We had a great holiday. Christmas Eve we went to "Aunt" Karen's and "Uncle" Ronnie's around the corner for a lovely dinner and relaxed family time. We know this will probably be our last Christmas as neighbors, since we will be moving sometime in the new year. Dad and Ronnie had their traditional Scrabble match while Karen, Jim and I chatted and watched Little Man play with his gifts from them (a cool mini automatic bumper car and the game "Silly Sentences" which he did great at and really enjoyed, gotta love those educational toys!) Then it was home to bake cookies for Santa and to prep "Christmas casserole" (my vegetarian/fat free version), an egg concoction that you put together in the fridge the night before and then pop in the oven Christmas morning to bake while ya do prezzies. Grandbobby spent the night and we all awoke to "Santa came to my house!" He was so excited! He found a picture of a great play gym and a note saying that a swingset just like that one is waiting for him at his new house. (The one we haven't moved into yet) He read most of the note himself! Elves were there all week putting it together, NOT an easy task! He also got his own boom box for his room, CDS, a "Cars" tent and sleeping bag (which he slept in last night and is back in now!)
and he got various other goodies as well. It is great to see the magic through his five-year-old eyes. On Christmas day we stayed in our jammies all day- what a treat-and had a Tofurky dinner and watched Elf! Today we will actually get dressed and go to the new house to play with the swingset. Lots to be thankful for. :)
"The past is history, the future is a mystery, and this moment is a gift. That is why 'this moment' is called 'the present'."
This phrase keeps going through my mind today. I went to a memorial service for an old friend, Chris Feinstein, who passed away unexpectedly last week in New York. I had not really seen him much in a lot of years except for as a facebook friend, but he was a super talented musician (Ryan Adam's/The Cardinals bassist), a fixture of my youth and the alt-music scene here in Nashville (as someone put it at the memorial, we were all like a graduating class together), and just an absolute sweetheart of a guy and everyone who knew him loved him. He was too young, too full of life, and it "wasn't supposed to happen".
As I looked around the room at all of the people touched by him, people I had known for years, I was reminded again how precious life is and how important it is to cherish every day we are here and to let those we love know that we love them.
As all this was floating through my head I got back into mommy mode and realized that I never put a Christmas card together this year. If you didn't get anything in the mail from me this year it was not really a conscious effort to diminish my environmental footprint, it just got away from me with book promotions, five-year-old birthday parties and closing on a new house. So I decided to take a quick cell phone shot of Little Man by the tree to send out in a little e-greeting. Ironically, look what he chose on his own for his prop ...
It felt like definite synchronicity!
Enjoy your present everyone! It truly is a beautiful gift.
I can't believe it! His birthday came together pretty well. I managed to decorate the firetruck lacerated tendon and all ...
My Mother-in -law and her husband were here for the event and helped a bunch in setting up for the party, which was great. We had firefighter training (obstacle course) until the firetruck got there to give the kids rides. Then they ate pizza and got some firefighter tips (like don't fight fire unless you are truly a fireman!) Then the kids ran around and had a big time (I started to play games, but then just decided to let them go for it) we had cake, opened prezzies and called it a night. It was a smokin' good time! Three generations:
Yesterday marked a milestone. My little boy got his last book from the Imagination Library. (http://www.dollysimaginationlibrary.com/howworks.php) The Imagination Library is a literacy program that Dolly Parton started in Sevier County, Tennessee that has expanded all the way to the UK. A wonderful idea, a book a month from birth to age five for all residents of participating communities, regardless of family income. The first book is The Little Engine That Could and the last is Ready For Kindergarten.
Yesterday, my Little Man recieved Ready For Kindergarten in the mailbox. I opened it up, and on the front page there was a typed note to the Imagination Library Graduate from Dolly herself! It made me feel quite nostalgic and emotional as she wrote about how just it felt like only yesterday when family and friends read him his first book when he was a little baby (sniff, sniff). She touched me when she encouraged them to dream big and asked for a promise to keep up the reading as they venture into school. And then she really got me with the way she signed off, "I will always love you" We love ya too, Dolly. What a beautiful thing to do for kids!
Warning: If you are squeamish you may not want to read this post, there is a pretty gross picture in the text! (Note: I have decided, in the interest of letting friends keep their lunch down, to remove that photo!)
