A couple of years ago Grandpa Babbitt needed some quick cash so your dad bought his inheritance. (As a side note: you will not be inheriting ANY MONEY. I know I put this out there on a weekly basis, but I thought I might put this in stone by writing it in your memory blogbook. Not to say that you aren't all FABULOUS!! The thing is:
1. We will spend all of OUR money. Oh, young children of little money. what pitiful amount of money I am able to save from your vintage car buying father - will be used to put up my senior citizen feet. Can you even imagine how many Ecuadorian village people it will take to saw off the callouses on my feet?
2. I really think it is muy important that you earn your own.
3. If you are desperate I suggest you try your hand at the lottery. I've heard the odds are super good.
Back to the truck. It has sat in the back of the truck for the last 2 years. Recently dad brought it in to the body shop and had some work done on it. It is pretty much done and here is the end result!!
This is a really hard post. I'm going to being truthful in writing this. I hope that someday when you have to rediscover feelings related to trauma in your life this will assist in that journey.
Paige, you went outside to play with Chica and to make sure she had a muzzle on. From inside the house I could hear Chica barking. All of the sudden I heard you (Paige) running and screaming. This was a scream that came from your gut. This was a scream that was hysterical. This was a scream laced with the words, "Chica is dead. Chica is dead." I went outside as you ran inside. I asked you,
Mom, "Paige, what happened?"
I was calmer than I have ever been in my life. Throughout this whole experience I remember thinking to myself, "You are so calm. This is good, Paige needs you to be calm. This is going to shape her forever. Remember, how you react to this is going to help her or harm her forever. Wow, you are so calm - you are rocking this one."
Paige, "The mailman ran over the dog. Chica is dead."
I walked out and looked down the street. I saw a lump of black on the road a ways down. I witnessed her little leg wiggling a bit. I walked back in the house. I could hear you (Paige) screaming from your room. In my calm voice I said,
Mom, "Paige, calm down. Get a towel and let's go grab the dog and get her to the vet. Ellie, grab A and get in the blue car."
The screaming continued for another minute.
Mom, "Paige, we can't help Chica if we don't calm down and get in the car."
Mom, "Go grab a brown towel out of my bathroom and get in the blue car please."
We got in the car and drove to Chica. Paige, you and I got out of the car and walked over to Chica. She had passed away. There was a lot of blood and you could tell she was no longer there.
Mom, "Paige, let's say good-bye to Chica now."
Paige, "Oh Chica, I love you so much and I will miss you."
Mom, "Get in the car sweetie."
I called your dad and he rushed home. He walked right passed me and went back to your room and curled up with you, #2, on your bed. Your dad is an amazing man. The two of you hugged each other for the next 20 minutes.
I walked outside to grab Chica for burial and Vanessa Mortenson stopped her truck when she saw me. She picked up Chica without me even having to ask. She gently put her in the bag I was holding. She got back in her truck and left. She was such a great help.
Paige, you picked out a spot in the backyard and Dad dug a hole. Carter and Danny got home and we all gathered in the backyard. You added items to the hole that you thought would comfort Chica. Paige, you drew a picture and added stuffing from her pillow, and a bunch of dog treats. Dad grabbed a flower for the top and everyone took a turn at the shovel.
It has been 2 days. You went back to school today Paige. This afternoon we will go pick up our new adopted dog PRINCE HARRY.
I noticed a cavity on the outside of your tooth. Not kidding. I saw it with my ojos. You know it es bad when one's ojos can spot the problem. (you just leaned over my shoulder while I'm writing this and said, "I did soooo good Mama)
Guess what. You did do sooooooo good. I done like to teach you good grammar. Actually it is a funny mirror you put in front of my face some times. Today for example. You had school pictures and when I said,
Mom, "Ava, how were your pictures today?"
Ava, " Mom, I did my best and gave my biggest smile."
This was followed by a bone crushing hug you gave my nose.
Ava, "Mom, Guess what? Dr. Morris said not to suck my thumb anymore and I decided not to."
Funny thing is that when dad approached you about sucking your thumb this is what happened:
Dad, "Hey A, Dr. Morris said that sucking your thumb is hurting your teeth. I need you to not put it in your mouth anymore."
A, "Ok. (you then feign putting your thumb in your mouth. You act like your mouth is glued shut and you poke your thumb around your face like your mouth will never let it in again) Look I can't do it anymore."
It has been 2 nights and you haven't sucked your thumb since.
We had parent teacher conferences this week. Paige, my darling, you had to write us a letter from 20 years in the future. This is your letter (spelling, punctuation, and all):
Dear Mom & Dad,
I'm single 31 and have adopted twins from Europe. I also own three injured dogs from a shelter in Russia. When I went to Hawai I found 2 injured sea turtle babies wich now live in my pool. While I was on the Galapagos Island I saved a baby iguana from falling off a branch to its death but I caught him. While at Brazil I found a baby boa constrictor who is very tame and would never hurt a fly. Now you know all of my family.
My job is to travel the world and learn new recipes for my restaurant. Guess what my restaurant is five stars. I make my own recipes to. In Germany I learned how to make yummy German pancakes with peanut butter in it. While in Spain I learned how to make spicey omelets. At Wisconsin I learned how to make many delicous cheeses. Now you know my job.
