Saturday, December 25, 2010

I don't have it in me today to write a blog post so instead I thought I would post the lyrics to one of my favorite Christmas songs. Someday I'm going to recite it as a blessing for a family dinner.

In the immortal words of Kermit the frog I present:

Bless Us All from A Muppet's Christmas Carol

Life is full of sweet surprises
Everyday's a gift
The sun comes up and i can feel it lift my spirit
Fills me up with laughter, fills me up with song
I look into the eyes of love and know that i belong

Bless us all, who gather here
The loving family I hold dear
No place on earth, compares with home
And every path will bring me back from where I roam
Bless us all, that as we live
We always comfort and forgive
We have so much, that we can share
With those in need we see around us everywhere

Let us always love each other
Lead us to the light
Let us hear the voice of reason, singing in the night
Let us run from anger and catch us when we fall
Teach us in our dreams and please, yes please
Bless us one and all

Bless us all with playful years
With noisy games and joyful tears
We reach for you and we stand tall
And in our prayers and dreams
We ask you bless us all

We reach for you and we stand tall
And in our prayers and dreams we ask you
Bless us all

More lyrics:

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Where am I?

I'm sure by now you are all thinking "Where is Lacy? She said she lost her job and so she SHOULD have all this time to be blogging and posting pictures and being funny yet touching."

And you would be TOTALLY right. Except.

I got a job.

My first day of unemployment I got a job offer.

It's an HR Manager at a family owned plumbing company. It's a brand new position. So new that it's Thursday and hopefully this afternoon I will meet with my boss to write my own job description. Which is awesome for several reasons. 1. I've never written a job description and 2. I get to MAKE UP MY OWN JOB!

Although I'm pretty sure blogging on my family blog site will NOT be included in that job description.

So you'll have to wait until after work/holidays for more updates from because unlike my last job I actually have continuous work to do all the time.

Quick FAQ's....

1. Is it more money/better money/same money than your last job?
Yes. Not a ridiculous amount but enough to make my last pay scale look embarrassing.

2. Do you like it?
Yes. A lot.

3. Is it a good company?
Yes. I can't wait for them to replace my mainline.

4. What are you doing?
Working harder in my first week than anywhere else in my life doing things that are so different than anything I've ever done. I'm basically building or revamping every HR process they have. And it's all due the first week of January.

5. How's the commute?
15 minutes from my house to the office. I've used less than a quarter of a tank this week.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cookiepalooza 2010

I have fond memories of my mother breaking out her cookie cutters every Christmas and rolling out sugar cookie dough for me to press those shapes into. We would bake them and then decorate them with cream cheese frosting, some of which she tinted with food coloring. We would sprinkle and frost and eat ridiculously sweet cookies for Christmas.

I've tried to do that most years with my girls although I have failed once or twice, especially with the divorce and having to split time. You'd be surprised how fast December flies when I only have the kids for half of the time.

This year for December craft day we decided to do cookies. I brought my mothers cookie cutters and a rolling pin, my sister-in-law brought decorations and my mother-in-law provided the house, the oven, the cookie dough, more cookie cutters, baking sheets, rolling pin and the frosting.

Oh also hats and aprons. At least for the little girls.

Myles, my nephew, and Kylie chose to sit this one out. Myles was working on a school project and Kylie, is, well, 15.

Something about 6 year old girls and the magic of Christmas makes my patience go extra long and extra wide.

My mother-in-law happened to have an adjustable table that was the perfect size for little girls with more flour than sense as my Grandma Mary used to say and cookie cutters. As you can see from the pictures it was very serious work.

I occasionally took breaks to play with my little boy who learned how to turn around and climb down the stairs at Grandma's house.

All of my children have been my play "pillows" at one time or another. This is Will being my pillow while I pretended to snore. He was actually really placid about it considering he doesn't really know what a pillow is.

Overall Cookiepalooza 2010 was a raging success and we went home with far more cookies than I can possibly consume this holiday season (although I'm willing to give it my best shot).

The girls had a pretty awesome time that night too although that is another post for another day.

Someone asked me why the cookies. Because between you and me it isn't always my favorite activity, bending over and scooping flour and dough and sprinkles everywhere for several hours. So why?

I hope that in 20 years both Lizzie and Paloma look back and tell their husbands, their friends, their families about the holiday memories of making cookies with their cousin at Grandma's house. I hope that it will be a tradition for them, the cookies, just like it was for me. I hope that my mothers cookie cutters get passed down to my daughters and to their children and that Julie's legacy of making holiday cookies extends to her great grandchildren and beyond.

That hope, that sincere wish for future generations, makes flour and dough and sprinkles just not seem so bad.

Plus, there is no downside to cookies.

Christmas in California

We lived in Nevada for 9 months and then moved to California. We thought the job situation, at least for Brian, would be better and I was hopeful to finish school. Brian had family in California that we moderately liked and they really talked up the place so in July we moved from Nevada to Modesto, California. Which is farm country, not beach country, in case you wondered.

We had a small Ford Ranger truck and a GMC Safari mini-van so we left a LOT of stuff in Nevada and either sold it or asked my father to store it. Particularly the Christmas items. He promised he would ship them to me when the time came.

