Wednesday, June 25, 2014


This stubborn, kind-hearted, smart little weirdo is six today. 
It's hard to believe it's been six years since I held her for the first time. That tiny baby is a half-grown kid now - in the middle place where I still catch glimpses of her babyhood and other times I get a peek at the young woman she will be one day. 

She loves to swim, read and be read to, play soccer, paint, and construct entire make believe worlds for her Barbies, Princesess, and Palace Pets. On good days, she's full of wisdom and understanding for her younger sibling , and on bad ones, he awakens the beast in her, but there is no doubt they are tight friends. 
Watching her grow just gets better every year. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Waiting Up

I was on the fast track to bed, but Ella came running into the living room with a foamy mouth and a hand full of toothpaste exclaiming, "Where's Mama!?"

I was standing at the kitchen sink in my invisibility cloak. I always wear it in the kitchen. 

Dave said, "She's right there."

She raced around the counter with her toothpaste-y hand held out and a smear of blood on her face. "Mama! My tooth came out while I was brushing my teeth! I just felt something when I spit the toothpaste out!"

I exclaimed over it, retrieved it from her hand, rinsed it, put it in a ziploc bag so the tooth fairy can find it, and told her to go rinse her mouth. 

As she passed by on the way back to the bathroom, Dave interjected, "You know, I care about these things too. You can show me, too." 

For real, ya'll, I tried to take a nap today and I gave them both specific instructions to go downstairs and ask Daddy if they needed something. They came into the bedroom no less than 6 times. He didn't see them once. 

But I digress. 

Now, I'm just sitting here waiting on the winged intruder to make her appearance. 

Here's the bloody tooth hole. The tooth itself was almost too tiny to see. 

That's two down and about eighteen to go.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

A Saturday Morning

After chatting my ear off while I grunted non-committaly for 20 minutes, Ella said, at 7:41 am, "I'm bored." 

Umm, no, go clean your room. 

Then Luke came in, straight from bed, so attired only in Ninja Turtle underpants. He gave us his own diatribe about something we needed to come see. When he finally stopped talking, Ella's only response was: "Here's the deal - I'm not marrying a boy without a shirt on." She is not impressed with our man cub. 

In the next instant, they realized the neighbor was on her porch and made a break for the door to go see her - with my voice trailing behind at Luke: "You aren't wearing any clothes!" It took a moment of convincing, but he got dressed.

There was only one problem, Ms. Hollie is on the phone, so now, he is patiently waiting at the end of the driveway to go see her. Ella decided she'd catch her later and went to her room, though it's doubtful she is cleaning it. It's 7:57 am. 

And, I am peacefully sitting in solitude.

Good morning, peeps! Have a happy Saturday!

Edited: Before I could even publish this, he came in, went to Ella's room, and they commenced loudly negotiating the rules of play. I'm still sitting in solitude. 

Edited again: Ella came out and asked for an intervention. While trying to convince me to kick him out of her room, she was rubbing my legs until she asked, "Mama, what are these prickly things on your legs?" Hairs, child. Mamas don't wake up with freshly shaved legs. 

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

I'm Still Here

Hey ya'll.

It's been a while. I've been finding it hard to share our daily lives since we linked our cancer story to the campaign page. I don't think it was a bad decision - the story is out there to be shared - but I have a tendency to treat this space like it's my own living room and we're just having a casual conversation about kids and life, so it was a little unnerving to write while a lot of extra people were paying attention. Lord knows I have a lot of opinions, and 99% of them probably don't need to be said.

I've also struggled recently with how much to share about the kids. They aren't babies anymore - especially Ella. Funny stories about babies and toddlers and stubborn preschoolers are funny, but funny stories about kids are potentially embarrassing. In being mindful of that, I find it easier to just keep most things private.

Another thing I've realized in the last few months - raising kids is hard.

I don't mean the parts about getting up twice a night (or 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 times a night), or changing diapers, or potty training, or teaching manners, or dragging a screaming toddler out of a grocery store mid-trip. Now that both children are fully potty trained and sleeping in their own beds all night (most nights), that stuff seems easy compared to what comes next.

Sorry, parents who are currently elbow deep in sausage-making with your sweet little terrors, it gets harder.

The sleep is fabulous most of the time now, but I'm convinced it's because God knows I need it to be able to handle the hard questions, the heart questions, that I have to answer now. Theirs and mine.

They ask hard questions. They get their hearts hurt sometimes. They hurt other people's hearts. They test and they push, and they still say "Mama..." so many times that I think I might lose my mind at least once every day. They are learning so much, from everywhere and everyone - some things I want them to learn, and some things I don't. Some things I let go, some things I just cannot, and constantly I'm praying, "Lord show me the way. Give me the words I need when I need to answer, and clamp your hand tightly over my mouth when I need to let it go."

Let it go! Let it go! I am one with the wind and sky!

I don't care what they're going to say; let the storm rage on. The cold never bothered me anyway.

Ahem. Where was I?

Yes, some lessons they just need to learn for themselves. For instance...

... your room gets stinky when there are 5 pairs of dirty socks stuffed under your bed.
... you actually CAN find your things when your mother refuses to help you look for them.
... your bed will be wet when you get in it if you leave your wet towel balled up on it.
... your favorite shirt doesn't get washed if you stuff in your toy bucket while "cleaning" your room.

And God knows sometimes I mess up, too. I have lessons to learn, too. I never considered that parenting would teach me so much about myself. And, I never thought about how hard it is to care for another's soul before I had kids. It's hard work, ya'll.

Anyway, I'm still here. We're still here.