Sunday, June 27, 2010

Awesome Weekend

Just a quick little update.  Boo and I had a fabulous time with Jen, her husband Sam and Joan at Knobles today. It was really wonderful to see Jen and Joan again and great to actually meet Sam.  They're a lot of fun.  Everyone had a great time, even with the melting heat.  Here's to not letting another 8 to 10 years slip on by before seeing each other again!
I do have a few pictures from today, but they're on the camera yet.  I have a lot of pictures from yesterday as well.  I gave Boo a real treat.  I filled a was tub about half full of soapy water and let him have at it while stripped down to his diaper while we were out on the balcony.  It's a good thing our downstairs neighbor wasn't outside at the time!  She got a good bit splashed down onto her deck.  Oops.  Oh well, it's only a little soapy water.  Boo had a lot of fun, and I had a lot of fun playing with him.  He's at such a fun age.  Of course, there are days when I wish he'd sing something other than "Twinkle Twinkle" (he knows about half the words, and mumbles the rest).  He also likes "Itsy Bitsy" (again, that's about all he can sing of that one....)  He really does take after his GG that way... always singing.
Ok.  This was just a quick little update to say we had a fabulous weekend and keep your eyes open for some pictures soon.  (I need a new camera though *pout* the battery cover finally sprung enough that it won't turn on unless I have it held shut by a rubber band.... *sigh*)

Peace to all and may you have wonderful times with wonderful friends.

Friday, June 25, 2010

All About Boo

So here it is, Friday again and I have not posted since Monday.
Yep, I'm officially in a blog funk.  June's been a rough month for posting.  Maybe July will be better?  Wait, we've still got just under a week of June left!  Don't make the time go any faster than it has to, there's too much stuff!

Ok, sorry about that.

I don't really have any big happenings right now, so I guess a little bit of a boy update will do.
Let's see here, I don't think I mentioned it before, but about a week or two ago, he finally managed to jump with both feet.  Yep, my boy can jump.  At least a little bit and loves jumping on his bed.  Thankfully it's only a mattress on the floor, but still.  No jumping on the bed boy-o!
He's also become quite enamored with his hat.  This is the same hat that I think he wore for about 3 hours total last summer.  Case in point, on Monday after I put him to bed I hear his door banging quietly, like he's opening and closing it, trying to decide if he wants to come out.  Well, I give him about 10 minutes and then I go look in on him.  There he is, standing with his hand on the door and it about 1/4 open, in his PJ's with his hat on his head and this look of "I didn't do it!" on his face.  Too stinking cute.  (Needless to say I ushered him back to bed and reminded him it was bed time...)
His vocabulary is just exploding.  I've more than lost count of how many words he can say and understand.  My two current favorites of his are "trikenal" for tricycle and "cerlelol" for cereal.  Of course, "keek-a-boo" is still pretty darn cute.  He actually will say his name now, admittedly it comes out "Nay-nus", but hey, I know who he means.  (Of course, pictures of him still gets labeled "you" more often than not by him....)  He still does come out with words or strings of words that I have no idea what he just said.  I figure this will be the case for a very long time yet.  He's still the master of the one word sentence, but is putting more and more words together to get the idea across.
Boo can drink out of a big-boy cup, and does quite well with only a couple of ounces in a small cup.  But, he's fickle.  Some days all he wants is a big-boy cup, but last night, I offered him one and he cried and refused and only wanted a sippy. *sigh*  I'd like to get him better at big-boy cups, if only because it means fewer dishes.
Swim class is over for him, although I feel a little guilty about not signing him up for the next session.  Earlier this week he looked at me while I was getting him dressed and he said "swim?".  Sorry, buddy, not today.  I just hope I can get us over to Frank's pool semi-often.  He does seem to enjoy the pool, if it's not cold and if I'm not trying to get him to actually swim, or make swimming like motions.  Well, it's a start, or actually, with him I think it's a few steps backwards from February, but well, at least he doesn't totally hate the idea of "swim".  The bath on the other hand, continues to be a challenge and a mis-adventure.  He still refuses to sit in the tub, yet he almost begs for "baff" time almost every night.  Most nights he asks, I give him one, trying to reinforce the positives.  I'm not sure it's working.  Of course, I didn't help things any on Wednesday night.  I've been putting him into the tub while I fill it, and when he's decided he's not going to sit and there's enough water to splash in, I turn off the water.  I'm not "filling" the tub if he's not going to sit in it.  Anyhow, Gak had put the idea in my head (well, verbalized the idea that was already in my head) of trying the shower.  Soo.... wile he's standing in the tub and it's filling, I flip on the shower.  Big mistake.  Oh well, he's already screaming so I might as well wash his hair because he seems to hate that even more these days.  Yep, he does.  At least the tub wasn't very full so I didn't waste much water.  But, for some strange reason, he asks for "baff" again last night.  (I didn't even look at the shower...)  Again, he just stands or squats and splashes a bit and then is done.  I just don't get it.  I'm trying to just go with the flow here, but it's wearing on me.  Mostly because I worry about him slipping and falling in the tub while standing.  Of course, I'm of two minds, maybe it'll make him realize he should be sitting, or push us even farther back and he won't even let me put him into the tub at that point.  I think I'm just going to put a bucket out on the deck with some warm water in it and let him play to his heart's content either buck naked or just in a diaper.  We'll see how that goes.  I liked Ali's idea of just letting him play in the hose, but.... being a 2nd floor apartment, we don't have that option.  So, we'll see how the summer goes.  Hopefully we'll get into Frank's pool on a regular basis (I know Zoe would love that!) and the bath thing will become a distant, annoying memory.

