Thursday, February 26, 2015

Catching Up with Life

We are down to one dog-- Bishop.

I now have a 9 year old-- Kyra.

I have a 6 year old-- Lydia.

I have a 2 year old-- Ruby.

Tomorrow I'll have a 4 month old-- Jude.

We have a new edition to our family-- Larry the Cat.

We are officially home owners.  Yesterday we closed on my grandparents property.

We are currently residing in the North Eastern most part of these United States.

My newly purchased property is located in the South Eastern part of the United States.

My husband's boat is supposed to relocate to the South Western part of the United States early next year. 

I am still homeschooling Kyra and Lydia.

Ruby still rules the roost. 

Jude is a carbon copy of infant Kyra in the categories of looks, appetite and disposition.

Lydia might well be one of the happiest children to ever grace this earth.

Kyra now begins some of her stories with, "When I was little..."

I frequently get asked if we're done having kids now that we have a boy.

I find myself sucked into the baby name game already. 

I live my life day by day.  Learning to plan ahead less and less.

I am happy, most days, to not have a plan.

I have found out what it means to live in the moment.

I have found living in the moment leaves little time to write.

Not writing doesn't mean I don't wish to write.  I'm just too busy.  Or tired.  Or distracted.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Turkey Boy St Nicholas

The bun in my oven still remains nameless.

He is constantly referred to as Turkey Boy, much to my mother's chagrin.  She keeps insisting we need to find a real name lest he be made fun of for the rest of his life.  I keep insisting "Turkey Boy" might be the cutest nickname I have ever heard of; the fact that Lydia named him this makes for an even better story and memory!

Jeremy and I have come up with a handful of first and middle name combinations we both like but I, myself, can't seem to bring myself to say THATS THE ONE!  Each name has meaning and a thoughtfulness behind it.  I can't seem to drop one over the other.  I'm beginning to wonder if only royalty can use three middle names.


We once knew this man named Simon, many years ago.  He was a really, really good friend of ours.  Jeremy and he were both in A School together when they first joined the Navy.  We stayed in touch and even, somehow being on different boats, managed to follow each other from state to state for many years. 

I remember when Jeremy was on his first deployment and I was pregnant with Kyra, Simon would come over to our house just to hang out with me or take me out for supper.  As painfully shy as I was, he was the only friend I knew in town and I cherished his kindness. 

I remember when he first held Kyra.  She a baby whose age was still being counted by weeks and, once again, Jeremy was out to sea.  I was lonely and in need of company and Simon was almost magnetically drawn to my front door when I needed a friend the most.

He sat in our recliner, balancing this tiny thing in his lap, clearly a foreign object to him.  I cooed to my infant that this was her Uncle Simon who does stupid things like jump out of perfectly good airplanes for fun, and he bounced her lightly until she spit up on him and started crying. 

We've lost touch over the years.  Last we spoke with him, I was pregnant with Lydia and we had all, somehow, managed to move to yet another state and lived not terribly far from each other.  We made plans to get together for supper and then I got sick.  A cold, virus or what have you, plans were cancelled and we haven't seen Simon since, other than on Facebook for the short period I was on it.


St Simon and St Jude share a feast day together.  It happens to be 6 days before my due date.  If plans work out the way I want them to, I will be on an operating room table waiting to hear the first cries from my baby boy on that feast day. 

Jeremy has brought up the name Jude both when I was pregnant with Lydia and Ruby as a possible boys name.  I rejected it both times for no other reason than I liked it for other people's children, just not my own. 

Until I find out the feast day coincidence.  Suddenly I like it.  A lot.

Ruby has an obsession with Jeremy, right now.  He is her version of Santa Clause every evening when he walks through the door and nothing could light up her day better or faster than Jeremy's sudden appearance.  Except for the little boy across the street.  To everyone else he is Joseph, or Joe.  To Ruby he is JOJO!  JOJO!  JOJO!  JOJO!  JoJo is the only one to rival the excitement my dear Ruby reserves only for her father. 

One morning we were sitting in the front pews of the church when Ruby spotted Joseph walking through the doors in the back.  Excitement abound, JOJO! had just entered the room.  And then it hit me, all those prayers for a sign, what in the world should I call my new boy....

If Ruby gets this excited over Jeremy and JoJo, maybe she'll get equally as excited for Jude.  After all, they all start with 'J'.  Maybe this was confirmation why I am suddenly drawn to the name Jude? 

