Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Got It

I deleted that post (if you saw it, you know which one I'm talking about) because I've gotten the answers I was looking for. Thank you for all the good advice! I have some really good pals out there!
Today is Tommy's one year birthday! He pretty much hasn't changed too much in one year except he's taller, chubbier, and can ALMOST walk (I believe he actually has the ability, just not the will). He still looks like a Mr. Potato Head with a lot of teeth and an overbite. He's proving to be very smart and very funn
play with the key bo
and beus3e it's his birthd
I'm letting him have a free go at the keyboard for a minute without telling him "no!".
v b hHappy Birthday to my little baby boy who caused the MOST pain of all of them coming out, but is one of the BEST babies I've ever thought up. He also has the superfunniest "ratface" that he makes because he knows it makes us laugh:

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

An Interesting Perspective on the Housing Crisis

Bocker and I have the most inspired conversations on our bike rides. He noticed the big pile of garbage left by our neighbors who moved out on Monday:

Bocker: HO! THAT'S a HUGE pile of garbage! That's even a bigger pile than WE have!

I love to try to get out alone with him after a run but before supper. The minute we step on the pedals, he comes up with some phrase or suggestion that makes me laugh so hard I can hardly pedal. I try so hard not to show him I'm laughing because I don't want him to stop being funny and start getting self conscious about chattering like he does.

He's ALWAYS been a goofy notice-er. He's always noticed the strangest things that most people don't comment on or don't really even see at all.

His latest notices have been the for sale signs popping up all over the place. It USED to be a novelty to have a for sale sign in the neighborhood. Not so much, anymore. The first one he saw was the neighbor I just mentioned...then, the house next to that...then, the house just a couple doors down from that one. He exclaims about each of these signs like it's some great thing. I see the signs as a sadness. To me, it means one more neighbor we won't get to know, one more neighbor who had to move away, one more neighbor my kids won't grow up with, one more neighbor who can't afford a home. I've been reflecting a LOT lately on what a home really means. I'm too attached to the "things" of this world. It's kind of ironic that the more I try to get rid of "things", the more "things" I need for this family. You can only get rid of so much stuff before life gets REALLY tough. I have to keep my books, puzzles, games, toys, dishes, clothes, food, places to PUT all that stuff, the list goes on...and so does the bickering that there's not enough room for all that stuff!

Anyway, back to the housing crisis. After biking down the street and chattering about all the for sale signs. He starts asking me about moving to a different house (we had talked about it more than a year ago for a little while).

Bocker: Hey Mom? Would you rather MOVE? OR, would you rather stay at our home where there's nice toys and good food???

Well? How would YOU answer that one?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Just Friends

(Weazy gave me this Valentine this afternoon. She's so sweet!)

Have you met so many people online that you have trouble keeping track of them? Have you ever re-met someone that "knows" you but you don't really "know" them...and then, later, you remember how you "met" them?

Ever since I started blogging waaaaay back in 2003 (I started blogging on an old site called "diary.com" or something like that until I graduated to the big-time blogger haha), I have this problem. I tried to categorize my friends in my "favorites" files but they kept getting all jumbled and sometimes, I would put a "Catholic, Homeschooling Mom" in a "family and friends" file or a priest in a "funny blogs" file. After a while, I just started putting everyone in a "Catholic Blogs" file.

I noticed that not all of the people in that file were Catholic, and that not all of the sites in that file were actually blogs.
I never did get the hang of google reader.

When did you start calling people you learned about through your blog "friend" instead of "blog friend"?

I think it sounds silly to call a blog friend "blog friend".

Isn't a friend a...friend?

My sisters are my best friends. We don't always agree. I'm not "just like them" and they are not "just like me" but we come from the same place, and we understand each other.

It's easy to love someone who loves you back despite your obvious flaws, "issues", baggage, and, all that other stuff that drives away people who don't want to bother or don't have time to deal with your junk.

