Happy Halloween, Y'All!

Another Halloween, come and gone. What? It's not even Halloween yet? I think this is a testament to our family's age. We go trick-or-treating when we can all schedule to be together. And how pathetic is it that we have to schedule an evening together? Kids running hither and yon while doing that growing up thing sure make for scarce family time.

But we carved some out this evening to dress up, laugh together, and get candy. I won't say it's free, because what we hunt and gather from others we make up for by what we've already given out at a trunk-or-treat event hosted by the church. Nobody comes to our door, way out here in the country. We don't even pretend to buy candy anymore because we just eat it. We wait until November 1st and go score Halloween candy half price so that we have some good chocolates to snack on for a day or two before the masses that we call our children devour it and leave wrappers blowing across the floor like tumbleweeds. Seriously. I yell all the time that if they're responsible enough to help themselves to candy, they should be responsible enough to actually throw the wrapper in the trash.  GAH!!

Our first stop was at my parents house, because dad came home from the hospital today. He's doing phenomenally well, and loved seeing the herd of grand kids invade his living room where he was reposing on the sofa, heeding doctor's orders.

After that stop, we did what country folk do when they trick-or-treat. We drove all over the county visiting friends and family, logging many miles on the van and taking 3 hours out of the evening. We get very little candy and a whole lot of happy visiting time, but that's the way life is here and we wouldn't trade it for all the door-to-door begging in the world because we delight in seeing familiar faces delighting in seeing the kids. Begging from strangers isn't as fun as chatting with friends, I guess.

This year, the county was subject to a few older gentlemen, the French chef (hand up if you recognize him from somewhere), a Flapper, and Magic Dracula, who not only is a vampire but also loves taking his fake teeth out and doing magic tricks with that awesome cape. Or at least trying to cast spells. I think he suffers from an identity crisis.


A Day of Perspective

My dad has been having severe pain for months. He's so proudly stubborn that he takes that whole "men don't go to doctors" thing a little too seriously, so when he goes to the doctor because of the pain, you know he's hurting. Turns out, he has some degenerative discs in his spine. A few of them. And one crumbled so badly that it kind of collapsed onto a nerve, sending shooting pains down his leg. Have I mentioned that dad can handle some pain? Because that man can. Farmers will most likely die before admitting defeat, even if the enemy is their own body. Dad has been working every day despite that pain because FARMERS WILL MOST LIKELY DIE BEFORE ADMITTING DEFEAT. It's the constant movement that keeps them, well, moving.

At the doctor's office a week ago, the scans showed how bad things were, and the doctor said he could get dad in for surgery in 2 weeks. This was rather phenomenal since standard office-to-surgery time is roughly 6 weeks. The doc said its based on severity, really. Dad was pretty thrilled to be able to work without pain in as little as 2 weeks, and scheduled surgery. And then 2 days later they got his blood work back and realized that things were even worse than they thought and said, "how about next Wednesday?," to which dad answered, "What time do I show up?"

The answer was 5:40 AM. I volunteered to drive my parents down so mom would have someone to sit with while dad was being operated on, and the hospital was an hour and a half away, so we left at 4 AM. Also, Micah had been sick the evening before (nothing contagious - we're suspecting lactose intolerance) so I woke him at 3:45 and we headed out. 

Note: Micah was still sleeping in his brand new pirate themed bed when I woke him. WIN! (Except that he asked to sleep in Luke's room again tonight, so LOSE. But one step at a time...)

Every time I am sitting through a surgery at yet another hospital, I realize that I sit through too many surgeries. And about .00218 seconds after that realization comes the thankful thought that most of my surgeries are barely even considered so, and are very rarely ever serious things. And then my heart just breaks for all those people who sit through so many surgeries, and those things they sit through are all big and scary and real and far, far out of the tiny league of ear tube placement. And I am reminded how good my life is, and humbled by the fact that I'm so blessed with good health for myself, my family and for Micah. It's a sobering thing to be reminded how fragile life is, and how wonderful yours is, and what a fine line it is between good and not so good.

