Sunday, December 27, 2009

Max's New Buddy

Nana continued her tradition of making life-sized dolls for the boys and introduced Max to his this Christmas. The tradition is that it will be named whatever Max chooses and can say. (So it's yet to be named, though it looks like it's leaning towards an 'A' name.)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

We hope everyone has a day filled with family, friends, good food and safe travels!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

80's Keys

We found my old Casio PT-100 keyboard in the storage unit yesterday. We're talking old school! I loved this keyboard growing up for it's awesomely cheesy rhythm banks (Bossa Nova was my fave) and synthesized strings, perfect for playing Axel F. We decided to load it up with fresh batteries for Max and the boy LOVES it!

We also found Max a Christmas church outfit last night. Mommy was *very* excited to have him try it on this morning and accidentally stuck both of his little legs in one. (Whoops, my bad!)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Olympic Dreams

Last night was the second night in a row I dreamt very vividly that I was an Olympic swimmer. (The difference in last night's dream vs the first night's was that it's soundtrack was by Mannheim Steamroller.) The Penn State women's volleyball coach was our coach and he decided to put me into a relay at the very last minute. I was all "Put me in, Coach! I can do it!" and was jumping up and down raising my hand like a fifth grader trying to be called on in class. He finally said "You're in!" and told me to get going. He didn't tell me what stroke I was swimming in the relay, which freaked me out. I kept trying to ask the other swimmers what I was supposed to do, but no one answered, so I figured I'd just figure it out when I got up on the starting block.

I was also wearing a very Mom-ish moo moo type swimsuit, so I didn't match the other swimmers in their sleek racing suits. *sigh* Such is life...

It turns out I was to race the breaststroke leg of the relay, which was a huge relief because it's my breast (I mean, BEST) stroke. HA! HA! (I used to be on swim team in junior high for real, yo.) The rest of the story goes downhill from here. I did my laps and did okay, but we didn't win. I remember being very proud to hear the National Anthem played, though. I think I cried with pride. I mean, I was an OLYMPIAN.

I guess that's probably how it is for real Olympians. I'll just stick to dreaming. :)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

White Christmas

It looks like we're going to have a White Christmas after all! Max enjoyed his first sled ride yesterday immensely!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Random Tidbits

I'm trying to pass time away as we wait to hear the results of Michael's latest CT scan, so I thought I'd blog out a bunch of random things I've been meaning to write about...

Max is proving to be the little jokester. The other day we were sitting on the floor watching Sesame Street and he was eating a cracker. He got up and walked behind me to play peek-a-boo and then reached out to feed me what I thought was a piece of the cracker. I bit into it and realized it was actually a teeny piece of PAPER. I pulled it out of my mouth and he threw his head back and laughed as if to say "Ha! Sucker!"

Max & I attended a church dinner with Nana last week and I think it's safe to say he was a hit. He charmed everyone and their mothers. Everyone at our table was amazed at his mad utensil using skills and kept commenting on how well adjusted he was and how he doesn't put on a 'show', he's just *that* happy and pleasant. (I was very proud.) After the dinner there was a little concert of Christmas music by an all ladies barbershop group. One of the ladies at our table really wanted to see Max walk, so I put him down as they were assembling to begin. He walked away to the next table (of strangers), stood beween them and greeted them. One of the ladies picked him up... and the concert began. It then became apparent to me that my child was not going to be sitting with me during the show. Hilarious! He stayed with that lady for awhile, then got down and started walking amongst the other surrounding tables. Thankfully, no one was annoyed with a little guy toddling around and kept trying to reach out to get him to stop so THEY could pick him up. I counted and he made contact with no less than a dozen people during the concert! We'll obviously have to teach him about 'strangers' eventually, but it was really heartwarming to see everyone's faces light up when he walked over to them.

Our latest trick is blowing kisses. And yes, he blew kisses as we said goodbye to people at the dinner. :) He also waves to people from the grocery cart. Oy, what have we started?! To quote my husband: "All three of us have nasty head colds. This is retribution for having a flirtatious son...a.k.a...."germ magnet".

This past Friday night I went to the Penn State Santa Crawl with some of Michael's classmates. The Crawl consisted of at least 50 people dressed up in holiday garb- as Santa, elves, or in my case, a reindeer. (I picked the reindeer headband because it made Max laugh when I tried it on in the store.) My favorite Santas of the evening were a Chef Santa (complete with the huge tall hat), a 60-something Boston Marathon Santa (he'd actually run it), and a Run DMC Santa. The girls and I had dinner before the crawl and then joined in at the second bar. There was a huge hollowed-out sleigh and as we walked to each establishment people would 'ride' (walk) in it. The most hilarious part was that they would bike lock it to a pole outside each bar! The whole thing was very festive and jolly and I was surprisingly pleased that it wasn't 'cliquey'- it was just a bunch of strangers & friends dressed in funny outfits celebrating the season. I joked with the girls that I was flattered that they thought I still had what it took to do a bar crawl (they're all anywhere from 4-10 years younger than this old girl) and that I'd probably only make it for one or two stops before heading home. Surprisingly, I made it for 4 or 5 and stayed out till midnight! Whoo-hoo, party animal. ;) It's fun though because not only are they a super fun bunch of girls, but one of them is also a mother of a 2 year old, so we have something in common. We joked that it was 'Momma's Night Out'. All in all, it was a blast and I'm really glad I went. Probably will next year too if they're up for it! (Above photo courtesy of Taran!)

