An Old Soul

As parents, we hear our children talk all the time.  Today's reminds me that I need to take the time to truly listen so I don't miss moments like this.

Jack was watching the snow fall heavy outside our window.  He had been quietly watching for a long time.  He says without turning away from the view, "Sometimes the snow makes me cry"  I asked him why and he replied, "It's beautiful"

The beauty of that thought process makes me cry.  Happy tears for a boy that I wasn't sure would ever talk.

Sweet 16

*My oldest son turned 16 a few weeks ago.  He is so precious to me and seeing him age has been amazing!

  November 15, 1994

November, 2010

Watching this boy turn into a young man has fascinated and terrified me.  Recently, I realized how short his time as my child has become.  He graduates in less than two years and leaves my nest.  I can't think of it without tearing up.

*In other news, Jack has found his future profession, so he says.

He says his name is Asimo, the robot.

Don't be jealous of my mad robot making skills.  

Sneaky Thanksgiving secret

If you thought I meant a really cool recipe, I am sorry.

We have been in collusion, the ex husband and I. Keeping a secret from my children is NOT easy. I am just bad at keeping secrets, I let things slip, I forget that it even is a secret. But for five long weeks, I managed it. The ex was giving out little hints here and there. Telling one boy that the DS he left behind in the summer would arrive on the 25th. When another asked over the phone what he was going to eat on Thanksgiving, the ex said, "the same thing as you!" He told one boy that when he missed Papi on Thanksgiving, he would be right beside him. Nobody caught on...hehehehe.

The boys dad was coming for Thanksgiving and they had no idea. Today, while we were all busy cooking and eating and parade watching, my dad left saying he had to go home and check on the dogs. Mom threw out, "take a shower while you are there" Overkill much mom? She makes me giggle.

A trip to the airport and back later, he walks in on our unsuspecting boys. I LOVE it when a plan comes together!!

These turkeys......

...are glad this turkey made it.

Sounds in the darkness

Every night as Jack falls to sleep, he sings and talks.  Most of the time it is nonsense or phrases from his favorite shows.  Lately, it is the Beatles.  I present to you the audio of my newest favorite.

To nose job or not to nose job

As a teen I broke my nose during band practice.  I was in the guard and we were throwing rifles and boom, I missed.  Well, not missed exactly, I just caught it with my face.  I popped in back in place on the spot in panic.  It felt like it was lying down on my cheek.  I swelled and suffered, but refused to go to the doc for it.

It healed a bit crooked, but it has never bothered me.  I really only notice it in pictures.


Nobody noticed unless I pointed it out.

Over the years it got more pronounced.

Aesthetically, it still doesn't bother me.

You can really see the difference if you look up my

I am starting to get reduced air flow in my right nostril.  I get sinus headaches a lot.  I was starting to think it was time to get it fixed.  Then I saw my MRI.

My nose is in the top center.  This view is from looking down into my head from the top.  I knew it was off, but I didn't realize it was almost closed.

So.  It is time to begin searching out my options.  If you have had experience with nose surgery or an experience similar, I would love to hear from you.

Feeling grateful

Five years ago we moved because the heater in our apartment burned out. It did not actually start a fire, but the fire department said we were lucky. I am so grateful we moved. The unit in front of the one we lived in burned Sunday.  Two people lost their lives and many more were injured.  Twelve families lost everything they own. My heart goes out to them.

There are days when I struggle and worry. Today, I am incredibly thankful, grateful and blessed. We were able to move into this house because of my ex husband. He stepped up and helped us get out of that death trap. He had been trying to get me to let him help us move into a better place and I was stubborn. I didn't want to be indebted to him.

Thank god I came to my senses before this was our tragedy.

In happier news, our Halloween party was a success. The kids had a great time and the food was super cool.   My mom outdid herself this year.

Here we have Ogre Toes.  These are bread sticks with almonds for the nails.  We dipped them in Unicorn blood (pizza sauce.

Super gross!!

She found these cool labels at the dollar tree!

She also made a stuffed pumpkin

We had a great time playing Halloween themed pictionary.

We made WAY too much food, of course, but it was worth it.

From the kid who couldn't talk

comes an early morning LOUD serenade. I love his song choice, but he has got to turn down the volume until the coffee is brewed.

Hoarding mistake or vintage genius?

