Me: "Who has the best seat in the house, me or daddy?"

Adam: "Well, Daddy's is nice, but yours is best. Your's is squishier."

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ten days away

We’re home. Ten days away seems like a moment, and a century. Because I am so big and slow and sore, I pretty much just sat and contemplated my children, my marriage and my life while I watched my family play the days away. I observed my thought patterns and recognized how often I was tempted to interfere, interject or intercede, but was too tired to bother. And in the absence of all of my chatter, I was able to simply witness my family and who each person really is. I felt emotions swell up inside of me like the waves nearby on the sand, and then pull away. I heard my internal judge, my editor, and my drill sergeant rant and rave, and then be quieted by the sounds of the wind, waves, birds and laughter of the children.

At the end of our trip, I asked the kids what their favorite parts had been. One by one they mentioned moments, places and things they experienced and Guy and I smiled at their appreciation of the days spent together. Don’t get me wrong; there were certainly squabbles and scoldings. In fact, when asked what her favorite was, Ellie said, “Everything accept when we were fighting and getting in trouble” to which Tessa chimed in, “Yah!” It wasn’t perfect, but since perfection isn’t likely when a family of six is in a packed van for 8 hours or sharing a 2 bedroom condo for a week, overall, I feel really pretty good about the whole thing.

As I flip through the pictures of the trip, I see in my heart what is not in them: Guy taking care of everything; the shopping, the cooking, the loading and unpacking, being the fun parent while mama rested, rubbing my oh-so-sore back and tummy when I couldn’t sleep, even arranging my 5 pillows so that I could try to get comfortable at night. I hear Ethan and Adam giggling in their room, the girls singing and dancing, and all of us together with nothing to do except be together. There were a million moments I didn't capture with the camera that stood still in my heart. I am so blessed to have this sweet family, to be married to a dear and devoted companion and friend, and to be welcoming another spirit into our lives soon.

Sometimes it takes time away from your life to help you to actually see how great your life is.

I have noticed that as time goes by, somehow my memories fade and only the images in the photos remain as reminders of our time spent together. I think that my heaven would be to have every memory back, crisp and new like it just happened, but until then I have my pictures.

Here are my favorite ones…

All smiles


Sweet time with daddy, "De waves make us feewl wike we ah moving!" says Tessa.

Adam takes on the sea!

Daddy at his best

Chapter 1: I read a whole book on vacation!

The boys making a seaweed pile

She looks like a sculpture to me

Sun bunny...

dead sun bunny...

Dad showing off Adam's father's day gift to him

Is that bubble bath in our toilet? Why yes, it is. From the people upstairs!

Thank you Cartoon Network. Because of you we had a whole week of sleeping in.

Mama making a mermaid out of Ellie

then back to my chair!

Sand castle, by daddy and the girls

On this day, they insisted they WERE NOT going to get wet and left suits back at the room. Ha. Yeah, right.

One of a million smiles

Sisterly love

My gorgeous family.
Just think, next summer there will be one more smile in the pictures we take!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Gone Fishin'

Ah, it's vacation time.
No school, no responsibilities, no schedules, and no internet access for a week or so.
Be back in a few...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


I have been banned.
I apparently have embarrassed one of my children by posting about him/her on my blog.
I am not to mention him/her anymore.
So I won't.
I mean, he/she never reads my blog anyway.
So I won't mention how cool it is to hear him practice his new guitar. I won't mention how proud I was when he paid for his guitar lessons with yard work, and his teacher told me how hard he had worked. I won't say a word about how a few days before, to earn some money he mowed a friend's 2-foot high lawn, stayed till the last blade was cut and then mowed another lawn on his way home because an old lady asked him to.
I won't mention that he leaves the bathroom tidy after he showers, or that he comforts his little sister when she gets hurt. I can't say a word about how he is becoming such a wonderful young man, and how proud I am of him.
So I won't.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Welcome Summer

Everyone knows the last few days of the school year are a complete waste. My kids are spending their last days watching movies and having water games rather than doing work, while teachers wind down their rooms and turn in their grades. We have had “Hawaiian day”, “Game day”, and “Crazy hair day”. Lately, every morning feels like Halloween, with costumes to be put together. Tomorrow they are supposed to were their pajamas. I am not even sure how I feel about that.

Adam feels justified, “I have been doing work all year!!!” I guess he doesn’t see it the way I do.

This is my point: if they aren’t going to have the kids work, I wish they would just be done with it and let me keep my kids home.

