I certainly haven't meant to be neglectful to my blog. Life has sped up considerably for us these days. So, since I have a moment to sit here and contemplate the cards we've been dealt the past two weeks, I will bring you all up to date ... which means a long entry (but with lots of pictures that blogger has thrown haphazardly all over the post).
I finally got a decent picture of CJ sporting his new haircut. I love it. He loves it. We're all happy. He's especially happy because he is now five years old. These pictures were all taken on his birthday. My parents built him (and Hunterman) a huge sandbox with an alligator and dragon thrown in for good measure. The boys have spent many, many hours already in that sandbox -- which means I can't keep our floors clean and we've had to treat Hunterman for a diaper rash because of all the sand he pours down his pants!
I did end up baking and decorating CJ's birthday cake. I took the easy way out though and bought figurines to go on top of the cake. It served its purpose and gave CJ two extra toys for his birthday. I'm worried that his requests for birthday cakes will only become more challenging as his imagination continues to soar.
His party theme was "Knights" -- so it was only appropriate that the guest of honor was a Knight for the day.
I think I've been having nightmares about this alligator. CJ swears he really moves --- just very slowly.
We've slain a few dragons ourselves the past two weeks. Ed was in a motorcycle accident one day last week. Luckily he was not injured at all. The bike has a few scratches and the front fender is bent, but I think it only adds character. Ed, however, feels sick everytime he looks at it now. Ed believes I jinxed him that morning by telling him to be extra careful on the bike because I knew he was tired and his reflexes would be a little slower. I didn't tell him at that time that I had a nightmare the night before where he was killed in a motorcycle accident. My Mom also dreamed that he was hurt in a bike accident that same night. Maybe the fact that we're Aquarians has a bit to do with our prophetic dreams. We've also had to battle a stomach bug. It's made its rounds with all 3 boys twice now. It hit CJ as we sat down to eat his birthday dinner (he requested steak, spinach salad, broccoli, corn on the cob). He wasn't able to eat a single bite of dinner, but he did manage a couple bites of his cake. Ed missed a day of work to suffer silently (well, whiningly) on our couch. It didn't slow Hunterman down much. He would just come get me to change his diaper every hour.
This week our biggest challenge has been allergies. Hunterman comes to me every 30 minutes or so to clean his nose. CJ now has the full-blown coughing, sneezing, congested mess. I hate keeping him on his allergy/asthma medication because it causes behavioral/sleeping problems with him. If he isn't better by Monday, I'll have to bite the bullet and give it to him.
Ed has now been 43 hours without a cigarette. I am so proud of him and soooooo very grateful that he hasn't resorted to being the "GROUCH". He truly seems to be ready to quit. I have to believe that it is related to the news that his Mom probably has throat cancer. They won't know for sure until after the biopsy surgery, but the surgeon was not very optimistic that the 3 masses in her throat were benign. Although Ed is not really a "Momma's Boy", he is extremely protective of his Mom and not able to see her suffer in any way.
That's about all my brain can remember for now. I do have a sad story to share but that will have to wait till another day. I must get into the shower and get ready for a day of chauffeuring and running errands. Happy weekend to all!!
I apologize for the graphic nature of the second picture. I was twelve years old in these photos. They were taken one month after "The Accident". Brief version: a group of 8 girls were headed to a church camp. The driver of our car ran a stop sign she never saw. As we crossed the intersection we were hit on the driver side by a 18-wheeler logging truck. There were no fatalities. One girl was thrown from the car and landed on her head. She was in a coma for a while but recovered completely. The rest of us suffered broken bones and such. I was the lucky one that suffered broken bones and basically had the side of my face sliced open. The exact laundry list goes like this: six broken ribs, punctured & collapsed lung, ruptured spleen, broken collarbone, bruised kidneys and liver, broken jaw in two places, lost two teeth and lost most of my right outer ear. Yes, I almost died. I was on life support for a couple of days. I don't remember much because of the drugs. I do remember a nurse in ICU handing me a mirror so I could see the damage. I didn't recognize the basketball-sized face looking back at me. In those few seconds that I searched for something familiar in my facial features, I lost a HUGE chunk of my self-esteem. Of course I was at a very precarious age for a girl ... I was twelve. Up to the moment of that accident, I considered myself to be a "Brunette Barbie" with freckles. I was sassy, outspoken, vivacious, outgoing, prissy ... essentially, I was ready to rule the world at 12. My goals at the time switched between being a model, a TV news anchor, or a Sports broadcaster (until I reached the ripe old age of 45, then I would become President). There was always a smile on my face and there were no such things as strangers in my world. And you better believe I was BOY CRAZY! After the initial hospitalization, I endured many outpatient facial reconstruction plastic surgeries. We found a surgeon that created a new outer ear for me using my very own rib cartilage and skin from my right thigh. In ninth grade I told my parents and the surgeon that I had reached my limits emotionally and that I could not go through with another surgery. I told them that I would just have to learn to live with the way I looked and other people would have to learn to live with it, too. Some days I regret that decision just because I never did learn to live with the scars. I must admit that I learned some very valuable lessons during that time. I began to understand that you "do not judge a book by its cover." I tried to believe that "beauty is only skin deep." Although I learned to apply these cliches to how I dealt with others, I had a problem applying them to myself when I had to go to school with bandages wrapped around my head and scabby, oozing patches on my face. I put on a brave front. The kids never knew how deeply they cut me with their whispers, jokes and insults. And to this day I would never admit to any of them the power their words and actions still have on me. Even though the scars are not nearly as noticeable now, I still hear the whispers, jokes and insults when I gain weight; when my hair goes gray; when I don't wear makeup; when I see a woman that I know Ed would find attractive. The voices are with me every day. I've never learned how to silence them and I'm afraid I never will at this point. Of course, no one knows this .... not my parents, not Ed, not my children, not my friends. No one, but you.
