Thursday, March 29, 2007

Out-smarting 'ol Blogger

I am so dang proud of myself I can't contain it! I figured out (finally!) how to put my picture profile on Blogger. Other blogging services let you browse your iPhoto, or MyPictures (depending on your platform), but Blogger requires a URL address! Um... I don't have my picture posted on the web anywhere else!

So, with the help of a BLOGGING FOR DUMMIES book, I was able to figure it out. Hope my face doesn't scare you too much. It scares me. The built in camera on my screen makes me look sooooo red. I hate being red. I need to get over hating the color of my skin.

I'm Celtic. That means light blue eyes and a very fair reddish/ruddy complexion.

About skin - I was reading an article in the magazine ADOPTIVE PARENTS and it was about how to talk to kids about multi-racial families. Kyle is Mexican, so we fall into that catagory.
Anyhow, a scenario was presented in which a little girl told her mommy a dark-skinned child looked "dirty". The magazine said the best response is, "That's her natural color. She's so lucky to have dark skin. Its beautiful!"

Don't mis-read me here. I love dark skin. I wish I had Kyle's complexion at the least. Where does hating my fair, pinkish/red skin come from? Why is fair skin so... out? Why did the author of the article have to bring in luck? Why couldn't the discussion been, "She is from South America, people who are born there have dark skin." That way one color isn't made to be more appealing than another.

I want Kyle to grow up being proud of his Mexican heritage AND his Irish heritage too! He's 3/4 Mexican, 1/4 Irish (that explains the almost blond hair). Most of all, I want him to identify with being a Yetter/Gudger . Skin color doesn't define Yetter/Gudger. Heritage doesn't define Yetter/Gudger. Heck, there's a part of me that's ?????!

What defines a Yetter/Gudger is commitment to death type love. That's what defines ANY family.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Check it out!

Check out my paid blogging posts over at Denver Mamas!

I'm not bailing out of the Litterbox, this will remain my personal blog, but you moms out there, pop on over and post some comments to get that one rolling. It debuts today!

Update: Booger is practically back to normal. He was bee-bopping all weekend while John and I couldn't stray from the tissue box, or a horizontal surface on which to lay down. It's hard being sick parents! Kyle doesn't understand.

I'm feeling better today, the congestion is clearing up slowly. John is still not feeling good. He got the worst of the flu - I think I had the lightest case. Either way it really stinks.

I see flu shots in our futures!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

ERrrrr - It's the FLU!

Yesterday my little stink monger was one unhappy baby. The screams as I tried to feed him, dress him and change his diaper grew louder and more ear-drum popping as the day wore on. Lying him in his crib with his little "taggy" binkit was the ONLY solution.

Knowing John (a.k.a. the BIG Booger) was terribly ill with a high fever, aches and lots of snot, I suspected the Little Booger followed suit.

Every so often I'd sneak up to Booger's room and check on him. A little after 7 PM (when "Hannity and Colmbs" started covering the Anna Nicole Smith case - GAG!) I decided to look in on the babe for the 50th time.

From the threshold, I could hear tiny grunts with each breath. His breathing was shallow and rapid. Lunging across the room, I reached into the crib, placing my hand on his forehead. I've felt Colorado sun-baked rocks that were cooler than Kyle!

Kaiser Permanente has a 24 hour on call nurse. I wanted to know if I needed to take Kyle to Children's Hospital in downtown Denver. After listening to him breath for half a minute, the nurse told me to get in the car and get him to the ER ASAP. If his breathing became more difficult en route, I was to stop and dial 911.

My heart lept into my chest as I scurried to put some diapers in the diaper bag. Who knew how long I'd be at the hospital? John, moaning in pain and fever, fretted over the fact he couldn't come with us. I was on my own. Or so I thought.

Speeding north on Santa Fe at about 75 MPH (hope none of you are with CSP), I began dialing "grandparents". You see, my parents live 2K miles away, so two couples in our church "adopted" us and act as Kyle's "Colorado" grandparents. One set of grandparents had to be at the airport by 3AM, while the other was busy hosting a college choir from Seattle Pacific University. Unable to come, the traveling set called the hosting set and while I talked to my mom, found another couple willing to meet me at the hospital to provide support.

Sitting in a wall-to-wall packed room full of coughing, sneezing kids, I held my baby to my chest, praying desperately. All over the place you read and hear about how the Flu kills babies. John and I waited 5 years for the booger. I couldn't bear the thought of loosing him!

