Thursday, May 28, 2009

Checking, Checking

I think I just discovered something magnificent. I shall see if this works. I’m using Windows Live Writer, which may very well be the answer to my complete distaste of blogger.

Let’s see how it holds up with a picture.


Oh my goodness! I think I might just love blogger now! Oh there is definitely more to come from me now! I can feel it!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Baby!

He was born with a lot of jet black hair and a big purple head.

By one month, he was a chunk. He still had that black hair and has *always* had that smile that makes a mama's heart melt, but those fat rolls only came by lots and lots of mama milk.

At 2 months, he was strong and had very, very healthy lungs. By this time, colic was an all day every day thing!

3 months, he grew and grew.

At 4 months, this long-face baby was still very, very difficult.

I believe his love of balls began at 5 months. Nothing like football season! His hair is definitely not jet black any more.

Due to a dreaded nursing strike, we began solids at 6 months.

Then, at 7 months, we learned that Jaden was Mr. Fussypants because he was allergic to our dog. We took the heartbreaking step of giving Josie away, and began the journey of getting Jaden well.

At 8 months, we were at our wits end trying to get this child to sleep. We had gone, by this time, 4 months without adequate sleep and we were worn out. Thanks to an amazing doctor, we mastered sleep...or came as close as we will probably ever be.

He was still rolly polly and Mr. Fussypants at 9 months. This child has been a difficult one! He sure is cute though!!!
There are balls everywhere, Jaden!!! Wow! Is he really 10 months already?
He still has that smile that melts a mama's heart at 11 months!
And...he loves to play outside, even with the worms!

But, today, my blond-haired, blue-eyed, busy, smiley, smart, crazy boy turned one! We celebrated with a hair cut, a lollipop and a pony ride!
I love you, baby!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Oh yeah, I've got it!

I just took Kristen to school a few minutes late and when I was leaving, a boy from Migc's class was walking in. He doesn't know me, but he is always super friendly and respectful to everyone. Justin has even commented on his friendliness.

He saw me and said, "Hello!" He looked away, then looked back at me and said, "You cute."

I laughed all of the way home. I think I was hit on by a second grader!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Catch All

Justin took the kids Mother's Day shopping - yes, all 3 of them. I thought I might read. He insisted that I do no work. I thought though that if I picked up a book, I'd get to read now, then who knows when I'd read again. I'm way behind on some knitting projects, so reading isn't even on my list right now. At this point, knitting is work, so I'm not doing that either. But, if you are Mandy, which I am, then laying on the couch with the laptop on your lap, Coldplay playing and writing is a fantastic way to relax. In fact, one my favorites, though I'm not sure how much actual writing I'll be doing here.

There is one thing I'm sure I won't get to because it requires some scanning of photos, which requires booting the computer downstairs up, which I don't really want to get into right now. Maybe though, if I get this caught up, I'll get to the other stuff later.
Deadly Spiders

Last year, a little later in the summer, I went out to the back shed, opened the door and saw a spider. Having spent my entire adult life in Chicago, I don't know much of anything about anything outdoors. Really. It's sad! The spider didn't look quite right to me and I was afraid to go in, so I went and got Justin and said, "hey, will you come look at this spider for me?" I'm so glad that I did because it was a black widow. A HUGE black widow at that!

We ended up calling The Brown Reclusinator. We found him in the Christian phone directory. Then it turned out a few months later that Kristen had his daughter in class and they've become really great friends. Anyway, he came out and sprayed and we've not seen any since. We had seen several of them too!
Then last week, Justin and I were doing yard work. Jaden was helping me pull weeds. I turned over a log and there was a big, huge, fat black widow. They are so scary looking! We called Mr. Reclusinator to ask him if he wanted to come pick up a live one. He'd expressed interest in having a live one before. He said, yes, but wouldn't be able to come by for a few days, could we keep it in a jar until then?
I do have some canning jars but had them all packed up and the only thing with a lid that we could find was a bottle that Jaden never really used. You should have seen Justin trying to get him in there. He was so freaked out! I wanted to take pictures of it but I had to be ready to rush him to the hospital if there was a mishap. It was scary!

Then we decided that we weren't crazy about having this deadly spider sitting around our house - no matter how locked up he was, so we called Mr. Reclusinator back and asked him if we could bring this thing to him. He said he'd catch us "on the next one". Ugh!
So, this scary, nasty looking thing, met it's fate.

