Thursday, June 30, 2005

"A Load Has Been Lifted"

I've posted before about the very quotable movie, "As Good As It Gets." As I was thinking about what I am about to write, my brain snagged this line, and it fits what follows.

I am weary. My life, as far as these four walls and the four people living here, is fine. Other people in my life are not so fine. Things are falling apart, relationships are falling apart, people are falling apart. There is doubt, anger, heartbreak, stress, tears, more anger, sometimes rage. My biggest problem is that I seem to be carrying around anger and heartbreak, and there is nowhere to lay it down. There is nobody to yell at, nobody to blame. It's not my anger, and it's not my heartbreak, but I'm holding it all in. I just realized this today. I don't know how to get rid of it, don't know where to put it.

Then I checked the blogs. Now, I don't even know Scott, but I started reading his blog and his story is so moving to me that I started reading it often, and before I even knew it, I was praying for him and his wife. So today I read his post - The Post, actually - telling me that prayers have been answered, that God has mercifully and graciously brought three daughters to him and his wife, and I started to laugh and cry. And the anger and heartbreak that I had melted away. I don't even understand this - as I said, I don't even know Scott - but I am just so happy for these people, for these girls, and I feel like the balance in the world has shifted back to normal. "A load has been lifted." Some of the sadness is still there - all the problems in the various corners of my life certainly have not been resolved - but the anger and verge-of-tears heartbreak is gone. Blessings again, Scott. I'm so happy for you and your wife. I can't wait to meet your daughters.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Complete Sentences

Samuel has uttered his first complete sentence:
"I don't like it."
This has been coming with an outstretched hand, usually full of partially chewed food.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Sally lost her fourth tooth (second on the top) at church. We had pizza for a snack. Pizza is THE food to serve your kids that have very wiggly teeth. Her last tooth also came out while eating pizza. Posted by Hello

Bounce House Drama. Posted by Hello

Sally with some kids from our church - this is on VBS Celebration Sunday. Posted by Hello

Can you believe this is the best picture I could get of Samuel's forehead wound? He kept moving on me! (oh yes, he's TWO) It's healing very nicely. Posted by Hello

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Busy. We're always busy.

This has been VBS week at our church. It's been a full week. Sally went to VBS; Stuart worked the games at VBS, and I helped out here and there with VBS. It's filled us up and left us totally wiped out. Our church does VBS at night, from 6:30 - 8:45. This works great, as we get lots and lots of adult volunteers, and parents get five date nights in a row. Good for kids, good for parents. Yesterday, we had the appreciation luncheon for the crew, and today is VBS celebration Sunday, complete with bounce house and dunk tank (kids earned dunk tank tokens during the week and can dunk their favorite crew member) and more food. Food is a (good) theme with our church. After the hoopla, we'll all come home for a big nap. Nap = good.

Sally has been swimming up a storm, and she's getting so good! She can swim the length of the pool, and she can get the dive sticks from the bottom of the deep end! Having a friend that can swim better than you is a great help in learning to swim better. (Thanks, Sami!) I am very proud of Sally. Samuel's idea of swimming is to stand on the first step and throw pool toys in the water, or to squirt everyone with a squirt gun. He's turning out to be very easy to watch in the water - he's only in to his knees! His face is healing very nicely, too. We still can't tell if he will have a scar on his forehead.

Well, the font size continues to baffle me. It's set to "normal size" when I publish, but it is coming out "large", so enjoy the new look. I don't know when I'll ever get the old look back. And here's a question for the bloggers out there: how many posts/days do you put on your home page? Do you like a longer home page or a shorter one? Anyone?

Friday, June 24, 2005

SPF - Your Perfume

My perfume is anything Warm Vanilla Sugar from Bath & Body Works Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Blogs You Should Read

I've had fun bouncing around from blog to blog, based on recommendations from people I know, people who know people I know but who I don't know, and so on and so on. I must point out two new ones to you, because they've got me reading regularly.

dooce - I found this blog from Jaymarie, who passed along a very funny post about postpartum poop. Much of the blog is about poop, or constipation, and motherhood. She's darn funny. I always laugh out loud when I read this stuff. I wonder how much is really true, and how much is partly true but partly embellished to be more funny. Course, I don't care, cause it cracks me up.

