Wednesday, August 31, 2011


This chair was sitting by the dock, at the lake. It was perfectly situated under the shade of a large pine tree, and had an open view of the water.

I noticed this chair right away. It made me feel melancholy... a little like how I feel when reading The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, to the little people.

The chair made me think of all the people who had rested in it's comfortable seat, enjoying a cool breeze and the lake view. Perhaps reading a newspaper while enjoying morning coffee... or readying hooks and lures for a day of fishing.

Years later, it now feels a little neglected. Full of character, most certainly, but sad and rusted at the same time. 

It's funny how a simple chair has the ability to make one more aware... and encourage an appreciation of the simple things. No matter how paint-chipped or rusted they may be.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


My little Ellie is a fair child. Her hair is so blond and fine. On bright and sunny days it is so shiny that is almost seems to gleam. I catch myself frequently looking at her wondering how such a fair child could come from me. That's when I look at pictures of her father... she's all him.

My hair is dark and unruly and thick. Recently I've also begun to notice some gray hair. A few strands are beginning to silver, right where I typically part my hair. (Quite convenient, no?) Actually, the gray doesn't bother me so much. They add a little character to my plain hair. I feel a little like I've earned the gray. Like my experiences and life lessons have lead me to them.

My grandmother, in her 89 years has developed beautiful hair. The combination of black and silver is lovely and speaks of a life filled with moments... It's not covered over with anything false. It's true and real and makes me hope that my hair, and thus my life, will be filled with many moments as well.

What does bother me about graying is that it's most predominantly appearing in my eyebrows. I'm quite disturbed by my gray eyebrows. I'm not sure why, but these hairs grow overnight with the speed and ferocity that seems like it should wake me from my slumber.

Most mornings, I wake up only to find a two-inch gray hair shooting straight up, making me look like Martin Scorsese or Doc from Back to the Future. These hairs stick straight up or out or any which way they choose, making me look disgruntled until I can promptly remove the offending follicle. It's quite disturbing.

In the crazy eyebrow category I'm envious of my fair-haired daughter. Her delicate and dainty eyebrows will most likely never conspire to take over her face one hair at a time.

Monday, August 29, 2011


The days are decidedly shorter. In order to get the chicken chores done before dark, our whole evening routine has been accelerated. Even so, the sun has usually set by the time I've finished up outside.

Tonight as I was wrapping up and getting ready to head up to the compost heap, I heard the dog growling. It was a low, yet insistent sound that grew more intense as I approached. That made me a bit nervous. You see, I've been expecting intruders since the gals arrived. They must smell irresistible to coyotes or raccoons or the like... so I've been on the lookout. And Jackson being the good protector that he is, I know he's been on the lookout as well.

Well on this dimly lit night, with the dog growling and the sun fully set, I figured the time had come. By the time I'd processed all this; the dog was jumping and barking. Lunging at the intruder. I grabbed a spade from the barn and headed over to see what he was after. I had an image of a big lumbering raccoon in my mind's eye.

As I walked closer and still couldn't see what the dog was after I became confused. By now Jackson is barking hysterically and slobbering profusely. With spade in hand I cautiously approached.... to find a toad.

Although the toad pictured above was found yesterday at Benett's birthday party, the offending party tonight wasn't much bigger. Apparently, to a dog in the waning light of a summer day, they look ferocious.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


All day long I've been looking at Benett and thinking about what was happening three years ago, at that particular moment. How we woke in the morning with no power... How the contractions felt at 10 AM... How they felt at 3 PM... How the epidural felt. How I told the anesthesiologist that I could kiss him.

I know that just before11 PM tonight I'll be recalling the same feeling I had three years ago at that same time... the feeling that my heart was now on the outside of my chest. That my life was forever changed. That this small person is my reason. My reason for everything.

It sounds very cliché, but he really has grown so fast. I look at him today and see this boy. A funny, smart, sweet little boy. He's not a baby any longer.

I've been there for as much as I could have in these three years... but I feel like I didn't soak it all in the way I should have. He's three already, but how did that happen? When did he grow up? I can't remember. I just can't recall... enough. I want to replay it all.

