Thursday, May 27, 2010

Safari Party

We have a difficult time deciding what is the "best" way to celebrate Robbie's birthday. I make a cake (to make me smile) and then we just try to do something that allows us to joyfully remember him. In the past, we have taken balloons to the cemetery or gone to the park.

The one conclusion I have come to in this whole grief journey is that there are no rules. We will do what is best or what feels best on that day. Some years may include the cemetery; others may not. As I've said before, this isn't something they teach you in school so we are just winging it.

Yesterday, we wanted to be together as a family and make fun memories. Eveley knew it was Robbie's birthday and helped make the cake. Around lunchtime, we loaded the car and took a surprise day trip. The kids had no idea where we were going.

Being the awesome planner that I am, I had the juice boxes, sunglasses, hats, change of clothes,..... but when the big moment came, I realized I had left my camera's memory card in my laptop. So I was stuck with only one option -- my beloved iPhone. And it didn't disappoint! (The quality isn't the same as my macDaddy camera and there is not a zoom. So you can see our day just as we saw it.)

This place was crazy. We just opened the van's side doors and drove through the wildlife. I was a little freaked out but tried to hold it together for the kids.

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We let Caleb wave but couldn't let him hold the bucket of food. You can guess why.

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I took Eveley inside the small gift shop to use the restroom. She stopped to rummage through a large rack of advertisement cards/brochures. When I tried to get her to leave, she told me she was picking out a birthday card for Robbie. (you can see it beside her.) Sweet.

Bob kept yelling, "Your mama is a llama." I'm sure they haven't heard that before.

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It was a nice day.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Today is Robbie's 5th birthday -- and my 5 year anniversary of motherhood.


Robbie, I thank you for giving me my dream job and allowing me to be a mom. I can't believe it has been 5 years since we first saw your beautiful face and big blue eyes. They were wide open from the very first moment. You were constantly a burst of energy. You walked while holding our hands at 3 months. And you were on your own by 9 months.

You loved music, books, Mickey Mouse, Elmo, stars, and dogs. You did not like it when mama would sing opera or play the piano and would cry hysterically!

You were very independent and could play well with most anyone. But you loved your mama and daddoo. Every morning, you would get in bed with me and snuggle. Your hands would instantly go to my pits -- for some reason you loved to keep your fingers safe and snug under my arm.

I wish you were here with your sister and brother. They are crazy. But they are a lot like you, and I know you would have loved the new swingset.

Eveley talks about you all the time. She says, "Robbie is in my heart." And that is very true. Just a few days ago, she asked me to tell her how she could go to heaven like you. She has an interest and excitement for heaven because of you. That is a great gift.

Caleb is giving you a run for your money on the ABCs. But he hasn't mastered his numbers yet. And I think he looks like you, although most everybody else thinks he looks like your dad.

Dear Robbie, our lives have been forever changed by your coming and your going. We miss you every minute of every day.

These past 5 years included some wonderful highs and some devastating lows. But we excitedly anticipate our reunion and praise the One who has written the end of our story.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Celebrity Spotting

This weekend, we got word that a big celebrity was in our neck of the woods. This isn't too out of the ordinary since our little town seems to attract some big-timers every now and then.

Saturday morning, we got dressed in cute outfits and headed to the spot. I explained to Eveley who we would see and told her she must be on her best behavior and have big girl manners.

At a girlfriends' brunch a few weeks ago, a friend recounted how she ran into some really cool and hip celebrities and behaved exactly how she was afraid she would -- with a gasp and a 5th-grade-girl squeal.

I had a feeling this celebrity would evoke a similar response from Miss Eveley.

Eveley could hardly sit still as she waited for the big shot. Luckilly, one of Eveley's best buds, Cohen, came too and he helped distract the misses.

Then it was time.

He walked through crowd. It was Curious George -- one of the kids' favorite characters. But he was not alone. He was with Little Critter. I'm sad to say this but we have never heard of Little Critter. And he is frankly pretty scary looking. The two characters couldn't squeeze by Eveley so they had to ask her to move over. She did not appreciate that.

After about 5 minutes, Eveley had seen enough and was still skeptical of Little Critter. She returned to me and decided it would be better to go sit in the corner and read books.

"Mom," she whispered. "I'm going to call him Big Critter because he was too big and stepped on my toes." "That's fine with me," I told her.

All in all, her first celebrity encounter went pretty well.

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Nursery Rhyme

Last week was a fairy tale. This week will be a nursery rhyme.

This little piggy went to market.
This little piggy stayed home.
This little piggy had roast beef.
And this little piggy

Let me explain.

It was a crazy week as we were wrapping up our MOPS year. I have been involved in a MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) group for several years and served as the coordinator this past year. It was tons of fun but also a lot of work. As we were setting up for the last meeting, a friend asked me how things were going. "Everything is good right now," I told her. "It seems that our family is in a calm and peaceful season of life and things are nice."

We finished our last meeting and I decided to prepare a good dinner to celebrate. I had pulled a few late-nighters earlier in the week and felt my hubby and I hadn't talked much due to our crazy schedules. So I made meatloaf, green beans, potatoes (one of my hubby's favorite meals), and we sat down to a nice dinner. We finished eating and let the kids get up from the table while we talked. Across the room, I saw Caleb reach for a large wrought iron plant stand. I yelled but it was too late, and the stand toppled onto Caleb. He began screaming but I expected it to just be a good bump on the noggin. When Bob scooped him up, I noticed his sock was bloody. As I pulled off the sock, I almost passed out. His 4th little piggy was barely hanging on. There was no questioning whether we would need to go to the ER. We grabbed some milk for Caleb and jumped into the car.

In what was simply a freak accident, it appears that the bottom ring of the stand was just the right height and fell at just the right angle onto the end of his little toe and nearly cut it off.

The experience in the ER was pretty terrible. It took 2 grown men to hold Caleb down while they nummed his foot and sewed his toe back together. They kept remarking how strong little Caleb was, which made his daddy proud!

We do not know the extent of the damage. I have not attempted to remove the bandaging yet as it took them quite a while to wrap such a tiny toe. But we will see a specialist this week and let him dictate the next move.

Our sweet Caleb is a trooper. He screamed his little lungs out during the process, but I was finally able to distract him with the ABC's. And as we walked out of the ER, he told everyone "Bye Bye" and waved. I think he stole a few hearts. It only took an hour the next morning for him to figure out how to waddle around. He hasn't missed a beat, and you would not even know anything was wrong underneath his socks. And thank goodness for those ugly crocs! He's still able to wear those over his bulky bandage so he can play outside a little.

I know that ER visits are routine parts of the parenting process. But my first experience as a mama in the ER was not something I would ever want to repeat; neither would I classify it as routine. So I would be lying to say that those memories and thoughts weren't running through my mind during my second visit to the ER while I was holding my little Caleb. But it also gave me perspective and I thanked the Lord for the small things -- allowing my husband to be home at the time, giving us wisdom on which hospital to drive to, protecting Eveley's heart through it all, and even letting it be a day when I had actually taken a shower and fixed my hair. :) But especially getting to take my little banged up boy home with me that night.

Now back to the calm and peaceful season, right?