Monday, January 9, 2017

Musings From Natalie #136

Nat: Mom, can you please find some music for us to listen to?
Me: I'm sorry, it's the morning traffic report on almost every station right now. Noah see if you can't find us something.
(Noah flips through the stations and stops at Red Hot Chili Pepper's Scar Tissue).
Classic right?
Nat: Mom! Please put on some real music. ugh.
Me/Noah: What do you mean?
Me: Sigh... Noah try again.
(as he flips through stations)
Nat: Stop! This one.
(She had us stop at 88.7 -- WSIE - Jazz. I always knew she was an old soul.)

Musings From Natalie #135

Nat: Mom, I just made up a new joke! What is a chef's favorite dessert?

Me: What?

Nat: A cook-ie!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Never Say Never

Anyone who knows Natalie knows she loves all creatures...big and small - even creepy crawly things, too. Hardly a day passes without her sharing how she can't wait to grow up and have her own dogs. She has always longed for a pet, however, it was something I didn't think I could ever give her. Though I had dogs growing up and cats, too - in my mid-20's I began having allergic reactions and asthma attacks from them. Unable to give up "my boys" (2 tabby cats) I dealt with medications, inhalers and hives for more than 10 years. After they passed, I figured we'd never again have a pet in our home.

On Nat's Christmas list was a wish for a pet turtle. I didn't give much thought to it, but once my mom and brother caught wind of it -- I began receiving emails with information on "tiny turtles"...ones that don't grow larger than 4 inches.

Hmmm...

Soon Natalie and I were both researching possibilities ...a Texas Map...a Missouri Musk. We watched countless youtube videos and visited online pet stores.

However, her dreams were dashed when we also discovered a turtle requires a 10 gallon tank for every inch of shell...our little home is just too small to house a 40 gallon tank for one tiny turtle.

Natalie was really disappointed, but by then I had passed the point of maybe getting her a pet to I'm definitely getting her something...I just didn't know what.

We settled on gerbils. We learned they aren't known to be a high allergen and are relatively easy to care for. Once we decided on what...the how seemed to fall into place within hours. I posted an ISO for a cage on our local swap and sell and within minutes received a response from a friend who had one. We also discovered that there is only one gerbil breeder in Missouri...and she happens to live less than 2 miles from our home. I couldn't believe our luck! And, she had two litters to choose from. The pups were just 28 days old.

Meet Sweet Pea and Flame. 

After she built her case -- Steve could hardly say no to her.
Natalie and her black mottled-Sweet Pea
Natalie holds her red honey-Flame

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Christmas Wrap Up 2016

It was a Christmas morning miracle to wake up with two healthy kids. Prior to this, Noah spent four days in bed and we all crossed our fingers that the rest of us wouldn't come down (or up) with it, too. We began the morning by sinking our teeth into Steve's homemade Cinnabon-copycat rolls and watching the kids tear through their gifts (though not before each read their annual Christmas letters). While neither child believes a jolly, old elf visited our house, Noah asked me if I would still continue to leave a letter for them to open.

I love that kid.

In the afternoon we headed over to my parent's house to visit with extended family, gorge ourselves on meaty, cheesy, fatty things and play our annual game of BINGO. We play for fun, silly prizes and bragging rights to take home the coveted moose -- a jelly bean-pooping trophy engraved with the name of each year's winner. Thanks to my mother-in-law - we've added a rider to the moose -- an elf to feature the face of the previous year's winner.

It was a fun day, made even more interesting when extended family dropped in to say hello or join in for an impromptu game of Bean-boozled. Though I barely made it out of the game without losing my lunch -- all in all a good day.





Noah super excited to receive tix to see Rogue One at the Omnimax
Orange marmalade...it was on her list.

Nat made a cute, snowman ornament made from a battery-operated tealight.
Ella was only mildly amused with her new cozy blanket
After 40+ years of marriage...Dad knows just how to make her happy.



BINGO Booty







Jack is the Winner!


Bean Boozled after BINGO


Grandma and Grandpa with half of their grandkids
love to John, Renee, Tanner, Olivia, Hayden and Griffin

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Sometimes Believing Is Seeing

For the past month our home has not exactly been what you'd describe as merry. Noah has been struggling adjusting to middle school and life. Meltdowns have been a plenty and convincing him -- a child who nearly matches me in height and weight that 'you must go to school' has been a challenge. One day I arrived at work so frazzled - but oblivious (until a kind co-worker pointed it out) that my shirt was on inside out.

Inside out...that's what I felt like.

When asked, "Mom, what do you want for Christmas?" My response was often, "peace".

But, to myself realized I also was in need of some wonder.

During the holiday season I've had a bit of Facebook envy towards my friends as they've shared posts of elf shenanigans, train rides to the North Pole and their children's letters to Santa. While I know Jesus is the reason for the season -- I miss the wonder and joy my children expressed as they marveled at the magic...in believing in something they've never actually seen -- like flying reindeer, pointy-eared elves, fairies and such.

Sometimes the grind of parenting and life can be tempered when paired with some magic and wonder -- both of which can be in short supply when you are middle-aged and your future path seems more rigid than flexible and is filled with more obligations than choices.
...like getting real about your child's potential
...meeting with lawyers to discuss setting up a special needs trust

However, this afternoon, wonder knocked at our front door... dressed in full-Rudolph the Reindeer attire with a plastic bag full of wrapped gifts for our family.

Shocked. My brain was unable to make sense of  things and with my mouth hanging open, I silently watched as a bit of magic wished me a Merry Christmas and then turned and headed back towards the road.

The packages were addressed to us individually and each one signed from "your secret Santa".

While no one in our home thinks reindeer can fly or fairies live in our garden -- today's visitor reminded me that life is still full of surprises and wonder.

Sometimes believing is seeing.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Deep Thoughts From Noah #76

Me: So...what should we get your Dad for Christmas this year?
Noah: Oooh! I know -- how about a Browning badge or a pin?
Me: Hmmm...I don't think he needs something else to remind him about his work.
Natalie: What about another turkey call?
Me: Um, no. My ears are still recovering from the last one.
Noah: What about bag pipes!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Musings From Natalie #134

Tonight after putting in a full day at work, Steve set out to plant Nat's tree...a birthday gift from her grandparents. A tree was her #1 birthday wish.

Me: "Where do you want us to plant it?"
Natalie: "Somewhere that I can sit under it and read a book."
"I love it! Now we just need to have a tree-naming ceremony!"