Happy New Year!!

Well he's not in the hos[ital any more. When I called this morning he was not on their roster of current patients. I guess I'll wait to see when he pops up again.

My dad is a hot topic again. His wife Nel called me this evening saying he'd been missing since 4am this morning. They had an argument yesterday, he stormed out, then came home at 4am. After he changed his clothes and brushed his teeth he demanded his credit cards from her (she says she was holding them to help pay them off) then he left cursing at her all the way out. He left his cell phone and all his possessions behind. Nel didn't think a whole about this, she just went back to sleep. Then when his job called to see where he was she got worried. She called around the usual places he goes (bars and restaurants mainly) but no one had seen him. Nel finally called me this evening to see what she should do and get some support.

My advise to her was to call the authorities and report a missing person. She did then got a call from an officer in Federal Heights, CO with information about his vehicle. His Jeep was towed and impounded (we don't know why but it wasn't in an accident) and he was transferred to Boulder Community Hospital on "mental health hold". That means he was probably talking or acting suicidal.

Let me back up. Nel said during he first call to me that he had been talking suicidally recently. In the past he's never been suicidal but given that this is the one-year anniversary of his mother's death, and he's got a brain tumor that is hurting his head, and he's generally a depressed person to begin with, it isn't a complete surprise that he would consider it. That's why when he left without a trace she got frantically worried. Now that she knows he's alive and held in care she's feeling better.

As for me, I'll call the hospital tomorrow and see if I can talk to him. Thanks (or no thanks) to the HIPPA laws, I won't get any information from the hospital as to how he's doing, why he's there or when he'll be released. But maybe I can speak to him then decide if I need to be there in person. I hope I don't need to go but I will if I'm needed. This stresses me out but there's nothing I can do tonight. I'll give him a full night's rest and then perhaps I can get to the bottom of things.

We wanted to visit Dustin & Robin today. Instead we only visited Robin because Dustin had moved out. They separated around Thanksgiving. A month after, Dustin is staying with family in Tennessee while Robin is moving on with life and being a new single mother. Her children, Ethan 7, Morgan 6, are a wonderful mix of who Dustin and Robin are. Robin has a very nice home with an acre of spare land, she's doing very well with her business (it's a staffing company), and she's not hurting financially from the divorce. If anything, she will probably benefit financially. Dustin, we assume, will be taking this hard. Not only does he have substantial medical debt, he is physically limited in what he can do and was never the breadwinner that Robin has been. Robin was the one asking out while Dustin was hopeful to the very end that things would get better.

While there, Robin gave us a toy that Ethan had outgrown- a small microwave. It was a perfect addition to the new kitchen set. Except that within three hours of getting it Josh managed to whisk it away from his brother and break it on the floor in the process. It took three hours to break something that lasted nearly five years in the other home. Needless to say I was rather crossed with Joshua. I explained to him that there is no replacement and that because he broke it, it's gone forever. I'll let that sink in for a few months before I even think of looking for another one.

Yesterday Elliot was 1 year, 1 month, 1 week and 1 day old. Pretty neat, huh?

If you haven't tried a Hot Cocoa filled Hershey Kiss yet- don't do it! These little kisses are extremely addictive! You will be forced against your will to eat another then another then another then another then... it's better than milk chocolate. It's like milk chocolate married to sexy milk chocolate. Better to get rid of a bag if you happen to have one. Don't even open it. Just mail it to me and I'll properly dispose of it for you.

Trust me, I'm trained at this. :-P

This morning I hit the clearance sale at Micheal's and loaded up on Christmas paper and decorations for next year. I bought well over $100 worth of stuff but paid $62. Tomorrow I'll go to Wal-Mart to pillage their Christmas paper and exchange an outfit. We had a good Christmas and now are taking down the decorations little by little, starting with the outside. We figured it was better to do it now while it's warm outside. Today got as warm as nearly 80 degrees. We all wore short sleeved shirts and played outside for a bit this afternoon. Tomorrow may not be as balmy so I'm glad we all got out to enjoy it.

It's the simple things that make a Christmas good. For Josh it's a play kitchen, for Elliot a stomp rocket powered by Josh, for Rusty it's a chair and for me it's a pogo stick. A Fly Bar actually. I haven't had a full attempt at pogo-ing yet. I'm sure to bust my rump a few times though. The boys made out like bandits. We all did. And every year, this one included, I always feel a little guilty. I feel guilty enjoying the bounty of gifts when others have nothing. And I feel guilty that Christmas has become a day of "what's in it for me?", especially for kids. I'm hoping over the years to teach our boys that Christmas is about giving, sharing and doing good for others.

But until then, I'm glad he enjoys his new toys and can play guilt-free.

Raymond finally showed up despite becoming terrible lost on his way. I'm looking forward to tomorrow when we're all rested.

I'm suffering from restless brain syndrome: aka I can't sleep. I fell asleep for an hour then couldn't seem to go back. Since I roused from bed I've managed to sweep the floor, polish some of it, put damp clothes in the dryer, take out trash and clip coupons from Sunday's paper. I'm ready to try again for slumber. Perhaps a couple chapters of my book will do. I know I'll be hurting for this tomorrow. I'm sure I'll be begging Elliot to take a nap. And I fully plan to nap when he does.

