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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

On the 5th Day After Christmas, My 2 Sons Said to Me

Day 5 after Christmas. This is what I am hearing:

  • My bike already broke.
  • Mom, the cat's in the tree again!
  • This game is missing some pieces. How can it be missing pieces? Oh...I'm sitting on them.
  • I need to go to Wal-Mart and exchange these Star Wars action figures, I already have these guys. I can't have 2 of the same guy. I have to have different ones.
  • Nobody can play today. I am soooo bored. How come everybody went somewhere but us?
  • Matthew (our neighbor) says his Dad is going to wreck our cars cause we said we don't believe in Santa. (I have no idea why my kids think there is no Santa! We have never told them there wasn't! We tried people, we tried!)
  • I can't find my new Light Saber!
  • The cat is a jerk and I want him to run away! (Son, the cat doesn't like to be wrestled, so he gets mad. Quit wrestling the cat!)
  • I'm starving! Can we have something GOOD for dinner tonight?
  • I need more batteries.
  • Who ate all of my chocolates?!? (This was actually Dad asking about his Dove Chocolates, which are completely gone, without him ever having tasted them).
  • I still can't find my Light Saber! Can somebody PLEASE help me?
  • I found my Light Saber, it was in the bathroom! (Cause ya never know if Darth Vader may attack you when you are on the pot. Best to be prepared for any possibility.)
  • Why do I have to comb my hair? This is my Christmas Vacation!
  • All we do is pick up stuff. Pick up toys, pick up papers, pick up clothes. This stinks.
  • No, you can't play with me. You suck at Star Wars.
  • How can I suck at playing with action figures? It's just pretending.
  • I can't believe Christmas is over! Now what are we gonna do?
  • Mom...The cat broke another ornament.
  • Mom...Little Man broke my action figure!
  • Mom...Big Brother hit me in the head with his Clone Helmet!
  • Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom!

We have 2 more weeks of this! I better start arranging some play dates!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Wanna Make Some Coin?

I found a new ad network. That would be the You Data ad box on your right, in the far column. See it? The one with the girl's face on it? I like it! I hope you will too! The letter explains it all. There's no catch, other than you do have to set up your own MeFile. No pop-ups, nothing annoying, you determine what ads you receive and when you want to look at them. Like I said, the letter explains it all.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Hangover


I don't drink. My Christmas hangover is a result of too much stress and too little sleep! The cat has knocked the tree over at least 3 times and is on his way to a night outside in the cold if he doesn't knock it off. I keep finding ornaments all over the house that he snags and bats around all night. Staying up to help Santa get stuff under the tree was exhausting! Top that off with the early Christmas morning wake-up call from Little Man, a sugar filled breakfast of cinammon rolls and a bunch of toffee and other Christmas goodies and you've got the beginnings of what I am dealing with today.

When all was said and done though, it was a nice Christmas. Once I quit trying so hard to make it a nice Christmas, it kind of just fell into place. Next year's motto? Relax and enjoy the season!

The house looks like it has a hangover too. Needless to say we had a pretty laid back day today. Thanks gosh for the PS2 and new video games. Everybody was occupied. Tomorrow? We clean.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wishing My Readers the Most Blessed Christmas Season

Those of my readers who do are not into religion and who do not want it thrust upon them should quit reading now. I am not offended if you choose not to read this post and hope you will come back to read another post on a less significant day. Christmas for me is about Christ and so this post will reflect that.



I loved The Nativity movie and this song by Amy Grant is my absolute all-time favorite Christmas song. It speaks to me, not only as a Believer in Christ, but as a mother. How many times have we all felt as Mary must have felt regarding the life we would bring into the world? The fact that her burden completely outweighed mine is not lost on me. I am simply saying I can empathize, as much as I am able to with my weak and earthly mind, with her feelings of helplessness and her concerns that she would be able to adequately raise Heavenly Father's son. Every Christmas I pull this song out and marvel at Mary's strength of character, her faith and her willingness to follow a loving Heavenly Father who asked her to participate in such a miraculous event!




I also love this slide show made by Mark Mabry called Relfections of Christ. The music and photos are all original works. His portrayal of various scenes from the Savior's life touch me deeply and even though they are not just of Christ's birth, the scenes draw me closer to Him in spirit and I am overcome with gratitude for His life, His example and His sacrifice for us. I hope you enjoy the slide show as much as I have. It will be a part of my family's Christmas and Easter celebrations for years to come.