I know that if I did have the ability to rewind things, I would still have this feeling. I would still feel like I don't have enough. Like I've missed something... maybe something small. Maybe something really big and important... but something nonetheless.

Birthdays have become very bittersweet for me. That is probably true for all mothers. These days take us back... to reflect and feel. To think and love. To enjoy.

I love that the little boy who came much too quietly into the world three years ago, is now entirely too loud most of the time.

I love the boy that Benett has become. I miss the baby that he was. I look forward to enjoying what he will still become. And tomorrow I'll miss today... So I'll try even harder to commit as much of the now to memory. To take the time to relish each moment. The big moments as much as the small.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


It was a beautiful afternoon and sitting inside, or being at home for that matter, didn't seem right. So we took the little people to a local park for a picnic and swimming.

There were no people there, we had the place to ourselves. The kids ran and played. Made sand castles and hauled pail after pail of water to make rivers and moats around their castles.

Ellie had a great time too... but her idea of a great time consisted mainly of eating sand. By the handful. Every time we'd turn around, she'd be licking sand off her lips and her cheeks would be full of the stuff. She'd then promptly run off, with a sand muffled giggle.

I just don't get it. How she can stand to have sand on her mouth, much less eat the stuff... it's beyond me... So Monte and I ended up taking turns on sand patrol.

That made her feisty.

Her feistiness makes me pray... mini prayer after mini prayer. I've got my hands full with her and she's not even two. I don't want to think about what's in store for me in the years to come.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Yesterday, late in the afternoon, we returned from our time at the lake. We had a nice time.

It was especially fun to see all of the cousins interacting. At many times, they seemed to act as one. Like a flock of birds, flitting from one thing to the next.

They boys spent most of their time in the water. Gavin just couldn't get enough of it. He'd jump off the dock and swim to the beach... over and over. They had so much fun, much of the time they couldn't be troubled to come in and eat.

Benett enjoyed the water too. He's much more cautious about it, but loved floating in the tubes nonetheless. He also played in the sand... hauling and driving his imaginary implements. I thought he'd enjoy collecting some of the mussel shells... but he did not like the shells. He didn't like walking by them, so I didn't even try to get him to pick one up.

Ellie was less fond of the water. She screeched the whole time I tried to pull her chubby legs through the openings in a floaty. Once she got in it and we started to wade in the warm water... feeling the ebb and flow of the lake... she relaxed. She smiled. But she would not let go of my finger.

Coming home from all of that activity was a let down. Even though I was ready to sleep in my own bed again, I felt that sadness too. Gavin was especially down in the dumps. He's such a vibrant boy... to see him like that was tough.

I just wanted so much to see him laughing and smiling again. But the mom in me paused. Making him smile would have made me feel better, and it might have made him happy in the moment. It may have even made him forget that he was blue. But he needed to be able to feel those real feelings. To be sad and know that those feelings are okay to feel, and to think about why he felt that way. It was a lesson for both of us.

We all awoke this morning rested. Ready to tackle the day, and happy to be home.

Monday, August 22, 2011


The water is like magic... it's like a potion for children that calls them to play and laugh and forget about everything else.

Forget about meals.

Forget about video games.

Forget about what it's like to not have water in the back yard at home.

It's a little bit of magic for us adults as well. It magically wears children out. Makes them hungry enough to eat their meal without complaint and to fall happily, sleepily into bed.

The children begged to be in the water, as soon as they opened their eyes  this morning. We managed to hold them off until 9:30... They stayed in the water until nearly 3:00 this afternoon. No lunch. No naps. No worries.  It was glorious. It was magic.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


This was the scene from the deck this morning. It is so vastly different from home that it feels like being on another planet. A planet where obligations and commitments of the domestic nature are non-existant.

On this planet children are so excited about the day to come they hardly remember to fight.

On this planet the lake becons the boys to cast their lines... promising a catch if only they give back a bit of patience.

On this planet the fridge is filled with vacationy food and meals happen haphazardly.

