Saturday, July 21, 2007


Today we went to an Air Show at Selfridge ANG Base. What a blast. My son LOVES airplanes, draws them constantly, talks about them more than constantly and generally needs to be restrained when he's around them. There were a ton of WWII era planes and some great stunt shows...One of them so great that they didn't warn us before and when they set off dynamite sticks on the ground when the plane grazed the runway, most of us thought it had crashed. It was a great day.

Here's a video I shot of an F/A-18 Hornet as it performed.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Happy Anniversary

Today it is 11 years since we were married. Sometimes it seems like that is far too long for how quickly the time has passed. Other times it can feel like I have never know myself, my life, without you in it.

25 (would you believe I almost wrote 15?) years ago you sat behind me in Mr. Martini's 7th grade Social Studies. We were decidedly not social. You were the shy boy with a man's worth of problems. I was the girl trying to get a grip on yet another move. This time into a very strange world where girls wore makeup at 12 and dressed in Jordache. Something this backwoods girl could never compete with. My "Jordache" was the mint green corduroy pants that you thought, even on that first day, made my "butt look big". Ahhhh 12...

19 years ago... CJ Barrymore's... me at the height of fashion (if being bitchy equals being fashionable) a nightly fixture. I remember walking around the corner and seeing you on a bar stool, watching your friends play pool (funny how a pool room was the "thing" for teenagers to do on Saturday night). You had never looked better. I still miss you wearing that black motorcycle jacket which has since been recycled into a main piece of our daughters' wardrobe. A dinner (more like breakfast) at Ram's Horn later and we gave romance a try. Only you were too nice (in this twisted girl's opinion)... escorting me to restrooms, calling me "love" and *gasp* even being audacious enough to open doors for me and want to visit with my parents. Romance failed and we went back to our lives... but I never stopped thinking of you.

Let's move forward, about 3 years. Running into you at Lisa's party wasn't what I expected to happen, but I would never mistake the sound of those boots as I waited at her front door. I will never lose the memory of you sitting next to me that whole night, and all the nights after. I will always hold close the image of you- handsome, straight and oh so very much a man you, holding my (who would become ours) daughter in your arms and crooning Elvis Presley to her...until she fell asleep... fuzzy pink sleeper up against the black of your jacket. You were her first babysitter. You are her only father.

The four years of us together, before marriage, hold some of the sweetest memories for me. You gave me an opportunity to make up for all that I had done in the past that was cruel to you. I made you the promise to never hurt you on purpose again. I hope I have kept it.

It is funny, in writing this, that every one of those memories could have happened yesterday...they are that fresh to me.

I owe you so much...would love to thank you for so much that has happened in our married life:

For loving not just me, but Nicole as well. I still cannot believe how easily-naturally-you fit into her easily you came to care for her as your own. And she is your own.

For holding onto me those nights that I lost babies-and dreams- for being strong, and even for saying the things I didn't want to hear.

For giving me the memory of you combing James' hair when he was just minutes old... for being the best labor coach ever when I thought (given your track history of walking out of birth classes at break time) you wouldn't have it in you.

For staying with me through the horrid times after we lost the last baby, and I lost myself for a while. How strong you are.

When they said "In sickness and in health" you HONORED that, Leonard... you saved my life. You didn't leave the hospital the night after that operation, when they told you to...

...when I felt like my lungs were balloons that had lost their air, stuck together and were called for the doctors who before had said I was fine. In my hazy recollection of that day/night, you were the only one who "had it together". You always have it together. You have us together. I never really think of how burdensome that can be for you... for you have had more than your share of pain. And I hope in some small way, through the years, I have made it less.

You have been, are and always will be my everything. You will be the person who bugs me, plays with me, yells with me, lazes with me and laughs with me. You keep me on point. I appreciate all you have done...all you ARE...for our little family.


... I can't believe I forgot what day it was when I sent you out the door this morning.

I Love You

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Confessions of a teenaged mother (well I used to be anyway)

I can't believe that I totally confessed on a blog that I named my daughter after a heavy metal guitarist. (Keep in mind that if I could do that linking thingy I would have linked you to "Purple is a Fruit right there). What now seems utterly lame, almost disgusting, and completely embarrassing was the most righteous thing to do... when you're 19, barely know where babies come from, and haven't really thought any thing through more than what you are wearing to the local hangout that night.

The reason I mention this is that a lot of the blogs I read have been focusing on baby names and how people come up with them.

My daughter's name is not "Nikki Sixx", but is Nicole (shortened at age 8 to Nikki...and now at 17, to Nik) and would have been Nicholas, if she had been born with the ummmm... appendage (?) that would have required that. I shudder at the callousness with which I bestowed a name upon her. I mean if I had named her "Shemane" after Sophia Loren in "El Cid" would be one thing. There's a certain literary snobbishness with which I could proclaim that when asked, "How did you come up with your kid's names?". But Heavy Metal??? Rock band? Possibly drugged out, tattooed, kind of odd person? Not much pride can be carried while announcing that.

I probably could get by with saying Nicole was a popular name then, and her middle name is that of my great-grandma (and the thousands of other Nicole's born in the year 1990_), Marie. I could, if my daughter didn't insist on proclaiming this little factoid about her mother's silly (not even interesting enough to be labeled wild and crazy) and too carefree youth. She will tell everyone- Is so very proud of it that I suspect it will be the very first thing she writes on her college applications come fall.

So now, now the whole internets knows. And I can lay it to rest. Until the next time someone asks...

My son? He was named after my father, his two uncles and his middle name comes from my husband's father's best friend. Which is a good thing, because if my husband had named him after one of his favorite bands of the time, I would have lots of explaining to do with a boy named Lynard.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Listen to the quiet...

I have 2 children. They are spaced (not by choice) 8 years apart. One came too early in life, but was a welcome surprise. Once I got over the OMG! OMG! MY LIFE IS RUINED aspect. I got to grow up right along side her and I do believe that owe a lot of who I am as a mature adult to her. Okay, I won't blame my habit of letting every item of clothing in the house form a giant Mt. Laundruvius on her... I did that one all by myself.

One came 10 months after my husband and I decided we were content (and a little bitter) to accept the fact that maybe we weren't supposed to have another. And then Boom! there he was. Only it really wasn't a Boom!, it was 9 months (8) of worrying and fretting, endless ultrasounds, getting mad at my mother in law for throwing me a shower because I really didn't think this one would "take" either. Even when he was here, I didn't believe he was here. If that makes any sense. And he was much loved, and more than a little spoiled. I did not realize how spoiled until my next door neighbor casually (and sort of snidely) marvelled that perhaps he wasn't walking at 14 months because his "feet never touched the ground" and perhaps (she's a speech pathologist) he wasn't talking well at 2 and a half because I never "made him ask for anything". How sad was I the day they moved? At 8, I've (sort of) cut the cord and he talks too well, the budding lawyer that he appears to be for all of his "let's reason this out" skills.

With these two children, the best part is when people say, "How lucky for you! Such a big age gap...there is no sibling rivalry." And then I would like to invite them over for dinner, if I was the "inviting strangers over for dinner" type. The people who say this have never seen a wrestling match between an 8 year old and a 17 year old. I really should charge admission rather than invite people over for free dinner, it's that entertaining (to those who aren't parentally responsible for aforementioned 8 and 17 year old).

It amazes me that a 17 year old can lower herself to the level of an 8 year old (or lower even, because his age automatically drops during these battles of will as well) but the 8 year old never appears to come up to her level. Which probably is not a good thing to wish for anyway.

17 year old was used to being the Princess... the one and only Granddaughter, Niece, baby among any of my friends. And she loved it.

8 year old was also treated like an only child. Mama was home all day. Princess was at school. They are both, shall we call it, "entitled". To what, I have no idea...but they both want it badly.

If she were 20 when he were born, I am almost positive it would probably still be thusly.

BUT, and this is a big but because I fear the jinx, for some reason... all is well and they are cuddling on the couch watching "The Astronaut Farmer" (why would some one desire to watch a movie so badly titled?). And lo, I am grateful. And there is much rejoicing.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Back on Track

Even though there is just as much lying on my plate today as there was Saturday, I woke up feeling somehow more able to handle it (or put it off for a few more days) today.

It was one of those weekends that feels like it flew by and yet, in retrospect, could have dragged by. I was just so out of it. What I accomplished and/or gleaned from this weekend:

1. My son is more gaseous than both his cousin and his uncle. I know this because he was so very excited to tell me this when he walked in the door Sunday.

2. Something is drilling (yes drilling) holes through our pea pods in the garden. Everything else is growing and ripening...except for the holy peapods. Which, to steal a line from Dave Barry, would be a great name for a band.

3. My daughter went to see Harry Potter without us... Wahhhh! Okay, not really. I sometimes think I might be one of the only (for I have met others) person on this planet who does not "get" Harry and his little wizard friends.

4. Do not...and I repeat this... DO NOT substitute jalapeno slices for green chili's in your recipes, folks. It will encrease the "burn your mouth...there's not enough milk in the world to make up for this" factor of your chicken enchilada casserole. I should have read Swistle's (which would be hyperlinked, I think that's what you call it, if I wasn't such a nincompoop when it comes to techie stuff) post before I made dinner.

5. Nothing is better than falling in bed on Sunday night.