Thursday, July 23, 2015

Sammy Dow, how precious you are.  You are the first one of my babies that haven't brought me anxiety.  I feel more akin to a grandma with an aching heart, longing for the days to hold my newborn again.  Each day drifts into another and you grow away from your newborn self.  Sorry to be so mellow dramatic kid.  I know there will be a place for this again in Heaven. 

Yesterday afternoon, I slipped out the backdoor to sway on the porch swing.  The sun was hugging me tight, but not such a squeeze that I wanted to wiggle away.  Cora eventually found me.  Her daddy must have wedged a balloon between her shirt and already round toddler belly.  "Ah, does Cora have a baby in her tummy?" 
"Yeah, baby Kin" (Quinn, her cousin) She says as she gingerly rubs the balloon.  How tender.  Then she wants to swing with her baby.  So, she lays on the swing belly side down because baby makes a great cushion. 
When these two are left bored and alone, someone is going to lose a chunk of hair or a piece of skin.  That somebody is usually Ender, poor guy.  But when they are left with a spark of an idea, they play like storybook friends.  The air softens around them and their laughter almost makes me faint with nostalgia.  I swoon extra when they end up playing with things you didn't buy to encourage developmental growth.  Such as this fine specimen of child's pool discarded by the previous owners because their dogs weren't using it anymore. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Someone to celebrate

Oh Sammy, my love, my little darling, you're here!  I bottled you up in my body along with so much fear and anxiety for far too long. 
You smell amazing!
You feel amazing!

Leave it to your siblings to play ping pong with pink eye and finally hit daddy straight in the face the day you were born.  I am also sick with some sorta nasal drip, such as it is, welcome to the chaos.

The sky rushed our way when it caught wind of your birth.  It rains, it blows, it cools my after birth sweats :)

Ender entered this world under such serious matters.  IUGR, a c-section, freaked out parents.
Cora sashayed into  a party- so many females laughing and cheerleading for her in the delivery room.  Fitting for the extrovert.
Sam came with quiet reserve to live and just be here.  Fears told us you shouldn't be here, you shouldn't be healthy, but you came with confidence paying no heed.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Gentle July

July has come gently this year.  A week of very warm embraces and cool kisses.
Junipine didn't get to have us this Fourth.  I'm sure the sycamores drooped and the creek slowed.  We spent the holiday at Grandma's and Grandpa's and it made us all very happy and peaceful. 

Clearly Zander shopped H&
M by himself.

Grandma's patriotic red velvet flag.

Zander's antics he smuggled onto the plain from the midwest when he was twelve as claimed by him.
Cora, plugged her ears and scowled.
Ender shimmied a tree.

Monday, July 06, 2015

Dog Days of Summer

So our Samuel Dow.  Many a men have come before you with that name, and many will come after.  But you will never be one of them.  You fill out your own flesh.    
These three eagerly await your arrival.  I thought I might have to warn you about them, but if you are smidgen like them in diabolical madness and heavenly joy, it is me and the world who must brace ourselves.

The anticipation of you is on the eastern horizon.  Charcoal clouds smudged across the sky have me wondering when they and you will come and bless the hot days.

Another unexpected pet of your's is Claudette.  I'm not sure if she will make it to your birthday though.  She has laid two eggs and thus caused your daddy to close the system in case her babies escape.  The other night he caught another black widow, tantalizing her from her shadowed hiding place with a sacrificial cricket.  Eight, black sewing machine needles work in precise motion to stitch their pray into their webbed coffins.  Unfortunately, when daddy went to deliver Claudettes new room mate/assassin, that is when he noticed an egg was hatched.  With his typical shriek he closed her lid, shivered, and regrouped.  I went inside as he contemplated the fate of the ladies.
I had time to read, use the loo, scan through Taylor Swift's instagram, and take a snooze.  I woke up to find him still outside with the jar in his hand, looking a little dejected "I can't think of a way to dispose of her".
He smashed the unbonded spider, but what of Claudette?

Last night, Grandma and her gang (Ender the apprentice, Cora, the tag a long and Zander her back up, I suppose)  collected a slew of fresh scorpions.  Zander froze about a fourth cup experimenting with humane death penalty practices.  After the thaw it was just a soggy mess of dead bugs.
So I think Claudette will be frozen.  Bless her.  I suggested baking, Zander's dad suggested fireworks, but the freezer it is!

