Category Archives: I have Family

Travel Escapades, Part 3

Between travel escapades part 1 and 2 lived the peanut butter and jelly part of the trip. The good stuff between the bookends. The seeing of people we love. The visiting. The time spent with family. The memories made. The laughter. The exploring of new places.

Because of the mess on the flight out, we lost a half day of time that I had planned to spend with family that Saturday. My aunt had made a special dinner, which she put away for another day when we let her know we wouldn’t be there. Normally early to bed, early to rise, I was grateful that my aunt & uncle were still up (watching football) when we finally did get there at 11:30 PM. I was also grateful that we miraculously did manage to get a decent night’s sleep. Side note about sleep and traveling with William: I’ve learned that it’s better for everyone if I just sleep in the same bed as William when we’re traveling, especially for that first night, I just go to bed when I put him to bed. If I don’t, then he wakes up repeatedly crying (different house, different bed, it makes sense) and then I spend far too much time calming him down and getting him back to sleep, only to have it repeat again in an hour. If I go to bed with him, he’ll wake up, but will reach out a hand, find me and go right back to sleep on his own with no problems.

Sunday my aunt had her family over, so William got to play with my cousin’s grandchildren, and I got to visit with the grown-ups, people that I always enjoy spending time with when we visit there. I especially enjoy the quiet moments of conversation that I have with my aunt, and it always seems like they’re too few and too short, because those conversations always seem to happen late at night when we both need to be asleep. Those late night conversations are also the reason I like to stay in her home, instead of a hotel. For some reason, one loses those vulnerable visits with family if you’re staying in a hotel. Thankfully, my aunt loves me enough to put us up.

My aunt also passed on some family heirlooms — a child’s rocking chair made by William’s g-g-g-grandfather in 1868, and a handmade quilt that we believe to have been made by William’s g-g-grandma. Getting those items home were a bit of a feat, a worthy feat, to be sure. We bought a sturdy box and bubble wrapped it, but the measurements were too big for “free” check in with Southwest. We priced out other options and ultimately decided to customize the box so it fit within Southwest’s dimensions… and, we are so very grateful that despite all the things Southwest screwed up, they did get those two items home for us without damaging them.

On Monday, we went to the Omaha Zoo, which is rated to be in the top 10 zoos of the United States. After having visited it, I can see why. While large, it is really well laid out, so a lot of ground can be covered in a minimum of time. We visited the big cats first, then meandered over and took the tram and the skyride. After which we went to the playground, where William played with the peacocks. Then we went through the gorilla exhibit, their desert dome and their aquarium. It was definitely a full day and we really enjoyed ourselves. Upon leaving, William informed me that, “I’m going to cry about leaving the zoo.” So, I guess it’s safe to say he had a great time. The Omaha Zoo offered half price tickets to us as a reciprocal program to members of the Santa Ana Zoo. So glad I read about that on the zoo’s website!

On Tuesday, we went to the Lauritzen Gardens. I love botanical gardens (remember my visit to the botanical gardens in Oklahoma City in 2004 or the ones in Hawaii?) and these were just stunning. Upon arrival, we took the tram tour, and then went and had lunch at the cafe (which closed at 2pm). The food at the cafe was amazing! After lunch, we walked back to see their miniature model train garden, which was actually one of the primary reasons for visiting there. The structural elements of the tracks are handmade, even the bridges, from twigs and branches, etc. There are six trains that run, three above and three below, as well as a cable car that goes back and forth. Sadly, it started POURING rain about 20 minutes after we started to look at it. They shut the trains down when it rains to preserve them, so we left. If I had known that it was going to rain and that we would be leaving so quickly, given that’s what we were there for, I would have made that garden our priority and gone there first.

That evening, we had dinner in Old Town Omaha at a place called Spaghetti works with my uncle Paul, his wife and their daughter. Their son wasn’t able to make it, sadly. I haven’t seen those two cousins since they were small, maybe about William’s age. It was kind of neat to see her all grown up and to see my uncle play with my son’s Hot Wheels with him across the dinner table. It was a good evening.

On Wednesday, we went to breakfast at the Cracker Barrel, and then visited the Union Pacific Railroad Museum. It was an interesting walk-through and able to get through it within an hour or so. That evening we went back to the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge to let William run some steam off, and also to replicate a picture we took when he was 11 months old.