I have to go look at my Nativity set now and watch Mr. Kruger's Christmas. Have a wonderful and miraculous Christmas, bloggy friends and family. I feel blessed to know and love each one of you.


Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Gift That Keeps On Giving!

Do you have one of those people in your life that always gives you a Christmas gift even though you don't know them that well and you really don't even like them? Then you feel like you have to give them something in return, even though you weren't planning on it? Do they always give you the gift like a day and a half before Christmas, forcing you to make a last minute trip to overcrowded stores, to fight crowded parking lots and empty shelves, all to purchase something generic and cheap, but not cheap looking, because you don't know them well enough to make an educated guess about what they might like? I personally have never done this nor do I have ANYONE like that in my life, but if I did, I might give them this. Because nothing says, "Quit giving me stuff and go away" like Arm Flap Tape. Try giving it to the gift giving nuisance on your list this year and then let me know how it works out. Maybe I'll try it next year. As a gift, I mean, not on my arms. Not that my arms couldn't use it. I'm just not ready to go there yet. I've only sunk low enough to suggest giving it, not actually using it.

On another note, I am shocked and amazed that someone actually thought of this product. And mostly jealous, because hello? How many millions is this genius raking in because he/she thought to use Ninjatape to hold up fat and skin? And after this post, Inventor Man should send me some cash as a thank you gesture, because I am pretty sure that sales will shoot up tremendously after people read this and purchase Arm Flap Tape (excuse me...Slim Tape) galore to eliminate unwanted realtionships in their lives. I'm just sayin'...it would be a nice gesture.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Let's Say Thanks!

Xerox is sponsoring this. I am proud to pass the word along to support the troops! Hope you'll all join in, regardless of how you feel about the war. Our fighting men and women need to know they are loved and appreciated!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Some Serious Magic!


Sugar left a great comment on my last Disney post. I was intrigued by her name and bopped over to her blog, where I found this. Sugar and HP, along with 50 other top blogs are giving away an amazing prize package of over $6,000 in computer hardware. I KNOW! What an amazing gift! Sugar wants to know what the entrants are doing to make an impact on the lives of others and how we would use this hardware to better our own lives and the lives of those around us. I thought long and hard about my entry. What am I doing to make a difference in the world around me? How am I impacting others? So this is my entry, Sugar. I'm not sure it's what you are looking for, but it's the truth as I see it.

Some of you know me and some of you don't. Some of you have gotten to know a little about me through my blog. I started this blog because I wanted contact with the world outside of my front door, outside of my neighborhood, outside of my own depressing life. I wanted to connect with others in the world and share my thoughts and feelings with those who care to read about them. Little did I know how it would impact my own life, as well as that of my friends and family. I mean, it's just a blog. And not a very popular one...it's just a normal momblog. How could it have that big of an effect, right?

As I began to write, I found myself reflecting on who I was, who I am, who I want to be. And what I found is that I am not even close to the person I ever thought I would be. And so began the journey. I would write about my Dad, who passed away and realize that his impact on me was greater than I ever realized. I would write about my kids and all of their great qualities and find a new love and respect for how they make me want to be a better person. In sharing my family's everday life, I began to find that I was missing out on so much of the joy that comes from not only being a mom, but being a wife, a sister, a daughter, a person! Why was I missing out? Because I was so busy worrying about not living up to the expectations I had set for myself that I was miserable and...NOT living up to the expectations I had set for myself! Consequently, I was constantly mad at my husband and kids for not being better family members. I was mad at my mom and dad for not doing a better job in raising me. I was mad at life. I was mad. All of the time. And depressed.

So I wrote. And the writing brought some joy. And with the joy came awareness. And with awareness came openess. Next came honesty, then acceptance. Now I have hope. Hope that I will be able to let go of everything in my past that has caused me such deep pain and kept me from living a full and happy life. Hope that the multi-generational dysfunction that has held my family hostage is finally going to be cast aside. Hope that I can use the inspiration I have gained through writing to be the mom, the wife, the friend, the daughter, the sister that is needed.

So how has this impacted others? I think it has opened up a whole new level of communication among my family. We talk now. We didn't grow up talking about much at all. We just fought. We say I love you to each other now. Another thing we never did. After 35 years I was finally able to tell my mom I had been sexually abused without worrying about her reaction. And she was able to offer a heartfelt response. So we talk. Sometimes we cry, but we talk. And talking has been good for my family.

