Thursday, April 30, 2009

And now for something completely different....

T. Willy was biting into a piece of pizza at dinner and made a face. He said, "I don't want to eat any more," and pushed it away. He looked like he was about to cry, so I looked into his mouth. I could have sworn I saw a loose tooth, but thought that would be unlikely. He just turned 5.

I was wrong. Not only does he have a loose tooth, the permanent tooth has broken through and is very visible! So here is a crazy picture of T. Willy, his loose tooth (the crooked one) and, if you look really closely, the new tooth.

To protect and to serve

Years ago, the Big Man and I were driving on an interstate in the pouring rain. I noticed that a policeman had pulled someone over and said, "Can you believe he'd pull someone over in the rain?" Then, I was terribly ashamed when we passed him and saw that he was kneeling in the pouring rain, not writing a ticket, but changing a tire. The Big Man just said, "To protect and to serve" which was a great reminder. It was a bit of an aberration for me, because I have always respected those who serve us as police officers, firefighters and military, but I've never forgotten it either.

So, last Saturday, our area was shaken when two deputies were killed in the line of duty. As I understand, deputies had responded to a domestic abuse call in another town. A man had beaten his wife, but an arrest was not made at the time. It was learned he was going to be at a shooting range in our town, so Deputies York and Lopez went there. He resisted and they tased him. While he was on the ground, he accessed a weapon that he had on him and shot these two deputies to death. He then fled the scene and drove to a neighboring county. Deputies there were waiting for him, rammed his truck and shot him to death.

Our area is completely stunned. When I went to school Monday, many of the kids had connections to the families...neighbors, went to church with them, etc. One of them went to my church and his kids were at my old school for a time, then the wife of the other worked with me at that school. Then a neighbor told me more connections. It's just amazing.

Today the funeral for Deputy Lopez was held in our town. I was driving home from work and as I entered this part of the county, I started seeing emergency vehicles on the side of the road and people just standing on the side of the road. I then realized that the funeral procession was about to pass. I parked in a parking lot and stood outside to pay my respects. I am so glad that I did. There were hundreds of police cars from so many places I couldn't begin to remember...all of the local counties had sheriff's cars and local cities with police cars, Alabama, Louisiana...even a car from Pittsburgh. There were red and blue lights as far as you could see, but only one siren.

I tried to respectfully take some pictures, and I hope that you realize I'm posting these with that in mind. I do not mean to show any disrespect by doing so, but I wanted to show the enormity of what this meant to our town.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What I see

I walked to the backyard this morning before leaving for work. Here are some pictures of what I saw.

We don't have any actual pets, but as long as we keep putting seed in this feeder, we have tons of birds and squirrels in our yard. The Big Man calls them his pets.

My friend's husband pointed out some very small growths in our front yard. He asked if I knew that they were crape myrtles. I did not. We'd had a crape myrtle but had taken it out to plant the palm tree. Anyway, there were about six of them, and I wasn't doing anything in the front yard, so I just let them grow. When we finally landscaped the front walkway, we pulled them up. We took a couple of the bigger ones and just stuck them in a pot. They're flourishing. I don't know where we're going to plant them though. We'll have to think about that.

My zucchini has a bloom! And I still very desperately need to weed...and do laundry...and grade papers....and sleep. School is out June 5!!!!

And here is my apple tree. It makes me happy every time I look at it.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Good morning!

It was a beautiful day yesterday, so I took the kids to our neighborhood park to enjoy it. We had a really nice time, and we even met a family from Turkey that has been in the U.S. for 2 weeks. The husband was the only one who spoke English, but the language barrier didn't keep T. Willy from playing with the kids. He didn't even seem to notice that the little boy wasn't talking back to him. T. chatted away as they threw a ball back and forth.

Monday, April 27, 2009

How high is high enough?

Melissa G. commented on the picture of the sunflowers that I had posted a few days ago. She's never been here, so I thought I'd post a picture of our house. I call this my front "porch" though, technically, I'm not sure that it qualifies as a porch. Also, the double rocker is no more. We have a single rocker now that is on its last legs. My dream is to have a front porch swing, but there's no room for that, so we're discussing a glider, but I'm specific about what I'm looking for. With a glider, the kids and I can sit together. As it is, I sit alone, and T. Willy sits alone, or MK tries to sit on his rocker, but it isn't comfortable for her. So, we'll see what we can find.

I digress.

The roof is plenty high for sunflowers to get tall, if they aren't too crowded; however, it isn't very wide...hence no swing. This picture is from 2006, and they are the same planters that we have out front now. I really know how to hold onto something.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


I've been holding onto a pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarers for about 20 years. I'm not really sure why...surely I'd never get old enough for them to come back. Imagine my surprise when MK bought sunglasses yesterday that look suspiciously like my old Wayfarers.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

As said by MK

She was bored just now, so I suggested bowling. She said,"Watching me bowl is like watching a cat's hard, but you can't look away."

