Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

Micah's grandfather Raul passed away Sept. 23rd, 2006.

He was husband to Jenny, father to Michael, grandfather to Micah and Andy.

We went to visit him today, for he and I have never been introduced and he has never met his great grandson.

Jenny was stuck in a loop about her Uncle Joe (Joe Martinez) who was the first American of Hispanic descent to be awarded a Medal of Honor. He led an advance on the Aleutian Island of Attu, interestingly enough. She was focused on that today and not on visiting her husbands gravestone but we took her none the less.

*as a side note, both of my grandfather's, Doyle and Linenschmidt, also fought in WWII but we did not visit them today since neither is buried anywhere near Colorado.

This one is my favorite, I'm not going to lie. I love to composition and also, he loves his thumb.

I'm named after my great-grandfather? WHAT?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

This moment....


Friday, May 28, 2010

Conversations with Micah

Me: Look what I found.

Micah: *looks at orange bottle* What is it?

Me: Sunscreen! SPF 100! I am ready for summer!

Micah: I didn't know mud came in a bottle.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Happy Thursday

It's almost Memorial Day and I'm pretty busy with work and the family this week.

But here is a gratuitous baby shot for you.

You're welcome.

More you say?

Will love carrots 100%.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The death of the mother is the first sorrow wept without her

Dear Mama,

What a difference a year makes, right?

As you know, I managed to elope last July and quickly have my 1 year anniversary approaching. I think it’s fitting that for this anniversary I’m taking Micah to Alaska. I feel like when we get there he’ll understand me better (although he pretty well understands me now). I feel like he’ll help me to see the magic of Alaska again since I haven’t been able to even stomach the idea of it since you left. True, I did go back to Alaska once, when Lizzie was around 2. The magic was gone and nothing I did would bring it back. I’m hoping that by showing Micah my childhood places and things that were important and meant something to you and me some of that magic will come back. I would like to be able to think of Alaska as my home and not just the place I grew up from time to time.

I had a baby too. My first (and only) boy. He is pretty much the spitting imagine of me as a baby (despite Micah’s claims to the contrary) and is precious. He has the fat rolls that you always loved in your grandchildren and I can’t help but think you would enjoy all the belly laughs and sloppy kisses he likes to give. I can see that picture of you as an infant, the black and white one, and I think he probably is the baby that most resembles that picture. I wish you could have made up songs while you changed his diaper and fed him inappropriate foods when I wasn’t looking.

His name is William. Dora reminded me that William Doyle was a pretty well known character from our family history and so that helps tie him to you in my mind since I just couldn’t bring myself to name him Julian. Sorry. Additionally it is thought that Mr. Darcy in the Pride & Prejudice saga was named Fitzwilliam Darcy. I’m going with it which would make me 2 for 3 on characters named for Pride & Prejudice characters. If only Kylie would let me change her name to Jane (although she probably is more of a Lydia) I could be 3 for 3. She’s no fun.

Speaking of Kylie, she has made a super improvement from last year and is hurling head first towards high school. I can’t imagine my baby in high school and yet I am so excited for her at the same time. It’s odd to me to think that when you left she was only 9. She wasn’t even in the double digits. Now she’s about to be a freshman in high school and we are having serious discussions about college majors and campus tours. How can 5 years have flown by so quickly and how can a person have changed so much in that time?

The other day Nana sent Lizzie a Kindergarten graduation card. She wrote in it that you had bought the card for Kylie when she was in Kinder but had forgotten to send it. So that in a way, it’s like you sent the card to Lizzie, just that Nana wrote the words. I cried after she read it to me. Her response was “Grandma Julie? I love my Grandma Julie!”

Interestingly enough, Micah pulled out a tub that had been in my shed for, oh, about 5 years. He told me there were some clothes in. I went to take a look and oddly enough, it was full of clothes from when Kylie was wearing a 5-7. Most of them are Gymboree and so it was almost like getting a care package from you for Lizzie. We put it back and will go through everything this fall when she moves up to a 6, in age, if not in size.