Well, that's about where things stand with the Boo boy.  Work's been rough lately, some from a focus perspective, some from just a sheer workload and adjusting to the new network and rebuilt computer perspective.  I've really got to do a major push in the next week to clear out what I can because reporting month is around the corner and it's not fun to start backlogged to begin with.  We shall see.

Gak's working open to close most of this week and next while his boss is in Hawaii on a family vacation.  Fun, fun.  It'll be a long couple of weeks, but the pay check will be nice.

This weekend will be a little weird, not having swim on Saturday.  I'll probably do laundry like I used to.  Sunday Boo and I are heading up to Knoebles to meet up with Jen and Joan from college.  It should be fun.  I may have Zoe in toe, but I'm not sure.  It would be nice, since neither Jen nor Joan have kids.  It'll give Boo someone to play with while I catch up.

Well, I'd best get things together for lunches and get a boy up in a bit, if he doesn't wake up in a moment on his own.... he's been getting up very early.  He may sleep in a bit today though.  Last night he did not go to sleep until almost 9:00.  I peeked in on him when I was going to bed at about 9:15 or so, and there he was, wedged between his bed and lee, using a stack of blankies as a pillow, sound asleep.  His floor and bed were full of toys, including his mouse and keyboard.  So, I quietly cleared off the bed and scooped him up and put him back in bed.  He barely stirred.  Hopefully he'll sleep for another 20-30 minutes yet and I'll be able to get some things done.

Peace to all and may you never cease to be amazed at the wonderful things in life.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Father's Day (a day late and dollar short edition...)

