Sunday, February 26, 2012

My Week (28) in Droid Photos

Sunday 2/19/12: Nothing better to do than buy a car, I guess.

Monday 2/20/12: Day off work? Let's go to Costco with Aunt Abby

Tuesday 2/21/12: All smiles after a diaper change.

Wednesday 2/22/12: One of their few quiet moments. Nolan spends most of his time throwing things
 at her or trying to step on her paws while laughing manically.

Friday 2/24/12: FINALLY got my Piada fix on our date night.

Friday 2/24/12: My honey looks good in green :)

Saturday 2/25/12: Gettin' organized.

Saturday 2/25/12: Girls' Night + Sports Bar = Weird Faces w/Angie

Want to link up? Head on over to Amy's blog!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Mommy & Me Monday

I had no idea what to get Mike for Valentine's Day this year; he's getting harder & harder to buy for.

Luckily, the morning of Aiden's four-year portraits, I had a stroke of genius; I decided Nolan & I would jump in a few photos so we could give Daddy a portrait of his adoring family.

I think it actually turned out pretty cute! And Mike? Said this was pretty much his favorite gift ever. :)

Linking up with Krystyn at Really, Are You Serious? for Mommy & Me Monday :)

Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?
Hosted by Krystyn at Really, Are You Serious?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

My Week (27) in Droid Photos

Sunday 2/12/12: What like YOU'VE never had bananas & noodles for dinner?!

Monday 2/13/12: Aiden wrote his name on all his Valentines without help. So proud.

Tuesday 2/14/12: Water main break down the street. It was GUSHING.

Wednesday 2/15/12: The guys like to hang out and watch YouTube videos. Whatever works.

Friday 2/17/12: Another date night, another picture of alcohol. And Mike's hand.

Saturday 2/18/12: Post-playdate lunch. Those kiddos are lookin' tired.

Saturday 2/18/12: New shamrock PJ pants. LOVE.

Want to link up? Head over to Amy's blog!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

My Week (26) in Droid Photos

Sunday 2/5/12: Dazed & confused at PooPoo's house

Wednesday 2/8/12: My view as I worked from home AGAIN (notice that riffraff in the living room...)

Thursday 2/9/12: So. Much. Laundry.

Friday 2/10/12: Four-year portraits: done and done.

Friday 2/10/12: Date night. Between the lemonade & the beer, 
can you guess which one was mine?

Saturday 2/11/12: Upset that the OSU game started five hours later than he thought.

Saturday 2/11/12: Stupid winter keeps trying to make a comeback.

Want to link up? Head on over to Amy's blog!

Friday, February 10, 2012

What we mean by "Devil Didn't Get Ya"

For as long as I can remember, the biggest fear I'd ever had was losing a family member. As a child, it used to be the first talking point I had with God when I said my prayers before going to bed at night; I'd always silently beg Him to "keep an eye on my Mom and Dad." There were a few times I remember scaring myself out of near-slumber with the terrible thought of one (or both) of them leaving me.

Eight years ago today, that horrible thought almost became a reality.

I was living in West Lafayette, Indiana at the time, working at my first post-college "big girl" job as a reporter for a Catholic newspaper (and yes, it was as truly glamorous as it sounds). I'd NOT had a very good week to begin with; I had just found out I owed a significant amount of money on my taxes (which I did not have), and I was two days removed from getting dumped from my d-bag of a boyfriend after he returned from a year's deployment in Baghdad. So yeah, bad week. But bad things are supposed to come in threes, so I suppose I should have known something else was looming.

I got a call at lunchtime that Tuesday from my younger sister Abby back home. She was panicked, saying that Security at the branch of Ohio State she & my brother John attended had just pulled them out of class and demanded they go to the local hospital immediately; no explanation other than that. I got off the phone with her pretty quickly, and while attempting to keep my heart from dropping further into my stomach, I tried to call my folks--no answer. So I tried to call my sister Heidi who also lived in town--no answer. Then I tried to call my grandma--no answer.


