Saturday, January 30, 2010

Never would guess

To look at him now, you never would guess that Beckham had skewered his eye lid, resulting in surgical removal, only two weeks ago today.

The other thing you never would have guessed is that the balloons that the sweet Francoms put in Beckham's room to cheer him up would still be floating......

two weeks later!

We are so loved and so blessed.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

More whinning

Yup, I'm still whining about things today.

I think it's completely normal. Of course too many days of it in a row and people stop hanging out with you. But one or two make for some very needed introspection usually followed by personal pep talks.

So today's whine is brought to you by the letter not for that, but for fabric.

I went to my favorite little quilt shop. The place I go when I am feel creatively stuck or drained. Before today I've always walked away from there with a renewed sense of determination and inspiration.

It was different today. I walked around looking at all that lovely fabric and nothing spoke to me. Unless you've actually had fabric speak to you, you will more than likely decided right now to stop hanging out with me because obviously I have gone crazy. As I walked around the shop I just kept thinking about how my designs, the designs that could right now be in the hands of the ones who decide if they live or die, are nothing like any of those.

I'm not looking for coddling. I decided a long time ago this blog was for my feelings and perspectives. So that I could remember how I got where I am. Also, when my children are grown and going through their own trials I want them to be able to have something they can turn to and say, "See, mom felt sad, anxious, worried, etc. sometimes too."

While I don't want, nor do I think I have, this as a overall theme of my life, these feelings are human and should be dealt with not squashed and hidden as if it were wrong to feel them. They just shouldn't be dwelt on and made to, or let, take over one's existence.

And so today I am feeling anxious and untalented, unmotivated and stuck.

I feel more hopeful already just getting those feelings out in the open where I can stare them down and challenge them. In an hour I may wonder why I was feeling those things at all.

Someday this may all make a lovely Lifetime Story.........

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A skill I don't have

I'm feeling a little, blah. It happens about every other week lately. I can't quite pin down the cause.

I suspect it has to do with wanting my house to look and feel something like this

And instead it feels (and kind of looks) like this

It's not THAT bad, but it's not nearly as good as the first picture. The main rooms that are bugging me......well actually it might be easier to list the rooms that aren't bugging me.

The rooms on the acceptable list are:

Tennyson's room
Dinning room

(although there are still design elements in there I want to add and some furniture painting I want to do---but other than that it feels mostly organized)
(again, design elements missing, but I can get it organized quickly----I must point out this does NOT include the pantry.)
Main Floor Bathroom
(design elements.....yada yada yada)

Basement floor Bathroom

Aaaaaaaaand we're done. Depressing right?

The unacceptable rooms are:

Master bed room
Master bathroom
Sander's room
Family room
Karaia's room
Beckham's room
Sewing room
Hallway closet
Laundry room


Now we're not just talking decorating, we are talking functionality; i.e organization.

I've surrounded myself with friends and family very skilled in this area for years, hoping that a glimmer of their talent to organize everyday life would rub off on me. And it has, a very little. But when my whole house feels like a big ball of Christmas lights tangled up the year before it's a bit daunting to even come up with a game plan as to how to get them all nice, neat, and presentable.

I have managed to add to my list of talents "Keeping up with the laundry". A skill I struggled with for years. Now, there is a nice little schedule that keeps things rolling along.

Beyond the massive amount of space and stuff that seems to paralyze me from even starting is my frugal-ness. (I'm sure Kevin is laughing his head off at that statement......)

I am always on the look out for containers and other organizing paraphernalia but I have a hard time actually buying them. It never feels like a necessity. I understand you usually don't have to spend a ton to get organized, but when I don't have a clear end picture in mind I have trouble spending ANYTHING. Or I have a amazing end picture in mind, but it would cost a ton to achieve and I would rather wait until I have the funding rather that settle. I'm stubborn like that....which doesn't help my cause, I know.

What ends up happening is me waking up determined to get something organized only to end up walking around my house thinking, "Ok, well I've got to do this, this, and this first before I can do this room....."

Perfect. (please note the well placed sarcasm)

I'm full of excuses. It's a super annoying and super hard habit to kick. My excuses feel so valid and yet logically I understand they are just excuses.