It's also easy to love someone that you don't have to deal with every day, who lives halfway across the country (or even the world!) and that only has nice things to comment to you every time they check your blog! You don't necessarily have to find out the nitty gritty, everyday junk about them so you find yourself thinking, "Wow, I wish that person lived next to me, she/he would make a great pal!" But there's really no way you could know that unless they actually DID move right next to you and you KNOW the reality is you'd probably have the same good/bad ratio of neighbor relations as you do with your current neighbors!

I guess I'm reflecting on all of this because it's St. Valentine's Day and it's supposed to be all about the love. I get daily doses of love from my hottie hubs. I get tons of drawings and lovies from my babies (even the big, teenager ones). I get weekly reminders that I come from parents who loved me dearly and still do. They say I'm their favorite. I'm pretty sure they tell the other ones that too, but we know the truth, right?

I get tons of love from my friends. All my friends. I used to not have too many of them. I had some good ones, some fair ones, some occasional ones and some old ones that came/come back once in a while and we just pick up where we left off. I think it's because I had trouble finding the time to dedicate to more than just my family. Now that I have a blog I have some new ones. All of them add something pretty neat to my life and I'm grateful for them. I don't really differentiate "real life" friends from "blog friends" anymore because, well, blogging is part of my "real life". Therefore, blog friends are my REAL FRIENDS. If someone had tons of time and energy, a spiteful heart, and loads of gall, I suppose they could totally fake themselves into my life via the blog...but I sincerely doubt it. I've met some of my friends in person, called some on the phone, but all of them seem to be as genuine on their blogs/in their comments as they are in person. It's so nice to have someone who checks in to see how I'm doing once a week, or month, or emails me to ask what I mean and/or if I'm really okay after reading a post. They take the time to care, bs with me, tell me I'm full of crap, tell me how hilariously funny I am (okay, I might have made that one up), and maybe even critique my grammar or overuse of commas.

I LOVE the comma...almost as much as I love cereal, but not nearly as much as:

I love you.

You know who you are.

Monday, February 09, 2009

For Nancy

I was just chatting with my sister while we were running the other day (big surprise, right?) about people who we graduated with. Facebook has been an...interesting experiment that I'm still not sure I'll continue for very long. At best, it's a great way to stay in contact with people or to re-connect with people you once cared about. At worst, it's an embarrassing thing to have to remove/ignore "friends" you thought would be great to re-connect with...but upon further reflection, you realize that you never really liked them much in the first place and they haven't changed at ALL in 20 years.

Anyway, I saw an old friend from school at the grocery store tonight. She was one of the people we discussed the other day as one of "the good ones"! I love to think about Nancy because she always has a smile on her face. Even when I've seen her in troubled times, she has a happy demeanor and a good spirit.

I chatted at her for so long, I forgot to get the shredded cheese that we needed for our pizza. I was late to plan dinner in the first place but did I just say, "Oh, HEY, Nancy! Hi, how are you? See ya later!"?

NO, duh.

I stood there and yakked her ears off until her beautiful, sweet, patient daughters were chomping at the bit and looking at me as if to say, "WOULD YOU SHUT UP, WOMAN!?". If I would have stayed talking 3 seconds longer, I think that Nancy and her daughters would have looked something like this*:

But, as generous as they are, they let me think that I was interesting to listen to, and they stood there and pretended they were sad that I had to "hurry" away.

Thanks for being a nice person, Nancy.
I am honored to be your friend!

*Mr. Potato Head was wide awake when Trina put him in the basket for a ride around the house, just for fun. Because of the swaying she was doing, and because he was really tired, he just conked out right there in the basket. We moved him to his bed and he didn't even protest!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

All Aboard The Princess Train

There's no getting around it. We have a full-fledged princess in our house and she will not be dethroned any time soon, I think.

