Archive for June, 2010

Morning Glory

I can’t tell you the number of times in the past nearly five years I have attempted to write about the birth of our son, Addison.  Honestly, I am hardly able to fully think about it.  When I think about what could have so easily happened, and so much that did, I still have to push it aside.

But today is a day that I am reminded how fortunate we are to have this little wonder of a boy in our lives.  A day that I realize how much God’s grace protected us that day, and those that followed.  That even though we weren’t allowed the untempered joy one expects to experience during those first few days of life, we are so very, very blessed to have him with us today.

Manda and Tom, my heart is broken for you.  How blessed your son was to be born into such a loving family, and into the hearts of so many.  My prayers are with you.

‘The morning glory that blooms for an hour differs not at heart from the giant pine that lives for a thousand years.’  –Teitoko Matsunaga


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Dear Gosh,

One of the challenges of living in a blended family is having households with different rules.  In our home, we try not to swear or take the Lord’s name in vain, and are successful most days.  Occasionally someone slips up, but nobody is expected to be perfect 100% of the time.

We went through a period of time, however, when Peyton was often using the phrase “Oh God!” as in “Oh God, that was so funny,” or “Oh my God, did you see that?” or “God, Addison!  Leave me alone!”  The expressions seemed doubly inappropriate coming from such a little girl.

So we began to talk to her about what it means to take the Lord’s name in vain, and why we wished that she wouldn’t.  We asked her to save God’s name for when she is actually talking to or about God.  We gave her a plethora of other expressions that we approved of for expressing disdain, irritation, excitement, and just about everything else.  She easily made the switch.

What we didn’t take into consideration was that her little brother Addison, was listening to all of this, and trying to sort out in his younger mind when it was appropriate to say “God” and when it wasn’t.  Apparently he opted for the safe side, and just not saying it at all.

That night, as Patrick knelt beside him for bedtime prayers, precious little Addison bowed his head, folded his hands, and prayed, “Dear Gosh, Please bless mommy, bless daddy….”

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Melty For Me, Please.

Addison has decided that he likes things that are melty.  He wants his ice cream to sit in the bowl until it is melty.  He wants his Popsicle to stay in the wrapper in the sun until it is melty so he can drink it.  He wants the cheese on his sandwich to be melty.   He wants me to go to the store to buy marshmallows so he can hold them in his hand until they are melty.

I told him that the thing about melty is that it is synonymous with  messy.  He looked at me like I was the dumbest person on the planet.  I mean his body language was screaming “No, Duh!” at the top of its lungs, if body language even has lungs.  Then with a hugely exasperated sigh, he said, “Mom, that’s the point of melty.”

I guess he told me!

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We drove to Seattle yesterday to meet my parents and retrieve the boys.  We weren’t planning to leave our house until 8:00 am, but I was wide awake by 5:00, excited and eager to get going.  They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, but it also makes you forget about the incessant whining of children.  I could no longer remember why I needed a break in the first place.  I know it was only a few days, but I couldn’t wait to scoop them up in my arms!

Patrick had a day planned for all of us filled with the Seattle adventures he remembered experiencing as a little boy.  He wanted to show the boys the Space Needle, the Science Center, ride the monorail, see the fish fly at the market.  I didn’t want to damper his enthusiasm by pointing out how much things have changed in the past forty years.  To Patrick, the Needle was a skyscraper.  To our boys, it would be a short, funny shaped building in the Seattle city skyline.  I didn’t want to remind Patrick that his trip down memory lane might be like asking the boys to sit through a silent, black & white cartoon when they are used to watching Disney/Pixar films in HD-3D. I also thought I’d keep my mouth shut about his own teeny tiny attention span.

If I had known ahead of time that it was going to cost us $15. for parking and $50. for tickets up to the observation deck, I probably would have said something.  The ride in the too crowded elevator lasted exactly 40 seconds.  Once we arrived at the top, the kids were thirsty.  Another $9. on one apple juice and one chocolate milk, and we’d been up there for approximately 90 seconds.  It took us about another two minutes to walk around the needle.  That is when, as I knew he would, Patrick said, “So what should we do now?” , which was followed by another 40 second trip down the elevator.  Less than five minutes, and only $74!  And we even managed to get through the gift shop without breaking anything that would add to our tab!

The amusement park was exciting for the boys, but so are the dollar rides at Fred Meyer.  And it was no Disneyland.  Nonetheless, daddy had redeemed himself in the eyes of his offspring.  I loved watching Addison throw his arms in the air and shout with glee as he rode the hills of the little rickety carnival roller coaster.  And watching Hayden smile as though he would burst while riding the flying elephants was delightful, at least until he got thrown off the ride for trying to climb out, but I’ll save those details for a later story.  Who knew a two year old could get banned from an amusement park?!  They both loved the monorail, and were thrilled that there were about a thousand escalators at the other end.  We rode up and down, and up and down, and up and down……

All in all, I think Patrick did a pretty good job creating new memories not just for the boys, but for us as well.

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My sister just passed this on to me from a friend of hers, and I had to share it with you.  Enjoy!

