Wednesday, June 11, 2008

We've made it through a year now.

My father died one year ago today. I knew today would be a big step for my mother. Knowing that she made it through the first whole year of holidays and anniversaries without him is a big step. This past year, every special occasion was hard.

My mother went to put some fresh flowers on his grave yesterday and saw that someone had come by and glued a golf ball to the flat slab of his grave. She said she just sat down and cried and cried. Not because she was upset, but because she was so pleased that someone remembered that it had been a year. She said it helped a lot, because she had been blue remembering the events that led up to this time last year. The surprise of seeing the golf ball gave her a good cathartic cry and she said she felt much better today. I hope things will be a little easier this year for her.

Bye Daddy, I miss you.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Velveteen Rabbit

I decided to read The Velveteen Rabbit to Katie. It's one of the readers for Sonlight Core 1 and I'm trying to get a little jump on the coming school year. I remembered the story of the Velveteen Rabbit, and I vaguely remembered that I had thought it was really sad. I read it to myself before I read it to her. It is a little sad, but in the end, the bunny is real and happy, so all's well that ends well, right?

So I start reading the story to Katie. When we got to the part where the little boy has scarlet fever and the doctor says everything in the room has to be burned to get rid of the germs, Katie said, "I think this story is getting sad." Then we got to the part where the velveteen rabbit is sitting in an old sack in the yard, waiting to be burned up and wondering why it all had to end like this, I saw Katie reach up and wipe her eyes. She never made a sound, which was even sadder; if she'd been wailing, it wouldn't have affected me nearly as much. I tried to continue on with the story, then found to my surprise that I couldn't get the words out. I hugged her and said, "YOU can't cry because you're making me cry and then I can't finish the story!" I tried to read some more, and still couldn't get my voice to stop quavering and cracking. Luckily Kerry heard all of this, so he came into the room, looked at our tear filled eyes and said, "You two are so sweet!" Then he had to pause for a moment before he could read the rest of the story to us.

I think Katie is like me. Even though The Velveteen Rabbit has a happy ending, I'll bet when she grows up she'll say, "I never really liked that story."

Monday, June 9, 2008

Speeding Ticket

I got a speeding ticket today. Me! Actually it was just a warning, but I don't know if you call that a speeding warning. I thought the speed limit was 30 mph, but it turns out once you go through the four way stop, it turns to 20 mph. I did not realize that. I was pulled over by two cops on bicycles. I was completely baffled as to why they stopped me because I thought I was going under the speed limit.

They checked my licence, then checked my plates, and found out the last (and only) time I was stopped for anything was 21 years ago (also in June - apparently a bad month for me). I think they decided I was telling the truth about not knowing the speed limit had changed since clearly I have been a model citizen of the automobile for many years. So I just got a warning. Whew!

Friday, June 6, 2008


This morning bright and early a neighbor friend of mine called with a big problem. Her two-year old was so sick, she was dehydrated and needed to be taken to the ER for intravenous fluids. She asked if I could watch her other three daughters for her. Sure! Absolutely! We all know what it is like to need care for your kids in an emergency. I'm glad to be in a position to help out!

She brought her kids over and flew out in a hurry. As luck would have it, some group on post was having an "Organizational Day" right behind our house. Those used to be called "Mandatory Fun Day" when we were first in the military. We walked back there to see what was going 0n. Lo and behold, they had two giant inflatable toys back there. One was a giant slide and one was a giant obstacle course. I took all the girls back there and we crashed the party, uninvited. The girls had a great time, and I let them go through the line as many times as they wanted until they were hot and tired and ready to go inside.

When we got back to the house, my friends four-year old said to me, "I want some lemon." I told her, "I don't have any lemons, honey, I'm sorry." She looked at me and said, "But I saw a lemon." I walked into the kitchen with her and she pointed at the large green object on the counter.

"That's a watermelon." I told her. "I want some materwelon" she said. "We'll have watermelon for desert after lunch," I reply.