At this point I was freaking out quite a bit, and pacing in the small office I worked at. I talked my other sister Megan in New York, with both of us feeling quite helpless. I called my former boss back home, told him I need to know something NOW, and he said he'd get with his connections and get back to me. Not five minutes later, he got back to me and said, "There's been a car accident. I've told a nurse to call you since they can't tell me what's wrong."

{Cue further freak-out.}

I hung up with him, and moments later a nurse called as promised. After confirming I was indeed an immediate family member, she started to go down the list of what she knew; my mom, dad, sister Heidi, and her husband Joel had been involved in a car accident. My brother-in-law had some bumps & bruises, but would be just fine. My sister Heidi had what appeared to be a broken kneecap, but she and her unborn baby were otherwise unharmed. My mom had some broken ribs and a concussion that was making her quite woozy, but otherwise they felt she'd be okay.

That's when she paused, then said, "But your dad..."

I let out a sob as she continued, "He's in bad shape. Multiple broken ribs, a crushed pelvis, and other problems. We're still checking him over, but he's hurt pretty bad." I think she continued to speak for awhile, but all I remember is her telling me my grandma was there, and I asked if I'd like to talk to her. I mumbled a yes, and listened as my grandma told me "I talked to your mother, and she said that you're not supposed to come home."

I'm pretty sure I giggled at that one; it was SO TYPICAL of my mom to not want to bother the out-of-state kids with the pressure of dropping everything to come home. But this situation was just a bit extreme.

"Uh, Grandma, I'm leaving now!" I almost spat it at her.

"Okay," said my grandma, and I could hear in her voice that's exactly what she thought I should do.

I hung up, gave my editor a brief description of what had happened, pretty much threw my apartment key at her and told her to please check on my cat for the next couple of days, then got in my car and hit the highway without giving a thought to stop at my apartment to pack a few necessities. I had to call my second job at Kohl's to explain what was going on and why I wasn't sure when I'd be in for my next shift. Luckily they were pretty understanding.

That was the longest drive of my entire life. I got a few updates from Abby & John, but mostly they didn't know much. They'd been back to see Dad, and their accounts of what they'd seen SCARED ME TO DEATH. I spent the entire four hours wondering if I'd make it back to see him in time...

Finally, I arrived at the hospital, and the minute I stepped out of the car, a calm came over me. Merely by being present at the hospital, I had this clarity and confidence that I could handle whatever was about to happen. It was one of the most lucid moments of my life to date, and it's probably why I can still remember that day as though it was yesterday.

I walked into the emergency room, and immediately saw my aunt and grandpa, who showed me to Mom's room. Mom was still lying on her side in a neck brace; I got close enough to rub her shoulder and let her know I'd arrived, and all she said was, "Bad day," then, "You NEED to go see your dad."

They let me know he'd been taking to the ICU, so after figuring out where the heck that was, I headed to the second floor. I passed a waiting room where I heard several folks call my name, so I stopped and found my dad's sister & brother as well as Heidi (in her wheelchair) and my brother-in-law Joel. They said that Abby & John were back with Dad now. Heidi & Joel gave me more details; they'd been T-boned at an intersection, and Dad had taken the brunt of the blow.

I will say that in all this nastiness, there was a glimmer of good news; Heidi had an ultrasound to find out if the baby was okay, and they found out it was a boy. They decided to name him Gerald Thomas, after both his grandfathers.

Not long after I arrived, Megan arrived with my brother-in-law Denver (who was still her fiance at this point), and we waited our turn to go back and see Dad. It wasn't a long wait. We entered that room, and there he lay, on a ventilator, surrounded by wires and tubes and all that nastiness that you see in medical dramas on TV. Completely different when you're looking down on someone you love, though. We didn't stay long; he was in a chemically-induced coma, and we just let him know we were there. Both of us told him to "wipe some dirt on it," which was something he always said to us kids when we were younger. And then we left.

