Saturday, August 18, 2012

sweet saturday

things i LOVE about today - this last sweet saturday before school starts back:

1. Canoeing on Fairfield Lake with hubby and the two big kids
2. Teaching those two about lily pads, canoes, kayaks, and wonderful, simple, outdoor pleasures.
3. Walking trails holding Will's hand watching the kids run ahead.
4. Drinking a dirty martini and cutting fresh veggies from the market for dinner.
5. Sitting on the back porch with a cup of coffee this morning. Sitting in the hot tub.
6. Playing on the monkey bars at the playground. Reading bedtime stories.
7. Giggling and snuggling with baby Floyd.
8. Sleeping until 8am.
9. Cooking dinner. Yes. Honestly, I think i'm transformed... on vacation at least.
10.Resting before the wild Fall starts.

It has been a sweet saturday, and my heart is full.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


We have a saying in our house.
You've been Buggled.
There is a girl who calls herself "Doonie-Bug!" and she is the Buggler. Kind of like the Ham-burgaler. Anyway... if you haven't been buggled lately, let me give you a few examples.

1. You know you've been Buggled when you reach for the lipstick before running out the door and it looks like a monster took a bite out of it.

2. You know you've been Buggled when you reach for the strawberries in the fridge, and it looks like a mouse took a bite out of each of them.

3. You know you've been Buggled when the clock says 3am and there is a tiny, shrill voice asking for multiple objects of little consequence, slamming doors, waking up a baby, and altogether acting like Chicken Little.

4. You know you've been Buggled when there are five wardrobe changes inside of an hour. Usually settling on a Frincess Ballerina appropriate outfit.

5. You know you've been Buggled when 35 yards of dental floss get pulled out and twisted around the 'living room-kitchen-loop' multiple times.

6. You know you've been Buggled when there is no moment of the day that is not filled to the brim with humming, singing, talking, whining, crying, mix, blend, repeat.

I love my daughter, I love my daughter, I love my daughter. She has an amazing sense of humor, her laughter is contagious, she is extremely confident, and quick to the punch (ask her Dad what she told him this week). She is also a high maintenance little broad and getting her from age 3 to age 21 is going to be WORK.

William Floyd Gibbs, III

We welcomed our sweet little boy in April. It's only taken me four months to share that on this venue. I guess Facebook has overtaken for immediate notifications.
Suffice it to say - he is a JOY. In the midst of exams and the end of his Dad's first year of law school, he was the calm that arrived in our storm. The eye of the hurricane. We were forced to stop for a minute and relish the new life that was gifted to us. I went in for an induction - my first one in three deliveries - on Will's 30th birthday. It was a little unnerving, since I didn't want to mess up a good thing. My last two babies came quickly and with no complications. Fortunately I had great nurses and an OB who had just had her third to assure me, all would be well. We checked in at 8am, the doc broke my water at 10:15, I had an epidural at 11:15, and by 12:45 I told the nurse we were ready for showtime. They had to gather everyone back from lunch and set up the room, so we just waited calmly until they gave me the green light, and he took his first breaths at 1:30pm. We kept his gender a secret throughout the pregnancy, but everyone was certain this was going to be another boy. I didn't want to believe it, because I knew that Will wanted a brother for Red. I knew that I wanted another boy for his little cousins, Cal and Leo. And I knew that Junebug has such a strong personality, that a boy just sounded easier to me- whether or not that logic makes sense! He has been the easiest, most laid back baby. He is guy smiley, and loves entertainment from his siblings. Happy to eat, happy to sleep, and if unhappy - there is a very good reason. I know that he will hit 16 months and bust wide open like all toddler boys do, but for now I am soaking up his sweetness, and the time that passes entirely too quickly. We are so, so blessed to get to be his family!

He who is able... is already there.

