About Me
Dana Glover
North Carolina

A 30-something married full-time mother of 2, part-time stepmom of 3; trying to find treasures I've lost along the way.

My complete profile

a girl and a boy
Confessions of a City Gal
Debaucherous and Dishevelled
all & sundry
Not So Simple
Private Thoughts of Boogie's Mom
Broken Biscuits
Notes from the Trenches
Motherhood is Not for Wimps
being emily
Princesses, Dogs, and Chaos
The Food Whore

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Previous Posts
My Lifesavers
New Year, New Us
Hurricane Season
June -- Who needs it?
June Clouds
Sweet Slumber
Loving and Living
Sugar and Spice??
The Silence is Broken
Real World

January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
January 2008

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Friday, March 31, 2006
A Hair to Pick

Oh no, that can't be MY head!!!
Yes, folks. This is the hair nightmare I deal with every morning. It takes a lot of detangler and mousse to make this head manageable. Of course, my solution would be to cut the curls, but alas, I'm in the minority around here. For some reason, my husband and parents believe Hunterman's innocence will be lost forever when we shed his curls. They just don't understand!!!
I attempted to take a picture of CJ's new haircut to give you a before and after on that hellish head, but every shot I took of CJ, he posed like a supermodel on drugs. Until I can sneak a candid shot, you will just have to take my word that Momma is LOVIN' his hair these days! It actually allows me more time to work on Hunterman's head now before we scurry out of the house each day.
By the way, if my post sounds wickedly insane today, please forgive me. I'm on a new medication and for some reason the boys conspired to make sure I didn't sleep much last night. CJ had one of his now rare nightmares and although it only took five minutes to calm him (at 3 am), I was unable to get back to sleep for quite some time. It seems my Mommy radar went on high alert after the 3 am disturbance. Then at 6 am, a little, tiny ray of light made it's way into Hunterman's "Dark Room" and it shook him from his sleep and put his lungs in high gear. (Thank God it is daylight savings time this weekend!! I may lose an hour of sleep initially but I will earn it back by Hunterman sleeping later!) Unfortunately, I cannot make good use of the early start because Hunterman insists on a nap 3 hours after waking -- so I have 20 minutes to wrap up the post!
Last night/predawn morning, as I comforted CJ and held him in my arms, I had a flashback of the 3 darkest minutes of my entire life. Two highway patrolmen arrived at my office one morning 3 years ago to deliver the news of my first husband's fatal car crash. When they stated that the time of death was 7:20 am, my heart shattered. That was the time CJ's Dad would have been taking him to day care. I immediately asked the officer's "What about my Baby?" "Where is my Baby?" The officers looked at each other and one of them responded, "Ma'am, we cannot confirm nor deny that your child was in the automobile at this time. We are still waiting for that information." I remember screaming and being overcome with sobs. I remember the officers insisted I sit down to catch my breath. And as insensitive as this may sound in regards to CJ's Dad's death, I remember the complete relief that washed over me when my boss came in the room and told me that CJ was safely at day care at the time of the accident. Of course after that news soaked in, I began to grieve for CJ's Dad. Holding and rocking CJ gently, I couldn't help but thank God for sparing him that tragic morning.
I know, that's a bit depressing. But it shouldn't be. It should be a reason to celebrate and frolic on this beautiful spring day. When the little ones get a bit difficult to deal with today, instead of pulling your hair out and counting, just give them a hug. And I will try to shake the cobwebs from my brain and do the same. Happy Weekend, everyone!

posted at 7:54 AM

Tuesday, March 28, 2006
This 'n' That

Well, my first day of part-time employment has come and gone. And I loved it. I had a great afternoon with the boys and even managed to get CJ to a haircut appointment. I will definitely have to post a picture of him with his new cut -- he looks like a different kid, but still absolutely adorable. I would love to cut Hunterman's curls but Ed is set against that. He's not the one that has to use a detangler and mousse on Hunterman's head before we can leave the house!!

I was able to work during the quiet times (Hunterman's nap) during the day and of course I got a lot accomplished after the boys went down for the night (8:30 pm). Since Ed and I work for the same company, he didn't mind sharing the couch with me, my report binder and a couple of highlighters! We actually had an adult conversation that did not involve the boys activities or antics!

