August 13, 2019

Mickey Mouse Cupcakes At Pump It Up!


I told Tad that this was the last time he was going to be able to have his birthday party at Pump It Up (the kid is 14 now!), so he went out with a bang.  The jumping part was as fun as it always is, and Tad was the party king.

And Auntie was the cupcake queen.  Tad requested a classic Disney theme this year – mostly Mickey Mouse – and Auntie was happy to do something that was not Batman or sharks for him.

She even made fun rice krispie party favors for everyone to take home!

And we had a great turnout at the party, which is always more fun with more people.

So Tad felt properly celebrated on his birthday, which is always fun!

August 12, 2019

Nineteen Years


Yes, today is the double-whammy in the family – Tad’s birthday and the Webmaster’s and my wedding anniversary.  It’s been 19 years and we sort of look different now than we did then.  This was that big day, back in 2000…

And this was us this last April, celebrating 20 years since our first date.

Happy anniversary, Webmaster!  I couldn’t do any of this without you.

Fourteen Years Old


Dear Tad,

Stop growing.  Or at least put a little meat on your bones.  I swear people are wondering if we bother to feed you, and they have no idea that you are actually taking THIRDS at dinner.  You are taller than I am, your voice has stopped cracking (mostly), and we have to make you shower every day.

To put it bluntly, you are a full-fledged teenager.

I know you don’t like it (you keep telling me that “puberty is HARD”), but you really are growing up and have gained so many good skills.  This has led to some very good things, like your increased independence at school this last year, and being comfortable with joining the youth group at church (though you’re not very keen to go on your own; you do prefer having your sister there with you).  But it’s also led to changes.  You are transitioning out of individual ABA services, and we are hoping to get you into a social group program – which I know you’re not looking forward to (though we are working on a couple of ways to soften the transition).  You were too old to go to summer camp with Rerun, so we had to find other things for you to do, like swim camp and art camp.  And sad things still happen, even when it’s hard to understand why, as you learned when you tragically lost a classmate to drowning this spring.

But life continues to pull us onward, Tad.  Loss and change are a part of life, and there’s no fighting it.  I wish I could protect you from those things, and keep you happy and safe in your own little Batcave.  But I can’t.  Time keeps marching on, and you are growing up, no matter how much you want to fight it.

However, I can’t tell you how many people are on Team Tad, buddy.  You have so many people cheering for you, praying for you, supporting you, wanting only the best for you.  You have the gift of making friends of people who you really need in your corner – I can’t tell you how many teachers and therapists you have charmed with your big smile, your engaging conversations, and your goofy ways.

And now you have a little more privacy and your own bedroom (although you are still getting used to this whole new set-up, and are still griping at me about the changes involved).  We wanted to give you a little more space for yourself, and I think you will really come to appreciate it very soon.

In the meantime, I would feed you cheeseburgers every day if you would just put on a little weight, but I’ve tried and so far, nothing has worked.  But I love you just the same, my tall, gangly, funny, silly, shark-loving, Batman-obsessed teenager who absolutely cracks us all up when you mangle words that you can’t pronounce correctly.

Happy 14th birthday, Tad!


August 9, 2019

Flashback Friday


As I’m preparing to commemorate this day, I realized that I had not updated the blog on the big news in my brother’s life.  My brother, who has been known as the Major for the a while on this blog (after being known as The Captain), has now been given a new blog name.  The Major shall be known henceforth as “Hannibal,” as in the character John “Hannibal” Smith on one of our favorite childhood TV shows, “The A-Team.”  Why?  Well, the character Hannibal was a lieutenant colonel.  And as of the end of May, so is my brother.  (Can’t keep calling him “the Major” when he’s been promoted, can I?)  Grandma and Gichan traveled to Canada for the ceremony, and then Hannibal, Q-Bee, and the B Squad packed their bags and moved from Ottawa to Missouri.

But today is Hannibal and Q-Bee’s 16th wedding anniversary, where I was the fat bridesmaid on a hot day in Alabama.

Yes, this is the most flattering picture I could find of myself as a giant purple grape.  I was 20 weeks pregnant with Ane and wearing a bridesmaid’s dress.  Fortunately, the ceremony was not very long.  Unfortunately, I really wanted one of the ice-cold glass bottled Cokes at the reception, and I was being really good and not drinking things with caffeine.  (The things you still remember, 16 years later….)

Happy anniversary, Hannibal and Q-Bee!!!