Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday, Thomas!

You are the sweetest, smartest, cutest, kindest,
most beautiful baby boy that ever lived.

I love you.

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

This year, you turned nine and became an amazing reader.  You would only wear orange and you discovered the joys of the iPad.  You began telling us “I love you” without hearing it from us first and you decided the cats might actually be interesting after all.  You love school and can’t wait to go back this week and you notice and remember your friends more than ever.

And when I told you that the flash was making you close your eyes, you were fascinated and became determined to keep them open.

You are sweet and funny.

Happy Birthday, Baby.

♥♥

9th Birthday Pictures

The Doll

The boy was very excited about his new doll.  He held her sweetly and seemed proud to pose with her.

These two pix are my favorites:

It pretty much went downhill from there.

The Cake

The boy chose a Happy New Year theme.  He liked the clock and all the colors.

It has only taken me nine years to figure out exactly what kind of cake to order:

1/4 sheet of chocolate AND
a 1/4 sheet of white,
both with white buttercream filling,
frosted & decorated together as a single cake.

It’s not as pretty later in the day, but both halves taste really good.

The final improvement over last year’s version was the omission of the fruity filling.  The sliced strawberries do that sliced strawberry thing and look kinda scary the next morning.  Blech.  😕  They had to go this time.

This year, his name was even spelled correctly.  Thank you, Vons bakery manager lady!

There’s a ton of it left in the kitchen.  Wanna come by and have a slice?

The Helium Balloons

I can’t tell you how heartbreaking it is to me that we didn’t get a single photo of the helium balloons.  😦  I thought they were magical.

Our front room has a 24-foot ceiling.  Sounds grand, but it’s really more problematic than anything else.

Every year, the balloons head up there and are impossible to get down when the kids want to play with them.  I’ve never really liked tying the balloons to chairs or anchoring them with toys or weights, so this year I paid extra to have twenty-foot ribbons.

The balloons floated skyward as usual, but the long ribbons (two dozen of them) dangled down and made a little rainbow ribbon forest that we could walk through.  It was very festive and I am determined to do it every year from now on.

The floral department was NOT pleased with my request.  Right from the start, I even offered to pay more and they still gave me crap.  Then they called me at home to give me more crap.  World ribbon shortage or something.  Annoying.  Small minded.  Not service oriented.  Whatever.

It’s funny to me that the skills I’ve built advocating for my kid spill over to stuff like this.  Heh heh.

The Other Balloons

The husband blew up a zillion extra balloons to leave outside the boy’s door the night before the party.  This is what he woke up to:

The front door was like a vacuum.  Every time we opened it for a new guest, the balloons were sucked out at lightening speed.   The scramble to retrieve them was funny, but rather unsuccessful.  Many met their ends on the porch or lawn.  It was kind of a nice icebreaker for our friends and family though!  😀

Miscellaneous Other Birthday Photos

Happy Birthday Party, Little Boy!!

P.S…

Dumbest thing I did at the party?

Putting the pizza boxes on top of the piano.

The “protective” towels made it worse.

Jenifer, don’t look.  😦

Anybody know a good piano restoration service?  😐

♥♥

Good To Be Back

I just realized it has been eleven days since my last post.

I’ve written a lot, but all of it is unfinished and dark.  😐

I’ve been mad in the last few weeks.  Mad at myself mostly, but mad at other people too.  And sad.  And sort of desperate.

That last adjective motivated a very pathetic e-mail to my family and friends about my overwhelming need for their help.

It was extremely difficult for me to ask, but I did.

Today, my older brother kept the little boy for four hours so that the husband and I could have a date.

We saw Thor (very enjoyable and NOT in 3D, thank you very much), we ate a tasty, cheese-laden lunch at Chevy’s, and then we went to Extraordinary Desserts for some beverages and really huge chocolate stuff.  Really. Huge.

My iced tea arrived with a little pitcher of sugar syrup and a bamboo skewer of berries topped with one fragrant, lovely pink rose petal.  Damn, I love that place.

