Thursday, May 26, 2011

Outside my window…

Storms have been raging, just like everywhere else in the midwest, but look what is safe in the shelter of my bedroom windowsill:

baby bird
I’ve been trying to take daily pics of the nest (as of Tuesday, all three eggs had hatched), but the rain has kept me away.  But each day, when I wake, I peek out through the mini-blinds to see the momma bird keeping her little ones warm.  It’s an awesome way to start my day.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Girls just wanna have fun


Tuesday, I went to the zoo with two of my besties and their broods.  Between the three of us, we have EIGHT littles running amuck.  Yes, we’re crazy.

The day, as a whole was a huge mess.  Lots of stress, tears, and hyperventilating on my part (but seeing as someone called me a husband-stealing whore, one might expect that……but that’s a post for another day).

The redeeming factor of the day (besides the sweet words and hugs of comfort from Sara and Rachel) was seeing this picture pop up in my Facebook feed later that night:

ee and penny at zoo 
I have a love-hate relationship with the whole concept and idea of “close girlfriends” but I’ve been blessed in spite of my skepticism and track record, and I pray that Erin will grow to have sweet “besties,” too.

Monday, May 23, 2011


Wednesday night, as I tucked Seth into bed, I planted the seeds for sweet dreams:

“Sleep good, buddy.  We’re gonna have a fun day tomorrow.  Miss Tiffany is gonna come over, and we’re gonna go out for lunch, and we’re gonna stop and get cupcakes for Duncan’s birthday.”

“Duncan’s birthday,” he sleepily questioned.  “But Duncan isn’t home…”

I hesitated.  “No, he’s not home.  He doesn’t live with us anymore.  He went to live with Jesus in heaven.”

This gave him pause.  “In heaven?  With Jesus?”  A longer pause, as he watched the blades of his ceiling fan circle around and around.  “But he not remember to take his cupcakes!”

I smiled.  “Well, no, you’re right.  He didn’t take his cupcakes with him.  That’s why we are going to have some for him instead.”

That seemed to satisfy him, and he snuggled Bailey up to his chin.  “Mommy!  That’s a great idea!  I’m gonna eat him a blue one!”

Thursday morning, Seth was well aware of what day it was and what was on our agenda.  He rushed into my room (way too early, mind you), and jumped up on our bed, so he could get right up next to the picture of Jim and Duncan that hangs over our headboard.

So softly that I almost missed it at first, Seth began to sing to the picture:

Happy birthday to you.  Happy birthday to you.  Happy birthday, dear Duncan.  Happy birthday to you!”

I was stunned, and so touched.  He really knew what the day was all about!

And then he turned to me and asked if it was time to eat cupcakes, ha!

And indeed….big brother Seth ate one for you, sweet Duncan.

You are known by your siblings, little one.  You are missed, you are loved, and you are known.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

I wonder….

  • Why I get so bent out of shape over a missing earring.
  • If Erin is destined to be a lousy sleeper, like me.  Oh, Lord, I pray not, because two tired women in this house is two too many.
  • How I became I mom who yells at her children.  I hate that, and am working to change it.  I wish I could channel some of the Duggar-skill that has Michelle only holding up her index finger in silence, and all her littles fall into order.  Man, that’d be SO much better….
  • When my feelings will stop being hurt when I perceive that I’ve been either (a) overlooked or (b) rejected by friends.  I feel left out of something that occurred recently, and between who was involved and the timing of the incident, I can’t shake the hurt.
  • Who will win American Idol, when the next season of Sons of Anarchy will start, and if Fox will air Glee reruns this summer.  Yes, there is a significant amount of my brain matter fixated on television programs.  Whatcha gonna do?  I’m a SAHM; the majority of my interaction with people over the age of 3 comes out of the flat screen.
  • How many calories are in a Chocolate Creme Pie cupcake from Gigi’s.  Something tells me way too many to be healthy, but given items 2-4 up there, I’m gonna go with the cop-out answer of “it was worth it” and just run a few more laps around the house today….

And that concludes your daily dose of the mess that is floating around in my brain right now….you may now return to the productive portion of your day!

Friday, May 20, 2011

I think God just wanted to see me smile….

….so He planted some wild strawberry patches in my backyard:

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We’re not eating them, of course, but nevertheless….in a string of days that has heavied my heart, this was a small burst of wonderfulness.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Just keepin’ it real

I don’t have a beautiful, eloquent memorial post to publish on Thursday – on the day my sweet Duncan would have been two years old.

Instead, I have the reality of a week that has been hard to live in.  It’s not so much the dates themselves that are the trigger points.  It’s the events.  It’s the Dancing with the Stars semifinals on ABC.  The hometown visits on American Idol.  The packing of suitcases for a trip to Ohio for what is supposed to be “only” a golf scrambles.

It is sitting in an orange chair in a green nursery rocking a baby that wouldn’t even exist but for the loss of her big brother’s life, yet still having to tamp down the thought of “two years ago right this very minute, that foolish, arrogant, inattentive obgyn was ripping my cervix to shreds.”

