Saturday, January 24, 2009


I know that up until now I have tried to keep things lighthearted and carefree, but today I am not feeling that way at all. Yesterday we got some bad news and then we got some really bad news and I am worried, scared, concerned, and really stressed. Most of the stress comes from not being able to control anything that is going on. I hate that. Yes, I'm a control freak, and I admit it.

First, the bad news. Harley is laying off 1100 people. They are closing 2 plants in the Milwaukee area. At least half of the lay offs will be here. Everyone here knows people who work at Harley. We all have friends who work there. One of our best friends works there. He has been there a few years, but at Harley that puts him down at the bottom of the totem pole. Most people that work there have been there for many many years. He hasn't heard yet about when or even if he will be let go, but I am so worried about it. I'm sure they are very worried, too. We just love that family and would not want this hardship to fall on them. We are sending good thoughts and prayers over to Pewaukee.

Then the really bad news. Someone very close to my husband was let go from his employer yesterday. That man's family has had a very recent death and then he had to go home and tell his family that he was asked to resign. I feel so much for them right now. He was pretty high up the food chain and we all know it is hard to find a job right now, let alone one in upper management. We are hoping he got some sort of severance package to keep his family afloat until something good happens for them.

Why is this really bad news for us? It is possibly too early for me to say anything, but it could mean change for our family is in the future. Change for some of us is exciting and new, but it also has a scary and unknown side. We feel pretty settled down here and my children feel this is home and no where else will do, but change is coming. We can almost feel it.

Not to mention we have recently received our statements from our investments for the last quarter of 2008. We have lost THOUSANDS of dollars. I know all of you have too, but to actually see it on paper is so disheartening. We have time before retirement to make it up and I am hopeful that our stock market will rebound. I keep reminding myself that after the Great Depression in the 1930's came the affluence of the 1950's. There is always hope.

So I will try to remain upbeat. I will keep plugging away at raising my children to be happy, independent adults. I will remain dedicated to my husband and try to keep him from falling into a cycle of worry and fear of the unknown. That is about all I can control at this point and I will have to make that enough. I'm sure you are all feeling the crunch, also. If we can just hang in there, I know it will be over soon.
There is my hope.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

February is Broken Bone Month

February is coming and as a mother of Isaac Daniel Morgan I am apprehensive, to say the least.
Two years ago, in February, we were at the mall for a fund raiser for Children's Hospital. Michael took Isaac to the Food Court to get something to eat. He was 3, almost 4, and he was kneeling in the chair with his feet through the space at the bottom of the back of the chair. Well, it fell over and the chair came down HARD on his little foot. He cried and they put ice on it, but he calmed down and seemed to be OK. He had a bump on his foot, but we thought it was just swollen and the swelling would go down in a day or so.
Well, the next day we found out he had pneumonia. This was the second time he had it in 5 months. He got pretty sick, but we put him on a regimen of antibiotics and inhalers (yes, more than one) and in about a week he seemed to be doing better. They started slipping in the word "asthma" every once in a while, but no one would come right out and say that is what he had. Finally we saw one of the older Md's in the practice who told me outright that Isaac has asthma now and until further notice would be treated for it. That was pretty shocking to me since he has been so healthy otherwise.
So he was feeling better and wanted to leave the house for a bit one day. So, for the first time in about a week, I tried to put a shoe on him. Keep in mind that he had been walking and sometimes running while he was sick. When I tried the shoe he said it hurt. I took off his sock and the bump in his foot from the fall was still there.
We went straight to the Dr. who sent us to Children's for x-ray. that is when we found out he had broken a bone in his right foot. I felt HORRIBLE!! We went upstairs to the orthopedist to get it looked at and maybe get a cast. They not only said he needed a cast, but they said he probably didn't need it too long since "it had been healing for 12 days before you brought him in". Oh my goodness. I thought they would call social services to take him away from me right then and there.
They put a cast on him from toes to below knee. He thought it was cool and my heart was broken. It hurt a little, but not as much as me trying to put a shoe on him.
After a couple of weeks, we went back to have the cast taken off. They x-rayed him again and it was not healed yet so they put another cast on. After a few more weeks, he got the cast off, but was sent home with a boot to wear at all times. You could always tell when he was coming down the hall--step-thump-step-thump.

So other than treating him for the asthma, we had a pretty calm year. Then last February we were at a friend's house and Isaac and their little boy, Alex were playing in the Living Room. Suddenly Alex came running in to us and said he thought Isaac was hurt. We went to Isaac, who hides when he is hurt or angry, and had to pull him out of his hiding spot. He was clutching his foot and crying. We put ice on it and I held him tight. I knew it was broken. I just knew it. Michael said we should wait until morning and see how he felt. He was now 4, almost 5.
We went to the Dr who sent us to xray where they found he had broken 4 bones in his left foot. He jumped from a landing that was up 5 steps onto a slick tile floor. He must have landed on his foot sideways because the fractures were, I think they said, compression fractures.
So I had to take him upstairs again and get another cast on. We saw the same doctors and cast people and they all remembered us from the last time we got a cast. I was a bit embarrassed, but at least I didn't wait 12 days this time.
He had his cast on for a few weeks this time and then had to wear a boot for a few weeks.
Here it is a year later and we know that something is brewing. I hope nothing really bad happens. I am nervous and if I start to think about it, I get scared. When we see him doing something a little dangerous we tell him to stop it because it is not February yet. And I took him to the DR. Monday of this week for a rash and I told him we would most likely see him next month. Just prepare yourself for the worst and be happy if nothing happens. Just in case you are worried, there is nothing wrong with his bones, just his judgement.

Friday, January 9, 2009


I thought I would care about who reads this and how many people read it. I don't. It has really become more of an outlet for me than anything else. I do not even know if my own hubby reads my blog. It doesn't matter because I tell him everything anyways. When I try and keep things to myself, it boils up in me and I just have to get it out. At least with him, that is.
My thoughts are going to wander a bit. Chrissy wants me to tell you the story of the Grey Lady. It is long and a little scary so I will keep that for another time when I have time to write it down. I am actually surprised I haven't written that one down before, but alas it is a long story.
Today I am feeling nostalgic. When we moved here, it was a fresh start. We weren't really friends with, well, anyone at the time. We had each other and we had Luke and that is all we needed. So we moved up here to get a new start on our new family. We wanted to venture out on our own. We did and we became a stronger family unit because of it. Michael and I had only each other for company so that is who we turned to for everything. Together we got through some tough times and we came out the other end closer and more in love than when we started.
Making friends in Wisconsin proved to be a challenge. Most of the people we met were born and raised here. They went to college here. Now they live and work here. They have had the same friends since they were in Kindergarten together. It was difficult for us to find anyone who would let us into that close circle. We did, however find friends and we have some close friends that we cherish very much.
BUT, (you knew there was a but here, right) is hard sometimes. We have been here for 14 years now. When we go out for drinks or when we get together with friends, we never reminisce. We don't really have anything to reminisce about.
Now that we are all on Facebook and the like I miss having people that I have known forever. I miss talking to people that can help me remember some of the things I have forgotten (which is a lot of things, by the way). I would like to be one of the people that have known my friends since Kindergarten. I would like to play "remember when". Not all the time because that is tiresome. But sometimes.
It would be nice to know the people who married the people I have known for a long time. For instance, I have a friend who was one of my first friends when we moved to Tyler. That was in 1979. She was so nice to me then. Thanks to Facebook we have reconnected and she is still so nice. I would love to know her husband and her two beautiful daughters. But I live in WinterLand. It is just too far away now.
And that is not even counting the sisters and brothers that we miss. Whew! could I tell you about how much we miss them? It would take way too long. But you get my drift.
So I am feeling nostalgic for The Homeland.
And I am wondering why in the world we allowed our 15 year old son to get an electric guitar.
Random enough for ya?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Donuts Through the WIndow

I had totally forgotten about this until my sister, Chrissy, reminded me. We used to live in an older home where my mother and her sisters actually grew up. We were fortunate enough to become close with our next door neighbors for a while. The way our houses were situated, the back of our house was about 10 feet from their driveway. We had two side yards, a front yard, and the backyard was basically their driveway.
Luke is my oldest at 15. He has always had his own room and it had a window that faced the back of the house. So his window always faced the neighbor's house and driveway. Without his parents knowing, he would open his window and sometimes even crawl out of it and run around outside. It being an older house without a basement, the window was pretty low to the ground so this wasn't a real concern.
One day, probably a Saturday or Sunday, my husband and I were in the living room relaxing. Luke comes into the room with a dirty mouth and half a donut in his hand. Our first thought was that the last time we bought donuts Luke hid one in his room and just found it. So we jumped up to take it away from him. He wouldn't let us have it and when asked where he got it he told us he got it from the window.
Huh? He got a donut from the window?! So we went to his room and looked out and saw nothing. There was no one out there. We thought it was strange and took the donut from him and put it on the counter.
Later in the day he came in with ANOTHER donut. Now we were thinking it must be a joke or some trick. Again we went to the window and saw nothing but an open window.
That evening we were outside visiting as we normally did in the neighborhood, and our next-door neighbor made a comment to Luke about the donuts. As we found out, he had been passing them to Luke through his open window. Our neighbor, Jeff, thought it was pretty funny that we didn't know it was him. It was pretty funny.
Jeff also used to catch mice alive in his house and take them across the street to let them go. When I asked him sarcastically where he thought the mice were going when he let them go he said, "To your house, I hope."

