Each year on their birthdays I write my children a letter. This is Piper’s first letter.

for web (1 of 1)-7

My darling girl,

I am in denial that you, my last baby, have had your last night as a baby and are bravely tackling the new moniker of toddler.  I am certain that this denial will follow your growth, but I promise not to let it get in the way of your growth. This past year has flown by. I feel as though I have blinked and you are one.

When your father and I were deciding if we wanted another baby, a woman told me “You might regret it if you don’t, but you will never regret it if you do.” She was so right. You are an absolute treasure to our entire family. You make us softer, kinder, and stronger.  When we go out it never fails that someone smiles at you and says softly, sometimes to us and sometimes under their breath “how precious”. Everyone we meet recognizes indeed how precious you are. Priceless.

Your brothers dote on you. Max loves you unconditionally and takes the job of protector and builder of self-esteem very seriously. You never go long without a kiss, a hug, and you never want for a toy, the very moment you reach for one your big brother is off to get it for you. Your eyes positively light up when you look at each other.  Huck also only has eyes for you.  Baby Big Brother is making you tough, he loves you so much, he sometimes hugs too hard and wants to hold you too tight. He teaches you to stand up for yourself, and heaven help whoever crosses you…he or she will have the three of you to deal with!

I was so worried about having a girl, I myself had a hard time and I struggled in my relationship with my mother. I will try hard not to repeat the same mistakes, but I am certain to make some. My love for you is all encompassing and every new accomplishment of yours is met with great celebration from us all.

You are the sweetest little girl, you are kind and gentle and you are such a delight that I don’t even care that you still wake up every two hours at night. Daddy doesn’t even care that sometimes I have to tag him in because at least once a week Pippy Dulli, Party Girl likes to party from 2-5 a.m.

You prefer savory to sweet, choosing chicken and vegetables over fruits. You love spaghetti and sauce. You hate sticky fingers.

for web (1 of 1)-3


You were the first of my children who didn’t care for cake.




for web (1 of 1)-2-2


But you love tiaras. Your first stop is always to steal anything pink, sparkly, or girly. You, so far, are all girly girl. When we showed you your presents you squeaked and squealed because they were pink and you knew they were for you. Recently we took you shopping and your father got the biggest kick out of what you and I already knew; you are a girl who knows what she wants. He would hold up a dress or shirt and you would either smile and reach for it cooing excitedly or give him a face that clearly said you can’t be serious, no way am I wearing that. 

That is how you came home with more clothes than anyone, none of us can resist you!

You are not easy to anger but woe upon the poor soul (usually Huck) who takes one of your toys from you. When you are really mad you put your fist in your mouth and shake your head back and forth making a loud noise. Everyone in the family knows this means Baby Sister is pissed.

You know what you like and you let us know. You are strong, determined, sweet, silly, kind, and the absolute light of this family. With each of your siblings we felt like we couldn’t fathom how we lived without them. That is still true. When you were born it was like we looked around, the five of us and felt well! we are all here now.

Happy First Birthday my sweet girl. You brought healing to old wounds, and though I was afraid to have a daughter I can honestly say all those fears are gone. I am surrounded by good mothers of daughters to look too, including both your grandmothers, and you have strong men who will love and care for you all your life. I missed out on that and I felt that loss tremendously, you won’t.

I love you with all of my being. Just the thought of you make me smile.

That woman was right, I never regretted it. You are a gift to us all. We love you.

Love, Mommy

for web (1 of 1)-10

The Day I Forgot To Be Self Conscious.

IMG_2478Last year I spent June at the beach with my family, eight months pregnant, contracting regularly and unable to keep anything down except ice chips and protein shakes. The beach is both the greatest place and the worst place to be in this situation. I watched my two boys dig sandcastles, jump waves, float in the pool, run along the sand and I waved them goodbye as they headed off to a giant water slide park knowing that I couldn’t even walk from the car to the park much less go down a slide in my condition. I layed on the couch and thought “next summer I am going to do all those things”.

If I am being honest though, before I was the pregnant, contracting, sick mom who doesn’t get in the water, I was just the mom who doesn’t get in the water. Before that I was the wife who doesn’t get in the water. And before that I was the girlfriend who doesn’t get in the water. I can’t remember the last time I was the girl who gets in the water and has fun but it was surely 7th or 8th grade at least. That’s not to say I hadn’t ever been in the water since then, but I wasn’t enjoying it. It was too cold, I was too insecure in a swimsuit. Too insecure to be seen without make up.  Just too…self conscious.

I would say to my sons “That’s what Daddy is for!” and they would slink over to him and he would take them in the pool.

When the pools opened a few weeks ago I almost forgot about my pledge.  My oldest is so close to swimming and he was working hard on it. The water was frigid but none of the kids cared. My girlfriends got in the water with the kids and I stayed on the pool deck observing. I walked over to where he was and just did it. I canonballed practically right on top of him. Once he recovered from the shock of it his eyes lit up with joy and disbelief “mommy, you’re in the water!” 

This week at the beach he asked me to jump waves with him and I automatically said no. His shoulders dropped and he headed out on his own. What was I doing? I quickly snuck up behind him and swung his feet out into the water. “I knew you’d come!” he said smiling over his shoulder at me. Later I took his little brother in the waves and we screamed when we got splashed and laughed as the waves pulled the sand back from under our toes as they receded into the ocean.

Today, we left the baby with her grandparents and they waved us goodbye as we headed out to the big waterslide park. I told myself I was going to say yes to everything. Slides, wave pools, whatever. I was going to do it all. And I did. Max wanted to conquer the Toucan Twist water slide, a medium sized one,  perfect for an almost 7 year old.  I told him I would go first and catch him.  We did this over and over before we headed over to the pirate ship and the kids played while my husband and our friends lounged on chairs watching them and chatting.

It wasn’t long before Max wanted to do that slide again and I said yes, he ran alongside me saying this time he would catch me. His confidence having been built from repeated successful trips.  I smiled and laughing played my part “Will you? Meet me at the bottom!” Suddenly I realized the whole day had gone by and what was this I was having? Is this, fun? Real, genuine fun?! Yes. That’s what I was having. I hadn’t thought about how I looked in my swimsuit all day. I wasn’t spending energy trying to hide that lovely varicose vein, I hadn’t even sucked in my stomach all day!

No sooner than I thought it I became overwhelmingly away of my thighs wobbling as I climbed the wooden steps, and I heard my doctors voice in my head saying “You’re skinny fat, do you know what that is? You’re not big, but you have a high level of fat. There’s not a lot of muscle. It’s not healthy.” Though I conquered my eating disorder ages ago that comment hurt, all I heard was “You are fat.” Now every step I took I felt heavier, the curve of my belly, rounded from three babies grew outward with every moment. I felt big, I felt out of place, I felt like I couldn’t have any fun.

Just then my son grabbed my hand and with a big smile said “I love love you!” He was so happy we were doing this together. With a quick wave from the lifeguard he headed down the fast moving slide with a quick smile back.”Ill catch you mommy!” he wailed, his voice washing away with the water as he slipped down the water tube.  I decided to take Taylor Swift’s advice and shake it off. I perched at the top of the Toucan Twist and when I got the nod, I layed back, crossed my arms and my ankles just like instructed and swooshed my way around and around until I splashed into the pool where my son caught me.

I’ve never felt more beautiful.




Top five Arbonne picks for summer


photo by Then Again Photography

photo by Then Again Photography

You may or may not know this, but last September I became an Arbonne consultant. I did this for one reason, I can’t buy enough Arbonne. Everything I tried, I loved. And the more I was hitting up MY consultant like a junkie. Once I started learning about the company I was hooked. Not only no animal testing, but cruelty free and vegan. Did you know a product can be cruelty free but still contain animal products because those things are harvested after the death of the animals?  Truth and so gross. (google Mike Rowe animal renderings if you’re really interested in knowing about what is in your make up/moisturizer.) Arbonne also follows the EU guidelines for banned chemicals. The US bans 8 chemicals. The EU band 1400. So there is that. They contain no carcinogens or endocrine interrupters. And the best part is they WORK. I’m obsessed.

I’m a low key consultant. I don’t push parties or flood social media with it, however I get asked fairly regularly what my recommendations would be and instead of typing them out each time someone asks I thought I would just put it here. Some of these are summer specific and some are my all time go-tos!

1. TOP PICK FOR LIFE! RE-9 Advanced 

This is the thing that made me an addict. This system is amazing. My entire skin changed and the last birthday wasn’t so hard to stomach because I felt like my skin was looking better than it had in ages. This is the best anti aging skin care I have ever tried, and I have tried almost everything!  My favorite is the Serum, I cannot get enough Serum. I promise you that by the third night with the system (OMG the night cream) you will wake up and look in the mirror and think WHOA.