Wondering if I were getting 2nd degree burns from my 104.2 degree Kyle, I saw familiar faces through the automatic doors. Wanda and Jim, parents of six (now grown) children came in embracing both Kyle and I. They prayed for Kyle as we sat there waiting. We all prayed a room would open fast. Kyle's breathing was labored and painful.

Minutes later, our prayers were answered as Kyle was moved to the front of the triage. The nurse practitioner said he had a very bad case of the flu, along with a terrible ear infection! How'd I miss that?

Anyway, Kyle was sent home with some antibiotics for the ear, numbing drops, and Tamaflu. The danger of the flu is dehydration, so I must make sure my wee one imbibes in Pedialyte or Gatoraide.

Today I received a call from one of our pastors, who upon hearing Kyle was in the ER, made a bee-line for Children's last night only to find he'd already been sent home.

In a very dark hour, God was there. He was there through loving people. He even provided someone to pay for all the medicine Kyle has to take!

If you don't belong to a good church, I encourage you to seek one out. This kind of support is NOT found in the world at large. If you don't know Jesus as your personal savior, or wonder if He's real... stop doubting. Peruse the archives of my posts. My life-Kyle's life, and the lives of my friends and family are evidence Jesus LIVES.

Oh, and pray I don't get the Flu. Baby snot and hubby snot is impossible to avoid. I'm wearing a Lysol can slung through my belt...

Friday, March 16, 2007

Party Harty! 1st Birthday!

Ugh, Blogger flipped the Birthday Booger on his side...

Kyle's party was a smashing success. We have a LOT of cake left over, however.

It was funny watching him navigate his first ever piece of cake (and sugar). I put the cake on his tray and he gave it a dainty poke, a tiny taste, then dug in with both hands! I was surprised he didn't smear it all over his head, but he's too smart to waste a good piece of chocolate cake!

Speaking of cake, I made it all by myself (with about six phone calls home to Mom). I don't know what had more icing - me or the cake! Using a pastry tube was more than a challenge - it was pure torture! A cake decorating business is NOT in my future. I can do it once a year, but no more. I'm not that ambitious, or patient! I like projects that come together in mere minutes.

Tomorrow we will go to the train museum to see real trains. Real big trains.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Happy Anniversary/Birthday!

One year ago, John and I sat bleary-eyed and dazed in the waiting room outside the OB ward of Longmont United Hospital. On our 8th anniversary, we received the best gift possible - a son!

Today, John and I have been married for 9 years, and Kyle turns 1! He's a big-boy now!

It hit me as I fell into bed last night, that one year ago, we had barely fallen asleep before the phone rang and we made that mad midgnight dash to Longmont. A year ago today began the trials of sleepless nights and feeling like I REALLY had no clue as to what I doing. I remember bringing Kyle home (A year tomorrow), handing the spit-up encrusted wee-one to John so I could drive to Baby's R US to buy him a clean outfit!

That helpless babe is now a toddler. He's got the mechanics of walking down quite well, just needs the balance. I think it's only a matter of days... He's also trying to say words. "Mom" and "Dad" have been around a while, "Baba" (bottle) is new - however as soon as I finish this can of formula, NO MORE BOTTLES! It's sippy cups only. He tries to say Elmo - "Emmmo", and the cats are "Guh". Grandma McNeil has him saying burp "buuuhhp".

Kyle is a little scientist, studying his world in depth, labeling and making associations. Cause and effect are the most entertaining for him as he like to whack objects to listen to the sounds.

On our kitchen table sits an application packet for #2 - hopefully a brother! Next month, Kyle is due for a cousin from my sister. I'm holding out for a birthday baby. I was due April 16th and born the 7th. Tammie's baby is due the 16th...

With all the excitement over the baby, I must not allow myself to remember the original meaning of March 14. John and I married in 1998. Marriage was something I never imagined could happen to me - until John, I'd never really been on a true date! Oh, I had crushes galore, but no one reciprocated.

The past 9 years have had lots of challenges - unemployment, illness, injury - but we endured. We are closer now than we were 9 years ago! Marrying John was the best decision I've ever made. He is the best husband. He's never, EVER said anything mean to me or hurt my feelings. When we fight, we NEVER call names, we argue issues. John only affirms me. He encourages me in all my goofy endeavors. He is a voice of reason when my tether to terra firma slackens. He is an amazing dad!

Not having a good role model for fatherhood, John has overcome the abuses of the past to give Kyle what he never had. I admire him for that. He's broken some unhealthy cycles assuring they are not passed to this next generation.