Brian got married last week Mom. It was hard. Harder than I thought it would be and I still can not bring myself to ask Kylie how it went. She has blessedly not tried to tell me about it either. I know that he and I have been divorced for well over a year and I think you’ll agree, I’m in a much better place now, but he married HER. The night of his wedding I was so wishing I could call you and rage about how unfair it is that he married her and she got to have a huge wedding and large reception and wear white when she is HER. I know you would have understood since Harvey also married your HER. I can hear you in my mind saying, “NO FAIR NO FAIR!” That’s how I felt that night, like a child saying NO FAIR!

Work continues to be work. I test for my PHR next month which is stressful because of the studying. I’ve never been good at studying and this is stressful, knowing I need to know everything about everything and not being sure that I can or do. Sometimes things happen at work that I just wish I could talk to a more seasoned HR person and say “What the hell is wrong with those people?” I know you’d get that.

5 years Mom. How can it have been 5 years already since you left? I keep trying to tell myself that you had to go. God had bigger plans for you. You’re in a better place and I shouldn’t want you to come home. Except you raised a very selfish, spoiled brat, and all I can say is, I wasn’t ready yet. I still needed my Mommy. Being an adult is only an illusion and it’s only based on age and those times when I really, really, really need you I think that it’s NO FAIR NO FAIR!

I need to close now Mom. But I want to tell you about a dream I had not long ago about you.

It was you and I and Micah and we were going on a cruise to Mexico. We were at the dock, about to get onboard and you told me you didn’t have your passport. I got really frustrated with you because you were going to need it if you were going to depart the ship. I told you I would run home to grab but and you told me that it was expired. And I was mad at you because you died long after US Citizens needed their passports to get into Mexico and I told you that you knew better. I told you that when you were alive a US Passport was needed to get into Mexico and now I didn’t know if you could even come on the trip with us. You told me that you could get on the ship but you wouldn’t be able to come with Micah and me where we were going.

I know there is meaning there Mom. I know you’re with me in Spirit, if not in Body. But I just can’t help but remember how angry I was that you hadn’t bothered to renew your passport so you could come with me anyways. I wish you could come with us. Still.

Pumpkin Head


So my little container garden has started producing some kinds of food which is exciting for me. Exciting but not exactly filling.

You've already seen the first strawberries that we had.

Now behold, my first sugar snap pea.

For some idea of the actual size of this pea:

I ate it. I didn't even wash it. And it was sweet and tasty and I savored all 3 bites of that thing.

Luckily it appears my sugar snap peas have more pods growing on them so hopefully that's not the only pea I'll get for the year.

Also, this weekend Lizzie and I harvested these beauties:

Lizzie ate them all with no regard to me or my feelings.* She said they were breakfast. Meanie.

The onions continue to appear to do well, the radishes are poking up and I recently planted some tomato plants. The one I put in the Topsy Turvy is not doing well but the others seem to be doing great. I'll have to fix that Topsy Turvy thing this weekend, I think it's lacking enough sunlight.

The next several months promise to be full of warm days and not so chilly nights so hopefully my plants will continue to thrive and I might actually see a carrot or cucumber some day.

* Totally not true, she offered me one. The smallest, most deformed looking one, but she did offer it. When I declined there was no looking back though, she shoved that thing in her mouth faster than I've ever seen her eat anything.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Pinata Fairy

I have no problem lying to my children.


Santa Claus. The Tooth Fairy. Eat that, it will make you grow bigger. You get the idea.

My newest one though is the one I'm most proud of. My latest lie is....

The Pinata Fairy.

The Pinata Fairy is a VERY special fairy. She comes to visit children who aren't culturally inclined to jump into a pile of 12 other children, ages 2-16 and fight for strawberry flavored wrapped candies and leaves tootsie rolls under their pillows. FLAVORED tooties rolls.

The neighbors have a birthday party seemingly every other weekend and Lizzie is always there, hanging out with the kids. I don't go because, well, we aren't actually invited, Lizzie just ends up there with her best friend Leslie and the various other friends over there. But today, well, there was a pinata. A pinata with candy.

