Wednesday, January 04, 2017

It's late morning and the sky hangs like wet steel wool in the sky.  Zander is off for Christmas break and I feel the walls of this house sigh with relief.  Ender and Gunther especially do well when hes home.  Cora and Sam are napping and the older boys are at the library.  So that just leaves me.

Junipine was all about the zip line.  After Zander's tarzan demonstration, I opted out of partaking of the "fun".  It required hurdling yourself through a bush and then gouging the earth away with your feet in order to stop before you hit the end of the line.

So we strung up the kids and sent them sailing.  Sam had no choice in the matter.

Our attempt at a family Christmas photo.  Nobody was trying.  Lost cause.  Besides, Gunther the most important member was in shadow.

Anymore these days I quit packing toys to take with us up north. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Sammy D

"And now it's time for a handsome little bookend"

Sam is the kind of sugar pie I made as a child.  Dragging tin pans out to the mud and whipping up batches of delicious servings of goopy concoctions all afternoon.  Confections of grit and grass mixed in with the muddy slop added texture and pizazz.  Sam is your imagination incarnate of the dirty days of childhood.  I revel in his stink and filth.  His vagabond ways have me charmed.  You can hear him chirping and grunting as he investigates and takes apart the backyard.  If I remember, I quickly run out there to pick up Gunther's poop before Sam inspects that for quality control.  Frantically, I'm scooping, I hear him coming with heavy, excited breathing.  Faster I move, raking the poop onto the poop pan.  I see him out of the corner of my eye with a big grin shoving his cheeks in lumps of dough under his eyes.  He gets close enough to proudly show me that he can help too.  In both hands are two of Gunther's turds which he matter of factly plops onto the collection of poop.  Nodding with satisfaction I see him scan the ground for more.  "Uh, thank you Sam, no more all done, goodbye!  Go away."  I throw a ball.  "fetch Sam, fetch the ball!"  He toddles off down the walk after the bouncing distraction. 

Friday, November 18, 2016

I like Halloween.  On my own terms.  I think Ender would agree.  "Mama, you don't like scary, only whimsical, right?"  Exactly right kid.  Awkward social situations are scary enough for Mr. Introvert, he could do without the grown men dressed up as evil incarnate, stalking his innocent frame down the sidewalk.  I was about to back hand that sorry excuse for a demon. 
At some point, though, if you trick or treat Coronado, you gotta shrug it off your shoulder and plow through the throng of kids to the next bucket of candy.   But, and I admit it, I didn't want to be unkind to that neighbor who put so much effort into her haunted front lawn, that I said "Ok, kids you heard her!"  We lead our naive children under the snake infested carport and rounded the corner to the front yard.  It was at that moment, a ghoul of some sort leaned forward out of a graveyard and "reached for us".  Ender dropped his candy and ran.  I went with Ender.  Zander, laughing the entire time, continued on with Sam and Cora.  Cora would do what she had to do get her candy, I guess.  Plus, she treats the stroller like it's her chariot and it's hard to convince her descend from it. 


Ender as Luke Skywalker. 
Cora looked like Elsa on crack. I'm sorry, she did! 
Sam, was Lambert, because I'd like to think he's a Mama's boy. 

She's as cold as ice.  But not really.

Monday, October 10, 2016

The wolf pack.  Can you guess who the third wheel might be? Ha!  I'm only sorta kidding.

 Sam was trying to help Havee with her accessories.  Here he steps back to assess her new look. 

Dare I say?  It can be a heck of a lot more enjoyable to be an aunt.  Slipping treats to them under the table, not having to change their pants, or enforce rules.  You get to preserve the mystique of being cool.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

It's Sam.  There are rumors within our pack that he might go rogue.  There are signs that are getting harder and harder to ignore.  The past full moon cycle, his hair sprung out from his head a whole inch and no two hairs agreed with another about which way to grow.  After the moon waned to a crescent, his hair settled.  But then there is the screaming for deli meat, the clawing at his high chair, the relentless sniffing across the floor for fallen food.  His bond with the German Shepherd is tightening.  They share the same obsession for the garden hose.  The other night, Gunther was using a blankie during his "rest time".  The lines between boy and dog are beginning to blur. 
Then it happened one quiet morning.  Gunther or Sam couldn't give us a straight answer.  No witnesses, just the carnage of the aftermath. 
Have you ever seen the juices of a caterpillar undergoing it's transformation into it's flying self?  I haven't.  Then I did.  The iodine colored pulp that dissolves the caterpillar into a soup with bits of muscle and organ chunks was smeared across Sam's once "world's most kissable lips".  The dried bits of the chrysalis were scattered at his feet.  I gagged. 