I write this as though this is how my mind works.  This is all your dad's influence.  Once I'm in the presence of my mama (your Nana) we decide that a nice trip out to the desert for a freedom
release party would be best.

Oh Sam, come soon and make our lives even more eccentric and happy.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Where to begin.

Have you every asked a spider if it hurts to molt?
Freshly molted spiders are very soft and vulnerable until their new exoskeletons harden.

My sister recently gave birth to a baby girl.

Quinn Isabella.

Quinn has down syndrome.

Can I say the words shock, denial, devastation,  grief?  That was me when mama's words slammed into my chest.   Then followed by self hate and guilt for experiencing those feelings.  Zander, mom, told me that it was normal to mourn.   But no I screamed inside my head.  Mourning shouldn't be normal, its not fair.  How could I feel anything but joy over this amazing little creation?  But I did and am still doing to be honest.

Part of me wants to wrap my arms around Morgan and Quinn and shelter them from the world.  Saying "Dont you dare look at them and feel what I'm feeling.  We're wrong.  Don't gawk and feel sorry for them, like I did."  But beauty such as Quinn's cannot be hidden, especially under a cloak of fear.  Its irrational to try and snuff out the sun with your thumb. Quinn dares us all to look, stare, and wonder at her exquisite form.  She's magic.  Don't catch her gaze if you're not willing to be transformed and leave your old self behind for something better. 

Because its painful to shed this old layer of skin.  Underneath is raw. I am soft and vulnerable until this new layer of truth can harden like armor protecting me against my enemies.  And it will.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Dreamy Draw- March

I wasn't too familiar with the Dreamy Draw area.  It appeared to me to be the foothills that Ender's dragon slayer ancestor had his many hideaways and  look out spots.  I was feeling extra bloated with baby that morning and Cora was more of a parasite than the typical independent explorer.

We stay in this spot for about 10 minutes as she works on a poop.  She wasn't happy about it.

So beautiful, so prickly.  A perfect pair.
The other morning I am trying to get us out the door for swimming and Cora is insisting I read to her.

"I can't right now, why don't you read to yourself"

Whoa nelly, with that suggestion, she lets out a wail and pathetically cries over and over

"I can't read, I'm a baby!" 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

March- I have not forgotten

I made it a point to take the kids out "hiking" and exploring every Wednesday for the month of March.  I ignored the voice inside my head telling me that "it wouldn't be as epic if you weren't pregnant or if you didn't have the minis with you".   Such terrible and gruesome voices.  Though they continued to speak, it was in the dust of my heels as the kids and I tramped across urban trails.

First up- the familiar stomping ground of Echo Canyon.  Obviously we couldn't hike the main trail because we weren't wearing sports bras or sipping from Camelbacks.  So we decided to visit the hollowed out lair of the dragon.  Shaded by the shadow of its threshold, I told Ender the legend of the cursed dragon who sleeps under the mountain the people mistakenly call Camelback.  Truly, if you bend your minds eye you can clearly see the shape of a defeated but bitter dragon resting and biding his time for  when the curse wanes and he wakens to wreak havoc on modern society. (his great great great something of a dragon slayer relative fended off the dragons of the desert and there are dragon relics and abandoned caves all over this city!  Look it up, its real. )
Well, at that point Ender did not want to go to the cave.  Huh, I wonder why.  But I assured him, that there was one who would defeat the beast.
 "ME!" he cried out.  "But after daddy teaches me how to use a sword"
"Of course Ender" I smile.
"And, if we go over there, our steps won't wake him up?"
"Oh no, he can't wake up until you turn.... 16 or something"  - I fumbled for an answer.

Cora tagged a long nicely with Ender.  I think he keeps her around for dragon bait, should the time come.
That was a good outing.  I legitimately lost the trail, but Ender's sharp mind found it in no time and I made sure to praise his keen leadership.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

"Ender, last night your daddy and I dreamed and imagined a fort that hovers over our garden!"

"ohh, last night I dreamed I was swimming in a big cup of milk.  Cora, what did you dream last night?"

"uh uh uh uh I dream I dream I dream, of duh MOON!"

"Oh, that it turned into a star and came down and hit you on the face?" - offers Ender

"Uh, yeah!" she readily affirms. 


