Saturday, December 28, 2013

a day in our urban desert. makeshift sling shot. baby snacking on rocks and dirt.  I forgot how blue can be such an empty color in the sky.  I tried to fill my eyes up with it before I had to take the next step on the trail or look at of these beautiful persons below.

"she'll play with baby dolls.  don't worry she will also play with swords."  - zander daddy

Ender was cradling Cora's baby doll this afternoon with the encouragement of zander.  He held it so tenderly walking down the hallway towards Cora's pack n play.  I smiled as I imagined the cute scene unraveling when ender reaches said destination and chucks the baby head first down into her crib.  He raises the doll over his head to reach the top edge, but "its too deep" he's says.  He can't nicely place the baby on the mattress.  Ahhh, sweet boy.  This, just an hour after pushing the real life baby down on the concrete outside....

Friday, December 20, 2013

 Ender has happened upon an unlikely friendship with a little girl, whose older sister takes piano lessons from Miss Izzy, next door to his Nana's.....random, but definitely a kid thing.

I remember summers in Oklahoma, visiting grandmother
"can your granddaughter come out to play, mrs buckner?" 
I'd shyly peek around the corner and see little faces with their noses pressed to the screen.  Sometimes, I would dare to go, if the boys didn't seem too ornery.

When I would stay with Grandma Bobbye in Guthrie, the nostalgic town of my childhood, my imagination would be bursting at the seams to get out and pretend I was back in the 50s and had all day to play kick the can and tell ghost stories.  I would track down any kid I could find to try and weave them into my American fairytale.

One time, I was forced to go to a drive in with one of my grandma's daycare clients older son (and a group of other kids too) My gut told me this boy was icky like chewed up bubble gross.  Turns out he tried to put the moves on me!  Little o'l tomboy me.  I was sorely disappointed.  This kid was not old fashion friend material. 

I often stared up at a two story house across the street from grandma's house.  I heard rumors a mentally challenged boy lived in the top story bedroom overlooking the street.  I tried to get his attention by communicating telepathically or make it look like I was having a ball playing to try and coax him down.   Turns out I never the met the boy.  I don't even know if he exists.

Ha, with this weird brain as a child, I am so glad I grew up in a bustling city with lots after school activities. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

My childhood Leslie would through a temper tantrum if she knew what her "grown up" self was doing: scaring and thus forever ruining the magical powers of her rocks.  Thankfully, I don't have to deal with that little brat and can do what I want!  Besides, I did extensive research on how to remove adhesive from porous rock.  My rocks, my precious and beautiful rocks.  My closet was filled with egg cartons of rocks, among other treasures.  I hid them away and pawed over them after school and on weekends.  Oh.  It just occurred to me.  I was kind of pathetic.  I thought everybody would oogle over them and be insanely jealous of my collection.  So I brought them to school to brag.  Apparently, third grade girls could care less.  Heck, even the boys weren't thrilled. 
Whatever.  I can't get over how beautiful they are and the stories they hold of childhood exploration days.  So, I dusted them off and glued them on some canvas and hung them on our wall.  I'm honest when I say, I get butterflies in my stomach whenever I walk past them. 
Among my trinkets and things was this gilded, and probably cheap elephant locket.  I begged the next door neighbor to release it to me.  At the time, it was the most exotic artifact I ever beheld.  He laughed and said "sure, its probably cursed anyway" 
I also have my coin collection, shells, keys, beads, little boxes, pins that really should have a chance to shine on the blog stage.   Stop cringing, I won't post them. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


I have never met a more happier person than Cora.  She even beats out Zander.  Her joy is infectious.  The fellows in our family adore her.  We all do.  Its not like she is the perfect baby.  She wakes periodically in the night, she whines,  poops steaming sulfur turds, and she will gauge out your hair and eyeballs.  But the spirit inside of her illuminates our world and we forget why we needed to worry.
Ender and daddy are her best friends.  If you are blessed to be holding her when Ender is in the room, then you will experience her energy and zeal for him.  You physically feel her happiness.  Its incredible.

I don't want to think about her future in terms of "what if all this changes" "I'll be eating my words once she turns two..." "what will the teenage years be like?"
Today is all we have and know.  And today, my goodness, she is our healing joy.

*the trio by the fire.  Daddy exemplifies tenderness towards his baby girl and Ender falls in line.  That is something that Zander is teaching Ender:  how love, respect, and servitude are the nuts (haha) and bolts of a man.  ;)

Thursday, December 05, 2013


An undertaking or enterprise of a hazardous nature.
To take a risk; dare.
To proceed despite risks...
I will never use this word loosely again. 
"Zander, do you think we were bad parents?"
"Maybe.  We took a risk.  We all take risks every day we walk out our front door"  in retrospect, something along those lines were said.
There has been something about this year, 2013, that has not boded well with me.  Despite my sweet daughter giving me a mouthful of toothaches... its been oddly melancholy, in a personal way.   For if you ask Ender, Zander, or especially baby Cora what their year has been like, you would get an earful of happy stories.  And they are all true, I witnessed them myself.  Its not worth it to be self analytical, especially here :)

Our family accidentally found ourselves on an adventure.
Zander had enough zeal to announce that we were going to touch the snowy rim of Oak Creek Canyon.  I humored his thought, because I knew it wasn't in my cards.
My first concern was my weak,soft body, "how would I carry Miss Plump up the canyon?  Oh well, I will climb as far as I can and then turn around".
  Cora was quiet and observant as we trod lightly under the canopy of trees.  The last of the amber leaves were clinging to the bare branches of the sycamores, about to be stolen for good by the chilly wind. Soon, we approached the beginning of the steep ascent up AB Young trail. 

We rested under a lone Juniper.   I found myself refreshed and decided to go further until I hit my threshold, or Cora's.
But soon the mist drew itself like a blanket across the trees and fell on heavy eyelids and baby Cora was fast asleep.  A mama doesn't stop if a baby is sleeping, especially a baby who likes to nurse when she wakes up.
Zander was still determined to reach the rim.   Well, now that baby was dreaming away, I thought it was possible.  I imagined zander the "mountain man" building us a warm fire and shelter up at the top where I would hold Cora close to me and feed her as the snow fell like dew from the white heaven above.    Strangely, after Cora fell asleep, my mama brain ignored the pain signals coming from everywhere, all over my body.  Fact was: I had a kid to keep asleep until I reached a warm place.  Three quarters of the way up, my feet were soaking wet, further on, my pants were soaking wet, and so were Cora's.  Once her little pads were wet, I started to freak out a little bit.  Once I heard the snow crunching beneath my feet I yelled back at Zander "I can't wait for that fire and shelter"

"What?  I'm not making a fire in this weather!"
My perceived reality slowly transformed into an idea, a dream, a wish, a prayer, then pure fantasy.
More panicking from me.  We stuffed Cora's feet in my pants and ascended onward.  Past rock slides treacherous with thin layers of ice, through bramble laden with snow.  Ender at this point was screaming his head off.  Possibly because he was on Zander's back being whacked with the snowy branches...

At one point while crossing an icy slope, I thanked God that none of these children's grandparents knew what we were up to.  It would be like watching The Fellowship traversing the Misty Mountains. 

But we did it!  We made it to the top!  We had to turn around fast before the snow queen came bounding around a forest corner.  Surely, it would be Ender who would succumb to the Turkish Delights.  He's weak for treats.  And he was miserable. The boy was belligerent.  He fought us tooth and nail to get back in the hiking pack so Zander had to carry him in his arms the whole way down. 
Zander was thrilled that we as family took on a challenge that spontaneously sprung up before us.  We were a little "high on life", but agreed to do things a tad differently next time :)