Sunday, January 11, 2015

There and Gone and Going On...

It just struck me this is over.  Hannukah too.  And I am a year older.   The tree and decorations are packed back in our basement, some of the presents have made it into circulation...I am not even sure where they are anymore.  The only left over of the holidays is the extra gallon of egg nog that I bought because I felt that I hadn't had enough (Willow drank the last big of it).

THAT went by fast!

Michael's first week at the new school went very well.  His counselor sent a glowing email update regarding his classes:

"The History fair is in full swing and Michael is working diligently on his topic of Ancient Egypt.  He has been working a good amount of time on his paper and is just starting his powerpoint presentation.  His history teacher is stating that he is doing all of his classwork and has not had any homework because of the fair."

"In Science this week they partnered up and had science experiments on finalizing the chapter on evolution.  They worked on tying their thumbs back and did labs on picking things up without their thumbs."
It was nice to hear about his classes so specifically, and to also hear from the counselor that he was transitioning very well to this new school and situation.

Chewy is starting to get into a real groove with his new job and so 2015 is starting off with transitions and positives...I am hopeful that this year will be better!


Friday, January 02, 2015

The Simple Things...

Willow's list of things she wanted to do with me today (we have it off, but Dad and Michael have work and school):

1. Cuddles (10 mins or longer)
2. Tickle fight (10 mins)
3. Play with toys (10 mins)
4. (on the other side of the paper and added later) Bath Time!

A neighbor friend came over, wanting Willow to play--but she wanted to spend time with me.

(Heel of mother, who has a cold and merely wanted to rest all day....well, darn it...we have things to do!!)  (and we did 'em and more)

Love this girl.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Taking those pictures...

Taking those pictures...recording those moments, big and small...and sometimes putting those photos here...just because...they grow so quickly....

Santa came through on the music box!

And Santa knew that Frankenstein's monster and Dracula figures would put an oft-unseen smile on the teen's face!

Writing about her holiday show at school.

Putting together her first Lego set on her own.

Rapunzel's castle is starting to take shape!

Bathtub creativity...crayons from Santa.

The title of the work: Fairies in Zombie Dead World.
New PJs for X-mas!

Mom and Dad also can put a smile on this face!  

He looks like he is sleeping, but he is actually cuddling Kif there.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Pausing and Remembering

We are on the cusp of changes next year. Michael will be going to the new school and Chewy will be getting into the thick of things at his new job. But, as usual, this time of year and specifically this week are times of reflection and memory.

I find it weird and oh so human that we seem to have these specific times in the year that we permit ourselves to go so deeply into memories and melancholy. Why do I spend so much of my Christmas time going through various memories—not just of Christmases past but of other moments? Why not other times of the year?  (This could be because I also have the combination with my birthday, too.)

I slightly newer tradition with us (in the past 8 years or so) has been to light a remembrance candle for people we are missing during this time of year. Why does candle light comfort me? It is the same feeling I get from watching a river or the ocean, a calming reverence.

For Paul, Grandpa Michael, Grammie.  We miss you.

Getting older and watching my children grow up, some of those remembrances are of them as children versus my childhood.

I remember Michael at age 7, so excited for Santa Claus that he hopped into bed with us and was literally shaking with excitement. I stayed up with him until 3 a.m., trying to keep him from going downstairs to see what Santa had already left him.

This year, he was up late again, mostly from excitement again...partially being older and not wanting it to begin/end.  The same but different.

Willow is still at the age where there is wonder and song, excitement and imagination.  She drew a wonderful picture for Santa and left it with the eggnog, cookies and carrots (for the deer).

I started this post yesterday, Christmas Eve.  It is now Christmas Morning and I am officially a year older.  Pies are cooling, hot cocoa has been served, electronic devices all around...and finally put down for a bit.  

Still a bit reflective and missing the people who are not here in my life right now.  Missing extended family far and near...but also I feel warm and thankful.  

Being the main Santa here, my stocking was especially bare this year.  I am the gift giver...not especially the gift receiver.  But I am happy that we are all happy and healthy.  That this year of challenges have been brought to very happy conclusions.  I am thankful.


