The Kids

The Kids

Friday, January 25, 2013

Another Noah Update

Noah has been a lot of fun, lately.  I kept meaning to write about him on here, but between Nick being out of town and my obvious lack of being in a good mood, I just did not get motivated.

And that really does not make sense, because I usually find writing therapeutic.  It is kind of like knowing I need to pray, but not feeling like it, even though I will feel better when I actually do it.

Anyway, this kid is a trip.

The other day, I was eating dinner with the kids (while their dad was asleep in China) and while the older two kids had finished their dinner, Mr. Noah was taking his sweet time and being picky.  As he saw his siblings get dessert, he started to whine for his share.  I told him, "Noah, look at their plates.  They are empty so they get dessert."

He thought for a second and then promptly pushed all of his food off of his plate and onto the table.  Then he just looked at me as if to say, "Well?  Where's my dessert?"

Nice try, buddy.

He has grown attached to many stuffed animals.  So much so that he keeps adding "must haves" to his collection of what stays in his crib with him.  Between his new friends and his ever growing body, he is almost begging for a big boy bed.

Now, I would love to accommodate his wishes.  Having the boys move to bunk beds would give them more room and make this disliker of clutter mom very happy.  However, this is Noah we are talking about.  Very busy Noah.  While the older two fought me for a very short time in staying in their bed, they very quickly learned what's what.  I have a feeling that it will not be so simple with this crazy boy of mine.

People who see me on a regular basis will now when I have made the switch.  I will look like I have not slept in days and my voice will be hoarse from yelling at him.  There is your official warning.  Please do not judge.

Noah has also been talking a lot.  A lot.  Can I stress a lot?  He comes up with new things to chatter about every day and gets more than frustrated when I cannot understand the latest words in his vocabulary.  He spent 15 minutes today saying "Sayso" over and over again until his face was read until I finally figured out that he wanted a pretzel. 

He repeats everything that his siblings say, including songs.  The other day, Caleb started singing part of Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" (they heard it on the Chipmunks movie-I swear that I do not encourage Gaga in our car rides) and Noah finished the lyric for him.

Oh dear.

Noah continues to entertain and exhaust us daily and we cannot imagine life without him.

Monday, January 14, 2013

My Thank You Speech

I have not been feeling up to writing much this past week.

Of course, I have also been running around like a crazy person taking care of three kids and all of their activities and driving back and forth to PA for the funeral, and closing out Thirty-One parties, all while Nick is in China-so that could have something to do with it as well.

I just wanted to take a moment and thank a few people.

Wow, I sound like I am accepting an award.  I guess that is what I get for watching the Golden Globes last night.  Hey, it was fun to leave this reality for a couple of hours and watch people who do not live in the real world congratulate each other over their acting skills.


My friend, Stephanie, has been amazing this past week.  Not only did she keep up with her carpooling responsibilities, but she came to my house at 5:00 a.m. (AM!) on Thursday so that I could drive to PA for Tom's funeral.  She then got my kids ready for school (that is quite a feat, I must admit) and proceeded to keep Noah for the entire day.  Oh, and that is not all-she also watched Noah the following afternoon (and then Caleb) while I led Abby's AHG group.


I also have to thank my mother-in-law.  She spent three evenings in a row at my house last week.  One night she bathed the boys and got them to bed while I had a Thirty-One open house.  The next evening, she fed and watched the kids while I drove home from the funeral.  And the next evening she stayed with the boys while I took Abby to indoor soccer.  I was actually able to sit and watch her play and NOT have to chase Noah around the building.  It was a lovely thing.

Next I have to thank my sister-in-law.  She gave up her Saturday night to watch the kids so that I could work.  Without complaining about it.  Even though the boys kept goofing off in their room at bedtime and my precious Abby threw a fit that was worthly of junior high attitude.

I also have to thank these really lovely friends of mine-Rebekah and Laura.  With all of our husbands either out of town or working late hours this past week, we decided it was more fun to take on the chaos of our children together.  We ate pizza together while the kids ran around, destroying Laura's basement.  Laura was even so cool as to yell at us when we tried to clean up aftewards.

Finally, there is my mom.  She attended Tom's funeral with me, she cried with me, and she sent me home with homemade chicken noodle soup, homemade bread and the soundtrack to Les Miserables.

