Mystery Lane

Mystery Lane

Monday, May 21, 2012


A few months ago I was sick with the flu and confined to bed for a couple of days.  As I scrolled through channels trying to find a daytime TV show that was mildly interesting, I stumbled upon repeats of LA Ink.  I decided to watch it just to see what all the hoopla about Kat Von D. was.  Little did I know that watching that one show would lead to me getting a tattoo a couple of weeks ago. 
I’ve never been a big fan of tattoos.  My Dad had one on his arm from when he was in the Navy but that was pretty much the extent of my exposure to and knowledge about tattoos.  For my 30th birthday my sister thought it would be fun if we went together and got tattoos.  At first I had no desire.  But then I thought “What the heck, you only live once.”  So I did a little research and decided to get two fish (I’m a Pisces) in the Ying and Yang position.  Since I am a teacher I put it where no one could see it – on my butt.  My Dad was mildly horrified about it.  I believe he said “Where did I go wrong in parenting you?”  I would say 99% of the time I don’t even remember that tattoo, I don’t usually walk around looking at my butt. 
When I started watching LA Ink what attracted me most to the show were the stories of why people were getting their tattoos.  There were a lot of touching stories but what got me were the people who wanted tattoos to honor a loved one that wasn’t with them anymore.  That is when I started thinking about Dad and how I wished I had something to honor and remember him by.  I started researching and planning my tattoo shortly after that first episode. 
I knew two things that I wanted – an anchor and the Japanese/Kanji symbol for Dad.  I wanted the anchor for two reasons – (1) because my Dad was always my anchor and (2) because my Dad loved and was proud of being in the Navy.  I wanted the Kanji symbol for Dad because my Dad always said Japan was his favorite place he went to in the Navy.  I also knew where the tattoo would go, right above my ankle on the right side of my body.  It’s my special reminder that Dad will always be right by my side.  When did I get the tattoo?  On the second anniversary of my Dad’s death. 
I’m sure some people may think there are plenty of other ways to honor someone.  I know there are.  But this is my way and I am so happy I did it.  What I really didn’t expect was how comforting this tattoo would be to me.  Unlike the one on my butt I see this tattoo numerous times throughout the day.  It makes me smile and sometimes it makes me cry.  Mostly though, I just feel like Dad is really with me now.  No matter how much I miss him and would give anything for one more hug or one more story, his presence is something I carry with me.  That means the world to me. 
As I was getting my tattoo I could literally hear Dad’s voice in my head saying “STACEY LYNN!  What are you doing?!”  If he was alive I think he would be slightly mortified that I “inked” my body for him.  I also know that he would be proud that his little girl loved him enough to do it.  My Dad was always proud of me, now I can finally show the world how proud I am of him and most importantly how proud I am to be his little girl.  Wherever you are Dad, this tattoo is for you!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Hodgepodge of News