On this planet the we're enjoying the now... and that is the little piece of this place that I'd like to take back with us when we return.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

'Cmon Mom

We're hitting the road, this time with the children in tow. It's a huge task getting everyone, and their copious amounts of stuff, ready to go.

This process is has been a bit too lengthy for Benett. He's ready to go. Now. Right now. He can't wait a second longer.

"Okay, my darling-my dear. Let's get in the car. Will you be a quiet boy there?" (I know he won't, but I have to ask anyway...)

"Wave bye-bye, Benett. We're on our way!"

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Fred Flintstone wasn't the cure-all we thought he'd be, for our little lint-eater.

Here she is selecting a particularly delightful bundle of fuzz from a wool blanket.

It's not uncommon to find her with a bundle of fuzz grasped firmly between her thumb and finger. Especially in the morning when we pluck her from her crib. More often than not, she has a little fuzz tumble weed in her hand or lost in her hair.

It's crazy. I think she knows that her habit is a little 'off.' Which is why she runs away when we catch her harvesting lint.

Miss Ellie is a healthy, vibrant little girl. I'm not concerned that her fuzz eating is a symptom of a greater issue. More than anything I think it's a.... colorful habit. (Literally.) But a habit that we need to move away from, nonetheless.

Fear not, Fred Flintstone. We haven't given up on you. We'll continue to purchase your candy vitamin product. After all, everyone loves you and if it helps Ell even a little bit, we're all in.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I knew there would be moments in my life, as a parent, that would be difficult. Teaching moments. Talking moments. Tough situations. Somehow, I thought these things would happen later... when my kids were older.

But since we don't get to decide when these opportunities present themselves, we have to roll with the punches. Try not to look surprised. Try to make the most of the situation.

Today Gavin learned a new word. A frightful word. A furious word. A foul word. A short word, with four little letters. A word that is easy for a smart seven-year-old to sound out. A word that was angrily scrawled into a picnic table on a play ground.

He knew it was wrong. His smart little brain told him he shouldn't say that frightful, furious, foul word aloud. Yet, he gave it flight as it formed in his mouth and floated from his lips... for all in his friends to hear.

The 'Gaggle' (group of girls in the daycare program who are inseparable and seem to speak and act as one unit) let the cat out of the bag... not to me directly, but without a doubt for my benefit. I could tell by the steely look in Gavin's eye... he was trying to tell them to quiet themselves without saying a word. Like glaring at most girls... it rarely works as intended.

I steadied myself. Took a deep breath and began the conversation. He didn't want to say that word as much as I didn't want to hear him say it. He panicked. But with tears in his eyes we had a conversation. It was a moment to show him that the space between us is safe. We can trust each other... even if the topic is so unsavory.

He understood that using that kind of language, whether intentionally or not, is cowardly. It's offensive. It's not who he is. He's smart. He knows how to use words. Words that mean real things. Words that convey and express and explain.

We talked. It was good... until he asked me the definition of that frightful and foul word. I told him it didn't mean anything which was when he proceeded to tell me his thoughts on the definition. Ugh... I was elated when the subject of conversation changed. Elated.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Each of the little people have very different personalities. It's interesting to see each one develop and grow as the individual grows.

Gavin is smart as a whip. The kind of smart that leads you to believe he's much older than his physical age. He's a free spirit, letting his creativity and imagination take him quickly from one thing to the next. He's quite easy to distract... He is so very sweet, has a tender heart and is thoughtful through and through.

Benett is predictably unpredictable. He's hilariously funny, absolute in his resolve, difficult to distract and has THE best facial expressions.

Miss Ellie is our independent little soul. She's got a mind of her own and is learning that she likes to tease. She scares me already. I'm not sure how much sleep I'm going to get in the next 16 years... I guess that's karma.

I'm not sure that our personalities have changed, but Monte and I are growing and changing right along with the little ones.

All five of us are quite different. We're like pieces of a puzzle. Each with a different shape, but collectively fitting together perfectly, to create the picture that is our family.

Monday, August 15, 2011


I'm addicted to Pinterest. I have managed to control my addiction and refrain from adding to my pin boards until the end of the day when all of my other tasks have been completed. It's like a little gold star that I give to myself.