Friday, December 12, 2014


"As a young boy, I dreamed of being a baseball. But tonight I say, we must move forward, not backward; upward, not forward; and always twirlingtwirlingtwirling  ..." - The Simpsons

We are slowly moving away from the weird limbo that our lives have been in for the past few months....but we are not quite there yet to the other side...and there are still obstacles in our way...

We toured a couple out-placement schools for Michael.  We liked both, but found one that seems to be a fit for him.  I am being overly cautious on would be a very good fit, and I do not want to even mention how warm our reception was, how much they "got" our son.  Because I do not want to be heartbroken if, for whatever reasons, he doesn't not end up going there.  All I can say is that they took him into a couple class rooms and he was talking with other children and seemed welcome and was so happy.  Luckily, everyone agreed that he would fit there...enough so that he will spend two trial days there next week to see how it works out.  I cautiously hope that this leads to a transfer to this school.

Chewy starts his new adventure with a bang on Monday, by going to NYC for a few days for orientation.  He is excited and anxious, as one is with any new venture.  Gonna miss him, but glad it is the start of his job.

Willow lost another tooth AND has a cavity in a tooth in the back.  We will have to get that dealt with in the new year.  Also, apparently Michael had his vision tested at school...and, surprise, he is nearsighted like his parents! So glasses are probably in his future also.

The holidays.are here in full force too...we have Hanukkah starting this week (when Chewy is gone), so we are letting the kids open their first night of Hanukkah presents this weekend.  And tomorrow we are going to a breakfast with Santa.

My birthday is coming...feeling older and tired...a little wiser...unlike last year, I really want this year to be over already.

Santa wrote back!  

Olaf from Nonnie.  


Sunday, December 07, 2014

Friends and Grammie's Fudge

Yesterday I bought the fixings to make Grammie's chocolate and peanut butter fudge.  My intention was to do our traditional baking before we had company over that evening.  But, time got away from me.  No problem, figured we would do it today instead (and when I am done with this post, Willow and I are going to make the peanut butter fudge).

Thing about traditions...something that I have learned the hard that they sometimes need to be flexible.  Sometimes you cannot have it the same way you had the the year before and the year before that.  Sometimes, you find that if you are flexible...the tradition takes on more meaning.

So I found myself last night making Grammie's fudge with someone else's child.  The other kids were playing a video game or otherwise engaged, and she asked if I had any crafts to do.  (I just recently did a purge of that, no...)  She also likes cooking and in fact, her mom had brought brownies to make...but she said she really wanted to learn how to make fudge!  She was so enthusiastic...I couldn't say no!  

Was it how I usually do it with my kids, Christmas music playing and all?  No.  But it was special and fun and I got to share my Grandmother with another...and I could not but think that my Grammie would have loved that I shared this with this little girl.

Besides, my daughter came in at the end...and they licked the pan.

All the kids loved the fudge...there is very little left.  (And the girl was not done there--she and her mom made the gluten free brownies too...oh yeah, we sugared up kids from 15 - 5 at 8 p.m.!!)

Which means...another batch will be made (with nuts this time!)

Yea for traditions and family and friends and fun!

Thank you, Grammie for the memories that keep on coming!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thankful and Cautiously Optimistic

We seem to have faced a lot of transitional changes the past couple years.  Every time we try to stabilize and get to normal...we seem to have something happen to mess with that fragile stableness.

I understand there is the whole change thing that happens.  I am more than able to adapt to changes, but it seems that we haven't caught a lot of breaks when it comes to those changes...

So, we are on the brink of getting to the end of a couple of turbulent journeys...which are really new chances to get to that "normal".

And while I am happy and hopeful...there is that part of me that just cannot believe that things will go smoothly.  Waiting for the other shoe to drop seems to be my go-to mind set.

Cautiously optimistic that Chewy's new job opportunity will grant him the rewards that he so deserves.  That this new job is one that we can all count on.  (And that he does not overwork himself in the process)

Cautiously optimistic that the school(s) we are hoping to place Michael in will provide him with not only academic challenges but more importantly, provide him a positive place to grow, learn and enjoy life and friends.

Both of these transitions are still in process.  Chewy has to go through a background check.  The schools still have to receive our referral package and we have to tour the schools, etc.

We are still in limbo...but there is hope that soon, that perhaps...2015 will be a better year for them and for our family as a whole.

And those are things I can be thankful for this holiday season.