2. Liquid Sunshine Self-Tanner 

Being naturally the color of milk I am an aficionado of self-tanners. I am a long time lover of the Jergens  and I do think as far as drug store tanners go it is the best. BUT…this far outperforms it for both natural color, and length of tan. A little goes a long way and I’m stockpiling like a squirrel would with nuts for winter. Seriously.

3. CC Cream 

A heavy foundation in summer just doesn’t work for me, so on the recommendation of my consultant I ordered the CC Cream. It took me a few days to fall in love with it, I confess….and it doesn’t have SPF which when you are the color of milk is important BUT I mix one 1/2 pump of the day cream from the RE9 system and a little bit of CC cream and I am good to go! It stays all day and isn’t too heavy for summer.

4. Glossed over Lip Gloss in Cala

Just the perfect summer pink. The gloss stays put and moisturizes without being too sticky, plus I’m not ingesting any nastiness. I love this gloss. I’m currently pondering whether I can pull off Anise. Because I love this color!

5. FC5 Skin Conditioning oil.

This is a powerhouse product. I kind of feel about it the way the mom in My Big Fat Greek Wedding feels about Windex.  It’s wonderful on acne scars, stretch marks, eczema and a myriad of other skin conditions.

And  one more to grow on!

ABC Baby Care 

You guys, I am certain that a freshly bathed baby with the ABC baby wash is the best smell in the world. I mean, really. Truly.  Piper had the WORST diaper rash when she was sick and the diaper cream took care of it right away. If you have extremely sensitive skin yourself, or psoriasis or eczema this will work for you as well. And again…the scent you guys. The scent. This is what I use on my kids, and less than a dime sized drop will clean a whole kid!


One of the biggest complaints about ordering Arbonne is the cost. I used to really feel that same way until I realized that not only are most drug store brands now costing 24 bucks a pop but they contain a lot of fillers. Arbonne doesn’t and each product lasts a long time. The RE9 system for example contains face wash, toner, serum, eye cream, day cream and night cream and it will last you six months. Unless you’re me and then you order an extra serum because perhaps you over use it…man I love that stuff.


ANYWAY, there you have it! My top five Arbonne picks for Summer 2015!

(those links are to my direct Arbonne page)

Enjoy Huckleberry

We all have our hobbies and my husband’s hobby is silk screening t-shirts. He is very good at it and he recently made me a shirt in the fashion of the coca cola logo that said “enjoy Huckleberry”. Sometimes life lessons smack you in the head from the strangest places, in this case, a t-shirt. I do enjoy my Huckleberry, though sometimes I get mired down in the exhausting spiritedness of mothering such a sparkler. This is MY failing of course, I try to control and get frustrated at times when I should really just take a deep breath and enjoy Huckleberry. Honestly, what’s not to enjoy?

for web (1 of 1)-7This is a kid who finds joy in almost everything. He is unabashedly himself. Other kids flock to him and without a blink he is off and running to play, laugh and enjoy being Huckleberry. He is always in. We running around screaming? I’m in! Playing Legos? I’m in!

On Sunday we took over the Splash Park to celebrate our Huckleberry and almost 40 people joined us for pizza, cupcakes, and fun. I marvel at the ease with which this newly four year old moves between social groups, from school to t-ball to family he seamlessly flits between them and brings everyone together. He is always up for a good time,  and we sure did have one!

for web (1 of 1)-10

for web (1 of 1)-11 - Copy - Copy


It was so precious.


Though the wind threatened to blow out his candles for him, he kept smiling. He was so sweetly happy that all those people were singing for him.IMG_6553


Hint: if you have to shop for a present for a four year old boy, may I indeed suggest Velociraptor hands. They were/are a huge hit.  Thanks CG.IMG_6795




Despite my thinking it was a picture perfect day, Huck informed me that he was mad. You see, he invited Big Bird and Elmo and they didn’t attend, what jerks.

Rip my heart out kid. Good thing my mom got him tickets to Sesame Place for his birthday. Then he passed out in my arms, snuggled down with his Grer Bear and took one more step towards 5.


Enjoy, my little Huckleberry. You teach me every day. I love you.

Like Sands Through The Hourglass…

There are some memories from childhood that are so clear and precise they seem like movies to me.  My childhood is so ingrained with Dub’s that sometimes I am unclear whether it is a memory of something that happened to me or something that is her event but I was there, it’s like a woven blanket of our childhood, the yarns unravelable and multi-colored.

