Category: family (Page 2 of 22)

Too Overwhelmed to Write

So a lot of things have changed around here since I have been regularly posting. So much, that I eventually gave up posting. I was/am overwhelmed. I want to share everything but there is so much I can’t get myself to do it. It seems impossible. So I will use bullets to share highlights of what I can remember. And then, if anyone still reads here, you can all PIPE UP in the comments and tell me which teaser you would like more information on first and that will be my next post! Sounds fun. (probably won’t work because no one reads anymore, but perhaps all this will be out-of-the-way and I will be free to begin blogging again? One can hope?)

  • RolyPoly is getting a baby sister! MacD and Funsize are having a scheduled c-section on Aug 30th. The baby needs a super-secret-internet name. You all should get on that right NOW.
  • Bear and Fishboy became engaged just before Christmas.
  • We got a second horse at Christmas. Miss Bonnie Blue (reg. Pushin Little Princess) is a curious, intelligent, trouble making sweetheart TN Walking Horse. She and Calypso adore each other. It was a gift from me to Mr. Vixen so we could start riding together.
  • Mr. Vixen got a new knee!
  • In February, at the beginning of my first ever trail ride a motorcycle came up on a side road and scared Calypso. He spun and took off, along with the two horses that were being ponied by my friends. I did not make the spin. I instead launched off, rolled down an embankment and landed under a pasture fence. I broke 7 bones throughout my body, needed surgical repair (pins) placed in my finger, bruised everything and also tore some menisc-ally stuff that still is going to need surgery to repair. Was not fun.
  • Because of that I haven’t ridden much and am just getting my confidence back.
  • Baby Banana (Nannygoat’s youngest) is going to turn one next month and she has THE MOST BEAUTIFUL EYES of any child on the planet. I have pictures to prove it. She also needs a better S-S-I name, which you all can pick too.
  • In May, Fishboy decided he did not want to be a part of the den anymore. At all. This caused significant heartache for Bear and for us to have to move on very short notice.
  • However, sometimes good things come out of bad experiences. In June, we relocated the Den to “Pterodactyl Ranch”. Our house is twice as big as before, has central air and (most importantly) is a horse property.
  • The horses now live in my back yard. This has reduced our TV time to zero and computer time to 1/16th of what it was before. We are real country-folk now. Living in the country is 100 times less stressful than I dreamed.
  • Being in the country and working on 2-acres of yard that had gone to waste is a good way to start losing weight. Mr. Vixen has lost 15 pounds already and I have lost 9. I am still more overweight than I have ever been in my entire life (even pregnant) and need to find ways to make that happen.
  • I made some super cute things for the new baby girl’s baby shower, very original, keepsake value and uber-inexpensive. I should put up how-to and pictures, right?

I know there are many, many more things I have left out. But if I don’t post this now….it will just sit here for another year and even more stuff will happen.

Know that I am still here and still reading all your blogs, even though I may not comment! Leave me a comment and help me change that!

Belated Mother’s Day Post

This Mother’s Day, I’m working with Clever Girls in support of Macy’s Heart of Haiti to shine a light on the “trade, not aid” program, which provides sustainable income to Haitian artisans struggling to rebuild their lives and support their families after the 2010 earthquake.

I had a great Mother’s Day tribute in mind when I accepted this sponsorship, but as is very common in my life, it didn’t work out. Life tends to get in the way when you are mom. It doesn’t matter if you are a mother of young children and they are sick or if you are a mother of older kids. So many of the people I have connected with online are young mothers. Sometimes I am a sounding board for them and I love that role. I am glad to share whatever knowledge and wisdom I gained through my younger mothering years as I can. I remember those years so well and so dearly. Mostly how desperately I valued the life-stories of others who had ‘survived’ motherhood. What I am coming to realize with nearly-empty-nest syndrome is how difficult mothering continues to be. When your child is hurting, nothing compares to the pain in your heart. However, when they are younger the ability to help them through their troubled times is one-hundred fold your abilities when you a mothering adults.

And therein lies the difficulty. You can’t step in and make it better. Rarely can you even be an arbitrator in their difficulties. Now instead of mean kids, failed tests, bullies, or BFFs who aren’t true(all of which can be “my life is never going to be the same/I will never get over this” experiences; you have to try to comfort them through infidelity, children who are gravely ill, broken hearts and sometimes even the loss of a child. This parenting adults is damned harder than teenagers. You can’t control anything. You can’t influence anything. You can’t make it better and you can’t make it go away.

