Sunday, January 30, 2011

Zeke Strength of God

We wanted to do something special for Zeke today. It's crazy though because we were practicing last night and mid up bow, my bow broke--what are the odds? I've been using that bow for fifteen years.

We still managed to get a new bow and have my amazingly awesome brother record us in time for today.

Here's the song I wrote for my son who died (my husband Cade and I are performing it in the video):

I must have been fiddling WAY too fast last night. Here's the picture of my bow. I had to lay it all artsy because it's been a good bow. I almost feel like there was another death in the family. This bow will also . . . be missed. I tried to make it look like a treble clef in this picture, but the horse hair was too short. Oh regrets! Regrets! ;)


My Son Is In Heaven

I can't believe it's been eight years since my son died. Time passes too quickly.


Here's an excerpt from my journal (the book I'm trying to get published):

“Why can't we give him any medicine? I don't want to kill him. I just want to make his passing easier.”

“It's the hospital's policy, Elisa. There's nothing more I can do. Just let it be enough that you're here with him now.” His little hand wrapped so tightly around my finger. It turned white from the pressure. He was very aware right then. “Do you want to be alone?” Jane said, but it wasn't really a question. She walked from the room and the door creaked shut.

I've never been a person who could handle the sound of crying, but at that moment I wished—with all of my soul—some noise would rise from Zeke. Nothing was worse than that silent death-cry. His body stiffened and slacked, stiffened and slacked while his coloring increased deeper. I was shocked watching him suffer for what seemed like an eternity. Some part of me, way deep down, must have thought God would wait until that exact moment to save Zeke. I kept expecting him to suddenly breathe on his own without any machines or any type of support, but it never happened.

Instead the episode worsened until I wanted to run from that room, grab a nurse . . . any nurse and tell her to save my son, but we couldn’t go back and I felt sick of being selfish and wanting him to live just because I needed him so desperately. Towards the greater end of that half hour his crying spell weakened. The lack of oxygen finally numbed his brain and he didn't feel the suffocation of pain anymore.

His crying subdued itself and although I wanted to look away I couldn't pull my eyes from the tiny person who Cade and I grasped so tightly. He stopped crying at one point; Cade and I looked at each other. “Is he . . .” Cade asked, but before he continued, Zeke cried again. He did that several more times, stopping and starting. The length of the silences in between got longer and longer until one of them lasted . . . forever.

I kissed Zeke gently on the forehead, then said, “Goodbye.” For the first time since Zeke's crying had become subdued, Cade and I cried. I passed our son's body completely to Cade before running headlong into the bathroom adjoining the death room. I slammed the door as hard as my small frame could and willed life to be over for me as well. I screamed then. I cried out to God—the cry that I'd been holding in since the whole damn ordeal began. I screamed into the silent, black bathroom, “GOD! WHY? I CAN’T TAKE THIS ANYMORE!”

It's been eight years and a lot has happened since Zeke passed away. We've had three more beautiful children. We even had another little boy, born on my husband's birthday, and a little girl, born forty minutes before mine. But no matter how much time passes nothing can wipe Zeke from my mind and he will never be replaced.

It's amazing, even though it's been years I can still look back at my journal and realize new things. God looks out for each one of us and cares more than we know. If we take time to look we can see His hand in everything--even the hard times.

When Zeke's ashes drifted from me, I wanted to jump after them, gather each one, no matter if it meant falling off the cliff we'd sprinkled them from. But I stayed on top of that mountain. My husband stayed with me and the wind swept Zeke's ashes away. But then as we left down the path, a cougar appeared out of nowhere in the bushes to the side of the trail. It stared at us with big, golden eyes, not even making a sound when it left me in my fears. I wanted to talk to Cade, reminisce about Zeke, but instead I ran down the mountain and pulled Cade after me. I'd never known how terrifying it could be seeing something like that in the wild. For years every time I've thought about Zeke's ashes, I've resented those golden eyes and how they ruined the memory for me.

But as I look back and think about those golden eyes now, they have a new meaning for me. Maybe it wasn't by chance we saw a cougar that day because wild cats represent something amazing; the will to live; strength in adversity; justice; compassion to watch and protect those they love. They're special animals and if I had to think of one person who embodies what they mean, I'd pick Zeke . . . my son.

As I sit here, I can't help wondering if maybe I didn't completely lose Zeke the day I blew his ashes off that cliff. Maybe he's still watching me, just like that cougar was before I knew it was there. Just like God always has and always will.

