Saturday, May 20, 2006


In every history of every parent there is a moment when a child becomes a part of the family. I love hearing everyone's story because they are all so different. Some involve a LOT of waiting. Some don't. Our friend Dave was coached by his wife's doctor on what to have ready at home in case he had to deliver their third child. His wife's labors had never gone over the one hour mark. I love the stories!

Several months before my due date I went to see my doctor to talk about my "birth plan". I was very apprehensive about the labor and delivery process because of the experience that I had with Princess. (Here's that story in a nutshell: she was induced two weeks early because the sonogram revealed that she was fairly big and I am not, I pushed for two and a half hours resulting in a pinched nerve in my left leg which caused me to be on crutches for over a week - I literally could not stand to change a diaper for the first two weeks of her life, and I had a third degree episiotomy tear that took forever and a day to heal. No fun. There's a reason she and her brother are three years apart.) So I discussed a c-section with my doctor. He was supportive, but he wanted me to really think about it carefully. I started praying about it that day and I got an answer from God - "Trust Me." Not the answer I wanted. Too vague! I wanted specifics! But I knew that was all I was going to get. I eventually told my doctor that the only way I'd want an automatic c-section was if my son was face-up. Princess was face-up and I think that's where all the hardship started.

Now, fast-forward to June 2. We had a sonogram scheduled at 2:00 and then a follow-up with the doctor at 2:30. From the sonogram they learned that Buddy was already hovering around seven pounds - at 35 weeks 4 days! Whew! Also, he was face-down. Yay! During the doctor visit we started talking about when we'd induce since Buddy was getting big. Princess was induced at 38 weeks (the earliest that they will induce) because she was so big. I guess I just start cooking overtime around month 8! Anyway, the doctor checked and I was 2 cm dilated and 70% effaced. Hubby mentioned that he had a business trip scheduled for later in the week and the nurse said that he shouldn't go anywhere. Then Hubby sealed our fate and said, "Well she's NOT going to have the baby this week!" To which the nurse just laughed and told me that I had better have a bag packed.

That evening Hubby and Princess were going to go help some friends move a couch and I was going to a small diaper shower that a friend of mine had planned for me. I was in the garage at 6:15 p.m. waving good-bye to Hubby and Princess as they backed down our driveway and my water broke. I signaled for Hubby to stop the car and I told him that I thought my water broke. He wasn't convinced. His exact words were, "That's not possible. Go check." So I dutifully went in to the bathroom to check. What exactly I was checking for is not clear. My pants were soaked. I could have told him that in the driveway! No baby head sticking out. Just wet pants. So I went back out and he said he'd stick around until I called the doctor. Well, the doctor wanted me to come in to the hospital just in case so Hubby and a now crying Princess (she was really excited about riding in Daddy's truck with a couch) came back inside.

My brother and his wife and family live less than five minutes from our house so they came over to help out with Princess. I was in such shock that I could actually be having the baby that I just couldn't think of what to pack. My sister-in-law coached me through it - she found a list in my "What to Expect When You're Expecting" book and we checked off the list together. After about 30 minutes of packing, I was in the kitchen showing her where breakfast bars were when the first real contraction hit. Whoa buddy. That's when sis-in-law said, "Okay, you guys have to go NOW!" and we did. She's had three kids - the first two came so quickly that she didn't have time for the epidural. When she said NOW, I knew it was serious!

The contractions started to get worse on the way to the hospital. By the time we got there they were between two and four minutes apart and really starting to get bad. We had to walk about TWO MILES from the elevators to the labor and delivery admitting desk - of course stopping every minute or so for a contraction. The nurse met us and got us settled into a room pretty quickly and then the paperwork started. We had registered at another hospital but had to switch at the last minute because the doctor on call was on his way to the second hospital to deliver another baby. So in between horrendous contractions I had to answer all sorts of paperwork questions and then try to hold a pen and sign stuff. The contractions kept getting more and more intense until finally I could barely even breathe.