Time has been flying by it seems.  Jackson is growing, Loki is growing, the laundry continues to pile up along with the dishes.  Life continues on.  But the last couple of weeks have brought on a hodgepodge of new milestones in our lives.  Let’s start with some good news.
Last week I ordered a wheelchair for Jackson.  It was a good thing that brought a few conflicting emotions.  I am happy that he will have a wheelchair because he has almost outgrown his umbrella stroller.  Not to mention that it doesn’t provide any real sitting up support for him.   We have a specialized stroller that we got when he was two but it is giant, takes up most of the extra space in the car and is quite heavy.  It is also too large for him to be able to use in the classroom.  The wheelchair will give him the sitting up straight support he needs, is light and folds up easy for the car, and will be the right size for his classroom.  I have to admit though that I was hoping Jackson would be walking by now.  I knew from the beginning that every milestone was going to take a very long time with Jackson, but if there has ever been anything that I have been certain of with Jackson’s future, it’s that he would walk someday.  I know now I am going to have to wait longer than I thought.  I still believe he will walk someday so my new hope is that by the time he outgrows this wheelchair, we won’t need to order another one!
Speaking of sitting up….Jackson is doing fabulous with his sitting.  He sits for long periods of time now and seems to want to sit up more and more every day.  He sits up constantly in his bed but is still working on sitting up on the floor.  The other day he was lying on the floor with Loki while I made lunch.  I said “Hey Jackson you should sit up and pet Loki.”  A couple of minutes later I looked over at them and couldn’t believe what I saw.  Jackson had sat up and was petting Loki!  I am not making this up!  Coincidence, maybe.  I just prefer to think that Jackson is a good little boy who listens to his Mommy.
Another great milestone (well maybe not a milestone but an accomplishment) Jackson achieved was on Mother’s Day.  For obvious reasons I didn’t feel like cooking dinner that day so we decided to go a restaurant.  Typically, going to a restaurant with Jackson is unpleasant (an understatement).  He knows we are in a place where there is food.  He feels that the whole entire time we are in that food building we should be doing nothing but eating.  Jackson’s obsession with food is remarkable, annoying at times, but nevertheless remarkable.  The minute we sit down the food must start.  The food may only stop coming in to his mouth as we walk out the door or a massive fit will be thrown.  Perhaps this isn’t an unreasonable request, but for Jackson’s reflux and spitting up it is.  If you feed him too much, throwing up will be the result.  It’s an evil game.  But off we went anyway.  Like clockwork the second we sat down Jackson started signing “eat” and “more”.  We were at a Mexican restaurant so luckily they brought us tortilla chips to start with.  We quickly began feeding Jackson tiny bits of chips and ordered our food as fast as possible.  Just when we ran out of chips and were faced with a meltdown our food arrived.  Whew!  Bite after bite was put into Jackson’s mouth.  Soon the food was over.  Kevin and I quickly hatched a plan for the meltdown.  Kevin would grab Jackson and head outside while Mommy would gather all our stuff and quickly pay the bill.  But a funny thing happened.  The meltdown never came.  We told Jackson the food was all gone.  They waiter took our plates.  We continued to wait for the meltdown.  The bill came, still no meltdown.  We paid and packed up, nope, no meltdown.  We got to the car, no meltdown.  We began driving, happy little boy in the backseat played with his toys.  Everybody was happy!  Kevin and I especially!  We agreed that this was the best Jackson had ever done in a restaurant.  Maybe it was Jackson’s Mother’s Day gift to me.  Who knows, but I’ll take it.  I am slightly apprehensive but hopeful that someday we can go to a restaurant again and have a nice meal without a meltdown!
Another milestone in Jackson’s life last week was that he went to Silverwood Theme Park for the first time!  Silverwood is over in Idaho about 20 minutes north of Coeur d’Alene and is kind of like a mini Six Flags park.  Every year they host a “Night of Stars” for special needs people and their families.  Each family gets two free passes and dinner.  Additional family members pay just $15 for entranced and dinner.  Typically it is like $50 for a pass into Silverwood so it was an amazing deal.  Unsure of whether Jackson would be able to ride any rides or would have any fun, we got tickets months ago and thought we would give it a try.  It turned out to be a beautiful evening weather wise and a great evening for our family.  Jackson was only able to ride 2 of the rides but he still had a great time.  Of course he loved the dinner, and Daddy got us a cinnamon sugar elephant ear which Jackson was crazy for!  It was a really fun night and Jackson seemed to enjoy it.  As long as we are invited we will go every year, and I think if Jackson keeps making progress like he has been lately, he will be able to ride more rides next year.  Thanks to Silverwood for supporting our family and giving us a great night!
The last bit of news to share is not a happy one.  A week and a half ago Jackson woke up from his nap and he was acting weird.  He seemed tired but also kind of out of it.  I thought maybe some food and a walk would wake him up, so after dinner we went for a walk.  We made it about a block from the house when Jackson slumped forward.  I stopped and sat him back up.  When I looked at him he just didn’t look right.  His eyes were looking up, his body was like a wet noodle.  I said his name and he looked at me briefly but then he jerked a couple of times.  I kept calling his name and he finally sat up and looked at me although he seemed weird.  I knew he had had a seizure.  I turned around to come home and he just kept getting more and more aggravated.  I tried giving him a bath and that didn’t even calm him down.  I finally just put him in his pajamas and put him to bed.  He fell asleep fairly quickly.  The next day I called the neurologist and he agreed that it sounded like a seizure.  We didn’t increase his medications but will continue to watch him to see if he has another one.  It was pretty scary to see Jackson like that.  I know how lucky we have been with the medication that stopped his seizures.  I am thankful every day that the seizures have gone away.  I worry every day they will come back.  I hope this seizure isn’t a sign of them returning. 
After a post about milestones I think it is best to conclude with a quote from Rose Kennedy.  Life isn’t a matter of milestones but of moments.”

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Happy Birthday My Little Monkey

Last week Jackson turned 4.  So I did what all good Mommy's do, I got him a puppy.  Yeah I know, just what every 4 year old needs.  What really happened is that I was volunteering at an event for the local animal shelter, SCRAPS, and saw this little puppy.  The second I held him I just had a feeling that he was our puppy.  After a bargaining session with my husband (3 weekends of mountain climbing in exchange for the dog) and a 4 day wait to get the puppy while he got neutered and I was out of town, we had ourselves a dog.  And since we picked it up on Jackson’s birthday it just seemed like it was his birthday present.  Besides, Jackson needs a little buddy to lie on the floor and play with and to someday run around the yard with. 
Our new pup, Loki, seems to be a pretty smart little dog.  He is a mix of German Shepherd, Lab, and Rottweiler.  He is gentle, sweet, cuddly and has these hilarious bursts of energy every night around 7 p.m.  Jackson fell in love with Loki and Loki fell in love with Jackson right from the start.  But Jackson has had his “get this dog out of here moments.”  We had a few days of him being grouchy and moody.  I think the adjustment was a little tough on him.  Mommy was spending a lot of time with Loki which made him jealous.  This week Jackson is back to his happy self and Loki is doing a very good job of being “gentle” with Jackson.  There are less nibbles on his feet and more licks on his hands.  This morning Loki walked over to Jackson, who was sitting on the floor, and started licking his ear, much to Jackson’s giggling delight.  I think those two are going to be good buddies one day, and I am looking forward to watching that friendship grow. 
"Of all the things that wisdom provides to help one live one's entire life in happiness, the greatest by far is the possession of friendship."