Well, Sunday was Father's Day.  We weren't going to do much this year as we've just gotten through all the moving crap and other stuff.  (Actually, the moving crap still continues, we haven't received our deposit nor any word about it... she has until the middle of next week.... I so don't want to have to play mean about this...)
But, of course, as life would have it, our plans and reality were fairly different.
Gak had seen a really good deal at Walmart for a new X-box 360 that came with two games.  Unfortunately, when we went to our local store, there weren't any there and they didn't even offer to check the other local stores.  Not that I really wanted to buy anything at Walmart, but with the deal they were offering, it was almost too good to pass up.  (I'd promised Gak we'd get him an X-box at some point in time this year.)  (Is it just me or does any Walmart over about 5 or 6 years old look like it hasn't been swept in a decade and the stocking of shelves is all a mess and disorganized and just has a general "ick" feel to it?)
Disappointed, we come home and relax a bit and have a good Friday evening in general playing with the boy.
Saturday was Boo's last swim class.  I'm not going to sign him up for any more until maybe the fall.  We'll see how he does in outside pools over the summer.  I could, and probably should, have written a whole post just on the swim classes.  Overall I don't think they were a bad thing, but I think he's less happy in the water (at least at our Y) now than back in February.  I know he doesn't like baths at the moment.  I honestly doubt the two are related or that the swim classes caused this.  I still say a good bit was him dealing with the stress of the situation we were in this spring and a good bit more has to do with the water temperature (84 degrees my foot....).  Anyhow, he's excited about "swim" and "baff", up until the point he has to get into the water. *sigh*  He tolerates both well, but isn't happy about it half the time or so.
Anyhow, after that we came home, played for a bit and then Boo crashed for what's becoming his normal Saturday marathon nap of 3 hours or so.  Then we picked up Poppa and went to Target, mostly to look, and partially to pick up some cleaning stuff and some groceries so I didn't have to go to the store in the morning.  Gak fell upon a very nice deal.  It's not quite as nice a deal as what we could have gotten at Walmart, but we got a new base 360 with a controller for $130 after the $50 gift card.  It didn't come with any games (the ones bundled at Walmart were ones that were going to get traded in anyhow...) and was about $30 more, but I like Target a whole lot better to begin with.  So, while I fixed supper (baked chicken and mashed potatoes) Gak and Boo took some old DS games over to Game Stop and traded them in and picked up some used games for the Xbox.  Happy Father's Day love.
Sunday was a full day as well.  We were going to Ikea on our way down to PopPop and Amma's and then later in the afternoon we were going to get Boo's pictures taken.  (Hopefully.  Amma and I tried that last weekend, but it didn't work out so well.......)
At Ikea we end up getting a few more things than were on the list, but just about all of it was needed or useful things.  We got a new lamp for the wall in the living room to add some light to the computer desk end of the room.  We got some other odds and ends, but most importantly, we got a new table for Boo's room.  It's a wonderful bright blue wood.  He picked it out himself.  We gave him the option of two, and wanted the blue one, no questions asked.  Which is good, it both fits in and contrasts the rest of the white furniture in his room.  Hopefully he'll get a good 3 or more years out of it as a play table/desk or as a side table later.  (And at $24, I really don't feel bad about buying it if he only uses it for a few years and then it gets passed on to another kiddo...)
We had lunch at Wendy's on our way to Amma and PopPop's.  It was yummy and Boo even ate almost all his chicken.  The staff there were really slow though and I wasn't 100% sure our order was going to be correct, but it was.
Boo really enjoyed playing with his PopPop for a bit when we got there (Amma and PopPop seemed to know exactly when we were going to show up and were sitting outside waiting for us.)  Boo crashed, and crashed hard for a nice nap.  Gak decided to take a bit of one as well.  I got some crochet done and Amma napped to a baseball game.  I call that a good afternoon.  Once Boo woke we went to the book store and then to Portrait Innovations.
Now, mind you this is the third time we've gone to one to get pictures done.  They usually have great staff and can capture some really great portraits.  It's all digital so it's fast.  I really only wanted to get the $10 value package, as I didn't need a lot of 2-year pictures.  Well.... if you want to get a CD with all the pictures on it for reprints in the future or just to have the ones you didn't get printed, you had to get a total of 4 poses.  I really didn't want to spend the money.  I wish they'd just offered the CD for $10 or even $20.  Yes, over 24 hours later it still galls me.  So, being a soft hearted momma, I bought the extra pictures.  I got mostly wallets. I decided to just get all the pictures now instead of doing another shoot at the end of November or beginning of December.  (Now, the trick is to actually get a holiday letter out... I'm half toying with the idea of writing one now and sending something out now instead... hmm....)  So, in the long run, I spent less money than if we'd gone twice.  Boo cooperated quite well for a two-year-old.  He had his moments, but he hammed it up a bit for the camera and our photographer did get some very good pictures.
No, I'm too lazy to get the CD out of my bag so I can upload one on the post.  Sorry.  I have some other photos sitting on the camera that need uploading as well.  I'll get there, I promise.

