Friday, February 18, 2011


Beyond the excitement of getting a dog this week, we are having such a great time with so very many things to look forward to. The weather is starting to warm up and it's getting REALLY muddy with all the snow melting, but of course any sign of spring is welcome at this time of year!

Scrabble is doing GREAT fitting in with the family. I get up at six every morning to walk him for a mile and a half. It's been really hard for me in the past couple years to motivate myself to get up and walk and/or run before work, especially because I haven't been sleeping well (more on that later) but when I do get out of bed and start my day with some fresh air, I find my thoughts are clearer ALL DAY! So it's been nice to have Scrabble waiting for me as inspiration to get my butt moving!

We are going to have a fun weekend this weekend with two free family activities. First, tonight we are headed to the Parks & Rec dept's Game Night. It's geared towards 2-5 year olds, but they said there'd be stuff for the older boys, too. Then on Sunday a good friend of mine invited us to go to her church's annual skating party at a roller rink. I'll have to take pictures because I pride myself on being ONJ in "Xanadu" but I don't know if I can still cut the mustard on 8 wheels.

I posted on Facebook a while back about my problems sleeping and many of my friends suggested taking Melatonin and that helped some, but not a lot. I know these problems are linked specifically to my job. I can get to sleep, but invariably I wake up in the middle of the night and my mind immediately starts racing with all the problems I'm having at work. It's ok, though, as I am on track to begin a new chapter in my life very soon and these things will no longer be a concern to me. Sure, there might very well be other things that will keep me up at night, but at least I will be shaping my own destiny.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Meet Scrabble!

Well, it was inevitable that someday we'd get a dog and that someday came yesterday. A couple I work with fosters strays through the local animal shelter and they were telling me about Scrabble back in November. He seemed like the perfect type of dog for our family: 2 years old so out of the puppy stage, small (30 lbs) but not too small that the boys would unintentionally hurt him, low maintenance, and in need of a home. I think it's great that we're teaching the boys how lovable a dog can be, even when it seems no one else wants him. Anyway, here's the newest member of our family... Yes, his one ear flops over like this all the time and we think it's ADORABLE!

He's doing REALLY well adjusting to life with our rather large family. The boys love him and he's VERY gentle and patient with them. He was allowed to jump on couches/beds at his foster home but he's quickly learning that's not acceptable here. He's a black lab/Corgi mix so is very smart and picks up on things very quickly.

The only one who's not real happy with this addition to the family is Dope (the cat.) There was some definite tail-fluffiness at first, but today it's turned into full-body-fluffiness as he seems to be realizing Scrabble's not just visiting. I'm sure he'll get used to him eventually....right?

We're so excited for the weather to warm up and all this snow to melt so we can take Scrabble to Natureland and teach him how to play Frisbee. We also plan on taking at least a couple small camping trips this summer and I'm sure he'll love it!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My Sammy

He is amazing - always has been - and today he is 6 years old.

I want to clarify here, that it's not just me. EVERYONE who knows him, even for just a few minutes, recognizes his own brand of genius. He is smart - much smarter than he needs to be at this age - and extremely sensitive, too. That's quite a combination in a little boy!

One of my favorite pictures of Sammy, during the monsoon of April 2010.

He is so caring and gentle with babies. When William was born and Sammy was almost 3, I was so worried he would be jealous of the new baby. But instead, he immediately took on the role of big brother and both William and Luke just adore him.

I remember holding Owen as a baby when I was newly pregnant with Sammy, hoping and praying I would have another boy so that they could grow up together as best friends. Well...

Owen and Sammy are 19 months apart in age.

Right after people comment on how intelligent Sammy is, they turn right to his sense of humor. His teacher says that she gets it, but the things he says usually go right over the other kids' heads. Chris and I just think he's hysterical.

It's been difficult for me to let him go out into the world because he's like an amazing jewel I just want to keep to myself for a while longer, before having to share him with others. He is doing so well in kindergarten this year, both socially and academically, and has a few girls after him. When I visit the classroom, they come up and ask me when Sammy can come to their houses to play. Note who he is surrounded by in the below picture of his class...(he's second in from the right, in case you can't spot the red hair.)

Sammy - you are such an incredible, special person and I love you more than you will ever know. Happy 6th Birthday to you!

I want to pull the stars down from the sky
I want to live a day that never dies
I want to change the world - only for you
All the impossible, I want to do.

And every time you touch me, I become a hero
I'll make you safe no matter where you are
And bring you everything you ask for, nothing is above me
I'm shining like a candle in the dark when you tell me that you love me.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Today would have been my maternal grandmother's 104th birthday. We buried her the day before what would have been her 97th on February 4, 2004. Owen was just a baby then and she'd been in a nursing home for several months. One of the greatest regrets of my life is that by the time she passed, it had been almost a month since I'd last gone to see her.

I didn't like that nursing home. I guess it was ok, as far as nursing homes go, but it wasn't exactly a place I wanted to hang out. I went there a few times while I was on maternity leave when Owen was a tiny baby. The women there would practically mob me as I walked in. They all longed to touch this brand new life, perhaps hoping a bit of his newness would rub off on them. One woman I'd never seen before pleaded with me to hold him - what could I say? I put my 2 month old baby in her lap and I've never before or since seen such gratitude on someone's face. In that moment, I prayed that one day when I am old a young mother will see fit to allow me to hold her infant, too. I'll breathe in and the smell of that newborn will transport me back in time. Yeah, that will be nice.

The last time I went to see my grandma was on New Year's Eve 2003. Chris and I walked down the hall towards her room and laughed at how every single room had "Wheel of Fortune" on. The synchronization of the bells and the wheel spinning was just hilarious to us! She was there in her little room and excited to see us, as always. My mom had put up a picture of Owen in his Christmas outfit on her wall. She was really confused and kept calling him "Omar" and referring to him as a "she." I think we only stayed for about 1/2 hour and then said our goodbyes, never imagining it would be our last.

A few weeks later my mom called me very early one Saturday morning to tell me Nana had died. My initial reaction was a tremendous amount of sadness for my mom because they had always been so close. But as time goes on, I am more sad for me and the rest of the people she knew because she really did leave her mark on all of us. She was truly a "character" - not one easily defined, but definitely an unforgettable one. I miss her and always will.