Something has got to change. There are only two options people.

A) I change my expectations of how I want my home

B) I change my skill level by actually doing something about it and try to minimize my use of excuses.

I keep trying option A and I keep coming back to feeling blah.

They saying knowing is half the battle.

The other half is actually doing something about it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

And they're off!

The designs are in the mail! Well, most of them.There was one design not printing in the right colors and I didn't want to put the whole thing off, so they got cut.

It will take a week to get there and then I'm sure FOREVER to hear back.........

So now I'll just have to wait....

and wait......

and wait.......

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Too close for comfort

Anyone who knows what happened yesterday will probably figure that I would be blogging about it soon. I am, however, also going to post pictures. They are very graphic, but they prove a miracle. One that I don't want to forget and that I want documented. If you don't think you can stomach the pictures, please just email me and I will send you the whole story sans pictures.

Now on to yesterday's events...........

You know those craft papers that have two layers with the top layer being black and the bottom layer is rainbow and when you scratch the top, black layer off with a bamboo skewer the rainbow layer can be seen?

Beckham loves that stuff. We all do. He was lucky enough to get some for Christmas. Friday night he was scratching away on his bed until we tucked him in. He put the paper and the skewer on the end of the bed and we all forgot about it.

Yesterday, at about 11:30 am, I asked him to go get dressed for the day. Anyone who knows Beckham knows he is all boy and rarely travels in the conventional manner of placing one foot in front of the other. Often he rolls, or "flips", dives, or any other ninja like manner you can think of. Yesterday was no exception.

His dresser is on the far side of his room. Passing his bed to get there he decided to roll/side flip using the end of his bed and his head as leverage. The only problem was, now keep in mind I did not see it happen but he told me what he was doing so I am assuming this is how things came to be, as he placed his hand down he must have put it on the blunt end of the skewer causing the pointed end to pop up. Immediately after his hand went down he put his head down to aid in the "flip" and impaled the skewer into his eye lid!

Thankfully, I was downstairs already when he started crying. I went into his room thinking he had stubbed his toe. When he turned around I could not believe what I was seeing. I quickly surveyed the puncture and determined it was too close to the eye for me to attempt to pull it out. Picking Beckham up, careful about not bumping the skewer, I rushed upstairs calling for Kevin.

When Kevin saw Beckham he took him from me and headed to the car. I called our neighbor's The Messinas, thankfully Carol was able to drop everything and come watch the other three kids. Shortly after I called them I called Grandma Candace to see if she could come watch the kids for an extended period of time. She could, and there are not enough words for how grateful we are to know we could leave them with her all day and they would be well cared for!

We headed to Insta-care.

Let me tell you something, you know how insta-care and the ER have bad reputations for long waits? Yeah, well, when you have something sticking out of your eye there is no wait time.

But they debated about whether to let us back only because they knew they couldn't pull it out, but they were concerned about the skewer moving as we went to the ER. They ended up putting some gauze under the skewer and taping everything down.

What was Beckham doing this whole time? He was being so brave! When it first happened he cried, of course, and asked us to take it out. But once I explained to him that when he was crying his eye was scrunching up and I was afraid it was going to hurt him more he calmed himself right down and was very still. So much so that I told him he must have super powers to be so calm which would make him a super hero to which he factually informed me that, "Mom, Super Heroes don't get things stuck in their eyes." And if he could have rolled his eyes at me, he would have.

When ended up at Primary Childrens Medical Center's ER. And again, no waiting once they saw him.

This time we had many, many, many medical staff come and look at Beckham. Most of them were not on the case, but they all wanted to see.

Thankfully, an opthimologist was in the ER at the time and Dr. Williams came right over. He was able to help Beckham open his eye a little bit and put a eye test chart in front of him. The good news is it missed the eye globe and he can see 20/20.

Even the opthamologist had to take a picture on his phone because his attendee would want to, "know what's going on..." I'm pretty sure he really wanted to say, "see this!"

