Saturday, July 31, 2010

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Do you hear what I hear...well, right now that is the song I am hearing, it is Christmas in July at our house, and Peter has tuned into his favorite Christmas carols and yes, we are both singing along as if it were December 23rd. Windows open, neighbors listening, they can join in if the would like!
Actually, my plan was to tell you about my new purchase, but just as I sat down, Peter started blasting out the Christmas tunes, and of course, that included one round of Silent Night, can't do Christmas carols without Silent Night, unless of course, it is Christmas Eve and you are in a candle-lit church and than it's another story. But right now we are safely singing Silent Night in the middle of this sunny summer day. So, hum with me, pick your favorite as you read.
I finally did it. I had to fork over the money and buy a new garage door. Now buying a chocolate brown new garage door that closely resembles the old garage door is about as exciting to me as buying a new sump pump. Something that needs to be done, but personally, a new piece of furniture or dress would lift my spirits rather that a major investment into a garage door. But the old creaky, rusted and soon to be splintered garage door had to be replaced before it stayed permanently in one place. So, now I am the proud owner of this piece of equipment that serves to protect my car and keep the raccoons from entering during the night time hours.
Wondering if Peter would even notice the newly acquired door, I decided not to tell him about the new purchase. Why I thought he may not notice? That is an "oh duh, Diane". He was hardly out of the car when he squealed with delight that we have a new garage door. The incredibly large smile that covered his face, and the accompanied hand wringing reassured me that he was totally enthralled by the purchase. Why did I not save this purchase for Christmas, and give it to him as his present? What was I thinking? Maybe that is why he is playing Christmas songs...maybe it reminds him of Christmas? He spent time looking at the inside and than we needed to close it so he could see the outside. It was just so exciting. We have spent the rest of the day, leaving, but sitting patiently in front of the door so we could "Ooh and Aah" as it descends. You would think we were watching fireworks.
I now have a new appreciation for that door. Peter's love has made me cross over to the other side and I am beginning to see the beauty in the simple brown thing that goes up and down. Without Peter, it would have just been another irritating expense, but his absolute excitement over the door has made me appreciate the finer things in life!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Dancing in the Rain

"Life is not about waiting for the storms to's about learning, how to dance in the rain.."

Okay, so I recieved this in one of those emails that you get, the ones that a friends send out and than you are expected to send it along. I will admit, I am picky about what I send on, as not to fill another's mailbox with too many good things. But, when I read this one, I got that very warm feeling...oh, this is good feeling. I like this one.

Isn't is true? Does it not make sense? In life, save for a few, we get bumps along the way. Some of us seem to get bigger bumps than others, or maybe we are given bigger bumps because God knows we can handle it. I really do not know the answer to this one, but I do know there are the bumps of life. We could be bitter, we could give up, we could complain, and sometimes that happens, but in order to take control of these bumps, we need to face them head on with the trust and grace that we will be given only enough bumps that we can handle.

And that is why today, when I read that saying, I fitting. It is the dance of life that gets us through the day. I really think Peter gave me that ability to dance, partlly because he literally loves to dance and sing. And in those down momements, he danced and made me dance along.

Peter is not here today, but I think I could use a little dancing. I think I need to haul out those CD's of his, and dance in my kitchen...sing out loud, remember all the good things I have in life, remember how well I am blessed. So what if I am doing a little YMCA by myself in the kitchen, I'm dancing!

Monday, July 26, 2010


Peter hates thunderstorms, or maybe the correct word would be fears thunderstorms. The tiniest threat of a storm puts Peter on heightened alert and you will find him glued to the "Weather Channel" accompanied by a small amount of nervous pacing. Pacing close enough to the television and always aware of any upcoming storms that may appear red or pink on the screen. Now, if storms are appearing across the country, he will need constant reminders that this is taking place in Texas and Peter, you will need an airplane to get there, so you need not worry. Does he really understands? He professes he does, and continues his attention to the television waiting for the local update. During the day time hours, if he is aware of the storms, he will pull all the plugs to the televisions, washing machine, radio's, if it has a plug you will find it lying next to the item that is is attached. He will pull out flashlights, just in case the lights go off, and he will be prepared to go into the basement if alerted to an incoming storm. At night, he seems to be able to hear a storm, long before it approaches, and does not like to be alone. As if he was a toddler, he will come running into my room, attempt to fly over my body, and land next to me in my bed. He hasn't quite caught on that he is a larger person now, and going around the bed would provide more comfort on my part. Especially, because he never quite clear my body. The urgency he displays in an attempt to move into my bed is evident in the modified broad jump he attempts over me to land on the other side.
Recently, after a past thunderstorm, I pondered as to how he developed such a fear of the booms and the bangs. I am thinking I need to raise my hand and take credit for his hate of thunderstorms. Peter, the copy cat, I am sure is emulating my behavior from past storms. Yes, it is true, I do not like thunderstorms and when an individual points out that there is nothing like a good thunderstorm for sleeping, that statement goes beyond my comprehension. Sleeping, during a thunderstorm? How does that work? A thunderstorm, especially a loud and well lit one evokes me into promising God just about everything in order to ensure my safety. How did I come to this? Could it be growing up in tornado alley when if the sirens were going off, you spent no time in getting your anny fanny into some basement, because in those days of prehistorical radar, that siren indicated that tornado was impending, or already past. Could I have developed my strong distaste for storms because following any storm event in my small community where I grew up, my parents would take us all in a car ride to survey the damage and count our blessings that this time we did not get hit. Comforting experience which I think must have set me up believing the next tornado would be going down our street. Or was it the lightening strikes that sizzled in the outlet next to my bed that made me take storms so seriously?