I don't know why Zeke was born the way he was, but I do know that God is taking care of us, and that cougar was a sign that everything will be okay.

We love you Zeke you'll never be forgotten!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday Sewing Tip: Purse or Dress?

It's my mom's birthday today. It's tough discovering a gift for someone who has everything. I thought about it forever and finally decided to make a purse, but not just any purse.

I started by making a dress fashioned in a unique pattern I created several years ago. Here is a picture of the type of dress I made yesterday. I love smocking bodices; it really brings the style together. I also enjoy finding decorative trims.


After finishing the dress, I added the handles, sewed a lining (complete with buttoned pockets,) and gathered the bottom by sewing a circular piece of pink fabric to the lower ruffle.

I gave my mom the purse tonight and she absolutely loved it. I'm sooo happy! It's funny too because all of my nieces loved it as well.

I just thought this was a fun idea to pass along.

Here's the finished product:


Friday, January 28, 2011

The Giant Beauty Queen and The Friend I Adore


We went to Burger King, which I'm crazy about. I don't know why I love that place so much, but I really do. So, two of my best friends and I sat there talking when we noticed something a little strange going on in the playland.

Now, If you've ever gone to a playland you've probably noticed there are three different types of parents who go there.
There are the parents who stalk their children. I mean, those women who climb up the slide with their kids, you wonder how they'll get back out. And 90% of the time, they're first time mothers. They really don't know how to let loose, because they need to be broken in by time and torture. You can spot one of these parents quite easily because #1 they'll probably be in the slide, and #2 they keep yelling to everyone--complete strangers even--"Look at Johnny! Isn't he cute. Look what my boy did!" this is admittedly annoying, but you have to love these parents anyway, someday they too will lose hair, their boobs will shrink and they will have joined the rest of us.

There's the second type of parents (this is me.) They absolutely care about where their kids are, but they're not all up in their business, mediating fights and telling other kids to shove it where the sun doesn't shine if they look at them wrong. These parents sit politely, occasionally looking at their child. They may smile sweetly--like candy if you want to know--but they're happy to be eating, talking and having a break.

The third type of parent is the worst of all. These parents refer to the playland as "daycare." You can usually spot them because they don't sit in the playland (even when there's room.) I've noticed some #3 mothers go to the extent of wearing black coats and glasses so their own children won't recognize them.

There's one important thing about the playland numbering system. Once you go from a one to a two, or a two to a three--there's no going back!

So, while we were at Burger King we ran into type #3. She was primped, really well put together. She must have spent a year doing her hair, and mine was just in a big-old ponytail. She did seem nice, but the problem was that her two-year-old kept completely wailing on the other children there. My kid came and sat on my lap, slobbered about some meenie-head, then went to play again. I figured that kid could toughen my boy up--until he started biting everyone. I didn't appreciate it that some little playlander thought he was a vampire, and that was when I actually saw him.

Sometimes I wonder if bully's are born, or if having five older brothers makes them the way they are, but that kid looked mean. As I saw him step from the slide I realized how scared I was, as if a spurt of fog should have shot out behind him, just for effect. He reminded me of one of those tough kids from the lollipop guild, the kids you don't mess with because they smoke when they're behind stage and they'll hit you with their lollipop if you mess with them. So, "Mugsie" stepped from the slide and in my passive playland type 2 voice I said, "Please don't bite."

"I'll bite who I wanna. I do what I wanna."

Another lady sat at the edge of the slide, and as if she was completely oblivious she said, "Good Olivia. You're a good little baby, aren't you? Aren't you? Isn't she a good baby." The woman looked at me. "She just started walking." I thought that was great, really I did, but I was dealing with a vampire named "Mugsie" and I didn't have time to goo over her type 1 tendencies just then.

"I'll bite who I wanna. I do what I wanna," Mugsie said again.

That was when my friend lost it. Now, my friend is awesome. She doesn't let anyone stand in her way and I love her for it. She's such a beautiful lady and you wouldn't expect her to be so tough, but man she can handle anyone and I need to take some lessons.

She went right over to "Mugsie's" mom (who happened to be wearing a black trench coat and those boots I love.) I stood next to her and watched as the mom acted like she was deaf and dumb. But after my friend persisted, the lady stood and I wished we could run away. I could have screamed--literally screamed. The woman was as pretty as a beauty queen, but like Hagrid's offspring, at least six-foot-two, wearing a grimace that made my blood freeze. Her long blond hair swung around her upper body which looked like Barbie on steroids. Her skin paled and as she glared at us, her eyes shone with a fierceness that playland had never seen.

