The Wink is a labor of love, occasional source of ire and constantly influenced by the toddlywinks in my life- my daughters. There's also the HunkyWink. You'll read all about them as The Wink unfolds. Please feel free to wink back!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Tentative Update and Forceful Thanks

This will be brief as I don't want to muddy anything with emotional meandering.

Your thanks, via your comments, emails and attendance surpassed anything I had imagined might happen when I pressed publish. Eight days have passed and while we hear utterings like, "out of the woods" and "recovery," there is still worry.

Dennis—dad, husband, son, uncle, friend, has been hearing your comments and, as I am told by his daughter Erin, has smiled at the notion of a post about him. The idea of that smile and of something other than the color of the walls and the sterility of the environment to talk about, makes me feel as if together we accomplished something.

As for concrete things to update, Dennis was extubated late last week and is able to breathe on his own. He took a hell of a beating from the truck and has had significant pain to cope with, one part of which is a kind of damage to his leg that has had specialists scratching their heads, weighing whether to operate or not.

Friday night they finally arrived at the decision to operate. He was transferred, via ambulance, nearly two hours to the hospital with the most qualified orthopedic trauma surgeon. We have no date for surgery, nor a solid timeline to recovery, but we do have this;


We also have specialists joining the circle of people hoping, wishing and praying for his return to health. So on the eve of a New Year and what I hope will be the start of renewed health for Dennis, I thank you— we thank you. Your words, your visits and your emails have simply meant the world.

My hope will be to publish photos here later to share with you the image of a beaming Dennis as he walks his Erie down the aisle.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

On the subject of blessings

When last I posted I was bitching. Now it's a few days later, a few feet of fallen snow and a whole new perspective. A few days ago Maggie wrote a post, today I went and visited the reason for her post. We do these things: we dedicate posts, we leave comments, we visit.

I am not sure that when I do things like write about sweet Serenity, that they actually make things better, but they give me a sense of having used what I have to help. Today I am writing because in this time of blessings and family I find myself struggling to figure out how to help. I think you hold the key, you there reading this post, maybe waiting for news of the Briar or Avery or the latest update of what Fin can do. I promise a post soon that will give you that and more, but today I need you. I need your ear and then, if you're willing, your words.

Friday night Sean's Uncle Dennis was struck by a truck. He is here on the East Coast and as we emerged from what would be the first of three heavy storms, he was snow blowing his driveway. He was struck by a truck that lost control before it had a chance to slow down. 25 miles an hour. This accident was the kind of thing that I had heretofore only read about. Now, it is two days later and it is real. There is no end in sight to the hospitalization. Surgeries. Tests. Worry.

His name is Dennis and he is without question the most gentle soul I have ever known. He has, since the first time we met some eight years ago, treated me as both family and friend. He is the kind of person who always listens before speaking. When he sees you his face lights up in a way that makes you feel as if you are special; as if you have a story that is exceptionally riveting. He just makes you feel special, or at least he has done that for me.

Barely a month since losing his mom, Helen (an unbelievably bubbly and sassy woman), he is laid up in a hospital, a hospital his wife works in, and a hospital that is only able to do what it is able to do. Three amazing children— Chefs Ryan and Ian and civil engineer, Erin, sit in vigil, a wife, Debbie, waits struggling between her role as partner and nurse.

I realize this is unconventional for me, but today I am asking you to comment. Take a moment to leave words of encouragement or a prayer. I cannot heal Dennis, but what I can do as he makes the courageous fight to convalesce, is offer your words. You see, despite being related tangentially by marriage, he loves my blogs— reads them more than other family members. Raves about them whenever we meet.

I am hoping that to present him with your words will make him understand how desperately I wanted to help and how fiercely proud I am that he is a part of my family.

Thank you for helping me to help Dennis. I believe in this most magical time of the year, that together, we can make magic.

*Thank you.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cracked Bucket

So my digital camera and my crock pot have both sh*t the bed. Same day. We'll be enjoying blurry pictures over our last riberrific crock-potted dinner. As a way of honoring the passing of the pot-o-easy-dinners-I-forgot-I-made-until-I-came-home-and-smelled-their-all-done-goodness and the blurry death bleats of my little Canon a little spirit of Scrooge photo narrative.