He lied.

As December approached I asked him to ship them to me. He instead sent me $20. Neither Brian nor I wanted to buy yet ANOTHER fake tree when we had a small but good one in Nevada. I was also disturbed that many of my Christmas ornaments were at his house.

California had not quite turned into the money pile we had hoped for. Brian was working as a courier for a pet laboratory using his own truck. We couldn't afford child care so Kylie, at age 3-4 rode around with him all day on his runs. I worked part time as a puppeteer (3 ft tall puppets) and also part time at Jo-Ann Fabrics. On the weekends I was also the mascot Splasher the Frog for the water company. I sold Mary Kay on the side as well.

We had more money than in Nevada but we had less to work with over all. We were using a card table and 3 plastic lawn chairs for both dining and watching TV. We finally got a couch from goodwill for $25 that was brown on brown flowers from the 70's. We didn't have a washer and/or dryer. When we finally did get them the dryer almost immediately had issues and I ended up hanging wet clothes around the house in November.

Because we didn't want to buy another tree and frankly didn't have the money to do so I bought a string of red Christmas lights and taped them to the wall in the shape of a tree. I think Brian later came in and put push pins in to better hang the light tree up. We taped some very light wooden and plastic ornaments up inside of it and them placed the gifts at the bottom.

It was stark. It was sad.

It's not a favorite Christmas memory for me because I am reminded that I tried to separate from Brian during this time. I had had enough. I hated California. I was sick with hypothyroidism but didn't know it yet because we didn't have medical insurance. Kylie had no friends. Brian and I eventually worked it out that time but it was a rough season for sure.

After we patched things up that month Brian went and enlisted in the Active Duty portion of the Air Force. January 4th we were moved to Tucson. Life got a LOT better then.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Ghosts of Christmas Past

Not too long ago Micah and I were having a discussion except it was more like me just telling him what Christmas' were like when we didn't have any money. I know for a fact he too has experienced Christmas where money was tight and his mom had to be creative with decorations and gifts but he has no memory of it.

I, however, have several memories of less than 12 years ago that are far more recent than his. So as we were discussing he commented about being poor at Christmas and was glad we didn't have to go through that and he's right, it's nice to be solidly middle class and have the option of CHOOSING to cut back for Christmas instead of HAVING to.

That said though, those Christmas' shaped who I am as a person and I think really taught me about doing with less. I thought I would share them with you for the next couple of days because they are not sad memories for me but rather happy ones. I think they explain a little about who I am as an adult as well.

The first Christmas after Brian and I were married we were living in a crappy ghetto apartment in Las Vegas. Our neighbors next to us and below us both did crack and the ones next to us routinely locked their children as young as 3 out of the apartment to wander around the property so they could get high. There was a shooting of another apartment dweller just a month after we had moved in because he had robbed the bank up the road and run back to his home while the police pursued him. Our carpet was officially the color "Burnt Orange" and we had leaks in the ceiling so bad that after one bad rainstorm the only thing holding the massive water from bursting forth in our bedroom were the layers 15 years worth of paint on the ceiling.

I worked at Citibank, the evening shift and Brian worked at Home Base which is/was a Home Depot wanna be. He also worked at night stocking. We both worked full time and bought in less than I alone make now. We couldn't afford daycare and we both worked a night shift but in an odd way so that Kylie was only without a parent around for about an hour and a half at night. One of our neighbors came over and sat on the couch and watched TV during this overlap time and we paid her $30 a week I think.

Our grocery budget, for 3 people was $75 bi-weekly. That means our monthly grocery budget was $150 and when we went grocery shopping it was with lists and a calculator. It was hard.

We lived in the same city as my father and stepmother and they offered us a string of lights and some old decorations for Christmas.

Brian scoured the newspaper ads on his lunch break at work and found us a 4ft tall Christmas tree at a drug store. It was around $30. Our parents from Alaska sent some decorations and stockings and I believe we bought another sting of lights as well.

We strung a set of lights on the tree (which was only slightly taller than Kylie at the time) and another set around the apartment. We hung stockings and Christmas cards on the wall. It certainly wasn't fancy. But once we had a few gifts under the tree it certainly felt like Christmas.

Because it was our first Christmas as a married couple AND we had a small child I think our families went a little overboard. It also could have been the size of the tree. In either case on Christmas morning only the top 4 inches plus the star (made of tinfoil) were visible above the stacks of gifts, most of them for Kylie as they should have been.

That year I remember I bought Brian a tool kit at a large department store and he bought me a sweater and skirt. Kylie got a pressed wood bookshelf from us. I think our total budget for gifts was $100 that year.

We had celebrated Christmas at my fathers house that year which was not a fun experience. At the time it felt like Kylie was the "bad" child while my niece, who was 7, was the golden child. Just prior to the gift giving one of my fathers former step children pulled me aside and informed me that he hadn't purchased any gifts for Kylie as he hadn't realized she was "so old". Then he turned around and gave another infant at the party a fancy package with toys in it. So it wasn't that he hadn't bought gifts for any babies, he just hadn't purchased anything for her.

