And now that Christmas is really here, I'm finally filled with the holiday joy, brought about by the birth of a special baby boy.
Saturday, December 24, 2011
And now that Christmas is really here, I'm finally filled with the holiday joy, brought about by the birth of a special baby boy.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
December snuck up on me this year. I'm not sure what happened to September, October, and November . . . because I'm fairly certain that it was just August last week!
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Last night, I made cookies. I tried out the recipe for Oatmeal Sugar Cookies from the LemonPoppy cookbook "When Life Gives You Friends" (I won this set of cookbooks a couple of months back in a blog giveaway from my friend Ashley). The kids each gobbled one up last night before bed, and begged to have one included in their lunch today.
Monday, November 7, 2011
About a month ago, I was awoken in the night by the sound of footsteps above our room. Steve was out of town, and I literally thought someone was on top of our roof. I freaked out. I sat up in bed, and was trying to plot my escape. How could I possibly get to the kids on the other side of the house before the intruder found us? What could I use to defend myself? After a few minutes, the noise stopped. I lay awake, staring at the ceiling, for what seemed like an eternity before I was able to drift off into dreamland once again.
The next day, on the phone with Steve, I recounted the experience. “There’s no way you could hear someone on the roof” he told me. “The attic is above our room, and all that insulation would block out any sound up there.” “Plus, how and why would someone be on top of our roof? There’s easier ways to get into the house. It was probably a mouse in the attic.”
“No way” I told him. “This sounded way bigger than a mouse. It sounded like a person!”
Fast forward a few weeks. No more noise, no more mid-night awakenings. Then, weeks ago, in the middle of the night, I heard it again. This time, it was coming from the wall underneath one of our windows. I got out of bed and crept over to the window. I peered out, fearful of what might be trying to get into our second story room.
I tried to wake Steve. He rolled over and mumbled something about it being the middle of night and what did I want him to do?
The next night, as I was brushing my teeth, Steve heard the sound for the first time. He started sleuthing around, trying to figure out where it was coming from.
“Maybe it’s a bird stuck in the vent.” He threw on some sweats and headed outside to see if he could see anything. Nada. So back to bed he came.
“ Maybe we should call someone” he said.
In the meantime, I had heard tales of raccoons taking up residence in attics. I became convinced that we had a family of raccoons, happily procreating and raising their young in the warmth of our walls and attic.
The next day, I got on the phone with the local animal control. “I think we have raccoons in our attic” I told the lady on the other end.
“We don't remove wildlife from residences” she told me. But she gave me the number of a company that could help.
I called the number, explained what we were hearing, and scheduled a free inspection for the next day. Then I started thinking of what color I wanted to paint our bedroom after they patched up the holes they would have to cut to retrieve the raccoon babies nestled in our walls. I was convinced.
The guy arrived promptly at his scheduled time the next day. He brought in his ladder, climbed up into the attic access in our master closet, looked around for all of a minute and climbed back down.
“You’ve got a rat infestation. Looks like they’ve been living there for some time based on the droppings.”
I nearly passed out.
He told Steve to set traps and gave some advice as to what makes the best bait. He also showed Steve where they were likely coming in, and offered some suggestions for sealing up the access. Then he went on his merry way.
That night, I could hardly sleep. I kept waiting to hear music from the party that seemed to be taking place above us. Images from "Ratatouille" were circling in my mind, complete with talking rats stirring pots in the kitchen. The thought that we had rats living rent-free in our house was more than I could take.In the week since, Steve has trapped a total of 6 rats in the attic. There may still be more. One more met its demise outside, plus Steve recovered a petrified rat skeleton from the crawl space underneath the house.
I’m trying to find the silver lining in this whole experience. The only “good” I’ve discovered is that I definitely made the right choice in picking my spouse. There is no way in h*** that I would be able to handle setting traps and removing dead carcasses. He’s done it without a single complaint. I love that man.
Next time I hear footsteps above my room, I'm going to hope and pray it's an intruder. And not the four-legged-with-whiskers variety.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
I gave up on my makeshift garden (a few potted vegetables scattered throughout the backyard) and decided a weekly trip to the Farmers' Market would be a better use of my time, energy, and money.
To commemorate, we left Olivia in charge of the boys and headed downtown for a lovely, quiet, dinner for two. We marveled that we had reached this milestone, where not only were we happily married after all these years, but we also had kids old enough to leave at home—alone!—for a couple of hours without worrying.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
While we waited, we did our best to distract him from thinking about it too much.
Since they had to cut Grant's first cast off to put on a higher one, the rotating saw was no big deal. Grant giggled through the whole thing, saying it "tickled" his arm.
When they pried the cast off, there was his little arm, slightly shriveled, and covered in dead skin.
Monday, September 19, 2011
Sunday, September 11, 2011
There aren't many days in the last ten years that I can recall with near perfect clarity . . . with the exception of 9/11/01.
I had just gone through a devastating miscarriage two weeks prior, and was still grieving the loss of that pregnancy and the hopes and dreams that felt like they had been lost as well. I was an emotional wreck, yet trying to still be a mom to a busy toddler.
On that Tuesday morning, I woke up, reached for the remote, and clicked on the Today Show. This had been my morning habit, and I quietly savored those moments until Olivia came toddling in asking for breakfast.
When the TV came on, I saw the gaping hole in one of the Twin Towers, and heard the incredulous voices of Matt Lauer and Katie Couric as they tried to make sense of what was happening. I picked up the phone and called Steve, who was riding BART into work.
"Something crazy is going on," I said. "It looks like a bomb went off in the Twin Towers in New York."