All through the morning, she asked me for lemon. I kept reminding her that we have to eat lunch first, but we would have watermelon later.

I made hot dogs for lunch, because it was the only thing I had enough of to feed that many kids. I didn't have any kid friendly food like chips for a side dish though. So I decided to make popcorn. Most kids like it and I can make a bunch in a pot on the stove.

The four year old liked popcorn. She liked it so much she didn't eat any hot dog, just popcorn. "Can I have lemon now?" she asked. I told her she needed to have something besides popcorn for lunch before we could have the watermelon. She informed me she doesn't like hot dogs so I made her a peanut butter sandwich.

As soon as she was done, she pulled me into the kitchen. "I want some lemon," she told me. So I got ready to cut up the watermelon. "Is that green?" she asked me. "Yes, it's green on the outside, and it's red on the inside," I said. "I just want to eat the green part," she said. "The green part will give you a tummy ache," I told her. I sliced open the watermelon and cut off a juicy bite and handed it to her. "Try this," I said. She took a little nibble and said, "I don't like it." Then she popped it into the trash can and went back to watch the movie.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Fourteen Years!

Fourteen years ago today, I was in a hospital bed trying to figure out how to nurse a baby. A big ol' nurse walked in my room and said, "What's the matter? Can't get that baby to suck that titty?" I've never forgotten that stellar moment of motherhood.

Fourteen years. I have a fourteen year old child. That means I'm REALLY old. When you still have little kids, you're still young. When your kids are old enough to be talking about driving, girls, ipods, and cell phones, you are old.

Fourteen years ago, another nurse walked into my room and said, "What's his name?" I said, "Benjamin." She wrinkled her nose up, looked at him, and said, "Well, I guess some babies have to grow into their names." What was it with the nurses there, anyway?

For his birthday today, I let him sleep as late as he wanted (turned out to be 10:00 before he got up). He got to pick out any cereal he wanted (Frosted Flakes) because usually we eat organic, good for you cereals. He went to the pool with his friends where he got a whopper of a sunburn because he forgot to put on sunscreen. We let him pick the restaurant (Jazz - a Cajun restaurant) for his birthday dinner. We gave him a wallet, a tee shirt, a "Make Your Own Root Beer" Kit, three books he's been wanting, a camel back for camping trips, a jar of specialty BBQ sauce, and a bottle of hot sauce called "Tongue Torch". Then as the grand finale, after dinner and when he thought all gifts had already been presented, we gave him a cell phone which is also an MP3 player. He's a happy camper right now.

Man, I'm old.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The most fascinating hand soap in the world

We have neighbors who are moving away. It's always sad to see friends go but we're accustomed to it in the military. One good thing about friends moving is that we get lots of freebies. Movers won't pack any cleaners, plants, or opened food so friends and neighbors pass these things on to one another when there is just nothing else to do with the remaining stuff. Yesterday I became the recipient of two garbage bags full of cleaning products and assorted bottles of half used things. Two really great things were bottles of hand soap from Bath and Body Works. I don't usually get the fancy stuff for myself. Actually, I generally use Dawn dishwashing liquid to wash my hands. So I was pleased to get two bottles of nice smelling hand soap. I put the pineapple scented one in the kids bathroom. And I put the cucumber melon scented one in the kitchen.

Last night I told Emily to go brush her teeth before bed. A little while later she came back into the living room and I said, "Did you brush your teeth?" She looked baffled for a moment, then laughed and said, "I went back there to brush my teeth, then I saw the new handsoap and tried it out. It smelled so good I totally forgot to brush my teeth!" So off she went (again) to brush her teeth. As soon as I spotted Katie, I told her to go brush her teeth too. She popped back up a little while later and I asked, "Did you brush your teeth?" She thought for a second and then said sheepishly, "I went to brush my teeth, but there was this new handsoap in the bathroom and I tried it, and I forgot to brush my teeth!" And off she went (again) to brush her teeth.

I just found it extremely amusing that a new handsoap can be that diverting!