A MAJOR rant and a happy ending :-)

What a CRAZY weekend and week, for that matter!  I’m getting TOO freaking old for this, really.  lol  Today, I talked to somebody about my brother, who is a Leo.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with the personality traits of a Leo, they’re just a tad self centered.  They’re STRONG and funny, but yes, the world as they see it, should ALWAYS revolve around them.  My brother came from the womb this way and he received many an a$$ kicking from me when he was little.  I should be ashamed, but I’m not.

This weekend, my brother suggested we have a birthday dinner for me.  He planned this with my husband.  I have to give little brother credit for even caring at all because I can’t remember a single birthday where he actually did anything for me.  Not that I mind… my birthday’s were something I’d like to forget, mostly because the brother that I shared every birthday with is gone.  I just wish they would come and go quietly, really.  Anyway, little brother planned a dinner.  You’d think it would be at HIS house right?  Nope.  He wanted to have the dinner at MY house so that my hubby can grill.  Little brother was going to provide the meat to be grilled but we had to do the sides.  He DID offer to HELP Hubby grill.

First of all, you know what having company means, right?  I have to clean.  The burden of cleaning and getting the house ready for company fell on me and my daughter.  I’m sure Hubby would have done it if I’d asked but he’s not good about details.  SO, I cleaned AND I made part of the dinner.  Once little brother arrived, he was “too sick” to help with anything. Hubby did it all while Little Brother went and laid down in my bed.  He had a headache and he was SURE that nobody in the world ever suffered from a headache such as he had.  Seriously.  I told him I understand headaches because I suffer from migraines but he told me that he knew I wouldn’t be able to LIVE with the kind of pain he suffered from.  Hmmm… how quickly he forgets that I have MANY a scar since I’ve been cut from my neck down to my belly button.  THAT’S nowhere near the pain Little Brother was having though.  So, I left Little Pumpkin to sleep in my bed while we got the food ready.

You might be interested to know what my birthday present was?  Okay, I’ll tell you.  My brother allowed me to take care of his baby daughters overnight and all the next day.  Thank GOD Hubby, Daughter and her friend helped me with this because I, myself, felt like complete crap.  Although, I’m sure my pain couldn’t compare to Little Brother’s.  I love my nieces, you all know I do.  I love them like they’re my own kids and why shouldn’t I?  They spend more than 2/3 of their life with me!  lol  It’s just that I’m tired.  And one of my nieces is possessed by the devil.  No joke.  I love her but she’s got some serious problems!  Far be it from ME to mention that to Little Brother because his progeny are perfect, just like him.  Oh and he really feels that if he tells me enough how I’m privileged to be able to watch them (because he won’t allow anyone else to take care of the little angels), I’ll look at it as my most honored privilege.  Only it’s my BIRTHDAY… so can’t I get a pass at least for this week?  Nope, I can not.

Little brother and his wife wanted/needed some time alone Saturday night so my family took care of my nieces.  3 of them.  Granted, the oldest one is a PLEASURE and no trouble at all.  The baby is also an angel, but you know how much time babies take, right?  Even the BEST baby is a handful!  lol  I could have said no, but I recognized that they don’t have time together (brother and wife).  They’re in their 40’s, like me and they get tired too.  So, just like he knew I would, I felt sorry for them and tried to FIX things.  So how did Little Brother and his wife spend their night together?  Little Brother was too sick to pay attention to his wife so he moaned and groaned and complained while she quietly read a book.  Wow.  What a waste.  Can’t he just fake it and TRY to act like he wasn’t the center of the universe?  It took SO much for my sister in law to rearrange her schedule just to be ABLE to spend an evening with her husband.  This was an evening he said he desperately needed with her.  I guess it was all good for him because she got the opportunity to dote on him and be concerned with his sicknesses.  She must be a saint.  I’d have killed him.

Yesterday, Sunday, the little angels were supposed to go home by noon.  They did NOT.  After noon, little brother called to tell me that his wife would be tied up at their oldest daughter’s tournaments until 5:00 p.m.  Did I want him to come and pick the kids up?  HELL YES, I wanted him to come right then!  Did he?  Nope.  He called his wife and asked her to leave the tournament, over an hour away, and come pick her kids up.  She couldn’t leave so the kids stayed here until after 5:00.  Little Brother had to go to the dump to empty trash and he actually said that he was going to be “stuck” with his kids for this entire week so he couldn’t come get them.  He’s a SAHD.  He doesn’t much like his role as Mr. Mom.  REALLY?  His poor wife works over 12 hours a day and still has to take care of the house and her kids when she gets home.  She NEVER has a break but my precious little brother needs a break.  Seriously, the kids are with me more than half the week, most weeks.  I guess I just thought that I would be exempt from having to watch the little darlings on my birthday.

