Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Loving Reminder keep praying for us. Not that I think y'all have stopped but I just thought it was worth repeating. We are down to two months until Rob's return home. I'm starting to feel butterflies every time I think about it, we are ALL so excited. That said, Rob got really, really sick recently and had to spend a few days in bed and receive fluids via IV. Apparently a possible stomach bug or food related illness is to blame as he is not the only one to have fallen ill. This happened at a time when I was just starting to breath a sigh of relief that possibly we here might actually be healthy for more than two days straight. Poor guy. I feel OK sharing this with you since I heard from him this morning and he is back on his feet and feeling better.

A few nights ago here it is very likely that we had an unwanted middle of the night visitor of the sort who is looking for things to carry off. After hearing noises and seeing that our back shed was open I called the local Sheriff's office which is only minutes from our house and three wonderful officer's searched our yard and found no one. Whew! I guess I should be glad that I don't have that shed organized enough to actually store anything in it. Ha ha on them.

And if you've been reading my blog for very long you've seen that our family is going through it this year and that's not even counting this surprise deployment.

So if I could ask that you could continue to pray for all of us, our health, safety, that we would thrive and not just survive during this time of separation and whatever else God puts on your heart.

Prayer works and if you have any doubt I'd like to remind you about my friend Lawanna. A little over a year ago I blogged that she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She and her family opted not to treat other than with prayer, at that time the doctors gave her about 6 weeks to live. A few weeks ago Lawanna stood up in front of our church to declare that her tumor had shrunk from the size of a golf ball to the size of a pea. How awesome is that?! Yeah, pretty awesome! God is good!

A New Little One For Us

I get hankerings for all things small and fuzzy and some things big and fuzzy the way some women get baby cravings (though I get those too sometimes). I have wanted to add another critter to our family for a while now I just hadn't decided exactly what kind. Well, my family had rabbits growing up of both the indoor and outdoor variety and bunnies kept leaping, no - hopping to mind. About a month ago I was at a baby shower and got to chatting with one of the other guests and she mentioned that she has rabbits. I told her that I'd been wanting to get my kids - OK, me, one for a while and she told me that she would give me one of her bunny's litter. Last weekend we went to her little farm and picked out a bunny. Thankfully we were all in agreement that the spotted one was the one we wanted. Turns out we picked a little girl who Gabe quickly named Allie.

Isn't she cute?!

Aren't THEY cute?! Zion and the bunny took to each other right off. Allie doesn't seem to mind Zion's exuberant nature one bit and Zion can't get enough of that bunny. I set up the Play Yard in the living room so that Zion can hang out with the bunny and I don't have to be right there. Allie loves to run around Zion while she sits there and jump and kick which makes Zion laugh hysterically. I bought a nice cage for the bunny before we brought her home but darn it all if the company didn't forget the screws! So once I get those and assemble the cage it will be in her room. The bunny will also get to be loose in there sometimes so she can really run around and play someplace safe. I'm sure the two of them will be in many pictures to come!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Home Yard Improvements

Oh the things I will do to get my brother Jordan to stop by when he's in town. The promise of a paying job is sufficient and it gets me something I've been wanting for a while too, a planter around my poor little tree. The rain kept eroding the soil away at the bottom assisted by the critters who would scratch it up a bit to make a cool spot to lay.Start by estimating the circle that you want to make.

Then dig down to level the ground and start putting in the stones.

Be sure to take a break once in a while. All work and no play ya know?

Once all the stones are in place fill with good soil.

Then add the plants of your - or my, choice.

I opted for hot pink Petunias for the center and white Alyssum on the outside. I placed the stepping stone we made from shells from the beach where we spread my Grandmother's ashes on one side and put in Pansy seeds on either side. The Pansy seeds were from my Mom's memorial, they were her favorite flower. Now if I can keep the dog from stepping on what he thinks is a bare spot they might actually come up.
I'm so excited for the flowers to fill in the space. Alyssum is one of the best smelling flowers in my opinion. We had some in our window boxes on our house in Rhode Island and they literally made our summer evenings so sweet.
I placed a suet holder and a bird house in the tree and have a seed feeder that I need to find a spot for. A little bird haven. A few weeks ago I got scolded by a little bird that may have been a finch. I was standing about where the stepping stone is, this was before we made the planter, and this bird lit on a branch in the tree and twittered away at me over and over until I stepped away. Then it took my spot which was where the suet holder was and preceded to enjoy its dinner. How cute is that?! Almost like I was Snow White or something. Little birdies coming down and having a little conversation with me. Sweet!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Gabe's Turn

My oldest is so creative and it warms my heart to see him showing that in ways that don't include batteries. Do you remember Pattern Blocks? I remember them vividly from Kindergarten. One of the few strong memories I have of that time in fact was me playing with them in my classroom. I picked up a set for our very own. Today Gabe made a rocket ship.

I was quite impressed with the ship itself.