Such it is with the loss of the two front teeth. I can see our classroom clearly, I know where we were sitting at our desks together. I can see the front of the room with the little sink and mirror in the right corner of the room nearest the windows of the basement in the church where our school was held. The windows looking out, if you can say basement windows look out, on a green area with a creek and a tree. That tree was our imagination land for years. It was our home, our tower, our castle, our roller coaster…it was everything.

for web (1 of 1)

I can see Heather and I getting up from our desk in the middle of the room and going to the sink to check our loose front teeth twenty times a day. Twisting them around, feeling the metallic taste of tiny drops of blood as we wiggled them back and forth, that one last string holding on as those teeth stubbornly dangled like shutters in a storm. Leaning close to that safety mirror, wrinkling our noses, squinting as we worked squeamishly on those teeth.

Then one of us, maybe both of us, lost one. Right there in the classroom over the sink. So exciting, so weird. I remember us looking at each other so excited talking about how the Tooth Fairy brings more for front teeth.

On my death bed I will be able to recall this. And I wonder, will Max always remember sitting on our stairs as we all screamed with joy and freaking out as he twisted his tooth around. When I touched it and told him Oh that will come right out if you pull it and how without even a tug suddenly his big front tooth seemed so tiny in the palm of his hand.

Front tooth lost, one more giant childhood milestone passed.


Somehow we keep growing, keep moving forward, even if sometimes we wish we could rewind and re-live.

Thank God for memories.

{ETA We will all remember how the next day at Huck’s fourth birthday party the lone front tooth turned sideways, flipping this way and that causing squeals and eeks from every one until it popped out right as we got in the car to go home.}

for web (1 of 1)-2


This is what I get when I say, give me a cute smile so we can see your teeth….boys.

It’s a low down dirty shame.

There are many trends I wish would go away. The “how can this possibly be still cool” fashion of wearing your pants around your knees. Argan Oil in everything, although this is purely selfish as I am extremely allergic to it. I went to Red Door and all I got was fabulous hair and a trip to the E.R. Good times, good times. But the trend that I literally cannot wait to bid adieu is the prevalent trend of shaming.

We like to talk about how we have evolved as a race and a society from the days of public executions and putting people in the stockades to be taunted but really have we? Stockades may have been for a week, but the internet is forever.

We shame people without even waiting for the whole story. We shame people for one tweet. We shame them for making bad judgement call, having a bad day, And worst of all, we shame them for being children.

Dub and I in High School Seriously, that hair is shameful enough on it's own.

Dub and I in High School Seriously, my hair is shameful enough on it’s own. 

Yesterday I was mindlessly scrolling Facebook, like, literally mindlessly, at one point I thought “I wonder where I left my phone” while scrolling on my phone.  A video popped up, one of the ones set to auto play and there was a man filming a young girl, her hair recently shorn. This is what happens when you misbehave, he says panning the camera to the garage floor where her beautiful hair lies in a tangled mess. Was it worth it? he asks her, she whispers no.  You can watch it HERE but I’m warning you it’s heartbreaking. I can’t stop thinking about it.

Three days later, after her father had chopped her hair and uploaded a shaming video to YouTube chronicling her punishment she committed suicide.

I keep hearing her father’s voice, was it worth it? I can’t imagine how he feels. My heart goes out to him.

Thirteen. She was thirteen. I remember being thirteen, there is no future there is only NOW, and her now was destroyed. I’m not writing to shame her father, he clearly loved her wanting her to be safe, this wasn’t his intention, this is what people do now. It’s what’s done. I think it should stop.

Our kids will misbehave. No matter how good we are as parents, no matter how close we are to them, no matter how open the lines of communications are they will misbehave. They will sneak out, try a drink, they will lie, they will get caught. Hopefully their misdeeds are minor…like most of ours were. Hopefully we will bust them, like our parents did.

As parents our job is to be in their business just the right amount, not too much or they will be suffocated but enough that we know what’s going on (mostly). Our job is to know their friends, their interests, their boyfriends and girlfriends. Our job is to help them understand right from wrong, it is our job when they do wrong to help them understand WHY and sure, hand out punishments. My kids’ Great Grandma says “Better you cry than I do.” They might cry and say we are ruining their lives just like we said to our parents.

