Friday, October 24, 2014

Is It Wrong to Use the Title of Another Blogger if It Fits My Post? TToT Week 71

Honestly, I can't take one more thing being thrown at me this week, good or bad, big or small.  I am emotionally spent.  My brain is overflowing with stuff that has happened or needs to happen.  My body is kinked and knotted and making it difficult to turn my head or bend over.  I am so wiped out I can't even come up with any other synonyms for "worn out", so we'll just leave it at that.  Or steal a word from someone else's blog.  "Clobbered" is a good word.  You'll get some idea of my week through my thankful list.

My first thankful is for my great-aunt.  Ten days after the first symptoms emerged, seven days after her cancer diagnosis, Aunt Donna passed away on Wednesday night.  She went peacefully and surrounded by family.  She didn't suffer at all, and after 22 years she is finally with her husband.

Secondly, I am thankful that the funeral isn't until Monday.  If it was over the weekend, there would have been all sorts of trouble, since my nephews are here until Saturday night.  If it was later in the week, I would have had to reschedule Cuckoo's special trip to Florida happening on Thursday.  It's all working out logistically, which is a huge part of why I am still functioning.

Kick back and relax for my thirdly through eighthly. I'm just going to talk about my nephews, because they brought all sorts of sunshine.

The older of the two nephews (aged 12) comes to visit every year, for anywhere from 3 days to 2 and a half weeks.  He gets so excited to come.  His siblings are two younger girls and the 1 year old boy.  A week of hanging out with my boys makes him ridiculously happy.  When they were dropped off, he jumped out of the car and came running up to the house to give me a hug, then went directly off to find my big kids.  At one point during the week, he asked which day he would be going home.  When I told him I didn't know yet, he replied, "It's better that way.  Then I don't have to be sad counting down the days until I have to leave."

Oldest Nephew completely appreciates my cooking.  At the beginning of the week, I asked him what his favorite dinners were.  I made every one of them.  Each night, at least one of my kids was not excited about the meal.  My nephew would look at the unhappy child and say, "Just taste it! It's delicious!"  I can't tell you how happy it makes me to have someone enjoy my cooking so thoroughly.

Littlest Nephew is only 18 months.  He is adorable and as easy as a 1 year old gets.  He ate everything I put in front of him, he slept through the night (11-12 hours) and he napped well.  Plus, he didn't destroy anything except Turken's plant from school which was sitting on a window ledge. This house is far from baby-proofed these days, so there was plenty of opportunity for him to get into trouble.  While I did get plenty of exercise this week (Have mercy!  I now know how I was able to stay slim when I was having a baby every year!) chasing him around, it could have been much, much worse.

While my kids were at school, the nephews and I had fun doing all sorts of things around town.

At the zoo:

Petting the sharks

The tigers were up and about that day.  This tiger walked right in front of Littlest Nephew many times, and each time, my nephew jumped back as soon as the tiger got nose to nose with him.
At a park:

At the Children's Museum:

As expected, "The Creek" was a big hit.

Littlest Nephew was in heaven.  Gigantic doors!  To open and close as many times as he wanted!

While my kids were home, we had fun playing games and playing outside in the beautiful fall weather.

He's one funny kid.
It's been a wonderful week full of time for the cousins to spend some time together and for Littlest Nephew to get to know us.  It was also a good week for Cuckoo to get a little perspective on real life. For the first time in his life, he was not the center of attention.  His position as cutest, littlest kid in the house was usurped.  He did well with it for most of the week, but on Thursday he did sadly and dramatically tell Buttercup, "I want him to leave.  Everyone loves him more than me."  I'd feel bad for him, but he had a great 5-year run.  And it will go back to normal come Saturday night.

Ninethly, gas prices have dropped nicely.  A 12-passenger Ford Econoline isn't exactly known for it's good gas mileage, and with all of the driving we do, lower gas prices save us loads of money.

Tenthly and lastly, technology can be wonderful.  I have never, ever in one week written and received so many texts.  I used it to keep up with what was happening with my grandma and aunt.  I was able to send photos of the nephews to their parents all week, calming their worries about how Littlest Nephew was doing.  My dad was able to send us the last photo of my aunt before she died.  (My grandma was lying in bed with her, holding her hand.)  I could keep up with my teens, as plans changed unexpectedly and reminders were needed each day.   I could record videos of the boys doing the cute things they do.  I was able to coordinate the sale and exchange of pork products, even when I was delayed by closed roads.  I could keep up with a friend who had surgery this week, even through all of the changes and frustrations. I could make all of the necessary changes to the schedule to allow me to go to Ohio again on Sunday.  All that and many other, smaller things to boot.