"Are you saying that my two-year-old is beating up your four-year-old?" she hissed to my friend, the hiss of death.

That was exactly what we were saying, but I wouldn't say anything. This was a fight I couldn't handle. I've heard stories about people fighting giants in the Bible, but the only way to win is if you have a slingshot. I peered around. All I had was a thing of fries, we were dead meat--on a stick!

"Olivia, who's the good baby? You's the good baby. You're a little dolly aren't you?" The type 1 mother crooned. I can't believe how oblivious #1 parents can be. Here my friend and I were about to die, and all that lady did was goo to her baby! She should have been looking for a slingshot--or something!

"That's exactly what we're saying!" My friend braved the massive woman, and I felt glad calling her my friend. "You need to keep a leash on your son!"

I got chills. We were staring into the face of death--a giant face of death with loads of makeup and we were still alive. The woman flared her nostrils like a bull about to charge. She looked back and forth between my friend and I. Then she looked at "Mugsie" and a little worry showed in the wrinkles on her forehead, it was only for a second, but that woman (who must have been a bully herself) seemed irked.

As that woman walked away, I had to smile because she took off her trench coat and sat a little closer to where her vampire son played. Maybe my ballsy friend had just turned a #3 type of mother into a #2. That's almost impossible, and I've never heard of anyone doing it.

As we walked back to our table I looked at Olivia, then smiled at the type 1 parent. "She really is a doll." She was too, and #1 parents need attention so I gave it to her since I was still alive and everything.

I can't even tell you how proud I was that my friend stood up to a giant, and that I didn't go hide in the slide. I stayed my ground too. Plus, that vampire kid was probably in the slide anyway.

So "Mugsie" didn't pick on our boys anymore after that and I learned a valuable lesson. If someone is fifty times taller than you, you can still stand up to them even if you don't have a slingshot. Words (and a brave friend) are all you need.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

This is not a sex shop!


Let me start off by saying, "I've been getting some interesting phone calls."

It's probably because I own a kids' clothing business called, "EC Boutique." It wasn't until a few years ago that I realized another company was using that name--a sex shop. Their official name is: Erotic Cabaret Boutique and I'm sure they're a beautiful establishment, but as of now it seems I'm their new receptionist.

I'm not a prude, not at all, but I am naive. People keep asking for stocked items--and I have no idea what in the Hell they're talking about, let alone how much they are!

Now, a good side does shine through this "sexy situation"; there's nothing like going to church on Sunday, and then--right when church ends and you're standing in the lobby where everyone is watching you--someone calls wondering if you have any vibrators. So that was the height of embarrassing. I put my hand to the side of the phone and said, "I'm sorry I can't talk now." Then all the yuppies in a ten-foot radius looked at me like I'm a big fat sinner--the worst kind--the kind with a secret!

The other problem is that I don't want ANYONE answering my phone. The last thing I want is for my awesome mom or mother-in-law thinking I'm a perv! So whenever my phone rings, I practically fall over myself to grab it before anyone else can.

I still can't get over this whole thing. I'm the kind of person that has a hard time saying I had a vaginal delivery--I mean what was it . . . like UPS, or freight? The word "delivery" does not belong next to the word "vaginal." Nothing belongs next to the word "vaginal" except "gross" as far as I'm concerned.
When I was in fifth grade a boy asked if I wanted to be in the pen 15 club. I was so excited to be in a club; I skipped down the hallway, hummed in the bathroom, even talked during class. I told the boy I would love to join his club. That's when he wrote: PEN15 on my hand except the 1 looked like an "I" and the 5 looked like an "S." My mom saw that permanent marker on my hand and was livid! I was little though, and didn't really know what was going on until later.
Ever since I don't even like saying the word p-e-n-i-s because PEN15 is so much better, after all they have clubs going by that name!

Anyway, I'm really thinking about changing my answering machine because I receive messages that are out of this world. Right now I really love my voice answering message. It sounds cute and professional, like I was raised in a good neighborhood in a cute little house where we owned an expensive dog. I sound like one of those amazing women who wear boots (if you want to know the truth) and that's why I don't want to change it. I say, "Thanks for calling EC Boutique. Leave your name and number and I'll get right back to you just as soon as I can. Thank you so much for your time." But the more I think about it, I probably sound exactly like someone who works at a sex shop!