In other news, we had a short outing with another Mom and her two sons last week. We went to a huge soccer field and let the boys fly a kite. CJ and her oldest one were more interested in playing hide and seek and tag, but the younger boys really enjoyed it. She's the first Mom that has actually followed thru on a planned playdate and we both enjoyed ourselves. It would be nice to have someone to hang out with time to time.

We have begun preparations for CJ's fifth birthday party. We are approx. 2 weeks away from the big day. Of course an hour doesn't go by that he doesn't remind me of this fact. I have made and decorated every birthday cake CJ (and Hunterman) has ever had, but I'm considering going to a professional bakery for this one. I'm not sure I can do his request justice (or win his approval). He wants a "Knight" themed birthday with a big, red, fierce dragon on the center of his cake. I think I can manage a big, red, silly dragon ... fierce, not likely. His wish list has remained fairly consistent for the past 3 months, therefore presents should be the easiest aspect of the whole event!

Also, my parents will be celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary next week. They had no idea they had reached a milestone. I considered doing a big shin-dig to mark the occasion but my parents really want it low-key. It looks like I'll be making reservations at a very nice restaurant and sending money along with my Dad to pay for it. They get a little intimidated when they go somewhere they've never been before -- but hopefully they can manage a small dinner by themselves!! (Again, these are relatively young people we are talking about here -- 50 and 56. Sometimes I wonder where my sense of adventure came from!!)

Okay, enough rambling for now. There is housework to be done, playtime to be enjoyed, grocery shopping to be dreaded, and work to be done somewhere in between!

posted at 7:54 AM

Thursday, March 23, 2006
Jinxed No More

What a difference a few hours can make!! Blogger likes me now, as you can see and my blood is not even close to simmering! But I'll still rant for the fun of it.
I did a post on Tuesday singing the praises of my parents and rightly so. However, I had a conversation with them last night regarding my plans for CJ's venture into kindergarten and we didn't exactly see eye-to-eye. CJ will be attending a dual language Montessori school. Ed and I went to an informational Q&A session at the school last night so we could decide whether we want CJ in the "Enrichment" program or the "Immersion" program. The Enrichment program would be a typical Montessori kindergarten program with 45 minutes of Spanish instruction per day. The Immersion program would mean that the children receive their core instruction in Spanish anywhere from 50-70% of the day with the remaining instruction being done in English. I explained to my parents that we intend to enroll CJ in the Immersion program. Of course, the immersion program would be much more challenging for the kindergarten year but that challenge would decrease the following years as his brain would "rework" itself to learn the dual languages. Also, with the immersion program, the children will be functionally bilingual by the time they are in 5th grade. I was attempting to explain this to my parents when it became obvious that they thought this was quite "off the wall". My Dad even commented that this might as well be the "United States of Mexico". With my Dad it became very much a political issue. With my Mom, she expressed concern that CJ would not be allowed to "express himself" in a way that he is comfortable and that she didn't want him to feel "different" from other children. It didn't seem to matter to them that he would be in a classroom with 20 other children, 18 of whom only speak English (like CJ) and only 2 that speak Spanish. CJ would be in the majority AND he can speak to his teacher and classmates in English (how else would he be able to communicate????). I also stressed how I took four years of Spanish in high school (even belonged in the National Spanish Honor Society, yippee!!) and 3 semesters in college and to this day, I cannot speak Spanish or comprehend it in conversation. With CJ learning it at such an early age, he will be much more fluent than I ever was and it will only open the door to other languages if he were ever interested. Needless to say, I was hurt because my parents were questioning my judgment on a matter that means a lot to me. They made me question my own instincts and goals for my children.
My Mom called earlier today to apologize for their response to my decision last night. She thought about what I had told them and she agreed it would be a good thing to try. She stated that her protests were coming from her own insecurities (which began in her childhood) and not from any doubts she has regarding my parenting skills. She realizes that I know CJ better than any one else and if I think this will work for him then I have her complete support. She also stated that I should ignore Dad's comments because they are politically based and not grounded in any type of parental or academic reasoning. I told my Mom that parenting is hard enough without feeling like my family doubts my abilities or decision-making skills. And with the insecurities that I have as a Mom it would be extremely important to have her and Dad support me, Ed and CJ in this endeavor. She agreed. Enough about that!!
I met with my potential employers yesterday. I explained my marketing vision for their company and was very upfront about the fact that I would be working from home until CJ enters kindergarten in the fall. I also stated my salary requirement was non-negotiable. I want to work by the hour from home for the next 3 months and we could revisit the arrangements at that time. They will be getting back to me by early next week. We'll see what happens!
I found out last night that Ed can't read my blog. He states that every time he tries he ends up "teary-eyed" and that makes him uncomfortable. He really can't tell me what on this blog makes him so tender-hearted except that in some of my posts he thinks I flatter him too much. I promised I would bitch about him as soon as he gave me a good reason. He stated he definitely wouldn't be reading it then!!

posted at 2:55 PM

Time Out
Oh, I have so much to say today. However, I have no time this morning to get it all out. Blogger just ate up about 15 minutes of my time by NOT uploading any of my photos and I am rebelling by not doing a proper post until I can upload a photo. Anyway, I will attempt again this afternoon which may be a good thing. Maybe my blood won't be boiling by then.

posted at 10:10 AM

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

When Ed and I offered a few acres of land to my parents so they could build a house and live next door, we considered all the downfalls of this particular situation. We prepared ourselves for a complete lack of privacy; constant, unannounced visits; requests for favors or help; the encroachment of their opinions into our personal matters, etc. To this day, we have not dealt with any of that. As a matter of fact, having my parents as neighbors has made our lives a lot easier and better in many ways. My Mom and I are constantly exchanging leftovers, entire entrees, desserts, bottles of liquor (for an occasional Cosmo), magazines, books, rented movies and clothes. Whenever my parents are headed to town, they call and ask if there is anything they can get for us while they are out (that's a big deal when town is 30 minutes away!). If we are going to be out of town for a couple of days, my Dad insists on taking care of our dog(s, now) and checks to make sure our house is locked up tight.
However, all of this pales in comparison to what they do for our boys. As you know, CJ is almost 5 years old ... what you don't know is that he has NEVER stayed with a babysitter. Yes, he did go to daycare when I worked, but I have never hired a babysitter to watch him while Ed and I go out for a night on the town. Which means Hunterman also has never had a babysitter. Unless you call Neicy and Repa (what the boys call my Mom and Dad) babysitters. My Mom calls me almost every other day to ask if the boys want to come down and play for a while. Every Friday, she calls and asks if she can keep one or both of the boys for the night (or sometimes, for the entire weekend). Obviously, I don't take her up on all the offers; I would never see my boys past 5 p.m. if I did. But it is nice to have a few minutes of quiet to fold clothes, watch a little news or read a few blogs. The boys are the ones that are really reaping the benefits, though. At Neicy and Repa's house they are constantly doing arts and crafts projects, going on magical adventures, playing ball, taking hikes, "helping" Repa build a piece of furniture or make a minor house repair, playing dress-up (yes, boys enjoy it, too -- esp. if they are "Superheroes"), cooking, playing with musical instruments (guitars, banjos, and fiddles -- real ones ... expensive ones), weaving on a real loom, picking flowers, making flower arrangements (shaking my head on that one, too), reading stories, searching for bugs and frogs, dancing ......... the list could go on and on.
Finally at 18 months, Hunterman is just as excited as CJ to go visit Neicy and Repa. He will go to our front door and point and call for Neicy when he's ready to escape from me. He excitedly follows Big Brother down the hill for a well-deserved visit and a much anticipated adventure. I sometimes worry that the boys are too much for my parents to handle, especially since they both work full-time jobs and deserve a life even more than I do. My Mom gets pissed at me when I bring this up and assures me that the boys always makes them feel younger and more vibrant. I kinda laugh 'cause they make me feel old and worn out!! I know the day is coming when I will need to find a "hired" babysitter, but who can ever live up to the expectations my little ones now have??

**The picture above is the entrance to the "Creek Path" in my parents' backyard. They have built a small bridge across the tiny creek that goes along their property line so that CJ and Hunterman can explore and watch all the "creatures" (sharks, lions, penguins) in the woods there.

posted at 8:15 AM

Saturday, March 18, 2006
Too Funny

I walked in on CJ and Hunterman playing "House and
School" yesterday. I found CJ with his Batman pajama bottoms on his head. When I asked why he had pajamas on his head, he replied, "This is my night cap Mommy!"

