Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Princess Party

Colin recommended today that for my birthday I should have a Princess Bounce House shaped like a castle with a pink slide. I also needed plates, spoons, balloons, presents, party blowers, a cake and some friends. I think the kid has a future in party planning, what do you think? The fact that he puts me in the same category as a Princess makes me feel just like that with a little Prince Charming to boot. 

Over 40

Today I turned 41. I'm officially over 40. Over the hill. Moved into mid-life. Past my prime? Not according to Andy Rooney on 60 Minutes:

As I grow in age, I value women over 40 most of all. Here are just a few reasons why:

As women over 40 will never wake you in the middle of the night and ask, 'What are you thinking?' She doesn't care what you think.

If a woman over 40 doesn't want to watch the game, she doesn't sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do, and it's usually more interesting. 

Women over 40 are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won't hesitate to shoot you if they think they can get away with it.

Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it's like to be unappreciated.

Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to a women over 40.

Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over 40 is far sexier than her younger counterpart. 

Older women are forthright and honest. They'll tell you right off you're a jerk if you're acting like one. You don't ever have to wonder where you stand with her.

Yes, we praise women over 40 for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it's not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed, hot woman over 40, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some 22-year-old waitress.

Ladies, I apologize for all those men who say, 'Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?' Here's an update for you: Nowadays 80% of women are against marriage. Why? Because women realize it's not worth buying an entire pig just to get a little sausage!

Thanks Andy for your insight. So, I celebrate being in my 40s. I can't even count the blessings there are so many. I love my life. I love my husband who appreciates me and loves me. I think my son is absolutely just about perfect, whose smile can feed my soul happiness and joy for hours. I live in sunny CA where there's a beach, Mickey, a great church and good friends. I have the best set of friends any person could ever ask for who think I'm good and honest, and enjoy my company. I have a family who loves me raised me well and keeps me in check. I have a God who loves me with all his heart and through His grace keeps molding me and shaping me to bring him Glory. Even through the heartaches I've suffered, I still find goodness and have learned grace, mercy, faithfulness, kindness, gentleness, patience, love and joy. I have my health and even at 40-something I can still see beauty and am learning that inner beauty is what counts in this life. I have come to accept and celebrate who I am, what I was created for, and for whom I live my life. Life is good. God is good - all the time - He's so very very good. Thank you dear Jesus for my wonderful life. 

Can I just say I'm so glad it only took around 37 years to figure that out. Some people never get it. I get it and that makes me happy! Love you ALL!

C at her BEST Results

Got the results back from CBEST and Celeste passed her test. In fact, she passed with flying colors. Thanks to you all who prayed for me or encouraged me. Special props to Lauren who studied with me and who also passed. I'll keep you posted on what's next. Passing this allows me to substitute in CA in the elementary schools. With my Masters in Elementary ED, I might even get to teach without more schooling in CA. This is one of those things I'll be looking into. So for now, Hurray! On the morning of April 12, 2008, Celeste must have mentally been at her best... or at least close enough.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Ode to Joy


When Granny and Pop come it is always a joyous occasion at our house. JD and I get a break from being constant parents as they take over helping Colin, listening to Colin, entertaining Colin, serving Colin, etc. JD's stress level goes down because when his parents are here, he doesn't worry about them as much. When Granny and Pop are here, they relax like being on vacation because all their worries are still in Texas. I enjoy them immensely and am reminded how lucky we all are. We do fun things on purpose like go to the beach, to the park, and spend quality time together trying to soak up every ounce of joy that flows freely in abundance from of our cups. It's a good time. You can see what I mean when you look at Colin's face in this picture as he's playing with Pop though the hole in a tunnel at the park. They go home tomorrow. We will be sad to say good-bye and have already started planning their next visit. 

