Thursday, February 24, 2011

"String too short to use"

10) Prayers for the people of New Zealand. The images of destruction and death in Christchurch are horrible.

9) “Mom, you’re bustin’ my chops.” Liam’s latest. Cracks me up, although my husband says it’s disrespectful. I suppose it is, but it made me laugh anyway.

8) Because I have no preconceived notions about where Liam should be on the learning curve, I am absolutely delighted when he displays new talents. This week he has figured out how to identify and spell his own name. He can’t write it yet, but he can point to the letters, call them out and he knows it spells “Liam.” Too cool.

7) I am so looking forward to this weekend. Liam and CJE are heading off today to spend a few days at Grandma’s house. After a week of Liam being sick, then a week of me being sick, and then a weekend of CJE only coming home to sleep, I am so very ready for a break. Thankfully CJE’s mom is only about a three-hour drive away, and she loves having free-rein with Liam.

6) Work. Work. Work. It is hard to work when my little one is sick. It is hard to work when I am sick. Therefore, I am two weeks behind and struggling to catch up before month’s end. I promised CJE I would not work the whole time this weekend.

5) Firefly. Nathan Fillion and crew, you rock.

4) A friend of mine posts photos of her children on facebook all the time with no clothes on. For some reason I find this offensive. Why must I see these otherwise cute children in bare skin and  saggy diapers? Don’t your children have clothes? There are tons and tons of really cute kids' clothes in stores everywhere. Liam even has some very cute, clean castoffs I could give you that would probably fit your kids. No wonder they are sick all the time, they are likely freezing. Without clothes on you’d need to keep it about 80° in your home for them to be warm enough to trot around all day in their altogethers. You post all these pictures of half naked children in diapers. Nasty. Where are their clothes? Get them dressed.

3) Spring really is coming.  I took a brisk little stroll around the yard over the weekend and many bushes, tree and flowers are budding and ready. Tulips and daffodils are poking through. This morning their little heads have a dusting of snow on them, but they are hardy . . . they will keep on coming and soon the sun will have some warmth in it for them. I am so very ready to get out there and dig in the dirt.

2) I am a little bit proud of the fact that I don’t use the word “hate” much. There are things and situations and even people in this world that I have a strong aversion to, but not much that I can honestly say I truly “hate.” That being said, I hate coats. I have never found one that looks as cute on me as it does on the model or the damn hangar for that matter. Because I am a short, round person, it just seems adding another layer, especially a bulky one, just makes me look rounder. Blech. No, thank you. Besides, I carry around enough insulation that most of the year I don’t really need one anyway.

1) If I asked you to name your all-time best song, which would it be? I don’t want the one that made the most money, I want the one that most deeply touched your heart/changed your life.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Having a tough week

Liam woke us between one and two Monday morning gasping for air and coughing up mucous and blood. He had a low-grade fever and at first said his mouth hurts, but now tells me in a very raspy little voice that his throat hurts.

Needless to say, Monday was a really long day. I couldn’t get him into the doctor until Tuesday. Doc says it is not strep, but suspects some other bacteria at work. So Liam will be taking an antibiotic for a few days.

This threw my week in the toilet. Whatever work I thought I was going to get done is waiting for next week. No way could he go to the sitter’s like this. Now that he’s been on antibiotics for more than 24 hours, he is no longer contagious, but he is still a very miserable little boy. I did see some improvement yesterday. He seemed to have a bit more energy and actually ate a little something, plus the off-and-on, low-grade fever seemed to be more off than on.

I honestly thought I was accomplishing nothing on the days I was home with Liam, now I know better. Sick boys, big or little, are very whiny and demanding. We have done a lot of movie watching and napping in chairs, sofas and beds all over the house. He doesn’t want me out of his sight, so sitting at the computer working is out of the question. He will barely let me go to the bathroom.

Since I haven’t gotten more than about three hours of sleep in any one of the past four nights, I figure I’m the one mostly likely to come down with this next. Oh joy.