Kylie was oblivious to any of my emotions that day and just reveled in the excitement and business of Christmas. Brian and I came together, united in our poverty and against my father's family which at the time felt horrific. I have never spent another holiday with them since.

Despite the lack of money that year we didn't FEEL poor though. We described it at the time as newly married. Newlyweds don't generally have a lot of money and we just chalked it up to that.

It's a happy Christmas memory, despite the total cost of it being less than $200.

It's not the cost of the holiday that makes it merry, it's how you view it and live it at the time.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Like his father

He's squawking in his high chair. Micah's already fed him his pureed baby food but he's still hungry, demanding more. We are all sitting around the dinner table and are dishing up our plates so I separate 2 noodles of macaroni and cheese and place them on his tray.

He settles back into his seat and quickly picks up the noodles and places them into his tiny pink mouth. He's quiet and makes quick work of it so I hand him 2 more noodles. He shoves them into his mouth and you can see him visibly relax as his munches his new food.

I place 3 more separated noodles on his tray along with about half an inch of half of a green bean since we are having those for dinner as well. He shoves the noodles into his mouth and gums them for awhile.

Then he turns his attention to the green bean. He pokes it with his pointer finger and then picks it up with his chubby pincher grip.

He settles back into his seat and with eyes focused on mine he moves his arm to the side and drops the green bean to the floor.

As the dogs swoop in for this tiny morsel he looks and me and says "Gah". My tiny dictator wants more. It just better not be green beans.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I know I know....

It's been forever since i posted. I'm sorry. I keep meaning to but life seems to be getting in my way.

Short news:

I was laid off on November 11th. I have to work for the next 30 days and then I get 6 weeks of severance. I'm bitter that I have to show up to work when everyone else laid off on the same day has been sent home, paid, to look for work. I'm not bitter about losing my jobs. Thems the breaks as my mother used to say.

Will had a birthday. How on earth did he turn one? Didn't I just come back from maternity leave last week?

I got into a fight with my marriage counselor. I don't think it bodes well for things to come. From her anyways. I'm fairly certain Micah wanted to scream "See what I'm talking about?!" The fight was over the word "stuff" as opposed to "miscellaneous". Yes, really.

Micah hung Christmas lights over the weekend. We skipped it last year due to the new baby but this year he was ready to go. He's been plotting it for weeks. He did promise me he would not put out any inflatable Christmas decorations in the front yard.

More on Will's unbirthday party (his real party is next weekend) later. For now, I gotta fly.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


What? I'm behind? Yeah I know. Life is busy, it's fall and birthdays and Halloween and thanksgiving and well, you know. Work is busy too.

For weeks Lizzie had been saying she wanted to be a lady bug for Halloween. Lo and behold when we got to the costume store where there was a Lady bug costume she instead chose to be.....

A southern belle.


Still cute. Just more expensive.

William was a blue monster. I thought he was adorable. He cursed at me in only the way he can. Scream, crying and trying to claw my eyes out.

Kylie was Alice from Resident Evil. I hear it's a video game. And a movie or two. I don't play those games or watch those movies so for all I know it was a reason to wear a short red dress.

Lizzie, Will, Leslie (my long suffering but patient mother in law) and I went to Jenny's nursing home on Sunday for trick or treating.

Imagine, if you will, the fun of a lot of patients and older folks, some not as sharp as they used to be, gathered in a circle and handed bags of candy. Now the bags were for them to give out to the kids who came through but the way it was packaged certainly led to some confusion. They were Halloween treat bags and were tied closed, like you would give to friends and coworkers with treats for them to eat.

Yeah, some of them got into the candy before the kids got there.

We were early (on time) and so not everything was set up completely. I used Will has a distraction while we waited for the trick or treating to start.

I think there needs to be a study on how long a single baby can entertain a room full of adults. I bet it can last up to 5 hours or longer.

Trick or treating at night was a success. Well. A success in that Will fussed ALMOST the entire time, Lizzie only screamed and cried once and we trick or treated without coats.

Next year Micah takes them.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Front Yard upgrade

Alternative title: My mother in law is Super Woman.

Micah had oral surgery on Tuesday to remove his tonsils and uvula and so weird stuff to his tongue and is home recovering. Because I have no more time off my mother in law has either stayed the night or come over every day to help him and me with the kids.

Yesterday he was napping, I was at work and the kids were all doing daycare like activities so she had a little extra time on her hands.

We had been talking about what I wanted for the front yard and she encouraged me to get some supplies (meaning she bought them for me) and if she had time she would work on it for me. I told her I wanted something visually appealing but that also was functional. Specifically I was wanting a kitchen herb/butterfly garden.

I say functional but really that's theoretical. I don't like kale, I don't know how to make echinacea with the cone flowers or do anything with the chamomile or calendula I plant to plant this spring.

We bought some shrubs for the rear of the area that were 40% off and then bought some cone flowers. Those are in the middle area. In the front we bought some mums (for color this year for fall) and some lovely kale.