Done with rant… kind of.  We made the best of the weekend, still.  I DO enjoy my nieces (when I’m feeling good).  I do NOT enjoy the devil that resides inside my 4 year old niece.  Luckily, Hubby was at home to restrain her from hurting herself this weekend.  She went into a RAGE, growling at us and slobbering because Hubby made her put a shirt on to go outside.  She feels like she should be naked all the time.  That would be fine with me if not for the fact that at 4, she’s getting a little too old and I don’t want some pervert driving by to look at her “business”.  lol  Hubby doesn’t “lose” it often, he’s got the patience of a saint.  However, even though he doesn’t believe in spankings, he had to administer one yesterday.  AND hold her so that she didn’t bang her head (on purpose) on the furniture.  I really can’t even describe her tantrums because I’ve never seen anything like them before.

Things DID settle down after the restraining incident and Precious Jr. became my Hubby’s best friend!  lol  Here they are cleaning up the playhouse.

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(this old playhouse was one we built for my 28 year old daughter when she was 4!  My youngest daughter and her friend ghettofied it with paint a few years ago.  Ignore the paint. Besides Hubby and Esme’ are going to paint it white and also make a sign that says “Esme’s Playhouse 🙂 )

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Here’s my teenage munchkin and her bff helping to keep the baby occupied so that I could do my birthday dishes.  lol  These kids were a LIFE saver!  Eventually, my daughter’s bff took off because she couldn’t take it anymore.  lmao

Once the babies left, we all got the heck out of Dodge and went to Dairy Queen!  There’s not much that ice cream doesn’t fix, right?  We ended the day with lots of laughs and fun and yumminess 🙂  All is good again at my house!

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(Hubby contemplating the Oreo Blizzard that will be coming his way soon)

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Hannah the bff, enjoying her ice cream, maybe a little TOO much!  lmao  BTW… she’d KILL me if she knew I posted this pic 😉  You can see that my daughter didn’t have much time this weekend to take care of her own very special hair needs?  hehehe

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Life is good again and everything’s fixed, all because of a little ice cream 🙂

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Hmmm…. maybe I should pay attention to my OWN hair and grooming needs?  Naw.  I didn’t give two $hi*$ about who was looking at me.  Sometimes, you just have to NOT care and enjoy your ice cream 🙂

Hope you all had a spectacular weekend?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Change

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Change

Life as she knew it changed on the day we welcomed her baby sister into this world!

My poor little niece Esme was used to having ALL the attention to herself and really believed that she was the center of everyone’s heart until the pesky day that her baby sister made her debut! lol Can you see, by the look on her face, that her world is about to change? This was June 4, 2012. The change has not fared well for poor Esme but I believe that there’s hope and she’ll learn to adjust before she turns 18! lol PLEASE God, let there be hope!

This quote really could have been written for Esme’. She follows NOBODY’S rules and has no respect for authority. I guess that can be a good thing if channeled in the right way and TRUST me, we’re ALL working on it. It really does take a village to raise a child in the way she should go and she’s got the love and attention of not only her parents and older sisters, but her extended family. Most especially her old doting Auntie / Godmother Michelle 😉 Maybe she’ll be the next Steve Jobs?

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
― Apple Inc.

Drama, Drama, Drama and the Zoo!

A few of you have noticed that I’ve been gone for a little while and have asked me what happened.  One of my blog buddies (Shaun) even thought my laptop must be broken! lol  I guess that’s a fair worry because I’m usually around every day.  It’s nice to be missed!

The reality is that my laptop is just fine.  My family, however is NOT fine.  Dad was in the hospital last week with a heart attack and the day after he was released, his wife, my step mother of 33 years was admitted with pneumonia.  During her stay, many tests were run and we were told that they believe she has pancreatic cancer.  They’re also checking into her kidney’s and liver.  I guess maybe they think it’s spread.  I don’t know.  I have NO idea what Dad will do if anything ever happens to her.  He completely depends on her for his complete existence.  We’re all VERY worried so prayer, or happy thoughts PLEASE and thank you.

