Wednesday, October 31, 2012


If you've ever wondered what a happy Storm Scout looks like... this is it. He's grinning from ear to ear under that mask; loving every candy-filled moment. Gavin and his cousin raced from house to house tonight. We've never really let him do that kind of thing... but even though he's my little boy... he's old enough to be on his own in the neighborhood. He loved that freedom... that coupled with wearing a mask and hiding his identity was liberating. He didn't protest at all when it was time to head back to the house.

Benett tried to keep up. His little legs moved as quickly as he could make them go. Keeping up with the big boys was a challenge for him, but he did a great job. He was content to move as fast as the other kids pushed, as long as Dad wasn't too far away.

Ellie took the short route, stopping at only a couple of houses with her littlest cousin. I think she enjoyed being the big girl in the situation and encouraging her cousin to keep up.

All in all, the night was filled with fun, just as it should be. And I can count it as a success because the kids were back home... with teeth brushed, PJ's zipped up and prayers said by bedtime. Now, if I can only keep myself from peeking into their treat buckets, the night will be a complete success.

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2012


They have been asking several times a day, "When's Halloween?" It's safe to say that the little people are excited about their big night.

Even Elle is excited about the affair. She seems to have a better understanding of what it's all about... and more than anything, she wants to share that fun with her friends. Every time we talk about getting dressed up for tricks and treats, she asks if she'll be able to show her friends. I think she's more excited about having fun with her friends than she is about the candy.

Because she's two, and at an age where she can be fussy about what she wears, especially when it outside of the norm, I was concerned about her little get-up. But, much to my surprise, she's thrilled to wear her hat... so much so that we had a little drama tonight when it came time for bed... and removal of the hat. I guess that's better than the alternative, because without it the costume doesn't seem much like a costume.

Now, if you're thinking that she's looking pretty cute in her little hat, I'd agree. Wholeheartedly. If you also think that Benett in a similar hat would make them doubly cute, I'd again agree. Wholeheartedly. However, Benett was NOT on board with that plan. So, we're being flexible around here and costuming independently.

I guess that's okay... It's their night after all. Benett wasn't the only one being stubborn, Gavin didn't want a home made costume either. Apparently, it's so much cooler to buy one from the store. I guess that's okay... It's their night after all.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


It seems as though when he was a young child, Gavin would ask "Why?" about 157 times each and every day. That curiosity and hunger for knowledge still exists in him today... but in a different way. Today, he still asks "why" but it's in an attempt to get to the bottom of how things work. He isn't satisfied with cursory responses and generalizations. He needs details.

Benett on the other hand is an entirely different child. I don't recall him going through a phase where he repeatedly asked why something was the way it was... As a matter of fact, he frequently tells Monte and me that we're wrong. I'm fairly certain he says "no it's not" as much as Gavin asked "Why?". I tell myself that's just him being a confidant boy... I can say that now, because he's in bed and not telling me what to do. When I'm in the moment with him, I'm not always so rational about his know-it-all-ness.

And Ellie... well I'm not sure which end of the spectrum she'll land in. At the moment, she seems to be very content with 'because.' Things just are the way they are in her world, mostly because there is very little time when she's on her own. She has two big brothers to rely upon... and she does... for better or worse.

All of the little people have taught Monte and me quite a lot about being parents. And yet, there are moments when I feel like I did when they first placed Gavin in my arms nine short years ago... completely and utterly unprepared... feeling like being is a parent is the most mystifying and frightening thing that could happen to a person... certainly there must be some kind of certification needed to have such an important job...

And yet, each day we wake to the bright shining faces of those three kids and the first thought that races through my mind isn't terror... worry about what kind of tough questions or situations I'll find myself in that day... it's a deep and all-encompassing gratitude for having the important job of being a parent to each of them; individually and collectively.

The terror... well that comes later in the day... especially when a headstrong four-year old decides that I'm wrong and that he in fact does not need a nap. At that moment, I'm quite sure that even the highest degree of parental certification would leave me unprepared for the battle about to ensue.

Monday, October 22, 2012


Today, as I was powering through my impromptu cleaning list, all I could think about is the story by Laura Joffe Numeroff, If you Give a Mouse a Cookie. My kids love this book and the others like it... Maybe I've ready these books a few too many times, because as I was going about my business, I was narrating my own little story... a mom's variation of the story... It goes a little something like this:

If you give a mom a clean shower, she'll ask you to clean the rest of the bathroom. But since there is nobody at the house willing to listen to such an audacious request, she'll decide to do it herself.