This morning I was minding my own business, cleaning the house, when the unexpected happened. The kind of nonsensical thing that can change lives. I opened the door to the entertainment center to put something away and the huge sheet of glass that sits behind the door came off it's hinges and sliced my forearm wide open, the likes of which you have never seen. Home alone and seeing this gaping hole, my first thought was, "Oh my God, what if I hit an artery!" I called Aunt Karen, the family Nurse Nell, who luckily lives around the corner. She took me to a local walk-in clinic where the nurse practitioner took one look at it and was like, "uhhhh, no". (Almost everyone who saw it today got a sick look on their face!) She said it was too close to tendons for her to mess with and directed me to the emergency room. So then Jim sweetly fetched me from there and took me to the nearest ER. The ER doctor looked at it and said "you have severed your tendon, I need to send you to a hand surgeon at Vanderbilt" Oh nooooo, don't you people know that I have a fear of anesthesia?? Hand surgery-really???? So we treked over there and ... a saving grace. A good natured resident explained to me that the the tendon I likely severed is one that is pretty much useless and 30% of people don't even have it to begin with! Once I proved to him that I had full feeling in that hand he agreed to stitch me up and send me home (rather than hand surgery to repair the tendon and six weeks in a cast)Thank goodness!!! The one glimmer of relief I got during all this was ... hmm, I can blog about this! I proceeded to use Jim's cellphone to take a picture of the gaping wound. Here it is guys ... (There it WAS, I am sparing anyone just now checking it out, but as you can see from comments, it was pretty grusome!)
(use imagination to envision what it might have looked like) Purty, huh?
But, the stitches and
are making me feel
I am so, so thankful that that sheet of glass didn't get my main artery and even more thankful that it didn't fall on my little boy!!!! (He has been showing a lot of concern for mommy's "sick arm".) And thanks to Karen and Jim for running me around and talking me down!
I do think that there is one clear moral to this story ... housework is bad for you! ;)
It is Santa phobia I am referring to that my pint-sized neurotic has. Actually, I don't think that it is that unusual. Answer.com gives a name to Santa phobia. Shockingly they call it ... "Santaphobia". And it seems like I saw a little coffee table book once called "Scared of Santa" filled with countless pictures of kids all bawling and "skwalin'"(as my buddy Shane would say) on Santa's lap. eHow.com has a mall Santa giving a video tutorial telling would-be Santa's how to deal with frightened kids. His big advice was "Tell them 'See, Mommy likes Santa', and then she will usually touch your hand or something to make the child feel better" Ha. I'm not so sure he if is not just trying to get a cheap thrill from the mommies. ;) Anyway, anytime we try to go anywhere NEAR the mall Little Man throws a fit! "NO MALL!!! I don't want to see Santa Claus!!!" And keeps it up incessantly until we swear we aren't going anywhere near the platinum bearded, red-velvet clad gift-giving monster. Today, needing a new bedspread, we managed to drag him into Macy's after we swore it was on the OUTSIDE of the mall and we wouldn't go all of the way in. I can't express how much cajoling this took. He admitted after seeing The Polar Express last night that he does indeed like for Santa to bring him presents. He just doesn't want to lay eyes on the fat bastard! (Just having a little fun, folks--Santa-baby, please don't put me on your naughty list!) We also managed to get Little Man to participate in writing a letter to Santa at Macy's. For each letter they receive they give a dollar to the Make-A-Wish foundation which is a great thing. Hopefully writing this letter to Santa was a baby step in getting past Santaphobia!
December is an exciting month for Little Man. Birthday AND Christmas. Mommy is in the mad midst of birthday party planning for the big event December 11. Since his literal birth day was so traumatic (as I write about in the chapter December 11 in A Journey to the Son, www.ajourneytotheson.com) I try extra hard to drive the ol' demons away and make that date just about FUN times now! And, we have had some very fun bdays (I must say I love a party). He has said for months that he wants a "fireman" birthday party, so that is what the prince is getting! Not being a huge baker, I usually buy a cake from Publix, our grocery's deli that makes awesome cakes. But this year I checked it out and they did not have any fireman/truck cakes that seemed very exciting. Sooo, I am going to be brave this year and make it myself. Online I found a super cool firetruck cake with oreo cookies for wheels and gum drops for the lights. I am very excited (i.e terrified) to attempt this confectionary craft, but I am going to do it anyway. And how cool is it you can find a video online with step by step instructions! Will keep you posted on whether this is a smokin' success or if I get too burnt out and just order cupcakes instead!http://www.howdini.com/howdini-video-10462237.html
I just play one on television! I recently compliled an actors "demo reel" for my agent. It is a composite of a lot of projects I have been involved in and I thought I would share it here for fun. I wanted to put dramatic stuff up front, but the first two characters may not be getting any mother-of-the-year awards!! Do ya think? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-J62ClqcdrM
Little Man has started referring to the dark ages of the 1970's (and then 80's) when Mommy and Daddy were growing up as "the old days". The line of questioning got amusing. Did you have a car in the old days?", "You have a house in the old days?" Yes, hunnie, we had those things. But ... NO DVDS and NO COMPUTERS! How did we ever survive???
Watered-down earth mother, singer/songwriter and actress, Lauren Braddock Havey has penned a parenting memoir, A Journey to the Son, being released October 2009 by Two Harbors Press. She is also concurrently releasing a companion CD, a “folk-rock opera” of the same name. For more info, please visit www.ajourneytotheson.com