Monday, December 17, 2012

a bad send off

it was hard to send sam off to school today,
especially after everything that happened on friday in connecticut.
sam is the same age as some of the children who died.
trying to imagine what that scene would have been like with my child in the midst of it was totally unbearable.
i know i am mourning with a world of people.
i know that it hits each of us in a very unique way.
the hardest part is knowing that all the mourning in the world won't bring those children back,
and it won't ever take away the pain of those families,
and all the mourning in the world won't prevent something like this happening again,
maybe in our own community,
and maybe not.
that's not the fear i'm living with though.
i fear the most if i'm teaching my children what they need to be taught about safety, responsibility,
compassion, and sympathy.
i especially feared that this morning.
i briefly mentioned it to sam so he would be prepared or informed if it was brought up today at school.
it didn't go well on either one of our parts.
sam was very insensitive,
and i reacted with insensitivity to what his age appropriate mind can understand.
i fear that a major teaching opportunity was lost.
i didn't handle it how i imagined i would.
i could tell sam was hurt and/or confused.
as he was leaving for school he said
"the mornings around here keep getting worse."
that knocked the air out of me.
i surely didn't want to send him off feeling like that on a day that has the potential to be heavy.
of course i tried to smooth it over,
but i sobbed the whole way i watched him walk the block to his walking group.
i sobbed because i made a mistake.
i sobbed because he was hurt.
i sobbed because i couldn't send him off this morning with what he needs.
i sobbed because he will get better comfort from his teachers & peers today than i could offer.
i sobbed for those children who left for school just like sam and never came back.
i sobbed for their families who didn't know their children would never come home.
i especially sobbed for the mothers who may have sent their children off on a bad note like this and that was their last experience with their child.
i sobbed because i feel so sad even though i still have my children here,
but maybe i sobbed because i know their childhood won't last forever.
i sobbed because i have felt so good lately,
and now i just feel like sobbing.
i'm hoping the heaviness won't last around here today.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

dear sam

dear sam,
you told me today that you didn't miss me one bit while you were at school.
that's ok.
i know you love school so much that maybe you really didn't miss me,
and i'm thrilled you don't still need me for every thing.
but remember how every day when you walk the block to your walking group
you turn around the whole way there to wave at me one more time?
and how as you are running across the street you scream back to me
"i love you more than space!"
perhaps you don't miss me,
but i know you love me.
and that's what means the most to me.
even when you stop waving to me the whole way to school
(i know you eventually will stop that)
please just replace it with something that still says
"i love you."

i will always love you,

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

ganny, this one's for you

dear ganny,
remember how we were talking today about will hiding under the kitchen sink cabinet
and how we couldn't find him even after calling for him over and over?
well, he must have something with hiding in cabinets.
i found him again today in one.
this time it happened to be in the cabinet ABOVE our oven.
he didn't cover his tracks well enough.
there was a chair left under the cabinet.
is this the look you were expecting on his face?


me & will

ps... don't you love maggie's hand reaching up? she was trying to reach the knob so she could get in. not quite tall enough, but i think she is learning a thing or 2 from her brothers.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

i'm smiling on the inside

pete & i have spent the last 5 years trying to figure out how we wanted to allow media into our home.
neither one of us are opposed to tv, video games, or internet.
we actually believe that they are some of the best tools of this generation.
however, it was very clear to both of us that media is over used and not always as a tool.
that is what we had been noticing in our home too much over the last year.
we've tried a combination of lots of things...
on days/off days, time limits, etc,
but none of those combinations were working like we needed.
the kids just wanted to be plugged in ALL THE TIME!
it was turning into a huge emotional issue for me.
we were losing childhood play all day long by them wanting media on demand constantly.
we concluded that the media exposure in our home was too much too fast,
at least for our children and family.
it was not happening like the 'good ole days' when we would watch a few shows after school or on saturday mornings.
those were our only choices really because we were bound to the schedule of public programming.
with 1000s of options at our fingertips at any given time of the day with netflix it had become a constant battle,
so we canceled netflix
and have not regretted it for a day.
not even the children.
it almost seems their childhoods are thanking us.
they play ALL THE TIME now,
and when they are tired there is normally a pbs kids show on or we enjoy a good movie or play a few video games together.
once they are re-charged they are off again.
the media battle has gone away.
i couldn't be more grateful or relieved.
it has even been an improvement for pete & me.
we spend our evenings talking or reading now instead of plugged in.
i'm smiling on the inside for all of those reasons,
but i'm smiling even bigger because of the things i have witnessed over the last 2 weeks.
my top 3 things that have me smiling big time...