Have you ever been to a sex shop? Well, I have. Go ahead, tell me I have a date with a diablo. I've been twice!!! Two times okay~gesh! And both times some really interesting people worked there. I still remember them because I knew my face pulsed red and their eyes glued to mine since I
look like a prude no matter how hard I try not looking like one. The name "Bible Girl" is practically etched into my forehead. Anyway, the people that work at sex shops are either old men (with pot bellies,) college girls (with magenta hair and millions of piercings,) or people just like me (who are sick of being dubbed "goody goody.")

So, plan one for today is: change my answering machine. I need to talk in a voice that won't sound like I enjoy saying the word "lubricant." My new message shall say: "This is EC Boutique, an online KIDS' CLOTHING STORE!!! If you want sex, you have THE WRONG NUMBER! But if you're calling about the new line of clothes we have coming this spring, please feel absolutely guiltless about leaving your name and number. Thanks so much and I'll talk to you soon."

I've posted a link to the phone message I received yesterday. I'm not a HTML princess, so I hope the link will work. You might have to download the .wma to listen to it, but it's worth it--trust me.

Caption: Hi, this is Mary.
I was checking to see if you guys have the um . . . PEN15 Pumps for the guys.
Ummm . . . Give me a call at **********. Thank 'preciate it.

A microwave fire and an exploding potato

Yes, it's 5 am. Why? Because I'm a busy mother and this is seriously the only way I can find time to write. It's funny how priorities slither into our lives. Maybe it's God's way of showing us what are true passions are.

I had a pretty wild night last night. I cooked dinner for the kids, and it turned out to be harder than milking a cow in heat. As I threw some chicken thighs and potatoes in the oven, my baby sat at the table. I don't know where she got them, but she seemed to have a limitless supply of gushy carrots which she continued chucking everywhere. I took the things away, but then every time I turned, another carrot would fly across the kitchen.
Then my little boy started collecting the carrots. I wanted to round him up fast because I knew he'd go straight for the vent. Except he didn't go for the vent, instead he stuffed the things in his nerf gun. Why is it that boys (even at two-years-old) are soooo different from girls?

With that lovely background set, I wasn't a happy camper--even though I wished I was. I washed my greasy-chicken hands, smoothed back my hair and breathed, "I can do this, yes I can." But what I really thought was that I wish my husband was home so I could get a mocha--since my life-line of a coffee maker broke.
After opening my eyes, I looked at my oldest kid, a third grader. She had a sweet grin on her face. "Look, Mama. I'm learning cursive."

I grabbed her paper and yes indeed, she'd written in cursive--everything I'd said for the past hour. Note to self: watch what I say around that kid, it's permanent just like OJ's words at his trial.

The baby hit me with a carrot, and I heard something large drop into the vent; that didn't completely fluster me though, I'd figured it was the nerf gun and we'd been there before. But that was when my second oldest--my hippe girl--started freaking out about her girl scout cookie order form. She is the most care-free kid in the world, a la-di-da sort. So when she flips out over something, it's shocking and HUGE.
I understood though. She's been working on cookie orders for a couple weeks. They can pay for her camp this summer if she sells enough. The problem was that someone spilled A BUNCH of water all over the order form. I felt bad, but didn't think she needed to freak out, while the noodles were boiling over, and the vents were open, AND while I was still getting bombarded with carrots!
"Calm down, sweetie. I'll figure something out." I rolled my eyes as my other (scribe-like) daughter jotted down everything I'd said--again.
"But mom!" hippie-girl cried beyond consolation. "But, mom."
A carrot hit me and I pinched the bridge of my nose. "Jesus wants me to be a sunbeam," I sang something--ANYTHING.
"Mom, it's ruined."
"Fine." I snatched the paper and shoved it into the microwave. I hit the popcorn button; I knew it wouldn't be in there that long, but wanted to be sure the thing got really dry. She needed to take more orders after we finished eating dinner.
The timer beeped on the oven, a pleasantly annoying way to signify dinner was done. I heard something else fall into the vent. "What now?" I groaned and went to the edge of the room. My boy, my awesome boy who I cherish like chocolate, sat by the vent. He smiled, shoving credit cards down the hole of doom! I screamed, was that bad . . . that I actually screamed? My boy ran off.
I grabbed the cards and set them on top of the fan blades, since that's the only place he can't climb to.
The oven beeped, then the microwave beeped. I got into the kitchen and the three of my kids sat warming themselves around--THE FIRE IN THE MICROWAVE! It must have slipped their minds to say, "Hey, mom. The microwave's on fire!!! We're all going to die!!!"
"What the hell?" I yelled. My oldest picked up her vile pen and wrote as the other kids flooded to the edge of the kitchen. I pulled the cookie order form from the microwave and started smacking the thing with all my pent-up feels about cookies! The fire eventually went out, and I did feel better, until realizing the oven was still beeping.
Now this is where I could've poked a stranger in the eye. I put on an oven mitt, went to grab a potato (which rested next to the charred chicken), and guess what!--the stupid vegetable exploded all over me! I'd forgotten to poke that potato with a fork before putting it in.
It was scary when the potato exploded in my hand. It reminded my of when a Pillsbury roll can pops, but fifty times worse--like I was a new type of unabomber, the kind that doesn't even know they're evil!
I turned and ventured closer to my children. I must have looked like a masterpiece. I had potato and carrots ALL over my face. My hair was a mixture of dinner and frustration as well. I just stared at my kids. The oven mitt fell off my hand.
"I hate potatoes," I whispered.
"But we love you," the scribe and hippie both said in an effort to smooth me out. They hugged me, just as my boy turned on the fan and the credit cards flew off the blades. How in the hell does he always figure a way to get stuff!!!
"Do you guys think I'm a sucky mom?" I asked as a credit card slid across the tile near my foot.
"Nope," the scribe said. "I think you're a great mom and I was in the mood for mashed potatoes anyway."

