Friday, August 26, 2011

It's CHILI's time!!!

Are you Hungry? Are you looking for a way to help support Childhood Cancer? Do you have a Chili's Restaurant near you? Then you are in luck!

Chili's Restaurants Nationwide launched their "Create-A-Pepper" Campaign yesterday. Now through October 1 Chili's will be accepting donations for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. There are several ways to help... You can add a donation to your check, You can "Create-A-Pepper" and donate through a colorful Chili Pepper or you can buy a Create-A-Pepper tee shirt or Hope Slap Bracelet.

Don't have a need for a tee shirt, don't want a slap bracelet, can't color within the line.. No Problem... MARK YOUR CALENDER's ... MONDAY SEPTEMBER 26, 2011 ALL Proceeds from ALL Chili's Restaurants Nationwide will be donated to St Jude's. That's right ALL proceeds! You have to eat, right... so take your family, grab your friends and head out to Chili's on September 26 and simply eat a meal... Tell your neighbors, tell your friends, share it on Facebook, let's get everyone out to Chili's Restaurants on September 26, Lunch, Dinner, To Go... doesn't matter... Let's MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

‎"Children with Cancer are like candles in the wind who accept the possibility that they are in danger of being extinguished by a gust of wind from nowhere, and yet, as they flicker and dance to remain alive, their brilliance challenges the darkness and dazzles those of us who watch their light"

Monday, August 22, 2011

Chaos, Frustration, Fun, Learning... Wow must be the first day of School!

First Day of School

My little man is growing up so fast. Wade started Kindergarten today. Oh Boy' what a day! To back up a little bit his school, in my opinion, is very disorganized. As a Kindergarten parent I have felt like they really are clueless. Every time I have called to ask a question I have been talked to like I was stupid for not knowing, things like when's the open house... simple questions right?! Wrong, the answer I got was "well you will get a postcard in the mail, you know it comes right before school starts" I was like yea no I don't know cause I started the conversation with "My son is starting Kindergarten". Needless to say we have had a rough start. Turns out they don't have an "open house" prior to school starting all they have is a "meet the teacher" which they do on a Friday at 8:30 in the morning because clearly parents in this neighborhood don't work... They also did not release the school supply list until the last minutes so it was slim pickins when we finally got it and were able to get to the store to get the supplies. It wasn't until 2 weeks prior to school starting that they even updated the web page with the 2011/12 school schedule. Really.. and my child is going to this school! WOW... I am having a really hard time with this. But as my teacher friends have pointed out, the Teacher and the student are the real "tell all", you can have a crappy school with an excellent teacher and a good student and have great results. So I am hoping that is the case.

On to today... the first day, for first time Mom and Dad. Doors open at 750 to get in the main building, classrooms open at 805 (class starts at 820) so we left the house at 750 not knowing what to expect. We get there and find a parking spot when we realize that we forgot the paperwork that he needed and had to go home to get it (good thing we are only a block away from the school). So we go home get the papers and come back to mass chaos. No parking, everyone seems to have come in in the 3 minutes it took us to go home and come back. When we finally find a spot along the road we take Wade in the main door and over to his Kindergarten class. He was SO excited to show me his cubby, his hook, where the bathroom was, his classroom, and introduce me to his teacher (I wasn't able to go to "meet the teacher"). And away he went, like we weren't even there... no good bye, no hugs, no kisses, nothing... just away into the classroom. Guess it's safe to say he adjusts well to new surroundings!

What amazed me the most is that the Parents can't read or follow directions, it's a great thing we are sending our kids to school to assist the future generation with this epidemic. They clearly stated that the main parking lot is for the staff, and drop off car line only, no stopping, no parking... yet people were all over it, stopped everywhere, bus lane... who cares... no parking...who cares... it was embarrassing to watch. The good thing I guess about his school is that it is in the middle of a very large development so there are really no "buses" the kids zoned to it are all local.

Pick up time for Kindergarten is 315 so George and I were back there right at 315 to get him. While we were waiting for him we had one of "those moments", another mom was standing by us and she started chatting. She asked the basics, do you have a boy or a girl, who's his teacher and then she said "is he an only child"... Oh the questions you just don't want to answer... Say No, but his brother passed away and you get the pity looks and the conversations ends... say Yes and it's like you are betraying Bryce... I HATE that we are left in this position...No he is not an only child, his brother died from Cancer... Hug your kids as they get home from school today and pray for the kids and families that didn't get a chance to go. As the kids started coming out Wade was walking with the teacher, hugging her good bye as he came over to us... he's too cute! He told us that he had a really good time, they went to the playground for a little bit, they got to go to Music class, he made new friends (although he says he doesn't know their names because they didn't tell him). He liked lunch because he had the "coolest lunchbox" it's Lightning McQueen. I think it is going to be a good year for him. Structure, organization, a little bit of normalcy...something our house has not seen in the last 2 years.

