October 29, 2012


If I want Ivy to hold my hand, I let mine fall limp. Her grasp will tighten, and she hangs on.

If I strengthen my grip, she will pull away. Every time.

I don't really know what this means. I imagine it can be metaphorical for so much. Keeping her safe while nurturing independence. Control. Freedom. Other people, and me. God, and me.

When the situation calls for it - most often in the Target parking lot- I say "hand!" and reach for hers. If I didn't, she would dance right into moving traffic, with the best of intentions. So, I reach and I lead while letting her think she is leading.

just write

October 28, 2012

Trick or Treat 2012

Trick or Treat 2012

Out here they do trick or treat on the Sunday before the 31st at 3 o'clock in the afternoon!

Here's the thing- Gray wanted to be a dog for Halloween. Do you know how hard it is to find a dog costume for a kid? Specifically a dachshund costume? All we could find were lots of costumes for actual dogs. Thankfully we stumbled across this mouse costume at a local resale shop and Gray was SO happy even though it was SO small LOL.  Him in that thing is like the best thing ever.

Oh one last thing. Carter wanted to be a viking. I found this warrior costume at Once Upon A Child, still in the package. Ivy kept thinking he meant "biking." When someone asked, she told them Carter was going to be a bicycle. Also Jeff made that battle axe like 5 minutes before we were supposed to leave (of course) out of that round cardboard piece in the pizza box, foil, and a hammer.

Trick or Treat 2012

It was (and still is) very cold and rainy here, and it didn't look like many homes were participating, so we headed to Boo at the Zoo. It was very wet and chilly there, too, but it was better than nothing, you know? And they gave out full size treats. We had a great time. (PS I won our tickets via the Akron Ohio Moms blog, thank you!)

Trick or Treat 2012

Boo at the Zoo 2012


Trick or treats past:

October 25, 2012



"They don't make 'em like they used to." The nice man said as he hefted the big green bench into my car.

I garbage picked again.

Driving into our neighborhood on one of the nicer streets this couple was hauling a beautiful green bench... to the street! I turned around and went back and asked them if I could take it. They were so super nice- it was a good quality item but they had it for many years. They carried it back up their driveway while I dropped off the kids to make room. I came back and there they were still waiting, and they even put it in my car.

It wasn't until I got home that I realized maybe I should have offered them something for it? I might drop a card on their doorstep. I should do that.


I raked the leaves in our front yard by moonlight because I needed the air and I'm embarrassed by how nice the neighbor's yards look. I want stuff like that to matter to me, too, so I thought they'd appreciate it in the morning. It felt good.

In my dream last night the kids were riding bikes and there were little trees swaying all around us, and I put my face to the sun and told myself to write this down, to remember when the trees were small and moved like that.

Some other things from this time that I don't ever want to forget:
  • The way Carter moves his hands when he explains something.
  • My early early early mornings with Noah before he gets on the bus.
  • Looking over at Ivy in bed this morning and seeing her baby face. It comes back when she sleeps.
  • How much she's been asking about God, and did he move to Ohio, too? And asking why is that girl singing "we are never ever ever getting back together" again?
  • How cute Gray is HOW CUTE HE IS and how good he is and how he waits at the bus stop while I watch from the window.
  • The chipmunks and the squirrels and how there was a time I could just look out the window and watch and be truly silly happy.
  • Reaping the bounty after saying no and letting go and how good a slow life feels, to have more time than commitments (note to self: please revisit if you slip and forget. Make it happen again.)


October 21, 2012

Scooter Girl

Scooter Girl

Scooter Girl

Scooter Girl

What if there were no words. I could leave it at that. But this weekend we were at the top of our game, it should be recorded. Best ever. So far. Things are good here.

October 19, 2012

Extended Breastfeeding: A Retrospective

It's been a while. I didn't check to see if I wrote it down, but I think it's been well over a year since I last nursed Ivy. Funny because it was such a loooonnnng relationship you'd think I remembered the very last time, but it slipped away quiet and unassuming. Huh.

Until this afternoon I hadn't really paused on the thought, but I sat with her in my arms on the kitchen floor, and I swear I felt my chest let-down, and I was transported to comfort-nursing her- ever so often we landed on the kitchen floor. Crouched, pretzel-legged, in a pile, whatever the situation required. And I could recall that so clearly, I can see it with my heart like a film. The sleepy fluttering eyes, where she'd  touch her sticky hand to the top of her blonde wisps or grasp my finger or the edge of my shirt. Cold nose and wet cheek pressed against my breast. I'd swoop and cradle and make everything better.


Her legs would grow longer- that was what I would notice first, and the recovery time would shorten until no more was needed. It was easy and normal for us and I like to think plays a big part in who she became and is becoming. Me, too.

Now, I pat her bum and there's no diaper and the struggle to potty train is barely even a flicker of a memory and that's insane because that was not easy. When did we get to here? And today she packed a carrot and an apple in her own backpack for preschool.  And I still swoop and I still cradle, but my shirt stays in place, and we have real conversations. And I am overwhelmed with thankfulness that we have arrived at this very day, all that I put in to get to this moment, and what is coming back to me. Arms open and ready.