I think my blog writing has made me try harder to not take my boys for granted. It's made me realize that my time with them is short and that I need to be engaged with them everyday! That one realization changed how we interact. We are more patient with one another. My boys are starting to feel more secure about sharing their feelings with me. We play! We talk. We laugh! We sing (not very well, but we sing). We still have our bad days, but not as many as we used to have. I hope that my growing up emotionally has impacted them in such a way that they will be able to have much more loving, functional relationships with the people around them. I hope they will feel prepared and ready to go out and make their way in the world, without crippling emotional issues, because their mom took the time to pull her head out and start living without baggage. Have I had that kind of positive impact on them? Only time will tell.

I think I have impacted my marriage and my husband through my writing. How? Because when I write about him, I think about him. I analyze what is right and what is working and what is wrong and not working. There is a lot that isn't working right now. For awhile it really got me down. Then I realized I have some culpability here and that if I wanted to see change, I would need to bring change to the table myself. So I'm working on that. And in making changes in my own life, I can see my husband trying to step up and make changes too. It's painfully slow and I tend to think that I make way more effort that he does. But it's not a contest, right? No winners, but there could be some losers if we don't figure it out. How have my actions impacted him? Not very well sometimes. How has my writing impacted him? I have loved him more often, forgiven him more often, supported him more often. And now I am feeling more able to help him let go of his past so he too can move on. Everybody needs a support system, yes? And if he can move on and I can continue to move on, then my family wins and we can share our success with others who struggle.

So who have I impacted the most through my efforts? Well, I certainly haven't changed THE world, but I am changing MY world, which is changing my family's world, which is breaking a cycle of multi-generational dysfunction and that will have a very positive affect on my grandchildren. Maybe they will actually have a shot in hell of having a great, guilt-free, positive, happy life. And I hope that my efforts to change our family dynamic will create an environement that allows them to go out and give all they have to make the world a better place.

As to what impact those computers will have? I am going back to school to take some graphics classes to reinvigorate my latent graphics and writing career, which has been in storage for 15 years. Starting a blog inspired me to get off my butt and start using the talent God gave me to benefit myself, my family, my friends. I donate my lame graphics and writing talents whenever friends and family call...because I know that a little flyer will make a big difference for someone's fund-raiser. It would be nice to have the new hardware to go along with the newly honed skills and latest software.

Another area of impact the HP hardware will have? Writing a blog inpsired communication, which has forced us to sit down and talk about our future. We didn't like what we saw! So we are making plans for a better life. My 42 year old husband, who has no degree and can no longer do the physical labor he has always done is working on going back to school to get a degree in Water Treatment. He's not good with school. Most of his courses are online. It would be nice for him to be able to take the classes with a new computer so we don't have to fight our 10 year old ancient Dell that functions at the speed of nothing. It will be a great experience to see him succeed with school. I hope that by going back to the university, my boys will see that their parents value education and will be inspired to work hard and be successful in their educational careers.

The other computers? We would donate them to the boys' school or to the Phoenix Children's Hospital for the kids and their families to communicate with others outside of the hospital. Or maybe to a retirement home so the seniors can email their families and have some communications with loved ones who live far away. Maybe they can tell their adult kids how much they love them and help heal old wounds and diminish dysfunction so other families can come together like ours has started to come together. There's nothing more magical than that. (cue music - "All you need is Love, All you need is love.")

Friday, December 12, 2008

Disneyland is NOT for Whimps!! Part 3 - The Final Post!

Here's the Christmas card I will be sending out. Made it at DisneyPhotoPass.com

And here are some cute shots I got of the Men playing.

Are you sick of my travelogue yet? I know what yer thinkin'. It's Disneyland for pete's sake! Mickey Mouse, rides, princesses, blah, blah blah. WE GET IT! Been there, done that. How many posts can she write about Disneyland? Well, apparently 3. I can write 3 posts about Disneyland. Because it was my first time and there was a lot to see and do and because I want to make sure I share everything the good people at Disneyland have done since they hosted the trip! OKAY?!?! So bear with me as I finish up and pass on some REALLY USEFUL INFORMATION!

First, let me tell you about the last day of our trip, Sunday. We all got up early so we could catch a few rides before we had to leave. The room was a wreck and clothes were everywhere so I sent the guys on ahead while I tried to pack up. I was a little ticked about making the sacrifice until I started walking around and realized my feet still hurt a bit from the day before. When I called them and hour and a half later they had already been on 6 rides! They were tired and on their way back! Dang!


