Archive | February, 2013

Snow/Ice Day

21 Feb

We woke up to thunder sleet.  I’d never even heard of that, much less experienced it before.  Pretty cool.  Schools are closed here, but Steven still had to go into work.  Bummer.

It’s really pretty out, and the birds are swarming the feeder, which I went out and refilled for them this morning.  (Yes, I love animals that much to go out in the ice just to feed the strays.)  Of course, I do that in part because the bird feeder is Ninja Cat’s main entertainment.  The feeder was a Christmas gift for me, but I think Ninja enjoys it even more than I do.

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Wistfully looking outside, hoping to go play

Wistfully looking outside, hoping to go play

Ninja watching his birdies

Ninja watching his birdies

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My sweet, old Doogie asleep in the coat closet

My sweet, old Doogie asleep in the coat closet

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Reclaiming Valentine’s Day

14 Feb

I’ve never been a big fan of Valentine’s Day, but two years ago, I thought it would never be a nice day again.  I spent most of February 14, 2011 crying.  I’d called the vet that morning to schedule my old, sick cat’s Final Appointment.  He was my baby, my first pet, and my heart was broken over what we had to do.

Oh, and I also took a pregnancy test that afternoon, and it was positive.

For most people, that would have been reason to rejoice, but I was too upset over the cat and completely freaked out at the idea of having a baby.  Supposedly, I couldn’t get pregnant.  It’s a long story, but 13 years of childless marriage seemed to prove that true.  So to say that this was a surprise is an understatement.

Valentine’s Day 2012 was pleasant enough, but I was still tired from the newness of having a young infant.

But this year?  It was actually a little fun.  We’ll still never be big celebrants of this particular holiday, but it was nice to pick out a new stuffed animal for Alex (a monkey) and surprise  him with it.  Alex and I made a card for Steven with a cut-out of Alex’s hand print making the sign for I love you.  I even gave Alex a crayon for the first time ever and let him write in the card.  Took him a while to figure it out, then he went crazy with that crayon!

I honestly never thought I’d enjoy Valentine’s Day again.  But there’s something so sweet about having a happy little person to celebrate with.  I never knew what joy it could be to watch him grow and learn and try new things.  So now I’m going to look at Valentine’s Day as the anniversary of when we first learned about the existence of our Little Love.  I’ve reclaimed this day.

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You Can’t Go Home Again… Except When You Can

12 Feb

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We were all well enough to take a weekend trip home to Dallas to celebrate my mother-in-law’s 80th birthday.  Truthfully, I was dreading the trip.  Packing up a baby takes a lot of work, then there’s the long drive (6 hours), and I can’t fail to mention that I found our last trip home at Thanksgiving to be horribly stressful.

But this trip was different.  The drive was easy, other than having to stop at a McDonald’s for an hour to let a restless toddler run around the play place.  (Ick.  After all the illness we’ve endured lately, I couldn’t help but cringe and worry about all the new diseases my kid could be picking up in that cesspool of little-kid germs.)  We stayed with my parents the entire weekend, which means we all were able to sleep well, as it’s quiet there, and the baby has his own room.  We even got to go out to lunch without the baby!  (Cajun food–yum!)  And my mother-in-law’s party went really well.

But that wasn’t necessarily what made the trip so good.  Granted, seeing my parents was wonderful, as all I’ve wanted for the past month-and-a-half is my mama, but there was more that I discovered we needed and received.  We went to our church.

I guess I can’t really call it our church anymore, as we’ve joined a new church up in Oklahoma, but as we were members of our church in Texas for over a decade, it’s still home to us.

We didn’t really publicize that we were in town, and we made no promises that we would be at church.  Everyone’s health has been too unpredictable to make commitments, so a number of people were surprised to see us.  But better than that is they were delighted to see us.  To have teenagers hurtling themselves at us during the welcome was wonderful.  So many hugs from them, as well as other dear friends.  (In case I’ve never mentioned it here, my husband was the youth minister there before we moved.)  People asking how we were feeling, as they’d been following our health ordeal on Facebook.  Folks letting me know they’d been praying for us.

That was the very thing I’d been needing.

I have to be honest.  While I love Texas, I’m falling in love with Oklahoma, too.  Every time I go back to Dallas, I find that there are new things I’m preferring about Oklahoma.   (But there’s still plenty that drives me bonkers.  Like, can we please get a Petsmart in town?!)  But in a mere 10 months, we’ve not been able to develop the sort of relationships we had back in Texas.  That sort of thing takes time.  So going home was exactly what I needed.  Though the time was too brief, being surrounded by people who know me and love me was just the medicine I needed to recharge my spirit.

First Crafting Attempt with Baby

4 Feb

As I mentioned previously (several times *sigh*), we’ve been quite sick here.  That means we’ve been housebound.   The last round of illness meant we couldn’t even go outside.  Alex and I both had nasty coughs, and the cold outdoor air would have exacerbated things.  We were getting antsy inside…

I decided to do a craft with Alex.  I use the word craft loosely, as we didn’t really make anything.  He’s 16-months old, not coordinated, not prone to following directions, and he sticks everything in his mouth.  Kind of limits what we can do.

I pulled out some construction paper, a plastic bowl with a little water, and a couple of paint brushes.   I showed Alex what to do, and he got right to it.  Sort of.  He was all about dipping the paint brush in the water.  Then smacking it in the water.  Then flinging the brush about.  Sucking on the brush.  Attempting to “paint” the cat.  The sliding glass door.  The floor.  Oh, and then the paper.   Whatever.  He had fun, and it was just water.  This activity occupied him for about 30 minutes.  That’s like a week in toddler time!  Success!

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