A sweet friend sent me a message this morning to tell me she is already praying for our L2 year. The wave tsunami is coming that is Daddy back to commuter/student, Mommy back to full-time work, kids to pre-school and baby to starting solid foods. It's all little changes, that amount to a very big amount of shifting weight around and accommodating little growing pains. My tendency is to 'take a deep breath' and start working as hard as possible at being wife/mother/employee/friend with such a fierce determination that I don't leave much room for grace to enter the picture. It was a good reminder this morning, to have a friend remind me that we don't face these growing phases in a vacuum. And it made me stop and hear, in the stillness of a napping baby and the click of my work emails, and happily playing toddlers downstairs (for now)... He who is able is already there. He knows what September, October, November will look like. He has already sketched out the trials and triumphs. And wants for me to walk through them with Him. It is easy in 'Merica to look at our own strengths. We have SO much, and a culture of hard work that makes it more challenging sometimes for me to see dependence on the Lord as a strength. But I know that His power is made perfect in my weakness. So I start this next semester, this next season, yes - with a deep breath. But I'm not holding my breath. I'm taking one step at a time, one day at a time, hoping I can know what choices to make to graciously shepherd our children, to support my husband as he studies and commutes, to work at my job to the best of my ability, and see the areas where His grace is being made perfect as just that: weakness there is not failure, it is an opportunity for better relationship, for more of Him and less of Me. Because He is able, and wants to surprise me, and is already there. I have a feeling I'm going to need to read my own post at least once a week for the next four months ;)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Tale of the Missing 'Dah'

Once upon a time there was a four and a half year old boy who could not seem to part with his security blanket (named 'Dah' sometime back for no explainable reason). We've had a multitude of conversations lately about how big boys don't cart their Dah around, it's just not necessary to have Dah everywhere you go. Especially since Dahs are such sleepy things, and really need lots of rest, so they belong in the bed all day long. Nonetheless, this boy had justified that Dah should be loved everywhere, and at all waking hours, until he turns five.

Earlier today, and about fifteen times this week I've heard this phrase: "Mom, when I am five I will leave Dah in my bed."

You can imagine how much harder it was for me to make my case, when a well meaning store clerk this afternoon admired Dah, and told our sweet boy that she herself had one similar at home that she just loved and loved and couldn't part with... and thought it was grand that he was so obviously consumed by his own.

"You are really not helping my cause." I said with the laugh that all store clerks know means momma-knows-you-think-you-are-helping-but-you-are-not. She smiled back, with that relish-every-moment-it-goes-so-fast smile. We parted without altercation.

And so it goes that we breezed on to the playground, so that this pregnant momma could take a load off her feet whilst the boy and his Bugglish sister could play for a few minutes. I vividly remember them running on ahead of me, his fiercely colored hair gleaming while his Dah waved behind him like a cape.

Three hours later as we were readying for bed, I told him to grab his Dah so we could settle in with a book. "Where is it?" he asked. "I don't know honey, have a look around." It dawned that perhaps the Dah was never retrieved from the car or stroller after our outing. As I searched both, the dreaded fear was realized. In our haste to leave the playground for an imminent potty stop, I saw shoes retrieved, but no Dah. There was little doubt in my mind that the beloved rag of a security blanket had in fact been left behind.

It's one of those teachable moments, right? As a mom, you are torn between the desire to show grace by starting a frantic call-a-thon to find if someone in the vicinity can scour the play area, but also the need to convey the importance and responsibility of caring for one's things, or at least one's most valued possession. But before I uttered a word, and as he sobbed, "I'm sorry I forgot it, Mommy!" my instincts lept into high gear.

An Amber Alert was issued. He wanted me to call the police. And I sincerely thought about calling the police.

I texted friends, grandparents, the law-school-abiding-husband-100-miles-away, all to pray. Anyone who had a relationship with Dah would understand the gravity of our situation. And of course, being the knight-in-his-shining-library that he is, the husband who seemed out of reach for help sounded the alarm the loudest. He knows how much I hate to 'ask' and chose to make our neighborhood Search & Rescue squads know of our dire situation.

Enter Bond and Bond girl. Or at least in this story, they play the role of Bond and Bond girl, because he drove like Bond to the scene of the disaster, with his beautiful wife, at a moments notice.

They had a description of Dah. And while we waited, the boy worried. "Mom, what if other children try to take him?" I couldn't bear to tell him that I didn't think Dah looked the same to other children... So I just conveyed how Bond and Bond girl always come out victorious. Although my hopes sincerely were waning.

