Tuesday, August 23, 2011


He came down the stairs calling my name.  Mama.  There's something wrong in my room.

What's that?  [Having visions of Skikee's Return....He has been spending lots of time in his "new room"... building track.... what if he's been spending too much time in that corner close to the radiator... all those EMFs.... groan....]  I walked over to the steps.

He started walking up the steps.  And I followed.  Holding my breath.  We walked into his room.  My room was moving left to right.  Left to right.

[Pause.  Not sure what he's saying.  A moving room?  Good grief.  He must be having dizzy spells.  He must be getting sick again.  Good thing we are going to see the doctors in Pittsburgh on Thursday.]  Really?  Where?

He pointed to the ceiling above the window.  Then all around.

Was it a light?  Maybe you saw some sun reflecting off the window.

My room was moving left to right.  And my desk was moving left to right.

[OK.  Dehydrated?  Dizzy spells?]  Let's get you a drink of water.

I fill his little blue cup in the bathroom.  And as we walk back to his room, I hear Max barking outside.  The UPS man?

I rush down the steps to see our neighbor Jared crossing the yard.  And I wave.

"Hey," he says.  "Did you feel that earthquake?"

Earthquake?  Really?

Ah-ha.  So his room was moving after all.  Poor little Luke.

Friday, July 15, 2011

the boys are hard at work. . .

on something important...

for someone special...

who will be home in just hours....

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

loving three....

After giving birth to Luke, and they wheeled me into my room.  I remember sitting in bed, his little hospital baby bed beside me...  And feeling peace.  Quiet, peace.  Contentment.  That my heart and life were full.

[I told the nurse about it and she told me it was an after effect of the epidural.]

And this morning, I was sitting at the kitchen table, eating my cereal and peeking in on three boys watching cartoons together.  And that same feeling swept over me.  How I love my three.  How my life and heart feel utterly full and complete.  Peaceful.  How lucky we are to have our little family (plus a bonus boy).  How utterly blessed I am.

And then I find my sweet little bonus boy in the middle of the dining room table.  How he got there with all the chairs pushed in is a mystery.  Sitting there, eating a glue stick.  With Doc's GeoTrax control on GoAllTheWayFast!  Poor Doc on the floor laying on his side... driving nowhere.  And he was smiling.  Happy.  Knowing he wasn't supposed to be there.  But happy to be up where the big people go.  He so wants to be big and be where we all are (right now, in particular, sitting on all big chairs...  where he got the idea that we like to sit in the middle of the dining room table eating glue... I'm not sure.  Maybe he's spending too much time with Aunt Erin....who used to eat chapstick when she was small....). 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

last night...

They slept in "the tent".  So very cute.  We read Harry Potter for almost an hour (we're still plugging along at #4...reading more about Mad Eyed Moody and the Unforgivable Curses...).  Sweet little Luke fell asleep about halfway in.  Jack is still riveted and full of questions and ponderings.  Love that.

We woke up to find Mr. Dave's trees being trimmed.  And had to go out to watch the branches being chopped up in the chipper?  Chopper?  Whatever it was.  It was a little boy dream.  All three were riveted to the flying branches and leaves and dust.

So, we had breakfast at Cafe Zeli.  Very cool.  Waffles and juice and milk.  A new meal at our favorite restaurant.

Afterwards, little boys ventured into the World of  Imagination...  showing off lightsaber skills and flying after the golden snitch.

Love those boys.

Monday, July 11, 2011

missing Dada. . .

I took Luke and Ethan grocery shopping on Wednesday last week. Just the three of us. Jack was at Idewild with a friend.
Luke was lonely. Missing his brother. And wanting to know when he was coming home. When I told him it would be later (much later) in the evening, he wasn't happy. But there are only three of us. That isn't enough.
And tonight, our Dada is miles away. And we're missing him. There is only four of us. And that isn't enough.
But, we've kept ourselves busy today. . .
Playing with friends and new games....
Let me tell you, this new Lego Heroica game is a boy's dream. These boys played from the time they got together last night till they went to sleep. And then from the moment they got up....begrugdingly taking a lunch break.....until midafternoon. Lots of battling and weapons and gold and defeating spiders and bad guys and healing potions and such. Too much fun.
And these are your boys tonight. . .
One reading books in his diaper. Quiet [deceivingly....he spent the day climbing on chairs and couches and stealing Legos].
One eating Cheezits (they were first on the grocery shopping list yesterday...apparently my snack cupboard was only full of cobwebs). Now giggling madly with his big brother....playing their "bridgey" game (you know the one: sit like a bridgey. bounce like a bridgey. crawl like a bridgey.) Anything to wind themselves up before bedtime.
One having his Cheezits stolen. He's missing Warcraft and Dada. And having a coconspirator to play Legos with all day long.
One sleeping in his "dog house". He loves a forgotten set of blankets.
We're all counting down the days until Friday (Luke has asked me all day long if it's Friday yet).

Thursday, June 30, 2011


This is Gram. . .

Right now she is in a nursing home. Her memories disappearing. Here she is with Luke right after he was born.

