Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Check My Cubbie

Guess this mostly speaks for itself, but Dawson and Anabelle have started "Cubbies" on Wednesday evenings. I almost FELL OVER when I asked him what he learned the first week and he spouted this little gem back at me.

Before you go calling Yale's early admittance proram for child prodigies (they aren't taking applications at this time, I already checked, ha ha) come to find out he also has practiced this same little speech at his preschool just a time or two... but STILL it was the first time I heard it, and its obviously stuck in that adorable little noggin pretty well.

I love this little boy genious. Maybe Billy Graham could make room for him somewhere... (sorry its sideways... Dont know what to do bout that...)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

If Looks Could Kill...

Just when you think you have the most beautiful, sweet, feminine flower ever to grace the entire kingdom...

She makes a liar out of you (again).

These kids crack me up so much every stinkin day.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Baby Birds and the Baby Bees

I am just amazed these days at how fast my life is whizzing by (that's not meant to sound depressing.. I am mostly enjoying it!).

Theres nothing like having a child growing up before your very eyes to measure the years passing! Its unfathomable to me that Dawson... a bouncing blond haired blue eyed baby boy just moments ago, is already registered for kindergarten in the Fall! I keep justifying this reality by telling myself that I am being cheated because 'he is a young kindergartner' (he won't turn 5 like the majority of his classmates until November after school starts), but even so, school aged is school aged any way you look at it I suppose (sniff, tear).

I was painfully reminded yet again of his rapidly improving mind and body the other day in the car when he piped up from the back seat (out of NOWHERE!),

"Mom, where do babies come out of?"

I (maybe a little too promptly) responded simply "they come out of their Mommy."

"Yah, but how do they get out?"


I thought for a split second, and realized I was unprepared on the spot (could he possibly be looking for THAT explanation!? Isn't that like handing a 4 year old a loaded weapon!?)... so I simply said

"Dawson we can have a talk about that sometime."

It seemed to satisfy him momentarily, I glanced toward the back seat and saw his eyes wander out the window so I silently prayed he would be distracted by something shiny or maybe even a car accident... anything would be better than continuing the conversation here and now!

No such luck, suddenly I saw the wheels that were spinning come to a screeching halt as the light bulb of inspiration went off in his tiny little brilliant mind...

"MOM! I have an idea... Maybe you could show me on the computer how the baby gets out?!, how about that?"

Maybe I should back up a step to explain here that every time Dawson wants to understand how something works... we explain it first and then YouTube it for visual effect. It worked with simplifying the concept of Wicked Witch of the West. It worked with skydiving. It worked with police chasing the bad guys when Dad was away at school... why not how babies are born?, right? RIGHT?!

Aye, yi yi. It hasn't come up since, and its been a couple days. But I know better than to think for a second that its anything but forgotten inside his inquiring mind.

I should probably be preparing a female anatomy version of 'Baby Einsteins' right now instead of blogging this about this sacred little conversation of forecasted impending doom.

Come to think of it... maybe that's a niche that I could capitalize on! This could be the million dollar idea I've been searching for....

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What Dreams May Come

The other night I had the worst time sleeping. This is extremely rare for me unless there is a good reason (ie: sick kids screaming bloody murder after several 'warning' cries, blaring sirens in my living room, man with chainsaw standing over me).

This particular night there wasn't really any good reason for an exception to the norm. It felt like all night I was in a 'twilight' sleep, like I was sleeping but only barely. I dreamt in this state all thru the night these crazy dreams that felt like I could reach out and touch them, because it felt like I was half awake! They seemed so real... and yet they still had 'dream like' qualities (Tyson was a bird in one of my dreams, so you get the idea...)

Anyways. It was a weird night, but what is stranger still is that I can't stop thinking about the things I saw in these dreams.

One of them was about a man I have never seen before in real life, and in my dream I had just met him and his wife or girlfriend (whoever she was) for the first time in a restaurant and I had a brief encounter with them and really liked them. The woman he was with had said goodbye to him and that she would meet up with him later (wherever they were going) and they left the building separately.

A few moments later when I left the building, the man lay dying on the sidewalk in front of his car. I will spare you the details of how that came to happen, but lets just say I realized he had been shot, and I was the only one who seemed to be willing to help. I ran to him, called 911, knelt to talk to him, and suddenly realized (not to be graphic, but my dream was REALLY GRAPHIC!) I could SEE HIS SPINE thru the hole in his neck where the bullet had hit. I was trying to tell the dispatcher on the other end of the line how urgent the emergency was and how badly he was injured so they would understand something needed to happen FAST and tell me what to do, but I kept choking on what to say because I didn't want the man to panic and realize he was dying.

Then, all of a sudden, the guy looks up at me with the kindest face and says "You don't have to be strong and pretend I'm OK, I know I'm not going to make it. I just need to be close to somebody while I'm dying,"

He stretched out his arms to me and then I understood that he wanted me to hold him, and he started to tell me what to say to his wife for him, but was already too weak.

I told him I already understood their love because I saw it in the restaurant and I had the same kind of love myself with someone else, so I was the perfect person to deliver the message, I knew just what to say to her and he didn't need to talk...." and then I woke up as he was gone.

The most profound thing about this dream that is unlike any dream I've ever had before is the man himself. I remember everything about him. Tiny details. What he was wearing, the color of his eyes, his smell even (from a dream,!?, THAT'S a new one!).

I asked Tyson... I keep wondering if such a person could really exist somewhere out there in real life. Am I crazy for wondering that? Wouldn't that be wild to run into someone on the street you'd seen in your dreams and never in real life? If it were to happen, I know for a fact I'd be keeping my mouth shut... my friends already think I'm crazy for the dreams I have. And I'd never be able to prove it...