So we flew home, exhausted and hungry and elated over our experience. When I got home, here is what was waiting for me:



My sweet hubby had bought these for our anniversary on December 4th and hid them until we were loaded in the car to leave for our trip. At the last second he ran in to "get something." Apparently that's when he set these out for me! For a few minutes I felt bad thinking I had only gotten him a card, then I remembered that my blog is the reason we got to take this trip so...not feelin' so bad about my gift now! But I have to acknowledge the Big effort that Big Man made for me. BIG!! Ya know...he is a really sweet guy sometimes. He can be gruff and sometimes he's a little rough around the edges, but dang it, when he shines, he really shines! Yes, I love that man of mine.

Okay - back to Disney, cause I know you haven't had quite enough. I can tell because your eyes are only partially glazed over as you gaze upon my THIRD Disney post. Here's the news you've been dying to hear:

Disney's theme for 2009 is "What will you celebrate?" To make sure folks enjoy the events they are celebrating to the utmost, they are offering free admission on your birthday! Did you hear me? FREE! ON YOUR BIRTHDAY! I KNOW!! This is so much better than Denny's free breakfast! How cool would it be if you share your birthday with a best friend or another family member and you both got in free!?

Anyway, I think the whole free thing is exciting and wanted to share it. And if you let them know it's your birthday or anniversary or whatever they'll give you a button so when you walk through the park all the Disney workers will greet you! It messed Little Man up everytime someone said Happy Birthday. He would be all "How do they know?" Umm...could it be the GIANT BUTTON that says It's My Birthday on your chest?


So there ya go! Great stuff goin' down at Disney in '09! Was it worth wading through my monotone blog version of vacation slides? I can't wait to go back, but I'm thinkin' I may leave the Boys at home and take my sis or a friend and do the Girl's Weekend thing. That way I can really enjoy all the girly stuff with NO COMMENTS from the Man Clan!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Disneyland is NOT for Whimps!! Part 2

Where did I leave off? Oh yeah, blissful slumber. Which ended abruptly Saturday Morning when Little Man leapt out of bed and started running circles around the hotel room. We'd planned on getting up an d out of the room at 7 am. We didn't do that. We slept til 8, showered and Big Man got some wonderful chocolate filled croissants and hot cocoa for breakfast! Yum!!

Here's the family photo with Minnie that I had put on a DisneyPhotoPass card. I was then able to pull it up at DisneyPhotoPass.com and download it as a jpeg for my own enjoyment! Cool! You can take your card throughout the park and anywhere you see a Disney Photographer, they can take your pic and put it on the card! You have 30 days to view your photos online, where you can make prints, calendars, scrapbooks, all kinds of cool stuff! It works great if your family wants to split up. Just make sure everyone has a PhotoPass card, then they can get pics wherever they are at in the park and you can view them all when you get home! Okay - End of Photopass commercial.

Am I the only one who is continually shocked at how I look in pictures? My eyes must automatically photoshop my own image when I look in the mirror, because I never think I look as fat as I really am. MAJOR goal for 2009 - photoshop my body for REAL!

We hit Disneyland about 10 am and headed right to Tomorrowland for the Star Wars Jedi Training Academy. Have you seen this? It rocks! Big Brother got embarrassed and didn't want to be picked to fight Darth Vader..."Mom! I don't want to go up there. I'm not really into role playing, I'm into the action figures." Okay then, son. Now I know! Little Man managed to wiggle his way to the front row and got picked! It was so fun to watch him and the main Jedi guy was hilarious!! I managed to get my camera working for a few minutes and caught this video:

video

This is the point where the dropped camera started to fizzle out again, so I missed the pics of him fighting Darth Mal, luckily the Disney Photo guy was there and got the shots and I was able to put them on my...PhotoPass card! Here he is with Darth Mal:

Anyway - after the Jedi Training we hit a bunch of rides and enjoyed the park as much as we could while dodging millions of people and waiting in some lines. My kids did better than my husband with the whole crowd thing. My camera would work intermittently and I would catch a few photos now and then. The Boys thought this nose-picking situation in Adventureland was HYSTERICAL!

