Friday, September 23, 2011

Would You, Could You, Come & Play?...

Birthday boy approves
Would you, could you come and play? Would you, could you on my birthday?

 Dr. Seuss was the theme for my youngest son's 2nd birthday party.

It's hard to believe the year has flown by and I need to put together a party before he turns the big 3 in just a couple weeks.

I love to do creative parties for my 2 boys, but juggling work, school and daycare schedules, soccer, guitar practice, and everything else a busy working mom has to do in a week makes it tough. This year we've decided on a local pumpkin patch.

While I get my creative juices flowing for this one, enjoy some of the pictures from last year's party.  "Oh the thinks you can think, if only you try..."

Homemade tissue pom poms
I made the cake, decorations, bought blue wigs, and wrote Thing 1 & Thing 2 on red t-shirts to fit the theme. We had Thing 1 & Thing 2 races and a photo op for souvenirs.

Thing 1 & Thing 2 Photo Op
Everyone had a ball! I got the most ideas, and a couple party supplies, (like the treat boxes) from the Seussland web site.   

Homemade Cat in the Hat cake

This year I'm thinking of dressing the birthday boy in overalls with a white t-shirt, which I will use a rubber stamp to cover with orange pumpkins. I am also getting some great ideas for games, food and adorable party favors from sites like Wish me luck. I'll post pictures after the pumpkin patch party.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Story I Dreaded Covering Blessed Me Beyond Measure

It was the story I dreaded covering, and was thrilled to hear someone else got the assignment. A 10-year-old boy had been rushed to the hospital after being mauled by a pit bull mix and another dog. The attack was so severe, the pit bull ripped both of the boy's ears off.

It happened a month ago, and the reporter who covered the story came back talking about how sad it was. I did not listen as she told co-workers about the boy named Brandon. As a mother of two boys I couldn't imagine the horror Brandon's parents must have been feeling.

I didn't want to know anything about his injuries or the attack for fear I would burst into tears and feel horrible. Now I think, what a selfish response. This week, whether I wanted to or not, I met Brandon and his parents.

I hadn't changed my opinion about this tragedy, and sighed when I learned I'd have to do a followup on Brandon's recovery and talk with him and his parents about the day he was mauled by dogs.

What a story of survival, and I am so blessed to have met this little boy. Brandon is 11 now and an incredible inspiration. He has the most positive outlook on life and is so thankful to be alive.

His dad, Tony, told me it has changed his perspective on life and how he lives it. "I take everything and everyday as something special now. I am not taking a moment with him or anyone I love for granted," he said.

Brandon's mother, Christy, said she feels some pangs of guilt because she told Brandon to take a package next door to the neighbor's. It was the neighbor's dogs who attacked him as he was headed back home. "I just wish I had taken it myself," she said, to which Brandon looked at her shaking his head and said, "No mom. It's OK."

I am near tears writing this, but I couldn't cry as I looked at Brandon that day. He smiled at me nearly the entire time I spoke with him and his family. Even when he spoke in detail about the attack, his tireless visits with doctors, even the pain he feels daily, he didn't seem sad.

His dad told me the entire family is closer than ever before. Brandon has a brother and sister. He's the middle child. I have shared his story with my husband and son, because we all need to remember what's important in life.

It's tough to complain about your problems when you meet this happy, well adjusted boy who has been through so much. He just learned surgeons may be able to re-construct his ears, which is very important to him.

Please take the time to watch his story while the video is still on the web site.

His dad told me that God saved Brandon. In the middle of the horrific scene, Brandon's dad said, "I was beating the pit, but she wouldn't turn him loose. The other dog started attacking me from behind, and I asked God to help me. God helped me. The 2nd dog backed off of me, and my dad's Lab ran up and started biting the pit bull on the butt until she let go of Brandon. The pit turned to attack me, and I put my arm in her mouth."

This dad was able to hold that dog until police arrived, even screaming for his wife to bring electrical tape which he used to tape the dog's mouth shut. He also laid her on her side and taped her legs while paramedics worked to save his son's life.

We don't understand why tragedy strikes our lives or others around us, but I know God is always there, and we just need to ask him for help. I am thankful I was able to cover the story I dreaded.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

He's Teaching Me Patience

Raising two boys I knew I would eventually have to move from toy trucks to teen tantrums, but I still had a few years not to think or worry about it. So I thought.

My oldest son is only 8, and we're still battling the terrible twos with the little guy. Those of you who know me well already know that my world seriously changed about three months ago. That's when my teenage cousin moved in with us.

We grew to a party of five overnight and my husband and I have struggled to teach discipline to a child someone else has molded. A man-child that is. I failed to mention he is 18-years-old, but suffered a brain injury just over a year ago.