Remember how last week I said not to expect to see much of me over last week?  Well, I'm going to say it again, except I really mean it this time.  I will be in Ohio the beginning of the week, home on Wednesday, and in Florida the end of the week.  That does not leave much time for much, and the ol' blog will have to be the first to go.

Cuckoo is bouncing off the walls excited for his first trip.  I'm too sore from the surgery and carrying a one year old to bounce, but I'm just as excited.  Besides having the chance to take this trip with my baby boy, we'll be staying with my blog friend, Jen, for a couple of nights.  We'll even be trick-or-treating with her and her kids.  We're going to have so much fun!  As usual when I travel, I'll be posting on Instagram so my family can keep track of what we're doing.  Feel free to check in there if you're interested.

Alrighty then, that's more than enough from me.

Whether you were clobbered or not, you had to have something for which to be thankful this week.  Let me know what it is!

Have a lovely day!

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  1. I'm sorry for your loss. Your great-aunt sounds like a wonderful person.

    Wow! You definitely have a busy schedule! I can certainly understand why the blog might be quiet for a bit. Travel safely!

    1. She was a whole mess of fun, that's for sure.

      It's going to be a busy week, for sure. Thank you!

  2. Sending my condolences for your loss you and your family are in my prayers!

    Your time spent with your nephews sound just what you needed and cousins...well there will always be a bond even it there are miles separating each other- awesome memory you are making for your nephews.

    have a great time in Florida safe travels and you know Long Island or “Lawn Guy land” can be your next destination! :)

    1. Thank you.

      It was good to have the nephews here as a distraction for me. (Because, you know, 6 kids isn't distraction enough) :) It is true, even though they only see each other once every other month or so, the cousins all act like they see each other daily. I love that they do.

      Thank you! I hear great things about Long Island, so don't be surprised if I show up one day!

  3. Condolences on your great aunt...and it looks like you spent some good times with the nephews!

    1. Thank you. Yes, we had loads of fun. They both cried when it was time to leave with their parents today. I hate that for my brother and his wife, but it made me feel good that they like it here so much. :)

  4. Christine, you are in my thoughts and prayers. I hope you find some comfort in knowing your Aunt Donna passed so peacefully and that her family was with her.
    This post today is so...full of you. And your life. And your exhaustion and your adventures:) Love the pics of the nephews. Pictures do often tell the story. In your case today, they are a lovely augmentation!
    Be well and safe this week.

  5. I'm so sorry about your great aunt. I know how special she is to you.

    What a week and having your nephews is a lot of extra stress. Good stress, but stress nonetheless. You are keeping them mighty busy too. Good for you.

    Have a fabulous weekend and try to get a bit of rest in. ☺

  6. Love and prayers to you and your family, Christine. How lovely to be able to see her surrounded by love in her final moments! Technology is a wonder indeed.
    What a full and wonderful week, with your nephews - time with family is precious.
    What am I thankful for? NO idea...struggling this week. Seriously struggling. Clobbered may just be a perfect word. Last night I decided not to do a TToT and at the moment, I'm still there.

  7. Oh I'm sorry to hear about your great aunt Donna. I was kind of half hoping you'd get to go back and see her again. That was all so sudden and really makes the wonderful time you had with her before SO much more important. :( I'm glad you got to see the photo of her and your grandma. That's a lovely thing to have.

    WOW though, I think clobbered (though I would have gone with Zoe's usual - "Schnookered") probably doesn't even begin to cover it. You are a WONDER, and well done for keeping it all together and managing all those hundreds of variables and for making the stay so much fun for your nephews. Littlest Nephew is ADORABLE, and I love the photos of him and the doors and the balloon. I feel bad for Cuckoo though - I hope he gets all the petting back soon.

    You're a star. Hang on in there, and ENJOY FLORIDA. And I hope you see this and know that I would LOVE you to meet Sandy, and then take a photo of the two of you on Instagram so I can see and be envious :)

  8. I am so sorry for your loss

    Oh the doors.. yes the doors... Open and shut and open and shut! Petting sharks is really cool too!

    YAY for Florida! Thats where we live!