Post school today has been rough. Wade has been very out of line, acting up at Target, screaming and running around at Schlotsky's and refusing to go to bed. George and I are about at our wits end with the bed time thing tonight. He will not stay in his room, running back into our room and acting like a mad man. But he won't lay down in our room either, he is clearly tired as he dozes off for a few seconds then bolts straight up and starts jumping on the bed and acting all crazy again. It's almost 10pm and he is still in our hallway screaming at us and slamming the wall. He says he is lonely and doesn't want to sleep in his room, which concerns me, but then he won't lay down with us either so I think it's a game... SUPER NANNY... NANNY 911 someone PLEASE help. Love this kid, but right now i'm about to rip my hair out... (Just for the record he doesn't usually do this, he is pretty good about going to sleep, he has a TV in his room and a ton of toys, so he usually just goes in kisses and hugs and that's that)...

In front of the school at "meet the teacher"

In the classroom at "meet the teacher"

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires. ~William Arthur Ward

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

One little "Spark" of Aggravation! Shoo little black rain cloud Shoo!

This is going to be a little off my "normal" topic but it's really bugging me today!!!!

Have you ever met someone so miserable you just wonder how life could possibly be for them... I mean real "life" outside of the little piece of their world that you are a part of? Do you know anyone that you can say "Wow are they EVER happy?" I am trying really really hard to understand where such hollowness comes from. I mean we have been through A LOT, things people could never imagine, we have seen things that no one should ever have to see... we have watched our son die and still we try and find the good in every moment, the sunshine in every cloud. I try and make people around me smile and laugh. What is the story behind this persons persistent scowl.

There is someone that is in my "everyday life" that I see on a regular basis (some of you know who this is) that just never seems to have a happy moment EVER. Every thing is miserable, no one that encounters "him" could ever do right by "him",the world could never be right by "him". I do not know the story, I do not know where the misery comes from, I can not even fathom being so down ALL the time, never a smile, barely a laugh... This person is not someone directly embedded in my life as I will NOT allow people like this to surround me.... it's just in the situation I have no choice but to associate with "him".

It's sad really to think one person could ruin the day for so many, that one persons attitude can make you feel weak, useless, small and incompetent. It's sad to think that people would actually allow someone to dictate their mood, but what's even sadder is that this person will never truly know the beauty of life, of love, of friendships. Why people would choose to live that way I will never understand. What I do understand though is that I can not be upset with this person because he is the one that is losing, he is the one that is missing out... I will not let him determine MY mood!

I guess what I wanted to say today is that you have the ability to make or break other people's day. A simple smile, a Hello, Holding the door open, a compliment.... we all have our own demons, our own issues, our own past... try and remember that no matter what you are going through the person you are walking past, talking to or working next to has their own issues too and while it may not be as monumental as yours, it might feel monumental to them...

"A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort"
~Herm Albright, quoted in Reader's Digest, June 1995

Monday, August 15, 2011

Pickles and Ice Cream....

The other day George asked if I wanted anything from Sonic, I said a "Turtle Sundae Shake" so he came home with my Shake and his dinner. While getting his dinner "ready" he picked out the Pickles... they were big sliced, nicely cut pickles and I was sad to see them being set aside, so I said "Can I have your Pickles"? George looked right at me and said "Really? We are going to do this already?" I was confused and said what? He said "Pickles and Ice Cream" I laughed and said "It wasn't intentional I just didn't want to see the pickles go to waste and it just happened that I was drinking an Ice Cream Shake!"

So yes my friends, it is true... Strange requests for "Pickles and Ice Cream" bring upon the question and the answer is YES... We have a Stowaway, A Little Nugget, A Pea in the Pod, I'm "Making Ears" ... Wade asked Bryce for a Brother or Sister and after, what I am sure was a very extensive interview process and a lot of rejections, Bryce has found the "perfect" angel to send to us! Can't wait to meet the newest addition to "The Raub Clan"

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Another "steam train" addition made to our house... Welcome Wade's new Cat-- KIMBALL

Welcome to the newest, unexpected, addition to our family... KIMBALL...

2 days ago we made what was supposed to be a quick stop at Petco. We have an addition on our house that we were going to make into Wade's playroom. This room is where the dogs would normally be corralled while we were out so, we needed to get a new "pen" for them as we don't like crating them but they can't be trusted to run around the house, and they needed new harnesses. So we knew exactly what we needed and headed into the store. Well, Wade knows where the "rescue" cats are in the store and as George and I walked in "on a mission" Wade got side tracked at the cats. I turned around and he said Look, mom look, this cat loves me. George and I went and looked at the cat and said ok Wade let's go pick out harnesses for Broggie and Emma... As we were getting ready to leave, Wade ran off again saying he needed to say good bye to the cat. As we drove home George kept giving me "that look" so we sat down and discussed it. Hmmmm, a cat, really, do I want a cat... it was cute, they are easy to take care of... Oh boy! So we decided we would get the cat for Wade, but we needed to surprise him.