Anyways.... it was a wild night, and it just a crazy thought. Hopefully now that I've committed the dream to blog therapy it will vaporize into the foggy mist of dreams dreamt before that is only vaguely familiar in the daylight like the rest of them.

(Please don't have me locked away... or on second thought, maybe I could use the rest!)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Beauty Turns 3

HERE, HERE! Her royal highness, princess Anabelle Lee the magnificent did in fact have a birthday last week!

She turned three, in case you missed that.

She loves her Dad a lot these days.

And ballerina things.

She likes princess things too a whole lot.

And pink.

And presents.

And cake.

And friends (even her brother).

At three, just about everything about her is beautiful.

And she makes my life beautiful too.

Thanks for three of the best years of my life, princess Anabelle. And for officially making me the queen!

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Lesson In Life

Tyson is home from CHP, and he is not going back.

We spoke on Thursday around noon, it was clear from our conversation it was shaping up to be a pretty tough day but there wasn't much time to talk. I could tell he was having doubts at that point, but we agreed by the end of the discussion that he should 'pick up his gun' and give it another shot. He did just that, but despite all his best intentions it was evident pretty quickly this arrangement was not going to work out for the long term. He walked in the front door a little after 8pm that night.

We knew heading into this that the training academy is not for the faint of heart. It is said to be one of the toughest military-style academies in the nation. It is designed to be this way for the specific purpose of the nature of the job itself. All of this makes sense on paper, but I think you can read all the brochures and watch all the videos and want to be something so bad for all the best reasons without actually realizing what it means to sacrifice yourself for a cause without being there in the flesh.

I have to say I was pretty surprised to have him home so quickly, and it would be easy for either of us to be disappointed or beat ourselves up over the ordeal. But now that a few days have gone by and we've had time to process, we realize we've learned so many valuable lessons for ourselves both individually and as a family.

We learned that God's timing (not our own!) is perfect, and that there are no short cuts or fast tracks to his plan for our lives.

We learned that you can never put a price tag on being separated from the ones who help to make you feel whole.

We learned that no job is worth trying to be something you just weren't made to be, and that you just can't be good at everything.

We learned that we are thankful for our family and our home, and that the McDermott family is exactly where we are supposed to be right now, no matter how much greener that grass might look.

We learned that recession sucks a**, but that most everyone is feeling a pinch and we are not above this. We just need to try to be patient!

And we learned that we are there for each other, for better or worse. Together, we have come a long way, and together we have much further to go.

Tyson was not made to be a cop for the California Highway Patrol. He was made to be in our family (a most important part!!).

I think at the end of the day, we are the only cause he is prepared to give his life for directly. And that is great news to me (because its less likely he will ever have to)!

So back to that trusty old map and compass we go as we patiently await the sight of land with the rest of middle America. It looks a little bit further away at the moment, but we have plenty of things on board to nuture and enjoy while the time passes by.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Standing By

Its finally Wednesday (yeaayyyy!), almost Thursday (even better!!), and so far... WE'RE ALL ALIVE AND WELL!

I got to talk to Tyson at almost 10pm his first day. He said it was everything he expected it to be (long, overwhelming, exhausting, intimidating) but no worse than he dared to imagine, so Im counting it as a success!

The kids and I have been keeping busy during the days as usual... we all came down with colds the first of the week (of course!), so Dawson stayed home from school today and we watched high speed police chases on YouTube all morning long. He thought that was SOOOO cool (so did I, I'll admit it...). We scored a couple pocket size freebie CHP calendars at the orientation meeting, so the kids have been marking an X in the box each morning when they wake up to count the days until the weekend when Dad will be home for a 'visit.'

Tyson called tonight just briefly with a 'supply' list, and said again how insane the workload is. He wasn't complaining as much as I know it was his way of subtly preparing us for the new version of Daddy who always has a flash card in his hand and an icepack on his shoulder. I know he will be spending a majority of his 'family time' during the weekends studying, ironing, polishing, memorizing, starching, and studying some more, so if you don't see much of us in daylight outside of blog world these next few months, you'll know why!

One of the CHP recruiters mentioned this video before the boys left for boot camp. I think it helped for a little comic relief... I'm sure it will be even more funny down the road when it doesn't actually apply to them directly anymore.


Monday, February 2, 2009

The Grand Tour

And so our new journey began on Sunday morning at 0345, when we woke in a fog and quickly showered and hopped in the green machine headed for West Sacramento to the place Tyson will be calling home for the next 6 mos.

Orientation began at 10am, and we sat for quite awhile watching various video footage of life as a cadet, as well as reviewing benefits, job assignment upon graduation, and other miscellaneous policies and procedures.

The meeting ended with a tour of the grounds, and this is what we saw:

The cafeteria:

You can't see from this pic, but all along the wall there are dozens and dozens of treadmills. I kinda want a membership (but not at the price it costs to be a member, haha)!

This panel is located in the hallway where all the classrooms are, and its up to the cadets to find time to familiarize themselves with how to work the lights/sirens etc. on their own time.

These are the dorms. They kind of look like apartments from the outside, but its definitely dorm style living inside, as you can tell. There are 3-4 cadets to a tiny room, and there are 3 rooms connected with tiny little bunk beds and one bathroom with 2 showers for an entire quad of cadets to share.

The day ended with a demonstration of some of the current cadets (13 weeks in) marching in line.
I have a video of the marching demo, the 'line leader' gets to sing out the commands in a cute little tune that sounds like gibberish to the general public. I'm going to sit down with the kids tonight and show them all the pics and the slide show, and I'm sure they will be convinced that Dad is away having the time of his life at a cool new school.

I bet Tyson would beg to differ after his first day. Can't wait to hear all about it tonight!