Tuesday, November 9, 2010

ring on foot ~ love

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Sunday, February 7, 2010

There are some things you can't buy in a box at Wal-Mart

~ Winter Fun ~

As I was tucking Cajes in bed earlier, I kissed him goodnight and as I was shutting the door he said “Mama, I really want a brother or sister who can sleep in my room with me.” I said “I know you do baby… I know.” This is not the first time we have encountered this conversation and I’m sure it won’t be the last. This is typical, day-to-day wishful thinking in our house as well as my constant prayer. I want another child. I do. I always thought I’d be the kind of mama who had a handful of children, you know the older kids holding the little ones hands as we cross streets, at least enough children for a small band. But getting started late in the game has made me realize that I would be perfectly content with two.

We go to great lengths seeking a return to the days of cooing, diapers, crying, and midnight feedings….I know this all sounds questionable and a bit absurd when we have a perfect pattern down pat with Cajes who can get up and get his own breakfast and let the dog out. But the desire for another sweet little baby can’t be quenched. And if you think we want a baby….you haven’t seen the passionate plea from a five year old for a baby. Only he doesn’t really understand the science that goes along with conception. Cajes thinks we can just order a baby… “Just tell God we want one and he’ll give it to us”…or... just head down to Wal-Mart and pick one up in the baby department. It’s been difficult to teach such an innocent little soul that the sting of reality sometimes burns.

It doesn’t make things easier that his best friends at school have siblings. This reminds him everyday that he doesn’t. So each afternoon as I pick him up we go through the conversation all over again about his desperation of not having someone to play with, someone he could teach to read and write, someone he could share his room and toys with (though I bet that would change), someone he can tell his secrets to, play in the snow with, swing on his swing set with ~ and someone he can share his love with. Last Monday he cried his eyes out because saying he “just wishes he had someone to play with.” And don’t get me wrong…. Ben and I do play with him, and have played more in the past year than possibly in our own childhood—we’ve been cast into the Scooby Doo characters at least once daily since last October… but that isn’t the same for Cajes as having a sibling, I know.

I know because I was Cajes. I was the only child. I was terribly lonely and wanted someone that could play Barbies with me or challenge my mud pie making skills. I was that little girl that talked loudly to be sure I was heard, who played alone when I got home from school and imagined how other little kids lived. I found happiness in the friendship of people in their 70’s and animals who must have understood me because they let me dress them in baby clothes and push them in my stroller and drank my muddy water that I called coffee. Let it be known: I had/have cousins who I dearly loved to play with and to this day love like sisters, but I wanted someone to share stories with in the still of the night, any night, every night.

Because I want to fulfill my child’s every dream—I catch myself trying to supplement the love of a sibling that Cajes seeks by buying him “things”—toys, movies, blankets—things he loves (and I know this isn’t a fix— so please don’t tell me, I know). For brief moments I catch a glimpse of satisfaction in his eyes. For brief moments those things are a band-aid for something I really can’t buy in a box at Wal-Mart. For a moment I am able capture what his heart desires. But it’s always short-lived and only for brief moments. And by morning the new has worn off and he longs for a brother or sister again, to share those “things” with.

But conception when you are 38 isn’t always easy. For some lucky couples, conceiving a child is an easy feat requiring only a few cheap beers and a night of boring re-runs. But for others (like us), getting the sperm and egg together for a meet-and-greet will take months, if not years, of frustration, ovulation predictor kits, basal thermometers, calendars, consultations with doctors, and thousands of dollars in testing, hormone shots and medical intervention. We have now put our brakes on after the last round of testing, the most recent being a procedure where they injected dye into my fallopian tubes to make sure my pipes were clean. It hurt. Really. Since there were no blockages impeding the egg/sperm rendezvous, we are hoping that maybe now, since my tubes have been flushed out well that we will have better luck. We have "undiagnosed infertility." Our next option is Clomid, and I’m not prepared to consider it yet.