We stayed at the hospital long enough to see Mom get her own room. Looking back, we laugh now because she OBVIOUSLY wasn't in her right mind; she was so excited to see a computer monitor in that room so she could check her email (!). She also kept repeating that someone needed to put the hamburger meat that she'd been thawing on the counter back into the fridge "because there'd be a lot of people coming over and she didn't want it to spoil."

Sure, Mom. Whatever you say.

We had to break one of my silly cardinal rules at this point to make a trip to Walmart because (a) it was the only store open and (b) I had nothing to wear but what I'd shown up in. After that, we headed back to my parents' house without my parents. Surreal. Abby & I ended up staying at Heidi & Joel's place instead.

No one slept much that night.
The next few weeks saw a lot of ups & downs (Mom got out of the hospital, but had to go home without Dad; I had to go "home" to Indiana & come back on the weekends; Dad had a scary surgery, stayed in the ICU for two months, then rehab for a month, and then finally came home about three weeks after I'd moved back to Columbus; my sister also ended up getting married in the hospital so Dad could be there; etc.). I'll spare you all the details, as I could write so much I would probably have to change the name of the blog. 

Ever since, though, my mom has "loving" referred to February 10th as "The Day the Devil Didn't Get Us." We typically mark the day by going out to dinner, which I know my parents are going to do today (we visited last weekend).

And there you have it. My childhood fear was nearly realized eight years ago today, and while I wouldn't EVER want to go through it again, I'm thankful for the things I learned from the experience--most importantly that my folks are the strongest people I could every hope to know, and I'm BEYOND thankful for all of these "bonus" years I have with them.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Monthly Mumbles

10. I've gotten a little tired of the "10 Things I Think I Think" label. Going with this new one instead, since I seem to do this fantastic little brain dump once a month. We'll see how it goes.

9. I'm extremely thankful for an employer who allows me to work from home when the boys can't go to the sitter. I've had to cash in that perk quite a bit in the last two weeks; last week for our sickies, and this week, for the sitter herself being sick. On the negative side, working from home isn't exactly fun; I'm still responsible for everything I would typically do in the office, but then I've got these two cute munchkins who can't understand why mommy keeps asking them to go play so she can get her work done (I do promise to "clock out" at my normal time so I can go join the fun). Despite the kiddo interruptions, I will say I am amazed that I always somehow seem to get more work done at home.

8. SO excited for the launch of my sister's new photography business--she has SUCH a talent! I only wish she lived closer so we could hit her up for some sessions! If you're in the Hudson Valley area of New York, you need to contact her IMMEDIATELY! Oh, and you might, you know, see a child or two of mine if you check out her site. :)

7. I went to drop our taxes off Monday evening, and our tax guy asked if I'd mind hanging around so he could go ahead and get them done. An hour later, I walked out of there VERY HAPPY. We'll be able to play off our roof AND maybe get another project done I wasn't anticipating funding until next year. There's something to be said about using your tax with holdings as a yearly savings account.

6. Just realized Valentine's Day is next week. I've made ZERO plans to recognize the day. It's never been my favorite holiday (it's just so damned exclusive). I should probably come up with something lest a certain significant other think I don't like him anymore...

5. Did I mention how excited I am to walk into the bank and pay off our roof next week?!?!?!?!?!

4. It actually snowed today. Haven't seen a whole lot of that this winter. But you won't find me complaining; this has possibly been my most favoritest winter EVER. And spring is just around the corner...

3. ...which also means I'm going to have a four-year-old on my hand in just a matter of weeks. Blows. My. Mind. I can still smell the OR, feel the shakes from the epidural, and hear the sounds of Aiden's very first cry. And now we're ready for a fourth birthday party. Good. Lawd.

