Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Fire in the Sky

Things certainly are busier with two kids. Who would have thought that two kids was twice the work? Then you add in a husband who travels a lot for work … two dogs … Cub Scouts … summer camps … work … and life, in general.

Fortunately, we were able to slow down a bit for the Fourth of July. Although the little man had big fun last year with our water rockets, he was definitely itching to try his hand at something a little more exciting.

I guess we can chalk that one up to another year older and another year wiser. Now at 7-years-old, water just isn't as fun as fire.

Because our local municipality has a ban on all things fireworks, we headed out of town to Grammy Jo and Papa's, where fireworks are still very much legal.
And the little man did indeed light up the sky – day AND night.

At first a little timid, the husband started him off with easy things like smoke bombs.

But another year older and another year wiser, the little man was eager for the good stuff.

Before long, punk in hand, we had a virtual air strike in the neighborhood – rockets, parachute men and tanks were being lit and shot off. Mini dynamites and black cats were exploding around us. And – of course – there were the Saturn Missiles.

Fortunately for us, the only casualty of the night was Grammy Jo's mop bucket, which had been on hand (full of water) for safety reasons. That is, until daddy pulled out the mini dynamites with waterproof fuses.

And as I looked down at the video baby monitor to see that little sister was amazingly still sound asleep in her bed, I could only smile as the little man and the husband shared a laugh and marveled over their defeat of the mop bucket.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Introducing ...

Time certainly flies ... it's hard to believe how long it's been since I've last updated this blog! Needless to say, a lot has happened in our lives since last summer. Most importantly was the arrival of the little man's little sister on November 29!

Fortunately for us, I was able to experience pregnancy on my feet this time and avoid the bedrest that I had with the little man. However it was not without it's own level of anxiety. Due to the complications I had with the little man, this time I was immediately referred to a Perinatologist - a specialist dealing with high-risk pregnancy. It was there that she posed two options for me: do nothing and risk the very same complications I had with the little man, which would then be dealt with with bedrest and meds just as before, or surgery to insert a cerclage (a temporary stitch to keep me from dilating and going into preterm labor). Each option had it's own risks and rewards. But the kicker was that since the surgery could only be safely done in just a short window of time, I had to make my decision soon.

So, at 13 weeks, my little bean and I were wheeled in to an operating room. There was a chance the surgery would fail, but I chose to roll the dice in hopes the odds were on our side.

And they were.

Little sister was born on a sunny afternoon - 7 lbs., 9.5 ozs. and 20 inches long. She still made an appearance earlier than her "official" due date, but this time there was no NICU team, worries or questions. I was able to carry her to nearly 39 weeks.

And later that day when the little man walked into my room to meet his new little sister, I couldn't help but thank God for my two little miracles.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


One of the things that I looked forward to each summer as a child was the Fourth of July.

I LOVED the Fourth of July.

It would always begin with my father taking my brother and I to a local fireworks stand and letting us pick out an array of fares. Each year I pretty much went for the same menagerie: lady fingers, jumping jacks, smoke bombs, tanks and a parachute man. My brother was a Black Cat kind of guy. For a period of about four days we would then pretty much spend sunup to sundown out in our driveway or at friend's houses blowing up everything we could.

Lady fingers under old coffee cans.

Smoke bombs down the storm sewer so the smoke would come out the culvert across the street.

Homemade works made from stringing together a combination of any of the above fireworks.

It wasn't truly summer until we blew something up.

So, you can imagine my dismay when I grew up and moved away and found that my new city had actually outlawed fireworks.

"Fun-haters," I said to myself. I pitied the children growing up without such an American pastime.

As the years went by, I became accustomed to the firework-less Fourth of July's.

Then came the little man.

And the return of my lamentation against the city's fireworks ban.

I wanted the little man to experience the fun I had a child. Sure, the rational parent/adult side of me understands the rationale for the ban – with the burning down of houses, bodily harm, etc. – but the nostalgic part of me wanted the little man to experience at least some of the fun I experienced as a child.