See, in your 20’s conception is usually a no-brainer (along with other abilities like looking good in a tube top and talking your way out of a speeding ticket). Your eggs are at their farm fresh best so they’re ripe for fertilization. Because they’re healthy, there’s less chance of chromosomal abnormalities, and there’s also far less chance of suffering a miscarriage. Though it may have been easier to conceive in my 20s, it would have been harder to parent. We were less financially stable and more emotionally immature. Plus, we were still defining who we were as individuals. But now we are not just in our 30’s…we are in our late 30’s. And after reaching the age of 35, I’ve be given the dreaded label of “AMA: Advanced Maternal Age." Conception is more of a challenge since my eggs (thankfully, still floating around in there) have started to show their age and because there is no Botox to perk these eggs up.

Now that I’ve blurted out our daily pregnancy and conception lesson I will conclude with a few final thoughts. Cajes is meant to be a brother. When we went out to dinner for my birthday he just didn’t understand why weren’t having lots of friends over for cake and presents. Even after explaining that when you get older it’s not always as important. Well it was important to Cajes. When I arrived from the store (birthday night) he had all of his “babies” (i.e., stuffed animals) in a circle wrapping around the entire living room. And in his twangiest, country voice, my son—who hates singing or hearing people sing—belted out Happy Birthday with his hand up the bottom of a puppet raccoon! And then we had cupcakes and presents with just the 3 of us (oh! and the 40 babies). That’s love folks. That’s the kind of love a kid needs to share.

Finally, when I mentioned earlier that we (the whole family) have been cast into Scooby Doo characters I am being for real. This is the line-up-- Ben is Fred, I am Daphne, Cajes is Shaggy, Dempsey is Scooby and as Cajes reminds us every time “Velma hasn’t been born yet.” So as I go to sleep tonight I will pray that God will please, please, please deliver us a Velma…. A little bit of each of us is desperate for a Velma.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Under Pressure

In all of my music listening years....few songs have gripped my heart quite as tightly as this one. I remember seeing it on Carson Daily and having Ben play it over and over and over. There are days when I feel like I can't take anything else or handle anymore but then-- I play this and all is well again:

Mm ba ba de
Um bum ba de
Um bu bu bum da de
Pressure pushing down on me
Pressing down on you no man ask for
Under pressure - that burns a building down
Splits a family in two
Puts people on streets
Um ba ba be
Um ba ba be
De day da
Ee day da - that's o.k.
It's the terror of knowing
What the world is about
Watching some good friends
Screaming 'Let me out'

Pray tomorrow - gets me higher
Pressure on people - people on streets
Day day de mm hm
Da da da ba ba
Chippin' around - kick my brains around the floor
These are the days it never rains but it pours
Ee do ba be
Ee da ba ba ba
Um bo bo
Be lap
People on streets - ee da de da de
People on streets - ee da de da de da de da
It's the terror of knowing
What this world is about
Watching some good friends
Screaming 'Let me out'
Pray tomorrow - gets me higher high high
Pressure on people - people on streets
Turned away from it all like a blind man
Sat on a fence but it don't work
Keep coming up with love
but it's so slashed and torn
Why - why - why ?
Love love love love love
Insanity laughs under pressure we're cracking
Can't we give ourselves one more chance
Why can't we give love that one more chance
Why can't we give love ~ give love ~ give love ~ give love
give love ~ give love ~ give love ~ give love ~ give love
Cause love's such an old fashioned word
And love dares you to care for
The people on the edge of the night
And loves dares you to change our way of
Caring about ourselves

This is our last dance
This is our last dance
This is ourselves
Under pressure
Under pressure

Friday, July 17, 2009

"Every pictures tells a story, don't it?"

Dear Friends and Family~
We are ultimate slackers!! I've been super-lazy with our blogging and I haven't been very consistent about keeping up with what's going on with our lives. I am sorry. We have had a wonderful summer....busy and exciting...so much so that I have a hard time putting it all in to words. I guess I've written 10 blogs in my mind since April but it's all old news by now. So I thought I'd do a Picture Blog of our summer. I mean, a picture is worth a thousand words, right? So here ya go....

We ended spring and started summer with Cajes playing t-ball and graduating from his preschool program at His Kids. T-ball was really cute but a little boring for Cajes. It's hard for him to concentrate in the outfield for that long--but he did his best and picked lots of grass and clover. He enjoyed playing in the dirt more than playing baseball. Preschool graduation was an event only to be summed up by watching the video. In hindsight it's funny--but at the time it was confusing and a little uncomfortable to watch.

We planted a garden in May which takes a lot of work!! We've played with lots of bugs and spent many a night this summer catching lightening bugs but they sure are hard to get a picture of...
We've watched things bloom and fade away....

And some things just keep standing....weathering every storm.
We've been to a wedding and some funerals
bringing a close reminder of the sanctity and brevity of life and love.

I was very, very, very lucky to land a ticket just a few hours before the Phish show here in Asheville. This was completely unexpected and AWESOME!! I had been wishing, hoping and praying that someone would have an extra but they were scarce. People waiting outside were willing to trade 5 Knoxville tickets and cash for an Asheville ticket....really! It was an exhilarating way to start a week long vacation!!

The day after Phish we began our journey to Miami to visit Ted, Jack, Sally & Connor. We spent over a week there and had so much fun!! This trip was long overdue--as we don't get to spend as much time with them as we'd like --so we cherish these moments. It's hard living so far apart from people you love and want to share every day moments with. It was a wonderful trip (despite sun poisoning the 13+ hour car ride with a four year old).... and we all had a hard time readjusting to life in the real world when we got home.

Uncle Ted took us to the Everglades to an Alligator Farm where we got to pet an alligator...and actually had a close encounter with a wild alligator that wasn't part of the show. He came out of the woods and tried to slide in behind the bushes where we were standing in this picture. Not cool at all.

I love this picture of Connor!!
Uncle Ted cools off Cajes' feet from the smoking hot sand.

Cajes making biscuits with grandmama on our trip back through to Asheville--


We went to the one-and-only Annual Allison Family Reunion at the end of June where we almost started some real fireworks....Cajes had a minor altercation with another little boy causing the little boy to fall down a very steep hill. This led to his grandma finding me and saying "Is that your little boy running around in the plaid shorts??" and I said "Yes ma'am..." She leans in with her thick smelling layer of Avon mixed with blue hair dye and said "Well....I'm not 'tattling' on him--BUT.....he pushed my grandson down that bank out there on purpose." Needless to say we apologized but her grandson was only two and didn't need to be climbing on that steep bank anyway. My Aunt Carol told Cajes not to worry about it and any time someone gets in his way "just to move 'em over."

Things quietened down when the Bingo cards came out....people were excited about the $10 Hardee's cards and forgot all about Cajes acting like a normal four-year old.Cajes did go in the church and ask God to forgive him for "accidentally" pushing the child down the hill. No, I didn't force him to do this. He offered, hoping it would make it all go away so he could get back to playing on the bank. I had to take a picture of it of course.

After the reunion we went down on Carol and Sam's land.....Cajes played in the mud and pond as Carol and I took a ride through Bear Holler to look for signs of recent bears. They have had a mama and her two cubs eating there just that week--and for those of you who know me well--you know that would just make my day to see a bear.
One thing I love about summer the most is all of the tailgate markets and fresh flowers, fruits and veggies available. If we don't have it in our own garden--we can find it there. I think the colors of fresh vegetables are just soooo pretty!!Oh I love these feet!!
We have witnessed the birth of lots of new life~
from Robins and Wrens,
Tadpoles turning in to Frogs,
and Caterpillars turning to Butterflies....

Our resident Noise-Maker!!

We went to a cookout at Heather and Keith's house for the 4th of July....it was laid back, fun and entertaining. The kids played in the kiddie pool and made a mess with bubbles while we feasted!! Great fun for the kids and a little fellowshipping for the parents.
Oh My God!! How CUTE is this???


We've spent some time exploring this summer. And last week we went to Neil's Creek off the South Toe River making our way up to Mount Mitchell. The last time we took Cajes he was an infant and it was freezing. Even though he reminded us the whole way there that he remembered it we know that was unlikely, unless he has supernatural forces. He loved it this time and was able to understand the point of it....(no pun intended).
Cajes was invited to Vacation Bible School and he LOVED it of course!!
He went every day and thought it was awesome!! He sang and danced in front of people with no reservations or insecurities.

Cajes and Elijah
Friends Forever