Monday, April 21, 2008

Kathi

June 3, 1974 - April 21, 2005

Today I remember my dear friend Kathi. Three years ago she went home by way of a tragic car accident. Finally, I can remember her without crying. Sometimes I see things that make me laugh and I think, "Kathi would've loved that." Sometimes, I think she's just played a joke and I get it and give her credit. But the past few days I've been thinking of her with many quiet tears. I find myself envious of God because he has her now. I miss her. I will always miss her. She was a person who filled a room when she entered. Her laughter was contagious. Her heart was warm and always open to new comers. She embraced me as a friend and kept me in a tight hug from then on. Her spirit was genuine and true. Her love was loud and big and wonderful. She looked for the good in everyone. She forgave over and over and always expected people to change to be better. She was good and honest, faithful and compassionate. I miss her humor. I miss her voice. I miss her smile. I miss her friendship. I miss her hugs. I just miss her. I can't explain the void that's always there but I can say I'm so grateful to my friends who have built a fence around the hole in my heart so I don't fall in.

To Kathi. May we learn something from her life. Let your love be loud and big and open and wonderful!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

THINK BLUE


Last night we went to the Dodger game with our friends Dann and Julie Gillen. Dann plays drums in one of the church bands on the weekends. He also plays professionally and is amazing. I think he's Colin's future drum teacher. Julie is JD's assistant at work. She takes good care of him and I'm grateful. She also sings on the weekends and has several cool movie credits, a whole other story. They're a great couple, a lot of fun and potential family as Colin and their daughter Sadie are pretty tight at pre-school.

Anyway, the Dodgers had an amazing first inning and then it was pretty much just hanging out after that. They won 8-1 against the Pirates. Fun to get away from the house and have a good time with friends. It was a great game except for the loud mouth behind us that had several choice favorite words. But, you know me, and I don't take crap for long and when he yelled, literally YELLED at the top of his lungs, "G.D. YOU!" to an umpire for a call against the Dodgers that was actually a good call, I turned around and let him know I'd had enough. There were two kids in the row in front of us around 6 and 8 years old. You could tell that their parents were done as well. So I said, in my "I've had enough of you" voice, "Dude, Seriously! There're two little ones right here." After that he quit saying as many choice words but didn't turn his volume down much. Exhausting! It could have gotten ugly but Dann, in a way that only Dann could, ended up endearing them and was high-fiving them and making them laugh and they forgot all about the lady who had just ruined their fun. Way to go Dann. He had mended the fence enough that the girl was even willing to take this picture.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Where Are Your Manners?

Our current lease is up May 1. Now we are in a position to house hunt for the perfect little house for us. We might be living in it BTW. But you know JD, he loves to look. So, Colin and I are scouting this house that we're sort of interested in. We've looked in all the windows, we've walked around it, sneaked into the gate, peered in as much as possible without going in. Finally, I call JD to give him my take on the place and he's still in a meeting. He said, "I'll call you right back." Okay. We'll just drive around it again, and sit in the driveway until he calls. I didn't want to leave because my memory will be much better to download details to JD if I'm still looking at the place. (Forgot the camera again.) Anyway, as we're about to pull out of the driveway, a car pulls up and parks on the street across from the house. Nice enough guy, waved to us as we backed out the driveway. I decide to cruise the neighborhood one more time and hope JD calls soon. I started to feel a little uneasy just hanging about uninvited. As we get back to the house, JD has called, I'm giving him my take on the place and I notice the guy coming out of the house and he's now put on a lockbox. Must be the owner or a realtor. I tell JD this and he says to see if we can look inside. So I go flag the guy down and ask if he's the owner and he says yes and I ask if we can look and he says yes and so we do.

We've been inside the house now for about 15 minutes, looked at several things, talked about the back yard, the front door, the big entry, the paint colors, the landscaping, etc. We go upstairs and I mention that JD, my husband, will probably want to look at the place. Colin, who never misses a thing, chimed in, "Her name is Celeste." Ummm, oh, yeah, my manners. This is when we (the guy and I) exchange names and shake hands. Seems like neither of us brought our manners that day.

Where are my manners!? Sad little situation when one day I'm bragging on my kid because he said, "Yes Mam." unprompted and yet it takes the same kid to remind me that I'm supposed to introduce myself to new people. Can teach it but can't learn? Pathetic.