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


So I have been writing down ideas wherever and whenever they strike for this blog. My sister has helped me with a few ideas I had even forgotten. I will get to those I promise. But first I have to fill you in on what's up here lately.
We joined the YMCA. We needed a place to go as a famliy so we are not quite so blobbish anymore. Well, I couldn't work out the first day because I had thrown away my sneakers, tennis shoes, athletic shoes, whatever. They were old and left over from Home Depot days so they went in the trash a couple of months ago. This was really not a problem as I never exercise anyway.
Well, I had to go buy some shoes yesterday which worked well because they are all on sale now because there are so many of us blobs out there who say we are going to stop being a blob on January 1. While I was trying on shoes, I noticed that the shoes were white and my socks were not. At all. White. So I walked over to the hosiery department and lo and behold athletic socks were on sale too! Those retailers really know how to get to you. So, I bought a bunch of new socks. They are white. They are really white. And I love them.
Now back in the day i had what some would call a sock fettish. I loved socks. I remember finding a store one time in a mall that only sold socks and I thought that was my heaven. Well, I grew out of it as I started doing my own laundry and realized how hard it is to match all those socks.
But NEW SOCKS are the best. I thought I was the only one who felt like this until I started asking. My son loves new socks. My husband loves new socks. My friends love new socks. They are clean and white. They are tight and not stretched out yet. And they usually fit like a glove. I know you are thinking right now that I have thought way too hard about my socks, but you must admit that you love the feeling of new socks too.
So I haven't gone to exercise yet, but now I have the shoes and the socks so I have no more excuses.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Yesterday when I sat down and decided to do this blog thing I had so many ideas and notions about what this was going to be. Now I have recieved some encouragement and comments from those of you who actually read the blog yesterday. Now I am at a loss. Obviously I would not make it as an author. Now that I know people are actually reading what I have to say, I have nothing to say. Performance anxiety, perhaps? My kids suffer from it, too.
Kids...I could tell you about them, but that would bore you to tears. Every mother could go on and on about their offspring and no one would really listen. Maybe I will tell you about Pookai. He is not my child, but one of the many imaginary visitors we have accepted into our house.
Pookai (pronounced poo-ki') was Luke's imaginary friend. He thought of it first, since he is older. Abby caught on to this fun character and eventually adopted Laura as her friend. But that was not until after the fight.
Luke and Abby have always fought over anything they could. Sometimes they say they want something just because the other one wants the same thing. When they were very little, they had bedrooms that were right next door to each other. One night as we were putting them to bed, Abby heard Luke putting Pookai to bed. She came into his room and wanted to sleep with Pookai that night. Luke, of course, said that Pokai was his friend and he would be sleeping in his room. Abby was not going to have that! So in true Luke and Abby form, she stole Pookai and ran like Hell to her room.
Yes, she stole Pookai. She pretended to scoop him up in her arms and carry him to her bed. She was probably 3 or so. Well, Luke was not taking this lying down, even though it was bedtime. He ran into her room and stole Pookai right back! They went back and forth a few times while my husband and I tried to quiet them through our laughter. Finally, Luke picked up Pookai and stomped to his room. He laid him down in his bed and we convinced Abby that Pookai needed to stay there. So through the wall we hear Luke say that he has Pookai and that was that.
Abby said,"But I held on to his foot when you took him. So I get to sleep with his foot!"
Yes, she held on to an imaginary foot of an imaginary friend and as long as she had a part of him to sleep with she was OK. Luke decided it was OK if she kept his foot so that is how they slept. Luke with Pookai, Abby with Pookai's foot, and poor Pookai stretched between the two.
Only in my house...

Friday, January 2, 2009

There's a First Time For Everything

I have a couple of women in my life who blog. They also look a lot alike. They have encouraged me to begin this blog and I have...just to try it out and see what happens. I am a bit like my father and am uncomfortable with people knowing what I am thinking or feeling. But I am also like my mother and crave the camaraderie.
I used to write a lot. Then I had kids and writing was never a priority. I always thought someday I would write a novel and make millions, but no one wants to read about changing diapers and cooking dinner and doing laundry. Many years ago I started a list of things I never thought I would ever say, until I had kids. You know, things like "don't put your socks in the toaster oven". I mean, really. Do normal people even want to put their socks in the toaster oven? Someday that will be my book. That and the advice and help my mother has given me through the years about how to raise my kids to be great adults. But until then, I will try to write a blog and see if anyone finds it interesting.
I am most critical of myself. I will read and re-read this over and over to make sure I do not offend anyone, that my grammar is correct and my spelling pristine. I will try to make sure I do not ramble, which I have a tendency to do. I will try to keep it relevant and I will try to stay out of the past and grounded in today. I will try to stay away from preaching, but I'm not promising anything. I will try not to be condescending in my tone, though inflection is difficult to accomplish on a computer. I will try to keep up instead of writing twice every three months like I would with diaries and journals.
I named the blog Pandemonium and Harmony because that is what my home is like nowadays. Many times I have three kids going in three different directions at once and then the cat starts attacking one of the dogs and the other dog starts barking and my husband is coming home so I have to clean the kitchen quickly and the phone rings and someone can't find their homework and there is someone at the door and the dryer is buzzing and the dinner is burning. However, that is my harmony. That chaos, that craziness, is my peace. When the kids go to school and the husband is at work and I am alone in the house, I feel lost. Useless. Un-needed. Luckily they all come home. At once.
So I will try to fill you in on some of the more interesting things that happen in the Morgan House. Like the Christmas Tree falling over. Like the time the kids fought over the imaginary friend. Like the time I came home and had a new cat. or a turtle with 3 legs. or a tiny turtle. Or when my kid broke his foot the first time and the second time. I will let you laugh at my pandemonium, but I will also let you sample the harmony. Life is about balance, right?