I don’t want to brag or make anybody jealous or anything,
but I can still fit into the earrings I wore in high school

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Hayden loves tinkering.  He likes to take things apart, and put them back together.  Or at least yell at someone else to put them back together.  “Holp! Holp!  Whees bwoke! Momo fixit!” is one of the most repeated phrases in our home on any given day.  I don’t think we have a single toy car, truck, plane, or motorcycle in our house that still has all its wheels attached.  It’s so bad that, much like a pilot doing his preflight walk around of an airplane, Patrick and I warily eye the tires on our real cars before getting in them.  I am not joking when I say that I half expect to walk out to the garage one day and discover he’s removed a tire or two.  Seriously.

And much to our chagrin, his tinkering is by no means limited to toys.  He will remove switch plates from the walls using a spoon.  He can rearrange an entire room of furniture in the amount of time it takes me to use the restroom (and out of necessity, I’ve become a whiz in the bathroom –tee hee:)).  He can flood an entire basement while I believe he’s soundly napping.  He’s fearless and curious, which makes for a dangerous combination.

This particular day was much like any other.  Addison, Hayden and I were all upstairs in the playroom for much of the morning.  We did puzzles, read stories, and then I plopped them in front of the tv so I could take a quick, and I do mean quick, shower.  Within five minutes, I had finished, checked to see both boys intently watching Dragon Tales, and began preparing lunch.  We sat together at the kitchen table to eat, and then I changed Hayden’s diaper, put him down for his nap, and locked the door to his bedroom so he wouldn’t escape without me knowing.  Addison and I went back upstairs to clean the playroom, then headed to my room to lay down for quiet time together.

That’s when I first noticed a smell like pizza burning on the bottom of an oven.  I went to the kitchen, checked to see if the oven was on, and asked Addison if maybe he had noticed daddy cook one of those gosh-awful Tombstone frozen pizzas before heading to work.  Strange, I know, but not unheard of at our house.  Addison didn’t think so, the oven was cold, and it didn’t make sense that the smell would be all the way on the other side of the house anyway.  I had a heavy, sick feeling in my stomach as I thought to myself, “Crap.  All the other times I’ve smelled imaginary odors I’ve been pregnant.”

We lay down on my bed, my mind racing and calculating, and then I heard a click.  “Addison, did you hear that?”  “No, what?”  “That!”  I’d heard it again.  This time, so had he.  We got up and started searching the room for the source of the sound.  Finally, I looked behind a chair that we never use, except to store laundry, and saw it.  The George Foreman Grill.  On the floor, plugged in, filled with the contents of a now empty bag of cheddar flavored rice cakes burned to a charcoal crisp.  The sound we’d heard was the clicking of an overheated kitchen appliance.  We were lucky to be alive!

Somehow, a couple of hours earlier while I was in the shower, Hayden had climbed on the counter, reached the very top shelf that I can barely get to myself, pulled down the Foreman Grill, gone into the pantry for the rice cakes, carried everything across the house to the master bedroom, gone to the far corner of the room, plugged in the grill, poured on his rice cakes, gone all the way to the other side of the house again, gone upstairs, and plopped down on the couch to finish watching ‘Tales’ as though he’d been there all along, and then forgotten all about his little cooking project.

Thank God I wasn’t pregnant.

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Once upon a time, two knights in shining armor galloped in on their white horses and rescued a damsel in distress.

Okay, really it was Saturday evening, the knights were my parents, the horses were their Nissan Maxima, and the damsel in distress, well, that was me.

You see, Nana and Papa came to my rescue because, as the title of my blog points out, I am on the brink.  On the brink of almost but not quite enough time, on the brink of conquering the laundry, on the brink of dropping the dog off at the shelter, on the brink of pulling my hair out by the fistful if I am asked why even just one more time.  I needed reinforcements, and I needed them ASAP.

So my parents pounced when they got the phone call I believe they’ve been waiting for for over six years.  For the first time, and I am somewhat ashamed to admit it took me so long, I packed up the boys and sent them home to Bellingham to stay with family while I remained behind.  For the first time I spent more than an evening away from my boys.  For the first time, I went to sleep without kissing their chubby cheeks and breathing in their rough and tumble scent.

And guess what happened?  Within the first few hours of their departure, my house was clean!  My family room windows sparkled, the floors were swept, vacuumed, mopped, and clear of all perilous plastic objects.  The dryer was humming, the iron was cooling, and the junk drawers, well, those are still a disaster.  But my point is, this looked for the most part like a house lived in by adults  rather than tornadoes.

My husband and I stood to admire the work we’d previously tried desperately to accomplish without any success due to three pair of ‘helping’ hands, and breathed a sigh of satisfaction.  Then he turned to me and said, “Now what?”  And I stared at him blankly.  The house suddenly seemed too clean, too quiet, too empty.  So we did the only thing we could think of to do in such a situation.  We got in the car and went for a drive (no, not north to Bellingham!  Honestly!), but not before I managed to toss a pair of Hayden’s rain boots on the kitchen floor so we would see them when we came home.

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