Mar 30, 2014

Charli's Magical Talisman.......Updated

Sorry this took so long but I had to figure out how to transfer pictures from my camera to my laptop and man, did it ever take me forever!!  Och!  But I did it.  Once again I have triumphed over technology that seems to be designed to destroy every shred of self confidence I have left.  But I've blogged before about how you should not expect anything to make sense........
Let's get to the good stuff.

Charli's Magical Talisman
Last weekend I loaded the twins in the car and headed to KC to meet The Rock Star, Rockette, The Beautiful Redhead and her smashing boyfriend, and my beloved Bonus Daughter.

The Rock Star and Rockette, Charli's parents.  This child is going to be beautiful!

We only got lost and turned around once, prompting the twins to throw caution to the wind and let their smart phones track our activity down a major interstate against our better judgement.  Good times.  It worked.  Not only did the technology work, but it prompted the twins to work together in tandem, with one watching the blue line and trying to figure out where we were going and the other one announcing where we were going from the googled directions.
Technology succeeded where I have failed many times.
This whole episode disturbed me on so many levels I promptly decided to block the whole thing out.

The Beautiful Redhead and her smashing boyfriend, who I hope she keeps.  I wuv him.

Luckily my bonus daughter, who keeps me on track (on the off chance that I am ever ON track) called to check on me.  Her wonderful husband talked me through yet another panic attack wherein I back-tracked for 15 miles and then let him convince me I was right the first time.

This man has the patience of Job, and knowledge of all major thoroughfares of the greater Metro area, for which I am grateful.

We had a wonderful lunch, with only one little, our own Rosie- Pose, who looked at us suspiciously.  I promised her that her mother wasn't leaving and she seemed to relax.  :D

Practicing for the very very near future.
The Rock Star and Rosie charmed each other in equal measure.

I have to say she is very well behaved and did not even make very much noise.  I held out till we had eaten before I had to hold her.  That is very good for me.  Usually I cave right off and we all wear some food home.  I'm getting better.

This face has only been in my life for 17 months but I can't remember life without her.  Kids perform that neat trick all. the. time.

Then it was back to the house for the fun stuff!!  I told you I would figure out how to do this, and I did.  First simply go to and search for "crystal window hangings".  This will lead to maybe several hours sifting through great bargains and there is simply no telling where you might end up.  Have fun.  It's one of those things where you go into the zone, which we never, ever, feel until we start coming out of the zone and realize several hours of our lives have passed.
It happens.
No judgement here. 

Don't feel bad if you get lost in the possibilities.  What else are you supposed to do when there are still 3 long months until you get to hold your baby?

Pick the cheapest, fakest ones you can find, because weight will be an issue unless you want to hang a rod holder for these babies, which we did not.  The sun shines through them all just the same and I wanted good coverage, as this was a western facing window.
I used 25 for a 32 inch window plus one biggie for the middle.  I couldn't resist.  I'm glad I didn't, too.

That is the middle stone, with purple and teal blue stones stacked on top.  The picture doesn't do it justice, but it is well worth the 19.00 I paid for it. I highly recommend these for Christmas presents for the person who has everything.  Give the rainbows, says Melinda.  Rainbows every day!
How could that be bad?

We chose to simply put a tension rod (under $5) across the middle of the upper half of the window.  There are no frames around their windows, the windows are just set into the wall.  We did not want to drill extra holes in the plaster around, so we did went with this arrangement.  You could also lower the blinds if you wanted to so that the crystal hanging would always be exposed.

What a good looking man, if I do say so myself, and handy with tools, which is invaluable.

All the beaded strands came with little circles at the top, so it was simply a matter of choosing ribbons to hang them on and tying knots.  Even I could not mess that up!

It was as easy as anything I have ever done.  I'm avoiding hot glue since Christmas.......:D

The ribbons at the top really added a pop of color.

The Rockette picked three ribbons, a sheer light blue, a satin coral, and a trim in white with small flowers embroidered in pale colors. I just bought the whole little rolls of the ribbons for around $15.00. As the walls are a pretty purple already, the other colors really popped.

Isn't it great?

It didn't even take that long, but it was a good time with just "us girls" whispering and giggling while the boys watched basketball....or something.

I readied the window she will look out of.  The window where she will only see beautiful prisms of light emanating from, every afternoon and evening of her life.  She will think that is normal, that the world is a beautiful, light-filled place.  It is!  Oh Charlotte Marie, you are already so loved.