Here are the pictures

At this point Beckham was in a little more pain so they gave him some morphine. The morphine took the pain away, and slow to communicate, but it also made him sick to his stomach. He told us he was going to throw up, but we were so afraid to sit him up in fear of the skewer being shoved further up that we hesitated and he vomited all over himself. Which lead to the cutting of his shirt because we couldn't very well lift it over his head....what with the stick in his eye and all.

He lamented that that was he favorite shirt, but I promised him I would get him another plain black t-shirt as soon as I could. Kids are so funny about their favorite things.

Now that we knew the eye was OK the next concern was the brain. The angle that the skewer was logged suggested, if it had gone it far enough, there would be some contact with the brain. Off to get a CT scan we went.

Thankfully, (you'll notice I say that a lot in this post....appropriate no?) It stopped short of the brain. Whew!

Basically, if you are adding things up the skewer entered and logged into the ONLY spot that could possibly have minimal damage. Everyone told us how lucky he was. I told them I didn't think it was luck.I strongly believe that this was NOT a coincidence and that he was very much protected and watched over.

They needed to do surgery to take it out because of the fact that the skewer was bamboo and they didn't want to risk leaving any fragments in there to cause infection. The problem is the OR was extremely busy yesterday. They weren't able to get him into surgery until 8:15pm after having the skewer in his eye lid of almost 8 1/2 hours!

Honestly, beside the creepiness factor of looking at my baby and seeing a stick poking out of his face near his eye, the hardest part of yesterday was just how long it was sticking in there. Once we knew the skewer was resting in the "sweet" spot we didn't want to risk moving it even an inch. But it was sticking out so far that if he looked down the end of the skewer nearly hit his chest which would cause it to push up ward. Also, any time he moved his hand we were afraid he would accidentally push the stick up ward as well. Remembering all that you can now imagine the state of high alert Kevin and I were experiencing for all those hours.

When Beckham came out of surgery not only was I relieved that it had gone well (they had to do general anesthesia and that made me nervous. They also had to stitch together one small muscle that got damaged) but I was just SO glad that skewer was out and it no longer had the potential to hurt him any more!

Everyone kept telling us they had never seen a kid so well behaved with such a traumatic thing. He really was so brave and very obedient. He didn't try and pull the skewer out. He didn't complain about the long wait. He was amazing.

By the time he woke up from the anesthesia and was able to eat it was about 10:30. He told me he was going slow with the crackers because he was saving room for the lunch and dinner that he missed. When I told him we weren't going to have lunch and dinner he was just so sad. So I promised him a grilled cheese sandwich when we got home.

Just before he was released from the hospital, I yawned and said, "I am so tired. Beckham are you tired?"

"No, I just woke up from a nap!"

I thought to myself, " I'm so glad to see the old Beckham back."

We finally got home around 12:15 am this morning.

Made a grilled cheese sandwich.

Tucked Beckham into bed.

Offered a prayer of gratitude and fully acknowledged the divine intervention in our lives that day and marveled that even after all of that we got to bring him home nearly unscathed.

Today, Beckham is great. His eye is still swollen shut.

However, that is not slowing him down. Most of the day has been spent with me begging,

"Beckham please stop rolling on the ground."

"Beckham, please stop running....I cannot have you tripping today."

"Beckham just sit when you get to the couch, you don't need a running start to get up!"

We've got one pretty special kid on our hands.....and we'll take him!

Friday, January 15, 2010


I've been telling people for weeks that, "today is the day" that I would mail my fabric designs to a different manufacturer. Alas, something would come up (read: I would make some lame excuse) and it wouldn't happen.

Also, I haven't been sleeping well and eating a WHOLE lot more. Am I proud. Oh no. Am I honest. Always try to be.

So that's what I've been doing.

Way to make the most of your life, Em. Nice.

But tomorrow. Tomorrow I will swallow my, fear isn't the right word, my anxiety and actually mail my designs. They are in the envelope and almost ready to go.

I am just hoping it isn't an abysmal failure like last time. Just a little shred of positivity that this could actually come true is all I need.

I would love to be able to sleep again at night and to stop ignoring my goals by eating things that do nothing to help me NOT look like I've had four kids.

