Friday, July 8, 2011

Ten Random Shots of Summer... So Far

Around this time last summer, I chose 25 random photos and posted a glimpse of how we'd spent our time and fun things that happened. This year, however, since my camera now has not only a non-functional flash and a USB port that fell into the wrong hands (long story) I have been forced to document our summer on my Blackberry. Let's be clear about this: a Blackberry is awesome for making calls and keeping oneself organized. Taking photos? Not so much in the awesome category. But, hey... you make do with what you have. Here goes...

These two photos are from Jack, Charlie and Sam's Academic Achievement night. All three boys earned straight A's every grading period, thus landing them Principal's Honor Roll for the year. Sam is in the top photo, standing to the right of his good (and very tall) friend, Deonte. Jack and Charlie are smack-in-the-middle of their group in the bottom photo. They're the two who look like they are carrying on a casual conversation while, say, waiting for the bus.

In June, I had the opportunity to travel to my company's office in Greensboro, NC. I got to ride in the company jet. Very nice. After a day at the office in a variety of meetings, I checked in at my hotel and set out to explore the open-air mall across the street. I was delighted to find a nail salon that had walk-in appointments. So,... I walked in. And got a pedicure. It was blissful.

Happy, happy feet. :)

Jack, Charlie and Sam started baseball in late April/early May, if memory serves. It is now July, and we're just starting the final tournaments. This is a long, long time to be heading to baseball games -- several times per week. Especially if you are 2 and don't particularly understand the game, other than "swing, batterbatterbatter...SWING!" and "runrunrun...HOMERUN!" It helps to have a big brothers who, when they aren't playing, will sit and play in the dirt with you.

I saw this somewhere on the Internet and it totally cracked me up. It was titled, "Cat Storage." How can you NOT laugh?!?!

June 14, 2011. Jeff and I celebrated three years of wedded bliss and happiness. We shared our celebration with our "honeymoon baby." Seemed appropriate enough.

Bobby and Sam brushing a goat at the zoo. You don't even want to know how much hand gel I made them use afterward.

Jeff and Bobby on a bike ride. This was Bobby's first experience doing so, and you can totally tell by the expression on his face. This may very well be my new favorite picture of them.

Lastly, I took up knitting this year, and have settled into a niche of baby beanies. I love making them, and am tinkering with the idea of selling them online. In the meantime... if you need a baby gift, just let me know!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Jeff left for his usual 24-hr. shift at 6:30am. I got up, got ready for work, woke Bobby and got him ready to go to daycare. Dropped him off and talked him out of a crying fit because he didn't want me to leave him. Wanted to cry as I left daycare because I had to leave him there. Went to work and tried to shift my focus to two hefty-sized projects that need to keep moving forward. Ran errands at lunchtime, dealing with a temperamental van that only offers air conditioning on a whim -- usually NOT when it's sunny and hell-hot outside... like today. Arrived back at my office (a sweaty mess) and ate lunch at my desk. Happened to catch CNN at 2:12pm, seeing that the Casey Anthony verdict would be read at 2:15pm. Sat stunned in my chair from 2:16pm until, roughly, 3pm. I have wanted to cry since the moment I heard the words "not guilty" spoken from the clerk of the court. And I'm not talking tears of joy, either. Left work, drove to daycare (in my "Chevy Oven") to fetch Bobby. Got home long enough to change clothes, re-pack his backpack and fill water bottles with ice water. Headed to Sam's baseball game where we sweated ourselves into silly puddles in the late afternoon heat. Watched as they lost a close one, simply because they ran out their 1 hr, 50 min time allotment. Packed Sam and Bobby into the (still) hot van and we ran a couple of errands, picked up a modest fast-food dinner and went to the station to visit Jeff. Wolfed down said food as I tried to help Jeff corral Bobby, who was in FULL OUT RUN mode everywhere he went. Piled back into the van and drove Sam to get picked up by his dad. (Jack and Charlie were at a baseball game tonight, otherwise they'd have played into the mix as well.) Made the final drive toward home. On the way -- at precisely 9:21pm -- Bobby completely lost his shit when he realized Jeff still had the two pieces of "I-made-this" (artwork)we brought from school (a.k.a., daycare) today. He wanted those two papers back. Immediately. I tried to tell him in between his screaming sobs that Daddy wanted to put his artwork in his locker so he could think about Bobby while he was away tonight. Ummm... no. This kid was having none of that. So, we rolled into our neighborhood with the windows pretty much up, but not all the way (because it's still HOT in there, remember?). I had to do something to keep the evening walkers/runners from hearing his hysterical screaming fit. We pulled into the driveway and I carried a still-sobbing Bobby into the house, directly upstairs and got him ready for bed. He managed to pull himself together for a brief phone call to Jeff, where we asked him to please bring the drawings home in the morning. Bobby was still doing the staggered-breathing thing that kids usually do following a knock-down, drag-out, holy hell's bells fit. We sat and looked through one book before I put him into bed, gave him a kiss goodnight and told him how much I loved him.

