We have known each other since the first day they moved in- just right after she gave birth to her second son - Payton. He is now 5 years old - and will be 6 in June. Her first son - Blake - is Perry's best friend and is also 8 years old. Their dad, Brian, is Perry's baseball coach and he spends so much of his spare time coaching the kids individually, as well as together as a team. He believes in their talent as a team and makes baseball season so enjoyable for the kids. Christina and Brian are like family to us and I rely on her as much as I hope that she relies on me.
She gave birth to her third son - Austin - 2 years ago. Austin is a handsome blue-eyed boy who looks just like his brothers. When Austin was around 6 months old, he was taken to our children's hospital and diagnosed with CDG - Congenital Disorders of Glycosylation. It is a very rare disease and most kids with this disease are not even diagnosed properly. They have therapists working with them on a weekly basis and Austin hits milestones. They are Austin's milestones in only Austin's time, but they are important strides for this little boy.
We were outside watching the kids ride their bikes this past weekend and just getting caught up from our week. It's finally spring here and we were enjoying it! She brought out some bubbles to blow for Austin. He loves bubbles and will open his mouth wide - as if he wants the bubbles to just float right in. It was very cute - and another milestone - because Austin hates to open his mouth. He is fed through a feeding tube and doesn't know how to handle liquids and solids at this time. But he was loving the bubbles near his mouth. Then Perry and Blake and Payton all start in on the bubble madness and it was so much fun for Austin. They got out a bubble machine, a puppy that blows bubbles and bubble wands that were the length of their arm. So many things that blow bubbles that I had not personally seen because I believed that since Perry was 8 years old, he was way past bubbles. But these 8 year old boys were having a grand time with the bubble machines and making Austin laugh.
And then out of his mouth Perry exclaims... "this is one of my best days ever!"
I just found this essay on a blog recently and I sent this to her. It is very well written and it just so reminds me of what they go through.
Every. single. day.
If you have some time, please send some prayers up for Christina and her family. She is going through her own milestones right now, and I so hope and pray for her that she will find out the many wonderful insights and beauty that is Holland, even though she planned on going to Italy...
And that I will be a comfort and strength to her whenever she needs me.
I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this...... When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting. After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go.
Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland." "Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."
But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place. So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met. It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy.
But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned." And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss. But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things... about Holland.
- by Emily Perl Kingsley
Perry had also seen the beauty in Holland that day... and yes, buddy... it was one of my best days too.
I saw this on other blogs I vist and had to try it out... pretty interesting.
Moods: Easy Rider
You're a bit of a romantic and have a taste for the exotic. You love feeling the sea breeze in your hair, sun on your skin... Slip those shoes off... You like to kick back. When it comes to art, you're creative yourself, and you believe in self-expression. You can see the little masterpieces in everyday life - you can be a touch sentimental. As for music, it's the soundtrack to your world. An open road - your favorite tracks. Your choice of treat reveals that simple pleasures make your day, there's nothing quite like a cuppa. Easily pleased.
Fun: Escape Artist
You love to be faraway from your everyday life. You love the sun, and like to live life at a slower pace than most - you know how to take things nice and easy! For kicks you like to indulge in your great passions! You are happy to live life's highs and lows; you are fiercely loyal and passionate. You like to be part of something big. When it comes to holidays, you'll go anywhere as there's sea and sand and then you'll just stay put. You can't always be bothered with any activities or trailing around tourist sites. Holidays are about recharging the batteries. What grosses you out? You like things to be clean, neat and smelling sweet - that's not too much to ask... is it?
Habits: Back To Basic
Even if you have a healthy approach to life, you still have your little vices that keep you going throughout the day. It is all part of the routine, you're a creature of habit. Ah yes, the odd glass of wine - or two - nothing beats it. After a long day you like to curl up and unwind. Nothing beats relaxing the shoulders, loosening that tongue and letting the day go by. As for the home, you have very cool and contemporary taste. You have a simple approach to style, but you like things to have their place.
Love: Home Soul
You're a real home soul. You care deeply about family life and all that comes with it, the love of a child very special. When you think of freedom - you think of the opportunity of the city. Big enough to house all your ambitions, where people can be whoever they want.
I think this Visual DNA pretty much covers me in a nutshell.
Try it out and let me know if you do. I'd like to read yours also.
Labels: blog link fun
Forget that I am trying to count WW points, and completed boot camp last night and that my hubby would rather I just enjoy a glass of wine and a grilled piece of meat with him tonight. But to me, you see, nothing says happy birthday like a ladel filled with good ol' artery clogging, country gravy... spread all over those good ole mashed taters. I mean, come on... once a year can't hurt a birthday girl, I'm just sayin'.
I posted 10 Things About Me when I had only written 10 posts. (They are the first 10 on this list.) The people who read me pretty much know me. But now I think I may expound on those 10 with 33 more for my birthday post... 43 Things About Me... just in case anybody else does actually read this bloggy thing of mine.
(Note: I don't know why they are showing up as bullets - I see 43 numbers on my preview.)
- I am 42 years old and honestly can't believe it. (Well, now I'm 43 and still can't believe it.)
- I met my husband at church when I was 29 years old.
- I thought before I married that I did not want to have children.
- We were engaged 10 months after we started dating.
- We have an almost 8 year old little boy who is the highlight of our life. I love him more than anything else in the world.
- I suffered post-partum depression for about a year after Perry was born.
- I generally wish that we would have had more than one child.
- I have worked at an advertising agency for 17+ years for the same boss who hired me 17 years ago.
- I have lived in this KC metro area my entire life.
- I start each morning with a cup of coffee from Starbucks, either at the cafe or in my home. I'm a coffee snob.
- Phil and I married when we were 30.
- We waited until the NFL schedule came out to plan the date of our wedding.
- My dad worked with him at the time and wasn't too sure about me dating him. He has since changed his mind - always a good thing.
- Phil brought into the marriage a cat that I really don't care for... and she feels the same way about me.
- The cat is now 14 years old and I keep wondering how much longer she really is going to hang around.
- He also brought to the marriage a "former" family. I love them as much as my own family and must post about them someday.
- I am 5 days younger than Phil... and always reminding him that he is older than me.
- I started working only 3 days a week after Perry was born, and I still only work those 3 days. It saves my sanity.
- I'm a loyalist... see #8. One of my very first jobs was for a nut and candy store when I was in high school. I continued to work there during college and part-time after college while holding down a full-time job.
- My parents live exactly 2.1 miles from our home.
- My fondest memories are of spending almost every weekend at my grandparent's home.
- I'm hoping my son is developing those same fond memories of spending time with his grandparents.
- I have 2 brothers - one is 21 months younger than me and the other is 13 years younger.
- We are good kids with great spouses and my parents thank the good Lord every day for that.
- I love to read and am participating in my friend Katrina's - Spring Reading Thing. My list of books to read this spring are on my sidebar. My goal is just to have them crossed off by the end of the challenge. I was a little too ambitious for the Fall Reading Challenge, so my goal this time around is just to complete the books that I have on my list.
- I am in a book club and have been very inconsistent in the reading of the book club books. Note my reading inconsistency!
- It could be because I skipped a grade in elementary school - I truly don't know why I never went to second grade... or why the other 20 some kids in my 3rd grade class never did either.
- I was not in the National Honor Society in high school, but was in the Who's Who Among American High School Students book. (I truly don't know why about that either.)
- I have a lot of very good girlfriends, but not one deep orange.
- I still get together for lunch periodically with my 3 favorite girlfriends from high school and church youth group. We were quite a "foursome" back in the day and still to this day remain the best of friends.
- I love to scrapbook - not just for the memory-keeping value, but for the socialization of it all.
- Friday night scrapbooking once a month, or mega-crop Saturdays every quarter with my very good friends makes me very very happy. It is my therapy.
- I would love to learn how to knit.
- I love Broadway shows and if we were
richable, I would travel to New York City on a regular basis to experience the magical nights on Broadway.
- I met 10 moms on-line when Perry was 3 months old. We started an on-line group called the 11Moms and those moms literally saved my life.
- We have all met each other in person (some of us several times) and will always be connected.
- I like to treat myself to a hot cup of green tea and a 100-calorie pack each night after Perry is in bed. These are my new personal favorites...
- I think I may be pre-menopausal as I have been experiencing terrible headaches and night sweats in the past few months.