Someday this will all be a memory, maybe not a fond one, but a life changing one for sure.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Repurposed door growth chart

I used to sell vinyl lettering with Uppercase living. And that was before Tennyson was born. Just before I stopped I ordered a bunch of vinyl because I had so much credit. One of the pieces I ordered was a growth chart.

I have had this growth chart sitting in my closet for so long. I didn't want to put it on the wall, because I like to change wall colors too much and didn't want to lose that information. I suppose I was waiting to pick out the right piece of wood at the home improvement store. Then it hit me. I can repurpose an old door!

Not just any door, but a section of a bi-fold door that used to live between my front door and my kitchen. We took this door out right as we moved in and it's been sitting in our garage ever since.

I had Kevin take apart the door so I was left with one section.

Lucky for me the other side had no details

I lightly sanded it down,

gave it two coats of black pant and put my vinyl on


And this is it's new home

(see that space to the right of the chart and across from the stairs? That's where the door used to live)

I am having my sister, who owns a vinyl machine , continue the measurements up to 7 feet. She called me yesterday for all the details and I can't wait to see it finished.

I am using a white marker I found at Robert's to write down the measurements.

The kids love walking by and seeing how tall they are.

I've had to remind them more than a few times that they probably haven't grown much in a day. I am so excited to see this fill up!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Time for a trim

Sanders reached the point of, commit to a long hair style, or go short, but choose already will you!! I actually really like longer hair on boys, not hippie, but longer. With Sanders, however, it had those baby fine straggly ends and was starting to look wild.

(Most of these are fuzzy, but so was his hair )

Yesterday, he got his first hair cut. It was no easy task. Thankfully, my mom was there to hold him

(see how much he loves it?)

and Karaia was there to distract him from trying to look at the scissors and when he was trying to see why in the heck his mom pulling his hair like that. And Beckham was there to take the pictures.

It still is barely passable as a decent hair cut. Once you know the back story with all the turning of heads just at the last. possible. second, I think you'll give it a passing grade.

Without further ado



He looks so old now! Here is all the hair, well most of it. Some of it is in a little baggy in his keepsake box. Please excuse the straw mixed in. The stool mom was sitting on sheds on occasion. Like the occasion where anyone is sitting on it.....

Kevin thinks it makes him look like he has a bigger head. I think he looks handsome......and also like he now has a huge cranium (said with a Scottish accent for all you So I Married an Axe Murder fans)

Here are some more "after" shots. He would not hold still.

I think these maybe some of my favorites, ever!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

True love confessions

When I picked Beckham up from pre-school he declared, "Mom, today was the day!"

"The day for what?"

"The day to tell Leah I have a crush on her......I did it at snack time."

"Oh, what did she say?

"Nothing. She just listened and smiled."

And now I know that boys, of all ages, have the same silly grin on when the girl they like smiles after the boy tells them he likes them.

Exactly the same.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Tricky Tooth Fairy

Karaia has a fascination, probably more accurately, an intense love, for losing and pulling teeth. Thankfully, only her far.

Her top front teeth have been lose for quite awhile. Every other day she asks Kevin to see if he can pull them out. So far, each time, Kevin would wiggle them and tell her they weren't ready yet, but if she spent some time wiggling them on her own they would be ready soon.

This, of course, was not what she wanted to hear and would send her into a moping wiggle-fest for the next 15 minutes.

Last night, Karaia came upstairs to ask her dad if he could please pull out her tooth now. At first, we were just going to turn her right around and send her back to bed. Then she opened her mouth and I saw the distinct color red around her tooth. Tonight was the night.

Pretty much she was in cloud nine. Not only after we told her it was coming out tonight, but all during the time Kevin was actually trying to get the tooth out. She was giggling and laughing even when it hurt. When the tooth finally gave up and let Kevin relocate it to his hand, it might as well have been Christmas all over again only the present was a new hole in her mouth.

(this picture makes me giggle so much!)

With that knowledge you can understand the shock that came this morning.

"Mom, I have to tell you something. We did it too late."

"Did what?"

"Took my tooth out to late. We missed the Tooth Fairy. She didn't come. My tooth is still under my pillow."


I went and told Kevin of the situation at which we both realized the we had not heard or seen the tooth fairy the night before either. Yikes! And it never occurred to either of us to go down to Karaia's room last night and "check".