Silly me. Anyone up for a nightcap??

posted at 3:04 PM

Friday, March 17, 2006
Finally, Dawson's Creek Spin-off: Part II, Conclusion

One Sunday afternoon, I was giving Box's mom a needed break and keeping Box company. He was still in a coma but no longer in CCICU. Box was able to flail his arms about in agitation (or what we assumed was agitation) and he would occasionally blink. The neurosurgeon was doing rounds and stopped in to check on Box. He asked me how I was related to him and I stated that Box's mom always introduced me to folks as Box's best friend/soul mate/sister/girlfriend/second mother. The Dr. found this a reasonable enough answer and told me that Box had not only sustained the initial brain injury from the accident but had also suffered several strokes because of the injury. He informed me that even if Box did come out of his coma, it was apparent that there would be a significant amount of brain damage and that unfortunately, Box "will never be the same 'Box'" again. I asked him if he had shared this information with Box's mother. He told me that he and several colleagues had told her this and that she always responded that "God would provide them with a miracle". I asked the Dr. if Box could hear me when I spoke to him, to which he responded "Only God and Box know the answer to that." I returned to Box's side, put my head on his sunken chest and said my good-bye. I told him that he had meant the world to me and that I would never let a day go by that I didn't think of him and the joy he had brought me. I apologized for not being strong enough to continue visiting him and supporting him. I then played his favorite song for him one last time, Eric Clapton's Tears in Heaven and when his mother returned a few minutes later, I left quietly. Last I heard, Box did come out of the coma. He spent at least a year in a rehab facility and then returned to his home where his Mom takes care of him. Yesterday, the girl in the park assured me that Box had suffered quite a bit of brain damage and that he was not at all the person I once loved. Somehow I expected this information to be a relief for me as I've wondered over the years if I gave up on Box too soon. But it wasn't a relief ... it saddened me even more. As I watched CJ run and jump around the playground I mourned for not only the death of his Daddy in Heaven but also the life of his "Uncle Box", the one that wanted to take him fishing but can't. I grieved for Hunterman, knowing that he would be such a joy to "Uncle Box" with all of his energy and his love for the outdoors. And yes, I selfishly grieved for the loss of my soul mate/best friend. I was also overcome again with waves of guilt. Guilt for abandoning him; guilt for not staying in touch with his family; guilt for having an amazing family of my own now; guilt for not living up to my designation as soul mate for Box.

posted at 11:49 AM

Sadly, Dawson's Creek Spin-Off: Part I
Warning: This is a long post filled with early adulthood angst and suppressed emotions. Do not read if you are allergic to boredom or "Dawson Creek".