1. Going to the $ theater and enjoying 'the odd life of timothy green' together. that night media felt like a tool for us. we were together, we were out, and we were enjoying something touching & uplifting that has provided much conversation since and made a memory.

2. Will has been exploring a whole new world throughout his days at home. yesterday he got up from his rest and went to the freezer and pulled the ice maker tray out. he said he just needed to see how it works. i was able to show him, and he was rather impressed. then we filled up the sink with all the extra ice and hot water to see how long it would take to melt. that led us to the ice cube, salt, and string experiment. fun times. he also takes a rest almost every day now because he still needs one, and now he is not distracted from it. his favorite places to rest are on the couch with me, in a relaxing bath, or under his bed. :)

3. the other 'smile on the inside' moments are watching the games they come up with. my favorite was will setting up a carnival all over the house for maggie. it included a carousel ride, block toss, car racing, and running races; all complete with prizes.

these are the types of things that i believe that childhood is made of.
perhaps we were the only family losing these types of experiences to media,
but even if we were the only ones,
we weren't willing to keep making that sacrifice.
we did something about it,
we are getting the results we had hoped for,
and that's why i'm smiling on the inside.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

the silver lining

i'm feeling much better than yesterday,
much more like myself,
and i have remembered why having the foot i do is really not THAT big of a deal.
i particularly remembered last night when i put on my sorrel boots.
the silver lining is the quality shoes i get to wear.
they may not be high heels,
but they do always come from nordstrom.
it's not because i'm rich.
it's because when you have to buy 2 sizes of shoes every time it is cheaper (or at least equal to famous footwear, etc) to buy there because they sell you the sizes you need for the regular price of 1 pair.
there's always a silver lining if you look for it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

a break from unique

i had surgery on my left foot 1 1/2 years ago to fix a birth defect.
it was an attempt to get me off my heel and take away some of the flexibility i have in my foot,
thus, relieving heel pain.
it worked well in the beginning,
but not so much now.
every time i go to this amazing doctor he reminds me how unique i am,
reminds me how no one else on earth has a foot like mine and if there is it's only like 2 people,
reminds me how "one of kind" i am.
this has always made me feel special,
and made it easier to overlook the fact that my foot hurt or that it felt & looked so different.
i had to go back to this amazing doctor today.
my foot has gone back to its pre-surgery state.
my achilles tendon is all stretched back out.
that special party trick i have where i can bend my foot almost to my shin,
well, it's back.
i went back today hoping that he would have thought of a miracle solution to fix it for good.
i was so hopeful that he would know how to make it normal.
he reminded me again of how unique it is.
he reminded me of how he specializes in "weird" feet & has for 20 years but has never seen anything like this.
he told me he has conversed with more doctors about my foot than any other patient he has ever had.
he said he has even called his doctor friends in NYC & San Fran but they couldn't even imagine what he was saying.
they had never seen anything like it.
this poster child pep talk didn't have the same effect on me today.
i didn't want to be special,
or one of kind.
i just wanted to be NORMAL!
i wanted him to tell me that i wouldn't have to wear 2 sizes of shoes anymore once he performed this "magic" formula,
or that i would be able to wear high heels,
or learn to dance and be a ballerina because i would be able to stand on my tiptoes,
or be able to run without my foot flopping around,
or that i might actually be able to run a race and not look different or have my foot hurt afterwards,
or that no one would ask me again if i hurt myself,
or that i wouldn't be so intimidated to play sports or go to a yoga class,
or that i could have a muscle in my calf so my legs would match and when i wear skinny jeans it won't be tight on the right and baggy on the left,
or so i could wear shorts or short skirts without looking like i have one baby leg and one adult leg,
or that i wouldn't have to think so hard about balancing & the mechanics of my foot with EVERY step i take.
that's really what i wanted to hear  more than "you are so special".
i have always had amazing perspective about my foot,
knowing that this was how i was intended to walk this earth.
i haven't really let it slow me down,
and my personal suffering about it has managed to stay within me.
i haven't spent my life complaining about it.
but today i want to complain.
i want to be bitter about the things i haven't been able to do or wear.
because guess what?
it's more than that.
it's letting go of the hope that my foot would ever be normal.
my doctor told me bluntly (but kindly) that my foot will never be normal.
any attempt would just be a shift away from one problem but to a new one.
i could wear a brace to hold into tightly in place,
but then think of how limited i would be on shoes or how different i would look then!
or i could fuse my ankle and create a solid platform,
but think of how it would feel to never be able to bend your ankle again!
the dream of being a ballerina would definitely be gone.
and the high heels?
i could do a muscle transplant and have it not work because the muscles won't fire together.
or i could leave it just how it is and deal with these problems.
no matter what, it will never be normal.
all that childhood and adult hope is gone.
it's more like today is a bit of a mourning day for me,
the beginning of a lifelong acceptance that it is different and will always be different,
and that is not such a good thing.
at least not today.
tomorrow or the next day will be better.
i will feel that pride again about being a one of a kind.
i just wish i could be one of a kind and normal all at the same time.

