Sunday, December 21, 2008

Some "Comin' Out" Pics

C'est la femme! (It's a girl) Not that you can tell in this lovely profile shot...

Pictures of our completed kitchen remodel. Yes, we're quite happy with it :). (You'll have to scroll way down to see the post with "before" pictures.)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Raising a Heathen

Sascha came home on Sunday to an exhausted post-four-days-of-supreme-attitude-and-sleep-deprived family. Ari was in rare form, wanting to play "socka" outside with Dad but also extremely tired and ready for a nap. Sascha comes in after 10 minutes of play with a strange look, his eyebrows elevated. Apparently, Ari was so tired that he cussed his way through playtime, proclaiming "shit shit shit" while running along and trying to kick the soccer ball.

I think we need to start watching our language...


Listening to an NPR segment on the history of Christmas celebration today, Ari and I held the following discussion:

Ari: Mugoo, mugoo! (music, music)

Wendy: Ari, Mommy's learning about Christmas right now, that's what they're talking about.

Ari: silence, as he considers this...

Radio: yadda yadda yadda Christmas yadda yadda

Ari (sudden gasp): Santa Clause!

Wendy (eyebrows raised): Yes Ari, that's right. Santa Clause...and Baby Jesus.

Ari: Deedas? Beebee?

Hm, somehow we've gotten our priorities messed up...


For those of you sending up prayers, thank you.

Arnie is doing better, as of last night, despite a random rapid-onset fever yesterday. The chest tube (a horrible "discomfort") was removed, as were a couple other tubes and he was able to get up for a little bit.

My Grandpa has decided to pursue heart surgery and is doing better (although exhausted), back home, diagnosed with "angina" and awaiting a cardiologist's visit to his small, rural hospital to discuss and schedule heart surgery in Sioux City, IA.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Hunkering Down

Once you become Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always.

As it states to the right, Margery Williams wrote this in her profound children's book, the Velveteen Rabbit. And let me tell you, things are certainly Real right now. In this yuletide season of joy, gratitude, warmth and deliverance I find myself crying more than laughing. Of course, it has something to do with the month. December brings this on for me. But this year, my extended family is hunkering down with me. Time to weather the storm.

After surviving an away-from home Thanksgiving week, Sascha flew out to Michigan to be with his dad (Arnie) Thursday during his complicated and serious surgery on Friday. He came through very well and everyone was relieved. Sascha flew home Sunday after another Michigan blizzard and arrived safely in San Diego. A few hours later we received word that Rigo, Arnie's Rottweiler, had fallen through the ice and has not yet been found. Arnie was told while still recovering in the hospital.


This morning, my grandfather was taken to the hospital for the third time in a week, this time by ambulance. Prognosis: an artery is blocked and his body is gearing up for a heart attack, after a stroke last week. A 91 year old man with more lives than 10 cats, he now has to decide whether to go in for surgery or allow "nature to take it's course".


After all of this, topped off by the sheer exhaustion of single-parenting a toddler going through yet another boundary-challenging phase (along with a small death wish), I've come to realize that Reality isn't something I've really been facing lately. Hell, most people don't face it at all. Ever. The Reality I'm talking about is the stark in-you-face knowledge that life is *not* absolute. It is temporary. It is a fleeting thing and can disappear in an instant. We take it for granted, this life thing. We yell at people we love. We criticize. We trudge or drink our way through the holidays with a sense of duty and "just get through it" rather than joy. We lack faith in our fellow human soldiers on this field and lack even more faith in God. I've been picking at this bone for weeks now and, now that I'm emotionally, physically and mentally shredded, it's finally come to a head.

I plead with all who may read this...appreciate your loved ones while they're here. Tell them you love them, to their face, and mean it. If you don't mean it, if you really don't love them, then either deal with it and heal or admit when it's finished. For goodness sake, life is too short not to be honest (I'm talking real situational honesty, not that nit-picking criticism cloaked as honesty). And I'm as guilty as any other - for keeping quiet when I have something to say, for being scared to draw confrontation or for lacking the words to voice the thoughts inside. Well, as a resolution, this ends now. It will take time for me to find a new strength and a firm voice. Just as it will take time for others to work their way through the truth, if it happens at all. But if we have faith...

I first became Real when Matt died. The reality and truth of life hit me square in the face. And that slap mark hasn't gone away. It takes something like that to wipe the benign insouciance off your face as you trip your way blithely through life. Suddenly everything is meaningful and you're staring Truth in the face. As I re-entered life, some of that insouciance returned but the dark knowledge of loss keeps me pretty grounded and I manage to keep my priorities straight most of the time. I hope that continues, although I miss the blind innocence of the past.

There are some who may lift an eyebrow at this posting. Well, lift away. It's my blog. Start your own. But at least be honest.