Anyhow, that was our busy Father's Day weekend.  I'm glad I was able to get Gak the Xbox like I promised him and didn't have to wait until the end of the year.  I'm glad we got good pictures of the boy, even if I bought more than I wanted to.  I'm glad my son got to spend time with his PopPop.  It's great for both of them.  (More on that in a while... maybe...)  I'm just so lucky to have as wonderful a Dad as I've got, to have such a wonderful husband who is such a great Poppa and such a wonderful son who brings such light into the world.

Gak is about to embark on almost 2 weeks straight of working open to close while his boss goes to Hawaii as a final family vacation before his daughter goes off to college.  That'll be rough, but it'll be a nice pay check or two at the end.
This weekend should be fun.  Boo and I are going up to Kanoebel's to meet up with my college friends Jen and Joan.  I haven't seen them since Mo's wedding.  I wish I'd had more time with them at school, they were great to hang around with.  I'm thinking I may see if I can steal Zoe to keep Boo company while us girls get caught up.  Well, I get caught up with them, they get together on a semi-regular basis.
Next weekend we're supposed to go up there again, at least for Sunday, if not for camping overnight Sunday into Monday.  (Gak has to work Monday, but not until the afternoon, so we can just leave from up there first thing and still make it back in time.)  I'm still not 100% sure on the staying overnight.  It all depends on if my tent is needed by one of the clan or not.  I guess that means I'll have to replace some sleeping bags and get a second air mattress as well.... my really nice sleeping bag got tossed in the great purge better known as the move.

I think I've rambled on long enough.  I'm sorry for the lack of posts this month.  It's been busy at work with the cutover and I just haven't felt up to it at home.  (That and the horrible racket my computer is making is due to a power supply fan that alternates between trying to die and take flight....)  My access to things like this at work is quite limited now, both more and less than it was with the old company.  And in reality, I should be spending my lunch time walking and eating, not surfing and I sure as anything better be doing my job the rest of the time.

Peace to all and may your weekends be good, your father's special and your friends close.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Power of Friends

OK. So, the other day I had this headline: “The End of the Best Friend” in my New York Times headlines. Curious, I clicked on it.

All I could think of as I was reading this is “have people gone completely insane??”

I’ve been trying for two days to think of how to put my thoughts and feelings on this into writing. For me, it’s a very complicated subject.

Let me start of by saying I truly do hope my son is able to form a long-lasting (at least long-lasting in “kid time”) relationship with one of his peers. I hope he does have a best bud who he likes to play with and hang out with and well… be kids together with.

I guess if I just told my story of friends, my experiences growing up, that might help with why this is so complicated for me.

Let’s start when I was not much older than my son, maybe a year or so, when we were living in Kansas. I remember there was a boy in my pre-school that I got along well with. At least, I have vague memories of him. I really couldn’t tell you how old I was or how long the friendship lasted or even his name or what he looked like, or if he was from pre-school or some play group or what.

I remember having a couple of friends in my pre-school, or at least kids I got along with and liked spending time with. Most of the time though, I don’t really remember other kids from this time frame except as “other people who were there”. (From what I’ve read about child development, this is quite normal.)

By the time I started Kindergarten, I had a fairly strong attachment to one of my older neighbors, Trisha. She’s the one who convinced me that I really did know how to read. (She’s also the one who more or less bullied me into calling my parents Mom and Dad instead of Momma and Poppa because Momma and Poppa were for babies… but that’s a few years down the line…) Trisha was at least 2 years if not 3 years older than me. I don’t really remember. I now see that a lot of my time with her was doing as she said and not really a true friendship on her side, but at the age of 3 or 4, it didn’t matter to me much.

In Kindergarten I met the two girls who were to be my best friends until we all moved away either in the middle or end of 4th grade. These were Josi and Karen. I can admit now, that I was closer to Josi than I was Karen, but we were 3 inseparable little girls for about 4 or 5 years there. It broke our hearts the partial year that Josi went to a different school. (Then Karen and I changed schools in 4th grade.) It really broke our hearts when Karen and I were moving (in different directions even) in the middle of 4th grade. That’s something very traumatic to a 10-year-old little girl. Yes, in my elementary school in Kansas there were clicks. Yes, we could be mean to each other from time to time. I guess by today’s standards, I’d be considered one of the “popular” kids when I was at EEC. But, for the most part, groups of kids either ran together or not, and if not, mostly ignored each other. Somewhat like the way most adult groups I’ve seen or been a part of are.

