Wednesday, January 5, 2011

How Much Is That Daddy In The Window?

Wow, ya'll! It's been a long time since I've signed in many opportunities, so little time.

Tonite another dinner conversation went way off course. I don't know how it happens. It all starts off with the basics mixed with a little playful banter then suddenly we're in a downward spiral. Sometimes I'm honestly not sure if it's hilarious or downright horrible. At any rate, I'm pretty sure it's not the average discussion taking place around dinner tables. I promise it's not always like this, but tonight's was a doozy!

So we rush in from TaeKwonDo and the boys change straight into pajama's since bedtime is rapidly approaching anyway. We sat down to eat a yummy dinner of spaghetti, meatballs, garlic toast, salad, etc. As soon as the prayer is over, Isaac wants his pasta cut up. Moments later Grant is spinning his pasta around a fork. It strikes me that Grant eats pasta like me. Isaac, on the other hand, prefers to eat his pasta just like his Daddy, even though he couldn't possibly remember. It still amazes me when I see little things that Brian isn't here to teach the boys but it's just wired into them. Of course I proceeded to tell them about their Daddy and how he preferred his spaghetti and as usual was pelted with an arsenal of questions. So many of their questions really make me stop and consider. The questions they ask aren't so much about the specific details of Brian and the things he said or did but more of his nature and character. Since Grant likes to eat spaghetti by twirling it around a fork and I told them I used to break up the pasta for their Daddy and he still cut it up, Grant wanted to know if he would get to eat long pasta he could twirl if his Daddy was here. The answer, without a doubt, "Of course!" I know Brian would love to see them happy and would glady forfeit his broken pasta for Grant to twirl his. Sometimes those what would Daddy think or what would Daddy do questions hardly require a thought. Often, even without the experience of having him here to make those decisions, I can confidently tell the boys what their Daddy was like, what he would have done and why.

Some days it's just a fleeting question or a brief thought. Other days it's hard to turn the tide once the waves of thoughts and questions come rushing in. Tonite would have been easy if it had stopped with how Daddy ate spaghetti and how he would want the boys to. But no, it doesn't stop there. Then we go on to how they miss Daddy and as always, I let them know I miss him too. They wish he were here, didn't have to die, etc., me too and so on. Then the spiral really begins... and rapidly!

I'm just noting me or boys to keep this next part more readable. It was really so rapid fire with sentences started by one kid and finished by the other plus random interjections along the way that I can't say specifically who said what. Here's the basic content...

boys: We really should have a daddy here with us.
(crickets chirping)
boys: Mommy, don't you think we should have a daddy here with us?
me: (whistling, to myself, in my head)
boys: Why doesn't somebody sell daddies for people who don't have one and need one?
me: (ughhh) Well guys...
boys: I bet they do sell daddies somewhere! Maybe we could buy a daddy! Mommy can you buy a daddy for us?

me: Well, um, guys...
boys: There have got to be daddies you can buy!

me: Well, really...umm... some daddies can be bought but those aren't the kind that are really worth having.
boys: You can buy a daddy?!!!
me: Well, no, not exactly.
boys: I know! Maybe there are daddies that are tired of their own kids and they just want new ones. Maybe we could find a daddy like that!

me: Well, daddies that get tired of their own kids would probably get tired of someone else's too.
boys: But maybe they are tired of their kids. We could be good and they wouldn't get tired of us!
me: It just really doesn't work that way...
boys: but what if me: (interrupting) Who wants another piece of garlic toast? Anyone want another meatball?!?!?

...and then, thank God, it's over as fast as it started. They're happily eating toast and meatballs while my head is still spinning.

Welcome back to the funny farm! :)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Smarshmallows & Long Sleeved Pants!

Oh, the boys say so many funny things! I could post many times a day, really.

At 5 & 3 1/2 they both have incredible vocabularies for their ages. But there are a couple of things, they just don't get quite right. Nothing terribly outrageous, just a couple things I get a chuckle over.

Today's heavy Spring snow brought about the "need" for a round of hot chocolate. Of course the boys like their chocolate lukewarm and it doesn't even count if marshmallows aren't added! The funny thing is, Grant, who can name an outrageous list of dinosaurs by their full scientific names doesn't say marshmallow right. He says "smarshmallows." Is he capable of saying it right? Of course! Am I about to correct him? No way! :)

Then there's Isaac. Every time the boys are choosing outfits, the first question that comes up is, "Do we need long sleeved or short sleeved shirts?" Most of the last week short sleeves were perfect but the temp dropped yesterday. Although they have been wearing long pants for months now, Isaac's followup question is generally, "Do we need long sleeved pants, too?" Grant will question, "Long sleeved pants?" knowing it's not quite right. However I just answer, "Yes, wear your long sleeved pants!"

