Sunday, February 28, 2010

There's Coloring And Then There's Coloring!

Jayden and I have been indoors a lot. Between the weather and bouts with colds, coughs, virus, and fever we've been housebound and actually enjoying it. He'd watch lots of his favorite videos while I played favorite games on the computer, and we played some board games, read some books, played "I Spy", and did lots of coloring.
One day while coloring he said to me, "Is it okay if I get crayon on my skin?" I told him that was fine because we could just easily wash it off. Then he said rather urgently, "I'm going to the bathroom!" And off he went. I continued coloring and when he didn't come back I went to investigate and this is what I saw:

Jayden earnestly at work coloring on his face!

"I look very cool, right, Umma?"

Very cool indeed!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Blogging, Farming, And Cleaning Up Messy Dollhouses! All Fun!

Well, Umma's World is up and running! I found my posts! I found my pictures! Ray gave me a new blog dress (thank you, Ray!) with a pretty banner picture of Ireland (credit Michael Turner), and a beautiful background compliments of my beautiful friend Wanda's skillful photography! Thank you Wanda (@Moments Of Mine) for your generosity! Now, hopefully my computer woes are behind me and I can look at the computer as my friend again rather than the enemy! I'm trying to make a deal with it, I won't curse it out if it will cooperate with me. Fingers crossed.While I was away from blogging I turned to Facebook Farmville to pass the time. Well, this fun little pastime has become a full-fledged addiction. A friend of mine urged me to join Facebook, which I did, but I didn't really 'get it', I was happy to become reacquainted with school mates, but I didn't get into the minute by minute comments everyone was making, I enjoyed reading them, but really, it wasn't for me. I had no interesting minute by minute comments to contribute. So I didn't often visit Facebook unless I got an email alert specifically targeted to me. Then my sister Diane called me one day a few months ago telling me to join Farmville on Facebook. Farmville???? What the heck? She said she needed neighbors. Neighbors on Farmville????? Okay. I became a 'farmer', and everyday my sister would be calling me to tell me that my crops were withering. I was not a very good farmer. Then when my computer went out sick, I used my husband's laptop to farm, it was okay, my crops didn't wither anymore and my farm enlarged as I moved up each level. I got animals, and a barn, and fences, a chicken coop, a dairy farm, I was excited! But then I had enough of farming and I was just about to give it up for good when my niece Rachel said, "No! Aunt Eileen, I just started!" And so I stuck with it, and I love it now! I can't get enough of it! I have started two other farms, one in my husband's name, and another in a made-up name! Addicted I tell you! I even dream about these silly little cartoon farms of mine!
I think what I love most of all, is the comments that my family and friends make back and forth to each other, the ribbing, the jokes, the competition, the advice and the encouragement. It is such a fun way to keep in touch, and it is like playing a game altogether and yet we are blocks away from each other, towns away from each other, and even States away from each other! And it has brought so many of us together. I think I even got one of my blogger friends addicted too! I won't mention any names, and I don't think I have to, if you are on Facebook you know who I'm talking about! (Howdy, Farm girl! This is your friend Rayscarleen sayin' "Hey!' or rather "Hay!")

Okay, now on to cleaning up messy dollhouses. It's a shame really how these two beautiful creations that brought hours and hours of happy playtime to my children have been shamefully neglected! And I am ashamed of myself, really. This first little room my husband made from scrap wood that he found in his Dad's workshop, he made it over thirty-three years ago when our oldest sons were only about two and three years old. They loved this little thing, and they stored all their Fisher Price Little People in it. They spent many happy hours along with my nephew Thomas, walking their little people up and down the steps. And then when my daughters came along, and my youngest son, they too loved playing with it. It is in sore need of a new paint job, and some new flooring and carpet for sure!

And this gigantic dollhouse my husband made for our daughters about twenty years ago. My youngest daughter reminded me that we told her he was working on a dollhouse for Mom-Mom (my mother) as a Christmas gift, and when she came down on Christmas morning and saw it next to our tree she still thought it was for Mom-Mom and was happily surprised to find it was hers! I love how Ray made it with handles on the sides to make lifting and moving it a little easier, and he put a handle on the hinged top to open it for access:

And Ray made bi-fold doors that open all the way and lay flat against the sides so there's lots of room to play.