I found two Bop magazines from the 80s in my keepsake box today.  I was cleaning it out and hadn't been to the bottom of it in years.  I also found a poster of Duran Duran.  I am trying to throw them away, but can't.  I checked Ebay and somebody is selling a Bop from 1984 for almost $50.

So, you tell me, hoarding or genius?

Out of Surgery

Nico is still in recovery, but done with his surgery.  The surgeon said the abscess was a bit larger than a golf ball, but cleaned out well.  He did have a fistula running into his colon, but he closed that up.  I am in the room waiting for them to bring my boy back to me!

He is going to have a painful recovery, but not as painful as it was before surgery.  He is a trooper that is for sure. 

Nico update

Nico is scheduled for surgery to remove/drain the abscess at 2pm.  They say we will be allowed to go home afterwards.  I hope we are home for dinner, but I suspect it may be more like 8 or 9pm.  He is doped up and resting well.  I am not sure what the aftercare will be like yet, but I am dreading the discomfort and pain I know he will continue to feel until it completely heals.

Thanks for the well wishes!!

A Pain in the Butt Night in the Hospital

This post contains much bum, butt, rear info.  You have been warned. 

My oldest son, Nico, has been having pain since Saturday.  It has gotten worse over time and evolved into a perirectal abscess.  Poor guy hasn't been able to sit or walk right for several days.  An ER visit last night found no cause for his pain and we were sent home.  A doc appt today found a small lump.  She said she would refer us to a colorectal surgeon for diagnosis.  By 5pm, he was miserable and a large swelling had formed.  He also developed a fever.  Back to the ER we went.  The thing had more than quadrupled in a 5 hour span. 

He has been admitted for the night and is on morphine and IV antibiotics.  He is sleeping ok now.  Tomorrow, the specialist will see him and decide how to drain it.  He might be facing a trip to the operating room. 

I am exhausted.  I had my second migraine on Tuesday.  I got maybe 3 hours of sleep last night after our first ER trip.  I know I won't sleep tonight. 

It stinks when our kids are hurting. 

Giving in is hard!

I will admit it, the air is cooler, a few trees are beginning to change.

It's Fall!

I am getting more and more like my momma as I age.  I want it decorated!!

And I promised these two I would NOT put this picture on Facebook.  So I am putting it here.

99 isn't just for red balloons

There isn't much going on here except school school school!  School is going well.  I got a 99 on my last paper!  Because I am so dang proud of myself, I feel a need to post my professor's comments.

10/10 Mechanics

20/20 Composition

9/10 References

60/60 Content & Organization

VERY well done, Monica! The ONLY area of concern is the reference page. For

the most part, they are compliant. However, I would encourage you to check the

citation generator the college has in the virtual library to see if you can

determine where your mistakes are. Here's a hint..."the devil is in the

Let me know what questions you have or if you can't determine where the errors

are. Thanks!
That makes a girl feel good, I tell ya!


After Jack's birthday party we left to visit Kindleberger Park. It was the last night of their summer concert series. We were so excited because one of the coolest Beatles tribute bands was playing. They are called Shout and were amazing!

I am 3!

Three years ago, my fourth son was born.  You may remember that we were told he was a girl.  He has brought so much joy to all of our lives.  Happy Birthday, Jack!!

Crash Test Dummies

Today, go cart adventure was more like bumper cars!!

Crash #1

Crash #2

Crash #3

I don't know if I will ever let them go back again..GEEESH!

Vicodin hiccups

Nico, my oldest son had his wisdom teeth removed yesterday.  He did very well and so far doesn't have too much swelling or bruising.  He does however have the hiccups.  All.  Day.  Long.

He had them before he woke up because he dreamed that his brother had a snake that had the hiccups.  I noticed he had them right away.  We have tried every home remedy with poor results.  He has now had them for at least 12 hours.  He also has terrible heartburn. 

I figure the heart burn might be from the ibuprophen or antibiotic.  I thought maybe the vicodin was causing the hiccups.  When you google hiccups and vicodin you get many many results and most of them mention wisdom tooth removal surgery.

It is crazy to think that having your wisdom teeth out could trigger persistant hiccups.  Some sites theorize it is due to the general anesthesia.  Some guess it is because the throat and neck are manipulated in the surgery.  Some wonder if it is the vicodin.  If they are not gone by morning we are off to the doctor.  I read more than a few cases where they hiccups lasted for weeks.  He is NOT going through that.  Poor kid has enough to handle just healing from the surgery.

