Monthly Archives: December 2010

What a year….

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Last February I started writing this blog to improve upon my writing skills and share  with members of my family (who don’t have the opportunity to see the kids on a regular basis) little stories about the kids .  What started simple has grown into a small but loyal following of people interested to see where the boy and doll are headed.  Frankly, when I read through my archive, I’m surprised sometimes we’ve all landed on our feet, still very much happy and loved.

The boy has grown in height and weight.  His ability to swallow knowledge just amazes me.  I only wish his ability to swallow common sense was equally as strong.  The doll for her part continues to try and be older than she is, but lord, she is the most loving creature.  She routinely tells her friends when they are leaving, “I love you”.  Once I asked her why she says that…”What, I hear you tell your friends all the time you love them…” and realized, she had a point.  There’s nothing wrong with letting others see how much they mean to our lives.

The hubby and I celebrated twenty years of wedded bliss…though some years were rocky and some smooth, I think overall we are par for the course.  While we continue to try going on “twenty dates”, I realize, every day is a date with that man (just don’t tell him that).   Love does grow as long as you’re willing to work hard, together.

Finally, though I’m worried I may jinx things, on this last day of 2010, this is the first year on record we didn’t have any hospitalization for our kids.  No ankle surgery, no bladder infections, no broken bones.  Though the year wasn’t without worry–Mike’s irregular, regular heart beat as well as my mother in law’s urinary tract infection that went septic.  But through it all we have had one thing in common, holding us strong: Love.

Happy New Year everyone!!  May 2011 be far more blessed than any of the many years past!

PS. GO ND! GO OSU! And GO Ducks (really can’t stand Auburn)!!!

sleeping beauties….

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During Christmas break, I’ve allowed the kids to stay up way past their normal bedtime.  Once the prayers are said and both kids are tucked in for the night, I disappear into our basement to play on the computer or watch television until they fall asleep.  The idea is to keep the noise level upstairs down to the minimum Of course putting them to bed doesn’t necessarily insure they will go in fact to sleep.

The kids and I have been enjoying playing Epic Mickey, a new game for our Wii system.  I’ve lowered the volume on the TV and continued to play while the kids talk to one another on their way to sleepy town.  Occasionally I’ll yell, “Time for the mouth to be zipped, eyes closed and sleep welcomed!” toward them.

For some reason, the last few nights have been difficult for my children to stay asleep through the entire night.  The boy woke up one night to ask me what time it was.  “11:30 baby”. I said in return.  “Huh, I thought maybe it was like 5:30 in the morning.”  “Sorry babe, roll over and go back to sleep.” which he did.  The doll for her part has slept for about an hour each night, only to wake up and tell me she can’t sleep.  The first night I gave her my tried and true remedies to help a person fall asleep.  “Ok, how about you count backward from 100, taking a deep breath between each number.  If that doesn’t work, then say the ABC’s backward.  If that doesn’t work, count some sheep….”  Fortunately for me, one of those ideas worked.

Last night an hour after bedtime she once again came to me and said, Mom, I can’t sleep.  I just keep tossing and turning…” “Have you tried my usual remedies?” “Yes, but I’m still awake.”  She said. Her quick response made me suspicious, but I decided what the heck?  How much longer am I going to get the chance to be the one person who can help her fall asleep?  So I climbed in bed with her.

“What do you want to dream about?”  I asked as I situated myself under the covers?”  “I don’t know…” the doll said with a laugh.  “Alright, close your eyes and pretend its last summer at Grandpa’s pool and all your friends are there and you’re just lying in the sun, enjoying life.”  “We’re not doing anything?”  “Well if you want to…”  After ten minutes of musings what that summer day entailed, I realized we were no closer to falling asleep than when we started, so we changed gears.  “Ok, you just listen…100….deep breath, 99, yawn, 98 inhale deep breath…” and on and on until I reached “one” and found us both still awake.

The time had arrived to pull out the big guns; I began to pray the rosary. Somewhere in the third decade, I fell asleep, but awoke two hours later when the doll began kicking at me because I had all the covers.  Removing me from her bed, covering her back up and leaning in for a kiss I realized was the best time I’ve had in weeks.  When I made my way to my bedroom, Dad asked, “What is the world?  Smiling I said, “I was just being a mom”.

This morning the doll said she fell asleep first.  Frankly I say it’s a toss up.

word play

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There are times when things come out of the boy and doll’s mouth that make you wish for a second they had taken the time to hear it in their heads first, before saying it out loud.  Truth be told, I wish there were times I filtered too.  But this is not about me.  Yesterday the boy invited his friend Marg to come over and “play”.  Play is a relative term here, because they battled one another via their DS games and watched two of the three movies they received at Christmas.

