And Tahd Smiles (but not too big because he just had a tooth extracted)

All week Tahd and I have been planning to take Gabe to an open house at a local astronomy observatory.  Having been something we’ve never experienced before we thought it might be fun, and Gabe has an affinity for all things science.  Thank you, Phineas and Ferb!  Tahd did his fatherly duty of keeping it a secret throughout the week, all while teasing Gabe with cryptic hints that frustrated and humored him.


We got to Friday and found nothing but overcast skies and angry rainclouds with a sprinkling of thunder and lightning.  In other words, less-than-ideal telescope conditions.  Boo!  So we revealed the surprise and its disappointment and gave Gabe three alternatives – going to a movie, hanging out at Chuck E. Cheese, and having a family game night.  Guess what he said?

“Are those all the options?  What about farm things? I really like farm things!”

So Tahd and I consulted.  It’s a little cold for any farm events, and the pounding rain and driving wind (um, hello wind advisory?) pretty much sealed the deal on anything in the Great Outdoors.  Lucky for us, Tahd works for a company in the agriculture industry and told Gabe we could go to his work and look at farm equipment. And that?  Is what he picked.

Tahd definitely smiled.

But, as I said, not too big because he had a tooth extracted today.  A really infected, really painful tooth that rendered him unable to chew, swallow, or even open his mouth.  Fun, right?  And he’s got a slightly giant swollen lump on his neck just below his jaw.  It’s right below the edge of the computer screen.  Convenient framing. 🙂

He wasn’t nearly as cranky as he looked – which is to his credit given the incredible joys of a tooth abscess!  We stopped off at our favorite destination – Barnes and Noble – between dental appointments, which was a fun little afternoon date.

We spent most of the day doing oral surgery types of things, which was a new experience for me because I never had any wisdom teeth.  Tahd teases me that I must not be very wise, but today the dentist said eventually no one will have wisdom teeth, so I’ve decided I must be genetically advanced. Tahd didn’t laugh at my joke, but I’m attributing that to his pain killers and stuff.  He’s clearly unable to fully comprehend my impressive humor.

But back to the farm stuff… I think one of my most favorite things to observe in my son is him imitating his dad.  We went to Tahd’s classroom where Gabe relished the opportunity to pretend we were his students while he illustrated his specialized tractor and said things like, “Please hold your questions until I’m done.”

See?  It’s an 1107. Not sure what the squiggly line is on the windshield.

Tahd and I cast furtive sideways glances at one another while we stifled giggles, enjoying every minute of our son’s mastery of bossiness.  Or at least I was – Tahd was probably distracted by the teeniest smidge of pain.  The look of delight in Gabe’s eyes while he scrutinized each piece of machinery and asked sharp questions left me with a contented smile on my face and in my heart.


We haven’t had the easiest week together; Gabe has been a little punchy and quick with the backtalk, and I’ve been a little impatient and overtired.  But tonight we existed in harmony and even had a little fun together, and it was refreshing.


Odds And Ends

Lately I’ve been working on a post that’s touching an especially raw nerve in me.  And I just can’t seem to get the experience down into black and white, in spite of the fact that I’ve written about it before.  So I decided to table it, just for a few days until I can’t help but write it because I’m drowning in the words.

So far? I’m at a slow trickle.

For the record, the post will be called something like “Spring.”  I have a few other posts in mind to write soon and don’t want anyone to think my post on meal planning is the one touching the raw nerve.  Although it does touch a nerve. Just not the raw one. 😉

It’s been a little intense around here lately.  Tahd’s out of town (again, but for the last time during the foreseeable future).  Gabe has scarlet fever.  Which I didn’t realize was still a thing since we don’t live in Little House On The Prairie.  But I guess it is, because it’s going around at Gabe’s school and he appears to be the lucky recipient.

Tahd also happens to have developed a tooth abscess since he left town.  Let’s review these issues:

  1. He can’t open his mouth much, if at all
  2. He can’t chew because there’s too much pain
  3. He also can’t chew because the infected tooth is so infected that it has actually risen somewhat and none of his other teeth make contact
  4. He has a sore throat
  5. His glands are swollen

After hearing all these things as well as listening to him tell me that he thought he’d be okay with a little Tylenol, I promptly concluded he was insane and arranged to get him a prescription for antibiotics before the infection moves into his brain.