Then he added a man in the ship. I love his imagination and his heart. Today while I was in a rush to get us out of the house (I actually fell asleep when the kids napped and when I woke up forgot I had dinner plans with friends, can you believe it?!) I overheard him telling Zion very matter of factly "Now Zion, I'm going to help you get your shoes on and you need to not have a fit." Awww, how sweet is that?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Keeping Us Guessing

Well, who is that big boy?! Yessiree Bob, that's my boy all sorts of crawling and pulling up and getting ready to walk. He has been feeling so good, the difference between him now and him two months ago before he was hospitalized (and was sick and we didn't know it yet) is amazing. He is a bundle of busy, busy, joy, joy. His grin melts your heart. He has me wrapped around his little finger. I sense that I will have a difficult time keeping up my discipline standards with this one. Uh oh! The first step is admitting I have a problem right?

He is going to keep us guessing though. He had absolutely NO vomiting episodes for an entire month after coming home from the hospital, longer actually, and has been gaining weight like gangbusters as well as checking off those milestones that he missed while he wasn't feeling well. Then he had two vomiting episodes one week apart. These happened like most of the others as he was finishing a meal (and then continuing in small amounts for about an hour) but there was very little in common between the two meals. His pediatrician has recommended we take him off of wheat for a few weeks then introduce it slowly. It could be he has a wheat sensitivity.

So the list of things that he can't eat is growing: dairy, soy (did I mention that after replacing his dairy with soy he developed severe eczema and diarrhea?), peanuts, and now wheat. I am lucky to be "near" (45 minutes away) a very good health food store that carries a reasonable variety of foods that are dairy-, soy-, nut-, wheat-free. I found dry cereal, cookies, animal crackers, pasta, baking mix, cookie mix, among other things which include this fantastic Cherry Amaretto Coconut Milk ice cream - yum! The problem being that the prepared food is so expensive. So I'm hunting around and picking people's brains who have been at this for a while as far as ways to cut cost and ideas for a wider variety of things that I can feed.

My hope is that after this hiatus from wheat that we will be able to reintroduce wheat to a certain level. It is hard to know exactly how much he can have of all these things that are making him sick because he doesn't really show that he isn't feeling well until he starts to vomit. Poor guy. This will be easier once he can speak and tell us (and a LOT easier if he just grows out of it).

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Always Be Prepared

Favorite blanky made by Grandma Judie - check!

Lovie - check!

Paci - check!

Silk jammies - check!

Black shiny shoes in case Prince Charming shows up about 16 years early - check!

And don't forget your beauty sleep.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Miss Me, But Let Me Go

Judith Eileen B*
December 14, 1949 - May 4, 2009

Miss Me, But Let Me Go
When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me,
I want no rites in a gloom filled room
Why cry for a soul set free!
Miss me a little, but not for long,
And not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love we once shared,
Miss me, but let me go!
For this a journey we all must take,
And each must go alone;
It's all a part of the master's plan
A step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick of heart
Go to the friends we know,
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds,
Miss me, but let me go.
by Robyn Rancman
I've been spending the last few days with Jamie preparing things for my Mom's memorial. It will be a simple potluck with friends and family. Jamie and I have been going through photos and I found this poem that seems to fit perfectly. The photo is my Dad's favorite of Mom.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

One Day At A Time

Thank God we only have to get through one day at a time.

This morning I went to the walk-in clinic while a friend watched the kids. The doctor thinks I do have some sort of infection not just bronchitis and a lot of inflammation. So I've got two inhalers and some antibiotics to help get rid of this cough and wheeze and maybe my voice will even come back. Wouldn't that be nice? (Don't answer that unless you are agreeing!)

I came home to get the kids lunch before taking Gideon to his one-year check and follow-up visit. Wowza! My baby boy gained a little more than a pound since his last visit and tipped the scales at 19lb 6oz. Yippee! So he is doing great off of dairy. Except he started having eczema and diarrhea which is kind of ironic considering that at the hospital the doctors were reluctant to test him for dairy allergies because he did NOT have these symptoms. Now he's off dairy and he GOT these symptoms. Now his regular pediatrician thinks that it's the soy. So now he's off soy AND dairy and I have to go find some rice, almond or goat milk all while keeping my fingers crossed that he doesn't develop issues with these things too.

Fast forward to after nap and after fixing my gas fireplace thanks to a friend who walks me through the steps over the phone and after forgetting to put the fireplace screen back and after putting Gideon on the floor to play and after me sitting down with Zion and then just to the point where I hear Gideon squeal in pain. Yeah, go to that point in time. That split second where I know exactly how I failed to keep my baby safe and a few minutes before I pile us all in the car to go to urgent care bawling almost the entire way there. Not just because Gideon won't stop crying or because I'm sick or tired or frustrated or mourning or because I feel incapable of taking care of my home and children or even that prayer maybe, just maybe, doesn't work after all because all I pray for anymore is our health and safety and yet we spend almost all of our time sick or injured but I guess because of all of those things at once.

