In April, 2010, when Andrew was 2 1/2, a tumor was discovered behind his eye. The tumor was removed, but it was found to be an aggressive cancer. He endured seven months of chemo and six weeks radiation. In December of 2010, the day after his last treatment, he was rushed to the ER with an almost fatal bacterial infection. He survived.

He is now seven-years-old!! I don't visit here much, because during the ordeal, this is where I dumped everything--my rage, my fear, my sadness, my ugly, my hope, my everything. But I want all of you who supported and prayed for us to hear his updates. You helped me survive, and I am deeply thankful. Every once in awhile, I will check in to let you know how he's doing. Please continue to pray that cancer will never return to his body. Thank you.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

You Capture: Feet!

Okay, so I went overboard. 
I saw feet everywhere. 
And I took pictures, everywhere. 
Other mothers and fathers at the park were questioning my sanity.
 I ducked and positioned every time my son flew backwards in his swing. 
For a period of several hours, I forgot that my children had faces.

Oh, and yes. 
My camera broke. 
 I took so many pictures of feet that my camera gave up in surrender.
It basically said, "Hey lady, enough with the feet already."
So here they are.
Feet, glorious feet.

These are my son's favorite shoes (crocs).  He wears them everywhere:

The swings allowed for some fun photo ops:

Three Boys on a Wall:
And then the boys decided to wrestle.  Another awesome opportunity for... feet!

I included this one due to the sheer number of feet included.
Even MY foot made this picture.
I suppose in most cases, that would be bad photography, 
but I figured I'd go with it, for this week.


This week Beth is out on maternity leave, so Keli is hosting at her blog:


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

More "Me" Space

I love my kids.  Can't say it enough.  I am so privileged to be able to stay home with them and watch them grow and develop.  I wouldn't change it for the world.  However, I find that it can be quite easy to lose myself in all of the caretaking.  If you can relate, please scroll down.

You know you need more "me" space when:

1.  You become overly protective of your coloring pages.  You have picked the color YOU would like for Dora's socks, and orange scribbling was NOT what you had in mind. 

2.  You wake up at night with your arms wrapped around your head, and your legs curled to your stomach in the fetal position.  This is to allow for the two dogs sleeping horizontally at your feet, and the two not-so-little boys on either side of you (who crawled in when you weren't looking).  This is in addition to your husband who is taking up the other half of the bed.  Half asleep, but dreadfully uncomfortable, YOU move to the boys room,  and crawl into a twin bed (which is soaked in the middle and might be the reason one boy is in YOUR bed).  You position yourself around the "wetness", hope it is "just" water, and fall quickly asleep.

3.  You find the thought of Jury Duty relaxing.  Is there somewhere to sign up for that?

4.  You go to doctor and dentist appointments early, so that you can read your book and sit quietly. Talking with the doctor may be the only adult socializing that you do for the day, so, much to the hurried doctor's chagrin, you try to make it interesting.  You find yourself walking extraordinarily  s l o w l y  to and from your car.

5.  You go out to dinner with friends and offer everyone a wet-wipe after the meal.

6.   The last time your Facebook status was non-child-related was...well, that has never happened.

7.  You do not make phone calls during the day.  You have learned  that as soon as you pick up the phone, the whole household will start screaming and barking.   If you try to sneak a quick one during naptime, you will be sorry.

8.  You have your own favorite episodes of  "Max & Ruby" and "Dora the Explorer" ...and your least favorites too.

9.  You do not own any white or pale-colored pants.  Well, at least not anymore.

10.  You feel the urge to start making home-made signs for your door: "Keep Out.  No one under 5' allowed."  Too bad they can't read.

11.  You breathe a sigh of relief at bedtime, and hope that the next few hours of quiet will give you energy to make it through the whole next day of crazy. :) 

For more "Wordful Wednesdays" check this out:


I Heart Faces: Drama in the Sand

Well, before my camera broke this week,
(my diagnosis: Excessive Pointing and Shooting),
I managed to squeeze in this photo of my son at the park.

He was very upset to observe that other children had access to the sand,
and even more upset to observe that they like to destroy sand castles as much as he does.

Monday, March 29, 2010


My camera broke. 
 Yup.  Too many pictures. 
The trigger button popped off of my little Sony Cybershot. 
Too many pictures of "feet" (this week's "You capture")  
too many pictures of boys,
too many pictures of, well, everything. 
Just when I was getting excited about it.

So, now I am trying to figure out what to do.
Do I buy a new EXPENSIVE camera?
or do I just go buy another Point and Shoot...
or do I send it in and fix it?
(not sure if that would even work, or how expensive).

I didn't want to have to face this question until my birthday
and then I wouldn't have felt so bad about "how much"...


Saturday, March 27, 2010


My 6-year-old has been learning to write. 
And I love it. 
I have a difficult time throwing ANY of his writing away.
The pile of paper is getting so big, I may soon be a candidate for "Hoarders."

It is so darn cute.

Especially when he writes things like this:

For those of you who do not read Kindergartenese, it says: 
"Mommy and Daddy
 I love you forever. 
Love, Aaron."

Melts my heart.

However, he has also been writing signs.
For his door. 

Once again, the translation:
"No Brothers Allowed.
Club Members only."

Notice the rip down the middle?  His "bruthrs" didn't like this one.

And it is a bit exclusive, don't you think? 
Especially since his "bruthr" shares the room.

And then there is this one:

"Boys Only. No Girls."

(I love her eyelashes and skirt.
Where did he learn to draw a girl like that?)

There are only three "girls" in this house.
Me, Maisy, and Ruby (the dogs).

 I reminded him that I am a girl.
"Am I allowed in?"  I asked.
"How will I read you stories?"

So  he added the exception clause (on the right):

"Big people girls only."


I can't wait to see what he learns next.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Paint Yourself Happy

It started out quite sweetly. 
"Can we go paint outside so we don't get the house messy?" 
"We will take off our shirts so you don't have extra laundry."
See the nice paper?  The new paints?

I think this is where it may have started to spin out of control...

But they managed to re-frame it:  "Let's make some nice handprints for Mommy."
See how pretty? 
"We are making memories."

Or maybe this is where I let them be a little too free in their self expression?
with the Jackson Pollock technique?

But regardless of the starting point, THIS is where the wheels came off...

And pretty soon, everyone looked like this:

It was a crazy, painting-in-the-grass kind of day. 
And "memories" were definitely made.
Just not on paper.

Check out more Photo Story Fridays here:

PhotoStory Friday
                                                         Hosted by Cecily and Momma

Comments That Make My Day

My friend, WackyMummy who has been blogging longer than I, states it honestly when she puts above the comment section: “Comments That Make My Day.” Comments definitely have that ability.

Her tagline made me think about the comments that my kids make to me. For the first few years of parenting there are not many comments. You hope you are doing a good job, and there are lots of non-verbals to give you encouragement, but you don’t really KNOW.

And then, the babies start talking. And sometimes you wish you could stop them. My boys make comments, for good, or for bad, that stick in my head. Some of them do make my day. Some of them make me laugh. Some of them make me squirm.

For your amusement, I will start with the squirming.

The other day at McDonald’s (okay, no judging) while I was trying to order the standard, “Three boy Happy Meals, please” my four-year-old interrupted by saying, loudly, “Mommy, your butt is squishy.” Completely red in the face, I turned to him with my “BE QUIET eyes” and whispered, “SHhhh.” Of course he repeated it several times, each time louder than the previous. “SHHHHHH,” I hissed, desperately. “Squishy, Squishy,” he said.  I will have you know that I ordered nothing for myself.

And then the other day at the zoo, I was trying to save a little money, and didn’t feel especially hungry, so I ordered a kid’s meal for myself. “Mommy, why did you order FOUR kids meals? “Shhh.” “But MOMMY, why did you order FOUR of them? “Shhh.” “Is one of them for YOU?” “Shh!!” I said with those same glaring eyes. (Children don’t seem to respond to shushing or wide-eyed glares, do they? Yet that seems to be my only line of defense in those situations.)

The other morning I was making my bed. My four-year-old noticed and said, “Mommy, why are you making your bed? Is someone coming over?” Okay, so the cat's out of the bag. Just let me know before you come over, ‘kay?

And then there are the comments that make me re-think things.

“Mommy, you’re mean.” Sadly, sometimes I have to agree and apologize.

“Mommy, you said you were going to play with me.” That one stings. That one keeps me up at night.

But then there are the comments that do MAKE my day.

“Mommy, you are the best Mommy in the whole wide world.”

“Can I sit on your lap?”

“Ooh Mommy! You look SO pretty in that dress”

“Mommy, if you wore only one (hoop) earring instead of two, you could be a pirate Mommy. That would be more fun.” I loved that one.

And my favorite: “Mommy, when I grow up, I am going to buy the house next door, that way you can see your grandchildren every day. I have houses picked out for my brothers too.”

Yes, that one MADE my day. That one made my whole week.

I love comments. Most of the time.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

You Capture: A Moment

A Moment...of sun

A Moment...of promise

A Moment...of color

A Moment...of indulgence

A Moment...of awe

A Moment...of regret

A Moment...of solitude

A Moment...of sweetness

We do not remember days, we remember moments.
~Cesare Pavese

(Okay, so I wasn't in France and Colorado this week.  Just thought I'd share a few of my favorite moments).

For more You Capture Moments, visit:



I remember him as the blonde, stocky father who seemed slightly out of place waiting in the preschool hallway among mostly SAHMs.   We would all chat while waiting for our two-year-olds to be released.  He had a nice smile and kind eyes.  He never said much, but when he did speak, it was in a deep British accent.  That was three years ago.

Today I ran into his wife at swimming lessons.  I hadn't seen her since last May when our children finished up their last week of preschool.  On several occasions throughout the preschool year, we had chatted a bit, but nothing of substance.  Her two children were in the same classes with my two oldest children, so we had something in common.  Her daughter is 6, her son is 4.

She came up to me and started a conversation;  "how's it going?" "whatcha been up to?" Standard stuff.  And then somewhere, as the conversation flowed, she mentioned that her husband had passed away in October.

 "He had brain cancer," she said, "the kind Edward Kennedy had." 

He had been given one year to live, and lived for five.  They discovered the cancer when she was pregnant with their daughter, their first child.  On their daughter's first day of Kindergarten, he was rushed to the ER in critical condition.  He died two months later. 

As I was standing there listening, my eyes swelled up with tears.  It was hard to imagine that strong sweet man lying on his deathbed.  I pictured his wife trying to pick up the pieces of her life, and continue to carry on; to continue on with things like swimming lessons, and cooking dinner, and keeping up the business that they started together...without him, all while coping with her own tremendous loss and sorrow.

I knew very little about her family until today.  And yet now I can't stop thinking about them.

Later during the swim lesson, her children came over and were talking to me.  Their hair was still dripping wet from their own lessons, and they were asking lots of questions.  They wanted to watch my boys swim and noticed that my son had just received a haircut.  They asked me, "What does their Daddy look like?"  and as I was answering, I noticed that these children both looked very much like their own Daddy; the same sweet smile, the same kind eyes.  It was hard for me to keep from imagining how lonely their house must feel, how empty it must be when they come home from swimming lessons, or wherever they spend their days.  It was painful to consider how much they must miss him.

While she was talking to me, I was struck by how positive she was, and not in a fake "putting on a good face" way.  It just seemed to me that she is typically and genuinely an upbeat, positive person.  She mentioned that she cries "sixty to eighty" times a day, but her overall demeanor seemed bright.  I felt thankful for that, for her sake.  I would probably lock myself in a dark room and never want to come out.

A random, unexpected conversation changed my day.  Just another reminder of how life can go from la-di-da to tragic in a moment.  A reminder of how important it is to value each day.  A reminder of how important is it is to find ways to be positive about life and not get caught up in the negative. A reminder to never take life's happy moments for granted, and to always strive to make more moments joyful.  Life is too short.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Walk

Yesterday Andrew and I went for a walk with the dogs while the older boys were at school...
I am practicing getting better with my camera, so I took it along.

One of our neighbors always has a bin full of free citrus,
so we always look forward to taking home a few ripe oranges.

and then we eat them in the front yard.  They are WAY too messy and juicy for inside.

Happy Tuesday! :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

I Heart Faces: Angles

This is my first I Heart Faces...

For more Angles, check out I Heart Faces Photography at the link below:

Two Very Good Reasons...

...I need to get off of here.

But before I go, just thought I share the awesome sky and crescent moon from last night.

Happy Monday! :)