Lately, I've been drawn to images on Pinterest of t-shirt refashions. As a matter of fact, I have several such images pinned on my 'Upcycle' board.

I decided that it was time for my obsession with t-shirt recycling be put into practice. This weekend I converted this old green tee into a play dress for Ellie. I winged it... but the result was an okay first attempt.

True to her stubborn self, Ellie really didn't want to be photographed wearing said dress. She was having plenty of fun running around in it, thank you very much... But she wouldn't stand still for longer than 3.7 seconds. And I'm a slow photographer. So, I have one smallish, blurry picture of her wearing the result... sigh...

I don't have this t-shirt upcycling bug out of my system yet... and I see a second dress in Ellie's future. This time, I'll allow for less of a seam allowance. And measure twice. And photograph Ellie wearing the result while she sleeps.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

8th Inning

I don't know what it is with Gavin lately. I feel like a broken record. I sound like a broken record. Upon leaving my lips, each phrase is deflected. Each gentile reminder is ignored. So my phrases and reminders get louder. Less gentle. Still he manages to bat them all away, like he's practicing for the home run derby.

Until my pitches are too fast.

When we get to that point, nobody is happy. I try not to hear myself, attempting to play Gavin's game, in order to cope with the situation at hand. Still, I hear myself. I don't like the sound. But the volume pushes my words through the clutter. Then they're not ignored.

We're making headway with "okay." Now I'm hearing, "I can do that." And things like, "I understand." I love those words. They mean communication is happening.

I'm certain that part of our problem is that we're in a long inning. You know that part of the baseball game where things are just slow. Summer is starting to feel that way for him. We have some really fun things planned at the end of the month, but right now we're stuck in the 8th inning.

He misses baseball. Today Gavin decided to wear his uniform... high pants and all... Summer sports this year were great for Gavin. He really grew through those activities.

With those good experiences under our belt (you know, the belt that's holding up our too-high baseball pants) we're looking forward to the fall sports season. Gavin decided on flag football and soccer. We'll start practicing a new sport and that will surely help to close out the 8th inning in style.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


I was traumatized today.

I was minding my own business. Cleaning the chicken enclosure. (Quite diligently, I must say.)

And then it happened. Out of no where, one of the birds jumped on my back.


I was very proud of myself, because I don't think I screamed. However, I can say with great certainty, that I've never stood up so quickly. And I must have done a little dance too, because after standing up I figured the bird would slide right off. (I was wearing a slippery wind-breaker.) Not so. I learned tonight that those little buggers can hold onto things quite well with those creepy chicken feet.

It gave me the heebie-jeebies.

If we were keeping score, it would be 1-0 in favor of the birds. It was unnerving

But on a considerably less spine-tingling note, I was also able to snap this picture of Ellie tonight... looking at the camera AND smiling no less! I'm sure this is a first.

Friday, August 12, 2011


Our little gals have been flourishing in their new environment. It's amazing how quickly they've grown in a weeks time. Not only have they grown size wise, but they've really each settled in and developed an obvious pecking order.

They are quite entertaining to watch and everyone, including the dog, enjoy spending time near their enclosure. (Although the dog would like to spend more time IN the enclosure, as evidence by the digging he's doing around the fence.) It's especially fun to watch them chase crickets. They gobble them up quicker than quick. It's impressive, how fast they can be.

All three have grown quite tame and seem to enjoy our company as well. They are comfortable enough with me to let me stroke their feathers. And they seem to enjoy pecking at the polka-dots on my wellies.

I have only one concern about the gals... my concern is that I don't believe this one is a 'gal' at all.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


So much can happen in a year.

At times I find myself jumping ahead to what is coming next. Navigating away from the present tense, looking towards the future. Wondering. Hoping. Musing.

It starts innocently enough. It's human nature to think about what is around the corner... to plan for what is coming next.

I know I'm guilty of looking beyond, more often than necessary... wondering "what if?" too often. And when I do pull my head out of the clouds I see that I'm rushing through some days, trudging through others.

