Entry for March 14, 2008
Joe donated 2 prints of a drawing Charlie made to a silent auction for a camp for kids with autism in KC. One was 5 X 7 and one was 8 X 10. The small one sold for $75 and the large one went for $350!!!!!! How wonderful for Charlie, that his love of art can benefit others...
One day, when Bella was an infant, I was sitting on the couch in the living room nursing her. Noah, who was two and a half at the time, toddles in and says, "Mommy, I don't draw on the wall." "That's right, Noah," I say, "You don't draw on a wall, only paper." Then common sense takes over and I ask, "What is Charlie doing?" "Drawing on the wall." AAARRGH!
I run into the dining room. Charlie, my artist, is there and he is standing in front of a huge mural that he had drawn of Mushu, the dragon from the movie Mulan. It was a very large drawing, maybe 5 feet long and 3 feet high. It was absolutely beautiful. Mushu is a Chinese dragon and Charlie had drawn the details perfectly. But, wait a minute, what is this? Awww, Mushu is a male dragon and the drawing was anatomically correct! I sigh. What am I going to do with this obviously male dragon mural on my dining room wall?
I talk to Charlie and explain that all drawings must be done on paper. I ask him to draw the same picture again and give him the paper to use.
Then I call Joe and tell him about the original art work on our wall. He says, we have two options: paint over it or change the decor of the room to an oriental theme. What a wise guy!We decide to paint over it. But we leave it up for a couple of weeks just so we can appreciate Charlie's talent.
So, unknowingly, the new owners will be receiving an original "Charlie," under several layers of paint.
Entry for March 12, 2008
Well, things are wrapping up here in IL. We have less than a month to go before we start our adventure way out west. I called and cancelled my newspaper subscription today. I am s-l-o-w-l-y boxing things up. But, most importantly, I changed my avatar to reflect my state of life right now. Did you notice the suitcases in the background? She's cute, isn't she? They didn't have a plumper body or I would have chosen it. I am on an emotional roller coaster-- alternately eating and crying. It's a bad, bad cycle. Not that I don't want to go, because it is surely God's will that we do. It just isn't easy...
It is time for teacher conferences at Giant Steps, Charlie's school. I e-mailed his teacher and asked if I could do a phone conference-- it would save me half a day and time is of the essence right now. He e-mailed me back and said, yes, the phone conference this Thursday would be fine. Then he told me that they were planning a good bye assembly for Charlie during school on his last day, April 4th. I burst into tears. Wow. What a send off. Charlie gets his own assembly. The people over at GS are so unbelievable. Just when you think they care too much, there they go again. The staff there constantly go above and beyond what would be expected of them. It is a good place.
After I stopped crying, I forwarded the e-mail to Joe and said, "Please be home for this." He e-mails me back, "Honey, that's this Thursday, in two days, I can't fly home for that." Huh? Then I realize he thinks I want him home for the phone conference, not the assembly, which was what I was talking about! Does he really think I want him to get on a plane, fly home and make a phone call? Have I been acting THAT irrational??? Have I completely lost it, or give the appearance of having completely lost it?? I mean, I cry a lot, but I believe I still have some sanity left... I e-mail him back and ask him these hard questions. I guess this is the kind of miscommunication that happens when you talk to your husband mostly through e-mail...
Well, on a day that was spent mostly crying, at least I had one good laugh.
Entry for February 25, 2008
I dropped Joe off at the airport last night. On the way there, Charlie was in the back seat saying, "broccoli." He just kept saying it in different ways, "BROCK-lee, brock-a-lee, broccoli, BROCCOLI!!!" I'd LOVE to know what is in his head...
There is a line from a song from one of his favorite movies, Rock-A-Doodle, that goes, "Cock-a-doo, what a day, the sun is shining brightly!" Charlie sings it "Cock-a-doo, what a Dave, the sun is shining in the broccoli!!!" I guess in Charlie's world broccoli is happy thing.
Have a broccoli day.
Entry for February 21, 2008
Tomorrow is Bella's birthday. She will be 9 years old. I can't believe how fast the time goes. It was just yesterday she was born, wasn't it?
Bella was two weeks early. I think she was early because we belonged to a food co-op back then and it was delivery day. I had stood up for about 3 hours helping to check in food. The nice people at the co-op loaded my car up with the groceries, but I hauled most of them in, except for the really heavy ones. I had to get the perishables put away, after all. Noah was 2 years old at the time and he was home with me. After Charlie got home from school, in the late afternoon, I started to get contractions. My friend, Christine, had offered to take the kids, but Charlie had a very bad problem with elopement at that time and since she lives on a farm with a creek and lots of corn to get lost in, we decided Noah would go to Christine and Charlie would go to the neighbors down the street.
Charlie left on his adventure and the contractions really started getting bad. Christine was out and was coming by to get Noah in a little while. My back was killing me. The only way I could get through the contractions was to stand up and lean on Joe, with my arms around his neck. Christine arrived around 8 p.m. and took Noah. Joe and I left for the hospital and the contractions were coming stong and frequently. Thank goodness the hospital is only 10 minutes away. I had 3 contractions on the way from the parking lot to the entrance of the hospital.