Lizzie had never actually SEEN a pinata and did not know that it was acceptable to beat other children and fight for the candy that falls out of it after beating the paper mache animal blindly with a stick.

So she came home in tears because she was only able to get about 3 pieces of candy and the other kids got more and laughed at her because she didn't know what to do.

Enter me and the secret of the Pinata Fairy.

And later, a 10:30pm run to the nearest 7-11 to get the flavored tootsie rolls of magic.

I just hope she shares the cherry ones with me. Those are my favorite.

Micah just shook his head when I told him about the Pinata Fairy. He apparently never came up short on the candy from those things.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Dear William (6 month addition)

Dear William,

How can you be 6 months old already? Weren't you born just yesterday?

I love seeing how big you've gotten and already feel a sense of sadness that I can no longer remember you as a teeny-tiny newborn. You are certainly a "big boy" now with your fat thighs and chubby fingers and while I love to kiss each and every roll on you I am a little sad for the scrawny chicken legs of 6 months ago. Where did the time go?

While you have occasionally rolled over from time to time (most notably at your 4 month check up) it wasn't until this week that you really started rolling on purpose. I love the surprise of laying you on your back, only to see you on your tummy 4 seconds later. You seem pretty proud of yourself.

You are officially in your crib now to sleep for naps and at night. You seem to relish all the room you have an I constantly wake up with you having done a 180 in the middle of the night. But still sucking your thumb.

You are outgrowing your "baby" items by leaps and bounds. After finding you like this the other day I realized you are probably pretty much done with your swing.

This morning you woke yourself up by rolling over in the middle of the night and wound up on your stomach. You've never slept on your stomach and this morning you seemed so confused as to how you wound up on your tummy. I heard you in the crib, you're little starfish hand opening and closing against the mattress and every so often I would hear your head drop down. You were tired but you didn't fuss or even make a vocal noise. When I got up to help you I could see the confusion in your face. How did you get on your tummy and how did I know to come help?

Get used to hearing this now: Mom's know everything. My mother told it to me, your sisters have already accepted it and now you too will learn. I know everything about everything. You needed help this morning so I helped you. And fed you 8 ounces of warm milk. I am awesome like that.

You have started sucking on your toe lately which I find ridiculous because I can see that the effort of getting your hamhock thigh over your belly and that toe into your mouth takes quite a bit of effort and yet, you continue to attempt it every time your diaper is changed.

Your personality is really starting to show and while you can still get quite pensive and serious you more often than not have a happy, toothless smile on your face. When you see anyone you tend to have a smile for them although your favorite people seem to be your daddy, the dogs, your great-grandma and your grandma.

This month you discovered your love for peas. The moment I put them in your mouth a big smile erupted all over your face and you could not get enough. If you have the coordination I think you would have licked the bowl clean of them. As it was you used two spoons to eat them as the single spoon method did not seem fast enough.

You love to put things in your mouth and are by far my most oral baby. You will put every.single.thing in your mouth. I don't mind when its appropriate, like toys, spoons or even people from time to time but you need to learn quickly that the dog, the cat and my shoes are not appropriate items. Especially the cat. I know where he's been.

You continue to suck your thumb at night and during the day some and I find it adorable. I'm sure I'll hate it when it comes time for you to stop but for right now it's the cutest thing I've ever seen. I've been a mom three times, I know cute.

I love you buddy. You and your Cookie Monster.


PS: When do you think teeth will be showing up? Just so I can prepare....

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Conversations with Lizzie...and Sweet P

Me: Girls, what do you want to be when you grow up?

Lizzie: A Human.

Me: A good choice.

Sweet P: A Crossing Guard.

Me: Also a good choice.

Lizzie: No wait. I want to be a dentist.

Me: No surprise there.

Lizzie: *sigh* I love the dentist.

Me: You are not normal.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The last time

The last time it was just you and me was a quiet Sunday night.

It was the first Sunday in May and I realized I hadn't nursed you since Thursday. I knew I still had some semblance of milk, but not a lot. Not enough to really feed you. Only enough to comfort you. To give you a reminder of what use to be.

We sat in the rocking chair in the bedroom with the door closed and the lamp turned low and just rocked back and forth.

You were sleepy and within a matter of minutes your eyes rolled back in your head and you closed them for the night. You kept comfort sucking for another 15 minutes or so while I teared up and tried to remember everything about how you looked at that moment.

Your left hand outstretched toward my face but never making it, instead it rested on my chest. Your pale skin golden in the lamp light and your feet crossed at the ankle as you tended to do while nursing.

It was the last time I nursed my last baby. And I miss it.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Bisabuela besos

William delights in visiting his great grandma and now he's just about old enough to show her how he really feels.

Jenny is pretty delighted with him too I think. She talked about his kissing her for the rest of the visit.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Why is it only Thursday?

The baby is sick. Like really sick.

Sunday night he didn't sleep great. I called in late to work.

Monday night he barely slept and was hot. I called in sick.
Tuesday I took him to the Dr who told me the breathing treatments we had been giving him were doing nothing for him (as evidenced by a pulse ox thingamajig) and that he had Bronchialitis and it just needed to run it's course. But if he puked or his eating changed to call.

Tuesday night he was crying, refusing to eat and then, at 3am Wednesday morning, he puked. Everywhere. About half of what he had eaten that day. On me.

The call to the Dr resulted in being told to give him pedilyte and let it's run it's course.

Wednesday my mother in law was gracious enough to stay home with the baby and Micah so I could make the attempt at keeping my job. Layoffs are everywhere and the last thing I need to be out all the time.

Wednesday he fussed all day long and couldn't/wouldn't sleep. When I got home he had dark circles under his eyes and had maybe eaten 8 ounces of formula all day.

He proceeded up cry and not rest until about 2 or 3 Thursday morning at which time he fell into a sound sleep.

I called in sick today. I'm exhausted. I haven't slept well in 4 days.

And while he looks slightly better he's still wheezing, struggling to breath and fussy.

Pray that he at least gets a little more sleep.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

We have Berries!

I haven't picked them yet since the very tips are still green but look at THOSE berries!

It's not looking promising for jam at this point however.

Also, it snowed last night and more is predicted for today. I hope my strawberries are fighters!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mothers Day

Mother's Day is, naturally, a bittersweet day to me. On the one hand I am blessed with 3 wonderful children. I know beyond measure how truly blessed I am and how each of them is unique and wonderful and the fact that I get to be their mother is somethings overwhelming. Who thought THAT would be a good idea?

But on the other hand, I am minus a mother. This is the 4th Mother's Day my mom has been gone and it tears me up inside still.

The last Mother's Day she was still here was awful. I knew it was her last. We had been told in February that she might have a year with successful chemo treatment and sheer luck. So while I was expecting one more Christmas with her I knew that May 2005 was her last Mother's Day. And I was heartbroken.

I sent her a poetry book about Mothers and an Iris bookmark and cried repeatedly all day that day. Sometimes the words "I love you" just aren't enough and it felt like no matter how many times I told her I loved her, she would never really know the depth of how I felt about her. How much I needed her. There are no real words to tell someone that honestly.

I know a lot of people feel that way. So they come up with other things to say to convey how much they love someone when " I love you just isn't enough". My mom and I had ours since for a long time it was just the two of us.

Me: How much do you love me Mommy?
Her: Up to the sky and back down again.

At 2 and 3 and 4 and 5 that seems like such a huge amount. That someones love could go all the way up and back down again seems enormous.It still is.

I have very few pictures of my mother and I together growing up. It seems as though she was always the one taking the pictures, whether it be me hanging out with a 20lb cabbage or performing at a Christmas show in the mall or running a mile in 8th grade. She was always there, my childhood is well documented. She and I just don't appear together very often.

I will share this though. Just keep in mind, this was taken June, 1979. I don't have much hair and hers, well, let's just say, it was in style for the times.

I miss you Mommy.

Up to the sky and back down again.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Poetry in motion

On April 15th Kylie took place in the first ever Poetry contest for her middle school. She was one of about 10 kids who each performed 2 poems.

The poems could not be their own work and they performed in rounds. All grades were represented.

Kylie performed "Dream within a Dream" by Edgar Allen Poe and "Mungo Jerri" by TS Elliot.

I have video of her performing but can't seem to manage to get it to load at this time. I'll try again, maybe from a different computer later.

Kylie ultimately won 3rd place which everyone in the room was surprised by. We had people after the contest come up and tell us they were sure she had won. Kylie did too.

I honestly thought she had nailed it too but we weren't the judges.

Here is Kylie and the other winners with their large checks. Kylie went by Kodi in language arts class, hence the usage of the name Kodi in the video as well as on the check.

I'm still proud of her and she still walked away with cash. Overall it was a good night.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Quilt from Italty

My best friend is named Erin. I probably talk to her on AVERAGE once every 2-3 months and I can't remember the last time I spoke to her on the phone. But I know it was when I had a landline and that's been gone for awhile now.

She and I met in Tucson when we each lived in one side of a connected duplex. She is awesome. I told her that if her husband died I would welcome her to be my sister wife.

The offer still stands.

I lived with her for a couple of months before we moved her because she was pregnant with her first child and her husband was deployed. She held my left leg when I delivered Lizzie.

She also took Lizzie's first pictures moments after birth as well as professionally when she was 8 days old.

I really, really, really miss Erin.

She and her husband and their two kids currently live in Italy on a military tour and I am insanely jealous.

She also has a William which shows her obvious good taste.

She is possibly the most creative person I know and she quilts. I adore Erin's artwork.

She made Kylie a quilt to her specifications when Kylie was 9. It's black and green and Kylie still sleeps with it.

She made Lizzie a quilt right when she was born that is the most beautiful blue and yellow and totally matched the duck theme I had going on at the time.

Today I received her quilt for Will. I honestly wasn't expecting a quilt because usually Erin's process is to know the child a little bit before quilting for them and she's never met my Will.

I think she nailed it though anyway.

It's called the Bear Claw and it's a little bigger than a crib quilt.

A little too close Mom......

Plenty of room to roll around on.

Both of my boys liked the quilt. This was taken a split second before one of them tried to shove a corner in his mouth. I'll leave you to guess which one.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sweet Tooth


The following picture has a cuteness factor of 10 on a scale of 1-9.

Viewing the following picture could have any or all of the following side effects:

Loud squeling, ohhing and ahhhing, the irresistable urge to kiss the cheeks of passing children, running around showing of the picture of others and desire to start planning a trip to our house to see the subject of the picture below.

I warned you.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Updated Garden photos

Here is a little better representation of what I have going on with my container garden.

You see the three larger containers to the left, three in the middle of those are 3 smaller terra cotta containers and to the left are two more terra cotta containers.

The terra cottas in the front of the larger containers, 2 contain more strawberry plants and the third contains Catmint. It helps keep ants at bay.

Over to the left, those two terra cotta containers contain spearmint and peppermint. Those also keep ants away which is why they are placed so close to the door.

Here is our gazebo. Micah made the door to it and on either side are blueberry blushes, in containers.

All large containers have huge tomato cages to protect them from the dogs.

And despite it being only May 2nd AND Colorado experiencing some cold temperatures and even snow in the last month I present some encouraging items:

Green strawberries

My first pea pod on my tallest sugar snap pea plant.

Radishes whose seeds apparently survived Molly's vicious digging a few weeks ago.

One of my yellow onions that I planted from set and had to save from Molly's digging twice.

Make no mistake, I know this garden wouldn't say, feed us for a winter (or even a summer), I'm just getting a feel for how to grow things and what items work where etc.

My next planting will be my tomatoes which I plant to try in a variety of ways including using a Topsy Turvy and more traditional caged methods. I'll let you know how that works out.