Saturday, April 29, 2006

A moment to sit

I'd like to say that it's good to be home, but I haven't hardly had the chance to BE home since we returned. Worked all day Friday, returned the rental car, worked again today, then spent two hours bathing and grooming my stinky dog. She has this thing about the kennel. It totally stresses her out and she drools the entire time. By the time we pick her up she's a big wet sloppy mess and her skin is irritated. Imagine being soaking wet for 7 days straight. I mean, it's a wonder she's not growing mildew!

So I'm finally home now, J's napping, there's laundry going. I should be washing dishes right now, or cleaning the floors, or putting away the last of the stuff from our suitcase, but I'm just incredibly unmotivated. I'll get to it sooner or later.

The funeral service for my Daddy Dean was really nice. The pastor did a wonderful job memorializing him, referring to him at one point as a "Jolly Green Giant" who had a ministry of tomatoes. Nothing could be more true. Seems like he could grow almost anything he wanted, but the tomato was his pride and joy. I can remember taking home suitcases full of them at some visits, and I actually still have two jars of canned tomatoes from his garden sitting in my pantry. Some of the sweetest, most beautiful fruits I've ever tasted.

But anyway...

There's a memorial site which you may visit, if you wish, and view some pictures of him, and of the family. There are a few that are my favorites- like the one of him sitting in the room full of tomatoes, hat perched on his knee, admiring his crop, and the one of him standing proudly in front of his tractor as if it's a porsche.

The link is below. You can either view the thumbnails, or click on one of the buttons to the right to see them as a slideshow/movie.

Daddy Dean

And that's it for now. I really do need to get into that kitchen and get to work if we ever plan to eat again.

Friday, April 28, 2006

We now return to our regularly scheduled program

Yes folks, we are home.

Roughly four in the morning, drove straight through. Jonas will probably never get into his carseat willingly again.

And that, my friends, is all I'm capable of typing at this hour. Back to work in just a couple of hours. I'll update when I can.

Man, is it good to be home!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

A picture

We're off

We got the call yesterday afternoon that my Daddy Dean passed away. We're leaving this morning, just as soon as we can get the dog dropped off at the kennel and our stuff loaded in the car.

Last night I stood outside in the front yard, looking for a moon that was hiding in the first rainclouds we've had in two months or more. Up beside me hopped a little speckled toad. As a child, out visiting at Mema and Daddy Dean's house, my brother and I used to catch the toads in glass jars with holes in the lids. I'm not sure why we'd do such a thing, other than they were cool to look at- I certainly don't remember keeping them for any length of time. But as I stood there in the darkness last night, it was almost as if some tiny little avatar had stopped by to say hello, or goodbye, or whatever it is that toads come to tell sorrowful people. Either way, it was a nice reminder of how I'd like to remember my grandfather- healthy, strong, earthy.

Anyway, off to finish prepping the car. God help us- I don't know how J's going to react to 14 hours in his carseat. But if E can do it with 5 kids, I know that I can do it with one.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Overdue Easter Pics

Ok, so I realize that I'm almost a week late in posting these. What can I say? I've been busy! But the J-man is just too cute not to share. :)

So here he is, all dressed up in his dressy easter clothes, complete with snobby pullover. He'll make a fine yuppie someday.

Of course, it didn't take long before we were back into our comfy old clothes.

Through the hard work of Daddy Dave and Uncle Daryl, the little volkie is back up and running. Steven was kind enough to humor Jonas and take him for a ride around the porch and yard. Notice in the yard picture that there's no driver's side mirror. Steven insisted that he could make it fit through the door without them having to get out and turn it sideways. Well... he was right.

And here are some pictures of the great easter egg hunt.

Around here, the Easter Bunny likes to put money in the eggs. The ants don't seem to want money nearly as much as they want a sugar high, so it makes for a better egg hunting experience. At the end of the hunt, the boys came back inside and carefully counted out their stash before tucking it away in their piggy banks.

Of course, there are no pictures of the big kid egg hunt in which Daddy Dave was the ultimate winner. He hid my eggs so well that it took five adults, a child, and a long game of "hot and cold" to find them all. Maybe I'm losing my touch.

Anyway there are the pictures. Hope y'all enjoyed them. And if you're a blog reader and get these in your inbox as well, forgive me as I'll be mass-mailing them to family and friends shortly.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The weather report

is not good.

There's rough weather between here and Memphis for the next few days. Not sure whether to go ahead and push forward despite the crappy driving conditions or just stay put and wait it out. It looks like the next good driving day is going to be Either Sunday or Monday. God I hate this hurry up and wait game, but I don't know how good I feel about putting in a 15 hour drive, with a sick kid, in thunderstorms. Just doesn't sound like a good idea to me. So here I sit, dying to be there, stuck here. ARG!