After the guy left, JD caught up with us and we repeated our stalking of the house. We decided it wasn't the house for us.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

#8 of the Big Ten


Remember when I told you there was a story about the hat? Here's the story. After Katreena, Mom, Colin and I were done at Circus Circus we decided to take the kids over to M&M World and the Coke Store. M&M World is 4 stories of nothing (NOTHING) but M&M swag, trinkets, and items that have M&M on them, in them, and are about them. It is amazing all in itself. If you are a fan or know a fan and need something special, go there. Well worth the trouble.

Anyway, on the first floor, off the strip, Colin spies the hat he has on in the picture. His favorite color is blue and so he wanted a blue hat. They had one for each color of M&M character (green - the only girl, blue, yellow, and red). All were cute but when Colin put on the blue hat and I saw how it brought out his eyes, I couldn't resist it. I didn't care how much it cost, we were gonna get it. Now, I knew we had several more floors to go and a lot more to see, and we had already promised the kids we would get them M&Ms so I held off on paying for the hat and just let him wear it with tag and all. Cute really.

So we make our way up the stairs to the next level. More stuff. Different stuff. Anything you can imagine stuff. I scanned it quickly and told the troops to keep moving. I knew that on the next level was the little walk-through interactive display of how a M&M is made. This would be fun for the kids. We get through the "tumbling tunnel" and then through the "color barrels" and out the other end to go to the 3-D movie and we hear an alarm. Before we knew what was happening, we were being escorted through a door, down the stairs and dumped out into the alley behind the building. In the background you can still hear the alarm going off. At first I was confused. I thought it was probably a fire alarm. Then I remembered we were in Vegas. This could be a fire alarm or it could be a hostage situation, it could be terrorists, it could be a major robbery going down in one of the casinos near by, it could be a hundred other things besides a little fire.

We stood in the alley and watched everyone in the building exit. It was kinda fun in the chaos as Red M&M and Green M&M are escorted out along with every employee that works in the building. Colin and Katreena were having fun in their blissful ignorance of any emergency going down. Mom and I just waited and listened and watched. About 5 minutes later I noticed that Colin still had on the hat. Great! We've stolen the hat. Literally walked out with it on his head, tag and all. Okay, I'm human and it is my husband who yields the moral compass of our family and keeps us in the straight and narrow. I actually considered just taking the hat and moving on. I mean, they're the ones that just exited us out the building. Wasn't my fault. Ran this idea by my mother who's moral compass has apparently gotten stronger than when I was a kid and she didn't think that was a good idea. Then I thought, okay, this is a good time to teach my son commandment number 8, that we aren't supposed to steal anything. Bible's pretty clear on this one. God took the time to write it down in stone. If that doesn't seal the deal then you don't have a moral compass at all. Okay, we'll go back in and pay for the hat.

Turns out it was just a fire drill with no fire. I don't know if it was on purpose or accident. Looked accidental by the employees' faces. So we went back around to the front. We did floor one and two and three again. We finally saw the movie and then went the fourth floor where the M&M NASCAR car is and had a good time. The kids loved going through the tumbling tunnel again. We got the M&Ms promised to the kids and I paid for the hat. Walked out, this time on my own, with a clear conscience.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Yes Mam

For months now, I've been teaching Colin to say, "Yes Mam. (BTW, I don't know the proper spelling for that unless it's short for Madame.) Anyway, our conversations normally go like this: 
I ask a question or request a behavior or ask a favor or whatever. I get various responses like the following: 
Yeah
Okay
No
I don't want to.
Mom, you're silly. 
Mom, you're not being happy with me.
And sometimes, I'll even get a "whatever." Seriously!

And with those varied responses, I'll encourage better answers with improved manners. "Yes Mam," being one of those. When I say it, he will often repeat it. When he doesn't repeat it, I say, "'Yes Mam' are the words I'm looking for." Then he'll say it, reluctantly sometimes, but he'll say it. Other times I'll say, for example, "Colin, would you like a quesadilla for dinner." Colin will answer, "Yeah." Then I'll say, "Yes Mam?" And he'll respond, "Yes Mam." 

Today, in the car, I handed him an opened fruit snack and said, "Try not to spill it okay buddy." And he said, "Yes Mam." 

Oh, so proud....so very proud. I was beaming!

I Did It AGAIN!