Or maybe it's just because Gideon's doctor told me that I should cut out dairy too and I really love milk and since I don't have any cookie dough in the house I was really craving some ice cream with peanut butter and chocolate syrup. Yep. It's probably that. See - my sense of humor is returning all ready. Now off for one last - hurrah. I can drop ice cream starting tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Laughter Is The Best Medicine

Children are great to have around when things are "supposed" to be sad. Completely oblivious to the emotional state of things Gideon has started crawling all over the place encouraged by an evasive Tantie that he wants to be with ALL the time. Yeah. I pretty much don't exist once we walk in the front door of Jamie's house. That's fine with me. I need a break right. And Zion is her typical self causing us to crack up all the time. Gabe has his nose shoved in his Nintendo DS. That's OK, he can have some extra play time right now.

And while I could entirely blame the laughter going on right now on the children it wouldn't be true. If my sister and I inherited one thing from my mother it would be that we should always be ready with a joke. Laughter is the best medicine. Even in the time of mourning. Especially in the time of mourning. We met with the funeral home yesterday. We may have seemed a titch insensitive. Oh well. I wish everyone could discuss the care of their loved one's remains with a smile on their face. Yeah, we're sad. We just don't wallow in it. What would be the point of that?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

No Title

I couldn't figure out how to title this post. It's hard enough to write. In the wee hours of the morning yesterday my mom passed away. She had, if you know me or have been following my blog for a while, been sick off and on and had come close to passing away many times. In the last couple of weeks she had been doing really well, we had some great conversations and my sister who popped in on her recently said she was looking really good, that she was up and around and doing well. So, even though she had a long history of illness we are still surprised that she is not with us now.

This week my dad, my sister and I are making arrangements for her service or memorial or party or whatever we end up having which may or may not include skydiving with her ashes (going skydiving had been a lifelong dream of hers) and everyone being required to wear pink, her signature color.

So now I'm off to try to write her obituary. Trying to define her "dash" in what, 200 words or less? My mother, born Judith Eileen B*, born December 14, 1949 - (there's that darn dash) May 4, 2009 ...

Monday, May 4, 2009


Finally finished and given so now I can post pictures. It actually didn't take that long to knit but since I was so excited to give it to my friend Alta that time seemed to drag (not, I'm sure, as much as it seems to be dragging for her in her last few weeks of pregnancy). The other day was sunny so I got to take a picture in natural light. Maybe a little too sunny though as the colors seem a little washed out but anyway, I digress (it's my superpower).

Little baby kimono, shoes and pacifier holder. I wish I could think of some cute little name for the paci thing but I guess that's not where my creativity lies. Wasn't (mostly) designing the thing enough?

A better look at the paci keeper. I found a paci that has little eyes and nose like a frog and a frog button.
And tiny little shoes! I'm fairly amazed that these turned out even close to the same size. I've never knit anything in a pair before so I was half expecting one to be much larger than the other or something like that it being my first time and all. They are shaped slightly different since I'm not the greatest at seaming yet but still. All in all, they actually look like a pair of shoes.

And finally the little kimono shirt. I knit one of these before if you recall but this time I thought I'd try it in stockinette with a seed stitch edge instead of garter. I like it!

And I even managed to box it up all pretty. I am not a good gift wrapper. Ask my sis. She will get a great deal of joy in telling how I am not a good gift wrapper. For this I took time to lay everything out and fold tissue over it all nice and pretty in a simple white box that I tied up with grosgrain ribbon that matched the color of the yarn. Not too bad if I do say so myself.
Now I'm working on a waterfall scarf knit with ribbon yarn. This will be a fun experiment since the pattern does not call for ribbon yarn and you knit the whole thing up only to drop every fourth stitch and let it run the entire length of the scarf. I've not worked with drop stitches before so I can't wait to finish and experience the thrill of dropping stitches totally on purpose (usually that's a bad, bad thing). This appeals to my naughty side which is usually told to be quiet. And most of that probably doesn't make sense to most of you so just keep checking back for a picture.
*In case you are wondering, I had written this post a few days ago and scheduled it to post on Monday. I had totally forgotten that I did this until after it posted. So no, I was not joyfully writing about my knitting on the day my mother passed away.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

How To Create A Happy Gabe

1) Order Super Mario Bros. wall clings with his birthday party supplies - but hide them and wait.

2) Secretly sneak upstairs a couple of months later when absolutely no surprise is expected to apply said wall clings while the babysitter is at the house and keeping the kids downstairs.

3) Call Gabe up saying "Gabe, something happened to your room!"

Be sure to wait with camera posed so you can catch this expression:

And this one:

When he discovers Mario on his bed and the walls a plethora of Mario's friends and enemies and other assortment of items from the Mario games.

And finally if all steps are done properly, a happy Gabe: