Friday, December 28, 2012

Another trip around the sun...

Wednesday was a cold, wet dreary day.  While delightful, Christmas day had been a very long day and we were all worn out.  The boy and I were still feeling cruddy.  All I wanted was to clear out all of the Christmas decorations, get the house back to normal and get us all back to being healthy.  The last thing I wanted to think about was the fact that not only was the next day my birthday, but that I had to get the house somewhat presentably clean...not Company clean, but at least Family clean (floor swept, dining table cleared off, toilet paper in the bathroom).  

Then Thursday morning my little family allowed me to sleep in and I woke up to blue skys and sunshine.  Still cold...but I wasn't planning on going outside anyway.  Kiddos and I lounged on the couch most of the day enjoying a Mythbusters "007" marathon on the Discovery channel.

By the time my parents and my sister and her kiddos arrived I was feeling mostly human.  Himself had brined half a cow of ribeye steaks earlier and then grilled them to perfection.  My mom showed up with a bowl of my aunt's freshly cooked collard greens.  The only thing worthy of topping a birthday dinner like that was the cake that followed...

My precious son, months ago, declared he wanted to make my next birthday cake.  You make cakes for everyone else, and I want to make a special one just for you.  

I told him that maybe that was something he could talk to his grandmother about when they came back for Christmas.  And so he did.  The two of them conspired, planned and created this amazing cake!

Jacob did a lot of the piping.  He helped with the baking.  He placed the final decorations on the cake. Even wee Kyleigh had a hand in the creation...she helped with the baking and with the choosing of the images.  My cake business may just have to take in a couple of half pint partners soon.

Somehow they figured out I was a Batman fan.  

I'm still not so sure how I feel about this new number.  I don't mind the getting older does beat the alternative.  But with cakes like this and families like mine, it's difficult to act my age.  Then I think, do I really need to? 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

And then it was Christmas...

It was a smaller tree this year...last year's threatened to run us out of the living room.  There weren't a lot of presents under it.  But the ones that were there were carefully and thoughtfully chosen.

The boy was diagnosed with the 'flu on Christmas Eve and an unplanned trip to Target pharmacy gave me a look at late shoppers.  I quietly sat on the bench at the pharmacy and waited for the boy's Tamaflu prescription to be filled.  There was no way I was going to venture out into the hoards.

Himself was called in for Christmas day duty.  But we were together as a family last night and we had Christmas morning together.  The kiddos and I will head out to spend the rest of the day with my parents and my sister and her family.  Still so much to be grateful for.

Even with being sick, their dad having to work and not an overload of gifts...both children declared this the best Christmas ever.  I can't ask for more than that, really.  My heart is full and overflowing.

From our family to you and yours...Happy Christmas!

Friday, December 14, 2012


I decorated a pretty cake for a friend's birthday party tomorrow.  I lost myself in the classical music playing and the beauty of the sugar coming together to form Art.

This afternoon I finished a cake for a special little 3-year-old who wasn't expected to make it beyond his 2nd month.  Even though his party was canceled because he woke up from his nap with a fever, he still got his birthday cake and made sure "Dowey" knew he loved the tractor.

This evening I hung out in the kitchen with my kiddos playing with modeling chocolate.  Teaching my son how to make a ribbon rose.  Though they both ended up making volcanos out of what they didn't eat.  And then eating the volcanos.

There were extra long snuggles.  Extra good night kisses.  And when the boy came back downstairs with his nightly "I can't sleep because..." excuse, instead of telling him goodnight again and merely sending him back to bed I went with him and tucked him back in.  With one more good night hug and kiss.

I made no attempt to hide my sorrow, my heartbreak.  I will never lie to my children or hide the truth from them.  The boy and I talked a little about the events of the day.  He had already heard some and he'll most likely hear more.  It's important that he is not scared to return to school on Monday.  It's also important that he knows to take their lockdown drills seriously and to also have a course of action should something ever happen at his school.  Knowing my child as I do, he'll have more questions tomorrow.

But tonight, my heart mourns for the families forever broken.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Standing her ground...

Last week the wee girl had her every 4-month pediatric ophthalmology appointment.  Due to her particular form of arthritis she is at high risk for eye inflammation   If the inflammation is not caught and treated immediately, permanent damage could ensue.

Being a pediatric specialist office, the staff is quite used to interacting with wee 5-year-old girlies.  Normal ones, that is.  Our children never stood a chance of being Normal.

She was wearing one of her favorite Threadless tees...

Each and every staff member complimented her on it...

I like your shirt! You must really love animals! 

By the third or fourth compliment on her "animal" shirt the girl had had enough.  And with an eye roll only an exasperated female can pull off...

It's my Harry Potter shirt! I like Harry Potter!

That's my girl! 

And her baby blues are still perfectly healthy.  Must be all of the eye rolling exercises...

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Overheard around the Christmas tree...

The adoring husband, watching me secure the Christmas tree's tethers:  "What? You don't have any faith?"

Me:  "There are very few things in this life that I dogmatically believe in.  One of those things is that nothing is above the law of gravity.  And have you met our animals and children?"

AH:  "True..."

Me:   "Besides, *you* weren't home for the Great Tree Falling incident last year!"

dramatic pause...

AH:  " did one innocent question turn in to it being my fault?!"

Me:  "Again...Hi! Have we met?!"

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Jinglin' in December!

Our most recent family tradition of participating in the annual National Arthritis Foundation's Jingle Bell 5k continued this morning!  We had an amazing turnout.  Fifteen team members and of the eight runners, four placed with medals!  

Arthritis is personal with our little family.  The wee girl has dealt with it for three years now...we just found out that not only is her body no longer responding to the anti-inflammatory medication, but more joints are being effected as well.  Her dad lives daily with arthritis pain in every single joint in his body.  There is no cure.  I find that unacceptable.  I was raised by school of "if you're not willing to do anything about it, then don't complain" we do something about it.

(picture courtesy of my wonderful big sister...
who I will never be able to keep up with on a run!)

This year our little team managed to raise $760 for arthritis research!  We also had the largest team we've had in the three years we've been doing this.  To say that I was/am overwhelmed by the amount of support from near and far would be a massive understatement.  

The boy was determined to run the 5k with me this year.  He did well...he didn't run the whole way, but he finished!  I'm so proud of him.  

Having a dad who was more than willing to don a Santa suit and join in the festiveness of the event was the extra dollop of whip cream on top!  (And, yes, there were a fair number of little ones who thought he was the Santa.) This was the first year my parents were able to participate in the race...Kyleigh was delighted to have her very own Santa escort for the mile walk!  After the race we all sat back, thankful for the warmth of indoors, and enjoyed being together as a family.