Crap. Crap. Crap. I just discovered my pedometer in my pocket AFTER it got washed. Forgot to check the pockets again. So sad. I was curious when I found it if it had calculated steps while being tumbled and sloshed and thrown about in the washer. No. It's permanently stuck on 000 km. Will I ever learn? 

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Hold you? - Out - All done!

Finished! Thank you everyone who prayed for me. I was completely calm. I had plenty of time. I think I did well. The results will tell. But until then, I'm happy to live in a Polly Ana world and think I aced the thing. I can't tell you how GLAD I am to be done with that. I don't want to think anymore! My regurgitation is "all done". A lot like Colin at the end of this little video as his Momma keeps drilling him on the basics of counting. Notice the hint of tantrum beginning as he throws his fork, the protest in his "no", and the wriggle to get out of his chair. He's just shy of begging to be cut lose. Poor kid. I so get it. 
video

Friday, April 11, 2008

C at her BEST?

Celeste is taking the CBEST test on Saturday. There are three sections to the test: Reading, Mathematics, and Writing. Both the reading and math portions of the test have 50 questions each. The writing portion has two questions that require Celeste to answer in essay form. Celeste must score a 41 on each section to pass. She must achieve an overall score 123 to pass the entire test. Celeste has studied every week on Tuesday and Wednesday with her study partner Lauren for the past 6 weeks. Which of the following answer(s) must be true?

A. Celeste can score no lower than 37 on any section and still pass that section.
B. Celeste should've studied longer.
C. Lauren was a good choice to have as a study partner.
D. Celeste is probably over confident in her writing abilities.
E. None of the above.
F. All the above.
G. Celeste is going to fail and isn't as smart as she thinks she used to be.

Covet your prayers over today and tomorrow. Test is at 8AM tomorrow. I have 4 hours to complete the entire test in whatever order I feel would best help me pass. Seriously, my biggest concern is just staying focused that long so I can remember all the stuff we've studied. Also, that I get two essay questions that I can answer with confidence and not be my typical "If you don't know, make crap up" Celeste.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Flirting with Spring

"I think it pisses God off when you walk by the colour purple in a field and don't notice it." --Shug from The Color Purple. Took this picture driving along on Decker Canyon Road.

I love summer. It has always been my favorite time of year. I grew up in the high deserts of NM where the sun is warm, the sky is blue, and summer is beautiful. Never too hot. Therefore, I'm part lizard. Just throw me up on a hot rock and let me lay there and happiness will overcome me. But then I moved to places like Zapata (if you get a chance to go there, pass it up), Las Vegas, and Dallas. It is there I learned there is such a thing as too hot. Fall then became my favorite. Then we moved here. Ah, summer again has my heart. My lizard heritage came back and now just put me in the hot sand on the beach and I'm as happy as I can be. However, this is our first spring in CA and it keeps flirting with me. Sneezes and all, I've come to appreciate God's creation in ways I never could imagine. Everyday l see beauty like this in my backyard. Amazing!

This snail just had a baby. See it, under the flower? In my backyard folks. In my backyard.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Bless You

Today, Colin and I were sneezing this morning. I attribute it to all the flowers that are blooming everywhere. "Bloomin' their heads off" Colin says. So I sneeze and, he says, "Bless you, Mommy." He sneezes and I say, "Bless you, Colin." This little trade happens many times along with several Kleenexes (I know, gross). We get in the car and are on the way to school and I say, "We've had lots of sneezes this morning." Colin says, "Yeah. I bless you and then you bless me and then I bless you and then you bless me." Can I just say it? I just love this kid.
This was a picture I took at Disneyland one day. I love the butterfly. Beautiful!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Art of Roughhousing

Saturday, JD had dedicated the whole morning to playing with Colin. While I appreciate this commitment of fun and togetherness, they do so leave a trail. I know exactly what they've been doing, where they've been and with what. I can almost predict how long they were at one station, if you will, due to the carnage left behind. I know if they've eaten and what. I know if they got dressed or not and where. I know if they've been outside and if the grass is wet because there will inevitably be wet socks and or shoes at the back door along with little and big and cat footprints on the floor. I know if they've read books, played guns, hit golf balls or baseballs, played in the sandbox, watched TV together, had a snack, had a bath, made milk....it doesn't matter what it is. I know because they leave evidence all over the place. It doesn't take a forensic scientist to figure this out. Just a Mom who knows what her house looked like before the unending trail began.

So early afternoon, I go to make our bed. Don't even start with me, it was Saturday. When cleaning up the trail I always start in my bedroom. Anyway, I went to make the bed but it was completely torn apart. I'm talking the sheets and blanket were completely untucked from the end. The comforter was askew and the pillows tossed. And I was thinking to myself, "Now, I know I had nothing to do with this. I'm a very quiet sleeper. I don't toss and turn, I don't kick, I don't throw covers, I don't usually steal covers, etc. And neither does JD for the most part. So, I couldn't figure out what had happened. I knew the boys had to have had something to do with it but I couldn't predict what went down. As I'm making the bed I'm trying to get Colin to stop "helping" me so I can get it done faster and better. And I'm telling Colin to go pick up toys. JD calls from the shower and asks, "Sugie, what happened to all your patience?" I honestly responded, "You two have successfully messed up every room in this house and you don't pick up after yourselves, ever." He says as if he knows what I'm thinking, "We were playing on the bed." I'm thinking, "roughhousing is more like it."

Sidebar on roughhousing. It is the best thing ever to roughhouse with your dad. My dad did with us three girls. JD does with Colin or is starting to because he's finally big enough. It's one of those things that leave an impression with you forever. It's a sort of closeness not accomplished any other way. And here's the other thing I remember. When we did roughhouse with Dad, Mom would always call in from the other room, "You guys better knock it off. It's all fun and games 'til someone gets their eye poked out." Need I say it? Someone ALWAYS got their eye poked out. Not literally but figuratively. We never stopped until someone got hurt. One of those times ended Crisha, my little sister, in the emergency room with several stitches. But it was part of the fun I guess. Good times.

So, JD tells me how this was going down, the bed getting messed up, but I didn't really have a visual and the truth was, I didn't care. I just wanted my bed back to normal so when I crawled in at the end of the day it was an inviting place to be instead of the aftermath from a great storm. So last night, I go to get into my made bed and I notice it's off center. The whole bed is off center by 2 1/2 feet. My nightstand is completely against the wall, pinning the curtain against the wall like a wrestler who just lost. So, remembering that serious roughhousing happened this morning, I move the bed back to center. JD comes in and I tell him where the bed was. JD says with excitement, "You wanna know why?" I said, "I know why. You told me." This didn't satisfy my husband, he wanted to demonstrate. Needless to say, JD was the one who had moved the bed by falling on it over and over and over again as Colin "pushed" him. Crazy.

All fun and games 'til someone gets their eye poked out or until Mommy has to come in and clean up the trail. Note to husbands across America who read blogs: The art of roughhousing is to NOT get an eye poked out and to hide your trail. This leaves happy mammas. And everyone knows, when Mamma aint happy; aint nobody happy.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Can't Believe I Just Said That and Magic Goggles

Today I had one of those, "Can't believe I just said that" moments. I think this might become another running list on the side. Colin and I were in Target getting "magic goggles". I'll explain in a minute. As we're looking for the swimming gear we passed by all the balls: footballs, bouncy balls, baseballs, softballs, soccer balls, kick balls, etc. Colin asks, "Mom, can I have a ball?" I answer, "NO. Dude, you already have more balls than I know what to do with." .....Lord have mercy.

Okay, magic goggles came about when we went swimming recently. Colin wouldn't have anything to do with putting his head in the water, blowing bubbles, etc. Anything that will enable him to swim or be successful at swimming lessons or help him get over any fear of the water. But the kids we were with had some goggles. Colin put a pair on. All of sudden, Colin was playing in the water like he'd been there his whole life. He blew bubbles, he jumped off the edge over and over and over again until I was letting him go completely under then pulling him up. We attributed his new found courage and skill to the "magic goggles." I kept thinking about Dumbo and the magic feather. So now, we're all set with new goggles, a new kick board and I'm gonna start hunting for a "Mommy and Me" swim class. And you know us by now, I'm certain there will be tales to tell.