Technically he's not five yet. Give him one more week. However, he has me perplexed. I have become accustomed to his frequent, rapid-fire inquisitions, but this week he decided to take things to a whole new level. A level I'm not prepared for, evidently.
CJ: Mommy, what are clouds for?
Me: Well, the clouds are made of water vapor and the
clouds make rain.
CJ: I know that. But what are they for when it is not
raining? What are they doing up in the sky on a
Example 2 (watching Chronicles of Narnia for the 3rd time)
CJ: Mommy, where are those people that have to run from the planes and bombs?
Me(naively unaware of the consequences of my next response): They were in a country that was in a war.
CJ: What is war?
Me (horrified): Well, war is when two or more countries disagree about something and they aren't able to talk it out. They get really angry at each other and send their soldiers away in airplanes and tanks to fight over it.
CJ: But Mommy, you say it is ugly for kids to fight. Can I fight when I am a man like Ed and Repa?
Me: (more horrified): No, not exactly, sweetheart. If you are a soldier when you are a man and your country is at war, you may have to fight. But if you're not a soldier and we're not at war, then you shouldn't fight. (Silently thanking God that Ed is not here to argue this point with me!)
CJ: But Mommy, why don't the soldier mans talk to each other and use manners and good words, like kids have to do?
Me (beginning to feel completely defeated and worthless as a Mom): It's really not up to the solldiers, son. Fighting in a war if our country is in one is part of their job. So they have to go fight when their boss tells them to.
CJ (more determined than ever): But Mommy, you think the boss man's mommy didn't teach him good manners?
Me: Son, I think that when you take care of a country things are a bit more complicated than that. CJ: What?
Me: I think going to war is a bit harder than just using good manners.
CJ: Mommy, it's not that hard. I know it's when the good guys fight the bad, mean guys. And the bad, mean guys won't use good manners so the soldiers have to shot them so they don't teach kids to be ugly.
Me: Close enough for now. Can we please watch the movie?
CJ: But that's what we been doing.
CJ: Mommy, something funky going on in the living room.
Me: Funky? What do you mean?
CJ: You know, funky. These things just fell off the TV (holding up 2 pieces of paper) and I not did it. See, it's funky in there.
Me: I think strange is a better word than funky. And I'm sure the ceiling fan just blew them off the TV. Nothing strange about that.
CJ: No, Mommy. It's fun....strange in there. I cut the lights and fan off. The fan don't blow things when it's off. See? Strange.
Me: I really don't think it is anything to be excited about.
CJ: Well, Mommy, you should know that it was my Daddy. You know, my Daddy in Heaven?
Me (already cringing): Yes, son. I know who your Daddy is. Why do you think it was Daddy?
CJ: Well, he sometimes plays with me like that. 'Member when he scratched my leg to wake me up a little while a go?
Me: I remember you said that something had scratched your leg and it woke you up. I didn't know it was Daddy.
CJ: Well, it was. And you 'member when he pushed me the other day and almost make me fall down?
Me (rubbing my eyes and forehead): No, I don't remember that. You didn't tell me that you thought your Daddy pushed you.
CJ: Well, he did. He was only playing with me. He's inbisible, you know?
Me: Well, Baby. I know that we can't see him any more, but we can always talk to him whenever we want.
CJ: Mommy, I know that! But why is Daddy in Heaven inbisible if he wants to play with me?
Me: Hon, I really don't know the answer to that.
CJ: But Mommmmm.....how can I know evrything if you don't tell me what I need to know?
Me: Let's go get milkshakes!! Want a milkshake?
So, folks. You see why I haven't had the energy to post anything this week. I did have an idea though. How can I get CJ into one of those "Town Hall" meetings with the Presidential candidates so he can ask THEM questions?