PostSecret - ooh, this one is like reading other people's mail. Literally, it is reading other people's mail. People write their secrets on a postcard, mail it in, and they get posted on the blog. There's some good ones, some funny ones, some really really depressing ones. Be prepaired to spend more than five minutes - you'll get sucked right in.

Any recommendations for me? Two of my regular bloggers are taking a break, so I've got some time . . . .

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Happy Birthday, Samuel!

My boy is two today. It doesn't seem like two years have gone by, but, then again, it seems like he's been part of our family from the start. He is precious to me in many ways, from his little smiley face to his serious wrinkled forehead. When I look at Samuel, I remember my pregnancy, and how he almost didn't make it. I remember my moms, and how I almost didn't make it without them and without Stuart. I remember God, and how He went to great lengths to show us that He is in control, and that He loves us so very much.

I was about six weeks pregnant when the constant nausea hit, and about eight weeks when the vomiting started. My mom came to help me and to take care of Sally. She would buy me McDonalds happy meals (the only thing I really wanted to eat) and then not get mad when I'd throw them up. She stayed for two weeks, I think. Then Stu's mom came to help us. God knew that I needed her, because almost immediately after she arrived at our house, I started to bleed. A lot. I panicked; she was calm and told me what to do. We went to the doctor, trying to make small talk so that little three-year-old Sally wouldn't know what was happening. A doctor examined me and told me I was having a miscarriage, that I needed an ultrasound to see if a D&C should be ordered, that I had to wait until the next morning to do this. I was heartbroken, beyond grief, and still nauseous. We went home, Stu came home, and we fell apart together. We held each other and cried into the night. It was my darkest hour.

The next morning, we went to the ultrasound appointment, puke bucket in hand. I just wanted it to be over. When the technician said, "I see the baby", we held our breath. How can you say these words out loud: "Is it alive?" You just can't. Yet, the tone in her voice told us the baby was alive. So I said it. "Is the baby ok?" She said, "The heart is beating strong - your baby is alive." She left the room, and we burst into tears again. We hadn't even PRAYED for a miracle, we were afraid to even hope that this baby would be alive. We were floored. It was as if God had parted the clouds, bent down, and whispered to me, See, I have it all in control. I know things that you do not know, and I can keep this baby safe despite everything that you see. I am God. I have enough hope and faith even when you have none.

(Many people will read this story and think we had a terrible doctor. He wasn't my primary doctor, and I do think he was doing what he thought was right. All the signs did point to a miscarriage, however he did miss one major thing - I was still nauseous. Any woman who has had a miscarriage will tell you that the sickness goes away almost immediately. Unfortunately, I learned that later. But that's not the point.)

Some of you will think maybe I'm a bit nutty, hearing voices from God. Or maybe that I am naive, or I am trying to make the best of a bad situation. Think what you will, but I know this is true: God put us through that awful night to show me that He is in control and that He loves me, because I needed to know that very clearly to survive the next six months. I needed to hear Him clearly, and He had to get my whole attention. You see, in the following months, Stuart was in and out of the hospital with an illness that baffled the doctors and had him in constant pain. I'm sure it was his darkest hour. But through it all, I knew that God was in control, and that sustained me.

When Samuel was born, we both thought he would be a girl, and both of us were afraid that something would be wrong with this child. We didn't have any prenatal testing done, because we would not have aborted this baby. There was a little nagging doubt in the back of my mind, maybe the baby should have miscarried, maybe something was developing wrong . . . but he was perfect. He is perfect. Ten fingers, ten toes. I counted them over and over. He's our miracle baby.

