Friday, November 28, 2008

"Happy" Thanksgiving not so happy for Emily...

So, if you get queasy fast, you may want to skip this post. I won't give many details, but there will be enough in here that if you have a weak stomach, you should think about skipping this one.

Yesterday we waited.. and waited... and waited for food. I tried to stay busy all day, and conserve my energy for my favorite meal of the year, and Leslie was busy most of the day preparing different dishes. She didn't particularly like me forcing her into decorating the house for Christmas, but I managed to talk her into it :)

So, family finally arrived around 4. It took another hour and a half to get everything ready to eat, by then I was starting to look at my shoe as an appetizer. Emily had made name plates for everybody, and assigned seats, so we all sat down to enjoy the meal. Just as we were getting settled in, Emily started complaining of a tummy ache. I brushed it off quickly, assuming it was just a normal ache, probably because she hadn't eaten hardly at all the entire day. I told her to eat some and it would probably get better. She wasn't convinced, and at that point I started wondering if this was something different.

She wanted to sit over at the table with Leslie, Benjamin and myself, but for some reason didn't want to sit with me. She chose to sit by herself, and continued to cry for some time. I finally told her that if she wanted to she could go lie down in our bed for a bit. When she immediately started heading that way, I knew something was up. Here we were, the entire family, and her two cousins, and she chose to lie down rather than hang out with all of us.

I went into the bedroom where she was on the bed crying, and sat with her. That's when wave one hit... I won't go into too much detail, but the bedding immediately came off, and I rushed her into the bathroom. She was crying too much to get her near the toilet, so she just proceeded to unload all over the floor (and me). When she was finished we got her clothes off, and Leslie rushed to get her some pajamas. Since I was covered as well, I took off my shirt and started washing my arms off in the bathtub. What came next was by far the worst moment of the entire evening... Taking into consideration the overwhelming need to take all pain and discomfort away from either one of my kids, and gladly accept it for them, as I sat there washing my arms, Emily was shaking, naked, next to me. She quietly said to me, "Sorry for spitting up on your arm daddy."

Those of you that know me, know that I HATE throwing up... I mean, "pluck my toenails out slowly rather than throw up" hate throwing up. I would have thrown up a thousand times rather than see my daughter, who was as sick as she was, think about apologizing to me... I mean, I would have done anything to keep her from being sick in the first place, but that moment got me bad...

So, we got her cleaned up, she laid down in front of the television, surrounded by towels and buckets for a while. She threw up every ten to fifteen minutes for about two hours, and got to the point where when she was done, she'd fall asleep sitting up while Leslie was holding her. We finally got her into bed with us, and by then it was only about every hour until about 10, then she was done for the night.

She seems better, but tired this morning. No signs of Benjamin, Leslie, or me being sick... yet :)

So now, just a few things... First, all the food I missed: I'm still a little hesitant, so I'm going to give it the day to make sure I don't have what she did. Second: this being my favorite day of the year and all, even though I didn't get out at 4 AM like I would have liked, maybe I can convince them to go out for a little bit :) Yeah yeah, I know.

Oh, and if you haven't seen the post below this, you MUST see it. It's worth every second!

Must see.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I can't believe I've neglected posting for so long.. I got into one of those cycles where I kept saying to myself, "what's the problem.. I've waited this long, may as well wait another day.."  Gotta break the cycle at some point, might as well be today!

The marathon was good, and was a lot of fun for Leslie doing her quarter marathon!  My knee has been killing me since, so that's not especially fun, but it was a great time in Tulsa. 

I've attached some pictures below of various stuff: Leslie reading at Barnes and Noble, Emily's Thanksgiving day party at school (she made the hat), and some videos and pictures from the zoo yesterday.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Good times comin' ...

I received this email two days ago:

Greetings from your past. In the fall of 2005, you agreed to receive this message, which has been preserved for a year in the E-Mail Time Capsule. For more details, visit

Here is the text of your message:

Just finished putting Emily to bed (it's Nov. 6 2005 just in case it doesn't say). She just started running everywhere the past few days, really funny to see her legs move without bending her knees. Leslie is enjoying her new sewing machine, and I love my new ipod video. Just to see if my plan works, I'm saying we'll get pregnant next August, 2006, having our next child May of 2007 (and hopefully I'll be a principal by then). I wonder if these things will truly happen.... Cya then!