- I am a terrible sleeper and have been very consistent in taking this... in which I'm now trying to wean myself off of and stay asleep on my own.
- I hate to exercise - hate it with a passion - but fit it into my schedule at least 3 - 4 days a week and am always happier when it is completed. (I totally get the seratonin thing.)
- I love TiVO and am addicted to a few television programs... see my sidebar.
- I used to be addicted to two soap operas. I don't watch them now, but read about them online. I once skipped out of class in high school so that I could run home to watch Beth and Phillip get married on The Guiding Light. I wasn't caught...
- I treat myself to a pedicure on a regular basis. Today would be a good day for just that type of treat.
Off to do birthday things... like find a good fried chicken dinner in these parts...
Thanks for stopping by!
Anyway, I came upon this...
Oh it would make me so very happy!
I'm doing the happy dance right now at my desk just thinking about it.
Does anyone know when this will be released?
If so, leave me a comment.
I've so missed him.
I can't wait to go back to Stuckeyville.
But about a week ago he did specifically request a special dinner at his most favorite restaurant – The Capital Grille – and we chose to make reservations there on Saturday night. Phil dines there on occasion with clients at lunch, and he took me there for our anniversary. It’s a wonderful, upscale restaurant that Perry
We decided that as an 8-year old, he was at a place in his life where it could be a treat to enjoy an ultimate restaurant experience, or it could be just another night out to eat. It ended up being a real treat… we indulged in calamari for appetizers (and it didn’t even gross Perry out), a wonderful chopped salad and a filet that melted like buttah in our mouths.
To top the evening off, my brother and sister-in-law surprised us with a gift certificate to this restaurant for our birthdays. It was hand delivered to us by our server with the bill – which was a very delightful treat. Thanks Diana and Craig!
But before we enjoyed my husband’s birthday meal, we spent some time walking around the Plaza before dinner, enjoying some of our favorite shops. We walked in to The Better Cheddar and sampled a few cheese bites that were in these little plastic containers sitting on top of the cheese wedges. Being the graceful lady of this family, I proceeded to spill all of the contents of one plastic container, filled with a smoky cheddar cheese, all over the floor. As any good mother would do, I
Perry then started watching the gals behind the counter to see what they would do and they began to dice up some more sample bites of the cheese that I had just spilled when he yells out for the entire store to hear… “Hey mom – Look – she’s cuttin' the cheese!” Phil and I are about to fall over ourselves laughing and Perry is looking at us like we have lost it… which we have, because back in our junior high days, cuttin' the cheese didn’t mean dicing the cheese into bite-size wedges with a knife.
I explained to Perry what it meant to us, and he looked at me like we were crazy.
Which we are. What did it mean to you all in junior high?!
But it sure did give us our belly laugh for the evening. Phil and I even brought it up at dinner again with Perry and we laughed ourselves so silly, we had tears in our eyes.
Happy Birthday Phil – we’re glad you are a part of our lives And next time you feel like cuttin' the cheese, make sure you have a good supply of crackers.
Labels: family fun
- ice - did you know you should stir the ice in your ice-maker to freshen it, as well as discard the ice every month?
- pillows can be machine-washed and should be every three to six months?
- one should dust all lampshades with a sock on your hand?
- close the toilet lid before you flush... otherwise you could be causing a "mini bacteria volcano" every time you flush.
A mini bacteria volcano evolving in my own home?
Granted, I hate using a bathroom in most public places, but I always envisioned my home's powder room to be of the utmost clean, pristine and immaculate corner of my home.
And now I'm getting all queasy just thinking about how many times I've left that lid up for the past 43 years after flushing.
I'm sorry - I must go - those lids need to be put down immediately.
Let me fill you in on some of our highlights...
We scheduled our first full day there with a trip to the Magic Kingdom with my parents, brother, sister-in-law and their three children. We get in our rental Jeep with my son and his 2 cousins just chomping at the bit to "get there fast", when we soon discover that my brother's tire is as flat as can be on his mini-van. Oh no, what are we going to do with these anxious kids in our back seat?
Practical advice #1... there really is no place nearby anywhere to get a tire fixed on a Sunday morning. Forget fixing the tire, drive at a snail's pace with the spare on, and just get to Disney World so that we can join the throngs of families bursting at the seams to join in on this most magical day.
Notice Olivia's forlorn look...
