Ahhh, man. I get disappointed in myself when I see how long it’s been since I posted. And annoyed too because I’ve already written about three different Blog entries in my head and yet, for some weird reason, that doesn’t count and take care of it! So, as tends to happen now, you get a big ‘ol update all at once. (Pace yourself. Maybe just read a bit at a time and take breaks as needed).
We went on saw the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker with my mom. (A first for all of us)! It was beautiful and mom and the boys – especially Zach – really enjoyed it. I wish I could’ve enjoyed it more but Kayli couldn’t stop coughing and she and I ended up watching from a ‘Silent Room’ in the back of the 2nd level. Awesome that they have that so we didn’t have to miss it – but definitely not the same – watching it by ourselves in this weird little dark room, from behind huge, soundproof glass. (There were speakers, so we actually could hear the orchestra – even the individual instruments better. That part was cool). Kayli, at least, did come home more excited about her ballet/tap classes (that she asked to do) and is VERY thrilled for their end-of-year Beauty and the Beast themed show.
I recently ran into a friend. We were in a mom’s-from-school prayer group together last year. Her daughter is pretty good friends with Zach. She told me that her daughter recently informed her, “Mom! Zachary is totally different this year. He asked me what looked different about him and I asked if he’d gotten a haircut and he said ‘No, I’ve got swagger now.’ And he totally does! He dresses all cool, and gels his hair and wears this cool hat and goes by ZJ.”
People, ZJ - The artist formerly known as Zachary James – has arrived.
Our Day with Mia
Kayliana’s birth mom Mia has moved back to Seattle (from Virginia – she moved there 1.5 years ago) and we’re SO happy about it! She came and spent the day with us a few weeks ago. It was a Tuesday and she really got to just experience a day in the life of our fam. For the first time ever (since Kayli came home at 2 days old to us), Mia and Kayli also had one on one/alone time while I had a dentist appointment. They had such a fun time just hanging out and playing. And, let’s face it, Kayli will absolutely be your biggest fan if you give her undivided attention AND let her be a cat for an entire afternoon. She was ecstatic. Mia and I had a wonderful time too – catching up and the boys were equally excited to see her. Zach – excuse me – ZJ couldn’t wait to show her the most recent sketches he’d done and books he’d written. While she was in Virginia, he’d send her some of his drawings and she’d provide some of her own.
The kids, Mia and I went to Bellevue to meet up with Mike (who was practically working ‘round the clock for a huge work deadline). We caught some of Snowflake Lane, took the kids to see Santa and got dinner at Red Robin. [Matthew is hoping for an Xbox to replace our dead Wii. Zachary wants wolf-themed apparel and paraphernalia; he’s decided the wolf is his ‘spirit animal.’ Kayliana wants a robot dog with no batteries. Um, k. Good luck, Santa.]
After the mall adventure, Mia got to meet my mom for the first time! (We were meeting up with her to deposit Zach in her care as he didn’t have school the next day because of teacher conferences). The whole day really, really, really was an amazing, magical day and we’re beyond thankful that Mia is back. Hopefully we’ll get to see her parents soon too. We equally love James and Nora. We’re just so ridiculously blessed.
Two days after being with Mia (who is a massage therapist) and hearing about how she loves helping people with injuries from car accidents recover, I was in a car accident. It wasn’t terrible, but obviously, those are never super awesome, happiest-place-on-Earth moments. It could’ve been SO much worse and I really was (and am) immediately grateful that it wasn’t and especially that the kids weren’t in the car with me.
There are a couple of 4-way stop intersections at the bottom of our neighborhood – we’ve discussed them at our bus stop and the fact that people ALWAYS blow through their stops. Yes, well, that’s what happened. I had stopped. No one was anywhere near the other stop signs. I was almost all the way through my intersection, when all of a sudden, a woman on my right (who was making a sharp 90 degree right turn) not only didn’t stop but didn’t even slow down. She hit the front right/passenger corner of the hood, headlight and bumper with enough force that it pushed me left towards on-coming traffic (which, thankfully, was still a ways away).
We got out – she immediately apologized and I was all cool, calm, collected and said, “It could’ve been worse...” as we shakily exchanged information. I got back in the car, drove to go teach (totally on auto-pilot) and called Mike (and then totally broke down). By the time I got to school (only 5-10 minutes away), I was still shaking, totally a hot mess and really starting to feel how badly my back and neck were hurting. I ended up leaving school, calling insurance companies and then heading to Urgent Care. I got Xrays done and the doctor confirmed that I had a Lumbar Sprain and Strain, a Thoracic Sprain, and Cervical Sprain (um, that actually means neck – not Cervix – I was super confused at first too. Uh, how did my Cervix get sprained?!). He wanted to prescribe some heavy meds but I opted for strong Ibuprofen and a muscle relaxer. I also got a referral for 15 sessions of Massage Therapy (yes, the kind, Mia had just been telling me about two days before).
It’s been a fair amount of Ibuprofen and icing and heat ever since. I’ve been to the Chiropractor five times for adjustment and FINALLY get to have my first massage in two days. The doctor wants me to be adjusted twice a week for about a month and then I’ll be getting weekly massage (which, yes, I’ll admit I’m excited about).
The car – our sweet ‘lil ’98 170k mile Honda CRV, the one Mike’s determined will live and be the kids’ car (in several more years) – has an estimated $1700 in damage (and that’s just what they could see on the outside). Mike drove it to work a few times and said, “I’m pretty sure I heard some stuff fall out…but it’s still driving at least!” The car is getting repaired as we speak and we have a rental car. Yes, her insurance company is covering everything. The car’s only worth about $2500, so we’ll see what happens as they continue repairs.
Needless-to-say, the accident has made me A LOT more cautious and aware of other drives especially at 4-way stops. Just 6 days after the accident, we (Zach, Kayli and I) were in the minivan coming home. At one of our 4-way intersections, I had completely stopped – for a while, for many, many seconds actually – I saw a car coming from my left and, despite the fact that she was still a ways away (and I had already been completely stopped and definitely could’ve gone), I said, “She doesn’t look like she’s slowing down at all.” Sure enough, she BLEW right through her stop sign. I laid on the horn and gestured (in a very helpful, polite way) to the stop signs that she completely ignored…all the while, thanking God for my little accident. Had I gone when I could’ve/would’ve gone pre-accident, she would’ve smashed right into me and Kayli.
I’m thankful for my accident for sure.
Recently, when picking Kayli up from preschool, she put her arm on the boy sitting next to her and said, “Cruise, meet my mom, Jenny.” She went on to tell me that a girl hadn’t been nice to her at school that day, but she liked Cruise, actually, she loved Cruise and she’s going to marry him.
“Wow!” I said, “That’s big news! What do you like so much about him?”
“No, I love him, because he’s nice to me.”
Meanwhile, Cruise is walking to go throw away his garbage, he pauses, looks over his shoulder, shrugs and says, “What’s not to love?!”
A minute later, his mom walks in. I said, “Oh, I should probably introduce myself. I’m Jenny and apparently, our children are getting married.”
She laughs and I fill her in on what had just transpired. She said, “Oh yeah, Cruise definitely has a healthy self-confidence.”
As they’re about to leave she calls back, “Well, I guess we’ll see you soon since we’ll be spending the holidays together!”