But what you must always do, as a parent, is share your heart. No matter how much you feel their pain or have your own pain, you must be there for them. Give them all you have. Show them your heart, so they know it is okay to feel pain. It is okay to heal. It is okay to hurt. It is okay to grieve. They will still, always, have your heart.

To mothers everywhere, thank you for loving your children. Thank you for always being there for them, even if they aren’t ‘children’ anymore. A heart needs its mother and father just as much at 28/35/62 as it does at 16. Maybe more.

Thank you to Macy’s Heart of Haiti for sponsoring my participation in this “Share Your Heart” promotion. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions expressed here are my own.

First Love (aka 28 years on the 28th)

On April 28, 1984, after 23+ hours of labor and scary moments, you burst into my life filling it with joy and happiness. Nursing you the first time made me feel like I had found my purpose in life. Such a beautiful baby the world had not seen before.

As a you grew into a funny, goofy, sweet, tender toddler our days were filled with light and love as we learned the ins and outs of parenthood. You blessed our ‘first-hood’ with giggles and smiles. Your curiosity knew no bounds and it was fascinating to rediscover the world through your eyes.

You are our princess and our angel. Our first-born child, the greatest reflection of our love for each. Life with you surpassed even our wildest imaginings. Our hopes and dreams for you seem slight and short-sighted in view of the woman you have become.

Life hasn’t always been easy for the three of us, but your strength and love has helped us become a unit that thousands of people on this planet envy and wish they could achieve. A family of true love.

We thank God everyday for choosing us to be your parents. I can’t even find the words to describe how much we love you and how blessed we are to be sharing this journey with you, Nanny.

Even as I long for the days when you were my baby (I hear that never goes away, sigh), I can’t imagine a life without the beautiful, talented, wonderful adult you are now. Or a life without the girls, who couldn’t have been blessed with a better mother than you.

We love you, Nannygoat. Happy Birthday from Mom and Dad.


PS: Even when you thought I wanted to strangle you I stilled loved you more than life itself, LOL


Always Remembering

Today is October 15th,Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

Light a candle at 7pm, tonight and join us all in remembrance of those gone too soon.

Stop by Band Back Together’s Wall Of Remembrance and show some love and support for those who have lost.


Welcome, Baby Banana

Baby Banana

Born 9/20/11

8 lb 3 oz, 18 3/4L


Another beautiful granddaughter

The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.

My mind is an emotional explosion today. I just spent the most amazing three days at Blogher’11; experiencing the most vast array of emotions and experiences you could pack into such a short time. I have so much to share. Some truly amazing experiences I will share with you over the next while, including dinner last evening with two amazing women (whom I had never met before), that was probably the best experience of the entire convention.

Not surprisingly, I was particularly moved by certain aspects during the week, that had to do with grief, loss and the heartfelt support some of us have received from this amazing community. The reason it is not so surprising, is that tomorrow is three years since Watermelon came into our lives and just as suddenly left; leaving us lost, bereft and heartbroken. Today we are having our annual memorial and balloon release and during the conference that was always in my mind, no matter how distracted I was.

There is a lot to process, so much new insight and new questions about this process of love and loss. I just want to thank everyone who has (and still are) helping me on this journey. Three years is a long time. Three years is a short time. An eternity and yesterday. Fresh and old. Who knows how long this takes? Five years? Never? Tomorrow? I don’t know. but I do know that I couldn’t have come this far in the journey without your love, support and understanding. We are an amazing tribe, aren’t we?

I am going to send another message to heaven today, tied to a balloon, and watch it drift above until it disappears from my site.  I am not just writing to Collin though, this year I want to reach out to others up there, remember them and the amazing women who’s lives they touched: Maddie, Boo, Christine and many others. If I met you this weekend, shook your hand, or hugged you….just know that today I am again thinking of you and that touch/hug. Bless you all.

I Think I’ll Be A Clown When I Get Growd Up

RBBB141_logoComp_rd8_colorStackwebTonight is opening night of Fully Charged presented by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey in San Diego. Excitement is high here at The Den, as Mr. Vixen and I are taking three of the grandkids tonight for their first BIG CIRCUS ADVENTURE.

For me there is nothing better than a really, really amped up and excited grandkid (because I get to send them home later, tee hee), so we started the day early this morning with a special behind the scenes visit to the circus grounds. We were able to see all the horses, tigers, and the elephants; up close and personal. We even saw an elephant get its bath! Did you know they have special wash made just for elephants? They do and its called Safari Shampoo!

