"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." ~e e cummings

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

spy games: overheard

Sam and I were getting the boys' bath ready/folding laundry while Molly played on the floor. Max and Evan were milling around our room aimlessly when Max said, "Hey, Evan? Wanna play Spy with me?" To which his sweet big brother answered (and I'm not making this up), "Sure, Max. I would love to play Spy with you."

So Max ran into my closet, grabbed my hot pink, flower-embellished flats, and slipped them on his feet. For some reason, every time they play Spy he wears these shoes. These hot pink sandals. With flowers. I also have a pair of wedges with flower embellishments on them, so the pink ones are my "Flower Flats" as opposed to my, naturally, "Flower Wedges."

The boys ran into Max's room and the game began.

But, as quickly as they had assumed their characters, the game paused...

Evan: Max. Why do you always wear those Flower Flats when we play Spy?

Max: Because they're beautiful, Evan.

Evan: But why do spies need beautiful things?

Max: Because they're so pretty, Evan.

Evan: Well, maybe two-year old spies need beautiful things, but not big boy spies like five or ten or a hundred years old.

Max: It's called one hundred, Evan.

Evan: Max, "a hundred" is another way of saying "one hundred."

Max: Oh. Okay.

At this point, Sam and I are dying laughing, trying not to be heard in the next room, lest we break the spell.

Lesson Learned:
Oh, to be a fly on the wall all the time....

Sunday, July 15, 2012

what's that you say?

"I'm going down to the basement to get some suitcases, Max. Do you want to stay up here or come with me?"

"Come with you."

"Okay, let's go. But let me hold you. [As we're walking past Molly's room, I say in a whisper...] We have to be really quiet as we go down the steps because we don't want to wake the Mollster."

"[Also whispering, and with his arms tight around my neck...] Okay, I be very, very quiet. I promise."

We arrive in the basement storage room and the search begins.

"I might be the first to spot those suitcases, Mommy." Max says, still whispering.

"You don't have to whisper anymore, baby."

"Oh.....[pause]...well where are they, then?"

"I'm not sure, they're around here somewhere."

"Oh, around here?"

"Yup. We're looking for the two big ones. Do you see them?"

Quickly, Max is at my side, now holding my leg.

"There they are!" I say as I spot them, and make my way around the still-unpacked boxes and bins that fill our storage room.


"The suitcases? They're right there." I say, pointing.

"No, the sleeping Monster. I don't want to wake him up."

Oops. Guess that's the end of that nickname for our Molly Girl. And....bet he'll never go in the basement alone ever again.

Lesson Learned:
Sometimes, it seems, childhood is one big miscommunication after another.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

butcher shop

Today I cried.
Over a haircut.
(Not mine.)

I recognize that this is silly. "It'll grow back," everyone says. But today, this gorgeous, adorable haircut....

was butchered.

I won't post pictures of it, so don't ask to see it. If I don't post them, I'll forget how awful of a cut it was when it does (and it WILL!) grow back.

I couldn't have been more clear:
"I like it long on top. Just clean up the sides and back. Blend it well, I don't want a mushroom cut."

She cleaned up the sides and the back with the long setting on the clippers. It looked fine. And then she took her shears to the top and with a single cut, she killed it.

"Wait! No! That's too short!"

"Oh...too short?"

"Yes! Too short! I want it long on top!"

"Oh, okay. Well, it's okay, I'll just blend this in. It'll be long still, I'll blend it."

She continued. I watched, nervously. It didn't look like she was "blending" anything and it didn't look like she was leaving anything "long." After a few more snips, I stepped in again: "It's really too short, please don't take it any shorter, just blend it in but leave the front long-ish."

"Okay, sure. I'll just blend it."

She kept "blending" and then brushed all of what was left of his hair forward. "Like that?"

Like what? I guessed she was asking if me if she had already done enough damage. "Okay." I said, scrutinizing, trying to fully assess the damage....

...and then, in the next instant, before I could comprehend what was happening, she CUT HIS BANGS.


She took those damn scissors and cut straight across his forehead.

We left before I caused [more of] a scene.

We headed straight for Target. Every time I looked back at that little passenger in the huge Target train cart, I welled up. I left Sam and the boys to check out and I went to the van to "nurse Molly." Really, I called my mom and burst into tears.

