Friday, March 2, 2012

Little Tiger

One of the things that we perpetually try to instill into our young man is to think about how other people might feel. I guess that's my little attempt at raising an empathetic child who realizes that he may not, actually, be the center of the known universe and he may, actually, share his existence with other humans. We're working on it, and some days are more enlightening than others. But, to that end, I want to make you aware of an absolutely INCREDIBLE set of humans.

Short back-story: Matt and I went to this little private (religiously affiliated) university in the middle of corn-fields Indiana. The people there were, and remain to be, amazing people. Not your typical run-of-the-mill undergrads, but truly people with the ability and the desire to find ways to leave this world better than they found it. It's one of those places where, if you went there (or somewhere similar), you get it. We made some wonderful friends and have stayed in touch with a number of incredible people who have already made a difference. While I could go on about the inspiring things that many of our classmates have done with themselves, I wanted to share one of their challenges.

One of our college classmates recently had a baby. Much earlier than he or his wife were expecting to have a baby. His wife was having some issues with preeclampsia and needed to stop being pregnant in order to remain alive. So, her doctors delivered their little girl at 25 weeks 5 days via emergency c-section about 3 weeks ago. Don't worry, they're hanging in there. In fact, they're doing pretty well. G and his wife have truly shown their finest colors along this journey so far, and have decided to share it through a blog. So, go read it. Http:// (don't know how to make a hyperlink on this device...sorry) If you want the whole story, you have to read from the beginning, but, you won't regret it. It is written quite well and will probably elicit a tear or two, as you will undoubtedly be touched. For me, it shows that when you can't control the situation itself, you can control how you react to it (my dad's 'Happy Idiot' philosophy). And G and J's response to this situation is inspiring.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Try Again

Is anyone out there actually still keeping this thing on their radar? I guess we'll find out!

So, blah, blah, blah, I stink at blogging these days. Quick update: umm, life rolls.

Matt finished his MBA program last spring. I am still so proud of him, his committment to himself and our family, and his achievement. I remind myself of this when we make the loan payment each month, but the changes are worth every penny.

I've resumed my MEd program and might be about half-way-ish done after I finish this current course. I think. Maybe. Not entirely sure.

We have settled into the house with my mom, and it seems to be working out well. I have a whole raft of good feelings about my Dearly Beloved in relation to this situation (and a crap-ton of gratitude for my in-laws for raising a kid with his priorities in order and the responsibility to Man-Up when the manning needed to be upped), and we haven't killed each other yet.

Max and Jackie are doing really well back in these parts. They've got a little apartment with their cat, and super jobs that do more than they could hope for, in this economy. Jackie has the extra bonus of the free/ridiculously cheap chocolate supply that she shares with us freely. Mmmm...chocolate.

All of us have made less of ourselves. Apparently the stress of the past couple of years got to us all and we turned to delicious fried foods for comfort. Since then, we've all been working to find other ways to cope. And make our asses smaller. Thanks to Jackie and, we have lost an embarrassing quantity of weight. I have dropped 37 lbs, Mom has lost 42, Jackie has lost 30, and Max has lost 30-ish, too, I think. We have also turned some other friends on to this site, and they're making less of themselves too. It's remarkably do-able, so check it out, if you'd like.

And, other things too. Joseph is 4. He has asthma (diagnosed in October). I'm led to believe that it isn't the friendly "take a shot of albuterol every once in a while" kind of asthma, but more the "stay on top of these meds and symptoms or you'll land your butts in the hospital and maybe on a ventilator" kind of asthma. So, we're trying to stay on top of it. But, boy, do I hate the asthma. Otherwise, he's a normal kid.

I've been knitting up a storm this winter, and have recently taught myself to crochet. I'll post more on that because I'm having fun with it.

But for now, I'm going to go clean myself and enjoy the rolling ocean outside my door. Vacation. Florida. Palm trees. Pelicans. Life is good. I hope that today is kind to all of you.

Monday, October 3, 2011


Hi. I'm back. For now, at least. Not sure how I'll be able to keep this up, but I'm here for now. Sorry I kind of peaced out, there. But, you know, I had a lot to deal with. I'm still dealing, but we'll try to multi-task for a bit and see how that goes.

You up for it?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Becoming Stronger

You know that old saying, "That which doesn't kill us, makes us stronger?" Well, I think that I am becoming stronger. I hope. Maybe.

The past couple of weeks [months] have been a serious shake-up in our routine, and we seem to be readjusting at least functionally, if not well. Max and Jackie returned to NH on Easter with a truck full of stuff, a car on a trailer, and hopes of establishing their adult lives closer to their families. We unpacked them and made a half-hearted attempt at moving some of our stuff the next day with their truck. The big push to get us out of our condo came the following Wednesday, and we've been sleeping at the house since then. It's a mess (that would be an understatement, actually), and we've still got stuff at the condo, but we're getting there. We get closer every day.

What's this, you say? We moved? Why, yes! Wait, you did that just weeks after your dad died? Why, yes! And, you moved into the house that your parents have lived in for the past 20 years (and your mother is still living in)? Why, yes! With all of the crap that you've been collecting for the past 10 years of married life? Why, yes! And, all of the crap that has accumulated for the past 40 years of your parents' lives? Why, yes! And, the crap that's left over from your grandmother who moved 70 years of life in Chicago into the house? Why, yes! Does this sound like a lot of crap? Why, yes! Oh, and your brother moved back to NH after being in OK for the past 6 years? Why, yes! And, we're thrilled to have him and Jackie back, too. And, Joseph had to change day care providers (didn't mention that one, did I?) as soon as we all got back from Cleveland? Why, yes! And, when people told you that the grieving process was going to be harder than you imagined, you thought that you'd make it more difficult by tossing in a move, too? Why, yes! Does that sound like it might be a teensy bit much for one small group of people to handle all at one time? Why, YES!