If you are in the San Diego area, run out and get some tickets to the circus! I learned this morning that the animal area is open to all ticket holders 90 minutes before each show! You can see all the animals up close before the show and meet their trainers.

Here are some pics of our visit this morning. I hope I see you tonight at the circus. If you don’t have tickets yet, the circus is here all the way through Sunday, the 17th with two shows a day on Friday and Sunday, and three shows on Saturday! Click here for schedule and ticket information.





They are dead; but they live in each Patriot’s breast, And their names are engraven on honor’s bright crest

Memorial Day (or weekend as it has become for most) is a day to remember the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for their I heard that nearly 85% of Americans don’t even know what Memorial Day signifies. I find it quite sad that so many think of this national holiday as only picnics and barbeques. I will have a family get-together also, but it will be a day of remembrance for those who served and died.

That picture is Uncle Charlie, my Pop’s uncle. He was born in Oklahoma on September 20, 1922. At the tender age of 23, this beloved husband and young father of one, was serving  as Fireman, First Class. On April 12, 1945,

EDITED: If any of you follow me on Facebook or twitter, you may recall my frustration with my paid ancestry search results the day before this post. That is because Pop couldn’t recall the ship Uncle Charlie was on or any other details. In trying to honor him, I did the best I could with the limited information I had. It turned out he was not aboard the U.S.S. Abele Mannert. Luckily, his daughter found her way here and shared the true story of his last day and the future of his ship:

Hi Vixen, your father forwarded your blog to me. I am the daughter of Charles Evans Hughes. I really appreciate the tribute that you paid to my father. There are some discrepancy in your tribute. The destroyer, DD777, was the USS Zellars, not the Adele. Four (Jills), Kamikaze’s attacked the ship. Two turned to the forward part of ship the other two toward the aft. Two planes were shot down, the third found it’s target. It carried a torpedo and a fifty pound bomb. Torpedo broke loose and exploded, the bomb did not detonate. Forty-four enlisted and officers died, forty-five injured out of a crew of one hundred twenty-five. The Zellars continued to battle the Kamikaze’s and shot down a third plane.The ship returned to port with extensive damage. After temporary patching, it returned to the States for the major repairs. Returned to service after WWII. The ship was sold to the Shah of Iran. It was still in service as of eight years ago. Now known as the Babar.
Your 2nd cousin

The rest I wrote below is still true. I have actually been to the Memorial in Hawaii and I have a picture somewhere of his name on the memorial, which I why I tried to find out the details to share. Please excuse my previous erroneous information.

44 of the crew were lost with the ship and remain on duty. That includes my great uncle: Charles Evan Hughes. He received the Purple Heart and is memorialized in Honolulu at the WWII Memorial.

Please take a moment during your celebration today, Memorial Day, to remember the lives of all the men and women who gave their lives for our country and freedom.

They was a-splishin’ and a-splashin’

Guess where I was yesterday? On a Friday? In May?

Splash Zoo

That doesn’t look anything like my work, does it? You caught me. I wasn’t at work, I was at the LEGOLAND waterpark  for the new opening of their toddler SplashZoo area! Not by myself either. I thought it only fitting I bring the cutest kids I know: RolyPoly, Ladybug and WhatAboutMe!

All three of those kids adore being in the water. Our previous trips with the older two to a waterpark has been difficult because they believe A) they can swim alone in deep water B) they can do anything an adult can do. It was overwhelming to keep them happy and safe.

I adore, adore, adore the New Duplo Splash Safari with every bit of my grandmotherly being. Shallow, warm pools, kid-sized water slides, soft squishy pool bottom and a great big sprinkler area of giant zoo animals: everything in the place is made for kids to love and enjoy. And our three were no exception!

(see below for scientific/photographic proof of their enjoyment).

If you live in the area, are visiting Southern California or are planning a trip here this summer (any of you BlogHer 2011 attendees bringing your families?!?!) I suggest you take a day (or two) to visit the LEGOLAND Water Park (and of course LEGOLAND too!). The cabanas are terrific and give the family a central place to meet while your bigger kids head over to the regular sized slides and your toddlers and younger kids enjoy the fun (and easier for them to navigate) Splash Zoo!




Thanks to LEGOLAND CA for the opportunity to attend the grand opening and to the SDMomfia for helping to arrange the day for us bloggers. I was given four admission tickers to LEGOLAND, but all opinions, sunburns and fun are mine.

Better than Mother’s Day? Grandchildren on Mother’s Day.

And a new snuggie. Which draws in the youngens like moths to a flame…

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