Saturday, July 28, 2012

Hair-owing Experience

Haircuts are interesting events at our house and it was no different last Saturday night.

The boys loathe getting their hair cut. 
This time they decided that they would have a wrestling match to see who would have to go first. 

Loser supposedly was going first. 

This wrestling went on for a very long time and I soon could tell that they were going nowhere with this.  They were most likely avoiding having a winner/loser to hopefully avoid the haircutting all together. 

I finally just grabbed one and started in.

Yes, I look haggard in this picture. Yes, I felt as bad as I looked. Probably worse.

Riley did the honors of photographing Reagan’s turn.

Reagan did the photography for Riley’s turn. 

Love his choice of angles.

Love the facial expressions.

After a hairy experience, their hair is finally cut:

Don’t look too close.  Wrestling a boy while cutting his hair doesn’t always have the best results.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Little Feeling

My little guy came down the stairs tonight after he had been tucked in.

He was carrying his pillow and blanket. 

He said "Mama, can I fall asleep on the couch?"

Me: "I 'spose.  Just tonight.  Why?"

R: "I dunno. I want to be close to you.  I just missed you.  I had a little feeling."

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Why its nice to live close to a Football Stadium

Riley came in the house this afternoon soaking wet.

I was so excited. 

I thought it was raining again.

He said "Nope.  They moved the sprinkler on the football field close to the edge.  If you stand on the sidewalk you get soaked."

Reagan wanted to join him.

I wanted pictures.

The sprinkler is fed by a fire hydrant.

Which equals really cold/high pressure water.

I wish it was a 90* day today.

I would've joined them.

Friday, July 20, 2012


It started slowly. 

Then a bit harder.

Until it poured.

I couldn’t resist.

I ran outside into the falling rain and enjoyed the feel of the cool drops falling on my skin.

There is something about being in the rain.  Having it run down your face in streams until it drops off onto the ground.  There is something about crying in the rain. The cool of the rain mixing and melting with the hot tears.  

Usually my children join me in playing in the rain.  This time the boys were down at the library checking out books.  Rhianna was lying on the couch; still not feeling better.  Worse, actually. She came to the window and smiled out at me.  I feel bad for my kids sometimes.  Their mom is so weird. I’m sure none of their friends’ moms were playing in the rain. By themselves without a child in sight.

I sat on the brick wall in my yard and just let my body soak up the rain.  I was drenched at this point and sat there, pondering about life.  About how things are going to work out.  The next seven months are going to be intense.  Between finishing up school and all the legal garbage I’m dealing with.  Not to mention the house.  Ugh. This house-selling thing is getting rather old.

I noticed the neighbor getting into his garage.  I wasn’t sure if he saw me sitting there.  As he pulled out of his garage, he rolled down his window and grinned. “Did you forget what it feels like?”  I just smiled back and said “Yep.  And it feels so good.”

I heard a rumble of thunder in the distance.  I knew I should go in. I didn’t want to.  I would rather sit out in a storm than go in.  I knew I had to be safe and go in.

Then there was that scent that has been absent for so long.  The smell of earth.  Fresh, clean, newly awakened earth.  I breathed in deeply; still hearing the distant roll of thunder. Knowing I should go in. 

But still I sat and enjoyed the freshness of the rain.

Eventually I did break the spell and went inside.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Like Us