But it’s not our job to shame them. They’re still growing, learning, messing up and trying to make it right. We need to be in the trenches with them, not fighting against them.

Shaming our kids is a sure fire way to break their trust, possibly irrecoverably.

So, I will resist the urge to scream “pull up your pants!” and I will happily avoid any and all Argan Oil, if we can just put this shaming trend to rest.


Every year on my children’s birthdays I write them a letter. This is Huck’s fourth birthday letter.

huckmugshot collage

My dearest Huckleberry,

WE DID IT! We made it to four! I always joked that if I made it through your third year I was going to buy myself a present, because whoa boy were you ever three! There were a few nights where I cried that I was failing you as a mother, but we made it, you and me.

I want you to know, as you grow older and we tell stories of your third year, that they always were, are, and will be told with love. You are such a good boy. You are sweet and thoughtful and kind. Just yesterday it was raining and you insisted you would get your Lightning McQueen umbrella to keep me from getting wet. Piper wanted your beloved Grer Bear, and you tolerated her giving him a snuggle or two before wanting him back – which I assured you was okay, Grer Bear is very special to you, and you don’t have to share him. Piper was upset, she wanted Grer Bear! I told you how she wanted him because you love him and you graciously offered any of your other bears to her. When she didn’t take to them the way she did to Grer Bear, you rightfully decided it’s because they weren’t as floppy and snuggly as Grer Bear, so you ordered me that the next time we shop the first thing we are to look for is a bear just like Grer Bear for Piper. She needs  her own.

for web (1 of 1)-3

You and Max are still close, you fight more than before as you get older and have your own ideas, but you also create more intricate games between the two of you. You always run to the door to wave goodbye as Max goes to school and you always say “I love you!”

You are in love with Piper, however you get in trouble a lot because you are rough with her. You just want to play with her and love her and smother her with cuddles. The two of you are figuring it out and when she looks at you she has hearts in her eyes. She adores you! Sometimes you and Max play around in front of her and she thinks you two are the funniest people in the world!

for web (1 of 1)

The three of you laughing together is, without a doubt, the best sound in the universe.

I hope you never feel the trap of the middle child, that you are overlooked, you are not.

You play baseball with brother now and you like it, you rarely make it through a whole game, usually playing an inning or two and then heading off to the sandbox to play. You say you like it and we will keep you in it unless you change your mind. Perhaps you’ll fall in love with something else, and I promise you we will be all in for whatever that may be.

You are quick to anger and quick to forgive.  When you’re mad you say to whoever has offended you “YOU BUTT!” and we try not to laugh because you are so mad but it’s so adorably wrong, we can’t help but smile, on the inside anyway. You are the best hugger and snuggler ever. Cuddling with you is HEAVEN. You used to kick us out of your room before you fell asleep saying you needed ‘alone time’ but recently you’ve needed someone with you at all times. “I need an adult” you say. I honestly don’t know what I would have done without your grandmother this year, she stays with you while I negotiate putting your baby sister to bed and your big brother. But I want you to know this KILLS me. It kills me that she reads to you and holds you as you fall asleep, all while I am grateful to her for making you feel so loved and cared for. Sometimes I talk you into letting me read to you and stay with you until you fall asleep, knowing I will have to sneak out once you are asleep. You say to me “will you stay with me the whole, whole, whole, night?” and my heart breaks that the answer can’t be yes. And that by the time it can be yes, you won’t want me to anymore. This is a great sadness in my life. I love being with you, I want to snuggle next to you the whole, whole, whole night.

Your love of McQueen is still going strong! Orange is still your favorite color and you always ask for “nibbles” before bed, cereal to eat while we read to you. You love to dance and sing and be silly. You are free with your “I love you’s” and you are always up for a hug. When we drive you ask me to reach back and hold your foot- you’ve ALWAYS taken off your shoes- and I squeeze it three times for I Love You. Sometimes you’ll insist that I do it. If you are in the car seat and need a hug but I am driving we do a magic hug and we both hug the air.

You have a smile and a spirit that is contagious. You are fearless socially, you get right in! One night we were all talking about you and we said “Huck always brings the party” right then you walked in and said joyously “I’M HERE!” we all cracked up because…yes, yes you are! And you do bring the party!

What would we do without you our spirited, passionate, silly, loving boy? Life would surely be boring without you. I am so grateful we have you, even if you did flip over a kitchen stool because I wouldn’t give you cookies for breakfast.

