Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Fathers Day - many many moons ago

video
This breaks my heart, but also gives wings to each broken piece.  I don't know how else to describe longing and joy.

Arica helped make this video for Zander a few years ago for Fathers Day.  I think the sound should work.  Hey Zander, let me know, okay?

Friday, August 07, 2015

Afternoon Storms

Those are some well defined ribs.  He "has a hole in his leg" as the expression goes.  This kid eats basically everything and anything.  He would guzzle a gallon of milk in a few days if we let him.   


 Ender changes outfits atleast twice a day.  Summer or winter he'd rather be in his "tarzans" (underwear) Cora, summer or winter would rather be buck naked.  In the winter, however she orders me to roll out the space heater in the kitchen so she can eat breakfast comfortably.  Anyway....

The lightning and thunder splintered and cracked the iron clouds.  Rain gushed out and my tough girl that likes to push her big brother around whimpered and begged to go back inside.  The thunder was intense, its great sound smashing straight over head, but I couldn't go inside.  Its not me.  I tried to comfort her with a little education and teach her to count the seconds between the flash of light and the peal of thunder.  I think it took hold.  Later that evening, she and Gunther accompanied me on a puddle jumping walk while the sky still gurgled and fizzed with electric clouds.  I am beginning to pay more heed to her.  She has always been so simple to interact with, yet lately, she is demanding a more complex response from me and zander.  Some things she just can't get over as easily like before. She needs a human connection to encourage, persuade or distract her.  It only takes a moment of this "extra effort" and she's back on track, but if you choose to dismiss her feelings.... cover your ears and duck because she's coming for you.  Its a normal and healthy thing being 2 1/2, its just that the majority of my mental energy was required by our strong willed Ender.  "Oh would you look at that, Cora needs a mom and a dad too.  Make room Ender Johnny" 

Sunday, August 02, 2015

It just comes with the Territory


A week before Sam was due, Ender contracted pink eye.  Lovely.  He was more than happy to share it with his sister.  If only they could share their toys and space so easily, we would have accomplished Miss America's dream of world peace within these walls.
Thankfully, it was plenty of time to medicate those angry eyeballs, so..... we could move on to the day of Sam's birth where Ender woke up with round two of pink eye, zander with flu like symptoms and me in early labor and a sore throat.  Stupendous.
Grandparents are the greatest.  I was worried no one would take our infested children so I could do the whole labor and delivery thing.  But, grandparents have guts and unconditional love.
With Ender and Cora gone,  I could focus on the contractions. By 11 that night we decided to head to the hospital for the heck of it, oh, and so zander could sleep.  He reasoned he already wanted to be there instead of me waking him up in the middle of the night because as it was he was not feeling well. 
We go through the annoying but I guess necessary steps it takes to get checked in through triage and eventually admitted to the hospital.  I get an epidural that works this time, have mercy!  so thats the heaven everyone is talking about!  The nurse seriously tucks Zander in for the night and he promptly passes out, leaving me to wonder.... was that my water that just broke? He misses a few scary moments of Sam seemingly disappearing, of needing oxygen, of being rotated this way and that, but I didn't mind a bit, not with an amazing nurse.  Nurses can be all you every need in life.
Around 6 am, I'm watching the planes land at Sky Harbor and its pretty much go time.  The doctor's and nurses scurry in and all that commotion wakes sleepy head in the corner.  Twenty mellow dramatic minutes later, we welcome Sammy boy into the blazing summer of this world.
Zander gets pink eye that night in the hospital.  I'm sick with swollen lymph nodes and my crotch hurts of course.  He takes medicine and is no good to me at that point.  Of course, Sam raises hell for me that night.  I've never been so tired before where I was hallucinating voices and getting a nice foot massage by a 1800s railroad worker.
You just got to keep going though.  We did and at the end of it all, and two weeks post partum, we rush Ender to the E.R. for a sudden attack of the croup.  But of course once again, I have to handle the situation because Zander has taken a sleeping aid.  Thankfully, those trusty grandparents I mentioned before come to the rescue. Zander's dad and Aunt Arica pick Zander up from home so he can switch with me at the hospital and I can be back at home with a hungry newborn.

I think things are settling down.  However, Zander's tendency for OCD -ism and neuroticism has been agitated and he's been fixating over the air flow and dust content in our house.
Because of that I have to open our vintage milk delivery door every time I run the dryer or bathroom vent, but I always forget.
In the middle of his air flow puzzle and the day after Ender's expensive ER visit,  he asks me to run the dryer.  I hit the ON button.  Ker-klump thump, clunk and maybe a snap crackle and pop was thrown in there too, but I'm not confident.   Then a dead dryer.  Aye caramba!  I'm thankful I married a problem solver.  I Just would have cursed the no good machine and bought a new one.  Zander gets to business.  I'm washing dishes as he's tinkering at the old clunker.   In helping him to diagnose the problem, I chime in "It sounded like a spoon getting caught in a garbage disposal"
"Um, well...come look and see then."
I go over to he machine and I see on the floor one of Cora's purple spoons on the floor.
"Huh, thats funny, "I think, "it doesn't seem chewed up.  In fact, its perfect"
"No, not there " he says "Look here"

As my realization comes into focus, my whole body tremors with disgust at the sight of a chewed up rat clogging the vent hole.  I proceed to surprise myself with a 5 minute long heebie jeebie dance paying tribute to all things putrid.   Dang!  Just when I was able to start eating spaghetti again.  Its taken me half a year to get over the first 45 minuets of the movie Seven.


And for as strong willed Ender is, he is equally tender hearted toward his little brother.

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. 

Goons.

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 cried....no 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.