Marg drives me nuts, as she’s very bossy with the boy, and he takes it.  If other boys were as bossy with him he’d get into trouble for fighting against them.  But this girl bosses him around all day and he doesn’t seem to mind.  So I asked him “What is it about her being bossy that gets a pass with you, but not the other boys?” Shrugging his shoulders he said, “She likes me when she’s bossy.  I don’t think the other boys actually like me.  They just like to be bossy.”

With twenty minutes of cook time left for dinner last night, I decided to play one of the video games we received from Santa.  Marg, didn’t ask, she simply grabbed one of our Wii controllers and jumped in.  A little annoyed, we played through.  I cannot tell you the number of times she tried to control me in the game, “Stop that!  You’re doing this wrong! You’re purposely trying to kill me aren’t you! (Yes) You need to go through this door!”  As the game wore on and we lost many lives, the boy, summed up the game play then said “You know Marg, my mom is a right.  You are a tad bit bossy!”  Trying to keep a straight face, I handed the doll the controller then announced it was time for Marg to go home, as dinner was ready.  In truth I was afraid what else the boy might spill.

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The doll approached me and announced, ‘I’m hungry.  Well you’re old enough to make yourself breakfast.  You could make yourself some waffles…” I suggested.  She shook her head back and forth and said, “um, no”.  “There is some of Grandpa’s bread, you could toast that”. I offered.  Again shaking her head, she said ‘No”.  “Well there is always cereal…”  “No”.  Seeing that she was not interested in anything I offered, I said, “Well you could make yourself a booger sandwich.”  Flashing a grossed out look on her face, she said, ‘That sounds more like something the boy would make.  “Doll…” “I’m just kidding mom.”  Watching her clear the dirt out from between her toes I offered, “How about a toe jam sandwich then?  Laughing at first she stopped short then said, “You were kidding right?”  We both looked at one another then burst into laughter.  In the end she settled for peanut butter toast: simple to make and more delicious than toe jam to taste.

faulty memories….

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I used to be known for having a great memory, though nowadays, I wonder if my “memories” are fallacies in my head.  The doll has been peppering me with all sorts of “remember when’s” that I have no memory of them actually happening.  Am I losing my mental faculties or is she making this stuff up?  “Mom, do you remember that one time I woke up in the middle of the night and you invited me to play video games with you on the couch?”  What?  I did what?  or “Mom, do you remember that one time I got my finger stuck in the rails at school and you yelled at me until you released them.  You were really scary!”  “I what?  I did what?”

Many times I’ll shake my head up and down, deciding to agree without commentary, primarily because it’s not worth my effort to dig into this false memory of hers.  Other times she hangs there waiting for me to respond.  Or there will be moments of truth mixed into what she’s saying, but no clear path.  “Mom, do you remember when we were driving home from Mary and Elle’s and you said…..”  Well I remember the numerous trips home.  I just have no memory of the specific conversation.  Is she trying to trip me up or am I just being paranoid?

“Mom, remember when I was just a baby and I cut my hair?”  That I remember, except she wasn’t a baby.  “Doll, you weren’t a baby, that was last year.  “Mom, I was seven then!” she says with a qualifying tone.  Hmm.  “Doll, do you remember when you were a baby and you….?”  “Yes I do.”  “Wait, I didn’t finish.”  “Mom, I have a very good memory.  I remember everything.”

Somehow, I think our roles  have been switched.

 

Christmas 2010

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If we measured sheer pleasure derived from a single Christmas present, I’d say the dog won hands down.  From Grammy she received a new pet “hedge” hog with a noisemaker inside.   She was so excited, she didn’t care if you were passing out presents or opening them.  She just wanted to engage you to play with her.  Filled with Christmas magic, we all obliged.   Though, the doll might beg to differ.  She received a DSi and screamed with delight upon opening the package.  The boy, while opening a particularly large present said, “I must have been a good boy this year”, perhaps.

As Christmases go, I think we did pretty well.  As the boy opened up a Wii game, Epic Mickey, from his stocking (presents from mom and dad) and remarked, “Epic Mickey.  In other words, you’re giving yourself a present through me.”  Dad realizing the truth in his statement said, “You’re too smart.  Now we have to kill you…”

Mom passed out the presents, ensuring they were opened in proper order—no fair opening a DSi game if the system is still under the tree waiting to be unwrapped.  Dad grabbed the new flip camcorder, our present to one another, and began filming the festivities.  Mom utilized the camera to get the “just right” expressions on all the kids’ faces.  We had plenty of squeals of delight as they opened various presents.  The boy was just excited about the series of books he received as the special DS game he’d been coveting.  While the doll wasn’t as impressed with her books, she was extremely happy with the new Taylor Swift CD and the book that came with it.