Most of the furniture has long ago been discarded as it was broken by too much love and play, and you can see that both these toys are well-worn by little hands and in need of lots of TLC.
Well, they've both been cleaned but not yet spruced up, there's still lots more work to do, but here are two little people that don't seem to mind. And I have a feeling that they will be enjoying hours of play too.

"Grandma, I don't want to play with this little castle anymore. Can I play with the big dollhouse that Paw made too?"

"Yes! You can, Mia!"

And Paw has since brought home lots more furniture which made both Jayden and Mia very excited!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Four Years Gone Is Four Years Too Long

My Mom is gone four years today, but I'm not writing 'Happy Anniversary'. I know I should for it is the joyful Anniversary of her going Home to God, but while I am happy for her, I'm not all that joyful for me today. I'm feeling very self-centered today.
I know this should be all about her, and I wish I felt that way, but I don't feel like writing about all her wonderful attributes that are now missing from my life.

I still miss her. The missing, the sadness, the hole in my life where she used to be, the emptiness,well, all that ~ it never goes away. It's just that the sadness, the missing her, the emptiness, the hole in my life that she used to fill, all that bad just starts to feel normal after awhile.

It's normal now to not hear her voice anymore, and not to ever hear her laugh. It's normal not to see her doodling sketches on a scrap of paper. It's normal not to hear her call my name. It's normal knowing she'll never walk through the front door again. My Mom and I will never lunch together or shop together, or call each other on the phone and that's all normal now. At one time it seemed unbelievable but now it's 'normal' to know I'll never see her in this life again. It's normal now to know I'll search a room of faces for her and not see her (and yet, there are times I still search for her while not expecting to find her). I'll never see her wearing one of her little berets again. I'll never see her in one of her tweed jackets. I'll never give her a bouquet of green carnations for St. Patrick's Day. I'll never see her smile at me again. I'll never hear her say the phrase, "Not to worry." I'll never watch her brew a pot of coffee, and I'll never hear her sing again. It's normal now to see someone far away that looks like her and not get a happy feeling inside like I used to, thinking 'Oh, there's Mom!", it's normal to instead feel a pang in my heart knowing it's not her. Yes, all this bad is normal now. But normal stinks.

I miss my Mom. I want her to know my grandchildren. I want to ask her what she thinks about plans that I have for this house that once was her home. I want her opinion on decorating, I want her opinion on paint colors and slipcovers. I want her opinion on life altering decisions too, I want her advice on problems, I want to vent to her, I want to tell her funny little things too that happened during the day, I want to ask her about potting and planting, I want to ask her about which outfit to wear, I want to ask her how she cooked her stew, I want to ask her about our family tree, I want her to tell me again about how she met my Dad and how they got engaged. I want her to tell me of their early years together, I want her to tell me about the day I was born, I want her to talk about the old house and the old neighborhood, I want her to tell me stories about my grandparents and aunts and uncles again. I want her to ask me if I want a cup of tea.
I want her.
I want my Mom.

I know I sound ungrateful. I know that if I didn't have this wonderful woman in my life there would be nothing to miss. I know that where there is great love there is great loss. I know that if my choice was to have her in my life for 52 years but then have to lose her to Alzheimer's my answer would be YES! Yes, let's do it Your way, God. I'll take that, it's a good deal! I know all this in my head. But today my heart does not want to listen to my head. Today I want 'normal' to go away.
Four years gone is four years too long.
Today I want my Mom back.

I know, Mom, that today of all days, I should be celebrating your life, I should be celebrating the woman you were and all you meant to me. I'm not in a very celebratory mood, Ma. Right after you left, I used to feel you all around me, I was enveloped in a warm love, but those moments are few and far between now. There's a kind of coldness now, and you feel so far away today.

So, I'll let this song say what I should be saying, for I do remember you and measure your life in 'Seasons of Love'.