I should add that yes, we left with balls. Practice baseballs so JD and Colin could practice without having to shag balls as often. It was a good purchase.

Colin and Katreena

Colin and Treena at the M&Ms 3-D Movie
Colin's favorite color is blue, thus Blue M&M is his favorite. Notice the green lipstick from the green M&M? By the way, funny story about the hat Colin's wearing. I'll post soon.
Need I say it? Coke Rules!
At the Beach. The only place to be.
We all went to Disneyland but I forgot my camera. Again, another little funny story about that too. I thought you would like a few pics instead of the just the trauma story.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Take Me Out to the Ball Game


Monday, March 31 was opening day at Dodger Stadium. The beginning of their 50th anniversary season in LA and the start of the Joe Torre era. It was a great day for my boys to enjoy something really special together - and one they've been counting down for a long, long time. They had a blast, the weather was perfect and the Dodgers stuffed the Giants 5-0. The boys also stuffed on popcorn, ice cream, cotton candy, cokes, apples and of course Dodger Dogs. Colin quickly grasped the concept of 3 outs each, foul ball, CHAAAARGE (his favorite), "Take Me Out To The Ball Game..." and the Wave. He actually said as it was going - "Hey look, that looks like a wave!" Who knew? It's the beginning of a new tradition, a great season and a fun filled summer of baseball. What more could you possibly ask for? We like it here in sunny CA. We like it a lot!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Circus Circus part 7: THE TRADE

I'm going to try to finish this up today because I need to be finished telling this story. So here goes.

The first night without a pi goes better than I ever expected. He didn't ask for it at all and was happy to just have his milk "just the way he likes it." He woke up in the middle of the night asking if I would hold him. Remembering my commitment to replace his Pi with comfort from Mommy I agreed. Colin NEVER sleeps with me so this was a treat for him all by itself. I think God planned it to be honest. If we had taken pi away any other way, he would've slept alone or JD would've slept with him. Anyway, we woke up happy, rested, and began acting like the old Colin I know and love and by the way, I acted better too. It's amazing what a little sleep will do for a person.

The next day we decided it would be fun to take the kids to Circus Circus. I've never been. Lived in Las Vegas for four years and never went. So it was unknown territory for us all. But before I get to that, let me tell you what happened to poor Teddy. Teddy is a vintage Winnie-the-Pooh bear. He's been Colin's companion for awhile now. He used to have a puppy that he abandoned and I figured he didn't really care about stuffed animals and all he ever needed was his pi and blanket. But one day while in Target he sees this Pooh bear. It came with a newborn blanket and was packaged to be a gift to a newborn I guess. Anyway, as soon as we paid for it he undid the ribbon, handed me the blanket and asked me to pull the tags off Pooh and that was that. They were buddies from there. Gotta love a kid who finds his own "lovey" in a Target store. Well, I guess someone or something had to be the brunt of Colin's distress and trauma. So Teddy was turned into a soccer ball in the courtyard. Colin kicked Pooh (Teddy) for two hours straight. I didn't tell him to stop. I just figured Teddy was his best friend and like any best friend he would take any abuse for a short time out of compassion and understanding of what his friend must be suffering. I saw Toy Story. I know the toys are aware of our lives. At that moment my heart went out to Teddy and I was grateful he was paying the price instead of me. (Little theology lesson there). Before we left for Circus Circus, Teddy was no longer a nice little golden color but a dull dark grey. Sad. Truly, just sad.

Circus Circus was just that - a Circus Vegas style. We're not talking Cirque Du Soleil. No, this is one of the dingy, dark, not so happenin' places that you quickly get lost in. It's like a huge in-door carnival midway with every game you can imagine that will lure you to play, promise you to win, even get a successful display by the host, and you will lose and the host will smile as he or she slides your dollars into their pocket. We watched a couple of small shows. But mostly Colin just wanted to play games. After we had won three prizes for each kid we decided it was time to eat. Conveniently, McDs was in the place and we made our way there. By this time, my son was hungry enough to eat everything in front of him. When we got back, the new stuffed animals took over the soccer ball position and toss-the-bear game and I rescued Teddy and put him away somewhere safe until he could get a bath.

The second night without a pi went okay but not as well as the first. We had an hour in the middle of the night where he cried and wanted to go home. I told him we were going home tomorrow. He wanted to leave right then. It was then it dawned on me that my child had already calculated how many pis were at home. He was without one here but so what? You can do anything for a day or two. You could stand on your head for a day or two. If he could just make it home, this nightmare would be over, he would have his pi and all would be normal and well again. My mind began to work. I wasn't sure what to do. I do not have a stupid kid. He's smart. He's really smart. He KNOWS that this isn't over. He KNOWS there is more than one pi in all the world. He's seen me buy them at the store. He's seen the stash in the house. He knows there's at least one more at home and he's already planning to HAVE it.

So I bring this up to JD then next time I talk to him. Remember, JD is the compassionate one in the family. He's the feeler. He's the one with the gift of mercy in great quantities. God gave me zero. I know JD's already figuring out how to give back the pi. Creatively mind you, but give it back. Reason is because he thinks that Colin should decide on his own to give up his pi and in return he gets a reward. I'm down with that but starting over is not my idea of a good time. PLUS, hey, I've been suffering too here. I don't want to suffer the past three days all over again. Come on! Give me a little credit. So we talk about the possibility of maybe a new bicycle as the reward. This is not the first time we've discussed it. But it is the first time it matters. I suggest that maybe the trash-man bring Colin a note that says if he can make it without his pi a little longer then the trash-man will bring a bike. JD doesn't like this idea. He shouldn't, it's stupid. Brainstorming continues. I tell JD, let's just see how it goes.

It is finally time to depart from Vegas. Thank you God! I want to go home. I want to go back to normal. However, we're not quite normal because one we are without a pi, and two, we're taking Mom and Katreena with us. Mom says, "Maybe this is the perfect week to ween him off the pi. He's got a playmate for a distraction. We'll be busy going and seeing stuff. Maybe he'll be just fine." Maybe. We get home. Something happens that causes Colin to have a fit. Not a complete melt-down but a good fit. He immediately goes upstairs to his room. He gets on his bed and he asks me, "Mommy, where's my pi?" ....pause....thinking....pause....thinking.... I say with a straight face in all seriousness, "The trash-man took ALL your pis." Colin is so NOT HAPPY! He cries, like he did with the broken record thing and repeats the phrase, "No he didn't! No he didn't! No he didn't! No he didn't" I just said, "Yeah, he did. Sorry buddy. Looks like all the pis are gone." He pouted for a good while over that one. But eventually the distraction of Katreena did exactly what mom had predicted and he forgot about it and went to play. This is Sunday. Daddy eventually gets home from church. He takes Colin and Katreena around the block on the tricycle and big wheel. Of course Colin tattles again. JD, however, is unaware of the new development. Later I hear that Colin let him know that the trash-man APPARENTLY took ALL the pis. I admitted to my little lie. Again, I said, "Let's see how it goes." But by then it wasn't a lie anymore. While they were gone, I had gathered every pi in the house and handed them to my mother (a woman of great strength and fortitude) and she put them in the trash for good. Later JD tells me what he said to Colin. He told Colin that it was probably for the best because Colin was a big boy. And big boys don't have pis, big boys have brand new bicycles. Telling him we could go to the store and buy a new pi or we could go to the store and buy a new bicycle. Planting the seed beautifully so that a healthy memory might grow out of the tragedy instead of an arrow lodged in his heart forever shot by his irrational, unemotional, peer pressured Mommy.

Mom and Katreena and Colin and I had a fun-filled next three days. We wore the kids out to the degree that each night all Colin needed was his milk and for Mommy to snuggle him for a little while. He woke a couple of times but overall did great and the pi became less and less important. Mom and Katreena went home. Colin continues to be strong. Then one day (about 6 days later) Colin tells me from the backseat, "Mommy, if I go so many days without my pi, I get a brand new bicycle." Silently I thanked God for such a great husband. I said, "That's right Colin. You go a little longer with no pi and we'll get you a brand new bicycle."