I feel blessed that so many days are also filled with happiness and lovely memories. These things, I've tucked safely into a special corner of my heart. A place that is reserved for these people, who are so dear to me.

I feel blessed that some days can be marked by the lessons we've learned... teaching us important lessons about our lives. And balance dictates that other moments are comprised of unpleasant or painful experiences.

I'm not sure how these things started to roll around my head today, but I got to thinking about this whole idea of looking to the horizon. Looking beyond what is happening right in front of me. This concept of waiting for that 'perfect' future state, when a project can be started or a journey can be embarked upon... and I realized that each day IS perfect. Each day is perfectly the way it was made to be. The happiness. The lessons. The pain or unpleasantness... It's all what we're supposed to do, in order to be who we are supposed to be... whether or not I'm examining what's on the horizon.

One year ago, this is the way my little people looked. Now, I look at their little faces and my heart aches. I see their smaller selves and I think of how much they've grown in this span of time, that seems now, to have flashed before me.

Right now, I feel like wasn't always paying enough attention. I feel like I may have been looking off to the horizon, under the guise of doing what's right and prudent, while my little people grew. They changed. They experienced happiness.... learned lessons... they may have had an unpleasant or painful moment... (Notice the stitches above.) All of those things that have contributed to who my children are a year later.

I was there. I lived in each moment with them. But I can't recall them now. I want to be able to flip through these cataloged memories and experiences and remember it all. Every second. Sadly I cannot.

Gavin has grown so much. He looks less like a child each day, and at times has more adult conversation with me than some of the 'grown-ups' I know.

Benett still as that mischievous twinkle, that may never subside. He has developed such a funny personality. He treats each day like a party, and he wants to be the life of it.

Miss Ellie isn't a baby any longer. She's a little girl. She's growing more and more independent each day. She's gone from this quiet and reserved baby to a jabbering, squealing toddler.

Part of me wishes that I could turn back the clock and enjoy just one more day with these one-year-ago kids. But I cannot. I won't dwell on that, because just like looking too far ahead, spending too much time looking back won't do either.

As I type, I'm growing anxious to finish these thoughts. To wrap them all together and put them to rest with the other lessons learned... then slowly and purposely, steal a few moments watching my little people sleep. To firmly root myself in the now. Soaking in each. Listening as they softly, slowly breathe in and out. Stroking a hand or a cheek. Watching them stir and settle deeper into their beds. The whole time, being entirely in the now.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Flavored Puddles

Today we had a nice break from the hot weather. A break from afternoons cooped up in the conditioned air. A break from popsicles. A break from cleaning up after popsicles.

Why does Ellie prefer the taste of flavored ice in its melted form... when dripping down her arm into a puddle at her feet?

I'm sure I'll miss these scenes in a few short months. For now, we'll enjoy all the flavored ice we can make an excuse to eat... and give the kids lots of baths.

Monday, August 8, 2011


This flower makes me happy.

There are many things that make me happy... my husband, my children, my family, warm and sunny days spent tending pretty little flowers like these... just to name a few.

There are other things in this life... tedious things... that make me feel dis... Disappointed. Disgusted. Disenchanted. Disloyal.

I recently took Benett and Ellie to see the pediatrician. We love our pediatrician. She's great with the kids and I feel like they are getting the best care. She's a real mom and can relate to what Monte and I are going through. She's real and it makes her very good at what she does.

At our last visit, I took both children for a 'conjoined' appointment. I was trying to be accommodating. Bringing them both at one time seemed like the thing to do. I had a couple of questions about each... but nothing serious. They were being seen for routine well-child exams.

On this particular day our doctor was late. Late to the tune of an hour and 15 minutes. When she arrived, she apologized and introduced the intern who would be doing the initial exam. I was quietly livid. The kids were vocally livid.

After another 20 minutes, I told this very nice intern that we just had to leave. I had to get back to work for an important meeting. I was no longer able to be so quiet about my lividness. To this, she retrieved our beloved doctor. Who hurried. She hurried through the conjoined appointment. She examined each child quickly. And recommended a couple of additional tests, to help answer the questions that I had. She was very nice, but hurried.

Fast forward to Friday.