October 15, 2012


Gray, Miss Nelson Has A Field Day

Gray reads at the third grade level. And according to the babysitter last night he wouldn't come out of his toy box. So. Evens out.

He reads and I knit and listen. Then we fight over math homework but then we crawl to the finish and I fill folders and line backpacks by the door and wear relief like a sweater, that this is what a good mom does.

We laughed over dinner on our date night at how Ivy will sullenly say "Yes, Mother" whenever she is being instructed or corrected, and I can tell it's only to make me feel guilty in her way but it just makes me laugh. Because in the middle of the night she whispers "Mama move over so we can snuggle." She wakes up in our bed more often than not, hands squeezing my upper armflab, but I savor the imprint of her body to mine, for I know this time is so short, and my memory is fading into what tomorrow has waiting on the other side.

...just write

October 13, 2012

Even the ducks are nice in Ohio.

Even the ducks are nice in Ohio.

Mom, I like it here now. She said as we went out to the car. Because we have a "Pumper Up" and the grocery store has a babysitter play place. And you can feed the ducks and have pink rooms.

She has a preschool interview next week... preeeeeeschool. And I am teetering with both extreme excitement and MY BABY! And freedom and I want another one but I don't but I do! And sanity and that's crazy. But in the midst of it all, it makes some sort of sense (just the six of us, to clarify.) We've arrived, finally in the right place at the right time and we're just going to live this one out.

October 11, 2012

ten eleven twelve

Sorbus gloves

I'm knitting again. I'm always knitting again but whatever I enjoy it and wish I didn't have such a craving for expensive yarns. But they are so very soft. I made these for me and already have this on the needles.

I saved up the trip to Target today with a nice fat list. We needed new sheets for our bed, an iPod for Gray, paper towels, and a bunch of other little things, and I hadn't had Starbucks in a while.

We drove around for a bit and I'm finding the roads that take me to the roads I already know and my eyes devour the fruity pebble leaves in the gold sun and I remember to let the air out and think that if anyone were to open me right up they'd see that all she ever wanted was for someone else to be the one to say that everything is going to be okay. 

October 9, 2012



I want to be really good at something.

I want to study it and know the answers.

I just don't know what. But I wish it was already.

October 3, 2012

October FOUR

October FOUR 2012

I wanted trees. Now we have leaves... lots and lots of tiny leaves.

In our backyard at any given moment you'll see a chipmunk or two, sometimes begging with his white belly sticking out by our back French doors. They are finicky little fellows, leaving the unsalted peanuts for the giant squirrels and a humongous blue jay. They much prefer the trail mix I get from Target, especially the almonds and cashews. Gray said when we move he's going to leave a trail so they follow us to our new home. I'm already envisioning myself coming back here to feed them.

Noah is the first one up every morning, around six, and I crumple out of bed a little after to hang out with him before he gets on the bus. It's dark dark out and I open the blinds and put away dishes and sweep. After he leaves I'll get out my laptop and wait for the others to wake and get breakfast. Carter gets on the bus an hour and a half  later - he'll say goodbye and Ivy will yell "Kiss!" and he'll run to find her and smooch her on the cheek and then dash out as the bus drives down our road. Every morning.

Gray heads out fifteen minutes after that (and after we tussle about wearing socksshoesjacketsnackwhere'syourbackpack?) and I watch him through the window and he waves and I wave and then he piddles around and then waves and I wave back, again and again. Then I throw some nuts on the deck and visit with my little friends as they stuff their chubby faces. They are much too fast for my camera, so far.

I'll tell Ivy to put on some pants and today she declared that she didn't want to wear pants. "I just want to wear legs." We run errands and snuggle a lot, and lately she will even pretend to be back in my belly, under a blanket on my lap and everything. Or she'll beg me to have another baby, and I'll tell her I'm sorry but that's not going to happen. I still feel like we missed our window to give her a baby sister or brother to play with, but then I just think about something else...

This week I've been knitting and watching all the Listen To Your Mother shows or a movie or I take my chair outside while Ivy digs or climbs trees or puts water in little bowls to feed the acorns and fills cups with dandelions.

When everyone gets home I hear a lot of... "Mom where is... (something they want to play with but didn't make it in the move- a castle, car, board game)" and I'll say "Get a box from the basement. Make a new one!" They don't ask as much anymore. Then I send them outside.

Gray has the most homework, and he reads aloud while I make dinner or knit. After that we kind of just chill and straighten up from the day, and sign all the school papers and fliers and fundraisers and sign ups from three different schools, and get ready for tomorrow. I start my day because of them, and it finally comes to a slow and sleepy stop because of them.


October, here we are.

I used to take photos of my kids on the first of every month, now it's on the fourth. Four for four. (Here's October 2010 & 2011.) You can see all past monthly photos here.