Tony came down with a cold on Tuesday, so he was feeling under the weather. We delayed our departure to my uncle’s farm on Thursday, allowing Tony a little more time to rest. I had hoped to be out there by lunch time, and felt badly that we weren’t given that she had prepared lunch for us. Instead we made it there in time for dinner, which was all homegrown — steak fillets from a steer they grew, tomatoes, potatoes and ears of corn from their garden. It was kind of startling to realize, that with a little effort and land, a family actually can be self sufficient in this day and age.

Friday, we spent visiting and playing outside. William played on their swing/slide combo in their yard, played with the litter of kittens who were exploring their home in the woodpile. He also “helped” carve some pumpkins with my cousin’s 2 girls. We went to my cousin’s house after dinner to check out her goats, calf, bunnies, dogs, cats, hens, and a pony.

Our day ended too quickly, despite extending it the best we could with a late bedtime. We were up early Saturday morning to make the drive back into Omaha to presumably catch our flight home. All the stress involved with loading the car and sadness of saying goodbyes.

Pictures can be found here: LINK

4 Comments

Filed under I did something Special, I have Family, I Stimulate the Economy

Travel Escapades, Part 2

On Saturday, October 4, 2014, we were scheduled to fly out of OMA at 4:20 PM, through LAS, into SNA.  We sadly departed our visiting with family in Elgin, Nebraska at 10:10 AM that morning in order to make our flight.  I had forgotten my camera’s charger at my aunt’s house, so we wanted to swing by and pick that up on the way to the airport (a 30 minute detour).  While Tony drove the 3 hours into Omaha from the country, I checked our flights online (thanks to Smartphone technology), and I discovered the flight was delayed from OMA to LAS.  We continued onward and upon arriving into Omaha, discovered the flight was even more delayed.

I called Southwest customer service to clarify what was going on, and was informed that there was a “ground stop” in LAS.  She said our flight from LAS to SNA was on time, however, our flight from OMA to LAS would be arriving into LAS too late to make the connection.  Basically, our connecting flight would be taking off while the flight we were on was over Colorado.

 She presented us with an alternative to depart the next morning, Sunday, October 5, 2014, at 8:15 AM (OMA-PHX-SNA).  We took the last 4 seats available on this route, as all other flights that day were sold out.   This left us with no option but to stay the night in Omaha and, as such, we needed to extend our rental car reservation for an additional charge.  

 The customer service rep also indicated that when we checked in at the airport to note to the gate agent that we would be eligible for pre-boarding due to the inconveniences we had experienced.  Particularly, since two of the people in our party of 4 had purchased Early Bird Check-in, which given the lateness of the flight change was a moot point (putting us in the “C” boarding group).  Additionally, remember, we were on a full flight and got the last 4 seats.

 The next morning, I spoke to the supervisor at Gate 18 about issuing us pre-boarding passes, and he refused to do so.  Since he was unwilling to honor the promised pre-boarding, we requested, as an alternative to pre-boarding, that he change our tickets to Business Select.  He said we would need to pay $40 per ticket.  The only concession he made was to refund the Early Bird fee that we had paid.  Despite explaining our situation, and knowing that our flight from OMA to PHX was sold out and would be a full flight (meaning 30+ people in front of us), and pointing out that in PHX we would only have 35 minutes to make our connection, and less time than that if our flight from OMA left late (which it did indeed end up departing late).  Upon arriving in PHX, and waiting for the 30+ people in front of us to deplane, our connecting flight was already boarding… and actually ended up departing early! We easily could have been stuck in an airport again! It is shocking to me that, given all the extraneous variables explained to him, that he absolutely refused to accommodate us in any way, and didn’t seem to care at all whether we made our connection in PHX.

 Also, contrary to what I was told on the phone from Customer Service Rep, about the reason we had to reschedule our flight (she said that it was due to a ground stop in LAS), the supervisor at the gate in Omaha informed us that the delay out of OMA the previous evening was due to the Chicago fiasco from the previous week… I’m not sure which story was true, but it seems to me that there was ample room for Southwest to be more accommodating, helpful, and plan better.

 Finally, as if it were a grand finale to Southwest’s incompetence, after we made our connection in PHX and settled in our seats to head to SNA, I began to nurse William who was coming down with a cold (ear issues).  If a child is coming down with a cold, their sinuses and ears are more sensitive to elevation changing, and breastfeeding can help alleviate that, as well as provide comfort.  I was asked twice by the male flight attendant on that flight to cease breastfeeding and buckle my son into his seat during takeoff and landing.  All three of the female flight attendants on that flight walked past us, noticed and said nothing, but he felt it necessary to say something twice?  In retrospect, he had taken a special interest in William, commenting on how big is is, and then to note that we were breastfeeding on top of it, kind of left me feeling as if I had been singled out by him.