He is just like me.
And he drives me nuts.
Just like I drive myself nuts.
He shows me my strengths.
He shows me my weaknesses.
He is causing me to see how much I must grow.
To be a better Christian.
To be a better mother.
To be a better person.
He is pushing me to my limits.
And then past.
He is showing me where I need to improve.
I am woken in the morning by screams from the two littles.
He is irritating them once again.
I fight all day with myself.
I fight with my emotions.
I am so frustrated.
I am so anxious.
I get so.very.angry.
But I must.
Hold it in.
I must remain
And it is so hard.
Everything is a battle.
Everything is an argument.
So much makes him angry.
Most of his words are spoken with attitude.
Many more are spoken with disrespect.
Not sure why.
Not sure what to do.
Not sure how much is normalcy of adolescence.
Is it that he is 9?
And starting to inch closer to 13?
Is it that he is bitterly angry at his father?
Who rejected him and abandoned him.
Who refuses to attempt to see him.
While he lives only a few miles away.
Is he this way because he is like me?
There is so much good in him.
I tell him. Often.
He is a brilliant boy.
He has big dreams.
He loves to read.
He loves to ride bike.
He loves to fish.
He loves playing football.
He is my helper.
Doing the man chores.
Takes out garbage.
Waters gardens.
Loves cooking with me.
To learn how.
So he can cook for his wife.
When she’s tired.
(There’s hope for him!!)
Frying eggs for the kids’ breakfast
They only like his; not mine.
Can work so hard.
He loves little babies.
So gentle with them.
Tickles their toes.
He is funny.
I love laughing with him.
He’s tough.
I love play fighting with him.
He’s thoughtful.
He brings me flowers.
He writes me notes.
He’s my boy.
One of my best friends.
And I’m so worried about him.
Tried something different tonight.
Most likely not in parenting books.
But it should be.
“Write me an essay on
How you feel when you are disrespectful.
How you can be more respectful.
How it makes me feel when you are disrespectful.”
I’ve spent 3.5 years writing essays in college.
They take great thought.
It might work for him.
I was firm.
I was patient.
I insisted.
He did it.
I pushed for more.
More words.
Deeper thoughts.
It worked.
Softer face.
Gentler tone.
Control of emotions.
Snuggled me.
We chatted a bit.
I understand now.
His fears.
His frustrations.
He wrote them down.
He agreed: He was out of line.
He understood: It hurt me when he talked back in a mean tone.
I assured him.
To not worry.
To not be afraid.
This isn’t the end.
There will most likely be more essays that will be written.
Potentially a few (or more) as a teenager.
I’m saving them.
For him.
When he has a child.
Just like us.
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.  Psalm 51:10

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Yesterday's T&A

Surgery was scheduled for 1:45.

We needed to get to Children’s Hospital by 12:15.

To do all the paperwork.

And get the wrist bands.

Even one for Becky.
We went to the 4th floor to do all the necessary ‘stuff’ that comes with having surgery.
Gowning up was first.

Even Becky had a gown, slippers, and surgical cap.
The nurses were great.
They all clearly explained to Rhianna what was going to take place.

She stayed calm and only occasionally mentioned she was nervous.

I think I was more nervous than she was.
They let Rhianna choose which scent of chapstick to have in her anesthetics mask.


She went on a short walk with the Life Skills social worker.

To see what the hallway looked like going back to surgery.

A few minutes after, Dr. Masin came in to let us know our wait was up.

We were next.

Rhianna laid there calming watching Tom and Jerry.

The nurse came in next and said it was time to go.

She checked the wrist band to make sure it was Rhianna.

She checked Becky’s wrist band too. 

To make sure she was Becky.

Rhianna gave me a hug and kiss and walked out the exam room down the hallway with the nurse.

I think I was having a harder time with it than she was.

I was starved at this point. 

I hadn’t eaten lunch because I didn’t want to eat in front of my girlie (who was hungry from no food for so long).

I ran walked as fast as I could to the cafeteria. 

They had said the surgery would take about 20 minutes with 15 in recovery before I could come back.

I did not want to be MIA when my girlie was waking up.

I absolutely inhaled my cheeseburger and fries. (Thanks, Mom, for the treat!)

Grabbed an ice tea to go.

Stopped at the vending machines for some M&M’s to get me through the next 4 hours of recovery.

Ran walked really fast back up to the 4th floor.

The doctor soon came out and told me that everything went great. 

15 more minutes until I can see her.

That is where I am now.

Knowing my girlie is slowly waking up with the nurses.

I’m hoping she doesn’t realize I’m not there yet.


I couldn’t get reception for my cell while we were waiting in the exam room.

Rhianna still hasn’t gotten to read her get well notes from the last post and those left on Facebook.

I’m hoping to get a signal in recovery.

If not, I’ll read them tonight when we get home.

Her face LIT up when I told her how many sent her a note of well-wishes and prayers.

Thank you for those.

I wish I had a picture of her sweet smile when I told her everyone who posted.  Even the people she doesn’t know and only know her through the blog. 