Then we move to PA. Without hesitation I will tell you that the next 4 years or so were the most miserable of my life. If you want to talk about bullying, the kids I went to school with here in PA were brutal. At least to me. My brother never really had to deal with the things I did. During that time I did have a few close friends. Most notably for a year or so there, Nicole and I were inseparable. She was also a transplant, but from much further away. Her family came here from South Africa (I don’t know if her family was originally from there or that was the last place they were from.) That was a brief but close friendship. Throughout most of that bleak 4 or so year between the middle of 4th grade and the beginning of 9th, Abi was my constant companion. It was a very different friendship than the one I’d had with Josi and Karen or Nicole. In some ways we were drawn together in defense, as we were both the odd kids out. (Although, I suffered through much more abuse at school than she did, at least from my view.) I’m the same age as her sister Becky, but Abi and I got along much, much better. We spent as much time together outside of school as we could. We rode to each other’s houses and spent the night and just hung out.

The reason I call those 4 years the most bleak I’ve ever lived through is because of the bullying. I was the target for just about every kid in my class to pick on at one point in time or another. This behavior was something new to me. I didn’t understand it. I never tried to fit in, because I didn’t want to be like them. I liked being me. I saw many of my classmates as being obsessed with money and objects and looks (yes, even at 10) and just so shallow. I didn’t care about any of those things. I wanted to go camping or hiking or play in the dirt or hang upside down from the monkey bars. I wanted to do science “experiments” in my free time and take photographs and read and draw. I was, and still am, a geek or a nerd, depending on your definition. Abi saw me for who I was and didn’t care about my obsession with anything remotely science. She had her nose in a book almost as much as I did. It’s hard for me to admit this, but she’s the one who saved me in that time.

By the time 8th or 9th grade rolled around, I somehow suddenly wasn’t the target of other kids teasing and bullying. I guess either that they realized I wasn’t going to change, or the finally accepted me for who I am. I don’t really care which it was, I just knew that school was much easier at this point.

Now mind you, I’d been in Girl Scouts this whole time. In my Girl Scout troop, especially once I got to 7th or 8th grade and beyond, I was one of the leaders that the other girls all looked to. These were my bright evenings and what I lived for.

In 9th grade I met the girl who was instantly my best friend then, and continues to be to this day. She’s my “sister” in all but blood. Yep, we’re talking about Kat. Yes, we met through Scouts, and for that I’m eternally grateful. She’s my confidant, conscience and partner in crime. We’ve had our moments. It hasn’t been a totally sunny, perfect relationship. I’d be really worried if it was. So, yes, along the way we had to learn how to disagree (something I do with Joan, my other best friend, quite frequently) and how to accept our differences and make up after arguments. We realized a long, long time ago that our friendship was worth more than a few harsh words or hurt feelings.

Of course, I was so very thankful for her friendship all through high school. I still didn’t get along well with my peers at my school, but through her, I found a whole crew of people who would accept me for all my crazy ways and actually wanted me around. I’m still friends with several to this day, most notably Joan and Ed. Without them, my life would not be where it is now.

As I said, I was very thankful for Kat’s friendship and my continuing friendship with Abi (this is when we started drifting apart though, which is sad). In 10th grade, we all moved up to the high school and suddenly there was a whole new batch of kids who saw me as their personal carpet to abuse, as the two middle schools in the district fed into one high school. One girl in particular from the other middle school hated my guts upon first sight. I have no idea what I ever did to Amy to inspire such hatred in her heart. Unfortunately, I had to walk past her locker to get to mine and she was in 4 of my 5 “majors” that year. This one year was almost as miserable at the years from 5th through 8th combined. Luckily, the misery only lasted that one year. I wasn’t her only target though. She was very disrespectful to the teachers, our math teacher in particular, and was just a brat in general. I have no idea what ever happened to her, and I’m not sure I care.

