Tag Archives: birthday

If he were here

I often wonder what life would be like if he were here today. What would be different? What would be the same? Would we still have Liam? Would we have Evie? Would we have four living children instead of three?

I think he’d be in the second grade. What would his favorite subject be? Would he like to read or would he be better than me at math? Or both? Would he have friends? Would he like his teacher?

Would he be mad for super heroes or obsessed with cars and trucks? Would he love playing video games with his older brother or would he rather read a book or ride a bike? What would his favorite movie be? Would he love “Rio” like the rest of his siblings? What song would he love to sing along with in the car?

Would he be quiet and cautious? Or would he be loud and active? Would he drive me crazy on a daily basis?

Today would have been his eighth birthday… What would we be doing to celebrate? Maybe a party tonight with his friends? Maybe going to see a move? (“The Lorax”, perhaps?) Dinner at a pizza parlor? Cake and ice cream of course… What present would he be hoping to unwrap?

What would he look like? Brown hair or blond? Tall or short? What would his smile look like?

These are the questions I’m asking myself today, on the 8th anniversary of the day we lost our second son Jackson William to stillbirth. I think of him often, though the pain has started to fade into wistfulness. I wish for the fun times we could have had together. But I feel like peace has been made. Mostly. I miss him, but I know he is in a better place. Happy birthday, Jackson.

Need a little Christmas

Well.  I meant to post again before now but you know how it goes.  One thing and then another and then everything REALLY goes to pot and you just never, never know.  Life turns on a dime.

I meant to tell you all that my birthday wasn’t all that awful.  At least once Kile made it home and all that.  The day was just a wreck and I assure you it would have been a wreck even if it weren’t my birthday.   It was just a day where everything was going wrong.  And I was extra annoyed because it was my birthday and no one wants “one of those days” on their birthday.  And I also started to think that perhaps having a birthday at all in this day and age was for the birds because it only serves to breed discontent.  Bah humbug and all that.   The evening was downright nice though, with cake and presents and the knowledge that at least the day was over.

But you know?  I think that’s just the way of things this month.  This year.  I love love love the month of December but this month has done me (and mine) wrong and so now I’m mostly just looking forward to New Years Eve and watching that darned ball drop on yet another crap-tastic year.  I doubt any year could out-suck 2004, but 2011 is in close contention.  I won’t be sorry to see it’s back side.

No one is really in the mood this year.  Well, except for the little kids.  And it’s for them that we are trying to put on a good face.  But it’s hard.  I mean, we can’t even bring ourselves to finish decorating (who needs a wreath on the door?  bah humbug!).  We forget the kids advent calendars more often than not.  And Jeffrey the Shelf Elf has had some rather half-assed ideas for surprising the kids.  Our hearts aren’t quite in it.

You may recall me mentioning last year that my brother in law was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  I can’t recall if I mentioned it or not before things went “radio silence” on Facebook about such things.  I could look it up but I just don’t have it in me at the moment.  Anyhow, we found out last October and he spent the year traveling back and forth between Elko and Salt Lake City for treatments.  We went to Elko for both Thanksgiving and Christmas last year.  Mostly because we’d read up on the odds.  And we wanted to spend what could be his last holidays with him.

He made it to another Thanksgiving.  But Christmas?  Not so much.  We got the call that he passed on Saturday morning.  All of my desperate prayers this last month for him to make it past Christmas for the sake of his family were for naught.  Oh, I’m sure it’s for the best as far as he is concerned.  But the rest of us?  For his family?  No.  This is awful and it’s awful timing.  No two ways about it.

So tomorrow morning we’re loading up and heading east to Elko where we’ll be until Friday.  It’s going to be a hard week.  If we were having a hard time getting in the spirit before, I can only imagine how hard it’ll be now.  But we have to try.   And I will be happy when Christmas is past and we can just go back to dealing.

Better luck next year?