Even killing it was freaky!

Jump Around

Justin is one of the neighborhood attractions. The neighborhood kids come over to ask if he can bounce them on the trampoline. From the look of these pictures, you can see why.

And, if you didn't know it already, Migc is a strange kid. He makes things and wears them. This is only a tip of the iceberg. While some of the neighborhood kids are playing, Migc is wearing a paper bag that he has cut up. He has no qualms about it either. He's just hanging out with his bag on his head.

Jaden was loving the action too!

And one more picture for good measure. How do you deny this??? I can't believe my baby boy will be 1 year old in 4 days! It's making me very sad!!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Complicated Relationships

Some things are complicated. Fear often adds to that complication.

I have a little brother. He's my half-brother, but even mentioning that he is a half-brother is insulting to some people. I can see how, especially now that I have children that are half-siblings. I don't like to hear them saying that. The fact that say he is a half-brother is only a minor part of the complications in our relationship.

We share the same biological dad. The one that is, among other things, a pedophile. Now I say that, but he's never been convicted of that nor am I aware of him ever even being criminally charged for that, but in a way that I will only be mildly elusive, I'll say that he is. His mother is also a very mean woman. I still lived with my bd (biological dad) when my brother was born. I remember it, vaguely. I would have been about 3 1/2 years old.

For the next few years, I continued to endure that home and resented my little brother both because he was a favored child among the parents and because he was *them*. I left those all of that behind when I was about 12. I occasionally went back, seeking something only girls seem to long for in a daddy, but always left again quickly. Throughout it all, I despised my little brother and those feelings never wavered.

I remember in high school, I was a senior and he was a freshman. He transferred to Ark City and I hated it. He told people that he was my brother and I denied it. I worked in the office during one of my hours at school and he was in there one day because he was in trouble and was waiting on the principal. I looked him straight in the eye and in front of everyone in the room said, "I've heard that you've told people that I'm your sister. I don't know who you are, but you need to stop telling people that." He smiled that weird, strange smile that he always had and I never heard another word about it.

A couple of years later, he walked into the grocery store that I was working at and I didn't recognize him. He had grown tall and thin. Still, I didn't know him and wasn't about to let on that I might. He was a part of everything I'd tried so hard to leave behind. I heard stories over the years of the trouble he'd gotten into and did feel sorry for him because of the parents he had, but I didn't feel sorry enough to intervene.

I got saved, moved away, got married, had children...and was haunted by that day in the school office. I thought about him often and wanted to help him. I'd heard of criminal trouble he'd gotten into along the way and really felt more sorry for him than anything. Finally, I tracked him down in prison and began writing him letters.

I didn't know what to expect. Really, I expected him to tell me to get lost. The letter that I wrote was a heartful "I'm sorry for the way I've treated you all of our lives." I went into details and really laid it all out. I told him that I'd understand if he didn't forgive me and that I'd understand if he didn't write me back. What I got was months of communication. I became so emotionally invested in his journey and trying to sort out what was truth and what wasn't. I longed to see him and to connect with him in person the way we had through letters. I remember when he got out and the first phone call he made to me. I was so excited to talk to him and was left speechless when he sounded exactly like my bd.

A few years later, I made it back here and was determined to finally meet him face-to-face. Here is it almost 2 years later and we've still not met, in fact, we've not talked in many, many, many months - not in text, online or on the phone. Tonight, when I checked my rarely used myspace account, I saw his profile and checked up on him. It's been several months since he's signed in. I have no idea what is going on in his life. I've distanced myself completely.

See, I've never known for certain if I can trust him or not. He was, after all, raised by that man. To my knowledge, he has always been respectful of my privacy. He doesn't share our communications with anyone else, and I appreciate that. We've had connections that have led me to believe that I can trust him, but then fear sets in and I get scared. He longs for those connections and so do I, but I'm terrified of seeing him for the first time. I'm scared of making this deeply personal, intricately involved, emotional relationship a reality. He has 5 sisters and 1 brother. If you ask him, he'll tell you that is what he has. To my knowledge, only 2 of us even acknowledge his existence, and he holds no grudges for that.

My fear of him all of these years and my fear of him now has nothing to do with him. It's not him and it's not his fault, and I know these things, but why can't I shake it and build a relationship with him? I'm really no better right now than I was that day in high school.