Where do I begin to explain this boy?
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At 10lb3oz (50th percentile for a 3mo!) you'd think he was a tough birth. In actuality, he was my largest baby, but by far my easiest birth. at 2:00 am on 11/30/02 I politely informed the nurse that I was pushing and she needed to get the midwife. at 2:01 am I was screaming at the nurse to get the effin midwife. at 2:02 am the midwife came in to catch (she heard me yelling - the nurse was convinced it was "too soon"). at 2:03 am I was cuddling a very big baby!
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it has all gone down hill from there! he has been demanding and controlling since he drew that first breath at 2:03 am.
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It isnt' all bad though. he can be really sweet. he love to hug and cuddle.
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and he is a wonderful big brother to Colin (in spite of a smidge of jealousy..)
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He is quite the ladies man - and THAT is going to get him in trouble! I see a LOT of angry fathers banging down our door. Todd better keep up with the martial arts classes.
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When he was 2, he was throwing pebbles at a little girl at camp. then he said, "I'm sorry" and gave her a hug- it was all a scam! this summer - two years later - I went down to the campfire to find him curled up in the lap of the very same girl! (her father is a cop- yikes!)
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Friday, he was flirting with a little girl in his karate class. he invited her to his birthday party. on the way home he informed me that he loved her and that she is beautiful.
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Sunday afternoon the big boys attended a birthday party for the 10yo next door. they were the only boys with a bunch of 9 and 10 year old girls. Andy was doing his own thing - as usual.
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but Ryan.. well...
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Then yesterday we realized we were in BIG trouble. there was a note in his backpack from his teacher. he kissed a girl during rest time. (her father knows where we live....). the teacher explained to him that we only kiss family. when I saw the note, I went in the other room to laugh my ass off tell Todd. We reinforced what the teacher had said, but it was clear that he was quite embarrassed.
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whatever lady is lucky enough to land him (eventually) will get a great husband though.
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well, maybe not just yet...
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I tried getting all artsy and just ended up with a bad picture and Andy rockin' out (in front of a mountain or laundry...).

I know very little about guitars. BUT we got it at Route 1 Guitars and I am sure that if you stopped in, called or emailed, Gail or John will tell you everything you want to know about it. He first picked out a red one - because red is his favorite color (gotta love the mind of a child!). Unfortunately, the red one had a critical design flaw that prevented it from actually being plugged in and played. So, we traded it in for the black - which while not his favorite color, is actually functional!

Andy has had his first 2 lessons with Mike Nuno (if you are a Jazz fan, then I'm willing to bet you've heard him play). After his last lesson, Mike told Todd not to be so tough on him and to let him have fun. He gets upset when he makes a mistake. Yeah- that's not us - that's Andy! he gets SO upset when things don't go exactly right. He does practice every day and his fingers are getting stronger.



"They" say that bad things happen in 3's. I hope that is true, because if it is, it means that our extended family is done with fire-related disasters.

1. If you've been reading this blog for any length of time you know that we had a fire in our house in July of 2004. details of the nightmares that ensued can be found in my archives.

2. Todd's cousin Martin was in a very nasty & fiery car wreck in August. while he did escape with his life, he did lose one foot. he is still in the burn unit, but is on the road to recovery.

3. Todd's brother and his family are still evacuated (since Monday) after fire came less than a mile from their house on 3 sides. all are well and anxious to get home and getting things back in order.

so that is 3-near death experiences with fire. we're done now, right?

the thing I have learned is that it isn't the fire itself that is the real horror. it is the aftermath.

the fighting with the insurance company for the money we were are entitled to (and NEEDED to rebuild our home.) the night terrors and nightmares that Andy has suffered the last 3 years (yes, he still has nightmares! whenever they talk about fire safety in school or he sees anything about fire on TV, they come back.) not to mention the developmental delays he suffered.

Martin is alive and recovering, but he still has a very long road ahead (don't worry man, we've got your back!).

