Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Oh Brevin.

The past few visits we have had with Brev have been, well... hard. He's been a bit stingy and mean, a bit whiney and hard to take. No, my sister won't be upset that I am saying these things because they are true and because my love for Brevin is never in question. I love him- to the moon and back again. It's just that he's a boy who has been hit pretty hard by the addition of another little boy in the family.
Ev and Brev have a pretty tight relationship and I have always wondered if Ev getting a brother would throw a wrench into the situation. It didn't for 10 months. And now it has.
You see, there was simply  no issue between them at all- at first. Liam would tag along behind and think he was playing and that was cool. Then the boys started trying to have their own thing and Miss Facey Boss butted in. This caused tension and the need for Ev to take sides against Brevin to "defend" her brother.
Then too, we are moving.
Brevin does not process change well. Brevin does not express his emotions well. Alot of things with the little guy get turned to anger.
So he's mad.
At Ev.
At me.
At Liam.
At the world.
He's been crying to his mom that he doesn't have friends. He does though.
My take on this whole thing is that he is mad that he has to re-configure how he sees Evelyn and that we are moving. He has to see another little boy in the family. He has had some insulation as we live an hour and a half away so the jealousy has taken some time to build and reach maximum capacity. At the same time this hit him, he is trying to process that we are moving and that is so very hard for him.
My heart just hurts for him. We have all tired being understanding and firm with his bad behavior and to be honest, for a bit, I just saw the bad behavior and not his pain and grief and the way he is floundering within his own family.
Ev is going to Grandma's all by herself this weekend. It will just be The Brevelyn. Maybe that will help. I hope so. Ev is so worried and confused about Brev right now. She loves him but she has very little room for what she sees as infractions on the part of others. She wants to be with him, she knows that we are moving too, but it has been a bit hard lately.
I so want to see this boy laughing and playing again. I so want him to feel secure and loved and knowing that he's still Ev's number one guy, that Kel- Kel will never be too far away- not really, that he will get to go fishing with Uncle Les. I want him to know that it will all be okay because we love him..

Picture snapped after The Great Silly String Stingy Incident of 2011

 So stop acting like a jerk already.

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Woman Next Door

When I was growing up, we had the nicest neighbor. Her house was in between the bus stop and our house. I would ride the bus home every day and I would walk right into the living room of our neighbor and I would talk talk talk about my day and she would listen, really listen. She would sometimes give me a snack too and she always seemed to know just the right question to ask, you know, all the ones you hope someone will ask you when you are little. I would leave through her kitchen door and cross her yard, squeeze through a fence and walk into my own home.
The woman next door loved pink and you would always get the best compliments from her when she saw you in a sweet, pink shirt. The woman next door was a marvelous cook.
The woman next door was a dear friend to me for my entire life.
You see, that woman next door was my Grandma. And oh how I adored her. And that childish adoration and love have carried over into my adult years and I find myself still trying to find a pink shirt to wear when I am going to see her. I still remember the way her eyes would light up when I was telling a tall tale, actually it's not that hard to remember because she still looks at me like that when we talk.
My husband snapped this picture at my cousin's graduation. I have no idea what we were saying but that's us. That's the way it has been between us for as long as I can remember.

Lately, when I see my Grandma I am sad and confused and a bit... adrift. You see she is getting old. The oxygen tank is her closest companion now. Her hearing is bad. Age has rubbed some of her sparkle off. It's like this:  walking up to a place that I know has Grandma I think of her and how she had dark hair and how she looked frying donuts or how we used to sit and eat buttered crackers and chicken noodle soup together and I expect THAT Grandma when I walk in the door. But then I see the Now Grandma emerge from under the Memory Grandma and I am thrown off a bit. Taken aback. I need to re-adjust. But then I do. And we get a moment to talk and all of the sudden she is there, the same Grandma just with white hair and an oxygen tube in her nose. And she grabs my hand as we talk and laugh and I wonder how I could have ever been off balance.

I am moving to New Jersey soon. And it will take me far away from my Grandma, the woman that lived next door for my entire childhood. I fear that her time here with us is coming to a close and I am not sure how to proceed. I do know that I have loved her and that we were friends and that well... she was and is and always will be just... Grandma.
My Grandma.
The Woman next door.
My Secret Keeper.

A Witch or Two, A Few Wizards and a Dragon

Uncle Chris and Aunt Kathryn had a cookout.
But Uncle Chris and Aunt Kathryn can't just throw any old party you know.
The theme of this little get together was "Wizards on the Lawn".
Les, the kids and I were very happy to oblige the costume suggestion. Except that it is very hard to outfit a 2 year old wizard outside the month of October, so Liam had to settle for being a "Witch's Familiar". Well.... he spent about 15 minutes being a familiar and spent the rest of the afternoon and evening wearing a purple, glittery witch's hat. You win some, you loose some.
There was great food, good conversation, badminton, croquet and, did I mention the food?
Ev played round after round of croquet with a group of 5 grown men and she held her own. Liam dashed about all day exclaiming over things in between cookie breaks. All in all, it was a rather happy and carefree afternoon.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Gymnastics Show!

Today was Ev's big show. Her teacher told us that today during the show, she performed the best pullover she has ever done! I was very proud of her, she got right out there and did her thing.

My little Gymnast.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dummm Dum Dummmm

The Move. It approaches.
The movers will be here June 8.
So far this is how I have been handling that bit of information:
And sometimes? I even handle it a bit like this:

And then I self-soothe by doing this:

But then I remember this:

                                           And I think in the end, we may all be ok.

Monday, May 23, 2011


Tonight during dinner I looked down at this little boy sitting next to me.
My eyes met his and we smiled at each other.
The little boy gestured for more rice and I gave him some, then I patted his little head and went back to my conversation with the other adults at the table.
After a bit I felt a tap tap tap on my arm coupled with a quiet little "Mama?" and I looked down at my little boy.
He took one chubby hand and held it up and very painstakingly arranged his fingers into a sign. The sign that says, "I love you" and when I looked into his face, he smiled and said "Ah-O-OOO" which is Liam-speak for the words that go along with the sign.
I love you.
Mama. I love you.
Mama? Ah-o-ooo.
And as tears stung my eyes, I leaned over and kissed his chubby cheeks.
And I realized in that moment that I will never, ever be the same again.


This is Jodi.
For 14 years we have been friends. That means that she has been here at my side almost as long as my husband has. She does not gush. She does not expound on her feelings. It's like this: If she shows up- if she's there- she loves you. And once Jodi loves you? You would have to be absolutely horrible for a very long time for her to even CONSIDER rethinking her stance on how she feels for you. And once she loves you, anything or anyone you love happens to fall under that vast umbrella of her love and loyalty.

That means that she loves my kids. Hands down. No questions asked.

It's not often in life that you are handed the opportunity for such friendship. So I am pretty grateful all around for Jodi.

This move will take us apart again. 10 hours drives, e-mails, and phone calls over the long miles will be how we tend this friendship now for awhile. The easy access we have enjoyed over these past three years is coming to a close. I will be without my friend close by and I am unsure how to proceed without her. But knowing Jodi, it won't matter. She and I will plug along and every time we meet, it will be as if no time has passed.
But I will sure miss our evenings out together.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Popsicles On The Stoop

Is there anything better than a popsicle break on a hot day?

Not when you are below the age of  10.