Archive | September, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

21 Sep

Sort of.  I’ve added a quote.  (this picture was of Cash a year and half ago.  he looks so little!)

But don’t you agree with me?!?!  Ha ha….

When You Thought I Wasn’t Looking…

19 Sep

Someone had pinned it on Pinterest and I definitely felt it was worth sharing. 

They’re always watching….

Oh Gosh. I Turned Into "That" Parent.

19 Sep

I will get to the story behind the title of my post in a bit.  But first … I wanted to start off by saying how much I have forgotten how beautiful the city is I live in.  And how much “free” stuff there actually is to do here.

Labor Day Friday Cale took off early and decided to take us on a short trip into “the city”.  He parked by Exploration Place and took us on a walk around the river.  I italicized “river” because that’s what it’s suppose to be.  But as you can see … it has been so dry here all summer (near severe drought) that the city actually needs to mow the river.  It’s sad.

Here’s what the river looked like a year ago (courtesy of Wikipedia):

And here is a picture I took when we went across the bridge earlier this month:

I remember when that river use to be considered the West side part of town.  Now it literally divides the city in half.

Anyway …. back to our walk.

I thought I’d share a picture of some best friends:

Sometimes when I sit back and watch these two interact with eachother it literally brings tears to my eyes.

Did you notice the “Keeper of the Plains” statue in the background in the picture above?  If not, here’s a closeup view…

The Keeper of the Plains statue stands 44 feet tall and weighs nearly five tons (although after being placed on the rocks along the Arkansas River it now stands 30 feet taller).  It was designed by the Native American artist Blackbear Bosin.  At certain times at night it is surrounded by a “ring of fire” that is manually lit.  It is a beautiful piece of art that our city has to offer.

My photography mindset kicked in when I saw this group of ducks taking a bath in the river…

It just looked so peaceful.

Next stop … a surprise for Cashie (sort of).  We had heard about this “thing” that lived under one of the water drains along the river.  So we decided to go and try to find “it”.
Here you will see a shortened version of how our adventure went…

Walking up to the drain:

Looking into the drain … noticing something … staring straight at it for a good 30 seconds but still not really realizing yet what it was…

And he sees “it” … and so now he’s running away fast … right through a big mud puddle …

His face now that he’s a safe distance from “it”…

So … just what was this “thing” that had my son running for dear life?

It’s the troll that lives under the storm grate.  Legend has it trolls come alive at night but turn to stone during the daytime.  I wouldn’t dare tell my son this until he’s older.  But it’s still cool to think about it.

And here’s a closer view…

Are we the meanest parents ever?  Maybe.  But 5-10 years from now … we’ll be the coolest. LoL.

As we were walking back to the car we stopped to take a break and enjoy the beautiful weather we were having that day.  I think it was 75 degrees with a light wind. 
And I had to take one more picture of my handsome men:

They’ve got me so wrapped around their fingers it’s unbelievable. 
But the bond between those two is far more than that. 

Where was Chrissy this entire time we were looking like tourists in our own city?
Chillin:

He’s such a happy little dude. 

Cash is going to love this picture when he gets older…

Later that evening we decided to set up the tent and have a campout…

That is, until the wind changed and it got a little breezy.  Chrissy was the only one really diggin it…

So we all wussed out and went in to snuggle in our own beds.

The next day Cashie had his bff and future wife’s princess party to go to.  The invite actually said, “Come be a princess”.  We loved it.  He loved it.  He loves her.  Here are some pics of the party…

Good ol’ “Uncle” Bill. 

And this is what Cashie picked out for the birthday girl.  :::bites nails:::  We forgot to give them the gift receipt.  Hope she likes it.

The boys at the party who are ever so patiently waiting for the birthday girl to finish opening presents so they can start jumping again.

Aww.  Little Bella and Christopher.  I’m not so sure what they were talking about.  But it was important.

And then a pat on the head for the “good talk”.  And she’s off. 
Those Loop girls sure have a hold on my little boys.

And what’s a birthday party without the birthday princess shedding a few tears.  (“It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to … cry if I want to …”)  She’s a good girl.  And I approve of the marriage if it does happen.

Here’s my little slugger.  He made sure not to hit it too hard since there were still a few kids wanting to take a turn 😉

Good times with good friends.  Life doesn’t get any better for a three-almost-four-year-old.

Or does it?

Cash started school on the 6th.  He was a little nervous at first but the second we walked through the door he acted like he owned the place.  He put his bag on the hook and his folder where it was suppose to and went and played on the computer until school started.  He’s learned 3 new songs and is/was the only kiddo in the class that knows the Pledge of Allegiance.  He’s making some friends and the teacher says everyone gets along great.  He only goes two days a week for a few hours each time but the artwork is pouring in.  I wish I could save it all.  What do you do with your child’s art from school?
Here is a picture of nervous little Cashie the morning of his first day of school.  Bless his little heart.  He just looked too little to be carrying that big ol’ backpack…

Oops.  Looks like Mommy needs a lesson in spelling.  I spelled
“Cheeseburger” wrong.  LoL.

A couple days later we surprised Cassius with tickets to see Disney’s Toy Story 3 on ice.  Pictures don’t do justice for this.  It was by far the best thing we have been to yet.  I only remember one character (Buzz) slipping and it was hardly even noticeable.  They did a great job and even brought out Mickey, Minnie and the crew for a short song or two.
These are the crappiest pictures I think I’ve ever taken.  But like I said, I was too busy watching the show then wanting to take pictures.

You weren’t allowed to take movies but somehow I managed to get a VERY short snippet of part of the show:

And this is where I fess up and tell you how I’ve turned into “that” parent.  This ain’t my first rodeo.  We’ve been to Curious George LIVE.  Sesame Street LIVE (a couple times).  The Harlem Globetrotters (a couple times).  The Ringling Bros Circus.  I know that souvenirs at this events aren’t cheap.  Which is why I a) always pack along something that has to do with what we’re going to (a basketball, a Curious George book, a Buzz Lightyear action figure, Elmo, etc).  And b) I NEVER under any circumstance … take my child by the stands that are selling crap.  I’ve done fairly well.  Until Toy Story.  Papa gave Cashie $10 to spend on whatever he wanted.  While that was extremely nice of Papa …… $10 won’t get you anything more than a signed autograph picture of Woody or a 1 inch tall Buzz Lightyear that snaps onto a straw.  Well.  I made the biggest mistake I will have ever made (and will be my last).  I told Cash that Papa gave him some spending money and during intermission I would take him to pick something out.  Of course he wanted the $50.00 Woody statue or the $20.00 Mickey Mouse bank.  And I wasn’t about to fork over a dime on any of that stuff (Mommy isn’t a pushover!)  So I pointed out the stuff that he COULD afford to buy.  He had most of the stuff.  I told him I would take him to Target where he could buy more than one Mickey Mouse bank for the price of that one.  Nope.  That wasn’t going to work.  Let’s just say we had a HUGE meltdown in section 111.  I was the meanest Mom there and he made sure everyone knew it.  I took him back out into the hallway and we had a talk.  I explained this is not how it works.  He does not get what he wants by throwing a tantrum and that was that.  And then he looked up at me with his big bluish-gray beautiful eyes and said, “But I have money at home Mommy.  I wish I would’ve brought it and I could buy that Buzz Lightyear head.”  So call me a pushover.  I am now “that” parent.  The parent I made fun of for buying the $7.50 balloon that was going to either float up to the ceiling or sky before leaving or would deflate within 24 hours.  I am the parent that gave in to their tantrum throwing child.  I am the parent I said I’d never in a million years be.  So sue me.  I spotted him the $5.00 and bought him the $15.00 snowcone.  At least the cup is reusable.  Until the baby gets a hold of it and snaps the lid off.
Plus it’s the size of Cash’s head.  So maybe it was worth the $15.00.  But the memories … well … obviously those are priceless.

Next adventure for the T clan … The Kansas State Fair.  Whoop whoop.  People watching, carnies, family fun, and red velvet funnel cakes.  What more can you ask for.

The mini hay maze.  Do you know how bad I wanted to duck behind those bales.  But I didn’t.

I almost wish they’d buy one of these so that they could take off on boy’s trips and I could have the whole house to myself.  But I’m sure I’d probably just worry the whole time.  So we won’t be adding one of those to our wishlists anytime soon.

First ride of the fair … The BIG Slide. It has microphones that hang down over the humps and speakers that amplifies your scream so the whole fairground hears you.  Let’s just say Cashie would much rather ride the slide with Daddy then me.

His face says it all.  He was a little ticked at Daddy for making him sit in the back and get all wet. 

The scary pirate ride….

His ears closed going in….  And they were still closed on the way out (5 seconds later).

Love.

We took the first picture at the fair a year ago and I tried to take one exactly like it.  Little boy is growing up.  (Looking a little paler though, lol).  Anyway, a year ago Daddy had to hold both hands while walking through the crazy spinning barrel.  This year he only needed to hold one hand.  Next year he’ll be walking through it by himself  :::tears:::

He is his Daddy’s boy.  This was his favorite ride.  It tickled his tummy he said.

After explaining to him that sculpture was made entirely out of butter … he stared at that thing for a long time.  I just wish I knew what was going through his head.

And for you ladies that are preggo.  It could be worse.  You’d have to shoot me if I had to carry a baby like that.

We’ve had some good times the past few weeks.  Busy and hectic.  But fun.

Cash and Christopher are currently sick with a cold.  Cash came down with it Thursday after I picked him up from school.  I asked him how he was feeling the other day and he told me, “Good … but my brain is tickling.”  I just wish I knew what he meant by that.

Sorry for the picture overload.  I’ve said it before … but this time I’m serious.  I’ll stick with blogging every day or every other day from now on.

Until then … Peace, Love, and Pop Rocks (the candy).  Life is sooooooo good.

Taking It Day by Day

5 Sep

I left some of you clueless as to what had happened to Cale’s Mom.  And while I know that none of my stalkers personally know myself or my family … somehow you are still all very much a part of our lives.

Lora (Cale’s Mom) suffered another major stroke.  I say “another” because this is her 3rd major stroke.  Not counting the many mini ones she’s had since her first debilitating one in 2006 …… just a few months before our wedding.  I will never forget that day.  I was at work when Cale called.  I could hear what he said but I couldn’t process it.  I immediately left work and drove down to Wellington to be with my fiance.  I don’t know how fast I was going nor do I remember the drive.  The 45 min ride seemed like eternity though.  But when I got there … it still all seemed like a dream.  There was Lora … lying on the hospital bed with machines coming out of her.  I said hi and went over to her side.  She could mouth the words (sort of – droopy like) but nothing more than a “mmmmm” came out of her mouth along with a slight head nod.  I wanted to break down and cry.  I just could not come to terms with it.  They then transferred her to St Francis in Wichita where she would receive better care.  And it was there that we found out the hand that Lora was dealt with when she was born….

Anticardiolipin Syndrome.
A disorder that is characterized by excessive clotting of blood, recurrent fetal loss, and a reduction in the number of platelets.  Approximately 2% of the US population has this disorder.  And I strongly am starting to think that at least 1% of the 2 is Lora’s family.

We have always heard stories of how Lora’s Dad died very young (in his 40’s) but nobody really knew why.  He was tall, skinny, and seemingly healthy.  They compared him to my husband.

It is unfortunate that Lora had to have a stroke to find out that her dad, her brother Butch, and herself …. were all dealt the same hand at birth.  And it was not until after Cassius and Christopher did we find out that unfortunately … Anticardiolipin Syndrome can (and obviously is in their case) hereditary. 
I love my little boys more than anything in this world.  And so does Cale.  But after hearing everything and going through all of this … we wish we’d known sooner that his syndrome is being passed down the line.  In all honesty … we would’ve thought twice about having children.  Cale has been tested for this disease.  And out of the four levels they tested, one of his was slightly elevated.  Lora could never remember to get her medical records released to our family doctor to find out if it was the same level as hers and so Cale was put on Aspirin until more tests are ran and we can compare Lora’s results to his.  We are always going to have to constantly check the boys’ platelet levels for the rest of their life. 

But you want to know what pisses me off the most?