And today he's two years old. Happy Birthday, Samuel! I love you!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Smile - it's your birthday! Posted by Hello

The party. Samuel looks like Gilligan in that whilte hat. Posted by Hello

My goofy kids, showing off the new bubbles for Samuel's birthday. (Notice the nice Patrick bandage on his head.) Posted by Hello

Samuel's SpongeBob Cake. Decorations by Mommy and Sally. Posted by Hello

Saturday, June 18, 2005

SPF - Stuff Portrait Friday

Stuff I feel obligated to keep - and I really like them and am honored to keep them. A Thomas Kincade from my parents, and a piano from Stu's parents. (And mom, there is the little picture I was looking for when you were here - it was on the piano the whole time!) Posted by Hello

What was I thinking? This is a swatch watch from the 80's. When I bought it, it was scented - ice mint. Yikes. Now it has a new - unscented - band and a new battery, because I need a waterproof watch. For the pool. (Sally thinks it's very cool.) Mrs.Fish, sorry I posted late. I was busy yesterday - birthday stuff, you know :) Posted by Hello

Friday, June 17, 2005

Today is my birthday. This was taken last week when I went to dinner with a bunch of my girlfriends. Posted by Hello

More Owl Encounters

We've had two great nights of owl watching. The owlets are getting bigger - and louder - and mom and dad owl are both hunting now to keep these little buggers full. By their demanding tone, you can tell they are saying, "Come on! We're starving here! Isn't dinner ready yet?" Must be the teenager stage. Anyway, Hedwig and Kahlua have been hunting earlier, too. They don't even wait for nightfall, but are going out between 6:30 and 7:00. Last night, my friend and I watched them return with large rodents - you could actually see them in their talons. They have also started hunting closer to home, and seem to love one of our very overgrown trees, which tells me that there are critters living in that tree. Nice, huh? Sally had several sightings as well, and she was so so so excited. She has decided that we should name the owlets, even though we have no idea how many are in there, but she has decided that there are three and that their names are SamSam, Sally, and Robby. (Robby is the name of the young man that she has decided is her boyfriend. He goes to our church and we know his parents, but still, they are a bit young for this kind of stuff!)

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

My favorite mini-garden at the arboretum at Cal State Fullerton. Posted by Hello

No Stitches . . .

Samuel has done it again. This time, he tripped and landed on the metal track of the sliding door. Luckily, the doors were open. Luckily, he landed on his forehead, and not his eye or his mouth. After another desparate trip to his doctor, I am thankful to report that he only needed those butterfly bandages to keep the gash closed while it healed, and he was very brave and did not cry at the doctor. Also, my friend Grace was here, and stayed with Sally so she could be spared the possible stitching up of the head. Trauma for sure. So thanks to God for a minor wound, and thanks to Grace for her generosity and kindness. I'll post some pictures once the bandage is off - it doesn't look very impressive now, but he may have a cool scar, just above his right eyebrow.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

A close up of the owl nest. It's not a very good picture, though - no owls. I'll keep trying. It's becoming a thing for me. Posted by Hello

Owl Encounter

This is the back of our house, as seen from behind the spa. The two tall palm trees are where the owls are nesting. If you look closely at the tallest tree, you can see the hole that is their door. I've been trying for a better picture, but so far, no luck. So tonight Stuart and I are sitting in the spa, having a nice chat, when we see TWO owls flying around. Both Hedwig and Kahlua are hunting now. Then, the coolest thing happened. One of them landed on our roof, at the nice point that you see in this picture. I think it was Kahlua - it looked like the smaller one. She just looked around and stared at us, and then looked around, and I had a fit in the spa, because it was so so so cool. And then I had a fit because I didn't have my camera. She was right there. So, I decided to go for it - go in and get the camera. As I was walking to the door, she screeched at me and flew away She screeched at me! It was just beyond cool. Posted by Hello

Monday, June 13, 2005

Hide and Seek

Sally is teaching Samuel to play hide and seek while I am typing this. First, he had to count - he says "one, two, eight" - and then find Sally. Now she's counting and trying to explain to Samuel how to hide. This should be funny.

