I decided when I'd write the blog that I wouldn't use everyone's real names (except for Jeanne and Mike) to keep a little privacy. I thought of using pseudonyms but with the amount of people in our family that would seriously get out of control. I'm also not that creative. We do have repeated first initials but that's a little more manageable.
First, I'm married to K. We started dating in college but I've know his family since high school. His sister and I were friends and played on the soccer team together. I even visited her freshman year in college. For the most part, he's a good husband and great father. He's very involved in the kids' sports (coaching soccer and basketball) and is always game to bring D to a sporting event or A to the skate park. He's got a great sense of humor, is very smart, and consequently has a hard time admitting he's wrong. He's been awesome at times during the last year, but at other times I get the feeling like he blames me somehow for what's happening with our family.
Our oldest son is A. He's ten years old and in fifth grade. He is a great kid. Interested in tons of things...skateboarding, herpetology (reptiles and amphibians), drawing, and reading. He's very athletic and plays soccer and basketball but sports don't seem to be his passion. He's not the most optimistic of people and I often call him my "glass half empty" kid. He is very truthful which is sometimes a bad thing since he has no filter and often says things that hurt other people's feelings. He has a great sense of humor and really has adjusted best out of all the kids. Every few months, he's needed a "mental health" day and stayed home from school, but for the most part he's been normal A.
D is our seond son. He's eight years old and in third grade. He is crazy into sports. Not only is he a great athlete (soccer, basketball and baseball) but he knows more about pro and college sports than most adults. He loves the stats and scans the sports page everyday. He is also extremely intelligent. School comes very easily for him and his teachers often struggle to keep him occupied. Fortunately, he's also a very well behaved kid at school so it's not a problem so far. At home, however, he's our trouble maker. He definitely knows how to push my buttons. He's also our picky eater and uses food as a way to get attention. We had gotten a handle on things until the accident and once the girls moved in, food has become an issue again. The kid could live on sun chips and hot chocolate. He loves little kids and is very very kind to all of his little cousins.
L is the baby. He's three years old and our absolute blessing. Everyone loves L. Complete strangers come up to me on a daily basis to tell me how cute he is...big brown eyes, big cheeks and a great smile. He loves cars, animals, sports, legos and anything his brothers are doing. This past year is not the one I would have liked to have for him. He's still not potty trained....again it's something he can control. He talks about death and dying all the time. He knows why the girls are living with us. He may not really understand death but he knows their mommy and daddy aren't here. He also knows that the sisters aren't living together and that confuses him. On more practical matters, he wants his room back (he had to give it up and share with D for the girls). Everyday he asks me if E and M are going to be here forever. Cute and sad all at once.
E is our eldest niece. She's 14 and in the ninth grade. It's hard to really describe E. She is a great kid. Great student. Nationally ranked swimmer. Funny, sarcastic sense of humor. E was severely traumatized by the accident. She lost her parents. We're her third house. She's separated from her sisters. She's had to move out of her house and neighborhood. Needless to say, she has been very difficult. Some of it directly, with mean comments and constant criticism of our house, kids, and parenting. Some of it passive aggressive. All of it understandable but nonetheless annoying. She is exhausting. She is also the focus for the rest of my family, though, and taking care of the "golden child" can be very stressful.
M is 10 years old and in fifth grade with A. Where to start with M. From the beginning K,the boys and I felt like M belonged with us. She just fits. She's funny, athletic, creative and just an all around sweet kid. She and the boys get along wonderfully. But she's also a pretty traumatized kid. Abandonment issues, grief, issues with E...all wrapped together she is very needy. She's struggling in school but it's hard to know what issues are pre-accident and what are a result of her loss. Again, we're her third house and I'm not sure she really believes this is all real.
I also have three remaining sisters. One older (she's got the little girls) and two younger. Oh and there are my parents, and in-laws (husband is oldest of 9) and all of our friends. I think I'll have to tackle the rest in a later post.
Oh yeah, and my real name is Peg. Margaret Anne to be exact but I've always gone by Peggy.