This week has been an exercise in survival – going through the motions of play dates, and balancing checkbook registers, and follow-up pediatrician appointments, and peanut-butter-and-jelly-sandwich-making, when really?  The anxiety and sorrow is bubbling just out of sight below the surface of my skin.

I sent an email to a friend on Wednesday telling her that I thought it’d be different this year. I thought, somehow, that I’d be better.  That it wouldn’t hurt so much.  That there’d be some closure.  That the memories wouldn’t overwhelm me to the point that I, literally, would curl up in a ball in my bed and pull the comforter over me so that the air around me became as suffocating as the sadness and longing inside me.

But….I woke up Wednesday, fully aware of the hours of the clock, and how they were racing toward Thursday.  Thursday, when I will be completely in tune with the minutes falling away until 8:14 pm.

I’ve filled my day Thursday with things to distract me – not in a naive attempt to make myself unaware – but merely so that I’m not just dwelling on the clock.  Maybe, when we are in Hendersonville running errands, I’ll swing by Gigi’s and treat us all to some birthday cupcakes.  If the weather cooperates, maybe we’ll go take some pictures by Duncan’s tree.  Maybe I’ll wake up and not be able to get out of bed, and I’ll have to give Tiffany the code to our garage so she can come in and feed my kids.  (I’m kidding.  I’m not that self-involved.  I may want  to be, but I won’t be.)

I don’t know….

We watch CBS’s The Good Wife, and the season finale on Tuesday played a Mika song during the closing scenes, and the melody has haunted me all day….

I just know that on May 19, 2009, I said goodbye to the world I thought I lived in….and two years later, I’m still learning the language of my new world.  I “smile and try to mean it,” but in these days of May, when I’m fighting with all my might to live in the moment – to be present, to be grateful, to be anything but defined by the death of my son – it’s hard, y’all.  It’s so hard.

I’d give anything to go back and have more time with my Itty Bitty fighter ….I still miss him so.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Gordon: He’s your guy to get the job done


Monday, Seth had an accident.  A #2 accident that I just was not in the mood to deal with (seeing as how we’d had more accidents on Sunday than I can count.  Seriously, it was BAD.)

So, I tried a new tactic.

I told Seth that for each time I had to clean poop out of his underwear, I’d take away one of his engines.  And sure enough, Gordon spent Monday night in the china cabinet.

And wouldn’t you know it?  We seemed to have no issues pooping on the potty on Tuesday!  Whoo-hoo!

Granted, it’s one day.

But it’s one day where I haven’t had to swish out poopy man-pants in the toilet!

I say it’s a win-win all around!

(Tiff, keep it up.  Between your prayers and my tough mommy love, we may figure this out yet!)

Monday, May 16, 2011

30 Day Blog Challenge

One of my favorite things to do on a rainy day is to curl up with a blanket and my laptop and read back through my blog posts and comments.

Granted, (and I’m blaming Google Reader for this), comments are less frequent lately than they’ve ever been.  Boo!  But I’m a lousy commenter, too (though I AM trying to get better!), so I guess I don’t have a lot of room to complain.  Still, I have been in a blogging slump (other than the April photo challenge I set for myself), and I really, really want to get over the hurdle and get some more written content published.

Enter my friend “kekis” who blogs at Fertile Ramblings. She posted a few weeks ago about a 30 day blog challenge she was embarking on (which she recently confessed she isn’t necessarily doing consecutively, which, if I’m honest, I’m guessing I won’t be doing either).  So, follower that I am….I’m jumping on the band wagon, too:

30 Days of Blogging

I may have to adjust some of the topics (for example, #11.  I don’t have an ipod), but I’m determined to get some things down on e-paper for posterity sake, and get back in the groove of writing regularly.

Maybe I’ll even get a few faithful readers to comment again…..? ;)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Etymology 101

Be good.”

“Be sweet.”

Be quiet.”

Be patient.”

Be gentle.”

Be still.”

Seth hears a lot of “be” commands throughout the day.  So it shouldn’t surprise me that on occasion, he’d try to dole one out to his parents, too.

We were in Target this weekend, killing some time while waiting for tires to be put on the Mustang, and Jim was teasing Seth in the toy section.  You could sense that Seth was getting frustrated with his father, and all of a sudden he looks at Jim, scrunches up his face, and says:

Daddy, you are not bein’ HAVE!!!” (say “have” like “cave” and it’ll make more sense.)

As in, Jim wasn’t “behaving.”

I laughed so hard!  It was just a sweet moment when right before my eyes, he grew up a little bit more in demonstrating his grasp of language and application.  Sweet boy……

Friday, May 13, 2011

A party fit for a bean

It’s her day!  (Or, at least it was her day on April 30th, when we threw her a backyard cookout with our closest friends.) 

