Wednesday, December 23, 2009


"Who me? What is what?..."

"What, this? In my mouth?...."

"It's a really, really, really BIG jingle bell, of course! It's Christmastime. What else would it be?! (Grownups ask the silliest questions...)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ben's Baptism

This was some amazing weekend. Thanks B & V for making the looooooong, not-so-scenic trip. We sure loved sharing Ben's special day with you. Thanks for all the fun, cousin time - let's do it again soon!

9 kids + 2 days + 1 small house = not much sleep and a whole lotta fun!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Hanna Barbera, the Bard and the Babe

Remember this episode of Tom and Jerry? The sitter is talking on the phone and the baby makes a b-line for the great outdoors and crawls all over creation with Tom risking life and limb to save him? I say "him" because I happen to know that baby was a boy...and his name was Caleb!

Every time a door opens - front, back, garage, whatever - that kid's face lights up and he tears over to try to make it out before anyone can snag him. I have a very clear mental picture from that cartoon of the baby's little backside waggling back and forth as he crawled down the sidewalk and I have seen it repeated several times now in real life, but at about twice the speed.

"O wonder!
How many goodly creatures
 are there here!
How beautious mankind is!
O brave new world,
        That has such people in't!"

(Yeah, he's partial to Shakespeare, this one..."Na na na na na, you can't catch me...")

Even just coralled in the back yard the other day, he managed to crawl through the knees of his first pair of pants - definitely an important milestone in any boy's life.

There's a whole lotta world out there to see, buddy, but for now, please just wait a minute. I'll get my shoes and then we'll go take a look at it all together.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Great to be Eight!

Ben is getting baptized this week! Holy cow, he's growing so fast. And man, I love that kid.

Here are some shots from the "photo session" (read: mom following you around with the digital camera for half an hour while you do what you do) for his announcements.

He started off with his patented
"because I'm humoring my mom"

Starting to loosen up...

A smile! A smile! (almost...)
I think he actually stood on every rock there at one point or another.

That's Ben...

...aaaaand that's a keeper!
 (So is he.)
Love you, Bub!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


So, despite all my well-laid birthday plans, yesterday did not go as anticipated. We were sick. Very sick. Even the birthday boy. I won't go into detail, but we were in pretty pathetic shape, trust me.

Today as her daddy and I slowly recuperated, Alaina woke up shiny and bright and ready to jump into the day like nothing had happened. I tried in vain to get her to rest or take a nap or even hold still long enough to read a book, but she'd have none of it.

After her brother came home from school and they both went to play outside, I heard her little three-year-old voice getting higher, and louder and more frustrated by the minute. Finally, she came rushing up in a storm of tears declaring that he had hurt her. "I said I was sorry!" came the distant interjection from the backyard. Somehow unmoved by this heartfelt apology, she climbed up on the couch by me. Her little limbs and face were chilled through and I wrapped a blanket around both of us and held her close as I smoothed her hair back from her tear-streaked face. She was out in less than a minute.

So, I guess the moral of the story is, if we stop running around and fussing and are still for just a minute, maybe what we really, really need will catch up with us.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Today is my husband's birthday. Not so long ago on his 30th birthday, we came home from the hospital with our first son (top that for a great gift!) and our lives changed forever. We'd been married for more than eight years when Ben finally came along, and we found it interesting that people basically consider you to be newly weds until you take that big step into the brave new world of parenthood.

It was just us and Ben for four years, and then in the course of the last three years, our family has grown to five. There's a dramatic change, for you!

I was sitting in the living room earlier this evening watching Larry and the kids bustle around, and for just a moment, I had a crystaline realization that my whole world was in that little room. I tried to take a mental picture because if I've learned anything about kids, it's that everything passes by so quickly and they change in a heartbeat.

So now, for just a minute, Ben is a tall, thin gradeschooler - all knees and elbows - beginning to figure out who he is and how the world works. Alaina is a precocious, dancing three year old who will talk to anybody anywhere about any subject that comes to her active little mind. And Caleb is coming up on a year (already!) with the fastest knees in town and a ferocious curiosity that is balanced with a tender appreciation for his siblings, his Mom and his Daddy.

Oh, his Daddy! All he has to do is walk into the room and that kid grins from ear to ear, does a funny little wiggle of delight and then lunges at him for some attention. Larry is a rock star as far as that boy is concerned. And I have to say, seeing him with our children, watching him be the kind of dad he never had himself, I love him more and more.

Happy birthday, Larry. I love you!