Yes, contractions are extremely painful. I was very surprised at how painful they were. I did not get to the painful contraction stage with Princess. Because she was induced, I was able to get the epidural before any of the hard stuff started. So I did NOT know ANYTHING about true labor! When I had asked my mom about her contractions, she told me that they were painful, but it was a sweet pain. That with every pain she knew she was one step closer to being a mommy. Awww. I don't know what planet she gave birth on thirty-eight years ago. There's nothing sweet about that pain. Those suckers HURT! And it's not like it is in the movies. I couldn't have screamed if I had wanted to - I had no breath! And I am thoroughly convinced that a MAN devised the Lamaze system. Yes, I did need to breathe during the contractions. I'm sure that oxygen would have helped. How anyone can breathe when their abdominal muscles are doing their best impression of a boa constrictor swallowing an elephant I will never know.

I'm sure that it is very disturbing to see the person you love most in the world writing in pain and knowing that you can't do anything to help. Hubby did try to help at one point by starting the chant, "Breathe. Breathe. Breathe with the contraction." I'm not sure exactly how I mustered the breath or the strength to talk at that point, but I know I looked at him and said, "You have to stop talking." My husband is wonderful. He did. Then a few contractions later Hubby very politely asked me to change my grip on his hand because the two-handed grip of the moment spelled a broken thumb in his near future. After every contraction I would apologize to everyone in the room for either being rude or for actually physically hurting them. Yes, I kept asking for the epidural and was promised that it would happen soon. The nurse actually said, "Sweetie, we need to make sure you're in active labor." A Linda Blair voice came out of my body. "I AM!" I finally got the epidural about 9:15 and it immediately started to work. Yay! It was a great epidural. I could feel no pain, but I could feel the pressure of the contractions so that really helped me a lot with the pushing later. (I found out later that during the time that the doctor was giving me the epidural I pulled my nurse's hair. I had a contraction and I thought I grabbed only her shirt. Turns out I grabbed a handful of hair, too. Again, I apologized.)

On a side note, they had this ridiculous pain chart that they referenced every time I said I hurt. It had little "happy" faces on it depicting varying degrees of pain from zero to ten. At ten the "smiley face" was crying. I told the nurse that my pain went to eleven. She didn't get it, but Hubby laughed.

For the next 45 minutes or so I dozed and just relaxed. Remember, I pushed with Princess for 2 1/2 hours so I was resting up for what could have been another marathon. At about 10:30 - during Leno's monologue - the doctor came in and checked me and I was at 10 cm! (Why he promptly left, I don't know. Although he only needs to be there to catch the baby. The nurse does all of the push coaching.) So at 10:33 I started pushing. I pushed through one contraction and then the nurse told me to wait. She said that she could see the head coming down and everything looked great. When I felt the next contraction coming I asked if she wanted me to push and she said no! So then Hubby, the nurse and I started taking bets for when we thought Buddy would make it into the world. I said I thought it would be 11:00. Hubby said 10:35. He didn't think that Leno would get through his monologue! The nurse wouldn't commit. I wound up only pushing through every third contraction. They sent for the doctor after the third push, he came in and one more push I had the head out then one small push and there was Buddy at 10:49! It was a much calmer and relaxed delivery than Princess! They lay Buddy right on my stomach, covered in goo and crying his head off! Then Hubby actually cut the cord. That was amazing! We were all joking and laughing and excited and no one was scared or stressed at all! He was 7 pounds 5 ounces at one month early. Wow. Praise to God that Buddy did not go full term!

Because he was so early, they had to do all of the preemie tests on him. (Each nurse that came to get him would look at him and say, "Are you sure you had the date right?" Yes. My husband had had several business trips that previous fall. He was home during just the right week!) Buddy sailed through all of the tests with flying colors. Yep, I just turn the oven up the last trimester!

My recovery was just as easy as the birth. I wasn't on crutches - I was walking around the room almost as soon as we moved to the mother/baby wing. I could actually sit down and not want to cry! A week later at home Princess and I were dancing together in the backyard!

I am just praising God for the way He took such good care of us! He said, "Trust Me" and what a blessing that I did! There were so many things that didn't go the way I wanted - a different hospital, my doctor wasn't on call so another doctor in the practice delivered us, Buddy was a whole MONTH early so we had a ton of stuff left to do - but I wouldn't change anything because it was all so perfect! God just knows exactly what we need and He is delighted to give it to us. Even if we put in an order for something different.

Oh, and here's the icing on the cake. As I was leaving the hospital on Wednesday I saw my anesthesiologist in the hallway. I told him that he was one of my favorite people and that his epidural was right on the money. I asked what his name was so that I could record it in Buddy's baby book. He told me and it turns out he and I worked together at a haunted house when we were both in high school! I went home and found a picture of us together - get this - 20 years ago! That picture is going in Buddy's book! Ha! Small world! Hubby said, "Well, looks like he's still coming after people with long sharp objects!"