So, yesterday morning George dropped Wade off at my mom's and went to Petco to buy the cat. They think it's about 11 weeks old, it was found in a Thrift Store parking lot with his brothers and sisters. The Rescue Group found them and nursed them with bottles so he is VERY loving and likes being cuddled. The fee is for all vaccinations, a voucher for his rabies shots and neutering... So George filled out all the paperwork and said he would come back later to get him. I ran up to the store later in the day and got all the "stuff" and we set everything up in "Wade's new playroom" and went to get Wade. We told him we needed to go back to the Pet Store to get something for Emma. As we walked in the door he said can we see if that kitty is still here and we said of course. Well Wade immediately noticed that the paperwork was gone and there was a bright yellow peice of paper in its place so he said "what does this say"... I said can you tell me the letters and he said A-D-O-P-T-E-D and I said "that is adopted, it means that someone has bought this kitty and will be taking it home with them". He got sad and said "BUT WHO" and I said "I don't know and looked at George"... Wade immediately moved over to the other 2 cats and said "but why didn't they want these kitties?" and I looked and him and said "I don't know Wade... Why didn't YOU want those kitties"... his whole face lite up and he said "Is this MY cat... Am I the one that gets to take him home?".... It was SO cute.

On the ride home with our new Kitty Wade says "Mom, Dad... thank you for getting me this cat... now I have someone to play with, Since Bryce isn't here anymore"... QUE THE WATERWORKS!!!!

Friends are kisses blown to us by angels. ~Author Unknown

P.S. for those that don't know our pets are named after Disney trains.

We have a Pug named Broggie after the Roger E. Broggie steam train at Magic Kingdom in Florida

Our 2nd Pug, Ripley (passed away) was named after the E.P. Ripley steam train at Disneyland California

Our Boston Terrier, Emma Nevada was named after Disney Animator Ward Kimball's steam train that he ran at Grizzly Flats (his backyard railroad)..

Seemed only fitting that our new cat be named Kimball since it has several points of significance . Ward Kimball was one of Walt Disney's "9 old men" animators, he was the owner of the Emma Nevada, and The Disney Company also had a steam train named the "Ward Kimball" that was too large for the Disneyland track and too small for the Walt Disney World track, so it was put on display at EPCOT and then traded to Cedar Point for the train that is now the "Ward Kimball" at Disneyland.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

7 Months, A Somber Elephant Walk & A "Warm Place"

2009 Bryce and I with the Ringling Brother's Elephants

In just a few days Bryce will have been in Heaven for 7 months. I can not believe it has been that long since we got to hug and love on our little monkey. This week is hard for us as we are coming up on Circus Week at the Convention Center. George works at the Fort Worth Convention Center and Ringling Brothers is coming into town. The past two years we have made some what of an event over this as it was something that Bryce really enjoyed. We took the boys out to the "Elephant Walk" where they have the elephants walk from the convention center down Main Street to Sundance Square where they get a snack while the clowns perform and then they head back to the convention center. Bryce loved seeing the elephants, it always made him smile. George is taking Wade this year, because it's what we do, I have to work but I can imagine that it will be bitter sweet. Wade will love it, I am sure of this because I am currently typing this with last years Ringling Brothers Sorcerer hat on my head... I am the Sorcerer this morning!!!

2010 Wade and Bryce in "The Sorcerer Hats"

Last night we finally got to to The Warm Place. The Warm Place is about a block away from Cook Children's and it is a place for everyone in the family to go talk, grieve, and bond... The story, if I remember correctly was that the founding family lost their son and their daughter felt she didn't have any place to go where she could talk about how that made her feel, she felt like her parents had friends they could bond with but she was alone, so they created a place where families could come together and be understood. When you arrive it's Potluck Dinner and then everyone is split up into groups, Moms, Dads and Kids.... and from there you have the opportunity to share your own stories, or just listen to others. It's a place of understanding, of knowing you can talk openly and the people you are talking to will understand completely. They do different sessions, based on the type of loss, whether it was a parent, a grandparent, sibling, etc... So we are in the sibling group so that Wade will be with other kids that have also lost a sibling... For my friends in the Fort Worth Area they are amazing! George and I really feel like it is going to be great for all of us to heal! You can never fully heal the hole created by the loss of a child, there will always be "little" things that will re-open the wound, like Wade starts Kindergarten in 3 weeks...we will never have that moment with Bryce... but as time goes by we know that we will find happiness in other things and we will always allow the moments of sadness to come as needed as we will always be Mom, Dad and Brother to an amazing little boy named Bryce!

"Butterfly... As you danced in the light with joy, love lifted you. As you brushed against this world so gently, you lifted us!