Tuesday, December 21, 2010


It was time...as much as I loath to admit it, it was time. Today, my baby boy got his first haircut. As with most moms I know, I'm so happy and blessed to be watching him grow, but also so sad by how quickly his baby-ness is going away. I already miss it! This haircut has been getting more and more necessary as more and more people having been calling him a girl. Today, as we walked into the salon to get the trim, the woman who greeted us said, "Oh, look how beautiful she is!" That's when I knew...he really did need a haircut.

So here he is now...I still think he is pretty cute! (But definitely more kid-like, huh?)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Evan To The Rescue!

So today we were having a bit of a tense homeschooling moment. You know the kind, where things are going badly, you don't really have time to finish, everyone is trying desperately to finish, nothing is going right, and nobody is willing to just call it a day. Erin was frustrated and crying, I was frustrated and trying to calm her down and, well, truthfully neither of us even knew where the toddler was. I was sitting at the table as Erin very loudly lamented her brother coloring on her Battle of Antietam card while she stormed back and forth from one room to another trying desperately to find a marker that worked. It just wasn't a good scene, you know? The kind where, as the parent, you want to go back and re-do it the right way to avoid the whole thing. Anyway, so there we are, both frustrated, she's yelling, I'm trying to breathe and Evan walks into the living room with chocolate all around his mouth and under his nose, carrying an open container of chocolate chips (which we keep on the 4th shelf UP in the pantry), happily munching away! Erin stops yelling..."Mom!" she says, "Mom! Look at Evan." Evan looks up with his sparkling blue eyes, his sly smile and, key to his superpowers, his dimples and says,"Er-nin want choc-ate chip?" He held up the container to her, "Er-nin want one?"

Erin and I looked at each other, sat down and munched some chocolate chips and laughed. Problem solved!

Thank you, Evan!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to the man who carries my hand, my heart and my spirit so gently on this journey called life; to the wonderful father of my children; to the man who has been with me to the absolute depths of hell and who never wavered in his support as, together, we clawed our way back to this world. Happy Birthday to the one person who will never forget where we have been and who always, always, has his eye on where we are headed; to the person who believes in me, provides for our family, and (more importantly) makes the best homemade ice cream and double chocolate chip cookies you have ever had.

Happy Birthday to my husband--thank you for being you!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Date Night

Tonight I thought the stars would not align. Erin and Megan are with Grammy and Grampy for the night and I had hoped to leave Evan with a friend for an hour-ish so that Chris and I could go out on a date--which we haven't done in a looooonnnnnnggg time. But then Evan didn't take a nap and the friend we were going to leave him with had to go to her office holiday party. Originally she was going to take him with her (not a big deal), but with him having not really napped and getting back late, it just wasn't a good situation for him. No problem, I called our babysitter, thinking that it wasn't like she had to put him to bed or anything--no dice, she had basketball and wouldn't be back until 6:15 or so. Her mom offered to take him, but as her husband wasn't home, she was the one that would have to go get her older daughter from basketball and I didn't want Evan to have to ride in a car all the way down to Orrington because then he would have fallen asleep in the car and not gone to bed tonight (other moms understand this, right?). So we finally decided to see if we could impose on my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, which we really didn't want to do because they have already agreed to help us out this coming Tuesday when neither of us can be home for a few hours due to a different conflict. We call them up and they agree to take Evan for a few hours. He can play at their house, "no problem" (which, given the mess he left there, was a pretty amazing offer on their part!).

Babysitter solved, we are off to dinner. Except we didn't take into account the HUGE hockey game tonight--UM vs UNH. Never have I seen that long a line of traffic trying to get over the bridge to campus! So even though we were only a mile or so from town, getting there was a trick. And once there, finding a place to park was even more of a trick (I had to go through a deep snowbank!). As we walked into the restaurant, we were fairly certain that it wasn't going to happen and we prepared ourselves to head back home, call date night a total failure and move on with our lives because clearly there would be a two hour wait for a table.

That was when the stars began to align. We got a table immediately AND it was next to the heater so I could dry my cold, wet feet (remember the snowbank mentioned above?). We got a wonderful meal, had a $10 coupon, and even enjoyed some fried ice cream. We went back to get Evan and he was happy as a clam, having spent the evening spreading cushions all over the house and feeding the rubber duckies some dry rice. Things worked out just fine!

And us? We got two full hours of uninterrupted conversation! Tomorrow the kids will be back and the holiday season will continue in full swing. The house will need to be cleaned, laundry done, plans made, errands run...but it will be done with a smile because tonight I got to remember a little more about this wonderful guy I am spending my life with--and that makes all the difference. Ahhhhhhh...we should do this more often!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sad Times

Everyone who reads this blog knows that my best friend from college is dying of cancer. Things have started to go downhill rapidly and she has weeks to live. At this point we are making the decision that probably the girls will not see their Auntie again, as we want them to remember her as the fun, energetic, playful Auntie and not the sick in bed Auntie. (We realize some people may not agree with this choice and it is certainly not set in stone by any stretch--we just have to do what feels right to us at this point.)

Tonight, at dinner, as I was telling the girls the latest update, Megan began to cry. I took her in my arms and we rocked for a while. She sobbed the tears of a child who cannot understand these hard facts of life, while I silently cried the tears of a mother unable to change reality for her child. "Mommy," she said through her tears, "I wish that when you went outside to say 'Hi' to the people who go to the sky that they could come back down and give you a hug. Just so you know they heard you."

Yes, my dear, I wish that too.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


A friend of mine on Facebook just posted this quote and it really struck a chord with me as it described the shift has been taking place in our family over the past few years.
"It's more important to parent the children I have than to parent in order to get the children I want." - Diana Jenner
I look at this and see what it is that has (in the past) caused tension between me and my children--that is, my fear that if they don't do what I ask, they will turn out "badly" (whatever that may mean). I hadn't been taking the time to see who they are here and now...I had been trying to train them for some future goal. And now that I avoid that kind of thinking (and have for a while now), I can look back and see where the fear was ruling my parenting. I can see how far we have come and how much we value the relationship we have with our kids. I wouldn't trade my life with them for anything! I like that I'm at a point where I can take a deep breath and trust my child. Trust that building a certain thing out of legos is important at that moment; trust that not putting a hat on this one time won't hurt anyone; trust that they will learn what they need to know without me forcing it on them; trust that they will grow up to be the wonderful human beings they already are...only bigger.