Throughout my day... the entire crazy, busy, run-here, run-there, no time to sit down and relax day... especially with the tail end of said day punctuated by a 2-yr old's hysterical screaming fit over a paper plate on which he sponge-painted... NOT. ONCE. DID. CHLOROFORM. OR. DUCT. TAPE. ENTER. MY. FRAZZLED. MIND.

And when I bent down to kiss Bobby goodnight, I paused -- wondering how anyone, especially a mother, could ever fathom the thought of willfully harming a child. I looked at him laying with his bear and still couldn't wrap my mind around how a mother could not know where her baby is for a month, as she goes out drinking, dancing and getting tattooed. I lose my mind when I don't know where my keys are, or an important piece of paper. I left Bobby's room tonight, listening to the sound of his breathing -- and said a small prayer for Caylee Anthony, wishing her mother could have seen or felt all I was feeling for my own child at that moment.

Monday, July 4, 2011

I find myself with a few minutes before Jeff and I have our "date" on the patio... with a glass of wine each and a fire in the fire pit. The much-expected pops, booms and (minor) explosions are in the air, much to the dismay of Buddy. Hopefully his meds kick in momentarily and he'll be enjoying his high so much, that the fireworks will not bother him in the least. Ah, yes, the fireworks -- telltale signs of the 4th of July, when we celebrate our freedom and remember those who have fought/died (are fighting/dying) for the privilege. This brings me to the ironic realization that while the entire country is whooping it up, eating picnic fare until they are about to pop and setting fire to small explosions... there is at least one person who is faced with having her freedom revoked: Casey Anthony.

Yes, I have become swept up in this soap-opera of trial, often referring to the key players by name, as if I know them personally. I have looked at Caylee's sweet, innocent face in photographs so many times that my heart literally aches each time they air them anymore. And every time the courtroom cameras cut to Casey -- her gaunt face usually screwed into a malicious scowl -- I just want to slap her. Hard. Whether or not she actually did what she is accused of doing is something only she and God knows. Regardless, her negligence on some part is responsible for that precious child's demise. As a parent, I have felt the pressure of being "judged" -- whether by peers, my mother or the public in general. Case in point: dragging two pre-schoolers and a toddler to the grocery store one afternoon, where the three boys worked me down to my very last nerve. And to ice the cake, the two 5-year-olds unbuckled their little brother as I was smack in the middle of loading groceries at the check-out. Tell me there isn't another parent (or even childless adult) out there who wasn't passing judgement on me as I dashed from the check-out lane through the produce department, chasing a laughing toddler, trying to calmly/sweetly call after him... all the while sweating and swearing in my head.

Yes, I have felt judged. However, the microscope of judgement I felt placed under that day is nothing in comparison to what Casey Anthony must be feeling now. And, again... it's ironic that on a day of celebrating freedom in our country, there are 12 individuals who hold her freedom in their hands. Did she do it? Didn't she? Who did? I'm sure the verdict will come soon enough, but it's way too late for Caylee. I don't envy any one of those 12 jury members, because despite the weeks-long trial, all evidence is purely circumstantial. And no matter if the justice system finds her guilty or not, she will have to answer for her actions -- whatever they were or weren't -- later, under God's judgement.