“Haul out the holly
Put up the tree before my spirit falls again
Fill up the stocking
I may be rushing things, but deck the halls again now

 

For we need a little Christmas
Right this very minute
Candles in the window
Carols at the spinet

Yes, we need a little Christmas
Right this very minute
It hasn’t snowed a single flurry
But Santa, dear, we’re in a hurry

 

So climb down the chimney
Turn on the brightest string of light I’ve ever seen
Slice up the fruitcake
It’s time we hung some tinsel on that evergreen bough

 

For I’ve grown a little leaner
Grown a little colder
Grown a little sadder
Grown a little older

 

And I need a little angel
Sitting on my shoulder
Need a little CHristmas now

 

For we need a little music
Need a little laughter
Need a little singing
Ringing through the rafter

 

And we need a little snappy
“Happy ever after”
Need a little Christmas now”

Birthday blah blah

So yeah.  Another year and another birthday.  This year, my birthday falls on a MONDAY.  Which in itself is a cosmic slap in the face.  Mondays kind of blow all on their own.  Add your birthday onto that and it’s double-suck.  It’s always been my policy that the best gift you can give yourself on your birthday is a day off.  When you stay at home with kids, there ain’t no such thing.   There’s no “substitute mom” service I can call up and have come over to fix lunches, make the school run, change diapers (yes, Evie is STILL not potty trained KILL ME NOW), deal with naps, etc and so forth.  Basically you’re talking about business as usual with the usual post-weekend letdown.  Add to that your birthday, which you have this niggling feeling should be special somehow but it’s just so so so not.

Of course, this is pretty much par for the course for this year.  I know I complain about every year but I think 2011 has stood out as a bad year.  While last year was bad for me personally with the health struggles and depression (and that has been improved somewhat this year), this year has been absolutely awful around the globe.  Honestly, even if the movies are right and the world ends in 2012, I doubt even then it couldn’t add up to be a worse year than this last one. I’m ready for a break from the devastating earthquakes, tsunamis, tornados, hurricanes, uprisings, protests, poverty, and devastation that this last year has brought to us.  So when I sit here feeling sorry for myself on this lame-ass Monday birthday, all I have to do is remember all the awful things that have happened to other people this year and I am served with a generous helping of perspective.

But then again, that doesn’t always help either because on the one hand I’m wallowing in my own self-pity and the next minute I feel like a complete tool for feeling so down about something that so does NOT even come close to mattering in the grand scheme of things.  Kinda makes me want to slap myself in the face, you know?

So I think I’d rather this day just be over and done already.  So I don’t have it weighing on me.  Because I know I’ll be going back and forth on this all day long and the only thing that will cure it will be the day ending.

So… I got a little older

I had a birthday the other day.  Funny how those things sneak up on you, isn’t it?  You’ll just be minding your own business, trying to knit your darned fingers off in order to get Christmas gifts gifts finished and BAM.  35.

Dangit.

It was a really good birthday though.  My family always does a great job at making my day special.  Sunday was no exception.  We had breakfast with birthday cake!  (Sorry, no bacon, Michelle.)  I’d actually picked out a cinnamon swirl cake mix with cream cheese frosting several weeks ago and it turns out, that’s about the perfect kind of cake to have for breakfast.  Who knew?  But this way, we were able to have cake with the kiddos and do presents and all that.  I got a knitting book, a bunch of fluffy socks and a lovely sweater.  And my in laws gave me some birthday money to go spend and that is always a lot of fun!

We got out of the house somehow and had lunch at Togo’s out in Spanish Springs.  Did I mention we FINALLY have a Togo’s in the area?  We often pick up sandwiches for dinner when we’re out there so it was a logical lunchtime choice.  You just can’t beat their sandwiches.  So good.

We went to browse around Kohl’s, mostly to kill time.  But while we were there, I saw a cashmere cardigan on massive discount.  I just couldn’t resist it!  I’ve never had anything cashmere before so this is a real treat.  And I had enough leftover to buy a pajama set at Target later on.  We all know how I feel about pajamas.

Before we left for home, Kile and I picked up some take-out from Outback Steakhouse to have for dinner since not only was it my birthday, but date night as well! We were able to enjoy a really nice dinner after we got the kids to bed.  There was so much food I couldn’t even consider having another slice of cake.  I was stuffed!  Good thing we had some for breakfast, huh?

The kids were well behaved and spirits were high and I really couldn’t have asked for a more pleasant day.  Well.  I could have asked for more seasonal weather.  It IS December after all.  60 degree weather this time of year just isn’t normal.