We caught part of the Christmas parade and waved to Santa:


We hit the It's a Small World Holiday Ride later that night, which is beautifully decorated with all kinds of lights. While you are riding through it, listening to THAT SONG you will notice that they even added holiday scents! Then we literally dragged our bodies back to the room after 12 hours of walking and waiting in line. We were all too exhausted to even think. Big Man got the bright idea to go check out the pool, then got hooked into taking the boys for a swim, while I laid in bed and watched TV. My throbbing feet thanked me.

Tomorrow: Part 3 - The Final Day! You gotta come back and read the final post for great news about special Disney offers for 2009!!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Disneyland is NOT for Whimps!!


Can I just start by saying that Disneyland during the Holidays is absolutely INSANE!!?? It's a whole lotta crazy at Christmas!

MomSelect and Disneyland gave me and my family the opportunity to meet up at Disneyland with 50 other MomBloggers and experience the park during the holiday season! (Shout out to Michele Himmelberg- Disneyland Resort Public Relations! She did so much to ensure we had a great experience! Thanks so much!) Since it was my family's first time there, I was a bit unprepared for the MASSES of people we would encounter, but in the end we really enjoyed ourselves.

Wanna hear all the boring details? Okay! First of all, we flew. We left Friday morning. They didn't know where we were going, we kept it a surprise! My boys had a blast on the plane, they have never flown before. Big Brother wants to be a military man of some sort and is really into military planes and jets right now, so he totally soaked up the experience, including the safety procedures the flight attendant reviewed with us (he's very, very safety conscious). He knew exactly how to save our lives when she was done. (Little Man was not asleep, I don't know what he was doing in that pic!)

We caught the Disneyland Express bus from Orange County Airport to the Disneyland Hotel. Jeff was our bus driver. He was...interesting. I'll leave it at that. The hotel is beautiful. We checked in without a hitch, got our 1st Time buttons and they even had an "It's my Birthday" button waiting for Little Man since his B-day was just on the 1st! Little Man, while happy, was extremely perplexed about how they knew! I explained how Mickey is a psychic mouse who uses his powers for good to suprise little kids and sometimes evil grumpy husbands. Kidding! We all know Mickey isn't psychic, just happy! Everybody was extremely pleasant to deal with. Disneyland kind of pleasant. I kept waiting for birds to start singing while circling around their heads! No, seriously, it was nice to have good customer service for a change. It made up for Jeff the Bus Driver...did I mention he was really...interesting? He kind of freaked me out. Something is definitely flying around his head and singing. Nice guy, just umm...interesting. I didn't take his pic, I didn't want to encourage him.

Here is a quick pic of our room and our view, which was chosen so we could see the fireworks from the balcony, which was awesome and useful on the second night, when we could not walk one more step and the kids were able to sit and dirnk hot chocolate and watch the fireworks while my feet died a slow death. I do not have pics of the fireworks. I will explain this later in the post.



We explored Downtown Disney the first afternoon and ran around the park just a bit before attending a presentation for all the MomBloggers Friday night. The presentation and awesome buffet were both held at the Disneyland Grand Californian Hotel in the Sequoia Ballroom. The minute we entered we were greeted by Minnie, who promptly embarrassed Big Brother by giving him a hug. (He's 9...still not into girls, especially one's with big heads and ears.) Little Man ran over and gave her a big hug. I could have gotten pics of this if I hadn't dropped my camera and wrecked it, so now you will have to wait for the family/Minnie pic until I get it downloaded from DisneyPhotoPass.com, which I learned about at the festivities Friday night! I will blog about this more tomorrow!

Big Man and the Boys met some dads and ate shrimp cocktails, prime rib, turkey and pasta, along with yummy cookies and rice krispy treats while us MomBloggers learned about all the yummy treats the park makes during the holiday season! Did you know Disneyland makes more gingerbread than any other bakery or restaurant west of the Rockies? Who knew?! More on that tomorrow too!

Anyway, we finished the night at the park, with a special preview of the fireworks show, set to holiday music and SNOW! Disney can make anything happen, right? It was this cool snow looking stuff that fell softly over Main Street as we walked toward the exit. It was awesome and fun and the perfect way to end the night! We headed back to the hotel and had a wonderful night's sleep on those comfy beds, dreaming about the next day's adventures. I had no idea how many miles I would be walking the next day, so I slumbered with no worries. Tune in tomorrow for Part 2!


Sunday, December 7, 2008

What We Did This Weekend!


