Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Home Improvement MATH

ONE ambitious husband
ONE charged up power saw
ONE BILLION particles of dust covering a once clean kitchen

and ONE large hole in the wall!

BUT, it's going to be a very cool project when it's done and it's awesome being married to Handy Manny because there is nothing he can't do around the house. Of course finding the time to DO everything is a different math equation altogether and seems to be out of our realm to solve. (That's what we get for avoiding calculus!)

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Elvis has left the building!

Cairo's hair was getting just a little out of control. Note the Elvis sideburns. So last night we performed our first ever haircut in the shower (hoping this would keep him confined and somewhat still.) It was a team effort, but we seem to have successfully tamed the mane.



Friday, January 26, 2007

Living with Fancy Nancy

So this is my daughter's favorite book, and if you know Windsyr, you know she is as fancy as they come. Today she not only dressed up like Fancy Nancy, but she proceeded to post a sign on the fridge inviting us all to lessons on the art of being fancy, just like in the book. (Except it was more like: MrlksTokLJ>KdiwnCFIjlSWPEok.sdp since she can't exactly spell.) So I attended a lesson, and I think you'll see I am much fancier for it.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Last Breath

Tonight I have been thinking about Katie. She was often called Tinkerbell because at four months she weighed a very petite 8 pounds. (Since she was born full-term at 4 pounds, this was actually double her birthweight--pretty much on target for her age.) Despite her tiny size she was healthy and vivacious and just the right feminine addition to her awaiting family of two older brothers and parents thrilled to get their little girl. She had already traveled the California coast, visited the Redwoods and taken in the grandeur of Yosemite. Disneyland was her second home and because she was so tiny, she could nap in the bottom basket of the stroller. She was happy, adorable, and full of personality and life. Until her mom came in to check on her during a nap one day and found her completely white...not breathing at all.

Isn't this every parent's night mare? And my good friend Natalie had to live this nightmare not only in that initial, desperate moment, but in all the numbing moments that were to follow: the call to 911 and the attempt at resuscitation as she was talked through it over the phone; the ride in the ambulance where the paramedics were able to recover a heartbeat; the wait at the hospital where in spite of the heartbeat, Katie was declared brain dead; the slow-motion-like process of paperwork to make her organs available once life support was pulled, and the sad realization that the red tape for 'heart beating donors' made the process TOO long, and the organs no longer usable. (A hard blow for parents who would have liked their baby's death to at least give another parent's child a chance at life.) Then came the whirlwind of planning a funeral, and handling all the mechanical details of death--the death of a life that had just begun.

Katie's funeral and burial took place 700 miles away--and no distance could have kept me from it. But I am sad to report that the funeral was my INTRODUCTION to Katie, in spite of her living only 25 minutes from me. Sure summer is a busy time, and weren't we all traveling and carrying on with summer activities? But the real reason I had not made the time to meet Katie (and take Natalie the baby gift I had kept in my closet for too long) is because I didn't know I had a time limit.

Katie was buried 4 months ago and has now been gone for as long as she was here. The door of her bedroom is closed, and the things inside remain untouched as the array of pink clothes, soft blankets, and little baby things are simply too painful for her mom. It is a huge void that this tiny person leaves, and the ongoing sense of loss and incompleteness in her family-- the gnawing ache of someone missing-- will endure in spite of life "moving on." The first year birthday will never be, the first step will never be taken, the first word never said. No first day of school, no first crush, no prom, no graduation, no wedding, but the memory of Katie will be present through it all.

I ache for Natalie, for her husband, and for the two young brothers who just want to know when Katie is coming back.

And every SINGLE time I pick up my one year old from a night's sleep, or a day's nap, I give thanks that he is breathing, and vow to never take one breath for granted.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Time for a Re-Shoot

This picture is from 2003 and if it weren't electronic, would likely be crinkled, smudged and dusty. It is also outdated since much multiplying and replenishing has taken place in the last 3+ years. I post this picture as bait and declare 2007 the year for recongregating the thirty -something HHSLDSPHD's. (Which would only be Jeff, Bruce and David...so the rest of us can come too. :) Tami, I don't know why you're not in this picture, but it's all the more reason for a re-shoot.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Guitar Hero

I clearly spend too much time with teenagers. A few of the Laurels were over here last night introducing us to "Guitar Hero" and as you can see here, we spent the night perfecting our rock star skills.

I've already admitted we are Karaoke junkies, and this is like Karaoke for guitar. (ELECTRIC guitar!!!) I couldn't help but wonder if my REAL rock star brother would be proud of our efforts, or infinitely embarassed. Maybe a little of both??

Christmas ROUND TWO!

Thanks to Grandma Teri, Papa LeRoy, and the Brainards, Christmas came twice this year!!
The packages were going to be hand delivered just days after Christmas, but plans were intercepted by the vicious virus that attacked our family over the holidays. Well, let me tell you how excited our kids were to get the packages and have a second Christmas mid-January!
I'm thinking it's not such a bad plan to spread Christmas out over time like this--except for not getting our visit from Grandma and Papa--oh yes, and we could have done without that demonic virus.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Karaoke, anyone??

So Papa Dave is to blame for the karaoke fever that has consumed our household since Christmas. It started with the festivities at his place, and traveled south when he gave us our own set. This is the karaoke that is self contained, consisting of only a microphone that plugs into your TV. We have karaoked the night away with each other, our kids, and any visitors we can convince to join in--you know who you are--and thanks for humoring us! :) So around here anyway, karaoke is the new Disneyland, and we are looking forward to any new takers. Any new takers?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Walking Whitney

Woo hoo! Brian's first book is bound and ready to read. This is an account he wrote of his Whitney climb and thanks to Cafe Press it is now formatted into an awesome little 49 page paperback. Now we have made the New Year's Resolution to put more of our writing into book form, one each per month, so at the end of the year, we will have our very own little library. Between this and the Mac iBooks we like to make, who needs Barnes and Noble?

Monday, January 08, 2007

Spy party

This is how Staten and Windsyr delivered invitations to Staten's Spy party. You can hardly deliver top secret messages written in invisible ink without being in disguise, right?