The medical care my mother-in-law has been receiving has been terrible up until being transferred to Via Christi recently.  She had an impairing stroke in 2006.  Was put on a blood thinner.  She has done fine up until a couple years ago when she was losing blood and had to keep getting transfusions.  She went through a major transfusion about a month ago and her QUACK OF A F’IN DOCTOR took her off her Coumidin (blood thinner).  WTF?!?  She was doing fine.  Yes she had to have a transfusion here and there … but it was nothing that was slowly killing her like this stroke she just had.  I strongly believe that had he not taken her off the Coumidin … she never would have had this recent stroke.  I have so many questions for this doctor but I have a feeling that nothing more would come out than a punch to his gut.  I want him to feel what we’ve felt over the last few days.  I take that back … I wouldn’t wish this pain, this confusion, this helpless feeling, nor this anger on my worst enemy.  Another f’ing piece of my mother-in-law has died.  We will never get that piece back regardless of how extensive rehab is.  And if I could strip this doctor’s license away from him myself …. I would.

At this point:  It’s hard to say how much Lora will get back.  She still has no feeling on her right side.  She still cannot remember the baby’s first name.  Nor other things that we question her about.  And she is still having a hard time speaking.  It’s there … it just won’t come out.

Lora is not only the most beautiful person I know … she is the strongest fighter I have ever met.  She was able to leave critical care today which meant we got to take the boys up to see her.  We explained to Cashie how Nana would be and I’ll tell you … he did soooooo good.  He was scared to hug her in case he hurt her but other than that … he talked to her like nothing ever happened.  He made sure to bring it up to her that somewhere in her house she has a talking Buzz and Woody and he wants her to find them for him.  Which means that will be the first thing on Nana’s priority list once she gets done with rehab in a few months.  She may not walk at rehab or ever again for that matter … but if her grandson asks for a Buzz that’s lost somewhere in her house … she will slide down her basement stairs and crawl on the floor if she has to so that she can locate Buzz & Woody.

I love that woman.  I wish everyone had the opportunity to know her too.  She makes you want to be a better person.  She’s a female version of my husband.  She ornery, quick-witted, and stubborn.  She lights up the room the second she walks in.  And she can have a good laugh at herself (which is one thing I have yet to learn from her).

She’s one of my best friends.

Over the next couple of weeks I will be researching, participating, volunteering, and advocating Stroke Awareness.  Stay tuned.

Dear God,

2 Sep

I’ve never prayed for something so hard in my life.  But this isn’t just a prayer … this is me demanding something. 

I just wanted to tell you that You can’t have her yet!!  Her time on earth isn’t done.  It can’t be.  The boys still need to see her one last time.  And not with tubes or IV’s or in a hospital bed.  And honestly … selfish Amanda isn’t strong enough to hold Cale up.  I’m taking this a lot harder than he is.  I can’t sleep.  I can’t eat.  I wasn’t prepared for this.  I looked forward to her being there when BOTH boys started school for the first time. 

She’s the person I look up to the most.  She’s the reason I let my kids have chips for breakfast.  She’s the reason I go to Sonic at 7:00 at night because Cashie wants ice cream.  She raised two of the most amazing men I have ever met. 

She barely knows Christopher.  She needs to see what his personality is going to be like.  Will he be ornery like his big brother.  Or will he stay our sweet little snuggler.  Will he like Rock N Roll and KISS too?  Or will he be my little country boy.  I know regardless she’ll look down and see all of us.  But it’s not the same.  I need to give her a hug.  I need to tell her I love you more than once.  I need to see her smile and hear her laugh.  I want her to call the baby:  Christopher John Dietrich one more time – eventho she knows thats not his real name.  I need her to send me an email again and tell me how much she loves us and misses us.

She’s the most beautiful person I have ever met.

I’m not strong enough, God.  I’m not strong enough to talk to Cash about death yet and how Nana is never coming back.  It was hard enough telling him she’s sick and in the hospital.  I don’t know how to answer his questions yet. 

I need to know my husband is okay.  Because I’m not, God.  She’s not just my mother-in-law.  She’s the reason I’m such a good Mom.  She’s the reason my husband opens the door for me and loves me unconditionally.  She’s the reason I have two beautiful boys and the most handsome man for a husband.

This isn’t just a prayer to make Lora come out okay.  This is a prayer for strength for all of us.

If you need her more than we do, God … I need you to please give us all the strength to get through this. 

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”  – Philippians 4:13