I really don’t want to think about how my life would have been if in those dark times of being bullied and picked on for so long at school if I hadn’t had one or two close friends who accepted me without reservation. Everyone needs someone outside of a parent (and in their own age group) that they can lean on and depend on and offer the same in return. This is why I say I hope my son has one or two close buddies that he can share his life with.

I also agree with the sentiment stated by the one psychologist in the article that these friendships are what teach us how to create and maintain relationships, close relationships that are so important in our adult lives. Not everyone finds a life partner, but for those of us who do, the lessons we learned on the playground about maintaining a friendship are even more important. Knowing that just because you disagree or fight doesn’t mean that the relationship is over. Knowing that you can trust some people to be there for you no matter what is a comfort. Knowing how to make up, and when to make up, learned on the playgrounds is a good thing.

This is why kids need both groups of friends and a few, close buddies, if not downright best friends. This is why kids need the freedom to go to the park and play football in a group (like a handful of teens I saw yesterday while Boo and I were there) without a parent hovering nearby. This is why kids need time away from the adults (and the adults away from the kids). Sure, if a relationship is overly destructive to one or more kids involved, a parent or teacher should say something, but as I learned in my many lessons in love, people won’t listen to outsiders when their heart is involved.

I’ve rambled on long enough and I’m sure about 80% of it isn’t coherent. I just can’t figure out a better way to put it together. There are too many emotions at stake and too many memories faded and half forgotten, many on purpose. But, this article did bring up a lot of memories, both good and painful. And I’d like to think that my experience, while possibly more painful than average, really isn’t all that different from the stories most of you have to tell.

Peace to all and may you have at least one special friend in your life.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Crochet Overload

**I wrote this a few days ago, and am waiting for things to finish, so I'm being "productive" and posting this now... **
Ok.  It’s been a long, long time since I’ve posted anything about my crocheting on here.  As a matter of fact, I can’t remember the last time I did a post showing off my projects.  Of course, there haven’t been a whole lot in recent memory, but there have been several recently, so you all must endure a bit of show and tell.

I’m going to do this out of chronological order.  The reason being is that I want to put the most special one last.  Mind, all of these projects have stories to them, but two have a story that touches my heart more than the rest.

I will start with the first set of projects I got done in recent memory.  Gak’s cousin Robin was expecting her second daughter in April.  Ron and Jay had been trying for a long time and I was very happy to find out that Robin was pregnant.  (Robin’s baby girl was born healthy and happy at the end of April.)  I had recently found a really cool pattern for a heart shaped afghan that I knew would be perfect.  I followed the pattern until the last 3 or 4 rounds of the border.  I just couldn’t get it to work out right and I decided I didn’t really like it anyhow.  So, I improvised my own using an edging pattern from a book I have.

I had tons of yarn left over.  So I made a hat and a little sweater.  I made the same hoodie as I made for Boo and for my “cousin” John’s baby 2 years ago now.  Only I didn’t do the hood, used a smaller hook so it would be closer to newborn sized and added a little ruffle edge instead of the plain one that it called for.  I think it all turned out very pretty.  I added a few ping onsies and some pants to the package and happily sent it on it’s way.  It was loved by all.

This is my most recent project that I finished.  I did this one in record time for me since I stopped traveling.  (I probably would have gotten it done all in one trip back in my crazy travel days.)  I think I put about 15-20 hours in total on it, but it would have been less if I’d actually read the directions more closely.  I did rows 7-10 about 3 times in total before I finally read what the pattern was saying and got it right.
Let me tell you, this yarn was a joy to use!  I picked it up at my new little local yarn store when it opened.  It’s called Haze by Queensland.  It’s a nice lightweight yarn, somewhere between sock and sport.  What’s really cool about this yarn isn’t the amazing colors or the light weight or the soft feel, but the fact that it is 40% cotton and 60% corn viscose.  Yep, 60% of the fibers in the yarn came from corn.  The stalks actually.  Pretty amazing.  (It actually took just under 160 grams (1.5 skeins) of this amazing yarn.  I’m trying to figure out something amazing to do with the last 40 grams or so of yarn.