{I never said my reasoning's were sane...}


Baby boy will forever be referred to as Turkey Boy.  Its a name that even friends are referring to him as with a smile and air of fondness.

Kyra came up with St Nicholas, wanting to honor good old Santa Clause himself, but the name has all but been dropped as a nickname.  I feel guilty for it, too.  Probably an overly emotional pregnancy guilt, but I feel like Lydia's name choice will be used for years to come while Kyra's will be forgotten. 

I like Nicholas.  Mostly as a middle name.  It's been on my radar for all three of my children.  It also probably doesn't hurt that one of my favorite uncles is a Nicholas.  Clearly I'm drawn to names that associate with good people.


Jeremy has thrown the name Luke out for several of our children.  Its another name I've rejected over the years.  Until the name Jude came to the forefront of my brain, one Sunday...

Jude is the patron saint of lost and hopeless causes...

Luke is the patron saint of doctors....

It wouldn't be so bad if maybe we had a doctor in the family.  One that took on the really difficult cases.  And who knows, maybe a name can influence the profession...?

Still, Luke is too short of a name to go with Jude, isn't it?  Maybe we could go with Lucas, instead?


Simon Jude- Amazing friend; a shared feast day.
Jude Simon- A 'J' name for the Ruby; a shared feast day.
Jude Nicholas- A 'J' name for the Ruby; a name picked by my Kyra Shea
Jude Lucas- A doctor in the family

Jeremy says he likes all of them, but his favorites are Simon Jude and Jude Lucas. 

I  am equally torn between all 4 of the name combinations and, in my hormonal state, keep trying to attach meaning to the name even though my other children's names were picked simply because we liked them.  Meaning played little influence. 

But for this child. 

Probably our last child. 

Naming him a name that carries weight seems to be important to me, which only makes it harder to choose.

At this point Jeremy would probably agree to the name Peter Pollywog.  He'd just like to have a name so people will quit asking him what are we going to call our child.  Meaning means very little to him.  He's sticking with our original plan of,  Do we like it?  Works for me, here's the name.

Two months to go.  Two more months to hem and haw.  Two more months to drive my husband nuts.

Maybe we should just stick to Turkey Boy St Nicholas.  Everyone seems to like it... except my mother.  :-)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Ruby Dooby Danders


Where did ONE go? 

This last year has been a blur.  An absolute up and down, whirl wind blur.

I've hardly chronicled Ruby's life at all.  Here I am, two years in and I feel like when I look back at this blog I'm going to wonder what in the hell happened after Ruby was born. 

Here's a brief glimpse of what I haven't written about:

Ruby is ALL. GIRL.  The child loves having her hair brushed and wearing copious amounts of shoes in a single day- whether they're hers or not makes no difference.  She still cherishes her bunny, loves her babies and fully insists on pampering them with her hand-me-down cloth diapers, swaddling them in her baby blankets and bouncing them in the infant bouncer all while laying on top of them, full weight, to shower them with kisses. 

Ruby is an absolute spit-fire through and through.  She reserves the right to stand her ground, no matter how shoddy the platform.  She also reserves the right to change her mind... and change it again...  and no, she is not going to tell you why she's changed her mind, just that she doesn't want whatever she had just pleaded for and you'd better get that shit out of her sight post haste!

I can't say where she gets this last character trait from...

The sweet, darling child is constantly complemented on about her beauty and cuteness.  A trait that, on some of her more difficult days, is her saving grace. 

She has no problems bossing around her older sisters and then rearing her hand back to smack the snot out of her unassuming victim when she doesn't get what she wants.  After a round of timeout and a stern correction, she whimpers the most sincerely pathetic apology before getting back to business as usual-- directing the world to circle around Ruby and Ruby alone.

Ruby sees Kyra as a means to help get things accomplished.  Kind, patient Kyra, who sits to play babies, reads a book or forty, lifts her up to reach objects on upper shelves or grabs her by the hands only to swing her around in a circle, feet lifting off the ground, broad smiles across both faces.  Kyra is attentive and sweet, and Ruby knows this.

Ruby sees Lydia as a partner in crime.  The two of them are often found in the throws of uproarious laughter, high energy games and are frequently found in the midst of trouble.  Lydia, who's mission in life is to make sure everyone around her is having a good time, is the perfect person to have around if you want to thoroughly enjoy life.  Lydia is our very own Patch Adams, and Ruby knows this, too.

As demanding and insistent as Ruby is, she's also observant and sweet.  She'll do anything for you to hold her and love her.  She sees the good people for who they are and shies away from those she hasn't had a chance to figure out, yet.