Micah did so very well all day, sitting in a waiting room, after being up at Dark O'Thirty. He never once fussed or disobeyed, and I was pretty concerned that he'd think he was the one there for surgery and become unbearably frantic about the situation. He did not. I was so proud of him. He did, however, take several photos of my dad as they were assisting him with the whole sitting up thing. It was rather hilarious how intent Micah was on getting those photos, and he pretty much focused on pap's legs that were clad in green socks. Maybe Micah wants green socks.

Dad came through surgery like a champ, because he's a farmer and that's how they roll. Things were actually worse than the doc thought, which was really bad, but he cleaned it all up and fixed things well because that's how doctors roll. And as of the time I left, dad hadn't even had pain meds because in comparison to how bad his back hurt before surgery, being cut open and repaired felt a whole lot better, apparently. 

Dad's burning question was, "when can I get out of bed?" and he was so happy with the reply, "the best thing you can do for your back is to walk. A lot." Dad will, because he has a job to do now and he's going to do it with everything in him. He will walk miles daily, because the doctor told him to, and he's going to live forever because FARMERS WILL MOST LIKELY DIE BEFORE ADMITTING DEFEAT, and dad has never admitted defeat a day in his life.



The Little Pirate's Ship Has Arrived

When we built our home nearly 10 years ago (already?), we had a room built for each of the 4 kids. We didn't know at the time that Luke was afraid to sleep by himself, and had to bunk with Josh for a while. We're happy to inform you that he's now able to sleep on his own.

Just about time we finally got Micah out of his crib and sleeping in his big boy bed in his own room, I decided to take that room for much-needed sewing space. Micah was moved in with Luke and they've been roommates ever since. Last month, I moved the sewing room to the basement with the intention of giving Micah his own room back again.

I know for a fact that Micah is not going to sleep in his own room from the very first night he has one. In having the boys bunk together all these years, we've since realized that we created Micah to be a dependent sleeper. He's dependent on someone else being in the room with him. This is not good. In the very rare event that all the older kids are gone overnight, we have to sit with Micah in his room so that he can fall asleep. And even then, sometime in the middle of the night, he ends up in our bed because he realized that he was alone in his room. While he was sleeping. He's got a sense about these things, obviously. So we left Micah's old bed in Luke's room so that at least he'll have a bed to sleep in when he wanders in the night from his own new room. Nobody likes sleeping in the same bed with Micah. The boy is a thrashing octopus when he sleeps. Except being kicked by a 100 pound boy is going to hurt a lot worse than being slapped by an octopus tentacle. And we won't even mention the knees to the kidneys. I'm just grateful that I have 2 of those things in the event that one is just killed one night.

So after a month of slooooowly moving things to the basement, the bedroom transformation took place today. Partly because Target helped me score an entire bedroom for under $50. Clearance rocks, and Target had some good deals. I got a pirate bedding set, a room darkening curtain (anything to help that boy sleep), a bed skirt and some decor for his wall. Being all excited about my purchases, I came home and spent the next few hours cleaning and setting up his brand new room.

(Shout out to my awesome husband who spent considerable time on his hands and knees picking pins out of the carpet.) (I threw a huge area rug over the place where the pins were, just to be safe anyway.)

Micah was pretty thrilled about his new room. Mostly about his pirate themed bedding, but the room itself was fairly cool, too. I'm pretty thrilled to have all his toys moved upstairs and out of my living room. As far as I'm concerned, it's a playroom for him with a bed in it. He said he wanted to sleep there tonight, and was so excited to have Becky sit with him until he went to sleep, but it's seriously only a matter of time before he's wandering the halls tonight, looking for another bed.

The countdown is on...


(Ignore the lack of a bed under the mattress. It's still in the basement. But we do have one. And also ignore the sewing patterns hung on the wall. I didn't say I was completely done moving things.)