Mari talks like Giselle from the movie Enchanted. She speaks as if everything is magical fairies and happy, little elves. Her sing-songy voice is so squeaky and light. She sounds like what you might imagine a sprite might sound like when she's speaking. Even though she can't say her "r"s, "l"s, "th"s, or "j"s she speaks very clearly and tinkly.

She wears only dresses, but the only thing she wears that bears the title "dress" (in HER book) is the fluffy thing that you could wear for Easter or Christmas, or maybe even a wedding. Regular dresses; cotton, everyday dresses are called "Just Clothes" (or "Dust Cwoves"). Clothes that are not in a dress shaped pattern are called "NOOOOOOO! I don't want to weah dat!".

This morning, I was happy to show her the new barrettes I bought at Target last night.

She said (in her best Giselle voice)

"Oh, MOMMY! Day ah so beautifo... wif fwowuhs!"

I asked her which color she would choose for today.

"Ummmm (finger on her chin) I sink I wike...PINK, yes, PINK!" (...as though there were any other choice.)

I put it in her hair and took the matching one and put it on the other side (so cute with her new haircut).

"OH!" she exclaimed, "I got TWO, pink one of dohs!"

"Now I can DANCE!"

Uh. Okay. Yeah, I can see how if you have two barrettes, you could be inspired to dance (?).

I guess I'm not a princess because I just don't understand.

(I'll include this picture of Mari and her cousin, Wyatt...who stayed overnight last night, because she couldn't be bothered for me take a picture of her standing or dancing in her purple dress...because she isn't wearing a "dress". It's dust cwoves. Duh, what was I finking?)

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Finding the Voice

I had a rough morning. I am getting so tired of the bickering, the whining, the fighting. That's a lot of "ing"s...here are some more: I am yelling, swearing, sighing, being sarcastic, losing my temper. I even screamed so loud this morning that I hurt my throat and couldn't talk for a while. That's embarrassing to admit, but we have a two story house and sometimes, if I'm in my very insulated room picking up clothes and I hear the kids downstairs, I have to scream to be heard...

I know that it's the weather. I know that it's the winter and that the kids need breaks from each other and from ME. BUT, that doesn't mean it makes it any easier to get through these doldrums days.

Tonight, I was going to drop Weazy at choir for the first time and then drive to the city to meet some bloggers but cancelled that when I got Butch's new prescriptions that I had to fill and some other errands that I had to run. I figured Weazy would like it if I picked her up on her first night.

I guess God thinks He is being funny or something.

When I dropped her off, the choir director hinted that the adult choir meets at the very same time upstairs and maybe I would consider joining? I seriously thought about it but had to run my errands. I went upstairs anyway and ran into an old pal and I really enjoyed chatting with her. I thought, "Maybe I'll just skip the choir thing. It's probably not meant to be." and ran my errands but had time to mess around at church anyway. I thought, "Maybe I'll just go into the adoration chapel until Weazy is finished." but I had to go past the choir and they looked like they were having a good time so...I guess I'm in choir now!

They were so very welcoming and sweet (and FUNNY!). I think it will be a little bit of a challenge to sing alto, but they need altos, I guess so alto it is! Weazy loved choir and so did I (even for the little bit of time I was there). I also signed up for an adoration hour a couple of weeks ago (I took some time off for Tommy) so if you have any special requests, I'll be praying every Thursday 1am!

Look at me, all churchified and community-ing again. I know I'll run into my arch enemies from time to time (people who annoy me and don't like me very much), but I think I can hack it now.

I came home to find out that Tommy had learned to wave and say something sounding like "Hi!".

I was really happy and felt good about life for a little while.

Then, the other shoe dropped.