Jonas is power napping again. I guess he needs it after the sleepless night we had last night. I should probably join him, but then I'd never get to sleep tonight, which means I'd never make it to work tomorrow... vicious circle.

Off to grumble to myself.

Leave a message after the beep.

Blogworld will be quiet on my end for a while. In the next day or so we'll be heading out of town to go be with my family. My grandfather is not expected to live but a few more days.

So, just as soon as Jonas is over this stomach bug we're packing our bags and heading out for a long drive. I can't say I'm looking forward to it- the trip, or the reason for it, but it will be nice to be amongst family once again.

I didn't know if my brother and his family were going to be able to come, due to the price of airline tickets, but it looks like they've found a way to make it work. I'm looking forward to seeing them again.

The bonus to us driving instead of flying is that we'll be able to take along some stuff that I wanted to send to my little sister but didn't want to have to ship- a stroller/carseat combo and some maternity clothes.

Anyway, I'm rambling. I'll catch up with you guys when we get back. And Laura, I'm sorry that it looks like our trip to Barnhenge will have to be postponed. :( I know you understand and all, but I wanted you to know how much we were looking forward to it.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Happy Birthday Heidi!

Folks, let me tell you something about friendship. Never in my life have I been more blessed than I have these past 14 years or so with Heidi.

What makes a friend so great? She's the one that will drop everything to go funeral clothes shopping with you on her birthday, which you totally flaked and forgot about, and then spend the afternoon cleaning the vomit out of your son's shoes in the parking lot of a coffeehouse, ignoring the fact that he's also plastered her in the vile stuff, too.

God bless you, Heidi, on your 27th birthday. You mean the world to me, and to Jonas.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter Goodness and the Never-ending Shawl

Happy Easter to those of you who might wander through these pages. Nothing exciting happening around here. We actually slept in until nearly 9 this morning. Oh! The Bliss of having a child who's not quite aware of the holidays yet.

Of course, he's already received more Easter goodies than he possibly could ever need or want.

We started on Thursday night making cupcakes for daycare the next day. Of course, Mommy was feeling lazy and instead of baking several batches in the one and only mini-muffin tin that I own, I decided that they'd be just fine if placed side by side on a cookie sheet. Well, anyone who has ever tried this can already tell you that they bake just fine, only they don't hold their cupcake shape at all. So, essentially, what came out of the oven was a large rectangular cake with paper lining on the bottom. They didn't make it to daycare, but Jonas had fun helping make them, and that was the important thing, I suppose. Here's a picture of him watching them cook.

Friday when we got home there was a package waiting for us from Nana. She sent him the coolest little tool box toy and, a really neat police car shaped basket, and the obligatory candy and stuffed chickens. He's been so in love with his tools that it's the only thing he's played with since Friday.

Then yesterday, while I was working, he went to an Easter party at the Eagles with Granny, Daddy Dave, Aunt Wendy and Cousin Steven. I don't have any pictures of that to share, but I've been told that he had a great time hunting eggs, eating cake, and following the Easter Bunny around the place from a safe distance. He wouldn't have anything to do with getting his picture taken- a few feet away from the six foot rabbit was close enough.

This morning he woke up to find that he had been visited by the Easter Bunny yet again, with a basket full of goodies. Way too much sugar for one child. I guess Mom and Dad will have to help him with that. :)

Today we'll go and visit with the grandparents, eat and be lazy. To me, that's what Easter is all about. Just a nice, lazy Sunday afternoon. And with my upcoming work week, I plan to take full advantage of every moment of laziness I can get.

In other news, I finally finished the shawl last night. Just when I thought it was never going to be done. So I missed my deadline of the Mother-in-law's birthday, but I made it just in time for Easter, so yay for me. Now to get started on the next project- baby blankets! Yippie! Here are a few pictures of the shawl. To give you an idea of size, those tiles are 18" square. And, while my camera isn't good enough to show much detail, I've provided a "zoom in" shot of the flames to show you what detail you can get.

Anway, y'all enjoy your holiday!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

A new bed for J-man

In preparation for our upcoming trip to Barnhenge I bought J a travel bed today. He absolutely adores it!