We're back from our quick trip to Corpus. On our way down we stopped in College Station to visit Signe for a couple hours before heading south on Hwy. 77. We stayed Saturday in Robstown with Carlean then headed homeward this morning, Sunday. On the way, we detoured in Austin to visit friends of Rusty's, Scott & Amanda Roberts.

Yesterday evening we toured Port Aransas (again) this time with an older Josh who pointed out all the palm trees, got very excited about the ferry ride and stopped to play with sand wherever he found it. At dinner, he offered this nugget of priceless conversation...

"Mommy? Are your boobies big?"
I turned to Rusty for advise on how to answer this one. He smiled amused and offered no help.
I turned back to Josh, "Well, what do you think? Are my boobies big or small?"
"They're big!" he exclaims.
"Good answer kiddo," I muttered.

I don't know what inspired that question.

Tonight is the second night Rusty is sick in bed. He stayed home in bed all day. I hope he's well enough for this trip to Corpus on Friday. Tomorrow is my busy day of laundry, packing, car cleaning, shopping for car snacks and preparing for our road trip.

Next weekend my mom will be in town visiting- yay! Then it's Christmas- yay! Then New Years- yay! Then I don't know what the new year holds!

I already have Halloween figured out for next year though. Elliot will be Punky Bruiser! I'll spike his hair, tear some jeans, get a rockin' jacket, fake tatoo, etc. It'll be awesome!

And now for a Josh moment...
We were watching a preview for the movie Cinderella. The announcer guy says: THE BEAUTY! Josh watching ever attentively exclaims, "The beauty!"
"The romance!"
"The magic, wow!"

Such an impressionable mind.

Pictures from Exposure Indoor Rock Climbing, MNO

That's me at the top with the pony tail and Michelle in hot pursuit.

The instructor stands behind Allison and me while Stephanie climbs up and Michelle comes down.

A view from the top looking down at Allison, Hannah & Stephanie

Whooaa... vertigo!

I paused to pose while climbing.

Yesterday night went awesomely. We dropped the kids off at our church for Kids Club. We paid $30 for two children to be watched for five hours. Is that a steal or what?! Josh stayed with several other kids his age and two caregivers while Elliot hung out with a few tots his age and two other caregivers. Packed with snacks, PJs, blankets and diapers, they were set for hours of fun without parents.

Rusty and I were set for hours of fun without kids. Don't get me wrong- I love my kids and love being around them but having an evening to Rusty totally recharged my batteries. We had dinner at a foo-foo French restaurant called Lavendou. Then we walked across the street to Obzeet's to play a game of Scrabble (I won) and eat dessert. When it was time to pick up the boys we expected both to be sleeping because it was around 10:30 when we got there. Well not entirely. As we walked up to the entrance of the Children's Ministry, we saw some kid running and jumping wildly. As I got closer I knew it was Josh and I felt dread that we would have a wound up kid to put to sleep. Luckily he crashed on the drive home thanks to NPR. Elliot was passed out at the church snoozing in a baby-swing. He was awake the whole drive home (despite economic reports and results of OJ's trial) but he went to bed easily once we were home and he nursed.

Here's the rub: Elliot woke up at 7:15 cranky which woke up Josh at 7:45 who was also cranky.

However, Rusty & I were most definitely NOT cranky! :-)

I went out this evening for "Mom's Night Out" with some friends. We did rock climbing at Exposure in Addison. I think I climbed about eight times. It was so much fun! I took some pictures but I'm too lazy to post those right now and I don't want to be up too late. Maybe tomorrow...

So Josh got his head cracked on Monday night and now this evening before I left home Elliot smacked into the side of the bath tub cracking two of his front teeth. I don't think they chipped into the pulpy nerve area, just on the enamel. Of course he howled in pain for a minute or two then was alright. We gave him Tylenol in case his teeth hurt. It happened so fast. He was standing beside the tub while I was rinsing it out preparing to fill it then he just moved the wrong way, slipped and crashed down. I was close to him but my head was turned toward the drain and faucet so I didn't actually see it happen. I'm a little nervous about the next time I nurse him. I hope he's not too sharp. I'll have his pediatrician look at his teeth on Friday although I doubt there's anything she or anyone else do. At least these are baby teeth and not his permanent ones.

Josh got a big gash on his head during bath time this evening- and it was my fault! I feel awful about it! I was putting our shampoo rinse cup away on the towel rack (we keep it there turned upside-down so the kiddos don't play with it) but instead of leaning back resting against the wall, it tipped forward falling. The bucket's corner conked onto Josh's head above his left eyebrow about an inch into the hair line. The bleeding freaked me out a bit because there was so much at first. I called Rusty for backup. Once I got him wrapped into a towel I pressed a hand-towel on his head to help the bleeding subside. The gash is hidden by hair but when I caught a glimpse it seemed about a quarter of an inch long. After some TLC, pajamas and twenty minutes of Star Wars, he was doing much better. We put on a band-aid once his hair dried and plan to wash his hair in the morning since there's some died blood clinging to it.



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