Tuesday, January 31, 2017

You're Never Too Old to Celebrate

Today is my birthday. I'm at an age now where it's actually better to tell people I'm older than I really am.

"No way! You are 50?! Wow! You look fantastic!"

But, nevermind...Noah always knows how to bring me back to reality. Today I heard things like:
"Mom, your hair is like really...white."
 and
"Mom, don't get old on me, ok?"
but also
"I can't imagine a world without you in it."

Then there's Natalie...
"Mom, what are you going to be when you grow up?"
"Um...I think I already am."
"Nah! You aren't completely grown up until you are at least 50!"
"Phew...I've still got time."

Yesterday Steve took the day off to spend some quality time with me (sans kids). We enjoyed lunch at the new Walnut Grill in O'Fallon (I highly recommend their Mahi Mahi tacos - yum!) and then he took me shopping at the outlet mall in Chesterfield for a new bag for work.

What a treat!

I felt like a princess for a day.

The love continued through my actual birthday with well wishes pouring in from friends near and far who left messages on my Facebook page, my teaching partner, Leslie organized a birthday card and a chorus of Happy Birthday from our preschool class, family called in, I freed myself from cooking by picking up a pizza from Racanelli's (purchased at 50% off thanks to their Birthday Club!). Steve and the kids made me a bird feeder so I can sip my tea and watch the birds from my picture window. Steve also signed me up for a drawing class. Eek. While it's been years since I've drawn anything -- I am really excited. My friend, Michelle stopped by with plate of sweet mini-bundt cakes. I never felt so grateful for my family, my friends (new and long-time ones), good health and another day to do better, to be better.

Thanks for sharing bits of your life, your stories and your friendship with me.

Noah captured Steve and Natalie working on my gift.
Thanks Mayo Family!

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