But before... My Gram. She lived right across the street from us when I was growing up. I remember spending lots of time at her place. Spending the night in a sleeping bag on her bedroom floor. Playing the organ at her house. She and my Pap got an Atari... the first video game we had ever seen. And it was so very cool. Erin and I loved playing Breakout.

On Fourth of July we would go to Hills and see the fireworks. And when I got older, down to the Point in Pittsburgh to see the really cool fireworks. Gram would always pack some goodies for us. A little baggie of snack size Hershey bars and such hidden away in her pocket. And a little cooler of Diet Pepsi. She always brought along diet Pepsi wherever she went.

It made me a little sad when I found this photo of her today. Almost six years ago, after Luke was born.

And tonight.... I am packing up the vini-man. Sam is taking Jaxon to hockey practice right now. And when they get back, we are headed off to the drive-in to see Cars 2 (shhh... it's a surprise).

So, I'm packing up blankets and pillows (so we can be comfy). I'll be popping popcorn. And I filled a small cooler (the soft red one Amie gave me for Christmas) with 2 Cokes.... And as I put them inside the bag, the heavy in my heart grew.... The wishing... And memories of her voice... And her hands full of happy chocolates... A smile on her face...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

home. . .

A quiet. A peace. A slow stillness. . .

The suitcases crowd the entry and dining room. I wander into the kitchen, to see the sink clean. The backyard quiet. Empty.

Our space.... bleary-eyed. Yawning. Waking from a week-long sleep while we were away.

It's stillness quiets our usual loud, frantic pace.

So good to be home.

The boys spent the day rediscovering their toys. Playing Lego games quietly together. Ethan ran from room to room, finding all those little nooks and spots he loves. And running around with a small backpack... his own suitcase... reliving his vacation memories. Sam ran. I even enjoyed doing laundry. Making a small dent in the pile we brought home with us.

And feeling our space. Our home always feels so "big"... after time away in a hotel room.

Enjoying being home. Lazily swimming in this pool of quiet before the ripples begin to tickle my toes... and the schedule of life resumes.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

at the edge of town. . .

Leaving. . . on the way back to route 70. . . sits a little blue house. . .

It always seems strange to me that this used to be a "People House". And now it is an insurance agency. A part-time house. Do you think it feels a little sadness... A longing for earlier days....

I suppose any melancholy has to be lightened with this sign. I love this sign. The person who cares for it always has a one-liner that makes me laugh out loud (my poor Sam... I do have a dry sense of humor... even little Jaxon said last night: "I can laugh at the jokes on my popsicle sticks. . . [but not mine, I suppose....sigh....].

This, so far has been my favorite...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

who is he?

Found this little guy on the back porch.

The boys have been asking to watch a butterfly hatch. Hoping this is an answer to their sweet little dreams. . .

Whomever he is. . . he's been busy at work. . . creating a cocoon?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

the second official day of summer.. .. ..

...and the questions begin.

You know, not "Mama, what can I do? I'm bored."

Nope. More remiscient of this.....

Today's questions included.....

Why do people sue people? What does sueing mean? And do good people sue other people?

What is a license plate?

And, my personal favorite.... Why do they bury people in boxes instead of in the dirt?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

he's toast. . .

Not buttered....

He ran and ran and ran with the big brothers this morning. Around and around the downstairs circle with Luke. Laughing and silly. Screaming with delight.

And then into the "fort" with Jaxon. Throwing himself against the walls in silliness. Tackling his Mama and his brother.

Giving the morning every ounce of his baby gusto.

And by 11:30 he was crying and sad. . .clumbsy and falling. . .uncomforted by his nip and a Mama cuddle. And I thought maybe he was just ready for lunch. But, when that didn't do the trick, I realized that his big brothers had worn him out.

He's not quite ready for the big leagues yet. But, he's trying.

last day of school. . . & first day of summer. . .

The first day of school....

and the last day of school....

What a difference in these two boys.

Jaxon, taller. Wiser. Still a boy at heart [trading Pokemon at school...running and playing tag while waiting for the bus]. But glimpses of the man he is becoming [he's got the beginnings of a mustache]. An athlete [scoring another goal at his game this weekend....and an assist....earning the cheers and excitement of his coach and his teammates]. And a scholar [bringing home awards for the "hardest worker" and a medal for excellence in Social Science].

Luke, more confident. The little boy who held is brother's hand the first day, is now holding him close and laughing [while still trying to hide his shiny teeth]. Asserting his preferences [note the "Justin Beaver" hair]. But also wanting to be so much like his big brother [playing Legos, squishes, and Pokemon]. And discovering his own likes [see the Digdug shirt?].

And beginning the first day of summer quietly. All rising at the same time. Ethan chattering to himself in his crib. Jaxon rising bleary-eyed, talking of plans for a new tower at Lego Hogwards. And Luke, a small pile of Biscuit books around him, reading to himself, happily in his bed.

Monday, May 30, 2011

outside. . .

Love the feeling that summer has finally arrived. Today we spent the day outside. Getting the boys our very first sandbox that fits all three at one time. [Which will be a welcome replacement to our "redneck sandbox" that was the sandpit at the curb next to the drive way.]