MK's early birthday present

MK has been asking for a very long time to change her hair. She e-mails me pictures all the time, but some of the ideas have just been a little too out there. She finally came up with one that she, her dad and I agreed upon. So, in honor of her upcoming birthday, I took her to the "Blonde Bellagio" today and she got a cut and color. She loves it and definitely got the change she wanted. Here is the before/after. I actually have "during" but was not given approval to post those. I can't get away with it, because she reads this. (We did not approve the tattoo...don't even ask.)

Friday, April 24, 2009

It's a Sunshine Day

It seems that it has usually been much warmer by this time each year, but it is finally very warm now. I started some sunflowers in a pot, and they are really growing well. Here is a picture. This is an experiment, because I wanted something on my front porch with some height, but I may have overdone it. I will try to post more if they start to bloom.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Some of this...some of that

Since this is MK's 8th grade year, and the last year at her middle school, the yearbook staff sells ads to the 8th grade parents that we can personalize with pictures and words. This is supposed to be a surprise. And it was, until the yearbook staff returned the pictures in an envelope addressed to MK!!!! She, of course, opened it, then texted me as soon as she got home letting me know that she knew which pictures I had chosen. I had one of her as a toddler, one of her with T. Willy as a baby, one of her and me recently, and our most favorite picture of her and the Big Man kissing when she was a toddler. The last picture was her only request, and if you are on my Facebook or really know me at all, you've seen it...but I like it so much that it bears repeating.

Although T. Willy is older, I thought I'd like a similar one of him. We tried it tonight, and this is what we ended up with. You can absolutely see that he's posing, but we tried.

The Big Man worked tonight and wasn't here for dinner. So, I took the kids to the Hot Dog Shoppe. MK didn't want to go out, but she was a great sport, and I think she ended up having fun. She played several songs for me during the ride, and it's fun to hear her music. She seems to know all of the backgrounds on the songs and singers, so it's great to spend that time with her. Here are some pictures of our evening starring the photogenic MK and the uncooperative T. Willy.

If you know me in real life, you'll also know that I am fascinated by accents. The Hot Dog Shoppe is very tiny, so it's hard not to hear conversations around you. An older couple sat near us, and the owner knew them and talked to them the whole time. I heard the woman talking to the owner and said to MK, "I bet she is from Pittsburgh." It was like hearing the Big Man's grandmothers talk. MK sort of dared me to ask her, and I hesitated, because sometimes it's better not to know and think you're right than to find out that you really know nothing. But I did ask, and she was from Pittsburgh. Vindication. Actually, she seemed really happy to talk to me about it, and once we started talking Steelers, it was like meeting an old friend.

I was hoping to do something nice for MK because I'm feeling a little bad about something. At the Open House before the school year, the teachers talked about a trip they were planning. They were trying something for the first time, an 8th grade trip to Washington, D.C. I grew up just a couple of hours from D.C. and completely took the proximity for granted. We would get bored because it seemed like we went there so often. Then I moved this far away and finally realized what an amazing gift that was. So for them to go, it was a really big deal. I was very excited about this opportunity (although MK has been there,) but reality set in that I didn't have a job, and it would be very costly. So, MK didn't get to go. She is very understanding and realizes that she's been there before, but I know she would have liked to have gone. Her one disappointment is that they are going to the Holocaust Museum, and she hasn't been there. Hopefully we'll get a chance to go to it soon. Anyway, they're there right now. Some of her friends went and have been texting her, and she is being a real trooper about it. She's happy for them, but I know she would like to be there too.

Okay...that's what has been on my mind. Have a great night!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dirt, dirt, good ol' dirt.

We moved into this house in 2001. When we moved in, I wanted to plant an apple tree. However, we had never lived anywhere more than a few years, so it never seemed like I'd have time to see a tree grow fruit, so I put it off. Last year I wanted to do it, and when I went to get it, they were gone. But this year, I determined that I was going to do it! So, after work today, I stopped by Lowe's. At first I couldn't find the kind I wanted, Granny Smith, and I thought I'd missed my opportunity this year. Then I found it...a lone Granny Smith tree was sitting there. I was willing to wrestle for it, but I didn't have to, and I brought it home. I planted it after dinner. I have a few pictures of the process, but it got dark before I could get the finished product. I'll try to get that tomorrow. Here are pictures leading up to it, though. Hopefully we'll have apples in 3 years or so. I guess that means we're staying here for awhile. *It was just a coincidence this happened on Earth Day, but it was fitting.