You may be little but darn it, you are strong!

I love you so much, my Huckleberry. I am so blessed to be your mother. You are a light in this world and you bring joy to everyone you meet.

Happy Birthday my Baboo. Here is to many, many, many more.
2014-2015How much you have grown!

Caitlyn Jenner. #CallMeCaitlyn

I know, I know, you’re all DYING to know what I think about Caitlyn Jenner’s debut.

I’ll break it down for you, if I had a gif of God starting with a slow clap then  giving a standing ovation it would go right:


It’s always so trite and annoying when people say “God has a plan!” right? After we moved I heard that a lot. I felt like screaming “Oh He does does he? He thought it was a good plan for us to leave LA and all our friends with a ten week old baby, 4 weeks after my best friend was diagnosed with cancer? 11 weeks after my sister had my nephew and we found out he had a genetic metabolic disorder? And then AFTER we move, my husband’s job will fold and we will be left in Akron with NO prospects and I’m gonna go ahead and get a vicious case of postpartum anxiety? That’s God’s plan? That plan SUCKS.”

But then…something like this happens. The literal embodiment of male physical and athletic perfection, the idol of many boys and the dream man of an entire generation of women, a male figure who is still ubiquitous with Wheaties, no matter how many others have graced the front of the box. That this man, who accomplished the pinnacle  of Olympian feats, who even if you were born well past the era of Bruce Jenner is still thought of as one of the greatest male athletes of all time. That Bruce Jenner of all people would truly be a woman, well now, God, THAT’S a plan.

Who better to break down ages old misinformation and judgments? Who else could be so spotless in his masculinity that there is NO denying that we are born this way, not nurtured this way? Who has the resources at her command to make the transition and control who and what she shares with us and when? There is no hiding from Caitlyn Jenner, she is here, as she should be, finally HERSELF.


And what a self.

That is a plan well executed.

Welcome, Lady. Being you looks real good on you.

Thank you, Caitlyn for being brave enough to be YOU. I’m so glad to see you out and about. You’re doing a tremendous thing by living authentically. Today as your pics take the internet like wildfire, keep heart, sure there will be some backlash. There always is. But as my mama always says “that says more about them than it does about you.” Follow the golden rule of never reading the comments, but trust me 95% of them are nothing but love and support. That’s on you and that love and support transfers from you to the young people who are currently not able to live as their true selves. Every day you stand up for yourself you stand up for them. You pave their way as you paved so many other paths before in your life.


You’re one hell of a woman, Caitlyn. Glad you’re here.

Quit telling me it’s not cool I’m happy for summer…and having my kids home.

These three are ten kinds of crazy and I like it. 


I get it, it’s cool now to be snarky about kids, about how HARD they are to raise (they are) and how they get in the way of all the fun. I also get that summer is like serious parent boot camp without school to distract them, engage them, entertain them,  and you know; care for them.

This week I got not one, not two, but three emails from sites touting articles  how people like me,  people who are happy about summer and having the kids around, are just ruining it for everyone else.  In fact, these sites inform me we simply can’t be friends, I’m clearly “deranged”,  “unstable” and obviously “weird”.

Now, I am not saying those descriptions don’t apply to me, I mean I live with my mother- in-law and like it.  I’m not a moron, I know these articles and posts are primarily tongue in cheek, and I am certain that despite years doing sketch, stand up and physical comedy I will be told I need a sense of humor, but you know what? I think these articles kinda suck. I don’t mean the actual moms who write them suck. I’m certain they are good moms and hey, we ALL need a break. There is no shame in that game. But no matter how humorous these takes may be, we are still putting out there in the world that children are inherently assholes to be endured and not tiny rad people to be shaped and enjoyed.

No, I don’t plan to spend every waking moment catering to their every whim. “Go play outside” will be said at least once every day. There will be trips to the pool sure, but there I get to talk to my friends while they jump in and out of the water and we all play with the baby. There will be fort building,and  chasing after the ice cream truck, and reading time and coloring time and staying up late for outdoor movie time. There will be friends invited over to play, so many of my fun memories of summer don’t even feature my mom, she invited my friends over and let us loose within the safety of our home and backyard, and we had a blast! We have them little for such a short while, I’m going to enjoy it and even grin and bear it when Huck says “Play play doh with me” for the 90 millionth time (I  hate play doh but I love Huck), I’ll put a blanket out in the yard while the kids swing and I’ll read a book while they dig in the sandbox.