So, this week as the Fourth of July rolled around, I again found myself remember the good ol' days and wishing the little man and I had at least one smoke bomb to ignite. However, with the ongoing drought and super heat wave we've been experiencing, things are even drier than usual. Which also meant the local police department was also more vigilant and methodical in their search for fireworks rebels.

Then entered my husband – the engineer.

One of the benefits of marrying and engineer is that they can fix anything. They can also devise ways to make just about anything.

When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade. And when your city bans all rockets that ignite with fire, you simply make rockets powered by water and compressed air.

No flame. No explosions.

No ban.

So, after a short stop to a few stores for some PVC pipe, spray paint, Styrofoam cones and assorted pieces, the little man and the husband were quick to assemble our legal Fourth of July rockets.

And even though it isn't quite the same as when I was a child, the little man spent the day setting off his own rockets on this summer holiday.

And making the next generation of fond Fourth of July memories.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


I can't believe it's been so long since I last sat down to type out a post for this blog. As a writer you would think that this would be easy for me and that it really didn't take any time at all for me to whip up a new update and post it – and you would be right.

So then you're probably wondering why it has been so long – maybe even wondering if I've been avoiding this blog or putting it off on purpose – and you would be right again.

Writing for me has always come easy and has always been an outlet for me to share anything and everything that was on my mind. Which is probably the most difficult challenge I've encountered since starting this blog.

As I'm sure you all know, my family is my life. I had a very difficult time bringing the little man into the world and we were so very close to losing him, even before we got to meet him. When he was finally born – and was born as healthy as can be – even my doctors were baffled at how well the situation turned out and cheered with us when were able to walk out of the hospital with him just two days later.

For those close to us, I know that they probably didn't think we would have another child. Truth be told, we weren't sure we would have another child. But I knew myself enough to know that I wasn't ready to make that decision – either way – just yet.

And so we waited until we were ready to make that decision …

So, five years later, when the husband and I finally decided to take that chance again, I began planning my next post for this blog as the BIG announcement that the little man was going to be a BIG brother.

But, such is life.

I found myself putting off that post month after month because there was no announcement to be made. Then another month passed.

And another.

And another.

Which is when I first really started avoiding this blog. I knew if I sat down to type, I would find myself sharing everything. And that wasn't something I wanted to share, at least not yet.

For those of you who don't know me as well personally, I work at an adoption agency. While normally this is something I love being a part of, my own struggles with having another baby I think were compounded even more each day as I worked with family upon family who also found themselves not being able to make that BIG announcement to friends and family.

And just when I began to really feel sorry for myself, I finally realized that all of those stories were reminding me of the wrong thing. Instead of reminding me of my own struggles in having another baby, they should be reminding me of what I do have.

A beautiful, healthy little man.

And that is much more than a lot of people in this world ever get to have.

And just as I began thinking about sitting down to write a new much needed post to this blog about the little man's continuing obsession with cowboys, it happened.

Two pink lines staring back at me from the pregnancy test = positive.

And one BIG surprise for all of those family members and friends who thought for sure one high-risk pregnancy was enough for us.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Announcing ....

So sorry for the hiatus ... things have been very busy and exciting around here! I promise more posts in the very near future, but in the meantime ....

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Ponderosa

I remember my mother telling me that one of her fondest childhood memories was going over to her Grandmother's house to watch Bonanza. They would have dinner together and then watch the Cartwright family on their latest adventure.

When the little man began his newest obsession – all things cowboy – I thought to outfit him with a cowboy hat, spurs, bandanna and boots. We've spent many afternoons with a little cowboy in our home and traipsing through our backyard "hunting."

We've even had many heated conversations about whether or not the outfit the little man was wearing was "cowboy." (Mommy may or may not be guilty of going so far as to pull up photos on the Internet of cowboys to show him that yes, that blue western plaid shirt, is just like the ones cowboys wear.)