This was our third visit to Disney World. This was Olivia - our 4 year old niece's first visit - her very fist visit. We danced our way in, and immediately headed to TomorrowLand - the boys first request. First ride - Stitch's Great Escape - dark and frightening to a young girl. Second ride - Buzz Lightyear. Her exact words "Mommy, will monsters kill me on this ride?"
Practical Advice #2... Start your young niece's first visit to Disney World on the Dumbo ride or the carousel and not the darkest, scariest rides that little boys love.
We also scheduled a dinner at Cinderella's Royal Table that evening. Two years ago our family dined with Mickey and Friends for breakfast. We waved our napkins in the air, watched as Mickey and Minnie danced around our tables and enjoyed wonderful Mickey waffles. This year, though, we dined as prince and princesses in Cinderella's castle. We enjoyed Prime Rib, Grilled Salmon and Lamb just to name a few of our entree selections. Cinderella posed for a picture with all of us and spent some time talking with my bright-eyed, youngest niece Olivia. It was a special night, except...
Practical advice #3... not all characters are loved by children at Disney World. Cinderella's hard working mice (oh, their names escape me) danced around the room at our dinner and jumped right up to the table next to us and just scared the begeesus out of the little girl sitting at the table next to us. She screamed such a blood-curdling scream and slammed her face down on the table so hard that my sister-in-law and I started giggling uncontrollably. We had tears rolling down our cheeks from the hilarity of it all. Yes - that's right - we were laughing at a frightened little girl! But so was her mother - it was a scene straight out of AFHV.
The sun was out and shining on all the days that we are there. Oh - the poolside, lounge chair with towel, iced tea, books and magazines beckoned.
Practical advice #4... what makes a mom think they are going to enjoy a relaxing day poolside with so many activities going on at the pool. The pirate pool keeps them busy but at ALL over the pool. The hula hoop contest, the limbo contest, the name that tune contest, the water balloons... too many contests to name that will also not keep them in our optimum vision so that we can just sit and relax.
As a child, many of our family vacations were spent at a Kentucky state park hotel. Not a lot of activities going on - just a lot of relaxing and card-playing. This reminded me a lot of those days. We even were able to spend an evening with friends of ours that live near us who were also visiting Orlando. We ate a little pizza, drank some wine, played a little cards... all not on a tight schedule but just enjoying the relaxation of being in a different locale. I was also able to spend some good quality time playing Old Maid with Olivia. She had the best poker face of any ole' card-player I had ever seen. She knew not to give away where the Old Maid was - and she won me over with her joyful exuberance.
Practical advice #5... Do not over-schedule. Too many activities are definitely over-rated and relaxation is key. And scooters meant for kid's races really aren't suitable for grown-ups.
Lastly, my parents took this vacation with us and I so appreciate them in everything they do for us as a family. Taking the kids on a walk when needed, playing many games of miniature golf with them, treating at Starbuck's, and being the true optimists in our family.
Practical advice #6... Thank God every day for the power of praying and loving parents. I knew they were praying from the moment the planes wheels left the ground, to the moment they touched down back at home. Sicknesses were subsided by the time everyone arrived in Orlando, anxieties were kept at bay, and the sun was shining not only in the sky, but in all of our hearts during this week of vacation.
Labels: family vacation
Answers to my Quiz:
How did I meet Phil? In the singles Sunday school department at my church. (My sister-in-law Diana answered that I met him in a bar. Seriously?!)
How old was I when I married? The ripe ol' age of 30
Where did we honeymoon? Kiawah Island, SC
How many siblings do I have? 2 brothers
How many colleges did I attend? 4 - and yes I did graduate, thank you very much.
What is my dream job? Church Secretary
I need to write a whole post on this answer as I'm sure many of you are wondering why I answered it the way I did. I'll get to that soon.
What is my maiden name? Liggett
How many internet moms helped me survive motherhood? 10
I also would love to someday write about these 10 remarkable women here - but I always thought maybe one or two of these 10 women would have already written so eloquently about them... and I would have not done it justice.
We're getting ready to take a Spring Break here in the Comfort Zone.
Yes, Mama's leaving the comfort zone.
We're going to relax, read, chill with the family and spend some time in the sun.
Be back soon with more comfort zone moments.