Seconds later, still on the phone, I watched in disbelief as a plane crashed into the second tower. It was like a movie, it seemed impossible that it was really happening.
I was glued to the TV all day, and in the days that followed, watching the images played and replayed over and over again. I listened to the stories of individual and collective heroism and loss. I cried. I looked at my sweet Olivia, who had just turned 2, and wondered how I could ever raise a child in a world where something like this could happen.
A missionary that I had served closely with during my mission to the Canary Islands was working at the Pentagon when the plane hit. He was killed, leaving behind a darling wife.
There were hundreds of images of the day plastered on the TV, newspapers, and magazines. Many were horrifying. Of all the images though, this one seemed to resonate the most with me—The American Flag, rising up out of the ashes.
In the ten years since this tragedy, much has changed in our country, and our world. It is strange to hear my five and eight year olds talk matter-of-factly about the "planes that crashed into the buildings". The events of that day happened long before they were born, and they'll never know how things were "before". Yet it has become an important event in the history of our country. I will never forget where I was that day, nor will I forget how blessed I am to be an American.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Our kids have all gotten hurt, and we've had our share of ER visits through the years. We've even dealt with a broken bone (Olivia broke her ankle falling off the same monkey bars on the first day of first grade, six years ago!). But I think the severity and the nature of this injury threw both Steve and I for a loop, and we felt things that neither one of us had felt before.
We checked into Valley Care Hospital a little after 3pm on Tuesday, August 23 for a 5pm surgery. There wasn’t a whole lot of action going on in pre-op, I got the feeling we were the last surgery of the day. The nurses must have known a little guy was coming in. They had his bed all ready and waiting for him.
Grant changed out of his clothes and into a very small hospital gown. So small, in fact that his little boy parts kept peeking out. It gave me the giggles. Actually, pretty much everything was giving me the giggles—I think that was my coping mechanism throughout the day...
We spent the next hour and a half answering medical history questions while Grant happily watched a movie on the iPad (a godsend through this whole ordeal!).
About 20 minutes prior to surgery time, the nurses gave him a little “happy juice” to help him relax and make the separation from us a little easier for him when they wheeled him away into the OR. Steve and I jokingly asked the nurse what they had to make it easier for us . . . Before long, he had a goofy, lopsided grin on his face and was mumbling incoherently. That really gave me the giggles.
He didn’t even flinch when the anesthesiologist put in the IV.
We kissed him and watched as they wheeled him away, feeling like my heart was being ripped right out of my chest. It was hard to breathe. We wandered to the lobby to wait.
While we waited, Steve did a google search for a normal humerus bone. This is what it looks like.
This is what Grant's arm looked like.
After what seemed like an eternity (but was really only about 40 minutes), we saw our surgeon coming across the lobby toward us. We were anxiously watching for a thumbs up sign or smile, but got none. His face was stone serious, which gave me a fit of panic, wondering what had gone wrong...thankfully, he quickly reported that the surgery had gone perfectly, they had placed the pins without incisions, and he was in recovery.
When they took us back to recovery, he was still fast asleep. It took about another hour or so for him to slowly wake up.
Because of his age, and the late time of day of his surgery, they kept him in the hospital overnight for observation. He hadn’t had anything to eat or drink for nearly 12 hours, but the kitchen was closed for the night. Grant’s dinner for the evening consisted of 3 cups of apple juice, a carton of chocolate milk, and a bag of Baked Lay’s potato chips. The dinner of champions!
We were in a private room, with our very own flat screen tv on the wall. And Grant got to call the shots on whatever we watched. In his world, that was pretty much heaven! When he couldn't find anything to watch on tv (after about 11pm, even Cartoon Network shows trashy shows), we switched to the iPad.
It was a rough night. With an IV in one hand, and his other arm immobilized and in pretty severe pain, he was pretty much useless. At about 4am, after close to no sleep for nearly 48 hours, I lost it and broke down sobbing. I just rubbed his little chest through the bedrail, silently praying for the strength to get through this.
When the sun came up a couple of hours later, he had turned a corner. He hopped out of bed and walked to the bathroom, ate a couple of pancakes and pieces of bacon for breakfast, and was ready to head on home.
Friday we went back to the orthopedist for his hard cast. They took an xray to check alignment, and things looked perfect!
He was a trooper as they put on not one, but two casts. The first cast didn’t come up high enough on his arm leaving too much mobility in the joint, so the cast tech had to cut it off and start over. Grant laid back on the table, closed his eyes, and went to his happy place.
He's now proudly sporting a super cool camouflage cast. He blends in very well with his surroundings.
I look back on this past week, and it just seems unreal. My heart still jumps into my throat when I look at the photos of his bone, or him in the hospital, or think of his cry when he first fell. While it’s true that my physical pain might not have been as great as his, the emotional pain was pretty much off the charts!
Thursday, August 25, 2011
She's been dying for a new cell phone. (Apparently her cute little pink flip phone is soooo last year!)
She's also been begging for texting privileges (according to her, she's the ONLY one who wasn't allowed to text. I have a hard time believing that!)
After a whole lot of discussion and consideration, Steve and I decided it was time.
So, while we were waiting for our food to arrive at her birthday dinner, we handed her a small, wrapped box.
We laid out a few ground rules—no texting after 8pm on weeknights, 9pm on weekends, no texting at the dinner table, no texting when friends are over, we have the right to check her texts at any time without a fight, and the real clincher...no sassy attitude.
When I was 12, I got a cassette deck for my room. My, how things have changed...
Happy Birthday sweet girl!
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Jack started 3rd grade today. He has the same teacher as last year, whom he adores, and was up and in the shower before the sun came up this morning. He was ready!