Have you ever heard of such a thing??

A new type of school

This past week I went back to school.  After a semester and a half of land based school kicking my butt I have changed directions.  I am now attending an online university.  I have to be truthful and say I have always looked at online universities as "not so good" or maybe along the lines of correspondence school.  Some in depth research proved me wrong.  I took a workshop class prior to my first actual class and discovered an amazing wealth of resources.  My degree will also be viewed as just as good as a degree earned in a bricks and mortar school.  Man, how times have changed.

Along with researching this for myself I had to make a huge decision for the kids education.  My two older boys were failing.  My incredibly intelligent gifted children were making terrible grades.  I was ready to pull them out for homeschooling again. 

I then found out about a online public charter school.  WHAT??  Free online accredited school?  Color me impressed.  My sons will be beginning their first semester in September at Connections Academy.  We went through an extensive application process and were accepted.  My oldest will have to repeat a few classes, but can do summer school to catch up and graduate with his class in 2014. 

I am hoping that with all four of us schooling at home we will be able to reach the potential I know is in there somewhere.

Ren Faire Funny

While enjoying The Rogues, we hear the band leader call out, " I see you in the bushes!!"

Guess who was dancing like a woodland sprite?

They call me twitchy

Last October, I noticed Jack doing this hard blinking thing.  I monitored it for a bit then managed to catch it on video.  I uploaded it to youtube to see if other parents thought I should be concerned.  I got a few comments and most were asking me what did they doctor say.

Well, I didn't take him to the doctor.  I read that an eye blink twitch wasn't uncommon and usually just goes away with time.

The eye blink thing comes and goes and I haven't been able to discern a pattern.  It was only when he began doing a shoulder shrug type of twitch that I got truly concerned.  A visit to the pediatrician today was in order.  Sadly, are regular lady wasn't available so we had to see a brand new doctor.  She was great and was able to view his youtube video.  She consulted with the pediatrician on call and both said that medication was available, but not warrented unless the tics were interfering with his activities.  They are not, he is blissfully unaware of them.  They say that most kids outgrow these types.

So I will keep my eye on his royal twitchyness and try not to be worried.  Sounds good to me.

Testing their wings

Today I put my three oldest sons on an airplane alone.  This was a first for me and terrifying.  We have flown many times without fear, but it is VERY different when you send them off without you.  They are going to Florida for ten days to visit their dad and his family.  In the past, I always went with them and stayed with my best friend while the boys went to Miami.  But, they are older now.  Big enough to take a plane???  That is what they tell me.

As they walked away from me toward the plane, it felt like much more.  This feels like the beginning of the end.  They are going to need me less and less very soon.  Nico is 15, only a two years till college.  It breaks my heart, but I am proud of them as well.  Proud that they can be trusted with this enormous responsibility. 

I can't wait for that call saying they are safe on the ground. 

Storm Damage

 Several tornados blew through our area this afternoon.  We got lucky here.  Only one tree down and the fence might not even be damaged.  There is another storm heading here, but I am not sure if it is as strong.  Its a crazy day in Michigan!

Today, we time traveled

Today we went to the Silver Leaf Renaissance Faire.  It was a first time experience for the boys and I.  What a great time!

The entertainment was constant and really good!  We especially enjoyed The Rogues.  They were so entertaining that I bought a CD.

Elijah finally decided to rock his new shorter hair do out in public.  I love it.  But, I digress.
I think Jack's favorite part, besides dancing to all the live music, was cookies with the Queen.  They got to sit at her Majesty's table and enjoy conversation and a sweet treat.  She was so attentive and kept their attention the whole time.  

So much so that Jack had to switch sides to be nearer Her Majesty.  

And of course, we saw lots of armor, swords, horses and chivalry.  Nico plans to move there when he grows up.


Don't talk about the Koolaid...

The boys found out about a free skatepark in Kalamazoo and after some research I found it.  Upjohn Park has a section fenced in and very nicely done.  The kids aren't that great at skating, but they love to do it.  It was a bit crowded, but not overly so.  My pictures only show half the park.   The kids had a good time and I see us going back soon. 

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