I ran into a girl from high school yesterday at the park. She is two years younger than I am but her brother and I graduated together. Her brother was one of my many "boyfriends" during elementary school. She and I caught up a bit on each other's life. I was introducing the boys to her and I made the comment that CJ was actually named after one of her brother's best friends. She seemed a bit surprised but I explained that "Box" and I were very close friends until his car accident. She asked me if I had seen him since the accident (Sept. 1993). This conversation brought up a lot of painful memories and very raw emotions of guilt. You see, Box and I were soul mates. I'm not saying that we were meant to be together romantically, because we weren't. However, we had a supernatural bond that allowed us to feel what the other felt and to know what the other was thinking, without words and even being 60 miles apart while I was in college. It was almost as if he and I had been twins and separated at birth. We always "got" each other. And yes, we did try the romantic/intimate thing -- for two weeks. I think we needed each other but without all the insecurities that come with that type of relationship. We knew we needed to live a little and there were still many folks out there that we were interested in. So, soul mates we remained. To be honest, Box was a gorgeous guy. He was tall (at least 6'2"), lean with a six-pack for abs, tan, dark hair and beautiful brown eyes that could seduce a woman like a big bowl of chocolate ice cream. When he wasn't smiling, he had a smirk on his face like he knew your deepest, darkest secrets -- and in my case, he did. Even hanging out as soul mates/friends, we would just naturally hold hands or sit with my head on his chest with his arm casually slung across my shoulder. I'll never forget the day that Box's mom wanted us to try an "experiment". She wanted to see if we could feel each other's aura. Yeah, I rolled my eyes at her, too but agreed to give it a try. She had Box and I stand about six feet apart with our hands up, palms out toward each other. She then told us to slowly move toward each other until we felt a "wall" between us. Box and I were cracking up but we proceeded to do as we were told. All of a sudden we both jumped as if we had been shocked -- the smiles faded and we stared at each other. We had hit a very hot, invisible wall, approx. 3 or 4 feet from each other. Box's mom started talking about "auras", connections, spirits, etc. -- I really don't recall because I was focused on Box. He had continued to walk toward me until he could touch my hands and we stood there palms to palms, soaking each other in. I know, I know. I can only imagine the amount of eye-rolling and gagging occurring right now, but it was a powerful moment for the two of us. Anyway ... we went on with our lives -- he dated many girls, I dated CJ's Dad. We graduated high school. I went to college (with CJ's Dad) and Box lived at home and found a job. We would call each other whenever "The Force" told us to do so. We had brief visits when I came home for holidays. Freshman year came and went for me. Sophomore year held many promises -- I had my very own apartment (meaning CJ's Dad stayed any time we wanted); I was taking some great classes in my major; I was making fantastic grades; I was developing friendships that I thought would last a lifetime -- then CJ's Dad's Mom died. Our lives were turned upside down. CJ's Dad's Mom was the one that held that family together. And CJ's Dad was her "Golden Boy". CJ's Dad wanted to quit college, but I urged him on. I did everything I could to make life easier for CJ's Dad, even at the expense of my classes and grades. CJ's Dad became very withdrawn and depressed and worse, he refused to grieve. He was in denial -- he denied that he was becoming emotionally isolated, he denied that he couldn't grieve, he denied that he was hurt, afraid, lonely, etc. Where does Box fit into all this? Well, Box was my rock during this turmoil. He talked to me, he listened to me cry, he made me laugh hysterically. He was with me -- well, on the phone with me -- the first time I ever got tipsy. And, he was the one that urged me not to give up on CJ's Dad and would ask me simple questions like, "Can you really imagine your life without CJ's Dad??" He would tell me how he wanted to be "Uncle Box" to my children and be the one to teach them how to fish, drink Mountain Dew with peanuts, and appreciate the Dallas Cowboys. I saw Box once during the summer before my Junior year. I spent the afternoon at his house, talking, laughing, listening to music. That would be the last time I saw Box, conscious that is. Labor Day weekend 2003 I tried to call Box several times -- I had a sinking feeling in my gut that I couldn't explain and I needed to talk to him. Two days later I received a call from Box's Mom -- my heart broke into a million pieces when I heard her voice. Before she could get any words out, I told her, "Tell me he's not dead. He can't be dead." She started crying and said that Box was not dead, but he was hurt very, very badly. He was in a head-on collision with another pick-up truck. The driver of the other truck died instantly. Box was thrown from his truck (he wasn't fond of seat belts) and he was in a coma. I told her I needed to make some arrangements but that I would get to the hospital as soon as possible. When I arrived at the ICU waiting room, Box's big brother sat me down to explain to me in detail what I would see when I went in to see Box. He told me about the abrasions, the swelling of his face and chest, the discoloration of his skin and the tubes coming from his skull. He told me that they didn't know if Box could hear or comprehend anything around him but that Box would need me to be strong and cheerful. I was also told I only had 10 minutes an hour to visit since we were in the Critical Care ICU. Box's brother forfeited his visit the next time around so that I could go with Box's Mom to see him. Even the painful memories of my own devastating car accident in '85 did not prepare me for the way I would feel when I walked in and saw my best friend/soul mate lying there. I forced a smile and held back the tears as I took his hand in mine and my first thought was "He's no longer mine." I don't exactly remember what I said to him, but I talked non-stop (imagine that!) until our time was up. I walked back into the waiting room and broke down. I cried all the tears that I had held back from my own car accident, from CJ's Dad's Mom dying and from Box's condition. Box's brother held me until the last tear had dried. He whispered to me not to give up hope yet but that I also needed to begin to prepare for the possibility that Box might not come back to us. I spent the night there that night. And the next and the next. I would drive the hour back to college each day to mechanically attend my classes, only to return each evening in hopes that my presence would draw Box back to me. Life continued like this for two months.
I'll take a break here to regroup and see if Blogger is going to cancel my account because of the length of the post or the possibility that I have broken some unwritten blogging rules about "angst and drama".

posted at 8:04 AM

Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Maternal Pondering

For the first time in a long while, the boys (and Jax) were up before the sun this morning. Unfortunately, they haven't been very chipper either. I have stopped 4 almost-fights, sent CJ to his room twice, put Hunterman in time-out twice, rocked and sung to each of them twice, handed out all breakfast items left in the house and have put Hunterman down for his first nap. It is amazing how they can just throw routines/rituals/rules right out the window whenever they desire. So, it got me to thinking about other maternal brain teasers:

1. If M&M's don't melt in your hand, then how on Earth can they melt on a child's face??
2. How can children remember where they saw a piece of candy in the van 3 months ago but can't remember where they took their shoes off 10 minutes ago?
3. How can a toddler eat twice his weight in food everyday for a month and not gain an ounce, but if I eat more than 2 slices of bread and drink more than 1 glass of water in one day, then I gain 10 pounds that week?
4. Isn't it amazing how a child can be screaming and crying as if the world were ending one second and then break out into the most heartwearming smile that glistens with tears the next?
5. How can a 4 year old put together a 100-piece puzzle all by himself in a half-hour but cannot find his 3 foot Megazord toy lying two feet away from him without your help? (Nevermind, he's male. Silly question!)
6. Why is it that an 18-month old insists on a nap just 3 hours after waking up that morning, but refuses to nap during the next 9 hours before bedtime?
7. Why is it that my children will only eat cereal, salad, asparagus, sandwiches, pot roast, chicken and casseroles off my plate and not their own?
8. Do siblings have some unspoken contract that demands they "team up" against Mommy no matter how mad they are at each other?
9. Why is a toy from the Dollar Tree so much more "awesome" than an expensive one from Toys'r'Us? (Awesome from the child's point of view -- I know why it's awesome from Mommy's point of view!)
10. How do they know at such young ages that a big hug and sweet kiss before bedtime sets Mommy's world back right, no matter what happened that day?

If you know any of the answers, I'd be very grateful. I fear I'm at quite the disadvantage with these boys some days because 1) I'm female and 2) I am an only-child.

By the way -- I'm not the one that gave Hunterman a bag of M&M's to do with as he pleased (that would be Daddy) -- but I am the one that had to clean up Hunterman's (and Daddy's) mess.

posted at 8:53 AM

Monday, March 13, 2006
The Good Life

I came to a very startling realization yesterday as I cruised along on the back of Ed's Harley Davidson Sportster enjoying the fresh air rushing into my lungs and the sunshine warming me to the bone --- I have a good life. I almost put "we" have a good life, but I don't like to speak for Ed. And please don't think I'm bragging about my life or our motorcycle, 'cause I'm not. The motorcycle was a dream of Ed's that I was able to give to him before current domestic/financial demands were placed upon us (brought upon ourselves). And our life together has survived some turbulent, traumatic events. But as we were rumbling along yesterday, each in our own "mental" worlds, I realized that we have been steadily climbing a peak of happiness that has surpassed all other "happy peaks" in our pasts. Of course, financially we love to dream of a bigger house, exotic travel, a Harley Davidson Fat Boy, tickets to the NCAA Men's basketball tournament, etc. -- but we are thrilled to be where we are in life. All the children are healthy and doing very well; Ed loves his new job; CJ won the charter school lottery and will be going to our school of choice; I've rediscovered my passion for writing and photography; the boys have a very loving and close relationship with my parents (who live next door); our puppy Jax has been the perfect addition to our home and family; the list could go on and on. I realized that I need to take more time each day and thank God for all He's provided us and to truly count my blessings. I need to lighten up and embrace the "Good Times" and stop worrying about any valleys that may be ahead.

posted at 3:50 PM

Saturday, March 11, 2006
Spring is Here

I took these outside this morning while Ed had the kids working in the garden. Enjoy!

posted at 6:35 PM

Friday, March 10, 2006
Outdoorsy Favorite Spot

If you squint your eyes and try to peer beyond the leaves, you will see a statue of a gnome. He is sitting over an inground fountain that has not been used in years. A beautiful Japanese maple provides ample shelter in the spring and summer. It's almost like a secret garden ... but it's not a garden. I'm thinking of buying a new pump and returning this little gnome's home to it's full glory.

Now, I need to locate a serene place for a hammock -- a place I can go to while Ed gets the boys to "help" in the garden.

posted at 3:14 PM


Farm Girl's post of her favorite spot motivated me to photograph and describe my own favorite spot in our house. Yes, you've seen numerous "favorite corner" posts all over blog land. This spot is located AT a corner as you can see. And PLEASE pardon the dust. It is one of the few spots CJ is not yet able to reach (he is already 4 ft tall and not even 5 yrs old yet) therefore, I spend my time cleaning messes lower to the ground.