Over a haircut.

Lesson Learned:
It will grow back. But not before Worst Haircut Ever is recorded for all of posterity at my brother's wedding next weekend.

Evan's haircut looks good, but is too short for him to twirl. [sniff]

It's a damn good thing my boys are so Good Lookin' with or without super cute 'cuts.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

home: part 2

Here it is...the rest of the photo tour through our home. Still missing are photos of the mudroom, garage, guest quarters (ha!), and a bathroom or two. You can use your imagination for those. Picture them clean. Thanks.

Max's Room!

Max's Solar System Mural...
(Yes, we included Pluto, but with an asterisk.)

Birth Stat Print and rocket print courtesy of (ahem) Sara Kate Kids!

And we're still displaying his newborn photos, courtesy of EnSepia Photography...
(Thanks, Danette! Still among my favorites!)

Kids' Bath

Evan's Room!

He let me put up these construction trucks, but said he is too "grown up" for his name letters. :(

Evan's "Reading Nook"

Molly's Room!


 I made these, like, as soon as we knew she was Molly.

Our growth chart made the move! Check out how these two compare...

Our bedroom

My Mother's Day gift!!

Our bath

Behind that closed door is unfinished storage. Off to the immediate right of the cameraman is guest bedroom and bathroom.

The racetrack made the move, too!

Lesson Learned:
It's not where, but who you're with that makes a home....but seeing our stuff fill these unfamiliar walls sure made this house feel Just Right....right away. I....LOVE...it here.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

bravery: nurture...and nature

It was a difficult night. Nights for the last two weeks have been difficult. Molly is hitting that same stage that her brothers did (and 10 and 6 months, respectively)...the point at which I wake up open my eyes in the morning after a sleepless, baby-attached-to-the-boob-all-night night and say to Sam, "It's time to let her cry."

I'm not pro-Crying-it-Out. Who's all for letting their child scream and howl in misery? But, I am all for the Put The Oxygen Mask on Yourself Before Assisting Your Child philosophy of child-rearing. When  Molly is in my arms all evening, attached to me all night, and refusing to nap unless in the BabyErgo or on my chest all day, I'm not a very involved, entertaining, or patient Mommy. I'm more a Mommy of the "Can I please just have FIVE MINUTES to MYSELF to drink this [fourth] cup of COFFEE?!" variety. It's not pretty. And, experience has taught me that CIO does work for my kids. (More so for Max than Evan, but even for Evan, and even at ten months, it didn't take long for him to figure out how to sleep on his own after we let him cry. And the fact that we have a Max is proof of that. Sorry, Dad...TMI?)

But, as seems always to be the case, the timing is not right to let Molly Cry it Out now. We leave for Montana (my brother's getting married!! YAY!!!) in ten days. I know that our Montana schedule will be all over the place with bedtimes shifted (much) later and all of us sleeping in one room. So, there's no reason to let her cry now if we'll probably have to start over again when we return. We'll manage as best as we can for the next few weeks, then I'll put on my Big Girl Earplugs, turn a movie on for the boys, and let her work out those lungs. And boy, don't we know she has 'em...Baby Girl still hates the car....

....So, anyway...it was another night of little sleep. Sam brought the kids down when they woke up at 6:30 and let me stay in bed. By 7:15 I was up, of course, and went downstairs to pour my first of several giant cups of coffee for the day. "Why don't you drink it on the porch?" Sam suggested, "It's not hot...yet." And sit on the porch we did...me with my coffee, Sam with Molly, Max with the computer, and Evan with his tool belt.

And that's where we had our little Real Life Science Lesson of the day...
A small flying insect was flittering around us when all of a sudden, it got caught in a spider web in the corner between the roof and the porch post directly in front of us. The insect fluttered and squirmed for a few minutes and then went absolutely still. Instantly, a large (by my account) spider appeared in the corner of the web, seemingly from out of nowhere. Faster than I'd like to think spiders can move, it made it's way across the web and over to the insect. It proceeded to wrap the insect in silk, spinning the larger creature with several of its too-many legs as it did. When it was finished, it clipped the insect-mummy free from its web and dragged it back to its hiding place in the corner.