Our Household Vernacular

Different parts of the country have different vernaculars. In the South, any kind of soda is called a "Coke" whereas in Detroit, where Hubby grew up, it's called "pop". We Southerners also say that we're "fixin' to do something" and Detroit people just do it. As a stay-at-home-mom in a community of stay-at-home-moms I find that each family has their own vernacular, fueled by the one (or two) in the household who don't quite have a grasp on language yet. Every parent knows which words to teach to the baby-sitter to avoid meltdowns. I myself know the frustration of asking for a Coke and being served one instead of being asked what kind of Coke I would like.

The vernacular of our household:
Princess is almost six so she's pretty much dropped her "special" words. But we used to have to interpret:
la-la = "water"
Ee-oh da-da = "Eeyore and blanket" (For a while she called her blanket "da-da". This was actually before there was a Dada calling his son "Blanket".)
ahng-gahng = "another" (There was much frustration before I figured this one out.)
Home Beto = Home Depot. (My parents still call it Home Beto.)
Scabettios = "Spaghettios" (She actually still uses this one. I can't correct her because it's just too cute.)

Buddy only has a few. He has a big sister to correct him:
poot = "shoe" (I have no idea. Thank goodness he's outgrown this one.)
sumping = "something" which actually means "yogurt" (Apparently the first time I gave him yogurt I asked, "Do you want something?" and then put the yogurt in front of him. I finally figured it out when he was banging on the refrigerator yelling, "Want sumping! Want sumping!" and I opened the refrigerator and he laughed, touched the yogurt container and very lovingly said, "Sumping!")
bigga one = "bigger one" = his lambskin that he carries around. (When we realized that he was attached to the huge lambskin that he sleeps on I cut two smaller pieces off so that we could bring it with us for emergency cuddling. There was tiny one, bigger one and huge one. He bonded with "bigga one".)

So when anyone is fixin' to come over to our house, we just tell them to grab their Scabettios and sumping and if they want to bring some Coke make sure it's Dr. Pepper. And take your poots off at the door.

Sit-Com Moment #2

Last year on the morning of Buddy's second birthday party Hubby went out to get a dozen helium-filled balloons for the table. Buddy was very excited about getting his balloons so we waited and watched for Hubby's return. Hubby drove up and Buddy and I came out on the front porch to welcome him (and the balloons) home. Hubby opened the pick-up door, pulled out the balloons and said, "Here are your ba-" and was interrupted by POW! POW! POW! POW! Hubby and I had both forgotten about the tree that hangs over the driveway. My poor husband looked at me and said, "Aw! I feel like I should be on 'Everybody Loves Raymond'!"

Luckily Hubby has quick reflexes and we only lost four balloons out of a dozen. No big loss. However, Buddy saw those balloons die and immediately began to wail. Again, Hubby has quick reflexes and brought over the remaining balloons to show Buddy that we still had plenty.

Disaster averted, funny story gained.

Time on my hands

What to do? What to do?
I am positively giddy. It looks as if I will have almost an entire week in June where I will be alone. Hubby is going on a work thing for a full week. I have worked it out so that my parents will have the kids during that time. I will be alone. Oh my goodness! I will only be responsible for my own food, my own bathroom habits, my own cleanliness. Wow. It's almost too much to take in. I'm almost afraid to post this entry for fear that I will jinx it!
My mind reels with the possibilities. Tackle some projects that are easier without four little hands helping? Take a couple of day trips ALONE? Rent some scary movies? Blog, blog, blog! My sister in law already has dibs on one night for a girl's night out. How fun! I never get to spend time with her ALONE.
I have about three weeks to plan. Oh, the possibilities!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The End of an Era

Buddy is now sleeping in a big boy bed. He's almost officially a big boy (he's still in pull-ups, the last hurdle to the big boy potty has not been crossed). I don't know how I feel about that.

Buddy has made the transition from crib to bed just fine. I'm the one having trouble! That crib has been assembled and in use in our house for almost six years. I can't get used to the fact that we're getting rid of all of our baby stuff. We're not going to have another baby. Ever. Wow. I'm not so sure that I like the finality of that.