It's every bit as gorgeous as I thought it would be.
It was so good to see my children as grown-ups, with houses and significant others, forming new alliances.  It had been a long time since I had been in a group of people where the sexes separated and bonded.  For so long it's been me just being the mom and then just being the kids.  Finally I felt like just another member of the family instead of the head of it.  It was a great relief, and a lot of fun, to see my kids and their partners finding their footing with each other.  Secrets were shared, bets were placed on brackets, *some* teams were ridiculed.  I watched my Mizzou daughter's eyes light on Charli's embroidered PURPLE AND YELLOW (I cannot same the name, I'm sure if you are a sports fan you understand this) minky blanket and determinedly keep the smile on her face.
I couldn't help but smile.
Change is good.  And inevitable in life.  So she was going to have a niece from Kansas.  She had not yet thought of that, I could tell.

Watching her brother, and probably marveling at how they ever got this old......This is it!!  The Beautiful Redhead is about to be an Aunt!  And who knows what will happen next?

It didn't even take very long.  We should probably all have at least one of these.  I think it could only add to our lives, no?

And so another project found on Pinterest has led me to figure out how to do it myself.  Am I the only one who saves a bunch of pictures, only to find out they lead nowhere when I try to go to the site?  Ah well, not to worry.  We are Americans, and we are nothing if not determined and self sufficient.
Always leave a place better than you found it.

And so we settle down to wait, just a little longer.  Almost everything they really need is assembled and ready.  There are showers to look forward to, storage areas to be organized and miracles to look forward to.  I can almost guarantee there will *possibly* heated arguments about what need there is to keep every box of every accessory they get.  Compromises will be reached.  Adjustments will be made.  
I used to think the Rock Star's father was unique in this aspect of keeping empty boxes, but I have lived long enough to find that it seems to be a man thing.  At any rate, it's a Rock Star thing, and he will be ready, apparently, to box any item right back up and take it back, even if it's a baby bed.  Seriously, I do not think they can help it and it is actually just exactly like us saving empty jars and toilet paper rolls for crap that looked like a good idea at the time on Pinterest!!  It's just the way it is.
  Rockette, I give you this advice if you will accept it now:  just accept the empty box thing until he forgets about it.  Then hopefully you can tear them down and dispose of them without his noticing, at some date far in the future, when it won't matter anymore.  I should not tell you this on the internet but I know for a fact that this is the method used by numerous generations of women before us.  Honestly.  Because we know that those items will break right after the warranty is up, right?  And even if he was moved to box it back in it's original packaging, said packaging would be gross and covered with mouse or bat poop or something by then, right?  I know, I know.....ssssshhhhhhhhhhh.  Just bide your time and always keep a box cutter in the kitchen junk drawer, man, I have it on good authority this is right and proper.

The next three months will be a bit more pleasant with the prisms floating and spinning around this room, I hope, as her mother dreams of her.  I hope she will lay in that room, watching the rainbows, and talk to her baby girl, and not be anxious about the unknown, or scared of pain.  I hope she feels peace and has faith that her body will perform perfectly, the way it was made to, and look forward with joy to that day.  Those prisms will light the way for Charlotte to find her way home.  I hope this always hangs in her window, where ever she may be, filling her life with light and beauty from her earliest memories.
Another family tradition.
This one's for Charli, with all our love, from her grandmother and her great-grandparents.

UPDATED:  The Rockette sent me these pictures.  It's working just as I hope it would.  Who would ever want to leave this room?
This is the wall right above her bed.

Even the ceiling gets the effects!!
Talk about being in your own little world......Just goes to show, all Pinterest projects do not end in tears and burned fingers.  :D

Mar 22, 2014

Every Name Has A Story...And Every Story Has A Name....

Once upon a time, a couple named Melinda and Tom were expecting a child.

Melinda was certain that the child was a boy, and Tom had yet to be convinced of her certainty, so two names were needed.  The girl's name was easy, as girl's names almost always are.  The boy's name was a point of contention for months and months and marked Melinda and Tom's first epic battle.  It was one that would live in infamy and the very best of all their epic battles.

Melinda wanted to name a boy Noah.  "No, no, no to Noah!" Tom would say.  
"But it's from the Bible!" Melinda would plead.
"It's too weird.  No, no, no!" Tom would insist.