Let's start at the top right and work our way down. The top photo is one I found years ago at a street festival in Durham. It portrays several raccoons sitting among the swamp trees, somewhere in Florida. I absolutely love raccoons and actually had 3 as pets as a child. Yes, Ed is a hunter -- but raccoons are off limits! Next down is a painting of a divi divi tree and fisherman's boat in Aruba. I purchased it during our last trip to Aruba. The last photo is a photograph of a beach in Aruba. I took some amazing photos during our 2 trips, but I couldn't capture the colors the way this picture did.

Now, for the various odds and ends on top of the bookshelf, left to right: A plastic fishbowl filled with sea shells ... we brought this back from our anniversary trip this past weekend. We ordered a $20, 48 oz. fruit cocktail to share and they served it in this plastic fishbowl. The shells are the ones we collected on the abandoned beaches during our trip. The reason it is now on top of the bookshelf is because I grew very tired of hearing the boys fight over the shells! Next is my favorite non-jewelry gift from Ed, a beautiful globe decorated with gemstones that he purchased in Aruba. Travel is part of my soul so I admire globes, maps, postcards, etc. I fell in love with a similar globe during my and Ed's first trip to Aruba. Ed remembered this and went on a search for the globe during our visit in September. We were lucky that it made it back to the states unscathed as we had to check it with the airlines on our return. It's hard to see, but in the back next to the globe is a small gray gargoyle ... CJ asked me to put it there for safekeeping. So there it sits. Also belonging to CJ is the Lion King snowglobe. Ed bought it for CJ during a shopping trip they took together when CJ was only 2 yrs old. I believe that shopping trip resulted in Ed buying anything CJ pointed his little finger at. They are no longer allowed to go shopping together!! Behind the snow globe is a postcard purchased in Aruba. Again, I love the colors. And that brings us to my favorite photo of CJ ever taken. I believe he was somewhere around 16-18 months in the photo that was shot at his day care. The portrait studio provided the props, clothes, everything. And I know you can't see it clearly here, but I absolutely adore the way he has his feet turned in, touching each other. He did that a lot as a baby when he was excited. Lastly, the brown and beige jar contains a bunch of marbles belonging to CJ's Daddy in Heaven. I sometimes let CJ play with them when Hunterman is down for a nap. CJ sorts them, admires them, explains to me what each one reminds him of and then carefully puts them back into their ceramic home. CJ's Dad was a kid at heart -- so the marbles are a wonderful reminder of his spirit.

That was actually therapeutic. It gets so chaotic around here I take for granted our many treasures and most times I don't even notice them. Great exercise to reconnect!

posted at 8:22 AM

Thursday, March 09, 2006

I'm at a crossroads. Part of me feels elated, the other part feels guilty and terrified. I have basically been offered a job as a marketing director for the company my husband works for. The pay would be great, the hours very flexible and the coworkers wonderful. I would be doing something I love and I would be rewarded monetarily for it. However, taking the job would mean putting CJ into preschool for the next 5 months until kindergarten starts and Hunterman would be in day care as well. Granted, it would only be 6 hours a day, but I feel a tremendous amount of guilt for even considering working when I don't have to. I try to justify it by saying that Hunterman needs the socialization with children his own age (hard to find out here in the country) but ultimately I know that I'll be making this decision for my own good, not theirs. Does that make me a horrible mother????!!!!???? I have about a week to make my decision. I don't know what I'm going to do ... my answer changes by the hour around here.

posted at 9:12 AM

Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Genetic Soup
Hunterman has me thinking about my biological father a lot lately. As you can tell by the endearing term "biological father", he and I aren't very close. He left my Mom when I was just a baby and I never laid eyes on him again until I was 13 years old. It's a bit ironic ... I wouldn't have ever met him if I hadn't almost died the summer before. That's a post for another day. The point now is that facing death made me want to learn about my roots. So my Mom arranged a visit for me to meet my biological father and grandmother. My grandmother was very warm, sweet and a little crazy. My father was anxious, scattered, more than a little weird but very handsome. It appears that years and years of alcohol and drugs had withered whatever brain cells my father had been born with. I do remember that our conversations that day always circled back to Indians and that he really wanted my Mom to name me Princess Moonbeam. Thank God my Mom really loved me!! I haven't seen Indian Drug Man since that day. He did send me a few birthday and Christmas cards and 2 tickets to see Genesis until I turned 18. Once I hit 18, my biological grandmother took over his fatherly "duties" and sent me cards and flowers whenever she remembered me -- until I was 21. I called my grandmother a couple of times a year until 2002 -- when I realized that Alzheimer's had claimed her and that she truly had no idea who I was. To this day I don't know whatever became of Indian Drug Man ... most of the time I'm relieved and then there are moments, like when I look in Hunterman's eyes, that it makes me sad. You see, Hunterman has Indian Drug Man's eyes. No one else in my family or Ed's have eyes anywhere near the color of Hunterman's. They are a crystal ice blue with silver ripples -- a few strangers have stopped and commented that they would be perfect marbles (how weird is that?)! I'm sure that Indian Drug Man would be proud to have a grandson, Little Chief Marble Eye, that resembled him in some way. How I pray that this is the only resemblance I ever see.