It's been almost three years since I last gave birth. I know I have forgotten a lot, but I haven't forgotten everything. Babies are a lot of work with not much payoff for the first three or four months. (After that time, they start smiling. That rocks.) Things are constantly coming up - sleep issues, teething, weaning, trying solid foods, etc. It seems that once you get used to one schedule or one phase it's over and the next phase brings on an entirely new schedule! (Today is an example - Princess graduated from kindergarten. She's actually about to be in a GRADE!) But the maternal instinct is hard to suppress once it's activated. When you know that you are more responsible for this little thing than you've ever been in your life, when you know that if you did not do your job, this little being would not make it, when you realize that this little person bonded with you and knows that you will supply it with every need you can . . . that's so incredibly humbling and (dare I say it) addicting.

It's not power. At least, it's not for me. I don't feel power over my children. I feel a sense of responsibility and an overwhelming sense of humility. God has chosen me to shape these two little lives. It's actually beyond words so I don't know why I'm trying!

I fought Hubby when he wanted to take the crib down. I was not happy about it. Most of it was just the sleep issue thing with Buddy - we have had almost six months of really great nights and I didn't want to change ANYTHING for fear that it would rock the boat. But in the back of my mind, I just didn't want the symbol of babyhood to be gone. Getting rid of the crib is one step closer to Buddy and Princess not needing me like they do now. I go into Buddy's room and it's the room of a little boy - not a baby or even a toddler. I'm the mother of a 1st grader and a preschooler. Oh no . . . am I getting old? Is this about ME? (Isn't everything?!) ;-)

There are some phases that I'm glad are over - teething, 4 a.m. feedings, the stage where they can't walk really well, but want to do it without help . . . in a two story house - but there are some things I want to hang on to just a little while longer. I'm glad that I have Hubby to gently, but firmly, push me into letting go when I need to.

One of the most important things that my parents did for me and my brother was that they always treated us the age that we were. I don't ever remember being babied nor do I remember being asked to do things that were beyond me. I realize that I have to do that with my own children. I just didn't realize that it would be so hard!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Family Tree

I recently signed on as a consultant with a company called Once Upon a Family. It's a work-from-home company along the lines of Avon, Pampered Chef and Creative Memories. I signed on because the main goal of the company is to bring families together by implementing traditions that celebrate families. Of course the company has products to support all of the traditions! But what I like about the company is that the celebration is the focus, not necessarily the sales of the products. (My website is

One of their products is a family tree. It's a foam core board with a beautiful tree printed on it. It comes with a bag of 25 paper leaves and push pins. I'm in the process of filling out the leaves and attaching them. The front of the leaf has four blanks - name, relationship, date of birth and birthplace. The back of the leaf is blank so that you can stick a photo on it. When my grandfather passed away I asked my dad and aunt if I could have all of the old photos that Bigdaddy kept in his office. I have those in my guest room now. I scanned them into my computer, color corrected, cropped and then printed out pictures the right size for the leaves.

Here I sit at my desk with faces of my ancestors looking up at me. Who are they? I know from looking up some family trees on the web that my great-great grandmother was a direct descendant of German royalty - the Brandenburgs. I have a picture of her here, but I don't know anything about her. What was her favorite color? What was she really, really good at? I see a picture of my great grandfather with his handlebar mustache. What did his voice sound like? I see that my grandmother had her mother's mouth. And the resemblance between my great grandfather, grandfather, father, brother and nephew is just plain spooky.

I am so glad that I have these photographs. I am so glad that I can pass this family tree on to my children and their children. And I'm glad that I can start a tradition of writing (blogging!) about the little things that make up a human being. Not just when and where they were born, but how much pepper they put on their eggs, if they were good at dominoes and what their favorite joke was. If humor is hereditary, that joke will have something to do with farts.

An Angel in Central Market

This is a journal entry from May 1, 2006

This afternoon I did a very brave thing - I took the kids to Central Market.

Look over that sentence and I will point out two very significant things.
AFTERNOON - morning is the optimal time to take the kids anywhere they will be semi-confined. Today I chose to take them at 1:10. To top it all off, they had not had a proper lunch yet. (There is an exercise class that I like to take from noon to one. I had intended to go straight home after the class, but realized during the class that I had nothing planned for dinner.)
KIDS - plural. Taking only one is usually fine any time of the day. Two kids at the wrong time of the day is just . . . brave.

