Friday, May 29, 2009

Random assortment of photos from the last few weeks

I mentioned this on Facebook, but it deserves a mention here.

As I was changing Evan's diaper, Ryan says to me, "Mommy, there is a lobster here."
Me: "RE-ally"
Ryan: "Yes, and he is crawling around right here."
Me: Mommy bells going off in my head, quickly closed up the diaper to investigate.

Was I glad I did!

I found this scorpion, quickly closed it up into the bucket of cars and set it outside on the porch.
When Scott got home he discovered it was dead, and posed for this picture.

A couple of days later, Ryan told me to "Get your camera Mommy" He was posing for this picture with his fake lizard.

We've been going to Mommy and Me classes for almost two years, we just finished our last class and it is so bittersweet. The boys have grown so much with the help of our teacher Mrs. B. and their wonderful classmates. They loved going to school, and I hope this leads to a smooth transition next fall when we go to big boy preschool all by ourselves.

This is what happens in the backseat of the car more days than not. It just cracks me up, both of them buried in their books as happy as can be.

Dino Mountain opened and we took a trip there on Memorial Day. The boys were a little apprehensive, the dinosaurs move and growl, but it really made an impression. Every day since Monday, Ryan has asked me if we can go see the Dinosaurs again.

So on Thursday, we went back again, TWICE. (oh and I did it by myself, with NO STROLLER!!)

Ryan really enjoyed the stamping, the stamping his passport, his hands, his shirt, his arms.

This was an unscripted moment, they just decided to hold hands. So sweet it makes my teeth ache.

And finally, a little video of my crazy speed demon. No one taught him to take the turns like that, it appears to be something he just knew how to do. We appear to be in big trouble in about 13 years.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Shame on me

I saw a mother walking with her handicapped child today. There were obvious mental and physical handicaps. I could see the wear and tear written in the lines on the woman's tired face. I smiled at her and her child. When our backs were facing each other and I was a few steps farther away from her, my eyes filled with tears. I held the hands of my two boys a little tighter. I realized I had been holding my breath, and I exhaled. As I got them into the car I gave each of them a hug and a kiss.

I think every parent can feel empathy for those wonderful people who parent special needs children. Sometimes it's difficult at best to parent healthy kids with ordinary needs. I look at those parents and think, how amazing, how do you do it, you must be exhausted.

Shame on me for ever being frustrated with my kids, tired of telling them the same thing day after day, for someday, my kids will learn the lesson I am trying to teach them and my words will no longer be needed.

Shame on me for wishing they would just sit still for a few minutes, for they can move, they can move both arms and legs, they can run, jump, dance and walk without assistance.

Shame on me for wishing for peace and quiet, for they can talk, (boy can they talk) they can express their needs, desires, pains, happiness, and love.

Parents of special needs kids can teach us all about life, love and happiness. They can give a master class in patience and understanding. They can make us all appreciate our ordinary kids, even when they make us want to pull our hair out, or when the kids are doing the pulling themselves. They can remind me to hug my guys a little tighter, and kiss them a little more often (if that is possible with out becoming a little icky). They remind us all how lucky we are to have these children in our lives, special, ordinary, or extraordinary, we are privileged to be entrusted with them. We are so lucky to know them at their purest, sweetest, un-jaded. I hope that when my boys are 20, 30, or 40. I will be able to look into their eyes and still, deep insde, I will see my babies, my sweet, sweet babies.

I am so lucky to have these boys in my life. I am downright privileged to have these happy, healthy boys here at all.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Livin' it up at the Hotel California

Almost Daily:

Evan: Ryan, are you Auntie Mary?
Ryan: Yes
Evan: I am Uncle Eric. Do you want to go to the Hotel California with me?
Ryan: Yes.
Evan: Okay, you come over here Auntie Mary. I will get my Ringoes, and you get your Snoopys and THEN, we can read.
Ryan: Okay Uncle Eric.

Evan: Are you Uncle Todd?
Ryan: Yes, are you Auntie Shelley?
Evan: Yes. Are you in the Hotel California?
Ryan: Yes.
Evan: Can I go to the Hotel California too?
Ryan: Yes.