Those of you who know me well...or even just a little...know that I have a small fear of spiders. So small that I'm getting goosebumps and I feel itchy and sweaty just typing the word spider. So small that one time, in college, I called a friend of mine over to my house JUST to kill a spider for me because I was home alone. He ended up being late for his basketball game because of his bravery and valor, but it was definitely appreciated. So small that another time, my friend nonchalantly jumped out of her chair, swinging her arms wildly in my face to swat away a spider before I saw it. I was 8 1/2 months pregnant at the time and she was sure that a spider landing on my shoulder would put me into labor. It probably would have. Instead, we both wound up jumping and shrieking while swatting at each other in my driveway. Our kids and neighbors thought we were nuts. We are.

So watching this natural hunting display this morning was, for me, like watching a horror show. But real. And right in front of my face. And ON MY FRONT PORCH. I couldn't tear my eyes away. "Don't worry, Mom," Evan reassured, "it's just how nature works." He patted me on the shoulder and wondered, "Are there any spiders big enough to eat birds?" "There are. They're called Bird Spiders. They're as big as my hand," I said, as a chill went down my spine and I felt my chest tightening. "Well, if you ever saw one, you could just call me and I'll smash it for you."  "Thanks, buddy...but if I ever saw one, I think I'd scream as loud as I could and run away as fast as I could before I could call you to the rescue." "I'll just stay right by you then, in case one ever comes." My knight in shining armor.

Lesson Learned:
Sometimes, many times actually, as a Mom, you need to pretend to be a lot braver than you think you are...whether facing a phobia for the education of your kids or choosing to let your heart be broken in the short term for the pay-off for your child in the long term...you muster the courage (even if it's faked) and you get through it. And then, hopefully, you'll see that you had it in you to be brave all along...and you'll be more ready when you need to call upon it the next time. And....the only thing in the whole wide world worse than spiders, is listening to your baby cry. We'll all be brave.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Our new cute, little town was planning on holding it's cute, little Fourth of July Parade and Celebration on the Thirtieth of June. I'm not sure why. Regardless, it was cancelled when the Derecho of the Century blew through (and into a million pieces) our cute, little town. With no power, 100+ degree temperatures, and a cranky baby (me), we hit the road to my parents' house where we, along with my sister and her family, enjoyed an impromptu family reunion. For three and a half days, we depended on others for cool air, a fridge and freezer to salvage some of our perishables, and entertainment for these three little rascals.

But today...today we celebrated our Independence.

Our power is back on. Still no parade or fireworks, though. So we celebrated the Fourth at our pedestrian mall, where we explored our new-to-us children's museum....


 ...and then we had hot dogs at a little (air-conditioned) greasy spoon, where the owner and I bonded over being dairy-free, and THIS little girl flirted with everyone who walked by....

The boys fell asleep on the way home, so afternoon naps were out. Instead, Sam planned on taking the boys to the pool while Molly napped and I celebrated a little more Independence. Instead, the boys got suited up, lathered up, and about-to-dip-their-toes-in when the first clap of thunder closed the pool and sent them back home. Where Molly wasn't sleeping anyway. 

So, rather than enjoying some Independent Mommy Time, we ate watermelon on our front porch while the rain poured. How much more Fourth of July-ish can you get? It was, like, the epitome of Summertime. But then the storm picked up and we headed inside to watch the hail (and our mulch wash away).

Miraculously, the storm passed just in time for Sam to grill some hamburgers as the icing on our Independence Day cake.

It was a great day.


Until we tried to take a walk around our neighborhood after dinner. We were a block away when the boys got into an ear-piercing, head-splitting, window-shattering debate over who was more tired and thus who more deserved to be carried by Sam on the way home. Yup. So, naturally, we said (and not at all through clenched teeth....), "Since you're both SOOOO tired, you're going right to bed when we get home." To which they responded, of COURSE, "BUT I'M NOT TIRED!!"

I recently read somewhere that it's less offensive to accuse an innocent person of murder than to call a whiny child "tired." I believe it.

And so, after a loud, highly truncated Bedtime Routine, the not-tired boys are asleep, Molly is asleep (again and for now), the beers have been opened, and the sound of (probably illegal) fireworks can be heard in the distance.

Lesson Learned:
Happy Fourth of July. And hooray for electricity....and for having a place to go when ours fails....and for (hopefully) remembering to buy a generator once we can find one again on the east coast.