Doug and family will have a HUGE mess to clean up and their community will be rebuilding for some time. I don't think the emotional impacts have set in for them yet - and I wish there was some way I could warn them or make it easier - but I can't. no one can. it is like becoming a parent. you can not fully comprehend the emotions you will feel until you are in the moment - and no one can really describe it to you. I hope you, my dear blog readers never have to know them first hand.

the fire itself... it happens SO fast, then it is over and we are left to sift through the ashes... sometimes literally.


I think he thinks too much...

I took Andy to Sunday school this week- it is a family-based program that meets monthly. This was our first session as Andy will make his first communion next year (yes - next year!). in the classroom, the teacher asked the children how they could be more like Jesus. most kids gave the standard responses - love one another, be nice share etc. What does my kid say? "I want to be a doctor so I can make people better when they are sick." wow.. THEN we are all back in the big group and Fr. Tom asks what we learned about Jesus. Andy raised his hand - I held my breath 'cause I never know what this kid will come up with. Fr. Tom called on him and he said "Everything is easier with Jesus' help then by yourself." I just hope he remembers that when he is a doctor...

Speaking of doctors.. the big boys went to the pedi yesterday. Ryan has seasonal allergic asthma. Andy has a cold in addition to his seasonal asthma hell... his peak flow was 50% of what it should have been.. so they both have more meds and a follow-up & flu shots for all 3 in 2 weeks. Joy... Here's the kicker.. Andy was pestering the doctor for a shot - he was convinced that it would make him better immediately. If only it were that easy...


Lifting my "spirits"

Among my birthday loot was a gift card - with instructions to use it ONLY for me! whee! It had been a long week - teething toddler, hypo-manic hubby, and coughing kiddos. No rest for the mommy... and mommy NEEDED a little self-indulgence. I grabbed the card and raced out the door before anyone could argue - and before mommy-guilt changed my mind.

I needed a sports bra for my self-defense class. (I'm sure it is easier to fend off an attacker with proper support, lift and separation.) Sports bra in hand I was ready to move on to the next dept. but it occurred to me that I was wearing a 5-year-old nursing bra...and my baby usually nurses after I am bra-less anyway. I no longer pump either.. so why am I wearing these worn, stretched and boring things anyway...

In the last 7 years, I have only worn white or beige full-coverage cotton bras. These boobs haven't see under-wire since Y2K! Time to give the girls a lift! I was normally a white, pink or beige kind of girl BK (that's before kids - not the burger joint I worked at in high school). that way they didn't show too much. After so many years forced into white/beige cotton.. a bright red lacy under-wire number caught my eye! and of course I HAD to buy the overpriced matching panties too... even if I prefer Hanes...

I have to admit that the under-wire has boosted more than my sagging breasts. I feel much younger and sexier than I did when I was younger and sexier!


What now?

Something I've been contemplating for a while now is the direction this blog is headed in. To this point, it has been pretty stream-of-consciousness. I blog the most recent pictures, crafty projects and whatever random thoughts pop in my head (in case you missed the title...). I have considered separate family and crafty blogs, or maybe just bringing this one into focus.

Sometimes I wonder if I am just blogging to myself - which is fine because it is cheaper than therapy- but I am seeing some comments lately (Hi!). So, since it appears that there are people reading this, check out the sidebar poll. Cast your vote (you can pick more than one item) feel free to add other suggestions in the comments below (I will even allow Anon. comments for this one!). your votes are anonymous too, so feel free to tell me my knitting sucks or that you are sick of looking at my kids...


Happy Birthday to ME! Happy Halloween to the rest of you!

ok- so it isn't until tomorrow... but in true Todd fashion, I got my gifts early! I swear that man couldn't keep a secret if you paid him...

If we've met IRL, then you probably know that I LOVE Halloween! I love everything about it! a fire in the fireplace, crunching leaves in the street, candles flickering, tacky decorations all over the house and lawn (I need to get primed for the Christmas decorating!), tiny candy bars... and .. of course... spaghetti dinners! I don't know if it is it's proximity to my Birthday - and all of the Halloween themed Birthday parties - or the fond memories of the parties my Grandmother used to throw.

Grammy was ALL about the tacky decorations. Give her a reason to celebrate and she had some plastic crap to decorate with. She made a big (yet disgusting) spaghetti dinner for all the kids in the neighborhood. we' d choke it down then grab our pillowcases and hit the streets and we didn't come home until we had too much candy to carry!