This is the Aphrodite shawl pattern that I picked up for free at Michael’s back many months ago.  All I could think about while I was making it was the Caribbean.  Therefore, I’m calling it my Caribbean Aphrodite.  I actually wore it to work on Friday over a white tank and got several compliments on it.  It really turned out nice.  The picture doesn't really do the color justice, but I’m not sure how to get better ones.

Finally, we get to two pieces that I made starting in February and finishing up in April.  (It took a good bit longer than planned, thanks to being interrupted by the whole “problem” at the apartment…)  These two hold very special places in my heart.
You see, my friend Ron from work is fighting liver cancer.  Back in February he went out on medical leave to begin his chemo treatment.  Ron is a wonderful person and has never hesitated to help where he can and is a very wonderful, kind person.  It really makes me sad to see him so upset and sick.
I made a shawl for his wife Beverly and a large lap sized afghan for Ron.  They’re both the same pattern and the end of the skein used on Beverly’s shawl is what I used to start Ron’s blanket.

Here’s the note I put in with it.  (It’s long, but I can’t post these pictures without posting the note.  Oh, and I made a boo-boo, they have 3 daughters, not 2.)

Dear Ron and Beverly,
When Ron told me he was fighting cancer and that he was going to be out for therapy, I knew in my heart that I had to make something.  My solution to problems usually involves yarn, a hook and some quiet contemplation.  Keeping my hands busy so my mind can think.
When I bought the yarn, my first thought was to make a wonderful blanket for Ron when he’s resting in the recliner or to possibly keep a chill off while at doctor’s offices or at treatment.  But then, I realized that I needed to take care of the caregiver almost more than Ron.  Beverly, you have been Ron’s support, confidant and best friend for a long time.  You two have been through a lot together, raising two daughters and welcoming a grandson into the world.  You are his rock, and I thank you for this.
I realized after finishing the shawl for Beverly, that it was far from perfect.  Some of the stitches are uneven or slightly out of place or even just plain missing.  But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that’s how life is.  The final product may be beautiful from a distance, but when you get up close, there are all kinds of little things that don’t seem perfect.  It has taken me a long time to take to heart my dad’s message of “there’s no such thing as perfect”, but I think I finally get it.  Life from a distance is perfect, the every day living of it, is not.  The shawl and the blanket are both beautiful, warm and comforting, just as life is.  And just as life is, when you look at it closely, it’s a common thread knotted and woven through good times and bad, places where the pattern we want was followed exactly, and places where it gets a little messy.  In the end, it is beautiful, despite the rough spots and the problems.
I hope you both find these warm and comforting, now in the tough times and in the future as well.  I hope they bring you joy for a very long time to come.

I received a wonderful card in response.  They both love their gifts, and it warms my heart to know I could bring some warmth into their lives right now.

I think this is where I’m going to leave it.  I do have plans for more crochet coming up.  I still need to make something for Ethan, my newest little cousin (well, son of my cousin) and my friend Treats is due with a little boy in October.  I wish I’d gotten something done for Ethan before he was born, but with everything going on at the apartment, it just wasn’t going to happen.

Peace to all and may your projects be fun and your hearts full of joy.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Hot and Icky

