Friday, April 25, 2008

The way kids think

Last night at dinner Megan was asking me why Daddy had to work late. I explained to her that he had to take a phone call from someone who was in a different time zone - which of course led to the next obvious question from her. "What's a time zone?" I began explaining what it was and how it worked to which she replied that it all sounded a little silly.

So I decided to make it a bit more interesting and told her how her cousin in Japan was already waking up on Friday morning even though we were only eating dinner here on Thursday. Her eyes got big, she laughed and said, "now that's just freaky!"

Matt isn't much better these days and seems to constantly be asking "why?" to anything he possible can. (I thought that was a 2 year old stage - not something a 4 year goes through.) I appreciate that he's simply trying to comprehend the big world around him but I have to admit that it drives me up the wall a lot of the time. Mostly because the "why's" seem to be an automatic conversation reflex after a while and not really a legitimate question. But then there are times when he simply cracks me up with his simplistic logic behind what can be a complex issue for a 4 year old.

For example; this morning Matt found one of our cats in the backyard torturing a squirrel. From what I could tell, the squirrel had a broken back or something as it dragged itself away from Gipper. And as Matt watched, Gipper batted the squirrel around a bit more and then finally grabbed it by the throat and rag-dolled it a bit. The questions from Matt just came rolling out about why Gipper would do such a thing. I didn't want to pretend that the cat was just "playing" because, hey, you can't coddle your children forever. But I also didn't want to play out the slaying of the creature with too much drama and end up scarring his little brain forever. He seemed satisfied with my answers at first until he finally said, "why can't he just eat his own food instead of eating squirrels and mice?"

My response was that Gipper is an animal and that's just what some animals do. To which he replied, "Gipper's not an animal!"

Ok, so now how do you explain that an animal is a creature and not what we refer to he and his sister as when they are acting crazy? (And I knew for a fact that my answer would lead to the next question of what is a creature?) So I explained it by saying, why don't you ask your Daddy.

(Hey, I'm home with the kid all day, every day now. You can't expect Daddy to get out of answering some of these important questions!)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


I've recently been surrounded by a lot of pregnancy 'issues' so I thought I'd share.

First of all, I've been going through every piece of maternity clothing, baby clothing, baby furniture and gadgets, etc. that Robert has outgrown and have been handing it all down to my niece to be stored away until she and her hubby are ready to procreate. And it reminded me of just how much stuff one little kid uses. The day that she stopped by the house to pick up the items that I had ready for her was an eye opener for both of us. The shocked look on her face as I continued to hand her box after box of baby clothing was classic. It was the look of someone who hasn't been in this position yet and is completely unaware of just how quickly and easily a child will "over run" their household. She asked that I only save clothing up until about 18 months as she felt that would be adequate.
Having been there, I think I'll save up to 24 months. The kids grow so fast in the first two years that before you know it, another season has changed, and your child just outgrew everything in the previous size. It's nice to have the clothes as backup until those growth spurts slow down a bit and clothing sizes last longer than 2 months.
It was surprising to me in the way that I didn't realize just how much I had been storing the 3rd time around. After Matthew was born and we were sure (ha ha) that we were not having another kids, we gave everything away. When I found out that Robert was on the way, we scrambled to replace all of those items. And through the help of a lot of hand-me-downs from friends, we replaced everything pretty darn successfully. Which is why I was shocked, once again, at how it all accumulated so easily.
The family has also been blessed with the news that my cousin is expecting her first baby. This news came right before my Grandfather passed away - so I predict - a boy! Let's see if the theory of "when God takes one away he replaces it with another" holds true. So yeah!! Another baby in the family! What's better than that? Unfortunately this wee-one will be born in Japan so I have no idea when we'll all get our first visit with the expanding family.
And while she is kind enough to share the news of ultra-sounds, etc. with us, I have to fight an overwhelming urge to give assvice. I just keep thinking about when I was pregnant with Megan, all the firsts were so great but some of them were rather unexpected. And I remember thinking at times that "no one bothered to give me a heads up on this". Plus, now that I've been there and done that 3 times over, I often think back to the times Bill and I shared before the kids. I wish we'd made a point to do something special in those final months. Just the two of us. But the only thing that I can remember doing was enjoying a nice dinner out a chinese restaurant and joking about things were going to change soon. Hmph...had I really had a better idea, that dinner out would have been expanded to a little weekend getaway or something similar. Oh well... hind sight's 20/20, right?
And yesterday, I came across a few other items that I wanted to hand over to my niece. Some pregnancy books and an unused pregnancy test. I laid them on my desk, which happens to sit right inside the door from our garage so that I would remember to pack them all away with any other items that I came across and promptly forgot about it.
The kids and I went upstairs later that evening to get them showered and ready for bed when Bill came home from work. The look on his face as he tried to calmly inquire about "why I had a pregnancy test downstairs" was priceless.
No Bill, your 5th child is not on the way. You're a starter gun now, remember?