But now for the payback. Peter as he sat by watching me absorbed all these behaviors and now, he probably does not even understand it, he has a fear of the angels bowling and the free light show. Possibly hypnosis would cure this fear, but no logical explanations, no you are safe, no let's enjoy this experience will change his hate of the storm.
It is what it is. I, on the other hand, have become more comfortable with them. Maybe he will pick that up...maybe not. But until that time, I will be rebooting the cable box, replugging, and explaining that really, the storm is in Oklahoma.......

Monday, July 19, 2010


Windows come in all shapes, sizes, and depending on your house's age, will vary from crank windows to those that lift up and down (I am sure there is a name for that). Being an 80's sort of house, we have those long, about 5 feet long, narrow crank type windows in many areas, of course, not the one over the kitchen sink. Nice, long windows that allow a nice breeze on a 72 degree day.
Naps, which young children take, also come in all shapes and sizes, depending on your child. Some children love naps and take two or three naps during the day while others take a relatively one sized long nap. During this nap time, the mother usually has her moment of peace and quiet, possibly watching a favorite television show, or reading a book. It is your choice, you get to choose how you want to spend that hour more or less of pre-arranged quiet time or nap that God built into children so you can maintain your sanity and than move onto the supper hour.
Peter, the child that seemed to be given an overdose of energy and spirit, after spending his pre-walking days sleeping for long periods, after learning to walk seemed to want to use all the daytime hours to motor. So after the age of two, he moved right into that shorter afternoon nap period. That time period was one I relished. A true moment to regroup, an opportunity to sit,clean, or stare aimlessly for the short period of time while he was re-charging for the next eight hours. Major peace and quiet in my mind.
Then, one day, that momentary, my one hour of free time changed. I, thinking Peter was resting well, and doing the usual peek into the door, just to make sure life was good, noticed a bed with no child. Realizing, he had not escaped the room, I quietly opened the door to locate the boy. Noticing he had not removed his body to the floor, I continued my visual search, heart skipping a beat to observe him standing OUTSIDE the window on approximately a four inch landing area below the window, the one where you crank it open, slide off the screen, climb over the window ledge, and somehow manage to position your body on the very tiny landing. My heart was no longer skipping, it was now in my feet as I tried to slowly calmly move to the window, so I would not scare him, and retrieve him. Understand, this bedroom window is on the second floor and situated over the driveway, not a good place to loose your footing and fall.
How he managed to do this, at his very young age, how long he was standing there, how he did not fall, I will never know except that something short of a miracle had just taken place. Peter, stood there quietly, holding onto the outside wall while I slowing grabbed him and brought him back into the bedroom. Again, no discussion was needed as the understanding of how absolutely dangerous this outdoor window standing is, not to mention I just lost another ten years off my life. No, we screwed all those upstairs screens so tight that no one could take them off. And nap time, took on a new meaning where I would plant myself outside his door with one ear tuned to any activity occurring in his bedroom which shortly turned into no nap time.
Remembering this whole event still sends my heart into a bit of a pace, thankful that nothing drastic occurred that day, but also realizing that this just was Peter, always quietly exploring a new venue without one ounce of care in the world that he could be in danger. Trusting that he would be found, would be safe, and life would just go on another day. So, innocent in his mind, a tad bit unnerving in my mind.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I Love My Children