As for Mom and Dad, the kids gave us both ornaments, purchased with their own monies at their school’s Santa’s Workshop.  Dad’s ornament from the doll said, “You’re better than a home run!” which made him smile.  Mine were ornately decorated and immediately placed onto the tree.

All in all, I think as Christmases go, this one was a ten.

A very special Christmas Eve

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Five years ago, our Christmas Eve was one of the hardest, most beautiful Christmases we have ever celebrated.  Five days earlier, my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer.  She was expected to live anywhere from two weeks to six months.  But Mom being mom would hear none of that nonsense.  She was ready to go.

As a family we had decided to make that Christmas one for the history books.  For the first time ever, we would all be home in our beds long before midnight.  Realizing the only way to accomplish this task was to skip Christmas Eve Mass; we asked our parish priest if he could say a special mass for our family, in my parent’s home.  “Well, I don’t know if the Bishop will recognize this as an official Christmas mass” he said to my brother.  “Father, I think we’re working with a higher authority….my Mother.”  Realizing the truth in his argument, Father readily agreed.

The kids were supposed to go into the basement and play, so they wouldn’t get in the way, or “ruin” this special mass.  But, they were too interested in what was going on upstairs and wouldn’t be kept out.    Mom sat in her lift chair, in the corner of the family room; dressed to the nine’s in her holiday outfit.  As we all gathered, trying our best to fit fifty people into a room meant to hold ten. I got lucky, sharing a corner of her hospital bed; the doll on my lap, the boy at my feet.

Father began the mass in the usual manner; pre-chosen family members read readings and said intentions and then Father performed the sacrament of anointing of the sick.  In a sense he was cleansing her of all sin, as she prepared herself for heaven.  Once the blessing was complete, he invited all of her children to come up and say “goodbye” to her, in a very spiritual way.  One by one, all nine of us approached her.  I remember my brother Tommy crying and saying, “I’m going to miss you!”  All I could say through the tears was that I loved her as I tried to make that hug last forever.

Once all nine finished, Father asked my Mom if she wanted to say anything to us.  She sat up and said one thing:  Live Your Faith.

Today the family has grown through marriages and births.  This year, all 65 1/2 of us will gather at my brother’s home to celebrate the love brought into the world; yet missing the one component that got us here. But Dad 89 is still with us—making rosaries, living his faith.   I know for me, her request that I “Live my faith” has changed my world exponentially.

Growing up Christmas Eve was the night I received all my presents from Santa.  In 2005 I received the most heartbreaking, yet joyful present ever:  Love!

Merry Christmas from the boy, the doll, daddy and me!

D’ya think Santa’s not still watching?

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I’ve invoked the Santa “Clause” many times over the years and thought by the time the kids reached the ages of eight and eleven; they would instinctively know, Santa watches up until the very last minute.  Unfortunately, they seem to forget this, the moment school lets out and they are left alone-together.

Needing to run last minute errands, I made them aware, in no uncertain terms, they needed to behave and get along, while we ran through Costco.  Yet when we arrived, they fought over who would push the cart.  The doll won out, primarily because she began running away from him with the cart.  Grabbing them I said “Follow me, we only need to grab a few things…:” Well the boy decided sample tasting was more important than staying with his sister.  The doll decided to not pay attention where she was pushing the cart, running into me and narrowly missing other shoppers several times.  The boy noticing her lack of control decided to take the helm, much to her displeasure.  Needless to say a fight broke out.  Both kids began swiping at each other and calling one another unpleasant names.

Increasingly annoyed by their seeming disregard for shopping etiquette, I turned to them and said, “D’ya think Santa’s no longer watching three days before Christmas?  If you two do not stop fighting, I’m cancelling Christmas!”  The boy stopped in his tracks and said, “Sorry Mom, but you can’t cancel Christmas, no one can“.   The doll smartly stood silent next to the boy, fearful of what would come next. Looking intently and the boy I said, “Oh yeah?  Watch me.”   As we moved toward the check out the doll said to her brother, “Way to go, now we won’t get anything good from Mom and Daddy”.  The boy shrugged his shoulders then said, “That’s okay, Santa delivers the good stuff anyway!”

I suppose having never had a Christmas cancelled due to bad behavior, the boy doesn’t believe his Mother has the power to stop the event.  Damn him for being so smart!