Monday, November 26, 2012

another runaway

running away must be a common theme around here.
after maggie packed her bag so did the boys.
they spent all afternoon secretly planning a run away.
they gathered extra clothes and hid them under sam's stuffed animals.
they would need them to change out of their jammies in the night.
you see, this was going to be a night escape.
they requested all day that i wake them when i went to bed.
they made me promise.
they also packed oranges and ham lunchmeat.
i'm sure they would get hungry.
they had planned to go about 1 mile.
spygear flashlights were tucked away,
and the sunday ads too.
they spent all afternoon whispering and plotting.
i loved watching it all unfold from a distance.
remember when you were a kid and you thought you were being so secretive?
the only thing i didn't like was them taking off their screen on their window and attempting to get a rope out the window.
that was their escape route.
very dangerous.
if they are already planning that at age 5 & 7 imagine how many times those 2 will attempt a window escape as teenagers!!
well, the plan didn't go off.
close to bedtime will spilled it.
he said he didn't want to run away.
he was afraid the police would catch them.
he said he didn't want to walk to smith's marketplace anymore to get grown-up movies.
(apparently grown-up movies are the ones where the people say stupid & shut up. now i know.)
he was too scared and really didn't want to leave home,
so needless to say i didn't wake them up when i went to bed.
i don't think sam was too disappointed either,
and i'm certainly glad they didn't go.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

a mother's heart

i love advice.
i love receiving it,
and i especially love giving it.
i try to keep it on a solicited basis though.
oh, i do try!
tonight my advice was solicited.
i was chatting with the children's librarian who i have befriended.
she is about my age and pregnant with her first baby.
she asked if i had any mothering advice.
as a matter of fact i did.
it was advice that i wish someone would have given me the 1st time around.
i told her to always listen to her mother heart first
and do exactly what it says
even if it feels uneasy trusting in a feeling that's so new.
(or if conflicts with the majority.)
i told her she will always know best.
i gave her the example about how i always wanted to hold my babies.
i got too much advice about how that's not a good thing for fear of spoiling them, etc.,
so i worried it about it all the time with my 1st.
there were many times i didn't pick him up when i wanted to.
i didn't go to his bedside at night when he was crying because i was advised that crying it out was better.
i hated the conflict of what was in my mother heart versus the advice i got from other moms.
the 2nd time around i was a little better,
but by maggie's turn i had enough experience to know that what felt best was what was right for me.
i don't think that poor baby ever got put down!
i didn't advise my librarian friend to hold her baby all the time.
but i i did advise her to if it felt right.
i try to live like this all the time as i mother,
but i'm learning the heart can be a tricky thing
because what feels right isn't always easy.
my very closest friend has a hard task for her mother heart to bear,
but she is listening and doing because she also knows that a mother's heart is always right.
i know her heart is right,
and i hope mine is too through all of its mother growing pains.
indeed it's true...
mother always does know best.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

a lot of life left

the three year anniversary of pete's cardiac arrest is right around the corner,
just 12 days away.
what an eery way to celebrate,
right back in the hospital where the life saving miracle came.
pete is here today undergoing another surgical attempt to get his heart beating in rhythm.
as i have been sitting for the last 4 hours waiting for him to be wheeled back in,
my mind has wandered to the next tower over,
to the shock trauma unit,
to a nurse named sandy.
wondering if she is still there.
wondering if she still remembers the miracle she was a part of,
wondering if she has/had any idea of the amount of hope she gave me.
wondering again if there really is any gesture that could re-pay her.
(other than a day off and a nice bottle of wine. she made many jokes about those things being highly cherished. she was a crass old thing, but she is exactly what i needed much more than a softy.)
in the first hour or so of him being checked into this unit the doctors spoke with me about the possibility of his heart stopping again and wanted my input on if i wanted them to revive him.
at that point there was no way to know the extent of brain damage.
i was at an emotional loss.
i had no idea.
he had told me many times throughout our marriage that if anything ever happened to him to not let him live like his dad did before his death.
in those moments i was at a loss.
honor his possible wish or fight for life?
how was i to really know?
that's where sandy comes in.
she was working in the dark corner of the room
and never spoke until the doctors left.
she said that she had been at that job long enough that she had acquired a sense if someone was going to live or die.
she said she had gotten where she could predict it almost every time.
as she looked at my "wicked sick" husband,
she said she could feel a lot of life left.
she encouraged me to not even think about pulling the plug yet.
her opinion expressed like that probably violated some medical code of conduct,
but i didn't care.
i needed something that went beyond a medical projection.
she was really right.
there has been a lot of life in him,
and every thing he has done since then is to extend that life as long as possible.