I love having my kids home for a long lazy summer. I love their sleepy faces in the morning and seeing them snuggled together on the couch, peaceful for a time, while they watch morning cartoons. I love our routine of 3 minute patrol, which keeps the house tidy, the mama less stressed. And I love knowing that this year, instead of dreading the close of summer, we will be looking forward to the arrival of a new little one to our family. It will be the cherry on top.

Yesterday on the radio, the announcer sang out, “Summer’s almost here!” and I realized that I love those three words. I love them like I love extra dark chocolate and garage sales with amazing finds. I remember the magic of the first days of summer from my childhood; the first morning you realize you don’t have to do what other people tell you every minute of the day, eating cereal at 10 AM, wandering through days with no particular schedule, parks and swimming and summer fruit and corn on the cob. As the days get longer it feels as though the earth is taking longer breaths, sighing out the the end of the day slowly in warm, glowing, late evening sunsets.

As much as I love summer, sometimes I freak out a little the first few days. I am shocked at the sudden change and not sure I can settle into the new routine, even though I know it will be fun. But it is not long before summer fever slows my mind and brings out my smile.

The other day, Crazy Hair Day to be exact, Tessa wanted to join in the festivities. The night before as I braided Ellie’s hair to make it frizzy, Tessa asked for her hair to be done too. I twisted it into tight little rolls to be taken out the next morning.

The kids got ready the next day, hair askew, and headed out the door. Tessa was asleep and didn’t get to see the kids with their crazy hair. When she got up I took the rolls out of her hair and fluffed the willing curls into a Shirley Temple-like fro.

She looked in the mirror and burst into tears.

“My haiw will nebah be norhmal again!” she wailed.

With a little comforting and explanation about the temporary nature of the situation, by the end of the afternoon Tessa had embraced her new look and enjoyed the kids reactions to her.

Sometimes change is a shock, even if it is a fun change that won’t last forever.

“Summer’s almost here!”

Friday, June 11, 2010


“You smell like parfait.” – Tessa, May 2010

I guess sometimes people see what they want to see, and smell what they want to smell.


I can’t say that my mind has been as quiet a place as this page would reflect lately, but my thoughts have been in a holding pattern, waiting to congeal into solid jello. Indeed I do have jello for brains.

This week the boys caught a frog whilst mowing a neighbors lawn. Adam ran home excitedly with it to plop it into our little front yard pond. It dove in right away and happy (I swear it was smiling) as you please sat right atop one of my large lily pads, which willingly supported its weight. Soon it plunged in to the cool, dark water and swam into the reeds to hide. The girls watched it blink for half an hour.

We had a frog. A frog for our pond. No frog could be luckier.

I have not seen him since. By the next day the pond was quiet and still again.

Who knows why some choices are made? Why would a frog rather live in the long, dry grass of an empty house than the generous and rich environment of a cool, deep pond? Why do we sometimes take ourselves away from what we know is best for us, our ideal spiritual place, to inhabit a place that will not feed our souls; will not nourish our spirits?


Like I said. Jello.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Animal Kingdom

This morning when I went to get dressed, there was a tiny triceratops in my left shoe.
Sometimes there are ponies in my purse.
I have had lizards in the laundry baskets,
and quite often there are leopards in my bed.
But it's the zebras at the kitchen watering hole
that really make me smile.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

In a fight between Zorro and Dumbledore...

...who would win?
I mean, Dumbledore has the whole magic thing on his side, but who can argue with a 3 foot long blade?
There is something so wonderful about two cool, big boys who are too embarrassed to kiss their mama goodbye at school,
but who still put on costumes to have a trampoline battle.

(Looks like Zorro is winning. Are we surprised? I guess without his wand, Dumbledore is just a really nice old dude in a dress.)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


When we lost the first baby

8 years ago, several friends brought flowers and cards. I remember a dozen beautiful roses that arrived and sat on my dresser. By the next day, the head of every single pink bud had inexplicably bowed down and died, never having opened. The symbolism of it was just too much for me.

I was also given a couple of live flowering plants. An orchid and a violet. Over these years since that time, I have watered and cared for them. They have only flowered once or twice, with a single, frail bloom that faded quickly.

This week, something amazing has happened. The violets (which by now have divided into several plants) have begun to bloom.

No, not bloom. Explode!

Eight stunning blossoms with broad faces and glittery, vibrant purple petals have burst from the plants, with several more clusters of unopened buds making their way to the light.

Why now? Why, after years in the same window ledge have they suddenly begun to flower?

I imagine there is a scientific reason of some sort… some random change in the environment of our home’s climate, maybe how often I water… that may have changed. But isn’t it amazing that now -of all times, of all years- these plants are coming alive?

I am 30 weeks pregnant today.