Evan: I want to hear the NEW Hotel California song.
Me: This one?
Evan: Yes.
Me: This is the LIVE version Evan, you can call it the live version.
Evan: It's new.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Clingy McClingerson

We've been going through a tough patch...Ryan has been a bit, um, clingy. For the last couple of weeks he has not wanted me to be out of his sight. He erupts into hysterics if I close the door to use the bathroom, or run out to the garage to grab something out of the freezer, (like dinner) or to go into his room for clothes for the day. HYSTERICS. Sobbing, gut wrenching, heartbreak.

My head is going to explode.

I love my kids and I know it is only a phase, they've both been through this before, but, good god, please let go of my leg.

On the flip side of all of the exaggerated love, we had this conversation tonight as I snuggled him in bed.

Me: I love you, Ryan.
Ry: I love you, TOO!
Me: Did you have a fun day today?
Ry: No
Me: Why not? I thought you were having fun playing at school. What did you play with?
Ry: I played with cars with you mommy.
Me: Yes, yes you did. What else did you do? Did you play with some whales?
Ry: The beluga whale? and the humpback whale? and the gray whale. (lots of what he says sound like questions)
Me: Did you like playing with them?
Ry: Yes, but I could not play with them at home...(sad voice)
Me: Maybe we should look for some whales and sharks and dolphins!?!?
Ry: (sitting up in bed to look me in the eyes) We can go to SEA WORLD! they have big, big whales there, and we can bring them home and they can swim with me in the bathtub.
Me: That sounds like fun. ( but now that I think of it I sure hope he doesn't mean the real whales cause that would be a tight fit)

I cannot believe the conversations we are now having with these kids. It's shocking how fast they go from babbling, unintelligible consonants and vowels to deep thoughts and observations.

Me: Did you have fun at dance class?
Ry: Yes, but Grace wasn't there.
Me: That's right Ryan, but our other friends were there. Isabella, Olivia, Michelle.
Ry: I didn't see, Evan was so sad.
Me: Evan was sad at dance class?
Ry: Yes.

On our way to swimming, Ryan forgot his puppies, he and Evan were already in the car strapped in, I told him I would go get puppies, but that would mean he would have to be in the garage with Evan and I would be in the house for a minute while I retrieved our beloved Snoopys (Snoopi). Okay he sniffed. The door hadn't even shut behind me when I hear the woeful sobs of "Mommy Come BACK!!!!" When I got back, 30 seconds later, Ryan was crying, and Evan was telling him
"Puppy, you just have to get over this"

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Dragon Love

Thanks Uncle Jonny.

This giant Dragon is a birthday present from Uncle Jonny. (and I hear the assist goes to Uncle Eric.) Ryan put his claim on it almost immediately. Thank goodness the dragon has yet to become one of the menagerie that accompanies Ryan to bed each night, because it is really big and Ryan might end up on the floor if anyone else joins him in bed.

Speaking of bed-- tonight while I was reading and cuddling Ryan he looked at me with his brown sparkly eyes and said. "OHHH, I love you SOOOOOO much!" Does it get any better than that?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

If I needed confirmation...

Yes, these kids are mine.

They love Taco Night as much as I do...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cousin Madison Turns Four!

The pictures say it all. Okay, most of it...princesses, knights, bouncing, balloons, cake, fairy wings, lots and lots of fun packed into two days. We were so happy to be there for the celebration.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Thank Heavens for Little Boys, part 2

After a delicious dim sum Mother's Day breakfast, we went for a little stroll at the Arboretum. I had forgotten what a great place this is. I spent a lot of time there in my youth. I think we had field trips there every few years and I don't know, maybe my Mom took me there a bunch too.

I know I've said it a couple of times when we were up visiting my Mom, "hey, we should go to the Arboretum sometime." I guess I didn't press the issue enough, or for what ever reason, it never really sunk in that, we should really go to the Arboretum sometime. When we got in, and Scott got a look at the map, he said to me "Why haven't we ever been here before."

We had a really fun morning running around after the geese and the peacocks, walking around on the trails...until, not to be out done by his brother, Ryan took a major face plant. He had a mouth full of dirt and blood, and a tear streaked dusty face.

This is what he looked like the next day.

He's fine, he can still put that fork in his mouth, it might be a little tender, but he'll live. He's just milking it for some extra sympathy.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

...I suggest you come running

If you ever hear your children, talking about changing each others diapers...