The cars lined up the roadway by the nursery. We weren't the only ones happy that summer seemed to finally bring her warm weather this weekend. It looked as if all the plants might be gone... But there were plenty. Sam was able to find lots of yummy things for our garden: cucumbers, tomatoes, [I picked up a watermelon... determined that we will have one of our very own this year], peppers, two kinds of lettuce [bringing back memories of PapPap and his daily salads], and some herbs.... He does such a beautiful job with the garden every year. It makes me so happy just looking at it....

The centerpiece of the garden.... Father's Day gift 2009....

We aren't the only ones to think the garden looks yummy. Some Italian rabbits on a gourmet stroll?

Right off the back porch I spied these little guys. They make my heart so happy. These plants were from the little grey house where I first lived as a little girl. They're lilies of the valley. There was a giant patch of them to the right of the front porch. And every spring they would bloom and fill the yard with their heavenly sent. I love them even more because they were planted by my Great Grandma Smith... It's like a visit from her every spring. I planted them two or three years ago. Two little plants. And I didn't think they would survive. Last year there were three. I didn't even see them at the beginning of spring and thought I had lost them. Today's count: 15.

Off the side of our front porch.... The purple rose bush that Glenn gave us when we first moved in. It bloomed purple for the first year or two. After that, it never seemed to do very well. And a few years later we thought it died. It came back bright pink. And would bloom a couple roses and then succomb to bugs each year. This year is it's year. Beautiful..... And I love that it has multiple shades of bright happy pink.

Not to be outdone by Glenn's wifes roses..... This is Miss Jean's rose bush that stood outside her sunroom door. Taken out when Dave moved in. We rescued it and hoped it would survive (seems to be a running theme with our plants...). This year we found five beautiful blooms. One for each of us.....

And here's a happy dog who loves nothing better than to lay cool, cool grass againts his belly on a hot day.

I love his spotty tongue.... Look at him. He's so happy....

My plants from the nursery. Some geraniums (Luke picked the ones with the white tipped leaves). Jack chose a redish orange flower that looked "magical" because the flowers have a sparkle to them. I chose some white petunias. Love how they "vine" and spread down the sides of my planters.

My asparagus ferns from the kitchen "summer" outdoors. And signs taht little boys (who love cars) live here. Love their little reminders here and there.

And here too.... Magic (sticks) wands for Harry Potters in training. And my ivy creeping up the side of the house by the basement. All the way to the porch this year. Love it. Love an old house with ivy creeping up the side. So very English.... any mysterious. I imagine an old home in the countryside. With a huge attic full of treasures. And secret passageways. And crystal chandeliers that sprinkle the room with rainbows when the sun shines through the old dusty windows.... Can you tell I read lots of gothic novels growing up?

Around the yard.... Love that summer is finally here...

Thursday, May 12, 2011

mama's day

Nothing better an being spoiled by my boys all weekend long. I didn't have to cook. Or clean. But, got showered with wonderful homemade flowers. . .

Dinner out. And beautiful "sparkelies".

We played games.

Went to a program a Luke's Kindergarten. They sang songs and we ate muffins together afterwards (and I cried all morning). Luke said, "I had a wonderful morning with you, Mama."

I had some time to scrapbook. And we had time to just "hang out" together.

We took a road trip to see my sister. So we could spend the day together just letting our (six!) boys play together. And we could just talk. And later, have pizza at a giant table like one huge happy boy family.

I got a chance to visit my Grandma. She doesn't remember me anymore. But she was so happy (she was singing "Miss America" in the bathroom) and pleasant. And mobile. And she could hear what we were saying. And she couldn't stop saying what gorgeous boys we have.

What a beautiful weekend. What a beautiful life.

I am so very lucky.

Ten years ago Mother's Day was the worst day of the year. I never thought I would have any children. And here I am, with three boys! And the sweetest, most wonderful husband in the whole wide world.

I am blessed.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

why I can't get to the grocery store. . .

Just this morning. . . while I'm trying to finish my list and clip my coupons. . .

He. .. .. ..

got into my ink pads (and I found him with black ink all over his face and chubby fists)
escaped upstairs
got into the diaper bag and pulled out most of the wipes (to eat)
found my cell phone and called Sam

All in an hour and a half.

And the day has just begun.

Monday, May 9, 2011

monday morning. . .

Oh Monday. . .

The boys groan when I have to get them out of bed and back to school. Something about a Monday and getting moving after a weekend of "on your own time".

This morning, I awoke and the birds were singing outside. I could see blue sky. . .bright blue sky. . . peeking between the green leafy branches outside the bedroom window.

And now, it's 10:30.

The boys are off to school [after a happy morning together trading Pokemon cards and playing tag outside while waiting for the bus].

The dishwasher has been run. The first load of laundry is humming (and probably ready for the dryer). Emeril's stew is in the crockpot (mmmm....). And a breeze is blowing through the dining room window, the white curtains ticking Ethan's nose.

No dog water has been played in yet.

For a Monday, we are off to a good start.