Thursday, September 20, 2007

Good-night, Miss Myrna

I received notice today that a woman I know passed away. She had been sick with cancer for a very long time, and is now living pain-free in Heaven with our Lord. But, I was very taken aback by how strongly I reacted (emotionally) to the news of her passing.

I didn't know Miss Myrna very well. I met her at a concert, where she and BratGirl2 exchanged stones with their names on them, committing to pray for each other. As a family, we have done so, pretty faithfully, for 5 or 6 years now. We've never stopped. It may just have been "God bless Miss Myrna," but we always had her on our hearts.

When I gave birth to BratBoy, I was given a diaper bag, which was lovingly made by--you guessed it--Miss Myrna. I used that diaper bag almost daily for over 1-1/2 years. She made them for all new moms in our church.

Occassionally I would run into Miss Myrna, and she'd always give me a huge, warm smile. She had a joyful spirit, and a way of making me feel like she was genuinely happy to see me. She'd always ask me about the kids, and how our family was doing, and she would tell me that she continued to pray for us. I would tell her that we pray for her, too.

I knew she was sick, but I didn't realize how sick. I had thought about visiting her in the hospital, with the kids, but was concerned we'd give her a cold, so I didn't go. How silly of me! I meant to send her a card, but I never did. Why did I wait? I guess it's true what they say about "good intentions."

I was shocked when I heard that she'd passed. Did I thank her for the diaper bag? I think I did. But I don't know that I ever told her how much it meant to me that she prayed for us daily. I don't even know if I realized it before today. I hope she knew what a difference she made with her small gestures of selflessness. She set a wonderful example for me, my children, and all whom she came into contact with. She was warm, sincere, and caring, and I will treasure the brief moments I spent with her. I'm grateful to have known her.

What have I learned from all of this?
-Don't procrastinate. When I feel the need to say "thank you," or to let someone know that I appreciate them, I should do it right away. The opportunity to say so may not present itself again.
-Find some way, even if it's small, to give to others around you. Small things, like praying for someone every day, can make a huge difference in someone's life. Even if it doesn't, it can make a huge difference in your own life!

I hope, some how, some way, and some day, to make a positive difference in someone else's life, as Miss Myrna made in mine. I pray that the BratKids can learn to be giving, selflessly and sincerely, not because I expect them to, but because God does.

Thank you, Miss Myrna, for all you've done for me and my family. I look forward to seeing you again, someday, in Heaven. Sleep well....

Monday, July 9, 2007

Shake Your Groove-Thing!

My BratKids are too funny! BratGirl1 is shy in public; she doesn't speak above a whisper, if she even speaks at all. BratGirl2 is the strong-willed, extraverted, take-charge one. BratBoy--well, he's two-and-a-half (need I say more?) At any rate....

They like to put on "shows." Yep--major events. The top of our stairs is where the action is. It's our informal stage. And, being the animal-lovers they are (tree-huggers!), almost every show is about animals. Still, that's neither here nor there.

What makes these shows so special? The way all three BratKids embrace the spotlight. It amazes me that, tonight, BratGirl1 composed her songs, performing as "Lea, the Queen of the Dogs," singing (and not quietly, I might add!) and dancing. BratGirl2 didn't try to "take over," as she so often does. Instead, she played her supporting role as the Puppy Assistant/MC so cooperatively. And they included BratBoy, funny hat and all! No one yelled at anyone. No one said "stop it!" or "stop touching me!" or "you're in my spot!" No one whined "you're not singing it right!" or "Be quiet! It's my turn!" No. Instead, it was a harmonious moment in time. A breath of fresh air. The perfect example of cooperation.

Don't pinch me.... I must be dreaming....

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Fare-thee-well, Bella & Linda!

Well, it's done. The mice are gone.

No, the cat didn't eat them. We sold their cage at our garage sale this weekend for $5.00, including food, bedding, accessories...oh, yes, and two pet mice.

I thought the kids would protest, but they were fine with it. They "held them good-bye," and that was it. No tears. No hysterics. Just a wave, and....

I know I sound callous, but, in my defense, the kids said it was fine with them to sell the cage, mice included. They knew I was tired of cleaning the cage, and that BratDad was tired of smelling it. The BratGirls only held their respective mice about once a month (I think I held them more!), and rarely checked their food/water levels. And, the BratCat was always after them. So, it's probably for the best.

Are we done with rodents? Probably. I don't mind them, though. I think they're cute, and I don't mind holding them. However, any pets we get in the future will be cleaned up after by the BratKids, not me! (That's the only reason we have a BratDog, y'know?!)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Our Tooth Fairy

I read an article online about tooth fairies, which got my mind going.
Our tooth fairy has a pathetic "response-time." She's even been known to be 3 days late in picking up a tooth! Sadly, it has nothing to do with our kids being light sleepers, because they are not. Nor does it have anything to do with not being able to find the tooth. It's simply called "mommy-brain," or, "I just had another platinum-blonde moment"!