Well, the rest of the week was pretty uneventful.  Most of it was spent working, or trying to work and trying not to melt while at home.  Yep, just moved in and the AC is busted.  It worked before we moved in and up until Memorial Day.  So... yeah.  Unfortunately, the whole thing needs to be replaced and even more unfortunately, the new unit won't be in until Tuesday.  Add to that the hot, humid and downright sticky weather we had this week and triple UGH.  But, our landlords were quick to respond and aren't trying to find a cheap way out of the deal, so that's a good thing.
Thursday Steve had his usual gathering at the Ronda (pizza joint) that he has when he's home on leave.  Sadly, he had to leave to go back to Iraq the next morning.  As much as I love getting together for these things, I hate the fact that most of the time it's because we're having to say "later" to Steve as he heads out to put himself in harms way, so we don't have to.  I hope this tour continues to be uneventful, or less than eventful and that he's able to come home from this tour soon and healthy.  he's looking good and seems to be doing well.  (I'm just impressed I've been as good at writing as I have been this past year.... normally I stink at it, but having 2 calendar reminders a week in place helps make sure I don't let time just slip on by.)
Friday night was a tough night around this house.  It has been about 5 or 6 months (maybe longer) since Boo had a really bad night, so we were due.  Add to that that he's teething (at least his canines are still working on coming in and I think the 2-year molars may be as well....). Oh, and he had a snotty nose all day Friday and by Friday night he was really not breathing well at all.  So, starting around 1:30 or so, he slept no more than 45 minutes at a shot and usually woke up crying or screaming just long enough to get me (or Gak) out of bed.  So, needless to say, none of us slept well.  This meant that Saturday he was super clingy, super cranky, super tired boy, and his parents weren't exactly happy campers.  We didn't go to swimming because he was actually asleep for a bit (about 45 minutes) at that point.  I figured we might as well go if he was awake, but there was no way I was going to wake a sleeping boy.  He finally took about a 2-hour nap around 2:30 and then went to bed at about 8:30 with little complaint.  Thankfully he slept through the night and was a much happier boy today.  I could tell he was feeling much better because he was getting into everything as opposed to yesterday when he was leaving everything alone.
We tried to get him to take a nap today.  He went into his room at around 11:30, but didn't fall asleep until about 12:30 or 1:00 I think.  This is how we found him at about 1:45 when we went to get him so we could head over to Kat's.

We got together as an impromptu birthday party for Andy, as his birthday is tomorrow.  His dad, step-mom and youngest sister were visiting.  Everyone had a good time, and Boo played hard.  It's great when I can send him outside for the day.  Thankfully the weather finally broke around 3:30 or 4:00 and it has cooled off nicely and dried out quite a bit.  Trey even got a bath today and hung out on the line for a bit.

Anyhow, that's the weekend.  This week it's a continuation of the grind and more of the same over all.  I'd better wrap this up so I can go to bed so I can get up in the morning *sigh*.  There are more pics up on Flickr for your viewing enjoyment.

Peace to all and may your AC work, your sleep be sound and your weekends fun.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Two Years

Two years.  That's how long it's been since my wonderful son made his entrance into the world, officially making me a momma, and Gak a poppa.  Sure, you could go back 9 months prior and say that was the beginning or this journey, but that's not true either.  The beginning could be when we started not preventing a pregnancy.  Or maybe even before that.  But, all stories need a beginning and it's up to the story teller to choose it, so I choose the moment of 10:34 am on June 1st, 2008 to start my story.  Because that's when Seamus really came to be, when he was taken from my womb and breathed his first breath.
I still can't believe exactly how far we've gone on this journey that in many seems like it's just begun, and in other ways seems like we've always been on it.  I will never forget seeing him for the first time, as the nurse held him up for me to see as my doctor stitched me back together.  His first cries still echo in my mind at times.  And the first moment I finally got to hold my sweet, precious boy.  Those are all very sweet memories.  There have been many more sweet memories than not on this journey.  I'm sure some of it is selective memory, but a good part of it is the fact that Boo really is a sweet little boy.
Sure, there was that night when he turned 2 weeks old when he woke us up every 45 minutes or so for the entire night, and didn't really go to sleep until almost 2 or 3 in the afternoon.  That was the day my mom and Beverly came to clean the house in preparation for Gak's mom to come out from Oklahoma.  There were the initial breastfeeding issues, the learning curve we both had to conquer.  But we both made it through and enjoyed that relationship for 14 months or so.  Now there's the stubborn battle of wills at times and the cranky tired boy who wants to be lazy and carried.  But the snuggles and the hugs and the smiles far outweigh the cranky moments.
I can't even begin to list all the milestones or achievements he's gotten to in his short life so far.  He now runs and tries to skip and jump and talks and giggles and eats (if he feels like it) and pretends and plays in so many ways.  He learns new things on an hourly basis it seems at times.  He's experimenting with letters and numbers, learning to say them and recognize their shapes.  He loves his books and will gladly tell you what the book is about and point things out.
I really can't wait to see where the future takes this little guy.  I love to watch the wheels turn in his head and in his eyes as he figures things out.  He's really changed our lives, and I truly can't imagine life without him.
So, here's to the future and our wonderful son!

Peace to all and may the birthdays be good, and the memories good.