I came home to find my front yard transformed from this (plus some overgrowth that had happened since this picture was taken):


I know it's hard to see (other than being able to tell it looks AMAZING) but my wonderful mother in law trimmed the massive stump in the front that was threatening to regrow multiple trees, dug up the edging bricks we had (in the decorative scallop shape), amended soil and filled in the baby pool sized hole we had in the middle, laid fabric, reapplied the bricks, dug at LEAST 9 holes with a PICK AXE because the soil up there is so crummy, planted my plants, laid mulch and moved heavy rocks and a planter as well as some decorative frogs.

While Micah was napping.

I feel awful because some days it's a miracle for me to fold a basket of laundry. Okay, most days laundry folding is a miracle and my mother in law accomplished all of that in the span of 8 hours or less and in 50 degree weather.

If you recall at the beginning of spring it looked like this:

So really, that is QUITE a transformation.

I feel like I keep telling her thank you and thank you but it isn't enough.

Friday, October 22, 2010

That's so Gay

You may have heard about the recent string of suicides by some teenage and young adult boys. They were either gay or were perceived as gay and so they killed themselves. They had been bullied and reacted by ending it all.

I have sat and cried at each and every story about these boys I have read. Bright, young, loved young men who will never see another birthday, will never get a chance see their futures, experience love or make a difference by anything than the sacrifice of their lives.

I have wanted to say something for days but wasn't sure how to say it or what to say. I also was aware that I need to tread carefully into this realm. I need to be careful because I have some readers who absolutely, to the depths of their souls, believe that homosexuality is a sin. A sin and a choice because that's what a sin would be.

I also have readers who disagree with that assessment or, at least in one case, are openly gay.

So first, I want to say it out loud, for all to read. I am NOT gay. But people I love are gay.

I don't believe being gay is a choice. Because I can not fathom choosing to be hated. To be bullied. To face rejection and be denied rights that others who are slightly different are granted without question. I can't imagine choosing to be abandoned or judged or persecuted relentlessly. I can't imagine choosing who I love or who I was attracted to and having that used against me to hurt me, to humiliate me, to be used as blackmail to abuse me. No one would choose that. So I don't believe it's a choice.

I believe they are born being attracted to people of the same gender and can't help it, just like I can't help what color skin I have or what gender I was born with. Replace gay with black for example and you'll see that while blacks suffered abuse and being bullied because of the way they were born it was nothing they change.

I also don't believe that I get to judge those who are gay or those who hate gays. Although I would LOVE to judge people (and often I do, I'm not perfect) I don't get to decide who is worthy of love and respect and who is not based on what I believe. Since I believe that I also don't believe that I or anyone else am in a place to decide who can get married or who not get married. I don't believe that letting someone marry someone else of the same gender in anyway cheapens marriage since I believe infidelity and abuse cheapen marriage and that can happen regardless of who you marry.

If one of my children were to come to me and tell me they were gay it would not change my love for them one bit. It would not change the way I feel about them and it would not change my beliefs. This goes for my daughters as well as my son.

I look to God and Jesus for examples of how to love my children. God loves us regardless of what we do. He loves us even when we misbehave. He loves me even when I have hate in my heart. So I love my children, even when they misbehave.

I'm not, however, saying that gays are misbehaving or are wrong. But I believe that God loves them just like he loves me.

There are so many problems in the world. Really and truly there are. Can't we worry about starving children, families without jobs and lost souls and stop hating those who are different than we are.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

15 year olds make awesome parents

Not too long ago a 15 year old got some really disturbing news. She was pregnant by her boyfriend of only a short time who was older than she was. She was scared and anxious but she was also strong and resilient.

She decided to keep her baby when abortion would have been an easy option.

She made the best of her life and tried to make it work with her baby's father as long as she could until she just couldn't anymore.

She worked hard, long hours, sometimes at multiple jobs just to make a better life for herself and her children.

She got very lucky when her oldest child was a young teenager and met the man of her dreams. In a whirlwind relationship they got married and it appears that they will live happily ever after.

Today her oldest child turns 36. (Or 38 if you ask him how old he feels)

Because you see, this isn't my story. Yet. Although it has all the beginnings of mine in some sense.

This story is about my mother in law, Leslie.

On this day in 1974 she gave birth at the ripe old age of 16 to my wonderful husband. She named him Micah after the book and prophet in the Bible. She took him to church, she played with him, she raised him and his brother with love and grace despite some really, really, hard times.

She gave me the best gift I could have ever asked for.

She continues to be one of my people who offer guidance and inspiration on how to live an honest and worthy life.

She gave birth to my best friend. She nursed the kindest man I know. She rocked to sleep my rock. She raised the love of my life.

Thank you Leslie.

Happy Birthday my sweetheart.

Monday, October 18, 2010

What little brothers are good for

According to Lizzie they are good for all sorts of things like being the "prince" when she is the princess:

Or sharing their Gerber baby snacks.

But Saturday revealed something else little brothers are good for:

Apparently they also make a really good footrest.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I'm not sad for me, I'm sad for you

"Does it get better?" she asks me, wet eyes seeking mine.

"It does." I answer.


"Everyday it's a little better. Today is better than when you got the call. Tomorrow will be better than today."

"I don't feel better."

"Some days you can't feel the better. Some days you're so numb you wouldn't know better if it smacked you upside the head and called you Earl."

She laughs.

"I still get mad and then I feel worse than before." She confesses.

"Me too."