Okay, who does not love their children? Of course, there were those teenage years loving could potentially be a bit of a challenge. Or thoses days that you momentarily lose that loving feeling, but overall, I have great kids! So, when did this revelation take place, as if I should not have known this all along. On the Fourth of July, during the annual fireworks, I realized I needed to take a moment to recount my blessings. What happened that day that caused me to reflect on my family?
On the Fourth it does not take much to evoke all those warm and fuzzy feelings about family and fun. The picnics and parades are usually enough to conjure up some past memory of a happy time when the kids were young and life seemed oh so "Normal Rockwellish". But this year, standing on the boat dock watching Sara and Mike keep Peter in one place so I could enjoy the fireworks, was just as rewarding as watching the fireworks.
We were able to partake the firework watching on a sailboat, or if you did not fit, on the pier that surrounds all those lovely boats owned by those individuals who partake in water events such as sailing, jet skiing, and boating . Thinking this would be great opportunity to get close and personal to the fireworks, , we ventured down to the local yacht club to join in the others already stationed in or on the boat. This boat is owned by Nick's grandparents who recently moved it to the Kenosha harbor. Obviously, we all momentarily forgot that although Peter had formed a new found love for boats, that would big boats, easily accessible boats that one could hold a hand and skip across the water and land inside the boat. We somehow, forgot, or more likely, being new to this adventure did not realize that in order to get the our boat, we would need to work down the four foot wide pier that was now already covered with chairs, and people who already were imbibing, and dogs! Yes, dogs, tons of dogs, big ones, small ones, nice ones, and a few pit bullish looking dogs. How we would ever get Peter to walk the two blocks intertwined with dogs, people, and parties would take a minor miracle. I had given up the minute we were inside the locked door where Peter was had this great attachment to going to the bathroom in order to avoid the trip down the pier. However, Sara and Mike were all about taking on the task. of convincing Peter this was the best way to view the bright colored splashes or orange or pink or purple and OOOH and AWWW. I, on the other hand, was ready to jump ship to the small grassy oasis outside the yacht club.
Nope, Sara was fully convinced that she could handle this, and " please I can do it and you go ahead, mom". Of course, she had already gained Peter's respect that day as he had earlier decided that he was only listening to Sara and Mike, and somehow I had been demoted. Knowing, I was no longer first in command, I twisted through dogs and people to get to the boat. I must admit I did return a few times to to check on the progress and offer my willingness to move to the grass . However between Sara and Mike there was no going back. The amount of patience Sara displayed was awesome. On one of my returns I noticed her jumping up and down on the pier demonstrating to Peter that it would not break. Another time, discussing the benefits of this mode of fireworks watching. Forty five minutes later, and a boatload of patience, Peter finally made his way through the party goers and dogs to very tentatively agree to stand and only stand and watch the show. Just in time for the fireworks to start. Mike, during this time was adding his support and encouragement and after Peter arrived, took over the official duty of standing close enough to Peter during the entire display to ensure that if Peter took one step sideways he could grab the back of his shirt and prevent any unexpected swimming events. Mike, always on the lookout for the new misstep that could occur. You see, this incredibly nice man whose yacht was within five feet of us graciously played all those patriotic songs Peter loves, so Peter also took up pier dancing. Quite a trick when you only have about four feet of dance floor.
Sitting back admiring the fireworks, I admired the two of them taking on that task. A major undertaking on their part. event, whatever you would like to call it, one that makes a mother proud! The fireworks were spectactular, my kids awesome!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

My New Homepage

Metra...the train that takes us to Chicago. The train Peter loves, the one that Peter enlists the help of Youtube to make it sound as if the Metra is landing in my family room. Yes, the Metra. Today when I logged onto my homepage which is usually just good old MSN is now the Metra homepage. can one who cannot read or write turn my boring MSN homepage into the Metra??? Please? I know I will need to ask Mike to change it back, because I will not know how to change my homepage, but obviously Peter had no problem locating Metra and than making it my new homepage. Actually, it is growing on me and maybe I will just keep it. Realistically, now that Peter has "figured this one out" he will always change my homepage to the Metra, or possibly a different one that will meet his needs. Yes, I think I will just out smart the boy and keep it on the Metra. Ha..will see where that goes?

Of course, on Peter's recent visit he also once again changed the answering machine to something like "Hi Mike, call me, I am waiting for you, call me back"....and, you know...I am taking a stand here. I am not changing that greeting. It is what it is...and oh well, so it does not meet the standard greeting criteria , I am thinking it works for me. Besides, even though I will change it know, the minute he has that opportunity to change to make his own thing, he will.
So, today Peter is the winner in the Mexican standoff. I think I will succumb...I will let Peter rule the answering machine and the Internet....does it really matter anyway? The phone will ring, and those who really need to leave a message, they will. And the homepage...the Metra works for me. Life goes on, and really, I must admit, when I open my computer, I think of Peter, and the machine..yes, a divine reminder of his tricks! Have a nice day!