Gratitude

1) Kids young enough to hunt East­er eggs as many times as they can per­suade some­body to hide them.
2) A nephew will­ing to hide said eggs ’til the younger kids drop.
3) The lit­tlest nephew, too young to under­stand the whole busi­ness of hid­ing and find­ing eggs, but hap­py to run about after the oth­er kids

Gratitude

1) Auto insur­ance
2) My cell phone
3) My daugh­ter

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Gratitude

1) My Dad­dy, and his (ongo­ing) recov­ery from surgery.
2) Every­thing I learned about music from J.D. Mardis and all the oth­er teach­ers over the years.
3) Easy access to a pool.

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Happy Birthday, Daddy & Matt!

I spent most of today with my fam­i­ly at my par­ents’ house. It was a won­der­ful vis­it!

I got to meet my youngest nephew, Eli, for the first time. I was ill every time my broth­er and his brood came to town after his birth last fall (turned out I had pneumonia—I real­ly should learn to go to the doc­tor instead of try­ing to ignore should things). He’ll be a year old next month, and he’s such a doll! He looks a lot like Matt did as a baby, but even more like his old­er broth­er, Jack. He’s sweet­ly tick­lish even though he is teething a bit, and I got to nib­ble on his toes! (He gnawed on my hand a bit too, so it all evened out.) He has a very strong grip and is at the “grab every­thing” stage, but I antic­i­pat­ed that and didn’t both­er wear­ing ear­rings. I’m glad that I got my hair cut short again this week, as it left far less hair for him to pull at.

See­ing Jack next to my sister’s boy, Will, though, is a trip—they look more like broth­ers than cousins! Jack’s twin, Sadie, is beau­ti­ful. She reminds me of Katie at that age in some ways, but she’s very much her own per­son, with very strong opin­ions. Matt and his wife have love­ly, well-behaved chil­dren. And just in the last year, Will has gone from look­ing like a lit­tle boy to, well, not! And he’s only 7 years old! Although he says, “I’m sev­en now, you know,” with a grav­i­tas that makes it sound as if he’ll be join­ing the mil­i­tary any day now. He def­i­nite­ly lives life at one speed, and that is full ahead!

Mom and Dad cooked way too much food for breakfast—SOS, bis­cuits, eggs, lots of fruit, sausage, bacon, hash browns, and I can’t even remem­ber what else. Lat­er on we had cakes and ice cream, of course (yogurt for those of us who don’t do ice cream so much). I wimped out and try­ing both cakes, but I was being dar­ing enough to have a small slice of one. Then Mom told us that Dad­dy had been cook­ing all day Sat­ur­day, using the smok­er! I rode up there with Katie and her boyfriend, who had plans for lat­er today, so we left before any­one else did. I don’t think I could pos­si­bly have eat­en anoth­er bite, but I hope the oth­ers stayed for anoth­er meal. I know the food cer­tain­ly smelled good.

Even though the kitchen and din­ing room tables are huge, we filled both of them. Unlike the hol­i­day meals of my youth, we didn’t sep­a­rate into adult and children’s tables. Per Will’s wish­es, we had the “men’s” and “women’s” tables for break­fast, but end­ed up all mixed for cake and ice cream (he was so dis­ap­point­ed). From that I fig­ured him to be at the “girls have cooties” stage, but appar­ent­ly boys and girls don’t nec­es­sar­i­ly go through such a stage any more. Who knew?

I took an iPad, because I was asked to review an app and need­ed help from chil­dren. I had absolute­ly no idea just how pop­u­lar it would be! We could have kept sev­er­al more busy. On sec­ond thought, if there had been sev­er­al more avail­able, it might not have been as fun. After the boys dis­cov­ered the cam­era func­tion, there was a lot of silli­ness. I was glad the gad­get has a case, but for fur­ther fam­i­ly occa­sions, I think it needs one that’s more child-grip­pable. Maybe some­thing rub­ber­ized? In any case, the device is even more fun with kids. I feel much younger now as a result. We played sil­ly games, col­ored, took pic­tures, and played more sil­ly games. I should have loaded up some Trout Fish­ing in Amer­i­ca and oth­er good music. I will cer­tain­ly do so for future occa­sions!

I gave the twins their copy of Clean Water for Eli Rose by Ari­ah Fine, and they must have liked it. They each had each of their par­ents, Mom, and me read it to them at least once that I know of in less than an hour. They may have also got­ten Katie and my sis­ter to read it to them, as well. It looks as though it’s going to be in heavy sto­ry time rota­tion for a while. I could see some wheels turn­ing for Sadie, so I’m hop­ing she’ll get more than just a sto­ry out of it. If she asks ques­tions, Jack will def­i­nite­ly fol­low.

It was the best fam­i­ly day I can remem­ber ever hav­ing. I’m get­ting the pho­tos off my phone and the iPad. I hope they came out well, but whether they did or not, we’ll have the mem­o­ries.

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Who do you trust with your children?

I keep see­ing news sto­ries about kids dying in day­care or at the hands of oth­er peo­ple to whom their par­ents have entrust­ed them, and every time there is so much shock and rage as if peo­ple can’t believe it’s hap­pen­ing. I am so tired of it. Pay atten­tion!

How many of the peo­ple in these cen­ters did the par­ents actu­al­ly meet before leav­ing their chil­dren there? Did they meet any­one? Did they spend any time there?

If you leave your chil­dren with child­care providers, how did you choose them? How well did you vet them? How often do you drop by unex­pect­ed­ly?

Would you trust every sin­gle per­son in that facil­i­ty with your car keys? Just hand them over and let any of them dri­ve your brand new ride away, no ques­tions asked?

How about your wal­let? Just give it over, tell them your ATM or cred­it card PINs, give them carte blanche?

If the answer to both of the ques­tions isn’t yes, why are you leav­ing your chil­dren with them?

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Question of the Day: Put it all together, it spells Mother

From LiveJournal’s “Writer’s Block” prompt:

What’s the most impor­tant les­son your mom taught you?

You can’t believe the words, only the actions.

No, I don’t ever recall her say­ing it. It’s some­thing I had to learn the hard way.

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Why I’m Thankful for Caller ID

Leaf

I’m not avoid­ing my moth­er, but I get tense when I see her on my caller ID late­ly.

We tend to stay in touch by email more than by phone, and if she calls it usu­al­ly means that there’s some­thing that can’t wait on email. We’ve lost five mem­bers of our extend­ed fam­i­ly since Octo­ber 2. We had absolute­ly no warn­ing with two of those peo­ple. One was a young teen.

So as much as I love my moth­er, every time I pick up the phone to talk to her now I’m expect­ing bad news.

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Needy Cat

Katie and Kiyoshi in 2006
That’s an old pho­to of Katie and Kiyoshi. I’m not the fam­i­ly pho­tog­ra­ph­er. She is, fol­lowed by Sam. But there’s a pho­to, and this post real­ly needs one.
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Fall Cleaning

It has to be fall clean­ing because it’s Sep­tem­ber, right? I haven’t done spring clean­ing at any time since we’ve lived in this house, hon­est­ly. I haven’t been able to do it. But between a new pain spe­cial­ist who isn’t all the way on the oth­er side of metro Atlanta (who actu­al­ly lis­tens to me and treats me like an adult human being who might know a thing or two about who own body, even!) and new, appar­ent­ly much more effec­tive dosages of two oth­er med­ica­tions, I’m feel­ing bet­ter despite that oth­er new pesky health thing. And Sam and Katie have been won­der­ful­ly coop­er­a­tive, as much as they can around work and school oblig­a­tions.
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General Update

It has been some time since I post­ed much here, so I fig­ure that I should do a bit of an update. It isn’t as if any­thing has changed in any big way. Sam has the same nice and sta­ble job, and we’re still very hap­pi­ly togeth­er after—oh, wow, it’s twelve years this month.

Katie is a col­lege stu­dent now, and still liv­ing at home (I’m very hap­py about that!) since she decid­ed to attend a local school. Her health issues haven’t gone away, but she’s try­ing so very hard—I wor­ry about her con­stant­ly. She push­es and push­es until she col­laps­es every day and at the end of every week. She has a very active social life (what do you expect? she’s a babe!), and hap­pi­ly she has a great group of friends who are sup­port­ive about help­ing her get to class when nei­ther she nor I dri­ve.

One of the class­es she was sup­posed to take (French) was can­celed due to inad­e­quate enroll­ment. She was ter­ri­bly unhap­py, and I was a lit­tle dis­ap­point­ed because I was look­ing for­ward to help­ing her with the sub­ject. On the oth­er hand, it was an 8am class, and with­out it her ear­li­est class is much lat­er in the day. I think it worked out for the best for this semes­ter.

I’ve had anoth­er nui­sance come up with my own health, too. Annoy­ing bod­ies. They’re great when you want to taste choco­late, hug some­one, smell flow­ers, etc. but I have some com­plains about a few design flaws.

That’s enough for tonight. Tomor­row: More about Art!

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