Oh, and for the record?  I don’t consider WIND to be seasonal weather.  Wind is why I’m sitting here right now, at 6am, typing this post.  I’ve been up for HOURS.  HOURS!  The thing is, I would LOVE to be able to sleep through wind like this.  And from 2:30 to 5am, I tried.  I tried to ignore it, I tried to empty my mind, I listened to Christmas music on my iPhone in an attempt to drown out the racket… but of course that doesn’t really work.  Because when we get wind like this, it isn’t just the noise (though that can be considerable!).  The house literally SHAKES.  My nerves are just not that strong, I guess.

Around 5am is when I heard our trash can flying down the street so I just gave up.  It was at least raining by then, but that’s not so fun when you’re outside in your robe and slippers, chasing garbage around the yard and hoping no shingles dislodge from the roof and take you out.

In other news, I kinda want to punch the weather girl on the news here.  She’s going on, as I type this, about how the wind has died down a little bit to 15mph.  HA.  Maybe where YOU are, lady!  Try coming out here to Wind Country.  Ain’t nothing dying down out here.  And looking at the hourly forecast for today?  It’s not going to.  Wee!  The kids will be up soon and I just can’t wait to see how I make it through today with two toddlers on 3 hours of sleep.

I need to get out of Nevada.  For the love of God.  I’m so sick of this every danged winter.

So anyhow.  That’s what’s new in this neck of the woods.  Send caffeine!

30 Questions

Wow, I haven’t done a meme in aaaaaages.  I got this idea from Zoot and while I don’t have as good an excuse as painting a new house (JEALOUS), I have been busy.  That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. So here goes.

30 Questions:

1. It’s 2AM and you are not home. You are more than likely:
I’m stealing Zoot’s answer of in jail or in the hospital.  Or possibly visiting family on a “vacation”.

2. What’s the last thing you spent more than $100 on?
Hmm.  A new fence for the back yard.  The deductible to replace the glass in our sliding door in the kitchen.  Repairs on Kile’s old van.

3. What do your bank checks look like?
Gosh.  I had to think about this one.  I haven’t used a check in ages.  If I recall correctly, they’re pastel Victorian foofy style.

4. Where did the shirt you are currently wearing come from?
Walmart.  It was $4 and I have several others in different colors.  This particular one is a “dip dye” style, that goes from light pink to dark pink.

5. Name something that will be on your Christmas wish list:
Well, I’d like to say a DSLR camera, but a) I might be able to save enough to get one before then, or b) would just wait to get one with tax return monies.  I’m going to have to go with a Disney Cruise.  Or maybe moving to Portland.  I like to dream big.  I guess on the small side, a new case for my iPhone or an external harddrive to store my pictures on.

6. What color is your toothbrush?
Purple, gray and white.

7. Name something you collect and tell us about it.
Right now we’re collecting place settings of interesting looking everyday tableware so we can have a collection of all different kinds.  I’m kinda psyched about that.  I also collect yarn like no body’s business.

8. Last restaurant you ate at. Who were you with? How was it?
I’m assuming you don’t mean fast food because that would be Jack in the Box yesterday for lunch with Kile, Liam, Evie and my niece Emaleigh.  Regular would be the Evergreen restaurant in Tahoe City that I mentioned in my last post with the same peoples.

9. Who was the last person you bought a birthday card for?
Kile.  His birthday was June 10th.  He’s FORTY.  Old man.

10. What is your worst bad habit?
I have so many!  Sloth?  Uhm.  Salt.  I can’t kick salt.  Or ranch.

11. Name a magazine to which you subscribe?
Entertainment Weekly

12. Your favorite pizza toppings?
I love to order pineapple and salami with bbq sauce instead of pizza sauce from Dominos, but got a little tired of it so we have been taking a break with regular pepperoni for a while.  The other night we added black olives to that.

13. Whose number were you looking up the last time you used a phone book?
Do we even HAVE a phone book?

14. Other than family, who is the person that you love most?
I hate people so this a tough one. ;)

15. What is the last thing you cooked?
I helped Kile fix dinner on Father’s Day.  I made the fried rice and helped with the General’s Chicken.

