Thursday, April 30, 2009

Tribute to Mom

Today is the 2nd anniversary of my mom passing away. Two years. At times, it seems like it was just yesterday. At times, it seems like a lifetime since I have talked to her. At times, I seem to miss her so much and it doesn't feel like it will ever get better. Then at times, I might not think about her for a day or so.

Then it comes crashing down on me that she is gone.

So much has happened in these two years. One granddaughter got married, another one engaged. One grandson also engaged, while another went off to college. One granddaughter started high school and one finishing up middle school. One grandson and granddaughter doing great in the business world. And the babies. Mom would have loved seeing the babies that have blessed our lives. First great-granddaughter, Amie Lynn, age two and a half, that Mom was happy to meet and hold and love. A wonderful couple of days that meant so much to her and my dad and all of us. Then Audrey Sue, age eight months, named after Mom, who will grow up knowing all about her namesake. Next is Caden Matthew, age six months, the first great-grandson, who is trying very hard to crawl. And last is Chase Ryan, age twelve days old, who is still in the hospital and getting stronger every day.

All these things that have happened reminds me that life does indeed go on. Mom wouldn't want us to just stop living. She would want us to still laugh and love and be happy. But it's not easy. Something happens and the first thing I want to do is call mom. It doesn't happen as often as it used to, but it does happen. And then I think that it's just not fair that she isn't here to see all these things for herself. It is just not right.

But today, I want don't want to dwell on the unfairness.

I want to remember....

her courage and strength

her love for my dad

her love for her grandchildren--Christopher, Jennifer, Nicole, Melissa, Matthew, Joshua, Megan and Veronica

how she could only stick her tongue out so that only the tip was showing

the yummy cakes she made over the, birthday, anything. You name it, she could make it

bingo every Thursday night

how she couldn't sing very well but did it anyway

meeting someone and finding out their whole life story and then telling hers...all in five minutes

how she dressed up very nice just to fly

her joy at watching the Atlanta Braves and the New Orleans Saints

how we always teased her about her spaghetti and that "Texas Sucks"

all the quilts, baby blankets and booties she made

that she always called me on my birthday at the exact time I was born

how she called each of her daughters her "favorite"

how she sneezed at least twice...little bitty sneezes

how in the middle of summer, she'd get a chill and say "is it cold in here or is it just me?"

the fun she had playing card games, yahtzee or computer games

how she loved the color purple

Obviously there are too many things to list. It goes on and on. She was a loving wife, a wonderful mother and an awesome Nana. We all love and miss her. And even though she was taken from us way too soon, I'll be forever grateful that she was my mom. And I hope as she looks down on us, that she knows how much she is missed and how much she was loved by all.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Got Age Spots??

Today I took my almost 15 year old daughter to the DMV to get a copy of the driving handbook. Yes, my baby wants to learn to drive. A CAR!! How in the world did this happen? She's supposed to be playing with dolls and her Easy Bake oven, and Candy Land. She is not supposed to drive a car....she is only 2!! Well, at least in my mind she is only 2. It's amazing how fast children grow up. She's been talking about this day for years (she is also counting down until she goes off to college too).

When did I become so old? And that includes Stan too!

I can remember so well each of my children just as that....children. As babies, learning to crawl and walk. Going off to kindergarten. Reading. Writing. Getting braces. High school. Dating. Driving. Having lots of attitude and personality.

Where has the time gone?

Who gave them permission to grow up?

Each of my children has given me reasons to feel old. Almost two years ago, Melissa did it by giving us a son-in-law. And then a year later by giving us a granddaughter. Matt was born two days after my 25th birthday so every time he aged a year, I felt it too. Of course, he has now given us a grandson. So now it's GRANDCHILDREN. Plural. Meaning more than one. Meaning I'm old enough for plural grandchildren. And today, Megan did it by wanting to prepare for her drivers permit test. She wants to DRIVE?? Holy Crap!

I know growing old is part of life. I now have to wear reading glasses because my arms aren't long enough to hold a book or a menu far enough away for me to see it. Stan has the receding hairline and soon-to-be bald spot (yes, Sweetie, you do). We get up in the morning and listen for the groans and moans as we move around. And you know what? I wouldn't change a thing.

I love watching Audrey grow. Watching her as she bypasses crawling to go straight to standing and soon to walking. Listening to her belly laughs. Playing with her doggy. Giving kisses to her mom and dad. And who loves it when I sing the "Itsy Bitsy Spider" song to her. I love watching Chase, who started his life so small and spending his first two weeks of life in the hospital, growing stronger every day. Rejoicing over how much he eats at every feeding. Laughing at his expressions and how he loves to stick out his tongue.