Here's the update for Michael Talley:

Michael and I met with Dr. Olsen this morning. He is awarded the best ENT in America for 2007 & 2008. He had Michael go through another MRI this afternoon and will be having a biopsy in AM. He is looking to see how extensive a surgery would be. He knows that the tongue, voice box, lymph nodes, tonsil and wall of larynx would have to be removed but would like to see if this would buy Michael more time. There is no cure and if we did this extensive surgery he would need to also complete a three Chemo regimen afterwards. He also said due to this surgery chances of infection or even dieing on the operating table is very possible. If we let the cancer run its course and treat symptoms we may have 6-12 months. We may get one more Christmas. The options are not curable but it is so hard to decide not to do anything. The trach is permanent along with the feeding tube. With surgery he will never talk again. From last treatments his swallowing ability is gone he will never eat again. We don't want him to suffer. God please guide us , give us the answers we seek. We think of our 4 children and our life, we have waited so long to have together and we just can't even imagine not being with one another. We are so in love. this is not fair. The doctors give us no hope. We will go back home tomorrow and if we decide any treatments it will be close to home. Our doctors are aware and are waiting, to help in anyway they can. Love Michael and Nicole. PS Jeremy and Carrie hold our little ones tight tonight.

I think I know what God wants me to do here. I'm just sorry that He has to clobber me over the head time after time. I think he's telling me to pray and make sacrifices for someone who won't ever get a chance to sing in the choir, or shout with joy at a football game, hoot with laughter about something funny his baby just learned, yell at his kids, or maybe even live to watch them grow.

Please, God, have MERCY on me, a fallen, awful sinner.

PLEASE GOD! Have mercy on Michael and grant him healing and peace.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Not So Funny *UPDATE

Here is the update from Michael Talley's PET scan:

Hi this is Mike and Nicole. We just came back from the doctors. The news was not good. I am back to square one. The cancer is still there, and just as big as before. This explains the swelling and pain I have been enduring. This is a very aggressive cancer. The doctor wants me to start another round of treatment. This time with three different types of Chemo at the same time. It will be very painful. This is one option. The other is to leave it in Gods hands, and treat the symptoms as they occur. We need some time to think about what's best for us and Mike. We thank you for all your love and support. Love Mike and Nicole

This is not good news for his family. I can't imagine the decisions they must make now.
There are a lot of people to pray for today. Our little friend Avery is getting palate surgery this morning (probably worked out alright but pray anyway please!).

Here are the last updated posts from Michael Talley:

Well, I just left Michael at the Mayo clinic for his two hour pet scan. It was so hard leaving him there by himself. They called his name and said okay we have him for two hours, see you then. I think we both thought we could sit together during prep time but I guess not. I could see how scared he was in his eyes. I told him keep praying, and he will never be alone, I am always with him. I also reminded him how many people are praying and thinking of him right now! I know he does not feel confident the cancer is gone, but I have faith that he is in remission. I guess we will find out very soon. Love Nicole

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 03, 2009 12:44 PM, CST
Hello everyone! Well it's Tuesday, and we are getting ready to leave for the Mayo. To say I am scared is a huge understatement!! I don't know what the results will be, and to be honest I'm expecting some bad news. The amount of pain I have been enduring, along with the continuous sore throat, makes me think that. I know I am supposed to stay positive, but it is hard to do. I hope and pray that I am wrong, and the cancer is gone. Either way I will have some answers. So, thanks to everyone for their support, and prayers. We will write in here as soon as possible about the results. Till then God Bless, Love Mike

I also heard that Amy Welborn's husband died suddenly yesterday (at the gym). Butch is going to start running to train for the half marathon and he's going for his annual physical tomorrow. I'll feel better if he gets things a little more under control, asthma-wise.

It seems like we can never get out of winter without facing some sort of major loss and sorrow.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

I Utilized The Newfound, Easy Access To My Craft Supplies

...and made something, just for YOU. Because apparently, according to my friends:

OH MAN! I crack myself up. I wonder how you can stand having a friend as funny as me? How do you manage to get through the day without having to change your pants after you read my posts?

Good times.

OH, I think I'll make that picture an official "Fake, Obviously, Made-Up, Blog Award".

The official FOMUBA goes to (in no particular order):

I think I'll stick to six people to receive this distinguished honor. I think this one might just catch on. People all over the blog world will covet the FOMUBA. Go ahead and save the picture, send it to your friends who rock as much as I do, catch the wave of coolness!