 In all the previous flights that I’ve flown with Southwest, or any other airline, I have never been asked to stop breastfeeding my son while taking off or landing.  Before flying, I always check the airline’s policy concerning traveling with children, with breastmilk, with nursing, etc., and the only thing that Southwest’s website states about breastfeeding is the following, “Southwest welcomes nursing mothers who wish to breastfeed on the aircraft and/or within our facilities.”   Perhaps Southwest is intentionally leaving its breastfeeding policy vague so that it can be interpreted liberally by its flight crew, or perhaps Southwest thinks that by keeping its policy vague they are helping nursing moms.  Obviously, my situation demonstrates otherwise. 

As a nursing mom, it is difficult to “follow the rules” if I don’t know in advance exactly what the rules are. For instance, I would NEVER have latched my son, who had been through the wringer this past week with travel fiascos, prior to take off, if I had known that I would be asked to stop nursing him for take off.  Generally speaking, one doesn’t just “stop nursing” once you’ve just started and your child has gotten a letdown.  My son was on his last bit of sanity and had been in meltdown mode because, among other things, we had turned off the movie he was watching when we were landing on the previous flight (and I nursed him to calm him down while landing without comment from the flight crew, by the way) and had to unlatch him, much to his displeasure, to make our extremely tight connection and promised he could continue nursing once we got on our next plane, because I didn’t know there would be a problem with it.

 If there is a difference that a child under 2 (lap child) may nurse upon take off and landing, but a child over 2  (or a child who has their own seat) must be in their own seat during take off and landing (no nursing), then the airline’s policy should state that explicitly. I have always chosen to fly Southwest in the past for many reasons, one being that I’ve always believed them to be a family and breastfeeding friendly airline.

Either way, as a breastfeeding mom, I strongly suggest that Southwest educate all its employees and flight attendants about Southwest’s breastfeeding policy, as it is stated on the website.  If the breastfeeding policy on Southwest’s website needs to be clarified, then I strongly suggest it be done immediately.

I mailed two letters last week, one addressing our outbound flight issues and the other addressing our return flight issues. As I stated previously, there were so many ways that Southwest could have made these situations OK, and they failed on every single one of them.

It’s a good thing I don’t have anxiety attacks about traveling anymore, because I would be a serious wreck after all this mess.

3 Comments

Filed under Entertainment can be Expensive, I have Family

Circus Fun!

A few weeks ago, I saw that the circus was coming to town. Since Tony and I went back in 2006, I’ve wanted to go again, but have been waiting until William is old enough to enjoy it.

We got there early, they open the gates 90 minutes before show time so you can see all their animals. William was enthralled with the elephants. The big cats were behind two fences and netting, understandably given that they were like 5 feet away from us, but made it hard to really see them. They had 2 kangaroos, a pig and the usual assortment of goats and dogs.

When the show started, their ringmaster came out and, whoa!!, he is incredibly talented and his singing voice is astonishing. I was so very impressed by him that I actually took the time to look up who he is and find out a bit about the man. Andre McClain is his name, and here’s his bio according to the Ringling Bros. website (link). The internet yielded (among other things) that he’s a newlywed, he married his wife (also a circus performer) at a surprise circus wedding, and that he’s a multi-talented rancher and has been with the circus since 2003, only recently taking up the reins as ringmaster. So cool.

William enjoyed most of it, like the elephants, the big cats, the trapeze show and the gymnastics floor show. I guess the only part he really didn’t care for was the motorcycles in a cage. He said that was too loud and spent most of that time in Tony’s arms with his ears covered. Although, apparently it wasn’t so loud that he couldn’t fall asleep and take a surprise hour long nap. Thankfully, the bulk of his nap fell over the intermission and when he woke up, he was surprised to see the pig and dog show that was happening.

One of the funniest parts was a clown who came out and balanced on the wall in front of us, and then proceeded to walk on that wall all the way around the stadium in his big ass clown shoes. Of course, he did it during intermission when my arms were full of a sleeping William (so no pictures). The other funny part was when the motorcycle on a wire came out with a trapeze artist underneath him and he was right above us. Surprised, William jumped and then said, “What the heck are they doing up there?”