"Really?" She seems surprised.

"Yep. Some days I'm so mad I can't talk. Some days I'm so sad that I feel like I'm drowning. But those days are less and less now. Mostly it's just around her birthday and the day she died."

"So that won't go away?"

"No, probably not. Or if it does it takes longer than 5 years. Or maybe just a better person."

"I wish I had known. I wish I had time to tell her...."she starts to cry.

"You never would have felt like it was enough. I promise you. You would constantly wish for one more day, one more phone call, one more conversation. It would never be enough."

"I try to see her in my dreams but I never do." She's crying in full now.

"I was so mad for a long time too. Everyone else saw my Mom in their dreams but me. It was like she said goodbye to everyone else but ignored me. Months later she finally came to me in a dream.

She told me that she had heard I wanted to talk to her one last time. She sat down at my kitchen table and told me about Heaven. She described it kinda like Florida for retired people. She complained about the smallness of her garbage can. She was wearing a pink sparkly shirt, something she never would have worn before. She told me she loved me. She told me she was proud of me. She told me she was sorry she had to go so soon." now I'm crying and laughing.

"So you think I'll still see her?"

"I do. But you can't make that happen. You have to trust that you'll get the message you're supposed to get when you're supposed to get it."

"I still want to call her. Everyday."

"I still pick up the phone to call her sometimes. Or I think to myself, I can't wait to tell Mom about this." I'm pulling myself together finally.

"I don't know who else to talk to. I'm sorry I made you cry."

"You didn't make me cry. I'm sad for you. I'm so sorry you have to go through this."

I mean it. I'm really not crying for my mom.

I'm crying because she just lost hers.

For my friends Kim and Theresa who both have lost their mothers in the last 6 weeks. It really does get better.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Kylie in Fall

Kylie's Fairplay photos are vastly different to me than either Lizzie's or Will's. She is still more often, she knows how to hold herself. She wants the photo to turn out a certain way and so she holds her body, her face, her gaze in such a way as to reflect what she wants.

Or something like that.

Regardless, her photo's turned out well in color but they become more interesting to me, more artistic, when they are turned into Sepia tones.

This is, without a doubt, my favorite shot of Kylie that day. I like her smile, it's generally off the cuff and the trees above it make is so interesting to me.

The eye's have it.

She actually was just walking out of the forest of trees like Lizzie had. Except where as Lizzie was all movement and energy Ky was all deep thoughtful.
This was an accidental in picture. In color you can tell that it's just Ky waiting for me to tell her what to do and to be ready to take her picture. In black and white it looks like she's contemplating something deep. Like how much wood COULD a wood chuck chuck?

The name + tree shot. I love her smile here.

One of the things about Micah and I working together is that he tends to think Macro and I tend to think Micro when it comes to photo's. What that roughly means it, I tend to think about the eyes and what is within a foot of the subject's face where as Micah tends to think about where their feet are and what is above them. These photos were a collabortation of each of us mostly with Micah whispering "Bring it out, we can focus in on the small details later".

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Lizzie in Fairplay

Lizzie is, without a doubt, my most excitable child (unless you mention money to Kylie, then she's got her sister beat). She is just enthusiastic over EVERYTHING.

When we drove to the mountains I told her it was so we could take pictures. She only wanted to play. Well take pictures and play.

When we left after less than 2 hours she was devastated. She really would have been content to be in the woods the entire trip. With my following her around and taking pictures.

Lizzie's pictures beg to be left in color. Where William has a black and white that turned out lovely and Kylie's photos, once changed to black and white are both fascinating and, I don't know, magical (although her color pictures are lovely as well), none of Lizzie's photo's beg to be black and white. We tried, don't get me wrong, we tried to change them. But they begged to be put back.

I think it's because black and white photo's generally make me think of calm and stillness. And nothing about Lizzie really says "calm and still". Instead she says "happy and bright" and so her photo's are left in their amazing color straight out of the camera. (Except for one. I'll tell you about that in a second)

Her preferred pastime. Running through the trees.

Don't tell anyone but this is the side of the outhouse/shed.

I did this first with Kylie, against the shed/outhouse and Lizzie was immediately under foot wanting to do it too. She even posed like Ky had.

This is the picture I slightly amped up in the processing. Truthfully we didn't amp up much of it though, it was pretty vivid as it was.

Micah's mom and step dad (dad) have this tree with everyone's names written on it. (Except curiously I didn't see mine, Micah's OR Will's) I had each girl stand by her name and took pictures. The first batch of Lizzy were ADORABLE but were almost black for reasons I don't understand. So we did a second round but she was over it by then and wanted to go play. So this is the only one that turned out without a weird face or slouch or blink. I think it's good anyway.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Williams pictures were fairly easy. Micah held him for a few and then we put him by the bird seed. Easy peasy.

The bird seed idea was actually Micah's mothers idea. Will and I had gone to Fairplay the weekend before to visit and she had taken him to hang out in the bird seed area.

To her amazement he became very quiet and still which is unusual for him since he currently is practicing his pterodactyl impression FREQUENTLY. And climbing. He is determined to learn how to climb things even before he can walk.