16. Name something you wouldn’t want to buy used
Underwear.  Or for those in the cloth diaper community who would know what I’m talking about: mama cloth.  EEP.

17. Which shoe do you put on first?
Right.

18. What is the last thing you remember losing?
My sanity.

19. What is the ugliest piece of furniture in your house?
The couch in the living room, for one.  My recliner for another.  We’ll just stop there.

20. Last thing you bought and ended up returning?
I don’t return very much as I usually don’t put out money unless I KNOW I need/want it.  That said, the last thing was probably something Kile bought for a project that ended up not being the right thing.

21. What perfume/cologne do you wear? If none, why?
I love perfume but never seem to have any.  I bought some for Christmas a couple years ago but someone stole it.  Sigh.

22. Your favorite board game?
Monopoly.  It’s a classic.

23. What was the last board game you played?
See above.

24. Where did your vehicle come from?
Carson Dodge in Carson City.

25. If a movie was made about your life what would the theme song be?
Oh dear.  I think I know the answer to this but can’t think of it off the top of my head.  It would be something very maudlin though.

26. You’re sad, who can cheer you up easily?
WHO?  Or what?  My kids can usually make me smile if they’re not being too wild.

27. What was the color of the bridesmaid dresses of the last wedding you went to?
Oh dear me.  I can’t even remember the last wedding I went to.  How about the last wedding I was *in*?  Cuz I think that was lavender.

28. What house cleaning chore do you hate to do the most?
All of them.  SNORT.  Though cleaning bathrooms tops the list.  Cleaning Harry and Liam’s room is along the same lines.

29. What is your favorite way to eat chicken?
Grilled breast, marinated in something super yummy or topped with a little pesto.  NUMMY!

30. It is your birthday. You hope the cake is?
I kinda like homemade cake.  White cake.  Chocolate frosting.  Or cupcakes.  I have a thing for cupcakes.

Birthday blah blah

Hi everyone!  I made it through my birthday with minimal funk, thank goodness.  As is kind of the standard (I’m learning), the funk was really only the day before my birthday.  The day of was really rather pleasant.  Kile got up on Saturday morning and fixed me eggs benedict and I ignored my diet and relished his fabulous hollandaise sauce.   Truly, I’d rather have his eggs benedict than any I could find at any restaurant.  He has ruined me for other eggs benedict. The english muffin was whole grain though, so maybe that does count towards my diet after all!

I was able to take a nice shower, sans worrying about the kids.  And it snowed snowed snowed!  I wanted to go out, get a few things at the craft store for making Christmas gifts and such.  Kile started to shovel the driveway but soon came to the conclusion that if we wanted to get out of the house, perhaps we had better do so before conditions got much worse.   We had lunch at Burger King (thanks, Angela!) and went to Michaels where I got a few things of yarn and a pom pom maker.  Oh the excitement!

Kile dropped me at Walmart while he went to get gas at Sam’s Club next door.  I ran in to fetch a six pack of Hornsby’s Hard Cider and check out the Redbox and see if there were any good movies I could get with the free code I had.  But that was pretty much a bust as an older couple rudely cut in front of me in line and the Redbox was pretty cleared out of anything that has been released in the last three months.

The snow was really coming down so we just headed home.  The snow was outrageous!  I wondered if maybe I went a little overboard in wishing for snow for my birthday but then decided that I loved it no matter what.  There’s no such thing as “too much snow” in my vocabulary!

I got some knitting done that afternoon and then we fed the kids dinner and put them to bed in the evening.  We sent Harry up to watch TV in our room and Kile fed me an utterly fabulous meal of lobster spaghetti.  Can you believe it!  For dessert, I had cherry pie instead of cake, at my request.  I even ate the crust, another diet no no.  But, it was my birthday.

We watched a movie while I knit some more.  Never not knitting!

All in all, it was a really nice day.  It’s hard to have decent birthdays when you get older.  They just lose a lot of their magic.  But I think I did pretty good, considering.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have about a billion things to finish knitting before Christmas.  Busy, busy, busy!