We had a good day.  A long overdue, woulda-lost-my-mind-without-it, good day.  Thank you, brother.  You saved us.

Now, the husband is out front spreading some very pungent manure on our dying lawn.  The little boy is “helping” daddy and I am here, trying not to lose the writer in myself to anger, fatigue, absence or anything else.

Yesterday, we went to the school to see our son receive an award for requesting help appropriately.  The other kids were recognized for academic achievements, outstanding citizenship or perfect attendance, but we think our kid’s award is the best one of all.  It confirms what we already knew, he has come a long, long way.  😀

That’s all I have to say today.  Just enough to get back here.

See you tomorrow?

Happy Saturday!

P.S.  My crafty friend, Erin from Kansas, started an etsy shop.

Go see it here.

Clever girl, she sent me that link and I promptly bought a little drawer she upcycled with light blue paint and polka dot paper.

Kinda had to – I ♥ cheery little things.

Go, Erin!  😀  Go, Erin!

♥♥

Ignore The Dirty Kitchen

Got a new video camera a few weeks ago…

Samsung Full HD 8.0 MEGA.

And that’s pretty much all I know.  😀

It’s little and shiny and I don’t know how to use it yet, but husband does.

Happy Sunday!

P.S.  Am in a better mood.  Thank you for all your encouragement.

P.P.S.  The little boy finished ALL of his homework this week.  Woohoo!

♥♥

It takes a while

After dropping off the little boy at school this morning, I took a brisk walk around the campus and through the adjacent park.

I probably needed to walk the loop more than once, but even that fleeting twelve minutes worked wonders on my foggy brain.

This has been a strange week.

My uncle’s passing and the daily updates from mom about the flowers and the neighbors with food and the service and the other little details that you can’t predict until you’re dealing with them, all of that is spinning in my head and kicking old memories right to the front of my thoughts.

I remember all of this from the week after my dad died.

It’s good to have those things to keep you occupied until you can settle into the fact that your loved one is gone.

It takes a while to do that, you know, to settle into it.

It takes a while to stop reaching for the phone to call him.

It takes a while before you stop rushing home to tell him about your day.

It takes a while before you think of where to put the thoughts and feelings you kept just for him.

It takes a while to like the holidays again.

It takes a while before you stop buying him trinkets or bringing home magazines with articles on the things he collects or the places he goes.

It takes a while before you stop getting an extra slice of cake or a few more oranges at the market.

It takes a while before you stop regretting this day or that day.

It takes a while to forgive yourself for fights and failings.

It takes a while before you can clean out his stuff and actually decide what to do with it.

It takes a while to remember all of the people who would want to know that he is gone.

It takes a while to recover when you stand alone in your house with the phone in your hand and you realize you have told everyone there is to tell and now you must face a conversation with yourself.

It takes a while to really cry and to feel the way you really feel – mad or sad or relieved or sick or lonely or not.  Happy or stressed or scared or buoyant.

It takes a while to decide where you think your loved one is and whether or not he sees you and knows you as this new person that you’re taking a while to become.

It takes a while to rearrange your life and to realize how you rearranged it for him before he left.

It takes a while to settle into it.

For me, it has been a long time.  Eight years.

Today, I finally stowed away some of the Christmas decorations.

In the space I made for them in my closet, I found a box with some papers in my father’s humored, unhurried, and purposeful hand.

I will keep the box, of course, and I will frame some of the papers one day.

But it could take a while.

This week reminds me that I am still unsettled.

P.S. I threw some tomato seeds into the yard a couple of weeks ago.  Can you see the sprouts in that photo?  They are teeny next to the fully established ornamental strawberry leaves, but they are thriving.  I can’t wait for this year’s crop to show itself.

And speaking of delicious produce, the strawberry patch at Main and Third is open for the season again.  Go get yourself a flat.  It’s worth the drive.