he's now out of surgery.
it went well.
the dr. found that the abnormal nerves they burned off the first time had started to grow back together.
he said the tissue in a strong, young heart like pete's oftentimes can be difficult to get all the way through.
he re-burned those nerves again.
he said it was more like repairing the fence than building a new one.
when pete was wheeled back in and still unconscious the anesthesiologist was updating the new nurse on him, his condition, and past medical history.
he told her he had been a cardiac arrest patient.
her response was "he was one of the lucky ones that survived, huh?"
always a surprising realization to anyone who learns the story.
it was then that i had the same re-confirmation that came from sandy almost 3 years ago.
there is still a lot of life left.
and thank goodness.

Monday, November 12, 2012

like mother like daughter

i ran away once.
i think i was 3.
i started walking to my grandma's house down the country mile.
who knows why i really did it.
i've ran away many times in my mind.
like when i was in the 3rd grade,
and my friend lisa park & i planned a whole running away experience,
complete with stealing her parent's golf cart, food to pack, and a late night departure.
the only thing that stopped that plan was that we had no where to go.
i think that's maggie's case.
she packs her pink backpack a lot and says she's going.
she fills it with well thought out items...
all of her wooden food, a water bottle, and her baby.
she was set tonight.
i hope she never really runs away.
i hope that she will always know that there is not a better place than home.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

i've been robbed

something has been in my house.
he has been making his presence known here for many months.
for the most part i can keep him confined to the corner,
but he is always looking
and always waiting for the perfect moment to lash out and steal and plunder.
he's not quiet about it either.
rather, he's quite loud.
he has been out and taking the things very most precious to me.
the things far more valuable than any monetary possessions that i have in my home.
this anxious thief has been stealing my time,
stealing my ability to focus,
stealing my heart,
stealing my peace,
and stealing my best ability to connect with the ones that i love in the ways that i like.
he had a few days off last week.
our home was locked down so tightly there was no way for him to make it in.
i had a few days without the fight to keep him in the corner,
a few days without his constant noise in my head threatening to take my valuables.
but he has found a crack somewhere.
i can hear him slipping back in.
don't worry, you need not call the authorities.
they are well aware of the situation
and are doing all they can to protect me.
the only thing you could do is kick the anxiety thief to the curb and remind him that he is never welcome here.
not ever.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

something missing

this is how sam looked 1 week ago.

this is how he looked 4 days ago.

this is how he looked 3 days ago.

(if you can't tell, he has no front teeth.)
i hardly recognize him!
it is my biggest evidence that he will change.
he won't always look like my baby.
he is quickly starting to look like my big boy.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

employer wanted

sam loves working.
he is good at working.
sam loves money,
and he loves to earn money while working.
he loves money in the "put in the bank and save it" kind of way.
he informed today when he got home from school that he would like to start working for the neighbors on certain days raking leaves to earn $1.
then he thought bigger,
solicit on my blog,
so here we are.
he is willing to do most jobs such as....
*raking leaves ($1)
*moving logs ($0.75)
*moving garbage cans ($0.13)
*making beds ($2.03)
*help move to another house ($5.35)
*vacuuming ($1)
*clean up toys or living room (whole house $5.45, 1 room $1)
*help mow ($10.50)
*reading to little kids ($3.58)
*wrap birthday presents at nighttime ($2)
*wash car ($3.99)
*fold, hang, and put laundry away ($1 per person)
*picking apples (1 hr. $3)
*sweeping hair salons (ginoromous one $10, regular $3)

i can vouch for this boy's character and work ethic.
if you are interested in hiring him for any of the above mentioned jobs,
then please email me at or leave a comment.
have a nice day.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

it must be halloween

another halloween came and went with all the typicals...
school parties,
trick or treating,
french dip sandwiches,
too much candy,
and adorable kids in self-decided costumes.

sam: indiana jones
he cleaned the salon for weeks to earn money to buy the satchel, whip, & machete.

will: incredible hulk
he was a little undecided this year. he normally invents something like flopsy the rabbit or a circus monkey with a red hat. i think that is his preference. he never cared to wear the hulk mask or the hulk smash gloves. essentially he had an expensive body suit.

maggie: she was a pink "meow meow", her choice.
she loves pink, and she loves cats. if anyone called her a bunny she corrected them and said "no! me pink meow meow!"