Princess was asking great questions about shopping and I was trying to take advantage of the teachable moments to, well, teach her. She helped me pick out the bell pepper, the mushrooms, the eggplant, etc. It was very fun! I am continually amazed at her maturity. She even told me, "I'm going to help you today because that's what six year olds do!"

Oh my sweet little Buddy. His Central Market story is a bit different.

I can't let him tour a grocery store on his own power. He MUST ride in the cart. Picturing him loose in the Central Market produce section conjures up not a sit-com moment, but an entire episode. So he was in the front of the cart. He inspected all of the produce, too, but only to see how far he could throw said produce back into the cart. He also experimented with positions in the cart - seated, crouched, standing, backwards . . . you get the picture. There was one time when I actually gave him a little "pop" on the leg - something that I never do in public for fear that I will not be allowed to go home with him. (Side note - yes, we do spank. But we have very strict rules for our spankings so that we - Hubby and myself - hold each other accountable and don't misuse it. One of the things that gets an automatic spanking is willful disobedience. I told Buddy not to drop the bag of oranges, he looked at me, raised them and then let go. Pop.) Because of his "spiritedness", I felt that I was constantly fussing at him and was very conscious of who was around me.

All through the store I kept seeing this one woman. I noticed that she and I seemed to have the same things on our list. She was in the produce section when we were, she was sampling bread when we were, etc. She was a very well put together older woman with beautiful white hair and a stylish skirt and blouse. When we were ready to check out, for some reason I chose the line that she was in - not really because it was shorter, but somehow she seemed safe. I had no idea why, but now I see that it was divine intervention!

I got in the line and, once again, scolded Buddy for standing up in the cart. The woman looked back at me and said, "You know, we've been following each other all over the store. I had forgotten how busy young mothers are! It's constant, isn't it! And you don't get a break!"

Here's the picture - I have no make-up on, I'm stinky because I just worked out, and I have a writhing (and giggling) Buddy in my arms. My first thought was, "She called me young!"

"Yes! It is busy!" I said to her. "But you know, I just got back from a church retreat. Three days of BEING fed. It was great!"

She smiled. "That's so important" she said. Then she leaned in, looked me in the eye and said, "Your children are very well behaved."

What an amazing blessing those words were. One of the most difficult parts of not having a "boss" or a "job" is that I don't get yearly evaluations. I don't have a written job description by which I can measure my performance. There is no training manual with instructions that lay it all out with "A to B to C and then you get D". (Oh yes, there are plenty of parenting books - many of which I have thrown across the room.) The thing is, I won't really know if I did a good job as a mom until my kids are much older - if then. That sweet angel at the checkout line in Central Market acknowledged that my job is a hard job. And she told me that I was doing it well.

I would like to think that my true Boss used her to tell me that He is pleased with how I'm doing. And to Him I say, "Thank you, Sir. I love my job. I hope that I can continue to grow in it and to please You."

And I also hope that someday when I am a well put together older woman with white hair and stylish clothes (!) I can stop and encourage a young mom in a grocery store with a small boy climbing over her shoulder.

Playing Catch-Up

No, I'm really not this prolific. I am posting so many entries at once because I am copying from a journal that I have been keeping on my computer. It only LOOKS like I've got time on my hands to compose so many entries at once!

Just so you know . . .

A Huge Compliment - If You Know Where To Look

A few weeks ago Princess and I were talking about what she wants to be when she grows up. For the last year she has maintained that she wants to be a Shamu trainer at Sea World. That's fine with me! That means that I can go backstage and pet Shamu!

This particular morning I showed her the picture of her and one of the trainers that we took at Sea World. I said something about her being able to look back on that picture when she is a trainer. She said, "If I'm a trainer."

Me: "'If' you're a trainer? I thought that's what you wanted to be. Have you changed your mind?"

Princess: "No. I still want to be a trainer. But God knows what I'm going to be. He might not want me to be a trainer. He might want me to be nothing. Like you! You don't have a job."

Me: (and no, I wasn't offended - I was smiling) "No? This is my job! I'm not nothing! What am I?"

Princess: (with a huge smile) "MOMMY!"

There are two compliments in that exchange. One is that she is learning to seek God's will for her life. And the other is that she thinks that being "nothing" (a.k.a. a Mommy) would be a perfectly acceptable occupation.