So, we're becoming stronger. I hope. I think. Maybe. I, personally, am just trying not to do permanent emotional damage to The Boy as we all jockey for position in our new arrangement and determine what our new roles and responsibilities will be. I'd like to stay married, too. That'd be ok. There has been a lot of whining, crying, and yelling. And Joseph has been upset too. We'll get there. I hope. I think. Maybe. Wherever 'there' is...

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter bunnies

More Joseph cuteness to make you smile.

The Boy and my mom dyed eggs the other day (Monday?) because we happened to have the time and occasion. We dyed a dozen eggs and he stuck them up with race car stickers and all that good stuff. Because what else says 'Easter' but some Nascar-infused egg decorations? My mom (Ma) put them all back in the carton and put them in the fridge and told Joseph that they'd be safe from the silly bunnies in the fridge. He wanted to know why the bunnies wanted his eggs, so she told him about the silly game that the bunnies play at Easter where they find your eggs and then hide them all over the place for you to find.

He was not a fan of that whole situation.

When she came over to our house the next night, he exclaimed, "Ma! You need to go to your house to check on our eggs and see if the bunnies got them!" Then, as we drove up to the house on Wednesday, he was looking all over the yard for the bunnies that  wanted to hide his eggs. He ran in the house and checked the eggs in the frigerator (his word) to make sure that the bunnies hadn't gotten in to take them. Can you tell how his little mind is working? We tried to tell him that it was a silly game and they weren't going to keep his eggs. We even told him that sometimes they leave extra eggs with candy and toys in them. Still not buying it. We assured him that the pets would keep the bunnies out of the house, and even if Scout let them in (because she's a friendly little pug) the bunnies couldn't get the eggs because they don't have thumbs to open the frigerator. That seemed to work. He spent a good few minutes after that explaining to the cats that the bunnies couldn't get in and hide our eggs since they don't have fumbs (no "th" sounds for this kiddo yet).

We're in trouble once he starts to think about what Santa does, and I feel bad for the Tooth Fairy. That is a pretty sketchy deal, though. We'll see how he does on Sunday.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Misery loves company

Okay, so maybe that title is a bit dramatical, but, it seems to be the case. I promise not to dwell on my grief over losing my dad too much, but I do miss him more than I can even express. I know that it's going to be a long process, and I know that we have been so fortunate and lucky in so many many aspects of this whole situation. Actually, I promise nothing. This sucks.

At any rate, another teacher at school who has become a friend lost her dad the day that my dad went into the hospital--March 18. His passing was quite sudden, although he had been plagued with health issues for a while. My heart broke for my friend, her mom, and her family while we were desperately trying to write another ending for our story. Obviously, these pages had been written long before, and our journey has taken this path. When I finally came back to school, this teacher friend came down to my room and we were both able to talk about what we were both going through with someone who truly knew how the other's heart was aching. At that moment. While I am so sorry that my friend is going through this at the same time that I am, it has provided a certain amount of comfort to know that there is someone that I can chat with who has the same questions, concerns, fears, and sadness that I have. I don't even feel the least bit bad about crying in front of her, and that's not something that I let many people see. So, in this respect, my misery cherishes her company, and I'm chalking her up on my list of fortunate occurrences during this crappy situation.

On another note, I've found myself forcing myself to remember things about Dad. I think it's kind of funny that it's taken me until now to realize some of these things. Like, he always called me "sweetie." Always. I never quite realized this until I was laying in bed and making myself remember his voice. I was thinking about how he always greeted me on the phone with a chipper, "Hi, sweetie." And the last thing that he was able to say to me was, "I love you. You're doing a great job with that little boy." I know that doesn't have much to do with anything, but I don't want to forget.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I say 'Tomato,' you hear 'Tornado'...

I'm stepping outside of my grief for a moment to share a smile. This does require a bit of a back-story, though.

1.  Matt was a meteorology major when we were in school. Since we went to school in Indiana, he was able to partake of various storm chasing opportunities and even spent a couple of weeks one summer driving all over Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, and other assorted flat and tornado-prone states chasing the elusive funnel cloud.

2.  Joseph has never been afraid of storms. Until a couple of weeks ago. For some reason, he decided that thunderstorms made him 'a little bit scared.' Matt explained to him how we all like thunderstorms and when he was in college, he would drive around to find the big thunderstorms. Both of us love a good thunderstorm, so The Boy is going to have to get over that. We'll get there.

Now, the rest of it: Joseph and I were driving to my folk's (dammit, this sucks) mom's house last weekend and we were talking about planting a garden this spring. He decided that he wanted to plant pumpkins, because he likes pumpkins. We discussed beans, peas, and cucumbers, too. He wasn't as excited about those, but could deal with it. Then I said that we could plant tomatoes, too. He pauses and comes back with, 'I don't love tomatoes.' I responded with something to the effect of, well, you don't have to eat them, but it will be fun to watch them grow. He says, 'I'm a little bit scared of tomatoes.' I'm baffled. He keeps explaining: 'My daddy used to put on his hat and his sunglasses and go and find the thunderstorms, and I'm a little bit scared of tomatoes.' Lightbulb. I promptly called Matt and explained to him that, unbeknownst to him, he had been chasing the elusive tomato all of those years ago. I've been a little slow on correcting this misconception because I think that it's just so darned cute! I'll probably rot for that. Oh well, I can deal with it.

I love my kid.