However, when the sun went down and it was time to put on jammies, mommy was always at a loss of finding any "cowboy" TV for the little man to watch before bed.

So, we made do with Scooby Doo as best as we could.

I have to admit that Bonanza hasn't crossed my mind since my own days at home with my mother.

That's what a Mother-in-Law is for.

When Nana graciously agreed to take the little man for part of his Spring Break, we packed his cowboy gear up and sent him to a fun-filled extended weekend with Nana and Grandpa.

Anyone who knows my Mother-in-Law knows that little people are her calling. If there is a child in the room, that is where you will find her, whether it be singing a song, playing a game, reading a book or doing whatever adventure that child's imagination has them doing.

So, when the little man brought his cowboy obsession to Nana's house, Nana introduced him to Bonanza.

And we've been Bonanza-ing ever since.

Just as the old saying goes "A home is where you make it," so is a Ponderosa.

Monday, January 16, 2012


It was a normal gray, dreary winter day as I was waiting in the infamous car line to pick up the little man from a day of school. I had just tucked my Kindle back into my purse (a necessary staple of my purse now to help pass the time waiting in the aforementioned car line) when the I heard the back door swing open. I looked back to find the little man smiling from ear to ear and holding a bright turquoise bag along with his Transformers backpack.

"What you got there buddy?" I asked, wondering what was in the mystery bag.

"It's TUX!" the little man answered as he crawled into his seat. "It's MY turn for TUX!"

Tux ... Tux ... Tux ... I thought as I wracked my brain for exactly what Tux was. I had been busy at work, but thought for sure I was on top of all classroom and PTO activities.

I drove home reminding myself that it was Friday, therefore I had a whole weekend to deal with whatever this Tux situation was. No emergency trips to Hobby Lobby this night for last minute mommy-should-have-been-on-top-of-this supplies tonight.

As we got home the little man ran inside with the turquoise bag and pulled out a small stuffed penguin.


I picked the bag up off the floor and found a notebook and a note inside explaining it all: It was the little man's turn to bring home Tux, the class "pet." Each kid in the class has the opportunity to bring Tux home for one week. We then had to commemorate our time with Tux with a page in the notebook detailing our adventures with Tux.

I opened the notebook and found a written account of Tux's adventures thus far. There were photos of him and the other kids in the little man's class doing everything from playing computer games to visiting grandpa to going out to eat dinner.

And now it was Tux's turn to visit our home.

The little man was looking at me, hugging his new friend.

"Well ..." I said as I bent down. "Does Tux like cookies?"

"YEAH!" the little man shouted. "We should make him some cookies!"

And with that our week of Tux began.

We welcomed Tux with some of mama's famous homemade chocolate chip cookies.

And then we made Tux his very own penguin home to stay in.

No trip to our house would be complete without helping Daddy on his Jeep.

And of course, 'Tis the season to visit Santa and his helpers.

But the highlight of the week came that weekend - as Tux came along to celebrate the little man's BIG 6th Birthday celebration.

Of course we also slept with Tux each night, introduced Tux to the four-legged family members of our house and made emergency trips back into the store to find Tux (after the little man of course swore he wouldn't loose his penguin friend if we allowed him to bring him inside the store).

And at the end of the week, it was a pair of sad blue eyes that looked up at me when I broke the news to the little man that it was our last day with Tux before having to pass him along to the next classmate.

"But we need to put a page in the book," the little man said as he pointed to notebook of Tux's adventures.

I opened the notebook and looked at the blank page that was supposed to be our family's entry.

"That's not even fair to everyone else," my husband said, snickering. "You're going to give everyone after us a complex, aren't you?"

I closed the book and smiled.

For once, being a working mama had it's advantages.

Especially when this working mama works as a Graphic Designer.

"Don't worry buddy," I said to the little man. "Your mama has this one in the bag."