When I get to the maternity ward they want me to sit in a wheelchair. Sitting, at that point was really uncomfortable and I argue with them. They persist. I let myself have one more contraction and then dive into the chair. Joe tells them to go fast. They get me into the labor/delivery room and I hop up just as another contraction is starting. It was exactly 8:29 p.m. when I was officially checked in. We go through all the questions, and indignity of wearing the tiny, backless gown, getting poked at by the nurses, etc. We wait a little while and the doctor comes in. My water hadn't broken yet, so he said he would break it and then check on me in a little bit. Sounds fine to me. He takes out-- what is that? A crochet hook? He breaks the water and then he and the nurse leave. As soon as they are out of the room I feel the urge to push. Poor Joe. There's no one around and he starts to yell for the doctor. Too late. I hear someone screaming-- it could have been either me or Joe, or someone down the hall-- I don't know. Out she comes. Out of the corner of my eye I see the nurse enter the room. A look of horror crosses her face. She breaks into a run. But the way I see it, it all happens in slow motion, like a bad dream. She's like the Bionic Woman going across the room yeling, "Nooooooo!" Joe catches the baby. And so Isabella Mai Creedon enters the world in a very dramatic way at 9:29 p.m. on 2/22/99. And the first thing the proud father says to his firstborn daughter is, "Isabella, do you think we still have to pay the doctor for the delivery?"
I usually don't go for weird spellings of names, like Gylle, instead of Jill, or Geena instead of Gina, etc. Bella's middle name is Mai, which is the French word for May, pronounced the same. The reason why her middle name is Mai, is because Joe's Great Grandmother was French Canadian and her name was Maibelle. So Isabella Mai is a roundabout way of honoring Joe's Great Grandmother. Some people have asked me if it is a Hawaiian name, pronounced MY. No, it's not. All my daughters have middle names that honor the Blessed Mother. Bella's honors her because May is the month of Mary. Angelina's is Rose, which honors Mary under the title of Mystical Rose and Genevieve's middle name is...well, Mary.
When Bella was a preschooler, she would make funny noises. I would ask her what she was saying and she would always answer, "That's Elvish, for bed clothes." No wonder the Lord of the Rings Trilogy is her favorite movie and book. She's a funny kid. Loves the grossest things imaginable. Her other favorite books are The Encyclopedia of Everything Nasty, History's Grossest, Wackiest Moments and Seriously Sick Bible Stuff. Yet she is very prayerful. She insisted on the Douay-Rhiems when I bought her a bible for her first communion. She always remembers to pray for a former neighbor of ours, and unmarried elderly woman. She likes to light a candle for her at church. Bella has an extensive collection of holy cards and a devotion to St. Kateri. She is also very motherly and a good big sister.
Isn't it amazing how God allows all of ourchildren's traits to unfold like the petals of a flower, so we can savor each one, instead of dumping them all on us at once? He sure knows what He is doing, doesn't he?
Entry for February 09, 2008
We are in Smithville again. We drove down and this time we went straight through. It was an uneventful trip; which is good. On the way I saw a sign for the Machine Shed Restaurant. In what way did the owners think this would be appealing to anyone's appetite??? It sounds like a place where everything comes with a side of diesel fuel and you have to use waterless hand cleaner after each meal. Maybe it's a restaurant for robots. I don't know.
We have mostly been meeting new friends and driving around to look for areas to live in when we come down here. Today we went to Gladstone, which I had been reluctant to do, since it is surrounded entirely by KC. I just can't wrap my brain around the fact that you can live in or very close to KC and still be in the boondocks. Kansas City sounds like a city, but much of it is still open land. Very open. With cows. Every time I think about being out here permanently, Marissa Tomei's voice whispers to me, "Yeah, like you blend." *
I guess I shouldn't worry too much. We met the families of both Noah and Bella's penpals and they were some of the nicest and down-to-earth people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Noah's penpal, Sam, is a great kid. He also feels called to be a priest, just like Noah. They spent lots of time playing army and just having a ball. Bella's penpal, Lydia is just as much of a Lord of the Rings fanatic as Bella is. They hit it off immediately. If I had to create brand new friends for Noah and Bella, I couldn't have come up with two more perfect kids. I can see God's hand in all this...
So, anyway, we head over to Gladstone, because Sam's mom informed me that that is where the Italians live. We have been on a quest for an Italian deli and we found one today in Gladstone. We got sandwiches there for lunch. Yum... everyone was happy! The kids were especially good in the car. We put about 100 miles on it, just driving around. We did see several subdivisions in Gladstone that we really liked. One of them is within walking distance of the local parish.
On the way back Joe got the kids Hershey bars because they had been so good on such a boring trip. Genevieve sang in the car, as usual. Angelina did her imitation of a hobbit. She sounds just like Pippin when she says, "But what about second breakfast?" Charlie hummed quietly to himself and commented when the kids got too loud. And Noah and Bella had a good discussion on the difference between hyperbole and exaggeration.
It was a good day. A day full of hope tinged with a bit of sadness at the familiar faces we will eventually leave behind. We are trying to look at this as an adventure. We will be closing a chapter of our lives in St. Charles and opening a new one in MO. Although there are a few questions we have about the future, like where, exactly, we will live; we know that God is in control and caring for us. So, at least we won't ever have to ask, "But what about second breakfast?"
* Marissa Tomei as Miss Mona Lisa Vita in the movie My Cousin Vinny