Thursday, September 23, 2010


Winston turned 18 months old a couple of weeks ago.  At 34" tall (95%) and 25 lbs (60%), he likes to throw his weight around the house.  He has gone from zero to 60 in just the last few weeks.

  • non-stop!  He never slows down unless he's asleep; he runs and runs and runs with a very concentrated look on his face; he means business (*note first picture was taken was he was strapped into his stroller; it's the only way to get a non-blurry photo)
  • loves to sing in the car, and will do so on demand
  • "show me your teeth" to reveal a straight-lipped smile view of his teeth
  • words:  ball, bike (probably 700 times a day), mom! (another 7,000 times a day), bye, go, down (directed toward Lucy), daddy, hot, and the occasional complete sentence that comes out of nowhere and is likely never repeated
  • surprised face
  • removing pacifier to speak, then immediately putting it back in its place
  • lives for nursery at church; likely the highlight of his week
  • balls, trucks, sticks, Dave's bike:  these things make his life complete

  • still loves, loves, loves books, particularly the Trucks, Big Trucks and 10 Little Rubber Ducks books
  • prefers to saddle up on his trucks and ride them around the house
  • carries a small wooden pop-up (stick) toy or ball in his hands AT ALL TIMES (*see first picture)
  • hides behind the chair when it's time for bed or to change his diap
  • the roles of W and Lucy are now reversed; poor dog will never get a break from his tormenting

  • got his first real haircut; real, meaning, almost 2" cut off in some parts
  • twirls on demand
  • fascinated to see dump trucks, bulldozers, cranes, tractors, etc.; perhaps a career in construction someday?
  • if not construction, maybe cleaning service; he can't get enough of the vacuum

  • has been known to climb atop the counter; climbs over the back of the couch, up the bookshelves, and on the stools, as well
  • also known to swan dive off the couch, ottoman and patio (concrete) stairs
  • prefers to eat only two meals a day -- breakfast and lunch -- dinner is hit-and-miss
  • brushes his teeth, sort of
  • still loves bananas, pears and strawberries; vegetables are not so popular

  • will follow D around the yard while he is mowing the lawn; also likes to supervise D's outside activities, like fixing sprinklers, power washing, cutting down trees/bushes, etc.  W is definitely his father's son

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sisters (and brothers)

Life has ups and downs.  That's part of the excitement and what keeps things interesting.  Sure, some of the lows are low, but the highs are high.  And I'm learning that things always having a way of working out; seems I'm gaining more trust in my belief that there's a plan out there for me guided by someone who sees a much bigger picture.  But, for those times when I'm in the shower camouflaging tears with what's coming out the shower head, for me, it's time to evaluate and write out what I'm feeling.

This post has been a long time coming.  Years, I'd say.  Sort of got lost in the old paper journal and now finally making it to the electronic one.  This post is personal, yet obviously public.  Nonetheless, it will be presented for journaling purposes.

So, here I go (feel free to hit your "read" button, if you'd like to pass)

My sister introduced me to a song the other day.  Hello tear jerker!  More like, cry fest.  It was one of those.  You can listen here.

I listened to the song over and over again.  It's beautifully simple, sweet, and heartfelt.  I felt drawn in immediately at the whispered name of "sister."  

Oh my sisters.  My sweet sisters.  Just saying/writing/hearing that word puts a lump in my throat.  

How I love my dear sisters.  We are separated by brothers in between.  We are different and unique from one another.  But our strengths balance our weaknesses, and together, we are dynamite.  Though we haven't all lived under the same roof in 10+ years, I believe we've grown closer together over those years than in the previous ones.  I would do anything -- anything -- for my sisters.  

Last week I was reminded of a sad time a few years ago.  This sister who introduced me to that song reminded me of it.  She reminded me of how sad I was to learn some news of our brother.  I was reminded of how heartbroken and sad I was.  I literally felt that ache in my heart I'd felt so many years before.  It hurt.  She told me she never wanted me to feel that way again.

Following this sad reminder, I remembered why I had felt that way.  Not the cause of my hurt, but the feeling of intense love, closeness and desire to keep my brother safe.  It wasn't the circumstance, but the sensation of feeling the hurt that he felt; feeling sad that he was sad; feeling wounded like him.  Though I hadn't experienced his hurt, I felt a deep, deep sense of empathy.  The only reason I could justify these feelings was because of the word sister.  He is my brother; I am his sister; roles only surpassed by that of a parent.  

Like the words of the song, when my siblings laugh, I am happy; when they are sad, I feel it, too.  Regardless of the cause, the circumstance, the prognosis, I will share these feelings because I am their sister.  I don't find this to be a burden, but rather a blessing of being part of a family.  Sure, we don't all have perfect families.  I think mine would fit in that less-than-perfect status.  But for me, at the end of the day, it's loving and shouldering my family that is most important.  In all sincerity, I value this role to the Nth degree.   

I am unsure how to end this post.  I feel like it will sort of never be finished.  It isn't a breakthrough, but more like a realization of what it means for me to be a sister.

 I'll celebrate your highs.  I'll sorrow with you during the lows.  You keep me.  

With love,
your sister

by Dave Matthews

passing time with you in mind,
it's another quiet night.
feel the ground against my back;
counting stars against the black.

thinking 'bout another day,
wishing i was far away.
wherever I dreamed I was
you were there with me.

sister, i hear your laugh.
my heart feels full up.
keep me please.
sister, when you cry, 
i feel your tears running down my face.
keep me.

i hope you always know it's true,
'cause i would never make it through.
you can make the sun go dark just by walking away.
playing like we used to play,
like it would never go away,
i feel you beating in my chest.
i'd be dead without.

sister, i hear your laugh.
my heart feels full up
keep me please.
sister, when you cry, 
i feel your tears running down my face.

you keep me.

i hope you always know it's true, that i would never make it through.
you could make the heavens fall just by walking away. 

sister, i hear you laugh, 
my heart feels full up.
keep me, please.
sister, and when you cry, 
i feel your tears running down my face.
you keep me.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


You ever hear/read something that really puts you in your place?  
This did it for me.  

Monday, September 13, 2010

Photo Series: Morning -- a boy and his stick

Did some experimenting with the camera this morning.  It's amazing the delight a stick/branch can give a little boy.  

Friday, September 3, 2010

I Love a Long Weekend

And I think I'd like to do this:

{elizabeth town via Pink Wallpaper}


We had to wear jackets this morning to play outside.  Aaaaaaahhhh...I love Fall.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Black Bean Bullets

Mealtime is stressful for me.  

I find that by the time I get food on W's plate and hot food off the stove for the Mr., they're finished with their meals and looking for more before I even sit down.  If it's not that, W's launched his cup across the room and Lucy's in a frenzy trying to wrangle the wet noodle from her ear that W thoughtfully shared.    Or finally, the meal I have prepared is greeted with half-smiles, partial chewing and eventual spitting out.  

Nothing like a good self-confidence booster.

Preparing a meal for anyone can be a little nerve racking.  But to be at the mercy of a child...really stinks.  I recently read an article I found I could relate to.  Just the title was right up my alley:  "Dinner is on the Table...the Stairs...the Floor."  Hmmm, sounds familiar.

The other night W had already sent the first half of his meal into orbit and, after guests arrived, the latter half was tossed to the floor without so much as a hesitation.  Of course, he did have room for dessert. 

The author and award-winning food critic shares her frustrations of trying/attempting/slaving to nourish her children, not only for physical survival, but for the emotional, social and familial benefits of family mealtime.  

"Serving my kids a good healthy meal is only half the battle.  The bigger challenge is getting them to eat."  She goes on to say, "Eight out of every 10 meals I prepare are greeted with horror.  The dish as eaten by the tots contains nary a plant in a recognizable state, and we might as well tidy up the after-dinner kitchen with a fire hose."  

My mom was a HUGE family meal advocate and always prepared healthy, balanced, (looking back now I really see) delicious meals for us.  How did she do it?!  (And why didn't I appreciate it?!)  

Surely my siblings and I didn't complain, covertly stash food into our pockets and deposit in the toilet, or throw ourselves on to the floor at the thought of having to consume a green vegetable.  No way.

Sadly, karma...stinks.

To date, the best mealtime fiasco yet was just a few days ago.  I had prepared a hearty breakfast for W.  Eggs.  Toast.  Fruit.  Not bad for an 18-mo-old.  He ate the bananas, only smashing the last piece into his fist.  Pounded his forearm into the jammed-up side of toast, then threw his plate like a frisbee across the kitchen, eggs and all.  Hmmm, OK.  I can handle that.  But then Lucy polished off the eggs and scraps of toast, only to throw it up all up over the rug 30 seconds later.

Perfect morning.  Perfect.  

But alas, there is hope:
"I've come to think of family meals as a practice, much as one might practice yoga or meditation:  It's probably the journey, and not the destination, that matters most.  Although health experts will tell you that family mealtime is worth more than a treasure chest filled with gold and rubies, I'd still rather have rubies on the stairs than scrambled eggs.  But as I tell my kids, 'What's being served is what's being served.'  And that's OK."

I guess I'll be practicing this mealtime thing for a while.  I'm committed to it.  However, by the time I get it right my child(ren) will likely be moved away and scattered across the country.  Nonetheless, I'm a believer in spending time together over a meal, discussing the day, sharing stories and filling bellies.  I think we nourish ourselves in every way when we make time to break bread together.  I am so glad my mother put the countless hours and effort into answering the "what should we have for dinner" question day after day.  She never swayed from making sure our family sat around the table together every evening.  

I guess now I'm getting the payback I deserve.