It did exactly what I wanted it to do.  It made her smile.


The nurse soon came to take me back to see her.

As I walked through the halls I listened to hear the cries of my girlie.

The nurse led me to her bed and she lay there sleeping peacefully.

The nurse looked at me and said “You have the sweetest little girl.  She’s so, so sweet.

Even coming out of anesthesia.” 
I smiled back and said “I know”.

As the nurse and I talked we realized she used to work with my friend.

(Michelle, Tammy T. says ‘hello’…in case I forget to tell you :-)

She asked me if I had anyone else waiting in the waiting area.

I said ‘no’.

We are soon wheeled over to secondary recovery.  Where fluids and cold things are pushed.

Again, I was asked by another nurse, “Is there anyone else with you today?” 

Again, I said ‘no’.

Again, not sure why this bothered me. 

I’m extremely independent.

Maybe even borderline loner at times.

I know that if I needed someone, all I needed to do was text them and they would be there.

It just felt different this time.

**Back to Rhianna**

Rhianna slept some more and woke up just enough to get a small bit of water down.

The nurse sent the pain med prescription to the Outpatient Pharmacy (so I wouldn’t have to stop on the way home.)

While Rhianna was sleeping, I snuck out and over to the Pharmacy.

I popped into the gift shop for a balloon.

I just wanted to see her smile when she really woke up.

After a bit of sleeping; she woke up to eat a few bites of blue slushie.

And smiled at the balloon.  

She seems to be doing well; just her tummy hurts worse than her throat.

After the slushie she laid back down and said “Mommy, I’m ready to have you read me my notes.”

I think God knew that she would need the notes from my readers now instead of then.

With each note she would softly smile; her eyes closed.  Soon she drifted back to sleep.

It was about another hour and the nurse came in and said we could be discharged. 

Rhianna woke up and was much more aware this time.

It was clear the anesthetics were wearing off.

She was helped into a wheelchair.

This was the time I dreaded. 

I had to walk away from her and have a stranger volunteer push her to the front.

Rhianna does not like riding in the glass elevator at Children’s.  I had told her I would have her face the doors and not the back windows.

I didn’t realize I wouldn’t be walking down with them.

I completely forgot to tell the nurse about this.

Not remembering until I reached the parking deck.

My heart sunk.

She was still groggy.nauseous from the surgery.

Watching the fall of the elevator from the 4th floor to the 3rd would not help her tummy.

I felt like I failed her.

I soon pulled around to the main entrance and saw her sitting in the wheelchair with the volunteer. 

You could tell they had been chatting.

I helped her in the car and I heard him say “You have a good night sweetie”

From the tone of his voice, I could tell her sweetness touched his heart too.

We made it home and within minutes she asked for Mac and Cheese.

I think she will recover just fine.

She went downstairs to the playroom and played awhile.

I think she is doing great.

(Disclaimer: I had to sadly refuse the mac and cheese.  No dairy products or solid foods for a few days.  She thoroughly enjoyed her Italian Ice she had for dinner)

I can’t tell you how many times the nurses would comment on how well she did.

‘This isn’t normal’ were the comments.

It was your prayers.

Thank you, readers, for your prayers.

They were answered.

*Special thanks to those who sent Rhianna comments; they truly did make her feel special during recovery.  Also a thank you to those who sent cards.  They have made her painful recovery much happier. We truly are a blessed family*

Monday, July 16, 2012

Not Sure

Not sure why I’m nervous about tomorrow.

I’m usually very independent.

But, thinking of sitting there alone.

Waiting for the report.

Waiting for her to make it to recovery.

Sitting with her while she wakes.

Holding her while she cries.

Going through it alone.

No one to be there for emotional support.

No one to hold me up if something would go wrong.

Her.  In pain. Sitting alone with a stranger  nurse while I get the car when we are discharged.

Instead of with her mom.  While the dad gets the car.

She. Sits alone in the backseat riding home. In pain and drowsy.

Instead of curled up next to her mom.

While the dad drives.

Crazy thoughts.

Unnecessary worries.

I’m not like this.

I don’t usually need anyone to hold my hand.