Oh – and my internet’s out. I called my service provider who told me there was an outage. Unfortunately, they failed to tell me that the outage was with telephone service, not with internet service. So now my cell phone is tethered to my computer because this addict needs her fix! 🙂  And I have a service call for tomorrow night.  In the meantime, I’ve been catching up on a little scrapbooking project I’ve been wanting to do.  Namely calendars…

photo a day calendar layout

So it’s been an unusual week. Because of the scarlet fever Gabe has been home with me; however, he feels p.e.r.f.e.c.t.l.y fine. See?  Here’s his rash. It was practically invisible, never getting worse than this (and usually looking like he had no rash at all).

scarlet fever rash

There’s no “laying around on the couch and watching movies” for him. It’s more like “WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO NEXT, MOM?  LET’S GO!  PLAY WITH ME!!! ENTERTAIN ME!!!!!! COME ON!!!!!!!!!!!”  Mostly, we’ve been kicking around the house and the neighborhood.

chalkboard wall

As of about 4:00 today, Gabe was officially no  longer contagious, so he’ll be back at school tomorrow.  And hopefully I’ll find my words when I have a little more quiet around me.

Weekend Review

We’re nearly all the way through our weekend and Tahd has left again for his next work adventure so it feels like a good time to take stock.

1.  My feet feel happier – and by extension I feel happier – when I am not wading through inches of crumbs.  It’s easy for me to let the vacuuming go.  If you put on socks, you can’t feel the crumbs!  But the feeling of socklessly gliding across a smooth, crumbless floor is good, a small pleasure not to be ignored.  Cheers to clean floors and vacuum cleaners!

2.  I still haven’t finished redecorating from when I undecorated the Christmas stuff.  This fact is getting really old.  Why is it that I can’t look an arrangement-o-crap and decide whether or not I like it?  Or look at an arrangement-o-crap I don’t like and figure out why I don’t like it?  Am I that out of touch with myself?  Apparently, because my dining room table continues to be covered by random home decor items I’ve tried out in a hundred places in a thousand combinations.

For example, here’s my piano.  I hate this arrangement:


So I moved things around. I might like this better.  Maybe.

Or not.  But that’s what it looks like right now.

3.  The thing I hate most about Tahd traveling?  If we have a good week while he’s gone, it means there’s going to be an adjustment period when he comes home.  Gabe and I get in a groove of doing things on our own, and sometimes it’s hard to add a third person into a mix.  Tahd has his own solo groove going, and I can only imagine how annoying it is for him to have to account for Gabe’s and my silly antics.   Said adjustment period involves arguments and general irritation until we’ve retooled our expectation of “normal.”   Such was this weekend.  It was fun and I’d far rather have Tahd home than gone, but we also had our share of “adjustment blues.”  Given the fact that Tahd is traveling nearly every week in the near future, I anticipate a lot of “adjustment blues.”  We need to find a way to adjust with smiles instead of frowns.

4.  I’m going into my third week of being sick.  The Infection From The Pit Of Hell is beginning to return from whence it came.  Which would be my lungs. In spite of the fact that I have been on every medication known to man, there seems to be an impressive amount of junk lingering in the recesses of my lungs.  Interestingly, Gabe also seems to be getting sicker rather than better, too.  Do you think they’ll comp our next visit at the walk-in clinic if we go back?

Yeah.  Me neither.

5.  When Gabe was 2 we watched Cars every day.  Sometimes twice a day.  Really, it’s miraculous that he can do anything other than stare at the television in a trance given how much screen time he logged during that year.  He watched the movie so many times we wore it out.  He got a new one for Christmas but hadn’t cracked it out.  Until today.  I’m loving it!  I had forgotten how fun this movie was!

Also – Gabe was a Ninja.

This is important.

6.  I want to make this.  And this.  And this.  I also want to finish painting my kitchen floor.  And Tahd would love me extra if I cleaned up the trash heap that is our basement.  I had better get busy!

7.  And finally, congratulations are in order to Emmy Kay, a fellow infertility and miscarriage sojourner, who delivered twin girls this weekend.  I love me some babies, especially babies who bring hope.  Congrats, E&F!


Eleven years ago today

I married a man I thought I knew.

We built a life,

a different one from the one we imagined.

But a beautiful one all the same.

You are not the man I thought I married.

You are better in so many ways

and I am luckier than I knew those many years ago.

Thank you for making my dreams come true

and for creating new dreams with me along the way.

I love you.


Happy eleven!