Another problem our tooth fairy has is forgetting to hide the tooth somewhere safe, or to lable who it belonged to. She had 2 baggies in a locked box with each child's name on it, for their teeth, but has misplaced the locked box. Really, she IS smarter than she sounds! Unfortunately, sleep-deprivation and three kids depletes the female tooth-fairy's brain cells.... (I think that will be a good topic for another post!)

The one cool thing she does is leave foreign coins/money for the kids, along with $1. Cheap, but interesting for them to learn about the country the money is from. Bad, if the tooth fairy runs out of foreign coins.

Maybe our tooth fairy should tie a string around her finger...

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Happy Mother's Day to Me!

She almost cost us our marriage. Really. I saw her, and I had to have her.

The cutest little thing on 4 legs, with perky ears that are almost as tall as the rest of her, and a slight mohawk. Probably no more than 10 inches tall at the tips of her ears, and not much of a tail to speak of. (I'd say she's more guinea pig than dog.) Still, I had to have her.

We've talked about getting a dog for a while, but decided that the breeds we were looking at were too much (We're so cheap that we didn't even want to spend the $75-$100 for a "pound puppy!") I looked online, checked the papers, and even searched Craig's List for "free" puppies. Not a chance! (How ridiculous is it, anyway, that "mixed breed" dogs are so expensive? Remember when they were called "mutts" and were free?) At any rate, we had decided to postpone, indefinitely, the search for a dog. No need to deal with the hassle of cleaning up after them, anyway. So much easier without one.

Enter Jersey.

We were visiting my sister-in-law for her birthday, and Jersey was next door. Having no fences between their yards, she was tethered to the back fence, to keep her out of the other neighbor's yard (we all have some other neighbors, wink wink!) Anyway, I had seen her before and tried to find out what she was, because we were thinking about a smaller-to-medium-size-dog previously, and I thought she was just so cute! So, we were standing there, and S-I-L mentions that "they think they finally found a home for her...." What?! They're getting rid of her? She explains that the family is never home, and the parents feel bad that she gets so little attention. I can't help myself: I blurt out "But, I want her!"

That was it: my 2 sweet BratGirls and my eldest nephew marched over to the neighbors and asked if we could have her. Lo and behold, they said YES!

Now the hard part.

I asked BratDad if we could have her. "No." Please? They already said yes? "NO." My version of puppy dog eyes.... "NO!" I begged, pleaded, and promised to do things I hadn't done in a very long time (my bathrooms are extremely dirty!) "NO!!! We don't need a dog!"


BratGirl1 went in to talk to him, and promised to pick up poop every day.

BratGirl2 went in to talk to him, and promised to feed her.

I waited.

I went in and knelt at his side. BIG puppy-dog-eyes. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make you feel like a bad guy. You're not. It's my fault for getting the girls' hopes up."

I waited.

"Do you really want a dog?"


I waited.


"Fine. Happy Mother's Day."

She moved in the next day, and we're all so very glad she did.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Oh, the drama....

It was a cold and stormy night in February, and the mouse cage needed cleaning. I picked up the cage, and noticed that only one of the two pets were in the "skyroom." "Hmmmm," I thought to myself. I peered in through the window on the side of the cage, and couldn't see Jordan inside her house in the cage. "Where is she?" I wondered. I turned to leave the room, with cage in hand, and took another peek through the wind.... Window? There isn't a "window" in the cage! Oh. my. gosh! The cat knocked the tube to the "skyroom" off, and the mouse was out! (the other one was too much of chicken to venture out--smart girl!)

I tore the room apart, but, alas, no mouse. I suppose that, if the cat got her, we'd know--he'd leave us a "present." He's acting funny, though, like he did when we had a couple of field mice in the kitchen. I'll have to keep an eye on that. Maybe if I give him wet catfood, he'll leave it alone? Fat chance....

12:35 am: I hear the cat after something in the kitchen. I check on him, but there's nothing there.

12:45 am: I hear the cat again. I check, and this time....

There she is, wedged in between the laptop case and the cold, hard kitchen tile. She made herself as small as possible, to avoid the sharp claws that came at her. I gently picked her up, trying to inspect her. Have you ever tried to give medical treatment to a jumpy rodent? At any rate, her fur was a mess, and one beady black eye was HUGE and red, obviously injured. "I guess we'll have to wait and see if she makes it." Home at last, and, relatively safe from the cat, she went to sleep with her "sister."

6:30 am: She's still alive. Her eye looks better. However, she's traumatized, and unable to travel. She will have to postpone her trip to visit BratGirl1's class. She's very disappointed, but is grateful to be alive.

Incidently, the cat sat in the kitchen for about 1/2 hour, waiting for the mouse to come out. I don't think he realized that I rescued her!

Epilogue: Unfortunately, Jordan only survived a couple of days after this incident. BratMom even hand-fed Jordan water several times a day, because she went completely blind and was unable to find the water. After her passing, we got Bella.... Princess, the other mouse, passed away shortly before this incident, due to a tumor. Hence, Linda....