I may escape for a nice bath or a girls night out. Parents need kid-free moments just as much as kids need parent free moments. But I won’t put it out there that hanging out with these people is torture…because it isn’t.

The whole negative attitude smacks of junior high when suddenly to be cool you have to not only not like anything, but mock anyone who does dare to say they do like something.  I’m over that. Been there, done that, lived through it, not interested in repeating it.

And if you think I don’t have sense of humor, how do we think the kids will feel when they read these posts? We live in a world where we tell them ALL the time that once something is on the internet it will be there forever, and yet here we are putting it out there for them to future google saying they’re jerks, we don’t care to hang out with them. I’m not speaking of expressing our need for a break, or how we are struggling with parenting or with our child specifically. That is LIFE and that can humanize us to our children, but to blanket say “Hey! you who are excited about having your kids home for summer? We can’t be friends because this sounds like hell to me!” that-although good click bait and SEO, well…that kind of attitude sucks. And I can’t imagine what I would feel like if I read an article for God and all to see on the internet saying my mom thought being with me was a prison sentence.

And those of us who are happy about having our kids around, maybe we don’t want to be your friend anyway. So there.

I’ll see your junior high attitude and raise you to elementary.


Enjoy your summer, I know me and my kids will.

Little Windows



He does his best sharing with me right before he sleeps. At almost seven, his days are spent being big, strong…brave. Everything between even the best of friends is a competition. Who is the tallest, fastest, the best counter to one hundred. Every second of his day is graded by increments of achievement, even though we the parents encourage the growth rather than the goal. It takes a while to shed this skin of bigness, it takes coming home, relaxing, bathing, and finally being tucked into bed and suddenly, again, he is little. Well, not really little but smaller. Released from competition he snuggles up next to me, places his forehead right against mine.


It is this time of day that is my favorite with him, it is this time of day he spills out all the stories he has to tell.


This evening his eyes grow cloudy in the dim light of the baseball night light illuminating our cocoon. I remember when he was born thinking I had never seen eyes that color, eyes that are truly cerulean blue. Once walking through an art gallery with him when he was tiny a woman stopped me to tell me what beautiful eyes she had. When I told her he was a boy, she said shaking her head what a shame. I thought that was a silly thing to say, as if beautiful eyes were wasted on a boy.


He furrows his brow, the smattering new spring freckles spattered across his nose barely visible and whispers, “I have something to tell you.” He is very serious and I prepare myself. There have been troubles at school with a boy in his class. Last week he tackled my son to the ground twice telling him he wanted him to stop breathing, and later that he wanted him to die. We’ve been talking about ways he can stand up for himself without making the situation worse and my heart aches that kindergartners can cross the line from play to cruelty so easily.


He takes a deep breath, ready to talk after a long  pause. “I don’t know how to tell you this. I don’t want to hurt your and grandma’s feelings.” I reassure him that he can tell me anything and remind him that if he feels he can’t tell me or someone says he shouldn’t tell me, those are the most important things to share. Then I reassure him that grandma and I are grown ups. That it is very sweet that he wants to protect our feelings but that is not his job. Our job is to protect him, not the other way around. While I am saying these words, whispering in the half dark, my mind is racing. What on EARTH could he be about to say. Finally, he is convinced I won’t be mad and I promise I will tell grandma for him. That’s my job, I say and kiss his still sun warmed forehead.


“I am just over the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. You and grandma always buy me turtle stuff and I am over them, but I don’t want to hurt your feelings. I know you buy it for me cause you love me and think I love them, but I don’t anymore.”


It’s hard not to laugh one of those oh that is the sweetest thing laughs, but I don’t because he will think I am laughing at him, another newly introduced concept thanks to this boy at school. “Oh honey!” I say “I am so glad you told me that. You’re right we do get it for you because you liked it. But it’s good you’re growing up and moving on to new interests! Never be afraid to tell us who you are right now! Grandma and I love YOU no matter what you like! ”

Such a small thing to me, such a large worry for him. We spent the rest of bedtime chatting about his new interests and what he likes now. I am not sure how to make sure we always have these little windows of time where we can talk like this, I know as he grows older and more independent the opportunities will shrink, at least for a while. But for now I am grateful to lay forehead to forehead and stare into those beautiful blue eyes as he quizzes me on all the names of the Skylanders.

I’m doing pretty good so far.