Thursday, December 8, 2011


We celebrated the twins birthday this week - twice.  My boys are 5!  How did they get to be that old already?

Sunday we had a birthday party for James and Morgan turning 5 December 6 and Evan who turned 3 November 24.  The boys were thrilled with having their family all here to celebrate.

On their birthday, we had our own family dinner - one of their favorites, spaghetti.  After eating Grandma's delicious cakes, I decided fresh baked cinnamon rolls would do for dessert.  3 boys had candles to blow out again.


While birthdays are meant to be celebrated, it's also a time for a mommy to reflect.  I watched my boys throughout the evening and marveled at the wonderful little men they are.

Morgan has a kind, loving nature.  He is sensitive to the feelings of others and makes a point to try to comfort them if needed.  Yet he is also a ball of energy that spontaneously bursts into jumping or dancing his way around the room.  He's very creative, leaving his mark on any blank space he finds.  He is a friend to all he meets and confidently introduces himself or offers a rendition of a favorite song.

James has a determined, helpful nature.  He spends a lot of time figuring out how things go together - blocks, lego, forts etc.  He loves helping with everything from setting the table to putting on Evan's coat to helping any of his adults with their various projects.  He considers himself a fine cook.  Although he is a confident boy at home, he is nervous of new places and events, relying on his trustworthy twin or his mommy. 

Put the 2 together and the things they come up with are limited only by their imagination.

I can't help but to think back to the day they came into the world.  They surprised us by arriving six weeks early.  12 days later they came home to be our Christmas gifts.

James and Morgan at 2 weeks old 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Three Year Old is in the House

Evan turned 3 today!  3!!  

Evan with his clown cake.

It astounds me each day how much my boys grow and change and learn new things.  One day I am holding them in my arms and helping them with everything while getting in all the cuddles I can.  And then, after what seems like just one sleep, they are dressing themselves and teaching me songs they've learned.  It's the affliction of every parent - how do they grow up so fast?

While Nicholas is my youngest, Evan is my baby.  Or was.  He perched on my forearm for the first year of his life, stayed close to me where ever I was in the house, never wandered far from my side when we were out.  But then, one day I noticed he wasn't playing by my side, he was off with his big brothers.  He no longer wants to ride in the shopping cart when he can wander and "help" me. 

Today was his birthday so we made it a special day for him.  He was a bit confused by us celebrating without the rest of the family we've been planning will come for his birthday party.  Where were Grandma and Granddad?  And when I asked what kind of cake he wanted he insisted he had to have a clown cake.  Grandma will be creating a true clown cake for his big birthday party so he couldn't understand that he could have any kind of dessert he wanted tonight; he wanted a clown cake.  Although far from professional, I was pleased our improvised clown cake ended up looking somewhat like what it should considering there were 4 pairs of hands helping me create it.

And so today has marked the day that my little boy is no longer a baby.  To look at him he doesn't resemble my image of him.  He can now look over the edge of the counter, he can use the potty all by himself, he can wash his hands by himself, he never stops talking, he can count to almost 20, he knows where he lives and his phone number, and he can spend 2 nights away at his grandparents all by himself.

But even though he looks like a 3 year old and acts like a 3 year old, I know my baby is still tucked away inside.  He still loves his cuddles, wants me to carry him, gives me spontaneous kisses, cries when he's frustrated, runs to me when he's scared and, best of all, tells me he loves me.  He also reminds me every day that he's "dust whittle still".  He's still just little enough to want his mommy to do things for him; even those things he can do for himself.  But I don't mind.  It helps me keep him little for a while longer.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pure Joy

Is there anything that can fill you up with such pure, unadulterated joy as when you get to do that which you have been trying unsuccessfully to do for so long?

Nicholas experienced that right here:

Misty and Nicholas

Nicholas loves cats.  He lights up and makes a very specific, high-pitched noise when he sees our cats - or any cat.  For the first time Misty let Nicholas pet her.  All by himself.  He was overjoyed!

