Saturday, January 30, 2016


Maybe, just maybe, we're back to our old smiley selves today. For the first time in days (for Ellie, weeks) everyone seems to have risen from their beds in a kind of happy state.

It could have something to do with the fact that Ellie was able to sleep in. The boys on the other hand emerged from their bedrooms only to sit on the couch and play video games uninterrupted. That always makes them happy. Although I'm not a fan of screen time so early in the morning (or much at all really) I'm not ready, just yet, to tell them their time is up.

For me, I'm celebrating my new-found ability to breathe through my nose. It's glorious. There's nothing stopping us today... although I'm already planning a nap for later. Even with the nap and the video games, I'm happy and content with the feeling that we're all getting back to normal. With any luck this feeling will last a few hours... or at least long enough for me to start to catch up on all of the things that need attention.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


Today was report card day. It's something I've always looked forward to, mostly because of the opportunity to celebrate the hard work that each of the little people have done.

Of course I think all three of them are pretty special and have a lot to contribute both to their small social circles/classrooms, but to society as well. I've never really worried about them academically. I recognize that this is a blessing and something that not all parents can say. The idea of any one of them falling behind hasn't crossed my mind... but today I pause, just a bit.

Two of the little people are older in their classes, an obvious advantage. Being older and more mature really does help children to firmly grasp concepts and build from them. They're strong readers and have curious minds, two things that create a solid foundation for building upon.

One of my little people is young in terms of class age, curios and creative, like the others, but immature academically. Things don't stick quite the same way. Like trees in the forest, the little people are similar and different all at the same time. I love their uniqueness. I don't expect them to learn or grasp things in the same way... but I have this gnawing in the back of my mind that this little one is going to have to work harder.

I look for patterns in things. There is something reassuring about the rhythm of a pattern... with a pattern eventually things come back to a familiar state. Good or bad the familiarity is comforting. I see patterns in each of the little people. Good things that are steady guiding forces and the weak spots that emerge when things are stressful or busy or when we get lazy.

Each of the little people is unique and today I was reminded that none are the same and cannot be held to the same standard in learning. None will fall behind, getting lost in the shuffle... they have too much of life ahead of them for that... but each will have to work hard in different ways to find their own pattern for success.

Sunday, January 24, 2016


I had big plans for this weekend; there were lists involved. This was going to be the kind of weekend where we got things done... We were going to have homework and projects completed, valentines started, house seriously cleaned, laundry 100% clean-folded-put up and a whole host of other seemingly important, gotta-do tasks, done. It was going to be glorious.

I had big plans for the weekend until the wee morning hours on Friday. That's when Ellie climbed into our bed, hot and feverish, trying to settle her unsettledness. That's when Ellie's cough, which has been lingering for weeks, turned into something else.

The rest of our pre-dawn hours were spent mostly awake; long hours which ended with her and Monte staying home from their day jobs. Quickly followed by a trip to the clinic and a test for whooping cough.

Thankfully she tested negative, but is wiped out, as this photo attests. Ellie never naps. There's too much to miss when one is sleeping, so she tends to stay awake. But this mouth-agape, sound-asleep little girl needs the sleep. Her body needs the sleep. And apparently, so does her mama. If this little one had the headache that I've had for the last two days, I fully understand why she's been so weepy. I feel weepy. My eyeballs hurt to move... or remain still. And this cough is no joke. All I want to do is lie down next to her and sleep. Which is just what I've done.

So much for my list. It was good in theory, but some things just don't turn out the way we'd like... and I guess that's okay too. Ellie and I have spent more time next to each other in the last two days than we have in a long while, and that's better than any list in my book.

And because he knows a good thing when he sees it, Hank has taken full advantage of our weakness and been allowed to jump onto the bed. He's been curled at our side for the majority of the time, keeping us company and very warm.

I'm thinking next weekend is going to be my weekend. Surely, I'll have shaken this headache and cough by then... I'll spruce up the lists and next week will be one for the books. Unless of course, it isn't.

Sunday, January 17, 2016


He has been saving his money, for something special. Benett just wasn't quite sure what that special things was... until he laid eyes on Pickles.

We researched different kinds of pets; I was in the fish or hermit crab camp. We researched how to care for those kinds of animals and even visited a pet store a few weeks ago to check them out in person. Benett just wasn't sure.

So we consulted the Google, thinking Guinea Pigs or a hamster sounded fun. We decided that if we could find one who needed a home, through a shelter or the Humane Society we'd take a look. That's when we saw Pickle's picture. I'm not really sure what it was the made Benett gravitate towards him, but as soon as he saw Pickles, Benett said we could stop scrolling. In his seven-year-old mind the deal was done.

The habitat (cage) was easy to come by, via a very helpful person on Craig's List. Within a week, Benett was properly outfitted and ready bring home his very own pet. We drove about an hour to the Humane Society and saw Pickles happily munching on hay. Neither of us were prepared for how cute (or how big) Pickles would be.

A day later, this sweet little boy is still on cloud nine and enjoying every second of his Pickles. Feeding him, ensuring he has water and a cozy, safe place to rest... watching his every move. The dog isn't convinced yet... but I have no doubt he'll come around just like the rest of us.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


We were 12 days into the new year when it happened.

Wrestling was supposed to be a great way for Gavin to stay active in the winter months. It was supposed to be fun, friendly competition. It was supposed to be low maintenance.

We were 12 days into 2016 and have an emergency department visit and a broken bone. Wrestling is designed to test one's will. It has taught my boys to know what they are capable of accomplishing. Accomplishing right-handed eating and an inability to remove one's own socks wasn't really what I had in mind.

We were 12 days in and our deductible is nearly met. But Gavin has an interesting story to tell and undoubtedly another battle scar. Luckily, the sixth-grade class is learning about medical scans... MRIs, CT Scans, X-Rays... so he also has extra credit.

We were 12 days into the new year when the boy showed us that he still needs us. Whether he would like to admit it or not, he needs us. I hate to see him in pain; I want him to be happy and confidant... although I would rather have avoided this situation, having him need me just a little bit more than he did yesterday is like a gift. A gift reminding me that no matter how big he gets, he's always my boy. He's still a child even when he's nearly at eye-level with me.

Twelve days into the new year and my family has become a little bit gentler with one another. Gavin hugged his little brother for bringing his schoolwork home. (I checked, he wasn't feverish.) Empathy and kindness are abundant. Loving gestures and silly jokes are commonplace. Helping hands abound.

We were 12 days into twenty-sixteen when my boy grew up a little bit more and a little bit less all at the same time, proving that sometimes when things break they heal at the very same time.