  9. So, so sorry to read about your aunt. It's good that she didn't suffer a long painful illness and that you got to see her just recently, also that you got to see a last photo of her with your grandma. Love and prayers to you and your family x

    Your littlest nephew looks adorable and the photos are great - the petting shraks look really cool :)

    Hope Cuckoo's special trip to Florida goes well and he enjoys having you all to himself again :)

    1. How on earth did I make a spelling mistake like shraks?? I meant sharks! lol

  10. First of all, I'm so, so sorry for your loss, but also thankful that your great-aunt did not have to suffer. Wow, just reading about your week made me exhausted, no idea how you make it :-) We're most likely going to have visitors in November, and I'm motivated to have the house completely put together and cleaned up until then (Calvin's room and our bedroom is still a mess, the mirror in our bathroom fell down and shattered, and I still need to buy matresses for under the girls' beds for guests. I hope that next week, you'll finally get some time to relax.

  11. 1. You know already.
    2. That's a huge thankful.
    3.-8. What nice kids! I love how the 12 year old appreciated your cooking so much and was incredulous when one of your brood didn't like something. That kid should be bottled and sold!
    Littlest Nephew is darling! I love him opening the doors. And jumping back from the tiger. And playing in your yard.
    Have a safe trip to Ohio. I'm glad you're taking Cuckoo with you. Let me know if you need any help with the kids at home, like drive them to soccer or something :)

  12. …at least no one said, in the eternal effort to get (kids) to eat strange and unusual foods, ' …sure there is (fill in the ingredient) in it, but you can't taste it!'
    now most of us 5 to 9 year diners are not logicians or rhetoricians… but we all immediately spot the weakeness in that argument in favor of eating unfamiliar foods!

    have fun on the road trip! muy coolito! to 'go abroad' for trick or treating! he will be the coolest trick or treater around when he gets home… "why yes, this year we chose to travel to Florida, their treats are a welcome break to the local fare' lol

  13. I am sorry (and happy) for the loss of your great aunt. There's a lot to be said for a peaceful release from pain and suffering. Love the energy of your post. 18 months was one of my favorite ages - looking at the world through these eyes is a joyful experience. Enjoy your trip and special time with Cuckoo.

  14. I am so sorry about the loss of your great aunt. Such a mixed emotional happening. While you and your family will miss her, she is not sick and suffering any longer. My prayers for peace are with you and your entire family.
    It sounds like you are in a whirlwind. I am glad that you have gotten this time to spend with your nephews. Bless the oldest one's heart...not wanting to leave. I can only imagine.
    I love that you say Cuckoo "had a great five year run!" Indeed he did and I am guessing it's not over yet!

  15. Well, POOP! I definitely left you a comment a day or two ago, and I do not see it here.
    I am sorry about your aunt, but so glad that her suffering was so short. It really sounds as if she did not have to live as an invalid for long. How wonderful to end life in that way.
    Maybe that's too positive of a way of putting it, but you know what I mean, right? I'm coming from the perspective of watching Brian's father decline over months and months and months.
    Have a wonderful trip!!!

  16. Based on this post alone if I could pick a family to be a kid in I think it would be yours. Cuckoo is a funny little guy! I am sorry about your Aunt Donna, and for all the family and friends that will miss her. I am sure that she is happy and at peace now. I hope that this week is bit more relaxed for you but it sounds like your travel plans will be keeping you on the go! I can't wait to read about the fun that you have!

  17. I love this post. Not because you got clobbered. That stinks and I'm so sorry about your aunt! More I like it because like you said at the end, you can always find something to be thankful for, even when things are stressful and painful. Travel safely to all your destinations!

  18. So WHat do you suppose happens to my comments between when I brilliantly think them up and put them down here and when I come back to realize they never made it to the page? It must be me cuz other people get here.... oh well... heres hoping this one gets here... Have fun with cuckoo and also travel safe back to family (both of them) ...

  19. I can definitely understand why you feel clobbered. Taking care of one 2 year old is tough for me some days and you had a 1 year old, another child on top of your other kids and you have your great aunt's passing to deal with too. I'm so happy she went in peace and not in pain. I know that meant a lot to you all. She seems to have had a full life, yet it never makes the passing of a loved one easy. So sorry for your loss. Though you had a blast with the kids, and I hope that took the edge off of any sadness you may have had, I hope your week is great and a little more relaxing. :)

  20. Whoa wait...
    I'm probably going to be the only asshole to point this out but did you say the child ate whatever you put in front of him and he slept 11 to 12 hours?
    Is he human?
    Did that make you smile for a second?
    I am so sorry for your loss but thankful that she did not have to suffer such a horrific illness. You have such a wonderful family and I know that you are all surrounded by so much love...but I'm sending can't get enough of that xoxo

  21. Did your kids forgive you for making them go to school while you had so much fun with their cousins?

  22. I'm sorry about your great-aunt. What a tough loss and so quick, to. But the sadness seems tempered with good family times, and you are so skilled at finding the balance in your posts. I appreciate that about your writing.


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