I remember the time capsule, but to be honest, I don't remember writing any of this. I guess I wasn't too far off (except the year off for Benjamin..), but thought it was really cool to be emailed by myself from the past.

Anyway, I'm up and getting ready to pack for our trip today. Ryan, Holly, Leslie and I are heading to Tulsa for the marathon tomorrow. I can't wait to see how I do, since I haven't run in about a week, and the other three are doing the 6 mile. The biggest concern I have at this point is not the 26 miles, it's the checkout time from the hotel at 1:00PM... Since I start at 8, and assuming I can get my run done in about 4 hours, I should have time to get back and get a shower. If something goes wrong, however, it could be one stinky ride home...

I'm also not real excited about leaving the kids, but as bad as I am, I'm not quite sure if Leslie is going to make it without Ben this long. I've been noticing it the past couple of days, and yesterday when she started asking me when we were coming home I knew it was bad. I told her we'd probably eat lunch or something after the run before we came back, and she quickly told me there would be NO movie, that would put us over the 24 hour mark without being home. Yup, that bond is pretty strong :)

Anyway, not much else lately. Emily was the "leader" yesterday at school, and apparently had a great time doing it. Leslie walked by and saw her sitting on a yellow square while everybody else was running around and playing, and thought she might be in trouble. She came back some time later, same thing. She popped her head in and asked the teacher if she had done something, she replied "No, that's the leader seat, and she just won't leave it." She was completely content resting on her throne :)

Last night Leslie read at Barnes and Noble for a crowd, which was a lot of fun. Emily did great sitting next to her, but boy did I see a different Emily then. It's standard practice that when we go anywhere, if Emily sees anybody, or if I see anybody, she'll hold back before speaking to them. She doesn't completely bury her face or go nuts, but she's pretty tentative... Not last night..

When we hit the door, she was greeted by three of Leslie's students, and immediately left me to go hug and say hi. Without even looking back they all ran off toward the back of the store. Once I got back there, Emily was already seated next to Leslie to start the reading. As Leslie read the book, Emily would look out into the crowd, wave her hand, and mouth "HI!" to various people. When Leslie was finished, Emily got up, and went down the crowd hugging and waving, like a little celebrity. I now see how the next 10 or so years are going to develop, and I'll tell ya, I'm not real excited :)

Now remember Emily, I'M your best friend... right?

We've got a new elf this year!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Will you tell me a story?

Over the past few weeks Emily has been very interested in stories. She'll ask me over and over again to tell her the "spooky room" story, or the "trick or treat" story, or any other "story" we come up with during the day. I love how normal, average, run of the mill daily activities turn in to such amazing stories that she wants told and told again. It's a lot of fun, especially when I get to.. well.. as you can tell from most of these posts.. embellish just a wee bit :)

Saturday, November 1, 2008


About a month ago, Emily and I were looking around at Super Target and we found a really cool Ariel costume for Halloween. We decided to wait (bad idea, for the second year in a row) to get the costume later, and wouldn't you know it, it was gone when we came back. Leslie ended up getting another Ariel costume which didn't fit really well (the legs were so tight - I guess to make it look like a mermaid - that it looked like Emily was trying to walk with both legs down one leg of a pair of pants), so we ended up taking that one back, and getting a Sleeping Beauty costume.

So, yesterday morning finally came, and after Leslie got her dressed in her Sleeping Beauty costume, she decided she'd much rather wear a white dress she'd had for a while, instead of the new one. So, off that one came, and on came the white dress. Emily packed her pink shoes in her backpack, "just in case the white ones make my feet hurt."

She had her Halloween party yesterday at school, and unfortunately I got there too late and just saw her leaving with Papa Vinny (with her pink shoes on - good thinking on her part!). She said she had lots of fun! You can see pictures from her school party below.

So, Trick-or-Treating time came last night, and at about 5:30 last night we got ready and headed down the street to meet at Gavin's house (a friend of Emily). They had invited a lot of the neighborhood kids over to eat pizza, hang out, and then go Trick-or-Treating together, so when we were all ready to go, we had about 15 or so kids.