Yet, for the birds and chipmunks that hang out in the secluded area behind the cabins Will had no problem being still and silent. It was as though he suddenly decided he wanted to be a Ninja and this was his big rehearsal.

Most of his pictures are from the Birdseed Bench but I think they turned out pretty awesome.

Mr. Serious

My blue-eyed boy in the Aspen's. Micah is of course holding him while I crouch to take the picture. It wasn't easy but it was totally worth it.

Oh look! A Bird!

Refusing to look at Mommy.

I love this picture. The bird is SO close and Will is just focused on him like a missile. I love it more in black and white but then you can't see the bird.

Overall I gotta say, Will did pretty good for a 10 month old who sat in a car seat for almost 3 hours.

Of course on the way back he screamed ALMOST the entire way. Almost.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fairplay photos

Fairplay is a city in Colorado, not just good sportsmanship!

Micah's parents have property in the area between Fairplay and BuenaVista (known as Ranch of the Rockies) and so we went up there Sunday for birthday pictures, family pictures.

I tell people such detailed information about where we went because they ask. A lot. I'm killing birds with stones people.

We took a little over 500 pictures. They are not all winners. In fact, a large majority of them are not.

But the odds are in your favor when you take that many picture that a few will turn out well.

We got a LOT of good ones so for the next few days I'm just going to post one subject (aka child) and their photos and maybe tell a story or two about them.

It's not calling it in because I have to upload pictures.

I now present...the jump photo's.

I had this great idea to take pictures of all of us jumping in the air separately and then framing them in a mat.

Coaxing Kylie to jump was like begging a bull to give milk. It was tough. Unlike the bull scenario however, it was not impossible. There are probably 50 photo's leading up to this one and when Kylie sees that I've posted it on the Internet she'll likely freak out. Oh well. It's a cute photo.

Unlike her sister Lizzie needed no prodding and could not WAIT to do the jump picture. Sadly, because she is so light and tiny she didn't get much height but if you look you can JUST see her little pink feet emerging from the scrub brush.

Don't tell Micah I posted this picture. It's not his proudest moment. He says. I think it's awesome. He's holding The Boy and jumping in the small feat for an adult.

Even Will got in on the jumping action...and LOVED it. Dad's throw babies better than Mom's that's for sure.

So I'm sure now you're ready for my picture. Except, here's the thing. I forgot to take a picture of myself jumping. Or even to have Micah take a picture of the jumping that I would have done. Just, plain forgot.

So I may still frame those jump shots for this year and redo the theme next year, we'll see.

All in all though, the picture taking up in Fairplay made me very, very, Hoppy. (Ha! Couldn't resist!)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

15 already?

Happy Birthday Kylie! (A day late)

Gosh 15 already. I'm almost not sure where to start because there is so much to say. And at the same time almost nothing to say. Some days I just want to stare at you because I can not believe you're already 15.

When I was 15 I thought I was so much older and more grown up than I was. I was certain that I was ready to take on the world. So certain in fact that I got pregnant and had you. Of course I was 16 by the time you were born. So it is such a startling thing to look at you and think "She's my age when I got pregnant with her" and realize that in no way, shape or form was I ready or e even capable of conquering the world. At least not right at that moment.

You actually seem much more aware of your surroundings and while you are convinced you can conquer the world, you seem content to start with the high school and move forward.

When you were small I was convinced that you were switched at the hospital because of your light hair and love of vegetables. Some days I'm still not entirely convinced but then you'll come to me and complain about school mates who don't take dance seriously or how frustrated you get at sharing your friends (despite they having to share you) and I suspect you probably are mine after all.

Sorry about that short temper thing. I'd like to blame your dad but I'm pretty sure you got it from me. I'm working on it. It sucks. Hopefully I'm setting a good example for you.

As one of your many parents I have been talking to you often about getting a job. You seem sold on the idea of money but no so sure about actually having to work for it. While I can relate I hope that at some point you embrace the idea that you are probably going to do work that doesn't inspire you, at least for a little while.

It's also time for us to start thinking about you + driving permit. Actually no. I'm not going to think about that JUST yet. And apparently neither are you. When mentioned on Tuesday night you seemed pretty ambivalent about the whole thing. Which I suppose is a good thing. At least for my heart.

You tend to be a glass half empty child and are certainly self absorbed but no more so than the average teenager which actually gives me great joy. While we don't always see eye to eye you and I certainly don't fight like we did even a year ago. My vocal chords really do appreciate it.

Boys are flocking to you now and I can tell you're enjoying the attention although you have a crush on someone who does not return your affections. It's these types of things that teach us how to live and how to be and so I know you're frustrated but I can assure you that right now there is a boy with a crush on you that you have no interest in. So this is how the world goes around. I can still remember your devastation when a boy in elementary school called you ugly. Now that same boy wishes you would even notice him. You don't of course because you have already learned that there are more fish in the sea.

People's opinions of you still matter, of course, but although the negative ones irritate you they don't seem to break you anymore. I hope that you learn to let things roll off and don't let others opinions blow away in the wind. You seem to be doing just that but I can only hope that what I see and what are happening are the same thing.