Once my stepmother was released from the hospital, my brother, who is 4 years younger than me had a heart attack!  We’re falling apart!  Geeze.  The scary thing is that his wife is out of town on business and he’s home alone with the babies.  Hubby and I rushed to go get the babies and we’ve been busy, busy BUSY taking care of my precious little nieces.  The GOOD news is that my brother will be fine and that his health can be controlled with medication.  The bad news is that his wife is still not home.  I think we’ll be getting 3 of the girls again this weekend.

Soooo… to make good out of a very stressful and bad situation, we decided to have some fun with the kiddos.  Sunday was a PERFECT day for the St. Louis Zoo!  You guys HAVE to check our zoo out if you’re ever in my neck of the woods.  It’s pretty awesome and it’s totally free!  That’s the best part, right?  lol

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After driving for an hour, in search of a parking space, we’re on our way to see the lions, tigers and bears!  lol

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4 year old niece trying to decide if she should give the seal a kiss like I told her to.  She’s not much of a cooperator!  lol

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Even my oldest daughter came!  Here they are playing in the bamboo jungle 🙂

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Teenage Munchkin and her bff at one of the HUGE aquariums.  This one is called “The River’s Edge”.

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Esme’ wanted to see the “Elf-an-nents” first.  So by ALL means, we’re going to see the elephants 🙂  The only thing was that we saw more elephant poop than we saw elephants.  They all seemed to be hiding!  I think his name is Raj.

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Here’s me and my precious little Ireland.  She was SO tired but didn’t make a peep.  What a terrific baby girl.

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Esme’ didn’t want to miss out on the family love!  lol  Nothing like a big ole group hug!

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The lion sleeps tonight!  lol  ALL the animals were lazy!

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The zebras weren’t very exciting either 😦

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And the giraffes were even trying to hide.

Thanks to the hubby for putting up with an SUV load of loud little kids, teenagers and hormonal women!  lol  Whew.  I’d hate to be HIM some days… but he performs well under stress and painted a smile on his face all day 🙂

Let’s go shopping! Girl time :-)

It’s been a CRAZY, busy week.  We’ve been taking care of my nieces and getting ready for the two upcoming funerals I told you about.  In the midst of all the craziness, we took some time to do some girl bonding!  I forgot how glorious it was to shop with a cranky 4 year old who wants to only look at princess jewelry and hide under clothing racks, a 9 month old teething baby and 2 indecisive teenage girls.  WOW!  All I can say is I should have had a martini BEFORE I went!  lol  

Here’s what I got for me:

This

with these 🙂

And this

Jennifer Lopez Platform Dress Sandals - Women

with these:-)  I know, you’re jealous, right?

Apt. 9 Metallic Clustered Rhinestone Flip-Flops

Cause every girl needs a couple pairs of flip flops!  Casual PLUS bejeweled 🙂

Princess Esme’ NEEDED a new princess dress, and so she received her new royal ball gown!  Here’s what she will be receiving her subjects in…

Candie's Gladiator Sandals - Toddler Girls

Almost TOO adorable for her little princes self!  lol

Aubrie, my 13 year old niece is my future executive.  She used the money I gave her for Christmas so the only thing I had to buy for her THIS trip was her shoes. Here’s what she chose:

IZ Byer California Striped Dress - Juniors

Candie's Striped Peplum Blazer

Okay, I wouldn’t have normally approved of these shoes for a 13 year old but her mother was okay with them so how could I say no?  Besides, the child is only barely 5 feet tall and she needed tall heels so that she could wear her new pants (thank goodness her pants completely covered her shoes).  I’m thinking she’ll let me borrow them?  lol

Julia is not only a beautiful young lady BUT she has style, which makes me proud.  Here’s what she choose for herself:

Speechless Polka-Dot Lace Dress - Juniors

Cute for summer!

City Triangles Lace Dress - Juniors

She needed something she could wear to church.

Mudd Belted Solid Capris - Girls 7-16

And THESE will go with everything…

Candie's Ballet Flats - Juniors

We couldn’t leave baby Ireland out and I thought this would look SO cute on her…

Youngland Floral Dress and Dot Leggings Set - Baby

Carter's St. Patrick's Day Top and Leggings Set - Baby

We HAD to get this one, well, because her name IS Ireland and St. Patrick’s day is right around the corner:-)

So now I’m not only tired but extremely broke!  The hubby is threatening to make this money come out of our cruise fund.  I don’t think I’d do that if I were him 😉

Bonding with the nieces :-)