Monday, October 29, 2012

worth remembering

sam turned 7 today.
(and, yes, i didn't stutter. 7!!??)
all years are worth remembering,
but there was just something different about this one.
he seemed to really make the leap from little kid to "now i'm turning into a real kid".
i've always suspected that i will really excel in my mothering as my children get older.
i love babies,
but i think my parenting style fits older kids better,
so now here we are,
and i think it's working.
i enjoy having the logical part of the brain develop more,
and that is noteworthy of sam.
logical he is.
total side note to illustrate.
last sunday when we got home from church the children were climbing the walls more than a typical day.
in an effort to not blow up i calmly suggested to sam that he go outside and pick tomatoes.
he went his way and calmness prevailed.
he came back in empty handed.
pete asked where the tomatoes were.
he said he didn't pick any.
pete said "your mother asked you to pick tomatoes."
to which he calmly replied,
"no she didn't ask. it was a suggestion."
can't argue with that.
i have to choose my words wisely with him.

some of the things that are worth remembering about sam in this very moment are....
1. how much he loves school,
all of it,
the school work, homework, reading, chinese, recess, walking groups, lunch, etc.
he is a self-motivator.
like how he wants to read 100 minutes every day so he can get more reading tickets than he did before.
aside from that though,
just a self-motivator.
you don't have to tell him when to get out his homework every day.
chances are he is telling within 30 minutes of being home.

2. he is a soccer boy.
he LOVES soccer!
pretty much lives for it.
he's pretty sure he's almost a pro.
he works really hard and does well.
he loves to score and loves to win.
he loves to be the scorer, but he is equally happy when someone else on his team scores.
sometimes he accidentally steals the ball from his own players,
but i know it's not to be a ball hog.
he loves his team.
i once overheard another teammate complaining about another player's skills
to which sam responded "that at least he could kick the ball and that is all that matters."
he added that everyone on the team adds something different.
he loves to block and to score but never play goalie (which i am totally ok with).
every time he scores a goal he gets to choose a treat for the family after the game.
he almost always chooses a hamburger.

3. he loves long hair.
he decided this summer he was going to grow it out.
he got a tiny trim when school started,
and it has been growing ever since.
he is certain that when it gets long it will be as curly as his dad's.
not there yet but maybe someday.
it does have some wave,
and i actually think it's kinda cute.

4. he has re-discovered his love for building.
he likes to build things out of legos and boxes,
but he really likes to manage building projects and drawing up designs.
would that be considered a project manager?
like how he decided we needed a tree house.
he moved a piece of plywood to the tree to make a ramp,
and he was telling his brother and sister exactly how to push the playhouse that was on the ground into the tree to make a tree house.
he liked managing that,
and he's a natural manager if i must say so myself.
he also draws up plans for pete to build things,
like his chair that he needed to reach the top drawer of his dresser.

5. i adore spying on him at night.
he always has some project going on in bed.
oftentimes it is reading or book,
but it can also be creating a book,
or drawing in his notebook.
he has drawn pictures of him as a professional soccer player.
that precious time in bed seems to be when his brain really oozes out,
and that's when i feel i get to tap into the inner workings of that boy.

6. his 7 year old party will go down in history.
it was pretty awesome.
he wanted a halloween costume party with a spook alley.
this boy is a dreamer and planner
(as am i),
so i do all in my power to make it happen.
i say we nailed it,
in a 7 year old world at least.
who can complain about a spook alley complete with black light spiderweb hallways,
bat & spider tunnels that you have to crawl through,
spiderweb obstacles,
ghost alleys,
dead bodies in coffins,
bone graveyard,
and body parts table?
there were no complaints,
and i hope he always has the memory.

7. he is just as precious to me as he was on this day 7 years ago.
from the second i laid eyes on him
i felt like i had always known him.
year after year that feels so true.
he is so much like me,
therefore, i can relate so well to him.
he is a treasure.
each year becomes more exciting than i ever could have imagined it would be.

Monday, October 15, 2012

if you've got it, then you've got it

if you like pink,
if you have a keen sense for style,
and you embrace it,
then this is how you will go to bed at night.
(and fall sleep.)
oh, to be a bit more "maggied".