We had a great weekend. I started out with a birthday slumber party Friday night - for me and my friend! It was all moms, and we had a blast. Of course, I am sworn to secrecy as to the details, but Jaymarie has a great post if you want to know more. Saturday, we went to the carnival at Sally's school, and there was yummy cotton candy and too many lollipops. Sally got a butterfly painted on her face. Then we came home to have dinner and a swim with some friends, and we saw the owl. Unfortunately, we also saw the possum, so it was a busy night over here. (I was proud of myself that I didn't totally freak out over the possum.) Sunday was church and then a church picnic, which was fun. Then more friends for more dinner and a swim (can you see a theme to our weekends? we hope it lasts all summer) and another owl sighting. Good times.

They gave up on the hide and seek and are playing some form of ball in the hallway. I love the fact that they are old enough to play with each other.

This is looking to be a busy week - Sally finishes school (kindergarten over - that was fast) and then it's my birthday, and then Father's Day, and then Samuel's birthday. Oh, and our church has VBS next week, and we are all involved in some aspect of that. I'll try and post a few times, but please forgive me if I am a bit lax. Be thankful that I'm not an AutoBlogger! (so funny!)

Friday, June 10, 2005

SPF - Refrigerator

It's Stuff Portrait Friday! I'm playing along with Mrs.Fish. She tells you the theme, and you take pics of your stuff and post on Friday. So here it is, my lovely refrigerator. When we got this, we felt like we had "arrived" - you know, ice and water dispenser in the door. Kewl.

Outside. Posted by Hello

Inside. Posted by Hello

My secret stash. Posted by Hello

My favorite magnet - starbucks logo with fake jewel. Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Hedwig & Kahlua

We have an owl's nest in a tree in our neighbor's yard. It has been amazing, soaking in the spa as night falls, and watching for the return of the owl. I'm pretty sure there are owlets in there, because when the large owl returns, there is loud chriping and peeping. It's just amazing. I've been so enthralled with these owls that I decided to name them (thanks to Will & Jessica for the inspiration!) Hedwig & Kahlua (confess - how many of you thought the title of this post was a new drink?). Of course, I don't know which is which, but the dad is Hedwig and the mom is Kahlua. I haven't named the owlets because I don't know how many there are. I'm going to try and get some pics, because it is just so cool, but I am not too optimistic because I usually see them after it's too dark for a good picture. So neat. Some links I liked: The Owl Pages, for general information; The OwlCam, for great pictures and an intimate look at two owls and their offspring. I think I love owls. Much, much better than our last brush with nature.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The kids and the giraffees. They were the best animals at the zoo. The leopards were also pretty cool, but I didn't get any pictures of them. Posted by Hello

Sally and Samuel in front of the mini-grand canyon in the massive model train display at the Living Desert Zoo in Palm Desert. ("Thank God for the model trains. If it wasn't for the model trains, they wouldn't have got the idea for the big ones!" Sorry, couldn't resist.) Posted by Hello

The kids in the hotel room this past weekend. We slept, we swam, we snacked. It was fun. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

A New Favorite Song

Just heard this one on the radio - it must not be new, but it's the first time I've heard it. Enjoy.

Bowling for Soup
(originally by SR-71)

Debbie just hit the wall
she never had it all
one Prozac a day
husbands a CPA
her dreams went out the door
when she turned twenty four
only been with one man
what happen to her plan?

She was gonna be an actress
she was gonna be a star
she was gonna shake her ass
on the hood of White Snake’s car
her yellow SUV is now the enemy
looks at her average life
and nothing has been alright since

Bruce Springsteen, Madonna
way before Nirvana
there was U2 and Blondie
and music still on MTV
her two kids in high school
they tell her that she’s uncool
cuz she's still preoccupied
with 19, 19, 1985


She’s seen all the classics
she knows every line
Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink
even Saint Elmo’s Fire
she rocked out to Wham
not a big Limp Bizkit fan
thought she’d get a hand
on a member of Duran Duran

Where’s the mini-skirt made of snake skin
and who’s the other guy that's singing in Van Halen
when did reality become T.V.
what ever happen to sitcoms, game shows
(on the radio was)