"FOMUBA". That's fun to say!

3 in 1

Beach Party

I took Weazy, Bocker, and Mari to my friend, Megan's house for a "beach party" on Friday. I finally met Kelly (her sis in law who comments here quite a bit) in person and we had a fun time with the kids. It was a very nice way to beat the cold weather and a good time catching up with friends. The kitty in the pictures wasn't real but it looked SO real! The girls enjoyed the shells that Megan's daughter had strewn about (beach party!), and Bocker enjoyed the juice and hot dog lunch. I enjoyed the "Smog Story" poster that traced the lineage of the can't-be-defined-by-genre, TC city bands of the late eighties/early nineties.

Purse Post For Paula

Here I am on Friday night (after we got home from the party) taking a picture of myself in my lumpy hat. Full disclosure: I applied lipgloss that I had on the counter, before the picture. SO, I did "gussie up" a little but I've posted enough pictures of me with no makeup on my running blog, so I figured a little lipgloss was real enough for this post. I don't carry a purse unless we are in church and I remember that kids need distractions sometimes. I carry a wally world special purse (never pay more than 10 bucks EVER for a purse...FREE is even better)that has diapers, tissue, my wallet, fingernail clippers, my keys (on a curly wrist band thingy so I can slip them on my wrist and they don't get lost), some books, some toy cars, some crayons and a notebook (church distractions), a sippy cup or water bottle, misc. candy, a pen. Most of the time I just carry my wallet in my pocket (the ONLY good thing about winter and having to wear a coat all the time) and all of my misc. items. Here, I have Mari's pony scrunchy that she got tired of wearing, my keys, and I think there might be a coin or two under those. That coat I got a couple of years ago for free from one of Mom's friends that hands down stuff to us all of the time. Come to think of it, I think that wallet I have right now was a Mom hand-me-down too. I like free.

Craft/Game Closet

I am going to be babysitting some neighbor children starting in two weeks so I really want to pare down and get this house in order. The closets are out of control and the craft closet was starting to drive me bonkers. Nothing was organized and things started avalanching on us every time we opened it, so it's the first thing to get gutted. I took some pictures AFTER I started to clean it out and one after it was all cleaned and organized. It started with Weazy asking me if she could make a necklace with me for art class today. She found some old "make your own apron/smock" things I got for free from The Children's Place a long time ago, so she spread the things on the dining room floor and made some for her and Mari...who found the paint box and asked if she could paint "Sure, after I get the closet cleaned out!"...which inspired Trina to make popcorn that the kids were practicing tossing up and in their mouths but ended up all over the dining room floor...which I had to sweep about 10 times today after putting the closet back together...where I found the game "Perfection"...which I had to show Bocker who really wanted to learn how to play...which I did and he abandoned the Lite-Brite that he and the girls had found...which I had to find a new bulb for and get set up for them while cleaning the closet...you see where this is going?

Anyway, after all of that, and reassembling the closet, I was BUSHED! They painted pictures, did lite-brite, made the aprons, played Perfection, Analise even found an entire kit of scrapbooking and made a really cute scrapbook for herself (I'll show pics of that on the art blog later).

Then, at around 8:30pm she whines, "Mooooo-oooom, you said you would help me make a necklace!"


Oh My Gosh.

I can't win.

That scrapbooking page was one of TWO that represent some lame attempt I had at one time to start the lovely hobby of scrapbooking. I discovered blogging and scrapped the scrapbooking. I don't have the time, the energy, the money, the will, the space, or the organization to ever attempt scrabooking again so I am taking a picture of it and then I will probably junk that scrapbook page.

I tried to take a picture of the cute haircut I gave Mari the other day but the camera doesn't do it justice...oh, I ALSO trimmed Weazy's hair this morning.

I didn't have time for a run today. Hmmm, go figure.