Double Digits

It’s Harrison’s birthday today. He turns 10.  I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this.  I mean, on the one hand, he’s officially a “tween” now and that sorta scares the pants off me because “tween” is right next door to “teen” and I’m DEFINITELY not ready for that.  On the other hand, I like to see him growing out of little boy-hood and into bigger boy-hood.  He’s into different things, more responsible, more independent and in certain cases, more helpful.

Still, I’m having a hard time believing that it was 10 years ago that he came into our lives.  It feels much more recent than that.  He turned our lives upside down, and in a very good way.  We haven’t been the same since, and I’m so grateful for that.  I think back on the years when it was just us and him and while those years were marked with grief and a deep desire to add to our family, those were also wonderful years spent as a close family.  We went everywhere and did everything together.  He was such an easy kid, we could take him with us anywhere we went without much fuss.  During the day, I never thought anything of taking him with me the store and around town and to doctor appointments.  He was my little side-kick.

I miss those days now.  Now he’s less interested in spending time with me.  He comes home, does his homework, and is outside riding his bike or playing with the boys up the street.  It’s more and more challenging to find things to connect with him on.  But I’ve done my best, opening the world of “High School Musical” to him, and talking about important subjects like music and movies and all that.

Ten years.  Double digits.  This is huge.  I’m so proud of him, every day, for what a great kid he’s growing up to be.  We expect a lot from him, and hold his feet to the fire on a lot of things, but it’s only because we know he’s capable of it.  And as sad as I am that the little boy is no longer here, I am excited to see what sort of man he grows up to be.

suckfinger

Swimming

Bros

Just a nibble

IMG_1027

Stuff you don’t want to know

As referenced in this post here, I was a guest vendor on a “congo” over on Hyena Cart yesterday.  I was very excited and nervous about it.  I have my own little Hyena Cart shop, I pretty much only sell slots on my customs list and maybe the occasional stitch marker.  It doesn’t get a lot of attention and I get most of my customs from my message board pals.  I was nervous about stocking something already made.  Would anyone actually WANT it?   Or would it be a spectacular fail?

IMG_1891

It wasn’t a fail.  Far from it.  I’m stil in shock today.  I sold the shorts I made right away, sold both of the customs slots I stocked and the auction on the skirt I made is currently at $170.  This, quite literally, blows my mind.  Unbelievable.

***

Liam’s birthday was a RAGING success on Tuesday.  He had a great day, which I think is the best thing we could have done for him.  Liam really responds to the gift of “quality time”.   We picked up Kile from work to go to Evie’s 15 month pediatrician appointment and he took the rest of the day off.  We went to Chuck E. Cheese for lunch (which was like crack for that kid, he LOVED IT).  After, we ventured next door to Toys R Us to spend some birthday money from his grandparents.  He walked out with a ride-in toy car (that we literally have to keep out of sight in the garage or we will never get him out of it), a “Cars” pillow for his bed (that he keeps trying to cart around with him) and a couple more “Cars” cars to add to the ever-growing collection.  This was on top of all the “Cars” stuff that we got him as presents.  We did a little shopping before heading home and after playing hard for a couple hours, we all went to McDonald’s for dinner: Liam’s favorite restaurant.  Then it was home to cake and ice cream and presents.

IMG_1922

What a great day!  And what a lucky kid!

***

As I said, Evie had a pediatrician appointment on Tuesday.  She’s doing great and had a fabulous time ripping around the room in her diaper while we waited for the doctor.

She comes in at 50% for weight and 40% for height.  Yay for my average girl!  She did have to get a couple of shots, which she did NOT like.  And, quite frankly, they made her a Crankapotomus for the next day or two.  So far, she seems fairly genial today, so I hope that means we’re in the clear.  Whew!

***

I can’t blame any crankyness on Evie’s part on lack of sleep these days.  We got a room-darkening shade for her window this weekend.  Her room gets the bulk of the morning sun and since the sun is up at an ungodly hour these days, she was waking up rather early.  And I always got the impression that she was still tired but she would NOT go back to sleep.

With the shade up?  She is sleeping in until at least 9am EVERY DAY.  Now, this may even out after she gets used to it… but for now?  OMG, I love it.  It keeps her room a little cooler too.  The boys have a shade too, but theirs is “light-filtering” which means it doesn’t make it darker at all.  However, Liam is a fantastic sleeper and I never have to complain about him getting enough sleep or waking up too early.