It actually serves two purposes, or three. You see, he still naps in his playpen in the livingroom during the afternoon, and he's starting to outgrow it. Without the a/c it's too hot to nap in his room, but we should have a/c again in the next couple of weeks. With the a/c we'll also be ready for him to start sleeping in his own room at night. So, with this new and cool "big boy Sponge Bob bed" we solve the problem of the outgrown and too bulky to put away and drag out easily playpen, and we also start the process of getting him to like being in his very own bed. Hopefully this will make the big switch to his own room a little easier. Or maybe I'm just snowing myself, but either way, the blow-up bed is super cool!

We also bought some new jammies and easter goodies, including this crude little wind-up bunny that walks and "poops" jellybeans. Just crude enough for me to love! It'll be Steven's goodie, and I'm sure his momma will thank me for it. I'm such a bad Aunt. Hee hee.

Not much else going on. I'm finally to the point where I'm binding off my shawl. Hey! Maybe I'll finish in time for it to be an Easter gift for the mom in law, since I missed her birthday by a few weeks. At this point I'm just hoping that I have enough yarn to finish! I didn't take into account the fact that the bound off edge would require so many stitches when I bought my yarn, and I'm sure I wouldn't get lucky enough to go back and find the same dyelot if I needed a little extra. I think I'm going to make it, but It's going to be close. I guess I'll know soon enough.

Once I'm done with it, I'm going to get started on a baby blanket for a friend. Yes, I'm just sadistic enough to start on another large project. Of course, it won't be nearly as pattern intensive as the candle-flame was, and should go much faster.

Anyway, it's after 7. I need to get J fed, in the tub, into jammies, and settled in for the evening.

Friday, April 07, 2006


I keep going back to her blog, as if by checking again the news might change. As if it's just a botched bloodwork result or something. Can't be.

We were all aware of the risks, even before he was born, but I never allowed myself to believe that there could be any outcome other than a good one. He was so strong, so perfect, so beautiful. I never thought I wouldn't get the chance to hold him, give Erin big happy hugs after this was all over. It just wasn't a possibility, even through the complications.

Nova, you were, and will remain, a part of so many lives. You brought so many people together during your short time with us. You burned brightly, little star.

If any of you are so moved, I'm assuming that donations can be made to the Meaghan and Heidi Heart Foundation, or better still, to Poetic Acceptance for Grieving Parents, Erin's own non-profit. Poetic Acceptance

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Lucky them, lucky me.

My sister and her boyfriend, in the past two days, have won over $800 in scratch-off lotto tickets. I never get that lucky. The most I've ever won is a free ticket. I'm happy for them. They went directly and paid their rent and utilities with the money so that they have their paychecks this week as extra spending cash and no worries.

I was talking with her about my house repairs and how ready I am to get everything started. You see, she does screen rooms for a living and her and Randy, her boyfriend are going to build my porch once we get the necessary stuff done. They're anxious to get started, but I told her that it'd probably be a while before I could do it. She asked what all I needed to get done first, and as I went down the list, she knew a person in each trade and started making phone calls.

She even knows two different a/c guys, and hopefully one of them will be able to give me a decent estimate. So lucky me- having a sister in the construction business who has contacts on every level. Knowing someone will probably be quite a financial windfall for us, saving hundreds, if not thousands. So in essence, my sister won the lottery, but so did I just by being her sister. So thank you Sees, for being my Sees-- as if you had any say in it. :)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


The Weebles take over my livingroom!

(Forgive the bedhead, lack of pants and the binky- we just woke up from nap.)

Power napping

My son has been napping for over three hours now. I'm tempted to wake him, just to try and keep him on some sort of schedule, but I suppose he's making up for the time change. It's thrown us for a loop the past few days.

We woke up late yesterday, making the usual morning chaos even more of a nightmare. Our morning commute usually takes between 45 minutes and an hour. I managed to get us both dressed, somewhat fed, in the car and across town in 58 minutes, making myself only about 15 minutes late for work. Not bad- but it made for a rough morning. My kid likes routine. If he wakes up late on a work/school day he's out of sorts for the rest of the day, and incredibly fussy when I drop him off. He'd rather wake up earlier so that he can have a little mommy time.


As I typed that, the dorbell rang and woke him up. It was the mailman delivering his Weebleville Town Center. I was going to save it for his birthday, but I'm no good at surprises, and besides, it was a rather large box. (Yeah, I'm rationalizing) He's absolutely in love with the Weebles right now. So he's got a new goodie to play with, and I've got that much less livingroom space. I've really got to make it a priority to start weeding through his toys. I could probably get rid of at least half of them, but I'm such a damn packrat!

In other news, we had a guy out to do an estimate on our a/c replacement this morning. I'm thinking it's not a good figure when the guy asks if he can email you the estimate.