With a clean shower, mom will notice that the rugs should be washed too. When the rugs are washed, mom decides that the floor surely could use a scrub as well. But the floor can't be scrubbed with dirty laundry piled on it, so she starts washing clothes. While she's washing clothes, mom will decide to sort out the summer things and start a box for Good Will.

Scrubbing the floor will remind mom that it's been a while since the sink and vanity have been wiped-down, so she'll clean those too. The toilet goes without saying; so that gets a little extra attention too. All of the toilet cleaning will remind mom that there are two other toilets in the house... so she cleans those as well.

At the end of all that cleaning, mom wants nothing more than to take a shower, but since it's freshly scrubbed, she opts for a cookie instead.

(If you've never read the Mouse Cookie book, the preceding will seem odd... but I promise the children's book is very cute and tops on the littlest people's list.)

I'm ready to put my feet up... and the next time Ellie asks me to read the Mouse Cookie book, I may ask her if she wants to hear my version, If you Give a Mom a Clean Shower... she'll probably say, no... because she knows that if Mom starts talking about a clean shower, chances are she'll want to clean the rest of the bathroom.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


On October 16, 2010 I decided that it was important for me to spend more of my time writing. I enjoy that creative process and since I have plenty to say about my little people... starting a blog seemed like a great way to accomplish my goals while gaining a better understanding of some techy tools.

In the last two years I've enjoyed my time in this space. The process of organizing my thoughts and trying to be creative in how those thoughts spill onto the page has become something that I crave... some days more than others... but I think that comes with the territory when it comes to writing. Some days I find my words remain tangled up and trapped in my head. The simple task of forming an interesting thought is as impossible as flight for pigs. Thankfully, my little people have a knack for helping to remedy writer's block.

But tonight, I wish I was the one with a remedy, for one of my little people. Benett, my boy with the immune system of steel, has ruddy cheeks and a fever. He's so sad and weepy, complaining about his "sore eyes and legs." He wants nothing more than to snuggle on my lap... which I enjoy, even though he's under the weather.

I think we'll take things slow tomorrow, enjoying some slow and quiet time, while soaking up all of that cuddling before he's up and running again.

Monday, October 15, 2012


There is something fantastic about fall weather. The way our usual surroundings transform into something totally different, yet familiar. The way a cozy sweater is the perfect outer layer for a walk in the woods.

We love this fleeting season, and try to soak up as much of it as we can. With that in mind, the littlest people and I decided to go on a leaf walk today. We climbed and climbed and climbed until we reached the top step on our walking path. (More than 500 steps to the top!) I was so surprised they climbed all the way to the top of the bluff. My intention was to just select leaves that we spotted along the way... knowing they would get worn out and become too tired to continue. (After all they can't seem to muster the strength to walk up the flight of stairs in our home, most days.) But much to my surprise, they were on a mission to reach the summit. They did a great job.

At the top, we searched out leaves of different color and shape. I loved the way those leaves smelled. I can't quite put my finger on it yet, but the smell this morning reminded me of something... another time and place. Benett and Ellie were oblivious to my internal revelry... they just loved picking up each leaf, examining it and adding it to the stack or discarding it... jabbering as they went.

Descending all of those steps seemed to take longer than the trip up. And true to form, both of them had spells that made it impossible to walk a single step further... so I carried each for a while. It's funny how being carried will perk a little person right up.

When we arrived home, we put our leaves into a press. I think on Friday, we'll take our flat leaves and make a little display. Not quite sure what we'll do, but something will come to me. And as for the steps, I think we'll stay on level ground for a while. My legs need some time to recuperate.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


I feel like I've been away for so very long. I have no good excuse... just living a life that seems to be quite busy, from time to time.

The days pass me by in a blur most of the time... and quite honestly, most evenings when I think about booting up the laptop, something else seems to win out... sleep topping that list.

I've been enjoying the autumn with the littlest people... some days more than others... although I'm not so sure they'd say the same thing. Some Monday mornings they beg to go to daycare. Some Monday mornings I silently beg too.

Gavin and I are also enjoying some time on the weekday afternoons when he returns from school before his little brother and sister. We both love that time spent together, just the two of us. He is a different boy when he doesn't have to be a big brother.

All in all, life is good. A busy, hectic kind of good.

While I know life will remain busy for the foreseeable future... I will try to be here more. Time spent here organizing my thoughts is a little like therapy... something of which I could certainly use a little bit more.