Sunday, October 14, 2012

home school

will has a summer birthday.
i've worried incessantly the last year about whether or not i should send him to kindergarten this year or give him 1 more year at home.
i did all the research and questioned soooo many mothers that had done both.
in the end, all of that work and worry just helped me to listen to what my mother heart had been saying all along.
keep him home.
it was the right choice for us.
i have seen a side of him that i haven't really seen before and may never have seen.
he is happy to be home.
he is an easy kid to have home.
there will be one more layer of that special kind of security that only home can provide.
for various reasons he didn't go back to preschool either,
but we have started "baby kindergarten" at our house as he calls it.
(he thinks it's school for maggie, and it may as well be for how excited she is about it!)
it's very casual,
but we treat it with importance.
we had the official start day as if he were really going to school,
and every day since he has inspired the planning, selected his recess friends (and sometimes that's only panda, but he's ok with that), and participated as if it was the real deal.
it is the real deal.
just the right deal for him
and for me.
i wil never regret this decision.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

the 4th week

sam has been in 1st grade for 4 weeks.
just as expected....
he LOVES it!
"way more than kindergarten."
no nerves with this kid.
just excited.
the best part of 1st grade is 3 recesses.
apparently he is still "1st captain" for those that are still playing that game.
it is no longer really captain of the sandbox,
(however, sam told me he dug a hole so deep it got to the black dirt.)
it's now captain on the basketball, soccer, or football field.
1st recess is basketball,
2nd recess is soccer & football,
3rd recess is kickball or just playing around.
i think playing around involves playing chase with the girls,
a game i wasn't quite expecting sam to want to play yet.
he has a girlfriend already.
she asked him,
and he said yes.
her name is izzy.
i asked what she was like,
and sam told me "just like him."
i asked in what way,
and he said "she is quiet, smart, never gets in trouble, and is fun."
glad he found such a perfect match.
i'm guessing his heart is set on someone else though.
he has been bringing home papers that say "i love helle".
i like helle a lot, too.
i like that they both get fruities everyday for being quiet.
sam lives for being the best behaved in the class.
often the 1st thing he shares upon arriving home is how well behaved he was and who else was and wasn't.
i'm ok with that.
he's not so sure about school lunch this year.
he only wants to eat it when they have mac & cheese or pizza.
he accidentally chose the wrong day & got something else.
he said it was "super disgusting".
home lunch it is.
and a recess snack from home.
apparently they can have a snack at 1st recess if they bring it from home.
snack size sour cream and onion pringles are the preferred choice.
that snack may well be what gets him through the long days.
the long days haven't been bad,
except the 1st day.
he came in and went right to bed.
when he was finished in that bed he got into mine.
every day since has been fine.
he adjusted quickly.
i'm still adjusting a bit though.
already i'm having to just remember the days when i used to get to walk sam to & from school.
that lasted about 1 week before he begged to go with a walking group.
i agreed because i know how good it will be for him.
he loves the independence and the chance to be with friends a little longer each day.
i do watch him everyday for the 1 1/2 blocks he has to walk alone.
he doesn't need it though.
i know he would be fine walking to school alone,
(perhaps he will win that battle by the end of 1st grade, but i won't tell him that.)
but i still need it.
i still want to watch him as long as i can
just because i love him so.
i still love being a part of his world as much as possible.
i can see now how your kids grow up so quickly once they start going to school all the time.
sam has definitely grown in 4 weeks,
but it's the fun kind of growing.
i love seeing him so happy,
and so social,
and to have such a love for learning & a determination for it.
i'm so fortunate that he still so readily invites me into that part of his life.
i hope he always will.

Monday, October 1, 2012

another typical night

that's what i say to myself when i go to bed with a kitchen that looks like this after the nighttime clean up job.
i'm slowly learning it's not me, it's not the children, it's just life.
and it's pretty wonderful.
(and oftentimes messy.)

Friday, September 28, 2012

the best advice

i have this friend.
her name is karen.
i was talking to her today.
i was sharing some of my insecurities.
i was prefacing each one with a phrase about how stupid it was that i felt that way
or how silly it was that such a small thing felt so big.
as the tears started flowing,
and as i shared the last juicy tidbit,
she looked at me with kind eyes,
understanding eyes,
and said "it's not silly to me."
that was all it took.
"it's not silly to me."
that could have been one of the most tender things someone has ever said to me.
perhaps my "silly" things have only been silly to me and not silly to the people who care about me.
i will remember that each time my child (or anyone for that matter) brings something to me.
it's so easy to want to offer advice, solve the problem, or try to prove all the reasons that something "silly" just isn't so.
i'll not start there anymore.
instead i'll share the kind of love and concern that says everything about you is important to me.
thanks, karen, for letting me see that my "silly" things are actually really important things.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

being that voice

i wrote this post earlier in the summer.
i decided to not post it then,
but this feeling keeps reoccurring,
so perhaps i need the reminder again.