♥♥

 

I’m Just Saying

I’m just gonna say it to get it out of the way.

Today is the day my dad died.  Seven years ago.

Do you call it an anniversary?  That seems celebratory and that’s not exactly what this is.

But I didn’t wake up depressed today.  At least, not about this.  Not about my dad.

I know he’s in a good place.  And wherever it is, he can walk and run and ride horses.

I’ve said before that I don’t make appointments with grief.

I don’t believe that I am supposed to be sad just because a given day marks a somber event.

I’ve said that before.  You’ve read that before.

I guess I’m just bringing this up because writing a post about something else today seems disrespectful somehow.

Last year, we were traveling in January, so I spent the 8th posting a recap of events from the road.

I didn’t think much about the significance of the date.

This year, I’ve been sick and I’m just home and not engaged in any hugely distracting activities, so there it is, the anniversary of my dad’s passing.

I think my mom is a little teary today.

She loves her life and everyone in it, but there’s always going to be a space in her heart that is reserved for my dad.

I’m not even sure it’s a voluntary reservation.  It’s just par for the course of love and loss.  I have it too.

Crying about the past doesn’t mean we’re not thrilled about the future.  We are.  We both completely are.

My dad would want that.

On a lighter note, I feel a lot better today.  I sound worse, but I feel better.

The husband boosted my morale with personal sacrifice.

He skipped a movie night with the boys to let me off the parenting hook last night and then he got up with our son this morning so that I could sleep in.

I’ll be gone tomorrow, so today was supposed to be his day to sleep.

I am forever grateful.  I think he let me turn the corner on this cold.

And to sweeten the honey-do credits, he’s now at the store picking up my hair color.

In the morning, I’m driving a couple of hours to meet some friends for shopping and lunch.

I can’t wait.

Thanks to husband, I think I might even have the energy required to really enjoy it now.

Of course, I may feel differently when the alarm rings at 5:30.  😐  We’ll see.

What are you doing this weekend?

Have a Happy Saturday!

♥♥

Holiday Wait

The little boy broke more stuff today.

I snapped at him.

I cried some more.

Ugh.

Hate myself for not just letting it roll off my back.

He’s really excited about Christmas.  He has been bouncing off the walls all day.  He wants to hang EVERYTHING on the tree and he wants to do EVERYTHING himself, including things he really can’t or shouldn’t do.

Sigh.

I have less patience this week than I ought to.

And such guilt.

Husband and I got to talking over dinner with some friends about how much waiting kids have to do at the holidays.

While the grown-ups get together and cook and eat and exchange pleasantries, the kids wait.  And wait.  And wait some more.

I think my son does a lot of waiting.

I think my son does a lot of waiting for something he is sure will be exciting.  Instead he gets more waiting, nothing too exciting and a mom who snaps.  And maybe a vague sense that the snapping has something to do with him.

I think my son probably doesn’t understand why grown-ups take so damn long to do everything and when they do it, they don’t have the same joy about it that he does.  I think my son deserves a mom who isn’t tired.  A mom who finds that same joy and shares it with him as well and as often as he shares it with her.

I try to be that mom.  I do.  I really do.  I don’t think I am though.

My son is so hopeful.  I hate that I can rob that from him with impatience or delay or fatigue or a quick temper.  He deserves more.

Tomorrow, I will try to give him more.

Day Twenty-Seven 2010 Pumpkin Demise

I took some of these photos in the morning and some just before dusk today.

The later pix are softer, even downright fuzzy, for some reason.

I don’t know if I chose the wrong camera setting or if it was just dark clouds in the late afternoon sky that made the difference.

I decided to include the later pix anyway since there are a few cute ones of the boy and his chocolate mouth.

Enjoy!

Oh, and just in case any of you are worried, I will not be showing you the demise of those other squash on a daily basis.

Happy Saturday!

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P.S.  My oldest cat barfed in three places on the floor behind me as I was typing this.  🙄

♥♥