Okay, so perhaps sending me with a depressing soundtrack on the day of a funeral was not the wisest thing, but I still loved it.

I could not have gotten this award-oh, excuse me...I could not have gotten through this week without these amazing people.  No wonder God knew it was not good for man to be alone-He knew we needed helpers.

Friday, January 4, 2013

A Loss

I lost someone in my family this week.

It is a difficult loss in that so many emotions are running through me and I cannot explain them all very well.

My biological dad passed away Wednesday.

For my readers who know my story, you know why my emotions are difficult to explain.  For those who have never heard of this man named Tom, I will sum up.

My mom was married to Tom and while she was pregnant with me, he announced that he was gay.  These days, this might be common.  In 1977, not so much.  Obviously, their marriage did not last.  I have absolutely no idea how my mom raised me by herself for those first few years-it comes from a strength that she still has.

My mom got remarried when I was four-years old and apparently I was so excited that at their wedding, I asked out loud, "Can I call him Daddy, yet?"  Nothing has changed.  I have been blessed beyond words with my daddy.  I eventually took his name and it was official.

I am not sure what Tom was thinking about when he gave me up.  It might have been for selfish reasons or it might have been for my greater good.  Perhaps both. 

From that point on, I saw him on holidays and birthdays and still saw his side of the family.  At one point, my mom told me the truth about him and like a typical adolescent, I was angry.  I refused to see him.  For years. 

God finally reminded me of the grace that was given to me and by my senior year of high school, I sent him a letter apologizing for my attitude.  We then continued our visits a few times a year and life went on. 

My wedding day came and he sat in the crowd and watched my dad walk me down the aisle.  I often wonder what he was thinking about that day.  What were his thoughts as I danced with my dad at the reception?

Thanks to email, we have kept in touch between our every now and then visits and I know he was a reader of this blog.  He told me of his cancer, of his surgery on his leg and his effort to recover from it all.

That is the last thing that I heard from him.  All I knew was that he was recovering.

This past Monday, we were on our way to see him and that side of the family when my grandma told me that he was about to die.  She told me this on the phone as I was struggling to shut the van door.  I just stood there, pressing the button over and over again and desperately trying to process what she just said.

When I went inside to tell my parents, that is when it all hit me and tears flowed.  For some reason, when I hear bad news, I do not usually cry.  But, once I start to share it with someone else, it suddenly becomes real and I completely lose it.

We decided to stop and see him on our way back home the next day.  We drove up to Cleveland, Nick dropped me off and headed to a drive-thru with the kids.  There was no reason for them to see him like that.

When I first saw him, I thought I was in the wrong room.  For the man who was obsessed with his appearance, it was shocking to see that there was nothing left of him.  He just laid there, gasping for breath.

When he heard my voice, he turned to look at me.  Even though his eyes were barely open and were glossy, I think he saw me.  Many times he just stared at me, watching my eyes overflow with tears.

Never in my life have I talked with someone on their death bed.  That only happens in the movies and in books, right?

I told him how sorry I was that he was going through this.  I told him to imagine what Heaven would be like and how much better it will be there instead of here.  I told him how wonderful it would be to see Jesus.  I thanked him for giving me up so that I could have the life that I did.

Sometimes I was just quiet and we just looked at each other.  I kept praying for his salvation and was desperately hoping that he thought about his life and what was to come as he laid there.

I finally said good-bye and went downstairs.  While I sat in the car, staring at my fast food that looked like cardboard, Nick went up and said good-bye.  He gave him his Christmas present-a photo book of the kids.  He showed it to him and anytime that he went too fast, he saw Tom's eyes strain to see better.  He thanked him for me and he shared kind words with him as well.  I am grateful that he did that, because I had no idea how to explain what that experience was like and am thankful that he understands what I saw.

I spent a lot of time in tears the rest of the way across Ohio.  I grieved for how his life was ending, I grieved for time wasted and I kept thinking about what was to come for him.

We got the call Wednesday evening.  Even though I was waiting on it, fresh tears found me again.  He was actually gone from this earth.

Like I said, it is a wide range of emotions that I am feeling right now.  I am not grieving him as I would be if it were my parents, but it is still a lot of pain that I cannot explain.  He was a part of my story.  A part of my life.  And now he is gone.