She loves animals of all shapes and sizes.  Ducks and birds are by far her favorite, but cats and dogs come in a very close second.

Animal loving, free spirited and a girl who knows how to use what she has on hand to get what she wants.  This is my Ruby.  My 2 year old Ruby.

Happy Birthday, Danders.


Something of note for me to remember when I'm 80 and forgetful:
Ruby Dooby Danders where shall I wander,
Upstairs, downstairs and in my lady's chamber
There I met an old man who wouldn't say his prayers,
I took him by the left leg and threw him down the stairs.
As a baby, and even today, I frequently sing this to Ruby while rocking her vigorously back in forth like a baby before tossing my giggling girl on a couch or bed.  It's the nursery rhyme Goosey, Goosey Gander made just for my girl.  This is where her nickname "Danders" comes from.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Catching Up on Life

Ruby is running around naked, back and forth from my room to the big girls' room showing me the latest toy she's playing with.  She's at that age and stage where she likes and feels very important playing in the same place as the big girls' without still quite knowing how to pretend along with them.  She calls Lydia, "Yeeh-ya", while referring to Kyra as "Dear-wa".  Both names are two syllables. 

Jeremy and I are expecting baby #4 this fall.  This time God decided to shake things up and give us a boy!  What to do with a boy?!  My first thought, and comment, when the ultrasound didn't show three lines but a protrusion instead was, "Nooo!  We don't make those!"  Now to come up with a name....

Three children in and we've never once agreed on a boys name. 

The girls are angling for us to call him Turkey Boy St Nicholas.  Of all the names Jeremy and I have tossed into the ring so far, we're still referring to him as Turkey Boy.

We're still living amongst the moose and other flannel wearing natives.  We still really, really like the area.  Our housing situation, on the other had, we completely despise.  The houses are all smacked together with nothing more than a 4x4 square of yard for the girls to play.  And although our neighbors no longer bang on Ruby's wall when she wakes up 30 times throughout the night screaming, we still feel a great deal of resentment towards them.  Turns out Ruby was suffering from a case of reflux.  For more than a month, now, she's been sleeping soundly and through the night. 

I'm pretty sure with Turkey Boy's arrival, I'm just going to ask for a two year supply of Zantac.  Just to save us all from having to play the all too familiar game of, "Who wants to guess why that baby's screaming for no reason, again?" 

Kyra and Lydia are spending their summer alternating between school work and riding their bikes outside with the neighborhood kids. 

Lydia's become the one all the kids her size flock to when she whips out her bug hotel contraption.  It's a series of bubbles and tubes all connecting that the kids all dump dirt and leaves into each afternoon and then run around looking for various, tiny life forms to torture by trapping then in the bug hotel.  Each night I require they release all the wildlife back into the bushes and grasses to find their way homes again. 

Kyra is trying to find her way, socially, around the neighborhood.  There was a period of a month or so where, right behind our house, there was a vacant house.  Kyra and several girls her age decided to make this their princess club where they, essentially, colored with chalk all over the brick walls and cement driveway while giggling incessantly.  When new people moved in, all the girls Kyra's age ran off to various other hidey-holes around the neighborhood.  Kyra, the poor child, is regulated to stay out of the road, on the sidewalk and within my sight while the other girls get free range to run three blocks in any direction at any time.  And so they do.  And Kyra watches with yearning eyes, hoping they might come back to play with her. 

This is the part in parenting where I continuously ask myself if I'm doing the right thing, keeping her within a boundary line where she can run free for a block but, past that, out of sight is out of bounds. 

Everyone here is still here.  A little older.  A little busier.  But we're here, as a family.  Some of us run around naked {yea for habits picked up during potty training!}, several of us collect and torture bugs in the name of learning, and others of us work and feed the masses.

All my love to all of you.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Literary Surprises

I'm still reading The Alchemyst.  I've now advanced to page 46.  I'm on a roll, I tell ya!

At what point do you look at something and decide to scrap it?  I can put a difficult book down and months later come back to finish it just so I can move on to something else.  Why I must finish one before moving on to another, I don't know.  Jer's also since informed me that this book is part of a series. 


In other news, Lydia knows how to read.  Did you know this?  Because, I did not. 

She hopped up on the couch one morning and instead of pushing a book in my hands, asking if I'd read to her, she skipped over and asked if she could read me Dick and Jane

"WELL, OF COURSE!" I said, cheerily, waiting for her latest rendition of what's happening in each picture.  Instead of explaining the illustrations, she took her index finger and ran it along the words reading each word with accompanying dramatic pauses, exclamations and proper inflections to go along. 

