Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Musical, funny, kind, loving, curious, inventive, brave, loud, emotional, independent, intelligent, daring, interesting, stubborn, caring, gleeful, her own self.

I adore her so.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Potter and the Friendly Ghost

 For Halloween this year, the J-bird dressed as Harry Potter and Miss V dressed in the costume she has been set on for months: a friendly ghost - the white sheet kind, with cutouts for her pigtails. We think she got the idea from running around with a blanket over her head, a game she and the J-bird find hilarious. Wherever it came from, it was awfully cute.

The j-bird gave me a few smiles

and then, I got this series of faces from the little lady:

 She is nothing, if not expressive.

Our little town has a big trick-or-treat event downtown. All the merchants come out and hand out candy, and it's normally a ton of fun.

Unfortunately, the second we pulled up this year, it started pouring BUCKETS of rain. Our sweet new neighbors were meeting us there, and we all had umbrellas and made the most of it, but it was bananas. Of course, as soon as we got back to the car, the rain stopped. Of course. We went home, dried off, threw the costumes in the dryer, had some supper, and asked the kids if they wanted to give trick-or-treating another go. The answer was a resounding "YES!", and the rain was completely over, so we left a bowl of candy on the porch next to our lit jack-o-lanterns, grabbed our neighbors again, and headed out to beg all the neighbors for candy. We had two Harry Potters, a Hermione Granger, a friendly ghost, and a Minnie Mouse (there was a one year old Mickey Mouse who lasted about five houses, too, before he had to go back home to Dad).


When we got back to our street, James hoofed it back to our house to man the door, which meant the kids and I could trick-or-treat our house last. They were delighted! Once we were home, the kids shucked their costumes, sorted their candy, asked how much they could have tonight, and scampered upstairs with their candy to watch a movie with their Daddy, while I handed out candy to the many, many, many trick-or-treaters that come through our neighborhood. We gave away three giant bags of candy this year to too many adorably costumed kids to count.

Oh! And here are our jack-o-lanterns!
 I had Miss V draw any kind of face she wanted on her pumpkin, and I carved it out. We were both pretty thrilled with the result.

 The J-bird carved this one last week at Pumpkin Carving Night/Biography Timeline at his school

And this is the J-bird's "Jailbreak Pumpkin". He saw it in a book, and we copied the concept. He carved the little guy on the inside, and he told me exactly what to carve for the outside.

Here's hoping you had some fun, yourself, kicking off the big season of holidays. Here we go!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Autumn Babies

 My children are very used to having me take their pictures, and they know there's a difference between candid, "we're documenting this event for the family in Kansas" pictures and "Mommy wants some beautiful pictures of the two of you, dressed in nice clothes and looking like you love each other" type shots. They've both gone through phases where they didn't like having their picture taken, and I've backed off, but now they actually enjoy going out together, finding fun places to pose, and spending the time together. It's one of our "things".

 I kind of love that.
 Even so, sometimes it takes a minute or two to warm them up and get them into the general spirit. No, darlin', I don't want pictures with your tongue out this time. I know that's your current favorite. And no, not with your hand over your face.

 Buddy, you'll have to open your eyes. Yes, in every picture.

 But then, we get to laughing, and it all starts to go right.

 There's still just the teensy-eensy-littlest hint of baby in the way Miss V walks sometimes, and I love it so very much. I don't think anyone would see the similarity, but me, but I can see the toddler that was in the big girl that is, and it's precious.

 Autumn is in full swing here, with wild thrashes in the weather and gorgeous color all around. There's a lot of work and scheduling and constant go-go-go and "Mom! Mom! Mom!". The Holidays will be here soon, with all that they entail. It can be a whirlwind, and I have to make myself STOP sometimes and remember that this is their childhood, and the moments count. Hugs in the morning, even though I just want some coffee and another hour of sleep. Notes in the lunchbox. Extra smiles. Extra "I love you"s. Sitting around, singing songs together in the evening sometimes. One more book before bed. It matters - it all matters. I'm tired. I feel like I'm always tired, if you want to know the truth, and I get irritated and lose my temper and need to step back take a deep breath, when the clearly communicated rules and boundaries are not respected. I'm a very imperfect, constantly learning parent, and I live in Real Town - how about you? But I'm tired for a reason - I'm helping to build the lives and hearts of two people I love so very, very much, and it matters.

So. Deep breaths. Take it all in. Every "Mom! Mom! Mom!", every thrash in the weather, every reminder of the babies they were, as they so rapidly turn into the big kids and eventual adults they will be.  This relationship is precious and requires attention, and this time belongs to them, as much as it belongs to me.