I suggest you come running, lest you find this:

Saturday, May 9, 2009

March for Babies with Grammie

A much belated post. (I just found this in my drafts)

Grammie came to visit, and we went on a walk. A Walk for Babies.

Thanks to everyone who supported us, and the March of Dimes our team raised almost a thousand dollars!

This being our first walk, I was blown away by the mass of people walking. These shots only hint at the numbers. Wow, overwhelming.

It was great to participate this year and I'm already planning for next year. ( I hope to do shirts next year!)

We were lucky to have our good friend Jessy join us in our fundraising efforts and the walk. Thanks Jessy.

The walk also coincided with Grammie's visit and she got to join us too. We had a fun week with Grammie, although we were sick for some of the time, (which is my excuse for not having any pictures of the visit) it was super nice to see Grammie and the boys really enjoyed their time with her. And it was nice for me to have some help when I was feeling kind of crummy.

We are really looking forward to the summer when we get to see Grammie and Poppa! and the Diz.

*There is still time to donate to the March of Dimes. The link on my sidebar is still active.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Thank goodness for Little Boys

I've always tried to balance allowing the boys to grow and explore, to be independent, to be as self sufficient as a three year old can be.

Ryan and Evan have been climbing in and out of the car by for a while now, and they've become quite competent. I constantly remind them to put their things down before they start climbing. I strap them in, hand their stuff back to them, open the garage door and off we go.

There have been many times when I thought, hmmm, someone could fall out and really hurt themselves on the hard, concrete garage floor, maybe this isn't one of the areas they should be independent. They would then successfully scurry into their seats and we'd be off.

Then it happened. The day I forgot to remind Evan to put his things down before he climbed into the car.







Kicking myself.


Beating myself up.


This is what it looked like after I cleaned up all of the blood or as Evan called it, the wrinkly stuff.

Here's how we looked as the swelling set in and the first tinges of color started appearing on our top lid.

...and here is our full blown shiner.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


I always tell the boys that we are going to see friends, or that friends are coming to see us and they come to use that term with affection for the people in our lives and I like that.

This week we had a visit from one of my oldest friends and her boys.

I think about where this friendship started, and where it has gone over the years, and I can only hope my boys will have friends so important and easy in their lives. I know they will always have each other as best friends, but the friendship you have with someone who is not blood, but feels like they should be, that is something special.

Maya and I have been friends since our second year at college. That's a lot of years ago. We lived together for more than three years. That's a long time.

We spent those important years, formative, if you will, together. Figuring it out, and starting to become the women we are today.

Back then I loved being her friend and roommate. She was so smart. So artistic. So musical. So funny. So perfect in so many ways. I wished I could be like her.

I always felt at ease with her. I still laugh when I think about some of the conversations we had. To an outsider they were not exactly conversations. We would each talk, we'd have these parallel discussions almost internal dialogs, out loud in the same room. Occasionally one of us would offer a suggestion, or comment, but then we'd pick up and keep talking. It so worked for us! Other times we'd go hours without saying anything, without the uncomfortable silence. It was just easy.

We went through boyfriends, heartbreaks, boyfriends, guys. Together. We went to Dead Shows all over. Together. We went on road trips. Together. We did CRAZY stuff. Together.

We graduated, and moved on in our lives. It was a sad day when we were no longer roommates. (however I continued to call her that for YEARS after) We still remained close. We didn't see each other everyday, or every week, or every month for that matter. It was sporadic, but we always remained close.

I got married, she got married, she had babies, I had babies. Now, we are lucky to see each other once a year. We hardly ever talk on the phone, we used e-mail to keep in touch, now she just reads my blog, and I read her Christmas letter. (totally puts me at a disadvantage I'd say) But for some reason it's okay. When we get together it's just like we are still living together. Like it's been a few hours since we last saw each other.

It's just EASY. Effortless. to be with her.

She is truly the sister I never had.

It was a fun visit. Her boys are older, but they played with my boys in the yard. Evan and Ryan were grinning ear to ear.

Maya, Casey and Kellen left while the boys were napping. When Ryan woke up, the first thing he said was "Where are my friends!" When I told them they head to go home, Ryan burst into tears. It really was the sweetest thing.

Kellen, Maya and Casey planning the rest of their afternoon.

It does my heart good to know that Ryan and Evan have the same love for our friends that I do.