Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Floppy Buns

I had to share this one. In the summer, Ian generally just wears a onesie to bed. The other day, April got him up and changed his diaper, but didn't button up his onesie. So, he says, "Mama, my buns are floppy."

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Girl's camp

I just got back from Girl's Camp on Saturday. What a neat experience!!! I went a few years ago, but at that point in my life, I was still trembling from grad school and my first year working for the school district- so I don't remember much.

I love Girl's camp!!! We went to a camp in Louisiana called Camp Edgewood. It is one of the most well kept Boy Scout Camps I have ever seen. We had 16 girls, three leaders, and a lot of fun. The July heat can be fierce, but the camp had nice tree coverage for much of the camp which helped significantly.

It's amazing how much the girl's tell you about themselves, their lives, and their challenges when you are out having fun and just hanging out with them. These are amazing girls. Many of them are having experiences not too unlike my own growing up. At first glance, people think,what trials could people be experiencing here in Yuppyville? But it's just not true. 2/3rds of these beautiful and valiant young women were experiencing something similar to some portion of my experiences growing up. From detrimentally poor examples of family members, to watching and worrying about a sick parent, being alone either emotionally and/or spiritually, or facing fear and abandonment when things are bad enough that you need to find another place for yourself. Amazingly enough, these young women were still here! They were still holding on and struggling with all their energy to figure it all out. I felt myself doing my best to cheer them on, "You're doing great. Keep it up. I know it's easier to give up, but that way is the path to a miserable existence. Keep it up. You are doing the right thing. Don't give up. And whatever you do, Please, don't seek after bad choices-- desperate misery is ahead on that path. Ask the Lord to help you. He will help you every day. Read your scriptures. Pray. And Pray some more. You can't make it without his help." I know I couldn't make it without his help.

I found myself spiritually fed just being in their presence. Watching and learning. They put on quite an amazing presentation! I found myself in tears for almost half of the hour long presentation. I am grateful for their contribution to my spiritual development. I hope that I will have the opportunity again to be with them.

My grandma

So a few posts ago- I mentioned my grandma's wedding. What I failed to mention was that I have seen her since then. In June, she happened to be in Bolivar (across the ferry from Galveston.. a total of about 2 hours away). My father, Dave, Ian, and I went out to see her for a few hours. (Bless Dave's heart- he was really busy that day, but I made him come anyway for protection.) She and my Uncle Ricky, his wife, and their grandkids were there. They had rented a cute little beach house on Bolivar. It was quite quaint. They were all very warm. (A marked difference from my last experience.) It was really a very positive experience. I even learned a thing or two about my mother. It was nice to see my grandmother so healthy. She's really doing well. She mentioned that she might throw a family reunion sometime. I told her to schedule it on a Friday and Saturday and we would do our best to be there. She lives in Arkansas.

When It all added up. I'm really glad I made the choice that I did (to not go to the wedding). Doing that would not have been commensurate with the relationship we had. But going two hours to see her- that was. And I'm glad we went. It was nice. We took some photos. I'm sure Dave will help me to attach them later.

Monday, July 21, 2008

My Buddy

Melissa Mathews gave this doll to Ian for Christmas. He has recently rediscovered it. It reminds me of the old My Buddy commercials. He carries the thing around and takes care of it. Yesterday he told me that the baby needed to go to bed. We came up to his room later and found that he had indeed put the baby to bed and tucked him in. He even insists that we buckle him in when we get in the car.

Kemah Boardwalk

Last week we went to the Kemah Boardwalk. It's got all kinds of rides that were perfect for Ian. He had a great time. Of course, he rode the train three times.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

It's been a while

It's been a while since I've written. Sorry about that. Ian's been keeping me quite busy. And I think I was going through a struggle or two for a while. You know, I try not to look back on my experiences growing up. It can be quite traumatizing to look back. I try to look back only enough to make me realize how much the Lord has done for me, but not enough to throw myself into crisis.
Fortunately/ unfortunately I've had a few experiences over the past little while that have forced me to look back and try to make sense of it all. In November and December, my blood sugar hit the dust again. My hypoglycemia is something I have struggled with since I was 19. (arguably since 13). I spend most of my life with my blood sugar in the 50-70 range. It creates for me very real and distinct physical limits. I've pretty much just learned to live with them and enjoy life anyway. It's tough for me when I hit the dust again however.
Our whole family got the flu the day after Christmas and it took all of us a couple of months to pull out of it (me -even longer).
Why is this a big deal? Well, to be honest. I'm 31. I have a disorder of the pancreas. My mother was 32 when she died. Her pancreas exploded. (She also had a significant prescription drug problem which factored in significantly.) Cognitively, I know that it's all ok. (I'm not going to die or anything.) But it does cause me to stop and ponder and occasionally worry just a little bit.