On Friday, I got the bill for the conjoined appointment that I scheduled to be accommodating to our medical facility. After all, it was just a well child appointment and my kids could make do with a shared appointment, right?

Wrong. My accommodation earned me an extra $135 charge, over and above the cost of the two well child exams. I didn't fail to notice that the charges weren't shared or conjoined, like the appointment... to be accommodating or otherwise. It certainly wasn't reflective of the time spent on each of my children. Perhaps they were charging me by the minute for my hour and 15 minute wait?

This is not a huge sum of money, but enough to make me feel dis. It turns out, when I asked those questions; it changed my appointment from a routine (hurried) well child exam to something else. The conjoined, accommodating appointment became a (hurried) diagnostic exam.

In the end, the (hurried) conjoined, accommodating appointment cost double what it would have had I been less thoughtful. Less accommodating. Less conjoined. It makes me feel very dis. Disgusted. Disgruntled. Disappointed.

It made me feel dis enough to call and ask for the charges to be reviewed. As it turns out the facility that over-charged me agrees that the over-charge was indeed accurate. Great.

I'll get over being so dis. But what I will not do, ever again, is sacrifice the time that my children each deserve to receive focused care. No more accommodating, conjoined appointments. I'll take each for their very own hour and 15 minute wait. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011


Every other year, my Dad's side of the family has a get together that's affectionately called the Family Picnic. Some years the gathering is quite large, with cousins coming from near and far to enjoy each other's company.

Gavin seemed to have a great time. There were several boys his age, which was a good thing. It took them about 13 minutes be become shirtless. I'm not sure what it is with little boys and shirts... they must feel too encumbered by them... too restricted by them. Stripping them off is the only option.

The youngest attendee was my lovely cousin's daughter Dorothy. She is such a doll. I don't think she fussed once... quite a contrast to my three hooligans. Benett had a chance to love on his little cousin... tickling her toes and planting kisses on her. He just loves babies.

Miss Ellie was her usual self. Quiet (for the most part). Reserved. Serious. She has also been working on adding a new trick to her game, and that is mischievous. She's a natural. I should say, it comes natural, AND she's had a couple of really dedicated teachers. I'll let you guess who those might be.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


Today was Monte's softball tournament. I completely forgot my camera. There were several moments that I would have captured.

Gavin was hardly seen. He was too busy playing with friends, catching tadpoles and getting dirty in general.

Benett was soaking it all in. He's never been to one of Daddy's games before... and after all of the begging and pleading it was finally his day. He was a really good boy today. (Although I can't say that he watched much of the game.)

Ellie was her usual quiet self, but by 3:30 she was ready to head home. I think most everyone there knew it was time for her to take a nap. She has a tendency to be on the obvious side when she's tired.

Friday, August 5, 2011


When we found out that our family was going to grow, we knew that our house would have to expand as well. A year and a half ago, we decided to put an addition on the house, which meant our deck would have to go.

For a year and a half, cedar decking and railings have been sitting in a pile in the yard.

For a year and a half I've been wondering what we were going to do with the sizable pile of perfectly good lumber.

Insert my Dad's great imagination. One day about a month ago he pointed to a part of the former deck and said, "That would make a nice little chicken coop." A couple of days after that stroke of genius, we began constructing this little hen house.

I love that it's made entirely of deck pieces. All but for the chicken wire and screws to fasten it all together, each piece is reclaimed. It's weathered. It's rustic. It's perfect.

We completed the project last weekend. Today, we added the residents. Three sweet little birds who have yet to be named.

These little girls (hopefully they're all girls) arrived with little fanfare, but much excitement by all three kids.

The boys just wanted to hold them. Gavin was a natural, gently handling the birds as if he'd been doing so his entire life.

Benett was a bit more... excited. This made the birds a bit more... nervous.

When he did finally get his hands on one, there were a couple of nervous moments. You see, he tried to hold the bird the same way he hugs his sister... tightly and around the neck. Not a good situation for a little chicken.