Having the pleasure of my 4 year old niece, Esme’, who spent the day and night with me.  God I love this kid.  I wish I could describe her personality to you but my words aren’t colorful enough.  There simply is NO personality like hers.  She’s almost, a little TOO old for her 4 years.  An old soul.  She just KNOWS things that she hasn’t ever been taught.  Like, this morning, she told me, as she was helping me scramble some eggs, “I don’t PRECISELY like when you let the egg get on my hand, Aunt Michele”.  Okay, so she didn’t maybe use the word “precisely” in the correct context BUT she used it and what 4 year old says “precisely”?  She has an imaginary friend named Charlotte, who is a spider and she tells me that once, when Charlotte was just a baby, I stepped on her and killed her but Esme’ brought her back to life.  Charlotte is busy in the kitchen now, and she’s raising a family of her own.  LOT’S of little baby spiders.  lol  I once had an imaginary friend, but it was a boy named Charlie NOT a spider! Oh and Esme’ isn’t allowed to watch TV but somehow she knows ALL about zombies.  She chased me around the house yesterday pretending to be a zombie who wanted to eat me!  I obliged her by falling to the ground so she could take a chunk out of me 🙂

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I also had her baby sister, Ireland, who I swear is the reincarnation of my brother, J.  She is the SPITTING image of him.  I started calling her “Uncle J”.  lol  Esme’ LOUDLY explains to me that Ireland is NOT Uncle J!  I wish these girls could REALLY know who their Uncle J is.  They only have pictures though.  Anyway, Ireland is my little lover and wants me to hold and snuggle her all day, and I will.  Sadly, her mommy came to pick her up last night.  My sister in law says she doesn’t share well… and she doesn’t!  Ah well, I’m blessed to have these kids as much as I do and I’m EXTREMELY happy that they have such a good mommy who doesn’t like to be without her girls.  That’s the way it SHOULD be.

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Today, I’ll be picking Esme’ and Ireland’s older sister Aubrie up from school.  I don’t get to see Aubrie much because she’s involved in SO many sports and other school activities.  I cherish even these sad times.  I’m taking Esme’ and Aubrie shopping for funeral clothes.  It’s a sad occasion but I’ll try to make it as fun as I can.  Besides, NOBODY does fashion the way Aunt Michelle does fashion!  lol  That’s really the only reason my sister in law asked me to take the girls shopping!  lol

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One of the only pictures of me Esme’ and Aubrie 🙂

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A more recent pic of me Aubrie and Ireland 🙂

Now…  I’m off to do some serious girl bonding!  Here we come mall !!!

It comes in 3’s..

The Grim Reaper, I mean.  He’s an evil one but one thing’s for sure, he gives you fair warning that it will most ALWAYS come in 3’s.  You know when you get that first phone call.  You know to wait, in panic because the next call is right around the corner, and then the next.  If you’re lucky, it will stop there.

Death borders upon our birth, and our cradle stands in the grave.
Joseph Hall

My poor sister in law just went through this LAST month.  They were clients and acquaintances though.  She’s an emotional person and it still hit her hard because although she doesn’t wear her heart on her sleeve like I do, her feelings run deep and when they start to come out, they hit her like someone punching her in the gut.

I was at my little niece, Esme’s 4th birthday party on Sunday when Amy (sister in law) gave me the update on one of our friends, Lisa.  Lisa is younger than me, a little.  She, Mick (her husband) and Emily (her only child) have been friends of our family for years but Amy has known them ALL their adult life.  They were close.  I remember boating and fishing over at Lisa’s and our kids all playing together.  I remember Lisa taking my hand and letting me know that she and Mick were praying for me when my outcome looked grim.  I think they really believed I wouldn’t be long for this world.

Anyway, it was strange because they ALWAYS show up for one of our kids birthday parties or special events but Amy hadn’t heard from anyone about Esme’s party.  She made a special phone call to them and nobody answered the phone.  They texted her back on Sunday and Emily, the 13 year old daughter said, “Mom has refused treatments and I really know now that she’s not going to get better”.  You see, last year, Lisa had battled and won her addiction with drugs and alcohol.  Nobody even really knew she had a problem, aside from her immediate family.  She fought SO hard.  She was on top of the world when she found out that she had stage 4 lung cancer.  Then it spread quickly to other parts of her body.  When I saw her last, at my baby niece’s baptism, she pulled me aside and told me that it was in her brain and she couldn’t get rid of her headaches.  She told me then that she knew she wasn’t going to live.  She didn’t confide that in Amy I think, in part, because Amy is so innocent and only wants to be optimistic.  Also, remember, the dying can confide in the dying.  We can keep our diseases between us and that way, the ugliness won’t spread and infect other people.  Sad.  I knew in November that Lisa wasn’t okay and she wouldn’t get better but my poor sister in law was still hopeful.