It starts with a hole.

See, I did it flip-flops!

Filling it back up...I mulched it after that. My garden is behind it...I will be weeding a lot this weekend.

On the road

T. Willy ran some errands with the Big Man today, so here is a picture they sent me. T. Willy is wearing his dad's Maui Jim's.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

MK Style

MK did not wear this to school today, but this is how I found her when I came home. She certainly has her own sense of style. I wish I'd had her chutzpah when I was a kid...I'd settle for a quarter of it now.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Can you Wii?

The Big Man's parents gave T. Willy a Wii Fit for his birthday, but MK and I are having too much fun with it. We ran together and did yoga together tonight. I wasn't sure how it would be, but it's a workout...or I'm just that out of shape. Regardless, it was a lot of fun!

The NHL playoffs are in full swing. Unfortunately, hockey is one thing the Big Man and I cannot agree upon. He is from Pittsburgh originally, and I am from the Philadelphia area. He can tolerate the Eagles and the Phillies but HATES the Flyers. And, in the first round of the playoffs, as has happened in the past, the Penguins are playing the Flyers. The Pens are up 2 games to 1, so he's happy. As much as I want the Flyers to win, it's much easier if the Pens do, so either way I'll be happy.

We had the best babysitter in the world when I was in grad school. She was in high school at the time and was really a lifesaver for me. I never worried about the kids with her, and they loved having her. Okay, MK loved having her. T. Willy would pretty much cry as soon as he saw her, because he knew it meant I was leaving. But he had a great time with her once I was gone. One day she came over just to drop something off, and he burst into tears.

Anyway, I just found out that she is back in town. Her mom and I were good friends and worked together, but they've moved to Georgia. Now Brittany is a college graduate and married, and she and her husband are back here! I'm so happy. Not only that, she is now working at T. Willy's school! I don't think he'll remember her, but she promised to stop by soon, so he'll get to know her again and find out how sweet she is.

Tonight's picture...I try very hard to get a nice picture of T. Willy, but he is every bit his 5 years and cannot seem to just smile. So, here are my vain attempts, but they're really just cheeky.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Nothing to talk about

Those of you who have been with me for some time know that my New Year's Resolution was to post something every day for a year. A couple of days into the year, I also added posting a picture every day. I have done it, but it hasn't been easy. Days go by in which there is just nothing to write about. Today is one of those days. It wasn't a bad day; it was just a get things accomplished day. I did a ton of laundry and finally have my house back together. So here is a picture of T. Willy last year on his 4th birthday. Have a great night!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

5 years, 1 day

T. Willy is much happier to be 5 today than he was yesterday. Due to MK's band event, he didn't even open all of his presents until today. But he had a blast. He was given some wonderful things...and the little bird was right, because he did get a Wii Fit, and MK is thankful for it! So here are a couple of pictures. Have a wonderful night!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Happy Birthday, T. Willy!!!!

T. Willy is 5 today! He woke up CRYING and went to school CRYING and, when I left him at school, he was CRYING. He made sure that I told the teacher that he didn't want them to sing to him, but we did take cupcakes for him to share with his class. They haven't called, so I'm hoping he calmed down after I left. He's never done that...not even on the first day of school. His allergies are really bothering him, the family left today, and he has been staying up late with the company. So, I think a birthday was just a little overwhelming for him.

I have been planning this post for awhile, but now that I'm actually doing it, I'm finding it daunting. I want to remember everything, but I'm finding that I am forgetting some things. I'll give it a try. Forgive me if I repeat myself and ramble, but I want to document this for the kids.

The Big Man and I had been told that we might not be able to have children "naturally." So, we sought medical help to have MK, and after we had her, we were quite content. There was always a feeling that our family wasn't complete, but we didn't take any extra measures to have another baby.

So imagine my surprise when, 9 years after MK was born, I was late. I was so late that it was calculable. MK had spent the night with a friend, so I went to Walmart and bought a test. Actually, it was a kit that had 3 tests in it. Furthermore, imagine my surprise when it was positive! I really could not believe it. It was a Sunday morning, so I went to church. I told one person. I think my exact words were, "So here's a funny story. I took a pregnancy test this morning and it was positive!" She laughed with me; she agreed not to tell anyone, and that was it. Then I went to see the Big Man at work, and told him, and he laughed. But I'd just taken one test, and there was really no reason to think it could be true. I think I took the other 2 when I got home, both positive...and I sat and waited.