I just LOVE having some time in the morning to get some things done and have peace and quiet.  I better enjoy it while I can, because who knows how long it will last!

***

I recently discovered “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” was playing on the “Gospel Music Channel”.  I didn’t even know we GOT that channel, but apparently we do.  I used to watch “Dr. Quinn” back in high school and it was something my friends and I would giggle and talk about.  We even passed notes about such subjects as “courtin’ and sparkin'”, Sully’s braid, and our dislike for Matthew’s girlfriend, Ingrid.  Good times, man.

Now, watching these episodes again, takes me RIGHT back to those days in high school and hanging out with my friends.  It’s been a wonderful walk down memory lane.  I’ve been DVRing the episodes and watching them while the kids are napping or at night after they’re in bed and Kile is playing his computer game.

Oh the memories!

***

We finally got some strollers for our trip to Florida next month (gulp!).  It’s feeling more real all the time that this trip is actually going to happen and I’m scared stiff.  I know it’s going to be loads of fun.  But the plane trip scares me.  Mostly, the fact that we’re doing a plane trip with two small children.  And that one of those children, Evie, doesn’t have her own seat booked.  So she’s on my lap.  CROSS COUNTRY.  This is not good, my friends.

The airport(s) and the plane trip are easily what I’m most nervous about.  I think once we get there, we’re all going to have a marvelous time.  I’ll have the almighty Jesus Phone (read: the iPhone) with me, so hopefully I’ll be able to post quick updates and snapshots here and there.

Oh and pray I don’t blind anyone at the pool when I wear a bathing suit with my pasty, white skin.

***

We’re getting SOD tomorrow!  SOD!!  This is HUGE!

We’ve lived in this house for over 5 years now, and just NOW are finally getting something of a landscaped backyard.  The sod will be delivered at the crack of dawn and Kile plans to get out there and lay it before it gets hot.  I sure hope he isn’t expecting me to join him.  I’ll cheer him on in spirit, as I’m sleeping soundley in my cozy, cool bed.

Seriously though, this is a great thing!  The kids will be able to run through the sprinklers at last (we’ve always been reluctant to do this before because the front yard is so exposed and the grass patch out there isn’t terribly large) (or flat).  And the dogs will have some place to crap!  SIGH.  Oh well.  The good with the bad, yes?

The next step will be to pour a cement patio (I have NO idea when this will happen, only that it’s the plan so far) and to buy some trees and plants and such to finish stuff out with.  But the grass?  That’s a huge chunk of it.

***

So that’s all I’ve got to say.  For now. Are you glad I shared?

He is Three

Today is Liam’s birthday.  It’s been three years since that wonderful, AMAZING day where he was born.  I can say without hesitation that it was the best day of my life.   Even now, thinking of it brings a big smile to my face.

Brand New

It has been a wild and crazy three years with little Liam in our lives.  He’s the sort of child that will NOT be pushed to the side, that will NOT be not noticed, that will NOT be just your average “middle child”.  He quite deftly marks his place in our lives and it’s all we can do to just keep up with him.

He’s a ball of energy, a life-force to be reckoned with.  It’s easy to forget that he is small and just as frail as the rest of us.  Because he’s a “tough guy”.  I’ve never seen a child fall down quite as much as Liam does.  And mostly, he picks himself back up with a yell of “I’m okay!” and he’s back at it again.

Three is the age I dread.  He’s already such a handful, that I’m afraid of having more heaped on my plate.  But at the same time, I have to admit, this new age and maturity has been kind of… FUN.  He’s talking more, doing more and actually even listening more.  Still, I don’t want to make it sounds like he listens to us often.  Just more than NEVER which is how he was before.

He has great capacity of cruelty when it comes to his little sister.  He sees nothing wrong with running up to her and smacking her on the head, pushing her over, tripping her as she takes her first toddling steps and stealing toys from her on a whim.  I get the impression that he feels entitled to rough her up a little, seeing as she just waltzed into his life and took his position as “baby”.   Plus, she is JUST a baby, she doesn’t need that doll/sippy cup/car/book.  Liam finds himself in “baby jail” (aka the pack n’ play) quite often because of this.