The other part of the equation that we're going to have to work on is the Retriever. Jackson was very excited to see the chickens, but something in his excessive slobbering betrayed a more sinister kind of excitement. He only dashed into the coop once, when I was too slow to close the gate behind me. He's a curious fellow... who wanted to play. Lesson learned.

Tonight I went back out to the coop to button everything up for the evening. I lingered a bit, because these little creatures are so much fun to watch. There is also something very soothing about their sounds. Benett was surprised and said that they were "tweety birds." But to me the sound is more reminiscent of a cat purring. 

It was also fun to watch them chase and gobble up the crickets. I'm pretty sure I could sit all day and watch that. 

Although the coop construction is complete, I'm sure we'll spend a good part of our day tomorrow putting the final touches on our new arrangements and making sure our little fowl are happy in their new home. But for tonight, everyone is ready to settle in for the evening. The boys are so thoughtful... they're watching Chicken Little in honor of our new additions. Very fitting.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


My day started a little earlier than usual today.

Lucky for me, my little Ellie bug decided to get up early today as well. I was glad to be able to give her a squeeze before I had to leave.

The boys were still fast asleep... which was good... those boys need their sleep.

They're like their mother, in that their ability to function on little sleep may be do-able but it's certainly not enjoyable... for anyone.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


We decided that tonight was a great night for a walk.

Everyone is full of energy as we set out. The boys race each other down the path. Monte chases after with Ellie perched on his back. I purposely lag behind... mostly to snap a few pictures... but I also know that it won't take long before Benett's short little legs start to slow down and grow tired.

Before long he asks to hold my hand. He grasps my finger tightly. It's almost as though he's drawing energy from me in order to carry on. No matter the reason for it, I love holding his hand. It doesn't happen as often as I'd like anymore.

By this time, Gavin is so far ahead we can barely see him. The dog stays close to him and I can hear Gavin chattering... I'm not sure if he was talking to himself or  to Jackson. Both are good company.

As we pass through a waterway that is filled with clover, we can't help but notice the bees.

Benett "Mom! Hey Mom!"
Me "What do you see Benett?"
Benett "Look there! It's a Bumble Beast!"

I can't help but laugh.

Benett doesn't think it is so funny. He doesn't want to get "stinged" so we don't pause for long.

We have a destination. Nobody wants to stop... so we keep walking and arrive at the farm.

Everyone is less energetic, Benett can't walk any longer... his short little lets are too tired...

Then he sees the machine shop, and he runs.

Gavin runs too.

Jackson chases a cat.

Ellie is still perched.

Monte and I are content.

Everyone is happy. (Except the cat.)

Tonight was a great night for a walk.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


This picture is making me smile tonight.

That says a lot, because tonight I don't really feel like smiling. There's no one reason why... some days are just like that, I guess.

You know the days when things come more difficult than necessary. When things seem to require twice as much effort as the reserve holds. When kids don't want to cooperate. When kids seem incapable of listening to reason. When little things get under that tough layer of skin.

Yet, this picture has made me smile.

It's a picture of two souls who seem so similar ... an older version of one and a younger version of the other. Two souls destined to influence each other, in ways neither may yet know.

They've managed to make me smile when a smile seemed so unlikely... helping to wrap up a day in a more positive way... nudging me to reflect on this day and consider what I can do differently tomorrow... replenishing the reserves and helping me to prepare for another day.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Seven and Three Quarters

Although it's still summertime, August has a distinctly different feel.

In June, summer is new and exciting. School has let out. Swimming lessons are in full swing. We're getting used to our summer routine.

July means all kinds of summer rec. activities. It's picnics. It's parks and playgrounds and lots of time spent at the pool.

In August, things begin to wind down. We still have lots of fun planned... But we will try extra hard to eek as much out of each summer day as we can... we know that in the blink of an eye it will be Labor Day and then the first day of school.

Gavin is ready for school. I think he's getting excited. Excited for a new routine. Excited to be a year older. (He's seven and three quarters you know.) He excited to meet new friends and have some new adventures.

I look at this picture of him and can't help but think that he looks so old... he's growing up so fast. He may be excited for a new adventure... but me... well, I could do with a little bit more of what we've got right now.