Of course, we did the souvenir picture… we had to. So we could do the comparison picture.

2 Comments

Filed under Entertainment can be Expensive, I have Family, I Stimulate the Economy

Back Yard Fairy Garden

We’ve been spending a lot of time in our tiny back yard working on our fairy garden. I’ve been refreshing and repainting my long-time fairy residents (some of which are over 12 years old), and adding some new things, too. It’s so earthy and fulfilling to work with dirt, and with the addition of the fairy accessories, adds a little bit of magic, as well.

We have a farm/cottage (in a vintage wheelbarrow), a bird sanctuary (in a pot), a gardening area (in a pot), a playground and water fountain area (in a vintage wheelbarrow), and a treehouse garden (in another pot). My long time dragon resident has suddenly found himself guarding not only my sweet violet plant, but a treasure chest, too. My long time unicorn is lazily keeping watch over it all. I keep coming up with other ideas, so I expect more of my plants will be sporting “fairy” additions, too.

I’m collecting feathers for our bird sanctuary… anyone have any feathers you want to send my way?? ha

Yesterday, we spent the morning in the back yard together, I was working on making a miniature tree swing. I found a piece of scrap wood and grabbed my drill gun (safely tying my hair back so it didn’t get stuck in the motor) and drilled two tiny holes in the aged branch of my rosemary plant… a plant that I’m patiently waiting for it to come back to life. Let me tell you, rosemary wood is super hard to drill through! I then went over to my “new” vintage wheelbarrow (that I’m currently setting up) and drilled a couple holes in it for drainage.

When I was done, I set the drill aside and started threading the plant wire through the holes to hang the tree swing. I heard William talking to himself, and I turned to look at him. He had picked up my drill and was carrying it away. I came alongside him and asked him, “What do you need the drill for?” He bent down to pick up one of several leaves he had collected, apparently waiting for me to get done with my drill so he could use it and said, “I need to drill a hole in my leaf.” So we set his leaf down and, holding his hand and guiding the drill, “we” proceeded to “drill” a hole in it. Several other leaves needed holes, too, apparently.

I have plans to make a teeter totter and some monkey bars to the playground of our fairy garden. As well as a pool, and maybe a beach/sand area. Oh, and William loves the tiny swing I made. He even helped the fairy dog up so he could swing on it.

It really is something we’re doing together… William loves playing with the little fairy animals and was beyond thrilled when he came out one morning and saw the little house set up, with a wishing well… he said, “It’s a little town!” Tony has been an immense help, bringing home to two vintage wheelbarrows and drilling holes in awkward places, and giving his opinions on various things. I love that this has become a family project… and that we’re just enjoying the process of creating it together.

3 Comments

Filed under Best Husband, Entertainment can be Cheap, I have Family, Our Kid is Cute

Letter to our 31 month old

Dear William,

On July 8th, 2014, you turned 2 years 7 months old.

STATS:

You are 39.5 inches tall and weigh 38.12 pounds. Another growth spurt has happened since last month and you grew another 1/2 inch. This growth spurt has placed you well over the specifications of your car seat in its rear facing position, and we’ve had to forward face you in my car now. Sadly, I will miss having your undivided attention as we drive around together, as you’re now enthralled with everything that’s happening in front of us.

One of your two front teeth has gone gray… likely a result of a fall on the entry way tile a couple weeks ago. The dentist said just to watch the gums for infection and brush well.

SPEECH:

Intentional mispronunciations:
You say “nurgets” for nuggets. “I would like some chicken nurgets, please?”
You say “frowgy” for froggy.”
You say “big ol’ chicken” for rotisserie chickens.

Unintentional mispronuciations:
You say “lellow” for yellow.
You say “Photosynpethesis” for “Photosynthesis”

NURSING/FOOD:
You have begun to eat lettuce over the last couple months. Salads used to be the “safe” thing I could eat in front of you without you begging food off me. That is no longer the case.

Out of my nut mix, or “mommy’s snacky mix” (as you call it), you have begun to show a preference for pistachios, digging through them all and deigning others to the pistachios. You will eat the others if there are no pistachios to be had, but you definitely prefer to eat them first.