2010 Year In Review

*~*~the summary~*~*

:: it started with surgery that kicked my butt

:: then a pregnancy that came out of nowhere

:: and a little boy who fell in love with the olympics and canada

:: an unthinkable anxiety became pervasive in my mind

:: until I lost Mara on Mother’s Day

:: we grieved

:: we’re grieving

:: but we’re picking up the pieces

:: and learning that

:: life

:: is

:: good

:: I like being me

:: even though it sucked sometimes

:: and I like taking prozac because it helps me be me

:: it’s bittersweet to leave 2010 behind and start 2011

:: but the good outpaced the bad in 2010

:: and I’m trusting the same of 2011

*~*~the review~*~*

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?
:: took my son to Florida
:: accepted help at a deeper level
:: learned to take pictures in manual mode
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
:: I didn’t make any resolutions; my focus for the year was to revel, and I definitely feel I took my reveling to a new level.  I’ll pick a new word for 2011.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
:: lots of people around me gave birth.  Tons!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
:: my baby

5. What countries did you visit?
:: just this one!

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
:: financial stability
:: a new baby
:: energy

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
:: May 9, because that was the day Mara died

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
:: surviving; it sounds sort of pitiful, but I’m very, very proud of it.  It was very, very hard.
9. What was your biggest failure?
:: I can’t think of a giant failure. Maybe there have been some, but I can’t think of any.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
:: sort of, I guess

11. What was the best thing you bought?
:: a trip to Florida and family photos while we were there; hands down one of the best decisions we’ve ever made

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
:: Gabe’s! He started school this fall and is proving to be an amazing little guy!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
:: I saw some pretty appalling online behavior, but thankfully nothing horrific in “real” life

14. Where did most of your money go?
:: medical bills, mortgage, and food.  Did I say medical bills?

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
:: being pregnant

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?
:: Feels Like Home, by Chantal Kreviazuk

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
b) thinner or fatter?
c) richer or poorer?
a) happier, quite shockingly. When I’m sadder I’m much sadder, but mostly I’m happier.
b) a bit fatter, unfortunately. I picked up about 6 pounds this fall – not a giant deal, but more than what I weighed last New Year’s.
c) mildly richer since I started working a little bit

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
:: the bedtime routine with Gabe

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
:: generally being impatient.  It feels reasonable in the moment, but afterward I always regret it.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
:: with my wonderful family, and it was perfect – just not long enough!

21. Did you fall in love in 2010?
:: yes, again and again

22. What was your favorite TV program?
:: the office

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
:: no, I don’t think I hate anyone. I don’t even think I strongly dislike anyone.

24. What was the best book you read?
:: Jesus Calling or A Perfectly Kept House Is The Sign of a Misspent Life

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
:: not really a new discovery, but there are some things by Lily Allen I fell in love with

26. What did you want and get?
:: to go to Florida

27. What did you want and not get?
:: to bring my new baby home

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
:: did I even go to the movies this year??

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
:: honestly, that was almost 12 months ago.  I have no clue!

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
:: less sickness. The nose surgery was rough, the anxiety was beyond rough, the miscarriage was completely horrific, and the random sinus and strep yuckinesses were more than annoying

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
:: fashion concept??  I buy what looks fun and what I can afford. My favorite fashion “thing” is ruffles. Love me some ruffles!

32. What kept you sane?
:: the love and support of my family and friends

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
:: Bethenny Frankel

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
:: healthcare reform

35. Who did you miss?
:: Mara, my extended family, my grandmothers

36. Who was the best new person you met?
:: the most fascinating person I met this year was Kelle Hampton. I met lots of lovely people, though, so it’s hard to pick a “best.”

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.
:: you are stronger than you know

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
:: I have unanswered prayers
I have trouble I wish wasn’t there
And I have asked a thousand ways
That You would take my pain away
That You would take my pain away

I am trying to understand
How to walk this weary land
Make straight the paths that crookedly lie
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave Your hands

*~*~completion ritual~*~*

1.  What do you want to acknowledge yourself for in 2010?

strength. strength I never knew I had and strength I never wanted to find.  but strength I’m so glad to know I have. I want to go somewhere with it.

2.  What is there to grieve in 2010?

my baby. everything else was a blip on the radar. in a sense, this is good because it has put things in perspective. in another sense, it’s just sad.

3.  What else do you need to say about 2010 to declare it complete?

2010 was. it was good. it was hard. it was important. and it will be, even after 2011 is.

I declare 2010 complete!

As I stand up, I declare 2011 my year of M | A | G | I | C!

The word I had originally chosen for 2011 several months ago was alchemy, which is much the same idea.  Although I still like it, I was looking for something simple and something I could take in multiple directions.  So “magic” it is!  I want to create more magic in my life – from the little, mundane things like completing my daily chores, to making family dinner a more positive, magical experience, to finding the sparkle in every moment, to creating a spirit-filled home for my family, to inviting more radiance into my life, and to having some big, beautiful experiences that will shine as bright spots in my lifetime of memories.  I like that magic is a little bit earthy and mystical; I’m not quite sure how this is going to unfold.  2011’s magic will show me, step by step as I connect to each moment.

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