Back to Sunday.  Amy told Emily that she wanted to see Lisa.  Emily said “Yes… she wants to see you too”.  Amy knew it would be the last time.  Lisa died that night before Amy had the chance to say goodbye.

How does a young family wrap their head around something like this?  They’ve struggled as a family all along.  They’ve struggled with infertility issues, they’ve struggled with addiction and finance.  One thing that always impressed me though, was how fiercely loyal they were to each other and how they weren’t going to give up on each other.  They fought off the world and many times, nobody even knew what was happening with them.  They were just that way.  They kept things private, between themselves.  They didn’t want the world judging them and I think they were right to not share things until after those obstacles had been overcome.  They couldn’t win the battle with cancer though.  When the grim reaper comes for you, you have to go.

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I knew when I took this picture of Lisa, it would probably be the last time I’d see her in this world.  The strange thing is (about this particular pic) that she’d never seen Ireland, my baby niece before.  She LOVED babies and was always even a little sad because her only baby was growing up and she couldn’t have any more children.  She was afraid to hold Ireland because she was shaky, due to the brain cancer.  She didn’t want the baby to cry if she were able to sense that something was wrong with Lisa.  Being the pushy person that I am,  I insisted and sat beside her while she fell in love, all over again with another baby.  Ireland was fine, btw…  she felt comfortable with Lisa instantly because she could sense a good soul.  Babies just KNOW things.  The funny thing is that Ireland isn’t okay with new people, ever.  She isn’t okay with people she sees regularly.  It’s just the stage she’s going through.  She’s very choosy about who she’ll go to.  I’m VERY blessed that she counts me as someone she loves but I was even more blessed, on this day, to see that she would reciprocate the love that Lisa wanted to give.

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I knew that Amy would want these pictures.  I just FELT that these would be important very soon.

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In the back row stands Lisa and her little family, Mick, her husband and Emily her 13 year old daughter.  Looking at these now and looking through the lens then, I could feel their sadness.  This one didn’t turn out very good but it’s all I can find of their family together.  This week will be the funeral and it isn’t fair that Lisa was so young.  It isn’t fair that Emily won’t have a mom and that Mick won’t have his best friend.  I’m wondering now why I’ve been spared.  How is this fair that I was given a death sentence in 2007 (and every year since) yet someone else, a few years younger was given the same death sentence in 2012 and she’s already gone? I can’t make sense of it and I’m wondering if, when the family sees me at the funeral, will they be secretly bitter because I wasn’t the one taken?  All I can do now is hand this to God and ask that he eases their pain and gives them a little bit of peace.

As I said, the news about Lisa came last night.  Amy and her daughter Aubrie are devastated but still went to work and school.  Once Amy got to work this morning, she received the phone call that her step dad, Jack had passed away.  Wow.  Now she’s inconsolable.  Jack had Alzheimer’s but hasn’t been diagnosed for much over a year.  We all know you can live a LONG time with Alzheimer’s.  It was SO hard on Carol, Amy’s mom, because she was his main care taker.  She couldn’t put him in a nursing home.  She couldn’t afford it.  Every time I’d see Carol and Jack, Carol was frazzled and looked as though her own health would decline.  She is severely diabetic and her disease had to be controlled with a pump.  Stress can make a diabetic VERY ill.  However, that didn’t matter to Carol because she knew that if SHE didn’t take care of Jack, who would?  Not to mention, she loved him so much.  He has 2 daughters who only came around when they wanted money.  They had NO interest in their dad other than what his money could do for them.

During Christmas, Jack came down with the flu.  Normal people can fight off the flu but he couldn’t.  His turned into pneumonia which caused him to be hospitalized.  While in the hospital, he developed a brain infection and he almost became catatonic.  He couldn’t swallow, which meant he couldn’t eat.  Carol had a feeding tube placed down his nose.  It’s called an NG tube.  I’ve had these many times and I know they’re not permanent.  It’s a temporary solution for people like us to get SOME kind of nutrition.