So- I pulled out of that in Feb sometime. Then at the end of February, I get a call from my Father. About the time I found out I had been dropped by my health insurance because of my hypoglycemia. Apparently my grandmother (my mother's mom) was getting married (for the 6th time) in the temple (for the first time). Since I am the only grandchild who is temple worthy. She wanted me to come he said.

Well. In order to understand my response, you will need to get some background info...
When my mother was alive, I had an entire network of people who cared about me. My mom had 5 siblings. I had 13 cousins, all who lived within 30 miles and got together quite a lot. My mom had 2 best friends and we spent a lot of time with them as well. All of my grandparents were an active part of my life. My mom was active in the PTA and I always got great parts because of her support. We had a lot of connections--- at school, at church, family connections. We spent every holiday at my grandma's house- all of us cousins. I loved it. We were your typical middle class family. (plus a drug addicted, but otherwise amazing mother).

Well, my mom died and within 2 years- everyone disappeared. My aunts, uncle, cousins, grandparents on both sides, my mom's best friends and everyone at church (we were largely shunned). We were no longer invited to Christmas at my grandmothers. My father had offended them all. At the time it didn't bother me. I was a pretty independent soul. That was 3rd to 5th grade.

But life moves on. When I was 18 (give or take), I drove down there from Abilene with my brother Chuckie. We were visiting my father and my aunts (who we hadn't seen in close to 10 years). We decided to go see my grandma. Well, when we got there they barely let us in the door. My Uncle Ricky yelled at us for 4-5 minutes before they let us in.

That's right, I hadn't seen her for almost 10 years and she barely let us in the door. And that was the ONLY interaction I had had with my grandmother since I was 10. So when my Father called and she wanted me to come to her wedding in Arkansas (which would have cost me up to $1000 for flights and hotel), my immediate reaction was some combination of feeling hurt (because they were so Rude), feeling betrayed (dumped, abandoned), feeling pissed that she would expect so much from me when she treated me so badly, and overall used that she only wanted me there because she just wanted to have a family member at her wedding and I was the only one. I immediately said "no". But it was pretty important to my father, which caused me to feel quite conflicted about the thing. She was a member of the church and should have someone at her wedding. And I was her granddaughter (supposedly).

It caused me to take a good hard look at why all of these people disappeared and what I could do to ensure that my son would NEVER be left alone like we were. WE were in serious poverty, basically inches from the streets for years before my father dumped us at my Aunt's house. Where my cousin smoked crack in my front yard. I had a friend who took me to church and mutual every week (Thank you Melissa Crockett). Simply going to church kept me protected from a lot of what was going on around there- kept me from being taken advantage of--- too badly at least. My brother wasn't so lucky.

The combination of these things and the pressure to have another kid. Ian's 2.5 now, so every other day someone asks me when we will have another. I think it's rude!!!!!!!!

Anyway- I think I've recently made peace with all of this. At least for now. But If I've been quiet, that might have something to do with it. Dave and I have been working hard to get our life in order. We're doing great! We've come a long way. In June, we conquered the last bit of our credit card debt- which was HUGE a year ago. (Roughly a mortage payment worth each month.) Now we are saving and using that mortgage payment worth to pay off our cars, student loans, and house. We'll get there. We're doing great! Life feels a lot more secure now.


Sorry it's been so long.
I guess I've gone through a quiet phase here. Largely due to the fact that--- well, I have a very active 2.5 year old who insists that I keep up with him. :) He's amazing. We really enjoy him. We've been co-writing alot lately.... I do the drawing and the physical writing of the words, and he tells me what to draw and write. It frees him of all of the physical and linguistic difficulties of writing so he can just create. He loves it. It's been amazing what this kid has created. This kid has some great stories to tell! Of course most of them are about Thomas and his friends. "Thomas is pulling Annie and Clarabell all over the Island of Sodor". "Thomas has a funnel and a big separate coal tender at the back." Not too shabby for a 2.5 year old. I'll try to get Dave to help me attach some of his pictures.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Sea World

It occurs to me that we haven't posted in a long time :). We went to Sea World (San Antonio) in May. Here are the photos. Cheers.