Mom &Dad I thank you so much for so many things I can't even tell you all of them. Here are a couple. First of all, I thank you for being there when I needed you. Next, I just love that you taught me how to cook Mom. Finally I loved to spend time with you dad at the shop. So thanks Mom and dad for all of your help over the years.
When your teacher read this she said, "Sincerely? Really?" You looked at her like she had food in her teeth. I really don't understand the whole Wisconsin thing. "At Wisconsin" what is that? How do you even know what a 5 star restaurant is? Your dad and I have had long discussions regarding the first line of your letter. Is it that you are SUPER self confident and don't fill up thy brain with anything other than school, friends, and cooking? or Is it that boys haven't crossed your radar yet? I am curious to see how this one ends up.
Our final day we left Santa Barbara and headed toward Tia Allie and Uncle John's house. It was a 2 hour drive. We arrived to a gorgeous modern style house. Super cute!!! We were given a tour of the house and then treated to an awesome lunch. I LOVE Tia ALLIE!! Then we were treated to a visit from Tia Cecelia. She is amazing and dropped off a copy of her latest book for me to read. Uncle John came home for a bit and chatted with dad. (He wears really cool shoes to work!)
Finally, baby Will woke up and I was able to hold him. He is yummy.
We left their house at 3pm and arrived home around 9:30. There was some major traffic all the way to Palm Springs. There was some major TV watching going on in the car on the way home. Some arguments from you - Miss. A - regarding the Karate Kid being a young man. According to you, "That is a little girl. Stop telling me that it's a boy. That little girl is very pretty." Arguments persue. "Mom, what is that little girl's name?" At this point the movie introduces young Mr. Smith as Dre. Miss. A, "Nevermind, her name is Dre. She is a girl." This last part was done with a smirk directed at your siblings.
We headed across the street to the beach after breakfast. Of course dad tried to sleep, all of you young ladies got sandy and wet, and your brother tried to get into the lifeguard tower. What is interesting to me is that whenever your dad spies a squirrel he says (under his breathe) "Wow, that looks tasty."
I'm serious. This must be some dysfunctional DNA gene or something for this happens EVERY TIME HE SEES A SQUIRREL. It happened again on the beach when a little critter was posing atop a rock. We all had a moment of silence and stared at your dad. When you guys meet someone you wish to marry this will have to be topic you gently bring up over time. I might even suggest you wait until you are married before you reveal this family secret.
We grabbed a seat at a Mexican restaurant to have some guacamole, salsa, Beans (for you A) and some smoothies. Lovely time. Whilst there our photographer (Dad) noticed that if he took a picture of me while I raised my eyebrows, I looked 5 years younger. Since younger is always an ultimate goal of your dads, we all tried it out. The following pictures are total proof of his discovery.
After eating Mexicano comida we rented a bike where the Captain did most of the pedaling. Did I mention that he liked to mention this? He did.
Carter, check out your face and the effort you are putting in to this task. If facial expressions were enough to power the bike - we would have been set.
A, you liked to ding the bell that was connected to our bike. Hey bike guy. Please don't be a smartass and attach a bell to a "family bike" next to the baby seat. I know you are probably in the back of the bike shack having a good ol' chuckle, but guess what - I wasn't. My head sure as heck wasn't laughing. It was more like - swearing in a foreign tongue.
We left SFO around 10:00am and the Captain was super grateful. Turns out he+SFO=demon baby. We (all 4 of you and myself) sang gospel songs in praise of Jesus when your dad had an exorcism after leaving SFO. (I am sitting in heaven on earth right now writing this and Nathan/Captain is back and demon baby is gone and he is taking a bath. Yes, I believe this is the 1st bath I have EVER seen him take. Turns out when your body houses a monster it is SUPER draining.)
Let me first say, "Welcome back Nathan. We all missed you dearly."
We drove to San Luis Obispo ( I don't know how to spell that City and am too lazy to google it) for lunch. SUPER cute town. I loved the sandwich shop we found and enjoyed walking around their downtown area. It was rather funny that when we found a parking garage we were ready for SFO pricing and were taken completely by surprise. Instead of $2.50 for every 20 minutes it was 60 for free and then 75cents an HOUR. I believe your dad shouted "BROTHA finally got a break."
We left SLO and headed for El Captain Canyon. (Funny, your dad just came in after his bath and said, "I feel so much better after washing the Devil of SFO out of my hair." ) So El Captain Canyon is AMAZING. I spoke with Auntie Kimmy a couple of times this evening and she pinned it
It is like a summer camp designed for adults. Uber cute cabins/tents/yurts, amazing grassy areas, a heated pool, a great kid playground, trees everywhere, a General Store that brings you dinner, 5min walk to the beach, a yurt where there is a massage therapist, a volleyball net/grassy area, Ok I could keep going, but I will just highlight some:
1. They pass out kid and adult bikes everyday. FOR FREE
2. You call the General Store and they DELIVER dinner that you then cook on your fire. Tonight we ordered
4 hamburgers with tons of toppings
2 chicken thighs
1 loaf of bread
1 tin container of beans
1 large tin container salad with dressing (really good by the way)
4 sparkling water bottles (you could choose something else- we are way snobby)
FIREWOOD / STARTER / PLATES / NAPKINS /SILVERWARE
and a FREAKING bag to make smores with pokey things to cook them with for
......................$60.00........There was even anyone to tip. It was in our fridge after our walk. Guess what, in SFO that meal would have been $160.00
Add to all of this -----------------4 baby deer in our yard just hanging out.