Last week, while Jack was in the hospital, Carol’s blood sugar bottomed out and she passed out.  She fell and broke her ankle in 3 places and had to be placed in the hospital herself until they could do surgery and get her blood sugar under control.  While in the hospital, Carol was confronted with Jack’s team of doctors.  They needed her to decide whether or not to have a permanent feeding tube placed.  This was SO hard for her.  Logic would dictate that Jack didn’t want to live like that forever.  When he HAD his mind, he told her that he didn’t want extreme measures to keep him alive.  Carol is a strict Catholic though and she didn’t want him to die because of a decision SHE made.  Besides all that, remember his daughter’s who came around ONLY when they need money?  Yeah, they were giving Carol a hard time because they wanted their dad to live no matter what HE wanted.  Thank GOD Carol decided to uphold Jack’s wishes and call in Hospice.

Last week, Jack was placed in the worst nursing home ever.  NOT because the family wanted a bad nursing home but it was the only one available who had a bed available.  Even though Hospice was involved, they weren’t giving Jack his medicine the way it was prescribed.  The nursing home, I mean.  Once Hospice became MORE involved, he started getting morphine around the clock, every 2 hours, whether or not the nursing home FELT he needed it.  This shut down his system, as morphine often does, and he died this morning.  I don’t think the family was prepared because they’d been advised that even though Jack wasn’t eating, his body was big and he was other wise healthy.  They felt he might live another month or so.

No matter how much you’re prepared, when the life of another human being is placed in your hands, you’re not ready for the flood of emotions.  They all know logically, that this is best for Jack BUT the decision was cruelly placed in their hands and they have to deal with the fact that if they HAD chosen a feeding tube, he’d still be alive.

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This is another BAD picture but it’s one of the only pics I have that shows how lovingly Carol took care of Jack.  Ironically, you can also see Jack in the picture of Lisa’s family, at the baptism.  2 of the people who came to that baptism have died within a day of each other.

Now, we sit and wait for the other.  The one who will complete the #3.  We’ve already wondered, out loud, if this person will be someone else who attended the baptism.  I know, it’s kind of weird but you HAVE to wonder.

My brother called a little bit ago, and asked me if I’d watch my nieces this week.  I’m not sure how much I’ll have them but I’m going to prepare for the entire week.  They keep me young and alive though so I’l be looking forward to them walking through my door.

Please pray for the families involved, that they have peace and feel God’s love during this difficult time.  Oh and that maybe THIS time the grim reaper won’t greedily come to claim his third soul.

I’m SO excited!

I say this (so excited thing) with a little trepidation…  Knowing I may feel differently in a few hours!  lol  My nieces are coming!  They’re actually getting to spend the night today.  This is a HUGE thing because their mama doesn’t like for them to sleep anywhere but safely, right under her roof.  I don’t blame her, I was the SAME way.  I remember crying when my kids had to spend the night visiting their dad on weekends.  I HATED being without them.  My wonderful sister in law, however, took mercy on me.  She knows I’m missing them and need to spend time with them.  I’m very sick (don’t worry – not contagious) and I feel like my back is up against the wall.  I’m battling time here.  While I feel well enough to handle these little demons  angels, I want to spend as much time as I can.

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This is 4 year old Esme’.  She’s a HANDFUL and a half.  That doesn’t even cover it.  Personality enough for 40 people, really.  She has meltdowns when they make her leave my house and I have to tell her that she can’t come back if she doesn’t leave.  HAHA!  It’s true, how can she come back if she doesn’t first leave?  She scratches her head and tries to understand.  Anyway, she’s probably the most intelligent child I’ve ever spent time around.  Not in the traditional way either.  She actually has a hard time focusing on letters and numbers BUT she knows things that she’s never read or seen on TV.  It’s in her head.  She’s not even allowed to watch TV at home.

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Esme’s actually pretty rotten.  That’s probably why I love her so much.  I’m glad, though, that I’M not the one who has to make the major decisions regarding her life!  Whew!  I’ve already raised one of these kinds of kids and let me tell you….  it just about KILLED me!  lol  Can you see the evil glint in her eye?

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To sweeten the pot, a little, my brother and sister in law gave me Ireland Elizabeth!  She’s the EXACT opposite of Esme and is just good and stable!  lol  I love her in a different way than Esme’.  She’s my squirmy snuggler.  Ireland is 8 months old.

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Here I am with Ireland and her older sister, my intelligent and wonderful niece, Aubrie!  I don’t get to spend NEARLY enough time with Aubrie because of school and sports but I’m SO close to her too and even more proud of her.  I expect that she’ll be running a major corporation one day.

I’ve said before and I meant it, my nieces are like my daughters.  I couldn’t love them more if they came from my body.  I’m SO thankful to my brother and sister in law for deciding to have these babies later in life.  They add the spice that my life was needing and they keep my young!