To end the long version of the story. 15 days later, Colin picked out his new bicycle. He wanted a green one. We had to order it. And on the Saturday before Easter we brought it home. Colin doesn't mention the pi anymore. He doesn't mention how it went away. Teddy's all clean and is still his best friend. He still loves his Mommy and adores his Daddy (rightly so) and all is right with a boy who now recognizes himself as a "big boy!" Hallelujah, praise God, AMEN! My prayer almost a year ago has been answered. No more pi!

Taking the new bike home.
The first ride.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Circus Circus part 6: TELL TELL TALE

If you're just tuning in here, I encourage you to start at the beginning.

So, the kids are good for a while. We four are sitting at the table and decide it would be fun to play FARKEL. If you've not played this, then I encourage you to get six dice and learn. It's one of the most fun games there is. Anyway, we're playing and my cell phone rings. I already know who it is without looking and I feel my face flush and my heart rate speed up as I gather courage to tattle on myself.

Remember JD is at an Elders' Retreat. He's been hanging out with a group of wise, God-fearing, gentlemen who help run the church. He's been praying and worshiping and strategizing what to do to make the church better. He's been loved on and prayed over and cared for by the Elders who really are great men. He's in a good place mentally, spiritually and probably even physically. I anticipate this when I answer the phone.

We chit-chat for a few minutes and then I hint that I may have done something that he will consider "mean." He immediately wants to know what went down. Without hardly ANY of the details you've just read, I let him know that after the worst melt-down in Colin history, I've thrown his pi in the trash. As I expected JD is NOT happy with me. He's not happy about the situation and he's very concerned for Colin. He asks if I have another pi. I tell him, "Of course. But since he thinks that was the only one, why don't we see how long we can go without it." I relay the conversation about the trash-man and the possible letter to the trash-man. He's chewing on that idea I can tell. We talk about it a little more but I know that he's just mad and talking about it more will just make him madder. He tells me that he doesn't think what I did was mean. He thinks that what I did was cruel. Great. I feel so much better now. He then asks to talk to Colin. Okee Dokee.

I take the phone to Colin who's watching TV with Katreena. I say, "Daddy's on the phone. You wanna talk to him?" Colin jumps at the chance. I have Daddy on speaker phone cuz I want to make sure I can hear Daddy and I also usually have to interpret for JD as Colin jumps from topic to topic without much detail. They talk about the trip there. They talk about swimming. They talk about Katreena and Neenie (my Mom). Then Colin pulls the phone away from his mouth and he says to me, "Mom, I'm gonna tell him about my pi, okay?" I love that he asks permission to tattle on his mom to his dad. That's great. I say, "Go ahead." To be honest, I'm quite curious about how my son is about to depict the last few hours.

Here's the conversation word for word to the best of my memory. JD might come in later and give me a corrected version but this is what I remember.

C: "Daddy, Mommy threw my pi in the trash."
J: "What?" (Not what as in WHAT! but what as in, can you repeat that please.)
C: "Mommy threw my pi in the trash."
J: "Mommy threw your pi in the trash?"
C: "Yeah."
J: "Why did Mommy throw your pi in the trash?"
C: "Because I was acting ugly."
J: "You were acting ugly?"
C: "Yeah."
J: "Oh. I see."
C: "The trash-man took it away."
J: "The trash-man took it?"
C: "Yeah."
pause pause
J: "Well, buddy when you act ugly then things like that are going to happen."
C: "Yeah."
J; "I'm sorry the trash-man took your pi. Are you okay?"
C: "Yeah. I miss my pi"
J: "I understand. I'm really sorry buddy. I love you."
C: "Yeah. Here's Mommy."

At this point, my husband should get the standing ovation from the MOPS convention. I was so relieved he supported me. Angry or not, he united with me. I knew this was not the end of it but I at least was not dismissed to my room forever. And he was wise enough to know that he didn't have the complete story and that I am not usually a mean mother and that whatever the circumstances were that had brought us to this point, deserved a fair shake before he undid the decision or altered the course. I've married a wise, thoughtful, wonderful man.

....to be continued