You have started eating tomatoes thanks to our neighbor, Nichole, who is growing a tomato plant on her front stoop. You never cared for them before, but she offered you one, fresh off the vine, and you ate it. I wisely held my tongue, figuring it would come half eaten out of your mouth, but it didn’t. And now, anytime she offers, you meekly hold her hand, walk over, pick one and eat it. I am so glad I didn’t say anything. You still don’t eat commercial tomatoes, but that’s fine. Fresh off the vine is the way to go.

Nursing continues to be a blessing to both of us, and I’m ever so grateful for the regrouping time that it provides us.

SLEEP & HEALTH:
There has been a definite shift in your sleep this month. Your naps are shortening and you are waking on your own around 3pm, and your overnight sleep is lengthening, sometimes going back to sleep after our morning nursing at 6:30am, and waking later at 7:30 or 8:30am. We’ve been able to tell you, and you understand, that if you don’t take a nap, we can’t go out and play together as a family in the evening. For example, when we were at LegoLand this past weekend, I told you that you needed to take a nap so we could go out and look at MiniLand. By golly, if you didn’t force yourself to nurse nap for an hour in the midst of chaos and heat right there in the waterpark. I was amazed at you.

On the flip side, you’ve had a couple of wakes in the middle of the night, I think because you’re having bad dreams. One morning in particular, through your sobs you told me, “I didn’t get the toy.” There was no help for that sort of sobbing sadness but to nurse. I’ll tell you, though, that I wish for you that the rest of your life were that uncomplicated. You’ve also been requesting on a regular basis that we leave your bedroom door open. Also, because it’s been so hot lately, and we don’t run the air conditioner at night, we’ve been running 3 or 4 fans in your room, in strategic places for maximized indirect air flow…. we’ve also been leaving your window open. I always feel a major sense of achievement when your room reaches 70° in the morning, down from the 80° temperature it was when I put you to bed the night before.

THINGS WE DID/PLACES WE WENT:
06/14 – LegoLand and their waterpark (you went down the red slide by yourself)
06/21 – breakfast with Grace and family at Ruby’s
06/21 – attended retirement party for your father’s former band teacher
06/22 – attended Sunday school for the first time at my church
06/25 – went to the airport to watch planes take off and land with Grandma D.
06/25 – went to my work for my lunch time
06/26 – visit to the ocean
07/02 – visit to the ocean
07/04 – our city’s 4th of July parade AND FIREWORKS!! (You loved the fireworks this year, and waved at all the cars in the parade!)
07/06 – family time with your grandparents
07/07 – Legoland and their waterpark (you went down the tube slide by yourself!!!!)

Recurring events:
Library story time (Mondays and Wednesdays)
Taking a break from music class this month.

THINGS I WANT TO REMEMBER:

William: I want to watch Cars?
Tony: Nooooo, we watched Cars yesterday.
William: I know! I want to watch Mater’s Tales.
Tony: Noooo, we’re not watching anything right now.
William, standing around the corner from us: Oh! I want to watch Star Wars.
Pause, while Tony and I look at each other with shocked faces, and then,
William, in a high pitched voice, with Tony as a 1 second delay echo, “Whaaaaaat? What did you say?”

We’ve continued with our “Operation: Leave the House in the Morning” by allowing you to watch Rachel and the TreeSchoolers. You adore Rachel (from Signing Time) and, best of all, you learn so much from her. I even learn stuff from her! We are big fans of Signing Time in this house. One of the episodes address bugs, another addresses weather and the last one teaches about plants. One of the characters in the show is easily frightened by things, and the other characters rally around and help him learn about stuff. Now you can be heard to say, “I’m not scared of that, it’s just bugs.” “Or it’s just thunder. There’s no need to be scared.”

On the off days, however, we’ve let you watch Frosty or Mater’s Tales. One morning, daddy had already queued everything up when we came downstairs. All that was on the screen was a brownish box with “Start” on it, no pictures, nothing and you said, That’s Mater the Tales!” I set you on the couch and leaned in to kiss you goodbye and you were doing the head dodge to try to see around me. I got my kiss and “I love you,” and then daddy leaned in to kiss you and you said, “Go away, mommy and daddy. Go away!” Suffice it to say, we now severely limit your access to Mater’s Tall Tales to viewing maybe once every couple weeks.

How sweet it is when you see a baby, you affect a high-pitched voice and say, “Awwww, it’s a little baby!”

You have a renewed love of your belly button this month and often will raise your shirt and ask for a kiss or zerbert. Even more sweet, though, is you will sometimes walk up and kiss my belly button.

