Monday, August 31, 2009

Do You Sense A Theme?

These are all snaps of pictures Mom has on her walls. I didn't even go DOWNSTAIRS to see if there were more down there! There has always been a recurring theme of joy for life around Mom and Dad's house and it looks like it's a continuing theme with the next generation! My second younger brother, Pete and his wife, Nellie (Janel) had their 4th child, Vincent (or, as Tommy calls him "Sinsint") last month. One month later (exactly four weeks!), my youngest brother, Rudy and his girlfriend, Jess had their first (I say "first" for a reason, I'll elaborate more later) baby girl Madeline. She's only four days old today! We saw them all late yesterday at Mom and Dad's. Here are some pics of the first time we all got together after the babies came:

"Sinsint SO Big!"

Sr. B holding Vincent and Jess nursing Madeline

Mari, Weazy, Tommy ogling Madeline

Auntie Anna taking a snooze with Vincent

Papa and Madeline

Jess is a wonder of a new mom. I've never met anyone quite like her. She's joyous, lighthearted, giddy, tolerant, non-controversial, sensible, well-read, lovable and SMART!
I've really never met anyone who could, at the same time, be kind of scatterbrained and have all her ducks in a row? How could that be? I have NO IDEA, but she pulls it off with such grace, it has to be a God-given gift!

Really, it makes me cry to think about how God knew how much we needed Jess in our family right now. I love all of my sibs and their spouses, but (no pressure, Jess!) she is the shot of loveliness and grace this family has needed for months now. What could have been a polarizing, stressful time (the news of an unexpected pregnancy) has been a wonderful gift of love and togetherness that I was absolutely smacked across the face with (in a good way!). Never mind that their baby is gorgeous and wonderful, and healthy in every way and was wanted and loved from the moment of her creation...The fact that Rudy found Jess and that Jess decided to put up with HIM (hahaha) and become part of our family (even after meeting us?! GO FIGURE!?) by adding a new member and including us in every aspect of the baby's development has been such a refreshing shot of love to a family that was suffering a pretty sad loss, financial worries, and tension...
For a girl with no siblings, she has slipped her way, effortlessly into our very TIGHT KNIT family, and become part of our frenzied, crazy quilt pattern as though she's been here for years, or maybe had a place marked out for, and held for her from the beginning.
All I can say about all of that is that God is good and He's been watching out for us.
A new baby will do that to you, you know? A new baby (anybody's baby, but especially one that belongs to you in a special way) will show you the heart of God in their face and bring you closer to expected, and UNexpected ways.

We now have 20 cousins in the family (my sibs and I...with one more of mine on the way)

I'm so happy!

Friday, August 28, 2009

All Aboard

This time, it was a dream about a train. I've never considered the hobo life, but apparently, it's somewhere in my subconscious.

My sisters and I are just getting done with a huge train ride. We are in our old bedroom in the basement of my parent's house, discussing our adventures. We all agree that it was a mistake to ride on TOP of the train cars because of low bridges and rain. We laugh when we remember how we went on this clover leaf thing and how we got separated when we were playing "leap from car to car" that one time. My sisters are much more experienced train riders than I am and I am in doubt that I'll ever get as "into it" as they are. We start discussing family issues and I disagree with how they are handling a certain issue.

I have a lot of anger about something but my sisters are at peace. They had brought a person along on the train ride with whom I am super angry. They get all lovey-dovey and say good bye to that person but I am holding on to my rage. I want to call and chew that person out. I want to punch them in the face. With every nasty name I call that person, with every fault and sin I point out, my sisters laugh and say they are "over it and why can't you be?" I get angrier and louder. I know it won't do any good, but the anger is so that it's making my voice hoarse and my blood pressure rise. The most infuriating part is that my sisters are so calm.

I wake up with a dry throat and nausea.

I don't know if the nausea is because of the pregnancy, the thought of riding on trains, or the deeply sick feeling I get when I think about the person that is causing so much anger in the family.

On a totally unrelated note:

P.S. PLEASE pray for my long suffering friends. They just keep getting blow after blow and they need tons of prayers right now:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Jolly Trolls

...the nights of uncomfortable sleep, the crazy dreams, the waking to go fifty billion (okay, at least twice) times a night, the extreme fatigue then extreme wakefulness and anxiety...
of pregnancy.

If you didn't already hear, I'm all knocked up...again. Yup, it's my 9th pregnancy (two didn't make it the whole, nine months, but I think they do count so I'll include them here). Wowie, that sounds strange.