The next morning, I went to work teaching high school. I took a break mid-morning and went to my doctor's office and asked for a blood test. They gave me one, and told me to stop by on the way home from work for the results. There weren't many people in the room, so the two women working there talked to me for quite awhile, and they were so sweet. I made it through the rest of the day and stopped by just as I'd said I would. They finally called for me, and the same lady handed me a piece of paper. The first word I saw was, "Negative." My heart fell a little, but I had tried very hard not to get my hopes up, and I said, "Oh, it's negative," and turned to walk away. The lady stopped me and said, "Wait..." Wait? A life-changing word. I had looked at the wrong place. She then pointed her finger down the line....POSITIVE!!! A more precious word was never read. There were hugs and tears and I just couldn't believe it.

I went home and told the Big Man. We were pretty subdued, because there was a part of it that we just couldn't believe. We agreed not to tell MK, but she wasn't home from school yet, so we called our parents. My mom wasn't home, and I couldn't reach her cell phone, so we called the Big Man's parents and my brother. When MK came home, she overheard something and thought something was wrong, so we did tell her then. She was ecstatic. She ran around the house and hugged her cat and cried. We finally got ahold of my parents in a Wendy's. It was a very happy day.

Nine months later, we had a scheduled C-section for April 22. My technical due date was May 1, I think. My parents were planning to come down to stay with MK, and my biggest stresses were my elevating blood pressure and concern that I wouldn't be able to sleep on the night of the 21st.

But, on April 17, I woke up having contractions. They weren't hard, but they were regular. MK had made plans to go to breakfast with a friend coincidentally at the Big Man's restaurant, so I sent her off, and stayed home and timed contractions. After awhile, I realized that they weren't tapering off, so I called the Big Man and the doctor. My doctor wasn't on call, but I talked to another one, and she recommended that I come in. The hospital was in Pensacola, about 45 minutes away. So, the Big Man came home from work; MK sat in the backseat and videotaped the trip; we called the grandparents, and away we went.

I prayed one thing all the way to the hospital. "Lord, please let me be a 4," because I remembered with MK, they would admit you if you'd dilated to 4 centimeters. When we got there, I was a 4! They admitted me and took me back for surgery pretty quickly. The Big Man's parents didn't even have time to make it, so MK sat in the nurses' station eating graham crackers and drinking chocolate milk.

The surgery went smoothly, and Ty William was born at 12:21 pm. He weighed 8 lb. 5 oz...the same thing MK weighed at birth. He was 21 1/2 inches long, and our lives have never been the same. When MK was able to see him, he was only about 45 minutes old. She cried, and we have video of that. It may be the most dear video we own. Enough of are pictures.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

"I'm not waking up tomorrow"

That is what T. Willy told me when he went to bed tonight. Tomorrow is his birthday, but he has liked 4 so much that he doesn't want to turn 5. We had a little birthday party for him tonight with the family, because they are leaving sometime tomorrow. He got a new bike and some other nice things.

I seem to be getting a sinus infection, so I'm afraid some of my fun day off is going to be spent at the doctor's office. That's fine with me, though, because I prefer to be well.

MK is going to a band event tomorrow night, so she'll be gone all evening. She is sorry to miss T's birthday, but I'm pretty sure he'll understand. The kids were given Wii Music, which arrived today, and a little bird told me that TW is getting Wii Fit for his birthday, so we'll have plenty to keep us busy.

Now for some pictures.

The first picture is one that MK took of me with my dad's camera. And I am, of course, eating a circus peanut.

Have a great night!

More pics - HI MK!

From my mom to the kids, our cell phones are ubiquitous. We need help!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Trip continued...

MK was allowed to play hooky today so that she could spend the day with the family. They played "goofy golf" and went out to lunch. T. Willy's allergies are bothering him, so he stayed home with my dad, and my mom took the teenagers. MK took some pictures, so here is one of them.

We've been doing achievement tests at school this week. Tomorrow we should be back to normal. I'm playing hooky on Friday, because it's my parents' last day here, and it's T. Willy's birthday! He will be 5, and it's a day to celebrate!! I have a very "mom" blog planned for it.

So, that's it for me. I hope you have a great night!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My mom is you know what that means!

Circus peanuts!

And the cousins are having fun. Hope you are too...have a good night!

Say cheese

We have a nice camera (even though most pictures that I post are taken from my phone.) My dad has a NICE camera, and MK loves it. She grabs it and takes pictures of everything. So here are just a few of that many pictures that she took. One picture of is of her, so she didn't take that. I just liked it and wanted to include it.

Our school is doing a fundraiser, and last night we had a big kickoff for it at the school. So I came home around 4:15, then left at 5:30 to go back. The kickoff went well, but the weather seemed to keep quite a few people away. It made for a long evening, but it was nice to have my parents here so that the kids didn't have to be alone. They went bowling yesterday and are hoping for nice weather so that they can hit the beach.