Tom wanted to name a boy Charlie.  "Sorry, Charlie," Melinda would say, rolling her eyes for good measure.
"Charlie's a good guy.  Everybody likes Charlie," Tom would wheedle.
"Charlie is a guy who sits around at the garage chewing, spitting and talking about people, in overalls."  Melinda would not budge.  (and Melinda freely admits she likes guys named Charlie, and means no offense, but this was her first child and come on, really.)

They went to see a movie one day called Parenthood.  There was a little girl in this movie, and you never heard her name until almost the end of it.  "Come here, Taylor, you're ears are ready", said Mary Steenburgen, and Melinda and Tom looked at each other and light bulbs came on over their heads.  

"Taylor"..........they rolled it around for only about 20 minutes, noting that 'Taylor' could be a boy or a girl.  Also, in the year 1989, they knew no one with this name, so it came with absolutely no preconceived notions.  (Sadly, this would change very quickly.  Parenthood was a big hit and it spawned Taylor's of both sexes in proliferation, and to date you cannot be in a crowd of 20 people without at least one Taylor.  So much for a unique name, but them's the breaks).  

And so the epic battle ended, and peace reigned throughout the land for a time.  The battle had ended, but the story remained, and was told and re-told down throughout their lives, with wry humor and grudging respect.  You can say a lot of things about both Tom and Melinda, but you will probably not ever hear anyone say either one of the them are weak.

The years passed and one day Taylor met a girl named Mardi.  There was a special light around the new couple, and Melinda was certain they were going to have a baby, but Tom was still yet to be convinced of her certainty.  So she just waited.  She had years of practice and had perfected the keeping her mouth shut part.  :D

Sure enough, within 2 months of Melinda's making the statement, Taylor and Mardi announced coming of THE FIRST GRANDCHILD.  This was it!  There was laughter and tears, at the same time, and rejoicing all around.  The story of naming Taylor was told for Mardi, who had not heard it before.   Everyone settled in to wait and see what would happen next.  

What happened next was finding out it was a girl.  More rejoicing though out the land, with lots of shopping for hats and tiny little bonnets and well.........everything.

The day came when a decision had been made to name our baby girl.  We all waited with hope and not a little trepidation, because you know how crazy names have gotten.  Kids these days.......etc.  But whatever name they picked, I had resolved to love.  What's in a name?  I would comfort myself with this phrase, knowing that once I saw that baby, the name would come to seem the most natural thing in the world.   Whatever they called this girl, I was going to love her more than anything.  I already did!  We all braced ourselves.

Taylor said, "Well, you know the story of when you and Dad were going to name me Charlie........."  and my heart burst with love and pride.  We may not have stayed married, but we kept the narrative of being parents, and a family, unbroken through thick and thin, to emerge dirty and battle-worn, but unbroken and victorious in the end. 

We all said yeah......

"Well", and Taylor and Mardi are looking at each other with love and complete confidence and joy, excited to be revealing this secret, "Mardi loved that story so much, and we wouldn't use it for a boy" this with his eyes directed at me, "but we absolutely love it for a girl.  So we pretty much decided that day on the way home that if it was a girl, we would call her Charli".  This was met with joy and laughter.  "And the whole name is......"  We all stilled and waited,   
"Charlotte Marie Clark.  Charlotte so we can call her Charli, and Marie for Mardi's grandmother."

And the family rejoiced, in relief and anticipation, for now our girl had a name.  A name unique, for personal reasons that could never be replicated.  A name that honored both sides of this new family.  A traditional and dignified name.

A family name, one that had endured for 24 years even though no person had carried it.  Melinda and Tom's first epic battle had served as a touching stone and waited until just the right time to be bestowed upon the child of the child that they were merely speculating on all those years ago.  The child they decided to name in a dark movie theater in the middle of a normal afternoon after months of fighting about it.

Things have a way of working out.  You should always choose to have faith, because faith is a choice.  Also, you should keep in mind that these things take time.  Not all of them take 24 years, it is true, but you never know the "when" until it happens, as it surely will.  When it does, it seems like the most natural thing in the world.  Do not sell it short, ever.  Take it from one who knows.  Wink wink!

And in the end, Tom got his Charli, and no one was happier about that than Melinda.  Once again, peace reigned throughout the land.  A land that would never be the same without their Charli girl.