They ride when daddy comes home from work.  Only Cora would dare the devil to scare her away from the easy rider.  Only Ender would be deft enough to safely operate it.  Zander has crashed those kids more than I can count, and Ender, he's like that guy on Grease 2:  the cute nerd who is smart enough to ride cautiously.
But still, the way this easy rider operates, it goes super fast and whips the kids around tight corners.  Hilarious!

Cora definitely plays the "bad girl" role.  She's an animal. 

Thursday, May 07, 2015

The sun rises in the afternoon.

I see her rise three times a day, actually.

First, as the familiar one to us all, breaking over the horizon, spilling herself through our curtains.  I pull myself out of bed.

Second, she curls her sleepy sunbeams around my neck, for a good morning hug and I lift her from the crib.

Then my sun girl lays quietly in a cloud of afternoon dreams. 

And, when the day is waning, and the shadows lengthening, she rises once more beaming and bursting with light.

She'll warm you, she'll burn you. She was set in motion by a higher power than me long before her nature like counter part was hung in the sky.

I'd also like to mention, I feel like a baker pulling a fresh loaf of bread out of the oven every time I lift Cora out of bed in the morning.  I exchange an apron for rumpled pajamas and the pride of a baker's creative work for the humbleness of knowing that I was once only the oven myself for this lump of dough. 

Friday, May 01, 2015

Home Video

Cora and her dog pal, Gunther.

I cannot believe the accuracy of it all.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Cousins cooperating, Cora not so much.

"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not" - emerson


"We find delight in the beauty of children and happiness of children that makes the heart too big for the body"

Elly. Darling. Lovely. 

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

I can hardly bend anymore these days to take a picture hobbit level.  Thankfully, the kiddies have beautiful blues that are used to looking up.

Thursday evening, the street lamps buzz with their orange glow, and we head down the street to the park for Ender's soccer game.   His excitement pulls and snaps him like a rubber band around the field with his buddies. .  Other boys and girls seemed to have grasped the concept of the general rules of the game and the taste of competition and victory.  But Ender has taken firm hold of happy oblivion. I've stopped cringing every time the ball rolls past his stop or he kicks it toward the other teams goal.  I smile now in admiration.  He is beaming with fun.Last year, he was fixated on how fast his left elbow cranked when he ran and holding a little blonds hand.  This year, he sits on the field line cone if he has to go the bathroom and is adamant about "holding it".  He's a pin ball pinging through an obstacle of friends feet. and is innocent of any self inflicting criticism.  Why must things change?  Could he just hand it over to me when his childhood is through with the delusion of of it?  Well, yes, I'd rather have him keep it, but I'd also like for him to share while he still has plenty of pious naivety.  If I believe hard enough, maybe I will shrink back down to ginormous living like Ender.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue
If happy little bluebirds fly
Beyond the rainbow, why oh why can't I

She's a menace to a clean outfit, room, and schedule. She'll knock down your walls and let the light flood every corner. 
There are clouds in my mind.  The kind you would find sulking around over the moors in a Jane Austen novel.  I bat at them, try to shoo them away, but they persist.
A glint of shining blue catches my eye beyond the grey and its little lady lynn fluttering whimsically here or there.  She is a bowling ball of a thing, but whips and whirls as light and delicate as a bubble.  I love her.  Her chirping charms me.  I want to join her, but the low lying clouds slither around my ankles and shift into heavy chains that keep me earth bound.  Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Its not really who I think it is.  The neighbor, girlfriend,or estranged acquaintance, but a 3 headed demon of bitterness, envy and pride.  My opponent is in the ring with boxing gloves on taunting me while I try to shield the children's eyes from its hideous form.  I try buckling Cora in the car seat and her screaming protests begin to compete with the hissing from the ring.  Ender's whining and complaining gets caught among the lying and the jeering coming from the spiritual beast.  I plow forward to nap time.

Its at nap time that the house quiets and the fight can get serious.  You open your Bible, bow your head and glove up. 
When she fixes her gaze, her eyes are chiseled stone set under a pale smooth cliff.  But she is afraid of dragons. However, we know her heart to be stout like a dwarf, joyful like a hobbit and deep like the elves.  So... Zander showed her this clip tonight before bedtime.  He surprise there.