Monday, April 07, 2008

Update #2

While my brother was in the hospital, so was my Grandfather. As a 92 year old man, he was doing very well mentally but had begun having health issues a while back.

While he was admitted to the hospital for 3 days he was kept on oxygen and the original thought was that he would be allowed to return home but would most likely remain on the oxygen...forever. But after about two days, he came off and was doing well enough to have the oxygen sent home with him in the event that he needed it. We were told that his heart was weakening as well. In fact when he had had been hospitalized a few years prior he was told that he had about 4o-60% capacity. This time around...he was down to about 15%.

About a week after he was discharged he began experiencing pain and was taken to the hospital again. This time around he was told that there was nothing that they could do there that he couldn't do with the help of hospice from home. He was told that, at best, he had 6 months to live.

On the morning of March 19th, my Dad went to visit my grandparents and to install a type of "lift" for my Grandfather's recliner in order to help him get in/out of it with ease. He left the house around 12:30pm and a little while after that, the minister from my Grandparent's church stopped by for a visit. She said that she spent some time talking and praying with them both and because they had been unable to make the trip to mass that Sunday prior, she asked if they would like to receive communion. They agreed and no sooner had she given them communion when she said that a funny look came over my Grandfather's face. She asked him if he was ok, to which he replied, "no" and at that point she and my Grandmother decided to call hospice for assistance. A few moments later my Grandfather passed away. He was still sitting in his favorite recliner.

Norman Harold Adelsberger was 92 years old. He left behind my Grandmother whom he was married to for 69 years along with 3 children, 9 grand-children and 18 great-grandchildren. It was a small family but we shared a lot of love. We'll miss this wonderful, quiet man. But I know that he's in a better place, having lived a long and full life. I only hope that I can be so lucky some day.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Update #1

A while back I mentioned that my brother was diagnosed with colon cancer. A lot has happened since that time but I've not mentioned it since as it was and still is an ongoing battle for him.

Immediately after the tumor was found, his operation to remove it was scheduled for the following week. I stood by the phone that day in anticipation of any news that would come my way and sometime around noon I finally received word that he had made it out of surgery and was doing well. As I exhaled a sigh of relief for him making it past the first step in this process I began scheduling my trip back to PA in order to visit family that weekend.

Friday evening rolled around and I planned on picking up the kids, running home to finish packing the car, feed the kids, say goodby to Bill and hit the road by 6:30pm for the 5 hour drive ahead. Unfortunately after a phone call with a family member my plans were altered. Tests results from the tumor that was removed were delivered that day and the news wasn't good. There was cancer in 9 of 13 lymph nodes and he had stage 4 cancer.

I quickly placed a call to Bill at work with the news and he decided to head back with me as well. We both decided that if there was nothing else that we could do for him we at least wanted him to know that we were both there supporting every decision that he and my sister-in-law would be making and to give them our love and support along the way.

Dan was doing really well by the time we got to see him Saturday afternoon and was discharged the following day. The best that we could do for him was to deliver balloons to his room displaying just how much we loved him, in writing..."Congratulations on the sex change operation". (Can't lose your sense of humor through adversity, right?)

I also got a chance to visit with my Grandfather who had been in the hospital earlier that week as well with heart problems. All in all, it was a nice weekend. Far too quick as usual but it's always good to visit with everyone any chance I can get.

The weeks passed for Dan and other than a blood clot in his leg, he healed quickly. The best news of all came to us last week when it was determined that there was no cancer, anywhere, in his body. Take a minute to let that sink in...because remember earlier...stage 4 cancer!!??!!

To think that this was possible when the earlier diagnosis was delivered is by far the understatement of the year. Does anyone ever receive news like that after a stage 4 diagnosis? So whether the doctors did a fabulous job or there was help from a spiritual side is not for me to decide. All that I can say for sure is that I am so happy for him. The roller coaster ride that I'm sure he was on has leveled out to a steady ride of chemo treatments to ensure that any undetected cancer in his blood is eliminated has begun.

And while his fight is far from over, it's nice to know that he has fought hard and has won every round so far. He'll keep fighting hard too. I know he will because that's just who he is. His spirit, personality and upbeat attitude are something that I admire a lot. And I'm proud to call him my big brother.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Updates to come

I have so much to share since it's been....well forever since I last posted. But I don't have time right now. Highlights of what you can expect...
  • Megan's 6th birthday
  • Easter
  • Grandfather's passing
  • Cousin expecting
  • New job
  • Haircuts, teeth and crawling
  • Brother Dan's good news - no wait...EXCELLENT news!

Our lives are sometimes way beyond normal, in fact can be quite boring at times, but it's all passing by so quickly these days. I know it's not all over the top, exciting stuff and that you won't all be sitting on your hands, holding your breath, just waiting for the moment that I hit the 'Publish Post' button, but these events have not only kept us quite busy but on our proverbial toes as well.