I realized as I was writing this post that I don't really have any pictures of you this year on my iPhone. I think it's because you don't really like to pose or be in pictures anymore and in terms of photo-worthy there aren't really a lot of "firsts" left for you.

In closing I'll share this video though. We went to Outback last night for your birthday dinner. You insisted that you didn't want to be sung to. I, of course, corned the waitress and begged her to bring you a dessert and sing to you. She told me they don't normally do that but for a 15 year old they would see that they could do.

It's awkward and you can tell it's not their normal but I think the video says a lot about you. You're dying on the inside (and outside) but still manage to blow out the candle at the end. See video HERE.

Happy Birthday Cuckoo
Love Mama

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I read a ridiculous number of blogs that I don't share with everyone because frankly, it's embarrassing. One of those blogs is Pacing the Panic Room. The Author, Ryan is funny and he does some really impressive photography series that if you have time and are inclined you should check out. The Walk to 40 Weeks was my favorite.

Ryan and his wife Cole found out in 2009 that their son had a condition known as Smith Magenis Syndrome. Since the diagnosis they have spent a lot of time and energy working towards fundraising so that groups that research and support this condition and families with loved ones affected by it can be served.

Ryan has gathered an amazing group of independent musical artists and they created a kids album that adults wont hate. It's called Do Fun Stuff and the proceeds of sales of the album on iTunes goes to the charity arm of PRISMS. 100%. You can buy it Here if you have iTunes and are into that sort of thing.

Personally, I like the songs. I try to buy children's music that doesn't drive me crazy but that is catchy and everyone can sing along to. Too many times I hear Lizzie singing a song from the radio that I'm less than pleased with and so having music to listen to or distract while in the car is pleasant. Some days I feel like if I have to listen to one more "She'll be comin' 'round the mountain" I'll loose my mind. Just sayin'.

Rumor has it that Do Fun Stuff will be sold on ETSY too in time for the holiday's if you want to buy them for nieces or nephews for stocking stuffers or whatever but it isn't officially up yet.

Not a bad way to spend $10 if you ask me.

Also, the art Monster, known as Embie (phonetic spelling of MB for Monsterist Buddy) is pretty cute too.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Lizzie Lou

Dear Lizzie,

Yesterday you turned 6 and I'm not sure who was more excited about it, me or you.

For you 6 was all about presents and cake and parties. Lucky you with two houses, you managed to have two birthday parties which meant double the cake and ice cream, if not double the presents.

I'm excited because 6 is still full of magic for you. At 6 you still believe in Fairies and Santa Claus and that magical things can happen. You still believe in the perfection of parents and you trust the world around you. The world is full of possibilities and you want to grab each and every one of them.

You want to be a Dentist when you grow up. No wait, a Mommy. No wait, a Nurse. No wait, a Dancer. You want to be all of it. I believe you probably will be all of it.

You are always my glass is half full child and lately you have been joyous about life. I love to see your enthusiasm for everything around you although perhaps a little less around 7am on the weekends would be nice.

You seem to like your teacher, you love your teacher still from last year and you talk about your day with ease. You share without prompting anymore and try to make friends with everyone.

Alternatively when one of your friends hurts your feelings you are crushed but quick to forgive. I love that you don't hold a grudge and would rather play than fight. Life is so much simpler when this is your nature.

You are my big helper and often want to spend time with just me doing my mundane chores and tasks. You love to help with laundry, quick to stir the spaghetti sauce and adore mopping the floor. As long as you're with me you seem to relish whatever task we're doing. You are also good at enteraining your little brother.

You tell me often when you grow up you want 5 babies. Their genders change all the time and you have no names for them except maybe William for one of the boys but your love of children and babies knows no end. You talk with and play with your little brother and often he finds himself the Prince in your games. Too bad he tends to try and eat whatever item you have given him to play with.

I love that you read to me every day and you are so excited to learn. You and I play a game where I ask you to spell something and then act shocked that you can spell it. You adore this game and work very hard trying to get every word correct so I can be increasingly shocked at your genius. You also love playing school with me where we practice your spelling words. To surprise me a week ago you wrote all your spelling words 5 times while I was putting your little brother to bed. I love that you love that gift.

You always want the simple items and find joy in the smallest of gifts. For you a scooter holds just as much joy as a Dolphin pillow. You don't truly want much and what you do have you seem to really appreciate.

If I were to sum up this year for you I would say that it was a pink and purple year with silver stars and glitter thrown in. Being with you makes me believe in magic and makes me feel joy. Thank you my little angel bright.

Happy Birthday Lizzie Lou Who
Mama Loves You

Friday, September 24, 2010

I need a new pharmacy

This week has been the week of the Pharmacy. Better living through Chemistry as my mother used to say. I'm sure she meant her thyroid meds.


The baby needed two new medications for his asthma reactive airway disease. One is for everyday preventative use, the other is for emergencies. The emergency one works great, FYI.

Micah also needed something as he'd had a sore throat for 2 weeks and was over it. His Dr. prescribed what is affectionately known as KBX. It's basically a mix of Kaopectate, Lidocain and something else. I stopped listening.

Micah picked up his prescription on Tuesday and used it. It looked and behaved like a cough syrup only you swish and spit, you don't swallow it.