We told you we were going to get dinner. You replied, “Let’s get ice cream first!”

Got a text from my mom one day that I needed to call you about a confession about candy. Turns out you had found my huge box of chocolate that your father gave me for Mother’s day. Apparently, knocked it to the floor and had sampled one of the pieces. You were walking toward Grandma saying, “Mmmmmm, this is SO good!” Later that night when I got home, I had a piece of chocolate. You were sitting on my lap and started sniffing loudly, and then said, “Are you eating chocolate, mommy?”

William: Wanna go on the freeway?
Daddy: What’s on the freeway?
William: Trucks!

Eating at Chick-Fil-A, we asked you what is in your tummy? Your prompt response was, “Ketchup and chicken!” And then, you said, “I want a strawberry milkshake?” We were hemming and hawing, you turned and ran up to the cashier and ordered it with two pleases! “Please, may I have a strawberry milkshake, please?”

Upon hearing a sound that sounds like a toy being thrown, I ask, “What was that? Did you throw your car?” You immediately reply, “He is racing right now!” As you sling the car across the room. A verbal avoidance maneuver.

Slinging your cars through the dirt, I ask, “What’s going on?” You reply, “They’re racing in the dirt!” I clarify, “Like Doc Hudson?” You enthusiastically rejoin, “Yes!”

Daddy makes Froggy play peek-a-boo after bathtime… then, one night, daddy stopped before you wanted him to, so you hopped off my lap and started making Froggy play peek-a-boo with yourself.

We had fruit skewers one afternoon with lunch, and you were calling them “fruit towers”

For the past two months you’ve been pulling your hair and Telling me you need a haircut, that your hair is too long. I finally got you a haircut on July 3rd.  It’s the second time we’ve  used this discount hair cut place and, even though there’s no fancy seats to sit in for you or a movie to watch, you just sit there and look around.

You call the tall, narrow evergreen trees “green bean trees.” You started doing that in Hawaii last August, and I was surprised to hear you say that again.

Trimming my sago palm in the back yard, you grabbed one of the fronds and started waving it up and down, saying “God, God, God!” Apparently, you though it was Palm Sunday!

You were eating car snacks and handing me the mangos, I would say, “No, those are yours!” Then you would hand me a banana chip, and I would say “Thank you.” Then you said, “Mommy’s being patient!” as I waited for you to hand me banana chips.

Then, the box of snacks kept sliding down your lap, and I kept putting them back up, only to glance over and realize you were doing it on purpose. I started laughing. You said, “I put it that way… it makes mommy laugh!”

Driving home from the beach, we took a side street home that has a tunnel. Your father and I were conversing about the person’s driving skills who was in front of us. A minute after we got through the tunnel, you piped up and said, “Daddy? You forgot to honk!”

You spilled water down your shirt and said, “I made a BIG waterfall!”

At the 4th of July parade, you kept asking for food, and all I had was your snack bag. I kept offering to take you home and give you lunch, and you kept replying, “No, thank you, mommy, there are more cars coming!” You didn’t want to miss any of the cars in the parade!

Driving through the parking lot where we parked for the 4th of July Parade a couple days later, you exclaimed, “We’re going to the parade! We’re almost there!”

One evening, you were talking to your father about a Winnie the Pooh book you’d read that day. You were really concerned about Piglet being scared about hearing knocking on the bed. Daddy told you we (mommy, daddy, grandma) were all there to protect you… and then you shared that the knocking on the bed was just a tree branch, that it won’t hurt you and you don’t have to be scared.

One evening over the long holiday weekend, you said “I know what we can do!” “We can go to the Spectrum and get food!” We get there and you said, “Now I want to go get food with the red motorcycle! And see Grace and Mia” Except Grace and Mia (his godmother and her daughter) weren’t there. Funny kid, remembered where we’d had breakfast a couple weeks ago with them.

A project we’re sort of doing together is a fairy garden in our backyard. I’ve had fairy statues for years and years, but for some reason never thought to create little gardens for them. It’s coming together beautifully and it’s a joy to have you be a part of it.

One of the short stories on the Cars movie is called the One Man Band. We went to Sprouts the other day and there was a man playing a violin, with his wife and daughter who was about your age. They were holding a sign that said they were homeless and needed food or money to buy food. It was such a hot day and people were driving by and handing them water, or a popsicle for their daughter as he continued to play his beautiful songs on the violin. You asked me for a coin to give him and, then you walked up and put it in his violin case. You hesitated, though, and I could see it coming together in your mind like in the movie… although in the movie, the girl doesn’t ever give them the coin.