But he also cried with a father's proud and sentimental love when he found a top female wrestler that reminded him of Cora.  I'll have to post an interview of her sometime.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

One night, like many, Zander tied on the apron strings.  He's top chef like his mama.  I could excuse myself by saying I'm pregnant and oxygen and chocolate are the only things I really want to be inhaling, but I can't.  Pregnant or not, I'd rather be doing something else than cooking.
Waste not want not.  He gathered broccoli from the garden, broccoli that had already opened into tiny yellow flowers.  Bubbling and melting in the next pan over was a lot of garlic, a lot of butter, a lot of lemon juice and just enough salt.   The blossoms on each their own pale green stem formed a perfect broom for sweeping up the addicting buttery sauce into our wide panned mouths.   Kids were ignored as they chewed their chicken in the next room, but I finally came to my senses and thought it would be nice to share the bounty.  Ender with the most refined palate of a four year old I know, lapped it up and even Cora ate it.  I think the bees must have left a little honey on each flower for the yellow haired girl. 

I noticed a bee with tattered wings.  It still hovered and hummed along without slowing.   How does a bee fly?  Its a myth now.  That bees shouldn't be able to fly.  God gave away just a little bit more of His secret and now we see that bees are not supposed to be studied against the flight mechanisms of an airplane.  Their wings are flexible, not rigid, for instance.  They are more like gods summoning mini hurricanes above their rotating garlic skinned wings and thus lift off.
God must create little storms of power above my tattered and faith flexed wings.  The honeybee does not tire like me, but we both by God's mystery and grace fly on to the next flower.  

Monday, March 02, 2015

"The February sunshine steeps your boughs and tints the buds and swells the leaves withing." ~Bryant

Yes, the buds of the fruit trees are breaching their wintry hold.  The life and delicate beauty I could never engineer.  I am happy to marvel, sometimes too insecure and scared to involve myself.   Zander is happy to tinker with what all God has give him stewardship over.  The yard is a bonsai challenge and he studies it, prunes it, bends it to his will and also to what he believes to be its natural destiny.  Its nice to have Zander teaching me how to be.  To be.
To be
content yet hungering
convicted yet full of grace
solid yet mysteriously nuanced

I don't intend for him to sit on a throne of sappy compliments :) I do love him, and know that he is because God is.

The humble and ugly dump of concrete God gave was in desperate need of.... a lot
I lamented over what was not.  I wanted to walk in paradise.  I forgot I was walking and more often than not being carried by Paradise Himself.
Honestly, (and gee, zander, I don't know if you're aware of this *wink) but I lust after trees.  I exult their brittle branches to godlike stature.  I could delve into my weird self as to why I do this, but talk about a big yawn for the majority of people. Needless to say, I am a bratty and grateful girl at the moment.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

I don't remember what day it was.  It never matters, though, when Zander is on Christmas break.   Rising in the morning, living, falling asleep at night, dreaming;  a tranquil repetition of simplicity.

but just basic 101 photography zander.  notice street signs impaling your subject's head please.  

Slowly slowly, very slowly creeps the garden snail
Slowly slowly, very slowly leaves a silver trail

Quickly quickly very quickly he falls from careless hands
Quickly quickly very quickly mother reprimands.

I admit, I was a little over emotional about the snail's shell cracking.  I tattled on Ender to Zander (who didn't care.....strange) and I believe I cracked Ender's heart in the process.  He was certain the snail would shrivel up and die and never find a home again.  I wonder who gave him that thought....?  So I tightened the belt around my big girl pants and convinced Ender all would be well with the snail.  He was brave and bold and would certainly find new and better accomadations.

"Haven't you ever heard of a slug?!" Zander yelled form up ahead.


There is a slight difference.  It doesn't matter anyway... I did think the snail recovered from his slight wound.  They can grow their shell back.  However.... a month later, in the same spot,caught in a rain storm, Ender came ripping down the sidewalk on his big wheel.  No no no, the sight was not pretty.  The sound of the crunch was a sonic boom in my heart.  I hurried the children a long, trying to forget.  But I can't, because its smashed carcass has made a large stain that we pass every time we walk to the park.  

Gunther chasing pigeons. I like pigeons, and I hope they know it is all in fun, nothing personal.