Sunday, July 27, 2008

Relative Fear

Please keep my aunt, uncle, and cousins in your thoughts and prayers. Unbelievable and scary.


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Heavy Stones

Nothing hurts my heart more than the death of a child. Hearing about the death of a child permeates my chest with heavy stones of sadness, uncertainty, confusion, fear. As my chest fills, stones clinking me aware, each breath becomes more shallow, and then deeply more deliberate. Each breath forces me to acknowledge the weight pulling from within, the heaviness threatening to pull me under.

Years ago--although I can recall the tiniest details of the day, I can't recall the year--I attended the funeral of a coworker's little boy. He was Moosie's age when he died. He triumphed through many heart surgeries, but he slowly lost his life after being on life support and receiving a heart transplant.

The funeral home was filled with poster after poster of a happy, amazing little boy. I remember the line for the viewing being painfully, uncomfortably slow, each slight step forcing me to look at another snapshot of this marvelous little boy. I don't know why, but I specifically remember a small picture of him in a body of water with an orange lifejacket on, his smile firm, his little body bobbing slightly. And then suddenly I was embracing his mother and all notions of "What should I say? Not say? What should I do? Not do?" disappeared.

As I left that night, the image of his tiny peaceful body forever in my mind, I contemplated how a family grieves the loss of a child, especially a child requiring a spectacular level of care. This little boy had medical needs, therapeutical needs, spiritual needs--his parents keenly aware of the possibility of death, struggled to give him a balanced but rich life, the just in case purposely tucked away every morning.

I imagine their first conscious breath often a decision or thought regarding their little boy, early morning appointments with the pediatrician, lunch appointments with the heart specialist, after work predinner appointments with the physical therapist. I try to imagine the quick e-mails sent and received, the medical research conducted, the impromptu blood draws required, the worried phone calls, all infiltrating the work day. And then the so-called trivial aspects of parenting-- feeding dinner, giving baths, reading stories, applying bandaids and emphasized kisses--when bits of marvel, hope, and love leapt out or even just inconspicuously leaked out. I try to imagine all of this, and then having not just the child but the tightly woven tangles and lovingly tied knots of the parents' lives ripped out in a flash.

And I can't. I can't imagine it at all. All I can feel is despair.

I read about another child dieing this week, discussed on some of the blogs that I read regularly. I did not regularly read the mother's blog and thus did not have a connection to her or her little boy who died suddenly. But the stones continue to fill my chest, and with each breath I helplessly think of this little boy and his family. I am reminded how we are all connected, intentionally or not.

Each time I come across the memorial bookmark I have kept from all those years ago, as I finger the soft recycled pulp, I will not just think of Spencer Kult but also of Evan Kamida.

Nothing hurts my heart more than the death of a child.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The fruits (er, vegetables) of my labor

When I came back from vacation, there was a handful of green beans left and a surprise zucchini.

The zuke doesn't look as nice battered and fried, but it tasted damn good!

The garden did not die while I was gone, though the vines took over since no one was around to keep them in line.

Tomatoes are on their way.

Something likes the broccoli. Yes, that is a broccoli plant!

Beets, carrots, lettuce.

Moosie approves of the carrots.

I couldn't bare to throw away the carrot greens just yet, so they became the inspiration behind an impromptu flower arrangement.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Doing Just Swimmingly

The really cool thing about seeing my boys in the exact same environment at the exact same time of the year (even in the exact same swimming suits) is to see how much they have grown and changed.

This is so fantastic on so many levels.

Bubba is now swimming deep under water, nearly across the pool. According to him, he's a "dipsey diver" (he means deep sea diver).

Moose is now in the water (thanks to the water temperature being lukewarm). And that's a big, big, BIG deal.

And Hubby. He's swimming with us. Also quite the feat since last summer.

And me, well I don't care if you see me in my swimsuit. I just don't. And that's a nice feeling.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

It gets me every time


Making sure the new shoes "work"

One down, one to go

And there he goes

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Rebound Fatigue

You know that after vacation kind of tired? Where you are mentally refreshed but you are physically exhausted? And your body just wants to lay in bed--your own bed--and your eyes just need to rest for just a little while.

Yeah, well, that doesn't happen when the kids start school tomorrow and your whole vacation threw up all over your house and you waited until the last minute to get school supplies (just like every one else). But wait! I decided to take the boys swimming first, you know, to tire them out. Instead, we all got too much sun (how does that happen now when we didn't burn all week at the beach?!?!) and then we all went back-to-school shopping tired, crabby, and hot.

