Geek. Pirate. Mom

The Life and Times of Whitney Drake

Posts tagged 'kidlets'

Rainy Day

Today is the joint birthday party for the boys. Two weeks ago, I ordered a bounce house, which I noted said that they could cancel the reservation in case of rain. I kept my eyes on the forecasts and shrugged when it said it was going to rain this past Friday- the weekend was clear. Then, Thursday, the forecast changed.

It is sprinkling here, and yes, they canceled our bounce house. But the good news is that because they canceled it due to weather, we should get a full refund. (Obviously, I’m going to wait to make sure that one goes through)

So here we are, a party 5 hours away, and putting Plan B into effect. Which means, more inside games- oh and a movie to go with the pizza. Still should be a pretty epic pirate party.

But for any parents out there- always have a Plan B ready to go. That’s my advice to you. Whether it’s deciding that kids can play Kick the Pinata, or having a couple rented movies ready to go- make sure you have one. I’m actually not freaking out- which for me, is pretty major.

Day 6 of NaBloPoMo

Not the Christmas I Expected.

Christmas was a day I was both looking forward to and dreading. Not because of family I didn’t want to spend time with, or because I dislike the holiday. I love my family, and love Christmas. But I’ve been followed by a lingering depression following Jerad’s death, and especially lately I’ve had more down moments than I was expecting. So I wasn’t sure what was going to happen.

The morning began early, as one might expect. I opened my eyes to find that my oldest son was wide awake. “It’s Christmas,” he whispered. “Let’s wake up [Little Kidlet].” I always loved Christmas at my Grandma’s house. The bedrooms are down a long hallway, and the living room has full length mirrors along one wall. So as you walk down the hallway, you can see the Christmas tree ahead as well as reflected in the mirror.

The boys raced into the living room, and the little one (still tired) hopped up on the couch. My oldest went straight for the stocking and toys under the tree. “What is this?” He looked at my mom. “No, really. What are these doing here? Is this mine?”

Santa brought them a real Buzz Lightyear and Woody. The Oldest Kidlet said that all he wanted from Santa was a real Buzz Lightyear. He was thrilled to see it, and surprisingly wasn’t too upset when his little brother decided that he wanted both toys for himself.

We opened the rest of our presents (I got some tart pans and mini muffin tins!), and after that I went into the kitchen to heat up the menudo my grandmother had brought, as well as make the cornbread mix that I’d bought. (Menudo: my family tradition, Cornbread & Cinnamon Rolls: The Boy’s family tradition) Suddenly, people were coming over and I was jumping right into making Christmas dinner.

I’ll make another post to summarize how that went, but I’ll just say this. The night before I’d said I was going to make the crusts for the mini quiches, and decided against it. That set me running a bit behind, but nobody seemed to mind. My aunts dropped by and helped my mom and me… and we were having fun.

I was a little frazzled, but as soon as I realized that nobody was upset… all that melted away. For the first time since Jerad died, I didn’t feel the weight of grief on me. People asked about him, and later in the night, I shared stories and talked bluntly about the pancreatitis being the reason why I was refusing glasses of wine (I think they were hoping I was pregnant). But I didn’t have to excuse myself afterwards, and find somewhere to be alone. I got to enjoy the company of my family and just enjoy the day.

As people were trickling out, my sister gave me a special gift. Something she’d thought to sneak into my stocking, but thought might not be a good idea. I could see it was a roll of something, and for a moment, I wondered if it was Lifesavers. My dad used to carry around lifesavers and would produce them when I was nervous or when I was sad. But the roll hit my hand with such a weight, and I knew just what it was. A roll of nickels.

A quick aside: I was one of Jerad’s Nickel People (my children were, too- he gave me a roll of nickels when each of them were born). As the story went, he had once given a nickel to a girl he was obsessed with and trying to break the ice was going to give her a penny for her thoughts. But all he had was a nickel. He would give her a nickel almost whenever he saw her.

It might not have worked to win her over, but it was something he continued to do for people who were special for him. (fin)

I know what a roll of nickels feels like, and I almost expected a wave of sadness. My sister did as well, and gave me a giant hug. And while she held on for quite some time… I didn’t need the hug. Though it was wonderful. It was such a thoughtful gesture on her part, and made me smile.

We also divided a package of Japanese candy (Crunky) that she’d bought for Jerad to try while she was in Japan, and thought that Christmas would be a good time to share it. Which it was. (For the record, Crunky seems to be similar to a Nestle Crunch bar- only it uses a good milk chocolate- not Nestle’s slightly waxy chocolate. But in taste, it reminded us all of the chocolate covered vanilla wafers- but if there was a single layer of the wafer inside.)

People left my grandma’s house, those who were staying went off to bed one by one. There we were, my mom and I, talking about everything and nothing as we always do.

And that’s when it hit me. I’d had a day without grief. Probably the best Christmas gift I could have received.


One of our friends, Michelle Hoffman, is a photographer (Meesh Designs Photography) and just last week did a session with all of us. We got back the CD and I thought I’d share a couple of my favorite pictures with you all (as well as giving her a plug, because I really do love her work). We’re giving pictures of our family to well, family for Christmas right now- so I didn’t include those pictures, since I don’t want to spoil the surprise!

I love this one because it really shows how much the boys love each other. I know I mention it from time to time, but they really are each other’s best friend- and it shows.

At Downtown Disney, the LEGO store has a giant Woody from Toy Story. I think the little guy could have stared at the back of it for hours.

And this because it makes me laugh. I believe that the caption for this picture should be OLDEST KIDLET (middle name included), YOU GET OVER HERE RIGHT NOW.

Like what you read, or just have something to say? Feel free to leave a comment!

Living with allergies

My youngest son is 2 3/4 years old. When he was 6 months old, he was diagnosed with a long list of allergies. We had started to suspect that something was wrong when he was about 3 months old, suddenly he was covered with eczema.

Our pediatrician urged us to try basic remedies- to change to hypo-allergenic lotions, and bath him more frequently. Nothing changed. She referred us to a dermatologist who put us on better lotions and had us eliminate fragranced items. When he didn’t get much better, she referred us to an allergist.

He was 6 months old by that time, and two years later, it sometimes amazes me that it’s the same kid. Sure, he can’t have dairy, wheat, soy, peanut or eggs. But there are plenty of things that he can eat- especially in his toddler mindset where he only eats a handful of foods. Tortilla chips? Fresh fruit? Turkey meatballs? He loves them.

His skin is clear. Unbelievably clear. His feet are a little scaly- after 2 1/2 years of scratching, it’s become a habit of his to scratch when he’s tired. But it’s clear. He can run around in grass barefoot and not have to be wiped down afterwards (he used to get itchy while in the yard). He can play with the in-laws cats and not need a bath afterwards.

We used to have to give him a daily dose of allergy medicine, and now we only use it for the occasional allergic reaction.

He hasn’t outgrown all his food allergies. He had some eggs at Thanksgiving last year and started to break out in hives. He had some crackers with soy and broke out in hives. He has some regular crackers (wheat and soy) and broke out in hives. But we haven’t found any new allergies, and he’s living quite happily with the food restrictions we have. I couldn’t ask for more.

Has it been easy? No. When he was a baby he had a hypoallergenic formula that we could only get from a medical supply company. His allergies eliminate most premade meals, forcing me to make things. We have to bring foods to restaurants for him, since I’m never sure what might have crossed paths with something that seems safe. We still travel with Benadryl and epi-pens everywhere. But it isn’t impossible.

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