There are two main categories of odd moments in my life: David Lynch Moments and Sit-Com Moments. They are incidents or encounters that would easily lift out of my life and be perfect in either a David Lynch movie or a sit-com. My latest Sit-Com Moment involved my kids. Surprise, surprise.

We couldn't find a certain, and beloved, sippy cup. So I gave Princess the job of finding it. She took the job very seriously. She drew pictures of all of the places that the sippy cup could be and then she would search those places and mark them off of her list. This was good because it occupied both her and Buddy while I got some things done. I was busy cleaning upstairs when I realized that I hadn't heard them for a little while. The last I saw, they were checking the Bug's House. (Household vernacular: the Bug's House is the corner of our yard that is the the ivy garden - just a lot of large limestone rocks and one large tree all overgrown with beautiful ivy. It's also the home to anything that Buddy wants to throw in there.) I looked out the window and couldn't see them. So I went downstairs to check the guest room. Nothing. I called for them and didn't get an answer. Just about the time that I started to get concerned and wonder if I could tell the police what they were wearing our car alarm went off. I ran to the garage to see both kids inside the car screaming in terror and banging on the windows. The lights were flashing and the horn was going off, as was the siren. I opened the car door, got them out and into the house and turned off the alarm.

Once I had my head on straight again, I asked what in the world they were doing playing in the car. Princess was being thorough! The car was on her list of places to look for the sippy cup. Buddy had come along, found my keys in the car (I keep them in the console), and accidentally set the alarm. Once Princess determined that the sippy cup was not in the car, she opened the door. Bedlam.

I don't think I have to worry about them ever playing in the car again.

We never did find the sippy cup.

My Mother's Day

Ah, Mother's Day! It's such a sweet day. I was awakened by the sound of Princess padding into my room. She put her hand on my shoulder, leaned in and then said, in her most urgent voice, "Mommy! We have to feed my hermit crab!"

Saturday we went to PetCo and got Princess a hermit crab. She was (and is) so excited! She carefully inspected the few crabs that they had and picked one that actually has some personality. Yeah, I know, how can a crab have personality? When you pick this one up, it doesn't go back into its shell, it spreads itself wide and looks right at you as if to say, "Hi! Yes, you have power over me, but I have claws. Put me down now, please!"

So that afternoon we carefully arranged Elina's (the crab - named after Barbie's character in "Fairytopia") habitat and then watched it (her?) inspect everything. It was actually really fun! I explained to Princess how we need to make sure she has fresh water and food every morning and we need to make sure to mist her a couple of times a day (they like moisture). So, being the responsible child that she is, morning came along with the panic that WE HAVE TO FEED THE CRAB NOW!!!! Happy Mother's Day!

I convinced Princess that Elina could wait another 15 minutes or so while Princess and I cuddled in bed. (Hubby was already up and in the shower.) So Princess and I cuddled and listened to Buddy playing in his crib. Then Hubby came out, got Buddy up and everyone presented me with my presents! Hubby and Princess had gone out Saturday afternoon during Buddy's nap and Hubby let Princess pick out a present for me. She did a great job! She picked out gift "basket" from Bath and Body Works. It wasn't actually a basket, it was a little purse! And it's so cute! She was very pleased when I transferred all of my stuff into it and took it to church yesterday. Then Hubby gave me a wonderful new soft pink robe. Buddy gave me some self-tanning lotion! (He shops in his sleep from his bed! David Blaine, eat your heart out!) It was all very wonderful and sweet. (Although Buddy kept asking where his presents were. He knows his birthday is coming up and he's not afraid to use that information.)

Hubby suggested that we go to brunch. We did NOT go to brunch. The thought of taking a preschooler who needs a nap to a restaurant full of other preschoolers who also need naps did not sound relaxing. We came home, put Buddy down, Princess went to play with her hermit crab, and I went shopping!!! Harold's Clearance Outlet was having a $9.99 sale so I just had to check it out. Alone. Ahhh.

I got home to find Hubby and Princess playing UNO with Princess' new Hello Kitty UNO set. Hubby looked up and said, "We've been playing for two hours!" He also said that Princess was kicking his butt! Ha!

While I was gone, Hubby took down Buddy's crib. Oh, that's a whole different post.