I shit you not, I said, "When did you learn to read?" and she quipped back, "In my bed when I read with my flashlight."


That's right. 

Kyra I've been dragging along, kicking, screaming and dramatically passing out while trying to climb brick walls made from compound words and multiple syllables.

Lydia gets the same 20 minutes a night her sister does, to sit in her bed, wind down and "read" books by flashlight.... and she teaches herself to read. 

Lydia's repeated this trick several more times with several more books.  Today, she even brought me a book I know beyond a shadow of a doubt neither Jeremy nor I have read this book to either of the kids before (because, yes, we have that many books), and the sweet child happily plodded along, reading the whole way. 

All her reading, so far, are of the basic nature.  Simple, sound out words.  Still.  It'll be nice to be blessed with a child who doesn't fight me the whole way with this reading business.  I know Kyra's difficulties are neither her fault nor of her own doing, but an easier path the second time around with the second kid will be a nice reprieve. 

So here I have Kyra tearing through all of the Spiderwick Cronicles, Lydia loving every Dick and Jane she can get her hands on, and I'm barely pawing through The Alchemyst

Even the kids are showing me up!

Friday, February 21, 2014

A Moment to Myself

I have two kids down for naps and one doing her school work at the kitchen table.  The dogs are snoozing beside me on their bed and the husband is working another tediously boring day on the boat. 

That last part is total assumption.  Only because I think his job must be boring.  He claims to enjoy what he does.  So, yaaa.

The rain outside is drizzly.  The mountains of snow are slowly dissipating.  What was a mountain of white, as high as the roof of my Suburban a couple of nights ago is now only up to the bottom of the windows.  We, along with the rest of this half of the country, are on a "warming trend" in which our temperatures raise to a balmy 40 degrees for a day or so and then we'll plummet back into the 20s and all that snow that didn't quite melt fast enough?  Now a deceptively slick sheet of snowy looking ice. 

I'm currently reading The Alchemyst because Jeremy stuck it into my hands a few days ago and said it might be something I'd enjoy for an easy read.  I've only made it to the 38th page.  I'm not sure if its entirely because its not my style or if its because I've wasted precious nap times on silly things like cleaning the kitchen, destroying the kitchen or piddling on this here computer. 

Hard to say. 

But I'm determined to trudge through it.  I have two book shelves worth of books I've gathered over the last couple of years and haven't had time nor motivation to read them.  We've run out of room for more books, for either the children or the adults in this house.  I've managed to read a good number in the last few months and either ship them back to their previous owners or donated them to the local library. 

My favorite, I can't put it down forthelifeofme book, so far, has been The Memoirs of a Geisha.  Aside from just being an incredible story on the whole, two quotes have stuck with me a month after having finished the book:
“Grief is a most peculiar thing; we’re so helpless in the face of it. It’s like a window that will simply open of its own accord. The room grows cold, and we can do nothing but shiver. But it opens a little less each time, and a little less; and one day we wonder what has become of it.”  
“I dont think any of us can speak frankly about pain until we are no longer enduring it.”  
I have a friend and a sister having a baby on the Any-Minute-Now timeline and I can't help but think of the horrible, crippling postpartum depression I suffered after Ruby.  At the time I tried to rationalize and explain away every feeling I had but in the end, now that I'm no longer enduring it, I can see it for what it is.  What it was. 

Another book I'm anticipating picking up is The Outlander series.  My mother sent me the first of the series with a preface that she really enjoyed the fist and was headlong into the second and thought I would enjoy them, as well.  After The Alchemyst, I tell myself.  As it is, I have no room for Outlander on my bookshelf so it sits, stuck in the door in my truck, waiting for it's turn. 

I forget, sometimes, how much I enjoy books.  I read them to the kids all day.  Some of them wonderful, some of them not.  But a book that is for me is like a holy treasure, sometimes. 

That's typical of us mother's, though, isn't it?  Do for the kids, forgetting about yourself?

"All too soon," the older generations warn us young'uns, "the kids will want nothing to do with ya."  Then will be our time to ourselves.  Until then, I'll enjoy their naps for what they are, a small break in the mayhem, and I'll enjoy my bits of reading when can get them. 

Life right now seems all about the story.  Sometimes its an easy read, sometimes its thought provoking and sometimes you're too busy to notice the pictures on the page, right past the words you've just read. 

Life goes on.  And so do our stories.