Category Archives: family

A Week of Wonderful

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— 1 —

I’ll be finishing up the Our Lady of Lourdes novena tomorrow. It’s one I say every year. The darkness of winter around here needs as many reminders of miracles as possible, and there’s certainly no shortage of people for whom to pray.

— 2 —

I just got home from playing with a couple of the sweetest little boys ever – I look forward to Friday nights all week! Tonight we watched come cute songs with animation on YouTube. The very first was “Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee”, which took me straight back to Aaron’s daycare and pre-school years. I can see his sweet face with his little-boy haircut like it was yesterday, even though he’s a grown-up web designer with a baby girl due in 10 weeks or so. He liked the verse about smashing the bumblebee best, of course. Both my boys got my dark sense of humor!

— 3 —

Aaron’s expertise was a huge blessing earlier this week when my blog was hacked. I was beside myself because the hacker had replaced my post (a book review) with his vulgar political one and changed my password so I couldn’t log in. Aaron had set himself up a login for my blog as well as a way to access my entire computer remotely while he was in college, so it was evidently a quick fix for him. I would almost surely have had a stroke without both him and my original blog designer talking me out of my tree!

— 4 —

My younger son, John, performed with his high school’s Jazz Band this week. I wasn’t there, but my husband got great video of John’s performance, and I was incredibly impressed and proud when I watched! It’s a good thing we have a studio in the basement – I think it’s going to see more and more action. They had a guest performer – a member of the Air Force’s Band of the Golden West on baritone sax. If you’ve never seen an Air Force Band perform let me assure you: they really are the best of the best. And this guy loved John. He even high-fived him over the drum set after the song where the baritone sax was featured. That is a #proudmom moment!

— 5 —

While John was performing I was at a surprise party – for me! Three of my closest friends and I met for dinner (as we do periodically), but this time we celebrated me turning fifty (I showed off my celebratory navel ring), being an expectant grandmother, and working with these wonderful ladies for twenty-five years! The company I was working for when I was unable to return to work after my fourth spinal surgery because of constant, severe pain still considers me to be on Medical Leave of Absence, and will do so until I can finally get in front of a judge and be officially declared disabled. This means I can purchase insurance for myself and my family for the same price as if I were still working full-time. It’s hard to believe a company in this day and age could be that compassionate, but they have been. They even gave me a twenty-five year award, which I never would have expected. It was an emotional evening for me.

— 6 —

John got his official admission letter from the University of Louisville, so our next step is applying for housing. We get a discount on that deposit, thank God, but we still need to put together some money to get it done ASAP. I’m wading through possible scholarships and forwarding the best matches to John for application, and we have our fingers crossed we’ll get news soon about a really big one! John’s school counselor has been a huge help – there have been many times I’d have been completely lost without her input and suggestions. Keep us in your prayers, please!

— 7 —

I’ve gotten a little addicted to Hometalk, a daily email with several Pinterest-focused DIY/crafty projects. I’m going to have to stop cold-turkey, though. I was already really over anything that involved empty cans, empty TP rolls, or plastic cups or bottles. Then I saw an “upcycle” where someone had turned a bookshelf into a bar cart. Ponder that for a moment. If someone needs a bar cart more than a bookshelf they need to take a long, hard look at their life and their priorities. I need to take some time and better organize my Pinterest boards anyway. I discovered Pinterest early and never realized how huge it would get, so I have categories with names like “Good Ideas” and “Maybe”. Yikes.

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My Heart Just Melted . . .

Last night I was up late wrapping little week-by-week gifts for my son and daughter-in-law as they count down their last trimester of pregnancy with their baby girl. Some things I’d made, some things we’d bought (by we I mean Michael bought her an adult coloring book with a Dr. Seuss theme. Totally not age-appropriate! I’ll rein him in at some point. Probably when he wants to buy her a pony. After all, she has a Great Dane mix, and if she needs something larger I prefer a llama. I could use it to do an outdoor reading of the Llama Llama series by Anna Dewdney and then ship that sucker down with some nearby horses headed that way. We’re in Kentucky, they’re in Texas. Grandparenting trumps all – I can get them a llama delivered.
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As I lay in bed at midnight, package (freakin’ huge, heavy package! Do NOT try to pick it up, Catherine!!) sealed I remembered the cedar chest. The one my in-laws gave me and in which I’ve preserved family memorabilia. I dug through it today and found the beautiful white booties and sweater my sister-in-law had crocheted for Aaron, his favorite stroller toy, and (sob!) the adorable outfit my best friend brought in from Atlanta and that we took him home in.

Actually, I was a bit surprised at how big it was! And I have the hospital picture of it, fitting him nicely. YIKES! Aaron was 8’9″ at birth, and everyone in the room laughed when I asked if I’d had to have an episiotomy. (To my credit, I only asked for an epidural after I started planning my husband’s murder.) The doctor who was able to speak first said, “There was nothing further we could cut!” Yeah, that’s comforting to a first-time mom, nurse or not!

So I sent a picture of the outfit to my daughter-in-law, emphasizing that having a baby a couple of weeks early (if your doc suggests it) can be a good thing!
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Of course, I have to say that my younger child’s birth (even though he was a week early and 3 oz. smaller) was more difficult and stressful. THREE ounces. That’s a shot and a half. If you are pushing a bowling ball out your va-jay-jay a shot and a half doesn’t matter unless it’s alcohol you ingest shortly beforehand.

With my youngest my amniotic fluid was like pea soup, they insisted I be on the monitor all the time (quite reasonable), and then when it came time for me to push some blonde woman hopped up, knees on the bed, and started shoving on my belly. This was not covered in nursing school when I graduated in 1988. It was like she was performing CPR about 18 inches too low on an awake, alert, annoyed person. The me of today would have yanked her hair and screamed, “What the F are you doing?!” Since I was still nice then I just kept pushing. I also found a sweet card from that nurse in the cedar chest.

Pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting your first child are hot topics. By hot I mean everyone has a story to share, some advice to give, and at least one urban myth to impart (there was a twin behind the other baby on every view – we had no idea! – Umm, your ultrasound tech needs to cut down on the breakfast drugs.)

Scream and jump if someone touches your belly unasked – word will get around. Smile and lie your a$$ off for your own entertainment. Tell them you are having a litter, and only just found out when your belly started growing. Tell them it’s an alien and ask them to back away slowly and silently. Tell them you are a surrogate and currently carrying a celebrity’s baby, but you’ve signed a confidentiality agreement. The guy with you? Your personal assistant. You might as well get a few laughs out of someone using your bladder as a trampoline, right?

My eldest’s coming-home outfit – which I’d forgotten I’d kept. What melts your heart these days? Mama Kat’s Writers’ Workshop

my newest baby-centered activity!

Family Only Languages

My absolute favorite episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation is Darmok:
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Why? Because it combines my love of anthropology and communication with my whole-hearted belief that authenticity is essential for any lasting relationship among family or friends. What I want most is not to be thin, rich, popular, attractive, intelligent, or talented. I just want to be genuine – authentic. However you want to phrase it.

This post is all about the languages my family communicates with. We all love Mel Brooks movies, no matter how politically incorrect. Soups are fabulous winter meals, but we can’t get through a single evening without someone spouting, “Judas! Try the soup!” (It’s not quite right, but close enough.)
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The Birdcage is another family favorite, and when my eldest used to act surprised to find microwave popcorn in the pantry I’d always say, “Yeah, the popcorn fairy dropped by.” Now, when we’re down a car (most of the time) my husband will text “fairy dust, fairy dust, fairy dust” to let me know he’s playing wine fairy and picking up a box o’wine (we’re poor).
fairy-dust
Back when Michael and I were first dating (he’s from Louisville, KY) he didn’t understand that The Ballgame ONLY meant the University of Kentucky was playing someone. Or that wearing any color other than Wildcat Blue on game day was verboten!

He and I have our own language for days he makes a 400-mile round-trip to a lab near the Tennessee border. I worry because there are still areas he can’t get cell reception, so he’ll text me, “NARF!” when he gets to the lab. It’s a reference to a short-lived Warner Brothers cartoon called Pinky and the Brain which I dearly loved. Their Christmas special was particularly wonderful.
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What snippets of movies, TV shows, books, etc make up YOUR family’s language?

 

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