I don't know the due date yet but I DO know that I am only just a few weeks pregs so it's veryveryvery early and prayers are appreciated, always.

(Don't continue reading if hearing about other people's dreams bores you to death)

So, I woke up at 1:30 this morning (note the posting time). I completely crashed out around 10 pm, which is HIGHLY unusual for me. I vaguely remember telling Butch, as I gave in to the waves of sleepiness, "Crud, I'll probably wake up in the middle of the night and won't be able to sle..." then I started snoring.

I fully intended to just shut my eyes for a minute and then head downstairs to clean up and take care of business...of course, now that I'm WIDE AWAKE, I can't remember what that "business" is!

I had this dream:
I'm walking through an old, huge, series of barns with lots of spiderwebs. I'm with a group of really old dudes (that kind of look like trolls) and we are searching for something. We see a whole bunch of hundreds-of-years-old, trolly and train cars. We have to sort them out. It's like an archaeological "dig" but these old guys are in some way connected to this rail line. They are maybe old workers that have come back to help identify certain train parts? I am the only young one among them and I think it's ridiculous that "they" have made these poor, old dudes come to sort out this huge, rusty mess. I spy a chunk of metal that looks interesting. I find out that my great grandfather or some distant ancestor has a great deal to do with the invention of some of these machines. I am given a list, a LONG list, of patents the relative is responsible for and I can't believe my eyes! I am told that, if I help sort this stuff, I could keep whatever was pertinent to his inventing and that it could be worth millions of dollars. I start to dig through the stuff and find a big grouping of little, tiny, trolley cars (almost small enough for very small children) and I start to unload them to sort them out. The old dudes, with big smiles on their faces, start helping me. They clean off the machines, throw out any nasty things that have been festering on those things for all those years (could have been thousands of years for all the dust and junk on them) for me, and generally keep the mood light. I am sort of sad that all of this stuff has been neglected for so long so I start to get depressed. My sister, Katrina (who is rarely, if EVER in my dreams) notices a figurine in another pile. We both get very excited and ask the dudes to go check it out. She directs them to carefully separate what turns out to be a huge grouping of little figurines (like wooden puppets...I just read Pinoccio to Mari, in real life) kind of like a train set for kids. They are all hooked together but are all shapes and sizes. It reminds me of The Jolly Troll. (Man, I haven't thought of that place in YEARS! It was this goofy, tacky, buffet restaurant somewhere in the city. Dad used to take the family there for a special treat but it always kind of creeped us out. It had a whole bunch of fake houses lined up along the walls...we would go look in the windows of them to see the figurines while we were waiting for our food. The animatronic trolls were working and doing various troll duties like cobbling, baking, house making, etc...anyway), this chain of wooden characters could be cleaned off and set up, once again so we set out to separate it and make it nice for future use. We were getting very excited at our find but very grossed out at how oldie and dirty everything was and how much it was going to take to clean it all and get it in working order.

That's when I woke up with a TERRIBLE headache. I don't really ever get headaches so I know something is not right. I don't want to take anything but if I did, it would probably be 3 XS Tylenol, that's how bad it is.

I think I'm tired again. Gotta go before I fall asleep on the keybolskjdklv xccccc'''''''''m

Friday, August 14, 2009

Alternate Use For A Treadmill

Besides being a clothes hanger, a treadmill (apparently) can be a comfortable resting place for a tired soul:

(This was a totally remarkable event. Tommy NEVER sleeps anywhere besides his bed. A day after this picture, he got really sick with a fever and terrible ear infection. He's better now.)

We tried running last week and this week but each run was a strain because of the air quality. We'll try again, today but I'm not really counting on it being a satisfying or fruitful run...except in that we are, at least, trying.

This summer has been a weird one. We had one of the coldest Julys on record and now the humidity is almost unbearable. Just when it's time to don some summer clothes, you got outside for 2 minutes and you're panting and gasping and running back into the air conditioning. I sure am thankful for air conditioning!

How about this "health care reform" crapola? I can't not say something about it. All the hubub and opinions are dominating the news. Here's my .02.

We already have "insurance" for the "poor" (it's called medicare/medicaid, right?). Why don't we have a system for health insurance (for people who don't need to live off of the government and want more choices in health care) just like car insurance? Competitive pricing, better coverage, portability, etc. and if you don't want or need health insurance, how about posting pricing for care (like pricing at McDonalds...right above the receptionist's heads). THAT would take care of about 80 percent of the problem, right there!

OH NO! That would be too simple! The reps in D.C. would have less justification for their existence and three figure salaries.