So it hasn’t been a real fun week. I’ve gone flying out the door the last two evenings the moment CJE walked in so I can get some work done somewhere. This means no dinner as a family (Liam wasn’t eating anyway) and no chance to sit and talk with my husband.

Many things combined to not make me a very happy camper.

On the plus side . . .

Yes, I am trying to find a plus side here.

On the plus side:

    1) I have had lots of cuddle time with Liam. We have snuggled and snoozed in almost every chair and bed in the house. He is a sweet, cuddly little boy at the best of times and when he is sick . . . even more so.

    2) It has been extremely quiet around our house this week. Liam has been unable to talk above a whisper since get up on Monday. I have to admit I do love the sound of silence. Having Liam be sick to get it makes the trade off not so good, however.

Needless to say we are eagerly looking forward to next week.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I have been thinking a lot about heroes this week. Not necessarily heroes in general, but heroes specific to my life. I have several, but two in particular standout in my mind.

One is a person I have known since 5th grade. Her family moved into the area and she started attending Mt Hall Elementary in the fall of 1974. We became friends and have remained friends, through thick and thin, good times and trials, ever since. Neither of us had really thought about it much, we had just always been friends, until one day a few years ago her then boyfriend asked, “How long have you two known one another?” We both gave the flip answer; “since 5th grade.” Dave persisted and said, “How long ago was that?” We had to stop and think then and we came up with . . . 34 years. Wow!

I actually blogged about her once before, back in June 2008 when she and Dave got married. More of the details of our friendship can be found there. However, today I am writing about heroes, and I want to tell you why she qualifies.

This dear friend has been through seventeen kinds of hell in her life yet she always has a smile and a helping hand for the next person she meets.

One of her sons and one of her younger brothers both suffer from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. They both live with her. Her son is now 25 and her brother is in his 40s. Onset of the disease for each of them was when they were adolescents. For many years she was their primary caregiver and when that got to be too much, nurses started coming in. This means through the major part of everyday, strangers are all over her house. Not that they stay strangers for very long, but think about what that means. Because these nurses are responsible for the guys’ complete care, they are doing laundry and cooking and cleaning in her house, oftentimes when she is not there.

Two years ago when her Dad passed away, her Mom came to live with her as well. She is in her 70s and has cancer. She has been on the verge of dying several times over the past few months and it speaks volumes about my friend’s undying dedication to helping and healing that her Mom is still around.

There is more, lots more, but some of it I don’t feel I have the liberty to share. Suffice it to say, for all she has accepted gracefully in her life, she will always be a hero in my book.

My other significant hero is a guy I met in 1986 when I was living in southern California. My then husband, Gary, was in the Navy and, after we got settled in Oxnard, he deployed to Puerto Rico. Steve had been in the same company, but had mustered out so stayed behind. Steve shared an apartment with several other Navy and ex-Navy guys in the complex next to ours.

While my husband was in Puerto Rico a blow-by-blow record of his infidelity came to light. I won’t bore you with the details, but this was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. The next time Gary called from Puerto Rico, I told him it was over and I was leaving. When word got out, I discovered the number of real friends I had in southern California could be counted on one finger . . . Steve.

I was 23 years old and terrified.

Over the course of the next few days, Steve helped me in countless ways. He helped me hold my act together. Without his help I would never have rented a trailer and gotten it loaded with the few personal items I was taking. The whole time I was scared to death Gary would get emergency leave and show up before I could get gone. While others turned their backs on me for leaving, Steve stood by me. He never questioned my decision or the reasons behind it. He trusted that what I was doing was the right thing for me and he never judged me for what I felt I had to do.

I have always felt him to be heroic for standing up for what he believed was right in the face of plenty of adversaries ready to tell him he was wrong. I’ve always appreciated his presence at that most difficult time in my life and am very happy to have reconnected with him recently.

These are two of the significant heroes in my life. Who are yours?