Then Hubby grilled steak while I played in the yard with the kids. The weather was wonderful, we had a great time, and the steak was perfect.

A lot of times I rail against manufactured holidays - holidays pretty much created by the card companies to sell more cards. I don't see why we have to set aside one day to honor a particular group (parents, grandparents, lovers, admin assistants) when we should threat them well and honor them every day. But then I have a day like yesterday where, as the honored party, I can take some time and really reflect on how richly blessed I am. And get presents. I guess it's not SO bad to buy a couple of cards.

God has blessed me so much with this family. We have amazing health, Hubby has a good job that he really enjoys, and I don't have to work so I can stay home and raise our kids. And we have two cats, a dog and a hermit crab! What more could we want? (Don't ask Princess - she's gunning for a friend for Elina!)

Friday, May 12, 2006

My Sit-Com Life

Wednesday I took the kids to get haircuts. I thought that my hairdresser was going to fall apart laughing when Buddy walked in wearing a baseball cap, a diver's mask (upside down) and a fine film of glitter (courtesy of his sister).

I don't need a TV. I travel with my own entertainment.

Millie to the Rescue!

I had an absolutely wonderful experience on Tuesday. I almost hit a chihuahua.

Now that I have your attention . . .

Really. I almost hit a little chihuahua. He ran out in the road, I stopped, he realized that he was in a very bad location and he turned around and ran back into the vacant lot where he and his buddy had been playing. I noticed that both little guys were wearing tags so I turned my car around and parked on the side of the street. Little Guy #2 came right up to me and was instantly my pal which was great because that meant that I could read his tag and find a phone number to call.

What a scary call to get! "Hi! My name is Millie and I have your dog." Turns out Chuy and Marty (the chihuahua and Little Guy #2 respectively) found a way out of the yard over the weekend. They thought they had fixed the problem, but apparently not. Doggie Daddy was extremely grateful that I actually stopped to help his two canine kids and told me that he couldn't leave, but he would call his wife and send her to my house immediately. I told him that was fine, I would definitely have Marty there, but by this time Chuy had run off again. Turns out we were only three houses away from their house and Chuy had gone home. I told him that I would put the two runaways in the back yard and wait for Doggie Mommy to get there to make sure they didn't slip out again.As I escorted Marty and Chuy into the backyard I was greeted by Sam, a Sheltie, and Hobbes, a beautiful brown and black Great Dane. For a split second I was worried that the Dane would be territorial, but she was a sweetie. She came right up to me and looked me over then nudged me for a pat. Chuy, on the other hand, decided that he was now a watch dog and growled that fierce, earth-rumbling chihuahua growl - like a German Shepherd on helium. Once I had made friends with Hobbes and Sammy I decided that I should go ahead and go back out front. It didn't really seem right to wait in their backyard.

It was a wonderful wait. Their house is THE house in my neighborhood. Every time I drive or walk by I try to sneak a peek into the backyard because what I can see of the yard looks amazing. What a fun gift to be able to do a good deed AND get to see the backyard of my dreams!! And it was indeed wonderful. They have a large stone patio with a stand alone fireplace. How cool is that? They have a small in-ground pool with a sandbox near it (for their grandkids when they visit). And there is a large deck/balcony coming out from the second floor. The way the house is situated in the neighborhood, there are no houses behind it. It looks out onto undeveloped land (which I really hope stays undeveloped.)

The house itself looks like a sweet little bed and breakfast with a cozy front porch, lots of huge trees giving it shade and hanging and potted plants everywhere. As I sat in a comfy chair on the front porch I noticed that one of the hanging plants looked like it was in need of water. This was very out of place because every other plant was well taken care of. I realized why they had "neglected" it when a bird flew to the rim of the planter with a bug in its mouth and I heard tiny chirps from under the leaves. (I then got a thorough blessing out by Mama Bird for being too close to her nest.)

Doggie Mommy got there about 15 or 20 minutes later. She got out of her car and gave me a huge smile and a huge hug. She just kept thanking me over and over for helping their "kids" make it back home. I told her that it was worth it to get to see her backyard!

I came home, put away the groceries and then went out to trim my roses. A few minutes later I saw her drive by and we waved at each other. It felt good to know another face and name in the neighborhood. Later on that evening the doorbell rang. It was Doggie Mommy with a beautiful hanging plant for my backyard. I love making new friends!