So I'll take it. All of it. Let my kids keep making me feel old. I'll keep wearing the glasses and Stan will keep losing his hair (yes, Sweetie, you will). We'll get canes and hearing aids and senior discounts at restaurants. And we'll smile through it all. Life is definitely good.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Night Terrors

When my husband and I were first married, one of the first things I learned about him was that not only did he talk in his sleep, he also walked, moved things, turned lights on, swatted at imaginary bugs...etc...etc. It was cute. It made me laugh. I would talk back to him and see what else he would say. Freaking hilarious!! It amused me to no end. On nights he would actually get out of bed, I just had to gently turn him back towards the bed and he would settle back down to sleep.

Only one night did he do something completely scary. The day started with him heading off to work, as usual, and then after work, he played flag football with his squadron. It was a great game with lots of fun-spirited hits made by all. His team won. Life was good. We went to bed that night and all was calm. Until sometime in the middle of the night when he rolled over toward me (I was on my side with my back to him) and he put his leg over my legs and pulled my arm behind my back! I was completely unable to move. I tried to call his name to wake him up, but it wasn't working. Then he said something that really started worry me....he said "I'm gonna need some help with this one, Guys"!! Oh huh...that didn't sound good to me. Finally I started squirming and calling out his name and finally he woke up. He let go of me, apologized and went back to sleep. That was it. After that, the only thing he ever did in his sleep was just talk and walk and swat bugs.

And now??? Not so funny anymore.

I really don't sleep well at night. I wake up alot each night. This has been going on for about five years or so. Some nights are better than others, but for the most part, I don't sleep well. So last night, when my hubby started doing his bug swatting dance at 1 am, I'm not amused. He's moving the covers looking for whatever he thinks is crawling around in there. When he still doesn't find anything, he jumps out of bed, turning on lights, mumbling stuff. So instead of trying to reason with the man (like THAT works) and getting him back in bed (like I used to do), I say "whatever", roll over and try my hardest to ignore him and go back to sleep. I have no idea how long he stays up or how many "bugs" he has caught over the years. I'm sure the numbers are high because he is very thorough in his search!!'t it grand?!?!?!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A New Life

Three days ago, I witnessed the birth of my grandson. I had never seen a birth (in person) from that angle before. It was quite the experience. A wonderful, highly emotional, awesome, breath-taking experience.

My son called at 4:45 am to say Amber's water broke about an hour before. I told him that I would be there as soon as I could. I showered, woke Megan up and we were on our way by 5:15. It's a 15-20 minute drive from our house to the hospital. And if you read my last blog, you'll remember that we were in the midst of a 2-day snowstorm. Lots and lots of snow. We were still not even halfway there when Matt called again. Amber had gone from 4 centimeters dilated all the way to 10 in just 45 minutes. Since I was having to drive much slower than normal, I told Matt that I would get there as soon as I could...safely of course. He called about 10 minutes later to ask where I was at now. I was 1/4 mile from the exit. I could see the hospital. It seemed to be taking forever to get there. He said that Amber was about ready to push but that they would try to wait for me.

It took me 35 minutes to make that drive. It's amazing how many red lights you catch when you are in a hurry. Megan laughed at me the whole drive since I was yelling at lights and the snow and everything else that was getting in my way of getting to that hospital.

We parked, we ran, we made it to their room at 5:53. And watched a miracle. At 6:08 am, Chase Ryan entered this world, 5 weeks early. He weighed 4 pounds 12 ounces and was 19 1/4 inches long. He has dark hair and dark eyes and is just perfect.

To Amber and Matt....I thank you for allowing me to be a part of that special moment. It was amazing. And thank you for that beautiful grandson.


Friday, April 17, 2009

Snow Days Then and Now

Our first assignment as a married couple was to Dayton, Ohio. I was excited to see a new place. We both grew up in MS, where it's hot and the pine trees do not change color. Moving to Ohio was going to be a big change, at least for me.

We moved there early January 1983, found a little apartment to rent and settled in, used furniture and all! I couldn't wait for some snow. I was downright excited to see snow. We really didn't see a lot of snow down in MS. One morning while Stan was getting ready for work, I looked outside to see our first snowfall. It was so pretty. I don't remember exactly how much we got that time, but enough that the roads, grass and cars where completely covered. I quickly put some clothes on and told Stan that I would clear off the car for him. Did I mention before what a wonderful wife I am??

