Monday, January 25, 2010

How not to start a conservation with your mother

I feel pretty proud of myself that I am not that obsessive, worrying type of mother. I thought I was pretty cool under most circumstance.

When my almost two year-old was standing at the sliding glass door with blood covering his face and needed 30 stitches, I calmly grabbed a towel covered his head, instructed my daughter to call her dad and then stood on the driveway holding him until Garth came and picked us up. I then laid on him for an hour to hold him still while the plastic surgeon stitched him back together. I was calm.

When the same child fell off a couch I let him walk around on a broken foot for two weeks before taking him to the doctor and finding out his foot was broken. (I know that sounds cruel but it was a couch a foot and a half off the ground for heavens sakes.)

When my daughter was head butted in soccer and had her lips smashed into her braces and her jaw dislocated, she pulled her lips out and a father on the team realigned her jaw, we rinsed out her mouth and she continued to play. No wasted trip to the hospital and I didn't freak out.

When the same daughter informed me that she had repelled off a train tressel hundreds of feet high, in the middle of the night, with trains going across, I didn't freak out. Just reminded her that that probably wasn't the smartest thing to do.

When my son was sent to live in Bogota, Colombia for two years, I didn't freak out. And when he told us how he had been bitten by a dog, held up at gun point, chased by gangs, and almost choked to death, I didn't freak out.

When my 16 year-old called to tell me he had wrecked my car and was in his fourth accident in less than a year - I did freak out. Well, wouldn't you have?

Overall, I feel as though I have a pretty good track record, so when my son who lives 600 miles away calls and starts a conservation with, "Okay mom, don't freak out." What are you supposed to think? Obviously, you think of accident, right? But how bad can it be because my child is talking to me on the phone, so he isn't dead yet. But of course, your mind races way at a thousand miles a second thinking of all the worst things that could have happened.

He then proceeds to tell me that he hit heads with another kid and has a gash on his forehead that needs stitches. Is that all? All those visions of mangled cars, broken limbs, or severed fingers for just a cut that needed stitches! Doesn't he know his own mother? Doesn't he know I'm not the "freak out" type of mom?

I guess not.

Maybe I ought become that "freak out" mom type and show him just how lucky he has been all his life.

Friday, January 22, 2010

"Oh, the weather outside is frightful"

I live in the desert. We don't get much rain. We average 7 inches a year; that is our average and we haven't gotten that in the last couple of years. We average 364 days a year of sunshine. That means that we never have to worry about getting rained out of anything. We only worry about heat and pray for a change in the weather.

So imagine our surprise when last Sunday the meteorologist announced that the Phoenix area would be getting 8 inches of rain this week. There would be change in our weather and next came the media blitz! Since the media gets excited anytime there is a prediction for change in our weather, and most of the time it doesn't happen, we were all doubtful that we would end up with even an inch of rain.

Well, this time they got it right. Monday it started to rain a bit, but Tuesday evening we got hit with the first big down pour (we've hardly had a reprieve since). At about 6:30 I was fixing dinner when I got a call from Garth on his way home from work. He had a flat tire on the freeway, almost at the exit to our house. You know every person that creeped by him that night was so glad it wasn't their vehicle with the flat.

His truck is a monster to change tires on and he wasn't in a safe place to do it, it was raining buckets of water and it was dark. We debated what to do, called a couple of friends to get advice and eventually I borrowed a heavy duty jack and set off to help Garth change the tire.

By the time I got there, one of the friends I'd called was already that and he and Garth were about done (yea, I didn't have to get soaked) They were soaked to the bone, but within 10 minutes Garth was home. Thank goodness for great friends!

Moral of the story is, when the tire pressure light goes on and you can get off the freeway and find shelter and light at a QT, don't think you can make it home. And sometimes the meteorologists are right in their predictions.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

It's About Time

As you can see it is past the middle of January and I'm barely getting around to blogging about our holidays. (I hope that isn't a sign of what the year to come will be like!)

Once all our family got home we had plenty to do before Christmas even got here. We had to take Amelia to have her first picture with Santa.
Take a family photo for our Christmas cards that never got made or sent. (Sometimes something just has to give and that is what I gave up on this year. I've had terrible guilt but it will eventually go away.) We do look pretty good don't we. What is even better is that we didn't even plan on taking our picture that day and everyone just happened to coordinate. I just love it when things like that happen.
We had to make a quick trip to St. Johns so Amelia could meet all of her great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. My dad even came over from Albuquerque. Here is Garth with his mom and Amelia.
Amelia also needed her first hair cut which I wasn't too happy about being chosen to do. The top and sides turned out pretty okay but the back looked awful. Good thing Lonica has her wear headbands all the time.
And of course we had to play with Amelia every moment she was awake.
Finally, Christmas Eve arrived and we all sat down for dinner. Without Anita, Rob and their kids here this year our table seemed kind of empty. But for the first time in two years we had Jason home and that was wonderful!
After Christmas Day, we just sat around for the next week in a messy house, eating, playing games and going to movies. It was wonderful. Here we are having a fondue dinner with Preston's friend, Clark. He was really impressed with fondue and we taught him to play hearts. That is all he still wants to play.
Scott also made us a speculaas-cake. Anita had brought the recipe and spices for it last year, but we never had time to make it. None of us had eaten it before or knew what it was supposed to look like but right or wrong it was delicious!
Finally, on New Year's Day I decided to get outside and get some exercise by hiking with a friend, Terry, and his friend. This is a picture at the beginning of our hike (actually we'd probably gone a mile already) and you can see Flat Iron (our destination) way in the background, it's that point clear in the back.
Once we got to the top of Flat Iron we could see the top of the Superstitions about 1/2 mile further, so of course we had to go up there. Here I am at the top and you can see Flat Iron down to the right of me. It was a good way to start the new year - on top of the world (or the top of the Valley).
Since that day life has gotten back to normal. I'm taking four classes this semester, Lonica, Scott and Amelia went back to Ohio, Jason went back to Utah, Preston started his last semester of high school, Garth, Dave, Raquel and I all went back to work. So while life is back to our same routine, we will always look back to this past Christmas as one of our best - just a lot of family time, good food and relaxation.