i am not a perfect mother,
never claimed to be.
just trying to narrow down the qualities as a mother that i would like to possess.
you know, like the things that come above all else
and the kind of things that you will always have confidence in and that your children will never forget.
this quote hit it for me.
i can tend to have an annoying/naggish voice.
i don't love that,
and after reading this quote the 1st time i was certain that i needed to work on that.
what kid wants an annoying mother voice nagging in their brain???
after a series of conversations today i realized that's not what i need to change.
it's not so much how i talk to my children that needs the most change
but for me now it's more  how i talk about my children,
and how i advocate for them.
i want my children to hear that i have confidence in them when they hear me talking to others.
i want them to know that i don't worry unnecessarily about them in common ways that mothers worry about their children.
i don't want my voice to radiate anxiety about their development.
i want them to hear confidence,
that i know they are who they are and that is enough.
there will be many be occasions i'm sure throughout their lives where i will justifiably need to defend them.
i want that to be where they hear my confidence,
not anger in the defense,
but sheer confidence that they have a mother that believes in them no matter if someone else questions that belief.
i know as mothers we worry about our children.
we want them to be their best and all that they are capable of. 
as i look at each of my children i realize they are already being all they are capable of,
even though it might not look like someone else.
i am not worried about my children's development.
there are things that i am aware of,
things that require a little extra attention.
i am confident in my children.
i am confident in their abilities,
and their abilities are not a competition for me.
that's the voice i hope they hear when they are being spoken to
and the voice that others hear when i speak of them.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

i know a boy

i know this boy.
he's a pretty special boy.
sometimes in his quietness
he gets misunderstood or overlooked.
and sometimes this really hurts my heart.
especially because i happen to know what a tender spirit this boy came with.
i've never seen a child think of others more,
especially his siblings,
like this boy does.
he can overcome his shyness to ask the cashier giving away candy at the grocery store if he can have one for his brother,
and he does it EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
he also 'buys' dollars to buy candy,
and then he splits it with his sister because he doesn't want her to feel sad that she doesn't have any.
and he does it EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
he has such a way with younger children.
he can connect with them and take care of them through his gentle play.
but then sometimes it doesn't really hurt my heart
because i know this tenderness, gentleness, and concern for others is a gift that can't easily be taught.
sometimes he cries to be separated from his parents
or doesn't want to play soccer,
or is terrified of going to school.
these are NOT the things that i will let define this boy i know.
i know when he is not 5 anymore those things will change & will no longer be issues,
and he will be left with the special gift that he was lucky enough to just be born with.
that's the gift i will keep fostering during this time,
and that may seem silly to some,
but trust me,
this world needs more people like this boy,
not just more boys that can kick a soccer ball.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

the pull

i've taken a long break from this space.
through the summer i didn't feel the pull to it.
we were busy...
remodeling kitchens,
going on trips,
celebrating anniversaries,
and filling our days with all things summer.
now that there is starting to be a hint of fall in the air,
i am feeling a pull.
a pull to come back to writing,
to recording our days,
and just having a place to dump the things that are always swirling in my head.
every time i look back through the archives of this blog i am overwhelmed.
overwhelmed that this is really my life.
and so grateful that i have recorded the things i have.
i don't want another season to pass without a record.
no more children growing with parents forgetting to document what it was like in these most magical years.
plus, now that this is my kitchen i will always have a beautiful place to come for inspiration. :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

zip lines and shelters

i think i've mentioned this a time or two here...
we don't do toys at our house,
and it hasn't been for my lack of trying.
it is more a lack of interest on the part of my children,
but they do do zip lines.
and rain shelters complete with snacks and towel floors to be used for carpet.
that's what they came up with today.
thank goodness in so many ways for a dad who could make that happen.
so, yes, we now have a homemade zip line that goes from our deck to our back fence.
pure delight i tell you.
all day entertainment for these boys of ours.
maggie & mom may or may not have taken a turn, too.
entertainment even in the rain.
the conclusion was that it goes faster in the rain.
it wasn't until they were soaked that they decided to build the shelters.
sam had the snack shelter,
and will had the pet shelter.
so, they offered more than just a dry spot out of the rain.
my boys have their own very distinct style of play,
and i'm not fighting it anymore.
we embrace it around here actually.
so much so that we will be adding a kiddie pool at the end of the line to drop into on hot summer days. :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


will just had a birthday.
he has grown over 3 inches since his last birthday!
he is now 43 1/2 inches tall.
and he weighs 42 lbs.
he wears size 5 pants and 5/6 shirts and size 11.5 shoes.
his size has not been the only thing that has grown.
his personality has grown.

his heart has grown.
not sure if a brother can love his baby sister as much as this boy does!
and one mustn't forget his brother either.
anytime he is in a place where he is being offered candy he without fail asks if he can have a piece for his brother & sister.
he seems happier sharing with them than having his own.
just like his birthday.
he told sam he could have one of his beyblades he got for his birthday,
and he told maggie she could open his presents.
and if his brother wants to watch arthur, then arthur it is.
no malice, no ulterior motive.
just big, fat love.

