to your mother


Friday, December 31, 2010

Let's Back Up A Bit

Joe started preschool soon after we moved.  He attends Tuesday and Thursday mornings and seems to enjoy it but what he thinks about it doesn't matter,  this mama LOVES IT.  Before the holidays, Joe came home with a gift for me.  He wanted to open it in the school parking lot but I was able to hold him off until we got home.  He kept repeating in a small, sweet voice "Mama, my made this presssnt for YOU.  It's for YOU.  My will open it for YOU." 

He was so excited,

so proud

and even made this face when I asked him to "show me some teeth".

Joe actually needed help with the tape, so we got to open the present together.  Alas, it was a "hand-made" Christmas tree.  I teared up.  Joe reenacted pressing his painted hand onto the burlap, telling me it was messy but okay because it washes off.

Joe had already scoped out where he wanted to hang this precious present,

and gave me a thumbs up to ensure he felt successful.
The beloved burlap tapestry has since hung on the wall, doorknob and is now hanging in the playroom "up high, we no want JULIE to get it".

Hope you have found some peaceful moments and good health this holiday season.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pictures of a New Home

We have pleasantly settled into our new home...truly a blessing to be living here.

Mom and Dad came for lunch this week...Mom and Julie were wondering what was going on under Mom's chair...

and found it funny to find Joe there. "My working on Gran-ma's chair!"

Dad entertained Julie, or was it Julie entertaining Dad?

It's cold out here in the country, ya know, but the digging must still be done!

Sunrise over the barn...

peaceful, happy...this is livin'. Come anytime you like.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bought the Farm

Lots for which to be thankful.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Recipe For A No-Stress Thanksgiving Meal

For this meal you must start a little in advance...there are no pictures, this gets a little messy.

4 days before the meal:

  • have a state trooper seize the tags off your van, leaving you and your two wee ones stranded on the side of Route 70 to wait until your husband can come pick you up

  • spend four hours at the MVA to clear up the miscommunication mess between your insurance company and the DMV, pay no fines, get new tags

  • call your lawyer uncle to find out that the charges for the ticket issued you for driving an uninsured vehicle can lead to a suspended license for a year or possibly a year in jail

  • make a list of stuff to take care of to insure that you don't go to jail after the court date.

  • love yourself, love your family

3 days before the meal:

  • chip your front tooth while assisting your three year old son with dressing for the day

  • cut lip on chipped tooth

  • have husband come home from work at lunchtime to inform you that his back is "out", meaning that he is unable to function while standing or sitting
  • after putting the kids to bed, go grocery shopping for the Thanksgiving meal that you will provide at your parents' house in 3 days
  • put all frozen stuff to transport to your parents' house in a pile in the freezer, put cold stuff in a bag in the refrigerator, put non-perishables in a bag and leave on the counter, make a list of other things that need to be added before leaving the house
  • love yourself, love your family

2 days before the meal,

  • your list of things to do today is to survive by loving yourself and loving your family
  • put off dealing with the possibility of going to jail until next week...the court date hasn't been set yet and there are bigger turkeys to roast at this point
  • get news that the loan for your home purchase has been approved
  • discover that closing will be in 5 days and movers will move you in 7 days
  • continue to pack up your house, one box at a time
  • love yourself, love your family

1 day before the meal,

  • make spinach dip (it's always good the day after)
  • pack some boxes, one box at a time
  • don't think, just do
  • love yourself, love your family

Morning of the meal,

  • have your husband with the wacked back watch the kids from his recliner as you sleep in until 7:30 a.m.
  • get yourself and two children ready for the day
  • consult list of stuff to take to your parents' house
  • discover turkey has leaked toxic turkey juice all over the fridge (see 3 days before list)
  • forget about the aforementioned list of stuff to take
  • repack cold stuff in a clean bag, double bag the turkey in plastic, leave the toxic mess for later
  • herd children and bags of food to the van
  • forget to bring the milk cause that was on the forgotten list
  • leave the front door unlocked in case your loving, debilitated husband needs to call 911 while you are gone
  • drive 2 hours to parents' house

Arrive at parents house,

  • the prepping, cooking, and other such follies of this Thanksgiving meal don't really matter after everything else you have dealt with before today
  • feel blessed that you have family with which to share time
  • remember for what you are thankful
  • love yourself, love your family

Friday, November 19, 2010

Was It Really a Month Ago?