Sunday night Michael and I attended the annual Theatre Department Christmas party at one of his professor's homes. Also a great time- good food, drinks and friends. My favorite part of the evening was when a complete stranger saw us talking and commented that we 'looked like newlyweds'! It'll actually be four years next month!

UPDATE!!! Michael just called from Hershey: the previous lumps that were found at the last scan have NOT grown! His oncologist will continue checking in on him every three months, but he continues to be CANCER FREE!!!

Time for me to go throw up in relief.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Nana had a chore for Max this week. He helped her clean out her tupperware cupboard so she could sort the bowls/lids. In turn, he got to play in a fun little cubby!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Good News, and Some Thoughts

First off, we got news today that Aunt Jean's surgery went very well today. If the next 48 hours go well (and theses are the diciest hours of the the procedure) then Jean will be moved to the neuro wing of the hospital, which a a very good thing. Thank you for all your well wishes and prayers. This has been a torturous year for Allan and Jean, and we hope that the news will only get better for them from this point forward.

On another note, I noticed that NY state legislature voted down a bill that would allow gay marriage. As I read several stories on the subject, I found myself reading the "comments" section underneath the articles. I have my own views on the subject, which I'll get to later, but what amazes me is the hostile dialogues people will engage in. No one can hear what the other person is saying. I've never known a problem so dangerous it can't be talked about, but I believe we have lost the ability to have a thoughtful, respectful, and meaningful debate in this country. People (I can be included in this group) are quick to anger, quick to take offense, and as a result, nothing gets done. No points of views are shared. I don't know the solution. I think listening is involved, but I know it's hard for me to listen when the first thing I hear is something I totally disagree with. I shut down. I think "horse feathers" (okay, not really, but this is a "G" rated blog)and think of the first condescending, nasty thing I can say. What is the solution? For my part, I need to listen more. I'm not the "end all, be all" of knowledge. Do I think I'm right? Of course! And maybe that's why I should shut up and listen. At the very least, I'll be able to understand what the other person values, and then maybe I can be respectful of that and have a meaningful dialogue. Will the other person be as respectful? I hope so, but experience (and 100,000 blog posts) say otherwise.

That being said, I was disappointed the measure didn't pass. I'm not sure I fully understand the reason behind the defeat and the rallying cry of opposition which, to my understanding is, marriage is between a man and a woman because that's how God wants it, or because that's the natural way of nature. I respect a person's right to believe in any faith they chose. For my part, as a Unitarian Universalist, I believe in a concept of God that is accepting and loving, even of the things that I don't understand or fear. Homosexuality is not the typical orientation in nature, but it is of nature.. It is found in nature, and not just in our species. But that being said, marriage is at the center of the argument (though I have my suspicions that there is a larger issue at hand). My definition, based on my experience, is that marriage is between three entities. Traditionally, it's been a man, a woman, and the state that demands $50 to provide them the marriage certificate. Did my wife believe that I loved her before we got married or after? I'm going to hazard a guess and say "Before", just 'cause I'm an optimist. I made a commitment to her long before I proposed. The marriage ceremony was for us, too. We didn't invite the state, because we felt the state would have other things to do that day, and frankly, I would have been surprised if it did show up. The only thing that is different between my wife and I and our homosexual friends who are in committed relationships is that Angie and I get certain legal benefits from the state, and our homosexual friends don't. And to me, that's unacceptable. If the church wants to deny marriage to people who are homosexual, that's their prerogative. There are many Christian congregations that will allow marriage ceremonies between same-sex couples. Perhaps if it were called something else for legal purposes, like "Maniage", or "Femiage" when applied to gay and lesbian couples and "Heterioge" when a man and woman get hitched, and "marriage" when the church is involved, the problem might resolve itself?

Probably not. But it's nice to dream. I understand that separating one's faith from one's politics is almost impossible to do. I guess what I'd like to hear is a good legal reason to deny same-sex couples the opportunity to enter in a state recognized marriage. Of course, that statement inherently implies that the reason must be "good" in my eyes as well as the person who provides it. Very unfair of me, I know, but that's the fly in the ointment, as it were.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Prayer Request

Hi everyone,

Thoughts, prayers, positive vibes or whatever you may subscribe to would be appreciated for my Aunt Jean (and Uncle Allan) tomorrow morning. It has been almost a year since she was the victim of a horrible hit-and-run in Brooklyn.

To assure I give the correct information for your prayers, here's a bit of info sent to me by my uncle:

"The surgery date is exactly 50 weeks since her first surgery after the accident. The surgery procedure is called cranioplasty and will take a little over three hours. During the surgery the two surgeons will implant the "flap" that was made by a computer with a digital scan of her head. The flap is designed to exactly fit the opening where she has no skull. (Note: she has been wearing a helmet to protect her brain all year) There are some serious risks with the surgery, but it is not an option to not have the implant. After the surgery, if all goes well, they project that she will have loss of function, both motor skills as well as cognitive skills. Jean will start rehab as soon as possible."

So, as you can see, there's obviously a long road ahead. Jean & Allan are amazing people and every single good thought to help strengthen & sustain them through this journey will be very much appreciated. Thank you!