For the past several years, trick-or-treating has consisted of strapping Emily into the car, driving across town to various friends' homes, loading up on candy, and heading back home - not exactly the fun filled walks I remember as a kid. I figured with all the "DEATH KNIVES IN CANDY!!!" or "RUN FOR YOUR LIVES, THE PUBLIC IS THE ENEMY!" or "WALKING ON SIDEWALKS CAN KILL YOU" headlines over the years during Halloween had transformed this once enjoyable family outing into an exercise in surveillance, complete with mace and cell phones ready to dial 911. I just thought this was the new 'norm.' I was happy to see I was wrong, because as we stepped out, every way you looked in the streets there were kids and families running from home to home, laughing, playing, falling, screaming, etc.

So, we got started. As the kids rushed up to the first home, Emily stayed back (big shocker). We both told her that she was welcome to stay with us, but she wouldn't be able to get any candy that way... I could tell she was fighting the fear internally, so after a moment I offered to go up with her. Before I could even finish asking her she had grabbed my hand and up we were going. The exchange went well, and just like last year, I couldn't get a "trick or treat!!" out of her, but she quickly thanked them with no reminder.

As the kids made it to more and more houses, she started relaxing, getting into the candy grabbing groove. One of us still had to go up to the door with her, but each time, we could back up a little more, letting her go in. I particularly enjoyed seeing all the kids rush up there scrambling to be first at the door. Emily would just hang back, let all the chaos ensue, then as the kids rushed off, she would walk up to the door. Every time, the people at the door would take just a liiiitle more time with her, and give her just a liiiiitle more candy... Nice - working the system already - now that's my girl right there :) It was especially funny with several homes, because after our group would make it to the home, as soon as we'd leave, the porch light would be out and doors locked. Apparently we cleaned out quite a few stashes of candy...

We had finally gotten into a pretty good pace, and then, on the corner, was a house almost completely dark. There were a few pumpkins at the front door which were lit, and a light over the porch glowed with an odd purple haze. At first I couldn't tell if this was a 'go away' house, but then I heard some faint screams from a recording near the front door, and realized this was a 'come if you dare' house... Just as I was putting all of this together, the kids were rushing towards the front door.

You know how when you're sitting at a restaurant table, and you move for one reason or another, and you knock your drink over, spilling over every single square inch of the table, as well as soaking everybody with you? You know that instant... just before it crashes on the table... where time seems to slow for an instant? Somewhere in your mind you can actually see yourself reaching out and grabbing that glass just in the nick of time, but by the time everything has processed, it's too late... Okay, so.. Here are about 15 kids, all under the age of five, running from door to door, without a care in the world. They are rushing up to this house, just like any other they've done before. I started putting together the events which were about to unfold, but by the time I could make sense of any of it... it was too late.

Emily, working the system as she had been doing so well, was in the least fortuitous position. The first bunch ran up, and in concert, hesitated for an instant as they heard the first scream from the door. It didn't phase them too much, because an instant later they were rapping on the door. For a short time, there was no answer, but then, just as they were probably figuring there was no one at home, the door swung open and behind it stood a man (who probably looked ten feet tall from their perspective) wearing a hockey mask, and screamed at them with his best scary scream he could let loose.

A collective shriek echoed through the neighborhood as 15 kids turned tail and bolted. And like a carefully laid out row of dominoes, all fell on one another, Emily being at the end - putting her at the BOTTOM of the pile. Candy flew into the air, looking a little like fireworks as the light of the moon hit them, and scattered across the yard, but the kids could care less at that point, as they continued to claw and scramble their way back to the parents.

The man immediately took off his mask and started apologizing, but there really wasn't time to talk to him, because by then the kids were half way back to their homes, still screeching in horror. We managed to round them all up, get the candy back in their buckets, and back on track with the more... friendly... homes :) On a loop back around, Emily noticed we were back across the street from that house, and all she did was stop, raise her arm deliberately, and point at the house.. then quickly ran off to the next house.

After that, we ran over to Mema Marge's where she and Chippa were waiting with a full basket of candy for Emily. We chatted for a while, then rushed back home for bed. Of course, we had to look at all the candy first, but then a well earned restful bedtime.