Both boys are perfectly capable of correcting these words and learning these concepts. I know it. Sometimes I wonder if I'm being indulgent by not correcting them. I wonder if I buffer some corrections because they've already been through so much. Then I realize with relative certainty that if Brian was still on this side of Heaven, neither one of us would see the need for them to correctly say marshmallows or long pants. We would sit back and giggle to ourselves, together.

They grow up so fast, I think it's important to enjoy them, right where they're at!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Muffins with Moms aka What about Bob?

Today was Muffins with Moms day at the boys preschool. Rather than head straight to work, we all skipped breakfast this morning and I headed to school with the boys and even made it on time, 15 minutes before the start of their regular day. The boys were so glad I could be there and I really was too. Since it was "Muffin Day" for both boys classes, I planned to split these special 30 minutes between the two classes.

During the first 15 minutes I enjoyed a few bites of Isaac's muffin, then wrote our names and doodled a doggy picture on the paper table cloth his teachers had provided for us to draw on. We both could have easily eaten one muffin each but I chose to follow along with the obvious unwritten rule about moms not partaking of whole muffins in front of other moms. Seriously, I didn't see a single mom in either class take more than a pinch or two of their child's muffin. No mom, including myself (for some odd reason) took a muffin for ourselves even though it was obvious by the quantity available that it was intended for everyone to have muffins. It was kind of funny, I find myself very self conscious going into this type of parents event knowing that I am fairly likely to be the only single mom there and definitely likely to be the only widow but apparently the other moms are self conscious too. Apparently so much so that we don't eat muffins!

Anyway, about Bob...

When I got to Grant's class, each child had made a very special gift for their mom. They were really so cute. Somewhere the teacher had found mouse pads with a 2010 calendar as a frame around the edge and a place to insert a picture. The children were given a paper with the Bible verse "Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6 and told to draw a picture of their mom to put in the frame. The assistant teacher in Grant's class shared the conversation with me that she had with Grant as he created his work of art.

Their conversation went something like this:

"Grant, I see that you drew your Mommy, but what is this?"

"It's the ladder for my bunk bed."

"Oh, I see. Are you finished now since you have already drawn your Mommy?"

"No, I've got to draw Bob."

"You've got to draw Bob? Grant, this picture is for your Mommy, you just need to draw her."

"No, Bob's at our house and my mommy likes him. I like Bob too. I need to draw Bob."

Then Grant pulled out a blue crayon and proceeded to draw Bob.

Thankfully, his teacher recognized him as the jello-like character from the movie "Monsters vs. Aliens"!

Sometime I'll have to take a picture of my mousepad and load it here, it really is something else and a very special treasure. It also means a lot to me to know that Grant likes the movie he got for his birthday and treasures the time we spend together snuggled up and watching it. I guess for that reason, we both like "Bob"!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Baby!

Well, I didn't get the second "Possibly Annual BBQ" together for this weekend like I had with the first one that occurred last year. Maybe it just wasn't the right time this time. Maybe we can still throw one together later this summer, just because.

We spent this weekend with family, in from out of town, and it was really nice. Other people spent time this weekend celebrating BIG wedding anniversaries and expected births. I know - I made their cakes! Our company left before church and this afternoon, especially in the quiet of this evening, I've spent lots of time deep in thought.

Today was Brian's birthday. He would have been 49 but he's missed the last two.

I keep thinking we'll do something special to commemorate the day, but today I chickened out. We talk about him here daily and I had neatly marked the day on Grant's calendar but I didn't point it out or even mention it to the boys.

Most of today's events weren't much different than any other given Sunday. But today, even more than most days, I've thought of Brian. In my heart, I miss him. In my mind, I celebrate his life and the time we had together. Sometimes I can still hear his laughter, knowing how my "occasional" backward approach of things would leave him smiling and shaking his head. And every day I see him in our two beautiful boys.

I take comfort knowing that today was a great day for Brian. I believe the last two birthdays have been the best he's ever had! It's hard for me to comprehend that he's no longer tracking the calendar but I know today, like every day, he is celebrating eternal life in the glory of God's presence!