I was wet and cold and having a blast!! It was so much fun for me. I enjoyed it and couldn't wait until it snowed again!!

That was then. And now...26 years later? As I look out my window this morning, I see lots of snow. I see snow still coming down. Snow that is supposed to keep falling down for another 36 hours. My back is already hurting just thinking about having to shovel. Now don't get me wrong... I really do like the snow. I would much rather be cold than hot. It is so pretty looking at it clinging to trees and rooftops. But these days, if it has to snow, why can't it snow when my husband is home to shovel the driveway?? I really think he plans his trips by watching the Weather Channel. How else do you explain him always being gone during these storms?

I wonder if I can fake a sickness so that Megan would have to shovel.

Cough, cough, sniffle....

Definitely worth a try!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Cute or just plain torture??

My daughter sent a picture of our granddaughter enjoying her first visit with the Easter Bunny. It was a great picture....Audrey is smiling, the Bunny is smiling! I keep wondering when the picture will come when Audrey is just screaming "take me away...there is a furry creature about to gobble me up"!!!

All my kids handled being on the lap of Santa or the Easter Bunny very differently.

Melissa: Would sit there for hours if we let her....but NO SMILE. None.

Matt: All smiles. Didn't care, never worried, no bothers!!

Megan: Screamed! Kicked! Terrified!

It's funny looking back on those pictures.

Well, at least for me it is. Thank goodness they don't remember.

Or do they???

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Dreaded Minivan

Today my husband had to take the minivan to work.! Just horrible! I had to keep his car today because it needed a new windshield and me, being the wonderful wife that I am, set up the appointment for them to come to our house. So....he gets (gasp) the minivan!!

When we only had two kids, our car was just fine. It worked well for us. But in the back of my mind, I wanted a minivan. My husband, of course, did NOT want a van. "Life is over if we get a van"- that's what he whined to me every time I mentioned it. After our third child, our little 5-seater car suddenly became very, very cramped. Now, my husband did have a truck that he drove to work. As a stay-at-home mom, I was the one who had to cram all three kids in the backseat, constantly telling (yelling at-same thing) them to keep their hands to themselves, to stop bugging each other, etc.... My husband, for the most part, didn't have to deal with that frustration. He had his truck. He didn't see the need for anything bigger.

Well, one day when the kids and I were out doing errands, the need for something bigger was never more obvious. As we were driving along, the kids doing their best to annoy each other, and doing a good job of it too, I heard Melissa yell out: "Mom...Matt is looking out MY window!!". That did it. Told the hubby that either we get a van or the kids were gonna have to go! No other option.

It took a few months but I finally got my van. Three rows of seats so no one had to touch. And if the kids annoyed me too much, I could always put them all in the very back row. Far, far away from me! Aahhh!! Life was good.

That first van was bought back in 1996 and we have had two others since then. I love my van. And until all three kids are out of the house and gone, I plan on keeping this one.

Sorry, Stan. But that's life!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter 2009

Today is Easter. A day of remembrance of what Christ has done for us. For spending time with family. For making a special dinner and praying to God, thanking Him for His goodness and His love.

But for my family today it will be a little bit different. We woke up this morning to snow, snow that is still falling down. It is just beautiful. It would have been perfect if the mountains were visible, but there is still too much fog and low-lying clouds to see them. Maybe by tomorrow we'll be able to see them, and wonder at the beauty of the snow-capped mountaintops.

My daughter and I planned to wear dresses to church. Neither one of us wears them much anymore, so we were excited to do so today. Even with the snow, we are still planning to look our Sunday best, even if our legs freeze!!

So far, that is how we would always start our Easter. But when we get home from church, there won't be any yummy smells coming from the sweet rolls... and no pies!! Because this Easter we are heading up to Denver to go the last game of the season for the Colorado Avalanche. Megan is one of those fans that absolutely needs to be at the first game and the last game. And her father and I do our best to encourage her hockey addiction!! So we'll be spending the day cheering for our last-place team. Of course no one will be cheering louder than our daughter! And instead of having a sit-down dinner, with candles and flowers, we'll be eating Easter Nachos and ice cream!!

Happy Easter everyone! Hope you have a wonderful day.