Time to get the birthday boy up, run a few errands (like buy more powdered sugar for icing), and be home in time for some dude to fix our ice machine so we can have ice for the party. Clean the house too? Ugh!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Kyle plays with Fire Fox!

Got Fire Fox, can add pix!

It's been forever, a day and a half and then some since I posted pictures of the Little Booger. The Fire Fox browser helps. I'm not an html guru, so the zoo pic is pushed out of the bounds of the blog area. Double click it and it will fill your screen. Well folks, here he is in all his babyness!

My little Wee One turns 1 next week? Can you believe it? I can't.

Today I began the arduous process of prepping for the "1st Birthday". I bought gift wrap and a present. Elmo. Not the tickle-me kind, just a plain stuffed Elmo. Kyle was with me b/c I can't exactely leave him home alone as I shop for his party. Like he understands what's going on...

We were at KB toys in the Colorado Mills Mall and he took one look at the googly-eyed red monster and began to flap and shriek like a tethered hawk! Kyle loves Elmo.

I grabbed the box, paid for it then stashed it under the stroller. He doesn't remember it now. Gotta enjoy this while it lasts b/c come next year of the year after, I'll have to do the birthday thing on the sly.

John and I decided to do a train theme for the party. I'm going to make a train cake using loaf pans. Mom did it for Tammie's 1st and has given me "cake-making-for-dummies" instructions. I'll probably end up calling her at least 30 times during the process. Baking and cake decorating ain't my area of giftedness!

It's gonna be a crazy night! We've invited 14 families so far and have a few more to call. Believe it or not, we do have a lot of friends and Kyle's a popular baby. What can I say?

Pictures: Kyle imitates the way I look when I get up in the morning, his first ride on a merry go round (pic taken @ Denver Zoo) - he rode a rhino! Kyle takes his first non-traumatizing big boy bath on his new fishy mat (bun slippage is the root cause of bath-time terrors).

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Redeeming the Past

After MOPS today, I had to run an errand at the mall. As usuall, I parked in front of Borders which allows me to keep an eyeball on the best-seller racks and visualize a book with my name on the rack...

Kyle crunched on his cheezy bunnies as we cruised by the info desk.

"Hey! Hey!" I heard someone yell. I turned around to see who would be flagging me down.

I immediately recognized the caller. His name is Anthony. He was a student of mine in a study hall type class, and a very talented drummer in the Sheridan Marching Band. He was also a student that threatened me in the classroom - an incident I still cringe about.

"Hey, Anthony, what's up?" I asked thinking he must be on parole or something. I had seen him a few times since he left high school high on drugs and in trouble with the law.

"Oh, I'm with a Christian band named "Flinchpoint". We had nine gigs this last month all over the state of Colorado and have been invited to play at the larges Christian music festival in the US!"

If I were eating a cheezy bunny, I would have choked on it. At this point, my eyes registered on the cross hanging from his neck, and I saw the "Scum of the Earth" cap on his head. (Scum of the Earth is a church for people with shady pasts and incredible testimonies).

"You follow Jesus?" I asked still trying to catch my breath.

"He's my Lord and Savior. I accepted him in October of 2003. I'm not what you remember from Sheridan, I've done a complete 180, and my life is all His."

I lunged forward throwing my arms around this former student who caused me so much grief. I tried desperately to reach out to him when he was in school. He was teaching me some snare warm ups before he blew up in the classroom. I tried to encourage him to clean up his life and pursue his love of music. Drugs won. I lost. Or so I thought.

Anthony told me how he said the salvation prayer after watching a campy movie about the fires of hell, but the reality struck home the fourth time he watched the "Passion". He said God spoke to him telling him to quit playing games with Christianity. Quit sleeping with girls while trying to convert them and so on. The verse about false claims of faith plagued his mind and God told him to surrender his life completely. He did!

Anthony is a clean cut, articulate, heavy rocker dude who loves Jesus more than life itself. I told him I cried tears over the incident in the classroom and prayed for him back then. I also told him he made my day.

I walked away from my classroom position at Sheridan feeling dejected and a great failure. Here, four years later, God puts one of my scariest students in my path and he's a BROTHER in Christ!

Running into Anthony today was no accident. God wants to do something new in my life and wants to heal me and free me from the hurts of the past. God redeemed a very painful episode - one that left me traumatized and cemented my decisiton to leave the classroom.

I told Anthony he has the gift of evangelism. He does. Help me pray that God will use this talented young musician to lead thousands to Christ. This afternoon I had the best case of God-bumps to date.