Wil's at the doctor's office with his Mom. It's her 71st birthday and she's not feeling well. Some tests came back with some concerning results, so they're running further tests to try and figure it out. Looks like I'm retiring just in time. I don't know if she'll feel up to watching J-man much longer. He's not the easiest kid in the world.

This morning we had a cement slab nextdoor. Now the exterior walls are nearly complete. It baffles me how quickly they can throw a house together. Looks like the new neighbor's bathroom window is directly across from my livingroom. Just what I've always wanted, to sit on my sofa and watch someone take a crap. I think that a fence might just be in the stars for us. Either that or a rather tall hedge.

Wil's taking vacation this week to try and get a grasp on the yardwork and some other stuff. We'll see how far he gets. He's the master of big talk and no follow-through. I'm hesitant to believe that there's going to be any improvements done this week. Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised, but I'm not going to sit here and hold my breath.

And finally, the shawl is almost done. I have about five more rows of stitches to complete and it'll be done. Good riddance. It's a beautiful pattern and all, but man am I sick of it and ready to move on to something else! I'm just totally burnt out on the ten row repeat and the ever-growing size of it, and the fact that it's becoming less and less portable now that it's so big. I mean, yeah, I can stuff it in a bag and take it with me, but I find myself hesitant to drag it out and work on it in the spare minutes here and there because doing 50 or 60 sitches here and there is just a pain in the butt. I have this thing where I feel like I HAVE to finish a row if I'm going to start it. So it sits there, taunting me.

Ok, so I'm going to go play Weebles with my son and see if he'll take a break long enough to eat something. It's a wonder he doesnt' blow away with as little as he eats.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Down to the wire

Wil's Momma's birthday is tomorrow and I'm not quite done with the candleflame shawl I was intending to give to her. I could make excuses, like the fact that I've worked a lot of extra shifts lately which cut into my knitting time, but the honest truth is, I'm just SLOW. It's ok though. We're going on a family trip to Sea World next weekend as a gift to her, and I have until then to finish. So it's technically not going to be a birthday gift, just a gift, but I'm ok with that.

We've had a good weekend and I feel completely recharged. Yesterday we decided to drive up to Cocoa Beach for a little recreation. I'm not sure what made us think to do that when we have beach just a few short miles from our home. I guess there's just something about getting away from the usual. Well, we got there and it was so jam-packed with tourists and spring-breakers that we couldn't find a square inch of beach to park our butts. We walked the boardwalk a little, Jonas oohed and aaahhed at the pelicans and the airplanes, and then we turned around and headed south again. We ended up at one of our favorite little parks right about the time that everyone was coming back from their boating adventures and Jonas delighted in watching them come in and get loaded onto their trailers. He also got to take his new tricycle on it's maiden voyage. So fresh, it still had the tags and instruction manuals hanging from the handlebars. He loved it, though. My son is fascinated by anything with wheels. So, thank you Granny and Daddy Dave for the really cool toy. It even folds up to fit in the trunk of my car. Bonus!

Today we just sort of puttered around the house most of the morning, and then spent the afternoon at Granny and Daddy Dave's. It was warm enough to go swimming, so we took J-man in for a dip. He's still a little hesitant about the whole thing. I mean, he loves the water, but he's not into the swimming thing yet, and is scared to get his face wet, so he pretty much stuck to the stairs. We did a little "swimming" with me holding him and encouraging him to kick his legs. I even got him to blow a couple of bubbles. (Not those kinds of bubbles, Doug!)

The usual Sunday dinner was replaced with a bucket of KFC, which was fine by all of us. We just sort of hung out on the porch, shot a few games of pool, watched Jonas drive his little car around and chase the dog.

I got a little sunburn on my cheeks, and it was just a perfect weekend all around. I really needed it. My batteries were running pretty low. This is a good time of year to be in Florida, I suppose. Mildly warm temperatures, low-ish humidity, blue skies. Nice.

And on the more somber side of the weekend: They're calling hospice in for my grandfather this week. We all knew the end was coming, but I don't think any of us realized that it was going to be this quickly. I realize that he may still have quite a bit of time left before he actually passes away, but the quality time is gone. My step-mom is talking about going up and spending some time with them- help out where she can, give my grandmother a break. I wish there was more that I could do, too. I'd love to be able to go up and help, but with Jonas in tow, I doubt I'd be much help at all.

They're leaving Tuesday for Tennessee so I guess I'll know more by the middle of the week.

For now, I suppose I should go work some more on my shawl and try to get some sleep. This damn time change thing has me all messed up. There's no way it's after 9:30 already! Ugh!