2. Molly is still doing just fantastic. She's ridiculously well-behaved, and hasn't met a soul she doesn't like (except maybe for the cats, but eh, we'll work it out). I took her to the vet last night (HOLY HEARTWORM PREVENTION BILL, BATMAN!), and they seemed to think we got one hell of a dog as well. A couple more vaccinations in the next few weeks and she'll be golden.

1. I'm excited to get my St. Patrick's Day decor set out. I freakin' love March. So move on out of here, February. I've had enough of you and your drippy red hearts, cold snaps, annoying illnesses, and depressing gray days. Better days are ahead.

Monday, February 6, 2012

It's gotta be teeth...right?!

My dear, sweet Nolan has been anything BUT that for the past week or so.

A bronchial infection (which hit both boys, but threw Nolan for a loop) last week had me working from home three days straight. As you might expect, my little munchkin was a bit needier than normal. Totally understandable.

The fever has gone, but a very runny nose and all-around NASTY disposition remain. He can't figure out what he wants, and he is the definition of frustration.

So maybe it's teeth? We haven't see a new one pop through in quite some time.

All I know is that I miss my happy boy. SO. MUCH.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

My Week (25) in Droid Photos

Sunday 1/29/12: This sweatshirt is 12 years old. Totally vintage.
Still works, though, as the Bucks beat M*ch*gan.

Tuesday 1/31/12: We brought Molly home. She acts like she's been here her whole life.

Wednesday 2/1/12: He did it all on his own. I promise.

Thursday 2/2/12: Walkin' the dog. She's still getting used to all the neighborhood canine action.

Friday 2/3/12: To the pediatrician after I worked from home for 3 days with sick boys. 
Both boys had a bronchial infection, but Aiden's sickies cleared up faster than Nolan's.

Saturday 2/4/12: Kristin and I waited in line for over an hour to get into the store 
at the Scentsy Spring Sprint. Beer was enjoyed afterward.

Saturday 2/4/12: REALLY wish his nasty cough would hit the road. 
He sounds like an old man with emphysema.

Want to link up? Head on over to Amy's blog!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

WordFUL Wednesday: We got a dog!

I submit, for your consideration, Molly.

I know, I know, I know.


I've said a million times before (and probably on here, once or twice) that I'm not much of a dog person. Most of that stems from the fact that my lone childhood canine fell over dead in a heap in front of me. TRAUMATIC. But this past Sunday, when I Mike suggested we stop at the shelter and "look at puppies," I didn't skip a beat when replying "Yes!" (NOTE: This may be chalked up to the fact that it was our first outing sans children in two weeks, which is a long time for us) (FURTHER NOTE: I probably should have been a bit more weary since the other two times in our lives we went to "look at puppies," I ended up pregnant. This correlation is just weird.)

So we went to the shelter, looked at some dogs, and then headed home since it was too close to their closing time to put in an application. Mike had his eye on a boston terrier mix, and after discussing it, we decided we'd take the boys to meet her on Monday night.

I'll keep it short & sweet--she did not like the boys. And watching her knock Nolan down twice didn't exactly endear her to this mama either.

And so we asked to see the dog two doors down--a two-year-old sheppard mix named Sasha. She was a HIT. She loved the boys, she wanted to play, and she barely made a peep! The only problem? Someone else had her on hold through the end of the evening. So we put a second hold on her in case those folks never showed.


So we picked "Sasha" up last night and promptly changed her name to Molly. Aiden wanted Dory (I convinced him that maybe this wasn't the best idea since she doesn't exactly look like a blue fish), and I wanted Moxie, but Molly seems to fit.

We brought her home, and it literally feels like she's always been here. We can tell she's been crate trained, but decided just to trust her last night and only gate her into the kitchen. I had worries of her whimpering all night, but Miss Molly barked twice (maybe she was in Milwaukee? TEE-HEE. Sorry.) and that was IT. She couldn't have had a better first night.

So far, this former non-dog person is pretty smitten. We're looking forward to many happy years with our new family member! :)

 then, she {snapped}