The most amazing thing about this is Misty has never been a cat to let many people touch her or even see her, least of all a baby.  I remember the wide-eyed, fear-filled moment when she jumped up on my lap only to discover two alarmingly scary, yet tiny, creatures there.  And that first meeting with James and Morgan didn't leave her anytime soon after that.  I don't think I saw more than a black streak run past me and out the door every morning for about a week.  She was terrified of them.  She's come a long way in five years.

And Nicholas got to reap the joy-filled benefit of that progress. I think she might let him touch her again sometime too.  He only pulled a little bit and his high-pitched squeal subsided after a couple of minutes.  She didn't even seem to mind the missing handful of hair.  And all this took place without Luke or I having to hold her still so he could touch her.

The smile on his face said it best: Pure Joy.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


This was what I found on our bed last night.  Those pieces of paper are very large sheets folded into four left there for us by James and Morgan. 

My boys love to make crafts, paint, draw, create.  In my usual thrifty fashion, I save the sheets of paper the newspaper flyers are wrapped in for the boys to use.  Usually I divide the large sheets into four so they are easier to work with, but often the boys get them out themselves and use them full size.  Sometimes they use the paper to paint colourful pictures; sometimes beautifully drawn pictures.  But these two full-sized sheets are not covered in colour or pictures.  And still they are among my very favorite yet.

These are our first love letters from our boys.

Morgan started it; James joined in just as enthusiastically.  With the big sheets of paper spread in front of them, I listened to them discuss what they were doing and how they should do it.  They looked each others' over and folded them back to their original size.  Off they ran to their bedroom to tuck them away.  Or so I thought... 

Although I had enjoyed watching their exchange, it didn't seem out of the ordinary.  So I was surprised to find the papers placed carefully, one sheet on each side of our bed.  They had followed me into our room and quickly said,   "These are poems for you and Daddy.  Do you like our poems?"

Do I like them?  I love them!  I don't really know what they say: they are rows made up of a jumble of letters, numbers and some squiggles.  But they were written for us by our two big boys and it really doesn't matter what they are supposed to say.  What matters is that they wrote us poems.  What matters is that they recognize the importance of putting their thoughts on paper and sharing them using this new medium.  What matters is that they used everything they know, as they know it, to tell us that they love us. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Camp-Out

The downstairs living room was cozy with the woodstove burning as we sat together watching a movie.  Too many week-ends have passed full of busyness and not enough of the kind of time where a movie could be started and watched to the end.  It felt good.  There were frequent pauses though: bathroom breaks, drink refills and a tray of snacks made and enjoyed.

During one of the longer pauses, I returned to find a large bed constructed from a NASCAR throw blanket spread across the floor in front of the couch.  Three small afghans were arranged individually with a pillow and some favorite stuffed animals from bed at each.  Three happy faces looked at me expectantly, waiting to see my reaction to their efforts.  It was explained clearly how this was their bed they were going to camp-out in it tonight.  The best, most convincing argument came from James.  He assured me they would be fine sleeping downstairs all night by themselves because he would take care of his brothers.

When Daddy came came back and the whole plan was explained again, he looked at me questioning whether it would really happen or not.  I smiled and said "we'll see how it goes".

I don't remember such willingness to go to bed before.  Jammies were put on, teeth were brushed and I was told just how tired they were.  Down the stairs they trooped.  Two minutes later the parade began.  Morgan was up to get books.  James came up to get his pumpkin lantern from last Halloween.  Morgan was up to get his pumpkin lantern.  Evan came up trailing James to find a flashlight.

After a few more trips up and down I followed to tuck them all in.  Three kisses goodnight, three prayers listened to, three "sweet dreams" were wished.  After about 15 minutes of listening to giggling, shouting and a general good time, Daddy went down to check on how the room was surviving.  Three little boys filed up the stairs with pillows and teddies tucked under their arms.  Daddy followed, "they're hot".  I guess so!  It was at least 30 degrees down there. 

