Heartbreak and heartache

I was pointed in the direction of a news article this morning, in a nonchalant sort of way – “did you hear about the Conn grandmother? sickens me.” I went to msnbc, and this is what I found… I immediately cried my eyes out.

Now, I know things like this happen. I know it’s not right. I know it’s devastating to all involved, and seriously – nobody wants to know someone that this happens to. Why can’t we just fix it all? I feel some days like this country is running in circles, and like the safety that I counted on growing up is becoming less and less. I don’t always feel safe. Now that I have a little one, I worry about his safety probably more than I should. With an overactive imagination like I have, munchkin has been in the hospital 25 times, and has fallen off of the bike that he doesn’t even have yet.

I have been following along with the updates of a little boy named Tripp. Back in October, this precious little boy was playing at daycare when a tree limb fell on his head. He’s still in the hospital, fighting infections, fighting to live. He’s improving, but he will never be the same. My heart breaks for this family, and for all that they have and will go through. Their financial situation has been thrown into upheaval due to all of the medical bills, and because Tripp’s mom, Stacy, has been by his side from day one. They recently sold their house and purchased a new one, but of course, it needs a total overhaul so that it is Tripp-accessible. Thanks to a great foundation called Sunshine on a Ranney Day, their house will be made ready for them, just the way they need it to be.

It’s times like these that I am reminded of how lucky I am, and what a wonderful family I have. I don’t know what the future will bring; I don’t know what will happen 5, 10, 15 years down the road. I do know that I’m in a good place: I have a good job, I have a roof over my head, I have an amazing husband that supports me through everything – good, bad, ugly, stupid ankles; we have a beautiful boy that is wise beyond his years, and such a great heart. We have awesome parents that love their grandson and ignore us when they come over (which, honestly, is something I never imagined I would love – Mom, you were right. It is a great feeling to be ignored once in a while!!) because they’re enjoying playing with munchkin. We have great siblings that, though there are the occasional arguments, we know would do whatever we needed to get out of a bind. We have the ultimate support system.

We’re lucky. Very, very lucky.

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That Freak? Her?

There she is, that weirdo Kristin. Still in that walking boot. She’s always getting hurt – haven’t quite figured out how she could sprain her ankle STANDING IN PLACE. But somehow, she did it. Months ago. And still having problems with it. Ah well, that’s not the weirdest thing about her. Did you know that she LIKES MATH????? She bought an algebra workbook so she can practice. For fun. No reason other than that. Soooooo weird. And on Friday nights? Yeah, Kristin would rather stay home and read and play with her son than go out. Oh, or crochet. Yeah, she CROCHETS. Isn’t that an old lady thing to do??? Doilies and afghans? And the reading thing – doesn’t she have anything better to do? She is ALWAYS reading. Can’t keep her nose out of a book, and if it takes you two weeks to read that book, she probably read it last night. After work. What a freak.

I love you, let’s color.

It’s the dreaded February 14, the day of love and hearts and all things red. In all of our 7+ years together, Hubby and I have never celebrated the holiday created by card and candy companies – we have always treated it (mostly) as any other day. “Happy Valentine’s Day,” smooch, “happy Valentine’s Day.” That’s it.

But with munchkin around now, and with him being in daycare (which I LOVE, by the way, and never thought I would – another story in itself), they exchange cards and make Valentine bags and make a big deal out of it. At almost 17 months old, he’s starting to be more aware of things being different on special days, and it works for me. Every day is different, every day is special in its own way. Might as well make as big of a deal out of it as we can!

So when I went grocery shopping last week I found that their selection of kids’ Valentines was rather decent and selected a box of Elmo cards – rather well-known, easy to spot, and decent messages as well. I don’t want to go into the provocative poses Elmo makes, or where my mind went with those. Seriously.

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Now you had just better hope that the recipient feels the same as the giver, and that you really are friends. Awkward!

I had the amazing idea to pull my “creativity” out (aka, I saw a friend do the same thing and decided it was a good idea), and make crayons. Peeling the wrapping off of crayons is the absolute worst. Two 24-count boxes later, I filled the cookie trays (that will never be used for cookies) with broken crayon pieces.

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Baked at 275* for about 8 minutes, and carefully removed the tray from the oven. Liquid crayon.

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We let them set overnight, and then this morning I bagged everything up and added the card, et voilĂ ! C’est magnifique!

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I am hoping that they are enjoyed by the other kiddos. I made sure to make the full tray’s worth, and that way munchkin has a couple as well. Besides – what kid doesn’t like to color???

Have you ever gone all out for a holiday you previously neglected because of someone else?

Beauty

If you live anywhere that has television or Internet, you know that we got a bit of snow this weekend in New England. Crazy storm “Nemo” dropped about two feet of the horrid white stuff on us. We never lost power (thankfully) and were able to play outside today when my parents came over. I snapped an abundance of photos (on my camera for once, so the quality will be fabulous!!), and hopefully once our Internet starts working (that’s another story) I will post a few.

When hubby went to go out and shovel the stairs in anticipation of his parents’ arrival, we found this awesome sight.

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We had enough snow to almost cover little man, and drifts almost twice his height!! He wasn’t impressed by the snow that ended up on his arm, but it was amusing and I had to snap yet another shot.

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The blur is due to someone trying to unsuccessfully shake it all off of him.

Though I’m not a fan of snow (generally), this storm dumped quite a bit of beauty into my yard. Stunning.

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Did you have any weird weather near you lately? Snow, rain, weird things?