Check in tomorrow for more details on our wonderful trip!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

7 is Heaven, In the Form of Little Man

Little Man came into this world 7 years ago the way he appraoches everything in life...full throttle. My whole labor with him was about 25-30 minutes long. We didn't make it to the hospital, which was only 10 minutes from our house. He was born in the car. Wanna hear the whole story?

I went to bed the night before at 2:30 am with mild cramps. Not contractions, just small cramps, like you would get with your monthly. I woke up at 4 a.m. dreaming I was having contractions. Then I realized I WAS having contractions, and pretty hard ones. I ran to the bathroom to pee and realized from all of the blood in the toilet that it was time to go. My husband helped me pull on some sweats, we grabbed Big Brother, who was 2 at the time and I tried to walk to the car a few feet away, which was pretty difficult. At this point, I was basing everything on my first birth and was still thinking I had a good hour or 2 of this kind of labor. Had I known how close I was to delivering I would have stayed home and called the paramedics!

So, we head out of the driveway and my dear husband suddenly forgets which direction the hospital is and asks me how to get there. I am breathing and struggling to keep from screaming because I am really hurting and he finally heads out. I'm thinking he is gonna really kick it in gear and blast me to the hospital. No, that's not what happened. We get to the first stop light and he stops. I'm like, "What are you doing? Run the light! I'm in pain and this baby is coming! Run the light!" He goes, "No! Our license plate tags are expired and I might get pulled over!" to which I scream "RUN THE LIGHT!!!" So he cautiously goes through the light and proceeds at a very safe pace to the next light, which I scream at him to go through as he started to slow down, etc. etc., for about 4 miles. Meanwhile, my poor firstborn is sitting in his carseat wondering why mommy is freaking out and Daddy is lauging trying to keep him calm, which really irritated me, because he didn't explain what he was doing and I thought he was laughing at me! When I let him know what an ass he was being, he calmly explained what he was doing, but by then I didn't care because I could feel the baby coming and all the breathing in the world was NOT stopping him, which was freaking me out. I did not stay very calm or focused, I was completely panicked and waving my arms around in the air, screaming at my husband, "The baby is coming! He is coming right now! I can't stop him, he is coming right now!" My husband then starts freaking out. We are still driving and are about 3 miles from the hospital and my husband starts to slow down, then a cop pulled behind us. Hubby tries to wave him up along side of us, but cop was a little leery. Right then the baby pops out of my uterus and is squirming in my sweat pants. I'm telling my husband the baby is in my pants and he's looking at me like I'm psychotic. Finally, after what seemed like FOREVER, the policeman pulls up to my window. He looked young. Like 16 years old kind of young. I can only imagine how my face looked when I rolled down the window and bellowed "I just had a baby. It's in my pants!" He stared for a minute, stunned into silence, trying to take in the situation. Then he goes, "Ummm, okaaayyy." I repeated the phrase. He snapped to attention, says "Follow me!" and flipped on his sirens, then we all peeled out to the hospital which was just about 2 minutes away.
When we pulled up into the Emergency driveway, my husband opened his door to go get help and the cop ran out saying someone was on the way. We waited, waited, waited, no one was coming! Finally this guy comes walking down the hall with a gurney, talking to a nurse, poking along like he was on holiday. My husband runs up to him screaming that I had the baby and they finally make it out to me. When I opened the door it was like a bad comedy movie where the station wagon is packed too full. All my bags, shoes, kid's stuffed bear, bottles, come flying out of the car and start rolling down the driveway. A few ER guys kept telling me to get up on the gurney. I kept telling them I couldn't because the baby was in my pants and I didn't want to smash it. I guess I was in shock, I don't know why I didn't just pull down my pants and grab the baby. Anyway, they just kept staring at me and telling me to get out of the car and on the table. Finally a nurse grasps the situation, helps me do this kind of jump, roll, Fosberry Flop kind of thing and I somehow manage to land on the gurney. She grabbed my pants and ripped them down and grabbed the baby. Now all of the sudden the rest of the ER morons get the picture and go to work. I turned to thank the policeman, who was peeling out of the driveway as fast as he could. I think we seriously scared him into not having kids for a long, long time. By now I am realizing that my baby is having issues and I start crying. A really nice guy starts talking to me, telling me they are working fast on the baby and that everything will be okay, stroking my hair and they wheel me in off the driveway and whisk the baby away. He gets me to a room and rushes out. Then the nurse comes and they help me do the rest of the icky birth process and sew me up, etc. By now my husband and son are there and I am trying to find out what is happening. Apparently my Little Man had meconium aspiration and was really struggling to breathe. They got him in NICU and went to work on him, but it was touch and go for about the first 8 hours. My in-laws came and got Big Brother and when everyone cleared out I had time to think about what had happened and started bawling. After about 30 minutes of tears and sobbing I pulled myself together and realized that I was not tired or sore, my body didn't feel all bruised and battered...nothing! Short labor is good. So I took a shower and ate a bagel and recalled my entire wierd birth experience. After about 5 hours they let me in to see Little Man. He was hooked up to a bunch of tubes and wires, it was so sad. They said he fought like hell when they put the tubes in his nose and that was a good sign. I cried a few minutes while I held his little hand and then they made me leave. Later that day they finally got him out of the woods and I got to go back and hold him and try to give him a bottle, which he hated, but kind of took. We stayed in the hospital for 4 more days, which was awesome for me, cause I actually got to rest a little bit and bond with my baby while hubby took some time with Big Brother (the doctors let me stay so Little Man could nurse).