And now, all are tucked snugly in their beds in their much cooler rooms.  The remnants of the camp-out left to be cleaned up tomorrow.  And even though the camp-out didn't last an hour, this night will be recorded in their memories.  It will be taken out and remembered, talked over and examined.  This was the night they camped-out downstairs all by themselves. 

Remnants of the Camp-Out

Saturday, September 17, 2011

No Longer a Baby

My little baby turned 1!  Happy Birthday Nicholas!

Nicholas at 1 week old

You have made the past year so precious as you grew from the tiny babe sleeping in my arms for so many blissful hours into this bundle of energy and joy.  Your smile lights up my heart; your small hand holds my finger so tightly as you practice your steps with such unabashed bliss.

Nicholas at 1 year old
You: climb EVERYTHING, always have a smile, reach for things beyond your grasp, yell to get the attention of all your brothers, unload the dishwasher whether clean or dirty, ride anything with wheels or you can make move, unpack any box or basket with something in it, have a belly laugh when I tickle you, like to eat the cat food and spill their water, like your sucky but throw it when you're mad, can't lie still long enough to get changed, have a complete fit when something is taken away from you, love taking a bath - as long as a brother is in the tub with you, clear off the dresser top when I don't get you out of bed fast enough, hate wearing hats, claim all drink cups, play peek-a-boo with yourself, close any door you find open, love playing in water, almost always have something in your hand while you are crawling, lie down on your belly and kick your leg up in the air when you don't get your own way, clear out any cupboard that's not locked, don't like sitting backwards in your carseat, open the deck screen door and close it behind you, sit on your brothers whenever you can, love to eat cookies and toast with jam, have to be harnessed in any seat I put you in, laugh when I sign to you, play patty-cake, love to nurse but can hardly stay still long enough to finish, escape outside whenever a door opens, love animals, give great big juicy kisses, don't like taking naps or missing out on anything, love your Dema, see an unheld phone or remote control and your eyes light up as you head towards it, sing with us, love to play with balls, eat stones, crawl down the deck stairs to play on the riding toys outside then crawl back up when you are done, cling to my leg when you're hungry or tired, bring yourself back inside when you are finished playing on the deck, still don't have any teeth, and only nap for 30 minutes a day.

Climbing the slide
Riding the 4 wheeler

Playing in the water
And sometimes, when I am really lucky, you still fall asleep in my arms while you are nursing. 

You are also determined, stubborn, single-minded, loving, strong-willed, have a temper, laugh easily, play hard and give wonderful hugs.

You are such a blessing.  I love you more than words can express.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Summertime Flowers

One of the things I really enjoy in the summer are my flowers.  Although my flower beds often look as though they need some tender loving care, I do appreciate all the plants that survive my hit-and-miss attentions.  This year Luke and I built a flower bed in the front yard that I have been planning since we moved here.  First though, the ugly, smelly juniper bush had to go!  Thanks to Luke, Myles and the diesel, it's gone.

My flower bed

Here are photos of our work-in-progress.  Of course my plan included something much more elaborate, but this more realistic garden was the perfect suggestion from Luke.  I love the result.  I have many more flowers still to move, but it's beautiful just as it is.

Nicholas - my newest helper

Our beautiful Hibiscus

I stopped at the grocery store on Sunday and I couldn't resist buying one of the beautiful Hibiscus plants displayed outside.  They remind me of my Granny and I decided immediately that I needed a piece of Granny in my flower bed.  For all her attributes that were less grandmotherly than most grandmothers, she did have a green thumb.  (I truly missed inheriting this gift from her as my houseplants have to be drought survivors and very hardy to survive me.)  I can't wait to plant the Hibiscus and think of her every time I look at it.

But I think the thing I like the most about my summertime gardens are the vases of flowers that sit on the corner of my cupboard all spring and summer long.  They are always filled with the flowers (and sometimes just the flower heads) picked for me by my boys.  Everything from dandelions to lilacs to Queen Anne's Lace.  And every once in awhile, one of the flowers from my flower beds.