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We couldn’t have asked for a better day in a string of horrible days (weather-wise).  And thanks to Gramp-e’s generosity and some quick thinking on the part of a friend, we arranged to have a huge princess castle bounce house to keep the kids occupied and out of both my house, and the rain-swollen creek!A pre-party cheeseburger.  Because I figured once the bounce house went up, it’d be the last we would see of him all day.  And I was right.  Bounce house went up at 3, and I he didn’t make an appearance again until it went down at 8:30, and even then, it was only to swipe a frosted sugar cookie, and then crash on the couch with day favorites (10)

60 cheap WalMart balloons.  Gotta love it!
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Her place of honor for the day:

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Taking it all in with Aunt Mer-mer before the festivities began.

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Seth getting some tips from (or maybe doling them out to?) Uncle Tommy.

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Going exploring before all the bigger kiddos arrived and she was forced to retreat to her high chair.

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My sweet birthday girl.

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And her boyfriend… the Xander-man.

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Sneaking a kiss from my girl.

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Maddie-girl enjoying the first berries of the season.  (This seems to be her pose of choice lately.  I can’t tell you how many pics I have of this girl’s tonsils!)

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I opted to forego a birthday cake for the party, and made a spread of homemade shortcakes with strawberries and cream; an almond pound cake with strawberry rhubarb and pineapple preserves; chocolate truffle brownies; and frosted sugar cookies.  Surprisingly enough, the solo berries were the hit of the night with the kiddos.

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I was having a great hair day…..and then the thermometer crept upwards of 80 and I started running around like a man woman doing finishing touches, and well….this is as good as it got!

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So many friends gathered to make our girl’s day so special.  We feel so blessed that she has such amazing people in her life who love her, and work to be good role models for her.  It makes it a little easier to be so far away from our day favorites (4)

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hah!  This was right after catching him placing the ice cubes, one by one, from the ice bucket into the ice water pitcher.  Sneaky little guy!

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So bittersweet, placing a ONE on her cupcake.  Where has the year gone?

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She loved being sung to….

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Convincing her it was okay to dive in….

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A little coaxing….

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There we go!

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These were the party favors I made….M&M jars with “thank you” tags with Erin’s one-year picture attached.  I was really happy with how they turned out:

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And that’s all folks!  I’ve been blessed with a beautiful daughter, and a whole slew of beautiful friends and family who gathered to celebrate her with us!

Monday, May 9, 2011

On the menu

We are wonderfully close to the I-can-count-on-two-hands number of days until we are Ohio bound, so I’m doing my best to plan our days and our meals to the best advantage in the next two weeks.  I think I’ve done it;

  • Sweet and Sour Pork with pineapple and pepper stir fry over rice (left over meat from Mother’s Day pork shoulder)
  • Tacos
  • Smoked sausage and mexican rice bake
  • Calzones
  • Maple dijon pork loin (yep, leftover  from Mother’s Day, again) with roasted apple and onion stuffing
  • Steak and veggie kabobs on the grill
  • FREE PASS meal due to small group cookout: taking crockpot baked beans
  • Pasta with red sauce and Italian sausage with garlic bread
  • ____________________
  • Whatever is leftover in the fridge
  • Quick, easy, hot-and-ready Little Ceasar’s Pizza and Crazy Bread for load-the-car night

So, next Tuesday is the only day that I’m unclear about.  But if our monthly girls’ night out happens this Thursday, then calzones get bumped to next week, and I’m home free!

Although I love to cook and try new recipes, I find myself dreading meal planning.  Until I actually do it, and then I remember how much easier my days go when I know what needs to come together to get dinner on the table.

Yea, me, and YEA for getting to say “NEXT WEEK we are headed to Greema’s house!!!!”

Got me some kicks!

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Somebody loves her new tennies from her main man, Xander. ;)  They run second in affection only to her Eggo.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

She’s ONE!

An even 6 lbs. became a whopping (ha!) 17 lbs. 6 oz; 18” grew to 28.75”; and a teeny little noggin now houses a brilliant mind that makes her head circ. an impressive 17.5”.  She is engaging, active, and growing right on her own curve.  She is, in a word, healthy.

In another word, however, she is also anemic.  And she also has her third ear infection of the spring.  (Let me go on record now: I’m predicting tubes before the year is over.)

So, new prescriptions and an iron supplement and another week of sleepless nights are the order of the day for this early May celebration.

We are also working hard to transition to a sippy cup, to stand upright, and to coax out that first word.  Milestones, I’m finding, definitely come at their own pace, not necessarily mine.

And blah blah blah, that’s all the boring stuff.  How about the best part of her turning one?

Like how blessed we have been to have had her with us for a whole year.  A year of wonderful moments and memories.  And after having lost almost all of our photographic evidence of Seth’s first year of life (thank you, burglars!), I treasure our photos of Erin even more.  Which is why, despite the headache that the uncooperative technology bestowed, I enjoyed putting together this video of Erin’s first year so much.

I hope you enjoy it!

Happy birthday, Beana.  You are loved, more than you ever will know.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Best garage sale find of the spring

Thanks to my father-in-law, we now have Ted the Turtle in our backyard, and he is a fabulous addition to our family.

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Do you littles have a current favorite outdoor toy/activity?