Bond girl called me breathless as she ran to search... I told her she might have to use force in the retrieval if necessary. After all, the boy thought Dah was attractive enough to steal. And as he fell asleep peacefully with his back being rubbed by momma, the most blissful picture came across my phone. That tattered and worn blanket with his name and birthdate embroidered popped up with a quip from Bond girl, "Look familiar?"

Never have I been so happy to see that silly piece of fabric. And after today's epic adventure, I honestly think a second date should be inscribed below the first... for Dah's first near-tragedy. And while it tumbles in the dryer awaiting the reunion with the boy (lets be honest, a good sani-cycle in the washer was desperately needed), I am reminded that some of the best things in life are the little things. And the little things can remind us of incredibly large blessings. So if it takes until he is five for him to be 'ready' to give Dah a rest, I can handle it.

It also reminds me that I have a Dah of my own that I carried on for a bit longer than four and a half years. It's in a box in our crawl space, and I've promised the boy on more than one occasion that I would share it with him so he could see the tattered remnants of my beloved security blanket. If you've never had such an attachment, then maybe this excerpt from the Velveteen Rabbit will explain a little of the childhood devotion to such an item:

The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by-and-by break their mainsprings and pass away, and he knew that they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it.

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

Yes, even a Dah might be real.

PS - I highly recommend finding Bond and Bond girl in your respective neighborhoods. Ours are in the witness protection program. High stakes operations like this can't be meddled with - so don't try to get their names out of me.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

RM: "My name is Red. Call me Red." June: "ok, bubs."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Red was showing Floyd his pirate ship the other night...

Recently R built a pirate ship of LEGOS and was giving a tour of its features:

Red: “This is the plank, this is the sail, this is the cannon, this is the steering wheel, and these are flowers.”
Will: “Whoa. Wait, Flowers?
Red: “Yeah.”
Me: “You want flowers on your pirate ship?”
Red: “Yeah.”
Me: “What for?”
Red: “Girls like ‘em.”
Me: “You want girls on your pirate ship?”
Red: “Yeah.”
Me: “What for?”
Red: “ ‘Cause. Some of ‘em are pretty. And some of ‘em have curly hair.”

Smart man.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Meee Moaneen, Mama. It's wake up time!

This is a phrase I am hoping to never forget. No matter the time of day, when I get June out of her pack'n'play (crib catastrophe, later post) she jubilantly exclaims, "Meee Moaneen, Mama! It's wake up time!" For whatever reason, the Junebug translation of Good Morning is Me Moan-een. It's one of the most beautiful sounds and always brings a smile, even when I really want her to know that it is almost 9 o'clock at night and no one is fooled by her scheming, it really is bedtime.

We sing several renditions of Jesus Loves Me, or the alphabet, Row your boat, Twinkle Little Star, or Frère Jacques in both French and English. She has quite the musical repertoire and also counts from 1 to 10. Somehow I can't remember when Red started doing all of this!!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

the June bug...

This is our Junebug. She's busy as ever, despite my lack of blog coverage of her two year old antics lately. Her favorite food is cereal. With Milk. In a Bowl. So much so that it's the first thing i hear about when she wakes up. "I need cereal. and milk. In a bowl." over and over. :)

She is also enjoying sitting on the potty, although successes in that endeavor are few and far between. I will have to buckle down with her eventually, but i don't see a 4-5 day window at home in the next weeks where we can really knock it out.

We're drinking out of straws and trying on Oma's hat, and basically doing everything big girl toddlers do. She loves shoes and purses and 'baubles' - necklaces. She wants to call everyone on my phone. To say the bug has enjoyed her independence and communication skills is a major understatement.

We just had the 'first haircut' this week and it's pretty darn grown up. She smiles widely and yells "CHEESE!" but also scowls intensely... I never know which will come out, a scowl and silence, or a wide grin and sentence introduction. But we love the variety and the surprises and our sweet girl who rocks babies and holds hands and reminds us to all sit down and eat at the same time and pause to pray. God's using her to sharpen me in ways that are more fun than her infancy molding, and we're trying to bottle the moments as best we know how. And enjoy age TWO!