Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Shannon fought the wall & the wall won!

Actually, Shannon was walking and was tripped by Tristan who was running, causing him to fall head first into the corner of a wall. This happened yesterday evening, they were at my Mom's house and Barry (my step-dad) called me to come over (which I think I did about 50mph on the back roads to her house!). The bleeding had pretty much stopped by the time I got there. I arrived with an arsenal of supplies (suggested to me after our last trip to the ER for stitches to the head ... thank you Harry!!!), and although the cut wasn't deep it was wide, so we went ahead and called 911 to see if he needed to go to the hospital.
An ambulance and a firetruck arrived and told us we did need to go because of the width of the cut. I said I would drive him, and as we were getting coats on and getting ready to get out the door another special visitor arrived: cousin William!! William is my cousin and is a police-officer (Shannon sees him often enough, and knows he's a police-officer, so he thinks William is one of his cousins too .. which to some degree is correct!). William wanted to make sure Shannon, and everyone else, was ok which we thought was very sweet of him!
Mom, Shannon, and I went to the ER and checked in about 5:30. Justin arrived shortly thereafter, and Mom went back home where Tristan was with Barry. Shannon was a true champ, behaving the entire time, practicing writing his name (he can write his first and last now), identifying color words, coloring and playing.
No stitches this time, thankfully. Just glue and a little tape-bandage. Also, no two-hour wait (as was the case the 1st time). We were out of there a little after 6:30!! We took him to get a milkshake, which made him quite happy, and then went on to pick up Tristan.
For those keeping count: this is Shannon's THIRD trip to the ER for cutting his head open. This cut happened in the exact same spot as the 1st one. This one was caused by a wall corner, where the other two were by falls into the radiator. They've all occurred since Shannon was 2 1/2, so we're looking at Tristan and trying to prepare ourselves. Justin has also suggested that in lieu of a college fund we just set him up an Emergency Room fund!
Here are the photos I took once we got home (you can see some dried blood around his eye):

And I also have to share this response from my brother Kris because I thought it was just too funny not to!

"It's this kind of dedication that I like to see in our family. If you can't beat up the radiator at one house, then go for the wall at another house!Kind of takes after his mom. If I remember correctly, she beat up the wall at one house and the front door's window at another!"

In all fairness: This is true to some extent. But I've broken just about every window/pane of glass that's been broken in this house, not just the front door. The difference here is that Shannon takes after Justin. I pick things that I can damage and that don't hurt me. Shannon and Justin pick things that hurt them! Justin has bravely fought the following: a concrete floor, a car windshield (ok, I did that once too), and numerous walls and doors!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

We Watched

Like millions of people around the world, we watched Barack Obama become our nation's 44th President today. Shannon cut his first tooth on election day 2004, when Kerry lost to Bush. The boys go with me most times when I vote, but this election was the first where they were both alive to go with me. I had hesitated about taking them, but the significance was too great not to. We had high hopes about Obama winning, and like many others, we didn't like Bush.
I've been telling the kids, mainly Shannon though since Tristan is a little young still to understand, how important today was. It's been quite a cute day to be around them. I've gotten Shannon to say "Inauguration Day" and I've overheard him telling Tristan that "today is a VERY important day!" When I asked him why today was important he told me "because we're lucky" ~ I asked why we were lucky and he said "because we love Obama."
A little bit of that is from an earlier conversation where I was telling him that he ought to be grateful for the things he has in this life. That he's a very lucky boy, and that we're a very lucky family, because we are plentiful in the things that truly matter.
Justin had to work today, but he left for lunch a little early and made a trip to a nearby pub. He normally takes his lunch (and did today), but I persuaded him that today was worth a trip out. The boys are normally down for naps by noon, but I kept getting Shannon up. He got to see everyone leaving the White House for the Capitol. He got to see the former Presidents and their wives coming out, and we talked about who they were, what "number" President they were, and so on. Finally, I got him back up right before Biden was sworn in. We stood up while both Biden and Obama were being sworn in. We listened to President Obama's speech, and Shannon clapped several times through it when the crowd and I did. Since Justin and I couldn't be together, we agreed to both have a beer and take a sip when President Obama began his speech. Certainly a toast was in order.
I'm not normally patriotic. In fact, probably quite the opposite. But this election has changed things. I'm still cynical and cautious, but like a close friend told me the other day, for the first time I feel patriotic as well.
We are full of hope and optimism. Yes, the road ahead will be hard and things will probably get worse before they get better. But, today, today is special. Today the rest of the world got a glimpse of the America we want to be ~ not the greedy, inconsiderate, loud-mouthed rednecks they've come to think of us as. Today we proved that we are the things we were founded on, and that anyone can become President.
Shannon asked, while watching the massive crowds and all the excitement, if we could go see Obama. I promised him that we will go visit the White House, and that we will try to make sure to do so during Obama's first 4 years. I sincerely hope though that Shannon remembers this day, even if only a little bit.
Even more so, I hope that the hope and optimism of today carries us through the hard times. I sincerely hope that we can all answer the call that has been set forth. I know this will be posted so many places, but it needs to be. I saw it on a friends' flickr page ( and I want to share it here because it needs to be posted as many places as possible so that we can not forget:

"Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends -- hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism -- these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility -- a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world; duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.This is the price and the promise of citizenship." ~ President Barack Obama

Today's tears of joy flow freely and very happily, and strengthen our resolve to be strong, to keep on our path, and perhaps to even dare be patriotic and have faith in our government. Ironically, just after Obama was sworn in, but before his speech, FedEx pulled up and delivered a package. It was my Soul One Brewery t-shirt. A sign for certain. A bit of a dream delivered to my door, to let me know that change is coming, and it will be a good thing.
A very warm and hearty welcome to the Era of Responsibility.

For Shannon's 5th Birthday

Shannon turned 5 on January 13th. It truly is amazing to watch your child grow. They suddenly grasp concepts that we take for granted and they surprise you constantly, even when you homeschool, with the things they have learned and picked-up. For his birthday, we took him to the Mill Mountain Zoo. As part of his gift, we renewed our membership there and got him 5 tokens for the Zoo Choo. Justin took a half day, caught a ride to work with his father, and we picked him up at 1pm. Shannon only knew we were picking up Daddy, he didn't know we were going to the Zoo. We stopped by Texas Tavern for a couple Cheesy Westerns (for us) and some Little Cheeseburgers (for the kids). An adventure that begins with Texas Tavern surely can't go wrong!It was about 39 degrees outside, and we were the only visitors at the zoo, but it was wonderful. The air was crisp and most of the animals were awake and active. The zoo staff was great, they brought out the Zoo Choo for us (a very cold ride!) and fed the animals. We played on the playground and did lots of walking around. Here are some photos: A Zebu ~ or as Tristan called it, a "Beezu!"Curious Snow MonkeyOn the playground
Shannon on the Zoo Choo ~ the big boy gets a seat to himself! Daddy & Tristan on the Zoo Choo

View of the Roanoke Valley ~ taken while riding on the Zoo Choo

One of the foxes ~ normally they're asleep & hard to see!

Silly Shannon

One of the Red Wolves

You can see all of the photos from our trip to Mill Mountain by clicking on this link:

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Sums it up

Not that Justin and I are fighting, just that this is a sentiment I have expressed too many times and thought the insight was probably one I needed to hear! :) For those who can't read the comic you can see it here: