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Thursday
Aug042011

Craft Project: Sleeping Bags For Their Babies

So far, I am managing my addiction to Pinterest. But this little sleeping bag was so irresitable, that I had a go at it. Now I don't quilt, and I didn't have the time or patience to buy the pattern, so I just, for the most part, guessed.

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In addition to having little bags for the kids' play things, I learned three things in this process:

Hang on to fabric scraps because they might come in handy for other projects. Bucee's sleeping bag...

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...was Harper's dress fifteen months ago.

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Craft/sew because you enjoy it, not because you think the recipient might enjoy the fruits of your labor. When Harper put Sleeping Beauty in her brown floral and dots sleeping bag, and when Sleeping Beauty's yellow skirt showed above the covers, she said to me: "This is not right. Next time, make the covers longer because she's cold."

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When pinning fabrics, pin away from the direction of your feeder, lest you be stabbed and stabbed and STABBED. Also, being stabbed by pins will make you feel very much alive. But not in a good way.

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Friday
Jul292011

Those Extra Chipotle Napkins Sure Came In Handy

Three days ago I got a phone call requesting permission to show our house that evening from 7 to 8. Yes, we’ve put the house on the market. Again. No, I don’t want to talk about how it’s going. Though you are about to get the drift.

Clearly, I was not thinking, because no sane person would have agreed to a showing during the precarious hours following a day of school, a thirty minute commute home, runny noses, starvation, and bedtime. At 8.

I was trying to be flexible.

So I sent a message to Jennifer asking her if she thought we should go home and then head out for ice cream and the park at 7, or if we should just go to her parent’s house and let the kids swim. Since my office (and the kids’ school) is only a few miles from her parent’s house, we decided to go there. I can’t reach them on the phone, she says, but I know where the spare key is.

Now, sure, my office is just a few miles from their house, but during rush hour my new office is a twenty minute drive east to their current school, then a thirty minute drive west to Paw Paw Jimmy’s. Equals: almost twice our normal commute for half the mileage.

When I arrived, Jennifer met us at the driveway with dinner and these words: the key wasn’t there.

No key. (Key issues seem to be a common theme for us this summer).

Equals: we’ll eat dinner on the patio, where it’s 100 degrees, and I’m in work clothes which happened to be lined pants and a long-sleeve shirt, and I’m PMSing, and we have no access to the bathroom when the kids will inevitably have to use it. But hey, at least we keep extra swimsuits for the kids there! And their puddle jumpers!

Not soon enough, it was time to pack up and leave. But first we had to endure tantrums from the kids because they wanted to stay and swim and then we had to wrangle flailing limbs into dry clothes for the forty minute drive home. I almost wondered what the neighbors thought of the spectacle in this quiet tree-lined suburb. Almost.

Jennifer spoke with her parents the next day and told them that we’d been at their house the evening before. Oh really?, they said. We didn’t even notice anyone had been there because everything was left so tidy.

Guess no one has stepped in that pile of crap in the grass, then.

Tuesday
Jul262011

The Difference Two Years Makes

Mateo at 14 months (June 2009) and 39 months (July 2011), respectively.

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Thursday
Jul212011

A Family Tragedy, A Community Comes Together

The media has done a number on us as a whole, desensitized us to trauma and heartbreak and disaster. I can read a horrible story, and just keep on clicking to the next link on the news, weather, disaster, sports update, rape, gardening, click, click, click.

But this one is different, and a day hasn't gone by that I don't shed tears and say prayers for the Berry Family.

Ther Berry's lives were turned upside down when, on their way home from a family vacation in Colorado, another vehicle ran into them. Head on. Everyone was buckled in. But at 70 mile an hour on a stretch of dark two lane highway in West Texas, tragedy could not be prevented.

Six-year-old Willa sustained a broken arm and ankle. Her older brothers, Nine-year-old Peter Berry and eight-year-old Aaron Berry sustained major spinal cord injuries. Both boys are paralyzed from the waist down.

Both their parents, Joshua and Robin Berry died immediately.

Both parents.

Imagine.

While I don’t know the Berry’s personally, but I know several people who do. They are neighbors, co-workers, educators, cousins, and friends to the Berry’s. It is a testament to how interconnected we all are as a community. Not just the Houston community, but our regional and national and world community, too, regardless of age, race, religion, sexual orientation, political affiliation, socioeconomic status, or geography. In the midst of unspeakable heartache, people close and people from far away are rallying behind the children, determined to provide support, medical care, love, friendship, and guardianship for these three kids who are not only faced with uncertain physical conditions, but who have lost their Mom and Dad at once.

Imagine.

Please, PLEASE, if you are so moved, please contribute to the Joshua and Robin Berry Children’s Trust Contributions will help fund all of the children’s ongoing needs, including medical rehabilitation, physical therapy, psychological support, and education. For updates on the Peter, Aaron, and Willa and to find out what may be going in your specific community to help, please visit theberrychildren.org

Tuesday
Jul192011

In The Weeks Before Pre-School

Getting ready to pile into the car for our thirty minute commute to their school before pre-school begins in late-August/early-September. I still don't know when. Apparently the new school likes to keep Type A parents in suspense.