T'was letter writing to Santa night and I thought I'd snap some pics. Sean helped the girls pen the letters, it all seemed innocent enough with Dad and the girls gathered 'round the table.

Sweet updates on behavior and modest lists on construction paper,
signed by the girls in blue and pink.

Then came each of their names,
cut with crafty scissors from extra sheets of colored paper,
artfully arranged on the floor.

Then pictures by the tree...
criss-cross applesauce
Harder than you might imagine.

Ok, now one more shot by the tree.
Atta girl, mama's letters now seem like a ransom note
and the letters to Santa were just a ruse for photos by my captor.


Monday, December 15, 2008

It's in the grin

During a day spent at home with mom tending to a four year old with pink eye and a 2 and half year old with eyes green with attention envy, a wee 8 month old baby might feel she had drawn the short end of the stick. Might even get into trouble, but with a grin like Fin's there is just no mess big enough to make a scolding stick. Behold one of many, "Hey, I cold use some attention, but if it's asking to much, I can occupy myself just fine."

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Don't Touch

Home today as Briar has pink eye. She and I are both face touchers, I pet my upper lip when I worry, think, sleep or read. She touches her face when she colors, eats, watches tv or sleeps. We are also big on hugging, kissing and touching everyone else in the house. Since returning from the horror that is the medi-center at closing time on a Sunday, we are home with a strict no hugging, kissing or touching directive from the doc.

It is awful, and yet, I am so very grateful to be home, tending to Briar. Her sisters are home as well, and though I am sure my hands will be raw from the excessive hand washing (and wringing), I'm finding deep satisfaction in managing this quarantine.

Perhaps during naps I'll come and visit your blogs, I promise to wash my hands before I comment.

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Snarky Gratitude

So, I'm not perfect, this I know. I can be righteous and demanding, expecting more than most people are willing or able to give. I am annoying because I hold myself to the same standards and for the most part I make good, which can border on martyrdom. I am alternately fastidious and slovenly. I am woefully bad at geography, though a recent obsession the girls acquired that has us daily constructing the United States, has me doing much, much better in this arena. I have a frightfully bad memory, I mean like wave your hand before my face and say, "Weren't you there, I mean right there with us? How can you not remember?"

All this said, here are a few things I'd like to say in what is probably seasonally inappropriate snarkiness—

I am grateful that I don't lie.
I am grateful that I am not two-faced.
I am grateful that I know better.
I am so happy that I have the genuine friends that I do.
I am confident that the people that sparked this will get their just desserts.

Peace out.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Technology and Toddlers

The girls were companionably munching on grapes and extra sharp cheddar, Ave with a screwdriver in her hand, Briar a Barbie. They were watching a DVD of Lady & The Tramp on our computer. I was playing with Fin who was deciding it was time to tackle crawling. I was, in a word, overwrought—my last baby, sprouting teeth and blazing past milestones as if there were no tomorrow. Gasp.

"S'not workin', mama!" Avery said somewhat incredulously. Briar was indifferent and Finley was on the move. I tucked my upper lip in as my chin took the lead and I huffed my hair out of my eyes, mostly to swallow the profanity dancing on the tip of my tongue as I caught sight of the frozen, pixelated screen. I panicked that it was liquid on the keyboard and another Mac shot.

Briar and Avery took off chirping that they'd keep Fin "from being so lonely." I rattled the mouse and slapped the keyboard. The hard drive sputtered and a window flashed, "The DVD has suffered an error from which it cannot recover. Please restart." I hit eject and the monitor went black. After ten seconds the screen came to life in a blaze of orange, pink and black.


My knees buckled. Foreign Contaminant? Grape squirts? Cheese? Spit? WTF?!

"Ooh, mommy, we watch Wall•E?" They squealed and moved in a blur to the seat in front of the computer.

FOREIGN CONTAMINANT, toddler viewing delight, the salvation of mama's fried nerves.



Remember CSI Barbie?

Ya'll remember CSI Barbie?

And front-bottom Barbie?

Our abuse of and preoccupation with all things Barbie continues apace. Just the other day we enjoyed a Barbie meets Kay Scarpetta kind of game.

Yup, it's painfully clear, Barbie isn't safe here. Just look, they're making room for more.

Run, Barbie! Run!