A Kid Gone Good Posted by Picasa

A Kid Gone Good

We drove down to San Diego this last weekend for my niece's wedding. 4 adults and two car seats in a car that officially seats 8, but you'd never want to drive from San Fran to San Diego with 8 in the car. Anyway, the kids did pretty darn well for such a long trip, and most of the adults did too. I still can't figure out why my oldest (24) will always find something to be grumpy or unhappy about, and if it's not readily available, he'll go looking for it. But that's another post.
My niece is the same age as above grump-pot but has been such a ray of sunshine to me. She had some very rough years as a teen, resulting in a teen pregnancy with a young man who was soon to spend considerable time in jail. She was pretty well written off by her dad, my BIL. So she lived with her mom for a while, got her GED and started working. It wasn't long before she realized she wasn't going anywhere except her mom's without an education, so she pursued a college education at a state college with student loans and student family housing. Somehow, between toddler feedings and toys, she got to the point where she could transfer to a school where she could finish her degree in nursing. As I am a nurse, we chatted many times on her path to her BSN. All this time, she continued to make her education and her child her top priorities. I was impressed.
Somehow, she met a young man a year younger than she, but who accepted her completely, child and all. He must have been 18 or 19 at the time. Again, amazing, but I held little hope for the relationship. They proved me wrong. They have been each other's strength now for about 6 years. They have also had a child of their own.
My niece graduated from nursing school (apparently nothing derails this young woman) last May with two children and a bill or two to pay. She proceeded to get a job in Southern California and now works nights supporting the family.
She is almost 25, a new bride, and one of the strongest people I know. I'm so proud to be her aunt and godmother. The wedding was beautiful and I thank her mother, stepfather, MIL and FIL for hosting it for them. These are two kids who have been through some rough times and deserve some good. So happy they found each other, and that we were able to share some of that happiness.


I put on a John Mayer CD the other day while working. Looked back a couple of minutes later to see this. Coincidence? I think not. Posted by Picasa


why fast food amuses me

Haven't been to McDonalds in maybe a year or so. But I'm between meetings yesterday, driving back from one hospital to the next and I pass one. I think, "S. had a nice looking salad from there - maybe I'll go through the drive-thru." There are only two cars in front of me, so I get to the crackling order speaker fairly quickly.

"How can I help you?", a young crackly voice says to me.

"I'd like a grilled chicken caesar salad, please." I crackle back at my hostess.

"What kind of dressing would you like with that?", she asks earnestly.

"Let's see.... ummm.... Caesar?", I reply in crackly confusion...

Is there a choice of dressings on a caesar salad? I thought it was implied in the name. So is she throwing me a trick question? What would the salad be if I said Thousand Island? An Exiled Caesar? But then, he did wear a toga and that crown of foliage... maybe that fits. But what about Ranch? A Good Ol' Boy Caesar? Besides conjuring up a really goofy image of a long deceased ruler, I have to say no - if the dressing's gone, then the Caesar part is gone too.

I spent the better part of a 1/2 hour chuckling at various combinations of salads and what they might be named.

And that's why fast food amuses me.


better late than never.... or not

See, this is why I was never a good diary person. Whole months would go by without my even wanting to open the darn thing. Then I'd be all over it for 3 days. So maybe I'm not much of a blogger person either.

Since the last flurry of activity, I have finished the HP book - liked it alot, but preferred both 4 & 5 to it. I loved the amount of action in those, and the fact that I'd be a quarter of the way through the book and it would feel like the end, and I'd know I had a whole lot more coming! It amazed me that the author could come up with those great stories and tell them so well, and still have more in store for me! Year 6 was still interesting and a little darker even than 5, but that, too, makes sense, seeing as Voldemort is gaining strength and the showdown is coming... da dum, da dum...

We also baptized our little 3 year old. We had to wait until the adoption was final, obviously, first, then we waited until our favorite priest was back from Mexico, and until my sister and niece could join us. Then we joined up with my incredibly cute nephew and had a joint ceremony. It was so nice. I thought she might freak out (being that she's 3 and all...), especially with the water part, but she watched Ben first, and didn't have a problem at all. The only disappointment is that her godmother, aka her older sis, couldn't be there. She was "stuck" in Colorado at the Shakespeare Festival. She tried to get clearance to come out, but she's in two shows and understudying a part in both her show and in yet a third one. They said no. But her two godfathers were there, aka her older brothers, and they filled the bill quite nicely. I borrowed my sister to stand in for my daughter and all went just wonderfully.

We also had a baby shower for my niece which also went quite well. I provided the house, tables, chairs, plates, etc and cake. Her other three aunts provided the food and entertainment. It seemed that everyone had a nice time. Niece looks absolutely fabulous - she's always been really striking anyway - but you know how they say there's that "glow"? Well, I never felt I ever had one, but she does. And she's a little sensitive about "how big she is". She's not really all THAT big, but she does look farther along than 7 months usually does. Everyone carries differently... I once met a mom picking up her son at my son's birthday party. She was wearing a pair of overalls, and I swear, if she looked 5 months pregnant, that was a stretch. She told me she was due in a week. And by golly, the next week a beautiful full term baby was born. I think she must have not had any other organs in there! Still can't figure out where she put it! Simply amazing. But I digress...

In the meantime, I have my own baby fix here - Little L was born on the 7/15, I picked her up at the hospital on the 17th, and have been a "new mom" again ever since. She's had a couple of really cranky nights, (mom-to-be niece was around for one of them, unfortunately) but by and large, she's been a decent sleeper. Those cranky nights will get you, though. I also realized there really is some value in that whole maternity leave thing. Most moms caring for a 3 week old don't have to go to the office the morning after a crankypants night. That's a good plan. I think when we take our next foster baby, I will not be working. Despite good intentions, the "unemployed" 1/2 of this couple just can't stay home to take care of her. I'm doing lots of telecommute days and various other creative forms of time management. Thank heavens for a flexible job and really great bosses.

Other news - youngest son (15 1/2) officially has his first girlfriend. Always cute. And he picked well, too - she's really sweet (and cute too). They've been friends for several years now ("secretly" harboring a crush on each other, both sets of parents have always thought), play roller hockey together, referee together, etc. I suppose it was inevitable. Kind of a Disney movie thing. He is showering a whole lot more, and chews gum too. hmmmm. The showering is definitely a bonus - if you know any hockey players, you'll know just what I mean. There's something about all that equipment - the smell just never quite comes out no matter what you do with it.

Have a great however long until the next time!