Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Roadtripin' Weasels

Ah, the open road in a closed up minivan filled with 4 of the Weasel Children, both of their parents, countless hamburger wrappers and the smell of burning diesel or did Boy Weasel forget to shower this morning? , for a 10 hour cross country haul to Grandmother's house we went.

* Yes, We left 17 year old Eldest Weasel......home alone because she had to sing and dance to Bob Seger in her underwear through the house work obligations.

The extended family time in the car gave plenty of opportunity for Mr. Weasel and I to pass down generational traditions, such as yelling, "Stop poking your sister", "Keep your hands to yourself", and even the grand pooba of family road trip cliche phrases, "Don't Make Me Turn This Car Around!". 

At one point I threatened to leave Smallest Weasel on the side of the turnpike if she asked "How much longer until we get there?" one more time in the next 10 minutes (This question had been posed by her approximately every 5 minutes since the first hour in the car).

Speaking of the turnpike, around hour 6, just when I am starting to get punchy, I usually don't get stabby until around hour 9.  while cruising through Ohio, heading east mind you, Mr. Weasel and I spot this:

Sorry that it is sideways, but notice that it says SEA-CHI right above the pronouncement of U.S. Mail.  This guy missed his exit 6 hours and 2 states ago!  This clears up so many questions about the U.S.P.S.  It's a wonder we ever get any of our mail.  Anyway, I found the sight amusing and thought that I would share it with you.

We don't get out to my in-laws part of the country very often, but when we do it is nice because not only do we get to visit family, but being only 10 minutes from where Mr. Weasel and I met in college, we get to see many old friends who still live in the area.

Along with the added bonus of my brother in law and his family being in town town simultaneously, we had lunches and dinners with old friends, attended another friends wedding, where we ran into many more blasts from the past.

Sunday morning it was time for Mr. Weasel and I to pack up the car and head home.  The Weasels would stay on and have their own special vacation with their grandparents.  It just so happened to be our 18th anniversary and we decided to drive home, via Cleveland, to do what else........have lunch and visit with yet some more old college friends.  Lunch turned into dinner.  Dinner turned into an overnight stay.

The next morning we continued our relaxing trek home, stopping for outlet mall shopping and eventually dinner, when a thought had come to me; We had not planned a special anniversary trip or organized any formal plans to see the people we did.  We just had a date and location for a wedding that turned into the ultimate reunion with both family, friends and each other.  I couldn't have planned a trip this good if I had actually planned it.

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Friday, June 17, 2011

9 Years Post Apocalypse

It's been nearly 9 years since that fateful morning that Mr. Weasel and I awoke to find our entire world crumbling down around us.  In one brutally swift moment in time, life as we knew it was over.

It was apocalyptic.

Just one short week prior, all had been right with the world.  The doctors had given our brand new baby girl a clean bill of health and we would take her home from the hospital the following day.

Mr. Weasel and I left the NICU during the evening shift change to have a dinner at home with our other children for the first time in a week.  A week that had been filled with fear, anxiety and many more questions than answers.  Yet, we had emerged from that week victorious; I had 5 healthy children, a loving husband and father and a happy home that we would soon bring our newest addition, Claire, into for the first time. 

Anxious to be away from Claire's bedside, I headed back into the car, after a simple meal and a quick visit, for the 40 minute drive back to the hospital.  The sun was shining, the sky had been almost as beautiful as her blue eyes and a warm June breeze drifted through the air.

I was possibly the happiest that I have ever been.

I cranked up the radio in the minivan and sang along with a smile that you couldn't have smacked off my face as Steven Tyler belted out words that surely had been written for me and this exact moment in time. I couldn't wait to get back to Claire and I sure didn't want to miss a thing.   A song that unbeknownst to me, was foreshadowing what was soon to come, the theme song to Armageddon.

A mere 8 days later, it happened.  Death, like a thief in the night, had stolen our beautiful baby girl away from us.  Our world ended.


However, 9 years later, I am here to say that we have survived.  We lived through the trauma, crawled through the rubble, hid in the trenches and sought refuge with fellow survivors.

Though not nearly as stoic, triumphant or glamorous as Hollywood blockbusters with end of the world themes,  We Have Survived.  

Starting from scratch, we began to rebuild our world amidst the fallout.  We slowly regained hope and kept our family huddled close.  There were countless dark days before we ever felt the warmth of the sun on our faces.

Yes, I still long for the world that once was; the innocence, simplicity and luxury of naivety that we once lived, but that world is gone forever.  We live in a new world now.  We've found a 'new normal', and for all of the negatives that we have come through, it's not without positives.  We love deeper, cherish stronger, prioritize better, and appreciate everyday together more sincerely than we ever have before.

Tomorrow, I will bake cupcakes and buy balloons.  All of the Weasels will pile into the minivan and we will head to the cemetery for a somber birthday celebration, as we hold tight the gifts that Claire left behind for us.  Gifts that were tools that carried us through the worst of times; Love, Hope and Joy.

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Monday, June 6, 2011

You'll Go Blind

Every teenage boy throughout the ages has heard the old accolade of "You'll go blind!", most likely from his mother at some point in time.

However, there is not one documented incidence of man, nor boy, having ever permanently lost his vision for failure to heed his mother's repeated warnings.

You may ask yourself, "Why on earth would a mother make up such an atrocious lie to scare her offspring away from such behavior?".  After all, mother's are supposed to be nurturing, loving caretakers put in place to guide their children through the process of learning, growth and maturity.

As a mother, I am here to give you the honest to God, bottom line answer to that question and to eradicate any confusion on the topic of if this act of self can actually endanger your vision.

And that answer is

----------Drum Roll Please------------

Your Mother  wasn't trying to outright lie to you.  It's just that "You'll Shoot Your Eye Out!" was already taken.

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