He also has great capacity to love.  Perhaps, he’s the most loving of all the kids.  He’s the most likely to run up to you in the middle of playing to give you a spontaneous hug and kiss.  Despite the frequent brutalizing of Evie, he shows a great deal of concern for her when she’s unhappy.  And he just idolizes Harry, following him around like a puppy dog and clamoring for his attention.   He’s a papa’s boy at heart and would quite happily go off to work with Kile every day, just to be near him.   His favorite place to hang out in the mornings is on Kile’s lap, sippy cup in hand and stuffed dolphin tucked under his arm.

He loves cars.  Like most boys his age, Hot Wheels cars are his vice.  And the movie “Cars” is arguably his biggest obsession.  He would watch that movie 24/7 if I let him.  I have a strict “1 ‘Cars’ per day” viewing policy.  It’s adorable to watch him get so into something.  His fondness for Disney comes next and for months now he has been able to identify the Disney logo.  And while no Disney movie is quite as fabulous as “Cars”, it still is a cause for celebration.  And I may be scared of traveling across country with this wild, ball of energy, but the look on his face when he first sees Disney World and the cruise ship will make it all worth it, I am sure.  I literally cannot wait to see what he thinks of it all.  What will he do when face to face with Mickey Mouse himself?  The child’s head might just pop off his shoulders.

This isn’t a terribly eloquent post and it’s hard to be eloquent about a child like Liam.  He’s a do-er.  He’s a mile a minute.  He’s a lot of everything in a small package.  And quite simply, I cannot imagine our lies without him.  Quieter and more peaceful, perhaps, but also emptier.

So happy birthday, Liam.  I can’t believe how fast you’re growing.  And I look forward to watching you grow some more.

He deserves so much more

Papa Bear and his broodToday is my husband’s birthday.  And I feel a little bad becasue there just isn’t all that much I can get/do/etc for him today to make his day special.  I’ve already explained how I don’t leave the house so going out to buy gifts is a no-go.  I let him pick out a few things on the weekend when we were out shopping (among them: new shorts, a bottle of scotch, Call of Duty 4, and iPod headphones) and he’s currently deciding what he’d like to do best for dinner tonight (have me cook, bring in take-out or go out to eat).  But really, he deserves so much more for his birthday.

He works hard.  Like most people today, he worries about losing his job and how he would take care of his family if that were to happen.  True, he’s maybe a little more insulated from that tragedy that some people, but he never acts like it.  He acts like every day is the difference between keeping and losing his job.  While it keeps him vigilant and at the top of his game, it’s an awful lot of stress to take on.

He takes care of his family.  Aside from being Liam’s “buddy” on the weekend (we each have a “buddy” and since Evie is sitll nursing, she’s my buddy by default), he does a lot to take care of the kids.  He gives the little ones baths.  He shares in the feeding and diaper changing duties.  He plays rambunctuous papa games with the little ones, the sort of things that mama never does like flipping them over to make them giggle.

He makes us dinner, almost every night (pretty much the only nights he doesn’t make dinner is when we eat out.  It’s very rare that he asks me to make dinner).  And he makes really yummy food too!  Just last night, he grilled us up some burgers that were out of this world.  I love when he makes these burgers; he got the inspiration from In n’ Out’s “Animal style” burgers.  He grills them in mustard, puts some cheese on and then tops them with grilled onions.  Just thinking about them makes my mouth water.  And what about the penne pasta tossed with smoked sausage and stir-fry vegetables.  A simple dish, but SO tasty!  And he does this every night, after working all day.

He’s also very good to me.  He goes out of his way to make my birthdays and Mother’s Days special.  He gives me a break when I need it and nurses me back to health when I do something stupid like breaking my ankle.   He makes an effort to spend time with me and we do an at-home “date night” once a month.  He doesn’t ever object to watching a chick flick when I really want to see it.  He’s a shoulder to cry on and a companion to share my life with.

I’m sad to think of him at work today, but that was his choice.  I’m even sadder, though, for him to be feeling bad about his birthday.  It’s never easy turning one year older.  And I just wish I could do more to make him feel celebrated today.

Happy Birthday, sweetheart.  I love you!