To top it all off, I had to go to several shoe stores (Thanks Daddy for telling him he needed new shoes when he really didn't!) because Bubba did not believe me that they don't make transformer shoes in his size. I gave him an honest (exhausted) answer why, saying that most of the kids his age do not want to wear transformer shoes. And he gave me a sincere reply: "But I do!" Finally he decided on a pair of $40+ camo Sketchers, so he's not the only one wishing he could squeeze his foot into a $10 pair of Transformer tennis shoes.

I am so not ready for the school year already. I haven't even gotten around to posting the recaps and updates from last school year! Seriously, the boys got out of school the 1st week of's only July now! Not that it matters, cycle break will be here before I know it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sun, Strong Currents, Jelly Fish, and Goodbye

Saturday was a beautiful day...While I spent all day at the beach, Bubba went in midday because he couldn't really play in the ocean. There was a strong risk of rip tides and we were easily knocked down in knee deep water and then carried down shore in a matter of seconds. We did put a washed up jelly fish in a bucket of water and watch it pulsate like a beating heart.

Sunday our friends left early in the morning. We had planned to stay at the beach, but since the current was still wicked strong, we said goodbye to the sun and sand and headed towards home.

It was an extra surprise to drive by Grave Digger's home. Bubba loves Big Foot, and we have visited the Big Foot garage several times since it is so close to home. But Moosie loves Grave Digger!

We should make it home today, after 40 cumulative hours of driving.

Friday, July 11, 2008


It rained most of the day again today, but after a few games of ping pong, we visited "the sound." Moosie felt safe enough to get into the water, and had a good ol' time.

And once again, it was clear skies and high tide after 5PM. We were all pretty crabby after 10 hours staring wistfuly outside hoping for the rain to stop, but we cheered up quickly. Still seemed appropriate that we ended the day by "hunting" crabs! The kids had a blast.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


We hit the beach in a split shift, with a two hour break during the rain. In the afternoon the waves were monstrous (pictures are from earlier in the morning). I decided to go further in, beyond where the waves were crashing on shore, toward the really big waves. Diving in, riding them in, getting sucked into the ocean... all fun and games until one hits you just right and you get slammed into the sand and flipped around. Oh well... jumped right back in of course. Not nearly as bad as Aunt M, whose body looks like she scrubbed with sandpaper... she's been having a good time with the Boogie Board.

We are vacationing with some friends who come here every year (they are originally from the area), and I have to say, it is so much fun! And since we are in a beach house, we don't feel cooped up or antsy. The boys love playing with their friends, and are doing really well.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Rain Rain Go Away

Rained most of the day, but we were out on the beach by 4.

Moosie actually let the water touch his feet for like a second.

Surfs Up!

Raining today, but we got a sun-filled day in yesterday. After 20 hours in the car, we were VERY thankful.

Raining today, but we got a sun-filled day in yesterday. After 20 hours in the car, we were VERY thankful.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Are you SERIOUS?

We go on vacation soon.

Here is the weather forecast for home:

Here is the weather forecast for the beach we are going to:

See anything wrong with this?!?!?! The last time we went on "vacation" to the beach (Sister's wedding), we were stuck in a tropical storm. You better bet two years ago I ran outside and jumped in the ocean the second it stopped pooring, my children's transition issues and the clouds/wind/drizzle be damned! You better bet I'll do the same thing this go around. But please, I'd rather it just be sunny.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

How does your garden grow?

We've got tiny bean sprouts now, probably ready to harvest when we are ON VACATION! Ugh. But I did collect the arugula this afternoon and had some nice greens in my wrap. Rachael Ray would be proud; she likes her some arugula. Time to cut the Green Ice lettuce as at least I'll have eaten something besides radishes before leaving the tendering (and eating) to our neighbors while we're gone.

Some of the cucumbers and one of the pumpkin plants has grown like 2 feet in a week. I have a lot of pretty herbs growing, and a basil plant that is the size of a large Mum! I think I could smell basil all day long... mmmmmmmmmm.

Even so, all I can think of is the new Thin Mint GS cookie Blizzard at DQ. If it's even half as good as the Edy's packaged version, I am all over it.

The flowers don't really show up on the cell phone pictures, but, I really enjoy sitting on the porch surrounded by them drinking a beer with Hubby when he gets home from work. That's our new summer tradition. I like it. Back in the day I was adamant that we wouldn't have beer in our fridge, since I didn't want the husband in the recliner drinking a beer kinda marriage. Instead I got the husband hunched over the computer/cell phone with only his mouse/keypad hand moving kinda marriage...

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