I decided I'd better go check Karaia's bed, just in case. Now Karaia sleeps with three pillows. She puts her head on one and the other two go on either side of her body. I lifted up the head pillow knowing what I would find. Yup, there was the tooth, just where she had left it. After a quick "feel" with my hand under the other pillows I asked if she had looked under ALL the pillows. She had not.

Lo and behold, under one of the side pillows was a shiny gold one dollar coin! Imagine that.

What a tricky, not at all forgetful, Tooth Fairy.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Don't fight your body

There is only so much fighting a two year old can manage before their body insists that, because they are sick, they must take a

Poor Tennyson. He's had a fever since Dec. 30. It breaks with medicine, but keeps returning. We will give him until Monday and then off to the Doctor's we go.

I told him, " I'm sorry you are sick, Buddy."

He matter of factley told me,"It's O-tay. I'm pine."

You're fine are you?

Hmmmm, usually when people are fine they can make it to their beds for a nap. But, maybe that's just me.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The four of us

(Sarah, Me, Chrissy, Catherine....The Four Musketeers)

I have many cousins on my mom's side. Three of whom happened to be born the same year and gender as me. The nearer we got to adulthood the closer we became.

One of my favorite traditions happens on the first day of every new year and it involves them. It started 11 years ago, by chance, not meaning to become a tradition, but in the desperation to find something fun to do on a usually boring day. We had so much fun, when it came time to ring in the new millennium we decided to do it together.

To bring in 2000 we headed to Disneyland, by ourselves, in all our 20 year wisdom. To this day, that trip is one of my most cherished memories. Thousands of people crammed into the park, fear of Y2K in the air, and 3 of my favorite girl friends who also happen to be family.

Since then, we have remained connected through marriages, births, degrees, moves, illness, losses, successes, and all the joy and sorrow that comes with life.

Sometimes our New Years day get together happens with our families in tow. Sometimes just the four of us. Sometimes it's planned weeks in advance. Sometimes thrown together at the last minute. The one guarantee is that Sarah, Chrissy, Catherine and I will pick up where we left off.

We are all unique and bring something different to the table. Maybe that's why we like it so much. It's never predictable and the conversation, while starting out innocent, often ends in unexpected places.

We are similar is a lot of ways too; Very strong, stubborn, passionate (although what we are passionate for differs), caring. The stubborn and the passion also lead to some interesting conversations!

I am so lucky to have these women in my life and such a wonderful tradition!

Almost made it

We originally planned to head over to Kevin's parent's house for New Year's Eve food and games. Unfortunately too many late nights and taxed immune systems caught up with Tennyson and he ended up with a cold/fever combo. So we opted to stay home, put the younger two to bed, and see if the older two could live up to their claims of being able to stay up until Midnight.

We played a few games, ate some food, and then it was 9:00. The kids hit their second wind and decided they needed to "exercise". Karaia started running in place and Beckham ran circles around the playroom. That's when we pulled out the Smart Cycle and told Beckham he needed to play it for AT LEAST 30 minutes. Karaia found the Disney Channel New Year's Eve countdown downstairs and ran in place watching it. (She is her mother's daughter....I do that all the time)

At 10:30 I noticed Ice Age 2 was on and changed the channel downstairs for the kids. I got them settled in the rocker with blankets and a reclined position. I told Beckham he didn't have to stay up until midnight to which he replied, " I'm really going to try, Mom."

At 11:55 Kevin and I headed downstairs to ring in the new year with the kids. This is what we found.

He almost made it.

Here's Kevin and me ringing in the New Year like you do with someone you love....much to Karaia's, "Ew gross!" sensibilities

(I caught him off guard by sticking the camera in our face. He usually actually enjoys kissing me and doesn't often look as if he is trying to escape unwanted contact while doing it)

Karaia was thrilled she had been able to stay up so late

and, honestly, she was the only one NOT a grump today.

I think next year I am going to make the rule that you have to be at least 7 to stay up all night OR you have to take a nap on New Years Eve.

Both of them woke up at 8:00 am!

Sleeping in on New Year's Day is so lost on children.

Happy New Year!