The other night all the kids were playing in their bedroom, when Ender comes stumbling down the hallway wailing at the top of his lungs and holding his arm.
"Oh what did Cora do?" I ask.
"Sam, mom!  It was Sam!  He bit me!"  shrieked Ender.
Not a second later, I hear desperate screaming coming from the back bedroom.  I go in to find Cora cornered, her jammie pants half way up and Sam beating her over the head with a bamboo stick. She's trapped, desperate, panicking, not even trying to defend herself, or cover her head. 
Sam is enjoying the raucous he raised.  With both big kids crying, he's quite satisfied and toddles off to find something else to do. 

In conclusion the baby has rabies or teething molars.

*note: just mud, I repeat just mud.  Not caterpillar puss  :) 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

They are gone.  All of them.  Well.... here's a little secret.  Currently, they are all stashed in my underwear drawer.  It was a last ditch attempt to get them out of sight from bleary and teary eyed Cora. 
Let me take you back a bit....

One day I was gazing out the living room window while Cora was on the couch reading.  I was ruminating about my own frustrations and false ideas of personal progress when I heard that irritating sucking sound.  I turned and saw Cora had snuck a fist full of poppies (house rules: She can't have them during the day) and was going to town on them. 
"That's it!  I'm getting rid of those fake rubber nipples and I will claim this victory as mine!" 
I called Zander up at work to not ask, but warn him of my plan, of one of the most decisively fell swoops this home has ever seen"
Was I too late?   "Whoa, Leslie, what are you thinking?! Do you really want to do it now?" The evil of the poppy had gotten to Zander too.
"YES!  There is no talking me out of it!"
"No no no."
"Yes yes yes, Zander"
"Well, just save one, just in case"
"Just in case for what?!  Just in case there is a shortage on nipples in this world?!  They are absolutely the most obsolete parenting tool in our lives are right now."  Besides I needed this.  I needed a win.
Click of the receiver.

That night the grim reaper of the poppies visited our home.  Well, Grim reaper, angel, Jesus depends on who you ask  :) 

Cora wept and wailed, begged and pleaded, threatened to never sleep again, etc.  It wasnt until Zander saw the poppies for what they truly were to her and he proceeded to give a small eulogy.  He empathized with her loss and in a sweet embrace, felt a sigh of acceptance from her flustered frame. 

I concocted a quick sappy tale of the fairies coming to our house and asking for poppy donations for their little ones.   That ticked her off.  ha! 

So ends the Age of the Poppies. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

It was summer

Summer is their skin flushed from the furnace in the sky. 
One night Zander and I took Cora and Sam hiking.  Her whole body was glowing from the heat of her tiny muscles and the heat of the air.  Her blue eyes were electric and her hair a dancing flame on top of her head.  She stunned me.  Then, she opened her mouth to talk about smashing lizards with rocks or just to say randomly "poop".  In those moments Zander and I point our fingers at each other and say "She's your daughter!" 

Gunther has fun too.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Thursday night, the air was still and sticky.  It was a mad rush, with forced resolve to be calm though, as we packed up old Trusty to head out of town.  The kid's were pumped to be going up to Grandma's cabin.  To fall asleep under the blur of orange highway lamps, to wake in the green blackness of Junipine.  We crawl 10 yards down the street and the grinding of the brakes stalls our quick get away.  "Well, hopefully, its just a rock" sighs Zander.
We pull back into the drive.  The kids squirm in their car seats while Zander quickly works to assess the problem. 
"It just went from bad to worse" announced Zander.
"okay, kids, I've got bad news.... We'll have to go to Junipine tomorrow."
Wah wah wah, yah dah yah dah, they got it out of their system and then passed out in their beds reassured that mom and dad would take care of it. 
Now, Mom did nothing but eat a box of cheezits and then cry herself to sleep because her toothbrush and toothpaste were a jenga piece wedged in a stack of suitcases in the back of the suburban.
Zander, however has the skillz to pay the billz yo.  He woke up at 6:30am under a slated sky that broke over his head in an outpouring of rain and lightning.  The wet weather did not deter his rescue mission.  Soon, he safely whisked his family away.

“Then if a child comes to you, if he laughs, if he has golden hair, if he doesn’t answer your questions, you’ll know who he is."  The Little Prince.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Tut Tut Looks Like Rain

  She's my little storm cloud that followed me around this beautiful sunny day.  She was almost a constant dribble of cries and complaints.  I was soaked and tired from her mini tempest.  Once we were back at the shelter of the cabin, I plugged that pie hole with one of her grotesque poppies and plopped her in bed for a nap.    She woke up with a silver lining.  Thankfully.