Home Sweet Home

I just got Craig settled on the couch, although he won't sit still.  Imagine that.  He's thrilled to be home and thinks he should go blow snow.  The doctor made it very clear that he is under no circumstances to work, drive or lift.  He can take his brace off at night or for a quick shower but that's it.  He is to be on his back and taking frequent but brief walks.

The plan is to see Dr. Eichler again in two weeks for another C.A.T. scan and follow-up check.  This should determine if the brace is working or if surgery will be required.  He also hopes to return to work in the physical form at that time.  Either way, he will have 4-6 weeks of physical therapy after the brace is off and/or surgery (pray no surgery).

In the mean time, I am gong to finish housework so he can move around when he needs to without tripping on anything, and so that I can pull the extra weight while he's on bed rest.  I'm sure that Craig agrees with me that pain meds are a gift; the combination of the three help immensly.

I can't send enough thank you's to everyone who has visited, called, emailed, texted, taken care of Murray, and everything else I can't remember at the moment.  I know that God, friends and family will get us through.  Besides, Craig never lets me take care of him when he's sick, but now he has no choice. Think "Misery"; insert evil cackle here.
Thanks again and blessings.
Craig, Marie and Murray

Clark Griswold - An Update

First of all, a HUGE thank you to our friends and family for the support.  Your thoughts and prayers mean the world.

I arrived at the hospital this morning to find a weary Craig and the news that he would not be released today.  We hope for tomorrow, but it could be Wednesday.  The L1 vertebrae is broken, and 30% compressed on one side (he shrunk).  This means that he'll wear a brace for 4-6 weeks; hopefully avoiding any surgery.  He was measured by the nice man from Hangar, and are praying that the that the brace will arrive tomorrow.  When we get home, he will need to be flat on his back for two weeks, after which time he hopes to back to work.  He will only be allowed to sit up for 45 minutes at a time, and then will either stand up or lie down (flat again).  I think I'll get him a cot for his office for Christmas.

I left him in the good hands of the Fink's and hope to get some housework done so that I will be organized for his homecoming.  He was in good spirits (laughter, hydrocodone and strong muscle relaxers did the trick) when I left and now I hope he'll nap for awhile. 

In all of the hoopla last night, Troy took Murray home so I could be with Craig.  Stef had us in fits of laughter recalling the events of the evening.  Apparently, he walked in the door, took his coat off, looked at Stef with a deadpan expression and said, "My Dad fell off the roof.  They might shoot him."  Stef changed the subject and they did the laundry.  Apparently we need to have some discussion about guns.  We hope to have him visit the hospital this evening, depending on how the day goes.

Again, thank you to everyone for offers of help and support.  I'm as calm as I am because his injuries could have been so much worse, and I'm thankful that he will prevail. 

Slippery Slopes

Please note:  If this post sounds a bit hysterical, it's because I am.  Humor me, please.

Last weekend, before the snow hit, Craig and I hung the Christmas lights on the house.  All went pretty well, except that when he got to the peak of the roof, he slipped and was hanging from the gutter.  Luckily, I was able to brace us both and helped him down before we both hit payment.  After the scare, I proclaimed that there would not be lights this year.  He agreed.

We had a very nice holiday, though we missed my family members.  I even went black Friday shopping and survived with only a scuffle and a bruised shin.

Murray has been asking to build a snowman ever since the first dusting of the hateful white stuff.  Today, it was finally sticky enough to go out and build the best snowman on the block.  The three of us were rolling snow into different sized balls, when Craig asked me if he should finish the lights.  I said no, but Murray replied with an enthusiastic yay!  So Craig climbed the ladder and not 2 minutes later, I heard an expletive and looked over to watch him twisting in the air from twelve feet above, and landing in a heap.  As terrified as I was, I assumed he had the wind knocked out of him and would be fine when he caught his breath.  Three minutes later, that was clearly not the case.  He refused medical attention and Craig being Craig, insisted we finish the damn snowman while he laid in the snow in agony.  I finally coaxed him out of the heap and into the house, when he promptly asked for pain meds(the man won't even take an aspirin).  That was when I decided this was extremely serious and called Troy and Stef, followed by  911.  The ambulance was here in less time than it took me to call them, and off he went on a stretcher, away from his hysterical wife and in enormous pain.  The entire time, I was a hot mess and Murray was asking Troy if the Paramedics were going to shoot him (too much tv, I say). 

Craig spiked a fever at the hospital, and after X-rays and a C.A.T. Scan were performed, it was determined that indeed, his back was broken.  The L7 was the vertebrae in trouble.  Our hopes are that he will be in a brace for 3-4 months, but surgery could still be required.  We'll know more in the morning when the specialist arrives.