Wednesday it had turned to jello. Or a jello like substance. It was not able to exit the bottle and when you moved the bottle the blob just jiggled and plopped all over. What I'm telling you is that it wasn't consumable.

Because Micah has a sore throat and hates to return stuff I ventured out on Wednesday night to return it to the pharmacy.

I'm going to stop and tell you I've already had problems with this Wal-greens before. They shorted us on medication for William just a couple of weeks ago and it took me fighting with the pharmacy tech to get the "extra". So I'm predisposed to be grumpy but I decided I would kill them with kindness. And smile a lot. That seems to help.

Now imagine this. It's 8:30pm. I'm wearing a too loose halter top (it's what I sleep in) and black corduroy pants. I left the holy pajama pants at home. My hair is greasy looking after a full day of work and I'm 30 seconds away from "that time of the month". I'm bloated, broken out and missing the comfort of my couch. Oh, and I'm not wearing a bra because that is the highlight of my day, when I come home I get to take that thing off.

I show the pharmacy tech my bottle of jello. She agrees that it probably shouldn't look like that. She asked the Pharmacist who barely looks up from her filling of bottles (you can see them) and says to shake it. The tech tells me to shake the bottle and it will return to a liquid state.

To demonstrate she shakes it a little for me.

I take it from her, look at her and look at the Pharmacist. She hates me. I know it.

I tell them I will hang out in the corner and shake it for a little bit myself because I frankly do not believe it will return to it's liquid state.

And I shake it. And shake it. And shake some more.

And remember what I told you only a few paragraphs ago about my bralessness and my tank top?


So the pharmacy tech comes out and tries to shoo me out of the Wal-greens because OMG do you see what was happening there?!

I walk out to my car, call Micah, get my courage back, all the while SHAKING THE BOTTLE and then return to the pharmacy. I hand it to a new pharmacy tech and point out that I have been shaking the bottle for 20 minutes and my arm is tired. The inside of the bottle is coated with the stuff but the main portion of the medication is STILL a jello like blob.

To prove it I open the bottle and turn it upside down. The tech jumps back only to see that NOTHING comes out of the bottle.

I hear a loud sigh and the actual Pharmacist comes over. She closes the bottle. She shakes it. She opens it. She walks to the back of the Pharmacy and looks at a book ALL THE WHILE SHAKING THE BOTTLE.

She opens it again. She looks at it. She walks up to me.

Now at this point I assume it has magically turned into a liquid and I'm about to look like an ass. As if I was shaking the bottle wrong.

Instead she shows me the top of the bottle which is now completely jammed with what looks like yogurt but won't actually pour out of the bottle. She TELLS me it's kinda like yogurt.

"Yeah but he needs to swish it and spit it out. That's not swishable. It wont even exit the bottle."

At that point she concedes defeat and tells me that formulation is wrong. It's an old formula and should be MXB with has Mylox instead of Kaopectate. Whatever.

They told me they would have it ready the next day for pick up.

And they did.

I would like to believe it's the bralessness that did it.

I have no shame.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Flowers for Kylie

I think it's offically time to start feeling slightly past your prime when your teenage daughter is getting flowers delivered to the house.

Last Thursday I was sitting in the living room watching TV and playing with Will while Lizzie climbed all over me for attention. I had worked hard all day and was in ratty pajama pants that have made it through 2 pregnancies, barely, and a halter top. I was not, shall we say, presentable.

At just about 8pm there was a knock on the door. I got up and set the baby down thinking "It better not be the Jehova's Witness this late". I turned on the porch light and fought both Tasha and Molly to open the front door without them jumping or biting whoever lay on the other side.

Yes, I was one step away from crazy white trash woman is what I'm saying.

I opened the door and saw a tall, skinny kid with blond hair that's too long but all the style for disinfranchised youth today standing at my door with a large bouquet of flowers.

An aside here, Micah and I had had a "marital disagreement" earlier that week.

So when I saw the flowers I instantly thought Micah had sent me flowers. I smiled and looked over at Micah on the couch as he stared at me blankly waiting, I'm sure, for me to tell him who was at the door.

Then the long haired hippy boy asked for Kylie.

I paused and then recovered and asked if he was Justin, her latest boyfriend (she and Tyler broke up the day after I wrote the blog about him. Jinx thy name is Blog.).

"No. I'm Ty."

Hi foot, my name is mouth, nice to meet you.

At this point I said hang on, shut the door slightly to the two dogs begging to check out the new person at the door and went to Kylie's room to announce that she had flowers and a boy waiting for her at the door.

She went and spoke to him wearing Hello Kitty fuzzy pajama pants and a Bride of Frankstein t-shirt which I'm pretty sure sealed our Crazy Family status. They stood on the porch and talked which meant I was forced to try and listen through the door and peek through the window.

Crazy. I know.

Anyway - turns out this new boy Ty (not to be confused with old boyfriend Tyler) asked her to the homecoming dance. Despite her having a boyfriend already. And a date.

He said his mom MADE him ask and is MAKING him go to homecoming. Anyone else buying that story?

So yeah, no flowers for me. But my kid is getting expensive bouquets.

Something feels very not right about this whole situation and I don't think it's my tattered pajama bottoms.