Happy Birthday Baby!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What do you remember?

Brian died 1 year ago tomorrow. Today it seems like this year has absolutely flown by!

Somewhere in this disorganized house is a notebook. It contains a list of the events of March 25, 2008 and the people that shared them with us in one way or another. I knew the emotions were so intense that my memory would most likely be cloudy. Someday I'll pull it out and review it myself, and maybe I'll even share it eventually. I do know I regret that I didn't keep up with it at least a little bit longer. There were lots of cloudy details, especially early on.

There are things I've accomplished and decisions I've made this year that I never knew I would need to think about and things I've let slide that I used to think were more important. The boys are growing and changing every day and I'm about a million posts behind on how interesting and sometimes crazy any given day turns out. God is good and we still see His hand in our lives continuously no matter how the circumstances vary. I think I learn something new almost daily - whether I want to or not!

Anyway, I know somewhere I have some memories captured in a notebook. I've heard from some what that day was to them and how they remember Brian. So where were you that day? How did you find out? What was your reaction? How did you feel? Who did you tell? Who is Brian to you and what do you miss the most? Do you have a favorite memory? What would you like his boys to know about him?

Whether or not you generally comment on blogs please think about these questions and take the time today. Leave a comment or if you don't want to share with the world, send me an email. I want to make sure these boys remember their Daddy always and would love them to see him through eyes other than my own.

Thanks so much!
God Bless,
Amber :)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Ornery Up to His Ears - Literally!

Yep, it's been forever since I've posted. Though I've been a bit short on time and energy through the holidays, the boys haven't left me a bit short of material to write about! I finally decided I'm just going to have to start now and go forward from here. Maybe we'll have a slow day somewhere along the way and I can fill in with some of what's been going on in the mean time.

If you know my boys at all, you can guess by the title who the main character in this story will be!

This Saturday started out pretty relaxed. A friend came over in the afternoon and hung out with the boys while I did some work around the house and ran an errand. Later in the afternoon I started making homemade soft pretzels with the boys. They love to help me in the kitchen and are pretty good at it too! Once we got the dough mixed up it needed to rise a bit before we portioned it out to shape our pretzels. I left the room for a bit to work on something or another.

After just a few minutes, I came back to the kitchen and began to set things up for the boys to roll out the pretzels and shape them. Things were going great and they were fairly patient and very cooperative. Once the dough was ready and I had everything set up, they sat down to their table and got to work. We made 20 pretzels in assorted letter, snake, squiggle and smooshy shapes. I painted on the egg wash and the boys began to sprinkle some with cinnamon and sugar and some with coarse salt. Then I noticed it.

Isaac had a touch of dark red, just inside his ear and on his face just in front of his ear. My heart sunk. Since September the boys have been on at least 3 rounds of antibiotics each for ear infections. Some have been bad enough the pediatrician has warned the eardrum may rupture. So far we had avoided it, but here it was late Saturday afternoon and things weren't looking so good. I started praying and decided that for the moment, he seemed content and they were both working together so nicely that I couldn't stand to interrupt. I would put my panic on hold and review the situation a few minutes later when the pretzels were made out. As they finished, I also noticed some red on Isaac's finger and was sure it was from touching his ear since it must have been terribly uncomfortable. We wrapped things up and with utmost concern, I asked Isaac "What happened to your ear?" Without a moments hesitation Grant pipes up on his brother's behalf, "It's some of your paint Mommy, off your computer. Isaac was pretending it was his ear medicine!!!"

Silly me! Why didn't I think of that? Because the fabric paint in my computer cabinet was behind closed doors. And you know I always let him give himself medicine! So of course he would think it was a great idea to open the cabinet, pull out the red paint, put the dropper tip in his ear and try to apply like ear drops!!! Yikes! Where does he get these ideas? If I had been sitting on the other side of him I could have avoided all of the panic. His left ear was painted from top to bottom as well as some of his hair. It was pretty obvious from that side that he wasn't suffering from anything but an acute case of orneriness!

Did you know it takes fingernail polish remover to get that stuff off when it dries on the skin and in hair? I'm only mentioning this to save you some time and trouble if you have a little one anything like my Isaac!

You all take care!

Friday, November 21, 2008

This has been Isaac's favorite funny face to make every since his friend Kate (pictured) taught him how to make it here at Grant & Isaac's birthday party! He's actually much more proficient at it now! :)