In your bathtub I gave you some small bottles that used to hold your bath paints. They are easily squeezable and if you fill them with water and squeeze them quickly, water shoots out. You told me one night, “Mommy, do you want to see something funny?” And then you proceeded to show me how to shoot water out of those bottles.

You’ve started to love to splash us in the pool, or in the water when we’re at LegoLand, or at the ocean. You think it’s so very funny. And your comfort level in the water is growing by leaps and bounds… one evening you surprised us by hand-walking the side of the pool.  And you wanted us to help you jump in from the side.  In response to this new found confidence, we purchased you a PFD and are continuing to work with you on your swimming skills.

And then there was tonight, as your father and I finished your bedtime prayers. You latched to nurse to sleep, and then proceeded to unlatch repeatedly to add to your prayer. Thank you God for bugs. Thank you God for sand… for water… for Walmart… for fruits and vegetables… strawberries… thank you for bananas… for Froggy… for light… for Jesus… for Target and big trucks. And as things came to your mind you would unlatch and pray with a thankful heart for them. After some time passed, you stopped unlatching and drifted off to sleep.

I pray that you always have such a thankful heart for the simple things. For one truth that always stands is that when you count your blessings daily, life’s hardships have a way of diminishing to a manageable level.

P1240057

Love, Momma

4 Comments

Filed under Best Husband, I have Family, Letter to William, Our Kid is Cute

Happy New Year!

It’s 2014, did you hear?  It’s kind of not been real to me because we didn’t watch any ball drop on New Year’s eve, we forgot to watch the Rose Parade on New Year’s day, until it was in reruns in the afternoon.  Everything just kind of went into a tunnel for us… we’ll call it the stomach flu tunnel.

It started on the 28th of December, the day we went to LegoLand.  The times we’ve gone to Legoland with William this past year have been focused on visiting their amazing waterpark, so this time we went just to see the rest of the park.  Not surprising that it was all decked out for Christmas, even Miniature LegoLand.  So much fun!  William loved seeing LegoLand Santa and their Frosty the Snowman.  He adores Miniature Land.  He loved running on their fake grass.  We had such a great time!

 

We got home and put him to bed for the night and he woke an hour later, restless.  After ten minutes of him rolling around, I sent Tony in to see what was bothering him.  After a few minutes, William threw up all over Tony’s arm…and that’s where the stomach flu tunnel started.  William threw up 6, maybe 7 times that night.  I lost count and he became a pro at getting it into a bucket (instead of all over his bed sheets, or Tony, or the floor, or me, for instance).   The next day, he seemed to be feeling a bit better, but then on the 30th, he had a relapse with the vomiting and then the diarrhea started. On the 30th, Tony also came down with it.  I had a bit of nausea but, in all honesty, it might have just been in response to all the nasty smells in the house.

So New Year’s eve found us all on puke watch.  New Year’s day found us gingerly trying various bland foods.  It really wasn’t until yesterday, the 3rd of January, that we all started feeling somewhat normal again.

The sickness aside, it really was nice to have all that time with family.  Tony’s job, since he’s no longer working in the commodity business, alloted him more holiday time than he’s had in years.  William and I are continuing to nurse, so that meant a third Christmas filled with sweet nursing snuggles.  I was able to organize some of the areas in the house that have amassed clutter.  The clutter is kind of overwhelming, and I guess that’s kind of an ongoing project that I don’t want to give up on this year.  I learned early on when lap swimming that even the slowest stroke is faster than stopping at each end of the pool, and that’s something that I’ve tried to apply to my life… just keep swimming, even if you’re going at it slowly.

What is something you’re planning to work on this year?

7 Comments

Filed under Best Husband, I did something Special, I have Family, Life Encompasses Me, Our Kid is Cute

Merry Christmas!

We’re hanging out this morning… William’s gift to us was sleeping until 7:20 am.  Tony’s biggest gift to me was letting me sleep until I woke at 7:45 am.

Our gift to William was a shit-ton of Cars.  A gingerbread cookie in his stocking.  And his very own camera.  He is one happy little camper.

So blessed.

Merry Christmas!

P1170924

1 Comment

Filed under Best Husband, I feel Glad, I have Family, Our Kid is Cute