "k"...patted my back then went off to knock over some if to say "You're okay Mama, now move on". Amazing how a higher power can speak to me through my child. (And I need to watch what I say around the little man, his comprehension is impressive!)

Off my butt

Okay, I have been documenting my family's experiences since Mom had a stroke just over three years ago. I write an incredibly long message, then email it to two different groups to get the word out about Mom's progress. When I first started, many people said I should start a blog. Being the archaic granny that I am (I'm now 38 but was an older 35 at the time...), I didn't want to delve into that unknown and the way I was doing it was just fine with me. Many more people have mentioned that I should write a book about our family experiences throughout Mom's recovery from the stroke. That scares the junk out of do I start? Then who do I give it to? Then who pays for what? Maybe Oprah will hear about our story and have Mom and I on the show to talk about our experience and help me publish a book. Well, nothing is going to happen until I get off my butt and do something. So I'm starting this blog to help get some juices flowing. It will include updates about Mom, but we may find that I'm writing more junk about my adventures with a 2 year old and 9 month old...all those stories make Mom laugh...we shall see.