A few days after my 11th birthday, my Grandfather, Pa, passed away. He'd been quite ill. We knew it was coming. Hell, he lived 6 years longer than the doctors thought he would. The night he passed, he came to me in my sleep and said goodbye. My biggest worry was the Halloween Party. I know that may sound cold, but remember 2 things. 1) I'd already said goodbye and made peace with his passing, and 2) I was -barely- 11. Grammy pulled through with the party. I remember some of the neighbors thinking it was a bit odd. Admitedly, Grammy was a bit odd - but in a sweet and charming way. In reality, she was a pretty smart cookie - even if she never thought so. She knew we ALL needed a party - and a good heaping dose of "normal".

Now, I live in Grammy and Pa's house. We continue the tradition of the Spaghetti supper (though I REALLY hope my baked spaghetti is a touch better than Grammy's "American Spaghetti") and over-the-top decorations. I love EVERY minute of it. The decorating, the cooking, the company.

So, this is what my loving Hubby (and kids) gave me for my Birthday...
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There was an inflatable cat in a witch's hat (they've decided it is Prof. McGonagal), Vampire Tigger, and 2 tombstones. The lights we've had and there are hanging ghosts and lanterns to put up, and luminaries too. The peeling siding, while festive, is not an actual decoration... we just haven't made it that far down "the list" yet.. still finishing the inside of the house.

I used to decorate the lamppost like a ghost or scarecrow too, but our electrician deemed the old wiring a fire hazard and cut power to it. (That too is on "the list" - above the siding.) I may do the scarecrow anyway....


Ice Ice baby....

Andy went ice skating for the first time! (all you Canadians can stop laughing at us now!) He was invited to a skating birthday party. He caught on pretty fast and really enjoyed it!
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so as a reward for good behavior, I'll be taking them to "open skate". I didn't realize how cheap it was! $5/person incl. rentals! it'll be a good test for Ryan before we fork over the $$ for Hockey....


RIP Bandit...

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Snoozing in his favorite spot - Colin's changing table.

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yet another one of our cats snuck out and got hit by a car. he was just a baby though... he was Colin's cat. he made Colin smile when he was sick and nothing else would. he is going to miss his "kitty kitty"...


Defining ADD

I frequent several message boards - mostly parenting issues. One such board is for parents with children who have ADD/ADHD. It is nice to see different perspectives, fresh insight on our issues and an abundance of research and information. What bothers me deeply is when I see SO many moms defining their child by their disability (or different ability if you prefer). "my child is ADD" - no your child has ADD! semantics? maybe... but I think how we talk about our kids reflects (or does it really shape) the way we think of them. I posted the following on that message board and I thought I would share my feelings on the matter here as well. You are welcome to share your thoughts in the comments as well...

Andy is
not ADD. he is not Asthma. He is not PTSD. He is a child - a smart, happy child with several medical conditions. They do not define him. He defines them.

He does not suffer from these ailments (ok- he did suffer terribly the first year or so with the PTSD...). They provide challenges and obsticles in his life. He may struggle sometimes, but his illnesses are not barriers.

He is a child full of potential and faced with challenges. He is defined by his actions, his soul and his heart... NOT his ailments.

In knitting news...
I did finish Ryan's Tiger socks...he has worn them and he likes them ("they poke me feet with soft!")... but he wont cooperate for pictures... I am going to try (read "bribe") Andy and Ryan to pose with their socks together. wish me luck!

I am also working up some mock-ups for a cool little commission project for a "celebrity" I know (watch the Today Show on Thursday!) I'll post picks of those once I have all 4 styles complete...

Halloween Hineys!
I have a couple Halloween diapers left in stock (is it wrong for me to hope no one orders the one in Colin's size?)
I am also doing a special Halloween FFS Lottery! you have until noon tomorrow to enter! GL!

oh and nothing to do with Halloween.. BUT I only have 1 of these adorable Giraffe diapers left... you might want to snag it before I change my mind.. that Giraffe SC is SOOOO soft!