Anyway, SAIC was proudly part of a walk for breast cancer and we as a family decided to participate. We were there for the hoop-la, the donuts, the coffee, the doughnuts, the free hats and the kids enjoyed the doughnuts. We bravely stood on the hill to get our picture taken with the hundreds of other SAIC employees to document such a wonderful, team building event. The kids even sat still long enough for us to get a rare family picture...
Then we lined up with about a million others who had gathered in downtown Baltimore to walk the closed streets for an important purpose. It took a little bit for the line to start moving...meanwhile, in this crowd of jovial, upbeat, doughnut-filled walkers, the screaming began. I won't go into details, but it wasn't pretty and we couldn't roll our eyes and scoff cause it was our own children. I looked at Mike, he looked at me, I suggested ending our walk directly across the street where we had parked the van, Joe saw the playground behind us and our decision was made.

This one goes out to anyone and everyone whose lives have been touch by breast cancer or any sort of cancer for that matter...we played for YOU.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Snacking At Mom's

During a visit to Mom and Dad's a couple weeks ago, I was helping Mom change the sheets on her bed. Julie, left to her own devices, climbed onto the kitchen table, pulled the plastic bag of Cheerios from it's box, dragged the bag into Mom's room, climbed into a chair and proceeded to eat her snack while watching me work. Not to be out done, Joe joined in and a good time was had.

Joe kept pretending to bite Julie's face.

She didn't find it funny...

but Mom sure did.

Now Dad knows our secret of what happened while he was out at Wal-Mart...well, at least part of the story. At least this will explain the Cheerios in his laundry pile.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Buying the Farm

or at least 2.5 acres...settlement should be sometime this month. The house is a mile from where I grew up...welcome home!


Monday, October 18, 2010

The Quilt

We had a great visit yesterday at Mom and Dad's. We took some soup and spicy shrimp to share, Mike hung a lower bar in Mom's closet so she can reach her hanging clothes (how long since the stroke? That's a long time to be throwing your clothes on the floor), and we just overall listened to two under the age of three yell, scream and shriek and watched Dad climb the stairs for his "time out" from it all.

Mom, ever the avid sewer, is on the verge of completing her second quilt since the stroke. A dear friend Jean has been assisting Mom with maneuvering the mammoth project and supervising to make sure that all the squares line up. Mom seems to have enjoyed the process. Sorry to all you quilt-admirers...Mom claims she is keeping this one for her own bed...finally a quilt she will keep!

On another note, Dad made me aware that Mom has been perusing this blog. I must remember this as I muse about my adventures with the lady...I would hate for her to disapprove of my language or other such important things.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mom Called Me This A.M.

At 8:34 this morning Mom called me. Usually when she calls this early, it means she needs me to figure out what thought is trapped in her head by playing a game of 20 questions (read: 1,000 questions) that lasts an hour (read: however long we can stand it).

Today was a trying game of "guess-what-my-thoughts-are-by-asking-me-questions-and-I'll-reply-yes-or-no-with-different-inflections-in-my-voice". I was close to tears three times.

The first tear session was after awhile when Mom had desperation in her voice, becoming frustrated because I was way off track. In the background, Julie was screaming bloody-you-took-my-toy and Joe was screaming nanny-nanny back. I went downstairs to hide in the laundry room.

After more questions, more frustration and a cry of exasperation from Mom, the kids found me huddled in the laundry room and continues their scream-fest 2010. Enter into tear-session #2. After a deep breath, I loured the screaming meanies into the family room with some Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and locked myself into the extra bedroom.

After regrouping with repeating what I had figured out so far, Mom wanted me to call someone, someone who was not in her address book, someone whose phone number I could not look up and she wanted me to call today, I remembered that during our last visit she had asked me to order her a ring from a catalog. I finally figured out how to size her finger and had planned to measure her the next time we were up. I asked "Is this about your ring?" "YYYYYEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSS!" was the woman's exclamation. Tear-session #3 commenced along with lots of laughter. As the laughing quieted, I could see little lips beneath the locked door and a little voice saying "Mama? My come in now?" That made Mom laugh even more.

It's amazing how connected Mom and I can be. It may take us 25 minutes to get there, but we don't give up on each other. I encourage her, she encourages me and usually we can figure out what is trapped in her brain. I don't wish this situation upon anyone...ANYONE...but what a blessing I can pick up the phone and hear Mom's voice on the other end of the line with her sweet"LO?"

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


it's all good and sometimes...

not so much.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Quote From Joe

"Dad-e, dose not jams!"

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Return of the Stomp Rocket

While visiting Mom and Dad a few weeks ago, we got out the stomp rocket for a little fun.

Mom was in awe of Joe's grace and skill for stomping the rocket.

She stomped her good foot and watched with delight as that sucker soared.

Dad stomped the rocket with pizazz and finesse, using his secret-side-step-technique.
You know, it's not a party till the stomp rocket comes out.

Friday, October 8, 2010

What Tee-Ball Has Taught This Mama

Don't worry.

He will listen.

Just stand back and close your mouth.

He can get himself together all on his own.

Three years old is not too young.

He can be a part of a team.

This one goes out to Coach Barry for allowing me to close my mouth and be a good Mama!