Here's the only part of the potato that stayed in the oven:


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

When you have to go . . .

So, I have a silly story for you. It's about our toilet that's been plugged for over 3 weeks!!! We knew we'd have to bring it outside just to get it working again. EWW!
Anyway, I told my husband, "I'm so tired. I need to sleep and I need you to fix the toilet."
He said, "I'm tired too. I've been working since four a.m.. We'll do it tomorrow. Love you babe." (A. K. A. it will never happen. Be happy I love you anyway!)

So, what did I do? Since it had already drained, I unscrewed the toilet, ripped it off the plug of nastiness and started rocking it through the house. He got up from his nap and helped me . . . at that point. When we hauled it outside, he said to give him a minute to get the hose and things. That's when I got a fantastic idea!

I don't know if it was a need to poo, a lack of self control, or a serious need for sleep, but I ran upstairs, grabbed an extra pair of pants, some shoes and a newspaper. Then I threw on my daisy duke shorts and grabbed the camera. It was really fun to watch (not only my husband's expression when he saw me sitting there on the jon), but all of the people driving past as well.
My husband ended up laughing later, and after the shock completely went bye-bye from his face, he even helped me carry the toilet to the middle of the side street for pictures. What a guy :)

I don't know why exactly, but he bought me a mocha later that night and said he was sorry for not helping me before. He confessed he'd suddenly realized that I may need to take more naps. So, I'm starting to think that acting like I was pooing—right in my front yard—really was the thing to do. I never would have done it if I wasn't tired to the point of insanity, but at least it's a memory we'll never forget.

Note to self: I love these pictures! And I want to meet the driver that yelled from their car, "What the f***? Are we in Oklahoma?"




I still can't believe we took these pictures of me, but maybe you'll get a kick out of them—the car passing by sure did ~ha ha.

The beginning of the end.

So why do people start a blog? Maybe because they'd like to share their lives with friends and family . . . maybe they're just too damn bored . . . or maybe they're a typing addict who drinks coffee faster than a gutless horse.

I guess I'm starting a blog for all the above, but mainly because I journal and this is the only way my son won't destroy my journal.

I'm a mother of five, I always say that even though one of my children passed away almost eight years ago. But it would be mocking his memory if I didn't include him. So, anyway, I spend most of my time taking care of four rambunctious kids who make life better than green ham and eggs. They're pretty darn fun, but despite that, after I had kids, my boobs shrunk, I've lost hair, but gained a greater sense of humor--thank God for that half full glass of water!

When I'm not scavenging through the vents, which my son thinks are the best place to hide things, I'm sewing, playing my violin, or writing. What don't I do? Well that's easy, I don't sleep. There's too much going on. But that's how I like things anyway, because someday in the future I'll be a ninety-year-old. When grumpy nurses aren't helping me to the toilet, then I can sleep all day.

But right now, I'm still in my twenties and by golly, I don't want to sleep my life away. So, we're taking it a day at a time. Enjoying the small things and happy to be alive.