Bruce Springsteen, Madonna
way before Nirvana
there was U2 and Blondie
and music still on MTV
her two kids in high school
they tell her that she’s uncool
cuz she's still preoccupied
with 19, 19, 1985


She hates time make it stop
when did Motley Crue become classic rock?
And when did Ozzy become an actor?
Please make this stop
And bring back

Bruce Springsteen, Madonna
way before Nirvana
there was U2 and Blondie
and music still on MTV
her two kids in high school
they tell her that she’s uncool
cuz she's still preoccupied
with 1985

I (heart) Hotels

We're back! Actually, we got back Sunday evening, but my thoughts needed to settle into sentences before I posted. We had a great time in Palm Springs (actually, La Quinta, for those of you who know the area). Stuart played three great days of golf, and the kids and I hung out in the room and by the pool. My my my, but I do love being at a hotel! We had a tub, a shower, and a phone by the potty! Never used it, but it was there :) We brought along our PS2, and watched "The Sound of Music" together. Sally now likes the scene with the song "I am sixteen" - the kissing part. She actually said that - "Can we watch that again? I like the kissing part." Oh my. Samuel was so great all weekend - took naps when he should, slept all night long, woke up happy. I did have to pay an obscene amount for a half gallon of milk, and then unload the mini bar fridge to wedge it in there, but he almost drank the whole thing in three days. I helped, since we had the little coffee maker in our room, and whole milk in coffee tastes so yummy. Anyway, I had a little epiphany on Saturday afternoon, when Stuart told me he'd take charge of the kids and I could get away for a few hours, and I turned him down. Yep, I didn't want to get away, because I was having fun with my kids. Then, I saw it - a faint glowing light, the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. You know, the end of diapers, vomit, and words that you can't understand. The end of screaming uncontrollable temper tantrums. The beginning of the really fun part of parenthood - the one where the kids can start to do stuff for themselves, where we can have fun & educational trips, where they still want to please us and hang out with us. The part of parenthood where a mom can go all day without dragging a screaming toddler to a room for a timeout, where dad can come home and not hear the words, "I don't care what you do to those kids but I'm DONE!" I can see the light at the end of that tunnel, and I am filled with hope and renewed energy for Samuel's two's, because the end is near. The end is near! (Pics to come later - must go to the park and feed the ducks now.)

Thursday, June 02, 2005

The caught bubble. Such a great skill. Look at the pride on his face. I love this little guy. Posted by Hello

Samuel has a real thing for bubbles. He could go through a whole bottle in half an hour. Look at those cheeks! Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


Well, it's been crazy being me lately. As you can tell from the pics, we've had travels and company and parties. Stuart is now swimming with the kids, and I took this time to stay in the house and sort through my massive pile of mail, the one that I just put in a big gift bag in the corner and added to it all week. The FlyLady would cringe at that sight, let me tell you. Anyway, most of it was junk or bills, since my good mail is in my email these days. It's now in two piles on the table - bills and things to file. So here I am at the computer. My folks, sister, and nephews left last night to drive to my sister's house. My parents will stay there for a while, then continue on their summer travels. (Their house is in a very hot state - I won't say where, Mom, to protect your privacy! - and they close it up and travel for the summer. Fun life, huh? They worked hard for it - they deserve it!) We had fun together, but four kids is a handful. My nephews are currently four and two, and with my five year old and almost two year old, it was funfunfun all the time. The two little ones took six days to learn how to play together without hitting each other, so we had one good day with them. Stu's birthday party was a hit, as the pictures show. We just had a few friends over for BBQ and a swim. Our Bible study group and some people from church and my family. Stu's cousin was able to join us, too, which was really fun. (See Uncle Jon's pic below) We subjected him to a card game with my sister and my folks - hope you had fun, Jon. He got a good dose of family stories too, so I hope he will want to come back. (We didn't scare you, did we?)

I wish I could say I'm able to rest, but no. I'm starting to get ready for another trip - this time, a fun weekend in Palm Springs, home of the puke pool. (Great story - read it here, and see the photos here.) Be well, friends. Go read a book.