posted at 8:23 AM

Monday, March 06, 2006
We had so much fun exploring the Outer Banks together. We saw a beautiful sunrise, fascinating wildlife, several awesome sunsets. We ate conch fritters, grilled lobster, steak, fruit, to-die-for chocolate desserts, and cereal. We drank tap water, juice, soft drinks galore, several wines, a 48 oz. fruit cocktail and my favorite, champagne. We took long walks on abandoned beaches, drove on abandoned beaches, toured a replica ship from the 1500's, gazed admiringly at 4 lighthouses, picked up a bucket of sea shells, shopped for souvenirs, soaked in a jacuzzi tub. We mourned Duke's loss to Carolina. We reveled in our love for each other. We made friends with an amazing couple from Cape Cod who have been married for 50 years. We refused to stay and eat breakfast in a restaurant with a very rude waitress and a 75 (C) grade for sanitation. We were warmly welcomed and graciously served at an upscale cafe and winery even though we arrived in jeans and wind-blown hair. We slept soundly, laughed hard and sang loudly to the radio. We missed the kids tremendously ... but enjoyed being wrapped up completely in each other. God "Bless the Broken Road" that brought us together.

posted at 7:56 AM

Thursday, March 02, 2006
Who needs to pack?
I really need to be packing but I read Farm Wife's post and just had to follow the link to this mind-racking survey. I enjoyed it though.

Attentive Leader

You can run your cursor over the colored blocks to see the outcome of my personality test. Pretty cool, except the test seems to indicate I'm a "girly girl" ... and I'm not. I don't think.

posted at 2:37 PM

Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Afterthoughts (or the pictures Blogger wouldn't post earlier!)
Yep, I'm the Dirty Dog of this house and PROUD of IT!

Hunterman looking very remorseful after being scolded for destroying the living room. Also, he is missing his last piece of pop-tart, probably buried under the destruction.

Laughing at my Mommy 'cause she thought I was really sorry! Ha, Ha!

posted at 10:02 AM

Hodge Podge
Aftermath of Hurricane Hunterman!

This is certainly going to be a hodge podge post as my mind is all over the place. Most of today will be spent preparing for our mini-vacation ... wash, fold and sort the laundry (why does it seem that my Mom needs at least 2 or 3 outfits per child per day when we get by with 1?); grocery shopping to stock my parent's pantry for Hunterman's ravenous appetite; bathe the puppy (an undertaking that I absolutely dread); prevent the boys from wreaking havoc as demonstrated in the picture above; and lastly, pay bills.

I actually escaped for a couple of hours last night and finally had my hair cut. I had grown it out over the past two years and it was all one length about 4 inches below my shoulders. It's still a couple of inches below my shoulders but with lots of layers that will allow me to get by some days with no time or effort put into styling it. It was truly like having a weight lifted ... from my head.

Hunterman is sleeping late this morning as a result of being up 4 different times during the night with nasal congestion. I'm afraid he has fallen victim to the full-blown cold. Now I'm debating whether I should take him and CJ to the park this afternoon ... it is forecasted to be a beautiful 70 degrees today (78 degrees tomorrow). I think I am a true believer in global warming now. Never in my 33 years do I remember a winter in which we haven't had ANY snow and temperatures that have rivaled our balmiest springs.

Also, we received our first kindergarten rejection letter of sorts. Our second choice charter school sent the lottery results letter stating that we are #224 on their waiting list. There were only 30 available spots -- and ONLY 330 applications. Bummer!

I guess that's enough rambling for now. Hopefully when I return from our trip I'll have lots of gorgeous beach pictures to share!

posted at 8:36 AM