Go Avalanche!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

June 1985

I was thinking back to when we had our first baby. We were young, lived away from our families, and we had no money!! Good times! We lived on Macaroni and Cheese, Hamburger Helper and Chow Mein! I still don't eat Chow Mein today! We had used furniture (the rips of our green vinyl recliner was held together with gray duct tape), my Ford Escort and a very old $800 red truck that my husband drove. We were military and lived paycheck to paycheck. But even with all that, I soooo wanted a baby! That's all....just a baby! All I ever wanted to be was a mommy.

I absolutely loved being pregnant. Loved every bit of it. My husband said that I was so perky and happy when I was pregnant that it was disgusting!! With our first daughter, I was barely sick and usually only at night. I really only craved pizza and Macaroni and Cheese. I carried her high and felt like I had a table top at my disposal where ever I was standing!

Melissa was born after twelve hours of labor. Not too bad for a first baby. She was just perfect. She had dark hair that would later all fall out. She was a good sleeper and eater. I did have my moments of panic...of wondering what to do, if I was doing things right. I guess most mothers go through those feelings. But for the most part, motherhood came easy for me.

We watched that little baby girl grow up into a beautiful woman, who now has a baby girl of her own. It is quite the experience watching your child have a child. Words cannot describe how it felt and still feels today. Watching her with her daughter is a joy for me. It brings back so many memories and emotions. It makes me miss that stage of my life. But I wouldn't want to go back, wouldn't want to miss what I get to experience now.

So to my daughter: There are many joys of motherhood and many frustrations. And as you look at that sweet baby sleeping or playing or throwing a major tantrum in a grocery store (which she WILL do), my wish for you is to always find that joy.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Lite Brite Pegs and Noses Don't Mix

Memories can be triggered by a picture, a song on the radio or running into an old friend. But for me, this memory was triggered by a couple of 2 year olds, a couple of small objects and two little noses! Yes, those small objects were shoved into those 2 years olds little noses! Last night I get a text from my sister. Her daughter-in-law was on her way to the ER with her granddaughter because she put a bead up her nose. Now I know that it can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially for a first-time parent. But all I could do was laugh! And now that my sisters granddaughter is fine and the bead is all gone-gone, I can really laugh!

My son did the exact same thing to me. Of course this was about 19 years ago. This little 2 year old boy came up to me one day while I was cleaning the kitchen and said "Nose!" He was so excited about it, pointing at his nose, that I just smiled at him and said "yes, that's your nose!" And then he said "Up nose". And that's when I stopped smiling and asked him "what is up your nose?". Well, he had gotten into our daughters Light Brite pegs. Remember those? Those little itty bitty pieces of colored plastic? Yep....up his nose! At least he told me. What a good little boy!

So, I had him blow his nose. At first nothing was coming out. I had been on the phone with the hospital and that's what they wanted me to try. If something came out, we were in the good. But, nothing was coming out. I kept having him try to blow harder and harder. Finally, good news. A purple peg came out.....but's a half of one. So, was it broke when he put it up there or did it break off and some of it is still in there?

So we spent the next couple of hours at the hospital. The ENT wanted to strap him into a papoose because he wanted to go digging up his nostril and didn't want him to be able to move. Well, my son was a trooper. He would sit still for anything....and I mean anything! The doctor didn't believe me. He still wanted to strap him down. He finally listened to me and just told him to lay still on the bed and that if he was good, he would get a cookie. He just laid there and let the doctor dig for gold. Never moved a muscle. The specialist kept looking at me, like is this kid for real?

The doctor poked around in there for about 20 minutes, never found anything else. He told me that if a foreign object was still in there, that within a couple of days I would notice a smell. So the next couple of days, we kept smelling his nose. What fun!!

Good news: no smell (at least from his nose). And he never put anything else in his nose, at least he never told me that he did it again.

And he did so enjoy his cookie!!

Memories Galore

So...where to start...quite the dilemma to someone who doesn't usually write. But, with a husband and 2 daughters who are now bloggers, I couldn't let them just show me up. So here I am and here it goes.

I didn't just want to write about funny, silly or bad stuff that has happened in my life. Although that will be part of it. I wanted to have some type of record of my life, of how I felt, how I coped, how I loved. For my have all been my greatest joy. For my family and and laughter throughout the years. For my grandchildren (one 7mos old and one due in 5 weeks and yet I will want more!)...such wonderful blessings that makes my heart overflow. For my husband...who for 26 plus years has been my best friend, who said I could do anything, who has always been my rock. I love you all!

So, this was and is my life. A life I wouldn't change for anything in the world.

A life filled with memories galore!