I can usually handle it alone.

But this?

This is scary to me.

Disney World couldn't get this reaction

In deciding to make some changes around our house, I thought it would be fun to spend some time alone with each child this summer before I went back to work.  We would do something fun, of their choice, with a limited dollar amount for the day. 

Rhianna is getting her tonsils out on Tuesday (July 17th) and I know how she loves stuffed animals to snuggle.

That is why Build a Bear was suggested and chosen.

She was so.very.excited to go and get a bear.

What she didn’t know was that she got to pick it out, stuff it and dress it.

I wish I had a picture of her face when she realized all that was involved.

Friday morning came and we did our chores.  At 1:30 we took the boys to Grandma’s house for the afternoon and just us girls took off for the day. 

We were going to Build a Bear and then to Aldi to stock up on as many frozen treats as we could for the painful week ahead.

We walked through the mall and Rhianna was so worried we would never find the shop.  I wish I had a picture of her face when I pointed to the sign and she walked in the store.

She knew she wanted a bunny and not a bear; it was just deciding which bunny to choose.

She looked a bit and then decided to look at the outfits first.  She went up and down the row at least a hundred times trying to choose. 

After looking a bit and choosing a cute little outfit, she went back to the bunnies to pick one.  She looked down into the bin of the ‘skins’ of the animals and said “This one’s eyes are begging me to take her.  I know this is the one”

That’s what I love about this girl.

Her imagination.

Her loving nature.

She picked up the empty bunny and took it to the lady working the store.

Her name was ‘Julie’.

Julie took us over to the ‘stuffing machine’ and showed Rhianna how to push the peddle to make the stuffing come out the tube and into the bunny.

 As Julie was manipulating the cotton into the extremities of the bunny, the little sounds coming out of Rhianna were priceless.

She was so excited she couldn’t even speak.

All that could come out was little squeaks of joy.
It made the fact that, I was spending money I shouldn’t be spending, worth it . 

Disney World couldn’t get this reaction:

After the bunny was stuffed, Julie gave the bunny to Rhianna for a ‘squeeze test’.  To make sure that the bunny was just right.

After it passed the squeeze test, Rhianna was told to pick out a heart to put in the bunny. 

She had to rub it on her head, to make the bunny smart.

Rub it on her side, so that it would always be a friend who stuck by her side.

To rub it on her heart, so the bunny would love.

Then the heart was placed in the bunny and Julie sewed her up tight.

After the stitches were complete, Rhianna took the bunny to the shower for an air bath.

 She giggled the whole time.

Still not speaking a word.

Only squeaks and giggles.

I on the other hand wanted to cry. 

I am so thankful that it doesn’t take much to make my daughter this happy. 

It’s the little things in life that bring joy, and she knows that.

We went over to the dressing table to dress the bunny.

Once she was fully clothed, Rhianna showed her in the mirror what her new outfit looked like.

Then we were headed to the computers to create her birth certificate.

The naming of the bunny was to happen here.

Oh my.

What a tough decision.

I guess we as humans have months and months to choose our child’s name.

Rhianna was only given a few minutes.

‘Becky’ was the final choice.

Once we were finished, the certificate was printed and it was time to pay.

Rhianna still hardly spoke anything at this point.

Ribbons were put on Becky’s ears as a complimentary gift.

Then it was time to go.

I told Rhianna to stand at the front of the store and hold up her bunny.

I walked across the aisle for a picture.

A group of women walked in front of me and noticed Rhianna standing there alone.  They looked at her quizzically and then happened to notice me.  They smiled and laughed and I heard one say “Isn’t she so cute…with her new bunny”

 We walked out of the mall.

Rhianna still hardly speaking, just grinning from ear to ear, with the occasional skip.

*Special Request:  I would love it if you would comment and leave a note of well-wishes for Rhianna.  (Even if you don't know her personally, she would LOVE to hear from you!!!) I will read them to her when she is in recovery.  It would pass the time and make her feel special while she is beginning to heal from her tonsilectomy.  I know people have had problems commenting in the past, but I made some adjustments that should solve the problem. Please leave your first name and where you are from. (If we don't know you :o) Thanks in advance!!*