In the mean time, he's whacked on pain meds and going to be knocked out most of the night (the doctor said the pain would get worse).  I am home with the dogs, and Murray is with family so that I am free to head to the hospital again after a few hours sleep.

Please pray for him, or if you aren't the praying type, positive vibes sent our way would be appreciated.  I'll update tomorrow.  Have I told you that I hate snow?

Love you honey - see you soon.

Conversations with Angels

We speak candidly and often to Murray about my late mom, Grandma Kathy. He can recognize her in pictures, knows details about her life, and he knows that she is in Heaven. A recent conversation went something like this (I actually had to write it down so that I wouldn't forget):

Murray: "Look, mama, it's you and Grandma Kathy!"

Me: "Yes, that is Grandma Kathy and mama."

Murray: "Grandma Kathy died? She in Heaven?"

Me: "Yes, Grandma Kathy is in Heaven. Even though we can't see her or talk to her, she

is with God watching over us" (tears well, I start to sniffle).

Murray: "Mama, she an angel. She say it's OK, she told me" (bursts into "Twinkle Twinkle",

which he sings to anyone who is sad).

Me: Speechless, now my tears are flowing freely.

This three-year-old wisdom astounds me. I don't really know if he gets it, but his thoughts and actions are such a comfort to me. I love that he's growing up to be such a gentle, sensitive, caring boy; the angels get all the credit.
I'll leave you with a picture from the first snowfall of the season; a whopping 12.5 inches in less than 24 hours.


Last night when you arrived home, you sat down next to me and made me feel better. We bundled up and watched the stars while you held your hand in mine.

You snuggled up to me in the wee hours of the morning and held me tight, just when I need you most.

Before I went to work today, you gave me a kiss and a smile and said, "have a good day."

When I see you again, it will be the very best part of my day.

This is motherhood. This is pure love.

Every Prince Should Have a Castle to Call Home

It's always interesting when Craig decides to go shopping. You never know if he'll come home with a new laptop, dog toys, or some crazy scheme to improve "life as we know it." So when he came home on Saturday from a trip to Fargo (he actually crossed the river), I wasn't a bit surprised with his purchases. As you can see, he bought a "castle" for Murray, complete with the plastic balls and tunnels to crawl through. The look on Murray's face was priceless. We ended up squeezing the contraption into his bedroom and it's now his favorite hang-out/play/sleep spot. He even likes to have his snacks and read books in his "castle".

Murray has been wielding the camera again (JP #3, Stef?). Samples of his work:

Boot Camp

5:00 a.m.
Murray: "Mama, I sleep in your bed?"
Craig and I simultaneously: "No, go back to your own bed until it's wake time."
Murray: "WHAAAAA! I sleep in your bed!"
Craig: "We said no, and when it's wake time we'll come and get you".
Murray: Sounds of stomping back to his room, crying the entire time. He goes back to
bed. . . until. . .

6:00 a.m.
Murray: "It's wake time! Can I have cookies?"
Me: "Not for breakfast, let's find something else to eat before cookies".
Melt down ensues. Cookies not granted.

This is just a sample of what the weekend was like. We are dumbfounded; what happened to our normally thoughtful, polite child? He was bossy, his manners non-existent, and whiny. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Murray is a very stubborn little boy. Even when we've made it clear that the discussion is closed, he doesn't give up. He'll sit in time out and yell at us as we pretend to ignore him. We thought we were strict, but Murray's behavior of late is proves that we haven't been strict enough. Therefore, 2-year-old boot camp has commenced. We can, and will, take away his birthday party if we have to. Sound harsh? Maybe, but as parents, we are responsible for raising a good, kind, human being. If a strong(er) hand is what it takes, so be it.

Three Years Ago Today - Gone From My Site

I am standing upon the seashore.
A ship, at my side, spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts for the blue ocean.
She is an object of beauty and strenghth.
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck of white coud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then, someone at my side says, "There, she is gone".

Gone where?

Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast, hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

Her dimished size is in me - not in her.
And, just at he moment when someone says, "There, she is gone,"there are other eyes watching her coming and other voice ready to take up the glad shout,

"Here she comes!"

And that is dying. . .

Death come in its own time, in its own way.
Death is as unique as the individual experiencing it.


God Bless you, Mom. We miss you.

Mish Mash

This was taken at the end of the night at my Aunt and Uncle's house. Doesn't he look cozy? I love the way his ankels are crossed. Milk in a fancy glass, a bowls of cheetos, a comfy chair and a great tv show. Who could ask for more? Scooby and M trying to soothe an angry lion:
Scooby, lion and M:

Scooby Doo and M, ready to go:

Not sure what exactly is happening here. . .

On another note, Stefanie started a blog to update everyone on Miss Ava. Check out this beautiful addition to the Fink family by clicking here. Congratulations!