So that's how life with Little Man began. It has not changed much since. He is full of energy and life and loves to explore and find new ways to do things. He is curious and funny and smart and handsome and he does not slow down from the time he wakes up 'til the time he goes to bed. He is definitely all boy and an avid collector of all things Boy, like rocks and bugs and marbles and sticks and bottle caps and shells and bones and whatever else he thinks might be cool or useful someday.

He is my athlete. He is naturally gifted with his body and excels at every sport he tries because he so comfortable in his own skin and with his abilities. He's not afraid of much. He tries a lot of physical feats of strength and agility without fear of pain. His motto is "Pain is something you go through to get to the end result."

Even with his boyish mannerisms, he is the thoughtful one in my family. He tells me my hair looks pretty or how much he loves me, he has to have cuddle time every morning and every night. He is quick to say he is sorry when he has hurt someone and truly feels pained that someone else got hurt because of him. He loves deeply and shows it. He is kind to his friends and classmates and a natural leader.

He totally digs his red hair, and he digs the fact that girls dig his red hair. He is very fashion conscious and concerned about the right hair cut and nice looking clothes. Unless he is playing in the dirt, then it doesn't matter that he is wearing an army shirt with red shorts and cowboy boots. He tells me when my clothes don't look good on me or when he really likes what I am wearing. How nice to have a man in the house with an opinion about my wardrobe!

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He runs. All of the time. Think "Dash" from the Incredibles. He chases the cat or his brother, or his dad and sometimes mom, around the house constantly, trying to wrestle or play. He's always moving. He can't sit still, except in school, which drives him crazy, but he does it. His way of saying good morning to his dad and brother is with a big punch in the arm or a tackle, followed by a hug. It pisses Big Brother off to no end to be greeted with a punch first thing in the morning. I'm not kidding. Seriously makes him angry. Little Man can't figure out why Big Brother doesn't like his love punches. Little Man cannot stand still even to get dressed. He walks or runs in circles while putting on his clothes. It's maddening to help him get his shoes on when he won't hold still. And funny. Maddening and funny. Pretty much sums up my emotions about him most of the day.

Little Man feels what he says and says what he feels. You definitely know when the kid is unhappy, because he will make sure everyone else in the house is unhappy too. He gets embarassed in public so he saves the meltdowns for home. And he can have a meltdown, let me tell ya! Un-freakin-believable! The good thing is he gets over his frustrations quickly and then he's back to happy Little Man.

He wants to be an anthropoligist when he grows up. Or a Rock Star. He's worried about his Big Brother being in the military because he knows that military guys sometimes get killed. Little Man looks like Opey from the Andy Griffith show. Maybe he'll follow in Ron Howard's foot steps and become a rich movie director. Whatever he does, I have no doubt it will be at a full-out, fast and furious, breakneck pace that will leave the rest of us standing there wondering what just flew by. Little Man lives life in the fast lane and I can't imagine him any other way (Okay, that's not true. Some days I can imagine him being a little more relaxed, but how boring would it be to have 2 relaxed kids?).

I love him madly and deeply and even when he is on my last nerve he brings a spark to my life that I would never experience without him. He is one of my greatest challenges and my greatest joys, all in the same breath. His magnificent little dirt covered hands and arms around my neck melt away the pains on my worst day and his joy becomes my joy. His curiosity reminds me to live and not just exist. He changed our family. He made us whole. And I am a better person because he loves me.
Happy Birthday, Little Man!