his eyes have grown.
i swear they are bigger and browner than ever.
they hold more emotions, too.
sometimes those big brown eyes are still SO shy & SO afraid when he has to be away from Mother.
and other times they are SO full of mischief.
and there's always a little smile accompanying the side look away when he's not telling the truth.
those eyes have gotten so big that they tell many stories now.

his humor has grown.
he is full of one-liners....
this sauce tastes like nothing,
you have a sauce beard,
it feels like i should be bleeding but i'm not!!!,
i'm scared of fat people because they are hard to hug,
no, never! ok...
are a few that will live on around here.

his appetite has grown.
he will now eat vegetables,
but he hates corn on the cob.
he still doesn't love bread on his sandwich,
but he will eat lunch meat by the handfuls.
and pickles.
dill pickles are definitely a favorite snack.
he still takes too big of bites.
now those bites are just bigger and harder to chew & swallow.

his skills have grown.
he still loves riding his bike.
he wants to go all the time.
he loves to lead,
go off jumps,
ride to the park,
ride to church,
and stop for water breaks.
he also likes riding scooters
but not so much going on walks.
he didn't always love walking sam to school.
he insisted riding on the front tire of the stroller even though he got much too heavy.

his love for living has grown.
he doesn't care what we are doing.
he is easy to please
and most definitely go with the flow.
take his birthday for example...
he wanted no cake, just chocolate donuts.
he wanted no party, just wanted to go to the bounce house with 2 cousin friends.
he wasn't excessive with gift requests.
he wanted a water machine gun.
(he got several water guns, including the machine gun, a remote control car, beyblades, mercer mayer book, zuzu pet, bachukans)
he loves to go to the bounce house,
jump on the trampoline,
turn on the water hose,
getting lost in his world on his bed, rolling in the floor, or climbing in a tree.

you see, will was born a happy baby,
and as he has grown that happiness has stayed with him & gotten bigger.
i don't see that ever really changing,
unless it's just getting bigger.

Friday, June 29, 2012

bear lake 2012

i love memories.
i love making memories.
i love bear lake.
i love making memories at bear lake.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


i like bingo.
i have been trying to win a game of bingo ever since the 2nd grade at my school's fundraiser.
i never have.
until tonight,
at bear lake's free family fun.
i wasn't feeling lucky,
but i was.
i got a bingo.
i screamed out "BINGO!" in a voice you might imagine for someone who has never won but wanted to.
i'm not ashamed of my victory dance either.
and i sure will be happy when i'm using my miniature golf ticket prize.
will won't ever know how this feels because he won his 1st game tonight,
and he's only 4.
hooray for both of us!
now i can mark that off the bucket list.

house on the hill

we just spent 2 weeks at my home in oklahoma visiting my grandma.
it was our first road trip back.
it was full of typical road trip things...
camping stops,
gas station snacks,
long stretches of nothing,
bad navigating (by me of course),
night driving,
and a little bit of picking on each other.
and i do mean only a little.
the kids were angels.
bless the binders i made for them.
i was shocked the hours of entertainment that made.
our trip very well could have been the best ever back.
it was slow and purposeful
and full of the typical things that we love...
jumping on the hay bails,
playing with the dog,
sliding on the cellar door,
walking the mile (can't say we loved the tarantulas),
exploring the shop and barns,
riding scooters on the cow lot,
playing tether ball
eating Roy's bbq,
climbing fences and the lane gate,
going to the Branch,
playing at the park,
fishing with aunt linda,
the zoo (btw, 1 of the best zoos!!),
mt. scott,
picnics with linda (the best kind with all the familiars),
lots of ganny's delicious cooking,
catching up with old friends,
lots of Thunder basketball watching (go Thunder!)
sorting through sewing stuff,
and just visiting.
the visiting is always the best part.
there is just something unexplainable about seeing my children make the same connections that i did as a child,
connections with the same places and people.
the most magical part was seeing my grandma fall in love with my children just like she did with me.
she posted this on Facebook after we left:

My Hill is way too quiet. DeeOgee and I are both sad. Almost two weeks of enjoying time with my grandkids, was great. A wonderful little family!!!!! A Mommy and Daddy that love each other. Maggie, that is amazing, and could open doors, (any doors)pull up a chair and the top door of Fridge was easy,(popsicles). Will, so quiet, awesome brown eyes that missed nothing, loving to his sister, and admiring brother Sam. Sam, who had ideas, and followed up with them. All weeds are cut in the cow lot. (kinda bothered me too).He became a THUNDER fan.

she got it.
she could have said anything,
but what she chose to say says she got us perfectly.
and that's what i love the most.
always going home and being 'got'
and my children being 'got' in just the same way.



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